There is something about being pushed and being dealt a piece of humble pie nearly every day. Over the last 4 years, I have often tried to compare distance running to CrossFit and it's not entirely easy. "Constantly varied, functional movement performed at a high intensity" is really the antithesis of running. Plus, the runner has complete control over the throttle while running. Sure, you have that throttle in CrossFit but at "3-2-1...GO," it's game on and "high intensity" does not equal throttling it back. So in 3 years, I have learned SO much. My path has gone from one gym and then to another which was a brand new start-up. That gym closed after one year and I ended up in my garage. Fortunately for my wife and I, we had received some great coaching along the way and YouTube is chock-full of training videos no matter what the movement is. Combine that with my attention-to-detail mentality and "undiagnosed" OCD, I have been a sponge for learning. I even went and got my CrossFit Level 1 Trainer this past September. Technically, I could turn my garage into a CrossFit affiliate...but I have no intention of doing that. :) For now, I'll just use my training to coach myself and coach my wife.
I did have a fear bringing the "fitness" home into the garage. With a CrossFit gym, a community exists that is a big part of what CrossFit is all about. It's not just the heart-thumping workouts but also the high-fives after and the relationships that ensue. "What would get me out there in the dark of morning with ZERO accountability?" Actually, that is the first comment that people make when they hear of my routine. "I would never get there." "How do you do it? How do you motivate yourself?" Well, it's not an easy answer. I don't really have a solid explanation, either. It's like a magnet, truth be told. I can't wait to get out there everyday and when I'm supposed to rest, I really have to hold my self accountable to THAT! Kinda backwards, isn't it?!
So here is my routine and maybe it's the constantly-varied nature of it that keeps it interesting. Not too sure. It works, though. I feel in the best condition of my life. I have FOR SURE never been stronger, either. Plus, I'm home for all of it and don't sacrifice any family time. In fact, my bride of 25+ years is almost always right there with me and while that doesn't work for many, it totally works for us.
- 4:15am - Awake .. brew the espresso, misc tasks around house and browse several boxes to see what their workouts are for the day.
- 5:30am to about 7am - in the garage: Each day "normally" has a warmup, a strength component, and a WOD. I try to hit the major lifts each week like squats, deadlift, overhead (shoulder press/push press) and rotate them. One day we squat then overhead the next day. Sometimes, in place of that, it'll be a plethora of bodyweight work. I am a BIG believer in being able to move YOUR body in the space you've been given. That means pull-ups, push-ups, dips, dips on rings and somedays, strapping weight on to make it harder. No cheating, no kipping, just moving and growing stronger. I also love to simply move heavy things. We have a few sandbags and one big 150lb strongman sandbag that I love to carry and throw over my shoulder. OK...maybe "throw" is a bit too generous of a description. :) We also have a few slamballs, kettlebells, a rower and my beloved Airdyne....aka: Satan's tricycle.
For strength, I stick to a 5rep max plan. So no matter what I'm doing, be it 3 round or 10 rounds of a movement, I find a weight where I can do 6 or 7 fresh and then do five of them many times. Other days, it's 3 reps at a higher weight. For example, yesterday was 5 rounds of 3 reps each back squat. I warm up to that and cool down off of it, too. I believe that lifting heavy, focusing on form/breathing/complete movements is key to staying healthy, enjoying it, and getting stronger. The only time you'll find me doing high reps is during a workout or warming up with only a barbell. No, I don't subscribe to any "plan." I simply make sure I rotate often and keep it interesting.
As for the warmups and WODs, there are many days I have no idea what the plan is until I walk out there, look around and get "inspired." Actually, there are many days where I'll be on the airdyne for 25 or 50 calories to warm up and I'll come up with the whole whiteboard for the morning right then and there. I normally compliment the warmup to the workout. So if it's a heavy squatting day, you can be sure we'll be doing air squats during the warmup. I love to program it all together so it makes "sense" physically.
The "why": We were made to move. We were not made to sit on a couch all day and eat Christmas leftovers and get fat...or fatter. Our bodies are MACHINES that are AMAZING! There are so many things that have to be perfect just to walk across the room. The brain communicating with every muscle and telling it what to do, the heart responding to deliver oxygen to those muscles...so many miracles happening all in unison to make us WORK...to make us tick. There are too many people at my age (44) that call themselves "old" and use every excuse in the book to do nothing. The key for me is to enjoy what I do get pushed. I don't do it for vanity...to see something "popping" when I look in the mirror. I do it because I literally ENJOY it. Could I get "shredded" or whatever Instagram is calling it today? Sure I could. I could count my macros, weigh everything I eat, etc. No problem doing that and my wife has KILLED it by doing that very thing. For me, I take no supplements, have no secrets, I simply get out there and work hard, safe, and enjoy it. It's really THAT simple. Be creative, share your journey (you just might inspire someone else), be real with yourself and others, and always give the work your body gives you MAXIMUM EFFORT...then go live life and love others. Simple as that.
With Type 2 diabetes on a snowball roll in the country, stores littered with GARBAGE on the shelves, and a society that as a whole, is crazy unhealthy and is looking for the next magic pill to take or fitness DVD to watch...I choose to "fitness" my own way. I make sensible choices, I occasionally indulge (craft beer snob!), never touch high fructose corn syrup, and I work hard in the gym where the only machine is me. I choose NOT to be a statistic and LIVE while living. To do anything else would be to sacrifice the gift I've been given.
Follow my daily grind here: https://www.instagram.com/garageboxnick/