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If you’ve never read it… — July 4, 2017

If you’ve never read it…

In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness of his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


#tbt — April 13, 2017


Check out this great, simple article from 2007 about why we do what we do, the way we do it. 

And if you’re stressed about not having received a WOD email at all this week, re-read the “unknown and unknowable” sentence.

Now…back to your 30 burpees! 

Success is in the mind — September 30, 2016

Success is in the mind

This week’s knowledge comes from Train Heroic, as we look at the 9 mental skills that successful athletes employ. I think it’s safe to take this outside the athletic box and say these are skills that successful people possess and practice. No surprise here…much of it comes down to positivity and visualization. Try it!

The 9 Mental Skills of Successful Athletes


EDITORS NOTE: This post originally appeared on the Ohio Center for Sport Psychology website and has been reposted [on Train Heroic] with permission from the author.

You don’t have to be a professional athlete or an Olympic champion to be a successful athlete. Nor do you have to have a room full of trophies, win a state championship, or make the front page of the sports section.

Successful athletes that I’ve worked with include an eleven year-old figure skater who has not yet won a competition, a high school golfer with a zero handicap, a middle-aged runner whose goal is to complete her first marathon, a weight lifter who holds several world records, and an Olympic medalist.

What these athletes have in common is that their sport is important to them and they’re committed to being the best that they can be within the scope of their limitations – other life commitments, finances, time, and their natural ability.

They set high, realistic goals for themselves and train and play hard. They are successful because they are pursuing their goals and enjoying their sport. Their sport participation enriches their lives and they believe that what they get back is worth what they put into their sport.

There are nine, specific mental skills that contribute to success in sports. They are all learned and can be improved with instruction and practice. At the Ohio Center for Sport Psychology we work with serious athletes of all ages and ability levels to help them learn and sharpen these important skills.

We believe that our work is worthwhile because the same mental skills that athletes use in achieving success in sports can be used to achieve success in other areas of their lives.

Successful Athletes:

  1. Choose and maintain a positive attitude.
  2. Maintain a high level of self-motivation.
  3. Set high, realistic goals.
  4. Deal effectively with people.
  5. Use positive self-talk.
  6. Use positive mental imagery.
  7. Manage anxiety effectively.
  8. Manage their emotions effectively.
  9. Maintain concentration.

The Performance Pyramid

Although each of the nine skills is important, its primary importance will occur during one of three phases: long-term development, immediate preparation for performance, and during performance itself.

Level I – These mental skills constitute a broad base for attaining long-term goals, learning, and sustaining daily practice. They are needed on a day-by-day basis for long periods of time, often months and years.

Level II – These skills are used immediately before performance to prepare for performance. They maybe used just before competition begins, or immediately before a specific performance action, such as a golf shot or a free throw in basketball.

Level III – These skills are used during actual performance behavior.

The pyramid below represents the relationship of the nine skills to one another. Each of the higher levels incorporates and is based upon the skills of the preceding levels.


1. Attitude

Successful athletes:

  • Realize that attitude is a choice.
  • Choose an attitude that is predominately positive.
  • View their sport as an opportunity to compete against themselves and learn from their successes and failures.
  • Pursue excellence, not perfection, and realize that they, as well as their coaches, teammates, officials, and others are not perfect.
  • Maintain balance and perspective between their sport and the rest of their lives.
  • Respect their sport, other participants, coaches, officials, and themselves.

2. Motivation

Successful athletes:

  • Are aware of the rewards and benefits that they expect to experience through their sports participation.
  • Are able to persist through difficult tasks and difficult times, even when these rewards and benefits are not immediately forthcoming.
  • Realize that many of the benefits come from their participation, not the outcome.

3. Goals and Commitment

Successful athletes:

  • Set long-term and short-term goals that are realistic, measurable, and time-oriented.
  • Are aware of their current performance levels and are able to develop specific, detailed plans for attaining their goals.
  • Are highly committed to their goals and to carrying out the daily demands of their training programs.

