Trainer’s Talk – Macros Simplified

What is a macro (macronutrient)? It’s a fancy term for carbs, protein and fat. How do you count them? How many should you have? Below is a quick and easy guide to calculate macros. We are super fortunate to have tools to help us figure out what calories we need to maintain, gain, lose etc. The Inbody scanner coupled with MyZone are great tools to help you formulate a plan to reach your goals.  If you need help grab a coach and they can assist you.

Counting Carbs – 1g Carbohydrates = 4kCal
Counting Protein – 1g Protein = 4kCal
Counting Fat – 1g Fat = 9KCal

Based on a 2000 calorie diet, your macros calculate in this way:

30% protein (30% of 2000cal= 600cal) (600cal/4 = 150g protein)
40% carbs (40% of 2000= 800cal) (800cal/4 = 200g carbs)
30% fat = (30% of 2000 = 600cal) (600cal/9= 67g fat)

A great way to get a ball park of calories you require is to do a body scan.  Email to get your body scan scheduled. All members have one FREE scan a month.  Once you have your information load it into your Myzone app under body metrics.  This will help your Myzone calculate your heart rate more effectively.

There are a bunch of great apps to help you find the macro content of the food you are eating.  It’s actually super easy and fun.  Plus, it definitely makes you think before putting something in your mouth.  Eat for fuel.
Here are some popular apps:

  • My Macros – I’m going to try this one!
  • My Fitness Pal
  • Fitocracy Macros
  • Nutritionist
  • Lose it – I use this one

Trainer’s Talk – 2016 in Review

2016 – A Year in Review

What an amazing year!!! Wodify is very cool as it tracks all sorts of info, which is why it is a good idea to record your scores! And we all know that some people don’t enter scores so the numbers are probably a little on the low side….awesome!
  • We added 127 new athletes in 2016…Whoa! Some of these may have been returning people, but still…
  • You all attended 23,900 classes…what?
  • Busiest day? That’s right…Monday
  • We had 3,400 PRs!!  Woot woot!!
  • Of those 3,400 PRs, 3,100 were weightlifting based
  • Most PR’d lift???  2 position snatch
  • Top 3 Male/Female on the PR leaderboard are:
    • John Ragacki/Haley Rayburn
    • Chris Pearcey/Rana Schnaubelt
    • Dean Durfee/Molly Williams
  • It’s no surprise that attendance plays a part in performance…top 3 Male/Female in attendance:
    • Chris Pearcey/Rana Schnaubelt
    • Andrew Graham/Colette Matsuda
    • Jonathan Bermudez/Molly Williams
  • Most active on responding to others posts and results…Chris P. and Colette M.
  • Total workouts performed as Rx – 6,600 , Rx+ – 94
  • Top 3 lifts we performed, in order:
    • Back squat (absolute strength)
    • Deadlift
    • And of course…bench press
  • We moved a total of 1.7 million pounds!!! Are you kidding me?
This is a great reason to make sure you input your data and make sure you are signed in to every class.

Make 2017 your year to rule the leader board!!

Training – Make it a Priority

Many things are changing this time of year. Cool days and cooler nights, less sunshine and more gloomy days, upcoming holidays and trying to be prepared to name a few. It is not uncommon for some people to get into a rut this time of year. It’s hard to be motivated when you don’t see the sun for days on end. The holidays usually mean parties, food, drinking and less sleep. All these things combined make for a bad recipe for getting through the season.
But alas, there is hope!! One thing that has been proven to boost moods, improve sleep, stave off weight gain, and just making you feel better is consistent training. Fact: when you work out, your brain releases endorphins that give you a sense of euphoria. Why would you give this up? Fact: when you work out your metabolic rate increases and thus you will burn more calories during the day. Why give that up? Fact: people always feel better about themselves after a good training session. Why give that up?? See where I’m going here? As stressful and complicated as the holiday season may seem, if you stay on a steady training plan, you can and will limit the physical and mental damage the holidays bring us.
Make your training a priority! If you don’t have your health, you don’t have much. As far as nutrition goes, if you need help with weight control or energy levels, hit me up. We have a great nutritional plan that works amazing. Remember that nutrition is the foundation of all we do. So eat well, train hard and go sleep on time to stay positive, energetic, lean and mean.

