Gardnerville

Meet James! Intern Extraordinaire!

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I am a Texan transplant at the age of five, so I claim the Carson Valley as my home. I've tried to leave multiple times but always come back. Nevada is just so free and open! Tahoe and the mountains really help keep life in perspective. Getting to see the stars every night and I love being able to hike, climb, camp, snowboard, hit the beach or fish at anytime I want.

I also love taking photos of nature, moss and little ecosystems. Drawing has been a passion of mine since I was a child.

I've always been competitive, but my fitness journey began with sports. I played football from age 12 till I was 19 and ran track all through high school and have trained in numerous other sports just for the fun. I was never the most talented, so i had to train harder to actually play or get noticed. My coaches gave me a good base of understanding of my body and fitness.

I had been coaching throughout my playing career and continued coaching football after it ended. I still lived the training aspect more so I started training kids on the side getting them ready for the season and helping at camps. Between my own training and coaching youth, I decided to try personal training. There was a lot within the industry I just didn't agree with at the time and didn't quite fit the mainstream fitness mold.

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Around then I was trying to join the military and started developing my own programming to fit the skills of the job I was going for. What I developed worked, but then I found CrossFit. Compete in and coaching CrossFit was my new passion. It had everything I wanted. Torturous workouts, full body movements, heavy lifts, could coach anyone and everyone, no mirrors or squat racks being used for flexing sessions, growing in knowledge was encouraged, and it was FUN!

What really hooked me was the community! In sports, supporting the community was essential. As an athlete you are to uphold the best in people and represent the best of the community outside yourself and the team. Without it, you have no team. You have no athletes. Your coaches are useless. The mainstream industry was way more individualistic. I missed that while trying to find where my life was headed and doing it in my own was terrifying at the time. In CrossFit everyone is an athlete and capable of the same great things and each of us is there to support their journey as well as pursue our own.

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At Crossfit Ampersand after 8 years in the sport and 3 boxes. A gym that has everything that got me into CrossFit is my home. The community support in this gym helped motivate me and helped me rediscover my passion for fitness. Helped put myself out there in ways I hadn't before. I look forward to returning the favor, helping people move and live full lives, building this community further and of course having some fun!





New Year New You – One Small Step at a Time

2019 Is a FRESH CHAPTER!

The possibilities are endless for what you can achieve and what can happen with the start of a new year. As a coach, it’s hard for us to not jump in with all of the resolution talk going around. So often we hear people saying they want to eat healthier or get more exercise. Those are great goals, but without specifics for what they want to achieve, it will lead to disappointment and quitting by the middle or end of January. 

Only about 9% of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions.  Those 9% of people drill in to their goals and celebrate the baby steps that got them there.

Instead of a New Years resolution, why not make a January resolution? Something smaller and more manageable that will give you the satisfaction of accomplishment. Maybe this will be the month when you check-in to the gym 3x each week instead of 1 or 2. Maybe this will be the month that you commit to the nutrition challenge and learn about healthy eating for 28 days that will help you learn your body and to support healthy eating choices for the rest of the year.  

For some of you, even committing to something a month long sounds daunting or impossible. What if you tried for one day? Or one week? Try increasing your water intake by substituting water or tea instead of soda or other sugary or fake sugary drinks like Diet Coke and Sugar free Redbull.  This is a great small first-step where you will see changes in your body in a short time. 

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Follow this formula when choosing your goal:

All goals should be SMART!

Goal: I will check in to the gym for the 5:30pm class 3 times each week for the month of January.

Specific -  I will check in to CFA 3x each week in January

Measurable – I should have 15 check-ins during the 5 weeks in January

Attainable – I can come Monday, Wednesday and Friday to the 5:30pm class

Realistic – I am already going to the gym 2x each week, so I’m only adding 1 more day each week. 

Time-sensitive – Month of January


 Here are five ways to keep any goal you set:

1.     Share it with those around you who will be supportive. Simply saying it aloud or posting it online gives you accountability.

2.     Leave yourself words of encouragement regarding this goal in places you will see it often. If your goal is around healthy food choices, try a post-it note on your fridge.  This step solves two problems, it encourages you through your day and it helps you stay focused on your goal.

