Workout of the Day

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Make no mistake, the role of the gym, your physical training in general, and your healthy dietary and lifestyle choices is not to act as a magic eraser or permission slip for unhealthy decisions. A salad and a jog the day after a night of drinking 10 beers and putting away a few plates of nachos does not undo the beer and nachos. A dozen jogs and a dozen salads won’t either. Of course, eating a salad and going for a jog is better than doing nothing at all; but your health and wellness does not rest on some made up math game of balancing the healthy vs. unhealthy, or of “undoing” unhealthy decisions with equally weighted healthy decisions.

All of your choices contribute to the system. At its simplest, it’s like adding marbles of two different colors into a jar. Adding a blue marble doesn’t erase the orange marble that’s already in the jar.

Let’s be clear: I am not saying that you ought to reject anything that may fall in the broad and amorphous “unhealthy” category. Our intention is wellness, not an ascetic life, and enjoyment and selective indulgence are very much a part of wellness. All of our jars will have both blue and orange marbles. But don’t fool yourself into thinking you can undo decisions or relinquish responsibility for your choices. Every decision adds something, good or bad. Consider accordingly.

- PS


7/19/19

  • 5k run time trial


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Just as a small snowball rolling down a hill can continually collect more snow as it goes and turn into a big and problematic snow boulder (see: the proverbial snowball effect), a small movement fault or restriction can lead to other problems and compensations and grow into a much larger problem. A tight ankle, for example, may not be all that problematic on its own. But a tight ankle could lead to hip muscles that won’t fire right, which can lead to knee pain, which leads to a compensational shift onto the other hip, which leads to impingement in the low back, etc.

Now, the purpose is not to scare you into idleness. That’s the last thing you should do! We all have imbalances to work on and room to improve our movement. But the importance of preventative work and a focus on developing proper positioning earlier rather than later on cannot be overstressed. When you stop the snowball in its tracks before it has the chance to roll further down the hill and become a bigger snowball, it’s easy to manage. Wait for it to grow into a snow behemoth, on the other hand, and you’ve got your work cut out for you.

There’s a reason we don’t let the little things slide. They matter, because little things are just big things that haven’t had the chance to grow yet.

- PS


7/18/19

  • Bent over barbell row - 3x8

Then...

  • With a partner…

  • AMRAP 5

    • P1: Max DB thrusters (50/35)

    • P2: Ring support hold

  • Rest 2 mins

  • AMRAP 5

    • P1: Max DB thrusters (50/35)

    • P2: Hollow body hold


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I’ve got bad news for you: no matter how hard you try, you can’t control the weather. No amount of upset, protestation, longing sighs, or wishful thinking will blow those storm clouds away and bring out the sunshine, or turn the heat down from an oppressive 95 degrees to a pleasant 75.

Eternal optimist that I am, I have some good news for you too: the fact that you can’t control the weather shouldn’t worry you one bit. You can take comfort in the fact that you can’t and won’t be able to change the weather, and so it’s just not worth your energy.

Even better news: you can use that newly-freed energy from letting go of your disappointment about not controlling the weather and channel it into the things you do control.

It’s going to rain, whether you like it or not. But you control whether you bring an umbrella and a water-resistant coat and leave early for work to account for rainy traffic.

It’s going to be hot, whether you like it or not. But you control whether you pack extra water, bring sunscreen, and park your car in a shady spot.

All kinds of things will happen that are 100% out of your control, and that doesn’t matter. But with each of these uncontrollable elements, you decide how you prepare, engage, and respond.

- PS


7/17/18

  • Hang power snatch - 3,3,3

Then...

  • For time:

    • 20 hang power snatch (95/65)

    • 40 C2B pull-ups

    • 60 cal row

  • *10 min time cap


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The nature of our GPP (general physical preparedness) program is to address all aspects of fitness and physical skill. This inherently involves some level of compromise (i.e., the fastest marathoner in the world will never be the strongest powerlifter in the world). Of course, it isn’t our intention to be the fastest marathoner or the strongest powerlifter, but to be equally capable of running a long distance and moving a heavy load. You could say we’re even a bit greedy in our goals.

