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Athletes preparing for the Open, keep an eye out tomorrow as our coaches will prepare a short piece on their reactions to the release of 15.1 as well as some thoughts on preparation for and strategy to get through it!

Also if you are preparing for the Crossfit Open, it’s not too late to get your Prep Guide! Get all the tips and information you can from Crossfit Games Winner of 2007, James Fitzgerald

ATTENTION SHE BLOG FOLLOWERS: She will be doing Open workouts on Friday then if needed Monday. This will mean Thursday off BUT Sunday may require some flush work and prep potentially for Monday!

February 28, 2015

opex, opex fitness, opex journey, james taylor, personal training, exclusive training, crossfit

Misconceptions

What makes a coach a great coach?

When the words “great coach” come up, many people associate winning teams, podium athletes, and underdog stories, of a fight to the top, with the subject

Think: Phil Jackson during Michael Jordan’s era on the Chicago Bulls, Louie Simmons of Westside Barbell’s champion lifters, Coach K of the Duke basketball dynasty, Vince Lombardi of the Green Bay Packers 5-time NFL Championships, and Mike Burgener of the coined ‘Burgener Warm-up’ for PRs on your snatch.

All wonderful examples of great coaches, mind you.

However, that being said, there are also a lot of misconceptions about what defines a ‘great coach.’ For many coaches out there, it’s important to recognize that being great coach goes far beyond what any leaderboard or PR may reveal.

Here are a few misconceptions to chew on:

  • You have to own a gym in order to be a good coach. “Many coaches put expectations on themselves that, in order to be the best coach they can be, they need to own a gym. Unfortunately, with this misconception alive and well, you often see a lot of organizations that don’t have many good coaches as employees, because all the ‘great coaches’ often end up leaving to start their own gyms—and so the cycle ensues. Others fall into the trap of believing that in order to even begin to toy with the idea of being a ‘great coach’, they must first own a gym. It is necessary to have focus on the business side of coaching in order to be successful, as we teach in our CCP Business Systems. However, owning a gym is only one plausible business decision relative to coaching and it’s one that doesn’t have to be part of being a ‘great coach’. I think the coaching industry would benefit a lot by more great coaches working together, as we have at OPEX for instance.
  • Your worth as a coach is defined by ‘top tier’ results of your best athletes, team, or some specific individuals in your gym.Regardless of how many clients you work with, coaches default to looking to those select athletes at top of their sport or fitness and at how well they perform. Unfortunately, this ‘default’ forces coaches to overlook their hosts of other clients—how much have they improved ‘average’ athletes. Great coaching can happen when you take an average athlete, and make them better—improve their lives, help them attain their personal goals, aligned with their own values and inspirations. Great coaches should not lose sight of their majority.
  • A coach isn’t great unless you have been able to attain a large following. Many confuse ‘great coaching’ with the number of followers one has. How many people are following their program? Or liking them on Instagram or Facebook? Or commenting on their blog? Unfortunately, measuring your greatness on the volume of your followers is only a glimpse of the actual coach you are. What matters is what is happening on the front lines—not necessarily on social media or blog hits—the and care and meticulousness you put into your programming, your continual hunger for knowledge and growth, your connectivity to your athletes and followers, your holistic consideration of lifestyle factors that greatly impact your athletes and clients, inside and outside the gym. Don’t get stuck in the framework that in order to be considered a ‘great coach’, you have to be a heavy influencer to the masses. You can still reach many within your network, your gym, your clients.

Great coaches are made, often times, when no one else is watching. Put in the time, the learning, mentoring under others, and the experience of coaching into practice, and great coaching will gradually unfold.

For more on becoming a great coach, check out OPEX’s Coaching Certificate Program—a holistic approach to training up coaches to be better coaches and to develop a sustainable business and client following in the process.

