Strength

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.

ROWS ≠ SCALED MOVEMENT

How many of you out there have a strict pull-up without the use of assistance bands? I would imagine that the majority of you don’t, and that’s ok. Strict pull-ups take time to develop, but during that process, it’s likely that your coach told you that “we are going to scale the pull-up to a ring row or inverted barbell row”, right? This is common practice and a good modification, but it plants the seed that these row variations are scaled modifications and not on the same level as the pull-up.

THIS IS WRONG.

Rows, when done well, are just as valuable (maybe more, actually.) as pull-ups or chin-ups and should be done often regardless of whether you have a beautiful strict pull-up or not.

There are tons of variations of rows. In fact, I am now going to share my best impression of Bubba from Forrest Gump if he were to discuss the plethora of row varients:

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KB Bent-Over Row
DB Bent-Over Row
BB Bent-Over Row
BB Seal Row
DB Seal Row
DB/KB Single-Arm Bent-Over w/Support
Ring Row
Inverted Barbell Row
Seated Band Row
Seated Cable Row
Landmine Bent-Over Row
T-Bar Row
Chinese DB Bent-Over Row
Pendlay Row
AND MORE!

I hope you get the idea because now I am exhausted and need to take a nap before continuing…

Ok, I’m back and reinvigorated.

Now, the entire row family is extremely valuable, but it’s important to mix it up with different variations, and often. Why? If we stick with one version, two things are most likely going to occur:

  1. You’ll become strong in one and only that one movement pattern - to a certain extent before #2 occurs…

  2. Overuse issues will begin to arise due to the monotonous reps on that specific joint and involved muscle(s) and connective tissue.

In fact, it is my opinion that the reason that there are so many variations is due to the fact that old-school iron movers HAD to continue performing row reps to build big, strong backs, but had to find a way to limit the injuries and downtime away from the weights. So, if we go back up to our list of row options, you’ll notice that a lot of these make a ton of sense. Especially the versions that incorporate a de-loaded spine/supported torso position.

Think about it. You have literally thousands of different variations of strength movements, but we KNOW that the big ones are the deadlift, squat and bench press. Of those 3, 2 are extremely demanding on the low back - even when done well. Now, if we are doing those lifts AND a ton of heavy bent-over barbell rows, how long do you think you’ll see returns before something happens to that low back?

This is simple stuff, but is often overlooked by coaches and athletes because we all like to do the big weight and the cool shit, but that’s an immature, unwise choice. Mix it up and watch the strength AND durability of your athletes spike.

And, Coaches, one more thing. We’ve GOT to stop framing the Ring Row or Inverted BB Row in the context of a scaled pull-up. It is soooo much more valuable than a movement we throw at folks that are not strong enough for strict pull-ups. That’s some bullshit.

We provide these versions of row because they have a massive ROI. They take little, to no time, to teach and provide a profound strength stimulus. Start framing these rows as the foundational movements to building a strong back and pull. That’s what it is! Not a scale.

Now go do some rows and enjoy that shit.

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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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

MOVEMENT IS MOTIVATION

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We all lose our motivation from time to time. To deny that means you are lying to yourself. We lose motivation for any number of reasons, including loss of interest, stagnation, injury, life stressors, poor lifestyle habits, the absence of achievable goals, etc.

Acknowledging the fact that your motivation is lacking is important. In order to find your groove again, first you need to get honest with yourself about what’s holding you back. What are your hurdles? What are the benefits you are withholding from yourself by stopping at the excuses?

For myself, I know for sure that if I didn’t workout on a regular basis that I would be a grumpy sack of shit 100 percent of the time and make everyone around me miserable. I would also be upset with myself for not taking the necessary steps to take care of my mental and physical well-being and my lack of follow-through would then compound on my already irritable self. There I’d go, down a negative spiral impacting other important areas of my life.

Now, I don’t know about you, but that possible outcome is enough to at least get me in my truck to start driving to the gym. And, as many of you can probably attest, getting your physical body to the physical gym is often a major obstacle.

I had this exact discussion with one of our members the other day. I told her that if she can just get here (TCS), it all gets better. She agreed.

