How To Make Fitness Work For You

There are so many fitness trends out there. These greatly affect how we think we should approach fitness. From skinny detox tea to the keto diet, health and fitness trends are endless. But at the end of the day, what is fitness for? The CrossFit philosophy is that your fitness should work for you. Your fitness should help you move furniture around your house, or play with your kids in the yard. It’s about using your fitness to be functional.

Fitness isn’t about trends

When I started CrossFit, paleo was the popular diet trend. So, I jumped on that bandwagon. For those who don’t know paleo is, it’s a diet where you attempt to eat like humans did in paleolithic times. This means only foods you would come across in a hunter/gatherer society. If you are follow it, you will spend a large amount of time, money and effort to abide by it.  

I was very skinny before starting CrossFit, and when I first joined I put on a little muscle. At the same time I was eating paleo, I was also intermittent fasting. This means having a large block of the day where you don’t eat. The premise is that you keep your calories limited by only having so much time to consume food in your day.

I didn’t know this at first but the intermittent fasting and paleo were actually hurting my performance. I would fatigue quickly during my workouts. My recovery afterwards would take hours, and I was not gaining any strength. But I would weigh myself everyday and I was happy with the number on the scale.

I did about 7 months of intermittent fasting and paleo. By the end, I was burned out. I hadn’t been out to eat, I didn’t eat the same food as the rest of my family, I hadn’t had much “enjoyment” food, such as desserts, or sweets. So, the pendulum shifted. It shifted way farther than it should have.  

Feeling weak and fatigued had been terrible. The first few workouts with a significant source of carbs in my diet was amazing. I felt good, I lifted heavier, I recovered faster. Going to restaurants was fun again, and I could enjoy meals with my family. But as that pendulum kept going I started gaining weight. Some of it was good. I put on significant muscle mass, I was moving heavy weight in all of my lifts. Some of it was not so good.

The fun lasted for a bit, but then I started having trouble doing anything like pull ups, push ups, box jumps, or running because I had gained a lot of fat as well. I had a goal to see how heavy weights I could lift. So, my cardio stopped. I lost definition and the ability to do some of my gymnastics movements. 

Make fitness work for you

Around this time I switched boxes. The shape I was in disappointed my new coach. He pointed out that while lifting heavy was beneficial, I should be more focused on fitness for life. If I was unable to move quickly for a few minutes without having to stop and try to breathe, were my workouts really doing what I wanted/needed them to do?

That became my new mantra, I wanted to be able to do any physical task life called upon me to do. Whether it be a week of hiking, helping push a stalled car, laying sod, riding my bike with Zeke on my back, the list is endless.

The point is, your fitness should suit your life. You should not only enjoy what you do to get/stay in shape, but it should also work for your needs. That’s why CrossFit is so beneficial: it’s functional. 

The functional movements prepare you for the variety that is life. This way, no matter what life demands of you – a ski trip with friends, carrying your kid around a theme park, helping your brother move – you can do it. Make fitness work for you and for your benefit.


Fitness is Evolving: The Future Of Fitness

Who knows how 2020 will be written in the history books? There are still a few months left and, as we have seen, a lot can happen in that time. As you know, my world revolves around fitness. Aside from all the global craziness that has happened, I see a change happening that hopefully continues into the future of fitness.

How has the future of fitness changed in 2020?

Here is an overview of what has happened this year. People have been stuck at home, with little to no workout equipment. This caused people to get creative. 

People usually spend a ton of money on vacations, summer camps, and entertainment outside of the home. This year that money went towards something different.

It went towards bikes, personal workout equipment, and home improvement materials.

No, you aren’t reading the wrong article. This isn’t an economics blog, fitness is right around the corner.

What most call fitness

To the average person, fitness is understood to be visual. A certain ratio of shoulder width to bicep circumference, a tiny waist line, or thighs that don’t touch. 

Many people imagine fitness happening in a building with air conditioning, an Olympic pool, tons of machines, in the most affluent part of town. 

Fitness “gurus” will try to sell the average person on this certain supplement (or tea…you all know who you are), or a specific training plan will give you the ‘ultimate 6 pack in 30 days’. This won’t work, and isn’t what fitness is about.

What fitness actually is

Well, what is fitness about then?

Fitness provides freedom.

This freedom is what allows you to ride your bike with family and friends and not be bringing up the rear. 

It also allows you to be able to load that sheet of plywood from the cart to your truck bed. Then you can carry that plywood from the truck bed to the garage and duck down as you walk through the door with it. 

