Workout of the Day

temp-post-image

An overwhelming majority of the movements in any given gym are likely to occur bilaterally, or “both-sided.” A barbell is traditionally lifted with both arms evenly placed (think bench press, squat, or snatch), and the feet are generally positioned evenly under the individual (as in squats, box jumps, or a kettlebell swing). If we apply a simple physics diagram, viewed from the front, the load is placed in a straight line, directly in the middle of the individual and in line with the spine. Despite this, the importance of training with unilateral (one-sided) loading cannot be understated.

If we step back for a moment, it should be evident that, if we are endeavoring to be functional movers, we are compelled to train ourselves to move in uneven and, at times, awkward ways. The demands of life are often unilateral. Carrying a child, throwing a ball, climbing a mountain, changing you oil -- all occur with uneven weight distribution from side to side. And if we peel back another layer of the proverbial onion, it is evident that not only is unilateral loading practically functional, it is imperative for the health of your spine.

Imagine applying considerable pressure to one side of a large, upright spring or coil. What happens? The side that is under pressure compresses, and the other side bows or arcs outward to make a “C” shape. Now imagine this spring or coil is your spine. It doesn’t take an orthopedist to guess that your spine bowing into a “C” shape won’t have good results. This is where the infamous “core” comes into play. You are blessed to have a few very important muscles in the sides of your torso that are capable of doing a darn good job of keeping your delicate spring/coil/spine from bending in ways that it shouldn’t. The thing is, if you spend all of your time applying pressure evenly, directly down the middle of your spine, those muscles will never be developed to handle the inevitable unilateral loads of life.

Fortunately, the antidote is quite simple. Apply a load to one side, move with one leg at a time, move awkward things with a high priority on spinal mechanics. While these movements may not carry the same glamour as a heavy deadlift, they are essential, and you will see them appear in our regular GPP (General Physical Preparedness) programming.

Whether it’s your ability to carry a child on your hip unscathed or to stave off costly, painful, and debilitating back surgery 30 years from now, a simple game of one-sided loading may be your golden ticket.

- PS


12/14/18

  • For total calories:

  • 15 rounds:

    • 60s row

    • 60s rest



temp-post-image


For California, for California,
The hills send back the cry,
We’re out to do or die,
For California, for California,
We’ll win the game or know the reason why.
And when the game is over, we will buy a keg of booze,
And drink to California ‘till we wobble in our shoes.

Above is an excerpt from a spirit song out of Cal Berkeley, appropriately named the “California Drinking Song.” While most of the song is reminiscent of a classic college drinking song, playful and revelrous, the songwriter snuck a nugget of wisdom in the middle: “We’ll win the game or know the reason why.”

Aside from being clever and fitting into the rhyme scheme, it’s a simple and emphatic reminder of how to apply the growth mindset in whatever you do.

In victory or loss, there is gain. Strive to win, of course; but recognize that you will not always win. And when you do not, take that as an opportunity to understand why, and to make change accordingly. That is its own victory.

I’ll cheers to that.

- PS


12/13/18

  • Double KB waiters walks - 3x100’

Then...

  • 3 rounds for time:

    • 50 single arm KBS (35/26)

    • 40 lateral hurdle jumps (12”)

    • 30 single arm KB thruster (35/26)

    • 20 toes to bar


temp-post-image

There hasn’t always been such agreement and amiability between practitioners of weight lifting and practitioners of gymnastics or running as there is today. Back in 1940, in fact, there was a clash of intellectual titans in the world of human fitness and kinesiology as Bob Hoffman and Peter Karpovich duked it out over the alleged virtues and vices of weight training. Bob Hoffman, founder of York Barbell, writer of Strength & Health magazine, and bombastic advocate for the wide-reaching benefits of weight training, loudly insisted that strength training with weights could bring incredible benefits, in performance, physique, and health alike. Peter Karpovich, respected scientist and distinguished professor at Springfield College, firmly held that weight training was ineffective and detrimental, saying that “one of the great tasks that faces Springfield College is to fight these muscle-builders,” insisting they were “quacks” and “faddists.”

