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Do you know what a healthy body fat percentage is for your gender?

Do you know why you should care?

Your body fat percentage is a value that tells you how much of your body weight is made up of fat. In terms of your overall health, your body fat percentage can be one of the most useful numbers available to you, even more so than your scale weight and much more so than your Body Mass Index (BMI).

If you have an interest in living a healthy lifestyle, try your best to eat a healthy diet, and work to keep your body weight under control, your body fat percentage is a crucial number to know that will help you in many different ways. Here are just a few.

Get The Context Of Your Weight

Knowing how much you weigh tells you very little because people can have the same body weight but have completely different compositions, body types, and health risks.  You body fat percentage puts your weight into context, telling you far more about your yourself than how heavy you are.

Here are the body compositions of three types of people, all around the same weight (~154 pounds) and height (5’10”). To make each of these easier to talk about later, we’ll give them each a fictitious name.


Bill has a body weight of 154.0 pounds and a body fat percentage of 28.3%. Notice the large differences between the bar for Body Fat Mass and SMM (Skeletal Muscle Mass). Because of this very large difference, despite being a normal weight, Bill likely falls into the category of what is popularly called “skinny fat.”



Ted has a nearly identical weight to Bill – less than half a pound in difference – but has a body fat percentage of 15.6%, almost 13% less than Bill! This is because, unlike Bill, Ted has average amounts of muscle and fat for a 5’10” person.



Within about a pound of both Bill and Ted is Brian, with a body weight of 154.8 and a body fat percentage of 10.1%.  The bars for his SMM and Body Fat Mass are the complete inverse of Bill, who had a skinny fat composition.

Now it’s true that even without these charts, it would be quite obvious to tell skinny fat Bill from athletic Brian just by looking at them.

However, the more extreme examples of Bill and Brian are helpful to illustrate how three individuals with roughly the same scale weight and BMI can have wildly different body compositions— something that scale weight cannot reveal.

Of the three individuals, Bill stands to be the most at risk for health problems because of his high body fat percentage and low muscle mass, but especially so because his weight and BMI are considered normal.

Decide How To Start Improving



Knowing your body fat percentage helps you decide which of the two goals that reflect healthy body composition changes – increasing Lean Body Mass and decreasing Fat Mass – you should be working on.

It’s difficult to point to any single “ideal” body fat percentage because what may be ideal for a bodybuilder may be different than what’s ideal for a soccer player. For this reason, ranges are used to give people an idea of where they stand in terms of health.

  • For men: 10-20% is considered normal/healthy
  • For women: 18-28% is considered normal/healthy

These ranges may vary depending on who your source is. The American College of Sports Medicine has ranges as does the Mayo Clinic (more on that later in the next section)

Knowing where your body fat percentage falls in these ranges can be very helpful for you to decide how to improve your overall composition.

For example (and this may come as a surprise): many overweight/obese people actually already have a significant amount of muscle development compared to an average person of the same height.



Now, while strength training can be healthy and useful for everyone, a program based on bulking up and developing huge muscles may not be the best method for improving the body composition of someone who is overweight. That’s because the diet that encourages muscle growth typically requires being in a caloric surplus (eating more than your body needs to maintain its weight).

While it is true that fat loss can occur while strength training and gaining muscle, for someone of this body type, results will likely be achieved faster by a combination of restricting calories, increasing energy use, and weight lifting to maintain – not grow – muscle.

For someone like Bill, who is not overweight but still “overfat,” the opposite advice may apply.




Based on the relative lack of muscle compared to other people of the same height, Bill can likely get the quickest and most positive body composition changes by focusing on building muscle, not losing fat.

The reason this approach is better for this person and not someone who is overweight or obese is due to the lack of developed muscle.  While an overweight person already has a lot of muscle due to the need to support a larger frame, a smaller person will need to actively work to develop this muscle while maintaining or reducing the amount of fat they carry.

Reduce The Risk of Heart Disease



Knowing your body fat percentage has uses outside of fitness, too. Keeping your body fat percentage at a healthy level can help reduce your likelihood of getting serious health risks, specifically, heart disease. Seriously.

Heart disease is most often caused by a buildup of plaque on the walls of your arteries. This occurs when small pieces of cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, or LDL) damage your arteries, causing them to harden, forcing your heart to work harder to pump blood throughout your body.