If you are still stuck behind a wavering motivation, another valuable tool you could implement is a “pros & cons” list. Simply list all the positive things about a specific decision, as well as the negative. Most likely, your “pros” list will overflow with the many benefits that stem from working out. Your “cons” side of “I just don’t want to” won’t work, my friend.

Look, if you can find  a compelling reason (by being real with yourself) to get your ass in the driver’s seat of your car and drive to the gym, 80 percent of the work is done! Listen to some kickass music on the way and try to enjoy the commute. The next step is simply to walk onto the black mats. From there, gyms like TCS take the wheel and tell you what to do next. If you notice that you’re still in a shit mood, GET MOVING!

I don’t care what you do. Just start moving. Don’t waste time filling up your water bottle or doing some super complicated band stretches - JUST MOVE!

Why is this so important? With movement comes motivation.

Think about it. When you leave the gym, are you in a better state of mind than when you came in? I can almost guarantee that you said yes.

When you  start to work your body you increase blood flow, heart rate and respiratory rate. Your body releases endorphins and produces more dopamine and serotonin, which are some pretty potent hormones that stimulate positive actions and states in the body.

There is a lot of science behind this, but the science doesn’t really matter in this case. Results matter.

So when I say movement is motivation, you can see that by simply moving as soon as you step foot in the gym, you start a chain reaction of positivity that will ultimately result in a great workout.

Get moving.

WARM-UPS SUCK, SO DON’T DO THEM

I will be the first one to tell you that warming up is for the birds. Ask anyone that goes to the gym on a regular basis if they take warming up seriously, and I guarantee that 99/100 will say that they don’t. In fact, I can probably describe the typical “warm-up” to you right now with surprising accuracy:

  1. Walk in

  2. Set your shit down

  3. Scan the gym for who’s where and what’s open

  4. Swing your arms in a “wannabe-Michael-Phelps” manner

  5. Pull a foot back to your butt and hold for a fast 3 count, then perform the same movement on the opposite side

  6. Swing your arms again, but this time in circles

  7. Walk to the nearest squat rack or bench and GET TO WORK!

How close was I? Hahaha. That’s what I thought. Some of you are probably reading this and saying, “but I foam roll, too.” Great. Is it a conscious effort to prep your muscles for the work ahead? Or are you using that roller as a back support while you check the Insta for any new likes?

Look, I get it. I don’t like warming up either, but it’s a necessary component to a successful workout and  to staying healthy over time. I know we all know this deep down, but it’s one thing to know something, and another to put it into practice.

So here’s what I’ve found to be helpful when I want to just jump straight into a workout and skip the warm-up.  First, I write up a light workout. The key word there is workout. This is really a trick I play on myself. I still include some of the things that I would do to warm-up along with several movements and exercises that I enjoy. In other words, I build my warm-up into my workout.

For example:
Set the clock for 6-10 minutes. In that time, simply move consistently from task to task without taking a break.

  • 20 High Knees

  • 20 Butt Kicks

  • 10 Air Squats

  • 5 Push-ups

  • 10 Ring Rows

  • 20 Jumping Jacks

  • 20 (sec) Elbow Plank

You see, these are all straightforward movements that will do an excellent job warming up your body’s muscle tissue, joints and gradually ramping up the Central Nervous System (CNS) in preparation for something harder. Not to mention the fact that, if you frame it as a workout in your mind, you are much more likely to actually do it and get the ball rolling for a better workout.

Obviously, the exercises, rep scheme, and duration are all variables that you can play with. In fact, sometimes I just push/pull a sled for 5 minutes straight. Doesn’t get more basic than that.

The point is that it doesn’t really matter what you do as long as you do something that accomplishes 3 things:

  1. Your joints, and body as a whole, should move and feel more primed for movement than when you started.

  2. You should have a light sweat going with an elevated heart/breathing rate.

  3. Your lack of motivation to be at the gym should reduce after a decent warmup. With movement often comes motivation. If you’re dragging ass, the best thing you can do is start the clock and just move. By the end, you’ll be glad you did and you’ll have new energy to tackle the rest of your session.  

