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Categorized as: Alamo180

Benchmark: Sprott

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Alamo 180 Benchmark “Sprott” was created to make an A180 athlete’s dreams come true. He said his dream workout would be overhead squats and double unders. Careful what you wish for. It just might become a benchmark!

21-15-9
BB Overhead Squat (95 men / 65 women)
GHD Sit-ups
50 x double unders each round

Scaling options available for all athletes. Scale all or part of the assessment. Scaled options:
Front squat (instead of overhead squat)
Open gate sit-ups (instead of GHD)
Singles (instead of double unders)
Using lighter weight as necessary

Assessment Schedule:
9:00am & 10:30am classes. We will go in heats of 4.

BBQ feast begins at 11:30am.

 

Want to get better at, or learn how to double under? Follow this 20 day challenge (click to enlarge): 

Dub Challenge

TEEN STRENGTH SUMMER CAMPS

 

Learn the fundamentals of Power Lifting, Olympic Lifting and Conditioning. 

Each Teen Summer Camp is led by Head Strength & Conditioning Coach and CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, Jeff Soileau, and Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach, Mark Krana. Our expert coaches will guide each student through the movements. No prior experience necessary. Open to all high school students – boys and girls, not just high school student athletes.

 

TEEN SUMMER CAMPS: 

5 camps offered during the summer! Pick your 2 week camp slot:

#1: June 13 to June 24.

#2: June 27 to July 8.

#3: July 11 to July 22.

#4: July 25 to Aug 5

#5: Aug 8 to Aug 19

 

REGISTER: 

Select your preferred camp date.  Click here to register 

Benchmark, Beer & BBQ

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Saturday, May 7 @ 9am
Alamo 180

It’s the “300” benchmark this Saturday! Rock the benchmark, and then refresh with COLD beer thanks to Blue Star Brewery Co and fill up on delicious, smoked chicken. We will bring all the fixings, you bring your muscles.

Bring a friend! The more the merrier!  Open to ANYONE!!! Drop-in rates $17.

Facebook event page 

The Struggle to Strength Train

Sweat from the Heart: Coach Bree’s Blog on Training, Racing, and Life.

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The struggle is real. The struggle to strength train is what I’m talking about. There are so many other things, and not even fun things, that I would rather do than lift heavy weights. There. I said it.

Want to know what my favorite part of strength training is? It’s not my last rep in the set. Because in the moments leading up to it, I’m thinking of every excuse to cut it out so I can finish early. But rather when I (after giving the hubster a kiss) walk out the door. I’m done. I don’t have to visit the torturous pain cave for an IRON class until the next day, or two, depending on my training plan.

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Yes. I own this gym. The one I can’t wait to walk out of. The truth is that lifting heavy things over and over is not only boring, but it’s also very uncomfortable. It takes me out of my comfort zone and forces me to do things I don’t like. I don’t like doing things I don’t like.

The only motivation I have to pump iron is knowing how it positively, without a doubt, impacts my athletic endeavors. I cannot be the athlete I want to be without it. Period. I’ve tried seasons of training and racing without strength work and it didn’t go so well. I either got injured or my efforts weren’t where I knew they could be. Comparing seasons of strength work to seasons without it, it’s beyond obvious that I need it.

What about you? Have you ever had this realization? The realization that lifting weights got you the results you were looking for? That you could actually cut out a bike ride and spend that time in the gym instead and get better at riding? Same applies for running and swimming. It’s true. And if you haven’t experienced it, I challenge you to try it out this off-season. I wrote more about it here

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So, with all my frustrations and dislikes aside, I walk through the doors ready to lift weights knowing I will climb better, run stronger and faster, and reach the athletic goals I have set for myself.

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Huuuuge PR at NOLA 70.3 and strength training was part of the reason.

If you’re anything like me – that you would rather swim, bike and run than lift weights – then let me encourage you to do what you need to do (but would rather not do). Hit the gym and pump some iron. Don’t think about how much you dislike it, but rather think about how much it will benefit you. If that becomes your primary perspective, you’ll get through each rep and you will reap the benefits the next time you hop on your bike, jump in the pool, or head out the door for a run. And you know what IS fun? Racing better, stronger and faster!

I challenge you to approach your off-season differently this year. Try something new and see what happens. It might be the answer you have been looking for!

Why YOU Should Pump Iron at IRON Class

The off-season is fast approaching. This is where triathletes want to log miles and miles of swimming, cycling and running and build a solid base for the next season. And where runners log miles and miles of running for their next big race. Good plan. Yes, it’s all about consistency.

