Saturday, December 31, 2011

Day 91 of 365: 2012 -- What's It Gonna Be For You?!

In the past several months, I've been doing a ton of self-development work, as many of you are aware from previous posts.  Two Tony Robbins seminars, goal-setting, and my most recent endeavour; the creation of my vision book. 
First pages of my vision book
To some of you, this stuff is a bunch of foo-foo crap, and that's fine....It's not for everyone.  
It doesn't have to be your way, but it is mine. 
What I'm getting at here is that you MUST find your way to continue to push yourself to reach for those things that seem to be out of reach, and basically impossible to grasp.  
The video I posted last night of The Ultimate Warrior's - Injection of Inspiration is yet another way to find that juice that makes you take the steps necessary to live an OUTSTANDING life.  
Again, you must find what lights you up and drives you!!!
 So, as 2011 comes to a close, 

<>What will be your motto for 2012?<>
If you can't, You Must!
Live and Lead COURAGOUSLY!!!
 
<>What song will remind you of how to live in 2012?<>
  

<>What will your core emotions be in 2012?<>
LOVE<>GRATITUDE<>COURAGE 

<>What will your deepest values truly be in 2012?<>


<>What is possible(not probable)in 2012?<>
 
These are questions I urge you to ask yourself TODAY!  And as you ask, ask the questions in a state of positive expectancy, anxiously awaiting what this life has in store for you!!!  It should bring chills down your spine to think that you can do, be, have whatever you want in 2012!!! 
These questions and these daily rituals, vision books and self-development seminars are the fuel.  
FUEL UP!!!  
Have an INCREDIBLE 2012!!! 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Day 90 of 365: Warrior Knowledge...Must Watch!!!!

The Ultimate Warrior...In his younger days.
Some of you may remember watching the WWF growing up, and watching wrestling heroes like Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, and The Ultimate Warrior.  These guys were legends to me when I was younger, and when I saw that The Ultimate Warrior was regaining popularity again - albeit by a different means - I was drawn in to what he had going on.  Little did I expect that I would find his YouTube videos as inspiring as I have.  He is an extremely passionate and genuine person that lives his life to the max and while doing so, adds value to the lives of others.  
I have this in common with this man.  
I, too, drive myself to live life to the fullest and bring others along for the ride, contributing to others with unconditional service.
Please take some time to watch this video of The Ultimate Warrior.  I will warn you, there is some language that some of you may find offensive.  If the words trouble you....to you I say, "SACK UP"!!!  
Enjoy.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Day 89 of 365: Sprint Effort!!!

One of the hardest things to do is to push yourself past all mental barriers during a SWOD.  
I experienced this firsthand on my latest attempt at my 20-rep breathing squats.  The mind is obviously super powerful, but sometimes with that power, the mind also gets in the way of what the body is capable of.

This week I've been putting my clients through a grueling SWOD that demands that the athlete "turns off" the mind and let the body take control.  It is a true SPRINT EFFORT workout - meaning that you push as hard as you fucking can to reach the last rep...no matter how bad it hurts.

This workout is seemingly benign, but it will kick you in the teeth during the first round and just keep punishing you 'til you're done.  
I love this kind of SWOD - hard, heavy, and fast!!! 

Watch my client, Matt push through the hurt.
Give this one a try, if you dare.  A word to the wise...Go as heavy as you can on the power cleans, but not so heavy that you are forced to rest after each rep.  The idea is SPEED!!!
Also, go as high as possible on the box jumps.  These should be 5 max effort jumps.
GO GET IT!!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Day 88 of 365: Here's My Go

As promised, I knocked out the workout I posted yesterday.  
For those of you that haven't had a chance to see it yet, the workout was a 10min. AMRAP of 3 Bench Press and 6 Heavy Barbell Walking Lunges.  Now, Rob Orlando did this workout with 315lbs for both the bench and lunge!!!  Pretty freakin' amazing!  I, on the other hand, did this workout at 225lbs for both movements.  

Now, I will warn you.  The video is nearly 13 minutes long, and probably not that exciting.  If you're short on time just watch the beginning and the end.  
Here's the video...  Check it out!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Day 87 of 365: This Looks Spicy!!!

I was floating around all of my usual websites and came across this jewel of a SWOD!!!  
Check it out.


Rob Orlando, of Hybrid Athletics, is a BEAST for sure!!!  
And for those of you that didn't know, Red Black Gym will be hosting Rob's CrossFit Strongman Certification in the coming weeks!!!  I am super stoked to be taking part in this certification!  I will be sure to get as much video footage as possible for y'all, as well as share all the skills, drills, and knowledge that I can with y'all!

Until then, I plan on hitting Rob's heavy bench/lunge SWOD tomorrow, albeit, at a lighter weight...  
I'll video my version and share it tomorrow.  If anyone else decides they want to try this one out, in any variation, do it and video it!  
I would love to start posting other SWOD'ers killin' their workouts!!! 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Days 86 of 365: Squats For Christmas...Of Course!

On Christmas morning, Michael Winchester and I met at Red Black Gym to knock out some Christmas squats.  
We warmed up with a quick body-weight AMRAP and some light box squats.  Once we felt ready to rock, we loaded up the bar to our new challenge weight of 275.  
For those of you just joining the conversation, we have begun a new squat program inspired by the book Super Squats.  Here's the program details if you're interested...

Anyway, here is the footage...or at least some of it....

I had just enough space on my phone for you guys to see me fail miserably at my 20-rep attempt and then for Winchester to get started...BUT not enough space to see him finish.  
PERFECT!!!
You guys will just have to take my word that Winchester smashed his 20 reps!!! 
The dude is gettin' SILLYSTRONG!!!  
As for me...I did not.  It's not always a PR day.  
But, I will get it the next time we hit this up...
I guarantee it!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Day 84 of 365: Merry Christmas!!!

