After a few days of recovery I was back at it in Redwood City at Mad Dawg Fitness. With my body fully fueled and itching for a workout, I was excited to get back into a gym. And, knowing that Mad Dawg is a long-time very well known CrossFit affiliate around these parts, I was very excited.
This place was pretty well hidden. But it was just off the 101 and in the dark of the evening, driving through the warehouses; it was pretty easy to spot it. The single light shining out along the parking lights, music creeping out over the neighborhood, and the distant sight of rings hanging inside the roll-up door. I made my way on over and strolled in. Saul the owner, along with coaches Jason and Brandon welcomed me immediately and it was not hard to feel at home in their space. And speaking of that space, wow.
The main floor was a bit larger than average CrossFit style warehouse, with bars, plates, DB’s, KB’s, Rowers and more organized very well throughout. I think the two things that stood out to me most was how much stuff they had yet how in-order everything was, and the massive open space right when you walk in with all the rings dangling down. So let me explain this a little better. They have two floors here, and the top floor overlooks the bottom creating this squared off balcony. Upstairs looks like a good studio space, some more equipment, low ceilings, a heavy bag, bathrooms and storage. But with that empty area that looks down to the man floor, you get these incredibly high ceilings. They have about 10 or so pairs of rings hanging from there and it has such an awesome effect when you walk in. They also have a pull ups bar wrapped completely around the open space as well, and well, I love cool pull ups bars/rigs.
I wandered around for a little and was getting prepared to jump into the 7pm class with a few people, but Jason (not only a coach, but a Games competitor hopeful like myself) asked if I wanted to join him with his. He, along with a decent group of people have been getting their programming from the well-known Freddy Comacho over at One World Self Defense and it has been gearing them up for the competition season. Todays workout was an interesting one, but in the end I was able to see the purpose of it and really liked it a lot (even though I DNF’d the metcon…)
Power cleans at 50%, 55%, 60% of 1 rep max
12x2, 12x2, 10x2
10 minute row:
:45 below 20 strokes/minute, :15 hard as hell!
Rest 10 minutes
6 rounds for time of:
5 muscle ups
5 handstand push ups
200 meter run
So a couple things here: that’s 68 power cleans. That’s a lot of reps. But it was very light weight, I was doing 60, 65 and 70 kilos and just focusing on getting perfect form each rep, staying quick and getting my elbows out as fast as possible. Not to get into programming like crazy here, but you can see how a combination of 10-minute intervals on the rower and 68 power cleans, the arms would be relatively fatigued. Not beat up, just tired from so much volume. The metcon I knew would be hard. I suck at both movements, and given the upper body fatigue, I knew I would hit a wall fast. And I did. I got two full rounds in as Jason was getting into his 5th round and I was not able to get all HSPU’s on my third round. I ended up switching to negatives on that movement and just doing 3 muscle ups. Then, I finished after 5 rounds because I had been “banging my head against the wall” for around 20 minutes and it just became pointless. I really want to go into this, but I’ll save that for after this month.
Mad Dawg Fitness seems like it would be a pretty hardcore place at first glance. The name starts it off, and then the impressive collection of equipment and size of the space add to it a good deal. But Saul has a very different perspective on how things are run there and you can do nothing but respect is approach. His focus is not on becoming the fittest person you can be; it is on becoming the healthiest. So often you see a focus of CrossFitters and coaches aspiring to be the fittest on earth (or at least the fittest they have ever been…!) and sometimes, this almost one-track-mind drive leads to a creation of imbalances. Saul understands that proper mobility and weakness work will inevitably lead to a better life, and really makes a point to focus on this side of the training. This is something I feel can be neglected in the excitement of exciting and overly intense “CrossFit WOD’s”. Mad Dawg has a very healthy approach, a very simple approach, and clearly, a very effective approach.
Mad Dawg Fitness
335 Convention Way, Suite D 1/2
Redwood City, CA 94063
Got a pretty busy couple weeks coming up, and new programs are starting up with me finally getting to coach and train people!
Oh, and please continue to spread the word on this awesome competition coming up on Saturday, February 19th! It’s going to be an epic day!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
It seems like forever but we arrived, with plenty of drama, back to California, welcomed by even more rain! I woke up this morning with all sorts of energy geared towards getting back on track with the workouts and the writing and I started with a bang:
Run up Sweeny Ridge trail for time
5 x 5 floor press w/ 2x max strict pull ups between each round
KB swings 62#
The run was great. It's 1.8 miles pretty much straight up and within 5 minutes there is no way to catch your breath. The best part is that it is a narrow, paved, switchback road and you never really know when the end will come. Took me 19 minutes flat (with a quick phone call from Lindsey that I totally needed to take, she rocks my world, what can I say). I soaked in the view from the top, through the rain/hail that was crashing down on me, then headed back down in a blazing 13:21.
