Pursuing Mastery..

personal-mastery-1-728.jpg

Patience.

An attribute I struggle with.  I wish I could just learn it as fast as possible.  I also as a teacher, wish I could hand it in a bottle over to all of my athletes/ students.  Though I know that’s impossible.  I must say I am encouraged though.  On a daily basis I work with athletes that have chosen a path of self mastery.  On a daily basis I get to see bankers, pharmacists, servers, and bartenders…among many others….strive master themselves through many thousands of different movement patterns.  This inspires me.

I have pursued mastering movement over the last 13 years, and while I can state without a doubt that I am a far better mover than I was back then, I feel I am even further away from mastering anything than I was before.  Perhaps that’s not true. I have mastered some things, yet the more you learn seemingly the more you uncover.  So much so that it seems to point out to me on a daily basis how much I don’t know about movement.   Perhaps that’s how we should expect it to be.  Perhaps that’s the best reason in the world of movement and Crossfit to take our time and let it happen.  Consistent application of proven principles will lead to improvement and eventually mastery.  10,000 hours of practice.  Of purposeful practice.  That is what I have read it takes.  That is an incredible amount of time to be sure, but doable for sure.  If we live to be 75, then we all have about 657,000 hours on this earth, that makes 10,000 not so overwhelming.  We just need direct it to the right place, to the right movements, and with the right attitude in mind.  With movement we should play the long game.  We should be in this for the long haul.  There is no such thing as a quick fix.  Derek Miller a Fb friend and expert with the Kettlebell Derek’s Place  says “your future training should thank your past”  I think this is incredibly simple, but it is a concept that we would all to well to apply immediately to our training, if not our complete life in general.

So in closing let’s do our best when we are faced with a lift, a movement, a pattern that is confusing us…instead of doing what seemingly comes natural to us…  (get incredibly frustrated, curse ourselves, and mess up a few more times)…let’s take a step back, marvel at the amazing movers that we have already become, and use incredible amounts of patience in applying the new move, and see if, over time, that works out well for us.   I think we may surprise ourselves.   Thanks for the read everyone.  Talk to ya’ll soon.

 

best of Health Buffalo and Beyond!!!

4 Reasons to do the Crossfit Open

ytxzrjecrla0gmnnm2a6_gymstockphoto31

“WHAT IS THE CROSSFIT OPEN?

The Open is comprised of five workouts over five weeks, and it starts with 16.1. Open workouts are identified by their year and the order in which they appear. The workouts will be released every Thursday during the five weeks of the Open, and you can watch the live announcement of the workout that will be streamed on the CrossFit Games website.

The announcement will take place at a different location each week, and two athletes (or more) will perform the workout live. After the workout is released, any athlete who has registered for the Open will have until 5 p.m. PT on the following Monday to submit their best score online.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE CROSSFIT OPEN?

The Open is the first qualifying stage of the CrossFit Games. Any athlete who wants to compete at the Games must first make it through the Open in their region.

While the purpose of the Open is to find the fittest athletes in each region to move on to the regionals, it’s also an opportunity for any athlete at any level to participate in the competition. It can add meaning and purpose to your training while also bringing your gym’s community closer together. (As a rule of thumb, the Open is the time of year where we see many people achieve important firsts: bodyweight snatch, muscle-ups, toes-to-bars, handstand push-ups, double-unders, etc.)

Most importantly, the Open will also give you some interesting data on your performance in the gym, which can be a guide for setting realistic goals for the following year.”

 

I thought I would begin with this great start from the games website itself.  It explains the “open” pretty darned well.   The whole article is definitely worth the read.   HERE

But let’s find some reasons that I, as your coach, believe you,  yes you, the one hiding behind all the peeps doing pushups, and thinking you will never be there,  here a few reasons that YOU  should do the open.

1.  BECAUSE YOU CAN  

Last year was my first year and the Boxes first year doing the Open.  I will admit it openly, I regret not participating every year.  We do not have to be a “competitive” box to compete in the open I learned that, and nearly 50 of your fellow athletes experienced it last year.  They all found out that they could do it, they could find a mod that works, they could all appreciate, they could all do…what we do every single day we step into the box, and then they got to see all of their fellow competitors doing it to.

2.  BECAUSE It’s FUN  

There something magical and fun about laying it all on the line for a workout, and then anticipating, guessing, hoping, that the next one that comes on Thursday night will be something you can do, or have done, or at least doesn’t mentally scar you just by looking at it.  Although there is certainly something to be said from accomplishing that which just scared you to death.  The support and camaraderie that this competition fosters is almost worth the price of admission alone, that makes it incredibly fun, but when you let go of some of your personal insecurities and get used to putting it all out there on the line, that becomes one hell of a release, and ultimately a ton of fun.

3. BECAUSE YOU GET TO COMPETE

“but Rob, I have no desire to compete”   ok..  Good.  In fact, I have not plans/ desire to ever make it to regionals, and I hardly ever compete, but I will never miss an open again.  Why?  Because  when you WOD in this, you will work harder than you ever have before, and it will show you what you are capable of.  Ask anyone that has done it before.  It brings out the best in your effort.  That’s the reason to “compete”   don’t do it to win, do it find a threshold you have never thought possible for yourself.  You will enjoy it,   I promise.

