May Featured Member: Nick Irvin

Nick gets it. He shows up, works hard, encourages others. Basically just helps make the gym community thrive. We’re so proud of how far he’s come, even before his time at CrossFit Mudtown. He set out on a journey three years ago to become a better version of himself. He started doing CrossFit, cleaned up his eating and decided to surround himself with people who encourage and believe in him. He lost 80 pounds. He lifts like a beast. And he’s got an amazing goal of rowing 1 million meters in 2016. Keep up the amazing work you do Nick!

Member since: June 2015

How did you hear about CrossFit and what was your first experience/WOD? In the spring of 2014 I was attending a HIIT class offered after work.  I started reading about it and stumbled across this CrossFit thing.  I dropped in to another gym in Birmingham on a Thursday afternoon and was hooked. I don’t remember the WOD, except it had pull-ups. I flailed away on a band and spent the weekend trying to extend my arms again.

How many days do you CrossFit? What classes do you normally attend? I try to get in the gym 5 days a week. Mostly 6 a.m. but I like to drop in to an afternoon every once in a while.

Favorite CrossFit movement/workout? Just about anything with a barbell. Even thrusters.

Least favorite CrossFit movement/workout? Toes to Bar.

What motivates you/keeps you coming back to CrossFit Mudtown? Quality. Coaching, community, programming. I believe in surrounding yourself with people who bring a positive energy to life.  I found it in spades here.

Favorite thing about Birmingham? It’s home. I was born and raised here.

What accomplishment are you the most proud of (outside and inside of the gym)? Three years ago Amanda and I jumped in to this thing called clean eating, which was the beginning of a radical change for our family’s health. Outside of the gym, I’m proud to say we eat clean, we talk about nutrition, and our kids are more educated about food than I was as an adult. That movement in health and nutrition opened my eyes to the possibility that I could still be active and fit, and ultimately brought me to the gym, where I’ve been able to lose close to 80 pounds, pull my chin over the bar, and pick up heavy things. Fast.Nick Irvin muddy awards

What is your favorite meal? Ribeye- medium rare.  Probably something green to go with it. And a chocolate chip cookie (or several).  You’ve got to live, right?!?

What are some of your interests outside of CrossFit? I love being a husband and father, so I try to spend as much free time as possible with Amanda and the kids.  So lazy days around the house, coaching kids soccer, and the occasional game of CandyLand in the living room floor make for a pretty cool weekend.

What do you do for a living? By degree I’m a Chemical Engineer. I manage an R&D function at Southern Company responsible for developing new ways to power the world.

What is one goal that you are currently working on? 500 lb deadlift is next up, but I can’t leave out the million-meter club.


April Member Spotlight

Heather HarrisHeather Harris Crossit Mudtown

From Coach Jacki: Not only is Heather a pretty awesome athlete but she is one of the most dedicated athletes at our morning classes. She is a staple at the 8:15 and rarely misses a class.  Not only does she show up daily, but she shows up with a positive attitude no matter what workout is thrown her way. I have never heard her complain about movements, weights, or duration of the workout.  She just does it, and does it well!  Since she joined us, I have watched Heather consistently go up on her back squats, PR on almost every barbell movement and shave minutes off benchmark workouts.  She is consistent on documenting her workouts and knows right where she wants to be with weights and times.  She is such a coachable athlete and has great understanding of the importance of form and technique.  Heather also registered for her first CrossFit Open this year and did amazing!!

If you don’t know Heather please make an effort to do so!  She is the first person to welcome someone new in class and will strike up a conversation within seconds of meeting them.  When I think about community, Heather is someone who comes to mind!

Member since: May 2015, I think.

How did you hear about CrossFit and what was your first experience/WOD? I first heard about CF through my friend, Gretchen. I signed up to try it for a month in November 2014. I can’t remember the first workout, but it killed me and continued to blow my mind each time I came. I can’t say I liked it much, but I paid for the month and was determined to finish it. By the end of the month, I was hooked. Gretchen was a great inspiration. She just kept saying not to compare myself with anyone, but just be grateful that I showed up and completed each class.