Back at The Gym, I had a couple guys in to workout and I hit my own. The floor presses felt great! As much as I talk trash about bench pressing, there totally is an invigorating feeling about heaving a weight off your chest. Floor presses are interesting because of the added challenge of pressing without momentum. I was able to get 240# for a smooth set of 5 and was pretty happy with how strong I felt. The pull ups between sets were brutal but such an interesting challenge. I banged out 12 and 11 on the first round, then 9 and it was 7 and 8 for the remainder of the work block. I'm pretty happy with being able to endure such a tough exercise under a TON of fatigue at that rep range. I would love to be in the 10 range, but this was better than I expected.
The metcon was short and sweet. Finished it in a muscle-fatiguing 3:02 and was very happy with that time. The combo of jumping lunges to KB sings was killer, and this led to the push ups feeling kind of like a recovery. My arms are going to be shot tomorrow! I'll have the video up soon.
Catching up on work now, I have officially set up the Courage Games 2011 - Winter Edition website and registration and am so excited to host another sweet event. I have also had a lot on my mind over the holidays which have inspired lots of topics I want to write about, especially with the New Year approaching. I'll have one up tomorrow!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Yesterday we had a decent group come in for the "StrongMan Saturday" workout, but it ended up being a little scattered thanks to the absolutely crazy rainstorm that hit us. And what's even crazier is the rain that's coming down right now. Apparently there IS a rainy season around here, but people are freaking out at how much it's been coming down as of late. It is coming down like mad right now.
So back to yesterday's fun. Things got started with breakfast at the place Lindsey and I have found to have the best breakfast around these parts. We took JP over there and ordered our food. Interestingly enough, not too long after our meal, all three of us did not feel right. JP and Lindsey were able to have that feeling subside, me on the other hand, well, I felt pretty much like crap the entire day. It was brutal. Even today I am still feeling a good bit off. Ugh.
So, we started off our workout yesterday by hooking up the harness to the car and running 100 meters with it. Immediately following the run, we zipped into the gym and held a heavy barbell over our heads for as long as possible. We ended up getting two rounds each with this, I was able to get 185# for 59 seconds, then 205# for 41 on my second attempt. Time and rain cut that off at two rounds each, then we wasted a ton more time trying to figure a way to get some unique pulling work in. JP came up with the sweet idea to wrap our climbing rope around the high pull up bar and tie a KB to the end. We then went three times through each of pulling the weight up to the bar (3 times), 50 weighted jump ropes and 30 sit ups. It was pretty cool.
We then finished with a birthday workout for Justin. It was his 17th birthday so we hit 10 burpee pull ups and 7 broad jumps for 3 rounds. This was a sneaky hard one. I finished in the high 3-minute range and my arms were spent, pretty sue the rope pulling had a good amount to do with this.
Well, anyways, after a skipped metcon on Friday, a spread out workout yesterday, and a LONG rest day on Thursday, I am itching for a great workout. So, today I am headed in to test my clean and jerk numbers and then attack two metcons! Despite having an upset stomach, I am really looking forward to just getting after it today.
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Had a good bit more progress today on the platform and am happy with how things are rolling along. With an insane week staring me in the face, I got myself prepped for some snatch work, snatch pulls, 5x5 back squats and a pretty tiring looking metcon. With the snatches, I was still struggling with my typical issues of spreading the feet wide on the catch, and having my knees shift forward at the bottom of the squat. But, I was getting under the bar quickly and sticking the weight over my head very well. I generally fall forward with the oly lifts, but today I was sitting back and was able to get 175# with hardly any issues at all. For my second session of serious snatching, I am very happy to know that I am WAY further along then I thought I would be. With my goal of 210# loomng all the way in March, I am feeling confident I can blow that number out of the water.
The snatch pulls felt strong, just tried to stay quick and solid throughout, worked up to 235#. Then, I went on an increasing set of 5x5 on the squats, working up to 305# and getting those last five with ease. Very happy with the depth and control of all those.
Finally, after a few minute break I hit the metcon (I noticed a typo of 4 rounds on "My Workout" over there to the right of the blog, that would have been brutal!). 3 rounds of: 400 meter sprint, 30 GHD sit ups, 20 KB swings (44#) and 12 pull ups. This was not overly demanding at all, and I was able to get everything unbroken. It was just tiring, the hips were pretty fatigued from the days session. I finished up at 11:23 and feel like that is a decent time. I am sure a sub-10 is possible with this one, just didn't have the amount of intensity in me I guess.
