Posts Tagged ‘Ask Smashby’

An athlete asked for my advice to help them plan their “return to sport” after some time out of the gym. Whether your training stops due to injury, illness, surgery, or just vacation, it can be really unsafe to push too hard after you’ve been out for several weeks or more.

My advice for most athletes in this context is fairly simple and consistent, regardless of the circumstances: “Build back slower than you think you should.”

A lot of us are Type-A, chargers, achievers, and go-getters. Lifting lighter weight, scaling back reps or rounds in a workout, and taking more rest days can feel like torture. But at the end of the day, I think the big picture needs to be taken into account. If you “Rx” a workout before your body is ready, the recovery time can be extended exponentially, and old injury could be aggravated or made even worse, or new imbalances could be introduced due to overcompensating. Give yourself time to recover fully. Reestablish healthier and safer movement patterns. See and feel how your body reacts to training at 50% for a few days, then 55%, then 60%, and so on. In many cases, slowing down more than you want can lead to a strengthening of movement that actually will help you come back even stronger than before.

As always, I’ve got a lot more to say on the subject, but I tried to keep the video to around four minutes. If anyone would like to continue this conversation, leave a comment and let’s keep it going.

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend, friends!

Today’s question comes from Mr. Pete, an incredible athlete from CrossFit Lakewood in Lakewood, Colorado.

The question is:
“Hi Tom-

We are on a deload week here at CFL. I understand the importance of deload for strength building, but I struggle with how much to eat during this deload cycle. Should I cut back the volume of my food along with cutting back the volume of my lifting?”

What do you think about my answer, guys and gals?

Today’s questions come from Clark Niemeyer-Thomas, and they are all essentially in regards to the Winter WODFest CrossFit Competition (hosted by our friends at CrossFit Eminence) that will be held at the end of January.

At one point during my answers, I hesitate because I was unable to confidently identify a particular movie. When you watch my video, most of you will likely remember the scene I was referring to. In the movie Back to School, Rodney Dangerfield performs a dive. That dive… the Triple Lindy. Trust me, it’ll make more sense after you watch my video below.

Clark, let me know if you have any other questions. Everyone else, what else have you got for Ask Smashby?

Happy Wednesday, everyone.

This morning I saw two friends of mine (a husband and wife who own CrossFit Eminence) share a post with one another on the book of face. The post comes from CrossFit Invoke, and is entitled “When Your Coaches are Off Duty“.

Here is the post, word for word:
“Today’s post is going to be short, but important. We love you guys. We do, and we love to coach you guys and see you succeed, but you know what else we love? CrossFit. Many of your coaches participate in the class, or sometimes are grabbing a few extra lifts off to the side during your class. While your coach has a bar overhead, just finished a WOD or is getting warmed up for the WOD is not the time to ask questions about how to do this movement or that movement, whats the WOD for tomorrow, etc etc. Sometimes, we also just like to socialize with everyone while we aren’t working and frequently need snacks between classes.

With all that being said, we’ll always do our best to answer your questions and help you out, but try an ask your questions when the coach isn’t training, snacking, napping, etc. If they aren’t on duty that day and its not critical to ask them at that moment, consider an email or facebook message so they can respond at their convenience.”

This made me think a little bit about how I feel about that topic, and I felt compelled to record a video on my way into work this morning.

I said it briefly in the video, but this video in NO WAY represents my views on what it takes to be a good coach! I am NOT suggesting, in any way, shape, or form, that a coach needs to always be “on duty.”

As I mention in the video, I simply feel that by only coaching about three nights per week, that I’m in the gym so infrequently, and I get to see my athletes so infrequently, that I want to be “on duty” far more often. For my friends who own gyms and coach 5-8 classes PER DAY, I think you ABSOLUTELY need some “you time” throughout the day. If for nothing else, to at least grab a bite (which few of them have time to do) and get a few minutes of silence (which few of them get).

So, take my words as how I like to roll, for me.
What are your thoughts on this topic?


I asked on Facebook if there were any questions for today’s “Ask Smashby” segment, and with the Turkey Challenge CrossFit Competition at MBS CrossFit this weekend, there were a few!

First of all, thanks to Hallie and Phoebe for your input. I love being able to try and help out fellow athletes and friends. Hopefully the video below answers your questions!

Hallie’s Question- “What are you packing foodwise for the turkey challenge?”
Phoebe’s Question- “How do you plan your pre-competition week?”

Enjoy, and as always, please leave your comments, feedback, thoughts, and spread the word if this helps!

Wow, it’s November!

