Olympic Lifting Cycle: A CrossFitter’s Perspective || Coach Aaron Garza

10 Weeks    

That’s how long I chose to dabble in the world of weightlifting. You know, that sport where there are more chairs sprawled out on the floor than barbells. Where burpee is a dirty word and where lounging on a chair, taking a cold swig of water, and chatting about the weekend every 3 minutes for an hour is an integral part of the training protocol. You know, that easy sport where you only have to worry about two lifts. Yea, that’s what I thought. I was wrong.

Know Your Why

We had just finished the 2018 CrossFit Open and for the second year in a row, the Open revealed that strength was my weakness. My background in distance running and triathlon allowed me to quickly develop strong calisthenic and aerobic capacities in the sport. This gave me a huge advantage when I first started CrossFit. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much carry over to the barbell. As I improved as an athlete, my lack of strength became more and more evident. I wanted to not only compete, but be competitive. I still have a spreadsheet from 2015 with all my lifts and target goals that I’ve been working towards ever since. I’ve been slowly creeping closer and closer towards those maxes, however, I realized that I never truly dedicated time to weightlifting. I knew that just as I had spent years and years building an endurance base, I would benefit from taking the time to focus on strength alone. The desire to improve as a CrossFit athlete. That was and is my why. Whether you wish to refine your technique, need a change of pace, or simply want to improve strength, know your why.

Mental Game

In triathlon, you train your brain to turn off. You learn to focus on the cyclical patterns of each discipline. During the swim, you shut it off to limit anxiety, remain calm and focus on breathe and stroke. During the bike, you learn to focus on cadence and disregard the buildup of lactic acid in the legs.  During the run, you turn it off, fall forward into every step and don’t stop. Crossfit is similar. You learn to shut off your brain and grind through WODs. It works well. The thought of quitting, or “this sucks” never even has a chance to enter a mind that’s turned off.

Then, there’s weightlifting.

Throughout these past 10 weeks, I’ve had to retrain my brain to remain on. For me it was not easy and took much effort. From approaching the barbell, to the setup, to bar path, catch and finish, every aspect of the lift requires thought and intense focus. It’s exhausting. There is no autopilot with weightlifting, especially for the novice lifter. The mental aspect to weightlifting is challenging but rewarding, frustrating but encouraging and downright addicting. If you’ve been in off mode for a while, I encourage you to consider flipping the switch. You’ll be better for it.         

Be a Sponge

Two words that will completely rid you of the opportunity to learn something new, “I know”. As a coach, it is never easy to be coached. I pride myself on being well informed about the Crossfit world and knowledgeable with all things human movement. So to now be taking instruction from someone else wasn’t easy. I had to make a conscious effort to leave my ego at the door and trust in my new coach, Dylan Wall. All that being said, it didn’t take long for me to realize the value that Dylan had to offer. He has a drive and passion for the sport that is infectious and demanding of your very best. Should you choose to test the waters with weightlifting, the best thing you can do is to be a sponge. Have an open mind and be coachable. Listen, think, visualize, and then execute. Weightlifting is not easy. Some days it’s fun, some days its straight work. This is the reason you must have a why. If your why is strong enough, nothing can stop you. I had plenty of days throughout this cycle, where I wasn’t feeling it. I felt weak, tired and slow. But, I showed up. Just show up. Your why will help you do that.

Practice Makes Better

One more thought. If you are reading this, there’s a good chance you’d consider yourself to be a CrossFitter. By nature, you are tough-minded, hardworking and have incredible strength of conviction. This makes you a prime candidate to jump into a weightlifting cycle, even if just for a few weeks. Why? Because you aren’t afraid to fail.  You understand that the inverse of progress is not defeat. Progress is only achieved through the steady pursuit of failure. Not even a stud like Dylan can coach you such that you hit every lift with perfect technique. It’s not going to happen, and that’s okay. Practice doesn’t make perfect, but it does make better. So go for it, try something new, pursue failure and watch yourself grow.