Heather Harris Crossit MudtownHow many days do you CrossFit? What classes do you normally attend? My favorite time to come is M,W,F at 8:15 and I just signed up to bump it up to 4 times a week.

Favorite CrossFit movement/workout? My favorite movements are squats, deadlifts and hand stand pushups; although, I’m not great at them yet.

Least favorite? Getting beat up by double-unders.

What motivates you/keeps you coming back to CrossFit Mudtown? I am motivated to come back because I think it is the most effective workout I have ever done. I have seen more changes in my body than I ever have doing any workout in the same amount of time. It’s so different than anything I’ve ever done and I’ve learned that pushing myself can sometimes be much more of a mental than physical challenge. My brain wants to quit far earlier than my body does.

Favorite thing about Birmingham? I am from a small town in East Texas which I love and miss because my family is there, but Birmingham is a great place to raise a family. I love our community and our neighbors have become like a surrogate family for us. We love our church, Church of the Highlands and our amazing Pastor. We couldn’t ask for a better school for our girls. I love the hills, beautiful trees and back roads here. I love that we hardly have a winter, but still get 4 seasons. The beach is close and Smith Lake is our love.

What accomplishment are you the most proud of (outside and inside of the gym)? Outside of the gym, I am proud of being married to a man I love and respect and our two beautiful girls that we are raising. I’m also proud of the company my husband, mostly my husband, and I have started and grown over the past 16 years. Inside the gym, I’m proud that I’ve pushed myself and gotten completely out of my comfort zone. Years ago, I broke L1, 2 & 3 and had a spinal fusion, shattered my femur, broke my pelvic bone, several ribs and ruptured my spleen in 2 separate car accidents. Most days, my back causes a great deal of pain. I feel like I’ve gotten so much stronger. I still hurt and lots of days I over-do it, but CF has helped me strengthen my core which really helps reduce my back pain.

What is your favorite meal? My favorite meal would probably be Mexican food and dark-chocolate-anything for dessert.

What are some of your interests outside of CrossFit? Our family loves Smith Lake and we spend a lot of time on the lake with our dogs. We like to surf in the summer and sit by a camp fire in the winter. I love to read and my husband and I like to go on long trail walks, but most of my free time is running carpools to soccer, guitar, piano, gymnastics and dance. I really love to travel.

What do you do for a living? I work for our company, Office Insights, Inc, which is an office furniture installation company. I do the payroll and all the paperwork.

What is one goal you’re currently working on? Outside of the gym, I’d love to learn Spanish one day. Inside the gym, I am working on getting my pull-ups without a band and I’d like to get 50 unbroken double-unders.


March Member Spotlight

Scott Patterson

From Coach Billy: Scott is strong, like really strong.  A member, who shall remained unnamed, asked me if Scott used steroids.  I LOL’d and said no, Scott is just very consistent, very patient, and he works very hard!  He earns every one of his PR’s by showing up every day and putting in the work.  Scott is literally the first one at the gym every day, most times he beats the 6am coach there.

I’ve seen Scott develop from a guy who couldn’t really squat at all to a guy who squatted 300 lbs, yesterday.  But that is not what I am most proud of.  I am most proud that he has taken his experience and shared it with his family, specifically his daughter Lindsey.

Fact you may not know: Scott served our country in the United States Marine Corp.  You should thank him for his service when you see him.

Member since:  June 2015DSC_0299

How did you hear about CrossFit and what was your first experience/WOD?  I heard about CrossFit about 3 years ago and joined a local CrossFit gym.  I don’t really remember my first WOD, but I was hooked on being able to get such a good workout in within just an hour.

How many days do you CrossFit? What classes do you normally attend?  My goal is to do CrossFit at least 4 times per week.  I normally attend the 6:00 am class.

Favorite CrossFit movement/workout?  I prefer workouts where you don’t have to do a whole bunch of the same exercise.  I would much prefer to do smaller sets of many different movements.

