260417 "3 Signs that you are overtraining"

Logic assumes that overtraining comes with inherent pain, injury and physical limitations. What I have seen over the years is quite contrary in many cases. The signs and symptoms of overtraining are more often substle, ciumulative, and serious. Here are three key, not so subtle, signs to look our for when you are training hard. 

1) Sleep quality and Duration. When an athlete is training hard it is imperative that they pay as much attention to sleep as they do to the gym or the trails. Science and physiology are in agreement that 8-9 hours of quality sleep are the best for adequate recovery and hormone rebalancing. A key sign of overtraining is when both sleep duration and quality are limited. If an athlete is finding it hard to stay asleep for more than 4 hours or if you are experiencing unusually vivid dreams and restless sleep, there may be a chance that overtraining is hurting you. 

2) Performance decline. Pain in the joints and muscles is many times the last place where overtraining will show itself. What I have found to be more prevelant is a substantial decline in overall performance during training sessions. As we overtrain, our hormones (endocrine system) are supplying all the chemicals that our muscles and brain need to keep moving at their best. Just as any fuel reservoir, when it is empty... you are done. For example, the adrenal system which supplies the hormones necessary for muscle contraction can be overused to the point where significant kidney damage can occur and hospitalization is required. If an athelte is not performing at their usual standards, I certainly encourage an active rest day where low intensity or mobility is suggested rather than sticking to a schedule. 

3) Weight gain and immune deficiency. A sick athlete is a sidelined athelte. Just as overtraining can contribute to a decrease in performance, it can also show up in the form of a cold, flu, and forced bed rest. Hydrocortisone is a hormone also released by the the adrenal glands which controls the way your body balances your metabolism and keeps your immune system fighting off disease. Overtraining can depleate the availability of this key hormone, overwork the glands and cause massive shut downs in your body. I have seen stellar athletes gain weight and get sick in the middle of a training cycle because they have not managed their rest appropriately. Not surprisingly, most are either teenagers or working parents. 

Overtraining is a serious problem when an athelte becomes hyper-focused on a goal or a set benchmark in a cycle. Managing recovery through proper nutrition, sleep, and good coaching is important. Unlike other aspects of training, everyone is suseptible to this. Train smart, Balance training to life and know when to say when!

2/26
Baseline:
6 min Quality AMRAP
5 Kip Swing Bar OR Rings
5 Hollow Rocks
5 Divebomber Push Ups
5 Elbow To Instep W/ Reach

**Spend 6 Minutes Reviewing Gymnastic Movements and scaling

Gymnastic Strength:
16 Min EMOM
1- Toes To Bar 10-14 reps
2- Pistol Squat 10-14
3- Wall Climb or HS Walk :30-:35 seconds
4- Muscle Ups 2-5 reps

WOD:
10 Min AMRAP
Pull Ups
Burpee Over Box
3-6-9-12-15-18....

4/27
Baseline:
Agility Warm Up @ 10m Each
High Knee Pull
Quad Pull
Squat 180 **stepping the leg high over hip, swing opposite leg to 180, squat
High Knees
Butt kickers
Marching High Kicks
Groiners
Straight leg shuffles
Fig 4 Drill
Lateral Shuffle
Carioca
Lateral Bounding
Sprint W/ Change of Direction

**Spend 6 Minutes Covering the Press series.
-work up to workout weight

WOD:
For Time,
800 m Run
1X
10 Shoulder to Overhead 115/75
13 V Ups
16 Wall Ball

Rest 1 Minute

600m Run
2X
10 STOH
13 V Ups
16 Wall Ball

Rest 1 Minute

400m Run
3X
10 STOH
13 V Ups
16 Wall Ball

***If you bad, do GHD sit ups.

4/28
Kettle Bell Warm Up:
10X At Each W/ light KB
Head Circles 'L' 
Head Circles 'R'
Trunk Rotations
Up right Rows
Press 'L'
Press 'R'
Romanian Deadlift
Squat Up and overs (outside right foot, up and over to outside left foot)
Single Leg Deadlift
Goblet Squat
Lateral Lunges
Windmill 'L'
Windmill 'R'
Sit Ups
Snatch 'L'
Snatch 'R'
Squat Jumps

Squat Flow: Kang Squat, Internal Rotation, Hip Bridge, Ankle Rotations, PNF, Squat W/ T Spine Rotations

**Spend 8 Minutes Reviewing Double Under Progression
-singles (wrist Rotation)
-high Jump Singles (Hollow Body Position)
-cadence 3 single/ 1 DOuble
-Cadence 2 single/ 1 DOuble
-cadence 1 single/ 1 double
-DUBS

WOD:
100 Double Unders
50 Kettlebell Swings
50 Goblet Squat
50 Kettle Bell Swing
100 Double Unders

240417 "The Farm Bill, A Earth Day Retrospective"

It has been a while since I have written of the Farm Bill but since this weekend marked Earth Day I thought it was a good time to educate and reflect on this massive bill that defines so much of how we Americans interact with the environment. 

Before we dive in I must digress. This Bill is an absolute monstrosity and in many aspects I will not be able to cover all pieces in the span of this post. 

The Farm Bill, currently the 2014 version, is an impressive 1000+ page document. This document has as much to do with how the Federal Government subsidizes the farming industry as it does with how our kids eat in school. To say that this thing has its tentacles in a lot of aspects of our lives is an understatement. It could be said that every time you open your refrigerator, you are peering into an aspect of the Farm Bill. 

Our Food and Farming practices are under constant stress. If its not overpopulation and food scarcity, then its poor crop performance, or food waste. When our food is in trouble, our communal environment is certainly in trouble. The Earth and its health are a the core of the Farm Bill. 

2017 is unique in that America has had a massive tidal shift in its politics at the top level. Given what has transpired and the suggestive fights that the new administration is choosing to have, there is a good chance that the Farm Bill and its environmental impacts are certainly going to come up at some point. 

But aside from Politics, the farm bill deserves attention because of another glaring fact; WASTE. 

Americans waste over 30% of our food. When you put that on the scale of the entire planet and its population it is a very daunting amount of food waste. It is important to remember that Americans are the most "well fed" country in the world, where indulgences in food pretty much consume at least some aspect of our daily life. This fact differs from practically the rest of the human population. The US Farm Bill is built to handle and support this waste, and I find it scary. 

