Virtuosity is a word that gets thrown around in CrossFit a lot. It’s generally referred to as

“performing the common uncommonly well.” Today, I’m sharing to videos of people who embody that word.

I think Ive posted this before, but it’s worth sharing again. Séan Garnier is a freak! Just look at this control. The next time you’re near a soccer ball, just try ONE of these tricks. So cool to watch!

Also, how is this a thing? I’m still partially convinced that this is a fake video, haha.

The next time you’re near a bike.. do NOT try one of these tricks!

I have two younger brothers, and they are both amazing. When I say that, I mean I can’t hold a candle to either of them in pretty much anything, and that is so inspiring to say out loud! Still thinking….. nope… they’re amazing at pretty much everything.

Anyways, one of them is in a band called the Big Mean Sound Machine. Not only is that possibly the coolest band name of all time, (right?!) but they can GROOVE!! Last week, they released their first ever Music Video for their song “Seeing the Bigger Picture” and it’s really cool.

I love playing Big Mean songs when I’m running around and need an awesome groove to keep me moving, and this song is no different! Take a watch, and let me know what you think. In a place like the gym, it could very easily be played during a warm-up or cool down period to keep energy high, but not overwhelm people with guitars or bass drops. Really good stuff.

So proud of you, Duke!

For the last 8.5 years, almost to the day, CrossFit has been a huge part of my life.

In that time, I’ve ranged from being a rabid advocate of the program, badgering everyone I knew to try it with me like a beach vendor who nearly accosts foreigners in hopes of selling them his local trinket… to the head coach of a gym with over 350 members, who didn’t feel the need to push it on anyone, rather just loved the program because he knew it worked.

I’ve had periods of time where I would spend nearly three hours per day working out, completing two training sessions per day, 4 days per week, I’d compete in local events every few weeks to try and put my fitness to the test, and I looked forward to planning my next soul-crushing workout each every day. There have also been times where I simply couldn’t find the motivation to pick up a barbell because it just didn’t feel fun anymore.

Now, I find myself at a crossroads.

Recently, I’ve experienced more change at the same time than at any other point in my life. Usually, life spreads the big things out, at least a little! In the last 6 weeks however, I’ve left my job, planned to move across the country, got married, traveled to Brazil to visit family, decided not to move after all, and had the privilege of learning how much fun it can be to look for a house in one of the most competitive Real Estate markets in the entire country. That’s a lot in a month and a half!

What’s crazy, is that it’s all really positive change! Some people are hit with bad break after bad break, yet for me, these have been really good. I think the kids say #Blessed, right?

The crossroads has to do with what I will do for fitness now. Do I stick to CrossFit? Maybe a strength/squat cycle to focus on getting stronger and improve my technical movements? Is it time to head back to a Globo gym and try to get those 6-pack abs in time for summer? Do I go cardio for a bit, and get into running or swimming? Obviously the answer that me, the coach, tells myself is to do it all! I live in a place where you can be as active as you’d like outside. I’ve got so many friends who own or coach at CrossFit gyms that it shouldn’t be that hard to find people to train with here and here. And the thought of a “Bi’s/Back” and “Tri’s/Chest” training regimen really doesn’t seem that bad some days!

The reason it’s so tough for me to decide is because I had always convinced myself that I needed to train FOR something. I had to be in a squat cycle because if not, how would I get stronger? If I wasn’t Snatching at least once per week, I’d lose all of my “gainz” and regress. Want to do burpees without stopping? Then keep doing burpees! But at the end of the day… why does it matter?

I always tell people that CrossFit can prepare you for just about anything. It will make just being active more fun. So, with that logic, I don’t need to go through brutal workouts all the time. Visiting the “Pain Cave” every time the clock counts to “3, 2, 1, GO” isn’t required for someone to be fit. It isn’t required to be healthy. It’s only required if the END GOAL is being a good CrossFit athlete. And I’m not sure that’s what I want right now.

I’ll tell you what though, it’s hard to say that to myself and not feel like I’m letting “2011 Tom” down just a little bit!

Over the next few weeks I’m going to assess what makes me happy, what gets me fired up to go do, and what I find to be…. fun! I have always told people that fitness should be something you enjoy (even when I wasn’t necessarily feeling that way myself), and I want to get back to that place.

I’ll keep you posted on how it goes. Who knows, there might be a competition or race I decide to train for sometime in the next few months!

Wish me luck!

Alright.

Enough.

As someone who typically tries to present himself as confident and capable on the outside, I’ve battled with some internal struggles for most of my life. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before….

