Recently, a friend asked me how she could find a good CrossFit box. She wants to try CrossFit for the first time, but she doesn’t know what to look for and doesn’t want to end up choosing the wrong box or trainer. So, I put together a short list of the things that I think [...]
Are you familiar with the concept of the “redline“? It refers to the maximum engine speed, usually measured by the RPM (revolutions per minute), at which an engine can be operated without causing damage. Human beings have that redline too, but it varies from individual to individual, and it has a lot to do with [...]
I just read this article a couple of days ago and it compelled me to share some thoughts. Why Adding Weight to the Bar Is the Whole Damned Point How was it possible that grown-assed men who have been doing CrossFit for over three years were struggling to squat sets of five reps with a [...]
I think some people have the wrong expectations about what it takes to get stronger and fitter. Yes, it is “fun” in its own way; usually after you’re done with the workout or enjoying the results of being consistent and committed.
But it is hard. It is supposed to be hard, and that isn’t always pleasant while you’re doing it. Actually, if it is pleasant during the actual lifting and working out, you aren’t training hard enough. It kind of sucks right in the middle. Your body may be hurting, you’re breathing hard and sweating, your heart is pounding, and you may even feel slightly nauseous.
But, you have to push your body past the comfort zone to shake it up. Make your body say; “What in the hell is going on? Since when do we need to keep lifting heavier and heavier weight, or running faster and faster? I better make some friggin’ changes to this body to handle this crap that this crazy fool keeps throwing at me.” And that is when you grow.
I just discovered the “6 Weeks to Superhero” series from T Nation and have really been enjoying them. It features Christian Thibaudeau, who is actually a bodybuilding coach. But, I think some of the lifting tips and training exercises would also work well for someone who just wants to get stronger and better that these 4 critical lifts:
I personally believe that a big reason many people fail to maintain a regular program of exercise is that they are trying to go it alone. This chart from the U.S. Department of Labor shows that more than 50% of men and women exercise solo (source). When men exercise with others, it tends to be more often with friends (e.g., I bet it’s team sports). Women, on the other hand, tend to exercise more with family.
It has been a couple of months since I finished the Tough Mudder NorCal 2011 event in Squaw Valley, CA near Lake Tahoe. I’ve had some time to think about that day, the obstacles that I faced, and the overall experience. All in all, it went very well. I had a great time and, to be honest, it wasn’t that hard for me. That’s a good thing. That means that my training worked and preparation paid off. That doesn’t mean that it was easy. By no means was it easy! It was definitely a test of your strength, endurance, teamwork, and your willpower to continue despite fatigue, hunger, pain, and extreme discomfort. For example, I don’t think there is any way to really be ready to enjoy the icy cold water of the Chernobyl Jacuzzi and the Underwater Tunnels obstacles, unless you’re a member of the Polar Bear Club and get off on that type of thing. I hate being cold, so I was careful about the gear I chose to wear that day (Read more about my Head-to-Toe Gear here).
I’m still ramping up my training for the Tough Mudder event in NorCal this September. I’m wearing my Vibram FiveFingers much more regularly and did another 4 mile trail run in a pair of the KSOs. You may recall that I did buy a pair of the KSO Treks earlier and did a trail run in them as well. The fit was a bit too large. They felt fine for walking around, but my smaller toes kept slipping out of their pockets as I started running harder and climbing. So, I bought a size smaller of the KSOs, which are a bit different (better for water, thinner sole). Now my big toe is a bit cramped. Guess I have weird toes.
To continue preparing for the Tough Mudder event, I am still doing CrossFit during the week. But I’ve also added a trail run each weekend to keep improving my endurance and add a bit more cardio work. I ran again in my Vibram FiveFingers to see how they feel on the rocky trail and what it feels like to keep running in cold, wet feet. It was ok. The FiveFingers certainly just let the water come in and your feet are instantly wet and cold. But I found that my feet warmed up as I kept running, so it was tolerable. My feet obviously still need to toughen up more. I felt all of the sharp stones on the trail (it was a really rocky trail). But, the barefoot running style ensures that you are landing lightly on your forefoot and lifting your feet quickly back off the ground again. So, hitting a rock wasn’t nearly as painful as it would be when you stride out and land harder on your heels.