New to Mountain Strong? Here’s What to Know

So you’re considering an exciting journey – becoming mountain strongER – congratulations! Starting a new gym always poses a few questions, and we hope this post helps you feel more comfortable in your early weeks.  

WHAT ARE YOU GUYS LIKE?

Let’s be honest. It’s about the people too. First: The coaches are a mix of athletes with diverse passions/skill sets and sense of adventure. (We’ve got martial arts, van living, world exploring, archery, etc. on our resumes.)

We have endless love and excitement when it comes to coaching and watching people earn small and big wins every day.

We challenge you to do your best, and the members come ready to deliver every single day. We don’t push you overboard. We have colorful programming, and we work with everybody to make the day successful. Members are genuinely curious how you are and will ask you about your life because we are real people who thrive on the strength of our close-knit community. We are supportive of each other, whether’s its sharing some of our hard earned advice or cheering somebody through a timed workout.

We love kickin’ back with the occasional beer (this is Denver, after all) so expect some social gatherings!

 

I’VE NEVER DONE CROSSFIT/NOT SURE IF I CAN DO IT/DON’T WANT TO GET CULT-LIKE…

Despite being labeled a CrossFit gym, we focus our energy on helping people who live the Colorado lifestyle – mountain athletes, skiers, runners and climbers- take their performance to the next level through injury prevention, conditioning, mobility, and strength training. CrossFit is just one tool we utilize. We integrate grip work, Olympic lifting, running, bouldering, campusing, gymnastics, animal flow, and kettlebells to make you a well-rounded, long-lasting badass human. 

WHAT DO I ASK THE COACHES?

No question is too silly. We’ve all been where you have been once. We also keep a sharp eye on how well each individual is integrating with the program – we don’t view you just as a class – we monitor each body’s progress!

This is Coach Anne talking: I still vividly remember the day I signed up for a gym. The first few months, I would gather all my equipment for the assigned workout I selected out of a magazine and bring them into the studio. The studio was a place with dim lights and very few other members, if any!

With that said…here are some questions:

  • What do I do about this specific imbalance or injury?
  • I’m not familiar with this movement – can you go through it with me?
  • Do you have alternatives I might be more comfortable with during the assigned workout?

 

WHAT IF I HAVE OLD/NEW INJURIES?

We will work with you to modify the workout every time. We don’t believe in pushing through the pain we do love working around it! We want you to come back smarter and stronger. Injuries are a common part of an athlete’s life and we won’t allow it to detour us!

 

HOW EARLY SHOULD I COME TO CLASS?

We suggest coming 10-15 minutes early. This will give you adequate time to change clothes, make small talk, and warm up before the coaches’ warm up. All coaches offer a unique style of warm -up and activation drills to prep you for the workout, but it helps to get warm for about five minutes before class officially begins!

We recommend:

  • Climbing 
  • Rowing
  • Ski ERG
  • Foam rolling (if you are familiar with how to foam roll – otherwise ask us!)
  • Air Bike

Checking in? 

If you haven’t already, download the Mind-body app on your phone. This app allows you to check in to class, see whos coaching and helps us stay prepared and organized for every class. If you sign up for a class and can’t make it in- don’t worry – its no big deal!

What to wear? 

Wear clothes you feel good in and are capable of moving in all planes! Coach Anne here: I’m a strong believer in wearing attire you feel confident in, especially in new surroundings. Second, as mentioned, we deploy barbells, climbing work, kettlebells (and lots of chalk for our sweaty hands!): You want durable attire that won’t snag or tear. 

 

Can I come in to climb or lift without following the gym’s programming or coaching?

The short answer is YES. We understand lots of athletes have their systems in place and want to do their own thing when it comes to training- using our top-notch equipment and facility. We offer a 24hour membership for athletes who have a solid understanding of training methodology and best practices. You get a code to the door and are allowed to come train anytime the gym is open or closed- to your heart’s content. Email us if your interested ( info@mountainstrongdenver.com ) 

NEXT…

High-five on considering becoming mountain strong. We mean that literally and will do our best to make it happen for you. We are psyched to have you become part of our growing community! 

Check out our other blog posts to learn more about the gym and our training methodologies!

More questions/concerns? Just take the leap and come drop in for a class ( your first one is always free- no pressure ! )  or Talk to a coach!

 

Written by Coach Anne R.  check her out on instagram @liftlivelead and the gym at @mountainstrongdenver

 

 

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Coaches Corner: The pull-up

The pull-up is one of those movements that comes so naturally for some and is a constant struggle for others. But, no matter where you lie on the pull-up spectrum, there is always room for improvement. 

Why should you do pull-ups?

Pull-ups are a great test of body weight strength. They work your grip, biceps, shoulders, and back. They also help improve general body awareness and help you learn to control your body through space. Pull-ups are the ultimate real-world upper body exercise.  

Why do some people struggle?

Sorry ladies, the cards are sort of stacked against us! Women have a higher body fat percentage than men, which means that their strength to body weight ratio is low. Women also don’t build muscle as fast which makes it more difficult but not impossible!

Also, taller and larger people have a harder time with strict pull-ups. Smaller people have a relatively higher body weight strength than a larger person-once again, that strength to body weight ratio. It often comes down to weight, levers, and physics. 

The good news: You can still get a pull-up!

If you are committed to working towards it, there are many things you can do to work towards that elusive strict pull-up. 

  1. Work on the basic muscle groups to build bicep and lat strength through free weight movements and lifting. 
  2. Scale the pull up to something that directly translates to the full movement. I recommend toe assisted box pullups (video) and only SOME band assisted pull-ups. 
  3. Make a goal and commit and be diligent to whatever program you choose! (check out my pull-up program on the website or find one that works for you!)
  4. If it is healthy and feasible for you, shedding even a few pounds will make pull-ups, and every body-weight movement much easier.  

 

To kip or not to kip. 

Why do we do the kipping pull-up? In any high-intensity training, we want to find ways that you can do more reps in a short amount of time to keep the intensity up. 

However, if you cannot perform a strict pull-up, there is no reason to do kipping pull-ups in a workout. It’s just not safe! However, you can continue to work on the skill outside of workouts while you are developing your strict pull-up strength.

Improving on your strict pull-ups.

If you already have a good strict pull-up foundation, here are a few things to add to your routine that can help improve them even more. 

  1. Add some weight: Go slow and work up in weight and reps.
  2. Improve your mobility: If you know you have tight lats or thoracic spine, spend some time every day working on those areas for a better full range of motion. 
  3. Negatives: Work on negatives until failure (no longer able to control descent)
  4. Chest to bar: Work on pulling even higher! Aim for your chest or sternum. This will help engage even more lats, chest, and triceps. 

wait for it…..

 

 

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