After you clear the first warm-up hurdle, you can get more specific with the direction of your workout. You can prep for specific movements and gradually load your body so that everything is primed for the real, sexy work. But, as you now know, your workout starts with the warm-up.

GOT BIG STONES? HERE'S HOW TO MOVE'M

I think it's fair to say that Strongman is becoming more and more popular thanks to increased exposure at events like The Arnold Classic, The CrossFit Games and hell, even NetFlix docs and TV commercials!



But like with most things that gain popularity in a relatively short period of time, there will be those out there that jump on the bandwagon because some IG influencer picked up an atlas stone and made it look cool. This is fine and all, and we do want the strongman movement to grow and flourish, but it's important to note that Strongman has literally been around since the dawn of time.

IT IS THE WAY WE ARE PROGRAMMED TO MOVE AND INTERACT WITH OUR ENVIRONMENT.

If something heavy was in our way, we moved it the best possible way we could while limiting the possibility of injury. This is called self-preservation, BTW, and it's one of the many beautiful inherent characteristics of strongman movements. But I digress.

Look, the point is that just because it's becoming cool to do strongman doesn't mean that you should simply jump right in to it. It's true, learning this stuff, or rather, remembering it doesn't take much time at all. Becoming competent at properly loading an atlas stone is literally a matter of seconds. But, as is the case with all things - there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. And in the case of strongman, it really boils down to "right" being efficient and safe, and "wrong" being inefficient and high-risk.

At TCS we do implement strongman....A LOT! It's kind of our bread and butter and what sets us apart from the vast majority of gyms. And in our time utilizing strongman movements we've seen millions of reps performed and know what the most common faults are in each movement. In the video I have posted below, I'll share a couple common mistakes that you'll probably make or see someone make and how to easily address and correct those faults. Check it out. I hope it helps y'all move those big stones!  


POSITIONING FOR MORE POWER IN YOUR BENCH PRESS/PUSHUPS

I think we can all agree that the push-up and bench press are both some of the most commonly performed movements in the gym. And, if we're being honest, most people need to spend more time working on their "pushups" and less time worrying about how many plates they load on the bar - but maybe that's just me.

In either case, we all know (at a fundamental level) that you need to be able to properly position your body and activate the appropriate muscle groups to get the most our of each rep. Unfortunately, many people go into auto-pilot and do the same ole' shitty movement for every rep only ingraining poor patterns. Being conscious while performing seemingly simple movements is incredibly important and often neglected.

In an effort to assist y'all in your quest for better movement and bigger numbers, I spent a little bit of time in front of the camera explaining a very simple concept that I think will really help y'all out when performing any type of horizontal press. Check it out below and let me know if you find it valuable. 


COMING SOON: CrossFit Strongman Course

TCS will be hosting and leading the CROSSFIT STRONGMAN COURSE on Saturday, October 21st 2017.

Having the privilege to host and lead these courses is something that we are very thankful for. We absolutely love introducing coaches and athletes to the basics of Strongman and helping them get past any preconceived notions of what Strongman is and who it's for. We also really enjoy helping attendees discover how to appropriately implement this fun and highly effective training method into their programming back home. 

The course is non-stop and action-packed. We do some lecturing and demoing of each movement, but then we provide y'all with more than enough time to practice and get very comfortable with the implements and the movements. We break down each primary movement into fundamental progressions then smooth out the steps until everyone is moving with quality and confidence. It doesn't take long - and really, that's the beauty of Strongman:

Strongman movements are the truest form of "functional training". This stuff is already hardwired in each of us and because, deep down in our genetics, we know this stuff, the learning is actually just remembering.

Now, I may be biased, but these courses are an absolute blast! In fact, one of the most common reviews we get after holding a SM Course is that it was the most fun the attendee has had at a certification. That's what we strive for - a fun, action-packed day of moving heavy stuff(with good technique) with a group of cool, supportive people to bring it all together.

If that sounds like something you or someone you know would enjoy, SIGN UP. If you have questions about the course, contact us. 

