Community Archive

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Thank you for another great week 101ers!  Technique and intensity improved this week, but motivational consequences increased.  Remind yourself to “Bring it!” as soon as you walk through those gym doors and make sure you take care of the details of logging in and making sure your tuition is in order.  Have fun and please stay safe this Cinco de Mayo weekend!
Main Group Workout
Strength:
Snatch Progressions

Work:
AMRAP in 10min
7 toes to bar
7 squat snatches, 135lbs

Core:
1:30min overhead hold, 225lbs

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Sometimes, more likely more times than not, things don’t go as you plan them to.  The weather might change unexpectedly, the economy may shift in a blink of an eye, or you may find yourself lost and not even remembering what you planned for.  An endless number of challenges will arise that you may not be able to foresee.  That’s when improvising, adapting, and overcoming come into play.  We humans are masters at that.  But, we are also creatures of habit and we don’t like change.  The reality is that we don’t have to like it, but we better be able to accept it, because change is the only constant in this world.

Very few people are able to develop a clear vision of their goals and how to obtain them.  Even less have the courage and conviction to pursue them.  Beyond that, what I feel separates those that are able to achieve success and those that are not, is the ability to embrace obstacles and be flexible in finding new ways around them.  You are all already doing that be committing to this lifestyle.

The next time your in a workout that didn’t go as planned, tell yourself “Welcome to the New Plan.”  We are all on a journey of constant improvement, and that means constant change.  Everyday in the gym is an opportunity for you to train your ability to embrace change.  All you have to do is make sure you’re heading in the right direction; if you get lost, you have a whole community to help you out.

Main Group Workout
“Linda” (aka 3 bars of death)
In groups, complete for time:
10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps of:
Deadlift, 225 (185/95)
Floor Press, 155 (95/65)
Clean, 115 (75/42)

Results:
041011 Linda

Scale, but never settle.

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Workout
5 rounds each for time:
21 pull ups
7 push jerks, 135
30 double unders
(3:00min cut off for each round)

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I wrote this almost a decade ago, and I still find that it rings true as ever today:

CrossFit 101 Leadership in 101 words:

“Lead from the front and by example. Always be honest, fair, and most importantly, consistent. Understand that the function of a leader is to give his or her subordinates the best opportunity to succeed. Never ask someone to do something you would not be willing to do yourself. Build confidence by earning repeated successes. Absolute resolve means never quitting. Leadership is a lonely business so vent upwards not downwards. A prerequisite is to care about your people and goals. Take risks; making a wrong decision is better than no decision at all. Great teams both work hard and play hard together.”

Here it is in it’s original format when I wrote it to help me lead my staff when I was working on my college campus:

Workout A
“Nancy”
5 rounds for time of:
400m run
15 overhead squats, 95lbs

Workout B
“Alpha”
For time:
800m run
21 burpee box jumps
21 toes to bar
800m run
15 burpee box jumps
15 toes to bar
800m run
9 burpee box jumps
9 toes to bar

Results:
080511 Nancy & Alpha(2)

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This workout is in honor of the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (NSWDG), DEVGRU, or otherwise known as, Seal Team 6. You’ve been hearing a lot about the team in the news lately, but when it comes down to it, they are just professionals that are really good at what they do. They are part of the tier 1 group of special operations units and they are our modern day Spartans. For an interesting read, check out book #4 here.

SEALFIT “Spartan Race” (compare to 2/8/11)
200 x Double Unders, Run 1 mile
100 x Kipping Pull-ups, Run 800M
150 x Double Unders, Run 400M
100 x CrossFit style Push-ups, Run 800
100 x Double Unders, Run 1 mile

Results:
051111 Spartan Race
051111 Spartan Race(2)

I make mistakes, and I have fears. As a leader, coach, human being, I have more faults than I can ever count. But, one thing that I’ve come to learn, especially after training others, is that I will always have the opportunity to change and improve. Unlike how I was before I started training, I now know that the power to change is well within my control.

Thanks to my athletes, I can see myself more clearly through their eyes, and it only helps me be a better person. I have unmoving faith that all of them have that same opportunity to change as well, they just might not have seen it yet. How crazy is it that all this just comes from working out?

