Yoga Yoga Yoga

A little over a month ago I decided to get a little more serious about yoga by making a commitment to going to an actual yoga class as opposed to following videos at home. I purchased a package at Bindu Yoga, where several fellow Crossfit Lafayette athletes were going.

The first class nearly killed me. I stumbled into a hot vinyasa class without knowing any better. For those of you that haven’t been to one, it’s one of the more intense flow sessions with the room temperature heated. When I was done, I felt great. It was a new challenge. I was hooked!

 It’s a different environment from crossfit. The instructors are very nurturing…almost motherly (My instructors are women). It’s like a healing process for the whole body. Don’t get me wrong, you are building as well. Here is what I’ve gotten out of yoga over the past month -

1. Improved flexibility. My squat is deeper and my rack position much easier to get into. My hamstrings are much less tight than when I started.

2. Stabilizer Strength. Crossfit tends to work up/down and backwards and forwards. Yoga involves twists and other planes of motion that build stabilizer muscles. As a result, I’m stronger in my crossfit workouts as well as in other planes of motion!

3. Breathing. As a lifelong martial artist, I’ve been practicing proper breath for many years. Still going in and concentrating on my breath has made it that much better. learning to control my breath in uncomfortable positions has made controlling my breath during WODs easier.

4. Cleansing. Not that you don’t sweat a lot during your normal workouts but this is a bit different. The positions are designed to stimulate and cleanse your organs. You feel so much better!

So is yoga for you? Yoga is for everyone! Add it to your training for a month and let me know what you think.

Is Your Fitness Functional? – Part 3 – “Which Training Is The Best?”

Which functional training is the best? Is it Crossfit? MovNat? RKC? Tacfit? A renegade gym such as Gym Jones? The answer my friend,  is not that simple. It varies with your goals? Ask yourself – “What am I trying to accomplish? Longevity or Performance? If it’s longevity then I reccomend following Mark Sisson’s advice as seen in the pyramid below.

You can accomplish the above in many ways. It’s simply a matter of preference. Go to crossfit a few times a week, walk, sprint and some yoga. Or hike and MovNat. It’s really up to you, so enjoy it!

Are your goals more performance oriented? What is it that you want to perform better at? Football? MMA? Endurance Sports? Crossfit? Olypic Lifting? Parkour? As I said before, there are lots of options out there…..even in the same programs. Crossfit is a good example. Crossfit has become a sport. That’s not a bad thing but it is something that you need to be aware of. Are you interested in competing in crossfit? Go to a box where they focus on that type of programing? More interested in being able to perform at a specific task or just being able to perform in general…go to a box where they have programs designed for your sport or have a program that really focuses on functional fitness (lifting awkward things like sand bags and slush pipes is a good indicator). Using crossfit as an example you can apply that to any of the other functional fitness programs such as MovNat or RKC.

Remember that if you want to be a good fighter then fight, a good sprinter, sprint!

Be sure to train in the things that you want to do. If your program does not include that then you need to allocate training days to participate in your sport.

My thoughts and personal experiment:

For me  functional fitness means being able to perform in life, in martial arts as well as longevity (I’m knocking on 40). I want to be strong but be able to sprint well. I want to be able to climb things. I want to have good mobility.  So for the next month I have cut my crossfit work outs down to 3 days per week. I’m getting back to walking 4 days a week and sprinting twice per week. I’m  heading to the park to do MovNat, sandbag and skill training. Of course all of this is in addition to my martial arts training. I’m making sure that I throw in some random stuff like heading to the climbing gym and getting in some play time… Tag rocks! When’s the last time you played tag? Dodgeball anyone? I’ll let you know what this does to my performance in 30 days. 

In the end it’s really up to you, personal preference and personal goals. All of these programs will get you fit. Some will prepare you better for certain things that others. Just remember, overtraining will ultimately catch up to you, so train wisely. You can’t be functional when you are so sore that you have trouble getting out of bed everyday. Train fun. Train Smart. Train functional!

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