Singles are the Key!

Take just a few minutes watching either YouTube or Instagram and you'll people doing some insane stuff in the gym. Some of it is just to get attention, and the rest of it is to get attention to how hard they are working or how much they are lifting. Invariably, the people doing these videos are not the best examples technique or form-wise. As a matter of fact, they are invariably one rep away from a "fail video".

When you're in the gym you need to optimize your time there. Doing insane workouts, with equally ridiculous rep schemes, are a waste of time in the long run. Instead, take your time and work on your technique by doing Singles. Let's say your WOD says " 05 Double KB Cleans", and some other stuff. How about making those 05 Double KB Cleans into 05 Singles instead? This will give you extra time working on your setup, your loading backswing, time in the racked position, the unloading backswing, and putting the KB's down safely.

It might take a little bit longer, but the time you spent working on Singles, will allow you to focus on each element of the lift and that extra attention will pay off in the long run and establish a strong platform for future lifts and increased loads.

Sleep Hygiene Tips

Matthew WalkerSleep Hygiene (SH) doesn't mean that you should sleep on clean sheets... but in some cases it just might! SH refers to how you can influence the quality and quantity of sleep you get. Following are some suggestions from Dr. Matthew Walker, professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley.

Sleep Hygiene Tips

  • Regularity: go to bed at the same time, wake up at the same time
  • Lighting: sleep in the dark, wake up to the light
  • Temperature: cool temperatures will help you sleep
  • Don’t lie in bed awake; that triggers the brain to think you should be awake and instills a learned association
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine; after 03:00 pm as much as possible
  • Sleep is not a light switch; you need to have a wind-down routine to prepare the brain and body to rest
  • Remove clockfaces from the bedroom; it doesn’t help to know that it’s 2:00 am and you’re still not asleep
  • No Tech in the Bedroom (phones, tablets and TV's); keep technology outside of the bedroom and don’t make it the first thing you do in the morning
  • Do not check your phone for one (01) hour after waking up; Checking your phone right when you wake up trains your brain that anxiety/stress is coming to you as soon as you wake up and lightens your sleep throughout the night
  • One Step at a Time; Don’t try to change it all at once – start with something manageable: maybe wait five minutes before checking your phone in the morning, then ten minutes, then after you shower, etc.

The CrossFit or American Swing

I remember learning the American Swing over twenty (20) years ago at one of the first RKC's. Back then it was called the "Two-hand Snatch", because that's what it boils down to. The trajectory of the Kettlebell matches that of the High Pull, Clean and Snatch.

It has absolutely no relation to the Swing, unless you learn how to use Kettlebells from another gym that is. Seriously, you don't want to be stopping the KB overhead with your shoulders. Just let gravity do it's job and you'll save some serious wear and tear on your shoulders.

Train or Die!

With many people, it is a matter of extremes, especially when it comes to working out. Either they are outright killing themselves in the gym, or they are sprawled out on the couch eating cookie dough ice cream. Or, it could just be a matter of intensity. Some will tell you that you have to "confuse" your body to make changes to your metabolism, or that you have to crush yourself every workout or there won't be any adaptive response.

If only it were that simple! The body is a tremendously complicated organism and to approach it from extreme angles makes no sense. So does more intense exercise equate to better results? Not that anyone can definitively say, because there really hasn't been any research done to prove it wrong or right.

But, there is one thing that is guaranteed. If you find a workout program that you love to do, and you surround yourself with people you enjoy spending time with, then you're more likely to stick with it. If you are absolutely miserable very time you walk into the gym, or even dread the thought of going, then you are definitely doing the wrong program and you are going to use any excuse to not go or to quit.

The long and short of this subject is this: find something you love, do it with people you enjoy spending time with, and keep going!

Sleep: Cardio or Weight training?

Happy sleep
Did you know that 30-50% of adults complain of poor sleep and over a third get less than 07 hours a night?

Researchers revealed a study last week that showed that people who regularly do resistance training (aka weight lifting) added an additional 40 minutes of sleep! Study participants were comprised of people who had difficulty regularly getting over 07 hours of sleep, and the addition on weight lifting, increased their sleep times by almost 10 percent. Participants that did aerobic exercise only experienced a 23 minute increase. In other words, Weight lifting doubled the amount of additional sleep they got.

So why does weight training improve the quality of sleep? It could be related to the fact that resistance exercise releases the hormones that are associated with high quality sleep. It could also be related to the the fact the weight training takes a more substantial toll on the body that requires deeper, more comprehensive recovery to bounce back from. Simply, more intense the work, the more intense the recovery needed to bounce back from it.

Follow this link to get the full story... and get into the gym today for some Iron Therapy!

Get Stronger and Live Longer!

Bars and Bells
Can getting strong, and staying strong, help you live longer?

The answer is yes! Lifting weights for just 30 minutes a week can lower risk of death from all causes. That is an amazing finding!

It has been known for quite a while that strength training can promote longevity, but the "optimal dose" was difficult to determine. Researchers in Japan recently found that weight lifting for 30 to 60 minutes a week can lower risk of death from heart disease, cancer, and diabetes by 10 to 20 percent. If you add aerobic exercise to the mix, you can lower the risk by a phenomenal 40 percent!

Another interesting finding was that increasing the amount of time lifting did not increase the benefits, In other words: short, intense workouts, like the ones we do at CrossFit Koncepts (just under 30 minutes), that combine both weight lifting and cardio, are the perfect combination to help you live longer. 

If this doesn't give you a reason to workout than nothing will!

For more information on this study follow this link.