3.     Only set one small goal around one behavior at a time. Don’t start eating healthy, spending more quality time with your family, sleeping nine hours each night, removing toxins from your home, and going back to school all at the same time. Instead bite off only what is manageable. You can always slowly add more goals as your behaviors transform!

4.     Don’t be hard on yourself if you mess up. Only a very small percentage of the human population can accomplish a goal the first time they try. For the rest of us it takes a couple slip-ups before we propel forward and achieve our goals.

5.     Ask for help. It is brave and admirable to make changes in your health routines. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. The coaches at CrossFit Ampersand are here for you as well as people in your classes. You can also take coaching and accountability up another step by talking to our Health Coach Elizabeth, to really drill into your intrinsic motivations, character strengths and help you achieve even more than you could do alone.

Book a Goal Setting Session with one of OUR Coaches and let us help you set your SMART Goals!

But.

But.

But but but…

Doesn’t the word ‘but’ just bring up a level of anxiety in you even without even knowing what it’s referring to? Such a tiny insignificant word can keep us from becoming who we deserve to be.

Life Transitions can cause us to stop forward progress, we refrain from doing anything new or even worse send us further down the black hole. It can make us not do what needs to be done to better ourselves because of the anxiety and inner turmoil that is created by the word but.

Click here for some motivation from real people just like you! They can do it so can you!

Click here for some motivation from real people just like you! They can do it so can you!

But I’m not in shape enough to start working out. But I can’t figure out my nutrition.

But I’ve never been successful before.

But I work. But I have kids. But we are moving. But I am injured. But I just got pregnant.  But I just had a baby.

But but but...  

As fitness professional we have encountered at least one of those buts, if not all. We have suffered through those buts, it has been scary, it was hard and there were lots of tears. Eventually we conquered those buts and have moved forward. We know that life is hard, that it has seasons, it gets in the way. If you want to live your life in spite of those buts we will help you navigate your buts.

Let’s make those buts mean something new, maybe with a healthy new butt to carry you through the year!


Let 2019 be the year of new but(t)s by signing up for our Nutrition Challenge!



Prioritizing Self with Tanya

Hey everyone! We got the chance to ask Tanya some questions about her experience with CrossFit. We met her when Harmony and I went to the emergent care and she was our nurse. After our visit a few weeks later, Tanya walked in the door workout gear in hand ready to rock. She came from a history of CrossFit before she moved here and has been a part of the Ampersand family ever since!

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Before finding us, what was your struggle?

My biggest struggle was putting away the excuses and getting up off the couch even when I was too tired or sore to move.  I was a shift worker for many years like many health care professionals and I found it hard to balance and find motivation when all I wanted to do was sleep.

What were your biggest frustrations?

Feeling like I spent all my time and energy taking care of everyone (my family and patients) and had no time and energy to take care of myself. I felt like a hypocrite and as a result I kept having to buy bigger and bigger clothes which is always disheartening.

How did your struggle and frustrations affect your life?

I felt that I was not leading by example. I was educating my family and patients about the importance of exercise and healthy eating but I was failing to live the life I was promoting.  I worried constantly about our family history of diabetes, obesity and heart disease affecting not only me but my children.

What did you feel like before you made your transformation?

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I had low self esteem when looking in the mirror, I cried more times than not in a dressing room trying to find clothes that fit, I refused to wear a swimsuit in public, and I just felt like a failure.

How did our program help you?

CrossFit Ampersand is so open and welcoming that I didn’t feel awkward or that everyone was staring at me. All the members are very supportive and encouraging. I also had the benefit of starting the program with my daughter and through our support of each other and the support from the whole crew at Ampersand, I started to look better and feel better with every class.

How is life different for you now?

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Life is still a struggle everyday, but I have the positivity of my health and wellness to keep me going. I don’t feel like a hypocrite any more when I talk to my patients about the longstanding benefits of exercise and clean eating. I feel stronger than I have in years, and I’m able to complete any workout that I attempt despite my many chronic health conditions like asthma or the multiple surgeries on my hands and hip. I recommend CrossFit Ampersand to anyone who will listen regardless of their age, size, health conditions or athletic abilities because the Ampersand crew is a dedicated, knowledgeable and caring team that can help anyone achieve their wellness goals!


Let us hear your goals and show you how we can help you reach them! 

The Intramural Open!

The Open is coming… AND WE ARE EXCITED!

