Healthy Swaps

So we’ve purged some obvious sugar culprits in our pantry and gotten clear on our WHY. Let’s step it up a notch by swapping out one (or more) of those sCRAP-py (sugar-filled, completely refined and processed) foods you found earlier this week for a cleaner version. 

While whole and fresh foods are strongly encouraged, I also recognize that having a well stocked pantry, fridge and freezer can be time saving while adding flexibility to your meal choices. Your challenge today is to identify a healthier version of one of your typical packaged foods.

Here are a few healthy swaps to try:

Flour/Baking

Pre/Post Workout

Other

 

Salad Dressing: 

Salad dressing can be loaded with sugar and preservatives. Don’t be fooled by low-fat or fat-free labels. You may think that you are doing yourself a favor if you choose these versions of salad dressings, but they are actually even worse when it comes to hidden sugars.

Try this homemade Basic Vinaigrette recipe instead:

  • 1 Tablespoon no sugar added balsamic vinegar (check the label – some have sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Whisk all ingredients together until well blended.

What’s Driving the Urge to Eat?

Beyond finding a swap, it’s also important to address what’s truly driving the urge to eat. Such as if your blood sugar is low. Low blood sugar could mean that you are skipping meals, spacing them out too much, or you’re not eating enough blood sugar-steadying protein. 

Try instead pairing a simple carbohydrate with protein, like mixed nuts and fruit. The healthy fat in the nuts helps to slow down the absorption of the fruit’s natural sugar so that you get back into balance and are better able to control cravings.

What swap did you make?  Take a picture and share it with the group!

Take the sCRAP-py Food Quiz

You already know that consuming too many sCRAP-py (sugar-filled & completely refined and processed) foods can halt your goals (and it’s no bueno for your health). Yet, it’s found in practically everything we eat (way more than you may realize).

Let’s figure out any patterns as to why you eat what you eat…and when you eat it. Is it within acceptable limits, totally out of whack, or somewhere in between? This quiz is a powerful tool to help you start your journey to understanding and limiting processed foods and sugar intake.

1. How often do you eat or drink sugary foods or beverages including those made with artificial sweeteners?

a. Once or twice a month at most. I’m not big on sweets.
b. Have dessert a couple of times a week but I rarely drink regular or diet soda.
c. Pretty much every day

2. How much sugar or sweetener do you usually add to coffee?

a. None
b. A teaspoon or one packet.
c. 2 teaspoons or two packets. At least.

3. What does your typical breakfast look like?

a. Scrambled eggs with veggies, avocado toast, or even last night’s leftovers.
b. Greek yogurt, oatmeal with fruit, or a shake.
c. Sugary cereal, a muffin, donut, or a not-so-healthy bar.

4. How often do you go out of your way to get something sCRAP-py, like stopping at the store just to buy some ice cream.

a. Almost never.
b. Every once in a while if I get a crazy craving for something.
c. Often… like at least once a week.

5. Do you ever eat food in secret?

a. No. If I’m indulging, it’s part of a meal or an event with others.
b. A couple times a year. I definitely feel like polishing off some ice cream or a bag of chips on the couch by myself.
c. I usually wait to eat those foods until I’m alone so I can eat without anyone judging me.

6. Do you ever hide food just to eat them later?

a. No. Never.
b. Not usually. But, if I know there is just a little bit left of my favorite splurge left, I might rearrange some things in the refrigerator just to make it harder for anyone else to find.
c. Yes. I have a stash of my favorites to eat when I’m by myself.

7. Do you ever feel powerless in front of certain foods, like chips, bread, or cookies?

a. Rarely. It just doesn’t tempt me.
b. Maybe once in a while, if I’m hangry. But, I can usually have one or two and then stop.
c. Yes. Usually once I start eating stuff like that it’s hard to stop. Even if I’m already full.

8. While indulging, have you ever gone overboard and told yourself that “this is the last time I’ll ever eat like this again?”

a. Not really. Maybe one or two times.
b. I tried cutting out sCRAP-py foods in the past but nothing ever works.
c. I tell myself that a lot and end up feeling guilty when I don’t follow through.

Count up how many times you choose each letter, then read the descriptions below to determine your sCRAP-py food dependence and how this challenge will help you move forward.

MOSTLY A’s: Congratulations! Sounds like you don’t have a whacked-out sCRAP-py food diet (Sugar-filled & Completely Refined And Processed). However, you can still benefit from this challenge. Throughout the next three weeks we will reveal lots of amazing tips to help you make even more lasting changes. Take it to the next level by eating mindfully.

MOSTLY B’s: You are in good command of your sCRAP-py food intake, but there’s always room for growth. This challenge will make you even wiser about your choices and learn great tips to swap out the junk and stay on track with your goals.

MOSTLY C’s: Sounds like sCRAP-py foods are a frequent choice for you, so you may be hooked. I’m here to help get unhooked! To jump-start your efforts and break free of this trap, start by getting clear on your WHY.

Connect!

Have you joined the private Facebook Challenge group yet? Being a part of the community will not only help you to stay accountable with your own goals, but also see how others are doing, find support, share your successes and struggles, and of course, get some great, new meal ideas.

Is Sugar Bad? Plus Hidden Names for Sugar

Is sugar bad? Will sugar make me gain weight? When is it OK to eat sugar?

Many of us think of sugar as the white stuff people put in their coffee and the stuff that makes up most of those cereals in the breakfast “food” aisle. Sugars also occur naturally in many whole foods such as fruits, vegetables and even whole grains. You recognize these as “carbs.”

Along with sugar, the macronutrient carbohydrates also includes starch (potatoes or rice), fiber (husks of whole grains), etc. The more complex the molecule, the slower it digests. That’s why eating more fiber can help us feel fuller for longer. Sugars, on the other hand, are simple- they digest very quickly. In other words:

Sugars are a type of carbohydrate, but not all carbohydrates are sugars.

The above point is vital to understand, because it teaches us that not all carbs do the same things in (and for) our bodies.

Let’s take a fresh look at sugar now and address the question many are wondering: is sugar bad?

Eating Sugar: The Good. The Bad. The Ugly.

Is Sugar Bad? Well, It Can Be Ugly.

No doubt, this is a difficult topic to address because most of us are emotionally attached to where we stand on food, especially sugar.

Try talking about the topic at the dinner table and you’ll be just as welcome as if you were talking about politics. Trust me, I’ve been there.

Did you know that most U.S. adults consume about 22 teaspoons of added sugars every day. That’s way more than what the American Heart Association recommends, which is  no more than 6 teaspoons (100 calories) a day of sugar for most women and no more than 9 teaspoons (150 calories) a day for most men. Sugar impacts our brain function, it can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and can increase your risk of heart disease.

