Chase Goals, Not Butterflies

This is why you have (or should have) a coach:

There’s too much information out there. You know you can’t do, research, and filter everything. A lot appears to be good, certainly sounds good… so what should you do?

There are a million meal plans, fad diets, fly by night ab programs, legititmate programs, scam products, supplements, equipment you name it…

You can’t do it all, you shouldn’t do it all and doing more than you should only overwhelms you. I was as guilty as anyone has ever been 7 years ago…

You’ve heard of overtraining, you certainly don’t want to get hurt. What is lesser known is there’s a minimum, optimal and maximum amount to workout for each person. Just like there is optimal amounts of food to eat.

Too little, and your progress will be slow. Doing too many workouts can have the exact same effect or worse.

We choose CrossFit for our group training because it’s a great balance: It’s not too little of any one thing and it’s not too much of any one thing. Sometimes you’ll be attempted to do extra… the same WOD twice in one day even. This is NOT the path to success.

For a big portion of the general populations more is better, but not because better but because something is better than nothing… More is NOT better. Better is better. 1 is better than 0 but 7 is not necessarily better than 5.

You have a coach. That coach is your filter.

Your coaches are here to tell you what’s optimal, not what’s minimal.

At CrossFit Jungle Gym, our coaches want to talk to you every 3 months. One-on-one, in person. We want to put you on the InBody, ask about your goals, review your progress and then give you the best possible prescription.

E-mail [email protected] to book your goal review. It’s part of your membership!

There is no need for you to guess what you should do…

We don’t want you wasting time on fad diets, just because a paids spokesperson said you should. We don’t want you wasting a year of your life and effort trying to solve problems we’ve already solved before. We don’t want you doing something just because your gym buddy is either. We want you on the right plan for you! Your goals, your budget, your obstacles, your life all affect your plan. Do you need group training to accomplish your goals? Do you need a better nutrition plan? Tell us what you want to do, we’ll tell you how to get there the best way that fits for you! That’s what our coaches do.

You have a coach.

They’re a filter. Taking 100 potential solutions and boiling them down to the 1 that will work for you. You don’t need to get the 4 year degree, the 12 different certifications, the 1000’s of hours of experience, you need those people to assess your position in relation to success, then point to your next step.

Next time you see a supplement, diet plan, shoe, or “spicy workout” and think “I NEED THAT” ask your coach if it fits your goals. Take it from me… I was a test dummy for all the things you think you should try… so were the other coaches. Pull from their experience… your results will come much faster than ours!

Brian Zimmerman

Inspiration provided by Chris Cooper at


Setting Yourself Up for Success

Setting Yourself Up for Success

We don’t rise to the level of our challenges; we fall to the level of our preparation.

“Commitment devices” set us up for long-term success: using our bodies and brains in the way they’ve evolved to be used.

Our bodies are optimized to save energy. We’ve evolved for thousands of years, our brains and bodies seek the path of least friction. AKA, we take the easiest route. We’re pretty good at it.

Scrolling through Facebook is easier than getting out of bed. We put off our lunch because it’s cold outside … and then grab the kiddos cookies off the counter because it’s convenient.

Making good habits is not simply overcoming bad ones or continually creating lots of effort to keep up our motivation. That kind of effort is not sustainable. Instead, we need to leverage our natural defaults to succeed.

Setting defaults is a choice you make NOW that will control your actions in the future. For example, if you make an appointment with your personal trainer, you’ll show up at the gym. If you join a soccer team, you’ll show up for the games. And if you prepare your lunches in advance for the week, you’ll eat them.

Here are two very simple defaults you can set up right now:

  1. Book your appointments for the week (this has been a secret benefit of the COVID regulations!)
  2. Write down what your lunches will be for the week.

To make it easy, either eat the same thing every day OR plan your dinners for the week and carry the leftovers over to the next day’s lunches.

