Super awesome, enlightening, informative Top Ten List

How to Make a Top Ten List

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Stock Photo – Picture of pretty woman enjoying winter vacation, active lifestyle, beautiful girl having fun in mountains covered in snow, stylish female wearing knitted gloves and warm earmuffs, wintertime holidays

(actual picture and description found when I googled “Models looking at mountains”)

1. Use bold letters in title, followed by a couple of sentences

Everyone’s an intellectual on Facebook and the interwebz, but read more than 2 sentences past the title? Please.

2. Include photos

Essential to any good Top Ten List are the photos, mainly the cover photo. The pictures do not have to contain models, but the subjects cannot be ugly and must be at least moderately attractive. Ehh, on second thought, yea, they have to be models. It also does not hurt to add a mountain or tree or other beautiful backdrop.

3. Talk about the future

The List must discuss how the reader is going to improve and make his or her life sooo much better.

4. Throw around adjectives of grandeur

People love to put themselves on a pedestal. “I am a 23-year-old genius college grad with knowledge beyond my years and I don’t have a job. I should read this list!” says every 23-year-old that does not have a job.

5. Specify age

“Hmm, I want 23 to 26-year-olds to read my article. I will title it 10 Essential Things (insert adjective of grandeur) 23 to 26-Year-Olds Do During the Hours of 11 AM to 1 PM.”

6. Address maturity

All great Top Ten Lists show growth and maturation. “When I was at the young, immature age of 23, I ________. Now as I’ve matured to 24 and a half I now know ______.” Sure, we all mature by leaps and bounds in a year and a half, but we don’t all write an article about it.

7. Make contradicting statements

Do not make statements that contradict.

8. Evoke emotions

Everyone wants to be in love, a millionaire, or an expert in psychology. Little known fact, if you read enough Top Ten Lists, you will automatically become Sigmund Freud.

9. Give advice that everyone will read but never be able to accomplish

Example: “To succeed in business, talk to your CEO for 5 hours a day.”, “Get healthy by working out for 12 hours a day, sleep 13 hours, and only eat rare Jamaican ackee.”

10. Have 10 bullet points

Even if you run out of ideas and have to make one up, always have 10 points. Always.

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The Moment

If you know me you know working out is my favorite activity. It is challenging, keeps me in shape, it is fun, but the thing I like most about it is being aware of nothing except working out. I do not achieve this by running, reading, working, playing video games or anything else. One of the best feelings in the entire world is being 100% immersed in the present. When this is fully achieved nothing else matters except what is happening at that exact moment. A tricky part about being in the moment is you do not realize it until you are no longer in the moment. If you are able to know that you are in the moment then you actually are not fully in the moment. It usually occurs to me a few minutes after I complete a workout. I think to myself that I was not thinking about that bad thing that happened today, the project that I am falling behind or anything else. Being in the moment is such an awesome feeling and I am lucky to have an activity that I can regularly get lost in the moment.

 

It does not have to be working out or even something physical. It can be a great book or maybe meditation. Whatever the activity may be I recommend that you try to find this. It feels so good to relieve your head from the thousands of thoughts that usually fill it.

Diets and stuff

Many times a week I get questions about working out and diets and things of that nature. I love getting questions on this subject and love to help in anyway way possible. I love seeing people improve themselves. I am not a personal trainer (no certifications, although I think I am better than most) and certainly not a doctor or dietitian. However I do feel like I have information that many people do not possess. I have tried several different diets for reasons spanning from having a 6-pack to being able to run over a 6’2″ 240 lb linebacker. I would say the average person asks me about 1 of 2 things. 1. How can I lost weight/get cut up. 2. How can I get bigger/stronger. I want to talk about the first…