What does body fat have to do with your heart? Quite a lot, actually.

According to new research published by the Mayo Clinic, having a healthy body fat percentage has a significant effect on your cholesterol levels – increasing the good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein, or HDL) which helps to remove the damaging LDL and lower overall total cholesterol. This means less artery-clogging cholesterol in your bloodstream, which means less stress on your heart.

To be clear: this research isn’t linking this to overall weight or even total pounds of fat. These positive effects are linked with the amount of body fat you have compared to your current weight. The body fat percentage ranges needed to have this positive effect have an upper limit of 20% for men and 30% for women.

While the research doesn’t suggest that this is any type of complete preventative for heart disease – many lifestyle factors, as well as genetics, play into whether you will develop it or not – it does suggest that you have some degree of control over preventing it by maintaining a healthy body fat percentage.

Know Your Percentage to Take Control of Your Health

Perhaps one of the best things about your body fat percentage is that it compares you to yourself.

If you just track weight, this invariably leads to comparing yourself to someone else. Even though there could be significant differences in height, muscle mass, genetics, or other factors, all people hear when they talk about or think about their weight is the number.

That’s what’s so great about your body fat percentage. It doesn’t matter how much you weigh; the only thing that matters is what that weight is made up of. You could be overweight (and even have a BMI that tells you that) but if you’re a woman with a body fat percentage of 25%, why care?

To take control of your health and fitness and gain the positive benefits of living a healthy lifestyle, the first step is to get your body composition measured.





Rachel’s 8 Month Update

hanley —  August 27, 2017 — Leave a comment

30 pounds in 5 months using only habit based nutrition practices. No tracking, no weighing of food, simply making smart decisions around food over and over. Oh and let’s not forget, working hard in the gym!If you need help with food. Please reach out HERE

The horizontal pull is largely neglected in CrossFit-style training, and when neglected it creates a structural imbalance in the shoulder, which can lead to injuries. This is especially true when you consider the amount of overhead pulling found in CrossFit. Combine lots of overhead pulling with lots of sitting, which causes rhomboids and mid/low traps to not work properly, and you increase the likelihood of wrecking your shoulders. The single arm dumbbell row helps build upper back strength which helps stabilize the scapula.

Kiley’s 4 Month Update

hanley —  July 30, 2017 — Leave a comment

You’re Still a Novice

hanley —  June 28, 2017 — Leave a comment

We hear this all the time in the gym. I’ve been here 6 months, why aren’t I improving at a faster rate? The truth is it could be a host of reasons to why you may or not be getting better. Some of these include but aren’t limited to your genetics, various outside stressors, nutrition, sleep, biological age, training age, and programming. Assuming we’re talking about someone new (less than 5 years) to strength training, it’s going to take lots and lots of reps for your nervous system to pattern the various new movements and start to adapt to them, i.e. improvement. How many reps are lots and lots? Thousands. If we use an in house example, look at some of the ladies who’ve been consistently coming to the gym for the last 2 years (400-600 workouts completed) with zero prior strength training experience. They are just now starting to accumulate thousands of repetitions within the various movement patterns. Some people will adapt faster than others – can you say genetics? Do you want to know a quick way to guarantee a short fitness journey within the realms of “CrossFit” style training? It’s actually very easy to do – fast track your nervous system with high intensity and high training volume, take little to no rest days, try and kill yourself/be at the top of the whiteboard everyday, have poor sleep and eating habits, use social media to dictate your training regime, half listen to your coach, and pile on advanced skills (insert kipping anything here) without a proper strength base.

Wanna get better and have a long fitness journey? Develop some patience, focus on good movement, prioritize getting STRONG over Instagram selfies, be coachable, work on good eating and sleeping habits, and work hard. Can’t commit to any of that and need to be good at something right away? Take up speed walking.

Gym Standards

hanley —  June 16, 2017 — Leave a comment

We have developed some standards and while in some ways they seem small or not a big deal, they lay the foundation for the environment in which we train and is an important part of creating our gym culture. At this point, most of you already do these but it’s always good to review them.

The following list makes expectations clear, holds us each to the same standards, and keeps the gym an inclusive, effective, and fun place to train.

We live and breathe this list daily but sometimes we start to get caught up in other things and need a simple reminder—we all do! This is the structure for how we operate, what we think is important, and what we expect of the athletes in our community.

