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26
Aug

What is CrossFit?

    CrossFit is a movement methodology. It is defined as constantly varied, functional movement, executed at high intensity.

    Let us unpack that first. Movement is exercise. Exercise is health. I do not believe I need to explain why exercise is healthy. If so, you have stumbled upon a revelation today. A methodology is a framework. It is a blueprint. It is a way to condense theories into methods. So a movement methodology is… how to be healthy. CrossFit is a way to be healthy.

    Constantly Varied. This means the movements and exercises we do are different on a daily basis. You will squat, press, jump, pull, row, bike, run, lunge. One workout may have 100 dumbbell thrusters for time. Another workout may be to spend one minute on the bike, rower, and running for 5 rounds. Another workout may be to do 30-20-10 push ups and barbell deadlifts. These elegant combinations are constantly varied. The time domain of the workout, the rep scheme, the weights (or lack thereof) are each different. CrossFit’s workouts are different each day. 

    Functional Movement. This means we will perform exercises which have a direct carryover to real life. We are going to do things in the gym which help you be a stronger, leaner, more resilient human being. We are going to bulletproof you. We are going to target large muscle groups. When you pick something off the ground, you do a deadlift. When you put something overhead, you do a press. When you sit down and stand up, you do a squat. We see combinations of these movements in the gym to help you excel at life. Why do we care? Because life is unpredictable. You being healthy and ready to tackle life’s circumstances is one of our goals at Bellhouse. CrossFit’s workouts prepare you for the unknown and unknowable. 

    High Intensity. This means power. We workout fast. CrossFit is taught with the idea of mastering mechanics first. After we can do the movements properly, and for several reps, then we master consistency. Then and only then we layer on intensity. Intensity is the shortcut to results. It is the least common denominator for improving your fitness. Fitness is increased capacity to move large loads quickly (more on that later). Casually working out will not lead to better health or results. You must be intentional. We want you to see results and benefit from our coaching. To be intense in a workout means to raise the heart rate. This is correlated with improved bio markers such as lower resting heart rate, improved heart rate variability, better blood flow, and increased bone density. CrossFit’s workouts are fast and explosive.

Why does CrossFit succeed where other movement methodologies have failed to show results for many people? It is because CrossFit has defined fitness and shown measurable results since coming into the fitness industry during the mid-2000’s. Fitness is defined as work capacity across broad time, modal, and age domains. There is no other workout routine which can beat the athletes doing CrossFit. When it comes to competing in work capacity, our athletes are the best. There is no argument anymore about the fittest athletes on the planet. CrossFit athletes are not specialists. We are not the fastest. We are not the strongest. We are not the most flexible. We are the most well rounded, bulletproof, and hard working bad asses on the planet. 

Are you ready to get started and train with intention? Email [email protected] to ask any questions about CrossFit and to begin your journey. At Bellhouse CrossFit, your health is our priority!

19
Aug

How to Workout with an Injury

    Injuries are part of life. We are not robots. Let me remind you… YOU ARE NOT A ROBOT! It can be easy to believe you are impervious to disease, infection, food poisoning, and muscle aches. These unfavorable conditions happen to everyone. An injury may be more than a broken bone or strained muscle. An injury is any ailment that causes you to modify your routine from the baseline.

    In our group classes at Bellhouse CrossFit, it is your responsibility to communicate with your coach about any injuries you have. At the beginning of class, the coach asks, “Does anyone have any new aches or pains? Please let me know before the warmup.” This is your chance to figure out the plan for that day. Sometimes you have a stomach ache from what you ate before the workout, so the coach may modify some full body movements so that you do not hurl. Another example may be you have a sore muscle from the prior workout. The coach could modify the movement to target another muscle group. You might have drank the day before so intensity needs to be decreased. Check in with coach for how to dial in the workout.

