It’s official — I have switched CrossFit gyms. I am now at HighBar CrossFit in Ashburn. They have a bit different strength training and WOD philosophy and I have been working there for the last two weeks. They use an approach called Greasing the Groove or synaptic facilitation.
Specificity + Frequent Practice = Success.
Contrary to the belief of most Western bodybuilders, who believe strength comes purely from larger muscles, the Russian philosophy is that in addition to strength being somewhat correlated to muscle size, strength is also a skill.
Like with any other skill, the ‘skill of strength’ should be practiced, because as we all know, practice makes perfect.
So instead of lifting to failure, you lift to a certain % – The sets are not done to failure — you stick to 50-80% and add 5# each week if you can. There is definitely something about not lifting to failure that mentally helps me feel like I can do it. I’m excited to see how this new lifting approach translates into progress. I will keep you posted!
Someone yesterday told me they thought I was acting like a victim, so I did what any social media person does — I googled what that means:
Don’t blame other people and circumstances if you don’t have the kind of life you think you deserve. Blaming serves only one purpose — making you feel like a victim. And a victim doesn’t have power over her own life. Someone with a victim mentality thinks life happens to her; she remains helpless. She’s not involved in creating her own experience. She looks at her circumstances and asks, “Why me?” She’ll blame her situation — not having enough money, a dead- end job, an unsupportive spouse, or the demands of children — and use it as her excuse for not pursuing her dreams.
Victims let circumstances determine how they feel. When something happens, their attitude is, “It’s their fault,” “They did this to me,” “I’m going to get them for this!” Well, stop whining and feeling sorry for yourself! When you complain and wallow in self-pity, your focus is on what’s wrong with your life. Think instead about what’s good about your life right now and start living in gratitude for all you have been blessed with! Focus on the positive — not the negative!!
After reading about being a victim, I disagree with the diagnosis of me being a victim. I have no issue owning my decisions — right or wrong. I also have no issue apologizing when I believe I am wrong. Do I share my thoughts in my blog? Yes, yes I do. Sometimes, as I am working through situations, the victim voice does appear. I take responsibility for the role I play and where I am today. I am not a perfect person –and trying to improve with every mistake and decision I make. What’s the difference between being a victim and not agreeing with the decisions others make or the reaction of others towards a situation? I do not have to agree with it but I can make the best of it –and not wallow in it. It is time to move on — learn from past experiences – good or bad. Inherently, we all want to be good people and do the right thing I think – however we don’t all come from the same perspective, so how we see situations and process things is what can cause issues.
I am officially re-focusing my efforts on being fit and healthy mentally and physically. Getting rid of the drama that has been weighing me down, moving forward towards a much healthier, happier place. My family and friends mean the world to me and I want to be the kind of person they want to be around and not someone wrapped up in someone else’s dream.
Recently someone told me jump and a net will appear – and I have really taken that to heart. In many decisions I have made to help improve things in my life. I decided to get serious about things that just weren’t working out for me and instead of doing what I always do -put up with it and move on, I decided to say Nope. Enough is enough. And the last few weeks, has proven that it is indeed true — Jump and a Net Will Appear. I just feel better, more refreshed and good things are happening all around me.
And it’s nothing earth shattering to share either –just good vibes, a better outlook and I just feel better. There is a lot to be said about just changing perspective and trying something new to help bolster your sense of happiness and get you back on the right track. Ok, enough unicorns and princesses for this morning…
My workout was tough. It’s hot and muggy outside and adding box jumps to a burpee is just not called for. In fact, it’s downright mean.
10 Push Ups
4 Instep Lunges
4 Sampson Stretch
8 Ring Dips
10 Burpee Box Jumps
100m Farmer’s carry 25# dumbbells
Bench Press Ab Work (Try this one, sometime!)
Lying on back with end of bench above butt, hang on to bench and bring knees into chest, straighten legs and slowly bring them down, pausing at parallel for one sec before repeating. 3 Rounds of 12 Reps.
What makes me so crazy in the head that a day off sounds unreasonable at times? And the crazier thing is I am not alone – something about the CrossFit formula gets inside the heads of the many athletes and we become programmed this way. Although I do have to say that as a general rule — I take two days a week off consistently. It just doesn’t seem that way because I am at CrossFit Impavidus a lot for other things.
I need to listen to my body when it clearly tells me to slow down and take it easy. There is a little voice in my head that is LOUD as heck that tries to convince me otherwise and I find myself listening to it sometimes. Yesterday, I clearly should have slept in and not gone to workout. I felt like crap the rest of the day –just off center and woozy. I think much of it stems from dehydration if I am being critical of the situation. I don’t drink enough water to counteract the physical activity I do. Period. Today, I am going to focus on it and see if it makes a difference.
