Wreck It Weekend WOD 9/2/16

I always love engaging the inner nerd as well as getting people pumped up to crush some fitness.  This weeks Challenge is brought to you by WOD-RX and inspired by the MMO Juggernaught, World of Warcraft.  You have to admire a game like that.  It’s lasted over a decade and it has brought millions of people together.  Last weekend was a leg lashing.  This weekend will be a chest destroyer.  Go Wild, Get Goofy, Stay Awesome!  Good luck FAM!

Wod-Rx1

 

The Warrior:

warrior2

3 sets:

10 Push Ups

10 Wide Push Ups

10 Narrow Push Ups

10 Incline Push Ups

10 Decline Push Ups

10 Dips

30 Second Planks

 

The Death Knight:

death knight

3 sets:

15 Push Ups

15 Wide Push Ups

15 Narrow Push Ups

15 Incline Push Ups

15 Decline Push Ups

15 Dips

40 Second Planks

 

The Demon Hunter:

demon hunter

3 sets:

20 Push Ups

20 Wide Push Ups

20 Narrow Push Ups

20 Incline Push Ups

20 Decline Push Ups

20 Dips

50 Second Planks

You’re Going to Die and that’s OK

Yea…  I said it.  You are going to die.  I am going to die. Everyone is going to die.  This is the ultimate guarantee that we all get once we pop into existence.  We are part of the mortal wheel and nothing you do will stop your inevitable last breath from being taken.  Not like Liam Neeson Taken where he will get it back for you.  Taken like the Bernie Madoff investment fraud scheme taken.  Sure, you can attempt to prolong the gift of life by living a healthy existence.

Eat whole foods, don’t smoke, exercise, stress less , laugh more, and be a good human to other humans.  Alas!  The death train will still arrive to whisk you away to the great beyond.  Some of us will be culled before we are ripe and old.  This is a sad fact of life as well.  You can do everything right and still be forced out of this world by shear bad luck or worse…. Karma?

Did this scare you?  Depress you?  Make you want to crawl into bed and simply wait for the inevitable?  It sure as hell shouldn’t.  This information should have the opposite effect.  Think about it.  If you knew the date and time of your impending doom, how many wonderful things would you try to experience before that appointment arrived?  We don’t think about these questions because we live under the guise that our lives will last forever and that we’re invincible.

This delusion causes us to put off getting in shape, learning a new skill, going on that big trip overseas, or simply spending time with friends or family.  We spend most of our time working.  We sit in self absorbed shells as we worry about what other people think of us.  We continuously hold back  and don’t accomplish everything we believe we’re meant to.  We are constantly frozen in fear and routinely let go of our aspirations for a simpler, less scary life.

outdoors

Scary things are really growth opportunities in disguise.

The point of all this is to show you, point blank, that life is way to short to spend it incredibly unhappy, out of shape, and unfulfilled.  Starting a fitness regimen is the perfect way to get started on a path to a more active and involved life experience.  When you create a solid body foundation, you become capable of enduring life on life’s terms and more world activities become available to you.  Start replacing all those junk meals with some whole foods, lean meats, and healthy fats (eat an avocado for God’s sake!)  The goal of life shouldn’t be to simply make it to old age but to be able to LIVE in your old age.  Bedridden is not an option for me, if I can help it!

Remember that you get out of life exactly what you put into it.  Life will invest in you if you invest in it.  Throw all your chips in and start making some changes that will shape the rest of your brief stay on this marvelous planet.  Try something new each week and do your best to get scared as much as possible!  Scary things are really growth opportunities in disguise.

Be yourself and enjoy the world around you.  Surround yourself with positive people and love unconditionally.  Be willing to be uncomfortable, shaken, and stirred.  There is so much more to life than just being afraid of death.  Treat each day as an opportunity to be the you that you are meant to be!  There is a line from the awesome animated movie Kung fu Panda that resonates with me all the time.  The wise old turtle master said, yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift.  That is why it is called the present.  When you live like that, your life is truly a magnificent journey.