The synergy, positive energy, and shared motivation the class creates is stuff I’ve only dreamed about when envisioning how TracFit would develop (Check out this old post from our infancy). But yesterday, I saw it as clear as anything I’ve ever seen. As a leader, sometimes the best thing is to just get out of the way of the people you’re leading, and let them do their thing.

The hardest part of this whole adventure will be leaving it all behind one day. Because all good things come to an end, that’s the way it should be. Until then, I will try to cherish every moment and enjoy the ride. Thank you my athletes and students, we still have a long way to go together and I’m glad you’re a part of this movement.

Workout
For time:
21-18-15-12-9-6 reps of:
Burpee Toe Touches
Dips
Sit Ups

This video clip is a realization of a dream. Great work Trung. The support from the rest of the class is so genuine and positive, it’s…indescribable.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmuLC2f2DkQ&hl=en&fs=1]

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Go here for the full size pics

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1Of4UWllYM&hl=en&fs=1]

I overhead a group of guys at the Global Gym the other day, who I’ve seen do some CrossFit workouts in the past, make fun of another group of guys who looked like they were just starting out. The first group of guys weren’t anything to be impressed with, but that sense of elitism is something I hope to keep in check within myself and within my athletes.

CrossFit programming is superior to many other programs out there. I don’t argue that, but I do argue that it doesn’t give anyone entitlement to judge or look down at other groups or individuals who are trying to reach their goals. If you watch some of the fittest CrossFitters, they are usually very humble and quiet about their accomplishments, because they realize how much they still need to develop and acknowledge that there’s many other people out there who are just as willing to work hard, if not harder, than they are. The truth is very quiet and that’s my viewpoint on how I get training done. There’s work and there’s you. You just have to do the work as intellgently as you can. There’s no room for egos or negativity in our training. All posturing, bolstering, and “talk”, is all hype. And hype doesn’t go too far for when it comes to results.

So, be humble, understand where you are and where you need to go, and practice what will get you there.

Are our workouts crazy? No.
Are they hard? Yes. Sometimes hell YES.
Are we crazy? A little.

CrossFit can be done by everyone.
But, not everyone can do CrossFit.

With a population that’s over 60% overweight, America’s got a lot on its plate (yeah, I know, couldn’t resist). CrossFit’s mission has been to bring elite training methods, that have long been available to professional athletes and collegiate academies, to the masses. From Coach Glassman’s words, “Your needs and the Olympic athlete’s differ by degree not kind.”

To most people, CrossFit looks like some hardcore and dangerous workout that only a few can do. To CrossFitters, it’s just the basic stuff every human being should be doing to improve one’s quality of life.

CrossFit has been a grass roots type of movement. Starting with one coach and one little gym in Santa Cruz. It’s now world wide, but still under the radar, and that’s not such a bad thing. That’s part of the allure and elitism of it all, and I’m fine with that. It keeps some of the posturers away.

I’m still pleasantly surprised every time I train one of the guys. It’s like, man, I put these guys through a lot, and they keep coming back for more! I’m thinking, and hoping, that they are recognizing the life long benefits and effectiveness that this type of training is offering.

It’s hard, challenging, requires consistency, mental fortitude, accountability, and discipline in dieting. The one thing the guys can take comfort in is that they aren’t alone. Bonds are built through shared hardships, and hardships are all around. I am part of the CrossFit community and they are now part of it through me. Negativity has no function in what we do and we celebrate successes while evaluating failures.

The training is ridiculously effective, but it requires hard work. Most of America, unfortunately, isn’t used to hard work anymore, and that’s all we offer.

Hard work is who we are.

Today marks the fourth anniversary of my Aunt’s passing. She was the greatest woman I have ever known and is the reason behind why I pursue what I’m trying to do. I’m a man that believes in speaking things into existence. And today, I will say that I will create a foundation in her name that will support the mental, physical, and spiritual development of orphans and under privileged children.

She was the epitome of unconditional love, never judging, always caring. She persevered through a war that separated her family, and built a new life for them. I mention her on this blog because stress, problems, anxieties, anger, and failures are all relative.

If I can just emulate and be a fraction as strong as she was, I would be a better man. I miss her dearly. I will do my best to keep my family together and try to be a beacon for others as she continues to do for me.

This is something I wrote to her after her passing and I would like to share it in order to inspire anyone who needs it.

