Hold Fast Iron

"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17

Hold Fast Iron is dedicated to sharpening the lives of others.  

More Than a Name

More Than a Name

 

          Your identity is important.  More than your name, your identity defines who you are as a person.  When someone thinks about you, they think of who you are as a person and what actions you do.  They think about your identity.  Now your identity is yours, free to shape and mold as you choose.  Your passions will influence your identity.  You will impact the lives of everyone you meet, large or small.  How much of an impact you have depends upon your identity. 

           

            Take a moment to look back at your childhood, think about the school system you attended.  Think about how many teachers you have had influence you.  Through all the years and all the grades, I am certain there were some teachers that did not have a lasting impact on your life.  Not that they were bad teachers or even bad people, they simply taught just enough material needed for you to advance to the next subject.  These teachers did exactly what they were paid to do and nothing more.  From an outside perspective, this is all that is ever asked, show up and do your job. 

 

            On the other hand, I am certain there was a teacher whom you remember vividly.  Long after the grades were counted and the class ended, their impression remains.  This type of teacher goes the extra mile creating a learning experience beyond math and physics, they taught us life lessons.  Although these two types of teachers share the same title, teacher, their identities are as different as night and day.  I believe the underlining difference between these teachers is passion.  Having passion for your profession.  Long after the students have left and the coffee runs dry, the passion remains.

 

            The teaching example can be replaced with any profession or along any walk of life.  Living and working with passion will provide the energy necessary to go that extra mile.  You will impact the lives of everyone you meet, large or small.  These impressions people remember will be about who you are as a person and what you did.  Each and every encounter people will see more than your name.  What do you want people to think about when they think of you, the person who does just enough, or the person who changed their life?

Imprisioned

A prison is a facility which forcibly houses criminals.  These criminals have been tried and found guilty of a crime and serving out a sentence.  These sentences vary in length and degree depending on the crime.  One underlining fact is true for all; they are all denied freedom. 

The majority of us are not imprisoned in the traditional sense but we may have imprisoned ourselves unintentionally.  We didn’t realize were we doing it at the time, we were offered a job and started to make a living.  As life went on, the bills kept coming, so we kept working.  We live our lives now counting the years until retirement.  Just like inmates in prison counting the days until release.  By doing this, we are denying ourselves the freedom of life. 

All this can change if you have the courage to quit, to move, to do whatever needs to be done.  You are free.  Free to change.  Free to live the life of your dreams.  We all have but one shot at life, why spend it locked away.  You are free, but are you freely living?

Live With Passion

Live With Passion

 

We have all received guidance in one form or another.  Guidance helps us to navigate this thing we call life.  Every so often we are granted the privilege of a message that is so crystal clear, you have no choice but to pay attention.  Live with passion. 

 

Think on how many different hats you wear everyday.  I have a hat for work, a hat for home, a hat for my family, I even have a hat for the gym.  Different hats mean different people, different responsibilities and different joys.  Really they are all different versions of you.  Maybe this juggling act works for you and maybe it doesn’t.  I had grown tired of juggling these different lifestyles.  I was searching for something more.  As the saying goes, we only live once.  Finding and living your passion serves as one of the greatest challenges we face.  Live with passion.

 

Discovering your passion is a bit like falling in love, you cant describe it and you cant touch it.  You just know it to be true.  Passion provides energy, it doesn't take it away.  Live with passion.

HOLD FAST FRIDAY 4/15/2016

Everyone has a past, a story, and a beginning.  This is the origin of Hold Fast Iron. 
Twenty years ago in P.E. class I was approached to join the Football team after school in the weight room.  Not having anything better to do, I decided to go.  And besides, I had some close friends on the football team.  The school’s weight room was small and tucked away in a corner of the basketball gym.  By small I mean, it was a converted storage closet.  I did not know it at the time, but this converted closet would become my sanctuary. 
Our workouts were simple, lift heavy weights.  Loud music and iron, I fell in love.  As the days turned into weeks, the regulars began to emerge and a camaraderie was formed.   Sharing in the bonds of suffering, we were experiencing successes and failures.  We were being forged by the iron.  We were challenging each other to be better.
I was molded by the weight room.
“Just as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”  Proverbs 27:17.

HOLD FAST FRIDAY 4/8/2016

Working Rest Days

There are a lot of different approaches out there when it comes to rest days.  I am not here to disapprove any of these training plans or cycles.  I am a huge proponent of tailoring workouts to the individuals which would include rest days.  After a lot of trial and error, here is what I have found that best suits me. 
 
My rest days are not planned out in advance.  There is never a three on one off plan.  My rest days are by feel.  For instance if I wake up in the morning and I am completely exhausted from the work of the days preceding, I will take a day off.  It may be once or twice a week to once a month. 

Prescription: Rest days are as needed.

The next question that arises is what type of rest days to take.  Again, this is not about disproving any belief or system.  As I stated above, rest days should be tailored to the individual.  Here is what I have found that works best with my training template. 
 
Before I take a full day off from training I ask myself if I want to do an active recovery workout.  By active I do not mean walking on the beach with my dogs, although that is a favorite pastime.  I mean getting in conditioning at low intensity on the skeleton system.  My favorite options are swimming, rowing, air dyne, yoga, and barbell warmups.  Swimming, rowing, yoga, and the air dyne are almost self explanatory, move the body and get the blood pumping.  As for the barbell warm-ups, I will mobilize and warm-up just as I would before getting into the weeds with a Olympic lifting training session but I stop as soon as I am warm.  I have found that this method also greatly improves upon technique. 

Prescription: Smart active rest days.

The last bit of information will be regarding rest and sleep.  Healthy, natural sleep will pay huge dividends regarding recovery.  Train hard and sleep hard.
Hold Fast brothers and sisters!

