Where does alcohol fit into your training?

Since about 7000 B.C., alcohol has been a staple for gatherings in many cultures. You may have heard that wine can actually be a healthy beverage for your heart, or that a hot toddy when you’re sick makes you get better quickly. Are these claims true? Like most answers: yes and no. It depends on a myriad of things like your genetics and the way your body processes alcohol, additives and the quality of the booze you’re consuming.

So where does this fit into your life? If you’ve ever wondered if you should avoid it all together, or can have a glass or two of your favorite red or microbrew, this article is for you.

Let’s talk about the science of alcohol. What’s in it that gives us that fuzzy feeling? The answer: ethanol. This substance absorbs into our bloodstream and causes a “depressing effect” on the systems in our bodies.Our reaction times slows, stress and anxiety are reduced, and the body altogether slows down.

Weightlifting and exercise in general generate metabolic waste for the body to process. The liver is instrumental in clearing these waste byproducts from the body. If you are working hard in your training you may be putting a hefty load of work on your liver. Make sure that if you are exercising and enjoy a few drinks you are getting ample rest and recovery to keep your body in balance.

There is also the additional calories to consider when it comes to alcohol. If you are trying to lose fat then there is most likely no room in your diet for excess calories. You want your primary calories to come from lean protein, fibrous vegetables, and heart healthy fats. Replacing some of those calories with alcohol put you at risk for nutrient deficiencies. Not only that, but after a few drinks you may become tempted to reach for foods that don’t support your body compositional goals.

Consuming alcohol doesn’t make you unhealthy or a bad person. Just like anything else you consume, it should have can have a place if you are responsible and keep it in balance with your health and wellness goals.

Does Cardio Hurt Muscle Gain?

It’s the ultimate tradeoff you must face whether you’re an athlete, bodybuilder, or recreational gym goer.

How do you structure your strength training routine and still make time for trail runs, pickup basketball, or your metcon of choice? Strength is good. Cardio is good. So how do you balance the two for optimal health and performance? A great strength and conditioning coach knows exactly how and the truth might surprise you…

The perceived problem is rooted deep in bro science. “Ditch the cardio and just lift heavy if you want to get yoked!” Yet there are incredible athletes around the world have found ways to carry muscle mass and maintain a high level of cardiac output. CrossFit Games competitors casually bust out 225 pound snatches between sets of burpees. Hybrid athletes compete in powerlifting meets deadlifting 600+ pounds and complete Ironman triathlons in the same week. The threshold for excuses just dropped through the floor.

So why is it such a problem balancing strength and metabolic conditioning?

It takes knowledge of exercise science and how the human body adapts to training in order to properly prescribe a routine that works. At least if you wish to improve your strength and maintain your cardio or vice versa. There are many folks who run their body through the ringer day after day. Hard work is not the sole element for achieving fitness success. In fact hard work can be misapplied and eventually become a hindrance to your training if not properly executed. Layering intensity on top of dysfunction or lacking a clear goal leads to burnout and chronic fatigue.

So how do you balance out your strength and conditioning pieces?

The key is to understand how to work in different heart rate zones. Working at different prescribed intensities will improve cardiac output, build muscular endurance, and even help improve recovery from your strength training routine. The volume and intensity spent in each zone will be dictated by your training age and specific goals in training.

A great coach will tell you that you can only have one priority for each block of training: you execute. They will also understand that your energy needs, micronutrients, electrolytes, and will all have to be supported in order to sustain greater output. Finding a great coach will be the first step in determining the specific way you should organize your training to make gains in strength and conditioning!

Tuesday’s WORKOUT Online

Here’s Tuesdays Vantage at Home Workout of the day! Happy St. Patricks day! We miss you already! Please tag us and post pics of yourselves on the Community page so we can see your beautiful faces! – Chris, Amanda and Team




Vantage Goes Online FOR NOW!

