Tag Archives: improvement

Living Better Podcast – Ep. 45 – Coach Heidi Gets Real

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.

Links and resources for this episode:

Thank you for listening!

Thank you so much for checking out our podcast!

Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below, or email us.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe via iTunes or Stitcher.

Subscribe via iTunes.

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Learning From the Best

Did you watch the CrossFit Games?

We had it on in the gym. It’s always fun times.

We used to get more excited about it, but it’s gotten a little boring the last few years.

Maybe it’s because every year, it seems like a competition between people who look like this:

Back in the day, you used to feel like these guys were just fitter versions of yourself, doing the same types of things you do.

Now it feels more like comparing your shooting skills to Steph Curry.

It’s hard to relate.

But every so often, you see something like this at the Games, and it brings it all back:

This year CrossFit Inc. invited the fittest man and woman in each country to compete, so countries like Ecuador, Romania, and Saudi Arabia had representatives at the Games for the first time.

Many of these athletes have only been doing CrossFit for a couple years, so we got to see how more “normal” people would fare on these workouts.

They fell off the ropes, dropped the bars, and got cut from the competition early.

But we loved it.

It reminded us that everyone starts somewhere.

Most of these people considered “the Fittest on Earth” started at a gym just like Hale.

And when they walked in, they were scared and nervous that they would look stupid or finish last …

Which they probably did.

What you end up seeing at the Games is just years of hard work, dedication, and focus on improvement.

All laid out over one weekend.

When you pay close attention to the broadcast, you see that the biggest cheers aren’t for the winners, but for the people who put in the most effort.

The ones who fail their rope climbs and get back up to try again.

The ones who push to finish a workout before the cut-off.

The ones who keep trying even when the outcome doesn’t matter.

That’s worth tuning in for.

Your goal doesn’t have to be as lofty as the CrossFit Games. You might just want to look better, or climb a rope, or just stick to a routine.

But when you show up and keep trying, it inspires your coaches and the people around you to keep showing up and giving our best to you every day.

Keep up the good work.

Coach “inspired” Jay


Outdoor Workout: Saturday, August 17th

All athletes and guests welcome; no CrossFit experience required. FREE! Location TBD.

Summer of Skills:

8/7: Oly Skills (Jerk) with Nathan Loe*
8/14: TBD
8/21: Get Your First Strict Pull-Up With Coach Wendy

All clinics at 6:30 p.m.

These are FREE for members.

*Advanced sign-up is required. Clinics are currently full, but email heidi@crossfithale.com to get on the waiting list.

Is there something you’re dying to learn more of? Please drop a line to heidi@crossfithale.com.

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!

  1. The Oakland Triathlon: Sunday, August 18 (Coach Jay)
  2. Odyssey Alcatraz Swim: Saturday, September 21 (Coach Heidi)

Workouts for the Week

Monday—TRAIN

A. Strict press

5-5-5-5-5

Alternated with: Strict pull-ups

3-3-3-3-3

After each set of presses:

Work up to a heavy 5 for the day. Make an early jump or two so the majority of the sets are challenging, but not max effort.

B. Downhill from Here!

As many rounds and reps as possible in 3 minutes:
10 push press (95/65)
10 box jumps (24/20)

3-min rest

As many rounds and reps as possible in 2 minutes:
8 push press
8 box jumps

2-min rest

As many rounds and reps as possible in 1 minute:
6 push press
6 box jumps

MissFit: 75/55

Short sets and short bursts! As you fatigue, try to keep movements snappy and unbroken with the barbell! Keep a steady pace on box jumps 🙂

Tuesday—PERFORM

8 rounds, alternating between “A” and “B”
2 minutes on, 2 minutes off

A. 15/12-cal bike
6 pull-ups
Max med-ball cleans in remaining time

B. 16 shuttle runs
6 pull-ups
Max med-ball cleans in remaining time

You’ll do four rounds of each triplet. Work HARD for two minutes, rest for 2, then repeat.

The relief from the bike means you *should* be able to go HARD for each of those rounds and finish within about 45 seconds. Try to hold your pace! Take a deep breath as you transition and keep your pull-ups unbroken—this is great practice for workouts like Fran, where you’re LIT but have to pull off some bigger sets to keep moving!

No, really, you can do ANYTHING for 2 minutes! Go crush it!

Score is number of reps of med-ball cleans (do not count run, bike, or pull-ups in tally)

Rx+: C2B pull-ups

Wednesday—RECOVER

A. Warm-up:

12 min as far as possible:

Casual 800-m run

When you get back, cycle through:
Bear crawl
20 crab rocks
25′ plate push

B. Tap, tap, tap it in:

20 mins for quality:
20 plank shoulder taps
200-m farmers carry
20 plank toe taps
20-cal row

Core fun!

Work shoulder stability with the shoulder taps. Toe taps from plank (elbows ok too!): Tap one foot out to the side, then back to center. Repeat.

C. Mobility:

2 mins/side high hammy smash on box
2 mins/side oblique/gut smash

Thursday—TRAIN

A. Rack It:

Every minute on the minute for 10 rounds:
8 KB front rack lunges

Work at a heavy weight for all sets. Keep torso stacked and tight!

