Let’s Get Outside (park workouts beginning this weekend!)

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Having the option to open our garage doors in the summer is great, but it’s still not as fun as being outdoors when the weather is nice. To get us outside even more, we’re now offering a twice-per-week Park Workout class beginning this weekend!

Classes meet by the kickball fields at Kenwood Park (on the north end of Lake of the Isles) on Saturday mornings at 9:00am, and Tuesday evenings at 5:00pm.

What this class is all about:

1. These classes are an hour to get sweaty. Because the equipment we’ll be using is limited, the intensity is less than what you can expect in our CrossFit classes. That being said, we’re still going to push you!


2. All skill levels are welcome. We’ll all be learning new movements and skills as we go, in addition to drawing from some of the go-tos we use in the gym. No previous experience needed!


3. You’ll get in a workout that you can walk away from feeling accomplished, but not as drained as a class with weights and complex movements.


4. It’s the freakin’ summer! Why not combine our love of working out with the great outdoors?! We only have so many months to enjoy this weather – we might as well take full advantage. So, TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE! 


Classes won’t follow a rigid structure from hour to hour, but, generally each one will have 4-5 elements. We’ll always begin by getting you moving—nothing too strenuous, but a chance to get your blood pumping and joints moving.

Next we’ll move into 2-3 short conditioning pieces (think small CrossFit workouts) with different formats from week to week. Last, classes will finish up with a quick stretch before you take off.

There will be no heavy weights, but that doesn’t mean all equipment is off limits. Get excited to try new movements, equipment, and skills to help you get to your goals in the gym!

Any news on location changes or cancelations due to weather will be made on our Facebook page no less than one hour before the start time. Get in touch if you have questions about these classes!

Best of Luck, Andy

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One of the longest running members of our community is heading out on the next leg of his journey. Andy, who’s been around since the gym started, has been a fixture here for a long time and will be very missed.

In addition to being a longtime member here, Andy also spent some years as a coach. I feel fortunate to have spent time with him as both, and wanted to share some of what he’s taught me. While this post is certainly a reference for myself, I hope that it also serves as a guide for all the other people I know who appreciate his teachings.

Progress, not Perfection

Andy carries this uplifting attitude with him every time I see him at the gym. He’s the type of person I love having in class because he realizes that this whole health and fitness thing isn’t a place that we arrive at, but instead, a journey we’re continually editing the details of as we make our way through life.

Build skills

While he started out as a CrossFit coach, over the years he developed a passion (walking a fine line between obsession at times) for the sport of weightlifting.

It was this passion that reminded me of the progress that can come from slowing down and building skills–an understanding that getting through grueling workouts isn’t the only path to improving. If you’ve ever seen Andy lift, you know what I mean. He’s seldom chasing PRs, but the way he’s grown in his ability to lift with finesse is something that draws even more attention than the person lifting the most weight in class.

As is evident in watching him lift, technique is truly king. The positions you work in matter far more than the reps you complete or the amount you lift. Andy just gets it. He’s a role model to the rest of us, especially when we so easily get distracted by all the bells and whistles in training.

“Shit happens. Keep Going.”

I’ve had more than a few conversations over the years with members who are ready to throw in the towel. They’re busy, don’t have enough time in the day to workout, and are looking for an easy way out. Andy travels across the country for work on a regular basis, he has side hustles in addition to his full-time job, he’s a father and husband (hi, Martha!), and he deals with the same stresses we all do when things get busy. You know what he doesn’t do? Give up. His ability to keep at it in the gym–perfect or not, even when things get crazy–is something we can all learn from.

Andy, thanks for the mark you’ve left on me, and for leaving me with so much to teach other people. I hope this next chapter is a good one for you and your family. Come back and see us soon, and please keep us in the loop on what you’re up to in your new home!

A Beginner’s Guide to Getting Better (and a refresher for the rest of us)

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These days, I’m usually most inspired when I’m at the gym working with people. The process of giving cues and watching improvements is not only rewarding in its own right, but I appreciate how this inspires thoughts that I can use to help more people than just the group I’m working with at that moment (thus, this post!).

This particular idea came to me when I was watching the level of frustration rise in one of our new members as they made their way though a skill session in class.