3/17/20 COVID19 Update:

We are thinking of all of you and your health during this crazy time. As you have probably heard Governor Polis has issued for local gyms and many other businesses’ to close for 30 days. As leaders in the Wellness industry, we know this is the right decision to make for our community and the well being of our coaches and clients.


As of Tuesday, March 17th the gym will close its physical location and move all group classes online. The gym will be closed until April 17th as of now. We will keep you up to date on any changing information.


You can still workout- and we want you to!

It’s so important that we keep our bodies moving to fight sickness and keep the foundation of health you have built. Now is not the time to “take a break” from fitness but instead rise to the challenge and dedicate yourself to it and we are here to help you do so!


Here are some options if you choose to keep your membership active:

  • Daily at Home Video workouts to your inbox – the first ones have been sent, You’ll get yours within 24hrs after registering!
  • Daily Live Streaming workouts via our FB Group Vantage Online effective Wednesday! 5:30a and Noon classes for now (we will add as the demand increases)
  • Daily ZP at Home workouts Posted: Be sure to log and check-in.
  • We will be assigning each member to a coach to do check-ins with you and help keep you accountable.
  • Customized at Home Personal Training Coming soon! Look for details in your inbox.
  • Equipment Loan to all Active members.


Equipment Loan:

If you’re choosing to keep your membership and would like a loaner package you may come by the gym from 10-2 Wednesday to pick your equipment and sign it out.


**If you choose to hold your membership you can also rent equipment – stay tuned for more details.



Many of you have asked to keep your memberships active and we cried, that is so generous and we can’t thank you enough. We will be moving our programming online for the duration of this outbreak. Our goal is to reopen the doors as soon as the Governor allows us.  If you aren’t taking your Monthly membership online with us please inform us via writing and we will hold your membership until you’re ready to rejoin us. We will do our best to get back to you within 24 hours for all email questions. All annual pre-paid membership and punch cards will be extended for the time we are closed.



We will be sending updates and info via UpLaunch Email and ZP as well as our social media platforms. Make sure you have opted in to receive emails.


Join our FB Group Here to see all classes Live! And Follow us @cfvantage for all the content we can give you!


Our goal is to give you valuable content to keep your bodies and minds as healthy as we can and keep our connection during this time!


These are unprecedented times and we are so grateful for each and every one of you and the support you have given us, and the support you will continue to give us. We can not say this enough, as small business owners these are scary times but we hope to be able to serve you on the other side of all this.


We love you guys, stay healthy!

-The Vantage Team

4 Ways to Save Your Joints

When you are dedicated to your training and putting in the hours to achieve your goals then there is nothing more frustrating than joint pain and inflammation. It almost feels like your body is punishing you for working hard. No fair, right!

Rather than make excuses about your pain or backing off on your training you may want to consider some new techniques to mitigate the damage from these patterns of overuse.

1. Focus on form
2. Make intensity your new volume
3. Recover Harder
4. Hit the Supplements Aisle

1.Focus on form
If you are training often and hard then even the slights inefficiencies in your movement can turn into nagging injuries over time. Before you put in all that hard work you owe it to yourself to work with an experienced coach to refine your movement. You will make progress faster and stay healthy in the process. Slow down, not every day is a competition.

2. Make intensity your new volume
Sometimes the body simply needs a break from volume. All athletes in any sport go through periods of alternating intensity and volume throughout the year. They have different rhythms and protocols for preseason, in-season, post-season, and off-season training. Try backing off on the volume of your training and focusing on higher intensity pieces instead. For lifters, this could mean performing fewer sets or reps and using a higher load, shorter rest times, or a faster tempo. Runners might try lower mileage with weeks and adding a sprint workout 1-2 times per week instead.

3. Recover Harder
Training hard without the proper recovery techniques is bound to beat you up and becomes unsustainable long term. Make time for massage, foam rolling, stretching, yoga or mobility sessions, sleep, and any other recovery methods that can improve your performance. Sometimes the most beneficial thing you can do is stimulate your parasympathetic nervous with these recovery techniques to let your body’s natural healing mechanisms kick in.

