Author Archives: BeradorBebad

Ready Set Crossfit

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Brad’s gym got a quick write up on a local Detroit blog – http://www.chickinthemitt.com.  Check out the link – Ready Set Crossfit.

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One and Done.

So the CrossFit Games Open is in full swing. We are two weeks in, and just about every CrossFitter in the world is getting a taste. The seasoned ones are losing sleep, skin, and their minds over every last rep, while the newbies are walking in to the gym for their normal workout, and getting walloped with workouts and movements they may have never done before. The great thing about this Open is it brings the entire CrossFit community together. Seasoned vets helping newer athletes, newer athletes learning more about the “sport” of Crossfit, and the entire gym coming together as one.

During the Open, athletes have five days to complete a specific workout. Over these five days, athletes can choose to do the workout as many times as they wish, and submit the best score they achieve. This gives the athletes a chance to feel the workout, adapt, and make changes to better their score. This is a huge bonus for those athletes looking to qualify for the CrossFit Games as individual or team athletes, as they can rectify their mistakes and misjudgments. But is this true CrossFit?

In competition, athletes get ONE CHANCE to do the workout. That means each athlete needs to have an uncanny ability to figure out the workout on the fly, and know EXACTLY what they are capable of. Part of that capability is the willingness to take themselves to that dark and scary pain cave that all CrossFitters know and love to hate. If an athlete can approach the workout, finish it with nothing left on the table, and be completely satisfied and confident with their results, THAT is CrossFit. That to me is true fitness. And WOW is that hard to do.

This is why we see such different leaderboards between the Open and Regionals/Games. No name athletes top the leader boards during the Open, and when we get to Regionals, they are no where to be found.

We are in the middle of the Open now, so making any adjustments at this point doesn’t make sense. Maintain your focus and strategy for the next three weeks. But as we finish up and move back to normal training, think about the One and Done mentality. Think about leaving EVERYTHING on the gym floor every workout. Make an effort to understand your capabilities and mental game. Use this knowledge and understanding to help yourself make the on the fly adjustments during a workout to get everything out of it you can. Leave the gym knowing you literally did everything you could do. It will be extremely satisfying and fulfulling, and you’ll be a better CrossFitter than when you walked in.

Here is a really good perspective on this from my old coach Casey Parlet of CrossFit 760 – http://www.crossfit760.com/blog/qualify-ego/

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Who’s Who with Torey Throop

On Tuesday, February 25th, two days before the 2014 CrossFit Games Open stars, I had a chance to sit down with up-and-coming CrossFit athlete Torey Throop.  I’ve had the pleasure of training next to him for the last year.  No one’s got more heart than this guy.  Keep you eye on him in 2014.  Here’s what I found:

SM: Who are you, where are you from, and where do you train?

TT: Torey Throop, from Alma, Michigan, Vestaburg originally, train at CrossFit Deviate.

SM: Where is CrossFit Deviate?

TT: Rochester, MI

SM: How long have you been CrossFitting?

TT: Uh…About 19 months?

SM: That’s pretty short?

TT: Just under two years, yep.

SM: Did you participate in any sports or weightlifting before CrossFit?

TT: Played College Basketball and Golf.  Played football, baseball, and basketball in high school

SM: Does your snatch improve your golf swing?

TT: Shoulder mobility

(Laughs)

TT: Definitely.  And explosive hips!

SM: Makes sense.  Any sponsors?

TT: Uh…Just my buddy Brad helping me out with some Fox gear, so that’s pretty rad.  But I’m open to options at this point

SM: Why is Miranda Oldroyd so much buffer than you are?

(laughs)

TT: Because she’s been doing CrossFit longer…That’s why.  She’s a beast

SM:  She’s a stud.

(laughs)

SM: Favorite benchmark workout?

TT: Hmmm…I would have to say…(pondering)…UGH…

SM: So many to choose from.

TT: There is…Uh…Helen’s not bad.

SM: Oooohhh

TT: I like it.  It’s a good CrossFit workout.  It’s just classic CrossFit.

SM: What’s Helen again?  That’s uh…Running, kettle bell swings, and pullups?

TT: Running, kettle bells and pullups, yep.

SM: What about for 2013…Any achievements, or particularly special PR’s?

TT: This last year?

SM: Yep

TT: Um…pretty psyched to get my Fran time under 2:18.  That was cool.

SM: Brutal

TT: Clean and Jerked 315, uh…Snatched 250…So mainly my strength numbers went way up.  Squatted over 400, deadlift is getting close to 500.

