After a quick weekend trip to Vegas, the next Weekly Throwdown is here!

Last week stability work was designed to improve comfort level and stability on the rings. This week, we’ll focus on shoulder, hip, and mobility work with some dumbbells.

Complex:

Double-Arm Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Double-Arm Standing Dumbbell Push Press

Double-Arm Dumbbell Sotts Press

Double-Arm Dumbbell Thruster (out of the bottom position)

Alternating-Arm Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Alternating-Arm Standing Dumbbell Push Press

Alternating-Arm Dumbbell Sotts Press

Alternating-Arm Dumbbell Thruster (out of the bottom position)

 

All of that is ONE round!

I’m challenging you to complete 7-10 rounds of that entire complex. The focus is NOT on increasing weight each round, necessarily. In fact, many people will be limited by their mobility in the bottom position of the squat for the Sotts Press. So if you struggle to get that arm/those arms locked out overhead safely in that bottom position, keep the weight light and focus on controlling reps.

Things to think about:

  • Pause at the top of each rep
  • Be deliberate with your breathing, exhaling as you punch/drive up
  • Rest between the double-arm and alternating arm round if you need to
  • Only increase weight if form allows
  • This is for technique, not for speed
  • Try to complete 7-10 rounds of the complex

Have fun with this one!

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Unlike the first few weeks of this series, this week’s throwdown isn’t a workout at all. Instead, it’s a grouping of stability exercises that can be practiced to help improve a variety of movements we see in CrossFit.

First, the “Active Deadhang” from the high rings. With these, athletes can practice keeping their entire body engaged while hanging from the rings. Improving control in this position can lead to more powerful movements while hanging from the bar (such as pull-ups, toes to bar, or muscle-ups), as well as ring exercises as well (like a ring muscle-up, ring pull-ups, or toes through rings.)

Then, we move to the rings at “Medium Height” for a static hold. Spending time in that “Support Position” will help strengthen the core and shoulders. More control there will improve power and endurance in ring dips, and the second half of a muscle-up!

Finally, the “Ring Plank” position. Here, even more than with the other holds, the hollow position can practiced under the most control. Holding a plank with the hands directly underneath the shoulders, and that belly button sucked in tight to the spine, athletes can spend time under tension to emphasize proper engagement of the entire midsection!

This week’s challenge is to complete three rounds of a single maximum effort hold in each position. The expectation is that as soon as form starts to suffer, the attempt is over. Take a look at the video below, give it a shot, and let me know how it goes!

Here’s last week’s recap and my goals for the upcoming week.

Last week:

  • Fitness
    • Snatch day included 3 singles at 83%, which for me is 205lbs. Always glad to not miss a single snatch rep over 200lbs!
    • Deadlift day called for a moderately heavy triple. I wanted to hit 405lbs with no belt and feel strong, and I did.
    • I was convinced to do the workout Triple Three with some friends this morning. That’s a 3,000m Row, 300 Double-Unders, then a 3-mile Run. My goal was to finish under 40 minutes… but I did not. Double-Unders were a disaster today, otherwise it would have happened.
      • Row was done in 11:33 (1:56.9, 1:56.9, 1:56.0, 1:54.3, 1:53.0 or so pacing by 200m), DU’s mostly in sets of 20-30, and then my run was a 22:54 (7:48, 7:44, 7:17 splits). Final Time: 40:25
  • Other
    • “Drive Time with Smashby “is a segment I used to feature on my blog years ago. With a few questions from some of you piling up that you wanted me to answer, instead of waiting for the perfect time to answer them in writing I’m going back to finding time to answer them when I can; driving from job to job! The question this week had to do with how to approach jealousy in the gym.

This week:

  • The alarm goes off just after 4am Monday through Thursday, so getting to bed earlier is going to be a must.
  • Leave for vacation on Thursday! Just need to pack and clean during my free hours this week. I cannot wait!

Alright, your turn. What’s going on with all of you?

Pic of the week is of my little man, Bacon the Corgi. It feels so good to come home every night and have this little guy run up and greet me! He may only weigh 24lbs, but these judgey eyes know they really run the house. This look said, “I know you needed your second hand to take the picture, but that means that it stopped petting me for a second. Please place your hand on my back once again. Thank you very much, sir.”

BaconJudgey

The next week of Smashby’s Tip of the Week is live, and it’s the final of my four week handstand push-up progression!

Although the video is a bit long, I cover a lot of information.