A little rendition of a Christmas classic from the CrossFit Central family to you and yours.  
Merry Christmas!!!

As a Christmas Eve gift, I will have the registration info up and ready for y'all by the end of today so that you can give the gift of STRENGTH to those around you or yourself! 
Remember, the next session starts:
Tuesday, January 3rd --> Tuesday, February 21st -- For those of you looking at the Tues. offerings.
(11am-12pm and 12-1pm)
Saturday, January 7th --> Saturday, February 25th -- For those of you looking at the Sat. offerings.
(6-7am, 7-8am, and 8-9am)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Day 83 of 365: Holiday SWOD From: ME To: YOU!

Many of you CrossFit Central athletes are probably aching for a WOD right about now, right?
With the stress of the holidays and the unmentionable food items you've been ingesting already...
...your body is craving some attention!

Here's just the thing!  It is quick and simple.  You can do this complex using kettlebells, as the video will show, or, if you don't have KBs, then use dumbells or any other semi-symmetrical weights you have around the house.  In fact, this may be a great SWOD to knock out with uneven loads...Worth a go for sure!


I recommend that you go for 3-5 rounds of this complex, resting only about 90 seconds between efforts.  And if possible, attempt to increase the load as you progress through your sets!  
This will definitely make you feel like you've earned that egg nog!  
Just doing my part to share the love during the holiday season...  :  )
ENJOY!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Day 82 of 365: Something to KICK Start Your Day!!!

TOMORROW IS A NEW DAY, FULL OF NEW POSSIBILITIES...

ATTACK IT AS THOUGH IT'S YOUR LAST!  

THEN DO IT AGAIN AND AGAIN....DAY AFTER DAY!!!

 



Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Day 81 of 365: Cutting & Pasting My Extraordinary Future Together

As I am sure most of you are aware, CrossFit Central is currently closed for the holidays and will not be open again until January 2nd.  I would guess that a lot of you are sitting at home, wondering what to do with all your newly freed-up time...Right?  Well, maybe not.  There is a likely a ton of holiday shopping left to do, and the family is probably soon to arrive.  I'll give you a second to take a deep breath...

So, IF you make it through the holidays :  ), I want you to challenge yourself...
I want you to create a eye-catching vision book/board that displays all of the compelling POSSIBILITIES that are in store for you in the future!!!
I have started mine, and I gotta say that although it is not even close to complete, I am stoked about what I have in store!!!
I know that there are some of you out there cussing Tony Robbins and his influence over me, but I'll have you know that the staff at CrossFit Central has been practicing this stuff for several years - long before I traveled to a T.R. seminar.  

...Back on course....

People are often amazed at how successful CrossFit Central is, and that is definitely the case.  Jeremy and Carey have done the nearly impossible by creating a CrossFit gym that now is a world-renowned symbol of quality and success.  In doing so, they have attracted the top trainers and most dedicated and focused individuals to work with them.  This is why CC is so successful - success attracts success.  
It's pretty simple really...It's those sneaky little laws at work again:  
The Law of Attraction and The Law of Proximity.
My point here is that this shit does not just magically happen.  
You must first live in the world of POSSIBILITY and work to avoid the old world of PROBABILITY.  
For many of you, this will be very difficult.  
You'll want to "dream big", but you'll end up selling yourself short because of logic.
"That will never happen"
"That's way too much money"
"I'm too old to do this now"
  If you're still breathing and you want to live a F-ING OUTSTANDING Life...
ENTER THE AMAZING WORLD OF POSSIBILITIES!
 Here's how to make get started:
1. Find as many old magazines as you can, and just start flipping through.  If an image or some words catch your eye, cut them out!  
No filters on this...Keep your damn logic and reasoning out of this!!!
2.  As you're searching and cutting, DREAM BIG!!!  
What is it that you want your life to be?
  
Now, a lot of you go right to the material things like cars and houses, which is great, but how do you want to be?  What purpose do you serve? What is the primary emotional state you want to be in?
These questions are far more important than, "What color Bentley do I want?"

3.  Once your fingers have started to bleed from all of the page turning and picture cutting, then it is time to build your book or board, and therefore, your future!!!
The key here is to make it as attractive to your eyes as possible.  Each person is different, but you want to make it eye-catching so that any time you walk by, you are drawn in to it.  
Get it?
My first two pages.  More coming soon!

4.  Once you've finished, put it some where that you'll see it often.  
Whether you realize this or not, your mind is extremely powerful - especially your subconscious mind.  It is able to pick up any and all info that is in your line of sight...including your peripheral vision.  So, without you even having to look directly at your board or book, your mind is able to gather and process that information any time you come near it!

5.  The last tip I'll give y'all is the idea of FAITH. 
Before you get all uppity...Let me explain.  
I don't really care what religion you practice or what you believe in, but it is my assumption that you do, in fact, believe in something larger than you at work...
If this is the case, then practice a little bit of faith.  Faith that 
LIFE DOES NOT HAPPEN TO YOU>>>
MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, LIFE IS HAPPENING FOR YOU.
That's a massive change in thought, right?  
But isn't a much more empowering one?

Try it our for at least 3 months.  
If you find that it has absolutely no effect on you or your life, then you can call me a crazy bastard.

I will eagerly await your updates and I'll keep you posted on mine.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Day 80 of 365: Ashok Is A BEAST!!!