HOLD FAST FRIDAY 4/1/2016

I do the very best I know how, the very best I can, and I mean to keep on doing so until the end.
— Abraham Lincoln

After finishing a workout, a close friend of mine, asked me if he did alright.  If he did alright.  I told him, only he can answer that question.  The workout he did was the CrossFit Open 16.5.  As many of you know this workout is tough, really tough.  But I could not answer that question for him.  You and you alone know if you gave a workout all that you had or if you sandbagged.  On the path of fitness you will be your best judge of performance.  Be honest with yourself. 

Be excellent. 

HOLD FAST FRIDAY 3/25/2016

Tips for CrossFit Open 16.5 featuring Nicole Carroll

Improve mobility for thrusters featuring Kelly Starrett

WORKOUT 16.5

21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of:
Thrusters
Burpees

Men use 95 lb.
Women use 65 lb. 

Notes
This workout begins with the barbell on the floor and the athlete standing tall. At the call of “3, 2, 1 … go,” the athlete will perform 21 thrusters, then 21 burpees, jumping over the barbell for each rep of the burpees. They will then perform 18 of each, then 15 of each, etc., until the last round of 3 of each. Every second counts in this workout. Your score will be the time it takes to complete all 168 repetitions. There is no time cap for this workout.

This workout ends when the feet land on the other side of the bar on the final rep. Time will be recorded in full seconds. Do not round up. If you finish in 7:49.8, your score is 7:49.

Equipment
• Barbell
• Standard bumper plates (18” diameter) to load to the appropriate weight for your division
• Collars

* If you do not use standard-sized bumper plates on the barbell, you will also need a second barbell set with standard plates to jump over for the burpees, unless you are Scaled Masters. Scaled Masters will be permitted to jump over an empty barbell on the burpees.

For each workout, be sure the athlete has adequate space to safely complete the workout. Clear the area of all extra equipment, people or other obstructions.

Any athlete who in any way alters the equipment or movements described in this document or shown in the workout standards video may be disqualified from the competition.

**The official weight is in pounds. For your convenience, the minimum acceptable weights in kilograms are 43 kg (95 lb.), 29 kg (65 lb.), 20 kg (45 lb.), and 15 kg (35 lb.).

 

Video Submission Standards
Prior to starting, film the plates and barbell to be used so the loads can be seen clearly. All video submissions should be uncut and unedited in order to accurately display the performance. A second person with a stopwatch should be in the frame throughout the entire workout. Shoot the video from an angle so all exercises can be clearly seen meeting the movement standards.

Note: Depending on your performance, this video may be longer than previous workouts. Be sure you have enough battery life, memory and time to upload your video. You may need to increase your limit on YouTube to allow a longer video.

Workout 16.5 Variations

Rx’d (Rx’d Men, Masters Men 40-44, Masters Men 45-49, Masters Men 50-54, Rx’d Women, Masters Women 40-44, Masters Women 45-49, Masters Women 50-54, Teen Boys 16-17, Teen Girls 16-17)
21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of:
Thrusters
Burpees

Men use 95 lb.
Women use 65 lb.

Scaled (Scaled Men, Scaled Masters Men 40-44, Scaled Masters Men 45-49, Scaled Masters Men 50-54, Scaled Women, Scaled Masters Women 40-44, Scaled Masters Women 45-49, Scaled Masters Women 50-54)
21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of:
Thrusters
Burpees

Men use 65 lb.
Women use 45 lb.

Masters (Masters Men 55-59, Masters Men 60+, Masters Women 55-59, Masters Women 60+)
21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of:
Thrusters
Burpees

Men use 65 lb.
Women use 45 lb.

Scaled Masters (Scaled Masters Men 55-59, Scaled Masters Men 60+, Scaled Masters Women 55-59, Scaled Masters Women 60+)
21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of:
Thrusters
Burpees

Men use 45 lb.
Women use 35 lb.
Note: Burpees over an unloaded barbell are permitted for this division.

Teens 14-15 (Teen Boys 14-15, Teen Girls 14-15)
21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of:
Thrusters
Burpees

Boys use 65 lb.
Girls use 45 lb.

 

Scaled Teens (Scaled Teen Boys 14-15, Scaled Teen Boys 16-17, Scaled Teen Girls 14-15, Scaled Teen Girls 16-17)
21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of:
Thrusters
Burpees

Boys use 45 lb.
Girls use 35 lb.

HOLD FAST FRIDAY 3/18/2016

WORKOUT 16.4

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 13 minutes of:
55 deadlifts
55 wall-ball shots
55-calorie row
55 handstand push-ups

Men deadlift 225 lb. and throw 20-lb. ball to 10-ft. target
Women deadlift 155 lb. and throw 14-lb. ball to 9-ft. target

Notes
Prior to starting this workout each athlete will need to stand against the wall and measure and mark their foot line for the handstand push-ups (details in Movement Standards section). This workout begins with the barbell on the floor and the athlete standing tall. At the call of “3, 2, 1 … go,” the athlete will perform 55 deadlifts, then move to the wall and complete 55 wall-ball shots, then to the rower to pull 55 calories, then back to the wall for handstand push-ups. If 55 handstand push-ups are completed, the athlete will move back to the barbell and begin another round.

Your score will be the total number of repetitions completed within the 13-minute time cap.

Tiebreak
The scoring for this workout includes a tiebreak. At the end of the row, time should be marked. When you submit your final result, your score will be the number of reps completed. There will be another field in which you will enter the elapsed time at which you completed the 55-calorie row. In the case where two athletes have the same score (total number of reps), the athlete with the lower tiebreak time will be ranked higher.

Note: All tiebreak times must be reported in elapsed time, not in time remaining. If you are using a countdown timer, you must convert to elapsed time before reporting your score. For this reason, it is recommended you set your clock to count up.  