Dearest Ba’c (Aunt),

How many times have we heard of how you have taken one of us in and loved us as one of your own? You are the matriarch of this family. You are courageous, compassionate, caring, sympathetic, and ever graceful. You saved us in so many ways.

How do we pay a debt of such selfless sacrifice?

Now, at 24 years of age, I still feel like the five year old watching you from across the room, knowing that I was very loved and very safe. Memories that have always stayed with me were our annual school shopping trips. As you walked me through the store and helped pick out clothes for me, I felt like the coolest kid in my suspenders and bugle boy pants.

Through those tumultuous teenage years where everything seemed so unclear, like a beacon, you were there amidst the fog to always let me know that you were there and that everything would be okay.

How I’ve longed for you to see me graduate. It was always a given that you would be the guest of honor at our wedding. And of course, you would have been in your most fashionable attire. You had been there for every milestone in my life and I believe that you will be with us still, watching over us, taking care of things as only you can.

Not only did you open your maternal heart to me, you also gave me an entire other family full of wonderful cousins that I’ve lived to know, love, and call as my own brothers and sisters, and whose children I know as my own nieces and nephews.

We are truly blessed.

You gave me something that no one can ever take away from me; you gave me a love that will always live inside my heart. I can only hope to continue your memory by living my life in the same caring way as you did, loving others as if they were my own.

I hope Bac, that you can see that you’ve raised me to be a good man, and that I owe who I am today because of you. I look forward to the day when we can all be together again. But until then, I hope that you will be looking over us as we keep you in our prayers.

Always your Jackie Boy.

Love,
Trac & Tram

Another one of my TKD Master’s lectures (dang, I walked away from TKD with a lot more than I thought I did) involved looking in the mirror everyday and smiling at yourself. It was an exercise to develop self-confidence and a positive mind. It sounded pretty cheesy to me back then and it still does now. But the lesson I took away from the lecture is something I still use today.

CrossFit builds upon this lesson and what CrossFit forces you to do, is make an honest assessment of your capabilities. By using just a pen, paper, and a stopwatch, you can record your daily efforts and track trends. Your weight, the weights you lifted, and how fast you can complete the lifts and tasks can all be recorded. From there, you can see imbalances. I can only shoulder press 135lbs compared to my 300lbs deadlift. It shows that my upper body strength is not as dialed in as my lower body, something I need to work on. My 5k times are in the mid 19’s, most conditioned athletes are in the mid 18’s, another thing I need to work on. The list can go on and on, but the point is that by measuring and recording, you can honestly and accurately know where you are. Look at where you are, and smile, because at least you know where you need to go.

Can you do the same thing and analyze where you are professionally, financially, and more importantly, morally? You may be able to gauge where you’re at professionally and financially by using money as a main indicator, but are you ready to see the actual condition of your cash flow? There is bliss in ignorance, but there’s also a whole lot of other stuff that comes with it as well. Are you strong enough to want to see the truth? Then, can you discern what the truth is from what you want it to be?

When it came to morality, what I think my master was alluding to was to be happy with who you are. I took this as not doing anything that will make it hard for you to look at yourself in the mirror. Shame, guilt, anxiety, anger, grief…are all things that make you want to look away, because it’s easier to not see things you don’t like about yourself than having to deal with it. But, facing your true self in the mirror is the first step.

Every morning, as I go through my routine to get ready for work, I look at myself in the mirror and ask myself questions like:

“Are you going to be the best human being you can be today?”
“Are you going to be the best husband, son, brother, uncle, friend?”
“Are you satisfied with what you’re doing and where you’re going?”
“Did you try your best?”
“Are you happy with who you are?”
“Are you one sexy beast?” (hey, you know you do it too =P)

Most of the time, the answer is “Yes”, but there’s always going to be times when the answer may be a “No”. Whether it’s about working out, dieting, problems at work, problems in the family, it’s in these moments that you need to look through the mirror and into the heart of who you are.

There, there’s no pen or paper, but only an inner voice that usually speaks the truth. I try to listen to this inner voice, because it’s usually telling me what’s wrong from what’s right, and it leads me to what I should be doing or what I need to change. It’s a very small and quiet voice that’s often ignored or droned by other distractions, because the truth doesn’t need to be loud, it’s just the hardest thing to listen to.

Who do you really see when stepping in front of the mirror?