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Stimulate, Don’t Annihilate

Why do you want to go 100% every day? 

Are you doing it because that’s what you see posted on other’s social media?

Are you doing it because it allows you to forget about things that are bothering you?

Are you doing it because you don’t feel you are good enough unless you “left it all out there”?

IF you want to be able to CRUSH it for the rest of your life, stimulate your body with just enough work over an extended period of time.

IF you want to crush it NOW, but not necessarily for the rest of your days, go 100% every day.

Stimulating your body makes it sharper, stronger, and more efficient.

Annihilating your body…..well, destroys it.

Understanding the “Why” you train and what your goals are can reveal a lot about what you ACTUALLY want or need.

If you want to be fit/ healthy for life outside the gym for the long haul: Stimulate, don’t annihilate.

Peace and Fitness.


Name: Jamie Schul

Age: 26

Profession/Career: Registered Nurse at Parkview Health in the Ortho Neuro Trauma Unit. 

1. Why do you train?

To keep in shape, and to prevent weight gain as I get older.

2. Why do you do train at CrossFit Angola?

I had a membership at the YMCA. I came to the free week and got more of a workout in 12 minutes then I would going to the Y and working out by myself.

3. What were you most afraid of when you first joined our gym?

The crazy high weights and weightlifting

4. What one thing got you to take the initial leap and sign up?

The last day of the free week, the workout had something with jumping lunges in it. I got home and my legs were so tired I could barely stand! That was like a 12-15 minute workout and it made me feel like that, so I figured clearly it’s working!

5. What were your goals when you first started?

I wanted to do a strict pull-up, and come to class 3-4 times per week.

6. What are your goals now (if different)?

Well I got my pull-up so that’s an accomplishment! I would like to get a bar muscle up next.

7. What is most important to you in your life right now?

Family…That is why I live in Indiana, to be closer to family. Other than that, just traveling and staying active.

9. Favorite movement/exercise?

I’m starting to like things on the pull-up bar, like chest to bar pull-ups and toes to bar. Those are things I’ve never done before and it makes me feel accomplished doing new things.

10. Least favorite movement/exercise?

Least favorite anything with the Assault Bike!

11. What differences have you noticed since starting at CFA?

Definitely notice my arms are more toned and I can feel my legs are stronger. Overall, I have more energy and drive to do stuff.


It’s Not okay to be mediocre

Now before the internet loses its minds and I get angry emails about participation, hear me out. First, we all know by now that participation trophies are detrimental to all parties involved. If you have any beliefs otherwise I urge you to listen to some of Simon Sinecks talks on this or better yet check out some of the data surrounding it. The big broad brush strokes are that kids who deserve the trophies, the higher performers and podium finishers, feel devalued and the kids who get the participation trophies feel bad as they know they really don’t deserve recognition because they didn’t win anything… They just showed up and “checked the box”. Now for some kids and parents, this is a huge accomplishment and I love that, but it doesn’t warrant a trophy and a celebration of mediocrity. It just doesn’t… It does warrant a high 5 and an atta boy or girl though. Praise effort, but let’s not throw a party for it. Do you get a party for going to work every day? I didn’t think so. The appropriate reward for appropriate performance.

Over the last few years, I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with hundreds of young athletes from the Tri-State area through partnerships with local schools, teams, and in rare occasions- parents who “get it”. The people who ask our facility and coaching staff to work with young athletes understand that going to practice is simply checking the box. Its the minimum required work to be a part of a team. For kids who don’t play sports maybe a gym class or weightlifting is required during middle and high school…. And that’s it! For many kids, they get 1 hour a day in their most formative years is telling them that physical competency is good and that it’s okay to work hard.

Today I had the opportunity to coach a group of 7th and 8th graders and some took part with genuine disgruntlement. They simply didn’t want to be there.  Now, there are 100 different factors including diet, sleep, psychological, and physical restrictions that can play a part in the decline of activity in young people. And although VERY important topics not to be overlooked, they are for a later article. On the flip side, there were some students who LOVED the opportunity to be pushed physically. There were probably more of those students than I even recognized which give me genuine hope! These kids WANT to be pushed! They want someone to look at them and expect only their very best effort.

I don’t think that deep down kids want to be average. Ask any 1st grader what they want to be when they grow up and you’ll hear noble answers ranging from astronaut to zookeeper. Kids want to be great! And then at some point, they learn that they can get some stuff done with minimal effort… And then some more. And then they learn what is possibly the most detrimental lesson of all. You can get by in this life without giving it every ounce of your being. That’s a damn shame.

