Yep. So is walking down the street if you think about it in a certain way, and sitting at your kitchen table for that matter. There has been a lot of talk on my social media feeds (thanks to me being “internet friends” with a lot of fitness people) about the potential health risks of high intensity exercise, or what we know as CrossFit. So, I thought I’d offer my take on all this jabber.
The air at Courage Performance in San Mateo has been a tad thicker than normal over the past months. Yes, more humid than normal, but not due to the weather. The reason is that there has been some buzzing rumors about possibly moving locations, and the reasons around it. Well, here's what's going on.
We are officially moving locations to a new 5,000+ square foot facility right near Hillsdale Mall in San Mateo!
When you enter in to the new Courage Performance you will be greeted by the front front desk where you can check in and register for our various different classes. Behind the desk you’ll find our offices and a study hall room for our student athletes. There will be an assessment room as well for body fat measuring, range of motion/movement assessments, and general health and fitness consultations.
From there you can enter the main facility. The first thing you notice is the USA Weightlifting sanctioned Courage Barbell Club area. There will be four weightlifting platforms, competition plates and bars, squat racks, and lifting blocks.
Beyond that lies a massive open warehouse space, split down the middle; half athletic turf, half rubber flooring. On the turf side are two large batting cages. There are L-screens, backstop nets, plenty of tees, indoor pitching mounds, and buckets of baseballs. We will be able to slide the nets back so we can utilize the entire space for our programs including kids classes, general fitness classes, athletic strength and conditioning classes, and so much more. On the rubber-floored side there is a pull-up rig, racks of bars, stacks of plates, dumbbells, kettlebells, plyo boxes, ropes, rings, sleds, hammers, tires, medballs, crash mats, and all the other fun toys we have always used at Courage Performance (and a good deal more!).
We will be having a weekend-long Grand Opening with food, workouts, tons of local business we are connecting with, and of course, all of you! There will be tons of new class times and programs offered. There will be massive sales and package deals for people looking to get in before we open those big doors and start with classes. All will be posted on our website in the coming weeks.
I cannot even begin to express my excitement as Courage Performance takes its next big step. The growth of this gym in the last 8 months has been overwhelming, and the support from the ever-growing community has been humbling. As of now we have about 80 regular athletes/members coming into the gym on a weekly basis. We have young kids, high school and college athletes, every day 9-5ers, and advanced athletes looking to compete at higher levels; all of them working under the same roof towards the goal of getting better. Each and every one of them has helped to expand and toughen this brand that I have worked so hard grow. The positive support has been awesome!
And with this move I expect so much more. Our baseball program will expand under the eye of our Director of Baseball Operations, Josh Wilkie. Our backend business support is coming from the great mind of our General Manager, Cullen McAlpine. And we are in the process of interviewing in 1-3 more coaches who fit the Courage Performance model of excellence to help with the expected growth.
The best part about all this is that we now have an absolutely perfect platform to continue to grow Courage Performance. I started this company 10 years ago with the goal of helping and inspiring as many people as I possibly could to embrace a healthy lifestyle. The goal was never to water down my standards to bring in more memberships, or jack prices up to limit who could be a member. I want Courage Performance to be accessible to anyone and everyone who is serious about being healthy and happy. There is no barrier of entry to get fit. There are no limits to what people can do. Courage Performance promotes this ideal, and will ALWAYS stay true to this, no matter what.
Thank you everyone,
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Owner and Head Coach of Courage Performance LLC
The pull up is one of those exercises that is both gratifying and impressive. The ability to move your entire body through space with nothing but your own strength is a pretty impressive feat and something that I think all people in the gym either want to do or get better at. It shows impressive (re: ideal) upper body strength along with control of using all the muscles in the upper body in the right sequence (this means using main movers to move, and stabilizers to stabilize).
