Refining your purpose

Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.

–Pablo Picasso

Do you have a goal? Do you have that off in the distance glimmer that you are clawing your way toward? That goal, that some days it seems only a couple steps out in front and others it is miles away; but no matter the day, you keep peddling, lifting, swimming, and running toward it in hopes of getting just a little closer?

Well, as a gym we also strive for goals like these, those goals that we set at the very beginning, and with the help and support of our community, dedicated coaches, and gym family, we are making leaps and bounds towards them!

grill out


Goal 1: Make a statement with our gym

Bro science is all to real. The basic theory of bro science states “If a bro is large, cut-up, strong, or in general shape, then he/she must therefore know anything and everything there is to know about kinesiology, and therefore must be listened to.” The bad part is that it is not just in one sport, but seen in a numerous amount of sports/coaches that just have no idea what they are talking about.

We pride ourselves in putting everything we can into our athletes, and it has shown. We  strive to provide proven programming (none of this “Well it worked for me, so it will work for you” BS), up-to-date recovery methods, the best nutritional practices (obviously this can be biased, but in our opinion it is the best out there). Basically, we aim to make a statement, a statement that says “If you come to our gym, do everything we tell you to do, and follow our programming, we WILL get you to where you want to be.” We are not trying to re-invent the wheel, instead we focus on providing what has been proven to work, and we do this so the athlete can focus on what is most important – picking up weight, and nothing else.

We make a statement by providing programming to a numerous amount of athletes in all different realms of competitive sports: Running, Weight-lifting, Power-lifting, CrossFit, Triathlons, Cycling, Swimming, Volleyball, etc. A good gym/coach can turn out 1 or 2 all-star athletes, but a great coach can take all athletes to that all-star status, and at Pure Health, I can promise you we are not interested in just being good.

But this is what we have already done, what we aim to become is the premier go-to for competitive athletes or anyone that just wants to get better in the area. We have the long term dream of being “that gym” to go to if you need to get that much better in your sport through strength and conditioning or if you want real results. How do we plan to do this? We plan to do this by providing the best programming we can, keeping our research and knowledge base up-to-date, and cutting out all the nonsense and fancy exercises to stick with what is proven to work!


Goal 2: Community Outreach

We decided at the beginning, that once we were established, our goal was to start giving back to the community that decided to take and chance and give to us, and we have started to make good on that promise.

Each week, on Fridays, we have an “Open gym” policy from 3-7 p.m. This serves two purposes:

  1. It allows anyone from the community to come in and follow one of the many programs on the board to get a safe and effective workout in.
  2. It allows us to showcase all that Pure Health has to offer and helps create the atmosphere we strive to provide day in and day out to all of our athletes (and allows others to be apart of this atmosphere, which is second to none).

Also, this past weekend, we were able to give back just a little bit more by helping the Boys and Girls club with a large charity event they hosted. Our athletes ran the grills with just as much effort as they put into their training sessions (wouldn’t think they would do anything less) and it showed.

In a little over two hours, 4 athletes cooked food for over 900 individuals!

We had an excellent time cooking and hanging out with the BCG staff and other volunteers and look forward to hopefully expanding our outreach with some youth programs and summer programs we are currently in the works on!


Goal 3: Branding

This one is easy, because of our supportive community and athletes that we are surrounded by!

It is awesome to walk around downtown or into a store and see a PHP shirt being worn proudly, and to know that we were able to help that person in some form or fashion, that makes those long days all worth it.

We want anyone and everyone that wears one of our shirts, drinks our coffee, reps one of our stickers, or owns one of our soon to be mugs to wear/rep them with pride and have a sense of belonging and ownership to the gym that they help create (it doesn’t hurt that are logo looks pretty sweet)!


We plan to continue to grow, putting a lot of our current efforts into getting youth programming started up for the summer for the youth athletes, at-risk youth, and lower income youth in the area (so if you read this and know of a way to help, please feel free to email, call, FB message, etc..).

We plan to continue to provide the programming that works, that gives results, and that is backed in science. In doing this, we promise our athletes longevity in their chosen sports and correction of any imbalances they may have acquired due to repetitive sports motions.

And last but not least, we plan to continue to provide a gym and brand that people can not only be proud of, but rep with pride!


As a little added bonus, and since last week was too crazy to get a blog post up, here is a little warm-up video dedicated to all those hip and lower backs that are tight due to the competitive season grind!

 

A Few Rules to Live By

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.

-Winston Churchill

Let me start off by saying that I am, by no means, the end-all and be-all of advise or the epitome of success… However, I do have a couple of rules I try to live by that have lead me to a pretty solid place and continue to help me grow in both my business practices and training (plus, I have yet to “go postal” on anyone, so I just assume they are working).

If I had to draw a picture of success it would kind of look a little like this (know that I drew this in paint and would much rather it look like the 9 circles of hell from Dante’s Inferno, but this will get the idea across).

Success gorge

dantes inferno

The idea is that you need to get from where you are to where you want to be–point A to point B. Everyone starts at a point A, but not everyone gets to their point B. People stop along the way for different reasons, hence the labels in the valley, but ultimately they decide to make camp here and then begin to tell you the reason they have failed (this is illustrated with labels such as “haters,” “life,” “just not my thing,” “didn’t want to injury myself,” etc.). I tend to hear these day after day, usually from slightly older individuals or people  that have decided to stop early and “focus on something else,” but I try and remind myself daily of these couple of points in order to break away from the nay sayers and just do me.


Leave each session knowing nothing else could be done

“If he dies, he dies.”

Why do anything half-assed? If you come into a mid-week session with 40%, give all 40%, and know you did everything you could that session to get just a fraction a percent better during that time frame. Make sure that when you leave each training session, rehab session, or whatever practice is getting you further toward your success; that you did everything in your power during that time frame to improve on your skill, strength, performance, or knowledge base.

If you bust your ass every single day, you do one of two things:

  1. Increase your odds for being successful in your given event, better prepared for this event, and ultimately more confident going into your event.
  2. Even if you do not perform how you want to, you walk away knowing that you did everything you possibly could do and have no regrets.

