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Our Checklist Method

Making it easy to assess new client needs. Few CrossFit gyms do this, but more need to.

I am a huge fan of check lists. A pilot friend got me into it last year, when he showed me his method, and he said that checklists are how he does all his work (both in a plane and in business).

I thought, ‘why can’t we do that in our initial assessments’?

What I wanted was an easy way of helping all the coaches here, benefit from my experience, and have a method of accurately assessing client needs right from the start.

The new CrossFit Chichester assessment checklist was born out of this idea. Subsequently I created a few more checklists, and started working more on surveys, and viola, we’ve got some great ways of really helping our members reach their goals.

As great as this is, it’s not enough. So I thought, how can I start getting a better sense of people’s fitness without even seeing them move. I can usually get a good picture from a 10 minute phone call, but I couldn’t do that with everyone, so what if I put those same questions online, and allowed people to answer them, and have it scored. Once they get a certain score, it should hopefully give them (and us) a clearer idea of what to expect before even walking into our gym.

Since then, these questionnaires have helped me see how fit a much larger number of people are, than I would have done, had I used our old method of booking an assessment first. (If you’d like to Download our  CFC Initial Assessment Score Card you can here.)

So…. given that many believe that CrossFit is ‘too intense for you’, I will invite you to try out our survey, and discover more closely what it would take you to be ‘CrossFit ready’ so to speak.

Here is the link, and fill it out and try the home mobility assessments.

As responsible coaches, it’s our job to see what level each person is, and in order to ensure their chance of succeeding within our program, we can appropriately adjust and scale their workouts and their fundamentals to suit their needs.

This is not, and will never be, a one size fits all model. With us, you’ll get a responsible and experienced coach, a dedicated coaching team and a workout program that is fun, sustainable and most importantly safe.

We champion our members successes, as you can see from our weekly updates, and provide a community that is supportive, and encouraging. Totally interested in your success.

Sometimes, I have people come to me, worried about being judged or made to feel embarrassed for their fitness level (most likely from those closest to you or the thoughts in your head). It is our desire to provide a mental refuge from those negative, doubtful, dream destroying beliefs and respect you for what you are working on, and where you going.

That is our gym.

Archie,
Head Coach,
CrossFitt’ing since 2011.

Succeed with support: how your social group can help you achieve in fitness (or anything else).

In the group we most associate with most, lies a key contributor or detractor for the success that we deserve. If you’d like to find out if your social network is helping you succeed in your health and fitness goals then fill out this very short survey here.

“This is not a piece of gym equipment!!”

A small note written on the side of our giant cork we have in our kitchen. A wedding gift from some friends, that we had everyone sign or write a short note or word of advice on our wedding day. A great memento of a fantastic day. The short note represented such an example of two opposing opinions. The funny thing was, the cork is heavy, awkward and would be an excellent substitute for a heavy dumbbell if I was stuck for equipment and kit and wanted to do a workout.

It was written by a uni mate who was anything but athletic. To him it must have seemed bizarre and a bit odd, me lumping round a left over curb block which I’d ‘salvaged’ from a building site, bundled into the back of my car, and served me for a year as a decent weight to do workouts in our university house garden, overlooking the beautiful town of Falmouth, in Cornwall.

“This is not a piece of gym equipment!!”

To my uni mates, I was a bit weird, because while they’d be getting up, having their cereal breakfast, and strong coffee, I’d already be done and dusted having had my breakfast earlier, post workout, showered and ready to head to lectures. They did work hard though, it’s just twice or thrice weekly curries that we may be disagreed on.

Luckily, I was focused enough to maintain a good routine, until I became enamoured with a girl at uni, who liked making cakes. I ate so much cake over one summer, I stopped training as much and my six pack went to a four pack. They laughed, but hey, I was still getting laid.

Back in ’08 when I thought trying to balance on the front of a light longboard was a good idea.

