Wednesday, February 29, 2012
My Dad used to remind us that, "we aren't taking a vacation, we are taking an adventure"...meaning our trip would be speckled with certain obstacles, periods of famine along never ending highways, and car break-downs... while other families enjoyed the tranquil beaches of hawaii. Thanks Dad. One particular "adventure" took us through Barstow, where, in the middle of summer, our family van decided to crap out. Yes, you heard correctly, Barstow- probably the worst place to spend 24 hours on planet earth. Sorry to any of you who honeymooned there or something, but the place is awful. It's one of those towns that you can't help thinking, "why did they build a town here??"
The vehicle breakdowns growing up (yes...plural..) were not generally out of the blue. There were usually warning signs...funny engine noises, strange smells, particular jerry-rigging of parts, comments like "this SHOULD be fine - NO worries - what could go wrong??", unnatural exhaust amounts,...i'm no car expert, but there were definitely signals which were usually met with denial and procrastination. I remember sitting under the scorching sun at an A&W in Barstow, where we had been consoled with cold root beers, quietly muttering bitter things about my dad with my siblings and vowing to keep our cars in tip-top shape when we were adults.
For my dad, it was getting the cars maintained. For Phil Dumphy, it's fixing the broken step on the stairs. For many many Americans, it's getting healthy. After the degree is finished. After the baby is born. After my job gets more stable. Life will always provide an "after" situation - an obstacle or time consumer that creates an easy excuse to put off our health.
If the point of health was just to ultimately reach some fitness peak...looking perfect in a wedding dress, seeing some ridiculously small number on the scale, running a 7 minute mile, banging out a certain number of pushups...if those milestones were THE point, then perhaps it could be put off. But they are just milestones. You don't get to the mile marker and stop - you KEEP GOING. The journey is the point. Most of us aren't going to run a mile for time as part of our job or as some form of weekend recreation (it's ok if you do though!). What we are going to do is ride bikes. Snowboard. Travel. Play with our kids or grandkids. Climb stairs. All the real life stuff that is fun and should FEEL GOOD - not throw our backs out! One of the hardest things for me to hear is "I'll start working out when I lose the weight". Don't ever wait to lose the weight....don't wait for anything! Tomorrow will not be much easier than today. In fact taking care of something today could save you a lot of pain and suffering tomorrow!
Now that you are really adopting the carpe diem moment, get in today for....
1. Rowing and stretching
2. pistol practice
3. "Karen" -150 wall ball for time (20/14) ....who's gonna make the Leaderboard?
"Real difficulties can be overcome; it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable". -Theodore N. Vail
Click HERE to watch the amazing story of Lola Walters, an 11 year-old gymnast. Not only quite a talented young lady, Lola is also incredibly disciplined and dedicated in her sport. Her coaches say that she works twice as hard as everyone else in the gym. She trains intensely, competes and loves it. Oh ya, one more detail...she's legally blind.
Difficulties will always be there. In fact without them, the prize wouldn't be half as great. Nobody would blame Lola if she decided gymnastics wasn't for her...was just too much work, too dangerous, or just plain impractical. In fact if anyone knew only of the physical disability, and hadn't yet seen her perform, they would probably laugh at the idea of her being a competitive gymnast! And yet if they saw the performance without knowing the limitation, they would most likely not even know that this girl is quite different from her peer competitors.
When we focus on our weaknesses, we allow them to dictate who we are and what we will become; in other words we give our difficulties the power in the end. Our own minds can be the real limitation, or our greatest asset. Either way, struggles are a given. The perspective that we adopt is our choice. We can let the barriers defeat us, or we can let them forge us to be that much stronger. What if we spent even just half of the time that we waste dwelling on the hurdles, and used that time and energy to work even harder ??
Perhaps the main reason we blame our circumstances is because it takes some of the sting away. If we say that we failed because of obstacle "X", it feels more removed...WE aren't the reason for failure, our problems are! But if we admit to the world that we fell short because we didn't try hard enough, or want it badly enough, or have the drive and discipline...well that's a different story entirely! Now we are accountable for ourselves and our destiny.
With the right mindset, we can rise above it. We might have to work that much harder than the rest, but in the end, we will be that much stronger BECAUSE of those same difficulties that we cursed in the beginning.
Thanks for your inspiring story Lola - keep rocking the gymnastics world!!
