Posts Tagged ‘Community’

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


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!!


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


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.

When I walk around the gym every day, I see a bunch of people working hard to be more fit. I also see people who outside these walls live completely different lives from one another. It’s crazy for me to coach someone for months and then find out they’re the CEO of their own company. Why? Because to me, they might have been that really fast runner, or the person who HAS to nervous pee before every workout, or the cherry picker who only shows up on days with heavy squats. I see athletes as people who come to the gym to work out. Everywhere else, they’re “Pastor so-and-so” or “Dr. such-and-such.” There will be accountants, nurses, stay-at-home parents, bartenders, lawyers, and teachers, all throwing down next to each other, not even aware what their classmates do for a living.

A local gym can serve so many purposes outside of just improving health and fitness. They can be local community chambers of commerce, networking hubs, and resource pools for any number of things. I’ve seen members find surgeons and physical therapists based on referrals of athletes in their class. Countless others have sold and purchased homes because of a realtor they met on a Saturday workout. Even if members themselves might not be in a particular profession, they’ll likely know other people who specialize in a specific field.

Learning more about these people you see a few times per week can have so many positive outcomes. It will not only help you grow your professional network and allow for potential referrals across industries when you find a time to connect individuals, but depending on what you do, it could even lead to you picking up a few new clients of your own. Finally, and not to freak anyone out, but getting to know others better at the gym could also lead to real-life, non “social media only,” actual in-person human friendships! I know!!


There’s a saying most of us have heard that says, “Your network is your net worth.” More than one’s actual “worth” though, because that sounds so selfish to me, it means that if you know professionals in different industries, you can be a greater resource to those that you care about. For a lot of us, being able to add value for others is one of the best feelings in the world!

I typically aim to add value to the lives of others. I tell myself that those who know me feel they can rely on me in times of need, and that they are comfortable being vulnerable in moments of emotional turmoil. I aim to approach both people and scenarios with an open mind and a willingness to engage in unbiased dialogue without judgement. Yet on this blog, which I’ve run for years, I have typically chosen to stay away from subject matter that can be perceived as controversial.

As the first week of 2018 comes to an end, I’ve felt a strong sense of obligation to stop holding back. Stop pulling punches. START being more vulnerable, myself. While by and large, this blog is meant to be about fitness, my desire to help people become healthier, and my affinity for impressive feats of human performance, this blog also serves as my voice. The words I type represent my persona, and while I’d love to be viewed as a valuable and positive resource, I also would like my “reputation” to be associated with words like bold, unapologetic, and empowering.

Last night my brother sent me a text telling me that Oprah gave an incredible speech during the 2018 Golden Globes as she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award. Thankfully, we live in a time where seconds after receiving his message, I was already able to find the speech on YouTube. Thank you, technology!

Let me preface this next part by admitting that I am the type of person who cries at the end of animated children’s movies when “puppy” who ran away is brought back from from the shelter by mom and dad, while little Susie was crying in her room thinking she’d never see her best friend again. Cue slow motion running towards each other, cue me pretending to cough to give myself an excuse to bring my hands up to my face to dry my tears. REGARDLESS….

Watching Oprah’s acceptance speech literally left me speechless. Not only was I choked up with emotion, but as soon as it was done I turned the TV back on and could only muster a, “… wow….” from under my breath. Here’s the thing, Oprah is an incredible public speaker. But we knew that already. The stories we’re hearing about discrimination, misconduct, and abuse are disgusting and appalling. But most (decent) people agree on that, too. The reason I think her particular speech resonated with me so much is that what we’ve seen over the past few months truly has the makings of an entire culture shift.

The discrimination towards women in the workforce has got to stop. The abuse of power (typically by men in leadership positions in this particular case) has run rampant in many ways since…. basically the beginning of our society. But what’s happening now, today, during our lifetime, is individuals are standing up to defend themselves. Those who are discriminated against or abused based on gender, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, disabilities, and so many more areas, are beginning to not only get, but hold the attention of larger audiences. In those audiences, more and more people are building the courage to stand up and fight alongside those who have been wronged for so long. Strength in numbers in the fight for the greater good is beginning to create headway for fundamental change.

There have been well-written speeches throughout the years that motivate and inspire meaningful change. This is has the power to be one of them. There are also individuals out there who are already calling for Oprah to run for president. While I understand the passion with which those claims are being made, there’s a lot more to being a president than having a moral compass and striving to improve the current state of affairs. But politics aside, I hope that people who watch the video below can view it from an even broader perspective than “men discriminating against women” for one reason and one reason alone.

While those specific injustices need to come to an end, there are countless others that deserve just as much change and reform! I’m writing this post to offer my support for positive change. I’m writing this post to thank people like Oprah who have the courage to stand up and refuse to sit idly while the corrupt few around them benefit from the intentional hurt and mistreatment of others. And I’m writing this post to let you know that I am here to be a positive agent for change.

Yes, this blog is about fitness most of the time. But sometimes, I’ need to use my voice to discuss things that are more important than a funny dog video or some athletic accomplishment. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I really appreciate it.

-Tom 1/8/18