Ultimately it was not a match made in heaven, and I got back on the routine, of fitness, cold showers, and only the ‘semi-regular’ curry with my housemates. With my six pack back, I was feeling good, and have learnt that ultimately the cakes not worth it, the feeling of being fit and healthy is.

Consider this, when you’re trying to workout, do the people around you support you in it? For instance saying things like “you go get your session done, I’ll look forward to when you’re back” (an example from wife) not “you’re going to work out now???” (also from my wife!). In relationships, support is everything. Especially when it comes to personal goals. Understanding where the other is coming from, and knowing what they want, makes living together, and working together, cohesive, fun and ultimately successful. In a relationship (or surrounded by unhealthy work colleagues for 8 hours a day) if there isn’t a decent level of support in your goals, then making them turn from dreams to reality is going to be much harder. In fact, they might not even be possible at all.

 

Judge buddies.

From working successfully with clients, sometimes, I’ve not even discussed diet, or training, until, we’ve worked out, how to get the partners on board. If you don’t have a partner, it’ll be friends and family who’ll probably have the biggest influence over you and your health endeavours.

If you don’t have what you would call a ‘supportive network’ around food and eating, don’t despair. Neither did I. Now, I’ve got nothing but a supportive, amazing community, wife, friends and family, because of a few simple strategies which I’ve employed (and still use) over the last 7-8 years.

Strategies to Gain Social Support

  • Communicate your goals effectively, earnestly and honestly to a loved one. The best way to do this is to sit down with a pen and paper write them out (a list of about 5 will do) and put a timeline on those goals. Then explain to your loved one, friends or family member the meaning it would give you to accomplish these.
    • Expressing sincerity with your goals, helps to allow you to be more vulnerable, and endearing to the other party. Making them more likely to be fully on board in helping you (especially if they come up with a plan to help you get there).
    • Making it clear that this is really important to you, and you can’t do it without their support, and help, will help them to feel part of the process and part of why you’re going to succeed with this. This step is important because giving them a sense of purpose within the realm of this goal, will bring you together and make it much more likely that you’ll have at least one person who will help.
    • If this conversation doesn’t go well. Find someone else to have this conversation. If you must make this work with the other party (for instance you live with them!) then try a gentler approach over a sustained period of time. Bring it up often, and their negative response will lessen over time. You will eventually ‘wear them down’ to the point where you make it your goal to get them on board first with you achieving these goals. Two people working on a goal is better than one.
  • Join a group of people who have similar goals. Whether this is a gym, club or social group, having friends who are on a similar path is going to dramatically increase your likelihood of success, because they will help you see methods of success that you didn’t see before. They’ll offer a different perspective and with any luck, inspire you along, when times are tough. Being part of a WhatsApp group is highly beneficial in this regard because communication becomes more frequent and sharing information becomes easier.
    • Explain to your work/boss that this is your goal. The key influencers at your place of work will have a major impact on your success. If they know you’re going to be starting later every Tuesday and Thursday because you’re finishing your longer workout/run/bike ride/swim on these days, but you’re going to be finishing later then this can be a help to them in understanding better you movements (if they’re expecting you to attend an office at a set time).
    • You could also do an event for them which helps promote their brand or if they have a charitable arm, gain sponsorship from them if its a run or a challenge such as a tough mudder, and then they’d be getting a direct benefit from you accomplishing your goal.
    • You could always invite your boss/work colleagues along to do the challenge with you. Gaining support in the office for a diet bet, or having the no junk food rule in the office can have a massively positive impact not only on your success but on those around you.
  • Invite people to join with you on something diet bet if your goals are weight loss related. Even being part of something like weight watchers, or slimming world can still have a hugely positive impact on your success because it’s a supportive community geared towards helping all of you succeed, and providing a level of accountability which you wouldn’t otherwise have if you weighed yourself alone. It provides a space to talk about things with like minded individuals who’ve already been where you are now, and can help provide an outside perspective that is impartial and objective.
  • Employ a coach who’s already done it. Professional coaches, are trained in how to help you get from where you are to where you want to go. We know how it feels sometimes, and we can be a positive source of knowledge and support to help keep you on track, and enjoy the success that you deserve. We all need coaches at some point in life. Why not start right now?

