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If you’ve been in my class or met with me privately I’ll often ask you “what do you feel?”  At the start it’s not important that you are able to identify a specific muscle or feeling, but have a sense of where and that there is something you are feeling. My main priority is that you learn about the awareness that is takes to FEEL your body. The sensations you feel can better help you understand how to move your body and really, that’s just one part of the picture that we are working on. This ability takes practice and is often connected to your level of awareness in the present moment. If  you are thinking about your upcoming meeting or the kids at school its will prove to be a challenge to truly FEEL your body.

I have a client who is struggling to feel what her body is saying. What has been happening lately is that her body doesn’t respond the way she wants it to. This is in regards to daily movement or during a workout. This often ends up resulting in what she would identify as pain.  I can hear her frustration when we talk and recently we had a breakthrough conversation about working to identify what exactly she is feeling. We talked about the possibility that if you’ve never experienced a specific feeling it can be hard to decipher what it is.  My coaching to her was to breathe into what she feels, and slow down during daily movement.  During that time of slowing down, she can try to feel what she needs to feel.

In my experience when something is new, it takes me a little time to feel what’s happening and or what I am experiencing. I can often have something built up in my head of what I think it will feel like. In the gym I feel I have pretty good sense of what I’m feeling and I like to think I understand what specific sensations are, but I understand my body is always growing and changing. Which means I have to continue to pay attention. My body has proven multiple times that my mind will often tell me to stop or slow down, much before by body is truly ready too.  This whole process of awareness is integral as we are working on growing our bodies, minds and souls.  Next time you’re in class, I challenge you to feel something new.

 


Today’s Workout
Competition

5 RFR, w/ partner, alt. each rep
Tire flips
Box jumps (24/20)
Rope climbs
Wallballs (20/14)
–1min at each station–

And Coming Thursday
Practice

A)
FQ
Snatch
3-3-3-3-3

B)
Muscleup skill practice

C)
FQT
*9*7*5
Box jumps (28/24)
Muscleups
*50 Double unders

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Over the Thanksgiving break, the family and I house/dog sat at this gorgeous spread of a house nestled in Mandeville Canyon. The house and grounds are immaculate; sprawling kitchen, like 5 fireplaces, a clay tennis court steps from the perfect French doors off the breakfast nook, a pool, a LAUNDRY ROOM … heaven. I didn’t even venture in 2/3’s of the house. Once in the house, I didn’t want to leave it for the three days. I just wanted to drink coffee and read the paper and listen to Sarah Vaughn on this ridiculous blue tooth sound system and stare at the hundred-year-old oak tree in the rolling yard. I, in all seriousness, asked myself, “How can I make a living at drinking coffee in my pajamas?” I immediately forgot I was in the fitness industry.

On Thanksgiving morning — the second morning of our stay — I thought, “Hmm, oh yea, I usually workout at some point during the day.” My coffee cup was almost empty — toast crumbs dotted my plate. I whined, “But I don’t wanna leave the house.” I looked out to the back yard for the seven billionth time, but this time I looked up the hill where our friends have cultivated a vineyard for the last two years. The steep, wooden steps up the vineyard stared at me. I sighed and changed my clothes.

There were 62 uneven steps to the top of the hill. Once up there I could see an amazing span of Mandeville. I plodded back down – did push ups half way– did 20 step jumps at the bottom, then ran back up. I did this for 30 minutes. I felt more invigorated with each round. I remembered why I work out most days. After the 30 minutes and after a shower, I promptly got back in my pajamas so I could begin cooking for Thanksgiving in that glorious kitchen. (Incidentally, I didn’t realize an oven could work so perfectly … I thought they were all temperamental and required an occasional kick and bang on the cheap, electric burners.) Incidentally #2, I felt great.

The point is: when we’re on vacation or on break from our regular routine, you don’t have to completely forget about working out. You can use anything accessible to you like vineyard steps for example – those are always around, no? The holidays do not have to be a holiday from working out. In Mexico, we used the boring hotel gym, but as usual we felt great after. You can make anything a tabata in your room. You can look online for any number of “vacation workouts.” Go for a run.

The other suggestion is that maybe the holidays are a perfectly good time to take a holiday from working out, to rest, and reset. I know personally I feel better when I move, but you won’t lose your fitness if you decided to take a week off. You’ll probably come back refreshed and raring to go again.


