Why meal plans might not work for YOU!

Every now and then, I will get asked if I can provide a meal plan for someone. They want to abide by a specific regimen and are likely to go all in on it. While that might be great in theory, think about the confusion that might cause when one healthy choice may be omitted. Example, someone wants to jump on board and try a Ketogenic plan. This person has an average build and is looking for something new to try. I will always ask "What has been successful for you in the past"? and of course "If I were to give you the guidelines, would they be easy to follow?"  Keto may not work for someone with an average build. It would work in the short term for an overweight person. Carbs bind to water, we retain 4 ounces of water for every carbohydrate we eat. Essentially, when we stop eating carbs, we lose water weight. It's science! Once an overweight person dropped 20 pounds of water weight, I'd slowly reintroduce carbs back in their plan UNLESS they enjoy and it's sustainable. If it isn't, we move on. (Note: I'm going to get on a high horse and advise that you DO NOT go Keto and participate in Crossfit activities. As athletes, we NEED carbs for fuel and it could be a detriment over time if you refrain of using them).

You should NOT have to suffer while being on a nutrition plan, it should be the contrary. You should enjoy what you are eating. After all, we eat to live and in some cases (which can get dangerous), we live to eat. So imagine the confusion if oranges aren't listed on a particular plan yet apples are?
There are small differences between the two. Oranges contain more magnesium, calcium, potassium and Vitamin A. If someone had a Vitamin A deficiency, a clinic or a registered dietitian would likely diagnose that. I'm pretty incapable of telling what deficiencies what you may have. I could point to symptoms you may have, but I would NEVER diagnose that. It's not my job.  Point being, they're both fruits and healthy for you. In the grand scheme of things, you should eat both of these without any guilt.

Back to meal plans themselves. Let's say you go on vacation. You're probably going to be miserable for a week if you eat bland salads, grilled chicken, fish, almonds and berries for every meal while you're in Italy. I'm sure you'd like some authentic pasta while you're there!? Yet you choose to be stay the course because you are on a meal plan that tells you avoid these foods. Hogwash kids!! You NEED flexibility in your meal plans. Food is meant to be enjoyed. If we get the general concepts of nutrition and how our performance works when eating specific foods, then we can incorporate foods that aren't necessarily the most vitamin friendly into our plans.
From personal experience, I'm not going to eat a whole pizza two hours before a workout. If I know that I have something big time coming up in my schedule, I go back to my daily regimen for a couple of days. When the big event is finished, it's time for a beer, pizza or something that carries less nutritional value. It's a simple as that! When I have my pizza (which I did Monday night), I enjoy it and then have my normal breakfast, lunch and dinner the next day. Win the long game. I'm not going to tell you "Avoid donuts". I encourage you to eat them if that's your jam. Just be mindful however of how you feel after and what your ultimate goal is in the long run. If you want abdominals... (ah this topic, I'll cover this in the 12 week seminar beginning April 28th 😊).

I will also say something else controversial: There is NO SUCH THING as a cheat meal! I subscribed to that notion for 16 years and drove myself bat shit crazy. Food is amazing, we all know this. However, just because you had a triple cheeseburger with fries shouldn't have you going off the deep end and running a 5K 30 minutes afterwards. Just don't, it's not the end of the World. You're given 21-30 meals to work with throughout your week. If you hit the 80% mark for the week, round of applause for you!

Develop a healthy relationship with food. That's what's most important at the end of the day. You should not be banging your head against a wall if you went off script from a plan. That's not what we as coaches preach. Consistent habits will ultimately win the long game, keep your organs and heart healthy yet also allow you to live a little.


We will be talking more about meal plans along with many other topics in our weekly seminars during our Wellness Challenge starting on April 28th! Here is the weekly seminar:

Week 1: Introduction and goal setting
Week 2: What are Macros?
Week 3: Tips on grocery shopping
Week 4: Cortisol - How to combat it?
Week 5: Sugar - What is it? What are the effects?
Week 6: Alcohol
Week 7: Vitamins, Minerals & Medications
Week 8: Eating for performance/aesthetics
Week 9: Supplements
Week 10: Let's talk about diet fads
Week 11: Gluten free - Vegan - How can we stay balanced here?