And sugar is hiding everywhere.

Over 68% of barcoded food products sold in the US contain added sweeteners—even if they are labeled as “natural” or “healthy.” The safest way to ensure you’re not ingesting excess added sugars is to get in the habit of reading the ingredient list below before you add them to cart.

Added sugars fall under all kinds of different names on ingredient labels.  As a side note, the higher up an ingredient is on an ingredient list, the more of it will be included in that product. Find an ingredient ending in “ose” on the top of the list, put the product down. Many of those sugary products are empty, meaning they have no other nutrients associated with them. These products generally contain little protein, fat, fiber, vitamins or minerals.

Common Hidden Names for Sugar

(Excluding artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes)

‍Basic Simple Sugars (monosaccharides and disaccharides):

  • Dextrose
  • Fructose
  • Galactose
  • Glucose
  • Lactose
  • Maltose
  • Sucrose

Solid or Granulated Sugars:

  • Beet sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Cane juice crystals
  • Cane sugar
  • Castor sugar
  • Coconut sugar
  • Confectioner’s sugar (aka, powdered sugar)
  • Corn syrup solids
  • Crystalline fructose
  • Date sugar
  • Demerara sugar
  • Dextrin
  • Diastatic malt
  • Ethyl maltol
  • Florida crystals
  • Golden sugar
  • Glucose syrup solids
  • Grape sugar
  • Icing sugar
  • Maltodextrin
  • Muscovado sugar
  • Panela sugar
  • Raw sugar
  • Sugar (granulated or table)
  • Sucanat
  • Turbinado sugar
  • Yellow sugar

Liquid or Syrup Sugars:

  • Agave Nectar/Syrup
  • Barley malt
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Buttered sugar/buttercream
  • Caramel
  • Carob syrup
  • Corn syrup
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Fruit juice
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Golden syrup
  • High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
  • Honey
  • Invert sugar
  • Malt syrup
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses
  • Rice syrup
  • Refiner’s syrup
  • Sorghum syrup
  • Treacle

Looking Deeper

Let’s look deeper at ten common sweeteners:

  1. AGAVE NECTAR (Agave Syrup)- found in cereals, ice cream, and “healthy” organic foods. This sweetener is more concentrated than HFCS (High-Fructose Corn Syrup), so use cautiously.
  2. BARLEY MALT- found in beers, cereals, and candy bars. This grain-based sugar is half as sweet as white sugar, but it’s just as high on the glycemic index.
  3. BEET SUGAR- found in more than 20 percent of the world’s sugar. But don’t be fooled, the word beet suggests this sugar is natural, but it’s not. The beets used for this refined sugar are stripped of their nutrients when processed for use in many packaged foods.
  4. BROWN SUGAR- found in baked goods, sauces, beverages. Brown sugar is just as bad for you as table sugar. The only real difference? How it tastes and how it has been processed. 
  5. CANE JUICE (Evaporated Cane Juice)- found in yogurt, lemonade, liquor. Although less processed than table sugar and contains more riboflavin, it’s benefit is negligible. 
  6. CANE SUGAR- found in 80% of the world’s sugar. Multiple studies have shown how cane sugar drastically raises blood pressure and cholesterol and also contributes to insulin resistance. 
  7. CORN SYRUP (High-Fructose Corn Syrup)- found in sodas, cereal bars, bread, junk foods, fast food. Corn syrup is 100% glucose. Just one tablespoon contains 16 grams of carbohydrates. To make HFCS, enzymes are added to corn syrup to convert some of the glucose to fructose making HFCS “high” in fructose compared to the pure glucose found in corn syrup. Your body metabolizes this sugar in a way that encourages body-fat storage.
  8. EVAPORATED CANE JUICE- found in baked goods, cereals and many beverages. Actually not a juice, evaporated cane juice is a sweetener derived from sugar cane syrup making it much more concentrated than a juice with trace amounts of nutrients. 
  9. FRUCTOSE- found in baked goods, but also occurs naturally in fruits and honey. Ingesting added fructose (not naturally occurring) has been linked to rising obesity rates over the past several decades. When you eat a piece of fruit, you also get a healthy dose of fiber that can help to slow the absorption of sugar and provide a wide variety of phytonutrients and minerals that can counteract the effects of sugar. Nobody does it better than nature.
  10. HONEY (raw honey)- Honey is higher in fructose than table sugar and it weighs more than the white stuff, so it’s more calorically dense at 21 calories per teaspoon vs 16 cals for table sugar. On the plus side, honey is sweeter than table sugar, so you won’t need to use as much.

Sugar in Cereal

Stay with me for a moment while I go on a little rant.

About cereal.

Yes, I know, most Americans love their breakfast cereals (I grew up eating cereal – though my parents saved the extra sugary stuff for Saturdays). Cereal is bright & colorful, it’s sweet, it’s super convenient….and we mistakenly think it’s good for us and our kids.

And cereal brands spend millions of dollars every year marketing to our kids to make us think that. In fact, during kids TV shows the top category of advertised food is… you guessed it, cereal (even beating out candy, other snacks and fast food).

Did You Know:

  • On average, cereal’s that are marketed to children have more than 40% more sugars than “adult” cereals, and more than 2x the sugar of oatmeal.
  • According to EWG’s analysis, Kellogg’s Honey Smacks (which used to be called Sugar Smacks) leads the list of one of the highest-sugar cereals.
  • And, even with the update in food label regulations, since serving sizes on cereal labels are still unrealistically small, many adults and children will typically eat more than one “serving” in a single sitting. And according to FDA’s analysis of food consumption data, 97 percent of the most common cold cereals underestimate the amount of cereal people actually eat.

Bottom line: most cereals are just as sweet as cookies and should not be considered a part of healthy meal.  But, if you just can’t give up cereal, use common sense, read the ingredient label, and as always, don’t believe any information printed on the front of the box.

Eating Sugar: The Good

OK, thanks for hanging in with me.

Now about the good.

Somewhere along the way, we started hating on all sources carbs. But (all) carbohydrates are not the enemy here.

We need carbohydrates for energy. They are energy-packed compounds that give us quick energy. This is why choosing the right source of food where those sugars come from is so important.

It should go without saying that you’ll find much more sugar in processed foods than in whole, nutrient-dense foods.

Along with starch and fiber, sugars live under the larger umbrella: carbohydrates. The more complex the molecule, the slower digestion takes. Simple sugars, like from fruit, digest quickly and can have a positive effect in the right amount at the right time (ie: right before/during/after exercise). Starch and fiber, which is a much more complex molecule, digests slowly and help you feel fuller, for longer.

Unfortunately, one problem we’re faced with is this strange notion in our culture that if you’ve worked really hard in a workout, you deserve a big, gooey, sugary treat. Maybe this satisfies an emotional hunger temporarily, but it is certainly not what your body needs after a training session. Get clear. What your body needs is some real, whole foods.

