Becoming a Better Coach

How did you spend your weekend?  Me, I was in Varennes, Quebec learning techniques, tips and cues about olympic lifts (snatch, clean and jerk) from Canadian Olympic Lifting Legendary Coach Pierre Roy.  On my quest for fitness I am acquiring all the knowledge possible to not just be a better athlete but a better coach.  I have a passion for fitness and my journey includes many more stops with elite coach in an effort to make me a better one.

Over the weekend I learned all about good cues from foot position to bar location and movement.  I also realized I use my arms too much in my own lifts and need to rely more on the jump in those two move rather than both jumping and arm strength.  My eyes and mind were opened and by letting myself be humbled by Pierre has made me a better athlete and coach.  My knowledge of executing and teaching the olympic lifts has moved far forward over the past 3 days.  Still some hill to climb but the climb is all part to the quest for fitness. 

Pierre Roy and me at FXV gym in Varennes, Quebec

Pierre Roy has coached/coaches olympic champions (Jacques Demers….not the NHL coach) and is currently one of GSP (George St-Pierre)’s coaches.  He helps GSP work on explosiveness. 

Some of the other knowledge we gained was through strongman training for sport, not the stuff you see on TV where they deadlift cars and pull transports.  But functional strongman training to improve strength.  We pushed and pulled a weighted prowler, flipped a 650lb tire, deadlifted and used ropes.  Gruelling but extremely fun to do.

This is a Prowler

We also got a quick running technique clinic to show use the proper way to start sprinting and the importance of the first 3 steps.  Another talk we got was about nutrition and pre and post workout meals.  As you can see there was lots to take in this weekend not to mention the workouts we did Friday through to Sunday.  Some with heavy weights and some lighter or just the bar.  We each did about 500 or more reps over three days, which is fine because the training is hands on so you can feel the movements and understand what you are teaching.

It was great to spend the weekend with the Cornwall/Kingston Crossfit crew (Tyler, Kyle, Josee, Troy, Josiane, Kylie, Burns and Dawson).  I think the 9 of us left all at FXV with a good impression of the heart and dedication we have to the sport and the industry and most importantly our members.  A big thanks to Steve, Pierre, PM, Caroline and Marc for all their help and coaching.  It was a blast!

Now back to training tomorrow and to start using my new knowledge.

Be Great!

Danimal

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Tackling Your Weaknesses

On a day where the WOD calls for deadlifts, back squats, overhead squats, presses I love going and can’t wait to get there and crush them because I know I can.  But, what about the days with movements I suck at like dead hang pullups or ring dips or double unders.  I need to tackles those even more to remove them from my weak list and conquer them. One of my goals this year is to do at least one muscle up before the end of the year.  I won’t achieve that unless I master the dead hang pullup and the ring dip.

Ring Dips With Band Assistance

THE SAME GOES FOR YOU!

Don’t skip the days where you hate the movement because you suck at it.  Go there and work at getting better at it. I once heard someone say “take your weaknesses and make them your bitch!”.  It’s actually good advice.  Take 2 or 3 of the things you need to improve and work on them once or twice a week.

I have started with dips and can now do 35 unassisted.  One more week of regular unassisted dips and I tackle it on the rings. At the same time, but on different days, I am also working with bands to get that dead hang pullup.  Once I get these I will take another deficiency and remove it from my weak list.

During the Foundation program I talk a lot about patience and technique.  Despite my 3 years of Crossfitting I still must apply that same advice to myself and check the ego at the door.  Don’t be afraid to be or get humbled by something if you can take that lesson and learn from it to better yourself. 

If you haven’t already, set goals for yourself that are achievable and identify areas where you need to improve to get there and work on them.  Enjoy the journey, it’s part of the ride.

Also the next Foundation class at Cornwall Crossfit starts March 7, 2010.  Email me at dan@cavemanstrong.com for more information or to sign up.  There are only 8 spots left.

Be Great!

Danimal


They Came, They Worked, They Kicked Ass!

So another successful Cornwall Crossfit Foundation program is in the books.  This latest group had tremendous energy and drive and you could definitely see the bond between them as the weeks went on.  I always intro the program by reminding them they are not competing against each other but rather working together as a team.  That team dynamic was front and centre over the past 4 weeks with encouraging words to each other and the loud cheers when everyone was done the daily WOD.

