May Athlete of the Month || Edgar Cervera!

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 May Athlete of the Month is Edgar Cervera! Edgar joined our crew in November 2015 and over the years has gotten his family on board too! He’s a regular with the chicken o’clock crew (5:30 am) but sometimes you’ll see him pop in for a second helping during the 5:30 pm while his 2 boys are rockin’ it with Dylan in the Oly center. Edgar knows what hard work is and doesn’t shy from it one bit. He does what it takes to see the results he’s after. Edgar exemplifies so many of the qualities we look for in an AOM and has shown really amazing progress in his time here. Edgar, the CFA Team is proud to honor you as our May Athlete of the Month and as an awesome part of this community. Thanks for your all your hard work and we look forward to seeing all you accomplish in the years to come! Congratulations!

State your Name and/or Nickname please:
Edgar Cervera
 
Words to live by?
‘IF IT’S MEANT TO BE IT’S UP TO ME”
What is your fitness background?
Basketball, Track and Cross Country in High School other than that nothing else really.  
 
How long have you been CrossFitting?
I believe its been a little more than 2 1/2 years.
 
Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
First day I was nervous as Hell! Seemed like everyone knew what they were doing but me. Compared to today….still feels like everyone knows what they are doing but me…..just kidding…feels more like a family now.
What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
My favorite part is obviously the people. Everyone here wants the same thing….to be the best version of themselves. To push themselves to limits they thought they couldn’t. 
 
Current Training Goals/PRs?
Have a weight goal in mind and I want to get a ring muscle up so bad!!

What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?
Its addictive!! Once you start you wont want to stop! Have fun and go at a pace you trust…but push yourself or the coaches will!

What is your cheat meal go to?
Pita Chips and Peanut Butter
 
How do you use your fitness outside of the gym?
I have four kids!! Its used all the time
 
Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
When I did a bar muscle up. I swear to you I was close to crying…ask my wife. Saw people doing them all the time and never in a million years did I think I could do them. BOOM!!!
 
If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
“The Wrath of Billie” (She’s probably going to kill me for this one)
-Run 400 Meters-
Row for 500
15 Power Cleans ( Men 155)  (Women 85)
Row for 400
13 Power Cleans
Row for 300
11 Power Cleans
Row for 200
9 Power Cleans
-Run 400 Meters-
(FOR TIME)
  
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
I’m in sales and been doing it for 12 plus years… I believe that’s a talent, and other than that I’m a home body. Love to chill with my Wife and Kids. The best part of my day is coming home from a long day at work and     having my baby girls put on some ” My Little Pony” music and dance the night away.
 
Tell us something we don’t know about you…
Was born and raised in West Texas (Odessa). Was taught to fear God and my Parents…and still do to this day. LOVE SPORTS! Having a loving, motivating, sexy wife an four amazing kids!! Never broken a bone or been arrested….BOOM!!! (BORING lol)
 
Longhorns or Aggies?
LONGHORNS!!! (DUKE IN BASKETBALL)
 
Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you and no matter how many mistakes you make or how slow your progress is, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying!!! -ALWAYS BLESSED!!-

Night Of Champions VI || Bar Wars – WODs Announced!

Going for that 200m like…

Teams of 2 – Male/Female teams – Our FIRST CO-ED NOC!
Rx & Scaled Divisions available!
Night of Champions will consist of 2 WODs
WOD 1 – A Lifting Event
WOD 2 – A Partner WOD
FRIDAY MAY 4th
6:30 pm – Athlete Check-In
6:45 pm – Athlete & Judge Briefing
7:00 pm – WOD 1 Start Time

$50 per Team (includes registration for both team mates) Only 15 spots available!

(Only 1 registration per team – We’ll send an email to get division and partner name)

***Proceeds from Night of Champions will go toward new equipment for the gym!***

REGISTER HERE

WOD 1
Max overhead squat (front squat for scaled)

The combined total of both athletes’ top lift will determine your score.

FORMAT
We will be running platforms with an ascending barbell.

