Posts Tagged ‘Smashby Training’

In March of 2010, I sat down in a leasing office to sign my name on the dotted line at my new apartment, when the employee looked at me and said, “CrossFit, huh?” She told me that she had been seeing that word (that was written on my shirt) pop up more and more over the last few months. “I know,” I told her, “this fitness program is going to be the next big thing!” She let me know that there was another person in the complex that was into it, and that I’d probably recognize him because he was huge, had red hair, and was always smiling. While I was excited to hear that another person nearby did CrossFit, I was far too stressed with work, unpacking a new apartment, and trying to find where my new gym would be (since I moved across town) to try and hunt down some stranger.
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Fast forward a few weeks. I was getting ready to compete in my first-ever CrossFit Competition; the 2010 Mountain Sectionals. I was simultaneously nervous and really pumped, and to make things even more exciting, the night before the competition in typical “March in Denver” fashion, it snowed. A lot. This was particularly interesting since one of the events on the first day involved an outdoor run component. After heading outside to scrape the snow off of my car the next morning, so early that the sun was still down, I was ready to go. I pulled out of my parking space but before reaching the end of the lot, I noticed someone else scraping their car. This person was huge. And while I couldn’t see whether or not he had red hair under the beanie he was wearing, he was definitely smiling. This *had* to be the other guy in the complex who did CrossFit, I thought to myself.
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Mustering up the courage to introduce myself to a complete stranger (which I don’t know about you, I find a lot more difficult to do as an adult), I rolled down my window and asked, “are you on your way to compete at Sectionals, too?” “Yep!” he said back through his smile. “I’m Tom,” I told him, “I’ll let you warm up your car and we can chat when we get there.” “Sounds good,” he said. “My name’s Kevin, by the way.”
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And that was the day I met Kevin Ogar.
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After a proper introduction at the event, we hit it off, hung out together for a large portion of the competition weekend, and it became immediately clear that this guy had the kind of magnetic personality that just pulled people in. Strangers were walking over to introduce themselves to him and saying how impressed they were with his performances. He was going out of his way to compliment other competitors and, when they asked, he would give them feedback on how they could move better.
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Later that weekend, we talked about when we started CrossFit, where we trained, and what we did for a living. I shared that I worked out alone in a Bally Total Fitness, and that I’d get some pretty strange looks running from the treadmill area back to a barbell to do some deadlifts and then back to the treadmills. Kevin mentioned that he was actually a coach at a CrossFit gym, and I told him that I had been considering getting certified to coach, myself. Without hesitation, he walked me over to the owner of the gym where he worked and introduced us. After a few conversations with her, I was told that once I completed my training certification, I was basically hired. That was it. I was going to be able to coach CrossFit. I couldn’t believe it!
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For the next few years, while working five days a week at my “day job,” I’d also coach CrossFit two to three evenings. Each new member I brought in felt like a victory. Each PR I watched made me feel like I had done it, myself. I started to see the positive impact I was having on people’s lives, and it was so rewarding. Then, one day, I was given the opportunity to coach full-time. While it was one of the scariest decisions I’ve ever made, I jumped at the chance. I haven’t stopped coaching CrossFit since.
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As we look back through particular moments in time, we can rarely grasp the true impact they might have on our lives. That one moment, saying hello to Kevin in the parking lot of our apartment complex, helped shift the course of my life to get me where I am today.
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Today, I want to thank Kevin Ogar for selflessly helping me get my first CrossFit coaching opportunity in 2010. I also want to thank all of the gym owners who have trusted me along the way to do my best to add value to their businesses. It’s a risky move allowing a new face to come in and work with your members that you’ve worked so hard to attract, and I’ve truly cherished each opportunity. Finally, I’d like to thank each and every athlete with whom I’ve had the privilege to work; especially those of you that followed me from gym to gym. Your friendship and support meant, and still means, the world to me. It still blows my mind to think that I’m doing what I love for a living, and that it’s still as rewarding now as it was when I first started.
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Life is pretty good, and I’m thankful that mine has taken this trajectory to lead me where I am today.
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My reason for writing this post is to hopefully inspire you to think of someone who has positively impacted your life and tell them! Even if they know. Remind them again. The impact that it could have on them today could be far greater than you could ever imagine. If you want to share that story with me, or tag them on this post, I’d love to hear about it!
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The picture below is from my very first day at the gym where Kevin helped me get hired. We did a workout together, he destroyed me (as he always did), and I was thrilled to finally have a CrossFit gym to call my own! Good times.

