Nov 21, 2009

Strength in Difference

In life, sometimes those we begin our journey with may not be those who stay on the course trip and make it to the end. However, through different circumstances, fate or coincidence-what have you-we find ourselves surrounded by a motley crew of people who push us further than we had imagined possible, and change our course for the better.

This would accurately describe my training adventure. Crossfit has brought me in contact with people as different from me as Woody Harrelson is from Wesley Snipes. Seeing them side by side, one is inclined to ask, "How can those two be friends?" I get that reaction every time I lift with Justin aka Thor. He's burly guy from Florida-Slayer-loving old school hip listening, and wears skulls and bones on most of his casual clothes. Me, leaner (not so much these days-damn donuts) New Yorker-hip hop and R&B raised, listen to the occasional heavy metal bands. Yet through Crossfit, we found our mutual love for lifting heavy things constantly, Call of Duty, eating, and a mutual hate for all things doucher (faux hawks, emo-musicians, and bad lifting form).

At the gym, we constantly get the "Huh?" look from people when we lift or when we road trip to various affiliates. It is until people talk to both of us that they realize our most common similarity is that we are both...assholes who have no problem speaking their minds freely that they realize we are actually brothers from another mother.

Whatever your journey in life is: whether through fitness, academic interests or social activities, be prepared and more importantly be open to welcoming in those who don't fit into your nifty little box of who should be on your team. It's often by doing things differently that you meet different people who challenge your beliefs, values, and in the gym to get that elusive PR. Being taken far from your comfort zone leads to discomfort i.e. growth. Be odd and welcome the stares-people always line up to see a hero but no one wants to step up and be one.

So get out your zone-remember, when the zombies show up, the ones who are most comfortable will be the hors d' oeouvrs.

Nov 8, 2009

Nov 1, 2009

Daily Apoc Training 11/1/2009

Rest today... Take it easy or some active recovery.

Oct 31, 2009

HAPPY HALLOWEEN, and Daily Apoc Training 10/31/2009

Have a great Halloween today!!!!

Work up to 1-rep max in the back squat

rest as needed

Work up to 1-rep max in the bench press

Oct 30, 2009

Oops and Daily Apoc Training for 10/30/2009

Missed a couple of days of training posts, no excuses just fucked up... Training for today includes:

Presses at 3x5- work up to a 5 rep max

5 rounds for time:
w/20lb. weight vest
10 burpees
20 squats
30 ab-mat situps
40-yard bear crawl

Oct 26, 2009

Daily Apoc Training 10/26/2009

Work up to 1 RM in the Standing Press...

As many rounds as possible in 12 mins:
7-L-arm KB cleans 24kg
7-R-arm KB cleans 24kg
250 meter row

Oct 25, 2009

Daily Apoc Training 10/25/2009

Active recovery rest day... Foam roll, stretch, eat and get some rest.

Oct 24, 2009

Daily Apoc Training 10/24/2009

5-3-1 Day Squats and Bench Press

3x70% 1rm
3x80% 1rm
Last set as many reps as possible at 90%

5x10 squats at 40-60% 1rm

Kroc Rows:
2x10 (each arm) at weight you can complete
1x as many reps as possible (each arm) with heaviest weight possible

Oct 23, 2009

Thanks to EliteFTS for this one!

Daily Apoc Training 10/23/2009

8x200 meters
rest 90 sec. between efforts

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." ~Thomas Edison

Oct 22, 2009


Keep training hard!

Sep 29, 2009

Extreme Geekness... But Im back!!!!!

Been a while, but back... With a whole new bag of tricks!

Jun 1, 2009

Summer of Hell 3!!!

The invasion has begun!!!! The zombies have attacked and we are running for our lives. Who will survive the summer of hell 3? It’s upon us again!! Will the carnage be too much? This is not for the weak willed! Come if you dare!!!

May 18, 2009

May 11, 2009

“I never worry about anything other than not achieving my goals.”