“I worry that the work I produce isn’t ~good enough~ for others.”

Now, reading those words, I want to slap myself silly and give the same advice I’d give anyone else who has ever come to me with that same concern. And you know what? That exact conversation HAS happened dozens, if not hundreds of times. People who I know often share that same fear that they have with me… and all I can think is to tell them how silly they’re acting. Of COURSE they’re good enough. Of course people care about, and believe in, what they say. Of course they are adding value in whatever topic they’re considering discussing. Yet, I occasionally turn around and question myself with those very same thoughts.

First of all, what does “good enough” even mean?! I started this blog back in 2010. Ha! Read that again. Two thousand and ten. We were just kids, then! No, I’m serious… babies. The number one song on the Billboard charts that year… Tik Tok by Ke$ha. (You’re welcome, Birddog)

In 2010, CrossFit wasn’t even a fad yet, and I had already found myself completely consumed in the belief that fitness could make the world a better place. This blog started as my way to try and help as many people as possible. It allowed me to share things I was learning that I felt could make others either better, faster, stronger, healthier… or at the very least leave them a little bit entertained. Fast forward SEVEN years. This hobby that I found, then became a passion, then a part-time job, and then a full-time job. I found exactly what I had wanted to do with my life. I found a way to utilize a skill set I convinced myself I had to HELP others. And in turn, to be honest, help myself.

I share that to give context to the “good enough” idea I have battled with since before I can remember. I wasn’t the best coach. I didn’t know everything about human anatomy and physiology. I couldn’t provide the perfect nutrition plan for someone. But when I was in my element, none of those thoughts even entered my brain. If I had an athlete in front of me, I’d do everything I could to help them to the best of my ability. If someone emailed me about how to recover from not being able to walk down stairs after heavy squat day, I’d give them the best answer I had. If an athlete wasn’t losing those last 3-6lbs of fat they aimed to shed, I’d give them advice based on what I knew. And when I didn’t know an answer… I’d look it up. I’d learn. And then I’d share again.

It was so easy for me to do when I was dealing with ONE person. But when I’d get home and open up the laptop to write a post, the doubt would start to creep in. I’d tell myself reasons why MY opinion probably didn’t matter. Or why I may have been wrong on this one topic. It was so easy for me to NOT EVEN TRY, knowing that there will always be haters out there. The thought of one negative comment squandered my desire to try and help even one person.

Not anymore.

The good news for me, is that I have never claimed to be perfect. In fact, some of the most impactful interactions I’ve had with clients, friends, and strangers through this blog have stemmed from PRODUCTIVE conversations where contrasting opinions met head-to-head.

That’s my super weird way of saying that I’m going to start writing again. I’m going to share my thoughts and opinions on things that go on in the world of fitness (and other places, too). I’m going to get back to sharing videos and stories and books that make me happy. Or make me think. Or make me cringe. I’ll get back to letting you know if I try and like (or hate) a new product. And I’m doing this because as one of my very good friends has told me for over a decade now: “Your network is your net worth.”

It’s connecting with all of you that has always what filled me with the most joy! THAT is why I started this blog in the first place. To connect with my “network” of friends, whether near or far. Whether I coached them that day, or had never even met them in person. The ability to connect with and learn from a worldwide network is what has always motivated and inspired me!

So, how am I going to get over the “is this good enough” concern I’ve always had? I’m simply going to try and silence that voice of doubt. I’m going to try NOT to always be my own worst critic to the point where it stops me from even trying.
What’s one way that a person can get better at a skill or craft? Do it more often, right? Practice. And while I know that practice doesn’t really necessarily make perfect, I do think that writing more frequently will continue to give me more confidence in how I communicate. It will let me feel that there is at least ONE person out there (thanks for reading, Mom!) who might benefit from the information I can provide or share.

So, as I sit in a crossroads in my own personal life, I invite you all to join me on this journey of self-discovery and vulnerability.
It’s about to get real.

You know what? It already feels good to be back!

-Smashby

The 2017 CrossFit Games Open is here! That means that I am going to try and record my “Strategy Videos” in hopes of helping athletes feel better prepared on how to attack the 5 workouts this year.

Take a look at this video for 17.1, and let me know what you think! After you do the workout, come on back and let me know… did my advice help? The more feedback I get, the more in depth I can make the next 4 videos!

