Tuesday 150210

Strength 
Snatch – Work to a heavy single.
Back off to 75% of that heavy single and complete 7 singles.  Make em look good!
Snatch Grip Push Press – use the same weight and get 5 sets of 5.

MetCon

3 rounds, each for time, of:
20 chest-to-bar pull-ups
30 wall-ball shots, 20-lb. ball
40 push-ups

Rest 3 minutes between each round.

Only have time for 1 of the above, pick the Strength WOD

From Breaking Muscle

HOW TO PROGRESS YOUR WAY TO A PERFECT PUSH UP

 Guest Contributor

Push ups are the go-to exercise of the universe. They’re used as strength tests in school and in the military, as punishments in gym class, and to impress people on the beach.

In my studio, I use them to assess upper body and torso strength, muscular imbalances, and the ability to move the body as a unit. Unfortunately, most of the people I see have never learned how to do a push up properly, and a large percentage can’t do one full push up.

When I ask to see one push up, people tend to laugh embarrassedly or stare at me as if I’ve just asked them to bench press my car. “Can I do ‘girl’ pushups?” they ask, looking at me hopefully.

Never fear – all is not lost. There are many ways to gain your first full pushup or to improve on the push ups you already have. The tips below should help get you well on your way.

Master the Correct Elbow Position

The biggest mistake I see in pushups is people’s elbows sticking straight out to the sides. If you do them this way, you’re definitely not alone. Michelle Obama’s famous Ellen pushups were done just like that. And I’m not gonna lie – it made me kind of sad.

Think about it this way: if you were going to push, say, a refrigerator across the floor, would you do it with your elbows flared out like an angry chicken? Chances are, you wouldn’t. The way the human body naturally pushes is with the elbows at about a 45-degree angle from your ribs If you’re an elbow flarer, this one fix will significantly change the way your pushups feel.

De-Droopify Your Torso

A droopy torso in a push up also makes me sad. So, for the sake of my happiness, clean it up. A push up is essentially a moving plank. Therefore, your abdominals should be fully involved. A good little trick to find a solid core position is this:

  1. Put your thumbs right on your bottom ribs.
  2. Put your middle fingers right on your hip bones.
  3. Now, without bending your upper body forward, try to bring your ribs and your hips (your middle fingers and your thumbs) closer to each other. Essentially, you’ll be flattening out the curve of your lower back. You should feel your abs flex. If you can’t figure out how to make this work, try squeezing your butt. That usually forces your pelvis into this position.

 

Maintain a solid core position by bringing your ribs and your hip bones closer together to create a tighter plank.

Put It All Together

In addition to the elements above, a good push up needs you to keep your head neutral (don’t tilt your chin up or down – this is more important than you might think) and your legs locked and together. Your hands should be right underneath your shoulders. (There are plenty of other hand and foot positions that are perfectly legitimate, but we’re just dealing with the basics right now. We’ll get to more advanced stuff later).

“A push up is essentially a moving plank. Therefore, your abdominals should be fully involved.”

Something I like to do in my push ups is to sort of screw my hands into the floor. You’ll want your middle finger to point to twelve o’clock in your push ups every time. With your hands in this position and without moving them, rotate your arms away from your torso. This will engage your lats so they can help your push ups a bit more and will help secure your elbows into the correct position.

What If I Can’t Do a Full Push Up?

Glad you asked! There are lots of ways you can build up your strength.The first thing to do is figure out your sticking point so you can work on it.

Your sticking point is the place at which you can no longer lower yourself down (or push yourself up) with good form. Once you know that, then take one (or more) of the following approaches to power up your push up.

Do Top-Down Work

From the top plank position of your push up, lower yourself slowly and under control all the way to your sticking point. Once you’re there, try holding that position with excellent form for 3-5 seconds. As you get stronger, start to lower and raise yourself just a hair under that point, and then a hair over that point.

Do Bottom-Up Work

Lie on the floor on your stomach with your hands and feet in push up position. Try to push yourself in one solid piece up to your sticking point and practice the raising and lowering sequence. If you can’t push yourself up off the floor, then push into the floor as hard as you can as if you were going to do the push up. Hold this isometric for 3-5 seconds. You just found another sticking point.