When in doubt, opt for a diet mostly composed of lean meats, vegetables, essential fats, little starch, little fruit and plenty of water. Your body, your training and your health will thank you big time!

Why Does Sugar Taste Good?!

Sugar tastes good, partially because when it’s in its natural state, whole foods, like berries, are full of good stuff like vitamins, minerals, and energy. Our bodies are naturally attracted to them.

But everyone is different. Some of us pull the dessert plate closer after dinner while others can easily shrug off grandma’s pumpkin pie. Some of us simply respond to sugar more than others which could be from genetics or something we learned growing up. Which brings us to the next question number.

Will Eating Sugar Make Me Gain Weight?

The over-consumption of foods that have added sugars (not generally those foods that have naturally occurring sugars) can contribute to health problems such as diabetes and obesity. Added sugars feed yeast and bad bacteria in our bodies which can damage our intestinal wall, increasing intestinal permeability, AKA: leaky gut. That can trigger chronic, low-grade inflammation and lead to the transfer of substances from our gut into our bloodstream. In turn, this can lead to obesity and other chronic, metabolic diseases.

Plus, if we eat more processed, sugary foods, we’re probably taking in more energy (calories) overall. Many of these foods are tasty, in fact they’re engineered to make it hard for you to stop eating. And since we digest and use their energy very quickly, these processed foods tend to overstimulate our brain’s reward/pleasure centers which can lead to weight gain and even obesity. Data from the USDA tracking food intake from a variety of angles show consistent trends. Since 1980, Americans have continued to eat about the same total amount of fat, yet ate more carbohydrates, especially refined ones with added sugars. Over this time, the obesity rates in the United States have also grown significantly.

The World Health Organization defines “obese” as having a Body Mass Index higher than 30. Of course, some fit and muscular athletes tend to have a higher BMI even though they still have a low percentage of body fat. So, let’s look at those number for a moment. Currently, the average body fat percentage for women is about 40%, for men: 28%. To compare, the “healthy” range for a woman should be around 22-33%, and for men, that range should be around 11-22%.

While we can’t blame one single thing alone, including sugar for all the health problems and obesity surge (sleep & stress factor in, too), multiple studies do show that an increased sugar consumption does correlate with increased obesity levels, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease,  leaky gut, diabetes and cancer.

How Much Sugar Should I (Can I) Eat?

Remember: Sugar (alone) doesn’t provide nourishment. No vitamins, no minerals, no fiber, no antioxidants, phytonutrients or  hydration.

Sugar from nutrient-dense, whole foods, like fruit on the other hand, contains sugar, but they provide numerous positive health benefits.

When it comes to how much sugar (from whole foods) you should eat, everyone is different and has unique energy needs. Some people do well cutting sugar out of their diet (almost) completely, while others thrive on a high-carb diet. Some athletes will count their sugar intake down to the gram, while others do well with the general guideline of “eating less-processed foods & more healthy foods” and be very successful.

As a general guideline, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2015-2020) recommends limiting sugar to 10% of your intake. So, for example, if you’re eating 2000 calories per day, that would be about 50 grams, or 200 calories from sugar.

Start reading food labels to get a clear look at how much sugar you’re actually eating. Remember, it tends to hide in packaged foods (a lot). So, better than that, eat more foods without a label (like fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, meat and seafood, etc.).

When Should I Eat Sugar?

As far as when to eat sugar from nutrient-dense carbohydrates, it’s very specific to your body type, time of training, training intensity, training duration, stress levels, health/illness and a slew of other factors. Nutrient timing is very specific. When done right, it can positively affect your performance and recovery, but what works for your training partner (or a template) may not work for you. In fact, it could actually backfire.

In general, your pre-workout meals should be consumed about 1-2 hours before training. It should be carbohydrate-rich (about half complex and half simple, which can be consumed during the workout depending on workout length), moderate in protein and fiber and low in fat. Intra-nutrition and post nutrition are just as specific as pre-workout nutrition.

Much of your performance success is dependent on how well you eat. So, remember this, even if you’re eating the “right number of macros” or counting your sugar grams before and after your workout, it can make a negative impact on your goals if those macros are coming from processed foods.

How Sweet It Isn’t. Should I Choose Low-Sugar Foods?

If you’re sidelining your sugar habit, be careful of adding another unhealthy habit with artificial sweetness. That’s not the right answer…at all.

When you consume these nonnutritive (“no nutrition”) chemical sweeteners, they stimulate sweetness in your mouth and the body naturally expects the carbohydrates to follow. But, they’re faking it. When carbs don’t follow, the body gets mixed messages that may cause cravings for MORE SUGAR. Additionally, studies show that artificial sweeteners cause a variety of health problems, including cancer.

Be careful of “low sugar” products because they often use man-made artificial sweeteners (read the labels). Instead, focus on whole foods where you won’t find added sugars or even packaged foods where sugar is not one of the first three ingredients.

Sideline the Sugar

Look in your kitchen cabinets. Your refrigerator. Your freezer. See if you can find a product that you once thought was a healthy choice but have since discovered an ingredient (added sugar, for example) hiding in plain sight. Take a picture of the front/back and share it with us. Then start researching alternative options that are more nutrient-dense.

If you can’t find anything, score! Maybe talk about a product that you once thought was healthy and have since swapped out for something else.

More Questions About Nutrition?

If you eat quality, nutrient-dense foods and get your portion sizes right the majority of the time, your can still indulge in a small portion of those processed treats on occasion. It doesn’t always have to be “all or nothing.” Yes, structure your diet around nutrient-dense, colorful REAL foods, but also remember that a healthy life is not about macro math or obsessing over everything you put in on your plate.

Read the label, make smart choices, but be nice to yourself…in all areas of life.

And, as always, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Contact your Salus Nutrition Coaches at info@salusnj.com to chat more about your 3-month individualized plan to get the personalized structure you need.

3-Week Body Weight Workouts for Summer Shred

Welcome to the 3-Week Body Weight-Only Program!

We are excited to help you get your at home workout into your routine for the Summer Shred Challenge.

Remember, to earn points for this task, you must take a class at your gym or do a 45 minute workout at home. The workout below is optional. Bookmark this page for future travel workout ideas!

If it is your active recovery day, add in a low intensity 45 min workout, like a walk or easy bike ride to earn your points for that day.

