Workout of the Day
Four sets of:
Back Squat x 2-4 reps
Rest 90 seconds
Trap 3 Raises x 8-10 reps @ 2111
Rest 90 seconds;
and then,
“The Chief”
Max rounds in three minutes of:
135/95 lb. Power Cleans x 3
Push-Ups x 6
Air Squats x 9
Rest one minute. Repeat for a total of five cycles – picking up each cycle where you left off when the last ended.
Jump Rope Clinic at Invictus Fitness
Thank you to Sara Lightall for another GREAT jump rope clinic at Invictus!

Training for Fat Loss
Written by Calvin Sun

I’ve spent the better part of a decade earning a living by training clients and working with athletes. In that time, the biggest misconceptions that I have seen over and over have been related to training for fat loss. I hate to generalize, but most women (and some men) believe that they should avoid all weight training and only perform “cardio” and abdominal exercises to get their ideal physique. I see this manifest in our group classes in the form of going through the motions during the strength portion and then only focusing on the conditioning portion of the workout – and often followed up by a few sets of sit-ups or something similar. My guess is that if you are guilty of this approach, you probably haven’t seen very good results with it. Maybe you lost a few pounds initially, but now you have plateaued and you may have even gained a pound or two. This faulty approach is perpetuated by novice trainers, workout routines published in “fitness” magazines, and a few common exercise myths. In previous blog posts, Mark and I have addressed both the myth of the fat-burning zone and the myth of spot reduction. Take a minute to go back and review them if you aren’t familiar.

The hour or so you spend in the gym accounts for a very small portion of your daily caloric expenditure. Unless you are a professional athlete that trains and practices for several hours each day, the large majority of your daily caloric expenditure comes from your Basal Metabolic Rate (or BMR), the calories burned to sustain your bodily functions on a daily basis. One of the most effective ways of increasing your BMR is through increasing the amount of lean muscle mass on your body. This is, of course, only achievable through weight training, preferably in the form of deadlifts, squats, presses, and other multi-joint, compound movements. You see, for every pound of lean muscle that you add, you will burn approximately 50 calories more per day. That might not sound like much but keep in mind if you swap out 5 pounds of fat for 5 pounds of muscle, you will burn close to 300 extra calories a day before you even hit the gym. Furthermore, intense weight training results in an afterburn effect where your metabolism is elevated for up to 38 hours after your training session. This is known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC, and you can read more about it in Mark’s post here. Doing cardio alone will only decrease your BMR as time goes on. This turns into an uphill battle as your BMR keeps dropping, you’ll need to increase the amount of cardio you do to create the same deficit. Without weight training, you’ll lose muscle which will actually account for some weight loss, and you might even lose a few pounds of fat if your diet is decent, but it’s unlikely you will achieve (or maintain) the level of fat loss you desire.

“Won’t weights make me bulky?”
Getting big and muscular is very hard to do. Just ask any average male. It takes years of hard work, the right training program, and a lot of food . . . it just doesn’t happen by accident. Weight training will add a few pounds of needed lean body mass which will in turn make you leaner and give you a better looking physique. Women simply don’t have the levels of testosterone needed to support the type of muscle growth you fear. Unless you are taking anabolic steroids, gaining too much muscle is probably the least of your worries. And if you are taking steroids, gaining muscle is still probably the least of your issues.

“Marathon runners are skinny, shouldn’t I run to become thinner?
That makes as much sense as playing basketball to get taller. This logical fallacy is commonplace in fitness as many people are quick to make hasty generalizations. In any sport, genetics certainly play an important role. The best runners are thin because skinny people make for better runners. Just as the best basketball players are tall, the best runners are thin. In fact, many people who take up running end up “skinny fat”, a physique denoted by a lack of lean muscle mass and often accompanied by a noticeable amount of fat or “doughy” appearance. These people are known to complain about being unable to lose the last the few pounds of fat around their midsection while sipping on a fruit smoothie or over a lunch of whole grain pasta.

So how do I go about increasing my lean body mass and improving my body composition?
Definitely focus on the strength component in our group workouts. If you want to get more experienced with lifting, consider signing up for the Performance Clinic. You’ll focus on the core lifts, increasing strength, lean body mass, and overall performance. Many of the clients in the Performance Clinic have leaned out while getting stronger at the same time. Also, look into signing up for a nutritional consult or even the upcoming nutrition clinics. You’ll get some useful instruction on how to dial in your nutrition so that you can improve your body composition and performance with a sustainable approach.

