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Spring Check-in

Spring is the perfect time to refresh your training goals, eating habits, and embrace more nutritious foods to feel good and look good this Spring and Summer season.

Here are some clean eating tips tailored for you this spring season:

  1. Embrace Seasonal Produce: Take advantage of the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables available in spring. Incorporate colorful options like strawberries, asparagus, spinach, and artichokes into your meals for a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Aim to get your food locally, best option is your neighborhood farmers market!
  2. Focus on Lighter Meals: As the weather warms up, opt for lighter meals that are refreshing and hydrating. Choose salads, smoothie bowls, and grilled vegetables to keep you feeling energized without weighing you down.
  3. Minimize Processed Foods: Aim to reduce your intake of processed and packaged foods, which are often high in added sugars, unhealthy fats, and preservatives. Instead, opt for whole, minimally processed ingredients to nourish your body.
  4. Hydrate with Water-rich Foods: Stay hydrated by consuming water-rich foods like cucumbers, watermelon, and citrus fruits. These foods not only help keep you hydrated but also provide essential vitamins and minerals.
  5. Incorporate Lean Protein: Include lean protein sources such as chicken breast, fish, tofu, and legumes in all of your meals to support muscle repair and growth while keeping you feeling full and satisfied.
  6. Choose Whole Grains: Opt for whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, and barley instead of refined grains. Whole grains provide fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and they can help keep you feeling full and satisfied.
  7. Mindful Eating: You can practice mindful eating by slowing down and paying attention to your food choices and hunger cues. Avoid distractions while eating, such as screens or working while eating, and try to savor each bite to fully appreciate the flavor of your food. Putting these tips into practice will ultimately allow you to enjoy your food while preventing overindulgence leading you to feel satisfied after each meal.
  8. Limit Added Sugars: Be mindful of your sugar intake and try to limit foods and beverages that are high in added sugars. Instead, satisfy your sweet tooth with naturally sweet options like fresh fruit or homemade smoothies.
  9. Include Healthy Fats: Incorporate sources of healthy fats such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil into your meals. Healthy fats are essential for supporting brain health, hormone production, and nutrient absorption.
  10. Meal Prep and Planning: Set yourself up for success by planning and prepping your meals ahead of time. Batch-cook your grains, proteins, and vegetables for easy assembly during the week, ensuring that you have nutritious options readily available.

Aim to get your food locally, best option is your neighborhood farmers market!


As spring emerges and the weather becomes more inviting, it’s a great time to revitalize or enhance your current fitness routine:

  1. Take Your Workouts Outdoors: Enjoy the fresh air and sunshine by moving your workouts outdoors. Try activities like running, hiking, biking, calisthenics, or even outdoor yoga to take advantage of the warming temperatures.
  2. Set Spring-specific Goals: Whether it’s training for a spring/summer-time race, improving your endurance, or learning/mastering a new outdoor sport, set specific fitness goals tailored to the season and get to work.
  3. Stay Hydrated: As the temperature rises, it’s crucial to stay hydrated during outdoor workouts. Carry a water bottle with you and drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after exercise.
  4. Vary Your Routine: Your body gets used to routines quite easily and when it does you get less out of it and miss some of the rewards of exercise. That’s why you should vary your workouts often by incorporating a variety of activities and exercises. Start mixing cardio, strength training, flexibility work, and outdoor sports to challenge your body in different ways.
  5. Join an Outdoor Fitness Class: Many fitness studios and trainers offer outdoor classes during the spring months. Joining a group fitness class or run club in the park can provide motivation, accountability, and a sense of community that will help skyrocket your progress.
  6. Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to how your body feels as you increase your activity level. Be mindful of any aches, pains, or signs of overexertion, and adjust your workouts accordingly to prevent injury. Sometimes resting is better for your overall health than doing more workouts. A good rule of thumb here is every 3 days of moderate to hard activity, you should include one rest or active rest day.
  7. Focus on Your Posture: With the transition to outdoor activities, pay attention to your posture and body alignment, especially if you’re running or biking on uneven terrain. Proper posture leads to better form which can help prevent injuries and improve your performance.
  8. Incorporate Interval Training: Boost your cardiovascular fitness and calorie burn by incorporating interval training into your workouts. Alternate between periods of high-intensity exercise and enough recovery to repeat at a high effort for an effective and time-efficient workout.
  9. Recover Well: Prioritize recovery after your workouts to support muscle repair and prevent burnout. Stretching, foam rolling, adequate sleep, and nutritious post-workout meals can all aid in recovery.
  10. Enjoy the Season: Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the season! Spring offers the perfect opportunity to explore new outdoor activities, connect with nature, and rejuvenate your mind and body through movement.