I realized that I sometimes struggle, without even noticing it as I train, with not having someone to compete against. Doing benchmark workouts is one way to go about making sure I am going at proper intensity, besides that, all I can do is go all out every time. I figure that at this point, I should know what a workout should feel like afterward, and if I don;t feel that way, I didn't go heavy or fast enough. Simple as that!
Check out the video from Saturday's Strong Man fun!
Have a double-whammy ready tomorrow, should be a good one!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
SORRY FOR THE SIDEWAYS PICTURES!! (Trying to figure this out...)
Today marked the first of so many Saturday adventures at CrossFit Courage. The group was small, but we all got a damn lot of great work in, and I am extremely confident we'll see this Saturday fun grow to epic proportions. With so much equipment in the process of coming in, we kept things simple, and brough to the back parking lot and side street a Honda Accord with harness, two barbells with 10's and 25's to add on, a sledge hammer and small tire for striking. A good warm up and we hit the workout:
3 alternating rounds of:
25-40 meter car pull
25 meter barbell farmers walk
30 hammer strikes
Hell yes was this fun! It was an all-out sprint through, and Lindsey, Justin and I all challenged our times each round. Justin and Lindsey used just the barbells (Justin threw 10's on them for the final round), and I used 25's on mine (95# each hand), then moved up to 115# each hand for the final round. Justin and I were sub-2 minutes each time, except for my last round where I got 2:03 thanks to the added 10 meters and heavier farmers walk. Lindsey had some pretty impressive improvements reach round, especially given the awesome struggle and victory with those farmers walks!
We then hit 4 rounds each of a 40 meter car push. Then, finished up with a burn-out 100 meter car push sprint. Legs were jelly after that. For those of you out there that want to get in on the fun, "Strong Saturday" is offically happening every single Saturday I am in town at 11am. So if you want to have a blast and work your ass off, come join us.
Now it's off to see The Nutcracker, then have a well-deserved rest day tomorrow, with plenty of fuel and football to prepare me for the absolutely BRUTAL workload I have programmed in for next week!
[Video of "Strong Saturday" will be posted tomorrow]
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Quick shout-out to my noon-day warriors James and Carlos. They tore it up!
In a few short weeks the new year will be upon us. For most that means a fresh start to their lives, eating a little better, exercising a bit more, so on so forth. If you're already a CrossFitter, your resolutions will probably be met pretty quickly. If you are not a CrossFitter, well, go check it out and watch yourself grow (in a good way of course)! Me, I will be making a dedication at a whole new level. From January 1st through the 31st, I will be visiting as many CrossFit affiliates as my body can handle around the greater San Francisco Bay area. My goal is to hit at least 24 over the course of these 31 days, and if I can get a few more squeezed in there, believe me I will!
At each gym I will be interviewing both coaches and athletes/members, getting in a workout and video taping the whole process. And each night I will be posting up the edited video along with a review post of that affiliate. In the end, I will be writing up a long article on the whole point of this adventure of mine: community.
I did this last year for a week in and around Washington, DC and felt it was a pretty good success! This time around, besides the fact that I'll be going at it for an entire month, I plan to make the videos a little more dominate, hopefully each one will be like a short TV show. Personally I find I get more across when I can just talk, rather than writing.
So why am I doing this anyway? Well, it's actually for a few reasons, the main one being to promote a healthy, active, fit community. And seeing how CrossFit has done such a stand-up job doing just that, I figured that getting to know as many of these places as possible, and publicly writing about them will help continue spreading the word as to just how great it is to find a way to be a part of it all. I know that even though CrossFit has spread like wildfire around the world, it is still a baby in terms of popularity. And even if people DO know about it, a lot of them have some pretty distinct misconceptions of what it's all about. And to go further with that point, given the attention of things like the CrossFit Games and almost celebrity status of the top CrossFitter, we can actually begin to see this wonderful, supportive community of ours changing drastically each and every day. And I want to make sure the attention does not go completely away from what got this stuff going in the first place. Don't get me wrong, I celebrate the elite as much as the next person, hell, I want to BE one of the elite. But I love the idea of living in a world where health and fitness are a natural way of life, not an afterthought. I want to see a world where seeing an obese child is an extreme rarity, not a commonality. And I see CrossFit, at its core, being a huge part of this
My other reasons for doing this are to meet like-minded people in a setting I love to meet people in, the workout arena! And, well, I hope to get some damn awesome coaching along the way, not only to help me towards my own fitness goals, but to educate myself on different ways to approach my own coaching methods.
