How well do you Rest?
There is a story in the Bible about Gideon, who was charged with finding an army of men capable of fighting a foreign invading force.
One of the criteria was how the men took a drink of water from the local river. Gideon took 10,000 men down to the river to quench their thirst. Those who lapped water like a dog were asked to leave, and those who used their hands, and remained ready and aware of themselves and their current surroundings were allowed to stay.
This is merely my opinion, because is not noted in the story, but those men who used their hands to drink water(and were allowed to stay), and remained on the ready while quenching their thirst in the middle of a hot middle eastern day.—–“rested well”
During the Regional Training Camp at Hyperfit a few weeks ago, I either overhead a conversation, or briefly talked about how well the regional athletes were “resting” mid workout.
Those who appeared to be suffering during their rest inevitably did not finish as fast as those who didn’t allow their inner struggle to be seen in their body language. Even at CrossFit Legacy, there are those at the gym, who are told, “I can never tell that you are suffering so much in a workout!” Yet, there are also those who would like to entire gym to know that the workout is hard whether others are looking or not.
The take away here is that how you maintain your composure during a workout will affect how you progress through a workout and how you finish.
—-Keep your head up
—Control your breathing(belly breathe)
—Have a plan before the workout begins
—be willing to adjust your plan(after you get hit in the face)
—Positive self talk
—being dramatic won’t make you go faster
—always keep moving
—keep your hands off your knees
These are just a few things to keep in mind, but the next time a workout makes you feel like your soul is being ripped out of you, don’t show it. Rather, say to yourself, “this is tough, but I am tougher!”
The better you rest, the faster you will go and the fitter you will become.
By the way, only 300 men remained after Gideon took them to the river, so it is a rare thing to rest well.
Technique vs. Load
Where do I draw the line between the two?
Walking into any gym or CrossFit box can be an intimidating sight. Often times you find yourself walking into a packed house with a bunch of people throwing what appear to be massive amounts of weight overhead, or picking up even larger amounts of weight from the floor. We’ve all been to the point where we are flat out amazed by a lift we have seen or a number on the whiteboard when we first started.
Speaking of the whiteboard.
After crossfitting for a while and becoming a “veteran”, it is easy to get caught up in how everyone else is scoring. We see that our friendly competition has maxed out his snatch for the day and that number happens to be 20 pounds greater than yours.
So what is our first instinct?
Load that bar until we hit a lift that is greater than our counterpart regardless of how rounded our back is—right?
If we did this, we are obviously more focused on amount of weight lifted rather than technique used.
Okay okay get to your point.
The point is that many CrossFit boxes, or fitness gyms are so focused on amount of weight lifted that form and technique are often thrown out the window.
Let’s get back to that friendly competition up on the whiteboard. It may say that your counterpart out lifted you, but how are they moving?
Is their lift one that is technically sound without any hiccups or faults?
Are your lifts technically sound without any faults? If so ignore the rest of this and continue on with your day.
For those of us who do not have the perfect lift, or the best mechanics in the world, this article is for you. The whiteboard can be a deadly thing and it can make us try to beat someone in all aspects of fitness while forgetting the fundamental aspect of CrossFit—”the fundamentals”
We must get back to the basics. Working technique and building a foundation are the most important concepts you can perfect and have a full understanding of, especially within the CrossFit community.
There’s a reason you started to snatch with a PVC pipe.
So what are the benefits to hammering technique prior to lifting heavy weights? Well for starters dialing in mechanics will prevent injury. Many of us find ourselves in the gym upwards of five times a week. Improper mechanics will surely put an end to that. Many injuries heard of within the fitness community are due to improper mechanics whether we want to believe it or not.
Stop loading the bar if you know your back is rounded!
Another benefit to perfecting your mechanics? More personal records! That’s right, chances are if your technique is dialed in and you are consistent with a program and put the effort in your PRs will not only happen more often but the jumps will be greater. Who doesn’t want that?!