The anti-weight-training views held by Karpovich were not uncommon at the time. Rooted in myth and hearsay, the popular opinion was that heavy lifting would leave you “musclebound” -- clumsy, slow, and inflexible. The public opinion also held that weight lifting was dangerous, leading to muscle and tendon tears and to heart disease, and that lifters were generally brutish and of sub-par intelligence (I’m not making this stuff up). This viewpoint went so far that there was an official recommendation in the ‘30s that YMCAs should ban all forms of weight training.

A student at Springfield college who himself saw the value in weight training, was tired of hearing disparaging comments about lifting from professors and classmates, and took it upon himself to spread the gospel, as it were, on the virtues of weight training. He sent a letter to Bob Hoffman, inviting him to put on a presentation at a weekly Forum held for students and faculty at Springfield College; and, to his surprise, Hoffman obliged. He brought along three of his best athletes: two top American weightlifters, John Davis and Tony Terlazzo, and the current Mr. America, John Grimek. Davis and Terlazzo put on a demonstration of the competition Olympic lifts, impressing the audience with the ease and speed with which they moved a 300lb barbell. John Grimek then took the stage for a series of poses, putting his impressive Mr. America physique on display. After the demonstrations and a brief talk, Hoffman opened the floor for questions. A hand went up: Peter Karpovich’s. As one of the students at the time retold it, the auditorium went silent in anticipation. Everyone knew Karpovich’s feelings about weight training, and they were ready to witness fireworks (and not in the romantic sense).

Karpovich did not come out swinging with citations of scientific ideas or published research. Rather he had a simple request. Karpovich recounts: "I sweetly asked Mr. Hoffman to ask Mr. Grimek to scratch his back between his shoulder blades."

As the audience sat on the edge of their seats, Grimek, a bit taken aback, responded, “but my back doesn’t itch,” drawing nervous laughter from the tense crowd. Much to the entire audience’s amazement, he then proceeded to scratch his back, first with his right hand, and then with his left, from both the top and the bottom. John Davis then stepped onto stage and passed the same test with ease. Karpovich sat down.

What proceeded was a series of nails in the coffin of the idea that weight training would make you slow, clumsy, and inflexible. Grimek, after scratching his back to Karpovich’s content, dropped into the full splits, and then showed the audience that he could nearly touch his elbows to the floor when bent over with straight legs; John Davis then showed the audience a standing broad jump of well over 11 feet, and performed a standing back flip with 50lb dumbbells in each hand. And just like that, what started as a “prove you wrong” demonstration between fitness factions holding two disparate viewpoints turned into a pivotal moment in the history of human performance ideologies. Karpovich, speechless from the demonstration, but recognizing that his held beliefs were clearly ill-founded, approached the lifters after the Forum and apologized for his comments and asked if they would tell him more about their training. After a temporary change of pace as WWII put a halt to academia, Karpovich returned to research, this time investigating many of the popular claims about the detriments of weight training, and eventually went on to become one of the greatest advocates for strength training and weight lifting, publishing several papers and co-authoring a pivotal book in the world of strength and conditioning: Weight Training in Athletics.

While we can look back today and smile at this remarkable story of bodybuilders and weightlifters who defied all expectations and changed the history of exercise science, we are not too far removed from these sorts of ideological beliefs and disbeliefs, and remnants of these old (now disproven) ways of thinking still exist today. Remember to always keep an open mind, and don’t be afraid of lifting a few weights. Turns out, it’s pretty good for you.

- PS


12/12/18

  • 15 min EMOM

    • Min 1: 200m run

    • Min 2: Max pull-ups

    • Min 3: Max sandbag over shoulder (AHAP)


temp-post-image

We pride ourselves on the fact that we coach movement and physical fitness very well, but the argument could be made that we throw a holiday party even better.