Compete

I ended the 10 week weightlifting cycle with the 2018 Weightlifting Wise Championships, my very first weightlifting competition. In addition to having a strong why, setting this end goal was a big motivator during those not feeling it days. Thankfully, I felt good the day of the meet. We had an easy week leading up to the event so I felt well rested and ready to go. I weighed in with 6 other lifters for the 85kg class. This was the first time I got to take a look at the competition. “I’ll take him, no way he’ll beat me, yea he’s probably gonna win…, I can do more pull ups though”.  Just a few of my thoughts. After weigh in, I got together with Dylan and we game planned how the day would go. I didn’t realize how much planning actually went into the day. This is why you have a coach. It was neat to see that every lifter had their coach; someone they’ve spent months, maybe even years working with. As a lifter, all you have to do is worry about lifting; your coach does everything else. You’re told when to warm up, how to warm up, when to rest, and how much to lift. It’s actually quite nice. It’s funny to think that I had questioned Dylan’s programming at week 1 and now in week 10, I wouldn’t move without asking. The first lift was snatch. Sitting on deck waiting to get my turn on the platform, I was unusually calm. I’ve always been the type of athlete that gets nervous, sick before competition, but this just wasn’t the case. I attribute my lack of nerves to the old saying, ignorance is bliss. I was in a completely foreign world without much expectation, but amped up and ready to jump in.

If you’ve never been to a weightlifting competition, you should. It is crazy intense. Your name gets announced, the place goes silent and all eyes are on you as you approach the platform. There is no hiding. There is no blaring music. There is no clanging of barbells or shouting of spectators. Just silence. The snatch went exactly as planned. I hit 3 of 3 attempts and finished with a 6lb personal record. 6lbs in 10 weeks? Why didn’t I do this sooner? After a quick intermission, the rotation of athletes began once again for the clean and jerk. I hit my opener at 115kg, but felt a little shaky on the jerk. Of course Dylan caught this. The guy sees everything. He decided to set my next lift 1 kg less than what we had originally planned. Again, as the lifter, you don’t question your coach’s call. Your job is to lift, and not worry about what’s on the barbell. Dylan’s intuition was right on as I got red carded on my next lift at 119kg; no lift. On the jerk, I caught the barbell with a slight bend in my elbow, and then continued to press and lock it out over head. This is a no-no in the weightlifting world. After a quick discussion with Dylan, we agreed to set 120kg on the bar for my third and final lift. After 2 minutes of rest, I hit it and matched my current clean and jerk PR.  

I was pumped; I went 5 for 6 with a 6 lb PR in the snatch. It was a relief to see that the 10 week cycle had really paid off. I now notice that my pull off the floor is stronger and I’ve improved my catch position in the snatch. My legs also feel stronger coming out of the hole in the front rack position. I probably had the most fun I’ve ever had at a competition and couldn’t be happier with the result. My weightlifting cycle is over, my end goal has been met and I now have a cool singlet to prove it. And you could too!       

Move well, move often.  

-Aaron Garza

 

Editor’s note: Coach Aaron isn’t one to brag, but he went home with a shiny new piece of jewelry from his meet! Aaron took silver in his weight class and we are super proud of him!

 

Murph Day 2018 || June 30

CrossFit Austin will be hosting Murph Day Saturday (6/30/2018) honoring the memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy and all fallen veterans. Lieutenant Murphy was killed in Afghanistan on June 28th, 2005. This workout was one of Mike’s favorites and he named it “Body Armor”. We will honor a focused warrior and great American who wanted nothing more in life than to serve this great country and the beautiful people who make it what it is.

REGISTER HERE

“Murph”

For time:
1 mile run
1
00 pull ups
200 push ups
300 squats
1 mile run

*Partition the pull-ups, push-ups, and squats as needed.
**Teams of 2, 3, or 4 are welcome.
***All movements can be scaled.
****Be sure to wear your twenty pound vest or body armor if you have it.

 

EVENT SPECIFICS:

Event Registration + Shirt 

  • $40 for participating athletes
  • Athlete entry fee includes registration & t-shirt costs and donations

Event Registration without Shirt

  • $25 for participating athletes
  • Athlete entry fee includes registration costs and donations

***T-Shirt ONLY (non-participant)

  • $25

THE DETAILS

  • This event is open to all – members and non-members
  • Athletes must arrive 30 minutes prior to their heat to warm-up, sign-in, and pick up shirts
  • Heats times start at 8 am, 9 am, and 10am
  • Spectators are welcome
  • Donations are welcome and can be made through eventsmart, Navy SEAL Foundation, or on site during the event.