One of the biggest issues I see with young people today, student-athletes included, is that no one has ever looked them in the face and told them, “it’s not ok to be mediocre.” It’s not ok to be undisciplined and have no competency in the realm of physical fitness. It’s just not. For 100’s of reasons including physical and mental wellbeing. Many adults who interact with children want what is best for them, I really do believe that, but at the fear of seeming like a jerk or causing harm they choose the easier route which is let kids sit in their butts 7-8 hours a school day only to come home and spend another 6-7 hours on their butts in front of a tv, computer, or phone. This is NOT okay! Today, I saw more kids just stop moving when their legs got a little tired or they started breathing too hard. Rather than lean into that adversity and see what comes on the other side of it. I saw a large majority of kids gasping for air after a 2 minute warm up. This is NOT okay!

I do not believe 1 person is responsible for the disturbing decline in physical competency in young people. I say competency because I’m not even talking about sport ready fitness, I am talking about basic general physical preparation. It’s not the school’s fault, it’s not just the parent’s fault (though the largest piece of the pie is yours), and it’s not just societies fault. Its all of our faults because as teachers, coaches, parents, and adults we never looked a young person in the eyes and said, “it’s NOT okay to be mediocre. Especially not in the realm of physical fitness.” If the next generation can’t squat, lunge, do a push-up and pull up… It’s our damn fault. If your kid does not see physical fitness as a priority…. It’s your damn fault.

I have never met one parent who looked at me and said, “I want my kid to be worse off than I was.” It’s the opposite, we want better for our children, hell we want the best for them! This means being the rational thinker and noticing that 12-14 hours a day on their butt is NOT okay.

Even worse off than the kids who have not been taught the value of fitness are the kids who have “athleticism” but do not appreciate the foundational work required to excel. I am not talking practice or hitting coaches or pitching clinics or football camps- that is checking the box. Everyone is doing that now. Almost every kid who plays basketball or volleyball does it in multiple leagues/ seasons a year. I am talking about the kids who put the time in the weight room and in the gym consistently.

I can tell you with near certainty which individuals and teams will be a force in their sport by how they approach summer, in-season, and off-season strength training. Every team and individual dreams of winning regardless of sport. No one at the high school level and up plays solely for the love of it. They want to win! They want to break the chains of mediocrity and touch greatness, if even for a minute. Most athletes love game day but hate practice at the lower levels. It’s just another thing that they have to do to play. This is a mediocre way of thinking. The best in any sport do not think this way. The best see training as a way to improve their skills for the next game, match, or season. The best know that it is NOT okay to be mediocre.

How many of us reading this have a young person who loves the grind, the practice, the training? I am betting very few, but if it’s you, congratulations share this with someone who needs it and pat yourself on the back.

For the rest of us, stop letting young people believe that it is ok to be anything other than the best version of themselves. Stop letting them be weak and incapable. Stop letting them complain about physical discipline. Stop letting them believe that it’s okay to be mediocre.

Member of the Month- Kent Oberlin

Name: Kent Oberlin

Age: 55

Profession: Key Account Rep for Builders First Source

1. Why Do You Train:

For longevity. I’m not scared of pain, but I am scared of heart Disease. To be able to live a better life.

2. Why do you train at out gym?

At first, I didn’t want anything to do with CrossFit. My Wife Dianne has been doing it for a while and I just thought it was not for me. I came to the first workout and it didn’t take but a few workouts to realize this is really cool. I like the whole family aspect and that got me hooked.

3. What were you most afraid of when you joined our gym?

Doing lower body exercise because of problems with my knees. Doing things like squats, but those things are coming around.

4. What was one thing that got you to take the initial leap and sign up?

Location was a factor, being right in town. Having 4 different class times works great for what I do. It works out well to come to any class time and I have utilized every one of them. I like meeting people from each class.

5. What is a goal of yours?

To perform Turkish Get-Ups well. I do not get down on the ground well and I don’t get up well. The Turkish Get-Up is a great exercise to help that.

6. What is most important to you in life right now?

Family is most important thing. If we are blessed to have grandchildren I want to be able to play with my grandchildren and not watch my grandchildren play. By doing this I think that is going to help.

7. What are your biggest challenges in life?

Motivation. For anything whether its work or working out, you just got to do it. Once you get there and get involved in it, you’ll get it done.

Nutrient Timing

Nutrient timing means eating specific nutrients (carbs, fats, and proteins) in specific amounts at specific times (normally before, during, or after exercise).

Having proper nutrient timing will enhance athletic performance, competition, and daily life expectations. Having the right timing will help your body use the food that you eat as fuel instead of turning it into fat.

When exercising a great starting point is to eat most of your daily carbs and proteins before and after exercise and NO FAT. Eating fats before and/or after your workout will slow down the digestion of the fuel you put in your body. This means that our body will not get the fuel that it needs in time to either fuel or recover for exercise.

What should I eat and when?

This all depends on when you workout. If you’re an early riser/exerciser, eat something small like a banana or half the servings of 1st Phorm’s Ignition and 1st Phorm’s Phormula-1. If you are a macro guy/gal, 25 grams of carbs and 25 grams of protein for breakfast. Then, eat more carbs during your dinner (the night before early exercise) and during that day’s lunch.

