Tomorrow we will take on the Beep Test, also known as the multi-stage fitness test or PACER test. This is a running test used to estimate an athlete’s VO2 max (aerobic capacity). For this test, once we hear a beep we will run from a line on one side of the big room to a line on the other side of the room (20 meters of total distance) before another timed beep. As the test continues, the time between beeps gets shorter. We will continue running back and forth at the sound of the beep, until the test is over or you can no longer keep up with the beeps. You record your number of completed laps as your score. 

 

Things may feel confusing and chaotic tomorrow as your coaches warm you up and explain the details of the test, but please don’t let the potential for chaos dissuade you from attending class. There is so much value in putting yourself through this test and getting an honest assessment of your aerobic capacity. And really, there is a lot of fun to be had with this test, if you’re willing to embrace the challenge.

 

For data geeks, or growth-minded individuals, you can use this link to input your score and compare your VO2 max.

 

(background info on the Beep test taken from Wikipedia)

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THURSDAY’S WORKOUT

COMPETITION

“The Beep Test”  – New Leader Board WOD!

20 meter Shuttle Sprints @ Progressive Tempos

 

FRIDAY’S WORKOUT

PRACTICE

A) 3 Rounds on the 6:00:

     (2:30 cap each round)

     R1: 500m row (gear 5)

     R2: 500m row (gear 4)

     R3: 500m row (gear 3)

B) Scap Mobility

C) 7 RFQ:

     2 Snatch balance + 2 OHS bottom-to-bottom w/2 sec pause at bottom

 

Two weekends ago, I attended the Functional Range Conditioning seminar to obtain my certification as a certified FRC movement specialist (fancy!). The seminar was held at Innovative Results in Costa Mesa. If you are interested, I’m happy to share in person more details about what we learned in the seminar. What I wanted to share with you today is a great quote that was chalked on the board under the pull-up rig in the gym:

 

“It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.” – Epictetus

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THURSDAY’S WORKOUT

PRACTICE

A) Shoulder Mobility

B) Bench Press

     PEAK: 5×4 @ 80%

     BASE: 5×6 (be feel)

C) 4 RFQ:

     16 Single-Arm OHS (8R/8L)

     16 Alt step-up to balance (Goblet Hold)

     16 Pull-ups

     Rest 1 minute between rounds

 

FRIDAY’S WORKOUT

MENTAL TOUGHNESS

Magner’s Moving Party @ 6am

“The Magner aka Matt Wagner”

AMRAP 24
9 Power Snatch (95/65)
12 Lateral Burpees
15 Overhead Squats
200m Run

 

 

 

THURSDAY’S WORKOUT

COMPETITION

“OP Exatlón”

In Teams of 2 or 3, Relay style

AMRAP 20:

250m Row

Plank Walk with weight

6 Burpees

Army Crawl

8 MB Sit 2 Stand Slams!

10 Jump Squats

6/4 Cals Assault Bike

6 Puntería

FRIDAY’S WORKOUT

PRACTICE

A) Bench Press

     PEAK: 5 x 1 @ 85%

     BASE: 5×3 (by feel)

B) 6 rounds of :20 :20 :20

     Top of pullup hold / pullups (C2B) / Rest

     Bottom of pushup hold / pushups (plyo) / Rest

     Bottom of squat hold / squats (jumping) / Rest

Do you have health or fitness goals? Of course you do. Do you train at Oak Park because you think it will help you achieve those goals? Probably so. Are your actions in the gym, your attendance, your attitude, and your recovery consistent with those goals? Good question! (I know, right?)

 

The reality is that your behavior says more about what you really want than your goals say. Progress in achieving your goals is really only going to occur when those behaviors actually match with the goals. So, how do you go about evaluating your goals and determining whether your actions are consistent with those goals?

 

Well. . . having someone in your life who is willing to have an honest conversation with you about your goals and whether your behaviors are in alignment with your goals is a start. Fortunately, your coaches are here for precisely that purpose. We are here to guide you in the pursuit of your health and fitness goals, and part of that process is helping you be accountable for your behaviors. We can do this in a variety of ways, but the simplest is with period check-ins with you to ensure that the things you are doing are consistent with the things you say you want. If you haven’t had that conversation with your coach lately, take a moment this week to catch up with your coach and let her or him know that you are ready to have that conversation. We live for this.

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THURSDAY’S WORKOUT

PRACTICE

A) Bench Press

     BASE: 5×4 (by feel)

     PEAK: 4×4 @ 80% “All Wheel Drive”

B) 4RFQT:

     Row 500m

     12 Double DB or KB Deadlift

     12 Push-ups

     12 Air Squats

 

FRIDAY’S WORKOUT

PRACTICE

A) For Quality:

     3 Power Snatch + 2 Snatch + 1 Overhead Squat

     2 Sets @ 50%

     2 Sets @ 60%

     3 Sets @ 70%

*Percentage based off Test Week Snatch Complex

B) 3 Rounds on the 3:00 (Nasal Breathing Priority):

     BASE:

     200m Run

     ME Strict Chin-ups

     PEAK:

     200m Run

     ME L-Sit Chin-Ups

C) Reflection

 

 

Saturday, September 15 is World Clean Up Day & Coastal Clean Up Day. Diz and @allhandsinproject are calling on 100 PEOPLE  to join in on that day to pick up at least 10 pieces of trash (more if you are inspired) WHEREVER they are. It doesn’t have to be at the beach.