The proceeds from your registration will be donated to the Navy SEAL Foundation in honor of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy.

“I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.” – Vince Lombardi

 

June Athlete of the Month || Julia Carrillo

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 June Athlete of the Month is Julia Carillo! Julia joined us almost a year ago and has found her place with the 4:30 crew. Julia is constantly pushing her limits and it’s resulting in impressive gains in her fitness. She’s always up for the challenge! Not only is she an excellent addition as an athlete, but you’ll find her pretty regularly at our social events too! Julia exemplifies so many of the qualities we look for in an AOM and has shown really amazing progress in his time here. Julia, the CFA Team is proud to honor you as our June 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: Julia Carrillo / “Jules” or “Rillo”

 

Words to live by? Laugh every day

 

What is your fitness background? It’s not much of a background. I did Drill Team dance in high school, and then stuck to only cardio type workouts for a while. In 2014 I started hitting up the ‘Globo gym’ until I found CrossFit.

 

How long have you been CrossFitting? This is hard. I’ve done ‘CrossFit style’ workouts for a few years now, but only the less complex movements, (box jumps, wall balls, front squats, etc.).  I didn’t learn Olympic lifting, and gymnastic movements until after I joined CFA back in June of 2017.

 

Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today? I did my fundamentals and then didn’t actually show up for a class until a few weeks later. I was incredibly nervous about meeting new people and looking like an idiot. I don’t remember the workout but I remember feeling very welcomed. And hot…soo hot. I feel like the workouts are still just as hard, but now I can do almost everything RX’d.  

 

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin? The trash talking. It gets the blood flowing.

 

Current Training Goals/PRs? Butterfly pull-ups….and don’t sprain anything or make me bleed my own blood again.

 

What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit? 1. It’s not always a competition. 2. Don’t be afraid to let go of the assistance bands and try things RX’d-it’s how you grow. 3. Don’t cheat. You’re only cheating yourself.

 

What is your cheat meal go to? Pizza and Beer

 

How do you use your fitness outside of the gym? I would say I go on hikes and play sports, but I don’t. I plan on attending the Peace Officer Academy at my work and I know they will give me plenty of opportunities to use fitness outside of the gym.

 

Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout. My first time doing Fran in January. I set up my band on the pull-up bar and then Brenda yelled at me and said I didn’t need it.  It was my first workout doing pull-ups unassisted. Then the next highlight was cutting 3 minutes off my Fran time when we tested it again earlier in May.

 

If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be? I would instead create a hero WOD for my brother and name it “TJ” after him. He was killed in action back on June 28th, 2005

28 Minute AMRAP

6 HSPU
6 Pull-ups
6 Burpee over Bar
6 DL @ 105/155
6 Power Clean @ 105/155
28 Double Unders

 

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit? I love a lazy day just watching Netflix, but I also love being out in the sun, hanging with friends, family, dogs and the boyfriend. I also enjoy dabbling in videography and making videos highlighting peoples’ suffering, (2018 CrossFit Open).

Tell us something we don’t know about youI am a licensed Cosmetologist. Oh, and ya know the giant Bronze Beaver outside Buc-ees stores? I helped design his shoes.

 

Longhorns or Aggies? Broncos

 

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…  Sooner or later, everybody goes to the zoo.

Parkinson’s Law and Your Time || A Word from Jeremy Jones

Hey Everyone!

Parkinson’s Law: “Work will always expand to use all of the time and money allocated to it.”

Or as Isaac Asimov put it: “In ten hours a day you have time to fall twice as far behind your commitments as in five hours a day.”

We are going apply this principle to make your life better.

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When people used to ask “How are you doing?” the default answer was always “good” or “alright.”

It appears that this has been supplanted with the modern mantra: “BUSY.”

Why is that?

Why is it that we spend less time than our forebears doing chores, getting from place to place, being forced to watch commercials, waiting on food to cook, etc. and yet we feel more ‘busy’ than ever?

One of the primary reasons is that we are consuming more media. We are filling every minute with social media feeds, news, videos, and games. We have more ‘free’ time than any generation in history, but we have so many more convenient things to do with it!