Today’s topic comes from one of the athletes at CrossFit Lakewood. I’ll paste the question below:
“Will you please explain something to me? Why do I feel so incredibly guilty for making bad food choices yesterday? Every other day I eat completely clean and once a month, for a holiday or something, I eat whatever. And still I feel guilty. (I feel sick too, but that part I can understand.) why does this guilt about food follow me?!?!”

I’ll be blunt with you guys, I provide absolutely NO scientific feedback in the video below. Instead, I just offer some suggestions as to how I would recommend NOT feeling guilty based on my own experiences, and those of people I’ve talked to about this very topic.

Does this help at all? I’m curious to what you guys and gals think.

Oh, and thanks for the question “person” 🙂

People often times put a lot of pressure on themselves if they have to miss training days. Whether it’s because they’re too busy, too tired, or just don’t really want to go, it doesn’t matter. A lot of us will guilt ourselves into feeling really bad about not going into the gym and I’m here, again, to try and encourage all of us to RELAX.

I’ve said this a lot, but “We are working out for fun.” Put pressure on yourself accordingly!

After my video stating “WE’RE BAAAAACK” yesterday, I felt inspired today to record another “Ask Smashby” video covering a topic that I am asked about quite a bit.

The question is basically, “How do you handle stress? When things seem overwhelming, what are some tricks used to help manage those tasks that you’re faced with?” This video is my attempt at answering that question. As always, I welcome your feedback.

I had to post SOMETHING on 10/11/12, and this is what I chose to post.

A video.

Of me.

Talking to myself. 🙂

The point, though, is to share that I want the “Ask Smashby” series to make a comeback. My good friend (and fellow CrossFit Lakewood athlete) Alon pointed out to me after one of my posts, “The information was good… but how do you REALLY feel about the topic? Stop being so politically correct. People are asking you your opinion because they want YOUR opinion!” Touche, Alon. Touche.

So, effective immediately, I am going to start being much more honest and direct with the questions that are asked my way. Oh, man….

So here is my “welcome back” video. And since I was so excited, the video BELOW that, is my first topic back. It covers a question that I am actually asked quite regularly by some of the athletes who train at the gym where I work. This question is, “What supplements do you take?” After watching the first video, if you’re STILL bored, check the one below it.

In short, the answer to the question of which supplements I use, is… Simply Pure Nutrients. I take their Pro-3 Synergy as my PRE-workout powder, I take their Elite Athlete Recovery Fuel as my post-workout powder, and I take their Quell daily as a means to help decrease inflammation and get my essential omega-3 fatty acids.

More questions, keep ’em coming! Do you like this series? Let me know.

The is probably one of my favorite blogs out there, but before I talk about it, let me address something. I really don’t like the name of the blog! The author (who is awesome) explains in this post why she used the name, and makes a few very valid explantions for why. One example, “… the “fattie” label in the title also is to let others in the same shape know I get it. That’s another sociolinguistic concept; that you use particular terms to identify yourself as a member of a community.” Ok, fine. But I still wish it were called something else. 🙂

Ok, now that I got that off of my chest, today’s topic is about some major concerns that present themselves when an athlete (aka, anyone) considers walking into a CrossFit gym for the first time. The post is called “7 critical concerns for the atypical CrossFitter“. In the piece, seven very important issues are discussed that many people either might not think of, or are too afraid to bring up, during their own individual “adventures” as CrossFitters. I mention in the video that while the points are very valid and relevant to new (and potential) CrossFit athletes, I think these are points that should also resonate with all athletes, regardless of ability level!

She starts her original post with this:
“This last week I had a rather unexpected setback. I had a “minor” oral surgery procedure that managed to knock me on my butt for at least three days straight (advertised as “you’ll be up and going the day after”). I visited my wonderful physical therapist, Dr. Stephanie Thurmond, and after talking to her, and reading some blogs and comments from other folks in my position, I started thinking about CrossFit for “nonathletes” generally and what’s important for those of us who

are overweight to morbidly obese,
are over 50,
are congenitally awkward and remember PE as a torture chamber filled with humiliation,
have accumulated injuries that need accommodation,
are illness- or injury-prone,
have hormone issues (HRT, perimenopausal). and/or
have illnesses that make them hypersensitive to stimuli (fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, migraines, allergies and asthma, as examples).
I’ve discussed much of this in other posts, but I felt the need to sum up.”

With that introduction, let’s get right to it.

Also, click here to like “Confessions of a CrossFit Fattie” on Facebook.

As always, please comment with your thoughts on this topic, so we can continue the discussion!