The justifiable pissed-offedness with starting to work out is nothing specific to them. What they were dealing with is common, and something I can relate to on many levels – it sucks when you feel like you’re not good at something!

At this time the member was just starting out with us and was working through a common feeling of being overwhelmed in the beginning stages of the learning process. Since what I was seeing is, unfortunately, par for the course, I put together a list of a few beginner hazards, so even if you can’t avoid them, you at least know what to look out for:

1. The progress we’re often promised can be slower to develop than we would like.

2. There are so many new movements to learn! As you’re starting out, every class seems like a chance to have your nose rubbed in something else you can’t yet do well.

3. For a while, there will be people who are better than you at much of what you do.

So, there are lots of pitfalls to navigate as you get going. Worst news ever, right?! Just so you don’t leave this blog post-reading experience demoralized, here are some pointers I want you (beg you) to keep with you on your journey. Especially when that insidious voice in your head starts telling you that there’s an easier way and that packing up is clearly the best option, think back to these tips.

Here goes…

REAL PROGRESS TAKES TIME
This sounds like a cop out for slow-to-develop gainz (and I get that this is an individual process dependent on many variables), but I tell you no lie.

Three years ago I went to an Olympic lifting seminar in Florida and had the opportunity to learn from now Team USA lifter Travis Cooper. Travis worked with another coach to help us with our technique, did some demo lifting for the group, and spent time talking with us about his lifting experiences over the years.

When one of the seminar participants asked him what he’d recommend to someone looking to get to where he is, he laughed and explained that there’s no secret to what he’s done. He’s been working at perfecting the Clean & Jerk and Snatch for over 10 years now. TEN. YEARS.

Travis is now among the best in the world at what he does and he’s put in an exceptional amount of time to get there, but you can imagine what can come from a similar focus with even just a fraction of the time he’s devoted.

I repeat: real progress takes time. Not only is this OK, but from a coach’s perspective, it’s expected. Trust the process, appreciate the small steps you take–and the gains that come with them, and don’t get hung up on the crappy days.

BE OK WITH STARTING WITH THE BASICS
Want to get good at muscle-ups? Start with some competency in pull-ups. Want to Clean & Jerk one bajillion pounds? Get your squat looking buttery smooth first! Looking to check a marathon off the bucket list? Begin with a mile!

You get the point. I could go into hundreds of examples here, but the point remains that there is a foundation that needs to be laid before stepping towards advanced goals. This might not be the sexy stuff, but it has it’s place and can’t be ignored.

YOUR PROGRESS IS RELATIVE TO YOU
It’s fun to be competitive with the people in your class, but if your goals are always relative to other people’s progress, you’re setting yourself up for constant disappointment.

A little competition is a great motivator, but too much can suffocate us and make us lose sight of what we’re really after.

We encourage all our members to log their workouts, not because we care where they stack up on the leader boards, but because it gives you a point of reference for the progress you have made!

The next time you feel like you haven’t taken as many steps forward as you would like, take a look back at where you were when you began and appreciate how far you’ve come!

Just like anything in life, our workouts are a constant work in progress that don’t have an easily-definable finish line. The point isn’t that we end with perfection, but that we work to improve. No matter where you are along the ride, there are always steps we can take to keep moving forward. It’s up to us to keep our heads on straight and not give up on the process when we hit some bumps in the road.

Your coaches are always here to help, so never hesitate to get in touch when you need a little motivation from time to time. We all need some guidance here and there!

Murph 2017 is Just Around the Corner

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The annual workout event “Murph” (named after Lt. Michael Murphy) is taking place on Memorial Day – only four weeks away! There are a few updates to our event this year, so we wanted to fill you in on all the details. Here we go…

What is the workout?
“Murph”
1 Mile Run
100 Pull-ups
200 Push-ups
300 Squats
1 Mile Run
*Push-ups, Pull-ups, and Squats may be partitioned as needed

We’re running the workout in a series of heats, starting at 8:00am at TwinTown. Each heat will have a coach assigned to it, and heat sign-up will be available at the gym in the coming weeks.