I generally like to have a goal in my gym be that all men can get between 5-10, and all women can get between 3-6 (for anyone who might be confused, I am talking about STRICT pull ups here). Those numbers show a generally good balance of strength for the average person (I have goals for lower body strength and other upper body exercises as well to show complete balance). As my clients and athletes approach the pull up we always assess their ability to move safely and properly, recruit muscles in the proper sequence, and build up accessory exercises if there are excess imbalances. Here are five good, solid things to focus on when training for your first pull up, or building on the number you already have:
1. Strengthen Your Grip
This is probably the most under-trained aspect of most pulling exercises, but the entire base of the pull starts in being able to hold onto the bar (or whatever you're pulling up on) comfortably. It is common amongst good coaches to know that building grip strength increases a persons ability to properly utilize all the muscles in the arms, shoulders and torso for a stronger pull. I have had many clients who have the strength in their upper body to get a few pull ups, but their grip is so weak they can not even hold onto the bar. Go get yourself some grippers (check THESE out for some serious grip building) or incorporate farmers walks on the regular (hold onto progressively heavier dumbbells and walk).
2. Understand Scapular Control
Most people pull with their biceps; this is a weaker action as you end up neglecting the larger, stronger muscles in your back that are designed for pulling. Setting your shoulders and even incorporating a slight scapular retraction (bringing your shoulder blades together) allows for more activation of all those big ol' muscles back there and consequently, a stronger pull. Grow these by using bands to pull, then assisted pulling, inverted rows, TRX and such. All of these modifications allow you to take less weight into the pull so you can focus on the proper function of those bigger muscles.
3. Learn How To Stabilize Your Shoulders
One of the most common things I see the second someone hangs on a bar is their shoulders slide right up to their ears. In line with point number 2, this one is about allowing the stabilizers in your shoulder do their job so that the big muscles on your shoulders and back can focus only on the pulling. If your shoulders are not stabilized, the big muscles have to focus on stabilizing your shoulders and can not focus on doing the pull up. Light cable and DB exercises are great for this, as well as performing a plank on your hands, or other isometric holds where your shoulders are unitized. The main focus should always be keeping your shoulders in the correct position while performing the lighter and isometric exercises.
4. Modify The Pull Up
Unlike utilizing other styles of pulling exercises to get your muscles stronger, this one is all about performing "replica pull ups". You do this by using bands or a low bar (with your feet on the ground or box) to decrease the amount of weight you are pulling. And as you progress, utilizing negatives and other modified time and rep schemes of the pull up to get your muscles properly trained. The idea, as always, is to modify as little as possible while making sure your shoulders do not come out of their stabilized position, and that your muscles are all able to function properly. Using a too thin band and doing pull ups with your shoulders in your ears will not help you all that much.
5. Don't Kip
Unless you are a competitive CrossFitter, kipping pull ups serve absolutely no purpose in strength training. I know way too many people who can perform kipping pull ups but can not perform a single strict one. This is just depressing! If you want to utilize hip drive to produce power into your extremities, learn to throw a med ball, learn to Olympic lift, learn to jump, etc. The kip forces your shoulders out of their stabilized position, then relies on the hips to move you, rather than your upper body. While it is one of the most efficient ways to do pull ups really fast, it is one of the least efficient ways to build pulling strength.
So, if your goal is to be able to perform a real pull up, learn to build strength and stability properly and I bet you'll be surprised at how quickly you can get that chin over the bar in complete control!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
There’s been a lot of talk going around the CrossFit community lately about standards. This isn’t a new topic mind you. Ever since CrossFit became something on the world’s radar, the people within the community have been subject to a LOT of scrutiny given their “new” rules of exercise. At first, I was a huge supporter of some of these new concepts as I thought it was a great way just to get more and more people involved in fitness, working out, and trying new things. But now, I am having a harder and harder time understanding why the hell CrossFit HQ seems so adamant on throwing years of rules and standards in the toilette.
CrossFit took the commonly understood definition of Fitness and changed it to something that made more sense. Fitness according to Websters Dictionary just doesn’t seem to cut it. Glassman created the idea of CrossFit, and I think he was dead on. He also was at the right place at the right time, and just like so many other creations/inventions was the lucky dude who got all the credit for this incredible new concept. I respect him for that.