Least favorite CrossFit movement/workout?  I think we had a WOD of about 200 wallballs.  I hated that WOD.

What motivates you/keeps you coming back to CrossFit Mudtown?  I can definitely tell a difference in myself since I have been doing CrossFit so just having a higher fitness level keeps me motivated.

Favorite thing about Birmingham?  I’ve lived in some very populated and congested parts of the country such as Washington, DC, Southern California, Dallas, and to a lesser extent Charlotte, NC.  I hated the traffic in those places, and the amount of time it took to get to work and to go anywhere.  Being able to get to work in less than 10 minutes is a significant improvement in the quality of life.

What accomplishment are you the most proud of (outside and inside of the gym)?  I have two great kids who have never given me any real trouble.  I told them when they were growing up that I was their daddy, not their friend.  Now that they are adults I think that I can count scott and familythem as my friends.  Inside the gym I’m proud of the improvement that I have made since I started.

What is your favorite meal?  I really enjoy a good steak.

What are some of your interests outside of CrossFit?  My primary goals are to be a good Christian, husband and father.  In addition to those 3 things, I enjoy Alabama football, the beach, and at some point in the future would like to play more golf.

What do you do for a living?  My background is in mortgage banking, and I moved to Birmingham about 6 years ago.  I work for a local law firm that represents lending institutions across the country.  I help them manage the business aspects of the law practice.

What is one goal that you are currently working on?  With respect to CrossFit, my goal this year is to lift a total weight of 900 lbs for the combined lifts of dead lift, strict press and back squat.  I’m progressing, and have improved upon my beginning year combined lift of 775 lbs.


February Member Spotlight

Brad Castrobrad1

Brad was one of the first people to walk through our doors and he’s been instrumental in helping us build the amazing community we have today. He’s a joy to coach and never short on a good joke or encouraging others through their workout. Brad is very busy this month with a local CrossFit competition he’s running called TUFF Love (February 13th at CrossFit Irondale!) and the Mercedes half marathon he’s been training for the past few months. Let’s get to know him better!

Member since: April 2015

How did you hear about CrossFit and what was your first experience/WOD? My friend, colleague, and other Mudtown member Will Slappey invited me to CrossFit. I was much heavier then and my doctor told me I needed to get in the gym so after a few weeks of dodging his invitations I finally joined an OnRamp class at my previous gym. My first week or so of WODs was your typical OnRamp sort of intro WODs. Looking back they were a cake walk, but at that time they were anything but. I remember after doing a 2k timed row I couldn’t get my stick shift car into gear and had to sit in the parking lot for a good 15 minutes.

How many days do you CrossFit? What classes do you normally attend? I am a little all over the place at the moment. At one point I was at a solid 4 to 5 days a week. For the last 10 plus weeks Kristie (girlfriend and fellow CrossFitter) and I have been training for the Mercedes marathon so I have been running a lot and supplementing in WODs 2 or 3 days a week max. I am most always at the 5 pm. On a rare occasion you will find me at the 6 am.

Favorite CrossFit movement/workout? I love to lift Heavy…. Even if my heavy isn’t all that much I still love to hit new PR’s in deadlifts and back squats. In a WOD I like things that I can fly through like toes to bar, sit-ups, and running. Most recently I have fallen in love with the more gymnastic side with muscle ups.

Least favorite CrossFit movement/workout? I loathe thrusters… I don’t care if they are with a PVC pipe, I brad2simply despise them. Not sure why but I cry a little every time I see them programmed. Also not a big fan of front squats in a WOD. And then there’s Grace…. If I can tackle her in under 10 minutes it’s an accomplishment for me.

What motivates you/keeps you coming back to CrossFit Mudtown? What motivates me and the reason I haven’t left to go join a gym like Lifetime is the Social Accountability that I get from my Mudtown family. Mudtown is my family that I run to when I am stressed at work and Tyler reminds me where I left my feminine hygiene products when I don’t come for a few days. People here honestly want to see you grow and they are willing to sweat right next to you to make sure you reach the goals you have set out to complete.

