minden

How to Be a Beginner

Butterflies bounced around my stomach and I nervously spun my ring around my finger. I kept my eyes down so no one would talk to me. I whispered questions to Jeff about what to expect, what to do, where to put my bag and when to take off my shoes. I felt very uncomfortable and unsure. I’d wanted to try jujitsu for some time, but finally decided I was ready to try into my first class.

Last week, I tried Jujitsu for the first time. And for the first time in a while, I got a bold reminder of what it feels like to be a beginner — to be completely new. To swallow my fear, anxiety, and nervous thoughts and walk through a door to try something completely different and outside my comfort zone.

I’m sure I had similar feelings the first time I tried CrossFit (which feels like a lifetime ago now), but as I entered the jujitsu studio I kept reminding myself that everyone I was about to meet started as a beginner at some point in their life. That just like new members that enter CrossFit Ampersand for their first On-Ramp class, my nervous feelings were normal but weren’t a reason to turn around and run.

Being a beginner is uncomfortable.

Trying something new is uncomfortable. Especially when you’re in a group with other people that aren’t beginners or aren’t as new of a beginner as you.

My experience was a whole bunch of uncomfortable moments, including:

  • Wearing the only loaner Gi (uniform) that they had in my size, that just happened to be BRIGHT PINK (while everyone else was wearing white, blue, or black).

  • Feeling like I’m putting another student out when they were paired with me to practice some drills and they literally had to teach me the entire time.

  • Apologizing over and over when I did a move wrong and had to restart and try it again.

  • Laughing nervously every time I’d forget the next step of what I was supposed to be trying.

  • Feeling the eyes of the entire class on me when I was introduced as the new member (as if being the only one wearing a bright pink uniform didn’t help me stand out already!).

  • Smashing my body into the bodies of a few complete strangers. Hi, I’m Harmony, let me hug you with my legs. Oh and here’s some of my sweat.

  • Being asked by one of the instructors if I had learned to “horsey,” if I remembered what position was “guard,” or if I had drilled “blahbidy-blah (insert-other-technical-jujitsu-term-that-I-can’t-remember-here)” and staring back with a blank face

  • Hearing "Just do what feels natural” while being folded up like a stepped on spider as my opponent stretches one arm and one leg in opposite directions and simultaneously traps my neck in their arm and continues to press my entire body into the floor… *nervous laugh* nothing feels natural to escape, except that wriggling motion I tried which clearly made my position even worse. LOL.

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BUT… I LOVED IT.

Once I decided to take it one minute at a time and allowed myself to be a beginner, it was awesome.

Everyone was encouraging and helpful. They didn’t care that I didn’t know what things were called or that I didn’t magically pick everything up after being shown once — because they weren’t expecting me to. They helped me over and over. And I accepted the help, thanked them for the help, and asked for help when I needed it.

I was still uncomfortable because it was new. But it was a really fun experience. And the fun new experience outweighed the nervous uncomfortableness.

Stepping back into CF& as a coach made me reflect on my beginner jujitsu experience and reminded me of a few things:

  1. We should try new things, and regularly. Our life is made up of our experiences. Every time we try something new it expands the boundary of those experiences and makes life more interesting, more relatable, and you become more adaptable to future challenges/experiences. So try a new sport, a new hairstyle, accept the invitation to that class your friend asked you to try, or book an appointment for some activity you’ve always wanted to do but were too scared. If you have been curious about CrossFit and wanted to try it, do it.

  2. Allow yourself to be a beginner and be okay with being uncomfortable. You can be uncomfortable and still learn and have fun. Every time you repeat the process you move away from beginner towards novice then eventually expert.

  3. Remember that everyone who is an expert was once a beginner and at one point, started where you are.  When you join in on a group class, no-one is judging you for being a beginner. You aren’t expected to master anything in a day. Give it time. Accept and ask for help from those who are further along from you.

  4. Bring a friend. All new experiences are a little less daunting when you have someone you trust by your side experiencing it with you.

  5. Take small steps. At CrossFit Ampersand we start with a No Sweat Intro, which is a one-on-one chat with a coach where we discuss your goals, tour the gym and talk about how we can help you reach your goals. Then for most people they start with a few one on one personal training sessions (On-Ramp) before starting group classes. We teach them the movements they’ll encounter in class and ensure they can move safely. This helps buffer those beginner feelings and make joining in a little less daunting.