As much as the Farm Bill determines how to set commodity prices, subsidize farmers, and allocate food throughout the country; it also sets the tone for how we respect the ground from which this food comes. 

Food waste, subsidies on GMO, subsidies on beef, subsidies on CHEAP food production have environmental effects. Farming practices currently are stressing certain areas of the country and soil quality is faltering. GMO crops are questionable to our health and the amount of Fossil Fuels it takes to produce them creates a green house gas dilemma. Cheap food products encourage the use of herbicides and pesticides to increase yields. 

Now I do not mean to sound so doom and gloom. The US Farm Bill also is the darling of the Country because there are some great addendums in the bill that actually help the environment. Establishing land conservation, nutrition guidelines, and helping struggling farmers motivate politicians and musicians to stand up and fight for this epic piece of legislation. 

What I ask on this Earth Day weekend is for everyone to understand the Bill a little better. Our environment is being pushed to the limits, closer and closer to breaking with each passing year. The farm bill helps and hurts our environment by stockpiling special legislation inside without ever cleaning house. Politics plays with the environment like it is an ATM with unlimited funds. Lets all take a stab at writing our congress person about our concerns for the environment, the bill and actions that are bing taken to help keep our world better for our kids. We athletes are only as good as the food and environment that we live in. Treat it with respect. 

For More information on the farm bill HERE is a good place to start.  

4/24
Baseline:
2X :30 At each
High Leg Kicks
Inchworm Push Ups
Side Lunges
Standing Toe Touch
Russian Twist

Barbell Prep:
3X8 @ light Load
Single Leg Deadlift
Barbell Bent Over Row (supine hand position)
Romanian Deadlift

***Spend 6 Minutes Building to a healthy 5 rep Deadlift

Strength:
Deadlift
5-5-5-5
*same weight across sets

Conditioning:
6-12-24-12-6
Front Squat 155/105 135/85 or 115/75
Clapping Push Up or Deficit Push Up
Deadlift

4/25
Baseline:
Roll Out lats and Scapula for 5 minutes

Rotator Cuff Sequence W/ 2.5-5# weights: Scare Crow pull and rotation, Bent over Flys, bent over superman,  front raises, lateral raises, high pull, corkscrew, wide presses, narrow criss-cross presses.

Snatch Warm Up:
 7 x romanian deadlift
7 x snatch high pull
7 x muscle snatch
7 x tempo overhead squat @ 23X1
7 x snatch balance
7 x power snatch to OHS
7 x snatch pull under
7 x hang (squat) snatch

***Spend 8 minutes Warming up to a healthy hang Snatch weight 

Barbell Conditioning:
EMOM 10
1- hang Squat snatch
3 Overhead Squats
**same weight across

WOD:
30 Cal Row
20 Hang Squat Snatch 75/55
30 Lateral Bar Hops **these should be fast plyometric hops, SPEED!

2/26
Baseline:
6 min Quality AMRAP
5 Kip Swing Bar OR Rings
5 Hollow Rocks
5 Divebomber Push Ups
5 Elbow To Instep W/ Reach

**Spend 6 Minutes Reviewing Gymnastic Movements and scaling

Gymnastic Strength:
16 Min EMOM
1- Toes To Bar 10-14 reps
2- Pistol Squat 10-14
3- Wall Climb or HS Walk :30-:35 seconds
4- Muscle Ups 2-5 reps

WOD:
10 Min AMRAP
Pull Ups
Burpee Over Box
3-6-9-12-15-18....

190417 "Trading up on Nutrition for Optimal Health"

Little changes over time create massive improvements in overall health. I have been using this approach to Nutrition for many years as a realistic way to adjust your diet and lifestyle without diving head first into the "Diet" abyss. One path towards substantial change is done through substituting current food items in your menu with a higher fiber, lower sugar, better fat containing food. 

I have devised a list of small trades that you can make today!

1) Zucchini not Grains.
Pasta is a staple in the majority of American households becasue it is very cheap and creates the illusion of satiety. The problem with the majority of pasta is that the grains which are processed to make them is extremely inflammatory. Inflammation due to gluten allergies can create skin problems, joint aches, IBS and a host of other problems. Pasta from processed grains also has a significant effect on your resting blood sugar. A great alternative to the nightly Pasta meal is to use Zucchini instead. Zucchini, when cut with a julian peeler creates long spaghetti noodles which can be boiled or sautéed. Cooking the Zucchini is simple and actually quite Faster than traditional pasta. Al dente goodness mixed with your favorite red sauce or perhaps a shrimp and garlic butter sauce is absolutely perfect!

2) Bison over Beef. 
Meat... Its what's for dinner. Burgers, steaks, stir-fry, these are all grab and go staples in the store. I know as a parent on a budget, I head straight for the ground beef in the store when I have to come up with a quack dinner idea. Research has shown that today's modern beef industry is not unlike others, maximum profit in the easiest way possible. Maximum profit in beef cattle means sticking the animals in feed lots prior to slaughter and feeding them corn and grains. These are the same food products that have been shown to create inflammation and disease in humans... and we are feeding it to OUR food! Moreover, these cows in the feed lot are injected with a host of anti-biotics to ward off infection and disease. These injections have been shown to decrease OUR resistance to disease and certain bacteria. Bison, on the other hand, are much less GMO, much more free range, much more organic, much less stuffed with anti-biotics. When you consume a meat that is grass fed and organic you are consuming a higher quality fat, higher quality protein, and less susceptible to potential disease or inflammation. Bison can be purchased widely in the same cuts and ground form that you find standard beef. The switch is simple.. No need to even change the recipes you love.  

3) Coconut oil beats Canola oil. 
Speaking of High Quality fats everyone should cut out the use of canola oil in their daily diets. In the 1940's, chemists created canola oil out of corn which made a cheap crop even more valuable. Once again, its about maximizing profit and decreasing cost. Canola oil is extremely unstable when heated and has been repeatedly shown to produce carcinogenic byproducts when used in cooking. Trading up for Coconut oil is and easy way to get a higher quality fat which is easier to work off during training than the ladder. Coconut oil is great tasting. For years I have cooked with it in every meal, breakfast to dinner. The light, Clean taste does not leave your food too oily and will not upset your stomach like canola oil will. Consuming more Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids in coconut oil will help lower the risk of heart disease, the #1 killer in the US. 

