Monday, November 30, 2009
6, 3, 3 handstand pushups
2 x 50 walking lunges holding 25lb dumbells
summit trainer 12 resistance, 30 minutes 2.09 miles
Brad Lessinger Profile
Part of my training philosophy is you should hang around people who are more advanced than you. Just by being around people who can run faster, lift more and are training harder than you, you will raise your game.
With that in mind, I am very excited to profile my friend Brad, because he definitely fits this description. He is the complete fitness package. Brad has trained consistently for 20 years now, and it shows. I don't know too many people in their mid 30's who can do sets of 10 with 80lb dumbbells in incline bench press and also run a 10k in 42:29 (that's 6:50/mile!).
The one thing that has always struck me about Brad is his consistency and his work ethic. He is focused on his diet every single day, and he outworks nearly everyone in the gym. Once I put him through a bodyweight workout (something he had not really done before), and I was amazed at how hard he pushed himself, even though his body was screaming at him to stop.
Fitness success is simple, but not easy. We all know what to do - eat right and work out hard. But many of us have trouble actually doing it. Brad is a real world example of what happens if you actually follow the playbook and dedicate yourself to living a healthy, fit lifestyle. If you want to see what this kind of dedication will get you, scroll to the bottom of the post and check out his picture.
I interviewed Brad, and his answers are below. He was also kind enough to give me his current workout cycle, lifting routine and diet program. I imported them all into PDF's so you can read them in the blog. (If they don't show up in the e-mail feed, just click here to go directly to the site). You should be able to hit the print button in the PDF reader to print the workouts or diet out if you like.
Brad - thanks very much for sharing all of this, I appreciate it.
1. What motivates you to train? I think I am simply motivated by the way exercise makes me feel and as a single man, the way I look. I am never satisfied by the way my body looks and it has pushed me to work hard in the gym.
I try my best to eat healthy during the week so when the weekend arrives I don't feel bad if I have some cocktails or am a little more relaxed with my diet. I am to the point of my gym career that I get satisfaction out of putting forth a solid effort and getting in a good workout. When you get to the point that no matter how tired or shitty you feel and you know that if you battle through a workout you will feel better, then exercise will always remain a priority in your life!
2. What have you learned from your training in the last year or two? I have learned a ton over the past few years -- nothing more important than listening to your own body! If I feel I need rest, then I rest - if I feel I need more carbs or fat in my diet, then I eat more fat and carbs - if a certain part of body hurts, then I am careful with the amount of weight-lifting I do.
I feel the majority of people overtrain, as a gym rat I know at times I have most definitely done so! So I really try to keep up the pace, get in my cardio, stretching, abs, weight-lifting, etc. but with out burning myself out. Another thing is to definitely keep it fresh, switch up your workouts, do different cardio, some free weights, some machines etc.
3. What advice would you give others regarding training? Enjoy it and figure out what works best for you! I love the feeling of accomplishment I feel when I leave the gym, I don't dread going but rather love the challenge to put in solid workouts.
Some will be better than others, but if you push hardest on the days that seem the toughest, I assure you that you will make huge gains. In addition, figure out what works best for you - there are so many different ways to train, biking, boxing, muai thai, running, swimming, crossfit, etc. Do what you enjoy most and keep a balanced routine.
I mix in spin classes and swimming on occasion but I am most definitely a runner when it comes to cardio! In addition, I like to get in 3 solid days a week of weight training. I try to keep all workouts under 90 minutes of total gym time to keep myself from getting burned out.
Brad's Training Program
Brad's Weightlifting Program
Picture of the Day
Sunday, November 29, 2009
6, 2, 3 handstand pushups
run 6 miles
I walked out the door at 6 am this morning -- the temperature was 23 degrees. One of the reasons I run is to experience mornings like this. Even though I don't think of myself as "a runner", this morning I was reminded that running is a great way to enjoy fitness and the outdoors.
Getting up this morning to run helped me feel more alive, and gave me the opportunity to take time to appreciate my life and the world we live in. That's a pretty good trade for getting up an hour earlier.
I found this post that another person wrote about why they run. I am not sure who the original author is, but here is the link - Why I Run
The post is copied below:
One of the things that I love about running is that I can do it alone. Don’t get me wrong, I am a social person and enjoy the company of others. But it’s during a few hours of solitude every couple of days that I get to do some deep thinking, character building, gut checking, and dreaming.
To me, a lonesome runner is akin to a reclusive poet escaping to the mountains to write a masterpiece. J.D. Salinger didn’t dream up Holden Caulfield in the local cafe and you won’t find Harper Lee hanging out at the nearby Starbucks. Their finest work was done in peace and quiet. Runners, like poets, compose their best work in the hours spent alone in deep thought and self reflection.
I think about a lot of things while I’m running. I think the most about the events in my life and how they have shaped me. I think about my mother and how it’s been nearly 17 years since she passed away. I remember her struggles and how she fought. I remember those events teaching me how to be a fighter. I think about living a good life in her honor.
I think about my grandparents and the harsh life they had to lead. 50 years of back breaking labor to build the family farm. And I think about how they worked so hard but never had enough time to relax and enjoy their accomplishments. I remind myself to achieve a lot, but never work so hard that I can’t walk away from what I’m doing for fear of feeling like I’ve failed.
I also think a lot about my health and extending my quality of life as long as possible. One of my favorite parts of running a race is seeing the 70 and 80 year old men and women running healthy and happy all the way to the finish line. I imagine being like them someday and inspiring others around me without saying a single word, just like they have inspired me.
Running also teaches me to endure. I remember the first time I ran so far my legs stopped working. Suddenly, being “tired” didn’t mean shit. The perspective shift is dramatic once you reach that point of exhaustion. What used to be a struggle becomes a routine and you realize that these lessons in endurance become core to all aspects of your life.
Running has been a gift. It’s taught me to appreciate my time alone and to use it to think about the things in life that are valuable to me. I’ll continue running until my body no longer lets me and along the way I’ll be working on my masterpiece.
Picture of the Day
Saturday, November 28, 2009
5, 3, 2 handstand pushups
row 2000 meter intervals with 4 min. rest between intervals (7)
7:39.6, 7:44.2, 7:38
This link is to a post about 10 Characteristics of Positive Thinking People. This is a little like the "everything I need to know I learned in Kindergarten" concept. We know all of this stuff, but its the implementation that really matters. I copied the list below:
1. They see problems as challenges.
This is in contrast to the way some people see problems as ordeals too great to bear as to make their lives most miserable.
