Thursday, March 31, 2011

Health Should Be Enough To Motivate You

Growing up, I thought that I was resilient to nearly anything.  Throughout high school and college, I rarely got sick.  I had a few injuries (threw out my back, landed on someone's foot and sprained my ankle), but nothing that you wouldn't expect from the type of activities that I was engaged it.  For being so active, I was surprised at how little my body broke down.

That wasn't the case a year ago.  I found myself getting sick more often, I was affected by recurring migraines and although I was less active, I experienced a about the same number of injuries over the course of one year than I had through two multiple years prior.  For not being so active, I was surprised at how much my body was breaking down.  I thought to myself, "There is no way that this is coincidence."

Since being back in the gym for the last 3-4 months, I think that I've gotten one mild migraine and got sick maybe once.  Despite being MORE ACTIVE than I was a year ago, and engaged in MORE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, I haven't experienced any real injuries.  Again, I think to myself, "There is no way that this is coincidence."

Here's to good health.  That'll keep me motivated to workout any day.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Oh How Grateful I am for Co-Workers

A little while ago, I posted about the importance of work-out partners.  Today, my motivation to complete a workout comes from co-workers.

For the last couple of months I've been going to the gym during lunch with a bunch of my co-workers.  I feel like I've made some progress (not anywhere near where I want to be) and I know that there's no way I would have been able to do what I've done without friends to motivate me to 1. Go to the Gym and 2. Push myself.  There are some CrossFit workouts that are a beast to finish and it's good to have people struggling with you and encouraging you to keep going.

Our workout today was:
For time - 
Run a mile
21 Clean-jerks at 155 lbs
Run a half mile
21 Clean-jerks at 155 lbs
Run a mile

My time wasn't the most impressive, but I finished it none-the-less.  I thought about scaling back the weight, but my buddy wouldn't let me.  Thank goodness he didn't because I feel good about finishing it at the prescribed weight.

If you need a pick me up, get someone to go the gym with'll go a long way.  Thanks to everyone at the office who go to the gym and push each other every day.  It sure makes for a fun culture.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

CrossFit Games | Talk about an Active Community

By profession, I'm an internet marketer.  Social media, search engines and trend lines drive me.  One of the things that I've admired about the CrossFit community is just that.  The community.  I would love to see the analytics on  One of the things that motivates me, is watching and reading about the CrossFit Games.  The site is full of articles and videos of inspiring athletes and inspiring physical accomplishments.

I think that CrossFit is an amazing case study in social media and online communities.  The CrossFit games is a great example of how the community works and comes together.  Check out this video for an explanation of what I'm talking about.

I think it would be awesome to be able to compete in these one day (not that I ever could or will).  I admire all who do.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Hiking Timpanogos at 60+. Are you kidding me?

Photos courtesy of my Canon

Late in the summer of 2010, I joined a group of young men from our local church on a hike of Mt. Timpanogos (often referred to as simply "Timp") in Utah.  Here are some stats about the hike (taken fromLocal Hikes):
- 12.4 miles round trip
- Elevation gain of 4652 ft.
- Typically takes about 7.5 hours to complete
It is an absolutely beautiful hike.  The route we took put us through both lush green forestland as well as rocky terrain.  Watching the way that the landscape changes is fascinating.  About 3/4s of your way up, there is a small lake called "Emerald Lake", which is mostly created by the melt-off from Timp (more images below).

It can be a pretty grueling hike, and I made the mistake of doing the hike without ever really training for it.  For our young men, they were fine.  They were young, resilient and had way more energy than we did.  I re-aggravated a right hamstring injury and wasn't able to make it to the top of the summit (I'm planning on doing it again within the next year or to best the beast).  Despite not being able to make it to the top, I was blown away with the beauty and the shear "awesomeness" of the hike. 

On our way down the mountain, my leg was feeling much better and so my pace picked up quite a bit.  A young man I was with and I passed a few groups and a few single hikers on our way down.  One of the single hikers we passed was an older woman.  I stopped to talk to her for a bit and had an eye opening experience.  In our conversation, I found out that she had grown up in the area and had hiked Timp nearly every year since she was younger.  I can't remember the exact age, but if I recall correctly, she had been in her late teens.  She said that she fell in love with the trail and made it a point to do it every year.  She was in her late 60s, early 70s. I asked her if she had come with anyone else, and she simply said, "Oh no, just me."

