Why the scale is important, but also doesn’t matter

When working with nutrition clients, one of the metrics that we like to track daily is weight.

The main reason for this is we want to see the general trend of their weight to ensure that their average weight is headed the correct direction and toward their goal.

Daily weight tracking also helps highlight good and bad decisions made throughout the day in terms of food quality, water intake and exercise.

(We also track our client’s chest, waist, and hip measurements and have them take progress photos weekly. I’ll get into why later)

Unfortunately, one of the most common things we have to do is tell our clients to STOP tracking their weight.

And this often stems from our inability as a population to stick with a plan that doesn’t deliver instant results the way we expect them.

We’ve all seen thousands of ads and hours of informercials touting ridiculously fast weight loss if you just take this pill, drink the drink, follow this crazy cucumber and lemon only diet, or use this weird crunch contraption to get a six-pack in 30 days.

I hate to break it to you, but IT’S ALL BULLSHIT!


But all of that BS and non-sense has reshaped the way we think and our expectations.

And when we don’t see the scale (again, only one of our three check-in metrics) moving the right direction daily, we often see our clients get discouraged and immediately begin to self-sabotage or start losing trust in the coach or the process.

Well, this is my own personal story of how I stepped on the scale a couple days after returning from vacation to a bit of a surprise.

How after years of retraining my brain to think more logically about weight and body composition, I didn’t have a knee jerk reaction.

I didn’t freak out and immediately give up and overeat.

I also didn’t immediately decide to starve myself to get right back to where I was comfortable.

Because I knew that it was impossible to actually gain that much weight (fat) in a week and that everything would be just fine if I just got right back to eating consistently.

A few weeks ago our family went to Hawaii for a week.

While we were there I did zero tracking of my food or alcohol consumption, I just enjoyed my time.

I did a few workouts, but nothing crazy.

I also did some walking and playing on the beach and in the ocean, so I wasn’t just sitting around for a week straight.

When I left I was weighing 183 lbs pretty consistently.

Some days up to 185 and other days down to 181 or 182.

When we returned from Hawaii on July 3rd and then I enjoyed July 4th weekend I stepped on the scale on Monday, July 8th and I weighed 191.6 lbs.


From before we left for Hawaii until 11 days later I gained 9 lbs.

When I looked in the mirror I didn’t think I looked like I weighed 9 extra lbs, but I stepped on the scale again and it read the same thing.

At that moment I made the decision to do five things that day:

1. eat a “perfect day” meaning to hit my macros exactly
2. to drink a sufficient amount of water
3. to ride the Peloton while my daughter was sleeping (just a 30 minute ride, nothing crazy)
4. to take a nap that day
5. to get a good nights sleep that night to catch up a little.

After executing on this plan I knew that I would be headed the right direciton and I’d be more likely to do the same the next day and I’d be back to pre-vacation form in no time.

And guess what happened…

I woke up the next morning, and I weighed…


I lost 5.4 lbs in 24 hours.

with NO magic pills
NO special drinks
NO weird food combinations
NOT starving myself
and, NO extra exercise

Now, at that weight I was still a couple lbs above where I was when I left, but I probably earned that weight.

I enjoyed myself.

I ate food that I wouldn’t normally eat

I had alcoholic beverages daily, which I do not do while at home.

But in the long run, none of it will matter because consistently eating a healthy quantity of carbohydrates, protein and fat to support my body and activity level and staying properly hydrated will outweigh a week of less than optimal decisions.

The moral of the story here is that weight loss or gain or maintenance is NOT linear.

And the scale is only one metric that we track and it might be the least dependable.

So we all need to stop letting it control our thoughts and influence our decisions, but just take it for what it is, a number…

If you want more information about counting your macros or flexible dieting or are interested in nutrition coaching, shoot us an email at or check us out on instagram at @CrogaNutrition.

We’re more than happy to schedule a free 15-minute phone call or in person meeting to chat about your goals and to see if our coaching style might be a good fit for you.

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Mike D. Is The June Member Of The Month

If there was a list of Croga Legends, Mike D would most definitely be on it. He has been around since the beginning and our friendship has grown to include our significant others and our children now, which has been a ton of fun. For 6 years I joked with Mike that I was never going to give him Member of the Month because he’s always complaining about the programming and how we never program the “perfect” workout for him, but I finally gave in when he bought a new house and moved further away from Croga, but went out of his way to become more committed to getting in the gym.

With a wife, two kids and very busy days running around selling “RE” (Mike’s slang for Real Estate), I am always impressed with Mike’s ability to participate in tons of networking and charity events, as well as help the other agents in his office, spend time with his extended family that all live in the area and get to the gym regularly. Congrats on finally achieving MOTM status, Mike. Don’t hold your breath for Member of the Year…

When did you join Cróga?
A long time ago (5+ years?)…shortly after the gym opened up and Dave was coaching every class, every day…he was always a treat.

What were you doing before for fitness?
I was doing personal training with some Crossfit type functional stuff. Also, running on my own. Did a few half marathons, one full marathon and then I retired from running.

