What Really Matters

In the end, the greatest opponent is yourself.

We have all been there.  The exhilarating highs after crushing a new clean and jerk PR, getting your first muscle up, or decimating your old Fran time.  These are the days that we look forward to in our training.  There are days, however, that can be depressing.  Lifts that seemed to float effortlessly away from the bounds of gravity seem to be trapped on the ground like the Sword in the Stone.  Three rounds of Cindy seem like twenty!  What.  The.  Hell.

Looking at the highs and lows of one’s own performance, there is something glaringly absent:  the performance of others.  As a society, we are often shown what we are supposed to look like.  Subconsciously for most, consciously for others, we are constantly comparing ourselves to our peers.

“What is it going to take for me to look as beautiful as __________?”

“I’ve been training for so long, working so hard, and still I am not nearly as strong as _________.”

Trying to find the answers to these questions is a fool’s errand.  While it is plainly obvious, I think we all need a reminder from time to time that everyone is born differently.  Some people are strong.  Some people are weak.  Some people are smart.  Some people are dumb.  Unfair?  You bet, but that is life.  It isn’t fair.

“So if this is the case, why train at all if I cannot be like ________?”  It’s simple:  train to make yourself better than you were yesterday.  Competition is important not as an end i.e. we train simply to destroy others, but rather as a means to an end.  The daily struggle, the coming battle is what focuses our energies to find our own lasting improvements.

While we cannot control the outcome of anyone’s actions, we can and should celebrate the achievements of others.   A great lift or workout performance by a teammate can be used as inspiration to drive your own progress.  Find joy in your progress (no matter how small).  Reflect on how far you have come (you’ve come a long way).  Keep exploring your own boundaries and blast past them when you find them!

Today’s Muscle of the Day was the illiacus.  


This sucker originates on the illiac fossa, which rests roughly on the interior side of the hip bone, and stretches to its insertion point down on the lesser trochanter of the femur.  What does it do?  The illiacus works with the psoas to help flex and externally rotate the hips.

We are on a new testing cycle for the next four weeks!!!  Our focus will be strength going overhead.  The focus lift will be the push press.  Not only does this lift help develop solid overhead pressing strength, but it also helps develop proper dip-drive mechanics that is essential to a good jerk.  Executing an effective push press may seem  simple:  dip, drive, and press, right?  At its core, yes these are the basics of the movement.  There are some other set up and execution considerations.

Are the feet underneath the hips at the start?  This position ensures the most efficient transfer of power from the legs, through the hips, and into the bar.  Are you sitting back on your heels during your dip and drive?  Staying back on your heels allows the bar to travel straight up and down on the dip drive.  Fail to do this and most likely the bar will travel out and away and make for a not so bueno lift, amigo.  Are you focusing on pressing your hips to the ceilings during your drive?  Prematurely pressing the bar with your arms before the hips finish bleeds power transfer into the bar.  Are you getting your head out of the way while you press?  Again, we want a straight bar path.  Can’t do that if the head is in the way.

Let’s see how we do in four weeks!

Conditioning was meant to be longer and a bit more brutal than usual.    Did you like the minute breaks in between or did that screw up your rhythm?   We finished up the day with our fortification work of banded pulls to strengthen scapular retraction and bird dogs to work the lower back and spinal stabilizers.

Enjoy the weekend!  Rest.  Go for a walk in the woods.



Self myofascial release / dynamic warmup

2 Rounds not for time:  8 Russian KB Swings (16/12), 6 KB Push Presses (3 each arm), 4 Burpees


Push Press

4 x 5 reps

*Establish new 5 RM.

*2 minutes rest between each set.


For total running time.

10 KB Clean and Jerks – Right Arm (24/16 kg)

10 Burpees

10 KB CJ – Left Arm

10 Burpees

-Rest 1 min-

14 KB CJ – R

10 Burpees

14 KB CJ – L

10 Burpees

-Rest 1 min-

18 KB CJ – R

10 Burpees

18 KB CJ – L

10 Burpees


Banded Scapular Retraction Pulls

3 x 10

Bird Dogs

3 x10 each side

6-13-13 MOVE1 6-13-13 MOVE2 6-13-13 MOVE3


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