“When I joined A1A eight years ago I had never truly exercised before.
I got out of Physical Education class in school ever opportunity I could and when getting to my heaviest weight after my first two children were born.
I joined a step class that I went to for the absolute minimum three days a week. I felt this was the number of classes necessary to loose the weight, and it worked.
Once the weight was off I stopped going altogether.
After my third child was born I joined A1A, still showing up was a battle.
At some point – after having my fourth child I realized the extent that exercise was making me a healthier person.
In addition I truly enjoyed the great community and coaches I was getting stronger with and like magic my worst place became my happy place.
Still the food was a constant issue, I’d show up at the gym in the morning and then binge eat in my pantry at night.
When Dan started his nutrition program, yet to be named The Dan Plan, I hopped on board I knew it was time for an overall change.
I stayed on plan for 14 weeks straight and was easily in the best shape of my life!
So naturally I figured I could have my cake and eat it too. That was the start of a very bumpy road filled with many times of falling off the wagon and getting back on.
During that time I have to say my worst was never as bad, I kept getting back up and starting again.
After a year and a half of many ups, downs, and day one phase one, I realized something. As great as it was to be in shape, lean and fit and it felt amazing don’t get me wrong.
There was a huge advantage I needed to focus on more. The anti-inflammatory, sugar free, nutrient balanced, clean way of eating we call “The Dan Plan” was helping me sleep better and most importantly brought down my anxiety levels by at least 40%.
It wasn’t only about the physical aspect anymore or about the fact that on The Dan Plan my pull ups are better because I feel physically lighter. The fact was I am stronger and lighter mentally as well – with more energy and presence of mind to be a parent, wife and overall stronger person.
Truth time, today I am on week 3 of phase one and there are many moments I am Hangry and just wanna grab my kids cookies out of their hands.
The Journey is one that doesn’t end, it’s a day to day decision to be better, stronger and healthier in every way. Sometimes that I feel like “oh yeah I so have this” and others I hate everyone who eats cookies, yes phase 4 people even you.
Either way it’s worth every second when I remind myself that I am sleeping at night without 1,000 anxieties or Cocoa Pebbles calling my name.
The muscle up progression doesn’t hurt either 😉 Phase 2 I’m coming for you!”
There’s always been controversy surrounding the kipping pull ups. It’s dangerous, it’s cheating, you look like a noodle on the bar.
To be clear, I mostly agree with all of these statements.
First – the kipping pull up is absolutely dangerous for anyone not strong enough to do at least 5 strict pull ups.
If you cannot perform 5 strict (and I mean real-strict, none of this bent leg, bent knee kicking business. Hollow body STRICT!
Second – it’s not cheating.
It’s only cheating if doing a box jump is cheating for a back squat. They’re two different movements. One is strength, one has completely different purposes and applications. If you’re calling it cheating, you’re failing to see the mechanism of the training device.
Runs are subject to not be exact distance, and may include obstacles.
Team – 800/800 run-1000/1000 row-800/800 run
WOD 2 “Thrust or Bust”
21-15-9 Thruster Burpee Box Jump Over
RX 75/53 Barbell, 24/20″ Scaled/Masters 45/33, 24/20″ S
Full extension is not required on box jumps. Both feet must make contact with the box. Box facing and lateral is allowed. Scaled & Masters may step up. RX must jump up, but may step down.
Team – Partner A completes the full workout, then Partner B completes the full workout.
WOD 2.5 RX Only! “Jump for Your Right to Lift”
Individual In 5 minutes, perform: 100 Double Unders Max Reps Ground to Overhead 135/83
Team In 7 minutes, perform: 200 Double Unders Max Reps Ground to Overhead 135/83
WOD 3 “The Twenty Ones”
21 toes to bar 21 wall balls 21 pull ups 21 lunge steps, in place 21 single arm hang power snatches 21 single arm push press/jerks 21 squats 21 burpee pull ups
With a team mate, breaking reps in anyway you desire: “The Twenty Ones” 42 toes to bar 42 wall balls 42 pull ups 42 lunge steps, in place 42 single arm hang power snatches 42 single arm push press/jerks 42 squats 42 burpee pull ups
RX 20/14# ball, 11/10′ target Chest to bar 40/25 DB goblet lunge goblet squats 8/7′ chin over bar burpee pull ups
Scaled & Masters Hanging Knee Raises (Style points for toes to bar) 14/10# ball, 10/9′ target Jumping Pull ups (style points for legit pull ups) 25/15 DB goblet lunge goblet squats 8/7′ bar touch burpees, no pull ups
10 minute time limit. For every rep you don’t complete add 1 second to 10 minutes.
To do any athletic endeavor you need core strength, both front and back. This routine focuses on abs, hips and lower back strength. Choose an option that fits your level. Rest as little as possible to get the work done.
Every body wants abs, but don’t nobody wanna get on the floor.
You’re not one of those people.
YOU get on the floor.
YOU get abs.
Do 3-5 Rounds of this. It’s good for you, we promise.
Before you start any kipping exercise, you should have several strict reps of that exercise. If you’re not able to do strict Toes to Bar, work on increasing strength with strict knee raises, V-Ups, strict leg raises and other simple core exercises.
I’m 43. The realization that these physical gifts I’m allowed won’t last forever is starting to set in.
I no longer feel the need to get into weightlifting wars with kids 15 years my junior, but I’ll still push to beat ’em in a good conditioning test.
My day to day training, loading & intensity has gotten smarter, I’m not laying on my back at the end of every workout, frothing at the mouth; and I feel better for it.
A typical week will look something like: Monday – Max effort Tuesday – 75-80% Wednesday 60% Thursday – Recovery pace or rest Friday – Hard effort Saturday – Play with kids and maybe run Sunday – Rest and relax
Previously, those would have all said Max effort.
The idea is this: exercise enough to feel good all of the time. If you’re constantly sore and beat up, ask yourself why. Why do you need to push to the point of failure – always. Is it a psychological need? If so, maybe there’s a way to meet that need at a lower intensity.
Instead of focusing on failure and falling on the floor, focus on breathing & technique. Take yourself to that same spot, but use a different skill set to get there. Use certain workouts as an opportunity to refine movements, to understand pace.Just breathe and get your heart rate up, get a little synovial fluid running through the old knees and elbows.
At the end of the day, my biggest concern for my gym members and myself is being able to move well for the long haul. I look at a few 70-80 year olds I know as examples. They eat well, they exercise regularly and they seem to enjoy life because of it.
It seems to me that the next 40-50 years will be all about the decisions I make now, and the consistency with which I implement them.
You may enjoy smashing yourself into the ground every day, and that’s ok for you…if that’s ok for you.
I have found better overall performance (MetCons, 5k’s, running with kids, playing tag and sports, etc.) from a little less volume, picking my battles and listening to my body.
I have also found better balance and a more fulfilling training week without having to compete every day.
I certainly still pick my spots, and likely always will…I just don’t try to over-pick or over-expect or over-exert.
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