Nutrition 101

Nutrition is the foundation of our health and fitness. 

Nutrition is the foundation of our health and fitness. 

by Coach Mat

Nutrition does not have to be complicated or dreadful. (We’ve also tried those kind of diets and know how miserable they can be.)

In fact, the more complicated the system, the less likely you are to follow it. Especially if you’re also beginning a new workout routine.

When you’re starting to commit yourself to the process of getting the results you want, you may be waking up or going to sleep earlier; restructuring your lifestyle. The last thing you need is some complicated diet.

Put your energy into a few simple and easy-to-do areas and follow the easiest nutrition plan that will get you the best results.

If there’s one thing we know, it’s how to get the best results in the most efficient amount of time and effort.

It’s the same plan that helped me burn fat, build muscle (and confidence), get healthy, and lose over 100 lbs.

You don’t have to want to lose that much or any. But if you want to look better, feel amazing, perform better, or get healthier than you are now, this is a simple, entry-level plan that you should start doing, today.

Of course there are other plans that we work with our athletes on (yup, you’re an athlete when you’re training here!) like Macros or If It Fits Your Macros, Paleo, Whole 30, and RP Strength. If you want to get more specific on those dietary paths, we’d be happy to assist you. Click here and contact us! 

With that said, this is still the simplest and easiest plan to follow that we guarantee results on. Yes, I said guarantee.

Here’s what to do:

Eat meat, vegetables, some nuts and seeds, some fruit, a little starch and no added sugar.

That’s it.

I know. It seems too easy.

No special meals from the frozen food section. No food scales or measuring cups. No special mail order foods. No cutting out specific food groups. (Yes, you can have carbs!)

If the food you’re eating fits into those categories, you’re following the plan.

There’s no restriction about amounts except on the amount of nuts, fruit, and starchier foods. Eat as many vegetables as you want, have meat (or a protein source) at every meal, and mix in the other foods throughout the day. If a food has added sugar in it, don’t eat it.

Click here for examples of foods that fall into each category and the amount recommendations! 

It is that simple and yes, we guarantee you’ll get results if you follow it. The most important part is your compliance. Follow it and you’ll love the results.

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Commit to 30 days. Better yet, commit to this week. At the end of the week, we can think about week 2 then 3 and 4. If you need to take it 1 week at a time, do so.

Instead of complicating your life with some advanced nutrition plan, or giving you a workout that’ll take hours in the gym, follow our advice.

We’re not trying to sabotage you and make you gain weight. It’s within our best interests to see you succeed! When you walk around lean, fit, toned, and happy and tell someone that you do CrossFit, it’s a win-win-win for everyone involved.

Just like the workouts you do, let us tell you the plan. All you have to do is show up. Well, with a nutrition plan, just eat what we tell you.

If you’re not sure about a certain food or have a question, contact us!

Member Interviews: What do you wish you'd known before you started CrossFit?

Gretchen G.

1. The people are so nice. I'm a terribly shy person and it took me a long time to make friends at the gym because of this. It turns out everyone at the gym is their own brand of shy, weird, quirky, and kind. There was really no reason for me to be scared. More than any other place, the gym is a location where I feel like I can totally be myself. 

2. Safety is paramount. We've all heard stories about how dangerous CrossFit is. City Line is probably the least dangerous training environment I've ever been in. Daily emphasis is placed on technique and the coaches are diligent about making sure you're scaling the movements and weights properly for a given workout. There's often a fine line between pushing yourself just enough and pushing yourself to the point of injury, and the coaches are incredible at helping you figure out where that line is. 

3. Don't be afraid to fail or be last. This one is a work in progress for me. But when I first started, I didn't push myself enough because I was afraid of doing a "bad job." In reality, a "bad job" doesn't exist. It's OK to fail lifts sometimes; it's normal for it to take weeks or months to learn a new skill; and everyone (EVERYONE) is last during a workout at some point. This is not an indication of your skill or character; it's a learning experience. Embrace it. 

4. Ask questions! I feel like I spent my first month at the gym chasing Cassi around to ask questions. Sure, I may have been a little annoying. But when in doubt, speak up! It's better to have a clear understanding of what you're doing and why than to guess and hurt yourself or scale a movement in a way that doesn't help you get better. And if you want to improve at a movement, ask a coach how to do so. They'll work with you to create a plan that will pay off if you stick with it. 

5. Pay attention to how CrossFit changes other aspects of your life (for the better). I was about a month into CrossFit when I realized how much better I was sleeping. This small change ended up making a huge difference, giving me more energy and focus at work. I started eating better, too, and have found I'm sick far less often. I also developed more patience and resilience in all aspects of my life. The list, really, goes on. I do want to be clear about the fact that CrossFit isn't some magic pill. But it can contribute to small life changes which, added together, can make all the difference. 