Today was the last day of the latest STRICTLY STRENGTH PROJECT, and this session, just like the others, did not fail to produce some silly results!!!
This most recent session of the SSP was much lighter than previous offerings due to my schedule and availability, but nevertheless, people were still demanding it be ran.  So....with one group of two, we set off on an 8-week journey to SILLYSTRONG.
Athletes meet once each week for 8 weeks(weeks 1 and 8 are CFTotal testing) to dial in technique and build raw strength through intense work and consistency.  
Today, was Ashok's day to be tested!  I knew that he was much,much stronger than the first day, but he was pretty nervous about being "tested".  I told him that it is obvious that you're much stronger - you told me all about your successes in classes recently - so just have fun and move some heavy shit!!!  
He did just that!
Here were his results!!!
2 new PR's, a matched effort, and +45lbs to Total in 8 training sessions!!!
  Congrats, Ashok!!! And thank you for all the hard work you put forth during the last 8 weeks!

The next session of the STRICTLY STRENGTH PROJECT will be starting 
Tuesday, Jan. 3rd or Saturday, Jan. 7th, and will run until Tuesday, Feb. 21st or Saturday, Feb. 25th.  
The dates will make sense when you you visit the info page and/or the registration page(once it's open), but if you have any questions please don't hesitate to email me.
Stay tuned for more details and the link to the registration page...Should be up very soon!!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Day 79 of 365: And So It Begins...

After arriving home after my week in Palm Springs, I was quickly thrown back into the world of strength, which I couldn't be happier about, by the way.  Last Friday marked the beginning of the implementation of 20-Rep Heavy Breathing Squats, which I introduced to you all through my post on Super Squats!

 
Let me quickly run-down the details of this training method:

First, you are to pick a weight that you consider your 10-Rep max - That is to say, a weight that you barely lift the 10th rep successfully.  Anything lighter than that and you will be wasting your time.  
NOTE: This should be the fuckin' hardest thing you've done in a gym!  Keep that in mind, and then decide on the appropriate weight.

Second, step under the loaded bar, un-rack it, and knock out the first rep.  Going below parrallel is minimum...ass to ankles is preferred!  Once you stand it back up, take 3 slow, deep, controlled breathes, holding the last to maintain tightness throughout the next rep.

Third, proceed in this fashion until you have moved your 10-Rep Max  20 times!!! Yes, 20!!!  
Remember what I said?  
This will be the most difficult thing you have done in a gym IF you do it correctly!  
Go into it with that mindset!

Now, This Friday's SWOD was our first attempt at this beast, and as I watched others perform their sets, I quickly realized that most everyone was performing the 20 reps with too light of a load.  Not because they meant to, but only because no one had ever tested themselves in this manner.  So, if during the first time doing this you realize that you too went too light, all you need to do is make a bigger jump the next effort.  Easy.  

Super Squats recommends only adding 5, maybe 10, pounds each session.  So for example, I was originally thinking about doing my 20 reps at 245, but new that that would be too light.  So I went up to 265 and knocked it out!  It was difficult, which you will see here shortly, but I know that I should have gone even heavier.  So the next time we attack this beast again, I will be moving 285 for 20 reps.  
This should be just about impossible...key words: JUST ABOUT, which is actually perfect!  
Then, the next time we do it, I will only add 5-10 pounds and continue in that fashion for as long as I wish to carry it out!  
See how it all works?

Pretty straight-forward stuff.  The biggest things are choosing the right weight, full range of motion, 3 deep breathes, and having an excellent spotter that you trust with your life!  
Chances are that if you do all of the other things right, your spotter will come in very handy, so make sure it's someone you trust 100%!!!

Alright!  Check it out, then go get some of your own!!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Day 77 of 365: Just A Lil' Something

Today's The Method seminar was a huge success! 
We were lucky enough to have some amazing athletes show up and throw down!  The Method participants got some 1st hand schoolin' on the versatile and deceptively difficult sandbag, the power-generating tire flip and iron-will-building KB carries, and finally the technically acute dumbell quick lifts!  These studs busted their asses learning and applying all the information we threw at them!
Thank you all for spending your Saturday morning with us, and allowing us the honor to educate and train with y'all.  We will definitely be doing this again soon, so be ready to pull the trigger on the next offering!
Until then, I will be posting some footage from The Method seminar soon!

Now, on a side note, this video is to get you jacked up and ready to do work tomorrow - whether that's at the gym or at the office, this jam will surely have your heart pumpin'!!!  
Enjoy!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Day 76 of 365: Wake Up Call

Well, I am finally back to the ATX and settled in now, so I loaded my new morning routine video to YouTube!  I am excited to share this with you all, but if I'm being a 100% honest, I not really sure what you'll think.  I'm sure it'll seem a little crazy - especially crazy if you have a negative image of what goes on at a Tony Robbins seminar.  You're going to wonder what the hell went on during the last week.  Rest assured, I am better than ever!  I wake up and get my day crankin' with this routine.  It gives me the kick in the ass that I need.  It provides time, first thing in the morning, for me to give thanks for all the amazing gifts I have in my life, and that gratitude for my mind, body, and spirit stays strong throughout the day.


Now, I didn't film this part, but I also perform a series of encantations in the mirror.  I know, I know...this shit sounds crazy, but just in the short time I've been doing this, I've noticed a major shift in my psychology!  Things seem to simply FLOW now.  It's a hard thing to explain, but I'm sure if you try this for yourself you will notice the shift as well.  So, now's it's your turn!  Tomorrow morning, wake your ass up, jump out of bed, and start moving!  You can do what ever you'd like, just do what comes naturally at the time.  When you've knocked that out, stand in front of a mirror and repeat one of the following with some fucking conviction!!!

"I am a badass motherfucker!!!"
"Anything is possible!"
"I am Grateful, I am Loving, I am Courageous!"
"Positive, Powerful, Influential!"
"All I Need Is Within Me Now!"