    You can workout with an injury. It takes some imagination, creativity, and the expertise of your Bellhouse coach. We are trained to work with clients who have injuries. For example, let’s say you strain your adductor. The adductor is the muscle group on your inner thigh, most commonly associated with your groin. If you have pulled your adductor muscle, then squats may be out of the question. How can we still work the legs and lower back without squatting? Your coach may prescribe you to hinge. Lunges, Kettlebell Swings, and Good Mornings are a few examples. Maybe the coach will give you another muscle group to target such as banded glute bridges. This is just one example we see in the gym.

    We also offer personal training for injuries and bulletproofing for your fine self. Ask a coach you feel comfortable with to help. Our work culture requires a lot of sitting. This leads to back issues, rounded shoulders, and poor posture. Add in some intensity before you master the mechanics, and you find yourself with an injury. Take the time to learn the movements during class before working out fast. We can master the mechanics and even learn new exercises during personal training. It may be the option that is right for you.

    Lastly, working out with an injury helps you stay realistic. Our ancestors did not quit hunting or gathering food when they received an injury. They needed to move! You can move too. In fact, moving and exercising is the fastest path to heal injuries. The method of RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) is incorrect. The guy, Gabe Mirkin who came up with RICE even said, “Sorry, I was wrong.” The new method is MEAT (Movement, Exercise, Analgesics, Treatment). To learn more about Dr. Mirkin, check out this article… https://www.drmirkin.com/fitness/why-ice-delays-recovery.html

So come on by Bellhouse CrossFit, and learn how to move your body safely, even with an injury. Email [email protected] to schedule a personal training session. 

12
Aug

What is Nutrition Coaching?

    Nutrition Coaching is an opportunity to receive one-on-one attention for your diet, habits, and performance. 

    What is a nutrition coach you ask? We are here to help you! That is weight loss for many. It can also be weight gain, muscle definition, improved sleep. Our list of expertise in helping you achieve your physical goal goes on and on. Just as your class coach, the nutrition coach spends time with you… but without distraction. When you sign up for nutrition coaching, you get at least 30 minutes twice a month to cover any nutrition questions you have and complete an InBody scan. We are also available to you via the myPT app or text messaging when you have a question about nutrition.

    We make an effort to talk to our nutrition clients throughout the week. We want you to know this journey does not have to be alone. You are paying for a high value service. We offer this premium service to you because we care about your results. If you do not see the results you are paying for, then stop paying! That won’t be a problem with us because we have seen our current clients lose fat and gain muscle since starting nutrition coaching in May. 

    During the nutrition consultation, you will discuss goals with the coach. Some clients want to lose body fat. Others may want to improve muscle definition or put on more muscle weight. Whatever the goal is, we will help you get there. We have already seen several clients experience success with weight loss and building muscle! The day to day habits nutrition coaching develops for you will stay as long as you practice them! We believe in a sustainable approach to nutrition coaching. I don’t want to put you on a restrictive diet to lose twenty pounds in a month only to put it all back on. Our hope is to support you in finding what works for you. The best diet will be that which you can see yourself doing in one year from now. 

    How long do you recommend nutrition coaching? We recommend three to six months. That is the proper amount of time to develop a habit you can stick with. We also believe you have spent a lot of time making your body the way it currently is. It will take some time to reverse the process. 

    Are you ready to begin nutrition coaching? Email [email protected] to begin the process. Blair will pair you with Josh Blasdel or himself, depending on your specific needs, schedule, and preference. Nutrition coaching is $180 per month. 

5
Aug

What is Personal Training?

    Personal Training is individualized coaching. It is an opportunity to work one-on-one with one of the excellent staff here at Bellhouse CrossFit. We spend an hour together progressing towards your health and fitness goals.

    Personal Training looks different for each person. One athlete may want to tone their arms. Another athlete may want the one-on-one attention that group classes cannot provide. Another athlete may want some help on their double unders. For each of these examples, the coach will write up an individual session plan and implement it with the client.