Week 12: Summary -Where do I go from here?

This is more than a nutrition challenge. We want to help you to understand nutrition and develop a healthy lifestyle that will last longer than 12 weeks. During the challenge, along with the weekly seminars, we will be doing mini challenges, and helping one another develop healthier lifestyle and eating habits. You will also be part of a private group on Facebook where participants could share ideas and encourage each other. By making small changes to your current lifestyle, you can make a big difference!

Everyone is welcome to join! Participants do not have to be members of Kingfield. So if you know someone who might be interested - sign them up as well!

To sign-up just click here!


-Jesse Velasquez



WEEK OF 190422-190428 - OVERLOAD

MONDAY 190422

For Time:

800 meter run **

35 Front squats @ 95/65# or RPE 5

35 Bar over burpees

800 meter run **

20 minute time cap!

**RUNNING: Athletes are encouraged to use Gear 3 on the 800 meter runs.

**FRONT SQUATS: Athletes may use a weight that is RPE 5 if they choose.  This weight may be heavier or lighter, but should still fit with the RPE 5 metric.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

TUESDAY 190423

STRENGTH:  Tempo Back squat. 4 x 5 @ RPE 8

Athletes will work for 20 minutes to complete 4 sets of 5 reps @ RPE 8.  This is an overload week.  The goal for athletes is to increase weight 5 to 15# from the previous week.  Focus on confidence and position!

METCON: 

3 Rounds For Time:

20 Russian KB swings @ RPE 6

10 HSPU

10 minute time cap!

_____________________________________________________________________________________

WEDNESDAY 190424

ROWING!!

Athletes will work on rowing technique with each 500 meter interval.  The goal of today’s training is efficiency.  Prioritize your mechanics and your breathing above your intensity!

6 x 500 meters **

Rest 2 minutes between intervals

30 minute time cap!!

_________________________________________________________

THURSDAY 190425

STRENGTH: Tempo Bench Press. 4 x 5 @ RPE 8

Athletes will work for 20 minutes to complete 4 sets of 5 reps @ RPE 8.  This is an overload week.  The goal for athletes is to increase weight 5 to 15# from the previous week.  Focus on confidence and position!

METCON:

From 0:00 to 10 minutes complete:

3 Rounds:

15 Slam balls @ 50/30#

35 Double unders

10 Pull ups **

At 10 minutes complete:

30 Box jump overs @ 24/20’

50 Wall balls @ 20/14#

30 Pause Strict push ups 

20 minute time cap!

**PULL UPS:  Athlete may use any style of pull ups they choose

_____________________________________________________________________________________

FRIDAY 190426

STRENGTH:  Overhead squat. 4 x 4 @ RPE 8

Athletes will work for 20 minutes to complete 4 sets of 4 reps @ RPE 8.  This is an overload week.  The goal for athletes is to increase weight but still maintain a strong and stable position overhead!

METCON:

3 Rounds For Effort:

100 meter Farmer’s Carry @ RPE 7

20 Alternating single arm plank to wall press

5 Sandbag to shoulder @ RPE 6

REST :90 BETWEEN ROUNDS

15 minute time cap!

_____________________________________________________________________________________

SATURDAY 190427

PARTNER WORKOUT!!

Athletes will perform today’s with a partner.  Partners will both complete the required workload individually, however they are encouraged to push one another to increase the intensity!  All 400 meter runs must be completed together! 

“Banded Nicole”

5 Rounds For Time:

400 meter run

Max Banded strict pull ups 

25 minute time cap

_____________________________________________________________________________________

SUNDAY 190428

STRENGTH:  Rear foot elevated DB Split squat. 3 x 8 per @ +5# increase from last week

Athletes will work for 15 minutes completing 3 sets 8 reps per leg at a 5# increase from last week.  The emphasis should be on controlling the descent and driving the middle of the foot through the floor as the DB’s stay close the the down leg.  Athletes should be conservative this week with choosing weights so they can progress week to week appropriately!

METCON:

Every 2 minutes for 12 minutes:

200 ft. Shuttle sprint

5 Box jump to step down @ tall

Having drinks this weekend? Read this blog first!

