Re-opening post 2: Class management


If you’ve seen the classic “The Big Lebowski”, you may remember the line.. “this isn’t ‘nam Donny, there are rules.”  Well, yes – they are rules now. Let’s get into them so that we can keep you and our staff safe and healthy.

  1. YOU MUST SIGN IN FOR CLASS. This isn’t negotiable and we won’t have a wodify kiosk any longer, so please use the app on your phone.
  2. Everyone will sign a new COVID-19 release prior to taking a class back at the gym. You’ll be prompted to do it in wodify and you can’t attend class without signing it. It will ask you if you’re symptomatic of COVID-19 and if you’ve had exposure to anyone who is confirmed in the past 14 days. Also if you are in the future, to let us know. New members potentially joining the gym will complete it as well going forward.
  3. Everyone will have their temperature taken when they enter the gym by a Coach. If you’re above 100.4, we love you, but you can’t come back for 72 hours.
  4.  If we learn of a member or staff who attended class and later tested positive, we will email class attendees who may have attended at the same time to inform you. We will not disclose the name of the individual should that take place as that is protected information.
  5. When you enter the gym, you’ll enter down the hallway through the back doorway. The front will be blocked off. Arrows/ tape on the floor will mark where you’ll go to walk through the gym. We’ve made it as simple as possible with minimal two-way traffic.
  6. You need to wear a face covering in in the gym and you’ll need to BYO chalk, no more sharing grubby mits.
  7. For class, you’ll have either a 10’x10′ spot on the main floor (Workout of the Day), bike and platform (Sustain) or your own platform (LBC). Equipment has been redistributed to minimize movement and we’ll have disinfectant + rags for cleaning. Nobody will share anything – if you’re an only child – rejoice.
  8. Coaches will move in designated walk ways that are outside of your areas to maintain distance.
  9. When you finish, you’ll clean up your equipment and either leave it or you’ll be instructed how to put it away.
  10. Gather up your things and then please head out, we can’t have extended congregating in the gym. We love you but for now – we have to limit that.

Also, for the love of everything holy, if you don’t feel well – please. stay. home. We have a shared responsibility to keep each other healthy and safe. We can clean everything, but without your help, it won’t matter – it’s all of our duty. Cutting corners or being sloppy can end access for everyone and we will ask you to leave if you aren’t respecting the community and these standards. After classes, staff will wipe down/disinfect the major touch points in the gym (doors, stairs, equipment) and twice a day we’ll do the full bathrooms and floor.

If weather/conditions permit- we will add outdoor workouts, but for now – the rules are unknown, so we’re sharing ours for the gym. If you have questions from the cleaners we’re using (non-toxic for your skin but fucking deadly as shit for the virus – that kind of thing) to any other policy, please contact me (Wylie). Thank you!!

Re-opening post 1: Programming


Let’s start by saying that we’re glad you’re here. Right now is such an amazing opportunity, the last few months have really driven home what is important and frankly showed what isn’t vital. To overuse the now common terms of essential and non-essential elements – we’ve applied that what your training is going to look like as we get back into the swing of things.

 

You all have been killing it at home, the efforts, the consistency – it’s really inspiring to see the commitment from small apartments, backyards, basements, driveways, hallways and more. You’re never going to look at an ottoman the same way again – now you’ll go over to a friend’s house and remark “damn, I could do some serious dips off that.” This is also an extraordinary  time in coming back to the gym.

 

  1. You’ve been doing a lot of higher repetition work in the mid-long time range. 12, 15 mins, and longer of workouts in the mid-intensity range. We used this because we’re balancing not crushing your nervous system and recognizing what most of you have had access to at home.
  2. Without getting too into the science weeds here… There are three energy systems, 1 – short/fast work, think 1-3 rep max work, less than 30s of an effort, lots of rest between efforts, 2 – mid-range, generally things that are what you’ve been doing at home, 3 – longer, aerobic work (30+ mins, lower heart-rate). You need a balance of all three to be a fit and healthy person. Using all three makes them each better even when you aren’t using the other two. Balance and recovery is how you improve – that’s what we’re doing behind the scenes for you.
  3. So, it would stand to reason that when you can have access to the gym – we’re going to put some more focus on splitting up those energy systems to start to safely prioritize balancing your fitness back out.