Next, CrossFit became very controversial because they not only shoved their idea of fitness in your face and claimed that you are clearly NOT fit if you don’t do CrossFit (this is what I believe led to a majority view that CrossFit is a cult), they also started to slowly mess around with other common standards and concepts as well. Throwing away years of standards held true by Olympic lifting and other forms of exercises, CrossFit chose to ignore those standards in the name of their mantra: increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains. Still OK in my eyes; except for one thing.
If you decide to modify a snatch (a clearly defined movement with strict standards), you should pay respect to the lift and the sport by simply changing the name. If I decided to steal a combination of movements from football and baseball because I feel like it’d work better for me, yes, I can be a pretentious jerk and steal the name they spent years building their sport around and change the standards for it, or, I could respect the sport and come up with my own name. In fact, many respected people in the CrossFit community do this, like Kelly Starret who calls press-outs and dropping to the knee on Olympic lift attempts “snatch-like movements” or “clean-like movements”.
Many, many different things inspired this post, but recently there was a video posted on the Facebook of a CrossFit Games athlete PR-ing his “snatch-like movement”, falling to both knees. He himself comments that while he was happy with getting it, he knows he needs to get it on his feet. CrossFit HQ posted the video with praise and lo and behold came the flood of comments pleading for CrossFit to just cut it out already. As of 80 comments in, the only added comment from HQ was a snide “well he’s a CrossFit Games athlete and none of you guys are”, really, guys? So, I will start hitting foul ball “home runs” and posting all over Facebook how awesome I am. And if anyone comments that I’m wrong and that I did not actually hit a home run, my defense will be that I played a higher level of baseball than all of them so they should just shut up?!?! Come on, have a little respect! Same thing happened when my friend and old training partner Neal Maddox lifted an impressive 294# over his head on a snatch attempt. He immediately dropped the bar and prepared to actually get the lift (because he knew it did not count, the event had honest standards). HQ posted that Maddox hit a sick PR, then argued and insulted people who questioned the lift.
All this is SO unfortunate as CrossFit grew into something that I personally hoped would be a great thing for the world. A community that supported a higher standard of health and fitness, and one that anyone and everyone could be a part of. I turned a blind eye to the elitism that came from the top for as long as I could with the hope that the good community growing would overpower it, but I’m just not sure now. Many gyms that started off as “CrossFit so and so”, are either changing their name to drop the CrossFit, or de-affiliating all together. The social media is overwhelmingly filled with VERY unsupportive comments on what CrossFit is becoming. CrossFit began as an “open source system” (as defined by Greg Glassman himself) and now it seems that the openness of the system is crying out at the ridiculousness of the leadership. Will they listen to their community? Will they respect other communities, or will they keep causing conflict because “they can”? As one HQ staffer said on Facebook when questioned about their abrasive actions: “f**k PR”. Classy.
I know it sounds like I’m bashing CrossFit a little here, but I’m doing so because I personally would love to see a change. I compete as a CrossFitter, train a lot of CrossFitters, and am still very supportive of the community, and I hate that it SEEMS like HQ thinks they are just better than everything else. I remember watching a video that HQ posted of a really popular CrossFit Games athlete at an official Olympic Weightlifting competition. They titled it as the athlete achieving a big lift. At the meet, the judges scored the lift a failed attempt as the athlete pressed out the bar (not meeting the commonly understood standards for the lift). Interestingly enough, the athlete actually got annoyed at the judges and you can see the athlete “yelling” at them asking what was wrong with the lift (while trying to hide behind some nervous laughter). I was so disgusted that not only HQ would post this with praise, but, that such a popular icon in the CrossFit community would treat an official Olympic lifting meet with such misunderstanding and disrespect.
Obviously CrossFit has no reason to listen to me (I know there’s at least a few people at HQ who read my blog, and after this post I’ll probably move higher up on their “watch-list”) but I feel like I should be vocal about my thoughts. As with anything in this world, the more people who actually stand up for what they believe in, the more change occurs. I don’t want to sit around and just flat out rip on CrossFit, I’ll leave that to this guy, and this guy, and this guy, and this guy. What I’ll do here is offer my thoughts with the hope that either the community will overcome and drown out the elitism at the top. Or, that leadership will realize that with growth inevitably comes change, and they need to stop being so abrasive if they want the world to take them seriously. If you’re a jerk, it’s hard for people to view you as good.