Tuesday’s Workout
Practice

A)
FQ
Bench Press
8-8-8

B)
QAMRAP 12
300m Row
12 KB Goblet squats (24/16)
6 KB Chops-R
6 KB Chops-L

Wednesday’s Workout
Competition

5 RFR, w/ partner, alt. each rep
Tire flips
Box jumps (24/20)
Rope climbs
Wallballs (20/14)
–1min at each station–

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The long history of athletes from CFLA doing the extraordinary continues to deepen. Over the weekend Matt Doss, Tim Martin, Niki Marek, and Alyssa Parker successfully completed the brutal North Face Endurance 50 Mile trail run up in Marin. (Additionally Coach Silber jumped in for 30 miles of moral support and endurance practice…).   Huge congratulations to this tough crew of competitors. When you see them at the Holiday Party on Friday – grab ’em a beer and a taco.

*Video by Coach Jamie


Monday’s Workout
Competition

0:00 – 20:00
FT
1mi Run

20:00 – 26:00
“Diane”
FT
21-15-9
Deadlifts (225/155)
Handstand pushups

And Coming Tuesday
Practice

A) FQ
Bench Press
8-8-8

B) QAMRAP 12
300m Row
12 KB Goblet squats (24/16)
6 KB Chops-R
6 KB Chops-L

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I know: “Again with the holiday party …?” It’s just that I forgot to tell you guys about the Dessert Potluck. It’s actually a Cookie Potluck, and by that I mean a food item of the sweet variety that doesn’t need a fork. Or a knife. Or a plate, maybe. Like, a napkin would do. Or you just grab five and shove them in your mouth. Y’know, after the Open Bar kicks in. So, I guess it’s like a Finger Dessert Potluck. Is that gross to say? The point is, bring some kind of dessert to the Holiday Party on Friday, Dec 9th,that you made — that you love to make/show off … or one that you buy from your favorite bakery (or closest market on the way here) that would be easy to pick up and eat. And is not too crumbly. Or runny. Or oozy — you get the idea. You also have the option of bringing no dessert whatsoever because you simply want enjoy tacos and drinks and photographing youself and your friends with goofy hats in peace without all this finger-dessert pressure. Either way, I just wanted to let you know the dessert potluck thing is still a thing.


Friday’s Workout
Practice

A)
FQ
Clean and jerk
3-3-3-3-3

B)
QAMRAP 15
30s Forearm plank
5 MB Side throws-R (20/14)
5 MB Side throws-L
10 Push presses (55-60% of 1RM Strict press)
50 Double unders

Saturday’s Workout

AMRAP 18
“Happy Unilateral Core Time!”
10 1-arm KBS (28/20)
6 1-arm KB Cleans
(Switch Arms)
16 Candlestick Raises
16 Plank Cross-Body Knee Ins
*Every Two Minutes on the Two Minutes, 5 Burpees* (TOTAL coincidence that Sunday has E2MO2M, too!)

Sunday’s Workout

PART A- 10 min building to heavy 3RM Push Press
PART B- E2MO2M – 6 min. 1: 20 rep @50%, 2: 15 [email protected]%, 10 rep @70%
PART C: 20 min EMOM:
1: Double Unders
2: Snatch @75/55
3: Pull Ups
4: Rest

Monday’s Workout
Competition

0:00 – 20:00
FT
1mi Run

20:00 – 26:00
“Diane”
FT
21-15-9
Deadlifts (225/155)
Handstand pushups

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A little over a week ago I made an investment. It’s one that I have been thinking about for a long time, and finally I took the jump. I bought myself a chef’s knife. It might seem a bit strange to be sharing this with you all, but it’s been such a joy using this new knife I just had to tell someone.

While working at a restaurant during college I remember seeing the chefs bring their own knives in. I didn’t quite understand why at the time, but knew that there was something different about the knives that lived at the restaurant and the knives they packed up so carefully to bring to work and back.  I understand as this new knife is quite precious to me.

I wouldn’t call myself materialistic, but I do appreciate good quality things that last a while. And that is what I believe I have gotten with my new knife. I took my time testing out what knife felt best. I went back and forth and tried each in my hand, I then had to decide what looked best to me.  The knife needed to fit my grip well and it needed to be the right weight, in fact the sales lady told me it’s an extension of my hand. Well, that is what I found.  A beautiful chefs knife that gets me excited about chopping, mincing, dicing and slicing all over again.


