Workout of the Day

temp-post-image
Read more

temp-post-image

The Super Bowl may be the biggest television sporting event of the year, but you’re not going to be glued to the screen if it’s an incredibly lopsided match as one team runs up 30 unanswered points and the other tries desperately to hold on and not to get completely trampled. Good sporting events feature close matches, surprise comebacks, fair play, and a back-and-forth struggle to gain an edge throughout the game. Winning is one thing, hard-earned victory is another.

While it may not gain national prime-time television coverage, your own competitive endeavors can take a note out of the book of good sporting events. Competition is a powerful motivator, and while you may not consider yourself the archetypical “competitive type,” I’d wager that deep down, you have some competitive tendencies, and you should. The key is directing your competition productively. So in the same way that a lopsided Super Bowl game or a tennis match between Serena Williams and some kid on a high school junior varsity tennis team wouldn’t really garner the best that competition has to offer, setting yourself up in competition against someone who is completely out of your league -- whether with much lower or much higher capacities -- doesn’t make for good competition. And while it certainly helps to have a training partner that has equal capacities and skills as you, that’s not always in the works.

The good news is, all you need is yourself. Cliched though it may sound, setting yourself up in competition with the you of yesterday checks all the boxes for classically good competition. You will always be evenly matched, neither you nor your competition will have an unfair advantage, there will be no foul play, there will always be room to fight to gain that edge, and best of all, your victories will always be something earnable and within reach.

It’s true that having an equally-matched friend or three to compete against will always raise the bar on your efforts, but don’t forget to take on the competition that’s always there, ready for you -- that’s always evenly matched, that improves as you improve. Competing with who you were yesterday sounds like a perfect recipe for finding new ways to get better, forever.

- PS


8/16/18

  • 8 1-minute rounds of:

    • 30 DUs

    • Max rep hang power snatch (135/95)

  • Rest 2 mins between rounds

  • *record total hang power snatch


temp-post-image

It’s true. Collectively, we could handily squash the entire industry of health and fitness gimmicks -- everything from ridiculous panacea supplements to ineffective silver-bullet “As Seen on TV” exercise tools -- and we have all of the resources we need to do it.

The reason it hasn’t happened, though, is that it would take a collective mindset shift like we’ve probably never seen before. It would take everyone taking ownership over self rather than seeking stories about who or what else can be blamed. It would take a shift of focus away from what people feel they arbitrarily deserve and onto what they have earned. The shift in thoughts and behaviors would be drastic. People would recognize the promises of products for the lies that they are, and would turn to the fruits of their own efforts for results.

Now I don’t mean to sound dismal, but our outlook at the moment for this collective mindset shift is a bit grim.

Of course, just because something is hard or seemingly impossible doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. It starts with you. Seek radical accountability for your choices, and bring a friend along for the ride!

- PS


8/15/18

  • 12 min AMRAP

    • 3 rope climb ascents

    • 6 T2B

    • 9 DB squat cleans (40/25)

    • 12 cal row

Then...

  • For quality:

    • 100 single arm DB rows (AHAP)

  • *partition into as many sets as necessary; total of 50 reps/arm


temp-post-image

It’s no secret that we (speaking of our society in particular, and of humans in general) have a strong affinity for sugar. Not only is it nearly ubiquitous in popular Western cuisine and a primary center-piece of indulgent behavior, it’s also so darn good that it seems like we just can’t help but crave the stuff. And, in a sense, this is true.

If we take a trip back to our evolutionary past, it starts to make sense. A strong liking for sugar was, back then, an evolutionary advantage. Our hominid ancestors who had an affinity for sweetness would be drawn to consume riper, more energy-dense fruits, which would result in more energy, higher chances of survival and reproduction, and so on. Sweetness was also likely an indicator of something more easily digestible and not poisonous. This advantage of having a sweet tooth would carry on for a long time, through hunter-gatherer societies, and likely up until the point where societies of abundance started popping up. In short, way back before human civilization and agriculture and Big Gulps, you were better off if you had a sweet tooth. Now, not so much.

