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Every year crossfitters from around the world are encouraged to participate in the Opens. Athletes are told that its a great way to see growth, and experience the community. I remember being told this my first year of CrossFit. I was told that I would be able to see growth, but I never realized the truth behind that statement until years later. For my first Opens, I wasn’t able to do a pull-up or double under. I didn’t understand the different types of wods or have the crazy lingo memorized. However, looking back to my first Opens and seeing this years Opens, I now see the growth people told me about year one. Every year the Opens feels more challenging but it’s amazing to be able to look back at opens #1 and say “wow, look how far I’ve come”. That ah-ha moment is what I tell people about when they ask if they should sign-up. No, the Opens may not give you anything more than a sense of competitive understanding when you first start, but when you do it again in year two, there will be a lot of growth shown. Every year following that becomes even better than the last.

So, if you missed the deadline for this years Opens, I encourage you to do the wods anyway. Write the date, your score and a comment about your approach. Maybe the amazing atmosphere got to you and you hit a PR. Those PR’s are pretty popular around Opens time. Also, If you did sign-up, congratulations on completing your first Opens wod of 2017. Cant wait to see whats in store for us in the next 4 weeks!

Have a great weekend,

Meg.

dori

REMINDER – Last call for all Crossfit Factory Square athletes to register for the 2017 Crossfit Opens is now here. Go to games.crossfit.com and sign up under Crossfit Factory Square. We currently have over 50 athletes signed up and all are encouraged to register. Remember there are both Scaled and RX options so regardless of your athletic ability there is something for everyone. The 2017 Opens are for 5 weeks (February 23rd – March 23rd) and each week the WOD will be released live on Thursday nights at 8 PM.

This year we are going to continue to watch the release of the workout at the gym and then have our very own assigned coaches and athletes go head to head immediately following the announcement. Last year we had an awesome turnout each week and hope everyone will come down to the gym again this year to watch the announcements of each workout and then watch our coaches and athletes perform. Don’t forget to order your Box Bistro for announcement nights.

This week (Thursday, Feb. 23rd) will be the announcement of 17.1 – Let the WOD predictions start to roll in! Tell us what you think!

Two of the most frequently asked questions from physiotherapy or chiropractic patients are “how do I choose a pillow,” and “how do I choose a mattress?” Mattress and pillow shopping is confusing because there are lots of choices, but once you understand what the pillow or mattress should be doing for you then it is less painful to choose one. It’s also important to note that a proper pillow and mattress combination can help improve neck pain or back pain and quality of sleep.
When do I need a new pillow or mattress?
  • Consistent waking in the night or morning with stiffness and pain in the shoulders or neck areas. Or waking with numbness and tingling in an arm, hand, leg or foot.  These problems can slowly build up over time and start out in a subtle way.
  • Difficulty getting comfortable in any position and restless poor quality sleeps.
  • And it’s been so long you can’t remember when you bought your pillow, or maybe it came with the cottage or you inherited it!
Both pillows and mattresses have two main purposes:
  1. To support and
  2. To cushion.
1. The pillow and mattress should provide optimal support
That means that it should support and maintain the natural alignment and curves of the spine (neck, mid back and lower back) and hips (in the case of a mattress) whether a person is on their front, side or back. It’s important to understand the normal posture and alignment of the spine when looking from the side as compared to looking from the front or back. The natural posture of the spine is as follows. When looking from the side, the neck (cervical spine) curves forward towards the throat. The midback (thoracic spine) curves backwards and the low back (lumbar spine) curves forward towards the stomach. See diagram below:
Diagram 1
    