Function

Function 2/28/15

Row 1000m @60%
Rest 2:00 minutes
Row 1000m @70%
Rest 2:00 minutes
Row 1000m @80%
Rest 4 minutes
x2 cycles (shows 6 sets total)

Being

Being 2/28/15

10min 70-80% effort
Row 200m
10 KBS light
10 walk lunges

rest walk 2mins

10mins 70-80% effort
5 dips
10 AD cals
10 box step ups
+

15min Z1

Use today as flush day

Will

Will 2/28/15

AM
AD 30 sec @85,90,95%
rest walk 60 sec
x 9
– increasing effort every 3 sets

PM
A. PC&J – tough single, FEEL fast and snappy, power and speed focus
B. Emom 4 min – HPS x 2 – 70%
+
General, dynamic and specific prep
+
Open 15.1

She

She 2/28/15

AM
RTW 30 min EASY

PM
GDS prep – based on open workout
+
AD 90 sec
rest 60 sec
Row 90 sec
rest 60 sec
AD 90 sec

 

 

February 27, 2015

opex, opex fitness, npgl, crossfit, amanda goodman, exclusive coaching

Focus on Success

“Don’t be afraid of failing.”

Athlete Amanda Goodman will never forget when Coach James Fitzgerald told her that following what, she thought, had been a bad training session.

“That small piece of advice has helped me concentrate more on my successes rather than creating negative energy during any competition,” she said.

Amanda is no stranger to competition. This year is her fourth year competing in the Open, on the tails of two CrossFit Games appearances in 2013 and 2014.

“I still get just as nervous every year about the Open. It doesn’t actually get easier but you know yourself better. I’ve learned that I have to trust my training and myself to make the right decisions to get the best possible outcome,” Amanda said.

Here she shared a few words of advice for other athletes partaking in this year’s Open:

  • Play to your strengths. “When approaching each Open workout you have to pick a strategy that plays to your strengths. If its not in your wheelhouse, maybe do it on Friday so that you have time to repeat it if necessary.”
  • Know your body (and trust your coach). As far as the training surrounding Open workouts I leave that up to my coach. If you have the capacity to keep your normal training volume along with the stress of the Open, then don’t change a thing. If you are heading in for the first time just make sure whatever else you do during the week sets you up so that you feel good when hitting those workouts.
  • Focus on the little things you can control. It’s up to you handle the details. Are you getting enough sleep? Water? Food? Are you recovering well? These things become a little more important.
  • Plan your attack. Go into every week with a plan and a goal, listen to your body and don’t be afraid to hurt.

It’s not too late to give this year’s Open your best shot. OPEX’s Open Prep Guide is one of the most extensive Open guides out there and offers you weekly, play-by-play workout strategies, coaching advice, specific warm-ups and recovery tips through all 5-weeks of the Open.

OPEX’s team of coaches were up and at ‘em bright and early at 6:30 this morning to film this week’s Open Prep Guide webinar for our athletes who are in it to give it their best shot over the next 5 weeks.

Function

Function 2/27/15

For time
100x Single unders
10x Chinups
10x KBS, Russian – 55/35#
90x Single unders
9x Chinups
9x KBS, Russian
…..
20x Single unders
2x Chinups
2x KBS, Russian
10x Single unders
1x Chinups
1x KBS, Russian

Notes:
-Refer to Oct1, Aug 3 for comparison
-Post time to complete in comments

Being

Being 2/27/15

Open 15.1
+
20mins Z1 your choice

Will

Will 2/27/15

AM
AD 15 min @Z1
+
Mobility specific 10 min

PM
A. SC – build to 85% in 6 sets FAST
+
FT:
10-8-6
Alt pistols wtd. – 2pd
21-15-9
chin up
+
Row 1k TT – increasing effort every 200m

 

She

She 2/27/15

GDS prep – based on open workout
+
A. Emom 6 min – PC&J x 1 – building small from 65-75%, FAST and snappy feel good reps
B. BS; 1,1,[1]; rest 3 min – only last single tough, BUT feel fast from bottom
+
General, dynamic and specific prep
+
Open 15.1
+
20 min Z1 cool down flush

 

February 26, 2015

opex, opex fitness, formerly opt, coaching education, crossfit, personal training, exclusive training, coaching education

Resilience

OPEX’s definition of fitness is: “the journey of physical potential and purpose.

Using that as a starting point, we can build upon determining what it means to be “more fit” than currently, or “more fit” than another.

My belief is that one of the underlying “things” that determines growth and superiority in fitness is a person’s resilience.

Everyone is looking for it, and everyone wonders what exactly is needed to build it.