 

Here’s how we plan to bring you back.. Our first cycle back of the workout of the day will be more biased towards the powerlifts and strict gymnastics. Why? We want to build your strength back up, but with a plan. These sessions will prioritize this goal with some conditioning. The emphasis will shift so that we won’t always squat on a Monday or pull on a Friday so that it can accommodate varied work schedules for you all. These classes will be capped at 8 people to start and we’ll add sessions and space as is safe and appropriate. Our goal is for you to do the workout of the day 3-4x/week – not more to start. They will also be 45 mins long so that we have time to clean up.

 

The second part is building your engine back up and taking advantage of being able to get outside if you want. We’ll be writing 3 endurance sessions, our “sustain” program that can be done in the back of the main space/front of the barbell area on bikes at the same time as the workout of the day sessions. Your goal should be 2-3 of these sessions per week either in the gym or running outside. These sessions may include a simple dumbbell or kettlebell movement, but not always – the goal here is building the engine at lower intensity. The Coach on duty will be available for questions, but these sessions are programmed to be un-coached as simple yet effective and will follow the same time-frame as the WOD.

 

By balancing these two programs, we can take a gradual approach to safely ramping things up over time. It also makes sure that we can provide enough access to the gym and spread you all out enough for safety. Throwing you back into 6-7 days of our Workout of the Day is not the goal. The lower intensity endurance work is important as well, it will make you stronger.. Trust it. We’ll be keeping an eye on you and monitoring volume and we will step in and shut you down if you start blowing yourself up with volume and intensity. You’re here for coaching, please let us help you – your percentages nice, but for now we’re looking for excellence in form and movement – the weights will come.

 

New At-Home Cycle! “Quanrantasfit”!


At Home workouts mean a thousand burpees per day right? NOT HERE! We have a carefully constructed plan for your fitness so that you can stay challenged and motivated! Here are details on our new cycle!

New Cycle details!🚀

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QUARANTASFIT CYCLE

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To ensure structure, progression, and focus with the at-home programming, Coach Justin wanted to share some thoughts with the program going forward. We’re not assuming any particular end date, but rather are committed to delivering a high-quality, thoughtful, effective workout every single day.

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➡️Monday- Lower Body Pushing, Upper Body Pulling. Challenging, longer, conditioning.🔥

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➡️Tuesday- Horizontal Pushing and pulling. Interval work. Sprints.🧭

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➡️Wednesday- Shoulder-centric- raise, lift, push, etc. Mixing shoulder fatigue with core and cardio.🆙

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➡️Thursday- Posterior Chain work, Postural challenges, # buttstuff.🍑

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➡️Friday- Arm-driven hypertrophy, high rep burners w/isometric hold challenges.💪🏼🐂🐖🐔 (#armfarm, get it?).

➡️Saturday- Cardio Chipper. Heavy breathing, sometimes in intervals.😈

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➡️Sunday- Grunt Work. Longer efforts, low technique⚒

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🚨Oh and did we mention benchmarks?.

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We’ll be testing an At-Home version of a benchmark once per week, on a rotating day– whichever we feel is most appropriate given the stimulus. Like, maybe tomorrow. Maybe.👀

At home gym on a budget!


Home gym on a budget!

 

We’re programming workouts to be effective with the items that you have at home already, however if you want to build up a bit of a gym, here are our recommendations.

 

We’ve prioritized options that have multiple uses, rather than spending money on things that aren’t very useful outside of a single application (i.e. buy a single band before you get an entire set of dumbbells). Also, next time you go on vacation or a work trip, you can bring these items along for a little on the road fitness!

 

All links to order are included as well (note these things are also popular and the initial link might no longer be available or delayed when you read this). 

 

Options that are from $5- $20:

 

ratchet strap $9.97

Pulling is often the hardest thing to do at home. Don’t spend $100 on a TRX. The fine folks at Powerathlete came up with this brilliant idea and you can use it later when you move! Loop it over the door, pull with the second strap and boom – pull ups for less than $10. We tried it and it works like a charm.