 

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Thrusters and Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups for 19.5. A lot of us knew they were going to show up, but I don’t know anyone who predicted a workout this brutal! It’s more reps than Double-Fran, and is more challenging because of the chest-to-bars. Ouch!

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My three main pieces of advice for this one are as follow:

  1. Planned Sets. This applies more to the Thrusters than the Pull-Ups. One way to do this (if you are proficient with the Thruster weight), could be to break down your Thrusters into three sets each round. Meaning, for the round of 33, complete three sets of 11 reps. Or, if you’re like me and don’t like needing to repeat the same number of reps more than once, go 13/11/9. Then, for the set of 27 reps, go 11/9/7, and so on.
  2. Control. Controlling your hear rate will be critical, especially with the Thrusters. Coming out of the gate too hot will lead to a ton of standing around by the time you’re halfway through this workout. On pull-ups, know yourself and your abilities before this workout begins. Completing a couple of huge sets at the beginning will lead to most people frying their grip early on. This is going to be a longer workout. Be smart, conserve your energy, and complete steady sets from the start. It’ll be much better to save a little energy for the end of the workout than to crushed for the last two rounds!
  3. Double Fran Plus! The workout Fran is 21-15-9 Thrusters and Pull-Ups. This is more than double that volume. And with Chest-to-Bars! I say that again because I think you need to remember that from the very beginning of this workout! Break up your sets often and early, just minimize your rest between them. Keep yourself moving.

If you watch my video for the week, as always, please let me know what you think and if it helped you at all.

This is the final week of the 2019 CrossFit Games Open! Let me know how it goes for you!

We can’t control everything that happens to us in life. We CAN, however, control how we respond to the things that happen to us!

Instead of letting minor issues weigh you down, choose to view life through a lens that leaves you happier and more appreciative in your day to day life. This includes choosing to spend your time with individuals who bring you up instead of tear you down.

If you’re trying to live a happier life, start by working on those two things. It works. Trust me.

There are thousands of people around the world who are “certified” to coach CrossFit. Does that mean they’re all good at it? Absolutely not!

Like any other profession in the world, you’re going to have some variation of a bell curve: A small few who are really good at what they do, some who are really bad at it, and the majority of others falling somewhere in between the two on that spectrum.

The difference with CrossFit coaching and other professions, however, is that a bad cue from a coach in the middle of class could potentially lead to an athletes injuring himself/herself, or others around them.

Let me be clear, this post is not about whether or not you like a cue a coach gives you. It’s intentionally about what you think should be done if a coach gives you BAD, and wrong, advice!

I’d love it if you’d watch my video below, and let me know what you think. Do you agree or disagree with me?

What would you do, or advise others, if they found themselves in the position of being given bad advice. Let’s chat!

Did the 2018 CrossFit Games get you fired up and ready to improve more by next year’s Open?

Do you have an intelligent plan in place to get there? You should.

You don’t need a personalized coach to help you create that plan, but if you do it yourself, I suggest at least running over your plan with someone else that you know and trust. Let me know if I can help you in any way.

Train safe, train smart, and have fun out there!

“Oh man, that workout looks like fun! Let’s do it!”

“I think they all look fun. Let’s see how we’d stack up against the best in the world and do a row a full marathon!”

Does this sound like a conversation you, or anyone you know, has had in the last few days? If yes, please watch the video below, or pass it on to someone who needs to hear this message.

What are your thoughts on my advice? Do you agree or disagree with me?