First things first, if you don’t know about the CrossFit Open, please read HERE.

This year we are excited to change things up a bit and make participating in the Open even more fun! 

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Don’t let it intimidate you. It doesn’t matter where you place and YOU DEFINITELY WILL NOT BE LAST! There are countless thousands of people every year who don’t finish all 5 workouts and we want to help you avoid that. Also, there is a SCALED division so don’t worry if you are unsure about your ability level. All are welcome and highly encouraged to participate.

HOW IT WORKS

We typically do the Open every year, with a Friday Night Lights WOD. But this year will be different. We will follow along and do all the same workouts on the exact same timeline BUT we choose three captains to run teams in our gym. This years Captains will be chosen by us!

These captains are huge parts of our Ampersand community, they work hard, have great attitudes and are sure to help us keep it FUN! Because, that is our aim. Fun. No crazy cutthroat attitudes. No nasty trash talking (well maybe a little.. ;). Just throwing down on some good ol’ fashioned CrossFit style workouts with the rest of Ampersand while we all compete against each other in an internal, CrossFit Ampersand-only competition.

POINTS

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Don’t worry, you won’t “drag a team down”. Everyone can contribute points. All you have to do is show up AND there will be surprise opportunities to gain points for your team that don’t require you to do any working out! Here’s the scoring system:

+1 Point – Attendance: every member of a team that completes an Open workout at CrossFit Ampersand each week earns one point. Maximum one point per athlete per workout. This goes for Rx AND Scaled competitors!

+1 Point – Top 3: every male AND female member who places among the Top 3 at CrossFit Ampersand for each workout (Rx only) gets an extra point for their team.

+5 Points – Spirit of the Open: Each week we will pick one athlete who displays amazing SPIRIT during that week’s workouts. You’ll find this person cheering others on, volunteering to judge others, helping people get prepared, doing something amazing they never thought possible, gaining a new skill, etc etc.

+ 5 points – Hardest Worker: Each week, we will pick one athlete who we believe worked the hardest in that week’s workout. That athlete will earn their team 5 extra points. The person DOES NOT have to complete the workout RX to win.

REGISTRATION

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The only thing you need to do to participate in the Intramural Open is to register for the CrossFit Games Open! Don’t worry if you are new or unsure about your ability level. THERE IS A SCALED DIVISION!

Registration for the Open can be done at games.crossfit.com starting January 11th, 2018 and please make sure to choose CrossFit Ampersand as your Affiliate.

DRAFT

We will be taking the Captains out to lunch the last weekend in January to have our Draft. All athletes who are registered for the CrossFit Games Open before that date will be automatically put into the Draft pool and will be randomly selected onto a team. We will release all the details of the Draft ASAP so you can find out what team you are on. After the Draft, the Captains have freedom to recruit the remainder of the gym and they’ll be asking YOU!

Coaches will be split up and placed onto different Intramural teams to keep it fair and even. Captains choose athlete names in random order out of a hat. Team Captains will rotate draws, and then notify the athletes of their team that they have been drafted!

THATS WHERE YOU COME IN! If you are not signed up for The Open by the time of the Draft then you’ll be courted by one of our Team Captains to join their team – probably more than one. Pick the funnest team!

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Our Open workouts will take place at every group class time on Friday, building to Friday Night Lights which will begin at 5:30p.m. There will be a heat sign-up on a whiteboard which will be available first come first serve. Please show up as early as possible to sign up for a heat, help judge, take pictures and cheer everyone on! Bring friends or family to spectate and contribute to the cheering crowd!

FIVE WEEKS - FEB. 22-MARCH 26

Friday, February 23 @ 5:30 p.m.  – 18.1

Friday, March 2 @ 5:30 p.m. – 18.2

Friday, March 9 @ 5:30 p.m. – 18.3

Friday, March 16 @ 5:30 p.m. – 18.4

Friday, March 23 @ 5:30 p.m.  – 18.5

TBD – Closing Ceremony and Presentation of Championship Belt and FOOD party!

Athletes will be allowed to make up workouts or re-test Saturdays, or other arranged class times with a Coach. Also, please find another member of the gym to judge for you ahead of time!

Our focus is on FUN. We want participation because it will make you fitter, and it will get you high-fives and you’ll be happy and love life more and glow and stuff.

