Thursday Home Workout

Howdy Strength Tribe. We are still trying to give you as many opportunities to workout with us. Sometimes our class schedule might not mesh with yours… we have tons of these workout on our website, check out the link in our bio. Have an awesome day and hope you enjoy this one! xoxo
5 rounds
10 diamond pushups- you can do these on the knees or toes. Create a diamond shape with fingers of both hands and lower chest to your hands, keeping your elbows in and core engaged.
20 wall sit db chest press- lower into a wall sit, grab a moderate weight and press it out for 20 reps.
30 reverse plank leg lifts- Keep your hips lifted and you alternate raising your leg. If this is too hard, hold reverse plank for 30-45 seconds.

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Howdy Strength Tribe. We are still trying to give you as many opportunities to workout with us. Sometimes our class schedule might not mesh with yours… we have tons of these workout on our website, check out the link in our bio. Have an awesome day and hope you enjoy this one! xoxo 5 rounds 10 diamond pushups- you can do these on the knees or toes. Create a diamond shape with fingers of both hands and lower chest to your hands, keeping your elbows in and core engaged. 20 wall sit db chest press- lower into a wall sit, grab a moderate weight and press it out for 20 reps. 30 reverse plank leg lifts- Keep your hips lifted and you alternate raising your leg. If this is too hard, hold reverse plank for 30-45 seconds.

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Thursday Home Workout

I’m back with another workout you can try from home. All you need is a bench/chair and a wall for this one. Don’t forget to warm up those wrist for the Hand Stands shoulder taps!
5 rounds
10 reps side plank rotations. Keep neck long and shoulders away from your ears as you smoothly switch from the right to the lift forearm in a side plank
20 reps  handstand shoulder taps ( plank shoulder taps). Facing the wall, smoothly lift one arm up off the floor and alternate. If this is too hard, see the the next video with shoulder taps in a plank.
30 reps Hip Thrusts with feet on bench. Put your feet on a bench, lift your hips up toward the sky as you engage and squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement.

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What’s up strength tribe?!?!? I'm back with another workout you can try from home. All you need is a bench/chair and a wall for this one. Warm up your wrists prior for those HS shoulder taps. ⠀ ⠀ 5 rounds ⠀ ⠀ 10 reps side plank rotations. Keep neck long and shoulders away from your ears as you smoothly switch from the right to the lift forearm in a side plank⠀ ⠀ 20 reps handstand shoulder taps ( plank shoulder taps). Facing the wall, smoothly lift one arm up off the floor and alternate. If this is too hard, see the the next video with shoulder taps in a plank.⠀ ⠀ 30 reps Hip Thrusts with feet on bench. Put your feet on a bench, lift your hips up toward the sky as you engage and squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement.

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Blog 28 – Before you freak out…

Blog 28 – Before you freak out…

… about my last blog describing some of the changes that we are implementing, let’s frame that conversation some more, AND finish by making a case how it can (READ: will) improve your gym experience. 

To start, we need to recognize how much perfectionism and idealism play in to the fitness industry. This shows up in multiple forms, but mostly in the form of creating an either/or, good/bad, right/wrong, etc. conversation with ourselves, which in itself limits or ability to understand and perceive accomplishment. Two examples:

  • Time-based – You believe you have to work out for an hour. This can lead to two, wildly, different scenarios for people. On one hand, folks might not feel it’s “worth it” to work out for less than an hour. This may be people not coming to class because they are late, it may be rationalizing not to go for a 30-minute walk because it’s not the same as a 45-minute HIIT class. Either way, it leads a person towards a feeling of doing less (or to keep the theme, not being perfect). On the other hand some might feel that they didn’t do enough in the hour (or whatever their chosen time frame is), so they feel the need to do more – a second WOD, “just a couple of pull-ups,” “I need to work on my double unders,” etc. This, too, is a form of perfectionism that will ALWAYS lead the person towards a lower sense of accomplishment. “I didn’t use the prescribed weight, so I did XYZ.” “I’m not even going to sweat, so I won’t bother.” “I’m not coming this weekend, so I’ve got to get in XYZ.” In reality, the hour prescription of every boutique fitness or group class session is simply a matter of logistics. It’s easiest to communicate and schedule in mass via the clock. People have more important things to do with their time, and no one would come for a 30 minute or 2 hour workout. All of these are simply logistics; none of which is backed by any sort of science – for you six sigma “scientists” out there please don’t jump down my throat. 
  • Prescription-based – We often give too much credit for what the whiteboard or website says the workout is and feel like we’ve done “less” if we don’t follow that to the letter. This is probably the most common conversation that coaches have at the gym. We try to help modify the workout to match where a person is that day, and create a situation where we unintentionally create harm by shifting a person away from the prescription. This could be in the form of reps, sets, weight, time, etc. “The whiteboard said X, but I only did Y.” “I modified the workout, so I didn’t get everything I could out of it.” “I didn’t do as well as you because you did more weight/reps.” “But Nigel said…”