But what about strength training? Where does it fit in? And do you really need it?

Most runners and triathletes believe they don’t need it. And they don’t need it…they NEEEEEED it.

Alamo 180 Head Strength & Conditioning Coach, Jeff, said it best, “you’re not a pair of legs running down the road, or a pair of legs climbing a steep ascent, you’re a total body moving forward.”

So if you are indeed a total body moving forward, make that the strongest body possible. And it’s not going to come from swimming, cycling and running alone. You need to lift some weights. And the time to do it is in the off-season. That time is NOW.

Let me break it down and explain why:

Force:

Let’s talk about force.  The force allows Darth Vader to choke dudes from across the room. Oh wait, oops, wrong force!  Force is the ability to overcome resistance. In triathlon, force is the ability to move effectively through rough water, on the hills, and into the wind. Are your limiters the ability to efficiently and effectively climb hills? Or swim well in choppy water? Or run strong on a hilly course? Or keep it all together at the end of your race?  If so, keep on reading.

Get better at pull-ups to get better at swimming

Get better at pull-ups to get better at swimming

SWIM:

If you can’t do a single pull-up, what makes you think you can swim at your best in smooth or even in turbulent water? You’re pulling the water with every stroke you take. You’re essentially doing pull-ups underwater. And if you have noodle arms, you’re not going to get far with much force. And if your core is weak, you won’t be able to remain stable and in control. You’re a total body moving through the water, not just a pair of arms, so make your body as strong as it can be.

BIKE:

Spending time on your bike and riding hills is one way to get better at climbing, the other part comes from what you do in the gym. If you want to get better at climbing, you need to build strength in your legs doing squats and deadlifts, and other leg exercises. When doing a standing climb, you’re using your arms and torso to help lift and move the bike, therefore you better have some upper body strength. Noodle arms won’t cut it (and bicep curls aren’t the solution!) Chest pressing and deadlifting will help you develop a strong upper body and low back, reduce fatigue, and setting you up for a faster run. You’re a total body on the bike, make it as strong as it can be.

deadlift!

deadlift!

RUN:

If your legs are weak, how are you going to effectively and efficiently run up hills?

Strength in the legs propels you up hills as well as gives you the added strength for those tough runs off the bike. You’re not a pair of legs running down the road, you’re a total body. Make you body as strong as it can be.

Chest press to get better at cycling

Chest press to get better at cycling

The time to strength train is now. It’s base building period and this is where you focus on building your endurance and aerobic capacity. And by adding in strength training to this phase, you will begin to produce faster paces at aerobic efforts (read: you’re still in zone 1 and zone 2 but with a faster pace!). And when in-season hits, you can scale back on strength training, spend more time swimming, cycling and running, and reap the athletic benefits from all your hard work in the off-season!

So why am I preaching strength training? Because it works. And honestly, if Jeff and I didn’t believe in the power of strength training, we would not have opened a studio with strength training equipment. We would have never taken that risk. Alamo 180 would just be triathlon and run training offered around town. Strength training works and you cannot be your best without it. Period. Not everyone on our team strength trains, but our athletes that do outperform those that don’t. And not that it’s a competition of who is better on our team, it’s just an observation and a fact.

It’s a personal decision and it’s one we can’t and won’t force on anyone. We won’t shove knowledge down your throat or fill your newsfeed, but we will present the facts and hope that one day you consider that strength training is the missing link to becoming your best.

It’s amazing what happens when you start moving around some weights. We encourage you to give it a try this off-season and get ready for an awesome 2016 season! We offer drop-in classes, class passes and monthly passes. We have options to fit any schedule and budget!

Oh…and strength training is not only effective, but fun, too! See!

Having fun post-workout!

Having fun post-workout!

Disclaimer: Our strength training classes are open to ALL athletes, not just Alamo 180 triathletes and runners. And if you’re following your own training plan, or your coach’s plan, we won’t force or guilt you into joining our triathlon or run group training. We are passionate about triathlon  and running and want you to enjoy it and get better. It’s doesn’t matter who you are training with, all that matters is that you’re training.

Sweat from the Heart: Bike Puzzle

Sweat from the Heart: Coach Bree’s blog on training, racing, and life.

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Bike Puzzle: Why a Power Meter Paints the Whole Picture.

Just this week I was updating a data profile for an athlete and I reached out asking him to re-assess his strengths and weaknesses. One weakness that he mentioned was “losing focus on the bike during training and racing.” This is not the first time I have heard this from an athlete. In fact, it used to happen to me. So, being the very analytical person I am, I began to think about why this might be happening. Whenever there is a concern, I’m going to look for an answer.

