Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Burnout and Rehab

I want to address a few topics in this post

1. Burnout. 

What is burnout?  I bet there is a professional definition and I could get on webster's online dictionary and provide one but who wants to know what some Oxford Button down Yale grad has to say about burnout.  I mean, depending on the type of burnout we are talking about here I might consult Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, or Chris Farley (Experts in the field if you ask me).

But what I am talking about is Gym Burnout.  Can this actually happen?  We have an awesome gym, so how can you get burnt out on it?  Some of you guys will never experience burnout due to missing time at the gym because of work, family events, and what have you.  These little breaks play a crucial role in keeping you mentally fresh and even physically healthy.  Fathom this:  What if I asked you to Crush/Kill every workout, every day, every week, every year... Could your body actual handle this?  Could you mentally gear up for this every day?  Before you answer this question think about this:  Olympic athletes train in a 4 year cycle.  NFL athletes train in a 10month cycle.  MLB athletes have a grueling season and then 3 months off before the next season.  What do all of these athletes have in common?  OFF TIME.

So if the professionals need time off or time to de-load shouldn't you?  I'll answer this for you: YES!

If you are feeling run down, not sleeping, can't make it through a single workout without feeling like poo poo, then you might wanna sit down and take a look back at your workout log and your nutrition.  How many workouts have you hit in a row?  At what intensity?  How much weight did you use?  Did you try to kill yourself every workout?  In my humble opinion,  I suggest scaling things back every so often.  You know your body better than anyone on the planet and if you can't mentally get up for workouts you might be suffering Burnout. 

Here is some stream of consciousness about burnout:  sick with strep throat for a week and the next week can't finish the workout?  take your time (not burn out).  ate like crap for a week and a half (not burn out) clean up that diet home boy!  My shoulder hurts so bad it wakes me up at night! (take time off and evaluate your shoulder).  I can't finish any workout and my fat loss it at a stand still (look at your nutrition and make sure its on par).  Pay attention to your body, how it feels, how you sleep, how clean your diet is and how high your motivation is... your body will let you know when to push and when to back off.  A good rule of thumb would be this:  Judge yourself at the end of every month.  How do you feel, how do you look and how do you perform.  END OF BURNOUT.  if you have questions let me know.

REHAB-  If you have an injury you need to address it!  Many years ago if I had something that bothered me I would just sweep it under the rug.  And Hey!  if you are 18 and something bothers you, heck you might be able to push through it.  Just yesterday I heard a story about someone ( 13 year old) we know who competed in gymnastics with a torn meniscus for over a year.  Dealing with pain for over a year is NOBLE as all get out.  For most of us, its smarter to take time off from the movements that hurt, and nurse our injuries back to good health.

I'll use myself as an example.  A few years ago my back hurt so bad that I thought I needed a wheel chair.  I had shooting pains down my legs, across my back and hips and even in my shoulder blades.  What was my first thought?  I need to strengthen my back.  So, while my back was hurting dumb old Steve was dead lifting and back squatting.  It makes perfect sense to continue to strengthen your back while its hurt right?

If something hurts you need to #1.  Stretch/Foam roll and Ice.  #2.  Tell a trainer.  3# Adjust your training movements accordingly.

Do not try to work through an injury.  People will disagree with me, but what I have found is that taking a week off is 10x's better than training through 3-4 weeks of pain.

Lastly, if you are over 30 you need to stretch before and after every workout.  You need to pay attention to your workouts.  You need to pay attention to your body.  Treat it right and it will do the same!

-Meta World Peace!

Thursday, August 25, 2011


So I have a Birthday Tomorrow.

I'm turning 30    :(

Kellar came up with a 30th Birthday workout and said "we all have to do it"

I'll go ahead and post it even though it make some of you sick to your stomach...

30 Dumbbell man makers
30 Squats (Over Head, Front or Back)
30 Burpee Pull Ups
30 Hang Cleans
30 KBS
30 Thrusters

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Guys and Gals of Versus please remember a few people in your prayers:

David Hester (commonly referred to as Hester) is tackling Ranger School in Georgia as you read this.  There is no telling what they are putting him through, but rest assured he is giving it his best.  When you are in the gym in 100 degree heat, remember, Hester is dressed in long pants, long shirt and maybe even some gear all day...  Keep him in your prayers.

James Bordelon, a guy that some of the old school Versus Folk might know is deployed over seas right now.  He isn't behind a desk either.  He is a PCS grad and a good friend.  He trained and passed the same Ranger School Hester is in now.  Both of these guys trained and prepared at our gym... hope we helped boys.

Jeremiah Malmberg is smack in the middle of air borne school, and I think he has a few weeks left.  I am not sure what air borne school entails, but you can bet it is not easy.  Good Luck buddy.

Workouts for the week.

monday: a huge team chipper
20 calorie row, 30 burpees, 40 clean and jerks, 50 situps, down and back walking lunge and 400m run

Tuesday: 10 toes to bar, 20 push ups, 30 double unders 4 rounds

wednesday: 20min Amrap of 5 chest to bar pull up, 10 wall ball, 15 kettle bell swings.

