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) 

 

220317 "Mindfullness and Mental Preparedness"

This morning as I made my way back from Manhattan to Brooklyn I was lost in my usual reverie. The city excites, inspires and at the same time makes me quite depressed. I'm not a city guy. The point is that I was present, I was thinking and feeling each moment and movement in my constant pursuit to become more mindful. Mindfullness is not an esoteric practice for me but rather a preparation for anything that may present itself, making me able to adapt and react to everything. 

Mindfullness is a practice you should adopt in conjunction with your athletic training. 

Being present in thought and feeling is a very important part of Mindfullness. This presence is also a training that you can pick up at ANY time during your day. A few key ways that you can develop this practice include;
-analyzing your breathing, being conscious of each inhale and exhale.
-feeling you body... not in a weird way but rather being conscious of tension, movement, pains, posture.
-Understanding your senses. No matter if you exist in a city or rural environment, you can process what you hear, see, touch, and sense with greater understanding. (This a natural stress reliever by the way!)

Experience happens right? You have the ultimate opportunity to either FEAR or EMBRACE each experience. 

Your well spring of emotional and physical energy is finite. That is, each day you are given a certain amount to expend on your life before you crash out, sleep , and begin again. Recently I have been having discussions with friends about visualizing that energy and where you put it. Mindfullness training and practice is all about taking all the energy that is welling up inside you and placing it all in the passion, positivity, experience bucket. If you do not direct your energy in the right way during your day you are essentially throwing it away on Fear and Doubt. 

Think about it... How much of your day do you spend expending energy on doubts or 'what could be' instead of just letting exerperience into your life, adapting and kicking ass in a positive way? 

Another challenging but essential aspect to Mindfullness training is the cultivating an attitude of 'non-attachment'. Nothing is permenant, and holding onto a moment or a thought/ feeling for too long is only going to create more sadness and fear in your life. As an athlete I tend to hold onto poor performances more than I do my good ones... Why? I legitimize it as a 'learning' tool but all it does is stress me the fuck out! As a parent I am constantly trying to learn this as my kids are constantly testing my patience and if I hold onto moments I would be pulling my hair out all the time. LET GO! Once again the key is to let experience come into your life, adapt to it, and move on. 

Be Curious. Not Judgemental. - Walt Whitman

Mindfullness requires compassion, peace, and connection. This is hard for most people because you have to love yourself enough before you can even begin to practice aforementioned practices. We live in a society that does not nurture self-love and therefore it is hard to give back. (That is a general statement, and not the absolute truth... I hope) . Being mindful in practice will not only keep you more flexible to life but you will also be an asset to those that are on their own path towards Mindfullness. Understanding the concept of "giving  back" is so powerful yet so challenging because it demands so much buy in form you first. 

Being prepared as an athlete and human to life is a simple yet challenging training process. You are all on the way towards optimal physical training but I encourage you to develop the mind das much as you refine the Braun! Keep it mindfull y'all and lets push forward this week!

3/22
Baseline:
Banded Hip Distraction 2:00
Banded Pigeon 2:00

Lunge FLow: Ankle Rotations, elbow to instep W/ Reach, Hamstring Pulses, Hip Capsule Stretch, Pigeon

Power Development:
Using your Front Squat #'s,
8repsX 50%
3X8 @65%
**Each Set is to be done as fast as possible. Rest accordingly in between sets. 

-In between each F.S. Set, do `15 GHDsit ups....

WOD:
3X
12 hang Power Cleans 135/85
16 Pistol Squats
32 Double Unders
** Coaches have free reign to scale one or more of the exercises UP (reps) for each athlete depending on what they need to work on. I envision a version of this workout take every athlete 6-8 minutes.

3/23
Baseline:
2X :30 @ Each
Marching High Kicks
Burpee
High Knees
Air Squats
Push Ups

Aerobic Conditioning:
4X 400m Run
-Rest exactly 1:00 between efforts

Skill Development:
10X
5 Ring Dips
5 Wall Climbs
5 Strict Chest TO bar
:30 Hollow Hold
5 V Ups

3/24
CrossFit Games Opens 17.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

200317 "3 Reasons Why Standards Matter"

In sport, athletics, and training the idea of set rules are many times seen only on the superficial level of solely organizationally based. But as I have seen sport and performance in the course of my life, I see standards as a wholistic approach to optiomizing the human spirit. As I will lay out, Standards play 3 key roles in our daily training and are used as benchmarks for us to reach further than we thought possible. 

1. Fairness.
No matter how different our physical attributes may be, at least we should have the opportunity to begin at the same level. Fairness in sport is traditional baseline which estabishes certain criteria which must be met to not only organize but also give the particular activity efficacy amongst all the participants. No one is going to play cards with someone who always stacks the deck right? The same holds true for us in movement standards, certain rules, and acceptable forms of behavior. Fairness essentially sets a baseline for each of us as athletes. 

