What Are Some Unwritten Rules at the Gym?


If you’ve never set foot in the gym, it can seem like a foreign place. There’s a new language, odd customs, and people make some weird noises! Even switching from one gym to another can be a bit of a culture shock. So let’s dig into the unwritten rules of the gym, the norms that you’d want to know about before going to a foreign country but that might not be in the guidebooks!

Eyes On Your Own Mat

I’m borrowing this one from the yoga world. We all come to this place with different backgrounds. It’s easy to get caught up in comparing ourselves to other people or worrying about what other people are doing. Resist the urge. Focus on being better than you were yesterday regardless of what anyone else is doing.

Last One to Finish Gets the Biggest Cheers

This is a classic CrossFit tradition. If you’ve done one of our workouts, you know it’s both a physical and mental challenge. And it’s even harder when you’re finishing well after the fastest people in class. Cheer for everyone. We’re celebrating effort and hard work!

Clean Up After Yourself

Spray & wipe down your stuff so we avoid spreading germs like a kindergarten classroom. Put everything away. If you’re not sure where it goes, ask! And if someone could use some help cleaning up, be the helper.

…..But not until everyone is done with the workout

See #2. As much as we want everything cleaned up, what we want MOST is for everyone’s work to be equally respected. Leave your bar and go encourage that person. We’ll all chip in to clean up after.

Be Positive

If you’re having a rough day, let a coach know. We want to be part of your support network. If it’s Tuesday and you hate Tuesdays plus it’s not exactly 62 degrees and it might rain later and there’s burpees and you hate burpees…. Well, you get the idea. I love the book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. We’ve all had a day like Alexander’s. And most of us know someone who seems to channel Alexander every day. Let’s work to stop letting those upsets derail what could be an amazing day.

And now that we’ve written them down, I guess we have to find new “unwritten” rules, huh?

Drinking Water When Bathroom Breaks Are Scarce!


We hear you teachers & nurses! You want to drink more water. You set it as your goal every month in your check-in with your nutrition coach. But it is just SO hard when bathroom breaks are a commodity! First, we’ll talk about WHY this is important, and then we’ll get tactical with HOW to actually make it happen.

The Importance of Hydration

Hydration is important for literally everyone – athletes, weekend warriors, and those whose athletic exploits are confined to Madden. For active people, appropriate hydration improves performance and recovery so you can feel like you kicked butt in your last workout and are ready to take on your next. In everyday life, staying well hydrated helps with joint health, immune system function, and circulation among many other benefits!

If you’re dehydrated, you’re leaving performance AND health on the table. Who wants to do that?

We often hear from nurses and teachers that they either struggle to drink enough to stay hydrated or drink enough water and ignore the need to go to the bathroom. Let’s not do that, either! When your body sends the urge to go to the bathroom, we need to listen. The bladder is a muscle, and it can get fatigued over years of ignoring its “I’m too full” signals. “Nurse Bladder” is a thing! Let’s avoid it.

Now the tricky part. How do you balance the need for hydration with the need to stay present in your work and not run to the bathroom every half hour?

Start the day with 8-16 ounces as soon as you wake up

You wake up a little dehydrated, and it’s easy to skip the water and stay there. That first couple glasses will get your system firing and help you tune into thirst signals throughout the day.

Try starting your day with 8-16 ounces of water BEFORE you reach for the coffee or tea. Make it conditional. “First I drink my water. Then I drink my coffee.”

Sip up to ¼ cup up to every 15 minutes.

For many, the tendency is to gulp water down when given the chance. The problem is that chugging your water makes it harder to absorb all of it. And then it only has one place to go – out!

Your body can appropriately process about ¼ cup of water, or 2 ounces, every 15 minutes. Try keeping a cup with a straw on your desk and take a sip or two every time you notice it. My favorite is this stainless steel cup paired with these fun straws.

Even drinking ¼ cup every half hour works out to 32 ounces – or 4 cups – over the course of an 8 hour work day! That’s a good chunk of your water goal.

Drink after work.

You’re headed home now. Grab that water bottle. Aim to drink another 8-16 ounces on your way home and 8-16 ounces between the time you get home and bedtime, depending on how much time you have.

Consistent hydration can take a little time for your body to adapt to, but it does eventually adapt. These three steps can help you through that process without feeling like you’re spending all your time running to the bathroom. And your kidneys and bladder will thank you for it!

Your First Steps in Fitness


If you’re reading this, you’ve already taken one of the biggest steps in improving your fitness – deciding to make a change.

