Category Archives: News

Commitment. Community. Results. George M’s Fitness Journey.

Thanks to EAD | CFAH athlete George M for taking time to share his training journey with us. An EAD | CFAH athlete since June 2015, you’ll usually find George training with the evening crew weekdays and on Saturday & Sunday mornings. He’s been a regular member of the EAD | CFAH Performance Fueling Prescription, where he’s logged tremendous success toward his body composition goals. George recently competed in the Tandem Throwdown with fellow EAD | CFAH Athlete Julie M. Have a thought or two you’d like to share with your fellow athletes? Let us know … we’d love to hear from you!

Growing up, I was involved in lots of different sports: baseball, bowling, track and field, football, wrestling, swimming, and water polo. When I got into high school, I decided to dedicate myself solely to swimming and water polo. Now, I’ve always been a bigger guy, so I wasn’t the typical build for a swimmer or water polo player, but it was what I most passionate about.

After high school, college came and went, and even though I was always an athlete, I stopped participating in sports during my college career. I played a casual game of ultimate Frisbee here or there, and during the summers, I would play club water polo, but I was never dedicated to working out or consistently going to the gym. Over the course of college, I lost a lot of athleticism and gained a lot of weight. My situation didn’t get much better once I had a job as a full-time teacher. In fact, it probably got worse.

Before and After. The students are two years older and George M is 120-pounds-plus lighter, and incredibly more fit.

Having been a teacher and living at home for a while, I became complacent with my job and my body. But two years and 120-plus pounds ago, my Dad (and fellow EAD | CFAH athlete Mike Mitchell) convinced me to try the Free Class Challenge at EAD | CFAH.

My first class at EAD | CFAH was on one of the first Wednesdays of Summer, and it was an unbearably hot day. At 5:30 p.m. on the dot, I started the workout with all of the other athletes. The first ten minutes was grueling, and I was sweating bullets. Little did I realize that I had only just completed the Dynamic Warm Up. After completing the warm up, I remember Coach Karen taking me aside and teaching me some of the different movements and standards for CrossFit. Eventually, when the 5:30 p.m. class started the workout, Karen gave me a modified version of a workout. I don’t remember exactly what the workout was, but I remember that there were Ball Slams, AbMat Sit Ups, and Running. Looking back on it, the workout was probably something completely reasonable and manageable; however, this workout destroyed me. Even though I had just pushed myself extremely hard and was mentally and physically exhausted, I decided that I wanted to give this thing a go, and I signed up for Training Essentials.

About a week later, I started Training Essentials, which was a great program that got me prepared for the different Crossfit classes offered at EAD | CFAH. Once finished with Training Essentials, I started out by trying to make at least three CrossFit classes each week. In the beginning, I was extremely intimidated by just about all of the workouts, but the other athletes and coaches kept pushing me to finish and work just a little bit harder each time. Now here we are, two years later, and I try to get in at least 5-6 days of training a week. For anybody looking to make a change and lose a little weight or become a better athlete, I have some advice.

My first piece of advice is that it takes time. You can’t go in expecting to be the best right away. Having been an athlete for EAD | CFAH for two years, I am pretty happy with my performance in workouts, but again, it didn’t happen overnight. Second, take advantage of the different classes that are offered at EAD | CFAH: CrossFit, Boot Camp, Rowing Boot Camp, Strength & Conditioning, and Performance Fueling. I have learned something new in each and every one of the classes offered. Third, listen to the coaches. Each of the coaches have their own style and own way of pushing you past your limits. In addition, they see things differently and teach things differently. As an athlete, I respond to cues. The more coaches you see and listen to, the more cues you will receive. These cues will help you improve technique and performance. Finally, get involved in the community. This is by far one of the best communities that I have been a part of in the past five years. Everyone looks out for each other. Everyone encourages each other. Everyone makes each other better. While I have become a better athlete than I have ever been by joining EAD | CFAH, the most positive change in my life has been becoming a part of a community that is truly more than your ordinary gym.