I sent out an email to some 30 affiliates just a few days ago, and I have already received 16 confirming responses. So exciting! My next step is to get the schedule planned out, and then get mentally prepared for one hell of a month. If you know anyone in the Bay Area who may be interested in me coming in for a visit, please let me know; and spread the word! The more attention I can get on this, the more our community will grow, so any connections/people/gyms/news/papers/blogs you know/have, send it out!
Now that I got that out of the way, I'll do a quick run-through of todays workout. Strict press: sucked. Failed at 175# and was demoralized to say the least. 4-rep thrusters: not bad, got my final set at 195# and felt strong. The metcon: whew! Hard! This was the opening workout to the Mid-Atlantic regional last year (but with 95#) and I attempted it a day or two after I got my cast off, getting in the mid-6 minute range. This time around, I got 5 minutes flat, with the heavier weight! Still could have shaved off a good amount of time on the muscle ups, but they are getting better!
Car pulling tomorrow!!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
The workout today called for a bit of deadlifting (my legs are getting their butt kicked this week!), some floor presses paired with RDL's, and a fun little weight vest metcon. I was able to very comfortably pull 445.5# for a single, and this got me excited to work up my 1RM in the near-500# range next week! The floor presses and RDL's were great supplemental work, and I got to 87.5 and 100 kilos respectively. Then I moved on (after a few minutes rest) to my metcon:
100 meter bear crawl
10 jump overs
75 meter bear crawl
10 jump overs
50 meter bear crawl
10 jump overs
25 meter bear crawl
10 jump overs
10 jump overs
This was just fun. The 20# vest made it pretty tough of course, but it was cool. I wanted to get to the track, but bad rain and my inability to organize my time led me to stick to The Gym. So, I used the GHD as my hurdle, which was actually pretty cool. The only tough part was that I had to turn around a bunch when getting the longer distances on the bear crawl. Physically it wasn't all that demanding, it was just doing new movements, and that was the point. I finished in 11:06 and am pretty sure it would be a bit better in a different setting, like out in the woods somewhere!
On another note, things are starting to build up for me at the gym, clients are beginning to come in and I'm excited, I miss training people! Also, I got the final fixings and screws needed to get my pull up rig up and running in the gym, so I'll be putting it all together tomorrow morning and posting about how I did it! Can't wait to have this thing up and usable!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Don't Know, Just Like This Picture
Today I had track work programmed in and to tell you the truth, I was excited. I hadn't hit the track in a while and I was eager to see where things stood. To top it all off, I had a TON of energy throughout the day! Well, one thing led to another and I ultimately decided to hold off on the running until later in the evening. A couple points to make on this choice: first, I was comfortable with it because I really like the idea of changing up training times every now and then, especially if your goal is to compete. second, well, to contradict the first, I was uncomfortable with it. I don't really like training in the evening. So because of this, and the fact that I had a little extra energy flowing through me, I figured I could overcome my issues with evening training and put up some good numbers despite the time of day!
Well, I was WAY wrong. This turned out to be one of the toughest workouts I have done in a very long time, my legs were heavy as hell, my breathing was strained and it felt like I was running up hill the whole time. I literally hit a wall, and I mean a very distinct wall right at 200 metes, and it was pretty much crap after that. My times were legitimately depressing and I am pretty concerned about this. Sure, it could have just been a bad day, one of those really frustrating ones where you feel great, but just don't have the ability to perform to your known ability; but, no matter what it was, I just did not have it.
This got me thinking a little about failure. You see, every day we have something programmed in to do, whether it be fitness related, work related, family related and so on. We have certain expectation of ourselves based on passed experiences and we generally strive to meet or surpass our last efforts at a given task. But what happens when we fall short? What happens when we crash and burn? What happens when we fail?
Well, I'm not totally sure what you do, but I know what I do. I wake up the next day and get after it with the same intensity, 100%. I do this because I know I"ll pop out of it. I know that one day I'll run a 72 second 400 meters, and a few days later I'll fly across the finish line in 61 seconds. That's just how the body is. You can't expect to be "perfect" every day. In fact, you'll probably be a good deal less than "perfect" more often than not. But the whole idea behind this journey we all take is to pursue perfection, right? If we were to actually attain perfection, we'd have nothing more to work towards and that would just totally suck. If we have nothing to pursue, our journey is as good as done. No more training, no more challenges, no more glorious finish lines, no more progress, yeah, you get the picture. So, embrace the down days, let it be your fuel for tomorrows training, and keep on working hard!
