When it comes to weightlifting, lifting weights, and strength training in general, the barbell is the signature tool we think of, and for a good reason. Various strength-training movements with the barbell can produce phenomenal results when done correctly. However, traditional barbell training can come at a cost. Learning Curve Understanding how to perform various barbell movements such as the deadlift and back squat takes a fair amount of skill. From the set up to […]
Let The Games Begin!
It has been a while since I have posted updates on my training. The race has crept up very fast! I will be running the streets of Chicago in less than two weeks. I have studied the obstacle course and feel ready for the challenge! I am also excited to get to Chicago and visit some friends and family. So the whole weekend should be a blast.
Since the last time I blogged about my training for the Men’s Health Urbanathlon, I have decided to take on another challenge.
A few weeks ago I blogged about the CrossFit (CF) competition in Northville, Michigan that my wife, Katie and fellow trainer Scott were in, along with many of the Spartan CrossFitters. I also had the chance to judge the first day of competition. I had a blast doing it and was very inspired.
After the competition, Scott then mentioned to me that he was thinking about doing the Every Second Counts CrossFit challenge at Oakland County CrossFit in Orion,MI on Sunday, October 7th. My wife also expressed interest in doing the competition since many of the Spartan CrossfFtters planned on doing it. Was I getting bit by the bug?
Ever since I first signed up for the Urbanathlon, I have been motivated to train hard and compete. After judging the CF competition in early September, I was even more intrigued at entering more competitive events. I have even thought about entering a powerlifitng meet this winter. I don’t know what it is, but competition is inspiring. It pushes me to stay on track and not get too lose with my eating and training.
So, yes, I entered the Every Second Counts CF competition that is next Sunday! As I have mentioned before, I don’t train like CrossFitters. However; I do perform Olympic lifts, powerlifts, bodyweight movements, run, row, jump, climb, push and pick-up heavy objects and a few other movements that they do. So, I said what the heck, and signed-up.
I entered the open division instead of the beginner division. They say you should enter the beginner division if you have not been practicing CF for over a year. Even though I fall in the “beginner” division, I have been training forever. Plus, I could Rx all of the weights. So I felt like a cheater if I didn’t enter the open. I am risking the chance of getting my ass handed to me, but scared of competition is something I am not. I will work as hard as I can with what I have got and be happy . I am just here for the fun and the challenge.
Is It Possible To Train For Both Competitions?
As I told many people that I would be entering a CrossFit competition a week before the Urbanathlon, they thought I was crazy. I actually feel that training hard and then competing the week before will prepare both my body and my mind for the race. I remember when I would compete in two bodybuilding shows within a 4-6 week span. It was much easier to keep the steam rolling if you knew you had a couple events in the works.
While both of these competitions are different, training hard is training hard. Mental toughness is mental toughness. Just like we train our members at State of Fitness, we get them ready for all aspects of life. Running, biking, rowing, jumping, climbing, pushing, pulling, strength, power, endurance and speed are all areas we cover in our training. So I feel confident in my abilities to take on both challenges. I would say the only thing that stands in my way is working too much and not getting enough sleep. But that is life of a busy trainer and business owner. So I don’t count that, or use it as an excuse.
My Current Training
If you want to check out my last post on my training regimen, click here.
If you analyze my last training phase you will notice that I was running quite a bit. I am sorry to say that I have really fallen off the running map. The last two weeks have made it tough to fit in running. This next two weeks I plan on running a lot more. I have been performing a 10 minute interval sequence on the Stairmaster to prepare myself for the stairs of Soldier Field. I have also gotten in 800 meter runs in on the treadmill two times a week in the last two weeks. In addition I have been practicing all of the skills in the CrossFit event.
The Every Second Counts Competition
This particular CF competition is based off of the 2008 CF games. I actually had the chance to watch a documentary on these games about 2 months ago. Though the competitors in these games were in phenomenal shape, the recent games have stepped it up quite a bit. If you have watched the current 2012 games on ESPN as of late, you will notice the challenge is much more demanding. I can’t even imagine doing what they did in this years games!
Here is a breakdown of the event I will be in next Sunday.
EVERY SECOND COUNTS WORKOUTS FOR 2012
*Carry it anyway you can or want. The only rule is that forward movement stops in the weight tougher the ground.
Masters: Men 95# Women 65# Chin Over Bar Pull-Ups
EVENT 3: Deadlifts & Burpees
5 Rounds For Time: 5 Deadlifts & 10 Burpees
Deadlift: Repetition starts from the ground and athletes arms must be outside their knees. Athletes will lift the bar into a position where the hips are fully open and shoulders are behind the bar. The repetition ends when an Athlete is at full extension. Dropping the weights are allowed. However, sumo-deadlifts and bouncing of the bar is not allowed and will result in a NO REP.