Usually when I discuss #1 I find that most people already know what needs to be done. I feel like this is similar to financial decisions. For the most part we know what we need to do, we just need to do it. Most people find seem a little disappointed when I tell them what they already know as if there is some kind of magical bean that will allow you to drop 3 dress sizes and loses all fat on your stomach. There is no secret! Whatever the current diet fad is now will most likely produce the same results as last year’s and the fad diet from 5 year’s ago. With that being said the diet is only a vehicle in reaching your goals. You are the driver! What I mean by this is just owning a car will not get you from point A to point B. You have to get in and drive it. You can paleo all you want (own the car in the drive way) but if you aren’t consistent and dedicated to it you’re not going to go anywhere! I am not anti-diet, but the diet is not the important part. Unless it is the “Eat 15 pieces of pizza for breakfast and 5 scoops of ice cream for dinner diet” you will probably lose weight and cut up if you committed to it.

A note about specific diets

Each person is different and what may work for me might not work for you. Also, the difference of all the diets out there are YOUR specific goals. It is fun to manipulate your body with food by trying out different diets. It’s like a big puzzle that produces a 6-pack or 500 lb squat. But make sure you do your due diligence when looking into what diet you want to try but remember, you probably already know the general guidelines to achieve your goal.

Figure out your goals, know how you are going to get there, most importantly commit yourself and DO IT!!!

Next thing you know you will be lookin’ hot on the beach in that sassy new zebra-striped bikini!!

Open workout #1 and other stuff

Well, after Friday’s performance in open workout 13.1 I feel very confident in saying that this year is definitively not my year. We still have 4 more workouts but I am sitting around 260ish out of 6700 and only the top 48 make it. I still plan on working hard on the rest of the workouts but making a comeback is not likely. As I have said before, I am still training for next year’s season. I just do not move as efficiently as the elite athletes. These people make everything look so effortless and I am sure while I was doing my set of 20 burpees it did not look effortless by any means.

With that being said, the open is a great time of year! It seems like half of my friends on FB have posted about their completion or scores of 13.1. People who I had no idea even CF’d are posting stuff. Knowing that everyone suffered through the exact same workout as I did is a pretty cool feeling. Everyone feels the same amount of suck that was 13.1. I cannot wait to see what workout 13.2 will bring us and, hey, maybe I can redeem my suckiness.

Today begins my new diet of carb back-loading. Basically, I fast until around mid day. I am currently sipping on an “AM Ignitor Formula” which is coffee, coconut oil, and 10g’s of protein isolates. It tastes pretty good. After the fast I will eat a meal of protein and veggies. Before training very little amounts of “usable” carbs should be ingested, <30 grams.  I will train at 6 PM and upon completion take a shake. The magic happens about an hour after this. This is when the carb back-loading begins. I am supposed to eat all of the junky carbs I can to refuel my system. Pastries, doughnuts, pizza, white bread, most high glycemic foods will do. With this being said, the author clearly states that this diet does not give you liberty to go to McDonald’s and pound 2 double cheeseburgers every night. However, a CF games athlete did tell me he at a pint of ice cream every night for a few months! CBL is hormone manipulation. You take advantage of insulin spikes for growth and strength.

I enjoy trying new diets and seeing what they do or do not do for me. For instance, in  January I did Paleo for the first time and gave up alcohol completely. I lost about 13 lbs! I have not weighed that much since middle school. Looks-wise, this diet was spectacular. The downfall of this diet was the performance. My maximal lifts did not go down much, if any, but my endurance was terrible! If the going got tough at all I did not get going. Below is my rating of Paleo. As far as the food goes it was not that bad. Paleomg.com has some awesome recipes for in cooking n00b out there. I think a good portion of the weight loss and appearance had to do with the lack of alcohol, I do not drink that much but I do like a glass of wine or a couple beers at the end of the day.

Weight Loss – 9/10
Physical Appearance – 9/10
Performance – 4/10
Food Tastes – 8/10

Also, my girlfriend gave me the most awesome Valentine’s Day gift! Isn’t this bottle awesome!?!?! I know the pic is a little late but so was the gift! (not her fault, and I still cannot figure out how to rotate images :-/ )

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Beards, long hair, and glutes that squat below parallel

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“We felt like we were kicked in our balls in our entire bodies.” – a statement that someone used to describe what it felt like when they first began following the Outlaw Way, a feeling I can definitely relate to.