Today’s workout
Competition

“Leaderboard Day”

A)
“CFLA Baseline”
FT
500m Row
40 Squats
30 Situps
20 Pushups
10 Pullups

B)
Any 2min Max
(e.g. 2min Situps)

C)
Any Max reps
(e.g. Max Pullups)

And Coming Friday
Practice

A)
FQ
Clean and jerk
3-3-3-3-3

B)
QAMRAP 15
30s Forearm plank
5 MB Side throws-R (20/14)
5 MB Side throws-L
10 Push presses (55-60% of 1RM Strict press)
50 Double unders

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Guest blog by Benet Heames

If you have either employer-sponsored or individual health insurance, there is a good chance you are going through an open enrollment and having to make decisions about your healthcare for 2017. The plan design options that are available are based on metals and have different out of pocket exposure.

Plan design and costs have been coming up more and more in the meetings I have been having with my business clients.

“Is the Platinum plan the best since it’s the most expensive?”

No way!

You will see higher deductibles on the bronze plans, which come with a lower premium. The Platinum plans have the highest premium but have less out of pocket throughout the year.

The important budget element to consider is fixed vs. variable cost, or what is known vs. unknown. 

Think of a teeter-totter. Lower fixed premium will result in higher costs when you go to the Doc, and plans with higher fixed expenses results in less cost when you need care.

So, the big question to ask is…what type of healthcare consumer are you?

If you have questions about any of my healthcare posts, you can find me at the gym on Thursday nights and I am always happy to discuss.

*Please note – this is not meant to be advice or a recommendation for your insurance coverage.


Wednesday’s Workout
Practice

A)
FQ
Bench Press
10-10-10

B)
Pistol skill practice

C)
3 RFQT
400m Run
21 KB Swings (24/16)
12 Alt pistols
–12min Cap–

Thursday’s Workout
Competition

“Leaderboard Day”

A)
“CFLA Baseline”
FT
500m Row
40 Squats
30 Situps
20 Pushups
10 Pullups

B)
Any 2min Max
(e.g. 2min Situps)

C)
Any Max reps
(e.g. Max Pullups)

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Guest blog by Jamie Silber and CFLA member Steve Carcano
As a CFLA coach, I have two goals for my students: 1. Be open to coaching 2. Dive deep into a masterful pursuit of improving oneself. I recently received an email from CFLA athlete Steve Carcano who just finished the NYC Marathon.  His dedication to running has withstood the test of “TIME”!
From Steve:
…And 30 years have come to pass…I did first my FIRST NYC Marathon back in 1986 when I took on the seeming impossible task of running 26.2 miles, more miles than years lived. Sheer determination and grit carried me across the finish line in 4:49:39.  It was one of those days when expectations collide with reality, perspective, and boundaries shatter — eventually you emerge stronger for it. It’s a time I have come to lean on in my life. 
 
Ten years after that first experience, I was so busy climbing the corporate ladder that I forgot about the NYC Marathon and the 5 boroughs it traversed. My training had fallen to the wayside. I’m sure I spent that day working on something “really important”, though for the life of me I can’t recall what it was. You live and you learn.  
Twenty years after that first NYCM, I was back on track, chasing the starting line in Boston, and I ran a near perfect race in 3:28:42. That’s when I began to understand the true power of intention.  
And then last Sunday, on the thirty-year mark, I returned again to NYC, so grateful for yet another opportunity, and for the ability to run 4:23:59. It’s exactly where I intended to be…See you on the starting line in ’26!
 
Congratulations Steve!

Tuesday’s Workout
Mental Toughness

FT
5*10*15*20*25*
Burpees
DB Below-knee hang clusters (45/30)
*100m Famer carry
Wednesday’s Workout
Practice
A)
FQ
Bench Press
10-10-10B)
Pistol skill practiceC)
3 RFQT
400m Run
21 KB Swings (24/16)
12 Alt pistols
–12min Cap–

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On the heels of Doza’s hundred miler a week ago Matt Doss, Niki Marek, Tim Martin and Alyssa Parker are headed to Northern California to tackle a 50 Miler!  Mental toughness and grit are practiced regularly here and these folks define it in and out of the gym.


Monday’s Workout
Practice

A) FQ
Back Squat
10-10-10

B) 4 RFQR on the 4:30
20/15cal bike
Max Strict pullups
–90s Cap each round–

And Coming Tuesday
Mental Toughness

FT
5*10*15*20*25*
Burpees
DB Below-knee hang clusters (45/30)
*100m Famer carry

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I can’t express enough how thankful I am for our community of students and coaches here at CFLA. You guys make the day in and day out work/play experience a joy. Thank you so much. Hope you have a great Thanksgiving.