 

Monster bands. $15.75 – $20.75

You know them from the gym and they have SO many uses (curls, pressing, hamstring activation, stretching, you can tell time with them – kidding, you can’t). Better yet, you’re familiar with their tension. For most folks, a single blue or green band will get you alot of use for multiple applications. Probably no better overall value. If Rogue is out of them, here’s another option.

 

Resistance bands – $15.79 (for 5!)

Again, tools we use in the gym. How are they great? Let’s say you want to improve your squat (and also shoulders!), but you don’t have much/any weight. Slow it down, use one of these and build positional strength. These are used all the time in physical therapy practice because they work. Also, they are tiny and apartment friendly. 

 

Buckets! – $3.48

Not kidding, we made a video about this. Just replace the metal handles with rope and you have a way to adjust weights and consolidate single things into one heavier option. Literally fill a bucket, hold it, squat. Boom.

 

Yoga/exericise mat – $12.99

Likely you have a floor that isn’t very forgiving when you lie on it. A mat can give you a nonslip surface with a little bit of padding to make movements safer and slightly more comfortable.

 

Lacrosse ball – $5.99

Recovery can’t be overlooked in training. A simple lacrosse ball can be used to work out aches from plantar fasciitis, to shoulder pain and everything in between. You’ll have it forever assuming your dog doesn’t eat it. No promises. 

 

If you bought this entire list (which you don’t even need to do!), you’d have spent $63.97 and have a very formidable and dynamic apartment gym. 

 

Options that cost a little more..

 

First of all. Prioritize. If you’re fortunate to have some money to spend. Don’t go crazy. Prioritize items that will last, have more than one use and aren’t going to take up alot of space.

 

Sandbags

For those of you OGs out there, this is largely what CrossFit started with and certainly our very own gym. Now, sand in your apartment can be tricky, but you can also get filler in rubber or other means. It’s a little more complicated, but you can use them for just about any movement (squat, clean, press, deadlift, carry…). In our experience with these, you do get what you pay for, less expensive bags often leak and have dodgy zippers. Goruck or Rogue are more expensive, but they hold up over time.

 

Dumbbells/Kettlebells

If you can buy one weight, a kettlebell is hard to beat. Lots of applications for it, small size and very useful. Remember, weights are generally a little more than a dollar a pound. If you want more, then a set of dumbbells at a modest weight (Don’t get something super heavy). 

 

HOW HEAVY?

Limit weights that you buy to things that you can press overhead, that is likely the movement where you can lift the least, so make sure your choice is useful. We can always add reps or slow down pulling movements where you are relatively stronger with the same weight.

 

Backpack/weight vest

There are lots of options out there, but a good backpack that you can close and has buckles can be used for weighted carries (literally walk around with it), weighted push ups, rows and many more. If you want to get fancy, GoRuck makes them with the option for integrated weights. However, you don’t need all that for fitness.

 

Same goes for a weight vest. Sure they can be handy, but a backpack will accomplish the same idea and for less money.

 

Bars, plates, benches, rowers, GHDs…

Seriously, if anyone buys a GHD right now… 

 

Yes, in a fully functional gym you would have access to these things, but consider how many movements can I get from one thing. In our videos we use a backpack or bag often, so can you! Also remember that you’re working out at home, don’t get big things or things that using will piss off your neighbors. You can construct a very useful set up from a backpack, single band, ratchet strap, bucket and laundry detergent bottle and spend less than $30.

Is CrossFit for me?


Is CrossFit for me?

We have lots of conversations with individuals who are looking to achieve their fitness goals, connect to a new community or just change up their routine and ask that question. Our answer is categorically yes. Why are we confident in that answer?

  1. This is a complete fitness program. What does that mean? Your life looks different each day, so should your training. We balance short, fast efforts with longer, more cardio based days – this keeps things interesting, but also makes you able to train and recover effectively. We also don’t shy away from weights, instead – we teach you how to move heavy lifts safely.

  2. Our expert Coaches. Before you can coach a class with us, our staff first must be certified and then have a minimum of 1 year of experience and learning our methods. As an athlete, you can expect a personal training level of attention in a group format.

  3. We do this too. From our Coaches, to the gym owner – expect to see us not just coaching classes, but testing new programming and also doing it right alongside you! If your Coach doesn’t train like you – why are they your coach? We know this works, that’s why we know it will work for you.