For example, people used to watch a 2-3 hours of television at night. A lot of that was commercials and shows that weren’t exactly what people wanted to watch (so they might do other things at the same time like cook dinner, or read the paper). Now days, you’ll turn on Netflix and watch for 4 hours of back to back shows of exactly what you want to see. You may end up browsing Facebook or Instagram at the same time, but you will definitely be more engaged than when you were watching an ‘okay’ show with a commercial break every 5-7 minutes.

The problem is that these new activities are DESIGNED to keep you on as long as possible. Companies have spent billions of dollars figuring out how to keep you scrolling, clicking, and engaging. They have trained us to reach for the app as soon as we have the smallest moment of boredom or when we need a break from whatever we are doing.

Even when we are deep into another task or conversation, the ding, the beep, and the buzz, call us back to the fountain of distraction. There is a reason why the alerts on the screen are red. This is because red is the most catching eye color (possibly linked to our primal brain looking for ripe fruit or danger). These alerts are like little electric zaps to our brain to stop what we are doing and get back to scrolling, clicking, and engaging.

What does this have to do with Parkinson’s Law?

At work, if a project is supposed to take 2 weeks, it will take 2 weeks (or longer). That is because the amount of work you’ll do on it will grow to fill the time allotted. We will not finish the project early and then blow off the rest of the time. We will find details to nitpick. We will do more research, have more meetings, or add more features… (exactly what I did when making these brilliant illustrations).

This is also true in the rest of our lives. If we stack our time with all of the things we want to get done, and there is some extra time left over, we’ll try to squeeze in more (to ‘get ahead’), or we’ll fill the time with more scrolling, clicking, and engaging (when we should be being productive). We’ll be distractedly loading our truck with stuff while racing toward a ‘burnout cliff’.

Burnout cliff.png

After the dust has settled, after everything else is done, THEN we’ll find time to ‘Recharge’. To workout… or take a day to ourselves… or to spend time with our families.

The equation looks like this:

Total Time (to get things done) – Tasks (time to get them done) = Recharge Time

The problem with this is that we’ll never run out of tasks to get done, so we’ll never have time to recharge. We’ll keep packing that schedule with more and more tasks, and we’ll fill in the gaps with more ‘neutral/wasted’ time of scrolling, clicking, and engaging. Not to mention, those dings, beeps, and buzzes make us less effective at our tasks because we keep switching modes, making them take longer than needed.

Side Note: There is no place this is more prevalent than with a business owner or a large family. With a business owner, there is no end to the tasks that need to get done; More cleaning. Updating the website. More meetings. More product development. More research. More organizing and filing. More tracking… With families it is; More activities. More time on homework. More chores. More outings…

To combat this, we need to switch up the equation a bit (don’t worry, if you aren’t good at math it is still pretty easy to follow).

Total Time (to get things done) – Recharge Time = Tasks (time to get them done)

What we are effectively talking about is that we need to put times on our calendar for Recharge Time BEFORE we stack our calendar with tasks and events that need to get done.

This simple shift will do a number of things for you (and your work, and your family)

First, you will create a sustainable schedule. You will be able to maintain this schedule for the rest of your life because you won’t be playing chicken with the burn-out cliff. You’ll be able to handle stress better. You’ll be happier and more relaxed. You’ll be a better spouse, parent, friend, and coworker. You’ll also be able to handle any curveballs or busy seasons as they inevitably pop up.

Next, you’ll find that you work more effectively. Jeff Bezos of Amazon HATES term ‘work life balance’because it implies an either/or mentality. A tug-of-war between the two. He believes in work life synergy. That if your work life is energizing and metered, it will make your home life better because you are coming home more energized and less stressed. If you home life is energizing, it will make you better at work because you are more productive, creative, and driven.

By guaranteeing time each week to ‘Recharge’ and do life giving things, you will be more excited about work. You will be more creative, more productive, and much more fun to work with. By preventing work from stealing your ‘Recharge’ time, you’ll have more time to take care of yourself, to learn, to grow, and to be present with your family and friends.

You will also learn how to work more efficiently. Instead of working on that project at night or on the weekends, you’ll work your hardest when you are supposed to. Then you’ll hit ‘submit’ when it is ‘good enough’ (instead of spending time on the extra stuff because you still have time). You will find it easier to turn off the alerts and stick to the task, rather than let yourself get distracted with work that is ‘urgent’ rather than ‘important/productive’.

