…for only around 4 minutes lol.
It was funny when Bob Harper showed off his CrossFit friends on the Biggest Loser doing random WOD’s in his workout playground. His team of contestants were just floored seeing them do weird, foreign movements like overhead squats and handstand pushups. And when he said this was something his team could “potentially do” at some point…it hit me.
That’s so true. Sure, I was never as out of shape as the contestants, but I know that feeling of being pretty out of shape and thinking something like a muscle up was impossible.
Also, the whole place was DECKED OUTTTT in Rogue Fitness equipment. From the Games to now prime time television, it’s awesome seeing Rogue really flesh out their business.
Anyway…yeah…as you can see in these videos (we’ll see how long they stay up lol…), the CrossFit segment was only around 4 minutes long. Still, it was cool seeing our heroes like Rich Froning, Camille, Matt Chan, Kristan Clever, and Miranda Oldroyd on national TV.
Props to Carols Villafana for posting these on YouTube:
…since I really don’t watch TV aside from a few shows and sports. Most shows are a waste of time to me. Channel surfing + junk food were one of the many reasons I got out fat when I was younger.
What got me hooked on watching all 2 hours of last night’s Biggest Loser episode? Getting all those flashbacks to when I started hitting up the gym.
It was the summer going into my senior year of high school.
My weight reached an all-time high due to poor eating and sleeping habits, along with a lack of any physical activity whatsoever. Since I stopped playing sports around 8th grade, the only activities I had outside of school were guitar and video games. Yeah…can’t lose weight with those hobbies…
…that’s when I knew I had to make some changes with my life. I’ve done some workouts at home using some light dumbbells and even Dance Dance Revolution for some cardio (lol), but I knew that signing up for a gym membership had to be done to see the results I wanted.
Seeing the contestants struggle with their workouts and their new lifestyle changes seemed all too familiar to me. I was so self-conscious about how I’d looked when working out. Whether it’s doing a lift for the first time or how weird it would be for a guy to use an elliptical machine.
Honestly, that self-consciousness at the gym didn’t disappear until I got deep into CrossFit. I mean I’ve fallen off the GHD with no shame haha. That’s where I am now.
Watching the show reminded me how tough those mental hurdles were to overcome. But you know what? It’s all about starting somewhere, right?
When I started out at Planet Fitness, I had no idea what the fuck I was doing. I pretty much just came up with my own stuff based off the material on JohnStoneFitness.com and the forums there. Then I thought LOTS of cardio was necessary, so I did 1-2 hour cardio sessions (bike, treadmill, or elliptical) on top of 30 minute lifting sessions.
I’ll never forget my first cardio “session.”
It was pretty much a 30 minute walk on the treadmill because I had NO ENDURANCE at all and my asthma was pretty bad then.
Hey, it was a start and I did see results. Even more so the following summer going into my freshman year of college. So much for that… (beer + Domino’s + Easy Mac + barely any sleep)
I watched the Biggest Loser last night only to see the CrossFit people, which ended up being such a small part of the episode. However, watching the show reminded me so much of where I started.
It reminded me that I don’t want to go back to that. That lifestyle where I constantly felt like shit. That lifestyle I was really unhappy about.
Fortunately, I’m now in that place, that zone where I no longer have worries about getting into shape. It’s all about executing that solid plan made for your body.
So all these thoughts of my beginnings really got me thinking of people starting fresh in 2013. I was already pretty damn self-conscious at Planet Fitness, a “judgement free zone” (lulz…felt more the opposite). Then things were taken to a whole new level at my school gym, where guys stared at each other working out and girls were afraid of stepping foot in due to the same reason.
What about a newbie signing up for a CrossFit gym?
I don’t know about you, but I feel a lot of people new to CrossFit would find many of our gyms intimidating simply because of the shit they see in the Games on TV and also the intense personalities of some athletes.
It’s hard for a lot of outsiders to see the welcoming culture under the image of intensity.
So for you newcomers, here are some things I just wanted to point out:
Whether CrossFit or another type of gym, each has its own personality. Some are totally hardcore while others cater to almost everyone. If you’re thinking of signing up, visit the local box and talk with the trainers there to get a feel for it. You’re going to be working out here 3-5+ times a week, so it should be a place you like.
We all started somewhere. The majority of people are not going to be lifting heavy-ass weights or getting sub-3 minute Fran times right out of the gate. Just keep doing your thing and listen to what your coaches have to say.