What does it cost to participate?
We’re partnering with The Memorial Day Challenge this year to raise money for the veterans organizations The Next Objective and The Minnesota Military Family Foundation. Participation in the event costs $25, which will go directly to the organizations we’re supporting.

How do I sign up?
All of this year’s donations will be going through the Challenge’s site. Here’s how it’s done:
1. Head to the “satellite affiliates” page on the Memorial Day Challenge site and click the “register here” button under the TwinTown Fitness logo.
2. Click “tickets”
3. Scroll down and enter $25 (or more, if you would like) to the “donation” option.
4. Click “checkout” and enter your payment information.

That’s it!

How do I get a shirt?
We have a TwinTown “Murph” shirt that’s available for pre-order at the gym beginning today! PLEASE NOTE: there’s a shirt available through the registration site as well – that is not the TwinTown shirt. Shirts are $25 in addition to the registration fee.

Who can take this workout on?
We’ve been running this event for years and have been able to accommodate athletes of all experience levels. Scaled options will be available for those who need them. Just getting your feet wet in the CrossFit world? No sweat (ok, there will be sweat), sign up and take this on with us! We’ll make sure you have a challenging version of the workouts that’s right for you.

That being said, this is not an easy workout. You need to prep for it! While taking on our daily workouts will go a long ways in your preparations, we also have a specific training plan available at the gym for you to use. It’s 3 days of work per week and is meant to be a supplement to your classes. Take it on after your next workout!

After the workout
We’re BBQing, hanging out, and relaxing when we’re done. Bring a friend, some food and beverages to share, and kick back for a while with us. We’ll be at the gym for the afternoon!

More info will be released as Memorial Day weekend gets closer, but feel free to reach out to any of our coaches if you have questions!

Meet Coach Nathaniel

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Our guy Nathaniel is next up in our series of coach interviews. He recently completed our instructor training program and will soon be leading classes for YOU! Nathaniel is exactly the kind of humble, hardworking, positive person we look for when expanding our coaching team. As with all our staff, we love him and know you are going to be a fan as well. Below is an interview we put together so you can get to know him a little better. Welcome aboard, Nathaniel!

You come from a pretty athletic background. Would you mind filling us in on what that consisted of?
Absolutely. When I was 5, I started with tee-ball and eventually worked my way into Little League…. Just kidding, I won’t bore you with that. I played tennis in high school and started coaching that when I was 16. I kept playing (and coaching) in college on the club team (NOT D1, I’m not that good). I also played every intramural sport that Iowa offered including basketball, football, volleyball, billiards, darts, soccer, etc. The list goes on. You name it, I played it. I guess I didn’t wrestle or swim… But yeah, it was a lot of sports. Now, I play in tennis, basketball, and soccer leagues.

What does your current workout routine look like (both here and outside the gym)?
As it stands, I try to get to TwinTown 5x a week for workouts and sometimes yoga. I also play tennis about once a week and then basketball once or twice a week. Nia asks me to run everyday. Someday I’ll say yes.

You have one minute to build a workout that YOU would love. What’s it gonna be?
Oh man, I’ve already spent more than a minute thinking about this… This is a sketch, but something like this:

10min AMRAP
5 power cleans
10 burpees
5 MUs
10 box jumps

What are some non-gym hobbies that you’re passionate about?
I love to cook and explore new restaurants. Nia and I have always said that if all else fails, we’ll open a coffee/breakfast joint. I also enjoy going to events around the cities like concerts and Wolves/Twins/Gopher (when they play Iowa) games. Minneapolis is a great city worthy of exploration every weekend.

I also forgot beer: there are breweries galore in NE where we live and it’s great.

What does a perfect weekend look like to you?
Friday: Post-work dinner at Brasa and drinks at any brewery
Saturday: Partner WOD, brunch at French Meadow, Hawks game of any type, cook something delicious for dinner, hang with friends
Sunday: WOD, do some meal prep, relax, then have someone explain all of my reading to me without actually having to read it

GIVE US YOUR FAVORITE YOUTUBE CLIP!
The Jimmy Fallon/JGL/Stephen Merchant Lip Sync Battle is no longer on YouTube… So I leave you with this. #GOAT

What are you looking to personally improve on in your CrossFit skills in the next year?
Given that my ankles are stickier than a second grader’s hands after eating cotton candy (I used to teach second grade), I hope to continue improving mobility there and in my hips. I think that will also help with the overhead stuff I want to improve like snatching and OH squats. Also, I want to learn how to hate rowing and wall balls less.

