Friday, August 19, 2016

Breathing, it's good for you

Yesterday's workout was an example of my favorite class of workouts: the heavy metcon. It's designed to be heavy (21 deadlifts at 70% of your max is insane - I knew that when I prescribed it), and you also need to go fast and work on your coordination (box jumps following deadlifts require lots of focus).

The workout was designed to be one of our harder ones, and many of you struggled with it. The struggle wasn't because you weren't strong enough - we take care of making you strong, and you're all doing a great job. The main problem was that we haven't been practicing working hard at the edge of your composure - needing to focus (not rip up your shins) while being out of breath.

Next time you find yourself in a situation where you need to perform while not being composed, find a way to focus your breath. Take deep calming breaths. Fill your lungs - expand your ribs, push your stomach out, don't simply just lift your shoulders. Your body will respond by getting your brain out of the flight-or-fight response and get you more focused to you can get your work done.

It may seem silly to worry about calming yourself down to perform some more deadlifts or box jumps, but it's good to practice it in a safe situation like this. What happens when you're in a real-life situation where you have to perform while stressed? I personally had to move boulders out of the road so I could get my truck through a mud slide. I also had get all of our stuff out of a basement while it flooded. (If you count the wildfire, that's three extreme Colorado weather events I've been through - maybe I should move?) In all of these cases I needed to perform physically under a time pressure, having the ability to get my brain to focus and get the work done contributed to my safety.

That's why we train under pressure in the gym. Getting your deadlifts done quicker doesn't make you a better person - learning how to get your body to do work while stressed is what makes you better.


squat 3x5
5 push-ups between sets


5 rounds
every 3:00
7 burpees
7 tall box jumps
sprint to the stop sign

Endurance Option

accumulate 15 squats at 5RM
5 push-ups between sets


AMRAP 15:00 below AeroMAX
7 burpees
14 box step ups
jog to the stop sign

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