  6. Take action. I wish I had tried Jujitsu a year ago. I think back now to all those times thinking about telling Jeff I wanted to go in. All the times he asked me to try it and I shrugged it off (even though inside I wanted to go). If I had said yes — if I had ignored the anxious fear — I would have been doing it for a year now and be out of the early beginner stage already. But I’ve started and now I’m already on my 4th class!

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Interested in trying CrossFit?

Julia's Success Story

At Ampersand we are about changing lives. Julia is committed to herself and has a new outlook on life! We meet everyone where they are and assist them in smashing their goals, just like Julia!

Meet our next Intern, Erica!

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Hello there! My name is Erica. I am the oldest of five kids and a Northern Nevada native. Upon graduation from Boise State University with my BBA in Marketing, I moved across country to explore the beautiful state of North Carolina while working as a digital marketing specialist and obtaining my TEFL certification. After spending a year backpacking through Latin America while working as an English teacher, I am back in the USA pursuing my passion for health and wellness. 

I grew up a competitive swimmer, but love to try anything and everything active. I have competed in numerous events, including Ironman 70.3 Boulder and multiple marathons. I found CrossFit in 2015 and fell in love. It is unlike anything I have ever done and challenges me in new ways everyday, both physically and mentally.  I tried my first CrossFit competition the same year I started and ended up winning New Kids in the Box. I was hooked!

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From teaching swim lessons to fitness classes at university, I love sharing my passion with others. It only made sense to become a CF coach. I am a forever student, ready to learn from those willing to teach, and ready to teach those who are willing to learn. 

Meet our next Intern, Janine!

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Hi, I'm Janine and I've lived in the Carson Valley since 2006. My passions are my family, hiking, backpacking, and helping people find meaning and health on all levels. I have formal training as a yoga instructor and taught for several years in the Lake Tahoe area.

The discovery of CrossFit Ampersand came along for me in August 2017. I feel very fortunate to have our Box be my first exposure to CrossFit. I enjoy sharing the benefits of CrossFit and am committed to furthering my training in this field. I love that just about everyone can benefit from CrossFit... from the grandparent to elite athletes and everyone in between. Increased strength, power, speed, cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, flexibility, stamina, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy benefits everyone of us!

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Our training in the gym makes our lives better outside of the gym. My favorite thing is when I do something outside the gym that I wasn't previously able to do prior to joining CrossFit Ampersand. I look forward to hearing about what that is for YOU!

Meet our Intern Eli!

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Hi I’m Elisha! But most people call me Eli. I was born in Lake Tahoe, but I’ve lived in Nevada my whole life. During my High School career, I played Football for 2 years and I wrestled for part of my Senior year. I took 2 years of a Weight Training class that implemented the CrossFit methodology.

I am currently studying Kinesiology at the University of Nevada, Reno to become a physical therapist or athletic trainer. I always like working out with other people and I am always ready to make a new friend! I’m a born again man who loves Jesus and I’m always seeking truth and knowledge through the Bible. My favorite hobby is photoshop and I like to draw cartoons from time to time.

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CrossFit is my passion. I started CrossFit sometime during the summer of 2017. I used to be a bodybuilder who loved lifting weights, but I was lacking in so many other areas of my fitness. Then, one day, my weight training teacher showed our class a video called, “The Test of Fitness” (I highly recommend watching it). After watching the video, I was immediately hooked on CrossFit. I completed my CrossFit Level 1 Course on January 27, 2019.

I wanted to get into coaching because I love helping other people. I’ve found a new interest in helping athletes to improve their fitness and their lives for the future. I am constantly learning new things and always ready to help!

Say Hello to Isaiah!

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Hello! My name is Isaiah. I have grown up in Gardnerville and have loved it! I am a Nevada boy and it is hard for me to think of calling anywhere else home. I have a big family and many friends some of which are as close as family.

I have been doing Crossfit since May of 2018 and have loved it. I have worked out for many years, but it wasn’t until last year (2018) that I decided to try Crossfit. I have been having fun with it ever since!

I got my Crossfit Level 1 within a few months of starting Crossfit, because I knew that I wanted to coach someday.

It is refreshing to watch people at the gym crush their goals and push themselves to be better at life. I look forward to seeing more of that as Crossfit Ampersand grows and flourishes.

