Get Outside!

What are you up to right now? Where are you sitting/standing/travelling? How are you reading this? On your computer? On a phone? Tablet?

Odds are, (less a small percentage of you) you’re inside. You’re safe, your climate and environment is comfortable. You’re somewhere familiar. And short those of you not quite enjoying your job (and reading this on the clock–we won’t tell!), you’re probably somewhere you like to be!

The primitive parts of our minds seek this comfort. From an evolutionary standpoint, it’s safe. We’re away from danger: predators, toxins, environmental threats, rival tribes, thieves. This is fantastic! It’s one of the biggest factors supporting longevity these days.

So, why leave my safe space??

Well, I’m not necessarily suggesting a significant hiatus from normalcy. Although there is plenty of evidence that we should be seeking digital detoxes and swarths of time getting back to our primal roots… We can talk about those another time.
I’m talking about what we can be doing right now to make some marked improvement on whatever your current disposition.

The sad thing is, we’re spending less and less time outdoors! ONLY 17.9% of you are getting outside at least ONCE A WEEK! And with the advancement of modern comfort, some people aren’t even walking to their cars anymore. They park in the garage, have their groceries delivered, order goods that’ll be delivered in 2 days or less to their front door (or garage), use remote-ordering for restaurant orders… it’s crazy how much we’re becoming hermits despite the fact that neighborhood communities are popping up everywhere!

And with the changing times, parents trust their children to be outdoors alone less and less, meaning they spend more time in front of a TV, on tablets, or using gaming consoles.

Does this seem in-line with our evolutionary desire for open space, fresh air, natural vitamin D, negative ions, grounding, exposure to nature and meditative calm?

So, why should we go outside again?

  • Natural Sunlight:
    – Vitamin D is crucial for body function, bone health, organ health, vitality, and metabolism. Obviously we’re all taught the dangers of “too much,” but what’s just right is easy to find: it’s less than you think.
    – Sunlight (during the conversion of vitamin D) produces nitric oxide, which reduces blood pressure, reduces stress, increases sleep quality, fights depression, and strengthens your immune system. (Read more here)
  • Fresh Air
    Unless you live in an area of the world where you have constant air quality alerts, less a hospital-grade air purification and cycling system, you cannot beat the quality of outdoor air.
    And even if you do have access to all those, I would still argue you don’t have it better than mother nature!
    – Circulating in your home are all types of microbes, dander, dust, particulate, and potentially dangerous elements of Radon, CO, CO2, Sulfur Dioxide, and household cleaning product pollutants. And that exists even for the cleanest of us. Obviously opening windows helps mitigate this, but most of us are spoiled by our HVAC systems during the heat of summer and cold of winter. [For the sake of the length of this article, we’re also assuming you’re not living in an older house with lead, asbestos, remodeling hazards, or anywhere pesticide use is common. That’s another heaping can of NOPE.]
    Outdoor air clears your lungs, provides greater energy, lowers blood pressure and resting heart rate (and just plain smells better!)
  • Being outdoors is good for your vision. Both the outdoor light AND the fact that you’re not always focused on the closeup nature of being inside (and in front of a screen, counter, or book) gives your vision a helpful respite from being stressed all day. Studies show that allowing children time outside greatly reduces the probability of developing nearsightedness.
    Further, study results show that less than 60 minutes of outdoor light exposure per day is a risk factor for myopia.

  • How many of you use scented candles? Air fresheners? Tart burners? Incense and or essential oils? It’s OK. While none of those are the elixir of youth marketing agencies might want you to believe, there’s a GOOD REASON we’re drawn to them!
    – Aromatherapy, by way of nature, is researched and proven to help you feel calmer and more relaxed. Natural scents, like flowers, freshly cut grass, pine, and other outdoor fragrances and musk are tied to the olfactory portion of our brain and help put us at ease, as this is historically associated with being in a cozy, safe, familiar environment.
    And as you can imagine, nothing beats the natural stuff!

  • Negative ions. While there is still plenty of study to be done, the positive affects of negative ions, in their natural state, are shown to benefit those with allergies, depression and seasonal depression, eliminates airborne germs, and can increase oxygen to the brain.
    – Outdoors, especially near the ocean, waterfalls, and surrounding storms have the greatest levels of negative ions. Sorry for those of you trying to use salt generators, candles, and ion generators at home. Some of these are pure snake oil, and those that aren’t? Most of those are actually detrimental to your health because they generate ozone as a byproduct (please stop!). But the good news is, you can get them for free by GOING OUTSIDE!
The last 3 benefits I’m not going to get into great detail or provide you with much research; it might make this blog another 2-3 pages! I encourage you to look into yourself if you’re so inclined!
  • Exercise: Being outdoors makes it feel easier to exercise. Be it motivation-driven, more fresh air and natural light granting you greater energy levels, or just the fact that being outdoors invites us to walk, move and play more, we are more inclined to exercise when outside!

