Skipping Leg Day: Smart Strength With Charles Staley
By Chuck Arnold
I’ve been doing this for years, but I thought it was time to share my experience with others. My name is Chuck Arnold and I’m a writer and fitness enthusiast from New Jersey. Over the past few months, I have spent countless hours training at the legendary CrossFit gym in Harrison, NJ.
This year alone, I have trained there three times (once during the off season). I’ve done some of the most intense workouts ever devised. And yet, I am not a professional athlete or even a college student.
In fact, I don’t even own any equipment! However, despite all this freedom, I still feel like my efforts are being wasted if they aren’t leading to results.
So what’s going on? Why do so many people fail to see real results after putting in their time and money into these programs?
The answer lies in our brains. Our bodies are amazing machines, capable of incredible feats when properly programmed. But our minds are just computers that get tired very quickly. They need rest too! That’s why the best way to train your mind is to keep it busy by keeping it active and challenging.
So how do you keep yourself challenged?
By doing things that require mental effort, such as exercise, meditation, and other forms of self-improvement. By keeping your mind busy you can achieve the three things that all humans want: increased strength, decreased body fat, and an improved life.
Skipping Leg Day: Smart Strength With Charles Staley
Fortunately, this doesn’t mean you have to hit the gym or go jogging for miles on end. In fact, for the past few years Crossfit has been dominating the world of home fitness with classes that hammer your entire body–and your brain–into submission.
The once-humble garage-based company has gone from a single location to over 13,000 affiliated gyms in just a few short years. It is quite possible that your local Crossfit gym came into existence just a few months before you first walked in the door.
It wasn’t until I moved to my new apartment that I learned about its existence. But as soon as I saw it, I knew it was for me. The first thing that grabbed my attention was the wide range of ages and experience levels inside.
There were young moms with their children in tow, older men and women working on the rings and pull-up bars, teenagers throwing around weights like they were nothing, and even a few amateur athletes testing their skills against one another.
Despite the wide range of ages and abilities, everyone there seemed to be having fun while working their hardest. I was hooked immediately. After a few months of training, I noticed a dramatic improvement in all aspects of my life.
My energy levels went through the roof, and even the way I thought about problems became sharper and more efficient.
But Crossfit can be very expensive if you are not careful. One month of training can cost upwards of $200 if you book sessions on a regular basis. That is why I made a list of tips and tricks to cut your costs while maximizing results.
1. Do your own Research
One of the greatest things about Crossfit is that there are gyms everywhere, so you have a lot of choice in finding the right one for you. However, this is also a curse as a lot of these gyms will be sub-par or even dangerous.
This means you will need to do your own research before you commit to joining any gym. Call up the gym and ask some probing questions about the trainer’s experience and education. If they don’t know what specific injuries you are prone to or can’t give you at least a four year university degree in exercise science, say thanks but no thanks and keep looking.
Once you have found a gym that seems reputable, make an appointment to go speak with a trainer in person. Tell them you would like to join but need some assistance building your fitness from the ground up. The aim here is to get the trainer to spend at least one hour with you before joining.
This will help you decide if their teaching style meshes with yours as well as give you a freebie introduction to their abilities.
2. Buy Second Hand
Unless you have been living under a rock, you have probably heard about the growing Crossfit clothing industry. Everywhere you look you see Team Reebok sweatshirts, Nike workout gear and even compression sleeves by a company called “Under Armour.” Crossfit has become such a phenomena that these companies have created entire divisions dedicated to keeping up with the latest trends in the world of functional fitness.
All this means one thing and one thing only: EXPENSIVE clothing. A pair of “Reebok Crossfit Lifter” weightlifting shoes costs a staggering $200 and that is not even counting the actual Crossfit branded clothing intended for workouts (which can cost as much as $100 per shirt). This cost alone is enough to make most people drop out of the sport before they even get started.
Thankfully there is an alternative. Since Crossfit is still an underground sport without much backing, a lot of companies rely on word of mouth to spread the Crossfit apparel line. This means that a lot of these companies will give away or even sell old clothing just to get people to try out their brand.
These old shirts and shorts are perfect for those just getting started. They are free or very cheap and look almost identical to the more expensive ones (no one is going to see you in your garage). I recommend you ask around online or even at your local gym to see if anyone has any old clothes they are not using.
3. Use Craigslist
It is surprising that more people do not use online marketplaces like Craigslist to find products.
I have found cars, bicycles, jobs and even my apartment on craigslist so why not find cheap Crossfit equipment?
Here is how it works. Go to the website Craigslist.org and navigate to your city’s page. Next, click on the “for sale” tab (if you want to buy something, click on the “want to buy” tab obviously). This will bring up a list of items people are selling. Now all you have to do is scroll down until you find something related to Crossfit and you are in business.
I recommend looking for old weight sets or parts of weight sets. Most people sell weight plates separately so you can easily collect them one by one. You can also find old weight belts, dip belts and even pieces of old rope people sell for a dollar.
The possibilities are endless so have fun with it!
4. Host a Garage Sale
Have you ever noticed how people will pay to get rid of stuff they don’t want anymore?
This very concept is the backbone of garage sales. All you need to do is gather up all the Crossfit paraphernalia in your house and put in on display.
Now you might be asking yourself “Why would I want to do this?
I could just give this stuff away for free instead of spending time and energy putting it all out and dealing with strangers.” Well the simple answer is: people are willing to pay MORE to get rid of stuff than you think.
I recommend pricing each item at about $1-$5. You may get some annoyed people who try to bargain with you (“I will give you 50c for that Yoga mat” Actual quote) but most will pay the price. If you live in a high density area with a lot of apartments, people are even willing to pay a flat rate just to take away their entire pile of unwanted items.
This is money in your pocket!
If you are really ambitious, you can organize the sale into sections and have a theme (“All Small Items $1”, “All Kitchen Items $5”, etc). Just make sure you have enough of one item to make it worthwhile.
5. Sell Crossfit Accessories
I know there are people out there who love Crossfit, but HATE the loud rattling of their metal spring weights.
There has to be a market for non-metal weight sets…right?
You can also try selling other types of Crossfit accessories like yoga mats, bands and suspension trainers (like the ever so popular pull-up-bar).
Sources & references used in this article:
ELLIOTT HULSE: Making men strong, since 2007 by C Staley, MSS Director – elliotthulse.com
Muscle Logic: Escalating Density Training by C Staley – 2005 – books.google.com
What Male Athletes Need to Know About Testosterone by A Larsen – breakingmuscle.com
by TC Luoma| 04/13/20 by HMWI Lose – t-nation.com
by Andrew Heming| 10/09/19 by PBTY Haven’t – t-nation.com
by TC Luoma| 01/06/20 by AVSCT Earns – t-nation.com
by TC Luoma| 02/03/20 by ESB Fat – t-nation.com
Building Muscle and Performance: A Program for Size, Strength & Speed by N Tumminello – 2016 – books.google.com
Strength Training for Fat Loss by N Tumminello – 2014 – books.google.com