Tuesday 150428

Dead Lift

Use 90% of your 1RM for your math.

70% x3
80% x3
90% x3
80% x3
70% x3+


10:00 of “Mary”

From NPR

Best To Not Sweat The Small Stuff, Because It Could Kill You

Keith Negley for NPR

Keith Negley for NPR

Chronic stress is hazardous to health and can lead to early death from heart disease, cancer and of other health problems. But it turns out it doesn’t matter whether the stress comes from major events in life or from minor problems. Both can be deadly.

And it may be that it’s not the stress from major life events like divorce, illness and job loss trickled down to everyday life that gets you; it’s how you react to the smaller, everyday stress.

The most stressed-out people have the highest risk of premature death, according to one study that followed 1,293 men for years.

“People who always perceived their daily life to be over-the-top stressful were three times more likely to die over the period of study than people who rolled with the punches and didn’t find daily life very stressful,” according to Carolyn Aldwin. She directs the Center for Healthy Aging Research at Oregon State University and led thestudy, which is scheduled for publication in the journal Experimental Gerontology.

Some people get frantic sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic, worried about being late or not being able to do what they hoped in a timely manner. Others simply take the time to sit back, listen to music and appreciate the break as some quiet time.

Now, getting upset in traffic once is no big deal. But if things like that happen all the time and the response is always getting really upset, then the harmful effects of stress can become toxic.

“There are a number of ways chronic stress can kill you,” says Aldwin. That includes increased levels of cortisol, often referred to as the stress hormone. Elevated cortisol levels interfere with learning and memory, lower immune function and bone density, and increase blood pressure, cholesterol and heart disease.

If you are one of those chronically upset worriers, Dr. Robert Waldinger, a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University, has a prescription for you: exercise.

“If you could give one magic pill that would improve physical health, mood, reduce weight,” this would be it, Waldinger says. Federal health officials recommend 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every day.

When it comes to fighting stress, Waldinger says, that’s enough. “When they do studies particularly of the mood benefit, they find that more than 30 minutes a day is not necessary — you don’t get any boost. So if you think just in terms of stress relief and antidepressant effect, 30 minutes is enough.”

Another option would be to add meditation to your daily routine. For many people, that can make a big difference, Waldinger says, “because what you do is watch your mind spin out anxiously over trivia, and eventually it settles down and you begin to have more perspective.”

Breathing may be the simplest and most immediate fix, Aldwin says. “Take a step back when you feel yourself getting upset, step back psychologically and even physically,” she recommends. “And then watch your breathing; people who get upset a lot breathe very rapidly and shallowly, and it creates more anxiety.” Breathing slowly from the abdomen helps slow the stress response, she says.

And finally, Waldinger says here’s something not to do: Don’t overdo alcohol. “It feels in the moment like having that extra drink at night eliminates stress because it relaxes you, but it turns out that alcohol disturbs sleep.” And it also acts as a depressant.

Some stress is inevitable for everyone, Waldinger says. But stress-related disease doesn’t have to be.

Sunday 130203


20 mins of:
5-Handstand Push-ups
10-Pistols (one leg squat)

Subs for this workout are Ring Push-ups for Handstands Push-ups (not really a like for like sub but will suffice today). Side step-ups to a 24 inch box (5 each leg per round) for Pistols.

The following is from fivex3.com.  It comes at a time where TitanFit has grown for its original 90% male 10% female days to our current almost 50% male 50% female  make-up.

Now that we have more women, I and cursed daily by those that love what CrossFit has done to their body (less fat, more muscle), but are slow to accept what the scale says.

Her:  Hey, I weigh 145 lbs.  When I started here I weighed 125!
Me: How many Pull-ups and push-ups can you do today?

Her: More than I could before, but I WEIGH 145!
Me: How do you clothes fit?

Her: Pants are tight in the thigh but are falling off my waist. I now have to buy jeans that are labeled “curvy” amd no longer fit into “skinny jeans”!  For my shirts, I was forced to go from small to medium because my arms are now to big to fit in the arm holds of the small shirts.  My belly is smaller and I have lost inches in my hips and butt.  I can now wear clothes that I could not wear 5+ years ago. I hate you Herb!
Me: You are welcome! Hey why do you still have clothes that you could not wear 5 years ago in your closet?!

Me:  There are no secrets.  It is all about hard work.  Spot reduction does not exists. throw away your scale and concern yourself about how your clothers fit.  You are stronger, which is a good thing.  Have people mentioned that you look better?

Her:  Yes
Me:  Hmm!  Remind me again what is your stated goal?

Read the following

A New and Better Butt? Why not a STRONGER Butt?

I don’t get women into my gym by promising them a great ass. They acquire their awesome asses as a result of doing goblet squats, split squats, kettlebell swings, step ups, reverse lunges, deadlifts…you get the picture. I don’t promise them “toned” arms. But they end up with awesome arms from push ups, rows, chin ups, face pulls, presses….you get the picture. In fact, I don’t promise them anything. They come to me because they want to get stronger. They come to me because they want to move better. They come to me because as one of my clients said to me today, “Because I don’t want to be in pain. Because I want to be able to keep moving this way when I am 90.” And of course, I will not deny the fact that many of them also want to look better too. I am not going to ignore the fact that most women wish they had ______. (You fill in the blank.) I just want other things to take priority.

Empty promises.