Wreck It Weekend WOD 8/12/16

Happy Friday! It’s time to test our limits and see what we can do.  These workouts are designed to be a test for you to see where you are in your fitness.  They can help you see where your strengths and weaknesses are and provide some insight towards tailoring your workout regimen to address this information.  You can always revisit an old workout to see how and where you have improved!  This week is inspired by the awesomeness of the Olympics and brought to you by WOD-RX!

Wod-Rx1

 

The Ryan Lochte:

United States' Ryan Lochte reacts after finishing first in the men's 400-meter individual medley swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Saturday, July 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa De Olza)

50 Kettle Bell Swings

25 Burpees

100 Jumping Jacks

50 Squats

60 Lunges

100 Side to Side Jumps

8 – 10 second sprints

 

Simone Biles:

biles

75 Kettle Bell Swings

40 Burpees

200 Jumping Jacks

75 Squats

80 Lunges

150 Side to Side Jumps

10 – 10 second sprints

 

Michael Phelps:

nailsphelps

100 Kettle Bell Swings

60 Burpees

300 Jumping Jacks

100 Squats

100 Lunges

200 Side to Side Jumps

12 – 10 second sprints

Weekend Workout 7/22/16

Welcome to Cardio Blitz weekend that’s inspired by the new Star Trek: Beyond!  Get a good sweat, torch some fat, and feel good about yourself.  Brought to you by WOD-RX!

Wod-Rx1

 

The Uhura:

Zoë Saldana plays Uhura in Star Trek Beyond from Paramount Pictures, Skydance, Bad Robot, Sneaky Shark and Perfect Storm Entertainment

3 Rounds

50 Jumping Jacks

20 Jump Squats

10 Half Burpees

3 Rounds

10 Second Sprint

20 Lunges

20 Leap Frogs

3 Rounds

40 Side to Side Jumps

20 Bench Step Ups

50 Jump Ropes

 

The Spock: (This is Illogical) 

spock

3 Rounds

60 Jumping Jacks

25 Jump Squats

12 Half Burpees

3 Rounds

11 Second Sprint

25 Lunges

25 Leap Frogs

3 Rounds

60 Side to Side Jumps

30 Bench Step Ups

75 Jump Ropes

 

The Captain Kirk: (Pure Will)

kirk

3 Rounds

100 Jumping Jacks

30 Jump Squats

15 Half Burpees

3 Rounds

12 Second Sprint

30 Lunges

30 Leap Frogs

3 Rounds

80 Side to Side Jumps

40 Bench Step Ups

100 Jump Ropes

Weekend Workout 6/11/16

When’s the last time you had a challenge?  Today is the day!  It’s the good old fashioned Burpee death march.   Prepare to sweat, cry, and beg mercy from your higher power.  This will put your will to the test and challenge your physical and mental fortitude.  Burpees are one of the most grueling full body exercises that exist and it’s time to see how many you can do in 30 minutes.  That is the challenge.  Perform Burpees for 30 minutes and write how many you can fit in to that time frame.  No matter where you’re number falls, know that you’re awesome and the fact that you can do just one Burpee means you are a force to be reckoned with!  Now show yourself what you’re made of!

Level 1

100 Burpees

The Soldier

greek soldier

Level 2

200 Burpees

The Imortal

immortal

Level 3

300 Burpees

The Spartan

GERARD BUTLER portray Leonidas, the king of Sparta who, along with 300 soldiers, battles to prevent the  Persian army from invading all of Greece in Warner Bros. Pictures’, Legendary Pictures’ and Virtual Studios’ action drama “300,” distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. PHOTOGRAPHS TO BE USED SOLELY FOR ADVERTISING, PROMOTION, PUBLICITY OR REVIEWS OF THIS SPECIFIC MOTION PICTURE AND TO REMAIN THE PROPERTY OF THE STUDIO. NOT FOR SALE OR REDISTRIBUTION

 

The levels are simply goal markers.  Set a number in your mind and don’t stop until you reach it.  Remember, whatever you make it too in your 30 minutes of grit, you’re a beast in your own right and capable of achieving any damn thing you want.  Wreck it.  Every Day!

Slump City: Stuck in Our Own Misery

How often do we get amped up to make big changes and fix our flaws for good? How many times have we decided that we will break free of our bad habits and achieve the happiness of our dreams? The number, in my experience, is incalculable. Typically, I move strong, full speed ahead, for a week or two. My discipline is on point and nothing gets in the way of my well thought out plan of success. Then I give in to a banned temptation or I indulge one of my vices.