  4. Longevity. Our members stay with us for years and we’re intensely proud of that. We don’t just know our members, we know their kid’s names and what they do for a living. We’re invested in you as a human being, not just as a member taking a class.

  5. High standards. We’re not interested in you having an “ok” class or mediocre results. Our methods are the basis for getting you in the best shape of your life and moving with excellence – that’s our goal and what we strive for with each athlete in each class.

You’re reading this because you’re interested in achieving your goals. Not “kind of” achieving your goals, but crushing them and finding new ones. We want you to be who kids point to and want to be when they grow up. We want people to look to you when it’s time to change the water cooler. This is why you train. Not just to occupy an hour and get sweaty, but to experience something different and build total fitness. CrossFit isn’t for everyone. It’s for anyone who wants to achieve the best results possible, push themselves and do amazing things – we believe that’s you.

Let’s get started.

Farm to table Fitness


Micro gyms are the new fine dining restaurants. I love the Netflix series “Chef’s table” for the reason that each story follows a similar arc (Joseph Campbell fans out there will get it as well..). The featured chef’s grew up in and absorbed their community. Next – they left it to learn a trade, in this case cooking. Whether through a school, going to France, etc. and through an apprenticeship – they left to learn. The third phase is the return to their community and finding uncommon success through their ability to combine technical acumen with a community imperative of authentic experience (food that locals respect and non-locals wait a year for a table). World class comes from the intersection of ability, authenticity and passion.

Fitness is becoming the new food culture. In our hierarchy of needs, the ability to move and stay alive is just after food (hence the purpose of that food). As our lives shift away from hunting and gathering – we have to cultivate ways to stay active and healthy. Cue – join a gym, running/fitness group or hire a trainer. Prior to the rise and proliferation of CrossFit and it’s style of class (60 minutes of training in a group setting that pushed high intensity and varied movements), if you wanted to be active – you joined a big box gym (rows of treadmills, free weights and lots of things attached to cables) or you did sports, primarily endurance events (running 5ks, marathons, triathlons).

In the late 90s, Greg Glassman got kicked out of a big box gym for running classes using a combination of gymnastics, weightlifting and cardio activities. Training itself became a sport, CrossFit was born and the industry shifted. With the cultural acceptance of higher intensity training saw the rise of spinning, boxing, even yoga started to incorporate “power” movements and structures. Not to mention lots of “micro” gyms utilizing combinations of weightlifting, cardio and classes.

To bring it back to the food example. 20 years ago, if you wanted Italian food, you went to Olive Garden. Now you can go get farm-to-table, organic produced wheat pastas, hormone free chicken and sauces with tomatoes from a farm whose picture is on the menu. Olive Garden is out of business. Fitness is heading the same way. The ones who thrive, will embrace this shift as those Chef’s have, creating an experience and connection to something bigger than just a plate of pasta, but a feeling (and it better taste really, really good).

For fitness this means,  if your Coaches are parroting a workout, substituting knowledge for volume and hoping nobody gets injured – your days are numbered. This is the same as the restaurant whose staff reads you the special and gets you your food just before it’s cold – you’re not coming back.

This also means that no single program, methodology or approach is for everyone. It’s about finding the unique aspect of what you do and doing it better than anyone else in the world. It’s about asking that question of yourself as a Coach every day. If that happens, the community grows, people get what they want, the reviews and Michelin stars of the fitness world happen. If it doesn’t you’ve preyed on someone’s desire to trust their self-improvement to your skills as a “coach” and our industry is unfortunately rife with this. We choose the methods that we do because we believe in their impact, efficacy and efficiency. It’s also how we ourselves train – it doesn’t mean we don’t value other approaches, it means this is our piece of the world. The smaller the menu, the better the food. I’ve been asked why we don’t offer yoga classes. The answer is because we can’t do it well enough. It’s not our subject area and if you want to do yoga – you should absolutely seek out the best in yoga instruction. If we offer it, it will be because we believe it’s done in pursuit of the highest expression of that movement and for the greatest benefit of our members.

We obsess over barbell starting positions the way chef’s do for olive oils. We plan out workouts like the courses in a fine dining meal, each element building on another. We aren’t the only gym in the city or certain world who does this nor are we perfect every time, but the question we ask every day is how could we be better so that you can be better. What would it take to build the strongest community possible and the fittest, happiest members? That doesn’t mean you’ll be comfortable, it does mean you’ll get better and we will too – that’s our promise.