*Opening weights for each lifter, for each lift must be submitted by Wednesday 5/2* 

– The lifter will lift within the first :30 of every minute
– The weight will move up in the second :30 of every minute.
– Minimum increase is 2 lbs.
– Each person will have 3 attempts.
– Weight will be changed as a group on each platform

This event will be scored by calculating the combined weights of each athlete’s max lift

WOD 2 –

12:00 AMRAP

8 hang power cleans (per athlete) @ 95/65 increasing 10 lb each round (scaled starts at 75/45 + 10 lb each round)

16 total TTB (hanging knee raises) one person hangs one person works (at least 1 rep for each person)

60 m reverse tire drag (30 m per person) 60lb (40lb scaled)

200 m run together

 

FORMAT

The workout begins with 8 Hang Power Cleans per athlete. There will be a male and female bar for each team. Only one person will work at a time until each athlete has completed 8 reps. Each time the athletes return to the bar, 10 pounds will be added to each bar.

Once the athletes have completed their hang power cleans, they will move on to toes to bar (or hanging knee raises). 16 reps per team. Each athlete must do at least one rep, but otherwise reps may be divided as the athletes see fit. Only one athlete will work at a time while the other athlete hangs from the bar. If one athlete drops from the bar, both athletes must drop.

Following the toes to bar, both athletes will move to the reverse tire drag. Both athletes will share the same weight in their tire. One athlete will drag the tire down 30 m and the other athlete will return it 30 m.

As soon as the tire has been returned, both athletes will run together for a 200 m run.

This sequence will be repeated for a duration of 12 minutes. Total reps will determine your score.

 

Diaries of a Coach 024 || “Listen to your body!”

“Listen to your body.”

Isn’t that such a weird thing to say? Maybe it’s just me but part of me, when urged to do just that, wonders, “Huh? What does that even mean?” I control this thing, I’m driving the ship here, pretty sure my body is going to listen to me. Right?

Nah.

As some of you may know, I recently traveled to my fine home state of Kentucky. Side note: I went to celebrate my nephew’s 1st birthday and y’all. He. Is. The. Cutest. See photo attached. Cue the ooos and awwws. And also, you’re welcome.

Anywho, two days prior I got pretty sick. Sick enough to consider canceling my trip. After much debate I decided to tough it out and make the trek. Let’s be honest, I’d do anything for that little nugget. #auntlife

With a late flight arrival in My Old Kentucky Home (See what I did there? Probably not… it’s a song. Google it. Or watch the Kentucky Derby, you’ll hear it!) it was easy to pass out almost instantaneously. However, the next day I found myself sending my sister out to run errands alone that morning so I could sleep a little later, falling asleep on the couch mid afternoon for about an hour, and then dosing off during an evening movie when I was supposed to be helping with party decor. The next day was no different, I slept late that morning and I’m pretty sure the sun was up when I went to bed that evening. Not only did I snag copious amounts of sleep, but I worked out approximately zero times during my time at home. That’s reason enough to stick the back of your palm on my forehead, raise a confused brow and say, “Are you ok?”

Here’s the lesson. Lean in because it’s enlightening and borderline revolutionary. Apparently, when you fall asleep at random times during the day, your body is trying to tell you something, mainly, that you need to sleep. (Maybe listen a little closer next time, Erica.)

All jokes aside, my encouragement today is just to tune in. I know it’s weird but how do you feel? Like, right now? When you move, does your body resist? Are you lethargic and unenthused when it’s time to workout? When you rest, does your body overdose? Do you feel like you just can’t get enough? Maybe not, maybe movement energizes you. Then keep moving! Rest is always essential but maybe your body is up no problem when that alarm goes off. Then get up and go! Just promise me that you’ll keep checking in, keep listening, because those signs and signals are there and always changing.

Spoiler alert. You are only human and many times, as humans, we are at the mercy of our circumstances and busy schedules, our ever-changing emotions (just me?), and the chemicals that balance and unbalance within us. Take time to check in, take time to rest if that’s what you need. You only have you, and you’re a pretty important part of living the life you want to live, fulfilling the dreams and desires your heart has. Take care of you boo!

I’m out. Maybe to go sleep, who knows!

Coach E

Night Of Champions || BAR WARS

Night of Champions 
Are you a champion? Show us your stuff!