-Jim Wendler

Apr 21, 2009

Jack Ab attack

So at the suggestion of my good friend Thor, I too am joining the Crossfit Virtuosity "Abs Challenge". One of the fun things about Crossfit is that there is never short of some maniac out there (Keith) who feels compelled to share his suffering with the rest of the community. As with the Burpees Challenge, the Abs Challenge is definitely something that is going to be fun to attack and difficult to stay consistent with. LOL. But with summer coming up, it's a timely challenge.

I wonder if during the winter we'll have a "French Toast" Challenge? I'm so winning that shit.

So anyway...I'm doing this challenge because of 1-Positive peer pressure, 2-my goal is to increase my total strength so I can get the elusive 1000lb total, and increase my athletic performance so that I can be competitive for amateur boxing tournaments in 2010. 3-In my profession (acting), it can't hurt.

So here is what I ate on Day 1 and 2:

Day 1:
Breakfast-protein shake
Lunch-chicken and salad
Snack -protein bar
Early dinner-roast pork
Dinner; Franks with cheese and some greens

WOD-Heavy Deadlift. 315# 1x5. Pullups 3x7

Day 2
Breakfast-protein shake
Lunch-Franks with melted cheese and pickles
Snack-pepperoni and cheese
Dinner Baked chicken and greens


More to come.

Thor's Day 2

Rest day today... Need to get to bed early due to getting up at the ass-crack (before dawn that is) for team 6 tomorrow. 

Meals today:
Egg salad & cheese stick

Various cold cuts & cheeses

Steak & greens with olive oil&vinegar dressing 

Apr 20, 2009

100-days Ab Challenge

Day 1 begins!!! So I took on the challenge from Keith at CF Virtuosity:

Anyways, so the God of Thunder is trying to be less, "Thunderous" and drop a few, while gaining some more strength. I figure at least this way, it will keep me honest!!!! Stay tuned for the shenanigans that will ensue!

So Day 1 begins:

Egg salad
Cheese Stick

Various Lunch Meats and cheese

Pepperoni slices

Hamburger, no bun, cheddar cheese, bacon
3/4th cup steamed Broccoli
Side of Blue Cheese dressing


slamball 25# ball
sledgehammer swings on tire
= 4:03

3x3 weighted pull-ups (20# vest)
50 airsquats w/ weighted vest (20#)

Feb 27, 2009

Sport. Redeemed!

The Road to Redemption is paved in blood, sweat, and tears!!! Will you join us?

Feb 1, 2009

Success is a team sport

Powerlifter and human monster Dave Tate, owner of EliteFTS, had this to say about training partners: "You're going to be as weak as your weakest training partner...I always felt it was my responsibility and my duty to get the guy next to me stronger than I was. And all the guys who trained there felt the same. One person may have had better genetics or more mental strength, but it didn't fucking matter. What matters is that you're going to be as weak as your weakest training partner."

I recently had my best total in a year. 890-with a 170lb press, 315# back squat and a #405 DL at 185#! I give the credit to my consistent training and the constructive, yet at times venomous, motivation from my training partner Justin aka "Thor".

I already had in mind a number I was going for during my warm-up. But during my lifts, it was Thor's prodding that made me jump from 290# to 315#. He said, "Why not jump up. You've been doing the work to get there." So I did. Then instead of the pat on the back I was expecting, he followed up by saying, "It looked kinda easy. You could have done a little more. Too bad it's your last lift." Asshole-but he was right. I had limited myself because I was feeling sore from the day before so I set the bar lower for myself. But a good friend or training partner will get help you get out of your own way and push your limits in a way you may not even think is possible. It doesn't help that Leslie, his wife, is the same way too.

Our job as trainers is to motivate our clients to go beyond mediocrity. The gym is the one place that a person can go for constant motivation and leave with a sense of accomplishment. Especially during these dour economic times, we have an added responsibility to inspire our clients with a sense of success that they may not be receiving from work or at home due to stress. And helping someone get a PR may be generate a type of mental momentum they can carry outside the gym as well.

Speaking from personal experience, I know my athletic success is due in part to large degree of the consistent support, albeit sometimes motivational-ly demeaning at times, from the Crossfit members I train with. And I do my best to give it back as well. Great teams win by putting the goal above themselves. At Crossfit, even when competing against each other, we are pushing each other simultaneously. For us "teamwork is working together-even when apart".