Finally, you’ll also discover how to say “No”.

You’ll have a more realistic idea of what you can do in a normal week, and you’ll be able to select what you want to spend your time on. Instead of saying “yes” to the extra events/projects/edits, you’ll say “No” or you’ll say: “Yes, BUT…” As in: ‘yes I can do that, BUT it is going to take an extra week or two, and these other things will be put on hold’.

With the original equation, you’d ‘find the time’ by sacrificing your Recharge Time. With the new equation, you’ll be able to protect yourself from overcommitting/burning out, making mistakes, and missing decades of living a great life.

What does it mean to “Recharge”?

Everyone’s Recharge time is going to be a bit different. It is usually a good idea to break it up into three categories: Small Charge, Medium Charge, and Big Charge.

Small Charges are what happen during normal days of the week where you have work and school schedules to work around. We cultivate these small charges by doing things like holding to a schedule of going to the gym 3-4 times a week. Not working past 7pm. Spending 10-30 minutes regularly meditating, praying, or journaling. Setting a rule of ‘no electronics during dinner’. Avoiding too many commitments during the week that will cut into quality time.

Medium Charges are our once per week ‘Sabbath’ and/or 2-3 days every month or three. Times where we choose to not answer work email and/or go on social media. Time we can spend doing the things we love with the people we love. It could be going to the gym to do fun things with friends, or it could be staying home to play games with the family. It could be doing projects around the house or doing charity work. It could be a long weekend camping or visiting friends/family away from the usual hustle and bustle of the daily grind.

Big Charges are vacations. We need these 1-2 times per year. A week at a time is minimum (2 or more weeks is better). It will take most people 2-4 days to finally relax and get the maximum benefit. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive. Going on a road trip, camping, visiting relatives (that you like) are all good options, but leaving the country is better. The key is to ‘leave work at the office’. Don’t obsessively check email while you are gone.

Vacations are particularly important for businesses/work.

If you own the business, this is your chance to test the systems and people you have in place to see how the place runs when you are gone. It is a way to create more efficiency and assign responsibility. The goal is to take longer and longer ‘breaks’ from your business to make sure your business is able to thrive without you (and to have the ability to focus on specific parts of the business when you are around).

If you are working at a company or with a team, this is the time for them to recognize your contributions. You will have to spend the time prepping everyone for your departure (the more ‘prep’, the more important your role). That said, you want your absence to be noticed. You want your peers and your direct reports to miss you. This signifies to the company (and your boss) that you are playing an important role and that your job cannot be easily liquidated or outsourced.

Big Charges are also times to reflect on your path. After a two-week vacation, are you energized and looking forward to getting back to work? Are you missing your colleagues and clients? If you can’t get ‘juiced’ about your career after a fulfilling two-week vacation, it may be time for you to look at moving on to something else or changing how you operate.

Side Note: It may come as a shock to you, but many gym owners (and small business owners in general) get into a place where they are struggling. Struggling emotionally and physically. They are stressed, and their fitness has plummeted. It is because what used to be a passion and life-giving thing, a Recharge, (hanging out at the gym with friends), has become an unending source of work tasks. They have lost one of their most critical Recharge tools! Setting boundaries and finding activities and friends outside of the business is critical to creating that work-life synergy.

as ft as you used to be.png

Where to Start

So you may be saying to yourself “Sounds great! But I can’t do that. I don’t even know where to start!”

It starts with blocking time on your calendar and holding yourself accountable to stick to it. LITTERALLY blocking time on your calendar as a weekly appointment. It is a good idea to select a few days during your work week where you won’t take on tasks past a certain time. You can also set standards around events each day where everyone (including yourself) is required to put devices away and be present (like breakfasts or dinners).

The next big step is blocking a day off each week for that day ‘off’. For most folks, Sunday will be the day where you don’t check email and/or stay off social media completely (highly recommended). You will also want to ‘protect’ this day from other obligations that may not seem like ‘work’ but are certainly not ‘life-giving’ (like events that you feel obliged to attend, but really dread having to go).

You will also want to have a ‘long weekend’ planned every month (or two, or three). One period where you can link 2-3 days of uninterrupted time away from the grind. You do not have to leave town every time. These ‘Medium Charge’ long weekends can be ‘stay-cations’ where you stay in the area and only do things that you and your family enjoy.