Is it earned?

Is it given?

It’s both.

To understand various levels of resilience, in order to determine the prescription to improve it; we must first look at the continuum: the different levels of fitness resilience.

First, there is specific fitness resilience (i.e.: Running a marathon; Training and competing in a competition in your specific sport)

Then, there is general fitness resilience (i.e. Serving your country—and being fit and prepared for whatever comes your way)

Then, there is specific “general” fitness resilience (i.e. Training to be physically and mentally prepared, in order to push through the unknown and unknowable in CrossFit)

I believe resilience is born out of one’s environment and managed through our perceptions.

If our perception is changed, it allows for an exponential growth, not linear growth, in the development of resilience.

I see people that sit at various levels of this resilience ordering, and, ultimately, the way in which one ADAPTS to whatever  “perceived” stressors come their way, determines a lot about their own resilience.

For example:

Higher ORDER
Fast adaptation/Low perception
-Fast adaptation/High perception
-Adaptation/Low Perception
-Adaptation/High perception
-Slow Adaptation/Low perception
-Slow adaptation/High perception

Lower ORDER
Once you have an awareness of where you sit on your own resilience level in your situation at hand, you are then able to transcend to a higher order by working on adaptation and perception.

Ways one can “master” resiliency.

1.Take your kimono off. Be vulnerable. “Dare greatly”
2. REMOVE “judgment”;  ADD “advancement”
3.Balance Realism in training
4. Create an open space for people to SUGGEST
5. Record and Analyze with enthusiasm, NOT intensity
6. Cover all bases in training, then allow MAGIC to happen
7. Pace as needed without thinking
8. Recover “best” between work

I wish everyone the best of luck in the upcoming Open.

Be “Resilient!”

 

Update to the Open Prep Guide!  We will be releasing a preliminary short write up on Thursday night each week.  The bulk share of the information will be released Friday (webinar, recording, and substantial write up) so that we have the proper information compiled but we understand that many of you will want to take a run at the workouts Friday so we will be there for you!

 

Function

Function 2/26/15

A1. KB front rack RFESS – 3×6-8/leg – rest 20 sec
A2. Close-grip bench – 3×8-10 – rest 20 sec
A3. Bent barbell rows – 3×8-10 – rest 2 minutes
B1. Waiters walk – 3x50ft/arm – challenge loading
B2. FLR on low rings – accumulate 45-90 sec per set x3

Being

Being 2/26/15

Rest

or

A. back squat 2, 2, 2; rest as needed
B. emom – PC TnG x 3 moderate weight – 4mins
+
Row 1min 90% aero rest 1min x 4
+
AD 1`min all out
+
20mins Z1 AD

Will

Will 2/26/15

Rest Day

She

She 2/26/15

GDS prep – Come into the gym and prep for an open workout, do all general, dynamic and specific rep. Once warm and ready to go, shut it down and go home.

 

 

February 25, 2015

opex, opex fitness, exclusive coaching, coaching education, formerly opt

Never Let Fear Fuel Your Performance 

“The law of detachment says that in order to acquire anything in the physical universe you have to relinquish your attachment to it.  This does not mean you give up the intention to create your desire, you don’t give up the intention and you don’t give up the desire, you give up your attachment to the result.” –Deepak Chopra, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success

The reason you have attachments to outcomes is because you will think that particular outcome is better than any other option.  This will always be true in your own perception.  If you are really, really attached to that outcome, you will fear the loss of not attaining it.

A basic rule of behavior this:

People only fear the loss of things that they perceive as more positive than negative.

People look forward to the loss of things that they perceive as more negative than positive

It makes sense if you think of it from an evolutionary perspective.  Good equals survival, bad equals not.  This is very primal thinking, very black and white.  I want to play with a higher order perspective here.

The trouble comes when we have an outcome that we’ve attached this positive meaning to, because if we fear the loss of an outcome our behavior will be affected.  We will want to do everything in our power to attain it.  But you know that saying, what you fear or run from you run into?  Well that’s what our behavior does.  Sometimes we create the very conditions for our fears to come true.

