Sometimes You Just Need To Go

11807651_1039727836045412_2842831553556510238_oIf you are new here at TwinTown, or if you have been here for years, you know that we place a high value on moving well and moving correctly.

These are paramount to everything we do whether we are squatting, working on pull-ups or perfecting our Olympic lifts.

If you are moving well and executing movements within a safe range of motion, where is the next area to improve?

INTENSITY, BRO!!!

For a lot of us in the gym, we have accomplished good movement patterns and now it’s just time to go!

What does this mean?

I’m glad you asked. If you just came off the pull-up bar or finished up your ring rows and now it’s time to do a set of ten heavy deadlifts, there are many things going through your mind and many different voices trying to pull you in different directions.

Catch your breath. You need a sip of water?  You have been working out for three and a half minutes now, after all. Okay, I’m going to start right after I chalk up and make one little lap to the garage door and back.

I have had everyone of these go through my head and you know what? I still do. But you need to remind yourself what your intention is for the workout.

Maybe your intention is just to survive the workout. Okay, I get it. We do some difficult things in here and you still may be new to them. What if your intention is to increase your stamina or endurance? Sure you can do these by just showing up and doing the programming, but to really excel you need to move past the mental hurdles that stand in your way.

Rest feels good to everyone, but you know what feels better? Improvement!

Personally speaking, I have been experimenting with this approach of eliminating or reducing rest periods in workouts for the past few months. It has gone super well and I feel that it has brought me to a different level than I was at before. Yes, this different level I’m talking about does mean quicker times along with the physical benefits, but what I value most is the power to crush those mental hurdles. I feel like I have taken control of my workouts.

*** Again, very important, this is not an approach that everyone should take just because you are reading this, but one that you should experiment with if you are moving without impingement and with great form.***

I want you to try something crazy now, the next time you feel winded and you want to take a rest, don’t!

What?!      But I…        I need to…       Ugh…

I know. The next time you feel (keyword) like you need to take a rest, don’t. Just go right into the next movement without stopping. I mean what is the worst that can happen? You will eventually take that rest you were going to anyways. But guess what, you have delayed that rest. What if you do it again the very next set? And again? And this keeps happening until you are done with the workout.

Then you come in the next day and do the same thing. And on and on. What have you done? You have increased your cardio capacity, you have increased the intensity and your stamina and endurance are now better than before.

People who excel don’t always have something that others don’t. Well come to think of it, yes they do. They want it more. What is “it” for you?

Remember that form is king, and that increasing your range of motion is vital to your longevity as an athlete, but if you can check these two boxes then the next box that needs to be checked is intensity.

And sometimes you just need to go!!

Not Going To The Gym Because You’re Too Busy is Bunk

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It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind and put working out on the back burner. This is a bad trap to fall into.

I don’t know about you, but I feel terrible when I skip workouts. It’s not the sense of guilt and shame I feel (kind of like the morning after halloween 2008 when I walked home dressed like Chris Farley’s Chippendales character), rather it’s what I’m missing out on by skipping the gym that makes it inexcusable.

Working out positively affects my mood and boosts my energy. Exercise helps me focus better to get through the tasks of the day. It also provides a sense of normalcy and instills discipline in a sometimes chaotic schedule where it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture.

When I skip a workout, I miss out on all this. I am way less productive and in a poorer mood. So it should be a no brainer to get to the gym and move, right? But life’s never ending to-do list gets in the way and I cancel the gym.

This isn’t okay. Let’s face it, whether we go to the gym or not, we are never going to finish our to-do lists because they continue to grow, and will forever!

Whatever it is I am neglecting for two hours while I take care of my myself can wait. In fact, it must wait.

If I don’t take care of myself first, how can I expect to take care of anything or anyone else?

When I commit to taking care myself and show up at the gym when I’m busy, I’m taking control of my life and prioritizing my health.

When I don’t go to the gym I am making excuses and being lazy. All I have to do is remind myself of this and my butt is back in the gym. Laziness is the easy way out.

What excuses do you make for not going to the gym? What gets you back in the gym when you find yourself slacking?

Pre & Post Workout Routine . . . Do You Have One?

1484574_904605966224267_2291880484785032163_nHow many of you watch golf on TV? No, not just after a long weekend when you need a nap, but actually watch it.

Unless you are a golf enthusiast, most if not all of you, probably wouldn’t dream of even watching a minute of golf on TV.

