This gym has been in operation now for almost 9 years.
Over those 9 years, the programming (daily workouts) has seen an evolution.
In the beginning, it was soul crushing CrossFit workout after soul crushing CrossFit workout, every day.
The warmup was made up on the spot, the workout had no scaling or modifications listed, and everything was about how intense it could be.
This was true of most CrossFit gyms back in the day.
Over time, we started evolving.
We made actual warmups.
We introduced some scaling/modification levels.
The coaches even started wearing “Coach” shirts. (Anyone remember the days we just wore any old workout shirt?!)
In 2021, we de-affiliated from CrossFit. It was in part because of the owner’s misaligned actions, but also our own growing feelings of separating from the brand known for intense fitness. We felt there was more to offer our members, a more thoughtful and prescriptive approach.
The Current Evolution:
Head Coach Nick gave an overview on a FB Live video in our members group, but as a recap:
Rx+ – Competitive Fitness, a person who has been doing our program or similar for 5+ years (10% of our members)
Rx – “Sport” like level of fitness where you can compete with other like-level athletes. Has likely been doing our program or similar for 3+ years and has a desire to be competitive (20% of our members)
Rs – Recommended stimulus. A new version of modifying that replaces our old “fitness” and “health” categories. This level will state the goal/stimulus of the workout and movement, and you modify as needed to hit the stimulus with the coaches help. For example, it the workout wants you to do a “moderate weight back squat”, for some that may be 95lb, others 35lb, and others still 10lb. If it is moderate for you, you are hitting the recommended stimulus. (70% of our members)
Z2 – This stands for “Zone 2”, which is a heart rate measurement in the cardio world. It is roughly 60-70% of your max heart rate. If you do not have a heart rate monitor, no worries, just abide by the “conversation rule”. When you can have a conversation without stopping to take a breath, you’re likely in Zone 2. If you are chatting and must stop a sentence to take a breath, you are likely Zone 3 or higher. This modification level will reduce intensity of the workout and volume of weightlifting, and focus on, you guessed it, controlling your heart rate to maintain Zone 2.
(FYI – A very general rule of thumb to find your Max Zone 2 HR = 180 – Your Age)
You can do a quick Google search and see the results that come from Zone 2:
- Increase in the number of mitochondria (produces power in the muscles)
- burns fat
- increase in mitochondrial efficiency.
- increase in “metabolic flexibility”
- lower resting heart rate.
- a decrease in blood pressure.
- lower risk of injury.
- improves insulin resistance.
- improve your ability to run/cycle longer.
- helps you recover from workouts
This is a critical component of fitness, and historically, our program has ignored this stimulus.
Now, it may not be an easy switch for some to start including this in your weekly routine, for others, you’ll love it immediately.
Intense workouts leave you satisfied from tons hard work and sweat. You crushed it!
But Z2 won’t do that. You won’t be exhausted and may not be drenched in sweat. You may not feel like you “crushed it”.
But the gains are still there.
Remember, the goal of our program is to build well rounded people and athletes.
We want to be strong, but also fast.
We want to sprint, but also go for a long time.
We also want you to be healthy, injury free, and FEELING GOOD!
Incorporating Z2 into your week will help make you a better athlete, period.
How do we recommend incorporating it?
If you workout 5 days per week:
Mon – Z2
Tues – Rx+, Rx, or Rs
Wed – Z2
Thurs – Rx+, Rx, Rs
Fri – Z2
Sat & Sun – Rest
Some of the athletes who have been in the gym for a few years or more may flip it and do 2 days of Z2 and 3 days of Rx/Rs.
But the key point, our bodies are not meant to go INTENSE every day of the week. A college athlete, sure, they can. But the soccer mom and dad (most of our members) should not.
By dialing back your intensity, you’ll not only feel better, but you’ll burn more fat, and get less injuries.
What Defines Success?
The goal of fitness is consistency over the long term.
We define success by how long a member stays with us.
If someone stays with us for 5 years, we’ve changed their life.
If someone stays with us for 5 months, we’ve failed and they’ll see no lasting change.
By incorporating Z2 into your week, you can more CONSISTENTLY come to class. Gone are the days of saying “I’m too sore to come in”. That would happen, and sometimes we wouldn’t see people for a week. They would get sore, skip a workout or two, get out of the habit of coming, and then have trouble getting back in.
It’s a disservice to our ideals and our values.
Now you can come in, any day, whether you feel fresh or tired, and move.
Remember, sometimes success is coming to class and just moving. Not every day is about going fast or going heavy. Sometimes the success is just getting here. Always keep that in perspective.
As always, please utilize your coaches. We do Goal Setting Sessions so we can chat 1-on-1 outside of class. We are more than happy to help you craft a weekly workout schedule that works for you and your goals. At the very least, chat with us before class about how and when you should incorporate Z2!