2. They enjoy their lives.
Positive thinking makes people light heartedly accept whatever conditions their lives are in, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they stop trying to better their lives.
3. They always open their minds to welcome ideas and suggestions.
By doing so, they have the chance to get something new that might enable the betterment of many things in life.
4. They immediately expel any negative thought as soon as it crosses their minds.
Keeping any negative thought longer may as well be waking up a sleeping tiger. It actually is indifferent but potential to bring about troubles.
5. They count their blessings.
They don’t complain about not having or getting what they want.
6. They don’t listen to gossips.
There’s no doubt that gossips are closely related to negative thoughts so positive thinkers never let themselves come into listening to aimless and meaningless talks.
7. They don’t make excuses but act straightaway.
You likely have heard how the abbreviation of NATO is jokingly said to represent: No Action Talk Only. Clearly positive thinkers are not its followers.
8. They apply positive way of speaking.
They use sentences with optimistic tone, like : “this problem will surely be solved soon” and “you are quite talented, no doubt”
9. They carry positive body language.
Namely : smiling face, steady strides, expressive gestures, convincing nods etc.
10. They care about their self image.
They take care of their good appearances, outwardly and inwardly as well.
Picture of the Day
Friday, November 27, 2009
George Bernard Shaw
7, 2, 1 handstand pushups
stairmill 30 minutes 178 flights
5, 3, 2, handstand pushups
Not too many people at the gym this morning. I am guessing people have started the, "I will take a break and start back up in January" training program. That means lots of gym time for me this month, and then I will have to find other stuff to do in January so I can avoid the crowds. It is only for a few weeks, because there will be lots of room in the gym again in February...
My friend Paul, who is a serious tech expert, was the person who inspired me to figure out the technology to start this blog. So from time to time I like to try some tech advancement to impress him. My latest is an automatic twitter feed. If you are on twitter, just follow @consistencywins and the link to each day's post will be automatically "tweeted" to you. How's that Paul?
I found a ton of articles by this guy named Dan John. He not only applies a ton of common sense to training and dieting, but he's pretty fun to read too. So you will see a few posts from him in the future.
To start with, here is one on dieting (my favorite part is at the very bottom).
Dan John - Dieting
The article is pretty long. The beginning about the history of some well known foods, as well as the summary of diet approaches, is pretty good. But the end has the best stuff. Here it is:
So, what do we take from all of this? First, notice that when you look over diets in books or articles that most still discuss "weight loss," not "fat loss." If you want to lose weight, that has practically no meaning. Certainly, an accident with a lawn mower would cause weight loss, but is that our goal? Second, study this stuff enough and you'll notice that you'll soon become a prophet of sorts by guessing the next great diet wave.
The most concrete advice I culled from all of this revolves around one basic issue: your food choices. The key here is that you need to prepare yourself on a daily and weekly basis to be able to make good food choices.
Years ago, at a workshop, we were asked to keep a food journal for a few days and simply "add up" the foods we ate. Not the volume, calories, protein, or anything like that; we were simply asked to make a column of the foods we ate during that time. The point was simple: most people eat about ten to twenty foods a week. Don’t believe me? Keep the journal.
If those foods are:
- Cottage Cheese
... then you probably don't need to read this article!
So, some quick ideas:
• Never shop or even go out hungry. That’s right, eat before you go out to eat. Not only will you save money, but you'll make better food choices. Eat before you go food shopping and you won’t buy stuff that'll end up as another chin.
• You must have a shopping list. I have one at work, one on the refrigerator and plenty of extras in a drawer. Take a few minutes to make sure you have what you think you have. Then, stick to the list!
• Buy a lot of the stuff that you're planning to eat. If you decide to eat four eggs a day and you buy a dozen eggs, your new-found enthusiasm will end in three days. Then you'll likely eat something you hadn't planned to eat.
• Snacking on fruits isn't a bad idea. Try to eat a bowl of apples. It's really hard to do. I've found almonds or apples to be ideal snack options. Keep 'em handy and you won't be so tempted to pull into a fast food joint.
Finally, really strive to make good food choices. A woman once asked me if I knew a diet where you could eat anything you wanted. I said yes, but first she'd have to eat two pounds of salmon, three cups of oatmeal, a cup of blueberries, two bowls of mixed vegetables, and a carton of cottage cheese. After she finished that each day, she could eat anything she wanted!
In short, focus on good foods and the rest will probably take care of itself. Just think, it only took us a couple of hundred years to figure this out.
Picture of the Day
Thursday, November 26, 2009
5, 2, ,2 ,2 handstand pushups
run 10k Sparks Turkey Trot 45:38
(76th out of 860 overall - top 9%, and 13th out of 98 in age group - top 13%)
First of all, Happy Thanksgiving! I am very thankful for my family and my health this Thanksgiving. I am also thankful for all of you reading this blog. Nearly 100 people read Consistency Wins yesterday, which is very humbling to me. This started out as a little e-mail to a few friends, and I can't believe how much it has grown. Thank you.
On to the race report:
Last week Jen suggested that we do the Turkey Trot with the kids. There is a 10k (6.2 miles) and a 2 mile run. The weather was cold (25 degrees at race start), but clear, so we decided to fire up and do it. Jen pushed the baby in the stroller and ran with the girls in the 2 mile race, and I ran the 10k. I am definitely not in race shape, so I had fairly low expectations as far as time or placing.
Here are the girls with their race gear, ready to go:
I couldn't believe how many people were at this race. There were over 900 people registered for the 10k and a few hundred more for the 2 mile run. I think that makes this the biggest race in the Reno area this year.
Here is the crowd at the start:
The girls ran 2 miles in 30 minutes, which was a great time for them. That even included a quick pit stop to take a picture with the turkey.
My 10k performance wasn't anything to get too excited about. If you know the area, the course winds around the roads surrounding the Sparks Marina. About 2/3 of the course runs through an industrial area, and the last part circles the Marina itself. The route was flat, but wasn't very thrilling (but then again, it's hard to compete with Monterey). It sort of felt like I was just going for a morning run, as opposed to a race.
I ran again without a watch, which actually seemed to make my pacing easier. When I did that at the Big Sur race, there were Marines calling out split times every mile, so I had some idea of how I was doing. This time, I had no idea what my pace was, so I just listened to my body and went with whatever felt comfortable. It was actually kind of fun to come around the last turn and see what my time was.
I finished in 45:38, which works out to 7:20/mile. I plugged my half marathon time from two weeks ago into the Race Time Equivalent Calculator and it predicted my 10k should have been 45:30. So my time was about right for my current fitness level. However, Brad and his 42:30 10k time have little to fear from me.