Time to get nerdy and I apologize for the scientific lingo in advance. You all deserve to hear a little bit about alcohol and it's effects on your body. I get asked frequently about Alcohol: If I have a drink or 2 a night, what will that do to my body?

I have quite a few folks that say: My diet is fantastic, I do have an issue with beer on the weekend though. Why am I still having problems losing weight??

Sure, there are statistics that support the occasional drink is beneficial for your health and wellness. Light to moderate drinking seems to be good for the heart and circulatory system, it helps reduce your risk of cardiac arrest and clot-caused stroke by 25 to 40 percent. In the grand scheme, sure a drink every now and then won't harm you at all.

You should ask yourself however, "What are my long term intentions?" "Am I training for a competition?" "How bad do I REALLY want a six pack?" Also, did you know that alcohol is considered a macronutrient???

Ethanol is formed by the fermentation of plants that are dense sources of carbohydrate (e.g., barley, wheat, corn, fruit).  Ethanol is not an essential nutrient and is rich in energy, providing 7 calories per gram. Carbs and protein provide 4 calories per gram and fat provides 9 calories.

Alcohol is readily absorbed in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and the rate at which it’s absorbed is likely affected the most by the presence or absence of food in the stomach.  After ethanol is absorbed through the GI tract, it heads to the liver, which metabolizes more than 90% of it.  The ethanol that isn’t metabolized can enter the bloodstream without any issues. The liver prefers ethanol as a fuel so much that it will replace other substrates when available; in other words, it’ll use alcohol first. What else can alcohol alter??

  • Insulin resistance is a common side effect of alcoholism(your body doesn't process carbs the way they should), which results in a lack of glycogen formation (your carb fuel source) and energy store depletion.

  • Excessive lactic acid production is also prominent.(Your body doesn't recover from workouts optimally AND you have a tendency to be inflamed more oft than not.)

  • Alcohol can also impair amino acid intake and alter protein synthesis in the liver. It also diminishes many vitamins in your body , hence your body doesn't digest the nutrients it needs to be healthy. 

  • As your drinking levels continue to increase, testosterone levels drop from 6.8% with 4 drinks to 23% with 8 drinks. This drop, combined with a slowdown in protein synthesis, can cause havoc when trying to recover from a workout. Finally, with heavy drinking, the breakdown of alcohol can occur for up to 48 hours after your last drink. This means less glucose is reaching your brain and working muscles, making you both more tired and quicker to fatigue if you do exercise.

In short, an abundance of alcohol at one sitting shuts your ability to breakdown the food you eat any where from 12-48 hours, hence EVERYTHING you eat is stored as fat. It also increases your GABA, the neurotransmitter which acts as your body's biggest sleep aid. GABA is increased during your drinking episodes, which causes it later to have less when you are asleep, the common result? You wake up often and your body's circadian rhythm is disrupted.

Is there anything positive about drinking alcohol?? Not much, BUT it does provide relaxation for some and is also used as a social stalwart. "Liquid courage" does indeed exist! Alcohol raises your cerebral cortex and lowers your less critical thought processors in your brain.  Hence, it leaves you more emotional than normal. Why else would you tell your crush that you have feelings for them? (Hello liquid courage!)

Don't get me wrong, I will have an occasional beverage or 2. I enjoy the taste to be honest, but in the grand scheme of things: I also am aware what happens if I get derailed once I overstep my alcohol boundaries. Just keep this as a checklist if you are looking to dive head first into serious fitness goals my friends.

We will be talking more about alcohol along with many other topics in our weekly seminars during our Wellness Challenge starting on April 28th! Here is the weekly seminar:

Week 1: Introduction and goal setting
Week 2: What are Macros?
Week 3: Tips on grocery shopping
Week 4: Cortisol - How to combat it?
Week 5: Sugar - What is it? What are the effects?
Week 6: Alcohol
Week 7: Vitamins, Minerals & Medications
Week 8: Eating for performance/aesthetics
Week 9: Supplements
Week 10: Let's talk about diet fads
Week 11: Gluten free - Vegan - How can we stay balanced here? Week 12: Summary -Where do I go from here?