And finally, you’ll want to plan those 1+ week long week vacations every year (or more). Take some of your ‘Small Charge’ time to plan these trips and bask in the planning process. Remember that planning and looking forward to a trip can be just as fulfilling as the trip itself!

Start Small

Set a schedule of making it to the gym or working out 3-4 days per week. Then pick a day or two per week where you ‘clock out’ of work and social media or games (use this time to read, do self care like meditation, journaling, family time, stretching, or a hot bath).

Next, set a day per week to devote completely to yourself and your family/friends. Sleep in if you can. Avoid the ding, the beep, and the buzz by leaving your phone behind or turning off alerts for the day.Spend the day doing things you enjoy, getting outdoors, cooking, or doing a hobby separate from work.

Then, plan that vacation. Set it one year from now or less (if you can). Put it on your calendar, and then set reminders ever month or two to make sure you are planning for a long departure (financially as well as time wise).

Keep in mind that you may have to cut things away that are sucking away your time or your life.Some of these things will seem valuable or important, but you will most likely not miss them once they are gone. Much of the importance we have placed on them is fabricated by ourselves and society. We hold on to them because we have invested too much (like watching a show that has jumped the shark on season 4 of 8), because of commitments we have made (we told someone we’d do it), or because we don’t want to be judged (we don’t want people to see us as ‘quitters’). If it is important, we’ll make it work in the time allotted. If it isn’t able to fit around our Recharge schedule, it should be dumped like useless cargo from a damaged ship.

Rainy Days, Curveballs, and Big Opportunities

So now we have a concrete schedule that we protect as if our life depends on it (because it does) … But what happens when we hit a rainy day (a string of events that requires resources not planned for), a curveball (an extreme event completely unexpected), or a big opportunity (something we’d be foolish to pass up)?

The power of creating space for Recharge Time is that we have the bandwidth and the flexibility to take on these new challenges when they come up.

There will be times where we have to ‘spend’ some of our Recharge Time to handle the emergency, to get caught up, or to position ourselves for the big win. The problem with the way most people operate is that when these things come up, they are already too stretched to handle it effectively!

They are NOT rested. There is no additional time to fit it in. They will have to sacrifice work, family, or health to keep things afloat (rather than ‘pull the oar’ with gusto). They will not be able to minimize the damage, expediate through the rough patch, or make the most out of the opportunity given.

By making Recharge Time a priority, these challenges (which are a normal part of life) will not seem so daunting and will not ‘push us over the edge’ because we have the resources to handle them.

Final Thoughts

Some ‘successful’ people talk all about the ‘hustle’. They never stop going on about how hard they are working, how many things they are doing, and how many hours they are putting in. They talk about how much you have to sacrifice to succeed. They don’t talk about how much down time they have or times they have failed because they were dropping the ball from being overwhelmed.

Other seemingly ‘successful’ people only seem to talk about their adventures and vacations. Their lives seem to be one flight to a cool destination to another. They gloss over the fact that between these events they are putting in the long hours and grinding out productivity like nobody’s business.

Don’t believe the hype.

The reality is that truly successful people, the people that have a great work life, a great home life, AND a great internal life, are using both the work moments and the Recharge moments to make their lives better. These elements work together to make them both productive AND happy.

They are doing meaningful work, while enjoying life/relationships, and they have control over their destiny…

Total Time (to get things done) – Recharge Time = Tasks (time to get them done)

Keep this equation in mind. Implement this strategy to protect your time.

If you do it correctly, you’ll have a new answer to the question: ‘How are you?’

Your answer will be:

“I am busy living a great life. How are you?”

Thrive on.

-jj

ACTION ITEM: Now that you have finished reading this, copy and paste it (or a link to it) on your calendar 2 weeks, 6 weeks and 12 weeks from now. Use these reminders to make sure you are prioritizing the Recharge Time like you should!

DRINK! DRINK! DRINK! Water that is….

Today we are kickin’ it back to an article Coach Tim wrote in years past. We are feeling the heat of these warmer days like a humid hug we’d rather not be in the middle of and when you’re sweating it out like we do, you have to be putting it back in. Check out some wise words from a wise man while you enjoy a nice, cold glass of H20!