    Here at Bellhouse CrossFit, our goal in offering PT sessions is to provide more value to you, our loyal members. The group class is our most discounted option. Personal training may be the logical next step in helping you reach your goals. 

    You can consult with Blair or Chris before or after a general class to decide whether or not personal training is right for you. Some members love attending the group classes to sweat and maintain their functional fitness. That is great! We love that you are making it to the gym at least an hour a day. For those of you that are not seeing the results you want, it may take longer in the group classes. To speed up the process, you can consider buying a personal training package to implement alongside your group sessions. 

    The hour-long session will be catered to you. It may still look like a group class, depending on your reason for training. For example, an athlete that prefers to be taught one-on-one will do a workout that is written for them, including the general and specific warm up… as well as teaching. This mirrors the group class session plan.

    Do you have an injury that scares you from working out? That is another solution that PT can offer. Personal training allows the coach and you to spend special time together getting to know your injury. We can make a plan for you to try at home, and can continue spending time together each week to ensure you are on track to healing and getting back to the life you love so much.

    Bellhouse CrossFit has a mission to impact the health of the individual, their family, and the community. We want to provide solutions to your health and fitness, not a bandaid or quick fix. We will help you reach your goals, because we value your time, money, and commitment to our brand. Every individual personal training session is priced at $75. The package for 12 sessions is valued at $810, which is $67.50 per hour. The package which includes 24 personal training sessions costs $1530, at $63.75 per hour. Book a session via the Wodify Athlete app!

29
Jul

Brian Bowden Member Transformation

Who are you? What is something most people don’t know about yourself?

Hey, my name is Brian. I have been married to my wife Elizabeth for seven years and we have two boys, Jackson and Judah. I love crossfit and my friends at the gym. Even though I have been attending the gym for a while, I still get nervous before working out. It is like a nervous excitement. Sometimes I’ll chew gum as a way to focus and that tends to help, I used to do that whenever I played drums. I am glad I get nervous! It means that I take it seriously . I like pushing myself to a point I did not know I could go before. Growing up I wasn’t very athletic and didn’t value fitness…having this environment where I can push myself and discover my threshold has helped me learn new things about myself too!

Why do you continue attending Bellhouse CrossFit?

Like most people, it starts with relationships. My best friends go here. I love the physical challenge. It is pushing past the physical point I did not know I would ever get to. If I were in a gym by myself, I would not give the same effort the coach pushes me to give in class.  For myself, people are encouraging me to reach a new level, try a new skill or add more weight to the bar. I haven’t seen that at other places. Another part is the level of trust from the staff. I know I can trust my coach. I know they are thinking of and will give me good feedback. It all depends on the day. Sometimes it’s about movement, other days it’s the crossfit games (okay so not really). I can modify the workout to suit me for that day, and everyone is on my side. 

What are the accomplishments you are most proud of since joining the gym?

Bar muscle ups for sure (shout out Coach Chris). 100 plus double unders unbroken. I am finally getting handstand push ups. Honestly, the overall level of fitness. I went on a vacation last month and ran around the island. I started with five miles… I ended up doing EIGHT miles! Prior to beginning my fitness lifestyle, I couldn’t even run a whole mile. 

How did you overcome some of the obstacles in starting your health journey?

It all started for me when I knew I needed to make a change. I saw myself gaining weight and feeling more and more unhealthy. I started CrossFit. For me it’s all about consistency.And I am training smarter now. I used to just workout and go home and do my same habits. Now I think about sleep and nutrition more. I started here because my friend Josh Blasdel. I was going to a globo gym first. He invited me to CrossFit about 20 times and I finally gave in. I am so glad my friend continued to peer pressure me. Thanks Coach B!

What is your current focus or goal in the gym?

I want to get ring muscle ups. I want to get down to 10% body fat or less. For me, that goal would mean that I made it. I think it would be really cool to get 500 double unders unbroken. I am currently at 212.  so I’ve got some work to do. 

