Haley Mitchell


Have you met Haley Mitchell?

  • How long have you been a member of Nela Athletics?
5 months
  • What’s your favorite CrossFit/Ignite achievement?
Making friends and one single pistol
  • What are three benefits that you have experienced through working out?

Endorphins, muscles, community

  • How has your life changed from when you first started to now.
I didn’t think I’d find anything that brought me similar feelings of community and competition after I retired from competitive swimming, but after a brief 6 year break from working out I found CrossFit and it has given me goals, accountability, community, coaching, and all the things I missed from swimming 🙂
  • Have you had any physical changes that you noticed? 
Improved body composition, less body fat, more muscle
  • What is your favorite part of the NELA Athletics experience?
The people, duh
  • What are some hobbies or activities you are into besides CrossFit
Watching TV, playing intramurel ultimate frisbee, basketball, softball, volleyball or pretty much any sport. Pretending that I like hiking with my girlfriend.
  • The zombie apocalypse is coming, who are three people you want on your team?
Charley, Wes, and Lauren. I don’t think we’d be particularly successful but we’d have a good time until the end comes.
  • If you could be in any movie, what would it be and what character would you play?

I would love to star in a future biographical movie about Megan Rapinoe.

Work, Play, Compete, or Live Forever


If you are thinking about trying out a new training routine it’s important for you to consider your goals versus the goals of the program.

Most folks who participate in CrossFit and other HIIT styles of training may not know or understand the different styles of training available and who they might be best for. Some gyms offer a wide variety of classes to address the different needs of their members while others pride themselves on a particular specialty.

 

Put some thought into which camp you fall into when selecting a training program and you’ll be most likely to maximize your results and achieve your goals. Most folks fall into one of 4 camps.

1.Work
2.Play
3.Compete
4.Live Forever

Work
Let’s start with folks who train for work. They may have physically demanding jobs that require their bodies to perform for the execution of the job or to keep them safe. Law enforcement, firefighters and rescue personnel, and members of the armed forces all need to be in shape to keep them safe and performing at a high level. Other folks may have physically demanding jobs that require them to have strength and endurance for. Maintaining a high level of fitness let’s construction workers, landscapers, loggers, and other active professionals do better at work.

If you fall into this category it is important you find a training routine that supports your job performance. Workouts should be varied and keep you balanced. It’s also important that the workouts address the demands you will face on the job to help prevent injuries. Beware training programs that overwork you and leave sore or unable to perform your daily duties.

Play
If you fall into this category you know the importance of getting daily exercise, but you want it to be as fun as possible. Training should be engaging and allow you to connect with others who have the same goals as you do. You may lose interest doing the same routine over and over again so it’s important that you find a training program that mixes things up and keeps you engaged.

Compete
You train to make you better at a particular sport. Whether your sport is running, biking, skiing, soccer, or even CrossFit your training routine should be specific to the activity you are trying to excel in. Workouts need to consistently train the movements patterns you will experience in your sport to improve performance and reduce injury risk.
A great coach will know the volume of training needed to help you improve and how to plan out a training schedule for preseason, in-season, and off-season training cycles. Make sure you are training for the demands of the sport and not just following a powerlifting or bodybuilding program that doesn’t line up with your goals.

Live Forever
You train because you know it’s important for health and wellness. You’re not looking to compete but to enjoy your life and your family. You may not have a physically demanding job so you need a balance of cardiovascular and resistance training to keep you feeling good and moving well. You may also be looking for nutrition advice and other best practices to ensure you have a long and high functioning life.

If you fall into this category make sure you are training with the minimum effective dose in mind. You should leave most training sessions better than you went in.

Want to get started training, but still not sure how? Talk to one of our coaches about which of our programs might be best for you and we can answer all of your questions!

Just Not Your Type


Ever feel like all the hard work you’re putting in isn’t paying off? Maybe you are sticking to a diet that one of your friends swears by and you haven’t lost a pound. What gives?!