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!





Meet Daunelle!

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I was (almost) born and raised in South Lake Tahoe in the early 1970's. I played "sports" with the kids down the street in the vacant lot, climbing rocks and trees, for hours! The only organized sports available to girls back then were swim team, ski team, and tennis. We couldn't afford the ski team, so I swam for almost ten years for the city of South Lake Tahoe, and for my high school, South Tahoe High. I also spent my four years of high school on the nordic ski team, where you "don't become king of the mountain by riding a chair lift." In college, I tried out for and made the lightweight varsity boat for the crew team. I was the "Stroke"...the first rower in the boat of eight that set the tempo for the rest of the team. I LOVED rowing! I would have continued with rowing had I not had the opportunity to study in Grenoble, France my junior year in college.  In France, I tried to stay fit, in between bites of baguette and yummy cheese! However, I did coach a local swim team while I lived in Grenoble. 

After college, I moved back to Tahoe and started teaching English at South Tahoe High School and French at Lake Tahoe Community College. I coached the high school's nordic ski team for a few years, but then left the high school and taught only at the junior college.  We raised two active daughters in South Lake Tahoe. Between skiing, soccer, swimming, horseback riding, and hiking, we were never bored. However, my husband must have thought otherwise because in 2009, he and his two friends opened South Tahoe CrossFit. 

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Initially, I thought CrossFit was a joke. How could anyone get a workout in a four minute Tabata or a 12 minute AMRAP? Well, the joke was on me. After a few workouts, I was hooked. It is the variation and functionality of the exercises that kept my attention, but the  community that is created between members was and still is the reason why I CrossFit. In 2010 I got my Level 1 cert., and then in 2012, I got my Level 2 and a Mobility certificate from CrossFit. I loved coaching, managing, and organizing events for and at our gym. We held several competitions and fundraisers for our region and community. A few years ago, I even won the Masters level at a regional competition! However, in 2017, we decided to sell our partnership to one of our awesome trainers because we had moved down to the valley and we couldn't give as much time to the gym as we used to. 

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I discovered CFAmpersand when my daughter started the Douglas Girls Lacrosse Club in 2017. She had asked me to coach the team, and we desperately needed some dry-land training. I approached Jeff and Harmony with our need and they graciously allowed us to use the facility for the two years I coached my daughter's team. From box jumps to burpees, those high school girls strangely looked forward to our time in the gym! While I no longer coach lacrosse, I have continued to stay active. Last fall I completed my first Spartan race, the Beast, at Squaw Valley. That race made me realize that I needed to increase my fitness, so I joined CFA. It was difficult getting to the gym this winter, but when Jeff and Harmony asked if I was interested in coaching again, things started to get back into focus for me. After I emphatically said, "Yes!" I realized that I had let my certificates expire last October...So, I will be taking my coaching certs again this month! 

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Thanks to Jeff and Harmony, and all the CFA members I've met these past few months. CrossFit Ampersand is a fantastic community of supportive members . You are the reason why we keep coming back day after day, difficult workout after difficult workout. 

2019 CrossFit Open and Ampersand's 2nd Annual Intramural!

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 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 two 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

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 AND records their score in SugarWOD each week earns one point. Maximum one point per athlete per workout. This goes for Rx, Scaled and Modified competitors!

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+1 Point – Top 3: every male AND female member who places among the Top 3 at CrossFit Ampersand for each workout (Rx & Scaled as written only - not modified) gets an extra point for their team.

Spirit of the Open: Earn points for participating in themes, volunteering to judge others, helping keep things organized, etc, etc, etc.

REGISTRATION

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, 2019 and please make sure to choose CrossFit Ampersand as your Affiliate.

DRAFT

We will be doing a live video on February 2nd 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!

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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!

Our Open workouts will take place at every group class time on Friday, building to Friday Night Lights which will begin at 4:30 p.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 22

Friday, February 22 @ 4:30 p.m.  – 19.1

Friday, March 1 @ 4:30 p.m. – 19.2

Friday, March 8 @ 4:30 p.m. – 19.3

Friday, March 15 @ 4:30 p.m. – 19.4

Friday, March 22 @ 4:30 p.m.  – 19.5

👇🏼Peep the sweet slideshow 👇🏼

Athletes will be allowed to make up workouts or re-test Saturdays at 10am, or by arranging an appointment with a Coach. If you plan to makeup on Saturday, please let us know ahead of time and 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.

