Posts Tagged ‘Brain Power’

Brain Power: 1/10/11

Posted: January 10, 2011 in CrossFit
Tags: ,

Coming off of the heels of my last Brain Power post where I featured a controversial article that (in my opinion) bashed CrossFit as a fitness program, here’s another post on a popular conversation topic in the fitness community.

I definitely do not think the author of this next post (Freddy Camacho, owner of both CrossFit One World and the most popular “sleeves” in CrossFit) is bashing CrossFit at all, but the topic he chooses is the focus of many discussions; He talks about Intensity, and it’s role in training. How much is too much? Does CrossFit need to be 100% effort all the time?

A few quotes from his article which can be found over at his blog for CrossFit One World:

“100% effort should be saved for when it is needed: in competition. Training is not competition. There are no competitors at any sport that train 100% effort at every workout.”

“The pedal doesn’t have to go to the metal every workout, but you can “work hard” every time you step into the gym. HARD WORK doesn’t mean you have to try and crush a workout. HARD WORK means you make an effort to perform your workout better.”

“I am definitely not saying that the intensity portions of the lecture are spewing false information, I am just telling you that if you want your CrossFit results to be successful for the long term, you are better served not falling into the 100% effort 100% of the time approach.”

I think the article is very well-written, and clearly comes from the angle of an experienced CrossFitter speaking from years of his own personal experience. Good post, Freddy! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!

Brain Power: 1/3/11

Posted: January 3, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

Goal Setting

I’ve featured several posts on New Years Resolutions, Goal Setting, and how to increase our chances of actually reaching our destinations. This morning I received an email from the folks at (a finance and consulting recruiting website) about Goal Setting, and I wanted to share it with you all.

It’s a lot of the same messages, but sometimes hearing things again make the information easier to retain!

“Doostang News
January 3: Tips for Sticking to Your New Year’s Resolutions

You can also read this in full on The Doostang Blog.

It’s one thing to contemplate what resolutions you’d like to pursue for the New Year. It’s another to put together a plan of action for achieving what you set out to do. We’re all notorious for promising to ourselves that we’ll do something and then letting our goals fall by the wayside. Oftentimes, this isn’t because of a lack of drive or tenacity, but rather, the lack of a viable plan of action. So consider these tips when putting together your game plan for 2011:

Be Specific
When setting goals, make sure to frame them specifically. What exactly do you want to achieve and how are you going to measure it? If you can’t say exactly what success looks like, you’re less likely to attain it and more likely to make excuses for yourself.

Put It in Writing
Make your goals official by putting them in writing. Once you do this, you’ve created a tangible document that you have to hold yourself to. Doing this will make reaching your goals seem like a more formal exercise, and will give you something to turn back to for a reminder of what you are trying to accomplish.

Document Your Journey
Similarly, it’s helpful to record your progress as you strive to reach your goals. Doing so keeps you on task and lets you know if you need to work harder. If you’re feeling disheartened, you can browse through the progress you’ve made to remind yourself that success is possible.

Identify Smaller Goals
Far easier than tackling one giant goal is taking on multiple smaller ones that lead up to that ultimate objective – think of this as taking baby steps. Figure out what your first step needs to be, and then plan out all the successive steps you will need to take in order to complete your larger plan.

Find an Accountability Partner
Resolutions are easier to tackle when someone else is doing so alongside you. Keep each other on task and talk through obstacles you encounter. If you also focus on being there for your friend, you are less likely to let yourself down.

Change Your Plan of Attack
If something isn’t working, take a step back and reevaluate what you are doing. Don’t be afraid to change your approach or to readjust your mini-goals.

Reward Yourself
The reward shouldn’t just come when you’ve reached your final goal. Make sure to celebrate your progress along the way. You’ll feel more enthusiastic about the journey, and reaching small milestones is something you should be proud of anyway.

Identifying resolutions is admirable in its own right, and is a first step in and of itself. Follow the helpful tips above, and you should be better equipped to sustain your momentum!

Happy New Year,
The Doostang Team”


Brain Power: 12/26/10

Posted: December 26, 2010 in CrossFit, Training
Tags: ,

First off, I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas weekend! Hopefully you were able to spend time with loved ones, family and friends.

As we shift our minds back into CrossFit mode, let’s talk again about where we want to take ourselves in the coming months/years. In order to get there, we will need to create a plan, and then execute it. The good news, is that we don’t have to do it alone, and best of all, it can (should!) be FUN to get better!

There is so much amazing footage out there of incredible athletes doing awesome things, and doing them right. Today I’ll be sharing a video of some very strong weight lifters. These guys have near-perfect form, their lifts are efficient and powerful, and the numbers they put up seem almost super-human. I’ll tell you what, though… these athletes are very much human.

