Since my video this week is 13 minutes long, I’m going to keep the writing in this post short.

Workout 20.2 is:

20 Minute AMRAP

4 Dumbbell Thrusters

6 Toes to Bar

24 Double-Unders

Here’s the basic gist of my advice-

Find a pace for each of the three movements you can maintain at a “forever” pace. If you come out too hot, the last half/quarter of the workout is going to be spent trying to keep it together.

  1. Transitions – Keep your gear as close together, and as neatly organized as possible the entire time. Don’t waste 1-10 seconds per round trying to pull your dumbbells back together or untwisting your jump rope.
  2. Break before you fatigue – If you know you’re going to be wrecked trying to hit 24 DUs in a row, break it up on purpose, take a breath, then continue.
  3. Find a sustainable pace – If you get 3+ more rounds in the first half of this workout than you do in the second half, I think you went out too hot. I’d rather you find a pace that allows you to feel STRONG at the halfway point and THEN turn it on.

Final question I get asked a lot-

Should I “Rx” or “Scale” this workout?

If you care about your “Open Ranking” AND you have the ability to physically perform even ONE rep of each of the movements, I think you should go Rx’d. Remember, if you complete ONE REP at the Rx’d weight, you’ll rank above every single person in the world who completes this workout scaled. That means if it takes you 20 minutes to do 3 reps of double dumbbell thrusters at Rx’d weight, but you can do it, I think it’s worth it to get a score of “3” Rx’d!

However, if your goal is to get a good workout in and sweat for 20 minutes, Scaled is 100% the way to go! Find weights and modifications that will allow you to keep moving, and remember that the best of the best in the world will get close to (or more than) THIRTY rounds of this workout completed.

I don’t know about you, but the last time I completed 1,000+ reps of ANYTHING in 20 minutes was….. probably never. When scaled appropriately, this will be a sneakily effective workout, regardless of the modifications used.

Hey, have fun out there, folks!
At the end of the day, it’s only fitness.

Get out there, be safe, and have some fun!

I haven’t made a Meal Prep video in a long time. For my first one back, I decided to share the recipe I’m asked about the most; how I cook White Rice.

It may seem like a very simple recipe, and that’s because it is a simple recipe! The point is, that people have asked how I make it because they’ve struggled with cooking rice on their own in the past.

Thankfully, 100% of the people who have asked me for this and given it a shot have said it worked perfectly for them. I hope that if you give it a try, it works for you, too.

Let me know, and I hope you enjoy the video!

I’m excited to announce that I’m ready to start contributing to my blog again!

I started smashbytraining.com almost a decade ago to share information I’ve accumulated over my lifetime to help other people feel more empowered to improve their health, fitness, and overall wellness.

After another break due to “life getting in the way,” I think I’m ready to start creating content again! I welcome your questions/requests, always appreciate your feedback, and am excited to continue to build this community of friends all over the world.

Thanks for continuing to go on this ride with me.

