New Year’s 2016: Do’s and Don’ts

It’s inevitable, every year when the clock strikes midnight and the ball falls in Times Square people bring out their juicers and dust off their gym membership cards, well after they tend to their New Year’s day hangovers, of course.

90% of "Resoluters" have resigned to not accomplishing goals set on Jan 1st.
90% of “Resoluters” have resigned to not accomplishing goals set on Jan 1.

The fact that a new year brings motivation to so many individuals to get in shape at the gym and start that diet they’ve been wanting to begin for months is undoubtedly great. Especially to see in a nation prone to preventable diseases caused by a not-so-active lifestyle and a fast food joint on every corner. But where does this motivation go once mid-February hits? What is creating the slump that people seem to face after so many weeks of “dieting” and working out on the daily?

Many are going about the healthy lifestyle change the completely wrong way. Depending on “fad diets” or “cleanses”, or relying on a specific number of calories per day, one that may be way to low to keep your energy levels up.  The only benefits of having a healthy lifestyle people are focusing on is being able to fit in that old pair of jeans, or losing 10 pounds by a planned spring break trip to the beach.

If you truly want 2016 to be the healthiest year of your life, is time to say goodbye to the fad diets and obsessively checking the number on the scale and say hello to a true, positive lifestyle change that will affect your life in so many more ways than just the number on the scale, which brings us to the Do’s  and Don’ts of New Year’s Resolutions.

Don’t: Depend on a 6 week fad diet or 3 day cleanse.

These will get you nowhere. Yes, you may look great in 6 weeks – but where do you go from there? Probably to the grocery store to stock up on your favorite junk foods that you have been depriving yourself of for the last two months.

Do: Make more conscious decisions about what you are eating and when you are eating it and stick to it for the long run.

It is important that you look at your diet in a positive way instead of negative. For example, instead of constantly thinking “I can’t have pizza” think, “I’m excited to eat chicken and broccoli for dinner tonight, because I know I will feel good about it after and it’s benefiting my body”. Instead of just changing your diet for 6 weeks, you need to be prepared to change your lifestyle for the long run. Drop soda and only drink water, meal prep on Sundays so you aren’t tempted to stop at the drive through during your lunch break. Remember, everything in moderation including moderation. Thinking of your New Year’s resolution as a lifestyle change instead of a fad diet will get you a much better outcome, physically and mentally!

Don’t: Give into multi-level marketing schemes like body wraps and meal replacement shakes.

First of all, these things are always WAY overpriced. Second, please tell me how a body wrap will give you any nutritional value to increase your quality of life! Bottom line, just don’t use these products, there’s more benefits to a healthy lifestyle than looking good and these products can not provide anything more than that.

Do: Eat lots of vegetables and proteins, nuts, fruit and little sugar.

In the “100 Words of CrossFit” it is stated you should “eat meats and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar”. Live by this statement. A good diet is important not only to increase the effectiveness of your workouts, but also your mood and quality of life. Plus, produce from your grocery store is a lot more friendly to your bank account than a $200 month’s supply of a crappy meal replacement shake.

Don’t: Make excuses to skip a workout.

Working out is important. Every time you workout you are improving yourself. Finding at least 30 minutes a day to get your blood pumping will keep your endorphins high and make you feel GREAT! Make working out a priority.

Do: Find a exercise that you love.

If you find a type of exercise that you enjoy doing, you will look forward to your daily workout instead of dreading it. Whether it is Zumba, running, olympic weightlifting or yoga, find something you enjoy doing! It will make a world’s difference.

So all in all, to make 2016 your best year yet, don’t fall into the gimmicks of multi-level marketing fitness programs and fad diets. Stick to a healthy diet full of lean meat and yummy vegetables, workout daily. If you are nice to your body, it will be nice to you back!

Article Written by: Mary Weider

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MAX OUT WEEK (Squats): How Much Can You Lift?

Weeks of squatting in the books.  Following a 7/13 template (week 2 is the worst) and working to 100% of your old personal best for two reps!  This cycle is not for the faint of heart or weak of mind.  Now it comes to an end and it is time to test your strength and your mettle.

The start of 7/13
The start of 7/13

Mettle too?  Yes.  If you have been involved with this cycle you have gained strength, but it also takes a mental fortitude to break down walls and push through moments of extreme duress (going for a maximum lift).  Not to sound like a motivational cliché, but you need to visualize your success.  Now you are mentally ready but how do you approach the maximal lift?

After the prescribed group warm-up we would highly suggest performing a comfortable bottom sit with the barbell in the back squat position (even when maxing out the front).  The purpose of this is to stretch out your hip flexors and prepare your body to hit your lifts with proper range of motion.  Make sure you do not slouch or lose your core while performing this movement.  Your body should remain in proper squat form during this warm-up movement.  If you are uncertain about how to perform this move or what weight to use ask the coach.

There are two fields of thought on approaching a maximal lift.  The “normal” volume approach and the “high” volume approach and it all depends on what YOU are comfortable with.  This will highlight both approaches and give you a template to follow.