Wednesday’s Workout
Thanksgiving Week

“Thanksgiving Potluck”

FT
Main Course + 2 Sides
2 Desserts
–35min Cap–

[Main Course
1 Mile run

Choose 2 Sides from this list:
60 Jumping lunges
60 Air squats
60 Mountain climbers (2-ct)
60 Flutter kicks (2-ct)
(Can be completed in any order, while completeing main course)

Choose 2 Desserts from this list:
40 Pullups
40 HSPU
40/30cal Bike
40 KBS
40 Wallballs
(Can be completed in any order, once main course and sides are finished)]

Thursday – Friday (11/24 – 11/25)

Closed for Thanksgiving Break!

Saturday’s Workout

TBA

Sunday’s Workout

“Freedom Sauce” – Credit and thanks to COMPTRAIN,

AMRAP 3: 21 OHS (95/65), 21 Over the Erg Burpees, Max Cal Row
Rest 3:00
AMRAP 3: 18 OHS, 18 OE Burpees, Max Cal Row
Rest 3:00
AMRAP 3: 15 OHS, 15 OE Burpees, Max Cal Row
Rest 3:00
AMRAP 3: 12 OHS, 12 OE Burpees, Max Cal Row

Score is total calories rowed.

Monday’s Workout
Holiday Mini Cycle – Practice

A)
FQ
Back squat
10-10-10

B)
4 RFQR on the 4:30
20/15cal bike
Max Strict pullups
–90s Cap each round-

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“Improvement beings with I.” – Arnold H. Glasgow

During November, Shirley, Jennifer, Kevin and I took the CrossFit Level 2 Certificate Course. It was a two day seminar from 9-5:30 each day within a small-group atmosphere. The coaching staff was top-tier. They have honed these seminars — this L2 in particular– to a high-polish shine. This coaching staff strives for a near-perfect experience, and they come pretty close.

The other students taking the course were also, for the most part, very seasoned coaches. There were owners of gyms, specialty oly lifting coaches, ones who had been to Aromas back in the day, and there were plenty of fire breathers. Two coaches had been coaching CrossFit nine years or more. This was not a newbie group by any means, but one thing was clearly common between us all: we all approached the L2 with a lot of humility and an openness to improve and learn as much as possible. We all wanted relentless fine-tuning to serve our communities better. So, we were put on the spot. A lot. We were called out in the most supportive of ways – constantly. We were held to task in front of our peers, under a microscope, in a one-on-one situation, in a group situation, as an athlete – repeatedly. And though that sounds agonizing, it really wasn’t. Uncomfortable? For sure. But with a humble and open approach, we all were determined to improve the holes in our coaching game. We welcomed instruction and suggestions to become even better at our craft.

The road to mastery of anything will never be a short, easy journey. Obviously. But we get comfortable especially when we’re pretty good at something. Intellectually, we all understand that learning and improving never end – but the practical application of seeking improvement can easily fall by the wayside. Hunting out ways to be better is actually liberating and exhilarating. It reinvigorates passion and sheds new perspective on something you’ve looked at a million different ways. It seems silly to say, but it’s worth repeating (I know I need reminding now and again): Don’t stop striving for improvement. It only deepens our life experience for ourselves and those we serve.

(The photo: Kevin during one of the many times he was in the hot seat.)


Tuesday’s Workout
Thanksgiving Week

“Thankful for Strengths and Weaknesses”

A)
18min to work up to a heavy 5 of favorite lift from this list:
Back squat
Deadlift
Press
Clean and jerk
Snatch

B)
10min to practice gymnastic skill that needs most work from this list:
Squat (Air, STS, Pistol)
Inversion (HS, HSPU, HS Walk, Free)
Push (Pushup, Dip)
Pull (Strict, Kip, Neg, Ring, Bar, BMU, MU)
Balance (Split squats, tripod trans, piv. rev., etc)

C)
AMRAP 12
5 of Barbell lift (75% of A)
10 of Gymnastics skill
200m Run

Wednesday’s Workout – Remember: Last Class is the 12:30
Thanksgiving Week

“Thanksgiving Potluck”

FT
Main Course + 2 Sides
2 Desserts
–35min Cap–

[Main Course
1 Mile run

Choose 2 Sides from this list:
60 Jumping lunges
60 Air squats
60 Mountain climbers (2-ct)
60 Flutter kicks (2-ct)
(Can be completed in any order, while completeing main course)

Choose 2 Desserts from this list:
40 Pullups
40 HSPU
40/30cal Bike
40 KBS
40 Wallballs
(Can be completed in any order, once main course and sides are finished)]

 

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