The mental twists return in full force and, before I know it, I am repeating the same errors that I recently repented against. I find myself searching over and over again for the strength to bypass my hardwired laziness, negative outlook, and deeply ingrained self-sabotaging behavior. Where did I go wrong?

Like most humans, I suffer from being too hard on myself. I also tend to bite off way more then I can chew when it comes to changing my behaviors. I make great progress then the weight of my challenge becomes too much for my will to bear and I buckle. Like concrete, one crack quickly leads to another fissure that ripples through the foundation. Once I give in to one vice, it becomes so much easier to allow another slip until I am right back at square one.

I was a “dry drunk”, as they say. I had to come to terms with my flawed thinking and make a decision to do something about it.

I call this “slump city”. I get to a state of stalemate. I know I need to get back on the horse but each day that goes by the horse gets taller and the saddle becomes harder to reach. I begin to loathe myself for giving in and the shame of my decisions keeps me grounded in misery. I want to achieve my dreams but I can’t bring my butt off the couch.

In order to break the cycle of shame, we must accept our current situation. We have to be completely honest with ourselves about what we want and what needs to be done to get there. Everyone makes mistakes and that is okay. It’s time to stop crying and rolling in our pain.  The cure is Action. The only way to complete a journey is to put our heads down, focus, and take a step forward. Each step builds on the one before until we look up and see our destination in sight.

Every time that I get depressed or stunted it is always because of inaction.  I let my outside circumstances take president over my spiritual serenity.  I get overwhelmed by my job, my house projects, my relationship, or my family issues.  This pushes me into a shock like state where I feel incapable of completing the tasks at hand.  It is so much easier to curl up in the bed, put on a t.v. show and pretend that my problems will melt away.  This always leads to a building of tension.  A rational person would prioritize the issues and work through them systematically like a “to-do” list or ask someone for a little help. Unfortunately, I am far from rational and I require a significant amount of emotional pain before I make a move.

I went through this slump for a few weeks this past month.  I didn’t want to post anything, workout, go to work, eat right, or deal with my problems.  I made excuses for each one of my crappy behaviors and it was absolutely miserable. My selfishness had caused me to neglect my responsibilities and obligations.  I was a “dry drunk”, as they say.  I had to come to terms with my flawed thinking and make a decision to do something about it.

The turning point is when I asked for help.  I prayed for guidance in my life, called someone with an objective opinion, and tried to help someone else like me.  I got out of my own skin and remembered how amazing my life is today compared to how it was two years ago.  Once I finally started doing the work required of me, my mental road blocks began to disintegrate.  Through action, I was able to combat fear, remorse, resentment, selfishness, dishonesty, and pain.

This can be true for anyone, even if you’re not an alcoholic or drug addict.  Don’t be too afraid or too proud to ask for help, from God or another human being, because we all need a hand fighting our demons.  Start taking some steps towards a better life by actually working through the plan that you have set.  Most importantly, be grateful for the life you have now and the opportunity you have been given to be the best you possible.  Live your life with love and fulfillment.  When you get into Slump City, remember stop sulking and start working.  You will be back to normal in no time!

Check Your Ego

CHECK YOUR EGO”.  It’s the first thing I see spray painted on the rubber mats  as I walk through the garage door to this poorly insulated building that greenhouses heat making it 20 degrees hotter inside than outside. Luckily there are two industrialized fans circulating the summer heat. “Check your ego….” I say to myself and chuckle on the inside. These guys don’t even know. If anything they are about to get a reality check after I finish this workout. I’m a former professional athlete, I’ve been through the grind, I’ve done it all.  In fact, I bet no one here can come close to the weight I push on any of my max lifts. There’s already a class going on, so I get a sneak peek into the workout I’m about to own. Guys shirts are off, women making ‘METAL FACE’ (what I call the face you make when the blood rushes to your head from straining, as if you were attending a heavy metal concert). Everyone is shimmering in a thick sweat, the rap music is blaring, and everyone’s heart is nearly beating out of their chest. I see the look on their faces as they glance at the timer. The clock winds down to under a minute and, and these people are giving it their all. I begin to get a little nervous. I know I haven’t made a metal face like they have in a long time. It’s something you may see 1 out of 50 gym members reach at your local air conditioned gym. If you haven’t guess yet, I’m in a Crossfit gym – A place where I never thought I would step foot.