The challenge for us is that we are still (genetically) very much like our sweet-toothed ancestors, but our context and lifestyle couldn’t be more different. Back then, coming across a tree full of sweet fruit was a rare treat (and sweet fruits back then, by the way, weren’t nearly as sweet as our modern equivalents which are intentionally bred for higher sweetness). Now, some pocket change can buy you a soda with a few hundred grams of easy-to-consume sugar, it’s in everything from salad dressing to wheat bread to barbeque chicken, and marketers target everyone from impressionable children (have you ever noticed that the junk food snacks are often positioned at the eye level of children?) to adults bored at their office job. And the worst part, rates of diseases like diabetes show that we’re not becoming any less inclined to eat the sweet stuff.

What was once an evolutionary advantage is now, in the context of Western society, a practical death sentence. While this is perhaps a bit dismal, it’s true that our physiology is not ready for the world we have created for ourselves. What this means is that it will take awareness and discipline to move beyond our basic physical urges. Recognize that sweet stuff tastes very good for a very good reason (historically), but that you’re not living in the world in which that advantage was born. The world and the ubiquity of sugar and the marketing isn’t going to change for you and make the problem go away, so the only solution is for you to change your behaviors to overcome the challenge.

- PS


8/14/18

  • For time:

    • 200m double overhead DB carry (50/35)

Then...

  • “Nicole”

  • 20 min AMRAP

    • 400m run

    • Max pull-ups


temp-post-image

In the same way that you would silence your cell phone when walking into church or a movie theater, or remove your shoes when walking into a friend’s clean home, when you walk in the doors of CrossFit No Boundaries, we ask that you temporarily remove and set aside the burdens of the day. The nagging stresses, the cloud that’s been following you all day, the anger or grief or disappointment -- leave it at the door. You are welcome to pick it back up on your way out (though you might just find yourself feeling like you don’t need to pick it back up again). It’s not that your challenges and stresses aren’t real or don’t matter. Quite the opposite, it’s that your capacity to handle them will be significantly improved if you can acknowledge their significance but put them aside for the hour, let us take the reins on setting the vibes, and give yourself space to move and breathe, unburdened.

While our primary purpose is coaching movement and improving fitness, our efforts are founded in a dedicated practice of focused effort on Development with a capital ‘D.’ This means that sometimes, the training stimulus will go far deeper than muscle physiology or the cardiorespiratory system.

You are worth your own investment of dedicated effort. So set it all aside for an hour, and give yourself the opportunity to fully invest in yourself, baggage-free.

- PS


8/13/18

  • Hang power clean - 3,3,3,3

Then...

  • 10 min AMRAP

    • 5 unbroken shoulder to overhead (135/95)

    • 10 unbroken hang power clean (135/95)

    • 15 unbroken deadlifts (135/95)

  • *if you break in the middle of a set, must rest and start that set over


temp-post-image

Last weekend, I watched a few of the events of the most recent CrossFit Games on television and noticed that one particular athlete looked and behaved the same at the start of every event. He was stern, serious, even looked a bit angry. Most of all, I think, he was focused. He wasn’t concerned about how he looked for the cameras or what impression he was making on his audience -- he was there to complete a task, and he put 100% of his energy towards that task. The athlete was Mat Fraser, who just so happened to take first place and continue as the unquestionably dominant athlete for the third year straight.

We frequently make the mistake of compartmentalizing where there is no good reason to do so. Your behaviors tend to operate rather similarly regardless of the subject (work, school, exercise, competition, parenting, whatever).

Consider, for example, what you would suggest to your high school age child as she studied for her final exams. You would likely advise her to eliminate distractions by turning of the cell phone and the TV, to set aside a specific time for dedicated and focused work, to have a plan rather than trying to wing it, and to create space for mental breaks. Your suggestions would be rather similar for yourself or someone else preparing for an important meeting to a board of directors. Why then, should we expect things to be any different in training?