I constantly hear... "I want to get in shape! I just need the motivation". My response? If you "need" motivation, you don't actually "want" to get in better shape yet. You may sort of want it, but you don't REALLY want it. Sounds cold and cruel, I know. But think about it. When we really want something, that desire provides the motivation to get it done. Complaining about the lack of motivation is yet another excuse. And we are so good at creating excuses that we do it all the time until we don't even recognize that we're doing it! Or we so creatively disguise our excuses that we actually start to believe them...
1) Stop searching for motivation. If you want it, the motivation you are searching for is already there. There is no magical motivation that shoots down from heaven giving you crazy powers to accomplish your goals: it's called hard work and follow through. And even the most motivated person fights internal battles of desiring to quit at times. Good news though: when you start seeing improvement, the pride that you will feel will further motivate you. Just be aware that the motivation comes and goes - we cannot rely on it solely to get our work done and accomplish our goals. It's the commitment that forces you to push through when you feel like quitting.
2) Make it a habit to never say "I can't". Speaking from experience here - it's so easy to use that little phrase! If you believe you can't, the battle is already lost. It starts with believing. Make yourself do 20 burpees, paid immediately, the next time you say "I can't". The mindset that accompanies those two little words greatly inhibits your accomplishments. Next time you find yourself wanting to say the phrase, tack on "yet" to the end, and think about what you can do that day to get a step closer to your goal. If you want something and believe you can achieve it, you WILL! And how are we supposed to believe it when we are constantly telling ourselves that "we can't"? Tune into your self-talk and start changing your vocabulary. Instead of "I can't possibly run a half marathon", say "6 months ago I couldn't run a lap and now I ran a whole mile this morning!!" Instead of "I can't do a pullup", say "I can't do a pullup YET so im gonna practice my kip today".
3) Next time you sense that your reason for not doing something might be an excuse, run it through the "excuse buster" by Tom Venuto. Ask yourself this question:
“Has there ever been anyone, anywhere at any time, who has experienced the same limitations, situations and challenges that I'm currently facing but has gone on to successfully achieve their goals anyway?” If your answer is yes, well then, that is your answer! Stop making excuses. This question forces you to be honest with yourself and face the reality of your present situation – not erect some imaginary mental obstacle. Asking the excuse buster question makes you realize that if someone else has achieved the same goal that you desire, despite facing the SAME difficulties that you are facing, then whatever excuse you have just doesn't hold water - stop lying to yourself!
4) Spend more time focusing on your improvements rather than how you compare to others. No matter how good we get at anything, there will pretty much always be someone better than us. So what's the point of comparing? Happiness doesn't come from feeling better than others anyways.
"Never mind what others do; do better than yourself, beat your own record from day to day, and you are a success."
- William J. H. Boetcker
Thursday March 16th @ Paradigm
-5 rounds: 10 Push Press, 20 walking Overhead plate Lunges
-accumulate 3 min in a handstand
This March, our "Panthers" program begins! The first launch is for two weeks and is FREE for member's kids ages 5-10. This will be a one-time offer...meaning, don't miss out! You must register your child ahead of time for them to be able to attend - signups will be available Monday Feb 20th. We will be capping this program at 20 kids. Registration will be opened up to members first for several days, and then opened to non-members, who can register their child for $30 for the session. Price is the same whether the child comes once, or to all four sessions. Parents will need to come in to sign up their child.
Wednesday, March 7th, 3:30-4:15pm
Saturday, March 10th, 11:00-11:45am
Wednesday, March 14th, 3:30-4:15pm
Saturday, March 17th, 11:00-11:45am
The goal of our kids program is not to necessarily turn your child into an Olympic weight lifter by high school (although that's really cool if that happens!). The focus is rather to instill a passion for an active and healthy lifestyle, improve physical skills such as agility and coordination, develop teamwork and peer encouragement, and have FUN. Our primary mission is to help them associate positive thinking with exercise and movement. Weights will be rarely used; jump ropes, balls, boxes, ropes, bars, and legs and arms will be used frequently!!
Kipping pull-ups can get quite a bad rap from the non-CrossFitting world! Often labeled as a "cheat" or a ridiculous movement, they can be very misunderstood. If our ultimate goal is "increased work capacity across broad time, modal, and age domains", as defined by Glassman, then any way to add more power can only be a plus. Cheating is a way to bypass any work element - and anyone who has practiced kipping pull-ups knows that they are not only a LOT of work, but that they develop the actual strict pull-up tremendously. You can think of the kip adding power to the pull-up just like the push-press adds that same hip element to the strict press, thereby strengthening it! Keep in mind that the vast majority of power in the human body is always generated from the hips. Whether swinging a baseball bat or kicking a soccer ball, the hips are the source. This is why Olympic Lifting is the gold standard for cross training any athlete. There is arguably no other skill that uses such powerful hip action more than the clean and the snatch.
