Nothing profound, just a picture from my latest morning walk on the beach. It is interesting, the things you see when you are really looking. #noticewhatyounotice

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THURSDAY’S WORKOUT

PRACTICE

A) 1 1/4 Front Squat

     6×3 @ 70% of 3RM

B) 4 Rounds on the 4:00

     200m Run

     15 Push Press

     5 Bar Muscle-Ups

FRIDAY’S WORKOUT

PRACTICE

5 RFQ:

Row 500m

10 Dips

10 Pull-ups

10 Deadlifts

I have spent almost three years in Kenny Kane’s Incubator of Intentional Sustainable Growth and Human Performance (“KKIISGHP” or “Oak Park” for short). In 2019, with the incubator turned up to “high” I started pecking my way out of my shell. I tumbled out of the shards of my once-comfortable shell into a year of massive and chaotic growth. Though I count all of the experience of last year as good – it was the best year of my life, hands down – that growth has been uncomfortable. Some of it has been really uncomfortable! In the midst of all this growth, I have been experiencing some anxious feelings. These emotions are new to me and lately have been occupying a lot of my mental real estate – to the point where it has felt like my usual tools for self-regulation – mindful breathing, journaling, time in nature, working out – were not really helping me cope with the anxiety. In fact, in the last few weeks my anxiety ramped up significantly and I was acutely aware of just how ungrounded and unsteady I was feeling.

 

But recall my blog post from last week: awareness trumps habit. Routinized behaviors can support growth, but routine itself only takes you so far. What happens when you are not paying attention and your new routine suddenly looks like 1,000 milligrams of caffeine per day? Well, what can happen is that your lack of awareness meets your mindless consumption of two and one-half times the FDA’s recommended maximum daily intake of a drug which, when over-consumed, can cause anxiety, nervousness, restlessness, insomnia, excitement, psychomotor agitation, and dysphoria. Oh, right. Pay attention. Actually pay attention. Pay attention to what you are putting in your mouth, because maybe, just maybe, your anxiety is not (entirely) because of your insecurities or all the change in your life. It could be that you are overdosing on an anxiety-inducing drug and making life, which is challenging enough as is, more difficult than it needs to be.

 

When I finally connected the dots and realized I have been spending far too much time at coffee shops in the last few weeks, I had a good laugh with Kenny about the outrageous amount of caffeine I was consuming. And then I cut it back. Way back. I’ve been tracking my caffeine intake and keeping it to under 200 milligrams per day – enough to enjoy the ritual of drinking a coffee, but not enough to cause the unmanageable panic of three weeks ago. New habit, new ritual, but now with more awareness. The anxious thoughts are still there, sometimes, but they are far easier to manage without the added stimulus (thanks for the pun Jamie!) of stimulants.

 

Pay attention. (PS – This sure sounds like it is related to that pesky concept of context.)

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THURSDAY’S WORKOUT

COMPETITION

Find your 1RM Deadlift

FRIDAY’S WORKOUT

PRACTICE

A) Back Squat Tango Tempo

     5-5-5-5

B) 3RFR&C :30:30

     Wall Balls

     Kettlebell Swings

     Pull-Ups

     Assault Bike

How do you get better at something? By practicing the thing. Sometimes practicing another thing will help facilitate the first thing you wanted to get better at. You following me? Good. 

By working on improving your weakest link – the end result will improve. I promise. How do I know? Because I have done it, been through it and suffered when skipped the foundation or taking the shortcut so to speak. So please do not do that. Use the new year as a blank page to start working on the improvement you are aiming for. Don’t “cherry pick” workouts. If you favour power and strenght with a barbell, choose glycolytic or oxidative training a few times per week. If you favour oxidative training, like long distance running or swimming, choose lactate shuttle or power training. Why? Because you will be a more rounded, mentally and physically stronger and well adapted athlete. Practice the thing that you prefer not to do. It will strengthen your weakest link. 

 

Tuesday’s Workout:

Competition

3RFT:

25 Toes 2 Bar

50 DUs

25 DB Front Squats (40/25)

 

Wednesday’s Workout:

Practice

A) EMOM 10 3 Position Squat Clean (Top Down) @ 60-70%

B) 1,000m Row

— 5 Rounds

20 DB Push Press

10 Lateral burpees

— 500m row

 

Entering into the new year brings up a lot of talk about building new habits. Certainly habits are important – our unconscious behaviors drive so much of our progress toward (or away) from who we want to be. A book I have been reading recently had a nice reminder about awareness, i.e., consciousness, and the importance of awareness over habit:

“The beauty of an action comes not from its having become a habit but from its sensitivity, consciousness, clarity of perception, and accuracy of response.” – Anthony DeMello, Awareness

As you move through this new year, I support your work to change your habits to support your goals. That is important, of course. But I also invite you to be present – to appreciate that it is the awareness in the moment, and the actions that flow from that awareness, that will spark real growth.