Does you and Nia both coaching officially qualify you two as a power couple?
You say that as if it wasn’t official before…

Anything else you’d like to tell the people?
Can’t wait to get started with the incredible TwinTown community!

The Open is Almost Here

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Many of you have been around for the CrossFit Games Open in years past, but there are also a lot of new folks who have yet to give this series a shot. Sooooo, here are some basics on what you can expect in the coming month and a half as we make our way through this famed exercise monstrosity.

The Open is the 5-week, all-levels-friendy qualifying process for the annual CrossFit Games (which just so happen to be taking place in Madison, WI this year!) You might be thinking that “all-levels” and “CrossFit Games” have no place in the same sentence, but this series of workouts is truly available to people of all experience levels and fitness abilities.

Beginning February 23, a workout is released each Thursday evening. We will be scheduling this workout as our WOD for each Friday throughout the Open so everyone gets a chance to do battle with what is sent our way. Once completed, you then have until Monday evening at 5:00pm to submit your score on the Games site (so, you can retry the workout as many times as your heart desires before submitting your score).

We’ve been taking on many of the previous year’s workouts over the past couple months, but you can check out the complete history here. Don’t let the thought of the competition scare you away though. The idea behind this process is that if you’ve been doing CrossFit, you’re prepared to take this challenge on. There is an RX, scaled, and several age group break-downs available for both men and women, and we’ve had people of all levels compete in past years.

What do you need to do to compete?
Show up to class each Friday from 2/24-3/24 and take the workout on with us. If you’re looking to see where you stand in the world (trust us, you do – you’re going to beat thousands of people!) you can sign up on the Games site and see where you stand after you enter your score each week.

I’ll be straight up with you that taking the Open on can be an intimidating feat. But, as anyone who has participated in the past will tell you, there’s an amazing feeling of accomplishment that comes with stepping up and giving these workouts some hell.

We need your support just like you’ll need ours. So, take a step into the uncomfortable and sign up for this thing!

A few schedule changes throughout the Open:
Our Friday morning classes (5:30, 6:30 and 11:00 am) will remain as they are now, but the evening will be run as a series of heats, as opposed to a traditional class format. Heats begin at 4:30 pm and we’ll have the gym open by 4:00 so you can show up early to get warm.

We’ll be hanging out at the gym each week after the workout to talk about how hard CrossFit is, strategize with the brave souls who are looking to retry the workout, and enjoy celebratory beverages and food. Come hang out!

In the twisted way that we all “enjoy” the workouts we put ourselves through each week, the Open really is a lot of fun. Get in touch with me or any of our other staff if you’re on the fence, or have questions about the process. We’d love to help you make this happen so you can look back on your experience the same way we do.

What’s in a Warm Up?

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Want to improve in the gym? Begin with your warm up. It might not be the most exciting part of your workout, but maaaaaaan does a good warm-up go a long ways!

While there isn’t one perfect routine to perform before every workout, there are some principles you can follow to make the most of the 15 or so minutes before you begin.

The most important part of your pre-workout routine may seem obvious, but it’s also easy to overthink: get sweaty. If your body temperature is up to the point that you’ve got a good sweat going, you’ll be moving about as well as you can hope for given the time constraints of a class. “Warm it up, Kane.”

Don’t be so quick to shed your layers. Especially in the winter, keep those sweats on throughout the warm-up. Those extra layers will only help you get going more quickly. Remember that the goal of the warm-up is to get sweaty. Don’t start trying to cool off at the first sign of a little warmth!

Save the in-depth mobility sessions for later in the day! A little light stretching after you’re warm can be helpful if you need to get a specific part of your body moving (something for the shoulders if you’re going overhead, some hip work before you squat, etc.) but the bulk of your mobility work should be done some time after you are done with your workout. I like foam rolling before workouts because it’s not very intense and does a good job of getting larger, more general areas moving.

