Tag Archives: diet

How to Get Out of a Rut

Those last few weeks of summer can be brutal.

You’re squeezing in the last vacations, family visits, BBQs …

Then, BAM—school starts.

All the sudden there’s traffic everywhere, you’ve got a new commute to deal with, and life has spun up again.

But … it still feels like summer! The sun is shining bright, the days are still long, and there are still festivals and BBQs to attend.

The last thing you’re worried about is your fitness.

A few days turns into a week, then a few weeks …

But you don’t want to lean out too far over that edge.

After a solid five months of progress, vacations and illness put me right into that rut.

Here’s how I get out of it.

1) Figure out what has worked in the past.

Have you had success in the past? What were you doing? How did you start? What was the one habit that made the biggest difference?

For me, it is:

2) Show up and do the minimum requirement.

When it comes to fitness, only three things matter: training, nutrition, and recovery. We’ve found that training comes first because when you train, the other stuff eventually falls into line.

So, we start by suggesting you train every day, doing the minimum required to say that you showed up.

The minimum for me is showing up to class. I don’t tend to care about how much weight I lifted or how fast I go during this stage. In fact, I will try to do LESS than I’m capable of to make sure I can recover for tomorrow’s workout.

Often you find that you haven’t “lost” everything, and you aren’t “starting over,” you just haven’t trained for a little while and feel a little rusty.

Do this often enough and you …

3) Build a streak.

The first workout back after a long layoff is terrible. The second one is bad, and the third one is mildly uncomfortable.

By the time you get to the 4th or 5th one, you’re kinda back! You aren’t feeling amazing yet, but your body adapts and the rust is knocked off.

That’s why it doesn’t matter how you perform in that first week back. The only goal is to get to the point where you feel like you are back on track with a habit.

Each workout you do in those first few days:

– Builds confidence that “yes, you can still do this.”

– Reminds you that you aren’t in as bad a shape as you thought.

– Encourages you to show up for the next one.

Once you get 5-10 days under your belt, it’s time to:

4) Get motivated.

The success you experience by building your confidence leads you to ask for and want MORE. This is where the motivation kicks in and you should start setting goals.

This is also the time to start looking at your nutrition. Are you eating enough? Is it in the right ratios? Does it support your goals?

Once you have a goal and next actions, do exactly what you did to get here, and focus on (1) figuring out what has worked in the past, (2) doing the minimum, and (3) building a streak.

These steps will get you out of a rut in less than two weeks and get you back on track and motivated to go crush your fitness goals.

Coach “rut buster” Jay



Outdoor WOD Saturday, September 21

Guests, family, friends, and teens welcome. The workout will be beginner friendly. FREE! Meet at Albany Middle School/Cougar Field Track. Classes at 8 and 9 a.m.

Other Cool Events, September 21

Kenny is competing out at the Battle on Sunset.

Golden State CrossFit • 401 Sunset Dr., STE K, Antioch, CA 94509
Sat, Sep 21, 2019 8 a.m.
A handful of us are also swimming Alcatraz that morning with Odyssey Open Water. They are calling for more kayak/paddle board support. If interested, email heidi@crossfithale.com.

Workouts for the Week:


A. Deadlift for load:
5-5-5 at 65%
3-3-3 at 75%
1-1-1 at 85%

Take a set every 2 minutes. Work the set up. Make it solid.

Training Day. Lift heavy! Just getting a few solid reps at heavier weight. Practice some touch-and-go sets, and work up to a few heavy singles 🙂

B. 500-m row for time

C. 250-m row for time

Not expecting a new PR, but try to stay within a few seconds. Rest 5 min, then hit the 250-m row … at a FASTER split pace


5 rounds:
2 min on, 2 min off:
15 wall balls
100-m run
Max burpee to plate in remaining time

Transition times matter on this one. RUN out, RUN in, and get straight to the burpees. Score is total number of wall balls + burpees each round.


A. 12 min for quality:
10 cal row
10 PVC muscle snatch
Crab walk
10 banded pull-aparts

Get shoulders warm and ready to get PUMPED.

B. 15 min to hit 5 rounds:
10 bench press
6 rope pull-ups
Scale to toenail version w/negative
(3-2-1 down; alternate top hand 3/3)

Add weight to bench press as you go. Weight should be moderate today, and nothing you feel like you’ll be close to failing at 10 reps. Note final weight.

C. 1-2 Rounds
Bicep curl 21s (empty BB or slightly heavier)
7-half way to full up
7-bottom to half way
7-full curls

Hands out to ring–work on full elbow extension at the bottom. To be done unbroken.