 

If you’d like to learn more about whether you could do with some extra strategies to help be more focused, and gain extra support from those around you take our all new social support questionnaire. It’s totally free, and if you’d like to talk some more put your details into our get started page here.

Social support link here too – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CFCsocialsupport

Thanks for reading,

Archie,
Head Coach.

Tips for a Good Nights Sleep

Sleep: and how to improve it.

Image result for why we sleep

Sleep, most of us do not get enough it. Having spoken to many people about their sleep patterns, often quite a decent number almost baulk at the idea of getting more sleep, or being able to get more sleep. The single matter of which comes up again and again is that of time. Time appears to be in short supply. Time it seems, stands in the way of many from really making a good nights sleep work for them.

The irony is that as Albert Einstein discusses at length; time is a relative concept. It expands and shrinks depending on our mental state. When we see things clearly, are feeling well rested and relaxed, time often appears is ample supply. When we are feeling stressed, worried or doubtful about our lives or aspects of it, time appears like a shrinking resource, that we never have a enough of. In that moment, it’s not lack of time, but lack of sense of time which creates the stresses, and belief’s which prevent us from fully succeeding getting the rest we require.

For Parents, who really need sleep.

You may have small children, who wake repeatedly during the night. All I would say, is use these same tools and tips on them, to help them improve their sleep. Children respond to positive bed time routines just as much as adults. Misbehaving children can often simply require improvement to their sleep patterns, to improve their behaviour, as is proven by numerous studies, in which misdiagnosed children were said to have ADHD, had in fact sleep apnea. Once the sleep was improved, so did the behaviour.

For Business Owners and Managers who need sleep.

You may have much to do. We all do. However leveraging time and resources need to be your priority. In order to do that, leveraging a good night’s sleep will improve your output, and maximise your problem solving abilities. Amplify your focus, and you will be able to direct yourself to the high priority, high yield tasks that drive success.

For Students who need sleep

You will not remember half of what you study, if you do not focus your efforts in allowing your brains natural mechanism for information storage to take place during a good nights slumber, if you infuse your blood stream with alcohol on a regular basis, and pull all nighters. Your brain is a sensitive organ that requires care. A good nights sleep is all that stands in your way from academic success.

In any case, it does seem difficult, when our time is strapped, and we have a long list of things to do, to prioritise what appears to be a luxury. The truth is that sleep is a basic need just like food or water, and when deprived of which, we are also disallowing being our most productive, happy and successful selves.

The Pathway to a good nights sleep:

1. Stick to a schedule. Go to bed, and wake up at the same time, each day. We are creatures of habit. Sleeping later on the weekends won’t make up for the lack of slumber during the week. It will also make it harder to wake up on Monday morning. Set an alarm for bedtime. Your iPhone has a function for this. This is the most important of the steps. If nothing else, remember this.

2. Exercise no later than 2 to 3 hours before bed. It increases body temperature, which as we know, is not beneficial to the release of melatonin.

3. Avoid caffeine and nicotine. Coffee, tea, coke and even dark chocolate contain caffeine, and will have a harmful effect on your body sensing the sleep pressure from the build up of adenosine. A cup of coffee in the afternoon will categorically make it harder for you to fall asleep at night. Nicotine is a stimulant. It will often cause smokers to sleep very lightly. Worse still, nicotine produces a withdrawal and will force smokers to wake up early for that next ‘hit’.

4. Avoid Alcoholic drinks before bed. It may help you relax, but it will take many hours for your body to completely remove it from your system.

