How Consistent do I have to Be?

You are several years into your fitness journey whether that means CrossFit everyday or just finding a way to move several times a week. You may have started getting the grilled chicken sandwich at chick fil a rather than the classic number one meal. You have seen progress in the gym and can tell a difference but you really had a different idea in mind for yourself when you started this journey. At some point in time we all get to this place, wondering what we are doing wrong, should we be eating less or more, why can’t we see the changes in our body or fitness progress that we really want?

The truth is progress, especially when it revolves around physical appearance, is all about consistency. Additionally no matter how consistent we are with good nutrition and getting in the gym our bodies can only change so fast (in reference to a balanced diet and eating at a maintenance or small deficit level). So that brings us to the question; How consistent do I have to be to reach my goals?

Before we dive into consistency, keep in mind that each person’s goals will vary according to where they are. Some may have a goal to get to the gym three times a week, or to hit their macro goals 5 days a week, etc. Whatever your goal is, think about that in terms of consistency, 100% consistency does not equal do every single thing all the time, it is relative to your goals and habits!

According to an article by Precision Nutrition titled “What it REALLY takes to lose fat, get healthy and change your body,” everyone in the study noticed change and improvement just by paying some attention to their choices. They made small changes every couple weeks that built on each other. PN paints a picture that if your goal is to hit your macros five days a week that would amount to about fifteen total meals. So if you hit your macros for four of those days that would be 12/15 meals which would equal 80% consistency. Over the course of one year, men and women who ranged from 80-89% consistency with whatever their goals were lost a total of 20-21 inches across all body measurements.

My intention is here not to tell you how you need to lose weight or be better. Rather the hope is that we can begin to understand that when we create an environment that is mostly predictable for our bodies, they begin to thrive and we see the progress we hope for. This applies to any area whether we want to be better at a certain lift, get double unders, gain muscle, lose fat, any of the above! And the good news? You don’t even have to be 80% consistent to see results. Majority of people in the study ranged from 50-79% consistency over the course of the year and still saw huge changes.

What does this mean for us? Don’t lose heart! The combination of choosing small habits that we can implement over a long period of time and choosing some level of consistency that is doable for you is what really takes you toward your goal. So whether you are on track 90% of the time or 50% of the time- stick with it! Lasting change takes time. If we plan for this long term strategy starting out then our small choices will continue to build on each other. A fun way to start tracking your consistency is to decide on 1-2 habits you would like to have that are doable for you! Something like, meet my protein goal 4 days a week, eat 5 servings of fruit and vegetables 5 days a week, or do 2 pullups every time I go into the gym. Once you know the habits you want to have you can start to notice your consistency and adjust your goal accordingly to make this a habit that is a part of your life!

By: Madisyn Wynn

Ideas for Meal Prep

Meal Prepping

The questions I am most often asked about by nutrition clients and gym-goers alike relate to meal prepping. Meal prep has a stigma associated with its ‘assumed’ difficult, time-consuming and tedious nature. However, by taking just a few simple steps and utilizing the tools below, meal prep can be easier than deciding what or where to eat with your significant other…..much easier.

Know Your Goals

The first step to an efficient and quick meal prep is to know your goals! Do you want to gain weight? Lose weight? Increase protein intake or carbs? You must first determine your goal in order to proceed.

Second, decide how many meals each day you plan to prep. Will you be prepping breakfast; breakfast and lunch, 2 or 3 meals for the next day or week? Will you be cooking fresh meals for dinner, or will you be prepping for all 3 main courses of your day for each day of the week? Once you know exactly what you are prepping for, it becomes much easier to break down how to efficiently prepare.

Simplify and Organize

Now that the hard questions have been asked and we know what we need, the easy part begins. Keep in mind, what I am going to recommend are just my personal preferences on how to prepare certain foods in bulk for weekly consumption. You can absolutely make adjustments to fit your needs, but this is what I have found works best for me.

Also, a bonus to meal prep is saving money. I found purchasing in bulk is the best option with regards to cutting costs. Therefore, I do A LOT of my shopping at Costco. You’re going to see a trend here….

