Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

The first few weeks of my Weekly Throwdown is in the books, so it’s time for challenge number two! We’re still working to practice different pacing strategies for “Murph” at the end of next month, so keep that in mind.

Last week we worked on the 3/6/9 pacing breakdown. This week, we’re going to do what I view as the most common way of breaking down reps; 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 air squats.

Throwdown #2

4 Rounds

200m Run

5 Pull-Ups

10 Push-Ups

15 Air Squats

Focus/Modifications/Progressions:

Overall Strategy- In Murph, there is only a mile run at the beginning of the workout, and another one at the end. For today’s workout, your goal is to try and get a little bit faster for each one of your four rounds. Too often during Murph, athletes run a blazing fast first mile and then a significantly slower second one. By pacing today’s short workout, the goal is to focus on being able to control your speed and effort in hopes to still have some gas left in the tank for the end!

Runs– The distance is short, so there will be some effective pacing required to not go too hard on round one! Try to get faster each round!It doesn’t end with run, so feel free to really push that final 200m run!

Pull-Ups– Kipping and butterfly pull-ups may be performed today, but remember, we want to get faster each round.

Push-Ups– No hand-release push-ups required this week, but make sure your chest, hips, and quads STILL touch the ground, AND that you lock out all the way. Since most people can’t do sets of 10 throughout the entire Murph workout, my advice is to break up these reps how you’d plan to do it on game day. Most people try 4/3/3 or 3/3/2/2, with really short rests between each small set.

Air Squats– Chest up, crease of your hip below the top of your knee! We all know how to squat, just because we’re not holding a weight in our hand today doesn’t mean we don’t need to start practicing actual full range of motion.

I will be very impressed if athletes can actually get faster each round. My main advice for getting after it is to intentionally hold back on both the run AND reps for the first round. On the last round, get after it and push both. Last round should feel like a sprint from start to finish.

Let me know how it goes!!

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NEW SEGMENT ALERT!

To strengthen our community of readers, I’m going to try and post a challenge or workout that we can do together most weeks. They’ll be fairly fast and shouldn’t negatively impact any specific program you’re following!

Each week will have a different focus and “WHY are we doing this” aspect, and can be done any time from Monday through Sunday of that week. All I ask, is that you share your results here and comment on how it went!

The first few weeks of my Weekly Throwdown will be in preparation for a workout thousands of CrossFit athletes do around the world each year on Memorial Day: “Murph

Too often at the end of May people realize they haven’t devoted enough time to improving their running or their strength for the pull-ups, push-ups, and air squats that make up the workout.

Since you’re allowed to partition your reps any way you’d like in that workout, today’s variation is going to include the 3/6/9 break down, and will focus on strict and slower movements.

Throwdown #1

400m Run

5 Rounds of 3 Strict Pull-Ups, 6 Hand-Release Push-Ups, 9 Goblet Squats

400m Run

Focus/Modifications/Progressions:

Runs– Push the runs. Today’s workout includes slower movements by design. Since you’ll be standing around a little more than on a typical Murph, you’ll have plenty of time to recover before the next run. Run your first 400m at about 85/90% effort (faster than Murph pace), then try to match or beat it the second time!

Strict Pull-Ups– Make these the most challenging version of “chin-over” pull-ups you can do. Unassisted reps? Great! Pause and the bottom and don’t swing. Need a little kip to get that chin over? Use it! Can’t quite get your chin over yet? Although it’s not my favorite substitution, you can also use a band. But only if it only gives you that “little extra” push to get your chin over. If you’re needing to attach multiple or really strong bands, I always prefer a good strict ring row to build strength. These reps do not need to be unbroken, so feel free to break them up!

Hand-Release Push-Ups– My favorite version of push-up to ensure that an athlete’s chest actually touches the ground! If you’re doing push-ups from your toes, tell yourself not to let your knees touch the ground at all during the rep. At the end of each rep, come to a complete pause before beginning the next rep.

Goblet Squats– Holding a kettlebell, perform a set of 9 unbroken goblet squats. The goal with these is to ensure the chest is kept high at the bottom of each rep, and that the athlete stands all the way up at the top of every rep. It’s really easy to “shorten” range of motion in a workout like Murph, try to avoid that today!

This workout isn’t designed to be incredibly challenging. View it as a cardio component, focused skill and strength work, then a cardio piece to finish up. If you decide to tackle it, leave your time and some notes in the comments section.

