Category Archives for "Training"

You Are Not a Unicorn – Recovery Week is Coming

Ever since we opened the doors of our training gyms, recovery weeks have been built into the training schedule. This is not an accident. Neither is it just “vacation time” for Dean and Nancy, although those are the only weeks we can schedule time off. Our next recovery week is April 3-9. 

To me recovery is instinctual. Training hard is taxing on the body and the mind. There is a point where your CNS (Central Nervous System” says NO MORE, and training starts to make you worse, not better. Our goal is that you never reach anywhere close to that point. We were doing “recovery” before recovery was cool, and we ain’t a gonna stop now! 🙂

You might be cute, but you are NOT a Unicorn!

In fact proper recovery between workouts is factored in as we design your training program as well. It’s one of the reasons we do not have regular training on Wednesdays. Two days on, one day off, two days on, two days off is by design. More is not better, better is better.

As I have gotten older, I have become even more sensitive to recovery. I have a book in my library by science writer Christie Aschwanden called “Good to Go”. The subtitle is “What the athlete in all of us can learn from the strange science of recovery”.

“Strange Science”?

The science of recovery is pretty new, and there are some pretty weird, wild and yet-to-be-proven things that people do to recover. From recovery pajamas to float tanks, the book examines it all.

When it comes down to it, what we are trying to do is recover from the systemic stress that is placed on our body and mind on a daily basis. This is hardly just training stress. Work, kids, traffic, politics, illness (world wide pandemics)- you name it, there are a lot of stressors in life. We want to manage the overall stress load in order that we can achieve physical and athletic improvement. 

The biggest take home I got from the book is no secret – the #1 thing you can do to de-stress, and enhance recovery is sleep. Not always easy, I know. You are talking to someone whose alarm goes off before 4:00am. I get it. But I do what I can to get as much as I can whenever I can.

One of the simplest ways to monitor your recovery is to measure and log your Resting Heart Rate every morning when you get up. I use one of these $15 devices to take my pulse and SpO2 every morning – takes about 30 seconds. If your RHR is trending up, it’s a good sign your recovery is compromised.

The bottom line. Enjoy your recovery week. It is a purposeful part of your training plan, and just like you don’t want to miss workout days, you don’t want to miss recovery days. You WILL NOT de-train in 7-10 days, so chill out – you are NOT a unicorn.

If you want more on the science of recovery, keep reading. 

Train Hard. Recover Harder.

Coach Nancy

Our recovery weeks are what I would call Macro-Recovery. In other words we take a planned week off every training phase in order to let the body rest up from hard training and get ready for the next phase.

The Recovery Curve

I saw the recovery curve for the first time during my time with Australian physical preparation coach Ian King. His principles laid the foundation for the way we program, train and especially recover here at Get Fit NH. The principles that work with professional athletes apply to us too!

The following illustrates a “good” recovery curve:

The green line represents what we are all looking for – continual, never ending progress over time. We are getting stronger, faster, thinner, better looking (ok at least that’s what I wish for).

Reality Check – ain’t gonna happen. The process of changing your body is not linear, in fact what we are looking at in an optimal training environment is more of a “One step back brings me Two steps forward”.

A closer look at the chart will help explain what I mean.

The red line represents Equilibrium. This is where your body wants to stay, no matter if your goal is losing fat, gaining lean, or both. As you have no doubt found out, forcing your body to change is hard work – really hard work. When you walk into Get Fit NH, our training is designed to elicit that change. But it’s not as simple as “working out” day after day after day. In fact as I am about to illustrate, training without proper recovery is actually hurting you, not making you better.

The blue line represents the “recovery curve”. Starting at the left hand of the chart all the lines intersect. For this illustration that point is where your first training occurred – you “worked out”.

But what’s going on?

Instead of performance going up, that line is actually heading down – this is what is called Depletion. If you think about it makes sense – you have worked hard, you are fatigued, your body is depleted of nutrients – you are spent!

Don’t worry, your body will get over it, if you treat it right! This is what we call Adaptation. Your body wants to be able to handle the increased demand that was placed on it, and starts the process of getting better.