Protein

My preferred proteins:

Chicken (bulk package from Costco)
Beef (85-88% leanness from Costco- Organic is packaged at 85%)
Salmon (usually canned Alaskin Salmon from Costco…not as gross as it sounds I promise)
Eggs (Organic brown / pasture raised)
Whey Protein Powder (Ascent or Iconic brands)
Shrimp (Tail off pre-cooked…also Costco)
Bacon (Thicccccccc cuts)

Protein Prep

Chicken: My favorite way to prepare chicken for the week is with a pressure cooker. It takes little effort on my part and can prepare several lbs at a time. I normally prep 6 breasts at a time and that will last me 4-5 days eating 4oz of cooked chicken twice a day. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, no worries. I’ll also use the oven from time to time, but I tend to dry the chicken out. The pressure cooker will always leave the chicken moist and I’m able to shred it immediately.

Beef: With beef I tend to cook it a more traditional way, on the stove in a pan. I’ll normally cook 1 lb to 1.5 lbs at a time, draining the fat as it cooks. This will make the beef a bit lighter when it is cooled and you’ll avoid the fatty clumps that will collect in a container after refrigeration. This will allow for more accurate readings when weighing out your beef for meals later on.

Eggs: I have just recently begun cooking eggs in a small, 12 count muffin pan and tossing that in the oven. It allows for you to cook 12 eggs at a time and also keeps your measurements accurate. It can be a pain to cook eggs every morning and if you attempt to scramble 12 eggs at a time to prep for 3 days of breakfasts, good luck measuring out consistent amounts of eggs for each meal after mixing them together. Again, keep it simple.

Another way to do this is to boil 12-16 eggs. They will keep for several days in the fridge and make morning prep much easier.

Bacon: I love bacon, so I like to eat it at least once a day. Prepping bacon can be messy and take a while, so I normally cook about 1.5lbs a week in the oven. Bacon keeps FOREVER in the fridge and can be a great protein addition to any breakfast or dinner.

Whey protein: I normally buy Ascent and will put one scoop in a container and take it to the gym with me. If I forget or run out, I’ll purchase an Iconic shake at the gym.

Canned Salmon: Open the can, put the salmon in a container, usually with some air fried sweet potatoes or jasmine rice, and call it a day. Nice and simple.

Shrimp: I don’t eat shrimp all that often, but if you need protein and have already hit your fat count for the day, you’re not going to do much better than thawing some frozen shrimp and sauteing those in a pan. Super quick and easy if you need a protein boost for the day.

Carbs

My preferred carbs:

Jasmine Rice (Kroger or Costco in bulk, uncooked)
Sweet Potatoes (Anywhere)
Oatmeal (Packets)
Fig Newtons- Fat Free (Kroger)
Apples (Anywhere)
Bananas (Anywhere)
Ignition (1st Phorm)

Carb Prep

Jasmine Rice: I used to eat traditional white or brown rice. However, trying to prep either in bulk and then reheat them in a microwave is terrible. It normally comes out dry and hard. So, I have made a permanent shift to Jasmine rice as it normally will keep for days and when microwaved, will come out fluffy and almost fresh. My preferred method of prep is to cook 3 cups in a medium sized pot with 4.5 cups of water. Bring it to a boil and then cover, letting it sit for 15minutes. After that, you’re ready to go.

Also, please note that if you have any issues hitting your carb intake target for the day, Jasmine rice can help big time! Jasmine rice normally provides 36-40 grams of carbs for every ¼ cup of dry rice. That is about double what most traditional white or brown rices will provide. You’ll have to consume half the amount of other rice options to meet your goal per meal.

Sweet Potatoes: I used to oven bake tons of sweet potatoes, but honestly the texture of mushy potatoes everyday started to get to me. So, when I was given an air fryer for Christmas, I began prepping all of my sweet potatoes in the fryer. The potatoes become crisp and you can season them perfectly to your liking. An air fryer will also shrink the potatoes a bit, allowing for smaller portion sizes, but this will not reduce the carb richness. This makes it much easier to eat more, much faster.

Oatmeal: I normally buy packaged oatmeal packets, sometimes the maple+brown sugar packets. However, there can be a lot of sugar and other additives that some would like to avoid. Find out what you like and oatmeal can be an easy addition to pump up those carb numbers with any meal.

Fig Newtons: Here we are getting into the more simple carbs that are great for use after workouts. Fat free Fig Newtons are always an easy carb for me to choke down even after the hardest of workouts when I don’t feel much like eating.

Apples and Bananas: No prep needed here, just bring them with you to the gym!

Ignition: No prep needed! I normally take a scoop and throw it in a small container to have during and after workouts. Ignition is basically just a simple carb, hi in sugar, that is terrific for fueling your muscles during and immediately after workouts!

