1. Gratitude
2. Mindset
3. Get Cooking
4. Aw, Look at that Face!
5. What We’ve Enjoyed
6. ZWOD How-To
7. May Challenge
8. HeeHee Healing: May Laughter
9. Moving Mobility
10. Reopening: What to Expect
11. 20 in 2020
12. Friday ZWOD

Let us start by expressing our gratitude to all our members who have supported us through this ordeal. Many gyms like Semperviva Yoga have been forced to close forever because of the financial damage caused by Corona Virus.  With the high overhead of West Side commercial rent, our business is built on razor thin margins and survival during good times is precarious.  But our Empower members have remained loyal and supportive making it possible to ride out this storm and for that we are so grateful.  There is supposed to be some government support coming our way and we will work out a way to make sure that all our members who supported us through these trying times receive the benefit of this.    We’ll chat more about it over drinks at this Saturday’s Drinks with Coach at 5pm.

It’s no accident that at Empower we put mindset at the base of our fitness pyramid.  We’re all facing the same circumstances but while some sulk at home and cram comfort foods, others are using this time to work on themselves.  We’re so proud of all our members who have continued training through this difficult time whether on ZWODS or alone at home.  And while ZWODS and home gyms might not be as good as training in the gym members haven’t let that slow them down, Dauntless, Yeti and Sprite all scored significant personal bests in April proving that they are not going to lie down and let circumstances determine their progress!

What we’re living through is the opportunity to learn how to make lemonade from the lemons life gives you.  What a cutesy saying, I bet you never realized how sour lemons can be.  It’s not about pretending the lemons aren’t sour or pretending that we wanted them it’s about figuring out how to take this unwanted situation and squeeze some goodness out of it despite the bad taste.  Like anything else, it’s a skill that gets better with practice.  That’s what we mean when we talk about developing mindset.  It’s learning how to make difficult, unwanted circumstances work in your favour regardless of how you feel about them.

Thanks to all the members who have joined us on ZWODS or stopped in for Drinks with Coach or a Touch of Life for helping keep our community spirit alive!  Thanks for members like Venom and Mufasa who have used this opportunity to share their creative, inventive and humourous sides, we all appreciate a good laugh more than ever these days!

Get Cooking  
Thanks to everyone who has helped keep our community spirit and commitment to good nutrition alive during hard times by attending or hosting our Cooking Club 6pm Tuesday nights.  This week we enjoyed a wonderful Polenta Pizza with Sprite’s Mom, Chef Pola  https://www.chefpola.com/.  You can follow along yourself with the video above if you’d like to make your own polenta pizza.  Next week DK will be hosting us in her kitchen.

Aw, Look at that Face!
Thanks to all our members who lift us up with generous words and sentiments in these often troubling times.  A humorous text or a kind email goes a long way.  Hufflepuff and The Truth shared this adorable photo of baby BamBam with us this week.  I know it cheered me up, I hope it does you as well!

What We’ve Enjoyed
Hey, it hasn’t been all bad.  Some good things have come out of this that are worth keeping.  Here’s a few that I would like to see continued post-lockdown:

1. Family WODs
2. Outdoor WODs
3. Cooking Club (actually great on Zoom)
4. Drinks with Coach (but in person)
5. Question of the Day
6. Posting detailed WOD plans the night before the WOD
7. Mobility Express

What are the things that you’ve enjoyed an would like to see continued?

ZWOD How-to
Registration Links:
The best practice is to register in Zen Planner early for the ZWOD class you wish to attend.  When we see you registered the night before, we will email out the ZWOD link along with complete instructions for the WOD including the equipment you will need and movement standards.  But, as a few of you have already figured out, you do not need this email to join in; the link to the class is available on Zen Planner when you check our calendar.  Another pro tip: the link for the time zone never changes, so if you attended 8am Monday, the same link will get you into 8am Thursday.

Preview the WOD:
Whether or not you register in advance for the class, please check the current blog post for workout description and movement standards.  We attach instructional videos and demos so you can familiarize yourself and have required equipment ready before class begins.

Arrive 5 minutes early:
Please remember that connectivity issues may require a few minutes to join the ZWOD and plan accordingly.  Rather than joining us right at the hour, please come to our meeting 5 minutes ahead of time, just in case you run into technical issues.  Once you’re in you can go do other things until the start time.

