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!

Camaraderie, massages, and expensive red wine

Today The gym had the hero WOD, JT, posted today. JT is 21-15-9 reps of handstand push-ups, ring dips, then regular push-ups. Needless to say it’s an extremely tough triplet that destroys your triceps on all 3 exercises. There were too many people today to go all at once so we ran it in two heats. As the first was going the second group cheered them on and visa versa. This is when I began to think about the camaraderie that comes with CrossFit. I’m not talking about seeing some dude with a sleeveless shirt and Innov8s on at the mall and saying something stupid like, “I love doing Fran.” or some dumb CF joke. Nor am I talking about following the crossfit main site on Facebook and “liking” a post or commenting on it. That isn’t camaraderie. The camaraderie I am talking about is when I small group of people struggle together to complete a common goal. The goal in this case is to finish. Watching everybody will each other to completion is awesome. What feels even better is finishing a workout, laying in sweat and looking to your left and right and seeing two people feel exactly how you feel. We all did the same thing. We are all on the same team. Working out at my gym with these people is the closest I’ve come to feeling like I’m on a team again since my college football days. I’m on a “team” at work , I’ve been on a softball team but these don’t compare to the team feeling I get when I finish a tough workout with my friends.

Yesterday’s workout
5 min AMRAP
5 Bar MUs
15 over the box jump overs (no touching)
4 rds plus 3 MUs

Muscle-ups in the workout went great, especially since this was my first workout with these guy ever. Super sore from bench press and the muscle-ups but other than that not much to talk about.

Recovery

Today I did some mobilizing, hot tubbing, and getting massaged-ing?. The massage was interesting. It was with Luis from Cuba. It turns out he was an Olympic lifter from the ages of 10-16 then at 17 decided to get into Oly coaching. “I was lifting several times a day with a bunch of crazy Russians!” Isn’t that insane? I think I learned what a clean and jerk was at the age that he decided to give up competing in a sport and to coach it. Anyway he hit all the spots that hurt and I feel much better. Luckily, “it” never moved so we’re good there. After the massage we talked more about lifting and he said I was strong in the upper back but very weak in my lower back and glutes. He said there was very little muscle. He told me this 4 times. I was a little offended. I think my upper 400# back squat speaks for that. Oh well, I’ll prob schedule another seshy with him, he knows what he’s doing.

Silver Linings Playbook

I finish it today. Read the entire thing in less than two days! Definitely a literary PR. Wait, can I cross genres like that? Any nerdy meatheads got anything for me??

I can’t wait to lift tomorrow night. The seminar starts at 6. We’re leaving around 1 for New Orleans. I have high hopes for these next few days. I cannot wait to compete against the studs that will be at this camp. I’m just as nervous as I am excited!

 

 

Kind of liking this…

Shout out to Bri who is probably, maybe? reading this. Please excuse any grammar issues. Writing publicly can be tough when your girlfriend has a Master’s degree in comm from Tulane.

First thought

The way people act is very strange. There is this guy at my office that every time I greet him he does this head nod and blink thing. It’s blatantly obvious. This is not the strange part. The strange thing is now every time I see him I find myself doing the same action, not to that degree but I am nodding and blinking to some degree. I find myself mimicking people’s actions more and more everyday. I am guessing I have always done this but just was not as self-aware as I am now. It is a very strange thing to do and more strange to notice consciously and not be able to stop subconsciously.

Following the Outlaw Way

I started CF around mid-August. Being a former athlete I believed I could be pretty successful in it. Starting out, I was able to do most things better than everyone else at my box. I thrived in strength exercises and workouts that just required working hard. Other people could do double-unders better than I could and pull-ups more efficiently. Ever since then it has been my goal to not only be better than everyone, but much better. I did not want people to finish within a less than 3 minutes of me. As I continued to get better I did a couple of competitions. I finished 4th in the first and 7th in the second, both disappointing. I think if I did the first competition now I would improve as for the second I am not sure, there was some solid competition there. I started looking online at the pro’s times and wow, I am no where close! Anyway, it was then I realized the box’s regular workouts just were not enough for me. Not that the programming was bad but for someone who is trying to exercise competitively more volume and more challenging conditioning is needed. 42 year old soccer moms probably do not want to 150 back, front, and overhead squats with 150 shoulder to overhead with 40 pull-ups. I have been following TOW for close to two months now and I have seen an insane amount of progress. My Oly lifting has improved tremendously. My conditioning has also improved greatly. Some of these workouts are tougher than the workouts I had in college football. I dread/look forward to them. I hate/love doing them.  I can honestly say I am in the best shape of my life and hope to only get better. My goal is to make regionals this year and TOW has provided a tremendous template to accomplish this goal. I will discuss regionals and my thoughts in a future post.

Literature

I’ve read 178/279 pages in Silver Linings Playbook. I have no doubt that is some kind of record for me. 178 pages in one day is unheard of. Red wine, some Beethoven, and a good book is a great combo.I hope to knock the rest of it out so I can get a start on the inaugural book of AltArd or was it Brian or Ryi Book Club (the book club that consists of me and my now Korean girlfriend, she’s a white American teaching abroad).

2/21 Training

Off-day. Went to the chiropractor and got in the hot tub. Still sore today.