If you workout out in the evening, you may benefit from a higher fat and protein breakfast. Then, you would eat mostly carbs and protein at lunch and dinner. For you evening warriors, don’t eat a giant meal an hour before your workout and not expect to see it again. Keep your pre-workout snack small and compacted full of carbs and protein.

How soon should I eat after exercise?

This brings us to a term the metabolic window. Often referred to as the “window of gainz”. There’s no hard and clear threshold for when the opportunity to re-feed passes, but typically, you should have a carbohydrate and protein-rich meal down within 30-60 minutes of your final repetition of the day. Eating that meal right away maximizes the number of carbohydrates stored in the muscles as glycogen, instead of fat. This is when your insulin sensitivity and capacity for proper carb utilization and storage are at their highest. During this window, proper nutrition will shift our body from a catabolic state to an anabolic state increasing muscle mass and improving recovery.

How much should I eat after working out?

After working out, we need to have both carbohydrates and proteins. Without carbs post workout, our body will break down the protein as energy instead of using it to rebuild our muscles. A good post workout shake would consist of about 25 grams of carbs and 25 grams of protein. For us, this looks like ½ a scoop of 1st Phorm Ignition (carbs) and 1 scoop of 1st Phorm Phormula-1 (protein).

Eating the right food before and after a workout is very important. However, what you eat the rest of the day plays a huge role in what your body uses as fuel. If you have any questions about how to get your nutrition back on track, ask any of the coaches at the gym. We are here to help!

Why YOU Should Do The Open

The 2019 CrossFit Open is right around the corner! What is The Open all about and who is it for? We are going to be giving you all the details on who, what, when, where, and why!

The CrossFit Open is a five-week online fitness competition that kicks off February 21st. So how does it work?

    Every Thursday for five weeks (starting 2/21) CrossFit Headquarters will release a workout. Participants have until the following Monday to complete the workout and enter their score on CrossFit’s leaderboard. This leaderboard will show where you stack up across everyone that has signed up from all over the world (last year there were around 500,000 participants!). As you participate in the open for multiple years, you are able to watch yourself improve as you become fitter amongst everyone in the world!

    So who is the open for and why should you participate? The Open is for anyone and everyone. Just like the workouts we do everyday, there is the RX and scaled options to meet you at your level. We have put together the top 5 reasons YOU should join the fun and sign up for The Open;

  1. Community- The Open allow you to be apart of something a little bit bigger. It’s all about participating in an event that brings athletes of all genders, levels, regions, ages and ethnicities together around the world. The CrossFit community has over 15,000 gyms worldwide and The Open is a great way to feel connected. Participating will also bring our small community here at CFA to be closer as we judge each other’s workouts and cheer for each others accomplishments. We will all complete the Open workout every friday during the morning and noon class and in the evenings we will have our “Friday Night Lights” event!
  2. See Where You Stand- When you register for The Open, you can compare your scores to fellow CrossFitters in your community and across the globe! You can also narrow your scope to compare against people of the same profession, age, region, etc. This will help you push yourself just a little bit harder than normal each week and gives the workout some more meaning. The fun thing about The Open leaderboard is each year you can watch as your placing gets better and better as your fitness increases!
  3. Be Inspired- Watch the professionals of the sport go head to head and battle against each other doing the same workout we are doing! Their hard work and pure athleticism is shocking and inspiring. It is awesome to see people of all levels do the same exact workout that you are doing each week.
  4. Learn- Gain insight watching the live WOD announcements. CrossFit analysts make predictions and review strategies and approach. Watch other athletes for cues about pacing and technique. Get feedback directly from the athletes after the WOD, or talk to your coaches and fellow Open participants on the best way to attack each workout for success!
  5. Have Fun While Getting Fit- This is a great excuse to stay a little later at the box with your friends. Challenge yourself/ others and support your box mates during their workout. This can become one of the most fun and exciting times of the year! Bring your family and friends to come watch you complete The Open WODs each week during “Friday Night Lights”! We encourage people to hang around after their heat to cheer each other on and partake in their beverage of choice….anything from FitAid to beer 🙂

To sign up for The Open, visit games.crossfit.com and click “REGISTER”. The first workout is released on 2/21 so don’t wait! Sign up now and don’t regret saying no because of your fears and excuses! If you have any questions, feel free to hit up your coach. See you #InTheOpen

Member of the Month- Alisa Mills

Name: Alisa Mills   

Age: 49

Profession/Career: Executive Director of the Community Humane Shelter of Steuben County 

1. Why do you train?

I made a promise to my son Alex, that I would join when it opened. I need to for me, I am turning 50 this year and my husband and I loke go on active vacations and I do not want to be the slow one. To be active outside of the gym especially on vacations.  We like to hike.