4. BECAUSE IT WILL GIVE YOU A GOAL NEXT YEAR 

Yes, some of you have heard it before.  Do not do the open for you, right now.  Do it for who you will become next year.  That’s the exciting part, when you have tracked this year, looked at your benchmark, and can treat the open like a sort of annual performance check.  It’s not uncommon to see things like, –  WOW, last year I couldn’t even pretend to do a bar muscle up and this year I got 5…etc.   Wicked.  Look to who you are going to be a year from now, or the type of athlete you want to be, and take the appropriate steps to make that dream a reality.   (do the open)

 

And in closing let me bring one more point to light.  You will never be “ready”   That is the whole point of Crossfit.   If the Open WODs pop up and the first thing you think is wow, no big deal, I got this  (and it isn’t bravado)   then the programmers aren’t doing their job.  The open is the ultimate (for us normal folks) definition of the unknowable WOD.  The only way you prepare for that is to do it!!!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE OPEN BECAUSE I SAID SO AND YOU WILL LOVE IT 

 

6 Ways to Maximize Your Recovery Time

You kill yourself the moment you step into the box, until the moment you leave.  Sweat angels abound, and you work tirelessly to do your best when you are there.  You Pr’d your Fran time, set a new squat record, or ran your fastest Mile time ever.  Kudos.  Your workout was killer, but there is something you should know.   You didn’t build  any muscle during that WOD.  That process, the growth from your workouts, begins as soon as your training session ends.  When you lift your muscles actually tear themselves (super small, micro tears) and are actually broken down and then as soon as your stop your body jumps in to repair mode to starting fixing all that you did to it during that WOD.  Wouldn’t you like to help it as best you can?

Follow these 7 After Action Steps so you can be sure you are growing from your words and not dying from them.

Step 1.   Make it on Purpose

Most of my athletes understand that the idea of nutrition, recovery, sleeping and even some proper supplementation can play a huge role in how well you  feel after your WOD, or even when Wodding again the next day.  But let’s take a stand and add as much purpose to our recovery as we do to our workouts.

Lets look at a few things. What we eat before the WOD can play a huge role in how we perform and how we recover after. If you eat before make sure you are taking in protein from quality sources and good carbs, they will be in you during the WOD and after.  Along with quality nutrients there have been numerous studies that show taking BCAA in supplement form can help greatly.   Here is a great article about supplementation in general,  Branch Chain Amino Acids are covered a few paragraphs down.  http://Supps for Crossfitters

Along with Eating and Supplementation we should also look at hydration, which starts days before you Workout.  Aim to drink water whenever your thirsty, and if you consume, alcohol, or coffee, don’t count it as hydration, nor the water (equal amount) that you drink to make up for it.   My best advice in hydration is to drink water when you’re thirsty.( I know, repetition)

now after the WOD..

Step 2.  Mobility/Stretching

Please.   Don’t Skip this part.  Not only in reading. (Self Serving)  But in doing.  You need to mobilize, roll, stretch, be purposeful about the movements you do directly following a workout.  I cannot tell you which ones, not knowing what the Workout is that you just finished but I can give a few guidelines,  generally speaking,  static stretching the areas that were most effected by the workout is good practice.  Working on mobility issues that prevented you from finding full range of motion during the workout as well and some you may need to improve on, and as a general rule I feel like it’s always a good idea to deload the spine for a minute or two.

Step 3.   Find out the Best Protein Post WOD For you  

If you aren’t getting protein in soon following your workout you are missing out.  Just do it.  Whether it is from Steak or a great Post Workout Shake  get something in your body within 20-30 minutes that’s a crucial window for nutrient intake, your body wants it. Give it.

 

Step 4.  Sleep, Sleep, Sleep

Mark Twight is the Founder of Gym Jones, and is responsible for training hundreds if not thousands of elite athletes from all walks of life.  His number one rule when training an athlete, before what they do, or how they eat, or even their attitude is this, at least 8 hours of sleep per night.  This is where so much, anabolic (muscle building) activity occurs.  I realize we have limited time, and most of us are crazy busy.  But it can change your performance and life in general.  Please sleep.

Step 5.  Did Someone Say Active Recovery  

Please, move well, after the WOD,  the next day.  Even on your rest days get walking, hiking, light…(light) jogging if you are very sore.  It’s often best to put some movement to your body.  The night after, the next day, almost all the time.  Move.  Sitting hours after an excruciating training session is like hell reincarnate.  Don’t do it if you can help it.  If you are forced to, move as often as you can.  Drink tons of water, and get up to go pee twice an hour.  You will thank me the next time.  Go up and down stairs……after Leg Day.

 

Step 6.  Stop Stressing Yourself Out  

Exercise is a form of stress.  In our life it’s necessary stress, but it’s stress nonetheless.  As is our job, our children, the way some of us breathe.   Seek out resources, and activities that lower your stress level.  Meditation, Massage, Hot Tubs, Hugs, laughing.  All things we could use more of in our life.  The bottom line is reducing stress, rather making a point to reduce stress will not only aid our recovery from one WOD to the next, but ultimately will vastly improve the quality of our life.