2. Possibility.
Progression is another reason why standards matter. Admittedly, many of us are reluctant to begin new sports because generally we SUCK at them for a while before we get the hang of it. Believe me, I many times get stuck in this same zone. Standards in each respective sport allow new and burgeoning atheltes the POSSIBILITY to reach certain levels and thereby mark progression. Some great examples of this would be Yoga training or in Skateboarding. Movements  or standards are clear markers for proficenency and therefore are essential standards! While those sports jumped out to me I am sure that you can relate this to practically any endeavor you are taking on in your own life. Hell, apply it to your profession as well. I am sure you can see the similarities. 

3. Potential.
Moving form the bottom to the top is key in progression. The transition in sport from novice to intermediate, from intermediate to expert and from expert to master allows not just for recognition in the sport but a progression of your spirit as well. When you have met one standard you have looked beyond to the next and the struggle begins again. Standards are not just for holding you to a certain level, they are a means to challenge you to look beyond and keep the fire burning. This aspect is particularly important to me in my life, I am sure you can see how potential drives you past standards as well?

As we strive for our most optimal selves in 2017, having an understanding of Standards or Conditons is important. Acknowledgement, Perfromance, and then Possibility is the way we keep growing THROUGH our goals for this year. I hope you are all staying focused and conscious of this each day. Constantly regcognizing standards should not constrain you but rather push you to see how you can develop new and exciting ways to re-invent yourself through what is already laid out. Keep pushing and moving foreward my friends. 

3/20
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

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

Skill Development:
EMOM 10
Snatch Touch and Go 3-5 Repetitions
-use 70% of your max. 
-We have worked skill drills, now we cycle and understand the principles of power output and limits.

Partner Conditioning:
"I go, You GO Fashion"
**As fast as possible
30 cal Bike or row- switch
20 Cal Bike or Row- Switch
10 Cal Bike or Row- Switch
20 Cal Bike or Row- Switch
30 Cal Bike or Row- Switch

3/21
Baseline:
3X
10m Samson Lunge + Reach
10m Duck Walk
10m Elbow TO instep + Reach
10m Frog Jumps

Thruster Warm Up: 5 Mins
-work Tricep mobility in rack position
-do 8 reps tempo front squat 3,2,1
-do 10 back Rack press
-do 10 barbell Thruster
Rope Climb Scaled: 5 Mins
-Rope Lowers
-strict Chin Ups

Army Sgt. 1st Class Dae Han Park
Died March 21,2011
HARTFORD, Conn. — A veteran Special Forces soldier from Connecticut has been killed by an enemy attack in Afghanistan, the Defense Department said Monday.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Dae Han Park, who was based in Washington state and served in countries including Iraq, Bangladesh and Cambodia, died Saturday after his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device, officials said.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy ordered Connecticut and U.S. flags lowered to half-staff until the day of Park’s burial.
“He is a hero who died serving his country and he will be honored and remembered as such,” Malloy said.
Park, 36, graduated from Watertown High School in Watertown, Conn., and joined the Army in 1998 as an infantryman.
He joined the elite Rangers in 2000 and volunteered for Special Forces training in 2005, according to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., and was deployed on missions to countries including Iraq and India. He was on his first rotation to Afghanistan when he was killed.
He is survived by his wife and two daughters who live in Washington state.

"Dae Han"
3X
800m Run
3 Rope Climbs
12 Thrusters 135/85

150317 "Understanding the 3 Part approach to Recovery"

It doesn't just stop at your Post-Workout Prtotein Shake. Recovery from training is a wholistic process that combines a multi-faceted approach. Combining hormonal, physical and mental recovery into your training will keep you at the top of your game and lead you to your most optimal self. 

1)Hormonal Recovery. Your body runs on both the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous systems. These systems are controlled or 'fueled' by hormones. During training and exercise, your body is constantly dumping hormones into the system and the power plants (adrenal glands, hypothalamus, kidneys) are getting a big workout. Just as when we rest and recover our muscles, so must our endocrine system rest and recover. If you have been in the game for a while you have heard about or felt yourself the symptoms of overworking your hormonal systems. Fatigue, loss of sex drive, decreased performance, irritability all results when we are overworking. 
To recover from training and to reset your hormones you can;
-chill in a hot tub
-get some sauna time
-meditate
-breathing exercises
The goal is to activate your Parasympathetic Nervous system and turn off your Sympathetic nervous System. Sympathetic refers to your "fight or flight" and Parasympathetic refers to your "rest and recover". If you can take the time to put some more CHILL time into your recovery, you will surely be perfroming at your best on training days. 