Here I am at the finish:
So we all had a good time. This was one of those races that you do just because it makes you feel good. We are blessed to be able to go out on a cool Thursday morning and run with 1,500 other people.
One of the things you can always count on is everyone is happy at a race, especially one on Thanksgiving morning. At the end of the day, that was the whole point in showing up this morning. Have a great Thanksgiving.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
5, 3, 2 handstand pushups
row 5000 meters 20:26.7
1/2 ab circuit
I am going to run a 10k on Thanksgiving morning. It is mostly an excuse to get the kids out, as they love going to races (they are going to do a 2 mile run). I am nowhere near race shape, so Brad's 42:30 is safe. If I break 45 minutes I will be happy.
I thought that since its a turkey trot thing, I might still be able to place well -- how serious can it be? Well, I checked last year's results, and -- its pretty serious. Over 650 people ran the race last year, and the winner finished in 33:08. Hell, 10th place was 37:36. So when you get up Thanksgiving morning, think of me getting my ass handed to me in a 10k by a bunch of fired up turkey runners.
Here is a great article about Matt Stafford (the Detroit Lions quarterback) gutting out the last play of the game for an amazing win. I don't usually post sports related items like this, but the story of how he fought through an injury and ran back onto the field to win the game is pretty cool.
Peter King - Monday Morning Quarterback
And here's a cool chart that estimates your fitness level based upon your resting heart rate.
Heart Rate Chart
I am in the 36-45 age group, and my resting heart rate of around 53-54 bpm falls into the athlete category, which is cool. Check your heart rate, click the link and see where you rank.
Picture of the Day
Monday, November 23, 2009
6, 2, 1 handstand pushups
run 5 miles treadmill 35:51
With Thanksgiving coming this week, I thought I would share this article on the amount of calories that are burned during exercise (the chart is at the bottom of the link):
Runner's World - Calorie Data
Here is a summary of the data:
Running - calories burned per mile = 100
Walking - calories burned per mile = 60
Cycling (17 mph) - calories burned per mile = 42
Now, here is a list of calories for Thanksgiving dinner items. Just go to the link, select what you are going to eat, and it adds up the calories - Thanksgiving Calories
For an average Thanksgiving meal, I got 2875 calories. So just eat dinner, then run 29 miles, and you will be all set!
(The moral of the story is if you are smart about your food choices, you can still enjoy Thanksgiving dinner and not gain weight).
Picture of the Day
Sunday, November 22, 2009
5, 2, 1 handstand pushups*
summit trainer 10 resistance, 3 miles, 37:32
*I am now doing handstand pushups to my nose instead of the top of my head. The extra 4-5 inches range of motion is a lot tougher.
First of all, congratulations to Brad, who ran his first 10k race yesterday. Just to make me feel slow, he ran it in 42:29 (thats 6:51/mile pace)! Brad is a seriously strong dude, so this time is very, very impressive. He used a good cardio cross-training program to get ready for the race, I will post it in a few days. Great job Brad!
If you have a good holiday training/diet plan in place, the next natural thing to do is to start looking towards next year. For me, my approach is going to be pretty simple. I plan on setting fewer goals, and train more by feel than I have in the past. This next year I am going to focus on just having fun and enjoying my training.
There is one goal that I have set for the coming year, though it might take me more than a year to accomplish. I would like to be able to do 10 freestanding, nose to the ground, handstand pushups.
I can only find one youtube video of someone doing this with good form. The flexing at the end is pretty lame, but I guess if you're that strong, you can do whatever you want. Here it is (e-mail subscribers click here to see the video).
I figure if I can do this, upper body strength won't be a problem.
Right now I can only do 5 nose-to-ground handstand pushups with my feet against a wall, so I am LONG way away from being able to do 10 freestanding.
Other than that, a mix of running, interval work and cardio on machines like the indoor rower and summit trainer will be my primary focus in 2010. I am going to emphasize more interval work this next year and see if I can run faster races without having to run 30-40 miles a week.
So when you think about what you want to accomplish next year, make sure to remember to balance the satisfaction you get from setting and achieving goals with a focus on having fun.
Picture of the Day
Friday, November 20, 2009
run 5 miles treadmill, 0 incline, 38:10
What's your holiday plan?
About this time of year, it is tempting to slack off with the idea that you will get serious about dieting and fitness after January 1. I know this is a common feeling because the gym is a ghost town right now, and in January I can't even find a parking space (the good news is the inconsistent people lose motivation by about the middle of February, so there is room in the gym then).
I definitely agree that this is a time to lighten up on your workout intensity and to be a little more relaxed on the diet. But every workout you miss in the next two months, and every extra piece of pie you eat, means you are going to have to work harder after the first of the year to regain your old fitness level.
There are a number of strategies you can follow to make it through the holidays. From a fitness perspective, you can set a Thanksgiving to Christmas goal. For example, set a goal to run 100 miles between those two holidays.
The concept2 rowing website has a holiday challenge to row either 100,000 or 200,000 meters between Thanksgiving and Christmas. For every person that makes it to 100,000 meters, concept2 will donate 2 cents per kilometer to a global food charity.
As far as dieting goes, there are a number of tips you can follow. This is the first list of ideas I came across in Google, I am sure there are hundreds of others Dieting During The Holidays .
None of the stuff from the list is rocket science, but sometimes the most difficult things to do are the ones that we already know the answers to, we just have to consistently implement them. Here's the list:
1. Reduce or avoid alcohol. This can save you a lot of calories.
2. Eat before going to a holiday party. You'll be less likely to fill up on sweets and high-calorie appetizers.
3. Keep up your exercise program. It will help you maintain your weight, give you more energy and allow you to deal better with holiday stress.
4. Bring fat-free or low-fat dishes to potluck parties. Encourage others to do the same.
5. Arrive at mealtime for a dinner party and avoid before-dinner drinks and appetizers.
6. Replace sweets with healthy holiday snacks such as fruit baskets and nuts in shells. They look just as festive and are healthier.
7. Attend only the parties you really want to go to. You'll save a lot of calories - and time.
8. Simplify the meal if you are cooking. Serve raw vegetables with a dip for an appetizer, a low-fat main course with one or two vegetables, and a fruit and low-fat cheese platter for dessert.
9. Set realistic goals. At a holiday dinner or party, indulge in some goodies, but eat smaller portions. Have only one glass of wine or Champagne. Take half a slice of pie.
