Tagged as: crossfit

Dead lifting, Elevated

 

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During our Strength/Power/Speed portion yesterday we had elevated dead lifts. For some this was a new movement and many had questions as to why we were using this technique.

Since it was such a popular question, here are a few reasons why we choose to use an elevated dead lift on some, not all occasions.

1) First and foremost I use an elevated dead lift with athletes who lack the ability to set up in a good dead lift position due to mobility. I have coached many who are so wound up in different areas of their body, that starting a dead lift from the ground is, as of now, impossible to do without potentially causing harm to the body.

So, for these individuals, we raise the bar which decreases the range of motion for the movement but also allows them to set up in a near perfect set-up. Over time, we will decrease the height of the bar while working on their mobility until they are able to correctly pull from the ground. This has by far been the best scale for dead lifting when it comes to helping athletes with poor mobility in their set up.

2) The elevated position on someone of average height usually sits just below the knee (I’m guessing around 2-3 inches). This is usually a sticking point for most athletes when going for a 1 RM. By starting the bar at this position, we can use more weight than usual and train that sticking point. Although you may still not be able to pull above 100% from this position, you can get better quality reps at 90-95%. If you want to get rid of that sticking point, attack it!

3) We want to create a new stimulus. In order for your body to make changes be it in strength, flexibility, weight loss, etc. it must be put under different stimulus throughout training. A body that does the same thing over and over again will eventually stop seeing results. By starting with the bar in a higher position, the body must adapt and in turn will begin to make changes in accordance with the new movement.

Has your dead lift peaked? Maybe it is time to change up how you train it. If your only means thus far has been pulling from the ground, try implementing pulling from an elevated position. Or, if your body is up to it, train from a deficit. The great thing about your body is it wants to adapt to new stimuli. You just have to be the one that puts it in place.

If you have questions, or other ways you like to train your dead lift, let us know! We’d love to hear and share it with others.

 

Train hard,

– Coach David de Leon

The Neglected…

 
When you go to the gym there is a plethora of things to do. From box jumps to clean and jerks, how do you pick which one to do next? Even with all of these other great movements, there is one we all seem to neglect. This oh so simple exercise is so great, one sport pretty much requires that the greatest athletes who participate in it also become a master of this exercise. One long piece of string attached to two handles has endured the times but is far to often over looked. So ladies and gentleman, let’s get together and bring the JUMP ROPE back to life.

Conditioning, speed, weight-loss, agility, coordination and really nice calves are a few of the benefits of jumping rope. So if people who use it can benefit in those areas, how come more people don’t use it? Simplicity, that’s what it is. The jump rope is so simple that people believe it is not effective. In a world of efficiency, it is crazy to believe that we look for the most difficult ways to get fit. From machines that need instructions just to use the, to one and a half hour long DVD workouts, our mindset when it comes to fitness is, the more and crazier it can be, the better the results will be. Where has simplicity, efficiency and effectiveness gone?

If you want to get stronger, find a coach who will introduce you to barbells and kettlebells. By introduce I mean someone who will wed you with those things. Getting stronger means getting under a barbell and putting in work. No need to go crazy on the next state of the art machine. Just simple be coached to lift and train properly. You want conditioning? Go to a track and run sprints or grab a jump rope and start jumping.

Don’t get caught up in machines and madness Keep it simple, keep it smart, and keep it effective.

A Reason For Max Effort

jimmy edit swings

 

Yesterday at OTL our “Work” section consisted for the following:

5 Sets of 2 Unit run (approx. 230 meters) immediately into max rep American Kettlebell swings. The weight was 16Kg for women and 24Kg for men.

Our goal was to get our athletes to hit their sprints as hard as they could in order to push their blood circulation to their legs. Once they were back in, the immediate move to the kettlbell would force the athletes to deliver the appropriate hip extension in order to take the kettlebell over head as well as begin to push blood back up to the shoulders.

Although the above portion is great and all, the real objective behind “max effort swings”  was to challenge everyone mentally. The point of max effort is not “until you are tired”. The point is to go until you can no longer maintain proper form or until your hands can no longer hold on.