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

Last week:

  • Fitness
    • The 2018 CrossFit Games Open is over!!! We did ittttt!!!
    • For workout 18.5, I retested and got ten more reps. This was a big deal for me because I was a little bummed that “in six years I only improved three reps” (from my first attempt.) I paced the second go-round better, was a little bit more fearless, and trusted that I’d have enough juice in the tank to hang on. I’m happy with how this Open season ended, and I’m really proud of so many of the athletes I got to watch compete. Great job, friends!
  • Health
    • Another good week of meal prep in the books. I don’t think I went out to eat for lunch (due to lack of planning) a single day, and always had food relatively closeby.
    • Since I wasn’t staying up super late to record the Open workout strategy videos, I got quite a bit more sleep, too! I won’t tell you how much “quite a bit more” is, but hey… celebrate the small victories. I promise I’m working on sleeping more!

This week:

  • Need to fine-tune things on completing taxes, so when that’s done, I can breathe a little bit easier. Can’t wait!
  • Some of you might remember the speech I gave at the Annual Conference of Urologists in Florida last year. I was asked to speak at another event of theirs here in town, and the big day is this Saturday. I’m really excited, and flattered to have been invited back. It’s going to be a big weekend of work-related things, but at least I enjoy the work I do, right?

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

Pic of the week is of the newest addition to our home gym… our very own Concept2 Rower! I still haven’t even touched it yet, but it’s here! Excited to hopefully get in a bit more cardio when life slows down a little bit.

WE DID IT!!! We survived the 2018 CrossFit Games Open!!!

As someone who has done every single Open, no matter how much the workouts change, one aspect of the event remains consistent year after year. There are always first-timers, athlete’s doing it “just for fun,” those looking to compete against their friends, and individuals sincerely hoping to make it to the next level of competition. Regardless of which group you identify with, when coach yells out, “3, 2, 1, GO!” every single person in the gym gives each workout their all. It’s so much fun to watch, and even more fun to coach!

In a post last week, I talked about intelligent ways of planning out how to structure your next year of training. (If you haven’t already, I really think you should check it out!) A lot of athletes have put in countless hours of blood, sweat, and tears into preparing for a five week competition. Between sleepless nights, sore muscles, and redoing workouts, our bodies are tired! If your Open season is over, I’m here to encourage you to give yourself time to relax. It can be tempting to jump onto a new programming or add in a ton of accessory work, but your body needs a break!

Today, I think it’s important to take a step back and breathe.

I often talk about the impact proper nutrition and adequate sleep can have on your performance, your brain needs some time to recover, too! In every other sport, there’s a clear “Off-Season;” a block of time where athletes are almost forced to take a break. In CrossFit, we don’t really have that. Since “going to the gym” is such an integrated part of our lives, a lot of athletes refuse to acknowledge the fact that resting for a few days, or even weeks, might make you better! The whole “No Rest Days” philosophy is something I’ve written about in the past, and will certainly write about in the future, but not today.

Today, I want to ask you to pause, take a few minutes, and reflect.

Really think about what has happened over the last five weeks of your “fitness” life.

And only allow yourself to think in positive terms.

Reflection

 

What did YOU get out of the Open?

Did you finish any workout faster than expected? Were you able to complete a movement for the first time? Did you go “Rx’d” on your first Open WOD? I know several people who are simply happy with how positive they kept their mindset, and how well they kept their nerves under control. The happy things are easy to identify!

Now, it can be easy to look back and only think of the negative aspect of things. But not today! Were you frustrated about anything? Did you not hit the weight you were hoping to on your heavy clean attempt? Did the handstand push-up rule impact your results in workout 18.4? Were your double-unders a disaster for 18.3? Fine. Now, shift your mindset and let’s rephrase how we look at those scenarios.

  • Disappointed in weight for clean
    • “Over the next year, I will work on challenging myself to hit heavier weights when I’m tired.”
  • Handstand range of motion
    • “By devoting time to slowing down and ensuring I’m in complete control of my lockouts, it will make me much more effective at that movement.”
  • Inconsistent double-unders
    • “A few days per week after my workout, I’ll spend some time practicing my doubles. That way I’ll be used to jumping when I’m tired, and when Castro programs that workout again next year, I’ll be fine!”

Today, I want you to think about THREE THINGS you learned from the Open that are POSITIVE. They can be things you’re legitimately proud of, or areas for improvement that you’ve been lucky enough to identify for yourself!