Now that we understand that the hips generate power, and that more power is a GOOD thing rather than a useless cheat, let's get back to the kipping pull-up. If you are yet to get your first pull-up, stop thinking of it as some impossible skill that only freakishly shredded people can perform. Like anything, good technique, skill, and practice can get you a pull-up - even if you aren't the strongest person out there. I for one, tried for years to achieve a strict pull-up to no avail. It was not until I tackled the kipping pull-up that I developed the strength needed for a strict one. Any athlete looking to improve their pull-up capacity can greatly do so by spending some time with the "gymnastic" side of the pull-up.
There is a very clear progressional path to your first pull-up, as well as your first set of 40 pull-ups. And, good news, if done correctly, it doesn't have to mean torn bloody hands! Start with getting comfortable on the bar...hanging on the bar with both hands, hanging on the bar with one hand, practicing monkey bars at the park! Yes it can hurt to hang on a bar, but you will toughen up. Resist the urge to over-use chalk. Take care of calluses. Think shaving or grating down skin build-up is nasty? Trust me that ripped and bloody palms are worse, and really throw a wrench into your training regimen for the next several weeks!
Next, practice and perfect the rhythm of the kip. Learn what the hollow body/arched body feels like, and practice it over and over. At the same time, work on your strength by performing negative pull-ups. Use a box to jump into a pull-up. Try to freeze your body at the top with chin over the bar, and then creep back down to hanging position as slowly and smoothly as possible. Try to count to ten on the way down.
Next, employ some volume training. It's incredibly useful in improving gymnastic elements, and pull-ups are no exception. Depending on your current pull-up ability, take a given amount of time to perform a given amount of pull-ups or attempts. There are tons of different ways that this could play out!
Today in classes we will be tackling the kip and then completing "Death by Pull-up" for a duration of 15 minutes. Make a pull-up goal for 2012, write it down, and come in and get to work!
Thursday, February 9th
Skill: Kipping pull-up
WOD A: "Death by Pull-up" - 15 minutes. minute 1, 1 pull-up. minute 2, 2 pull-ups....
WOD B: "Tabata" - Burpees, Row, Double Unders
Wednesday, March 8th
"Miser" - 100 pistols for time
Run mile for time
Couch Stretch - 8 min of mobility!
We are now in week #3 of the OPEN! 12.3 gets released tomorrow - plan on making it in Thursday to give the WOD a shot in all classes! Checkout this video.
At the CrossFit games, athletes aren't restricted to bars and dumbbells! The 2009 Games involved sledgehammers. At the 2010 CrossFit Games, spectators watched curiously as wheelbarrows were lined up in the arena...humorous since they were at the Home Depot Center, and incredibly creative from a programming standpoint. At one end of the stadium, in the top row of bleachers, was a pile of sandbags. Athletes had to move the pile down to the stadium floor, transfer them to the other side of the stadium via wheelbarrow, and sprint them back up the other end of bleachers. The strategy that the athletes used, the number of sandbags they carried at one time, or how they loaded their wheelbarrow was entirely up to them; the given task was simply to move a certain amount of weight from point A to point B. The volume of work was given in sandbags, and the overall workload was great, but the individual units of weight was not necessarily that big. Some of the fastest competitors made multiple trips with relatively few sandbags, while other stronger athletes carried larger amounts of weight, but moved slower.
Volume training is a great means to use when honing in on skill gaps. It has been shown to be an especially effective method when applied to gymnastic skills. When used this way, an athlete trains repetitively to target a specific weakness, working at sub-maximal weight. The focus is to practice multiple reps with better form, rather than working with max or near max loads. There are dozens of ways that this idea can be put to practice in terms of how to organize the sets and reps, but the key is to build proper technique with consistent movement patterns...think of it as good habit-building.
In today's classes, the goal is to hit a certain volume (weight x reps). It's your decision whether you will go lighter or heavier, or even how you will move the bar. Think about your strength level and what will most likely yield the greatest power output for your athlete.