By incorporating these spring fitness and clean eating tips into your routine, you can nourish your body with wholesome foods to feel and look your best as you transition into the warmer months.

2024 Open Prep Guide

In this article I will cover: What is an Open Prep Guide, what to expect, and how to get started!

Ready to have your best open finish yet?

Elevate this year’s CrossFit Open performance with my 6-Week Open Prep Guide.

What is an Open Prep Guide?

It will primarily encompass skill training leading up to the announcement of Open workout 24.1, and include:

✅ Progressions & skill work for high-probability movements (listed below)

✅ Programming geared towards Open success

✅ Open workout review and retesting

✅ Nutrition & supplementation for performance

✅ Warm-ups, WOD strategy, and best cool-down practices

🔰 Option to continue through the Open

What to Expect:

This program is your key to being best prepared physically and mentally for anything the CrossFit Open throws at you.

In the weeks leading up to the Open, the program will dive deep into movement mastery focusing on the essential Open exercises, fine-tune your techniques with progressive skill training, and enhance your efficiency with possible repeat Open workouts.

Prepare for the Unknown and Unknowable” is the CrossFit Games slogan but there are predictable movements and time domains we can prepare for.

Movements we see the most often in the Open:

1. Thrusters – 13x

2. Double Unders – 13x

3. Toes to Bar- 12x

4. Chest to Bar Pull-ups – 11x

5. Handstand Push-ups – 7x

6. Muscle-ups – 8x

From Double Unders to Handstand Push-ups, this guide will lead you through a personalized training plan, ensuring you’re not just ready for the Open – but ready to crush the tests.

How to get started:

Look for the ebook to drop: Monday, January 22nd on my website and start preparing for your best open finish yet!

🏋️‍♀️ #OpenPrepCourse #TrainwithPatrick

NEW OFFERING: E-Books

*NEW* TWP E-Books!
This article will cover: who are they for, what’s included, and how to get started:

What are E-Books?

E-books are my digital training programs in the form of PDF. Each TWP E-book offered has a different training focus — whether you’re looking to increase strength, develop your endurance/stamina engine, or learn/perfect a skill, E-Books have you covered.

They can range from 4-weeks all the way to 12-weeks long depending on the skill or system in focus. We’ll get into the details of each E-Book coming soon to TWP and which one is right for you!

E-Books: Coming soon!

Each E-Book has its own focus which can either stand alone as your sole training program or be added to your current routine. Typically each training session is written to take anywhere from 30-60 minutes to complete so it can either be used as accessory work following your usual class or training session or as its own training session.

The following E-Books are meant to be stand-alone programs, meaning they are the only program you are following for the duration of the cycle:

  • 2024 Open Prep Guide (6 Weeks)
  • Engine & Endurance Builder (8 Weeks)
  • Strength & Power Program (6 Weeks)
  • Bodybuilding/Hypertrophy Focus (8 Weeks)
  • Olympic Weightlifting Cycle (8, 12, 16 Week options available)

The following E-Books are meant to be performed after your RAMP warm-up OR after your current training plans session, as an accessory WOD:

  • Virtuosity in Gymnastics (Foundations 1, RECOMMENDED FOR ALL)
  • Strict Pre-Requisite Gymnastics (Foundations 2, RECOMMENDED FOR ALL)
  • Handstands to Handstand Walking (6 Weeks)
  • Developing Strict Handstand Push-ups (6 Weeks)
  • Developing Kipping Handstand Push-ups (6 Weeks)
  • Strict & Kipping Toes to Bar (6 Weeks)
  • Kipping Pull-ups to Bar Muscle-up (4 Weeks)
  • Developing Butterfly Pull-ups (4 Weeks)
  • Developing Ring Muscle-ups (4 Weeks)
  • Strength & Mobility for Pistols (4 Weeks)
  • AND MANY MORE TO COME!
Which Program is right for me?