Renay's Athlete Story: Taking a chance

When I sat down with Renay for her 'No Sweat Intro' several months ago, I remember thinking, this one is driven! I asked her what made her choose us and she replied with, "I read the client stories on your website and want to have a story like that one day" Well, she definitely has an amazing story to share with us! Her drive and love for her community is so infectious and it is apparent that the confidence and the passion that she brings to the gym, she also applies to her everyday life. 

My favorite aspect about being a part of the Ampersand family is that I get to meet and grow closer with new people everyday. Sometimes, I think I spend more time learning from the people that I coach than they do learning from me. I am grateful to know Renay and am thankful for what I have learned about myself from her and others like her in the gym. 

So, without further adieu, here is my short-ish interview with Renay. Enjoy! - Coach Jeff

What are your passions?

My biggest passions are my job, fitness (specifically CrossFit) and spending time with son Nick, who is almost 16 and my dogs Kona, Beenz and Asker. I work at a juvenile detention center and am still happy with my job even after five years. I was in trouble as a teenager/young adult so ever since then it had always been my passion to work with at-risk youth. Because of my job fitness is very important to me as my job can be physical at times. My health is important as well as I want to live a long life so I can see my son grow and his accomplishments he achieves through life. One day, many years from now, I would like to and hope to have grandchildren. I enjoy many outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, fishing, shooting and even yard work.

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Why did you start, and how did you find CrossFit?

I was extremely hesitant to try CrossFit at first as it has always been hard for me to step out of my comfort zone to try new things. I had been going to a regular gym for almost a year before I joined CrossFit and off and on throughout my adult life. I got to a point where I was spending about two hours every day at the gym and felt like I had hit a plateau. A friend of mine who had been doing CrossFit for several years had mentioned several times that I should try CrossFit. One day I had decided it was time to finally try it so I had started to research different CrossFit boxes in the area. CrossFit Ampersand was not the closest box to me but as I was doing my research something about them really impressed me as well as another client's story and I decided to contact them for a "no sweat intro". Joining CrossFit Ampersand has been one of the best decisions I have ever made not only because of the awesome workouts but I have met some pretty outstanding people. 

What was your first impression?

My first impression of CrossFit was, how am I ever going to be able to do the things everyone else was doing. After I met with Jeff for the "no sweat intro" I felt a little better about my decision but was still super nervous. The one thing I really liked about CrossFit Ampersand was having to go through the on-ramp program. The one-on-one sessions where awesome as it taught me some proper form and I was able to get a taste of CrossFit without having to make a fool of myself in front of other people. From the very get go I had felt very welcomed by all the athletes and coaches I had crossed paths with. Needless to say, I can say my first impression of trying CrossFit and CrossFit Ampersand itself was and still is amazing!!

What are your goals?

My goals are to continue to build muscle, get toned and be a better me physically and mentally. In 2014 I had my L4-S1 vertebrae's fused after a car accident so it has also been my goal to strengthen my core to try and prevent any future injuries or surgeries to my back. My son is very proud to have a fit mom, so it is my goal to stay that way. 

What has CrossFit done for you?

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CrossFit has shown me how competitive I really am but more importantly it has shown me that I can do things I never thought I'd be able to do, like overhead squats, hand stand holds and rope climbs. It has given me the courage to step out of my comfort zone and made me realize I can achieve things that I once thought were impossible. It has helped me overcome fears such as jumping onto a box without gouging my shins and going into a handstand against a wall knowing the wall will always be there to catch me. CrossFit has shown me that every day I become a better me!! It has also shown me that it is possible for every muscle to be sore all the time even after seven months of CrossFit due to the varying workouts. Someone once told me, "Soreness is weakness leaving the body."

What’s one accomplishment you’re proud of during your time at CrossFit Ampersand?

One accomplishment I am extremely proud of since I joined CrossFit was participating and completing a CrossFit competition. This past July, about four months after I started CrossFit, I competed in The New Kids in the Box competition put on by Carson City CrossFit. That competition was my first competition I had ever been a part of and it was an amazing experience and one I will never forget. Throughout the day I had completed five workouts and they were no joke. My teammates and CrossFit family were there to cheer me on, show me support and push me even when I thought I couldn't do more. It was tough but I was extremely proud of myself for getting through it and I ended up placing fourth in my division. 