 

In closing, do your best to take action, and put more thought behind these 6 areas of concentration and you may find yourself accomplishing things you didn’t think you could.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Simple Steps to Having your Fittest Fall Ever!!!

 

The time has come to grab hold of our destiny and take charge and responsibility of our own lives.  Let’s empower ourselves and have our healthiest and most awesome Fall ever!!

Step 1:  Attitude

If you haven’t already bought into the idea  that your attitude toward life is going to ultimately determine nearly everything that happens in one way or another to you on a daily basis then we need to get you there and fast.    Thomas Jefferson put it pretty succinctly

“Nothing can stop someone with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help someone with the wrong mental attitude.”

 

Have an appreciation and respect for what you want and how much your attitude toward everyday can literally make or break your dreams.

Now we Have to  Dig a bit further and have to focus on the attitude we carry throughout the day.  We have to learn to only worry about the things we have power over, and let the things that we can not control go in one in and out the other.  I know it’s difficult but we are trying to kill it in this life and the next we don’t have time to worry bout things we are bombarded with on a daily basis from the media and the break room.  We are setting ourselves up for our fittest fall ever!!!  We are going to crush our work, and then we are going to crush our workouts, and then we are going to crush family time, or time with our friends.

Action Steps for #1

1.Create a list of things you are grateful for, and read it twice Daily

2.Create a List based on your worries that you have no control over…and practice actively forgetting about them.

3.   Last action step.  Choose to be happy!!!

Step #2  Proper Nutrition

Books have indeed been written and are being written on this subject, but for the sake of time let’s go with this.  Eat real food that you have to prepare for yourself.  It is a good check that if the majority of the food you are eating lasts longer than a week, you need to revamp your diet.

That is about as simple as it gets..and I agree with it wholeheartedly.

Action Steps for Step 2

1. Clear out your cabinets of anything that doesn’t make the cut based on the lists above

2. Write down everything you eat, for at least 2 weeks, if not 2 months

3. Ask for help

 

Step 3   Proper Movement Plan

This can be a new exercise plan, a better one, a new place to workout, a better place to workout, an at home workout program you are doing.  The important thing here is to have a plan. Plan to succeed this fall.  Plan not to get into a rut. Plan to be amazing.

Aciton Steps for Step 3

  1. Develop your exercise plan
  2. Tell someone you love who loves you enough to help you be accountable
  3. Ask a professional for help if you are not sure how to go about it

 

 

5 Ways to Fit Exercise into your schedule.

Amy, busy mom of 4 Finding time to work hard

Amy, busy mom of 4 Finding time to work hard

Moving is important.  We get that.  Exercise is moving, but some of us have the busiest lives in the world, and there is sometimes not enough time, what in the world can we do?  Well here are five shots at you to try and let you have some found time, or reconsider the order of your day.

5 Ways to Fit Exercise into your life.

#1.  Wake up 30 minutes earlier than you do right now.

Holy moly!!!  Impossible.  Improbable.  NO WAY!!!!!  I’m sure if you like to sleep until the last possible second in the morning and especially if you have a spicy love affair with the snooze button every time your alarm goes off, then this task might seem impossible.  But there are a host of reasons that waking up a bit early, and getting a quick High Intensity Workout in will make the rest of your day absolutely awesome.    You will get an endorphin spike that will leave you feeling great for the rest of the day.  You will get it out of the way so that the rest of your day you know you are already taking steps to feeling better.  More often it’s an easier time to schedule that will not let after work duties get in the way.  These are all great along with the short term metabolic boost.   These are all great reasons to “Rise and Grind”

#2  Find a workout buddy.

Workout buddies are awesome, so long as they do not become socialization buddies.  Use your buddy to help hold you accountable, to motivate you, to inspire you, to pick you up if you need a ride, and even to complain to.  Some studies have shown that having a workout buddy means you are 85 Percent more likely to stick with a program.  So find your BFF for Working Out!!!

#3  Immerse yourself in the benefits of Exercise.

Subscribe to blogs, journals, blog casts, etc.  Magazines if necessary.  Human minds are crazy wonderful things. If you read an hour or two a day about the benefits of exercise, you will start to assimilate the mindset and suddenly start reorganizing your day around training.  Education is a truly wonderful thing.

#4   Stop Watching America’s Got Talent.

The average american watches 5 hours of Television per day.   I’m not sure I need to write anything else on this.  Fit in 30-90 minutes for training.

#5  Join Crossfit Williamsville  (or any other group fitness, likeminded group of honest and encouraging individuals)    Not only are you more likely to succeed in a group environment.  You will also be helped, cheered, carried, inspired, and ultimately feel like you belong, when you find a Gym full of people who will not judge you but instead will help you become the best you can possibly become.  Once surrounded by this kind of environment, it has been my experience that it is often more difficult to get people to take a rest day, than to not workout.

 

Thanks for the read.  Please find us on FB, and like the page and if it is your first time coming to the blog, subscribe.

 

best of Health Buffalo and Beyond!!!

 

A Run-in with Rhabdo

Imagine this…..

You are in your early 20’s, haven’t ever really worked out, but your wife’s sister and her godparents do this crazy thing called “Crossfit”  and they have convinced you that yeah…this seems like something you should try.  You schedule an appointment with the owner of the local Crossfit; it’s the same one that your wife’s godparents attend.  They have told you both how great it is and how knowledgeable, passionate and caring the staff are. After the first introduction class with the owner himself you think to yourself, “Heck yeah, I can do this,  actually I need to do this.”