Glad you are caught up!  Hope to see all of you at the PCS 5k this weekend.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cardio: A how to guide.

Workout: 4 rounds
Run 800m
Row 500m

The objective of today's workout was elevated heart rate for a sustained period of time.  Mission Accomplished!

During longer workouts (for me personally) I start to have a hard time with maintaining my pace toward the middle/end.  I always have a little bit of gas in the tank to sprint toward the end, but I have a hard time maintaining pace and THEN kicking it in at the end.  How do you fix this problem if it happens to you?

Here is my how to guide to be an ultimate pacer with a kick at the end:

1.  Be a Mental Monster and not a Mental Midget.  If you always back off your pace when it starts to get very difficult to maintain, you will never improve.  WARNING:  It is going to hurt when you trying to make performance gains.  When you start hurting a little voice in your head shoves its way to the very front of your thought process... "STOP" it says.  At this very moment you have a choice to make.  What I am asking you to do is tell that little voice, NO.  There are some days when you will win the battle of the voice.  There will be some days that you lose.  When you begin winning the battle over and over again you are on your way to becoming a Mental Monster.

2.  Practice workouts that take you into longer time domains.  If you have a hard time with, lets say double unders, what do you do?  Practice them!  If you have a hard time with longer workouts, practice!  Need an idea for a great travel workout?  Make the time limit 30min or longer... ugh right?
To clarify something:  we tend to do shorter workouts with higher intensity so we do not have to put in tons of time doing workouts.  However, if you are struggling with overall capacity, you need to dive into the water you are scared.

3.  Let the Drummer Kick.  At the very end of a workout or race you need to have a sense of urgency.  We always yell this sarcastic statement around the gym, "The faster you go, the faster its over."  Well duh...  but what we are really getting at is urgency.  I always want to finish a workout and feel good about the job I have done.  If I have urgency to finish and try really hard to shut out the little voice 99% of the time I feel good about my workout and my performance.  Who cares where everyone else finishes!!!  So kick the tires and light the fires big daddy!  Let the drummer kick son!  Dig down deep, forget about how bad it hurts and do not be scared to push to new levels!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


PCS High School is hosting their very first Legacy 5k run.  I went to PCS and a ton of our current clients have children that go there now.  I think it would be really cool if we all got together and ran in their 5k on August the 27th.... the day after I turn 30 :(

We have sign up sheets at the gym.  Let me know if you are interested!

Workout: Row 20 calories, 30 Wall Ball, 20 toes 2 bar, 30 box jump, 20 kbs, 30 push ups, 20 push press, 30 cal Row.  The format is pretty cool so show up for details.

Monday, August 15, 2011

2011 Arthur Ashe Award - Dewey Bozella

Sometimes life brings a challenge to your door step. Its what you do with it and how you handle it that determines... well... determines what you are made of. Whats cool is this: He used boxing/working out and challenging himself to keep his sanity and help him continue the fight for his freedom. Does your workout do this for you? Does it help you stay sane on your insane days? If you make it through a horrible workout, does it silence the other stupid stresses in your life and allow you to stay on task?

IMAGINE what this man endured, take a step back and look at your own life.... Pretty good right?

WORKOUT: 5 Front squat in to a Push press, 7 pull up, run 200m. 8 rounds

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Team Workouts!


1. Run 400m, 30 Thrusters (35f,45m)

2. From the Ground to Over head any way possible x 20 (115m,75f)

3. 30 Hand-Release Push-Ups
    40 Front Squats (53m,35f)
    50 Kettlebell Swings (53m/35f )

4.  15-12-9 of Power Clean (135m, 85f) and Burpee

5.  100 wall ball and 800m relay run

Ok.  Here are some of the guidelines:  Teams of two will complete the workouts.  Team member #1 will do the first workout while Team member #2 watches and cheers violently!  Team member #2 will do workout number 2 while Team member #1 rest and cheers violently...  You will continue to flip flop Workouts until you get to WORKOUT #5.

On Workout #5 only one person will work at a time on the wall balls.  Once the Wall Balls are done the team will move outside for the run.  Each team member will run two 200m runs.  Again only one person can work at a time.

More Guide Lines will await you at the gym!  Come with a good attitude and be prepared to work HARD!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Jack n the Box

Workout: row 1000m, 100 Double Unders, 30 Pull ups (Make chest touch the Bar).

In a few weeks,  I'll be adding folks to our success story page (with your permission of course).

We have TONS of people around the gym that have had BIG success with us at Versus Strength and Conditioning.  One thing that all of our successful clients do is:  Practice What We Preach

If you are a interested in losing the last 5-10lbs that stands between you and the coveted 6-pack but refuse to adhere to our strict nutrition standards... well... I can promise you, you will never get your 6-pack until you get your nutrition right.  Now before I get all you internet/keyboard samurai out there fired up, let me say this:  There are some exceptions to the rule.  God given genetics is one exception and the use of performance enhancing drugs is the other.

