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Earlier this month Coach Hanley, Coach Zack, Lisa DPT, and I spent 8 hours talking shoulder health at Eric Cressey’s Shoulder Assessment, Corrective Exercise and Programming Seminar and we are excited to bring what we learned to Motiv Athletics.

Working off of the idea that the scapula interacts with 17 muscle attachments we should take shoulder health into consideration especially with all of the overhead pressing, pushing, and pulling we do on a day to day bases. There is no one size fits all quick fix and the truth is that shoulders vary on individual bases. Some of the individual factors that come into play are joint laxity, reactive changes (bone spurs), injury history, training history, scapular size, and muscle bulk. Over the next few minutes, I’ll go over some reasons for movements and their variations in the programming, or correctives you may see in the future from our coaching staff.

If you are having nagging shoulder issues take The Law of Repetitive Motion into consideration.


I= Insult/Injury to the tissues
N=Number of Repetitions
F=Force or tension of each repetition as a percent of maximum muscle strength
A=Amplitude of each repetition
R= Relaxation time between repetitions (Lack of pressure or tension on the tissue)

Say you are working a desk job and find yourself sitting with poor posture every day while at your computer you are adding a high number of reps with low amplitude and lower relaxation time to your day. No need to worry though resistance training can be extremely effective in correcting problems quickly.

All of that is without taking into consideration overuse, poor range of motion, scapular stability, poor technique, restrictions etc.

More Free Scapula pressing can work in your favor when at the gym i.e push up variations, landmine presses, or possibly alternating dumbbell press. We want sufficient scapular upward rotation on overhead pressing for long-term shoulder health benefits. Key exercises for getting this movement pattern down are Wall Slides at 135 Degrees, Serratus Wall Slides, 1 arm bottoms up Kettlebell Waiters Walks, Bear Crawls, Inchworms, and Hand Switches.

Be on the lookout for a shoulder assessment day where we will assess, correct and educate on what to do moving forward to get the most out of your workout and get those shoulders healthy!

Coach Cory

Tara’s MOTIV Story

hanley —  February 12, 2018 — Leave a comment

At my heaviest I weighed 268 lbs, and at that point in my life, my medical history was longer than the resume of a seasoned CEO approaching retirement. Multiple tumors and cysts, cancer, borderline pre-diabetic diagnosis, cholesterol levels were high, and severe allergies kept me indoors in summer months. I was depressed and felt awful every single day. I had to make a change.

I knew I was prone to growths in my body so I started looking at how to reduce tumors with diet. A common factor I read in tumor growth was glucose. Sugar – a main staple in my diet up until this point. Upon further research, I found the Whole 30 diet and started August 1st, 2015. At the end of the 31 daysI  had lost 15 pounds. Unfortunately, the holidays got the best of me and I slipped back into my old eating habits, gaining that 15 back.

April of 2016, I was halfway through my second round of Whole 30 for the year when I came across a low carb high-fat diet. I stuck with that for 3 months before transitioning to a ketogenic diet, which is a little more strict on quality of ingredients. I can say, without a doubt, this way of eating has changed my life drastically. My allergies disappeared and I was able to get outside more. I fell in love with hiking and being active. Then something happened. I wanted more.

Enter MOTIV.

After listening to a couple of work friends talk about CrossFit, EVERYDAY (like we do), I started working on my husband, Eric. CrossFit sounded fun and something inside me said this is what we needed in our life. I was relentless like wives are, and finally, after a month of listening to me talk about it, he finally agreed to try it. Our first class was bring-a- friend day January 2017. I remember Hanley telling us you don’t have to go full out just go through the movements to get a feel for it. Eric and I laugh about it now but we don’t have a “go easy” mode. We went full out and were so sore for the next two days. We were hooked.

I can see the pieces of my life coming together and our gym is a huge part of that. I have made several new friends, been on an AMAZING trip (shout out to the Patagonia group), and overall been in a much better place mentally and physically. I can see doors opening up for myself that I never considered, or thought I could walk through. My only hope is that I can inspire someone else to make a change in their own life, that leads to the happiness and fulfillment that I have had in the last year.

Thank you to the coaches and everyone at the gym. I am truly grateful to be apart of such an amazing community.

From a size 22 to a 10
Down 90 lbs and loving life.