So you and your wife begin your Crossfit Journey.  A lot of the stuff the coach says makes sense and in a way already applies to you.  You already eat fairly clean, you hardly ever drink alcohol, and you have no problem sleeping for (at least) 8 hours a day.  You like that he says it’s not your typical Competitive Crossfit and that he focuses on teaching proper movement patterns.   By your first official “WOD”  you feel ready to go.

After the first day it seems to be a good fit.  The coach was attentive, and he seemed to scale things conservatively so that you and your wife would not go out too hard or too long on your first few visits, though the intensity did begin to ramp up.   Then about 2 weeks in,  somewhere around your 7th or 8th workout possibly, you did something you had never done before.  It was a rough Sunday workout and you perfect full range of motion Knees to Elbows.  Ok maybe “perfected” wasn’t the right word, but you did one hell of a job that day.  It was great.

But..

Monday your abdominal wall was extremely sore and swollen.  You weren’t sure what to do.  Your wife’s sister, a Physical Therapist and avid competitive Crossfitter, advised that you check your urine to make sure you didn’t have “Rhabdo.”    Your urine was fine, but what was this Rhabdo?; you had never heard of it.

You wrote it off, since your urine was fine, and thought that this was just a really bad case of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness)  and decided to rest up on Tuesday.

Super sore on Tuesday….you do nothing and feel really weak in those abdominal muscles.

You can’t sleep on Tuesday night, and decide that on Wednesday, feeling incredibly weak and sore, you need to go to the Emergency Room.

Once there you inform them what you think is going on.  They do not seem as concerned as you would like.  After hours of waiting, you get in, they take your blood and urine, which gets left on a shelf next to you in the room (they never check it).  They don’t believe it has anything to do with exercise. They think it is your appendix.  So they give you a contrast solution that will show up on the CT Scan, and then they will be able to tell what’s up.   Only it doesn’t show anything.  (You later find out from a nephrologist, a kidney specialist, that the contrast solution can be toxic to the kidneys and may only have exacerbated your situation.)

They give you muscle relaxers and send you home .

The next day you feel better.

The day after that you workout.

Then you think you are ok.

But the following Monday you are so incredibly sore again, after a workout that was not intense, was not strenuous, and was heavily modified.  You check your urine and it looks more like Coca-Cola than Pee. Shit.

Your Wife’s Sis says get to the emergency room immediately and tell them you have Rhabdo.

You get there.  You tell them.  Finally they believe you.  You were right. You are kept in the hospital for 4 days, and released.  With no kidney damage, thank goodness.  What an experience for your first month at Crossfit.

Imagine that story.  Imagine how you would feel.  Imagine if you were the owner and head coach of that box.  What would you do?  What could you do?  Who’s fault is it?  Was it the programming?  Was it lack of hydration?  Was it pushing too hard? Was it the first visit to the emergency room, giving the contrast solution?  There are so many factors in a situation like this that at times it is hard to put a finger on it.

This is not a fictitious story. It happened to me 3 weeks ago.  I am that coach, and my great member Nico is that young man.

 

Nico and I  have met several times since then, and talked and tried to look back and think what went wrong; Was he working too hard? Did he do too many reps? Was he dehydrated? Should he have taken more rest time?  Obviously we know the answer to some of those questions straight away.  It’s one thing to know it in hindsight, but how can we recognize those signs better in the future?  He and I decided that a blog post to educate might be the best way.  So what is Rhabdo, or Rhabdomyolysis?

**A small disclaimer, I am not a medical doctor, and the information I gleaned here comes from hours of reading and talking to doctors, physical therapists and trainers.  So here’s what I have learned….

Rhabdomyolysis is the breakdown of muscle tissue that leads to the release of muscle fiber contents into the blood. These substances are harmful to the kidney and often cause kidney damage.

What Nico had is called specifically “exertional rhabdomyolysis.””Exertional rhabdomyolysis” is a rare, but serious, complication of too much exercise. It can affect people of any race, age, or fitness level.

During rhabdomyolysis, the contents of skeletal muscle cells are dumped into the blood stream. The two most important factors are 1) creatine kinase, CK (a muscle enzyme, sometimes abbreviated “CPK”), and 2) myoglobin (a muscle protein). Extremely elevated concentrations of CK in the blood confirms the diagnosis, however, it is the presence of myoglobin in the urine that generally alerts the athlete that something is really wrong, causing them to seek medical attention. When myoglobin appears in the urine, the urine color changes to a dark brown.

So when focusing on how to recognize possible rhabdo you should look to three important markers:

  1. Severe, incapacitating muscle pain (not like, “I’m having trouble walking,” but “I can’t even get up because I’m stuck in bed and cannot move.”)
  2. Elevated levels of creatine kinase (CK) in the blood (only can find this out by doctor)
  3. Myoglobin in the urine (Coca-Cola colored urine)

So, why do most athletes only experience the benign and predictable “DOMS” after strenuous exercise while others develop the very serious condition known as rhabdomyolysis?