BAR WARS || May the fourth be with you

Teams of 2 – Male/Female teams – Our FIRST CO-ED NOC!
Rx & Scaled Divisions available!
Night of Champions will consist of 2 WODs
WOD 1 – A Lifting Event
WOD 2 – A Partner WOD
Details to come!
FRIDAY MAY 4th
6:30 pm – Athlete Check-In
7:00 pm – WOD 1 Start Time

$50 per Team (includes registration for both team mates) Only 15 spots available!

(Only 1 registration per team – We’ll send an email to get division and partner name)

***Proceeds from Night of Champions will go toward new equipment for the gym!***

FIND YOUR YODA AND GET TO WORK!

REGISTER HERE

Diaries of a Coach 023 || Prescription or Preventative – Crossover Symmetry

Hey friends! As we head into the next strength cycle, jerks, I wanted to pass along an article I found that offered a new perspective and prescription on pain. For those of you that have shoulder issues or injuries, this is for you! If not, the value will be more from a preventative standpoint.

If it’s not one thing, it’s another. If any of you out there are over 30 like me, (or have just beat up your bodies along the way) you may have experienced a similar struggle. As of late, my shoulder has been giving me a pesky pull in a loaded overhead position. In an effort to pinpoint the pain and it’s cause, I had Coach Gen take a look. What she saw was slight tick of internal rotation of the shoulder when under heavier loads. It’s something that tends to happen with instability and improper activation of the surrounding muscles. The Crossover Symmetry system has been my lifeline the last few weeks, in order to train my mechanics into proper position and activation. In researching the system and its benefits, I came across this article. Definitely worth the read and worth testing out the Crossover Symmetry, whether it is to retrain and alleviate pain or to be proactive to prevent it.

Stay tuned tomorrow for a video from Gen and Tim on how to set it up, what you should be focusing on and feeling, and how to get the most benefit out of it.

Enjoy!

End Your Pain by Retraining Your Brain

Diaries of a Coach 022 || The Cost of Avoidance Training

Yesterday I made an announcement to the five people who were participating in Open Gym at the time. After getting their attention, I’m sure quite obnoxiously, I proclaimed with great pride, “I’m going to run.”

May not sound like much, but if you’ve been around me in the gym for more than five seconds you know that I have a hate/hate relationship with hitting the pavement. I hate running, running hates me. We’re good with it, it works for us. Or so I thought.

The last few weeks I’ve felt an inkling of a conviction that maybe this whole running thing should get a second thought. Maybe it’s all this silly talk from coach Tim about “running season” in our programming. It’s initiated some internal dialog for me regarding training and truly investing in my weaknesses.

Let’s be honest, I would love a workout with some heavy clean and jerks, some rowing, some kettlebell swings… those movements are money in the freakin’ bank for me. But what happens when we leave out all the movements we hate is extremely narrow training that has extremely narrow benefit, both physically and mentally. And we might think we want narrow training, but who wants narrow benefits? Not me. Not only would we never get any better at said movements from a physicality standpoint, we would never experience the benefits of enduring through challenges and failures and reaching success only after much diligence and dedication. That shit builds character y’all, not just in the gym, but in life.

So why do we hate and avoid certain movements? Apart from physical restrictions (mobility, work capacity, strength deficiency, etc.), more than likely it’s our pride. We don’t like to feel insufficient or less than capable. So we avoid these things at the cost of potentially gaining the strength and skill we need over time and discipline. I experienced a very similar conviction a few months ago regarding heavy front squats. I hate them, and was avoiding them, because they are hard and make me feel insecure in my ability. Who likes to feel like they can’t do something or do it well? But I realized avoiding them was only worsening the problem.

So what do we do? We take initiative. Hear me say, this isn’t easy. Liken it to approaching that severed relationship in life that you know you need to make right. Or setting up boundaries to avoid spending too much money or drinking too much alcohol… whatever the issue may be. That takes admitting the problem, and then putting time and work into a solution. I’m tired just thinking about it.

Eventually, with front squats, I came face to face with my inability and hopped on the coach Dylan train to get my heinie on a squat program. If I hadn’t taken the initiative, my squats would probably be exactly the same today. Doable, but with no hope for progressing or gaining the strength I need. What we need to do is force ourselves to hang out at or near our point of breakdown. Train it, improve it. And then we push that line back over time, little by little, and things become easier. That’s why we train the way we do (you see it most clearly in working with percentages in strength cycles).