2)Physical Recovery. You know this type of recovery if you have been around the gym for any length of time. A reputable gym this is... 
-Stretching
-myofascial release
-massage
These are all types of Physical recovery you have probably been well aware of for some time. Each has a place in recovery to help move all that metabolic waste out of the muscles and help keep the muscles supple! Stretching the muscle after exercise is the best time to create more length in the muscle and teach the brain that allowing for extra 'stretch' in the muscle is ok. Many times athletes who dont stretch after training end up looking and moving just like those who dont train at all; little balled up and immobile beings.

Myofascial Release attacks the knots and metabolic waste on  another level. Breaking up the inflammation in the muscle and keeping the skin moving smoothly over the muscle is key to optimal mobility. Lacrosse Balls, Foam rollers and the host of other implements that have gotten weirder and weirder over the years all do the trick. Working along the muscle fiber and across the muscle fiber as well as all around the joints is a great way to keep you moving. 

Massage kills two birds with one stone. Not only can it be meditative (hormonal) but a properly trained therapist can feel around and pay close attention to muscles that need a bit extra. Once again, there are many types of massage and finding the one that you like is key. Your body will tell you. massage can have benefits beyond just the muscles as well. Massage has been linked to improving your immune systems and digestive systems as well. 


3)Mental Recovery. Have you ever heard of the 80/20 rule? As an everyday fitness enthusiast you should be focusing on your diet and training 80% of the time. The other 20% of the time you should be out living your life, smiling and spreading POSITIVE VIBES! The CrossFit Gym community is an infectious one and believe me when I say that it is hard to leave the gym behind after training. The gym community are the people I hang out with, share things with and care about. Unplugging from training completely and engaging in activity that has NOTHING to do with the gym is very important. Have a glass of wine! Play with your kids! Stay off Instagram!! Get out in Nature. (That is Mandatory)

For atheltes who are in season or on a serious training cycle the managing Mental Recovery should be programmed in with your weekly training. Not losing sight To the overall quality of your life is very important. From time with friends to even the knowledge that you made the right Nutrition choices, keeping your head is a positive space will keep the training/life balance. 

"17.4 Warm Up and Workout Prep"

Baseline:
1)Take 5 Minutes to Roll Out T-Spine and Hip Capsule with Roller or ball. Pay attention to move joint through range of motion while rolling. 
2) Activation:
Banded Pull Aparts (Low, Mid, Overhead) , Banded Pass Through, Banded Press, Banded Good Mornings, Banded Hip Activation, Banded Squats. 

2X
Banded Buddy Pull 50m
10 Barbell Bent Over Row
10 Barbell Strict Press and Reach
10 Barbell Romanian Deadlift
10 Alternating Knee To Elbow ( Really twist the low back out)

3) WOD Prep:
Tape off your HSPU station. 36"X24" and 3" below your wrist mark.
-chalk your hands and place them on the floor, kick up and make sure you feel extension and dorsiflexion of the foot . 
-Perform 3 sets of 3 Handstand Push Ups

Load barbell to Workout Weight for deadlift. Practice setting the midline, perfroming a quick set of 5 reps and dropping the bar. Each set should be tight and active. No Need to be a hero.. 

Mental Notes:
-you are Better off pacing than you are sprinting, smooth is fast in this workout. 
-Pick happy numbers that you can live with. I like round numbers or multiples of 5. On deadlifts and wall balls stick to that pace. 
-Breathing has been something I have programmed through the opens, use the inhale and exhale variations.
-set up correctly and anticipate the set. Don't try and work until you are braced through the midsection on any of the movements. 
-Row at a 1:55-2:10 pace the entire time. This is what the pacing drills have been all about the past few weeks. 

WOD:
Against a 13 Minute CLock,

55 Deadlift
55 Wall Ball
55 Cal Row
55 HSPU (push press)
 

130317 "Why the words FREE and RADICAL should always be separate."

 Our cells are the powerhouses which keep all the systems of the body running properly. The food you eat, the air your breathe, how old you are, how much exercise you get (or don't get)... all has a bearing on how your cells operate. Free Radicals seek to disrupt the entire system, and although their name sounds kinda cool, they can really mess you up. 

Stress kills. We all know that. I have written many times about the subject, but there is a deeper and less measurable stress that can be hindering your athletic performance? Oxidative stress is caused by all manner of things but the results are the same to your cells. Oxidative stress is basically a thief, stealing electrons from molecules and leaving your cells with a pseudo 'black eye'. When cells are damaged, they cannot repair themselves and certainly are unable to replicate themselves. These are two VERY important functions that relate to Athletic performance. 

Muscle Contraction and work completed are directly linked to your cells being healthy. 