-First off, it’s important to understand that it is extremely difficult to give yourself rhabdo.  It is not in any way “easy” to get. It requires complete obliteration of your muscle tissue, and most of us stop before we take things that far.

– However, studies have shown that some people may have a genetic predisposition. People  with “CPT II deficiency,” an inherited trait, have a higher likelihood of developing rhabdomyolysis. This genetic condition is common among Ashkenazi Jews.

– Eccentric exercise: Eccentric exercise means the skeletal muscle fibers are lengthening while exerting force. It is well known that eccentric exercise causes more muscle soreness and muscle trauma than concentric exercise. (Think about doing a high rep- like 40-50 rep- WOD, where you slowly lower yourself from flexed arm hangs, for example.)

– New to exercise : The physical conditioning of the athlete does appear to make a difference.

-Hot weather/heat stroke: Heat stroke is associated with rhabdomyolysis. This may be an aggravating factor in some cases of exercise-induced rhabdomyolysis.

Even though exercise-induced rhabdomyolysis is extremely  rare, it is important to be aware of it and to consider prevention strategies:

Train properly: Research shows that when athletes and unfit subjects participated in the same amount of exercise, CK levels rose only in the unfit subjects (Karamizrak SO, et al. 1994). Thus, the intensity of exercise is not the only variable…an abrupt increase in exercise intensity relative to your current fitness level is an important factor.

Focus on proper hydration before and after workouts, and in fact, every day:  Do your best not to participate in binge drinking after extremely difficult workouts.

Consume a recovery drink immediately after exercise: Several recent studies show that CK levels post-exercise are lower in athletes who consume a sports drink that contains protein (aka: “recovery” drinks).

Cool down and Rest properly.

You may be asking yourself,  “How can I tell if I have simple post-exercise DOMS or if it is the more serious rhabdomyolysis?”  If you are moving and sore, then it is a pretty good chance that it is simply DOMS and not rhabdomyolysis.  In all this talk, and even though it absolutely happened to Nico,  don’t forget that Rhabdo is EXTREMELY rare, and if you have been training for a while, and are continuing to do the things mentioned above, then you will more than likely never get it. 

Remember the diagnosis of rhabdomyolysis is made by measuring CK levels and myoglobin levels in the blood. If your muscle soreness is super severe, and, if your urine turns dark brown (“Coca-Cola urine”), then you should seek medical attention immediately. The release of massive amounts of muscle proteins into the circulation can lead to kidney failure, which can be life-threatening. Fortunately, with early and proper treatment, most athletes who develop rhabdomyolysis will make a complete recovery.

I can not really put into words how this makes you feel as a coach. It makes you question your programming, question your judgment, and question how it can even be possible. I watched how he moved, I scaled his weights, his reps, his intensity. And never did it look for a second like he was working hard enough to do this to himself. It causes you to “what if?” yourself to death.

Since then I have read volumes, more than I knew existed, spoken with doctors, other CF coaches, and read blogs by athletes who have experienced  rhabdo before, and the one thing that all of the instances had in common were, surprisingly enough, nothing. That’s infuriating as a coach. I found it cited that cases of rhabdo were somewhat more prevalent in endurance events, such as marathons and Iron Man training/events.  Some attention has been called to cases at Crossfit Boxes, but there have even been cases resulting from conga drumming, karate kicking, mechanical bull riding, hiking and cheerleading training. I read a blog (which I could not find again to recall the specifics) from one individual who was in training consistently for an event of some sort and had done nothing irregular, monitored everything and after a long run, he got it. His quote (or a close summary of it) went like this,”Sometimes, things happen.”

As a coach, that’s terribly unhelpful.  As a coach, I need to keep everyone in my box well-trained, taken care of, and above all else, safe. It was difficult for me to write this without having a definite, “here is exactly how you prevent this from happening to you” answer. But I felt the need to put it out there nonetheless. So, in summary, here’s what have I learned:

-Make sure you are doing the preventative things to take care of yourself.

-Find comfort in the fact that in all of the time I have coached and worked in the fitness industry, I have only seen it personally twice and have only heard of one other person getting it.  That’s 3 cases over the last 12 years among all my thousands of friends and online acquaintances, who compete in Crossfit, Iron Man, marathons, martial arts…the list goes on and on.  So the chance of you getting it is very small. For the majority of us, we need not worry about getting rhabdomyolysis, but we should know the warning signs, not only for ourselves but for anyone around us.

I would like to take the time to personally thank Nico and Laura, and say that I know he is looking forward easing back into his workouts in a couple of weeks. I can’t wait to have him back.