Oh man, so many I have so many things to talk about tonight that I have no idea where to start. This blog may end up being as long-winded as my girlfriend’s blog, Daiquirki, so there’s your warning (You’re welcome for the plug).

I have just completed the Outlaw Way training camp. It was all I had expected and much, much more. It was definitely worth the money. I learned so much in 16 hours –ish we spent at the camp. All of the coaches were insightful, knew different cues to help different athletes, and were all friendly and easy to talk to. My entire experience was a pleasant one. I love the Outlaw Way’s doctrine. It is all about winning. Not about feeling happy that you set a new PR or that you lost 20 pounds by eating on grass-fed celery, none of that matters. It is only about winning. All of the people at the camp were great.There is nothing like hanging out with 70 people who are just as obsessed with the sport of competitive exercising as I am. The Outlaw Way is not for the average CrossFitter and it was awesome to see the passion for the sport that was in that place.  Even when the coaches were unable to watch us we were able to cue and help each other. At one point Rudy (the beard, the man, the coach) asked who at the camp was a coach or a gym owner. No lie, I would say 95% at least raised their hand. I think I may have seen 3-4 without their hands up, including mine. This definitely solidifies my theory that it is tough to be a very good competitive exerciser with a “normal” career. I wonder how many of the upper level athletes have normal careers. I have never looked into that but I would be very interested to see. Like I have mentioned before, I would absolutely love to have been able to raise my hand, to help people better themselves and work in that environment would be awesome. Maybe one day…

There were 2 times this weekend I got called out in front of everyone. The first was on my attempt to clean and jerk 335#. They turned the music off and announced my weight and everyone watched the attempt. I felt a great adrenaline rush similar to the feeling of when I used to compete competitively. I cleaned the load up relatively easy then I was unable to get under the jerk. The second time all eyes were on me was because my hand stand push-ups were so bad he used me as an example of what not to do. That was a funny experience. I already knew I was not that great but once everyone was watching I turned from not that great to absolutely terrible. Oh well.

The gym we worked out at, Crossfit 504 in New Orleans, was awesome. It looked like it was an old meat factory or something. I guess I don’t really know what that even looks like but that’s what I imagine a meat factory may look like. I am a n00b ans cannot figure out how to rotate the pic.

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3 points key points discussed

1) Everything is everything – Basically every exercise translates to another in the sport in some form or fashion. Ex. Olympics lifts – wallballs, thrusters, box jumps, I could name a hundred of these. In gymnastics, the hollow body is needed for everything!

2) Be prepared for doomsday – Train in the worst conditions possible. Rudy said he no-reps his athletes on good reps to prepare them. This allows his athletes to be ready for anything that may possibly come up.

3) Get stronger – Everything is based around strength. Getting stronger only makes you better and there is no way around it. Many of the elite athletes in CF can compete in national Oly lifting competitions.

Training points

The first night and first day we pretty much only drilled Oly lifts. Not even counting all the auxiliary benefits, the Olympic lifts make up for around 36% of competition. That is a crazy number. If you want to be any good in this sport you must be good at Olympic lifts.

  • Snatch – I learn so much in the snatch. I learned how to properly execute many exercises TOW programs every day. I also learned about hamstring loading. I have heard about this but did not really understand until I could barely walk this morning. When you begin your second pull in the snatch and clean your hamstrings must be loaded to generate power necessary to move heavy weights. We drilled this so much Monday that it hurts to walk around right now.  When you snatch you can think of your body as a catapult. Loaded hamstrings, explosive hips, shoulders over the bar for as long as possible to give your arms the longest leverage and the most explosion to get overhead. Then all you have to do is catch the bar (which I am terrible at). Another thing I need to drill is the bar hitting my pelvis on the way up. Hitting the pelvis ensures the bar path is correct and needs to happen every rep.
  • Must be good at snatch, clean and jerk, muscle-ups, and handstand push-ups – This goes back to everything is everything . These 4 exercises translate greatly to everything else. If you are good at these you will be pretty good at everything else. These four exercises are absolutely essential to succeed.  Hand stand push-ups are definitely something I need to work on. More specifically the kip. I got called out in front of the entire camp and used as a bad example, that’s how bad I was.
  • Hollow body – we had a gymnast show us how the hollow body is supposed to look. Here moves were so flawless, I envy her body control. The hollow body is something I must practice and truly understand.
  • Strength is essential – Several months of the program are dedicated mostly to strength. The theory is that anyone can build their motor when it comes time but strength is not something built overnight.