Despite our constant verbal jabs which have become part of our training routine, Thor and I are close friends. It's hard for me to sandbag when he's lifting as hard as he can. See, successful people always surround themselves with other successful people. Whether in the gym or not, make sure the people in your circle are helping you to achieve. If not, they are slowing the team down. And you're going down with them.

Jan 22, 2009

Historic Occasion!

So this past week something truly epic and monumental happened… Yeah, yeah sure we swore in our nation’s first black president. That’s pretty important. But even better, I gave my first seminar. At Crossfit Brooklyn, we had a Carnival of Skills day. We took a break from our regularly scheduled programming (read CF Mainsite WOD) to try and do something a little different for the members. The schedule was as follows:

• 11 - 1: "Big Engines Don't Slow Cars Down: Strength Training with Squats and more!" w/ Justin Algera.
• 1 - 3: "Kipping Klass" w/ Torch
• 3 - 5: "Hell's Bells: Kettlebells and you" w/ The Supreme Court
• 5 - 7: "Virtuosity Gymnastics Preview: Come and get a taste of CrossFit Virtuosity's programming with Coach Keith. Try tumbling, cartwheels, handstands and more." w/ Coach Keith Wittenstein
• 7 - 8:30: "The Tao of Hauling Ass: Running properly." w/ Kurt Tullar
• 8:30 - until: "The CrossFit Kitchen Sink - Great skills that don't come up in WODs much" w/ Erica and Jeff

So my section was talking about lifting. Now this can mean many different things, but I tried to focus mainly on squats, the bench press (since this is something we rarely do in crossfit) and pulling technique. I also went through the Burgener warm-up and some other snatch technique work and progressions. All in all, I think it did go pretty well. There was a good turnout and people appeared very receptive to what was being discussed. Of course any endeavor such as this is going to produce a couple of issues here and there, but nothing that really took away from the presentation. The participants were great, very engaging, and had some really great questions. I wish I could have touched more on the Olympic lifts, but unfortunately there just didn't end up being enough time, but I will definitely focus more on that next time. What I found is that 2 hours wasn’t nearly enough to get everything in I wanted to, so next time I will limit the information I plan to go over. This is something I should have been aware of as a staff development trainer, but I’m still fairly new to this arena, but now I know better. And we always know what GI Joe used to tell us, right?

Jan 6, 2009

Be a caterpillar: Train Quietly...Perform Loudly

Most people notice butterflies. Lovely little creature with gossamer wings, a tapestry of brilliant colors arranged so uniquely that it reminds us how beautifully created the universe is. Kids chase butterflies, and there are even museum exhibits dedicated to observing various species of butterflies in all the opulence.

Oddly enough butterflies have a short ass life span.

The caterpillar however is the real genius behind this insect. The butterfly spends 90% of its life as a caterpillar. It in this stage that the butterfly builds its body up for life as the ephemeral insect. The caterpillar plods along eating dirt and plants. It is the unsung hero that keeps on drudging along until it is time for it be cocoon itself into its next phase of evolution.

Training is much like that. Everyone wants to show off the hot abs, tight butts, bulging biceps, in essence-be a butterfly. But few are willing to cocoon themselves in hard work, sweat, strict diet, and consistent training in order to emerge as one. Most people would rather take short cuts into the butterfly stage but they, like the real butterfly, will have a short life span before the fat packs on again until they get back on the next new crash product that slimmed them down so fast in the first place. However, those of us who plodded along with heavy weights, lung-searing metcons, opting for healthier snacks, and taking the night off to rest instead of the wild night of drinking, can emerge from our cocoons brilliantly in all seasons. You will be a force to be reckoned with.

Same goes with any other goal. If you lock yourself down and put in the work now, when your season comes, all the world can't help but notice how excellent you are, and people who didn't notice you before, will chase you like the kids in the field.

So be a caterpillar-train quietly so you can perform loudly. And the world will notice.

Jan 1, 2009

It has begun!!!!

2009 is here, Zombie Fitness goes Weapon X!!!

Happy New Year to everyone.