Why This Is Your Most Important CrossFit Open Ever


This is it. The big one. And you probably already had it written off. Over the past few weeks you’ve probably heard a few phrases thrown around that resemble something like:

“CrossFit has made too many changes over the years.”

“I wish it was the way it used to be when I had a shot at regionals.”

“Two Open’s in one year, that’s terrible for programming?”

And I have to stop and ask you…”Where’s your spirit man!?”

I just took a look at the CrossFit Open page from 2011 and you know what I saw? Absolute badasses. Lifting in their makeshift garage gyms with whiteboard walls from the Home Depot wearing Reebok Zigtech (remember those?)

I don’t know if we’ve been spoiled too long with the glorified baby food in pouches and lululemon sweats, but somewhere along the way we’ve lost touch with our CrossFit roots. We’ve gotten soft and comfortable. 

That’s why this is your most important CrossFit Open ever. 

You have been in the game for a long time now. You remember the good ole days of box jumps in the park and pullups on the jungle gym. Shredding your hands every year during Murph, because those blisters were a badge of honor. And fighting for every last rep during the open when you had never done a muscle up, but dammit today was going to be the day!

Then the sport grew. The athletes grew. The standards were raised. The sport became mainstream. All of a sudden there was gear, and brands, and sponsors that separated the pro’s from the rest of us. 

And in the midst of it all you let the passion slip. You stopped putting in the extra work. You show up and try hard, but most of the time you don’t feel like going to that dark place where your muscles ache and burn and your eyes sting with sweat. That place that made you fall in love with CrossFit from the start. You say it’s changed, but it hasn’t. 

CrossFit has been there all along.

New members join the gym every day. You see them experience it. You can’t help but smirk when coach mentions burpees and thrusters in the workout and you know the new guy is in for a rude awakening. You can’t wait to cheer them on as they push out the last rep. With a face contorted between relief and anguish as they collapse on the floor.

That’s why this is your most important CrossFit Open ever. 

Because there’s a piece deep inside of you that still burns to be pushed. That you must go through the fire and flame and see if you can come out the other side. That you need to find new purpose in that 7 minute AMRAP, because you know that the biggest enemy you will ever have to face is between your ears. And every time you overcome that little voice telling you to quit something inside of you changes and you feel a pride that can’t be faked. 

That’s why this is your most important CrossFit Open ever. 

Because of the friends you’ve made in the gym that have changed your life. From the inspiration you’ve gotten from every member who has lost the weight, or quit the job, or said “Never again” to that habit. 

For the community. For your family. And for you. 

Make it happen.

Jeremy Arca


Have you met Jeremy?

 

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

Since July 2012 (nearly 7 years)

  • What’s your favorite CrossFit/Ignite achievement?

Getting first ring muscle up, PRs on lifts, and being able and wanting to consistently work out

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

I’m in better shape and meeting a lot of great friends!

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

Cooking, gardening, woodworking, craft beer, programming, cycling, and running.

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

If I told you, people would know.

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

Idris Elba , Anthony Bourdain, Elon Musk

23. Old Justin Was Kinda Fitty


Last month we did Paul, but this time the interviewer has become the interviewee. It’s Justin’s turn in the hot seat, and he pulls no punches in talking about the sad, self-loathing nerd he used to be, and the bizarre path that led him to fitness and, to some extent, emotional health.

Check out this episode!

Thania Avelar


Have You Met Thania?

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

I have been a member of NELA Athletics since October of 2015.

  • What’s your favorite CrossFit/Ignite achievement?

One of my biggest achievements in CrossFit would be to conquer some of the weightlifting movements. They are still difficult for me but I try my best to push through them.

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

Nela Athletics has benefited me in more ways than one, it has taught me patience to achieve goals and at the same time giving me a sense of an extended family within my community.

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

My life has changed drastically from the beginning to where I am today. I am much stronger than where I was and I continue to achieve most of my physical goals. As for, mentally and emotionally it has taught me how to be self-disciplined. It has kept me focused and stress free.