You may be struggling to achieve results if the plan you’re on doesn’t best line up with what your body actually needs. Knowing your body type could help you bring your nutrition game to the next level. There are three different body types known as somatotype.

The 3 somatotypes are ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph. They are each characterized based on body shape and composition. I bet you will be able to quickly identify which somatotype you must align with.

Ectomorphs are generally leaner and long limbed folks. If you are an ectomorph you may have a more slender build and find it difficult to put on muscle or gain weight at all. Many ectomorphs find themselves drawn to endurance activities like running due to their bodies natural proclivity to endurance events.

Mesomorphs are naturally muscular folks. They tend to have broader shoulders and gain muscle easily when training without putting on fat. Mesomorphs may be the classic build you picture of a gymnast or football player.

Endomorphs tend to have a larger build and may put on muscle, but also body fat easily. Classically “big boned,” these folks may remind you of a powerlifter, strong man competitor, or football lineman.

Knowing which type you are can be useful when it comes to your eating choices and may help you identify which exercises you may perform best at. Your body type helps give insights to how your genetics and body may react to certain foods. For example, are you insulin resistant or sensitive and how can you determine this?

If you are an ectomorph you may thrive off of a higher carbohydrate diet even consuming over 50% of your calories as carbs. Endomorphs who tend to store fat will do better on a lower carb diet and would do better to consume a higher protein and moderate fat diet. Mesomorphs fall into the middle and can do well with a balanced diet like a zone diet that is 40% carbs, 30% fat, and 30% protein. As you perform more strength training you may find that you are able to better tolerate carbs in your diet, because your insulin sensitivity improves.

Body types aren’t all about looks. You can also use this approach to eat in ways that support activities where certain body types thrive. For example, if you’re an ectomorph body type, you’ll thrive doing endurance activities more than heavy weightlifting. That doesn’t mean you should limit yourself though. Most of us are not purely one somatotype and you can always train in the direction that align with your goals. Just because you aren’t naturally inclined to a certain activity or style of heating doesn’t mean you can’t achieve your goals.

Body types are not a one size fits all approach, but can be a good place to start if you’re struggling with fat loss, muscle gain, or even fatigue. Knowledge is power and hopefully you can use this to improve your decision making around your training and diet. If you have questions just let us know!

Sinead Murphy


Have You Met Sinead?

  • How long have you been a member of Nela Athletics?

I’ve been a member for 7 years now.

  • What’s your favorite CrossFit/Ignite achievement?

Double Unders – they took me so long to get and then one day it just clicked. Now I love them 🙂

  • How do you think you have benefited most from Nela Athletics?

The community has been very important for us. We moved from San Francisco and did not know many people in Los Angeles and suddenly we were part of a great community of people. The exercise stuff too.

  • How has your life changed from when your first started to now. Can be physically, mentally, emotionally.

I have a much stronger upper body. Our eating has changed significantly which has made the biggest difference to our lives in every way.

  • What are your hobbies or activities you do enjoy outside of CrossFit?

We buy and sell antiques so spend a lot of time at auctions and flea markets. I like to play guitar, cook and watch British TV shows.

  • What is one thing people don’t know about you?

I open beer bottles with my teeth.

  • If you could pick three famous people to be a part of your entourage, who would you pick?

Peter Kay, James Corden & Andrew Scott.

Where does alcohol fit into your training?


Since about 7000 B.C., alcohol has been a staple for gatherings in many cultures. You may have heard that wine can actually be a healthy beverage for your heart, or that a hot toddy when you’re sick makes you get better quickly. Are these claims true? Like most answers: yes and no. It depends on a myriad of things like your genetics and the way your body processes alcohol, additives and the quality of the booze you’re consuming.

 

So where does this fit into your life? If you’ve ever wondered if you should avoid it all together, or can have a glass or two of your favorite red or microbrew, this article is for you.