Words matter. Creating inclusivity in the gym.


Today, we’re getting deep into science by asking a question. “Does metal have a gender?”

Now, before you think too deeply about this – let’s skip to the answer. No, it’s metal. This is why in our gym, when describing the barbells that are available for use, you’ll hear our Coaches refer to them by what they weigh (20 kilos, 15 kilos or 15 pounds), not who has historically gravitated towards using which of those weights and what gender they identify with. To some, this may seem trivial, to others it can be transformative, to everyone it’s an example of why words matter – especially in the gender charged space of fitness.

Let me start by saying that our gym isn’t perfect – our goal is to always be learning how to best support our community. Our job is performance – helping you change from something to something else (gain weight, lose weight, get faster, improve a workout time and so on). The words that we use in that process can either enhance or derail that process far faster than the physical aspect of that process. Let’s give a quick example. A new athlete comes to train with us who happens to identify as a man and today’s class calls for pressing a barbell overhead. Let’s also say that this man doesn’t have the best shoulder position because he works at a keyboard all day. If the Coach instructs the class to grab “men’s or ladies” bars, this guy is likely to use a bar too heavy for his shoulders and get injured. The Coach could have been super attentive to watching movement, have a great attitude and even playlist, but their word choice set this athlete up for a potential injury.

Now, what if you identify as transgender? You’ve just been told that for starters you don’t belong because there isn’t any equipment for you and that’s even before we even get into what’s happening with your shoulders. If our goal is performance, all we’ve just done is derailed that process by using a few words.

Words also matter when it comes to what you say to yourself as an athlete. For starters, are you calling yourself an athlete? You should be, because you are one. There are no try-outs to be an athlete, if you’re moving your body with a purpose, congratulations – you’re in. How many times do you hear someone say “I’m not an athlete” or claim how they won’t be able to do a lift or movement. Our self-talk has a tremendous impact on our performance. Tell yourself you will or won’t do something and guess what – you’re right. However, what if you give yourself the opportunity to embrace what’s at hand? The doors open.

The language that we use in the gym as Coaches starts that process. The more closed we make discussions (gendering bars for example), the more closed our athletes will be as a result during their internal conversations. Our words matter because they are either creating growth opportunities or fixed outcomes. Beyond creating a space that is inclusive of gender and physicality, what you hear will have an impact on what you say in your head. Let’s not forget that inclusivity also applies to goals too.

So, while you might shrug it off, we don’t and that’s what makes our approach different.

We deal in helping you conquer the unknown and achieving what you never knew you could. It starts with words and raising the bar on that standard.

Why our experience means a better workout for you.


You need an uber or lyft, someone to drive you somewhere. You have two options. The first driver has been driving for 6 months and the second driver has been driving for over 10 years. Who do you choose?

Now, what if you also knew that the driver with 6 months of experience spent them at a race car driving school and passed their certification course with flying colors. Also, the driver with 10 years of experience was in 2 fender benders in the past year and otherwise has been driving recreationally before deciding to pick you up.

That might change your opinion, right? This is the difference between time and experience. 10 years of passive getting behind the wheel or much less time, but more directed learning and application.

We can improve with time, but only if we’re gaining valuable experience as well. This relates to fitness because it’s easy to fall into routines. In fact, our body loves routine, it allows for us to stay away from the edges and at a core level makes us feel safe so that we can survive. Think of all the routines in your life. However, we know that achieving our true potential means getting out of routines, pushing our boundaries when we can allows us to express who we’re meant to be and our individual gifts.

This is core to what CrossFit is as a method. Constantly varied. Not unplanned and random. Quite the opposite. In order for CrossFit to be effective, there MUST be a plan that makes sure that you as an athlete don’t fall into certain routines or develop habits that limit your progress. Why is this important? Because our approach is the professional driving school option in place of just getting behind the wheel for 10 years. Our approach is a deliberate one to test and evaluate how to make you better and then have a hell of a good time doing it in class.

