Fight Gone Bad

FGB

 

I’ve been consistently smashing my old PR’s lately, which is always fun.  

Finally broke my squat plateau and maxed at 175#.  Can power snatch and OHS 80#.  Even managed to learn Double-Unders (finally!!!) though I have yet to string them together.

But I was really looking forward to hitting this monster again.


 

3 Rounds (1 minute at each):

Wall Ball 14#

Sumo Deadlift High Pull 55#

Box Jump 20″

Push Press 55# 

Row (for calories) 

Rest 60 seconds


 

Six months ago, I scored 203.  

This morning I scored 219.  Third in the class, behind two of the most hardcore beasts I’m privileged to work out with.  

On top of that, my coach emailed me personally to invite me to do an 8-week barbell class.  

So I’m feeling pretty special.

TACFIT Q

A friend turned me on to Tacfit recently, and I decided it’s something I might like to try.

Tacfit is a fitness program designed for the specific needs of first responders, to ensure they can maintain the necessary level of intensity when it’s called for on the job.  Practitioners carefully track their heart rates and recovery times, as well as reps completed.

The introductory workout can be found here – http://www.rmaxinternational.com/flowcoach/?p=825 – and it’s a doozy!

I gave it a try this morning, thinking (foolishly) that I’d tack on some weightlifting afterward because it didn’t look THAT hard.

I should know better by now…I really should.

Number 3 was the dark horse.   Ouch ouch ouch.

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I knew the push-ups would suck before I even started, and scaled them accordingly (yes…from the knees *hangs head in shame*).

Number 5 was actually fun.  Lookit!

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I highly recommend this workout!  It’s 100% bodyweight, all you need is a timer set to TABATA – 8 rounds of 20/10.

You do each move for four minutes of TABATA intervals, keeping track of your reps completed in each round.  Then, you add up the LOWEST number in each set for your total score.

Selecting the lowest score is an interesting motivator.  Once I hit a number that seemed “just OK” but was pretty difficult, I knew I had to at least match that score for the rest of the set.  It wasn’t about the best/highest score you could manage that one round, but how well you could manage when the workout was kicking your ass.

I scored a 44.  It feels like a minor triumph since I did scale the push-ups, but I’d say it’s still a respectable place to start.

 

Lies, Scams, and How Not to Fail

I received a bit of criticism for my comments in my last post that appeared to be insulting toward fat people.  But the bottom line is that Planet Fitness, and the fitness industry in general, sells lies to their customers.  It’s the consumers’ choice to buy into something that tells them that walking on a treadmill and having some pizza is good enough.

Let me make myself very clear – the fitness industry does not want you to succeed.  The fitness industry wants to keep people on yo-yo diets, trying every fad, and chasing tiny bits of weight loss because that is what they’re selling. 

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Piles of processed garbage – yum!

 

 

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Pay just $100 to dance around for 2 hours and subsist on 700 calories a day.

 

My gripe with these things is that they never create a sustainable change.  No one can live forever on Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, or any of the other hundreds of pre-made meal systems out there. Who would want to?  Who can afford that?

People who are just starting out want things to be easy, I get that.  So they buy into a “solution” where they don’t have to put in the time and effort doing research, because working out and exercising willpower over food is already so much work.

Thing is, there is so much great and free information out there now.  The internet is a wonderland.  People just need to learn to use their most important faculty – discernment.  

If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.  If it offers miracle results, dig deeper.

The best diet plan for long-term health is incredibly simple – buy whole foods and cook them yourself.  Avoid anything processed, and don’t eat too much of anything.   There are gazillions of free recipes out there.

There are several great, free workout sites I check out regularly –  http://www.bodyrock.tv/ is awesome!  No one should ever pay $100 for a box of DVDs (you’ll just end up doing those same 10 workouts over and over) when there is so much out there to keep you busy.  You don’t even need weights to do strength training – http://www.marksdailyapple.com/prison-workout/

Even CrossFit workouts are actually free – HQ publishes them online daily, and most gyms have a blog where they post theirs as well.

I’d say 98% of the fitness industry is designed to make a profit not by teaching long-term change, but selling quick-fixes to the same group of people over and over.  Imagine how strong they could be if they just stopped buying it.

