Mequon CrossFit Mortalis

Redefining the “Cheat Day”

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Written by Ryan Lehr

Let’s set the very familiar scenario: You have made it into the gym four or five times this week and have been following a strict diet plan that you have been provided with by your nutrition coach, (Lisa), and you have come to the weekend and it is time to have that much desired day off. Too often, we give ourselves a pat on the back in the form of a “cheat day,” but never consider if this indulgence is deserved on the day off just because of a few good days of following a nutrition plan and getting in the gym. Have the goals set forth been met? Instead of the well sought-after “cheat days” that may be turning your nutrition or weight loss goals into a nightmare, there are better options available as long as you’re willing to do a little research.

First off, saying, “It’s my cheat day,” carries too many negative annotations. Fitness members learn of this term and treat it as a weekly holiday and binge eat all of the crap they can in the window of time provided instead of just the one adequate indulgence meal. More often than not, this habitual cheat day will spill over to the next day, and the day after that, and the vicious cycle continues with you saying, “I’ll get back on track Monday.”

Don’t misinterpret this and start believing that you should never give in to your indulgences, because you do deserve them! If you are sticking to a meal plan and attending classes at the gym consistently, then you should be able to treat yourself. There is a benefit to allowing yourself a “treat meal” and there is some science behind this that you need to have a brief understanding of so you don’t get too carried away with this concept.

Your body produces a hormone called leptin. Leptin is stored in your adipose tissue (fat cells) and communicates to your body when you have stored enough energy, giving you that feeling of being full. Allowing an occasional treat meal will help to keep an appropriate leptin level and even help to burn fat. This way you won’t go on an all-out binge and will help to keep your appetite satisfied while promoting a faster metabolism and improving weight loss.

For starters, no longer refer to having a “cheat meal” – or even worse a “cheat day.” Start referring to your small indulgences as “treat meals” as they give a more positive annotation and more clear perspective on what purpose they serve. Find a plan that works for you, whether it is once a week, or scheduled every few days as the purpose of a snack. From licensed nutritionist and dietician, Jim White, “It is not supposed to be an all-you-can-eat binge meal. If you’re gonna do pizza, do three pieces of thin crust veggie pizza and a beer, instead of a huge pepperoni/sausage thing with five beers. You can really affect your waistline with one meal.”

Keep working hard in the gym, sticking to the goals you have set forth, and treat yourself on occasion!

3 Ways to Keep Your Workout Routine While Traveling

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Written by Danni Krumins

With the holidays right around the corner, you might have some travel plans coming up. Whether it’s a trip home to see family or just a holiday vacation for yourself it can be hard to maintain your workout routine while you’re away from the gym.

Here are 3 great ways to stay active on vacation so you don’t miss a beat when you come back in to Moro Performance:

1. Get Outside!

Outside in the Snow

Wherever you are, get outside and explore. This is not only a great way to get some exercise, but you you also get to see more of where you are. Go for a walk downtown, look for nearby hiking trails, or see what outdoor activities might be in the area; like skiing or snowshoeing.

2. Hotel Fitness Centre

If you’re staying in a hotel while you’re away hit up the the fitness centre or the swimming pool before you head out for your day. A hotel fitness centre won’t have all the same equipment that we have at Moro Performance, but if you let us know you are going on vacation we would be happy to give some vacation WODs that require little to no equipment at all!

3. Drop In at a CrossFit Gym

Drop In at Catalyst

With 14,000 affiliates worldwide, chances are that there is going to be a CrossFit gym nearby wherever you are. Drop in for a class or two. CrossFit is like one big community around the world so they will be extremely welcoming and helpful, and it’s a great chance to see how things are the same or different at another gym. Let us know where you are going and we might be able to recommend some gyms in the area for you.

Why We Share Bright Spots

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bright spots friday

We want you to be successful, and to be successful you need to be motivated.

The science of motivation is the science of success. That’s why many professionals study motivation more than their particular line of work. As coaches, we know the selection of exercises is secondary to your desire to perform them.

Here’s what we know about motivation:

  1. Success has to happen before you’ll become motivated.
  2. Success has to KEEP happening, or you’ll fall off.
  3. We don’t always recognize success when it happens. We’re pretty hard on ourselves.

