Well, the 2018 CrossFit Open is over. What a time it was. High fives were exchanged, smiles evoked, drops of sweat and tears have fallen and maybe even a few choiced words for CrossFit Games Director Dave Castro have been thrown out.
But here we are in April and it’s over. With that, we enter a new month meaning it’s time once again to celebrate one of our brilliant members. In March, throughout the Open, join me in celebrating Tammy Eccles.
Without getting too much into just her Open results, Tammy shone in her first ever Open. Of the 172,002 women who signed up across the world, Tammy finished 123,071 and 13,483 in her age group from women 40-44. This is all while not being able to enter her 18.1 score on time so having entered anything on 18.1, she would have finished even higher!
To truly appreciate Tammy’s hard work in March though, you have to know her from before the 2018 Open and before the year started in general. Tammy works hard every single day she’s in the gym.
Tammy first came through the doors of Endeavor Fitness three years ago after fighting the injury bug for several years of running in hopes of getting stronger. Having had several coworkers tell her about the environment at Endeavor, she thought she would give CrossFit a try, hoping to get a good blend of the cardio and strength benefits afforded through the growingly popular fitness modality.
“What I enjoy about CrossFit besides the coaching and the camaraderie is the mixture between cardio and lifting,” she said. “I also enjoy being pushed all the time because it makes me more competitive towards myself and pushes me on days when I feel really lazy.”
It’s this competitive edge that you can see on her face every time she comes into the gym. While she says she enjoys the conversations, the laughs and smiles she shares with people in class—no matter the class time—when she hears those three beeps on the clock, she knows it’s go time.
Nowhere was that more evident than during the Open this year. It wasn’t until 10 minutes before the official deadline on the first workout that she even decided to sign up for the Open but said at the conclusion that she was extremely happy having made the decision to post her score on the leaderboard.
What truly made Tammy’s effort last month commendable however was her resiliency during a workout that didn’t tax her as physically as much as it questioned her mental fortitude. 18.3. Tammy needed to get her pull-ups, meaning she needed to get her chin over the bar for a rep, during the fourth section of the workout.
As a coach, watching someone work through a technical movement—be it a muscle up, handstand push up, chest to bar or pull up—during a competition can be nerve wracking. Watching someone fail during a test they’re so excited for can be extremely demoralizing never mind what it may feel like for that particular athlete.
Tammy would have certainly been forgiven if she had just got to that movement, tried it a few times and gave up. She could have very easily said, “maybe next year,” and moved on. Instead she fought. She jumped up to the bar, pulled with every fibre of her being, but failed. And again she tried and failed. After finishing 200 single-unders and 20 overhead squats in just 2:28 of a 14-minute workout, Tammy worked on her pull-ups for the remainder of the workout and got one completed rep with over a dozen close reps.
Again, few would have blamed her if she walked away from it after a few tries and gave up but that’s not who she is and that’s why she’s being honoured as the member of the month.
“Tammy Eccles is one of the most determined people I know and a coaches dream student,” Jolaine Undershute said. “When Tammy puts her mind to it I don’t think there is anything that she cannot accomplish. Most folks when presented with a difficult task or challenge are quick to become discouraged or give up. Tammy showed in the open that she is a fighter and keeps fighting to the end. Keep your eyes on her as I see her rocking the open next year.”
Admittedly, she said she knows she has to work on her gymnastics skills over the coming year before it comes time again to make her way through the 5-week Open challenge, but for now she’s happy it’s over so she can show off her fitness outside of the walls of the gym in the beautiful Columbia Valley.
“I have been in sport all my life from competitive swimming to triathlon,” she says. “Endeavor has helped keep me injury free and has made me a lot stronger for the sports that I enjoy like mountain biking, running and downhill skiing.”
“I also have a pretty competitive personality and it helps ground it…I can take it out in the gym.”
We’re back with the second monthly member of the month post, this time taking the chance to celebrate another one of our strong Endeavor Fitness Women, Kim Hemmelgarn.
A member for four years now at Endeavor Fitness, Kim demonstrates daily what it means to give your 100 per cent effort for each workout. Whether it’s rowing, running, lifting or doing some god-awful burpee/box-jump or other gymnastic laden workout, Kim doesn’t groan, she puts her head down and flat out works. According to her, she even loves this stuff.