SM: Those are all Big Boy numbers

TT: Trying to get up there.  Chasing guys that are getting better, so it’s hard

SM: So it’s safe to say you’re pretty strong going into the 2014 season.

TT: Yep.

SM: Why is Rich Froning so tan?

TT: Man…they don’t get much snow in Tennessee

SM: He must have a tanning bed at Mayhem.

TT: He does.  He cheats.  He gets waxed too I think

(Laughs)

SM: Who does your programming?  Do you have a coach?

TT: UM…I started by myself in the garage.  I’d always just do benchmark workouts like every day, and hero workouts.  But now everything is more…not structured, but…I still make it up every day as I go.  I gotta give a lot of credit for strength to Rehif and…You know…I wouldn’t be where I am without him.  A lot of my knowledge comes from him.

SM: Who’s Rehif?

TT: Rehif Murray, one of the part owners of CrossFit Deviate.  He does the programming for the gym.  It’s good stuff.

SM: I can vouch for that.

TT:  And uh…Galloway and Coach Mike (CrossFit Deviate Olympic Lifting Coaches).  My oly was pitiful when I started CrossFit.  I’d have to give them the credit for my Oly form.

SM: It helps to have good coaches.

TT: Oh yea…I mean…I can’t imagine seeing better coaches anywhere, but I know there are a lot of good ones out there.

SM: Hip Hop, or Rock/Punk in the gym?

TT: Rock/Punk definitely.

SM: Running or rowing?

TT: Hmmm…Rowing.

SM: Ooooh…spicey

TT: Yea…yup.  They’re both bad.  They both suck.

SM: Last, but not least…how many burpees did you get in 12.1?

TT: Dude…I don’t remember fully…I think it was 133.  I never did the actual workout.  I did it on my own.  I did it last year before the open…a week before…I think I got 133.

SM:  Where would that score have ranked?

TT: Uh…It was somewhere in the top 20 I think.

SM:  Damn.  That’s crazy.  Well thanks buddy and good luck this year.

TT: It was a pleasure.

You can follow Torey Throop here:

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The CrossFit Games Open, Goals, and Life.

CrossFit Games 2014

So the CrossFit “Season” is upon us.  And just like tens of thousands of other CrossFitters, I signed up for the CrossFit Games Open last week.  For the non-CrossFitter, the Open is a worldwide CrossFit Games qualifier held over five weeks.  CrossFit HQ releases one qualifying workout a week, where the participants have five days to complete the workout and submit their score.  The top 48 men and women, and top 30 teams in each region move on to Regionals (semi-finals).  From there, the top three men, women, and teams in each region move on to the Games.  If you’re active in the fitness world and don’t know what the CrossFit Games is, you’ve definitely have been living under a rock (hopefully one you’ve been lifting)

CrossFit has done something special with the Open – They have created a worldwide playing field in which to test your fitness.  You can see how you stack up against Rich Froning, Samantha Briggs, your rival CrossFit partner, or anyone who’s part of the open for that matter.  They have created an event that will push most people to a physical and mental place they have never been…probably five different times over the five week event.  They have given CrossFitters a medium in which to workout on the same playing field as their heroes.  And they have given the entire CrossFit world a continued motivation and a goal to shoot for every year.  It really is pretty amazing.

If your gym (box) is like mine, everyone’s palms are already sweating in anticipation.  For the competitors, this is what many of us have worked towards all year.  For the other 90% of the gym, this is something they can get excited about and have fun participating in.  It really brings the entire gym together.  It also opens the eyes of new CrossFitters to the sport of “CrossFit”.

I’m particularly excited for my gym, CrossFit Deviate.  Last year we were only about six months old and placed 34th in the Open, four places out of a free ticket to Regionals.  Heartbroken, but not discouraged, I watched every athlete pour their blood, sweat, tears, and dedication into their training all year, and I am 100% confident we will be one of 30 teams at the Central East Regionals later this year.  In addition to the team, we have a handful of individual competitors that will more than likely qualify as an individual (this is elite shit we are talking about here), including our coach, and my friend, Torey Throop, who will give the top ten in the Central East a run for their money.  It’s going to be an exciting season for our little world of fitness in Rochester, MI.

