2016 02 25
So, I don't know if you remember...but I will never forget. It was only a few weeks after I joined OCF that you had the Saints and Sean Payton in for a Saturday morning workout, I was in the 9 am class. To date, that was the most challenging and frustrating WOD I've ever done for one reason: the wall climbs. I had never attempted them before and was irritated by how hard they were for me. I felt defeated and broken, struggling to even kick up at all. Angelo spent most of the class kneeled down right in front of me, pushing me to give those damn wall climbs all I had. At the time I felt like all eyes were on me and I was embarrassed of my inability. I ended up just holding plank with my feet on the wall since that was as far as I could get. I left that day in tears, the only ones I've ever shed at OCF. Wall climbs have since then been my complete nemesis. I've struggled but slowly have made progress kicking my feet up higher and inching my way towards the wall. Last night after 2 years of struggle and slow progress, something just clicked and on my first kick up I found myself at the mother fucking wall!!! I couldn't believe it. All the frustration and fear was gone and replaced with pride. I made it to the wall on every attempt during the entire workout. So I am celebrating this small victory. I can finally say that I can do wall climbs!! Who dat?? Laura Reeves
2016 02 24
2016 02 17
I am not going to go on a rant about how to training alone creates a greater sense of mental fortitude, and you alone can be the star in your own Rocky training montage. However, as someone who has primarily trained alone for the greater part of my 7 years in CrossFit, I have experimented with a vast array of training methodologies. While working out with the community has a multitude of benefit, I would like to focus on the progressive outcomes of training along.
There is something about the mental part of isolation training that requires a degree of perseverance that I find rewarding. When you are responsible for your own course of training the onus is on you and not the culminating actions of the group. When you do not have the communal energy to feed off of you must delve into your own reserve of determination.
In the warm up you must find the appropriate mindset for that particular day. What are going to be the specific elements of your focus? How will you handle errors or successes? As you look at your videos in between lifts, check your form and work on refining your movement and self-correcting. This is crucial to the development of an athlete because you must build a stronger sense of physical awareness. Coaching is wonderful, but true progression comes with an intrinsic understanding of needs.
In conditioning you must be hypercritical of your form. While this may detract from your score, who cares! The idea here is to move efficiently and appropriately; the outcomes will render themselves in time. No one is there as a means of checks and balance; consequently, your integrity will dictate the strides you make. The score is secondary to you holding yourself accountable
As I finished my interval rowing for today, which I considered quitting several times, I explored the universal need to challenge the “self.” As we are all defined by different matrices throughout the day the unifying one is the internal drive to accomplish. Test yourself and find something new within you that you may not have known was there.
Here is a little test to get you on your way – put your headphones on and see what you are made of…
My rowing workout if anyone would like to try, I’d love the feedback. Courtesy of Chris Hinshaw
Workout 1250m Row rest 90s 1000m Row + 250m row rest 90s 750m + 250m+ 250m rest 90s 500m + 250m + 250m+ 250m rest 90s 250m +250m + 250m+ 250m +250m Pacing (1250, 1k, 750, 500, were all at 12-15s off 2k TT pace 152-155 for me) (250m were at 2k TT pace (140 for me, got into 142-143 on last series) How to perform easier paces right into 250s, rest 10s btw 250m efforts IE, 750m Row @152 - immediately into 250m @140, rest 10s 250m Row @140.
2016 02 15
- A Positive Attitude- I think this is so important for those who are just starting, as well as those who have been in the game for so long to possess a amiable willingness to be open to coaching. We need to remember our goals and enjoy the process, not take it all so serious. You will improve exceedingly if you allow yourself to be receptive to new ideas. #NoRoomForNegativeNancy
- A Clear Mind – Staying positive could be more and more difficult when you walk through the doors with the stress of your day on your shoulders. Channeling that anger onto the barbell is important but letting it all go before the call to the whiteboard may be more important as well. Each workout seems to be more fun and a tad bit easier when you aren’t still worried about what happened at work or at home. Allow yourself these moments in the gym to distress and focus on becoming a more ideal you; this is your designated time to escape. #stresscauseswrinkles
- Compression Compression Compression- It all starts from the inside out right? For my guys, getting a good pair of compression shorts or tights can make a huge difference for those long rowing workouts. A sports bra can also make a huge difference for you ladies in several movements. These serve a greater purpose than just making your butt look good, they keep your body warm and circulation fluid. This type of clothing will provide greater muscular support and can prevent injury. #TheTighterTheBetter
- The Right Shoe- Now don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of shoes just as much as the next guy; however, we need to find the right pair of shoes for CrossFit. We all have seen the video of that woman doing deadlifts in heels. (If you have not, you might want to look it up). This might be an exaggeration of what can happen if you are not wearing the right pair of shoes, but the right message is there. Rebook and Nike have both put out a shoe specifically for CrossFit; I strongly recommend both pairs as they are the best I have tried. Regardless of the shoes you purchase, nothing looks fresher than kick a@# form! #HeelsarenotforCrossFit
- Knee Sleeves- Especially if you are in a competition group, knee sleeves can be a great purchase. There is nothing better than knee sleeves to keep your knees healthy, as well as giving you that experienced CrossFitter the temperature and fluidity desired in his or her knees during heavy lifts. #LookGoodFeelGood
- A CrossFit Shirt- Do you even lift if you don’t post a selfie at the gym? Well do you even CrossFit if you don’t rep your gym with the latest shirt they have? We are lucky enough to have some stylish and comfortable shirts here at OCF, stop by and get one. At the very least try to find breathable material that is sized not to suffocate you in a difficult workout. #RepYourGym
- Tape- Tape is like currency for CrossFitters. We all have heard someone asking for tape and then following with “I’ll get you back when I get more tape”. Taping your thumbs for long barbells workouts will help with your hook grip. Taping your hands for pull ups or muscle ups can really save you from the rips we all hate. Beside that who doesn’t feel more bada** when your hands are taped. Remember when taping you want to provide support while not hindering circulation. #LookingLikeABoxerBeforeAWorkout
2016 02 11
What constitutes Success in your training?
