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Killing the Fat Man

For those of you who have been around the CrossFit community for awhile you may remember the “Killing the Fat Man” series that was published back in 2012. The series followed Gary Roberts as he began his life transforming journey with CrossFit.   Gary was a 187 lbs. Marine who had gained nearly 100 pounds over 20 years.  When CrossFit began following him he weighed in at 270 lbs. and was having real fears of suffering an early death from a heart attack.  Over the course of the multi part series Gary makes an incredible transformation.  He drops nearly 70 lbs. and changes his life completely.  He makes the full transformation from a self described couch potato to taking the CrossFit level 1 trainer course and getting his 67 year old father into the gym with him where he makes his own transformation.

Fast forward 5 years and I hear Gary on the CrossFit Radio podcast just last week.  Gary has gone through some very stressful life situations over the past 2 years and has fallen off the wagon.  He talks about how he tries to keep then nutritional habits but hasn’t really worked out in nearly 2 years.  He says that for most of that time “he was living off of past gains”.  Meaning he was able to not gain too much weight even though his fitness was slipping because he had a very good fitness level. However it catches up with him and he has lost nearly all of the progress that he made during his initial transformation 5 years ago.  The podcast is very emotional and Gary really lets you into his life and how he feels.

While describing his experiences Gary says something that I felt was very powerful.  He said he thought that the fat man was dead.  He thought he killed him those years ago and that he wouldn’t come back.  He realized though that “he will never be dead.  He wants to keep getting up, so you have to keep fighting and make sure he stays down.  You can never stop.”  In his own words he stopped fighting the “fat man” and he came back.  He realized that he was stressed out and not as happy as he was so he made the decision to get back to CrossFit and begin the fight again.

Don’t let yourself fall into that trap that you have made a change and it’s “fixed”.  Transformation is a journey and it can take you in several directions.  Sometimes that direction is backwards.  Once you realize that you are going the wrong way, that maybe you have given up the fight, you need stop and assess your situation.  Identify what changed, what happened, how did you get here.  Then you can backtrack to get back to where you were when you went off track.  Then you can continue pushing forward.

If you have never watched the “Killing the Fat Man” series you can check it out on youtube.  It is incredibly motivating.  Here is the link for episode 1

If you want to give the podcast a listen it’s on itunes under “The CrossFit Podcast” episode 17.05.

 

A 20 minute workout is so much more than what it seems

At the end of one of the morning classes the other day we were talking about discussions we have had with coworkers regarding CrossFit.  A theme that came up multiple times was the “You only workout for 20 minutes?” question.  When we tell others what we did at CrossFit we tell them about the WOD, or workout of the day, which for us is the most exciting part of the class.  We say things like “we did 20 minutes of push-ups, rowing and deadlifts.”  Then those we are talking to usually respond with something like “you only exercises for 20 minutes?”  In their mind they are most likely relating it to something they know, like running or walking.  Leaving your house for a run or walk and returning 20 minutes later does not seem like enough exercise to most people.

What they don’t get from the explanation of your WOD is everything else that happens in the 60 minute class.  Your WOD starts with a 5-10 minute warm up designed to get the blood flowing.  Then we move onto 5-10 minutes of mobility work specifically targeting the joints that will be used later in the workout.  After that there is 10-20 minutes of instruction and warm up of the specific exercises you will perform that day.  Finally after all of that you will do the 20 minute piece.

We can easily compare this to the running example that we used earlier since running is something that most people can relate to.  The equivalent of our WOD would be something like this…

  • Start things off with an easy 3 minute walk to get the blood flowing.
  • Perform 5 minutes of joint prep. Things like:
    • Leg Swings
    • Hurdler Stretches
    • Calf Stretches
    • etc.
  • Do an easy 3 minute jog to continue warming up
  • Perform 5 minutes of dynamic running drills. Things like:
    • High Knees
    • Butt Kicks
    • Hurdle Hops
    • Ladder Speed Work
    • Agility Drills
    • etc.
  • Work on some accelerations.
    • 20s easy jog, run faster for 15s, then run even faster for 10s
    • Walk for 60s
    • Do the above sequence 3 times
  • Do your 20 minute main set. Running as far as your possibly can in 20 minutes
  • Follow this up with an easy slow job for 5 minutes
  • Continue to cool down with a 3 minute easy walk
  • Spend 10 minutes static stretching. Focusing on the hamstrings, hip flexors, quads and calves.

The above should take just about 60 minutes to complete.  If someone asked what your workout was that day you would probably tell them you did a 20 minute hard run.  When in reality it was 60 minutes of work.  A CrossFit class is exactly the same.

