Mind Strong

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Bruce Lee said, “Do not pray for an easy life. Pray for the strength do endure a difficult one.” Such a good quote.

At Crossfit Upland this is our mantra. We want workouts to be difficult. The harder the workout, the tougher your mind becomes.

A tough mind is the key. Its a way to manage all the crazy things life throws your way.

Of course, difficult is subjective. What seems impossible to one, might be easy to another. How do you know when you are challenged? For me, its when I tell myself I want to quit. It’s that voice in my head telling me I’m pushing myself too hard and I need to stop. This voice is wanting me to be soft. It wants me to take the easy route. I need to drown out that voice with my sweat.

Push forward and never quit.

-David

What should I eat before a workout?

Short answer - For an hour long workout, nothing. Workout in a fasted state. Wait at least 3 hours after your last food.

Longer answer - Lets take it back few years. To a time before storing food for long periods of time was an option. Without a constant fuel source, we hunted and gathered when hunger came a knocking.

What causes hunger? Science has labeled the hormone ghrelin as the culprit. When you haven’t consumed adequate calories, this hormone makes us feel hungry. This feeling causes us to act. Back in the day, this act took labor and work to satisfy.

No one knows for sure but finding food back then might have spent as many calories as a modern day CrossFit workout. So, if hunger caused us to “work out” back then, as the theory goes, we are genetically hard wired to work out on an empty stomach.

Its apparent we are rock stars when it comes to storing calories. For an hour long workout, for a well fed human, you have plenty of stored energy to crush the WOD!

Workout fasted my friends.

-David

Squat Technique - Bar Path

This will be a quick rant on barbell movement when squatting.

By barbell movement, I mean what happens to the bar as you are squatting. Where is it in relation to the feet. More specifically, the shoe laces.

When coaching, barbell position is the first thing I check. I look at the end cap of the barbell. Where is it as they are standing? What happens as they begin to squat? This is the bar path.

As the athlete begins with the squat, I trace an imaginary line from the beginning of the squat to the end of the squat. This line goes from the top down to the laces. Did the end cap stay in line with the laces the entire time. Where did it deviate.

With this information in hand, I can then offer the athlete some suggestions to make their bar path better.

Next time you are squatting, film yourself from the side. What did your bar path look like? If the bar path was forward of the laces, here are a few things you can try to get the barbell back over the laces:

  1. Stretch your ankles - focus on the Achilles tendon.

  2. If back squat - shift your weight back. Your heels should be making contact with the ground. Also, don’t squat too low until your mobility improves.

  3. If front squat - get the barbell as close to your neck as possible. Lift your sternum and your elbows.

Keep the bar over your laces and you will see your control and weight start to improve.

-David

2 Ideas About Nutrition

Over the years, I have created my own set of ideas that work for me. Ideas I can maintain for the rest of my life. Here I will share 2 of them.

  • Idea 1 - Fats are good

Fat is not my enemy. When putting my meals together, I make sure fat is always present. And yes, there are good fats and bad fats.

Good Fats: Animal Sources from Super animals. Raw dairy fats from Super animals. Vegetable Oils from fatty sources like coconut, olive and avocado.

  • Idea 2 - Carbohydrates are bad

Let me first say, I eat carbs. Carbs taste amazing. I love them. They love me. But they know I am weak. Carbs will take every opportunity to find its way to my belly. Because they want to win - Until my plate has nothing but pasta, salad, vegetables, cookies, bread, ice cream, sauce, beer, soda, rice, beans, berries, lentils, quinoa, potatoes, tomatoes, chocolate, chips on it.

I like these ideas. They work for me. Maybe they can work for you.

-David

5 Ways to Bulletproof Your Knees

I’ll start with this… Squats are not the enemy. So you already know 1 way:

  • Squat

If you haven’t squatted since you were 2 then lets take it easy in the beginning.

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1.) How to start squatting: Hold on to a post so you can maintain vertical shins. You don’t want your knees to pass over your ankles.

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2.) As you become more flexible you can ditch the post.

Your goal is to be able to squat as low as you can and maintain balance.

  • Stretch Your Hips

Your knees can only move as well as your hips. If your hips are stiff then your knees will try and make up for the stiffness. Here are some stretches you can try: Pigeon, 90 90, Frog, Childs pose

  • Trampoline Bounding

This will help all of your joints. Trampolines are very low impact compared to running or jumping.

As you jump and land you get all the benefits of resistance training and your balance is challenged which will help with joint strength.

  • Massage

I prefer to call this soft tissue work. Basically, find a round, hardish object and roll all of the tissue up down and around the knee. This will help with blood flow.

  • Never Stop Moving

As you can see, all of the tips laid out here involve movement. It is absolutely true what we all say “if you don’t use it you lose it”. Our bodies are made to move so give it what it wants.

I hope this helps.

-David