So before you go loading that bar to try and beat someone else, why not take the time and better yourself, not only now, but in the long run as well. Take the time to use a PVC pipe, an empty barbell, or just running through the movement within your mind.
Trust the process.
“Build your empire on the firm foundation of the fundamentals”
— Lou Holtz
No matter what your goals are at CrossFit Legacy, or in life, these words can offer some insight encouragement, and focus during some of the more difficult times.
Stay the course to your goals and your aspirations.
It’s going to take longer than you originally thought.
You are going to need to invest more effort than you ever would have liked to exert.
You are going to have to endure more pain than you planned.
Face more failed attempts than you thought would have been necessary.
Experience more setbacks than you rationally and logically should have ever had to go through.
There’s going to be many times where your effort will not be rewarded, or even acknowledged.
Yes, at times, it’s going to suck.
You need to get through the suck.
Success always lags hard work and effort.
When you have put in more effort than reward received, you have to double down on belief, confidence and enthusiasm.
You have to continue to work yourself to the brink of collapse and tears.
You need to be able to do this indefinitely.
You need to have faith in the process.
For this part of the process is the final filtering system to creating greatness.
As your reward is not being unjustifiably held from you, it is actually being deferred for you.
Stored up, to be given to you in a lump sum, rather than in incremental pieces.
At this point in the process it is more important what you do not do, rather than what you do.
In order to receive the reward of your hard work.
The reward you deserve.
The reward you have earned –
You need to be incapable of discouragement.
Enthusiasm or Patience?
With the competition season rapidly approaching, I know many of us are eager to add new skills to our skill sets and/or refine techniques for existing skills. As coaches, we welcome the infectious enthusiasm that spreads throughout the community this time of year–regardless of your competitive aspirations. It’s a fun opportunity for us to help all of you address those individual goals.
It’s always nice to see people practicing and working the progressions required to safely and efficiently develop proficiency with these skills. I am particularly excited to see many of you are making time to attack some of the higher skill gymnastic movements.
Recently, the butterfly pull-up has been a focal point for many. As such, the comments below will focus on that movement as a way to illustrate the bigger picture.
(Below is a video of the butterfly being performed as well as I have seen. Video and series of questions below courtesy of CrossFit Milford and Power Monkey gymnastics)
To butterfly or not?
Are they safe for you? How many are you doing? Why are you doing them? (desired training stimulus) What is your structure? Shoulder/spine/hip range of motion? Can you control that full range of motion? Can you demonstrate scapular stability and control? How is your posture? Have you worked on building a solid structural foundation? How are your strict pull up positions? Age? Training age? Any past/present injuries? How is your technique and timing?
All these considerations are of the utmost importance for determining your readiness to perform/practice any movement. At any given moment, you are as fit and as skilled as you are. Improving one will improve the other. They are not mutually exclusive.
Like other dynamic movements, the butterfly pull-up places a very high demand on the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints. As such, your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints must be properly prepared for this demand. This is accomplished by working your progressions! Ignoring the progressions is a recipe for disaster.
Let me be clear–prepare properly or prepare for injury.
Always practice the basics. Fall in love with the process, not the movement. Demonstrate the willingness to put in the work required to perform the movement WELL!
Quality trumps quantity. Intelligence and patience trump blind enthusiasm. If you were preparing for an algebra test by taking as many practice tests as possible, wouldn’t it be best if you knew basic arithmetic first? I am fairly certain that all the enthusiasm in the world for voluminous practice testing is going to prove to be useless if you can’t add. The same principle applies to our goals. It’s been my experience that the person who can pair their enthusiasm with a patient willingness to learn will be much better off in the bigger picture. Don’t forget we always have other things to work on. Obsessing over any one thing is a mistake. All skills and abilities are part of the whole. When we assess someone that wants to “fix” their butterfly, or any other movement, the fix (more often than not) is going back and putting in the work with the basics.
Enjoy the process. Laugh off frustration. Most importantly, have fun.