May Challenge
What is one change you can make that is relatively simple to adhere to for 31 days and will get you the best bang for your buck?

It need not be a diet or exercise related change.  It could be organizational such as open and sort mail daily, make bed every morning or put laundry away as soon as folded.  Another option is a time management focus, such as no social media before (fill in blank time) or only checking email at 3 set times a day.  What habit change will serve you best?

Build your mental muscle in the month of May and come out of lockdown stronger.
Email Shades [email protected] or QuickSilver [email protected]  to get started.

HeeHee Healing: Laughter
1:00pm Saturday May 2nd on Zoom.
Feeling like you need a laugh?  HeeHee has a dose of laughter medicine for you!
Email HeeHee at [email protected] for registration details or look it up on Zen Planner.

Moving Mobility
We’ve had great feedback on Heehee’s Mobility Express WOD on everything except the timing.  It seems weekdays 9am don’t work well with member’s schedules.  This month we will move her Mobility Express to Saturday mornings 9:15-9:45am, it’s a great way to cool down from the 8am WOD or warm up for the 10am WOD!

Reopening: What to Expect
Love the video above because it captures exactly the confused state we are currently living in.  My prediction is that we’ll see a lot more confusion this month as restrictions loosen.  Just yesterday I saw a group of over 100 mask-wearers ringing bells and waving at cars out in front of a local school.  They were all at about the same distance we maintained during our Outside-the-Box WODS.

The parks board is putting gates up on the Spanish Banks parking lots to replace the logs currently blocking parking.  Unlike logs, gates can be opened.  Does this indicate a plan to start reopening parks?  I certainly hope so!

Some gyms are beginning to reopen in a limited capacity (about 800sqft per person) as the City starts considering a gradual return to business.  For us that would = two members at a time (no coach).  I am not comfortable with this yet, not until we have a couple weeks to observe what happens to gyms in states that have opened early.  So far, no Empower members have tested positive for COVID and I certainly don’t want our first case to be because we reopened too early!  Gyms that reopened in China are being forced to close again now as COVID cases begin to climb again.

Expect some mixed messages in coming weeks from governments, experts and media.  Expect some businesses to open and others not to as we all try to guess what the best option is for our members.  We will look to continue ZWODs for those who need them while also returning to Outside-the-Box WODs when we are permitted to do so.  This way you will have some choice.

20 in 2020
Others might use any handy excuse to avoid exercising but not you!  Some of you have actually been training more frequently since our shut down!  And several Empower members, undeterred by COVID’s rude interruption, are still on track to win our 20 in 2020 challenge!  For you the Coronavirus was nothing more than an opportunity to demonstrate your dedication to accomplishing your goal and that, after all, was the point of the challenge.

If you registered for and attended a Zoom WOD we have your attendance recorded already.  If you didn’t register or you have been training from home please make sure you have logged your workout results for the proper day in Zen Planner so we can credit you for workouts completed.  I will be checking April’s attendance tomorrow so please make sure everything is up to date!

Friday WOD: Wall Balls & Pistols
Captured this one in the park overlooking West Point Grey Academy, the park with perhaps the best view in the city!  It was overcast and grey though and started sprinkling on me in the final minutes of the WOD.  Subbed stone thrusters for wall balls.  The 20 squats really took it out of my legs and played havoc with my pistols.  In both rounds 1 & 2 I struggled through the first 6-8 pistols then got better in the later reps as my legs recovered.   Was glad to only have 12 minutes of this WOD as I wasn’t yet fully recovered from Crazy 8’s ninja moves the day before.

Medball, barbell, dumbbells, backpack or rock for wall balls/thrusters
Broom stick, band or belt for sots press

Warm Up
2 Rounds:
1 min OS Scapula Rock
1 min Reverse Samson Lunges
1 min Squats
1 min OS Push Up
1 min Reverse Samson Lunges
1 min Squat hold
1 min OS Foot Mobilization
1 min Reverse Samson Lunges
1 min Sots Press
1 min OS Warm Up

Wall Ball or Thruster
Pistol or Pistol Progression

12 min AMRAP
20 Wall Balls
20 Alt. Pistols

Cool Down
Shoulder Series
Quad Stretch
Samson Lunge Hold