  1. Write up your grocery list.
  2. Go to the store.
  3. Buy the groceries you’ll need for all of your lunches.
  4. Set aside one hour for food prep TONIGHT.
  5. Chop up your vegetables, proteins, nuts and seeds.
  6. Put them into separate containers.
  7. Make enough for the full week.

What’s it look like? Here’s Cherie and Matt Chan doing meal prep.

You don’t need to get fancy:

Most of us already have defaults… we eat the same thing most of the time, and that’s just fine. Save your variety for dinner.

Having defaults removes friction and the burden of choice. Do your future self a favor: Make positive defaults in advance!

Make CFJG your default…

If you’re not a current member, that means you don’t already know about how a coach dedicated to your success is the ultimate positive default… so book your Free Intro Session here to find out why!

Brian Zimmerman

Owner- CrossFit Jungle Gym

Inspiration provided by Chris Cooper at


A Year of Holiday’s Down the Drains?

A year of holiday’s down the drains…

I’ve been thinking about it since early November. Not getting to see my family back in Wisconsin, not being with Vanessa’s family for Thanksgiving maybe not for Christmas either. Was last year the last time I’ll celebrate the Holidays with them? Will COVID or another medical ailment get to them? Will old age? Will a freak accident take someone from the family? Maybe even some of my relatives would miss seeing me around for the next holiday gathering?

There’s only so much in life that one can control but what I do know as time ticks by every person past their prime is inching ever closer towards the end. Mortality is very motivating to me. That motivation drives me to improve my health and to inspire those I love to do the same. I care about you… so you’ve been invited to workout or taught to squat at least once during a family gathering. In my family we’ve many entire holiday dinner’s talking about the mathematics behind fitness and why we must all strive to become more fit. The answer… To enjoy more of these holidays together. Simply, fitness is the buffer between us and a poor quality of life or death.

I don’t want to be the person who will be missing at the holiday gatherings next year (or the next 50 years). I hope all my loved family members feel the same, being motivated to take care of themselves. The only thing I fear is that they don’t have the tools to build the fitness buffer themselves, so… I encourage them at every opportunity to take action on their fitness.

Because you love yourself, fitness and your family I know you will encourage them too. Try this CrossFit conversation starters!

Happy Holidays!

Brian Zimmerman

Owner- CrossFit Jungle Gym


How do you actually RX a workout?

First what is “RX’ed”?

It is “as prescribed”. When you complete the WOD or a movement exactly as it is written on the board. Doing workouts without dropping the weight, having to modify the reps, range of motion or substituting a movement all together.

But what is the real RX?

The real RX of a workout is a feeling. If the goal of the workout is to elicit a strength response it feels different than a workout that is meant to elicit a flexibility response. Likewise, aerobic capacity feels significantly different than lactic tolerance.

If you complete an aerobic workout and reach muscular failure (gone to heavy) you’ve missed the point, you’ve hit a different point, but not the intended point. Is this a problem? If this happens once in awhile… no. The more this happens though the less likely you are to reach the intended stimulus of the long term plan.

How do we get you to hit the RX EVERY day?

We do it with programming and coaching. We pick workouts that lead to a set goal at the end of a cycle. We predetermine the modifications and subsitutions each workout will need based on the intended “feel” and your objective skill level. This may mean doing step ups instead of box jumps, it might mean doing 5 reps instead of 10. It might mean using a different technique. This is what a program with goals should look like.

Coaching… the human side. All of the above can change instantly because… you had a mentally fatiguing day at work or your child was awake at 2:30am or because you realized the wall balls yesterday affected you more than you thought. It’s telling you to go faster when you’re going to slow, it’s telling you to slow down when you’re going to fast. It’s the explaining why this workout is important to you and how to get to the right “feel”.

The RX’ed feel of the workout…

If we intend to use the workout to make you stronger, it should feel like a full body exertion.

If we intend to use the workout to improve aerobic capacity, it should feel like your heart and lungs will give way before your quads.