Normal People Advice: Pace, pace, pace. Most people will take at least 17 minutes to get through this workout (at Rx’d weights, at least). Just because it’ll be possible to start off going really fast through the first round, very few people will be able to keep up a fast pace for the last 4 rounds. I suggest a steady rhythm on snatches, and a comfortable pace on burpees until at least the round of 30 Snatches. If at that point things still feel strong, then go for it! Finish strong, don’t crash and burn on this one.

“Beast Mode” Advice: Go. The dumbbell weight shouldn’t get heavy. This workout is going to be won by those who simply have a better engine. If an athlete doesn’t stop moving, and keeps their heart rate down, it’ll be tough to catch them!

Click here for the FULL DESCRIPTION of the workout, including Scaled versions.

CFOpen17.1

DISCLAIMER: 
The thoughts featured in the post and video are mine and mine alone!

Quick and dirty Sunday night dinner for this week’s post. The steps are easy:

  • Heat up some grape tomatoes
  • Mix together kale salad and some dressing
  • Add tomatoes to salad
  • Cook some shrimp on the stove
  • Grill a big fat steak
  • Enjoy!

Total prep to cook time was a little under 45 minutes, but man was this dinner good!

Not only is this super easy to make, but if there is any leftover food, which there rarely is, you get Surf and Turf for a snack!

Smashby’s Meal Prep: 8/21/16

Posted: August 22, 2016 in CrossFit, Nutrition

DISCLAIMER:
The thoughts featured in the post and video are mine and mine alone!

I’ve made a breakfast quiche on the blog before, but over time, the process of cooking a meal like this gets even easier. This week, the goal was to show how 15-20 minutes of prep time can make 8-12 meals for the week!

The process is easy:

  • Crack and whip up some eggs
  • Cut up meat and veggies of your choice
  • Add meat and veggies to pie crust
  • Pour egg on top
  • Leave in oven at ~400 degrees for ~45 minutes
  • Enjoy!

Here at home we typically use Gluten Free pie crusts from Whole Foods, but not every week. I also love cheese, so I add that to my quiche. For those of you that don’t eat dairy, the meals are still really good without cheese.

When I don’t take the time to meal prep, my fall-back options are always less healthy, and more expensive. As much as I love a good gas station burrito or a Bruegger’s bagel sandwich, it’s probably best (for my stomach AND my wallet) that I don’t eat them multiple times per week!

Eating well, and being prepared for the week doesn’t have to be that difficult. I share posts like this to try and help remind people of that.

I’m also going to stop worrying about needing to make “perfect” meals for these videos. Some food I make isn’t the healthiest, but I’m trying share what it is I do make at home! Almost all of my meals could include a leaner meat as the main protein, I could omit cheese from my recipes, or I could weigh and measure each meal.

That’s not what *I* want to do, but I COMPLETELY SUPPORT anyone who does do that. Therefore, if there’s anyone out there who would like to make recipe suggestions, or find out “block-” or “macro-“breakdowns for the meals I cook, PLEASE feel free to post them in the comments, and we can share that information with anyone who is interested!

I hope you guys enjoy these videos and find some value in them! Have a great week, team.

-Tom

DISCLAIMER:
The thoughts featured in the post and video are mine and mine alone!

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve POSTED a video about my Food Prep adventure for the week, but I’ve still been cooking and recording them. This week, you get three videos (although technically only two recipes) to entertain you!

We’re going to work back in time and start with this past week’s Open-Faced Tacos! Now, aside from the cheese that I toss in with the chicken, this recipe has a lot of veggies (for me, at least), uses gluten free tortillas, AND can be eaten hot or cold. (If you’re not into that whole dairy thing, just omit the cheese. I promise the tacos will still be easy to make, and still taste pretty good.) Yay convenience!

I also try to give you a glimpse into how even one-handed chefs can use that sweet little veggie slicer I have. Just be careful when washing it, because getting the blade attachment out can be tough sometimes!

The other recipe that I made twice in the previous weeks included the most commonly found vegetable in our garden now… the zucchini! We have had some monster ones grow, and the one featured in the picture below (with Bacon the Sous Chef) wasn’t even close to one of the biggest!

BaconZucchini

So the first video I went into trying to make Zucchini Lasagna for the first time ever. Even though almost everything was prepped for me before I got home, I still get really anxious trying a recipe for the first time. I think I bit off a little more than I could chew, and didn’t love the presentation of the first lasagna. Sure, it tasted very good, but just didn’t look as clean and intact as I would have liked.

When I thought about a few quick modifications to the recipe, as well as deciding to cook a slightly smaller portion size, the second attempt went much better. The pieces held together better when being served, and the texture was even better!

