CrossFit and Group Fitness in Omaha


Check out our new website for CrossFit Solaria!

We proudly serve the Omaha, Bennington, and Blair areas! Come see the programs and deals we have to offer. Crossfit, Group Fitness, Kids CrossFit and SO MUCH MORE!

Fill out the “Request Information” form on the side of the page and stop in for a visit today!

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Rob’s Journey


“Everybody seems to have that moment in their life when they realize enough is enough. For some, that moment can be as simple as realizing you’re out of breath after walking up the stairs or playing with your kids. For others it may be more scary, such as surviving a heart attack and realizing a change in lifestyle is needed immediately. For me personally, it’s a moment of my life that I will never forget.

A group of my friends and I were lounging around in the common area of my dorm Freshman year of college. It was the Spring of 2009 and we had all received our room assignments for the next school year. Going around the room, each guy was saying where they had been assigned to live, and a few guys before me had the same dorm and floor as I did. When I chimed in that we were going to be floormates one of them said, “Hey! You can be the designated fat friend on the floor!” Everyone laughed and he quickly added, “I’m just kidding, Rob, next year is gonna be a lot of fun!” I laughed it off with everybody and pretended it was no big deal, yet even today I clearly remember that feeling of how deep that single sentence and the laughs hit me. I remember laying awake in bed that night promising myself I would never be laughed at again because of my weight. I woke up the next morning and began my new life.

In the beginning, the changes I made were small. I walked a half-mile every other day and I started limiting myself to one Mountain Dew with each meal. Soon, I used these small changes to achieve bigger, broader goals. After a month I was able to run an entire mile without stopping, and after a few more months I was able to eliminate all sugary drinks from my diet. Eventually, all the little lifestyle changes I was making snowballed into an incredible weight loss of 72 pounds in 6 months. I was running 10 to 13 miles every day and even posted a personal best 6:02 mile time. I felt awesome! I returned to college my Sophomore year feeling confident that this new, skinny version of myself would be the new normal. I got a girlfriend, I studied hard, and for the remaining years I was in college I took care of myself. And then I graduated.

Like a lot of people I got a desk job right out of college. Also like a lot of people, I was not prepared for the drastic change that sitting for 8+ hours a day would have on my body. Over time, my diet reverted back to junk food and my exercise regimen all but ended. In a few short years I had gained back all the weight I had lost and then some. I was so mad at myself for ruining all my hard work. At this point in my life I made so many excuses for myself that I didn’t know where to begin. I would start new diet and exercise routines, lose around 20-30 pounds, and then make excuses or give up and gain it all back. It was a vicious cycle. During these “lost years” I had always wanted to try CrossFit, but I always made the excuse that I would commit to getting in shape first before joining so that I wouldn’t embarrass myself at the gym. More time went by, nothing changed, and neither did my health and fitness. Then, after dating my girlfriend for many years, we got engaged. As fate would have it, she came across an ad for a CrossFit facility near my house. Since the wedding was less than a year away, I took the plunge and started at CrossFit Solaria.

In the beginning, I had no idea what to expect. My original plan was to show up for a few months until my wedding and then move on. My only exposure to CrossFit had been what I had seen on ESPN during the ‘CrossFit Games’ so my perspective was very limited. I walked in to my first class at CrossFit Solaria expecting everyone to be some shredded jock who lived at the gym, but to my surprise, there were people who spanned the fitness spectrum. Some who could breeze through the workouts to those who, like myself, couldn’t do a single pull-up. To start, I had to modify the workouts severely to match my abilities. Although I soon learned CrossFit isn’t about winning or losing, I remember finishing with the slowest time in my first workout. No one laughed. No one made snide comments. No one put me down. In fact, I was surprised at how welcoming these CrossFitters were to a new guy who was clearly struggling. Even gasping for air during first workout, people were actively encouraging me to “Keep up the good work!” and “Don’t give up!”. When I finished, sprawled out on the floor, everyone came over to give me a high-five or a fist-bump and gave more encouragement. After that first class, I knew I had found my gym.

