Boulder CrossFit Blog

Refer A Friend

Invite A Friend To Check Us Out!
7
Sep

How to embrace the “randomness” of CrossFit and why it’s an effective training program?

Why is there no structured program in CrossFit? Why don’t we follow any plans or have specific days for upper-body or lower-body? Why is the programming so “random”?

These are a few common questions I get from newbies to veterans alike. I thought I would address them all here so there is no confusion from anyone.

When people ask specific questions about programming, our gym follows a simple formula. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday we dedicate 10-15 minutes to Olympic lifts (cleans and snatches) and core lifts such as squats, deadlifts, and presses. Tuesday and Thursday we program longer metabolic conditioning workouts with a mixture of “skill” work like learning how to walk on our hands or double unders. We generally follow the CrossFit methodologies of, “constantly varied, high intensity, interval training”. However, we also throw in 2-3 strength cycles throughout the year. One in Winter, one in Spring, and one in Fall and re-test past CrossFit workouts at least 2-3x a quarter. And that’s it in a nutshell.

Sounds simple enough, right? From the outside eye, our workouts are called “random” and “non-structured”. But if you were to join our gym for 1-2 months and were to come everyday, you would see a plan in place. Our plan is to build athletes who enjoy the process of working out and attach the fun to functional fitness. We want people to be able to move safely, and effectively but at the same time be able to perform most if not all exercises at any given time inside and outside of the gym. Our programming reflects that goal.

One of the biggest complaints we hear from CrossFit veterans is they don’t like a gym’s programming. If this is your main concern then you need to re-evaluate your personal goals. Are you training for a body-building contest that requires 3-5 days of specific hypertrophy movements? Or a power-lifting meet where you need to 1 rep max your back squat, deadlift, and bench press? Or an Olympic lifting meet where you need to clean/jerk or snatch your heaviest weight? Or an Ironman that requires several hours a day of swimming, running, and biking? If these are your goals, awesome! Go join a Golds Gym, Powerlifting gym, Olympic lifting gym, or find a personal Ironman coach. However, I personally think you can get it all at Boulder CrossFit.

I’ve followed 12 week back sqaut programs, done Olympic lifting meets in the past, and have run tons of races. Do they work? Yes, of course. If you train specifically around 1-2 movements, day in and day out you’re going to get better. But you know what sounds crazy? After 9 years of doing CrossFit, I’m still able to consistently hit within 85% of ALL my lifts. I’m still able to run within 10 seconds of my fastest PR mile time. And that’s without following a specific program or worrying so much about my split times or percentages every single day.

If you take the average powerlifter, olympic lifter, or ironman athlete and compare them to the average CrossFit athlete, I would guarantee you that the CrossFit athlete is much more well-rounded and would be able to perform any given task or workout thrown at them. Imagine an Ironman athlete who tries to clean and jerk their body weight for 30 reps. Their arms would snap. But a CrossFit athlete being able to run a 10k, swim 800m, and bike 20 plus miles? No problem. Or imagine an Olympic lifter or powerlifter trying to do 50 wallballs and 50 double unders for 3 rounds? Their lungs would collapse out of pure exhaustion. The point here isn’t to say these other training methodologies are worse or bad. The point is to say that CrossFit is the most effective training program for building well-rounded athletes who enjoy the process and have fun doing it with others around them.

Not only does this training methodology work in the long term but it’s fun. Trust me, back squatting for 30 minutes by yourself in your garage 3-4 days a week, is not:) But running 400m sprints combined with thrusters next to a high schooler or retired 60 years old is very fun! Next time you ask about the randomness of CrossFit, make sure you reflect on your own personal goals and then adjust accordingly.

Over the years, I’ve come to embrace and LOVE the semi-randomness that CrossFit follows. Give it a try. It’s less stressful and more fun in the long term!

-Zach T

20
Jun

How to find your perfect Gym?

Living in Boulder, CO there seems to be a gym on every corner in this city. And that’s awesome! If you’re looking for a new gym you have plenty of options. However, our advice is to ask yourself a couple of questions before starting to pay a membership fee at any place.

What type of fitness are you looking for? Is it group classes or a place to go in at 2 am and do your own thing? Is it CrossFit, interval training, yoga, weightlifting, climbing? The list goes on and on. You should first narrow your search down to see what type of fitness routine works best with your body and your goals. Which one of these makes you happier both physically and mentally? Start there and then follow these next steps.