Favorite thing about Birmingham? I have lived in over 35 cities in the US and Birmingham is top 2 simply due to the people here. Let’s face it we really don’t have much like sports teams, or the beach, or a mountain to ski. But the people here are hands down the best in the nation. Oh yeah and cost of living is dirt cheap..

What accomplishment are you the most proud of (outside and inside of the gym)? Inside of the gym – not being fat. Outside of the Gym – My full surrender to God and his purpose for my life. Although this was not my accomplishment it took a lot of humbling to come to a place to know that I was ultimately not in control.brad and kristie

What is your favorite meal? Mexican. I know that in of itself is not a meal but it is my answer. Anything from or resembling Mexico.

What are some of your interests outside of CrossFit? I love to be outdoors. Snowboarding, hiking, surfing.
And most recently I have fallen in love with mud races. Kristie and I will be racing in the Atlanta Spartan race in March if anyone wants to join.. It is a blast. In the last year Kristie and I have had the honor of coaching crossfit at Christfit in Woodlawn which has been amazing not only for the kids in this community but for both of us as individuals. Neither of us have formal training and we are both relatively new to crossfit but with the help of our coaches we have been able to wing it with some degree of success. I like to call it channeling my inner Jacky when it comes time to motivate the kids.

What do you do for a living? I am the Operations Manager for a small privately owned commercial real-estate company and the Marketing Director for Slappey Communications.

What is one goal that you are currently working on? Double-unders. I finally broke down and ordered an RX rope.


January Member Spotlight

Kristen Skinnerkristen deadlift

Intro by Billy Rodgers: As trainers we can only give you the platform and formula for success, its each individual athlete that actually makes the success happen.  Kristen Skinner is hands down one of the hardest workers in the gym, and is making success happen daily.  She shows up early and stays late, arranges extra training sessions, spends time taking care of and fueling her body, reads obsessively, and is always looking for more.  In turn, the results speak for themselves.  Across all 10 of the CrossFit recognized domains she has improved… Endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, agility, balance, coordination, accuracy.  Couple that with a kind heart and generous spirit of friendship and you have the type of person that makes CFM a great place to call home.

I encourage each of you to ask Kristen about the goals she has set for herself for inside and outside of the gym… some are very lofty, but none are out of her reach.  Then reflect on what goals you have for this month, this year, the next 3 years…  Talk about them with a coach and even fellow athletes and then go get them.

On January 30th, Kristen will achieve another goal she set for herself by competing in her first Olympic Weightlifting meet, the Buford Open.  By taking on this challenge, she is taking her training to a new level and I have no doubts that she will again find success.

Member since: August 2015

How did you hear about CrossFit and what was your first experience/WOD? My brother has been a member of the CrossFit community in Atlanta for several years now and spoke highly of his experience. I wasn’t kristenseeing the results that I wanted to at a traditional gym, so I thought that I would give it a try. I started CrossFit in April 2015. My first WOD was 20 wall balls, 20 burpees, 20 sit-ups, 3xs. It laid me flat and I couldn’t walk properly for several days but I loved it!

How many days do you CrossFit? What classes do you normally attend? I usually attend the 6am class 3-4 times per week. Now that school is back in session you can probably catch me at the 6pm class more often.

Favorite CrossFit movement/workout? Surprisingly, the snatch.
Least favorite CrossFit movement/workout? There are several that make me groan, but hands down, the movement that makes me think twice about coming when I see it programmed is the deadlift.

What motivates you/keeps you coming back to CrossFit Mudtown? There are a multitude of factors that keep me returning to Mudtown including my fellow athletes who foster one of the most supportive environments I’ve ever been in, great coaching, and superb programming.

Favorite thing about Birmingham? Small town feel with all the perks of being in a big city, can’t go wrong there.