I read this short post yesterday that I think is valuable to share: How easily we are swayed
Then it hit me. There is no secret. It’s not magic. There is no quick easy way.
It’s a change. In how you eat, live, work, play and see yourself. You can’t expect for the change to happen overnight. You can’t expect it to be easy. You can’t expect it to not to hurt. You can’t expect someone to do it for you.
I caught myself comparing my progress and looks to others this weekend and realized I was doing it – which is some progress I guess. No one else can take this journey with us — it’s our own and we can walk, run, or tip toe through it. We have to own the decisions and actions we take. They will show up whether we like it or not — put in the work, it will sway towards the positive. Half assing it will result in half ass results. The choice and work is ours. It’s empowering and sucky at the same time. I wish there was a clapper for it — Clap and all is right with my world. But no such luck!
A rest morning was definitely needed this morning and appreciated. I feel better although sore –and am excited for Endurance class tonight. I went for a 1mile run this weekend and I gotta be honest –it wasn’t as bad as it has been. You do get better if you practice. And with the spring weather — I’m beyond happy to get outside and get some Vitamin D.
- Jill Brzezinski-Conley, Breast Cancer Patient, Stars In Stunning Paris Photo Shoot By Sue Bryce (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
- Angels and Warriors and Cancer, Oh My
- Life, Interrupted: Crazy, Unsexy Cancer Tips
- The Live Sincerely Project
- The Battle We Didn’t Choose
Not a day goes by that I don’t think about how hard it was to see Scotty so sick and how we were fortunate enough to have caught the cancer early.
Remember, March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month - so know the signs and symptoms and get checked!
I did something a bit different tonight –went to a CrossFit Endurance class. I need to work on my weaknesses and running is top of the list for me. I set a goal that for the next four weeks, I am working extra on my running and lucky for me I can attend a class to help me learn to run more efficiently.
I need a good challenge with a coach that is going to push me for a while –so CrossFit Endurance classes it is!
Yesterday, I was interviewed for a local magazine about being a Modern Mom. I was nominated by one of my dear friends Tina, who I met at the very beginning of my fitness journey. What’s funny is that magazine is called I am Modern Magazine and it’s geared towards Modern Moms (whatever that means). I had never been interviewed before so I had no idea what to expect.
I met the writer, Gwen, at CFI in our coach’s office so we could have a quiet place to chat. Gwen is a local writer and you ever just meet someone and just instantly feel connected? Yeah, well that was how it was with her. The conversation just flowed. A mom herself, with three boys – she and I connected on a lot of things and issues relating to health, wellness and parenting. She also believes strongly in giving back and has started a local non-profit to help underprivileged families called: www.growlearnthrive.org
“Our mission is to help children of financially disadvantaged families to thrive through each developmental phase of their first five years by contributing material needs, providing parental education and support, and stimulating learning and early literacy through exposure to age-appropriate educational toys and books.”
We talked for a long time — and what surprised me was all the emotions me sharing my story with her brought up. I don’t often go back to the actual moments of ‘cancer’ being in our lives, so when I do, it always surprises me. It seems so long ago and my family was so different back then, but what became clear after talking about it — there were some wonderful things it taught me and fundamentally changed me. As bad as it was, and as scary as it was — it taught me about perspective, and what’s important, and showed me how much I love Scott and my family. It helped me filter the people in my life, it brought new and amazing people and opportunities and ultimately led me to finding my passion that surrounds me with a group of people that I now call ‘family’.
I hope the story conveys the intentions behind why I do what I do day in and day out — to inspire and support people out there to live a healthy and well life –not just physically, but mentally and not just focused on exercise but on things that make you happy, creating perspective and finding real joy in your life.
Hannah always tells me I am not cool –she says “Mom, get into the modern”, and now, that I will be in I am Modern Magazine – I can confidently say to her -well look, I am!
Here are some interesting things I have been reading about this week:
- Don’t Just Declutter, De-own.
- Nutrition Myths You Need to Stop Believing: Eating well begins with separating facts from fallacies
- My Daguerreotype Boyfriend
- Bruce Feiler: Agile programming — for your family
- 600m jog
- Front Squat
- 5×5 Front Squat
Yesterday, I went to a workshop about movement. “Learning to move so I can move to learn” was the theme of the day, coached by Carl Paoli of Naka Athletics out of San Francisco (one of my favorite cities).