Here’s hoping for positive change!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Recalling a conversation I had not too long ago I was inspired o write a little bit about the need to actually TRY when wanting to get healthier. I was talking with someone about the desire to lose weight and how they might actually achieve the body they really wanted. This person was already in pretty good shape, middle aged, softer than they wanted to be and having your basic American, middle-aged problems (high stress, bad sleep, getting slightly sick a little too much, GI issues here and there, skin problems, etc.). My advice was to get on a more rigid strength training program to help generate muscle, increase functional mobility and become generally stronger while boosting the metabolism; change the diet a good bit (cut added sugar out, increase veggie intake, cut back on processed carbohydrate and processed food in general and consume more protein). The response I got was enough to literally cause a good 30 second silent moment.
“But what I’m doing works, I don’t need to change any of it.”
Now, I really liked this person and didn’t really want to offend them, but I just couldn’t help myself. If what you’re eating is making you fat, sick and out of shape, STOP EATING IT! Oh, and if you stop eating it, you must replace it with something else, something better. And if your activity level is such that you still have excess body fat, have joint issues, feel weak and are getting injured, you need to do something else. If what you are doing is not working, well, then it’s NOT WORKING. Stop lying to yourself, swallow your pride, admit you are wrong, or that you have no clue what you are doing and make a change.
But here’s the thing; if you decide that you are going to change the way you approach health and fitness, you need to understand that the next morning you are NOT going to wake up looking like a fitness model. If you get a trainer, or head to a CrossFit gym and begin a good program, get rid of sugar, alcohol, processed grains and all other processed foods, you need to understand that this must become a part of your life, not just a phase. Remember, the body you are living in right this second is the body that you have created ever since you were born. It’s not going to take a day, a week, or even a month to reverse the shit you’ve put yourself through.
There is no crash diet, no pill, no drug, no TV show, no magazine, no book, no other person that can make you into the person you’ve always wanted to be. It’s got to be YOU that will decide you’re going to educate yourself about what the best way to train is, and the best way to eat is, then do those things!
It’s not rocket science. It’s basic logic. It’s time, and effort. It’s dedication to being a better person, rather than settling for being a crappy one.
Never Stop, GET FIT.
_ Over the past few months I have become aware of something that really bother me. People have no idea what it means to be an “active person”! I have mostly seen it in younger people (ages 9-18), where, IF they get activity in during the day, it’s either a practice or game with their sports team, or a little 15 minute stint outside that usually consists of hanging around and texting, or kicking a ball around in a generally stationary position. I have talked with a good deal of these kids recently to fond out what their activity level is like at school, and have been even more shocked at how little people these days run around! Most breaks are spent hanging out, talking, eating, texting, playing games on their phones or catching up on work that they are slammed with. But it’s not just the kids, and in fact, arguably a huge reason the kids are so inactive is because their parents are even more inactive. There’s work, errands, social lives, taking care of kids, and on and on; so many excuses to not be active. I was shown a really funny TV ad that shows people excuses for not being active; and, as funny as it is, it is so completely true!
So, over the years people begin to form the idea that to stay healthy, they need to get out and be active for 15-30 minutes a day. They need to make sure this activity is scheduled into their busy lives and for the most part, it becomes one of those things that is the first to drop off the schedule the second the day gets out of hand. Well, I’m sorry, but a 15-minute walk around the block is NOT activity. Taking your kids to their soccer practice and pacing the sidelines is NOT activity. Getting outside after school and throwing a football back and forth between text messages is NOT activity. And the fact that our society is so lost in inactivity that these things can be considered activity is really, really sad.