 

NOTE: Fire & Ice is on SATURDAY at 12:30pm or you can join me in Tarzana on SUNDAY at 11am for a workshop at Interval Strength & Conditioning

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THURSDAY’S WORKOUT

TEST

“Helen”

3 RFT:

400m Run

21 Kettlebell Swings (24/16)

12 Pull-ups

FRIDAY’S WORKOUT

TEST

“Mary”

AMRAP 20:

5 HSPUs

10 Pistols (alt.)

15 Pull-ups

The final fire & ice workshop of 2019 will be this Sunday, December 15th. I really encourage all of you who have not yet taken the plunge to sign up and join us this weekend.

Breath Class is at 11:15am. Show up, you know you need it.

Fire & Ice is at 12:15pm. Do it.

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THURSDAY’S WORKOUT

AMRAP 25:

5 Pull Ups

10 Burpees

15 Squats

200m Run

FRIDAY’S WORKOUT

What the “Beep” Test!

20m Shuttle Runs

I want to share with you this article from Scientific American on failure as a pre-requisite for success. Big takeaway for me:

“[the] people who eventually succeeded and the people who eventually failed tried basically the same number of times to achieve their goals. It turns out that trying again and again only works if you learn from your previous failures.”

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THURSDAY’S WORKOUT

CROSSFIT OPEN 14.1

AMRAP 10:

30 Double-Unders

15 Power Snatches (75/55)

FRIDAY’S WORKOUT

Let’s Get This Party Started!

AMRAP 25:

200m MB Tandem Run (No Hands)

30 Box Jumps for Joy (24/20)

40 MB Sit Ups/Chest Pass OTB (20/14)

6 Big Ass Tire Flips

 

About a year ago, Kenny invited our coaching team and some members of our community to Malibu to experience this thing called XPT (“Extreme Performance Training”). XPT grew out of training that big wave surfer Laird Hamilton and professional volleyballer Gabby Reece developed over their years of performing at the highest levels in their respective fields. It has evolved from informal training in Laird’s backyard pool into a worldwide fitness brand that now offers international fitness experiences, coaching certifications in performance breathing, deepwater pool training, and a comprehensive Level 1 coaching certification for people who really want to explore bringing the XPT lifestyle to their fitness communities.

 

The Malibu experience introduced our coaching team to the foundations of XPT – Breathe. Move. Recover. We did breathwork, weight training in the pool, and fire & ice exposure. Everything about it was exciting and uncomfortable and fun and, though I did not know it at the time, was the beginning of a new chapter in my life. XPT’s integration of breath, movement, and recovery into a larger context for training really resonated with me and fits perfectly into the philosophy that underpins our training at Oak Park. My coaching has evolved significantly over the last year as I have worked to integrate more of XPT into my coaching.

 

The latest and most significant piece of this growth for me took place last week. I was fortunate to be one of seven coaches invited to participate in XPT’s first Master Coach certification. It was an intense four-day practical that concluded with us master coach candidates leading an XPT Level 1 coaching certification. It was somewhat intimidating to be part of this group of master coaches, because (1) most of them have been with XPT for 5+ years and I only obtained my Level 1 certification in April of this year; and (2) these folks are masterful coaches irrespective of the designation from XPT. Each one of these coaches has been coaching for more than a decade and owns or leads a very successful fitness business. It was an honor to be in such good company as a colleague and fellow coach, and it was not a place I could have imagined I would be in when I nervously arrived at Laird’s backyard pool last fall. What it means now is additional opportunities for me to share my passion and knowledge of XPT with more coaches and athletes around the world and (I hope) an acceleration of my growth as a coach for our community as well.

 

This is all a long way of saying thank you to the Oak Park community for your belief in me and your support as I have worked to integrate more of XPT into our training. The support of the community in embracing breath work and fire & ice has been instrumental in my growth as an XTP coach and without your support I would not have been prepared for the master coaching certification.

 

My intention for 2020 and beyond is to continue to develop my capacity to deliver more of the XPT experience – more breathwork, more pool work, more fire & ice – to you and to bring more and more of the XPT coaching community into Oak Park to expose you to as many new and interesting people as I can.

 

In 2019, what it means is:

Breath Classes on Sundays at 11:15am (show up and breathe!)

Fire & Ice this Sunday at 12:30pm

Visiting XPT Level 3 Coach Lindsay Ashmun teaching two classes this weekend (Friday @9:30am, Sunday @ 10am)

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THURSDAY’S WORKOUT

RE-TEST

For Time:

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10

Box Jump Over (24/20)

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1

Power Snatch (95/65)

*Time Cap: 13 Minutes

 

FRIDAY’S WORKOUT

RE-TEST

5RFT:

12 Pistols (alt)

8 Dips

6 Burpee Box Jumps (24/20)

4 Bar Muscle-Ups

You saw the Double Meat video in the Acorn, now read about it: Re-Test Week is next week. The final programming cycle of 2019 is coming to an end. Get in here next week and let’s see how much you have improved over the course of Cycle 21.