 

Please send Diz PICTURES of the trash you collect so she can compose a big collage of action to show what 10 pieces of trash can look like when A LOT of people pick up 10 pieces.

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THURSDAY’S WORKOUT

PRACTICE

A) Bench Press

     BASE: 5×6 (by feel)

     PEAK: 5×4 @ 75%

B) 6 RFQT:

     10 Reverse Lunge w/ Single-arm OH DB Press

     100 Rope Skips

C) Reflection

 

FRIDAY’S WORKOUT

COMPETITION

“F-RAN”

For Time:

400m Run

21 Thrusters (95/65)

400m Run

15 Thrusters

400m Run

9 Thrusters

THURSDAY’S WORKOUT

MENTAL TOUGHNESS

     EMOM 30:

     Minute 1: 20 Wall Balls (unbroken)

     Minute 2: 12 Hand-Release Burpees

     Minute 3: 12/8 cals Assault Bike

FRIDAY’S WORKOUT

PRACTICE

A) Sumo Deadlift

     BASE: 5×4 (by feel)

     PEAK: 5 x 3 @ 75%

B) FQT (15-min cap):

     400m Run

     21 Inverted Rows or Ring Rows

     21 Push-ups (yoga block x-over)

     300m Run

     15 Inverted Rows / Ring Rows

     15 Push-ups (yoga block x-over)

     200m Run

     9 Inverted Rows / Ring Rows

     9 Push-ups (yoga block x-over)

C) Reflection

“The breath is the remote control to the brain and you can take control of your mind at any time by taking control of your breath.” – Power Speed Endurance’s Art of Breath

 

With the breath work that we are integrating into the Oak Park experience we are striving to give you a rich, varied experience while simultaneously equipping you with tools that you can use inside and outside of the gym to enhance your fitness and well-being. One of the tools I want to share with you today is something called “box breathing.”

 

Box breathing is a breath technique that you can use to down regulate (i.e. “calm down”) your nervous system and get yourself out of a sympathetic state (the up-regulated, “fight or freeze” state). It is a great tool to use when you need to quickly move yourself from an up-regulated state to a down-regulated state. Down-regulating your nervous system reduces stress, promotes calm, improves your mental focus, and can improve your mood – universally good things!

 

The box breath consists of an inhale, a breath hold, an exhale, and a hold on the exhale. Box breathing is so named because each part of the breath is of equal length, which gives you a simple breath cadence of 1:1:1:1 and can be visualized like the sides of a box. For example:

 

You inhale for 5 seconds,

You hold your breath for 5 seconds,

You exhale your breath for 5 seconds,

You hold for 5 seconds before you begin your next inhale.

 

Box breathing is so easy to implement. Start with 1-second sides to your box and work up to something between 4 and 7 seconds per side. You don’t have to look at the clock to time the “sides” of your box. Just count on your fingers or count in your head. Try this for 5-10 minutes before you go to bed as part of your nighttime routine. Or, take 2 minutes to box breathe before a stressful meeting at work or during a conference call with that vendor who drives you insane. Or you can begin your practice with box breathing here in the box, by practicing your box breath as you recover during the rest intervals of a CrossFit workout (today’s Competition WOD would be a perfect style of workout in which you could incorporate box breathing in the rest intervals). Whether you choose to practice inside the box or outside the box, give box breathing a try in this next week and let me know how it goes.

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THURSDAY’S WORKOUT

PRACTICE

A) Rowing w/ Breath Gear Pyramid

B) EMOM 10:

    1 Hang Power Snatch + 2 OHS (hold bottom for 3 seconds)

C) 3 RFQT:

     BASE:

     2 Hang Snatch Pull + 2 Hang Snatch High Pull + 1 Hang Power Snatch

     500m Row

     PEAK:

     3 Hang (Squat) Snatch (135# / 95#)

     500m Row

FRIDAY’S WORKOUT ***

COMPETITION

Franklin Hill Fitness Score

A) “Franklin Light Hunt”

     AMLAP 8:

     Across Down Back Up Back Across

     —-then—-

     Max Light Posts Score

(10 min rest)

B) 2 Intervals on the 6:00

     Franklin Hill Sprint 220m

Your “Franklin Hill Fitness Score” is the total of your two intervals times on part “B” divided by your Light Post Score on part “A.”

 

*** Coach Matt will be leading a FREE 30-minute performance breath session from 12:00-12:30pm on Friday, working on breath techniques to prepare for the Franklin Hill runs.