Coach Carl’s Freestyle Connection
I had no real assumptions about what this workshop would be about other than knowing Coach Carl had a gymnastics background and knowing he works closely with Kelly Starrett of Mobility WOD - including mobility as a major component of his approach as well.
Carl began the day with a short overview of the framework he follows which encompasses Position – Movement – Purpose and how we are going to learn, practice and apply movement and skill transfer principles by using gymnastics and body-weight training.
- Position always has a start, transition and finish
- Movement is general, functional
- Purpose: Why is the athlete doing it? When? Who?
He asked us to define Functional. Many of us Lv1 1 Trainers & CrossFitters talk about functional movement everyday but when pressed to really dive deep into its meaning – we are at a loss.
- an efficient application of force
Do you want to be a Ferrari or a Prius? Depends on what you are trying to do.
LOCAL level-it can mean:
- Capacity to move (shoulder/elbow/wrist) -
Can the athlete stand, sit, touch their toes, raise their shoulders?
A movement can be simple, have few demands and few variables and then can be made more complex as you progress and evolve — as you evolve you increase the demands, increase the variables and make it more complex. So think about it — you work on push ups as a beginner – you maybe start on your knees (although Coach Carl suggests having the athlete spread the legs out instead of going on their knees), then you progress to standard push up, and then you progress to one handed push up each arm, and you make it more complex as you progress through the scaling stages. There is always another addition you can make it to keep moving through… Make sense?
- Demands are high
- Variables are Low
- General Shape
- Mechanics of a Movement is the Skill of the movement
So if you wanted to improve your HSPU, you can see that the skills beneath it are push ups and ring rows (as an example only) — the skills you are going to work on to improve the HSPU are all underneath that grid. You peel back the layers of the HSPU and start there. How is your push up – does it need work?
I just found this entire workshop fascinating, challenging and fun –the day went by way too fast and Coach Carl is the kind of guy you just want to hang out with forever — laid back, patient, funny and has the ability to make you feel at ease. Which is good because he regularly calls on people or offers to help diagnose issues and it’s very hands on and you are definitely put into some compromising positions.
So Freestyle, defined by Coach Carl is strength + skill and is based on your level of ability. You start on A and you progress through the alphabet depending on the complexity and mechanics involved. So one builds on another. Fall>Connection (Point of Contact)>Flow
He also went over the Fantastic Four in Gymnastics: the four movements that people struggle with universally:
- Hand stand push ups
- Muscle Ups
It’s because they are complex movements with millions of connections! We spent the day working on progression techniques to help coach up to these four and the tips and tricks he shared were seriously amazing. A few of the athletes got their first muscle up yesterday after learning how to break it down and practice it.
At the end of the workshop, a light bulb went off for me –that all of this movement is connected. A Muscle up is a series of fundamental movements combined and if you work on the separate movements skill wise and build your strength – you will get it. I just want to learn more and more about the science of all of this –and it really all ties together and makes sense. Body Awareness and learning how to move your body is the foundation of EVERYTHING! Ding, Ding, Ding!!
I would recommend this workshop to ANYONE and Everyone that is into fitness, as a coach or athlete. It inspired me, fired me up and opened up quite a few locked doors in my mind that I have been struggling with. It also reminded me that it’s not a race and I shouldnt be in a hurry to rush through the movements just to beat a time on a clock. If i take the time – work on skills and strength in parallel - I will see progress. That is what I focused on during today’s workout. Taking my time on Pistols and doing them the way we reviewed yesterday. Focus and no shortcuts!
I’m excited to take what I have learned, share it and apply it to my own training. Should be FUN!
Oh and I can’t forget to mention that Coach Carl is not bad to look at either! I did not complain at all about spending the day with him — It’s one of the awesome benefits of the CrossFit community. Great looking people everywhere you go!
- 800m jog
- 20 TGUps
- 5 HSPU
- 10 Pistols
- 15 Pull Ups
Yesterday’s workout wiped me out –so today’s workout and the fact that I got a PR (personal record) was a welcome surprise! Even if it was just by 5#, I will gladly take it. And in the end, it’s about personal progress. I am fine at this stage with small gains – it means I am still getting better, stronger, and challenged.
Now if I could just get my snacking under control. For some reason, the more ladies I talk to recently, the more we all are in the same boat. We have been eating like shit. Maybe it’s the storm before the calm –winter is ending, spring is starting to spring. Although we are due for a supposed large snow storm tomorrow. Winter wants to just make sure we don’t forget it.