  • Natural sunlight helps mitigate pain. This may be due to otherwise insufficient Vitamin D levels, or the greater presences of nitric oxide, or reduction of the elements causing SAD. Whatever the reason, surgery patients who were exposed to high intensity sunlight reported less pain and took less pain medication as a result.

  • The outdoors enhances creativity. Psychologists find that individuals regularly score higher on creativity tests after spending a few days in the wilderness sans electronics.
    – This occurrence also relates to focus. Walking in nature is shown to help restore focus and allow your mind time to work past mental blocks.

Well, that’s a lot! And it’s all great stuff! It’s a bit chilly outside, but after sitting in front a computer writing this up for my fans, I’m going to get a nice brisk walk in! How about you? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Operational Updates

Greetings Variants!

We wanted to take a brief moment to inform you of some recent updates to our business model. In ongoing efforts to best serve our clients and community while simultaneously making certain we can continue to put food on our table, the following changes are underway:

  • Free Consultation Appointments are limited, as Erin will be the only Coach available during the business day.
  • Joe’s coaching availability will be limited, as he transitions to mostly remote programming and specialty consultations. (Long story short, Joe’s getting back into the workforce and will have a day job).
  • It is our mission, on an ongoing basis to meet our community needs. More and more we see that fitness isn’t a priority–as it should be. And as much as we wish there was a ‘magic pill,’ well…that magic pill is exercise (to help in areas ranging from joint and local pain–knee, back, neck), to weight management, to improvement of biometric stats, to achievement of aesthetic goals and longevity, to increases in sleep quality, quality of life and energy, or just ‘feeling better’ altogether!
    • AS SUCH, we have reduced all of our plan pricing.
      As always, if you need any help achieving your goals in such a way that it does not interfere with your pocketbook, please reach out!
      We sincerely believe everyone needs fitness, and will work with you no matter your situation (we’ve been there too!)
    • We’ll have a blog post here soon on the real costs of healthcare (medical sick-care) versus achieving and maintaining fitness! We think you’ll be surprised…

Yours in fitness, Coaches Joe & Erin

CRO Fitness at REO Event

Greetings Variants!

We’re here to inform you that we will be:
hosting a demo day
at REO in Manheim
from 10-2
on 16 October 2021!

There will be:

What to do with unwanted gift cards - NEWS 1130

Competitions on the hour, at 11:00, 12:00, and 13:00 (that’s 1PM)

  • You can win GIFT CARDS!

DEMOS every 20 minutes!

  • Experience some short workouts you can do anywhere, or learn some new skills, or improve your technique!

One-on-one time with the Coaches between events

  • Ask us anything!

If you drop by and leave your name and email address, you will receive $50 off your first week with CRO Fitness!

Add this event to your

In the meantime, if you have any questions, feel free to contact us here!

GPP (General Physical Preparedness)

What is General Physical Preparedness?

GPP, or General Physical Preparedness can be defined as “General Physical Preparedness can be defined as a preparatory phase of training that is intended to provide balanced physical conditioning in endurance, strength, speed, flexibility and other basic factors of fitness. In other words, it can be considered all-around fitness.” (Source)

In our words: it’s your innate ability to function the way that the human body’s biological, physiological, and anthropomorphic blueprint intends. Still a mouthful?

OK, how’s this: you should be capable of doing anything you intend to with efficiency, poise, posture, and relative undue stress in such ways that are functional, productive, safe and repeatable!

Phew! Now that that’s established, let’s qualify the 10 GPPs:
  1. Cardiovascular/ Respiratory Endurance
  2. Stamina
  3. Strength
  4. Flexibility
  1. Power
  2. Speed

  1. Coordination
  2. Agility
  3. Balance
  4. Accuracy


You may have heard of these, or associated them with some sort of performance, sport, or movement. Next, we’re going to take a moment to break down what each of these mean:

  • Cardiovascular Endurance: how well can you sustain exercise, or moderate-to-high level, continuous output for extended periods of time
    EXAMPLE: Running a 5k or Obstacle-Course-Race

  • Stamina: the ability to sustain prolonged physical exertion and mental effort
    EXAMPLE: Hill sprint repeats or continuing to perform exercise (such as pushups) after fatigue and discomfort has set in
  • Strength: the productive application of force
    OR: your fundamental ability to move or act against an opposing force
    EXAMPLE: Pressing heavy load overhead, such as a bar or dumbbell
  • Flexibility: the ability for a joint, or series of joints, to move through an unrestricted, pain-free complete range of motion
    EXAMPLE: The ability to navigate oneself into the bottom of a squat, maintaining integrity of the core, feet flat on the ground with weight unbiased and center of gravity directly over the midfoot, torso upright.

