December Motivation and Accountability

It’s December, and for about 20 of you, that means it’s time to revisit the goal board! Let’s talk about motivation. This time, by way of community. The goal board is there in front of you, with members who have publicly expressed their goals. The questions we ask are: 1.) Have you been asking others how their progress is going? Many of you didn’t even have “performance” related goals, they were simply attendance based. 2.) Who were you reaching out to this past year? Were you building relationships with others to help hold you accountable?

The holiday season is a great time to become passive in attendance, and aggressive in well, less productive “health” related behavior. Let’s look at accountability inside and outside of the gym. You cannot count on your coaches to work miracles when you’re in the gym once a week. I mean, we are good, but “We ain’t that good.” We suggest using the Facebook social group, be positively social with one another, build good relationships, be borderline annoying, and most of all, be persistent. You all have signed contracts with us, expressing your interest in wanting to be stronger, faster, fitter and healthier, so help each other obtain those commitments!

When you’re in the gym, make sure the atmosphere is electric! The coaches aren’t perfect and there are going to be days where we are just off. Motivate us to motivate you! We assure that we usually just need a cup (or three) of coffee, some loud music, and we are good to go! We promise you the coaches truly want you to be the best you can be, if not more than you do, so hold us to that.

As the new year approaches, anticipate attendance to increase for a few reasons: 1.) New Year’s resolutions to increase attendance, 2.) New member enrollment for the new year, and 3.) Our amazing new website! That’s right, our new website will be updated with pictures of you guys (thank you for being cooperative and patient during the photo sessions), our coaches and staff, and tons on information that speaks on behalf of who we are, who you are, and what we strive to accomplish.

Until the new year arrives and we come back with a stellar goals blog post, let’s focus on the month of December and make it the last month of well-rounded motivation!

Humble Thanksgiving 2016

It’s that time of the year again: The holiday season! As schedules become more and more packed with commitments, let's continue to encourage each other to get into the gym when we can. Don’t be too hard on yourselves when you miss a day or two due to travel, holiday parties, etc.

Remind yourself, when traveling, the quality of the work out is far more important than the intensity. Extended periods of sitting due to flying or driving, and the lethargy that comes post-holiday dinners can make work outs feel harder. Don’t be too hard on yourselves about getting into the gym and going “HARD”. You will gain more from coming in and going light, or at a modified intensity, rather than going extra hard in the gym. Remember, the skeletal musculature has a particular response to stress. Not all stress is created equal; too much stress (unexpectedly) can do more damage than good (*cue* Coach going into a long extended physiology talk tangent).

The holiday season will last about 30-45 calendar days in length, and Humble Beast CrossFit will be open for nearly the entire holiday season! We will be here encouraging and pushing you inside the gym, so we ask that you help encourage and motivate each other outside the gym. The holiday season is an opportune time to support current relationships and build new ones!

Thank you all for the wonderful notes! We are truly thankful for each and every one of you!

Current and past members, you have made and continue to make positive influences on us. You make us better coaches, friends, and more.

In case you forgot! Our remaining holiday hours are:

THURSDAY 24th: CLOSED. Happy Thanksgiving!

FRIDAY 25th: 12pm & 5:30pm classes ONLY.

October Mobility Application Month

This month is Mobility Application Month! In August, we gave you daily mobility exercises to incorporate into your morning, work, and evening routines. Now it's time to put those daily practices to use. We will apply the knowledge and efforts gained from August's mobility focus in order to increase position awareness and improve bio mechanical positioning.

Each week we will highlight one of the skill/strength movements that we practice in a more in-depth mechanical level. Understanding the human anatomy will help you understand our cueing, and even more so, appreciate the detail required with proper movement. Practice makes permanent, so it is important to practice as close to a perfect movement as possible!

The Over-Head Squat (OHS)

We have two over-head positions: wide and narrow grip. The differences are structural and muscular. Regardless of which position you choose, you must follow certain guidelines. To understand these guidelines, we will take a look at the over-head anatomy.