Would you recommend CrossFit Ampersand to others?

I would absolutely recommend CrossFit Ampersand to others for many reasons. The most important reason is the coaching. Jeff, Harmony, JC and Marshall have a wealth full of knowledge about CrossFit and proper technique. They do a great job at sharing their knowledge and teaching movements with patience. It is evident that the goals of the athletes are important to them. CrossFit Ampersand and the equipment is kept very clean which is important when you are a germaphobe and you have to lie on the floor to catch your breath after an intense workout. Another reason I would recommend CrossFit Ampersand is because of the athletes. As I mentioned before, everyone is so welcoming and makes you feel as though you are a part of the CrossFit family. CrossFit Ampersand is a family and everyone helps each other out in one way or another. I would recommend CrossFit Ampersand simply because it is the BEST! 

What advice would you give someone who is interested in CrossFit?

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The advice I would give to someone interested in CrossFit is give it time, it'll be worth it. There may be a time when you question why you do CrossFit because of the intensity of it but keep coming back. Make CrossFit your addiction! It takes time to build strength, stamina and see results but eventually it happens and it is an amazing feeling. Some workouts are tough but as a coach (JC) once told me, "just keep moving" and you'll eventually get through it. The end result, whether it's the feeling you have after an intense workout or eventually reaching your goals, is so worth going through some crazy workouts. Actually, I think all the workouts are crazy but they give you such satisfaction at the end of them. 

Anything else you would like add?

I would like to add that I am thankful I gave CrossFit a chance. It has truly been an amazing experience and is something I plan on doing for the rest of my life or for as long as I possibly can. The fee it costs to be a part of CrossFit has been so worth it because of the coaching and the push I get from the coaches and the other athletes. If I were to workout at home or on my own at a regular gym, I would never push myself as hard as I do at CrossFit Ampersand. I hope to one day be able to inspire many others as I have been inspired by so many. 


Want to be our next success story? Book a No Sweat Intro today!

Kiersten's Athlete Story: Passions and Progress

Kiersten has been with us for only about 10 months! But having her around has made it seem like it's been a lot longer. Her and her family have a way of connecting with people in a special way, and immediately make you feel like you have known them forever. Her journey in the gym has been so fun to watch and we are excited to share her story with you all. Enjoy!

What are your passions?

My biggest passion is my little girl and my family. I am forever grateful that I am the one that gets to stay home and raise her, teach her and show her all the good in life. On the flip side, she teaches me and helps me grow as a woman, mother and friend. Watching her grow over this last year has been my biggest blessing. 

Another passion of mine is my body - seeing what it has done (carry a baby for 9 months) and what it is capable of doing. I'm constantly trying to find ways to improve my physical and mental health and I find a lot of joy and reward in doing so. I'm also motivated by showing an example to those around me what hard work, dedication and discipline can produce in all areas of life. I want to live a long and full life with those that I love, and the best way to do that is to take care of myself.

Why did you start and how did I find CrossFit?

Oh, Mr. Dustin Funk. He is the reason for my addiction. Dusty, my brother-in-law, started talking to us about CrossFit in the last trimester of my pregnancy. And (I'm sure you can understand why) I just kinda blew it off. Two months after Stevie was born, he brought it up again and I decided to try it for a couple of different reasons.

1) The guy couldn't stop talking about CrossFit!

2) Travis, my husband, pretty much told me that we should just give it a shot so I was just along for the ride.

3) I needed an outlet and something with consistency and adult interaction. Being at home with a newborn all day was taking a toll on my physical AND mental health.

I thought that maybe CrossFit would teach me a few things, introduce me to some new people and reignite a fire that had been dormant for awhile.

What has CrossFit done for you?

I 100% underestimated the impact CrossFit would have on my life. I swear I could write a whole novel about it if you let me. I was very embarrassed with my physical health, I didn't even want to show up. But now after toughing it out physically and mentally, I have lost 40lbs and competed in my first competition. Both things I never thought I would do.

I'm in the best shape I have ever been in and I know that the possibilities are endless and it will only continue to improve. 

Also, I think I do a pretty good job showing my confidence outward, but internal confidence has always been a struggle for me. I have always been competitive but even more competitive with myself. Always searching for perfection and I would beat myself up if I thought I fell short. I have learned that I'm not perfect but more importantly I have learned to be OK with it.

