Posts Tagged ‘fitness’

For the last 8.5 years, almost to the day, CrossFit has been a huge part of my life.

In that time, I’ve ranged from being a rabid advocate of the program, badgering everyone I knew to try it with me like a beach vendor who nearly accosts foreigners in hopes of selling them his local trinket… to the head coach of a gym with over 350 members, who didn’t feel the need to push it on anyone, rather just loved the program because he knew it worked.

I’ve had periods of time where I would spend nearly three hours per day working out, completing two training sessions per day, 4 days per week, I’d compete in local events every few weeks to try and put my fitness to the test, and I looked forward to planning my next soul-crushing workout each every day. There have also been times where I simply couldn’t find the motivation to pick up a barbell because it just didn’t feel fun anymore.

Now, I find myself at a crossroads.

Recently, I’ve experienced more change at the same time than at any other point in my life. Usually, life spreads the big things out, at least a little! In the last 6 weeks however, I’ve left my job, planned to move across the country, got married, traveled to Brazil to visit family, decided not to move after all, and had the privilege of learning how much fun it can be to look for a house in one of the most competitive Real Estate markets in the entire country. That’s a lot in a month and a half!

What’s crazy, is that it’s all really positive change! Some people are hit with bad break after bad break, yet for me, these have been really good. I think the kids say #Blessed, right?

The crossroads has to do with what I will do for fitness now. Do I stick to CrossFit? Maybe a strength/squat cycle to focus on getting stronger and improve my technical movements? Is it time to head back to a Globo gym and try to get those 6-pack abs in time for summer? Do I go cardio for a bit, and get into running or swimming? Obviously the answer that me, the coach, tells myself is to do it all! I live in a place where you can be as active as you’d like outside. I’ve got so many friends who own or coach at CrossFit gyms that it shouldn’t be that hard to find people to train with here and here. And the thought of a “Bi’s/Back” and “Tri’s/Chest” training regimen really doesn’t seem that bad some days!

The reason it’s so tough for me to decide is because I had always convinced myself that I needed to train FOR something. I had to be in a squat cycle because if not, how would I get stronger? If I wasn’t Snatching at least once per week, I’d lose all of my “gainz” and regress. Want to do burpees without stopping? Then keep doing burpees! But at the end of the day… why does it matter?

I always tell people that CrossFit can prepare you for just about anything. It will make just being active more fun. So, with that logic, I don’t need to go through brutal workouts all the time. Visiting the “Pain Cave” every time the clock counts to “3, 2, 1, GO” isn’t required for someone to be fit. It isn’t required to be healthy. It’s only required if the END GOAL is being a good CrossFit athlete. And I’m not sure that’s what I want right now.

I’ll tell you what though, it’s hard to say that to myself and not feel like I’m letting “2011 Tom” down just a little bit!

Over the next few weeks I’m going to assess what makes me happy, what gets me fired up to go do, and what I find to be…. fun! I have always told people that fitness should be something you enjoy (even when I wasn’t necessarily feeling that way myself), and I want to get back to that place.

I’ll keep you posted on how it goes. Who knows, there might be a competition or race I decide to train for sometime in the next few months!

Wish me luck!

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!

Today was the last day of Free CrossFit at CrossFit Lakewood, and we still had a great turnout! After 3 straight days of newbies, we guessed some may have been a little too sore to come back, but the crew that came out still did an awesome job!

CrossFit, Smashby Training, CrossFit Lakewood, CrossFit in Denver, Free CrossFit, Orion, stretching, mobility, Orion Class Stretching

Orion warming up the class!

The workout today introduced some people into new movements that one could incorporate into their daily workouts: Bear Crawls, Crab Walks, Ball Slams and Jumping Rope.

Workout of the Day:
5 Rounds for Time
50m Bear Crawl / 50m Crab Walk / 10 Ball Slams / 30 Double-Unders (or 90 Single-Unders)

Some of my favorite moments from today’s workout were:

Alon doing Ball Slams for the first time ever, using a 40 pound ball AND catching them on the bounce!!!
Pati did Double-Unders throughout the entire workout for the first time ever… 150 of them!
All of the people who were new to CrossFit REALLY pushing themselves.

Thanks everyone who made this week a huge success!

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

Well Alec, I’m not sure if this counts, but I had a pretty embarrassing moment happen during this morning’s Drive Time with Smashby. I listened to Toto’s “Africa” last night, and when Men At Work’s “Land Down Under” came on, I said it was by Toto. Le sigh.

So I’ve had more people talk to me about Drive Times, I had Jen Silva suggests some names for the show and I’m just about out of topics to discuss. Keep ’em coming, folks.

Today, I decided to devote a little bit of time to talk about WOD #3 of the 2011 CrossFit Games Open, strategy, thoughts, etc. Enjoy!