Yesterday, a CrossFit athlete posted on her Facebook wall about not knowing how Paleo people do it –and then how Girl Scout cookies “got her” – for some reason this irked me more than usual. So I mentioned it to her this morning in a You are not ready for Paleo way. I didn’t mean it to come across snotty but I was really annoyed –and I realized what it was. It was her not taking responsibility for her decisions and actions and blaming the food or the eating approach. It’s not Paleo, Weight Watchers, cookies, ice cream, lack of exercise that’s to blame. It’s you. Period. Own it, Accept it. Change it or not –but accept that you are the one in charge of whatever decision you make. Girl Scout cookies don’t call out to you – you have a moment when you make a choice to eat them or not. Many of us don’t even stop and acknowledge that moment though. We are so used to just eating crap without thinking about it at all.
So, now that I got that off my chest – I will let it go. After all, she’s in charge of her own life and decisions.
So I was considering doing that three day cleanse that I posted late last week but the more I talked with people and thought about it — all I need to do is get my head in the game and start eating clean again.
Coach Chef from CrossFit Rubicon gave me some good stuff to think about:
The most pertinent question is what primary data is available that suggests that shocking your system to ‘cleanse’ it is in any way more effective than simply returning to eating well? If your system is indeed compromised to the point of being ‘toxic’ such a shock could cause far more harm than good. The culture of quick fixes has always existed, this particular episode is troublesome in that it somehow suggests that you can fuck yourself up for a while then ‘cleanse’, repeatedly. Eventually, pissing in the gas tank will destroy the engine.
He’s right — Just going back to clean eating will put me back on the right track and that’s what I am going to focus on this week. The food that is being recommended on the OZ cleanse is actually good, healthy stuff –so no harm in eating it but to eat only that – just don’t think that’s for me.
Yesterday, I read this: My N=1 24 Hour Experiment
You have to find out what your best possible diet is for you. Perhaps that’s “strict” Paleo. Maybe you can allow for things like rice, dairy, more than moderate fruits. Maybe you can even thrive on grains.
The thing is, you have to figure it out for yourself. Learn everything you can, safely experiment, and come up with works best for you!
This is exactly the philosophy I live by. We are all different and our bodies react to things different –so one size eating does not fit all. You have to listen to your own body – get rid of all the crap first, then see how your body responds to different types of foods when you add them back in. Simple as that — but I do think key is to get rid of it all and start from a solid baseline.
I did two workouts on Saturday and boy, did I feel it on Sunday.
The hardest one was a partner workout: 5 RFT 20 Power Cleans, 30 Pull Ups, 20 Push Presses, 30 Wall Balls. We split it up down the middle and even with that, it was seriously hard. I loved it though because I haven’t had a super hard workout with a partner like that in a very long time. It was the kind that you hate while you are in the thick of it, but are so happy that you did it when it’s over. You feel so horribly great at the end! I am a sick puppy I know.
- 40 Double Unders
- 30 Squats
- 20 KB Swings
- time: 13:08 (i beat my previous time by :50s)
Here are some interesting things I have come across this week around the web:
The Bob Harper talks about how he has embraced the workout that works! (my words of course)
I’m gluten free and strongly believe that everyone should –so this title irks me. We all need to get rid of Gluten. Period.
How do you help yourself be more positive and happy? Interesting thoughts from this article.
I came across this article in the New York Times about how important it really is to develop relationships when looking for a new job or opportunity. It’s a lot like how social media marketing works — it’s about the authentic relationships you build upon; not gimmicky tactics. Many traditional marketers are having a difficult time making the transition because they have never really looked at their customers as detailed as they have to now. It’s been an interesting few years in marketing watching those who knew so much struggle and having to play catch up. Many of them simply aren’t able to grasp this new approach and it’s showing…
This quote “Don’t think of the reps you have left – Just get the one in font of you, then another, another and another” is applicable to so many things in life. Sub the word “reps” with anything. Breaking things into bite sized pieces helps you from becoming overwhelmed and you start to see things in a more optimistic way. Try it!
A friend of mine sent me this link a few weeks back to help cheer me up! It sure makes you stop and think about what failure and not giving up can lead to! Thanks Will!
I woke up feeling a bit under the weather — sore throat and stuffy headed, but deadlifts were on the board today and they are my favorite lift.
deadlifts (go heavy)
I warmed up with a few lower sets 135/165. Then went to 235/165/235/125/235/85. I tried two separate times to hit 245# but just couldn’t get it to happen today. Not every day can be a PR day as Coach Nate says.