These first four GPPs are attained through TRAINING. That is: one must train their body in specific ways in order to achieve cardiovascular endurance, stamina, strength, and flexibility. A solid fitness plan should include all of these!

  • Power: in technical terms, power is Work done over time [(Force x Distance) / Time]. In our definition, this can be extrapolated to: how quickly, can you impart strength?
    EXAMPLE: Fast-repetition power-cleans while maintaining proper technique
  • Speed: the rate in which someone is able to move
    EXAMPLE: Maintaining a 7 mile-per-hour run

These two GPPs are attained through TRAINING and PRACTICE. That is: one must train their body to develop power and speed, and then continue the practice to improve and maintain power and speed!

  • Coordination: the ability to use your body as systems, efficiently, to accomplish tasks
    EXAMPLE: dancing, hitting a baseball

  • Agility: the ability to move quickly and easily, especially nimbly
    EXAMPLE: Zigzag sprints!

  • Balance: the ability to maintain your intended position
    OR postural stability
    EXAMPLE: Completing pistol (single-leg) squats

  • Accuracy: the ability to perform movements and skills with precision (preferably, repeatably and on target)
    EXAMPLE: Darts, or Wallballs

These last GPPs are attained through PRACTICE. That is: one must continue their pursuits in developing their coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy. And there is notable interplay between these four GPPs!

Wrapping up

What does this mean for me? Well, if you’re like us, you are interested in knowing what is an optimal human condition. And achieving your best self, arguably, means acquiring these 10 General Physical Skills. And then continuing to develop them.

Even if you have a sports-specific training plan, research has shown time and again that any sport or activity benefits from cross training and cross-disciplinary pursuits, so even if you’re a power athlete, being able to increase endurance and stamina are beneficial. Likewise, if you’re a runner, being able to be explosive means healthier joints overall, and maintaining (bone-on-bone) spongy surfaces.

Regardless of your pursuits, GPP promotes active recovery, meaning you can get back to and enjoy your sport more, and sooner!

Let us know what you think in the comments! And in the meantime, if you’re interested in increasing your GPP, feel free to get started with a free consultation!

What is Functional Fitness?

Carry all the Groceries: Super Functional!

Have you ever played the game “how few trips can I make from my car to my refrigerator” when bringing home the groceries?

Or, have you ever tried to see how long you can carry your child(ren) before having to put them down and take a rest?

Maybe you intentionally park at the back of the parking lot so you can get some more walking in for that day, too?

What we’re aiming for is functional movement. We define it in plain terms as “the ability to perform daily tasks without limitation or undue struggle.” In other words: it shouldn’t hurt, it shouldn’t be unnaturally difficult, and it shouldn’t prevent you from occupying your role in society or cause burden to others.

We also want to consider the body’s natural capabilities:
When’s the last time you reached straight over head? When’s the last time you sat in the bottom of a squat?

The old adage if you don’t use it, you lose it has more truth to it when we really sit down to ponder: when the last time we did X or Y? Can you think of the last time you threw a ball? Jumped (down the stairs, onto a curb, or just…jumped!). When’s the last time you tried a new sport or movement? When’s the last time you played with your kids and took an active role?

We’re definitely not here to put you on notice! Let’s just be aware of our everyday and how it may affect our now and future selves. There’s nothing wrong with how you’ve answered any of these. But the real question is: what can we do about it?! Should we/need we do anything at all?

When’s the last time you just laid on your back and stared up at the sky?

One of the hardest realizations to come to as an adult is: I don’t play anymore.
And I’m not talking about the last time you went out on the golf course with the boss, or pretend to be a pool shark with some buddies at your local pub. I’m not talking about grabbing the XBox controller with your teenager… Creative play is a part of human nature, and if we’re not cherishing it… well, where does it go?

(OK, so play doesn’t have to be organized or competitive, but doesn’t this look fun?)

So, what is Functional Fitness?