CrossFit

I’ve sized this place up and have made my internal presumptions. I’m greeted by some of the other members waiting for the next class to start. Some of them look like your everyday average person, some are out of shape, and some of them are built with a physique that is what attracted me to Crossfit. “5:30!”, yells our instructor, and everyone rushes outside to the line spray painted ‘0 meters’. I’m hit with a flash back of my athletic days when we stretched as a team. We’ve got an 800 meter run that I am not excited about, but I finish first because I’ve promised myself I’m not losing anything today. We do a couple more stretches inside along with some light barbell movements. I make sure my form is perfect because no one will tell me how to lift. Of course, he comes over and instructs me to keep the weight closer to my body on the deadlift. I wanted to look at him and ask this man, “Can you deadlift 635lbs raw? Don’t tell me how to deadlift.” I do a couple more reps until he is pleased with my form before he calls us around the board to see today’s WOD, or, Work Out of the Day.

First thing you’ll learn in Crossfit is the language – AMRAP, HSPU, EMOM, DL, S2OH, etc. – I am not intimidated by this because I googled them all earlier that day.  He reads the WOD off the white board to us, “Today’s strength is you have 20 minutes to find your 3RM C&J (3 Rep Max Clean and Jerk), and the WOD is a 15 minute AMRAP 20 DL, 10 BFB, 10 HSPU (As Many Rounds as Possible of 20 deadlifts, 10 bar facing burpees, 10 hand stand push-ups) here are your Prescribed Weights. Guys 185lb scaled 155, Women – errrr,I honestly didn’t pay attention to the women’s weight because: A. Not a woman B. Don’t care C. Still trying to figure out why he’s telling me to go so light on Deadlifts and prescriptions, bro.

Work out begins, and I am clearly the strongest in the class. The movements are not foreign to me. I Clean and Jerk 285 pounds, and I’m pretty smug with that number because I haven’t done a power clean since high school and it’s the most in my class. On to the AMRAP! We get about a 5 minute break to set up our weights, and I’m still pondering this prescribed weight of 185 lbs, so I walk over to the instructor and say I’m going to do 225 on the deadlifts. I load it up and everyone in the class kind of looks at me like I’m crazy, but they don’t know me. I’m an elite athlete, people. Prepare to feel my presence and alpha-ness. The rap music cranks up, and it’s Back to Back by Drake. I am about to crush these weights like Drake crushed Meek Mill. I rep out 20 deadlifts quickly, and start the bar facing burpees. I do four burpees, and that’s when I know that I have made a mistake. My weight is too heavy, and I’m not in as good of shape as I thought I was. These next 13 minutes and 30 seconds are going to be rough…..and they were.

The hand stand push-ups were tricky because I hadn’t figured out the kipping motion and, after one set of those, I determined that I should stop because the amount of blood rushing to my head was about to cause me to pass out. I found myself doing the alternative movement, The pike push up, with the other members who hadn’t mastered their HSPU either…they were mostly women… Okay. They were all women and me. I finally finish one round only to realize most the class had nearly finished their deadlifts for round 2. I’m trying to catch my breath and quinch my thirst as I’m being told to “get back to the bar” by my coach. When the timer struck zero and my 15 minutes AMRAP was over, I laid there motionless on the rubber mats staring at the fan above me while my heart tried to escape my chest. Crossfit was an eye opener, I realized I had become a lop sided athlete – Out of shape, out of sync, and not nearly as well rounded as I thought I was.