4. People Skills

Successful athletes:

  • Realize that they are part of a larger system that includes their families, friends, teammates, coaches, and others.
  • When appropriate, communicate their thoughts, feelings, and needs to these people and listen to them as well.
  • Have learned effective skills for dealing with conflict, difficult opponents, and other people when they are negative or oppositional.

5. Self-Talk

Successful athletes:

  • Maintain their self-confidence during difficult times with realistic, positive self-talk.
  • Talk to themselves the way they would talk to their own best friend
  • Use self-talk to regulate thoughts, feelings and behaviors during competition.

6. Mental Imagery

Successful athletes:

  • Prepare themselves for competition by imagining themselves performing well in competition.
  • Create and use mental images that are detailed, specific, and realistic.
  • Use imagery during competition to prepare for action and recover from errors and poor performances.

7. Dealing Effectively with Anxiety

Successful athletes:

  • Accept anxiety as part of sport.
  • Realize that some degree of anxiety can help them perform well.
  • Know how to reduce anxiety when it becomes too strong, without losing their intensity.

8. Dealing Effectively with Emotions

Successful athletes:

  • Accept strong emotions such as excitement, anger, and disappointment as part of the sport experience.
  • Are able to use these emotions to improve, rather than interfere with high level performance

9. Concentration

Successful athletes:

  • Know what they must pay attention to during each game or sport situation.
  • Have learned how to maintain focus and resist distractions, whether they come from the environment or from within themselves.
  • Are able to regain their focus when concentration is lost during competition.
  • Have learned how to play in the “here-and-now”, without regard to either past or anticipated future events.

About The Author

Dr. Lesyk is the director of the Ohio Center for Sport Psychology, Sport Psychologist for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and an Adjunct Asst. Professor of Psychology at Cleveland State University. As a clinical and sport psychologist, he completed his undergraduate work at Penn State and his graduate work at Case Western Reserve University and has been in full-time private practice for over thirty years. Since 1981, he has worked intensively with athletes from over twenty-five different sports, at competitive levels ranging from scholastic to world-class, Olympic, and professional.

Stuck in a chair? — September 16, 2016

Stuck in a chair?

Today’s wisdom comes to us from mobility guru Kelly Starrett of He’s got tips for how to maximize your mobility when you just can’t get away from your desk. Check it out…

Ergonomist’s Trick to Surviving Your Chair

Leopards! It’s time for the next evolution in the “Sitting vs. Standing” conversation. Is one better than the other? Or is the real question, “How do I get more movement into my day?”

We think it’s the latter.

Why do we prefer standing? We find the movement options available to us when we sit are far fewer than when we stand. However, sometimes the chair is unavoidable. Board meetings, business lunches, presentations, our days are filled with sitting-only moments. So how do we deal?

We hack our chair. Adjust the environment to fit the physiology, not the other way around.

Give this hack a try and let us know what you think.

Shout out to ergonomist John Fitzsimmons for showing us this chair survival tip.


And check out this video for some more interesting tips!

The psycho-science of motivation — June 3, 2016

The psycho-science of motivation

This week’s insight comes to us from Shape magazine. New research suggests that some of the most common methods of self-motivation are more likely to backfire and de-motivate us! Check it out…

The new rules of motivation

What really drives you is the exact opposite of what you think, new science shows. Here’s how to tweak your technique to achieve any goal.

By Mirel Ketchiff

To tap the true power of motivation, you need to ditch the strategies you’ve used in the past. “Many of the things people think will help them achieve a goal can backfire and make them less driven,” says David Gard, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at San Francisco State University, who has spent years researching what spurs us. Fortunately, Gard and other experts have discovered what does work. The six surprising tactics that follow may seem counterintuitive, but they’re scientifically proved to get you across the finish line.

