Tagged as: OTL Fitness

Our Outdoor Boot Camp Rules!

Lion Pride Bootcamps

The boot camp world is LOADED with camps setting up in every park and piece of open grass. You will mostly find them using Kettbells, and body-weight exercises as their main form of training which is awesome, but can get boring so fast. So we have changed the game when it comes to fitness boot camps in Austin, and here is how.

Our boot camps use the same group motivated environment with programming designed for strength, speed, cardio, conditioning, and weight-loss using a variety of tools and methods. Do we use kettlebells? Heck yes we do. But you will also see tire sleds, dumbbells, speed ladders, sandbags, resistance bands, and much much more.

Sandbags?! Don’t worry, the sandbags and all other equipment/exercises can be scaled to your fitness levels. Our boot camp is open to both men and women and currently ranges in age from 26-55! Everyone working together at their own pace and level side-by-side to achieve the same goal, a fitter, happier and healthier you!

Want to try a FREE Boot Camp class on us?!

We want you to know you are in the right place when you start your fitness journey. So if you’d to try a free class, fill out the form below and we will get you in ASAP!

Your Name (required)

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We hope to see you soon!

5 Ways to Live a Happy(ier) life

 austin zoo donation

 

There are probably over a million books and blogs written on the how to topic of living a happier life. What is great about all of them is that for the most part they all work for someone out there. I like to believe I live a happy life. When I wake up, I’m excited to go to work! The people who surround me are all incredible and they give me something to be happy about each and every day.

So to add to the millions of blogs online about living a happy(ier) life, I would like to add number one million and one. Below are 5 things I have added to my daily routine to help me live a happy life.

1) Be Someone to Someone: A little less than 2 years ago I began mentoring a student in the school district I went to my whole life. The extra time was found, and once a week I get to spend a quick 20 minutes hanging out and listening to my mentee. Many of us grow up wanting to be someone special, me included. But there is nothing more special than being there for someone who needs you.

2) Spend at least 20-30 minutes per day outside: Being 2014, there is no surprise that electronics and technology dictate a lot of what we do each day. But with all of the chaos online and on T.V., you cannot forget to take the time to just be outside. Whether it be 20 minutes or an hour, mother nature has provided us a lot of things to enjoy, go discover some.

3) Fire your friends: We become who we routinely surround ourselves with. Unfortunately, some allow themselves to constantly be around that negative friend or friends who gush constantly about how awful their lives are. You know who I am talking about. They never seem to have anything positive to say about other things or people. Of the items on this list, I believe this is the one thing everyone should do ASAP. Will it be easy? Probably not. Negativity is a powerful thing, and if you want your life to be filled with happiness, you have to get rid of the negative be it your best friend or now.

4) Be a Care-Less person: That’s right, be care-less. No, not careless in your actions, but care less about whether others think what you are doing is best for you. Now let me say this, being care less doesn’t mean to be a sloppy joe and walk around in your PJ’s and say, “I don’t care”. Have standards. If there is something you really want to do, do it. Don’t let the thoughts of others stop you from seeing the world, starting a business, or inventing a product. Care less, do more.

5) Drink a gallon of water per day: As some of you know, Coach Courtney is also a Coach for Pump & Shred. One of the many things I have picked up from her coaching others is being strict on them drinking a gallon of water per day. I have started to and am trying my best to do this daily as well. The days that I am on spot with it, I feel the benefits the next day. I have TONS of energy and my mood is just better over all. I don’t feel fatigued during the day, my focus is on point and my workouts are awesome (pauses to take drink of water). When I feel good physically, I feel even better mentally and that makes me a very happy person!

So there they are ladies and gentlemen. They may not work for everyone, but they have worked for me. A sad life is a wasted life. Do the things that make you happy daily and you will reap the benefits physically, mentally and emotionally!

Do you have ways to live a happier life that you would like to add? Let us know!

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.

Do you have these 3 items in your fridge?