Lifting has always been a large part of my life. It’s something I’ve done for a long time, and I wouldn’t call myself a professional or a strength coach, but I like to think I know a lot more about it than most. I’ve done similar things to crossfit during my days as a high school football player, junior college baseball player, and division 1 baseball athlete at Ole Miss, but I found myself a year removed from baseball, and I realized that I hadn’t really pushed myself at the things I WAS NOT good at. If there’s anything you should take away from this article it’s this phrase right here,

Be comfortable being uncomfortable

It’s a phrase we used a lot at Ole Miss, and if you really sit and think about it, we are all guilty of avoiding things that make us uncomfortable. Working out is just one of them. Sure, I pushed myself at the things I was good at (Squat, Deadlift, Bench, your typical beach body gym movements) because I was comfortable there. I was in my comfort zone of being the ‘strong guy’ at the gym, but basically everything else was lacking and after only a couple minutes of Crossfit, I was extremely uncomfortable.

crossfit-new-w354h200

I wasn’t necessarily a fat and out of shape guy, and you definitely wouldn’t say I had a ‘dad-bod’, but I didn’t like the way I looked. I hovered around 13% body fat at 225 pounds. I would turn on the tv and flip through the channels and catch the crossfit games, and see these guys with their shirts off (NO HOMO!) and on the outside I’d make fun of crossfit, but if you cut me open, I wish I looked like those guys. Big, strong, athletic, under 10% body fat, and a well-rounded athlete. I’ve used the term well rounded a couple times. Let me explain what I mean. I can back squat around 550 pounds raw, but struggled to front squat 300 lbs. or overhead squat even 135 pounds. Why is that? Well there are several reasons, it wasn’t lack of strength really, but more technique and flexibility. Basically, I had become stiff and inflexible from being a meat head in the gym and not running or sprinting. I had turned into a guy I didn’t like very much. I was ready for a change in my routine to start reaching physique goals I had for myself, and for me, Crossfit was the answer to these problems.

The biggest knock on Crossfit is the injuries. If you googled “Crossfit not safe”, you’d find tons of articles knocking the sport. There are plenty of Youtube videos and memes mocking it, and it’s easy to come to the conclusion because of outside pressure that you will get hurt in Crossfit. But here’s the thing, if you ask any lifter who demands a lot out of his body and pushes him or herself to a limit of physical exhaustion, you will probably get hurt at any activity eventually. I’ve hurt myself in the gym, on the baseball field, on the football field, and if I continue to push my body to the limits at Crossfit, I’ll probably add it to the list too. If you are a newbie to lifting and are considering Crossfit, here’s my advice – learn the core movements. The things you will be doing every day such as: squats, front squats, power cleans, hang cleans, jerks, push press, deadlift, and snatches. If a person who had never lifted before tried these movements in any gym, you’d risk injury. That’s why the instructors at my gym hand you a PVC pipe if your technique just isn’t there yet.

Another one of the reasons that I was so attracted to the Crossfit gym is the group environment. Once you get your first Crossfit workout under your belt, you’ll realize that you can’t duplicate the environment in other gyms. Maybe some can, but I can’t push myself to the same intensity alone as I do at my box (lingo for Crossfit gym). It brings me back to my college days running stadiums, pulling sleds, and running sprints with the team. We pulled together, and we all finished together. We made each other better, and you get this same feeling in a Crossfit gym. Because of the intensity and others pushing you past the limits you thought were physically possible for yourself, you’ll see quicker results in the gym. With Crossfit along with a clean diet, I was able to reach my physique goals that I could have never obtained alone in my gym. There’s something therapeutic about getting your ass kicked in a gym with your muscles aching after you just finished a workout that you didn’t even think was possible for yourself.

A year ago, if someone asked me about Crossfit, I would have told them to not even think about it. Now, I would recommend anyone to going full Crossfit. For the newbs looking to get into a gym, give Crossfit a try. Yes it’s hard, but it’s rewarding. No one’s expecting you to be ready for the Crossfit games after a couple classes.  If you’re an experienced lifter like me but have never been able to reach those goals you’ve wanted, I go to my box 2-3 times a week and get my butt kicked. The other days I hit up my local gym to fill the gaps on other lifting I enjoy. After a couple months of Crossfit, my maxes in the gym actually jumped after I thought I had plateaued. Along with stronger lifts, I was also in better shape and could workout longer and harder than before. Whoever you are, just remember to CHECK YOUR EGO at the door, or the WOD will do it for you.

Guest post by:

Zach Kirksey

kirksey