2. Why do you do train at our gym?

Because I live in the area and my son got me to sign up.

3. What were you most afraid of when you first joined our gym?

Gym Gorillas and Angry Coaches. My son assured me that coaches wouldn’t be screaming in my face. Gym Gorillas are big guys who lift a lot of weight and scream and holler.

4. What one thing got you to take the initial leap and sign up?

Alex. He is very supportive. He even came over to load the cows one morning so I could come to CrossFit class.

5. What are your goals?

Stay healthy and stay active. I am looking forward to an active retirement.

6. What is most important to you in your life right now?

Work/ Life balance, I struggle with that because I get obsessed with my job. It can eat you alive, literally because I run the Humane Society. That is why I come at 5 am because I know that I can commit to it. Any other hour of the day I do not know if I can commit to it.

7. What are your biggest challenges/ pain points in life right now?

Pushing my limits and not being so conservative.

8. What improvements have you noticed in our short time training here?

My husband says I am sleeping harder! He says I don’t even move anymore. So better sleep.

Better, more free movement at work. I can do daily tasks easier. I am surprised I am already seeing improvements.

CFA Tips for Success

We know that this whole CrossFit thing is pretty new to most of us. We also understand busy schedules. In fact, many of the members we have here at CrossFit Angola initially joined because they needed a more efficient workout that didn’t require them to be in the gym for hours at a time.

That’s why we’ve put together this list of ways you can make your time at the box as productive and fulfilling as possible.



While you generally enjoy coming into the box, there are some days when maybe overtime at work, school papers, family issues and other nasty things can really get you in the mood to skip the WOD “just because.”

A good way to deter the “just because” excuse is to get into the habit of coming in at the same time on the same days. Once you’ve created this habit, it becomes automatic. You’ll find yourself going to the box without any force involved regardless of the plants who could probably use watering (or any other strange excuse you give yourself.)

Bottom line: A schedule keeps you consistent, and consistency is the key to forming healthy habits.


If you’re serious about hitting your fitness goal, it’s critical to track your progress. And we don’t mean stepping on the scale every morning and completely freaking out at any increase in weight.

Muscle weighs more than fat, so if you’re doing it right you’ll be gaining lean muscle while you’re losing fat which-doesn’t always result in seeing a lower number on the scale.

Keeping track of your workouts and progress will help you train with a purpose and show you how much your fitness is increasing over time. If you did 5 back squats at 135 a few months ago, and that sequence has come up again, well now you’ll know what number to shoot higher than. Celebrate any achievements, PRs, goals, etc that you accomplish. The goal is continued progress, not reaching perfection.

Bottom line: Knowing what you did yesterday will help you be better today.


Many of us get into the habit of coming in on-time and leaving on-time. That’s by no means a bad habit! An awesome part of CrossFit Angola is community vibe! We like to say “You don’t have to workout to hangout”. CFA is a place more then a gym where we encourage you to come in, hang out with some other awesome people, and forget about some of your stress.

On top of that, you may even be able to put in a little extra fitness work if you come early or stay late.

We know, working out before working out sounds like advice from a crazy person, but it’s a great way to work on some extra skills/ goals that you want to improve on. If you can find a few other people that like to go above and beyond and will come in with you early or stick around after class, you start to build awesome relationships with other people.

Bottom line: Come in, hang out, and put in some extra work both physically and socially


It’s ok to admit that you feel a little intimidated or uncomfortable asking for help at the box. But don’t be shy! Even those big, huge, grunting, bearded guys were new once. Everyone has been in the same spot and loves to help beginners learn. There’s absolutely no shame in needing some extra help to understand a movement. In fact, that’s the sign of a smart athlete who’s on their way to big things.

Bottom line: There’s no such thing as a stupid question. Ask away.


We want you to sleep more. In fact, we insist you sleep more. We can’t stress enough the importance of getting a good night’s rest because without it, all the training and dieting in the world will just be a waste of time.

It’s hard to believe that something you do when you’re not even awake can be one of the most important ways you can make the most out of your training sessions, but it’s true. To put it simply, lack of sleep stresses out your body which cases weight gain and anxiety.

Bottom line: Prioritize your sleep. Prioritize your well-being.


Stretching and becoming more flexible really shouldn’t take a back seat in your plan to become a fitter you. If we could tack on an extra 30 minutes to the WOD for mobility, we’d do just that! An hour a day at the box isn’t going to undo a lifetime of sitting on your bum craning over a keyboard.

Invest in a few key items for home like a foam roller and a PVC pipe to improve your range of motion while you’re watching TV or right before bed. Practicing mobility at home will improve your overall athletic ability and will decrease the risk of injury.

Bottom line: Mobilize everywhere and invest in the tools to do so.

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