I have to agree, if you are obese, completely inactive, really, really old, or horribly injured or sick because of a serious lack of health, a 15-30 minute stroll is extremely important. And this is the case especially if you have kids and can take them with you. But I feel like there needs to be a HUGE shift over the coming years to a point where we can all agree that a 15-30 minute walk is something we do after dinner to enjoy each others company and enjoy the evening air. And activity should be defined as getting to the gym, working out with friends, playing sports, running and playing outside; not because we have to, but because we don’t know any other way. Imagine if your go-to thing to do when you had a few hours to kill was to go explore the woods, climb a tree, hit a workout, go for a run, etc.? But, unfortunately, most people flop down on the couch, turn the TV on with a drink or snack and slowly destroy their bodies and minds.
So parents don’t tell your kids to go run around; don’t buy them video games and don’t keep crappy food in the house. Take your kids outside and play games with them. Motivate them to sign up for teams and leagues, and camps and so on. Oh, and do all this stuff yourself as well! Make being active a natural part of your life so that forcing yourself to get outside for a short walk isn’t what the world calls “activity” anymore. It’s up to all of us to change the definitions of things rather than accepting what we’ve become.
An active person is one who loves and craves activity; one who actually lives actively. If you have to schedule activity into your or your family’s lives, you all are not active people. You are merely attempting to mask the lazy, unhealthy, unhappy people you are. Yep, I went there, and I defend that statement to the death. We as human beings are meant to be highly active. We are built for it. Don’t let our bodies and minds evolve into weak mush like so many of us people are. Go a month without watching TV. Cut your time in the car (unless it’s going to be active) in half. Doing even one of those things will all of a sudden make your realize just how much time you really do have on your hands. And the more time you spend being active, the better your life will become. Just give it a try and see what happens.
Never Stop, GET FIT.
_ Couple things before I get started: Outlaw Training Camp is not a weekend filled with “how to rope a convenience store and get away with it”, or, “lets all learn to ride horses and hijack moving trains to steel a couple hundred in gold”. Nope, Outlaw Training Camp is where the folks who have been following elite exerciser programming genius Rudy Nielson’s program can gather for a weekend and torture themselves with barbells and kettlebells. The second camp he hosted took place at his home gym, Outlaw CrossFit, and I was super stoked to able to join the other 18 or so exercises specialists and throwdown and learn. That is exactly what we did: we learned a shit-ton, and threw down like there was no tomorrow. Also, I didn't take any pictures or video, so, to anyone who was part of this past weekend, please send anything you might have my way and I can post them up!
The weekend began Friday night. We all gathered in the grungy gym and got a couple hours of snatch and clean and jerk practice in. Being around so many beasts, and having not only Rudy, but so many other experienced and knowledgeable eyes on all of us was the perfect setting for a few PRs. I was able to snatch a very clean 205 (5# PR), then a pretty messy 215# (Rudy’s words: “I’m happy I didn’t get that on camera, that was ugly!”). I met everyone, chatted it up, joked around and just about got insanely pumped to see how the rest of the weekend would unfold.
Saturday had us meeting up to get things rolling around 9am. We chatted about the Outlaw Way, and different approaches to CrossFitting, then hit the first workout:
8 min. AMRAP of:
8 push jerks 155#
8 ring dips
8 KB snatches each arm
Immediately following, do a 2 min. AMRAP of Double Unders
The idea was to get as close to a competition setting as possible. We judged each other and stayed as strict as we possibly could. Being around this group lit that fire that I’ve been trying to become closer friends with recently and I was feeling really good. I got 4 rounds, plus 16 total reps on the first part, then got 140 double unders (I tried to move slowly and not mess up at all. In hindsight I should have just done what I always do and go all out with those). This was enough for the top score of the day and we were all ready for more!
Workout two was:
10 rounds of “Cindy” (5 pull ups, 10 hand release push ups, 15 air squats), then 8 min. to establish a 1RM deadlifts, then 5 rounds of “Cindy”. This was a double workout where we were scored on our overall Cindy time (our overall time, minus the 8 minutes of deadlifting) and out deadlift number.