“I loved it from day one!” She says. “Finally a gym where skinny is not the goal. A place where you would be foolish to judge anyone by their physical appearance b cause everyone has something that they excel at, and everyone has room for improvement.”
Before coming to Endeavor, Kim said she had tried it all. Shakes, drops, pills, fasting, gym classes, jogging, and any other fad under the sun but wasn’t happy with the results. Although she wasn’t the barbell mastermind that she is today when she first laced up her shoes on day one, her work ethic alone allowed her to work through some physical limitations and now excels at nearly every movement.
As a coach, Kim makes it exceptionally easy to instruct a class, especially at 6 A.M when the sun is still in bed and frankly so should I be. While it may be hard to get points across with ease at that time, Kim can understand the most simple of cues and goes at it with rigor that would suggest her life depends on today’s workout.
When it comes to things that prevent her from waking up that early and coming to the gym, she says she isn’t short on things that she could list off.
“I can name a few…a husband that works away 50 per cent of the time, 25 minute drive just to get to the gym, four young kids at home, 30 animals to care for,” she says. “The list is long and a little different for everyone but the reality is simple, if it is a priority you will find a way.”
When it comes to finding the member of the month at Endeavor Fitness, it can be a challenge not because there’s no one to honour but it’s like picking between someone who’s PR’d five times, someone who comes in every single day and someone who cheers their A%$ off for everyone else every single workout. Is there really a winner there?
But this month, coach Jolaine Undershute had this to say when she approached me to nominate Kim.
“I nominate Kim because of her unbelievable transformation through her determination, dedication and work ethic,” Undershute said.”Kim has overcome challenges she kept saying she’d never do like rope climbs and handstands.”
So when it comes down to it, we’re celebrating Kim for being the member we all want to be everyday.
“She is a fantastic role model and she has four kids but still makes time to train five days a week.”
Sorry, I know the question can be complex, loaded and seem like there’s a lot more to it, which I’m going to go into below, but if you want the skinny version, the answer is yes, you should do the open.
Last year, after only doing CrossFit for a month and change, I decided that I would enter the CrossFit Open and for the most part, it was one of the best decisions I made in 2017. Along with nearly 400,000 other people across the world, through five workouts, I tested myself to see where exactly my fitness was and where it was going.
For those of you not familiar with what the Open is, it’s the annual initial test that determines not only your fitness but who among the fittest will be able to advance to stage two, the regional level and then from there, the coveted CrossFit Games. Each year’s Open starts towards the end of February, releasing one workout per week for five weeks until around Easter or the end of March.
The first thing you need to know about the Open is that it’s a test and an important one at that. While you may think when you walk through the gym that CrossFit is just designed to get a bit of a heart rate increase and more or less make things like raising your coffee cup to your mouth more difficult later in the day, there’s actually a method behind the madness. In that, it’s a blend of these 10 essential skills that no bodybuilding, powerlifting program could argue that they test for.
Cardiovascular / respiratory endurance – The ability of body systems to gather, process, and deliver oxygen.
Stamina – The ability of body systems to process, deliver, store, and utilize energy.
Strength – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply force.
Flexibility – The ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint.
Power – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time.
Speed – The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.
Coordination – The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement.
Agility – The ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another.
Balance – The ability to control the placement of the body’s center of gravity in relation to its support base.
Accuracy – The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity.
The idea behind CrossFit is to have a strong balance of all 10 skills but not be too dominant in one area. Being too strong, sacrifices your ability to be more agile or to have better cardiovascular endurance which compromises your overall fitness markers.
Through the Open’s five workouts, designer Dave Castro has created a test that will determine who is the most fit across all of these markers. Some workouts will require more strength and agility than others, some will require speed and accuracy (double unders and rowing) than others but by the end of it, we’ll end up at a balanced test that will give you a score for your overall fitness compared to the thousands of others who compete.