Skyler’s MOTIV Story

hanley —  February 6, 2018 — Leave a comment

I’ve generally always been a yo-yo kind of weight loss person… and it only got worse after college. Up for a year, down for eight months or so, up heavier, then back down and so on and so on. When I moved to Indy, I was doing well at keeping weight off but, as it usually does, life got in the way with stress from work, relationships, etc. I let excuses lead me into bad habits. When I was mentally ready to get at it again in 2016, I went and fractured my ankle in October. OCTOBER!!! You know, just before Thanksgiving, Christmas, and all of the tasty holiday treats – and I’m Southern, so all the food is rich and plentiful during the holidays. By January 2017 I was up to nearly 280 lbs., and I felt miserable. But, I made a commitment to myself that I can be better and feel better, so I started healthier habits. I began making healthier eating selections and trying to do some fitness on my own. March came, which brought a business trip to New Orleans, and I didn’t do horribly with food!! But, let’s be real for a minute, it WAS NOLA, so we know food, drinks, and lack of sleep were all present! From running a conference, going out with friends, and the travel on top of it all, I was feeling oh so sluggish. I was laying on my bed thinking, “How do I not let that week throw me off on the 20 or so lbs that I had lost since February?” And what do you know, there was a Facebook ad for the “New You Challenge” at a gym that also offered CrossFit. I’ve trained with personal trainers most of my adult life, but by no means got the athletic ability of my parents and was terrified that I’d end up in a gym with a bunch of super competitive people that would make me feel as if I couldn’t do it. I was afraid I would hurt myself because they wouldn’t teach me what to do. To my surprise, I found the exact opposite. I found a gym that taught me nutritional and fitness skills that worked for me. They helped keep me going every moment, even when I wanted to say, “Screw this!” or, “You can take that next rep and shove it!” I started in the “New You Challenge” at 250 lbs., and by the end of it was at 220 lbs.

When I moved to Indy three years ago, I was 218 lbs. I’m standing proudly today at 207 lbs., and honestly, I’m a little teary-eyed as I think about it. I know some days seem as if they don’t work and there are days we look at ourselves and don’t notice the differences. I hated taking the before pictures because I was incredibly unhappy with being the heaviest that I’ve ever been. But seeing that picture reminds me of how far I’ve come.

I was at another gym the other day and ran into an old neighbor who almost walked by me because he barely recognized me. Those are the moments that bring it all together and show me how much progress I’ve really made. One my best friends, who I only see on FaceTime as she currently lives in Bahrain, said, “I love you and your fitness family.” Then it hit me; this isn’t just a gym, it really is a family that offers encouragement and pushes us when we need it most. I’m thankful for the collective care that happens from the environment that Hanley has built with an excellent team of Erin, Cory, Justin, Audrey, and Andy as our healthy living experts. Thank you for being the place I call my fitness home!

On any given day, just over 1 in 5 American adults are actively trying to lose weight. An additional 50% have tried dieting for some length of time, but have retreated to old routines while getting the courage to try again. Fads come and go. Confusion and frustration are tops. And failure is common. Long-term weight loss requires a hard look at your habits around food. For most people, this is no easy feat. You must change your lifestyle. Not sure how? Just ask for help.

This is the face of habit change. So good.

Dejorie’s MOTIV Story

hanley —  November 2, 2017 — Leave a comment

1 Month @ 99lbs vs. 6 Months @ 112lbs

I’ve always struggled to maintain a healthy weight, even when I’m active and eating decently. Strength training and CrossFit have shown me that my body can make big muscle gains by committing to a workout regimen with some small modifications to my diet.

180 Days Later

hanley —  October 25, 2017 — Leave a comment

Akbar has definitely put in the hard work over the last 6 months. Watching those carbs and doing burpees for days.


When we began the CrossFit Hud journey in 2012, we were inspired by the high intensity, fast as possible, crush-yourself-workout approach that promised fast results and elite fitness.

What we found along the way is that being a CrossFit affiliate doesn’t tell our entire story anymore. Over a half-decade of experience and lots of education, we have evolved into more than just CrossFit.

We are heading in a new direction where CrossFit becomes a program – still affiliated – we offer and NOT who we are.

We decided to change the name to Motiv Athletics. And with this new name, we aim to make a real difference by giving people better options and better choices. We want to shift the paradigm, moving from the pure group model to a hybrid model (more on this later) where we can offer individualized and supplemental services to help people reach their goals.

Where’d the name come from? Motiv is from Motive, which by definition means – causing or being the reason for something. What’s your Motiv?

We are energized by this name change, and we will be focusing that energy on continuing to serve you the best we can: running a solid fitness program.

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.