Because if you promise a woman a better butt or if you promise weight loss or toned arms and after weeks of exercising, it doesn’t happen as fast as they like, she will be left feeling worse about herself than she did before she started. I think that these type of promises encourage negative thinking in women. I think that when you focus on body image, you put a woman’s body image before performance, before health, before confidence.  These empty promises encourage a woman to feel bad about herself, not better and honestly, she has enough to feel bad about as a woman. Remember, it is hard enough just being a woman (I wrote about that recently here.) So in my mind, these types of promises should not exist. It is easier and WAY more satisfying to build a woman’s confidence by introducing her to the deadlift (by the way, a great ass exercise), boost her self-esteem by teaching her how to do a proper push up (toned arms anyone?) or a barbell squat (another great ass exercise) than just help her fit into a pair of pants. Women do not need to be reminded of what they don’t have. They need to be reminded of what they DO have and they need to be coached how to use the body they DO have.

Push ups a la Michele

Just ask my ladies. The other night, after watching one of my clients bang out a set of 10 push ups, my husband asked her if she started off at my place with such good push ups. “NO way,” she said. “This is what I am most proud of too. My push ups.” She told me that she has also been getting compliments right and left from friends about how awesome she looks and these friends just cannot wrap their heads around the fact that all she has been doing is squatting, pressing and rowing. No running? They ask. No cardio, she tells them aside from a few ball slams and rope slams here and there.  Of course, she said, she would rather them ask her how much she can squat these days than how she got her body. ;-)

This past summer, I wrote an article about my ladies and their feelings about strength training. You can read ithere. The women speak about the empowerment they feel as a result of strength training, how much more confidence they have in their daily lives, how they are able to do things they never thought was possible. They talk about the focus and concentration that goes into training, why they do it, what they get from it. And yet, I still find it difficult to get some women to believe in the power of the iron. I was recently on my Facebook News Feed and I saw a post by a friend of mine (a dancer) who was talking about building a new butt for the new year at Pop Physique. I had heard of this place (it’s a chain) and knew that it was just another type of barre class (They are popping up like mad all over the city. You can read about my feelings  in regards to barre classes here.)

The Pop Physique Butt

I checked out the website and the first thing staring at me was some woman’s ass. Ugh. Seriously?

Right there, I knew what this place was all about. With a little more digging, I found a YouTube clip from one of the classes. Take a look.


What bothers me the most (I was face palming so much I turned my forehead red – it was like hearing nails on a blackboard), was the fact that the woman interviewing the instructor in the video is seen at the beginning of the video standing in front of a squat rack with a loaded barbell. Loaded with 45lb plates and a couple of smaller plates. A squat rack people. The clip then goes on to show women pulsing with 3lb dumbbells and then humping a ball. WTH? Where did the squat rack go? Why was it there in the first place? To tease us women who believe in the power of the rack? For the love of…..where the hell did the squat rack go??? NOOOOOO!

My “Barre Core/Barre class” butt

Okay, okay….I get it. The point of these classes is to  build a better butt. How do you do that when you use no resistance? Do you want to see what a butt looks like from a barre class? Cue picture to your right. Whoa. Now, mind you, during this time, I was also teaching cycling and doing some machine work at the gym. But this is my butt after two years of barre classes. Flat as a pancake. Non-existent. Is it even there, you ask? I just see wrinkles. Yes, there is something beneath the pants. Not much though. And look at my chicken arms too. Hell, look at my breast. Where is the muscle????? Where is the butt? I thought I looked great…..until I saw this picture and saw my body and realized how pathetically weak I looked. I had recently lost weight too (due to not eating as a result of my back injury – in too much pain to eat. This was the year I had my relapse.) But all the time I was teaching my barre class. I was squeezing and pulsing, squeezing and pulsing. Where was my ass to show for all that work??

My butt from Squatting/Deadlifting/Kettlebell swinging

Fast forward one year. ONE year. Take a look at my ass now after a year of squatting, deadlifting, pressing, benching, doing chin ups, push ups.  Uh, big difference, wouldn’t you say? I was still teaching my barre classes (this was the year before I opened my gym), but what had I added into my program that was not there before? You guessed it. Heavy squats, deadlifts, glute bridges. More specifically, weight. Weight, people. Weight. None of that 3lb bullsh**.  Real weight. And more weight. And more weight. My goal was a stronger butt, not a “better butt. Hell, my goal was to just get stronger. The butt came as a bonus from all the hard work.

And again almost a year and a half later. Still going strong. No more barre anything. Only barbell.

And I continue to work on getting stronger each and everytime I train. And consequently, my glutes get stronger too. So, ladies, if you are looking to build a stronger, more able backside, please for the love of all that is humane in this great world, give up humping the barre while squeezing a ball between your thighs and grab a freaking dumbbell and start doing some goblet squats. Or teach yourself how to do a kettlebell swing. Holy backside Batman! Or roll a barbell over your hips and thrust away! Your glutes will thank you and will appreciate the work. Because the work you do in your “build a better butt class for the New Year” will only work for some time then it stops working because nothing has changed. No resistance has been added. If you stick with 3lb dumbbells, you will end up looking the same. The body adapts. So, instead of working towards a cute ass, why not do yourself a real favor and work towards a stronger body and consequently, a stronger, maybe cuter ass.

Saturday 121110

Happy Birthday Larry!

Larry’s Birthday was last Tuesday on the 6th of November.  We need to create a WOD that celebrates all that is Larry.  Take a look at this picture.  Post what you think would be a good “Larry” WOD.


It is about time that we worked on “pistols”