Let’s talk about the science of alcohol. What’s in it that gives us that fuzzy feeling? The answer: ethanol. This substance absorbs into our bloodstream and causes a “depressing effect” on the systems in our bodies.Our reaction times slows, stress and anxiety are reduced, and the body altogether slows down.

Weightlifting and exercise in general generate metabolic waste for the body to process. The liver is instrumental in clearing these waste byproducts from the body. If you are working hard in your training you may be putting a hefty load of work on your liver. Make sure that if you are exercising and enjoy a few drinks you are getting ample rest and recovery to keep your body in balance.

There is also the additional calories to consider when it comes to alcohol. If you are trying to lose fat then there is most likely no room in your diet for excess calories. You want your primary calories to come from lean protein, fibrous vegetables, and heart healthy fats. Replacing some of those calories with alcohol put you at risk for nutrient deficiencies. Not only that, but after a few drinks you may become tempted to reach for foods that don’t support your body compositional goals.

Consuming alcohol doesn’t make you unhealthy or a bad person. Just like anything else you consume, it should have can have a place if you are responsible and keep it in balance with your health and wellness goals.

The Best Exercise You’re probably Not Doing for Your Elbow Health


Still have that nagging elbow pain that won’t go away? It can prevent you from even picking up your coffee cup if it is really aggravated and will keep you out of the gym for days at a time.

This type of pain often occurs as inflammation due to overuse of the forearm muscles. THe symptoms of “tennis elbow” or “lateral epicondylitis” can be mitigated with ice or NSAIDs, but your goal should not be to deal with the symptoms.

Prevention is always the best measure and there are exercises you can do that will act as a rehab and prehab. Here is the best exercises you’re probably not doing for your elbow health. Adding this exercise in to finish your workout is a great way to combat elbow pain and prevent it from coming back! Enter the Zottman curl.

The Zottman Curl:

The Zottman curl is one of the best and most efficient exercises that you should be doing if you care about performance in grip heavy workouts with rope climbs, kettlebell swings, and deadlifts. This is also a great movement to prevent elbow pain from occurring.

You won’t need much weight to start ( especially if you’re rehabbing an injury). These curls are extremely hubbling and are very challenging on the biceps and extensor muscles in your forearms if performed correctly.

How to Zottman Curl

Start with a pair of dumbbells and a supinated grip. Perform a bicep curl and pause in the top position or :01-:02 with your biceps fully contracted. Slowly rotate your hands into a pronated (palms down) position before lowering the weight. In the bottom position rotate your palms back to a supinated position before performing your next rep.

Pro tip:
Performing these from a tall kneeling position on both knees will help you activate your core and glutes simultaneously and prevent you from cheating on the curl.

Perform 3-5 sets of 8-12 reps of this exercise with a light to moderate load. You should be able to perform these curls at the beginning or end of your workout 2-3 days each week. Give the Zottman Curl a try and bulletproof those elbows today!

 

Choose an Environment that Supports You


The environment you place yourself in is arguably the most important decision you can make at any given moment. The actions the environment supports will shape your life and the decisions that you make. Sounds like a big statement but let’s think about it for a minute. Compare a few different potential options of environments you could spend your day in.

 

On one hand, you could spend your day throwing around heavy weights and being bold, focused and confident in an activity like weightlifting or CrossFit. Think about how you feel after lifting a barbell, or doing pull-ups. How do you feel? Maybe strong, determined, more powerful?

Now let’s consider another way your day’s activity could go. You go to a yoga class where you focus on your breath. Stillness and peace is a common feeling people get. You’re stretching, creating space. Think about how different that feels from the weightlifting you would do at the gym. The feelings you experience from doing yoga may be uplifting, and open. The gestures your and stretches you take your body through in a slowed down type of activity like yoga impacts the way your brain perceives your life.

Let’s analyze a third option. You go to an old friend’s house. You end up sitting on the couch having a few drinks and snacking. You watch a mindless TV show while your friends complains about work and how unhappy they are at their job.

Which experience do you think will make you grow? Which environment will contribute to the person you want to be?