We hope to see you there!

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.


HOW TO BUILD A SANDBAG

If you are someone that trains out of your garage, you probably have a limited area for a ton of more traditional equipment. Not to mention, the cost of buying all of that stuff is enough to deter even the most hardcore worker-outers. But don't stress. The answer is very simple and very inexpensive: build a sandbag.

Sandbags have become more mainstream recently due to the growing popularity of strongman, but there are many of you out there that are still missing the boat. Implementing sandbags into your training program has a multitude of advantages, but two big ones are:

1. They are inexpensive and easy to make. Major ROI.

2. They more accurately represent the types of object manipulation we face day-to-day. Let's just simplify this by saying that sandbags provide a more real-life experience than a barbell. Evenly distributed weight on a convenient barbell doesn't really happen in nature....just a thought.

Now, contrary to the name, you don't want to literally fill a bag full of sand and go crush a workout. Trust me, that's a bad idea. You'll find that to be a major pain in the ass to use and clean up after. Just picture coming out of the ocean and rolling around on the beach - that pretty accurately depicts the outcome. 

Instead, watch the video below. Chapa and I walk you through the process of building a solid general purpose sandbag. The video is a long one at 6 minutes, but I think that if you are serious about your training and creating a well-rounded program, it will totally be worth it to you to watch. Then, after you build your bag, we will be sharing another blog covering the 3 sandbag exercises you NEED to be doing to get strong. These exercises provide major bang for your buck - especially when performed with the sandbag, so you'll want to stay tuned for that one. 

Until then, get that bag built!


3 COMMON FAULTS TO AVOID WHEN DOING RDLs

The Romanian Deadlift, commonly known as the RDL, is one exercise you definitely need to incorporate into your training if you're looking to increase posterior chain strength. But like all movements, doing it properly will provide the most bang for your buck and keep you healthy for the long-game.

The  most common faults that occur while performing RDLs are:

  1. Rounding the low back
    This usually occurs because the athlete does not have control of their mid-line position or the athlete is attempting to go lower than there hamstring mobility will allow.
  2. Bar drifts away from body
    This fault can be seen when the athlete is not properly engaging their lats to pull the bar back against the legs in an active position.
  3. Too much knee flexion
    Again, this often occurs when the athlete attempts to go further than their mobility allows. But it can also be related to a poor understanding of pushing the hips back to stretch the hamstrings. 

An overarching concept that you'll find to be helpful is to only go as far down as your body will allow while maintaining proper positioning and activity. Everyone's range of motion and body mechanics are different, so don't get caught up forcing ranges of motion that aren't there yet. This will only lead to injury. Give it time and some solid effort to move as perfectly as possible and the benefits will soon follow.  not there to keep from possible injury.

Be sure to check out the video below. Joey Chapa, TCS's newest intern, breaks down the RDL and the concepts we've talked about above with some of the very best demonstrations ever performed by some dude with a great beard. HA!
 


 

 

 

 

 

 

LET ME INTRODUCE YOU TO YOUR MID-LINE.

As a coach, one of the most valuable things we can teach our athletes is how to control their mid-line. All too often, athletes and general fitness enthusiasts are exposed to physically demanding movements and positions without first establishing proper control over the musculature that is responsible for keeping their pelvis, low back and rib cage in safe, solid and efficient positions. Obviously we want this safety and efficiency present when moving our body through space, as well as when we move external objects through various ranges. As you can imagine, not having this control is a recipe for poor, potentially harmful, movement patterns to develop, which will eventually lead to injury. It's just a matter of time.

The good news is that we have ways to turn this trend around and build beneficial movement patterns and habits. It's not too late.

The video below is designed to help you introduce the Dead Bug Extension in a way that will be extremely valuable to both your newbs and seasoned athletes. This is one of those things that will only make you better - as long as you and your athletes pay attention to the details and move with intention. 

Check it out.


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. 

INTENTION & THE SWING

The Russian Kettlebell Swing is a seemingly simple movement - much like an air squat or pushup. But, these movements are key to the foundation of any person's ability to perform quality work in the gym and out.