Stop comparing yourself to others

You are a combination of unique experiences and choices that has put you here in this specific time and place, so how can you compare yourself to the person standing next to you? Every person coming into a gym is going to have different goals, athletic abilities, sport, attitude, drive, strengths, weaknesses, etc.. so there is no easy way to say this athlete is better than this one or vise versa. Now, I do agree that finding a person in the gym nearest your ability and competing against them is always fun, but this needs to be maintained as a “for fun” competition. Make sure that it never becomes detrimental toward either athlete’s development or training.

Focusing less energy on comparison and more energy on bettering yourself day after day will get you further in the long run, both physically and mentally.


Don’t dwell on sessions past

One day at a time this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has yet to come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering. Happiness is a journey.

You came in and had a terrible session, shit happens, but now it is done and you can only move forward. Sure, you can be butt-hurt for the next couple of days about how you did terrible or how you would do things differently, but does that change the outcome? Does it do anything for your mind-set going into other sessions?

This can be the bane of any one person’s existence–dwelling on past events.

For example: Trying to lose weight and having one or two weeks where your diet is not 100%. It happens, you are not a robot and life does sometimes get in the way. However, it is done and over and the only thing we can do now is learn and grow from those weeks and put items into action that will keep us from having the same issues over and over again.

The bottom line:

Do what you can, when you can, to the best of your ability. Look back on it, grow from it, and then let it go (unless you want to dwell on it, but this usually results in hanging out in the valley of the haters and not on top with the successful individuals).


Enjoy what you do

Simply put: Have fun.

There are times where you are going to come in from an absolutely terrible day and the last thing you want to do is be around people. However, remember why you do this, because you enjoy it. I don’t know a whole lot of people that would put their body through the things athletes put themselves through if they did not enjoy some facet of training, or the environment, or the people.

Let the gym be your magical escape (remember, it is like Narnia, with a beefed up Mr. Tumnus). Let it be the place that you go and enjoy yourself around those that are trying to do the same thing you are doing (even if they are on a different training program), to better themselves and be borderline superheros. We are a different breed and need to stick together, because others just don’t understand!


 

Don’t limit yourself

“Our doubts are traitors,
and make us lose the good we oft might win,
by fearing to attempt.”
― William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

Never tell yourself you can’t. The mind is a powerful thing and as soon as you let that negativity in, it takes a grasp and does not let go. Others may doubt your abilities, hell, even friends may doubt you, but the one person you should always be able to trust in is yourself.


Train both body and mind

We spend hours upon hours each week developing our physical bodies, but how often to we sit to develop our mental ones? Going back to the paragraph above, doubt seeps into the minds of the weak. We MUST have a strong mindset in order to come in day after day and accept some sort of failure in order to come back in and be successful.

The sport you have chosen, actually pretty much everything in life, comes with overcoming failures at some point along your path to greatness. Think about it like this, did you just wake up one day and all of a sudden know how to snatch? Did you walk in the gym and squat 500lbs without going through months, if not years, of training? No, the path was paved with a numerous amount of failed attempts that you got back up from.

The best thing is to take some time and develop a strong mindset. Take time to practice yoga (specifically meditation) to mentally go through the movements, to picture yourself on the podium, to be able to push through small aches and pains that training brings.

Simply, take time to build up your body, but also take time to get your mind right!


Surround yourself with amazing people

Nothing great has ever been accomplished by just one man. We started the gym and we run it, but the athletes and friends that choose to help us out, to trust in our methods, they are the real MVP’s.

If you take the time to really sort out those that drag you down, the people that tell you it is not worth it or that you can’t, and replace them with individuals that truly care, and want to see you succeed, all the other rules above tend to just fall in place.

It is the people that you surround yourself with that ultimately push you toward success.

It too shall pass

Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it. -Lou Holtz

So you came in hot, got strong as sin, making great progress and turning your body in to a brick house. Then one day (or over several days, weeks, and months) Miley rides in on her wrecking ball and jacks everything up, your  house is in shambles and you don’t know what to do.

If you are in the game long enough, an injury or two is going to happen. Could be as little as a strained muscle, a small muscular imbalance, or some bursitis. On the other hand, it could be a herniated disc, a blown ACL, or torn meniscus. The point I want to make is that there are ways around all of these and the quote above holds true even if you are pushing forward at 15% capacity!


Life as you knew it is not over

It might seem like it today and maybe tomorrow, but you will get back to pushing weights and slaying PRs, it is just going to take time.

Injury in general teaches you to appreciate every moment. I’ve had my share of injuries throughout my career. It’s humbling. It gives you perspective. No matter how many times I’ve been hurt, I’ve learned from that injury and come back even more humble. – Troy Polamalu

As we take a step back and begin the process of healing and correction, this is a great time to take it all in, learn from whatever mistakes may have caused this issue, and take this time to begin anew and build back bigger and better than before.

Although it is a pain in the ass to take a couple steps back, it can also be an excellent time to work on your weaknesses and muscular imbalances that may have helped lead to whatever catastrophic event that derailed you from training.

So, that being said, take a couple of steps to ensure that your time down is not wasted:

Do what you can, however you can, and when you can

As a coach, watching someone execute a lift with textbook form is like watching Forest run for the first time, you can’t help but tear up a little and enjoy the moment. That being said, if you not firing on all cylinders, I doubt your putting out all the horse power.

-Do what you can, however you can:

This simply means, if you have dead lifts programmed and it hurts to go all the way to the floor, put it up on some blocks and continue to lift (This is just an example and can be done for any lift). Lets keep whatever range of motion we have strong as we correct the range of motion we currently do not have, this will help us get back to 100% a lot faster  than neglecting the motion all together and spending months trying to get all of the strength back.

I am who I am; no more, no less.

Terry Goodkind

-Do it when you can:

Some injuries take longer than others to heal, this is just fact. Some injuries also take longer amounts of time between sessions to recover from the session before hand. Do not let this deter you from getting in and doing what you can, when you can. You might come in one day and squats just are not going to happen, because your hip injury is flared up and causing some pretty serious pain. So, take that day and do what you can, sticking with your pulls and upper body movements, and come in the next day and try again for squats. Remember, this is a time for healing, not being hard headed and continuing to push through pain (there is a time and place for that), so take it to a point and call it good, allowing your body to get better slowly but surely!