Equipment
• Barbell
• Standard bumper plates (18” diameter) to load to the appropriate weight for your division
• Collars
• A medicine ball of the appropriate weight for your division
• A wall mark or target set at specified height for wall-ball shots
• A wall mark for the handstand push-ups
• Rower that counts calories, similar in type and calibration to a Concept 2

For each workout, be sure the athlete has adequate space to safely complete the workout. Clear the area of all extra equipment, people or other obstructions.

Any athlete who in any way alters the equipment or movements described in this document or shown in the workout standards video may be disqualified from the competition.

*The official weight is in pounds. For your convenience, the minimum acceptable weights in kilograms are 102 kg (225 lb.), 83 kg (185 lb.), 70 kg (155 lb.), 61 kg (135 lb.), 56 kg (125 lb.), 43 kg (95.), 29 kg (65 lb.), and 9-kg ball (20 lb.), 6-kg ball (14 lb.), 4-kg ball (10 lb.).

Video Submission Standards
Prior to starting, film the plates and barbell to be used so the loads can be seen clearly. Also film the measuring of the height of the handstand push-up marker, the height of the wall-ball target, as well as the weight of the ball, so the loads and height can be seen clearly. All video submissions should be uncut and unedited in order to accurately display the performance. A second person with a stopwatch should be in the frame throughout the entire workout. Shoot the video from an angle so all exercises can be clearly seen meeting the movement standards.


Mobility preparation from Kelly Starrett and MobilityWOD.


What makes rowing popular with elite athletes and CrossFitters is exactly what many in the general fitness population dislike about it: your weaknesses cannot be hidden on the rowing machine. It is a human polygraph of physical and mental performance. Stroke for stroke, you are provided with feedback that both reveals any weak spots and very visibly demonstrates the relationship between performance and proper technique. If you want faster times, better scores, and superior performance, work to improve your rowing technique so you can harness your full potential. 
Excerpt taken from CrossFit journal.  Rowing Technique, Passing the Human Polygraph.  Written by Angela Hart

A quick tutorial on improving rowing technique from Ben Bergeron.

Workout 16.4 Variations

Rx’d (Rx’d Men, Masters Men 40-44, Masters Men 45-49, Masters Men 50-54, Rx’d Women, Masters Women 40-44, Masters Women 45-49, Masters Women 50-54)
Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 13 minutes of:
55 deadlifts
55 wall-ball shots
55-calorie row
55 handstand push-ups

Men deadlift 225 lb. and throw 20-lb. ball to 10-ft. target
Women deadlift 155 lb. and throw 14-lb. ball to 9-ft. target

 

Scaled (Scaled Men, Scaled Masters Men 40-44, Scaled Masters Men 45-49, Scaled Masters Men 50-54, Scaled Women, Scaled Masters Women 40-44, Scaled Masters Women 45-49, Scaled Masters Women 50-54)
Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 13 minutes of:
55 deadlifts
55 wall-ball shots
55-calorie row
55 hand release push-ups

Men deadlift 135 lb. and throw 20-lb. ball to 9-ft. target
Women deadlift 95 lb. and throw 10-lb. ball to 9-ft. target

 

Masters (Masters Men 55-59, Masters Men 60+, Masters Women 55-59, Masters Women 60+)
Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 13 minutes of:
55 deadlifts
55 wall-ball shots
55-calorie row
55 push presses

Men deadlift 185 lb., throw 20-lb. ball to 9-ft. target and push press 95 lb.
Women deadlift 125 lb., throw 10-lb. ball to 9-ft. target and push press 65 lb.

 

Scaled Masters (Scaled Masters Men 55-59, Scaled Masters Men 60+, Scaled Masters Women 55-59, Scaled Masters Women 60+)
Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 13 minutes of:
55 deadlifts
55 wall-ball shots
55-calorie row
55 push presses

Men deadlift 135 lb. and throw 14-lb. ball to 9-ft. target and push press 65 lb.
Women deadlift 95 lb. and throw 10-lb. ball to 9-ft. target and push press 45 lb.

 

Teens (Teen Boys 14-15, Teen Boys 16-17, Teen Girls 14-15, Teen Girls 16-17)
Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 13 minutes of:
55 deadlifts
55 wall-ball shots
55-calorie row
55 handstand push-ups

Boys 14-15 deadlift 135 lb. and throw 14-lb. ball to 9-ft. target
Boys 16-17 deadlift 185 lb. and throw 20-lb. ball to 10-ft. target
Girls 14-15 deadlift 95 lb. and throw 10-lb. ball to 9-ft. target
Girls 16-17 deadlift 125 lb. and throw 14-lb. ball to 9-ft. target

 

Scaled Teens (Scaled Teen Boys 14-15, Scaled Teen Boys 16-17, Scaled Teen Girls 14-15, Scaled Teen Girls 16-17)
Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 13 minutes of:
55 deadlifts
55 wall-ball shots
55-calorie row
55 hand-release push-ups

Boys 14-15 deadlift 95 lb. and throw 14-lb. ball to 9-ft. target
Boys 16-17 deadlift 135 lb. and throw 14-lb. ball to 9-ft. target
Girls 14-15 deadlift 65 lb. and throw 10-lb. ball to 9-ft. target
Girls 16-17 deadlift 95 lb. and throw 10-lb. ball to 9-ft. target

 

HOLD FAST FRIDAY 3/11/2016

Friendships born on the field of athletic strife are the real gold of competition. Awards become corroded, friends gather no dust.
— Jesse Owens

16.3 Bar Muscle-Ups!

Below is a video from CrossFit.com that breaks down the bar muscle up.

Workout 16.3

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 7 minutes of:
10 power snatches
3 bar muscle-ups

Men use 75 lb.
Women use 55 lb.

Notes
This workout begins with the barbell on the floor and the athlete standing tall. At the call of “3, 2, 1 … go,” the athlete will perform 10 power snatches, then move to the pull-up bar to perform muscle-ups. After 3 reps, the athlete will move back to the barbell and begin their next round.