I am not historically good with body-weight stuff, seeing how I am a snugly 220# of rippling chest hair. So, I focused on the Cindy portion and chose to conserve my energy on the deads. In the end, I was able to get 10:31 on Cindy (the 3rd best time!) and a measly 475# on the deadlift (that is 65# off my PR from only a couple months ago…).
We then went through a squat clinic that led to some really good reminders on the proper way to squat. I am really excited to put my new cues to practice in the coming weeks, and I have very high expectations for my gains! That all came after lunch, and then we warmed up our aching bodies for the final workout of the day:
Ok, so, this workout is Rudy’s “greatest test of a beast CrossFitter”, and annoyingly enough, one that I have always been certain would destroy me. Not only that, but with the barbell work the night before, and the insanely shoulder dominant workouts leading up to this, we were all wondering if anyone would even finish the damn thing! My goal going into this was to get 9 muscle ups. That’s all I cared about. But, when I began, I popped right up so easily I was able to get all 9 in just barely over a minute (that is damn good for me by the way). I then proceeded to bang out the 9 snatches in two sets (after missing the first two reps) and was back on the rings. I stayed at this easy pace throughout and was able to finish it in 8:40 (I think), good enough for 2nd (I think only 4 people finished this out of the whole group!). I was so fired up to have been able to “blast” through that one. At this point I have a ton of thanks to give my “judge” for the weekend, Erik, he was awesome support on each and every workout (oh, and if you want to pass out laughing, and are ok with some pretty harsh language and opinions, check out his awesome blog at Beastmodaldomains.com).
Rolling into day three found us meeting up at T.C. Williams High School (remember the Titans…?) in the morning. To put it lightly, our bodies were crushed! So we were all REALLY looking forward to what Rudy had thought up for us today.
3 rounds of:
1 width field burpee broad jump
1 width field buddy carry
400 meter run
This was straight tiring! Luckily I had a damn good runner to chance in Tony Mayo and just tried to stick with him the whole time. He got the best score of the day, and I rolled in about 70 meters behind at 9:50. After about an hour of goofing off, holding a punting contest (eat your heart out fellow 2XU ambassador Steve Weatherford!), and just joking around, we headed back to Outlaw to finish the weekend off:
For time do:
10 cleans 225#
40 wall ball
10 front squats 185#
40 toes to bar
10 thrusters 155#
40 KB swings 70#
400 meter plate pinch carry
Good times on this one. After hearing Rudy preach to us about how we had to be strong. And how we had to be SO efficient like Brandon Phillips is with every god damn thing he does…. I was determined to tear the head off this workout with everything I had. I got the cleans one at a time, but without stepping away from the bar at all. Got the wall balls unbroken (because I bounced out of the bottom and was generally just bad ass, so there!), got the front squats unbroken, then hit a freaking brick wall on toes to bar. I battled through, then got the thrusters in two sets and the KB swings in 4 sets of 10 (these were INSANELY strict standards, so I stayed as deliberate as possible). I was out the door just over 11 minutes, and about 30 seconds in front ofGames competitor Elisabeth Akinwale. We played a fun game of leap-frog for about 300 meters before she just took off to finish. We ended up being the only two to complete to whole thing, and she got a minute on me (I finished in like 19:10 or something like that).
We finished up the weekend with a GREAT deadlift clinic, then brunch.
All I can say is that yes, Rudy knows his shit. Yes, training with other people (other beast people to be precise) helps more than anything in the world. And yes, making fun of the ridiculousness that CrossFit truly is, is one of the most enjoyable things to do in the world! To sum up the weekend in a sentence: (said while at the football field)
“Most people come here to play football. We actually DID something.” (if you don't get this joke, your not an obsessive CrossFitter who trolls the internet every second that you not "wod-ing". And )
You better believe the sport of fitness has arrived! Ha, hell yes!
This was an awesome weekend all around. I am taking this week off for total recovery. I cannot wait until the next training camp! Thanks Outlaws!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
_ As my girlfriend can attest to, I have so many ideas it sometimes gets annoying. And as my dad told me long ago, write everything down! So, the other day when I went through some of my old notes and ideas, I found a collection of them that I thought were pretty interesting. First and foremost, if I actually had the ability and now-how to put my ideas to action, I would be the most famous, celebrated, wealthy person on the face of the planet. And not because I would have invented some teleportation device that would also take 30 years off any person; my ideas are very, very tangible ones, ones that SHOULD be very easy to get rolling.