Why is this mental push important? Whether you are an athlete, or just an average Joe, you should frequently force yourself to go beyond its limits. Luckily for most (or unluckily as we see it), we live in a culture which protects people from having to live past their comfort zone. By doing so, we tend to stay very mediocre in all that we do. Those who are willing to frequently go there, there being a place of discomfort, find themselves making leaps and bounds in all aspects of their lives over those who like to be comfortable.

Not every day will be an all out day, we understand that. But force yourself to go there more often. The truth is your mind will tell you to slow down or to let go well before the body physically has to. Don’t be afraid to not listen and to keep going. Try to get out of your comfort zone in your other life activities as well. Go beyond what is asked of you even if it is not easy to do so. The easy way will keep you exactly where you are right now for the rest of your life.

Great work yesterday athletes! You still have some time left with your conditioning phase, so stay in there and keep pushing the limits.

 

The Losers Limp

 keyth on rings

 

The “Losers Limp” is a term from a speech given by Zig Ziglar. It is a description of the moment in time when a player on defense is being outrun by the ball carrier on offense in football. The “Losers Limp” comes in play when the defender realizes he has been beaten by the ball carrier and instead of just taking the loss, he acts as though he has pulled up and begins to limp off the field, giving him the excuse of getting beat because of this short lived muscle pull. As the player returns to the field on the next play we realize this pull was more of an excuse than an actual injury.

The Losers limp is prevalent in all realms of life and it is not really an injury, but an excuse. Everyday people all around the world have their own losers limp as they find a way to get out of the challenges in life instead of facing them head on. The life of setting goals, and chasing dreams is not one everyone is ready to take on. Hardships will come and only a few will be physically and mentally ready to take on those battles. But the few who decide that nothing can stop them will reap tremendous results.

In relation to your fitness, what is your Losers Limp? Maybe is sounds like, “I don’t have enough time” or “I don’t know what to do/where to start”. Whatever it may sound like, you must realize it is only an excuse and you must rid yourself of it before you can truly reach your goals.

If you are having trouble getting past your limp, feel free to contact us and let us know how we can help you get past the limp and start sprinting towards your goals.

 

 

Help Your Coach Help You

court and rania

 

Help your coach help you

How an open line of communication with your coach can help you get results

By: Coach David de Leon

As coaches we try to ask all of the right questions and give all of the right advice, but sometimes it is hard to keep up with everyone. Unfortunately athletes sometimes think we see and know everything so they hesitate to inform us about how they feel and what they want to accomplish. Want your coach to give you that extra help/advice? You’d better fill them in and help them help you.

I believe it is a coaches responsibility to know as much about their athletes as possible, but let’s be honest, as hard as they may try, things will always go unseen. But before you begin to place the blame on your coach, or anyone for that matter, ask yourself this, have you taken the time to speak with your coach 1-on-1 in order to discuss where you currently are, your short term goals and your long term goals? If your answer is no, the time to do that is right now!

Having a 1-on-1 meeting with your coach should be done once at least every 3 months. This not only gives you a plan of action, but it also puts you and your coach on the same page. Once you have had that meeting with your coach, it is their job to continue to check in, but it is still your job to continue your line of communication with them in regards to how you feel, how your eating has been, and if you feel as though you may need a little extra work throughout the week. Communication in this situation is key.

An open and honest line of communication holds both you and your coach accountable for your progress. If you have had trouble staying away from those sweets or have had pain during exercise, both of which are factors that can take away from your ability to see results, then those things must be discussed at the appropriate time. Trust me; a good coach knows if you have been eating poorly whether they bring it up or not. It shows not only in physique, but in your performance as well. Never be afraid to be honest. Your coach will not be mad at your slip ups unless of course you do not let them know.

To end, if you want the best out of your coach you must take it into your hands to keep them updated as to how you are feeling, where you are and where you want to be in both the short and long term with your fitness. We [coaches] can do a lot, but reading minds is not one of our abilities. Keep an open line of communication, be honest and reap the rewards of results!

 

13 Things Great Coaches Never DO

 great coaches

 

13 Things Great Coaches Never Do

A post about inspired by a LifeHacker article

By: Coach David de Leon

 

1) Text during class

This is a topic that all who know me know I feel very strongly about. As the head or assistant coach, you are saying that you have chosen to dedicate your time, attention and knowledge to your athletes. They pay your bills in order to receive the knowledge you have in your head. Do not disrespect them by texting while you are coaching.

