Tagged as: high intensity training

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.

 

Slow and Steady Wins The Strength

leigh deadlift

 

As we begin to phase into a focus on our conditioning, we will also begin to get back to the 3 movements we believe are very important in building our strength foundation. No, we didn’t contradict ourselves. We are focusing on conditioning, but our strength section will still be there with a focus on the foundations of: Deadlift, Squat, Press. However, as we begin to revisit these movements, you will notice our focus is STILL NOT speed (speed meaning “tap-and-go” which we will never focus on) but rather a focus on structural set up, grip strength, stability and slowing things down.

Here is what we notice. Athletes tend to come in who have learned to move quickly over moving correctly. This is absolutely NOT what we are about. When it comes to strength movements, OTL does not believe in as fast as possible repetitions. Although that style of movement is currently popular in some areas of the fitness industry, our coaches have recognized that athletes tend to lose midline stability and quality of movement declines when speed is put ahead of technique over multiple repetitions especially in beginner lifters. Over time, this can foster not only improper movement, but injury as well. We understand that not every rep is perfect, nor do we believe they should be. What we do expect is that athletes understand proper set up both physically and mentally as they approach a barbell for a lift.  Over the next 4 weeks you will hear cues in regards to setting the bar down between reps, re-setting your body into proper positions and taking your time through our strength portion.

As you head into this next phase of training, do not rush things. This is a great time to take the weight back and rebuild, especially if you have had injury or trouble with these movements in the past. Do not let this phase frustrate you. Everything we do is for a reason and 99.9% of the time the reason is in favor of our athletes.

Reminder: Bring your notebooks to class and record weights. If you are not doing this, we will question your desire to get better. If you aren’t tracking, you won’t know if you are going forwards or backwards.

 

 

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!

 

Put That Fitness To Use!

chris poppe and 5k

 

If you are an athlete at OTL, I want you to quickly add up the hours per month you are in the gym. Now multiply that by 12 to get a rough estimate of hours per year you train. Put that number on a piece of paper. Now add up the hours per year you spend outdoors hiking, biking, playing catch, competing in local 5k’s, 10k’s or even marathons. I am going to assume that your hours per year training highly out number the hours per year actually doing. What do you think about this? I don’t believe it is a bad thing to train often, and it most cases the training greatly out numbers the work, but personally I would like to spend a lot more time outdoors and would really love to see all of you do the same. So why is it important, and what can we do?

My number 1 hope for all OTL athletes is to be injury free, have full range of mobility, to have the strength to perform daily tasks safely, and to be able to run, jump and fall safely. However, I believe it is essential for everyone to find something outside of the gym to participate in that demands some type of athletic ability whether it be for fun or for competition. Why, you ask? Because it is a great way to gauge your current fitness level, it gives you a goal to strive for, it brings out whatever competitive drive you may have, and most importantly it gets you around a community of other like minded individuals.

We here at OTL are fortunate to live in Austin, Texas as it is the home to many things outdoors. With the activity level of our city, there is really no excuse why you cannot go put your fitness to use. But, if you are still having trouble finding something, here are a few I can think of off the top of my head….

1) Find trails in Austin or your surrounding area for hiking/biking

2) Go to lake Austin or Town lake and rent a canoe, paddle board, or kayak and explore the waters

3) Take a trip to Hot Lava obstacle course on Burnet Rd. You just have to go to find out….

4) Run Lake Austin Trails.

5) Take a swim in Deep Eddy or Barton Springs pool

6) Sign up for a local 5K that benefits a charity you like

7) Compete in local CrossFit competitions that match your current fitness level

Those are just a few of the things you can do to get started. I am sure you have a list of things you can think of as well. So, to help your OTL friends and family out, comment below and share your favorite things to do outdoors. Even better, find a partner within OTL and get signed up for a local event! The last thing you want is to be in great shape, and never use it to enjoy all life has to offer.

Have a great day, enjoy the cool weather, and lets get our bodies moving!

 

PS…Pictured above is Chris Poppe. Before his move to Houston, Chris came to OTL wanting to get back to his old high school running days. He had put on over 30lbs since then and was far from his goal. But, he signed up for local 5k’s, then some outside of the city, then one in St. Louis and in no time he not only hit his goal weight, he was hitting 5k pr times as well. Set your mind to what you want, and make it happen.

October King of The Jungle

media image koj

 

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”.

 

 

2 Magic Pill(s) To Start Your Fitness Journey

magic pill

 

We all want the magic pill affect. We want to be able to consume something, and instantly get results. That way, ladies and gentleman is, 1) non existent 2) Does not last 3) A lazy way out of hard work.

Since those things do not exist, I have thought up 2 “pills” of information that can help you begin your fitness journey. They aren’t large in size, but for some reason many find it hard to swallow. It’s too hot, I’m too tired, I don’t know how to do it, are a few of the reasons people refuse to swallow the pill. But for those who are ready to grab that glass of water and take down the pills, here are the first two you should take.

1) Pill 1: Create a plan of action: Purchase a calendar and write out what your entire normal day looks like. From the times you eat, to the times you watch TV, write it all down for 3-4 days straight. Once the days have passed, review the calendar and begin to realize how many WASTED hours are on the calendar. Since “not having time” is one of the biggest and lamest excuses, you can immediately eliminate it once you see you DO have the time. Begin to insert times to train during the hours you wasted watching the ridiculous things that make up national television. Yes, it is easier and more comfortable to sit on the couch, but when you turn 70 expect to not be able to play with your grandchildren and be the grandpa/ma who wore out the old recliner because he/she didn’t have the ability to move freely (Yes, things just got real).

2) Pill 2: The First Step: Let go of the assumption that you have to go out and be hard core. Depending on who/what you are influenced by, you may have the assumption that your fitness has to be hard core and crazy intense all day every day. This notion if far from the truth. If you are new to fitness, DO NOT kill yourself on the first day. It will only make you so sore, you will be back on the couch never wanting to get up again. Baby steps are the best steps when starting out. That could mean simply walking/jogging mixed in with body weight movements (push ups, sit ups) in the park or in your house.

The 3rd pill, which wasn’t mentioned in the title, is consistency. Give your body 2 weeks of training no less than 3x/week and allow it to adjust. It will hurt, and it may not be as comfortable as your couch, but you will adjust and you will make leaps and bounds in your fitness. Erase the excuses, and let’s get started.

King of The Jungle – August

media image koj

 

This months King of The Jungle is being released with great timing. Why? Because this athlete just had an incredible weekend competing at The Iron Belle hosted by CrossFit Central here in Austin, Texas.

Her and her partner finished top 10 in the competitive division and impressed many along the way. She also had a new PR during the Clean portion of the competition. We, OTL Fitness, could not be more proud to announce Jess Hudock as King of The Jungle for the month of August!

Jess, your hard work 4 times a week in the gym while taking on graduate school proves you have what it takes to be great in all aspects of life. We appreciate your continuous effort.

Read Jess’ story HERE and see why she is OTL’s King of The Jungle!

KING OF THE JUNGLE – AUGUST – JESSICA HUDOCK

July King of The Jungle!

To be the king is to show the world you have what it takes to be the best you can possible be. Each day this athlete enters OTL’s doors ready to work even if it is with a smile on his face. No matter what his day may have been like, he does not complain but instead puts every ounce of effort into each rep.

OTL is not only proud to have this man as their King of The Jungle for July, OTL is proud just to have him at the gym. So here is to you Mr. King of The Jungle!

 

>>Click here to find out who has been crowned the king for July<<

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