Elevate Your Push Ups

Find a bench, sofa arm, table, or other elevated stable object you can put your hands on for push ups. Make sure it’s not too easy. It should be a height that is challenging, but at which you can do a full, chest-to-bottom push up with excellent form. 

Practice your push ups at this height. As you get stronger, use lower and lower surfaces until you reach the floor. I find this method is significantly more effective than “girl push ups” (and I hate that term, too). Your body does not behave the same way from your knees as it does from your toes. If you practice knee push ups, you’ll get very good at knee push ups. Practice full push ups instead.

Do Negatives

From the top position of your push up, lower yourself as slowly as you can all the way to the floor with excellent form. Reset and repeat. If you can’t do this with full range of motion, elevate your body until you are at an angle that works for you and progress from there.

Do Positives

From the floor, push yourself under control and with perfect form all the way to the top position. Reset and repeat. If you can’t do this with full range of motion, elevate your body until you are at an angle that works for you and progress from there.

How to Progress After Your First Push Ups

If you can already do some decent pushups and would like to increase your strength or reps, increasing your range of motion can help you. I like to use two kettlebells for this.  With perfect form, lower to the absolute end range of motion you can manage – without pain, of course – and practice that way. Push ups off the floor should come a lot easier if you master these.

Accessory Exercises to Help Your Push Ups

  • Tricep exercisesYour triceps straighten your arm at the elbow, so getting them strong can help any sort of pressing exercise. Overhead extensions, skull-crushers, bent-over extensions, pulldowns, and dips are just some of the exercises you can use to build tricep strength.
  • Planks and bananasAs I mentioned before, a push up is essentially a moving plank. Practicing hollow position and planks for time (both from your hands and from your elbows) can help strengthen a droopy torso. (For a full description of “bananas,” see my pull up article).
  • Bench press The bench press is a great way to strengthen your chest and all the muscles that assist pressing from the chest. Obviously, abdominal stabilization will not come into play as much with bench press, but it’s a great way to learn how to push a lot of weight.

Once you’ve mastered the push up, you can play with it a million different ways.

Wherever you are with your push up progressions, practice a few variations several times per week, and you’ll get stronger and better with time. Enjoy the ride, and let me know how it goes!

MELODY SCHOENFELD
At 5’0” and 100lbs of vegan fury, Melody Schoenfeld is a certified, highly educated personal trainer with almost 20 years of training experience in many different disciplines. Melody is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with the NSCA, a level 2 RKC, a CK-FMS, a Certified Nutrition Specialist, a Certified Indian Clubs Specialist, and is Z-Health R, I, S, and T Phase certified. She is also a CAMTC Certified Massage Therapist specializing in a hybrid of trigger point,… Read More

Monday 140922

Workout

30 CTB Pull-ups (Scale 45 Kipping/60 Jumping or Band)
400m Run
15-OHS 135/95 (Scale 95/65)
800m Run
15-OHS 135/95 (Scale 95/65)
400m Run
30-CTB Pull-ups (Scale 45 Kipping/60 Jumping or Band)

Like D…I HATE FALL.  I want Winter so we can get back to Spring.  From Uncover California

Pumpkin-Flavored Drinks contain Excessive Sugar, and no Natural Pumpkin Elements

Pumpkin-Flavored Drinks contain Excessive Sugar, and no Natural Pumpkin Elements

About $300 million worth of pumpkin-flavored products are consumed by Americans every year. The Pumpkin-Flavor Season begins in September and ends in November. Doctors are, however, not happy with the pumpkin season coming back because pumpkin-flavored products, according to them, contain excessive sugars and no natural pumpkin elements.

After the summer equinox, consumers see a variety of foods and other products made from seasonal ingredient. As per recommendations of the World health Organization, adults should not consume more than 25 grams of sugar per day. One pumpkin latte is more than enough to cross that limit and adding whipped cream in the drink makes it even worse.

Pumpkin is a famous fruit across America and most of the pumpkin-flavored products are sold between the months of September and November, which is its peak season. Nutritionists said that pumpkin spice lattes – sold by Starbucks from August to October – are thought to be beneficial for people who need fiber and vitamins. However, it is not going to offer any health benefit when there is no natural pumpkin in the drink.

Nearly every pumpkin-flavored product available in the market from July lacks natural pumpkin elements, said doctors.