Dan P. 

Things I wish I knew before I started Crossfit:

1. How important the Coaching is to one’s progress. It’s very important to sign up with a Box that has great coaching. By that I mean not only people who are knowledgeable but also care about your health and well being. If you don’t have a sense of that when you are doing the WODS then you are probably in the wrong place.
You can come to Crossfit having a base of knowledge about some things and a certain level of fitness but if you aren’t willing and/or able to listen and learn from the Coaches then you will not progress and/or have fun.

3. How scalable the WODs are. Regardless of your fitness level, you can participate in the class WODs. You don’t have to be an Olympic athlete to get started.

4. How much the “community” aspect of the Box makes a difference in the Crossfit experience. If you don’t feel like you are part of a community of people who are friendly, having fun working out together, and who are there to encourage you and not judge you then you are probably in the wrong Box.

Matti O.

1. Don't worry about trying to go unbroken all the time. Even the fittest men and women on Earth break up movements into smaller sets.

2. You are never "too good" or "too fit" for the most basic movements in Crossfit. Just because you can do a movement like muscle ups or strict handstand push-ups doesn't mean that you then stop having to do basic progressions. Those basic progressions are still difficult and still have a ton of value no matter how experience the athlete is.

3. Exercise can be fun!


You can see more videos by following us on Facebook, on Instagram (@cfcityline), and checking out our YouTube channel! 

CrossFit Glossary of Terms

Wut.

Wut.

CrossFit has a large amount lingo that can take some getting used to, so we thought we’d make things easier with this list! 

Types of workouts:

WOD: “Workout Of The Day” This describes the daily workout we will be doing at CrossFit City Line. Each day is programmed for us and is constantly varied. The workout will be the same each class we come to throughout the day, but will change for the next day!

AMRAP: “As Many Rounds/Reps As Possible” In this style workout, there is a designated time frame and in that time we cycle through the movements as many times as we can. Our score for the whiteboard will be how many full rounds we got, plus any extra reps in the next round we completed. 

RFT: "Rounds For Time" This type of workout has a designated amount of work to be completed as fast as possible. 

BW: “Bodyweight” This workout has no external weights. We'll be using our own bodyweight to get fit! 

EMOM/EMOTM: “Every minute on the minute” A clock is set to beep at the end of every minute. We will complete designated movements and repetitions in the minute- if we finish early, we have rest time, if we do not finish, we move on regardless of when the minute strikes.

Intervals: These workouts have a specific work : rest ratio. During the "work" time, we are working at max effort. During the "rest" time, we fully rest. Common intervals are "Tabata," which is 8 rounds of 0:20 work/0:10 rest, 0:30/0:30, and 0:40/0:20. 

Metcon: “Metabolic Conditioning Workout” There can be many pieces to a class including skill work, strength work, and metcon. The metcon is most similar to the common phrase cardio and will have us working on our engines!  

Different movements:

BS: “Back Squat” The squat is essential to human movement. It's a proven performance enhancer and a gateway movement to the best exercises in strength and conditioning. The movement starts standing tall, at the bottom of the squat the hip crease is below the knees and returns to full extension to complete the movement. 

The Back Squat

The Back Squat

C&J: “Clean and Jerk” This is one of the two Olympic lifts (performed in Olympic weightlifting, along with the snatch). The clean brings weight from the ground to our shoulders, and the jerk brings weight from our shoulders to overhead. It is the most efficient way to move heavy weight overhead. 

DL: “Deadlift” The deadlift, like the squat, is essential functional movement and carries a potent hormonal punch. This is core training like no other. For the movement, think - pick things up and put things down. 

G2OH: "Ground to Overhead" This means that we are moving weight from the ground to the overhead position. It could be a plate, a sandbag, a medball, dumbbells, or a barbell. 

HSPU: “Handstand Push Ups” A variation of push ups, this movement has us inverted, or upside down! Performed against the wall, we kick up to a handstand position, bend our arms until our head touches the ground, then press back up to a locked out position. 

KBS: "Kettlebell Swings" Kettlebell swings are a critical part of training the hip hinge, and they teach and train our explosive movement. Unless otherwise specified, KBS are American swings, meaning the movement is complete when the kettlebell is overhead. "Russian" KBS are to eye-level. 

OHS: “Overhead Squats” The overhead squat is an important stretch, perfect for warm ups, integral to the snatch, and will expose most functional inflexibility, instability in the midline or shoulders, and any mechanical deficiency in your squat.

S2OH: "Shoulder to Overhead" This means that we are moving weight from our shoulders to overhead. It includes the strict press, the push press, and the jerk variations. 