Push to a point and stop

Touched on a little bit in the finishing paragraph above, but thought it might need a little more explanation, because it is not always straight forward.

Rehab is painful, it sucks, and no one wants to do it, but you have to push it to get better. Now I say this with a grain of salt because you want to push to a point that does not re-injure the site of affliction. The best way I can describe it is the difference between the site being sore, uncomfortable, and fatigued (this is okay and is much what your lower back feels like after a solid deadlift session) vs. the site being painful, inflamed (noticeably), or any other alarming affects (such as discoloration).

Although some of us may just be doing corrective exercise or working on a new program the same applies. Say you just started squatting more frequently (4-6 days a week) and are having some knee pain (usually a little patella tendinitis due to increased volume and possible irritation to that area), well if you come in and it is super painful to squat heavy weights, try and remember that this is a marathon to build your body, not a sprint and take the day to work on squat mechanics and technique.

The other case is usually a sore or fatigued lower back due to increased squatting or pulling. Best advice is to pick days that you will go heavy and pick days that you will work on technique and form (better technique tends to lend itself towards increased weights in the long run, so don’t worry, we are still working toward the same goal and will not lose strength in the long run).

Write your injuries in dust, your benefits in marble.
Benjamin Franklin


Find those that can help and do what is necessary to recover

This is the hard part. We know we have an injury, we have stopped doing what aggravates and irritates the area, but now what? The truth is that without doing anything (besides time and rest) most minor injuries will get better with weeks or months of time. Will you get the same injury again, most likely yes. Did you learn anything from this injury or correct the underlying issue, most likely no. Wouldn’t you instead like to see that same injury cut in half and be able to benefit from it and come back better than before (if you say no, I don’t really know how to talk with you)…

Find those that can help:

-Look for those professionals that are good at what they do and can lend your body the help it needs. Look for people that deal in:

  • Chiropractic services (Thankful that we have one on staff)
    • Taping
    • Dry needle
    • Acupuncture
    • Muscle Stim.
    • Cross frictional Massage
    • Adjustments
    • Cupping
    • Ultrasound
  • Massage Therapy (deep tissue or myofascial, this is a massage with a purpose)
  • Corrective Exercise (We can get you started down that path)

Look for someone that uses result driven therapies to help you get you to where you need to be. Look for a professional that does not try to sell you some B.S or tells you only they can fix your aches and pains and look for someone that gives you what you need, when you need it, and teaches you how to help yourself prevent the problem in the future. Know that every single person is different and not all therapies work the same on each individual so keep that in mind while trying out different modalitites, but also remember this when someone says “This works for everyone”, because if they say that, you might want to rethink using their practice or gym.

Do what you can for yourself:

-This simply means do everything you can (that is not outside your expertise) to help yourself recover faster and better:

  • Muscle stim. if you have it (Compex and other companies provide guides to help with pad placement)
  • Foam roll and mobilize regularly (This will help prevent injury or help with muscular imbalances)
  • Heat/Ice when necessary (Especially with muscle strains, heat is a great way to bring blood flow to the effected areas)
  • Muscle Soak: This is just a nice relaxing way of heating that area and allows us to relax a little more than just a heating pad
  • NSAIDS: Check with a doctor prior to taking, but this can be a great way to reduce inflammation and pain in given areas
  • Topical Analgesics: Help with pain and swelling (Rock Sauce is a fan favorite)

 

These are just some of the ways that can help produce a faster recovery time for certain injuries. As you go to different professionals, they might also suggest other modalities to try during your time of recovery as well as give you certain stretches and exercises to do in your off time.


And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
― Haruki Murakami

Hopefully, if you have an injury, this post will help steer you in the direction you need to be going. The goal with injury is to heal as fast as possible, but do so in an well thought out, effective way, that lends itself to bringing you back at 110-120% of your previous capabilities. At Pure Health we strive to provide this in the corrective exercises we program into our custom programming for our athletes, in hopes that it will help imbalances they would otherwise acquire in their given sport.

Bottom line:

Train hard, Recover HARDER

 

 

 

 

 

So now what….

My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.

–Michael Jordan

So you are in a gray area. You have had your first round of competitions; be it power lifting, weight lifting, or the Crossfit Open, and you did as well as you could have (some being happier with performance than others). After competition, you enter this gray area, this void of not knowing where to go and what to do with yourself. If you did poorly, you look back and think “maybe it is time to give up and begin my career in step aerobics and mastery of the shake weight”, but fret not, because we have a couple of tips that will keep you away from antique fitness trends and suggestive exercise and keep you rollin’ on the gains train!


Make your weaknesses your strengths

This applies to all forms of competition, but can be seen the most in the variety of movements presented in the Crossfit Open. There will always be movements thrown in to the Open that you are not prepared for, that is the beauty of it, but being prepared for anything and well rounded is the key. So, whether you did awesome or you did poor, here are a couple of tips to start implementing now, so you are not scrambling three weeks before a competition trying to improve on skills.

  • Practice the movements you could not do
    • Great example is the bar muscle-ups, lots of people cannot do them. My advice, take a step back and break down the movement in order to benefit both strength and the skill portion of the muscle up. A couple of times a week practice your kip timing (this can be done after training sessions) and start working on your strict pull-ups (slowly getting to where they are as close to chest-to-bar as possible). If you do these two things, you end up not only improving your bar muscle up, but you also become stronger in the pull-up movement (and all movements associated with it) and your kipping mechanics!
  • Increase your strength
    • This should be a no-brainer, but kind of blends with the rest of this blog post. Take a little bit of time and go through some strength cycles (with emphasis on the clean and jerk and snatch) because these movements can always be better, and the better we are with the mechanics the easier 30 of the movement is to string together (especially at lighter weights).
  • Get the coaching you need
    • If you are looking to improve upon certain skills, you might need to look past your current coach and look to a specialist (and that is okay). There are individuals that specialize in  certain areas that will help improve your game over just general coaching:
      • Need to get better at gymnastics, ask a gymnastics coach. Need to get better at Olympic-style movements, ask a Weight Lifting coach. Need to get better at the Power Lifts… You get the idea.
      • Side note:  Make sure they are a reputable coach and not just someone that looks the part or can do the movement, because often times this does not actually mean they can teach it right or even know what they are talking about (sorry, just a pet peeve of mine).

