Tagged as: workout

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

Friday Night Murph/Lone Survivor viewing

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If you plan on attending this workout, please read this in its entirety!

On Friday the 10th, 2014 OTL will gather a small group of athletes who wish to participate in the CrossFit™ workout titled Murph. This is a memorial workout to commemorate the death of Medal of Honor recipient, Lt. Michael Murphy.

Here is the simple layout for those wanting to join us for the workout on Friday night at 6:30PM

The workout “Murph” consist of:

– 1  Mile Run

– 100 pull ups

– 200 push ups

– 300 air squats

– 1 mile run

The reps can be partitioned as needed as long as ALL reps are done before moving on to the last mile run.

For those wanting to complete Murph:

This is open to all, not only OTL athletes.

You can do the workout solo and complete all reps by yourself, or you can complete the workout with a partner and split reps as needed. The run however, cannot be split.

Scaling the workout

There will be NO SCALING of this workout. Due to lack of pull up bar space, this memorial workout will only be open to those who can successfully complete a pull up WITHOUT any assistance.

Due to the nature of this workout, we suggest you are currently training and are not coming in untrained.

Signing Up/Cost:

 The link to sign up is below. There are ONLY 10 online spots available. This is for both Team and Individual. If you are signing up as a team, ONLY 1 ATHLETE NEEDS TO SIGN UP.

The fee to honor a fallen soldier with OTL Fitness is free. Sign up Here > Murph Workout Sign Up

After the workout

After the workout for those who would like to go, we will be going to see the movie honoring Michael Murphy and his comrades killed in the line of duty called, Lone Survivor. More info on movie time will be sent out as the date nears.

Please email us at info@otlfitness.com if you have any questions.

Sign up here >>  Murph Sign Up

Slow and Steady Wins The Strength

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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.



Your workouts shouldn’t piss you off

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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”.



3 Excuses For Not Joining The Gym

3 Excuses people use for not joining the gym, and all 3 are awful.

Whether you are a gym owner, a coach or a friend who has tried to recruit a friend to start working out with you, there are a pile of excuses you are bound to hear. The crazy part is, when people make an excuse, they use things that 99% of the population also have to deal with. But when they explain they are sure to say it in a way that makes it sounds so stressful.

I am going to quickly call out 3 common excuses I hear at least once a month from people not just living up to the fact that they are lazy.

1) “Oh I am so busy with work I couldn’t possibly make it”. Yeah? Weird, because no one else who comes to the gym has a busy schedule.” Yes, this one is you Mr. “I think I work harder/longer than anyone else on the planet”.

Let me start with 2 personal examples of athletes at our gym. Although I know ALL of our athletes have busy schedules, these are 2 that stand out.

Example 1: Surgeon/Practice owner/On Call surgeon. Times per week he attends class, 3. Number of times he has shown up after a 10+hr surgery, countless. Complaints he has made during workouts from being “so busy at work”, none.

Example 2: Nurse: Directly from 12 hours shift to workout. Times per week she attends, 3x/week or more. Yes, she is tired, has dealt with the public for 12 + hours and has dealt with those who are sick, but puts in the work and doesn’t make any excuses.

Yes, work is busy for everyone, but give me a break. Don’t let the thing that supports you financially also be the thing that sends you to your grave. Everyone (well almost) has a job that demands attention and time, using it as an excuse is weak.

2) “I don’t have enough time for that”. This is very close to example 1 except they just don’t have time in general. What is funny about these excuse makers is they are usually not WILLING to get up early to get their workout in. It usually sounds like this, “Oh I don’t have time during the day, and I’m not really a morning person.” So you do have time, you are just a little lazy and would rather sleep in than become healthier and more fit? We all have 24 hours in our day. Some of us just know how to take advantage of each hour better than others do.

3) I just can’t afford it. PLEASE STOP ME FROM GOING CRAZY! Now let me first say, there are some who are in legitimate financial binds. I understand. But then there are those who would rather spend their money on going out for drinks, on restaurants, on clothes or 1,000 channel cable (and the only watch 10).

Just last week a good friend of mine contacted me about signing up. The issue: affordability. So he being a friend, I asked him what his lifestyle currently “required” that was costing him money that he didn’t need to spend. The first thing he mentioned was his cable bill. He had the top of the line cable contract which was costing him around $150/month. Realizing he rarely watched T.V. he cut back his cable and started classes. When people are SERIOUS about making a change, they will always find a way.

The point I am making with this write up is we all have reasons for not doing something. But I have seen and heard all the excuses people can give. Truth be told, if you want it, you will make it happen. If not, you will make an excuse. So which will you choose?  A life of excuses? Or a life of making changes in order to fit in the things that can change your life?

What is the WORST excuse you have ever heard from someone not wanting to workout?

Women’s Only Saturday Class


Earlier this month OTL Fitness announced the opening of our Saturday class from 9:30-10:30 AM. With much of our interest coming from women, we have decided to gear our Saturday class for those asking for it. Here is a break down of what the Saturday Women’s only class will look like:

– The Saturday class will be set up just as any normal OTL Class

– The Class will run for 1 hour from 9:30-10:30AM 4 Saturdays per month

– Athletes must register for the entire month. No make ups are allowed

– The first 2 months will be coached by Coach David and his assistant(s) who will then take over the class after 2 months of shadowing.

– The classes will be intense and scalable to all fitness levels

– The Class is designed for those looking to work hard and not make excuses

– This a is a great start for beginners who may be nervous to begin regular classes

– There will be a high emphasis on learning movements ranging from weight lifting to gymnastic movements

– Each Class will incorporate some type of weight lifting component and conditioning component

– Most importantly all ladies must be willing to work hard and have fun!


Class is an upfront payment of $80 for the month with the exception of February. We will only host 3 classes in February and cost will be $60 per athlete for the entire month.


The Saturday Women’s only class is capped at only 8! Do not miss your chance, sign up today! Email info@otlfitness.com to get registered!

Never Too Young

Never to you for OTL Fitness

There is never a bad age to start exercising. Whether it be playing outdoors or starting a training routine, our youth should be “working out”. If your kid spends more time in front of the TV or a computer than they do outside, you are setting them up for a sedentary life style. As adults/parents it is our job to influence the youth and it can all begin with fitness.

Marcos, our middle school athlete, is a great example of doing what it takes to stay healthy. He and his father attend class on Tuesday and Thursday at 5PM and it is rare they miss. With a head start on fitness, Marcos will be way ahead of his peers as he begins to take part in middle school athletics.

Great work Marcos, keep showing up and keep working hard!