Powerlifters often go unnoticed, remaining in the shadows of their more recognized athletic counterparts. But lifter Abbey Watson, who at age 13 already holds eight world records, is strong-arming people into taking notice.
The Colorado native recently returned from the Powelifting Federation national competition in Oklahoma City with several achievements under her belt, including the world record for squats in her weight class, according to Denver's NBC affiliate KUSA. She set the record by lifting 143.3 pounds - nearly 40 pounds more than her body weight.
Three years ago, Watson’s father brought her along to a gym outside Denver, where she tried her hand at weight lifting. She enjoyed it so much that she returned for several more sessions, eventually attending workouts three days a week before school. “I am amazed. I am surprised she has latched on to it as much as she has,” Watson’s dad, Steve, told KUSA. “I was just hoping she would get into a good workout habit. I never thought she would compete.”
I cannot imagine how hard it is to be a woman and stand in the checkout line at the super market. While confined in that awkwardly narrow space, real women are bombarded by an endless array of rail thin waifs. Each picture presenting its lady as the very definition of beautiful. The media has declared that this is what real beauty looks like. They have found their story and they are running with it. But are they right? Is this look realistic for most women? More importantly, is it even safe for most women?
The word circling the interent is that most fashion designers now consider a size 6 woman to be "Plus Sized." This declration has started a fury of conversations about what is realistic, safe and attractive for women today. According to ABC News, twenty years ago there was an 8% disparity between the average woman and the average fashion model. Today that disparity is a whopping 23%. The women you see on the runway are not the same women you see at work, at the park, or in your local fitness facility
"On January 8th I ran five miles at a 9:16 pace and it took me 46:20 to complete. I haven't run since then...all I've been doing is CrossFit. Today is January 24th. I ran five miles again at a pace of 8:18 and finished in 41:38...How U like them apples." - Adam
On a recent Wednesday night, I stuffed myself into a tiny elevator with six others, and made my way up to the fourth floor of a modest building hidden in the bustle of Midtown Manhattan. The doors opened to a gray space with barbells, kettlebells, pull-up bars, and gymnastic rings scattered around the room. No fancy dumbbell racks, no mirrors, no television sets.
Training gyms for CrossFitare called boxes, and for good reason. There are no bells and whistles— just a bleak, unassuming space that reflects a mysterious exercise phenomenon.
What did you notice the first time you walked into a CrossFit gym?
For me, it was the wall-to-wall white boards, white boards filled with names, times, goals, workouts, etc. But most of it was indecipherable, just jargon and acronyms.
To help make sense of this unique language, I have compiled a list of 50 CrossFit terms that you are likely to encounter if you workout at a CrossFit gym.
This list is a “work in progress,” so please let me know what needs to be added.
I quit drinking coffee a year and a half ago, but I still like to treat myself from time to time. On a recent trip to the grocery store on a warm day, I decided it would be nice to enjoy a venti iced coffee from the Starbucks inside. There were a couple of people in line so naturally I was totally spacing out and was staring at the menu and I noticed that the iced coffee I was about to order had 170 calories from carbs!
I was hoping it was a mistake and the nutritional information which was listed was for the sweet iced coffee. Alas, it was not. Upon my scrutinizing, the kid behind the counter sheepishly admitted that they put simple syrup (a heaping teaspoon of sugar worth) into the UNSWEETENED iced coffee! No wonder I found them so tasty. How many times had I ordered one of these? I have unknowingly consumed at least 100 heaping teaspoons of sugar, the very substance I try desperately to avoid!
***Sunday is the last day to purchase a reserved seat for the Josh Turner concert at Billy Bob's....CLICK HERE for more information.***
This week I posted a short article about CrossFit and The Biggest Loser. It quickly become the most popular article on the site and has been shared all over Facebook. However, given that there was little meat to the article, I tried to understand why it resonated.
What I came up with was the following: If your life has been positively impacted by CrossFit, you want your friends, family, and coworkers to have that same opportunity. And having seriously overweight people succeed means CrossFit isn’t just for people who are already fit.
CrossFit HQ acknowledges the perception of CrossFit may make it seem out of reach for everyday people:
" Our typical reader (of CrossFit Journal) is seen by his friends, acquaintances, and family members as, guite frankly, a freak - a fitness freak, but still a freak. Your endorsement may not carry the weight you would hope or think it would."
CrossFit, the largely grassroots-fueled fitness trend, is getting its first major marketing injection from its partnership with Reebok, with a new TV campaign that kicked off during the weekend’s football playoffs.
Themed “The Sport of Fitness Has Arrived,” the McGarryBowen spot shows off a helicopter-supported shipping container hovering over cities like Moscow, Seoul and Barcelona. Once it lands, it opens to reveal the CrossFit box in action: A frenzy of men and women weight-lifting, jumping rope, swinging kettle bells and pumping out pull-ups and handstand push-ups.