Follow this link for video that Coach Travis is Referring to.
Happy New Years to all of the members of the CrossFit Legacy family! It has been an exciting year, and we all look forward to even better things coming in 2016.
We coaches would like to thank each and every one of you for your continued support and dedication to the gym and to one another. It’s one thing to see everyone evolve in the gym, but it has been even greater to see how this gym is so close outside of the Legacy walls. I can recall multiple times throughout the year when a member was moving and needed a hand with moving furniture and there were numerous people from the gym willing to lend a hand and help out. Or, a few members would be competing at a competition over the summer and a number of members would be there to cheer them on and support them. Clinics have been attended, CCW courses have taken place, Yoga classes have started up, and it has been YOU all that have made these possible.
Seeing first hand how members will regularly get together outside of classes to have breakfast, go for a run, see a movie, truly shows how this gym has come together as more than acquaintances or even friends; this is a family.
As we go into this new year, of course it is a great idea to think about goals and commit to them. Consider what you have planned for yourself, where you see opportunities to improve your fitness, or what challenges still need to be overcome. But also think about your goals for improving your character. A great way to do so is by helping each other reach their goals. You have shown time and time again that this is an easy task. Maybe someone has a weakness they want to work on that you happen to be a ninja at. There’s your chance! Showing your compassion and selflessness by giving some helpful advice can go a long way.
Again, thank you, Legacy family. Have a happy new year and be safe. We look forward to seeing what all we can accomplish in this coming year!
All the best in 2016,
Brian, Travis, Brandon, Lauren, Kristen, Andrew
Everyone has bad days. The days where nothing goes right. Your feet hit the ground in the morning, your whole body says go back to bed. So be it. You are going to get your ass kicked today. Maybe you won’t PR, or maybe you feel like you have never squatted before in your life. So be it. If you cannot cope with a bad day you do not deserve good one. Bad days are where you learn to be tough. It is really easy when things are going your way. Calm seas do not make good sailors.
Wrestling is one of the most unforgiving sports. When you roll into the room and you are not clicking, no one is going to show you mercy and no one should. When you are training to be the best, people going easy on you is not going to make you better. A firm ass kicking will. Every wrestler has had those days. The days you get beaten for two hours are the days that make the difference. The barbell is impartial. The barbell is going to be your objective measure.
People want everything to feel right. People have their comfort zones. They have their favorite barbell, pull up bar or set of rings. Once they get uncomfortable they can no longer perform. That is what bad days are for. Learn from your bad days. People need to learn to tough it out through bad days. Bad days hurt, mentally, emotionally and physically. When things get tough, is when you push. The fight begins when things get hard. We respect grit, we admi
Deal with it. Life is tough. The challenges in life are what mold people into what they can become. There is a misconception that the people make it to the top have a smooth ride. Nothing can be further from the truth. The people who attain the greatest heights have often had to overcome the greatest of challenges. Broken homes, poverty, learning disabilities are common among great achievers. Each bad day is a gift. Relish it. A bad day is an opportunity to display your poise and confidence that you will succeed in spite of hardship. Deal with it.
How to deal with it? Step back and assess what actually happened. Look objectively at the events, not how you felt about them, what actually happened. Many times the “Bad Day” isn’t really that bad, it just felt bad. Feelings are liars. Feelings will trick you into doubting.
Feelings are left overs of evolutionary fight or flight response. Every time to deal with hardship, know that is how you are earning your next great performance. So, your snatch for the day was 94% of your max when you wanted a PR. It is simply what you were able to do that day. You did your best under the circumstances and you will wake up tomorrow and fight again. You deal with it by enjoying the process. Have confidence in the process. Deal with it.
What do you do when you find a real issue? Deal with it. Maybe you find a skill you are truly not good at. Ask some questions: How can I get better at the skill? How can I break it down into small pieces to develop skills? How often should I practice the skill to overcome it. Who could help me to overcome my problem? Who do I know that has had the same problem? How did they get through it? Breaking it down and figuring it out is how you deal with it. If someone else has done it before, then so can you. If no one has done it before, smile and be the first.