Now, for most people, the thought of doing the Open accompanies the notion that they don’t want to compete or that they’re not ready for it which doesn’t exactly make sense. The idea for this test isn’t that you need to be in some sort of physical shape to do it. The idea of the test is that it can be used to measure where your fitness was it at a particular point in time. If you showed up for a doctor’s appointment and had your blood pressure measured, you wouldn’t tell them you weren’t ready just because you had a couple extra slices of bacon for breakfast over the last week, would you?
Last year, I competed in the Open and had only just got my first muscle up several weeks earlier and drove literally across the country the week prior to the release of the first workout. To say I was ready was to say that the sky is actually the colour red not blue. But I did it anyways because it allowed me to see where my fitness was at that particular point in time. And if you’re reading this thinking you don’t have a muscle up at all, not even a chest to bar, don’t worry the Open is also infinitely scalable just like any of the CrossFit workouts you do on a daily basis.
When doing last year’s Open, I saw people competing that had never done a pull up before and were amazed that they were able to push themselves to the point where they accomplished that goal in the Open. There’s nothing more motivating than the adrenaline kicking in during competition and hitting that PR that you thought was months away or wasn’t even possible.
At the end of it, your coaches or judges will record your score online where you will able to see how you compare with other crossfitters in your region, province, country, age group, gender or internationally. It’s actually quite fun.
For most people, we’re comfortable with getting a wide array of tests done on our health but not one of them is geared towards our fitness level, which oddly enough, allows all of the other tests to move in the right direction (more on Greg Glassman’s sickness—wellness continuum later). We are fine with going to the doctor and getting our blood pressure, or weight checked but are we conscious that being more fit in those 10 areas will translate to a healthier blood pressure measure and other health markers?
When it comes to thinking about doing the Open, think of it that way rather than as a competition against people in your gym or even across the rest of the world. You just might have some fun doing it too.
For the first time ever here at Endeavor Fitness we are going to start the trend of honouring a member of the month from our amazing community. As coaches, we often get to spend the time watching our class and are amazed by the work our students and athletes are able to pull off.
To be quite honest, we rave to one another about some of the things you’re all able to do. We take a significant amount of pride in it and believe you should too.
So, we decided that we would take time once a month to celebrate one of our members for their time spent within the walls of the gym doing something extraordinary but also outside the walls. If someone is doing something incredible for the community and making the Valley a better place to live, let’s celebrate that too! After all, we’re training fitness at Endeavor Fitness but the goal is about becoming better human beings overall.
Without further ado then, let’s take the time to celebrate and congratulate Michelle Wall for being named the member of the month for the month of December 2017. Nearly three years ago, Michelle walked through the doors at Endeavor Fitness after reaching what she calls a milestone birthday and wanted to refocus her life after the difficult loss of her father.
Upon visiting the Doctor around that time and stepping on the scale, she had what she calls an epiphany.
“I was heavier than I had been full term with any of my 3 children. The scales don’t lie. I remember standing there as the nurse kept adjusting the slide and thinking this can’t be right,” she said. “My Dr. advised me to get out and walk, even if it was just to the post office and I thought, wow, that’s what they recommend for older people. Then of course I thought, wait a minute. I am old. And further, I am weak.”
She considered a number of options to try and get healthier (skiing, hiking, yoga) and decided with the help of her Doctor that CrossFit may be the route to her success. Upon arriving at the gym, she like many, was amazed at the work of some of the students jumping on boxes and more or less doing things she once considered impossible.
Michelle started first with two days per week before gradually increasing her work with her success following closely behind. After six weeks, Michelle became a devoted member of the 6 AM class going with friends to the class and was amazed with the success she was seeing.
After her one year anniversary at the gym, Michelle signed up for the Rocky Mountain Soap Company 5 km race in Canmore with her friend Lianne Lang to celebrate their anniversary in fitness. She finished top 10 in her age group.
“It was another small victory in this picture that I am still creating. I lost a fair amount of weight, but this is incidental really to the story,” she said.
“Because I am becoming fit and strong I am changing and the weight is just a reflection of that. I don’t weigh in very often, maybe once every 2-3 months. The scale does not define me. Getting through a WOD like Marsdon does. Can I finish? Am I mentally and physically strong enough to endure?”