This is what I use for me, feel free to steal it or create your own!!!
It's as easy as that.  
As goofy as it looks and sounds, you will probably feel even goofier doing it yourself, but remember - 
this will change your life if you own this process and give it everything you've got!  
You'll wake up and will have already accomplished more shit than most do in a day, all while experiencing true gratitude for the gifts in your life and that you are alive and you have limitless possiblities today!  
Amazingly powerful!  
Please get right to this ASAP!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Day 74 &75 of 365: It's Been A CRAZY Week!!!

Alright Guys
I  gotta apologize AGAIN for missing a couple days.  As I'm sure you know by now, I was at a Tony Robbins seminar in Palm Springs, California.  It was a life-altering experience for me, to say the least, but in the process I found myself awake at 3 and 4am regularly. SILLY!!!
Anyway, I just want you all to know that I am not losing momentum or neglecting this project.  In fact, this past 6 days has only fired me up to do it bigger and better....Not for me and what I get out of it, but for you all!  I truly want to serve you the best way possible.  So, that being said, I will be posting some programming tips and tricks per a friend's email request.  I am stoked to share my program design methods with you all, so be sure to tune it in here again tomorrow!
Until then, check out this badass UnderGround workout from my brotha, Zach Even-Esh!  He is the man and always gets me JACKED UP to crank on a workout!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Day 73 of 365: Building Anticipation

Guys
My morning routine is becoming stronger and stronger with each day I do it!  I am popping out of bed, and knocking this thing out, and as a result, I am feeling more alive and more energetic than I have for a while!  I'm sure my clients are a little nervous at the sound of that...
"Oh great!  What kind of crazy shit is he going to make us do now?"
Hahaha!  Only the best shit, guys and gals!  Only the best!!!!

My point is this:  
I share this new routine with you as soon as possible, but don't let that stop you from starting one of your own!  Do what you gotta do to jump out of bed with positive anticipation for the great things that are going to happen in your day!  
Remember...
IF YOU CAN'T, YOU MUST!!!! 
This song should help you get up and rockin'!!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Days 71&72 of 365: IF YOU CAN'T...YOU MUST!!!

Ladies and Gents-
I want to apologize for not getting a post up yesterday.  I thought that I would have some time to knock it out after my day at the seminar, which I did...at 2:30am.  The problem was that my internet access code had expired.  So I just wanted to get that out in the clear.  I hope you all had just as an amazing day as I did!!

The post that I wanted to say with you yesterday was all about your morning routine.  I know that I did the WakeUp Challenge a while back, and I heard that a lot of you found that it really did help you kick ass during your day.  
That's great!  
I now want to take that shit to another level. 

How are we going to do that?  I am going to video myself performing my new morning routine, albeit slightly edited for what should be obvious reasons. :  ) 
This morning process came about on morning number two(yesterday) when I applied one of Tony's teachings:
IF YOU CAN'T...YOU MUST!!!  

To make a long story short - previously, every morning I would wake up and bitching to myself about having to be up.  Not what I had to do or that day's work, but just the fact that I felt like I was not rested and therefore extremely frustrated.  It drove me nuts, because I want a life of energy and vitality that is unmatched, and I wasn't living it.  I applied this simple yet profound principle yesterday morning, and I found amazing energy, strength, power, aliveness, and gratitude as a result!!! 
Sounds pretty fuckin' amazing, right?!!  
Well, it is.  
I am going to share this with you, which, in and of it's self, is a huge testimony to the things I am learning and applying at Tony Robbins', Date With Destiny.

Now, I am just as excited about sharing this with you all as I hope you are to learn it and make it your own.  Although, I'm sure some of you out there are saying to yourself, "Good Lord! What is with this guy?  What does this have to do with strength?"  
The answer is:  
EVERYTHING!!!
Tell me this...If you woke up every morning feeling true energy, strength, power, aliveness, and gratitude?!  Don't you think that you may, just may, be a little stronger in all aspects of your life - including, but not limited to weights?!!!!
HELL YES!!!

That is why I want to share this with you. I will get this done ASAP, but I tend to have trouble with uploading videos from my phone to YouTube when I'm not at home.  
Expect it to change your life!!! 
IT HAS THAT POWER BECAUSE YOU HAVE THAT POWER!  

Until then...Just see if you can't dig this song!  It may be an old one....I don't know.  But this song had me jammin'!!! 
ENJOY.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Day 70 of 365: Just A Hint...

This video will act as both a hint and a warning of things to come.  
Check it out and be ready to bust out 20 reps of back squat with your 10-rep max!!!  
Shit's about to get real SPICY!!!
A great effort!!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Day 69 of 365: Super Squats!!!

If you are at all serious about getting strong and building a powerful physique, 
YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK!!!  
 One of my Strictly Strength athletes bought this book for me, which was a pretty badass!  I started reading it today on my flight to California(another Tony Robbins seminar!!!), and I soon found myself reading the last page and wanting more.  
I have to be honest, I have never sat down to read a book and then actually finished it in one go!  Granted, the book is only 96 pages, but for me to knock this out in a single effort speaks volumes about the wealth of knowledge this book provides. 
I will tell you this...I am FIRED UP to get back to the Red Black Gym to put some of this info into action!!!  The potential for my athletes, the CrossFit Central coaches I train, and myself is exciting, to say the least!  
Strossen's book, "Super Squats", not only has me stoked to implement his training protocol, but it has me thinking about writing my own book, detailing the way I train and the amazing results that come as a result!  
Anyway, I urge you all to buy this book ASAP!!!  It's going to change the way you look at squatting and the way you train!  Don't worry.  Even if you don't rush out and buy this book, I will sharing some of the info from the book with you all over the next couple days. 
But, I still think you should get it! 
Great Stuff!!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Day 68 of 365: Spice Up Your Press

How many of you out there are tired of the same old press routine?
I know that as a coach, I find myself becoming bored with all the usual training methods.  So, I always take it upon myself to mix it up as often as possible for my athletes as well as myself.  I can't stand doing the same, lame shit all the time.  That's why I love the Conjugate System that Westside Barbell utilizes to build the strongest mothas on the planet!  The same goes for Zach Even-Esh's, Underground Strength training style - that shit is intense, but is varied enough that athletes see huge gains quickly.
My point here is that if you are using a routine, you are not tapping into your true, ultimate strength.  
Here is one way to throw your body a major curve ball and elicit a potent response...
Check it out!!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Day 67 of 365: Are You Ready To Learn THE METHOD?