But now it’s time for me to take the initiative with one of my biggest foes. Running. I’m not happy about it, and that’s ok. I want the benefit of growth, to be a well conditioned athlete because I worked at it and for it.

So WHEN you catch me running, say hi, run a lap with me or simply encourage me to keep going because I can guarantee you I am fighting the internal battle of wanting to quit, and probably cussing up a storm in my head. What do you need to intentionally spend time on? Where do you need help or accountability? Or asked better, what are you avoiding in the gym? Why? How can you take the initiative to actually improve instead of avoid?

Good luck out there guys. Be brave and tackle the hard thing!

 

Coach Erica

Are you “Exer-submissive?” – A word from Jeremy Jones

Stop being a fitness masochist or what I like to call an: “Exer-submissive”

Beating your body into submission is not healthy. Going to war on your fat is not good for you long term. There is no enemy inside of you that you need to defeat and punish.  It is not your (or your coach’s) job to exact retribution on yourself.

 

There are varying degrees of ‘Exer-submissives’ in the fitness realm, but I feel like there is an inordinate amount that gravitate toward CrossFit (and Bootcamps for that matter).  I expect that most people who exercise regularly have a set point in their personality that says: “Oh boy. I am really going to need to work hard in the gym tomorrow because of that”, or “I need to go on a long run to make up for that”.  A little of this is fine, it can help people stay on track and possibly even avoid the temptation in the first place by turning it on its head: “I had better not, I don’t want to have to work extra hard in the gym tomorrow. I am already working hard enough!”

For some people, this inclination of repentance takes a much larger and dangerous role.  It becomes a manifestation of the disappointment and self loathing that one feels after doing something ‘bad’.

People who take this to the extreme are not only looking to do extra work because they ‘cheated’ or missed a few days of training, they have sense that they need to be punished.  They need to suffer. Pain is mandatory, and the longer the better. Bonus points if a coach or authority figure is there to yell and push even more.

There are probably a multitude of avenues to get to this mindset (upbringing at home, religion, work, biology, etc), but primarily I think it stems from two opinions:

  1.   You are at war with an internal enemy (you aren’t).
  2.   The misinterpretation that PAIN = RESULTS always (It doesn’t).

The pain during a particularly long and terrible workout, the pain of the soreness that lasts days, the pain of torn hands, the pain of jump rope lashes, rope burn on the leg, and even the pain from a lacrosse ball placed in the ‘right’ spot are NOT signs that you are making any progress.  Do not get these signals confused with results! These are not weapons to use against the devious enemy inside of you who is trying to stop you from reaching your goals.

This confusion of pain and results is probably the most common and most dangerous part of CrossFit.  Discomfort and pain are unavoidable symptoms of hard training, but better, faster, results come from smart programming and adequate recovery.  Training ‘hard’ but not ‘smart’ is the surest way to injury, stagnation, and wasting inordinate amounts of time and money.  Joint injuries, mild rhabdo cases, disruptions to training plans/programs are what come from the hard, painful, workouts – Not progress.  Nowhere is this more evident than the ease at which it is to make a ‘hard’ workout (nausea inducing, hand tearing, sore-for-4-days…) that earns you nothing, results or performance-wise.  Compare that to the difficulty of creating a workout that maybe ‘hard’ while it is happening, but it doesn’t take an excessively long time, leaves your body intact, you can train again the next day, AND you are a healthier person and better athlete afterward.

Start paying attention to these thoughts of the ’10 Hail Marys’ workouts.  Start asking yourself where the guilt is really coming from.  Find out if you are trying to use pain and discomfort as a way to punish yourself for your transgressions.  Try and direct that ‘need for correction’ into organizing a better meal plan for the next week and/or being extra consistent on your training for the next few days.

Shift your view of your other self from ‘enemy’ to ‘impetuous child’.  You don’t need to beat your body into submission; you need to set it up for success.  You don’t need to go to war with your fat; you need to out-smart it. There is no enemy inside of you, there is a part of you that needs to be taught and lead down the right path.

And if you find yourself having the ‘Exer-submissive’ thoughts again, stop and ask yourself what emotions are you really trying to erase. Then figure out how to fix the real problem so you can stop punishing yourself.

-JJ

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