This is more than a nutrition challenge. We want to help you to understand nutrition and develop a healthy lifestyle that will last longer than 12 weeks. During the challenge, along with the weekly seminars, we will be doing mini challenges, and helping one another develop healthier lifestyle and eating habits. You will also be part of a private group on Facebook where participants could share ideas and encourage each other. By making small changes to your current lifestyle, you can make a big difference!

Everyone is welcome to join! Participants do not have to be members of Kingfield. So if you know someone who might be interested - sign them up as well!

To sign-up just click here!

-Jesse Velasquez

WEEK OF 190415-190421

MONDAY 190415

STRENGTH:  Tempo Back squat. 4 x 5 @ RPE 7

Athletes will work for 20 minutes to complete 4 sets of 5 reps @ RPE 7.  The focus of each set is to control the descent as we want a 4-5 second tempo DOWN + a 1 second ascent.  Athletes SHOULD INCREASE SLIGHTLY FROM LAST WEEK!

METCON:

Every 2 minutes for 12 minutes:

12 Alternating DB snatches @ RPE 6

10 Pause Strict Push ups

**PAUSE PUSH UPS:  Athletes should talk with their coaches if the volume of push ups exceeds their ability to maintain a strong and stable position.  Yoga blocks should be used to help build a strong foundation.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

TUESDAY 190416

METCON:  The goal of today’s interval training is to accumulate volume running while remaining in control of breath and cadence.  Athletes should utilize G3 or G4 if they want specific training with breath control.

**Rest intervals should be calculated but should not prohibit athletes from completing at least 5 intervals today.  The goal is 6 total intervals, but only if technique and proper pacing allows!

From 0:00 to 14:00 complete:

3 x 400 meters @ RPE 7 ** 

Rest 2 minutes between intervals

- REST 14:00 to 17:00 - 

From 17:00 to 31:00 complete:

3 x 400 meters @ RPE 8 **

Rest 2 minutes between intervals 

** Athletes May choose to RUN or ROW today.  Rowing intervals will be 500 meters.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

WEDNESDAY 190417

STRENGTH: Tempo Bench Press. 4 x 5 @ RPE 7

Athletes will work for 20 minutes to complete 4 sets of 5 reps @ RPE 7.  The focus of each set is to control the descent as we want a 4-5 second tempo DOWN + a 1 second ascent.  Athletes SHOULD INCREASE SLIGHTLY FROM LAST WEEK!

METCON:

3 Rounds For Effort:
7 Bar over burpees

14 Box jump overs @ 20’ - FOR EVERYONE

21 Thrusters @ RPE 5 or 75/55# **

- Rest 2 minutes between rounds - 

15 minute time cap!

**THRUSTERS: The goal of the thrusters today is big volume sets.  Athletes should choose a weight that will allow them to complete 21 reps in 1-2 sets max!

_________________________________________________________

THURSDAY 190418

STRENGTH:  Overhead squat. 4 x 5 @ RPE 7

Athletes will work for 20 minutes to complete 4 sets of 5 reps @ RPE 7.  The focus today will be on position.  This week we encourage athletes to be conservative and evaluate their position as the volume accumulates.  Each week we will begin to progress athletes accordingly and help improve strength and positions!

METCON:

AMRAP 10 minutes:

200 ft. KB/DB Farmer’s carry @ RPE 8

:30 Static Dip hold (top position) 

55 Double unders

_____________________________________________________________________________________

FRIDAY 190419

 “CHOOSE WISELY”

**Athletes will choose between workout #1 and workout #2 for today’s training!

WORKOUT 1:

AMRAP 11 minutes:

15/12 Calories assault bike @ G3

4 Sandbag squats @ RPE 5

2 Strict pull ups

OR

WORKOUT 2:

AMRAP 11 minutes:

500 meter row @ G3

35 Air squats

7 Strict pull ups

_____________________________________________________________________________________

SATURDAY 190420

PARTNER WORKOUT!!

Athletes will alternate complete rounds in a you go, I go fashion until each person has completed 3 full rounds each.

METCON:

6 Rounds For Effort:

200 ft. Shuttle sprint @ alternating **

11 UB Power snatches @ RPE 6

6 HSPU

16 minute time cap!!

