Friday, January 28, 2011

5 Things I Miss About my Globo Gym

5. The Sauna - There is nothing more fun than sitting with my bare ass on a cracked, warped piece of wood, in a dry hot room.

EXCEPT, sitting with my bare ass on a cracked, warped piece of wood, in a dry hot room with a bunch of old naked men...

4. Bird Legs.  There is nothing sexier than a man with bulging biceps, and a stacked chest that can barely be contained by a shirt... sitting on top of a set of legs skinier than a 12 year old bulimic.

3.  Computer Linked bikes - gosh I miss the days of racing with my buddies at the gym.  Nothing quite as much fun as trash talking about how I just fake beat him on a fake course on a fake bike.  Of course I didn't have anyone I worked out with, so I just trash talked the computer biker.

2.  The free towels - Whenever I accidentally dripped water down my chin from the water fountain, I always had a free towel close at hand.  It was a good thing I never sweat enough to use it for that.... because it'd be gross to use a sweaty towel on my lips.

1. The TVs!!!  After I left my Globo Gym, my streak of 1,035 episodes of Oprah ended.  Brett Farve has nothing on me.

Globo Gym... I <3 you.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Case for the Whiteboard

Why does Crossfit have a whiteboard?  It is a unique part of our program.  At first, I understood the basic reason for it... to write down my result and track progress.  Others believe it is for the competitive types to compare scores.  It was after a few months did it really sink in its real purpose.  And I think it is more than either of those.

But first, why don't you use the whiteboard?  I can only think of a few reasons why.

1. "I didn't feel like it."  Really? You are too lazy to write it down?  You just finished 20 minutes of hell and you can't muster the strength to walk over, pull off a cap, and move your arm a bit?  Not buying this one.

2.  "I forgot."  OK.  I'll admit that with all the great friends you make, you get busy talking and totally flake writing it down. Every. Once. In. A. While.  If it happens more than once a cycle, you need to put a muzzle on that mouth and put up your score.

3. "I'm embarrassed."  This seems like a good excuse.  However, no one at Crossfit 540 will ever judge your score.  Many of us have come from the absolute depths of the board.  Hell, I was last for MONTHS.  I wrote down every single shitty score.  Every single one.  If I didn't finish, I wrote DNF in PINK... just to make sure it was clear.  You know what?  I NEVER felt judged.  Not once.

People like me know how long it takes to get bigger, faster, stronger, so we will never pass judgment.  So you are holding yourself back under false pretenses.  In my opinion, writing down your score puts your psyche on notice:  you are not afraid of holding yourself accountable and measuring success.

And finally,
4.  "I think it is stupid/I don't believe in it."  This may be the only valid excuse I can think of.  You simply don't buy into the mechanism of publicly tracking your WODs.  You aren't competitive and you don't care to remember your last score.  I think this is problematic, since the premise of Crossfit is to improve.  This may not be the place for you.  We get results... when you sip the kool-aid and follow the program.... modify it and we make no promises!

Whiteboard Undressed
So, in my opinion, what is the real purpose of the whiteboard?  It is simply this, to solidify for you, publicly, how you felt about your performance at that moment.  If you were disappointed, writing it on the whiteboard SEARS it in your mind.  On the wonderful flip side, when you have a great WOD, you set a PR, beat someone who normally kicks your ass, or beat a personal goal.... writing it down is a joyous celebration of that moment.  Sometimes it is simply a celebration that you CAN write down a time.  It means you FINISHED the "damn it to hell" WOD.  The whiteboard makes your emotion about the WOD very real, very tangible.

I remembered my time and weight lifted for almost every WOD for the first 5 months.  Why?  Because it was easy for me to recall my emotion at the time.  It ranged from sadness, shame, frustration, anger all the way to relief, surprise, joy, and elation.  Making the emotion tangible had a profound effect on my psyche about my results.  I liked feeling the pride of my score, so I worked like hell to replicate it.

So write on the white board and write it in a journal so the next time you can compare and see just how far Crossfit will take you.

Friday, January 21, 2011

I'm Back Newbies...

After a few month hiatus, I realized that I miss blogging about fitness and specifically Crossfit (also known as the "Fitness Cult" or "Those Crazy People").   For those of you not aware of my past, my old blog was 40 year old fat guy with 1 arm gets fit.  The title was no longer appropriate so I stopped blogging.  However, I have too damn many words to go cold turkey, so I have to get it out, and you have to read it.  HAHA...

Well, my progress has remained steady, but I don't want this blog to be about me.  I want it to be about the newbies.  You know, the ones joining gyms and making resolutions in January.  My statement is not a criticism, hell at least you give a damn to try.  The question is do you give a damn enough to stop trying and just do?  Crossfit requires doing.  It is not kind to people "trying".  It usually chews them up and spits them out about round 3.  During round 4 the rest of us step on you ... a lot.

So, I have some advice to any and all Crossfit newbies.  Here is my original advice as a fat guy just a few months ago:  Crossfit Tips.  Those were good tips, but left a lot to be desired.  After celebrating 1 year in Crossfit, I have some recommendations for anyone really wanting to get results.

1. Commit to Crossfit for at least 1 month with no skips or substitutes.  The only acceptable excuse for skipping a class is (a) an injury or (b) a family emergency.  Other than that, you MUST go to the box and do the WOD.  Don't make up your own.  Do the damn WOD.

2. Listen, learn, set aside your ego, and accept that you suck.  Everyone sucks at Crossfit when they start.  If you don't suck at it, then you probably don't need it.  Get over yourself and stop trying to come in to show everyone how big your balls are (note: I use this analogy because its typically us guys with the egos, most women don't have egos or balls).  Just listen to the trainer, do what he says, and do your best.

3. Learn the form.  VERY important.  Check the ego, keep the heavy weight off the bar until you stop screwing up the form.  Form = safe performance = results = big balls.  Note: realize that proper form takes MONTHS to perfect.  So don't get discouraged, but don't think you have it in a week.  Unless you have only 1 arm, do not follow the form over to the right.

4. Measure your body, take pictures, find a pair of pants that barely fit.  Write it all down, and put it somewhere safe for a month.  Come back at the end and do a comparison.  The progress may be slight but it WILL be noticeable.  Notice I didn't say weigh.  You can, but you'll be disappointed.  Crossfit builds muscle, especially the first few months.  You will gain weight at first.  Then the fat starts melting :D

5. Socialize, make friends.  We all give a damn about you and want you to be successful.  Introduce yourself, tell me your goal, ask for my help, give me money cause this blog is SO DAMN GOOD. ;)  See... my friend is sharing my box.  I just wish he'd kept his shirt on.

6. Don't skip.  Yeah I already said it.  But at first, you don't realize there is a proven method of WOD programming.  If you skip or sub a WOD, you are saying your programing is better.  It isn't, not yet.  Maybe one day, but not until you study the theory and experience it.  If you hate Cardio, oh well.  If you hate Weight day, oh well.  CROSSfit, CROSSES many aspects of fitness.  Success = doing ALL the WODs.

Month 2 will actually be less kind than month 1.  I'll tell you why later.