Fitness Fundamentals || Gymnastics

This is the third article in our “Fitness Fundamentals” series, so far we’ve addressed Nutrition, and conditioning. These articles are for those just starting a health and fitness journey who need simple actionable advice to start improving right away. For those whom fitness is already an active part of their lives, fundamentals are something that should be revisited consistently to make sure the foundation of our hard work remains solid in support of our goals.

 

Today we address “Gymnastics” basically learning how to to control and move our own bodies through space. It’s important to distinguish between competitive gymnastics  and gymnastic as it pertains to fitness training. For most the high level skills displayed in competitive gymnastics are not necessary for fitness, however we do want to emulate the physical qualities competitive gymnasts have perfected.  We’ll define those qualities as flexibility, body control, and upper body strength.

 

Flexibility

You’ll hear flexibility called many names in fitness circles (mobility, increased range of motion, etc.) but we simply want people to maintain the ability to freely move your joints and muscles without significant limitation. For most their current work environment is actively reducing their flexibility and ability to correctly perform simple natural movements like squatting, bending, lunging, pushing, and pulling. A consistent routine of stretching and performing the above movements.

Action step:
Maintain and developing flexibility is best done with day to day consistency. The best source we’ve found for this is call ROMWOD. They offer a short 15-20 minute flexibility session daily.  

 

Body Control  

Not only should we be able to move our muscles and joints freely we also need to be able to control those movements to ensure they’re effective and safe. Body control is simply the ability of your of your body to do exactly what your brain tell is to do. The way gymnast obtain this skill is with load of tempo and isometric work. In layman’s terms that means moving in and out of positions slowly and holding positions for extended periods of time.  Tempo work can be applied to any of the above mentioned movement patterns (squatting, bending, lunging, pushing, and pulling) to develop effective body control. Additionally using core exercises such as hollow holds and hollow rocks help one develop the ability to coordinate the upper body and lower body to work well together.

Action step:
Next time you’re training try adding a 3 second descent and 3 second pause at the bottom or top of your movements.  Notice the increase in difficulty and intensity that a little extra “control” adds to any given movement.

 

Upper Body Strength

Lastly let’s talk quickly about the importance of upper body strength. Most men spend years of their youth focusing on bench press numbers at the cost of developing adequate pulling and pressing strength. Meanwhile many female gym goers shy away from upper body work in fear of looking bulky. Utilizing fundamental gymnastic movements helps create well balanced upper body strength as well as an aesthetically pleasing upper back physique.

Action step
Here’s a quick upper body training with the goal of achieving 1 strict pull-up.

Day 1 –
3 sets of 8-12 banded pull-ups (enough band tension to do 8 but no more than 12)
2 sets of 10-15 RIng Rows or Horizontal pull-ups

Day 2 –  Rest

Day 3 –
3 sets of 3 Negative Pull-ups: Jump your chin up above the bar and lower yourself for 5 seconds.

 

Day 4 – Rest


Day 5 –
6 sets of 3 banded pull-ups (less band tension than day 1)
3 set of :10-30 Hang from the Pull-up bar.
Thanks for stopping in! Our next installment we will discuss weightlifting and barbell training!

Fitness Fundamentals: Conditioning

This is the second article in our “Fitness Fundamentals” series, last week in part one we addressed Nutrition. These articles are for those just starting a health and fitness journey who need simple actionable advice to start improving right away. For those whom fitness is already an active part of their lives, fundamentals are something that should be revisited consistently to make sure the foundation of our hard work remains solid in support of our goals.

 

http://crossfitgeneration.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/crossfit-pyramid1.png

 

Today we address “Metabolic conditioning” or just “conditioning”. This type of exercise goes by many names but I like to think of it as exercise that is limited or regulated by your ability to breath or control your heart rate. Most new to fitness will recognize this as “Cardio”.

 

Crawl before you walk…

And more importantly walk before you run.  Walking is one of the most beneficial types of exercise most of us tend to neglect.  Walking improves aerobic capacity, aids in recovery, provides mental stress relief, and is just generally good for your soul. For folks who are just getting back into training (or starting for the first time) walking is a great way to prepare and progress your feet into higher impact movements like running.   