This Saturday, December 15th from 6-10pm, we will celebrate the holidays in style at the annual No Boundaries Holiday Party. Come dressed in your finest holiday attire. You can expect delicious food, a selection of beverages, and a hefty dose of good conversation, cheer, and laughter. The party is potluck style, so bring your favorite dish to share. We will also host our traditional White Elephant Gift Exchange - bring a gift of $20 maximum (feel free to get weird with it).

Please RSVP on Facebook if you will be attending, and let us know (on Facebook or in person) what you will be contributing to the potluck. See you there!

- PS


12/11/18

  • Squat clean - 3rm

Then...

  • For time:

    • 20 squat cleans (75/55)

    • 20 cal row

    • Rest 2 mins

    • 15 squat cleans (95/65)

    • 15 cal row

    • Rest 2 mins

    • 10 squat cleans (115/80)

    • 10 cal row

    • Rest 2 min

    • 5 squat cleans (135/95)

    • 5 cal row


temp-post-image

Every element of the programming, coaching and cueing, and business you encounter at No Boundaries represents a deliberate choice from our coaches and leadership. In short, there is nothing that we do or say that is not done or said for a reason. This is the natural result of an organization that engages in Deliberate Practice. Our approach is fundamentally a process of continued examination, evaluation, and re-evaluation.

Take everything from the exercise selection for today’s training, to the number of days we perform a push movement in this 3-week training cycle, to our tuition structure, to our word choice in communicating with our students. Each represents a reasoned choice aimed at an specific outcome. In addition, each of these is never a finished product -- we are constantly in the process of applying pressure to the system, finding the areas where it weakens or breaks, and making changes to improve.

This principle also stands at the heart of our Coaches’ Prep Course. It is our environment for developing coaches who are engaged in this same process of examination, evaluation, and re-evaluation, and our roundtable for applying pressure to what we currently do to search out the weak points.

Curious why we may do one thing and not another? Ask! We’re happy to share our process.

- PS


12/10/18

  • 20min AMRAP

    • 3 rope climbs

    • 10 box jumps (24/20”)

    • 30s deadhang from pull-up bar

    • 20 pistols


temp-post-image

I’m fond of finding ways that our in gym activities relate to out-of-gym activities. It’s a simple game of connect the dots that clarifies purpose and transferability and adds context to our movement practice.

I can think of few movements as relevant, transferable, and essential as the hip hinge.

In short, the hip hinge is a folding (flexion) and standing (extension) at the hip. In the gym, this looks like a deadlift, a kettlebell swing, or lapping a heavy stone or sandbag. In life, this is everything from bending over to tie your shoes, to lifting a moving box, to hoisting a body onto your shoulder. It’s also one of the most powerful and capable movement patterns we have, and taps into a huge muscle group known as the posterior chain. This makes it effective at moving large loads and at moving very quickly.

Consider it a tragedy or perhaps an incredible opportunity, the hip hinge also happens to be one of the most poorly executed movements by the average untrained stranger. Years of poor movement practices and sitting on our hip muscles until they go dormant means that the average person’s hip hinge has a lot more rounding and a lot less hinging. It just so happens that this is a very common mechanism of injury, too (see: America’s back pain problem).

Perhaps the capacity to pick something heavy off the ground safely or to sprint or jump explosively doesn’t carry the same Instagram-worthy glamour as toned abs, but it just might be one of the most important tools in your human mover’s toolbelt.

What’s your favorite hip hinge movement?

- PS


12/7/18

  • Powerlifting Total

  • In 36 mins (12 mins for each lift), establish a 1rm:

    • Back squat

    • Bench press

    • Deadlift


temp-post-image

Broccoli is good for you, right?

Of course it is. Don’t overthink it.

How about if you eat nothing but broccoli for a month?

Not so good.

