Is Boutique Fitness Right for Me?

If you’re ready for results it’s time to ditch the health club…

There was a time when we got all the exercise we require from our daily activities. But as hunting and gathering lead to farming and eventually the industrialized world we live in today the need for human “labor” has been nearly eradicated. Now that we work desk jobs, eat our meals from the hot bar at Whole Foods, and enjoy a generally sedentary lifestyle we are required to reintroduce this missing physical activity. For some reason, the question of how to add physical activity, or work, back into our lives is one that has proven to be puzzling, controversial, and difficult terrain to navigate.


In response to the demands of the market the fitness industry has grown tremendously, particularly in North America where an estimated $28 billion was spent in 2015. Much of this industry is dominated by health clubs and large gym franchises that offer a sampling of strength equipment, cardio machines, TV’s, massage chairs and minimal staffing. Granted  how many staff members do you need when your members don’t actually attend the club? In a study done by students at UC Berkeley found 67% of gym memberships are never used in the population they surveyed.


“If you are not going to the gym, you are actually the gym’s best customer.” -Stacey Vanek Smith, NPR


The savvy marketers at big box gyms know how to target their marketing towards individuals who won’t actually come to the facility. As humans we often get a rush of excitement by a new fitness undertaking. “This is it, the time I actually change, no looking back,” you say. The challenge is that the health club has made zero commitment to you. They don’t care if you show up or not. Luckily there is someone out there who does.


Boutique fitness is the alternative to the traditional health club model. Boutique gyms offer specialized classes based on the expertise of the owners, teachers, or coaches. CrossFit boxes, Barre studios, Bikram yoga, parkour facilities, spin classes  are all great examples of the boutique fitness model.


These communities succeed when the all parts are working together; the owner, staff, and clientele all succeed when they each meet their goals. This synergistic effect leads to faster results and more satisfaction from all parties. As a client you have a team of coaches and fellow members who are all rooting for you, teaching you, and most importantly holding you accountable. Becoming fit doesn’t have to be a chore, a challenge, or a pain point. In fact, it can even be fun 😉


Boutique gyms have been seen rapid growth in the past decade as clients recognize that when it comes to fitness, not all gyms are created equal. Some of the most common excuses sound like:

  • “I have a hard time sticking to a routine”
  • “I’m just too busy to exercise”
  • “I get bored with going to the gym, it always feels like work”
  • “I don’t know how to lift weights/choose a routine/eat the right food”


These are great excuses, but since you’re ready to make a change it’s time to ditch the excuses and focus on RESULTS. By implementing a system that counters your excuses you’ll be left with the only option, the results that you want to achieve.


If you struggle with sticking to a routine you will benefit from the coaches, friends, and community members that you’ll meet at each class. A group of people that will ask you about your day, learn about your goals and life, and most importantly encourage you to show up consistently to your workouts.


If you claim to be too busy then you should sign up for classes ahead of time. The wide variety of classes that are available each day at time frames that are consistent with your schedule make it easy to squeeze in an hour long workout.


If boredom is your challenge then a workout that changes every day is exactly what you need. Not only that but the different coaching styles and friends you’ll make at different times of the day make each class a totally unique experience.


If information is the enemy then relax, because that’s already been taken care of for you. Your coach has put a lot of thought into a training program that will improve your fitness and will be by your side to instruct you on form, breathing, and what weights to use. Keep an eye out for group nutrition challenges to boot!


To get the results you want sometimes you need to try a new approach. If that trip to the gym feels more daunting than Frodo walking the ring to Mordor then it’s time to see what a boutique gym has in store for you!

The Power of Choice

Most of us have an area in our life we wish we were performing better in. That part of us that doesn’t quite fit into our own skin. It could be a touchy subject that our spouse and friends know to steer clear of, the elephant in the room. It could be the promotion you still haven’t received, the credit card you haven’t paid off, or the weight you were supposed to lose by the beginning of  summer… in 2012.


And because you’re wearing this very uncomfortable skin that’s not quite your size I am happy to tell you that you are exactly where you chose to be today.


I can already hear the objections rising up so let me explain why.


You see I totally understand your story. I understand because it’s yours, mine, and everyone else’s. Sometimes having a new baby, a busy time at work, or the worst timing for a medical emergency/broken down car/economic depression can happen. There are a million and one events in life that can derail us. They are not always fair and can seem impossible to overcome when they show up knocking at our door.


