All posts by rnagy

All Out for Amelia

On March 15, 2020, Union Fitness will host the 2nd Annual “All Out for

Amelia” in honor of 4 year old Amelia Sharer. In October 2018 Amelia was diagnosed

with a rare and aggressive form of pediatric cancer, and although she battled with

bravery and a smile, her fight came to an end in March of 2019.

 

 

While her time on Earth was brief, Amelia inspired thousands of people while

reminding us all to appreciate the little things. Her goal was to spread love

whenever possible, and thus the Amelia M. Sharer Foundation was born. It’s

mission is simple- to help children and families affected by cancer and to ensure

that NO child, no matter their family’s ability to pay, is denied medical

transportation in times of need.

 

 

This mission is particularly close to the

foundation’s heart, as Amelia initially waited for over six hours for ambulance

transportation to the Children’s Hospital due to a temporary lapse in insurance

coverage. Finally, after hours of dismay, an EMS crew two hours away heard of the

situation and selflessly offered to transport Amelia at no cost to the family.

In support of their mission, Union Fitness has generously offered to host a

charity push/pull event. Just two days after the first anniversary of her passing,

our goal is simple- to spread love and help support a worthy cause. Your donation,

be it of time, money, or prize items, will help us reach our goal and lessen the

burden of families going through the atrocities of pediatric cancer.

 

 

Please contact alloutforamelia@gmail.com for additional questions. More

information about the Amelia M. Sharer Foundation can be found at

www.strengthforamelia.org.

 

 

Sincerely,

Nicole Nelson

Measuring Progress

 

Over the past couple of weeks, I have had the discussion with a few of my training partners on the topic of measuring progress within our training programs. As lifters, it’s very easy to get caught up in focusing too much on the obvious; putting more weight on the bar. Although this feeds the ego, it is not always great for our progress, and can actually greatly hinder our ability to be our best. As an individual with the goals of simply looking and feeling better, it is very easy to compare ourselves to what we see around us instead of focusing on what’s most important. Every individual is different, and no two people will progress the same way or at the same pace. So if we stay open minded and focus on getting better at one thing at a time instead of trying to do too much, we will likely achieve our goals more consistently, while making it more enjoyable in the process.

A wise man once said “Life ain’t a track meet, it’s a marathon” (thanks Ice Cube). Our mindset for progression should be no different, regardless of if it takes place inside the gym or during everyday life. We do many small things each day that add up in order to achieve a singular or multiple goals, so why should our approach to training be any different? In the long run, we must think about our main goals. What is it that we want to accomplish, and what approach will give us the best chance of getting there? The best way to promote consistent progression is to focus on achieving small, realistic, and obtainable goals. 

 

Listed below are some of the areas which I feel are most important when it comes to making consistent, continued progress inside of the gym, which will in turn have a similar benefit to our accomplishments in everyday life.

 

1) Focus on your mindset:

This is usually the first area that we could benefit from. Focus on a strong positive mindset. Understand that things aren’t always going to go as planned, but that there is something positive to learn and take away from every situation. It’s up to us to decide the outcome. Learn to better approach this and you will see a major improvement in your day to day progress.

 

 

2) Refine your technique:

In my opinion, technical improvements should always come before increased intensity. It’s much more challenging to spend the time learning how to move correctly, but it will be much more beneficial in the long run. Every day before beginning your workout, pick 1-2 things that you want to technically do better than your previous session.

 

 

3) Build personal goals through increased repetitions or sets.

This is probably the easiest way to judge physical progress. For most people, I like giving them a repetition range for each set. For example: 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions. Find a weight that they come close to failure within that rep range. When they can complete all sets at the top number of repetitions for that range, they now know that they are ready to progress in weight by 5-10 pounds.

 

 

4) Keep weight increases to small increments.

If you do chose to progress by increasing your weight for a given exercise, remember that staying on the conservative side is always better than biting off more than you can chew. There’s nothing wrong with a 5 pound increase on your squat. On the other hand, theres nothing more discouraging than trying to progress too much and missing your goal repetitions. Be smart and patient. All good things come with time. 