Pec smash: 3 mins/side


A. Gymnastics skills day!

10-min EMOM:
C2B/Pull-up practice, 3-7 reps

If you’re not to kipping pull-ups, choose an option that will get you closer to your strict pull-up:
Banded pull downs (with PVC)
2 negatives (only as you can maintain quality!)

B. 15-min AMRAP:
20 double-unders
10 DB weighted step-ups (1 x 50/35)
5 C2B

Rx+: 3 BMU

MissFit: Double-under attempts/jumping CHEST-to-bar.

Train—Gymnastics skills. Goal is to keep C2B unbroken as long as possible under grip and shoulder fatigue! This is good practice for holding together gymnastics to be smooth + steady in the Open.


A. As a warm-up:

Every minute for 10 rounds:
1 snatch (power or squat)
3 overhead squats

Work up to and beyond your weight for the workout today—you should feel smooth and stable!

B. “Nancy”

5 rounds for time of:
400-m run
15 overhead squats (95/65)

PERFORM: CrossFit main site generally gives some clues to the Open–they’ve done a version of this workout TWICE in the last week. We’ve also had repeat workouts with OHS and C2B. It’s been a while since we’ve hit some OHS—let’s get sweaty and get after it!


In teams of 3:
20-min AMRAP:
50 push-ups
75 sit-ups
100 lunges
50-m buddy carry

8-a.m. and 9-a.m. at Albany Middle School/Cougar Field. Guests, friends, family welcome and encouraged to attend!


For time:
40 synchro toes-to-bar
40 synchro single arm dumbbell hang clean and jerk (35 lb.)
40 synchro box jump-overs (20-in)
40 synchro single arm dumbbell hang clean and jerk (35 lb.)
40 synchro toes-to-bar

Grab a buddy and see if you can stay in sync!

No Excuses Challenge

The summer’s over, the kids are back in school and there’s no better time to focus on improving YOURSELF!

From September 9 through October 21, we’ll be running the No Excuses Challenge, a six-week period in which we’ll eat better, move more and recover well.

In this challenge, you will learn how to:

  • Compose healthy meals.
  • Nail down sustainable habits.
  • Develop a mobility/recovery practice

We’ll measure progress with a before-and-after baseline workout as well as an InBody scan. The goal isn’t perfection but rather to learn which habits are most effective—or destructive—in helping you feel, look and perform your best.

Sign up at the front desk today!

Whether you’ve already registered or you’re still on the fence, we invite you to attend our kick-off meeting TODAY, Wednesday, September 4, at 6:30 p.m. to get more details and ask questions.

The Hale Case Study Project: Week 6

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.

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.

Subscribe via Stitcher.

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

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!

The Hale Case Study Project: Week 5

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.

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!

Look Good, Feel Good or Perform Well?

Lately I’ve been messing around with my nutrition and I realized something.

Any good fitness program will help you improve the way you look, feel and perform.

But when deciding which program or diet to follow, you have to pick one of those goals to prioritize.

Of course, you want them all.

But when it comes down to it, which one are you willing to sacrifice for?

If performance is your priority, you need to push harder in training, eat to focus on performance and spend extra time working on skills.

If your priority is to look good, you have to make diet sacrifices, train for aesthetics and take a lot of selfies.

If your goal is to FEEL better …


That’s an interesting one. Because if your goal is to feel better, you can achieve that pretty quickly.

You’re only one meal and one workout away from feeling better.

Eat well and get to the gym, and you will be fired up.

Whereas you can’t change the way you look and perform much in one day, you CAN change the way you feel in just a few hours.

The best part is if you eat well and train for several days in a row, you feel better even if you skip a day or have cake at that party.

Feeling good becomes a motivator for you to keep training and eating well, which helps improve the way you look AND perform.

So really, the focus of your fitness program should first be to FEEL GOOD, then to look good and perform well.

Eat well, train hard, feel good.

Coach Jay



Next Guest Day at Hale: Saturday, August 3

All athletes and guests welcome; no CrossFit experience required. Classes at 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. FREE! New guests, please arrive 10 minutes before class to sign a waiver.

Summer of Skills:

Our next few skills sessions will be:

7/24: Oly Skills (Snatch) with Nathan Loe*
7/31: Oly Skills (Clean) with Nathan Loe*
8/7: Oly Skills (Jerk) 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 heidi@crossfithale.com.

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!