However, as I stated earlier, if you practice what we preach I can promise you positive results.  I have put 15-20lbs of muscle on people, taken 70-80lbs off people, put people through their first triathlon, and put people through their first 5k.  We get results out of people.  PERIOD.  If you can't get a pull up,  we'll provide the way if you provide the work.  If you want to be able to walk on your hands for 50ft, we will provide the way if you provide the work.  If you want to lose 50lbs, we will give you the nutrition plan to do it... but always remember this:  You can not out train a poor nutrition plan.

Whatever goal you may have I dare you to dump it on us and see if we can help you meet it.  Quit using lame excuses and get on the bus... or get left by it.

**Team workout friday!  Bring a partner!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Push ups

Short and simple... How do you get better at push ups?


run 400m
25 hand release push ups
a whole lot of situps

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Team Workout


Make sure you are on time!  This friday the 12th we will host a fun team workout!  Be there or be square!

Friday, August 5, 2011

How to Squat

The Abridged Version

The most common misconception about the squat is: The first movement is down.  If you are in the "down" crowd, you are incorrect young sirs.  If you go down, you will run out of room and most definitely end up with the majority of your weight on your toes.  If you are a toe squatter, STOP.  Your meniscus with thank you.

The squat begins with the hips moving back, then force your knees out, arch your back and THEN you can begin to descend.  Remember to put the majority of your weight on your heels.  If you sit back, force your knees out, keep your chest up and stay on your heels... you should be good... barring any accidents happening (like aliens with ray guns blowing up your gym, a super ballad by Guns and Roses blaring across the speakers taking you back to the glory days, or a big foot sighting).  Perfect practice makes perfect!

Workout: Not for Time

Run 400m
20 back squat, front squat or OH Squat
20 pull ups

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Its Getting Hot in Here

... So...  Its sorta cold outside.

Heat Index today was 100+ today.  Make sure you are making an effort to stay hydrated throughout the entire day!  Do not try to drink a bottle of water before you hit the gym and think its going to be enough... believe me it won't be.

Today we worked on a lot of technique stuff with the dead lift, hang squat clean and the push jerk.  All of these movements are fun to do and easy to mess up.  Deadly combo if you ask me...  Remember one of our motto's is "Master the Basics".  You may not be super flashy, but honestly, being rock solid is better than being flashy every once in a while.

Workout: 3 rounds
5 dead lift
5 hang squat clean
5 push jerk
10 burpees
add weight at each round.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Great Core Work Out

The workout today, believe it or not, was a great core work out.  Usually, when we think about the buzz word "Core" we think of what??? ABS!  Correct sir.  However,  when you think of your "core" think of 2 things: Front and Back.

Front:  The good old rectus abdominis commonly referred to as the six pack.

Back: There are so many layers of fascia and muscles going HERE that I'll let you look at the link.

Work out: 3 rounds
30 hr push ups
30 calorie row
30 kbs

Your ability to stabilize your lower back and brace with your abs is crucial in every workout.  Be mindful of your entire core and challenge yourself by activating it every workout!

How to be better at ANY Sport

I think every little boy has a phase where he wants to a pro at something.  My "pro phase" was all throughout high school.  Buddy, I wanted to be better than Michael Jordan.  I also wanted to out run Carl Lewis.  Honestly, I just knew I could knock out Mike Tyson with a single punch and drop bombs all over Roger Clemens.

I played hard during my high school career and had an opportunity to play at the college level but "things didn't pan out."  By "things didn't pan out" I mean,  I wasn't good enough to dunk on Michael Jordan.  However, not dunking on Mike let me focus on what I think is my passion in life: helping people through personal training.

I ask myself all the time, "How would I have helped High School me?"  The short list that follows is what I would recommend to myself back in the good old days.  I can promise you this list would have made me better at any sport!

How to be Better At Sports

1.  Lift weights.  I know this is VERY general but I went to private school and we didn't have a weight room.  Being able to throw 300lbs over your head is a huge confident booster when stepping onto the field.

2.  You have a coach for every sport out there so why not hire a strength coach? So, hire a strength coach or a personal trainer with knowledge.  I know that everyone has an EXPERT in the family that is willing to volunteer their time in the gym.  However, listen to me on this, it is super hard to un-train years of bad form.  It is much easier to start with a blank canvas.  I'm not saying that uncle Tommy "is not as good as he once was" but lets be honest... there are some really good coaches out there.  Invest in yourself or your child to get a great foundation built EARLY.

3. Run Track.  Most schools have a track program... JOIN IT.  I skipped out on track one year and really really regret it.

4.  Be an expert at the basics.  I never knew what a dead lift was until college.  I never knew what a clean and jerk or a Olympic snatch was until after college.  I knew about weight lifting machines and that is about it... Guess what?  The best in the world do the basics very well!  The basics are with dumbbells and barbells.  Learn it. Love it.

5.  Work on Work Capacity.  What does this mean?  Hit high intensity workouts at least twice a week.  Push yourself in training so when you need to call upon the "push" in a game, it will not be a new thing.

This is just the short list... but All 5 of the things I have listed go on at Versus Strength and Conditioning on a daily basis.  We lift weights under supervision, we run track style repeats on a weekly basis, we hammer the basics all the time and we nail high intensity workouts 3-4 times a week.

Come by and check us out!