 

Lindsay Ashmun will be back at Oak Park to teach her GroundControl class next weekend. We have her confirmed for 10am Sunday in place of the regular CrossFit class and potentially in for Friday morning as well (time TBD). 

 

There will not be a breath & exposure experience this weekend (but Breath Class is still on). However, Coach Matt (that’s me) will be coaching Breath & Exposure on Sunday the 24th. If you want in, send me an email.

 

Finally, I will leave you with this quote from Epictetus to ponder:

 

“‘Being healthy is good, being sick is bad.’ No, my friend: enjoying health in the right way is good; making bad use of your health is bad.”

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THURSDAY’S WORKOUT

COMPETITION

“TPT”

4 RFT:

:30 Paralette Hold

15 Dips

15 Double Lateral Burpees

–1 min rest between rounds–

–20-min Cap–

FRIDAY’S WORKOUT

PRACTICE

A) Front Squat – DELOAD

     3×5 @ 60% of 3RM

B) 5 Rounds on 4:00:

     20/15 Cal Row

     10 Deadlifts

     20 Wall Balls

“People like us do things like this.” 

If you have spent any time at Oak Park, you have probably heard an Oak Park coach say these words. Whether the thing is a tough competition workout or it is committing ourselves to deliberate practice of a new skill (or refining a skill we already possess) or it is calming the breath before we step into the frigid ice bath, the people who train at Oak Park regularly choose to get uncomfortable. From that deliberate choice to get uncomfortable comes the thing we are all seeking – growth as humans.

Musonius Rufus, one of the early Stoic philosophers said:

“Because we humans acquire all good things by discomfort, the person who is himself unwilling to endure discomfort all but condemns himself to being worthy of nothing good.”

That understanding, that all good things come through discomfort – that growth comes through pain – underlies our approach to training at Oak Park. That’s not to say that our coaching team are all stoics (though I have been described as one); instead, it means we recognize the necessity of discomfort as a predicate to growth. It informs our pursuit of excellence as coaches and it guides our programming and coaching from the 1-on-1 experience to group classes, from CrossFit to yoga to running and everything in between.

We are offering only a few more opportunities to get uncomfortable in the sauna and ice this year. The coaching team will be leading XPT Breath & Exposure experiences on:

Sunday, November 10

Sunday, November 24

Sunday, December 1

Sunday, December 15

These experiences will start at 12:30pm and run until 2:30pm. We will begin with exploratory breathwork, which will include everything from improving breathing mechanics and our tolerance to carbon dioxide to challenging ourselves with some apnea (breath hold) work. For many of you, I know that the breath work is actually the most confronting and uncomfortable part of these workshops. That’s okay. Choose to be uncomfortable. 

After the breathwork, we will get into the exposures. For most of you, we will do contrasting exposures of sauna and ice bath. For others, it may just be sauna. It may just be the ice. This experience can be tailored to what you need and the coaching team will guide you expertly through it. The ice will be cold and uncomfortable. That’s okay. Choose to be uncomfortable. 

In this world where comfort and pleasure and ease are the norm, training at Oak Park means you have chosen the more difficult path. And you are walking that road with other like-minded humans who are making that same choice. Come join us on a Sunday this month or next and choose to get uncomfortable together.

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THURSDAY’S WORKOUT

PRACTICE

EMOM 8:

6 Power Snatch

EMOM 8:

5-10 Bar Dips

AM-Miles-AP 8: Assault Bike

FRIDAY’S WORKOUT

COMPETITION

“See Ya Later, Tim”

For time:

800m run

then

3 rounds:

30/20/10 OHS (95/65)/(115/75)/(135/95)

30 Over-the-bar burpees

then

800m Run

We are continuing to offer Breath & Exposure workshops throughout the autumn and your next opportunity will be this Sunday, October 27th. The workshop will begin at 12:30pm and will begin with a half-hour exploratory breathwork session. We will move from the breathwork into contrasting exposures to ice baths and sauna, challenging your mental toughness while also getting some much needed recovery for the body.

 

Space is limited. The cost is $45 per person. If you are interested in attending, contact Coach Matt – matt@oakparkla.com

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THURSDAY’S WORKOUT

PRACTICE

A) Front Squats

     5×4 @ 87%

B) 3 Rounds for Time:

     400m run

     15 DB Thrusters

     21 Cal As Bike

     (15-min cap)

FRIDAY’S WORKOUT

COMPETITION

“Franklin Hill 6 on the 6:00”