Use movements that don’t unduly challenge your range of motion too far, or involve much impact. If you’ve been sitting at work all day, or are fresh out of bed, going for a run or getting after some double under practice might be a little much. 5-10 minutes of rowing or biking would be a better, less strenuous use of your time. Get those muscles and joints to gradually work through a full range and they’ll love you for it.

We always have warm-ups programmed in our classes, but hopefully these pointers can help guide your further productivity the next time you show up with a few extra minutes to spare.

Meet Coach Nia

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Nia has been working her butt off in our instructor training program and is now ready to start coaching classes! We know her pretty well, but we want you to know what she’s all about as well! Here are a few questions we put together for Nia to answer that will help you get to know her a bit before you have her as a coach in class.

The leaderboard tells us that you were an athletic person well before making your way to TwinTown. Where you big into sports growing up?
I LIVED for sports growing up! I was a competitive figure skater for 14 years, played soccer, ran track/cross country in high school and college, and tried many others along the way. Anything that didn’t involve hand-eye coordination, I was signed up for!

You’re one hell of a runner! What would you recommend to someone who’s looking to step their running game up?
First off, thank you!! I would tell them to try out a running group! There are tons of groups around the Twin Cities and it’s great to have extra motivation of running with people and having runs/workouts planned. A lot of the running groups mix it up with slow/long and short/fast so you can find your niche within both friends and running style! Some even have a few brews waiting for you at the end if that’s the final push to get you out the door! :)

If you could choose to have one distinct impact as a coach, what would you choose?
**See YouTube video** GET. EXCITED.

But in all seriousness, if I had to choose one distinct impact, I would love for people to walk away from my class each time feeling like they had fun and found something positive within the hour, despite any frustration with progress!

Do you have any specific goals you’r working towards right now in the gym?
Oh man, I feel like I set a new goal every time I’m in there! My biggest goal right now is to be able to do all the push-ups and pull ups in Murph. That would be pretty cool!

What are you into when you’re not at the gym?
When I’m not at the gym, I love checking out new restaurants, coffee shops, and breweries/distilleries, watching Harry Potter, teaching 7th graders math, meeting up with running buddies, taking photographs, watching the Packers and Hawkeyes, and cooking with Nathaniel.

Favorite YouTube clip? We demand a good one!
Trust me. You need to watch it all- it only gets better and better!

If you could travel anywhere in the world RIGHT NOW, where would you go?
I would pack a backpack and head to Peru to check out Machu Picchu, hike the Inca Trail and make my way down to Patagonia for some solid camping and outdoors time!

What other fun facts would you like people to know about you?
One really important fun fact: I LOVE dogs.

Thanks, Nia! We’re pumped to have you on board as the latest edition to our coaching team!

Optimize Your Exercise with the Best Post-Workout Foods

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By Dietitian Cassie, RD, LD

As a Registered Dietitian and fitness fanatic, I’m constantly asked which foods are the best to eat before and during a workout in order to maximize performance. What I’m not asked nearly as much is a question we should all be pondering: Which foods are best after a workout?

You worked your tail off at the gym, so don’t sabotage your results by neglecting your post-workout nutrition. Following up your routine with the right foods will help maximize your workout results and reduce your recovery time—while the wrong ones could undo all your hard efforts! I’d even argue that what you choose to fuel your body with after your workout could be just as important as the workout itself.

Crossfitters, especially, should pay extra attention to what we eat after a workout due to the intense type of exercise we’re doing. That’s why it’s important to eat the right foods after a workout. Otherwise you’ll never be maximizing your workouts or making the most of your sweat-filled time at the gym.

There are two things to keep in mind when it comes to post-workout fueling:

1. Timing.

It’s not just about what you eat, but when you eat. Waiting to eat 30 to 60 minutes post-workout is ideal. You want to give your body that buffer so it has time to transition from the “fight or flight” mode it’s in while you’re exercising to “rest and digest” mode. This allows for optimal nutrient absorption and utilization, because once your parasympathetic nervous system can take over in “rest and digest” mode, healing and regeneration can occur. But you don’t want to wait much longer than an hour after you wrap up your workout to refuel, or your body won’t be able to maximize your post-workout meal. This is because your cells are more sensitive to insulin after your workout, enabling the efficient movement of quality fuel into cells for refueling and rebuilding.

