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-Join us this Saturday for our Post Open Beach WOD and Potluck

-Our Free Saturday Beginner Class will resume on Apr. 20


How to be a Great Training Partner

By Betsy

There are many different ways to train.  Some athletes prefer to train alone, while others thrive with the company and motivation of another.  Through triathlons and now CrossFit, I have found that I perform better as an athlete when I have another person to work with, and I am very fortunate to have found the perfect match in a friend and training partner.

Training with another person provides more than just camaraderie and friendship, however (although those are two great benefits!).  It takes a lot more to create an effective training atmosphere that is beneficial to both partners.

Here are the top ten qualities I have learned to appreciate through training with someone else.  They also happen to be ten great reasons to consider finding a partner to train with today!

Be Committed

There is nothing more motivating than knowing that your training partner will be waiting for you—especially if your training session happens early in the morning.  It is much harder to press the “snooze” button on your alarm clock if you know someone is waiting for you at the gym.  Being committed to your partner is the number one factor in making or breaking your relationship—it’s that important.  We all know that life/sickness happens, but when you are committed to your partner, you show up on time, every time, and don’t flake out.  Likewise, when you train, rid yourself of any distractions (the phone being a major one) that may get in the way of your training session.   

Be a Motivator

A training partner will also provide you the encouragement and positivity you may need if you show up to a session feeling less than 100% (your kid couldn’t find his shoes leaving for school in the morning, the dog ran away, you accidently poured Chinese 5 spice powder instead of cinnamon in your coffee before you dashed out the door, etc.).  Just be sure that you are providing your partner with an equal dose of inspiration and optimism, especially on the days that he or she may need a boost, because if you rely on your partner pushing you 100% of the time, you are an energy drain, and will most likely end up training solo before too long :o)

Partners that train together are also comfortable providing verbal encouragement during workout sessions, ensuring maximum potential in each individual.

Actively Spot

When you have a training partner, you also have a built in spotter for all your lifts! You never want to be in a place where you are pinned under the bar with no way to bail (sheepishly raising hand here).  Not only is it horribly embarrassing if/when someone finds you, but it is also not safe.  CFMG athletes have all been disciplined on how to actively spot for their partner in class, but when you are paired with the same person, day after day, and know how they like to be spotted, and when they will need a spot, it makes a difference.  I have become a lot more confident attempting lifts that I would not attempt solo, because I know that I have Tami behind me, either tapping my back or lightly touching my elbows (and screaming, “DRIVE!”) to help me get the weight back up.  She literally has my back, and I have hers. Checkout this piece on spotting here.

Validate Integrity of Movement

Your training partner also serves as an extra pair of eyes to watch your form.  She may be the one to point out why you missed your last lift, so that you can correct your form and attempt the lift again.  She will also be honest with you when you did not hit parallel on your squat depth (and you will perform your last set…again…with extra depth to make up for it!)  These are things that you will not learn from training alone, and you might not even get from being paired up with someone in class.  When I train with Tami, I will call out everything I see, because I know that I demand the same from her.  In calling each other out, we have a mutual understanding that we are not being a jerk or trying to one-up the other—we both want to be better at this sport, and that requires perfect form and integrity in all of our movements.  Training with each other daily also means that we know each other’s weak spots, and we are ready to provide feedback and cues when we see them.

Offer Feedback

Lending to the last point, when Tami and I offer movement advice to each other, there are no hard feelings.  I am honest with her, and she is honest with me.  At some point in training together, your partner will notice you are doing something wrong and will let you know about it.  Your partner does not do this to insult you or make you mad.  Take the criticism your partner gives you and learn from it!