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

My favorite activities besides CrossFit is reading. I love to read suspenseful fiction books that usually involve a mystery of some sort.

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

One thing people do not know is that although I focus my topic of conversation about plants. I am actually considered a Soil Scientist, that was my main focus in college.

  • If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, which song would you pick?

La Llamada by Selena Quintanillla

Elle Tolentino


Have you met Elle

 

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

I’ve been a member since 2012 and still super stoked on that choice.

  • What’s your favorite CrossFit/Ignite achievement?

My favorite achievement so far, is finally getting my first non-assisted pull-ups after 6+ years of CrossFit.

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

By coming to workouts I’ve acquired a change in mindset and capability. I think of whatever I’m tasked with as a chipper WOD. I just gotta work my way through the uncomfortable bits and I’ll feel a great sense of achievement afterwards.

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

I LOVE food. If there’s activities involving food, sign me UP. New foods, comforting foods, weirdly shaped foods, I want it all! I also love to travel. I have a whole bucket list of places to go once I’m done with nursing school.

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

I may seem super outgoing but I’m terribly shy. I fumble with words when I’m nervous.

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

Awkwafina for the laughs, Chris Evans for the eye candy, and Beyonce for her badassery. But let’s be honest Beyonce would never be part of someone’s entourage, she’ll just bless you with her presence.

CrossFit Open FAQ


  • What is the Open?

The Open is comprised of five workouts over five weeks. The workouts will be released every Thursday evening during the five weeks of the Open. You can watch the live announcement of the workout. It will be streamed on the CrossFit Games website.

The Open at  NELA Athletics is turned into a five week in house competition. There will be 3 levels:
Level 1 – Novice/Ignite
Level 2 – Intermediate
Level 3 – Rx

  • How do I sign up?

Click Me 🙋‍♂️🙋‍♀️

  • Can Ignite participate?

Yes! This year igniters can participate! The CrossFit Open workouts will be modified to fit Ignite standards. Ignite will be a shared division with Novice.

  • What if I can not make it to the 7:00pm Friday Night Lights?

You can come to your regular scheduled class during the day to complete the workout. You have until the following Monday to turn your score in so if you miss class you can come in on your own time to do it as long as you have a judge. Preferably a Coach.

  • What if I’m traveling?

If you are going to be out of town, contact the nearest CrossFit box and find out whether they are doing the Open WOD.  You can then check in with them about dropping in to a class to complete it. Be mindful that you may have to pay a drop in fee. Also if you are participating in the intermediate, novice or level 2 division, the scaling might be different at other boxes. Our scaling options will be available on zen planer if you are out of town.

  • What happens if I do not turn in my score?

If you miss a workout or you do not make it up in time, you will receive a 0 for that workout and it will affect your overall score

Omar Serrano


Have You Met Omar

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

I have been a member of NELA athletics for 3 and a half years.

  • What’s your favorite CrossFit/Ignite achievement?

I joked with a coach when I first started that I’d throw a party when I got my first kipping pullup, so I’d have to go with my first unassisted kipping pullup.

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

I have definitely benefitted from NELA athletics the most by becoming a part of the community.

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

Joining NELA pushed me out of my comfort zone. Where in the past I would’ve been the type of person that popped in earbuds and worked out alone. I now have become more comfortable being with my group of friends.

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

I love doing things with music. I enjoy concerts, though I don’t go to as many as I used to, and I dj from time to time for fun.

  • What is one thing people don’t know about you?
I was a lead singer in a hip hop/metal band for about 5 years. A friend of mine asked me if I’d fill in as singer in a high school talent show in 11th grade, for some crazy reason I said yes though I’d never done anything like that in my life! We went on to play many local spots and even recorded a few tracks, this was way before SoundCloud lol.
  • If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, which song would you pick?

Impossible! I have different songs based on mood, or what emotions I’m trying to bring about or create.