As the months at CrossFit Solaria went on, I got stronger, gained stamina, and improved my overall fitness. I am proud to say that I lost nearly 45 pounds and got into the best overall shape I had been in in years for my wedding day. Similarly, the people at my gym soon became my friends, and now, after nearly 3 years of being at CrossFit Solaria, these friends are my gym family. I know their stories and they know mine, and I can honestly say that the best part of my fitness journey with CrossFit Solaria has been the people that I have sweat with every day.

In short, if you ever have that moment in your life when you realize enough is enough, or that you need to make positive changes in your lifestyle, or you just want a damn good gym with the best people and coaches to push you to be all you can be, then I hope you’ll join me and my gym family at CrossFit Solaria. Fair warning… If you give us a try, you might like it enough to stay a few years!

See you at the gym!”

Vince’s Journey


“My name is Vince Kunasek, I’m 62 years old and joined CrossFit on February 18th, 2019. I just happened to rent office space two doors down from CrossFit Solaria, and met the owner, Greg, about three years ago when he just moved in. From time to time he would ask me when I was going to join. About a month prior to doing so I saw a Facebook post about a 6-Week Program and it got me thinking about fitness. I filled out the survey, but never followed up. The week of February 18th I was getting into my truck and I saw Greg standing outside. He said to me, “you know, our 6-week program is starting here in a couple of days…” and in a moment of weakness, I said “Okay, I’ll give it a shot,” thinking that 6 weeks couldn’t be that long.

I considered myself to be at that time physically above-average for my age, as I was doing moderate workouts in my home and in my neighborhood gym. It wasn’t long after the first couple of days of orientation that I discovered I was below average in physical fitness. When I first started, some of the strength things weren’t too bad. Other things were not so easy. For example, I couldn’t do a sit-up without having someone put weight on my feet. I couldn’t believe how hard it was to simply step onto a 20″ box especially when you have to repeat it 50 times. After the two-week orientation, I was starting to get a taste of what CrossFit was about, and I must admit there were times that I hated the taste. Early on in week three or four when were actually a part of the workouts, I learned what Metcon and AMRAPs were, and how brutal they can be. I basically died every morning. There were times that I thought I couldn’t finish the first 6 weeks but I was determined to do so. Maybe at any other box I might not have continued, but all the people – of which I am 25 years their senior – made you feel welcomed and a part of the group right away.They offered support and advice, and cheered you on when you thought you couldn’t take another breath or do another rep. Something was changing; I felt my attitude changing while my strength was increasing. At the end of the 6 weeks, I was the only one who took the challenge with perfect attendance. I have just completed my fourth month, I have dropped my body fat mass by 14.3 pounds. I have lost a total of 13 pounds while adding 2.5 pounds of lean muscle mass, and am hitting PRs with almost every lift now. Although burpees still suck, I have an understanding now that CrossFit will always be hard and pushing my limits. So thank you, Greg, Alex, Kaela, Gina, Travis, Rob, Teresa, Nannette, and everyone else who has helped me along. I’m glad to be a part of the Solaria family.”

Recipes


Enjoy these healthy and nutritious recipes, courtesy of our partnership with the Registered Dietitians at Healthy Steps Nutrition!

Have you met the Switch Witch?


Ghouls, Goblins, and Monsters all sweep the streets on the last night of October. You prep your kiddos to be scary, cute, fun and cool for a chance to stay up late and get candy! Halloween is the one night you get to be someone – or something – else, walk alongside people in your community, subject yourself to a haunted house or two and take candy from neighbors.

While there are so many positive sides to trick or treating, there is one major negative side. The CANDY!  In all its glory and yumminess, candy is not an ideal part of a well-balanced diet! It can cause hyperactivity, weight gain, obesity, diabetes, and so much more. So how can you alleviate the burden of such a monumental part of Halloween?

Introduce the Switch Witch!

The Switch Witch is a fun and exciting way to get rid of all the excess candy. After a fun night of Trick-Or-Treating, have your kids choose the top 5-10 pieces of candy that they want to keep and then put the rest outside of their door. Why would they do that you ask? Read the poem on the graphic to learn more!