If we intend to use the workout to improve stamina, it should feel like muscle burn and fatigue.

If we intend to use the workout to improve coordination, it should feel like you’re thinking… do this, then that, finally this.

Maximizing your efforts

The best way to get the most out of every workout is to know what it’s supposed to feel like. Listen to your coach and don’t be shy if you don’t think you’re getting the right feel. Try to hit the right feel every day.


When your mind is 29 and your body is 63…

What is your mental age? What is your physical age? What is your actual age?

I think we could all agree there is some “peak” age physically and mentally we’d love to operate at. If we consider professional sports as the testing ground for physical and mental acuity then the peak age is somewhere between 24-30, that 100% open for debate. I’m sure you already know that you can change how your body and mind feels by taking care of it. What might be of contention by some is that EVERYONE’S peak age is in their 20’s. That purely depends on what age you decided to TRY and what methods you used.

Your janky, achy joints that talk to you…

If your right knee is “janky”, your back “aches” and your shoulder “talks to you”… you are not at peak physical condition. It’s also not time to throw in the towel or chalk it up to “getting old”. It’s time to put in some work… you don’t get rid of “janky” by just hoping it’ll go away. “Janky” happens from improper movement repeated over time. “Achy” happens from not training appropriate capacity. When your joint “talks to you” it’s usually a simple flexibility fix.

Reaching peak physical condition

Starts with gaining function of all your joints. 100% joints don’t feel like crap. The have full range of motion, they have strength and all ranges of motion and they have endurance. Do you know what full flexibility of the shoulder looks like? Full strength? Full endurance? If you want your joints to match the mental age you feel, let’s get your joints moving, get them moving properly, get them strong and capable. Functional movements will help, a coach can teach you. Intensity of training will help, a coach will guide you the your appropriate intensity level.

Turn back the clock on your joints…

If you want some help making your joints feel the age they are book an intro with a coach today.


Does your Scale Make you want to crawl under a rock?


You stepped on the scale and it reads “HELP!” or the number equivelent of help… What’s your next move?

There are lots of different actions you could take and the next one you take will be the most important. Most people either… Get motivated or spiral further downward.

The Scale Got Me Motivated Crowd

These folks say “I’m going to rise to the challenge”… “Time to start my meal plan” “I’m going to go workout right now” or some similar action that starts the trend towards their goals. Which is hopefully the boat you’re in, ready for action.

The Scale began/continued the spiral Crowd

These folks say… “I want to crawl under a rock”, “I’ll go sit by myself and eat a gallon of ice cream”. These thoughts trigger either an action or inaction in the negative direction… We need a mindset shift OR just some plain ole hope!

A short or long cycle…

The motivated crew usually goes out and crushes the workouts and the nutrition plan for a couple weeks sometimes even a couple months… then a multitude of variables derails them regularly only to fall back to the level of their old habits and the cycle continues. Those folks who immediately are downward spiraled by the scale reading… they’ve usually gone through the motivated cycle enough times and not got where they wanted and have become frustrated to the point of no hope.

The major obstacles you face

  • Lack of efficacy
    • If the program you’re doing or have done doesn’t actually produce results, you waste time and energy. Nothing makes you want to stop doing something faster than that.
    • Start with a program with proven success!
  • Lack of recognizing progress
    • Often, you’re doing a program and it’s working but you can’t tell that it’s working. That’s why taking good objective measurements are vital to success, otherwise you might be making great progress and never know it (then believe the program isn’t working see above).
  • Poor Environment
    • Culture and environment is HUGE. You have to be surrounded with people and systems that encourage your growth and change. At the gym… it means no judgement, lots of encouragement. From the staff, from the other members. A facility that turns away negative members and actively cultivates a positive growth and habit changing culture is vital. Environment is at home too… if your spouse is always ordering take out, you’ll need to find a way to improve the home environment.
    • Find your “Forever gym”
  • Boredom (lack of novelty)
    • If you’re bored of what you’re doing (even if it works great) you’ll stop. There are lots of great weight loss programs but the ability to continue to make it the right level of challenge, fun and effective is a balance that must be struck.
  • Lack of motivation
    • All of the above factors can lead to a lack of motivation. Lack of motivation is the number 1 answer when asked what keeps people from their goals. The top way to stay motivated is to set a goal and recognize progress towards that goal. We have several specific tactics that help our clients get and stay motivated.
    • Specific tactics like: Bright Spots and Goal setting sessions.