Week 1, Day 1

Warm Up:
Walk outs x 3
Supermans x 15
Side Plank lift x 10 hold & 10
Alternating lunges x 10 each leg
Single-Leg Balance Holds x 30 seconds each leg (:10 sec each position: toe in front, side and back)

Rest 2 minutes then…

10-minute circuit:
20 Alternating -Leg Step-Ups (on stair or sturdy bench)
20 Jumping Jacks
20-yard Bear Crawl
20 Legs Straight Toe Reach Crunches

Day 2

Warm-Up:
30 seconds Inchworms
30 seconds Side Plank (right)
30 seconds Hollow Hold
30 seconds Side Plank (left)
30 seconds Hollow Hold
30 seconds Arm Marching (or Elbows to Palms)
30 seconds Air Squats

60-90 second transition then…

Every 3 minutes for 9 minutes (3 sets):
30 Walking Lunges
20 Bench Dips

60-90 second transition then…

TEST: 2 minutes MAX rep Burpees

60-90 second transition then…

3 Sets:
15 Supermans
15 Single leg VUps
Rest 30 seconds

Mobility and stretching 8 minutes
Choose at least 4 stretches or mobility exercises and spend 2 minutes on each

Day 3

Alternating jog/walk + sprint/walk for 10 rounds:
Jog ~200 Meters
Walk ~200
Sprint ~200 Meters
Walk ~200

Day 4

Warm-Up:
Around the World Lunges x 3 rounds to each lunge position with each foot (forward, lateral, reverse)
Cat-Cow x 10-15 reps
Pushup to Pike stretch x 5

60-90 second transition then…

Three Sets:
60 seconds Alternating Side Lunges
30 seconds Plank Shoulder Taps
30 seconds Glute Bridge Marches
Rest 30 seconds

60-90 second transition then…

Three Sets:
30 seconds Jumping Squats
Rest 15 seconds
30 seconds Flutter Kicks
Rest 15 seconds

60-90 second transition then…

Plank Challenge! — Hold each plank position for 60 seconds without resting (if possible):
Straight arm Plank
Side Plank Left
Side Plank Right
Plank on Forearms
Superman
Hip Bridges

Day 5

Warm Up:

60 seconds Jog
20 seconds High Knees
20 seconds Butt Kickers
20 seconds Skipping
60 seconds Run
60 seconds Jog

60-90 second transition, then…

Every minute on the minute for 8 minutes (Two rounds):
40 seconds of Alternating Lateral Lunges
40 seconds of Super Slow Push-Ups
40 seconds of Side Plank
40 seconds of Side Plank

60-90 second transition, then…

EMOM for 10 minutes (8 rounds):
5 Burpees
10 single leg V-Ups

Day 6

RUNNING WORKOUT
One set of:
Run 1600 Meters (1 mile) at an easy pace
Run 800 Meters (½ mile) at a fast pace
Run 800 Meters (½ mile) at an easy pace
Run 1600 Meters (1 mile) at a fast pace

Mobility and stretching 8 minutes
Choose at least 4 stretches or mobility exercises and spend 2 minutes on each

Day 7

45 minute active recovery like a walk, yoga video, or easy bike ride

Also take time to restore your mind. This will be different for everyone – could be meditation or could be gathering with friends; the key is to engage in activities that make your life full and help you recharge your batteries.

Week 2, Day 1

Warm Up:

Single-Leg Balance Holds x 30 seconds each leg (:10 sec each position: toe in front, side and back)
Walkouts x 3
Supermans x 30 seconds

Rest 60-90 seconds then…

Every 90 seconds for 12 minutes (2 rounds):
A – Single-Leg Deadlift x 10 each leg (hold jug, book, bag, light weight)
B – Side Plank x 30-40 seconds per
side
C – Chair/Stair Dips x max reps
D – Push-Ups x max reps

Rest 60-90 seconds then…

EMOM for 10 Minutes:
Even – 10 burpees
Odd – Single-Single-Double V-Ups

Week 2, Day 2

Warm Up:

Walk/Jog around the block ~5 minutes

EMOM for 4 minutes (2 rounds):
Station 1 – Air Squats x 20
Station 2 – Arm marching from elbows to hands in plank position x 20

Rest 60 seconds, and then…

Every 1 minute for 18 minutes (6 sets):
Station 1 – Mountain Climbers
Station 2 – Single-Leg Box/Stair Step-Ups alternating legs
Station 3 – Wall Sit

Rest 60 seconds, and then…

Week 2, Day 3

Walk/Jog 5 minutes

Scapular Push-Ups x 10
Lateral Lunges x 10
Plank Walk x 20 steps each direction with hands and feet
Table Top Hip Lift x 10
Mountain Climbers x 20-30

Rest 60 seconds, and then…

Three rounds for max reps of:
30 seconds of Air Squats
Rest 30 seconds
30 seconds of Push-Ups
Rest 30 seconds
30 seconds of V-Ups or Crunches
Rest 30 seconds
30 seconds of Burpees
Rest 30 seconds
30 seconds of Mountain Climbers
Rest 30 seconds

Rest 60 seconds, and then…

Walk/Jog 5 minutes

Week 2, Day 4

Warm-Up:
30 seconds Inchworms
30 seconds Side Plank (right)
30 seconds Hollow Hold
30 seconds Side Plank (left)
30 seconds Hollow Hold
30 seconds Arm Marching (or Elbows to Palms)
30 seconds Air Squats

Rest 60 seconds, and then…

Run 1 mile
20 walking lunges
Run 0.5 miles
20 walking lunges
Run 1 mile

Week 2, Day 5

Tabata Fun!
Set timer to repeat: 20 seconds work/10 seconds rest. Complete 4 sets of one movement before moving onto the next.

• Lunges
• Hollow Hold
• Plank Shoulder Taps

Rest 60 seconds, then…

8-Minute Circuit:
5 Burpee Box/Stair Jump Ups
10 Push-Ups
20 Box/Step Ups
30 Flutter Kicks
~40 Yard Bear Crawl

Rest 2 minutes…

Three Sets:
Single-Arm Plank x 30 seconds (if you are able, lift the same-side foot so the opposite hand and foot are the only things touching the ground)
Superman Hold x 30 seconds
Single-Arm Plank x 30 seconds (if you are able, lift the same-side foot so the opposite hand and foot are the only things touching the ground)
Hip Bridge Hold x 30 seconds

Week 2, Day 6

RUNNING WORKOUT

Every 3 minutes, for 30 minutes (10 sets) for time:
Jog into a Sprint ~400 Meters, walk the rest of the remaining time

Mobility and stretching 8 minutes
Choose at least 4 stretches or mobility exercises and spend 2 minutes on each

Week 2, Day 7

45 minute active recovery like a walk, yoga video, or easy bike ride

Also take time to restore your mind. This will be different for everyone – could be meditation or could be gathering with friends; the key is to engage in activities that make your life full and help you recharge your batteries.

