Blog Archives

Wall Crawlers

Hey guys! Another instructional today for ya.  This is another fun one, especially on those “Push” days.  This is going to smoke your core, your horizontal push, and your vertical push like crazy.  They’re called……

wallcrawlers

 

The movements are simple: a push-up followed by a handstand push-up.  Where the real challenge comes in is the transition between the two.  You start off in a standard push-up position with your feet right next to a wall.  After completing the push-up, you maintain that plank position and begin walking your hands back while simultaneously walking your feet up the wall until you achieve the handstand position.  From them perform your standard handstand push-up, then walk it out back to the regular push-up position.  Confused? Yeah, me too.  Here’s a video to help clarify:

As I mentioned earlier, this combination movement hits on both vertical and horizontal pushing planes of motion as well as giving an incredible core workout due to the fact that you must maintain a rigid core throughout.

I DO NOT recommend this movement for beginners as the core demands are very high and the handstand push-up is an advanced technique.  For experienced lifters or athletes, this would be a great choice to get the heart rate up.

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Burpee High Pull

Hey guys! Quick one for you today.  Here is another installment in my FusionFit series I did for Mong Phu during my time as the intern strength and conditioning coach over at Fusion Mixed Martial Arts.  This one is explaining the Burpee High Pull.

burpeehighpull

For anyone who has performed a burpee before, you already know they have a high metabolic demand…aka they suck!  Sure 5 or 10 isn’t the end of the world, but 5 or 10 followed immediately by another exercise then back to the burpees?  Now you have a recipe for sweat and progress.  But what about the elite athlete who has trained their body to scoff at the simple burpee?  This is where things get fun for someone like me.

There are a plethora of innovative ways to increase the difficulty of the burpee such as a burpee pull-up, burpee broad jump, etc etc.  The list could go on and on.  One of my personal favorite iterations of the burpee is the burpee high pull.  You begin with a standard burpee but with a sand bag (or dumbbells) in your hands.  Drop down just like normal, but on the up phase, instead of just getting to the standing phase and dropping back down, you deadlift the sandbag off the floor and pull it vertical to about chest/chin level depending on your ROM restrictions.  Now even this has a couple different ways to perform the same movement. With a lighter weight, you can use all arms/shoulders the perform the high pull, or you could use a heavier bag and utilize violent hip extension to thrust the bag up to the high pull postion much like the olympic lifts.  Your choice really just depends on what your training goal is.

These are a great way to add yet another stimulus to your already demanding burpee.  I wouldn’t recommend these for a beginner or novice client, but once they are ready, it’s a great tool to use to rev that heart rate up.

Have fun!

-Weakness into Strength-

Overdue Update!

It’s about time for an overdue update.  This past weekend I ventured down to Long Island with my beautiful fiance for her nephew’s birthday.  He didn’t know we were coming so it was quite the awesome surprise.  Unfortunately for me, I knew my lumbar support in my car was broke so I was leery about a 5 hour drive considering I was still sore from deadlifts a few days prior.  But much to my surprise, by utilizing Kelly Starrett’s bracing techniques the whole way, I was able to stave off any low back pain!  I was amazed.  Typically for me, a few hours in the car equals low back pain like crazy but this time I took a proactive approach and made sure not to let it ruin my trip.

Now my fiance is 100% Portuguese and her entire family knows how to eat, and eat we did!  Unfortunately, they know how to bake as well…so the desserts were a’plenty!  Needless to say, my healthy eating habits took a momentary backseat to the fun festivities.

After a 5 hour drive on Monday, we arrived back home after consuming nothing but coffee and McDonalds.   Obviously it was Memorial Day so a “Murph” Workout was in order.  Murph is a CrossFit workout that entails:

1 Mile Run

100 Pullups

200 Pushups

300 Squats

1 Mile Run

After fueling my body with nothing but crap and a five hour drive, the last thing I should have done was change and go workout.  Almost immediately I got cold, shaky, and dizzy.  I felt atrocious.  It was an awful workout.  It wasn’t until I got back home and chugged some V8 that I finally got some color back to my face and felt better.

Alas, today is a new day however, and it is back to the regular grind again!  After an 11 hours of sleep last night, a good healthy breakfast this morning, and a little foam rolling/lacrosse ball smash and flossing, I feel ready to get back to my program to prepare for Sunday at Battle in the Burn hosted by Burn City CrossFit!!

BCCF-CREST

All the hints for the WODs have been released and it looks a little something like this:

1. Tabata Something

2. Barbell Complex + Run

3. BYOJR (Bring your own jump rope)

It’s about time to get it!

-Weakness into Strength-

Stay Hungry

In a world full of Goliath’s, us David’s need to stay hungry to keep up!  As a smaller guy, I need to try twice as hard (if not more) just to keep up with some of the more genetically gifted individuals out there (the Goliath’s).  That is why it is so damn important for me to never settle, never be content and ALWAYS push my limits to achieve something more.

"..pfft, you ain't so bad."

“..pfft, you ain’t so bad.”

Let’s put this in a different perspective, one I happen to thoroughly enjoy: hockey.  Now the Penguins are my team and with all of their incredible firepower, they should have blown out the Islanders in four games in the first round of the playoffs.  But what to my wandering eyes should appear, but an entire team embodying the spirit of David and forcing a game 6.  The Penguins just coasted, thinking they had this thing in the bag, much like a lot of guys I know.  They didn’t give it their all, they didn’t take it seriously, and guess what, they were almost made fools of!  The Islanders were hungry, and they showed it.  Ultimately, however, the Penguins kicked it into gear and took care of business (thankfully!) but this just goes to show the other side of the coin which is my next area of concern: defeat in victory.

maybe next time you take it a little more serious, eh?

maybe next time you take it a little more serious, eh?