But now you may be overwhelmed with all of the conflicting information out there about the best diet, best workout, what time of day is best to workout, eat this, don’t squat, always squat, running is for nerds, running is the only path to enlightenment….

I know you know what I’m talking about. There are so many choices to make. Don’t let those choices be paralyzing.

Your first step in fitness, once you’ve decided to commit to your health, is to find a coach. Your coach is a trusted guide on your journey to reaching your goals. Your journey, your goals, they aren’t the same as Jim in accounting or Mary over in HR, so you need to work with someone who is committed to *you*.

Here’s what happens when you start working with a coach:

Assessment

Your coach’s first job is to get to know you. They need to know where you are right now, what’s worked and what hasn’t worked for you in the past, and where you want to go. If you want to run a Spartan Race, you need a different plan from if you want to compete in a powerlifting meet. If you want to lose 50 pounds and get the doc off your back about your weight, you need a different plan than the person who wants to put on muscle while staying the same weight.

Assessment is also about getting to know your body and health history. A coach should be looking at your movement at the joint level before asking you to do something like a squat, press, or run. If they’re not assessing that, find someone who is. Your body deserves to have its history and limits evaluated and respected!

Guidance

After establishing your baseline, your coach will help guide you toward creating a plan to meet your goals. That could be any combination of group classes, private training and nutrition coaching. Your coach will help you determine what your next steps are every step of the way. You get to focus on putting in the work while someone else comes up with the plan.

Accountability

This is where the magic happens.

How many diet or exercise plans have you started before but “fell off the wagon” after a month or two? If you’re like most of us, at least a few! We typically blame ourselves or life circumstances, but the reality is that most plans are missing the most crucial component – ACCOUNTABILITY!

Working with a coach ensures that you never feel like you’re navigating this fitness journey alone. You have a trusted guide on your side every step of the way. When you’ve got a little ache, your coach can help you. When work has you on the road for 20 days out of a month, your coach will keep you working toward your goals with workouts tailored to your travel.

And when it just feels hard, you have someone who is there to listen and say “I’ve been there, too. How can I help?”

The first step in fitness is finding a coach. Let us help you find your journey to health.

Meal Prep Is an Act of Self-Care


What images come to mind when you hear the term “self-care”?

When our kids were younger, toddler-aged, and the subject came up, the suggestions revolved around baths, quiet time while Dad took care of the littles, wine, and chocolate. It makes sense. Those *are* marketed to us as the epitome of calming and serenity – a nice bubble bath with soft music and candles while Dad tends to a miraculously silent two-year-old and Mom sips Chardonnay or Pinot Noir while reading a book.

The problem? None of that felt quite right to me.

Now, if that’s your idea of self-care, more power to you. I’m not about to tell you how to “do self-care right”.

But what if we’re making it more complicated than it needs to be?

Self-care is prepping your food for the week so you can make nourishing choices when life is rushed. You know your body and mind feel better when you eat your veggies and lean proteins and worse when you grab takeout. And yet we find ourselves rationalizing grabbing takeout “because I had a hard day” or “I just don’t want to think about what to eat.”

Sure, it makes things easier in the moment. But at what cost? I know I always feel worse the next day – maybe a little sluggish, maybe a little bloated, maybe my workout doesn’t feel as good. And don’t get me started on the likely breakout a few days later. THAT’S not self-care, ha!

Self-care is drinking your water. Self-care is going for a walk in the fresh air and getting some vitamin nature. Self-care is setting boundaries around checking your email and not being availing 24/7/365. Self-care is putting on the blue light blocking glasses, grabbing a book, and getting to bed on time.

I think it’s time to reclaim self-care.

What can we do that actually gives our body and soul what they need to thrive? What would it truly mean to care for ourselves?

Maybe it *is* time alone and a bath! But maybe it is *also* meal prepping, eating veggies, and drinking water.

As we head into 2020 – a new year, a new decade – what will your healthy options for self-care include? I’d love to hear and see some pictures!

3 Ways to Sneak in Veggies


If there’s one thing the nutrition world can agree on, it’s that veggies are good for us. But it can be hard to get them in sometimes. Picky eaters in the house, lack of prep time, and just too many dishes can all combine to leave our plates lacking the good stuff! Here are three tips for sneaking more veggies on your plate!

Add them to a smoothie

Smoothies have gotten a bad reputation because of the sugar-packed concoctions available at your local mall or airport. A well-crafted, balance smoothie can be a great addition to your day, especially if you’re adding veggies!