Don’t treat yourself after a job is done
Being rewarded for healthy behavior— “I’ll buy myself a new pair of sneakers if I go to the gym three times a week for a month,” for instance—actually saps your mojo, findings in the Journal of Organizational Behavior suggest. That’s because the gift becomes a distraction, says Rebecca Hewett, PH.D., the lead study author. If you focus on achieving a prize, you think less about the built-in payoffs of working out, and you might lose interest in the goal. Skip the presents and zero in on the perks that naturally come from your new routine, such as having more energy.

Lose the plan B
Having a contingency plan can set you up for failure because it prevents you from fully committing to your goal, researchers from the University of Zurich reported. Here’s how: Say you really want to attend your gym’s Monday, Wednesday, and Friday Spinning classes every week. But you tell yourself that if you can’t make a class, you’ll do a weekend yoga session instead. The plan B becomes an all-too-convenient excuse to cut class. The minute something comes up—you feel tired that day, or you would rather watch Empire—you default to yoga. Forget the safety net and you’ll try a lot harder to achieve your original goal.

Stop focusing on short-term satisfaction
Dig deep and figure out why you really want to achieve a goal. “You’re more likely to be motivated when you know the true reason you’re doing something,” says Daniel Pink, the author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. Imagine, for example, that you want to start cooking light, healthy meals at home in order to look good at your upcoming high school reunion. “Chances are, you’ll stop the new regimen as soon as the reunion is over,” Pink says. For your motivation to endure, you need to connect your goal to a larger purpose, such as wanting to be more active with your family. To stay driven long-term, jot down a few of your core values, like having a life full of adventure or being confident and happy with yourself. Then ask yourself, How will achieving my goal benefit these ideals? Put that mission front and center in your mind.

Keep your plans to yourself
You’ve heard that posting on social media or filling your friends in on your goals helps boost your motivation by making you feel accountable. Turns out, that’s not true. Researchers at New York University revealed that just telling others about your intention to exercise for 30 minutes every day gives you a sense of accomplishment that’s similar to actually doing it, which can kill your follow-through. Either keep your goals to yourself or commit to posting a daily exercise photo on Instagram or Facebook in order ot keep yourself truly accountable.

Get mired in the minutiae
No matter what your ultimate ambition is, it’s actually made up of several smaller goals, Gard explains. You may be super-driven to go vegan, but a lack of incentive to research meat-free recipes, read ingredient labels at the store, or spend extra time cooking can throw you off target, he says. To encourage yourself to stay on track, start by writing down all the minigoals that make up your larger goal, even the ones that seem ridiculously small, like “Get rid of the leftover turkey burgers in the back of the freezer.” Each day, cross off those you accomplished. Seeing your progress is one of the most powerful ways to sustain motivation, Pink says.

Embrace the “almost”
You worked so hard to land that dream job, but when it came down to you and one other candidate, she got it. Yes, you’re disappointed, but don’t write off the experience as a total loss. Near wins can actually make you more motivated to accomplish other goals, a study in the journal Psychological Science found. Coming close gives you an idea of how sweet victory can taste, which makes you more driven to complete your next challenge, the study authors say. If you do fall short, be as gentle on yourself as you would be on a friend, Gard says. Then get right back up and move forward. You’ll be stronger for it.

Damper Setting 101 — May 27, 2016

Damper Setting 101

Ever wonder what the lever on the side of the flywheel on the rower is for? Maybe you know some people who will only ever row with it set to a specific number? Today, the folks at Concept2 bring us some insight into the finer points of positioning that lever.

Damper Setting is…Setting the Indoor Rower Damper

The damper is the lever on the side of the flywheel housing, or fan cage, that controls how much air flows into the cage. The fan cages on our later indoor rowers (Model C and later), are numbered so you can set the damper lever to a particular value from 1–10, indicating how much air is drawn into the cage on each stroke:

  • Higher damper settings allow more air into the flywheel housing. The more air, the more work it takes to spin the flywheel against the air. More air also slows the flywheel down faster on the recovery, requiring more work to accelerate it on the next stroke.
  • Lower damper settings allow less air into the flywheel housing, making it easier to spin the flywheel.