WHAT: THE METHOD seminar is designed to expose not only CrossFit Central athletes, but all serious athletes in the ATX area to the type of training methods used at Red Black Gym in our specialty programs to take athletes to the next level of performance and strength. 
This is a hands-on training seminar in which individuals will learn how to perform and utilize the dumbell quick lifts(db clean & jerk and db snatch), the tire flip, kettlebell work, strongman training tools, chains and various forms of accommodating resistance, and the versatile sandbag.
Respect The Sandbag
 To put it simply:
THIS IS GOING TO BE BADASS!!!
YOU NEED TO BE THERE!!! 

WHEN:  Saturday, December 17th at  Red Black Gym from 10am-1pm
(Doors open at 930am for pre-event paperwork)

WHO:  The Method Seminar will be led by Underground Strength Certified Coaches, Michael Gregory, Jen Cardella, and myself.  We've been taught by the very best:
Now we are bringing the UNDERGROUND to YOU!!!
HOW MUCH:  $75 per person...Capped at 30 people

Monday, December 5, 2011

Day 66 of 365: Strength: In All Forms

Let me just say that the videos below are in no way meant to upset or offend anyone.  I posting them in order to display to you all that there are many forms of strength, all of which should be respected.  So, that being said, I could really give a shit less if any of this offends you.  
That's on you!!!
Check it out!



Sunday, December 4, 2011

Day 65 of 365: About Me

I did a bit of editing to my blog today.  Just some minor tweaks, but one section I really worked on was my "About Me" tab.  In doing so, I realized that in order for you guys to really trust me and follow my advice, you need to know who I am and what I'm about.  So, this is my effort in sharing that with you all.

Travis Holley
My mission is to add value to the lives of others and impact the world with my knowledge and passion for living powerfully through strength.

I grew up in the wonderful and exciting town of Evanston, Wyoming(look it up).  It was a great town to grow up in, but with not a whole lot to do, I spent most of my time outside causing trouble in the neighborhood or playing sports.  This is where I developed my passion for fitness and an active lifestyle.

My main sport in high school was soccer, but I also wrestled, played hockey and football.  As a high schooler, I was already certain of what I wanted to do for a profession, so I enrolled in Western Wyoming Community College where I was able to start on the road to becoming a personal trainer and coach.  My time here was extremely valuable, and taught me the basics of being a top-level trainer.  I became certified as an ACE personal trainer at the age of 18 and started training college students and professors.
I loved it and was hooked!

I finished my college career at the University of Northern Colorado with a BS in Exercise Science.  While wrapping up my final semester and internship, I was introduced to CrossFit through my mentor, Dennis Marshall.  My first WOD was “Cindy”….I was wrecked!!!
I was also addicted!!!

I soon started the first CrossFit program at the gym of my internship and was able to build it to a successful program that 40 people took part in.  I soon moved to another gym where I started another CrossFit program from the ground up.  This time, we(my staff) developed it to the point that it was the primary source of income for the globo-gym it was housed in!

As a avid CrossFitter, who had drank all the Kool-Aid, I followed CrossFit Central’s website closely.  This turned out to be extremely valuable when the CC staff posted that they were looking for CrossFit Coaches.  I applied, as suggested by my girlfriend, Crystal, and here we are!!!!  It was the best move I could have ever made for myself and my career!
This is where I'm privileged to work
Today, I am a certified Level 2 CrossFit Trainer, certified Underground Strength Coach, certified CrossFit Powerlifting Coach, and CrossFit Mobility certified.
I am responsible for coaching approximately 75 CC clients, training numerous PT clients, creating and running the Strictly Strength program, programming  for and running the Strictly Strength classes, co-training the University of Texas Men's Rugby Team, and training Austin’s elite-level firefighters.

I love what I do!
I am a GIVER!
My mission is to add value to the lives of others and impact the world with my knowledge and passion for living powerfully through strength.  

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Day 64 of 365: Be Thankful...

This is gonna be really short, but also extremely entertaining!  
Just be thankful that you chose hardcore weight training instead of this silly-ass, home gym-wanna-be-workout shit.  
Also, be grateful that you are not this dumb!
ENJOY!!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Day 63 of 365: The Lightened-Method Does The Body GOOD!

I am willing to bet that most of you out there have not heard of the Lightened Method, right?  Understandable.  It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to "lighten" something when you're trying to get sillystrong.  But, today, at the Red Black Gym, we hit a crazy-ass SWOD centered around exploring the Lightened Method for the first time---It did not disappoint!

So, what is the Lightened Method?  Well, to put it simply, it is a form of training that allows athletes to actually lift more than what they are capable of otherwise.  This already sounds pretty badass, right?  Well, before you get too excited and run to your nearest gym, let me dive in a bit more.

I'll show you a video of us knocking out some deadlifts using this technique so that you get the idea of how to set this up.  The first time you set this up it may be a little tricky to get it just right, but once you have a system, it's all good.  
Here's are SWOD...


Looks pretty badass, right?  It also appears to be pretty straight forward if you don't have the "WHY?" that drives it, so let's talk about that right now.

