A personal account of pain,
by Ryan Humphries
Foam rolling is the shit. Stretching is awesome. And they both work to relieve pain and tightness….until they don’t. Although soft tissue work (foam rolling, lacrosse balls, softballs, massage therapy, etc.), has now been incorporated into of many strength training programs, it may not be addressing the real issue(s).
By Ryan Humphries
Ladies and gentlemen, 19.4 is…
- 200’ of Overhead Walking Lunges (50/35)
- 50 Box Step Ups (24”/20”)
- 50 Handstand Push-ups
- 200’ Handstand Walks
- 12 Minute Time Cap
The fourth workout of the CrossFit Open couldn’t have hit at a better time. I was almost finished with Todd Herman’s book “The Alter Ego Effect” and when I first heard what the workout was, I was…discouraged…to say the least. Here are a few of the things that went through my head as the workout was released. (Please remember that I was once a sailor)
On Memorial Day (Monday, May 27th, 2019) the Axistence community will once again come together for “Murph”.
By Ryan Humphries
"A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” The first time I heard this, it came from the mouth of Coach Williams, my fifth grade PE teacher and a man I considered to be a grade-A asshole. Looking back, I’m sure he was a good dude and he was probably just trying to inspire some team building BS. Regardless of his intent, what I heard was “Ryan, you’re the weakest link.”
By Ryan Humphries
“Make sure you’re going to full hip extension”
“Just a liiiiiittle bit lower”
“All the way up”
You’ve no doubt heard at least at least one these cues in the middle of a workout. Perhaps you were even the target of said cue. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, it just means that we want you to get results. Your time in the training center is valuable. Every second and every rep counts. We have approximately 60 minutes to help you achieve the results you’re looking for and if you’re doing half-ass reps, you’re only going to get half-ass results. Hence “whole-assing” your workout.
by Jake Lott, Coach
Traditional weight lifting exercises like the squat, and deadlift, along with a myriad of presses and pulls are great for building strength that will no doubt transfer into other realms of your functional fitness. But they are often limited in range to the sagittal plane (think forward and back), which limits the strength you build to that range of movement.
As great as it is to lift heavy things in specifically controlled ways, real life is often less accommodating. Having the coordination to transfer power laterally (frontal), and rotate (transverse) through your hips can be invaluable to building your overall strength.
by Dan Jimenez & Ryan Humphries
Community. It’s not just the latest buzzword. It’s more than just a fad. It’s not just one of the core values at Axistence, it’s something that could literally save your life. A solid community could add years to your life and life to your years.
"Axistence members have access to custom fitness classes, physical and nutritional health coaching, outdoor excursions and an awesome group of people there to cheer you on. Learn more about membership."
Around the world, there are these areas where it’s not uncommon to find humans living well into their 90’s and 100’s in excellent health. Six of these areas have been studied extensively and are referred to as “Blue Zones.” Researchers have been studying the people in these areas for years, hoping to uncover the secret formula for longevity. What is it that keeps people healthy and happy for a century?
A couple days ago we talked about how we offer a modification option for workouts, so people can customize their WOD for their skill level, fitness level, work around injuries or meet a specific goal. Key point: You aren't getting less of a workout if you modify. Seriously: No good comes from forcing yourself to do the "harder" version if the modification suits you better. Your ego is not your amigo.
Here are a few more things to consider when choosing whether and how to modify a skill.
Consider Your Skill Set
Oftentimes correct technique is the most challenging aspect of a movement. The limiting factor for something like a barbell snatch is more likely to be in your efficiency of movement, rather than your actual strength. If you don't yet have the form necessary for a lift to be effective, you're not doing yourself any favors by forcing yourself to learn it in the middle of a workout.
There is a time, and a place to learn new exercises. Modifying to something like a dumbbell snatch in this situation would actually allow you to have a harder workout by focusing on your strength instead of slowing you down with more technique.
Respect Your Recovery
Accommodating an injury is usually an obvious reason to modify; pain is a pretty strong signal to change behavior. But recovery takes time. It can be easy to take on too much too soon when you're eager to get back at it. If you are injured, your first responsibility is to heal the damaged tissue, and possibly correct the movement patterns that got you into this position. Refusing to modify an exercise that aggravates your condition flies in the face of the whole purpose of going to the gym, and quite literally places short-term satisfaction above achieving long-term goals. Just don't do it.
Use the Equipment You Have
At the end of the day, maybe you just don't have access to a certain tool. This doesn't mean that you should throw the whole workout out the window. Many times, great insights may be gleaned from forcing yourself to do things in new ways, resulting in increased efficiency. Dumbbells, for instance, impart unique adaptations compared to barbells. What you may compromise in overall strength, you make up for in stability, which could later increase your actual ability when you return to using a barbell.
The point is, don't get caught-up in thinking that one tool is superior to any other in the grand scheme of things. A balanced physique takes the best of all modalities that each serve to improve upon the others.
Still don't believe me!? Check out Coach Ryan's explanation:
by Jake Lott, Coach
At Axistence, we offer modifications to exercises, so you can choose the right movement for your level of fitness, to work around injuries or to help you meet a goal. But too many people do themselves a disservice by viewing the modified option as having less of an impact on your fitness. In an effort to better compare their performance against their peers in the short-term, people might refuse to accept an alternative that may actually improve their long-term ability. Don't be that guy! (Or woman!)
Modifying exercises are a great way to customize your workouts based on your individual goals, your skill set or your injuries.
by Ryan Humphries, Co-Owner & Coach
The Farmer’s Carry is pretty simple, technically: Mindfully pick up a heavy weight in each hand and go for a walk. For such a straight forward movement, the gains are spectacular. Being able to carry your own body weight about 50 meters is a big sign of overall health – and longevity.
It’s Insanely Efficient
When you pick up and walk with heavy weight, you’re taxing muscles you didn’t even know you had. You have to brace yourself, tightening everything up, then move. It requires grip strength, core strength, and works all the joints and muscles you need for good posture. As you shuffle forward under weight, different, deep muscles are put to work with every movement, increasing the overall strength of your whole body.
It Gets You Fit for Everything Else
When you increase overall strength, you’re fit for everything else you do, from squats to deadlifts to cardio, to practical application (hoisting your kid into the car).
“The loaded carry does more to expand athletic qualities than any other single thing I’ve attempted in my career as a coach and athlete.” -Dan John
Want to give it a try? We recommend starting with a weight feels challenging to carry for 45 seconds to a minute. See how it’s done in a quick video:
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