-Tom

In March of 2010, I sat down in a leasing office to sign my name on the dotted line at my new apartment, when the employee looked at me and said, “CrossFit, huh?” She told me that she had been seeing that word (that was written on my shirt) pop up more and more over the last few months. “I know,” I told her, “this fitness program is going to be the next big thing!” She let me know that there was another person in the complex that was into it, and that I’d probably recognize him because he was huge, had red hair, and was always smiling. While I was excited to hear that another person nearby did CrossFit, I was far too stressed with work, unpacking a new apartment, and trying to find where my new gym would be (since I moved across town) to try and hunt down some stranger.
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Fast forward a few weeks. I was getting ready to compete in my first-ever CrossFit Competition; the 2010 Mountain Sectionals. I was simultaneously nervous and really pumped, and to make things even more exciting, the night before the competition in typical “March in Denver” fashion, it snowed. A lot. This was particularly interesting since one of the events on the first day involved an outdoor run component. After heading outside to scrape the snow off of my car the next morning, so early that the sun was still down, I was ready to go. I pulled out of my parking space but before reaching the end of the lot, I noticed someone else scraping their car. This person was huge. And while I couldn’t see whether or not he had red hair under the beanie he was wearing, he was definitely smiling. This *had* to be the other guy in the complex who did CrossFit, I thought to myself.
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Mustering up the courage to introduce myself to a complete stranger (which I don’t know about you, I find a lot more difficult to do as an adult), I rolled down my window and asked, “are you on your way to compete at Sectionals, too?” “Yep!” he said back through his smile. “I’m Tom,” I told him, “I’ll let you warm up your car and we can chat when we get there.” “Sounds good,” he said. “My name’s Kevin, by the way.”
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And that was the day I met Kevin Ogar.
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After a proper introduction at the event, we hit it off, hung out together for a large portion of the competition weekend, and it became immediately clear that this guy had the kind of magnetic personality that just pulled people in. Strangers were walking over to introduce themselves to him and saying how impressed they were with his performances. He was going out of his way to compliment other competitors and, when they asked, he would give them feedback on how they could move better.
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Later that weekend, we talked about when we started CrossFit, where we trained, and what we did for a living. I shared that I worked out alone in a Bally Total Fitness, and that I’d get some pretty strange looks running from the treadmill area back to a barbell to do some deadlifts and then back to the treadmills. Kevin mentioned that he was actually a coach at a CrossFit gym, and I told him that I had been considering getting certified to coach, myself. Without hesitation, he walked me over to the owner of the gym where he worked and introduced us. After a few conversations with her, I was told that once I completed my training certification, I was basically hired. That was it. I was going to be able to coach CrossFit. I couldn’t believe it!
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For the next few years, while working five days a week at my “day job,” I’d also coach CrossFit two to three evenings. Each new member I brought in felt like a victory. Each PR I watched made me feel like I had done it, myself. I started to see the positive impact I was having on people’s lives, and it was so rewarding. Then, one day, I was given the opportunity to coach full-time. While it was one of the scariest decisions I’ve ever made, I jumped at the chance. I haven’t stopped coaching CrossFit since.
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As we look back through particular moments in time, we can rarely grasp the true impact they might have on our lives. That one moment, saying hello to Kevin in the parking lot of our apartment complex, helped shift the course of my life to get me where I am today.
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Today, I want to thank Kevin Ogar for selflessly helping me get my first CrossFit coaching opportunity in 2010. I also want to thank all of the gym owners who have trusted me along the way to do my best to add value to their businesses. It’s a risky move allowing a new face to come in and work with your members that you’ve worked so hard to attract, and I’ve truly cherished each opportunity. Finally, I’d like to thank each and every athlete with whom I’ve had the privilege to work; especially those of you that followed me from gym to gym. Your friendship and support meant, and still means, the world to me. It still blows my mind to think that I’m doing what I love for a living, and that it’s still as rewarding now as it was when I first started.
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Life is pretty good, and I’m thankful that mine has taken this trajectory to lead me where I am today.
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My reason for writing this post is to hopefully inspire you to think of someone who has positively impacted your life and tell them! Even if they know. Remind them again. The impact that it could have on them today could be far greater than you could ever imagine. If you want to share that story with me, or tag them on this post, I’d love to hear about it!
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The picture below is from my very first day at the gym where Kevin helped me get hired. We did a workout together, he destroyed me (as he always did), and I was thrilled to finally have a CrossFit gym to call my own! Good times.

 

CIA CrossFit.jpg

Thrusters and Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups for 19.5. A lot of us knew they were going to show up, but I don’t know anyone who predicted a workout this brutal! It’s more reps than Double-Fran, and is more challenging because of the chest-to-bars. Ouch!