Our team will consist of six individuals, three men, and three women.  More than likely the team will be chosen based on each individual’s performance in the Open.  As for me…I would do anything to be a part of the team.  I live and breath the sport of CrossFit, as well as my gym, my second family and home, CrossFit Deviate.  I have a good shot, but as hard as I train, my day job makes being the best CrossFitter I can be somewhat difficult.  Months of traveling only hinder my progress, and it just so happens that I’m traveling the entire five weeks of the Open this year.  Great.  As long as I have this job (which I love, by the way), maintaining the high level of skill, strength, and conditioning needed to be a regional team contender is going to take a truck-load of discipline, focus, and motivation.  Is it doable?  Yes.  Would it be much easier if I didn’t travel?  Of course.  It’s hard not to make excuses.

Which brings me to the point of this post – Life.  99% of us have lives that need our attention.  Kids, family, jobs, health…you name it.  Anything can set us back or cause us to lose focus.  The great news is, it’s OK.  Life gets in the way sometimes.  Don’t get frustrated if you miss a day, week, pound, lift…We all have bad days.  More often than not, we can learn a lot from that bad day!  Just keep your eye on the ball, keep moving forward, don’t make excuses, be grateful you’re able to workout, and you will no doubt achieve whatever goal you have set for yourself.

Feel free to share them below!

PS: Write your goals down and look at them everyday!  SERIOUSLY!

5 Quick Hotel Workouts

My job keeps me on the road about 50% of the time.  It’s definitely a little frustrating when trying to reach strength and fitness goals, but I don’t let it derail me completely.  In fact, most of my PR’s seem to come the week after I get back from a work trip.  I find a few good PR’s will completely erase the frustration of trying to maintain on the road with limited time and resources.

Whether you travel a lot for work, on vacation (hopefully somewhere sunny near the beach with Mai Tai’s), or just happen to find yourself out of town for whatever reason, here are my top 5 favorite hotel workouts (were going to assume on some of these your hotel has the very basics in a fitness room).

  1. 100 Burpees For Time – Yep…100 BURPEES, as fast as you can.  It’s totally sucky, but takes less than 10 minutes, and you’ve just taxed your ENTIRE body, as well as your cardiovascular system.Burpees
  2. 10-1 Pull-Ups, 1-10 Push-Ups – Doesn’t sound like much, but try it.  You’ll be ready for the beach in 10-minutes.  Start with 10 pull-ups, right into 1 push-up, then 9 pull-ups, 2 push-ups, and so on until you’ve completed the ladder.  Make sure you wear a tank top when you do it so the rest of the turds in the gym can see how swoll you are.
  3. 5 Rounds For Time – 400m Run, 20 Push-Ups, 20-Sit-Ups, 20 Squats – Less than 20-minutes, and you’ve smoked your entire body again.  You’ve also just done 100 reps of each movement without even knowing it.  Sneaky.  I like to increase the treadmill speed every round to make sure I’m pushing myself, as it’s easy to be lazy when no one or nothing is there to hold you accountable.
  4. 100 Pistols For Time – Or one-legged squats for the layman.  Say goodbye to your glutes and midline.  Another 10-minute blaster that will maintain your squat strength.
  5. RUN! – I don’t really care how you run…just go run.  Run for 20-minutes on the treadmill, map a 5k out on your phone/computer and enjoy the air outside, do 10 rounds of 50m sprints resting on your walk back to the start, mix up a run with some calisthenics.  Get creative.  Get sweaty.  Get fit.
  6. Honorable MentionThere are plenty of CrossFit workouts that are great for traveling.  Here are a few of my favorites:
    • Cindy – As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 squats.
    • Angie – 100 pull-ups, 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 squats for time.
    • Annie – Reps of 50-40-30-20-10 double unders and sit-ups.  I always bring my jump rope with me when I travel.  Be ready to not be able to sit-up out of bed after this one.

Happy Fit Traveling!

Seven Points to Getting Stronger – A Basic Road Map

So you’ve been cutting work and bailing on your responsibilities to hit the gym three times a day for the last handful of months.  You’re training partner knows more about you than your own family.  You’ve even shaved your chest and fake tanned, but the problem is you’re still benching 135 and can’t dead lift your body weight.  What’s the deal?  Your girl is gonna be pissed when she finds out you’ve been ditching her every night to lift, and you still can’t squat 225.

Below are 7 points to consider on your way to deltoid domination.