Damper setting is similar to bicycle gearing: it affects how rowing feels but does not directly affect the resistance. A lower damper setting on the indoor rower is comparable to easier gears on a bike.

Damper Setting is Not…

Many people confuse damper setting with intensity level or resistance. Instead, the intensity of your workout is controlled by how much you use your legs, back and arms to move the handle—in other words, how hard you pull. This is true regardless of where the damper lever is set: the harder you pull, the more resistance you will feel. Because our indoor rowers use wind resistance (which is generated by the spinning flywheel), the faster you get the wheel spinning, the more resistance there will be.

Think about rowing on the water. Regardless of whether you are rowing in a sleek racing shell, or in a big, slow row boat, you will need to increase your intensity and apply more force to make either boat go faster. The difference is in how it feels to make the different boats go fast. Making a sleek boat go fast requires you to apply your force more quickly. Making the slow boat go fast also requires more force, but the speed at which you apply the force will be slower over the course of the rowing stroke.

At a damper setting of 1–4, the indoor rower feels like a sleek racing shell; at the higher numbers, the indoor rower feels like a slow row boat. Regardless of the setting, you will need to increase your effort to increase your intensity.

Drag Factor: How True Effort is Calculated

You might be tempted to think that rowing on the highest setting will result in your best score. This is where the Performance Monitor comes in.

Between each stroke, the PM measures how much your flywheel is slowing down to determine how sleek or slow your “boat” is. This rate of deceleration is called the drag factor. On your next stroke, the PM uses the drag factor to determine from the speed of the flywheel how much work you are doing. In this way, your true effort is calculated regardless of damper setting. This self-calibration is what allows us to compare scores from different indoor rowers, making things like indoor racing and the online world rankings possible.

Different indoor rowers can have different drag factor ranges. A damper setting of 3 on your home machine may feel like 4 on the machine at the gym. Differences in air temperature, elevation—even how much lint is caught in the flywheel housing—can all affect the drag factor from machine to machine. When using different machines, you may need to adjust the damper setting to achieve the drag factor and feel you prefer. See How to View Drag Factor for information on checking the drag factor on your machine.

What Damper Setting to Use

With a little experimentation, you will find the damper setting and drag factor that work best for you. We recommend starting out on a damper setting of 3–5. Really focus on technique, and as you improve, you may find that a lower damper setting gives you the best workout and results. Resist setting the damper lever too high; this can exhaust your muscles before you reap the full cardiovascular benefit rowing provides. The Performance Monitor will give you immediate accurate feedback on each stroke so that you can monitor your performance and determine where you get your best results.

You can also vary your damper setting to achieve different types of workouts. In general, lower damper settings are best for aerobic workouts, while higher damper settings make rowing more of a strength workout.


Make it an art — May 6, 2016

Make it an art

This Friday’s reading comes from a site I sometimes use for programming inspiration, (Wednesday’s workout was theirs!) It’s straight from their “theory” page. I liked the idea of what it said so much, I won’t even paraphrase.

Sport, training, movement, life all have unique qualities to themselves. As a species we like to fixate on the differences of these “unique” qualities. For instance, there are 100+ ways to prepare for a marathon, right? We are of the mind set (and are not alone) that although at times isolating things to differentiate them and train or move them can have some success, for the most part there is something more to this. That more from our perspective is the similarities that we see in all of this. If someone is to train for a marathon, what similarities do all 100+ programs have?

In looking at physiology and even basic physiology, if we assume that natural selection affects the inheritance of not only traits, but knowledge, interaction, communication etc. – Then it is safe to suggest that everything is everything is just one thing.