Once you take that feedback, follow the advice of two-time CrossFit Games Champion Annie Thorisdottir: “I will never criticize or beat myself up for what I can’t do today, I will just try again tomorrow. “

Know How to Push Each Other

After coaching for almost two years, I have learned that there are many different ways to motivate athletes.  The great thing about having a training partner is that you know exactly what to say and how to say it to get them to dig deeper and push further than they may want to at that point.  That being said, you also know when to back off and try again for another day.  It’s an intricate balance between pushing and pulling, but having someone say the things you need to hear sometimes makes all the difference.  I personally would take a bodyweight or (surprise!) sprinting/endurance WOD any day over the dreaded 1/1/1/1/1/1 squat day, and I tend to struggle mentally conquering or getting “excited” about heavy strength days.  Lucky for me, I picked a training partner who LOVES to lift heavy things, and it’s hard to not have some of her energy rub off on me.  Conveniently, Tami is not particularly fond of endurance events, and you can find me gleefully taking her to the pool to swim sprints every Tuesday.  We both have a love-to-hate-it (or is it hate-to-love-it?) mentality about these supposed “weaknesses,” so we make sure to give each other the push we need to get the job done and get stronger as an overall balanced athlete.  We compliment one another in our strengths and weaknesses, providing support that resonates with the other.

Keep Social Hour to a Minimum

Once you find your training partner, especially if that partner happens to be a close friend, can be difficult to not spend your entire session goofing off or talking about the latest episode of American Horror Story.  While both are very worthwhile activities, try to recognize that you set aside an hour and a half of your day to focus on your training goals, and use your warm-up or stretching afterward as your chance to catch-up instead.  Sometime our warm-up run goes from a 200 meter run to 800 meters due to these chats, but once we finish our movement prep, it’s back to business for the rest of that hour.  You and your partner owe it to each other to be 100% focused on your work, in the time that you have.

Allow No Excuses

Let’s face it, when you have a training partner, who knows you inside and out, they will not allow you to make excuses.  You know that little voice inside your head that pops up and says, “well, I didn’t really want to lift that heavy today anyway” or “well, she is stronger/faster/better than me” or “so what if I count that rep?” or “I’m going to take it easy on these sprints today,” or “maybe I’ll just end this session early today”? Your training partner knows all of them, and will not let you get away with giving less than all of your efforts.  The only way to get better is to stop letting those excuses pile up in your head and do what you can with what you have at that moment in that day.  Once you let an excuse start to become a reality and affect your performance, it’s over.  You might as well not try at all.  Instead of griping about all your concerns, take that time and work on them.  A good training partner keeps your accountability in check.

Celebrate Each Other’s Successes

This may be one of my favorite reasons to have a training partner.  I get truly excited when Tami reaches a PR, or blasts through a WOD with the fastest time of the day.  In an environment where everyone is super-competitive, and sizing each other up, it is refreshing to have a training partner who doesn’t thrive on your perceived failure or weakness, and who really WANTS you to do better for yourself and knows and believes in you.  When your partner experiences a PR, celebrate with her because that gain is just as much a result of her own hard work as it is the training you have accomplished together.  Because we trust each other, we tease to each other all the time when one of us “beats” the other—but it is all in good fun, knowing that this push allows us to be better…and just because one day Tami may “beat” me, she knows very well that I may be breathing down her neck another day.

Have Similar Goals

When you start to look around for a training partner, in addition to finding someone whose training schedule coincides with yours, you also want to find someone who is about the same ability level or who wants to work on the same things as you.  Take the time to talk to that person about specific goals you would like to meet, and what you are going to do to get there.  Keep it measurable and specific, and have a timeline.  If you both have similar goals, it makes it much easier to remind each other of the “big” picture and allows you to put together a training plan that works for the both of you.  Talking about the plan for the week regularly (versus just showing up to the gym and saying, “what do you want to do today!?”) and taking turns mapping out your workout sessions ensures that you are both equally engaged in training together.

These are just a few of the many ways that I have experienced gains, both mentally and physically, through training with a partner.  What are yours? If you don’t have a partner yet, what are you waiting for? Get out there and find a friend to train with today!


