Great job to all those who took part in our testing series last month! We gathered a lot of good data and look forward to building upon our findings as we continue this series throughout December.
OPEX Testing 15.2
Max Assault bike calories in 10-minutes
Deadline for score submission is Sunday, August 30, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. PST.
Please report results here!
This test begins with the athlete sitting on their bike. At the start of the clock the athlete may begin pedaling and accumulating calories. Scoring will be reported as total calories completed in ten minutes as well as bodyweight measured in pounds. Please measure bodyweight immediately prior to this event for accuracy in results interpretation.
An Assault bike is NOT required to participate in this event. If you have an alternative air bike model you may perform this 10-minute max calorie test. The specific model of your chosen bike will be asked in reporting. HOWEVER, we highly encourage individuals to utilize an Assault bike for standardization if possible.
In addition to completing your challenge, we are asking all participants submit a picture of themselves next to, or sitting on, their bike. Please send your best assault bike pictures to email@example.com !
Comprehensive results will be posted shortly after all scores are received.
Is Social Media Slashing Your Progress?
We live in a social media driven world.
Gone are the days when Facebook (or if you recall MySpace) was the only platform on the planet.
Now, we’ve got to keep up with our tweets to keep up with on Twitter, our connections to connect with on Google+, creative pics to post Instagram, our network to build on LinkedIn, and, for the young guns, the action to catch for our SnapChat accounts—just to name a few.
The fitness realm in and of itself is filled with high consumers and producers of social media content.
- PR backsquats boasted on Facebook.
- Crazy handstand feats and planche holds caught on Insta.
- Beautifully poised and posed squat snatch catches blowing up the news feed.
- Rantings and reviews on everything, from the best pre-workout supps to take to thoughts on new workout standards, recovery techniques and the shoe of the moment
- And, of course, our daily food log in photos.
No it’s not just you.
It’s many of us.
After all, the more Likes, followers, shares or re-posts we get, the better right?
The better for What!?
Sometimes, less is more.
In other words:
How often do you see super stud athletes—Rich Froning, Tiger Woods, Katrin Davidsdottier, Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, Lebron or Arnold himself, getting the camera ‘just right’ to post and boast their latest feat in the gym to their 5,000 closest friends every single day, or even two to three to five times daily?
They are busy actually focusing on their progress and training in the gym.
(Sure, you can argue they still do post frequently. After all, many of them do have a social media team or sponsors behind them that expect frequent posts—but, still, even with some professionals aboard, they aren’t ‘Boo-yeahing’ the camera day in and day out with their personal success. If anything, they are sharing more about what’s going on in their lives and inspiration from outside the gym as well).
As you scroll through your never-ending daily news feed, filled with work cubicle updates, re-posted inspiration and shirtless selfies of others living their lives, it can be uber easy to get caught up with the want (and need) to post more frequently about your own amazing life. (Considering Facebook is the “US Weekly” for us average Joes and if we want to be known, heard or seen we’ve gotta stay in the ‘game’).
However, a great question to ask yourself, before hitting the ‘Share’ button on your social media channel is:
Am I focusing on getting more attention, or actually making gains—and perhaps celebrating those gains with others?
In other words: What is my why behind this post?
NO, your posts do not need to be philosophical or works of art in order to make it ‘feed worthy.’
But instead, by simply asking yourself:
- Am I posting or thinking of a PR I need or want to hit, because I am dependent on recognition or needing approval?
- Or, am I sharing a remarkable gain or feat I’ve worked hard to accomplish, something that is inspirational or intended to help others?
…You begin to cultivate genuine, connected content.
You may have heard this saying on integrity: “Integrity is doing the right thing—even when no one is watching.”
When it comes to training (and posting on the worldwide web): “Training (that yields progress) is working hard, head down, and remaining focused—even when no one is watching.”
August 28, 2015
Coach Brian Foley
Peak For Competition
Throughout the off- season majority of athletes competing in the sport of fitness are going to be in accumulation. Spending months and months building a wider base for the upcoming season. As we get into to the later months of the year I encourage my athletes to participate in one or two competitions that we can prep for. This allows for small peaks within an accumulation phase. Below are two skeletons of what an accumulation week may look like and what an intensification week may look like.