 

H2O is Mo’ Better! || Coach Tim Garland

The heat has begun to grace us with its presence. As our bodies adapt to the heat and humidity that this season brings us, you hear your coaches tell you to make sure you are drinking plenty of water. What is “plenty”? Why is it so important?

Many of us know that water comprises the majority of our body. So making sure that we are consuming an appropriate amount of this clear, flavorless liquid is a no-brainer requirement for optimal health. Now, imagine yourself this summer hiking the Greenbelt, completing your WOD, or sitting by pool/river/lake for countless hours…without any water. Thirsty thoughts? Thirst is often thought of as an alert for the beginnings of dehydration. According to Merriam-Webster, dehydration is defined as;

 

Dehydration– an abnormal depletion of body fluids

 

I don’t think anyone would argue that the aforementioned activities could bring on the onset of dehydration without appropriate measures being taken. Most of us have heard the 6-8, 8oz. cups of water per day as the standard for water consumption. Yes, this is standard. However, just as our nutritional fingerprint differs from individual to individual, so should our water intake. We all come in different shapes and sizes and participate at different levels in vastly different activities. Additionally, depending on our current state of health, some systems are more efficient than others at regulating the needs of said activities. Without throwing specific recommendations out there for person A, weighing ‘x’ amount at such and such height yada-yada ya…here are some dehydration indicators to be aware this summer to help you key in on your health, thus your performance, as it pertains to water intake.

A few symptoms have been identified as;

  • Little to no urine, or dark yellow/amber hued urine
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness/lightheadedness
  • Dry mouth
  • Confusion

 

Conversely, proper hydration helps eliminate the chances of these occurring, and can aid us in;

  • Regulating core body temperature
  • Lubricating our joints
  • Keeping our kidneys and liver healthy by flushing out toxins and eliminating waste
  • Helps carry oxygen and nutrients to our cells and tissues

 

Are there other sources to help me stay hydrated other than JUST water? Yes. Although here, water is king, here are a few other ways to sneak in the liquid. Fruits and vegetables contain small amounts of h2o, as well as their juices. Keep in mind that the juices may have unwanted calories due to added sugars. Coffee and teas also contain water, but caffeine can act as a diuretic and lead to frequent urination and counter our purpose.

 

All in all, plan and prepare for your daily activities.

  • Be aware of your environment (heat and humidity) and what your body is telling you
  • Keep a mental note of your previous 12-24 hours of water intake
  • Keeping a water bottle with you throughout your day will help you monitor your water consumption
  • Adjust your consumption as needed to fit your daily activity level

“Mama said Gatorade is the devil”

 

Train smart, live smart,

-Coach Garland

What is this Endurance class all about??

What is CrossFit Endurance? In a nutshell,  CFE combines functional strength and mobility exercises with a high-intensity interval regimen in a series of short, intense workouts designed to build all-over strength and boost the limits of your cardiovascular capacity. CFE is a sports-specific plan that alternates between running technique sessions and customized, CrossFit-like workouts.
Or according to John McBrien, a CrossFit Endurance coach. “Find the area where you suck, and then make it suck less”.
The goals of this course are  to:
  • Increase Aerobic Capacity, which is the base of all metabolic performance
  •  Limit your road time and increase the work you’re doing in the gym.
  • Reduce mileage and instead focus on both  form and high-intensity training, thereby creating a  stronger, more skillful, more durable athlete.
  • Reduce injury risk as “junk” mileage is replaced with functional CFE workouts that train the same energy systems
  • Increase explosive power and speed
  • Increase  mobility and range of motion through incorporating workouts that improve range of motion in the joints and muscle tissues
  • Increase production of human growth hormone, which helps counter the natural loss of muscle mass that comes with age
  • Improve coordination of upper- and lower-body muscle groups through the inclusion of compound movements in training
  • Increae race performance through greater strength, improved form, and greater running efficiency
This class is open to all levels of fitness.
Join Coach Jesse Ruiz for our 6-week Endurance class from July 8 – August 16. Sundays at 5 pm and Thursdays at 7 pm. See you there!

Welcome Coach Jesse Ruiz!

We are excited to welcome Coach Jesse Ruiz for our first of many 6-week courses that are meant to get us our of our regular pattern, experience new ways of moving, and bring added value to the work we do here day in and day out!