Take a few minutes and really think about your three things. Then, share them in the comments of this post. Let’s help congratulate and encourage one another to celebrate these positive moments!

Only positive thoughts.

Here are my three:

  • This year, I reestablished a healthier personal relationship with CrossFit.
    • I’ve been doing CrossFit for almost a decade. In that time I have gone from working out in a Bally’s (globo gym) after work, to training nearly three hours per day to try and qualify for Regionals (never did, by the way!), to simply viewing CrossFit as a fun way of working out.
    • I workout by myself over 90% of that time, and while that can be really hard for me, I’m starting to appreciate those moments more. That’s where I get to recharge. It’s my hour to push myself. And it’s a block of time where I can make myself better through this crazy workout program. I’m back to liking CrossFit again.
  • I may have conquered one of my GOATS!
    • In CrossFit we call skills or movements that we aren’t good at, or just don’t like, our goats. Thrusters have always been a goat of mine. I’m not great at squatting OR pressing, so when you put them together, I’m double-excited to work out! With the final workout of this year’s Open, though, a workout presented itself that I had already done four times in the past! Instead of letting it ruin my week, I simply made a plan of how to break up reps, stuck to that plan, and survived! Yep… I did a movement I didn’t like, lived to tell the tale, and realized that maybe I’m not as bad at it as I used to be! Just imagine if I trained to get even better at it one day?! I probably won’t, ya know… because it’s thrusters… but just imagine if I did!
  • The Open has sparked a renewed interest in my blog!
    • I put my heart and soul into trying to provide valuable content for people who decide to visit my blog. My “Open Strategy” videos started way back in 2012, and although it’s a (self-imposed) stressful time of the year for me, it’s so rewarding to see messages from those who feel better prepared to attack those five workouts each year. My goal is to keep giving people a reason to come back here week after week! Whether it’s how to approach a workout, general fitness advice, something cool I’ve come across, or just some insight into this crazy brain of mine, I hope you like what you find here!

So…. what are your three? I’d love for you to share them with me!

At the beginning of 2018, I challenged myself to write one post per day on this blog. As of today, the 57th day of the year, I’m staying pretty consistent with my goal. While there still aren’t a “ton” of people who read on a regular basis, I still love adding to it each week. (For context, I had 113 views last week when I posted my strategy video for workout 18.1; far below my daily readership when this site was running at full speed a few years ago.) Believe it or not, I spend over 10 hours per week working on it! And while some of what I share isn’t anything to write home about, I will at least work on a post every single day. The thing I struggle with the most some days is deciding what to write about. Since this blog is mostly about fitness, that’s what the majority of my posts will cover. There are days, however, where I want to talk about something completely different. In order to keep my momentum, I’l like to enlist the help of my readers.

If you have ideas on topics you’d like me to cover, I’d absolutely love to hear them! Segments you like or don’t like? Let me know! With your input, my content can be more in line with what you’d like to see.

Creative2

There are also probably two dozen people that have come up to me and told me they keep forgetting to check my blog because I almost never post about it on social media. If you’re one of those people and are interested in following more closely, at the top right corner of the main page you can click a button to be notified when I post something new. Otherwise, I’ll try to be better about including notes on my Instagram page if I think something is particularly interesting. I started this page to foster a community of people who like helping each other, and there is still so much more value I feel we can add together.

Thank you for the love and feedback you give when you tell me what you like about my content. Thank you for giving it to me straight when you disagree with something I post (even if you don’t always say it in the comments section), and engaging in productive dialogue in the process. Thank you to those who have shared my posts or told their friends to check out the site. And thank you for continuing to follow along on my journey of trying to help people become a little bit more fit, and hopefully a little bit more entertained, just by stopping by my silly blog!

Creative1

A lot of people have said the first month of 2018 has dragged on forever. Others have already called for the arrival of 2019 so they can start over fresh. C’mon, friends! I know that things aren’t always sunshine and rainbows, but you’ve got to snap out of this negativity. Most of us go through life in waves of emotion…. today things are great, tomorrow they’re horrible, this week they’re amazing, next week the worst… that’s what being a human is all about! It’s our ability to bounce back from the bad with a smile on our faces, and be appreciative for the good moments, while realizing that they may not stick around forever.