The way we train, live our lives, the fears that influence us, the incapabilities, imbalances, skill development, brain patterning mapping…
all of it is defined by a core and unified definition of ourselves.
If we are able to understand this, define this, and enhance it in everything we do,
we could express more parts of its capabilities, could we not?

Performance no longer becomes a game limited to what speed you run, the percentages of your lifts and your macros. Instead it is how you deal with loss, how you connect with people, whether you like to read or not, what you look for in relationships, how you manage conflict… the lines of hard skills and soft skills blend and we are left with simply expressions of what level of the base equation we are at. It’s as simple as “am I training to train, or am I training to learn something far more than I thought I was going to get?” A musician, painter, sculptor, writer, or a triathlete should all share the same things… What they all do is an art!

Open 16.5 prep — March 25, 2016

Open 16.5 prep

It’s the final week! A classic combo…thrusters and burpees. Let’s see what WODprep says about this one…

Who is willing to hurt the most?
That’s the name of 16.5’s game. 
Burpees and Thrusters are easily one of the most dreaded combinations in “The Sport of Fitness”.
How will you break up the thrusters? (or should you…?)
Which kind of bar-facing burpee should I try?
Today’s email is the official WODprep strategy guide surrounding the CrossFit Open 16.5 Workout.
First, make sure you watch my full video strategy guide. It has 90% of the information you will need for this workout.
Watch the video now before moving on:
Here is an extra content video that will really help you get through all 168 reps.
168? It can’t be that bad…. 😉
How to breathe for Thrusters:
This one can easily introduce you to “pukie” if you eat too close to game time.
Just like every Open workout, I am going to recommend a full meal (carbs, fat, and protein) about 1.5-2 hours before attempting.
In my opinion, this is a WOD that you can hit on an empty stomach, but only if you are used to training fasted.
HYDRATE. Remember to start your day with at least 24oz of water! (This applies to every day of your life….and no….coffee doesn’t count as water)
Mental Preparation: 5-10 mins total (45-60 min pre-workout)
I said that last week was the most mentally draining….
I lied. This one takes the prize.
*Your score will 100% hinge on your willingness to push through the uncomfortable feeling of heavy breathing and burning muscles. This is mental.*
Now is the time to convince yourself that your body is more capable than you can even imagine.
But your mind will NOT get the best of you.
Take 5 minutes to accept the fact that THIS WILL BURN and YOU WILL STILL SURVIVE.
No matter how bad it hurts, you will keep moving.
It’s time to spend a few minutes visualizing your thruster rep scheme.
Are you doing 7/7/7, 6/6/6, 5/5/5, 4/4/4… etc.?
Or are you doing 12/9, 10/8, 8/7….etc.?
Mentally commit right now. Don’t start this workout without a plan.
(If you don’t know your rep scheme for the Thrusters, go back and watch this video.)
Now, visualize your cadence for the burpees.
Which technique are you using? Step-up? Jump-up? Kneel-up?
How will you breathe? Will you jump and spin at the same time?
Whatever you decide- visualize exactly what it will feel like.
Envision your pace staying the exact same the entire workout.
No need for long chalk breaks, breathers, or extended rests. 
In fact, tell yourself right now “I will not rest for more than 3 full breaths.”
Say it again. Stick to it!
Here is your movement “mind sequence” for the thrusters:
Know your target number- have it in your head.
Weight in the heels.
Squat with head up.
Drive with LEGS.
Finish with shoulders strong.
Don’t stop until you hit your number!
And here is your sequence for the burpees:
Find your rhythm.
Don’t change your rhythm.
Finally, like every week before, take a “centering breath” to calm your nerves.
5 seconds inhale.
3 seconds pause.
7 seconds exhale.
Repeat 3x
(Pre-Workout Routine) 25 mins total
0:00-5:00 General movement (AirDyne, light rowing, light jogging, etc.)
5:00-12:00 Shoulder Mobility, Glute Activation
12:00-20:00 Movement-specific drills
Spend 5 minutes working on finding the “perfect” thruster pace. Focus on breathing and hitting your positioning. Then, do 5-10 reps at 10-20lbs heavier than prescribed.
Spend 5 minutes testing several different kinds of burpees. 8 reps at a time. Find the one that you feel most comfortable with and keeps your heart rate down.
20:00-25:00 “Get Your Heart Pumping”
EMOM for 5 minutes
30 Seconds at near-max-effort (90%) row or bike.
30 seconds rest
*These intense sets will help “prime your motor” so that you don’t shock your body when the workout begins.
~Rest 3-5 minutes~
Finally… right before the workout perform the following:
2 rounds at a steady “game speed” pace:
5 Thrusters
5 Bar-Facing Burpees
*This is your time to make sure all of your equipment is in the right place and there is nothing that will get in your way during the workout! I would keep chalk FAR away so that you know that YOU DON’T NEED IT!*
~Rest for 3 minutes~
As always, I hope that this strategy guide helps you get a better score! Please don’t hesitate to forward this to a friend who might need help with their 16.5 preparation. 🙂
Open 16.4 prep — March 18, 2016