Example:  Last year during the opens I came across an athlete who was so worried about not making regionals.  He knew the exact pacing he needed to perform at in order to place well in 14.4.  But because he was afraid of not making it to regionals, he made a choice out of fear to try and string the last 5 muscle ups together and subsequently burnt himself out.  It wasn’t his pace.  He needed to stick to the program–the pace set out by his coach–but he didn’t out of fear.  He was more than capable of making it back to the rower, but he couldn’t get back on the rings to finish it.

His fear was that he wouldn’t make it to regionals.  And because he didn’t get back to the rower, he found himself facing his fear head on.  He didn’t make it.

So to quote Robin’s post from Monday b/c it’s absolutely critical:  “Keep your thoughts on your game plan and YOU, stay present and feel the pressure pass through you.”

This is NOT about giving up your intention or your desire for your outcome.  This is about releasing the attachment to the outcome, not being run by fear and sabotaging your ability to stay in the present and execute your optimal performance.

Sharon Prete
CCP Life Coaching Co-Conductor

Function

Function 2/25/15

Rest Day

Being

Being 2/25/15

A. clean and jerk build to a tough single
+
30, 20, 10 for time
Row cals
box jump sd 24/20″

rest walk 5mins

10mins 85% aero
Row 200m
AD 20cals
10 wall balls 20/14# 10′ target

Will

Will 2/25/15

AM
RTW 45 min – your choice on movements, all non eccentric and EASY pace

PM
A. SS – build 90% in 6 sets
B. Gauntlet – OHS x 3 – building from 185# every 75 sec increasing load 10#, 6 TTB before every set, use rack for OHS
+
3 RFT:
25 wall ball – 30#
20 burpees
15 DL – 225#

She

She 2/25/15

A. Emom 4 min – HPS x 2 – 65%
B. Emom 3 min – PC x 2 – 70%
C. Power jerk – 85% in 6 sets
+
AD 3 min max cals
rest 20 min
FT @97%:
15-12-9
PS – 75#
bar facing burpee

 

February 24, 2015

opex, opex fitness, functional fitness, life coaching, personal training, exclusive training, live life

Live a Larger Life

I wake up every day. I stretch. I eat my breakfast. My wife and kids wake up. I hug each of them with purpose and meaning. I prepare my clothes and work stuff, pack my bags, kiss them all good bye and start my work day.

I drive to work, drink my coffee, settle into my gym and begin the daily practice. I truly enjoy my day. Sometimes though along all persons journeys, there are tough times. These times are always larger than life, small but stingers, etc…but they hurt in some way.

I have lost some of my closest mentors over the past few years – Bernie Novokowsky and (Shaman) Manfred Lukas. Both have instilled in me what took me years to recognize – “life is hard work, its a struggle, get over it”. So simple yet so powerful. It makes that reflection on that and those times of pain easier – I can laugh and know that I am still gonna get up tomorrow and see my kids and hold my wife.

For some, like my friend Jason Fine (above), those days are numbered. Like 30+ days.

Imagine if you had an opportunity to speak to someone as courageous as this so close to the “possible” end. What would you ask?

I had this opportunity. I asked him how does one deal with that being so close. After all I am a very inquisitive person at heart and am deeply involved in purpose.

You know what he tells me?

“Its tough man. But you know who its hard for? Those around me. And you know what, I’m nicer now to people. I am giving hugs away at the cancer center.”

I mean, what the @#$% right? WTF!!!

This guy is the epitome of human nature.

Everyone has tough times. But what are you willing to stress over, create fear over, create anxiety over…etc…that YOU control, that you are willing to not keep striving to be better, to live more fulfilling, to live with purpose, to share your gifts, to FIND your gifts…I mean c’mon people. WTF right?

Hats off to you Jason. If its any consolation the legacy you have created is this – I will fight. I will share. I will not stress over the small stuff. I’ll find purpose. I will.

So drive that speedy BMW with one good eye and a numb foot like no one is watching. Smile. You’ve created something that my community will promise to challenge themselves on through fitness.