Free Radicals are broken down molecules. Down on their luck, they begin a chain reaction of stealing electrons if not brought back into check by proper nutrition, constant exercise, and good sleep. While Free Radicals are commonly associated with cancer and alzheimers, they can also be said to cause;
-foggy thoughts and fatigue,
-gray hair
-premature aging of the skin
-poor eyesight
-lack of sex drive and athletic performance

FREE and RADICAL are cool words... I use them a lot; but they should always be kept apart. Antioxidants have been touted as a way to combat the stress that hurts your body. Natural antioxidants like those found in Organic Produce are perfect. "Antioxidants" refers to the make up of the molecules. Antioxidants can give up an electron without becoming a 'Free Radical' and therefore keep the whole balance inside the cell. 

Antioxidant supplements have NOT been shown to do much... Good Food is the best form of Antioxidants out there.

While Exercise can contribute to cell damage and Free Radicals in the body, consistent athletic training has been show to increase antioxidant defense. Therefore, it pays to be super active. Weekend warriors hurt more because they are not consistent and a week of soreness is the bodys way of saying, "Keep at It". For athletes that train hard and don't treat their bodies well on rest days, they are doing themselves a disservice. On rest days, you need to be mindful of everything you are putting in your body so as to help combat the effects of FREE RADICAL DAMAGE. Rest days don't mean, pound beers and eat like shit. 

We are all pushing our bodies real hard during the CrossFit Games Opens. make sure you are paying attention to things like Free Radicals and keep your nutrition on point. If you are experiencing more than 2 days of soreness after a workout, you need to take a look at your lifestyle and see how you can tweet it. Stay conscious my friends and lets keep pushing for our most optimal self in 2017!

3/13
Baseline:
3X
10 Heavy KB Romanian deadlift
20 4Ct. Flutter Kicks
30 Plyo Plate Jumps **Quick Feet on and off the plate

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

Wall ball Warm Up for 3 Minutes.

Double Under Progression: (7:00)
-singles
-high jump Singles
-Cadence Drills W/ Singles and Doubles
-Spend 7 Minutes Working on Double Unders

WOD:
18 Min AMRAP
10 American KB Swings
20 Wall Ball Shots
30 Double Unders

3/14
Baseline:
:30 @ Each Movement X 2 Rounds
-Air Squats
-Partner Burpee High 5's
-Russian Twist
-jump Lunges
-Mtn Climbers

Spend 4 Minutes Dynamically Stretching the hip and Shoulder W/
-Samson Lunges
-Elbow To Instep
-Inchworm
-Wall CLimbs

Skill Development:
In 7 sets, Build to Heaviest 2RM Front Squat.
-balance and knee position
-speed out of the bottom

WOD:
3X
400m Run
20 Hand Release Push Ups
20 Knee TO Elbow

Cash Out:
3X
:45 Barbell Front Rack Hold 225/135
:20 L-Sit

3/15
Baseline:
Lat Band Mobility/ Bully Stretch/ Half Moon Stretch- Static
Dynamic- Banded Pull Aparts, Banded Press, Banded Pass Thru, Banded Good Mornings, Banded Hip Activation, Banded Squats

3X
10XBarbell Behind the neck press
10X Jumping Pull Ups
10X Tuck Jumps

WOD:
6X Go Every 3 Minutes (18 minutes)
12 DB Push Press 50/35
8 Burpee Pull Up
6 Box Jump Overs **cannot touch the box

Midline Stability: (10 Mins)
5X
:20 Superman
:20 Side PLank 'L'
:20 PlanK
:20 Side PLank 'R' 
:20 Hollow Hold
:20 Rest

100317 "17.3 Warm Up and Workout Notes."

 

For many, this workout is going to be how fast you can complete the 6 rounds within the 8 minutes. For this reason I am gearing my preparation towards this end. If you have the capacity to move into the third couplet, the game is still to move efficiently and quickly but there can be more strategy and pacing involved. 

Baseline:
Begin by taking 5 minutes before your session to roll out your T spine/ Lat insertion (teres).
-after mobilization move into activation with,

Banded Pull aparts (palm down/palms up), Banded Pass Thru, Banded Press, banded Good Mornings, Banded Rows, Banded Hip Activation Drill.
-after activation,

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

2X
500m Row
10 Kipping Chest To Bar Pull Up/ Pull Up/ Jumping Pull Up

Snatch Warm Up:
7@ Each
-High Pull
-Muscle Snatch
-OHS
-Snatch Balance
-Sotts Press
-Mid Thigh Squat Snatch
-Mid Shin Squat Snatch

CrossFit Games Open 17.3

Prior to 8:00, complete:
3 rounds of:
    6 chest-to-bar pull-ups
    6 squat snatches, 95/65 lb.
Then, 3 rounds of:
    7 chest-to-bar pull-ups
    5 squat snatches, 135/95 lb.
*Prior to 12:00, complete 3 rounds of:
    8 chest-to-bar pull-ups
    4 squat snatches, 185/135 lb.
*Prior to 16:00, complete 3 rounds of:
    9 chest-to-bar pull-ups
    3 squat snatches, 225/155 lb.
*Prior to 20:00, complete 3 rounds of:
    10 chest-to-bar pull-ups
    2 squat snatches, 245/185 lb.
Prior to 24:00, complete 3 rounds of:
    11 chest-to-bar pull-ups
    1 squat snatch 265 lb.

