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August 2013

Save The Date - 09/22/13!

We are going to be putting together a group to go to the Sandy Spring Adventure Park for some high-flying adventure then retire to Chris and Tina Carroll's house for a cookout.  The event?  To give our very own Tabitha Garrett a rousing send-off as she heads back to Colorado.  We're going to miss her but we're going to make this a day she will never forget!!!

Everyone is welcome to attend either or both events but please RSVP as soon as possible in regard to the Adventure Park so that we can supply them with a head count.


Manmaker or Widowmaker?

Training in CrossFit and Russian Kettlebells, or any other methodology, should be something that makes you stronger, more resilient, and increase your quality of life.  I think that these three things need to be in the forefront of both the coaches and the athletes mind when they are training.  Both should be working towards making sure that the workout and preparatory work further the clients goals, address any performance or mobility issues that are present or creeping up, and that the load is recoverable within the constraints of the athletes lifestyle.  This is a lot to accomplish in a short period of time but with some planning and coordination it can be done...

That is unless the coach and the athlete are working at cross-purposes.  If the coach is focused on improving the athletes strength and mobility and the athlete is focused on just getting in a workout and getting out the door there is going to be a problem sooner or later.  If the coach is focused on getting the athletes in and out as fast as possible, with no concern for form, technique, or safety, then there are going to be issues creeping up in this instance as well.  The biggest disconnect is going to happen when there is no understanding between the coach and the athlete in regards to scaling and appropriate movement standards. Going heavy and doing something that resembles the technique is going to be a recipe for disaster sooner or later.

The application of common sense to training is something that needs to be approached from both the coaches and athletes perspective.  In the following video take a look at the work being done and think about what might have been missed between the coach and the athlete when prepping and executing the workout.


Women and Pull-ups

Dos_pullupMuch has been written about lately about Pull-ups and how some are good (i.e., Dead Hang) and some are bad (i.e., Butterfly).  But very little has been written about women and Pull-ups - that is until now!  My good friend Andrew Read just wrote a great article for Breaking Muscle on just this subject.  In it he outlines three areas that need to be assessed and improved to ensure success at Pull-ups (and guys should look at them as well).

I'd like to chime in on Pull-ups as well if you don't mind.  I agree with Andrew that Rows are underused in developing the strength needed to do Pull-ups.  I've started to wean people off of using bands and working on their rows more; I just don't think the bands are going to get you as strong as doing lots of rows. I actually think that while they are a big help in getting people over the psychological hurdle of doing their first Pull-up they are going to make the transition to unassisted Pull-ups harder.

Another area that really needs to be addressed, and this one is for everyone, is grip.  If you are using Kettlebells you are already getting some grip work in on a regular basis.  If you aren't then you need to start doing some assist ive grip work.  My favorite tool are the Captains of Crush grippers.  I have a set in the car and another one on my desk at home.  One keeps me from committing vehicular homicide on a daily basis and the other keeps me awake during long hours of writing!  Wherever you keep yours try to get around to using them a couple times a day and you'll be amazed at how fast your grip strength will improve.

CrossFit for Fat Loss?

What's more effective for overall fat loss: running/cardio or CrossFit/HIIT?  Well, if you listened to mainstream "fitness experts" they would prescribe a heavy dose of cardio and some "light weights" to keep you from "bulking up".  Of course, as is the case most of time, the mainstream fitness experts are WRONG... and I won't name any names (okay maybe later).

Anyway, CrossFit or a comparable short duration, high intensity program will give you superior weight loss in a fraction of the time that a cardio program will give you.  Don't believe me?  That's okay - it's hard to believe that investing less time gets you better results - but it's true.  Need some proof?  Check out this abstract from the National Library of Medicine/NIH of a study that compared cardio to HIIT.


BTW - I'm not saying that cardio should not be a part of your fitness toolbox; it just shouldn't be the main component.

The Power of Body Language

I've always said that your body tells more about you than the words that come out of your mouth, and in some instances it says a whole lot more!  Can you change your testosterone and cortisol levels by just changing your posture? Yep... and a whole lot more!  Take a look at this great video from TED to learn about this and more...

One more thing - as you watch this video think about how the knowledge applies to not only your life outside the gym but inside the gym as well.  Can you be more successful at a workout by changing your body language? Yes you can...