It’s time to check back in with our Hale Case Study participants!
In this update, they’ve just hit the six-week mark—and if you’ve ever made a lifestyle change before, you know that’s when things start to get tough. The newness has worn off and all that’s left is hard work without the lustre.
But this is the time when it’s most critical to keep pushing onward, and that’s exactly what our participants are doing.
Natalie got a 40-lb. deadlift PR.
Jay’s down five percent body fat and got his strict muscle-up back.
Jon got a handstand and toes-to-bars and can go on longer bike rides with his kids.
Lilly passed the point she normally gives up.
“Around week four is when I tend to be like f**k it, I don’t care anymore,” she said. “But I stuck with it.” Now she’s down 4 percent body fat and around 6 lb.
Tune in above to see what the rest of the Hale Case Study participants have accomplished at the six-week mark.
In this episode, Hale coach Heidi shares her journey from athlete to overweight to CrossFit coach.
Coach Heidi Gets Real
Coach Heidi has been an athlete all her life: Dance. Biking. Baseball. Football. Rugby. Swimming. Volleyball. Basketball. Skiing. Snowboarding.
But that doesn’t mean she’s never struggled with her fitness.
Shortly before joining Hale in 2013, Heidi had reached her highest body weight ever: 200 lb. You might look at what she can do now and think, “No way. She doesn’t understand the struggle,” but we assure you, she does—even now.
“As a coach, unless you are being coached, it’s hard to get to that scary place sometimes. You can do just enough. I don’t always push,” she admitted.
That’s why even coaches need coaches.
Heidi described being inspired by Coach Wendy to track her macros more carefully; today, Heidi’s at the lowest body-fat percentage of the past three years.
That inspiration is one of the reasons she decided to become a coach herself.
“The things you can’t see in yourself that others can,” she said. “And this is a big part of why I love being a coach: You can see the faces people make, you can see the little glimmers of fear or hope or excitement or all of those things, and you are not always self-aware enough to see them in yourself.”
It’s not about perfection, she continued. It’s about effort.
“Find something you can nail down and be confident in,” she said. “Find momentum. Do one very simple thing and do it really well, until that feels easy. Then you can take off a bigger chunk.”
In this episode, you will learn:
How even coaches like Heidi struggle with their fitness.
How committing to precise nutrition and accountability helped Heidi take her fitness to the next level.
Why Coach Heidi thinks you should be a grizzly bear.
Weeks ago, we put a handful of Hale members under the microscope to see what would happen if they committed to good nutrition, consistent training and ample sleep.
It’s Week 5, and their progress is starting to show.
“It’s easier to move again … I’m feeling more confident about myself.” – Kim (lost 13 lb.)
“I’m getting stronger each week.” – Ron (lost 6 lb.)
Sure, there have been slip-ups and mishaps. Life doesn’t happen in controlled circumstances, and our participants are training for life. They have busy schedules. Stressful work projects. Days when they finish last in a workout and wonder if they really belong here.
But they’re not alone.
With the help of our trainers and nutrition coaches, our athletes pick themselves up, do another rep and keep on getting fitter. Of course …
“Burpees still suck!” — Coach Jay (lost 12 lb.)
P.S. – If you’d like to make the same progress as our partipants have, book a FREE INTRO session today.
In this episode, Hale member Ann Mary shares how she prioritized her nutrition and fitness to lose almost 100 lb. while also balancing a busy career as a lawyer.
Ann Mary’s Metamorphosis
Before starting CrossFit at Hale about a year ago, Ann Mary had been inactive for years. Though she was a distance runner in high school, law school and a demanding career as a lawyer took a toll on her health.
“I was very unhappy with my weight, with my overall fitness and how I was feeling physically,” she said.
Diet changes helped her lose 40 lb. in about a year, but it wasn’t until she started at Hale that she began to value what her body was capable of over what it weighed.
Though she was scared at first—her first workout called for double-unders but she hadn’t even jumped rope in two decades—she persisted, even after long days when all she wanted was to flop on the couch.
“One thing that was hard for me was learning that there are some days when you just have to show up and keep moving, and you have to consider that a successful workout,” she said. “The days that I least want to go to the gym … those are the days when I most need to go to the gym.”
Today, Ann Mary’s 95 lb. lighter than she was at her heaviest weight, can deadlift 265 lb. for a triple and has her sights set on a pull-up.
“On the whole I feel so much better,” she said. “I feel like I’m more focused, I have more mental clarity and I have more energy.”