Well, today was day 2 of FREE CROSSFIT WEEK at CrossFit Lakewood, and it went even better than yesterday!! This evening there were 25 people in class… EIGHTEEN of which were non-members! Eighteen Newbies!!!

What does that look like? Well, throw in a beautiful day in terms of weather, a few warm-up exercises, and a lot of smiles… and it looks like this!

And then Ben S. leading 25 people through some Jumping Squats. I’d say he’s a natural leader!

The workout for today was a good one. It included quite a few shorter runs, kettlebell swings and either regular or handstand push-ups (depending on the athlete’s ability level). Here’s the crew all taking off at once for the first run lap! (thanks for not trampling me, Lion King style!…… too soon?)

Workout of the Day:
5 Rounds for Time
200m Run / 20 Kettlebell Swings / 200m Run / 20 Push-Ups (or 10 Handstand Push-Ups)

It was so cool to look around and see so many people swinging KB’s and doing push-ups. The sense of community and support you guys showed, and around people you had just met, was awesome!

For so many of you being “First-Time CrossFitters”, the form and technique work was AWESOME! Look at all of those full lock-outs at the top of the push-up!

Also, I’m proud to report that no one was hit with a rogue or flying kettlebell! That means the crew was organizing and respectful of the space around them. I mean, does it get ANY better than this? I’m not sure how, but I’m hoping to see if it does.

Now, to end the post with an feat of awesomeness, our very own Greg Walker (who has been featured on this blog quite a bit for just being cool) shows the world what it’s like to be good at Handstand Push-Ups. At the end of an almost 20-minute workout, the guy ends it with 10 unbroken HSPU’s! Pretty epic stuff… Well done, GW!

Part of my goal in sharing articles with you guys is to simply inform, or sometimes remind, you guys of things that can effect your performance in and out of the gym.

This article was shared with my by Trish O’Donnell (Coach and friend at Alpine CrossFit) and as soon as I read it, I thought… “Great, some of my teammates on Team CrossFit Lakewood are going to be mad at me after reading this.” But you know what, most of us already know this stuff.

The reason I’m sharing it with everyone, is that some of us may NOT know this, and this information is critical to performance, recovery and muscle growth. So read the quotes I have pasted below, and then go read the full article here. Knowledge is power.

Alcohol Will Make You Suck ~ by Zeke

“Research overwhelmingly suggests that alcohol use and athleticism do not go hand in hand. Although it might not be realistic for some of you to quit drinking altogether – if you want to thrive in the athletic environment you should take steps to limit and eventually eliminate it because…”

“While dehydrated, you are greater risk for many injuries including: cramps, muscle pulls, and muscle strains. Also, dehydration can lead to severe brain impairment and even death when coupled with extreme temperatures and intense practices. Dehydration also leads to muscle loss – muscle which you are working so hard to gain.”

“Alcohol, when consumed in amounts typical with most college aged drinkers, will dramatically decrease testosterone levels. Less testosterone = less aggressiveness in workouts, loss of motivation, weakness, & once again muscle loss.”

“Aside from messing with your coordination, endurance, & judgement (not just when you’re drunk, but afterwards too). Alcohol also interferes with lactic acid breakdown, which means you stay sore longer.”

“So, here’s the deal on alcohol & “leaning out for the summer”… Aside from taking in over 1,000 calories on a conservative night of drinking…alcohol is stored much like fat in the body. More importantly alcohol destroys amino acids and stores them as fat.”

“(Alcohol use) will disrupt and fragment two stages of your sleep, where your body produces the most human growth hormone. Bottom line is that if you’re not getting enough sleep – your body will not recover, you won’t grow stronger, and your energy levels, mood, & performance will suffer.”

Then, Zeke ends the piece with a Zinger. I lot of the time, people want to blame others for their lack of progress, fat loss, strength gains, etc. Check out the last two lines of the article. Very well said.

“Ultimately, the decision is yours – you know the facts. This has been my personal testimony and I hope it encourages you to make changes. If not, don’t come bitching to me on why you’re getting weaker – it’s not our programming – it’s YOU.”

Today was the first day of: FREE CROSSFIT WEEK at CrossFit Lakewood, and it was a HUGE success!!!

I’ll let you guys see what our group warm-up looked like. Good thing the gym wall was knocked down and doubled in size, or we wouldn’t have had room to hold everyone!

During the Strength Portion of the workout, Coach Chrissy and I took all of the “Newbies” through an extended warm-up where we talked a little bit more about CrossFit in detail. There were some very good questions, so hopefully we answered them for you guys!

The workout today was inspired in structure by the Classic CrossFit Workout “Fight Gone Bad.” We had 5 different stations, each of which lasted one minute. There was no rest time in between stations, and then after all 5, there was one a minute rest. Athletes go through all 5 stations a total of three times. I hope that makes sense.

