It has been almost one year since I started training for the One Arm Chinup (OAC). In the last year I have mercilessly chased this goal using several different methods. Continue Reading
I’m laying at home sick today with a fever, aches, chills, and fatigue. This morning when I woke up, I felt as if I had been in a knock-down drag-out fight. I figured it was normal considering I was indeed in a fight yesterday.
Davage and I sparred for the first time in about six weeks. During that six weeks, I have been without my primary boxing tool -the double end bag. My double end bags have a life expectancy of about six months before I pop the bladder and need a new one. Turns out that during our six weeks away from sparring, I was in the market for a new bladder. Since the bladder is only $4, I was being lazy and waiting for titleboxing.com to run a deal for free shipping. That day finally came yesterday.
For boxing, there is simply nothing better to sharpen your skills, outside of real fighting, than the double end bag. It works your conditioning, speed, timing, accuracy, and most importantly head movement and reflexes. If these skills aren’t put to use often, they’ll be lost. Needless to say, I had some nerves going into yesterday’s sparring with my experienced 6’4″ sparring partner.
We went for five exhilarating rounds and had several good exchanges, a busted nose, and Davage taking off his shoes to fight barefoot due to “balance issues”.
We were both rusty after only six weeks off. My cardio and leg conditioning were both there, but I wasn’t used to throwing snappy punches or slipping anymore. I kept thinking, “I need my double end bag again!”. As a result, I am feeling like a beaten man today. Yes, I am achy from the virus and fever. But, my neck, core, shoulders, and lower back wouldn’t be nearly as bad if I would have kept my regular dose of the double end bag. Hurry up and get here, new bladder!
This is classic. Especially since we use it often. Enjoy.
I saw this clip on a forum I follow and I was shocked. I really want to shake the hand of the person who designed this workout… then punch him with my free hand! Like I’ve said before, Crossfit is unsafe.
Now that 2012 is here, what to do want to achieve? Is it a certain number on the scale? A smaller pants size? Run a certain distance? Lift a higher amount of weight?
Personally, I like to set my goals very high and associate my goals with strength or endurance. Training for strength or endurance goals will keep you distracted from training for aesthetic reasons; which tend to lead to frustration and eventually burnout. There nothing wrong with desiring a good physique. But if that’s what drives you, what will you do when you reach your goal?
Maintain? The problem with “maintaining” is that there is no motivation to get up and work hard.
DON’T LET NUMBERS ON A SCALE CONTROL YOU. DIET IS THE NUMBER ONE FACTOR IN CUTTING FAT, HIGH INTENSITY EXERCISE IS NUMBER TWO (which we do plenty of).
You are the only person responsible for what you eat. Discipline yourself and control your diet. You don’t need to follow any fad “diets” either. You’re an adult and you can use common sense to discern what you should eat. Change the way you eat and drink to be healthy for a lifetime, not a season. Remember, that a poor diet is simply counteracting all of your hard work. Healthy eating in conjunction with regular session attendance will ensure that FAT will be gone, not necessarily weight.
Now that excess fat is not an issue, set your sights elsewhere. Because if you attained the optimum weight for your physique, you’re now lost and you have outgrown your goal. However, you can never outgrow strength or endurance goals. There will always be a load you cannot overcome or a distance you cannot run. With this in mind, what do you want to achieve?
Be specific and make goals that are quantifiable. ”I want to be better at pullups” is not a goal. ”I want to be able to do 10 pullups” is a goal.
Once you know what you want to achieve, write it down. Either in a comment here, on the board in the garage, or somewhere else that you pass by frequently to keep you reminded.
With all of that said, here are my goals for 2012:
- Perform a Single Arm Pullup with each arm (this is a continuation from last year and a LONG term goal)
- Perform Standing Ab Wheel Rollouts (another continuation, but I’m very close)
- Burpee 5k (I’m ready to do it now, but the time needs to be right because I will be out of commission for awhile!)