In this episode, you will learn:
Why Ann Mary ditched fad diets for a sustainable approach to nutrition.
How she learned to trust the process even when she wasn’t improving as quickly as she would have liked.
How she sets herself up for success by overcoming obstacles before they occur.
In this episode, Hale coach Larry shares how he found CrossFit, why he loves coaching and what he’s working on outside the gym.
Man of Mystery
You know him as Coach Larry, one of your Hale trainers dedicated to making you better one cue, one no-rep, one high-five at a time. Coach Jay calls him the “Man of Mystery.”
But mystery no more!
In today’s episode of the Living Better Podcast, Coach Larry shares his first CrossFit experience, 50 wall-ball shots for time—”After wall ball number five I felt like I was gonna die already,” he said—his career as a scientist outside of the gym, and why he loves coaching.
“I just wanted to give back; seeing how the program changes lives and improves lives, and I wanted to sort of share that with others and be that somebody who changes somebody’s life for the better and improves them.”
Listen to the rest of Coach Larry’s story in Episode 42 of the Living Better Podcast.
In this episode, you will learn:
How CrossFit helps Coach Larry try and conquer new things in and outside the gym.
Why he decided to become a coach, despite having another full-time job.
The secret to the six-pack abs in the movie “300.”
(If not, close this email/web page and find it and watch it; it’s awesome!)
The main guy, Phil (played by Bill Murray), lives the same day over and over again in a small town, but he’s the only one who knows it.
He goes through all sorts of emotions: It’s confusing at first, then kinda cool, then depressing, then completely awesome!
One of the main things he tries to do is “get the girl” by finding out everything she likes and trying to “stage” the perfect day so she’ll fall madly in love with him.
He learns her favorite ice cream, her goals in life, and even recites some French poetry to try and impress her.
It works to get her attention, but he always falls short of the “madly in love” part (eventually leading to the depression).
At some point, he stops caring about her and focuses on helping people and improving himself, learning the piano, helping a homeless guy, saving someone from choking, etc.
The part that fascinated me about the movie were the piano scenes.
He signs up for piano lessons, and his first one was terrible. He had no idea how to play.
After living the same day over and over again and doing the “first lesson” over and over again … he begins to crush it.
One day while he’s playing Bach while chewing gum and looking totally relaxed, the piano teacher says to him,
“Wow, you say this is your FIRST lesson?”
There’s something about that scene that just gets me.
How good could you be at something if you just did it over and over again, every day … without fear that you’re getting too old, or “wasting time”?
What if you were able to let go of pretense, relax, and enjoy the process?
What if you had all the time in the world?
(This is the premise of the movie, btw … it was even in the trailer.)
I think about this often … and it’s why I’ve seen this movie at least 20 times.
People say life is short, but the truth is, life is LONG.
Every 10 years represents 3,600 days of life. You can master anything if you spend a few hours a day on it for 10 years.
If you don’t want to master something, you can be GOOD at it with focused practice in 12 months.
And if you just want to acquire a basic skill? Three months or less.
In three months, you can learn how to swim, train for and run a half marathon, lose 40 lb. or even learn the basics of piano.
But you have to be willing to start, and you have to be willing to be TERRIBLE for a while.
I see a lot of people walk into the gym and expect to be good at things on their first day.
When they aren’t, it’s a big hit to the ego.
“Why am I finishing last?”
“Why can’t I do this movement?”
“Why is everything so HARD?”
This leads people to quit because they just don’t get it, it’s too hard, or they can’t handle the ego hit.
Why would you expect something to be easy if you’ve NEVER DONE IT BEFORE?!?
The thing that makes Hale special is that it’s NOT EASY to do this stuff.
And because it’s not easy, it’s more than just a workout you do every day, day in and day out (like Groundhog Day).
It’s a set of SKILLS you have to acquire over time by PRACTICING them.
Phil found meaning in his life when he focused on improvement on a daily basis, not just having everything he wanted.
This brought progress and joy to his otherwise mundane days.
And it ultimately led to him escaping the loop.
Look at your workouts as skills you’re developing, rather than just goals you’re achieving.
Focus on getting better every day, and you’ll break out of the “Groundhog Day” mentality.
Coach “Punxatawny” Jay
Summer of Skills:
Our next few skills sessions will be:
7/17: Rowing with Lauren Nielsen* 7/24: Oly Skills (Clean) with Nathan Loe* 7/31: Oly Skills (Jerk) with Nathan Loe* 8/7: Oly Skills (Snatch) with Nathan Loe*
All clinics at 6:30 p.m.