“The challenge upon us is to find that reason to live and share our gifts WITHOUT facing death to see life’s importance”

Onward,

James

Function

Function 2/24/15

10 min AMRAP @80-85%
10 Row calories
1 Wall walk
10 Row calories
2 Wall walks
10 Row calories
3 Wall walks
….ect

Rest/prep 8-15 minutes

10 min AMRAP @80-85%
15 SDLHP – 75/55#
12 Step-ups – 6/leg altern.
9 AbMat situps

Being

Being 2/24/15

15, 12, 9 all out for time
PC 115/85#
burpees

rest 15mins

Row 1k all out

Will

Will 2/24/15

AM
AD 15 min @70%
AD 15 min @75%
+
Mobility specific 10 min

PM
A. CGBP; 3,2,1,1; rest 2-3 min – building sets, last single tough
B. GH sit up; 20,20,20; rest 2 min
+
4 sets @85,90,95,100%:
20 cal row
20 DB S2OH – 60#
20 HPC – 115#
20 bj – 24″
rest walk 1:1

She

She 2/24/15

5 min amrap @80%:
10 cal AD
5 HSPU
25 DU
rest 3 min
5 min amrap @80%:
Row 250m
3 MU
6 BJ – 20″
rest walk 3 min
x 2

 

 

February 23, 2015

 

opex, opex fitness, formerly opt, personal training, exclusive coaching, coaching education, ec, robin lyons

Achieving “Full Effort Full Victory” Mentally

“In slow motion, the athletes eyes close and then re-open focusing back to the barbell. There are 70 seconds left in the 10 minute workout; the athlete is trying get air back into their lungs, and as soon as the air fills the lungs a violent exhale follows to ride the C02…The cycle continues, legs are heavy and burning, something inside is telling the athlete to slow down…Within that same split second the athlete has a choice to either give up or trust their training and see what they are capable of… Without hesitation the athlete notices this familiar anxiety and discomfort and brings themselves back to the present with self-talk … ‘Let’s go!’, ‘Earn it,’ ‘Power through!’  The athlete grabs the barbell; chalk and sweat fall below as the athlete continues reaching for more; Moving the barbell with purpose and metal fortitude.”

The depiction above is what I love about sport; Period. Over the years I have competed in many venues nationally and internationally and have come to understand the importance mental preparation: Your ability to focus rules for better or worse in high-level performance sports.

Focus in sport can be defined as “the ability to sustain effective and consistent attention on the task at hand, regardless of internal and external distractions.”

Performing your best against your competition all comes down to your mind.

Fitness, at the elite level, is a very small separator; the mind dictates who will be standing on the podium or attaining a personal best performance.

Don’t just take my word for it. Research by Gould, Eklund and Jackson has found that competition plans, as well as sticking to one’s routine, are key separators between Olympic Games medalists and non-medalists. Athletes who medaled had competition plans firmly in their minds and were not spontaneous or doubting of their strategies. Additionally, the researchers found thrat medalists had very systematic pre-competition performance routines they consistently adhered to throughout their Olympic experience. On the other hand, many non-medalists reported having spontaneous competition plans and regularly deviating from their pre-competition routines.

I encourage every competitive athlete to practice purposeful visualization before they compete as well as utilize pre-game routines and rituals on game day. Mental preparation isn’t going to improve your conditioning, however more importantly, it will allow you to draw the most from your current conditioning to become resilient when it counts and fulfilled when its over.

Three strategies I find useful for optimizing your mental game before an important event or competition, include:

1) NO Pressure in the PRESENT. What are you thinking about hours or moments before your compete? Are you nervous? Are you thinking about outcomes that haven’t happened yet (the future), or what results you had last year (the past)?  When we think of the past or the future, it distracts us from what we are trying to accomplish NOW, and creates additional stress and anxiety that isn’t helpful.  When we are not present, anything can pull us away from our focus. I challenge you to check in with yourself and your thoughts before competition. Keep your thoughts on your game plan and YOU, stay present and feel the pressure pass through you.

2) Find your Super Pilot. Set your day up so you can be on Auto-pilot (AKA Super Pilot!). To find your ‘Super Pilot’, prepare your mind and body beforehand.  Start with solid visualization.  This can be practiced week out if you know your event or the night before or the morning.  Visualization takes practice, and more practice, but do it until you see and feel yourself completing the event perfectly.  Visualization is a powerful tool that gives your mind and body a chance to connect and rehearse the EXACT feeling you want to have during the event.  You will find, with good visualization practice, that your mind and body can just ‘let go’ and do what it have been shown.  Secondly, what are your rituals, favorite shoes, music and pre comp foods? Set those out to be ready to go for game day.  Having less to think about and do on competition day always feels good. Create a routine you have control over, so if anything happens that you didn’t plan for, you can find comfort in your preparedness.

