“Coach Vanessa always asks us about our days – she truly cares about our wellbeing! We can always hear her cheering us on during the workouts and making sure we are putting forth our best efforts!” -Tali C, four year teen vet
Coach @n3ss_13 has been at #TorqueNation since March 2013 as an athlete & coaching our CrossFit Kids & Teens since Fall 2014! She has continued to foster the development of our youth, committed to the success of the Teens throughout the years! ⠀
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Outside of CrossFit Torque, you’ll find Vanessa enjoying as much beach and pool time as possible! Her daughter, Quinn, is 20 months old and the light of her life!
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Catch Coach Vanessa on Monday afternoons at 5pm where she is shaping the Fitness world of our Teens! We thank you for four years of coaching & many more to come!
I believe that starting anything can be hard, especially when you want so badly to be good at it right away. It can be discouraging when you don’t reach your own expectations or thought something was going to be easier than it actually was. I think we could all use a step back now and then to objectively look at our goals and analyze why we haven’t fully reached them.
Often times we take the “all or nothing” approach to new things or new endeavors (at least I know I do). We find ourselves in the mindset of, “I’m going to do this new thing 100%! I’m all in!” And before we know it we’ve fallen off, given up and feel defeated. We see this predominantly in starting new diets and other big lifestyle changes. People bite off more than they can chew (no pun intended), set goals that are way outside of their current ability level and then are confused and frustrated when they don’t reach them.
Let’s use weightlifting as an example: do you think it’s reasonable to never set foot in a gym your whole life and on your first day walk in and squat 300lbs? Probably not a realistic expectation and definitely not something an honest person would expect from themselves. So why do we do the same thing when it comes to healthy eating? Let’s say you currently eat over 200 grams of carbs each day and this past Sunday night you decided (again) to start doing the keto diet(insert fad diet here). Monday is great and you crush it. Tuesday is hard but manageable. By Wednesday your willpower starts getting shaky and it’s harder to hold yourself accountable. By Thursday your new diet is gone and you’re back to your old habits. Then you spend Friday through Sunday trying to get your shit together only to start the same process all over again on Monday. Sound familiar?
At this point we all know what we’re doing wrong and what we could be doing better. Perhaps the reason we fall off is because our goal is too lofty. Going for 100% is great in theory but not so much in practice. We tend to forget 70%, 80% and 90% are all still passing grades and that some progress is better than none at all. Maybe instead of the “all or nothing” approach, it would be better to take the incremental progress route instead. A good question to ask yourself when starting anything you don’t really want to do is, “What is the smallest change I’d be willing to make and stick to?” Maybe currently you drink 3 liters of soda every week and asking yourself to cut it completely out of your diet is just unrealistic for you. So, what is the smallest change you would be willing to make? Maybe you would be willing to cut it down to 2 liters. That’s great! Start there!
Another scenario might be that eating a strictly keto diet just isn’t reasonable for you right now and you end up quitting when the weekend rolls around. Instead, a better goal could be to eat a low (or lower) carb diet 4 days a week and slowly build yourself up. You’d still see results and you wouldn’t be discouraged by falling off the wagon! It might not give you the results as quickly as you’d like, but is starting over every week really any better? Don’t set yourself up for failure because you weren’t being honest with yourself. Baby steps in the right direction are better than leaps and bounds in the opposite.
Since starting my journey into health and fitness (a struggle between my current self and the person I want to become), I’ve had a lot of ups and downs. There have been times that I’ve been on the wagon, off it, sick, injured and just plain unmotivated, but one thing I can say after looking back at all my experiences is that I’ve gotten better and better every year. It didn’t happen overnight, and it definitely wasn’t (and still isn’t) a perfect journey but with baby steps and realistic goal setting, it is possible to live your best, healthiest, fittest life. The right mindset should be to wake up each day to try to do the best you can and to make each day a little better than the last. Then after a few years of doing this, you can look back and realize that these small investments in yourself payout huge dividends to your future self.