Joyce Hanna, a nutrition expert and associate director of the Health Improvement Program at Stanford University, said 37 grams of sugar is present in the popular 12-oz size Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. And it must be noted that the drink has that amount of sugar without fat milk and whip.

Doctors suggest that people should go in for home made versions of Pumpkin drinks so as to keep them as natural as possible and free from extra calories and sugar.

Friday 140307

Workout
Workout 14.2

Every 3 minutes for as long as possible complete:

From 0:00-3:00

2 rounds of:

95-lb. overhead squats, 10 reps

10 chest-to-bar pull-ups

From 3:00-6:00

2 rounds of:

95-lb. overhead squats, 12 reps

12 chest-to-bar pull-ups

From 6:00-9:00

2 rounds of:

95-lb. overhead squats, 14 reps

14 chest-to-bar pull-ups

Etc., following same pattern until you fail to complete both rounds.

Saturday 131228

Workout
“Marie”
50-Burpees
5x
10-CTB Pull-ups
20 (10 per leg) Pistols

Strength

Rack Jerk – Heavy Single

From CNN Health

7 workout habits you should drop now

By Jennifer Cohen, Health.com – 

updated 11:12 AM EST, Fri December 27, 2013
Trainer Chris Jordan has designed a high-intensity circuit training program to help his clients lose weight and get fit. Instructions: Do as many reps of each move as you can in 30 seconds, resting 10 seconds in between. Repeat the circuit two to three times. First up, jumping jacks.
Trainer Chris Jordan has designed a high-intensity circuit training program to help his clients lose weight and get fit. Instructions: Do as many reps of each move as you can in 30 seconds, resting 10 seconds in between. Repeat the circuit two to three times. First up, jumping jacks.
 (Health.com) — Are you spending hours working out every week, and not getting the results you want?

Chances are you might have a bad habit or two when it comes to exercising.

Never fear, there’s a quick fix for even the most ingrained workout no-nos. Check out these seven workout habits you should drop: Not only will ditching these help you lose the pounds, they will help you become a more efficient exerciser.

1. The elliptical

I’m not a fan of the elliptical. Not only is it the most boring piece of equipment in the gym, it is also extremely ineffective.

First off, the elliptical doesn’t use a natural body motion to work your body. Workouts that use natural motions like running, bending, or jumping are much more effective at toning muscles. Sure, the gliding motion of the elliptical burns calories, but that’s about it.

It is also easy to slack off on the elliptical. With the treadmill you at least have to keep up with the pace you set. On the elliptical you start off with guns blazing, and 10 minutes later you are crawling along like a turtle.

You are much better off doing a 20-minute cross training circuit (burpees, jumping rope, jumping squats, etc.) than 45 minutes of slogging along on the elliptical.

If you are looking for another low impact exercise, try the rowing machine. This will get your heart rate up, and also work your upper body and back.

2. Working out for long periods of time at a moderate pace

When it comes to working out, slow and steady does not win the race. Maximize your time, people!

Instead of working out for an hour at an easy-to-moderate intensity level, step it up a notch. Challenge yourself to 30 minutes of nonstop, intense exercise. You can take 15- to 30-second breaks, but move quickly from one workout to the next. Give it 100% for 30 minutes, instead of 75% for an hour.

3. Lollygagging

You know that girl at the gym who’s always fixing her hair in the mirror? Don’t be her. Come to the gym with a time frame and a plan.

This means no wandering around, no texting your boyfriend in between reps. Come with a set workout to complete, limiting your water breaks to specific points in your circuit for a designated amount of seconds.

If this means writing down your regimen, great. Tattoo it to your arm. Whatever. Make the most of your time. Get in, get out. No one likes a gym rat.

4. Too much cardio and too little strength training

But cardio burns more calories, right? Not so fast, lady.

Sure, an hour on the treadmill gives you that instant satisfaction of burning 400 calories. Or so that little blinking screen says. A quickstrength training or cross training session, however, will get your heart rate up, burn calories, and develop your lean muscle mass.

Building muscle means that those muscles are able to work throughout the day burning more calories when you aren’t working out.

5. Hydrating with sports drinks

Sports drinks may give you a boost, but are full of sugar and calories. During any given daily workout, hydrating with plain ol’ water should do the trick just fine.

If you feel tired during your workout, try fueling before. Eating a healthy snack 45 minutes before your workout can give you more energy, and allow you to skip the Gatorade. Try some almond butter on toast.