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!



Mindfulness: Why is it Important to Your Overall Health?

Mindfulness mind·ful·ness    /ˈmīn(d)f(ə)lnəs/    noun    the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.    "their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition"    A mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique

Mindfulness mind·ful·ness

/ˈmīn(d)f(ə)lnəs/

noun

the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.

"their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition"

A mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique

What Is Mindfulness?

Taking into consideration the definition; how can mindfulness be applied to our daily lives; or even better, how can it change our daily thought process? As a coach I hear it all the time, “I can't do that.” or “it’s too hard.” Being mindful and in tune with our thoughts and our physical abilities will help us push through barriers and challenges. Instead, I urge people to ask themselves, “Do I trust my coach? And do I trust myself?” If the answer is yes, then we will proceed with the task that was asked.

Surrendering ourselves to the unknown in this way can be scary. Allowing ourselves to not question the ‘what if’, to not be stalled by fear and to fully open ourselves to the new possibilities that are offered will exponentially improve our outlook and allow us so many opportunities that might have otherwise been missed. By trusting our own body, by listening to what it is telling you will take you too many new places.

How Does Mindfulness Fit into Health and Fitness?

Being mindful asks us to look internally, to be aware of how my body is feeling. How is it reacting to something new? As coaches we ask our clients all the time “how does that feel?” We aren't looking for a generic answer. No, we want to really know how that felt. Was it challenging, but doable? Did it cause a twinge of pain in that old injury? Did performing that movement for the first time successfully, instantly bring you joy? We want to know the real answer to help our clients start becoming in tune with their own body.

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How Does it Affect the Long Term?

Working towards our goals mindfully isn’t going to make it happen over night, but it will help us get there quicker and more successfully. Being mindful, knowing when it's time to take a break and let your body heal from will allow your body to progress forward steadily and safely without pushing through an injury or on a day that a workout just isn't going to happen.

Yes, goals vary, many have the goal to lose weight, to be healthier long term, to run a marathon, to play with the grandkids, but what all these different goals have in common, is the conscious decision to be mindfully present with their bodies and needs and choose what is necessary to make the changes to meet these goals. When asked what was it that triggered the change, it was always a mental change. Mentally they wanted it. Mentally they needed it. They chose to be mindful with themselves, allow the change mentally and what is being asked of their bodies and of their psyche to ensure long term success.

If you are ready to set some goals of your own, book a goal setting session with a coach!

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.

Naomi's Athlete Story: Finding your inner strength!

This month we’re interviewing Naomi. She and her family are newer members with us and have been such a joy to have in the gym. Naomi has shown some amazing improvements, not only in her fitness, but with her mental fortitude. We asked the coaches and our interns who they thought we should interview for this month, and it was unanimous. Naomi has stood out tremendously and represents what we are all about at Ampersand. She truly has a warrior's heart and determination to break down barriers standing in her way to becoming who she wants to be as a strong woman.

Q: What brought you in to CrossFit Ampersand?

A: Well first, I had been wanting to come back to CrossFit after a 9 year absence because I did really enjoy it when I was doing it, I had let life really get in the way. Second, I have always struggled with self-confidence and anxiety but for this past year or so it had gotten really bad to the point where if I didn't have to be anywhere I was more comfortable to just stay home and sit around. My family kept telling me if I started to do some kind I physical activity it could really help me mentally, and they were right! I had just procrastinated for too long. 

Q: What was your first impression of CrossFit Ampersand?

A: Everyone was really nice and encouraging, it is a comfortable environment to workout in, and I didn't feel like I was being judged as to my ability. The workouts weren't just what was written on the board or nothing. The coaches really helped me to scale the workouts to my current abilities and reassured me that I would progress if I was consistent.

Q: Why did you or what made you stay at CF Ampersand?

A: Coach Marshall said one day that even if you show up and it wasn't your best day, you are doing 90% more that the people sitting at home on the couch. I try to remind myself of that on the days I feel like just quitting or I'm tired and don't feel like going. Also, seeing everyone else show up and do their best whether it was a good day or a bad day for them and then cheering everyone else on really helped me to just show up and do my best. And I started see results in the way my clothes fit, I was sleeping better, I was overall happier. 