In closing, here is a pretty in-depth article on Breaking Muscle.  If you have time and eyes after this, give it a read.

http://breakingmuscle.com/health-medicine/a-scientific-look-at-rhabdo-and-why-its-not-exclusive-to-crossfit

5 Aspects to Control to Get “in Shape”

 

 

 

stock-vector-motivational-quote-that-will-inspire-you-to-be-successful-words-that-inspire-your-heart-motivate-359724767.jpg

We live in a world full of wonderful technology.  I can pick up a phone not much bigger than my business card and be instantly connected with my pen-pal in china, and talk to him as if he were sitting across the table from me. Long gone are the days of  truly “waiting” for anything.  We live in a society where convenience seems to be the number one focus in our lives.  Everyone everywhere seem to be searching for the easiest, path of least resistance way, to do absolutely everything.  We all want it faster, better, cheaper, and above all else we want it to work.  I think that there is where the problem may first start to rear it’s ugly head.  What else in our wonderful natural world works like that?  We certainly don’t expect to plant a tree and have it fully grown in a day?   As a matter of fact nothing in the natural world works that way.   Everything takes it’s own turn as part of a natural process.  Bugs get it, animals get it, the oceans, clouds, moon and sun all get it…..we humans on the other hand…we are special.  We have been bred by society, religion, media, and even our government to believe that we are special and the rules of the natural world don’t apply to us. We tend to circumvent natural laws as often as possible.  But the fact is, although we may not want to live by them, they very much govern everything we do.  We are not above “natural law.”  For instance, in any population if you introduce an endless supply of food, the population will grow exponentially.  And we think this is a good thing…..look at our ever-expanding waistline  The good news is there is hope out there.  In this post I will outline a very basic approach to 5 aspects of your life that I believe you need to conquer if you hope to achieve fitness enlightenment. (or at the very least reach you fitness goals)

ASPECT # 1   ATTITUDE:   It’s hard to type briefly on this one (or any of the others for that matter) subject, but I will do my best. But first perhaps I’ll let some that have a bit more life experience under their bit do some talking for me:

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.
Winston Churchill

It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come.
Dalai Lama

Success or failure depends more upon attitude than upon capacity successful men act as though they have accomplished or are enjoying something. Soon it becomes a reality. Act, look, feel successful, conduct yourself accordingly, and you will be amazed at the positive results.
William James

….so after reading such quotes you may naturally ask:  OK, what now?  Well you asked for it.  You have to become aware of your attitude toward you.  Sounds a bit redundant right?  But it’s not.  You, right now, are exactly where you are supposed to be.  You are a direct result of all the beliefs, choices, and events over the course of your life what you have done, and the decisions you have made have led you here. Stare at yourself in the mirror, that’s what you got!!  Well what if you aren’t happy with that?  Great News!!  You can change it!!!!. What you can do is choose to change the direction you are heading.  Look inside yourself.  Listen to the way you talk to yourself about how you look, how you feel, how you eat, how you dream, how you act.  You have to find and identify any negative self talk…any thoughts that allow you to …eat that cheeseburger, or skip that workout, or put off joining that gym this week.  Simply…your attitude toward exercising and eating has put you exactly where you are today.  If you want to be in better shape, the first thing you need to do is decide to be in better shape.

ASPECT #2  ENVIRONMENT:  This refers to everything around you.  Friends, Family, living conditions, work, television, the country, our media…..all of it….if you open your eyes right now and look,,,,,what you see is your environment…..and unfortunately……it may not be pretty.   If you are a fit person in the United States of America you are on the extreme end of the spectrum.   As a matter of fact, we are pushing to the %70 mark in the US.   Seventy Percent of us are either overweight or obese….and for our children the percentage has tripled in the past 15 years.   That means if you open your eyes and ears to what society is screaming at you……if you listen to what the majority of commercials tell you, or what your friends at work say…you will stay the exact same way that you are.  The only way you are going to change is if you turn your boat around and start pedaling against the flow.

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”
Mark Twain

I may take Mr. Twain’s quote and go a bit further…in terms of fitness and nutrition…..instead of pausing and reflecting…I recommend you  run like hell in the other direction….The bottom line is you, as a human being, are going to act, think, and reflect, the values of the environment that you are in.  So…to change your life, change your environment.   More on that in the week, book, years to come.   Perhaps the biggest point to walk away with today, in regards to environment, is do not underestimate how important it is to be aware of how it can either enhance, or can crush your attempts to get/ stay in shape.

ASPECT # 3 TIME MANAGEMENT:   I’ll begin by saying this.  I am a father of three, a husband of one, run a business, and seem to fill my day with obligations.   Impossible to just accidentally accomplish everything that I have to accomplish everyday.  There is only one way I get to the things I “need” to get to.  I plan it.   The bottom line is that you have to plan for it though.  Trust me on this.  No one has ever accidentally got in shape.  “My goodness….I woke up the other day and out of nowhere, I had a six pack of abs and I could run a mile in under five minutes”   Trust me  this doesn’t happen.   What has to happen if you expect to get in shape is you have to make time for it in your schedule….and it has to take priority.  The said truth is most americans take better care of their cars than they do their bodies……here is a time management page stolen directly from a Sales Mentor of mine Chet Holmes:

Commit to these six steps

Six proactive steps to time management can transform your day. They take five minutes to do and can double the amount of results you get daily. The problem is not whether or not these steps will work, because they will absolutely work. The problem is whether or not you will fully commit to doing them, repeatedly.

The key to time management is commitment to the following six steps:

Step One: Touch it once

How often do you pick up something on your desk and say, “I have to take care of this, but I can’t deal with it right now”? If you do that a few times per day with a few different documents/projects/tasks, by the end of the year, you will have spent an entire month touching and rereading information without taking action. So, if you touch it, move it to the next step.