Michelle isn’t done there either. Her next goal is to compete in the CrossFit Open–the premier test of fitness that occurs each year as a five-week long international competition opening at the end of February. Her biggest takeaway from her journey is that CrossFit and fitness are for everyone is a way for her to continue to enjoy spending time with her family and friends for the rest of her life. As she says, it’s this family aspect in and outside of the gym that keeps her going, rep by rep, workout by workout.
Really it’s this mindset that made Michelle a great story for our first Member of the Month.
“It is supportive and inclusive. Everyone can participate. That’s what Endeavor is like anyways. Everyone just wants everyone else to succeed. To get that first, that personal best. And cheer you on when you don’t think you can do it, but you can.”
“My goal is to be as fit as I can until I can’t. That means to be active and strong, lifting weights for the rest of my life. To ski, hike, bike and all the rest in between with my family and friends right to the end.”
Happy New Year to everyone and welcome back to our wonderful family at Endeavor Fitness! For those who aren’t yet a part of the culture inside the walls of our box, Happy New Year to you too!
I’m sure by now you’ve all thought long and hard about what you want out of 2018. For many, including myself, the pledge or promise, if you will, is to have the healthiest year of our entire lives (whether that means weight loss, improved physique or simply spending more time doing the things you love and less time working).
I would be remiss if I ignored the fact that for many it’s the hope or dream of finally seeing the number on the scale we’ve dreamed of along with the tight image in the mirror that’s on our daily minds. The good news is that we will be running another challenge or transformation, to help you change the way you look at nutrition but also your daily practices for the rest of the year and into the future.
Unlike other challenges though, we will be recruiting the help of Renaissance Periodization for the methodology behind the diet/lifestyle that is responsible for countless transformation stories online, especially in the CrossFit space (If you have any doubts, go onto your Instagram accounts and look at the account rp_transformations).
RP, for short, bases their methodology around the science of the nutrition industry which they’ve used to create templates for people looking to understand their diet and change the way they eat moving forward.
Through the science, what they’ve unearthed and created is a nutritional pyramid that serves as a guide to help people understand and weigh the importance of certain nutritional principles when it comes to putting food on their plate. This post will serve as a step-by-step approach to their methodology which is also available on Dr. Mike Israetel’s Ted Talk on Youtube.
- Calorie Balance– the base of the pyramid centers around the concept of energy balance. That is, calories in, calories out. Most people are at least somewhat familiar with the concept or at least the idea that the more calories one consumes the “worse” it is when it comes to seeing the number we want on the weight scale. According to Israetel and their research, calorie balance equates to approximately 60 per cent of importance for our overall health. When it comes to weight loss, this means we are burning or using more calories than we are putting in (eating) on a daily or weekly basis whereas weight gain is the exact opposite.
- Food Composition–This is the types of food that we eat and it is responsible for approximately 20 per cent of our overall healthy bodyweight. That’s right, when it comes to seeing the number on the scale that you want, whether you’re eating broccoli or Frosted Flakes is not nearly as important as the amount of either food that you’re eating. With that said, to optimize your diet, there are certain types of food that we all know are great as they provide extra benefits to our overall health (fibre, satiety, micronutrients) that help us stay on track when trying to increase our body composition satisfaction. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and healthy fats are what we should strive to eat MOST of the time in our diet if we are going to optimize both our performance and our overall results. It’s important to know that about a quarter of the time, it’s okay to eat things society has considered junk foods and we will still be on track to reach our goals if those “junk foods” are consumed in an appropriate amount. There is no requirement to ever cut a food completely out of your diet–unless you have a bad reaction to it– you just have to eat a bit less of it than you normally would.
- Third, on the importance pyramid is the notion of nutrient timing or, put more simply, when you consume your food. Now there’s been plenty of myths and ideas put around this concept (don’t eat carbs before bed, make sure you eat protein directly after a workout) that certainly have some validity and their place, but are not higher in importance than eating the correct amounts of food or the right types of macronutrients.