Q: What's one accomplishment you're proud of during your time at CF Ampersand?

A: The hold complex workout we did recently. I feel like it was one of the first workouts where I didn't let overthinking it hold me back, I just blocked out the discomfort and the voice in my head telling me to just drop the bar. I was able to hold it for the whole ten minutes!! It was also one of the first workouts where I just had to drop to the ground afterwards and take a minute. It made me feel REALLY happy and like I had accomplished something big. I’m really proud of myself for that workout!

Q: What will you do next? 

A: Well I've had some trouble getting under my lifts and I would really like to work on that so I can do them more efficiently. And long term I really want to be able to do the rope climb and sign up for a fun run. 

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

A: I would tell them to ignore the voice in your head telling you you're not good enough and that you are going to fail, and ignore the sick feeling you get on your way to the gym because I guarantee you that when you leave after the workout, you will feel better than when you walked in. Also everyone is there to cheer you on, and help you push yourself to do the things you thought you wouldn't be able to, and you will see the results. It's not going to be easy or instantaneous but with consistency and help you'll be able to reach your goal at CrossFit Ampersand! 😊


Find your inner strength. CLICK BELOW TO FIND OUT HOW WE CAN HELP!

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.

Ashley's Athlete Story: Accomplishing things she never thought possible

Coach Harmony: Hey Ashley! We are so proud of you getting your first pull-up and conquering box jumps during the CrossFit Open 2017 and wanted to ask you a few questions about your athlete story!

Ashley: Awe!! Those were SO huge for me!!

H:  So my first question is, what originally brought you in to CrossFit Ampersand?

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A: To be honest, I wanted to get back into CrossFit and get back into shape after a lot of ups, downs, and inconsistencies in the gym. My last coach pretty much checked out before he closed and most of the members went to the another CrossFit, but I've known Jeff since elementary school so I leaned towards Ampersand.
I had talked to him a few times before I got myself in gear but just wasn't ready yet. Then, I saw a video CrossFit Ampersand posted on social media that really pushed me. It showed the strength and support between everybody-members with much different physical abilities motivating and encouraging each other.

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H: What was your first impression of CrossFit Ampersand?

A: Everything looked clean and in its place-it wasn't hard to get the hang of everything right away. I only knew one or two people there, but literally everyone I met was welcoming. I never felt 'out of place.' You and Jeff have the passion for this, you encourage proper form and growth. There have been times when I didn't think I could add 10 lbs to my lift and you said 'yep you're strong you've got this' and sure enough I did! You've shown me what my body is really capable of.
Another thing that I love about Ampersand is the electronic systems. In the past we kept notes and workouts in a notebook. At Ampersand we have even more tools to accomplish our goals, continue to improve and motivate each other!

H: Aww! Okay next question: After your first few experiences, why did you choose to stay at CrossFit Ampersand?

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A: EVERYTHING! I can't even describe how incredible I felt after my first day!! I knew I would continue with CFA from my first day forward. I love the WOD's. They're challenging, but I feel like a new person when I'm finished. The adrenaline I guess? It's addicting - I need it - mentally and physically! I find myself mad if I miss a good WOD, haha! Although I have a long way to go, I am down 30lbs. I've seen how far I have come in the last few months with new accomplishments, things that I never thought I would be able to do-or never would have pushed myself to do, like weighted lunges in the open and conquering box jumps after 17.1!  CFA has a great moral. Again, everyone is so supportive, both coaches and members. There's no judgment...I never felt out of place-which is huge with such a variety of members. 

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H: So much love!!! Okay final question! What will you do next? Or what is your next goal?

A: I feel like I have so many! I need to work on my eating habits and I hope to drop another 30 lbs. I need to progress in pull ups. Be able to string together kipping and to do strict too.
I want to conquer toes to bar next, give handstand push-ups a shot since I've never actually tried those. And I'm climbing that rope next time I get the chance, haha, hopefully!!

Want to see what you can accomplish? CLICK BELOW TO FIND OUT HOW WE CAN help you!

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." ;-)

'High Fructose Corn Syrup' is getting a makeover!

'High Fructose Corn Syrup' is getting a makeover!

So what happens when the corporations who mass produce food get clever?