No cheer was louder than last night when they all crushed the baseline WOD. (Row 500m, 40 Squats, 30 Situps, 20 Pushups, 10 Pullups).  By the time they all finished the average decrease in time was 2:30!  They all got faster and stronger and it was obvious to me, Tyler and Jo who witnessed it.  On top of gaining stamina and strength the group also collectively lost a total of over 50 pounds (51) and close to 70 inches (67.5).  It should be noted that one member was absent for the weigh and measure so that number will likely go up.

For the first time we had someone sign up to actually gain weight and get stronger.  She did.  She put on 3 pounds and lost 2 inches in the chest but gained one in the glute (butt).  Most women and men will lose inches in the chest at the beginning until they start to build muscle there.  In the glute the inch increase is definitely due to the amount of squats and box jumps and movements when the posterior chain is required to complete the movement.  It is used in the squat, the deadlift, the clean, the snatch…you get the picture.  So, this program can help you lose weight and inches but it can ALSO help kick-start gains in those areas as well.

The change in energy, confidence and overall belief in themselves was very evident as each session went by.  This group of people made the decision to better their lifestyle and pushed through some tough nights and have now come out on top…BUT…this is merely the beginning of their journey.  Four weeks does not equal a lifetime so there is still a long road ahead but they now have the tools and savvy to make that road better, not easy, better.  My hat is off to all of them and I am sure I speak for Tyler, Jo, Troy and Kyle when I say it was a real pleasure to be part of the ride.  We will still be there everyday for them no matter what challenge or issue or lift they want some help with.  They are now part of the Cornwall Crossfit community and that community is now 8 people stronger than 4 weeks ago!

The Foundation program is about preparing the body for what comes with membership at Cornwall Crossfit.  Through the 4 weeks we teach Foundation members the basics of the Paleo Diet and all the lifts they will encounter during their tenure at the gym.  We teach all squat variations(body weight, back, front overhead and box), the clean, the presses and the jerk, the deadlift, the olympic snatch, kipping pullups and more.  The group learns the various movements you find in our warmups and each session ends with a short challenging WOD (workout of the day).

If you know someone who has taken it feel free to ask them what they think, don’t just take it from me.

The most recent graduating Foundation group. They collectively lost over 50 pounds and close to 70 inches!

The next session is set to begin March 7th.  That’s two weeks from now.  If you are interested please contact me at 613.360.7373 or dan@cavemanstrong.com

Be Great!

Danimal


I Am Now Offering Private Training Through The Foundation Program

As most of you are aware my true passion is Crossfit and chasing elite fitness.  I have been a certified Level 1 Crossfit Coach since June 6, 2010 and have successfully written and run 3 Foundation programs at Cornwall Crossfit since then.  Teaching others what I have learned over the past 3 plus years is very rewarding and I am now in a position to teach even more. 

The private training is basically an expansion on the Foundation program at Cornwall Crossfit.  Some people are still a little uncomfortable in a group of 10 where sometime you walk in and start training with 9 strangers.  For others it is hard to do things in the evening so now we can book it during the daytime and on weekends.  So this is simply an expansion of the program with me taking on private sessions one-on-one or with a group up to four or five people.  This is brand new so my schedule is open at the moment aside from Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 7pm to 9pm.  Aside from that, I am available.  If you, or you and a group of friends, want to train with me, give me a shout at 613.360.7373 or email me at dan@cavemanstrong.com for all the details .  The sessions will take place in a small garage gym at the start and once the new Cornwall Crossfit opens this spring we will move our sessions in there.  I am very excited about the new location old press room at the former Freeholder building on Pitt).  I got a tour last week and it will amaze not just Crossfitters but anyone who walks in.  Expanded hours, programs, triple the size.  I am getting pumped just writing about it!  It should be ready early this spring.  The current Foundation program is being reviewed and we will be announcing any changes in the coming weeks so stay tuned.  We are always reviewing our programs to make sure they are as effective as possible, change is good.  The next Foundation program scheduled at Cornwall Crossfit in the evenings is set to begin March 7, 2010.  There are 7 spots left there.

Through the Foundation program many people are still members and they are all leaner and stronger than ever.  The program focuses on teaching you functional movements to help with everyday life, sports and any other physical challenge life throws your way. 

I can also help you with a lifestyle change in the eating department which I have plenty of experience with.  I used to weigh 350 pounds and am now 265.  The road to changing your eating habits is a long and winding one sometimes but I have been through it and my experiences will serve me well when helping others.

I look forward to this new chapter in my fitness career and hope you will help me spread the word.  I truly believe Crossfit can work for everybody and hope you decide to at least give it a try to see the results for yourself.  If you need more proof just talk to any member and they will tell you themselves.

Be great!

Danimal