- 100 lb Dumbbell Snatch with each arm (currently at 95 lb right arm, 90 lb left arm)
I’m contemplating doing a Burpee Mile on Thanksgiving or one of the few days before. The advantages: knowing what you’ve accomplished is extremely legit and being able to eat everything in sight on Thanksgiving because you burn literally tens of thousands of calories. The only disadvantage: being sore. Those of you in the current group should strongly consider it. I will probably go for two miles since I’ve already done the mile and a half. But, you guys can do a half mile, full mile, or whatever else you want. The full mile takes roughly an hour and 45 minutes. Let me know if you want to man up and do it!!!
I have been out of town for most of the past two weeks. Partly on business and partly to see family. I knew that I had to train, but I was without equipment, around people that didn’t understand my training, having to worry about waking people up too early, barely sleeping in a crammed RV, being in really strange places, setting foot in 11 states in 10 days, freezing temperatures, etc. When faced with these circumstances, typically people will cave to the temptation of allowing themselves to think they will get back on track when they are in familiar territory – their comfort zone. But, more often than not, a vacation or business trip proves to be the end of the line for many in terms of training or physical goals. Training at high intensity is extremely difficult to dive back into after a significant break, so they quit.
How do you prevent falling off the wagon after a vacation or business trip? The answer is very simple. Stay sharp!
There is always a way to adapt to your surroundings and get in a quality workout. You must be armed with the knowledge that you really do not need any equipment or a lot of time. That’s the easy part. The hard part is finding your drive and motivation to get up and do it.
While in upstate New York visiting my family, I did several conditioning sessions including: Hill Sprints, Dave’s “Cain 9-9-9″ workout, a Burpee Countdown, and a few more. I was also able to mix in a ton of pullups on my Grandfather’s homemade pullup bar! It was a bit of a delicate process to wake up early and train due to the fact that my grandparents enjoy sleeping in and every board in their house creeks.
At the top of the hill (Grandparent’s yard)
Also, my kind father treated my to a hilly, head-winded bike ride. He is an avid road biker and has a nice bike, clips, etc. What did he give me to ride? My mom’s mountain bike! A best buy at the time of it’s $50 1992 purchase at K-Mart. He also told me that we were only doing 20 miles, but he really meant 30. I managed to keep up with him for the most part, even though I had a serious equipment disadvantage.
Immediately after returning from New York I was told that I was leaving the next day to DRIVE to North Dakota for business. It is a 30 hour drive across some beautiful parts of the country and also some really crappy parts of the country. I knew opportunities would be few and far between for training, so I brought running shoes and planned on a lot of burpees and running.
South Dakota was beautiful!
On the way up, we made a pit stop at Home Depot in Sioux City, Iowa. It was after literally a day 13 hours of driving a moving truck, but I had a window for some exercise. So, I walked over to a field on the far side of Home Depot and found a flat area to do a quick 100 Burpee Challenge. Little did I know that the grass in Iowa is extremely sharp when cut short. After about 15 burpees I quickly found an old scrap piece of 2 x 4 wood to place my hands on during the pushup part of the burpee. So, my time in the picture below is slower because I never stopped my watch when gathering my scrap wood. It was more like 5:15.
Once at our final destination in North Dakota, myself and three other grown men piled up in the three man RV in which we traveled up there in. Do the math. Not comfortable, but memorable. Especially when the two older guys of the group make a habit out of waking up at 4:00 am every morning. Saying sleep was sparse is a tremendous understatement. In the area of North Dakota where we were working there are oil rigs everywhere. They run all day and all night and constantly burn a huge flame. Since there are literally zero tress in North Dakota, you can see these flames for miles at night and they light up the horizon. Needless to say, I would target a flame as a running destination.
So, on morning one in North Dakota, after an unproductive few hours of sleep I was woken up by the sound of coffee makers and the snorting of middle aged men. I then looked over at my sleeping brother-in-law in bed next to me, rather than my wife. I desperately needed to get out and train. I got dressed and looked around after stepping out of our sub-compact RV and spotted a nearby flame to run to. It was down the main highway adjacent to our work site and then up a gravel/mud road. It was raining pretty hard and freezing, literally. Note that it is not a good idea to run in mud wearing Nike Frees, but whatever. The forecast was clear for the next few days, so I figured the gravel/mud road would be dry the next day. Thank God the forecast turned out to be true! So, I did indeed manage to get in a 4.5 mile run every morning I was there.
My gravel/mud road. The flame is barely visible.