The main drawback for this recipe for some of you reading this…. is that I used a LOT of cheese! If you’ve seen other dishes that I’ve made, you know I like cheese a lot. In most of my dishes, I mention that the omission of cheese would still make the dish taste great. On this one, you’re probably going to want to go somewhere else to find your cheese-less lasagna!

My plan for the next few weeks is to cook using AT LEAST one item straight from the garden for the meal I make. With the out-of-control amount of zucchini we have, plan on some fun recipes with that! Also, it seems as though in the next few weeks we’ll be overrun (seriously…. dozens and dozens) by tomatoes. So, we’ll see how that goes!

What do you guys think of these videos? I love getting feedback that they’ve given you ideas for your own meals, or that at the very least that you’re entertained by them. Let me know!

DISCLAIMER:
The thoughts featured in the post are mine and mine alone! 

I have never claimed to be a great writer. In fact, I usually say my writing is like my talking… I usually do too much and use too many words! But every once and a while I see some piece from a blog or a FB post that makes me want to literally jump up and down and high five a stranger. Today, I read one of those posts! *High Five*

The topic covered was is something most of us typically refer to as “rep-shaving” in our little CrossFit world. My blog has featured at LEAST 2 posts on the topic, so I’ll include the link right below here if you care to go back and read my thoughts.

https://smashbytraining.com/2016/02/25/smashby-speaks-the-crossfit-games-open-2016/

Now this NEW post, written by Mike Warkentin (who is the managing editor of the CrossFit Journal and the founder of CrossFit 204) is probably the most brutally honest, and all-encompassing blocks of words that I’ve read on the topic. It’s called “An Open Letter to Cheaters” and basically says what almost all of us think on the issue:

Why? Why would someone intentionally skip reps/rounds during a workout, shorten range of motion, or write the wrong weight used for that Shoulder Press?

We all have had brain meltdowns during or after a workout and lose count when we can’t even see straight, but some athletes out there do it on purpose. Often. My typical approach as a coach (which falls into one of his categories in the piece) is to just let it go. I’ve said the sentence, “They’re only cheating themselves…” countless times, but Mike makes a point: while they’re only cheating their own physical progress and development, it can STILL have a negative impact on the community around them.

Even when I started competing back in 2010, I remember no-repping myself during workouts!

Even when I started competing back in 2010, I remember no-repping myself during workouts!

As competitive creatures, person “A” could become discouraged if they keep doing full range of motion push-ups, and time after time person “B” beats them in a workout by not locking out a single one. CrossFit is founded upon the concept that we all suffer together, so we that we all get better together!

In my nearly 8 years of CrossFit, I’ve probably posted a few hundred videos of myself working out. While some of them are to share my accomplishments with friends, most of the time it’s for the silly reason that I want my friends to know that when I talk about my “exercise racing” times or numbers, that I’m being honest. (And to hope I can get some remote coaching on technique, since 95% of my training is done alone!)

Enough of my rant, please check out this article, and let me know your thoughts! I really enjoyed this one. I’m going to start trying to write more often, too. It makes me feel good to hope that my years in this “sport” of ours can potentially help (or entertain?) at least one person out there.

Enjoy your weekend, friends!

DISCLAIMER:
The thoughts featured in the post and video are mine and mine alone!

A big thanks to Gwen for reminding me yesterday that I never ended up posting this video on Monday of this week! The 4th of July weekend in Portland was absolutely crazy where we did ALL OF THE THINGS (from visiting Astoria and Cannon Beach w Haystack Rock to trying all of the beers), and it’s been a whirlwind since getting back home.

I did, however, make time to cook my new recipe for the blog. This was a stuffed pepper dish, which I had done before, with a twist. Instead of using ground beef like I usually did, I used something a little leaner and tossed in Bison meat! Aside from all the seasonings, throwing in an egg to help hold things together, and of course… some cheese for me (you don’t need to add it in!), the other fun addition this week was a pepper from the garden here at the house. This thing is called Mucho Nacho, and kind of smells like it, too!

Total Prep time took me 10-15 minutes, then I cooked it at around 400 degrees for almost 45 minutes. Since I’m not very experienced with meals like this, the oven time was trial and error for me, but that’s what I like to do for these things… try something new!

The one I have already had this week was pretty good! I added a bit of Guacamole to it, and poured a bit of salsa on top. I’ll call it a success. If you try it, let me know how it goes, if you change anything, and how you like it!