Being one of those guys that enjoys watching golf, I pick up on what really makes these guys great. It’s the automatic routine they go through regardless of the situation. No matter if they are on the practice tee or putting to win the championship, their routine becomes down-right religious.

Often times, when the camera zooms in, they might have there eyes closed visualizing their shot, doing their quirky pre-shot rituals.

After a round, amateur golfers are in a foot race to the clubhouse or to their car to get away and leave the scene of the disaster that just took place.

Not the pros. If a part of their game is off they head to the driving range or putting green to work out any kinks. They are always trying to improve and find a way to make the next time out go better.

What are you pre and post workout routines? Is it showing up two minutes early to have just enough time to fill up your water bottle before class starts? Is it a sprint to put your jump rope away hoping to never see double unders again?

Or are you at the gym early getting yourself ready for whats to come in that day’s lifting or WOD, and staying after class to try to fix or learn how to do double unders?

Believe it or not, usually the people on top of the leader board don’t just wind up there by chance. The people who move the best don’t just show up and go through the motions.

If you have had injuries in the past or have something nagging you right now, do you think it’s best to just jump right into the circle and go through introductions, or might it be wise to show up ten minutes early to warm up your shoulders when we are going overhead?

If it takes you longer than others for your hips to open up, what seems more logical, spending a few minutes in the couch stretch before class or hoping that the warm up will suffice?

These seem like no-brainers right? Although we try to get you guys warmed up for what is in store for the rest of the hour, we can’t tailor it to everyone’s personal needs. If you need extra attention, it has to come from you.

How long have you been frustrated that you haven’t been able to do a pull-up or that you have been coming to class for months, and have even attended double under clinics, but still cannot get them?

I grew up watching the “Grumpy Old Men” movies and one of my favorite quotes was, “You can wish in one hand, and crap in the other and see which one fills up first.”

Is your approach to sit and wish that one day it will just happen?

There is no secret sauce or special tip that is going to get you there. Yes, there are cues and efficiencies that are going to help, but not a cure-all.

We have all seen members who string up bands after every class to work on their pull-ups, and those who spend an additional five minutes going through a few sets of ring dips so that they are able to push out of the hole on their muscles ups. You should follow their lead and work on something that gives you trouble or you want to succeed at.

What are your pre and post workout routines? What should they be? What do you need them to be?

If you don’t know the answer to this and you want help, just hit up one of the coaches. We love to help!

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.

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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.

How often should I work out?

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One of the fitness world’s million dollar questions: how often should I work out? Research across the industry varies, and you’ll find different answers for different workouts like weight training, cardio and aerobic activity, or bodyweight workouts, on how many times per week you should endeavor in each.

Hmmm, where could you possibly go to work out that encompasses all of this?

Fitness experts recommend anywhere from two to six workouts per week. Sources saying you should work out twice per week are the same that recommend that whole grains and pasta make up the highest percentage of your diet. Why do Americans look and feel the way they do? I just don’t understand.

There is one common theme pretty much everywhere you look: the amount of time you devote to working out depends on what your goals are.

If you are overweight, deconditioned, or new to exercising you should consider planning for a workout schedule of Monday, Wednesday, Friday, or, alternatively, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. Think one day on, one day off, and repeat this cycle.

Having a routine and sticking to it, even when times are tough, is what is going to transform you to the “new and improved you.” Don’t leave your health to chance, commit to it.

Once your body’s recovery process has improved, and you can handle a higher workload, look to keeping a rotation of going to the gym on back-to-back days, then taking one day of rest.

For competitive athletes the CrossFit main site recommends three days on, one day off. This works well for workout volume and proper rest.

For any of the aforementioned routines, this snip-it from CrossFit Impulse, sums it up pretty well. “If your body is getting the nutrients it needs to perform tissue repair and fuel your workouts then you can train more often. If you eat poorly then you will inevitably train less often or with less intensity, and will require more rest when you are done. Your body also won’t get as full a benefit from the workout because you haven’t supplied it with the tools to fully adapt to the stress you provided during the workout.”

Above all listen to your body. Work through soreness and fatigue. Beware of working through pain, especially acute pain.

Train often enough to reach your fitness goals, but not too much that you overtrain or develop overuse injuries.

A goal for all of us should be to do something active for at least thirty minutes per day (stretch, hike, bike, swim, sports games, mobility, yoga, etc.).

Your body is made to move, not to sit on the couch!