 

2)  Sit down while they are coaching

Sorry, last time I checked we were in the fitness industry. If coaching for a few hours a day makes you so tired that you must sit down while coaching, then maybe you need to get back to the fitness part. Sitting is sloppy and lazy. Why any coach would feel it is necessary is beyond me. If you think you have a great reason why coaches should sit down, comment below and let me know.

 

3)  Try to raise up by putting down

I have seen and heard coaches call their athletes all types of names or use negative reinforcement thinking it will positively affect that athlete. This is not 1950’s PE class, we know now that negativity does not bring about positivity in others. Use your coaching skills to coach and cue. Motivate your athletes and educate them in order to make them better.

 

4)  Do not read or attend seminars in their field because they think they already know it all

The fitness industry is notorious for know-it-alls. Coaches get a cert and boom that is it. From that point on they never again need to attend another coaching/training seminar because it would be impossible for anyone to give them information they don’t know. Coaches, do yourself a favor and spend at least 30 minutes each day reading about different programs or styles of training. Even if you don’t agree with it, that is absolutely fine! But expand your knowledge base and know what others in the industry are doing.

 

5)  Try to diagnose an injury

We are not doctors. Build a relationship with a local chiropractor or physician, preferably one that also trains the way you train, and send your athletes there when they experience pain. Pain is a red flag, do not act like a doctor and prescribe exercises for pain, it is NOT your job.

 

6)  Say the word, “good”, even when a movement still looks awful because they aren’t really sure how to correct it. (Remember the words: Better, Same, Worse)

The word good is the most overused word in a coach’s vocabulary. What does it really mean? When I hear it I think, “well it wasn’t great, but it will do”. Coaches should always remember the words: Better, Same, Worse. Those 3 words can easily get the point across. From there a coach can cue what was better, what looks the same and how to fix it, and re-cue in order to get it away from worse. Good is a cop-out, be better than that.

 

7)  Answer Their phone during class

I only list things that I have heard or seen happen. Answering your phone during class should be an automatic reason for an athlete to leave your gym and for you to be fired (unless it is a family emergency). One word: Unprofessional.

 

8)  Allow their athletes to be in control of the flow of class

Your job as the leader is to direct the flow of the class. You set the energy and tone in the beginning of class and continue to do so as the class goes on. When you are talking and demoing, everyone should be listening, not talking to one another. When you are ready for things to happen, they should happen because you give the direction, not because someone feels they should jump ahead.

 

9)  Allow athletes to perform half decent movements because the movement is almost good enough and don’t want to seem too demanding

If you have movement standards, and you all should, make your athletes hold up to those standards. Speed is not the important part if the movement looks bad. A standard should be designed in order to get the most out of each athlete in a safe manner. Do not let your athletes be pressured by time in a workout if they are not yet capable of performing the movement properly. Step up and correct bad movement, it is your job.

 

10)  Allow a new PR because well, it was close enough.

Would you get on an airplane if the engineer of that airplane said, “well we didn’t get everything made perfect on this aircraft, but it’s close enough”? If your athlete is going for a new pr whether it be a 1, 2, 3 or 20 rep, make them get all of the reps. It is only fair to your programming and to their advancement as an athlete. Almost NEVER counts.

 

11) Teach advanced movements to beginners without first properly teaching mechanics and technique.

No new athlete should be performing advanced lifts under load such as snatch on their first day or in their introduction course. Occasionally you will run into an athlete who just has all the mobility and strength to perform advanced movements. But even then, assess the athlete and progressively allow them to load over time.

 

12)   Allow new athletes to begin programs without first properly assessing their movement patterns, basic strength, stability and mobility.

Coaches are sometimes too quick to allow beginners to start training. It is very important that all new athletes are assessed in order for you to properly prescribe movements for where they currently are. If you are allowing athletes to begin training without assessing them, their longevity in training will be greatly diminished. Assess first, prescribe workouts second in accordance to their limitations

 

13)  This one is just one I like…Never play Brittany Spears. Ever.

Must I even elaborate?