If you want to see how often you waste time, each time you pick up something, put a red dot on it. After you have three red dots on a piece of paper, you begin to feel pressure to do something and move on. If you touch it, take care of it.

Step Two: Make lists, but stick to the six most important things

When we conduct this time management seminar, we ask how many people in the audience make lists. Practically everyone does. People often have lists with 25 to as many as 40 items on them. They are proud that their lists are so long and that they are so busy.

Further investigation quickly shows them that long lists are the perfect way to be busy, but not productive. When you have a long list, your energy is focused more on trimming the list than it is on being productive. Each day, pick the six items that will produce the highest level of results, put them on your list, and finish all six things by day’s end.

Step Three: Plan how long you will spend on each item

You’ve started your day by making a list of the six most important things. That took two or three minutes. Now take another minute to plan how long each item will take or how long you will dedicate to the items that are ongoing.

When we conduct this workshop, the people with long lists usually find that they can have an incredibly productive day with only six hours spent on their six key items. Most people who use these steps find they get more important work done in less time because their time is focused on the most productive tasks.

Step Four: Plan when

Now that you know how much time to dedicate to each task, you need to plan when you will do them. In addition, you must build in time for the reactive mode.

For example, if you are a sales manager interrupted by frequent “got a minute” meetings, plan a fixed time when you will accept those types of meetings. Otherwise, unless it is an emergency, do not allow people to come to your desk and ask if you’ve got a minute!

Think of any top executive you know. Can you simply call them up, or do you have to schedule time with them? Many top executives plan their day down to the minute. Everything is done according to a schedule, including time for “got a minute” meetings. Scheduling time is the key to time management.

Step Five: Ask the results

Few people are highly productive. People like to have items on a list, so they can cross off the items. But that’s not enough. The things that produce the best results are generally the most difficult. Thus, they get left off of the list or are scheduled at the end of the day, causing them to get bumped to the next day…and the next…and the next.

Schedule important tasks in the beginning of your day. Cold calling or trying to get appointments with key prospects or clients are the things that produce the best results. However, they often get pushed off by average salespeople. After you make your list, ask yourself if the items on it are the ones that will produce the most results.

Step Six: Will it hurt me to throw this away?

Of all filed information, 80% is never referred to again. After hearing this time management idea, I began to throw away four out of five of the items I used to keep. It’s been 10 years, and I cannot think of a single time where it has hurt me

Using those steps should help with not only work, but also may get us in the proper mindset of planning out our lives, not to mention our workouts.

ASPECT #4  NUTRITION:    I’m going to make this one simple.Eat none of the following:

 

  • Grains–including bread, pasta, noodles
  • Beans–including string beans, kidney beans, lentils, peanuts, peas
  • Potatoes
  • Dairy products
  • Sugar

From here on…now you are wondering what you can eat right??????

  • Meat, chicken, and fish
  • Eggs
  • Fruit–especially berries
  • Vegetables–especially root vegetables, but not potatoes
  • Nuts–almonds, macadamias, walnuts, brazil nuts. Do not eat peanuts.

There…if you are wondering why…the why is for another time…for now…there it is….simple and to the point…take it or leave it..

ASPECT #5  MOVEMENT:  It’s listed last, because in my experience, it is the least important.  If the other four are aligned correctly  then number five simply falls naturally into place.  If you have the right attitude, are surrounded by the right environment, have planned out and organized your life, and are eating the way you were designed to, you workouts not only will work, but they will be part of your life, which is the point.  We, as a species, are meant to move.  We are mobile beings.  We are not supposed to spend 8-10 hours of our day sitting on our asses…..I think that there is a very primal reason that no matter how hard you workout, afterwards there is a very good feeling.  So I care not, for now, what you do to workout.  Sure I would like you to do some sort of functional, crossfit like workout that would incorporate basic movements, and would ultimately lead you to feeling better, looking better, and moving better.  Truth be told though, let’s at first work on consistency.  Step 1, in Movement is to   MOVE!!!!!  Spend 30-45 minutes everyday doing something that makes you sweat,,,,from there we will talk again……

In summary I believe working to master those 5  concepts will move anyone on to the correct path of feeling better.  Thanks for your time.

2016 is here

I’m so incredibly grateful to be surrounded daily, hourly even, by people working to improve themselves and make themselves better.  In so many ways I owe my success and even my drive to them.  It’s for them that I work so often, it is for them that I push myself, it is for them that I sit up hours on Sundays night, asking constantly what is the best way I can take them, and move them forward, and help them keep getting stronger, keep moving better, keep them interested, entertained and above all else keep them growing as human beings.  The box is a place people come to “work out” but that is not all they get.  Hopefully they get a change to let themselves go from time to time…hopefully they get to find a part of themselves, or a drive in them that they did not know existed.  As I look at this year to come I choose to reflect on the road that has put me here and I come to the very real realization that I am, above all things, as far as professions go, a Teacher.  in my early to mid 20’s I taught men how to close within and destroy the enemy, then I moved to teaching Adults how to “get in shape”, next I taught men, women and children of all ages how to kick and punch, and develop a focus and discipline that if continued would see them through other challenges in their life. It was in teaching the martial art of Tae Kwon Do that I began to develop a better understanding of how movement, proper movement, can improve one’s daily life on so many more levels than just physically.   That epiphany is what has led me to the last 3 years.  It is my belief that through proper movement grounded with a foundation of Real Food, that all things can be possible as far as human being is concerned.  I have be fortunate to see how much “better” people become when moving consistently and eating well becomes a part of their life  and I look forward to seeing it happen more and more in 2016.  Thank you to all who are a part of Crossfit Williamsville.  Here is to a wicked 2016  !!!!!