What accomplishment are you the most proud of (outside and inside the gym)? Outside of the gym, I am proud of finding a career that I am passionate about and that I genuinely enjoy. Inside of the gym, getting pull-ups!kristen_Snatch

What is your favorite meal? I love food, let’s face it. I love a beautiful steak with mashed potatoes. I could eat and entire basket of chips and queso. But, when it really comes down to it, my food of choice would be a hot loaf of French bread with butter.

What are some of your interests outside of CrossFit? I’m a bookworm, always have been and
always will be. When we lived in Mississippi, I was an avid cyclist, I would love to get back into that once I am don

What do you do for a living? I am a registered nurse at one of the local hospitals and a full-time nurse practitioner student.

What is one goal that you are currently working on? The biggest goal that I am
working on right now is finishing my Master’s in Nursing.


December Member Spotlight

Patrick & Alisha Crossley

Patrick and Alisha bring a wonderful attitude and work ethic to their training at CrossFit Mudtown. Not only are they fun to be around, but they’re both intelligent and well dressed to boot. They brought their family to us in June and we’re so glad they did. Now for the details…

How did you hear about CrossFit and what was your first experience/WOD?
Patrick: I started Crossfit in 2012.  My first WOD was Angie and I couldn’t do an unassisted pull-up.  I cut the reps in half, scaled all of the movements, and it still took me forever.
Alisha: I started Crossfit six months after Patrick. I came into CF tired, depressed and incredibly out of shape. Within one month, I felt insanely better!

How many days do you CrossFit? What classes do you normally attend?
Patrick: I go 5 days a week, typically 6am.Patrick lifting an atlas stone.
Alisha: I aim for 4-5x week. Fall is peak season for me as a photographer, so I am starting to get back into my normal routine 😉

Favorite CrossFit movement/workout?
Patrick: Snatches and box jumps
Alisha: Squats. I just love to squat.

Least favorite CrossFit movement/workout?
Patrick: Wall-balls.
Alisha: Pull-ups

What motivates you/keeps you coming back to CrossFit Mudtown?
Patrick: I love the individual styles that each coach brings to CFM.  They are all very different, but help us focus on different aspects of our fitness to be well-rounded athletes.  I particularly enjoy the high level of technical instruction we get on Olympic lifts.
Alisha: Our coaches are phenomenal. The community that has been created is incredibly welcoming and diverse. I love our childcare program and the ability to WOD knowing that my littles are being cared for fully. I am continuously motivated and challenged yet never made to feel inadequate or lacking by our coaches or programming. That’s a tough a balance for any box to achieve and Mudtown does it better than anywhere we’ve been!

Alisha first starting CrossFit and this summer.
Alisha first starting CrossFit and this summer.

Favorite thing about Birmingham?
Patrick:  The food.  We have some of the best restaurants in the country here.
Alisha: What Patrick said. Our local food scene is exceptional.

What accomplishment are you the most proud of (outside and inside of the gym)?
Patrick: In the gym, I’m proud of how much my strength has improved this year. I’ve hit several PR’s recently and I feel like I have much more room for growth.  Outside of the gym I’m most proud of my family.  We are chaotic and usually tired, but I still look forward to coming home to them every day.
Alisha: I am most proud for getting to a place where I appreciate my body more for what it can accomplish rather than what it looks like (or weighs). As a female, I think there is a societal pressure most of us can relate to. Crossfit has allowed me to appreciate my thick legs and what they can squat instead of continuously wishing them away 🙂 Outside of the gym, I am most proud of my family and business. It has been humbling to watch the growth of both over the years. I feel so undeserving and so very thankful.

What is your favorite meal?
Patrick: Beef filet with smashed potatoes or pizza and beer.
Alisha: Macaroni and Cheese … or Sushi.

crossleys
The whole fam, Bryant, Patrick, Alisha and Evie Beth. Photo credit: Mallory Katherine Images

What are some of your interests outside of CrossFit?
Patrick: I love college football and attending the occasional Alabama game with my better half.
Alisha: I really enjoy traveling with Patrick and our littles. P and I try to break away solo at least twice a year and adventure together. Some of our favorite places include Rosemary Beach, Disney World and Savannah.