5000 lb Club (women)
55 lb x 91 reps
65 lb x 77 reps
95 lb x 53 reps
115 lb x 44 reps
7000 lb Club (men)
75 lb x 94 reps
95 lb x 74 reps
135 lb x 52 reps
155 lb x 46 reps
1. You are going to need energy soon, not hours from now. Carbohydrates are burned first - therefore this is the time for some good carbs! Don't get caught up in worrying that your body is burning the carbs instead of your fat...it doesn't work like that. You want to get the most intensity out of your training possible, and that is only going to come from a well-fueled body. You are going to be tapping into your fat stores hours after the WOD while you are recovering, not in the middle of your session.
2. Don't choose something super high in fiber that takes a while to digest. Broccoli and apples right before a workout could lead to some problems for sure...you want something that isn't going to sit in your stomach like a rock. This requires a little trial and error for everyone. Find what works for you - everyone's digestive system is a bit different.
3. Skip the simple processed sugar gimmicks as much as possible. Choose real food over packaged, fake-colored, chemical crud. Bananas and coconut water will trump sport's drinks any day.
Here's an incredibly simple and delicious pre-workout snack which always delivers good results for me!
half of a sliced banana... 1 tablespoon of almond butter... sprinkled with 1/8 cup dried berries
I like to mix dried cranberries and blueberries!
Give it a try this week before a WOD!
Monday, February 6th
-"Death by Handstand": every minute for 10 min, hold handstand and complete 5 pushups.
Beg- 10 sec
Int- 15 sec
Adv- 20 sec
- 5 rounds for Time: 2 lap run, 10 wall ball, 15 box jump
Despite the fact that the Groundhog saw his shadow this morning, meaning we've got another 6 weeks of wretched winter ahead of us, things are looking pretty good for the month! Here's the top 5 reasons why we are excited (and you should be too!) for February:
1) The 2012 Open is officially ...open! And it's looking even cooler than last year if that's possible. Checkout http://games.crossfit.com/ and get yourself registered.
2) "Spring into Sexy" body fat loss challenge is just over a week away. Commit, register, and get excited to bring sexy back. Two nutrition workshops with Paleo lunch provided, a kick in the butt to dial in your training, and a 3-month Paradigm membership up for the taking. What do you have to lose besides...some body fat? Cost of registration is less than the average prix fixe Valentine's meal...start the year right.
3) Due to popular demand, more classes are being offered! Monday and Thursday class times will be 4:30, 5:30, AND 6:30 beginning on Feb 13th. Is there a class you want to see offered at Paradigm? Let us know. When we get enough requests for a certain time, we will try our best to make it happen!
4) We are getting ropes!! Very high up on the fun and bad-ass scale.
5) "Paradigm Panthers" is in the works. Kids ages 5-10, get ready for some fun! Initial 2-week program is coming soon - FREE for Paradigm member's kids during the trial session.
Friday, February 3rd
-Chipper: Farmer's carry, 30 DB push press, 30 box jump, 30 pull-ups, KB swings, 300m row, 30 DUs
-Parter Bench Press: ladder down from 10-1, increasing weight
"Grace" - 30 Clean & Jerks for time (135/95)
Gear up for today's WOD by watching this video of Miranda H. smashing "Grace". It's a great example of consistency with form - she keeps to the same clean technique throughout the entire WOD. Worth watching. For those of you who attended OLY class last night, this stuff is fresh in your mind. Make it in today and tear it up - we have spots that need some filling on the leader board!
CrossFit Events Section
Panther’s Summer Program
Saturdays @ 11am, Mondays & Thursdays @ 10am for ages 5-15. Ages will be split between “Panthers” & “Teen Machines”, each with a separate coach. Talk to Melody or Ronny to sign up. Program will run through July 25th.
8:30am & 10:00am only
Summer In-House Throwdown
Save the Date! Our 3rd Paradigm competition will not disappoint. More details to come, but you will most likely need to be available by 5:30pm Friday evening and from 7am-2ish on Saturday. Cost is $20 per athlete and you are assigned to your team.
Athlete Spotlight: Meagan Weiss
Panther’s Summer Session Is Here!
CF For HOPE
Paradigm Summer Throwdown
Field Trip WOD #2: Rio Del Mar
Farewell Santa Rosa
Your Own Rope: It’s Time.
Allergy Elixir: Summer Edition
Communication Hill: Summer Field Trip #1
Allergies “Bee Gone”!
Paradigm Beach Body Challenge
Keeping Priorities Straight
Athlete Spotlight: Scott Wojnowski
13.5 Coaching Advice
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