Enjoy the process.
We encounter challenges everyday. Whether these challenges be new tasks, new goals, new skills, obstacles at home or in the workplace. When presented with these challenges, what’s the first thing you do? Look at someone else who has gone through or is going through the same thing or compare yourself to them to see where you stand or if you even measure up? We live in a world where everything is a competition. In the gym, many people compare their times, their weights, their reps with the top numbers for the day. At work, we try to outsell our fellow employees or reach quota goals to win that quarterly award. At home, we try to be the best parents, yet best friends with our kids and boast it on social media. What’s the outcome of this?
Hating ourselves when we don’t reach those high expectations? Walking out of the gym halfway through a WOD because we got beat? Feeling inadequate at work and home because someone is perceived as “better”?
For the past few months, I have had to work on changing my mindset for the things that I do everyday. I will be the first to say that it has helped me tremendously, in not only keeping my sanity, but staying consistent with my hectic schedule as well. The mindset change was to be “realistic”.
Seems easy enough, right? I want to challenge all of you to do the same. Not only will you like yourself better, but you might just notice yourself becoming a much more well-liked person by those around you. Here is the steps I took, and if any apply to you, try to see if the change could work for you….
1. You are not Rich Froning, Jr., Julie Foucher, hell, even Allie Sholley or Brandon Nolin. Stop comparing your scores to the best, and compare them to the person you were yesterday! This is where logging your’ workouts or even writing a goal on the goal board comes to play. If you backsquat five pounds more than YOU did last month, beat YOUR previous “Fran” time, or even worked out four times instead of last weeks three, you’re winning. Those all-star athletes you compare yourself to are there for motivation only. I guarantee if you ask these people where they were three years ago, it is a big difference from today.
2. Learn to walk away. I don’t mean give up, but if you put so much of yourself in to too many things, you’re going to break down, mentally and physically. Cut out all of the unnecessary B.S. and figure out what’s really important to you and deserves your’ attention and requires your’ time. It is not worth being involved in 20 different things if you’re are so worn out that you are half-assing all of it.
3. You can’t be the best at everything. Let’s face it, some of us didn’t win the lottery in the gene pool and have to work extremely hard in order to hit a PR, lose two pounds, get that “A” grade, receive that promotion. But if you don’t make it to the top, so what? You aren’t any less of a person and you can only do so much. When things don’t turn out your way or you’re stressing over an upcoming event, learn to say “screw it, if it’s meant to be, it will.”
The holiday months of November-March are named the most depressing and stressful among Americans. My hope is that you attempt to change your mindset and outlook so that you and the people around you can truly enjoy the holiday season and winter months. This is not a time for greed, sadness, jealousy or stress. It is a time to show love, gratitude, and just enjoy having the friends and family around while you have the opportunity to do so.
At CrossFit Legacy we have been coaching athletes since 2007. Eight and one half years of helping people in their journey of health, wellness, and fitness with CrossFit as the model.
This weekend, 8 people from CrossFit Legacy competed in competitions around the area. Their ages ranged from early 20’s to over 60 years old. Years of CrossFit(CF) experience ranged from 5 years, to less than 1. Now, this is not the first time we have had numerous people competing simultaneously on the same weekend, but rather this weekend I realized something.
We were one of the first 150 CrossFit affiliates worldwide. Legacy was the 3rd in Northeast Ohio(behind CrossFIt Cleveland, and CrossFit CLE), and the first in Summit County. Close to 8 other affiliates have opened as a result of their owners being associated with us. This is also widely known as we maintain a close relationship with a many of those affiliates. Yet this weekend, I had one of those “lightbulb” moments.
In-de-pen-dence : self-sufficiency, self-reliance, autonomy, freedom, liberty
What does the above word have to do with anything? It has everything to do with what I realized about the people that choose to call CrossFit Legacy home and compete under the banner of the lion.