Fats

Preferred Fats:
Mixed Nuts (Costco in bulk)
Oils (Avocado, Coconut and Olive Oils)

Fat Prep

Mixed Nuts: No prep needed. All I do is measure out what I need and throw it into whatever meal I’m having to boost the fat content of the meal.

Oils (Avocado, Coconut and Olive Oils): All three are terrific additions to any meal. I normally saute my already prepped meal in one of these 3 oils just to add some nice texture or flavor. Oils are a great way to easily boost the fat content of any meal without having to add volume to the meal itself.

There you have it! These are my quick tips to make sure you can always be prepared for a day or week with little effort. Meal prepping does not need to be a chore. Most of the time, you can apply the set it and forget it method to cooking proteins and carbs while also carrying out other tasks. You can kill two birds with one stone and better prepare yourself for success!

Have fun!

-Coach Ryan McKenzie

Prioritizing Protein

Do I really need to eat 5 chicken breasts a day to get the kind of muscle I want? But really, why is protein so important?

While you probably don’t need 5 chicken breasts a day to support healthy muscle growth, the truth is many people who exercise are not getting the adequate amount of protein for their body to recover properly. We are going to talk about the basics of protein; what is it, why do I need it, and how much do I need?

First, protein is one of the three macronutrients we need to keep our body functioning well. Protein is broken down into even smaller pieces, but really what that means is that protein is the building block for all of our cells, organs, tissues and systems in our body! For the most part our body can make these small pieces of protein on its own no matter what we eat everyday. There are a couple types of protein pieces that we cannot make and must find in our food. This is why it is important to eat a variety of foods and get our protein from all different sources, not just two or three.

Quality
Since our body is always using protein to build things, it can’t store very much for later use. This means we always need more from our food. When we aren’t getting enough protein our body will begin to pull from other places such as our muscle repair systems to maintain regular function. These protein pieces function like a soccer team, if the goalie isn’t there the other players can’t play the game. In the same way, if one protein type is low then the others cannot be used to their full capacity, in other words we need balance and to eat all different kinds of food! (precision nutrition)

Quantity
The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8/g per kilogram of body weight, this translates to about 0.4g/lb of bodyweight. Again, this is the minimum required amount for survival with little to no movement throughout the day. For adults who participate regularly in sports or exercise of any kind their body requires more protein to rebuild the muscle fibers that are being torn during exercise. A typical recommendation from Nutrition Coaches would range from 0.7-1.5g/lb for someone who exercises regularly. This should approximate to about 30% of your total daily calories.

So What?
Now you know the why and the how much, it’s time to put it into practice. A great way to “measure” protein is to use the palm of your hand. Any from a chicken breast, cup of yogurt, ground beef/turkey, eggs and fish can be measured this way and should approximate to about 25g of protein give or take 5 grams. This can be so helpful as we go throughout our days without a food scale but want to be mindful of protein intake.
Protein is incredibly important for us to maintain optimal function of our bodies and to repair the muscle tissue and aid future muscle growth. If you have been showing up to do the work everyday but often wake up the next day feeling sore, tired and wondering how you’re going to do it again a lack of protein could be the culprit! Prioritize protein, recover faster and feel stronger!
-Madisyn Wynn

Sources: https://www.precisionnutrition.com/will-a-high-protein-diet-harm-your-health
https://www.workingagainstgravity.com/guides/nutrition-guide

Be STRONG… #sopostrong what does it mean?

Be Strong-

What does it mean to be #SOPOSTRONG? Yes this alliteration is a catchy hashtag but what it really means inside our community is what I am here to explain. When I had a vision for this gym over six years ago I wanted to create an environment that was inclusive where like “Cheers” everyone knows your name… they most likely know your profession, if you’re a dog/cat person, and whether you like burpees or not. When the pandemic hit last year our community was forced to isolate (like everyone else in the world) and what I discovered during that time as an owner is that people here workout consistently because they simply love the people they are working out with. The community, the family, is the driving force that makes everyone keep coming back for more. YOU make this place great! Having a strong CrossFit community is going to keep us all healthier and fit for life. Being STRONG at Sopo means showing up to do hard things with friends. It means you have another person to share life’s laughs and burdens with (especially if those burdens involve burpees over a box). Being STRONG at Sopo means giving it 100% of the available effort you have for that day because that not only makes you stronger but could also positively affect your friend. Being STRONG at Sopo means we encourage and push one another to become better humans. Being #SOPOSTRONG is more than just a hashtag because it represents all of us as a family caring, cheering, encouraging, and fighting for one another and for our health one day at a time.