Open 16.4 prep

Well, we called it! We hadn’t seen anything heavy, wall balls, rowing, or upside down. And we got it ALL.

We’ll see everyone any time after 5:30 tonight at Gahanna. We’ll be running heats of 4 people, starting around 6:15 pm. Now, let’s check in with Ben from WODPrep for another dose of helpful advice…

First, make sure you watch my full video strategy guide. You must watch this first before really digging into the advice in this message.

Watch the video now before moving on:
>>>[VIDEO] 16.4 Complete WODprep Strategy Guide<<<

Also, here are some extra content videos that will really help you get through 13 minutes of burn! If you spend time watching these, you should see some major improvements.

Handstand Push-Ups:
1- HSPU Timing and why it’s important
2- How to Learn HSPU (progression)

1- The “Clearing Stroke”
2- The “Clearing Stroke” in depth

This one is NOT a sprint by any means. You will feel very, very tired if you treat it as such. So, that means you need to fuel for the “long haul”. Have a full meal about 1.5 hours before the workout (balanced carbs, fat, protein). You can also have a carb snack about 30 minutes prior to the workout (sweet potato and blueberries is my go-to).

I would NOT perform this fasted, you will want the extra leverage for those deadlifts anyway!

As always, this isn’t a time to try anything very different, as it might upset your stomach. Don’t reinvent your day- treat this like any other workout. Like last week, “Pukie” might show up if you try anything different!

HYDRATE. Remember to start your day with at least 24oz of water! (This applies to every day of your life)

Mental Preparation 5-10 mins total (45-60 min pre-workout)
This workout is the most mentally draining out of all the Open WODs so far, but you will be ready.

Take 5 minutes to visualize yourself moving from station to station, chipping away at reps without any problems:

-Deadlifts feel lighter than usual.

-The wallball almost seems like it is weightless.

-Rowing feels like recovery.

-Your shoulders are easily sending you up the wall (or to the push-up lockout) without any issues.

Every rep counts. Smooth and steady.

The key for this workout is to push through the burn.

It will burn, but you will be OK. Push through it.

Those that push through the burn from minute 8-13 will be the ones who have the biggest scores.

Will you be able to push through?

Many, many people will come out VERY fast and then spend TONS of time resting on the wallballs.

Not you….

You are actually going to speed up as this workout goes on.

No need for long chalk breaks, breathers, or extended rests.

In fact, tell yourself right now “I will not rest for more than 5 full breaths.”

Say it again. Make it true!

Here is your movement “mind sequence” for the deadlifts:

Staggered Grip.
Back set.
Core tight.
DRIVE through the heels.

And here is your sequence for the wallballs:

“Jump” the ball up.
Allow your arms to extend and relax (breathe).
Catch and let the ball push you into the squat.
SPRING back up.