5. Keep your evening meals and beverages light. Heavy meals can cause indigestion which will affect your sleep. Drinking too many fluids in the evening can also mean you will have more awakenings to go to the loo.

6. If possible, avoid taking medicines that delay or disrupt your sleep. Ask your healthcare practitioner or pharmacist if any of your medication affects sleep, and find an alternative.

7. Avoid having a nap after 3pm. For obvious reasons, you will have alleviated your sleep pressure for later in the evening, and so will make it harder to get back to sleep when bedtime comes around.

8. Relax before bed. Reading, or listening to music should be part of your bedtime routine. Watching television in the hours before only has negative effects on your sleep, by inhibiting the release once again of melatonin.

9. Take a hot bath before bed. The drop in body temperature after getting out of the bath may help you feel sleepy. The bath can also help you relax before bed and make you more ready for sleep.

10. Environment is key. Dark and cool your bedroom needs to be. Leave ALL screens or gadgets downstairs or outside of the bedroom. Anything that might buzz or beep during the night has got to go. Bright light, and warm temperatures only lessen the depth of your sleep. If you have insomnia, remove any visible clock. Clocks do not help sleep, especially when awakening in the middle of the night, set to only increase the anxiety we feel being awake when we know we should be sleeping.

11. Get a decent amount of sunlight exposure. Daylight is key to regulating daily sleep patterns. Aim to get outside in natural sunlight for at least half an hour every day. If possible, wake up with the sun in the morning or use very bright lights in the morning. The experts recommend that if you have problems falling asleep, then you should get an hour of exposure to morning sunlight and turn down the lights before bedtime.

12. Don’t lie in bed awake. If you start feeling anxious or worried, get up, and go and do something until the urge to sleep is strong enough for you to want to get back to bed. The anxiety of not sleeping, can make it harder to get to sleep.

Some other ideas:

13: Have a table spoon of honey before bed (before you brush your teeth). This will stimulate your REM sleep more and you will wake up feeling more refreshed, but having had some fairly vivid dreams.

14. Take a magnesium and zinc supplement before bed. We usually get these two minerals from our food, however modern farming methods leave vegetables and fruit somewhat deficient in these two, and then it is down to us to add a supplement to help. These help relax the sympathetic nervous system and will improve the quality of your nights sleep.

If information was all we needed… today, lack of information is definitely not something which we have. The most important aspect of these steps is to actually go and do something about it. If you do have problems sleeping, then find an expert who can help you. It is not something to be messed with. If you wish to learn more, and think you need more help in general building good healthy habits then finding a good coach who is qualified will work wonders and be worth investment. Please get in touch if you have any further comments or suggestions!

Thanks for reading!

Archie

Morning crew crushing deadlift pb’s

Great effort from the morning crew. Hitting some personal bests, and having fun. Great to see so many of you this morning! #lifelongawesome@ CrossFit Chichester

 

 

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Limiting Holiday diet damage

Damage Control: how to keep that fat burning over Christmas.

1) Get a good breakfast with lots of protein in, and zero sugar.
2) Before the big meal, have some grapefruit juice.
3) Chop up a lemon and put it in the water during the meal.
4) Green Tea helps the food pass through your gut undigested.
5) 1 min of air squats, 1 min of wall presses or push-up variation just prior to the meal. Read up of GLUT-4 response for more info!
6) Add cinnamon to everything (or just your morning coffee )

Merry Christmas!

Damage Control: how to keep that fat burning over Christmas. 1) Get a good breakfast with lots of protein in, and zero sugar. 2) Before the big meal, have some grapefruit juice. 3) Chop up a lemon and put it in the water during the meal. 4) Green Tea helps the food pass through your gut undigested.5) 1 min of air squats, 1 min of wall presses or push-up variation just prior to the meal. Read up of GLUT-4 response for more info!6) Add cinnamon to everything (or just your morning coffee :)) Merry Christmas!

Posted by CrossFit Chichester on Monday, December 18, 2017