Your score will be the total number of repetitions completed within the 7-minute time cap.

Tiebreak
The scoring for this workout includes a tiebreak. At the end of each round, time should be marked. When you submit your final result, your score will be the number of reps completed. There will be another field in which you will enter the elapsed time at which you completed your last full round. In the case where 2 athletes have the same score (total number of reps), the athlete with the lower tiebreak time will be ranked higher.

Note: All tiebreak times must be reported in elapsed time, not in time remaining. If you are using a countdown timer, you must convert to elapsed time before reporting your score. For this reason, it is recommended you set your clock to count up.

Equipment
• Barbell
• Plates to load to the appropriate weight for your division
• Collars
• Pull-up bar

For each workout, be sure the athlete has adequate space to safely complete the workout. Clear the area of all extra equipment, people or other obstructions.

*The official weight is in pounds. For your convenience, the minimum acceptable weights in kilograms are 34 kg (75 lb.), 29 kg (65 lb.), 25 kg (55 lb.), 20 kg (45 lb.), and 15 kg (35 lb.).

Video Submission Standards
Prior to starting, film the plates and barbell to be used so the loads can be seen clearly. All video submissions should be uncut and unedited in order to accurately display the performance. A second person with a stopwatch should be in the frame throughout the entire workout. Shoot the video from an angle so all exercises can be clearly seen meeting the movement standards.

Workout 16.3 Variations

Rx’d (Rx’d Men, Masters Men 40-44, Masters Men 45-49, Masters Men 50-54, Rx’d Women, Masters Women 40-44, Masters Women 45-49, Masters Women 50-54, Teen Boys 16-17, Teen Girls 16-17)

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 7 minutes of:
10 power snatches
3 bar muscle-ups

Men use 75 lb.
Women use 55 lb.

Scaled (Scaled Men, Scaled Masters Men 40-44, Scaled Masters Men 45-49, Scaled Masters Men 50-54, Scaled Women, Scaled Masters Women 40-44, Scaled Masters Women 45-49, Scaled Masters Women 50-54)

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 7 minutes of:
10 power snatches
5 jumping chest-to-bar pull-ups

Men use 45 lb.
Women use 35 lb.

Masters (Masters Men 55-59, Masters Men 60+, Masters Women 55-59, Masters Women 60+)

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 7 minutes of:
10 power snatches
5 chest-to-bar pull-ups

Men use 65 lb.
Women use 45 lb.

Scaled Masters (Scaled Masters Men 55-59, Scaled Masters Men 60+, Scaled Masters Women 55-59, Scaled Masters Women 60+)

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 7 minutes of:
10 power snatches
5 jumping chest-to-bar pull-ups

Men use 45 lb.
Women use 35 lb.

Teens (Teen boys 14-15, Teen girls 14-15)

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 7 minutes of:
10 power snatches
3 bar muscle-ups

Boys use 65 lb.
Girls use 45 lb.

Scaled Teens (Scaled Teen Boys 14-15, Scaled Teen Girls 14-15, Scaled Teen Boys 16-17, Scaled Teen Girls 16-17)

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 7 minutes of:
10 power snatches
5 jumping chest-to-bar pull-ups

Boys use 45 lb.
Girls use 35 lb.

HOLD FAST FRIDAY 3/4/2016

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift.
— Steve Prefontaine

The CrossFit Games Open 16.2

 

Efficiency tips for knees to elbow and toes to bar.

Efficiency tips for jumping rope and double unders. 

Tips for improving explosive power.

WORKOUT 16.2

Beginning on a 4-minute clock, complete as many reps as possible of:
  25 toes-to-bars
  50 double-unders
  15 squat cleans, 135 / 85 lb.

If completed before 4 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 toes-to-bars
  50 double-unders
  13 squat cleans, 185 / 115 lb.

If completed before 8 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 toes-to-bars
  50 double-unders
  11 squat cleans, 225 / 145 lb.

If completed before 12 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 toes-to-bars
  50 double-unders
  9 squat cleans, 275 / 175 lb.

If completed before 16 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 toes-to-bars
  50 double-unders
  7 squat cleans, 315 / 205 lb.

Stop at 20 minutes.

Scaled (Scaled Men, Scaled Masters Men 40-44, Scaled Masters Men 45-49, Scaled Masters Men 50-54, Scaled Women, Scaled Masters Women 40-44, Scaled Masters Women 45-49, Scaled Masters Women 50-54)

Beginning on a 4-minute clock, complete as many reps as possible of:
  25 hanging knee raises
  50 single-unders
  15 squat cleans, 95 / 55 lb.

If completed before 4 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 hanging knee raises
  50 single-unders
  13 squat cleans, 115 / 75 lb.

If completed before 8 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 hanging knee raises
  50 single-unders
  11 squat cleans, 135 / 95 lb.

If completed before 12 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 hanging knee raises
  50 single-unders
  9 squat cleans, 155 / 115 lb.

If completed before 16 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 hanging knee raises
  50 single-unders
  7 squat cleans, 185 / 135 lb.

Stop at 20 minutes.

Masters (Masters Men 55-59, Masters Men 60+, Masters Women 55-59, Masters Women 60+)
Beginning on a 4-minute clock, complete as many reps as possible of:
  25 toes-to-bars
  50 double-unders
  15 squat cleans, 115 / 65 lb.

If completed before 4 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 toes-to-bars
  50 double-unders
  13 squat cleans, 135 / 85 lb.

If completed before 8 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 toes-to-bars
  50 double-unders
  11 squat cleans, 155 / 105 lb.

If completed before 12 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 toes-to-bars
  50 double-unders
  9 squat cleans, 185 / 125 lb.

If completed before 16 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 toes-to-bars
  50 double-unders
  7 squat cleans, 205 / 145 lb.