This year’s CF season and expectations

I am going to be honest. When I first started I did not realize how awesome these people are. The general public has no idea how good of shape, how well these people move their bodies, and how efficient the elite athletes are. This camp kind of solidified some ideas that have been floating around in my head for the last couple of weeks. The idea is this, I am not there yet. I am nowhere close! My snatches are terrible, my clean and jerks are not where they can be, I suck at handstand push-ups and double-unders, I am absolutely terrible at handstands and handstand walks. I am still way too raw. With that being said I hope I make regionals but if I don’t, I will be fine with it. I would not be surprised at all if I do not make it.  I got smoked in the workout today. Handstand push-ups and double-unders killed me. There were some really good athletes and maybe a few elite athletes and in the HSPU, jump squat, DU workout I got killed. This time next year I will be so much better than I am now. I am going to dedicate everything to training. Some people may think this is stupid but I do not care. It is something I feel passionate about and to me CrossFit is more than just a 10 minute workout or a social gathering.

I feel like I understand everything so much more now than when I began a few months ago but I still have so much to learn and improve on. I am going to rededicate myself to training, both in intensity and dedication. Every rep will be perfect even if it means my times suck and I don’t get a good time or score.

On another note I still do not understand the obsession of Abita Strawberry, it’s an okay beer at best. I bought a 6 pack to try them out again but still not very impressed. Oh well.

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So far off to an okay start

So today marks day one of The Outlaw Way camp upon New Orleans. It was awesome. We basically just worked to a max single in both snatch and clean and jerk. The way it was set up was they had several bars spread out on the floor, some for guys some for girls. We got with people that we thought may have similar lifts and lifted with them. I ended up lifting its some pretty strong dudes. I hit a power (have to learn the squat) snatch PR at 245#. A dude hit 260# which was pretty awesome to watch. I truly believe if I can get the squat down I’ll be at 270# soon but that is a HUGE if. Then we went to clean and jerks. Everyone likes them more. They are much less technical in most people’s opinions. I hit my old PR of 325# and went up to 335#. I hit the clean easily but missed the jerk. Rudy (coach) talked to me about the dip and that I was going too low. So I jump back on the bar. This time he makes them turn off the music and announces the lift to the entire camp of 89 people(ish). Now I’m excited. I like this kind of pressure. I clean it up with relative ease and go for the jerk thinking about the corrections. This time I do a short dip, drive up the bar but can’t get under it! Pissed. Other than that is was fun. I lifted with some pretty strong dudes and learned some new coaching points in which I need to improve. I’m excited to learn more technique and do a couple of workouts tomorrow.

Now that is all of the positive stuff. Honestly, I am pretty upset at tonight’s outcome. I did PR I’m snatch and tie one in C&J but I left so much weight on the table. If I can simply squat on the snatch and get under the bar n the jerk they’re there! I have to keep telling myself to keep practicing and it will come but I am very frustrated. I want to be the best and I’m simply no where even close. It was awesome lifting with these full-time, professional competitive exercisers. I would love nothing more to be able to do that one day. Own a box or work at a box, make people better all while having the time and resources necessary to be an elite exerciser. On well, for now I have to get my oly pics lifts up where they need to be.

Cannot wait until tomorrow. What’s better than 3 days off if work and exercising from 8-5?? Nothing!

Also I’m hella sore from an hour and a half of maximal lifting but it hurts so good!