These are just two examples, but this shows up in MANY forms around fitness (food, rest, etc). We encourage you to think about how this has showed up for you. It should be noted here, that PDX Strength and all of its coaches recognize how much our voice matters, various ways that we’ve contributed to this. We want to use the trust that you’ve granted us to create a better conversation around health and fitness in our community. We’ve contributed to this as much as anyone (if not more so), and want to do better. 

Speaking of better… I’m now going to blow your minds about how this will actually lead to an improvement in the magic workout word, “performance” – not that I don’t think that combatting perfectionism doesn’t, but I understand that you don’t think brain GAINZ are what you’re here for. Sooooooo, butt stuff…

When we design workouts, we look at various things – movement patterns, priority muscle groups, loading, intensity, skill, what we’ve done previously and what will do, etc. With so many variables it’s easy to overcomplicate working out (see above). But really, “performance” comes by intentionally and appropriately increasing volume (total loading = total weight X total reps) – “appropriately” being an operative term here. For the sake of simplicity (and word count here, and to work the term butt stuff back in), we’ll use an example from the last blog as reference:

PREVIOUSLY, we might have written “30 barbell snatches for time (95#/65#)”

NOW, we might say “30 ground to OH for time (Review Nigel’s notes on intention to determine loading.)”

In this example, we are talking about a hip extension/jump pattern priority (butt and hamstring – high power output) with an auxiliary shoulder movement. The intention loading is med-heavy. Something that allows for continuous effort, whether that’s 30 singles or 6 sets of 5s. 

Previously, it is most common for us to modify the loading. If a 95/65 snatch is too heavy, we move the weight to something like 75/45 and continue with the written movement “snatch,” OR we stubbornly try to complete the workout with the written skill at the written loading. In both scenarios we’ve moved too far away from the intention for the sake of being “perfect” (see above). In either case, the loading being too light or too heavy, our body will compensate with dominant muscle groups rather than priority muscle groups to accomplish the task that you ask it to (in this case taking the barbell from the ground to overhead in one movement  HOW’S THAT FOR FORESHADOWING?!), often moving away from the priority movement (butt stuff).

BUT(T), if we frame the conversation a little differently, “30 ground to OH for time (Review Nigel’s notes on intention to determine loading.),” then it opens up a completely different (READ: more appropriate) set of options for us. We’ve now created the opportunity to do the workout with a clean and press with a wide variety of different implements. Both of these movements allow you to focus more attention towards butt stuff and give your shoulder more direct loading. We’ve also removed some “skill” which allows you to move just as quickly and safety, if not more so, than stubbornly sticking with the snatch. AND … (Now are you ready for the kicker here? The reason that you’re all here anyway? The reason you’ve basically read a double blog post of my bullshit?) and when we modify skill level WE CAN INCREASE LOADING. That’s right folks, we’re actually creating a scenario where we can find a more appropriate, AND INCREASED, total loading (total weight X total reps)… So if all of this doesn’t perk your ass up (literally and figuratively), perhaps we spend more time visiting the conversation in the first half of the blog. 

Yours in BRAIN GAINZ and butt stuff, 

D

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Blog 27 – All Levels All The Time(s). 

Blog 27 – All Levels All The Time(s). 

Hello my friends, 

PDX Strength is making a few changes to our regularly scheduled programming. One of the bigger changes being that our group strength classes are moving to an “all level” classification.  (You read that correctly. ALL LEVELS. ALL THE TIME!!! *theme music drops, laser show*)… While we’ve always offered a plethora of what we traditionally termed “all levels classes” (Bootcamp, KB Club, HIIT, Butt and Gut, Swöle), times are sporadic (albeit strategic) and maybe not always available in everyone’s schedule. Additionally, we have always held a “PDX 101 or equivalent” prerequisite for group strength; mostly as a safety, skill building, and learning opportunity for folks that are new to the use of a barbell, Olympic lifting, and high skill gymnastics movements like a rope climbs and handstands. 

This is happening for multiple reasons, but the main one being that PDX Strength started as an inclusive space for folks to come lift heavy shit, and we want to continue to be that – for the folks that continue to support us and for the folks that are just entering our space for the first time. Other reasons include all things affected by the pandemic and the phased re-opening strategies/schedules, but since we agreed that I won’t waste any more space in the blog to have you drink from the fire hose of chaos, that’s all I’ll say about that. 