You are in charge of if and how fast that happens. A few of the factors that influence this adaptation include recovery nutrition, stress levels, sleep habits, supportive nutrition, age, and training history.

The recovery curve continues with Supercompensation. Here is how Coach King describes this process:

“It is only when recovery is allowed that we see the super-compensation effect, the unique phenomenon where the bodies physical capacity is elevated in response to training, in anticipation of another exposure to the same stimulus.” – King, I, 1999/2000, Foundations of Physical Preparation

In other words your body has gotten better in response to your training, a new Equilibrium is established and this state is when we will ideally train again. Our programming at Get Fit NH is carefully designed to give this the best chance of occurring, but as I hope you are discovering, you have a lot to do with this with how you treat your recovery!

As you can see, when things are clicking, this process when repeated over and over means you are getting better and better, the blue line is headed up – pretty cool!

The flip side to all this is what happens when the recovery process isn’t working so well.

This chart represents recovery gone “bad”:

When we continue to train in a state of “Depletion”, regardless of the reason, the adaptation to super-compensation effect doesn’t occur, and instead of getting better, we find ourselves in a downward cycle. This can happen when we train the same muscle groups too soon, when we haven’t taken the steps described above to recover optimally (sleep and nutrition for instance) regardless of time between training, when we train too hard coming off an illness, etc. The last thing we want to happen is new equilibrium to be established in a downward pattern – not good.

The long and short of it is your body absolutely needs to recover from hard training. Consistently training in a fatigued state results in injury and illness. Your body is an amazing machine designed to put up with a lot, but it was also designed to need rest. Recovery weeks provide that rest.

If you want to know more about the recovery tools I use and why you should consider them, hit me up and let’s talk.

Coach Dean

Your Training is Just like Thanksgiving

Every year on Thanksgiving we load up our plate with all the wonderful foods we love. Next time you hit the gym load up your training plate in much the same way. 

Here's what I mean. At Cr8 Fitness we've designed your training program so that your body can get strong all over. 

What if you come in one day and your shoulders are tender from all the leaf raking you did over the weekend. Maybe your knee is bit swollen from a spill you took when you tripped on a small rut in the parking lot while grocery shopping last week. Since many of us at Cr8 Fitness are not spring chickens we tend to have stuff going on. 

That stuff doesn't have to stop us from training and training hard. We want to train smart. That is where Thanksgiving comes into the picture. Imagine for a moment that you come in on Tuesday with a slight "ick' in your shoulder. Everything else about you feels great. You just have a little something something and want to take it easy. Taking it easy is that 'polite portion' we usually take to please the hostess. Your polite portion of training might be stretching, foam rolling, or going without heavy weights for that day. BUT that polite portion doesn't apply to all of your training. As your coach, I can help you determine which exercise is your polite portion while the rest of your 'Thanksgiving' Training plate can be loaded right up. 

Next time you train, use your 'Thanksgiving' Training plate. Load up your plate on everything that your body is ready for you and work with me to know what needs to just have a polite portion. 

Enjoy Thanksgiving and always enjoy Thanksgiving at Cr8 Fitness's training. 

To your best Health,

Coach Nancy



Here’s Your Winner!

........ (hold please, I'll tell you in just a moment)

S3 is a challenge we've done for the last 11 summers. During this 6 week Sizzlin Summer Slimdown (S3) we had 51 participants. Our goal was to lose bodyfat and thereby gain more health. At this time in our country, being and staying healthy is your best option to fight off any crazy disease that plaques our world.At the end of S3, many of you dropped percentage points in your bodyfat. I'm not talking pounds or total body weight; percentage points! As I recorded the numbers this year it was a recurring theme to see a drop in 1.3, 2.4, 1.5, 3.3, 4.2, 3.7 points dropped.And then I saw a 5.7 and yet one more was higher. One person out of the 51 dropped 6.2 percentage points in 6 weeks. That is a total of 33.7% lost in bodyfat. Wow, that is awesome!At the beginning of S3 Dean and I committed to awarding 50% of the fees away. That is a grand total of $869. Half of that money will go to a local business that has suffered because of Covid. And half will go to our winner.