So you’re under your rock…

It’s time to come out from under your rock… your shame, embarassment, heart break and anger are not serving your goals. We’ve seen it hundreds of times, you’ve tried “everything” and none of it has worked. We have solutions to the obstacles you’re facing and the most common answer when we ask “What would you do differently?” is resoundingly…


Let US take the rock off your back. We’ll start the build the hope back up, you’ll start making progress… All you have to do is tell us a little about your goals and then book a FREE No Sweat Intro!

Brian Zimmerman

Owner- CrossFit Jungle Gym


Fitness Flow Positive

Fitness flow positive, the outline of the parallels between cash flow positive: investing, saving and fitness. The main concept is that finances and fitness run a very similar course. You can add to your balance (cash flow positive) or you can remove from your balance (cash flow negative).


You may or may not know the stock market generally grows every year and if you were to buy an index fund on average (over the last 10 years 30 years 100 years). It’s going to return about seven percent after inflation. Let’s compare what you’re doing for your fitness to putting money in a savings account or to investing in the stock market.

I remember in school being taught “you should be saving for retirement starting right from the get-go”, then they show me the math and you’re like yeah this totally makes sense. But good luck getting $10 out of a broke college students wallet for anything but beer! If you were like me you didn’t… but what i want to to give you is just a little bit of numbers. Then I want you guys to always make an improvement on your fitness every single day or think of it over a week or month.

The goal is we are always fitness flow positive, that means we have to be able to put at least one increment of fitness in the right direction more than we took out from our fitness. For example, if I decide that i’m going to eat pizza and drink beers on Saturday night, I’ll need to make decisions the rest of the day that will still leave me moving one step closer to the fitness goals.

If I have health and fitness goals for 30 years from now, now’s a good time to start thinking about small daily investments.

I’m going to talk about everything in dollars… if you took a small increment of money and invested it or saved it every day, you put $1 away every day for the next 30 years (a very small amount of money, you could scrounge that kind of money up off of the ground every day if you wanted). If you did that for 30 years, you’d have $10,950 and each dollar you put in the bank account, your savings, would be a buffer against any financial issues that might come up.

$10,950 is not a huge sum (though I doubt any of you would turn it down) most of you guys could probably figure out a way to put $10 dollars away or maybe even $50 fifty dollars away and for our purposes though we just have to get a little bit in there. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t like to have $11,000 sitting around.

This is this concept, how are we going to put a dollar away every single day for the next 30 years and have $11,000. The financial implications of $1/day to your regular budget is pretty low. You could make that happen.

Now investing has an exponential side of things… if you put $1 into an index fund today and left it there for 30 years it would be worth nearly $8. No extra scrounging off of the ground. You could just take $1, that you picked up in change, invest it and it would be worth $8 30 years from now. Sounds pretty awesome!? If you put $1 a day into that same index fund for the next 30 years, you know the same way you put a dollar into the savings account, you would end up in 30 years with $35,000!

That’s if you just took $1, that you scrounged off the ground each day and put it into something that has compounding interest… versus in a savings account. If you learn how to be a really good investor for example, you can make each of those dollars go a lot further that the industry average. Ask Warren Buffett… (if you haven’t ever listened to or read his biography it’s 37 hours long and I would encourage you to take the time to do it at some point in your life). Every dollar counted to him because every dollar that he put away could be worth 30 dollars in the future. He knew how to utilize the money… it’s the same thing with your fitness.

