Hipsters & Crossfit

Hipsters & Crossfit

How to Use Seemingly Useless “Trends” To Your Advantage

Two Things I Despise, Yet… Somehow Have Uses For… (Hipsters & Crossfit that is).

Even though the hipster trend has made previously inexpensive and cool things I enjoy – like PBR, my beard, and cool old school hairstyles, into bastardizations(and incredibly expensive in some cases)… It has brought about a few good things – like quality beard oils, home made manly smelling soaps, and more places carrying my beloved PBR(not that I drink beer these days…)

So, although hipsters can be annoying, arrogant, and just plain silly – there seems to be a use for their seemingly useless trend.(Look at the lessons we learned from 80’s trends… more is not always better)

A similar lesson can be found with the cult…. um, I mean, trend of Crossfit…

All joking aside, there is some good to come out of this sometimes seemingly masochistic workout culture.

Crossfit, for those of you who don’t know of it’s existence, is basically Lightweight Olympic Lifts to Infinity(as described by BroScienceLife) combined with lots of cool(and previously useful) body weight and weighted exercises, but with a touch of danger(guaranteed injury) to make them even cooler…

But in all honesty, these athletes put up some amazing weight(at a competition level) and are some of the most “versatile trained” athletes out there…. so to speak.

Now, there are bad Crossfit “Boxes”(i.e. Gyms) out there, with bad coaching which has a strong tendency toward not giving a shit about their clients safety(again, see BroScienceLife “What Is Crossfit” video, he’s pretty close on this).

Unfortunately, there is a few of these locally, but I’ve met plenty of good ones too(the dude at Crossfit Sussex is a cool dude… and cares about his people). Let’s not let a few bad apples ruin the whole bunch, they’re not all bad.

But, I can’t resist at least sharing this….

Okay, done ranting now, so I’ll get back on point.

Part of doing “Crossfit” is being super mobile(and strong) to prevent injury from the high rep, repetitive lifting – usually done for time. In other words, fast, without caring about technique(in most cases)

What’s The Plus Side To This?

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Simply? More tools available to make you move better! More mobility drills, more free coaching(most of it good) on how to do olympic lifts – to name a few. And most of these guys are legit Olympic Lifting Coaches(certifications and all), so it’s safe to say they know their stuff.(Do your homework first!!)

There’s also a lot of free content out there(and research backing it) on recovery. Whether it’s from sore muscles, sore joints, or even mild injuries(sprains and the like) and even how to safely train while injured, and when you should cool your jets for a few days…

Again, be careful where you get advice… a local “Box” by me is in the habit of beating the living tar out of their clients, as even visible publicly on the comment section of their own Facebook page!

One of my mentors I’m going to be working with in the new year is HUGE into Crossfit, and claims it gets a bad rap from a lot of sources… I mostly agree with him.

The culture of the movement leaned more toward “Hardcore Athletes” at the beginning(X football players, Ex-Military, Wannabe Military/Athletes…) and has shifted to accommodate the general population as the years have went on…

This is where some good has come in.

But be warned. If you’re thinking Crossfit is starting to sound pretty great, you may be in for a shock…

With a mere Crossfit Level 1 Certification and $4k a year, you can open up your own “Box”….

And then things like this happen –

A Crossfit Level 1 Cert is the equivalent of asking your average 1st year med school student to perform a quadruple bypass surgery on you – they might understand the concepts, but have no real understanding or experience to perform the procedure with a high chance of success.

In fact, most states the powers that be(and insurance companies) do not even recognize a Level 1 Crossfit “Coach” as an actual trainer anymore… so be careful where you enter.

I am bias toward the Kettlebell training, it’s my thing…

I follow the work of Pavel Tsatsouline, Dan John, Gray Cook and the like myself. Mainly because injury resistance and a healthy distance from trainers(coaches, whatever) jacked up on too much pre-workout, BCAA, Protein Shakes, and God knows what else.

The proven track record of Kettlebell training’s results and injury resistance for over 700 years(older in other countries) is good enough for me to not switch to a 10 year old fad for my main training style. But, I’ll take any good things that come as a result of it – even if it’s just learning what not to do…

In whatever you do, be smart, don’t take just anyone’s advice, and for Pete’s sake, don’t flail around whilst exercising! An instructor of mine once said “Speed is a great way to hide bad technique”. It applies to martial arts, and fitness just the same.

Until Next Time – Stay Strong My Friends!

~Justin Green

Build Muscle… with Kettlebells???

Build Muscle… with Kettlebells???

Building Muscle is typically NOT associated with kettlebell training…

But it’s not always the tool, it’s how you use it.  That being said, you will not be looking like Arnold or Kali Muscle using Kettlebells, but you can get an athletic, toned physique that will perform as good as it looks!

Now, I’ve seen variations on this that you’re welcome to try(Pat Flynn’s Prometheus Protocol and Andrew Palmer’s KettleBear program, links below) but I would like to throw in my own variation of this. There are similar protocols, but you have to be smart about how you go about this whole “fitness training” thing.

I feel there needs to be a certain variety in what you do, well… as much variety as should be in a program… The other programs focus on just a 2x per week training, which is good for beginners, but by adding in strength movements on the other days of the week there is no “imbalances” in the program, thus rounding it off, so to speak.