Greens like spinach or kale are easy to add and blend up easily. Spinach is a little more mild than kale, so it’s a good place to start. Cucumbers also add some fresh flavor to a smoothie, just be sure to chop them up first. Kid Tip: You can sell a green smoothie to a kid if it’s a “Hulk Smoothie”!

Beets are my personal favorite smoothie addition – raw or cooked. They add just a hint of flavor but some BEAUTIFUL color!

Add to sauces

This is a classic. Tomato sauce can hide all sorts of things! If the picky eaters in your house aren’t too discriminating, you can add shredded carrots or zucchini to your sauce before adding your meat to it. If they’re better detectives? Try steaming & pureeing the veggies before adding them. They’ll be none the wiser so long as you do your clean-up before they come in the kitchen!

Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld is a fantastic resource for adding veggie purees to all sorts of foods. If you are living with some seriously selective eaters, Amazon can have it to you in 2 days.

Toss in stir fry or eggs

If the obstacle is more “how” than “ick”, adding veggies to scrambled eggs or stir fries is a fantastic way to get more veggie bang for your bite. Greens like spinach wilt down to almost nothing and take very little time to cook into your scramble. Sliced or diced peppers and onions are a classic addition to both eggs & stir fry.

Need more help getting your veggies in? Try some of our healthy recipes here or talk to one of our nutrition coaches.

How to Keep Your Fitness When Boredom Sets In


 

You started out strong. You worked out every day, ready to hit the gym come hell or high water. You had a plan you found online and followed it to a T. Your clothes started fitting better, everyone at work commented on how much energy you had, and your partner kept giving you those “looks.”

And then boredom set in.

That online program? Well, you noticed it turned into the same thing every week. And the diet? Well, grilled chicken and broccoli gets a little old after a while.

So what’s a person to do? How do you keep your fitness when it gets boring?

Phone a Friend

Fitness is always more fun with friends, so ask your bestie to join you for a class! You’ll be doing you BOTH a favor. Especially in the cold winter months when it’s easier to hibernate than get out there and socialize, the gym can be your excuse to connect with other people. Health is more than running and lifting weights. We need human connection, so hit two birds with one stone!

Mix It Up

Always been a runner but getting tired of the same old scenery? Try mixing in some strength training! Been pumping iron since Arnold was a governor? Get out there and use your muscles to move your body! Get out on the local hiking trails, rent a bike over at Action Bikes and Outdoors to tackle the Watershed, or see if some buddies want to play a game of basketball this weekend.

If your gym routine is feeling stale, some novelty can be just the trick to get you back to enjoying your fitness again. The routine you’re bored with now was fresh and new at one point. Time to find that fresh feeling again.

The same goes for your nutrition. If you’re tired of the same old healthy recipes, try choosing a few new ones to prep this week! We’ve got a ton of easy, tasty options right here.

Find a Coach

Accountability is the name of the game in long-term health and working with a coach can help you avoid landing back in this same place in a few months. A good coach will help keep you on track while mixing in the novelty you need to keep the boredom away. Whether that is novelty in your workouts or your nutrition plan, your coach can help guide you to set realistic goals and keep you focused on them when motivation wanes.

Don’t have a coach? We can help.

Chase Goals, Not Rabbits


Here’s why you have a coach:

There’s too much out there. You know you can’t do everything. A lot of it looks–or sounds–good.

I’m talking about diet plans, supplements, workout programs, or even daily WODs.

But you can’t do it all, and trying to do too much will actually set you back. I’m guilty!

Everyone knows about “overtraining”, and we’re all scared of getting injured. But most don’t realize there’s an optimal amount of training to do, just as there’s an optimal amount of food to eat.

Too little, and your progress will be slow. But doing too many workouts has the exact same effect.

We choose CrossFit for our group training because it’s a great balance: it’s not too little, and it’s not too much. But even as hard as CrossFit workouts are, many people are tempted to do more: to add a little “recovery run”, or even to do multiple workouts in a day. These are NOT the path to success. More is NOT better. Better is better.

You have a coach. That coach is your filter.

Your coaches are here to tell you what’s optimal, not what’s minimal.

At CrossFit Rising Phoenix, our coaches want to talk to you every 3-4 months. One on one, in person. We want to put you on the InBody; ask about your goals; review your progress; and then give you the best possible prescription.