If you put $1 worth of fitness in the bank each day you will always come out further ahead than if you don’t. You can build an $11,000 fitness buffer with a $1/day fitness deposit. BUT if you can figure out how to improve on your fitness, not just put a small deposit in a savings account but learn how to get more out of your effort each day… then you’re going to start getting exponential gains. That can turn into really amazing results (the $35,000 balance vs the $11,000 balance) as opposed to mediocre results.

Fitness Savings Account

“I know I need to do something I’m gonna go walk for 30 minutes or run for 30 minutes” or you know sort of stick to the same thing and that’s that’s absolutely awesome that you that you start saving your fitness.

Each of these equations (Savings vs Investing) relies on one thing that you always find a way to be fitness flow positive (that creates the possibility to save or invest!). In order to deposit you’ve got to have the $1 to put in every single day. Now, you can either… learn to get better with that one increment of fitness every day or not. If you decide to fully leverage that $1 and get more from it over the course of 30 years or you can just get the linear improvements which is still good (in comparison to running Fitness Flow Negative).

Let’s draw some conclusions to what a fitness savings account is… “I eat the same same thing every day and it’s generally healthy”. Example, I get up and I have two eggs and I have a cucumber and six almonds. I eat the same lunch everyday that is healthy and balanced. Then at dinner I eat pizza or wings and beer. This is a net positive day, we’ve made two out of three good options. That is making a small (very small) deposit every single day. If I decide to go for a walk everyday… I’m making another very small deposit every day towards my fitness and health, and that’s great!

If you deposit that much everyday, the same amount of time and that same amount of effort, THEN just get a little bit better at it each day, now instead of it being putting into a savings account now we’re putting it into an investment account! THAT is going to have an exponential return on it. The key here is to continue to seek improvement, to get better results. You can’t get incremental or exponential results without a regular positive flow… so again the key here is to have some amount of fitness to deposit.

Out of fitness debt in a year?

Let us consider that you’ve been taking care of yourself for a year and you’ve been making lots of good fitness and health decisions for a year. However, you spent the last 25 years racking up health and fitness debt. Are you out of the red? Are you back to zero yet? I don’t know… how much fitness debt did you rack up? What was your fitness bank account saying?

One of the reasons why a lot of people get frustrated, you’ve had 15 years of not taking care of yourself and then you go a year and haven’t fully succeeded yet. By the way you can get absolutely great results in a year. But, where your fitness efforts make the most, where you get the most advantage, is when you continue to make a small deposit every day for the rest of your life. All small commitment to doing that one small deposit every day. Everybody has a different point in their fitness journey where they decide “I’m going to get better than who I am now”, and that’s how people lose 140 pounds. That’s how people get off of blood pressure medication.

Convert from Saving to Investing

It’s a commitment to “I’m going to make a small deposit every day”. Then at some point “I’m going to make better use of the effort that I’m putting in”. Improving what you do then you get even greater results.

It stops being linear, just adding one dollar every day. Soon, you will know each year, “I’m getting compounding interest on my fitness”. That’s where the greatest results are. But you don’t get the same compounding interest if you only deposit once every six months. You don’t get all the compouding interest if you only deposit once a year. Continually making small deposits on the shortest interval possible (daily for fitness) gives you the most leverage for compounding. The goal is that every single day is is a net positive in your fitness flow.

Shitty year ruins your life savings?

If you’ve been putting $1 of fitness into your bank account for the last 30 years and you have a really bad year, do you think you’re down to zero or in the negative yet? Probably not.

Business owner’s talk about cash flow positive… If you have cash flow positivity your business can survive literally forever. Fitness flow positive is the same EXACT thing like every dollar you put in the bank for your fitness you will that’s the buffer between any hazards that come up. In finance, if I’ve stashed up the $11k and I have a $6k bill come up I still have $5k left. If I hadn’t saved a single dollar yet and that bill comes up I’m $6k in the hole. Now the scenario feels a lot different… if that $6k is due right now and it’s in your fitness paying that balance and you don’t have the $6k… what does that look like? You might be able to borrow money, but you can’t borrow health or fitness.