“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths.”

-Arnold Schwarzenegger


At that point we do an admirable thing. We give up on our dream. We set it aside to go fix the problem. We change our identity and become the superhero who knows exactly how to work overtime and take care of a sick parent. We do it because we want to make sure the story has a happy ending. We do it out of love.


And life goes on.


And sometimes the situation gets better. And sometimes it doesn’t. Either way, the situation that called for a superhero 6 months ago no longer needs a hero to save it. But there you stand in cape and tights committed to action. Except now it’s time to go home. Time to write a new story.


Where you stand today is a result of many choices. Some of your hero moments were the big decisions that shaped your trajectory. Like I said, I’m proud of you for doing that. But now it’s time to get back on the path. Your path. The one you stopped telling yourself that you wanted because it hurt too bad to think that it may never come true.


You might think it’s too late (it’s not).


You might want to try, but feel that you strayed too far (you haven’t).


You have to remember you have the power of choice. And it’s a good thing that you do. It gives you the power to turn your greatest adversity into your greatest strength. You always have the option to shy away or to stand and fight.


It’s time for a new story. You’re the hero and you’re at the turning point in the movie of your life. So what are you going to do next?You’ve endured hardship, learned tough lessons, and fallen time and time again. Wouldn’t this be a great time for everything to turn around?


Maybe you can recruit someone to help you get there, a long lost friend or a wise old mentor. Maybe you need to crank up “Eye of the Tiger” and experience the training it will take to achieve your success.


The time to act is now. Don’t slip back into your old story. You are the hero. The power of choice brought you here. Your choice decides what happens next.


So what are you going to do?


[GYM OWNER:] Add a call to action here, like: “Schedule your Free Consult here” with a link.

5 Reasons to get STRONG

Fitness trends come and go and most fall to the wayside for good reason.

Most programs fail to produce consistent results. It’s a wonder why so many folks stray away from what is tried and true when it comes to exercise programs?

“The rule is: the basics are the basic, and you can’t beat the basics.” -Charles Poliquin

Despite what your goals may be, every individual can benefit from physical resistance training. Not only that, but the health benefits extend far beyond your short term fitness goals. Regardless of why you train, let’s take a look at some of the reasons you should incorporate strength training into your fitness regimen.

1. Training for strength produces results.

Whatever your goals, muscle will help you get there. Some companies in the fitness industry has made a fortune around buzzwords like “tone”, “lift”, and “sculpt.” The problem is there’s no way to measure those loose terms. If you want to change your body composition there is only the ability to gain or lose muscle while simultaneously gaining or losing fat. If you are looking for the most efficient way to do make a change then strength training is your best option.

Strength training, or physical resistance training, can be defined as a type of physical exercise specializing in the use of resistance to induce muscular contraction which builds the strength, anaerobic endurance, and size of skeletal muscles. When you gain muscle you increase your bodies basal metabolism (the amount of calories you burn each day before factoring in physical activity). It’s kind of like putting a bigger engine in a car. The car is capable of moving faster or pulling a heavier load (more muscle), but it also uses more fuel (fat) whether it’s cruising down the freeway or idling in the driveway. Strength training helps us “tone” through this muscle gain/fat loss trade.

2. “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” -Peter Drucker

Training for strength provides a clear path for success. You can set training goals that are specific, measurable, and produce desired outcomes. A good coach will help you design a plan towards these goals with checkpoints along the way. Your strength training program is a road map to success with clear directions. Sets, reps, and weights lifted safely through the full range of motion are the signals that you’re on track. Many people find that a more detailed plan helps them stay motivated as they experience progress.

3. Age gracefully with more muscle mass.

As we get older strength training is one of the most important things we can do for our health. Physical independence is a key factor in a great quality of life.

A comprehensive study of strength training has been proven to:

  • Improve motor function
  • Lower resting heart rate
  • Increase stamina
  • Prevent sarcopenia (age related muscle loss)
  • Improve bone mineral density
  • Prevent and help rehab injuries

Functional strength training will be an asset in daily life too. From picking up grandchildren or bags of groceries to climbing stairs with confidence.