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

Workouts for the Week:


“NOT Pressed for Time”

4 rounds for quality:
5 deadlifts
10 strict handstand push-ups or DB strict press
20 sit-ups

Strength day! Upper-body press + deadlifts. Add weight to deadlift through the rounds—5 reps here must be unbroken, and aim to work up to something heavy for the day. Pick a challenging scaling for HSPU or DB press and work on strength and good positions.


“PCP” (Posterior Chain Pump)

16-min EMOM:
15/12-cal row
14 alternating DB lunges (50/35)
40 double-unders/80 singles
14 DB hang power cleans

MissFit: 40/25# DB

Score is total number of minutes you “made,” or completed. Scale back row/singles as needed. You should be working about 40-45s.

Fun with EMOM! You won’t have a TON of rest between each movement. Move quickly on the DB movements to save your grip. Shoulders will burn! Try to to control your breathing through the dubs and rowing to hold it together.


3 rounds:
10 slider pike ups/crunch ups
10 slider hamstring curls
30-s hollow hold

Wednesday—RECOVER (+Snatch Clinic,  6:30 p.m.)

A. Warm-up

Each partner, 3 rounds
200-m row

Other partner:
Round 1: holds plank
Round 2: holds squat
Round 3: holds 25-lb. plate overhead.

You BOTH do 1 burpee for each meter over/under 200!

Score is total number of burpees you do!

B. Get Sweaty

15-min AMRAP:
10 DB plank rows
10 parallette pass-throughs

Rx+: Dabble with pass-throughs (on boxes, as needed) without feet touching the ground at the front.

C. Mobility

2 min. kitchen sink stretch
2 min/side barbell trap/1st rib smash
2 min/side barbell tricep smash


A. (as warm-up to main event)

Tempo Front Squat
3 s down
1 s pause

Working on nailing down nice vertical position and drive out of the hole in prep for the 5 x 5 front squats!

B. Front Squat for load:
5 x 5

Working up to a heavy 5 for today–maybe a PR!

C. “Legs on Fiyah”

Every 5 min. for 3 rounds:
12 burpee over bar
12 front squats (135/95)
400-m run

Be safe but move FAST. Burpees are lateral over the bar—stay low and quick. Unbroken front squats and aggressive (but not all-out) pace on the run.

Keep track of your splits. Match or BEAT your time from the previous round!


“Farmhand Friday”

30-min AMRAP in teams of 3:
25 heavy ball toss
50-cal bike/row
150-m sled push
400-m farmers carry (53/35)

This should be a good chance to get outside and work with moderate weights and SIMPLE movements. No need to rush between stations—just a day to get work done. Stay in control of breathing and work hard when it’s your turn.


“Dollar Fifty Dog Combo”

For time:
1-mile run

Straight into:
Hand-release push-ups

MissFit: Jumping pull-ups

Hit the mile at a good clip—75-80%. Scale back as needed to keep run UNDER 10 min.

The bigger sets of pull-ups and push-ups will get nasty—this one is about stamina! Take the mile at a good clip and start chipping away!

If you get to Costco, you’ve run too far.

Aim for sub 20. Hard cap at 25 min.


Wall-balls (20/14)


Descending reps in this one will help improve the mental battle—try to go unbroken on the wall-balls and minimize transition time. I know you don’t WANT to pick up the ball, but do it! You may have to chip away at T2B in 2 sets to start. Your goal is SUB 12 minutes!

20 wall balls/10 T2B
18 wall balls/9 T2B
16 wall balls/8 T2B

The Hale Case Study Project: Week 3

“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.

Living Better Podcast – Ep. 40 – Dee: “Suck It Up and Drive On.”

In this episode, Dee shares how CrossFit helped her get mentally and physically stronger after her mother’s death.

Dee: “Suck It Up and Drive On.”

Dee had been a cardio fanatic all her life, but when her mother passed away in 2013, she needed something different to distract her and help her process the loss. 

So she joined CrossFit Hale, despite never having picked up a weight before. 

“The first time you told me to jump on a box I looked at you like, ‘What?!’” she said to Coach Jay.

She’s faced many more challenges since then, from her first Murph to competing in the 2019 NorCal Masters competition, and says she’s only gotten better for it. 

“It was hard but it set off a trigger, I took it as a challenge,” she said of her first impression of CrossFit. “This is different and it’s difficult, but I want to learn how to do it.”

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How embracing difficult things has made Dee better.
  • How CrossFit has helped her improve her mental health and focus.
  • The best piece of advice she’s ever received: “Suck it up and drive on.”

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!