With proper alignment and good posture the head sits directly on top of the shoulders, not poking forward as if to guide a person around corners.
When looking from the back the spine should be straight and perfectly vertical with no curves. See diagram above.
Side Sleeping
Now let’s look at how the mattress and pillow should support the natural spinal curves and alignment by looking at a person on their side lying on the floor. In picture 1 below, the spine is normally aligned as shown with the black line. The back and neck are lined up as if the person was standing. Note that the space between the ribs and the hip indicated by the arrow should be filled in with the support from a good mattress. And the space between the neck/head and floor is filled in with the pillow.
                                                                                                Picture 1
A proper pillow will keep the head and neck lined up in a natural and neutral position. This is where the head, neck and back all line up in a straight line.
Notice in picture 2 below that the black line outlines where a proper pillow support fills in the space between the head, face, neck and the mattress. The pillow follows the body shape in three dimensions to keep a straight line between the head, neck and hips. A proper mattress will allow the body to sink into it just enough to allow the natural position of the spine to be supported as shown in picture 2 below:
 
Picture 2
Back Sleeping
Pillows
For back sleepers the pillow needs to support the natural curve of the neck while cradling the head all in a neutral and natural alignment. See picture 4 below. A proper alignment means the ear opening/canal is lined up with the tip of the shoulder like the straight black line. The thickness, shape and firmness of the pillow with determine how the head and neck are positioned. A proper pillow will follow the shape and contour of the black line below filling in the space between the neck and the mattress (floor). It also allows the head the sink into the pillow to provide a depression for the head to be cradled in.
How to Buy a Mattress
Mattresses
When sleeping on the back, let’s look at how the mattress should support the natural spinal curves and alignment by looking at a person lying on the floor. In picture 4.1 below, the spine is normally aligned. Note that the space between the ribs and the hip indicated by the arrow should be filled in with the support from a good mattress.
                                                                                                 Picture 4
A proper mattress will allow the body to sink into it just enough to allow the natural position of the spine to be supported as shown in the below picture 4.2:
                                                                                                 Picture 4.2
Stomach Sleeping
DON’T EVER EVER DO IT!!
Firm vs cushioned pillows and mattresses are more of a preference as long as the above rules are followed.
Sleep is so important to our quality of life, so consider your sleeping arrangements if you are not happy with yours:)
Dr. Meghan

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When people think “CrossFit”, they generally think of the people they see on TV. They are young, extremely fit athletes who eat healthy all the time and training is life. People assume CrossFit is all about flipping tires and eating Paleo. However, CrossFit has another side as well. It’s an activity that all ages can do. I was thinking about my grandfather as a CrossFit athlete tonight when we had a conversation over dinner about fitness. I then realized that he is a CrossFit athlete and has been for years.  Even before CrossFit was a thing, he did it and is still doing it. He grew up doing laborious jobs, trained with the military and worked out in his own basement weight room for years. Every day we talk about my workout and current weight maxes. He tells me if I’m training to hard or if I need to step it up. He has been to every single local CrossFit event and thrives on the atmosphere. As an 88 year-old athlete, he still lives for the adrenaline; even if he can’t perform the movements himself. He is not throwing weights around like he used to but he still trains as much as he can. He understands the importance of functional fitness. That is what CrossFit is, functional fitness.

My grandfather instilled the importance of fitness for Mike and I. He helped mike in his early fitness years and I used to hang out in the dim basement weight room ever since I could remember. He showed us what it was like to work hard for our goals and that led us to our current love for CrossFit.

What I’m trying to say is that CrossFit is for everyone. No one really out grows the love for functional fitness. You can be a 5 year-old child in a kids class or an 88 year old man with 10 lbs weights in the living room. All athletes are the same. They have the drive to say active for as along as possible.

 

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"I love the encouraging environment. You can compete against the clock, others and yourself."

Mark B., CFS Member

"Squat, jump, climb, throw, lift."

Greg Glassman, CrossFit Founder

"I’ve come to realize that fitness and weight management truly are journeys, not destinations. And with the help of Crossfit and all that it represents, I’ve been able to get on the road to health."

Jim D., CFS Member

If you told me I would be able to deadlift 200lbs, do 65lb thrusters, jump onto the 20in box, make my mile time the fastest it has ever been or buddy carry my best friend over my shoulders, I would have told you, you’re nuts!

Noddie, CFS Member

As a woman, I’ve never felt more empowered or beautiful! I can’t wait to see what this upcoming year will bring! Thank you CrossFit Factory Square! ♥

Leah, CFS Member