Beginning on Sunday, May 13 Jesse will lead us in a 6 week Endurance course twice a week. Classes will take place on Sundays at 6:00 pm and Thursdays and 7:00 pm. Don’t miss out on this opportunity folks!

About Jesse:
Jesse began his formal education at Texas State University, where he received a degree in Exercise and Sports Science while working with the Sports Club teams there.  After training the Men’s and Women’s Rugby teams, along with the Women’s soccer club teams, he came to realize his passion for sports could be extended into the fitness realm.  He then came to Crossfit in 2010, at Crossfit San Marcos.
Being a life long fitness enthusiast, he was quickly drawn to the endurance aspect of the sport and despite making vast improvements,  quickly realized how restricted certain parts of his body were and stumbled onto Kelly Starrett’s Supple Leopard book and his love affair with all aspects of mobility training began.  Jesse has spent the past 7 years studying, investigating, and experimenting the many ways to decrease pain in the body, while increasing strength through range of motion.
Having experienced 2 major sports injuries himself (paralyzed from the neck down and a torn ACL/medial meniscus), the importance of quality and  pain free movement has become a part of his fitness fabric.
He currently  holds a CrossFit Olympic lifting certification, which was taught by the great Coach Mike Burgener.  In addition, he is a Primary Movement Specialist with Primal7, completed a Level 1 Coaching Certification with Atomic Athlete, as well as having interned at GRIT Strength and Conditioning gym.  Jesse has spent the last 7 years studying movement patterns and infusing that training into both his and his clients training. He’s an avid trail and trail relay runner, has competed in the AFMFITTEST the past 3 years, as well as running numerous ½ marathons, 10k’s, and trail runs around the great State.
A Word From Jesse: 
As a Kstar disciple,  I’ve spent the past 7 years studying, investigating, and experimenting the many ways to decrease pain in the body, while increasing strength and endurance through range of motion.  I’ve also competed in a wide range of road and trail races. I believe that this industry chose me and that journey began in middle school, as I suffered a pinched nerve in my neck, while playing football and was temporarily paralyzed from the neck down.  I believe that we possess the innate ability to maintain our bodies and to live, move, and breathe pain free, both in a physical, mental, and spiritual state.
While at Texas State, I was able to coach both collegiate club soccer and rugby players and quickly realized my passion for coaching others.   In 2011, I discovered the sport of Crossfit and my journey into the fitness and coaching industry began.  I’m honored to share my passion for quality movement and endurance with the CF Austin community!  Cheers to being Supple Leopards my friends!

Diaries of a Coach || Get back on track

They say bad things happen in three’s right? Please tell me it’s true because lately it feels like everything has blown up at once. One thing, then another. Then another. And now I’m standing in a big ol’ heaping pile of ashes and mess, trying to piece things back together. But nothing else can happen… because that’s three. That’s it. Right?
What a perfect example of our best laid plans being at the mercy of life. A few weeks ago, I confessed a consistent weakness in my training, running. While I had every intention of implementing a consistent running program, I’ve veered slightly off course. That is my confession to you today. I could tell you all the reasons why, but the fact is, life happened and now I need to get back on track (<— See what I did there? Like… literally get back on the track. Eh?)
Yesterday’s workout was a humbling reminder for me that this is still something I need to work on. Very much so. Although, surely it counts for at least half of the running I missed, right?!?!
My gut reaction is to immediately be discouraged and come down hard on myself. I’ll give you grace all day long, but not myself. No way. With myself, I tend to expect nothing but success and follow through and perfection. Like I’m some sort of super human. Sounds ridiculous when I say it out loud, but it’s true. Instead, today, I’m choosing to accept where I am and take some steps back in the right direction.
Lucky for me, and for you if you find yourself where I am, humbled by yesterday’s workout, the cardiovascular expenditure required, and my lacking, there are some good things coming up to take advantage of here at CFA. Things that can help progress us in the way of endurance in our training.
Starting May 13th, Coach Jesse Ruiz will be starting a 6-week endurance course. This course is designed to challenge your current level of endurance, building and progressing towards higher stamina that will carry over not only into your workouts, but into life. Stay tuned for more info and a bio from Jesse, coming later this week!
Thanks for letting me come clean. Keep me accountable for continued grace in my failures and perseverance toward my goals.
Coach E

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.

 

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