A Pain in the Neck Stretch

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Strength in Conditioning for Wednesday, January 22, 2014

This week’s Stretch of the Week, brought to you by FlexibilityRX, targets the Levator Scapula. This relatively small, yet important muscle runs along the side of the neck and onto the shoulder. It connects the cervical spine (the section of our spine located in the neck) and the upper border of the scapula (the shoulder blade). This muscle can be the source of commonly experienced neck and back pain, and in some cases even headaches. The Levator Scapular can become tight and strained from stress, poor neck posture, and imbalances created from lack of stretching. Perform this stretch every day this week and see if you notice a difference in any neck, back, or head discomfort. You may even experience relief from pain you didn’t know you were suffering from!

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FRXc-sW-LevatorScapula

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WARMUP
Run 300 meters
3 Rounds
10 Push up + 10 air squat + 10 sit up
Walk big lap
CONDITIONING A
5 Rounds
Ring row 25 seconds | 35 seconds rest
Ring push up 25 seconds | 35 seconds rest
Ring tucks/knees up/l-sit 20 seconds | 40 seconds rest
5 Minute rest
CONDITIONING B
12 Minutes
Row sprint 25 seconds | easy row 35 seconds
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A Race to Remember

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Meet Bill Dittman- a rockstar athlete with a passion for running. Bill just recently ran a race of a lifetime and wrote about his experiences. Bill we are so proud of you! Read all about his journey below:

I have been asked by a few people to detail my race, so I will try to recollect what I can from the experience. Let me start by saying thank you to everybody for the birthday wishes and good lucks on the race. I definitely tapped in to the good vibes everybody was sending me to help get me through the race. What a humbling day.