October Committed Club

What do I have to do to get into the Committed Club?

It’s easy! Just attend classes 12 times during the month or an average of 3 days/week and you’re in. 3 days/week is that sweet spot where you can really make some serious progress and not get burnt out. As you continue to develop as an athlete you will be able to handle more days and really accelerate your progress.

October 2017 Committed Club

Jess T. 25 Classes
Nick S. 25 Classes
Kristin 22 Classes
Raysa 20 Classes
Dave 19 Classes
Elaine 17 Classes
Sue 17 Classes
Landis 13 Classes
Lou 13 Classes
Jess S. 13 Classes
Meg F. 13 Classes
Gina 12 Classes
Dana 12 Classes
Wil 12 Classes
John S. 12 Classes
Ben K. 12 Classes
Joe A. 12 Classes

Congratulations everyone who has made the choice to prioritize their health and fitness. If you want to be a good parent, spouse or friend you have to be healthy. If you choose to let your health suffer in order to take care of others you may not be around when they need you the most. Just like on a plane put the mask on yourself first before putting it on others.

We have a battle at the top this month! Congrats to Jess and Nick both with 25 classes

Runners Up with 11 classes.
Keep pushing and you all will be there next month!

Tracy T.

Veteran’s Day Hero Workout’s

 

On Veterans Day, Saturday November 11th we will be running an entire days worth of workouts each in honor of a fallen veteran.

We will start the day at 9am with our normal class and then proceed to complete 4 additional workouts throughout the day.  All of the workouts will be modified versions of the hero WODs and will be performed in teams. The workouts will start every 90 minutes beginning at 11am (11, 12:30, 2, 3:30)

You can stay for all the workouts or come throughout the day and jump in for 1 or 2.  You can even start at 9 and then come back at 3:30 for the final one.  It doesn’t matter.  Bring some snacks/potluck style food to munch on throughout the day.  After the final WOD we will head out for some dinner and drinks (hopefully pizza!)

Read below for the list of workouts…

9am – “Nate”

In honor of U.S. Navy Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Nate Hardy, who was killed Sunday, Feb. 4, 2008, during combat operations in Iraq.

Nate is survived by his wife, Mindi; and his infant son, Parker.

20 min AMRAP of:
2 MU
4 HSPU
8 KBS [70/53]

We will complete this workout in teams of 3 relay style for each round.  P1 will do a full round while 2 & 3 rest.  Once 1 is finished they will tag P2 who will then complete a round.  P2 will tag 3 who will do a round before tagging in P1.  The team will continue in this fashion for 20 minutes.

11 am – “McGhee”

U.S. Army Cpl. Ryan C. McGhee, 21, was killed in action on May 13, 2009, by small-arms fire during combat in central Iraq. He served with 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment of Fort Benning, Georgia. This was his fourth deployment, and his first to Iraq.

He is survived by his father, Steven of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; his mother, Sherrie Battle McGhee; fiancee, Ashleigh Mitchell; and his brother, Zachary.

30 minute AMRAP of:
5 Deadlifts [275/195]
13 Push Ups
9 Box Jumps [24/20”]

We will complete this workout in teams of 3 relay style for each round.  P1 will do a full round while 2 & 3 rest.  Once 1 is finished they will tag P2 who will then complete a round.  P2 will tag 3 who will do a round before tagging in P1.  The team will continue in this fashion for 20 minutes.

12:30 – “Josh”

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Joshua Hager, 29, of Broomfield, Colorado, was killed Thursday, Feb. 22, 2007, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee during combat operations in Ramadi, Iraq. Prior to his death, Hager was serving in the 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division in Fort Carson, Colorado.

He is survived by his wife, Heather; son, Bayley; mother, Lois Knight; father, Kris; and stepbrother, Ensign Aaron Jozsef.

For time:
21 OHS [95/65]
42 Pull Ups
15 OHS
30 Pull ups
9 OHS
18 Pull Ups

We will complete this workout in teams of 3. It will be completed in 3 rounds of:

7 OHS
14 Pull Ups
5 OHS
10 Pull Ups
3 OHS
6 Pull Ups

Person 1 will do 7 OHS while Person 2 & 3 Rest.  Once Person 1 is done then person 2 will do 7 OHS while person 1 & 3 Rest.  Finally person 3 will go while 1 & 2 rest.  Once the OHS are complete Person 1 will then complete 14 Pull ups, followed by 2 and then 3 in the same manner as the OHS.  Once the pull ups are done the team will continue in this fashion until they complete the final set of 6 pull ups each.  That will complete round 1.  They will then complete it again for rounds 2 and 3 in the same exact fashion.