4)Eggs not Oats.
Power Breakfasts are a must. The adage "the most important meal of the day" is no joke. Setting your metabolism up for success in the morning will help keep you level throughout the day and less dependent on stimulants to keep you going throughout the day. Changing your breakfast habits is as simple as adding more protein and fat and cutting out carbohydrates. Carbohydrates like oatmeal, juices, and smoothies in the morning boost your blood sugar and therefore your insulin levels and inevitably lead to the 10am starvation feeling. Additionally you are much more likely to begin the roller coaster ride of hormonal changes when you consume carbohydrates in the morning. Substituting more protein in the form of Canadian bacon (lower fat) and Eggs along with healthy fats like avocado or nuts are a much better alternative. Protein and fats are pure brain and muscle fuel which will help you crush your day at work and then train hard in the afternoon. 

5)Almond Butter over Peanut Butter. 
Peanut butter sandwiches are the best... I mean really... Not only are they the best comfort food in the world but if you are trying to add calories to your diet in the off chance that you are like me and chronically skinny, they rule. But what about trading out the Peanut butter for Almond butter? Almond Butter is higher in fiber, lower in added sugar and contain a more balanced fat profile than peanut butter. Overall this is a great substitution to a daily staple with great health benefits. I cant speak to the jam or honey you put on the sandwich but at least you can feel good about the base!

So many more small tweaks to your current pantry can yield great changes over time. If you are to look at every meal you eat and see how you can add more fiber, less sugar, more protein, better fats, then surely you can find simple ways to trade up. Optimal performance is only realized after you have attained optimal nutrition. Food is fuel , treat it as such. 

4/19
Baseline:
10X
Squat Jacks
Shoulder Rolls
Neck Rolls
Arm Swings
Arm Throws
Push Ups
Russian Twist
Piked Push Ups
Squat
Jump Lunges
Cossack (side) Lunges 

3X
**using 1 Dumbbell and single arm
10 Press (per arm)
10 Bent Over row (per arm)
10 Burpee Chest to Bar

Skill Development:
Press Complex
7X Building
1- Press
3- Push Press
5- Jerks
(From rack or ground, your call)

WOD:
10 X
10 Dumbbell Power Clean
5 Chest TO Bar Pull Up

4/20
Baseline
2X :30 @ each
High Knee Jump Rope
One Legged Burpee
Lateral Jabs
Inch Worm
Side Plank Knee TO Elbow

Conditioning:
21-15-9
Double Unders
Push Ups

15-12-9
Hand Stand Push Ups
Pistol Squats

12-9-6
Toes TO Bar
Ring Dips

9-6-3
Slam Ball
Burpee Broad Jumps

**Rest as needed between couplets. Hit them hard. 

4/21
Baseline:
Banded Hip Activation
Banded Good Morning
Banded Squats
Banded Rows

7 Min Quality Warm Up
10 Single Leg Medicine ball Up and overs (each Leg
10 Barbell Bent Over row
10 Medicine Ball Sit UP
10 Barbell Romanian Deadlift
10 Medicine Ball Russian Twist

**take 5 minutes to pick a partner, and work up to Deadlift weight for workout.

**spend 3 minutes practicing on the rope.

WOD:
Partner AMRAP
14 Min AMRAP
2 Deadlift 335/250
1 Legless Rope Climb
**partner does entire round, tags and P2 begins a round

170417 " Cordyceps, performance shrooming!"

Outside of more time, all humans desire more energy. Energy is a multi-billion dollar commodity these days with 'energy' sports drinks down to 'energy' bread all touting the energizing effects of their ingredients.  Cordyceps utilize natural chemistry to not just give you a boost of energy, rather giving your body the tools it needs to create its own energy! And a lot at that. Lets explore. 

Cordyceps are a very funky looking mushroom that have been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. They are not only pretty rare but they are hard to harvest. Naturally they have been most prevelant in the High Altitudes of China and have been known to grow out of the backs of caterpillars (i.e. Caterpillar fungus). Pretty strange right? 

These mushrooms have gained popularity in natural medicine becasue of their antioxidant properties. Like other mushroom varieties, they carry a host of good vitamins and minerals which promote immune health as well as anti-aging. But the real deal is in the perfromance chemistry!

Cordyceps are what's called Adaptogens. Adaptogens are unlike caffeine and other stimulants in that they HELP your body produce long lasting energy instead of boosting energy and taxing the adrenal system. The active ingredient in Cordyceps is adenosine which is vital ingredient in the ADP/ ATP exchange. 

**Quick Side Note- When you are getting your fitness or sport on and really getting after it, your body burns ATP (energy). In burning or synthesizing ATP, the molecule loses a Phosphate to the process. The molecule then becomes ADP. Supplemental nutrients in the body and the your overall health determine how fast ADP adds a phosphate and once again becomes ATP. 

Adenosine TriPhosphate, as you can see, is quite important to perfromance. Cordyceps give your body the goods when it needs them and therefore, you are able to do what you love LONGER! Shortening the ADP/ATP exchange process helps you push through the tough times and allows you to recover faster. Upon researching the actual amount of ATP increase, the numbers vary from an increase of 30-50% ATP boost. 

Another important benefit that influences perfromance is the amount of oxygen your body's is able to process and synthesize. The term that is most commmonly used is ones VO2 max. The volume of oxygen that and athlete can take in and actually use during inspiration and exhalation. The Chinese herbalists have claimed in multiple articles that Cordyceps are used to help asthma sufferers, help with post-surgery recovery, and respiratory illness. 

Regardless, to decrease fatigue is to increase performance. I am all in when it comes to that. But does this mean you gotta pop some caps and stems every time you workout?

No. Companies like ONNIT, FOURSIGMATIC, and WILD FOODS carry powder forms of the Cordyceps which you can mix with smoothies, coffee, water... etc. I personally mix them with my BCAAs for a pre and post workout drink. In Fact, I have found a new BCAA company, EXTEND, that actually has a performance Cordyceps blend integrated into their product! I really like the stuff. 

If you are like me, stimulants are so 2002. Outside of drinking copious amounts of espresso and having amazing conversations, I stay away. I am all about giving my body the tools it needs to perform its best at any given moment when I feel the urge. Performance strategy takes practice and Cordyceps are another way we can keep pushing and achieve our goals in training and sport. Give them and shot and go natural! Good luck, stay conscious, thrive!