Action step:
Add a 60-90 minute walk 3 days a week to your routine. Preferably find a great park or some nature to make it an even more enjoyable cathartic experience. For those just beginning this is a very important first step into actual exercise that should not be downplayed. For those of you currently training hard, walking provides mental and physical recovery from the higher intensity work you’re used to.

 

Variety is the spice of life

Despite what conventional wisdom suggest there are far more injuries involved in distance running than weightlifting. Why is it that throwing 300 lbs over your head is statistically safer than going for a jog? The short answer is because distance running imposes repetitive stress on the same muscle groups, ligaments, and tendons over and over again that is absent in competitive weightlifting.  The key point is doing the same thing all the time eventually breaks down specific areas of your body’s structure. This can be avoided by learning and applying a wide variety of movements into your training program.

Action step:
If running or jogging represent your entire conditioning training take the time you normally run and do a different movement. If you have access to equipment you could row, bike, or swim in lieu of running. You can also sub a simple bodyweight exercise like burpees.  For my hard charging CrossFitters sometimes what looks like variety can also become repetitive stress.  I challenge you to take a week to do the opposite. Only run, bike, swim, or row the times prescribed (or average time of completion) of the WOD and see how it differs from your normal training.

 

Go Slow and Fast
Finally the importance of varying intensities is important as well. Most inexperienced trainees have the “more is better” mentality so ingrained,  that junk miles and slowish work dominates they’re conditioning training. The goal should be a balance of short fast sprint type work, medium to moderate effort work at a challenging pace, and longer slower work.  

Action step:
Here is a weekly template that can be utilized today by anybody at any skill level:


Monday:
20 Rounds
:10 Sprint @ 100% effort
:50 Rest

Tuesday:
5 Rounds
5:00 of work @ at challenging, but sustainable effort (hit the same distance / total work each round)

7:00 Rest

Wednesday:
20-30 minutes @ steady state / pace

Thursday
Rest

Friday:
4 Rounds
2:00 work @ As fast as possible
Rest until you feel 100% (typically 5-10 minutes)

Saturday:
20-30 minutes @ steady state / pace

Sunday:
Rest

 

**Walk 60-90 minute 2-3 times a week either on rest days or after training”
**Any type of exercise can be used for this but rowing, running, biking, or swimming will yield the best results.  Running is not suggested for someone brand new to training, or who is overweight.

 

Thanks for stopping in! Our next installment we will discuss gymnastics and bodyweight only training.

March Athlete of The Month: Bruce Cline!

Each month we spotlight a different CFA athlete who stands out and shows just how awesome they are. What is it that makes up an Athlete of the Month? It may not be the person that finishes the fastest, Rx’s every WOD, or gets a PR every time they walk in the gym. Although we love and celebrate when those things happen, the Athlete of the Month is made up of much more than physical ability. This person shows up, gives their best every time, and then gives a little more. They are hungry to learn and always ready to do the work. They support their fellow classmates and encourage them to reach their goals. This athlete embodies what we believe the CrossFit Austin Community should be about.

Our March Athlete of the Month is Bruce Cline! Bruce finished up fundamentals with Coach Tim and joined group classes in September of 2016. You’ll usually catch him with the 4:30 pm crew. Bruce has a fire for training that is tough to match. It’s been really exciting to see the progress he’s made in the short time he’s been here. He gives it all during class and puts in the extra work to reach his goals. All that work has certainly paid off in his time here! We’ve enjoyed Bruce’s positive attitude and watching his continuous gains over the last few months and we’re excited to see him continue to progress for many more years! Bruce, we are proud to have you as our March Athlete of the Month and as an awesome part of this community. Thanks for all your hard work! Congratulations!

 

State your Name and/or Nickname please:
Bruce Cline

Words to live by?
“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” Marcus Aurelius

What is your fitness background?
Organized sports in High School, Unorganized sports in College, Mountain Climber (many 14ers and soon to be a 19er).

How long have you been CrossFitting?
For two trimesters.  The first 3 months were real pukey, the second 3 have been less pukey but the aches and pains have increased!

Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
I was excited to learn new techniques and proper movements but I was pretty winded early in the lifts and would get nauseated quickly.  Today, I can push the engine a little harder.