And here is your sequence for the row:

Drive with the legs.
Extend the hips.
Pull strong with your arms.
Proud back.
Big breaths.
Keep your calorie count OVER ____/hr (enter realistic “slight burn” pace)

And here is your sequence for the HSPU:

Load the legs.
DRIVE feet up.
Press with the arms.
Head through the window and HEELS UP!

Finally, like every week before, take a “centering breath” to calm your nerves.

5 seconds inhale.
3 seconds pause.
7 seconds exhale.
Repeat 3x

Pre-Workout Routine 20 mins total
0:00-5:00 General movement (AirDyne, light rowing, light jogging, etc.)

5:00-12:00 Shoulder Mobility, Glute Activation
1- Overhead Opener
2- Mobility WOD Deadlift Drills
3- Glue Activation
4- Spend time with anything that feels tight- especially lower back related.

12:00-20:00 Movement-specific drills.
Take 5-8 minutes to build to a medium-heavy deadlift triple (3 reps touch-and-go). Focus on driving HARD with your glutes and hamstrings and not relying on your lower back for the pull.

Find your station and hit two sets of 10 reps. Focus on finding the right distance away from the wall and having a nice, steady rhythm. You can use a ball slightly heavier than your RX weight if you want!

Row 15 calories at a pace you think you can maintain when tired. Then, row 10 calories at a harder “this burns” pace (90% effort).

Use this time to take your measurements and TEST SEVERAL REPS WITH YOUR JUDGE! Make sure they approve of your heel height. The last thing you want is to get no-repped on a regular basis! If you have issues, adjust accordingly.

Core activation:
20-30 Hollow Rocks
20-30 “Supermans”

~Rest 3-5 minutes~

Finally… right before the workout perform the following:

2 rounds at a steady “game speed” pace:
5 Deadlifts (at or slightly above the workout weight)
10 Wallballs
10 Calorie Row
10 HSPU (only if these are relatively easy for you)


*This is your time to make sure all of your equipment is in the right place and there is nothing that will get in your way during the workout!*

~Rest for 3-5 minutes~ (stay moving so you keep warm)


As always, I hope that this strategy guide helps you get a better score! Please don’t hesitate to forward this to a friend who might need help with their 16.4 preparation.


Open 16.3 prep — March 11, 2016

Open 16.3 prep

Well…we’ve all been asking for a seven minute workout, and here it is! Let’s see what Ben at WODprep has in store for us this week.

Just a reminder: tonight’s WOD will be at Lewis Center. Doors will open at 5:30 but we won’t get started till around 6:30. Krav Maga level 1 instructor training will be going on until 6:30, so please try not to disrupt training when you arrive. Feel free to roll out, stretch, etc. while we finish up. A later start time also helps for those of you who were worried about after-work north-side traffic.

OK…now for Ben’s advice…some of it should be starting to sound familiar!

Watch the video before moving on
>>>[VIDEO] 16.3 Complete WODprep Strategy Guide<<<

Also, here are some extra content videos that will really help you get through these nasty 7 mins! If you spend time watching these, you should see some major improvements.

Bar Muscle Up Videos
1- 30 Second Bar Muscle Up Tutorial
2- Bar Muscle Ups VS. Kipping Pull-ups
3- Eliminating the Bar Muscle Up “Chicken Wing”
4- The Bar Muscle Up Transition “Fast Sit-up”
5- How To Make Gymnastic Straps for Muscle Ups

1- How To Tape Your Thumbs For Hook Grip

Just like last week, this workout has “SPRINT” written all over it. If you can knock out Bar Muscle Ups (or Jumping C2B) pretty quickly, then you will keep your heart rate high for 7 straight minutes…AKA….”pukie” might show up.

Have a full meal about 1.5 hours before the workout (balanced carbs, fat, protein). I would not eat too much closer to the workout, as you will probably feel “heavy” with a full stomach!