What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout?
I can’t remember fully, it had some overhead kettlebell lunges and other stuff. All I remember was trying to beat my best friend Big Mike, who introduced me to Croga. Mike, Dave and I go a long ways back to high school (Mitty is better than Bellarmine btw).

What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?
I’m definitely more ‘jacked’ than I was before, I still have to work on my eating habits and therefore my ‘Dad Bod’ is in full force. I’ve noticed how the ‘functional’ part of Crossfit helps me in everyday life.

What days and times do you come to Cróga?
This is a loaded question. Before my son was born (baby #2) it was 6 AM class and at least 4 times a week. Now, it’s whenever I can make it. It’s usually in the afternoon, and I’m late to class or workout on my own on the side.

What’s your favorite WOD?
Anything with DEADLIFTS and ROWING!

What’s your least favorite WOD?
I hate ring dips…absolutely hate em! Muscle Ups too…so I guess that means anything that requires gymnastics and body weight?

“The Mike D” WOD! What would it be?
Rowing, Deadlifts and bicep curls! Program it Cody!

What’s your favorite post-workout routine?
I try to fit in some ab mat situps to make myself think if I do enough of them, I might get a six-pack at some point in my life.

What do you love about CrossFit?
All of the components that go with Crossfit…weightlifting, cardio, gymnastics, etc. The community. The coaches. I do love competition with some of my buddies there too. I don’t fully believe in ‘competing with yourself’…I like it when I kick someone else’s ass in a workout.

What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga?
It took me a long time to catch onto all of the different types of diets that correlate with Crossfit. I do like Keto. I have not been perfect at it, but it has driven me to try and cut out sugar/carbs more than I ever have in my life and I have been seeing the results.

What’s your biggest fitness goal for this year?
It’s actually not setting any PR’s…really I’m just trying to get back to a regular schedule at the gym, and going to the gym more. Having a busy work schedule and family life has made it tough and I’m determined to get back to my gym routine.

What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga?
If you have the time, I highly recommend taking the Crossfit Level 1 course. It’s an action-packed 2 days full of information and fitness and only going to make you a better Crossfitter. It also allows you to potentially coach if you wanted to someday…I’m still waiting for Dave to ask me if I want to coach for Croga haha jk

Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet?
Getting Gamesbound doesn’t just pertain to Crossfit…it can pertain to all parts of your life.
Also, I’m not going to lie, this MOTM award for me is definitely not from my performance last month or even in 2019. I appreciate Dave and the team considering me for this for all of the years I’ve been a part of this great community. I have friends that own other Crossfit gyms, and have visited other gyms out of area…and none of them compare to the people that run Croga and the members that go to Croga. Love, Mike D

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Courtney P. Is The May Member Of The Month

When we meet potential new members at Croga I often ask them why they want to do CrossFit. For many of the members at Croga, the reason is often to be able to do more activities with their kids and to know they are doing something to live a longer life so they can spend more time with their loved ones. And as you will read below, Courtney is one of those members who has a very strong will to improve so she can be the best mother to her children and wife to her husband.

She is such a great example of strength, persistence, will power and love. We couldn’t be happier than to honor her with our member of the month award and to let her tell her story because we know it’s one that a lot of people can identify with and is one of empowerment through hard work and dedication.

When did you join Cróga?
I think it was late in 2016 for the first time. I’m a boomerang as some would say (at least in my work world).  I wasn’t consistent back then though.  I had just gone back to work after staying home for a few years and was figuring out how to balance work, 3 kids, a marriage, home, etc.  This time around I came back in October 2018.  A little over a year ago, a very good friend of mine had a heart attack.  Since October 2018 alone, I have had 2 friend’s husbands die in their sleep from heart attacks.  Due to that and the fact that coming back this time around was about 1000x harder physically than the first time I joined, I promised myself I would set aside 3 days a week and really commit to these workouts.  Overall, with a few exceptions, I’ve kept that promise. For the month of June, I’m trying to make 4 classes a week as my kids’ schedule lightens up a bit.

What were you doing before for fitness?
Sadly, the last 2 years nothing.  I just worked a LOT, came home, drove kids to practices and appointments of all sorts, ate dinner then went to sleep.  Did that on repeat and felt pretty awful.  I would wake up achy for no good reason which is another reason I came back.  I figured it’d be better to be muscle sore than joint sore.  Previous to that I did quite a few things. I grew up riding horses and competed pretty heavily in my 20’s.  Then I had kids and took some time off.  I went back to it for a bit after having my 3rd child but it was too time-consuming.  I also had a new(er) fear of getting hurt that I didn’t have before I had kids, getting thrown off horses is no joke!  Around the same time I started riding again, I also joined a local bootcamp 3 days a week and picked up running 2-3 days a week as well.  I did a couple of half marathons and decided I really didn’t like running THAT much.  The last race I did was a 10-mile race over the Golden Gate bridge. I did it for my daughter Kendall, who happens to have special needs.  She was turning 10 that year and I thought it was a very fitting way to end my few years of running.  It turned out to be the easiest and best long run I ever had.  Somewhere around that same time my youngest son wanted to try karate.  I sat in the waiting room watching him for a few months. I thought this was one of the few sports that I could do (equally) with him so I started taking classes with him.  Let’s just say kids make everything look easy!  It was much harder than I originally thought.  Part of the deal in karate is that you also have to spar eventually so I jumped in and took classes for that as well.  It was super intimidating but really empowering and I loved it. Soon enough I had earned my first belt then another and another etc.  Before I knew it both Chase (my youngest boy) and I ended up with our purple belts after a pretty grueling 4-hour test.