T2B/TTB: “Toes to Bar” One of the more difficult core movements, this involves hanging on a pull up bar and lifting our legs all the way up until our toes hit the bar. 

MU: “Muscle Up” One of the most technical gymnastics movements performed in CrossFit, this starts at a full hang on the rings. A combination of pulling ourselves up to the rings, then turning over to be on top of the ring and pressing out to hold ourselves in a support position, this movement requires equal parts strength and technique! 

WB: "Wall Balls" The wall ball is a movement where we hold a medball, squat with it, then stand quickly to jump and toss it to a target. 

Other:

DB: "Dumbbell" 

DBs are fun!

DBs are fun!

ME: "Max Effort" Max effort means go big or go home. CrossFit is all about high intensity, so days where we see "ME" mean that we are training at our highest possible intensity. There is typically a time component, so "1 minute ME" means that it is one minute of high intensity, all out effort. 

PR: “Personal Record” These are accomplishments! Performing a new movement for the first time, completing a new time record, or doing more weight than we’ve previously done. Keeping a log book will enables us to track this progress and document when we achieve a personal record! 

RM: "Rep Max" Seen with a number before it, i.e.: 1RM, 3RM. This means that we are finding the highest weight that we can perform that number of reps with for a specific movement. If we see 5RM Deadlift as the WOD, we know that we'll be lifting to find our heaviest possible set of 5 deadlifts. 

RX: “As Prescribed” For any WOD, the weights and movements on the board will be what everyone is striving for that specific day. If you complete the movements as is, without modifying and, you have done the WOD RX and that is an amazing feat! Bear in mind that our coaches expect us to move safely, with great technique, and meet the intended stimulus of the workout before we try to Rx. The most important thing is that you get your best workout. 

What to Expect When You Start CrossFit!

Anyone can CrossFit.

You’re going to see a wide range of ability levels at CrossFit City Line. Some of our members are grandparents, and some are just out of high school. Some of our members were college-level athletes, and many are people who have never exercised before!

Every part of CrossFit is modifiable, which means that any workout can be changed to accommodate different skill levels, fitness levels, and even injuries. Your coaches will ensure that you get a great workout that progresses your skills and fitness. As Coach Glassman said, "the needs of the elderly and professional athlete vary by degree, not kind." 

You’re going to learn many new things.

Ego has no place in CrossFit--every person at CrossFit City LIne is learning a new skill or is refining and practicing a skill to achieve mastery over it. This means that everyone gets coached.

Technique is critical in order keep ourselves healthy (read: injury-free) and to move efficiently, using the least amount of energy to achieve the same range of motion.

Virtuosity is what we always strive for.

You’ll be sore.

Soreness is normal when beginning a new exercise routine. As your body acclimates to higher levels of activity, that will pass. The best thing to do when you are sore is to move. Increasing blood flow allows muscles to recover better and faster--which is to say that the worst thing you can do for soreness is minimize movement. This only serves to cause more stiffness in your joints.

When you first begin, plan to dial back the intensity and focus on creating good habits with nutrition, mechanics, and recovery. Rolling out with a foam roller and lacrosse ball, sleeping enough, and eating enough all ensure that we’re recovering from our workouts, which will help with muscle soreness.

Note: There is a difference between pain caused by soreness and pain caused by injury or impending injury. Always talk to a coach when you experience pain. 

We only care about your effort. We don’t care about your WOD results.

Sometimes, the act of putting up “scores” sends the message that we’re all comparing ourselves to each other, but this is not the case. We put our times and rounds on the whiteboard together because we are proud of what we did that day. We are not just a part of the class we took, we are also a part of the entire CFCL community. Our shared work is a part of what binds us together.

In reality, we don’t care about each other’s individual results. We care about the effort that we each put into the workout.

Think about it this way: a 25-year-old making a 60” box jump is really impressive. So is a previously inactive 70-year-old man jumping onto a 12" box. Both of those individuals had to put in a lot of effort to achieve those milestones. It doesn’t matter that one is higher than the other. It matters that they both worked hard.

We will be proud of each other’s hard work, no matter what our results are.

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People are going to cheer for you.

Try not to be alarmed when you hear and see total strangers cheering you on as you finish a workout. That’s part of the magic of CrossFit. We are a supportive and enthusiastic crew, completely engaged not only with what we got to achieve that day, but what we got to see you achieve, too.

One size does not fit all.

While the general plan is the same for everyone (constantly varied high-intensity functional movements), we are all starting from different places on the sickness-wellness-fitness continuum.

When you start to create goals regarding mobility (like improving your overhead position), gymnastics (like stringing together toes-to-bar), strength (like earning a 400lb deadlift), Olympic weightlifting skills, or improving your body composition (also known as fat loss), you may need a plan tailored to you in order to meet that goal. Always feel free to reach out to your coaches.