Week 3, Day 1

Warm-Up: Fun with Furniture Sliders on carpet or towel on a hardwood floor
Lunge back (stand on stationary leg, moving leg slides back)
Tuck Ups with sliders under feet, hands on floor
Mountain Climbers with sliders on feet
Hamstring Curls, laying on back, hips lifted in bridge position

60-90 second transition, then…

Every 90 seconds for 12 minutes (2 rounds) – continue the reps until you have about 20 seconds left in the timer:
Station 1 – Lateral Lunges
Station 2 – Supermans
Station 3 – Arm Marching
Station 4 – Tuck-Ups

60-90 second transition, then…

As many rounds and reps as possible in 10 minutes:
200 meter Run
50 meter Bear Crawl
15 Burpees broad jump

Week 3, Day 2

5-minutes:
10 Hollow to Tuck Sit
10 Push-Up rotate to side plank
10 Air Squats + Squat Jump

Rest 60 seconds, then…

5-Minute Circuit:
20 Walking Lunges
3 Wall Climbs
15 Box/Chair Dips

Rest 60 seconds, then…

5-Minute Circuit:
20 Side Step-Ups (10 each side)
15 Toe Reaching Ab Crunches
20 Jumping Jacks

Rest 60 seconds, then…

8-Minute Circuit:
30 Mountain Climbers
10 Superman to Hollow Rolls (5 each direction)
20 Single-Leg Hip Bridges (10 each side)
10 Tuck Jumps

Week 3, Day 3

800 Meter Warm-Up Jog

Followed by. . .

Two sets of:
Sprint 200 Meters

Rest as needed. Then…

“1-Mile Time Trial”
Run 1600 Meters for time

Followed by. . .

800 Meter Cool-Down Run

Week 3, Day 4

Warm-Up:
30 seconds Inchworms
30 seconds Side Plank (right)
30 seconds Hollow Hold
30 seconds Side Plank (left)
30 seconds Hollow Hold
30 seconds Arm Marching (or Elbows to Palms)
30 seconds Air Squats

Rest 60 seconds, and then…

Tabata Fun! (20s work/10s rest). Complete 4 sets of one movement before moving onto the next.
A – Push-Ups x 4 sets
Rest 60 seconds
B – Squats x 4 sets
Rest 60 seconds
C – Burpees x 4 sets
Rest 60 seconds
D – Mountain Climbers

60-90 second transition, then…

Two Sets (no rest):
Side Plank (left) x 45 seconds
Side Plank (right) x 45 seconds

Week 3, Day 5

Warm-Up:
60 seconds Plank
60 seconds Hip Bridge lift/lower
60 seconds Plank
60 seconds Wall Sit

Rest 60 seconds, and then…

Every 2 minutes for 15 minutes (3 sets):
A – Single-Leg Box Step-Ups alternating legs
B – Wall Climbs
C – Russian Twist (sit, lean back, keep spine straight, balance on tailbone, twist side to side)

Rest 60 seconds, and then…

AMRAP in 2 minutes (retest from Week 1, Day 1):
MAX Burpees

Week 3, Day 6

RUNNING WORKOUT

Warm up 5 min stretch, walkouts

Run 2 minutes
Walk 1 minute
Repeat for a total duration of 45 minutes

Mobility and stretching 8 minutes
Choose at least 4 stretches or mobility exercises and spend 2 minutes on each

Week 3, Day 7

45 minute active recovery like a walk, yoga video, or easy bike ride

Also take time to restore your mind. This will be different for everyone – could be meditation or could be gathering with friends; the key is to engage in activities that make your life full and help you recharge your batteries.

Congratulations!!

Got Pain? Your Gut Might Be To Blame.

Did you know that there is a strong connection between joint pain and your gut? If you’re experiencing achy knees, chronic pain or stiff joints, leaky gut may be to blame.

Often, these ills are attributed to the unfortunate effects of aging and maybe we just chalk it up to be arthritis. What if that pain was actually caused by an imbalance from another part of our body?

Our gut.

Did you Know:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may affect as much as 30% of the population. Symptoms typically include gas, bloating, abdominal pain, and altered bowels (constipation, diarrhea, loose stools).
  • Up to 84% of IBS may be linked to an overgrowth of bacteria in the intestines. The good news is that many people can experience relief by following diets that reduce bacterial overgrowth.
  • What’s interesting is that when gut health is improved, studies show that it can also improve anxiety and depression. Evidence shows that brain fog and impaired memory can also improve with gut healing.
  • What’s more? data also shows that improving gut health can also show an improvement in metabolism.
  • Additionally, several studies have uncovered a link between microbes in our gut and other diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA). People with RA as well as psoriatic arthritis tend to have higher levels of a certain type of bug in their intestines that those without the disease. This research suggests that the connections aren’t just between the gut and arthritis, but any type of inflammation in the body.
  • Inflammation in the intestines has been shown to cause insomnia, improving that inflammation can improve sleep!
  • Certain skin conditions (pimples, rashes, skin inflammation) have been clinically documented to improve after reducing unwanted bacterial overgrowth.

Importance of the Small Intestine

The small intestine accounts for over 56% of our intestinal tract, nutrients are absorbed here and it is responsible for 90% of caloric absorption. Yep you read that right 90% of the calories you take in are absorbed in the small intestine. Another factor worth noting is that the small intestine has a profound impact on the immune system: the largest mass of immune cells found in our entire body is seen in the small intestines.

So, you can see, it’s kind of a big deal.

It’s important to note that the small intestine’s thin, protective mucous membrane is much more prone to damage (which can result in leaky gut) than the large intestine.

That is why small-intestinal health is impactful on immune and autoimmune conditions.

What Exactly is Leaky Gut?

Think of the gut as a drawbridge. Naturally, the gut is semi-permeable to allow micronutrients (think of them as tiny row boats) pass through the intestinal tract into our bloodstream (this is normal). Certain external factors such as processed foods, infections, toxins and stress can increase intestinal permeability, causing our drawbridge to stay open which allows larger boats to escape into our bloodstream (this is NOT a good thing). Your immune system marks those foreign invaders that were never meant to pass through, such as toxins, as pathogens and begins to attack.

According to a description in the journal, Frontiers in Immunology, leaky gut is described as:

The intestinal epithelial lining, together with factors secreted from it, forms a barrier that separates the host from the environment. In pathologic conditions, the permeability of the epithelial lining may be compromised allowing the passage of toxins, antigens, and bacteria in the lumen to enter the bloodstream creating a ‘leaky gut.’

What Causes Leaky Gut?

Maybe you just tweaked your ankle and have been trying to limp your way through the day with a few Motrin. Perhaps you’ve been taking birth control for years. Or your diet is filled with processed foods. Any of these scenarios can irritate the small intestine leading to leaky gut or intestinal permeability (when the food particles that pass through the intestine “leak” into our bloodstream) which triggers the immune system to go into attack mode and fight the invaders.