Like anything else in life, to continue to improve you need to do one thing;
Put in the time and practice required so that good habits become second-nature to your body and your mind.

That makes sense, though. “Rome wasn’t built in a day“, right?

So as we prepare to enter yet another calendar year, ask yourself what it will take for you to get stronger, thinner, healthier, faster. Think about what you will need to put forth in order to have more energy and be more productive in your day to day activities. Create a plan for how to achieve your “attainable goals”, and stick to it.

In CrossFit, and in life.

I’m sharing this video today just to provide some visual examples of some of the things we talk about every day at class. Little details that translate into a made lift, or a miss. Small cues that can help simplify even the most complex movements. Look for them in these attempts, and hopefully seeing them will help you continue to improve, as well.

Here are some of those cues!
Chest high / Weight in the heels / Knees out / Tight core / Active shoulder

Video courtesy of Jocelyn Forest

I’ll see you guys back in the gym!

Brain Power: 12/19/10

Posted: December 19, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

As the year 2010 comes to a close, that means one thing:
Many people are already thinking of their “New Year’s Resolutions” that they’ll usually say out loud at night on December 31st. Most of the time, our motivation and desire to reach these goals will be honest and heartfelt. Many people will start out the new year right on schedule, too. Yet after a few days… weeks… months… these resolutions become just words we spoke in the past.

We realize that these goals we set:

  • are too time-consuming
  • require too much time and effort
  • won’t always be fun
  • are simply too challenging
  • may not come true the way we had planned

Some of us won’t even make “resolutions” because we’ve experience the above pattern too many times before. So why would this year be any different, right? So are we not reaching these goals because we’re not willing to put in the work to reach them? Or are we afraid of not reaching them?

Are you afraid of failure? Not are you worried about failing… do you literally fear failure? We’ve addressed this theme a few times, and I wanted to discuss it again.

If you watched the video on my Brain Power post from 12/12/10, and if you read the comments from Derek Sivers, himself (along with some great feedback from a friend of mine, Yen), you can see that “talking” about goals is simply not enough. The whole point of sharing goals or resolutions should be to motivate us, but often the satisfaction we get from people “congratulating” us from just SETTING the goals, de-motivates us from actually working towards the goals themselves. Sounds crazy, but it’s true. We already feel some pay-off for saying that we want to do something, and seeing how proud it makes other people.

I want to share a few things that I hope will serve as inspiration to us all as we make these new promises to ourselves.

– The quote below comes from Kelly Brown, of CrossFit Agoge. The day I read it, I retyped it and posted it on the wall of my office at work, and on my white board at home:
“We will succeed because we are not so paralyzed by fear of failure that we fail to try.”

– This video is a scene from the movie Coach Carter, stating the same message:

That’s just the touchy-feely stuff, right? Now how about the truth. Many of us have “Hopes and Dreams”. Instead of calling them by that name, let’s call them “attainable goals”. They already sound more realistic, right? It’s critical that we realize that these goals will require work, and we need to be excited to put in that time!

This last video is a segment from Kevin Spacey talking about that work.

The best part of my job, as a trainer, is seeing and hearing about how my athletes and friends reach (and often times surpass) the “attainable goals” that they set for themselves. But it took planning and hard work to get there.

Holiday Project:
IF you are someone who likes sharing your goals, share one of them with me. You can do it in the comments section of this post or you can email it to me at

What I will then do is will reply to you and together we will devise a PLAN for reaching that goal. You can say “I want to lose 10 pounds” a million times, but without a plan to get there, and without putting in the time, they’re just words. I will help you with the plan, and you need to put in the work. I don’t care if your goal is fitness related or not.

There’s no reason to wait until January 1st, 2011 to do make these commitments to ourselves. We can get one step closer today. We can start right now. Ready, go.

Brain Power: 12/12/10

Posted: December 12, 2010 in Coach's Corner

In my desire to expand my horizons, think outside of the box and expose myself to the different points of view that exist in this world of ours, I am regularly being forced to question what I had previously thought were “absolute truths”.

Many of you have read my posts discussing how important I feel it is to “Goal Set.” Personally, I think it helps keep people more accountable to what they really want to achieve if they share their goals and dreams with family and friends, write them down, post it on their “Facebook” profile, etc.

Simply put, my belief process was, “if people know I want to do/achieve/attain it, I’ll need to do whatever it takes to accomplish just that.” Derek Sivers disagrees with me. Watch the video below from his TED Talks presentation from September of this year, and really take a second to think about what he has to say.

I’m excited to see if you goal-setters/sharers still feel the way you do (that sharing is a better way of attaining a desired result), if you private thinkers agree with him and if so why you do, and finally, if anyone’s point of view may have changed simply after watching a 3:00 video.