I know many of you are in the midst of the current LGFGPG challenge so I hope you’ll take my recommendations into consideration not just for the duration of the competition but in the long run as well. Take a look at your current approach to training and be honest about how well it has worked for you. As always, feel free to consult any of your Invictus coaches if you need further guidance.

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AnablicCookBookSean PtrickThijs MoonenPOS Recent comment authors
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AnablicCookBook
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AnablicCookBook

We all know the in order to gain maximum muscle mass, you need two things: workouts that really push and challenge you and a perfect eating plan that feeds your muscles and helps them to grow properly. Without these two pieces, the puzzle will never be complete. You will only get mediocre results at best.

Sean P
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Sean P

Great post Cal!!!! Great information and I laughed a little bit as well.

Thijs Moonen
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Thijs Moonen

Awesome post Calvin.

That’s alot of ‘advanced’ stuff you explained pretty easy to understand!

It’s cool to see you educate your athletes, so they can understand WHY they are doing what they are doing.

Cool

Kellie Coon
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Kellie Coon

Im sold Calvin!! Its only been 5 months but I cannot wait to see whats in store for me down the road. I crave to look athletic not skinny 😉 When are those performance clinic available?

courtland creekmore
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courtland creekmore

Calvin, Great information as always. One question: @ “increasing the amount of lean muscle mass on your body. This is, of course, only achievable through weight training, preferably in the form of deadlifts, squats, presses, and other multi-joint, compound movements.” Does ‘weight’ just mean resistance? Imagine a trainee straight off the sofa after years of inactivity and poor eating habits. If he/she cleaned up the nutrition side and solely did bodyweight calisthenics, wouldn’t that person achieve SOME increase in muscle mass (along with reduced fat mass)? If not, what is the minimum level of resistance required to stimulate actual mass… Read more »

POS
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POS

Why ask for the minimum? Sounds like my students in class 🙂

courtland creekmore
Member
courtland creekmore

POS, I am not seeking the minimum for the purposes of my effort, but rather asking if there is some minimum level below which the resistance does not provide the opportunity for muscle growth. It’s all very science-y.

POS
Guest
POS

I know, just couldn’t help myself. I have a student teacher teaching my class today and got an oppotunity to watch a few students seeking the “minimum” in class today. Be strong and lift the maximum!

courtland creekmore
Member
courtland creekmore

I will seek out the minimum only when it comes to the number of pieces of flair that I am required to wear.

Lindsey Johnson
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Lindsey Johnson

Awesome post Cal, thanks! This makes so much more sense now!! 🙂

Thom
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Thom

Playing basketball doesn’t make you taller? Wow… I’ve been handing out bad advice for years.

sage
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sage

Love the post, Cal. Thank you!

sage
Guest
sage

Also! I have to add that what you are saying is completely true. Right now I am solely on an olympic lifting cycle… no conditioning whatsoever other than the random sled torture that Cj likes to throw into my program.

I’ve noticed over the past couple weeks that I have been leaning out easier while being on this program. Maybe its my eating, but I’ve eaten pretty decent for the past two years and haven’t seen body composition changes happen THIS fast, like I see now.

After reading this post, it all makes sense!

sage
Guest
sage

Swear this is the last post!

Just want you all to know that Invictus is having our 2nd weightlifting competition THIS Saturday at 11am. If you are interested in lifting, please email me or Jen ([email protected] / [email protected]) for the details.

If you are wanting to spectate, come and join the fun!

That is all.

"pre"
Guest
"pre"

Great post Cal. Love the Performance Clinic!

Shaver
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Shaver

Kent I see you! Karen

trick
Guest
trick

trying to get my double unders on 🙂

FAQ - Workout of the Day (WOD)

What does WOD mean in CrossFit?

WOD stands for Workout of the Day. Most CrossFit gyms post one workout each day for their members and online followers to complete. Invictus currently offers THREE free programmed WODs each day (shown above)... and even more personalized and online supplemental programs through Invictus Athlete.

Which program is right for me? Can I move between them?

One thing that sets Invictus apart from other CrossFit gyms and online training programs is that we recognize everyone has different fitness goals, abilities and needs. Be sure to pick which programming is right for you so you can get a great workout that meets your needs.