Jan18Recap2

By providing a monthly recap, I’m striving to focus on a few of the things that happened over every four weeks or so throughout the year. In keeping a list of (mostly positive) things that I’ve experienced, on the days when I feel sorry for myself, I can always reflect back and say, “But look at what you’ve done so far this year! Check out where you’ve gone! Life is pretty good!” Helping other people find the good in things is really easy for me to do. That means this year I can work on practicing what I preach in this very specific way! YOU can also use this blog to serve as a place where you can share your own goals and successes, as well. I want this space to be INTERACTIVE, so if you put yourself out there, acknowledge the good, and share with your friends, we can all be accountabilibuddies together.

Jan18Recap3

Ok, here we go!

January 2018

Fitness- First and foremost, I didn’t get hurt! That’s huge. As we get older, the body doesn’t always bounce back like used to, and mine certainly does not! While I’m still training by myself 90+% of the time, I have made an effort to hop into a few classes here and there. So yay for working out with other humans on occasion!
In terms of actual numbers, I’d say my favorite lifts of the month were my deadlifts. With a lifetime 1RM of 450lbs, I hit sets of three reps on both Conventional and Sumo Deadlift over 400lbs. I hang-snatched 230lbs which was fun, and the heaviest I clean and jerked was 275lbs. Hitting a Front Squat at 300lbs and a 315lb Back Squat was nice. I also took my first ever Yoga class with Em, and it was just as stressful as I thought. By the end, I couldn’t even use my mat because it was too sweaty!

For February, I’d love to Clean and Jerk 285lbs and Snatch 235, bringing me a little closer to my lifetime bests. Hitting 315 for a single Front Squat and repping 315 for Back Squats without completely crashing at the bottom are on that list, too. Next, I’d love to hit 10 consecutive Ring Muscle-Ups. Finally, running a mile under 6:00 and rowing 500m in under 1:35. I’m starting with goals I hope to hit, then building from there as the year goes on. Finally, I’ll aim to take another fitness class I’ve never done before. Not sure where or when, but that’s my goal!

House- This was a big month for me as a “Home Owner” doing home owner things. First, Em bought a ton of new toys; a snow blower, leaf blower, AND a power washer! I installed an outlet in the garage all by myself, everyone! Finally, as of today, insulation has been installed in the garage, and we’re 1/3 of the way through dry-walling it.

For February, I’d like to finish putting up drywall in the garage, AND installing our Pegboard. That’s a lofty goal since it’s a short month and we’re out of town one weekend, but let’s see what we can do!

Other- I successfully made it through posting once per day for the entire month! That’s big for me, and I’m really proud of myself. We adopted another dog! Her name is Dakota, and she is an 11 year old pug mix. Homegirl made herself right at home, and she and Bacon get along great. I got to see one of my brothers and his entire band, the Big Mean Sound Machine, when they toured through Colorado for the first time. Also, we hosted ALL of them at our house. It was awesome! We got out of town once, too, when we spent New Years in Manhattan, Kansas.

For February, I’d like to prevent Em from adopting another dog! It would be really nice to say I’ve read two books in 2018 by the end of the month, too. It’s been a rough start, but I’ll keep working on it. There will also be a new Meal Prep video on the blog. Instead of copping out and featuring a meal I’ve made dozens of times, I’ll make something for the first time and document it for you!

Jan18Recap1

What our house would look like if Em had her choice, only they’d all have short legs!

CrossFit Lisbeth! Thank you for another post like this! As I woke up a little sore today, I thought, “Am I really going to do this workout tonight?” Then I stopped for a second, thought about it, and said, “YES. Now stop complaining and get pumped.”

I dedicate this edition of “CrossFit Blog Central” to Casey. This is a conversation we had just the other day. I don’t want “Sunday Funday” to be fun and happy. I want it to be an awesome workout, just like every other one we do. So I accept and APPRECIATE your feedback the other day about how “hard and challenging” the workout was this last week. My response: Mission Accomplished!

To quote Lisbeth’s post below:
“Dear CrossFit,
Keep pushing me, don’t ever stop.”

Post entitled Dear CrossFit – By Lisbeth Darsh

Dear CrossFit,

I like that you push me. That you shove me around. That you don’t listen to my whining, my excuses, my belly-aching.

When I say, “This is hard” . . . you say, “Do it again.”

When I say, “But I’m not good at this” . . . you say, “So, practice. Get good.”

When I say “This hurts” . . . you say, “So does life. Get over it.”

You poke me in the chest, you kick me in the ass, you drive me over the edge.

And I love every single flippin’ minute of it. Even as I hate it too.