2. Making it PFC balanced!

The absolute best post-workout fuel includes a combo of all three macronutrients: protein (P), fat (F) and carbohydrate (C). While each macro plays an important role in your recovery, having your P, F and C together provides the nourishment, balance and recovery nutrition your body needs to get the most from your workout. When you exercise, your body is breaking down muscle fibers, and post-workout is the time when your muscles are repairing. Provide your body with everything it needs to rebuild, repair and recover so that you’re making the most of your exercise efforts.

So why is each macronutrient (P, F and C) important?

Protein has been given most of the spotlight in the world of sports nutrition, and for good reason. Protein aids in muscle recovery, is necessary for healing, maintains your immune function as your body recovers from the stress of your workout, and boosts your metabolism. Protein is critical for Crossfitters since so much of the workouts involve strength training and muscle building. A good rule of thumb is to aim for eating a portion of protein equivalent to the thickness and circumference of the palm of your hand at meals (2-3 eggs, 4-6 oz. of chicken, beef, or fish) and about half that amount for snacks. Your body does not store protein, so you need to make sure you’re eating it throughout the day.

Fat is needed to lubricate your joints from your high impact workouts and to support your bones, too. Fat also keeps your metabolism turbocharged for hours after your WOD. It reduces post-workout inflammation, thus reducing your recovery time, too. Generally, the more you exercise, the more sensitive your muscles are to insulin, which can cause you to experience fluctuations in your blood sugar levels. Fat helps keep your blood sugars stable and your metabolism turbocharged—not just immediately after your workout, but for hours after. Healthy fats are butter, olive oil, avocado, coconut oil, nuts, seeds, olives and cheese. A good starting point is including 2 to 3 tablespoons of healthy fat every single time you eat — meals, snacks, whenever. This could mean sautéing your veggies in a couple tablespoons of coconut oil at dinner and topping your salad with sliced avocado, or having a heaping spoonful of almond butter on your apple at snack time.

Carbohydrates replenish your muscle glycogen and give you immediate energy following your workout by bringing your blood sugar levels back up. Good carbs are also full of important antioxidants and nutrients for optimal recovery. Generally, the more intense the workout, the greater the need for carbohydrates. Filling up your glycogen stores immediately after a workout is a pretty hot topic in the sports nutrition circuit, and the reality is, while refueling with carbs is important, protein and fat are important, too.

Carbs fall into 2 categories: starchy and non-starchy.

For starchy veggies and fruit, sticking to a half cup at meals and snacks is a good place to start—on the days you aren’t working out. On the days you do Crossfit, you’ll want to have at least half a cup of starchy veggies and/or fruit in your meals before and after your workout. Starchy vegetables are corn, peas, beets, squash, yams, sweet potatoes and plantains and are denser and have a greater effect on blood sugar levels.

You don’t need to limit non-starchy vegetables at all. Aim for at least a cup (or two or three!) at your meals. These are your broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, cabbage, kale, peppers, green beans, cucumbers, and asparagus.

The Best Post-Workout Foods

Top 3 Ps:

Eggs: Not all protein sources are created equal, and if the perfect post-workout food exists, it might be the incredible egg. Eggs, yolk included, provide your body with the most bioavailable form of protein—egg protein is the easiest to digest, break down and absorb, so your body can use all of it. Eggs are a “complete” source of protein, meaning they contain all of the essential amino acids your body requires. They help your body repair and recover completely from your workout by building your muscles back up—perfect if you’re looking to gain lean muscle mass or lose weight. Hard-boil a dozen eggs for a portable protein source, or fry ‘em in coconut oil with a side of sautéed sweet potatoes for a PFC-balanced post-workout meal.

Salmon: Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which aid in calming post-workout inflammation and leading to a quicker recovery. Wild Alaskan salmon is your best bet. Bake a fillet or crack open the canned kind for a quick and easy post-workout protein source. Make it PFC balanced by mixing canned or chopped salmon with olive oil or avocado for healthy fat, and chopped celery and grapes for your carb. Or, if you’re bored with fish fillets, mix it up by keeping some travel-friendly salmon jerky in your gym bag.

