Start Preparing for “Murph” 2016

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Each Memorial Day, we take on “Murph.”

For time:
Run 1 mile
100 pull-ups
200 push-ups
300 squats
Run 1 mile

Seems straightforward, right? Well, there are multiple ways to slay this dragon. You are allowed to break up the 100 pull-ups, 200 pushups and 300 squats however you wish. Usually, people use the strategy of five pull-ups, ten pushups and fifteen squats at a time, to break the workout down into more manageable sets. I’m not saying this is what you have to do, but I wouldn’t recommend doing all of the reps for each movement at once.

This workout is a beast, and we will release all sorts of information about the event as we get closer, but for now we have a few plans of attack to help you prepare for “Murph.” For the running and squatting portions of the workout, just show up to class regularly. As we get closer to Memorial Day, we will ramp up running and squatting in our programming.

We have devised a plan for the pull-ups and pushups to have you peaking when “Murph” comes along eight weeks from now. Follow this link, “Murph” Prep, where we have broken down to the day how many pull-ups and pushups you should do to get yourself ready for May 30.

Before you get started on your weekly regimen, you will see a few “Initial Tests” on the spreadsheet. For pull-ups, if you are using any kind of resistance bands right now, do a set of five at the lowest level of resistance possible and write it down to see how much you improve over the next eight weeks. If you are doing bodyweight pull-ups, then do one max set of strict bodyweight pull-ups and write down your number so you can compare later.

For pushups, you will do something similar. If you are using ab mats for your pushups, start off by doing a set of ten in a row with the least amount of ab mats possible. Record the amount of ab mats you used. If you are not using ab mats, then do a max set of pushups and record your number.

For the weekly programming, most of you will do your pull-ups at the gym, unless you have access to a pull-up bar away from TwinTown. So, follow the “Murph” prep program everyday that you come to the gym. Each Monday, start at Day 1 on the spreadsheet. The next day that same week you come to the gym, do the required sets for Day 2. And so on.

Most of you may only get through Day 3 of the pull-up programming each week. This is fine. For those of you that come more than three times per week, you will get some additional work. All of you could come to open gym at 11:00am on Sundays to get another day of work in each week!

You can do the pushup programming everyday on your own at your home or office. Begin each week on Monday Day 1 of the programming, and end each week on Sunday Day 7 of the programming.

To summarize: do your pull-ups at the gym on days you come in. Do your pushups everyday on your own.

The point is, this is volume work. The more reps you do, the better. But every day you commit to working on your pull-ups and pushups will help you on May 30.

We will have spreadsheets posted around the gym for you to reference, or you could also print them off to keep with you. We will post weekly reminders on the whiteboard at the gym of which week of the programming we are currently on throughout the next eight weeks. If you have any questions, please ask one of us when you see us.

This is your year to crush “Murph!” Let’s prepare to take down this monster together.

Patience and Consistency

12356774_1100109356673926_228953655148068323_oThis past month I read an article in Success Magazine on James Lawrence, the guy who completed fifty Ironman races in fifty days, in fifty states.

An Ironman race consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile marathon. To finish one would be an extreme accomplishment, but fifty in fifty days all across America seems impossible.

On the fifth race in, he injured his shoulder which forced him to swim with one arm over the next several swims (which reminds me of Cat rowing with one arm for our 10K benchmark workout a few weeks ago).

On the eighteenth race exhaustion caught up to him and he fell asleep on his bike, but only suffered minor road rash in the crash. Other injuries he suffered throughout included a few toenails falling off, a hiatal hernia, and pushing his body so hard that his heart had to focus on pumping blood to his major organs causing him to lose feeling in his extremities.

How many of these would have caused you to quit? Would these cause you to give up on your goal?

What really hit home with me was what he said he thought about during the races. Sometimes he would have long conversations with himself, but most of the time, it was about focusing on what he would do in the next minute. Lawrence says he tried not to think about how many miles or days he had left; he just wanted to be perfect at whatever he was doing- running, biking or swimming- for the next minute.

Talk about a time where you would think absolute perfection would be the farthest thing from your mind, during this daunting task, but this is what allowed him to stay focused.

In relative terms, how hard would it be for us to focus on making every rep perfect in the movements we do, instead of just doing whatever is needed to finish as fast as possible?

