The Surprising Things Our Visitors Say About Defiant

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Marsha, Marsha, Marsha…

Some of you may not be old enough to get the reference and that’s okay. Ever hear a little show called The Brady Bunch? Well Marsha was the pretty, older sister who got a lot of attention (to the dismay of her younger, sometimes jealous sister).

Defiant, Defiant, Defiant…

Technically, it’s no surprise at all that people have wonderful things to say about us! We’ve been hearing this regularly for years. We get a regular influx of out of town visitors, local folks who are brand new to CrossFit (and sometimes to working out in general!) and experienced CrossFitters who just relocated here and are looking for a new gym home.

I check on everyone who visits us and ask them about their experience here. So what are they saying???

“Wow, you guys are so fun!”

“I was impressed by how welcoming everyone is!”

“I was so scared for my first class but the coach explained everything and I had a great time!”

“Everyone is so nice and helpful!”

“I can’t wait to come back!”

To quote a few. So what sets us apart? Is it our barbells, kettlebells, pull up bars or med balls? Nope. Everybody’s get em. Is it the fact that we do cool CrossFit workouts like Fran, Nancy or Murph? Nah. Every CrossFit does em.

SUPPORT. ENCOURAGEMENT. POSITIVITY.

It’s our mindset. We legitimately care about the people who walk into our gym and their goals. Our coaches are attentive and will customize workouts based on our members’ needs and abilities. That’s reflected in our programming and our Coaching culture. We’ve built a solid community based on encouragement, trust and support that starts with our Coaches and works it’s way out through our community of amazing people.

Our goal is to help you first. The fitness and gains will come! Just walk in and say hello.   

How Your CrossFit Training Could Help Save A Life

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You train in CrossFit to be fit, toned and look good naked. Check, check and check. But what about the unknown and unexpected?

In this life, there are no guarantees. Every day is different and anything can happen. Training in CrossFit can do more for you than just help you lose weight or gain muscle mass. It also prepares you for what life may throw at you at any given moment.

When a bad situation happens, you have to react, fast. No time to think it out, just go. Sound familiar? If you do CrossFit, it does.

Could you carry your children out of a burning building? Yes you could. You won’t get that from Spin class.

Could you run for your life from an attacker?  Yes you could. You won’t get that from Body Pump.

If you had to drag someone wounded to safety, could you do it? You bet your sweet peach you could. You won’t get that from a treadmill.

If someone were in an accident and trapped in their car, who could best pull them out? The ladies group from pilates or the CrossFit chicks? My money is on a CrossFitter EVERY TIME.

I’m not implying that doing CrossFit training will make you a Superhero, but it gives you one hell of a good chance at saving yourself or someone else. And hey, listen, I’m not trying to bash on other exercise programs- anything is better than nothing at all and CrossFit isn’t for everyone. All fitness programs have their place and offer something positive.

The point I’m trying to make is this: your CrossFit training will toughen your mental and physical preparedness for whatever unexpected events the universe throws your way. This puts you at an ultimate advantage in life.

Let’s hope you never find yourself in a life or death situation, but if you do, you don't have to be a victim. CrossFit training not only makes you physically stronger but you experience, on a daily basis, what it’s like to push through a mentally and physically tough situation.  It’s why CrossFitters bond together.  

Who knew that doing “Fran” could potentially help you to save a life?!?

Mobility & Flexibility - Why Should You Care?

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You hear it all the time in your training program: flexibility and mobility. But what do they really mean? Most people think they mean the same thing but they don’t.

Flexibility is the ability of a muscle to lengthen.  

Mobility is the ability of a joint to move actively through a range of motion.  In other words, the releasing of restricted muscle around a joint.

So why should you care? Consider this: if you have a general mobility problem that affects how you move, your body won’t function in the way it’s supposed to. Over time you can suffer more wear-and-tear, as well as general discomfort, than if the area around the joint could move as normal. Then, while exercising, you’re essentially performing these faulty movements under higher intensity and greater stress, so painful injuries can accumulate over time.

But that doesn’t mean you need to spend an extra hour in the gym every day limbering up like Gumby.  Work daily on areas that you know are tight and have a history of limited movement. Daily mobility practices can strengthen your joints and better prepare your body for higher demands resulting in increased performance and reduced risk of injury,

3 areas to focus on to stay sexy and flexy:

1. Soft Tissue Work: typically Foam Rolling or self-massage. Light movement over a lacrosse ball or foam roller can bring relief to tight or sore muscles.

2. Mobility Exercises: mobilizing a joint or area just around it. Usually done with a lacrosse ball or bands to loosen restricted areas. To learn specifically about these therapies, check out Mobility WOD by Kelly Starrett for hundreds of videos categorized by areas of the body.

3. Stretching: light stretching before or after a workout to loosen muscles. To increase general flexiness, specifically as in Yoga.

Mobility should be a proactive approach, not a reactive one. In other words, don’t wait until problems arise before you address them. 

In order to grow and perform, you must repair. Take these steps and make them a part of your daily training.