2/22 Training

Strength is some bench press and pull-ups. The workout also calls for an exercise called top of the dead lift but it jacked my back up some I am staying away especially since the Open is less than 2 weeks away.

5 minutes AMRAP (as many reps as possible)

5 Bar Muscle-Ups
15 Box Jump Over 20″
-rest 1 min-
2 min max effort Ring Dips

Tonight will be the first night I do bar muscle-ups in a workout. I whined and whined until my gym finally order a pull-up bar that allowed for muscle-ups. I guess we will see how that goes. I am not sure how I will fare in this workout since I have never done bar MU’s in a workout. Some of the beasts in Outlaw have posted 5+ rounds. I am aiming for 5. I like this idea. I can hold myself accountable since I have no one to push me while working out by myself. I also have to wait for Andrew to let me know what he gets so I can beat him, haha.

Lastly

Tomorrow I will most likely do my box’s workout so I am not dead for the training camp on Sunday. I also am getting a massage from a dude for the first time ever, named Luis. I hear good things about him and that guys give better massages in regards to athletic purposes. I would still rather get one from Bri but her massage would probably not do too much with her being 7251.5 miles away (just looked that up).

I am getting very excited about the Outlaw Training Camp which I have already mentioned but it almost feels like Christmas. 3 days of Olympic lifting and conditioning, what else could be better?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Hilarious, good stuff!! She’s like a modern day, crossfit Lil Bow Wow, wait is he still relevant??

Fit Chick by 40

My callous is busted and my kip is sweet

I’m rocking some Innovates on my feet

A PR just happened, that WOD was RAD

 I made a sweat angel – yo your form is BAD

 I love bacon, I love chalk hands, I love paleo, I love sweat bands

bacon-love

I wrecked some Nasty Girls last night

I was all Fran, then Karen and Angie alright?

I cleaned, I jerked and  my snatch is fine

I’m not dirty, yo, I just AMRAPPED for time

 I love bacon, I love chalk hands, I love paleo, I love sweat bands

chalk

50,000 pull-ups bar to chest

1000 meter row in 1 minute or less

Muscle up, foam roll it out, now dip it down

you better crack a smile dawg, Rich Froning’s in town

I love bacon, I love chalk hands, I love paleo, I love sweat bands

Rich Froning

I am a Crossfitter I ain’t…

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Hmm, will anyone read this??

So I guess I will start a blog. I doubt anyone will read it. My girlfriend probably won’t even read it since she cares very little about competitive exercising and whether or not I can clean and jerk more than 2 of her or can bust out butterfly pull-ups in a moment’s notice. I want to start a blog mainly for myself to kind of track my day by day progress and how I am feeling in regards to my quest to the South East CrossFit regionals.

I will probably blog about other things that no one cares about like the awesome book I just read, the awesome post workout casserole I just cooked, or how much I hate everyone that I know.

Today is my day off. As is pretty normal I am wrecked after the Monday-Wednesday Outlaw workouts. Wrecked! After work I plan on going to the chiropractor then going to Globo Gym to get in the hot tub and swim a lap or two. When I get home I’m gonna roll out the thighs and the rest of my myofascial tissue, got to save the thighs! I hope to wake up feeling like a new man and then ruining myself again on Friday. Saturday is usually my favorite day as Rudy usually programs some hardcore workouts, I can utilize my patented (not really) 2 hour process (basically eating 2 hours before and taking a preworkout 1 hour before) and it’s fun hanging out at the gym with all of my fellow CFers for a while. However, this Saturday I won’t be participating in Outlaw Saturday. I am going to their training seminar Sunday through Tuesday. I am absolutely stoked about this! I think this weekend will be a huge step in my CF “career.” Hopefully they can work on my terrible snatch and ok C&J. Also I hope Elisabeth Akinwale doesn’t beat me up but teaches me her awesome ways. I really hope she coaches this camp.

I have been exclusively following the Outlaw Way for almost 2 months but I was hurting so bad last night that I just did my regular gym’s WOD. It was “mile Fran’ which is 400m, 21 thrusters, 21 pull-up, 400m, 15thrusters, 15 pull-ups, 400m, 9 thrusters, 9 pull-ups, 400m. I ended up with 10:47. Okay time. Maybe could’ve done a little better. I improved by 2 minutes from when I did Fran then a mile but that format was much harder I would say. The biggest accomplishment of the day was butterfly pull-ups finally began to click! This is huge for me. I could kip for days but not butterfly. I do not know the exact conversion but I would say 1 kip= around 2.5 butterflies. Needless to say in competitions butterfly pull-ups are a necessity. I can’t wait to do them again. After Fran I probably did an additional 60 because I want to keep practicing because I was so excited. I wanted to tell everyone but obviously like 2 people even care, oh well. I’m happy!

In my literary life, I finished Aldous Huxley’s critical essay on his book  Brave New World. The book was very entertaining and thought provoking. I enjoyed reading his critique even more than the book. At lunch I started The Silver Linings Playbook, so far so good. It is nice to go from a complex, cultural satire to a story about a crazy person (what I gather so far in the first 60 pages). Also, I am surprised I like the book so far, usually I hate every book until page 100.

So this is my first blog, killed 20 minutes. I like it so far.

*And why do I have a pinecone as my cover photo? Hmm, I need to change that.