When asked how he did this Lawrence said, “patience and consistency.” He went on to say, “you have to do a lot of things right over an extended period of time. You have to focus on the basics, and you have to be perfect at them. That’s ultimately why I succeeded: I was perfect with the basics, and I had patience. I became an expert at a lot of things, and that’s how I became successful- that’s one of the keys to success if anybody wants to tackle something of this enormity.”

This going back to the basics, really made sense with my goal that I’m working on for 2016. I want to preface what I’m about to say with the recognition that the only way my experiences should even be in the same blog post as something as amazing as what James Lawrence did, was that all I have focused on for the first month and a half of my goal is patience and consistency and just keeping it basic.

My goal is to accumulate 10,000 pull-ups and 10,000 pushups throughout the year. As of this writing I’m a little over 1,000 of each- so about on the pace I will need to keep going through the rest of the year.

I know I set this as my goal because all of my weaknesses in the gym stem from weak upper body strength, but I did not expect to see such amazing progress in such a short amount of time.

Through the first month I can now do bar muscle-ups consistently. Also, I have been doing ring muscle-ups for years, but they have always been an extreme struggle for me, and now I can string multiple reps together regularly. Until the past few weeks, I was only able to do them with a false grip, but now I’m able to do them without a false grip every time. This makes it easier to string together big sets of muscle-ups.

My working regimen for pull-ups are mostly sets of five strict pull-ups at a time and I’ll just do this for about 30-40 reps daily for the most part. There have been days where I have done zero and also days where I have done many more, but for the most part it has been pretty consistent. Pushups are easy for any of us to practice, because you can do them anywhere at anytime.

I’m excited to see the progress that takes place throughout the remainder of the year.

What can you do on a consistent basis to get better at something that has eluded you up to this point?

8 Week Pull-Up/Push-up Program

10430456_938849396133257_2568539751138169983_nDo you remember what your 2015 fitness goals are? How are they going? Have you made progress? Have you started to work towards conquering them?

Out of everyone who submitted there goals, “strict pull-ups” where the top goal with 50% of you wanting to improve them, or in most cases to be able to do them without any assistance.

Another 25% of you hope to be able to improve on your pushups or to ditch those abmats for good.

Instead of running clinics on these movements like we are doing for most, if not all of the rest of people’s goals, starting March 1st we will be rolling out a Pull-up/Pushup Program.

No events available...

Even of you did not submit a goal on either of these elements, and just want to get better at them, you are ALL welcome to participate.

The cost of this program will only be the time that you need to put in to get the results you want, which in turn will be the results you deserve.

The program will run for 8 weeks, with different requirements depending where your initial test results are.

The initial test for pull-ups will be: 1) Set of 5 with the least amount of band resistance. 2) If you can do pull-ups without band assistance, then you will record a max effort set of strict pull-ups.

The initial test for pushups will be: 1) Set of 10 with the least amount of abmats possible. 2) If you are already doing chest-to-deck pushups, then you will record a max effort set of chest-to-deck pushups.

After you record your initial test results the program will look like:

-Pull-ups- You will do 3×3 with the least resistance that you can or, if you are not using resistance you will do 3×5 for the entire first week every time that you come into the gym (either before of after workouts)

-Pushups- You will do 3×10 with the least amount of abmats that you can or, if you are not using abmats you will also do 3×10 EVERYDAY at home or when you are at the gym.

So to recap, Pullups will take place at the gym when you come to workout (the more days you come, the more practice/the better you will get at them). Pushups will take place EVERYDAY regardless of where you do them.

You are allowed to take as much rest as needed between sets. If you are doing your pull-ups before or after class, you must stay out of the way of the class. If they are using the pull-up bars, then you will have to wait.

The full 8 week schedule will be sent to all participants, and will also be posted around the gym so you know what to do at all times.

If you would like to be part of this let us know, email goals@twintownfitness.com and let us know what your initial test results are for both pull-ups and pushups. Also, indicate what type of assistance you used. We will be discussing this further in our daily announcements and all coaches will be able to answer questions you have.

Last but not least, this program will conclude on April 25th, where we will retest both of these elements. Coincidentally, April 25th is exactly one month before Memorial Day (March, 25th) this year, where we will be participating in the workout “Murph”!

Spoiler alert, there will be a pull-up kipping clinic between the end of this program and “Murph” to really hone in your skills, so that you can PR or participate for the first time in this event.