Trainer’s Talk – Hammer and Nails

Training can be many things depending on the day. Some days it may be fun, rewarding, exciting, and make you feel like a super star.  Yet other days it may be a bit depressing, seem stupid, and make you wonder “why do I do this”?  I call this the “hammer and nail” situation.  Some days you’re the hammer….and some you’re the nail.  That is to say some days you crush your workout, and others it crushes you.  Why is this? Many factors go into a training session.  How much sleep did I get? What did I eat yesterday? Am I stressed about something? And so on. You need to take all these things into account each day.  They affect your training greatly and maybe more than we realize.

I know about 2 years ago I hit a 195# snatch at a local throw down….and I can’t get past 185# today. Pretty frustrating. I’m the nail on that one. I used to be a great runner. Surgery on a knee and being imbalanced has left me a fraction of what I used to do.  I’m the nail on that one too. Does this mean I stop trying and be depressed about it? Heck no.  I just keep plugging away and maybe it comes back, or maybe not. It’s not the end of the world for me. I am making gains in other aspects of training. I now have butterfly C2B, I’m the hammer on those. My MUs are really good now as well as HSPU.  I’m hammering those as well. I see lots of you now in the gym getting stronger, getting pull ups, getting MUs, running faster, and getting better at Oly-lifts.  Those are all hammer days for you.  Embrace those moments and keep hammering away on the weaknesses.
Even on days when we don’t yield the results we are looking for, we are still building things like character, toughness and fortitude.  A foundation built on these things is very strong and will allow for long term growth. This is our goal…a strong foundation to build on.  Embrace what you can, learn when you can, achieve what you can.  You are all doing amazing and I am super proud of you all.

Trainer’s Talk – The Tabata Protocol Workout

Never heard of the Tabata Protocol Workout? Created by Izumi Tabata, the Tabata Protocol is simply the best supra-aerobic cardio workout every discovered.

“The rate of increase in V02max is one of the highest ever reported.” – Izumi Tabata, Japan

“Fat burn is greater when exercise intensity is high.” – Metabolism

With only 8 minutes (give or take) every 3 days, you can turn your body into a fat-burning super-engine.

When you create an Oxygen Debt (read: heavy panting) your body has burned off all of the blood sugar (glycogen) it has and needs to replace all of that energy. It does this by burning fat. You don’t want to try and burn fat WHILE you are exercising. You want to burn off CARBS as fuel when you are exercising.

Your body has 2 fuel systems, so to speak. There is Aerobic and Anaerobic.

Now, the Aerobic system uses oxygen to burn fuel, and the Anaerobic system doesn’t. But one does not replace the other! What happens is you start out by burning fuel with your Aerobic energy system, and once you go past the point where there is enough oxygen in your system to provide Aerobic energy to your muscles, your Anaerobic system kicks in. Think of this as your SUPRA-AEROBIC zone.

To get there, you need to get your heart rate up past what is typically referred to as the ‘Target Heart Rate Zone’ using common aerobics lingo. You should use a Heart Rate Monitor to measure yourself while doing this program.

You will need to build up your endurance gradually. Therefore, you will not start out doing the Tabata Protocol Workout the way it is typically described.

The original Tabata Protocol Workout requires the following:

• 5 minutes of warm-up
• 8 intervals of 20 seconds all-out intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest
• 2 minutes cool-down

If you research the Tabata Protocol online, the original study conducted at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, Japan used highly-trained endurance athletes in peak physical condition. They would do 8 (or more) intervals, keeping the RPMs on the bike over 85 RPMs until they couldn’t maintain that level of intensity.

WARNING: Don’t try this!

You REALLY need to ease into this workout slowly, and perform it only on cardio equipment, not with weights.

You will find people doing a Tabata Protocol Workout with weights or kettle-balls or other types of resistance. Don’t do this.

Your Maximum Heart Rate is normally calculated as 220 Minus Your Age (e.g. if you are 30 yrs. old, your Max. HR would be 190 BPM – Beats Per Minute). If you do the Tabata Protocol like they did it in the above study, you may see your heart rate shoot up over 200 BPM!

You need to gradually build your heart and lung capacity over time.

The entire beginner workout starts out at 6 minutes long. It breaks down to 2 minutes of warmup, 2 intervals of 30 seconds each. (1 minute of exercise) followed by a 2 minute cool-down.