Fitness/freedom is why you can look good in a swimsuit but still enjoy foods you like.  

And most important of all, fitness equals freedom through functionality.  

The fitness equation

The fitness equation means a person’s level of freedom is directly related to how functionally fit they are.

Of course I don’t mean constitutionally free. I am sure North Korea has plenty of fit people. 

Refer back to the example we gave earlier of people who believe fitness is a skinny girl drinking detox teas. Or those who think fitness means a bicep is supposed to be the size of a newborn child. 

Those people might look fit, but how functional are they? Can the skinny girl even load the sheet of plywood by herself? Can the guy with sleeve splitting biceps go hiking and not feel like his lungs will explode? Are they actually fit? Are they free? 

The future of fitness

My point is fitness is finally evolving. People had disposable income and they didn’t go buy a leg press machine, they bought a barbell and weight set. They didn’t put in an in-ground pool, they bought a road bike to ride with their friends and family. 

Restaurants were closed. So, they didn’t spend money on going out to eat. Instead they started cooking real, healthy food. And they couldn’t go on vacations so they decided to use their own manual labor to finish all those house projects.

These things feel good to do. These things are changing how people think of fitness, and changing the future of fitness trends.

When will the globo-gym model be extinct? Will girls with a waist the size of a pencil and zero muscle tone stop selling BS products? Will guys, who spend years getting perfectly sculpted abdominals and shoulders, tell you that they know the secret to giving you the same in 30 days? One day, will functional fitness be the ultimate king like it was when humans were still trying to learn how to survive on Earth? That’s all highly doubtful.  

But a movement changing the future of fitness has started. People are connecting fitness and functionality. My hope is that people will embrace functional fitness. I hope this trend will continue and that people will continue down the road of functionality – towards freedom.


The 7 Most Functional Movements

There are 7 movements that known as the most functional movements. These are the movements that the human body moves through (or at least should move through) on a daily basis. This is why they’re the ones we should do in the gym most often as well.

The conventional/commercial approach to fitness is machine based (often seated and with some resistance that usually focuses on one muscle group). There is a focus on aerobic over strength/function, and multiple “helpers”. These might be handles to hold onto and brace while doing hamstring curls, or a pull up machine with a platform that helps you lift yourself.

If you are a bodybuilder or physique competitor, this can be very helpful and important. But what if you are a human who just wants or needs to be stronger/healthier to live a longer and happier life? That is where functional movements come into play. 

So, what are the 7 most functional movements?


If you have ever sat down and stood up, you have done a squat. This movement can range in difficulty. Easiest is a supported squat, using something to hold onto as you sit/stand all the way. The hardest is an overhead squat or a pistol (single leg squat). These are many variations in between.


Ever bent down and picked something up off the ground? Congratulations, you have done a deadlift. There are also countless variations of the deadlift. You can also adjust the load and range of motion for any level of ability.


Lunges are quickly becoming one of my favorite movements. They have good transfer to walking/carrying and can be easier for beginners than a full on squat. You can easily adjust the load, and do these using each plane of the body. That is to say, they can be done forward, backward, sideways, and up/down.


Yes, of course pushing a sled looks cool and is what everyone pictures first. But presses also fall into this movement. Bench press is probably one of the most well known, but strict presses, jerks, seated presses and others are all part of this movement pattern.


Pull ups, rows, rope climbs, and band-pull aparts. The pull is such a simple and underestimated movement. I can promise the pull is used much more in daily life than we realize. It is definitely one of the most functional movements. Pull movements help us to develop nice strong back and shoulder muscles.


Everyone knows doing 1000s of sit ups a day will give you a strong core right? No, definitely not! Planks, side planks, weighted holds, crawls, and rocks are all great ways to build a stable core. The core is one area where, if you increase its stability and its strength, you will get stronger in every other movement. Core movements are not to be overlooked.


I would say general locomotion falls under this. Can you move yourself through time and space effectively? Can you do that with weight, and can you do it for short fast distances, can you do it with weight, or over varying terrain? Walking, crawling, running, or jumping? All of these seem and sound easy, but when you start adding weight or reliving a movement we have forgotten (the crawl), you start to increase the difficulty. 

Why to focus on these movements

The nice thing about the most functional movements is that they can be combined in an unlimited amount of ways and variety. On top of that, they are actual movements you will use in life – unlike some machines found at a commercial gym (pec-deck)!

Interested in starting functional fitness? We would love to guide you, contact us today to get started.