Go to at least 2 of those same types of fitness gyms and try them out! Meet the other members, the coaches, and the owner. You should get a pretty good feel of the culture of the gym after a few classes there. Every single gym is different in its own unique way. Whether it’s a corporate franchise like 24-hour Fitness or an independently own and operated CrossFit affiliate, we are all different when it comes to the look, feel, and overall goals.

Boulder CrossFit’s goal is to, “get fit, have fun and make friends”. It’s that simple. Our training methodology is constantly varied, functional movements performed at relatively high intensity. We make it fun by not making it super competitive or taking ourselves so seriously all the time. We are NOT training members for high-level competitive CrossFit like other gyms in town. At the end of the day, we’re not just trying to make you fit and hit your fitness goals but we’re connecting you all outside of the gym to create long-lasting relationships that go beyond PRs. Whether it’s social get-togethers that lead to new potential jobs or whether it’s just grabbing a quick drink to relax and talk about life, our gym is here for you. That’s Boulder CrossFit in a nutshell.

There is a gym for everyone. Go out there and find your click. You won’t regret it once you do!

12
May

CrossFit Injuries & How to Prevent them:

Let’s talk about injuries. It’s a topic we often ignore because it’s not fun or glamorous. But let’s face it, if you have any level of experience in fitness or athletics chances are you’ve had some sort of injury along the way. Whether it’s something minor as nagging elbow pain or major as a torn ACL, it’s not fun. Right when you feel like you’ve hit a stride in your training process, you get sidelined from an injury that often times can be prevented. Sound familiar? Lets great into this a bit more.

There is nothing inherently dangerous in CrossFit training anymore than there is playing a pickup game of Soccer. Anytime you are training, whether it be with a barbell overhead or a ball in your hand, you run the risk of injury. Athletes at any level can attest to this. Oftentimes injuries happen outside of the gym as much as they do inside. However, since we are a CrossFit gym, let’s highlight the most common injuries we see inside the gym and more importantly how to prevent them.

First, lower back pain. We do tons of bending, jumping, and plyometric work that can put extra stress on the lower back. Did someone say touch and go deadlifts at 225lbs for 75 reps with a hunched over back? That’s just one of many examples of how injuries happen. How can we prevent this one? Stretching and warming up sufficiently before your workout is essential. You also need to remember to stretch out the surrounding muscles, not just your back. Muscles like your upper back, glutes, hamstrings, and calves will help relieve your back muscles while working out.

Second, shoulder pain Ever feel a nagging sharp pain in your shoulders when doing snatches or kipping pullups? No, this is not a normal sensation. The rotator cuff plays a huge role in healthy shoulders. As it’s a ball and socket joint, strengthing your muscles around that including your deltoids will help prevent injuries. Don’t forget about mobility work, particularly with bands, to lessen the strain on your muscles while lifting.

Third, elbow and wrist pain. Overhead squats, handstand pushups, cleans and pullups are examples of exercises we do that can lead to these injuries. It’s super important to stretch daily inside and out of the gym to prevent tight wrists and forearms. Remember to ice to reduce inflammation post workouts.

Fourth, knee and achilles pain. Jump rope, running, squatting and lunges are a few examples on this one. When lifting. If you are suffering knee pain, you should avoid high impact exercises that put a lot of pressure on your knees. If you’re suffering from slight pain or discomfort, you should ice your knees, lower physical impact, and stretch.

While this is by no means a comprehensive list, its a few of the most common we see with our members at Boulder CrossFit. The 2 biggest reasons for these injuries are the following.

1: Improper form and not listening to coach’s cues. Is it really worth it to shave off 15 secs on your metcon time by bouncing the barbell off the ground with a rounded back in your power cleans? We try to reiterate this phrase, “form before speed” in anything you do. Pushing yourself does lead to growth but doing so with inefficient technique will leads to injuries.

2: Overtraining and going too hard! This is probably the biggest reason for most injuries. Doing CrossFit everyday and going 100% in every single workout is mentally and physically exhausting. Unless you are competing at a high level, none of us should ever be doing 2 workouts a day. Working on skill work for 10 minutes during open gym is much different than doing a 20 min AMRAP and then coming back into the gym for a night class that same day. Trust the process and be patient with your training. Rome wasn’t built in a day and nor will 100 consecutive double- unders come after a few weeks of practice. Train at your own pace and dont worry about anyone or anything else!

Heres to a healthy, injury free rest of 2021!

4
Apr

Dogs at Boulder CrossFit

For the past few years, we have allowed dogs inside our gym and have been pretty lax on the rules. It’s finally time we are all on the same page about what our official policy is here at BCF regarding dogs.