So what does this all mean? Honestly? Not that much. Mostly that the written format of a typical work out might change (For you regular GSCers, don’t freak out. You haven’t even heard how it will change yet…) to movements that would be more familiar to an all-levels regular (if you’ve been to my KB Club on Thursdays, you have a general idea of the direction we are going.) Here’s the kicker for you regular GSCers (currently hyperventilating into a brown paper bag), the Gainz Train will still have room for you too.   

Nigel already does a great job trying to write out the intention of the workouts, which he will continue to do. But, there will just be a little flip to what is written on the board and a new concept that we introduce – modifying to a higher skill movement. We are already familiar with how to modify to lower skill movements; this is literally the opposite. Some examples:

PREVIOUSLY, we might have written overhead squats, which we would modify to front squat if there was an issue with the skill of an OH movement. 

NOW, we might say front squat, and allow folks who want a higher skilled movement modify to an OH squat. 

PREVIOUSLY, we might have written “30 barbell snatches for time (95#/65#)”

NOW, we might say “30 ground to OH for time (Review Nigel’s notes on intention to determine loading.)”

By communicating the workouts a little differently, we are not trying to take anything away. We are moving to a more inclusive communication around our workouts (and fitness), and keeping the choice for members to work at the skill level that they feel is most appropriate. Additionally, and my favorite part, this flip will allow coaches to coach more. More inclusive programming actually means that we are likely to make less modifications overall, meaning that coaches will have more time to specifically coach members through movement… or talk about the important stuff, like favorite ice cream flavors. 

We expect some conversation about this as it’s rolled out, so please don’t hesitate to ask your coaches if you have any questions, 

– Coach D

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Blog 26 – Confidence is a Habit not a Trait.

Blog 26 – Confidence is a Habit not a Trait.

Getting closer, Strength Tribe. We are excited to see your smiling faces! (Masked, but smiling, and even if you won’t be smiling, we’ll just pretend.)

This blog will be a new attempt to write 500 word not directed at COVID-19 or racial justice (Yes, I recognize that I’ve already failed at both.), and more directed towards the alliterative strength science and fitness facts that I promised some weeks ago (For my benefit, let’s just pretend that “no blogs on pandemics” rule starts… … … … … … NOW!)

Kimmy and I were watching the new season of Queer Eye the other day. We noticed Karamo Brown, pop culture/life style icon (or whatever his title is), was wearing a shirt that resonated with us. “CONFIDENCE IS A HABIT NOT A TRAIT,” it read in big, block lettering. I hooted and wooo’d in approval. Kimmy said, “You should totally write a blog about that!” (I do realize that your personal perspective will determine if you read that as her yelling at me or exclaiming in support. I’ll let you re-read it both ways and determine which you find to be more enjoyable, for both are sometimes true and equally affective.)

I previously wrote a little blog about meditation and a term coined as “relaxed attention.” It championed finding more of opportunities within our hour together to focus on your self, relax your attention, and let your creativity flow. This all comes in the form of intentional use of your space. We will further that conversation by bringing in a few more concepts that deal a little bit more with deliberate actions for those of you who’ve scoffed at my world-class case for rest and meditation in the gym.

These concepts, also from the development world (Imagine that.), are generally called deliberate practice and a developmental mindset. The first, deliberate practice, is a mostly about process. It’s doing the same thing, at the same time every day. Artists, craftspeople, professional athletes, and all the like (generally) follow some sort of deliberate and routine practice. How does this relate to us? Well, most of us come to the gym at the same time on the same days every week. We also, most likely, do the same thing when we arrive, or work out in the same spot or with the same equipment, or we might even have the same internal conversations with ourselves. The deliberate practice being that we actively do the same thing regardless of the result – authors will often write just to write, knowing what they are just going to play wastebasketball when they are finished.

The other, a developmental mindset, is a psychological term that refers to the power of our own language to slowly, but surely, guide us to try again. It is this trying that will eventually lead us to success within the activity (Do you see where this is going?)… Dr. Carol Dweck implies this in her TedTalk, “The Power of Believing That You Can Improve,” by framing the conversations with yourself around the word “yet” (for example, “I don’t have a strict pull-up, yet.”).

Looping back to practiced mediation, it is often said that the only difference between opposite reactions is the breath between an action and your subsequent reaction. If we can deliberately practice a developmental mindset in this breath, then we can turn confidence into a habit. To put it into practice, create simple, and intentional, routines for communicating with yourself around the gym. For example, before you lift a heavy weight take a breath and say, “I’ve got this shit!” or something else that resonates with you OR if you fail the lift try, “Dang! I don’t quite have this weight (or skill), YET.”

– Coach Dylan

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