Hope.

Isn’t it incredible to be alive?

Take a walk.  Unplug.  Breathe in fresh air.  Walk through a creek.  Hug someone you love.  Hug someone you don’t love.  Call someone you have been meaning to for a while.   Show your children you love them.   Be grateful for such things.  Be happy.  Choose to be happy.  It’s more fun than choosing to be frustrated.  You work all the time, you don’t feel good, you hate your job, you fight with your spouse, your kids can’t stand you, you look like shit, you feel like shit, you aren’t good in front of people,  you hate your boss, your boss hates you.  What are these things.  What are these thoughts that you give power to on a daily basis.  Why do you let them control you.  Your mind is a computer and either you, or your environment is the programmer.  Absent of you choosing to your mind will let whatever stimulus it comes up against program it.  How scary is that?   Just watch the news, or listen to your “friends” complain…and bam….down that endless road called negativity.  But should you choose to be brave and become the master of your own destiny.  Well then….the world is at your freaking fingertips.   Believe in you.  It’s hard, it’s uncomfortable, but guess what we weren’t put here to be comfortable.  We were put here to grow, to challenge ourselves, that’s how we are made up.  We are literally movers and shakers, to deny that is to deny the very make up of our body and souls.  Give me the crabbiest nastiest human being in the world,…i put them in my class and take them through a Robstacle course and you will see them smile.  Why is that…because your body and mind crave challenge, and they crave movement….  Isn’t it incredible to be alive and be human.  We are the most complex movers and thinkers on earth  (we think)  Why deny it…you can’t ….just let go and get on with life.  I am so grateful for the position I find myself in everyday.   Is it easy….  Heavens no.  It’s not even close to easy.     “Don’t pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a hard one”

I have the strength, and I have the muster, and I have the ability to think better, be better ,move better, and I practice it every single day.  And I am thankful every single day that I have been blessed with my parents, my wife and children, my mind, my body and my community…..and I will do my best to elevate those around me for the rest of my life…..

 

IS NOT  THIS LIFE WE LEAD TRULY INCREDIBLE!!!!

 

Go out and Be Amazing….stop being scared of yourselves…..

Simply the best moment in a Mudder ever.

Imagine this. Thirty-Two of us have ran, walked, jumped, climbed, swung, splashed, cramped, moaned, cheered, froze, carried, sweat, and generally got super tired for over 10 miles..and here we are staring a newly heightened nearly lipless Mount Everest….almost the end of CFW’s Tough Mudder 2015….and they didn’t shy away this year, probably one of the most physically demanding Mudders I have faced (this was #4 for me)  I looked around at all of our tired and muddied faces and saw hope, fear, happiness, grief, and probably one hundred other expressions…but I did not see surrender on anyone’s face.   So…we took the wall, like we had the whole rest of the course….one at a time with tons of teamwork and camaraderie.  I was probably 4th or 5th to go up, and after getting there helped another 5 or 6 up, and then I made my way down to watch and cheer on everyone else.  And it was at that vantage point from the side of the wall that I spotted him again.  I say again, because throughout the obstacles I had noticed this wily old veteran.  He was wearing winter BDU’s and had been keeping pace for the most part with the 32 of us for the last hour or so of the race.  He was  every bit of 70 years old, and there was not an ounce of quit in this Gentleman’s face.  His first attempt at the wall was his best, but he didn’t make it just missing  the hands of the Mudd Ninjas that were there to help him up.  On his head he had a 10x or more tough mudder band, which by itself is amazing, couple that with the will and determination to do this at his age, and I was in awe of him from the first time I saw him.  Seeing him run, and move through this course had been a treat all day long,  I was so happy to see him moving and smiling all day, so when he came up even shorter on his 2nd attempt at the wall I thought to myself…..  if we all laid down and made a human ladder of sorts, I bet he could climb up and reach my guys up top.    I knew we had to do it.   So I touched him on his shoulder and asked. “Sir, if we all laid down would you crawl up to the top using our bodies as a ladder of sorts?”   And he said absolutely….

What followed next left hardly a dry eye to anyone who witnessed it.   My Ninjas supported me, the Veteran made it around…to get his weight on my back and shoulders…I pressed him toward my men at the top…they grabbed hold and never let go…he made it to the top…and the crowd rejoiced…..and there are not words to describe how I felt in that moment…..not a word…..but I know I will never forget it.  And I am left wondering if that is the first time he has made it to the top of Everest…I’m thankful to my team for their help and absolute willingness to do something outside of the norm and I cannot wait to hit this course again next year..

11695828_10153633406857044_1469596808885945848_n 11800065_10153633406692044_2714873324032267718_n 11825023_10153633406697044_8484148946026558280_n

 

here is a link to the video

 

such an awesome time!!!! and I couldn’t be more grateful to him for allowing us to share in this remarkable team building moment..