4. Give your body what it needs to repair itself
There are tons of great supplements that can help with joint health. Fish oil and omega 3’s provide a healthy inflammatory response in the body amongst many other health benefits. Glucosamine and Chondroitin provide the building blocks for joint repair. Tart Cherry Juice extract has been shown to reduce muscle soreness after a workout. Give those a try to start!

Don’t let joint pain stop you from moving and doing the things you love!

5 Tips to Help You Change with the Season

As the weather turns colder, many of us tend to let our health and fitness routines take the back burner for a few months. Whether you are feeling rundown or beat up from two CrossFit Open cycles in one year or just trying to escape the holiday season without eating too much pie. It is important to recognize what the change in season can mean for you in your training and health.

The winter months bring about changes in our training routines, daily habits, and nutrition. Rather than take a hit and accepting that this is a time to let yourself slide (because you’ll make it up and get back on track in January) what if this year you made a plan to do things differently.

“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.” -Jim Rohn

Here are 5 Tips to Help You Change with the Season!

  1. Eat more vegetables and healthy fats.
  2. Go for a walk during the daytime.
  3. Break a sweat every day.
  4. Stay Hydrated.
  5. Structure your day for success.

Eat more vegetables and healthy fats.
During the summer months, there seems to be an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables around. In the winter we tend to shift towards more comfort foods, foods that are preserved or packaged and are easy to prepare. Focusing on incorporating more vegetables in your diet will help you get the essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and micronutrients that you need. Omega-3s found in fish oil can help with skin health, heart health, and has been shown to support

Go for a walk during the daytime.
Getting outside for a walk during daylight hours can be extremely beneficial for your body and mind. Even if we can’t get Vitamin D from the sun during the winter months we can still benefit from its exposure. Walking can help improve metabolism, boost mood, and be a much better pick me up for your energy than coffee. Doing it in sunlight is proven to be one of the best ways to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) that gets people run down in the winter months.

Break a sweat every day.
Prioritizing fitness may actually be more important in the winter than the summer. We naturally find ourselves more active during the summer months, enjoying the weather at the beach or on a hike or a bike ride. In the winter we tend to hole up indoors. Those hours of walking are replaced with hours of Netflix bingeing and lo and behold we start to get soft and complacent.

Stay Hydrated.
In the winter months, you may never feel the need to quench your thirst as you do on a hot summer day. Most folks tend to stay on the dehydrated side. Sweat also evaporates in the cold dry air, so many people are less likely to replenish fluids after exercise. Be sure to set daily hydration goals for yourself. Setting alarms on your phone to get up and grab a drink of water is a great way to accomplish this.

Structure your day for success.
One of the best ways to take charge of your health during the winter months is to plan out your day. Set yourself up for success by incorporating healthy habits and avoiding the detractors is key. Plan to have a big healthy salad before showing up to the holiday party where you know there will be tons of desserts. Book a fitness class, yoga session, or plan to meet a friend during a time you would normally just watch TV or surf the internet.

If you want to stay in control of your health this winter and have questions about how to eat, train or plan let us know!

Throw Up Heavy Weight, Not Your Breakfast

Pukie the clown can attest.

When it comes to training with intensity, we have to walk a fine line between achieving the desired stimulus and overdoing it. One consequence of pushing yourself too hard in a workout can be nausea and potentially even vomiting. 

This is never a fun way to end a training session, or worse, to halt your training session only having to finish the workout once you’ve recovered. (Mouthwash anyone?!)

But vomiting during or after a workout is something that can be addressed and avoided almost all together. There are certain factors that correlate with this unwanted reversal of digestion and if you plan properly you can finish the workout in style with minty fresh breath! 

To start let’s take a look at what is happening in the body leading up to a catastrophic workout induced vomiting. Often times you are performing an exercise that elevates lactate levels, something like intervals of sprints or sprint style wods with tools like the air bike or rower that are alternated with brief bouts of rest. You go all out on each short set and then have a brief recovery period. Sometimes it only takes one hard set. 

