Working with Ernie Stewart

I started working with Ernie at @crossfitVO2max in early May.  My experience with Ernie’s coaching has been fantastic. I’ve made some adjustments to my lifestyle and training that are impacting my life in a big way.   

We began my program design with a functional assessment that included InBody analysis and range of motion evaluation to establish my occupational baseline.  My goals were to refine my lifts and movements, get stronger, and perform better in the October 2019 Crossfit Open. With these objectives as a starting point, Ernie collected data about my current activity levels, mobility, nutrition, sleep habits and stress levels.  Next, he told me what his expectations were for each of these areas.


The first fundamental requirement I needed to commit to, was to GET MORE SLEEP. When I first sat down with Ernie, I was averaging 5-6 hours of sleep a night.  I was TIRED and completely underestimating the importance of sleep in relation to my training. Becoming mindful of getting myself to bed early has been an absolute GAME CHANGER in my life. Not only am I training better, I’m functioning better in my life.  I’m more focused, more productive, and my mental/emotional state is substantially better. This one change has made a massive IMPACT in my overall sense of well-being.  7-9 hours is the sweet spot. I’m aiming for 8 per night!!


Next, we looked at my nutrition.  I’ve been eating clean for years but I wasn’t tracking my food, counting macros or considering caloric intake in correlation to my daily activity levels.  As part of my programming, I began tracking my dietary intake in MyFitnessPal. We identified that my caloric intake was significantly lower than it needed to be in order to build more lean skeletal muscle mass.  More muscle mass = more strength. Tracking my food helped to increase my caloric intake and nutritional awareness. Nutritional awareness means I’m learning to better recognize my body’s response to various foods. For example, how certain vegetables make my gut feel, what carbohydrates fuel my workouts best, and how sugar influences my energy levels throughout the day.


My training goals are focused on improving the quality of my lifts and increasing strength and aerobic capacity.  In the last month, the biggest lesson I’ve learned is to shift to an intentional mindset in every workout. Prior to this understanding, I did my workouts with the objective to “complete” the workout.  I did a lot of the work on autopilot without even realizing it. This method lacks attention to detail and therefore, it compromises on the clear deliberate purpose to IMPROVE. The goal should always be improvement or sustainability.  This is how an athlete gets better at their sport. With this in mind, my training has transitioned into concentrated exertion.  Every movement is done with the conscious intent to improve and to do the absolute best I can within a single movement.  

I’m getting stronger. I’m training smarter.  The mindfulness in my training is pouring over into my life.  I’m becoming a better athlete, a better mom and a better nurse.  I’m improving my ability to handle stress, problem solve, and maintain a positive mindset.  









These are the elements I’m cultivating with the help of excellent coaching and an awesome support network.  I’m looking forward to continuing to work on each of these practices, learning how to seamlessly find success in each area, and continuing to share my experience.





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