10. Avoid skipping meals before a big holiday meal. You don't want to arrive starving and then gorge yourself on sweets and other unhealthy fare.
11. Use moderation and relax. If you break down and eat a high-fat dessert, just go easy on what you have the rest of the day or cut back a few calories tomorrow.
12. Drink lots of water.
So, for this holiday season, simply being aware of your food and exercise choices during the holidays will make your life a lot easier when you want to get serious in January.
Picture of the Day
Thursday, November 19, 2009
6, 3, 3 handstand pushups
run 4 miles treadmill 30:00
exercise bike 4 miles 12:00
4, 1 handstand pushups
7, 3, 2 handstand pushups
exercise bike 15 miles 45:45
7, 3 handstand pushups
I was travelling the last couple of days and the hotel gym was fairly crappy, so these workouts weren't the best. But at least I got something in.
Here is a good article about choosing a training approach that makes you happy. Here is the link, and below that are some quotes from the article.
Ross Training - Pick Your Passion
I often receive emails from readers of the site who have watched video of me training. A week doesn’t pass without someone asking where I find my motivation. It is as if they think I’m crazy for training so hard. They cannot comprehend it. Meanwhile, I am the one who is truly puzzled. I cannot imagine training without passion. I cannot imagine putting forth a half assed effort. My mindset is very simple. Go hard or go home. It’s an easy choice that I make each day.
In the words of Harold Whitman,
"Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
In the words of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel,
"Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion."
Wilhelm’s words ring loud and clear for me. I don’t want to be ordinary. I want to stand out. I want to excel. I am passionate about everything that I do. I will never settle for anything but my personal best.
Fortunately, it isn’t difficult to find something that you can be passionate about. You are free to choose whatever you enjoy. No one can pick for you. Regardless of what some may say, you are not defined by the activity that you choose. You are defined by how you attack the activity. A passionate powerlifter is no better than a passionate ultra-marathon runner. He is different. Different is different. Different is not better or worse.
Picture of the Day
Here is a picture of the author of the above article. He is a pretty tough dude.
Monday, November 16, 2009
7, 3, 2 handstand pushups
row 10,000 meters 40:47.0
5, 5 handstand pushups
Think you're tough? Try this:
Here's the original article - Bomb Suit Run World Record.
Here are some excerpts:
CAMP ECHO, Iraq (Army News Service, Feb. 11, 2009) - Servicemembers and most runners probably would not be very impressed with a mile run in just over 10 minutes. But, add to the equation a 75-pound bomb suit made of stiff material, factor in the added heat from wearing it and add a pair of rubber over-boots; and it becomes a different story.
The heavy-plated bomb suit is designed to protect its wearer from an explosion. Its stiffness allows for enough dexterity and agility to accomplish missions, but was never designed for fast, sustained movement.
The average person would not even think of running in one. Then again, the average person runs away from bombs, while explosive ordnance disposal team members are willing to put themselves in harm's way for the welfare and safety of others.
Navy Lt. Jonathan Kehoe, commander, Platoon 602, 63rd Battalion, EOD Mobilization Unit 6, based out of Little Creek, Va., and attached to 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, decided to run for a Guinness World Record for the fastest mile in a bomb suit at Camp Echo Feb. 2.
With a crowd of their Iraqi EOD counterparts, servicemembers and U.S. contractors cheering him on, Kehoe completed the mile in 10 minutes and 13 seconds, beating his target time by almost three minutes.
I am glad these guys are on our team...
7, 4, 3 handstand pushups
summit trainer 8 resistance, 30 minutes 2.40 miles
I like to do a light, no impact workout the day after races to just get the blood flowing. It makes recovery a lot easier.
Staying on the running race theme, I thought I would put together a list of "race tips" that I have learned over time. I am by no means an expert, but for what its worth, here is my advice (in no particular order).
1. Buy marathon socks - If you haven't tried them before, go to a running store or Scheels and buy real running socks. They are made by Nike, Ironman or Wigwam. They are very thin, and make a world of difference as far as blisters, letting your feet breathe, etc.
2. Bring you ID to the race registration - you used to be able to pick up your friend's stuff at registration, but not anymore. Everyone requires ID, or a signed copy of an ID to pick up the race packet.
3. Be a bit cold at the start - Whatever the weather, dress so you are cold when you are waiting at the start line. If you think you should wear a long sleeve shirt, wear a t-shirt. If you think you should wear a t-shirt, wear a tank top. You will warm up quickly after the race starts, and if you are overdressed, you will not be happy.
4. If it is really cold, wear throw away clothes- Bring an old long sleeve shirt and throw it away at the first aid station (usually 2-3 miles into the race). You can also buy knit running gloves for $2 and throw them away as well.
5. Don't wear anything new for the race - Some people like to buy a new outfit, new shoes, socks, etc. for a race. Or some people even wear the race t-shirt. Instead, wear only things you are familiar with. That way you will be sure you don't have any weird clothes issues during the race.
6. I picked this one up yesterday from an ultrarunner. Instead of pinning your race bib on your chest (which is such a pain), fold the top and bottom over so you can just see the number, and pin it near the waistband of your shorts. Make sure you don't pin the bottom portion that has to tear off when you finish the race, just fold it under the number. Then when you finish you can just reach behind the pinned number and tear off the bottom part that the timer takes from you in the finisher chute.
7. Manage your pre-race nutrition - Get into a habit of managing your nutrition the same way before your long runs as you will during the race. For me, I have one banana, one powerbar and if it is a half marathon or a marathon, I eat one GU carb gel. I drink half a bottle of water, and that's it. I know that my stomach is ok with this meal, and it gives me the nutrition I need. But I have only learned this through trial and error. Make your trial and error periods be during your training runs, not on race day.
8. Skip every other aid station - in my experience, for me there are usually too many aid stations during a race. If you stop at every one, you can end up drinking a lot more than you are used to and you can get bloated. I try to take just a couple small drinks of water, and that's it. Also, don't try to be one of those people that drinks at a full run and ends up snorting most of the water and splashing it all over their face (of course I have done that a ton of times). Grab your water, slow to a jog, grab a drink or two, and then speed up.
9. Start slow! - I made this mistake in over half of my races this year, even though I know better. You get hyped up with all the other runners around you and decided that you are really capable of running much faster than you thought. You get excited, go out too fast, and then die at the end and have a miserable race. It is much more fun to pass people on the last mile than pass them on the first mile.