4/17
Baseline:
2X W/ a 10-25# Plate
10 Halos
10 Good Mornings
5 Inchworms with feet on plate
10 Superman Rock (no plate)
20 plyo plate jump
5 Burpee Ground to Overhead

Clean and Jerk Warm Up:
7 x hang clean high pull 7 x hang muscle clean 7 x tempo front squat 7 x hang power clean (hold PCln receiving position each time, each rep little deeper) 7 x Clean

**spend 12 minutes working up to a heavy squat clean for the day

WOD:
12-9-6
Squat Clean 135/95
21-15-9
Bar Facing Burpee

Cool Down:
Jog 800m

4/18
Baseline:
Lat Band Mobility
Bully Stretch
Banded Trunk Rotations
Banded Pass Thru

4X
5 Kip Swing
10 Planked Push Up (beginning in elbow plank, push up to full Plank and back down)
8 KB Swing
8 Front Rack KB Lunge 

Strength Gymnastics:
12 Min EMOM
A- :30 ring Support Bottom
B- :30 L Sit Hang on Pull up bar
C- :30 Ring support Top
D- :30 Hollow Hold

Conditioning:
7 Min AMRAP
12/10 Cal Row
20 Wall Ball
--Rest 3 Minutes---
7 Min AMRAP
35 Double Unders
20 KB Swing
**Monitor recovery time, push hard each AMRAP

4/19
Baseline:
10X
Squat Jacks
Shoulder Rolls
Neck Rolls
Arm Swings
Arm Throws
Push Ups
Russian Twist
Piked Push Ups
Squat
Jump Lunges
Cossack (side) Lunges 

3X
**using 1 Dumbbell and single arm
10 Press (per arm)
10 Bent Over row (per arm)
10 Burpee Chest to Bar

Skill Development:
Press Complex
7X Building
1- Press
3- Push Press
5- Jerks
(From rack or ground, your call)

WOD:
10 X
10 Dumbbell Power Clean
5 Chest TO Bar Pull Up

120417 "Nutrition:Treat the problem not the symptoms"

Effectiveness, sustainability, Adaptation. The essence of Nutritrion choices and change need to embody these principles if there is to be any substantial change. If your nutrition plan can not refer back to these principles you are on on a very familiar pathway, Dieting. Dieting is akin to treating the symptoms of a disease instead of curing the disease. 

Most adults have been on some sort of diet in their lives. 
-paleo
-atkins
-cleanse
-vegetarian
-south beach
-ornish
-Zone
All of these 'diets' have been recognized for certain health benefits usiually becasue of the rapid weight loss that occurs when you go full throttle into them. Awesome. But what about 5 years from now. Research has shown that 90% of dieters gain back all the weight they lose during a diet phase, plus 5 pounds! That is like giving up mcDonalds and then gorging yourself in Subway Sandwiches. Yes, you may make Jared proud ... but the problem of eating processed grains and meats is still going to make you sicker!

Now I dont want to make those of you on diets feel like shit. I really don't. You are extremely motivated and recognize that the path that you are on now is simply not working. We just need to look at Nutrition on a large scale not a short term one. Essentially You can think about Nutrition changes like a Forester Looks at a forest that has been burned down in a fire, it takes planning and years for the seeds you plant to grow and mature into something great!

Dieting unfortunately happens in extremes. You want results and you want them now. You are willing to SUFFER (never a good thing when it comes to food), you believe that the process is full proof. What occurs in extreme dieting is not only emotional let downs but also physiological problems. I have seen this with the paleo diet. Energy levels dip wehen athletes cut out carbohydrates from processed grains, athletes get depressed and drop out of the diet. Even More, atheltes have been shown to disrupt their hormones because of not understanding dieting and physical training. Friends and Doctors are also no help in many instances as they make general statements or give general advice without taking into account you as an individual. Some diets are simply not for everyone.  

Being hungry, fatigued and weak are symptoms of diets. This is the 'suffer' factor I am referring to and why most people fail and reverts to old habits in food. Feeling angry and anxious about food is the best way to develop complexes around eating which can have lasting impacts on self-image and nutritional mentality. Change needs to be realistic and wholesome. You deserve to feel good about what you are doing, and be able to plan out how to keep the plan going for years to come.

Treating the problem of modern Nutriton is not easy. As I constantly write about in my blog, the system is stacked against us when it comes to searching for healthy food. From labeling to the over processing of nearly every item in our grocery stores, you are set up to fail... worse yet, become addicted. 

Solutions to the nutrition predicatment that most of find ourselves in begins with a simple focus on the effectiveness of our food choices. A chicken breast is going to provide a more health benefits than a Peanut Butter sandwich. Conscious understanding of how our food will effect our performance is undersanding the effectiveness of food. 

Sustainability over time is second. Yes you may be able to endure Tofu and Broccoli for 6 weeks and get skinny but is that a meal plan that you can sustain for 30 years... I dont think so. Your body needs variation in nutrition and so do you. Taking and realistic look at your life an habits should help you scratch a path towards lifelong nutrition planning. 

In the same way, your Lifestyle should be able to adapt to changing environmental factors. Dieting is many times so hardlined that straying from it creates absolute chaos in ones life. You should be able to balance and adapt to anything, stay conscious and keep progressing. Once again, this is a marathon, not a sprint. 

The basis for this article is in response to Modern Medicine. As we develop more short term symptom remedies to every ailment, people keep getting more and more sick. The system is broken and real problem solving needs to occur. I emplore you to look not just to next month but 30 years from now when looking at Nutritional Choices. Keep pushing and educating yourself. make this year one that you will look back on and smile. 

4/12
Baseline:
:90 High Knee Jump Rope
Then,
21-15-9
Walking Lunges
Kip Swing on Pull Up Bar
Side Plank Knee To Elbow

Squat Flow: Kang Squat, Internal Rotation, Hip Bridge, Ankle Rotation, PNF, Squat W/ T Spine Reach. 