1: Is Boulder CrossFit dog friendly?

Yes, absolutely, we love dogs! I have a 2-year-old husky who loves being in the gym while I workout. Dozens of our members own dogs as well as all of our coaches. HOWEVER, that being said please read the below Q&A’s.

2: Are dogs allowed inside the facility and if so, when?

From here on out, dogs will NOT be permitted inside the gym before or during any portion of a class, open gym, or 24/7 hour access. The only time they are allowed inside is after the conclusion of a class when all the equipment is put away and it is safe to do so. They are not allowed to be inside during any open gym hours and/or 24/7 access.

3: Where can I put my dog if I bring him/her to the gym?

We get it. You don’t want to leave your pup at home/inside when you hit the gym. If you bring your dog, please leash him/her up fully OUTSIDE of the gym before class starts. You can use a KB or DB to attach their leash to.

4: What should I do if my dog is barking while I’m in class?

Please put your dog inside your car or bring a toy/treat/bone for him/her to enjoy outside if barking is an issue. Our coaches will give you a friendly reminder if the barking continues. Please don’t take this one personally. We are trying to deliver a distraction-free environment while at BCF.

5: What if I’m the only one inside the gym during Open Gym Hours and/or 24/7 access key? Can I bring my dog in then?

Unfortunately, we can’t make exceptions for anyone. The above rules apply to you as well. This also goes for all the coaches and me, the owner. Please continue to read the reasoning behind this.

6: Why is BCF suddenly enforcing this now?

We have 3 main reasons why these rules will be strictly enforced moving forward. Number one, liability/safety. While your dog may be the most well-behaved, accidents can and do happen on/off-leash. If your dog gets loose and a barbell hits him/her or a member hurts themselves avoiding the dog, then that’s on us as a gym. Number two, cleanliness/sanitation. While your dog may be the most well-groomed and never shed hair, keeping a gym clean (especially during COVID) is hard. The accumulation of dozens of dogs visiting our gym during the week leaves the floor dirty with hair, footprints, slobber, and dirt. So much that our floor cleaner is starting to get backed up on a weekly basis. Number three, distraction to our members and coaches. Again, your dog may never bark or misbehave but we can’t make exceptions to only a few. Barking before or during a class is very distracting and our priority is to provide quality, uninterrupted coaching.

If your dog is outside, on-leash, AND calm, they are absolutely welcome to join you at BCF. Please be respectful of these rules and don’t force our coaches to be in an awkward position. We know this is a big change for some; please reach out to Zach directly if you want to talk about it more. Thank you all very much and if anyone wants to set up a play-date with my husky, be sure to reach out.

-Zach T.

31
Mar

CrossFit Open 2021 Review: A Celebration of Fitness

Brains face after crushing 21.3!

Phew. We did it! We’re all done with the 2021 CrossFit Open. Whether it was your first time competing or your tenth, I’m sure we all found something to celebrate. Our in-house competition was super fun. We ended up having a total of 42 members participate each donating $15. That means we were able to raise $420 for https://stevesclub.org/ non-profit. The other $210 went to the winning team.

1st Place: Team Zach 1,975 points

2nd Place: Team Dryden 1,825 points 

3rd Place: Team Jen 1,630 points 

4th Place: Team Krys 1,425 points 

5th Place: Team Sarah 1,405 points 

6th Place: Team Ben 1,160 points 

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who donated, participated and gave it their all each week. The Open has always been a time to celebrate our own fitness journey while cheering on our fellow gym-mates. This year was especially great due to the Pandemic life we’ve all been living this past year. You all made it a special competition and I cant’ wait to see what March 2022 will bring us all.

-Zach T.

28
Feb

Pandemic Life- One Year In!

-First Zoom chat March 2020-

As I sit here and write this, its been almost 1 year to the day since our lives, what seemed like overnight, were drastically changed. I’ll never forget that Monday in March 2020, where I stayed up all night thinking and organizing a gameplan for Boulder CrossFit on how we would get through these closures. I honestly did not know if our gym would make it through next month, let alone a full year. But here we are, one year later. Not only surviving as a local business but THRIVING!

This blogpost is mainly about reflecting on this past year, being grateful for each and every one of our past and current members and getting excited about where BCF is going in the future.