Here’s a link to book the goal review. It’s part of your membership!

What we DON’T want is for you to have to guess.

We don’t want you to try fad diets just because someone else is doing them. We don’t want you to drink a gallon of milk a day just because you saw it online (truth: this was a fad back around 2011. We didn’t join that one.) We don’t even want you to do what everyone else in the gym is doing because their program is theirs. It’s not yours. Train in a group, tailor individually: that’s what our coaches do.

You have a coach.

They’re a filter.

Next time you see a workout online and think, “oooooh, that looks spicy! Gotta try it after class tomorrow!” — ask your coach if it fits your goals. Take it from a banged-up meathead who learned the hard way!

5 Tips to Help You Change with the Season


As the weather turns colder, many of us tend to let our health and fitness routines take the back burner for a few months. Maybe you are feeling rundown or beat up from two CrossFit Open cycles in one year or just trying to escape the holiday season without eating too much pie. It is important to recognize what the change in season can mean for you in your training and health.

The winter months bring about changes in our training routines, daily habits, and nutrition. Rather than take a hit and accept that this is a time to let yourself slide (because you’ll make it up and get back on track in January) what if this year you made a plan to do things differently.

“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.” -Jim Rohn

Here are 5 Tips to Help You Change with the Season!

  1. Eat more vegetables.
  2. Go for a walk during the daytime.
  3. Break a sweat every day.
  4. Stay Hydrated.
  5. Structure your day for success.

Eat more vegetables.
During the summer months, fresh fruits and vegetables are everywhere! In the winter we tend to shift towards more comfort foods, foods that are preserved or packaged and are easy to prepare. Focusing on incorporating more vegetables in your diet will help you get the essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and micronutrients that you need.

Go for a walk during the daytime.
Getting outside for a walk during daylight hours can be extremely beneficial for your body and mind. Even if we can’t get Vitamin D from the sun during the winter months we can still benefit from its exposure. Walking can help improve metabolism, boost mood, and be a much better pick me up for your energy than coffee. Spending time in sunlight is proven to be one of the best ways to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) that gets people run down in the winter months.

Break a sweat every day.
Prioritizing fitness may actually be more important in the winter than the summer. We naturally find ourselves more active during the summer months, enjoying the weather at the beach or on a hike or a bike ride. In the winter, we tend to hole up indoors. Those hours of walking are replaced with hours of Netflix bingeing and lo and behold we start to get complacent. Break the cycle by getting some squats or pushups in between episodes.

Stay Hydrated.
In the winter months, you may not feel the need to quench your thirst as you do on a hot summer day. Most folks tend to stay on the dehydrated side. Sweat also evaporates in the cold dry air, so many people are less likely to replenish fluids after exercise. Be sure to set daily hydration goals for yourself. Setting alarms on your phone to get up and grab a drink of water is a great way to accomplish this.

Structure your day for success.
One of the best ways to take charge of your health during the winter months is to plan out your day. Set yourself up for success by incorporating healthy habits and avoiding the detractors. Plan to have a big healthy salad before showing up to the holiday party where you know there will be tons of desserts. Book a fitness class, yoga session, or plan to meet a friend during a time you would normally just watch TV or surf the internet.

If you want to stay in control of your health this winter and have questions about how to eat, train or plan let us know!

What’s Keeping You From Achieving Your Goals?


If you currently want something in your life that you don’t have then there is a 100% chance that you are… human. You define yourself by the action you take towards bringing those things into your life. Some people make declarations about how they are finally going to make the big change. Other start the process of working toward them.

Generally, if you have a goal you haven’t achieved yet you fall into one of these three camps. 

  • You don’t know what to do and you don’t know how to do it.
  • You don’t think you deserve it.
  • You haven’t put in the work.

So what’s really keeping you from achieving your goals? Let’s find out…

1. You don’t know what to do and you don’t know how to do it.

This is generally the first challenge you encounter when you have a new goal. Luckily it is also the easiest barrier to address when it comes to making positive changes in your life. Whether you seek to earn more money, improve your health, or find your soulmate there are websites, coaches, books, podcasts, and more resources than you know what to do with. Success leaves clues and in the information age we live in you have access to the tools and resources you need to get started on the path to your goal.