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
The people.  Everything that seems to divide our nation today (politics etc.) doesn’t enter this realm…I think it stays in our cars or at home or on Facebook LOL.  We enter the gym as one group and that is a refreshing 1+ hours of good butt kicking.

Current Training Goals/PRs?
Do a muscle up in 2017.
Do double-under(s) in 2017

What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?
Be patient.  Look around the gym…if someone is killing a workout; I guarantee they have put in many hours or years.  Don’t be afraid to work hard.

What is your cheat meal go to?
Mexican Food & Beer

Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
Going a little harder when everything hurts.  That decisive moment can come once in a workout or 100 times, but it feels good when you give it the middle finger and push harder.

If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
“Bruiser”

4 Rounds for time, no Cap
400m run with medicine ball (20lb/14lb)
10 reps deadlift at 60%
20 wall balls
20 push-ups
20 sit-ups

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
Landscaping.  I love fossils.  I can ride a unicycle.  

Tell us something we don’t know about you…
I discovered a juvenile triceratops (or part of it) on a dig in Wyoming.  I touched something that lived 65 million years ago.  I also have a T-Rex tooth and that is just badass.

Longhorns or Aggies?
I root for both of them.

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
“Everything is only for a day, both that which remembers and that which is remembered” Marcus Aurelius

 

Fitness Fundamentals || Nutrition

In today’s culture everyone is constantly looking for a way to “hack” their way into a smokin hot bod, world class athleticism, and lifetime of bliss and happiness. Hard work and the investment of long hours are quickly abandoned for the latest shortcut found on the internet. The truth is getting fit is a fairly simple task, but it is far from easy.  Most fitness results are found through the process of mastering a few simple, but highly effective habits and repeating them consistently for a lifetime.  

 

So, in an effort to cut through the noise we’re offering a new series of articles we call “Fitness Fundamentals”.  For those just starting a health and fitness journey this is simple actionable advice to start improving right away. For those whom fitness is already an active part of their lives, these are the thing we tend to forget as we move further away from the beginners stages. These fundamentals are something that should be revisited consistently to make sure the foundation of our hard work remains solid in support of our goals.

For the sake of sequence we’ll use the classic visual of the fitness pyramid to present the fundamentals:

http://crossfitgeneration.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/crossfit-pyramid1.png

 

So we begin at the bottom of the pyramid with Nutrition. Here are the 3 nutrition fundamentals we believe all nutritional strategies should be built upon.

Eat protein and “lots” of vegetables at every meal.

While protein intake amount will vary based on size and goals of the individual, some protein should be consumed at every meal.  For most, protein will mean fish, eggs, chicken, beef, and / or pork. Green vegetables should always be the first thing consumed on your plate, and the more the better. Kale, broccoli, spinach, lettuces, asparagus, brussels sprouts are a great place to start with getting an abundance of greens at each meal.

Food quantity should be natural not neurotic.

While many in the nutrition industry will ask you to count calories, weigh and measure every ounce of food, and hit precise “macro” percentages we believe there is a better way. While all of those things have some merit in specific higher level situations, we follow a simpler quantity solution developed by Precision Nutrition: A palm of protein, a cupped hand of non veggie carbs (fruits, and starchier carbs like sweet potatoes), and a thumb of fats.

For more details on how to apply this approach based on gender, and size take a look at this infographic from Precision Nutrition.

Make water 90% of liquid intake.

Water is the most important thing we voluntarily consume. You can survive 30-40 days without food, but maybe only 8-10 days without water.  Hydration is not only important for your survival, but your ability to thrive as well.

Many times folks who struggle with fat loss or fitness performance still take in a large amounts of calories from alcohol, sodas, juices, or other sugar laden drinks.  It’s best to eliminate these or reduce their consumption significantly. And, while we’d never ask someone to give up their coffee, we do recommend drinking at least twice as much water as coffee in the morning to maintain proper hydration throughout the day.  

Our minimum recommendation is 16-20 oz at night before bed and immediately upon waking. If you plan on exercising 32 – 40 oz an hour before exercise and then another 16-20 oz twenty minutes before exercise, and drink as you feel “thirsty” during exercise.