Know someone ready to take their training or nutrition education to the next level? Encourage them contact karen@eadperformancecenter.com to learn more about:

  • Free Class Challenge, offered on Wednesday at 6:45 p.m., Saturday at 9 a.m., or at another time by appointment.
  • Performance Fueling Prescription, an eight-week nutrition education program including food log analysis, custom / goal-specific menu planning, nutrition education sessions (either individual or in a small group), initial & follow up body composition testing, and more.
  • Training Essentials, a two-week, six-class program where athletes new to EAD | CFAH learn the fundamentals of our training programs, and log plenty of small group instruction and technique work with our nationally-certified performance coaches. Training Essentials participants will learn, practice and perfect body weight, dumb bell, kettle bell, and barbell movements, including Olympic weightlifting and power movements, and more.

EAD | CFAH Cyclocross Champ Previews Thursday’s CrossFit Games Event.

EAD | CFAH Athlete and Master’s Division Cyclocross Champ Al W shares his thoughts on Thursday’s CrossFit Games Cyclocross Event. Games competitors will attack the course in two heats of 20 athletes. Starting position was determined Wednesday during an individual time trial on the same course athletes will race Thursday. Preview the course here. Check out the complete CBS Sports view schedule here. Thanks for taking time to share your perspective, Al!

I was more than a little surprised to see a cyclocross, or “cross” event included at the 2017 CrossFit Games. If you watched today’s individual time trial, it was easy to see which competitors have done similar things on a bike … and which have not. It looks like Thursday’s mass start and mix of experience levels will make for an entertaining event.

By cross racing standards, the CrossFit Games course is pretty tame in terms of technical elements, but it will challenge fitness. Normally, a cross course would make riders get off the bike more than once, but the Madison course does have a legit set of barriers. Many Elite Pro riders would jump barriers similar to those on the CrossFit Games course, but don’t look for that from most of these novice riders. Winners on the barriers will look very smooth as they dismount, lift the bike, and hurdle the barriers. Look for very little vertical movement as the rider goes over. After the tackling the last barrier, the bike should be back on the ground quickly and the rider back in the saddle in no more than two strides. The Trek bikes the Games athletes are riding [actually Mountain bikes] have flat pedals, so their feet should be back in contact with them almost immediately. Athletes must get power back to the pedals as quickly as possible; inexperienced racers will likely waste time and lose momentum.

Normally, a cross course would have some vertical challenges and some off-camber corners, but the CrossFit Games course is in a dog park, so the ride will be relatively flat. In exchange for the lack of features, the course designers did a good job of putting in many, many 180-degree corners. Standard racing lines for this kind of corner is tape, pole, tape — meaning you come into the corner on the outside tape, cut to the inside at the apex pole, and then let the bike go back to the outside tape as power gets put back on. Exiting corners should be a hard, out of the saddle, short effort to get speed back. Traffic will tear the grass up and traction will continuously evolve as the laps add up. If it rains before the final, there could be mud and / or ruts, all of which require a slightly different skill set. Watch the people best at cornering; they will not carry the most speed into the corner, but will carry speed through and out of the corner.

Fitness wise, I think the cyclocross event is going to challenge the Games athletes. The promo video rider took just over 6-minutes to complete a lap, which makes the course an aerobic system challenge. Watch for the athletes who exit every corner hard, deliver the highest sustainable effort to the next corner, recharge in the middle of the corner, and are able to repeat … again and again. Think about what happens to your form when you are gassed and doing the umpteenth rep of something. This course will take its toll on novice riders and those with poor bike handling skills. It is likely that athletes may be able to finesse the first few corners, but that smoothness – and the ability to manage the barriers – will degrade as the race goes on. My guess is that the fastest people will complete the required laps in 18-19 minutes, and that we are in for a few crashes.

Summer Strength & Conditioning Cycle Starts Next Week!

The new Strength & Conditioning Cycle — programmed by Coach Kate — kicks off the week of July 24. This is a general strength cycle featuring the Olympic Lifts and short, varied conditioning.

If you don’t have current 1RMs, or if this is your first Strength & Conditioning Cycle (ever, or in several months), no worries … an EAD | CFAH Performance Coach will help you establish working ranges. Questions? See an EAD | CFAH Performance Coach.