The trouble begins when people think that because it's a basic movement that they can afford to simply go through the motions rather than making each and every rep as effective as possible. I know I'm guilty of this at times, but it's important that, as coaches, we convey a message of intention to our athletes. On the other side of that coin, the responsibility to carry that task out on a consistent basis - each and every rep - lies in the hands of the athlete.

So this video is for everyone. Coaches and athletes, take a few moments to watch the video and then apply these concepts and movement patterns into your reps. You'll find that intention tends to change everything


WEEKEND NUTRITION SURVIVAL GUIDE

By: Jen Shaw

The weekend...A.K.A. killer of all diets, is more often than not where people break. What is it about "the weekend" that makes people jump off shit pier and ruin everything? Even if you are absolutely perfect Monday through Friday you will completely blow your goals if you food orgy pizza and beer for two days, or even one full day. 

So, in an effort to help you battle the weekend slip-ups, I want to share the rules that I abide by. They might seem dumb or maybe even minuscule....but you they're the keys to coming out of the weekend on top and in control.

RULES OF THE WEEKEND

1. There are no "cheat days" so stop. 

First, stop using the word "cheat." It's super negative and means you are doing something wrong which you are not, you are living. However, going on a sugar bender all day will absolutely ruin you. Yes, you can recover from it and move on for sure. However if you are involved in anything like "GET RIPPED" that only lasts six weeks you are really stunting your progress. 

2. NEVER ever treat yourself on Sunday night.

Sunday night is usually the night before you are back at the gym and lifting heavy. Treating yourself on Sunday night will sabotage your workout and possibly how you feel when you wake up Monday morning. Only good things Sunday night. 

3. If you MUST have a bad meal, do it at lunch - not dinner. 

It's much harder to recover from a treat if you have it at dinner. Eating bad and then going to sleep leaves you feeling like crap in the morning. So after your treat at lunch drink water, nap, eat a good dinner and have all the good things before you sleep. 

4. NEVER EVER drink after you eat your last meal of the day. 

I cannot stress this enough. Have you ever woken up anywhere between 2-4am sweating and your heart racing and beating out of your chest? That's drinking, and sugar. I suggest you have your cocktails before dinner, then eat, then water. Wine after meals, the worst. All of that sugar just sitting there waiting to crush your sleep at 2am. 

Try it and let me know how it works! 

FUUUCK!

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We've all had those workouts and/or movements that ended up being much harder than we anticipated. In fact, I just experienced a devastating workout that only involved a heavy bag of sand, some squats with said bag and some gut carries. OUCH!

After each set, I let out a long, painful, exaggerated F-bomb. This is what we call "immediate positive feedback". This type of reaction let's you know you're in that work zone and not just pretending - which is important to distinguish.

The reason I bring this up is that recently, my long-time mentor and friend Dennis Marshall(Owner and Head Coach of CF Garden City), beautifully described a very simple idea that I wanted to share.


"It seems like there is a rapidly growing pool of "Accessory" movements in the CrossFit world that athletes are adding to their training program. While this is a great, and perhaps long overdue, development, the proliferation of these exercises through social media is potentially leading to as much, if not more, confusion as it is education. "Well, this guy/girl is doing it, so I guess I should as well?" There is only so much time and energy we can all dedicate to training and the majority of this must be directed towards our top priorities and biggest "bang for your buck" movements, workouts, etc. To pick and choose "this" and "that" movement "just because" can distract us from putting in the real work that will yield the greatest result. 

One of my favorite litmus tests for whether a movement is worth incorporating on a regular basis and dedicating significant time and energy towards is the response it elicits immediately upon completion. I'm generally looking for something along the lines of "Wow, that's harder than I thought" or simply any expletive (as demonstrated in the video). The more dramatic the response the more valuable the movement and the more frequently it should show up. Once the response is less dramatic it's time to move onto the next one." - Dennis Marshall


I am no where near the wordsmith that Dmarsh is, so I tend to boil things down to their most simplistic elements. To me, all of this means:

Simple. Not easy.

And that, my friends, is something I will always believe in.