You make a mistake with a movement? No biggie.
You fail a lift at a very light weight? Shake it off.
You trip or something during a run? Get back up.
All that matters is that you’re working towards a healthier lifestyle. The community around you can’t help but respect that.
Leave your ego at the door.
I noticed this especially with guys who’ve had some previous lifting background. A lot of these lifts and movements will be new to you, so focus on getting your form down. Yeah, your form will go to shit at times during certain workouts, but it’s best if you lay down a solid foundation when you start.
It’ll help reduce any bad habits that’ll be hard to shake off down the road, which’ll drastically reduce your chances of injury. I’ve seen way too many people who can’t accept that their form sucks, yet continue to push through with it. It’s people like that who give CrossFit a bad name. Don’t be that guy or girl. Your body will thank you later as well.
And in the long-run, nailing down your form will help you lift more weight. 1 simple tweak in your form can help you shoot up in weight for a lift. I’ve experienced this countless times and still continue to.
You want it to get to the point where you can visualize what a lift SHOULD look like and then things just happen automatically. Then you’ll have less things to think about while you work out.
Yes, we all have many reasons why we do it. And that’s pretty damn awesome.
However, if you really do want to see results consistently and faster, focus on 1 thing at a time. Do you want to drop fat/health? Do you want to improve your performance? Or do you have some other reason for hitting up a CrossFit box?
I’m suggesting focusing on 1 main goal, especially in the beginning, because scattered plans tend to give you scattered results. I’ve been there numerous times. For example, I’ve bounced back and forth between dropping body fat and performance for quite a while. It wasn’t until I asked myself why I CrossFit that I decided to keep my focus on fat loss right now.
So far so good.
Having that proper focus will make things easier for you and for your CrossFit trainers, as they’ll be able to give you better, more personalized suggestions to achieving your goals.
Think about how lucky you are.
You have this awesome opportunity to change things. To live a healthier lifestyle. To make yourself look pretty damn good. To make yourself stronger and faster than ever before.
Enjoy yourself out there. Savor every single rep. Feel that pump you get from a heavy lifting sesh. Soak in the flow of those butterfly kipping pullups.
And it’s sweet how you can share these experiences with other people. You don’t have to go through this journey alone. Between your coaches and other people in your class, you have a lot of like-minded individuals who want to see you succeed.
Joke around. Do a WOD. Have a good time.
The fun factor of CrossFit is what gets me to show up each day with ease.
Happy new year! Kip it real, my friends.
When I saw Web Smith‘s Tweet this weekend, I knew something was up…
— Web Smith (@web) May 28, 2012
I KNEW Chris Spealler would be on the Update Show, but I didn’t think he would be on Saturday’s. For some reason, I just knew. I knew what was coming.
Here’s the full show for you junkies:
Between the crazy weights increasing each year at the Games, running his box and new business 321Go Project, and spending more time with his family, I had a feeling this would be Spealler’s last CrossFit Games as an individual…
I’m not gonna lie…part of my heart sank when I found out. Yes, all the hints at the “big announcement” on this Update Show made things seem really obvious, but it still hit me like a pile of bricks.
Yeah, I did write about 4 things we can learn from Chris Spealler and his performance in the South West Regional. However, I just want to stress upon the fact that he was one of my main CrossFit inspirations since the beginning.
While Rob Orlando was really the first CrossFitter I looked up to with his videos on YouTube and all, it was Spealler who I identified with right away. It was most likely the height factor haha.
The guy is one of the most efficient mofos out there. If you want to learn the right form in almost anything CrossFit, watch #spealler. Just check out any of his YouTube videos. The guy’s squeezing out the most from his 150ish pound frame and is competing head-to-head with the big dawgs out there.
It’s through Chris that I learned to take a “work smarter, not harder” approach to CrossFit. Of course, I’d still work hard, but a lot of the time, going RAMBO on a WOD right off the gate won’t work in your favor. Thinking like him has helped me focus on things like pacing during a WOD, not Rx’ing to get the desired effect from a workout, and CONSTANT GAINS.
Like with all the good things in life, progressing in CrossFit is like a marathon, not a sprint. Sure, there are some naturally gifted athletes who can become Games-worthy within only a few months of training, but for everyone else out there, like myself, shooting for consistency is key.
More importantly, this “working smarter” approach has carried on to other aspects of my life.