You don’t know when a balance will come due…

There was a family friend who was in a car accident and a physical balance came due. It came due at an unexpected time… you don’t know when, you don’t expect it. But when it does come due… do you have enough to pay? What most people should be doing is taking this simple math and saying “let me just make this little deposit in me, in all the facets of my life”. But you know today we’re specifically talking about fitness. “Let me put that $1 into my fitness today and if I do that I’ll be good”. The key is to keep building that blance and don’t spend it all this weekend, or the next month or year or over the course the next five years. I ask you… Where can’t you be with your fitness, if you start depositing today?!

Make more good decisions than bad decisions

It doesn’t have to be by a lot it just has to be a little bit better than the negative influences. There will be days or months or years where you can just ram tons and tons of deposits into the into the health and fitness bank account. You’ll be so fitness flow positive that like you’ll build a giant buffer in a single year or in five years or in three years or in two months that you’ll have a positive balance that can last you a year two years ten years.

If you start having a negative fitness flow is that you should be going out to correct it if you were if you had a job for 19 years and you made really good money and you saved up and you saved your emergency fund and you get laid off you have the funds to cover a period of time where you don’t have any coming in.

Fragile, Robust, Anti-fragile

If you don’t have a giant positive bank acount then you’re fragile. What I want for you guys and your fitness is to always be as robust or anti-fragile as possible. If you want to get the compounding interest on your deposits you know the investing of your fitness is you exercise daily you eat well and you have coaches to help you improve on those strategies and tactics, getting exponential results over time is what will make you antifragile. Being robust is adding to the savings account, eating well and daily exercise. If you find a way to move better, how to lift the next five pounds or to add a new movement that you’ve never done before that is exponential fitness investment.

Take your one fitness flow positive dollar and you invest it into learning a new movement. Learning is exponential growth, exponential opportunity for growth. If you can’t figure out how to do that on your own, go find an amazing coach or investor. There are plenty of fitness coaches who don’t know how to do that. They put your efforts into a savings account.

One of the greatest investors of all time is Warren Buffett. If you gave him a dollar it’ll likely be worth $30 in a couple years. He’s proven to have done that. There’s somebody with a proven track record that can do that and that’s what a coach serves the purpose of. If you’re not fitness flow positive you’re going to run out of your buffer zone. Eventually the “unexpected or unknowable” WILL happen and you’re not going to have the balance to pay it.

Maybe it’ll be a disease COVID, cancer a car crash and even if you do have this giant balance built up… it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll have enough to pay the balance. Certainly, if you have built up a giant bank of of fitness than you are more likely to be able to pay the balance. You’ll be 100 times more likely to be able to pay it.

My challenge to you… is that you to think about your fitness as a literal investment. It’s building the buffer between you and your fitness bankruptcy. Fitness bankruptcy means death, you don’t want that day to come. Start putting the fitness $$$ away now, if you don’t know how to make use of them get a coach. Find somebody who’s had success doing it.

If I can encourage you to do anything, it is this, getting a little better every day. All the successful people we’ve talked to: the gym owners, the coaches, the successful athletes… it’s always about just better. If you can do this little tiny thing a little bit better today and a little bit better tomorrow and you keep putting these little deposits in your account eventually that sum is ginormous! Figure out what you need to do today, even if you’ve started out the day terrible, what do you need to do to make it positive today.

Fitness flow positive is a concept to follow… hit it every day. Make sure that you’re always depositing in your fitness and health bank account. That’s going to be the difference between positive health and fitness outcomes and negative ones. Build as much buffer as you can between you and fitness bankruptcy. That buffer will ensure that when the balance comes due, you’ll have stashed away the fitness to handle it!

Listen to the Podcast!