I’ve have had this question asked to me quite a few times in my career. Like most tough questions, the answer depends on the individual. Also, one must understand the term “success” is a relative term. Your manner of success is in direct correlation to your goals and desired outcomes; further, the willingness to improve and fervent dedication will dictate one’s ability to achieve.
Top ways to feel successful about your training
- Some days success may mean just showing up and getting the workout in. We have all been there: tough day at work, fighting with a personal relationship, lack of sleep, not eating well etc… Getting to the gym, getting through the workout is an acceptable measure of success that day; wherein, you just getting through it. It doesn’t matter if it was the heaviest weight, fastest time, or any other minor details that can drive us crazy.
- Picking a success for each day is a great way to set small manageable goals. Look at the workout, pick one movement or part of the workout and focus on it. Be cognizant of making small changes to your movement, breathing, or pacing in order to improve in that particular realm. "I’m going to not stop one time doing the burpees today" is a perfect example. One little impromptu goal is a great way to set yourself up for success
- Take time to truly enjoy your successes. We live in a world that is consumed with the thought of scarcity. When was the last time you looked back at your first day of CrossFit and examined how far you have come? Some of you couldn’t squat properly the first intro class, you had issues swinging a 15 pound kettebell, you couldn’t keep your arm locked out on getup, or where unable to do one pushup or pull-up. When you’re having a rough day take a step back and put your mind in that place and smile. You have come a long way. Enjoy it.
I hope you all find a way to reach every success in your lives. It is truly an honor to be support of your journey. Success is a great motivator, look to find it anywhere you can.
-Coach Angelo Sisco
2016 02 08
2016 02 04
I’ve seen it a thousand times, an athlete take on a workout that supposed to last 12 minutes and they do the first 2 minutes all out and blow themselves out, or they allow their form to break so bad watching them move is almost painful. What causes this? After the workout is done we realize it didn’t go well, but how can we help it next time? Self awareness may be the most underestimated athletic trait of all.
Self awareness is your ability to almost have an out of body experience. It allows you to self-correct and determine error in the course of the movement. Further, self awareness, in the heat of emotion, has been one of my biggest struggles. Once I realized I was lacking in this department, I have spent countless hours being focused and honing it.
Here are some ways I have gotten better at this. Keep in mind, I am work in progress like everyone; I am by no means saying I have this down.
- Be Present - When you’re doing something, interacting, or training be right there in that moment. Don’t let you mind drift, and for some of you this means putting down your phone once in a while.
- Take that bird’s eye view of yourself and really try to tap into it. How are you moving? How are you being perceived?
- Just being more aware of “self awareness” – be cognizant of the fact that you must be self-assessing, and that you will always need to correct elements of movement.
To be “self-aware” may be an emotional intelligence that you are missing in your life. Take a look at yourself, not just others and most of the time the solution or key to success starts with you.
- Coach Angelo Sisco
2016 02 01
2016 01 12
A mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.Being in the present allows us to focus on exactly what’s in front of us. Not being concerned with your past, or the future. The task at hand. This is a very powerful concept if you think about it. Not just in CrossFit. How many times do you find yourself in a situation where your mind is elsewhere? Adding to that how well do you think you are performing that task if your mind isn’t in the present? Most likely not to your true potential. Why would you want to be mindful?
1. Higher Performance- In any task CrossFit and not CrossFit related 2. To be at peace with whatever life throws at you. Embracing “Good” and “Bad” with the same posture allows you to be more centered in every task 3. Enhances concentration on the task at hand 4. You learn more about yourself and how you react and not react to situations. You go deep. That is scary sometimes but necessary for growth.Steps to Becoming More Mindful
1. Focusing on the present situation. Looking at it like its neither good or bad. Whatever is in front you, you adjust accordingly with no emotion towards it. 2. Breathing – Deep controlled breathes to help your body relax. Put you in the present and get rid of any feelings towards a matter. 3. Continuing to stay in focus of the present and not allowing things to take you off focus. 4. Trust that this takes time to develop. Embrace it and get a little better everyday.The center space between stimulus and response is like the eye of the hurricane. The regular practice of mindfulness brings you back to this center space. The eye of the hurricane is calm, while everything around is in chaos. Look to find and live in that space. If you want to learn more about The Mindful Athlete and what Michael Jordan knew about success, check out this video:
2015 08 14