I thought about him, I thought about myself as an athlete, and about cycling metrics. And then it all made sense. He’s missing an important piece of the “bike puzzle” – power.

Gorgeous countryside!

Before a power meter, scenery and racers kept me focused.

Using myself as an example: When I used to train and race without a power meter, I lost focus. My speed would slow down on ascents and pick up on descents, and I would always ask myself, “was I working hard enough?” And heart rate wasn’t always accurate. I could have altered values based on heat, nutrition, if it was on correctly, etc. Not truly knowing what effort I was putting out, and in the moment of pain surmounting, I couldn’t convince myself to stick with my plan and I would inevitably lose focus, and then slow down. Later, I would “wake up”, regain focus, and push hard again…only to repeat the process. And when you’re doing the Half or Full distance there are many opportunities to snap in and out focus. All of these moments are wasted time.

Here’s the deal: when you can’t see the whole picture, you lose focus. What is it you’re supposed to look at? What is the focal point? What’s the purpose? And if you can’t figure it out, you give up and move on. We do this in life, and we do it on the bike.

In cycling, when you have pieces of data, and not the whole picture, it’s easy to lose focus. If you can’t figure out what it is you’re doing, and why, and you can’t see the whole picture, you move on. You move on to things that will keep you entertained for the rest of your bike ride: thoughts, conversations, scenery, rest stops with junk food and sodas, group pictures, selfies, etc. But these don’t keep you true to your workout goals and you’re missing out on a quality ride (unless you’re on a recovery ride and by all means, goof off and have fun!)

I call it the “bike puzzle”. The more pieces you have (data), the clearer the picture. You know exactly what you’re doing. You know the effort you are to put out. You know where you’re to be in each given interval. You see the whole picture. 

It’s not fun putting together a puzzle with a missing piece. The whole picture is distorted. Same is true on high quality bike sessions without a power meter. Your heart rate says one thing, speed says another, so does cadence, but what energy are you putting out? Were you going too hard? Too easy? A mixture of both? What’s really going on? The whole picture is distorted. No wonder people lose focus on bike rides without a power meter.

powermeterpicDoes this mean you cannot race and train without a power meter? No. It can be done. I did it for years and still enjoyed riding. But once I got the last piece of my “bike puzzle” the whole picture became clear and everything came into focus. I knew what power zones to stay in for set intervals. No more guessing. In fact, I remember my first race with a power meter. I stayed true to my goals and stayed within my parameters. I never once lost focus. My power meter kept me honest and focused. Those 56 miles seemed to fly by. I had my best bike split ever. It was at that moment I realized I was riding in the “dark” without one….or playing with a puzzle that had a missing piece.

If cycling is going to be part of your life, invest in it. Stop playing with a puzzle that has a missing piece. Do yourself and your passion a favor, buy a power meter.

Our good friends at Bicycle Heaven have installed power meters on our athletes. They order it fast and install it quickly. You will be back on your bike, with a complete puzzle, in no time!

I write this from a coach and athlete standpoint. The coach in me loves it when my athletes have power meters. I can see if they worked hard enough in a workout. I can see if they were on target in a race. For most, they think they are pushing hard enough, but with a complete puzzle, they realize they are not. I can also gauge progression in an accurate manner. And the athlete in me finds the power meter keeps me honest in my workouts and races. If my speed is 8 mph up a steep hill, but my power numbers are above my threshold, I can back off and not feel so guilty for riding slow.
 

Want to read my other post about power? How to Work Smarter with Power. Click here 

Back to School Fitness Challenge

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Lace up your shoes and dress your best, it’s a Back to School Fitness Challenge at Alamo 180.

Perfect attendance and no tardies gets you entered for a chance to WIN a FREE 5 class pass! The winning name is the Alamo 180 valedictorian!

No cost to enter this Challenge. No PTA meetings, no fundraisers, no homework. Back to School has never been easier!

First day of Training: Tuesday, September 8th. Pick any day that works in your schedule. Don’t forget, perfect attendance!

Last day of Training: Saturday, September 19th.

Yes, you have Saturday training. And don’t worry, it’s because you are a good athlete.

Oh and we will let you talk in class! And you can play with chalk!

Looking forward to seeing you on the first day!

Ranger Panty & Daisy Duke Friday

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What’s cooler than a fan? Working out in short shorts!

What’s more refreshing than a glass of lemonade? Working out in short shorts!

So, sport your short shorts this Friday, September 4th AT ANY CLASS (and every Friday!) for a cool, refreshing WOD! All the cool athletes are doing it!

Be short! Be awesome!