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My three main pieces of advice for this one are as follow:

  1. Planned Sets. This applies more to the Thrusters than the Pull-Ups. One way to do this (if you are proficient with the Thruster weight), could be to break down your Thrusters into three sets each round. Meaning, for the round of 33, complete three sets of 11 reps. Or, if you’re like me and don’t like needing to repeat the same number of reps more than once, go 13/11/9. Then, for the set of 27 reps, go 11/9/7, and so on.
  2. Control. Controlling your hear rate will be critical, especially with the Thrusters. Coming out of the gate too hot will lead to a ton of standing around by the time you’re halfway through this workout. On pull-ups, know yourself and your abilities before this workout begins. Completing a couple of huge sets at the beginning will lead to most people frying their grip early on. This is going to be a longer workout. Be smart, conserve your energy, and complete steady sets from the start. It’ll be much better to save a little energy for the end of the workout than to crushed for the last two rounds!
  3. Double Fran Plus! The workout Fran is 21-15-9 Thrusters and Pull-Ups. This is more than double that volume. And with Chest-to-Bars! I say that again because I think you need to remember that from the very beginning of this workout! Break up your sets often and early, just minimize your rest between them. Keep yourself moving.

If you watch my video for the week, as always, please let me know what you think and if it helped you at all.

This is the final week of the 2019 CrossFit Games Open! Let me know how it goes for you!

A lot of people I know predicted that workout 19.4 would include some sort of Snatch variation and one kind of Muscle-Up. Well, those friends were correct!

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My three main pieces of advice for this one are as follow:

  1. Which version are you? In my mind, there are two versions of this workout for “Rx” athletes. The first is for athletes who are able to complete the first 3-round workout without too much difficulty, but who will then likely be unable to complete a single Bar Muscle-Up. My advice to those athletes is to view this workout as an ABSOLUTE SPRINT! Get through those three rounds of 10 Snatches and 12 Bar-Facing Burpees as fast as you possibly can! The tie break time after that final Burpee of the third round (Rep 66) will separate THOUSANDS of athletes around the world. Get to that tie break as fast as possible! For the other group of athletes who plan to make it to, and through several of the Bar Muscle-Ups, I think this workout needs to be paced a little bit more. Making it through the first three-rounds and being destroyed will likely leave very little in the tank to get through the Bar Muscle-Ups as efficiently as you’d like. Leave some juice in the tank, and break up the Muscle-Ups earlier than you might want to. Something tells me that shoulders and triceps are going to be more fatigued than people expect.
  2. Breathe. For athletes looking to get into the second three-rounder, it will be very easy to get a little bit too excited when this workout starts and make it an absolute sprint. A lot of athletes can sprint one, and maybe even two rounds of Snatches and Burpees, but if that third round takes it out of you, even a three minute rest won’t allow you to finish strong in the second portion. Keep your heart rate down, your breath slow and controlled, and put yourself in a position where you can *finish* this workout stronger than you start it.
  3. Relax. Same advice as last week. You can’t control other athletes who get credit for “garbage reps” by their judges, so don’t even worry about it! Stand up all the way on your Snatches, face your bar and take off with both feet on your Burpees, and follow protocol on the Muscle-Ups. I received several messages last week from people telling me how frustrating it was to watch judges count Handstand Push-Ups that didn’t meet the standard, but my response to that remains the same; “It’s just a silly competition, and none of it really matters.” Stay in your lane, have fun with your friends, and only worry about controlling what you can control. Remember, this is supposed to be fun!

If you spend the time to watch my video for the week, as always, please let me know what you think, and if it helped you at all.

Only one week of the 2019 CrossFit Games Open remains after this week. Have some fun out there, everyone!

There are going to be a lot of tired shoulders after 19.3 is said and done. Here’s the workout!

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My three main pieces of advice for this one are as follow:

  1. Get your shoulders warm. The bulk of this workout involves making sure your shoulders can move, or stabilize, weight appropriately. Prime your body with that in mind.
  2. Know Your Role. Some athletes know that Strict Handstand Push-Ups may not be in the cards for them today. That’s fine! The workout has a “Tie Break” to be logged at the end of the final Box Step-Up and another after the final Strict HSPU. If the goal is to get through the Lunges and Step-Ups… do that as quickly as possible!
    Second, on the HSPU, there will be thousands of athletes who come out of the gates with too large of sets. Please recognize that for most athletes, 50 reps is a really high amount… especially when tired. Smaller sets and shorter rest without “no-reps” will make for faster work than standing around and missing reps at the end because of fatigue.
  3. Relax. Gyms all over this great world of ours will allow athletes to get away with garbage reps… it’s just human nature. One athlete feels bad no-repping their friend, so full range of motion isn’t enforced. It’ll be ok. Have conversations with your coaches, classmates, and competitors beforehand, and then just move on with your day. The goal is that everyone does every rep correctly, but that simply doesn’t always happen. Just control what you do. That’s all you should focus on anyways!