The fast-growing CrossFit, a strength and conditioning program that started as cult fitness phenomenon in Santa Cruz, California, has been fueled mostly by the Internet and social media, and claims to be one of the fastest-growing fitness movements in the world. Reebok, which first partnered with the sport in 2010, describes it as “a sport that is about community, competition and camaraderie -- and delivers amazing results.”
Not to be sacrilegious -- with all the Tebow business dominating the news, I figure it all balances out -- but sweat, to me, is a kind of holy water.
It purges all my demons and defects and enables me to be the person God intended me to be. Or at the very least, it enables me to live as a (semi-)functioning member of society.
To understand what athletics mean to me, you'd have to see me when I'm not playing sports or working out. I'm cranky, temperamental, uptight, pessimistic, sarcastic -- a real joy to be around. I walk into early morning CrossFit class and barely offer a grunt to my trainer or classmates. I go to visit family over the holidays, and after one day spent lounging in pajamas, I'm a snarling beast they want to lock in the dog pen out back.
But, put me through a 20-minute WOD, let me spatter some sweat across the rubber-matted floor, and I morph into class clown. A merry prankster. Your best friend. Send me off on a five-mile run or come toss the pigskin with me in the park, and I’m the Prodigal Daughter once again. I’m back in Little League, wailing gleefully on the Incredi-Ball, or back in high school, hurling the pitch that sent my team to regionals for the first time in forever.
Tomorrow, DWW is going to be at the box to to teach us how to run! The Wilson's are bringing up a treadmill, Wade is going to video any and everyone that wants help with their running technique....take advantage of this opportunity...running is a skill like everything else we do
Essentially, the reason for videoing yourself running is to bring greater awareness of your form. This test will focus on what I call your “endurance pace”, not speed, as I consider this to be outside the scope of my expertise.
To give you a little background about my credentials…I have degrees in biology and kinesiology. I have some 12+ years coaching high school athletes including track and cross country. My own experiences as an endurance athlete includes 10+ years of triathlons and currently competitive ultra-trailrunning. I do NOT claim to know the “perfect stride” and I do not advocate any of the recent trends/fads such as “Pose”, “Chi”, or any others floating around out there. I do however have a lot of experience watching bad form in both young and old athletes alike. I want to share a few simple things that I have changed in my own form in the last 3-4 years that have positively affected my running and reduced my aches, pains, and running related injuries… I call it “Natural Running”.
My objective is to give you some objective positive criticism (don’t get mad… you can take it or leave it) on ways to improve your form to…
An ideal gait has a few basic elements:
Retired U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Bill Center was obese and in declining health. He reached his goals to achieve functional fittness by giving CrossFit a chance.
I couldn't get up from the floor.
My body - 270 lb. and just 63 years old - lay prone because I lacked the strength to command it upright.
Rising from the floor is such a basic capability, a natural motion first achieved before most of us could even walk. And it wasnow a capability that existed only in my past. As a retired rear admiral in the U.S. Navy, this was a new and alarming experience. You don't get to command warships with hundreds or even thousands of crew because you are incapable. My career took me to such a rankprecisely because I'd always been so capale. I routinely surpassed a Navy-mandated level of physical fitness decade after decade.
Now, after leading destroyers and aircraft carriers through times of war and peace, I could not lead my own body to simply stand up.
How did this happen? How did I ever get like this? And, if I couldn't even stand up on my own, how could I get back to be a capable, physically active person?
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Even though it was the middle of July, a thick fog sat atop the wet, Virginia grass like a fleece blanket, making the already-intimidating United States Marine Corps Obstacle Course seem that much more daunting. As a Marine Officer Candidate, I had only read and heard stories about the infamous course, and knew that it would be one of the most difficult challenges I would have to face at Officer Candidate School. Physically, I had already struggled more than my peers, and had been pulled aside on more than one occasion by my Platoon Commander to inform me of my deficiencies. I had worked so hard to get to OCS; countless hours had been spent training, both mentally and physically. I had sacrificed time with friends and family, missed graduations of loved ones, and passed on opportunities to travel abroad for summer internships. I was not going to let this beat me.
“Candidate Koch…CANDIDATE KOCH!” screamed my instructor.
“Yes, Gunnery Sergeant”, I replied.
“You gonna sit there and daydream about rainbows all day, or are you gonna run this course?” he said, as tobacco spit flew from his mouth.
“Yes Gunnery Sergeant. Um, yes, I’m going to run the course. I mean, This Candidate is going to run the Obstacle Course, Gunnery Sergeant.” I mumbled, somewhat incoherently.