Stop at 20 minutes.

Scaled Masters (Scaled Masters Men 55-59, Scaled Masters Men 60+, Scaled Masters Women 55-59, Scaled Masters Women 60+)
Beginning on a 4-minute clock, complete as many reps as possible of:
  25 sit-ups
  50 single-unders
  15 squat cleans, 65 / 45 lb.

If completed before 4 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 sit-ups
  50 single-unders
  13 squat cleans, 85 / 65 lb.

If completed before 8 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 sit-ups
  50 single-unders
  11 squat cleans, 105 / 75 lb.

If completed before 12 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 sit-ups
  50 single-unders
  9 squat cleans, 125 / 85 lb.

If completed before 16 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 sit-ups
  50 single-unders
  7 squat cleans, 145 / 105 lb.

Stop at 20 minutes.

Teens 14-15  (Teen Boys 14-15, Teen Girls 14-15)
Beginning on a 4-minute clock, complete as many reps as possible of:
  25 toes-to-bars
  50 double-unders
  15 squat cleans, 95 / 55 lb.

If completed before 4 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 toes-to-bars
  50 double-unders
  13 squat cleans, 115 / 75 lb.

If completed before 8 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 toes-to-bars
  50 double-unders
  11 squat cleans, 135 / 95lb.

If completed before 12 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 toes-to-bars
  50 double-unders
  9 squat cleans, 155 / 105 lb.

If completed before 16 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 toes-to-bars
  50 double-unders
  7 squat cleans, 185 / 115 lb.

Stop at 20 minutes.

Teens 16-17 (Teen Boys 16-17, Teen Girls 16-17)
Beginning on a 4-minute clock, complete as many reps as possible of:
  25 toes-to-bars
  50 double-unders
  15 squat cleans, 115 / 75 lb.

If completed before 4 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 toes-to-bars
  50 double-unders
  13 squat cleans, 145 / 95 lb.

If completed before 8 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 toes-to-bars
  50 double-unders
  11 squat cleans, 185 / 125 lb.

If completed before 12 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 toes-to-bars
  50 double-unders
  9 squat cleans, 205 / 135 lb.

If completed before 16 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 toes-to-bars
  50 double-unders
  7 squat cleans, 235 / 155 lb.

Stop at 20 minutes.

Scaled Teens (Scaled Teen Boys 14-15, Scaled Teen Boys 16-17, Scaled Teen Girls 14-15, Scaled Teen Girls 16-17)
Beginning on a 4-minute clock, complete as many reps as possible of:
  25 hanging knee raises
  50 single-unders
  15 squat cleans, 65 / 45 lb.

If completed before 4 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 hanging knee raises
  50 single-unders
  13 squat cleans, 85 / 65 lb.

If completed before 8 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 hanging knee raises
  50 single-unders
  11 squat cleans, 105 / 75 lb.

If completed before 12 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 hanging knee raises
  50 single-unders
  9 squat cleans, 125 / 85 lb.

If completed before 16 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 hanging knee raises
  50 single-unders
  7 squat cleans, 145 / 95 lb.

Stop at 20 minutes.

HOLD FAST FRIDAY 2/26/2016

The CrossFit Open is here!  

.   

          Whether this is your first year competing in the Open or your a seasoned CrossFitter, this is an exciting time of year.  Below you will find some videos for tips and strategies for the first Open workout, 16.1.  For all the movement standards make sure you check out games.crossfit.com

tips about pacing

overhead walking lunge technique

burpees

pullups

Below you will find the workout details for 16.1

 

WORKOUT 16.1

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 20 minutes of:
25-ft. overhead walking lunge
8 burpees
25-ft. overhead walking lunge
8 chest-to-bar pull-ups

Men lunge 95 lb.
Women lunge 65 lb.

Notes
Prior to starting this workout, each athlete will need to mark a starting point on the floor, measure out 25 feet and make another mark on the floor at the finishing point. Additionally, intermediate marks must be made at every 5-foot interval, each of which represents 1 rep of the lunge.

This workout begins with the barbell resting on the floor near the pull-up bar. At the call of “3, 2, 1 … go,” the athlete will pick up the barbell and lunge with it overhead for 25 feet. They will then perform 8 burpees, jumping over the barbell on each repetition, before picking the barbell back up and lunging back in the opposite direction. Once back at the pull-up bar, they will perform 8 chest-to-bar pull-ups, and then will head back to the barbell to begin the next round.

Your score will be the total number of repetitions completed before the 20-minute time cap.

Equipment
• Barbell
• Collars
• Plates to load to the appropriate weight for your division
• Pull-up bar
• Measuring tape

For each workout, be sure the athlete has adequate space to safely complete the workout. Clear the area of all extra equipment, people or other obstructions.

*The official weight is in pounds. For your convenience, the minimum acceptable weights in kilograms are 43 kg (95 lb.), 29 kg (65 lb.), 20 kg (45 lb.), and 15 kg (35 lb.). For the lunge, a 7.5-meter length divided into five 1.5-meter sections will be acceptable.

 

Video Submission Standards
Prior to starting, film the plates and barbell to be used so the loads can be seen clearly. Also film the measurement of the 25-foot lunge area and the 5-foot intermediate marks. All video submissions should be uncut and unedited in order to accurately display the performance. A second person with a stopwatch should be in the frame throughout the entire workout. Shoot the video from an angle so all exercises can be clearly seen meeting the movement standards. If the 25-foot lunge area cannot be seen in the frame, athletes will be permitted to lunge back and forth in a smaller area, so long as the 5-foot intervals can still be clearly seen.