2020 was a year of growth for Boulder CrossFit. While tons of gyms were struggling to keep their members happy, healthy, and engaged we pivoted to Zoom classes while adding free equipment rentals. The pandemic forced me as a business owner to adapt. I had no other choice or else BCF would not survive. My coaches were vital in this as well. While we said goodbye to 2 of our old BCF coaches, we welcomed 2 new ones to the staff last year. And of course, we can’t forget about who makes BCF so special…YOU ALL!

When we were forced to shut our doors for over 60 days, the immediate outpouring of support got me as a business owner through it all. The texts, emails, and calls all voicing your support by keeping their memberships active, meant the world to us as a gym. I also had members donate money to help us out with the ongoing bills as a business. Words will never be enough to describe how thankful I am for that.

The last 12 months have been a rollercoaster but it has made us all better because of it. The next 12 months will bring more exciting PR’s, fun social events (fingers crossed), and a renewed sense of community and FUN.

If we can thrive during this past year, we can only imagine where we will be in March 2022!

31
Jan

CrossFit Open 2021: Are You In?

It’s that time of year again. That’s right. It’s CrossFit Open Season! For experienced Crossfitters, you all know what we mean here. However, for the majority of people, you may be asking yourself, what is the CrossFit Open, and more importantly, why should we ALL participate in it?

During non-COVID years, the CrossFit Open is a global competition spanning across 5 weeks with a total of 5 workouts. This year it’s modified to be 3 weeks and 3 workouts. It’s a time to see how all your hard work stacks up against your fellow gym-mates and people from other CrossFit affiliates. Each week we are given a workout to do both RX and Scaled from CrossFit HQ in which ALL CrossFit affiliates will do no matter where they are in the world. That’s what the CrossFit open is but for most of us the better question is, why should I participate?

“I don’t care about my scores. I don’t want to pay $20 to CrossFit HQ. I’m just doing this stuff for fun and really don’t pay attention to the competitive part of it all”. The list goes on and on. There are always excuses and ways of telling yourself to NOT do something but let’s focus on the WHY? Whether you joined Boulder CrossFit last week or have been a member for years, there is some part of this for you all! The Open is about celebrating your individual fitness journey. There’s nothing like friendly competition to bring out our best selves. It may be celebrating your first muscle-up or even unassisted pullup. It may be surprising yourself with a new PR (personal record) on a lift you’ve been working on the past year. Or it may be just honoring the fact of showing up and giving it your all. The Open is for everyone.

This year, your $20 donation fee will go towards Boulder CrossFit’s very own in house competition, and half of that fee will be given to https://stevesclub.org/. A non-profit that brings fitness to underrepresented youth cross the nation. This means your money will be going directly towards a good cause (not given to CrossFit HQ). The other half off your donation will go towards the prize pot of whichever team wins in the gym. See email for more info.

Thats it. Lets have some fun, don’t worry so much about the logistics of the workouts and just give it our all for 3 workouts. You can register for the Open by signing up in the gym. See you all soon!

1
Jan

New Years Resolutions 2021: Yea or Nay?

We’re here! January 2021. A symbolic day/month for people to proclaim their New Years Resolutions. A fresh start. A new outlook. And the start of a better version of yourself. The problem is, I haven’t made a new years resolution…ever! And heres why.

I have no problem with resolutions. The problem lies in how we frame them. More often than not, I’ve seen countless people make unrealistic resolutions only to break them by mid-February. Don’t get me wrong, goals are great. We all need and should have them to continue to grow both personally and professionally. But the story often goes something like this. “I want to become a happier, healthier version of myself. To do that I’m going to workout 7 days a week at 6am, eat no carbs, cut out all alcohol and get 8-9 hours a sleep a night”. Sounds great on paper but in practice this isn’t sustainable in the long term for most of us. Why not reframe our goals for something more attainable that fits our lifestyle? Let’s rework the story to be this. “I want to become a happier, healthier version of myself. To do that I’m going workout 4-5 times a week at a consistent time that allows me to feel well rested and recovered for the next day. I’m going to cut back my drinking and carb intake to 1x a week in moderation”. This sounds like something we can do for the long term, right?

If the goal is to ultimately become a happier, healthier version of ourselves both mentally and physically, (which it is for a lot people who come into Boulder CrossFit), why not set ourselves up for success? The worst thing we can do, is proclaim some unattainable new years resolution on January 1st just to go back to our old habits come Spring. Trust me, I want us all to hit our goals this year both inside and out of the gym. Theres nothing wrong with having huge aspirations and big goals but we need to reframe how we are going to achieve them in the long run. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Trust and enjoy the process. If we can all consistently do the small things day in and day out, our bodies and minds will thank us this time next year!