“When action is our priority, vanity falls away.”  – Ryan Holiday

Let’s say your goal is to lose 10 pounds and keep it off. Like forever keep it off. Many adults find themselves at a weight they don’t feel comfortable and confident at. The problem is that if you have only ever gained weight since you were a kid and never seen the scale go (and stay) in the opposite direction then you are a total novice. Being a professional weight gainer is easy for you, you’ve done it your whole life. If you want to lose weight then you have to start fresh. It’s time to throw out what you think is true about nutrition and exercise because all of the information you have is through the lens of a person who has only ever gained weight. Let go of ego. Let go of pride. If you want to make the change then you have to start with fresh eyes.

2. You don’t think you deserve it.

This could be thought of as self-sabotage. Maybe since you were a child you have been conditioned to think a certain way. Many of the long-standing beliefs humans hold are instilled by parents, environments, or traumatic experiences. Long ago the brain accepted as fact that “this is the way it is”. If you have a long-held belief that is clashing with one of your current goals then your first order of business is to remove that roadblock. No amount of will power or strategy can overcome a fixed mindset. You are an adult and you are responsible for your own life. You have the power to change any condition that you don’t want. 

“How have I been complicit in creating the conditions I say I don’t want?” -Jerry Colonna

Executive coach and author Jerry Colonna asks a powerful question to himself and his clients. “How have I been complicit in creating the conditions I say I don’t want?” Ask yourself this question in the context of your current goal. If you are struggling to lose weight, what are the things that you have been “okay with” lately? If it’s the food in the fridge that you snack on, skipping your workout, or surrounding yourself with people who have unhealthy habits then that is entirely on YOU to change. That starts by demanding more of yourself. You have to consider yourself worthy of the goal you claim to want. When you are mentally ready to be the person who achieves this goal you will be able to receive it.

3. You haven’t put in the work.

This can be the most frustrating camp to fall into when it comes to not achieving your goals. You may be doing everything right. You hired the coach, you have a strategy, and you’re executing on it every day. So why haven’t you accomplished your goal yet?! 

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” -Vince Lombardi

Whether growing a business or growing your biceps it can be tough when the results haven’t shown up yet. So what should you do?

KEEP GOING! 

Constantly ask yourself: What else could I be doing? Continually revisit camps one and two in this post.

  • Are there any additional resources or tools that could be getting you to your goals faster?
  • Could you work with someone who has proven results in the exact area you are trying to grow?
  • Are there any roadblocks you are creating for yourself?
  • Is there an area where your behavior is inconsistent with the outcome that you seek?

Frustration or anger can itself be a powerful tool. If you are fed up with your lack of progress then you should use that as fuel for your fire. If you have the bandwidth to be upset about your situation then you most likely have the bandwidth to work harder (or smarter 😉 )

If you still don’t know why the results won’t come then you should consider working with a mentor or coach who can help you get there. A great coach will help you set up a framework for success. They will help you develop a SMART goal that aligns with your mission and current state. Understanding the time frame and order of steps necessary to achieve a goal can dramatically improve your mindset and the way you tackle each day. You can break your goal down into manageable chunks and as you check them off you will build momentum towards your big goal. The best coaches will be clear and neutral in their feedback about what it takes to get to you to your goal. 

You want to surround yourself with people who will be supportive and honest your path to success. Avoid the detractors. That includes anyone who tells you they support you, but that you can’t achieve what you want and to “get real”. This life is yours to choose and you can’t waste time with the people that will only hold you back. 

3 Healthy Recipes for the Next Time You Have a Sweet Tooth


It happens to all of us – nutrition coaches included. One minute you’re sitting around, minding your own business. The next, you’ve got a sweet tooth that just won’t quit! So what’s a person with some serious health and nutrition goals to do? Here are 3 healthy recipes for the next time that sweet tooth strikes.

Mini Baked Apple Crumble

Apple crumble & crisp are some of my favorite fall desserts. These mini ones are a perfect little portion to share with your partner after dinner. The separate ramekins also make them an adorable dinner party addition!

Casein Pudding

Chocolate casein protein powder + unsweetened chocolate almond milk. That’s it. Does it get simpler? Plus I LOVE a treat that not only helps with my sweet tooth but also my performance goals! 

Did you know the slower absorbing casein protein is a great before bed option? I mean, it was practically made for desserts!

Dark Chocolate Avocado Truffles

Can I make a suggestion? Prep a batch of these this weekend. Then store them in the freezer to defrost one (or two) when you feel that sweet tooth hit. The avocado gives it rich creamy consistency, and the dark chocolate + cocoa powder make it rich enough to feel satisfied after one (or maybe two).

Looking for more healthy treat options? Check out our recipe page!