Post your thoughts in the comments section and let’s talk it out.

Brain Power: 11/21/10

Posted: November 21, 2010 in CrossFit
Tags: ,

Quick post today:

Checking one of my favorite CrossFit Blogs over at CrossFit Lisbeth’s page, I came read one of her more recent posts, entitled: “Where Are Your Feet?”

Click here to read the entry

As humans, we tend to over-complicate things. At the end of the day we’re strong enough to handle practically anything and we continually to prove our own strength and resilience to ourselves. So why do most of us keep over-thinking and worrying about things that may not warrant that much attention?

Try to improve that habit in order to simplify your thought process. This frees up more time to be positive, constructive and creative:

What is something you over-stress about in your life?

Post your answer in the comments section, and let the discussion begin!

Reading some other CrossFit Blogs is a really fun way for me to feel more “connected” to this community of people from around the world. Every once and a while, there are blog posts that stick out more than others.

The one I want to share with you today will probably mean more to CrossFitters than other athletes, but it’s still something we can all relate to on a personal level. The article is from the CrossFit Lisbeth blog. What is this blog? Here’s a quote straight from the page:
“CrossFit Lisbeth is a repository for the CrossFit writings of Lisbeth Darsh, Director of Social Media for CrossFit, Inc.”

Yeah. CrossFit, Inc. has a Director of Social Media. And she has a blog. She writes about whatever she thinks might strike a chord with CrossFitters to make this “fitness program” register as more than just a daily workout with us. I would LOVE to work with Lisbeth at some point!
~ “Hey, what do you do for a living?”
~ “I try to help people put more meaning behind the impact that their dedication to physical and mental fitness has on every aspect of their life. I help people see how much they’re helping themselves on a level far more important than just being able to lift more weight, faster and more efficiently.”
As a coach, that’s my dream every day, and Lisbeth is writing some great stuff to help people visual that.

The post from today is entitled: “What If the Whiteboard Was Blank?”

Click here to read it.


After you read the post, I want you to think about the “Whiteboards” in your life. What outside forces or expectations of others are you using as measuring sticks to your own life, merit and success?

My message for you:
Start setting some goals and expectations for yourself… that were made by YOU. That’s why I am getting so much into “Goal Setting” with you guys. I want your success to be based primarily on the expectations you have set for yourself. Put less importance on what other people do, what they have, etc. Life should be about achieving goals that mean something to you. Worry less about conforming to someone else’s standards, and be comfortable in your own skin.

A video from the CrossFit Main Site that was posted yesterday hit that same chord for me. This video, featuring some of the most elite CrossFitters in the world, shares their perspective of how they view working out, the balance between CF and their personal lives and how they try to manage the expectations of others. It’s a fascinating video, and something that hits me for sure.

Put things in perspective, and do what it takes to get where you want to go, and do more things in life for you.

Post your thoughts on this post in the Comments. I want to know what you guys think.

Here’s the video.

Brain Power: 11/7/10

Posted: November 7, 2010 in Uncategorized

Hey everyone,

My brother sent me the link below last week, and I have read over it a few times trying to decide whether or not to share it with you guys. The article is from the blog over at Basically it is telling us some of the most common things (or lies, as they word it) people tell us in order to “protect” us from failure before going off to pursue out true passion.

Ultimately I am deciding to post it because I think many of us have identified a dream or passion in our lives, and maybe more than a few of us have been too afraid to follow it. At least so far.

One message I took from this article (and there are many more like it in circulation) is that there are risks out there that are worth taking. Another thing I’ve realized for myself, is that many (if not all) of the people who have ever given me advice like that were not always happy themselves (either personally or professionally).

My point is this:
We are responsible for our own actions. Going out on a limb and taking a huge leap of faith can lead to negative consequences. But it doesn’t have to. Don’t associate “risk” with “failure”. They don’t always go together.

One of my favorite quotes comes from legendary coach Vince Lombardi:
“It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get back up.”

Taking a chance and either failing or succeeding merely means you have the opportunity to learn from what happened, and choose to repeat your path, or make changes to try and get a different result. While I am not advising that anyone quit their job and sell the house to try and make your “Homemade Pog Stand” business take off (seriously, don’t do it)…. but I am asking that you take a second to think about what you really want to do or accomplish in life, and start doing the research and taking the steps to make it more of a reality.

I know a lot of people who thought they wanted 6-figure salaries. And I know a lot of those people who reached that point. What has surprised me, though, is how many of those same people walked away because they were miserable in their jobs. Instead, they found careers that were much more gratifying and in line with their passions and interests… and they’re much happier today.

Read the article below, and leave your thoughts in the “Comments” section. I’m looking forward to some good discussion!

Click here to access the article