Member of the Month – Angela Bridegam

Angela is our latest member of the month! She is finishing up grad school, working, and is the mother of 3 kiddos! Despite balancing all these priorities she makes time to come 5 Valleys each week and knock out her workouts. She is is constantly looking for ways to continually improve while enjoying the process and having fun.

Way to go Angela! It’s always fantastic having you in class!

Take find out more about Angela below:)

Big thanks to Rattlesnake Market and Cafe for sponsoring our member of the month!

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Member of the Month – Rob Truax

Mega props to our latest Member of the Month Rob Truax! He has been getting after it at 5 Valleys for about a year and a half now. Super consistent with his workouts he rarely misses a workout and is continually working to improve and have some fun. Recently he added some focus to his nutrition and was a top finisher in our Fit Challenge. Rob droped almost 12lbs and lost 3.75 inches during that 6 week Challenge!

Awesome work Rob!! It is fantastic having you at the gym. (Find out more about Rob below)

Big thanks to Rattlesnake Market and Cafe for sponsoring our member of the month!

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Your 3 day guide to enjoying Thanksgiving without derailing your fitness.


Let’s face it we are going to overeat on Thanksgiving. 

If you are like me, this can lead to several days or (worse yet to weeks) of gaining weight, feeling like crap, and writing it off as okay because it is the “holiday season”.

Well I decided that this year I needed a actual plan to make sure I can enjoy Thanksgiving and still feel great. Here is a plan for you and me to navigate the next few days and come out feeling awesome. (more…)

Member of the Month – Donovan Power

Shout out to Donovan Power, our latest Member of the Month!! He’s been training at 5 Valleys since it’s inception. A dedicated MontanaFitter he gets after it in the gym so he can get after it in all of his outdoor pursuits. He takes challenging himself and having fun seriously and isn’t afraid to combine the two. If you’ve met Donovan he likely has tried to recruit you to go skiing, go mountain biking, work out, watch sports, or grab a beer. Keep up the awesome work D it is great having you at the gym!!

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5 Valleys Fit Challenge!!

We are kicking off our first 5 Valleys Fit Challenge on Monday, September 16th. This 6 week Fitness and Nutrition Program will give you tools, accountability, and support to have you feeling fantastic and performing your best.

Watch the video for details and get yourself registered below:)

Early Bird Pricing until August 31st!
Click Here to Register!

Not a member yet but want to join in the challenge? Click Here!

Workout Program Tracks

Starting the week of June 10th we will be offering two different workout tracks for members to follow.  We are really excited to be rolling this out as we believe by having these two options we will be able to better serve all of our members and help them reach their goals. Currently we have helped members adjust workouts individually on a case by case basis. This will still be the case but everyone will have a better starting point based on where they are at and what their goals are.  One track will be called Fitness and the other Performance. Below are the focuses of those tracks.

To see the best results from your training you will need to follow one track continuously (not jump back and forth between them).

If you have any questions please reach out to one of the coaches:)

Check out the video above for more details.

Fitness Track:

Your primary goal is to feel good as well as long term health and longevity.

You want to improve overall strength, mobility, fitness, and training consistency so you can enjoy pursuits/activities outside the gym.

Performance Track:

Your primary goal is to develop skills, strength, and fitness more specific to CrossFit.

You have a solid strength, movement, and fitness foundation. You want to test yourself inside the gym and potentially participate in CrossFit style competition.

Member of the Month – Erin Peterson!

What were you doing for fitness before you joined?

I’ve always been pretty active! I was a competitive swimmer growing up and on the rowing team when I was in college. Before joining 5 Valleys, I had been doing CrossFit for about a year at two different gyms in New Orleans (I moved to Missoula for grad school in Fall 2017). I maybe went 2 or 3 times a week but at the time, was mainly focused on running. I wasn’t very consistent and didn’t fall in love with CrossFit until joining 5 Valleys!

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So you want to be able to do pull-ups…

Pull-ups are consistently one of the most sought after feats of strength we see at 5 Valleys CrossFit. As they should be. It looks really badass when someone is ripping out pull-ups with ease. They take time and dedication to master though so if you want the reward you’ve got to be willing to put in the work.

We’ve put together a progression to help you reach that goal of getting a strict pull-up. Below are the different exercises you will use to build up to the pull-up. Below that are the phases as well as sets and reps of each exercise to get you there. Make sure and master each phase before moving on. If you get stuck or don’t seem to be progressing anymore be sure and hit me up ([email protected]). We can figure out what we need to do to break through that plateau and get you smashing pull-ups! Remember consistency is key so commit to spending 10-15 minutes 2 to 3 days per week.

Ring Rows/Inverted Rows

These are great start to developing the pulling power necessary for a pull-up. You can also easily adjust your foot placement to make them easier or harder. Because you are pulling in a horizontal rather than vertical plane you can’t rely on these alone to get you to that pull-up. To build necessary strength every rep should use full range of motion and be controlled.