You see, your body is freaking awesome in the way that it works....AND... if you train smart enough, you can use it's amazing ability to adapt to get sillystrong.  
The Lightened Method is one way that we can trick our bodies into building lean mass and increasing strength.  As far as your body is concerned, it only remembers certain segments of any lifting effort; the top or finishing position.  It remembers the external load it experienced as well as the speed at which it moved to get to the end range of motion.  So, as you are probably figuring out, by adding the bands that assist the lifter the most in the bottom and the least at the top, the athlete is able to move heavier loads than their 1RM.  Doing so allows the body to only remember holding X weight in the finish position.  This training phenomenon, when supplemented properly with the Lightened Method, stresses the body and CNS - forcing it to adapt to the new, heavy weight that it just experienced.  

Badass, right?!!!

Now, I understand that a lot of you probably don't have access to gym that accomadate this training method, but it is important that you know it's out there.  There are also other, more accessable was to get the same end result that I will share with you later, but until then....

KEEP LIFTIN' HEAVY and FAST!!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Day 62 of 365: Don't Be Afraid To Grind.

Alright.  Alright.  Get your mind out of the gutter, people!
  
We are not going to be discussing that type of grind, but rather the grind you find yourself in when you're pulling a huge deadlift.  Not quite as enticing, but stay with me here.  
I promise it's worth it.

My good friend and training partner, Michael Winchester sent a link to me today to a article on T-Nation that is worth a read!  Check it out HERE. 

As I read it, it got me thinking...
"Do people even know what it is to fight through a deadlift repitition?"
I found it scary and a little sad to think that there are those of you out there that have never actually fought for every inch of something so seemingly meaningless as a deadlift.

I hope that you all have had the experience of a 10 second deadlift.  For those that haven't yet, these "grinding" reps are the longest, toughest, and most humbling experiences you can imagine.  I remember the most epic pull I've ever had - at the time, it was a PR lift of 385lbs.  I got myself jacked up and went right for it.  I started the pull, the bar slowly broke from the floor, and where most deadlift become easier as the momentum builds, on this occassion, it did NOT.  It seemed as though the bar was slowing down with every inch.  Although the speed was painfully slow, I was not going to give up!  What felt like 30 minutes passed and I was now at the top of my knees with a long-ass way still to go! I hit several sticking points along my thighs that resulted in what I like to call, the "jack-hammer effect".  This, as you can imagine, is when your body begins to quiver and bounce around uncontrollably under the shear load and stress of the movement.  Pretty hilarious stuff when you see someone start convulsing like they've just stuck there finger in an electrical socket.  But, again, I was not going to be stopped.  I finally reached the top of the lift, where I quickly dropped the bar to the floor so that I would be able to catch myself if I were to pass out.  I saw my own personal light show with all of the stars I was seeing when it was all said and done.

Almost

Now, you may be asking yourself, 
"Why would anyone want to keep lifting at that point?"
"Why does this crazy bastard want ME to have this experience?  It sounds horrible!"
Let me be straight with you...It is absolutely horrible!  It really is.  But, it is also one of the most rewarding and most symbolic experiences you can have.  You see, you just fought through hell to lift a silly-ass bar off the floor.  That has to be one of the dumbest things to fight for, right?   
NO!!! 
It would have been so easy to just say, 
"This is too heavy!"  
"I can't do this!"  
"Today's a bad day."  
"I'll try it tomorrow."
BULLSHIT!  
If you don't fight for yourself and your strength, you will never fight, and you will never have the strength required to live an OUTSTANDING life. 

So next time that bar doesn't break off the floor as easy as you had hoped - 
DO NOT STOP!  
You are fighting for something bigger than a PR.  
Remember that!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Day 61 of 365: IF You're Feelin' SPICY...

I've got a special "treat" for you guys today! 
One that will change everything you thought you knew about "training hard".  
What I'm about to share with you will, quite possibly, be one of the hardest, most diabolical methods of training that you'll experience.  It is also one of the most effective methods by which to generate ridiculous power output and receive amazing returns in the areas of speed and conditioning....
all while transforming you into a F*#king MACHINE!!!

If I haven't scared you away, and you're still reading this, this is exactly what you need to add to your training!  
You ready?
BAND-RESISTED SPRINTS
B-R Sprints are a potent exercise that not only deliver on all of the previously mentioned benefits, but they cause a pukie sensation that is unmatched as far as I'm concerned.  The only drills that can come close are steep hill sprints and prowler sprints. 
 These are excellent options if you don't have a "buddy" to dig your ass into the ground.  
With that being said, whatever you do - you MUST start adding this to your training!!!  
Just be sure that you are smart about the volume.  Don't hit this stuff everyday and expect to see massive gains in speed and strength.  You'll most likely wear yourself out and possibly sprint your way straight to the point of overuse injuries.  I recommend getting one good day of sprinting in at least every two weeks.  Some do it more often, but I have found that my athletes work extremely hard on each sprint when it is more spaced out.  And, as you can imagine, max effort output is the name of the game when talking about any form of sprint work, but especially when hitting Band-Resisted Sprints.
Now, the question is: 
"Are you tough enough to do something that you KNOW will suck...BIG TIME?"
If you are, welcome!  
You are one of the few that works under the HARD ROUTINE mentality....and you are my family!  Go Get It!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 60 of 365: Take This SWOD For a Spin!