B. Stack It:

Every minute on the minute for 10 rounds:
20-s handstand hold

Work on balance—wall facing (wall walk), pulling one leg off of wall, or freestanding.

If unable to handstand, sub planks or 20s/each of hollow and arch hold!

Score is: what you learned, a moment of success (i.e., freestanding for 3 seconds!) or comments on how it went.

C. (Don’t) Slack It:

Every minute on the minute for 10 rounds:
40 s of burpees

Work at an aggressive pace, but NOT all-out. Your score today will be the LOWEST number of burpees you get in a given minute, so don’t sandbag or slack in the early rounds. Pick a “scary” pace and force yourself to hold on!

This is about pace (and a bit of good suffering)

Friday—TRAIN

Party Like it’s Your Birthday

As many rounds and reps as possible in 20:19

33 double-unders
8 hang power cleans (115/75)
2 push jerks

34 air squats
8 strict pull-ups
7 ring push-ups

Rx+: (155/105)
8 muscle-ups
7 ring dips

MissFit:
(75/55)
Banded pull-ups/ring rows
Push-ups

Why THESE movements?! Why together?!

These are the ones we love/hate. The ones we enjoy AND the ones we struggle with. Throw down but still have a little lighthearted fun. Reps and numbers come from two of your coaches that blew out 30-something candles this past week.

Think of this one like a double scoop of ice cream: Two flavors. Two different beasts. Shift gears and keep moving!

Butter Pecan: heavy-ish barbell work, with two salty push jerks at the end
Strawberry Cheesecake: Fun gymnastics with just a little swirl of pain as the fast squats and push-ups start to feel tougher.

Somewhere in the range of 4 rounds should be doable!

Saturday—TRAIN

In pairs, for time:

400-m run

2 rounds:
20 toes-to-bars
40 wall balls
30 burpees to target

800-m run

2 rounds:
20 toes-to-bars
40 wall balls
30 burpees to target

1-mile run

Split the reps—aim to do unbroken sets (10 T2B, 20 WB EVERY round!). Then, run together. If you need a little relief, split the runs. Burpees: Choose a target six inches above your max standing reach and jump and touch with both hands each rep.

Push the pace but enjoy your time outside today!! This one is a good mix of endurance and stamina with a little leg fatigue playing a part today.

Sunday—TRAIN

2018 Granite Games Qualifier #6

For time:
150 double-unders
75-ft. front rack dumbbell walking lunge (50/35)
50 dumbbell thrusters (50/35)
75-ft. front rack dumbbell walking lunge (50/35)
150 double-unders

(20-minute hard cap)

MissFit: 35/25 and twice the number of single-unders

To scale back further, do this workout in pairs. The DB thrusters are the obvious burner here, but just try to chip away!

Living Better Podcast – Ep. 44 – Becoming Coach Dave

In this episode, Hale coach Dave shares how he went from member to coach and what he’s learned along the way.

Becoming Coach Dave

You’ve seen him at the front of class.

Maybe he’s cued you through a technical lift or high-fived you after a PR. Or maybe you’ve watched him overhead squat and wished you could move like that; be as athletic as him.

But he wasn’t always so at home in the gym.

“I’d walk in there and be very confused and scared of what to do,” he said of working out years ago in a conventional gym.

He was still intimidated when he joined Hale about four years ago, watching athletes do pull-ups and lift big weights while he could barely press 65 lb.

“I don’t want to be the weakest one,” he thought.

But he kept coming back. Soon, he realized everyone at Hale—coaches and members alike—was helpful and supportive.

Things started to click.

“Once it clicks, you realize the fun in it, and you’re accomplishing these things,” he said.

Today, Dave’s got a 175-lb. press—and even better, he’s the one helping others accomplish their goals.

“Give us a shot,” he said. “Check out CrossFit Hale, because (in) the environment here, I think you’d have a hard time not prospering.”

In this episode, you will learn:

  • Why Dave kept training at Hale even though he was intimidated at first.
  • How he made piece with scaling workouts.
  • Why Dave continues to pursue tough challenges—like becoming a coach.

Links and resources for this episode:

Thank you for listening!

Thank you so much for checking out our podcast!

Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below, or email us.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe via iTunes or Stitcher.

Subscribe via iTunes.

Subscribe via Stitcher.

Do you have a burning question you want answered? Click here and share it with us!

Living Better Podcast – Ep. 43 – Ann Mary’s Metamorphosis

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. 

Links and resources for this episode:

Thank you for listening!

Thank you so much for checking out our podcast!

Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below, or email us.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe via iTunes or Stitcher.

Subscribe via iTunes.

Subscribe via Stitcher.

Do you have a burning question you want answered? Click here and share it with us!

Living Better Podcast – Ep. 42 – Coach Larry, Man of Mystery

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.”

Links and resources for this episode:

Thank you for listening!

Thank you so much for checking out our podcast!

Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below, or email us.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe via iTunes or Stitcher.

Subscribe via iTunes.

Subscribe via Stitcher.

Do you have a burning question you want answered? Click here and share it with us!