At CrossFit Legacy we teach and instill INDEPENDENCE into each and every member. We teach, coach, and inspire people to ask questions, learn, and discover what they are capable of mentally and physically.
One of the greatest aspects of this is that we let them do it under the watchful eye of nearly 20 combined years of CrossFit coaching experience in our Staff, and an environment that lets people discover what they want out of their CF experience.
Look better naked?
Compete in CrossFit?
Whatever it is that our current and future member wants, our staff will pour into them so that they are adequately equipped to get the most out of their time within and without the walls of CrossFit Legacy.
I am so Proud of those who competed this weekend. Regardless of the outcome, you stepped out of the comfort zone of the Legacy walls and you did something with an unknown outcome to get a known result—better fitness, and better understanding of what you are capable of. Keep that up! Each day, each workout, each competition, warm-up, skill session, olympic lift, or strength cycle is a chance to learn about yourself, your fitness, and to breach the boundaries we have set or that have been set for us. Keep being coachably independent
Thank you for you letting us be a part of that.
Every day I get to see amazing things happen in the gym. Daily, people(all of you) are making choices to be better. Those changes happen in small doses, sometimes large doses depending on the workout, the day, or the choices
Things I see:
–people losing weight.
–friendships being made
–learning new skills
–fears being overcome
–persevering in spite of pain or injury
–going past self imposed limits
–individuals believing in themselves for the first time
–staff coaching and teaching and running good classes
–kids learning that fitness is fun
The bottom line—that this is inspiring, YOU ARE inspiring…not only to me, but also to everyone around you.
That is a family, and a community. Each of you is inspiring to each other and that is exciting day in and day out.
Are you more?
More of what?
What is there to you?
What do you show the world? Through social media…facebook, instagram, twitter, face to face interaction, in the gym, at work, with family and friends….who are you?
I was recently asked this, rather told this by a friend.
“Brian, there is way more to you than simply working out!”
That is a correct statement. There is a lot more to me, to you, to all of us than what we actually show people.
In our strive for acceptance we only show people “our best”….the best statement, selfie, the best lift, the PR, the greatest meal, or group of friends so that outsiders think we are the greatest thing since sliced bread.
Our narcissistic culture driven by pride and fueled by a constant electronic connection is measured in “likes” , “comments”, “views” and “shares” so much so that we often lose sight of reality…even our own.
That happens to me from time to time, but it takes close friends to reign us back into what really matters. So ask yourself.
What type of impact are you having on those around you?
How are you responding to the events in your daily life?
Is there any depth to the things and/or relationships in your life?
To paraphrase Batman, “it isn’t who we are that defines us, but rather what we do”
So, what are you doing? What about you is more?
A life worth living is one in which we are committed to larger picture of influence and affect on those around us, both immediate and in the world. For me, I have 3 boys that I pray will choose to see that same big picture based on the way I am raising them. In addition, the members of Legacy are an opportunity to pass on a passion of health and wellness, that will help them live a fuller life in which they get to spend more time, and better quality time with those who they love.
Let’s choose “More” But let’s not choose more activities, or more business. Often times, we use those things to mask pain, or the fear of actually going deeper, and we/this world doesn’t need more shallow people focused only on ourselves.
Be more friendly and truthful
Be more compassionate and graceful,
Be more real and grateful
Be more humble and kind
Be more engaging and more “in the moment”
Show more depth and sincerity
Foster more real connections
Be more in the moment, not electronically connected
Be more observant and understanding.
These few things will lead to a life of fullness, completeness, and foster in us a view that we aren’t the center of everything, but rather help us see that we have the ability to be the center of more influence and more lasting impact by helping more people get what they want…..to paraphrase, the late Zig Ziglar, “we can have everything in life that we want, if we help enough other people get what they want.”
Choose to be more. What that is for you is likely found in helping the person nearest you.