CrossFit has taught me that as long as I have put in my best effort (in any area of life) that's what really matters. 

My relationships... I have made some bad a$$ friends! Seriously, the best people I have met have been through CrossFit. From all different walks of life, people that I probably wouldn't have interacted with in the past are some that I'm closest to now. More importantly though, my family relationships. I now have a common ground with my step sons and my brother-in-law. CrossFit has made my relationship stronger with them in 10 months than it could have over the course of years. I could write a whole chapter about my kids and what it has done for us outside of the gym.

I also have extended family reaching out to me about getting into CrossFit. Family that haven't ran a mile since high school because they see all the results from my work. That is the most rewarding thing.

CrossFit Ampersand has also given me the opportunity to intern and spread the wealth!! I think it's important to always give back to the community! I am fortunate enough that I found the coolest way to do so! Being able to help others in the gym has helped me fill that void. I was struggling trying to find a way to give back and just feel like I was making a difference in people's lives. Now, I receive emails, texts and even have conversations with people thanking me for my help. I love that I inspire and motivate people!! I will admit, you ran that mile on your own sister, but I'm so glad that I helped push you and inspire you.

What are your goals?

My goals are pretty simple. Like I said before, I'm constantly searching for ways to improve physically and mentally. My biggest goal right now is to stop saying things like "I can't " because deep down I know I can do anything I set my mind to. I want to continue to be that example to my daughter, husband, sons, and CrossFit community and give back even more.

If I have accomplished and seen results like these in 10 months, I can't even imagine what the next 10 will produce. 

I would really like to buy my big black Dodge back again someday too. But we will see how that one goes... :)

Turn your passions in to progress by booking a No Sweat Intro with us today!


5 Tips to Clean Up Your Nutrition and Get Results

One of the biggest factors in a successful fitness or weight loss program is what you eat. Why? Because food is how you fuel your body. You can work your butt off in the gym, but you can't out exercise a bad diet. 

Here are 5 simple tips you clean up your nutrition to start seeing results:

1. Avoid overly processed, boxed, and packaged foods

Boxed, packaged, and processed foods contain many additives and not so good for you ingredients. These can wreck havoc on your gut, lead to inflammation, and can pack on the calories. You end up with a smaller quantity of food with a much higher calorie value while being low in nutrients. Start by cutting out soda, candy, and dinner in a box meals. 

2. Eat protein with every meal (such as eggs, fish, chicken, turkey, steak, pork, etc)

Protein is critical to your body's ability to maintain or grow muscle, and helps control your appetite. Eating protein helps your body focus on burning and losing fat instead of eating away at muscle. Find protein sources that you enjoy eating and learn new ways to prepare them!

3. Eat veggies with every meal (including breakfast!)

Veggies are a fantastic source of micronutrients (minerals, vitamins, etc.). For breakfast, try adding spinach, bell peppers, or mushroom to eggs to make a scramble or omelet. For snacks, try cut up carrots, celery, snap peas, and bell peppers. 

4. Stop eating fast food and limit eating at restaurants to once a week

When you prepare and cook your food, you're more aware of what you're eating and more likely to make healthier choices. Fast food is full of calories but low in nutrients. It can be addicting, and can cause you to overeat. 

5. Limit dessert to once a week

Dessert and treats aren't bad in and of themselves, but when you're trying to lose weight, gain muscle, or improve performance, aim to limit your sugar and treat intake. A good rule is to limit treats to one serving once a week. When cravings hit, try drinking water or tea, eating veggies or a handful of nuts, or a piece of fruit. 

Need more guidance or assistance with your nutrition? We offer a free nutrition consult and nutrition coaching.

Allison Ashton

I started CrossFit in May, 2016. At the beginning of my journey I weighed over 220 pounds. I couldn't run 200 meters, I couldn't do push-ups, in fact I couldn't successfully do 95% of the workouts, and in all honesty I hated it. I hated the cardio, I hated that I had become so overweight, I hated that I HAD to be there, but most of all I hated knowing that the only results I would ever see had to come at the cost of sweat and tears. 