What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout?
I have no clue what it was back in 2016, it’s all a blur. This time around I still don’t know what it was but I know a farmers carry was involved and that was a modification.  I’m pretty sure the entire thing was modified and I didn’t record it because I was so frustrated that I was so out of shape.  I thought I was going to die.  I remember my husband, Dan, telling me when I got home and walked through the door that I looked almost dead.  I followed that comment with the good ol’ look of death then sat at our kitchen island and planted my face down on the nice cool granite for like 30 minutes before I moved or even spoke again.

What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?
I’ve lost a bunch of inches all over my body, I think the last time I check it was around 11 inches gone.  I am definitely stronger but still not as strong as I would like to be.  I will say the biggest thing is that I can do the workouts now without my back/hip acting up and stopping me in my tracks (knock on wood).  We spent what felt like months working on getting my back and hips to cooperate and now they do!

What days and times do you come to Cróga?
Mostly 3:30 or 5:30 pm during the week on whatever days my schedule allows.  I’m often there on Sundays too.

What’s your favorite WOD?
Ideally, one where I could beat Dan (my husband).  For real though, I like the longer workouts with a combo of weights (I like power cleans), some gymnastic movement (because I want to get better at them) and rowing, running or box jumps.

What’s your least favorite WOD?
Anything with burpee box jump overs or burpee pull-ups or the whole burpee then jump 6 inches thing.  If it was ever just a burpee it would be ok but it’s never just a “simple burpee”.  Overhead squats also hate me but at least my body allows me to do them now so I’m actually grateful for that.  I’m pretty terrible when it comes to anything that requires me to sprint or go super fast.  Those workouts are not at the top of my list, but I do them anyway.  Pretty much only because there are so many of them!  Look, if I was asked if I was the tortoise or the hare in the race, I’d for sure be the tortoise.  I go slow but I always finish.

“The Courtney” WOD! What would it be?
First, I’d have some amazing 90’s rap playlist that would likely include Dre, Snoop and maybe even Too Short.  Just to mix it up I may even throw in some good big hair bands as well, no ballads though.  Then we’d do something along the following for 3 rounds, building in weight for the squat cleans……there would probably be a time cap on it as well and since I’m a tortoise I’d make that 20 min.  I don’t even know if that’s a reasonable time for a workout like that but it doesn’t matter because it’s “The Courtney” WOD right!?

15 Squat Cleans
30 Toes to bar
Run 400m
13 Squat Cleans
30 Toes to Bar
Run 400m
11 Squat Cleans
30 Toes to Bar
Run 400m

What’s your favorite post-workout routine?
Laying on the ground in front of the big fan, almost dead, realizing I survived another workout.  I also really like the darn Fitaids but I try to minimize the amount of them I have every week.  Once I’m out of there it’s back to reality so just laying on that floor feels like a break for me and I always appreciate a good break!

What do you love about CrossFit?
This is an easy one, the people, the workouts and the coaches.  Everyone is 100% supportive, it doesn’t matter where you are in your fitness journey, everyone wants you to succeed and roots for you.  I love that the workouts are constantly changing so you can’t get bored and of course the coaches.  They have been absolutely awesome.  They are so knowledgeable, helpful, and kind.  They even make me laugh when I want to cry (note- I have yet to burst into tears in class, I’ve come close a couple of times so don’t put that past me).

What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga?
Dave posted the Skinny Taste cookbook recipe for a Giant Turkey Parmesan Meatball.  We double the recipe because my kids can put down some food and basically turn it into a meatloaf.  Serve it with pasta (zoodles for me) and salad.  It’s something all 5 of us gobble up.  Definitely worthy of the #crogaeats hashtag.

What’s your biggest fitness goal for this year?
I’d really like to be able to do toes to bar and not just knee raises. I’d also like to get at least a banded pull-up.  Overall, I want to get stronger and more efficient with all the lifts.

What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga?
Just show up and trust the coaches.  Everything can be modified.

Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet?
When I was 29 I had my first child, my daughter Kendall.  She was born with special needs due to a rare chromosome disorder and was/is also deaf in her right ear with a mild loss in her left one.  We had no idea until she was born that anything was wrong.  That really rocked my world and crushed me.  Basically, in that moment I had to shift all my dreams and expectations of what her life was going to look like. That is VERY HARD to do.  Actually, it may be the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life.  We all have some unspoken expectations/dreams of what our child’s life may look like.  With typical kids, you have time to start to see them shifting away from things you thought they may once do and you have time to process it.  With Kendall, I didn’t get the time to process it.  It was thrown upon me.  Everything she has done in her life has been on her own time frame.  She didn’t crawl until she was 15 months old, she didn’t walk until she was 2.5 years old and she didn’t talk until she was around 9 or so years old other than some very basic words.  To this day she talks but there is a lot you can’t understand and everything is still delayed compared to the typical world.  However, she has been the best gift I could have ever received in life.  She has shown me that life is not a competition even if we do live in one of the most competitive areas in terms of schools/jobs etc.  She’s forced me to slow down (and be that tortoise), she’s shown me nothing but love, taught me empathy, changed my view of the world and others in it and so much more.  She has been through more in her 15 years of life than most people I know.  Because of her, I don’t take anything for granted.  I’m grateful for all that my body can do even if I often get frustrated that I can’t do more.  She’s given me such a good perspective on life.  Raising her has been challenging and amazing all at once.  She’s the reason (along with my other 2 boys of course) that I do this.  I need to be strong enough to continue to care for them but especially for her. She’s made me both resilient and persistent.  I think both of those qualities help me in all areas of life but they really help in Crossfit as well.

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New Coach Spotlight: Emily S

Coach Emily comes to us with a very diverse background in a lot of different fitness modalities and a passion for helping others improve their lives by finding a form of fitness and nutrition that they love. As you’ll read in her write-up below, Emily has completely flipped the script on what it means to be in control of your mind and body and her bravery and willingness to talk about her past and help others who are or have gone through similar experiences is one of the things we love most about her. She’s also up for just about anything and likes to have a good laugh mid-workout, so she fits right in with our unique and fun Croga family.

Full Name: Emily Ann Suttle

I was born in London and my whole family is from England. When I was 3, we moved to New York so my dad could work on Wall Street. He commuted into the world trade center so 9/11 was transformative for our family. We relocated to Washington DC and I struggled badly with depression as a result of the move. In my teens, I found that if I couldn’t control what was going on in my world, I could control what was going into my body, so I began to starve myself. This battle with anorexia would continue into my late 20’s. I graduated from American University with a degree in economics and went straight to work in research for wealth management groups and hedge funds. Eventually, I succumbed to the pressure of toxic work culture and decided to focus exclusively on recovering from my eating disorder. This is when I fell in love with fitness. I started teaching a few group exercise formats, like spin and bootcamp, and then became a certified personal trainer. I found I could shift my focus from trying to control what I put in my body, to what my body could do. As I started to recover, I also found that I could integrate my economics background with my fitness career, growing into roles in upper management, business growth, and marketing. I got certified in CrossFit when I was rebranding a CrossFit facility in North Carolina. I’ll admit that I was initially skeptical of the CrossFit culture, but it wasn’t until I went to my L1 and started attending class & coaching that I realized I had already been living a CrossFit lifestyle. I’m a huge believer in diversification of exercise and nutrition. These days I run a Bay Area Pilates company. I teach CrossFit, bootcamp, HIIT, core, yoga, spin and pilates. I’ve run over 20 marathons and love hiking, paddle boarding, gardening and walking my two dogs Ziggy & Chewy. I love cooking and eat a lot of plants, meat, fish, grains & fats. I love wine and the way that it pairs beautifully with the freshness and flavors of a good meal. Some days I have carefully planned meals and other days I eat pizza and drink tequila. I haven’t had a birthday cake since my 16th birthday, and I know I will always have a complicated relationship with food and my body. I know that fitness both helped me heal, but also replaced a mental illness with a healthy obsession and I’m passionate about helping other women find the right balance without compromising their mental health.

Favorite quote: “You have seen my descent, now watch my rising.” – Rumi

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Rob N. Is The April Member Of The Month

I don’t want to put words in Rob’s mouth, but this might have been the greatest month of Rob’s life so far. First, he won the Croga Member of the Month award for his hard work, dedication and consistent focus on incremental progress, and then, he became a dad!!! It doesn’t get much better than that if you ask me.

And what a dad he is going to be to his little boy, Lincoln. Rob always has a smile on his face, is an eternal optimist, never backs down from a challenge and is a ton of fun inside and outside the gym. Congrats on the MoTM, Rob, but a bigger congrats to you and Wendy on the newest addition to the family!

When did you join Cróga?
Wendy tricked me into competing in the 2017 Open without knowing what I had signed up for. I loved the challenge and inescapable feeling of death when I finished the workout. Became official member in October 2017. The real date that’s important is the first day I beat Jose Cong in a workout, Dec 3rd, 2017. My proudest moment as a member.

What were you doing before for fitness?
Primarily the shake weight, thigh master, and dabbled in jazzercise but it didn’t really feel right, I think it was the leotard.

My main background would be as a long distance runner. But I had been lifting weights on my own since college. Averaged about one leg day every 10 years or so. Pretty good base for Crossfit.

What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout?
Wendy told me we were going to get ice cream and buy a puppy but instead, she brought me to Croga and I did the open.

So I guess 17.1 or 17.2. I think deadlift, weighted lunges, and pull-ups?