The first three weeks focused on my process for teaching athletes how to safely get upside down and support their own body weight. This final week moves through progressions I use to continue to build confidence in athletes, along with timelines for when I think the next step should be t

Here’s a snapshot summarizing my 4-week series:

  • Learn and progress through the steps to safely learn Wall Climbs/Wall Walks
  • Learn and progress through the steps to safely learn a Headstand
  • Learn and progress through the steps to safely learn a Handstand
  • Build strength and control through the use of Negatives
  • Learn and progress through steps to safely apply Kipping to Handstand Push-Ups

What did you think of this series? Did you find it helpful? If not for yourself, do you think it’s a good way to teach other athletes?

Let me know in the comments, and let’s talk about this. If it’s good, I would love to share it with others. If it sucks, help me improve my content so it can help others.

Thanks in advance!

The day has finally arrived! Drive Time with Smashby is BACK!!

Today’s topic: Jealousy in the gym

How can you be less jealous of others around them, and how can you allow jealous people around you to effect you less?

I’d love it if you could take a few minutes to watch my video below, and let me know your thoughts in the comments. Agree with me? Great. Why? Disagree? Let’s talk about it!

Happy Hump Day, everyone!

The fifth week of “Smashby’s Weekly Throwdown” is ready to go! The goal today is to work on increasing the length of run as we decrease the amount of reps each round. Instead of crashing and burning on the final run, be prepared to bring it home fast!

Throwdown #5

Run 100m

10 Pull-Ups

20 Push-Ups

30 Air Squats

Run 200m

8 Pull-Ups

16 Push-Ups

24 Air Squats

Run 300m

6 Pull-Ups

12 Push-Ups

18 Air Squats

Run 400m

Focus/Modifications/Progressions:

Overall Strategy- Today’s strategy for “Murph” will be geared towards helping athletes keep some speed in the tank for their final run. The first 100m run is followed by the largest block of reps for Pull-Ups, Push-Ups, and Air Squats. As the runs get a bit longer, the reps go down each round.

Runs– The goal today is to hold the same pace for all four runs. Think about what time would make you happy to run that final mile of the workout, and work backwards to find the pace you should hold. Knowing that, if you plan to run an eight minute mile to finish the workout, that puts your final 400m at 2:00. Using that equation, your 100m should take 30 seconds, 200m should take one minute, and your 300m should take ninety seconds. After your final air squat, get right out the door and hold that pace for your final run!

Pull-UpsPush-Ups, and Air Squats– For each of these movements, break down reps each set similar to how you’d plan to break them down on Murph day. The primary focus of the workout today is run pacing, so the reps should be completed in smaller, manageable sets. Just keep moving, and hitting full range of motion for everything.

Just like last week, if you plan on wearing a weight vest while completing Murph, this is a another great workout to start getting more comfortable wearing it before Memorial Day!

Five weeks of Murph prep in the books. Have you done any of these workouts? All of them? Let me know what you think!

Here’s last week’s recap and my goals for the upcoming week.

Last week:

  • Fitness
  • Other
    • Saturday I attended a CrossFit competition at the gym where I work. It was run so well, the athletes were amazing, and the weather was perfect.
    • Lawn mowed, weeds whacked, free mulch for yard picked up, laundry done, floors vacuumed, finished a section in my nutrition book, bought a bicycle helmet… had a really productive weekend at home.

This week:

  • Hoping to read more out of my nutrition book.
  • No mornings off for me this week, so my goal is to get to bed earlier every night… (I write as I lay in bed on my laptop at 11pm)
  • It’s my last full week of work before vacation in about 10 days. I need to keep working hard and stay focused.

Alright, your turn. What’s going on with all of you?

Pic of the week comes from the “No Gutz, No Glory” competition at CrossFit Omnia this weekend. Kyla is one of the two masterminds who organized and programmed the event. Here she is right before the Awards Ceremony. There were some amazing prizes, and it was a great way to conclude two awesome days of competing. Great job, Kyla and Rj!

The third week of Smashby’s Tip of the Week is live, and we’re continuing on to week three of my four week handstand push-up progression!

Today we’ll discuss another safe dismount from the Wall Climb position and then go from transitioning from headstands into the safe way of becoming confident progressing into a handstand. I’m always very cautious teaching athletes how to get into this position from the standing position, so please follow along with my steps in order to build confidence first before trying to make it a more dynamic movement. Plant those hands first, then get faster.

Once you can accumulate 90-seconds to two minutes in that handstand position, then you’ll be ready for next week’s session where we’ll discuss strategies for building strength, and improving your kipping for handstand push-ups!