_____________________________________________________________________________________

SUNDAY 190421

STRENGTH:  Rear foot elevated DB Split squat. 3 x 8 per @ +5# increase from last week

Athletes will work for 15 minutes completing 3 sets 8 reps per leg at a 5# increase from last week.  The emphasis should be on controlling the descent and driving the middle of the foot through the floor as the DB’s stay close the the down leg.  Athletes should be conservative this week with choosing weights so they can progress week to week appropriately!

METCON:

EMOM 10 minutes:

EVEN:  5 DB Push jerks @ RPE 7

ODD:  5 Box jump + step down @ tall

Sleep: 7 things you SHOULD be doing!

Sleep. We spend roughly 1/3 of our lives sleeping, it's quite magical if you ask me. For 15 to 19 hours a day, we spend our days running ragged. By the end of them, we are happy to jump into bed and rest. Only for us to rest, run and repeat 365 a year.

Too little sleep can cause us to overeat. This is due to decreased growth hormone, thyroid stimulating hormones and increased cortisol levels. Chronic sleep restriction will elevate your sympathetic nerve activity and will slow your insulin response. This results in the chemical equation which can cause obesity if we aren't careful. 

If you overeat (a common cause when we are sleep deprived)  you have the potential of gaining twice as much weight as our acquaintances who sleep an average of 7 hours a night over the course of a 7 year period. If you sleep 9 plus hours, congratulations. You just so happen to be in the near same boat as your 6 or less hours of sleep group.

The sweet spot we are looking for is 7 to 8 hours per night. That can be a chore for many of us, especially the ones who put in 50 plus hours of work a week. That is a priority for some and I get it, we have to keep a roof over heads and provide for our families. If you want to keep a specific lifestyle, you could be prioritizing your income over your health. If that's worth it to you, I think I understand. Yet, how are you able to enjoy the experiences in life if you aren't a 100% healthy and functioning human being? 

The components that affect our sleep are plentiful. Too much caffeine, watching television or browsing our phones before bed and drinking too much liquid are just a few of the items which can cause to have issues sleeping. Those with insomnia, goodness that can be burden on how you function on daily basis too. Anxiety, depression and other emotion laced actions are what cause us to spend many sleepless nights gazing at our ceilings. 

So you probably are asking, how in the World do we combat some of these distractions which keep us thriving in-spite of desperate calls to have peaceful and uninterrupted sleep? Here a re a few ways.

Try keeping a consistent bed time: Routine is going to win the day and aid in a good night's sleep. Try going to bed and waking up at the exact same time 6 out of your 7 days during the week. Once we develop a habit, we have a tendency to keep said habits.

Keep your bedroom very dark: This will keep your brain and body clock thinking that's it's about that time to hit the hay.

Keep noise levels at a minimum: Try using a white noise generator or use ear tubes to block out distractions and keep you at bay from waking up in the middle of the night.

Develop a routine: Turn off your electronics, keep them away from your pillows too. The blue lights and radiation can keep you from a deep REM cycle of sleeping. Reading a book roughly 30 minutes before you sleep can help calm your nervous system down and put you out cold. Also, avoid anything stressful before you fall asleep. Conversations that could keep you up at night or looking at something that can put your mind in a panic for work the next day is probably a bad idea here. Avoid these at all costs!

Lower the room temperature: Keep temperature in your rooms at night around 66-70 degrees F. In the summer, lower these temps further. Your body in a cool state is more likely to stay fast asleep as opposed to a restless one that is on metaphorical fire from an elevated temp.

Cut off stimulant usage in the late morning: Caffeine and nicotine will elevate our nervous systems and cause us to be moving around more than those who refrain from it. Caffeine blocks adenosine, a neurochemical that builds up throughout your day. Thus causing us to feel sleepy at the right time. Caffeine often becomes a twin of adenosine in the body. It mimics it's presence and can stop our brain censors from recognizing actual adenosine. That's what keeps you up at night after that 3rd coffee at 1:30 in the afternoon!!

Exercise: It's not only great for a tight butt and lean muscle tissue, it will also aid in some miraculous sleep too!

Sleep is very important to us as humans. Consistent sleep can be the difference between someone who is very lean and healthy to someone who has a cardiovascular disease. It could be restricting you from "those gains"! I plead to you tonight and going forward to sleep on the information you just received in this blog.