Let me be clear: I am not suggesting that your training should be quiet, still, or arduous. I am, however, insisting that it’s foolish to expect your training to go any different than a wasteful study session if your efforts are unfocused, you’re distracted by your cell phone, your mind is elsewhere, or you’re haphazardly rushing in without any plan or preparation.

We are here to enjoy the process, but we’re not fulfilling our mission if we don’t commit ourselves to focused and productive efforts towards becoming a higher-performing, more functional, healthier human. Treat your training like anything else that’s important in your life. After all, why should it be any different?

- PS


8/10/18

  • 20 min AMRAP

    • 400m run in under (1:25/1:35)

  • *if you do not complete the run in under the designated time, it does not count

  • *rest as needed between attempts


temp-post-image

Have you ever heard of muscle memory? You’ve probably encountered this idea when you were playing on your high school baseball team and your coach told you that you need to get in lots of reps at bat to develop your muscle memory, or perhaps your dance instructor reminded you that practice is essential to develop the muscle memory for a basic dance move so you can perform it without thinking.

While muscle memory is a bit of a misnomer (your muscles don’t remember that wedding you went to last summer, and if you cut off your arm, it won’t exactly remember how to throw a ball), the idea is a true one. You are going to become very good at doing things that you do frequently. You might remember learning at some point about myelin -- a sheath that covers your nerve pathways. When you do something frequently, this myelin thickens, which allows better conductivity of nerve signals. In essence, your body recognizes that it would benefit from being efficient at doing that task, and so it adapts to make the task easier to do in the way in which you practice it.

The takeaway here is twofold. First, if you really want to get good at something, do it every day. It doesn’t have to take hours, it doesn’t have to be hyper-intense, but it does need to be consistent and regular. (Side note: this is the principle behind the “Cold Method” that we will be using in our End of Summer Performance Challenge). The second is a warning to be careful what you practice. Practice deadlifting with a rounded back, or sitting in your office chair with slumped shoulders, or running with a heal strike, and your body is going to become very good at that pattern. Individual reps may seem harmless, but when you start to lay down layers upon layers of poor movement, fixing the problem tomorrow becomes harder and harder to do.

You have chances to practice every day. Pick something you want to be good at, and see if you can’t squeeze in a 90 second refresher course for your nerve pathways.

P.S. If you haven't signed up for our End of Summer Performance Challenge, you can get the details and register HERE.

- PS


8/9/18

  • Squat snatch - 1,1,1,1,1

Then...

  • 4 rounds for quality:

    • 16 alternating pistols/side step-ups

    • 16 inverted shoulder taps


temp-post-image

This Saturday, August 11th, we are fortunate to have Alberto Fernandez, Spanish champion weightlifter and European bronze medalist paying us a visit at CrossFit No Boundaries to put on a weightlifting clinic. And the good news is, there are still some spots available.

What you can expect: a breakdown of the snatch and clean & jerk, insights into some of the most complex movements you’ll encounter in your life, a chance to improve your technique, and a unique experience working with a national champ. Start time is 10am sharp. Show up ready to learn.

Know someone from outside our ranks that may be interested as well? We might just have a spot for them, too!

You can register HERE, or contact your coach.

Act fast!

- PS


8/8/18

  • 15 min EMOM

    • Min 1: 100’ keg carry (AHAP)

    • Min 2: 20s max double KB shoulder to overhead (53/35)

    • Min 3: 30s dead hang from pull-up bar

  • *5 burpee penalty for dropping from pull-up bar


temp-post-image

Let’s just start with this: there’s a 99% chance you’ve been lied to about core training.

It’s a buzzword, and it’s also largely misunderstood by trainers, athletes, and the general public, and what this all equates to is much ado about we’re not so sure what. I’m not suggesting malice, but I’m not saying it’s excusable, either.