In closing we like to remind everyone that we’re not doctors and this is not medical advice. There are many conditions that adults face that may call for a nutritional intervention that’s beyond our scope of practice. However, we do believe that implementing the three “fundamentals” presented here will immensely help anyone who is striving to improve their health and fitness.

 

Step Down or Rebound || Coach Tim Garland

With the CrossFit Open just a few weeks away, our last few articles have focused on mindset and integrity in training. Applying those principles, I’d like to focus on a single movement often in the Open. The box jump.

The box jump is an expression of power and control of our body-weight. The explosive strength required, as well as stamina when performed at high volume, is not for everyone.  An alternative to this movement is the step-up. While the step-up does not have the same explosive strength demands, it can be a safer movement, especially when considering the urge to “rebound” from a box jump.  Some of us are new to this realm of exercise, so let’s define ‘rebound’ within the context of a box jump.

Rebound- rēˌbound
*to bounce back through the air after hitting a hard surface or object*

So, the next question…how do you determine if you should rebound?

It is probably best for the majority of the general population of group class folks to go ahead and step off of the box. The demands placed on the Achilles tendon, thus risk for injury, are not worth the reward. Rebounding should be left for those that make training a top tier priority. This means they are recovering with the best of the best, by keeping incredible sleep hygiene, eating to replenish for their body type and workload demands, and taking care of their bodies with a complete soft tissue regimen.

So, you are not an elite athlete and do not know where to begin with taking care of/troubleshooting your body. Below are three examples of soft tissue work that you can implement, if you are not already doing so,
that will aid the likes of running, double-unders, and of course…box jumps.

 

Foam rolling the lower portion of your calf. You can also use a kettlebell or even barbell if you find that you need a bit more pressure. Simple place the lower portion of your calf on the object of choice, then work through some extension/flexion of the ankle, and even clockwise/counterclockwise rotations.

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Using a band below the ankle joint itself, elevate the ball of your foot and drive your heel toward the floor while simultaneously pushing your shin toward the top of your foot.

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Working off of a box, place a ball in the belly of the muscle on your shin and gently apply pressure. Here, as with the foam roller in #1, you can work through flexion/extension of the ankle while slowly working your way up (or down) the front of the shin. Please don’t place the ball on the bone itself, remember we are working the soft tissue!

Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 8.05.37 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

Try these out. Not sure if you are doing them correctly? Ask a coach, they are there to help!

Stay Safe and Healthy,

Tim

February Athlete of The Month – Colette LaPorte!!

Each month we spotlight a different CFA athlete who stands out and shows just how awesome they are. What is it that makes up an Athlete of the Month? It may not be the person that finishes the fastest, Rx’s every WOD, or gets a PR every time they walk in the gym. Although we love and celebrate when those things happen, the Athlete of the Month is made up of much more than physical ability. This person shows up, gives their best every time, and then gives a little more. They are hungry to learn and always ready to do the work. They support their fellow classmates and encourage them to reach their goals. This athlete embodies what we believe the CrossFit Austin Community should be about.

Our February Athlete of the Month is Colette LaPorte! She started with fundamentals back in June of 2016 and has been in group classes since July. You’ll usually find her with the 6:30 am crew, but she occasionally pops into noon as well. Colette has been a natural since she walked in the door. It’s been really exciting to see the progress she’s made on top of such a solid foundation. She puts the work in during class and pays close attention to taking the proper steps to reach her goals. All that work has certainly paid off in her time here! We’ve enjoyed Colette’s infectiously positive attitude and watching her continuous gains over the last few months and we’re excited to see her continue to progress for many more years! Colette, we are proud to have you as our February Athlete of the Month and as an awesome part of this community. Thanks for all your hard work and the smiles you bring us on a regular basis! Congratulations!

State your Name and/or Nickname please:Image may contain: 1 person, standing and shoes

Colette

Words to live by?

My dad would say to me growing up “just do your best, no matter what that is” and I always try to apply that to my life.

What is your fitness background?

I played soccer as a kid and have always been a runner.  I got into weight lifting about 4 or 5 years ago.

How long have you been CrossFitting?

