When life gives you lemons, we’ll give you sweet coaching

“Did you see those new dumbbells at that box?”

“How about those cerakote Rogue barbells?”

Statements like these may bring you a little joy at a CF gym, but are unlikely to keep you around.  It doesn’t matter how many reverse hypers you have (although I’ve always wanted to try one); but rather it’s the culture of a gym that will be a lasting effect on keeping one around.

Not many know this, but my very first official WOD at a CF Gym was at CF 7070 in 2014 because a co-worker of mine gave me a 1 month membership as a gift.  (She had actually won it in a raffle, but wanted nothing to do with it).  I decided to give it a try, got a nice greeting from Coach Tipton as I walked in the door (the main man that got me excited about CF), and the rest is history!  The very first WOD consisted of running, burpees, and box jumps (still have the shin scar to prove it).  And I absolutely loved it!

What I remember vividly about my first month at 7070 were the coaches and fellow members, and how they made you feel.  Sure, I was hungry to get my first pull-up…it made me a little angry that I couldn’t do a single one!  But what kept me coming back was the community.  And it’s a big piece of who we are at 7070.  It’s also a big reason we do Athlete Check-ins.

There’s an incredible amount of detail into CF actually is, and we hope to write more about it in the future.  If you haven’t given the original journal article “What is CrossFit?” a read, you should at some point!  You can read it by clicking HERE.  The science behind CrossFit is a big reason we do “Energy based programming” aka Level Method, and you can read more about that by reading a previous post we did:  WHY LEVEL METHOD.  And all that “Nerd Work” behind CF is great, but really doesn’t mean much if you don’t have the coaching to go with it.

There is a worldwide panic right now with COVID-19, and many challenges that lie ahead for all of us.  As a coaching staff, our biggest challenge is to continue to coach the heck out of our FitFam no matter if you’re in the box or at home.  It’s a challenge that we consider an opportunity!

Let’s consider a scenario:  CF 7070 has to temporarily shut its doors.

This presents an opportunity with some different solutions.  One solution would be to post at home workouts that we can all do.  But merely posting workouts to do doesn’t provide an opportunity to coach, and honestly doesn’t provide much value to you at all either.

Instead, we provide 1 on 1 coaching that actually improves performance and ultimately one gets fitter quicker.

As an example:  Here is a fantastic WOD that can be done at home:

4 rounds for time:
400m Run
50 squats

We could send this to a variety of members at home:  let’s say we have a sprinter, a weight loss client, a new crossfitter, and veteran crossfitter:

To the sprinter: “I picked this workout to improve your ability to buffer lactic acid when your heart rate exceeds 165 BPM. Think about your final 100 m while you’re doing it.”

To the weight loss client: “Today, we’re going to alternate periods of localized fatigue with a more aerobic recovery phase. I want you to be able to metabolize fat during the workout. So do the first run at a jog, and note your time at the end. Try to keep that jog time within 20% of the first one if you can, but your priority is to do the squats unbroken.”

To the new CrossFitter: “Our goal today is to keep moving. It’s okay to slow down, but try not to stop. I’d like you to record your split times each round and send them to me so we can analyze your performance. We’ll pick the next few workouts based on those results.”

To the veteran CrossFitter: “My goal for you today is to see how localized fatigue affects your general performance. Instead of being limited by hitting a high HR, I want to see what happens when lactic acid builds up. So there’s a small mental component here too. To help, please try to do all of the squats unbroken, hit the first run hard, and keep all your other run times within 20% of your fastest time.”

So let’s keep fitness going no matter the circumstances!

And if you haven’t gotten on a 90 day rotation with us in our athlete check-ins, please do so!  You can schedule a time that works best for you HERE.  These are FREE sessions where we do an In-Body scan, talk bright spots, talk what the next bright spots will be, and talk a plan on how to achieve them.  Don’t let the “FREE” part fool you…there’s a ton of value in these.

I am forever thankful for stepping into CF 7070 that first time (Thank you Gretchen!), and because it has had an incredibly positive impact on our family’s life, it’s our mission to try and provide the same experience for our FitFam.

Some who know me knew that I was formerly a high school teacher, and I’m often asked if I miss it.  I recently told someone that I miss giving corny math jokes in class (mix that with some Dad jokes).  One of the best compliments I ever got from a student was “Mr. VanderMeer – you’re such a dork!”, but hey I bet that student still remembers me!

We recently got a very nice compliment from our longest contiguous member, Mr. Eric Babcock:  he told me that he thought that this was the best coaching cadre that he had seen.  That means more than you know, Eric.  And I agree with him – not because it’s the most qualified staff that we’ve ever had (they are that too), but because it’s a staff that makes it about you.

See you in the gym,


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