  • full range movements
  • picking things up
  • ease and efficiency
  • switching things up
  • slow pace moving
  • carrying things
  • injury prevention
  • building resilience
  • full effort movement
  • putting things down
  • making it fun
  • getting comfortable
    being uncomfortable

First of all, we want to be functional humans. And ultimately, what we mean by that is:
the ability to live our lives relatively unencumbered by ailment, disorder, or circumstance that prevents us from our daily pursuits.

How often do we read about unfortunate incidents involving inclement weather and individuals who are injured because of slips, falls, or compromised movement? Even though we can’t prevent all accidents, we can certainly build the resilience necessary to minimize damage from slips, falls, and spills, while hedging our bets that we can be more stable!

Other examples of functional living and their correlated functional fitness:

  • Navigating Stairs
  • Reaching Overhead
  • Crossing a small stream or rain gutter
Fitness Correlate:
Overhead walking lunges
  • Getting out of bed, or off the couch
  • Getting onto and off the the toilet
Fitness Correlate: Squats!
  • Picking up from or placing an item on the floor
  • Tying your shoes when there isn’t a place to sit
  • Pulling weeds from your garden
Thanks Sean Woodland and Talking Elite Fitness
“Bout Dem Roots!” How do you pull weeds?
Fitness Correlate: Deadlift
  • Mowing the grass
  • Pushing a shopping cart or stroller
  • Opening a heavy door
Ignore the crocs!
Fitness Correlate: Sled push!
  • Leisure-time!
  • Spending time at the beach (swimming, beach volleyball?)
  • Playing with the kiddos!

Resistance training increases bone density.
Plyometrics (specifically jumping), increases spongy plates between bone-on-bone interfaces.
Strength training increases muscle mass and the integrity of tendons and ligaments.
Training agility means quicker reaction times.

And a well-implemented training plan should include all of these!

Next time, we’re going to talk about GPP (General Physical Preparedness), what the 10 principles of GPP are and how they relate to a healthy+fit lifestyle.

What is F̲i̲t̲n̲e̲s̲s̲?

I mean, you can certainly define “fitness.” According to the Google Dictionary, it can mean:

  • noun
    the condition of being physically fit and healthy.

    OR, perhaps a bit more appropriate:
  • the quality of being suitable to fulfill a particular role or task.
How do you carry your kids?

Let’s take a step back and think about how we may arrive at fitness, shall we?

  • Moving regularly (walking, running, cycling, gardening)
  • Eating well (appropriately for your blueprint and activity levels: micronutrients, with macronutrient balance)
  • Practicing flexibility/stretching (yoga, mobility, foundation training)
  • Spending time in Nature (stress reduction, environmental exposure)
  • Sleeping well (sleep hygiene, quality and duration)
  • To name a few… (for sure, there are plenty of other considerations, but these are arguably the biggest)

Do we all agree that these might be the steps we take if we decide we want to be healthier?

And why would we want to achieve fitness?

This is where we believe the message and clarity begin to breakdown a bit. I’m sure you have a reason. We all do! For some of us, it’s a bit of vanity: “I want to look better!” or “I want to fit in my college clothes!” A few of you might have thought to yourself, “well, I don’t feel as good as I remember.” And yet for others, our physician or practitioner may have made a note that our weight or some biometric markers were skewed from baseline.

Let’s think bigger picture:

Sickness – Wellness – Fitness Continuum

Ask yourself what you believe “Wellness” to look like? Or ask your doctor, a loved one, or even Google (no harm in cheating!). And most of you can make a list based on what you’ve learned in health class, or been told by a doctor:

  • HR: ~60-70 bpm
  • BP: 120/80
  • BMI: 18.5-24.9
  • Total Cholesterol: 125-200 mg/dL
  • Others may include: Baseline Metabolic Panels (a1C, fasting Glucose, Bilirubin, etc), Hormone Levels, Age-related health markers (PSA, etc)
    … and so forth. Sound about right?

If we accept the convention that ‘baseline’ is wellness and anything below is ‘sickness,’ then why do so many of us think that we should aim toward “Wellness?” (HINT: you’ll never see us pushing for wellness!)

SCENARIO: You’re walking along a road, getting some exercise and a responsible dose of Vitamin D (yay, sunshine!). Suddenly you hear a MEEP MEEP and a whir in front of you and the next thing you know, you’ve been hit by something resembling a steamroller with the word “ACME” emblazoned on the back. (Was that a coyote driving…or… no…I must be delerious from whatever hit me)!

Crazy as this sounds, this scenario could be anything: a car accident that results in a sprained neck and shoulder, a silly incident where you slice your hand in the kitchen, a sudden case of the flu, a diagnosis of gallstones, or possibly (*hopefully not) even worse.