All of this to say: Take your results from competition and look at them, look at how you did , look at your strengths and at your weaknesses and then plan accordingly. Build up your weaknesses and continue to improve on your strengths. Make this a long term goal, so that at your next competition you see progress and how far you have come in just a couple of months!


Take time to correct imbalances

In training for competition sometimes we come across some aches and pains that we tend to overlook (these are usually called injuries, but most of us tend to avoid that word like the plague). So that being said, after your competition is over, and you have pushed through these “aches and pains” for only God knows how long, this would be a perfect time to step back and incorporate some corrective exercises into your routine that might help to heal these “issues.”

The way I look at it is this: The time between competitions needs to be used to reflect upon performance during that competition and make a plan on how to get better. To get better, we need to have less obstacles in our way, and one major obstacle that can keep us from progressing (and tends to push us in the opposite way) is injury or those “aches and pains.”

So, to minimize time needed to correct these issues, you can do a couple of things both in and out of program that will tend to result in a better rounded athlete with fewer injuries:

Mobilize

-Bottom line, you have to do this daily and target your problem areas, they are not just going to fix themselves.

Auxiliary Work 

-Program it in, make sure it works on your weaknesses (whatever they may be), and don’t skip it, because if you do, it will do you no good.

Recovery

-This is just as important as the training itself. Make sure your recovery game is on point and plentiful! 

Nutrition

-Eat like shit, your going to train like shit. Find a reputable source that is able to program macros for you that will keep you in the training game while keeping that body fat down!


Spend some time back in the basics

Check your ego at the door and take yourself back to the basics. This usually means no awesome 1RM competition style PR’s, but rather brutal complexes and high volume, hypertrophy style training sessions to help build up confidence under the bar, strength, and endurance.

It is not the most fun you can have in the gym and sometimes you have to remind yourself why you do these (especially after being gassed from a 10RM back squat and feeling like you just ran 5 miles), but this time serves 2 purposes:

  • It makes us actually stronger and more confident. It allows us to build up a huge engine so we are able to go on to triples, doubles, and singles with the confidence and strength to move huge weights, leading to big PR’s,  better competition numbers, and an overall great time in and out of the gym.
  • Second, it gives us a mental break. It gives us a chance to relax and not worry about coming in and trying to beat the number from last week and rather work on technique, form, and just managing to get all reps in.

So, I know sometimes this first 4-6 weeks back after competition is not your ideal training days, but in the long run it will reap bigger rewards, so keep your head down and grind on through!


Have fun and enjoy life

If you have trained for specific events, you know that putting your head down and grinding out training sessions day after day takes a pretty big toll both mentally and physically. This is why you have to take time between competitions to step back and have a little fun with your training.

Simply put; take some time off and enjoy your training. After each competition, I give my athletes at least 3-4 days (if not a week, depending on how long they have been on program) to take a little time and do some workouts and training days just for fun. This might mean you spend a couple of days hitting some bro sessions to look all beefed up in your tank or a couple of days doing some HIIT training that you might not get to do when you are on program for a power lifting meet. The idea is to come into the gym and say; “What do I want to do today?” and then do it, letting the mind and body recoup for a little bit of time before getting back to that grind.


Updates:

Just a couple of gym updates:

We have another 20lbs of coffee coming into the gym today, so if you are running low, go ahead and stock up because it will go fast!

If you ordered a T-shirt or Tank top, please try and pick it up so we know how many we have extra to give out to others that might want to sport the gear.

Check out the updated price schedule HERE!

 

Mindset, Atmosphere, and Perspective

Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still

–Henry David Thoreau

In the past couple of weeks, the gym atmosphere has been lit on fire. Despite work volume increasing ten fold (literally going from singles to 10RM), everyone comes in to still try and hit something they never have before, and although they have to grind through this weird “weightlifting cardio,” they still have an awesome attitude and uplift each other. Which brings me to the title of this blog post, if you want to have a good time doing what you love doing, you need to really sit down and think about these three words above:

Mindset, Atmosphere, and Perspective


 

Mindset

This can make or break the best of athletes. It can be the difference between a new PR and coming in 10kg/22lbs under your all time best on any given lift. The highlight of my day is when I hear that some of our athletes are travelling for work and the first thing they ask me is “Do you know a gym around that area I can go to, and if so, what should I do”. This is the mindset you have to have if you truly want to get better in a reasonable amount of time.

Aches and pains are part of the game (saying this I am fully aware that certain pain should not be pushed through and should be met with some type of medical attention, but this is not the pain I am talking about). You have to be able to look past your soreness (because guess what, we are all sore and using that as an excuse is not an option) and look past your minor aches, to get in the gym and hammer that next session out. If you think taking a day to rest it will get you better in the long run, check your mindset, assess it, think about whether you are incapable of moving sore or you are just “not feeling it sore”, and if it is the later, get your ass in the gym and train!

This video was taken at 6:30 a.m, before work, and before the other two training sessions for the day. This is a goal, she practices when she can and when she will have the most energy to practice it. She uses progressions to get to her ultimate goal and holds it for as long as she can. This is the mindset to have going in to any athletic endeavor. Do what you can, when you can, and don’t let excuses get in your way.

However, a lot of mindset depends on the next highlight of this blog post…


Atmosphere

Does your gym breed an atmosphere of excellence or good enough? When you are critiqued by a coach, do you take it personally or with open arms to get better? Do you push each other to do more, or because it was a small PR are you met with excitement and done for the day?