During high intensity exercise your body flips the switch from parasympathetic to sympathetic systems. The need to perform is prioritized over the need to repair, recover, and digest. Blood is shunted away from the organs associated with digestion. The brain has redirected it to the muscles in the arms and legs to aid performance by providing oxygen and carrying away metabolic waste.

When we warm up we should aim to bring our bodies gradually and progressively to the capacity needed to perform the workout. This is one of the key ways to avoid the dreaded exercise induced emesis. If you jump too quickly into the workout, the body can perform the movement, but homeostasis is seriously disrupted and it attempts to restore it as quickly as possible. Having elevated acid levels in the blood is dangerous to the body and it decides that all other functions need to stop until pH is back within a normal range. That means digestion gets knocked out of the queue and we all know what that means….

“When you push yourself beyond limits, you discover inner reserves, which you never thought existed earlier.” ― M. Arora

One way to reduce this unpleasant effect is by building your lactate threshold. Strategically performing workouts that take you to the brink of your threshold before resting and letting your body clear the buildup and return to normal. Your body will recognize the need to perform this process and adapt to become more efficient at it. The more you train this system the less likely you are to be majorly disrupted by threshold work and you will also notice improved work capacity.

You can also plan your nutrient intake to prevent the nausea and indigestion that can result in vomiting. Before your workout eating a small snack of about 20 grams of easily digestible protein and 40-60 grams of carbohydrate with the avoidance of fat and giving yourself about an hour to digest can be beneficial. You optimize energy levels for training, but don’t consume so much food that your body is still digesting come training time. Avoid foods high in fat as well as foods that irritate the GI tract such as dairy, spicy foods, and caffeine. 

If a 500 meter row still makes you yak, don’t sweat it. Make sure you properly rehydrate and don’t take yourself past that threshold too often. Explain what happened to your coach and they will be able to monitor your performance and provide suggestions to help you properly warm up, eat, and monitor pace to prevent this from happening. 

Surviving The Holidays (Guilt Free)

The holidays have snuck up on us, and if you’re not yet feeling stressed about the impacts of the holidays on your nutrition routine, I’m sure you will soon. 

With the holidays come a myriad of temptations and things that we might not normally have in our diet: sugar, refined carbohydrates, increased social drinking, and much more. 

Here’s some of my favorite tips for stacking on track through the holidays, while still enjoying the season to start the new year on the right foot – free of guilt and feeling refreshed. 

When it comes to your nutrition, consistency matters. This doesn’t change when we think about staying on track throughout the holidays, but we all know that our normal routine can go out the window when faced with altered schedules, traveling, and eating with our families who don’t always eat the way we do. 

Try finding one thing to stay consistent with regardless of what happens this season. Some great ways to stay consistent:

  • Have your regular breakfast meal to start off the day on a routine foot
  • Drink your coffee as normal – swapping milk for almond milk, adding MCT oil, skipping the sugar, or whatever you normally do
  • Focus on water intake throughout the day
  • Get some morning movement – travel WOD, yoga, mobility, etc.
  • Get protein at every meal. Cookies alone aren’t a meal, but you can add protein to help it be more well-rounded 
  • Look for vegetables at your meals!
  • If you don’t tolerate gluten, dairy or any other food stay, consciously weigh the options

If you have a meal that doesn’t sit well with you or makes you feel crummy, don’t sweat it. A single meal doesn’t ruin an entire day or even an entire week. After one of those meals, start again right away. Pick up where you left off by making good choices at your next opportunity. 

It’s easy to get sucked into the downward spiral of eating one meal “off track” and then continue having meals not serving your goals because you had one “bad” meal. When we do this, we spiral negatively towards zero. We start the new year feeling like junk and in need of a detof. If we instead jump right back to our focus of eating well, or at least as normal, we’ll enter the new year right where we need to be, and may even have a leg up with surviving the holidays without needing a re-do, feeling guilty about our decisions, and gain some clarity on areas we need to work on for 2020. 