What do you do with the extra candy, you ask? Easy: donate it! There are organizations a-plenty that would be happy to use it to further their cause. Take Operation Gratitude for example. This nonprofit sends care packages to military and first responders stationed overseas. For more information about Operation Gratitude, visit their website.

Let’s get our kiddos started on the path to living a healthy life now!

Holiday Survival: Nutrition tips & tricks for surviving the most wonderful time of the year.


If you’re like most, the holidays can be a stressful time of year – endless get togethers and parties, seemingly bottomless bottles of wine, and cookie platters-a-plenty. Needless to say, we tend to over-indulge.

But what if I told you there was a way to literally have your cake, and eat it too, without the feelings of shame and guilt that typically ensue afterward?

Good news: there IS!

Join Solaria Nutrition Coach, Alex, for a FREE short seminar on November 23rd, where we’ll talk about nutrition fundamentals and strategies for how to conquer the holidays. No restricting, no binging – just practicing mindfulness.

Each attendee will receive a Holiday Survival Guide along with a coupon for 50% off of an Initial Nutrition Consultation ($99 value).

Sue’s Journey


This post is for all the “M” ladies out there.  You know, all the ladies who happen to be…mature, modish, marvelous, matchless, memorable, and annoyingly, menopausal.  UGH.  We ladies get initiated into this exclusive club somewhere between the ages of 45 and 55.

If you had a similar experience to me, it was comparable to having your weird Uncle Earl show up uninvited and making your spare bedroom his permanent residence.  Now, every day, all you want is him GONE.  If you also enjoyed the 35 pounds that Uncle Earl brought with him, you know the nightmare of ridding yourself of this overload.

For me, that 35 pounds was devastating.  I was never overweight (except when pregnant, and hey, that doesn’t count.)  I exercised daily and could pretty much eat anything I wanted without ever gaining any weight.   At 40, I was bored with my fitness routine, so I started running marathons.  To this day, I can swim a mile in less than 45 minutes.  Exercise.  Check.

Moving through my 50’s, I started noticing many changes.  The pounds started showing up on the scale.  My clothes began to get tight.  My periods became irregular.  You get the picture.  At my next doctor’s appointment, I was informed that I was pre-menopausal.  When I asked my physician for help with the added pounds, she suggested I go to Weight Watchers.  (At this point I’m thinking…..Really?  That’s all you have for me?  What about Suzanne Somers?)  I don’t want to knock WW, but it wasn’t for me.

Two years ago, I was desperate to lose the extra pounds because my daughter, Megan, was getting married, and I was wearing a sleeveless ball gown.  I tried the protein shake thing.  And then KETO.  (Don’t ask Megan about me and KETO–she’ll say that we had a one-night stand.)  I will never forget the day I got my gown fitted–I burst into tears.  Megan asked me why I was crying, and I remember saying, (through sobs) “I have looked at one body for the last 55 years, and I don’t recognize this person I see in the mirror.”  I mean, I had started CrossFit and was eating healthy, but still no results showed up on the scale.  That was annoying AF.

This fall our gym, CrossFit Solaria, held a members-only CrossFit Games competition.  To get extra points for my team, I made an appointment for a nutrition consultation with Alex.  She asked if I was willing to try to lose this weight ONE MORE TIME, and I was.  (I mean–what have I got to lose right?)  From that first meeting, I knew this program was different.  I found out that although I was eating healthy, I wasn’t getting the nutrients that my body needed to function properly.  It’s now been three months, and I’ve managed to lose 14 pounds through three holidays and a wedding.  Not bad!  Thanks to Alex and her nutrition coaching, my mindset is now motivated, muscular, and mighty.   I AM going to lose these extra pounds.

Can I get an “Amen sista”?

Tips For A Balanced Lower Body


After an intense workout of front squats or thrusters, you may have felt that burning pumped up sensation in your quads. Your pants are tighter and you can no longer put your phone and keys in your front pocket for fear of getting them stuck. 
The quadriceps and hip flexor muscles on the front of your legs are responsible for extending the hip and knee joints. They have tremendous potential for growth and get a great workout from movements like front squats, step-ups, and walking lunges.