It’s common, when goals are broad and inclusive as ours are, to make the mistake of shaping your daily training in the same way. If you are interested in developing strength, speed, stamina, endurance, and coordination for example, you might make the mistake of thinking the best way to do this is to include all of those elements in each day of training. To make matters worse, training like this, which often includes a high variety of movements, high volume, heavy weights, and the demand for speed all crammed into one day, has all the internet curb appeal of a front-page, advanced-athletes-only, “killer” workout. And so the beast feeds itself.

While our goals are broad and inclusive, our training needs to be far more exact. There is merit to focusing on multiple aspects of fitness in the same day of training. But there is equal value in spending a day (or week, or month) digging deep on one element in isolation.

Centering your training around haphazard combinations and everything-but-the-kitchen-sink style of training is, at best, a poor use of resources.

Don’t forget, broad goals still require specific strategies. Train smart.

- PS


7/16/19

  • Barbell front rack step-up - 4x12 (6/leg)

Then...

  • 4 rounds for reps

  • In 2 mins:

    • 200m run

    • Max SB over shoulder (AHAP)

  • Rest 2 mins


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This past Saturday, three teams of motivated athletes representing CrossFit No Boundaries participated in the ladies-only Barbellas fitness competition. Not only was the event a success in that all nine participants from No Boundaries walked away smiling, enriched, and rewarded for their efforts, but one of the teams -- Grass Fed Chicks -- finished second place in their division! Other highlights include a team of first-time competitors, successfully completing new and challenging movements, powerful team spirit, photo-finishes, and a head-to-head tie-breaker to clinch second place.

It goes without saying that each of the participants gave it their all, and came away better for it. When you see them in or out of the gym, be sure to give them a congratulatory high-five. And if you’re interested in participating in a fitness competition of any kind, we welcome you to reach out and ask us how we can help you prepare.

And of course, don’t forget to support your local girl gang!

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No one likes to be told they’re bad at something, and even worse is being told you’re bad at something that you thought you were good at. Let’s all raise our hands collectively for a moment and acknowledge that we’ve been there.

Now for a moment, let’s take the emotional response (not liking it) to this feedback (you’re bad at something) out of the equation, and what you have is information -- valuable, meaningful information at that.

We are not computers emotionlessly processing zeros and ones, and to expect ourselves to behave as such is unreasonable. Humans have and will continue to have emotional responses to information. That is natural and real. That being said, we don’t need to let those responses steer the ship. You can take back the helm.

It’s all information, and what you do with it will determine your results. And it turns out, your ability to take in and synthesize that information without tainting it depends on your ability to see the feedback for what it is (information) and not for how you instinctually respond to it.

Don’t let the tail wag the dog.

You’ve received feedback.

You feel a certain way.

That’s okay.

Breathe -- it’s all information. Now what are you going to do with it?

- PS


7/12/19

  • Deadlift - 5,5,3,3,3,1,1,1,1,1


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Strong muscles are one thing; being able to use them, particularly in the context of a complex, coordinated, full-body movement is another thing entirely.

You could, for example, have a sizable set of hamstrings. Greater muscle size means greater opportunity for muscle recruitment, which, in the simplest sense, means a stronger muscle. Perhaps these big ol' hamstrings even enable you to curl a full stack of plates on the hamstring curl machine. But this doesn’t mean your hamstrings are strong in the functional sense. Despite your large and theoretically strong hamstrings, you could, for example, lack the ability to properly recruit them in a back squat. Like a car with a large engine that won’t start, you can have all the size and theoretical strength in the world, but if you can’t get the muscles to do their job in the context of a bigger movement, what good are they? The same problem is common with the core, mid-back muscles, and glutes in particular.

This concept lies at the heart of our focus on compound movements with specially selected accessory exercises. Strength needs to be considered in the context of movement. Otherwise, you may just be walking around with a bunch of muscles your body can’t really use.

- PS


7/11/19

  • For time:

    • 5 ring muscle-ups

    • 800m run

    • 10 ring muscle-ups

    • 400m run

    • 15 ring muscle-ups

    • 200m run

  • *20min time cap

Then...