Just say “Nope” to Planet Fitness

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I read this news story yesterday, maybe you saw it too?  

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/oddnews/gym-tells-woman-to-cover-up-because-her-%E2%80%98toned-body%E2%80%99-intimidated-others-211926273.html;_ylt=AwrBJR8PmitTNCwA.CXQtDMD

A member of Planet Fitness was working out in a fairly modest crop top and pants, and was ordered to cover up in a gym T-shirt because people were complaining that her toned body was intimidating them.  

Where do I even start with this?  I have so many problems with the mentality fostered by Planet Fitness.

First, it teaches that feeling intimidated by someone else’s success is OK.  That this is something to complain about, and put a stop to.  If I see someone performing amazing feats at my gym, I use that as inspiration.  It’s a goal, something to aspire to.  But not at Planet Fitness.  Someone looks too good or lifts too heavy?  Throw them out rather than work hard to match their success.  Right.  

Second, their whole “lunk alarm” and “judgement-free zone” branding is just hypocritical.  Truth is, most people at the gym, any gym, are out for themselves.  They don’t give a shit about you.  If you think they’re staring at you or judging, it’s probably your imagination.  Yes, fat people feel self-conscious at the gym. Eventually they get over it, and realize no one cares.  Unless they’re at PF.  Then your feelings magically become someone else’s responsibility.  

And the lunk alarm?  What’s that about?  Because heaven forbid someone actually do strenuous lifting at a gym.  Better go walk on the treadmills.  

Here’s the real kicker of the whole article for me – Director of the Athletic Studies Center at UC Berkeley, Derek Van Rheenen, told the station, “In a lot of ways I actually think what Planet Fitness is doing is a positive thing. I think they obviously need to iron out some of these issues. But you know, sport in the United States is by nature discriminatory. It is selective. It is elitist.”   

Sure, there is elitism in sports. Some people have an unfair genetic advantage.  The beauty is that someone else’s advantage doesn’t prevent me from trying and putting in my personal best.  I will probably never seriously compete in athletics, but I can still excel in showing up, giving it all I have, and getting the most out of myself.  I can be inspired by people who have superior genes as well as skill, strength and discipline.  

Probably my biggest issue with Planet Fitness is their unabashed encouragement of mediocrity.  Their whole business model is predicated on the idea that just showing up and walking on a treadmill or doing “whatever-that’s-called” on the elliptical thing is enough.  They hand out pizza and bagels to their already overweight clients, telling them “Enjoy! You earned it!”  Sorry, but no.  And if you buy into this, you’re a sucker.  Planet Fitness doesn’t want you to get healthy and serious about fitness.  They want to keep you fat and clueless.  And, if you only show up once a month (or less), even better.  Actually, PF is counting on that, too.  

Thing is, getting fit is not easy. It’s not supposed to be easy.  It’s not a “pizza party and selfies” deal.  Not to me anyway.  I believe in getting ugly. Getting sweaty and dirty and real. I don’t look cute, wear little matchy outfits, or glow with a light sheen of sweat.  I get nasty, scream, grit my teeth and act like a fucking beast.  And I didn’t start seeing real gains until I accepted that and made it a part of who I am.  

 

 

 

Crossfit!!!!

A friend of mine suggested recently that I start a CrossFit glossary on my blog.  Great idea, Jessica!  

One thing you’ll hear a lot as a Crossfitter is the term “functional fitness,” which essentially means you’re building useful strength and agility you can use in your everyday life.  Since my day job is pretty physically demanding, this is one aspect of CrossFit that I love and appreciate.  

But I also have to call bullshit when I see it.  So, introducing the most BS move in CrossFit – 

HSPU!!!  

The dreaded Hand-Stand Push Up.   

I don’t know about you, but I find myself in this position, standing on my hands and needing to push-up my entire body weight, on an almost daily basis.  Thank goodness I found CrossFit so I can train for it!  

But seriously…this is probably the most useless move I can imagine.  Maybe someday I’ll be in the midst of a werewolf attack or something and be proven wrong but…until then, suck it, HSPU’s.

Oh CrossFit, you so crazy.  