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

Shapeshifter or eating whatever I wanted. Is that even a super power?

What is your favorite exercise?

Toes to bar

If you have unlimited time to learn a new hobby, what would you do?

I would learn to pilot an airplane. Or ride a unicycle. 

What profession would you work if you were living in the Middle Ages?

Breadmaker! Who doesn’t love a good pastry? 

How do you fall asleep?

10mg of melatonin. 45 minutes of book reading. A full glass of water. It has to be dark in the room. I start this process an hour before I actually fall asleep.

22
Jul

Why do we snatch?

Snatch. Squat Snatch. Power Snatch. Dumbbell Snatch. Kettlebell Snatch. PVC Snatch. The list goes on and on. This Olympic weightlifting movement is arguably the most complex lift we teach at Bellhouse CrossFit. There are individuals who dedicate their lives to maximizing the snatch. Those Olympic athletes are very impressive not only to watch, but also to learn from.

Why do we snatch? If it is so complicated… why not leave it to the professionals? Well the snatch can be an extremely useful functional movement for the general population. Of the ten physical traits we are preparing you for… the snatch hits them all. Want to improve your cardiovascular endurance and stamina? Complete a volume of snatches for time. Want to improve your strength and power? Work up in loading on the snatch. Want to improve your flexibility? The snatch requires good overhead and squat mobility. Speed, agility, balance, coordination, and accuracy? Complete light loads for sets and dial in your form. The nuance of the snatch can be even deeper. Check in with a coach at the gym if you are ever curious.

You snatch when you pick anything up from the ground and go overhead with it. Get a kayak to the top of your car. Get your holiday decorations on the top shelf. Pick up your clothes to carry overhead as you wade through water. You can see the snatch finding itself out there in life. Do you have another example? Let us know in the comments.

Let us use the barbell snatch as an example to move through some progressions. We begin with a specific warm up.

  • 10 PVC pass thrus
  • 10 PVC around the world
  • 10 PVC snatch grip deadlifts
  • 10 PVC behind the neck press
  • 10 PVC overhead squat

    After the specific warm up, we go into teaching with either the PVC pipe or the barbell. Use whichever weight is pain free for you and maintain perfect technique. 

  • 5 empty barbell snatch pull
  • 5 empty barbell hang muscle snatch
  • 5 empty barbell hang power snatch
  • 5 empty barbell overhead squat
  • 5 empty barbell squat snatch

    These movements are preparing your body for the workout. Whatever the loading or volume, we want to make sure that when we snatch, we are practicing wonderful technique during our teaching section. The coach is looking for a myriad of items, and at each lesson we will usually pick one thing to focus on. For example,

  • Heels planted in start position
  • Knees back in pull 
  • Shoulders over the bar during pull
  • Hips below shoulders in set up
  • Timing of hip extension after pull
  • Shoulders shrugging after pull
  • Hips fully extending after pull
  • Elbow bend timing during pull
  • Full squat depth under bar 
  • Bar path during pull
  • Feet spreading during catch
  • Standing upright out of squat catch
  • Arms locked out overhead
  • Elbows straight in the catch position

    These are just a few things the Bellhouse coaches are looking for during snatches. Hopefully this blog is helpful in understanding a bit more about the snatch and why we perform it under loading or for time. If you want personal training on the snatch, reach out to [email protected] to set up a time for individual attention. 

15
Jul

Rosie Salinas Member Transformation

Who are you? What is something most people do not know about you?

    My name is Rosie Salinas. I moved to Baytown 20 years ago. Even though I was born in the Fort Worth area, I grew up in Houston. Most people know I love to run… but do not know I have completed five half marathons! I am married, going on 29 years. We have one daughter, who will be 24 in October and a German Shepherd, named Bailey. I love cooking, shopping, working out and  hanging with family and friends. I love making elaborate meals for guests. When I host, I will make an appetizer, drinks, main course, and desert… the whole shebang! 