6. Doing the same exercises over and over again

When you do the same workout routine over and over, your body gets used to it and it becomes easier.

The Stairmaster might have been challenging at one point, but pretty soon your muscles become familiar with that motion. Your body only uses half the energy to complete this task that at one point had you huffing and puffing your way to the locker room.

Mix it up. By changing your workouts daily you will trick your body into working harder and burning more calories. It will also save you from boredom. Take that new kickboxing class or try one of my workouts.

7. Going it alone

Working out alone can be great. It gives you time to clear your mind, listen to music, and feel the burn.

However, sometimes it takes a workout buddy to hold you accountable. Working out with a partner not only makes it more likely that you’ll work out, it makes most people try harder than they would on their own. Your partner can cheer you on to finish that last half mile or to finish those last four deadlifts.

And let’s not forget the power of good old-fashioned competition. If your friend is doing 50 lunges, don’t you suddenly feel inspired to do 51?

Tuesday 130618

Workout

Using your Press 1RM for your weight – Bench Press (yes Bench Press) 7 sets of 7 reps.

MetCon
800m Run
20-CTB Pull-ups
20-Dips

400m Run
20-TTB

200m Run
20-CTB Pull-ups
20-Dips
20-TTB

From Onnit.Com via Artofmanliness.com. Newge, thanks for the link.

How to Perform 4 Kettlebell Exercises: An Illustrated Guide

by BRETT & KATE MCKAY on JUNE 6, 2013 ·

Kettlebell Header 600—1


The History of the Kettlebell
You may have seen more and more people at the gym swinging what looks like a cannonball with a handle. Those weird looking weights are called kettlebells and they’ve been used by Russian strongmen for over two centuries to “become strong like bull.” If you’re ready to experience one of the most versatile pieces of training equipment known to man and get the workout of your life, read on.

Kettlebells have been a staple in Russian exercise and physical culture since the 1700s. In fact, any old-time strongman or weightlifter in Russia was called a Girevik, or “kettlebell man.” The most famous Girevik was a bear of a man named Pyotr Kryloff. Called the “King of Kettlebells” Kryloff was a circus and strongman performer during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. According to Pavel Tsatsouline in his book Enter the Kettlebell, Kryloff  ”could cross himself in the Russian Orthodox manner with a 70-pound kettlebell, military press the same kettlebell with one arm 88 times, and juggle three of them at once!”

Russian strongmen weren’t the only ones who made use of the kettlebell. The Soviet army also incorporated kettlebells into their strength and conditioning programs. Every Soviet military unit had a gym called the “courage corner” where kettlebell snatches and swings were performed. The strength and conditioning that Soviet soldiers developed through the use of the kettlebell made them the envy of other countries. Lt. Gen. Giffard Martel, a commander in the British army during WWII, noted that “the rank and file of the Red Army was magnificent from a physical point of view. Much of the equipment we [British soldiers] carry on vehicles accompanying the infantry is carried on a man’s back in Russia.”

FrJohnwWbsmall

AoM reader and Orthodox priest Father John A. Peck continues the tradition of Eastern strength training.

While American strongmen have trained with the kettlebell since the late 19th century, it wasn’t until fairly recently that they achieved mainstream use. Former Read more Tuesday 130618

Friday 130510

Workout

50-Burpees
5x
10-CTB Pull-ups
20 (10 per leg) Pistols

From US News & Health Report

You’ll Gladly Die for Your Children; Why Won’t You Cook for Them?

April 11, 2013

I’m a parent of three. I hold no illusions that I’m a uniquely dedicated parent or that my love for my kids is greater than anyone else’s. And like all parents, should the opportunity arise, I’d gladly, immediately and unquestioningly give my life for their’s. And it’s my firm belief in the incredible and powerful love of parents for their children that regularly leads me to scratch my head and wonder: Why it is that while most every parent would happily die for their children, it’s an increasingly rare parent who will cook for them?

I’ve heard all of the explanations—time, cost, after-school activities, lack of cooking skills, picky eaters, etc. But ultimately, I think the real reason parents who would die for their children are comfortable feeding them from boxes and drive-thrus isn’t due to a lack of love or concern. It’s because society has been so firmly and conclusively duped into believing that doing so is both safe and healthful that it has become our new normal.