Good gyms provide access. Great gyms provide coaching and success.

That means we want you to prioritize our PR board, continue to track your progress in SugarWOD, and we all need to take five minutes every week to reflect on the GOOD in our lives – even when it might be hard to find.

The practice of thankfulness doesn’t come naturally to anyone. That’s why we call it a practice: it’s hard, we don’t feel like doing it–and then we feel better once we have.

“Bright Spots Friday” is our practice of thankfulness. Every week in the private members facebook group, we will post our Bright Spots: things that went right, things we’re celebrating, and little ‘wins’ from the week. Bright Spots don’t always need to be directly workout-related, but practicing gratitude and thankfulness IS an exercise.

The first time, we know you’ll be reluctant to post your Bright Spots. “I don’t really know these people THAT well…they don’t want to hear about my life.” Or “I don’t want to share all my personal stuff…”

So I’ll go first, and I encourage you to follow with one TINY little Bright Spot. Make it workout-related to start, if that’s easier for you to come up with something. What did you do RIGHT, or do BEST, or do for the FIRST time this week? Share it with us in the members group!

We’re all family here. Look within, and start your weekend happy. :)

Kevin’s Six-Week Transformation

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At some point in their lives everyone seeks change, but not everyone makes the sacrifices needed to change. Kevin decided it was time.

In late summer he came to us for a six-week transformation challenge. Kevin came to three classes per week (only 1.8% of the total time in a week) and adapted our diet plan we provided to him and other challenge participants. Six weeks passed and his results are unbelievable!

19 pounds lost and 12 inches lost over his entire body – most notably, 4 inches off of his waist and 2.5 inches off of his hips.

Additionally, we did a 10 minute workout at the beginning and end of the challenge to show participants how their fitness improved, and Kevin more than doubled the amount of work he could do in 10 minutes!

Kevin DT

See what Kevin has to say about his time spent at Moro Performance so far:

“Six weeks ago I decided that I needed a change in my life and choose to sign up for a six-week challenge at Moro Performance. Before I choose to do the six-week challenge I was unhealthy and unhappy.

At the beginning of the challenge I was very nervous and didn’t really know what to expect, but the team at Moro Performance made me feel welcome and very comfortable on the first day. At first, doing CrossFit was very hard and intimidating, but all the coaches made sure that we did all the correct movements and taught us all the proper lifting techniques at our skill level. After a couple classes I was already hooked and couldn’t wait to come back to class for another killer workout. During this six-week challenge I lost a substantial amount of weight, feel way more motivated and overall am just a happier person.”

A lot can change in six weeks, and Kevin’s results show that. His body composition has improved, his fitness improved, and he is happier – what more could a person ask for? 🙂 Kevin’s just getting started, too.

Our coaches help motivate you and keep you on track – all you have to do is commit to showing up. It all starts the day you decide it’s time to change.

Book your “No Sweat” Intro here to come in and talk to a coach about getting started.

5 Reasons to Include Cardio in Your Training

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Written by Coach Lisa

Cardio. You either love it or you hate it. There’s really not much of an in-between for people. Regardless of your opinion of it, you absolutely should be including into your training in some way.

In fact, did you know a 5K run is the most commonly programmed workout by CrossFit HQ on the mainsite. Yep! Monostructural training (a.k.a. ‘cardio’) is part of CrossFit, too. Whether it be running, biking, swimming, or rowing, you need to be doing it.

Side Note: Let me state that in this article, cardio is constituted as running, biking, rowing, swimming, etc. In CrossFit, we would also consider a typical metcon like Fran or Karen to be included in cardiovascular work, but for the sake of this article, I am leaving metcons out.

While you can get your heart rate elevated by doing Fran or by rowing 2000m, the importance of properly programmed monostructural workouts should not be discredited. Why? Continue on reading (in no specific order)…

1. Train Different Metabolic Pathways

Depending on the type of cardio, long slow distance or short sprint intervals, you will be training different energy systems and metabolic pathways – all of which should be trained to be well-rounded.