Ding. Ding. Ding. It’s an easy choice right?!

“Surround yourself with people who remind you more of your future than your past.”
-Dan Sullivan

Put simply, you become what you do. Your body communicates who you are to your brain. If you spend your time doing hard work and lifting heavy weights, you start to think how strong you are and how you can do hard things. This will translate into your life. You become the type of person who is strong and can do hard things. In a place like yoga, or maybe running outside, you may experience those feelings of freedom, space and peace. You become a person who experiences these things.

It’s incredible how much how body influences how we think. Activity is so important to everyday life. The next time you’re working out, whatever activity it is that you choose, notice the messages your body sends your mind. Feeling weak in your life, like you can’t do anything right? Get under a barbell and do some hard shit. Feeling like you need more space in your life? Try some yoga or running. With your body as a tool you can create the environment you most need in your life.

Sean Moran


Have You Met Sean?

 

  • How long have you been a member of Nela Athletics?
It’ll be four years in February
  • What’s your favorite CrossFit/Ignite achievement?
4 years in and I’ve yet to throw up after a workout
  • What are three benefits that you have experienced through working out?

A bit more fitness, clarity, and the ability to fly.

  • How has your life changed from when you first started to now.
Went from someone who fell off a treadmill in college to someone who genuinely enjoys fitness and understands how it impacts all parts of my life
  • Have you had any physical changes that you noticed? 
Nothing that I’ve noticed or kept track of, but someone told me I look like I “filled out”.
  • What is your favorite part of the NELA Athletics experience?
Give me outlet to take a break from the world and also the Coors Light I had after 16.5
  • What are some hobbies or activities you are into besides CrossFit
Making noises with my guitar, playing video games, hassling my dog.
  • The zombie apocalypse is coming, who are three people you want on your team?
Les Stroud, Wolverine, and Baby Yoda
  • If you could be in any movie, what would it be and what character would you play?

Matt Hooper in Jaws

A NELA Valentines Day 💘


February is usually the month to show your significant other how much you love them! We doing things a little different here at NELA Athletics.

Starting February 1st, there will be hearts laying around the gym where anyone can write what they love about the gym/community/coaches/etc. We will collect all the hearts and post them all around the gym for our NELA Merge Party on February 15th here at NELA Athletics from 2:00pm-6:00pm.

If you guy’s have anyone special or just a group of friends that you want to workout with, February 14th will be bring a “boo”day❤️. All day on Valentines Day bring a lover, a friend, family member and come get a workout in!

Paul Manabo


Have You Met Paul?

  • How long have you been a member of Nela Athletics?

Since October 2018

  • What’s your favorite CrossFit/Ignite achievement?

Getting Prs on lifts and having my cardio and endurance increased.

  • What are three benefits that you have experienced through working out?

Overall health has improved, My energy level playing with my kids has also increased, mentally and physically been stronger in and out of the gym.

  • How has your life changed from when your first started to now. Can be physically, mentally, emotionally.

I feel my life has changed for the better from working out from when I first started to now. I use this time and my me time to be able to clear my head for the upcoming business day as well as a way to workout any stress, anxiousness or frustration life brings.

  • Have you had any physical changes that you noticed?

I’ve noticed muscle mass thanks to the classes and my once a week privates with Jahi.

  • What is your favorite part of the NELA Athletics experience?

Being able to workout with great people day in and day out. I’ve met many great people in the community from my NELA experience that I consider good friends. It’s inspiring to be able to workout with such great people whom I’ve never imagined I would be friends with and push and inspire each other to workout as hard as we can every day.

  • What are some hobbies or activities you are into besides CrossFit

I love spending time with my kids and wife and just enjoying being together outdoors, I enjoy traveling as well as going to as many Laker games as I can.

  • The zombie apocalypse is coming, who are three people you want on your team?

Chuck Norris, Ramboand The Terminator

  • If you could be in any movie, what would it be and what character would you play?

Fight Club and I’d wanna play Tyler Durden