Below you’ll find a “letter to anyone” that I wrote in the early 2000’s. I distinctly remember feeling very strongly about how people should train, and, having not been able to fond anything that resembled my idea; I decided to let people know about it. What would have happened if I had sent this thing out…?
(Everything below I created out of my own brain. I did not know who Greg Glassman was, I had yet find Facebook, and I longed for anything resembling a “fitness community”)
My Fellow Athletes and soon to be Athletes –
Welcome to Athletic Fitness!
This site is dedicated to giving all athletes around the world, the information and tools to continue moving up in the competitive world of sports and fitness. The material that you will find inside is all here to help entertain, educate and evaluate you, while also giving you the ability to connect to the largest network of athletes around the globe.
The minute you enter into the Athletic Fitness world you become an elite member of the “Fit Athlete” club. With all the information, advice, exercises etc. that you work through, you will be giving yourself the ability to become a great all around Fit Athlete.
What does it mean to be a Fit Athlete? A Fit Athlete has the ability to perform the Ten Points Of Athleticism and apply them to any movement in any sport with above average skill level. There are many athletes out there who are extremely successful at what they do: Dean Karnazas, the “Ultra marathoner”, can run a marathon every day for 50 days in 50 states, and then run from NYC to San Francisco; he is without a doubt the greatest endurance athlete that we know of today. But can he shoot 75% from the free throw line, or paint the black with a 2-seam fastball? David Wells is one of the most successful pitchers in Major League Baseball, with a perfect game under his belt and countless victories; but could he swim a mile, or rock climb a cliff and repel down?
There are endless examples of successful athletes who excel at something very specific, either with god-given talent, or because that is the only thing they ever work on. But what happens when you change your philosophy of training? What happens when you take the specific skills you are working on and incorporate them into a much larger scale and understanding of training?
A Fit Athlete will train for Speed, Strength, Power Agility, Quickness, Reaction, Flexibility, Endurance, Balance and Body Control. Having a strong base with these Ten Points Of Athleticism and then applying them to your specific sport and even your specific position within the sport will take your level of play to a whole new level. And it will begin the new generation of extremely athletic players in sports around the world.
Athletic Fitness is also here to promote the athletic lifestyle to anyone and everyone, from pro athletes, to little leaguers, to mothers and fathers to beginners wanting to have a little fun in life. Anyone can become a Fit Athlete as long as they have the desire and dedication to commit to an athletic lifestyle. We are here to help, inform, advise, entertain, challenge and change you while giving you the platform to communicate and connect to the world of athleticism.
Today you have the ability to experience what is coming. Read the articles and the interviews, take the challenge, try the exercises and respond to the first questions and polls. We gladly welcome any questions and/or comments you might have and look forward to building Athletic Fitness around the world.
President, Athletic Fitness
Pretty crazy, huh? The morel of the story here is to act on your passions. Anyone can come up with a great idea, but it’s the people who practice those ideas that become great. Yes, I trained in this manner from a very early standpoint (when I found CrossFit, it totally floored me because it felt like I all of a sudden found an entire community that already existed that did almost exactly what I did!), but I never pushed my ideas any farther than my own little space. This is one of a handful of things I came up with that have since become wildly successful businesses. And I KNOW that many of you out there have had the same thing happen to you. Make your ideas come to life people!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
_ I don’t mean you should become some obsessed fitness junkie like me who can do nothing but think about all things health and fitness. Quick tangent on how bad I can be sometimes: I even thought a large steel frame holding contraption at the damn Holocaust Museum would be the perfect addition to my gym… yeah…
Anyway, back to the point. I find it increasingly frustrating to see how many people either don’t exercise on any sort of regular basis, or, make it a very low priority in their life. Ironically enough, most people out there have some pretty serious issues, like stress, high blood pressure, hypertension, sleep issues, anxiety, depression and then a whole slew of other serious medical conditions. And these same people will sit all day and bitch and moan about how crappy they feel, yet instead of taking the greatest dose of anything they could have (um, exercise), they opt for helpful little drugs. Caffeine to wake up, sleeping pills to go to sleep, aspirin to make their twinging knee pain go away while walking around in horribly designed shoes and sitting at a desk all day.