We don’t want you wasting your valuable time when you want to train with hours spent in the gym without results or connecting to a community. We deliver the maximum effectiveness in the shortest time possible so that you can get on with you life and live it fully. That’s what we offer.

What’s your choice? Time or experience? Cutting edge performance or the right lane. Here’s the secret, you don’t have time to go without experience – let us help you get there.

Three basic nutrition principles


Imagine you are going on a road trip. You’re going to drive from Philly to your cousin’s wedding in North Carolina. You packed the car, you’ve left early. You’ve also decided to disconnect the monitor for the gas tank so when it runs out and the car abruptly stops, you’ll be forced to figure out some way to fuel it and see if you can complete the trip. When the car starts to sputter, you’ll just turn up the music.

Your cousin would be pissed. You wouldn’t ever do that. Instead, you would monitor the gas, understand your relationship to your fuel source, see where gas stations were so that you could arrive happy, on time and enjoy the trip.

If you’re in the gym without a plan on fueling your body – this is exactly what’s happening. The good news is that you don’t have to, there’s a better way.

3 basic principles

In all of the conversations that we’ve had around nutrition over the years and the varied plans relative to goals, needs and bodies, here are three things anyone can benefit from with regardless of diet or goals;

1. Sleep.WTF.. You said this was about food”. Remember, this is about fuel, and your body being able to effectively process that fuel. Sleep is one of the absolute most overlooked parts of recovery and building your body. Some simple ways it helps nutrition include improving digestion and regulating hunger. Set a goal of 8 hours, track it and watch how it changes your body.

2. Water. “Like a cleanse??” No, just actual water. Not with sugar and not 4 gallons a day. Carry a bottle so you know how much you’re drinking. Don’t like regular water? Try some with bubbles or a slice of lemon. Try and get at least half to 3⁄4 of your bodyweight in total ounces per day. That’s all, drink when you’re thirsty.

3. Eat whole foods (not necessarily AT Whole Foods..).  As often as you can (I know we just told you to drink from a water bottle), try and not take your food out of plastic, but instead start with it in its natural form. Why is this good? It means you’ll eat foods that have fewer preservatives and are less processed. It also slows down your eating process and preparing foods gives you more insight into what you are actually eating or feeding others (yay cooking!). You’ll also create less waste – double win.

 Wait, isn’t there more to it?

Our Precision Nutrition Certified Coaches would love share stories of transformation, success and developing individualized maps to get there. However, our approach to anything we offer is how can we make the maximum impact with the smallest dose. Start with the basics, do them well, then start to dive down the rabbit hole.

Two questions you should ask your Coach before you train with them


We are in the golden age of unsupported health and fitness advice courtesy of the internet. Gone is the need to demonstrate proficiency before being a trusted source of information, just flash a set of abs and a smile. In its place, many have shown results (let’s say abs in 8 minutes for example), without a grounding in reality. They have shown a map, without no sense of the actual territory within it (your life). That’s where actual professionals come in, and that’s what you should seek out when you start a training program. Here are two good questions to start with when you begin that journey.

 Question 1:

“How will what I’m doing help me achieve my goal?”

 First, this means communicating a goal, which is incredibly important. Do you really need to be jumping rope on top of a balance ball? Should I be doing hours of intense cardio per week? Maybe, but probably not. What is the point of what you’re doing in the gym and do you (and your Coach) truly understand it? If not, it’s hard to know if your valuable time and money are being spent well.

 Question 2:

Does your Coach use these same methods?

You’ve joined a gym, paid a trainer, signed up for a class – all because they come with a knowledge to help you achieve a goal. This means that you’ve given your hard-earned money to a subject matter expert. If they’re having you do things that they don’t or wouldn’t do – why should you do it?

 This also ensures that whoever you entrust with your goals is practicing and learning, not just giving you 60 minutes of chit-chat with weights. Just because someone is a professional doesn’t mean that they don’t need to continue learning, it is actually the opposite. We define professionalism by someone who keeps learning and refining their craft. You deserve to be getting a five-star dining experience, not the test kitchen of Instagram.

 Know the territory

We’re going to go out on a limb here and say that if your Coach considers the principles of your training to be the same as theirs, if they’re walking the path as well – you’re off to a great start. That’s using a pre-determined map of experience in the real world which happens to be your life and making sure you stay happy and healthy.