 

 

I wanted to share with you a 20-minute video of a movement/mobility flow that I’ve used this week and that has made my hips and lower back feel so good after the work on these first three days of Test Week. You may recognize the handsome man in the video as Kellen, who has come to Oak Park a couple of times to lead the MovNat seminars. Enjoy!

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THURSDAY’S WORKOUT

TEST

A) Tidal Volume Breathing Test:

     Overhead Squat

B) 20 Minutes to find Heaviest Load for the Complex:

     1 Hang Snatch + 1 Snatch + 2 OHS

 

THURSDAY’S RUNNING CLASS WORKOUT

TEST

“Park Run Total”

Each for time:

Run 1 Mile

Run 800m

Run 400m

 

FRIDAY’S WORKOUT

TEST

“Chelsea”

EMOM 30:

5 Pull-ups

10 Push-ups

15 Air Squats

By now you have probably participated in a class where the warm-up included some form of intentional breath holds while rowing, biking, or carrying kettlebells. “Why on earth would we do this?” you might ask – but since you’re holding your breath at the time you can’t ask. There is a reason behind it, and it isn’t to torture you.

 

So why do we practice doing work while intentionally holding our breath?

 

Performing work in the absence of oxygen (“hypoxia”) is aimed at causing favorable adaptations in the body in response to the reduced oxygen levels. Several scientific studies (mostly using those Bane-looking “high-altitude” training masks) indicate that there is a broad range of adaptations to the stress imposed by reducing the oxygen available to the muscles while they are doing work. The adaptations occur even on the level of an increase in the mitochondria inside the muscles cells. Hypoxic training has been shown to improve your red blood cell count and stimulate the release of EPO from bone marrow which causes an increase in the production of red blood cells. All of these adaptations result in increased delivery of oxygen to your muscle tissues.

 

As we head into Cycle 18, we will be focusing more and more on breathing and how it relates to performance. You are likely to see more instances of hypoxic training, both in warm-ups and in the workouts themselves. Don’t expect us to do workouts with world-record 22-minute breath holds. The breath hold intervals in our training will be short, but intense. The research seems to indicate that short, high-intensity intervals of hypoxic work produce the best results for time invested. And please remember as we experiment, learn, and develop our breathing skills that this is a practice you will have to develop just as you developed your double-unders and your muscle-ups. It is going to take time, and you have permission to fail over and over and over as your progress your skill.

 

On that note, if you are interested in learning more about using breath to prepare for a workout, this week I’ll be leading some breath work at noon on Friday before the 12:30pm class. It isn’t a formal class, just a chance to experiment with breath and hopefully learn about some tools you can use to enhance your performance in workouts like Friday’s “Barbara.”

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THURSDAY’S WORKOUT

FUN

Partner “Jack” (alternating rounds)

AMRAP 20:

10 Push Presses (115/85#)

10 Kettlebell Swings (24/16kg)

10 Box Jumps (24/20in)

 

FRIDAY’S WORKOUT

FUN

Partner “Barbara” (alternating rounds)

5 Rounds For Time:

20 Pull-Ups

30 Push-Ups

40 Sit-Ups

50 Air Squats

(35-minute cap)

 

 

I thought I would give you some real feedback from your fellow Oak Park members regarding the nasal breathing and other breath protocols we have been implementing in classes.

 

Christian Fry lives and breathes this nasal breathing stuff. “It has been transformational,” he said. Not only has breath work helped with his endurance in CrossFit workouts, it has helped him deal with stress from work.

 

Kevin Listen said, “The change has been remarkable.” Kevin has committed to nasal breathing so much so that it is his default at this point. He says that it helps him push harder and get into and stay in better positions when he’s in a workout.

 

Coach Jared & Chris Carlson both improved significantly on the test workout “The Truth” and both remarked that they felt it was due to using breathing protocols in the rest between rounds to be more recovered and be able to give more effort on the second round.

 

Lee Bailey has run three 10K runs in the last two months and across those runs he has improved his time by 12 minutes. Nothing about Lee’s hectic travel and work schedule has gotten easier, and he hasn’t changed anything about his training except for his breath. He said he committed to nasal breathing, even on the hardest uphill parts of his runs and he believes that this is what has allowed him to drop TWELVE MINUTES off his 10K run time in two months.

 

So. . . if you are wondering why we are so focused on how you breathe, here are some real world examples of the performance benefits of this breath work. If you want more details, please find one of these guys and ask them more about it. I know they would be happy to share their reflections on how breath work has improved their performance.

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THURSDAY’S WORKOUT

TEST

(A) Shoulder Mobility: Press Archetype

(B) AMRAP 6:

     20 Wall Balls

     10 Toes-to-Bar

 

FRIDAY’S WORKOUT

TEST

FQR (2:00 2:00):

Strict HSPUs

Static Pistol Holds

Chin-over-bar Hold

— Rest 4 minutes —

FQR (2:00 2:00):

Kipping HSPUs

Alternating Pistols

Kipping Pull-ups