3) The Struggle makes it Special. If you have put in the reps and the training all year, then the struggle is something you are familiar with.  Competition is an opportunity to bring your best to the table, and learn more about yourself.  Great athletes are addicted to the strong sensation of discomfort, in the search for a deeper sense of self.  Embrace the pain.

-Robin Lyons

Function

Function 2/23/15

A1. Double KB front rack squat – 3×8-10 – rest 30 sec
A2. Seated DB press – 3×8-10 – rest 30 sec
A3. SA DB high row – 3×8-10/arm – rest 3 minutes
+
10 rounds for time
4 Burpees – jump + OH clap
8 KBS, Russian – 55/35#
12 Double unders

Notes
-Sub for 36 single unders per round

Being

Being 2/23/15

For Time
30 CTB chin ups
15 FS from the ground 225/155#
10 wall walks
15 FS from the ground 225/155#
30 CTB chin ups

Will

Will 2/23/15

AM
Row 500m @90%
rest walk 1 min
x 12
– rest 5 min after 6 sets

PM
A. SC + HSC + Jerk – build to a max
B. Amrap 5 min – 77% of A
+
FT:
50 strict HSPU
rest 10 min
FT:
40 MU

She

She 2/23/15

A. C&J – build to 85% in 5 min
B. BS @20X1; 2,1,1; rest 2-3 min
+
3 sets @90,95,100%:
Row 15 cals
15 CTB CU
15 burpees
Rest walk 1:1

RAN

Row 500mTT

 

 

February 22, 2015

 

OPEX, OPEX Fitness, Coaching Education, James FItzgerald, Matt Springer, EC, Exclusive Coaching, Formerly OPT

EC Spotlight : Matt Springer

When I first moved to AZ, my world actually became smaller. I transplanted myself in a desert with not a REAL idea of what I was doing, or where I was going.

I had the CCP humming along, I was coaching clients individually online, but something was missing. What was missing was daily interactions with coaches and clients that wanted to be on the same journey of the exploration into fitness that I was. What was missing was a FULL TIME team dedicated to spreading the news on correct fitness design and prescription.

I go back and look at my interactions with people who were following the blog at the time and the comments I made to them. One of those comments was directed at Matt Springer, a Big Dawg follower at the time.

From afar what I could appreciate from Matt was his loyalty first and foremost to what to some might seem trivial, like a blog, but to me it meant the world. Matt and those that were followers for so long MIGHT have felt that; but I have not expressed just how much it meant.

So you could imagine my delight when I started to become surrounded by these people from simple “call outs” to them. After all, why not dream a little dream? So I made mention to Matt on a forum post “…we’ll see when you come out here and work for OPEX (then OPT) in AZ…” He thought i was joking, I knew he’d be here.

So the story goes, he finishes school, he grabs the missus and his cat and bam – he’s in AZ.

“Springer” has quickly become one of the crew here on my team of coaches that are inspired to help others in fitness today. He has worked as my assistant with a number of clients that really appreciate his reliable assistance and insight. He brings a great attitude to the facility our team all enjoys, and an experience based in science.

Matt loves to work with folks who love the technical pursuit; the weightlifter-hybrid strength biased, more powerful folks who like dashes of balance in fitness in their programming; his style of design is very qualitative based and enjoys the playful evolution experienced with clients on changing design based on the progress made.

If you are a client who wants a GREAT understanding of the “why” behind OPEX design and your fitness process, he is the guy for you.

I can speak on behalf of OPEX. If you want a change in fitness. If you want real results and you want an OPEX coach to help you on that journey, Matt is ready to help you.

Want to work with Matt? Contact Erin here for more information on how to get started on your journey.

Onward,
James

 

Function

Function 2/22/15

REST DAY

Being

Being 2/22/15

REST DAY

Will

Will 2/22/15

REST DAY

She

She 2/22/15

REST DAY