Snatch Cycle Update & What’s Next

 

This is what all of you look like now! Ok, well maybe close 🙂

 Snatch Cycle Update & What’s Next

As all of the OTL athletes should know, this is your last week in our 4 week snatch cycle. From hours of technique drills that have been hammered in through repetitions to single sets that have already proven many are getting stronger, we are very excited about what the end of this week will bring in new snatch PR’s!

As the week comes to an end, we will continue tapering off the heavier lifts. We are going to stay at around 60-65% and mainly focus on proper execution of movements. This will be your last week to ask questions and for us to fix those mistakes before Friday. What’s on Friday you ask?

This Friday at 7PM we will host our first gathering of max lifts. We want the energy to be high and lifts to be heavy. The last 4 weeks have been your time to train hard and now we will help create the environment you need to lift heavy! Anyone who has competed in weightlifting will tell you that environment alone can add adrenaline that will surely help you pull heavier than ever before!

Why is the Olympic lifting movement known as the snatch so important to us? It is by far one of the most athletic weightlifting movement anyone can perform. From strength and agility to balance and speed and all other components of fitness in-between, the snatch requires it all. Of all great strength and conditioning movements, the Snatch should be the movement all coaches should know not only how to perform properly but how to teach properly as well.

Thank you to all of the OTL athletes who have crushed the snatch cycle so far. Next up….Clean and Jerk! All of this will be just in time for Coach Courtney Carlisle to show us what she’s got in the clean and jerk on the American Open in Dallas, Texas on December 6th!

Please let us know if you have any questions!

October King of The Jungle

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This month our KOJ is someone who shows unbeatable work ethic day in and day out. Her progress has not been from anything but her want to learn more and be better than she was the day before. Our King of The Jungle for October, Leigh Ann Sedam, is the definition of hard work.

When you see Leigh Ann around the gym, be sure to congratulate her. From her strength gains to her killer results with Pump n’ Shred, she can probably teach you a thing or two when it comes to commitment and results!
To check out Leigh Ann’s story click the link >> Leigh Ann Sedam is the King of The Jungle <<

Your workouts shouldn’t piss you off

pissed off

 

 

Working out should make you happy!

You workout to improve your fitness and life, but is your workout pissing you off?

By: Coach David de Leon

 

Lately I have noticed a trend in athletes during both training and competition that I believe is a key factor in their inability to see results. What is this change? Bad temper and unhappiness. From professional athletes who are continuously caught cursing themselves or their teammates after a bad play, to our general population athletes at OTL who can’t get that double under just yet, being pissed off is getting popular, and I don’t like it. 

When I started training as a “competitive exerciser” for a lack of better words, I did it because competition was a ton of fun. I got to hang out with others who had a real passion for fitness and for the body/minds ability to go beyond its limits. To me, there was nothing more fun than doing a workout competition and in the end, just hanging out with my friends and family. I was doing it not to be like anyone else, but to improve the person that meant a lot to me, myself.

As competitive exercise becomes more popular, there are “pros” that people have begun to compare themselves to. Comparing yourself to people you watch do things as a professional on television is crazy, especially if you are new to that particular sport. I am not saying that for some, being one of those pros isn’t possible, what I am saying is to respect the hard work they have put in and natural abilities they have been blessed with in order to get where they are. You being upset because you didn’t lift the weight you wanted will not make you a better weightlifter. If you want to be a better weightlifter, do what weightlifters do, lift weight more often!

Your experience in the gym and during training should be fun and exciting. More importantly it should be a learning experience. It is a time for you to give 100% effort in everything you do and learn from all of the mistakes you make. It is a time to grow as a person by not only pushing yourself, but by supporting others as well.

Additionally, make sure your coach is providing a positive atmosphere. Coaching cues, although sometimes stern, SHOULD NOT be negative. They should be short and informative. If your coach displays a pissed off attitude when athletes make mistakes, he/she may be the reason you react or respond the way you do when you mess up. Be sure your coach is great, if not, save your money and find someone who is.

In summary, don’t let your training piss you off. Doing so will not allow you to get better and if anything will only make you worse. And if a cry baby or pissed off attitude is what you have, as speaker Eric Thomas would say, “Don’t cry to give up, cry to keep going”.

 

 

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