Workout 16.1 Variations

Rx’d
(Rx’d Men, Masters Men 40-44, Masters Men 45-49, Masters Men 50-54, Rx’d Women, Masters Women 40-44, Masters Women 45-49, Masters Women 50-54, Teen Boys 16-17, Teen Girls 16-17)

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 20 minutes of:
25-ft. overhead walking lunge
8 burpees
25-ft. overhead walking lunge
8 chest-to-bar pull-ups

Men lunge 95 lb.
Women lunge 65 lb.

Scaled
(Scaled Men, Scaled Masters Men 40-44, Scaled Masters Men 45-49, Scaled Masters Men 50-54, Scaled Women, Scaled Masters Women 40-44, Scaled Masters Women 45-49, Scaled Masters Women 50-54)

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 20 minutes of:
25-ft. front rack walking lunge
8 burpees
25-ft. front rack walking lunge
8 jumping chin-over-bar pull-ups

Men lunge 45 lb.
Women lunge 35 lb.

Masters
(Masters Men 55-59, Masters Men 60+, Masters Women 55-59, Masters Women 60+)

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 20 minutes of:
25-ft. overhead walking lunge
8 burpees
25-ft. overhead walking lunge
8 chin-over-bar pull-ups

Men lunge 65 lb.
Women lunge 45 lb.

Scaled Masters
(Scaled Masters Men 55-59, Scaled Masters Men 60+, Scaled Masters Women 55-59, Scaled Masters Women 60+)

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 20 minutes of:
25-ft. walking lunge
8 burpees
25-ft. walking lunge
8 jumping chin-over-bar pull-ups

*Lunges are unweighted

Teens 14-15
(Teen Boys 14-15, Teen Girls 14-15)

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 20 minutes of:
25-ft. overhead walking lunge
8 burpees
25-ft. overhead walking lunge
8 chin-over-bar pull-ups

Boys lunge 65 lb.
Girls lunge 45 lb.

Scaled Teens
(Scaled Teen Boys 14-15, Scaled Teen Boys 16-17, Scaled Teen Girls 14-15, Scaled Teen Girls 16-17)

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 20 minutes of:
25-ft. front rack walking lunge
8 burpees
25-ft. front rack walking lunge
8 jumping chin-over-bar pull-ups

Boys lunge 45 lb.
Girls lunge 35 lb.

HOLD FAST FRIDAY 02/19/2016

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
— Michael Jordan

Competition has calculable and measurable results, with clearly defined winners and losers.  Years of preparation and strategy meeting a single moment of opportunity.  More than the competition is the mental game that takes place between your two ears.  Did you leave everything out on the field, leaving nothing to chance?  That question will not be answered by the scoreboard or fans, but by yourself.  Records will fade away but the person who stares back at you in the mirror remains.  You can do more than you think you can.  You are your best competition.   

HOLD FAST FRIDAY 02/12/2016

          Below is an excerpt from the book titled Spartan Up! A take-no-prisoners guide to overcoming obstacles and achieving peak performance in life, by Joe De Sena and Jeff O'Connell. 

          Obstacle immunity is the ability to overcome unforeseen obstacles without becoming excessively stressed.  In scientific terms, it is the ability to avoid the fight-or-flight response to a situation, to remain calm and able to think clearly.  This quality is borne of the kind of preparation that prevents the individual from getting stressed out by unfamiliar obstacles.  Here are a few classic examples of obstacle immunity put into practice, spanning thousands of years.

          The stoics of ancient Greece believed that the greatest obstacle was not death, not pain, not suffering, but cowardice.  By training themselves to accept what they could not change and to be courageous in front of any obstacle, they eliminated their fear of death.

`

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          Tibetan monks identified the lack of control over the mind as the greatest obstacle.  So the monks spend days making sand mandala paintings, and when they're done, they sweep away their work with a broom.  It's not about the destination; it's about the journey and the process that gives them the opportunity to practice awareness, focus, and control.

          Kung Fu students have to overcome the obstacle of fatigue.  So the master has his students carry railroad ties to the top of the mountain and then carry them back down the mountain.  There is no productive accomplishment, but the student will no longer find it challenging to run up the mountain carrying only him bodyweight.

          Michael Phelp's coach Bob Bowman identified the greatest obstacle as unknown challenges that might cause his athlete to lose focus.  So Bowman prepared Phelps for the Olympics by picking him up late before a meat, so he'd have to skip a meal; or by breaking his goggles before practice, so that they'd fill up with water while he swam.  When Phelps' goggles broke during the 2012 Olympics, he was able to push through it to win gold.

          No matter what dreams a person has, athletic or not, they will encounter obstacles along the way.  When you ask people what they want out of life, you get very different answers.  The perfect life for a thirty-year-old man on the streets of Thailand means something different that the perfect life for a sixteen-year-old on a sailboat in the Hamptons.  It's doubtful whether there is any ideal "good life."  At some point in life we will all encounter pain and disappointment.  A relative will die unexpectedly.  A friend will betray us.  We will lose money.  Shit happens, as they say.

Hold Fast brothers and sisters!

 

 

HOLD FAST FRIDAY 02/05/2016

               This week at work, there has been a lot of discussion regarding posture.  In particular, how bad slouching at your desk is for you.  Aside from transforming your office to be of the stand up variety, you can perform some exercises to bring your posture back into alignment.  Below is a video demonstration on improving your posture. 

Hold Fast Recipe

 

Thai Chicken Soup

Ingredients:

  • Chicken
  • Cilantro
  • Basil
  • Baby Bok Choy
  • Green Onion
  • Eggs
  • Basil
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Leeks
  • Noodles
  • Ginger Powder
  • Sea Salt
  • Pepper
  • Anise
  • Cloves
  • Sesame Oil

Instructions:

  • Boil water in large soup pot with
  • 1 Tbsp ginger powder
  • Sprinkle Sea salt
  • Add Ground Pepper 
  • And I used a coffee filter filled with anise and cloves and hung it w a zip tie from pot, a metal loose tea strainer would work as well.
  • Add a few drops sesame oil 
  • Add and cut into thick slices one leek 
  • Add squeezed lime w Rhine more lime the better 
  • Bring to boil 

 

  • Add 1 whole chicken uncooked
  • Continue to Boil for about 30 minutes or until fully cooked
  • I usually knife a variety of cuts into the chicken so it cooks faster and soaks up the flavors 
  • Make sure chicken is immersed completely. You may need to weigh it down with a plate.