What do you do for a living?
Patrick: I work for Southern Company as the Project and Engineering Manager for the research and technology group.  We work on development of clean power technologies.
Alisha: I am a photographer … I specialize in weddings but capture an eclectic mix from time to time.

What is one goal that you are currently working on?
Patrick:  I’ve had a 185# snatch on my goal list for a long time.  I hope to get there before the end of the year.
Alisha: I am focusing heavily on my nutritional needs and how my foods impact my workouts and energy level. I really love macro counting and am working on the perfect numerical balance to lean out slowly


CrossFit Liftoff

An online, three-event competition consisting of different weight classes allowing athletes to compare their lifts with those of similar size around the world. Sign up


Three Wisemen Tribute

On Veterans Day, Wednesday, November 11th we’re participating in a worldwide event called the Three Wisemen Tribute benefiting the Three Wisemen Foundation. Read more


October Member Spotlight

Brian & Heather Warwick

If their last name wasn’t Warwick, it would be Friendly or Positive or Positively-Friendly. Either way, this couple has been an amazing addition to our community. They support each other and everyone else they encounter at the gym. Plus they have four really cool kiddos that bring a lot of life to the childcare room.  Brian & Heather became members of CrossFit Mudtown in June. Lets get to know them better!

How did you hear about CrossFit and what was your first experience/WOD?
Brian:
The gym I used to go to was half-traditional gym, half-CrossFit affiliate.  I never fully committed to the Heather & BrianCrossFit classes there, but my exposure to it got me interested in CrossFit and I started researching online and incorporating it into my own workouts.  My first formal WOD was Murph, on Memorial Day 2011.
Heather: I first heard about CrossFit from Brian, after he was complaining about how awful that first Murph WOD was.  More recently, Brian saw a sign outside of our neighborhood (Liberty Park) for CrossFit Mudtown.  At the time, we were working out at Lifetime Fitness.  I was doing Zumba classes, and running on a treadmill and working with a personal trainer regularly, and we were just in a “comfortable” routine there.  But despite all the different things I was doing, I wasn’t seeing the strength gains or results I wanted—especially after having 4 kids.  Brian suggested we go try out CrossFit Mudtown, so we came by for the open house.  The intro WOD on that Saturday was my first WOD.  After that, I signed up for the next OnRamp session.

How many days do you CrossFit? What classes do you normally take?
Brian:
I try to go 4-5 days a week.  I either do the 5pm class, or sometimes the 11:30am.
Heather: I usually go 3 days a week, typically at the 5pm class.

Favorite CrossFit movement?
Brian: Anything body-weight; my favorite weighted movement is probably the push press.  “Cindy” is probably my favorite WOD.
Heather: I would say cleans are my favorite movement.

Least favorite CrossFit movement/workout?
IMG_3961Brian: Overhead squats.  Period.  Ugh, they are just awful.
Heather: Burpees.  Oh, and the Bear Complex.  I don’t like that one bit.

What motivates you/keeps you coming back to CrossFit Mudtown?
Brian: I really enjoy all of the people I get to work out with, so I’d say the community is a huge reason.  And the programming is awesome.
Heather: Yes, the people we have met are so great.  And the coaches are amazing!

Favorite thing about Birmingham?
Brian: It’s great being around all of our friends.  And the breweries that are popping up everywhere are pretty cool.  CrossFit Mudtown is the obvious answer here though, right?
Heather: The restaurants, the people… it’s easy to get around.  There’s so much that is great about Birmingham!

What accomplishment are you the most proud of (outside and/or inside of the gym)?
Brian: Outside the gym, I’d say family.  Inside the gym, I’m pretty proud of managing to convince Heather to start CrossFit.  She loves it (except for the burpees), and I think that’s awesome!  As for me personally, I recently did the “Barbara” benchmark WOD (20 pull-ups, 30 push-ups, 40 sit-ups, 50 air squats, five rounds for time with 3 mins rest between rounds) in under 30 mins including the rest.  I was a wreck afterwards, but otherwise, I’m pretty proud of that.  Oh, and those 7 double-unders I strung together that one day!
Heather: I agree, outside of the gym, I’m most proud of our family.  I think our kids are pretty great!  At the gym, I’m most proud that I recently did my first Rx workout!  I try and find something to be proud of after everyheather workout… whether it’s improving my time on a workout, lifting more weight than before, or just being happy that I am able to pick myself up off the floor when the buzzer goes off.