Don’t mean to bash any single persons PR or accomplishment, but let me put it in perspective. Say you hit a 2kg/roughly 5lb PR without a struggle, do you stop there because it was a PR? I can tell you that I will be giddy with excitement at any of my athletes that PR, but then I will tell them to put more weight on (if it is the scenario above) because when it says 3RM, it should not be a smooth ride on all reps.

No one that was great ever got there by training in a gym with a complacent atmosphere.

The goal of the gym: This should be a place to come and channel all of your angry, frustration, excess pent-up sitting all day at a desk energy into slinging around weights and making something beautiful out of all this energy :

Think Patrick Swayze in Ghost except instead of a pot, we mold 300lb cleans and 500lb deadlifts together and in a more HR friendly way…

article-1216268-066F9689000005DC-181_468x552

Bottom line: The atmosphere in the gym, if electric, will always lead you to a new PR, better consistency, or the ability for anyone to enjoy their time training in the gym!

 

 


 

Perspective

Is your glass half empty or half full? Do you look at the hand you were dealt and say “poor me, I lose”, or ” I am going to bluff the shit out of this hand until I win”? Do you blame others for your failure or do you take your failure in stride and look to improve on it? Perspective is what keeps you in the game for the long haul, this is what defines you and makes you an athlete and person others look up to and want to become. No one remembers the players or athletes that immediately accuse others of cheating after they lose, they look up to the players or athletes that say (no matter what the circumstances) “It was a good fight and I will take this as a learning experience and improve on my weaknesses”.

Great example is our yoga instructor, Kaleigh. As some people know, she has a very mysterious back/hip nerve aliment (not really sure what it is, but it is not fun) that does not allow her to support very much weight on her spine. Now, being part owner of a performance gym, you might be able to see where this is a little upsetting coming in to the gym and not being able to perform lifts, not due to lack of will power or trying, but due to not physically being able to lift the weight. She could has easily stopped working out, stopped trying, and stopped lifting and very few people would have blamed her. Instead, she looked at her predicament, assessed it, and does what she can. While here lifts are obviously not putting on serious numbers, she has probably the best mobility in the gym, is improving her yoga game by leaps and bounds, and has recently started training (with a strapping young trainer) at another gym a couple of times a week that has machine equipment to help her continue to gain muscle mass without the issue of not being able to walk for varying amounts of time.

That is all it takes; look at your situation and think:

If I can’t do much, what CAN I do to help my situation along? If I have an injury or weakness in my game, how CAN I fix it or what CAN I do to make it better? This is the type of perspective all of our athletes have, this is what we choose to instill in anyone that comes to Pure Health.


 

Updates on the gym:

We have around 5-6lbs of coffee left for our initial run, after this run the price will increase slightly, so if you want to stock up make sure and grab some while it is left.

If you ordered a T-shirt or Tank top or just want one (we ordered extra for those that did not hear about the pre-order) we have those available at the gym. The 3/4 sleeve shirts should be coming in around mid-April, and we will keep you updated.

Annnnd for you added viewing pleasure, a little ankle stability yoga practice (just make sure and repeat on the other side of the body)! This is great for anyone with an issue in ankle mobility, or ankle stability issues in the jerk!

 

 

Be the change you wish to see

Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever

–Mahatma Gandhi

Post have not been flying off the shelves as usual, but that is not to say that Pure Health is not booming! We have had an amazing start to 2016 from increasing our reach to athletes in the surrounding areas, starting our nutrition services (and seeing great results so far), taking our powerlifters to a state meet (in which we set state records, broke all types of PR’s, qualified for national events, and had a fantastic time doing it), rolled out a brand of coffee (and custom mugs coming in May), and last but not least traveled to the Mash Elite compound to learn from the best.

However, after visiting the Mash Compound and sitting back and observing the best in the business at work, I wanted to share a little of how we plan to get better and put our selves at the top of the performance game in the area!


Size does not matter

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Before you get all “ummm, where is this headed”, don’t worry, I am keeping it G rated. The Mash compound is a small gym made up of a few squat racks, loads of bars and plates, and rows of platforms, yet they produce arguably the best up and coming lifters in america.

So why do I mention this?

Yes, if a building that was in the right spot for the right price comes along we will snag it up, but for the time being the size of our building does not define what we strive to produce with in. If anything, it brings us closer together as athletes and coach, allowing us to work in with each other and produce a little competition with each other. The point is, the equipment and space can never replace atmosphere, programming, and passion.

The biggest tree does not always produce the best fruit


Put effort into both elite and novice athletes

 

The most eye opening experience happened while in North Carolina. Coach Mash, while videoing some of the best young athletes in the country, finished with them and then came over and went through and corrected some technical issues on my snatch.

This, as coaches, is what we need to strive to become. We need to put the same amount of effort into our novice lifters as we do in our advanced lifters. Know that novice lifters need more attention to large movements, as they are just starting their journey down this road. They will need different cues, they will need form broken down, they will need in-depth explanation on what to do , how to do it, and sometimes step by step instructions.

On the opposite hand, you need to pay attention to your advanced lifters. They are there for your guidance because they believe in what you teach them (or sometimes just need a place to lift). So make sure you are giving them the cues they need, even though they don’t need as much as the other 90% of the gym, they still can benefit from hands on coaching and feedback!


Create a fun, competition atmosphere that makes a statement

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The best part of the Mash Compound is the atmosphere.

Does not matter how big your gym is if the atmosphere is live, your gym will continue to produce awesome athletes.

Make your atmosphere fun, exciting, and competitive.

Cheer on the athletes that lift 100lbs and the athletes that lift 400lbs, as both are an accomplishment and a PR is a PR.

Bring Powerlifters, Weightlifters, Crossfitters, ect.. all under one roof to max out together and push each other to become better in each others given sport!

As we all know, not every day can be a good day and lifting or competitive sports. There will be days that you do amazing things and there will be days where you struggle to hit your minimums. However, if you can come into a gym that breeds an atmosphere that is exciting and competitive, I can guarantee that the days you enjoy yourself and PR will far outweigh the days that suck!