Snowpocalypse21: Stay Positive

Hello Everyone!

It’s snowing out if you weren’t aware. After some extensive research (actually none), I found an article (no I didn’t) stating this volume of fluffy rain hasn’t been seen in Memphis since 1634 (don’t check that). Because this is such an unprecedented event, it’s tough to know exactly how to handle the situation. Do we let the weather get the best of us and attempt to finish all 32 bottles of Trader Joe’s wine we’ve been stockpiling for the last year OR do we do the opposite and do fasted cardio sprints in 1 degree weather outside? I’d say the healthy majority of us will likely find ourselves somewhere between the two options. We are all human and mistakes will be made, but the key is to view this situation as the rare opportunity it is and practice controlling what we can control and let the rest go.

What We Cannot Control:
The weather

What We Can (attempt to) Control:
Our Attitude
Mobility Focus
Diet
Sleep
Hydration
Perception
Relationships with ourselves and those we GET (perception control there) to be stuck with!

I know a lot of us view the gym as our social hour. It is what keeps us level in our hectic lives. However, the 5 days off from the gym does not have to be a bad thing. View it as a time to work on our mobility. Let those little nagging pains heal. Focus on doing the body weight workouts Amanda has taken the time to create and make the best of this situation. It is a small hiccup in our weekly routines and we will soon be back in full swing. Hopefully, we can all come back fresh faced, more grateful and with more excitement than before Snowpocalypse 21’!

See you all soon!!

-Coach Ryan McKenzie

WOD 4.11

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Maecenas sagittis nisl in est vulputate, eu finibus arcu mollis. Sed sodales ultricies sem, non condimentum tellus dapibus ac. Integer dictum tortor id augue hendrerit, blandit elementum purus fringilla. Vestibulum quis luctus nulla. Quisque in fringilla orci. Donec ullamcorper quis ligula sit amet tincidunt. Quisque arcu ligula, semper non est eu, dapibus egestas lectus. Donec vel nibh vel mauris aliquet sollicitudin.

Nam faucibus, massa quis iaculis egestas, quam metus placerat eros, vitae efficitur nisi elit a nibh. Quisque ac ipsum nunc. Cras commodo consequat tellus, et pretium ante sagittis eget. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Duis et velit lorem. Nunc non orci maximus, rhoncus magna in, pellentesque nisl. Interdum et malesuada fames ac ante ipsum primis in faucibus. Nunc rutrum, diam id dapibus condimentum, turpis nisl eleifend magna, at aliquet est arcu id eros. Aenean malesuada suscipit purus, in laoreet erat viverra a. Sed nec malesuada arcu.

Etiam euismod enim at dapibus consectetur. Aenean hendrerit risus ut dolor laoreet commodo eget in elit. Maecenas sed pharetra mi, quis sodales sapien. Nam nulla quam, iaculis id finibus sed, consequat a dui. Donec vitae est urna. Duis sit amet porta mi, quis gravida arcu. Phasellus ac sapien semper, viverra tortor quis, aliquam est. Mauris a diam leo. Donec nec leo id elit mollis tristique sit amet bibendum libero. Nullam pulvinar elementum turpis, elementum congue risus.

WOD 4.10

When you get into a good rhythm at the gym, it can be challenging to keep momentum during periods when you cannot be in the gym.  With the holiday season quickly approaching (I saw Christmas lights at Target already….) here are 10 workouts you can crush at home, your parents, in-laws…wherever the wind takes you!

  1. 10 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible)

20 double unders/40 singles

100m run

 

  1.  10 rounds

5 burpees

10 push-ups

15 squats

  1.  2 rounds

50 squats

50 situps

40 double unders/80 singles

40 lunges

30 push-ups

30 double unders/singles

 

  1.  10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1

Burpees

Situps

 

  1.  12 minute amrap

200m run

15 squats

15 push-ups

 

  1.  7 min burpees

 

  1.   4 rounds

20 squats

15 push-ups

1 v-ups

 

  1.  4 rounds

1 min each

Shuttle run

Lunges

Burpees

1 min rest at the end of each round

 

   

  1.  14m AMRAP

22 lunges

10 push-ups

15 sit-ups

 

  1.  20 push-ups

40 burpees

20 squats

30 burpees

20 lunges (Left+Right=1 lunge)

20 burpees

20 broad jumps

10 burpees

 

Looking forward to cooler weather and sweatpants,

Kimberly