“We all know how hard you work in and outside the gym, and I love having new people try out the 6 pm class because I know great people like you are there to greet them and make them feel welcome! You bring your great attitude to every class you come to!”- ”
– Coach Jake
Member since: July 13th 2015
Tell us about you! Job, hobbies, aspirations, etc 🙂
I’m originally from Rio de Janeiro Brazil. When my kid was born I decided it was time for the family to move to a different place. (Rio is a beautiful place but like most of the South American cities it’s just too violent). After a couple of years learning French we decided to move to Montreal. I started to working for Lojack Canada as a network architect and after few years I got an offer to move to US. I did it without a second thought, and here we are. Looking back, this was one of the best life decisions I’ve made. In my free time I like to hang out with friends, try different IPAs and lately I’ve been really into these OCR’s races.
What was it about CrossFit Torque that made you want to join?
4 years ago I was overweight and had some health issues. My doctor said either I had to give up beer or lose weight and exercise. Definitely an easy choice. After a couple months of just doing regular gym stuff I got really bored and knew I had to try something different. In one of my business trips back to Montreal I had the chance to try CrossFit and when I got
back I started to look for boxes around Mansfield area. I sent emails to a couple boxes and Amanda was the first to respond, she invited me to visit the gym and try out a workout. She was very helpful explaining how it all works and I’ve felt welcome since day one. I knew then that this was the place to be. It was my birthday that day and I thought, “What the hell,” I deserve a good b-day present and here I am still enjoying every minute of it.
What has kept you coming back to Torque, day after day??
The people in general, coaches and athletes alike. I really love to be surrounded with people with the same positive mind set. I love to see my buddies to break their PRs as well as the support I get when I break mine. It’s this support system that makes the whole experience different, and keeps me coming back for more.
What is your favorite thing about working out at Torque?
I like the tough workouts. I know it’s going to be hell but I can’t wait to try it and I love the feeling of accomplishment when you get after your done.
What is your proudest accomplishment thus far?
There’s two, the first time I did bar muscle up and finished the Hero WOD Murph. (For Time: 1 Mile Run, 100 Pull Ups, 200 Push Ups, 300 Air Squats, 1 Mile Run.)
What has been your biggest challenge?
Doing the Muscle Up for sure, I’ve done some, but it’s been inconsistent. I definitely need to work on my upper body strength a bit more.
What is your favorite CF movement to do?
Squat Cleans and Squat Snatches
What piece of advice would you give to someone who is looking to start CrossFit but hasn’t yet?
Get your lazy A** off the couch and let’s do this S***. On a more serious note, CrossFit is based on individual needs. It’s really for everybody. You might not be strong or flexible now, but you will never be if you don’t take the first step.
You’ve made the commitment to get in shape and CrossFit Torque is your gym of choice. Showing up each day requires dedication and passion. The results you get in return for said commitment is more than worth it!
If you want to get the best results, you need the best equipment to assist in you succeeding. There are many topics of equipment we could dive into: shoes, jump ropes, breathable shirts/tank tops, flexible shorts, knee sleeves, pull-up grips, athletic tape, wrist wraps, bandannas, and the list goes on and on.
So, let’s talk about the shoes you should think about investing in, to help advance your squatting and deadlifting game. Finding the best shoes to perform these movements in, is an important task. Unfortunately the typical running sneaker won’t cut it, if you’re looking to lift safely and properly and also gain strength (Don’t you want every second of your commitment to be beneficial?!)
CrossFitters originally rocked Chucks (Chuck Taylor’s) before some major hitters got into the game. Of course Adidas were the pioneers in the lifting shoe world, and Reebok, Nike and Inov8 were to follow. The goal is to find a shoe that will provide the best mechanical support for your lifts.
In no particular order, here are a few of our favorite kicks…
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A) Adidas: Men’s Powerlift 3.1 Cross-Trainer Shoe.
If you don’t know where to start, try here with Adidas; These are cost effective “go to” shoes. With a snug, comfortable and flexible fit for your actual size (never under-size, as cramped toes will surely send your shoes to the trash), they are stylish, come in a wide range of colors, and offer a good, solid heel. Users also generally report immediate performance benefit in both squats and deadlifts, working from a solid base for their feet. Fellow Athlete Reviews:
The Upside: They’re Adidas. Enough said. Possible Downside: A handful of reviewers have stated that the shoe is quite narrow, so if you have a wider foot, you may struggle a little. B) Inov-8: Men’s Fastlift 325 Cross-Trainer Shoe.
