This Month In Running a Gym February March 2015

The CrossFit Open is underway. We're currently one week away from wrapping it up. Unlike some years past, we didn't make much of an effort to get people to enter it this year. Part of that is due to the fact that the Open can be a frustrating experience if you're not an elite athlete. Muscle-ups have been a part of the Open every year (I think), so if you can't do one, you end up spending money and effort on an event that you are unable to actually do. However, this year has seen the introduction of the scaled division which has given people a chance to complete it and compare themselves to others who are at a similar level. I think we'll encourage people to participate more next year.

That said, we've had some phenomenal performances from our athletes this year. Since the number of athletes participating is so high, I've found it helpful to translate some scores into percentiles to give a better perspective of how awesome people are doing. Our top athlete is Blaine McConnell who is sitting in 66th place in the region or in the 98th percentile. Joey Burns is right behind him in 76th place, also good for about 98th percentile. On the women's side Amanda West is in the 88th percentile followed by Coach Amanda at 86th percentile. Also worth special mention is Ivy Brent who is in 8th place in her division. That is amazing.

Meanwhile behind the scenes, Leon and I have been working on the goals we set out last time. I have developed the first training module for our trainer development plan. It's on nutrition mechanics- the process of digestion, nutrient absorption into cells, and energy systems. One of the most interesting parts of the process for me has been to apply some well-established but under-used teaching techniques. They are something called “spaced learning” and “test-enhanced learning” which goes like this: you have a 15-20 minute study session. Typically with a teacher narrating through a visual presentation. It moves fast (6-10 slides per minute) with no time for discussion or anything. After 20 minutes, you take a break and do something completely different like make play-dough animals, do a cartwheel contest, play quadrupedal tag, etc. It's got to be something that has nothing to do with what you're learning. Then after 10 minutes of that you go back to the study session. Except this time, some things have been removed from the presentation and the instructor calls on people to remember what that is. Again, take a play break after 20 minutes. Then go back for the final session which has still more information missing. You can read more about it here. The bottom line is that people retain much much more information long term when their study is structured this way. Although, oddly, people report that they think they learn less using this method rather than studying for a big chunk of time, even though tests done later show that they're wrong about how much they learned.

We'll have our next staff meeting Saturday April 4th at 11:30. Feel free to come, get a preview of April's programming, and to be my beta-testers for this first roll-out. We'll do these every month. Jared is currently working on a movement/anatomy/mobility module for May.

Leon, meanwhile has been working on getting our books ready in order to file taxes. This has been a headache of comical proportions. He tried an experiment wherein we would use a budgeting software called YNAB which is something both he and I use and love for our personal finances. But after hand-entering and categorizing every individual transaction from 2014, he discovered that it wouldn't work as conceived. So we've switched to Xero, which required hand-entering and categorizing everything again.

Let this be a lesson to you kids: sucker your partner into doing the books for you.

We've also put together a list of ideas for fun stuff to do that don't involve working out. We're getting a projector for the trainer development lessons which will let us have movie nights. I'm thinking some gourmet food and a classic like “They Live.” Speaking of food, we're planning another BBQ in April. Date and details TBA. The CrossFit Regionals will be at the Tacoma Dome so we'll plan a group day to go check it out. And we've currently got a sign-up sheet for a gym softball team which comes with a free TS hat. So…you know, that's fun and fashionable.

And that's the update on this last month or so. It may not seem like a lot, but man stuff takes time. I've been working on this blog post for the last two hours. Even writing about the stuff we're doing takes more time than you think. It doesn't help that I'm writing this at the gym and can't help but watch these Parkour kids crash landing on their faces. It's pretty funny.

By Morgan on Tuesday, March, 24, 2015