I started training with Gen in June of 2016

Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
I definitely felt overwhelmed when I first started CrossFit. Some movements I knew how to do, but there were lots that I didn’t. I still feel like I’m a major work in progress but I love improving and accomplishing small goals.
What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?

The camaraderie and the competition. It’s nice to meet like-minded people and to have them push you harder than you would working out alone.

Current Training Goals/PRs?
I’m training for the Austin Half Marathon this month and I also really want to be able to do a handstand!

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What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?

That not everyone is critiquing you or watching what you’re doing like you might think. Focus on progress, not perfection!

What is your cheat meal go to?

Pizza – it’s my love language

Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.

Anytime I push myself harder than I thought I could.  Whenever I do more weight, reps, whatever more than I originally thought I could going into the workout.

If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?

“Let’s get this over with”

8 burpees
8 squat cleans
8 pull ups
8 toes to bar
400 m run Processed with VSCO with b1 preset
3 rounds
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
I like to travel, binge-watch Netflix, and any DIY craft.
Tell us something we don’t know about you…

I’m fluent in French and my fingers are double jointed so I can twist my hand into a pretzel.

Longhorns or Aggies?

Can I plead the 5th? I went to OU…

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
Never give up on what you truly want!

Open Prep || Gymnastics Clinic with David Henderson – January 28th

Are you ready for The Open?? We all have a rabbit to chase when it comes to The CrossFit Open and if yours is gymnastics then we have a clinic for you! Join us on Saturday, January 28th for 3 hours of gymnastics skills with Coach David Henderson. He’ll be covering a variety of skills that have been present in past Open WODs like toes to bar, pull ups (kipping, butterfly, chest to bar), muscle ups (bar and ring), handstand work, etc..!

January 28th || 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
Limited availability – REGISTER HERE

 

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IRON BROMANCE – Barbell Competition || February 4

 

 

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Saturday Feb. 4 – 8am – 7pm

REGISTER HERE

 

Hosted by CrossFit Austin, this year’s Iron Bromance is an Olympic style weightlifting based competition for those who love the barbell. It’s the only barbell competition intended to test both the strength and muscular endurance capacities of an athlete. Brought to you by Texas Barbell and Weightlifting Wise you KNOW there will be lots of heavy lifting combined with follow up barbell challenges.

Format: In weightlifting competition there are typically weight classes, and following suit, the Iron Bromance will be divided into three weight classes for each gender category. There will be weigh-ins for each of the three weight classes prior to the beginning of the competition.

Women’s Lightweight – 135 lbs and under

Women’s Middleweight – 136 lbs – 165 lbs

Women’s Heavyweight – 166 lbs and over

Men’s Lightweight- 175 lbs and under

Men’s Middleweight- 176 – 205 lbs

Men’s Heavyweight – 206 lbs and over

The Events: There will be 3 workouts, one for each of the major Olympic weightlifting style movements: Snatch, Clean, and Jerk. Each heavy lifting event will be coupled with a barbell challenge which serves as a muscular endurance test.

Workout 1: Each athlete will be given 8 minutes to find a 1RM in the snatch. ANY snatch variation is acceptable. The movement must be completed within the 8×8 perimeter marked off. The athlete will have a 2 minute rest in which time he/she must load their bar to 50% of the max snatch they just achieved. The athlete will then be signaled to start part 2 of the first workout. The athlete must take the bar from the ground to overhead and the perform as many overhead squats in the 1 minute time allowed for the challenge.

Score for workout 1: (snatch max x 5) + (50% snatch x number of reps of overhead squats completed in one minute)

Workout 2: Each athlete will be given 8 minutes to find a 1RM in the clean. ANY clean variation is acceptable. The movement must be completed within the 8×8 perimeter marked off. The athlete will have a 2 minute rest. The athlete will then be signaled to start part 2 of the second workout which is max reps deadlifts in 30 seconds performed with the 1 rep max clean just achieved.

Score for workout 2: (clean max x 4) + (number of reps of deadlifts completed with clean max in 30 seconds)

Workout 3: Each athlete will be given 8 minutes to find a 1RM in the jerk from the rack. ANY jerk variation is acceptable. The movement must be completed within the 8×8 perimeter marked off. The athlete will have a 2 minute rest in which time he/she must load their bar to 50% of the max jerk they just achieved. The athlete will then be signaled to start part 2 of the third workout. The athlete must take the bar from the ground to the chest and the perform as many push presses or presses from the chest in the 1 minute time allowed for the challenge.