Moral of the North Dakota story: On hardly any sleep, working/ driving like a dog, and being on a steady diet of caffeine pills, peanut butter-filled pretzels, Met Rx Bars, and Coke Zero – I managed to stay sharp. Mostly because I simply love to train, but also I knew that taking steps back sucks. Stay sharp!
As a trainer, I rarely encounter theses types of people. Normally, I get clients who come to me for help and want to be coached. However, it is not uncommon to get clients who:
1. Complain. They complain due to a lack of self motivation for the most part. So, as a trainer I try to step in and give them the extra push that they need. This approach usually works.
2. Tell you you’re wrong. If I’m wrong, why did you come to me in the first place? I make it clear that I’m a product of my own training, so I know it works. There is no disputing that hard work is a proven vehicle to get you where you want to be.
3. Get frustrated with results. Patience is absolutely essential to success. However, in our society of instant gratification, clients expect to be shredded in two weeks. Many people have a long road ahead of them to get the swimsuit body they often desire. It can’t happen overnight, or even over a year in many cases. The result is that we have an average client lifespan of about six months. If you have a tropical vacation you’re going on in three months and you have 50 pounds to lose (the right way), you should have started training nine months ago. It’s not my fault you didn’t give yourself enough time. Stick with it and you’ll be set for next year! But, their lack of patience and persistence leads to them to inevitably drop – see below.
3. Fall off the wagon. Since we started our gym, there is only one of the original members who has stuck with it. One. She has seriously reaped the benefits, too! Others fall off for various legit reasons (moving usually). But, most of the time people just can not handle the intensity or the work capacity, so they ramp up the excuses and gradually stop coming. Although they typically blame it on finances, injury, or a busy schedule – we know the truth. I love being a trainer and I don’t do it for the money. I’m willing to work with people on schedules, around injuries, etc. The fact is, this training is extremely tough and takes physical and mental grit.
At least these people had original intentions of seeking help and listening, but found out that the solution was too hard to handle. Most of the time you can salvage the client before they hit the drop off point by listening to their feedback. Perhaps they are being pushed beyond their limit or not being pushed in the right direction. Open communication is the key to keeping clients around long enough to meet their goals. Communication not only with the trainer, but with their own bodies, too. Clients need to be the messenger between their bodies and the trainer. Enough of the rant. On to the truly uncoachable…
There is the rare breed that will ask for it, but doesn’t want your solicited advice.
What do you do when you get the person who is asking for help, but rejects everything you say?
Me: Try this exercise.
Client: No, I don’t like that because (insert random reason).
Me: Ok, how about this?
Client: How does that help me?
Me: Trust me.
Client: Well, I would rather do this.
The best approach, in my opinion, is to simply let them be. If you don’t want to listen to me, that’s fine. Do it your own way. If your way works, great! If it doesn’t, I’ll be here for you when you get frustrated and need help. Just come ready to listen!
Typically, the people who want to have a coach, but don’t want to listen them are better off without one. These people are usually accomplished athletes and simply need accountability for their own program. Take my wife Ashley, for instance. She seriously is the most hardcore runner I know. She has ran herself literally close to death (ICU), through a hip fracture, through all of her toe nails being ripped off; all in 100 mile running races. Pretty sick. She’s won 12 hour races, 5ks, and more. All great accomplishments in running. So, I don’t even try to give her running advice. But, when she cross trains, she’s more in my world. Although she definitely knows what she’s doing and has a strong background in cross training (she can bang out 50 Pushups in a row and Squat 250 for reps), she will occasionally ask me for workouts.
Because she’s so accomplished and driven, she has got to be the most uncoachable person I know. Ashley is a prime example of somebody who I do not need to coach, but keep in check with her own program. I can’t tell her how to run (because she already knows how) and I can’t tell her how to cross train (because she thinks she knows what she needs better than I do). So, all I can do is not spend my time coaching and simply keep her on the right track and maybe recommend something to get her wheels turning. If I give her a hint and she takes it as her own idea, it’s brilliant! If it comes from me, it’s dumb and doesn’t make any sense.
So, as a trainer, how do you deal with the uncoachable? You don’t. Just let them go off on their own and give them accountability and advice only if they ask for it. Otherwise, you and the client will both be wasting your time.