Success – The Not So Big Secret to CrossFit Success

Everybody wants a magic pill.  Everyone wants to believe that out there is a miracle program that brings miracle results.

This program does not work, so what I am offering today is the simplest keys to guaranteed success.

First show up.  Make it a habit to show up to the gym or wherever you are training.  Get there and be a part of the community that is there.  Build some bonds with the people you train with so that everyday is an appointment to train with them.  Talk to your coaches daily and get some feedback where you are at and make sure you are on the path to the results you want.  You might be sore or tired, but show up anyway.  Make your training (and your health in general) a priority and a habit.

Second be honest with yourself and your coaches.  If you are having a hard time walking because of all the squats you did the day before, speak up.  Don’t be a hero and try to push through something.  On the flip side, be honest with yourself when something feels too light and is not pushing you to get better.  Don’t settle for something that is easy or that allows you to win the workout.  You want to get better, not just win a workout.  Are you being honest with yourself when it comes to adequate recovery and adequate challenge, day in and day out!

Third, be coachable everyday and learn something new everyday.  Be focused on what is going on and what you can learn.  You should always walk away learning something about where you are at.  Whether that is something with your gymnastic movements or moving weight.  Be coachable and be engaged in what is going on.

The last piece of advice, brings us full circle.  Remember that we are on a journey.  There is not that miracle pill.  But the enjoyment is the journey.  It is not the destination, it is the journey that gives everything value and meaning.  We all want to help you on that journey and on that path to success.

So remember:

  1. Show up
  2. Be Honest with Yourself
  3. Be Coachable and Engaged
  4. Enjoy the Journey

See you at the lab!

Preparing Kids For Success

At the BodyLab we want to help your kids start or continue on a path to success and a healthy lifestyle.  That is our goal first and foremost.  But we also want to develop them in different ways as well.  Part of what we enjoy about bringing into the kids class is developing their mindset.  We want to push them and teach them many ways to lead a healthier, hopefully better, life.

It is for this reason that most of our classes we utilize our older kids to lead our warm-up and stretches.  Who leads varies, but they are given some freedom to help choose the movements that we will use.  Then we will utilize a different one of our kids to help demonstrate the movements that we are going to do that day.  We do this for several reasons.  First and foremost we want people to lead and be excited about leading.

But they also have to be able to take some correction (as they get older).  So we bring them out and help them find the best position.  We also want them to understand that there is a standard that we want.  There are standards in the world and levels of virtuosity that we desire your kids to attain.

From there, we go into our traditional workouts.  We venture more to the gymnastics side of things because we want better movements and core strength.  Gymnastics gives us these things first and foremost.  As our kids develop this, then we can start to introduce load (within reason).  Working with kids, is similar to working with adults, in that if one cannot move correctly, then we have to correct that before you should be touching a barbell.

And we try to do all of these things around the avenue of fun.  Of course, some days, the coaches idea of fun is different than a kids idea of fun.  This is reality.  But we try.

We want to change our community for the better.  We want to change not just their physical abilities, but their mental abilities as well.  We want to and will push them, but this is so that they grow in understanding of what they are capable of doing.  We want all of our BodyLab Kids to not be afraid of obstacles or challenges.


So, in light of the Frozen Chosen upon us again, I’m going to drop a little knowledge on you to help meet your goals for the challenge. One of the biggest questions I get is what carbs to eat at a meal, mainly “can I eat this?” or “what will happen if I eat this?” I could go into a list of what each specific food will likely do to your body, but that would take more time than I have to put forth. However, do not fret, I will provide you with some facts so you can decide on your own.


Let me say first of all, no food is bad for you. Poison is bad for you. If your body can process a substance and use it for nutrients, it is not bad. With that being said, there are foods that will hinder your progress towards your goals. Case in point, it is almost impossible to lose 20 pounds eating cake and ice cream. Notice I say “almost impossible.” I can already see you scratching your head thinking, “how is this possible?” Well, here are some facts.