– Competitive athlete, wants to make it to regionals
– Competing in the 2015 Granite Games.
ACCUMULATION: This is her base training. Large volumes of general training focused on specific goals.
Row Repeats/ Run Repeats
A. Back Squat %
B. Clean Pull/DL /Complex
C. Glute Hinge
Grinder Knee Flexion/ Midline Stability
A. Jerk Intensive
B. CP Upper Body Vert. Pull
C. EMOM Upper Body Push Work
D. Gymnastic Density Sets
45-60 Min Easy Aerobic
A. Back Squat – Intensive
B. Snatch Pull/DL /Complex
C. EMOM Bending +Gymnastic
Lactic Power Sets
Assault Bike 30/30 Repeats
A. Upper Body Hor. Push /Pull
B. Scap Work
C. Strict Gymnastic Sets
D. Muscle up Skills+ Upper Pushing
A. Back Squat – Dynamic
INTENSIFICATION: 4 weeks out from the Granite Games, volume is dropped and intensity increases.
A. Back squat – Intensive
B. Snatch / Clean – MAX
C. Odd Object
Muscle Endurance Sets
W/ Constant Movement
W/ Barbell + Advanced Gymnastic
Lactic Endurance Sets
45-60 Min Easy Aerobic
Warm up: Handstand Walk Skills – 10 min
A. Split Jerk – Moderate
B. EMOM – Touch and Go Work
C. Front Squat/Back Squat Intensive
Easy Aerobic – W/ Ski Erg
Comp Simulation #1
Comp Simulation #2
Comp Simulation #3
Comp Simulation #4
To work with Coach Foley, please contact our Exclusive Coaching Coordinator Erin Carter to set up a consultation!
Establishing Gym Culture With Remote Coaching
In the past few months, I’ve made a big transition after finishing the first level of the OPEX CCP. I’ve sold my gym and have transitioned to 100% remote coaching, using the principles I’ve learned during the past few years in working with OPEX.
During this transition, I have noticed one really big difference between on-site coaching & remote coaching and it might not be what you think it is. (more…)
Deep Embodiment of The Love of Fitness
I’ve been going through a period of deep reflection as of late. Those coaches out there who have gone through the Life Coaching module will appreciate that I am in the “Reflection” stage of the Four Seasons of Learning.
One of the ways I spend time reflecting is through communicating with like-minded friends, colleagues and coaches who also like to play with ideas. The art of playing with your thoughts is a concept ingrained in me by many of my mentors, most notably Bernie Novokowsky. (more…)
What Do The BEST Athletes Eat?
What is your fuel of choice when it comes to supporting or recovering from your training?
Peanut butter and chocolate milk? A particular protein powder? Gatorade? Perfect Food Bars? Ice cream?
Ask 10 different people, and you will get 10 different answers. (more…)
It’s always a challenge getting the message across to people interested in learning gymnastics.
In my experience most people see and want to do gymnastics elements, but haven’t the vaguest conception of the work it has taken to achieve these skills.
I have hosted a six week introduction to gymnastics course in the past and have had athletes disappointed that they hadn’t achieved a muscle up by the end, bearing in mind they didn’t attend all the sessions and the only gymnastics they did was during each session I taught. (more…)
10 Tips To Relax On Rest Days
Stress can be brutal, heck it could even kill you.
And let’s face it, we are a stressed society.
Check out these facts*:
- 1 in 5 Americans experience ‘extreme stress’ and 3 in 4 report experiencing at least one symptom of stress in any given month (i.e. lack of sleep, emotional stress, unhealthy foods, etc.)
- Stress is the primary cause of 60% of all human illness and disease
- 3 out of 4 doctor’s visits are for stress-related ailments
- The average American gets 10 ‘vacation days’ and 8 national holidays as part of their job (The average worker in a country, like France, gets 7-weeks)
- 90% of Americans are stressed over money
What stressors do you face in your daily life?