Deciding where to start can be tough. When it comes to the stand-alone programs, it’s best to start with foundations then select 1-2 specific skills to focus on that is right for you.

Need help deciding which program is right for you?
* Do you typically have trouble holding your pace during WODs or fall off during longer workouts?
The Engine Builder might be best for you.

* Do you have a tough time staying consistent with your lifting technique when loads get heavier or do you want to excel at the strength event in your next competition?
The Strength or Olympics Weightlifting Block might be best for you.

* Or are you looking to put on some lean muscle or create a more balanced physique?
The Bodybuilding/Hypertrophy Focus plan might be best for you.

When it comes to my Accessory WOD style E-Books, I always encourage people start with the Foundations (1 & 2) before moving on to more advanced skills. My two Foundation programs are going to ensure you have the requisite strength, body shapes, and mobility to perform the more advanced skills to follow. I also have people routinely fall back on one or both of the foundation programs when a skill has stalled.

Once you’ve advanced through the Foundations then it’s selecting the skill you want to dedicate your accessory work towards for the next 4-6 weeks. All of my 4-6 week E-Books can be repeated multiple times to continue to progress and build more virtuosity with the skill.

What’s included in each E-Book?

Each E-Book is going to start by giving you an overview of the skill or energy system in focus and what to expect.

Every training day for the stand-alone E-Books will include: (1) RAMP warm-up & primer, (2) training block, and (3) a suggested cool down. Again, these E-Books are intended to be the only thing you’re doing/focusing on and therefore should have a full training session.

For the Skill-based style E-Books, they will all include: (1) training and (2) suggested cool down. As these E-Books are intended to be in addition to your current training so you should already be warm by the time you are doing them.

Some E-Books include intro-cycle testing and post-cycle testing for you to experience the results of your hard work. Depending on your training age, the amount of increased performance we can expect may differ. If you are fairly new to training (1-3 years), your increased performance will be greater than someone who is intermediate (3-5 years) and advanced (5-10 years).

Getting Started

You can find all of my available E-Books listed in the Shop on my website. Once purchased you should receive the PDF in your email and it’s ready to go!

Please reach out if you ever have any questions!

EMAIL: patrickfrank.coach@gmail.com or use the Contact Us page.

Also, after finishing an E-Book, please leave a review so others know how awesome they are!

Training vs Competing and avoiding Overtraining

Ask yourself: Are you training or competing everyday?

This is a very important distinction to make in your own programming. Too often I see individuals thinking they are training when in fact they are actually falling into a competition mentality, and quite often without even knowing it. They just think they are training hard and if you’re training hard, more progress will be made. Not necessarily wrong but you need to take the right approach.

Generally speaking the less experienced you are in the sport of fitness, the more time you need to spend in a training plan, and the more experienced you are the more time can be spent in a competition plan without incurring negative consequences.

Don’t get me wrong, experienced athletes are still at risk but if properly trained and progressed to that level you can mitigate a lot of the risk factors and are less likely to experience burnout and overtraining.

Competing too much and too often can open the flood gates to a number of problems, most notably — overtraining.

Overtraining (def): occurs when an athlete ignores the signs of overreaching and continues to train. Many athletes believe that weakness or poor performance signals the need for even harder training, so they continue to push themselves. This only breaks the body down further.

What are the signs of overtraining?

⁃ Decreased Performance

⁃ Elevated resting heart rate

⁃ Extended/prolonged muscle soreness

⁃ Extended/prolonged fatigue

⁃ Persistent or reoccurring injury

⁃ Loss of appetite

⁃ Lack of motivation/dreading training

⁃ And more…

More severe signs/symptoms:

⁃ Persistent or reoccurring illness

⁃ Overuse injuries

⁃ Joint pain

⁃ Weight loss

⁃ Excessive muscle soreness

⁃ And more…

Goolsby, Dr. M. A. (2021, August 16). Overtraining: What it is, symptoms, and recovery. Hospital for Special Surgery.

https://www.hss.edu/article_overtraining.asp

How to avoid overtraining and maximize your training:

With some attention to detail in your training plan, like reading and understanding the intended stimulus and have the wherewithal to regulate/scale one’s own training based on how you feel that day, you can avoid a lot of the negative consequences listed above.

