This Saturday marks the beginning of the next Whole Life Challenge. It is an 8-week lifestyle challenge that targets virtually all aspects of well-being – eating well, exercise, stretching, and mental aspects. We do this challenge as a gym for multiple reasons:

  1. It gets results. Yes, it gets results in the way that people often talk about results in the fitness community – inches lost, performance improvements, etc. But more importantly, it gives you a framework and structure to try out different lifestyle elements and see how they impact you. You might not always do them diligently, but you’ll have a framework for how to prioritize what matters for YOUR life. (And yes, I still struggle with adequate hydration and mobilizing regularly – and they are WAY more important for how I feel than hitting a metcon hard. But every time I do the WLC I get a little bit better.)
  2. The community aspect is the best part. Community is part of the magic of CrossFit. I love going to the gym because I know I’m going to see awesome, interesting people and get to see them test their limits and do things they didn’t think were previously in their wheelhouse. I get to see the same thing during the WLC. Reading people’s daily reflections is my favorite part.
  3. It’s not about being perfect. Really, it’s not. It’s about building a sustainable lifestyle and set of habits.

You can read more about it here. You can join our team here.

Goals & Habits

Within the context of talking about the WLC, I want to bring up goals and habits. Your goal might be to lose weight or improve some aspect of your performance. But to achieve–and maintain–that goal, you likely need to modify your underlying habits.

In the past week, I’ve come across three great resources that I wanted to share because I’m using them to help nudge me towards the habits that I want to have (the aforementioned hydration and mobility!):

  • “Turning New Year’s Resolutions Into Action With the Facts” – A great article from The New York Times about the science of habits.
  • Toggl – A free, super easy to use online time tracker. A lot of times, we like to say we don’t have the time when we just would prefer not to do something (this is what I tell myself about stretching. Really.) Or, we get frustrated for not accomplishing a Herculean to-do list because we’ve allocated too little time to accomplish the task at hand. I’ve been using this to get a better sense on where I do – and don’t – have time to devote to making changes.
  • Habit BullI’ve only been using this a few days and can’t believe I didn’t look for an app like this earlier. It’s an Android app (Free or $3.49 or so for the full version) and allows you to set daily habit goals and track them. There’s a widget on my phone that I tap to indicate daily habit progress: Yes, I did my rehab exercises. Yes, I drank adequate amounts of water. No, I did not drink insane amounts of coffee.Ignore the impulse to try to change everything at once. Start small and enjoy the daily feelings of victory. (For other recommendations for other operating systems, see this article)


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The anniversary post.

These are never easy to write. Last year’s post commemorated the founding of a community built on virtuosity. That community has continued to thrive. And once again, there are far too many milestones and accomplishments to attempt to list here. There have been a lot of changes since November 1st, 2012; so many, in fact, that the only real constant is progress. Consistent, relentless, and awe-inspiring progress. Looking around the gym, there is a level of performance unimaginable two years ago.

What is the secret to the success we see every day? Sadly, there are no gimmicks or easy answers. There are no shortcuts. There is nothing we do that gymnasts, weightlifters, powerlifters, sprinters, rowers, etc. haven’t been doing for decades.  We simply apply the basics with care, stick to our principles, and work our collective tails off.

What then is it that drives our athletes to work so hard day in and day out?

Are you disciplined like monks? Are you driven like Olympians?

Perhaps.

We suspect the real answer is much simpler.

What brings people back in the door day after day? It is fun. We love every minute of it.

Now we are on to a new question: what in the world about all of this hard work is fun?

Another simple answer: the people.

The community.

The camaraderie.

The competition.

The laughs.

The shared struggles.

The shared accomplishments.

Our job is straightforward. Despite what many would have you believe, once you cut through all the bullshit (which is the hard part), there is nothing all too complicated about applying calculated stress to the human body, allowing it to adapt, and repeating. Strength and conditioning is not rocket science.

What is infinitely more magical is what you, the Solidarity athletes, provide. Your heart and soul drive this endeavor.

Thank you for a wonderful two years.


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We will be open for ONE workout on Memorial Day at 1130.

