Category Archives for "Training"

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

Are You Getting, or Growing?

Another New Year has started, and with it comes one indisputable fact; You, and I, are getting older. 

But ask yourself this question.

Do I want to merely get older, or do I want to grow older?

There is an enormous difference.

As long as you are above ground you are going to get older. But growing older is an entirely different animal. 

There are a few things I want to grow in as I get older. 

Kindness. Wisdom. Grace. Understanding. Compassion.

In the physical realm I want to keep growing as well. It's a well known fact that even older adults can increase their muscle mass and mobility. I want to stay as strong as I can for as long as I can. My training goals in the last 10 years have definitely changed. Sure I still want to look good in the mirror, but it's become more than that. I look around and see people my age (53 - not all that old, unless you are teenager) losing physical abilities and capabilities. And I am not talking about feats of endurance or strength. Losing their ability to stand up straight, or get up and down off the floor, or walk a few flights of stairs. In their fifties!

That's why my goal is to keep my legs strong and my hips mobile for as long as I can. Don't lose your legs! It's why keeping my shoulders intact and my knees healthy is so important. 

Here's the rub; As you age you need to work harder at these things than you used to. CONSISTENT strength training and mobility work. Good nutrition and sensible supplementation. You can't stop any of those things, even when it's uncomfortable, you don't feel like it, and it hurts.

The alternative is to just passively atrophy, lose strength and mass, get weaker, and lose basic abilities. Doesn't sound like fun to me.

It's your choice. Get. Or Grow.

Choose Wisely,

Coach Dean

Being Engaged In Life

I recently watched an interview with Colin Milner, CEO of the International Council on Active Aging, and I was inspired by listening to this really smart and passionate man talk about what he has learned being on the front lines of active aging. I would highly encourage you to watch this short interview included at the end of this article (click the pic). Here are some highlights that really stuck out to me. 

1. Active Aging is about "Being Engaged In Life". It doesn't mean you have to climb mountains or run farther. It's about getting off the sidelines and participating in this crazy wonderful thing called life. 

2. While government involvement can be important at times, it about "changing lives, not passing a bill". I love that. What can we do personally to stay healthier and help others get active? 

3. It's about the individual saying "Me, I want to live a better life, here's what I am going to do to achieve that. Very few people can change your mind without you participating." BOOM!

4. "Start Moving, Don't Stop". Colin cuts through all the confusion about exercise with those four simple words. Get active, stay active. Start small, start big. Doesn't matter. Just start, and never stop.

5. "You Earn Your Health Span". You want to be healthier? You have to work for it. Health is not in a pill or potion. Health is earned with movement, eating nutritious food, and getting good sleep. Those things all take some effort. And you get to control that effort. No really, you do. 

Call this a sales pitch if you want, but here's my ask. What are YOU doing as an individual to get and stay engaged in life? Many of you train with us as a part of your efforts, and for that we are grateful. Do you know someone else that needs a little Cr8 Fitness in their life? We would sure appreciate you sharing how we have helped you, and then send 'em our way.  

Or maybe you have been on the fence for awhile about getting started with us. NOW is the time to take the leap and get started. 2019 is almost over, 2020 sits wide open in front of us. Take action now and fill out a training registration. 

Being Engaged In Life Starts With You. And if you let it, it starts today.

Make It Happen!

- DC

Thanksgiving Week Schedule Here!

It's almost unbelievable that the Holidays are upon us, and for me they really start with Thanksgiving. I just love everything about it. Food, family and football about sums it up!

Just a heads up on our schedule for next week. I know y'all are busy (so are we), but you'll want to make plans for your training. Yes, it IS that important. 🙂

Training Schedule Thanksgiving Week:

Mon, Tue, Wed: Regular Training Schedule All Classes

Thu, Fri: No Training

Sat: World Famous "Pies Off Thighs" Post-Thanksgiving Day All Family Training at 8:00am

If you have never been to Pies Off Thighs, you don't want to miss it!

Nancy and I are so grateful for you being part of our fitness family. You have been patient with us as the house is being built and I have no been in the gym as much, so thank-you. I feel very inadequate when trying to express how much it means that you put your trust in us and choose to train here.