*If all reps are completed, time cap extends by 4 minutes.

"5 ways to Improve your Endurance"

Busting out of the cramped winter gym to the spring time trails; we all face the reality that our endurance sucks the first few times out. On the trail, on the bike, in the pool; it doesn't matter the arena.. we need some work. The great thing is that building muscular endurance and aerobic capacity can be a fun and varied progression that just takes some time and effort. I am going to give you 5 key principles of training to help you build that Endurance wether you are a beginner or an avid athlete. 

First we need to identify what type of Endurance we seek. There is training for the best VO2 max, there is building your Lactate Threshold, and boosting your Aerobic Endurance. Lets break these types of endurance down, shall we?
-VO2 max training involves developing the potential of your body to intake the most amount of oxygen possible and utilize that O2 for muscular performance. If you are someone who is a middle distance runner (3-10k) or a multi-sport athlete then this type of training should suit you.

-Training your Lactate Threshold is for my power athletes out there. This training is the type that you see on all the intense fitness commercials with people drenched in sweat, pushing until they make that uncomfortable face, and then doing the 'bacon sizzle' on the floor after they are done.. Heavy bouts of intense exercise combined with a VERY diversified timing and training program will yield; not only an ability to process O2 efficiently but also  the ability to also delay the effects of Lactic acid build up in the muscles. Supplements are somewhat of a necessity for this training. If you are a Field Sport athlete or a CrossFitter, you should look into this type of Endurance. 

-Aerobic Endurance training is geared for those that seek the longer distances or those athletes that are out in the world seeking unique challenges which will entail a great amount of muscular recruitment, over long periods of time, at sub maximal levels.  Avid Hikers, OCR atheltes, distance runners or triathletes fall into this category. The term Aerobic is differentiated from VO2 max training in the interval lengths and reduction of rest time between bouts of exercise. Though you may think that Aerobic Training may be simply putting miles in, I beg to differ. Strength Training is absolutely necessary for developing muscle mass and cardiovascular endurance. 

The 5 Tips to help build overall endurance work for the Beginner as well as the Advanced athletes.  For beginners or sporadic athletes, incorporating little tweaks to your programming will help keep you progressing at your own pace and not feel bad if life gets in the way (which is always inevitably does). For Advanced ahtletes the goal is to keep training interesting and varied so that your passion for your sport stays high and you dont bail out because you are bored or feel like you've hit a plateau. 

1) Always Run on Squat Days. Strength Training and Endurance?? Yes!!! For many years now I have always programmed moderate distance runs on days that I am doing Lower Body Exercises. When you are lifting in a very linear fashion your body does not get a chance to break out other muscles that are essential for agility, balance and strength. By running on Squat days you move joints through their full Range Of Motion, challenging your Neuro-muscular system in a differentiated way. Stay off the Treadmill! I encourage running out doors to practice agility and balance, plus its great fresh air!

2) Gradually increase work time and decrease rest time. No matter the Enduracnce pathway you are on, Interval Training is the Proven method of building Endurance from the cellular level to Mental Strength. Intervals look different depending on how you train and how deep you are into a programming cycle but one thing remains the same. The better you get, the shorter you should be resting. Interval Rest periods are meant to replenish your cells ATP levels, and allow your body to adapt to changes in O2 volume and synthesis. As you become more conditioned, your body makes subtle changes to how it adapts to stress. Fools Rush in!!!! Dont push it to fast in the beginning. Just as you would look at the 'long game' when developing your squat, so should you plan out your Endurance training. Use certain metrics in your intervals like distance run, time of run, and timing out your recovery time to watch yourself get better each week. 

3)Keep the weight on the bar. The common thinking among novice atheltes is that Muscular Endurance comes from training at a very light weight for high repetitions. I dont agree with this thinking. When I look at the greatest atheltes in field sports, middle distance runners and CrossFit athletes I not only see lean muscle but I also see POWER. Muscular Power and Endurace should trend along the same progressive incline when training for most sports. Power is maintained not by seeing how fast you can perform work at 45% of your 1RM, Power is built when you work in the ranges of 65%-75% of your 1RM lifts. Increasing the rep ranges into the 10-12 range allow for Muscular Endurance to develop at the same time as your ability to accomplish work with Speed. 

4) Incorporate Awkward Objects into your training. This tip I really love because I train outside often. On trail runs or at the beach I will frequently grab a rock or log, squat it, sprint with it, press it, walk with it, pull it... whatever. Building Endurance is as much mental as it is physical. Awkward object training pulls the rug out from under your Neuro-Muscular patterns and keeps you guessing. Often times these objects will disrupt your breathing cycles which makes you more fatigued. Essentially they throw you off. Referring back to the intervals I spoke of prior, incorporating the object into your 'Rest' period really keeps you working and your body adapting to the changing stress on it. Mentally you are having to solve for balance, coordination and often a weight that is lopsided therefore certain muscles must compensate and figure out how to keep working. Building Endurance is many times thinking outside the box!