Score for workout 3: (jerk max x 3) + (50% jerk x number of reps of push press/press completed in one minute)

Who wins? The person who lifts the most total tonnage all events combined. There will be a cash award for the winner of each of three weight class categories for each gender.

There will additionally be prizes for the strength tests portions as well as the muscular endurance portions.

Grand Prize Winners: 1k purse; Nike Romeleo 2 Weightlifting Shoes. For GP winners and Overall Strength and Muscular Endurance Winners: Rogue American Apparel; Harbinger Lifting Accessories; Caffeine and Kilo gift card and coffee; Gym Gypsy Journals; Invader Coffee

Push Up Man 2016 – Michael Page!!

On Tuesday, we shared with you the words from our Push Up Woman of the Year, Leah Alter. Today, we’d like to introduce and give you the pleasure of getting know our 2016 Push Up Man of the Year, Michael Page!

mpage

“The Push-up Man and Woman of the Year exemplify everything that we love about our athletes, our community, and the human spirit. Not only do these people walk through the doors of CFA day in and day out, and work hard to improve themselves; they go out of their way to lift up everyone around them. They make their friends and families a priority over themselves. They lead and encourage by words, actions, and example. They represent the burning spirit of what makes our little South Austin gym unique and special. We at CrossFit Austin can humbly bestow no greater honor and we give our utmost heartfelt thanks that you both have chosen to make our gym, business, family, and lives a better place!”

 

When did you join the CFA community?
I started CFA 6 years ago.

What is one of your most memorable moments from your early days at CFA?
At the old CFA building they had the best WOD times and lifts on the wall. The Great Wall of Records was intimidating, but also inspiring. As one of the “old guys” in the gym, I knew it would be challenge, but I was determined to get on that wall amongst the young whipper snappers. One day “Karen” was the WOD, and if you don’t know Karen she’s mean, ugly and known to make men cry. But that morning I somehow fought back the tears and pain and scored a time worthy of the wall.

Any ‘newbie’ stories you’d like to share?Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling
I bent a barbell while doing box squats. Pretty sure that’s never been done before.

What is it about CFA that you love or that is different from other sports/programs you’ve tried?
What I love about CFA is how it’s an individual sport that’s achieved by a group effort. Everyone shows up to work on their own fitness goals, but we motivate and encourage one another to accomplish the challenge.

What advice would you give yourself if you could go back in time to when you first started CrossFit?
I would say, “Hey, focus more on correct form than throwing up big weight.” But then my pride would probably say, “Whatever. I’m going for two PRs.” Then we would exchange countless insults.

How did you create long term fitness/CrossFit success for yourself?
I had to be consistent with my workouts. Coming in 4 times one week then once the next week doesn’t work for me. I realized staying fit was not easy. It’s a job. And I was ready to put in the work.

What keeps you motivated?
Being healthy for my wife and daughter keeps me motivated. My family has a history of heart disease and strokes at an early age. My brother, who’s an avid Crossfitter and only 40 years old, recently had a stroke. I’m pushing 39 and hell bent on beating the genetic card I’ve been dealt.

What makes you come in and train on days when you don’t want to? Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people standing and sunglasses
Mornings I don’t want to come in usually involve a workout I hate. But I make myself do it anyway, because you can’t get better at something while sleeping in.

Recent PRs?
Fran. I owe it all to my coaches. They convinced me to change up my strategy and just like that – my time dropped dramatically.

Current training goals?
There are two movements I have yet to achieve: Butterfly pull-ups and muscle ups. Those are my goals this year.

Tell us about an obstacle you have had to work through in your training. How did you work through it?
I’ve battled a low back injury for the last 2 years. I had it worked on at Airrosti, picked up a few stretching movements from my coaches and corrected a few lifting movements that might have caused it over the years.

What is your cheat meal go to?
Cheat meal or meals? To be honest, I’m really good at eating healthy during the week, but the weekends are brutal. It’s so hard to ignore queso when it’s staring you in the face. But since we’re talking about one meal, I would say a Mighty Fine cheeseburger and fries.