Why do you keep coming back to Bellhouse CrossFit?

    I have been working out my entire adult life and went to many different studios over the years. I love being around people, especially while working out. The last “live” class I attended was Insanity and P90X. When that gym shut down, I began searching for a new gym “home”. I pray daily for God to put holy people in my path. I believe I was led to Bellhouse Crossfit. The instructors here are so patient and passionate. The coaching is uplifting and knowledgeable. I love the community and how everyone welcomed me with open arms. Believe it or not, I am rather shy and nervous to try new things. 

What are the accomplishments you are most proud of since joining the gym?

    Box jumps! Pull ups! I can do seven singles now! I practice after class each day. I know the workouts take intensity, so once I recover, I use my time wisely and work towards my goals. Time is precious to me, so I want to use the hour in the gym as efficiently as possible. 

When I began doing box jumps, I felt nervous. The coach, Chris, helped me build some confidence to hop up. The encouragement and peer pressure helped me to get on top of the 20” box. 

How did you overcome some of the obstacles in starting your health journey?

    I want my endurance to improve. I want to maintain my weight. I want to see the muscle tone changes in my body. I have pretty much worked out my whole life. When I am absent from the gym, I miss it and can’t wait to return. It is part of my life. I want to live a healthy life in my later years. Remembering my “why” keeps me coming back. 

What is your current focus or goal in the gym?

    I want to continue building strength. I want to lift more weights. I hope to continue seeing more positive results in my body such as muscle definition. There is so much to work on and learn! I think fitness is a lifelong journey. I love being around people too, so I want to continue developing those relationships.

What is your favorite thing to cook for others?

Enchiladas.

What is your dream vacation?

Italy… I like pizza and wine. And it looks so pretty!

If you could have any job, what would you do? 

If I didn’t have to work, I would volunteer. I would help the homeless, a food pantry, or animal shelter. Wherever I could help others.

What is a cherished memory you have with your family?

All holidays, especially Christmas.

If you could run a half marathon anywhere in the world, where would you run?

Greece. I think the beaches would be pretty, and running in the sand is an awesome workout!

8
Jul

What does foam rolling do?

Foam rolling is also known as self myofascial release. SMR, for short, is a technique used to relieve stress in our bodies. We carry a lot of soreness and tightness around due to the workouts in CrossFit. If you do not take the time to care for your body, then it will get mad at you. 

Our foam rollers are located to the left of the garage doors upon walking in. They are in a wicker basket against the wall. You are welcome to use them before or after class. Some members even grab one to use during the down time in a class! I encourage you to try it, especially if you have any soreness in your body.

Start with the back of your legs. Target the calves, then the hamstrings, then the glutes, then the thoracic spine. Hit these four areas on your posterior side by spending at least one minute on each. When you put the foam roller under a muscle, you want to roll for just a moment. Roll until you find a tight spot, then put as much pressure as you can breathe into that spot. Hold for one minute before moving on. Anything less than a minute is not allowing your body to relax.

Golgi Tendon Organs, or GTOs is the mechanism in your body that foam rolling is trying to release. They need at least a minute to activate. Normally, GTOs are the mechanisms that prevent you from over stretching. When you foam roll, you want to tell the GTOs that it is okay to stretch. It is okay to roll. It is okay to receive a massage on that tender spot. 

After completing the posterior side, move to the anterior, or the front of your body. Hit the quads and the belly. You begin by rolling onto your quads for a moment. Find the sweet spot. Breathe and place as much pressure as you can into the sweet spot. After a minute, move on.

You can complete these foam rolling techniques at home too! Just go buy a roller from Amazon or Target and try it out. If you ever have any questions about self myofascial release or want some additional coaching, reach out to a staff at Bellhouse CrossFit. We would love to schedule a personal coaching session with you, or just give you some advice after a workout.