So what’s the difference between a Competition and Training Mentality?

Competition Mentality (def): performing workouts with the sole purpose of obtaining the best score possible while sometimes disregarding the appropriateness of the workout based on your individual fitness level, capacity, and/or .

Examples include: repeatedly completing online qualifier workouts or competing often at in-person competitions, or opting to do the RX version of a workout when the Scaled version would be more appropriate to elicit the intended workout stimulus.

Far too often, I see athletes spend their time in a competition mindset and bounce from one injury, ache, pain, etc. to the next. They shift their programming to allow that injured area to recover and then a new area sprouts up because they don’t adjust their volume or intensity and a new area gets overloaded.

This doesn’t happen to everyone, or come about as quickly as it may seem, but I’ve seen it enough times in my 15+ years coaching CrossFit, College Sports, and the everyday fitness go-er, that it happens more often than you think.

Most, if not all, of these athletes would benefit more from a training mentality approach with appropriate stimulus prescriptions and load/intensity considerations to their programming.

Training Mentality (def): performing workouts with the goal of achieving the desired stimulus and improving a single or few individual weaknesses.

Examples include: Athletes taking the time to read and pacing instructions, intended stimulus, and proactively modify the workout to ensure the stimulus is to be met. Your place on the leaderboard doesn’t necessarily matter.

If you want to continue to see progress and get better in all aspects of fitness (and health), you have to learn how to run your own race and execute your training plan as intended, keeping your fitness level and goals in mind.

Slow progress is good progress. You’ll be able to perform when you want to and spend less time beat up, injured, and/or avoiding training because it’s become too much on the body and the mind.

If you don’t know how or where to start — that’s where TWP can help!

Hiring a qualified coach will help you reach your goals faster. You’ll benefit from individualized programming, detailed information regarding workout intent and desired stimulus, and access to a dedicated coach who can answer any questions you have along the way.

If you’re ready to take that next step and better your training — email me today: patrickfrank.coach@gmail.com and let’s get started!

#letsgetafterit #trainwithpatrick

Goal Setting

HOW TO: Create a road map to anything you want.

Setting goals is like plotting a course for your life you want—it gives you direction, purpose, and a sense of achievement. Below I’ve outlined the benefits of goal setting and why you should use this in your daily practice:

1. **Clarity**: Goals provide clarity about what you want to achieve and why it matters to you. They help you focus your time, energy, and resources on what truly matters.

2. **Motivation**: Goals give you something to strive for, motivating you to push past obstacles and keep going even when the going gets tough.

3. **Progress Tracking**: Setting specific, measurable goals allows you to track your progress over time. Celebrating small wins along the way keeps you motivated and reinforces your commitment.

4. **Sense of Achievement**: Achieving your goals gives you a sense of accomplishment and boosts your confidence. It reinforces the belief that you have the ability to overcome challenges and succeed.

5. **Personal Growth**: Working towards goals pushes you out of your comfort zone and encourages personal growth. It challenges you to develop new skills, broaden your perspective, and become the best version of yourself.

6. **Prioritization**: Setting goals helps you prioritize your actions and focus on what’s most important. It prevents you from getting distracted by less meaningful tasks and keeps you aligned with your long-term vision.

7. **Resilience**: Goal setting teaches resilience—the ability to bounce back from setbacks and keep moving forward. It cultivates a mindset of perseverance and determination, essential traits for success in any endeavor.

Overall, goal setting is a powerful tool for turning dreams into reality and living a fulfilling, purpose-driven life. Whether big or small, short-term or long-term, setting goals empowers you to take control of your journey and pave the way for the future you desire.

