1. Fitness Freaks
2. Challengers Commence
3. Body Weight WODS: Slow and Steady
Last week I joined a Sugar WOD webinar “Burpees again? Varying Programming in these Times” with Ben Bergeron and Dave Durante. I hoped to obtain useful burpee substitutions but came away with other food for thought.
Before, I get into the meat of it, do Ben and Dave require introduction? Perhaps. I did not know Dave Durante prior to this webinar, he slipped my radar. Lest that be the case for you I’ll give you a brief intro. Ben Bergeron
, is coach to podium Games athletes and the owner of CFNE. An aside, his was the first North American CrossFit to close in response to social distancing measures. His TED talk on Mindset is worth watching as are his weekly Chasing Excellence podcasts. He speaks quickly and knowledgeably about a breadth of coaching matters. Good to listen to. I’m also a fan of his wife, Heather Bergeron’s, down to earth blog HB Unfiltered. She tells it like it is! Dave Durante, is a former Olympic gymnast who has been instrumental in the development of the CrossFit Gymnastics course. He is co-owner of Power Monkey Fitness, a resource unknown to me that provides a bevy of on-line training options and an amazing sounding training camp.
As I wrote this post, it came back to me that Corey mentioned the Power Monkey Camps months ago in the context of something worth doing. At the time, I didn’t know about these Camps. Now that I do, I certainly agree. A worthy looking venture. In the meantime, as no one is traipsing off to camps, I was thrilled to check out Power Monkey’s archive of live classes and movement demo videos (links below).
You may want to choose one movement to focus on from their library. Durante’s core looks good. For a burpee sub, the tuck roll to straight jump could do the trick or, for a simpler approach, the plank jacks.
So, what can you do instead of burpees from a programming perspective? Their answer was, put your time elsewhere and work to figure out where you are deficient in your fitness and improve upon that by understanding the difference between practice and training. Your goal is to target the deficiency with the right intent. If you want to get good at something you need to practice it in some capacity daily. Hate running? Think you are not good at it? Up your running frequency. Don’t only run when programmed in a workout. The 5km run is the most programmed workout on CrossFit.com and the least done. Apparently, CrossFitters do not run enough and it is a missing link for many. I, however, should be tackling wall walks. How to stop avoiding practice is a topic for another day.
There was an interesting discussion about CompTrain, its’ origins and the mission of the programming. It was developed for people who want more than the group class, not just competitors. Bergeron stated he has Masters athletes who cannot do double-unders or pull-ups following CompTrain and doing well with it, because they want to do more than a group class offered. He said, “We call these people fitness freaks and there are 4-5 in every gym”. Who are the freaks among us? I assign myself mild fitness freak status, though not sure if one who simply loves to workout, is an actual freak. In my world, it is something fun I get to do, not a trip to the guillotine. Let’s get in wicked shape and have a good time doing it! I welcome the chance to try workouts from a variety of sources to achieve this goal for myself and help others do the same. That is a big part of why I do, what I do. End of food for thought.
We are off and working daily on an area in our lives where we want to see improvement. Daily habits identified by Challengers were varied and encompassed mobility, nutrition, cardiovascular endurance, creative output, meditation and mental toughness as developed by “seeing it through.” It is hard to create a new habit or break an old one. Great start all! We’ll work hard to meet our goals. I’m excited to see the progress we make over the month.
Body-weight WODs: Slow and Steady
I caught a couple of articles this week expressing concern over home bound folks doing copious amounts of poor form body weight exercise to stay in shape lacking proper equipment, and causing themselves harm as a result. Not the case among Empower members but caused me to think about how to alleviate this problem or breathe fresh life into these movements if you are growing wearing and possibly a little sloppy in execution.
Main tip is to think about Slowing. It. Down. Find your cardio from another source. Do the push-ups with intent, slow reps, hold for a count of two at top, slow down descent and ascent. Squats, pause at the bottom, 1, 1000, 2, 1000, 3, 1000 up to 5. Lunges, focused reps, keep chest up, glutes and stomach tight. Sit-ups, tall chest at the top, avoid any rounding. Burpees, keep elbows close to body, extend hips fully at top, maintain a tight stomach, small clap overhead.
Get your heart rate up by gunning it on a run, skipping, biking, rowing. Change your pace around. Speed up for x amount of time, recover, speed up. Sprint to tree, walk, sprint to tree. This type of thing.
Here is a workout to practice on! It has become a WOD I rely on when I don’t feel like working out (it happens) and need to do something requiring little thought while covering bases. My times have ranged from 23 mins to close to an hour! A half Zack will net you a good workout. Start there and see what you think!
Hero WOD Zachary Tellier
150 Air Squats
Burpee Hour: AMRAP x 60 mins
Talk about repetitive bodyweight WODS! This workout was the brainchild of 12 Labours CrossFit, in Annapolis and Columbia, Maryland. The premise is to do as many burpees as you can in an hour and then celebrate by ordering from a local restaurant you want to support. They put the WOD out to the world with a challenge to join on-line and complete anytime on May 2, 2020.
About ten minutes in I questioned if anyone had tested the WOD. But we should all be able to get up and down from the ground for a steady hour should we not? I managed it at Spanish Banks. Needed the backdrop of the ocean to get me through, plus the novelty of the sand. 15 mins in it started to pour rain, putting phone at risk. Moved belongings to cover of concession stand and did 60 burpees on hard cement. Quickly realized cement too punishing on joints. Sand slower but worth cushioning, just have to get your footing. Moved back out into refreshing rain, leaving belongings in shelter. You have the beach to yourself in these conditions. Bottom line, a straight hour of burpees on a hard surface is risky business. Would have been manageable on a green mat in gym. Unbearable in my yard. 435 burpees done. Current high scores in the 900 – 1000 rep range. Absolve self from burpees this week. Forbidden. Also burned out on take-out! No burpees and home cooked food only this week. Long and short. It was worth doing. Once. In a lifetime.
Good to hear rumblings outdoor workouts may be a possibility sooner than later. Fingers crossed. Till then my friends, train on! Way to keep it going. Salute!