Running a 5k, rowing 2000m, swimming 500m, etcetera all are considered aerobic training. Your body will primarily use aerobic (in the presence of oxygen) energy pathways, and this type of training will help you become efficient in exerting more energy over a longer period of time.

Doing a tabata, sprint intervals, or short row repeats are all primarily anaerobic (without oxygen) activities due to the short time of the exercise bout.

Because your body has different energy systems, doing multiple types of workouts will benefit your training and allow you to get better at both shorter and longer workouts.

2. Change of Scenery

Don’t get me wrong, we LOVE when you come into to gym and give it your all in a WOD, but sometimes a change of scenery is nice. Getting in a trail run on a nice day will help clear your mind and boost your spirits. Being outdoors or in a different setting is a good mental reset and will help relieve stress.

3. Increased Heart & Lung Function

Your heart is the most important organ in your body, without it you don’t have life. If you take care of it you can extend your life and the quality of your life. Doing cardiovascular-based workouts will help increase the health and function of your heart – heart rate, stroke volume, and contractility will all improve.

Cardiovascular work will also condition your lungs to supply oxygen with the help of your heart to your body for long periods of time, thus improving lung capacity and function.

4. Better Mental Confidence / Resilience 

There is something to be said about surpassing your perceived limitations you set for yourself, and nothing quite does that like being able to run for longer than you thought you would or feeling better than you thought you would after a long row.

Endurance workouts take mental grit, you have to get into your own head and tell yourself you CAN do this, and that feeling of pushing past mental limits will absolutely extend into other areas of life.

5. Broaden Your Scope of Practice

Barbell EMOMs and spicy met cons are only going to make you so fit. If you really want to become the best, healthiest, fittest version of yourself, your training needs to be varied.

While that may be a tough pill to swallow, you need to work on your weaknesses to take yourself to the next level. That being said, if you despise running, you don’t always have to run – you should still do it occasionally, but find something you enjoy to get your heart rate up for extended periods of time.

 

It is also important to note that cardiorespiratory capacity can be transferable, depending on the type of activity. That is, CrossFit classes can help your running, swimming, biking and definitely rowing easier – and the same can be said for the reverse, but maybe not to the same extent.

Rhythm Drills for Kipping Toes-to-Bar

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Video by Coach Danni

Can you do toes-to-bar, but are struggling to string them together in a WOD?

Grab a band and spend some time practicing with the proper rhythm. The band provides you a tactile cue for the timing of the beat swing and when to perform the toes-to-bar.

Spasticity? Not Today! Find Out How To Beat this Common MS Symptom

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Written by Coach Anthony

I feel it every morning I wake up – tightness and a lack of mobility from the previous day’s activities. How do I get going at 5 am so that I can be limber enough to coach pre-BUD/S students every day? I stretch!

Follow these simple guidelines and give my morning stretching routine a try, who knows – maybe it will work for you too!

Anthony Stretch

As soon as I wake up I take a shower, and while in the warm water I do two quick stretches: a third world stretch while I’m washing my hair and a 20-30 second seated hamstring stretch as I rinse out the shampoo. These stretches are great for the low back, hamstrings, adductors, and calf muscles – all the places I feel the most spasticity every morning! Pro tip: make sure you have something to hold onto so you don’t slip on your shampoo!

After getting ready and walking downstairs to put my shoes on I do another really quick stretching routing for the total body. Keep in mind this has been my morning stretching routine for about 7 years now and at first, I could barely accomplish the full range of motion with any of the positions! These stretches take your shower stretch just a bit farther and really get your hip flexors, quads, low back, glutes, hamstring, calves, and soleus muscles and shoulder complex ready for your day, or to coach students at Great Lakes Naval Base class if you’re me!

Pro tip: Like in the video, use a ball, or some other object to help you keep your balance like the sofa or a wall. If this hurts your knee, place a folded up towel under it! Remember to do this on both sides!

Pattern:

  1. Lunging hip flexor stretch
  2. Lunging quad stretch
  3. Instep stretch
  4. Kneeling hamstring stretch
  5. Downward Dog shoulder stretch
  6. Seal Pose Abdominal stretch

Do you have a morning ritual or stretching routine that works for you?

Tell me about it in the comments!