 

 

5) Keep track of your rest periods.

I’ll be the first to admit that I love having conversations with my training partners and other members during workouts. However, during that time I could be focusing on keeping my pace up, which will ultimately increase my overall conditioning. Start with a rest period that gives you enough time to physically recover from each set. Then, each time you come into the gym, work to lower that time, even if it’s only by a few seconds. The less rest that you need in between sets, the more conditioned that your body is becoming, and the more you will be able to progress in everything that you do.

 

 

If we focus on these 5 things, we will always continue to find progression within our training program. This in turn will keep us progressing through our daily life, and kicking ass for years to come.

Moving Through Disappointment

You’ve been working all year, the long hours in the gym, the tears, putting in the work while going through tough periods in your life, it all adds up at some point. It only takes one second, one thing to go wrong and all that hard work you put in is at a stopping point. 

 

If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw that I hurt my shoulder during my first Qualifier workout for the Mid Atlantic CrossFit Challenge (MACC). I then spent the next week completely off training, seeing a PT every day and trying to manage the pain I was in. It wasn’t until Friday of the same week that I finally had relief of pain and could go through the last 2 workouts with little to minimal pain.

 

When you’re on a team you always want to perform at your best and when you feel like you aren’t, you don’t only feel like you’re letting your team down but you’re disappointed in yourself for letting this happen. You try to tell yourself, it’s normal, you’re only human but it certainly doesn’t hurt any less. You can also relate this to individual sports or fitness goals; when you work so hard for something only to fall short, it just sucks.

 

So, here we are, in the thick of it and you ask yourself, where do I go from here?

 

Fitness is the only thing in life where your success is completely dependent on yourself. It doesn’t care how old you are or how much money you make. It does care about how hard you work. Setbacks are bound to happen, it’s just the nature of being human. The hard part here is reframing our mind so they don’t weigh on us heavily, basically teaching ourselves to view negatives as positives

 

Now, how do we do that?

 

First, you have to own the situation. You have to understand that yes said situation happened and know you are in complete control of your reaction. When I look at my shoulder injury I’m thinking, did I know my shoulder was weak? Yes. Could I have done more PT exercises over the past few months to stabilize my scapula? Yes. Owning what you are going through is the first step in taking back your power.

 

Second, you need to use the situation as fuel to motivate yourself. If we let every single “no” we ever received in our lifetime stop us, none of us would be where we are today. Every single no is a redirection, we are simply being shown a different way to get to where we want to go. It might not be an easy road but it’ll be the one that shows us our strength. 

 

Lastly, remind yourself that setbacks are part of the journey. Find it somewhere within you to be kind to yourself, letting yourself feel the initial reaction but then by choosing to not dwell on it you will find control.

 

What about situations outside of the gym, does this way of thinking still apply?

 

So, you didn’t get that job or promotion you applied for. Does that mean you’re any less of a person just because you lost out? Not in the slightest. As I previously mentioned, every no is simply life’s way of redirecting us to the path we are meant to be on. Would you rather have an easy-going, flow through it kind of life or would you rather have a life that was full of growth? The choice is yours but I’m sure I know your answer already.

 

If we’re talking about something a little deeper, that’s a really tough one and it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes life kicks you in the jaw over and over again, you’ll pick yourself up and find yourself on the ground again. If there’s anything I could ever stress (inside the gym and outside) it’s always going to remain to be, kindness. Having compassion for yourself is one of the hardest things as we are our own toughest critics. But, if you reframe your thinking, every tough situation is an opportunity for growth. You wouldn’t be where you are today if it wasn’t for the tough things you needed to fight through. 

 

The moral of the story here is disappointment is ultimately unavoidable and navigating through it certainly a learned skill. It’ll get under your skin and dip you into a pool of self-pity but If you learn to (here it is, again) be kind to yourself and use the situation to motivate you then in the grand scheme of things you will be a stronger more resilient individual.

