Posts tagged training

Ladies: Don’t Be Afraid of Strength Training


I headed to the gym early to do a coach’s workout before the busyness of my day gets going. It was a good one –

400m run
25 power snatch #65
50 pull ups
75 1 Pood KB swings
400m run

time: 18:46

Here’s an interesting entry I came across about women and lifting weights that may resonate with some of you out there…

6 Benefits of Weight Training for Women

The more muscle and bone mass you have, the greater the acid-buffering power you create.

Pay attention to this particular bit of info:

6) In my 30 years of experience as a strength coach, for every pound of lean tissue gained, there was an equal amount of bodyfat loss. In other words, the body composition changed dramatically. For example, a female executive weighing in at 132 pounds with 20 percent bodyfat has about 25 pounds of fat. So if she gains about eight pounds of muscle mass and loses eight pounds of fat at the same time in 10 weeks, her bodyfat will be 13 percent at the end of the 10 weeks. Her body will look tremendously better.

So morale of the story: Ladies, get out there and strength train. Don’t be afraid of it, don’t shy away from it. It has so many benefits including helping you not work as hard keeping the bod in check!  And I promise, you won’t get bulky.

Getting Back on Track


Crazy day of training class. I am attending a coaches’ training course at CrossFit Impavidus to help improve my actual coaching skills. Steph, you aren’t a coach you say — true but you never know what the future has in store for me — so I am soaking it all in, learning as much as I can — so I can explore options. Always keep an open mind is what I say!

How gorgeous is the sunset pic I took 10mins ago? It was seriously breathtaking.

And yes – another rest and recovery day for me. We did do a 4 round tabata squat to get us all out of our seats for a bit — but that doesn’t really count. 3 days of resting — and one more to come. I seriously hope it helps me get back on track…


CrossFit Certified – Level 1


 CrossFit L1 certification at Reston Crossfit- July 2011

It’s true — you can now call me Coach Steph! Has a nice ring to it don’t you think. The truth is it’s only the beginning. I have lots to learn and now I have to shadow some experienced coaches to really learn how to Coach. And i think I have said this before –what I really want to focus on is CrossFit Kids. Helping Kids develop a healthy foundation is really important to all of us –and I love to see and learn about how they approach it all.  That’s my next goal –CF Kids cert.

I took a ton of notes from my cert class and will be sharing what I have learned over the next week or so. I am so inspired not only by the info I learned, but the people I met. The team of coaches that ran the cert were top-notch. Very experienced, bad ass athletes who know how to train all fitness levels. And maybe it was just in my head, but they really took time to get to know your name and coach to your strengths.

During the course of the weekend we did Fran, a team WOD (8m kb swings, push-ups, 400m run), Pull up clinic, Muscle up clinic and muscle snatch clinic- in addition to learning and practicing the 9 Foundational Movements of CrossFit – 1)dead lift, 2)sumo deadlift high pull, 3)clean, 4)squat, 5)front squat, 6)overhead squat, 7)press, 8)push press, 9)push jerk. The weekend went like this —

DAY 1:  intro, lecture, get up and move, lecture, practice, lecture, practice, lunch, lecture, practice, lecture, practice — Fran 8:20 (35lb, jumping p-ups)

DAY 2:  welcome, review, practice, nutrition lecture, pull up clinic, Team WOD (w/warmup), lunch, programming lecture, muscle up clinic/muscle snatch — TEST time — 1h later, goodbye and find out if you passed.

And no time during the weekend, did I feel that I didn’t belong there or couldn’t be counted among the athletes. Coaches Nicole and Christmas were especially inspiring to me. As I said my goodbyes to them — I shared a bit about my blog and story and I just can’t even describe how  much it meant to me that they really took the time to listen and get what I am about. I actually started to tear up when sharing –there is something very FULL CIRCLE for me about getting this cert.

Although I had been doing HIIT training at my first bootcamp — it was at CrossFit Reston that I took my first official CrossFit class. I even wrote about them back in Feb 2010. So to get my certification here — and see Jeff and Maggie as a part of it, was emotional for me. I don’t know if anyone out there gets it — the redefinition of who I am is huge for me. I was not athlete Steph growing up and in fact if you would have told me about the way I am now — I would have laughed and said  – yeah right, you have the wrong person. Move on —

I really know in my heart of hearts, that I have found my passion. My whole life I have always wondered why I didn’t have a hobby or something i was into — and here I am, 40 years old and found it a short 3 years ago.  Goes to show you – you are never too late to learn how to cartwheel, create a new you, or commit to being the best you. Sounds awfully schmultzy doesn’t it.  I just realize that if I can do this — anyone can and want to help the younger generation do it before they have all the other life pressures to contend with.

I have come a long way baby!

Get out of Bed and Live!


I added this video because for women – I think it’s important to hear how training like I do — Crossfit, HIIT — helps other aspects of your life.  She says in the morning when she has to get up — its like let’s get up and Live! Which is exactly how I feel and what gets me out of bed at 5A. It’s something you can’t adequately describe to someone. It’s just a feeling you get once you are hooked on this training….