After a hard workout, what is your favorite meal?
Brian: Since it is what I ate after my first CrossFit competition, I’m going to put in a plug for the Blackwell’s PB&J burger.  And beer.
Heather: I don’t know, I usually eat a lot of chicken and vegetables.  When I splurge, it tends to be Mexican food.  I love pizza too though!

What are some of your interests outside of CrossFit?
Brian: Golf, watching football.
Heather: Anytime we get to do something fun with the kids, playing tennis (although I hardly ever have time for it), hanging out with friends.

What do you do for a living?
Brian: I am an attorney and work for a healthcare technology company.
Heather: I am a pediatric physical therapist.  I work for the Mountain Brook school system.

warwicksWhat is one goal that you are currently working on?
Brian: Double-unders.  Man, I am just not coordinated enough.
Heather: Mainly, I just want to get stronger, so I can do more weight and Rx more workouts!


Your body post workout

3 Stages that our Bodies go through after a CrossFit workout

We all know the way you feel after a CrossFit workout.  Exhausted, disoriented, drained, empowered and gassed.  Your heart is up and you are breathing hard and heavy.  It takes you a few minutes before you realize what you just did, or carry on a conversation.  There are so many things our body is going through seconds, minutes, hours, and at times days after a workout! CrossFit causes stress to the body, and a process called general adaptation syndrome (GAS) forces the body to adapt to it using these three main stages.

The Alarm Stage

In the first stage, the body encounters an “unaccustomed” stressor; that is, a physical demand it doesn’t have the capability of meeting completely. Think about your first Thruster, pull up, or snatch.  This puts stress on cells (muscle cells) involved in the processes that are called on to meet that demand.  When a cell is stressed beyond its capacity, it gets damaged.  In the case of muscle tissue, cells or fibers are disrupted.  The cell membranes are degraded, which causes swelling, and you spend the next day or so moving very slowly from the resulting delayed onset muscle soreness. (DOMS)

The Resistance Stage

Within the next 36 to 48 hours, your body begins transitioning out of the alarm stage and DOMS subsides.  It has now gauged the damage, responded to it and can begin the repair process during what is known as the resistance stage.  Your body actually responds in a very logical way to this stress event.  Your body does not want to go through the alarm phase again if you ever re-encounter that stressor in the near future!  During the resistance stage, muscle cells not only repair themselves to the level they were before, but they actually complete a repair process that will ensure they will be better able to meet the demand of that stressor.  This process may take as many as three to four days, you will have more microfilaments pulling on tendons, which creates more force and increases strength.

The Exhaustion Stage

We all need the alarm and resistance stages if we are to become stronger, faster, fitter and more powerful!  However, if we don’t allow sufficient time for the body to complete the repair process, we run the risk of moving into the next stage- exhaustion.  In the exhaustion stage, cells are not fully repaired before again encountering a demand they cannot meet.  Once again, damage occurs, and the alarm process begins.  Over time, insufficient repair time (rest days), stemming from training sessions that are too intense, too frequent or too frequently intense, leads to overtraining and breakdowns.  You will notice slower WOD times, and you will find it will be harder to lift loads you use to manage easily.  Your heavy lifts will drop in weight and PR’s will come less often.

Making sure we train smart and allow our body to recover properly is important!  The intense workouts put major stress on our bodies and can cause internal injuries.  Showing up at the gym 5 or 6 days in a row and going through high intensity workouts will not make you stronger or faster.  Listen to your body and allow it to heal before hitting another hard WOD.  Your body will thank you and reward you in future workouts!