Don’t Get Spoiled By Fresh Vegetables


Most people tend to rationalize their way through their nutritional decisions without much hard science (let’s face it usually no science) to back it up. When it comes to fruit and vegetable intake this is no exception. Many folks skip out on canned or frozen veggies counting them out as “nutritionally void”.

 

It turns out that may not be the case though. Foods that are frozen or canned may not be as pretty as the heirloom veggies you pick up at the farmers market, but don’t get it twisted. 

Research has shown these foods can actually contain higher levels of certain vitamins and minerals compared to their fresh cousins. Frozen veggies can be flash frozen and preserved the same day they are harvested. Fresh veggies on the other hand lose some of their nutritional value as soon as they are picked and experience a steady decline in vitamin and mineral content day after day. This isn’t a big deal if you buy local produce but if you rely on fruits and veggies from across the country then you might be missing out. 

Fat soluble vitamins like A, D, and E are less prone to oxidation when they are frozen or canned. This processing prevents the main oxidation factors of heat, light, and oxygen exposure.

Other areas to consider when it comes to fresh, frozen, or canned is that of cost and food waste. If you find yourself constantly buying fresh veggies and finding them spoiled in the back of your fridge then 1) you are not eating the vegetables and 2) you are wasting your money on them. Frozen and canned veggies will maintain their quality and are clearly set up for a longer shelf life than fresh produce. 

Don’t be afraid to change up your nutritional strategies. If your goal is to save money and eat more healthy food then it’s worth a shot!

 

5 Health Metrics That Are More Important Than Weight


For some strange reason American’s have chosen the scale as their favorite way to track progress around their health. People derive their sense of self worth based on the number facing up at them from between their feet. If you’re someone who draws any sort of emotional reaction, positive or negative, from the scale then you may want to self reflect and consider if there are better options out there. 

 

 

The funny part is that weight is such an inconsequential and ambiguous predictor of substance. Just consider this. If you have three avocados-one freshly picked and hard as a rock, one brown soft and ooze, and one firm ripe and tender-which one are you going to slice open to make your guacamole with? It shouldn’t matter if they all weigh 170 grams right…

What you are made of, how you feel, and what you are able to produce are all factors of way greater significance than your weight. 

What you weigh is going to constantly fluctuate. You may lose weight and be less healthy. You may be well hydrated one day and performing well then get totally thrown off because your weight went up a pound or two. This number doesn’t say who you are as a person or how healthy and fit you may be. It’s just an arbitrary number. Stop letting the pounds run your life and change the way you feel about yourself. Instead try one of these alternative ways that measure success off the scale!

Body Fat Percentage

Body fat percentage is an alternative way to track your progress and provides much more actionable information than just your weight in pounds. This takes into account your lean muscle mass. In this way you can actually gain weight in muscle which would consequently reduce your percentage of body fat. This is a clear example of how gaining weight would make you healthier. Plus as you add more muscle to your frame you will burn more calories at rest. The fat will disappear faster and faster on it’s own!

Measurements

Taking specific measurements is a great way to achieve the goals around the way you want to look. Measuring neck, arm, waist, hips, thigh, and calf circumference can help you transform your body without ever worrying about the scale. Losing two inches off your waist will make you look and feel like a whole new person!

Habit Tracking

One of the best replacements for weighing yourself is to instead track daily health habits. If you track metrics like sleep, hydration, servings of veggies, daily walking, and other relevant habits you can focus on the right behaviors to make you look and feel great in the long run. This takes discipline but it is essential to long lasting transformation.

Performance Metrics

Switching your focus to the weight on the bar is a great alternative to the scale. People will often train harder and longer in pursuit of strength and performance goals than solely for aesthetic purposes. If you push yourself more in training the results will speak for themselves!

 

Paul Digs Up Some FIt


We all know Paul, but do we REALLY know Paul? In this episode we do a deep dive into Paul Austad’s past, his childhood in Minnesota, what brought him to LA, and the experiences that made him who he is. It’s one of the most refreshingly honest conversations we’ve had yet. Also, fill-in cohost Dayvora has another fitness tip for you.

Check out this episode!