Let’s step backwards for a moment.

Set foot in any currently popular circuit-training, bootcamp, or HIIT class today, and a part of your daily training will likely be dedicated to the “core.” The trainers will emphasize how important core strength is (they’re not wrong), and you’ll do a series of high repetition exercises like sit-ups, crunches on an exercise ball, twists with a plate or medicine ball, and holds. By the end of it, your abs will burn a lot, and so you’ll have the feeling that your core must have gotten stronger. Right?

On the flipside, someone accustomed to the “core training” they’ve encountered at the likes of an Orangetheory, Bodypump, or other popular HIIT class may come to us and remark about how little core training we seem to do. Few sit-ups, no bouncy exercise ball, and you don’t feel the burn in your abs every day. We must not care about the core. Right?

The premise for the importance of core training is that it is integral in so many movements in the gym and life (deadlifts, running, throwing, breathing, hanging, picking up your children, sitting, standing, etc.). It’s a fairly easy next step to understand, then, that the core is highly stressed in these very same movements. You need a strong core to deadlift a heavy weight, and you’re also going to develop a strong core if you train yourself to properly deadlift a heavy weight. There’s really no way around it.

We may not label overhead squats, yoke carries, push-ups, or single-leg RDLs as “core training” or mention anything about blasting your abs with these exercises, but that doesn’t mean you’re not developing a strong core.

This all comes back to the fact that the average trainer or athlete’s (mis)understanding of core training is based on two things: feel and look. Common core training focuses on chasing the burn (generally, in your abs, a small portion of the core) and on getting a six-pack (evidenced by the common false notion that having visible abs means you must have a strong core).

These premises, unfortunately, can only lead to core strength by accident.

Some days, we will do exercises that will make your abs burn. Many days, we will not. On all days, however, your core will be functionally stressed, challenged, and strengthened. We aren’t interested in wasting your or our time chasing falsehoods, however popular they may be.

Trust me, your core is getting stronger even though we don’t do crunches.

- PS


8/7/18

  • Thruster - 3rm

Then...

  • For time:

    • 800m run

    • 25 thrusters (115/80)

    • 800m run


temp-post-image

As impressive as the human brain’s reasoning capacities are, we can be pretty unreasonable creatures. There are around 180 recognized cognitive biases -- common errors in reasoning, evaluating, or recall. Among the most common and egregious, perhaps, is what’s known as present bias. Basically, humans are very bad at doing any favors for their future selves.

For example, a study examining present bias gave people the option of receiving $150 dollars today, or $180 in one month. Most chose the $150 today. Practically, this means turning down a 20% gain over the span of 30 days -- show me a mutual fund or savings account that can do that.

While experiments with hypothetical payouts are enough to make us scratch our heads and go, “hmm, how strange” this common cognitive bias has effects on far more grave decisions, such as those that shape our health and wellbeing. Humans are far too good at, day after day, convincing themselves that exercising, taking care of that achy shoulder, eating better, sleeping more, alleviating stress, etc. is a problem for future you, not present you. And, as the story goes, future you gets farther and farther away until it all comes crashing down, and suddenly present you is future you, and now you’re saddled with decades of poor choices.

These cognitive biases exist in all of us, it seems, to some degree, and there’s no magic pill to fix it. But awareness shines light on the problem, and armed with this awareness, we can step back and watch our brain work -- watch it make its mistakes, watch it defer better choices for tomorrow in favor of illusory comfort today -- and then we can step in and course correct.

Know that you are flawed. Your thinking, processing, reasoning is all disastrously full of errors, and that’s perfectly normal and okay -- you just need to see it for what it is and do something about it.

- PS


8/6/18

  • 2 rounds for time:

    • 25 pull-ups

    • Rest 1 min

    • 50 push-ups

    • Rest 1 min

    • 75 squats

    • Rest 1 min

Then...

  • 3 rounds for quality

    • 15 hollow rocks

    • 60s ring plank