 

  • While Chicken Boils prep
  • Cilantro (separate leaves from stem) 
  • Basil Chiffonade
  • Thickly slice Baby Bok Choy   
  • Thinly slice Green onion 

 

  • Take chicken out when cooked
  • Place in seperate bowl to cool enough so you can handle to shred chicken

 

  • Add to boiled liquid mix
  • 3 eggs (they will separate and cook instantly)
  • Bok Choy 
  • Some Basil 
  • 1 bag of Bean sprouts
  • Add 1 Bag of Chinese noodles your choice I did egg chow mein noodles let cook

 

  • To soup bowl
  • Add shredded Chicken
  • Then top off with boiled pot mix of veg and noodle 
  • Top w lime juice and cilantro and Basil 

Mmmmm

 

SUPER SERIES

SUPER VILLAIN

TASKMASTER

For time:

50 wallball men 20lb / women 14lb

50 double unders

40 wallball

40 double unders

30 wallball

30 double unders

20 wallball

20 double unders

10 wallball

10 double unders

Scale as needed.

 

SUPER SERIES

SUPERHERO

CABLE

For time:

10 deadlift men 185lb / women 135lb

10 box jumps men 24in / women 20 in

20 deadlift

20 box jump

30 deadlift

30 box jump

40 deadlift

40 box jump

50 deadlift

50 box jump

Scale as needed. 





HOLD FAST FRIDAY 1/29/2016

When the Greeks created the heroic ideal, they didn’t choose a word that meant “Dies Trying” or “Massacres Bad Guys.”  They went with “Protector.”

 

The following passage is from the book titled Natural Born Heroes, written by Christopher McDougall.  The book is a fascinating account of acts of heroism.

 



          MY LAWRENCE OF ARABIA – the person who first made me realize heroism was a skill, not a virtue – was a middle-aged women with big round glasses who ran a small elementary school in the Pennsylvania countryside.  On February 2, 2001 Norina Bentzel was in her office when a man with a machete went after her kindergartners.  It’s been then years since I heard what happened next, and only now am I beginning to understand the answer to one question:


Why didn’t she quit?


          How does a forty-two-year-oul grade school principal who’s never been in a fight take on a frenzied Army vet and keep battling him – relentlessly, with her bare hands, at only five foot three – as he’s slashing at her with a blade that can cut through a tree branch?  It’s remarkable that she had the tenacity to confront him, but the real mystery is how she persisted when, very quickly, she must have realized she was doomed to lose.  Because that’s the ugly truth about heroism: the tests don’t start when you’re ready or stop when you’re tired.  You don’t get time-outs, warm-ups, or bathroom breaks.  You may have a headache or be wearing the wrong pants or find yourself – the way Norina did – in a skirt and low heals in a school hallway becoming slick with her own blood.


          Michael Stankewicz was a social studies teacher at a Baltimore high school who began simmering with rage and paranoia after his third wife left him.  His violent threats got him fired, hospitalized, and eventually jailed.  After he was released, he picked up a machete and drove to the school his step children once attended – North Hopewell – Winterstown Elementary, in sleepy, rural York County, Pennsylvania.  Just before lunch, Norina Bentzel happened to glance out her window and see someone slip through the front door behind a mother with two children.  She went to find out who he was and discovered a stranger peering into the kindergarten. 


“Excuse me, sir,” Norina said.  “Is there someone I can help you find?”


          Stankewicz wheeled, yanking the machete out of his left pant leg.  He slashed at Nornia’s throat, missing by a hair and slicing off the plastic ID tag hanging around her neck.  A sad and strangely articulate thought ran through her mind: there is no one in my environment who can help.  She was alone in this.  Whatever she did in the next few seconds would determine who made it out of that school alive.


          Norina could have screamed and fled.  She could have curled up in a ball and begged for mercy, or lunged for Stankewicz’s wrist.  Instead she crossed her arms in front of her face in an X and backed away.  Stankewicz kept chopping and slashing, but Nornia rolled with the blows, never taking her eyes of him or allowing him to close the gap and get her to the floor.  Norina led Stankewicz away from the classrooms and down the hall toward her office.  She managed to slip inside, bolt the door, and hit the lockdown alarm with her gashed and blood-soaked hand.


          She was a second too late.  Some of the kindergartners were just exiting their classroom as the alarm sounded.  Stankewicz went after them.  He gashed the teacher’s arm, sliced off a girl’s ponytail, broke a boy’s arm.  The children fled toward the office, where Norina once again faced Stankewicz.  The machete slashed deep into her hands, severing two of her fingers.  Norina looked done for, so Stankewicz turned to seek fresh victims – and that’s when Norina leaped.  She wrapped him in a bear hug, hanging on with the last of her strength as he thrashed and lunged and –


Clink.


          He dropped the machete.  The school nurse grabbed it and ran out in the hall.  Stankewicz staggered to the desk, Norina still clinging to his back.  Soon sirens and thundering footsteps were approaching.  Norina had lost nearly half her blood but was rushed to the hospital in time to save her life.  Stankewicz surrendered.

Until now, we would say that the Greeks fight like heros. From now on, we will say that heros fight like greeks.
— Winston Churchill 1941

HOLD FAST FRIDAY 1/22/2016

The greatest fear in the world is of the opinions of others, and the moment when you are unafraid of the crowd, you are no longer a sheep. You become a lion. A great roar arises in your heart, the roar of freedom.
— Osho

Faith without work is dead.