Without anymore chatter, $435 is going to Meredith Esonis. She rocked this challenge by dropping 6.2 percentage points of body fat, which is just incredible. That means her total body fat went down by a third in 6 weeks!

In Her Words  - "Baby Steps"

"Wow! I didn’t expect such a significant result. Mostly because I kept thinking ‘baby steps’.

I needed a focus to try to gain some control back. It has been a challenging year and a half for several reasons. S3 came along at the right time. The program was easy to follow, not overwhelming . The design was such that it allowed me to make small changes and then build on those new skills. This kept me in the present, not looking ahead; just looking at today. The group page was vital for a feeling of support. I wasn’t alone... obviously not with all the great results that were achieved!

Thank you for all that you do! You make such a difference."..

Did you hear the one about the dentist, the lawyer, and the plumber?

When you need help with a legal problem you hire a lawyer.

When you need help with your money, you hire a financial advisor.

When your pipes leak, you call the plumber.

When your tooth hurts, you see a dentist.

Brain surgery? Well, you get it by now.

And when you need to lose body fat, work on mobility, and strengthen your muscles and bones... you do it yourself??

Look, I am never going to criticize anyone for trying to eat healthier or get some exercise. But I also know that you can get the results you are looking for safer and faster when you get professional help.

And the bottom line is in this crazy busy world you don't need one more thing to think about. We are going to coach and teach you exactly what you need to do to get and stay healthy and fit. 

I was going to say we do all the heavy lifting for you, but well, that really wouldn't be accurate now would it? You gotta do that part yourself. But we will show you how to do it safely, effectively AND have some fun along the way.

The party has already started, we are just waiting for you to join us!

Get started for FREE by clicking right here.

- DC

It’s Easier than You Think

Today is a great day, isn't it? It is just about noon as I write this and my day has already been full of laughs and hard work. I've done most of the laughing and you've done most of the hard work. 🙂 I have the best job ever. Beside watching lives tranform and health being gained or kept, I enjoy the privilege of working alongside you. 

The New Normal isn't a phrase I enjoy very much. Life is what it is now and at some point things will change again. Until then I am taking advantage of each moment because I have that moment to do so. At Cr8 Fitness I see others who think like I do. They are going to enjoy life in this moment fully. 

The 9am ladies are one group of peeps that have a robust training inside the gym and also on Zoom. I talked with a few of them after training today asking them why they found it easy to come into the gym. 

I appreciate these ladies taking time just to shout out all the goodness they see at Cr8 Fitness. Their attitude is amazing. Keep Making It Happen.

Coach Nancy


The Mission (Not) Impossible Challenge Is Here!

I don't know about you, but this whole "stay-at-home" thing has got me itching for a challenge I can actually DO something about!

That's why Nancy and I came up with the "Mission (Not) Impossible" Challenge.

For the month of May we are going to get our keisters out of chair, turn off the PC for a few minutes, and do some sweating - preferably for a few minutes every day.

It's a super simple challenge. When you sign up you'll be sent a scoresheet with some super secret exercises (at least until you sign up). The scoresheet will have 4 columns with a boatload of exercises (I seriously can't remember how many and I don't feel like looking) 🙂

Every time you complete an exercise for the prescribed amount of reps, you cross it off the sheet. Every time you complete all the exercises in a column, your earn a ticket for one of 3 fabulous prizes. The more columns you complete the more tickets you earn the more chances you have to win some swag. If you finish all 4 columns on one sheet, you can print another one and keep going if you want - booyah!

That IS Simple!

Here's some tips:

  1. If you stay consistent, you’ll likely win. 
  2. If you don’t you’ll likely lose
  3. Cool prizes up for grabs. Like your favorite tub of protein with some brussels sprouts (just seeing if you are paying attention)

The challenge is aimed at...

Accelerating your overall results & getting you ​burning some extra calories

  • Keeping you focused and super fit away from the sessions
  • Accelerating your overall results & getting you burning some extra calories

We'll even set you up with daily reminders on MyCoach so you don't forget!

And there are just a few simple rules:

1. Don't start before May 4th you cheater

2. Last day to complete your columns is Sunday May 31st

3. Scorecards have to be turned in by Friday June 5th

How much for all this amazing wonderfulness you ask?