 

We are always working toward personal growth but you cannot possibly become a better version of yourself by having an easy life. You will experience weak moments but it’s in those moments we realize how much we can handle and how far we can push ourselves past that threshold. 

 

Much love,

Jocelyn

CeJ’s training

Greetings UF Nation,

 

I am currently two months into offseason training, with my goals being, build work capacity, increase strength & build muscle. I am using a 4 day weight training split along with 2 conditioning and mobility sessions and 1 day to just kick back and chill.
My most recent training day was a Max Effort Floor Press day. My goal for that day is to work up to a heavy floor press for a double for strength. I then took a few sets to build upper body volume (work capacity) and work some speed into my floor press. I used chainzz to help remind me to finish fast and drive during my entire set. If you hit the cruse control while using chainzzz they will come back and staple you. After my floor presses I worked on exercises that helped build muscle size in the chest, triceps, shoulders and back, for pressing.
Here is an inside look at my day.
1a. Work up to a Heavy 2 repetition Max on Floor Press
2a. Floor Press vs. 2 Chainzzz 5×5 @65%
3a. DB Incline Press 3×20
4a. Tbar Row 3×10-12
5a. Weighted Dips 3xMax Reps
5b. Banded Lat Pull Down 3×10-12
6a. Dead Stop Skull Crushers 3×10-12
6b. Shoulder Flys 3×10-12
Thanks for listening and if you have any questions please let your Bearded Bub know. Have some fun and go get bumpy!
Cheers,
CeJ

Hamer’s Training Log

I am preparing for the USPA Shark Tank meet in Cleveland, Ohio. This will be my first return to the platform in over a year and only my second time as a raw lifter.

 

Friday is bench day for me, and I am currently doing a 3 week wave of Dynamic Effort (DE) work on my bench.

 

Warm Up:

 

I always begin with jump rope. I hit 100 straight skips then just do anything else until I mess up on the rope. Following jump rope I do some shoulder mobility work and some work specific to lower trap engagement.

Bench with mini bands- 8×3 (165 lbs (50%))

FatBell Incline- 4×10 (70 lbs)

1a Machine Press- 4×30 sec

1b Machine Lat Pulldown- 4×10

2a Fat Bell Row- 3×8 (97 lbs)

2b Band Tricep Pushdown- 4×25

 

The idea with my accessories is simple…tear muscle down and rebuild. You may notice I had some timed work in there. I believe more people should perform timed work. We often see people program 4×10 with no idea on what tempo is being used. So pick an exercise and do some work for time. See how it feels and if it works for you then adjust the time appropriately.

CJ’s long strange trip

Hello Union Fam,

I’m back and I sure did miss all your smiling bumpy faces while I was on vacation.

 

For the past week I was in Sunny San Diego, exploring and hanging out with Ron Burgundy, Skylyn, some seals and Skylyn’s Fit Ink team. I had never been to San Diego before or California until this trip and I must say San Diego is pretty rad. The weather was unreal, the sights were spectacular, the food was baller and the company of course was top notch.

 

Some people fear that taking a vacation will devastate their current training, I say Nay Nay! I will tell you firsthand that I came back from vacation feeling fresh and tossed some weights my first couple of trainings back on home soil. “CeJ, how did you do this?” Well my bumpiest of friends, let me tell you.

 

To stay on track with my training during vacation I made a training plan, reloaded, hydrated, ate well and had a freaking blast!

 

I had planned to take a reload on vacation as training shouldn’t be the center of a vacation and, I knew this would be a great time to try a different gym’s equipment and just ride the pump. I planned my split out ahead of time so I knew the focus of that day’s training. My split was: Upper Push, Upper Pull, Cardio Circuit with Abs, Lower Body, Upper Push and Upper Pull during my 6 day adventure. A reload is when the training volume and intensity is decreased, this gives the body and the central nervous system some time to recover from your wild training sessions. Do yourself a favor and take a reload on your vacation and try not to spend more than an hour at the gym or your place of training. Stay hydrated my friends! Traveling can dehydrate you and sometimes we just forget to drink with all the excitement of vacation. Carry a water bottle with you and drink it while you’re on the move. When it comes to eating, please try new local places and foods, spice up your taste buds. If you are worried about eating too much, then share some plates with your adventure partner(s) and don’t stress. The most important thing I have to say about staying on track during your vacation time is to live it the heck up and make all the memories you can! You can always make more money and gainzzz, you can’t always make more time. Thank you San Diego, it was a pleasure.