Perhaps a little over-motivating there, but for some reason I am really feeling good about my training program, and having a rough day just pumps me up for tomorrow workout, so, it shines through in my writing. I actually have an article in the works about failure (along with two others...), so I'm sure I'll be touching on this topic a good deal more, and in greater detail of course, over the next few weeks or so. So, here's to our next workout! Here's to giving it our all each an every day, no matter what we define as our all that day! Here's to the journey!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Today's workout called for a ton of loading to the front of my body. I had heavy squat cleans, and then supplemental front squats. My goal was 260# on the cleans and I was able to get that lift with almost no trouble. The only issue was keeping the bar racked on my right shoulder as I drove UP from the bottom position. Thanks to my baseball past, I have some limited range of motion through my shoulders and the connective muscles. My lat (big muscle along the sides of the back) on the right side is a good deal tighter so that "elbow up" position with the bar on my shoulders gets a little tough as the weight gets heavier. This opened my eyes to the need of some serious mobility and self-myofascial work on my right side. I am gunning for a solid 295# on this in the next month or two.
Getting some additional front squat work was helpful, and I got 4 rounds of 4 reps getting up to 255# very comfortably. I am feeling stronger and stronger with this lift, and I know I'll be able to push this into the mid 300's for a single soon enough! Then I moved on to the burn!
I had 20 muscle ups for time. Ugh. I pulled off the first 10 pretty well, then just moved to singles for the remainder of the time. I think I missed a total of 4 and finished in 7:17, NOT a good time. Even if I can't string 10 together, I should be able to bang 20 out in around 2-3 minutes. But the good thing was that I was able to feel a major set-back with how I approach these. I focus so much on the kip that I sometimes forget to pull. Then, I focus on my pull and forget to kip. When I get both together, I pop up so easily. Well then, pretty obvious what I need to do do, huh? Kip and pull simultaneously! Just do it Josh!
I then moved to 50 wall balls for time. Got this in 1:41 and felt very smooth. I may have slowed down just a hair at the end, but I did it all under control and unbroken. Happy with that time. Another little rest and I got 50 pull ups for time. I originally wrote out an AMRAP in 1 minute but had nobody to help me with the time, so I just went 50 all out. I banged out 30 straight, then 10, then 5 and 5 and finished in 1:07. This actually was pretty cool because now I have a good goal to work towards: 50 pull ups in sub-1 minute! I'll get that soon enough!
Going to get some good sleep tonight, and then it's on to some more tough training tomorrow and the rest of the week, I cant wait!!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
A Little 'Duck, Duck Goose'
What a weekend! Friday I flew on down to San Diego, CA to get prepped for my CrossFit Kids certification course at CrossFit Brand X in Ramona, CA. I was able to hit up my buddies gym Pacific Beach CrossFit for a bit on Friday night before resting up for the fun in the morning.
The day started off fine enough, a good sized group huddled into the surprisingly gold gym up in the mountains and we got to the lectures. All very informative, talking about the levels of kids classes, how to approach them, how to program for them, how to interact with them and so much more. Each lecture was split up with some form of activity, and we were even able to hang out for a handful of pretty fun classes with a whole slew of pre-schoolers, awesomely energetic little kids, and some impressive teens.
I realize my review of the weekend is a little sparse, I just feel getting into the details of this may be a little boring, or at least the way I would end up writing about it would turn out that way. I think the best way to approach this one is to hit certain topics that I found very intriguing during the weekend, and write about them in some other context besides a lecture. Seeing how the majority of my clients in my training career have been 12 to 18 year olds, I have some pretty decent insight into working with this demographic. So I have quite a few ideas brewing for posts that I think will be very interesting.
Also, for some reason or another I have been hit with about 8 ideas for posts I really want to get writing about. So I think this month may see a bit of the analytical/philosophical side of good ol' me. Oh, and in other news, as of yesterday evening, CrossFit Courage is officially up on the CrossFit main site! Check it out in the affiliates section, under California and Burlingame!
My final topic here is the official announcement of my CrossFit Community Month! Last January I traveled around to about 6 or 7 affiliates I the greater Washington, DC area, I talked with coaches and athletes, did a workout, video taped it all and wrote up a big post on each one. This year I am upping the challenge to myself a TON, all while hopefully spreading the CrossFit love to an even greater number of people. From the 1st through the 30th of January, I plan to visit at LEAST 24 affiliates in the Bay Area, interviewing, working out, videoing and writing about the entire process. This is going to be both an absolute blast, and an unreal demand on my physical and mental body. But then again, that's part of the point huh? I'll be posting up more details about this later in the month as things get scheduled out, so stay tuned for that fun.
Now it's back to Burlingame and back t work!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Get Discounts Below!