We will be talking more about sleep along with many other topics in our weekly seminars during our Wellness Challenge starting on April 28th! Here is the weekly seminar:

Week 1: Introduction and goal setting
Week 2: What are Macros?
Week 3: Tips on grocery shopping
Week 4: Cortisol - How to combat it?
Week 5: Sugar - What is it? What are the effects?
Week 6: Alcohol
Week 7: Vitamins, Minerals & Medications
Week 8: Eating for performance/aesthetics
Week 9: Supplements
Week 10: Let's talk about diet fads
Week 11: Gluten free - Vegan - How can we stay balanced here? Week 12: Summary -Where do I go from here?

This is more than a nutrition challenge. We want to help you to understand nutrition and develop a healthy lifestyle that will last longer than 12 weeks. During the challenge, along with the weekly seminars, we will be doing mini challenges, and helping one another develop healthier lifestyle and eating habits. You will also be part of a private group on Facebook where participants could share ideas and encourage each other. By making small changes to your current lifestyle, you can make a big difference!

Everyone is welcome to join! Participants do not have to be members of Kingfield. So if you know someone who might be interested - sign them up as well!

To sign-up just click here!

- Jesse Velasquez

WEEK OF 190408-190414

WEEK OF 190408-190414

_____________________________________________________________________________________

MONDAY 190408

STRENGTH:  Overhead squat. 4 x 6 @ RPE 7

Athletes will work for 20 minutes to complete 4 sets of 6 reps @ RPE 7.  The focus today will be on position.  This week we encourage athletes to be conservative and evaluate their position as the volume accumulates.  Each week we will begin to progress athletes accordingly and help improve strength and positions! 

METCON:

Every 4 minutes for 16 minutes:

7 Inverse rows

12 Single arm DB Thrusters (6 per) @ RPE 6

65 Double unders


_____________________________________________________________________________________

TUESDAY 190409

STRENGTH:  Tempo Back squat. 4 x 6 @ RPE 7

Athletes will work for 20 minutes to complete 4 sets of 6 reps @ RPE 7.  The focus of each set is to control the descent as we want a 5 second tempo DOWN + a 1 second ascent.  Athletes should work to remain within the RPE range so they can progress weekly!  

METCON:

AMRAP 15 minutes:

200 meter sprint @ Gear 3

9 Box jump overs @ 20’ - FOR EVERYONE

21 Air squats

15 Pause push ups


_____________________________________________________________________________________

WEDNESDAY 190410

STRENGTH: Tempo Bench Press. 4 x 6 @ RPE 7

Athletes will work for 20 minutes to complete 4 sets of 6 reps @ RPE 7.  The focus of each set is to control the descent as we want a 5 second tempo DOWN + a 1 second ascent.  Athletes should work to remain within the RPE range so they can progress weekly!


METCON:

3 Rounds For Effort:

150 ft. Single arm Farmer’s carry @ RPE 6 (R) 

150 ft. Single arm Farmer’s carry @ RPE 6 (L)

21 Russian KB Swings @ RPE 6

:60 Straight arm plank (R)

:60 Straight arm plank (L)


Rest 3 minutes between rounds

_________________________________________________________

THURSDAY 190411

On a 12 minute running clock, athletes will complete:

3 Full hang snatches @ ascending **

7 Bar over burpees

11 Wall balls @ 20/14#


**Athletes will begin at one of two starting weights OR they can use RPE 5 if they prefer a weight in between or below the recommended weights.  After their first round, they will work to find a 3RM.  All 3 reps must be UB!

If an athlete fails an attempt at a 3RM, they must complete the burpees and wall balls before performing another attempt at a 3RM.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

FRIDAY 190412

STRENGTH:  Rear foot elevated DB Split squat. 3 x 6-8 per @ RPE 7
Athletes will work for 15 minutes completing 3 sets of 6-8 reps per leg.  The emphasis should be on controlling the descent and driving the middle of the foot through the floor as the DB’s stay close the the down leg.  Athletes should be conservative this week with choosing weights so they can progress week to week appropriately!