***I PROMISE I TRY TO KEEP MY VIDEOS SHORT!***

If you spend the time to watch this, as always, please let me know what you think, and if it helped you at all.

Good luck out there, friends!

This week we’ve got (what is essentially) our first “repeat” workout from a previous year’s Open. Workout 19.2 is structured basically the same as workout 16.2, the only difference is that instead of potentially being stopped at minute four, all athletes get the chance to work for at least 8 minutes. I love that!

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My strategy video for this week’s workout is longer than last week’s, but I felt it was necessary to drill in a few key points on how I think people should strategize this one!

  1. Tie Break: In this workout, your judge will write the time after you complete each set of 50 double-unders. More than other workouts, I’m encouraging athletes to charge a little bit faster through what will likely be their final set of jump rope in order to hopefully move ahead of other athletes on the leaderboard. If you tie with someone else, the person who finished their final set of doubles first will be considered the winner!
  2. Barbell Loading: This week, you *are* allowed to have other people switch out your barbell weights. If there are extra bodies around to help do that, use their help! The last thing I feel like doing when I’m tired is bending over to load or unload my bar. Use any help you have, or load up multiple barbells if possible. Conserve as much of your energy as possible!
  3. Singles on Cleans: I know that for a lot of athletes the first weight (and maybe even the second) are quite manageable and the tendency will be to want to “touch-and-go” reps. Please resist that urge. For athletes who plan to make it to the third or fourth round of this workout, rounds one and two are just your warm-up. If you jack up your heart rate too fast early on, you will likely not be able to recover when the weight actually gets heavy. Find some hard rubber (or competition) bumper plates, keep that bar close, and stick with quick singles for this entire piece.

I hope you found this information useful, and that the video gave some more advice to how I think you should attack this thing. Now get out there and have some fun!

If you watch the video below, I’d love to know what you think in the comments!

Does workout 19.1 favor tall athletes?

Sure.

Do you know who it favors more than tall people, though?

Fit people.

It’s only workout one of five. There are still four more to go!

To people who consider themselves “short”… build that tiny little bridge for our tiny little legs, and get over it. You’ll be “graced” with Thrusters (a traditionally non-tall-person friendly movement) before you know it.

(Then you’ll probably complain that Thrusters were programmed, too! No? That’s just me that’ll complain? Ok, cool.)

Tall people… enjoy your 15 minutes of CF Games Open movement selection glory! I bet Burpees and Air Squats will be here soon! (Short people, rejoice!)

Now, get back out there and have some fun!

The 2019 CrossFit Games Open is here, and workout 19.1 was released a few hours ago!

The workout is fairly straightforward, too. It’s a 15 Minute AMRAP or 19 Wall Ball Shots and 19 Calories on the Rower.

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In my strategy video for this one I tried to keep it simple, and my three main pieces of advice are as follows:

  1. PACE – Keep your heart rate low and your breath as controlled as possible. Your bodies are going to want to “Fight or Flight” fast if you come sprinting out of the gates.
  2. Transitions – There will be a lot of up and down in this workout. For the Wall Balls, keep the ball as close to the wall as you can when you finish each set, and try your best not to let it drop to the ground if you need a break mid set. On the Rower, keep that wheel spinning at an even pace, and make the transition from sitting down on the machine to getting back up is as smooth as possible.
  3. Movement Efficiency – It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you’re moving, if you’re wasting a ton of energy as you do it. Finding subtle ways to row or “throw” a bit more productively could lead to conserving enough energy to give a solid push for the last few minutes. When it comes to these movements, less wasted effort equals more reps!

If you watch the video below, I’d love to know what you think in the comment!

 

The first week of the 2019 CrossFit Games Open is under way, and I’m excited for another year of fun with all of you!

-Tom