I've been reading the board of all the things YOU are thankful for, and I am reminded we need to count our blessings more often!

Pacing yourself is one thing…

The picture below from our friends at Growing Bolder made me laugh. A geriatric Bruce Wayne and Peter Parker is just not a pretty picture, right?

I've never really been one to "pace myself" very much. The alternative approach I prefer is to "work hard...rest hard(er). And when I neglect the second part of that for too long, there are consequences. Recovery is important, and as you age you need more rest and recovery. 

BUT...

You have to consistently do something to rest and recover from. As we age FREQUENCY of exercise is actually shown to be more important than INTENSITY of exercise. In other words how often we exercise is more important than how much weight we lift. As we get into our fifties and beyond the whole "use it or lose it" concept is heightened. Missing workouts is very counterproductive; strength and mobility start to be lost after only a couple weeks. And we all know how hard it is (and how sore we are) when we miss time and then try to get started again.

So here's my encouragement to you. The holidays are coming. You are going to be busy - you already know this. DON'T miss your training. YOU are as important as anything else that is tugging at you. My goal is as that as we age together, we defy the "normal" and do what it takes to stay active, mind, spirit and body. 

Never stop climbing (and smashing through) walls.

Keep Making It Happen!

- DC

Lessons from My Uncle

My mom brought my Uncle David over for a visit yesterday, and it was a great time. David lives in California, and I haven't seen him for 5 years or so. He was in New England for his 60th high school reunion, to put some affairs in order, and to visit mom and some friends.

He and mom came in and checked out the house we are building, and it was really fun for me to watch a guy who has been around a while just "get" what we are trying to accomplish with the design and layout. We talked about everything from the nautical look of the railings (and why) to the viability of solar powerin the Northeast, to the type of floor we chose to use. One of the lessons I learned is that those who have gained wisdom don't necessarily have all the answers, but they know how to ask really good questions. 

After the tour of the house we sat down on the couch and I just got to listen to him. Sure, he talked about some of the ailments that come with age, but we decided that getting old could be a lot better than the alternative (NOT getting old, if you catch my drift). He shared stories from his youth, and I learned some things about my mom's side of the family I never knew. We talked about the land he owns in Canterbury. He told me what he's up to now back home; how he helps his neighbors with their electrical issues, and his friend with the big chicken farm that he works on. We talked about tractors (which I have been looking at), what he has, and what I should look for and why. Another lesson I learned; Experience matters, but using that experience in the service of others matters more. And another; having the humility to actually listen to those with experience is pretty big too.

And in spite of all the health issues, and the advancing age, I also witnessed the fruits of staying active in mind and body for his 78 years. As he was leaving with my mom, I watched him head around the north end of the gym, disappear for a brief second, and then almost instantly reappear at the south end of the gym. He was headed behind the new house to go take a look at the backhoe we had been talking about. But what struck me was how fast he was moving, over pretty rough terrain (that part of the yard is pretty torn up from the construction and tree roots I have dug up). This is a guy who is clearly reaping the benefits of not sitting on his behind during his retirement years. The lesson I was reminded of; use it or lose it. 

Such a great visit, such good lessons.

So what does all this have to do with you? While we could the lessons I learned many different ways, here's one way we could apply it to taking care of ourselves and aging proactively.

Ask Good Questions. A really good question to consider; what positive thing can I do today, even right now, that will make my tomorrows brighter? Get more sleep, go to training, train hard once I get there, learn to cook something new? 

Learn from Experience. Don't be a know-it-all. Be a lifelong learner. And when you learn something new that matters, apply it and keep applying it.

Use It or Lose It. Getting older? Celebrate, don't whine about the aches and pains. I went to a funeral of a 53 year old friend a couple weeks ago. I am guessing you don't want to trade places with him. And while you are here, make the most of it. Get off the couch. Get active. Live, love and laugh. You are an amazing human being with talents and gifts the world needs. Don't hide them, use them. Enjoy the journey, even though so often it is hard. There is a big difference between being alive and really living.

Thanks Uncle David. Let's not wait another 5 years to do it again.

- DC

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