For almost ALL my life, I tried accomplishing EVERYTHING…meaning, I had to do well in this, that, and EVERYTHING. What a scattered approach…
It stemmed from my approach to schoolwork and studying. Okay, back in elementary/middle school, there wasn’t much material, so I could do really well just by memorizing everything. Then about halfway through high school, I realized…shit. I can’t do this anymore. This was basically my approach to everything else in my life.
As expected, I’d get overwhelmed by many things. STRESS allll around…not fun.
Just from watching Spealler perform and through his instructional videos, I really embraced overall efficiency in my life. And the cool thing about making these changes? They really only involve little tweaks. Small tweaks to make BIG changes. Now that’s a HIGH return on investment 🙂
This approach/mindset has made my life more manageable and enjoyable. I’ve accomplished so much inside and outside the box in the past 2 years. Rather than try to succeed in everything I WANT, I’ve learned to cut the fat and focus on the things in life I NEED.
Chris, I just want to say thanks 🙂
Kip it real, my friends.
…caught yourself saying that?
It happens in that type of WOD that takes a piece of your life away for a few minutes. It happens when you’re grinding late into the night on a project and the fuckin coffee doesn’t seem to kick in. It happens when you “think” NOTHING is left in the tank.
…inspire me. Seeing competitors go for that ONE last muscle up in both the final team and individual events is just so inspirational. For the big dawgs, it was a piece of cake. Some of the individual competitors did them unbroken.
However, for those who really struggled with that last rep, it was something. I believe it was when the last girl on Team Rogue Gahanna went for it. That moment gave me GOOSEBUMPS. Seriously.
People in the chat were going nuts. Yeahh…you can only use CAPS and bang out random characters within a chat so much to show how amped you are…but we all got it. We knew what was happening, and it almost felt like we were there cheering her on.
When you think about those times you just gave up or called it a night and you clearly could’ve gotten shit done, these CrossFit Games moments drive you to do better. To push for that extra hour of work. To get those last 10 reps unbroken. To break that damn mental barrier.
That’s what the PR’s are for. We keep setting our OWN goals and shattering them. It’s a never ending cycle. Of course, your progress will level out at some point, but imagine if you NEVER pushed yourself that one little bit to become better?
We all have a little more fuel in the tank than we expect, no matter what the circumstances are. Sometimes you just need that external inspiration to KICK YOUR ASS and get you to push the boundaries.
I know most people fuckin HATE Mondays. Whatever. I live for them. Bring it.
We have a lot of shit that needs to get done. WOD’s. Work. Family. Bills. School. Bullshit.
Whenever you feel you’re hitting that barrier, think of the Games. Think of getting that one last muscle up. Mustering the physical and mental strength isn’t gonna be easy, but think about how sweet it’ll be when you push through.
“I don’t have it in me?” FUCK that noise.
Um…why is this post under “Inspirational Shit”? You’ll see…
…but for now, yeah, I fucked up when I ordered my rope. I ended up getting a cable a bit too long since I measured my old STRETCHED OUT rope. Epic fail, huh? Oh wel…there’s really not much I can do about it.
Since I used it for one WOD and got the cable all scratched and marked up, I was no longer eligible for an exchange at RX Jump Ropes. I didn’t want to be a dickkkk and try to clean off the marks, ya know?
So I had no choice but to order a new pink cable at a shorter length.
Regardless, I still had a great WOD with this rope. What did we have in store?
12 hang power cleans or as many as possible within 30 sec. (135#/95#…Rx)
4 x (30 sec. AMRAP burpee lateral bar hops, 30 sec. AMRAP double unders)
2 minutes rest (wtfffff!!!)
I managed to get all 12 HPC’s in the first round, but after that I struggled with my grip, getting only around 8 to 10. lmao, in round 2, my sweaty hands resulted in the barbell launching from my grasp.
Seriously, all I could do was laugh.
Yeah, enough about the WOD…let’s discuss the rope. I’m in love, even though I need the right cable length. I noticed the “ultra” cable weight was a little heavier than my Again Faster Revolution Rope (I recommend it, as it’s a bargain with 2 cables), but due to the mechanics of the bearing system, I was using my wrists more than usual.
That’s a good thing.
The rotations were as smooth as butter. I can only imagine the kind of damage I can do and the PR’s I can set with the right cable length. We’ll see next week.
Only then can I write a full review.