Hang from the bar

A big part of being able to perform a solid pull-up is grip strength. Simply grab the bar in an overhand grip and hang. The goal is to get to a 45 sec hang but start with 4 or 5 sets of 5 to 10 seconds with little rest until you can go longer. You can also use a band when first doing these to give some assistance. Once you build up to 45 seconds with the band move to a lighter band or go to full body weight hanging.

 

Chin Over Bar Hold

This is the finish position of the pull-up. Use a box or bench to help get yourself in position. You want to focus on squeezing your shoulder blades back and down, keeping your elbows by your side, and your abs and butt tight. Build up to a 20 sec Chin Over Bar Hold and again use a band to assist at first.

Controlled Lowering/Negatives

Again use a box or bench and start with a chin over bar hold. Take about 5 seconds to lower yourself under control from chin over the bar position to fully hanging position. Rest 5 to 10 seconds and repeat for between 3 to 5 reps. If you find you can’t control the lowering anymore stop there.

Self/Partner Assisted

Have a partner assist you through the movement or put one foot on a box or bench to assist yourself. Use only enough assistance that you can do 3 or 4 quality controlled reps in a row before needing to rest.

 

Full Pull-ups

Hang from the bar with arms starting totally straight. Pull yourself up until your chin is completely over the bar. Control yourself back down to hanging with straight arms.

How to get there:

Here is the progression to work towards those full pull-ups. Spend as much time at each phase as you need until you have mastered it before moving to the next one.

Phase 1 – 2 to 3 days per week

Ring Rows 3 sets 5 to 10 reps

Hang from Bar 4 or 5 sets of 10 to 20 seconds

Before moving onto the next phase you should be able to:

  • Do 5 ring rows starting with shoulders under the rings and touching the rings to the chest each rep.
  • Hang from the Bar for 45 seconds

Phase 2 – 2 to 3 days per week

Chin over bar hold 3 sets of 10 sec hold rest about 90 seconds between each set (start with a band to assist)

Ring Rows 4 sets of 5 reps at hardest level you can do with good form for all reps

Before moving onto the next phase you should be able to:

  • Hold Chin Over Bar for 30 seconds

Phase 3 – 2 to 3 days per week

Controlled lowering/Negative Pull-ups 3 sets of 3 to 5 reps taking 5 full seconds to lower (rest 2 minutes between sets)

Self/Partner Assist 3 sets of 3 to 5 reps (rest 2 minutes between sets)

Before moving onto the next phase you should be able to:

  • Do 5 controlled Negative pull-ups taking 5 seconds to lower

Phase 4 – Do a Pull-up!!

5 Simple Ways to Start Feeling Better Now

Most people that come to check out the gym, tell us they just want to feel better. After talking through their challenges, a common theme is trying to do everything or to make too many changes all at the same time. This creates a lot of pressure and one slip up commonly leads to quitting entirely. Instead start small to win big! Pick the one thing that you think will be the easiest to implement and sustain and get started. Developing a solid habit with one thing will help keep the ball rolling as you add in the next new habit. You don’t need to join a gym or buy a bunch of supplements to create a healthy lifestyle, but having an awesome community like the one at 5 Valleys CrossFit sure doesn’t hurt:)

If you need a little guidance on what you can do today to help you feel better, here is a list of 5 things you can do to help yourself feel great.

1 – Drink more water

Here is a lemon and the thing I squeeze it with to make fresh lemon juice. Also an awesome cutting board!

 

Even slight dehydration can cause all kinds of problems including: fatigue, dry skin, headaches, muscle cramps, and sugar cravings. It’s really easy to get busy and forget about drinking water throughout the day. Or if you are like me, you might drink coffee all morning and forgo any other beverages. The recommended daily water intake is 11 cups for ladies and 15 cups for guys. Remember these are averages, and you might need a bit less or a bit more. If you know you could use some more H2O, worrying about the exact amount isn’t your biggest problem. Instead, start by increasing your current intake in a way that is sustainable. I started having a large glass of water every morning before I have my first cup of coffee. I add a little lemon juice and sea salt to help with absorption. I have been able to be really consistent with this and it definitely makes a difference. I’ve also noticed that this early morning habit has helped me drink more water throughout the day.

2 – Eat 10 Shades of fruits and veggies a day

Check out the blog about this here. There are all kinds of reasons that eating a wide variety of fruits and veggies is important, but the biggie is gut health. The gut has been called the 2nd brain and can influence not only your physical but mental well being. If you are not a big fruit and veggie eater and 10 different types sounds like a ton, start small. Add an additional fruit or veggie to your current diet and have it every day. Once you’ve tackled that and been consistent for 3 or 4 weeks, add one more and do the same thing. It may seem like it will take a long time to get to 10 but if you can stick with it, in less than a year you will have a life-long habit.

3 – Get out in nature

Norman looking like a drowned rat while we are getting some quality outside time last summer.