Oh and yeah for the guys  — she’s not bad eye candy.

Though she’s only done CrossFit for two years, it has already made a big difference in Camille’s life. When she encounters difficulties, she looks at them as challenges to overcome. They may hurt in the short term, but just as in CrossFit, she knows that the pain makes her stronger.

Friday Group Training with Planks


I am still nursing my self diagnosed pulled muscle in my left bicep, so Mikey and I both agreed to lower the weights when using that arm. It does feel better but when I put direct weight on it, I struggle. I need to make sure I am getting full range of motion when doing the exercises, so lowering the weight allows me to do that. It is kind of odd to do heavy weight on one arm and lower weight on the other …will I end up lopsided muscle wise? I will let you know! HA!

There is one exercise in this Plumbline group session that just irks me. I can’t tell you why, but it just causes a reaction. Its the plank pose with a 10lb plate on your back.  The Plank pose is great for your core and then to take it further, you lift one of your hands for 30 sec, then the other without adjusting your weight and then do the the same for each leg.  It’s challenging for just about anyone — and then add this plate? Why I ask? I think it’s to utilize a torture technique. I don’t have much of a butt, so it really does slide right off the minute I lose form — it’s frustrating, challenging and painful all at the same time. AHHHHHH! I won’t be sad to see it go next Friday!

2m jump rope

hip rockets
planks (1 arm, 1 leg) w/ a 10lb plate on your back
general stretching
40 push ups

WOD – 2 rounds
back squat 145lb
hyper ham curls
TGUs 25lbs – 15lbs for left arm weight
single arm press 40lbs db
power clean snatch 50lb

PT Station
20,15,10 single arm power swing 35lb db one arm, 15lb left arm
1 assisted rope climb each round – I did not use assistance to get down from the rope
100m run each round

And for the back squat, I did 145lbs. Let me tell you — that is more than I weigh and you have to be very aware of how you are lifting that! I stopped a few times to make sure I was putting the weight back on my heels and pushing through. Otherwise you compensate with your back and your form goes out the window and… that opens up room for injury.

Strength training is about body, mind and spirit


Many people approach physical fitness for cosmetic reasons; but real strength training is about body, mind and spirit, not good looks.

Do you jump right into a workout without warming up? Do you “jerk” the weights when strength training? Do you overstretch in Yoga class because you don’t want to look like a noob? Editors from Fitness Magazine offer some tips in this article, but I’d like to go past the obvious and get to the real story about poor fitness habits. The worst habit of all is working out purely for cosmetic reasons. You know what I mean: pumping weights just to look good instead of developing core strength. Or hanging out in yoga class just to show off how limber your pelvis is.

Should Females Train Differently Than Males?


I had a pretty good workout yesterday. I find that after a good challenging race (ie Rare Xfit Race) that I tend to see an improvement in some areas of my workout — my cardio seemed better yesterday. But have I mentioned it’s super hot ….like Arizona Hot which is not good for the DC area. I lived in Arizona and there is little humidity.  Northern VA – at least 50% which makes it un-enjoyable in every aspect.

Ran 1 mi
Various strength training
bosu push-ups
15mins on stairclimber
Stability ball crunches
ball lifts

Should Females Train Differently Than Males?.

I saw the topic below come up on one of the blogs I read and thought it was a good reminder to post.  Strength training for women will NOT bulk you up like a man. It is actually a VERY important part of a woman’s workout and exercise regime. It will help you perform better and also will benefit you later in life — think old lady hunched over and super weak.

Overall, strength training offers female athletes the same benefits that it offers male athletes! Regardless of their sport or gender, any athlete can benefit from increased sprinting speed, strength, balance, decreased body fat levels and a reduced incidence of injuries – all of which a properly designed strength-training program can provide. Also, studies have proven that strength training can have a positive effect on bone density, which will decrease your risk of osteoporosis later in life.

Even with all of the positive research out there with regards to strength training and female athletes, I still get asked the same question all of the time, “Will I end up looking like a man if I lift weights?” The answer is, “Absolutely not!” Much of the difference in muscle mass between males and females is attributed to hormones, specifically, testosterone. On average, men produce ten times more testosterone than females. Unless you’re a female who is taking anabolic steroids or other male hormones, lifting weights will NOT make you look like a man! Also, there is a difference in muscle mass distribution between men and women, especially in the upper body. So it is important to remember that male hormones and muscle mass distribution are the two main reasons that men usually carry more muscle than woman. These are 2 of the main factors why men who strength-train look more “bulky” than females who strength-train.

5 Key Reminders to finding Balance


Here is an excerpt from Brian’s blog – he is the trainer I worked with today. Always good to remind yourself of some key things:

Balance to find fat loss – 5 keys «

So here it is: 5 key things to remember

1. Do not starve yourself – find the balance

2. Do not kill yourself in the gym – it’s not how much you do only, it’s what you do and how well you do it

3. Rest, but in the proper balance – your body can work on something daily

4. Do not obsess about fat loss – stress causes cortisol to raise – a hormone that triggers insuline uptake and fat storage

5. Consult a fitness professional for a personalized program – have your body type addressed to best attain your goals

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