Coach smart and effective and continue to learn

The team we have is amazing! We went to competition, had a great time (regardless of outcomes), and brought back a ton of knowledge from our meet. However, this could not have been done without a couple of key items:

You have to coach smart:

Everyone is different, everyone reacts different to failure, pressure, and success. Make sure that you know your team both as athletes and as people and know how they will react to certain situations.

You have to coach effective:

Sometimes it is not about PR’s. As a coach, you always want to see your athletes do well and hit big numbers. However, remember that consistency is key in any sport, and know that your athlete will gain worlds from having a fantastic meet vs. going 3 for 9!

Continue to learn:

If you think you have it all figured out, you might as well stop while you are ahead. In this game, if you want to be the best, you have to learn from the best. This does not mean that you need 50 letters behind your name, a dozen certifications, and use large words to display your concepts. This simply means that you need to travel about and pick up key items from some of the best and bring them back to your athletes. The best thing I heard all weekend was:

If you can go to a seminar and learn just one thing that makes a difference in your coaching, then it was worth every penny

–Travis Mash


 

This is what we strive to become at Pure Health. A gym that is focused on all levels of athlete. A gym that is focused on creating and maintaining an atmosphere that can take you out of your normal life and transport you into a fun, exciting, and competitive realm (think Narnia, but with a beefed up Mr. Tumnus). This gym should feel like a home away from home, a place to go and grind your daily frustration into something worth while. Unlike many other gyms, know that we are not in this game for the money. The hours of programming, coaching, emails, and text are only worth it if we are able to produce a change in our athletes lives, then and only then have we done our job!

 

 

You Cannot Band-Aid® Lazy

“It’s not really about the competition. Your biggest challenge in a race is yourself. You’re often racing against time. You’re frequently running everything through your mind. You’re always competing against preconceived ideas. It’s not really the person next to you that you worry about.”

–Summer Sanders, Olympic Medalist 1992

Before you read this, please know that this post is designed to really make you think*

*elegant way of saying “this is a rant”

If you are in the fitness industry, let me say that at some point in your career you should attend some type of health fair or conference were you have a booth and talk to hundreds of people. The reason I say this is because you tend to learn a lot about people and it really makes you appreciate the people that come to your gym or put time and effort into training with you.

Yesterday, PHP set up shop at a local health fair to hand out information about our gym, what we do, and why you should come and train with us. Not surprisingly, people were not about our booth. However, it was some of the responses we received that lead to this post and everything that follows.

Response: “Ohh, that sounds like work.”

“It is thrifty to prepare today for the wants of tomorrow.”
~ Aesop (620 BC – 560 BC)

When this was the response to, “Take a card and check us out”, I had to hold back my true response due to not wanting to be kicked out of the health fair. If this is your response to saying “take a card and have a good day”, than there might not be anything anyone can do for you.

You see, a trainer or coach cannot instill hard work in someone, although having jedi-like mind powers would make us a lot more money. We cannot make you want to be a better person. We can add tinder to the fire, but you have to provide the spark. I hate to use this word, but the issue is that we cannot fix lazy. To be so put-off by the idea of putting in a little work to something truly is astonishing. So, for those of you that get into the gym and bust your ass, drinks on me (not literally), because regardless of how much you think you do, you are above the social norm, so party on!

Response: “Why do that when I can just take medication?”

You have got to be kidding me. This is the response to looking at mobility tools, Kinieso tape, and stretching diagrams. I say, here is a way that you can spend little money, fix your aches and pains, and learn a new skill, and you say “ehhh, I’d rather just take medication”, why??? This is right up there with saying “Exercise is not my thing” or ” I don’t like water”. You don’t have a choice. You don’t get to make those decisions, because guess what, your body NEEDS water and your body NEEDS movement. End of story with no discussion–this is fact, not an opinion. To put it another way, for those of you that have kids and a family:

What if I told you that with an hour and a half a day you could play with your kids/grandkids until you were well in your 60’s, including running, jumping, going on adventures, literally anything you can think of, without fear of catastrophic injury or bodily harm. Who in their right mind would say no to that? Well guess what, this is what happens when you get on a structured exercise program and when you get off those medications (caveat being if you currently need those medications to survive) and learn to start taking care of yourself. Anything less, is just lazy.

Response: “That is just too expensive.”

First of all, I won’t say it’s not, because people come from all different financial backgrounds and while $50/month is chump change to some, it is a weeks work to others. That being said, if you say this while having a fresh dye-job for your hair, a brand-name watch, equestrian boots, and your nails done, I have a hard time believing that $50 is something you do not currently have. What I don’t find hard to believe is that you just find it easier to dress yourself in riches and mask the true issue you have with yourself.

You don’t need new clothes, new hair, new nails, etc.. to be happy with the way you look–you need to do something on a more physical spectrum and get out there and bust your ass, work hard, and be able to be proud of something you have accomplished.

All this is to say, you can put a band-aid on a lot of things; looks, mobility, injuries, ect., but the one thing you cannot band-aid is laziness.

So challenge yourself to be a little better than yesterday. Do a little more each day. Do it for you and your family, not for others and not for vanity sake. Never settle, because there is always room to grow and improve, do not let yourself be stagnant.

 As long as you’re green, you’re growing. As soon as you’re ripe, you start to rot.
–Ray Kroc


 

Little update on coffee:

Heartland Roasters has been killing it and doing wonderful things in the community and has still found time to get our blend going and together. We should have coffee by the end of the week and we will only have #25 for the first release, so if you want some make sure and tell us, because it will be going fast!

Do it For You

  1. Trust yourself
  2. Break some rules
  3. Don’t be afraid to fail
  4. Ignore the Naysayers
  5. Work like hell
  6. Give something back

–Arnold Schwarzenegger, Six rules of Success

People are stubborn. Once they hear something from somewhere (usually it’s a Buzzfeed article they reference) it is very hard to change their mind. I am reminded of this time and time again when I go to brag on the Pure Health athletes only to be told “You should not lift without a belt”, “That is to heavy for anyone over 50”, “Are girls supposed to lift that much”, or “His form didn’t look right.”