This is dangerous.

Leaky gut results in increase in inflammation, this inflammation can lead to joint pain and a host of diseases.

Leaky gut can also be caused by:

  • Chronic stress
  • Toxin overload (alcohol, antibiotics, pesticides, tap water, aspirin, other drugs)
  • Poor diet (inflammatory foods such as added sugars, refined oils, soy, food additives, gluten, dairy,  the typical Standard American Diet SAD diet)
  • Artificial sweeteners (saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame-K, sucralose, neotame)
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Bacterial imbalance
  • Aging
  • Genetic predisposition

In fact, a 2015 review paper, published in the journal Autoimmunity Reviews, shoed that food additives found in processed foods can irritate the gut, lead to leaky gut and subsequently, cause autoimmune disease.

As you can see, many things on that list is IN our control (minus aging and genetics).

How Do I Know If I Have Leaky Gut?

In addition to your joint pain, additional symptoms that may indicate the problem is all in your gut include:

  • Inflammatory conditions, arthritis
  • Digestive problems (bloating, gas, IBS, gastric ulcers, diarrhea)
  • General/seasonal allergies and/or asthma
  • Hormonal imbalances (PMS)
  • Autoimmune diseases (celiac disease, psoriasis, lupus)
  • Chronic fatigue and/or fibromyalgia
  • Brain-related symptoms (brain fog, anxiety, moodiness, depression, ADD, ADHD)
  • Skin issues (acne, rosacea, eczema)
  • Candida overgrowth
  • Food allergies and/or intolerances

Create a Healthy Gut Environment for Healthy Bacteria

Remove. Replace. Restore.

Adequate, if not optimal, digestive system function is essential to our health. If you are in pain, try eating to reduce inflammation to create a healthy environment for gut bacteria and improve microbiota/gut flora.

The first thing is to remove all inflammatory triggers such as stress and certain foods like:

  • Sugar
  • Saturated Fat
  • Trans Fat
  • Omega 6 Fatty Acids
  • Refined Carbs
  • MSG
  • Gluten & Casein
  • Vegetable Oils
  • Alcohol

Then replace the good by eating whole, unprocessed foods that support nutrient absorption such as:

  • Tomatoes
  • Olive Oil
  • Green leafy veggies
  • Nuts
  • Fatty fish like salmon
  • Fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries and oranges

Finally, restore a healthy bacteria in your gut (think: high-quality probiotics, prebiotics: non-digestible fiber compounds found in garlic, onions, leeks, raw dandelion greens, curcumin, bone broth).

You must eat to balance blood sugar, and steer clear of food allergens, intolerances, and food additives. Why? As a response to eating food that you’re intolerant to, your immune system will react with inflammation.

How do you know if you’re intolerant to certain foods? Of course you can do a blood test, but the most useful diagnosis is 3-week food exclusion to watch for symptom improvements followed by a gradual food reintroduction to confirm.

One way to try a food exclusion experiment is to follow the Paleo diet, which does a great job of removing common food allergens. In the Paleo diet, you focus on fresh vegetables, fruits, meats, fish, eggs, healthy fats, oils, nuts and seeds. You avoid grains, beans and legumes, processed foods and dairy.

Which Approach is Best for You?

Remember, our gut is the gateway to health.

With nearly 80% of our immune system residing in the gut and 95% of our serotonin produced in the gut, chances are, if our gut is healthy, we will also be healthy.

But this is a journey. These changes won’t take place overnight. A good place to start is with the 3-day elimination diet. But, if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the information above, don’t hesitate to reach out.

You can also set up a free 15-minute consultation to learn more about our one-on-one nutrition health coaching.

More on our Salus Nutrition Coaching Blog:

Overcoming Procrastination: Just Do the Dishes Already

Most of us know that the key to maintaining momentum with our goals is by overcoming procrastination.

Have you ever noticed how the smallest things can feel so difficult? I know I’m not alone on this. Without a doubt, we all have that one thing (or many things) that needs to get done, but we tend to procrastinate doing it. For me, it used to be a resistance to folding socks and doing the dishes.  Now, I’m the kind of person that likes to check off the boxes and get stuff done, but, there was just something about folding socks that drove me bonkers. Don’t judge me LOL

Until I realized how little time those two tasks actually took me. I literally timed myself one day.

Those tasks took me less than two minutes.

Seriously.

Overcoming Procrastination in Less Than 2 Minutes

Personal growth is a form of change. Unfortunately, there is an unconscious, deeply rooted part of us that resists change.

Even if it’s a positive change.

This internal resistance can show up in a variety of ways, from feeling lazy, scared, complacent, doubtful and that overwhelming feeling of procrastination.

Here’s the deal…

Most of these things we procrastinate aren’t actually difficult to do (I mean, come on…folding socks? What was I thinking?) We just avoid getting started on them for some reason. Of course, the more time-consuming the activity is, the bigger resistance to starting it is created in the mind of the procrastinator.

How do you overcome?

The two minute rule

Relative to the size of the task, the 2 minute rule can be applied in two ways:

  • The first way is to do short and easy tasks right away.
  • The second way is applied to bigger projects that require added time and effort. And just start chipping away.

Originating from Newton’s first law of motion that states that objects in rest stay at rest and objects in motion stay in motion, the 2-minute rule in this case means finishing that bigger project 2 minutes at a time. Research shows that the way to start big projects is to break it down into as many small tasks as possible where completion will lead to an increase in motivation. For example, get dressed for a workout and lace up your shoes (2 minutes, check!) and you’ll be more likely to go to the gym, exercise and have more energy! Or sit down to write your grocery list and you’ll be more likely to go grocery shopping, meal prep and eat healthier.

Countdown from 5

But, getting started can be harder than it sounds – even if it’s just for two minutes. So, try this trick. The moment you have an instinct to act on something, count out loud: “5,4,3,2,1” and then physically move your body before your brain has a chance to stop you. The counting distracts you from your excuses and help you focus your mind on moving in a new direction. It interrupts your default thinking and becomes a “starting ritual” that activates your prefrontal cortex which will help you change your behavior.

Try it! I promise the 5 second countdown preceding the 2 minute rule will ignite something powerful if you just give it a try!

Procrastination Trigger: Feelings

You can probably name a handful of things you’re currently procrastinating. The truth is, overcoming procrastination is not necessarily going to be your cure-all. It’s about teaching yourself to anticipate your specific triggers and coming up with a plan in advance on how to get started without hesitation, such as the two-minute hack.

Common procrastination triggers are the fear of the unknown, distraction, lack of motivation and resistance to get started (doing the dishes). Big or small, every task comes with a certain level of resistance.