What does 30X0 mean? (How to read the WOD)

Another thing you might notice that’s different about our programming is that we use ‘tempo training’ - almost always in the Fitness programming and in various cycles for the Performance and Competition programs. Those extra numbers (ex: @30X0) might seem confusing at first glance but you’ll totally get how it works and why we like to use it after reading this. Trust us, you’ll soon witness the many benefits firsthand. Learn more about tempo training.

I need help with some standard movements and warm-up ideas!

Whether you’re new to CrossFit or have lots of experience with the WOD, our coaches will help you get the most out of every workout. It doesn’t matter if you struggle with a particular movement or if your goals are pushing you toward the higher skilled and more elusive movements, our professional coaches support everyone with advice and feedback.

They have worked with all athlete levels and know what it takes to get people moving to the best of their abilities. Whether it’s burpees, double-unders, muscle-ups, or tips for the Assault Bike - we’ve got a coach who can help you.

Don’t worry, we’ve got your warm-ups covered, too. Our coaches are constantly learning from other modalities and love to use what they learn in innovative warm-ups focused on both preparing for the workout at hand and maintaining the body for a pain free life. Check out this full body routine to keep your joints functioning and free of inflammation. We also post warm-up suggestions in the Workout of the Day for each of the programs that are tailored to that day’s movements.

Workout on your own and don’t have much time for your warm-up? Here’s a couple of quick and simple ones for your shoulders, squat day, deadlifts, and everyone’s problem area, the thoracic spine.

What if I can’t lift the weight or do the movement as prescribed?

Scaling is part of the beauty of CrossFit because it enables workouts and programming to be tailored to anyone’s ability. When it comes to weight, you can and should ALWAYS scale the weight down if it is unsafe for you to lift it, or if it changes the intended stimulus of the workout.

Here are some rules of thumb for scaling weight in metcons (lifting for time). For gymnastics movements, there are some simple scaling solutions as well. If you are unsure, reach out to your Invictus coach! We are here to make sure you get the safest and best workout possible - proper scaling allows for that.

How many days per week should I train? / How many rest days should I take?

At Invictus, we offer programming 6 days a week, Monday-Saturday and we realize not everyone’s schedule - or training needs - are the same and therefore, you must use your best judgement and listen to your body when it comes to deciding how often to take a rest day.

If you have been doing CrossFit for a while now, you recognize that our program excels due to the high intensity component. With that being said, one thing you have to keep in mind is that you can’t sustain that high intensity every single day; otherwise your body ends up breaking down.

You can learn more about how often someone should take a rest day in this article.

What does EMOM stand for?

EMOM stands for Every Minute on the Minute. When you see that come up in a workout, you have up to one minute to complete the exercise required. Normally what’s prescribed won’t take the entire minute so you also have whatever is left of the time to rest until the next minute starts and you do the next set of prescribed work. And so on.

What does AMRAP mean?

AMRAP means “As Many Rounds (and Reps) as Possible” in a certain time period. For example, the workout might say...

AMRAP in 10 minutes of:

30 Double-Unders
20 Pull-Ups
10 Thrusters

So you would keep going through the cycle of those three exercises until the 10 minutes is up. Your score is the number of complete rounds plus any extra reps you did. So if you did four complete rounds plus 15 Double-Unders in the fifth round, your score would be 4+15.

What does OTM mean?

OTM stands for “On the Minute” and is the same thing as an EMOM. When you see that come up in a workout, you have up to one minute to complete the exercise required. Normally what’s prescribed won’t take the entire minute so you also have whatever is left of the time to rest until the next minute starts and you do the next set of prescribed work. And so on.

What does NFT mean?

NFT stands for “Not for Time” and means that you shouldn’t rush or try to go fast, but instead, focus on technique, skill, form or whatever you are working on for that movement.

How heavy should my first set be?

You might also be wondering where to start your first set if, for example, the workout of the day calls for 5 sets of Deadlift x 5 reps. Is the first set a warm-up or is that the first working set? Here’s our recommendation for how to properly build to your starting weight and what we consider warm-up sets and working sets.

How can I figure out my 1RM?

We frequently use percentage references in prescribing the number of reps to perform, so it’s essential that you have a good idea on most of your maxes.

Let’s say it’s been awhile since you have attempted a 1RM; maybe you had an injury a few months ago, or maybe you just somehow keep missing the 1-RM test days, or maybe you just forgot to write it down in your log book. If you have a multiple-rep max, you’re in luck. There’s actually a simple equation you can use to calculate an estimated 1RM based on the max number of reps you can do at a given weight.