$5?

$50?

One MILLION Dollars?

No. It's Just Free.

Except the sweating and getting your butt kicked part.

Invite your friends and enemies, it's gonna be a party!

Sign Up Below. 

- DC

Enter your name and email here and you are good to go!

Join the Cr8 Family from “Away”: Online Training Is (has been) Available

Note To Current Clients: We Got You Covered, Keep Doing What You Are Doing! 🙂

A fairly well kept secret around Cr8 Fitness is that we have been doing distance-based training for over two years with a select group of clients. To this point they have all been clients we have previously trained in our gyms, moved away, and wanted to continue with us. We only offered to that clientele because they had been through our movement screening and assessment and were familiar with our coaching standards, which we are pretty particular about. 

These past couple years have taught us a lot about how to coach clients remotely, allowing us to go so far as being part of the rehab team post-surgery for both shoulders and knees, from nearly 2000 miles away. Home or away, we are pretty good at what we do. 🙂 The rapid advances in technology over the last few years now allows us to assess remotely, provide and monitor custom programming, and coach proper technique through video or live. Quality coaching online is a reality and happening every day, so even though gyms are closed, you can keep (or even start) a comprehensive training program.

There are a couple different ways to directly work with the Cr8 Fitness coaches online. To learn more and see which is the right fit for you, please contact us here and tell us a little about yourself. I am confident we can serve you well during this time and into the future. 

Here's to Making It Happen!

Coach Dean

With Your Help, We SHALL Overcome.

As you may know by now, Gov Sununu has issued a Stay-At-Home order from Midnight Friday March 27, 2020 to Monday May 4, 2020. As a "non-essential" business (who makes THOSE rules?) we will be doing what we HAVE been doing, just expanding it to its fullest potential by going all in on virtual training until we are allowed to open back up the gym doors.

Actually let me rephrase that - WE already have been all in on it, as those of you who are joining us that way know and love. Now YOU are going to be going all in too! 🙂

In anticipation that this might happen we order 70 spankin' new bands to use in our training. We will be getting those in over Recovery Week and making them available. We will also be keeping up on our stock of essential supplements (see what I did there?) so you won't run out. 

Look we all know this isn't ideal. But the fact of the matter is we had a recovery week scheduled for next week, which is going to give us some time to help you work through any technological kinks, get you the equipment you need, and get back up and training you the Cr8 Fitness way.

Here's the thing. Cr8 Fitness HAS a physical location, but Cr8 Fitness is NOT the little gray building on New Orchard Rd. in Epsom. 

YOU are Cr8 Fitness. You are the spirit and soul of what makes this place tick. We knew that from the very day we opened in our back yard - there was no gym then either. Any yet here we are. 

I am counting my blessings. 10 years ago the technology to do what we are doing wasn't even available to small guys like us, if at all. Now we can continue to interact and enjoy each other, even if we are miles away. Don't look at as anything more than amazing! it has been a lot of fun as we have invited each other into our "spaces" - Basements, home offices, living rooms -you name it.

So don't fret and don't even THINK about giving up. I am blessed with a techy mind, and I'll be available to help you get what you need up and running - one on one if that's what's necessary.

We SHALL overcome. By sticking together, loving on one another, and training like our lives depend on it. 

Because they do.

Make It Happen

Coach Dean

You Have To Train THIS Way

Getting old is not for sissies. So you need to stop acting like one in the gym. You can't just go through the motions half-heartedly. ESPECIALLY when you are in your forties, fifties, sixties and beyond. When you start getting up there in years you have to work harder to just maintain your current levels of strength and fitness, never mind get stronger. At Cr8 Fitness we are well aware of the challenges that come with bodies that are aging. If you are 60 we are not going to train you like you are 20. We are going to give you appropriate exercise prescription - but it's up to you to bust your butt to "fill your prescription".

Here's the rub. Once you've gotten into the habit of regular exercise, to continue getting better you have to start pushing yourself harder over time. There are a ton of ways you can do this; lift heavier, train longer, less rest, more time under tension, just to name a very few. 