1) GOALS – Rich FroningKendrick FarrisOh…So you want to be the next Rich Froning or Kendrick Ferris ?  Good for you.  So do I.  But let’s be realistic.  What do you want to clean & jerk in three, six, even twelve months?  WRITE IT DOWN!  What’s the saying? You’re 110% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down or something like that? I don’t know but it WORKS.  Give yourself something to focus on.  Look at it every day.  Think about it when you walk into the gym.  Make the goals tough yet achievable.  Don’t sell yourself short.  I often find that people are much stronger than they believe they are.  Own the mental game, or it will own you.  Goals…It does a body good.

2) PROGRAMMING – You’re not a planner are you?  I saw you at the gym looking like the new kid at school.  Do you know what you’re doing today?  More importantly, what are you doing the rest of the week, next week, next month?  See where I’m going with this? If you don’t have a plan, how do expect to hit your goal of a 225 bench?  If you don’t know how to program or what to do to reach your swoll goal, find someone that knows what they’re doing to program for you.  Look up Wendler, Smolov, or Hatch and follow those programs.  They are well-known and proven strength programs you can use to get stronger, and they are readily available on the internet for free.  Guess what? Your four sets of 8-12 reps ain’t gonna get you a 225 bench press.

3) WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN – Did I shoulder press 175 or 185 last week? Hmmm…Well I forgot my pre-workout so I’ll just do 175. SOFT. HTFU and start writing EVERYTHING down.  It’s called accountability.  Write down your weights, reps, how they felt, if they were good or shitty reps, if the moon was waxing or waning…I don’t give a shit. Write down the color hair of the girl you were creepily staring at if that helps.  For example, you might lift the same weight this week as you did last week, but this week your reps and form we’re solid.  That’s a gain.  Be happy about it.  I bet you wouldn’t have recognized that before your started writing everything down.  This also gives you a point of reference – If you did a max set of 15 pullups this week, no doubt you can do that many again next week.  And when you try again, you have a benchmark to shoot for…16 reps.  What’s that?  You did 17?  Check you out.
4) YOUR FORM IS AWFULAwful DeadliftHoly shit, put that bar down before you permanently change the genetics in your back so your future children aren’t affected.  You sure as hell aren’t going to deadlift twice your body weight with that noodle spine.  Check your ego at the door and lift within your means.  Lift with the best form possible, and watch your numbers increase.  Don’t know how to perform a specific movement or lift?  Find someone that does.  Shit, pay a qualified trainer $25 to take you through the movements and show you proper technique.  $25 is a lot less than the cost of a knee replacement.  How about this – Put yourself through an On-Ramp program at your local CrossFit gym.  In two weeks you’ll learn well enough how to back squat, front squat, overhead squat, deadlift, press, push press, push jerk, split jerk, clean and snatch.  You don’t know what half that is? That’s because you’ve been spending too much time on the Smith machine.  And remember – you have to constantly refine your form just as much as you do your golf swing.  FOUR!
Golf Swing

5) REST– Bro, take it easy.  That’s right; a rest day might actually HELP you.  After all, your muscles have been working overtime every day for the past few weeks.   Listen to your body.  Are you tired?  Are you stupid sore?  I have a solution for you – Take the day off.  Two days off?  Sure, if you’ve been hitting it hard.  Don’t stress about it.  A couple days is not going to derail your training.  Some of my best PR’s have come after traveling for a week or two and not lifting a finger the entire time.  Intensity gets results…Crazy right?

6) YOUR DIET SUCKS – Donuts Look, I’m not a dietician, so I’m not going to beat the proverbial diet horse.  It doesn’t take a Rhodes Scholar to tell you to put down the pizza, ditch the donuts, and skip the soda .  Or maybe you’re on the other end of the spectrum – Eat something…ANYTHING.  Your car will run like shit with bad gas, and won’t run at all if the tank is empty.  Eat a lot, and eat WELL. There are a million different beliefs on diet, what’s healthy and why, when to eat, where to get carbs, etc.  Find something that works for you and use it as a framework.  It’s going to take some time, trial and error, and adjusting to really dial in your diet. But do me a favor…Try to pick ingredients with some redeeming value, please?

7) PUT OUT THE VIBE – This has nothing to do with directly getting strong, but I think it’s just as important.  You gotta find that headspace where you believe you can rip Hulk Hogan’s bandana off before he crushes you like a soda can.  Figure out what gets you pumped.  Sitting in the gym listening to Adele feeling sorry for yourself ain’t gonna get your adrenaline racing.  Grab some buddies, turn on some Pantera, and get to work.  Yell at each other, high five, scream, chest bump…I don’t care what you do, just build some momentum, have fun, and get strong. BRO SESH!
Bro Sesh