Strength:
Back Squat
5-5-5-5
*Ascending
Front Squat
2-2-2
*Ascending

Conditioning:
30 Pull Up
50 Med Ball Cleans
30 Pull Ups

4/13
Baseline:
2X :30 @ Each
Squat jacks
Push Ups
V Ups
Inch Worm
KB Windmills

Lat band Mobility
Bull Stretch
Scapula Distraction Stretch

**Take 10 Minutes To Cover the Pull, Transition Mobility, and Press out of the ring Muscle UP.

Skill Development:
EMOM 10
6 Ring Dips OR 3 Ring Muscle Ups
+
10 Push Ups
*Scale Accordingly, this is strength Gymnastics. The athlete should have :30 rest before next set.

WOD:
3-6-9-12-15-18
Burpee Onto Plate
Toes To Bar
Kettlebell Swing
12 Minute CAP

4/14
Baseline:
10X
Shoulder Rolls
Neck Rolls
Arm Swing
Wall Press

3X:
 100m Run
 :30x Handstand against wall
 :30 max DB Push Press (lightish)
 :30 DB hold overhead.

Skill Development:
Push Press
4X8
@ 75% of Body Weight

WOD:
3X
75 Double Unders
35 DB Snatch 50/35

 

100417 "5 Ways to a Low Carb Breakfast"

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? Well if there is any doubt in your mind about this I will reassure you that it truly is! The principles of a 'fresh start' and 'setting yourself up for success' are totally what I coach folks up on constantly. For metabolism, perfromance,  and hormone regulation; what you eat in the morning has a lot to do with how your entire day is going to go. 

Carbohydrates, especially refined and processed carbohydrates, dominate the breakfast market. The food product business knows that by creating addiction through filling you with sugar will keep you coming back day after day. Breads, cereals, sandwiches, all of the fast 'go to' breakfast items leave you in the dumps by 10 am. 

But not all carbohydrates are created equal. What is will show is that high fiber, nutrient dense carbs are great additions to breakfast. And more importantly, the key to daily success is feeding your brain and body with optimal amounts of fat and protein keep you healthier and more prepared for whatever that day brings. 

Here are 5 ways to a low carbohydrate breakfast. 

1) We will start with an easy one. Organic, Free Range Eggs. Eggs are a whole food in that they comprise both a macro and micronutrient profile that is essential for health. Weighing in at 5 grams of fat and 6 grams of protein, the sucker is lean with only 0.6 grams of carbohydrates! Vitamins A,D, B-6 B12, and magnesium are on the inside of this little shell.  You will get filled up faster and stay satisfied longer with eggs. 
Some atheltes have told me that they dont have the time to cook eggs and I call B.S. Every time. I actually timed out toasting bread and cooking an egg and the egg won by a slim margin. Scrambled, fried, poached, hard boiled... you can eat them in so many ways! Free Range and organic eggs are the best.

2) Veggies. As I said, not all carbs are created equal. Sautéed, grilled or steamed veggies like spinich, bell peppers, mushrooms, cabbage, tomatos, or zucchini have a low glycemic index that provides macro and micronutients without messing with your insulin levels. When cooking your veggies for breakfast I highly encourage doing it with coconut oil. The 'good' fat in Coconut oil is pure brain food and adds great flavor to veggies. 
High quality veggies give you high quality fiber. Fiber in veggies acts as a type of sweeper for your gut. Fiber helps keep things running smoothly and provides essential food for the bacteria in your gut. As we look at food as not just a means to satisfy cravings but rather FUEL our body, veggies are a great way to start your day and provide a balanced nutritional intake.

3) Greek Yogurt. I still dont know why its called Greek yogurt and why that would even matter but  I will tell you that this type of yogurt is way better for you than the over processed and over pasteurized shit that Americans eat each day. Because it does come from cows all yogurt does contain natural sugar called lactose. Lactose is considered a nutritious part of your daily diet when eaten in small amounts. Lactose is not a refined sugar but the other crap that food product companies put in yogurt sure is.  For example, the average yogurt in the store can contain close to 32 grams of sugar per 6-ounce serving! 
I have always been cautious about recommending yogurt to clients since most are concerned with cutting out inflammation and extra calories from sugar. But Yogurt, when eaten in plain form or with simple additions like roasted chickpeas, veggies, coconut shavings, will keep carbs rather low and protein and fat high. If you are concerned about inflammation from dairy, then by all means stay away; but essential Amino Acids and Calcium paired with satuarated fats and protein can provide a low carb solution to breakfast. 

4) MEAT! Ground Bison, Ground Turkey, Ham, Pork (of any kind) is not just for the other meals of the day. Meat, like eggs provide a good amount of protein and fat without many carbs at all. Meat is also a great option for those who are burnt out on eating eggs each morning or those who show symptoms of Candida Gut. 
Candida Gut?
Yes. Because eggs are considered a 'wet' food there can be a build up of yeast in the gut which is not good for inflammation and cause various allergic reactions on the skin and organs. 
The energy expended by eating meat with your breakfast or mixing it in with your scrambles will increase the Thermogenic Effect that occurs when dense foods are eaten. The body essentially heats up to break down the food and in turn burns more calories and boosts your metabolism of unwanted fat and carbs. Therefore, when you combine a lean meat with veggies and some good fats (sound familiar) then you have a pretty darn healthy meal. 

5) Fats are for Breakfast! I want you to make this your daily mantra. I will not claim to be a doctor nor do I have the credential to "prescribe" food as medicine but I will say that over the years I have helped change many lives by encouraging a higher fat intake in the morning. 
The BULLETPROOF products have built a multi-million dollar business upon this premise. Healthy fats with great coffee is now a real thing. 
Thinking outside the Box when it comes to fats is essential to get an entire profile of saturated, unsaturated, and monounsaturated fats. Avocados are a given, walnuts, almonds, tigernuts, chickpeas, olive oil, coconut oil, MCT oil all are great options. And of course, no carbs. 

Cutting out the carbs can be tricky for the simple fact that we have been groomed and raised on processed carbs. Smoothies and shakes for breakfast lack substance in the form of fiber and are high in sugar even though they are touted as healthy. Oatmeal is gluten free and has fiber but can have a high glycemic effect when a ton of extra crap is put in it. The path towards optimal health is one where consciousness reigns supreme. Think before you eat is challenging until new habits are formed. Good luck and keep striving for the best version of yourself!