Burpee: Repetition starts with Athlete standing upright. Athlete will move to a position where hips and chest are on the ground. Athletes will then perform a FULL hand release before moving back to their upright position. Repetition will end when an athlete jumps, causing the WHOLE foot to leave the ground and clap being their head. Causes for a NO REP will include: Not reaching full extension at the top of the Burpee, failure to release the hands or the whole hand, and athlete’s jump not causing whole foot to leave the ground.
Open: Men 275# Women 185#
Beginner: Men 185# Women 135#
Master: Men 225# Women 155#
EVENT 4: Clean & Jerk
30 Reps for Time (155/105)
The Clean & Jerk will comprise two separate movements: (1) The Clean, also referred to as ground to shoulder and (2) The Jerk, also referred to as shoulders to overhead. The repetition will start from the ground. The athlete will either power clean or squat clean the bar to their shoulders. To finish the clean athletes hips must come to a full hip extension. Athlete will then move the bar from the shoulders to an overhead locked out position. Athlete may push press, push jerk or split jerk the weight to the overhead position. Repetition will end when the arms reach full extension overhead, ear in front of shoulder and feet parallel to each other. Judges can give the cue that it is a good rep when the athlete is in full overhead locked out position. NO REPS will include: not locking the arms out. Not finishing overhead, performing a squat clean into a thruster, bouncing and catching the bar going into their next rep.
Open: Men 155# Women 85#
Beginner: Men 95# Women 65#
Master: Men 115# Women 85#
While I am used to doing all of these exercises, I am not proficient at some of the methods you need to be successful at a CrossFit competion. I usually perform pull-ups in a traditional strength and conditioning fashion. Pull-up, hold, slow on the way down. The kipping pull-up is what you need to do well in order to conquer the famous Cf workout “Fran”. I am also used to performing the clean & jerk with much lower reps. I usually never go over 5-6 reps. So performing them for high reps is new for me. That is when I decieded to meet with Spartan CrossFit owner and trainer Michael Horton. I wanted to touch up on these moves to become more comfortable in these events. Michael has given me some great pointers that will be valuable during next weeks competition. Thank you Michael! I am ready to role now!
Chicago Mens Health Urbanathlon Course
It is almost impossible to re-create this obstacle course. What you can do is train each demands of this race in segements. Running, stairs, climbing, grip strength, crawling and hurdling are all major components of the event. I get my crawling, climbing and hurdling done in my dynamic warm-ups. I perform inch worms, spidermans and bear crawls to help my crawling. I use pull-ups, farmers carries and rope climbs to improve my climbing abilities and grip strength. Doing box jumps and other plyos help with the hurdling. Running and the stairmaster round out the training for the course.
Click here to look at the amazing course that Mens Health has created.
My Current Training
Below I have outlined what I have been doing for the past two weeks and for the next week leading up to the CF competition. After the CF competition I plan to run more. I will fill you folks in next week.
Please note that I am working on the teachnique of each movement rather that the speed of the workout that I will be doing at the competitions I am in. I may increase or decrease volume and weight as needed.
Note: A1 means that I will perform the first set of that exercise for the number of reps prescribed, then move on to A2.
Run 800 meters hard
A1 Barbell Thrusters: 21, 15, and 9 reps with 95#
A2 Pull-ups Chest to Bar: 21, 15, and 9 reps
Bear Complex: 3 rounds with 95-115#
Here is a video of the Bear Complex.
Stairmaster intervals for 10 minutes
A1 Deadlifts: 5 sets of 5 reps using 275-315#
A2 5 sets of 10 burpees
Sled Pushes: 3-5 sets with 5×45# plates on sled
800 meters hard on treadmill
A1 Clean & Jerk: 155-175# for 6 sets of 5 reps
B1 Bench Press: 3×8
B2 TRX Row: 3×8
Dynamic warm-up and extra foam rolling
1500 meter row
5 sets of 20 double unders
3 sets of sled push with 5×45 pound plates
A1 Barbell Thruster: 3×10 reps with 95#
A2 Chest to Bar Pull-ups: 3 sets of 10 reps
B1 Deadlifts: 3 sets of 5 reps with 275#
B2 Burpees: 3 sets of 10 reps
C1 Clean & Jerks: 6 sets of 5 reps with 165#
Saturday and Sunday
Rest, active play or run.
I will be changing this quite a bit leading up to the Urbanathlon. I will be running more and climbing some stairs. I will be doing only 2 full-body strength training workouts that week that will be lower in intesnity.
For this Friday I will only perform one set of each of the exercises. I don’t want to be sore for the event on Sunday. I will spend more time foam rolling and doing some mobility work.
Thats a Wrap
I am excited to challenge myself in these competions. I am equally excited to shares these times with my friends and my wife Katie. I feel we all need to look froward to physical and mental challenges in our life. We need a break from the daily grind that can take over our lives.
I will be keeping you posted on my training and how I do in these events. Thank you all for your support.
In good competition,