METCON:

EMOM 12 minutes:

EVEN: 12 Alternating DB plank rows @ RPE 6

ODD: 6 HSPU **

**HSPU: Athletes may choose to increase the volume based on their ability level OR they should practice strict HSPU

_____________________________________________________________________________________

SATURDAY 190413

METCON:

2 Rounds For Effort:

18/15 Calorie ski

7 Sandbag to shoulder @ RPE 6

400 meter spring @ Gear 5

Rest 5 minutes between rounds!

_____________________________________________________________________________________

SUNDAY 190414

METCON:

“DT”

5 Rounds For Time:

12 Deadlifts

9 Hang cleans

6 Push jerks

RECOMMENDED WEIGHTS:  155/105#

15 minute time cap!

What if?

Often times when I travel to teach breathing I am asked at the end of the seminar what next? How do I incorporate this into my everyday training or my gym. After my last trip to New Jersey I wrote this little piece. It is meant to be thought provoking, but also get to the heart of what we do inside the gym.

Today I challenge you to read this short bit and reflect upon your own training.

What if I told you we were running experiments, not workouts.  Would that change the way you approach your training?

What if I told you we wanted to collect data, rather than accumulate calories.  Would you focus on your position rather than your intensity?

What if I told you the key to long term adaptation starts with learning, not suffering.  Would you be more open to things that you may not understand at first?

With so much information available these days, we understand that it can be hard to sift through it all.  At the Art of Breath Seminar, our goal is not to be right.  Our goal is to teach. 

You see, true understanding or deep practice is the result of countless hours of trial and error.  The product of honest and objective evaluation of performance in an effort to further the human potential.  Even more importantly it becomes the lens in which all things are viewed and measured.

Consistency takes time.

We all hit a point at certain during life where we feel like we have stalled out.  Progress seems minimal at best and we can’t quite understand what’s going on.

Sound familiar?  It should.  We’ve all been there.  Trust me.

Plateaus are extremely normal, and quite frankly they are healthy to some degree.  I challenge the athletes and clients that I work with to view plateaus not as a negative consequence, rather a realization that you have found the limits of your capacity and are ready to progress forward. A simple way to look at this is that you have achieved your previous goal and are in search of a new challenge.

So how do we break the cycle of stagnation?  How do begin moving forward again?

The answer is simple, but not sexy.  Consistency.

As a coach, I find that my job relies heavily on my ability to communicate with others and gain their trust.  You see athletes have to buy-in to the message and more importantly the process.  It’s not enough for me to want success for someone else - they have to want it for themselves.  

When I think about my own career in the last 10 years, I can name a number of times where I felt stagnant and needed to change. Early on this used to happen every 3-6 months.  It was extremely frustrating and left me feeling helpless. 

In an effort to begin embracing the plateau moments rather than avoid them, I came up with a 3-step process as a way to evaluate my progress in an effort to help re-focus my efforts and push me through the rough patches.  

1. Clearly define my expectations for myself and honestly assess if I am doing everything I can to support those.

The 80/20 or 70/30 rule is truly something we should strive for (80% discipline to stay on track x 20% enjoying life and what you want or 70% x 30% if you like that better).  We have to give ourselves the opportunity to “enjoy life” and not worry, but in the same vein we need to understand that if we want to achieve a desired goal - we have to work hard.

2. Evaluate whether I need a coach or if I already know what to do next.

Being self sufficient is awesome.  But understanding when you need help and guidance AND be willing to ask is even more powerful.  A lot of times I have found that my own discomfort and frustrations are a result on my stubbornness.  Learning to ask for help is not a weakness.  It’s a strength.

3. Embracing that consistency is the secret ingredient to success and sometimes, I just have to bite down and get back to work.

Knowing when you need to change something up and when you should get back to work is key.  I realized early on that I have the tendency to set lofty goals for myself.  Which is great, but that also means I have to work extremely hard to achieve those.  Personally I interested in finding out what I am capable of and then pushing past those limits - which means I need to always work hard!

So today if you are finding yourself in a bit of a rut or thinking that you have stalled, take some time to evaluate your progress and use the three points above to guide your thought process.  If you come to the conclusion that it might be time for you to find a coach to help get you over the hump, I know a few that could assist!