There is an incredible quote in The Dark Knight Rises where Bane says to Batman as he’s kicking the crap out of him, “Victory has defeated you! Perhaps this is a common quote but for me, it was the first time I had ever heard it and it struck a chord.  This phrase perfectly described the phenomenon I have been seeing for years from the “Goliath’s.”  They are so comfy atop their pedestal that they no longer work hard; there’s no drive, no hunger!  They are content being on top and think that that is just how it was always be.  Well, let me tell you my friend, you’d better have a short lease you can get out of up there because myself, and the other David’s out there ARE hungry and we are coming for your spot!

Hard to be hungry without a head...

Hard to be hungry without a head…

So the moral of the story is: no matter who you are, how much you can lift, how fast your Fran time is, there will ALWAYS be someone trying to take your spot.  As soon as you become content it is all over.  Strive for your best, yearn for more, and you will ultimately achieve greatness.

-Weakness into Strength-

11 Days out: Training Hard

Hey guys, so after forcing myself to curmudgeonly get out of bed this morning, I realized just how unbelievably sore I was!  Simple things like: sitting up, breathing, thinking; they all hurt! Unfortunately, today was not a scheduled rest day.  So rest I did not.  Instead, I combated my insufferable wuss-itude with a frienemy of mine: the lacrosse ball.  I smashed and flossed with that sucker and felt like a new man after.  I can not even begin to describe the multitude of benefits athletes, gym-goers, humans in general can receive from some good ole’ recovery/preventative maintenance work in their down time.  I went from barely being able to walk to this:

That’s just a little look inside my training for the upcoming Battle in the Burn hosted by Burn City CrossFit.  If you haven’t checked them out yet… you know what, just do it.  Anyways, here’s what my workout ended up looking like today:

Deadlift 5×5: 300 /305 /325 / 350 / 350 (x3)

Bench 3×15: 135 / 135 (x13) / 135 (9) + 95 (x12)

Good Mornings 3×15: 95 / 95 / (zercher styler) 95

Shoulder Bar Complex x3 @ 45 lbs:  5 Military Press, 8 Push Press, 10 Push Jerks

WOD: Tabata: Jump Rope / Mountain Climbers / Bike / Rower

Really focused on my hip hinge movements and my pressing movements considering yesterday was heavy on knee dominant movements and pulling.  Both workouts seem to compliment each other very well.  I won’t say that these are perfect in the least as  there are several components I am still lacking but in preparation for this competition, I have opted to stick to main lifts and things that I think will benefit me the most at the competition.  Finishing with the tabata sucked though….those are never fun.  Don’t let people fool you, they’re rough…but so worth it!

Take care everyone!! -Colin

IMG_8695

-Weakness into Strength-

Elevation Masks: Elevating the Suck

My good friend Michael Sawyer was kind enough to let me borrow his Elevation Mask a while back and I just hadn’t gotten around to trying it out.  Finally, I decided today was a good day to give it a go.  It was quite the experience.

elev-2

My workout today consisted of:

Strength:

5×5 Deadlift

5×5 Bent Over Row

3×10 Zercher Sandbag Goodmorning

Conditioning:

30 Sandbag High Pull/Burpees for time followed by

30 TRX Atomic Pushups for time.

I wore the mask for all of the exercises and only took it off after all my sets of a given exercise were finished or if I absolutely had to get more oxygen.  All in all, it made the entire lifting session exhausting.  My heart rate was through the roof for the entirety of the workout.  I would NOT recommend this product for someone with a low to moderate amount of cardio.  This is for higher level athletes for sure.

Also, for anyone who has asthma like myself, you’ll experience similar feelings to an asthma attack if you really try to push the envelope.

If you’ve got the base amount of conditioning in, I would definitely say give this a shot.  If nothing else, it will add a new variable to your workouts and hopefully spice things up for you. Enjoy!!

-Colin

“Make your weaknesses your greatest strengths”

Mixing It Up: Music Choices

I’m not sure about you guys, but when I hit the gym, I try to do everything I can to maximize that day’s workout.  An integral part of that for me is my music selection.  Whether I am working on my Oly lifts that day, power lifting, WODing, etc etc etc I have certain bands that flip the beast mode switch for me and send me Super Saiyan.  Today I wanted to share some of my favorites in hopes that maybe I can broaden your musical horizons, or at very least get you busting out a few more reps,  lifting a few more pounds, or burn a few more calories than yesterdays workout.  So here they are!

Power Lifting:

For power lifting, I find slow to mid-tempo stuff to work best.  It’s got to be heavy and it’s got to be angry.

Bands to Check out: The Acacia Strain, American Me, The Abominable Iron Sloth, Bongripper (check out Hail and try to tell me you didn’t start to bob your head to the beat)

WODs/AMRAP/Rounds/etc:

Anything I do at high intensity for time has to have some fast, loud and heavy music accompaniment. These bands are great when you need the tempo to match your work output.

Bands to check out: Terror, Trap Them, Converge, Disfear

General Good Stuff:

The Minor Times, Extermination Dismemberment, Devourment, Bacchus, Cursed

Converge+DSC_7411Edit2

Got some personal favorites? Share them with the rest of us so we can check them out!

Make Your Weaknesses Your Greatest Strengths

So tonight, for those of you who were able to make it to my conditioning class, I shared a personal story about how I realized too late something I should have worked on more.  I asked you all to try to think of at least one facet of your MMA game that you know you avoid because you aren’t that strong with it and share it here under the comments.  This is your chance to get it off your chest and allow myself and your fellow brothers here at Fusion to help you make your weaknesses your greatest strengths.

Below is a cover photo I made that you are all free to snag and use as your cover photos on facebook if you like!

weaknesstostrength