Remember that the foods we feed our children are, quite literally, their building blocks. Consequently, we are building a nation of children constructed from the food industry’s deceptively and, at times, deceitfully marketed salt, sugar and fat offerings of convenience.

But more than that, the manner in which we feed our children is the model from which they’re likely to draw upon to feed their futures. If fast and processed food assembly make up the bulk of their childhood “cooking” experiences, where actual cooking is a grumbling rarity relegated to holiday dinners, do you think your children are likely to take the time to cook and look after their nutrition as young adults or as parents themselves?

The statistics are ugly. Nearly half of our food dollars are being spent on restaurant and out-of-the-home convenience foods. In our homes, the percentage of food dollars being spent on processed foods has doubled since just the early 1980s. But again, we’re not eating this way because we don’t value health or love our children. We’re eating this way because the food industry has festooned boxes of salt, sugar, fat and pulverized white flour with claims of added “nutrients” and health benefits; they’ve also convinced us that mixing, pouring, stirring and adding is “cooking.”

The fact the food industry has succeeded in doing this in part may have to do with our species-wide desire for convenience, because, at the end of the day, it’s simply not about time. Recent reports put the average American in front of a television for 34 hours a week and on the Internet for another eight–sure sounds like time’s something of which we actually have plenty.

Fixing this problem will require more than just trying to make parents feel guilty. At this point, many parents been led by lax front-of-package labeling and advertising laws to faithfully believe that the boxes they’re feeding their children do in fact conveniently and healthfully replace fresh, whole-ingredient cooking. Plus, they themselves may have grown up in homes where actual home cooking was anything but the norm and may not know how to cook.

So what should we do? Here’s a start:

• We need to take away the food industry’s upper hand in the supermarkets. We need to change labeling laws and hamstring the ability of the food industry to hoodwink harried parents into believing that a sometimes-comfort food like mac and cheese can ever be a smart choice. Why should the onus be on the consumer to turn boxes over to study the nutrition facts panel to ensure that the claims on the front of the package are supported by its actual contents? Moreover, are consumers actually equipped to do this from a nutrition-education perspective?

• We need to bring back home economics. Sadly, there are many families in which regular home cooking was last seen three generations ago. I think children shouldn’t be allowed to graduate high school without knowing how to cook 10 simple, healthful, fresh, whole-ingredient meals on their own. As well, we should consider using our schools’ abandoned kitchens after hours to help teach basic cooking skills to families as a whole.

• We need to denormalize the reliance on convenience when it comes to feeding our children. As a society, we need to prioritize our kitchens as the healthiest and most important rooms of our homes. And we’ll likely need hard-hitting public health campaigns that criticize the food and restaurant industry as well as nutrition education in schools.

The shift from regular home cooking to the mess we’re in now didn’t happen overnight, and it’s going to take time to reverse. We need to rise up and reclaim our kitchens and shift the balance of power from the food industry to loving moms and dads who no doubt would die for their children and, if empowered to do so, I’ve no doubt would cook for them, too.

We need to champion produce and not products, and we needed to have started yesterday

Thursday 130404

Workout

CrossFit Games Open 13.5

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 4 minutes of:
15 – 100 pound Thruster
15 – Chest to bar Pull-ups

If 90 reps (3 rounds) are completed in under 4 minutes, time extends to 8 minutes.
If 180 reps (6 rounds) are completed in under 8 minutes, time extends to 12 minutes.
If 270 reps (9 rounds) are completed in under 12 minutes, time extends to 16 minutes.
Etc.

For a downloadable PDF of the workout, click here.

Not what the fat, old, bald guy likes to report…not the aforementioned WOD or the story below.

Male baldness ‘indicates heart risk’

By James GallagherHealth and science reporter, BBC News

Man with thinning hair
Heart experts say men who have lost their hair ‘should not be alarmed’

Men going thin on top may be more likely to have heart problems than their friends with a full head of hair, according to researchers in Japan.

Their study of nearly 37,000 people, published in the online journal BMJ Open, said balding men were 32% more likely to have coronary heart disease.

However, the researchers said the risks were less than for smoking or obesity.

The British Heart Foundation said men should focus on their waistline, not their hairline.

A shifting hairline is a fact of life for many men. Half have thinning hair by their 50s and 80% have some hair loss by the age of 70.

Researchers at the University of Tokyo Read more Thursday 130404