With that in mind, eat the cookie. Have the piece of pie. Enjoy your holiday with friends and family making memories. When we avoid a food or place restrictions on ourselves, we often crave it even more. If you’re the person who when told not to do something, it’s the only thing you can think about – I’m looking at you. 

Have a little bit and slow down. The best advice I have is to really enjoy it. Chew every bite and soak in the flavor. Chances are you’ll feel much better and not crave it afterwards. When we set restrictions, we set lines to cross. Give yourself permission to enjoy your food while being mindful of how much you are having. 

You can stay on track, have some balance, and still enjoy the season!

Have you booked your complimentary consult with our in-house nutritionist Deidre? Grab a spot on here schedule HERE to get some real advice on improving your diet. If you don’t see a time that works for your schedule, email her directly at deidre@always-growing.com


Guilt Free Guide_Three Ways to Thrive During Holidays


What’s Keeping You From Achieving Your Goals?

If you currently want something in your life that you don’t have then there is a 100% chance that you are human. How you define yourself is by the action you take towards bringing those into your life. Some people make declarations about how they are finally going to make the big change
Generally, if you have a goal you haven’t achieved yet you fall into one of these three camps. 

  • You don’t know what to do and you don’t know how to do it.
  • You don’t think you deserve it.
  • You haven’t put in the work.

So what’s really keeping you from achieving your goals? Let’s find out…
1. You don’t know what to do and you don’t know how to do it.
This is generally the first challenge you encounter when you have a new goal. Luckily it is also the easiest barrier to address when it comes to making positive changes in your life. Whether you seek to earn more money, improve your health, or find your soulmate there are websites, coaches, books, podcasts, and more resources than you know what to do with. Success leaves clues and in the information age we live in you have access to the tools and resources you need to get started on the path to your goal.
“When action is our priority, vanity falls away.”  – Ryan Holiday
Let’s say your goal is to lose 10 pounds and keep it off. Like forever keep it off. Many adults find themselves at a weight they don’t feel comfortable and confident at. The problem is that if you have only ever gained weight since you were a kid and never seen the scale go (and stay) in the opposite direction then you are a total novice. Being a professional weight gainer is easy for you, you’ve done it your whole life. If you want to lose weight then you have to start fresh. It’s time to throw out what you think is true about nutrition and exercise because all of the information you have is through the lens of a person who has only ever gained weight. Let go of ego. Let go of pride. If you want to make the change then you have to start with fresh eyes.
2. You don’t think you deserve it.
This could be thought of as self-sabotage. Maybe since you were a child you have been conditioned to think a certain way. Many of the long-standing beliefs humans hold are instilled by parents, environments, or traumatic experiences. Long ago the brain accepted as fact that “this is the way it is”. If you have a long-held belief that is clashing with one of your current goals then your first order of business is to remove that roadblock. No amount of will power or strategy can overcome a fixed mindset. You are an adult and you are responsible for your own life. You have the power to change any condition that you don’t want. 
“How have I been complicit in creating the conditions I say I don’t want?” -Jerry Colonna
Executive coach and author Jerry Colonna asks a powerful question to himself and his clients. “How have I been complicit in creating the conditions I say I don’t want?” Ask yourself this question in the context of your current goal. If you are struggling to lose weight, what are the things that you have been “okay with” lately? If it’s the food in the fridge that you snack on, skipping your workout, or surrounding yourself with people who have unhealthy habits then that is entirely on YOU to change. That starts by demanding more of yourself. You have to consider yourself worthy of the goal you claim to want. When you are mentally ready to be the person who achieves this goal you will be able to receive it.
3. You haven’t put in the work.
This can be the most frustrating camp to fall into when it comes to not achieving your goals. You may be doing everything right. You hired the coach, you have a strategy, and you’re executing on it every day. So why haven’t you accomplished your goal yet?! 
“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” -Vince Lombardi
Whether growing a business or growing your biceps it can be tough when the results haven’t shown up yet. So what should you do?
Constantly ask yourself: What else could I be doing? Continually revisit camps one and two in this post. Are there any additional resources or tools that could be getting you to your goals faster? Could you work with someone who has proven results in the exact area you are trying to grow? Are there any roadblocks you are creating for yourself? Is there an area where your behavior is inconsistent with the outcome that you seek?
Frustration or anger can itself be a powerful tool. If you are fed up with your lack of progress then you should use that as fuel for your fire. If you have the bandwidth to be upset about your situation then you most likely have the bandwidth to work harder (or smarter 😉 )
If you still don’t know why the results won’t come then you should consider working with a mentor or coach who can help you get there. A great coach will help you set up a framework for success. They will help you develop a SMART goal that aligns with your mission and current state. Understanding the time frame and order of steps necessary to achieve a goal can dramatically improve your mindset and the way you tackle each day. You can break your goal down into manageable chunks and as you check them off you will build momentum towards your big goal. The best coaches will be clear and neutral in their feedback about what it takes to get to you to your goal. 
You want to surround yourself with people who will be supportive and honest your path to success. Avoid the detractors. That includes anyone who tells you they support you, but that you can’t achieve what you want and to “get real”. This life is yours to choose and you can’t waste time with the people that will only hold you back. 