The main muscles involved in holding something over-head are the rotator cuff muscles (shown in figure (a)). The wider you spread your hands, the more forces are loaded onto these muscles. This is not an ideal method, as it can produce undesirable outcomes. The more narrow you set your hands, the more the over-head weight will settle structurally over your scapula (or shoulder blades). In general, you should work into a narrow grip and master the narrow grip OHS before worrying about a heavier wide-grip OHS. The narrow grip OHS requires functional range of motion (ROM) of the scapula (show in video (b)). Most of you will want to avoid the narrow grip because "it is hard" and "isn’t cool” to not lift something heavy. This is an unacceptable train of thought! You need scapular ROM, or you will likely have thoracic (upper back) problems.

(a) The rotator cuff muscles.
(a) The rotator cuff muscles.

[huge_it_video_player id="7"] (b) Functional range of motion (ROM) of the scapula.

Once you have mastered the narrow grip OHS position, you can alternate with the wide grip, increasing load and adding more work capacity to your deltoid/shoulder muscles. Regardless of your choice, the one cue you will hear repeatedly from us is external rotation. External rotation can be imagined by turning a doorknob clockwise (with your right hand), or counter clockwise (with you left hand). This essentially turns your humeral head (bicep arm bone) into its humeral labral (shoulder socket) safely and allows compression and load to occur at the shoulder. Also, with a drastically decreased possibility of the humeral bone wobbling, sliding, or damaging the labrum. Motion imaging of external rotation at a muscular and structural level are shown in video (c)- muscular, and (d)- skeletal.

[huge_it_video_player id="2"] (c) External rotation at a muscular level.

 [huge_it_video_player id="4"] (d) External rotation at a structural level.

Fall Housekeeping

As we get into the colder weather it's time to reiterate some of the gym's cleanliness/organization and policies.

New Members

We're heading into a busy season at the gym! Please do your best welcoming all the new faces to the gym. Remember, the flow of the gym is un-natural to new members, so please introduce yourself, say hi, and help them flow!

Arriving Early

Due to class sizes, the need for coaches to set up, and gym etiquette, try to keep your arrival time NO MORE than 15 minutes before the start of your selected class time. This goes for morning class arrivals as well as people wanting to stretch/cardio/cool down after your class. Your class time is 1-hour in length, so please be respectful when using the gym afterwards. Ask a coach if you are allowed to "hang" around to stretch/cardio/cool down. On days we are using the machines, those are NOT good days to elect to do "extra" cardio after your class.

Showing Up Late

Please be on time to classes. It is taxing on the coaches to repeat everything and spend time catching up latecomers. The 15-minute policy also applies to being late for class. If you’re more than 15 minutes late, take the next class. If you’re less than 15 minutes late, you have to warm up and stretch on your own and fall into class without disruption. For yoga, it is very disruptive for latecomers to drop into the class. So, PLEASE BE ON TIME or even early. The door will be locked exactly at 10am when the class starts.


The cubbies are available for temporary storage. If you have made it a home for your six protein shakers, protein bag, oly shoes, socks (clean and dirty), and sweaty neoprene sleeves, PLEASE take inventory. Please invest in a brown paper bag, plastic bag, or re-usable gym bag. Use those bags to carry your gym gear to and from the gym. We get it, you come everyday, that’s cool, feel free to let certain items collect bacteria over night, but please at the least, take them home during the weekends. We will assess the cleanliness of the cubbies and dispose of anything “unsanitary.”

Dixie Cups

We are still ordering hundreds of Dixie cups per month. This is not a complaint from the operations department, but rather a wakeup call to you guys as athletes. At a staggering three ounces, you would need to consume 10+ of those little guys filled to the brim in order of obtain proper hydration before, during, and after your workout. Do yourself, Humble Beast, and the environment a favor and invest in a water bottle. Economically solutions such as recycling a regular 20 ounce bottle would work fine so long as it does not violate our cubby storage policy. ;)  One pet-peeve of Coach Jeff's is using the fancy Olympic collar holders as cup holders. As the high quality Dixie cups start to sweat, the water absorbs into said metal and you can imagine the chemical reaction that occurs.


