Archive for the ‘CrossFit’ Category

I’ve always considered myself a “people person.” Does that mean I can capture the attention of an entire room with my stories? No. Does that mean I’m everyone’s favorite “date” to their work events because they know I’ll never be standing alone in the corner being shy while they run off and try to engage with their boss? No. Does that mean I’ve had so many incredible life experiences that I can relate to anyone on anything they want to talk about? Also, no.

What I mean by calling myself a people person in this context, is that I think my tolerance for, and interest in, people is pretty high. Given the years I’ve spent working in the “Service Industry” and the way I was raised (to genuinely care about people and give nearly everyone the benefit of the doubt), I am always trying to engage with people… often complete strangers, and trying to learn from them. Sometimes it has lead to me giving people “too many chances” in my personal life, but at the end of the day, I would rather accept more, rather than less, people. I think this showed through my coaching of CrossFit. We are all SO different and I don’t expect athletes to come into the gym every day genuinely excited to put themselves through some form of torture. Hey, you’re there, and that’s the hardest part! But does that mean that just because you give me your best “RBF” while I tell you there are 100 Thrusters in the workout that I’m going to ignore you for the rest of class because I think you’re mad? Nope! Instead, I’m coming in for the real thing and doing whatever I can to try and CONNECT with you anyways. That’s what always drove me. To try and build MEANINGFUL relationships with people through a few hours of fitness each week.

As I psychology major in college, I learned something that has stuck with me for a long time. That’s the fact that if there’s one thing most humans love, it’s hearing themselves talk. Not the sound of your own voice playing back in front of you… most of us HATE that, I just mean having someone there who wants to be there and connect with you. So, when I meet someone new, I’ll often try to ask them questions about things that excite them. Their hobbies, their families, what they do for work… it may sound like Conversation: 101, but it typically works fairly well. When people feel like you actually care about them, most of the time they’ll open up a little more! If you’re someone who stands in front of a class, reads the words that are on the board or the screen, and stands around for the rest of the hour, people feel that, too.

This personality trait of mine has lead me to surround myself with like-minded individuals. Another crazy concept, huh? The difference for me, is that those people over the last decade or so have tended to be in the CrossFit world. Seven years ago, when I really started to dive into this “sport” of ours (that wasn’t even called a sport yet), I met friends in CrossFit through competing. Local throw-downs started popping up more frequently, many of my friends trained CrossFit too, and these events became as much about camaraderie as they did fitness. At one point, I think I knew 90% of the gym owners in town, and it was great!

We would work out together often, share stories about what was good or bad in the gyms where we trained, and use each other as legitimate resources. THAT is what’s fun for me. Sharing Best Practices with other people who are either in your industry or have transferrable skills that also apply to your line of work is so great. Usually in these conversations, it’s not one person talking AT the other. Instead, it’s one person saying “here’s what we do,” and the other one replying with something like, “that’s interesting, here’s what we do.” A normal chat can literally open up one’s perspective through simply sharing life experiences. Too often I’ve seen gym owners, trainers, athletes, reach a certain point in their careers and basically stop caring. They just go through the motions because it’s all they’ve done for years, and it’s not FUN for them anymore. If you’re always learning, you’re always growing!

This morning, I had an awesome conversation with someone (a friend of a friend) I’ve known for years, but never actually met in person. The purpose of the call was literally just to learn! I asked what he did to train his staff, we shared stories about our experiences in CrossFit, and when the call was over, I had a smile on my face from ear to ear. It felt so good to connect with someone and not have the expectation that either of us needed THE answer to any one question. That’s the stuff that gets me fired up and excited.

The other day on Facebook I shared a quote that I heard from a friend of mine in my first job out of college: “Your Network is your Net Worth.” It rang so true in my head then, and it still does today. Why not surround yourself with people who when you leave their presence you feel good? My “CrossFit Network” makes me feel that way. Dropping in at gyms across the country and around the world, I feel as though I could walk in the door at so many places, and immediately feel “at home” with them. That’s pretty special, and probably my favorite part of it of this community of ours.

If anyone out there wants to set up some time to chat about fitness/training, diet/nutrition, or anything of the sort, let’s do it! It’s so cool to share stories and learn from each other.

Oh my…… he’s done it. He’s finally done it. SOMEONE has finally created an effective ratio calculator for the Olympic Lifts, and some of their accessory counterparts.

If you known anything about Olympic Weightlifting in the United States, then you know the name Sean Waxman. A coach for nearly 25 years, he has owned and run Waxman’s Gym for the last 6+ years. The lifters that he has produced through his experience, his coaches on staff, and his personal style have gone on to produce great results at the national and international level, and has also helped train some of the top athletes in the CrossFit game.

When I saw some of my “high-profile” friends on Facebook share a link this morning, I didn’t think it could actually be what the Title of the post claimed, but it is!

You, the lifter, plug in your max Snatch and Clean and Jerk numbers. Then, based on what information you have you can also put in certain supplemental lifts or variations, for your Snatch (Overhead Squat, Power Snatch, Snatch Blocks Abv Knee, and Hang Snatch Below Knee) and your Clean and Jerk (Clean, Back Squat, Front Squat, Jerk, Clean Blocks Abv Knee, Hang Clean Below Knee). From that info, an INCREDIBLE summary of your lifts, along with feedback on ways to improve them.

Example, here are my numbers:

First it asked for my current lifetime PR’s for the two Olympic Lifts

Next, the variations of the Snatch and Clean and Jerk. You don’t NEED to have any of these, so I put in the ones I was fairly confident were correct

After that…. you click the “Evaluate Me” button. Complicated, huh?

The next part is where you get all of your feedback and suggestions. First, it shows the variance from your 1RM lifts, to the other variations and movements for each

I am a very visual person, so this was fun to see. However, by themselves, the graphs don’t mean too much. Here’s what followed

The site begins by specifically referencing the ratio between your snatch and clean and jerk. Then it goes on to give you a diagnosis and some suggestions on how to strengthen the supplemental movements to make yourself either stronger, more balanced, or perhaps more well-rounded in general.

This site is SO cool, and I think that every lifter and coach should reference it as a key resource to help identify key areas for improvement!

Want to try it for yourself? CLICK HERE!

Do you want help with your lifting? Reach out to me, I’ve been taking on new remote clients and would love to help!

Lift well, friends.

 

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!

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!

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

Sorry for the missed video last week, guys. I was out of town and didn’t make any of my own food!

For this week’s video, I realized I haven’t MADE burgers in a really long time, so it was time to have some fun! Green and red peppers, onions, and cheese IN the lean ground beef…. soooo good.

So good, that at one point while looking at the plate of some prepared burgers, I couldn’t even count to three. Pretty awesome. In order to make this meal lower in fat, feel free to switch out the beef for ground turkey or even ground chicken. And as always, I enjoy cheese. If you don’t want to include it as part of your diet… don’t add cheese!

In other news, I 100% forgot which burgers had jalapeños in them… So that’s going to be fun to discover. I had ONE job!!