1) Use a Recumbent or Stationary Bike, Versaclimber, Rowing Machine, Elliptical Trainer or other piece of cardio equipment that allows for gradually increasing resistance, speed, etc. and utilizes the large muscles of your legs.

Treadmills are a possibility, but because you have to rest for 10 seconds between bouts of exercise, the only option when on a treadmill is to step onto the sides and stop entirely, because the machine won’t respond quick enough to the required rapid changes in velocity during a Tabata Protocol interval.

2) Wear a Heart Rate Monitor. Record the Max. Heart Rate achieved during your entire workout, and your Recovery Heart Rate (see below)

3) Warm up for 2 minutes at a moderate pace. You can start out with a low resistance and low RPMs (like 30-35 RPMs on a bike) for the first minute, increase the tension on your equipment one notch or increase RPMs slightly for the second minute, gradually raising your heart rate to a moderate level.

4) Start out by doing 2 intervals:
– First, increase the tension one notch above where your warmup ended at, or more if you find your feet are ‘flying off the pedals’

– Pedal (or go) FULL SPEED, as fast as you can, well above 85 RPMs (if on a bike) – even over 100 RPMs – for 20 seconds.

– Pedal slow for the next 10 seconds. If you did it right, you SHOULD see your Heart Rate go UP a little AFTER you stop pedaling so fast. This is because of the Oxygen Debt you created, and it signals your body to get more oxygen to your energy system. You will notice yourself panting – this is your body trying to get more oxygen to your lungs to fuel your energy system.

– Repeat 1 more time (20 seconds all out fast, 10 seconds slow). Notice your Heart Rate go up a little after you enter the slow part of the interval each time.

– After 2 intervals, decrease the tension to 0 (lowest setting) on your bike or other equipment and pedal slow for 2 minutes.

– After your 2 minute cool-down, take your pulse or Heart Rate. This is your Recovery Heart Rate (RHR). Record it. You must compare your RHR from workout to workout to know when it is safe to increase intervals.

– Record the Maximum Heart Rate you achieved during your workout. This may have occurred during your 1st interval or your last (usually the last). It will PROBABLY be over the Max. Heart Rate calculated by 220 Minus Your Age. If it isn’t, that’s OK, especially when you are first starting out – don’t overdo it.

5) Do this workout 3 times per week – allow yourself at least one full day of recovery between workouts. Your body needs to heal itself, increase the strength of your heart and lungs, etc.

6) Gradually build up your fitness level by first adding one interval to your workout each time your RHR improves over your last workout until you get to 8 intervals. Then, you can continue to make cardio fitness gains by increasing the tension/intensity when you see your RHR improve

Trainer’s Talk – The Front Squat

We’ve been on our front squat cycle ince the beginning of May. The first few weeks were spent box squatting which helped us wake up our glutes and hamstrings. Now we are moving onto front squats without the box which will allow us to add more weight to the bar.

Some differences between the Front and Back Squat: One of the most frequent questions we get is why we front squat instead of back squat since we can squat more with the barbell on the back. Below are some of the differences between the two:

  • Obviously, the bar placement is different. In the front squat, bar is positioned on the front of the shoulders rather than on the upper back. The gives the athlete a counterbalance to allow for a better posterior weight shift, which improves squat depth. Yay! No more getting called out for not going below parallel! Also due to the bar placement, bailing out of a front squat is easier and safer than bailing out of a back squat.
  • The front squat allows the athlete to fully extend the hips and it enforces better form. In the back squat you will sometimes see the butt rise up first, which makes the squat look more like a good morning. With the front squat it becomes more obvious if the butt rises first and the athlete can then self-correct or dump the bar if form is poor.
  • In the front squat, because the center of gravity of the weight is shifted forward on the body and the shin angle has a more forward inclination compared to the back squat, it tends to place more stress on the quadriceps. We’re still working the hamstrings and gluteal muscles, but the quads get a bigger stressor with the front squat. Since we are also deadlifting during this strength cycle (which really works the posterior chain), the front squat is a nice complement.
  • The upright torso angle of the front squat can help reduce shear stress on the spine. More forward lean equates to more shear stress, as the resistance is moved further away from the axis of rotation. Eric Cressey uses the example of a see-saw where your lower back is the middle point to illustrate this point. Moving the load further out increases the risk of going into excessive lumbar flexion under heavy weight. The front squat – even under heavier loads – keeps the athlete more upright, or else s/he will have to dump the bar.