Don’t know where to start OR need help setting your goals for this year? Reach out to me and let’s set up a one on one consultation — I will help you set your goals, be available for guidance and support along the way, and offer a clear path on how to achieve them.

Message me today!

The Basics of Counting Macros

Macronutrients, or “macros,” consist of proteins, carbs, and fats. You can think of them as the building blocks of food, and each of them serve a specific function in your body. This is why you’ll often hear the phrase, “Not all calories are created equal.” While each macro is important, eating too much or too little of any one of them can lead to an unoptimized approach to nutrition. In this article we will take a deeper look at each of their specific functions.

Protein

Protein helps support the production and retention of lean muscle mass. It also contains essential amino acids that allow your muscle to fully repair and recover from daily use. as well as intense training sessions. Protein is also the most satiating macro, meaning that a diet that is high in protein helps you feel full and keep hunger at bay. A rough starting point for athletes looking to increase muscle mass is consuming ~1 gram (g) of protein/day per pound of bodyweight.

Carbs

Carbohydrates are your body’s most readily available source of energy. This includes the energy you need for basic functions, like: breathing, digestion, and living your everyday life, but it is especially impactful for fueling your exercise and training. For athletes that compete in endurance sports or higher-volume exercise, carbs work to replenish glycogen stores in your muscles that are depleted throughout the session. This translates into better recovery and higher levels of performance. 

Excessive consumption of carbohydrates, particularly highly-processed, sugar-laden, and calorically dense carbs have been linked to chronic diseases like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Therefore, the majority of one’s carbohydrates should come from whole foods to promote muscle gain and health. A baseline starting point is 1.5-3 grams/day per pound of bodyweight.

Fat

Omega fatty acids such as EPA and DHA help to support cardiovascular health, joint health, and also aid in digestion. Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K require sufficient dietary fat in order to be properly absorbed and utilized by the body. Fats also help to keep your hair and nails strong and promote skin health!

By tracking macros, you are ensuring you’re getting enough of each macro and optimizing your nutrition to support your goals – whether that’s losing body fat, gaining strength and muscle mass, or improving performance in a chosen sport.

While on the surface it might appear as if eating within the framework of a macro prescription would be restrictive, it’s actually quite the opposite. Nothing is “off limits” with a flexible dieting approach and by finding a balance between what you enjoy and what your body needs, you can achieve nutritional freedom while still working towards your goals. Fat consumption for the goal of improving your overall health should range anywhere from 20-30% of total caloric intake.

Follow these simple steps to get started:

Set your macros

You have two options here. If you want to give the “heavy lifting” to us, simply sign up for 1-on-1 coaching and you will receive an expert Coach to assign the perfect macro set-up based on your goals.

If you’d prefer to try it on your own, you can use the other resources found in my blog to get started today!

Buy a digital scale

The more accurate you can be about measuring the foods going into your body, the better and more consistent your results will be. It might seem like a lot of extra work, but in actuality, you’re adding an easy step to actions you’re already taking! Simply weigh and record your portions before cooking and you’re all set.

Track your intake with a food-tracking app

Our go-to tracker is MyFitnessPal. Built from the ground up with macro tracking in mind, this FREE app includes a comprehensive food database, easy-to-use interface, food barcode scanner, precise target setting, and much more. They do have paid additions but you do not need to pay for a thing to get started and stay on track.

Head to the grocery store

Environment and preparation play an important and crucial role in success with this approach to nutrition. By filling your fridge and pantry with whole, minimally processed foods, you are ensuring you have the tools you need on hand in order to reach your macro targets. Not sure which foods to buy for each macro? No worries, you can reference my handy “Macro Shopping Guide” infographic below.

Pro Tips for Beginners

  • Include a protein, carb, and fat source in every meal. There’s nothing worse than reaching the end of the day and finding you’re short in one (or multiple!) macro groups. By making sure you’re getting a bit of each at every meal, you’re setting yourself up for success and avoiding an awkward hassle at the end of the day.
  • Pre-log your meals ahead of time. Better yet, do a bit of meal prep. The further in advance you have your intake planned, the easier it will be to hit your macro targets. Reactionary food choices usually are the enemy and make dialing in your numbers much, much more difficult.
  • Brush up on your understanding of nutrition labels. All of the info you need is there for the taking, but to the inexperienced, it can be a bit overwhelming.
  • Focus on whole, high-volume, unprocessed foods. While it’s true that most things can fit within the framework of your macros, by allocating the majority of your macro share to “the good stuff”, you will feel your best and be providing your body with valuable micronutrients.