And if you’ve lived your life, to date, with ideal biomarkers, what happens now?

Well, regardless of your recovery protocols, after an acute injury or medical intervention, you’re probably aware that your protocol will involve, by and large REST. Which means that all of the work you put into getting yourself to “wellness” can become really difficult to maintain.

And if it’s one of the more severe cases requiring medical intervention, you may have no choice but to be on bedrest or be relatively immobile for awhile…

And then you see the biomarkers slip. Your energy dips, your resting heart rate heads northward, your blood pressure slides out of the ‘ideal’ range, and the wheels start to come off.

Now we both know you’re going to beat this thing (whatever this theoretical scenario is). And we both know you have the wherewithal to eat better and get back out on a run as soon as you’re better.

What if you’re FIT?

What if? Before you had an incident that prevents you from maintaining your health, you were already ahead of the curve?

In this scenario, your Resting Heart Rate is 45-50 BPM

Your Blood Pressure reads 110/70

Your body fat percentage is low enough to see abdominal definition (who doesn’t want that anyway?!)

And the last time you saw your doctor he or she said something along the lines of “I don’t know what you’re doing, but keep that $*#! up!” At least that’s the way I heard it!

This, my friends is FITNESS!

And in any unfortunate scenario where you find yourself unable to continue your fitness journey, you find yourself WELL. Because that’s the nature of the continuum. If you slide down from fitness, you find yourself in wellness; and that’s a lot easier to come back from than sickness, for sure!

Not to mention, being fit in the first place, you’ll be less likely to be significantly injured or sick, and you can withstand more aggressive treatment (if necessary) , improving your overall outlook on whatever it is you’re facing!

Next time, we’ll explore what “functional fitness” means! If you have any thoughts, leave your comments below!

Quick and Easy Breakfast Treat

Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oats!!!

· 1/2 cup of Quick Oats
· 1 scoop of SFH Chocolate Protein
· 1 tablespoon of PBFit (powdered Peanut Butter)
· 1/2 cup of Oat milk

: Mix all ingredients and place in a easy to grab container. Refrigerate overnight. The next morning, grab a spoon and your favorite coffee and enjoy an easy, healthy breakfast, that will power your morning workout!

CRO Fitness – Background and in-Depth Look

Hey there!

Glad you stopped by …seriously! We don’t expect to get many visitors these days, and that’s OK. We’re going to do our best to help you understand who we are and why we’re here! That’s why you checked out this blog post, no?

So, let’s say you’re lying awake at night… thinking about your day…. what’s on your mind? What have you accomplished? What more would you have accomplished with just a little more time, motivation, or energy? What’s tomorrow going to bring?

Or maybe you sleep soundly; head hitting the pillow each night and otherwise, you spend time during your days in day dreams… in and out of thoughts lost to leisure time and surrounded by your favorite people.

However you find yourself approaching life, we all spend portions of our idle time with our imaginations and curiosity. It’s one of those things that make us uniquely human!

And while it may not seem immediately obvious: it’s why you’re here and us too!
You’re curious, and wondering “what’s this all about?”

Erin and I had dreams. We have dreams! Many dreams. And throughout much of our lives, we’ve been fortunate enough to encounter some of our favorite people and share those dreams with them! And that brings us to where we are today, believe it or not!

OK, so enough with the cryptic talk!

  • We’ve lived the ‘corporate’ lifestyles. Joe, a successful Engineer; Erin, a Professional Chef!
    – But always found ourselves doing more; wanting more
    -Which led Joe to join the military, discover his passion for fitness, share that passion with Erin, and then for both of us to start personal training, group fitness, nutrition study, and more!
  • With the unprecedented events of 2020-2021 shaking up our ‘norm,’ we found ourselves on a path to rediscovery, asking ourselves: “How can we leave the world better than we found it?”

And after over a year of soul-searching, attempting to start a product-biased business steeped in fitness innovation, and–not ‘failing,’ but by most standards, not exactly succeeding either–, we figured, “why don’t we give back to YOU?”

We’re aiming to continue pursuit of what we love. And those endeavors are far and wide, but in the meantime, to put food on the table for us, we’d love to help you put better food on your table, mindfully. And while we’re at it, maybe you’ll feel a little better, be a little happier, fit into your clothes a little better, enjoy your favorite activities more, and be better overall?

So, what do you think? Are you interested in taking this journey with us? We’d LOVE to be by your side helping you in all the ways we can!