Thank you for committing to the Standards!


Be Early
Being late for anything is not cool. And warming up properly is extremely important. Give yourself time to park, change clothes, and sign in. We understand you guys have lives outside the gym and we all know traffic sucks around 5 pm. We won’t judge you if you show up late – except when you’re chronically late. Be respectful and jump on a flywheel bike for however long you’re late or wait for the next class.

Say Hi To New Faces
Group Fitness can be intimidating for new folks. Having friends always makes things easier.

Stay Off Floor When Not In Class
Happens every day. If you aren’t in class then stay off the rubber floor (getting water is the exception here). Do not walk through the class to get to the back parking lot.

Cheer Last Man Standing / Don’t Put Your Equipment Away Until Everyone’s Finished or The Class is Over
Always be ready to offer a kind or encouraging word to your fellow athletes. If you finish first, stick around to cheer for and support the rest of the group.

Be Coachable
No Whining! No one cares how much you can lift or that you can do fancy gymnastic movements, we only care how well you can lift/move and if you scaled the workout appropriately. The coaches are there to help you learn and improve. We want you to get better and be in the fitness game for the long term. If you want to NOT improve your fitness, visit your local physical therapist, or look like a tool, then don’t listen to the coaches and do what your favorite Instagram athlete is doing.

Respect Coaches & Athletes
Have you ever tried speaking in front of a group of people that were talking over you or not paying attention? It’s no fun and highly distracting. Don’t disrupt or delay the class. Once the instruction has started, don’t walk off, stop talking and listen, even if you know how to do the movement(s).

Children who can behave and hang out patiently in the lobby are welcome to come with Mom or Dad. They are not allowed at any point to come onto the rubber floor or training area. Children are great and for that reason, we have to prioritize the safety of the children and quality of the athletes’ training environment. You’ll be asked nicely once and then the second time you’ll be asked to not bring your child/children with you.

Take Care of The Equipment
When you’re cleaning up and unloading your barbell you should strip off plates so that the barbell doesn’t crash on the floor. Please use the brass brushes to remove any chalk from the bar. If you get sweat or bleed on the barbell or any equipment, please wipe it down. Don’t drag the wood boxes – the corners will disintegrate. Don’t drop empty barbells or barbells with just 10’s on them. Don’t drop or dump kettlebells or dumbbells. Put all equipment back after you’re finished. Keep personal gear off equipment.

Pay For Retail Before Consuming
Small business with small margins. Please be sure to check out using the self-service checkout system before consuming or taking retail items.

Be Safe
Don’t ghost ride the barbells. If you drop your barbell, follow it down and make sure it doesn’t bounce or roll into someone or something.

Chalk Usage
Chalk stays in the chalk bucket. Yes, you’ll have to walk all the way to the chalk bucket.

Know Your Why
Why are you training? Try and ask yourself and answer the Why. This will help guide you in your fitness journey and give your training sessions focus, clarity, and context.

Julie has been crushing it. Enough said.

We enable clients to live happier, healthier, fuller lives.

We offer nutrition coaching at CrossFit Hud’s lottanutrition program. This isn’t your run of the mill coaching, i.e. “here’s your meal plan, this worked for me so it should work for you” crap.

No, no. The coaches at lotta understand excellent principles of client-centered coaching and this includes collaboration, empathy, and respect. We offer two programs, a macros program and a progressive habit based program.

What’s superb about the habit program is that it not only allows us to educate you on nutrition but it gives you and allows you to put it into action under the watchful coach.

This program benefits users through excellent coaching and accountability while setting up the client for success through positive habit building.

The lottanutirtion Macro Program, “lottamacros” is a highly individualized coached program for those wishing to dial in their nutrition for performance and weight goals. What if you could achieve both? Using weekly determined calories and macro counts for each individual, this program provides accountability and guidance for those clients to help achieve success.

Learn more by clicking here


Below is a video on the curriculum we offer and bit on how we coach at Lotta Nutrition.

The world’s leading Nutrition Coaching education program, Precision Nutrition, has provided us the use of their curriculum This program is a 9-month commitment. The program is a 52-week habit forming approach that offers the user daily lessons and activities with bi-weekly habits.

This program takes into account the goals you want: build muscle, lose weight… etc, and provides all your nutrition needs surrounding powerful and attainable habits you create.