- Food Composition, translated to what is it that’s going on your plate? This one seems to be a bit of a complex thing for a lot of people, being that it’s so high up on the pyramid with less importance than things like macronutrients or overall caloric/food intake. Let’s not mistake this: eating pop tarts and chocolate 100 per cent of the time just because it fits into our intake is not what we are about or are striving for. With that said, no diet should be about eliminating certain types of food that you enjoy no matter how bad you’ve discovered they are for you. In essence, yes that means you can eat pop tarts, but no that does not mean you can eat a whole box of them and eat them whenever you want.
- The last two spots on the pyramid I’ll put together as hydration and supplements. Hydration is obviously important, being that we drink enough water within our day to stave off dyhydration which also equals a reduction in performance. However, this doesn’t mean we need to preemptively consume water to prepare for exercise or our everyday lives. Instead, use your thirst response to determine when you need to drink outside of exercise. That’s exactly what it was designed for! Lastly, supplements. In short, the word “supplement” tells us everything we need to know about their importance. They’re there to supplement our overall diet and everything we’re doing already but they are not REPLACEMENTS. They supplement or compliment everything we are doing but if you’re walking into your local GNC or other supplement store thinking they are the cure to everything you think is wrong with your diet, we need to look back at the pyramid again.
For now, still weeks away from officially starting our challenge and lifestyle transformation, this is all we are going to get into. In a series of upcoming posts, we’ll help break down more of each component so you’re able to have a better understanding of where we’re going, and how we’ll get there!
Be the Best Me, by Eric Elliott
If you haven’t already, you should sign up for the Snow Slam this December. Let’s get that out of the way immediately.
I know, I know, competition is this crazy thing that only the few among CrossFit athletes are suited for and they’re the ones who go south each Summer to showcase their skills. We might even know one of these people eh? 😉
But what if I told you that competition is for absolutely everyone. Everyone. Now let me start by saying that I’m someone who’s competed all my life outside of CrossFit so when it came time to sign up for my first CrossFit competition, the Open, you didn’t exactly have to twist my leg to do it. I’ve loved the competitive side of life and sports since I was old enough to skate on a hockey rink or throw a baseball.
For many though, competing carries a much different meaning than I often give it credit for. It can be intimidating. It can mean putting yourself out there. Heck, in a lot of cases, it can mean failure and embarrassment (both of which I’ve been a part of and will be again in the future). But it doesn’t have to.
Merriam-Webster defines “compete,” as “to strive consciously or unconsciously for an objective (such as position, profit, or a prize) :be in a state of rivalry.” Let’s break that down for a second.
Each morning, afternoon or night, you walk through the doors of Endeavor Fitness CONSCIOUSLY or UNCONSCIOUSLY pursuing an objective. You do. For most people that objective is to sustain or create a healthy, sustainable body or maybe even a more improved physique. You compete for that every single day; however, we often don’t think of that as competing because the obstacles (or competitors) in our way are not physical people and thus don’t fit with the socially acceptable definition of competition of, ‘me against the world.’
Thinking of it this way then, the Snow Slam is exactly the same thing. The only difference then is the meaning we attach to the word competing inside the walls of a competition like this, in-house or at the CrossFit Games. And this mindset is extremely important, even for the people like 2015 & 2016 CrossFit Games competitor Katrin Davidsdottir who said during an interview, “I really work to make sure that when I’m on the competition court at the CrossFit Games or any competition, I’m the best version of myself…then I know I’ve done everything I could.”
Notice she never mentions comparing herself to others, her placing in the competition or a variety of other factors beyond her control. It’s simply herself. Finding the best version of Katrin Davidsdottir.
So when it comes to signing up at the Snow Slam next month, don’t think of it as trying to beat the other team or finishing first or even, not finishing last. Instead think of competing to be the best version of yourself.
While you’re at it, we can all have ourselves a little fun.
Have enough of your kid’s Halloween Candy yet? From Mars Bars, Snickers, Licorice, and any other hard candy, it is fun to enjoy yourself every once in a while but there’s no doubt about that we need to get back to some sort of reality at the end of the day.
That’s why the great team at Endeavour Fitness is teaming up to bring you a nutrition challenge before the end of the year, hoping that you aren’t one of the MILLIONS of people across the globe who wake up on January 1 and make the half-hearted commitment to “lose weight” or “get their nutrition under control.”
