Motivation

I will go on the operating assumption anyone reading this blog has heard of CrossFit. The term is pervasive in today’s fitness culture and has even begun to be used in general popular culture. In addition to CrossFit, there is another term that has worked its way into the collective fitness consciousness and that is functional fitness. Finally, hybrid athlete is now being bandied about in the fitness world. What all of these terms have in common is they reference a level of fitness that goes beyond the training specialization focus of the previous several decades. CrossFitters, those who train for...

Sequence Your Training for Optimal Results by Chris Mason With the recent massive increase in the popularity of training multiple fitness components simultaneously (CrossFit being the driving force of this movement) the topic of exercise sequencing for optimal results has become particularly poignant. Physical fitness and performance are comprised of many different specific attributes. For example, strength has many forms all of which contribute to the body's ability to move through space. Strength can be viewed as a spectrum ranging from starting strength (the ability to produce maximal force in the first 30 milliseconds of movement), to explosive strength...

Question: Chris, how do you alter your training immediately following a competition? The competition that you have just completed and the time of year largely dictate the recovery process afterwards. By the way, and to digress from the question for a moment, if you are serious about being competitive in CrossFit it's a good idea to do some local or larger regional competitions. What that does is give you a chance to "test" your plan for tapering, warm-ups at the competition, meals between workouts, and so on. For the local/regional competitions your rest/recovery time can be as short as...

In July, I wrote an article for Wannabebig called “Get Real.” The article was a discussion of my views on the flaws of the bodybuilding media (magazines and Internet) and how those perceptions may act as a disservice to those at the grassroots level who are trying to find their way in lifting. My contention was that the average person gets bombarded with the exploits of the elite at such a level that “spectacular becomes commonplace”. In such a world, the accomplishments of the average dedicated gym-goer just don’t seem to stack up. This can be a pretty disconcerting, sometimes debilitating,...

Bodybuilding magazines — pro or con? I find that I ask myself that question often. Do the mags serve their purchasers by providing useful info, motivating stories and inspirational photos or do they erode enthusiasm, misinform readers and develop expectations that are unrealistic? Let examine the goals of bodybuilding magazines. First off, as in any business their goal is to turn a profit. In the muscle mag industry, that entails revenue from advertising income and/or the sales and promotion of in-house products. The early Weider magazines promoted both Weider Nutrition products and the IFBB, which they controlled. In its heyday Muscular Development was...

His name was Mario, but due to the stupid looking tattoo on his shoulder, I insisted on referring to him as Canario. “It’s a parrot!” he’d yell. “I’m no ornithologist, but it looks like a canary to me. Or maybe a swallow? What are you trying to say by having a swallow tattooed on your arm?” He would shake his head and swagger away, “When you are buying your shirts in the men’s department, you can talk.” He had a point. I had made some gains, but I had a long way to go. There was a pecking order here, like at any...

The sports of powerlifting, bodybuilding and strongman competition seem to attract a colorful crowd. With literally millions of participants and a monthly carousel of athletes being profiled in each of the multitude of monthly muscle and strength magazines, a handful of athletes have stood out over the past three decades. They stand out for their trailblazing lifting, their unique personalities and their dominance of the competition. All were driven by their hunger to be bigger and stronger. Most importantly, each of these iron icons stands out because of their ability to inspire us. For this reason, we call them...

6:30am The alarm goes off signaling for me to get my ass up and moving. Today is dynamic squat day and I have to be in the gym by 8:15 to begin the session by 8:30. As I roll over I feel the tightness in my lower back and think I should just stay in bed and forget training for the day. Plus I did not sleep well; causing me to wake up at least three times through the night with my right shoulder feeling like it is being pounded with a heavy spike. Twice I could barely move it and had to...

Freedom Scares You - Because it means responsibility - Jello Biafra Responsibility. We often busy ourselves with so much erroneous shuffling-about that we forget about the true responsibility of self. 'Freedom' is a very large banner being waved right now, but it starts from within. Instead of a giant blanket between 'good' and 'evil,' let's focus on the individual, and the freedom we sometimes need for and from ourselves. Socio-political ideals be damned, let's talk about fitness. What happens in the gym isn't our concern right now. Let's assume there's PLENTY of information about the training itself, but what happens between workouts?...