Front Squat Tips: So now you know a few differences between the front and back squat. Below are some tips to focus on the next time you front squat.

  • Don’t place the j-cups too high. You want to be able to brace and get set up tight under the bar before you take it out of the rack. This is true for all of your lifts out of the rack, but I’m using this chance to make my point. I see people having to get on their tiptoes to take the barbell out of the rack. It’s hard to get tight with a heavy bar on your shoulders. Get tight and then unrack the bar.
  • Grip – Because we do Olympic Weightlifting in CrossFit, use a clean grip width if possible as it will transfer to the same feeling when you receive the bar in the clean position. This should be outside of your shoulders. You can play around with your grip width and see what gets you in a better position. Remember that hands should be open – fingertip grip – with bar resting on your anterior delts. Don’t go too narrow. Chest up.
  • The bar should be placed as close to the throat as possible. It takes a bit to get used to but I know you can do it!
  • Elbows up – Puppet strings attached to your elbows and to ceiling. Don’t let those elbows dip.
  • Brace – Don’t go soft at the bottom of the squat. Keep that core braced.

Mobility for Front Rack Position – You hate to front squat, you say? Nonsense. That’s just your lack of mobility talking. In addition to coming to Mobility with Roskopf on Thursdays (I was not compensated for that plug), focus on these areas on a regular basis.

Needed for a good front squat:

  • Good thoracic mobility.
  • Good ankle mobility.
  • Good wrist mobility
  • Good hip mobility.
  • Good core stability.

If you need help in these areas – come see Mike, Chad, Rich or me. We are happy to give you some drills, stretches, etc., to improve your front squat technique. Until next time – Happy Squatting

Trainer’s Talk – Box Squatting

The benefits of the box squat are many. First is the fact that squatting on a box forces you to pause at the bottom, which causes you to recruit more muscle fibers to get you out of the hole and back up to the top. More muscle fibers recruited equals more strength and more growth. Another benefit is that you can sit back farther than you could if a box wasn’t under you. This places more stress on the hamstrings and gluteus muscles, which are key movers in this movement. A third benefit is that you can accurately set how low you’ll go in your descent, simply by adjusting the box height. Most of us are wanting below parallel, unless you are injured. If so, you just need a slightly taller box. Last, but in no way least, the box is a great tool for teaching yourself proper squatting technique — and the heavier your squat gets, the more important technique is. Things like torso position, depth, adductor activation all can be focused on with box squatting. As we transition into our “regular” squats you can still use the box for warming up and developing good motor patterns.

I have already seen a huge improvement in many of you with regards to your front squat. The box is really helping so stay at it for the next week or so. Keep the elbows high and out, chest tall, pull the floor apart with your feet and drive out of your heels/mid foot.

Read more about the benefits of box squatting by Westside Barbell’s famous Louie Simmons  

Trainer’s Talk – Pressing Matters

The 3 different types of presses we use most commonly each vary with function and intent. As coaches there are similar “points of performance” (POP) that carry over from one to another that we are always on the lookout for.

The first, which is common in not only the presses, but in most things we do, is a tight core or mid-line. This will set you up to have a rigid torso and be able to transfer energy through into the bar. If you are “broken” or “soft” you will not be efficient and leave a lot of potential on the floor.

We look for the shoulders to stay over the hips, no forward leaning, to keep the bar path as close to the frontal plane as possible. Any deviation makes us lose power and less efficient.

On the push press and jerk we want you to sit back on your heels and again keep the bar inside the frontal plane. This will help ensure you are driving hard with hips and transferring energy well. We want you to drive and “punch” the bar overhead aggressively. This will ensure a solid lockout and receiving of the bar.

Some common mistakes we see are loose mid-lines which leads into a “muted” hip. If you were to watch this it would look like the knees bending forward but no flexion of the hips. So when the hips don’t flex, the cannot extend. Power loss and inefficient drive is the end result. Be sure to sit back when you dip to load those hips.  We want to always use the “big movers” i.e. – hips, quads, glutes and work away from center into shoulders and arms. Think core to extremity. Start in the middle and work your way out. This goes for all movements as it teaches us to be most efficient.

Some “violations” of this that we see on the jerk come in the form of a press out. This is when you get the bar overhead and then add a little extra press to get full lockout. Not only is this inefficient but in the world of weightlifting it would be considered a” no lift”.  You want to aggressively drive yourself under the bar as you punch it to the roof. This will help you get a good receiving position on the jerk.