Grass-Fed Beef: Once held behind bars by nutrition police everywhere, beef is back. The nutritional value of beef extends beyond the punch of quality protein: Nutrients like B12, iron and zinc are involved in boosting your metabolism and helping your body utilize the rest of the nutrients you’re eating with your beef. Precook and cut into strips, or make meatballs and freeze or refrigerate so they’re ready to grab and eat post-workout! Stir-fry strips of steak in coconut oil for your healthy fat, and add veggies for your carb to make it a PFC-balanced meal.

Top 3 Fs:

Coconut Oil: Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), a type of fat that’s digested quickly and has great energy- and metabolism-boosting effects. Coconut oil can boost your metabolism while providing you with awesome energy after your workout, and because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it can reverse inflammation, speeding up your recovery. Rule of thumb: Unrefined things are always better for you than refined things. Make sure you’re picking up unrefined coconut oil! Cook a batch of spinach and other greens in coconut oil, then pair them with your hard-boiled egg or serve with a can of wild-caught salmon over greens.

Avocado: Avocado makes for excellent post-workout fuel because it provides your body with a variety of vitamins and minerals for recovery—ones like magnesium, potassium and vitamin K—as well as phytosterols and healthy fat, which have anti-inflammatory properties. If you don’t feel like eating after your workout, make a PFC-balanced protein shake by blending half an avocado with a handful of frozen berries and a scoop of your favorite protein powder, or drop in an egg.

Olives: Rich in antioxidants and healthy fat, olives are fantastic for post-workout, as well as an easily portable but sadly forgotten source of healthy fat. You can eat ‘em straight or add them to a dish or a big salad with your choice of protein and carbohydrates to make it PFC balanced. You can find olives pre-packaged, making ‘em easy to toss into your workout bag!

Top 3 Cs:

Sweet Potato: Starchy veggies like sweet potatoes, yams, squash and pumpkin provide antioxidants, fiber and complex carbohydrates to replenish your glycogen stores after a tough workout. Precook large batches of sweet potatoes, pumpkin or butternut squash in the oven, then freeze or refrigerate to have a quick, nutritious real-food carbohydrate on hand for your post-workout meal. Top a half cup with a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil and a sprinkle of cinnamon, and pair with your favorite protein source for a PFC-balanced meal or snack.

Blueberries: High in antioxidants, blueberries are also one of the lowest-sugar fruits, so they can bring your blood sugar levels back up after a workout and help keep them stable for hours. This means high energy levels and a faster recovery without the crash. Blend frozen berries into a smoothie with coconut milk and protein powder, or have them on the side of a salmon fillet cooked in coconut oil.

Dried fruit: A quick, easy, portable, nutrient-dense source of carbohydrates, dried fruit makes it easy to get in your post-workout carbs! Keep in your workout bag and pair with dried salmon or dried beef and nuts or seeds for a PFC-balanced post-workout snack.

In a Hurry? 3 Ideas:

1. Cut up strips of dried beef and mix with dried fruit, nuts, seeds and a few chocolate chips for a portable, PFC-balanced post-workout trail mix!

2. Sardines are another great portable protein source, and they’re also one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids on the entire planet! These smaller fish are rich in vitamins B12 and D, which support your bone health, reducing the risk of fractures. They pack in a big punch of protein—a 1-cup serving has about 37 grams! Look for sardines packed in olive oil (instead of soybean oil), dump a can over a giant pile of spinach and you’ve got yourself a PFC-balanced meal!

3. Those Rx Bars you see at the gym? They’re a great (and yummy) PFC-balanced post-workout snack!

There you have my best post-workout strategies. Now go check out my exclusive Top 10 Nutrition strategies for Crossfit where we’ll talk pre-workout, portions, snacking, hydration and more!

Download this video (for free) at dietitiancassie.com/crossfit — see ya there!

Bio

Dietitian Cassie is a Registered, Licensed Dietitian and CEO of DietitianCassie.com. In her #1 international best-selling book, Why Am I Still Fat? The Hidden Keys to Unlocking That Stubborn Weight Loss, Cassie reveals the 14 never-talked-about elements that are either helping or hindering your weight-loss battle. Cassie is also an avid Crossfitter and Twin Town Fitness member.