Picture of the Day
Sunday, November 15, 2009
323nd overall (out of 4796) - top 7%
39th in age group (out of 272) - top 14% - lots of fast dudes in my age group
I can't say enough nice things about the Big Sur Half Marathon in Monterey, California (Here's a link to the race website Big Sur Half Marathon). The race is extremely well organized, the course is probably the most beautiful I have ever run, and the area is a blast to visit. The weather was perfect this year too, which was great. This was also my best race from a performance perspective, but more on that later.
We drove down to Monterey on Friday. The only downside to the whole event is how long it takes to drive to Monterey (nearly 6 hours). We walked around Monterey, and then spent the day in Carmel, which was a blast. Here's a picture of some of the wildlife (these are clearly not Consistency Wins readers).
We then went to dinner with a bunch of friends the night before the race. Here Caesar and I are pretending we just drove up in our Lamborghini (lots of nice cars in Monterey).
Here we are all "carb loading" at dinner.
Now for the race. The race is large - it sells out at 5,000 people for the half marathon. Everyone is put in corrals based on their expected finish time so the racers don't bunch up on the course. There is about a 2 minute start lag between corrals (there were 9 or 10 of them), so the slower runners start quite a long time after the starting gun. Based on my expected finish, I was in the first corral, so I only had about 15 seconds between the gun time and the chip time (this race has chip timers that you tie to your shoelaces, so your finish time is accurate).
This was the first race that I ever ran without a watch. I decided I would just go with how my body felt, and the time would be whatever it worked out to be. That ended up being a smart move. There were Marines at each mile marker calling out the race time, so I ended up having a fairly good idea of how I was doing, but I gave essentially no thought to my pace. I just relaxed and enjoyed myself. As a result, this was the most fun I have had at a race.
The result of this non-strategy was a perfect negative split race. They measure time at the turnaround point, which was 7.5 miles. My per mile pace at that point was 8:18/mile (there were a couple of hills prior to that point in the race). My per mile pace for the whole race ended up being 7:41/mile. So I ran the last 5.6 miles in 38:20 (6:50/miles)!!
I was really pleased with these times because I have not run more than 10 miles in a week since the end of September. So as far as race prep goes, I essentially was unprepared and did not peak at all for this race -- yet I ended placing in the top 7% of all runners and had a blast doing it.
This new "Zen running" approach was amazing. I felt great the whole race. In fact, when I got to the 11th mile, I honestly thought "wow, I only have 2 miles to go, that was pretty quick". I chatted with people on the course, took in the view, and just enjoyed running for the first time in awhile.
I also had a great time listening to everyone's watches beep with mile times and pacing, and blissfully ignoring all of it (for more on this, read my Born to Run book review post and the few posts after it). I expect this experience will shape my goals and training program in 2010 - more on that in later posts.
I was also very proud of the other people I ran the race with. Here are brief updates on them:
Jen - As always, I am inspired by Jen's focus and determination. She had a baby earlier this year, and because of a number of scheduling issues, she basically did not train for this race. In the last few weeks she did two long runs, a few short runs, and that was it. Maybe 30 miles of training total in the last two months. But that wasn't going to stop her. She came out today and ran 2:08:10 and placed in the top 40% of her age group. She ran a huge negative split: the first 7.5 miles was at 10:33/pace, the last 5.6 miles was at 8:45/mile pace!!! I am lucky to be married to such an amazing woman.
Here is a picture of us after the finish:
Caesar and Theresa (sorry guys, I don't have a picture) both did well. Caesar had a bad head cold, but still sucked it up and ran a 1:43:23. I think that was a personal record for him, even though he was sick. That's pretty clutch.
Theresa set a personal best of 1:48:09. She wants to qualify for the Boston Marathon, and this time puts her well on her way. The best part is she placed 35th out of 507 people in her age group (top 7%). Great job Theresa!
Cheryl (far left in the picture below) has been fighting a hip/knee injury, so her training has been light lately. In addition, she is running a marathon in two weeks, so this was a training run for her. She still ran a 2:05:07, which was great.
Kathy (middle in the picture) runs all of the time, so she just said, "sure I'll run that race" - she showed up and ran a 2:01:56 like it was no big deal.
This was Bei's (far right) first half marathon, and she ran just over 2 hours. Amazing job for her first long race.
Finally, I am really proud of Cindy (she wasn't there for this picture). She has been battling some ugly medical issues this year (all better now, thank goodness) and she ran a 2:31. I doubt anyone else would even show up for this race after going through what Cindy has the last few months. She is really inspiring.
So in summary, it was a great race, and everyone had a blast. One of the things I love about going to races is everyone is in a good mood. You don't see grumpy people get up at 7 am to run 13 miles. It was a great way to spend a fall weekend.
Here is one more picture of all of us prior to the race start (from left to right - Cindy, Cheryl, Kathy, Jen, Me, Theresa and Caesar):
Friday, November 13, 2009
Alberto Salazar, three-time winner of the NYC marathon
8, 5, 2 handstand pushups
row 2000 meters x 2 - 7:42.4, 7:38.7
Off to Monterey this morning. I will post a race report early next week. I just wanted to get a quick workout in before I left to get the blood flowing. My rowing fitness has dropped quite a bit the last few weeks (due to neglect). Guess I know what I will be doing this winter...
We'll call this post Random Picture Friday.
This first one is David Goggins, the former Navy Seal who is now an elite ultrarunner. This is during the Badwater 135 mile race in Death Valley, CA.
This is Navy Seal drownproofing. Tie your hands behind your back, and jump in the pool. No wonder these dudes are so tough.
This is what everyone who is running the race Sunday needs to do.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
9, 3 handstand pushups
run 5 miles treadmill 0 incline 36:40
I have been excited about writing this Consistency Wins reader profile for awhile now. Steve is an absolute animal. I get tired just looking at his weekly workout, and his commitment level is very inspiring. If you are having a tough time firing up today, just remember that your hard, 1 hour, workout is Steve's warmup.
I have always said that if you want to improve, you need to hang out with people who are in better shape and more committed than you are. I need to hang around Steve more...
Steve's primary competitive fire is focused on cycling, which he details below. But he is also a fitness freak. He does more strength circuit training than I do, and I won't even get started on the 4 1/2 hours of bikram yoga he does each week (that's the yoga done in a 100 degree room) - insane.
When you read the following from Steve, remember that he has a full time job and two kids. This inspires me to stop being a wimp and to get some more workout hours in each week.
Here are some of Steve's comments:
Sometimes I wonder if I am crazy.....but really I would not have it any other way. Every year before the cycling season starts I commit to a couple of goals to focus on to improve my performance and really just to have a purpose in my training. Weight loss has always been the main focus for my fitness goals, but along the way I have become stronger and more passionate.
