Austin Gym

EXTENSION CORDS & LIFE LESSONS

To get this started, I’m going to tell you a story. It’s not an exciting story. But I think that if you stick with me, you’ll find some value at the end. Hopefully.

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The other day I was blowing out the gym with my trusty electric leaf blower. I finished the job, dropped the doors down and began to wind up the 50’ extension cord like I always do. Normally, as I come closer to the end that is still plugged in to the wall socket, I gently yank on the cord, popping the male end loose from the wall socket and finish the wind job. This time, however, I had a “daymare”, as Jen and I call them. I imagined myself doing what I normally do, but this time - in my daymare - the cord detaches from the male end which remains stuck in the socket. This may not sound terrible, but it would ultimately result in a stupid amount of little “fix-it” projects that would add needless shit to an already busy week.

I know, this is a lame ass story, but stay with me.

Look, every once in a while, in an effort to do something faster or more efficiently, we do things that backfire and actually create a lot more work for us in the long run. Sometimes, however, if we’re lucky AND paying attention, our intuition tells us that this may not be a great idea. The daymare scenario from above was my intuition kicking in and telling me that yanking on the cord to pop it loose was going to screw me over eventually.

Hearing this intuitive plea is one thing.
Actually listening and applying a change of course is another.

I now walk all the way to the outlet, grip the end of the cord and pull the cord loose from the wall, ensuring that the cord itself stays intact and prevents me from having to do silly repairs to something that could’ve been easily avoided in the first place.

See! That story was lame as hell, but we got to the nugget! I hope you can see that there is tremendous crossover to pretty much every aspect of your life. I challenge you to analyze one thing you purposely do in an effort to save time or complete a task faster. Does it really add up to efficiency? Or, does it set you up for some sort of backfire scenario that creates needless stress in the long run?

We often take the path of instant gratification, faster is better, more is better. But, what are we setting ourselves up for in the big picture when we live each moment in this mindset? I don’t have answers. I’m just asking the question.

I LOVE THIS SHIT!!!

Photo by: Dave Re

Photo by: Dave Re

I love being a coach. I love being there when people break through barriers. I love being a part of someone’s life as they work towards growth.
All of those things are magnified when I’m teaching Strongman. Why? I believe in it. I believe it serves my people in a way that nothing else can touch. In my opinion, there is no better way to help someone build true, functional ability in there own life than teaching that person the methods of Strongman.
Although intimidating at first, people quickly realize that they can do it, and even better - they have FUN with Strongman movements. As a coach, I hold Strongman on a pedestal because it fucking delivers the goods - always - and does so in a fraction of the time of other modes. The ROI is massive for coaches, athletes and a gym owners.
If you’re a coach or athlete interested in learning more about Strongman and how to appropriately apply it, reach out to us or follow the link below.

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HYBRID ATHLETICS STRONGMAN COURSE

10/19/19 @ Travis County Strength

Austin, TX

NEW ADDITIONS

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We’re always working to make TCS the very best place to train. A big part of that is the energy of the space. You may not know what it is when you first walk in to TCS, but I suspect that what you’re picking up on is a strong vibe of people that know how to work hard AND have fun. I also suspect that you dig it.

Look, I know these little lightbulbs don’t help you lift more weight, build more muscle or improve your work capacity. However, these do play a small role in the bigger picture - and all those little things matter. Why? Because these small touches show your community that you really do give a shit about the experience they have, and that is everything.

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SLEDS AGAIN?! YES!!!

TCS Athlete, Todd Burnside, getting real serious about that return trip. Photo by: Dave Re

TCS Athlete, Todd Burnside, getting real serious about that return trip. Photo by: Dave Re

At TCS, we’re super serious about pushing sleds and we do it often. Why? Sleds are quite possibly the most effective tool for getting people - at any fitness level, but especially beginners - to the next level. Here are just some of the many benefits that sleds offer:

  • They require 0.0 skill

  • Load it up for a strength stimulus

  • Keep it light and get a sprint stimulus

  • Tax the legs w/o loading the spine (think: pre/rehab)

  • With smart adjustments, everyone can play the same game & get the same desired stimulus

  • Push, pull, drag, row, arms-only push, etc. It’s all possible.

  • They SUCK! But they’re also kinda FUN!

So, the next time you see sleds programmed in the workout, get EXCITED! Who knows what you’ll be doing with them?!

LIFT Camp for Girls

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GIRLS-ONLY Summer Camp!

This is BIG, y’all!


Just imagine this:

What if you had started making health, fitness and strength a priority at age 12 instead of age 35? Can you imagine how surrounding yourself with others that value these same things as well as communication, teamwork, confidence and support could have had a massive impact on your life?

I’m sure it’s safe to say that no matter how good you had it, this type of early introduction to an environment like the one described would have only made it better, right?

This is exactly why we would like to invite you to help us spread the word about our upcoming Girls-Only LIFT Summer Camp.

Coach Kevyn will be running a 90 minute fitness camp for girls July 22nd-25th at Travis County Strength. This is for any girls age 10-16 who want to learn the basics of proper technique, build quality movement patterns, improve overall strength and fitness and have a blast doing it with a group of cool chicks.

It is also very likely that participants find a massive boost in confidence and self-esteem through strength training work, making new friends and working together as a team throughout the camp.

All fitness levels and backgrounds are welcome.

WHEN: July 22nd-25th, 1030am to Noon each day.
*Girls need to bring a water bottle and a snack!*

COST: $100

REGISTER HERE

HOW TO BUILD A HEAVY BAG

It's been a while now, but we shared a video on how to build a sandbag for general purpose use. In that video, we briefly discussed the massive ROI building your own sandbag has when compared to spending big money on more traditional training equipment like barbells and bumper sets, which, of course, are great if you can swing the price tag and have space for it all.