What I do know is that I stared off into the distance for a while trying not to puke after that one.

What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?
I’ve found something I’ve only heard of before. I think it’s called a butt? Whatever it is, it pushes up on my jeans in the back of pants now.

I can proudly say that my usual medium shirts that in my opinion used to make it look like i didn’t work out at all (tiny forearms and hidden biceps) which transitioned to a snug Smedium, to now super tight. NEW goal is to get them to the holy grail “deuchebag tight or creepy weird guy at the gym tight” size, which is where it’s obvious I could/need to buy a larger shirt, but I’d rather show off that muscle tightness. Then repeat this process with a size large shirt. Then get where I’m so swole I don’t need a shirt.—-insert any CJ Vincent shirtless joke here—

This is the strongest and most fit I’ve ever been, never would I have thought that’d I’d be able to deadlift and squat as much as I can now. Body composition has completely changed. I am the heaviest I’ve been, but in a gainz and muscular way that I have never been before.

I can also say that I have been surprised at how well my cardio (running) has been even without running a lot. Because I am stronger, I am significantly more powerful running and in softball.

What days and times do you come to Cróga?
I have been pretty consistent with hitting Croga in the afternoons, 5:30 on most days, and weekends at 9 am.

What’s your favorite WOD?
Anything where I can beat Jose and CJ.

Which usually means something longer in the 15-20 minute range, body weight or lightweight barbell activities and medium reps 10-20, and having a run in there absolutely helps.

What’s your least favorite WOD?
Overhead squats, snatches, handstand push-ups… anything overhead.

Large amounts of thrusters are miserable as well… like 19.5, horrible.

“The Rob” WOD! What would it be?
Rob WOD would look like this:
Backwards hat ✅
Africa on repeat performed by WEEZER on speakers ✅

In 5 minutes: Chug a “Bang” energy drink, rub Icy Hot all over body…

Then for time:
40 double unders
20 burpee box jump overs
20 chest to bar pull-ups
20 toes to bar
400-meter run
5 bar muscle ups
400-meter run
20 toes to bar
20 chest to bar pull-ups
20 burpee box jump overs
40 double unders

What’s your favorite post-workout routine?
Beer, ibuprofen, whiskey in that order.

Physical Therapist answer: Stretching, soft tissue massage, cupping, icing, heat… Any or all of this should be a part of everyone’s routine in some regard before and after workout out to prevent injuries.

What do you love about CrossFit?
The competition and camaraderie are something I haven’t had since high school. And that is what I have fallen in love with. Great group of people who have similar interests.

As a therapist, I love that CrossFit brings out the strengths and weaknesses of an individual, and we all have them. Seeing my weaknesses in my fitness has absolutely made we work on things I never would have thought of before. This is important for everyday life as well as fitness.

Prior to Crossfit, my fitness was very linear, and now I am a much more well rounded.

What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga?
Seeing that my usual diet consists of Monster energy drinks, bagel bites, easy Mac, and Brand-O (it has electrolytes)… I have room for improvement.

I’ve never been big on cooking to be honest, this is an area I need to improve upon going forward, but I really have enjoyed knowing that I can take on more calories and gain muscle.

LeanFeast has been huge!

What’s your biggest fitness goal for this year?
I think it would be great if I could be strong enough to deadlift 400 and fast enough run a sub-5-minute mile on the same day.

Not sure if that’s super realistic, but I think it can be done.

What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga?
Just get in here! It’s ok to not be great at all or any of the movements at first. All things take time. I guarantee you will be faster, stronger, and look better. As with anything, consistency is the key. I did not see big improvements in strength and skills until I fully committed to at-least 13 visits a month. Even more so when I went unlimited visits. Even more when I got one on one work with Cody for skills, and even more when I had Cody write RX + workouts for me. Increased practice/training = more gains= higher fitness and feeling better.

Also, you need to listen to your body, if not feeling well talk to a coach and have them alter the workout for you. Any movement can be altered. For injury prevention, every person no matter what fitness level, would benefit from increased stretching and range of motion as well as extra core strength. These are things that will help keep you healthy in Crossfit and regular life. So these things take extra time but are essential for success and preventing injury.

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New Coach Spotlight: Hailey S

When you get the opportunity to chat with Hailey about who she is and how she got to where she is today, it becomes apparent quickly that coaching is right where she belongs. She grew up playing a wide range of sports, Gymnastics, Basketball, Water Polo & Swimming, she then worked in sports with jobs for the San Jose Sharks and the Pac-12 and then she took her experience and personable nature into a pursuit of a career in coaching.Armed with the knowledge that has been passed on to her by high-level coaches in both team and individual sports and her passion for making each of her classes a joy to be in and improving the lives of her athletes daily, she has quickly become another coach that the Croga members look forward to seeing on the class roster.