Workout of the Day:
Strength
85% of Deadlift – 1 Rep every minute for 10 minutes

WOD
3 Rounds for Time
5 Stations, 1 Minute each, 1 minute rest after all 5 Stations
Wall Ball / Burpee / Sit-Up / Air Squat / Box Jump

Check out some video we took from a PACKED HOUSE last night!

3, 2, 1… GO!!!

The front row of Box Jumpers are some of our veterans, while the newer folks crush the workout behind them!

Over halfway through the workout

Maybe the best 10 seconds of the workout… the last 10!

Athletes, feel free to post your results in the Comments Section. This week I will likely not be able to note scores for everyone.

Thank you so much to everyone who brought friends to the gym last night. We’ve got 3 more days this week of Free CrossFit, so PLEASE keep it up! Bring your friends, once they love it, have them bring their friends for the rest of the week! See you all tonight at 6pm!!!

The name Sunday Funday has officially spread, so… WELCOME TO SUNDAY FUNDAY!

We hadn’t been using barbells much on Sundays, so I decided that we’d change that this week. The workout tonight included some short-distance rowing to really get our heart rate up, and then three other movements. We did Squat Jumps to simulate exploding up from the bottom of a squat, then we did Push Press so simulate getting a weight off of our shoulders, to locked out overhead powerfully. The final movement combined all of those movements; it was the Slam Ball Toss. You’ll see in the videos what exactly that is, but let me just tell you it’s harder than it looks.

Check out Alon and Andy rowing their 250m distance during this round. For guys who are very new to rowing, especially at high intensity levels, these guys are CRUSHING it. Well done!

Workout of the Day:
3 Rounds for Time
15 Push Press / 15 Squat Jumps / 250m Row / 15 Slam Ball Throws

Athlete Results:
Andy (45# Push Press / 30# Slam Ball)- 21:28
Casey (35# Push Presss / 40# Slam Ball)- 21:48
Wes (75# Push Press / 50# Slam Ball)- 22:40
Alon (45# Push Press / 30# Slam Ball)- 24:17
Jamie (75# Push Press / 50# Slam Ball)- 25:12
Krystle (15# Push Press / 20# Slam Ball)- 26:17

Freddy Camacho at CrossFit One World is one of CrossFit’s original firebreathers! With his trademark tattoo sleeves, awesome personality and incredible shoulder strength, he can be picked out by most of us from a mile away.

After this week’s CrossFit Games Open Workout #2, there were some scores posted that literally blew minds away. I mean, people were absolutely floored. I don’t need to get into the little details of the workout since I’ve already posted what it was on my blog, and since Freddy covers it in the post, but he wrote EXACTLY the same thing that I’ve talked to most of you about in person over the last 5 days.

I am very curious as to what you guys think about this. Just like him, I’m not saying people are lying and that it’s impossible to score these numbers. What I AM saying, is that to do so is just short of super human work capacity and that I just want to see one of these performances and marvel at it’s greatness.

Here’s the full post, but I’ll paste a good chunk of it below, highlighting some of the points I’ve discussed with some of you. (Guys, he even tested the “Air Round” I said someone should do!)

Great stuff, Freddy! Let me know what you guys think, too.

*****From The Post – “SUPERHUMAN????” by Freddy Camacho*****

“At the time of this writing, there are six people (3 men/3 women) claiming 600+ reps for Workout #2 of the CrossFit Games Open. The workout is as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes of 9 deadlifts (M:155#/W:100#)/12 push-ups with a hand raise at bottom/15 box jumps (M:24″/W:20″). Yes, you read that right…. 600 or more reps! For the purpose of this post, I will use an even 600 reps. To achieve 600 reps, a person would have to perform 16 rounds + 9 deadlifts + 12 push-ups + 3 box jumps…in 15 minutes!!!”

“Time for some math (YAY)!!! There are 900 seconds in 15 minutes. 900 seconds divided by 600 reps is 1.5 seconds per rep. At 1.5 seconds per rep, in order to complete 600 reps you would have to finish a round every 54 seconds without any rest or transition time.”

“Let’s say the transition time is on the low side at 34 seconds. That means the total seconds that you are actually completing 600 reps shrinks down to 1.4 seconds per rep. You are now completing a round every 50.4 seconds without any rest.”

“I did an “air round”: A simulated straight leg deadlift with no bar or stick, push-ups without raising my hands, and standing jumps with no box or tuck (about an 8″-10″ jump). I made sure I hit full range of motion on the “air deadlift” and the push-up. It took me 40 seconds to complete the round. That means to achieve 600 reps, I would only have 10.4 seconds of rest time, or what I call “wiggle room”, per round to maintain pace. And remember, that is with no weight, no hand raise, and no box.”