“He’ll probably fail this course, just like the he did the endurance course,” joked another Instructor.
“Yeah, probably. Alright Koch, ready, GO!”
The amalgamation of the various sporting elements which make up CrossFit have tested both my mental fortitude and physical aptitude more than any other sport I've tried - perhaps with the exception of boxing. Like boxers, CrossFitters also wage a solitary and timed battle consisting of stamina, strength, power, agility, and sheer will. There are no teammates to pick up for your slack, or timeouts to regain composure, or halftimes to recover. Each session/round is a test of one’s ability to confront and overcome the arduous. We often finish with hands-on-knees, like asthmatics fighting for air; and there’s always one or two who are languidly splayed out on the floor, with a look that elicits both confusion and relief. Despite these outer displays of exhaustion, all are content that they conquered another grueling Workout of the Day. It seems the more WODs we complete, the more our preconceived notions of physical limitation dissipate like the illusions that they truly are.
Most of us have heard of that hackneyed saying "You are what you eat”, but perhaps when it comes to CrossFit “You are what you think" holds more credence. I was not born with "god-given", freakish athletic abilities, so I have always had to compensate for what I lacked physically. Basketball, I was too short. Football, not big enough. Track and Field, not quite fast enough. But the one thing I’ve always had since my days on the Little League diamond was the heart and desire to compete. These are traits you can’t learn from coaches or develop through the rigors of physical training. But they are obtainable in each and every one of us. You just have to know where to look. I can’t tell you how to obtain desire or heart. I think the motivation is different for every athlete, but it’s certainly not going to be found by following hollow advice like “You gotta want it more." I don't believe in giving advice in this case, because every athlete aproaches difficulty differently. The best I can do is to provide an an example of where I find desire and heart, and what it takes to get there.
CrossFit HQ recently announced the 2012 CrossFit Tour. The second stop in this world-wide event is in Fort Worth on March 24th. Here's are the basics:
"On behalf of Coach Glassman and everone here at CrossFit HQ, we'd like you to show us how Texans party and join us at Billy Bob's in Fort Worth for a down-home Texas BBQ and Josh Turner concert. Mingle with fellow affilates, meet new people, share a beer with Coach, but more important - have one hell of a time CrossFit style!"
So there ya go...one giant CrossFit party right in our own backyard. I hope you'll all consider going...should be a good time and a great opportunity to meet some of our extended family. I'm in!
1. Affiliate Owners (the people): Those leading by example and living the lifestyle. These are entrepreneurs with a goal, dream and vision to share and teach CrossFit to the masses through community based fitness programs. Some are even designing global products and services outside of “the box” that contribute to the movement and compliment what we do or seek out as athletes.
2. Greg Glassman (the founder): Developing the sport of “CrossFit” as one of the fastest growing sports in America and penetrating across the globe. Taking risks and stepping away from sure footing to create meaningful and influential partnerships with notable organizations such as Reebok. Creating a platform for astounding growth. In 2010 there were 4,500 people that competed in the pre-games competition process. In 2011, more than 26,000 people entered the Open qualifiers. How’s that for growth?
3. Video. Photo. Life (the media): ESPN, SICFIT, CrossFit Films and user generated content. On its own merits, the sport has the speed, strength, intensity and sex appeal to drive solid TV ratings, especially against soft competition during the summer sports calendar that really only features baseball. ESPN was involved in broadcasting the Games live on the internet and due to the growing popularity of the sport it was broadcast on ESPN 2 as a weekly series in the fall and then featured as a “Marathon” on New Year’s Day. We’ve even heard rumors about a Reebok CrossFit commercial airing during Superbowl. It is not unreasonable to imagine that before long CrossFit will be an alternative spot on par with strong man competitions and the X-Games, broadcast on television and known worldwide. “The CrossFit craze” has been featured in various mainstream lifestyle magazines and publications such as Men’s Health, People, Self, Forbes, Fast Company and The New York Times, not to mention it will be featured on this season’s “Biggest Loser”.
Bob Harper - The Biggest Loser
Without a doubt, CrossFit has been on a tear. In less than a decade, over 2500 gyms have been certified and affiliated with CrossFit, and the number of people who participate in CrossFit workouts is on the order of 500,000.
The prize money for the first CF Games in 2007 was $500 compared to the staggering $250,000 for the top male and female finishers at the 2011 Games – Thank you Reebok (source – Social WOD)
But what will the future bring? Can CrossFit continue to attract new gyms and will those gyms be able to grow as profitable businesses?
One interesting twist will be to see what the combination of CrossFit and The Biggest Loser provides.
What am I talking about? Check out this series of tweets about CrossFit and The Biggest Loser from trainer Bob Harper:
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