When you are new to exercise, you don't have to do much to get tired. But you do need to do something, "I'm to out of shape to exercise" is one of the lamest reasons I have ever heard to do, well, nothing, How are you going to get IN shape if you stay on the couch?? Yeah it's hard. It's SUPPOSED to be hard.

The principle of introducing "more" into your program is called Progressive Overload. If you train here, it's the way we program our training phases. As the weeks progress, the training programs introduces additional stress to your system, so you get better. We program recovery phases in throughout the training cycles, and carefully design the programming so you can continually improve. 

Progressive Overload is not a term you probably use in your everyday vocab, but it's necessary to apply if you want to get and stay strong and healthy. I invite you to dig into Dhimant Indrayan's latest article on progressive overload. It offers both a deep dive into the science and practical ways to make it work in the gym. And yes, it applies to you whether you are trying to lift 400 pounds off the floor or your granddaughter out of her crib.

There will be a quiz next time you come in! 🙂

Make It Happen,

- DC

Have you met the “Don” of Cr8 Fitness?

What can I say? Don Harty just plain rocks. He makes us laugh, he makes us thing, and he inspires us to never stop getting better. Here is his story, at least until now!


On Thursday I was honored to receive my 3 year shirt at the end of training with my 6:15AM class. When I got home I reflected on why I joined the CR8 Fitness program and how I have benefited from the 3 years with this program.

 First of all, why did I join? 

I have never been a gym guy and never worked out on my own either. I have always been an avid hiker and mountain climber since I was a teenager and with all the hiking I did my lower body was in pretty good shape. My upper body was a different story. I had always been overweight and just before joining CR8 I tipped the scales at 230 pounds. The only exercise my arms got was from writing sales receipts and tipping 12 ounce beers. For several months several of my friends who belonged to the gym kept telling me that I should give it a try, two weeks free to see if I liked it. I kept telling them it wasn’t for me.

Then in September 2016 I won a lottery to climb a mountain that had been on my bucket list for years, Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. I worked hard to get in shape for this climb by hiking a lot of mountains here in NH to get my legs in shape for this 18 mile trek. I arrived in Yosemite with 2 friends and the 3 of us set out at 3:00AM by flashlight to make the climb up the John Muir trail. It was a steady uphill climb and I struggled due to my being 40 pounds overweight and 61 years old. My friends had to wait for me several times as they were in better shape. We finally reached the crux of this climb, the infamous cables leading up the last 1/4 mile of 45 degree slope. After attaching my safety harness I headed up the cables and after a short time realized I was in big trouble. I had no upper body strength and this stretch of the climb required you to pull yourself up by your arms. Every 20 feet I needed to unfasten my safety clip that tied me into the cables and reattach it on the next stretch of cable. My heart was pounding and my arms were like rubber. I’m not a religious person but I remember saying “please, God don’t let the heart attack come when I’m not attached to the cables”. That would have resulted in a 3000 foot fall down an almost vertical cliff. Meanwhile a small parade of hikers had formed behind me because I was going so slow and there was no way to pass me. I heard some grumbling behind me and one voice stood out. I heard the words “old fat bastard” and I knew the words were directed at me. I finally made the summit of Half Dome and after a short rest headed back down to the valley. It was at this point I vowed to myself that if I wanted to keep hiking and pushing the limits at my age I needed to get my whole body in shape and lose weight.

I got home and called Nancy and asked how do I sign up for the training program. I joined shortly thereafter and I have been a part of the program for 3 years. 

What have I gotten out of the program? 

The bottom line is that the training and nutrition program that Nancy and Dean offer at CR8 Fitness has given me a new lease on life. Over the first six months I went from 230 pounds to 180 and my conditioning was the best since I was in my 20’s and finished hiking the 2000 mile Appalachian Trail. I have been able to do things that most people my age would not even consider trying. The great thing is that after 3 years, although I have the occasional relapse I always am able to get refocused with the coaching I get from Nancy and Dean.

There is no question in my mind that if I had not joined the CR8 team 3 years ago my life would not be nearly as fulfilling as it is now. It’s great to “make it happen”.

- The "Don" of Cr8 Fitness,

Don Harty

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