Alright, it really has to do with getting the rope in the crazy “toxic green” handles and pink cable. I just like being me.
It was annoying having my rope randomly picked up by someone next to me during WOD’s (not cool…) or having someone hang it up with the rest of the box’s ropes. Even though the rest were the generic speed ropes, the AF Rev rope blended in with the others.
I wanted something different to avoid those issues and to also be ridiculous as I really am. Whenever you just keeping doing you and really believe in yourself, no one gives a shit or says shit against you.
Since college, I’ve always been a fan of wearing clothes that stand out like crazy. I was all about pastels and loud colors cause that was the thing at school, and I didn’t mind wearing that stuff on the weekends. It was basically my party attire.
Back at home, only about 15 minutes away, it’s like a whole different world. No one really wears that stuff. I missed that sort of self-expression, so of all places, I wanted to bring it to the box. It’s where I lay it all on the line.
That’s one of the reasons I had to get this pink jump rope. My old AF one was already on its 2nd cable and had all these bends, so it was time to move on. Seriously, I wouldn’t be surprised if I even start a trend. A buddy of mine just ordered his RX Jump Rope in “naughty pink” (what an ASS haha) handles and a pink cable as well.
You can also say another reason is confidence.
We all play mind games with ourselves after that “3-2-1 GO.” I think of it this way when it comes to dubs…if I fuckin suck at double unders, I DON’T deserve to be using such a ridiculous rope. Whether I have a normal looking rope or such a loudly colored one, the fact remains: I just suck.
So if I want to still be badassssss while sporting a pink jump rope, I need to perform. I need to deserve it.
For months, I worked on progressing from terribly coordinated singles to pretty decent dubs. Doing them fresh, I can hit the mid-60s unbroken. (Come to think about it, I haven’t do an unbroken AMRAP in a while. Should test that when the new cable comes.) During a WOD with movements that tend to kill the shoulders, it’s really a hit or miss.
I’ve come a long way, so I need to keep it up. I need to focus. It’s unusual, isn’t it? On top of being “loud” in a different way and making a fashion statement (lolz), I use the pink jump rope as a motivator.
If you keep tearing it up at your box while being chill with the people around you, whether you’re rocking a pink jump rope or wearing pink knee socks, you’ve got respect.
I’m not gonna lie…
…if I ever compete seriously, like Regionals one day, I’m decking myself out in the most outrageous shit you can think of…whileeee being functional of course.
Lime green shorts.
My Dave Matthews Band tie-dye shirt
Pink knee socks
Some bright colored pair of New Balances, unless Reebok steps up their game (hint hint…)
Yeah, that’s just me. I can be pretty damn quiet in certain social situations, but there are other situations where I can be either loud vocally or in this kind of way.
The Sparknotes/TL;DR (too long; didn’t read) version: Be yourself. CrossFit has taught me to be comfortable in my own skin, both inside and outside the box. We’re constantly pushed out of our comfort zones in every workout. Try doing that in your everyday life.
Things just seem to get more interesting and fun 😀
So how do YOU guys and gals express yourselves at your CrossFit box? Do you also find yourselves stepping out of your comfort zones more because of CrossFit?
The writing may not have perfect grammar or proper punctuation. There might be misspellings here and there. Sure, you might know all the rules to writing. However, learn to take these rules and break them to create your own style.
If everyone followed the same set of rules, almost every book out there would be the same. Life would just be so fuckin boring. Where’s the excitement in that?
…it’d be a mix of every genre out there:
…and yes, vampires and werewolves 😛
I’ve always wanted to write a book after all these years of blogging. But, where do you start? How do you start?
The ink has been filling the pages since day one.
Some pages suck. Some chapters could be totally amazing and memorable. Words said can be hurtful, while a lot of them can be quotable and inspiring.
At first, it seemed like the ink was controlled by someone else, by other people, or by various circumstances. The truth is…you’re the one in control. Of course, you can always believe the opposite. Well, you know what? That sucks for you. If someone else is writing your story, it most likely will come out really shitty. The tone and voice just wouldn’t be you. The events written about just wouldn’t seem right. You wouldn’t be able to live with the end product.
If you want this book to be the best damn book you can ever write, make sure you own the pen and write the way this book was meant to be written. Give it your all. Write from the heart. Create something you and future generations can be proud of.
Your life is a book. A legacy for friends and family to cherish forever. It’s only as good as you fuckin make it.
Kip It Real, my friends.