The Program:

Monday & Thursday are going to be the days where you are working for “Hypertrophy”(building muscle), so if you are new to training or haven’t done a “weight lifting” program before, I would start with just these two days and focus on stretching and some “light cardio”(brisk walking/hiking) the rest of the week. Monday use a weight that is 85% of your “1 Rep Max”(1 RM), in other words – something you can lift about 7-8 times with good form. Thursday pick something slightly heavier, like 90-95% of your 1 RM – a weight you can lift 3, maybe 5 times with good form.

If you lack “variety” in your equipment use a different tempo for the movement – (4:1:4) instead of (2:1:2), to get more time under tension which effectively “increases” the weight by putting more load on the nerological/muscular system. You can also up the reps (stay between x4-x6) or add a few sets on. One method Pavel Tsatsouline refers to in his book “Power To The People” is one where you focus mainly on “strength” by staying between (x4-x6) reps and working until “failure”. When I say failure, I do not mean getting sloppy type of failure, I mean working to the point where you could probably get one or two more reps, but they wouldn’t look pretty after that… One caveat – the rest periods should be shortened to (x30-x45) seconds to generate the proper Hypertrophy response.

Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday will be “Strength Days”, think of them more as “practicing” than “working out”. You will want to stick with about 85% of your 1 Rep Max here. I caution you not to work to the point of exhaustion as on Monday & Thursday, you do not want to tax your nervous or muscular system as much – it will undo all the work you have just put in

The “Workouts”:

Monday20150814_125647

Double Clean & Press Ladder(x1, x2, x3, x4, x5) “Superset” Double Front Squat (x3)

Repeat this entire thing 10 times(i.e. do the ladder twice) Resting 60-120 sec between movements.

(Superset = Immediately Following, not taxing the same muscle group immediately after… this term is often, well, almost always misused/misunderstood)

Tuesday

Deadlifts 3-5 sets of (x5)

Bent Rows 2 sets of (x5)

Push-ups 2 sets of (x5) slow(4:1:4 tempo)

Hanging Leg Raises 2 sets of (x15) use progression found in Convict Conditioning

Kettlebell Swings 1 set of (x75)

Wednesday

Front Squats 2 sets of (x5)

Military Press 2 sets of (x5)

Windshield Wipers 2 sets of (x6) per side

Kettlebell Swings 2 sets of (x50)

Thursday

ATT_1439577639568_20150814_125708Double Clean & Press 10 sets of (x3)

Double Front Squats 10 sets of (x3)

Rest 60-120 sec between sets, complete all 10 sets of one movement before moving on to the next.

Friday

Full Body Calisthenics Day

Push-Ups 2 sets of (x5)

Pull-Ups 2 sets of (x5)

Pistol Squat(progression) 2 sets of (x5)

Full Bridge 2 sets of (x5)

Hanging Leg Raises 2 sets of (x15)

Kettlebell Swings 2 sets of (x50)

Finisher – 3 rounds: Mountain Climbers (x30 sec) immediately followed by Hard Style Plank (x30 sec)

Saturday & Sunday

Active Rest Day – Hiking, Biking, Brisk Walks, any form of long low intensity cardio is ideal. My favorite is Hiking – it gets you outside, allows you to take in new things(not the walls of your cubical!) gets you in touch with nature, and allows for the greatest range of motion to keep blood flowing through the muscles you’ve just tortured throughout the week!

The Tough Part – Diet

The hardest part about the diet isn’t necessarily eating clean, or not eating too much, or worrying about getting X amount of protein in or whatever, it’s eating that much damn food in one day!

To gain muscle you are going to need to eat like a horse!

Here’s a few guidelines to stick with:

1. Eat Clean, Eat Often, Eat Lots– To the point of discomfort, seriously…

2. Take QUALITY Multivitamin & Fish Oil (Advocare is a good choice)

3. Drink a gallon of milk a day(if you do dairy stuff)

4. Do a Protein Shake 15-30 min after workouts, 20-25 grams is plenty & make sure there’s a decent amount of carbs

5. Eat a high protein, high carb meal about 30 minutes after consuming your shake(stick with things like brown rice, potatoes, and whole foods – this meal is very important.)

IF you are like me and have the metabolism of a greyhound – seriously, I take in over 4,000 cal/day and still don’t put on much weight, not even fat… you may want to look in to a few other methods…

1. Flexible Dieting(going to be trying this one myself soon, I’ll let you know the results)

2. Get Tim Ferriss’s 4 Hour Body and explore his diet options

3. Eat everything that isn’t nailed down(this works well for bodybuilders!)

4. Don’t Skip Your Veggies!!! Broccoli is your friend!!!

Honestly everyone is different, so it’s pretty hard to say what will or won’t work for you diet wise, but I can guarantee you the exercise part will be successful.

Want more programs like this?

Or maybe you’re looking for something different… either way check out our programs page. If you are looking for the fastest(and longest lasting) results check out P.F.T.R. to see if there’s any spaces open, it’s almost GUARANTEED you will hit your goals with this method. Otherwise, drop me an email below and we can chat

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Oh yeah, here’s the other links as promised:

KettleBear Program –http://firebirdperformance.blogspot.com.au/2013/07/kettlebear-program.html?m=0
Prometheus Protocol – http://www.chroniclesofstrength.com/the-prometheus-protocol-how-to-effectively-and-efficiently-put-on-muscle-mass-with-kettlebells-4/