Inov-8 offer you a slightly more cost-effective shoes reviewed here. Inov-8 make a claim to be the lightest weightlifting shoe on the market with no compromise as to durability. They also offer “meta-tech” flexibility as to the fabric, to allow for additional wearer comfort. Offering an elevated and firm heel, with a removable foot-bed, the Velcro laces and closure are both secure and comfortable – always a good thing when it comes to squats and dead-lifting. You can be pretty sure you’ll get what you need from these in the gym. The Upside: Good quality shoes at a very cost-effective price. Possible Downside: Limited number of buyers report it almost being like a regular gym shoe. This is after all down to personal choice and experience.
C) Reebok: Men’s CrossFit Lifter 2.0 Training Shoe.
Coming in for a few dollars extra, the CrossFit Lifter 2.0 is a popular choice for many. Sporting a cool look, users report them to be snug and narrow but not at the risk of compromising comfort and thus cutting short sessions in the gym. This shoe has a solid / elevated heel to help you handle more weight and also to push your knees out when performing your squats, enabling your heel to stay continually closer to the ground. Equipped with a nice breathable mesh, these are weightlifting shoes that can hold their own when compared to rivals.
The Upside: A good solid wide sole that allows for both application of effort while simultaneously supporting the arch of the foot. Possible Downside: One or two question marks as to the longevity of the lining of the shoe and also the weight. D) Nordic: Powerlifting Shoes for Heavy Weightlifting.
First up, playing on the Nordic namesake, these are something of a warrior weightlifting shoe. By that I mean that these are designed to take a pounding and then still hold up. Nordic even throw in a one-year warranty to back that up. Plenty of user activity that report that even after over a year of use, the shoes still look like they’ve just come out of the box. Not too many others can copy that! You get to benefit from a sturdy platform and solid heel, not too tall, to allow for effective, deep squats. That’s because it is firm and provides great support and balance for the user. Consequently you get good grounded feeling and the ability to rest back on your heels for your deadlifts or squats. The Upside: Durability. These shoes could spend a day or two inside a volcano of your choice and still get back you looking box-fresh. Possible Downside: The Velcro straps have been reported to fray, at least according to some. E) Adidas: Performance Women’s Powerlift 3.1 Weightlifting Trainer Shoe Back with our Adidas friends again, this time for the ladies in the room, the 3.1 is seemingly a great buy. Offering a range of benefits including, but not limited to, a lightweight synthetic upper coupled with a flexible toe design to keep things comfortable during your workout. A wide range of buyers tell us that the shoe is sturdy while at the same time offering a good fit – neither too big or too tight to compromise performance. Within just a short time out of the box, shoes are reported to fit naturally to the foot. Meaning better grunts for your dollar. The Upside: High-quality shoe that allows the user to push more weight than they thought. Good value for money too. Possible Downside: Possibly over-compensates by being too big by size – even for the need for a weightlifter’s shoe to have some leeway when doing some serious lifting or squats. F) Inov-8: Women’s Fastlift 325 Fitness Shoe.
First up, you may be spending a little more, but, given the weightlifting community’s take on these, you won’t be going far wrong by doing so. A frequent go-to of many in the female lifting community, these sport an external heel cage and light-weight construction, this shoe has to catch the buyer’s eye straight off the bat. They also come with a supportive and breathable overlay. Buyers report, consistently, that they are comfortable, stable and well manufactured. So, there’s always that to keep in mind when weighing up your purchase options. Similarly, comfort is rarely reported as being a problem, and the heel lift is good enough to provide good power and balance to help you get the most out of your leg days. Comfort, strength and quality – that’s quite the trio for a weightlifting shoe. The Upside: Light on the feet, light on the wallet too. Possible Downside: One or two focus on size issues on arrival of their shoes – that the shoe was smaller than they expected.
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So there it is, some of our top shoe picks for lifting. Whatever you end up deciding to do, do yourself a favor and please don’t lift in running sneakers!