My cycling peaks for next season include: the madera stage race in March, the Tour de Nez in May and the masters district championships in July. Cycling races start in January and go through September. I use specific races for training and others to try and help teammates win.
Last year I had a total of 25 races with 10 top ten finishes and a couple victories (Ken's note - A couple of victories? Sweet!). My physique caters to criterium racing (Ken's note - these races include a lot of laps around a short course, as opposed to the Tour de France type road races) so I do a lot more criteriums then road races.
All and all I have progressed pretty good for only racing for three years, 2010 will be my fourth season.
Our races are done by categories starting at cat 5 and you work your way through the categories by obtaining points from good finishes (top five or better). I just upgraded to a cat 3 which is middle of the road. Cat 1 and 2 are your pro level riders. At this point I will be able to race all the 35+ cat 1/2/3 races which is a mix of the three masters categories (very hard races).
This level was my goal so for now I will be able to race some really tough races to help me improve. I will get dropped a lot and my ass will be kicked a lot but that is how you improve (Ken's note - we can all learn from this attitude).
Finished my first week of specific training this week. A couple of goals that I have this year are to be more flexible and lose 15-20lbs. I have already lost 5lbs and want to lose the rest by February.
Below is a quick summary of my past week of training, I spend most of the early season doing base mileage and low intensity to promote fat burning and weight loss. The high intensity stuff comes later in the season.
I managed to get a total of 16 hours of training in this week, pretty tough to do -- on a couple of days I worked out multiple times. You know the routine, early mornings, lunch time, whenever you have a spare minute -- but that is what us working class heroes have to do.
Monday – Circuit Training 60 minutes at Chad’s Indoor Power Studio
Tuesday #1 – Cycling intervals 60 minutes – Threshold power testing
Tuesday #2– Bikram Yoga 90 minutes
Wednesday #1- Circuit Training 60 minutes at Chad’s Indoor Power Studio
Wednesday #2– Cycling 2 hours indoor trainer, low intensity
Thursday #1– High Intensity Weight Training 30 minutes – Anatomie Fitness
Thursday #2– Cycling - short power intervals 60 minutes
Thursday – Bikram Yoga 90 minutes
Friday – Rest Day
Saturday – 5 hour low intensity 70 mile bike ride
Sunday #1– Bikram Yoga 90 minutes
Sunday #2- 2 hour low intensity 30 mile bike ride.
Picture of the Day
Here's Steve someday:
Monday, November 9, 2009
8, 3 handstand pushups
summit trainer 10 resistance, 30 minutes, 2.42 miles
It is rare to follow a consistent training program and not have some sort of injury from time to time. In my case, I typically don't have major injuries very often (like screwing up your ankle so bad it hurts to walk), but I do tend to get overuse aches and pains.
In the past, I tried to just push through it. I figured I was just a wimp and it would get better if I muscled through it. That probably isn't the most intelligent approach to managing injuries.
After a lot of trial and error, I have learned that the best thing for me to do is once something starts to ache, switch up what I am doing, but don't stop training altogether. I need to feel like I am doing something, so if I have to stop training completely, I feel like crap. Using this approach, I currently have no aches or pains (*knock on wood*), and feel great.
This seems obvious, but depending how focused you get in your training and your goals, it might be very hard to actually implement. But it is better to do something that helps you partially stay on track (i.e. swim when you are injured from running) than to keep running and really hurt yourself.
Often we can get stuck in a rut, i.e. "I have to run." No you don't. You can swim, bike, become a summit trainer champion, do spin classes, lift weights, etc. In fact, some of the more competitive masters cyclists out there are people who were serious runners but had to switch to cycling for a while due to injury. They loved it, and never went back. Maybe adding variety to your program will take you in a totally new direction.
The key is to let yourself heal, but stay mentally fit because you are still working out and not stuck on the couch. It's the old Consistency Wins philosophy - I don't care what you do, just do something, and do it consistently.
Picture of the Day
Zoe Koplowitz, Achilles Track Club member with multiple sclerosis
8,4 handstand pushups
run 4 miles treadmill 0 incline 29:24
Jen and I and about six other Consistency Wins readers are running the Big Sur Half Marathon in Monterey this coming Sunday. Jen and I have tried to set a rule that our longer races are "destination races". It is more fun to run these things in cool locations than in your backyard.
We did the Big Sur Half once before and had so much fun that we decided to go back. I have a tough time training hard for a race this late in the season, so this is truly just a fun run for me. It's been a few months since I have done distance work, so I am really not trained properly for this race. In fact, after I ran 8 miles this weekend, I actually started to get intimidated with the thought of running 13.1 miles.
I ran the Reno Half Marathon in May around 1:38, but I won't come close to that time here. If I break 1:45 I will be happy.
I had a lot of positive e-mails about the againfaster.com blog post that I put up on Saturday. So here's another one. Here's the original link againfaster.com Better Than Yesterday
In October of 2006, Greg Glassman gave me the most important lesson of my life. It has nothing to do with barbells or pull-ups, sweat or pain. In fact, it has very little to do with exercise at all.
His words, paraphrased and non-profound: The pursuit of excellence is rewarded.
Simple and axiomatic, it would be easy to dismiss this lesson as self-help drivel. Yet put into action, it is the most powerful thing on the planet. It’s taken me two years to appreciate its potency, and ten short months to see its effects.
I’ve pared it down for my own use, coining a three-word phrase that reminds me that today is not just another day: Better than yesterday.
Today is an opportunity to run faster than ever before. To lift more weight. To make better videos and write better articles. To create better athletes. To make every client happy. To embrace the fact that yesterday’s efforts were nothing more than an unsatisfactory attempt at an uncompromising ideal.
You've got to reject where you are before you can get where you're going.“Better than yesterday” is hard. It requires you to be your own worst critic, while maintaining the belief that you are fully capable of remedying your own faults.
This juxtaposition can be hard to sustain. It is easy to find satisfaction in mere competency, to believe that the job you’re doing is the best you can do. The identification of fault is much harder on the ego, an unending assault on the bastion of identity. “Better than yesterday”, with its implicit focus on excellence and explicit criticism of self, is an uncomfortable place.
I have a whiteboard in my office, bearing the unceremonious title “Things We Suck At”. This list is the CEO of Again Faster, and it says nasty things about me and my company. It keeps me honest and unsatisfied, and the second I become smug, it’s there to drive me into action, mocking me for my shortcomings. I don’t particularly like to look at that whiteboard, but it keeps us on a beeline toward excellence, and it’s done more for our company than any consultant ever could.