Get this, consumers are actually getting smarter with their food choices and in some ways are filtering what they are purchasing based on what they can find in on the box. There are tons of trends that seem to come up all the time. "All natural"; "Minimally Processed"; "No added preservatives"; and in this case, "All natural." Now, we have to learn the new name of the all to easy to produce, "High Fructose Corn Syrup."

Instead of food companies doing what the consumer wants, they will cut corners and protect their bottom line first, by tricking the consumer into 'thinking' they are getting what they want. Of course there are many companies out there that have integrity in their products but in the mainstream products, we seem to need to shy away more and more altogether.

So when they get creative, we need to get wiser!

Companies are now masking the ingredients we are always trying to avoid. There was a time when there was hardly any sugar in anything. But now, it's nearly impossible to purchase products that are lacking. I'm not talking about sugar in natural things like fruits and veggies, no no, the all to popular, high fructose corn syrup.

"The product is General Mills’ Vanilla Chex, an updated version of the Chex cereal sold in most conventional grocery and discount stores for many years. The front of the box clearly states that the product contains “no high fructose corn syrup” (HFCS), but turn it over to read the ingredient list and there it is – the new isolated fructose."

So whats the big deal?

'The Corn Refiners Association is now labeling high fructose corn syrup as fructose. Packing on products such as General Mills Vanilla Chex cereal now states the product contains no high fructose corn syrup, while the ingredients list contains the simple word, "fructose." This fructose is actually a manufactured sugar called HFCS-90, and is made up of 90% pure fructose. High fructose corn syrup, or HFCS, contains 42% or 55 percent fructose. Health issues relating to free fructose include diabetes, leaky gut syndrome, and liver failure.'

Well, according to the CRA:

 “A third product, HFCS-90, is sometimes used in natural and ‘light’ foods, where very little is needed to provide sweetness. Syrups with 90% fructose will not state high fructose corn syrup on the label [anymore], they will state ‘fructose’ or ‘fructose syrup’.”

“Simply eliminating the high fructose corn syrup designation for the laboratory sweetener that’s nine-tenths fructose and calling it what it really is: fructose. And that’s how a processed-food product like Vanilla Chex that contains “fructose”, a substance that, according to the corn refiners, used to be called HFCS-90, can now declare itself to be high fructose corn syrup-free.”

So, while looking for HFCS on the back of your foods ingredients, you will now see it as just "fructose." Don't be fooled by their sorry attempts to get you comfortable. We have very little regulations in this country on our food companies to begin with. It's up to you to know and make good choices.

So what do we do?

I would suggest that you buy organic as much as possible and stay away from foods that ecould possibly have added artificial sugar in them. Buy local at farmers markets and actually prepare your own food. Stay away from anything that is in a box that you know is NOT good to put in your body. Especially while you are training. Sure if you want to occasionally have a doughnut or some cookies, GO FOR IT! But if you are taking in those kinds of processed foods on a regular basis, you will not only see your fitness deteriorate in the gym, but your health as well outside of the gym... Not to mention not losing the weight or putting on muscle. Also, you have heard me say before,  if it is not good enough to put in your body, its not good enough to put in your families bodies either!

"The CrossFit Way"

We believe that nutrition is the cornerstone of health and fitness, and that achieving your fullathletic potential is impossible without tuning up your diet.

The CrossFit rule of thumb is: eat real food.  Base your diet on vegetables, especially greens, lean meats, nuts and seeds, little starch, and no sugar.  If it has ingredients you don’t recognize, don’t eat it.  If you can’t imagine its path from a farm to your plate, don’t eat it.  If that path must have included some sort of factory, don’t eat it. Pretty simple, yeah?

Some say well it's too expensive... Look I get it. It's not cheap, so do your best! Changing your lifestyle won't happen over night, but one step at a time. But you have to be taking those steps to get anywhere.

Don't hesitate to contact us if you are struggling in this area and would like us to assist you!

- Jeff

Source: 'www.hlfteam.com'

 

 

02.04.16

What better way to kick off our new website, than with our promo video. We hope you enjoy, and please share with your friends!

Minden, Gardnerville's Premier CrossFit Facility, CrossFit Ampersand specializes in providing the best group fitness around. We offer group fitness classes that encompasses the CrossFit methodology of constantly varied functional movements. CrossFit is the most effective fitness workout, proven to show the best results of any fitness program, whether you're looking for weight loss or strength gains.