These are FREE for members.
*Advanced sign-up is required and space will be limited. Please sign up here or in person at the front whiteboard.
Is there something you’re dying to learn more of? Please drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark Freeman (of Freeman Technique, Cirque du Soleil, and Cal Gymnastics fame) will be running his clinics on Wednesdays at 5:45 a.m. Cost is $20 for members; $25 for non-members. Our regular 5:45-a.m. Group Coaching class will continue as scheduled.
Oakland Tri and Alcatraz Swim
Now that the Hero Challenge is done and dusted, the coaches are training for two upcoming events. More info to come, but the more the merrier! Give us a shout when you sign up!
Training your row (and grip) for a long Viking journey. Focus on EFFICIENCY (LEGS!) in the row and smooth, even strokes.
Barbell cycling will be key to maintaining your grip on the cleans—DO NOT go to failure!
Lastly … T2B. Kind of rude, but this is your test to link them together. PRACTICE linking under fatigue, and you’ll be better off for workouts in the future. 6 + 4; 5 + 3 + 2 … whatever you need to do!
Rx+ 70/50 DB MissFit: 14/10; 35/25; lateral step-ups; jumping C2B
Single leg and single arm movements! You’re only as good as your weakest link. This one also alternates upper/lower body, but it’s likely everything will burn. Working on power, stamina, and pacing today.
Have a strategy to keep moving smoothly. Try to string together a few bigger sets of C2B to start, even if it means resting a little. PRACTICE these tougher skills under fatigue!
Saturday—TRAIN (& Guest Day at Albany MS)
Outdoor workout today! Meet at Albany Middle School track at 8 a.m. or 9 a.m. Guests welcome!
20-min AMRAP in pairs! (One person works at a time.)
Quick scale: 10 burpees over rower 30/20-cal row Find max snatch OR complete one rep at moderate weight every 30 s.
Note snatch weight in comments
A successful workout today means:
1. You aggressively push the pace on the burpees/row just over the line you think you can sustain. Try to hold pace on row #2! Do not stop on the burpees!
2. You take a few attempts working up to a heavy-ish snatch with good technique. Allow yourself some time to cool off, load your bar, etc., before you take a crack at it. If you have time, start lighter than you think to get a few SOLID reps in, then take a few jumps.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day,” as the saying goes. But you know what? New bricks were laid each day—and the same goes for fitness progress.
Today, we check in for Week 3 of the Hale Case Study project, in which we’re following 12 athletes for 12 weeks to see what happens if they commit to fitness, good nutrition and an overall holistic lifestyle.
And our participants have been doing work.
– Jon gave up coffee so he could get more sleep. He feels more energized at work and recently PR’d his clean at 215 lb.
– Lilly’s learning to tolerate veggies and PR’d her workout streak at 5 days in a row.
– Ron got his pull-ups back.
– Jay lost 3 percent body fat and stabilized his energy level.
– Kim learned to prioritize her workouts—even when she felt pressured to stay late at work.
– Heidi increased her sleep from 6 hours a night to 7 and learned to save indulgences for when they matter most.
That’s not to say our participants haven’t had struggles. There have been slip-ups. Workouts were missed, tortilla chips were eaten.
But the point is that even after those slip-ups, our athletes get up the next day and lay the next brick.
And with time, we’ll have a colosseum on our hands.
In this episode, we get to know new Hale athlete and staff member Steph.
Steph’s First Steps
Have you met Steph yet?
She joined the Hale family a few weeks ago, both as an athlete and a staff member working the front desk at the gym.
Though she played soccer as a kid and young adult, she’d been relatively inactive before CrossFit. But after enduring an ectopic pregnancy, she heard the three words she never thought she’d hear: “You almost died.”
“At 24 you don’t ever think that you would hear those three words,” she said.
Steph wants to be here for the long haul and to be able to keep up with her now 2-year-old son. So she joined CrossFit Hale. Even though she was “terrified” in her first class and sore for a week after, she came back.
“I felt good; I felt amazing,” she said. “The environment’s super, super welcoming.”
Listen to the rest of Steph’s story in Episode 40 of the Living Better Podcast. And don’t forget to introduce yourself if you haven’t met her already!
In this episode, you will learn:
Why the busy mom of a toddler decided to prioritize her health.
How Steph went from terrified and intimidated in her first CrossFit workout to happy and confident.