Hold Fast Meal

 

Butternut Squash and Beef Stew

Stay strong with those New Year's resolutions for a healthier you.  Here is an awesome winter dinner recipe from our friends at PaleoLeap. 

Ingredients

  • 1lb. beef cubes for stewing;
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and diced;
  • 1 medium onion, diced;
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced;
  • 4 carrots, diced;
  • 6 oz. mushrooms, sliced;
  • 6 oz. spinach, chopped;
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 14 oz. diced tomatoes;
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder;
  • 1 tsp. paprika;
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano;
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the complete recipe visit http://paleoleap.com/butternut-squash-beef-stew/

 

HOLD FAST FRIDAY 1/15/2016

We feel that this stands as a symbol of the insatiable curiosity of all mankind to explore the unknown.
— Buzz Aldrin

Stop whatever it is you are doing right now.  Turn off the distractions and quiet your mind.  Sit down reflect, think about where you are sitting, at home, the office, at your desk, or on the couch.  Let your mind wander to the city you live in, all its inhabitants.  People are walking, driving, and socializing.  Some people are working and others are playing.  Keep expanding further and think about our planet.  The amount of activity every second is immeasurable.  Earth is covered with jungles, deserts, mountains, oceans, cities, plants, and animals.  Now the universe, how infinitlely large it is.  The universe is large beyond measure, beyond understanding. 

Now take a microscope and examine your own life, really examine it.  Are you happy with where you are?  Are you happy with what you are doing?  Do you have to do what you were about to do or do you want to do it?  You do not need to compare yourself to the universe, it is all about finding your place in the universe.  You are a piece of the puzzle called life.  Fulfill the role you were meant to do.  You are powerful beyond measure.  

Run.  Jump.  Play.  Laugh.  Explore.  Dream.

Hold Fast brothers and sisters!

HOLD FAST FRIDAY 1/8/2016

I am finally getting around to reading Rich Froning's book, titled First: What it Takes to Win.  Granted this book is a couple years old, at the time Rich won back-to-back-to-back CrossFit.  Since 2013, Rich went along and won another Games in 2014 then the Team events in 2015. 

Publishers Notes:

Physical Strength Can Only Take You So Far 

Reigning CrossFit World Champion Rich Froning is “The Fittest Man on Earth.” He’s fast. He’s strong. And he’s incredibly disciplined. But it takes more than physical strength to compete and win at an elite level. It takes incredible mental and spiritual toughness as well. And it is the precise balance of all three that makes Rich Froning a champion. 

In First, readers come alongside Rich as he trains for and competes in back-to-back-to-back CrossFit World Championships. Along the way, Rich shares invaluable training tips, motivational techniques, and spiritual insights that, in keeping with the CrossFit philosophy, will prepare you to respond to any real-life physical, mental and spiritual challenge.

This book is inspiring to say the least.  There is one passage stands out to me, a time when Rich turned to the bible for inspiration.  The competitors were in route to the beach for the first event and the nerves were running high, especially high for Rich.  He turned on his Bible app and read a verse from Jeremiah.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.  I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.

Jeremiah 29:11-14 

Rich did not perform too well in the first event, but that's what the verse is speaking to.  Just because life doesn't go our way, doesn't mean it isn't His will.  Lean onto Him and not our own understanding.  I recommend this book to anyone who is seeking motivation on and off the field. 

No pressure, no diamonds.
— Thomas Carlyle

HOLD FAST FRIDAY 1/1/2016

Your past successes, failures, and the acumination of all your experiences has led you to the exact place where you are.  As 2015 comes to a close, 2016 is open to as far reaching as the mind can dream.  Look back at your past so you can move forward.  The past holds the keys to your future success.

 

Goal set to and goal set through.  Avoid the inevitable lull after reaching your goals, goal set through to the next goal.

For example, I plan on running a 5K race on Jan 31st 2016 in 2016.  As the race draws nears I set a new goal, a 10k race on March 12th 2016.  As you can see, I have a 2+ month running program in place with two highlighted events.  This process must continually evolve in the manner.  Of course, this goal setting template can be applied to all aspects of your life.  You are limited by only your imagination.

res·o·lu·tion

ˌrezəˈlo͞oSH(ə)n/

noun

  1. 1

    a firm decision to do or not to do something.

 

com·mit·ment

kəˈmitmənt/

noun

  1. 1

    the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.

We are creatures of habit.  As we float down this river we call life, it is far easier to stay on this course.  This time of year we hear a lot about resolutions.  Changes people want to make in their lives.  We tend to forget these changes we want to make in our lives are going to be tough.  It is going to require sacrifice.  It is going to involve setbacks.  The shortest and quickest way between two points, you and your goal, is a straight line.  That is not how life works.  In reality the line between you and your goal is going to look more like a seismograph.  At first erratic but over time, you will become more focused and ultimately reaching your goal.  Remember that even though the path to reaching your goals will be wild, you are closer than you were the previous day.  You are closer than you were a year ago.

commitment.jpg

HOLD FAST FRIDAY 12/25/2015

Merry Christmas from the Hold Fast Iron crew.  Enjoy the inspiration.

Here is a short workout after the feast, maybe Saturday.  A nice way to jumpstart the resolutions.  

A hint on shorter workouts, the shorter the workout the more intense you can make it.  With these three workouts with an equal work to rest ratio, feel free to give it all you got.  

Remember this one thing, when your mind tells your body to stop, remember you still have 60% more remaining inside.

 

4 Min AMRAP

10 wallball men 20lb / women 14lb

10 deadlift men 225lb / women 155lb

rest 4 min

 

5 min AMRAP

15 burpees

15 air squats

rest 5 min

 

6 min AMRAP

20 GHD situps

20 box jump men 24in / women 20in

Scale as needed.

Cheers!