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WOD:

Buy in: 800m run

-3 rounds-

10 Triple unders (sub = 20 double unders or 40 single unders)

20 Burpees

10 Shoulder to overhead (155#/95#)

Cash out: 800m run

-for time-


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We will be playing Hooverball during our beach party this Saturday. Please review the rules HERE if you'd like to play.

SWOD: Front squats 3/3/3/3/3

A1) Good mornings 10/10/10/10/10

A2) Sled walks x 4 sets


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Open Gym 9am-Noon

WOD 13.5

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 4 minutes of:
100/65 pound Thruster, 15 reps
15 Chest to bar Pull-ups

If 90 reps (3 rounds) are completed in under 4 minutes, time extends to 8 minutes. 
If 180 reps (6 rounds) are completed in under 8 minutes, time extends to 12 minutes.
If 270 reps (9 rounds) are completed in under 12 minutes, time extends to 16 minutes.
Etc.

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WOD 13.5 Scorecard

Skill: 10 min of dedicated muscle-up and HSPU practice

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WOD:

AMRAP in 10 min

1 Muscle-up (sub = 1 CTB pull-up)

2 HSPU (sub = 4 inverted push-ups)

30 Double unders (sub = 60 single unders)


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WOD 13.5

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Mobility:

A1) Accumulate 2 min in the paleo chair x 2 sets

A2) Bully stretch, 1 min on each arm x 2 sets

WOD:

“Gorilla Complex”

5 unbroken rounds:

1 Power snatch

1 Hang squat snatch

1 Overhead squat

Rest 3 min

5 sets for max weight


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SWOD: Weighted pull-ups 5/5/5/5/5

WOD:

AMRAP in 18 min

10 KB Swings (70#/53#)

10 Sit-ups

10 KB SDHP (70#/53#)

400m run


Dave Castro Gives Insight to 13.5

Older, Wiser, Fitter

Things I learned in 2012, By: Hunter

This post was inspired by Talk To Me Johnnie’s “42 Things I learned in 2012”. 2012 was a pretty dramatic year for me, and I thought I might share what did and did not work for me, hopefully in an attempt to help some of you avoid making the same mistakes that I did. For some perspective: I began 2012 sitting in the second story of Calpulli Medical center weighing 153 lbs. with a completely over-trained body. How do I know I was over-trained? In order to get to the second story of the building, I attempted to walk up the stairs, in which my quads gave out at the fifth step. I took the elevator instead. I sit here today pounding away at my keyboard weighing 190 lbs., and now capable of ascending multiple flights of stairs. Now that’s what I call fitness. On that note, let’s begin.

1) LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. You know yourself best. You know what does and does not work for your body. If your body is feeling beat, take a rest day. Taking a rest day is far less hindering to your overall progress than taking 3 months off to heal an injury. The same can be said for any day in the gym. If you feel that 1RM deadlift just isn’t going to happen with good form, just set the bar down. Live to fight another day.

2) A POUND GAINED IS A WHOLE LOT EASIER THAN A POUND LOST. If gaining weight is your goal, make sure that you do it within moderation. It is easy to overshoot your weight gain goal, and believe me, losing a pound is a whole different animal than gaining a pound.

3) STRENGTH WILL YIELD ENDURANCE, ENDURANCE WILL NOT YIELD STRENGTH. What I mean here is that being stronger overall will lead to better endurance, not the other way around. If you are struggling to get faster, going out for 13 mile runs will not make you a faster runner. What you are doing is training your body to move slowly by moving slowly. Want to get fast? Do things that make you move fast: 400m repeats, Olympic Lifting, and sled drags are perfect ways of accomplishing this. Note that the CrossFit endurance model is comprised of shorter distance work that is aimed at making you A FASTER PERSON. If that is your goal, you might want to check the CFMG endurance team out on Tuesdays evenings, I’m sure they would love some new faces

4) MODERATION. I could talk all day about moderation. Applying moderation to multiply aspects of your life could be the key to your achieving your training and overall life goals. Moderation, however, is going to look different for each individual aspect of your life. For example, a moderate portion of fruit may be 2-3 servings a day, while a moderate portion of a Snicker’s bar is somewhere between 0 ounces and 0 grams. Click for conversion. Moderation is key to anything: diet, training, relationships, stress, you name it, and I’m sure it applies.  But every now and then, TREAT. YO. SELF.