  • In 4 mins, accumulate as much time as possible in an L-hang


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It turns out, being busy may be the best (worst) excuse for why you haven’t/can’t/won’t make progress or do X,Y, or Z. Busy is easy -- easier now than ever before -- and is about as good as saying “not bored.” Busy often looks like filling your plate with little, unimportant things to avoid bigger, more important, but more challenging things.

Instead of hanging your hat on how busy you are, consider: What direction are you moving? Are you progressing? What are you becoming?

- PS


7/10/19

  • Axle bar push press - 3rm

Then...

  • 3 rounds for reps

    • 90s KB farmer’s carry (53/35 per hand)

    • 30s rest

    • 60s axle bar clean and press (130/90)

    • 60s rest

    • 30s burpees

    • 90s rest


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Nope, the title isn't a typo.

Believe it or not, “dead butt syndrome,” is not a joke. More technically called “gluteal amnesia,” dead butt syndrome is an increasingly common problem that can, despite its comical name, have rather grave results. More and more, people are spending their days planted on the largest and most powerful muscle group in the body: the glutes. This high volume of sitting means reduced blood flow to the muscles, atrophy, weakness, and, worst of all, people’s glutes are essentially “forgetting” how to turn on. Think of how well you’re able to use your arm after you sleep on it funny and your arm falls asleep. Now imagine that, over the long term, applied to the largest muscle group in your body.

To make matters worse, your body is a master at compensating. You’ve sat your glutes into submission, and as a result, your body turns to the surrounding muscles to do whatever task you ask them to do. As a result, you may walk away from a movement that should be tapping into the power of the glutes, and instead you have a sore low-back and burnt out quads. Sound familiar? You’re not alone. Not only does this sap performance and worsen the problem by making already over-active muscles even more active, it can lead to long term problems, too. Structural changes, back and knee problems, poor range of motion, poor joint mechanics, etc.

I, for one, am convinced that if our population strengthened and (re)learned how to use the almighty glutes, we could cut the need for orthopedic hip and back interventions in half.

If your lifestyle requires lots of sitting, you may be silently suffering from dead butt syndrome. Now is the time to do the work necessary to wake your derriere back up. Ask your coach how!

- PS


7/9/19

  • Strict ring rows - 5x10

Then...

  • 6 rounds for time:

    • 50’ double dumbbell walking lunge (50/35)

    • 30s hollow hang

    • 15 double dumbbell deadlift (50/35)

    • 30s hollow hang


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If you’ve ever questioned the value of your fitness (or even if you haven’t), might I suggest the incredibly revealing and satisfying practice of using your fitness outside of the gym?

Just as a student who stays within the comfortable walls of formalized education to avoid the unknown challenges of “the real world” misses the mark on the whole purpose of education, I would argue that you’re doing yourself a disservice if you never seek opportunities to use your fitness outside of the gym.

Before you let this suggestion turn into something it’s not, I am not suggesting you need to engage in competitive sports to make your fitness worthwhile or valuable. If professional sports are your jam, great. Otherwise, the sky is the limit on ways you can use your fitness outside of the gym. A few suggestions…

- play a game of pick-up basketball with friends

- learn to skateboard

- take singing lessons

- play a rousing game of ping-pong

- ride your bike to work

- take a weekend backpacking trip

The sky’s the limit.

What you’ll likely take away from the experience is twofold. First, you’ll likely notice considerable (and often surprising) skill transfer from the fitness you’ve developed in the gym to the task at hand (e.g., you’ll find your accuracy and coordination developed in the gym carries over to your ping-pong skills, or your ability to carry a heavy pack over a weekend-long hike far exceeds the norm). Second, you’ll probably notice some holes in your game (e.g., your singing will suffer from the same erratic breathing behaviors that affect your performance in the gym, or your avoidance of training balance and coordination will manifest in challenges in learning to skateboard), and will discover a newfound purpose in addressing your weaknesses.

The cherry on top is that you’ll be hard-pressed not to have fun exploring, using, and otherwise digging into your physical and mental capacities that you’ve developed in the gym.

This really is a win-win. Continue on your path to developing your fitness, and don’t forget to get out there and use it!

- PS


7/8/19

  • 4 rounds for total reps/cals:

    • 3 min max cal row

    • 2 min max double-unders

    • 1 min rest