5 Tips for Your CrossFit-Sweaty Skin This Summer

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Here in Round Rock, TX summers get HOT. We’ll easily hit the 110 degree mark every year and sometimes higher when you factor in the heat index. It’s the kind of heat that makes you feel like your face will melt right off just going from your front door to the car.

Multiple showers daily. Uneven tan lines. Heat rashes. Yep, it's sweat-pocalypse. 

Here are a few tips for keeping your sweaty, dirty skin in check this summer so your dewy look is more “sexy” than “deep fried”.

#1. Witch Hazel

- Use this bacteria-killing astringent as a toner for your face. Also good for cleansing wounds, insect bites and most skin irritations.

 

#2. Tea tree oil

- Known for it’s anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, tea tree oil is used help calm redness, swelling, and inflammation. It is commonly used aromatically and topically to kill germs, fight infections and soothe skin conditions.

 

#3. Moisturizer at night

- Skip the daytime body moisturizer. Sweaty skin can become extra greasy and increase the risk of clogging pores. Best time to moisturize your baby smooth skin: in the evening, just out of the shower.

 

#4. Exfoliate twice a week

- Not only does it remove dead skin, it also reduces skin discoloration and pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles. Your skin renews itself overnight, so exfoliate your skin in the morning to slough away any dead skin. But be gentle.

 

#5. Use sunscreen everyday

- It’s a no-brainer. Protect your skin now to avoid sun damage in the future and reduce your risk of skin cancer. Ever tried doing a workout with a sunburn? OUCH!

Why Your Emotional Garbage Is Trashing Your Health

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Did you know that carrying negative feelings can have adverse effects on your body? Negative emotions and stress can wreak havoc on your body and actually manifest in physical problems. Your thoughts and emotions play a distinct role in your experience of physical pain and can contribute to the development of chronic disease. Inversely, positive emotions such as gratitude have been linked to a number of beneficial health effects including decreased inflammation and increased self-healing.

Your brain is the captain of your ship…. or in this case, your body. It’s like a child in that it can be quickly influenced and sometimes naïve. Don’t dangle the negative “candy” in front of your emotions. Your brain can steer you in a million different directions if you allow it to. But who’s to say you can’t control the path? It’s up to you to take control of the wheel and decide which direction you’re going to take.

Having a short fuse may decrease your life span

Frequent anger is associated with a heightened risk of high blood pressure and heart problems, including heart attack and stroke. Why would you want to live there?

 

Don’t sweep your negative thoughts under the rug

Trying to pretend you don't feel what you feel, or judging your emotions harshly, tends to cause more stress than just feeling it and moving on.

Repressed negative emotions such as anger, fear and frustration may also be a factor contributing to chronic physical pain. Remember that your brain and body work together- ever tried to ride a bike with no peddles?

 

Your negative emotional luggage may increase your risk for dementia

People with cynical attitudes may suffer more from stress and anxiety. It’s difficult to enjoy the feel-good benefits of positive social support and friendships when you’re a jerk. Don’t be that guy.

 

How to nurture your emotional wellness

Anger is a normal human emotion and certainly can have its place. The key is to channel your anger into a controlled and constructive outward expression to help release tension and stress. CrossFit does an excellent job of shutting that down. Channel those negative thoughts into a positive vehicle- in other words, let your workout be your medicine.

GET IT ALL OUT.  

Make a point to be more mindful of the choices you make. Focus on staying positive to improve your mental and emotional outlook. Meditate, get your Defiant workout in, take a nap, go for a long walk, talk with a friend, watch a comedy show or drink some hot tea. Whatever helps YOU specifically.

And don’t say you can’t do those things and just be a grouch about it. You can, but you’re CHOOSING not to. When something or someone pushes your buttons, just ask yourself, "So what?" Can you move forward and still be amazing? Of course you can. It’s your choice. But you have to work to get there- it's a daily practice. 

Unwrap the ball and chain of negative emotions you’re carrying around like it’s your “precious”. Ditch that ring and move on.

YOU are the captain of your ship.

YOU are the CEO of your life.

YOU are the president of your fan club.

Another person’s words, actions and behaviors are not your own and have more to do with that person than with you. Realize that you are in full control of how you react to outside stimuli. Freeing yourself of these burdens will bring more peace into your life.

Your wellness prescription today....

Go watch Lord of the Rings if you didn’t catch the reference.

Get Netflix and watch Dave Chappelle, Jim Gaffigan or Kevin Hart for some solid laughs.

Get your workout in today and high-five someone while smiling obnoxiously.

6 Tips To Improve Your Kipping Pull Up

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Pull ups are a staple in your CrossFit training. It’s one of the more intimidating exercises we use and there are many different ways to perform it successfully. Its benefit parallels its difficulty, and for most, it takes a long time to learn to do them at all, much less proficiently.

We’ll discuss a few Do’s and Don’ts of the Kipping Pull Up to help you on your journey. The prerequisite to doing kipping pull ups is being able to do a strict pull up- this ensures you are capable of supporting your own bodyweight. If you are still new to this and trying to develop your upper body strength, continue to work your ring rows and partial strict pull ups before attempting to learn kipping pull ups. Ask your Coach if you’re ready to progress to this level.

