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For most people, diet and lifestyle changes don’t happen overnight.  If you have spent decades engraining certain habits and rituals, those things don’t simply flip off like a desk lamp.  Despite your strongest intent, the actions sometimes just don’t kick in.  Day after day, month after month, the changes you want to make are staring at you in the mirror, on the scale, in the gym, and even on your dinner plate.


If this sounds familiar, it was for people like you that the paleo challenges, popular among crossfit boxes, were created.  Sort of like the good version of rehab, the challenges are a way to hold you accountable to healthy eating and living for 4-8 weeks.  But unlike a stay at Passages, you get to use your own toothbrush and have full visitation rights. 


This information is probably old news to most of you, so why am I writing this article?  Inevitably, after every challenge I’ve run, there are always a few people that return to their old pre-paleo habits.  Despite SEEING and FEELING drastic changes in their physical, mental, and social well-being, they just couldn’t (or wouldn’t) stick with it.  Why is that?


Usually it’s because they are treating the challenge like a literal competitive challenge.  Something temporary.  They accomplished the goal - or even better, they won a podium spot - and now the challenge is over.  Time to kick the heels up until next year’s paleo challenge.  After all, who cares if they put on some weight or feel a little worse, since they can fix it next time?  Well, it doesn’t take a behavioral psychology Ph.D to see the drastic flaws in this approach.


With the Whole Life Challenge now underway, I wanted to nip this thing in the bud.  As a nutrition and metabolism coach, it’s my job and my passion to get you folks healthy.  Forever.  And this means clearing up a few things about the WLC and paleo challenges.


Yes, these events are based on points.  Yes, you can win.  Yes, I encourage you try to win.  But if you had to choose between winning a 55-day challenge and adding 10 years to your life, which do you pick?  (Hint:  Those extra 10 years are pain-free and disease-free.)


The goal of these events is to CREATE NEW HABITS.  Lifelong sustainable habits.  These 4-8 weeks pull back the curtain on how easily attainable this lifestyle is.  And if you’re not ready to take the plunge and go cold turkey, we’re here to be your support group.  Myself, the other coaches, the other members, and hopefully your own friends and family.  You have a chance to undue decades of damage in just a matter of months.  However…


- If you view this as a competition for points, and not a way to change your life, you will not receive all its benefits.  


- If you think you’re going to create new habits by initially following the “80/20” rule, they will not stick.


- If you don’t give your body a legitimate chance to heal and run efficiently, you will never fully know what “healthy” feels like.


In order to break the rules, you have to learn them.  I am completely supportive of splurging and having cheat meals.  However, the Challenge is not the time for them.  If you’ve been eating a standard American diet, or even what Whole Foods tells you is healthy, chances are your gut, metabolism, and hormones are all out of whack.  You’ve been living with a constant exposure to toxicity that you don’t even recognize anymore.  Use this time to go clean slate and find a new baseline of health.  THEN allow yourself the freedom of splurging.


Almost every client I run a 4-week diet reset with, reports back after his/her first cheat meal: “I felt awful, hungover, and tired.  I was completely out of commission the next day.”  Welcome to exposing a clean system to bad food.  Now you can make an educated decision whether or not splurge.  But you have to get yourself to that point first.


Signing up for the WLC or a paleo challenge is a great first step.  I commend anyone who has done it, for at least taking action.  Now, let me help you do it right.  I have been doing this a while and have guided hundreds of clients through them.  I guarantee I have heard all the excuses and complaints before.  Lay ‘em on me, and I can help.


If you have signed up (or will) for the WLC, there’s no need to register for anything other than Performance Level.  Even that advanced level allows for foods that, in my opinion, should be eliminated during an initial reset.  Scaled levels allow for way too many variables that could be hindering your progress.  In order to maximize results, and sometimes to see any results at all, you have to go in 100%.  Like, stand up from the table and pace around until the cards are revealed - all in.  It takes that kind of dedication. 


“Only those that truly desire something, with all of their being, will seek ways to attain it.”


As always, reach out to us if you need to.  We’re here to help you live longer and healthier lives.


Key Takeaways:

If you have never given much thought to your diet, or are unsure if you’re doing things right, a paleo challenge is extremely useful and can be life-changing.

Use the Whole Life Challenge (or any paleo challenge) as a way to create new habits, not as a temporary competition.

Utilize your support system to stick with it and get you through sticking points.



Coach Elliott

Hey folks.

First, let me introduce myself.  For those of you I haven’t met yet, I’m Elliott, a new addition to the coaching staff here at Dogtown.  I’m looking forward to meeting all of you soon (even if it takes me four classes to remember your name).


Word on the street is that there is a Whole Life Challenge coming up in a couple weeks.  If you’re unfamiliar with the WLC, it’s an 8-week program that helps you develop new and improved diet and lifestyle habits.  These new habits will help you look better, feel better, and perform better – and are sustainable for the rest of your life. 


The WLC sparked my interest because helping people optimize their health through diet and lifestyle is a huge passion of mine (second only to my ladybug collection).  I’d like to assist the group that is signing up for the challenge by being your in-house advisor.  The WLC site provides some feedback for your questions and concerns, but having someone to personally reach out to on a daily basis makes a world of difference. 