I hope you find this information beneficial.

If you do, please share it with someone else you think it could help!

The fourth week of “Smashby’s Weekly Throwdown” is ready to go! Hoping that these continue to help prepare athletes for the big day. Keep letting me know how you do, and if you get the courage, post your times and notes in the comments. There’s a few of you out there, I promise!

Throwdown #4

6 Rounds

Run 100m

3 Pull-Ups

6 Push-Ups

9 Air Squats

3 Pull-Ups

6 Push-Ups

9 Air Squats

Rest 60-90 seconds between rounds

Goal is to keep all 6 round times nearly identical!

Focus/Modifications/Progressions:

Overall Strategy- Today’s strategy for “Murph” will be geared towards helping athletes pace the workout more effectively. After running a short 100m distance, complete two rounds of 3 Pull-Ups, 6 Push-Ups, and 9 Air Squats. After one round is complete, rest between 60-90 seconds, and repeat. Complete for a total of six rounds of work. The goal is to complete all round with steady effort and nearly identical times.

Runs– You’ll only be running 100m each round, that’s pretty short! Keep the runs steady, and as soon as you get back in the gym start on your pull-ups right away.

Pull-Ups– Only three reps at a time. That means many of us will be going unbroken the entire time here. As long is it’s not going to destroy your grip or tear your hands, hang on and keep moving.

Push-Ups– It might be tempting to try and complete the six reps unbroken, but as I’ve said every week of the throwdown, few people will be able to maintain that throughout the full Murph. Break it down four and two, or three and three with really short rest, and keep that pacing going throughout all six rounds.

Air Squats– Remember, there are 300 air squats in Murph. Just because there’s “only” 18 reps per round, doesn’t mean you should sprint them. Find a comfortable pace and stick with it through short rests and steady breathing.

Also, if you plan on wearing a weight vest while completing Murph, this is a great workout to break it out and start getting more comfortable wearing it before Memorial Day!

Four weeks of Murph prep in the books. Are you feeling more confident? I sure hope so! Give this one a shot, and let me know how it goes!!

How has it been another month already?!

April 2018

Fitness- April was a whirlwind of a month in the gym for me. In 4 short weeks I had one week that was so busy I barely had time to work out at all, another where I tweaked my back and took nearly 7 days off, then during the final week I had some of the best lifting I’ve done in a very long time. Even though I’m still bummed when I can’t work out, I realize that I’m working out to #BeLessFat and that the gym doesn’t rule my life. When I tweaked my back, I just took time off, stretched and recovered. A few years ago I would have rushed to come back and potentially hurt myself more. Instead, I recovered, and now I feel fine again!

It took a very long time to get to that point of not rushing, but when I did, I stopped being so hard on myself. Yes, the gym is very important to me, but I am not my 1RM Clean and Jerk PR. If you don’t already, you should train yourself to have that mentality. After all… it’s just fitness!

My goal going into the month was to be more consistent with training, and as you just read, life got in the way a little bit. That didn’t stop me from having some really strong moments, though. Hitting a 240lb. snatch for the first time in 3+ years, and then split jerking 310lbs for the first time in over a year felt great. And I’m back to hitting 400+lbs for reps on deadlift, which makes me happy.

My “First Ever” class this month was my favorite! The first time I worked with the i99fit team was over 3 years ago, and I’ve known about their Sunday Open Gym for a long time. Last weekend, I decided it was time to head down there. Why? To learn something I’ve always wanted to do… a backflip! When I showed up, I was the only athlete there. That means I had Coach Anthony (who they call the backflip whisperer) all to myself! After a great progression of drills and skills, and in LESS THAN 45 minutes, I did my first unassisted back flip! I’m so excited!

 

House- No major house updates this month. Other than the garage gym coming along more and more each month, it was a fairly slow month in regards to major projects. I’m kind of glad, too. I’m sure the next project will be a big one, so some down time was nice.

Other- I turned 34 last week. Starting to get pretttty old, huh? As I reflect on 33, it’s amazing how many major changes happened in the last year. Yet, as I sit and look forwards into the rest of 2018, this is potentially going to be the busiest year of my life! Lots and lots and lots of work…. but also lots of play. That’s what it’s all about, right?

My goal for 34 is to get better at balance. If I’m working hard, that’s fine, but there needs to be a goal in sight. Working harder is NOT necessarily working smarter!

What’s going on with all of you? I’d love to hear some of your accomplishments in April, or goals for May!