Last week’s post discussed at how we, at CrossFit St. Landry, approach maximizing your results through the philosophy of mechanics, consistency, and intensity. We broke down what this process looks like. We also brought in the idea of this being an approach that ensures a lifetime of continuous development. If you missed it, read that first. The next few posts will be concerned with some things YOU can do to speed this process up even more.
One of the very first questions engineers will evaluate when trying to increase the mile per gallon, or efficiency of a vehicle is aerodynamics.
The aerodynamics of a vehicle is a description of how the vehicle moves through the air. As speed (rate of progress) increase, the effects of aerodynamics are compounded. If a vehicle has good aerodynamics, this means it has minimal DRAG. So, typically the improvement of aerodynamics involves the reduction of drag.
Sometimes the reduction in drag involves a total reshaping of the vehicle. (Some of us wouldn’t mind a total reshaping:) But often, significant improvements will come through small adjustments like the antenna or mirror placement, fender width, or windshield angle. These little things add up quickly but are the best place to start.
The rower is also a good place to imagine what drag feels like. In fact, there is a drag factor display screen on the rower which will give you specific details on the drag factor of a specific rower. What it feels like in practical terms is how much resistance you encounter when trying to spin the flywheel, as well as how quickly it slows down once you stop. By imagining this, it is easy to see that drag is not helpful when trying to move from one place to the next efficiently.
“So what does DRAG look like in your life?”
Since our first phase of increasing results per hour is involved with correcting and improving Mechanics, we will begin by working through an evaluation of our current mechanical patterns and their impact, positive and/or negative, on our quest for results.
We all know we are working on improving this every single day we train. But we are only in the gym for 1 hour a day, while we spend the other 23 doing life. Briefly. thinking about that time ratio, it is not difficult to admit that our mechanical habits outside of the gym will have a huge effect on our progress.
In my next post, we will look at some common activities of everyday life like driving, standing, carrying groceries, picking up children, sleeping, and so on, and we will begin identifying where poor mechanics in these daily activities might be placing an unnecessary drag on our efforts in the gym.
Stay tuned….(automotive pun intended)
Head Coach CrossFit St. Landry
Our bodies are truly wonderful. They have adapted and changed according to our needs, preferences, and circumstances. One of the most clever ways that our bodies have learned to survive on Earth is through collaboration with other species.
Humans have an ongoing contract with microorganisms—bacteria, viruses, fungi. We’ve struck a deal with them: “In exchange for helping us to digest food, produce vitamins, and regulate our immune system, we will feed and protect you.”
We house them in our gut (and many other places) and give our food a one-way ticket to their front door, which they feast on happily.
If you’ve ever taken pre- or probiotics, have ever eaten fermented foods for their bacteria content, or have ever eaten yogurt to improve your digestive health, then you’re probably aware of the gut bacteria that have set up shop in our body.
But did you know that the foods you take in feed different types of bacteria? It’s true! Not all of the bacteria in your gut eat the same foods. Some crave zucchini, others crave bread, and others still crave Twix. Not only that, but when we eat a lot of a certain type of food, we are cultivating more of the bacteria that feeds off of it and starving the others. We are essentially deciding, with the food we eat, what bacteria thrives in our gut and what bacteria dies.
What’s even more interesting is that those same bacteria send signals to your brain to eat more of the food on which it thrives. That’s right.
“Our gut bacteria plays a significant role in the food we crave.”
At first thought, this news may be frightening… “Oh no! I’ve eaten McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwich for lunch eight days in a row… No wonder my brain is yelling for more!” But fear not! This news also means that you are in control of what your body craves!
With this new awareness, you can acknowledge the craving for what it is—a signal from your “Filet-O-Fish” gut bacteria telling your brain that it’s hungry and wants more sustenance, and instead decide that you’re going to feed the bacteria that would rather a juicy hamburger patty (without the bun) topped with fresh tomato and avocado slices.
Of course this explanation of how bacteria tells our brain what to eat is over-simplified and likely not 100% accurate, but it is worth learning more about. We are worth learning more about.
Our bodies do their utmost to keep us healthy and capable. It’s what they were tasked with. But the decisions we make and the actions we take have an enormous impact on their ability to do their job. We can either build them up or destroy them. The choice is ours.