When Greg drew a capital “E” on the whiteboard at CrossFit Boston and launched into the relationship between excellence and reward, I understood his point, but I didn’t really get it. The concept was too vague. Two years later, “better than yesterday” has given me a concrete way to act on his philosophy, and the results have been profound. We’re way better off than we were yesterday, and tomorrow will prove to be even brighter.
Take this philosophy, and apply it to your pursuits, whether personal or professional. You’ll find, as I did, that excellence boils down to a simple truth: you’ve got to reject where you are before you can get where you’re going. You've got to be better than you were yesterday.
Picture of the Day
Photo from the Big Sur Half Marathon
Saturday, November 7, 2009
8,3 handstand pushups
run 8 miles
The following is a great blog post. It's so good I will paste the whole thing below. Here's the link to the original - Againfaster.com - A dose of humility
Four times a week, I push the start button on my Timex Ironman with the sole intention of defeating a man I’ve never met at a random workout I’ve never done.
More often than not, I fail. Sometimes it’s minutes, sometimes seconds, but the outcome is almost always the same. Mind you, it’s not from lack of trying. I attack every workout with the ferocity of a caged predator, pushing myself to my physical and mental limits.
While failing at the edge is hard to accept, it holds an important lesson. Know that no matter how good you are there is someone out there who is better. Your personal records are yours alone, and your gym records are just that—gym records.
I’ve struggled with this knowledge, unhappy that people halfway around the world are besting my times day after day. This type of knowledge can only drive a man in one of two directions—excellence or mediocrity.
The weak choose mediocrity. These are the individuals who would quit rather than endure the beating. They rest when their heart rate redlines, hands on their knees, head sagging, saving their bodies and their egos with a shield of prepared excuses. Instead of living with the idea that their best was not enough, they give less than one hundred percent, comforted by the thought that there was something left in the tank.
The strong choose excellence. Being second best lights a bonfire of motivation, torching through psychological barriers and physiological limitations. They give it everything they have, every time, and when their best is not good enough, the strong work harder. Out-of-control heart rates and hyperventilation are signals to dig in and push through.
In the pursuit of elite fitness, there will always be someone to chase. Nonetheless, the record boards are written in dry erase for a reason—a single performance can change everything. With consistency and intensity, you’ll catch those that elude you, and your name will be on the wall.
Then, they'll be gunning for you.
Picture of the Day
Friday, November 6, 2009
8,1,2 handstand pushups
You can barely call this a workout, but I had some stuff I wanted to post, so I had to do something.
First, I recently threw down a challenge to Brian to beat 189 flights in 30 minutes on the stepmill. He called me last night, and he did 198 flights. Believe me, that's impressive. Good job kicking my ass Brian.
If you are interested in being more specific in tracking your training and diet, Steve passed a long a great link. Steve is a competitive cyclist (who I will get around to interviewing for the blog at some point) and is serious about his training. His recommendations are worthwhile.
The site is called trainingpeaks.com . A lot of the stuff is free, but Steve said to get all of the bells and whistles you need to pay a $10 per month subscription. Here is some information from the website about what the product does:
TrainingPeaks is the ONE SOURCE that motivated individuals, from beginners to elite athletes use to:
-Monitor fitness and health trends over time
-Track exercise, nutrition, weight, stress & more
-Search and record routes or map your own
-Share workouts and routes with friends
-Upload heart rate, power meter & GPS workouts
-Apply exercise programs and meal plans
-Plan and schedule your own exercise & meals
-Follow a coach, trainer or use the Virtual Coach
Finally, Justin recommended a diet tracking website called SparkPeople.com . It looks like a good way of keeping your diet on track, and it has a lot of features to help you connect with other people who are also focusing on their diet.
In the past I used an iphone app called Lose It that did something similar. You just enter what you eat, and it tells you how many calories it is and helps you budget your meals. Any method that you can use to understand how many calories you are taking in each day is a good one.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
7,2,1 handstand pushups
run 4 miles
This article was in USA Today and it discusses the link between fat and cancer.
Key point: "About 100,500 new cases of cancer are caused by obesity every year, according to the most comprehensive attempt ever to estimate the cancers attributed to extra weight."
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
7,3 handstand pushups
stepmill stair climber 30 minutes, 189 flights
The stepmill is a pretty good cross training machine. This is what it looks like:
If you haven't tried climbing stairs for cardio, you should. My old trainer was in a 13 story building, and we ran stairs all of the time. It crushes you. The stepmill is as close as you can get if you don't have access to a tall building.
Brian really likes this machine, and I know he will be hitting the gym today or tomorrow, so I wanted to give him something to shoot for. 189 flights in 30 minutes -- have fun.
Of all the stuff I post on the blog, people really like when I mention things about other blog readers. When people who are fired up about fitness get together it is fun to trade stories about goals, accomplishments, etc. So to try and keep things interesting on the blog, from time to time I thought I would profile one of my friends and their exercise accomplishments and goals (with their permission of course).
Cheryl is one of the original Consistency Wins readers. In fact she was one of the people who inspired me to start this blog. Even though she has started cross training with weights this year, her passion is running. Her long term goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon. For her age (40 years old), her qualifying time is 3:50.
Cheryl battled shin splints most of last year, so early this year she started cross training with weights and plyometrics to get her shin healthy. One of the easiest ways to fix shin splints is to lay off running for awhile and to strengthen your calves. It worked for Cheryl.
So this year Cheryl added more long runs to her workouts, upped her weekly mileage, and added a little speed work. The most impressive thing about her accomplishments this year is how many races she ran, and the fact that she set a personal best time in every one.
Here's the race list:
Reno Rock n River half marathon, time - 1:59
Prison hill half marathon, time - 2:42 (this race is brutal, lots of hills)
Reno Tahoe Odyssey (171 miles run in legs with a team)
Journal Jog (5 miles), time - 39:54
Lake Tahoe Marathon, time - 4:54
Scheduled to run the Big Sur Half Marathon in November
Scheduled to run the California International Marathon in December
I asked Cheryl if she had any advice or comments for Consistency Wins readers. Here it is:
"The key thing for me this year has been to listen to my body -- ice is my friend." I currently run 30-40 miles a week. I run 10 miles on a treadmill on Wednesday, and a long run on the weekends (15-20 miles).
You won't always love what you are doing, but you have to be consistent. People give up too easily, I recommend that people do something they like and can stick with. That way you can run (or do whatever exercise activity you like) for the rest of your life.