 

 

PS now that I’m back, come and train with me.

Stay Bumpy

-CeJ

Rethinking goals

One of the most popular strategies in personal achievement as well as managerial motivation is to create goals, specifically SMART goals, to encourage certain behaviors and habits. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. This means that your goals should be purely objective without any way to insert subjectivity. Black and white. No gray.

 

 

Ever since I learned about SMART strategies, something about them didn’t sit well with me. I thought they would work for occupations with checklists and strict protocols, but they seemed too rigid when it came to innovation and artistic creativity. I wondered if there was another way.

 

 

Many times, we have a specific thing in mind that we want. However, many times our desires can be ambiguous and vague. How many of you reading this right now have followed your 5 year plan perfectly? Or are you doing something completely different than what you thought you would be? Play-doh was initially designed to clean wallpaper. No one expected to create one of the most popular and iconic toys of all time. Joseph Needham was a brilliant British biochemist, but did a 180 degree turn and became the premier authority on the history of Chinese science and technology simply because he was curious. It can be hard to tell where our interests and passions will take us. 

 

 

The Western world is obsessed with reductionist science. Break this thing down to its most fundamental, indivisible parts to find out what it is. It has to be quantified. If you can’t measure it, then it doesn’t matter. The problem is, there are whole fields of science that rely on subjective, qualitative data. How do you objectively measure well-being? Or leadership ability? What scale would you use? What are the components of well-being or leadership? How do you quantify a piece of art? These are questions that come from reductionism, but they can have little meaning when it comes to complex dynamical systems such as human beings. 

 

 

Research has supported the idea for a long time now that we are very poor at estimating our highest potential in any given task or skill. This makes knowing what is achievable and realistic very difficult. Many of our greatest athletes, artist, thinkers, etc. were thought to have very little potential. Albert Einstein and Charles Darwin were very average in their abilities in their youth. No one predicted that they would become two of the greatest minds to ever grace the earth. Long-term success is especially murky, but even short-term changes can be tough to nail down. We lift weights and expect to get stronger. Sometimes the results are overwhelmingly positive in a short amount of time. Other times, we are disappointed with the pitiful outcome after a training block. If we don’t achieve our goal, are we worth less? How tempting is it to judge ourselves based on the outcomes we are chasing? But if our goals don’t align with what is possible, we are constantly falling short of our/other’s expectations. 

 

 

It’s good to have a direction that you want to go. I think it’s paramount. That doesn’t mean you have to scrutinize every detail along the journey. Instead of being obsessed with outcomes, I propose that we focus on the system. What are you doing to advance in the direction you desire? How can our process be refined? Focus less on the “what”, and more on the “why” and “how”. This allows for recalibration when new information arises, and keeps you grounded when things don’t go your way. It also encourages you to enjoy what you’re doing. Have you ever set SMART goals when you went out for a dip in the ocean? Or when you went on a stroll with a loved one? I would guess not. You were more focused on enjoying the experience. Goals wouldn’t seem appropriate because they would steal from the moment. We can do the same thing in many other aspects of our lives. Focus on process enjoyment and refinement. If you can do that, the outcomes will take care of themselves. 

Super Suprise Super Class

Yes I know that is a lot of supers. There is a reason for that, as we are having a super class this Sunday that is helping a friend of the gyms and they do not know about this yet. How are we going to keep this a secret? Well, luckily this person does not live too close and does not follow us on social media.

