James can be reached at TwinFreaks CrossFit, where he is an owner and trainer. James coaches barbell lifting classes and CrossFit classes. Contact him by email at james@twinfreakscrossfit.com or by phone at 720-204-2631.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Stimulus and Adaptation

Saturday night, Sunday, and until 2 pm today I've been lost in post meet reflection.  Our guys did great which made me wonder why some guys do great while some wander the labyrinth of "fitness" for years with no discernible improvement.

I wanted to show Mike how much better his ugly first double body weight squat was than mine, so I tracked down a video of mine.  I was mildly surprised to see that the video was from 2010, and while that's actually two years and a few months ago instead of three years ago, it seemed to me as though it was only some months ago.

And so I was forced to realize not that I gained 80 pounds on my squat in some months, but rather that it took me me two years and a few months.  I can of course cite as many excuses as necessary to explain what took me so long, and some of them are even quite good like the one about how I was lifting with a hernia for way too many of those months and constantly fearing that perhaps my intestines really would fall on the floor through my nut sack.

But maybe I need not defend my 80 pound gain.  It's something less than stellar, and yet it's probably in the top few percent among people who claim to train.

So I did this thing which was less than stellar and perhaps to some not even very good but which still compares favorably to so many people I know or have heard about second hand, and with my deep love for Humanity I was compelled to meditate on what so many people insist on fucking up.

At length I grew frustrated in my fruitless meditation, so I turned on facebook.

And there, on the road to Dumbassness, the scales fell from my eyes.

Most people, it became apparent, are focused on the brutality of their work outs.  This is understandable because I have noticed that posting my actual normal work loads garners nothing, while posts about prodigious volumes ending with the trainee dissolving in blood and vomit get three "likes" and two comments.

An appropriate stimulus, on the other hand, gets a desired adaptation.

And oh yes, I have been guilty of three like, two comment seeking behavior myself.  I just decided somewhere I would rather improve even if it's not a dramatic process.

Ah, and at 2 pm today?  I did a rather banal bench and press session.

It's not comment worthy.  It's merely calculated to give me an adaptation for my August meet.

I'm not stellar, but I have to improve my positioning on the Top Fifty List.

I don't know. To me being there feels better than posting about how I'm going to get there.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Colorado State Championships

Saturday, 3/2/13, I went to Denver with Barney, Mike, and Ricardo for the NASA Colorado State Championships.  I had planned on handling these three guys, but I also picked up two orphans, Ben - who trained with us last summer - who ended up pulling 622 weighing 212, and Adam who benched 303 at 181.

Mike and Ricardo had too many PRs to count, six I think, and along the way they both got their first double body weight squats.

Mike with 165 Kg.

Ricardo with 200 Kg.

They both made it look much easier than I did when I did it on the same platform three years ago.

I'm excited to be part of this small but motivated group that is working to raise the floor on what constitutes a good lift.  We're in a good position to push and pull each other, and over time we might get a few more to join.

We also have a couple women who will be in a good position to challenge state and even national records in the next few meets, and they further strengthen our collective efforts.

I was proud of Barney who failed to meet his potential this time around, but who made a credible attempt to increase his own state records.  He narrowly missed his state record squat attempt on depth even though it looks great from our camera angle.  He and I had been working over the past few weeks on the speed of his descent, and he looks much closer to a 16 year old than a 66 year old here.  Barney will be back lifting much more than this in August.

I had a fun if exhausting day sweating 33 lifts by five lifters.  Of necessity our guys will take a week off now, but the women and I will be hammering it again today or tomorrow getting ready for May when I will coach again and August when I will finally get back on the platform.

Friday, March 1, 2013

2 pm, Squat Doubles

With five months to train, my heavy day is just starting to get heavy again.  I wanted to get some video early on and see if there are any glaring holes in my form.

To anyone I've ever invited to "come back at 2 pm," this is what the work sets look like.

375 x 2

390 x 2

405 x 2

Yes, the last rep was getting heavy and there is some adult language.  I don't care.  I'm not trying to be a modern man.

And too, it's still only 98% about me.  If I didn't train, how could I expect my trainees to?

Kaitlyn breaks 200: