Thursday, May 24, 2018

Picture day: second attempt


Dave couldn't make it last week, so today is our second attempt for photos during the workout. Sarah has been working hard with the new website (I think we've reached a font d├ętente) and we need some good pictures for it. Everyone come out tonight, make the gym crowded and wear your Barbell Strategy shirts.



Today's Workout

with a barbell:

clean 5-3-2-5x1
5 heavy swings between sets

then, with a kettlebell:

snatch 5x(2+2) heavy
double front squat 3x5 light
press 3x(5+5) light 
dead stop double clean 5x5 medium

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Functional Training is not Training to be Functional

One of these images came up in a google image search for "functional training" guess which one.
This weekend I was out and someone saw my shirt (by the way, the new shirts are in - now's your chance to buy one!) and asked if "that was CrossFit." My reply was that we are anti-CrossFit and she asked if we were "functional training." I just said yes because I realized that a lecture on functional training wasn't going to go anywhere.

I hate the term functional training because it's way overused in the industry and doesn't mean anything. Basically, everyone has re-branded themselves as "functional training" because that's what people search for. But they all do the same stupid stuff - it's all just high-rep aerobics. I even saw an instagram video of a local competitor with folks jumping in circles with rubber bands around their ankles. Yeah, it may make you sweaty and tired, but it's not going to make you fit.

You know what being functional really is? Being strong. If you're strong you can actually do things that are functional.

If you want to move a credenza down a narrow staircase to the basement, who do you call? Someone who lifts heavy with kettlebells, or someone who can do burpees and lunges with rubber bands around their knees. For some reason, I'm the one on speed dial when folks are moving...

The industry is all about selling new fancy ways to make you feel tired and like you got a workout. But if you want to be functional in real life, just get strong - and getting strong isn't exciting. Just lift heavy.



Today's Workout

with a barbell:

bench press 5-3-2-3x2
6 renegade rows between sets

then, with a kettlebell:

press 5x(2+2) heavy
double clean 3x5 light
half snatch 3x(5+5) light
double front squat 5x5 medium

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Photo day rescheduled to this Thursday


Last week you guys came through and showed up for picture day, but Dave got delayed and couldn't come, so we rescheduled for this Thursday.

Plan on being there! Wear your shirts and look pretty!



Today's Workout

with a barbell:

front squat 5-3-2-3x2
5 push-ups between sets

then

10x(3 KB deadlifts + 3 KB snatch)/1:00

then

50 Russian twists

Monday, May 21, 2018

Congratulations Marlena - 800m State Champ!

photo stolen from Dave's Instagram Feed
Marlena won the 800m this weekend at the Colorado State Track and Field Championships. She really puts in the work, I always see her on the road on the weekends running while Ric follows her on his bike. And she comes into the gym twice a week to work on her strength. She's always excited to try something new, and really focused on the AGT this last season - she has a real mean kettlebell swing now!

Check out the video and see when she decided to turn it on for the last 200m and crush the field. If I remember correctly, it was a 2:09, 1-second PR. We're really proud of you!





Today's Workout

with a barbell:

deadlift 5-3-2-3x2
5 heavy swings between sets

then, with a kettlebell:

dead stop double clean 5x2 heavy
press 3x(5+5) light
double front squat 3x5 light
snatch 5x(5+5) medium

Friday, May 18, 2018

You guys actually listened to me!

photo credit: www.lane1photos.com
I'm used to ranting into the void so I didn't expect anyone to listen to the it's-ok-to-workout-barefoot rant. But during the last two days most everyone took their shoes off and lifted so much better!



Today's Workout

with a barbell:

press 5-3-2-3x2
2 TGUs between sets

then, with a kettlebell:

double front squat 5x2 heavy
half snatch 3x(5+5) light
double clean 3x5 light
press 5x(5+5) medium

Thursday, May 17, 2018

It's picture day!


Today is picture day! Don't worry they'll be good - we have Dave coming in to take some action shots. He's a great photographer and will make you look good, so don't worry.  You'll get some good pictures to post to show your friend what kinds of cool stuff you do at the gym. Wear your Barbell Strategy shirt!



Today's Workout

with a barbell:

squat 5-3-2-3x2
5 pull-ups between sets

then

swings 10x10/1:00
pull-ups 10x3/1:00

then

50 Russian twists

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Yes, it's ok to be bare foot in the gym


You may have noticed that this winter after I started the kettlebell-focused program that I was spending all my time in the gym barefoot. It's not because I'm a dirty hippie (though, in Boulder, that's a good default guess). It's because having that solid contact with the ground helps you with the stability and tension you need to have good movement with the kettlebells.

If you're not going to wear your Xero shoes, then barefoot is much better than a running shoe (too squishy) or a weightlifting shoe (the raised heel works against you here).  The most common mistake I see in any powerful kettlebell movement is the wiggly knee. Most of the time that's easy to fix by having you grab the ground with your toes. That turns on your arch and gives you a strong base to work from. It's much easier for your foot to work and actually be active if you don't constrain it inside a shoe.

Having your feet in shoes is just like having your arm in a cast. Your body stops working as hard and relies on the structure around it to do the work for it. And just like coming back from a broken arm, you won't immediately have the strength to do what you need to (or even the neurological connections for your brain to tell your foot what to do!) So ease into it. Maybe just do swings bare foot and then add in more exercises.

I hate wearing shoes, I wish it was socially acceptable for me to be bare foot at work. Even though I have an casual office job, it's not dirty-hippie casual. But any time I get the chance, I let my feet work. Having the solid connection with the ground also tells your brain to let the rest of your body do more.

You don't need to be bare foot in the gym, and I know it feels icky to some folks. I'll never force you to take your shoes off - but if you do wear shoes in the gym, please make sure they're clean (in the winter, bring a change!) because there will be bare foot folks around you and they don't want to step in piles of dirt and snow.



Today's Workout

with a barbell:

clean 5-3-2-5x1
5 heavy swings between sets

then, with a kettlebell:

snatch 5x(2+2) heavy
double front squat 3x5 light
press 3x(5+5) light 
dead stop double clean 5x5 medium