For those of you that can't, or that train in the tight quarters of your garage, or who just want to include more odd object training into your program, we also discussed some of the sandbag exercises that are MUSTS. These lifts and exercises place a huge demand on you and provide a unique training stimulus that is difficult to replicate. 

Now, in an effort to provide y'all with more of the same (hopefully) valuable info, we wanted to show y'all our new heavy bags that we purchased from StrongFit, and how they can further diversify your training possibilities.

These bags are more durable and can handle much heavier weights - offering an alternative to atlas stones and/or kegs, both in shape and training stimulus, but won't destroy your floor when dropped. 

The video below is the "how-to" build your heavy bag. After you've made yours check back here for more vlogs on all the possibilities you have when it comes to training with the heavy bag! 


STRONGMAN = REAL LIFE

There's no disputing the fact that here at TCS, we fucking love strongman! I'm sure that is abundantly clear at this point, right? 

I've previously written about all the reasons we love this training method, but let's just cover all the bases by restating that strongman provides a massive ROI and is an absolute blast! So if we have this training style that's extremely effective and delivers big on the fun factor, why don't people jump all over it?

Intimidation. 

Strongman gets a bad rap as being "extreme" or "unsafe" because until recently, the only exposure the sport/training method got was from the TV show, World's Strongest Man. And, of course, if someone is sitting on their couch watching a 400lb man pull a fucking jet, they automatically discount it as "not for me". 

Nothing could be further from the truth. The real truth is that Strongman can be for everyone.

What you see on WSM is the very pinnacle of the sport and does not accurately represent what Strongman is on a basic level. Strongman, simply, is movement. Push, pull, drag, squat, carry, throw, etc. It's really that simple. And because Strongman is movement, it then places itself squarely on top of the list of "functional training methods".

Strongman is the shit that you do and encounter in your daily life. 

A sack of groceries in each hand is a farmers carry. Picking up a box of old books is nearly identical to picking up an atlas stone and moving it from A to B. Pushing your lawn mower up the steep hill in your back yard might as well be a heavy sled push.

Get it? You already do Strongman, you just didn't know it. 

Here at TCS, our contention is that if your life is going to demand these things from you, why not get really good at this stuff and have some fun along the way? You'll be amazed at the correlations you'll draw between the lifts and tasks programmed for you in class and the shit real life throws at you. To say that you'll become a more effective and efficient human being is an understatement. 

So, besides being informative(I hope), I guess this is all just a big long invitation for you to come experience Strongman at Travis County Strength. We have a passion for this stuff and love sharing it with people. Your next opportunity to join our Strongman Saturday is 3/25/2017 at 10am. You can reserve your spot today on the Class Calendar.

And, if not, I at least hope that you'll see those correlations we spoke of earlier. 

Hope to see you there!

NOW YOU HAVE A SANDBAG. HERE'S WHAT TO DO WITH IT!

Out of the endless sandbag exercise possibilities, there are three exercises that are crucial for developing your grip strength, mid-line stability as well as providing you with a massive ROI. The sandbag clean, Zercher squat and get-up are those BIG 3.

Once you've read through each of the brief descriptions of these sandbag exercises, check out the video at the bottom to really drive each movement home. We recommend you start putting in to your programming as soon as possible. And, as always, have fun with these exercises! Feel free show us how you performed your sandbag exercises or drop us a line with any questions you may have.


THE BIG 3


1. SB Clean
This exercise teaches the lifter to generate power. It starts just like a Deadlift. Back flat, midline tight, and arms locked out. By quickly extending your hips and driving your feet through the ground, pop the sandbag up and drop into a receiving position to catch the bag.

2. Zercher Squat
This exercise is great for midline control, building leg strength and requires that you maintain proper posture while squatting, which will keep you safe and efficient. Support the sandbag with your arms forming a "basket" in front of you with palms facing up. The sandbag should be placed in the crooks of your elbows as you engage your lats in order to keep the bag close to your body as you perform your reps.

3. Get Up
This exercise can be performed any number of ways, but we encourage that as you start out, that you take it slow, hit each progression with intention and find good positions throughout the entire range of motion. When done in this fashion, the sandbag get-up recruits nearly all major muscle groups with the completion of just one rep. To say that there's a big return on investment with this movement would be an understatement.


WOMEN'S WEIGHTLIFTING CREW

Starting in February (2/3/17) TCS will host the Women's Weightlifting Crew on the first Friday of every month. This is open to any female in the area who loves to pick shit up and put it down. Strongman, powerlifting, olympic lifting, "gymnastical" shit....everything is up for discussion. Myself and Coach Mary D from the Strictly Strength side of the gym will be leading these workouts. 

If you are familiar with TCS, Travis hosts "Lumberjacked" for the dudes once a month. This is the same - but better for obvious reasons.

WWC is open to any fitness level. You could be starting out day 1 - or be competing in the Olympics. We don't care, and neither should you. This is about getting together with other strong women and doing what we love: Lifting heavy shit in any way possible. 

Sign ups are HERE. Look on the class calendar each month for the announced Friday night for the WWC. 

3 TIPS TO MAKE YOUR TIME ON THE AIRBIKE A LITTLE LESS SHITTY

We all know that any time spent on an airbike(airdyne, assault bike, xebex, airfit, etc.) is probably going to be miserable and end horribly - It's the nature of the beast, but that's why we do it. There's not much out there that can create that type of suck. That being said, there's no reason to make it worse than it has to be!

In the video below, I share a couple quick tips on how to properly set up your bike so that your time in the saddle is a little less shitty.