Starting on November 6, you and a friend can join the BADASS WITH A BUDDY CHALLENGE that will take you through some gruelling fat-burning workouts between three and five times per week aimed at making you look the way you want to look and feel the way you want to feel so that when that relative sees you over the holidays this winter, you don’t have to bury your body inside that thick sweater, you can show it off like a brand-new sports car.
Of course, all of this sounds pretty easy if we were just reading about it. In fact, if people could read themselves to a perfect, chiseled physique, North America probably wouldn’t be dealing with an obesity epidemic and we would all be walking around with six-packs and perfect figures. Nutrition can be incredibly hard, but, the best part about it, is that it doesn’t have to be.
And I get it. With so much conflicting advice ranging from the paleo diet, the Whole 30, Ketogenic, High-Protein, If it Fits Your Macros (IIFYM), it can all seem like you’re drowning without a reason to try to swim to the top of this mess.
At Endeavour, during this nutritional challenge, we’re going to make this very simple for you. At the gym, we’re going to get you working and by the time you’re making those abs in the kitchen it will be very simple for you and the results will leave you beaming.
Our methodology is centered around a ketogenic approach with a hitch. For 14 days, we’re going to take a dive into the ketogenic approach so that your body can become “fat adapted” burning fat as its energy source before implementing a refeed to help with those taxing workouts that will leave you with the best results.
For those not familiar with the ketogenic diet, the idea is to eat high fat and protein with very little carbohydrates, when it comes to macronutrient breakdown. For those who love bacon, red meats, cheese and butter then this should be pretty easy for you. All you have to do is cut out those high starchy carbohydrate foods (rice, bread, basically any sugar), which, if anyone has tried to do, is not simple. Yes, even when it comes to fruits, you will have to cut those out as well as your body treats them as sugar (despite what the Canada Food Guide may tell you) and will ultimately prevent you from meeting your nutritional and physique goals.
So what does your diet look like on a daily basis?
It means that yes, you’re still going to get some of those carbohydrates in, but it will come in the form of higher in fibre and micronutrients such as vegetables rather than starchy and sugar loaded carbohydrates which will spike your insulin levels and make it harder to unearth that magnificent physique we’re all after.
Don’t worry, we’re not saying this is going to be a permanent thing. You will get a chance to eat more of those carbohydrates you crave beyond that 10-day period but for the first bit, we have to shock your metabolism and wake it up to the transformation you’re about to undergo.
The thing about this is that it’s not going to be easy. Any time you change your routine, be it your morning cup of coffee, what time you wake up or what you’re putting into your body, your body is going to revolt. Your body hates change like you all hate burpees.
But, at the end of the day, most of you have come to realize, ‘hey, maybe there’s a reason we’re doing burpees after all.’
Do you lack energy? Feel tired all the time? Want to drop body fat and get ready for summer? This challenge is for you!
Announcing the “Buff You Up,” 30 days of CrossFit Challenge.
Starting May 29 to June 29,2017. The program includes nutritional packages with calorie allowance based on activity, and nutrient timing, especially those carbohydrates. This is a 30 day sugar detox! I will only be taking “10” new students at this time. Available classes for new members are 7am, 8am, and 6:30pm Monday-Friday.
Cost is $39.99 for current members and $199.99 for new members.
*spaces will fill up fast as we always sell out so call NOW! 250-688-0783
Login to your Mind Body account
–> Click Services
–> Select Challenges
Endeavor Fitness is offering our challenge participants a special offer. We are so proud of your accomplishments and want to see you continue with the progress you have been making over the past 6 weeks.
When you sign up for 6 more weeks of CrossFit with Endeavor, you will only pay $199!
Sign up online HERE
–> Log into your Mindbody account (or create an account for free)
–> Click ‘My Products’
–> Select ‘Challenges’
–> Select ‘Non-Members’
–> Checkout and we will see you at class!
We’ve partnered up with Brayenna Murray Yoga!
Starting October 13th, we will be offering a 1-hour yoga class at 10:30am. This class is included in your Unlimited Membership.
$5 drop in for 2-3 day members.
$15 drop in for non-members.