As most of you know, our body is controlled by hormones. Whether it’s working out at the gym, or digesting food, or getting intimate with a significant other, hormones control all actions of the body. In terms of nutrition, insulin and glucagon are the two hormones that affect how much glucose is in the blood (aka blood sugar). Insulin is used to take glucose out of the blood, while glucagon is used to put glucose back in. So let me breakdown how your body works with glucose. Your body tries to maintain anywhere from 80 – 120 mg/dL of glucose within the blood stream.   So, once food is broken down and absorbed by the body, the glucose is then placed in the blood stream. The problem arises when too much glucose enters the blood, which is called hyperglycemia. Your body counteracts this when the pancreas secretes insulin which then takes out the sugar and stores it into various parts of your body, usually the gut, waist and legs, until the glucose levels are within that optimum range. The same thing happens when your levels get too low. The pancreas will release glucagon to pull that stored glucose out so the body can still function. This is why diabetics get physically weak and their mental status is altered because there isn’t enough sugar to function properly.


So now that we know what the body does with glucose once it is taken from food, lets breakdown what foods have a lot of sugar. One of the easiest ways is to determine the glycemic index (GI). You can google this for the GI value for just about every food. All foods are rated from 0 – 100 based on how the particular food affects blood glucose. For example, pure sugar gets a reading of 100 and I think water is 0. Essentially, foods with a high GI will cause a “glucose dump” into the blood stream, resulting in a massive amount of insulin secreted, which ends up with a lot of stored nutrients. While storing nutrients is not bad, it is counter to your weight loss goals.   The foods that are generally low on the GI are dark, green veggies, which is why we always champion broccoli.


When you eat broccoli, your body has to work really hard to break it down and in the end, not much glucose comes out of it. However, if you are to eat a piece of cake, which is pretty much sugar to begin with, you get a massive amount of glucose with little to no work being done to break it down. Now, your body has to either use it or store it because it can’t have that much glucose in the blood. This is the secret to losing weight. Not counting calories per say, but eating in a way that your body is not storing a lot of nutrients.


One other thing that also plays in to blood glucose is how quickly the food can be absorbed into the body. Raw broccoli is a very coarse, very dense piece of food, which is why it takes so long for the body to break it down and get it into the blood stream. Milk on the other hand, is liquid, which is very easy for the body to break down. This is why lifters will drink protein shakes after a work out because they want those nutrients into the body ASAP.


In conclusion, good luck with all of your goals. These next weeks are going to be tough but stay the course. Focus on the end and overcome the obstacles that are in front of you. If you have any more questions, please ask a coach.

What Do You Want?

What do you want?  I am serious.  What do you want out of your training program?  Are you looking for gains in strength?  Are you looking to lean up for Spring Break and the summer?  What do you want the most?  and the BIGGER question, what are you really willing to do in order to get there?

Those are the questions that sit at the center of any fitness journey.  These are the things that must be answered about any adventure or endeavor we take on.  Where do we want to be at the end and what am I willing to do to get there?  That’s it.

All of us at the lab have different fitness journeys.  Some have always been into athletics and we know that we just have to suck it up and do what a coach tells us.  We have to eat what coach says, drink what coach says.  We have minimal problems with the you say jump, I say how high mentality.

And others of us, are trying to change some stronghold on our lives.  We are trying to break free of some obstacle that has kept us from enjoying life to the fullest.  For me (Coach Greg), I battled some cholesterol issues.  For others, just starting to work out, it a battle all its own.  We are trying to be active when we have not been for so many year.  Or maybe we are having to change the way we eat because we know the effects of poor nutrition.

But ultimately, it all comes back to those same questions – What do I want and What am I willing to do to get there?  So I challenge you today.  Sit down and answer those questions.

If you are so inclined put them in an email and send them to me:  [email protected]

Type them up, answer both of them and then hit the send button.  Even if you don’t train with us, tell us the goals you have.  I want to make sure I am paying attention as you reach them.  The lab wants to celebrate the steps you are taking.

It’s time to open up your email and let us know!

Send us your goals!