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Besides that, just take a minute or two and think about your priorities. You must work, you must be social, you must watch your TV shows, you must take your kids here and there, you must eat certain foods, you must drive a fancier car, you must wear specific clothes; the list goes on and on. And to make sure those things are taken care of you just don’t have time for regular exercise.
Simply put people: regular exercise will make the good priorities in your life better, and the bad priorities in your life seem less important.
I had a guy tell me yesterday that he knew he wanted to workout more but just lacked the motivation. He came and worked out with me today and told me, while beaming from endorphins after an awesome session of flipping tires and hitting things with sledge hammers: “that was fun!” You see, fitness to so many people means a slow trudge through an impersonal gym, hitting a set here and there and then heading home. But there is more out there people! Fitness can be something you crave, something you look forward to every day. Health and fitness can be something that wakes you up in the morning bubbling with energy and excitement for what you are able to do that day. Fitness can be a driving life force in anyone and everyone’s life.
But you must want it. It’s out there, always, without fail and without judgment. All you have to do is take a step or two in the right direction and your life will forever be changed.
Never Stop, GET FIT.
There's nothing like watching 47,000 people run by you as they push to complete the insane challenge of running 26.2 miles to motivate you to do something active! This past weekend Lindsey and I took the train up to NYC to support my big bro as he ran the New York City Marathon. Now me, my marathoning days are more or less over, I have ruin 12 in total, 10 of those over the course of a year, along with a 50-miler mixed in for good measure. While it was an incredible year and beyond for me, my activity goals have shifted from running for countless hours. The feeling of crossing the finish line on one of these things in indescribable, and I applaud with cheerful passion anyone and everyone who prepares properly and achieves the impressive goal of crossing the finish line, 26.2 painful miles under their feet! It's one of those things I think everyone should take 6-12 months out of their life and do!
Watching all these runners, and especially my brother run this race, lit a little fire beneath me to get back out and train like there's no tomorrow. Knowing the challenge of setting your sights on an end goal, preparing you training schedule, "putting in the miles", changing your life so that it fits with your end goals, and in the end, getting out there and doing everything you trained for, well, there's something wonderfully motivating about that whole process. I have spent too long just "winging" different events. Signing up for something, heading out the day of, and hoping for the best. I respect the process of training for something too much to insult it by not doing it myself. So, my message to all those things out there in the next year that i want to achieve:
Watch out, I'm training seriously, and I'm coming for you!
Thanks for the motivation Hermano!
To all those people out there wanting to take a new step in your fit life, to all those of you who want new and exciting challenges: Find an event or two you really think looks cool and exciting, register for it/them, and respect the hell out of it by taking your training seriously. I have seen way too many times people sign up for things and then arrogantly expect that they will probably be fine to just go and do the thing. This leads to all sorts of excuses for either not doing well or not finishing, like me in last years Regionals for the CrossFit Games. I didn't take my training seriously, I used moving back East as an excuse to skip training days and let my nutrition slide. And in the end, I finished 24th out of 30. yes, this is respectable from an objective standpoint, but I insulted all those athletes who trained their butts off by not taking my training more seriously I did not deserve to me there and I will NOT make that mistake again. Others may look up to you or respect you for just showing up, but myself, and all those people out there who worked their asses off to compete have zero sympathy for your inability to perform well becuase you didn't respect the challenge.
Good job to all the runners who trained and finished yesterdays race, I hope it changed your life for the better and motivated you to do even more crazy fitness challenges in your life. And good luck to all you people in the midst of training for some crazy fitness challenge. I hope your training is changing your life and that you enjoy the struggle of pushing your psychical and mental self to new levels!!
Never Stop GET FIT.
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