 

We live in Montana, so likely we already enjoy the outdoors. You don’t need to take a week long backpacking trip to get the benefits from being outside though. Regularly getting out in nature has been shown to improve short term memory, decrease stress and reduce inflammation. Luckily, we live so close to all kinds of great trails to help us get these benefits. If you are short on time though, heading to a park on your lunch break, taking a morning walk or even sitting on your porch or deck and enjoying the views can make a difference.

4 – Regular Exercise

This is a no brainer. We all know we feel way better when we exercise regularly. Sometimes we put it off because we are too busy, or tired, or don’t know what to do etc. This is despite knowing we will be more productive and have more energy if we do exercise. If you are strapped for time or can’t make it to the gym, don’t let that stop you. Even just 10 minutes of activity will help you feel good. Go for a short run or do some squats, push-ups and sit-ups in your living room. We were made to move so get the blood pumping and get after it. You will thank yourself for it after.

5 – Meditate

Meditation does not have to be this fancy to be effective. It does look pretty pleasant though.

 

You’ve probably heard meditation is good for you but click here for a comprehensive list of 76 benefits of meditation. I used to think meditation was too out there for me, but after reading how many top performers meditate regularly, I thought it would be good to check it out. I am not the most consistent, but any time I am feeling stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed I will get back on it and always feel much more relaxed and focused. I currently use the 10% Happier app which is also called “Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics”. I’ve also used the Headspace app which is awesome too. They both have free introductory meditations that can help you get started.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I would love to hear about any other simple habits you’ve used to feel your best. Also if you are ready to get started send me an email and let me know which habit you are going to tackle first! ([email protected])

Stepping my Fruit and Veggie Game Up

Being a gym owner many people think I must be some kind of hardcore health fanatic. While I greatly value health and fitness, I am anything but perfect when it comes to eating (or my fitness for that matter!). I have a wicked sweet tooth, enjoy all kinds of adult beverages, and am partial to salt and vinegar chips. For the most part, I can keep these to a moderate enough level that my indulgences aren’t especially detrimental to feeling pretty good. When I do go a bit overboard, my body is quick to let me know and I feel sluggish and unmotivated.

For about the past week I have been crushing fruits and veggies. It’s common knowledge that you should be regularly eating a variety of fruits and veggies, but it seems like very few people actually do. I’m not going to go into all the benefits, but if you want more info check out the articles linked below.  While I have always eaten some fruit and veggies, I have definitely lacked in the variety department and consumption has not been a priority. After seeing several posts about eating 10 shades a day on a blog I follow (OPEX Fitness), I decided it was time to step my game up. So far it’s been way easier than I thought it would be. Liz has been on board as well so each evening we check in and tell each other what we ate that day.

In the past I’ve done the Whole 30 or various paleo challenges and they have helped me dial in my eating and feel really good. But they have all had a specific timeline, and when I finished I would eventually revert back to old habits that included not having much of a plan or consistency with my nutrition. I learned a lot by doing these challenges, but this time around I wanted to see if I could create a long-term habit rather than more of a temporary reset. I liked that instead of having to eliminate a bunch of foods I could simply focus on adding something nutritious.

This was my lunch yesterday. It was fantastic!

 

My daily game plan to get 10 shades in:

  • Morning Smoothie (6 shades): 1 scoop of Driven Whey, a handful of Antioxidant Blend Frozen Berries (from Costco, it has 5 types of berries), a handful of spinach, and water. This takes me about 1 minute to make and is delicious.
  • Late Breakfast/early lunch (4-5 shades): 2 eggs, bacon, piece of toast, mixed green lettuce mix, carrots, purple cabbage. Sometimes I will sub bell peppers for carrots or cabbage or add tomatos or avocado to the mix.
  • Dinner (2-5 shades): Usually some type of meat or fish with a couple veggies on the side: Roasted potato or sweet potato, broccoli, brussel sprouts, bell peppers etc. If I don’t have the smoothie in the morning I will add some more veggies at dinner.

So far I haven’t had any issues getting 10 in and plan on continuing indefinitely. I have found there are a couple keys to my success:

1) Buy enough fruits and veggies. Pretty simple but if they aren’t readily available what are the chances you will eat them?

2) Get a large variety in one meal. With a smoothie or a salad you can easily add a bunch in one go. Likewise if you are roasting or sauteing. Just chop more up than you might normally and throw them in.

3) Don’t be overly concerned with serving size. I’m not going to try to game the system by eating one baby carrot and counting it but I’m also not weighing and measuring everything either.

Here are a couple articles on why it’s important to get your fruits and veggies in.

https://opexfit.com/blog/colorful-eating/

https://www.precisionnutrition.com/color-chart

If you don’t like vegetables here is a great article explaining why and giving you a method to make them more enjoyable or tolerable depending on your outlook.

https://www.precisionnutrition.com/dont-like-vegetables

I’ve got a few more nutrition habits I will be implementing in the months to come but want to make sure I have this one fully dialed in first. If you are reading this and ready to give it a go yourself shoot me an email and let me know ([email protected]). I’m always more motivated when I’ve got some buddies around.:)