Dose is always a consideration. In diet, in exercise, in mental states, in work, in rest. Dose has a way of turning a good thing bad, or a bad thing good.

We all have our own “too much broccoli.” Our broccoli is where our dose is disproportional. Perhaps it is running, perhaps it is working, perhaps it is sitting, perhaps it is spinal extension. Whatever it is, the dose teeters into the realm of “too much,” and the results are injury or burnout or reversing returns.

The antidote to this “too much broccoli” is variety and balance. The runner who does nothing but run mile after mile, week after week, requires strength training, movements in different planes, and movements through different ranges of motion (along with perhaps less running) to keep their broccoli from turning into too much broccoli.

This concept is one of the pillars of our GPP (general physical preparedness) program.

Broccoli is good, but you can’t eat just broccoli.

- PS


12/6/18

  • 8 min EMOM

    • Min 1: 10 ring rows

    • Min 2: Max handstand hold

Then...

  • Every 4 mins for 20 mins:

    • 400m run


temp-post-image

What happens when you take nearly 80 overweight or obese individuals in their 60s and have them lift weights and eat a calorie restricted diet for 18 months? It turns out, good things happen.

Recent research out of Wake Forest University compared the effects of calorie restriction alone, calorie restriction and cardio, and calorie restriction and resistance training in a population in their 60s. They found that not only did the calorie + resistance training group lose the most body fat, they also retained the most muscle mass, an incredibly important factor in aging populations. In addition, they found that the calorie restriction + cardio group lost the most muscle mass.

You can read more about it HERE.

While this data may come as no surprise to some who have observed, first hand, the incredible benefits of strength training in older populations, the fact remains that popular opinion still holds that cardio is king, for young and (especially) for old.

The message played out in the research (and there’s plenty of research out there) is pretty straight forward: resistance training is key. I would argue that it’s even essential for anyone in search of living optimally, young or old, underweight or overweight.

No matter who you are, lift something heavy on the regular. (And don’t wait until you’re 60!)

- PS


12/5/18

  • 15 min AMRAP

    • 25’ DB front rack walking lunges (50/35)

    • 15 ring dips

    • 25’ DB front rack walking lunges

    • 15 cal row

Then...

  • 3 rounds for quality:

    • 60s side plank (30s/side)

    • 60’ banded lateral walks (30’ per side)


temp-post-image

This Saturday, December 8th, students of CrossFit No Boundaries and members of our extended community are invited to join the CrossFit No Boundaries team at the annual Arthritis Foundation’s Jingle Bell Run 5k. Join for a chance to get in the holiday spirit and to contribute to raising funds for research and resources for the Arthritis Foundation as they combat the #1 cause of disability in America. Adults and children are welcome. Don’t forget to come clad in your best holiday attire (ugly sweaters, jingle bells, Santa suits, and elf tights all welcome).

Registration is still open HERE.

Hope to see you there!

- PS


12/4/18

  • Power clean - 3rm

Then...

  • 12 min EMOM

    • Even: 3 power cleans (AHAP)

    • Odd: :30 max toes to bar


temp-post-image

If I call an electrician to get a quote on installing overhead lighting in my living room, but never receive a call back to schedule an appointment, I would generally assume that the electrician doesn’t need or want my business. Of course, it could be that the electrician is unorganized, forgetful, or otherwise has poor business practices; but on my end, I am met with a lack of any follow-through, and all I can do is shrug my shoulders and find someone else who wants to do the job.

The same can apply to whatever change you may allege to want or undertake in your life. You can put it out there that you want to lose weight or regain your health, to get a new job, to go back to school; but until you can present some follow-through, it doesn’t look like you really want it after all. Don’t expect the world to be the one to call you back. If you want it, prove it.

- PS


12/3/18

  • For time:

    • 200m run

    • 20 DUs

    • 400m run

    • 40 DUs

    • 800m run

    • 80 DUs

    • 400m run

    • 40 DUs

    • 200m run

    • 20 DUs