5) Keep Pushing your Boundary Farther. I have always been plagued with the 'What's Next??' Syndrome. Every time I reach a milestone I acknowledge it, feel good about it, and then am looking for the next level! Your pathway to Endurace training should embody some form of this. Not by simply wanting better or wanting more but actually DOING MORE and PUSHING FOR MORE is the key. Endurace training has the potential to keep you striving for new goals for your entire athletic life. If you are working to a 1 Mile PR time today, lets see how you can keep pushing for a 3K or 5K PR next year. You may be training to play 1 full half of your basketball game without stopping. Over the course of this year, lets see you get to where you can go all game without stoping. There is no ceiling to how far you can push it, but it falls squarely on you to make it happen. Building Endurace takes Desire and Action!

Here is the HOW... You develop the WHAT and the WHY and Ill see you at the Goal line. Endurace Training is well within your reach both mentally and physically. Get Creative and keep the stoke going!

39
Baseline:
Rowing and Breathing Warm Up:
2:00 @ 2:00-2:05 pace. Establish breathing through nose only.
:45 @ 1:40-1:50 pace. In through nose, out through mouth. Hard Exhale.
:30 @all out sprint. Big Breaths...
1:00 @ 2:00-2:05 pace. Breathing only through nose. 
:30 @ all out sprint. 
1:00 @ 1:40-1:50 pace. Big, deep breaths. In through nose, out through mouth. 

Kettle bell Top To Bottom warm Up:
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

Skill Work:
4 Rounds Not For Time.
10 Turkish Get Ups (5 on each arm)
20 DB Burpee Box Step Ups
50m Banded Buddy Pull 

Conditioning:
7X :45 work/ :15 Rest
15 Side Step Reverse Lunge
Max Rep Russian KB Swing

3/10
CrossFit games Opens Workout #3

060317 "3 reasons why you should watch the NFL combine"

While most of us were enjoying the beautiful weather, many High Speed Collegiate Athletes were proving their talents in Indianapolis Indiana. The NFL combine is the premiere showcase of athletes from specific positions who demonstrate their ability to press, jump, run, change direction and throw. 

Up until a few years ago this spectacle was only for the viewing of media and scouts form NFL organizations. But that was before the NFL channel. The NFL has done what many sports have done which is to keep you thinking about the sport even after the "Big Game". The same applies to other sports like Gymnastics and Major League Baseball. 

But the NFL combine is something that you should watch out for. 

1) The variety of athletes for each position truly shows that there is raw talent in the game just as we see in our own sport, CrossFit. From Lineman to Quarterbacks the potential draftees come in all shapes and sizes. 'Normal' sized wide receivers, and gangly Quarterbacks were put out in front and asked to display their skills. What was cool for me to see and that you should take notice of is just how diverse collegiate programs are when they recruit talent into the  programs. 
For instance, when you have a 6'7 quarterback you are not going to run the heck out of him, cause he doesn't have the agility of the smaller guys. Yet their program design build the athlete to the point that they have the potential to play in the NFL. That is awesome coaching, program design , and athlete development.  The combine is a way to see just how each college builds athletic programs. Pretty cool.

2) The Bench Press Contest. Well, not just that test but the other tests as well. Its the closest to a professional Fitness Contest (like the crossfit games) that most people will ever see. Establishing metrics as to help classify athletes is something that I as a coach spend a lot of effort tracking. HOPEFULLY YOU DO TO! Watching each off the players from specific positions, run through the tests is truly something special. All said, I thing that Tight Ends and Defensive Backs are the most fit all around.... Just saying. The tests highlight how specificity in training can limit your abilities or enhance them. Quarterbacks are not the best at the bench press.... just saying. 

3) JOHN ROSS, WASHINGTON HUSKIES... This guy is amazingly fast. He broke the NFL Combine Record by running the 40 yard dash in 4.22 seconds! And thats not even a PR for him. When I see stand out athletes in any discipline I give them credit. What I am really stoked for is that by setting this record, he has basically moved himself up to 1st round draft potential. At the end of the day, this is the proving ground for these athletes to make it to the big show. Some did OK and some did amazing. These kids are pushing either way and that is something to watch .

The NFL has critics for sure. The money, the advertisements, the concussions, I get it. But damn if it is not an amazing bunch of badass athletes that are working their asses off each day in practice just so they can play under the lights for your amusement. The NFL combine is just one more step on the path to the NFL for these young athletes. It may not be entirely your thing but as fitness enthusiasts, I am sure you can appreciate all that goes on over the course of the weekend. 