Workout Nutrition and Why is Matters

Workout Nutrition & Why It Matters

What are you eating before you come to the WOD?

When it comes to the high intensity and weight involved with CrossFit workouts, we need to fuel our bodies for properly with the workout in mind. The best way we can can do this with carbs. We want to make sure we get carbs pre-workout to fuel us. 

Our muscles are fueled by sugar, namely glucose which is converted to glycogen and stored in our muscles and liver for energy. This is what allows our muscles to perform and function, especially with heavy weights. This is super important for CrossFit, otherwise you can end up feeling pretty crummy during your workouts. If you feel like you hit a wall during your workouts, get dizzy, or sometimes just have workouts where you just feel bad, you may not be getting the right foods before your workout.

So what happens when we workout and utilize all the glycogen in our muscles? If you’ve ever done a lot of push ups, you know there comes a point when you physically can’t do push ups anymore. That’s a sign you’ve fatigued your muscles and have run out of glycogen.

You may have heard that post-workout you need to be getting some sort of protein, whether that’s from a protein shake supplement or a meal, but protein is only half of the puzzle with this same concept in mine. 

After a workout, we want to refuel our bodies with both protein for muscle repair and generation, as well as carbs to replenish our lost glycogen stores. This helps us recover by both allowing damaged muscle fibers to be repaired, generate new muscle fibers (hello, strength!) and replenish energy stores to set us up for success. Adequate and protein and carbs post-workout can mean you experience less muscle soreness post-workout, as well as being refueled for your next workout. 

Nutrient Timing Around Workouts

So now we know you need to be fueling your workouts by having some sort of carb before you get started, but how long before your workout is dependent on you individually, as well as what type of carb you’re eating. 

When consuming complex carbs pre-workout, such as potatoes, bread, oats, and rice, give your body somewhere between 1-2 hours to digest the food. These types of food take more break down to be utilized as energy, so they won’t be ready for use for at least an hour after eating. 

When it comes to simple carbs like fruit, sugar, and quick metabolizing carbs, allow about 30 minutes to be digested before being ready to be used for energy. This might look like having an apple or banana on your way to the gym, since they contain high levels of naturally occurring sugars called fructose, and will be ready for energy very quickly. 

In general, how long before the workout you should eat these is dependent not only on the workout (don’t eat too much before burpees 🤢), but also how your stomach tolerates food before the workout. See what works best for you to allow you to feel good throughout the entire workout feeling dizzy or like you’ve hit a wall with muscle fatigue. 

Did you know that Vantage Members get a complimentary 30-minute consultation with our in-house nutritionist Deidre? The goal of these consultations is to chat with her about what you’re currently doing with your nutrition and get some real advice that you can implement immediately to reach your goals. You can schedule your consultation here.