When showering, please remember to dry off IN the shower area. Try resisting dripping water all over the floor. If you forgetfully rinse the floor while showering or drying off, please do your best to let one of our staff members available aware so that we can clean up after you, or, if you have the time, do so yourself. ;)  In case this doesn’t go without saying, let us suggest bringing your own towel when showering. Please refrain form using 5+ hand/sweat towels to accomplish said task. If the class is busy (mainly the evening classes), please shower swiftly to free up the bathroom space for the current class.


We have two chalk buckets in the gym and both buckets are meant to stay there. The chalk itself is meant to stay in the bucket! If you do end up making a mess, please clean it up.

Clorox Wipes

We have several bottles of disinfectant wipes around the gym, including on the main room shelf and in the bathroom cabinets. Please use them if you have sweated all over a machine or made a mess in the bathroom.

Yoga & Mats

We repeat, the door will be locked at exactly 10am. Please arrive on time or up to 15 minutes early. As far as yoga mats, we have a limited number of mats so if you have one, we encourage you to bring your own and remember to take it home with you! For class WODs where you feel you need one, only use yoga mats for sit-ups IF (if and only if) you have an exposed back (ie. topless men and/or sports top wearing ladies). The yoga mats are not meant for, and were not built for mountain climbers, burpees, slam balls, etc.

Plates & Barbells

The plates and barbells are placed strategically for a reason, please return the plates and barbells back to the original storage location in which you removed them. Please try to treat the plates like you would treat something you care about.

Please take your time to read and re-read this post. The more we work as a team to follow these guidelines, the happier everyone will be in a clean and organized gym!

Properly Tracking Your Fitness Progress

Whether you consider it to be journaling, note taking or score keeping, taking notes on your weights and scores from your daily, weekly, and monthly fitness regimen is important. Keeping track of your progress is important for your own mental solidarity as well as accountability. How will you know when to deload? When to go heavy? What type of heavy is relative to your work capacity? And what your past and present personal bests are? When taking notes, here are some helpful tools to consider:


  • Mobility: Take daily notes on which stretches you do. Do they help you? Did you benefit from them? What were the positive outcomes? Were they difficult? Learn systematic methods that work for you when remembering things that work for you. Bookmark pages, highlights phrases, go post-it note crazy!
  • Skill/Strength: What are we doing today? What cues were you given for instruction? What cues worked for you? What cues were hard to relate to? Describe the movements in your own words for recollection. Record your working weights as points of reference so that you can gauge growth/progressions.
  • Conditioning: Write a description of the workout. This will come in handy in case you travel. The more you attend class, the more options you will have available to re-WOD when traveling. This is also a useful point of reference to see if you’ve made progress.


  • At the end of each week, how many days did you attend? Write a quick reflection on which days were the hardest, what body parts hurt the most, and which movement you were best at. Give each week an intensity score on a scale of 5-10. (No one should ever be below 50% intensity.)


  • At the end of each month, you should start to tally your weeks and their relative intensities. This will help you understand your own athletic capacity and be able to adjust accordingly. Coach Jeff's rule of thumb (as a 30+ year-old male) is two weeks of 80-90% intensity, with one week at 70-90%. He recycles this pattern and occasionally goes 80-100+% on a week or two that he feels good and well rested. He also uses sleep and food intake to determine his percentages. For him, 7-9 hours of sleep combined with proper fueling will make him inclined to shoot for 90%. Less than 7 hours and or improper fueling will limit him to the 80% zone.

Increasing self-awareness and getting to know yourself is a life long journey. Taking notes and journaling properly will support this process. Although getting started may be slow or uninspiring, have no fear - it will get easier! Let’s make the month of September the start of self-progress and note taking. Talk amongst each other as to what works for you personally and what has been helpful to log. Exchange ideas so that you may benefit from each other’s note taking idiosyncrasies!