Karen as Life…Reflections on One of Our Favorite CrossFit Workouts

Our life is built on doing the same things day in and day out.  Every year we have 365 reps that we complete and for the most part there is not a whole lot of variation between each and every day.  Some days we are ready for the workout that we call life and other days we just have to survive.  That at times is the essence of what I think about when I see Karen on the whiteboard.

That is the beginning, but then we have our day to day lives and we all know the obvious truth that life is full of ups and downs.  But there is a deeper truth to our battle with Karen.  That is that some days we have the ability to throw our burdens into the air and watch them fly.  We throw our voice out into the world with a blog post, or we send out our resumé  looking for that new challenge.  We click send on the email asking to be published.  We do it with confidence and we watch as the ball hits that lofty target.

And we brace ourselves for the new challenge that we have accepted.  We receive the ball that somehow seems to weigh a lot more than 6, 12, 14, or 20 pounds.  We catch the weight of our burdens and life and we get to the bottom.  We hit the bottom and we have to choose…drop the ball or start going up in order to release the burden and hit another target.  It is a constant battle of accepting challenges, absorbing the blow, and fighting to reach our targets.  It wears on us.  Our shoulders burn from carrying the weight…our legs hurt from absorbing the blow…and then we succeed.

We finish all 150 reps (or 365) and we evaluate.  We find that some times we did not hit the target and had to redo that rep.  There will be times that we have to put the ball down and there will be times when we get through all the challenges and find ourselves standing victorious.

And in the end, we acknowledge that in the heat of the battle, the pain hurts, but we learn our lessons.

That is life…and we accept the challenge each and every day.



Thanks for reading, originally posted on this website.

The Battles are Real and We Want to Help

From Coach Greg:

We recently kicked off our annual Frozen Chosen.  It is in the first week, a week we call detox week.  It is a time to evaluate where we are all at and where we want to be.  It is a chance to start moving in that direction, but we all know that there are things that can and often do get in the way.

Part of the battles we face is being okay with life happening.  Our community is built of college students, moms, dads, grandparents and the like.  We are a melting pot of greatness and life stories.  We all have different road blocks that keep us from being where we want to be.

On several occasions, we have talked about not letting the obstacles get you down or break you from what your goals are.  We talk about giving up something now, for something better down the road.  As a coach and as a person, I believe these things to be true.  I believe that no matter what, we can only react to the situations that life hands us and control how we react.

As we start this years Frozen Chosen, everyone needs to know that we have your back.  We want to know what you are going through and what you are experiencing.  We want you to not feel alone on the journey and not feel alone in the gym.  We are a support network.  So here is the challenge for you.

Commit today to asking for help when you need it.  Commit today to asking for encouragement from your coaches and peers when you need it.

Many of us are on Facebook and/or twitter.  We all have email.  I want you to use them and contact us when you need something or if you just have something to share.  It really is that simple.  I have my business card at the gym and you can blow up my phone with questions and general concerns.  The team that we have at the lab knows how to get you the results you want.  We care!

So your challenge is to step up and say something.  Tell us what you need.

Step Back…Breathe…Refocus

Coach Greg here with this little BodyLab CrossFit service announcement…

It’s ok to step back.  In life, in lifting, in anything.  It is ok to stop when something does not feel right and evaluate just exactly what is going on.  Our lives our built up of millions and millions of moments in time.  Some of those moments do not feel the best and we have to simply walk away from it, take a deep breath and refocus on what is important.

In the realm of CrossFit we talk about intensity being where results happen.  There is some truth to that, but not when that intensity is going to break us.  The intensity that we train with and attack life with has got to be something that we can maintain and drive us forward, not drive us into the ground.

The real results come not from the intensity, but rather through our ability to deal with the stress around and on top of us.  If the stress is too much, we break and results are lost.  We take a step back.  If the stress causes us to be uncomfortable and think in new ways where we come out victorious on the other side, then we adapt, we learn, and we grow.