I was blown away.  Here I was, in my mid 20s in awe at the physical ability of a 60+ year old woman.  She had completed this hike probably 40+ times and continued to do it, alone, into the later years of her life.  To me, that is an amazing physical feat.  I shared my admiration with her, we said our good byes and I went on my way.  Little does she know that I still think back on that experience and despite not knowing anything else about her, I consider her a sort of role model.
Part of the Group

Emerald Lake

Note to self: Taking pictures of wildlife with a fixed lens may not be the best idea.  I got a little too close for my comfort.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

For the Kids | My Motivation To Be Healthy

Sorry, no video today.  If you can stand it, you simply get to listen to me blab for a few minutes.

I'm the youngest of three boys.  When I was younger, I would play basketball with my older brothers and their friends.  I remember my dad would open up the gym to our local church on Thursday nights during the summer and all my brothers' friends would show up to play.  My dad would play with us (and do pretty well).

That tradition morphed over the years, and now there's a group that plays every Saturday morning at 6:00am.  The group is much older now, but none the less a good tradition.  Whenever we're home, we go and play, and my Dad will still come out and play with us every now and then.

My brother and I were reminiscing on our Thursday night games one night and he said, "You know, when my kid is 16, I would hope that I'm in good enough shape to play with him like Dad did with us."  All the males in the family really bonded on the basketball court and I realized later, how my Dad used those opportunities not only as a chance for us to have some fun, but for him to really exercise great parenting skills.

I've thought back on that conversation time and time again.  When my oldest son is 16, I'll have ventured in to the land of the 40s.  A couple months back, I got a few injuries (pulled muscles) from doing simple things that I did all the time growing up.  That was a bit of a wake up call.  At the rate I was going a year ago, I probably wouldn't have been on pace to be able whoop up on my sons when I'm 40.

Much of what I'm trying to do today to stay healthy is not for the short term, but instead the long term.  I valued so much the opportunity to play basketball with my Dad and do other active things with him (we went on a pretty big hike in the Haleakala Crater pretty often when we were growing up), and I hope that I can provide those opportunities for my sons for as long as I am able.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

My Week in Review

Here's what my week at the gym looked like this past week.  It was a fun week.  I'm a bit sore today.  This type of hurt is a good hurt though :-)

Monday: CrossFit
Here's what the workout called for - 
Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 10 minutes of:
30 Double-unders
15 Power snatches (75lbs)

I completed 2 complete rounds plus 29 Double-unders.  I realized that the key is to have a good jump rope for the double-unders.

We also ended up doing workout afterwards focused on our calves and rear delts.

Tuesday: Crossfit
Overhead squat 1-1-1-1-1 reps
Front squat 1-1-1-1-1 reps
Back squat 1-1-1-1-1 reps
Try to increase the load on each of the fifteen sets

My weight progressions looked like this:
Overhead: 115-135-155-185-205
Front: 185-205-225-245-275
Back: 275-295-315-365-405

I learned something during this workout: next time I do a heavy workout, I need to start heavier and make my weight increases smaller.

Wednesday: Cardio

Thursday: CrossFit
"Weaver" it called for:
Four rounds of time of:
10 L-pull-ups
15 push-ups
15 Chest to bar pull-ups
15 push-ups
20 pull-ups
15 push-ups

Pull-ups are still a major weak point of mine, so I scaled this back a bit.  I did all the reps, but did all jumping pull-ups instead of the Ls and chest to bars.  I ended up completing it in 23:45.  

Friday: Cardio + Legs
2.5 Mile run (my Nike+ didn't record it for some reason)
+ a leg workout that focused on hamstrings and calves.

Needless to say, it was a busy week at the gym, and I'm a little sore, but it feels great.  For a bit of motivation, check out this video of Jason Khalipa doing Monday's workout.  For those sensitive to language, he does cuss once toward the end (sorry Mom).  That's the only reason it's not posted on the blog.

If you can watch this instead however.  The language is clean :-).  Enjoy!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Daily Workout Motivation | Speal vs. Khalipa

These gentleman are CrossFit freaks.  There are a bunch of YouTube videos of their workouts, and to say the least...they're impressive.  Talk about discipline, will power, and freakishness.