I’ve run over a half-dozen Paleo Challenges with crossfitters, and coached numerous private clients through the same program.  And I’d like to extend my services to the Dogtown family.  I’ll be available to you on the Facebook group, email, text, and I’ll create a profile on the WLC page so I can keep tabs on your progress. 


If you are signing up, considering signing up, or just want to hear more about improving your health, I’ll be hosting an hour-long info session on September 13th at 11:30am.  I’ll talk a little about what to expect from the challenge, how approach it for the most success, and answer any other questions you have.


See you all soon.



Hello DogTowner’s,


Today’s blog is about DogTown’s second installment of the running endurance program, hosted by coaches Josh G. and Mike V. We are calling it Endurance 2.0.



Here are the details:


Starting this Saturday, April 12, and continuing for the next 5 Saturdays (ending May 17) we will be coaching a running method and technique course.


Sessions will be 60 minutes in length and will start at 9am each Saturday.


The first session (April 12), will be held at DogTown CrossFit. The remainder of the sessions will be held at local tracks and beaches.


Make-up classes will be held on select Tuesdays from 7:30am to 8:30am.


The six sessions that make up Endurance 2.0 will cost $90.



Learn how to run more efficiently. Learn how to pace your CrossFit running workouts more efficiently. Learn how to approach your endurance races outside of the gym more efficiently and safely.


Come out and join the DogTown CrossFit community get better at running and have a great time doing it!



Here are a few testimonials from our Endurance 1.0 program:



I joined the Endurance class to kick start my half marathon training.  Before this class the most I could run was 3 miles. Through the class I learned proper running techniques including, breathing, speed drills, and warm ups. As the weeks went on I was able to cut my mile times significantly as my endurance improved.  At the end of 6 weeks I participated in a 10K in which I was able to keep a consistent pace on each mile and beat my finishing goal time I had set for myself.  I would recommend this program to anyone looking to improve their endurance and running skills.  


Alicia Almaguer




Thank you, gents, for offering to include newbies like me in the first Endurance Program.


Short story: 

The Endurance Program gave me better form for running, so everything hurts less. And, spending two days a week running timed sets got me in better condition more quickly. After just 4 weeks of Endurance, the running portions of the WOD seemed less heinous.


I still don't like running. But I don't dread it as much. Now I think about form and mid-strike and leaning forward and short steps and not swinging my arms (instead of "oh god I hate this" over and over). This is an improvement!



At first I thought 6 weeks was too long ... but maybe that was just my lazy, achy butt due to going from zero running to Endurance class 2 times per week.


I'll try just showing up 1 time per week for the next go around.


Also, I originally worried that my slowness would drag down the rest of the class, like maybe we needed to be in levels. But actually, it seemed to work out OK.



Long story:

I joined the Endurance Program for the same reason I joined DogTown ... to fill my time.  My brother had just died --suddenly, heartbreakingly-- and all I could see was a yawning expanse of grief.  I wanted to be busy; I wanted to expend some of the energy that burned with questions and anger inside of me.  I needed real sleep.


Dori Lieberman Wittman had been encouraging me to try CrossFit since she began 4 years ago.


Seemed like the right time; right thing to do.


That was a little over 4 months ago and I really can't thank you all enough.  Not only did the physical effort help me through the hellish early days of grief, it actually felt great in my body.  I look forward to every workout.  And, I am so very grateful for the community. 


I am one passionate DogTown Fan!


Thank you!





I nearly didn't sign up for the CrossFit Endurance class, since I'd been trying to recover from an IT band injury for a couple of months and had been cutting back on a lot of my running in an effort to heal my leg. Josh and Mike V. explained to me that if I took the class and learned and practiced proper running form, this would prevent many future injuries from occurring. I signed up for one day a week rather than two days, since I could only make it to one of the times. I was a bit nervous that the running workouts would be too painful, since at that time I couldn't run more than 800 meters without a lot of pain in my knee due to the IT band injury.


Rather than just sending us out to run five miles off the bat, the workouts focused a lot on form and technique. For example, after stretching and warming up, we did eight 100-meter sprints for time with some rest in between, eight 200-meter runs for time with 1.5 minutes to rest in between, or six 800s, etc. 


Running with the new technique actually made my knee hurt less often, but Josh and Mike were both accommodating, giving me a scaled-back workout if I wanted it or saying that I should stop when I felt the pain.


I'm really glad I signed up for the class, because I think my running form has definitely improved, and I think my running has gotten faster as well. On multiple occasions I wondered to the coaches why more people hadn't signed up for the class or why many who had signed up stopped coming. (Though it was nice having very small classes where I got to know some people better than I would have in a regular CrossFit class. Receiving more one-on-one feedback from the coaches was nice as well.) I would even sign up for the class again, because I want to continue to improve my form, and because I'd like to do the course without a leg injury, so I can actually use the classes to train for a race with the rest of the class and coaches.


-Becca Clason