For more information on the gut-brain connection, read this article.
Head Coach CrossFit Statesboro
Last week we introduced the idea of results per hour. If you missed that post, you can check it out here. Today we are going to start looking at one of the processes we use to accomplish this at CFSL. Once we wrap that up, we are going to talk about a process that you can begin implementing that will help you take your own results per hour to the next level.
At CFSL, nearly everything we do is aimed at this one metric. From our facility and equipment to our programming and class structure, we aim to provide you with the highest value return possible for your 1 hour a day that you invest with us. We shoot for that sweet spot where safety and effectiveness meet. Free from superfluity as well as deficiency.
Our approach to training is not our own, but was built upon CrossFit’s charter of Mechanics, Consistency, and Intensity, or MCI. (some of us remember that as a long distance service)
1. Mechanics –
This can also be referred to as form, or technique. This involves answering questions like:
Which muscle groups are being used and how?
Which joints are being loaded and how?
In what order are the above taking place?
Is energy being wasted?
There are many more. The next phase involves correction, and this is the meat of it. It is not very difficult to see poor movement. you guys can probably see a bad deadlift from a mile away. Somewhat more difficult is identifying the root causes of poor movement. But the real heart of this phase is CORRECTING poor movement. And here is where we excel.
Breakdowns in mechanics are typically attributable to a lack of coordination, a lack of mobility, or a lack of strength. The speed with which these causes can be diagnosed and corrected directly impacts the rate at which you improve. Our experience and education help us quickly guide you to an appropriate corrective exercise scale or modification to address these breakdowns and keep you moving toward your goals safely.
2. Consistency –
Once mechanical errors have been corrected, we now want to ensure that the change is permanent. We look for consistency within your movement to make sure that the new motor patterns have over-ridden the old ones. Once that happens we move to Intensity.
3. Intensity –
Think of Intensity as your level of effort. This can mean a heavier loading in weightlifting exercise. Increased unbroken reps in gymnastics exercises. Higher sustainable heart rates in aerobic exercises, and so on. But what intensity ultimately translates to is the clock. How fast can you go?
Some people may argue, “Well I could get a better score in this workout if I just did it my way!”
That is likely true at first.
But we play the long game here. When we consider your results per hour, we also add a third piece to the equation. That piece is your entire lifespan.
Life doesn’t care how fit you were in your 40’s if you’re 50 now. The MCI philosophy helps us help you maintain your progress and avoid foolish injuries for an entire lifetime of fitness.
We are all familiar with the idea of miles per gallon, or “mpg.” This number is a measurement of efficiency which relays important information regarding one important function that we expect from our vehicles. That is, the ability to traverse distances.
When we look at this measurement of miles per gallon, we are getting key information on the distance that we can travel on one gallon of fuel.
Lately, with elevated fuel costs, concern for the impact of fossil fuel consumption on the environment, and the reality that fossil fuels are not an unlimited resource, this number has become somewhat of a key factor in the modern car consumer’s decision process.
Car manufacturers have scrambled to produce the most fuel-efficient vehicles possible. Some have even gone to the extent of fraud.
So what makes this number so important?
Well, while there are many other desirable functions in a vehicle like cargo space, ground clearance, ride quality, service intervals, passenger capacity, top speed, horsepower, towing capacity, etc., it is clear that what most people, want the most, is to get where they want to be, with as little waste as possible.
Now let’s move this analogy into the gym.
“What do most of us, want the most, out of our gym?”
In my 7 years of experience training people, I have found it to be exactly the same thing. We want to get to where we want to be, without waste. Without wasting time and without wasting effort.
We want results, and quite honestly, we want them fast!
Something that is really cool here at CFSL, is that your coaching staff all want the SAME THING! Our sole vocation is YOUR accomplishments and YOUR results.
Your success is our success and the sooner the better!
Our programming, our training, our structure, and our efforts are all centered on getting you there in as efficiently as possible.
But there just as there are many factors that actually go into increasing a vehicle’s miles per gallon, there are many things that go into increasing your results per hour.
The next few posts in this series will shed some light on the CrossFit St. Landry methodology. Some of the things we do, (some you may have never noticed) that help us hit that sweet spot of elevated results per hour.
Then we will look at specifically want YOU can do to take your RPH to the next level.