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Entries in plyos (3)

Saturday
Sep172011

CrossFit Charlotte - 6th annual Fight Gone Bad

One of the regulars at my YMCA fitness classes told me he was competing in the CrossFit event, "Fight Gone Bad".  This was the 6th annual event, also serving as a fundraiser for three different charities, including the Wounded Warrior Project

I've written about CrossFit before, but as a reminder each workout has a unique name, often in-memoriam of fallen soldiers and servicemen and women.  "Fight Gone Bad" was designed to mimic the physical endurance demands of a mixed martial arts bout, featuring five minutes of work, one minute of recovery, over three rounds. "FGB" got its name after all-time great UFC fighter B.J. Penn undertook the workout one day, and described it afterwards as being much like "a fight gone bad".  The name stuck.

Here's a glimpse at the workout structure:

Three (3) rounds of:

  • Wall-ball, 20/14 pound ball, 10 foot target (Most reps) 
  • Sumo Deadlift High-pull, 75/55 pounds (Most reps)
  • Box Jump, 20" box (Most reps)
  • Push-press, 75/55 pounds (Most reps)
  • Row (Most Calories according to meter)

The weather was much cooler than a normal early September Saturday thanks to the cold front that came in yesterday, but the athletes toughed it out and I saw some tremendous performances. 

I had been debating taking a few breaks from my half-marathon endurance training (races in October and November) to add some Crossfit-style workouts.  Being in this atmosphere has definitely motivated me to get off the spin bike and put the running shoes away once in a while and not to forget mixing in a CrossFit-style workout.  I'll also be adapting the FGB workout for my YMCA classes, beginning next week.

Here's a sample video of "Fight Gone Bad":

Saturday
May072011

Plyometric Bodyweight Drills

Often I get asked questions like "I don't want to join a gym, but what else can I do besides running?" or "How can I spice up my workouts without having access to equipment?"

I'm a big fan of plyometric bodyweight drills due to my time running track in high school and college. (note - I was not very good and probably lost 99% of my heats)  I use bodyweight plyos as warm-up drills for most of my fitness classes, and also as a form of Tabatas to get everyone's heart rate elevated and make them earn their trip to the water fountain.

Plyo drills are a great way to not only challenge your cardiovascular system, but build your explosive lower body power and fast-twitch muscle fibers.  These drills can be difficult to explain and are best demonstrated - so I've decided to use a pretty accomplished source as an example, IFBB Figure Pro Erin Stern.

Erin Stern is the 2010 Ms. Figure Olympia, and competed in the high jump and heptathlon at the University of Florida.  I'm always biased towards track & field athletes, and Erin Stern justifies my feelings with how well she hits each of these drills shown in the below videos.

Erin Stern is one example of why it takes a lot more than just "going for a jog" or reading a magazine on the StairMaster to achieve the sort of physique you can be proud of.

 

 

 

Sunday
Feb282010

Fitness Spotlight: Julia Mancuso

As the 2010 Winter Olympics draws to a close, I figured this would be a great time to highlight the training and nutritional outlines of both a men's and women's Team USA competitor. For the women's side of things, we're going to highlight gold medal skiier Julia Mancuso.

Mancuso has some different training habits, though I am a big fan of the varied nature of her workouts.  For someone who makes her money (figuratively and literally) in the cold snow and ski slopes, she's also a big fan of getting out in the sun and surf:

  

I also love seeing the explosive plyo trampoline jumps as well as the lateral aglity drills in beach sand.  As I said before, I love varied/multiple training days and even though this was a promotional video from VISA, clearly there's a degree of validity to the training footage.

   

There is not a lot available on her eating habits (though I suspect there will be more articles and interviews following the Olympics after her performances).  However one brief article shows that when traveling, she tries to get as many veggies and lean meats as is possible, as well as limiting the grains and glutens.