Maintain a sustainable approach to nutrition

By learning the ins and outs of the flexible dieting approach and tracking macros, you’re building the habits and skill sets that will last you a lifetime. Whether you tackle it on your own or sign up with a 1-on-1 expert coach with TWP, we encourage you to try it out and give it a whole-hearted effort. You might be just surprised at what you’re able to achieve!

RAMP up your Warm-ups

HOW TO STRUCTURE YOUR WARM-UPS TO IMPROVE PERFORMANCE

The goal of a warm-up is to mentally and physically prepare yourself for exercise or competition. A well designed warm-up will have a positive effect on your performance. View your warm-up as “performance preparation,” helping you perform maximally in the workout or competition to follow. In this article I will outline the proper steps your next warm-up should follow to best prepare for the task at hand.

HOW TO PERFORM A PROPER WARM-UP

Time spent warming up depends on the demands of the training or competition to follow so in certain phases the exercises selected need to be strategically planned.

While we want warm-ups to be short, our warm-ups offer a lot of time to develop skills, progressions, and better prepare for the task at hand. It is important to structure warm ups effectively in order to maximize the return on the time invested. That is what the RAMP protocol is for!

The “RAMP” protocol was developed by Dr. Ian Jeffreys and has helped to advance current performance preparation practices in all sports/activities. “RAMP” can be broken down into the following sequence:

  1. Raise
  2. Activate
  3. Mobilize
  4. Potentiate/Performance
PHASE 1 – RAISE

The aim of the “Raise” phase is to:

  • Increase Body temperature
  • Increase Heart rate
  • Increase Respiration rate
  • Increase Blood flow
  • and increase Joint viscosity

It is still common practice to run a few laps around the field or do some burpees as part of your warm-up, however, this can be a waste of valuable training time and can increase your risk of injury. This time warming up would be better spent performing relevant movement skills, progressions, and/or broken down sports specific skills.

PHASE 2 & 3 – ACTIVATE & MOBILIZE

The principles/aims of this phase of the warm-up is two-fold:

  • Activate & engage key muscle groups
  • Mobilize key joints involved in training/competition

It is wise to include activation elements depending on your personal needs that day and the task at hand. Key muscle groups should be targeted for stimulation during this phase using specific prehab style exercises. It’s always best to shy away from a traditional static stretching and move more towards a more dynamic mobility approach. 

PHASE 3 – POTENTIATE

The aim of this phase is to finally “prime” the body for its upcoming session or competition.

This phase serves two primary objectives:

  • Increase Intensity to a level close to what you’re about to compete in.
  • Improve performance by utilizing the effects of post-activation potentiation

This phase contains more sport/activity-specific activities (ex. high intensity drilling or full ROM skill work) that gradually increases in intensity. For example, if an athlete was priming for a sprint session, the potentiation phase of their warm up may include some plyometrics, sprint drills, and appropriate movements of increasing intensity. 

CONCLUSION

The “RAMP” approach provides a framework for the construction of an effective warm-up. The aim of your warm-up is to prepare yourself for performance without the development of undue fatigue.

REFERENCES
  1. Hoffman J Physiological Aspects of Sports Performance and Training. Champaign Ill: Human Kinetics 2002
  2. McArdle WD, Katch Fi and Katch VL. Exercise Physiology: Energy, Nutrition and Human Performance (Fifth Ed) Baltimore: Lippincott Williams ansd Wilkins 2001.
  3. Enoka, RM. Neuromechanics of Human Movement. Champaign Ill: Human Kinetics 2002.
  4. Jeffreys, Ian. (2007). Jeffreys I (2007) Warm-up revisited: The ramp method of optimizing warm-ups. Professional Strength and Conditioning. (6) 12-18. Professional Strength and Conditioning. 12-18.