4. You’ll experience epic brain gains.

Did you know that lifting weights can strengthen your brain just as much as it does your body?
Dr. Yorgi Mavros from the University of Sydney has found that high‐intensity physical resistance training (PRT) results in significant improvements in cognitive function, muscle strength, and aerobic capacity in older adults with mild cognitive impairment. Adults who followed a resistance training routine in addition to cognitive training performed significantly better than control groups on a series of mental tests. A couple key factors to note:

The participants exercised 2x/ week working to at least 80% of their peak strength.
The benefits lasted one year after the exercise prescription had ended.

What does that mean? According to Yorgi, “The stronger people became, the greater the benefit for their brain.” Let that sink in for a minute. You actually grow your brain by training to become stronger! It makes me wonder if Einstein developed his Theory of Relativity in between heavy sets of back squats…

5. Strong moms have healthy babies.

During pregnancy, the question always arises of what does fitness look like for this stage of life? With so much on the line, it’s important to consult with a doctor before beginning any fitness routine. Luckily, there is a tremendous amount to be gained by incorporating a strength training routine under normal circumstances. Resistance training can help alleviate symptoms and improve health outcomes for the mother and child. According to the Mayo Clinic, women who follow a consistent strength training routine during pregnancy can experience:

  • Reduce backaches, constipation, bloating and swelling
  • Boosted mood and energy levels
  • Better sleep
  • Prevent excess weight gain
  • Maintain levels of muscle strength and endurance
  • Reduced incidence of gestational diabetes

Not only that but women who train during pregnancy report enhanced body image and better psychological well-being!

We would love to help you live a healthy strong life. Schedule a Free Consult to learn more.

Know Your Why

Know Your WHY…..


I know, what the hell is my WHY? Give me a moment to explain. Your WHY is the reason you do things. Why do I drive a certain route, why do I listen to the music I do? Why do I work out and why do I do CrossFit? As a coach and a CrossFitter, I am constantly revisiting my why. Maybe you should too.


Honestly, there are few examples of a bad why when it comes to working out, the list is stacked toward the good. Working out helps you get stronger, fitter, and helps you cope mentally with the stresses of the daily grind. In CrossFit we get to add a couple more: I enjoy getting my butt kicked or I get to see my CrossFit family. As a Coach I get to add in: I love to see someone get a PR or be able to do a movement or lift that they never knew they could or that they have been struggling with. I also get to see each of you change physically and mentally as you get stringer and closer to your true potential, Those are the easy things to get excited about, and it makes it really easy to come back in each day. As an athlete it sometimes isn’t so easy.


While I enjoy how I feel after a workout, or at least when I can breathe again and my heart rate returns to normal, and I enjoy the community and CrossFit Family. I also enjoy getting stronger and how my body looks when I have been training hard, but sometimes the grind gets me down. It’s hard to keep coming back for the butt kicking day after day, and the results don’t come as fast as I would like. That’s when I need to take a step back and review my whys and see how far I have come.


You, as an athlete, definitely see the big things that go right in your training, a new PR, finally getting double unders, or even getting a handstand. We as coaches get to see you progress every day to reach those achievements. We see the little changes each week that you might overlook or not even notice. We remember how you moved when you first came in and see how much better you move now. How strong you are now, how well you kill the workouts. It has been nothing short of amazing. So if the grind starts to get you down just take a step back, and review your why.


Why did you cone in, and why do you stay? Try to take a look back and see how far you have come. If you ask us, you have done some amazing things and we are glad one of your first whys brought you in to Trollway CrossFit.

The Open is Coming!

Hi Gang,

(In my best Will Ferrel “Elf” voice)




So “What is the Open?” you may ask. Well let me tell you. The Open is the CrossFit Games Open Qualifier. It is the official start of the 2018 CrossFit Games season, and it is a chance for all of us as a global community to get together at our local gyms or in our garage or basement and put our fitness to the test. It is a fun event for us at Trollway CrossFit because we turn it into an in house intramural team event and make it even more fun.


This year we are going to have 3 teams and we encourage all of you to join in. As with CrossFit as a whole , the open and our team even is scalable so no one has a valid excuse to not join us and show your wild side. Below is a link to the CrossFit Games site that gives you more information.