Full Name: Hailey Smith

Tell us a little bit about your family, job, and interests:
I’m born and raised in the Bay Area. I grew up in Redwood City and went to Menlo School for middle school and high school before moving back east to attend The University of Maryland where I played Water Polo. After graduating I worked for the San Jose Sharks for a year and then moved on to work for the PAC-12 before deciding to get into coach. Now I am a full time coach! In addition to Croga, I am now coaching at NCFIT, Orangetheory Fitness, and at City Beach volleyball helping with sports performance and powerlifting.

What was your athletic background before you started CrossFit?
Growing up I was a competitive gymnast. I retired from gymnastics right before high school and spread my time out between playing water polo, basketball and swimming. I was very fortunate to have a full-time strength and conditioning coach at my school, so I was introduced to Oly lifting and powerlifting at a relatively early age. But it wasn’t until training for water polo in college that I really started to fall in love with lifting.

What made you decide to become a CrossFit Coach?
I wanted to be a CrossFit coach because I remember as just a member at a gym thinking about how much I loved my coaches. How much the gym was always the best part of my day and how much they impacted not just my fitness but my person. I had one coach in particular who said one thing to me while we were in open gym together and it completely changed the way I looked at my body and the way I train. It was such an important moment in my life, far more important than that coach even realized. I hope that I can have that same impact even on one person I coach.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a cardiologist. I actually wanted to do that until I took some chem classes in college and realized there was no way I could make it through organic chemistry…and that was the end to my pre-med path! 🤣 I also wanted to be an astronaut, but I didn’t understand the concept of black holes and I thought one was going to kill me on my way to the moon, so that was the end of that.

If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?
If I could be any animal I’d probably want to be a dolphin. They are brilliant and so playful and cute or a koala because all they do is eat and sleep.

What is the one food that you could never give up?
One food I could never give up is burritos.

Favorite quote:
It’s a Hawaiian proverb. “Ua ola loko i ke aloha” which means “love gives life within.” It’s been my favorite quote since I first heard it in high school and it’s kinda my life mantra. If you show compassion and love, and put love into everything you do, it’s the best and surest way to find happiness.

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Preet S. Is The March Member Of The Month

If you swing by Croga in the early evening for Ignite at 4:45 or CrossFit at 5;30, 90% of the time you’ll run into one of our friendliest and most outgoing members, Preet. She showed up one day last spring with a CrossFit Nola tank top on and a huge smile and I immediately knew she was going to fit right in. Most of our members say hi to new faces and introduce themselves and then give the new people a high five at the end of class, but what I love about Preet is that she is the one that takes it a step further. It’s rare that a class ends with someone new in it that she doesn’t end up chatting with them for 15-20 mintues about who they are, what they do for work and fun, and becoming instant friends. For this, as well as how consistently she attends and works hard in class, Preet is one of the people that I would consider “model members” for the gym and the community we have always been working to build at Croga. Thank you for being awesome, Preet! Congratulations on being our Member of the Month for March 2019, you definitely deserve it.

When did you join Cróga?
I joined in March 2018 – so just about a year ago. When I moved from New Orleans, one of the first things I wanted to do was join a gym here.  I was a little worried that I’d end up in too big a community and not find a gym I felt at home in. I ended up just googling “Crossfit San Jose” and Cróga was the first one that popped up and I signed up for a free workout.  It was like going on a blind date :).  My first class at the gym, everyone was so welcoming and encouraging that I knew it was the right fit for me.  I never even tried any other gyms. So began my relationship with Cróga.  We’re going on a year now!

What were you doing before for fitness?
I was living in New Orleans and going to a box there – Crossfit NOLA.  I also was an avid spinner, so I would do both throughout the week.  I also trained for a half marathon and even though I don’t love running, used it as a challenge.  I try to keep active by doing anything that gets my body moving.

What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?
Over the course of the last year at Cróga I’ve seen myself get stronger and have pushed myself to do more than I thought I could.  Even though I’ve been doing Crossfit for five years now, it was my first year participating in the Open.  That had a lot to do with the encouragement of coaches and fellow gym goers.  I’m so glad I did it as for the first time ever I was able to do handstand push-ups.

What days and times do you come to Cróga?
You can usually catch me at Ignite and a 5:30pm class.

What’s your favorite WOD?
Murph (as a partner WOD), Cindy or Angie.

What’s your least favorite WOD?
Anything with Squat Snatches

“The Preet” WOD! What would it be?
My favorite WODs include burpees, kettle bells, box jumps, HPCs, dead lifts and push jerks.

What’s your favorite post-workout routine?
Besides wanting to pass out sometimes, it depends on the workout.  Since I take evening classes, I usually go home and cook a healthy dinner. Cooking is my hobby and if I wasn’t a Social Worker, I’d probably be a chef!

What do you love about CrossFit?
The community it’s built.  I don’t know how many Crossfit conversations I get into with complete strangers when Crossfit is mentioned.

What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga?
Asian Box! Thanks for the rec!

What’s your biggest fitness goal for this year?
I’d like to be able to get some toes-to-bar and pull-ups.  I feel like I’m so close, but just need that final push to “get” each of them.

What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga?
Come take a class and feel how great the community is.  Coaches are amazing and are always encouraging.  You get to start your fitness journey exactly where you are at and watch it go from there. No one makes you feel like you have to do more than you are able.  Give it a shot, you have to start somewhere!

Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet?
When I’m not at Cróga you can catch me hanging with my family, cooking, traveling the world, hiking, watching sports and being an avid social justice warrior.  I’m also a beast at binge-watching TV shows.

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Ben P. Is The February Member Of The Month

When someone told me that Ben had never been our Member of the Month, I almost fell out of my chair. Not only was Ben one of our very first members (I think he joined in our first month of business, 6 years ago), but he’s one hell of an athlete and is consistently in the gym day in and day out unless he’s on a well-deserved vacation.

Ben is one of the hardest working, smartest, kindest, friendliest and most genuine people I’ve ever met and I feel blessed that when I was 18-years-old I just happened to be assigned to him as his summer intern. He is someone that I have always enjoyed spending time with and learning from and the only reason I can think of that he’s never been given this honor is because he’s just the most consistent person you may ever meet.

There are only a few people in this world that I look up to as role models and Ben is most definitely one of them.

Ben, please forgive me for not giving you this award sooner, you are on the shortlist for member of the decade.

When did you join Cróga?
I started working out at Croga before the doors opened by helping Dave install some flooring. Don’t inspect the floor too closely. You will quickly see why I am in the management side of construction.

What were you doing before for fitness?
Just normal life stuff. I am a horrible self-motivator when it comes to fitness.

What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout?
That was too long ago. I can barely remember what Monday was. I do remember that even though I thought I was in good shape I was totally surprised how much it hurt.

What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?
Look, I don’t think I have gotten any better looking. Feel, my hands are much rougher. Performance, up significantly. I bounce back faster from injuries, don’t get winded with outdoor activities and enjoy beating my kids at everything including handstands.

What days and times do you come to Cróga?
I try avoid the judging eye and critical comments from Steven in the afternoon, so I go when he and my kids are still asleep at 5:00 a.m. You probably won’t see me in the afternoon or on a weekend (Family Time!).

What’s your favorite WOD?
Besides the warm-up, anything with gymnastic movements. I also love chippers.
What’s your least favorite WOD? Probably one with heavy weights and prescribed rests. I would rather get to work and get done.

“The Ben” WOD! What would it be?
100 Air Squats – 90 Sit-ups – 80 Double Unders – 70 Walking Lunges – 60 Push Ups – 50 Box Jumps or weighted step ups – 40 Wall Ball – 30 Hollow Rocks – 20 Pull-ups – 10 Hand Stand Push Ups

What’s your favorite post-workout routine?
As I stretch out and wait for my heart rate to slow down I enjoy a little humor. Have you ever seen Kevin Sakai (try to) stretch or (try to) understand the WOD description? It’s comical and makes me feel better about myself.

What do you love about CrossFit?
Show up, do what you’re told and get work done. It’s an hour out of my day when I don’t have to think or worry about anything.

What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga?
Sorry, but Croga doesn’t introduce me to any culinary discoveries. I do this so I can eat what I like. I tried to do the whole 30 once and lasted about a week. I was pissed, I skipped out one day on an Ice Cream truck and quit the next day.

What’s your biggest fitness goal for this year?
I would say 42 unbroken pull-ups, but I think that ship has sailed. I don’t know. I guess it would be good to have one. Should it be something I like or getting better at something I really suck at like Pistols?

What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga?
Don’t over think it, show up and get to work. It will change your life in one way or another.

Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet?
Nah, just that I love you guys! You’re working hard to impact people’s lives in a positive way!

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Food for Thought: Gaining Muscle While Losing Fat Including Data To Back It Up

For anyone that has been a dedicated CrossFitter for a significant period of time, this blog post is going to come as no surprise, but it’ll still be awesome, I promise.

For people with traditional weight training backgrounds, you’ll probably think I’m lying until I show you the data.

For those of you that do circuit training classes that say they’re having you lift weights, but you never actually seem to get stronger or more fit, this is my “you should try CrossFit and see what happens” argument because what you’re doing now is just making you sweat a lot and not much else.

A couple of days ago I received an email from one of our members, Ton Men, with the subject “Progression”.

At first, I thought this was going to be an email where she asked for some advice on how to achieve a high-level gymnastics movement through a progression of easier movements.

When I opened the email and started reading I realized this was not at all what it was about.

It was an email that outlined some pretty incredible results in her first 9-10 months of CrossFit, most notably the most recent 4 months and it included some significant and extremely accurate data.

Over the last 10 months, Ton Men has slowly increased her average monthly attendance, time spent doing extra credit and focus on her nutrition and boy does it show!

As is not uncommon for female athletes new to CrossFit and serious weight training, it took some time to figure out what her actual limits were on strength movements and to then be able to attack them and push herself, but once she got going there was no looking back.

What you’ll see here is the results of four BodySpec body composition tests that Ton Men has had done since she started CrossFit (the first scan was less than 1 month into joining Croga).

What you’ll see as you look at the data is that over her first seven months of CrossFit, Ton Men gained .8 lbs of body weight, but did so by losing 2.6 lbs of fat and gaining 3.5 lbs of muscle.