From the good to the bad, our refrigerators are full of foods, drinks, and condiments. Some of these things sit for weeks and rot away, while others sit for years and still taste the same (probably not a good thing). But of all the things that are in your fridge, here are the 3 that we think should always be in there!

 

1) Topo Chico Lime: This is for no nutritional reason, but Coach David and Courtney love TOPO CHICO LIME. Yeah, you’ve heard of topo chico, but have you had lime? It is a healthier alternative to those drinks that have artificial sweeteners and all of that other junk. It’s not an energy drink, and honestly I wouldn’t replace my water intake with Topo Chico Lime, but I love having a bottle during dinner. The even better news, they are only $0.63 at your local HEB.

topo

 

2)  Raw Spinach: Mmm do you taste that? It tastes like nutrients. Whether you eat it raw, blend it in a shake, or put it in a skillet for a few seconds to let it soften up before you put it with your chicken, you cannot go wrong with raw spinach! We will say this though, don’t let it sit too long. The leaves get gooey and the taste is pretty miserable.

spinach

3) Apples: It really doesn’t get much more basic than this. Why an apple? Because when you are hungry, but not that hungry, it gives you a reason not to grab something quick that you KNOW you shouldn’t be eating.

apple

 

This post wasn’t written to tell you something scientific about foods. What it really is, is what we have and don’t go without in our fridge every week.

What are 3 foods you continuously keep stocked up in your fridge?

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.

 

What does “universal scalibility” even mean?

katie DL Final

 

 What is a scale?

In a world of “Universal Scalability”, what does it really mean to scale a movment?

By: Coach David de Leon

 

When it comes to training a group of individuals, it is very important for a coach to understand that each athlete has his/her own abilities and deficiencies. Why is this important? Because when it comes to strength training and conditioning, the coach must be able to adapt the training method in order to reduce the risk of injury while still allowing the athlete to get the most out of their training. The ability to do so is even more important when the training is not one-on-one, but in a group setting.

Many gyms use the term “universal scalability” very loosely. The way I have seen it interpreted is “just go lighter”, which is more of the uneducated coaches form of scaling. A true scale is made when the coach understands the deficiency or compensation being made by the client, and provides a different form of the movement in order to reduce the clients risk of injury while still getting the benefit of the specific task.

Here’s an example from the gym last night at OTL: In one of our evenings classes we have two clients whose deficiencies relate to lack of mobility and lack of midline stability. The movement? Deadlift. Which is a great example because it is so feared, but yet is one of the safest and most beneficial lifts of all time.

 

greg DL final

 

When the weight taken from the ground (starting position), these two athletes tend to lose midline stability or have trouble properly setting up for the lift. The fix? It is not lighter weight. Instead we increased the height of the starting position of the lift. This height change allows the athlete to properly and safely set up for the lift. The decrease in range of motion does 3 main things: 1) Decreases the risk of injury especially as weight is increased 2) Allows the athlete to “feel” the proper set up/movement 3) The fix correlates with the athlete deficiencies which should have been found during an assessment prior to them starting training. This ladies and gentlemen is a scale. The same muscles are being worked, the athletes risk of injury is decreased and the scale relates to the problem. Most importantly THEY ARE GETTING STRONGER!

Yes, over time you can make your way back down to a normal start position as the athlete fixes their deficiencies. But simply telling them to “go lighter” will never fix anything. And believe it or not, injury can occur with light weight if the proper technique and set up still aren’t there.

So what really makes scaling universal? It is the ability to get the same result using a means that is safer, in correlation with a clients deficiencies, and allows for progress in a movement over time.

This is easily done at OTL because our focus is not to make our clients elite. It is to fulfill them with a life of health, wellness, activity and most importantly longevity. When the focus is only how hard/fast/heavy can you go, we lose sight of what it means to build someone up, over time and without injury, to be the strongest and most conditioned person they can be.

Be it elite, or just to live a healthy life, coaches must understand their athletes and truly care about where they are and where they want to be.

Until next time, scale properly and reap the benefits!

 

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.

 

 

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.