And one of the most common reasons why we procrastinate is that we want things to be perfect. Our feelings get in the way. Instead of focusing on getting started, we obsess about achieving perfect results and end up paralyzed.

According to neuroscientist, Antonio Damasio, our feelings decide for us 95% of the time. We FEEL before we think. We FEEL before we act. As Damasio explains, humans are “feeling machines that think,” not “thinking machines that feel.” Ultimately, our feelings have a strong influence on how we make decisions. You need to learn how to separate what you are feeling from the actions that you are taking.

The 5 second countdown to the 2 minute rule is a remarkable took in this regard. For example, the moment you don’t feel like meal prepping, you won’t. But if you countdown from five and tell yourself that you’ll just take 2 minutes on the task, you can untangle your feelings from your actions and get started.

Remember, set realistic expectations and strive for progress, not perfection.

Remember to Reinforce Your Habits

William H McRaven said it well in his book, “Make Your Bed,”

“Every morning in basic SEAL training, my instructors, who at the time were all Vietnam veterans, would show up in my barracks room, and the first thing they would inspect was your bed. If you did it right, the corners would be square, the covers pulled tight, the pillow centered just under the headboard, and the extra blanket folded neatly at the foot of the rack.

It was a simple task, mundane at best. But every morning we were required to make our bed to perfection. It seemed a little ridiculous at the time, particularly in light of the fact that we were aspiring to be real warriors, tough battle-hardened SEALS, but the wisdom of this simple act has been proven to me many times over.

If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.

If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right. And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made-that you made-and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.

If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.”

Overcoming Procrastination in a Simple, Yet Powerful Way

What is that one thing you have been procrastinating that might be holding you back from achieving your goals?

Are you paralyzed about food choices?

Does taking the time to stand there and fill up your water bottle hold you back from staying hydrated?

Does the latest episode on Netflix prevent you from getting enough sleep?

Whether you’re waiting for the “perfect time” to start exercising, eat better… or do the dishes, I encourage you to use these tools to help you overcome procrastination and attack your goals head on. Whatever it is that’s taunting you, hanging over your head, if it takes less than two minutes to get started, then do it now.

Knowing what you need to do is the easy part…pushing yourself to do it takes courage.

If you already started making positive changes, you’re likely learning a lot about your body and mind. Hopefully, these are changes that you can embrace and carry through with you for life. Ride that momentum and take the steps you need to feel confident and become a better, healthier version of you.

Let me know how it goes!

Athlete of the Month: Carrie Bendik

Each month we highlight a different athlete at Salus. This individual has something special. They give their best in every class (and then some), they are hungry to learn more and always ready to do the work without complaining. Not only that, but this individual also supports their fellow classmates and encourage them to reach their goals, too. We believe that this is what the Salus Community should be all about.

This month, we get to feature Carrie Bendik.  Carrie has been with us almost two years now and has made some serious strides both physically and mentally. She has overcome obstacles, faced some fears and has come back stronger than ever. We couldn’t be more excited than to feature Carrie this month.

Please meet the March Athlete of the Month: Carrie Bendik:


1. When and why did you start at Salus?

I joined Salus in May 2019. I had always been dying to try CrossFit. I actually was going to a physical therapist in the same building as the old box. It took me awhile to work up the courage to try a class, but of course I’m so glad I did!

2. How has your performance changed since you started at Salus?

I’m so much stronger overall. I can lift heavier, my core has strengthened, and I’m more confident in myself.

3. Are there exercises you can do now that you couldn’t do before?

I can do handstands and double unders! All of the lifts we do with the barbell were new to me also.

4. How has your body physically changed since you started?

My arms and legs are more defined which is awesome.

I keep checking for my abs but no sign of them yet.

5. How has Salus changed you in other ways?

When I push myself to get through a really hard workout, that work ethic carries over into my everyday life. The discipline it takes to show up and work hard at Salus has given me more discipline in other areas of my life. I make better food choices, I make sure I get enough sleep, and it sounds silly but completing a hard workout gives me the motivation to do the daily life things I might not necessarily want to do.

I am also more mindful of my body positioning as I go about my day. For example, I pick my 3 year old up with a squat, instead of rounding at the back.

6. How do you describe Salus to your friends?

The best all around workout you can get, both physically and mentally, one you’ll never get bored with.

7. What keeps you motivated to continue?

I love to challenge myself physically and I try to do that daily.

You can learn a lot about yourself that way. Making progress in a lift or movement is also a big motivator. There is always something to work on or improve.

8. Favorite lift?

Squat clean- I love to squat and I love to clean.

 

9. What advice would you give to a newbie just joining Salus?

Sometimes the hardest part can be getting started.

CrossFit can be intimidating to someone just beginning, it certainly was for me. The best thing you can do is to take that initial step.

Start with trying one class.

Remember that everyone has been a beginner at one point, the only thing you have to do is show up and try. When I first started I remember thinking:

“A year from now where do you want to be?”- and that gave me the extra push to begin.

 

10. What is your next goal to accomplish?

Body weight back squat, toes to bar, and the ever elusive pull-up.

11. If you could design your own WOD, what would it look like?

I like long, gritty workouts-
5 rounds for time:
400 meter sandbag carry
10 squat cleans
10 wall balls
10 back squats
10 push press

12. Favorite thing to do for fun?

Spending time with my husband and girls, I love to cook and bake, and I love to run.

13. Favorite healthy dish….and favorite “splurge” meal?

Healthy dish: A big rainbow salad with grilled vegetables, olives, lentils or beans, and a homemade dressing.
Splurge: Bananas and peanut butter. Not really a meal but with the amount of peanut butter I eat it becomes one lol. I LOVE peanut butter.

14. If you could be a superhero who would you be and why?

Batman. I have loved Batman since I was little, I actually have a Batman tattoo! He doesn’t have superpowers and always does the right thing.

15. Favorite motivational quote?

In the depths of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer-Albert Camus

16. Interesting fact not many people know about you.

I am really into food, nutrition, and health and have recently started my own food blog called Happily at Home. It isn’t live yet but will be soon!!

Bar Muscle-Up Progressions

Common Bar Muscle-Up Progressions for CrossFit

The Bar Muscle-Up (BMU) is a performed differently than a pull-up.

The pull-up is performed with a vertical movement, up and down, where the bar muscle-up is performed with momentum moving forwards and backwards; with the backwards movement snapping back hard enough to throw the body over the bar.

Common CrossFit Gymnastics Progressions to Get Your First Bar Muscle Up

To master the bar muscle-up, one must first master:

  • the hollow body position on the floor and while hanging
  • the tight arch position on the floor and while hanging

Then progress into moving on the bar with the following:

  • the swing, starting behind the bar (to create a horizontal movement),
  • jumping to a hollow position,
  • pushing the heels behind you once reaching the end of the swing, and
  • snapping back into a hollow when swing backwards again.