What does the Push Up Man title mean to you?
It’s a great honor. I see so many people killing it in the gym. Making great improvements. To be recognized amongst them is quite the achievement.

Thoughts upon winning the title?Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, indoor
Honestly, I was completely shocked. Especially since I couldn’t make the party. So when my wife put me on FaceTime to accept the award over the phone I was stunned. Speechless. And needed a drink.

How will you use your new found Push Up Man glory?
I’ve tried to use it at home with my wife. I get as far as saying, “Hey, I’m the freaking Push Up Man! I’m kind of a big deal! So there’s no reason I should clean the dishes!” It has yet to work.

Leave the fine folks of CFA with some parting wisdom.
When life shuts a door… open it again. That’s how doors work.

Push Up Woman 2016 – Leah Alter!

If you missed the CFA Holiday/8th Anniversary Party, you might not have heard about our 2016 Push Up Man and Push Up Woman of the Year! We offer our sincerest congratulations to Leah Alter and Michael Page for their outstanding actions that lead to being the recipients of our Push Up Man and Push Up Woman of the Year awards. We are honored to present to you a look into the lives of these two beginning with Leah’s interview. Stay tuned for an inside look at Michael Page later this week!

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“The Push-up Man and Woman of the Year exemplify everything that we love about our athletes, our community, and the human spirit. Not only do these people walk through the doors of CFA day in and day out, and work hard to improve themselves; they go out of their way to lift up everyone around them. They make their friends and families a priority over themselves. They lead and encourage by words, actions, and example. They represent the burning spirit of what makes our little South Austin gym unique and special. We at CrossFit Austin can humbly bestow no greater honor and we give our utmost heartfelt thanks that you both have chosen to make our gym, business, family, and lives a better place!”

 fullsizerender1
When did you join the CFA community? September 2011
What is one of your most memorable moments from your early days at CFA? Any ‘newbie’ stories you’d like to share? My very first day at CFA and the workout was a 1 mile time trial. It was about 104 out. Miguel was the coach and I was the ONLY person in class. As you can imagine this day did not go well for me. Miguel was very encouraging even though I couldn’t even run 1 mile. I couldn’t wait to come back as I was determined to never get back to that place again in my life.

What is it about CFA that you love or that is different from other sports/programs you’ve tried?
CFA is just a special place. No matter what is happening in life, I know I can go to the gym and sweat it out with great friends. I always feel better when I leave.
What advice would you give yourself if you could go back in time to when you first started CrossFit? Check the ego at the door.
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How did you create long term fitness/CrossFit success for yourself?
What I love about Crossfit and weightlifting is that you can always get better…
stronger, faster, smarter. I am always learning and that keeps me hooked.
What keeps you motivated? Long-term health. I’m turning 40 in March and I am the strongest I have ever been in my life.
What makes you come in and train on days when you don’t want to? Shout out to the ladies of CFA! I absolutely love training with you. We push each other but most of all are each other’s cheerleaders. It’s awesome! No offense to you gentleman, you’re all badass too J
Recent PRs? Squat clean, front squat (those pause box squats work, y’all!)

Current training goals?
Train without pain 🙂fullsizerender4
Tell us about an obstacle you have had to work through in your training. How did you work through it? I have unfortunately been injured a couple of times. It’s hard because in many cases it is when you are hitting your stride in a training cycle or training for a competition. But I think the most important thing is to find something you CAN do while injured and get better at that. It has taught me to be adaptable, which helps in and out of the gym.
What does the Push Up Woman title mean to you? To me, the answer to this question is about the Push Up Women who have be awarded it before me. They are all smart, strong, passionate women who have given a lot of themselves to this community. I am so honored to be included in this group.
Thoughts upon winning the title? It’s pretty swell.

What is your cheat meal go to?
It’s never the same meal. I just like food too much to only have one meal. Top 3? Burger, fries and milkshake (post weightlifting meet), Pizza or chips and queso.

Leave the fine folks of CFA with some parting wisdom. My resolution for 2017 is to be more present. I want to spend less time on my phone/computer and more time connecting with people. This community gives me that opportunity every day and I am so thankful for you all.
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