4/10
Baseline:
400m Run
Then,
3X 20m Bear Crawl/3 Wall Climbs/ 10 Monkey Hangs (hanging Hip Touches)

20X
Banded Press
Banded Pull Aparts
Banded Pass Thru

Lunge Flow: Ankle Rotations, Elbow To instep W/ Reach, Hamstring Pulses, Hip Distraction, Pigeon Stretch

**Take 8 Minutes to Work the Handstand Push Up Skill. 
3X 6 @ a strict Handstand Push Up Variation

WOD:
10 Min AMRAP
10 Handstand Push Ups
15 Front Rack Walking Lunges 95/65

4/11
Baseline:
 Agility Warm Up @ 10m Each
High Knee Pull
Quad Pull
Squat 180 **stepping the leg high over hip, swing opposite leg to 180, squat
High Knees
Butt kickers
Marching High Kicks
Groiners
Straight leg shuffles
Fig 4 Drill
Lateral Shuffle
Carioca
Lateral Bounding
Sprint W/ Change of Direction

Barbell Prep 12@ Each
Good Mornings
Back Rack Squats
Romanian Deadlift
Bent Over Row
Back Rack Side lunges
Single Leg Deadlifts

**Take 6 Minutes to teach Rope Climb Technique. Urge Legless rope climbs, even if you have to scale the reps.

WOD:
Against a 16 minute Clock,
Row 500m + Run 400m ,
Then AMRAP
18 Deadlift 185/ 135
2 Rope Climbs (preferably legless)

4/12
Baseline:
:90 High Knee Jump Rope
Then,
21-15-9
Walking Lunges
Kip Swing on Pull Up Bar
Side Plank Knee To Elbow

Squat Flow: Kang Squat, Internal Rotation, Hip Bridge, Ankle Rotation, PNF, Squat W/ T Spine Reach. 

Strength:
Back Squat
5-5-5-5
*Ascending
Front Squat
2-2-2
*Ascending

Conditioning:
30 Pull Up
50 Med Ball Cleans
30 Pull Ups

060417 "Looking Beyond the Label: Fish Oil"

If you have been with me for any length of time we have no doubt had a conversation about Fish oil. As important as whole foods, I encourage everyone to get on a fish oil supplement (Pure Pharma) to keep the brain and heart working well. 

Deep in our conversation I have always referenced the back label of your fish oil bottle. Below all the Government mandated percentages there is an EPA/DPA level on each bottle. These are the fatty acids that are so vital for health. Today I will open up the benefits of the DHA fatty acid on your body and well being. 

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is the primary fatty acid in the brain and retinas. We get small amounts from modern milk products and larger quantities from consuming fish like swordfish, anchovies, and sardines. 

A deficiency in DHA can induce:

-cognitive decline

-depression

-sleep depravation

-coronary artery disease

-alzheimers/ dementia

-cancer

-stroke

That is a long list of hazards to avoid but one very important trend, brain health. Once again the Brain and Gut are intrinsically tied together and this is a important point. To obtain optimal brain health for the long term, especially while eating a modern diet, supplementation is necessary. 

So look at your fish oil again and compare it to this. A serving of fish can have anywhere from 500-1550 mg of DHA and 3 capsules of a superior Fish Oil can have up to 500mg. If you are getting the generic store bought brand you are not getting anywhere close to that! Buying the supplement with the 500+ rating is necessary and highly worth the money. But, once again, there is not substitute for whole foods. Especially in this case when it involves a sustainable fish source. 

Keep watching what you are shoving in da mouth and make sure that the quality fuel enters the gut. Your brain depends on it. 

4/6
Baseline:
10 reps of each:
Scapula Push Up
Downdog to Seal
Ring Row w/ Scap Retraction
Iron Cross
Handstand Shoulder Shrug
Hanging Scapular Pull (Reverse Shrug) 
Bridge Ups
scorpion stretch
Handstand Shoulder Taps
Monkey Hangs (Hanging Hip Touches) 

500-250-100m Row. 
Rest :45 between efforts
***Breath should be strong inhale through nose/ out through mouth during efforts. These are meant to be done at 1:35-1:45/500m pace. 

Skill Development:
5X
3 Strict Press
3 Push Press
1 Split Jerk

WOD:
3X
Row 50 Cals
15X Dumbbell Burpee Cluster
(DB burpee, squat Clean thruster)

4/7
Baseline:
In Partner Teams,
30 Partner Planked Hand Claps
30 Partner Sit Ups
30 Sync'd Squats
30 Burpee Over Partner
30 Double Unders EACH
400m Run Together

**Spend 8 Minutes covering the skills of Hang Power clean, front squat, shoulder to overhead. Agree on a weight to use with your partner. 

WOD:
Partner WOD:
100 DOuble Unders
30 hang Power Clean
50 Double Unders
20 Shoulder to Overhead
50 Front Squats
20 Shoulder TO Overhead
50 Double Unders
30 hang Power Clean
100 Double Unders

 

030417 "Its not ability, Its Communication"

If you have been training for some time or perhaps you grew up playing sports, you know the importance of good coaching. I remember a Soccer coach I had during U-14's. Thinking back on that time I recall 1) What a handful we all were at practices 2) What I remember about his coaching was less about the skills and more about the delivery. Therefore I propose that its not the ability of the coach or athelte to achieve greatness, it is the communication between the two that matters. 

I am reminded of something I heard a pilot say ( and I'm paraphrasing), "Its not about how you are flying when the plane is good, Its about how you fly when the shit has hit the fan". That is essentially coaching and communication in a nutshell. A coach can talk the talk all day about super high level shit but can he/she teach and correct a hideous squat? 

The first rule of proper communication in coaching is establishing guidelines and expectations from an athlete. Just like any other process of education that you have taken part in, there are rules and there are expectations. If you cannot follow the rules, if you cannot pass the test... sorry start again!. Progressions have always suited me well in my years as a coach and I respond well to them as an athlete. This is obvious in the Olympic lifts with such high speed dynamics but I find the most rewarding progressions have come in gymnastics. As a coach, if you can develop a progression and communicate that progression to an athelte in a clear manner, you have essentially won. Expectations allow for very little ambiguity in regard to the end product for an athlete. Guidelines allow for simplicity and nuances between coach and athlete which Create bonds and personal trust.

Utilizing the trifecta of Cueing; Visual, Verbal, Tactile helps the communication process immensely. 