Speaking of coaches…

One of the greatest benefits of starting CrossFit is getting to work with a coach each class. Their job is to ensure that you are moving well, that you are getting the best training benefit each day you come in, and to keep you accountable to working hard. They will be assisting you with modifying workouts to ensure that you are able to meet the intended stimulus of the workout, are moving safely, and that you are learning skill progressions.

Coaches want to answer your questions and assist you in achieving your goals. Just ask!

Comparison is the Thief of Joy

Focus and determination. 

Focus and determination. 

-by Coach Rachel Binette

Have you ever finished a workout satisfied that you went fast or heavy, only to feel disappointed in yourself after seeing someone else’s results?

Do you feel that you have to look at the leaderboard in order to determine what weight or how fast or how many rounds you should be shooting for in the workout?

Have you ever explained your results to someone else, almost as though you were making excuses for it?

     This is a common phenomenon in CrossFit--we value observable data as a principle, because knowing that our times for benchmark workouts are faster than they were before, or that our 1 rep maxes are getting higher is a definite measurement of improving fitness levels. Comparing where we started and where we are now is a valuable tool for assessing our progress.

     However, comparing ourselves to others is a recipe for unhappiness. We know that doing so outside of the gym is a bad idea. What other people’s lives look like to us from the outside is rarely the entire story--social media has a way of telling stories that never appear as process, only as results. We all know that a great marriage is not made up of vacations and date nights, and great parenting is not made up of first-day-of-school photos and graduations. The work put in, day in and day out, the small little details that make up a life, are not viewed as worthy of putting on social media, but that process is what creates fulfillment and success. The same is true when it comes to training. What others have achieved in results is a process that takes years, and the information available to us when we see results is very limited.

     In addition to general unhappiness regarding training, comparing ourselves to others also leads to underperformance. Over time, we learn where we “stack up” in the gym, and we hold ourselves to meeting that expectation, rather than meeting expectations of high effort. Developing our ability to assess our performances internally is a necessary skill that we skip when we need external feedback (i.e.: the whiteboard) to determine what a good performance is. Much more serious and detrimental, in comparing our scores to everyone else’s, we learn to value results over progress and process.

Great technique is the result of hours, weeks, months, and years of dedication. 

Great technique is the result of hours, weeks, months, and years of dedication. 

     What we accomplish when we decide to put forth our best effort is different than what we accomplish when we hold ourselves to results-oriented expectations. If the only goal is to beat certain individuals in the gym, are we giving everything we have to our workouts? Are we truly reaching our potential when we are satisfied with how we stack up? How do we know that our “competitors” are actually at the top of their game? On the flip side, what about when something doesn’t go the way we thought it would--are we going to be disappointed in giving everything we had to a workout because we didn’t beat someone we thought we would? Focusing on the results of our performance, rather than recognizing that we gave our highest level of effort, teaches us to dwell on things that we cannot control.

Things that we can control:
-Our sleep.
-Our nutrition.
-Our mobility and recovery efforts.
-Our physical effort, each training day and how often we’re able to train.
-Our mental finesse. Focus, positivity, and grit.

Things that we cannot control:
-Weather.
-Music.
-Equipment.
-Other people’s effort, including their training for the past year.

CrossFit Games Reporter: “In terms of the head-to-head race within each event, you always have this awareness of where every other athlete is on the floor. Does their performance drive you and impact the way you strategize?”
Fittest Man on Earth 2016-2017, Mat Fraser: As he shakes his head, “You know, I try to just run my own race.”

CrossFit Games Reporter: “What sort of expectations do you have for yourself?”
Second Fittest Man on Earth 2017, Brent Fikowski: “I just want to do my best in every event. If I can leave saying I did my best, whether it’s 1st or 40th, I’ll be happy.”

     We must learn to think and act like these champions. After each training day, without using the leaderboard to assess, ask yourself the question, “Did I do my best?”

     Everyone has their own race to run when it comes to training. Staying in our own lane is a skill that takes practice, especially if we have gotten into the habit of comparing our scores after a workout. Commit to thinking like a champion: stay focused on your effort, leave everyone else to their own training, and experience the joy of knowing when you’ve done your best.

Halloween Success Guide

Halloween Success Guide

Halloween can be a blast. But it doesn't have to blast your healthy nutrition plan away.
We all know that the real temptation of halloween isn't the night of, it's the days before and mostly after when all the left over candy is everywhere.
And as many times as you've heard that a holiday doesn't need to be an excuse to go nuts, we know there can temptations everywhere. Use our recommendations to help you navigate the spooky candy laden waters and enjoy the month of October.