2pm – “Thompson”

U.S. Army Capt. David J. Thompson, 39, of Hooker, Oklahoma, commander of Operational Detachment Alpha 3334, Company C, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), based in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, was killed on Jan. 29, 2010, while supporting combat operations in the Wardak Province of Afghanistan.

Thompson is survived by his wife, Emily; two daughters, Isabelle and Abigail; parents, Charles and Freida; and sister, Alisha Mueller.

10 rounds for time of:
1 Rope Climb
29 Back Squats [95/65]
10m BB farmer Carry [135/95]

We will complete this in teams of 2, modifying it to 5 rounds of 1 rope climb each, 29 back squats total as a team, 10m FC each.

3:30 pm – “Carse”

U.S. Army Cpl. Nathan B. Carse, 32, of Harrod, Ohio, assigned to the 2nd Engineer Battalion, 176th Engineer Brigade, based out of White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, died in Kandahar, Afghanistan, on Feb. 8, 2011, from wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device.

He is survived by his mother, Janis; and sisters, Megan Brown and Kristin Purdy.

21-18-15-12-9-6-3 Reps for time of:
Squat Cleans [95/65]
double unders
Deadlifts [185/135]
Box Jumps [24/20”]
*Each round starts with a 50m Bear crawl*

We will complete this workout in teams of 3.  Each person will complete 1/3rd of the reps and we will substitute bear crawls for buddy carries. P1 will buddy carry P2 15m down, run back and grab P3 and carry them 15m down.  Then P1 will complete 7 reps of every movement while 2 & 3 rest.  Once P1 completes 7 Box Jumps P2 will carry P3 and P1 then move on to their 7 reps of each.  Once P2 finishes their 7th BJ P3 will go.  Once P3 finishes then P1 will go again this time doing 6 reps.  It will continue with 2 buddy carries to start each round and the reps going 7-6-5-4-3-2-1.

Halloween Workout Update

Hey Guys we changed our October 31st WOD to something a bit more festive and I wanted to make sure you knew what to expect.  As always on Halloween feel free to wear your costume to class.  This year you also can bring your pumpkin in.  The workout will involve you and your pumpkin friend exercising together.

Here is the updated WOD for next Tuesday check it out:

“Pumkpin Chuckin”

3 Rounds of:
31 Cal Row
10 Pumkpin DL
31 Cal AD
10 Pumpkin squats
31 BJSD [20/16″]
10 Pumpkin Push Press
31 jumping jacks
10 Pumpkin Squat clean thrusters
3 minute Rest

*If you don’t bring a pumpkin use a wall ball instead*

How I lost 20 lbs. since July 1st

It’s Coach Dan here, when you read below you will discover how I pulled myself together after my life got a little off track and I ended up gaining some weight around the mid section.

I am currently running a clinic where I am teaching many of these techniques I discuss below.  In only 2 weeks our members have been loving the class.  Here is what Danny had to say “I work on my feet all day.  When I come home and do the ball work and stretches you taught us I feel relaxed and sleep so much better.”  If you are interested I would like to share with you some of the tips and techniques that I used and am still using every day to help improve my health, feel better and look better.  There are still 4 weeks left in our mobility clinic where we are working on improving our positioning for complex exercises, relaxing and getting rid of that stress.  You will definitely see improvement in your squat and overhead positions but I think you will also be pleasantly surprised at what a little “me time” can do for your body composition.

We have a few spaces still available in this clinic which is held every Sunday at 8am for the next 4 weeks.  You will also get homework with routines that you can do on your own. The cost to register for the remaining 4 weeks is now only $40 and you can register by emailing monique@true-athletics.com

 

I am opening these final 4 weeks up to members and non members alike.  So if you know anyone who could use this let them know.

 

My Story…

My life got very busy and stressful over the past 12 months.  I was back in school working towards my Master’s Degree and I had several schools and training events for the Army National Guard that would take me away from home for weeks at a time.

I was working out at the gym 4-5 days per week but I couldn’t drop the weight.  In fact I just kept gaining and before I knew it in June of this year I looked at the scale and I was up to 231 lbs, the most I have ever been in my life.  I could not longer see my abs and my muscle definition was non existent.

So what did I do to go from tipping the scales at 231 lbs, the heaviest weight I have ever been to my current body weight of 210lbs?

The answer took some time for me to find out.  After experimenting with everything I finally found the key.  I found the reason I was gaining weight and not looking like the athlete I thought I was.  It was three things actually and non of them involved more exercise.

When I started focusing on these 3 things the fat started to melt off my waist.  Just ask my wife, Dana, my abs were back in what seemed to be overnight.  I felt better, had more energy and best of all my performance in the gym was going through the roof.  I feel like I am getting back into the best shape I have ever been, my prime from nearly 7 years ago.