Throughout time explorers have ventured to foreign lands and found indigenous cultures that dont speak the same language let alone understand the same reality.... and yet communication still prevailed. Coaches and athletes many times speak the same language but the message is far from verbal simplicity. Often times a coach is attempting to decipher the athletes own personal language between their brain and muscles. No one has the same coordination, no one has the same perception of their body in space. The coach must analyze the movement, devise a language of touch, demonstration and words to teach an athlete to move in a way that is completely foreign to them. This process is truly one of the great challenges and rewards to being an athletic trainer. 

When I envision myself as a coach I try to emulate Zen Buddhist masters who teach through simplicity and understand the path of teaching is not measured moments, its measured in years. 

Coaches normally fall into two catergories. Those that try to fix too much, and those who fix nothing at all. You know exactly what I'm talking about. Communication involves language and language must be translated. If you are giving the athelte too much information to translate, they will shut down and in my experience; begin to degrade and implode right there in front of you. Like a monk, communication is spoken in simple language with relevant meaning so the pupil is able to digest and transform. But it is communication nonetheless. I have also seen coaches who lose control of the communication because they lose the ability to put a situation in perspective. Coaching large groups is all about triage and proper leadership. Displaying leadership allows for all the athletes to maintain attention while learning. Large groups offer the ability to see how clear your communication is by the amount of errors that are being witnessed. If you dont like what you see... revise your communication approach and begin again. 

Coaching is like a stick in a stream, sometimes it may hit rocks but it always rights itself and keeps on flowing. 

The language of greatness is a hard and long road to forge. Developing great atheltes takes time and the ability of the coach to speak a multitude of languages. On top of this is the ability to display confidence and personability. No one wants to work for an asshole. The ability of all atheltes awaits the patient coach. To draw out such ability from a person is truly the most rewarding thing that you can do. Practice this communication in your daily life even if you are not a coach; the world will most certainly be a better place if we could all attain such a virtue!

4/3
Baseline:
Agility Warm Up:
-Marching High Kicks
-high knee pulls
-quad pulls
-high knees
-butt kickers
-groiners
-duck walk
-frog hops
-figure 4 drill
-lateral shuffle
-Carioca
-sprint W/ Change of direction

Deadlift Prep:
3X8
-Romanian Deadlift
-Bent Over Row
**increasing load each round

WOD:
"Mr.Joshua"
-Joshua Harris died August 30,2008 in Afghanistan. He drowned during combat operations. 
5 Rounds for Time
400m Run
30 GHDSU (sub weighted Sit Up)
15 Deadlift 250#

4/4
Baseline:
2X :30 @ each
-Squat Jacks
-Piked Push Ups
-Russian Twist
-Alternating Knee To Elbow
-Jump Lunges

Snatch Warm UP:
7X Romanian Deadlift
7x snatch high pull 7 x muscle snatch
7 x tempo overhead squat @ 23X1 7 x snatch balance 7 x power snatch to OHS (hold PSn receiving position each time, each rep little deeper) 
7 x snatch pull under 7 x hang (squat) snatch
Skill Development:
8X
1 Snatch Balance W/ :03 pause at the bottom
2 Overhead Squats (quick Tempo)
**increasing load each round

WOD:
5X
10 Overhead Squat 75/55
10 Burpee Pull Up
10 Toes To Bar

4/5
Baseline:
5 Min Mobility
-lat band
-bully Stretch
-Trunk Rotations
-Hip Capsule Stretch

Kettle Bell Warm up:
W/ Light KB
12@ Each
Head Circles 'L' 
Head Circles 'R'
Trunk Rotations
Up right Rows
Press 'L'
Press 'R'
Romanian Deadlift
Squat Up and overs (outside right foot, up and over to outside left foot)
Single Leg Deadlift
Goblet Squat
Lateral Lunges
Windmill 'L'
Windmill 'R'
Sit Ups
Snatch 'L'
Snatch 'R'
Squat Jumps

A)
5X
:20 Superman Hold
:20 Hollow Rock
:20 Rest
B) 
5X
:90 Ring Dip
:60 Pistol Squat
C)
5X
10 KB Swing 70/53
10 KB Overhead Lunges
10 KB Press

300317 "The many health benefits of Turmeric"

If you tuned in today to my livestream workout then you probably heard a lot about Turmeric (Olena). We covered the great anti-inflammatory properties and anti-oxidant properties of the root but I wanted to share a blog post that I wrote a while ago which goes deeper into the benefits. Read on and share!

......Before I began to study Turmeric the image that always popped into my head about the herb is yellow curry. Turmeric is the rooted herb, cousin to garlic, that gives curry its yellow and reddish color. But as i began to read about the product, I was amazed with its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties. As a brain guy I was also encouraged by the studies which found that Turmeric and Curcumin greatly influence your cognitive behavior.

So I continued to study.. Here are a few things that I found.

First let me begin with a topic that is near and dear to me. Inflammation. This natural process for fighting off disease is quickly becoming the root cause of most disease processes that kill Americans every year.

See... Inflammation occurs when you cut yourself or if you get some gnarly bacteria in your body. This kind is good. The body rushes white blood cells and all the natural ingredients for healing to the site and shit is handled. BUT... Chronic Inflammation from inflamed gut lining, swollen organs and damaged blood vessels.. the problems caused by a poor diet and sedentary lifestyle; well this type of inflammation kills quickly and is generically labeled as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, Coronary Artery Disease... the list goes on and on.

Turemeric and its active ingredient Curcumin are one of most powerful anti-inflammatories in nature. While the Curcumin level of whole Turmeric is rather low; as a supplement, the Curcumin is isolated and the levels are highly elevated. This means that instead of eating and snorting Turmeric with each meal, you can find a good supplement capsule and get the desired effect.

Next, I will expound upon the brain enhancing properties of this herb. Remember Human Growth Hormone? The stuff that every pro baseball player seemed to be taking a few years ago. Remember the effects it had on the body? Well.... Turmeric and Curcumin are Brain Growth Hormone! No, I'm not kidding.

This powerful herb has been shown to activate Brain Derived Neuro-tropic Factor (BDNF) which drives our cognitive function within the Hippocampus. For a while now, brain scientists have seen that brain and neurological diseases have been linked to low levels of the BDNF; Alzheimers and Dementia being two big ones. Interestingly,  Curcumin and Turmeric supplementation have been shown to increase neuronal development and actually make you smarter. Crazy right.