Our bodies are not meant to be sedentary. People who say they hate exercise just haven't found an activity that they enjoy. One of my favorite sayings is: "Your body is a temple, not an amusement park." We need to take care of ourselves, and enjoying exercise (which for me is running) is an important part of your health."
"I believe that running a marathon is a good metaphor for life -- because it is a long frickin way." The sense of accomplishment I get from running long distances is really important to me.
Picture of the Day
Here's a hill that Cheryl might want to try for her next training run:
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
6,2,2 handstand pushups
run 5 miles
There were a ton of runners along the Truckee River this morning. It warms my heart to see people getting their run on in the moonlight at 5:30 in the morning.
Here's some thought provoking diet commentary from Born to Run:
"So the Tarahumara Miracle, when it comes to cancer, isn't such a mystery after all. "Change your lifestyle, and you can reduce your risk of cancer by sixty to seventy percent." Dr Weinberg has said. Colon, prostate and breast cancer were almost unknown in Japan, he points out, until the Japanese began eating like Americans; within a few decades, their mortality rate from those three diseases skyrocketed. When the American Cancer Society compared lean and heavy people in 2003, the results were even grimmer than expected: heavier men and women were far more likely to die from at least ten different kinds of cancer.
The first step toward going cancer-free the Tarahumara way, consequently, is simple enough: Eat less. The second step is just as simple on paper, though tougher in practice: Eat better. Along with getting more exercise, says Dr. Weinberg, we need to build our diets around fruit and vegetables instead of red meat and processed carbs. The most compelling evidence comes from watching cancer cells fight for their own survival: when cancerous tumors are removed by surgery, they are 300 percent more likely to grow back in patients with a "traditional Western diet" than they are in patients who eat lots of fruits and veggies, according to a 2007 report by The Journal of the American Medical Association. Why? Because stray cells left behind after surgery seem to be stimulated by animal proteins. Remove those foods from your diet, and those tumors may never appear in the first place. Eat like a poor person, as Coach Joe Vigil likes to say, and you'll only see your doctor on the golf course.
Picture of the Day
Monday, November 2, 2009
Robert de Castella, world champion marathon runner
7, 3 handstand pushups
row 5000 meters 19:37.4
An American won the New York Marathon for the first time in 27 years. In addition, 6 Americans finished in the top 10. Maybe a resurgence in U.S. distance running? Here's the article: ING Marathon Results
The winner, Meb Keflezighi, was 34 years old, and finished in 2:09:15 (that's 4 minute 55 second miles!), which leads to another excerpt from Born to Run:
"Dr. Bramble began his answer with a riddle. 'This is fascinating stuff,' he said. 'We monitored the results of the 2004 New York City Marathon and compared finishing times by age. What we found is that starting at age nineteen, runners get faster every year until they hit their peak at twenty-seven. After twenty-seven, they start to decline. So here's the question - how old are you when you're back to running the same speed you did at nineteen.?"
All righty. I flipped my notebook to a blank page and started jotting numbers. It takes eight years until you run your best time at age twenty-seven. If you get slower at the same rate you got faster, then you'd be back at your nineteen-year-old time by age thirty-six: eight years up, eight years down. But I knew there was a twist involved, and I was pretty sure it had to be whether we fade away as quickly as we improve. "We probably hang on to our speed a little longer once we get it, I decided. Khalid Khannouchi was twenty-six when he broke the marathon world record, and was still fast enough at thirty six to finish in the top four at the 2008 U.S. Olympic trials. He'd lost only ten minutes in ten years, despite a ton of injuries. In honor of the Khannouchi Curve, I bumped my answer up to forty.
"Forty-," I started to say, until I saw the smile creasing Bramble's face. "Five," I hastily added. "I'll guess forty-five."
"It can't be fifty-five."
"You're right," Bramble said. "It can't be. It's sixty-four."
"Are you serious? That's a-" I scribbled out the math. "That's a forty-five year difference. You're saying teenagers can't beat guys three times their age?"
"Isn't it amazing?" Bramble agreed. "Name any other field of athletic endeavor where sixty-four-years-olds are competing with nineteen-year-olds. Swimming? Boxing? Not even close. There's something really weird about us humans; we're not only really good at endurance running, we're really good at it for a remarkably long time. We're a machine built to run - and the machine never wears out."
"You don't stop running because you get old", the Dipsea Demon always said. "You get old because you stop running"...
Picture of the Day
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Frank Shorter, American distance runner and Olympic gold-medalist
5, 2 Handstand pushups
run 800 meter intervals with 4 min. rest between each interval
2:49, 2:59, 2:56, 2:58
I happened to see on crossfit.com this morning that their workout of the day was 800 meter intervals. Since I was headed to the track anyway, I figured I would just do their workout. Given how little I have run lately, I was pretty happy with my times.
At the bottom of the workout of the day on crossfit.com a number of people post their times for the day's workout. My times stacked up pretty well considering there are some of the people that do crossfit are seriously in shape people.
If you haven't checked it out before, you may want to spend some time looking around on the crossfit site. There is a ton of training information there. I also get many of the pictures I post on this site from crossfit.
Crossfit's general approach is high intensity exercise in a 3 day on, 1 day off format. They do everything from heavy olympic weightlifting to sprinting to very challenging bodyweight exercises. You just go to the website each day and follow the prescribed workout. Usually each workout is pretty short (20-30 minutes) and very intense. For those of you that do P90x, there are some philosophical similarities between that program and crossfit.
Crossfit is somewhat controversial in the fitness community. Some people are very passionate, and can get a bit cult like about it. Others swear it is a terrible approach to fitness. I fall somewhere in the middle. I think crossfit's general approach to shocking your body with high intensity effort is a good one. They also advocate measuring every workout (usually by time) and competing against other people, which is usually a good motivator.
However, exercise form is an issue for me. Crossfit incorporates olympic weightlifting and heavy powerlifting exercises, often while fatigued. In addition, they advocate things like kipping pullups, which are pullups with serious body swing. Crossfit people will tell you there is nothing wrong with these exercises if you use good form. I would generally agree, but I believe the injury risk is higher than with other approaches.
Regardless, some of the elite crossfit athletes are serious studs. Crossfit sponsors something called the Crossfit Games each summer, and the winners are no joke.
So like most exercise programs, I think most people can learn a lot from crossfit and take the parts of the program that appeals to them and incorporate it into their training.
Picture of the Day
(these dudes are in the middle of a crossfit workout. Crossfit has a lot of pictures of people in serious pain on the website)