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You Can Stay Fit With Just Dumbbells

With the coronavirus causing the world to pause, many people have embarked upon at-home workouts with just minimal equipment. This usually involves just a dumbbell.

I’ve been doing many of these workouts in addition to my lifting regimen, and I can say that I am thoroughly getting my ass kicked.

Dumbbells are a challenge in and of themselves. You have to manipulate them differently, and they will most definitely catch up to you.

When I first started a couple of years ago, every time I’d be extremely sore. Now, I just get beat by them. I am coming to enjoy dumbbells. They are a great break from the barbell that’s for sure.

So with the coronavirus raging, get a set of dumbbells and stay fit. You will come to like them and be good at them. Just another tool in your wheelhouse you’ll have when you need it.

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The Need to Lift Heavy

There’s something about lifting heavy that is a need; it does something for the soul.

It gives you a sense of accomplishment, like you’ve done something for the day.

It’s hard. Frequently, you don’t want to do it. But you do it anyways.

That, to me, is powerful.

Lifting heavy has been one of the few things I like doing.

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CrossFit: When You Hate Doing Workouts That Are Good For You

There are a lot of days when I’m dragging myself to the gym. I look at the CrossFit workout, and I have no desire to go. I look at the movements, think how sore I am, and want to say, “Fuck it.”

But, instead, I either do it myself, or drag myself to the CrossFit gym. Most of the time, the CrossFit workout turns out to be really good, or I’m glad I did it.

HANG UPS ON WORKING OUT

Most people don’t work out because of this. They think how horrible it will be and what a crappy time it will be, so they stay at home, in bed, after work, and never work out — much to the detriment of their health. When truly all it takes is a shift in attitude.

Doing stuff that you hate doing that is good for you is a necessity in this world. So just do it, as Nike says!

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CrossFit: Put Strength in the WOD

I hate deadlifting.

I hate moving the weights and putting them on, and I hate the movement in general. But I do it because I have to in order to be strong.

This week, I came across a WOD, or CrossFit Workout, that had a heavy deadlift in it. I did that instead of my normal 5×5 deadlift sequence.

This actually worked out quite well. I didn’t mind deadlifting, and I lifted heavier afterwards.

I learned from now on to put my strength in the WOD — at least for deadlifts.

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CrossFit and Knowing More Than the Coach

When I got my CrossFit Level One certification (L1) almost five years ago, I had two motivations:

  1.  Increase my job prospects
  2.  I inherently don’t trust people. I didn’t want to hurt myself because of bad coaching.

When I started CrossFit, I was obsessed with doing all of the movements correctly. I would Google every movement and watch tons of videos when they were programmed. I did this for a solid two years, and I still do this when something shows up I want to learn more about.

So today, devil’s press was programmed for CrossFit. Devil’s press is a push up with a dumbbell and then you raise the dumbbell overhead. You can either snatch the dumbbell in one movement or you can clean and jerk the dumbbell, which is two movements. As long as it ends up overhead.

Enter my coach.

He’s been coaching maybe six months. Unsure how long he’s been doing CrossFit. I don’t say anything to coaches; I let them coach. Except when they state a falsehood. Then I have to speak up.

Today, my coach tried to tell everyone that a clean and jerk for a devil’s press was not allowed. When I told him it was, I was questioned, but more than that — I was told I was wrong and rudely told “No, you can’t” and “I’ve never seen it done that way before.” Throw in a rude tone, and the CrossFit coach was trying to make me seem like I had no clue what I was talking about. Plus, he kept insisting you couldn’t clean and jerk it.

When I told him I had done devil’s press in a CrossFit competition as a clean and jerk, I still got told I was wrong.

I was angry. I left mad. I didn’t appreciate being told I was an idiot.

Finally, the owner had to step in and tell the CrossFit coach essentially I was right. I still didn’t get an apology.

ADVICE FOR NEW CROSSFIT COACHES

Don’t Come to Class Unprepared

Know your CrossFit programming. If a movement is programmed in CrossFit you don’t know, Google it and its variations. It doesn’t take that long.

Be Nice When Questioned

Many CrossFitters think they know moves. Some are right; some are wrong. You can be nice about it either way.

It’s Not About You

“I would do it this way.”

Honestly, no one particularly cares how you’d do it. CrossFitters can do it however they want — as long as you are safe, of course.

It’s Not Your CrossFit Workout

I usually alter the CrossFit WODs no matter what. I either go heavier, or I change the moves. This is because I have my own CrossFit programming and training, and I know what I need to work on. Some CrossFit coaches take this personally. It’s nothing against you. Again, everyone is at their own place in their CrossFit journey. Honor that, and don’t berate it.

Keep in Mind the Point of CrossFit

The point of CrossFit is to be better at functional movement in the real world, to get a good workout, to feel better about yourself. Meet people where they are at. Everyone is at their own prescribed weight. Everyone can do the movement however they want. It’s their workout; not yours.

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CrossFit Ups Are Always Followed by Downs

At the beginning of the year, I felt healthy and ready to go hard at CrossFit. My injuries had all been healed, and I was well rested.

Enter January.

My dog had to go the emergency vet. The next week my grandmother died. Then I fell down the stairs and bruised up my entire left forearm.

Enter February

Then, this week, I hit myself in the foot with a dumbbell, I fell on the ice, and I dropped a 15-pound plate on my other foot.

I’ve about had it and am wondering what the hell God is trying to tell me here.

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When CrossFit Becomes Fun…

If you remember, my last CrossFit competition I came in first place.

Now that was fun.

Today, I did a REALLY fun CrossFit Wod that is called “The Chief.” The Chief is 3 power cleans at 95 lbs, 6 push ups, and 9 air squats. We did five, three-minute AMRAPs with a minute rest in-between. It was totally fun, and I got 24 rounds in.

It’s taken me almost four years to get to this point. And when I’m healthy (like now), I’m enjoying it like never before!