Snatch It Up (Or, How Not to Believe In Yourself)

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This morning’s WoD:

A) 12 min. to find 1RM Snatch

B) 30 Hang Snatch

30 Hand Release Push-ups

800m run

My max snatch was 75#, which I feel could have been better if I’d had my wrist wraps.  I’ve been wanting to try a more technical lift like a snatch with my new lifting shoes, too.  Oh well.

I saw part B and thought “OK, I can manage this.”  I did Randy a few months ago and completed 54 power snatches in 10 minutes so I figured I’d manage this.  Even at 55#.  Then the coach said “12 minute cap.”  And the whole class LOL’d.  All these super-fit people.  I really hate running, but at least the weather has gotten milder.

I asked if we could just go ahead and forget about the run.  No dice.  Alright.  Won’t be the first time I finish dead last, or close to it. 

I couldn’t believe it when I was the first to finish 30 snatches, then the second to take off running.  Like, whoa.  

I finished in 12:05.  Third in my class, behind the sleekest, fastest runners.  I’m still kind of surprised and trying to sort it out.  What is it that makes some workouts such a success, even though I was so full of self-doubt?  

Really really did not want to drag my ass out of bed this morning.  Especially for this beastly little bodyweight WoD:

3 Rounds: 
400m Run
50 Air Squats 
40 Sit Ups
30 Push-Ups
20 Double Unders
10 Pull-Ups

Did I mention how much I loathe Double Unders?  

Oh well, I will conquer this.  Always sets me up to have an awesome day.  

That, and remembering I get to sleep in tomorrow. 🙂

Ice Day

The gym was closed this morning because of frozen roads.  I took this opportunity to practice at home on a couple of moves that continue to give me trouble.

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First, the dreaded Double-Under.  Anytime I see this in a WOD, I know I can count on either not finishing or coming in last.  DUs are not a strength move, it’s not something you can gain or work up to.  It’s all grace, coordination, rhythm, and timing.  A recipe for disaster to a spaz like myself.  Every once in a blue moon, I can get one at a time.  Stringing them together?  Forget it.

This is clearly something I need to practice a lot.  Like, A LOT.  And I hate practicing things I’m not good at.  Especially when I seem to never see any improvement.  Eight months doing CrossFit, I’ve seen only the tiniest improvement in these.  As in, I can manage one (sometimes) instead of none.

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Pull-ups continue to elude me, but at least there are numerous progressions and ways to work up to them.  I bought a big, fat green band and have been using that at home to practice (along with negatives and jumping).  I can say I’m seeing much more significant improvement here.

NANCY!!!

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This morning’s WOD:

5 Rounds:
3 Hang Power Snatch
2 Overhead Squats

(max 70#)

“Nancy” – 5 Rounds (18 minute cap):
15 Overhead Squats (95/65)
400m Run

I finished 4 rounds. Would like to try this again in warmer weather, as my squats were definitely effected by running in below-freezing temp.  OK, it was 30 degrees.  Technically that’s below freezing.

I also had to modify the Overhead Squats to a Front Squat because of my hand pain (which has been getting worse lately).  First time I’ve had to mod for that reason and…it’s scary, to be honest.

Anyway, running in the cold is tough. I will probably have a persistent cough for the rest of the day.

Lifting Heavy

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I am so thrilled to be able to practice my heavy lifts at home now. Got a used squat rack and set of plates from a coworker of my husband. It’s made a huge difference in my workouts, to just walk out to the patio and do a few sets of squats or shoulder presses.

Today’s workout:

Buy In:
100 Walking Lunges
For Time:
400m Run
50 Double Unders
40 Push-Ups
30 Medicine Ball Cleans
20 Wall Balls
10 Burpees

(Finished in 16:13, which is not great. I find I do better when I’m in a group and pushing myself to keep up with fitter people).

Then I broke in my new weightlifting shoes –

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with some heavy back squats and deadlifts.  I’m currently squatting 150# at home.  I have done 170# in the gym but am a little chicken to try this alone.

My max deadlift is 210# but I did 195# for 3 reps this morning.

Also played around with a few overhead presses and overhead squats, but decided to lay off because my wrist has been hurting a bit.  I’m really excited to try the more explosive Olympic lifts with the new shoes and see how it feels.