On the board this week has been the following quote:

Just because you can, doesn’t make it a good idea

I put that up there so people would think about getting the best results from the actions they take.  Sure I can do Fran at 185, but that does not mean I will get the response that I am supposed to.  I will not make the progress that I need to.  I know when my position feels off on a lift…I can continue and hope that I get it, or I can stop, step back, breathe, and refocus on the task at hand.  I can minimize my risk of injury and increase my chance of success.

The same is true with life outside the gym.  I can stay up all night working, but that means that the next day I will be worthless in any meetings that I might have.  It is better for each of us to constantly evaluate the struggle, and see if it is in fact worth it.  We must all learn to step back from challenges, breathe, focus and then attack.

Refocusing also means that some times we need to add a little more stress into our lives.  We need to get outside of our safety nets and be bold.  Pick up the phone and call that new business opportunity, or put a little more weight on the bar because what we have been using is just a little too safe.  We grow because of stress and pressure.  We adapt to it.

So tomorrow or next week when you look at that workout on the board…step back, breathe, focus and find the results that you are wanting!

What If I Mess Up – Life and Lifting


What happens if you mess up?  What happens if your lift is off or you don’t get your chin over the bar on that pull-up?  What happens if I mess up in my job?

What happens if…?

Think about it.  I mean really think about it.  What happens if you mess up?

Hopefully, one thing always happens when you mess up…you learn.

When we mess up, we must put ourselves in a position to learn from those mistakes.  Is there a risk of injury, yep.  I cannot tell a lie.  When we mess up, there is a chance that we will get hurt.  Our hope as trainers and coaches is to minimize that risk, but we cannot eliminate it.  There is no way to eliminate risk unless we do nothing (and even that is debatable).  That is no way to remove risk from our lives and from our desire to get better at life and lifting.

So we must take a few risks and that means being willing to mess up and learn.  We must remove our blinders that perfection is a real thing that can be achieved.  There is always room to grow and for improvement, but we have to be open to messing up.  That can be something as simple as not getting our elbows through on a clean, needing to get faster at pulling ourselves below the bar or bing perfect in our jobs.

The quest for perfection leads us to stay safe and not take a chance.  Safe does not equal perfection.  Safe equals stagnant and not growing.  It means that we don’t have to adapt to anything.  Our body does not have a new stress on it and so it stays the same.  If we never put more weight on the bar, then how can we expect to get stronger.  If we never try a pullup without a band then how do we know if we are getting better.

So what happens if you mess up?  Truthfully, hopefully you learn about yourself and you get better and you find a new motivation.


Monday Recipe – Chopped Broccoli Salad

This is another simple recipe that will take care of your carbs and fats easily.  All you need to do is add some chicken or fish and you have a nice and easy blocked out meal.  Enjoy!

***This is one that cannot really be messed up, since all you do is throw all the ingredients together in a bowl and serve!

  • 3 cups broccoli, finely chopped
  • 1.5 cups diced carrots (raw)
  • 1 apple diced
  • 9 strips of bacon
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill
  • Black pepper to taste

Mix all together and serve!

Easy day, enjoy!

Come as You Are





One of the things that we often hear as people are exploring the world of CrossFit or just training in general is that, I have to be in shape before I try that.

We are hear to tell you, that helping you get into shape, is what we do.  It is what we are passionate about and it is a process that we know all to well.

We ask you to do one thing and that is to come as you are.

We are pretty good at getting results.  We know how to integrate you into our classes in a manner that is not intimidating or stressful.  It is something that we pride ourselves on.  We desire to build the strongest support network that you can have on a day in and day out basis.

We want you to be a part of our community and learn how empowering feeling strong can be.  We want you to know how being able to tackle a hard workout in the gym makes dealing with the stress of day-to-day life more manageable.  We want you to be addicted to your own successes and write your own success story.

That story will not be written unless you come as you are.  You have to trust us to do our jobs.  That is why we give you a week to try us and see how we operate.  From your first fitness test to a memorial day murph at the lake…you will be writing a story that is unique to you and empowering.

Studies have shown that physical well-being aids in mental well-being.  It helps with memory and ability to focus.  It just helps you feel better and who doesn’t want to feel better.

All we are asking for is a week of your time…come as you are!

Contact us to get started today!