Sit down and chart out how you are going to attack these lifts.  A good starting point is to make your “projected” 1RM five pounds over your previous personal best.  This is a starting point, once you hit that number you can adjust for your seventh and maybe 8th set.  On back squat day add a walkout before the 6th set at 10% over your projected 1RM, ask a coach to assist you in this task if you have never completed one before.


Set Reps Normal/% of projected 1RM Reps High/% of projected Rest
1 8/50 12/45 2 min
2 5/60 8/55 2 min
3 3/70 5/65 3 min
4 1/80 3/75 3 min
5 1/90 1/85 5 min
6 1/100 1/95 5-10 min
7 1/+2-5 1/102-105 5-10 min

You will see the fruits of your labor this week.  If this is the first time you have done anything of this nature be prepared for huge gains in both front and back squat.  If you have been with us for a long period of time gains can be expected, but probably not to the extent you had in the beginning.  This is a great way to start 2016 and will give you a baseline for the rest of your year.   #DBB and Get it!


Client Stories

Mary Weider: 3 years of CrossFit Love


Brief personal history and journey towards beginning your CrossFit journey:

I have always been into working out. In high school I was in competitive all-star cheerleading (WHICH IS A SPORT) and occasionally went to the YMCA to run and do some of the machines, oh and Zumba. Then I started doing kick boxing classes which were cool and fun. During my sophomore year of college, I started venturing over to the lifting stations at the rec at UWO and experimented with deadlifts and squats, having absolutely no idea what I was doing. I was working out daily with a friend who knew a lot more about lifting than I did, so I just kind of followed her routine which was around 30 minutes of cardio followed by a “leg day” or “arm day”.

What brought you to CrossFit Oshkosh?

I got bored of my daily routine and got in a really bad relationship with the treadmill and elliptical machines, I hated them. I had heard of CrossFit a couple years ago but didn’t really know what it consisted of and always stayed away because I heard it was hard, like impossible hard. I literally just goggled CrossFit and found CrossFit Oshkosh. I called to ask if I could come in for a class and the rest is history.

Your first impression of CrossFit Oshkosh?

I remember Sue helping me with my front squats on my first day of class (thanks Sue!) and I remember my first WOD consisted of jumping lunges and running. I honestly can’t even tell you what I was thinking during my first class, I think I might have blacked out, but whatever it was it was a good feeling because two years later I’m still coming back for more! I do remember thinking it was weird that the box looked like a garage though.

What has been your biggest hurdle since starting?

I honestly think the Snatch, and just WOD’s in general. I remember dreading going to classes when it was snatch day, and then I hated snatching during class. Now I get excited when I see we are snatching! It is one of my favorite lifts. WOD’s have always been hard for me physically and mentally. Since I started though I have seen a huge change in how I go about them. I’m taking less breaks in the middle pushing myself harder. Another thing that has been a big hurdle for me is patience. Sometimes I can get pretty frustrated if pull-ups aren’t feeling so hot that day or my body decides that I’m not going to lift as much as I wanted to. I’m definitely learning to enjoy the process though – you have to have the bad days to get the good days!

What is your favorite aspect of CrossFit?

Okay well I could go on and on with this one. I always joke around that my greatest friends I made in college were my CrossFit friends. The people I have met through the box are people I hope to keep as lifelong friends. The coaches are some of the greatest mentors I have ever had. I love oly lifting and I love the feeling of laying on the ground dead after a hard WOD, it’s somehow rewarding and there’s just nothing like it. Thanks to CrossFit I am doing things I literally never even imagined my self being able to do. I love the community and I love competing. I also like how CrossFit is similar to cheerleading, in both sports you are working to get new skills. I also love how there is not negative body image talk in the CrossFit community. A couple years ago I had the worst body image and only cared about being “skinny”. Since starting CrossFit that has totally vanished, I mean yeah I would love to look like Brooke Ence, but I can also squat 280 pounds so I’ll take that over being able to fit in a size 2 jeans. So yeah I pretty much love every aspect of CrossFit. CrossFit was definitely a life changer for me. I honestly don’t think I could have found something more perfect for me. I would recommend CrossFit, especially CrossFit Oshkosh, to anyone in a heartbeat.

What are your current goals in CrossFit?

The list is endless. I want to be able to do muscle ups, back squat 300, front squat 250, clean and jerk 200, snatch 150, butterfly pull ups and eventually chest to bars, improve my time on all the girls. Yeah I have a lot of work to do. Mainly, I don’t want to ever stop getting better.

What is something we don’t know about you?

Let’s be honest I’m pretty much an open book. I love one direction, I coach all-star cheerleading and I would eat pizza every day if I could. But you all already knew that. Hmmmm, I guess a lot of people probably don’t know I was born in Long Beach, CA and slept through an earthquake at the age of only 3 months, pretty proud of that one!  If you want to know anything else about me just ask ☺!