Finally. There are certain things that can enhance the effects of the herb like, taking it with black pepper, and eating Turmeric with a high fat meal to increase absorption. But focus first on getting more of this goodness all up in ya!!

New Chapter Supplements, Wildfood.co powder, and others are a very high quality herb supplement. By keeping the herb free of chemicals and pesticides you are ensured that it is not only 'non-GMO' but also processed in a very 'organic' way. So at your leisure, check out Turmeric as a supplement and begin to find recipes to cook it with.

Let nature fight the fight for you. Add Turmeric to your diet and let the healing begin!

3/30
Baseline:
2X :30 @ Each
-Jumping Jacks
-Arm Circles
-Piked Handstand push Ups
-High Knees
-Squats

**Break Class out into pairs and go over each KB movement . And Rope Climb Scaled Options.
8 mins...

WOD:
Partner WOD:
(Break up the reps as needed) (all movements with same KB)
100 Goblet Squat
90 Single Arm Swings
80 Overhead Lunges
70 Press
60 Push Up and Walk Over
50 Front Rack Lateral Lunge
40 Russian Twist
30 Sumo Deadlift High Pull
20 Thruster
10 Swing
***Perform 2 Rope Climbs in between each exercise

3/31
Baseline:
20@ each
Banded Good Mornings
Banded Hip Activation
Banded Squats
Banded Pull Aparts
Banded Row

3X
10 Bent Over Row
10 Romanian Deadlift
***increasing weight each round

WOD:
In 14 Minutes, 
2 K Row, 
Then AMRAP
50 Double Unders
15 Deadlift 185/135

 

280317 "Why Cramps Suck!"

This weekend I ran an 8 hour endurance race. At the 4 hour mark and just after a quick Pit Stop I LOCKED up. And Bad! From my VMO to my hip flexor in my left leg absolutely went to full FREAK OUT mode and I fell on the ground in pain. After losing my mind, I quickly harnessed the inner scientist and tried to diagnose my problem. After a few moments of nutrient analysis I came to the the conclusion that, CRAMPS fucking Suck!

While there are a few different theories about why we cramp during exercise, they are simply reduced to either a mineral imbalance in the body caused by overheating or a nervous system shortage caused by prolonged stress and overheating. 

Sodium is intrinsically linked to the contraction of you muscle fiber. Among other minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium they allow electrical transmission to happen between brain and muscle. When an imbalance occurs, BAM!! your shit locks up and you hit the deck screaming. This weekend I wore my wetsuit which increased my body temperature and increased my perspiration on the hill climbs. I sweat, I dropped my mineral levels over a ing period and 20 miles in ... holy crap I got bit!

Electrolyte management is absolutely something that athletes must pay attention to, no matter the sport or athletic discipline. Pills, Gels, and shakes are great ways to make sure you stay on track. I seemed to respond well to salami and pickle juice. By 25 miles, I was right as rain!

Secondly is the heat. Cramping occurs when the body short circuits from the heat. Your muscle cells work very closely with your neurological system. The neurological system is what controls muscle firing and relaxing. When the muscle cell is stressed and/or heated to the point where it loses mineral quantity or overworked, BAM , Cramps begin. 

Cramps suck for a number of reasons and honestly, they have an extra special suck factor because most of the time they are preventable. 

As I lay on the ground, out of my mind... I felt very amateur. I have been an athlete my entire life and yet I still have not mastered endurance running. Cramping or rather 'Sub Par muscular preparation' knocked me down for a moment and hindered my ability. DON'T let this happen to you! Electrolytes are essential and should be another part of nutrition you should be paying attention to. 

Some tips that help me,
1- Salty snacks or juices.
2- Stay away from diuretics when doing endurance work.
3- Balance the water intake. Don't flood yourself without drinking a bit of electrolytes. 

Good luck out there, and for Gods sake.. if you see someone writhing in pain on the ground, cramping... help stretch them out... Because Cramps Frickin Suck!

2/27
Baseline:
2X :30 @ Each
-Squat Jacks
-Elbow To instep
-Single Leg Burpee
-Divebomber Push Up
-Squats

Squat Flow:
Kang Squat, Internal Rotation, Hip Bridge, Ankle Rotations, PNF, Squat W/ T spine Rotation.

Skill Development:
Developing Power Out of the Squat
*Using your backsquat numbers,
3X8 @ 50%
3X 8 @65% 
-speed out of the bottom is the goal, descend under control and tension.

**In between Each Set, Perform 20 Side Plank Knee To Elbow. 10 on each side.

WOD:
3X
400m Run
15 Toes To bar

2/28
Baseline:
Spend 3-5 Minutes Rolling out Calves On Kettlebell. 
-if tight from squats, roll out IT bands.

Doubles Under Warm Up:
2X
:30 Single Under Jumps
:30 High Knee Rope Skips
:30 Rest
:30 Cadence Drill (3 single, 1 Double)
:30 Cadence Drill (2 single, 1 Double) or Double Unders
:30 Rest

10X
Samson Lunge W/ Reach
Reverse Side Step Lunge
Bow/ Bend
Hip Touch
Cobra Push Ups
Wall Walks

**Spend 3- 5 Minutes working Hinge Position and pulling of DB for snatch.

WOD:
15 Minute AMRAP
12 Alternating DB Snatch 50/35
12 Burpee Over Box
24 Double Unders

3/29
Baseline:
Split the class into 3 Separate Groups. Each group will perform 3 minutes at each station. 1:00 break in between stations.
1- 10X Sandbag Thruster/10X Cals on Bike/ 10X sandbag Cleans
2- 10X KB Sumo Deadlift High Pull/ 1X Plate Push on turf/ 10X KB Swing
 3- 10X Slam Ball/10X Dumbbell Push Press/  10X Pull Ups
**goal is not speed, rather to just move the body through full range of motion. 

Lunge Flow:
Ankle Rotations, Elbow To Instep, t spine reach, Hamstring Pulses, Hip Capsule Stretch, Pigeon Stretch, Down Dog 

Clean and Jerk Warm Up:
7@ Each
-Romanian Deadlift
-High Pull
-Muscle Clean + 3 Press
-Front Squat+ 3 Push Press
-Hang Clean + 3 Push Press
-Clean + 3 Split Jerks

WOD:
10 Rounds for time
5 Clean and Jerks 135/95
10 Wall Ball
(16 min Cap)