Strongman 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.

NEW YEAR STARTS A NEW LIFT LIFESTYLE

by Jen Shaw

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I love a new year, a new start, a trash dump of the year before, and a beginning that I can recreate for myself and others. One of my biggest fears in life is being stagnant. Being someone that harbors huge goals yet does not take the steps to change in order to meet those goals. Someone that has big dreams and never lives them out. That’s my nightmare. A new year provides internal forgiveness so if you didn’t do what you needed to do in the prior year, you have a fresh start. I encourage anyone reading this to take note of the goals that didn’t happen, trips that never occurred, habits promised but never forged, books never read, relationships never fostered, and forgiveness never granted. Do it. A new year brings new meaning into the picture.

Today is day 14 out of 90 in the 2019 Lift Lifestyle health and wellness program. I start this program in the new year for all the reasons above and more. This lifestyle program takes sleep, nutrition, and confidence to a whole new level. Just two weeks in and people are setting PRs in the gym, sleeping better, and most importantly, they are thinking about what they are eating. They are looking at the plate of food in front of them and deciding what energy that plate will give them.

This program is about looking at food as a way to fuel our lives. Food is energy and its time to start thinking about what the hell that actually means. We need food to survive. It’s that simple. We need calories to make it through the day and glucose to work our brain. What complicates this formula is a lack of awareness, a complacency, and the myth of being too busy.

Lack of Awareness

People can tell me ten facts about their fancy smartphones but cannot tell me the difference between a protein and a fat. Seriously, it’s actually that bad. To most of the people reading this, you have food accessible wherever and whenever you want or need. You don’t have to forage or eat some random berries that you found after hiking for miles in a forest. You can go to Whole Foods, H.E.B, Central Market, etc., and have an array of fresh whatever-you-choose. Yet that doesn’t happen. You don’t know why you aren't sleeping but damn you sure need some bread and cheese. This signals a complete lack of awareness of the energy and nutrients you consume.

Complacency

There is literally nothing worse than using a quote … but I’m going to do it.

 

“If you want something you've never had, you must be willing to do something you've never done.”

Thomas Jefferson

Change is that simple. Doing the same thing day-in and day-out for years and expecting something to change is insane. Not exercising daily, eating a ton of crap, and not sleeping will inevitably take its toll. You have to wake the fuck up and do something. Something must change and you have to intentionally decide to do it yourself.

The Glorification of Busy

My eyes cannot roll further back into my head when someone asks me how to reach a goal. I give a straightforward answer, and there typically reply is, “I am too busy for that.” Being busy isn’t a thing. I acknowledge that it’s a big step to come to me and ask how to reach a personal goal. There were thoughts that set the conversation in action. Maybe even months of wondering if a goal was even possible. Then taking the initiative to have a vulnerable conversation with someone you trust just to brush the answer off by being too busy? NO. I just can't let that happen. There is time, let’s figure it out!

Step 1: Tell someone what you want. Share with a friend or loved one. Say it aloud. Make it real AF.

Step 2: Make a list of your day, minute by minute. Is each minute serving you? Are you actually physically doing something each minute? (No, the answer is no.) Are you even doing anything between 3:45pm - 4:15pm? What can you do in that time to help you reach your goals? Be real, you can make time in your day. Rearrange things and shift priorities to where they should be.

Step 3: Realize everyone is busy and you are not special. While it does take longer for some folks with work, travel, kids, school, and everything it’s NOT impossible for anyone. It just might be on a different timetable or take a few more steps than you are comfortable with.

Goals in this program are all over the map. Most deal with losing weight, gaining muscle, losing fat, sleeping better, fitting into old clothes, or just to feel better. Sleep and food are the answer. How you get there is up to you. Follow the steps: seek help, organize, and recognize your own personal timetable.

If you are in the same spot, pitted against what seem to be insurmountable goals, I encourage you to join this program. Start now, renew your goals, and stop making excuses.

LOG CLEAN MECHANICS: TO HINGE OR SQUAT?

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The Strongman Log seems to be one of the most underutilized pieces of SM equipment out there. I think that there are several reasons for this but mainly, it's un-weildly and intimidating to those that are uninitiated. Often, the athlete that is using the log for the first time will associate it to the barbell or even the KB Swing and end up frustrated when, time after time, the athlete misses reps. The truth is, the log is much more similar to the stone than the bar and should be approached in the same manner.

For those that don't really have much experience with either, let's break it down to some of the fundamental components: the hip hinge and the squat. 

In the video below, you'll learn (and see) the difference between what a log clean looks like when performed with a hip hinge and when it's performed with more of a squat-like action. You'll also hear some other basic cues along the way that will definitely make the learning process much more successful and fun - so pay attention to the details in the set up and demos.   


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!

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.