Here are a few quick tips on things you want to focus on while practicing. Ask your coach to work these techniques with you.

3 Do’s for the Kipping Pull Up:

1. The Kip - Find your Open & Closed body position under the bar. The Open Position is where, while swinging on the bar, the shoulders are in FRONT of the bar, chest is forward and feet are behind the bar. The Closed Position is where shoulders are BEHIND the bar and feet are in front of the bar.

2. While moving from the Open position to the Closed Position to perform a pull up, whip your feet forward giving some momentum to the hips. Drive the hips up towards the bar in a quick snap to send that momentum to the upper body while you pull yourself towards to the bar.

3. Once your chin in over the bar, immediately push BACK and away from the bar so that your shoulders are once again behind the bar. From here, your body can easily fall back into the Open Position under the bar so that another kipping pull up can be performed.

 

3 Don’ts for the Kipping Pull Up:

1. Fault #1: You only swing your legs trying the find the Open & Closed positions. Here, your shoulders won’t move in front of the bar or behind the bar. You don’t want your upper body to stay directly underneath the bar.

2. Fault #2: You bring your knees up instead of “popping” your hips towards the bar. Bringing your knees up will halt all momentum created by the lower body in the kip and actually make you “heavier” under the bar causing you to do more of a strict pull up.

3. Fault #3: Once your chin is over the bar, you drop straight down from the bar. This makes returning to the full Open position at the bottom impossible. Without the Open position in place, you won’t create the momentum and swing needed for a subsequent pull up.  

Practice these tips only under the supervision of your Coach. They will guide you on implementing the proper techniques. For those of you doing Murph with us on Memorial Day, keep these tips in mind!

Why "Fancy" Doesn't Equal FIT

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Almost everyone who comes to Defiant has been to other gyms. And almost everyone says, “I just didn’t get anywhere.” They looked for the cheapest option. Or they looked for the largest. Or the one with the most machines. But eventually, when they decided they needed results, they went looking for a coach.

We get people VERY fit. We don’t do it with “comforts” such as mirrors, fancy locker rooms or blaring AC to prevent you from sweating too much. We sweat a LOT. We keep it raw. We make a lot of noise. We work hard.

You don’t need fancy to be fit. Most people seek us out because they weren’t getting anywhere in their “comfort” gym. I’m sure it was nice and cozy, but nice and cozy don’t get you nice arms and a rockin booty. It all comes down to the WORK. You need the right combination of movements (Weightlifting + Gymnastics + Cardio), varied workouts, intensity, community encouragement and COACHING. That’s where the magic is.

We’re not afraid to sweat. We stink. We make hilarious noises. We get dirty. But you know what else we get? Results. Change. Improvement. Fun.

For some, walking into a big gym with lots of expensive equipment looks like success. “They have tons of equipment so I must be able to get fit with so many choices”. People who NEED to lose weight, or need to perform, or are desperate to improve their bad health –they don’t need more choice: instead, they need more WORK.

If you’re not being Coached in your fitness, you’ve essentially been given a hall-pass to be as lazy as you want.

And coaches don’t use fancy machines. Professional, career coaches, whose livelihood depends on getting results, use barbells. Boxes. Squats / Push Ups/ Pull Ups. Gymnastics rings. Nutrition plans. Forced to choose what works, professionals use the CrossFit methodology.

No wasted time. No wasted effort.

Our members are doing burpees and snatches; climbing ropes; and smiling. They’re far more fit than they ever were. We repeat workouts only twice a year. Our coaching has improved tenfold. Our equipment hasn’t changed much.

Why Your Endocrine System Needs Regular Exercise

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The endocrine system consists of glands that release the chemicals and hormones that control physiological functions in the body. Some of those glands have a direct response to exercise and include the pituitary gland, the thyroid gland, the adrenal gland, and the pancreas. Chemical messengers released by these glands play a key role in making sure your body works the way it should. Let’s just scratch the surface and mention some of the most important and meaningful impacts that hormones play during exercise.

The Pituitary Gland:  releases human growth hormone which tells the body to increase bone, muscle and tissue production. Bouts of heavy weightlifting will stimulate the release of luteinizing hormone from your pituitary gland, which triggers testosterone production. (Testosterone increases metabolism. WIN.)  It also releases endorphins which block your sensitivity to pain and can reduce tension or anxiety and leave you feeling like a rockstar.

The Thyroid Gland: sends out hormones that regulate the body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure. Intense bursts of training stimulate the release of thyroxine from your thyroid gland which also speeds up metabolism.

The Adrenal Gland: releases cortisol into the bloodstream which acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. It also turns stored carbohydrates into energy.

The Pancreas: secretes insulin, which regulates glucose and transports it to the muscles and tissues that use glucose for energy.

As you age, you may notice a decrease in your endocrine functions and output. Regular exercise (5 days a week) can help keep these systems pumping and slow the aging process. It can also decrease your risk for certain diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, obesity and cancer.

So eat clean, pet your dog, kiss your kids, high-five your coworkers and high-tail it to the gym regularly. Your body will thank you daily: today, in 1 yr, in 5 yrs and in 20 yrs.  Keep it up.