What's up guys
I've got a spicy SWOD for y'all to take on! 
This was actually a warm up that I put my Strictly Strength athletes through every once in a while, but as I've already discussed with you:
THE WARMUP IS YOUR WORKOUT!!!  
This SWOD is a great example of the new idea.  
To prove it,  I want you all to knock this one out and see for yourself what a true warmup should feel like and accomplish.
Also, if you read yesterday's post, you now have an understanding of how to perform a technically-sound shoulder press.  Remember, there is untapped power and strength hidden in the details of the press.  If you dial all the small pieces in, you'll find your press creeping up and up!  
During this video, you'll see Strictly Strength athlete, Ashok performing a rock-solid press - one that you can model yourself.  
Check it out! 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Day 59 of 365: Pressing The Pressing Issue


This week at CrossFit Central, our athletes are crankin' on the CrossFit Total. 
If you don't already know, the CrossFit Total is comprised of 3 lifts:  The Back Squat, the Shoulder Press, and the Deadlift. 

  
In each of the lifts, the athlete is attempting to set new 1RM maxes that will be summed and Totaled (Get it?) for a resulting score equal to the pounds lifted.  The Total is the way we test an individual's overall strength, which I'm sure you probably guessed by the selection of the exercises, right?

It's funny, though.  As I watched my athletes take on each lift, I realized that the lift that  they were having the most trouble with was the the shoulder press - by far the most simplistic lift...on the surface, but we are about to dive a bit deeper to uncover why the press is the hardest movement to improve on.  You ready?

Alright. So to start us off on the right foot here, I am going to show you a video.  This is pretty much the way I teach the press, minus a couple points that we will hit a bit later.  Watch this and you'll be up to speed.



 Seems pretty straight forward, right?  Well, let's quickly make a checklist of the basics:

1. Grip right outside of shoulders(make sure it's symmetrical)
2. Unrack the bar by creating a platform with your anterior delts(front of your shoulders)
3. Set your feet at hip-width, squeeze your butt, quads, and abs as tight as possible.  This creates a rock-solid foundation to press from.  VERY IMPORTANT!!!
4. Lift your elbows so that your forearm is completely vertical.  Basic rule here is that your forearms need to point in the direction you want the bar to go; straight up and slightly back.
5. Take a quick, deep breath just before initiating the press.
6. Drive the bar straight up keeping it close to your face and forehead.
7. Once the bar has cleared your forehead, press slightly backwards while also driving your upper-body under the bar.
8. Lock the B#tch out!!!

So now that we have a basic understanding of what needs to happen to succesfully perform a quality press, here's the one major idea that I want you to grasp:   
BARBELL SPEED!!!
We have discussed this before, but when performing any lift, the athlete has a specificed timeframe in which he or she can make the lift.  Any slower and the bar will stop dead in it's tracks and leave you in no-man's-land, wondering what the hell just happened.
Here's the deal.  Once you have set up and you are rock-solid in that position, you must maintain it as you punch that bar towards the ceiling...making it a point to keep the bar path as close to your face as possible!  This deliberate effort to move quickly will ensure that that nasty little thing called GRAVITY doesn't catch hold of that bar - closing that window of possible PRs.

So, next time you hit some presses, focus on the details of your setup, the bar path, and especially your speed!!!  You will find that the press, when done with these things in mind, is not as simplistic as you originally thought....BUT, you will also realize that there is a ton of POWER and STRENGTH hidden in those details!!!
GO GET IT!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day 57 AND 58 of 365: Do You REALLY Get JACKED UP!?!

If you didn't notice, I did not make a post for yesterday.  I know, I know....I messed up, but it was for a good reason.  Yesterday was my girlfriend's birthday, so the two of us and some friends went up to a cabin just south of Lampases for Friday evening, night and Saturday evening where we soon made our way downtown!  As you can imagine, it was a pretty eventful, jam-packed weekend.  So with that being said, I want to first apologize for missing a day.  
So in order to set it straight, I am writing a post with a dual-purpose!

As you can tell from the title, this is all about getting yourself amped up to do some serious damage to anything from a PR deadlift to a heavy workload this week.  My point here is this:  If you approach every aspect of you life in the same way you get pumped for a big lift, you may find that the end result is a powerful one.  
Think about it.  
What is it that you are actually doing when you are getting yourself "pumped up"?  You are creating a new, high-energy stimulus that your body reacts to in a beneficial manner.  It increases the levels of adrenaline and other high-intensity promoting hormones - all to boost the body's ability to DO WORK!!!

  

In the video that I'm about to show you, I want you to notice a couple things:

1.  He is a massive human being!
2.  He is NOT deadlifting in F#@king running shoes!
3.  He "primes" his body/Central Nervous System(CNS) for the work that is about to be done.
4.  Before he even approaches the bar, this lift has already been done!  The decision has already been made to make this shit happen....THEN, he does not mess around.  He attacks it(albeit with a bit of a tip-toe-sneak approach). 
5.  No Hesitation

p.s.  That "warmup" lift was 858lbs!!!  Not sure what the 2nd attempt was, but the bar nearly snapped, so....Yeah.

Some of the very same tactics will work wonders for preparing yourself for the week ahead.  Get EXCITED about the work you have to get done this week!  It is a challenge, and challenges only make you stronger....I
t's that why you read this blog?  
To increase STRENGTH?
Thought so.  
Attack this week with focus and commitment to excellence.
Then, be sure you CELEBRATE the accomplishment!!!
Celebration is our way of saying to ourselves, "OUTSTANDING job!!! You have earned this!!!"
It keeps us coming back for more...
It keeps us pushing ourselves for the BIGGER & BETTER.
It is what drives a POWERFUL, FULFILLING LIFE!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day 56 of 365: "The Equalizer": Post Turkey Day SWOD.

YO!!!

I'm guessing that you all had a ton of great food yesterday, and that maybe, just maybe, you're not feeling so hot today?  Especially since all you've eaten is the leftovers, right?  
Well, I've got the answer to solve all of your GI disscomforts, your hindered self-image, and your lethargic-ass tendencies!
From this...
"The Equalizer"
3 Rounds NFT:
Max Effort Shoulder Press For Reps @ 55% of 1RM
  20 Heavy Russian KB Swings
15 Bent-Over BB Rows @ Same Wt. As Above
To THIS!!!