You CAN perform this fasted if you are used to training on an empty stomach but personally I will definitely try to get a few calories in my belly!

As always, this isn’t a time to try anything very different, as it might upset your stomach. Don’t reinvent your day- treat this like any other workout. You don’t want to see your food end up on the floor 😉

HYDRATE. Remember to start your day with at least 24oz of water! (This applies to every day of your life)

Mental Preparation 5-10 mins total (45-60 min pre-workout)
Analyze your strengths and weaknesses for 60 seconds.

Are the snatches a light working weight for you?
Are Bar Muscle Ups in your arsenal?
If not, are you ready to RISE ABOVE and make huge improvements?
Are you ready to prove all of the doubters WRONG?!

Now, spend 3-5 minutes visualizing your best-case scenario for this workout.

You are having no issues getting above the bar. You feel light. Your arms feel strong. People are watching you and wondering “how the heck did they get that good at bar muscle ups (or jumping c2b)?”

You are able to lift the bar with absolutely no problems- it feels like a PVC pipe! Breathing the whole time….it’s not hard to catch your breath here.

You waste absolutely no time between stations.
Snatch. Done. Switch.

No need for long chalk breaks, breathers, or extended rests.

This is 7 minutes- the workout lasts LESS time than it takes you to read this email.
You can handle a little burning in the lungs and shoulders! You were made for this.

Here is your movement sequence for the snatches:

Feet set.
Hook grip.
One strong pull.
Lock out.
Keep the bar close.
Touch and go.

And here is your sequence for the bar muscle ups:

Strong grip.
Big Kip.
Lever back.
Throw your head OVER the bar.
Lock out
Repeat 😉

For those doing scaled, here is your sequence for Jumping C2B:

Strong (yet relaxed) grip.
Squat down (for full arm extension).
BIG JUMP (using quads, hips, and calves)
Pull the bar by pinching your shoulder blades.
Touch Chest, Relax, and Drop.
Repeat- don’t forget the legs every time!

Finally, like every week before, take a “centering breath” to calm your nerves.

5 seconds inhale.
3 seconds pause.
7 seconds exhale.
Repeat 3x

Pre-Workout Routine 20 mins total
0:00-5:00 General movement (AirDyne, light rowing, light jogging, etc.)

5:00-10:00 Shoulder Mobility, Lat Activation
60 Seconds PVC Sequence
Banded Bully/ Neck Stretch (2 mins each side)

10:00-16:00 Movement-specific drills.
Take 5-8 minutes to build to a medium-heavy muscle snatch. Focus on driving HARD with your glutes and not relying on your arms for the entire pull.

-Bar Muscle Ups:
Do this kipping drill (click here) with PERFECT hollow position for 3 sets of 8 reps. Rest 30-60 seconds between each set. This will work wonders for activating those lats!

20-30 Hollow Rocks
20-30 “Supermans”

Also, if you are relatively proficient at Bar Muscle Ups, hit one unbroken set of 3 reps so that you can practice stringing multiple reps together. Then, try 3 singles and see which one you prefer!

**If you are trying get your first few bar muscle ups in 16.3, try to hit ONE rep in practice before the workout. DO NOT spend too much time hurting your hands and exhausting your pull if you are only hoping to get out of the first round! Save your energy for the real thing!**

~Rest 3-5 minutes~

Finally… right before the workout perform the following:

3-4 rounds at a steady pace:
4 Touch and Go Power Snatch
1 Bar Muscle up and/or Bar Muscle Up Kips without transition (3 Jumping Pull-ups for Scaled division)


*This is your time to make sure all of your equipment is in the right place and there is nothing that will get in your way during the workout! Get your chalk ready and sitting right next to you.*

~Rest for 3-5 minutes~ (stay moving so you keep warm)


As always, I hope that this strategy guide helps you get a better score! Please don’t hesitate to forward this to a friend who might need help with their 16.3 preparation.