 

This Sunday, February 2nd, 8:30 AM we are going to host our next super class. As with our previous super classes, we are asking everyone who joins us to do something good for the world. One of the friends of the gym was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and has to travel a far distance for her treatments. So we are asking anyone who joins us to purchase a gasoline gift card and bring it with you on Sunday and we will surprise her with the cards this week.

 

What we will do this during this super class is break the class into two teams, we may name the teams after a few other teams that will be playing later that evening. Then we will compete and the winning team will get their Union Fitness t-shirts to show off their favorite gym.

 

So come on down and bring a friend or two and don’t forget a gas card to help our friend out. Next week we will hopefully be able to get some pictures of us delivering the cards. Just please sign up for the class on our website or app so we can have an accurate count.

 

Thanks for all you do!

Time to Push and Pull

Every year at Union Fitness we run our Strength Project which is a program that helps our members kick off the New Year. We offer it to encourage members to keep at it in the gym and drive them to become better. This is the third time we have run the Strength Project and it continues to be a great sucess.
We are going to end our 2020 Strength Project with an in-house Push/Pull meet open to all members and invited guests. The meet will take place on Sunday, March 15th at 11:30AM.
This will be an un-sanctioned meet and singlets are not required. Weigh-ins will be from 9AM – 11AM on meet day.
Sign-up sheets are located at the front desk.

FAQ

 

What is a push/pull?

A push pull is a bench press and deadlift competition. Similar to a powerlifting meet without the squat.

 

When and where will we have this competition?

We will hold the competition in our Strength Lab on Sunday, March, 15th.

 

Should you compete?

Short answer YES! If you never competed in lifting come out and give it a try in a more relaxed environment. If you have done meets then use this as a training day.

 

What is the cost?

We are asking that everyone who competes donate to https://www.strengthforamelia.org.

This is an organization that is near and dear to one of our members, Nicole Nelson. Feel free to ask her for more details about the organization

.PUSH PULL ENTRY FORM

What’s up Union Fam, 

I wanted to introduce myself on the blog to give you a better understanding of who I am, what drives me everyday and how I like to train (since this is a gym after all). My Name is Jocelyn Lemay, I’m 26 and I’m coming into Union Fitness as your new Director of Business Operations.

My entire life I’ve been an athlete, from Running to Competitive Swimming, working hard was drilled into me. It wasn’t until the summer before my Junior year of college that I found CrossFit. I know what most of you are thinking BUT I promise you I will deter you from any preconceived ideas you have about my chosen sport.

To make it brief, I’ve been doing CrossFit for 5 years and have gone from 105lbs to 150lbs over the course of this journey. Not only did I gain muscle but I learned to absolute love my body for what it can do rather than what it looks like. Although loving what you see in the mirror is important, being a strong female in todays society is what drives me. 

You’ll probably see me up in Union doing my thing but if not, you can find me training competitively with my other teammates. Here’s a little example of what a typical weekend day looks like for me, today I will be doing my Sunday’s programing because I felt sleeping in was more important for my body.

OLYMPIC WEIGHTLIFTING

OTM (on the min) x 15

Hang Power Clean and Jerk – Starting @ 70% then work up from there

STRENGTH

Back Squat 5 x 8 – Every 3 minutes

Start at 85% of your 8RM then build in small increments

1:1 Work/Rest

5 Rounds

2 Rope Climbs

65ft HS Walk (does not have to be unbroken)

5 DBALL over the shoulder 100#

CONDITIONING (For Time)

42-30-18

WallBalls #20 to 10ft

GHD Sit Ups

This is a pretty high volume day and as I start to gear up for my competitive season the focus will shift and training will be mainly about maintaining my fitness through the qualifier season.

On Wednesday, starts my first online qualifier of the 2020 season. This will be for the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge held in Washington, DC at the Armory. I will be going through this qualifier on a team (2 male/2 female). We will complete these workouts as a team and hope to place well enough to earn us a spot at this Sanctional.

Hopefully most of you will get to know me a bit more personally as you see me around the gym, I’m a blondie right now but known for dying my hair the craziest of colors so TBD on what color it ends up being the next you see me.

Much love Union Fam,

Jocelyn