To provide a bit of insight into the workout and what they were timing, here's basically what it looked like:
    155 Clean/Jerk - 1 rep
    1 Round of "Cindy"

    155 Clean/Jerk - 2 reps
    1 Round of "Cindy"

    155 Clean/Jerk - 3 reps
    1 Round of "Cindy"

    All the way up to 10 reps of the 155 Clean/Jerk

    "Cindy" consists of the following:
    5 Pull-Ups - Note the Kipping Pull-Up
    10 Push-Ups
    15 Squats

I loved what Khalipa said at the end about Speal.  It freakish to see a guy his weight handle the clean/jerks the way he did.  That's pretty impressive strength and stamina.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Week Wrap Up + Kipping Pull Ups

I just realized that I haven't posted in a week or so.  It's been a good couple weeks in the gym...not so good couple of weeks in the kitchen.  I've had some great workout these last two weeks, but haven't done too well in the kitchen.  This next week I'm dedicated to be a bit more disciplined.  Any tips?

Here's what my workouts looked like for the last two weeks or so.

Monday, March 7: Crossfit
"McCluskey" - I had to scale this one quite a bit.  It called for:
Three rounds of:
9 Muscle Ups
15 Burpee Pull Ups
21 Pull Ups
Run 800 Meters

I ended up doing the following in 32:23
Three rounds of:
10 Pull Ups
10 Dips
10 Burpee Pull Ups
10 Pull Ups
Run 800 Meters

Tuesday, March 8: Crossfit
Three rounds for time of:
Run 400 meters
75 pound Squat snatch, 15 reps
9 Handstand push-ups (due to bad shoulders I ended up doing high incline pull ups)
I completed the workout in 15:13

Wednesday, March 9: Cardio
Elliptical for 35 minutes - 2.52 miles

Friday, March 10: Legs
Back Squats - 10 at 135, 10 at 185, 3 sets of 10 at 225.  10 box jumps between each set.
Hamstring Curls - 3 sets with a reverse progression burnout on the last set.
Quad Extensions - 3 sets with a reverse progression burnout on the last set.

Monday, March 14: Crossfit
Standing Shoulder Press
My weight progression was as follows:

Wednesday, March 15: Crossfit
Here's what the workout called for:
"With a continuously running clock do one pull-up the first minute, two pull-ups the second minute, three pull-ups the third minute, etc.  Continue as long as you are able."
I ended up making it the eighth minute doing normal pull ups and jumping pull-ups from 9-14.  I got a pretty large blister on my left hand from this one.  Not fun.

Thursday, March 16: Crossfit
For time:
Run 1 mile
100 sit-ups
100 back extensions
Run 1 mile
I completed in 27:59

After the pull-up workout on Wednesday, I realized that I needed to work on doing Kipping Pull-ups.  It's basically a pull-up that uses body momentum and is very commonly used in CrossFit.  Some call it cheating, however the idea of it is to use multiple muscle groups together and raise your heart rate...It does just that.  Check out this tutorial below... pretty impressive stuff.

Have a good week!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Week Wrap Up

This was a great week in the gym.  I'm starting to feel stronger and my stamina is increasing.  During a few workouts this week, I felt like I was closer to my old self than I've been in a really long time.  Much thanks goes to the guys I work out with...they really do a lot to push me.

Here's what my week looked like:

Monday - Crossfit and Cardio
Morning - Elliptical.  2.6 miles in 25:20

Afternoon - Crossfit
For time:
Row 1Km (ran .5 miles instead...not enough rowing machines at the gym)
40 lb dumbell snatch, 50 reps (alternating arms)
Row 750m
40 lb dumbbell snatch, 35 reps (alternating arms)
Row 500m
40 lb dumbbell snatch, 20 reps (alternating arms)
I did it in about 22 minutes

Tuesday: - Crossfit
Back Squats 3-3-3-3-3 reps
My weight progression looked like this:
275 - 295 - 315 - 335 - 365

We added one legged bent over rows - 3 sets of 10 (each leg) at 45 lbs.

Wednesday - Crossfit
21 - 15 - 9 reps of:

95 lb Sumo deadlift with a high-pull
95 lb Overhead Squat
I did it in 4:50 - this was an awesome workout!

We also added:
95 lb lunges - 3 sets of 8 (each leg)
450 lb leg press - 3 sets of 10

Friday - Shoulders
We did a pretty insane shoulder workout that included six or seven different workouts.  I'd rather not remember what it brings back bad memories :-)

Needless to was a great week.  Looking forward to hitting the gym again tomorrow morning!