Even the stressors you may not necessarily view as ‘stress’ can have a great impact on your quality of life and health, such as:
- Your progress in your daily training can be suppressed
- Your sleep can substantially decrease
- High caffeine consumption to “combat” stress symptoms such as fatigue and lack of mental acuity
- Over-reliance on energy drinks, supplements and shakes for nutrition sources (as opposed to real food)
- Poor digestion
However, because they have become your ‘norm’, you may not even realize why or how they are keeping you (and your body) stressed.
How does stress specifically harm your body?
When stress becomes a regular occurrence in your daily life, the hypothalamus (brain command center) is activated and triggers your adrenals to release cortisol: the stress hormone. Some stress is a normal part of life, and cortisol is a hormone that is intended to be released in a specific rhythm throughout the day (for instance, high in the mornings when you awake, and gradually decline throughout the day).
However, with chronic stress, an influx of cortisol happens, and this influx of cortisol leaves your body with some not-so-pretty side effects, including:
- Leaky gut (intestinal permeability)
- Heightens sugar and hunger cravings
- Impairs your body’s ability to burn fat and decreases your metabolism
- Raises your blood sugar levels
- Triggers poor immunity
- Imbalances your hormone levels
- Provokes depression, anxiety and mood imbalances
- Suppresses your HPA-axis (hormonal imbalance)
…Just to name a few.
While total stress avoidance is realistically unavoidable in life…that’s what rest days are for.
Use your rest days with this intention in mind: De-stress.
After all, if you are not incorporating some form of stress management on a regular basis, you will sabotage all of your best efforts with diet, exercise and supplements.
Here are 10 Ways to Alleviate Stress on Rest days
- Get outside. Fresh air does a body good. Get some Vitamin D in the great outdoors.
- Actively do something out of routine. Something you don’t typically do. Rock climbing. Paddle boarding. Swimming. Hiking. Biking. A yoga class. Get outside the box and just do something for daily movement.
- Socially or creatively do something out of routine. Check out a festival or event going on in your city; attend a Meet-Up; go to listen to a local band; take a stab at pottery making; visit the local animal shelter and play with the pups; grill out at the park; explore the shops on a popular touristy street in your town; again, get out of routine for a few hours.
- Cook something delicious. Pull out that recipe book collecting dust, or Google search a Paleo-inspired dish you’ve been craving (i.e. pizza, ice-cream, tacos, etc.) and have fun with it!
- Give meditation a try. Check out 8-Minute Meditation to get started!
- Give back. You are always on a schedule, and have a laundry list of to-dos, that it can be easy to forget there is a bigger world out there—outside ourselves. Serve lunch or dinner at a homeless shelter, tutor or mentor kids one day per week, visit a nursing home and play Bingo with some older (and wiser) folks. Volunteering is linked to improved health and decreased stress.
- Clean it. Be productive and de-stress at the same time. Clearing the clutter can help clear the mind. Organize your closet or that stack of papers sitting on your desk. Deep clean your bathroom tiles. Wash your sheets. Use that rest day to go a little extra mile in getting life together (to promote less stress throughout the week).
- Connect. Intentionally schedule time on your rest days that you may otherwise be at the gym to connect with friends or your social network (in person). According to a recent Gallup poll, the happiest people in the world are those who have 6-7 hours of social connectivity in their days.
- Self-care, specifically sleep! You know you need it…but how often do you do it? This could look like anything from a massage or ‘body work’, to a pedicure, facial, haircut, ice bath, mobility session…really giving your body some nice R & R.
- Relax your mind. Check out from the thinking, planning, achieving, striving, to-doing you do on a daily basis and take some time for a much needed ‘brain break’. Read something, just for the enjoyment of it, watch a documentary or movie you’ve been meaning to see, tap into your inner creative (painting, writing, photography)—do things that allow your mind to just be in the moment.
It is so important to do these things consistently because they allow your to be mindful and present – when you are worrying about everything else in life you are building stress. When you are enjoying something that interests you and your mind is fully engaged in that you are relaxing. You can’t always be “on” with work and challenging activities because it will burn you out over the long run