Thousands of athletes around the world are laser-focused in their desire to get better at certain movements/skills in our sport of CrossFit. Whether their goal is to improve strength, endurance, mobility, or any other aspect of fitness, there will always be a laundry list of skills to choose from at any given moment. While I love how CrossFit inspires and motivates people to want to make themselves better, it also leads to people trying to do too much, too often.

If they want to get stronger, they’ll add a squat program to their weekly programming. To improve their ring muscle-ups they’ll spend thirty minutes every day practicing transition drills and kipping technique. When the goal is to improve aerobic capacity, multiple 3-6 minute sprint workouts and a few track workouts will get tagged onto the end of an already brutal training week.

By themselves, those scenarios are not necessarily a problem. What is a problem, however, is when people do so much work that their bodies are constantly beat up and are never given a chance to recover properly. Being sore and tired is part of the game, I get that. Anytime you train hard as an athlete, those feelings come with the territory. It becomes counterproductive, however, when athletes constantly live in that state of fatigue.

Prioritizing rest and recovery is the biggest missing piece in the puzzle for so many athletes to achieve their next training breakthrough. When you take care of yourself (through stretching, massage, and other forms of self care), you’re giving your body a chance to repair all of the damage that intense training puts on your muscles.

Take a look at my video below and see if you agree with me. Regardless, let me know your thoughts, and let’s talk about this together. Happy Thursday!

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines an Ivory Tower as “a secluded place that affords the means of treating practical issues with an impractical often escapist attitude; especially a place of learning.” I think there are a lot of trainers out there making statements about fitness from a very similar place!

They read in a book that the back squat is taught one way, or learned a skill from a coach in a particular way, and from that moment on they live and die by the concept that no other way of teaching that movement could possibly be correct! Well, if you’ve ever coached actual humans in an actual gym, you quickly learn that no two people learn things the exact same way. If you only have one way of explaining, you will miss connecting with a variety of athletes.

In my opinion, as long as your athletes are safe, there is no right or wrong way to teach something. I believe it was Matt or Cherie Chan who once said to me, “the best cue to give an athlete is the one that works!” Instead of sitting back and commenting on how other people are teaching things incorrectly, open up your mind and consider that some people just need to hear the same thing explained in a different way for it to click for them!

Check out this episode of Drive Time with Smashby, and let me know whether or not you agree with me…. and why! Happy Thursday!

When a workout is programmed (or created), there is almost always an intended stimulus in mind. This means that the coach writing it likely expects the work to be completed within a certain time frame. When athletes complete workouts, they’re not always aware of these goals, or given specific things to strive for in their efforts. Does this matter?

If you walked in the gym and saw the workout of the day was Helen (3rds of 400m run, 21 KB swings, and 12 pull-ups), what would you think? Would you look at the movements and decide whether or not you could them, and do them at the weight they’re prescribed? Would you think about your previous PR and whether or not you’d be able to beat it? Would you simply think about whether or not you like the movements in the workout?

Does the thought ever entire your mind about how long a workout “should” take an athlete? Maybe some days are more or less important than others to scale up (or down) in order to finish within a particular window of time?

Should coaches play an active role in explaining those types of things to athletes, or is our role simply to make sure no one gets hurt?

These are questions that are really important to me, and I’d love to hear what you think about this topic. Check out the video below, and then…. let’s chat!

I am one of those people who gets really fired up when music I like is played at the gym. Yet, as a coach, I’m hyper-sensitive to trying not to play music that people could find really offensive due to profanity or subject matter. If I wouldn’t sing the lyrics out loud in front of my family, or a complete stranger, I’ll likely think twice about whether or not to play the song in class.

There are clearly exceptions to the rule here, and I think coaches just need to know their audience. If I ask a class what they want to hear and in unison everyone yells, “WU TANG CLAN!!!,” then I’ll probably “Return to the 36 Chambers” with the squad. But if I feel that anyone in the group might not be too excited about what the songs are going to talk about, I’ll audible and play something else.

Whether you’re a gym owner, a coach, or an athlete, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject.

If there’s enough interest, maybe I’ll do a follow up post soon where I can share some of the music I like, and some of the playlists I’ve created over the years.

Let me know what you think, friends!