So what are these 3 things that I began to do?  Again it’s not exercise more.  What I began to focus on was:

  • Stress Relief/Relaxation
  • Improved Recovery
  • Water Intake

I’ll start with the easiest of the 3 first.  Drinking water.  Being dehydrated by a measly 1% can have a 5% negative effect on your athletic performance (WOD times, weights lifted, etc).  Being dehydrated also affects your energy level (meaning you may not have as much energy to put into your WODs, meaning you will get less out of them). If you are thirsty right now there is some evidence that says you may already be on your way to that 1% dehydration level.

So what did I do to? I began actually tracking my water intake.  I thought I always drank enough water but when I started tracking it and writing it down (or using myfitnesspal) I realized I was short most days of my goal.

What you need to do: Be sure to drink 1/2 of your body weight in ounces of pure water each day.  Do not count the ounces you drink during exercise and do not count coffee, alcohol or anything else.

The next thing that I focused on was my recovery.  I remembered a little known fact about exercise that most people tend to forget.  Exercise beats you down.  You get better by RECOVERING from your sessions, not by putting in more sessions.

I took a real honest look at my life and realized I never relaxed, I didn’t stretch and my sleep sucked.  I knew I needed to fix these things.

So what did I do? I began stretching every single day (my goal is everyday, I miss a few here and there but I try to be consistent).  I now spend about 20 minutes either in the middle of the day after lunch or just before bed stretching.  I put on some soothing music, focus on my breathing and just stretch.  No distractions, just me.  It’s hard to find the time and/or the space but if you make an effort it can be done.

I noticed something right away once I started stretching again.  I felt great.  I was more relaxed, it was a major stress reliever (I didn’t think I was stressed but realize now I was).  I also started falling asleep sooner and my sleep was better.  I felt more recovered after hard training days and was able to come into the gym the next day recharged and ready to go.

And do you want to know the most unexpected thing?  I was starting to look ripped again.  I realized it’s true that stress sits on your hips.  I focused just a small portion of my day on relaxing and my belly fat was melting away.

What you need to do?  Dedicate time for you.  A time at least once a week where you can zone out, relax and let all of the tension just ease out of your body.  I recommend using the beginning of this time to focus on any “hot spots” you have that limit you in exercises or in your life.  Then use the end to relax and de-stress.

I promise you that if you do these 2 simple things, drink water and stretch/relax you will notice an improvement in your gym performance but more importantly in your waistline.
If you are interested I would like to share with you some of the tips and techniques that I used and am still using every day to help improve my health, feel better and look better.  There are still 4 weeks left in our mobility clinic where we are working on improving our positioning for complex exercises, relaxing and getting rid of that stress.  You will definitely see improvement in your squat and overhead positions but I think you will also be pleasantly surprised at what a little “me time” can do for your body composition.

We have a few spaces still available in this clinic which is held every Sunday at 8am for the next 4 weeks.  You will also get homework with routines that you can do on your own.

The cost to register for the remaining 4 weeks is now only $40 and you can register by emailing monique@true-athletics.com

I hope to see you there,
-Dan

September Committed Club

What do I have to do to get into the Committed Club?

It’s easy! Just attend classes 12 times during the month or an average of 3 days/week and you’re in. 3 days/week is that sweet spot where you can really make some serious progress and not get burnt out. As you continue to develop as an athlete you will be able to handle more days and really accelerate your progress.

September 2017 Committed Club

Kristin 25 Classes
Jess T. 23 Classes
Nick 22 Classes
Raysa 20 Classes
Marc 19 Classes
Sue 18 Classes
Julia 18 Classes
Dave 16 Classes
Elaine 15 Classes
Dana 13 Classes
Lou 13 Classes
Jess S. 13 Classes
 Wil 12 Classes

Congratulations everyone who has made the choice to prioritize their health and fitness.  If you want to be a good parent, spouse or friend you have to be healthy.  If you choose to let your health suffer in order to take care of others you may not be around when they need you the most.  Just like on a plane put the mask on yourself first before putting it on others.

New to the committed club this month is Nick S.  He joined up last month and has started hot!  Great work man!

Back on the committed club and back in the gym this Month is Raysa, she is crushing it since she has been back with 20 classes!

Welcome back Julia after summer break from school!  Way to start it off in a great way!

Jess S. is back on the list after a month on the runners up list!  She is usually on the committed club so we will just assume last month was a fluke.

 

I have noticed a trend over the past few months.  The majority of our Committed Club comes from our very dedicated 5:30am crew.  They might all be very talkative but they sure are committed!  Let’s get it together night crew!

