Sunday, December 27, 2009

Ahead of the Curve?

Three years ago I developed a training method known as "Project: Bridging the Wellness Gap". The root philosophy behind BTWG was "No Excuses", meaning I eliminated every possible excuse one could have for not being active and living a healthful lifestyle. I wanted workouts to be short (30-60 minutes), yet highly effective. I realized the majority of people I train have busy lives, a job, a house hold to manage, and so forth. What would be the point of designing training programs that require 2 hours to complete if it was going to be impossible for my clients to complete all the tasks? I also saw many of my aspiring athletes feeling frustrated that they couldn't spend hours and hours training each week the way the pros do, nor see the results they envisioned.

Over the course of the past year, the BTWG workouts have continued to evolve and develop with the inclusion of the principles of CrossFit and CrossFit Endurance. I began training with CF workouts last January, and went full-on with CF in late March, early April, I then attended a Level I certification in September. Realizing the value of this style of training, I revised the workouts to include some elements of CF.

In my upcoming "Indy Mini Marathon/CrossFit Training Program", all the training is based on the principles of BTWG, CrossFit and CrossFit Endurance. While the response has been great thus far and several people have already applied, I find that many die-hard endurance athletes want to cling to their old method of training with LSD workouts (Long Steady/Slow Workouts) and sport specificity (running to be a better running, riding to be a better cyclist, etc.). Fair enough! I too had a hard time breaking out of my old thought process. I understand the fear associated to change. Why listen to someone like me who isn't a top tier athlete? Why follow a training plan from someone who doesn't even run a sub-90 minute half marathon and isn't even close to qualifying for the Boston Marathon? Again, fair enough. I get it. How about listening to a "real" coach, such as Lance Armstrong's coach, Chris Charmichael? Check out his new book, "The Time Crunched Cyclist" or the following interviews:

While Charmichael isn't exactly CF/CFE, he's on the right track and helping to bring this format of training into the endurance community. When Charmichael talks, people listen.

So, what about all this CF training? Why bother with power lifting movements such as the hang clean, the snatch, overhead squats? Why do burpees and pull ups? Why do high intensity circuits or maximal efforts? Why do workouts that are short and leave you in a heap on the ground? Why swing a kettlebell, isn't that for Neanderthals? Check out this picture of a typical muscle head swinging a kettlebell, I mean, really, who does this stuff?!?!?!
Oh, wait... hold on a sec. What's that? That's Lance Armstrong swinging a kettlebell? That's an Olympic weight set and a GHD machine in the background? That's his garage? Oh... I see. I thought it was a CF gym. My bad...

Well then, check out this workout session of some jack ass doing a high intensity workout with weights. You would never catch a world class endurance athlete doing anything like this:

Lance Armstrong
NOTE: if the video does not appear, just click on the words "Lance Armstrong" and it should take you to the video. Also, Lance's form on his hang power cleans SUCKS. Who's coaching this guy : ) Seriously, it's really, really bad. Most of my CF crew would put him to shame.

What's that? That's Lance... again? Crap!

Sarcasm aside, as much as I hate to use Chris Carmichael and Lance as leverage to make my point... well, it helps to make my point. Carmichael's program and Lance's strength workouts are not exactly CF/CFE, but they do come from a similar base of short, intense workouts that deliver maximum results and this is exactly the approach I take in coaching my clients and CrossFitters.

The next round of CF classes begin January 4th and the Mini Marathon training begins January 23rd. If you are interested in either, or both, be sure to contact me right away or shoot me your questions:

Be Well,


Corbin said...

alright alright! But its so hard to change your mind and attitude after 20+ years of training a certain way.. And seeing the training of the sports elite.

However, I am not, nor will I be "elite" my goal is to be as good as I can be with my family and other responsibilities still being paramount..

As you know Chris, nutrition and diet are my achilles heel. One that I tackling head on! I look forward to training more with you and your crew up in Brownsburg in 2010!

Chris said...

No doubt it's hard to change, yet sooo worth it : ) Maybe one day when we both have 20 hours a week to train we can go back to the old model... or not!

Glad you are grabbing the nutrition bull by the horns. Keep me posted

Would love to have you join us for more CF, especially when we get the new place up and running.

Rad said...

Hey, Chris,

Thanks for sharing. This stuff is definately working for ME. At 56 I'm in better shape than I was at 45.

I'm looking forward to more cross-fit in 2010 and some great events that it will prep me for.

Happy New Year!!