Wednesday Olympic Weightlifting is currently on hiatus.


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Today (Thursday): ALL classes are canceled.

Tomorrow (Friday): 0600 CrossFit and 0645 Boot Camp are canceled.


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Rest day! Come in to make-up a workout or work on some mobility.

A reminder that this Saturday, November 9th, is our one-year anniversary event! There will be NO weightlifting class and NO class at 10:00 a.m. Instead, we are doing a CrossFit Total starting at 9. Around 11, we’ll dig in to some tasty eats from Ace Biscuit & BBQ. Come lift heavy things and celebrate with us! The Weightlifting Class is rescheduled for 10am on Sunday.


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Whole Life Challenge Wrap Up

Congratulations to the 25+ participants who completed this fall’s Whole Life Challenge! We saw some amazing results, and we were impressed with your dedication and commitment. Even with travel for work and weddings, football tailgating, and some intense work schedules, you all made it work for the last 8 weeks. We loved hearing stories of how family members were pitching in to help out: Debbie’s son got excited to help her get all of her points and Sharon’s husband helped make sure that she had challenge-friendly food while tailgating.

Of the 16 people who had a complete set of pre- and post-challenge scores, we saw an extra 416 reps on the baseline workout and 50 inches lost! These are tremendous numbers, and are a testament to how hard y’all worked. Jeremy and Christina tied for greatest percentage improvement in the workout, doing 42% more reps this weekend than they did back in September, while Trip and Kendra tied for the greatest percentage of inches lost (7%!). Kendra and Greg also rocked the nutrition and lifestyle component of the challenge with a perfect score!

Our overall winner, however, was Sharon, whose consistent nutrition habits led to major changes in work capacity (54 more reps) and body composition (6.25 inches lost). She took home a gift card to lululemon to get some new workout duds! Greg came in a close second, improving his work capacity by 48 reps and losing 5 inches. He took home a gift card to Beer Run (there was little doubt about what Greg was missing in his reflections!).

Congratulations, again, to all of our athletes, and keep up the great work!

Strength

Every minute on the minute for 8 minutes, two full snatches at 70%. Form should be tight, no misses, adjust load accordingly.

Conditioning

5 Round of:

  • 30 Double Unders
  • 12 Overhead Squats (75/45)


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Rest day! Come in to make up a workout or work on some mobility.

Bring A Friend Days!

Have a friend interested in CrossFit? Solidarity Bring A Friend Days are back! Bring a friend (or two) with  you to class; you’ll be their tour guide for a fun partner work out. Bring a friend on:

  • Saturday, October 19th
  • Monday, October 21st
  • Wednesday, October 23rd


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Due to the Civilian Military Combine and UVa’s Fall Break, we have some minor schedule changes this weekend:

  • Olympic lifting will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12th
  • Regular workout will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12th
  • There will be NO Olympic lifting on Sunday, Oct. 13th

Rest, make up a workout, or come in to work on some mobility!

Unsurprisingly, we had some amazing food at our pot luck from our Solidarity chef-athletes! Check out Solidarity Eats for some of the recipes.


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Rest day! Come into the gym and make-up a workout you missed or work on some mobility.

Registration for the next round of boot camp is open NOW! Register by October 7th with code EARLYBIRD and save 10%.


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Mobilize: Front Rack

Strength:

1) 4×3 Clean Deadlift @65-85% of 1 rep max clean.

2) Every minute on the minute for 8 minutes @85% of one rep max clean:

  • 1 Clean
  • 1 Hang Clean
  • 1 Split Jerk

This is a complex. The barbell should not touch the ground until after all thre movements have been completed.

Conditioning:

4 rounds for time:

  • 200m Sea Bag 50/50 (50/35)
  • 10 Pull Ups
  • 10 Ring Dips

-then (no rest)-

2:00 max effort double unders

Close: Overhead mobility

Join us tomorrow for a taste of the Civilian Military Combine! CMC co-founder Sean Rogers will be here during the evening classes.

Solidarity has one of the largest teams in the Mid-Atlantic registered to run, and it’s not too late to sign up! Talk to Michael about details if you’re interested.


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