Two Roads Diverged In A Yellow Wood

I know, I know. Shit is about to get cliche`.  I promise it won't last long - hang in there with me.

There are always at least two choices a person can make in any situation they're faced with. The difficulty comes in actually seeing all of the options rather than feeling trapped. Again I repeat - There are always choices. 

What's really cool is that people that dose themselves with a bit of adversity on a regular basis are then better able to handle shitty situations when they pop up. They've been training for those times that the shit hits the fan - and they are ready.

It may not always be a physically demanding challenge. Sometimes, it is purely psychological. For example, having to make a difficult decision and being able to keep a cool head while searching out all of the available options might come in handy in life, right? Thought so.

As a coach driven to build physically and mentally strong people, it's my job to dish out dosages of suck. If I don't, I am doing my athletes a disservice and not helping the prepare for adversity. And I don't want that on my conscience. 

This week, our primary dosage of suck was an abbreviated version of "Airdyne to Hell". Some of you out there know what I'm talking about, others haven't had the pleasure.

"Airdyne to Hell"(abbreviated)

  • 40 calories AFAP
  • 30 calories AFAP
  • 20 calories AFAP
  • 10 calories AFAP
  • Rest = 1:1 

This may not sound like much on paper, but if done correctly, shit gets spiritual. 

Why did we do this? Because it's really, really hard. It's also something that we've never done before. Suffice it to say, it created a ton of adversity for each individual to deal with - both physically and mentally.

When it was all said and done, I was proud of how each individual handled themselves. It was one of those moments that confirmed that these people are tough and can manage themselves better than most. It was a good day!

Be sure to add a little adversity in your life every once in a while. A muscle does not get bigger or stronger if it is not worked. The same is true of your ability to taken on challenging situations. Choose the difficult path. Take the one less traveled by - It will make all the difference.

Take A Deep Breath...Good. Now PUSH!

If you've spent any substantial amount of time living as a meathead, you probably already know that Mondays are the international "Chest Day", right? I remember this being the case prior to finding CrossFit and eventually doing the crazy shit I do know. The bench was the epicenter of the gym on Mondays, and you had little chance of getting your sets in before other meatheads crowded around and eventually pissed you off enough that you gave up and went to dumbbell bench.

Recently, after being inspired by a Nick Mounce warmup incorporating breathing ladders (more on this is bit), I decided that performing said breathing ladder while busting out a large volume of unbroken pushups sounded like an exciting way to mix up "Chest Day". 

I was right. It's a SMOKER!

Pushup Breathing Ladder:

  • 20 Pushups
    • 10 Breaths
  • 18 Pushups
    • 9 Breaths
  • 16 Pushups
    • 8 Breaths
  • 14 Pushups
    • 7 Breaths
  • 12 Pushups
    • 6 Breaths
  • 10 Pushups
    • 5 Breaths
  • 8 Pushups
    • 4 Breaths
  • 6 Pushups
    • 3 Breaths
  • 4 Pushups
    • 2 Breaths
  • 2 Pushups
    • 1 Breath

Now, there are a couple very important details that you need to know prior to taking this on.

1. Your pushups need to be f*cking dialed in!!! Full range of motion is an absolute requirement, however, staying on your toes is not. IF you begin to burn out (and you will...) and are unable to perform the set in unbroken fashion on your toes, quickly drop to your knees and continue performing reps. No matter what.....DO NOT stop repping out pushups until the set is complete!

2. The breaths are there to provide you with a small rest before hitting the next set. It's your job to make these breaths last as long as possible - extending the rest period out. This will only happen if you force yourself to slow your breathing rate and heart rate down. You have to do this on purpose.....otherwise you will end up hyperventilating your breaths away before you've had adequate rest. Get it?!

If you're looking for a new way to blast your chest away while avoiding the gorillas that plant their ass on the bench permanently, this pushup breathing ladder will do the trick perfectly. Not to mention the fact that perfect pushups have become nearly extinct in the gym. Why? Because they're fucking hard! Pushups have a unique ability to humble the shit out of anyone, so people avoid them and stick with what's easy.

Go against the grain - master the pushup - and you will reap a massive reward from all the hard work. Remember.....Simple doesn't mean easy.