5) LESS IS MORE. With this one, I’m mostly referring to training volume. It may sound lame, but your goal should be able to do the least amount of work while trying to illicit the greatest amount of stimulus on your body. For example: If I can get a better, if not greater, stimulus to my body by running four 400m sprints instead of running 5 miles at a slow pace, I would, of course, run the 400m sprints because it is not going to beat my body up as much as long distance running. This goes back to Lesson #1, in that you know what does and does not beat up your body, and you should plan accordingly.

6) DON’T HALF-A$* TWO THINGS. WHOLE-A#* ONE THING. That quote comes from the show Parks and Recreation. If I could, I would make another lesson to watch that show, but I know your time is valuable. What I mean here is that by overloading your body with multiple workouts per day, chances are one, if not both, are going to be half-assed. I used to wonder why, after running 6 miles in the morning, a metcon in the afternoon, and another metcon in the evening, I was not improving, considering all my efforts.  If I could, I would go back and slap myself upside the head with how silly I was being. This leads me into my final point for today.

7) TRACK YOUR PROGRESS! Keep a journal! Write down your times! The only way to know if you are getting faster or stronger is to have something to compare it to. A funny story portrayed this during the weekend when I became certified for coaching. The story was told by Josh Everett, in which he told us of an e-mail sent to him that read roughly as follows: “Hey man, I’m really looking to pick up a coach before the Open this year. I don’t like to toot my own horn, but I’m a real fire-breather, I think I may have a legitimate shot at winning the Games this year. Sincerely, xxxxxx” Josh was interested in pursuing this, and asked the guy if he could send him some of his times and numbers. The guy replied, “Oh, well I don’t time myself on anything”. This guy may seem laughable and fairly naïve, yet many people do not write their data down, leaving them with no accurate way to track anything they have done at all. ANYTHING YOU DO THAT IS MEASURABLE AS EXERCISE CAN AND SHOULD BE WRITTEN DOWN AND KEPT FOR FUTURE COMPARISON!

I could sit here atop my soap-box and drop Truth Juice all day, but I know your time is valuable. I hope some of this helps, even a little bit, or maybe causes you reflect on what you learned in 2012. Make mistakes people, it’s the best way to learn and gain knowledge……AND KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!

Mobility:

A1) Wall squat, 2 min x 2 sets

A2) Shoulder distraction, 1 min each arm x 2 sets

WOD:

60 sec. max. Thrusters (95#/65#)

Rest 90 sec.

60 sec. max. Double unders

Rest 90 sec.

60 Sec max. CTB Pull-ups

Rest 90 sec.

-3 rounds for total reps-


CFMG Post-Open Beach WOD/Potluck


CFMG 101: Muscle-ups

Join us on Saturday April 20th, 12:30-3:00, for our next 101 Session. We will be focusing on the muscle up and progressions to get you there.

Our goal is to have you to walk away from each 101 session feeling more confident about attacking these movements with tools you can use to help you improve. We will cover form/positioning, modifications, assistance exercises, and ways to train in order to improve you muscle-up abilities.

This is a two hour long session, but we won't be working out the whole time, and we may end a little early depending on how the day goes. However we may also run a little long depending on the flow of the class. :)

*Class size, for this session is limited to 15 participants

*Cost is $25 per person (first come first serve) Please use our Mind-Body Online Store to sign-up. Go to the Online Store, select Series and Memberships, and then select CFMG 101.


Page 69 of 129

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