It brings you back to a state of confidence and strength, and gives your body the kick it needs to make use of all the shit you just ate.  
It does all of this without being too much to handle.  
I highly recommend you give this one a go and see how great you feel after bustin' it!
Here is one of my athletes performing one round of this 3 round SWOD...
CHECK IT!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Day 55 of 365: GRATITUDE

Happy Thankgiving!!!
I hope that everyone is having an amazing day with family and friends!

On Tuesday morning, I polled my TTh 7am Strictly Strength athletes to see if they wanted to hit a SWOD on Thanksgiving day, and of course, they were all about it!  So, today I was lucky enough to spend the morning with my CrossFit Central/RedBlack Gym family and friends as they cranked out a badass SWOD and then followed it with a 5K fun run.  Honestly, I can't think of a better way to spend the day...I guess the only way it would have been better is if my actual family came down from Wyoming to be a part of the CC community.

It's funny.  This week, as it led up to this day, I found myself wondering why it is that we don't have Thanksgiving on every single day of our lives?  No.  I am not talking about the extreme portions of food, although, that wouldn't be so bad either.  I am talking about GRATITUDE for what we have received in our lives.  Our bodies and the amazing potential it holds....The people and the relationships that shape us....The opportunities that arise and offer us the chance to be GREAT! 
  
My point here is that  the GRATITUDE that we celebrate on one special day of the year can be recreated every day to build a beautiful, powerful life! 
Doesn't that sound EXTRAORDINARY!?!

So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving Day, and the many days after it, I have put together a quick video that I would love to share with you!  
Check it out and see what thoughts and feelings it may spark.
All I can say is that we truly have a lot to be grateful for.
 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day 54 of 365: Another Angle

Hey Guys!!!

Just a quick post tonight.  It's episode #2 on the deadlift and sumo deadlift, just from another angle. 
If you remember from yesterday's post, I said that I like to give you small bits of information so that you can absorb and apply it, piece by piece.
On that note...oncne you watch this video, combo it up with the first, and read my previous posts on the deadlift, you should be ready to rock'n'roll on this shit!  
Let me hear how it all goes.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day 53 of 365: You Wanna Get SillyStrong?!

I'm sure that by now you can tell that there are some "MUSTS" when designing an effective strength training and hypertrophy program, right?  
Let's list them out all together....

1. Squats- Box Squats and Back Squats...
while we're at it, any damn variation you can think of!
2. Presses- 
We haven't quite gotten there yet, but when we do, you will know why they are so important to the overall affectivenes of your training!
3. THE DEADLIFT-  This is the grand-daddy!  
If you are serious about building raw strength, the one lift you MUST include is the deadlift!
Start'em Young!!!
Now, I have put together a quick little video on the deadlift, it's basic variations, and the most effective way to perform the lift for the average strength athlete.  Let it be known that there are hundreds of tiny, minuet details to all of the lifts listed above.  We are simply only scratching the surface.  Remember, the goal of this is to give you the right information in the proper doses so that you feel confident to take them on and implement them.  If we went into every single detail of each movement, you would be just as confused and frustrated as you were before you started following this blog.
That being said, I feel that the information I have given you in today's video on the deadlift and sumo deadlift is quality stuff.  It covers the pieces that you need to know in order to perform the movement safely and as it was intended.
One final note before I send you into video viewing pleasure....
As you have probably guessed by now, I will be posting a lot of information on topics that have already been discussed.  No.  This is not the result of some rare form of blogging Alzheimer's, but rather my attempt at giving you every bit of information I know on these topics. I would reccommend that you consistently go back and refreash yourself on those "repeater" blog topics just so you are on top of your strength game!
For example, here is the link to the first couple of blogs I wrote on the deadlift.  Read back through as soak that shit up like a sponge, people!



On to the video!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 52 of 365: You Don't Know Squat...YET!

What's up people!!!
As promised, here is the instructional/informational video on the most potent and effective movement I have found to date:   
THE BOX SQUAT.

Watch, then let me know if you have any questions or comments that pop up.  
I would love your feedback on this one, guys!
ENJOY!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day 51 of 365: What I Do On A Sunday...

What's up everyone!!!
Hope your weekend was packed full of awesome!

I'm sitting here in front of my computer, mowing down some leftover Salt Lick BBQ(Go ahead, be jealous), and I gotta say...
Today was a really good day!!!
I was able to sleep in for the first time in as long as I can remember!
I then met up with some CC coaches and friends at Red Black Gym for some heavy lifting; my favorite kind!
During our SWOD, we had the option to do box squats and/or back squats for 4 sets of 10 at a heavy load.  Let me just say this, if you monsters out there want a SWOD that will bust you up...here's one:
4 Rounds
10 Back/Box Squats @ Heavy Load
5 Heavy Bent-Over BB Rows
-THEN-
3-5 Rounds
15 GHD Situps 
25 Band GoodMornings


I know what you're thinking....You think that this doesn't look too bad, right?  
Well, if you load the squats to a challenging weight, the aftermath creates a whole new experience for the remainder of the SWOD.
Test this one out, but be SMART about the movements and loads.  Don't be a jackass and hurt yourself doing something that you may not be ready for.  
Just be SMART!

Finally, before I return to my BBQ(beginning to drool), I wanted to let you know that I am posting this video of the today's SWOD before the box squat video simply so that you'll have more viewing exposure to the actual movement.  I feel like the more reps you see, the more you'll get out of the lecture and demo video I have of tap for tomorrow. 
Check back here tomorrow for that! 
Until then...Don't bother me...I'm eating!
Hahaha.
Game On!!!