20 Years

I trained for a short while with a national level powerlifter and I always wondered how the heck he got so strong. During one training session he bench pressed 5 plates...yes 5, which equals 505 lbs with relative ease! I felt as if it was impossible for me to achieve that level of strength or that he was some genetic anomaly. I asked him one day what the secret to his inhuman strength was and he looked at me and replied with a confused look - "It's taken me 20 years to do that; I've never taken a break..."

Don’t compare your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 20.

Wikipedia has a great definition "Patience is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting on negative annoyance/anger; or exhibiting forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer-term difficulties. Patience is the level of endurance one can take before negativity. It is also used to refer to the character trait of being steadfast."

The fact is in society today we want instant results and look for quick fixes to get skinny, strong or anything in between. It takes time to attain such status and if you anticipate success immediately you are bound to be frustrated. The most effective method to combat impatience is by setting small and attainable goals; do not become fixated on big goals. These big goals such as getting a ring muscle-up are great and important to have, but is fraught with failure as you journey towards achieving it. Its best to set short term weekly and monthly goals that allow you a sense of achievement without becoming disenfranchised with the process. Above all else, stick with it and show up, then when a young impatient athlete asks you how you could ever accomplish such a feat of strength, you can reply with a confused look and say "Its taken me 20 years to do that; I've never taken a break..."

A Gym For Everyone!

Here at CrossFit Brownwood we pride ourselves in our ability to take any person, regardless of their fitness level, experience, shape, or age and dramatically improve their overall health!  We are able to do this in an energetic, fun, and a safe environment with outstanding coaches!

Our program is designed to be broad, general and inclusive to help prepare for fitness and health. We train with kettlebells, barbells, medicine balls, gymnastic rings, speed ropes and other various pieces of equipment.  Routine is the enemy, so our workouts are constantly varied, high intensity and with functional movements.  These movements apply directly to prepare the human body to take on the rigors of everyday life and fight back against the aging process!

A big part of CrossFit is community, family, and camaraderie. Having a good base of positive people around you is the best environment to train in. Not only will you be pushed harder because of the support from everyone, but you will have a great time doing it. Take a look at your "Globo Gym". When you walk in, you will see a bunch of people with Ipods. Everyone is secluded and not interacting with anyone else. This leads to boring workouts that have no intensity (which means ineffective) and eventually pushes people to quit exercising. It is a sad sight to see. When you are here at CFB, you will see that the energy is high, everyone is encouraging, and everyone really cares about each other.

In the CrossFit Foundations class we teach you proper mechanics for these functional movements, and continue to review them in the regular group setting, as safety is a priority for us. We first teach you proper mechanics, we drill them consistently then we add the intensity. Remember, any activity can result in injury. CrossFit is safer than most activities because we incorporate movements your body is MEANT to do. When was the last time you saw someone outside of the gym doing a bicep curl? Never, this movement does nothing for you in real life. Now when was the last time you saw someone deadlift in real life? Pretty recently I bet.

Our gym is built around providing an experienced coach to every class. No where else can you find a training experience that combines functional movements, a great energetic atmosphere, and an outstanding team of people to coach you along your fitness journey! Our coaches are what I believe is the single best attribute of CrossFit Brownwood! With over 75 years of combined REAL WORLD fitness experience in olympic lifting, powerlifting, personal training, gymnastics, body building and athletics! Our group of coaches is sure to find a way to help you to succeed!


The King of All Lifts

The Deadlift! How could I NOT write an article about my favorite lift of all time? Its such a simple yet primitively brute exercise. Not like the Olympic lifts or even the squat, the deadlift is a basic test of strength, picking something heavy off the floor. Most of us are not at our  absolute genetic potential of strength and muscle mass, so in order to improve we have to identify our weaknesses and get them addressed! Its all about imbalances, lack of muscle and technique.

deadlift setup.jpg

The setup:

Positioning at the beginning of the lift is everything, I can look at a persons setup and it says everything about their ability to effectively move the weight. From the picture above you can visualize a triangle, these three points should create a 90 degree angle at the hips. The bar should be positioned close enough to touch the shins, upper back tight just like a squat.

There are a couple cues that everyone needs to remember when deadlifting. The lift is always initiated from the HEELS of your feet. Think about pushing your body through the ground, not lifting the weight off the ground. A common issue is some like to initiate the lift with their upper back and typically the reason a lot of people fail when the load is too heavy.

Throughout the entire lift the bar should be TOUCHING your body, never should it drift away from you. Keep the bar close, upper back tight (not rounded!) and heels solid.

Imbalances:

We are all very different from each other and with any of the basic powerlifts there are distinct muscle weaknesses that we have and need to address. For the majority of us weak hamstrings and glutes are the most glaring. A strong posterior chain is what gives you a big deadlift, I would classify the deadlift just as much a leg exercise as it is a back exercise. A person's ability to activate their hamstrings and glutes from the very beginning of the lift will equate to a much higher weight to be lifted. My advice is to work on assistance lifts that focuses on the hamstrings and whenever you are doing front or back squats please do not cut yourself short, squat deep and below parallel to maximize hamstring development (lower the weight in order to accomplish proper depth!).

So what can i do?

What if I have a hard time initiating the lift from the floor?

  • First ensure your setup is correct and solid.
  • Do assistance work from a deficit, finish your deadlift days with 5 sets of 5 at a moderate weight.
  • For those serious about your deadlift and wanting to hit your max then speed deadlifts against a band are great for building explosive power off the floor.

What if I can't get the bar past my knees?

  • Make sure your back is not rounded and the bar stays close to your legs.
  • Perform band pull-throughs for 5 sets of 10 twice a week. Also GHD for your hamstrings for 3-4 sets of 10 twice a week.
  • "Pausing" the bar at your weak point will help, hold it there for a few seconds and then explode with power to finish the lift. Make sure to go light on this one!
  • Block pulls are also an option for the more advanced lifter, position the bar on a box just below the knee. This movement forces the activation of the glutes/hams in lieu of the upper back

What if my grip is the problem?

  • Sometimes it could just be where you position  your hands, get the grip in tight and close against the legs.
  • Simplest way is to wrap a towel around the bar, and for 3 months do all your deadlifts with a towel. this increases the diameter of the bar forcing you to strengthen grip.
  • Static hanging holds from a pull-up bar work or static holds of the bar at the top of your deadlift for 10+ seconds.

Best Advice I can Give...

Save yourself! Don't push to see how heavy you can go every time you deadlift! In the powerlifting world we use the phrase "save it for the platform" - which is why we don't see heavy maxes scheduled too often for the deadlift. Save your 1RM for a day that your ready and feeling good, the deadlift takes a huge toll on the central nervous system so mentally you have to be hungry for it that day. Being proficient at the deadlift is no different then being proficient with any other lift or skill. Make it a priority, focus on your deadlift for 3 months straight. Do assistance work, watch videos, get with our coaches to help you and come in for extra class time. When your ready test your 1RM, assess how well you performed and then move on to the next mountain to conquer!