As always these things need to be practiced correctly, not just practiced.

“Practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect”

Trainer’s Talk – Welcome Dawna Graham to the team!

Help us welcome Dawna Graham to our coaching crew!

Many of you have probably seen Dawna working hard in the gym that past couple of months. Now we are really excited to announce that she will be coaching BCF classes regularly! We have known Dawna and her husband Andrew for the past few years. (see the throwback picture from our 2011 anniversary event below). They trained with us before they opened their own CrossFit gym and then after successfully operating the gym for years, they sold it and came back to train with us!

Dawna has a diverse coaching background to draw on. She has her black belt in Chinese Kempo Karate and has taught it to pre-school age kids up to adults. When she isn’t at the box she is a Fitness Business Instructor, Program Design Instructor and Practical Instructor at National Personal Training Institute. She graduated from Prudue University with a degree in Psychology and Law & Society – brains and beauty! She is continually looking for ways to push herself athletically and mentally – like running Hood to Coast every year!

The most amazing thing about Dawna is her true passion for helping others achieve their goals. She is always willing to help with a smile on her face. She is great at breaking down skills and explaining things in a new way. Welcome to the team Dawna, we feel you are a valuable asset and couldn’t be happier to have you on board! Members, make sure you say hi to her when you see her in classes!

Trainer’s Talk – What is Make-a-Wish and Wishing on a WOD

What is Make-a-Wish?
It is a truly magical organization whose sole mission is to grant the wishes of children battling life threatening illnesses. A wish experience can be a game-changer for a child with a life-threatening medical condition. 

Wishes are more than just a nice thing, and they are far more than gifts, or singular events in time. Wishes impact everyone involved – wish kids, volunteers, donors, sponsors, medical professionals, and communities. The impact varies. For wish kids, just the act of making their wish come true can give them the courage to comply with their medical treatments. Parents might finally feel like they can be optimistic. Others might just realize all they have to offer the world, through volunteer work or philanthropy.

What is Wishing on a WOD?
Every year in December, the community of Beaverton CrossFit and their partners and friends come together to support Make-a-Wish and their Season of Wishes. How the event works is you get pledges per round – kind of like a jog-a-thon. People can pledge as little as $.50 a round or unlimited flat amount donations. A round consists of 15 air squats, 10 sit-ups and 5 push-ups. Each participant has 30 minutes to complete as many rounds as possible. For kiddos that participate in the event, we give them 20 minutes to do as many rounds as possible. 

This year’s event is being held on December 6th at Beaverton CrossFit, McMinnville CrossFit and a few other CrossFit’s in the area. (more info on other participants to come!) You can check out the Facebook event page here. 

What does Make-a-Wish mean to me?
This will be my 4th year being involved with Wishing on a WOD and Make-a-Wish. The first year I had no previous experience with the organization, but as soon as I started doing my research I realized how amazing this organization really is. The people at Make-a-Wish Oregon truly believe in what they are doing and are so dedicated to making each and every wish as magical as possible. 

What Make-a-Wish Oregon does really hit home for me when I got to meet Rayce. Rayce was one of the Wishes we granted with our 2013 fundraiser. Rayce was born with a heart defect and had to undergo multiple surgeries. His Wish was to meet Mickey Mouse and go on a Disney Cruise. While his family was waiting to go on their Wish, the volunteer Wish Granters over at Make-a-Wish Oregon made sure that Rayce was reminded about the awesome trip he was about to take. They would send him presents and letters signed Donald Duck and other various Disney characters. Every month they did something special for him to keep his spirits up while he was recovering. 

When I met Racye at the annual Waffles and Wishes event earlier this year, I met an amazing, rambunctious 3 year old boy. You would never know what he had been through – unless you asked him to show his “bear scratches”, which are the scars that run down his chest. Talking to his mom, dad and sister and hearing what his Wish meant not only to him, but to the entire family, was a profound moment. It really drove home what these kids and families and communities go through while a child is battling a life-threatening illness. 

So I am truly hoping that you, your family and your friends can join us on December 6th to make this the most successful Wishing on a WOD yet! You can find the pledge form here –  get started on your pledges! Any questions or if you would like to get involved, email me at 

-xoxo Mel