References

1. Holloszy JO. “Exercise-induced increase in muscle insulin sensitivity.” Journal of Applied Physiology. 99.1 (2005): 338–43.
2. Dreher ML, Davenport AJ. “Hass avocado composition and potential health effects.” Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 53.7 (2013): 738–50.
3. Huskisson ES, Maggini S, Ruf M. “The role of vitamins and minerals in energy metabolism and well-being.” Journal of International Medical Research. 35.3 (2007): 277–89.

Meet Coach Molly

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The next in our recent series of coach introduction interviews, is Molly. If you’ve ever (seriously, ever) had a class with her, you probably already know why we think she’s a perfect addition to our roster. If you haven’t yet had that pleasure, reading our interview with her will quickly clarify.

Molly has an infectiously positive attitude and is the type of person, coach, and athlete who leads from the front. Read on and see why we know you’re going to like her as much as we do.

What got you started at TwinTown? Have you done anything like CrossFit before?
I got started at TwinTown because I was sick of holding onto a gym membership that I never used. I would go to the gym, dink around for an hour while barely breaking a sweat, then not go back for weeks. It was pointless. It took me a while to give CrossFit a try because I was scared that I couldn’t do it or that I wouldn’t have the time to commit to it. But when I couldn’t walk or lift my arms above my shoulders for a full week after my first foundations class, I knew I had found the place for me!! I’ve been addicted ever since.

I had never done anything like CrossFit before (unless you count gymnastics when I was young), but I’ve always had an intense personality and a love of competing, even if it’s just with myself. I wish I had started CrossFit earlier!

What has been the accomplishment you’re most proud of since starting?
Besides becoming a coach? That’s probably my biggest accomplishment so far and I’m super excited to be a part of the incredible Twin Town coaching team!

Workout-wise, I vividly remember the last Open workout of 2016: 21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of Thrusters and Bar-facing Burpees…UFF-DAH. I get anxious before any workout, but I was MEGA anxious for this one since thrusters completely crush me. But it was the first really tough workout that I legitimately dominated. It took me to a whole new level that I didn’t know I had in me! Even though my time wasn’t the best, I was super proud and knew I had given it my all!

If you were programming for yourself, what would your favorite hour-long class look like?
Overhead squatzzzzz all day! Then some long, grinder workout of box jumps, pull ups, and light weight snatches.

What would it NOT look like?
Any combination of wall balls and rowing…icky.

We’ve watched you improve your pull-ups remarkably since getting started here. What advice would you pass along to someone looking to get their first one?
Aw man, I used to HATE pull-ups. I was so weak that it was just frustrating when pull-ups were written on the whiteboard. But pull-ups are badass and I refused to let them be the only reason I wasn’t doing a workout Rx, so I worked on strict pull-ups religiously. Building up enough strength so that I wasn’t solely relying on the kip was really important for me. Then I went to a magical kipping clinic and **poof** kipping pull-ups were born! I’ve been obsessed with them ever since.

But in all seriousness, it takes a lot of patience to work on your kip piece-by-piece instead of jumping right into kipping pull-ups or toes-to-bar. I broke down the kipping pull-up into steps and would build them up in sequence every time I practiced instead of hopping on the bar and hoping to get a pull-up the first try.

I know we’ve got a lot of women at the gym right now that are so close to kipping pull-ups, so let’s make it happen!!

Everyone else has got this one so you are too… What’s your favorite YouTube clip?

What are some of your non-gym passions?
I love talking about, studying, and designing architecture and I’m super lucky to have it as my day job! I also enjoy working on our new house, snowboarding, going to concerts, and traveling. Oh, and snuggling with our kitties Parkour and Butters! ME-OW!

What does an ideal weekend look like for you?
Staying in my pajamas till noon while drinking coffee and snuggling with the cats. Then, checking some house projects off the endless list. Wait a minute, this is an “ideal” weekend, so let me rephrase that: Me staying in my pajamas + coffee + cats, while my wonderful husband Sam checks some house projects of the list ;) Then, we’d head to the gym to work on lifting, go for a walk around one of the lakes, order Thai food in and have some friends over to watch football or an animated kid’s movie. I think I could watch Despicable Me every day, no shame.