Having powerful quads is not a bad thing by any means. In fact, the greatest Olympic weightlifters, cyclists, and speed skaters have huge powerful quad muscles. 

Some folks have very powerful quads but have issues recruiting the muscles of the posterior chain.  They allow the quads to handle all lower body movement. Having poor form can also contribute to you being quad dominant. If you are an athlete who notices that your weight is often in your toes you may be prone to this imbalance. If the coaches are always telling you to “get in your heels’ this is probably the correction they are cueing. 

The top priority in a training program should always be safety and function. That’s why using compound movements like squats and deadlifts provide excellent returns. In terms of strength building and promoting lean body mass they provide the most bang for your buck. People who focus too much on a single movement like squatting may be neglecting movement patterns that would keep them strong and healthy.

You should have an equal ratio of squat and lunge workouts to hinge and deadlift workouts. If you are quad dominant or lacking in the posterior chain department then that ratio should be 2 to 1 in favor of the hinge and pulling movements. As you are able to better recruit and develop the glutes and hamstrings then you can start to balance out the program you are following. Not only that but building a stronger posterior chain will make all of your lifts more powerful and you will look and feel better too!

Deadlifts, RDL’s, Kettlebell Swings, Good Mornings, Reverse Hypers, and Hip Thrusts are all excellent for beefing up those glutes and hamstrings. You can also adapt movements to make them more favorable to the posterior chain. Low bar back squats and box squat variations recruit more posterior chain than front squats do. Reverse lunges instead of forward or walking lunges will also be a better option to help you stay in your heels.

If it looks like you have a second kneecap then you might be in the running for quad dominance. Our training programs contain constant variance to make sure you are improving in all areas and eliminating weaknesses. Our coaches can help you through a series of assessments to determine what to focus on and how to get your body strong, healthy, and balanced.

The New Year’s Resolution Conundrum


res·o·lu·tion
/ˌrezəˈlo͞oSH(ə)n/
noun
a firm decision to do or not to do something.
eg. “she kept her resolution not to see Anne any more”
Some things happen in life with the flick of a switch. When you want to turn a light on you simply flip the knob, clap your hands or yell across the room to Alexa and “voila”, let there be light.
Others take time to build, layer upon layer, like a brick house. The process can only happen in a very specific way. With a strong foundation, one brick at a time.
On January first many folks scramble to find the switch that will yield the results they are looking for. But behavior change is not a light switch. Behavior change is a process. Getting stronger, eating healthy, or losing weight won’t happen instantaneously. It happens brick by brick. You only get the results if you follow the process. The right plan and the right effort simultaneously.
“You are never pre-qualified to live your dreams. You qualify yourself by doing the work. By committing—even overcommitting—to what you believe you should do.” – Benjamin P. Hardy
If you are committed to an outcome then the process it will take you to achieve your goal should be irrelevant. Your focus is on results now. Your focus is on determining the right plan and taking the first step towards achieving.
If you are someone who worries about how far away you are from your goal then you are focused on the wrong thing. Focus on what you want, not what you don’t.
When you set your goals say exactly what you want. Getting specific here is key. Numbers and dates. These make your goals realistic and allow you to work backward to where you are today. This will help you set realistic expectations for what you can and should be achieving on a given day.
If your goal is to lose 40lbs then it would be impossible to achieve in one session. Your goal doesn’t feel like something that you can actually achieve. By February you may be frustrated that you haven’t hit it.
But if you start thinking about the future version of you that weighs 40 lbs less than you can start to understand what needs to be done. Your focus is not on losing weight but acting like the person who has already lost it.
You might do things like have a gym membership that you use regularly. Have a salad for lunch every day. Go for walks and spend your weekends on the go. You probably have other healthy friends that support your decisions.
“You can not entertain weak, harmful, negative thoughts ten hours a day and expect to bring about beautiful, strong and harmonious conditions by ten minutes of strong, positive, creative thought.” -Charles F. Haanel
In his book The Master Key System, Charles Haanel unpacks the process of achieving one’s goals. He explains that you have to “be it” and “do it” BEFORE you can “have it”. Most people get this process backward. They expect that they will change their behavior once they have achieved their goal. Instead, you must act in accordance with what it means to achieve your goal. Ask yourself, “Would a person who cares about their health make the decision I am about to make?”
The more your decisions and actions align with the goal, the faster it will come to you. Don’t let this New Year slip away from you. Stop looking to flick the switch that will make all of your problems go away.
Instead look for the path that is more difficult, but leads to success. Surround yourself with people doing the thing that you want to be doing. Who look the way you want to look. Learn from them, adapt their behaviors, and put in the work.
This is your year.

