_ For my thirst Outlaw Training Camp, I flew on down to Naples, Florida to join an incredibly inspiring group of about 40 athletes at Real Fitness for one of the most epic weekends of my life. PR's were flying all over the place, burpees were accumulated in ridiculous numbers, pools were taken over by too many meatheads, we all were witness to what it looks like to have 400# hoisted from the ground onto someones shoulders (it's effing insane by the way!), and we got to experience the sheer joy of spending tons of time with a massive group of like-minded crazies! Here's my summery of the weekend.
Flew into Ft. Myers a bit last minute but was lucky enough to get picked up by the great Corey Perry, and he drove us directly to Real Fitness, one of snazziest CrossFit gyms I have ever been to. It was clean, well organized, had every piece of equipment one could ever want, and the best pull up rig known to man (individually adjustable bars, so perfect for the burpee fest that ensued on Saturday morning). We all introduced ourselves, then got going with a few hours of Oly lifting. On a personal note (which I will make for each workout), I felt really strong, but just didn't have the technique where it should have been, letting the bar get too far away from me on both lifts and missing PR's by a long shot. It was really fun to be around everyone though, and seeing some impressive lifts all around. big Bill grabbed 400# and got it to his shoulders, but just couldn't stand with it. That was one of the most insane things I have ever seen directly in front of me. 400# is a TON of weight! Oh, and the first large serving of Courage Bars vanished faster than anything I have ever seen! Hell yes!
Here's where I can give my first and biggest shout out: Joey Sandoval, co-owner of Real Fitness was gracious enough to put me up for the weekend, and while I made another huge batch of Courage Bars, he cooked up an incredible feast of steak, Brussels sprouts and shrimp. Good man right there, thanks brother!
Saturday morning brought in the CrossFit Games Open WOD 12.1: 7 minute AMRAP of burpees to a target touch. We spent about 30 minutes going over every possible strategy and angle of the workout before breaking out into 4 heats and attacking the workout. There were some pretty impressive numbers coming out all around, some in the mid-130's, and all I wanted was to get around 120. I started off at a good pace but then slowed down pretty quickly. The strange thing is, from that slow-down point, i never changed my pace faster or slower from there on out. For a while I thought it was the perfect pace, but when the 90 seconds left mark hit, I knew I was behind. I tried with everything i had to pick it up, but I couldn't go any faster. I finished with a measly 112 and was pretty pissed off with that score. I think if i had gamed it faster out of the start, really blew it open and picked up 10-15 extra reps in the first 2 minutes, I still would have been able to keep a decent pace throughout (that’s what I do well, just grind things out) and finish much better. I went back and forth so many times about doing it again that I almost drove myself crazy. But in the end, I opted to just let it rest and make up ground on the next 4 weeks of events!
After we all recovered a little, we hit our second workout: 5 rounds for time of:
10 GHD sit ups
20 KB snatch 24kg (10 each arm)
40 double unders
I was feeling sick to my stomach for some reason, so I was happy to be in the first heat. And my thoughts on this one, just find a hard pace and don't stop at all. I did everything unbroken except for stopping on 39 double unders on my second round b y accident. The KB snatch is where I made up a lot of my time, transitioning without ever putting it down. I finished in 8:34, enough for the best time for the dudes (that made me pretty happy seeing how there were so many extremely high level athletes there!).
After that it was off to the pool to work on some basic swim technique and drills with some Olympic swimmers, then hit up a swim workout: 15 minute AMRAP of:
50 meter swim
20 meter broad jump
20 pistol squats
Holy cow this one was brutal in the strangest of ways. It wasn't overly fatiguing, it wasn't muscularly fatiguing, just annoyingly hard enough to be really hard! 20 pistols is a LOT! I was in the last round as well, which meant a good deal of doing nothing. But, we were in Florida, it was 80+ degrees, it was a collection of super down to earth people, and we were outside, working out! What a perfect combo. When it was my turn to go, I just picked a pace and stuck with it all the way through. The HSPU's ended up being the limiting factor for me, and adding to the difficulty was that we were doing them in the grass against a fence (but I was able to annoy Rudy Nielson because I have actually done this a few times thanks to my extensive outdoor training protocol!). By my last round I was doing singles. Perhaps it was the failed attempts of diving in the pool with goggles on, or the fact that I was singing a song over and over in my head to stay on a rhythm with my pistols, but I thought I got 3 rounds plus half a swim, my judge said I got 4 plus half the swim! Sweet! Very happy with that, especially with swimming and HSPU's involved!
Saturday night saw a fun evening of eating, drinking, hanging out, telling stories. Oh, and BP and Bill being absolutely hysterical!
Sunday was two more workouts along with the ever-so-famous squat clinic that basically blows your mind on what the hell the squat is, even if you’ve heard it before…twice.
Workout 1: 7 minutes to establish a 5RM front squat, from the ground. IO pulled 275# and struggled through the front squats. The pulled 285# off the floor with ease and got 4 squats before the bar slipped out of my fingers on the fifth rep! We all got to witness THE Elisabeth Akinwale pull 220#!! Then Bill went for the 400# again, catching it but not standing. It was awesome!
Final workout: 3 rounds for time of:
400 meter run
5 bar muscle ups
30 foot handstand walk
12 wall balls (11 foot target)
This one was awesome; the perfect combo of muscular and cardiovascular endurance, with high-level skill. There was a cutoff time of 12 minutes and I was able to finish it in 11:43. The handstand walks got me pretty bad, but everything else went smoothly and quickly, even the muscle ups which I got totally unbroken! Unfortunately I had to rush out before the final two heats could even go to catch my flight. I would have loved to stay and mingle with everyone, as I have never been around so many people I liked that much in a damn long time. The whole weekend reminded me of of my old baseball travel days where we would just spend all day together doing the thing we loved and talking about it. I’m sure anyone who isn’t really into fitness would find us all pretty annoying, but as Talayna, Akinwale and I said on the way to the airport: working out, eating and sleeping with people who want to do only that as well is the greatest thing in the world. If only we could all just do that!
Yet again, the Outlaws proved to be some of the most inspiring, motivated and fun people I have ever met. I cannot wait to get together with them all again. And as the Outlaw community grows, it can only get more exciting when we all meet up to throwdown and geek out!
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.
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