Just remember to hit that “ninja position.” If done properly, the athlete can practice this drill with straight arms and be able to get their head higher than the bar.

Putting Bar Muscle Up Drills to Practice

Most athletes begin their transition too early and can’t bring their torso in the bar, this results in the “chicken wing.”

To practice the transition properly, the athlete can pull a banded PVC from above to their chest (see video below), and practice shifting their elbows and wrists over over the bar.

This transition drill, combined with the straight arm swing (with the head over the bar on the back swing), will create the patience and timing needed to master the bar muscle-up!

Learn More Bar Muscle-Up Progressions at Salus in Middletown NJ

Want more individualized gymnastics drills? We know you do!

Reach out to info@salusnj.com to learn more about private coaching to practice those bar muscle ups and other challenging exercises like toes to bar, kipping pullups, and butterfly pullups.

Why You Should Compete in the CrossFit Open

The CrossFit Games Open is upon us…

 

If you’re new to CrossFit, don’t just tune out and assume that it’s only for the firebreathing CrossFit athletes. We know it might seem intimidating, but that’s why we’re here to support you and help you be the best version of yourself!

Here are just a few reasons why YOU (yes, you!) should compete in the CrossFit Games Open:

When you find yourself in a real competition, you’re instantly motivated to learn everything you can, as fast as you can.

Which is reason #1 to sign up for the CrossFit Games Open. When you sign up for a competition, your motivation level to learn suddenly increases 100%. Suddenly, you might pay closer attention in class, you might go watch some videos online, you have that burning desire to become a better version of you.

Competition can bring out your best.

Every time you hit one of your PR’s (personal records), it lifts you up for an entire day. And others share your excitement – from the fist bumps and celebration from other members to the amazement of friends and family. Personal bests are a community celebration.

Whether you come first, middle or last everyone is there to support you.

You are capable of more than you think.

When you sign up for the CrossFit Games, you’re bound to find out just exactly how much more you can accomplish before the clock runs out. And if you’re still worried about some advanced moves, like the muscle up…put those fears away.

The CrossFit Games Open also offers a scaled division, so everyone can compete!

You’ll meet someone who inspires you and you will inspire others.

You just never know who is paying attention to what you do. But when you sign up to compete, you are showing everyone you aren’t afraid…and might encourage them to do the same.

You WILL kick butt.

If you’re new to CrossFit then we ESPECIALLY encourage you to sign up for the CrossFit Games Open. This competition will give you a baseline of your current capabilities. Then a year from then you can look back at your results and see how much you’ve improved.

And if you’ve been doing CrossFit for a while, then this will give you a great opportunity to test yourself. There’s absolutely no downside to competing, and you just might surprise yourself.

Here’s brief rundown on how the CrossFit Open works:

  • A new workout will be released each week for 3 weeks (this used to be 5 weeks).
  • The workouts are released on Thursday nights and scores are due Monday nights.
  • While this year looks differently from year’s past, we will still complete the workouts together in all classes on Friday.
  • Each week we will do the workout & you will submit your score for that weeks’ Open workout- the same one that thousands around the WORLD will be doing.
  • Each Open WOD will be judged – and there is a very very strict NO REP rule implemented (years past people have caught cheating the athletes and judges were disqualified).
  • Anyone can (and should) be a judge; learn more in the online judges course.
  • Get fired up! Get and give support from members while they compete and strive for their best.

Identify your goals if you haven’t yet…hunt them down and….CRUSH THEM. Who’s in?!

Sign up now at games.crossfit.com.

Want more health and fitness tips? Check out our recent posts:

What to Expect During Your First CrossFit Class

Find out what to expect during your first CrossFit class, what to bring and what to eat before you go.

Feeling intimidated about attending your first CrossFit class? You’re not alone.

Here’s what you need to know before you go.

10 Top Questions About Attending Your First CrossFit Class

What is CrossFit, really?

By definition, in CrossFit you will “perform functional exercises at high intensity with constantly varied structure.”

What do you actually do in CrossFit?

CrossFit focuses on 10 areas of fitness: cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy.

You can bet you’ll be doing one, two or all ten of these in any given day.

What’s with all this CrossFit lingo.

Box, AMRAP, As Prescribed, Fran…after a couple workouts, you, too will be tossing around these words into your everyday conversation.

Read our blog on Learning Some Common CrossFit Language, to find out more.

Will I get hurt?

Maybe you’ve heard from your neighbor, who knows a guy who knows a girl that hurt herself in a CrossFit class. Unfortunately, CrossFit has gotten a bad rap from countless shock-value viral videos.

Rest assured, all the coaches at CrossFit Salus are certified level 1 and level 2 trainers and have decades of experience. Your safety is our top priority and we’ll never hesitate to take weight off a bar if we feel form is being compromised.

So, be prepared to check your ego at the door.

Is CrossFit a cult?

Cult? No.

Community? Yes.

One of the best things about CrossFit is the crazy energetic and supportive atmosphere where the loudest cheers are for the last to finish and everyone knows your name.

What if I can’t do all those exercises?

The beauty about CrossFit is that all of our coaches are prepared to provide modifications for any and all exercises. You’ll notice that in each of our CrossFit classes, we also offer a “fitness” level that features scaled down movements and lighter weights as well as a “performance” level that features more advanced movements and heavier weights.

What should I pack for my first CrossFit class?

Wondering how to prepare for your first CrossFit workout? Don’t forget your water bottle, mask in case we’re working out inside, a good attitude, comfortable shoes and maybe a dry shirt to change into after you’re done.

What should I expect during my First CrossFit workout?

Each class is about an hour long. You can expect to move through about 5-15 minutes of a warm up followed by a skill or strength section before moving into whatever the workout is programmed for the day. The workout (WOD) starts with a much anticipated 3,2,1 GO! And everyone starts together.

Should I eat something specific before I go?

When and how much you eat depends on your own personal preferences and variables- some people like to eat right before they exercise, some people prefer to fuel up an hour or so beforehand.

Not sure what to do? Opt for a small portion carbs (think: half a banana) beforehand and a more substantial meal within an hour after training, which will help with recovery.

Need more in depth information on nutrition? Let’s chat.

Will I be sore after a CrossFit class?

Most people new to CrossFit will feel sore. It’s best to do some light activity the day after to get the blood flowing. If you’re not used to feeling sore, opt for a long walk or bike ride in between sessions as well as plenty of stretching.

Stepping into your first CrossFit class at Salus in Middletown NJ?

Remember to be open minded and be willing to learn, laugh and sweat a lot.

Schedule your free consultation to chat with a Salus coach and discuss your goals and answer any questions.