You have to remember why you started in the first place. Did you start to impress someone? Did you start to make someone else happy? Did you start to make someone else a champion? Probably not…

You started because you wanted to become a bad ass. You started because you wanted to be great and doing something extraordinary. You started to make the best version of yourself that you could make. YOU DO THIS FOR YOU!

Don’t lose sight of this because all of your friends just don’t understand. Don’t lose hope just because you are injured and right now is hard. Don’t give up just because you are at a plateau in your training.

It is inevitable that people will call you out when you post videos of your PR’s (most likely because the only thing they are interested in is dogs in human clothes). It is inevitable that people will make back-handed compliments about the time you spend in the gym or the way the way you have transformed your body (this is especially true if you are a female athlete). Don’t let it bring you down. Know that they just don’t understand the way you have chosen to spend your free time (and they most likely never will) and just think back to why you started down this journey in the first place.

Don’t look at what others can do that you can’t. There will be plenty of people that are stronger than you. There will be athletes working out around you that are capable of movements you might not be due to injury. Know that this will anger you and might leave you feeling defeated, but this is okay. Let this fuel you to do everything you can to recover from your injury. Don’t let this minor set back defeat you in the long run. Always remember that every athlete takes a different road to get to where they are going. Some of these roads are easy (relative) and some are paved with detours, but if you strive hard enough, you can both end up at the same place.

Plateaus can and sometimes will happen, but it is what you do about this that makes you a better athlete. Change your program, do something different, or go against what “experts” say and try something new. The best athletes in the world don’t follow “textbook” programs, they do things that have never been done before and that is how they become great. At PHP, most of us follow a “Squat Everyday Program” by Travis Mash, which if you have a background in sports science is considered “over training”. I can tell you that none of our athletes on this program have even come close to plateauing and they are about as far from an injury as you can be.

The bottom line, YOU HAVE TO DO IT FOR YOU.

Everything you do needs to be done for you. Not to post for social media or to impress your friends (hell, half the time they don’t even understand what the big deal is). Not to impress your significant other or to look like people you idolize. Your journey is yours alone, you are the only one that gets the high of being on top, so make sure all of your energy goes toward making your person the best possible version it can be!


Now, here’s a flow to help you get warmed up and flexible before picking up heavy things.

Here are the postures included in today’s flow:

Lay flat and stretch out to begin
Seated Forward Fold
Iron Cross stretch on either side (x 3 – 5)
Seated Forward Fold
Reverse Tabletop
Lotus, Forward Fold
Pelvic Rotations

Garland
Rev. Swan Dive
Crescent on each side
Chair
Forward Fold
Garland
(repeat x 3)

Downward Dog
Plank
Superman
Scorpion stretch on either side (x 3 – 5)

Downward Dog
Plank
Chaturanga
Upward Dog
(repeat x 3)

Runner’s Lunge
Crescent Lunge
Warrior 1
Warrior 2
Rev. Warrior
Warrior 2
Warrior 1
Crescent Lunge
Dragon Pose (w/ optional quad stretch variation)
Lizard Pose
Achilles Stretch (leaning forward, knee over toes)
Downward Dog
(repeat on left side)

Downward Dog
Plank
Chaturanga
Upward Dog
(repeat x 3)

Downward Dog
Child’s Pose (w/ Prayer shoulder Variation)
Thread the Needle (each side)
Child’s Pose

If you’d like more instruction or want to increase your flexibility, feel free to stop by our yoga classes on Monday nights from 7:15 – 8 and most Saturdays from 9-10!

Music in the video is Bon Iver – Flume, Skinny Love, and Holocene. We do not own the rights to this music, just borrowing it for our flows.

In gym update news, we are increasing our PHP fashion line with new T-shirts, Tank Tops, and 3/4 Raglans. If you want any of the above, please notify us, as we will be ordering them ASAP in order to try and get them in for athletes to wear during competition!

Also, we are in the process of ordering limited edition hand crafted coffee mugs to go with the release of our “Rise and Grind” PHP Coffee Blend. We will have about 25 mugs and once they are gone, we will not be ordering anymore (it takes about 8 weeks to get them made and delivered, so you have some time). Coffee should be in any day now, and once it is, we will post and get it out to individuals as quick as possible!

A different breed

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

–Mark Twain

Before I get into this post, let me state one thing:

I do not intend to offend anyone (although it will happen). This post should serve to inspire, to act as a sort of awakening. If you are offended by this post, or feel as though you are left out, then please re-read and get inspired to go do!


 

There are those of us that train, and we train hard. I am not talking about working out every now and again, but instead I speak of the ones that are in the gym 5-6 days a week for hours at a time, working toward something awesome. Now some see this as an issue, as a sort of obsession. The problem I have with this is that this work ethic–this desire to be something better–does not just stay in the gym, it follows us through our daily lives and everything we do.

WE ARE A DIFFERENT BREED

We thrive on the un-achievable

This word does not exist in our vocabulary. They tell us we cannot do something and we aim to prove them wrong. Our fuel comes from the mere thought that they think a person cannot achieve this goal, so we do it and we make it look easy.

We are not afraid of the “what-ifs”

We might get hurt along the way, we might be so tired that normal tasks become daunting, and there might be days that we are just plain beat, but this does not deter us from the final goal. We hear all the time “Don’t you know that you could get hurt”, “Just think what it will be like when you are old”, “If you didn’t do that, you wouldn’t hurt all the time”. Let me let you in on a little secret: You could step of the curb tomorrow and get hit by a car, and that would probably hurt, but does this mean that you walk around in padded armor gearing up for that fateful day? As humans, when we get old, we will all hurt. As soon as you’re born, you’re dying, so you might as well make the most of it. We would like to think that when we are old and we hurt, we can look back and say it is because we put 2x our body weight over our head, or because we could squat the world, not because “time just makes us that way” or because of our poor life choices. Yes, it is true, we do tend to hurt all the time, but what in life is both easy and worth doing? If you find it, please let us know. Things worth doing take time, sacrifice, and every last ounce of strength you have and can give. Look at any successful person and read their story, let me know if you find one that had an easy time getting to the top…

We are obsessed

Or at least this is what they tell us. They tell us we put to much pressure on ourselves, that we become negative toward others. Let me ask you something: Do you not have to be a little on the “obsessed” side to achieve the level of success that we dream of? Do you not have to eat, sleep, and dream of that moment when you finally make it, to truly make it? Think for a moment of something you love, truly love, and ask yourself is there not anything you wouldn’t give to protect that person, goal, aspiration, or dream. This is how we feel, this is what we feel, and this is the path we choose to walk.