Lets keep the spirit of these athletes in our mind as we go into Week 3 of the CrossFit games Opens. Keep up the fight, get better every day. 

3/6
Baseline:
2X :30 @ each movement
-180 degree squat Jacks **jump and spin 180, placing hand in between feet.
- Reverse lunge Elbow To instep
-Russian Twist
-Divebomber Push Ups
-Inchworm Walk Outs

Lunge Flow: Ankle Circles, T spine stretch, Samson lunge, hamstring pulses, pigeon stretch.

Skill Development:
***Week 4 of Barbell Front Rack Step Ups***
3X10 Per Leg @25-33% of backsquat 1RM
-support leg should not do any work, knee stays locked out

Super set each W/ :25 of a Ring Support Top Hold (holding the top of the ring dip)

WOD:
15 Minute AMRAP
25 Wall Ball Shots
20 Sit Ups
15 Push Ups

3/7
Baseline:
Agility Warm Up
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

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

WOD:
400m Run
30 Snatch 75/55
400m Run
30 Snatch 95/65
400m Run
***scale Snatch to Power Snatch or American KB Swing 

Core Cash Out:
30X Side Lunge Knee To Elbow 'L"
30X Side Lunge Knee To Elbow 'R'
30X DB Wood Chops 

3/8
Baseline:
Lat band Mobility/ Banded Bully Stretch/ Pitchers Stretch/ Banded Half Moon/ Banded Good Mornings/ Banded Pull Aparts/ Banded Pass Thru/ banded Squats

6 Min Quality AMRAP
8X Romanian Deadlift
8X Bent Over Row
8X Barbell Thrusters
8X Barbell Back Rack Press
20X Double Unders

**Spend 6 Minutes Covering Barbell Deadlift, Hang Power Clean, and Push Press.

**Spend 5 Minutes Covering the HSPU Progressions
-DB Seated Press
-Piked HSPU
-Box HSPU
-Banded HSPU
-Kipping HSPU

WOD:
For Time,
21 HSPU
2 Rounds Of 'DT' (12 deadlift, 9 Hang Power Clean, 6 Shoulder to Overhead 155/105)
15 HSPU
2 Rounds of 'DT'
9 HSPU

 

030317 "17.2 Workout and Warm Up Guide"

17.2 is truly going to test your strength and stamina in certain movement patterns. Your grip strength will be tested against all aspects of the movements. Making sure your forearms are not tight prior to the workout is important. Get comfortable with the Push/ Pull aspect of the Kipp motion. This is going to keep you in the fight. As I have always said, get the most out of this swing because the subsequent parts of the kip will be much easier if you do. 

 

Baseline:
3X
10m Marching High Kicks
5 Dive-bombers
10m Elbow To Instep Lunges
8 Reverse Hand Push Ups
10 Med Ball, single Leg,  Up and overs
 

Banded Pull Aparts
Banded Overhead Pull Aparts
Banded Good Mornings
Banded Squats
Banded Press
Banded Rows

Kipping T2B Progression:
-hang on the bar long and hollow
-Pull torso forward and push torso back using hips and shoulders
-Once you can control the swing in howl, add a hip flexion to the swing. 
-Work The Kip swing until you can bring knees above hip height
- at peak of hip flexion, add a kick to the bar to complete toes to bar.
-if you can, practice piked T2B as this will allow you to default to flexibility instead of just strength.

Kipping Bar Muscle Up:
-follow instructions from T2B progression.
- after you can achieve hip flexion, add the pull to the bar.
-you must do the highest Chest to bar pull up possible.
- Pivoting on the sternum, you will quickly look over the bar at the ground allowing the chest to rest on bar and elbows to rotate above the shoulder. 
-Press out. 
-dont be afraid to do singles. Each rep is going to move you up 30+ spaces on the leaderboard. 

Power Clean:
-Just the dumbbell heads have to touch the ground so drop them directly on the outside of the feet.
-Eyes and chest stay up.
-jump hard and exaggerate the shrug and alleviate the biceps doing more of the work. 
- Rack the dumbbells squarely on the shoulders each rep to help with grip.
-keep the dumbbells close on the way down to prevent back fatigue. 

Pre Workout:
Get hot and sweaty but don't overdo the grip in the warm up!
-unload the back and stretch hip flexors with some upward dog poses. 
- stretch out the hands and ensure grip is not fatigued. 
- make sure lunges are dialed, with balance and stride distance established. 
- mentally prepare to pace yourself. If you go to failure on any of the movements it will surely bite you in the ass. 

WOD:
17.2

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 12 minutes of:
2 rounds of:
  50-ft. weighted walking lunge
  16 toes-to-bars
  8 power cleans
Then, 2 rounds of:
  50-ft. weighted walking lunge
  16 bar muscle-ups
  8 power cleans
Etc., alternating between toes-to-bars and bar muscle-ups every 2 rounds.