     Prior to starting CrossFit, I was losing mobility, not only because of my weight, but also due to my lack of living an active life style for so long. Family outings, hiking, walks to the park, anything requiring me to be active was always out the question, I had an excuse for everything... that was up until my weight, diet and crappy lifestyle had finally caught up to me. I was constantly feeling "sick", extremely fatigued, experiencing painful numbness in my hands and feet, fighting migraines daily, and was suffering from severe insomnia and depression. I had convinced myself that I was chronically ill and there was no way I could feel that horrible and not have a diagnosis to go along with it.

As anyone would do, I went to my doctor and discussed the problems I was having, he was clearly concerned. He requested I see some specialist and ordered a full blood panel.  Those appointments and blood tests revealed one thing... I was not dying, I was obese. My health was deteriorating because of my lifestyle. It was not because I was sick, or had carried and birthed five children, nor did I lack the time and finances for a gym membership. This was because I was lazy and unmotivated. Point blank. Right there every excuse I had become bullshit. This was my rock bottom. It was now or never.


That's why I joined CrossFit Ampersand. When signing up I was very intimidated, but I had no excuses left, I HAD to put in the work, I HAD to succeed. My first few weeks were nearly unbearable, I knew that I was strong, but I was slow and uncoordinated due to my size, and the intensity made me sick to my stomach, but I was trying! For the first time in years I was starting to come out of my shell. 

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     My love for CrossFit didn't come for another month or two. The game changer for me was finding the mental strength to push through the WOD's, finding different strategies to make my body move and withstand the intensity more efficiently. Things got 100 times easier from that point on, I began attending classes 5 days a week, I changed my diet and began shedding pounds and toning my body. The movements were becoming easier and I was lifting heavier weights. I rapidly became physically, mentally stronger than I had ever been in my life.

Today, nine months after starting CrossFit, I have lost over 50 pounds, 48 inches overall and a lot of mental baggage that came along with my weight gain.

 I no longer suffer from depression, I'm no longer pre-diabetic, and I certainly don't make excuses for myself anymore.

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Before & After with Steve

Having had a spinal surgery 20 years ago, I slowly put on the pounds and got out of shape. Discovering CrossFit Ampersand changed all of that. Three months in, I feel 20 years younger, have lost 30 pounds and am experiencing that proverbial new lease. At 59, I may not be what I use to be but it’s close.  I owe trainers Jeff & Harmony a debt I’m sure I can never repay. I feel great about my workouts, and it’s a daily competition as to whether I’ve benefittedmore physically or psychologically. So worth it. As Walt Whitman said it, "...the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse." ;-)

Thank you to all of the RFTB Partipants!

Big Thank you to our Law Enforcement and our Community!

Dear Participants,

We want to express how grateful we are to serve and be a part of such an amazing community. What started out as a small little gathering amongst friends, turned into an amazing showing of support to our Law Enforcement, local and abroad.

When we started this event, we were hoping to sell enough tickets to cover expenses and donate a couple hundred dollars to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. With your help, we were able to surpass that exponentially, with over 100 participants and a final donation totaling over $2000!

This showed us not only the outpouring of support for our LEO’s, but also an opportunity to repeat the event next year. As you know, this was our first event and with only a little over a month’s notice, you were able to make a difference. We are excited to make this an annual event for the Carson Valley and continue to be an avenue for the men in blue, who sacrifice so much to serve us and answer the call when we need them.

This is a sensitive time in our society to be outspoken in support of our law enforcement, but it is necessary to show them that we stand behind them, and Run for the Badge was an excellent showing of support.

We would love to get your feedback on the event, and on ways we can improve and make this great for next year. Also, you can find any other charity events that we plan to host in the future by following CrossFit Ampersand on Facebook.

We would like to thank all of our volunteers, participants, and the following local businesses for donating raffle prizes and being a part of Run for the Badge:

Anglers Edge Fly Shop
Axelson Tactical
Bullseye Nevada
California Burger Company
Douglas County JROTC
I’d Eat There
Jill Packman at Carson Valley Counseling & Consultation
Kelse at Déjà vu Salon

Margaret at 31 Bags
Melvin’s Car Wash
Peak Nutrition
Play It Again Sports

Raley’s
Road ID
Starbucks

Tom & Kay Lashbrook
William at GNC Carson City 

Again we want to thank our Law Enforcement for being our local heroes and our community for coming together for such a great cause. To find more information about the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, please visit,http://www.lawmemorial.org/ or http://www.nleomf.org/.