There might be some people out there that would like slightly quicker results than that, but I doubt anyone would be complaining about those results.

But wait until you see what happened next…

Check Out Those Arms

As Ton Men started doing some extra personal training, really pushing herself on her strength training by lifting heavier weights as her quality of movement improved, attending 1-2 extra classes a week and often staying after to work on some extra credit she started to see RAPID improvements.

In the most recent three and a half months, Ton Men has gained another 4.8 lbs.

Something that almost all women, and men, would not be happy about if they were working out harder and eating better.

But here’s the beauty of it…

She did that by LOSING 2.2 lbs of FAT!

While GAINING 7 lbs of MUSCLE!

In just 16 weeks.

Oh, and to add to the significance of this result, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years all fell inside this 16-week block.

So, when most people were spending their time making excuses and gaining weight making poor health decisions, Ton Men was absolutely CRUSHING IT.

So, ladies and gentlemen, I’d love it if you took a couple of key points from this blog post.

1. You, 100%, can lose fat and gain muscle at the same time with a well-rounded training program that INCLUDES heavy lifting.

2. Gaining weight isn’t always a bad thing if you know your nutrition is on point.

3. You can lift heavy weight and gain weight and still be “long and lean”. Don’t believe all the BS marketing you’ve been fed that is packaged as “expert research”.

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January 2019 Whole30 Results

Our official January Whole30 ended last week and we’re very proud of all the positive changes everyone made! We loved hearing about your weight loss but were even more excited about your Non-Scale Victories (NSV) and what you took away from your Whole30 experience. Here are some inspiring results from our community.

Kezia K.
The Whole30 made a surprising impact on me this time around. I did it once many years ago and I remember that it helped me transition to a paleo lifestyle. This time around things were really different. I tried to outline it below.

Before:  I was eating out all the time and sometimes the food was good and sometimes it was OK. After eating I always felt slow and heavy and couldn’t move for a while. I indulged in bad food all the time and really spent too much time snacking.

Whole 30: I used a lot of cookbooks from the library and recipes online and my meals tasted so much better then they did right before the Whole 30. I was really shocked at how yummy my food was. At first, I used to stress out about what to cook and the fear of being hungry and falling into bad food temptation so I had to plan ahead. Throughout the month it got a lot easier and I became more confident in my ability to exercise self-control.

Before: My body was stiff and achy all the time. At night I was really sore and stiff and I woke up in the morning feeling the same way. I used to oversleep every morning and would drag myself out of bed.

Whole 30: Despite pushing myself physically and going to a ton of classes, I always woke up feeling great and rarely sore. I stopped taking turmeric for inflammation. Since I was less achy I was able to take more CrossFit classes. I really enjoyed being more active and did some hikes and a few jobs for the month. I also started waking up 2 hours earlier and seemed more alert than before.

Before: I took probiotics regularly b/c I have a lot of food sensitives and sometimes feel pretty awful after eating.

Whole 30: Started actually feeling better after eating and didn’t need to take my probiotics so often.

Physically I had hoped for more dramatic results may be because people have these crazy stories online but I did lose 8 pounds and almost 4 inches and that is better than nothing.

Ultimately I lacked any sort of discipline with my diet before Whole 30 and now I feel that I have more structure with Whole 30, so I am going to continue eating like this in February but I am going to give myself some cheat meal credits so that it feels more sustainable.

Patrick C.
I definitely lost weight. Although I didn’t weigh myself at the beginning (whoops), in the last week I lost 4-5 lbs and felt like I lost over 10 in total.

Energy was up after the first few days and I drank less coffee. Or needed less coffee. I still drank a lot of coffee. The most apparent changes I noticed were recovery time and sleep. I slept great and felt refreshed in the mornings and felt great before and soreness subsided quickly the mornings after (still felt it- just not too badly). Was also told that I looked great which was nice for the ol’ ego (You should include for journalistic integrity that it was my mom who told me I looked good. I don’t care it still fed my ego).

Erin T.
I lost a total of 12 pounds; some of that was weight gain from the holidays but some was extra, which was awesome! I was lucky and did not experience any of the negative side effects that are common (e.g. fatigue, moodiness, not feeling well), but I also did not notice any other positive side effects (e.g. clearer skin, better sleep, shorter recovery, etc.) aside from the weight loss and the confidence that gave me, which is more than enough for me! Even though Whole30 is over, I am not putting sugar in my coffee, which is a positive habit change. I am also trying to continue to eat less and plan to start Paleo on Monday.

Susie R.
Whole 30 was such a great kick-off to my 2019. Towards the end of 2018, I gained way too much weight from stress at work and holiday goodies. I lost around 10lbs and I feel so much better overall. The thing I noticed was that I was much more alert at night. Once I get home from work and sit down, you better believe I am not getting up again! But I felt so much more awake and able to do a lot in the evenings. When it was time to go to bed I fell asleep just as I normally would. It definitely helped me to start 2019 in a healthier light, but I am so grateful I can have cheese once again.

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