Is Boutique Fitness Right for Me?


If you’re ready for results it’s time to ditch the health club…

There was a time when we got all the exercise we require from our daily activities. But as hunting and gathering lead to farming and eventually the industrialized world we live in today the need for human “labor” has been nearly eradicated. Now that we work desk jobs, eat our meals from the hot bar at Whole Foods, and enjoy a generally sedentary lifestyle we are required to reintroduce this missing physical activity. For some reason, the question of how to add physical activity, or work, back into our lives is one that has proven to be puzzling, controversial, and difficult terrain to navigate.

 

In response to the demands of the market the fitness industry has grown tremendously, particularly in North America where an estimated $28 billion was spent in 2015. Much of this industry is dominated by health clubs and large gym franchises that offer a sampling of strength equipment, cardio machines, TV’s, massage chairs and minimal staffing. Granted  how many staff members do you need when your members don’t actually attend the club? In a study done by students at UC Berkeley found 67% of gym memberships are never used in the population they surveyed.

 

“If you are not going to the gym, you are actually the gym’s best customer.” -Stacey Vanek Smith, NPR

 

The savvy marketers at big box gyms know how to target their marketing towards individuals who won’t actually come to the facility. As humans we often get a rush of excitement by a new fitness undertaking. “This is it, the time I actually change, no looking back,” you say. The challenge is that the health club has made zero commitment to you. They don’t care if you show up or not. Luckily there is someone out there who does.

 

Boutique fitness is the alternative to the traditional health club model. Boutique gyms offer specialized classes based on the expertise of the owners, teachers, or coaches. CrossFit boxes, Barre studios, Bikram yoga, parkour facilities, spin classes  are all great examples of the boutique fitness model.

 

These communities succeed when the all parts are working together; the owner, staff, and clientele all succeed when they each meet their goals. This synergistic effect leads to faster results and more satisfaction from all parties. As a client you have a team of coaches and fellow members who are all rooting for you, teaching you, and most importantly holding you accountable. Becoming fit doesn’t have to be a chore, a challenge, or a pain point. In fact, it can even be fun 😉

 

Boutique gyms have been seen rapid growth in the past decade as clients recognize that when it comes to fitness, not all gyms are created equal. Some of the most common excuses sound like:

  • “I have a hard time sticking to a routine”
  • “I’m just too busy to exercise”
  • “I get bored with going to the gym, it always feels like work”
  • “I don’t know how to lift weights/choose a routine/eat the right food”

 

These are great excuses, but since you’re ready to make a change it’s time to ditch the excuses and focus on RESULTS. By implementing a system that counters your excuses you’ll be left with the only option, the results that you want to achieve.

 

If you struggle with sticking to a routine you will benefit from the coaches, friends, and community members that you’ll meet at each class. A group of people that will ask you about your day, learn about your goals and life, and most importantly encourage you to show up consistently to your workouts.

 

If you claim to be too busy then you should sign up for classes ahead of time. The wide variety of classes that are available each day at time frames that are consistent with your schedule make it easy to squeeze in an hour long workout.

 

If boredom is your challenge then a workout that changes every day is exactly what you need. Not only that but the different coaching styles and friends you’ll make at different times of the day make each class a totally unique experience.

 

If information is the enemy then relax, because that’s already been taken care of for you. Your coach has put a lot of thought into a training program that will improve your fitness and will be by your side to instruct you on form, breathing, and what weights to use. Keep an eye out for group nutrition challenges to boot!

 

To get the results you want sometimes you need to try a new approach. If that trip to the gym feels more daunting than Frodo walking the ring to Mordor then it’s time to see what a boutique gym has in store for you!