010317 "GMO 2.0, Coming to a store near you"

2017 intends on being the year of dramatic change and rebirth. From all manner of society; politics to Nutrition. A big player coming onto the markets and soon to be hitting your grocery stores is a revitalization of certain GMO foods and the technologies that produce them . And its all going to begin with a staple food that all of us give our kids each day....

The Washington Post  recently wrote and article outlining some new GMO foods that are going to hit the market this year and the need to double down on how we regulate GMO food. The 'Arctic Apple' developed by Okanagan Specialty Fruits in Canada has developed a gene manipulation which allows for this variety of apple not to turn brown when exposed to air. Like other GMO foods, the goal is to increase shelf life, and simply provide a product that the consumer deems easier, healthy and more convenient to buy. 

GMO 2.0 does not have any signs of slowing down either. In fact, upon doing a bit of research into GMO technology, companies like Monsanto and DuPont are investing huge in technologies like CRISPr, which is a gene halting technology that halts certain natural variations from occurring insides seeds, making all food as uniform as can be. The technology also uses seed sterilization so that farmers must buy seeds each year and thereby keep the agriculture market controlled from the top down. Greater concern for further research into this technology and to slow these products coming to market are very warranted. Gene silencing and RNA manipulation are said to have great impact on human cells but no research has begun on the topics! 

Yet midwestern grocery stores are already seeing GMO 2.0 foods on shelves!

Improvement over the previous methods of GMO crops has at least moved away for the use of such harsh pesticides and herbicides. Round Up, a chemical used as an herbicide was practically washing all corn and soybean crops upon planting. Over the past few years, all corn and soy fed to animals waiting for slaughter as well as products such as breads and all things that contain SOY (which is practically everything) are of this GMO variety. 

No matter how you fight it, you consume GMO everyday. Unless you are completely off the grid that is... 

Doing my due diligence to find a positive for the GMO side, the marketing materials do point to some very indisputable facts about how GMO foods could help our changing food environment. It is true that our population on this earth is skyrocketing and the need for nutrients is a necessity. Food is so abundant in the US and we literally throw away more than we eat as a nation. GMO 2.0 foods provide a way to feed more impoverished nations and even lower our food costs here at home. GMO 2.0 foods also are coming out with 'nutrient inhanced' vegetables and fruits which are claiming to lower the risk of cancer and heart disease. 

Once again, these claims are from the chemical companies themselves and are not at all taken as fact by me. I am about facts, and so far there is nothing to back this up. 

What bothers me is that I come from a farming family; my dad, my uncles, my grandfather all farm. I do not like the sound of potentially buying my food from DuPont or Monsanto instead of the farmer that I know. Food, no matter how you intend to think about it, is our life source. As long as I have been writing this nutrition blog a very proven truth has always been evident in the research that I have read, "YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT". GMO 2.0 is taking chemistry, biology and nature and manipulating it; and I (along with billions of others) are going to be the science experiment which either proves or disproves their theories. I love science and what it has done to help find cures for disease. The question we need to ask ourselves is, "Where is the Tipping Point?" Between manipulating Nature for Humans benefit. 

Could we be doing ourselves more harm than good in the long run?

I encourage your thoughts and comments on this topic. As always, do your own homework and remain conscious about all things that you put into your body. 

3/1
***Week 3 of Barbell Front Rack Step Ups
Baseline:
2X
:20 At each movement
Jumping Jacks
Squats
Reverse Lunges
Cossack (side) lunges
Bow/ Bend
Pineapple Pickers
Sit Up to straddle splits
Russian Twist
Leg Levers
Superman Hold
Piked Handstand Push Ups

Lunge Flow: Ankle Rotations, Elbow To Instep, Warrior Pose, hamstring Pulses, Pigeon Stretch

Skill Development:
3X8-12 Per Leg
Barbell Front Rack Box Step Ups
@ 30-33% of Backsquat Weight
**Superset each with 15X GHD Hip Extensions

WOD:
AMRAP 12
12 Burpee
12 Toes To bar
12 Push Press 115/75

Cool Down: 
Row for 5 mins. Find a pace that allows you to breathe deeply and hold on the pull and slowly release the breath on the return. Do not rush, only take the next pull once all O2 has been expelled.

3/2
Baseline:
Lat Band Mobility/ Bully Stretch/ Banded Half Moon Pose/ Pitchers Stretch (4:00)

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

4 Rounds Not For Time:
10 Strict Chin ups
20 Strict Ring Dips
50/50m KB Overhead Walk/ KB Farmer Carry
**one Kettle Bell is held at the waist, the other overhead. At the 50m mark, switch arms. 50m walk out>>50m Walk Back.

3/3
**Week 2 of the Crossfit Games Opens!!!!