The best part, it is not nature that provides this

This feeling is not bestowed at birth, it is acquired through countless hours of work. It is fueled by the sheer level of determination that we have come to possess. In the words of Mattie Rodgers (if you don’t know who she is, look her up) it is “Earned not given”. When we get into the gym, no race, religion, gender, sexual preference, or financial situation matters, the only thing that makes a difference is whether or not you possess what it takes to train day in and out and work toward realizing your dream.

So if this offends you, makes  you feel left out, or makes you second guess your actions or choices, you really only have two options:

  1. Peer at those of us high on the mountain from the valley below or…
  2. Take the steps we took, climb those stairs, and claw your way up the mountain to join us on our journey to the top

On a somewhat lighter note, since it is the middle of the week and most people that read this blog have been grinding away, here is a little flow by our very own mobility coach for those tight lower backs!

This flow consists of:
image

And if you’re interested in testing it out with instruction, stop by our class on Monday nights at 7:15!


 

Also, thank you to all of our taste-testers at our #PHPpickourblend coffee tasting this paste Saturday. We have narrowed it down to blend C (this will only make sense if you were there) and hope to have a limited first release of around 25lbs (the good things in life don’t come mass produced). I will keep all informed as to when we have the final product and then we will release it out to you all!!

Injury

“If your dog gets lost you don’t look for an hour then call it quits. You get your ass out there and you find that f*cking dog.”

–Billy Madison

So you’re injured. You feel like Hercules after being pulled down from Mt. Olympus, never to return and to always have only a fraction of your (what could have been) God-like strength. Well, before you start dressing in all black listening to Death Cab for Cutie and mourning your gains, let’s talk this out logically and see if we can bring a little brick and mortar to your Eeyore stick hut.


 

It is not the end of the world, so do what you can:

I know it feels like all hope is lost. You have trouble doing things you once excelled at. It is frustrating, and sometimes (or all the time) you just want to stop. Before you give up all hope and change into your “Golden Coral Sweats”, sit in front of the T.V and binge watch Gossip Girl; try doing what you can. We have all different types of athletes currently that have a many different types of injuries (luckily, these were not sport or gym related).

We have an athlete who had wrist surgery, so guess what? He squats and he squats often. He continues to keep his Olympic lifts going by practicing technique with the bar and weights that don’t bother his wrist. He wraps his wrist daily and practices range of motion training and grip training to prevent atrophy. He got injured, but did not let it hold him back, so instead he does what he can and he excels at it!

We have a female athlete who has a mystery spinal aliment that keeps her from most degrees of trunk flexion (You what exercises require trunk flexion? All the best types). Instead of sitting around and feeling defeated, she does what she can to keep her cardio up on the bike and rower, try to keep her range of motion through yoga, and kills some upper body bro days.

We have another female that has a chronic lower back issue, and she is probably one of the hardest workers in the gym. She does what she can to increase strength in the surrounding muscle groups and when it gets to that fine line of discomfort and pain, she switches to metabolic conditioning exercises.

The point being, you might not have the use of your whole body, but neither did Lt. Dan and he still jumped his ass out of a boat and swam..


 

Be smart about your recovery:

Follow the first rule by all means, do what you can and do it well. However, remember that you are working with a couple cards short of a full deck, so mind your limits. This is an interesting predicament because you have to push yourself in order to overcome and get better, but if you push yourself too hard you are going to take a lot longer to recover or possibly make the injury worse. The bottom line is to figure out the fine line between discomfort and pain. Push yourself to your limit for that day, stop, and recover, and then come in day after day and try and increase that limit just a little more until it is gone.


 

Treat yo self:

Pay special attention to these areas during your time of recovery. Follow a couple of rules of thumb in order to try and speed up the process (these all depend on the type of injury. Obviously if you have a compound fracture heat and ice are not going to do much…)

  1. Heat/Ice after and before workouts to try and increase blood flow/decrease swelling
  2. Get taped up to help alleviate some of the stress on the muscle or joint
  3. Wear wraps, braces, or supportive gear to take a little load off
  4. Adapt your workouts in order to compensate for your injury
    1. If you have an injured leg muscle and ass to grass squatting hurts, maybe don’t go full depth (I don’t say that often, but if it hurts, don’t do it…)
  5. Increase your time doing Range of motion training, stretching, and rolling
    1. For strained muscle or a sprain this would be a bad idea as the muscle or tendon is already in a stretched and damaged position.

 

Nutrition plays a role:

Just because you’re injured does not mean you get to eat garbage–If anything you need to make sure you are eating even better than when you are full capacity.

  1. Fats such as olive oil, nuts, avocados and fish oils can help with inflammation, so try and increase these during healing times.
  2. Avoid lots of processed foods or foods high in trans-fats as those can promote inflammation
  3. Foods such as berries, pineapple, turmeric, and garlic also help decrease inflammation, so make sure and work these into your daily macros
  4. Supplement with Vitamin a and c, zinc, and copper as well as arginine, glutamine, and HMB. These have all been shown to have a positive effect on healing.
    1. *Make sure and consult with your physician/dietitian if you have any prior medical condition or are pregnant before starting a supplementation regiment.

 

Getting injured is both a physical and a mental battle. Make sure you use the network of support around you and talk with your coach and fellow athletes during your recovery, because, often times, the mental battle can be more damaging than the physical one.

It is easy to look up to top tier athletes, but in my opinion, it is the injured athletes that come back full force that are the true inspiration to their sport. To be on top, get cast to the bottom, and tooth-and-nail climb your way back to the top, well that is a victory worth talking about!

The bottom line, don’t get injured, but if you do, know that it is not the end of the world and that it will take hard work, but soon you will be back on top!