If I wanted my workout to hug me and make me feel special, I’d be rocking some jazzeryoga40x in my basement. With some chamomile tea. And a blankie.

But I’m not here for the party. I’m here because I don’t need another person in life to tell me that I’m special and I’m good enough and I’m wonderful. (I mean, don’t stop with that, my ego kinda digs it.) But I want the truth. I can handle it. And I can handle the work to make myself better.

I don’t have a muscle-up. And I needed to be reminded of that, and the many other things I need to motor on.

See, CrossFit, we understand each other. Keep pushing me, don’t ever stop.

XOXOXOXO

Me

The guys at LifeAsRx shared this link today. It’s an article written by Miss West Virginia USA 2010 (Erica Jade Goldsmith) and I think hits on a pretty key point that we run into a lot. When we talk to friends about CrossFit, or working out in general, a lot of people say that don’t have three things (aside from money)- Time, Equipment and a Location.

Read the quick little article below, or click on the title to be taken directly to the link itself. Good advice, short and sweet, hard to argue. Enjoy.

Lessons from a Pro. You have the Time…

“I don’t have time. I don’t have any equipment. I don’t have anywhere to workout.”

Those are the three most common excuses I hear when people are talking about their lack of exercise. People don’t believe me when I say they can get a complete workout in 20 minutes, with no equipment, and they can do it anywhere. It sounds too good to be true, but it’s not; it’s CrossFit.

Of course, I’m sure everyone in the CrossFit community is very familiar with these simple moves, but you would be amazed how many people haven’t heard of them or didn’t realize they could get a complete workout with absolutely nothing, but a few things that can be found almost anywhere.

1. Running-Who doesn’t love a good run? I’ll admit, I still haven’t found the elusive “runner’s high,” but I love starting my WOD with a run to get me in the zone. You can even mix it up by doing sprints, running up and down stairs, running backwards, etc….the possibilities are endless.

2. Air Squats-I like to introduce my friends to this first, since it’s quick, easy, and they will need proper squat form for a lot of CrossFit exercises.

3. Box Jumps- It doesn’t matter where I go, I can always find a place to do box jumps. I particularly like the park benches and picnic tables because they’re sturdy and you can find varying heights.

4. Burpees- I have a love/hate relationship with burpees. Burpees are tough and they wear me out fast. My friends’ biggest complaint about doing burpees is how crazy they will look and how dumb they will feel, but I always tell them that they may look crazy for a few minutes, but the results are worth it. If they complain about it too much, I make them do box jump burpees.

5. Pull-ups- If you’re at the park doing your WOD, you’ll probably find a set of monkey bars. If you can do unassisted pull-ups, you’re awesome, you know what to do, but most people, who are just starting to workout, have problems with pull-ups, so I take them to the shorter monkey bars that are just tall enough for them to do a jumping pull-up.

6. Push-ups- Everybody has done a push-up at some point in their life, even if the last time was during the Presidential Physical Fitness Test in elementary school. So, this one is pretty self-explanatory.

With those exercises, that don’t require any equipment, you can do Angie, Murph, and Barbara, just to name a few. So the next time you hear someone complaining about not having the time, the space, or the equipment to workout, introduce that person to some simple CrossFit moves that could change their life, or at least put an end to their excuses.
Miss West Virginia USA 2010

My good friend (and Executive Director of the Wren’s Nest House Museum in southwest Atlanta, Georgia), Lain Shakespeare, showed me a blog today that he really likes to follow. Less than 10 minutes into reading it, I already came across some wonderful material. The post I’m going to share with you today is entitled “Dancing faster than ever, but why?”, and is written by Blog master, Seth Godin (Check out his blog sometime, it’s awesome).

I am really posting this for the last 3 or 4 phrases he says. Most of us could probably replace his example (of someone who is not conforming to the “norm”, or what people “think” he or she should do) with one that is closer to home, but the message remains the same:

There will always be someone telling you that you’re not hip enough, famous enough, edgy enough or whatever enough. That’s their agenda. What’s yours? Shun the non-believers.

Take a stand for what you believe in, and pursue it shamelessly. If you know in your heart that something is important to you, why would you not give it 110% of your being… every single day.

Legendary Coach Vince Lombardi once said:
“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.”

If you believe in a cause, you’ll get back up stronger every single time. Pick one thing in your life that you’ve been putting off because of fear and change it. Today.

I’m interested to hear what you chose, and how it’s changing. Let me know.