 

Big shout out to our consistent members Kristin, Jess T, Marc, Sue, Dave, Elaine, Lou and Wil for making the club at least 2 months in a row. Keep it up!

Runners Up with 11 classes.
Keep pushing and you all will be there next month!

Roz
Joe G.
Joe A.

The King of all Exercises

There is one movement which I think challenges your body in more ways than any other.  It involves Speed, power, strength, mobility, stability and coordination.  It works every single muscle within your entire body.  It is one of the most effective core strengthening exercises there is and will pack muscle on your abs like nothing else. It involves a pull from the floor, a squat and holding/pressing something over head.  It also happens to be my very favorite movement.

The Snatch, the full snatch….with a squat.

A snatch involves the athlete pulling a bar from the floor and throwing it overhead while simultaneously dropping underneath it and catching it in the bottom of an overhead squat.  From here they must balance the weight over their heads before standing up where the movement ends.  There is nothing else like it.

The thing that I like the most about the snatch is that getting stronger does not necessarily improve the weight you can move with this lift.  The real sticking point for most people is getting into the overhead squat position at the bottom what is known as the “catch position” of the lift.  The athlete has to have the MOBILITY to get into that position and then they must have the STABILITY needed to support weight while there.  This is why in the Olympics you will see tiny women snatching huge weights.  Yes they are STRONG AS HELL but they also have incredible technique and the mobility needed to get under that bar.

That catch position, the bottom of an overhead squat, is a good place for athletes to start when building the base for their snatch.  An overhead squat with a PVC pipe can humble you like nothing else.  If it is difficult for you then the PVC pipe will most likely show that you have one if not all of the following: tight calfs and/or ankles, your hips are all locked up and that your thoracic spine and shoulders are stuck in a forward hunched position.

Improving your squat strength alone will not help you here. To improve this movement you need to spend time working these positions.  For most people it took you years to get tight.  You went from being a baby who could touch their toes and sit on the floor no problem, to where you are now where you might have difficulty putting on your shoes and socks. It took years to develop these issues and it will take time to reverse them.  A consistent steady approach is the only way to improve your movement and get better at these positions.

If you are finding yourself having difficulty getting into this position (how did your overhead squats go today?) let me show you some tips and tricks you can use to improve those tight spots.  I am coaching the upcoming mobility clinic and improving your overhead squat is exactly what I intend to do.  It starts Sunday October 8th at 8am and runs every Sunday from 8-9am for 6 weeks.  Email monique@true-athletics.com and tell here you want one of the few remaining spots.

See you there!

-Coach Dan

Only 6 days left

That’s it.  only 6 days until our next clinic starts up.  The 6 week mobility clinic starts this coming Sunday October 8th @8am.

We are limiting this clinic to 10 spots so be sure to email monique@true-athletics.com to reserve your spot before it sells out.

 

Do you have trouble getting into a good front rack position in the front squat or clean?

Can you get full depth in your squat easily?

If I asked you to sit at the bottom of a squat for 60s could you stay in that position with ease?

How is your Overhead squat?  Can you get into this most challenging position easily?

If you answered no to anyone of these questions then this clinic should be something for you to consider.

 

One other benefit that I want you to know about is the relaxing/stress relieving aspect of these classes. You will leave feeling refreshed, destressed and ready to take on the week.  You will feel better and as your positions improve your workouts and fitness will improve.

 

Hurry and get your spot today before it’s too late!  I can’t wait to see you there.

 

6 Week Mobility Clinic

Our 6 week strength clinic just finished up last week and everyone got some amazing results.  There were PRs everywhere!  We are going to be offering another 6 week clinic but with this one we will be switching gears a bit.  This next clinic will focus on mobility.

This will be a 1 hour session each week where we meet to focus on getting into better positions for our lifts and other demanding exercises.  The primary focus is going to be on improving hip and shoulder mobility and we will be looking at your overhead squat positioning to measure our progress.

Here is a rundown of how each class is going to look:

  • dynamic warm-up to get the blood flowing
  • foam rolling session
  • some kind of “tool” work
    • Lax Ball
    • Band
    • Box
    • etc.
  • stretching session
  • You will also be given some homework to complete throughout the week to increases the effectiveness of the sessions

Each class is going to be different but will follow a similar template to that.

 

Here are all the details you need to know:

  • When is this awesome, amazing, super class?
    • Sundays @8am
  • Great! When does it start?
    • Sunday October 8th and runs through Sunday November 19th
  • Wow! How much is it?
    • $55
  • Sweet! How do I sign up?
    • Email Monique@true-athletics.com and let her know you want to be more awesome!
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