Registration for the CrossFit Games Open begins on January 11th, and sign up for our In-house team competition will begin next week.


There will be more information to follow so keep an eye on the Trollway CrossFit web page and the Swole Trolls Facebook page. Thanks for reading, see you in the gym.


Jamie and Paul

5 Things to help make you more successful with the New Year’s goals


With the New Year upon us, everyone is out trying to get in shape for 2018. Below are some pointers that if employed will help you with reaching your fitness goals.


  1. Set SMART goals. Goals need to have certain criteria to help you make them achievable.


S- Specific, just saying you want to get in shape, or get stronger is great in concept but not very specific. Saying you want to be able to run a 5K by March 29th is a specific goal, or “I want to increase my deadlift by 30%” is another example.


M- Measurable, like specific, your goal needs to be something that can be measured. Using the Deadlift example above, limiting it to the deadlift is specific, but how much do you want to increase it? One pound, 400 pounds, both are an increase, but you need to put the measure out there.


A- Achievable, going from couch to ultra-marathon in 4 weeks is specific and measurable but is it achievable? Not likely. But going from couch to 5k in 3 months is something that could be accomplished.


R- Realistic, setting a goal that is either not achievable in the time you have or not within human reach is just as counter productive as not setting one at all. Raising all of your base lifts by 40% is achievable, measurable, and specific, but if you put an unrealistic timeframe on it, say like 1 week, you would make it unrealistic.


T- Timeframe, setting a timeframe will allow you to progress towards your goal and give you a deadline to have it completed by.


  1. Have a plan to reach your goals. Look at your end date of your time line and work backwards to the start. Set waypoints so you can see how you are progressing and adjust as necessary.


  1. Don’t try to do too much too fast, it will demotivate you if you are constantly overwhelmed. Rome was not built in a day and neither is fitness. Start small and build up as you progress in skill.


  1. Don’t give up too soon. It takes practice and time to acquire new skills, strength and an engine. Results are never immediate; it takes work and commitment.


  1. Have fun. While getting in shape or achieving new goals is work and time consuming, you need to enjoy the process. If you are miserable you won’t stick with it. Find methods or communities that you enjoy and get out there and get swole!


Jamie and Paul

Trollway CrossFit


In CrossFit, and even in other parts of our life, we are always in a hurry to acquire new skills or gain strength whether to use them immediately or to show them off. While this is a really good thing as is drives us to practice and work harder, it also causes us to skip steps or find shortcuts around necessary strength or base skills. We aren’t being mean when we force you to have a decent amount of strict pull ups before letting you move on to learning how to kip them, we are trying to ensure you have a good base level of strength that will help protect your shoulder.


We all have to learn to leave our egos at the door. Even the most elite athletes started with the basics, and review them often. A pitcher doesn’t just show up on game day and pitch a perfect game, they have thrown thousands of pitches at many different speeds and in many different situations before they even make their High School debut much less their first Pro start. It starts by attempting to acquire the skill, if their mobility is good, they move on, if not, they work on their mobility until they can move mechanically sound. Then they work on the muscle memory of the skill and at the same time start building muscle endurance. This is also the same time that they are laying the foundations of accuracy. Accuracy isn’t hitting the bulls-eye, its hitting the exact same spot repeatedly, and once you can do that then you can adjust the positioning to put it on the target. Now that they have built the foundations of their throw, they can start to throw harder and harder until they can’t maintain control and mechanics. This is their limit, they must back the force down until it is controllable and physically repeatable to be able to be successful and healthy. It is no different with CrossFit, we need to build the movement, and if necessary acquire the mobility. Next, shape the muscle memory by good practice, which will help develop muscle endurance. Finally, now that you have a solid foundation, and can do more than a couple of reps, you can push the boundaries of your strength safely.


Close enough really isn’t. A crappy rep will give you crappy results. I know everyone wants to win, or at least not be last, but getting there by cutting corners isn’t of any benefit to you. If its not a benefit, don’t do it. We are all trying to be better than we were the day before, whether in gymnastics, strength, conditioning, or even nutrition, so why would we do something that isn’t giving us long-term benefits. By setting a good foundation and using perfect form, you will greatly outgain someone cutting corners, and you will be stronger and more efficient doing it.


Keep up the good work, it will pay off. We promise.

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