Pre-Race: I started getting sick two days prior to race day. The night prior to the race was the worst of it. I couldn’t keep down any food. I went to bed with a  lot of doubt and questions, and next to nothing in my stomach. But, I set my alarm for 4:30, and decided I could make a decision in the morning. I woke up, didn’t feel great, but felt better than I had the night prior. I had some toast with almond butter, and a banana. I got my stuff together, and was out the door by 5:30. About 5:45, I pulled over, and had to throw up. But, I was already on my way. I had made up my mind that the show must go on. I got there around 6:30. Did my gear check, and got to the start line. This would be a three loop race, roughly 10.5 miles a loop. We would run the loops clockwise, then counterclockwise, then clockwise.
Start: The race began at 7:00. It was still dark. Sunrise wouldn’t come for another half hour. It was a pretty cold morning (I’m sure my Wisconsin people are getting a good laugh out of that statement). I waited until the last minute to peel off my warm clothes. I didn’t want to have to shed layers once I got out there. So, here goes nothing.
Miles 1-5: Dark, calm wilderness. Beautiful trail. Rolling hills. I do a lot of my training runs on the trails prior to sunrise or post sunset, so I felt right at home. My pace was good. I could feel my sickness fading away. My stomach felt fine. I knew I was in for a long day, so I didn’t get overconfident. I kept my pace right in my comfort zone. A few steep ups, and a few steep downs. Never flat.
Miles 5-9: I found a group of 3 other runners. We were all cruising at about the same pace. Sun rose, it was a really nice morning. I started to feel like despite all of the questions, today was going to be a really good day. Still, not running out of my comfort zone. It’s a long day. More steep ups and downs. Still not finding much flat terrain.
Miles 9-10.5: This is the big mountain pass  of the loop. You start in a wash at the base of the mountain, and climb to a saddle near the peak. A little less than a mile to get to the top of the mountain (roughly 600-700 vertical feet), about the same distance to descend on the other side, and then a half mile of rolling hills to complete the first loop. The ascent was grueling, and almost all loose rocks, so getting good footing was at a premium. The descent was fast, but not too fast. I went just fast enough to where I still felt in control. Almost at the bottom of the descent, I felt a slight “twinge” in my calf. I was at the 9.5 mile mark, so it couldn’t be a cramp. I have never cramped that quickly before, so I figured I probably just had a misstep that led to it. No problem, I continued on. At the 10 mile mark, my calf full on cramped. I was confused. I brought my pace way down, let my calf loosen out of the cramp, and coasted in to the aid station at the end of the loop. One minute ahead of my target time.
Miles 10.5-12: Now we turn around and come back the way we came. I jogged out the 0.5 miles of rolling hills to begin, and my right calf cramped up again. Not a feeling you want to have when running towards the mountain you have to climb over. Don’t worry about it. I will power hike the really steep parts of the ascent, and descend slower than I did the last time. I had taken some salt pills and other fuel at the aid station, and I started to feel a little relief from the cramps. But, the ascent/descent were brutal on my already cramping legs. I started to realize I might be in for a long day. I was pounding fluids, but throwing up the last two days had left me depleted and dehydrated.
Miles 12-18: I really tried to quiet all of the things racing through my head. How would this affect my time goal? What could I do to turn things around? Drink even more than I was? Eat more? If I did, would I throw up? Another salt pill? Was I in jeopardy of a DNF? Why did I have to get sick days prior to a race I had trained so diligently for? Why did I even decide to try and do this given how I felt? I put in my earbuds, listened to some calming music, and tried to enter a meditative state. It worked, somewhat. My pace was way down, and I was power hiking the steep ups. I didn’t have it in my legs to do any more than that. I didn’t make it a full mile at any point the rest of the race without having to slow to a walk to recover from a cramping leg. It was my calves, it was my quads, and it was a combination. I would cramp in a left calf, start compensating, and then seize up my right quad. But, I was toughing it out. I just forced my legs to continue.
Miles 18-21: Not good. I knew I was coming up on the end of the second loop, where there was an aid station. Some would see the completion of a loop and an aid station as a saving grace. I saw it as an upcoming tough decision I had to make. I slowed my pace further, hoping I could play a mind game. Maybe, if I got to the aid station feeling just a little bit better than I had the entire second loop, I could convince myself to go back out for a round 3. I shuffled in to the aid station.
I knew if I had any hope of completing this race, I would have to take a little recovery time at this aid station. A volunteer and his son grabbed my water bottles right away without me even having to ask, and filled me up with sports drink. They were great. Very supportive. While waiting for them to fill my bottles, my legs cramped again. I could barely stand. I was snacking on some of the stuff at the aid station. They gave me my bottles. I decided my day was done. I asked myself how I was going to go for a third loop, including another mountain pass, given that I was struggling to stand up at an aid station. I didn’t have an answer to that question. I was really hungry though, so I departed the aid station with a few cookies and a handful of peanut M&M’s. My friends Nic and Wes came to cheer me on, and saw me walking out of the aid station. Nic came over by me and asked how I was doing. He didn’t know I had been sick, didn’t know I was deciding on dropping out. I told him I felt like shit, and I couldn’t stop cramping. His advice was simple. “You got this, just jam it out”. I had a moment of clarity. I mean honestly, I was a fool not to think my back would be up against the wall at some point in this race, given the conditions. I realized if I did anything but start immediately out on the third loop, my day was done. I began jogging out to start my third loop.
Mile 21-21.5: After departing with Nic, I slowed back to a walk. I still had those cookies and M&M’s in my hands. I usually can eat and jog, but its not nearly as appetizing. I’d enjoy this little treat, and get back at it.
Miles 21.5-25: Painful. I was really frustrated, and my mental state really began to deteriorate. Run/walk/run/walk. I hit a steep hill. Hobbled up the ascent, and had to stop at the top. Both calves and quads had locked up on the way up, and I didn’t think I could descend safely with stiff legs.
Mile 25: My lowest point of the race. I saw my target time goal come and go on my watch. My time goal had passed, and I was still 7 miles from the finish line. I wasn’t close enough to feel like I was almost there. I was embarrassed, upset, and frustrated. I had pounded all of my sports drink at the top while trying to loosen up my legs. I was out of fluids. It was getting pretty hot in the sun.
Mile 26: I saw an aid station in the distance. I was looking for any kind of a silver lining at this point, and man did I get one. I hobbled up to the aid station, and threw my hands up in the air. The volunteer was probably a little confused, but played right along, clapping and cheering me on. I really needed a break, so I decided to take one here. This lady was a real gem. I’m sure she could see I was distraught. She grabbed a spray bottle, came over by me, and began walking circles around me spraying me down with cold water. Arms, legs, face, neck. She grabbed my bottles, and filled me back up. We talked (I don’t exactly remember about what), but I remember it helped take my mind off my situation. She joked that she knew of a shortcut to the finish line, which she could probably be bribed into telling me about. She got me laughing. She then said I looked hungry, and offered me (of all things) a piece of pumpkin pie. Yes, pumpkin pie. It wasn’t part of the original fueling plan, but going according to the “plan” had been thrown out the window long before. So, I was definitely going to accept a piece of pumpkin pie. I thanked her for the help, left the aid station with my piece of pie, and continued on my way. She probably doesn’t know it, and I wish I had told her, but she made my day. I definitely should have told her.
Miles 26-29.5: Run/walk/Run/Walk.
Miles 29.5-32: I have the steep ascent/descent mountain pass once more, then a few rolling hills, and I am home free.
Finish: I finished. Pretty much a full hour later than my time goal. I guess my birthday present was an extra hour of fun. I sat down, said a little prayer, and broke down. I was physically and mentally exhausted. Big props to Aravaipa Running, everything about the event was great. Their motto is “Run Steep, Get High”. More like “Figure out a way to move forward Steep, Get Through”.
Post Race Thoughts: I hope I didn’t sound overdramatic in my race report. I tried to recollect it as accurately as possible based upon how I was feeling at that particular point. I am excited to take a little down time, recover, and start looking forward to my next endeavor. In retrospect, I’m glad everything happened the way it did. I learned a lot. I need to become stronger mentally, and stop getting so caught up on “the plan”. I don’t know yet what I am capable of, but I want to figure that out. And, the process of figuring it out is quite the ride. I’m happy, but I’m not satisfied.
Soundtrack to my race: This Will Destroy You and Tycho
Most notably: “The Mighty Rio Grande” by This Will Destroy You and “Awake” by Tycho

Weight Loss Transformation

 

Strength in Conditioning for Tuesday, January 21, 2014

At SICFIT Scottsdale, we love celebrating our member’s incredible weight loss transformations. We work hard to give you everything you need to shed the pounds in a healthy way that will LAST! From nutrition counseling, to lifestyle coaching, to seminars, and of course our killer workouts, all you have to do is show up and don’t quit and your weight loss goals are as good as yours!
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Before

Before

After

After

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….WARMUP
PVC mobility
Press progression
STRENGTH
15 Minute EMOM
Complex: x1 power clean + x2 front squat + x3 shoulder to over head
LIFE: hang power clean + push press
FITNESS/SPORT: push jerk, split if needed
CONDITIONING
3-6 Rounds
Prolwer sled sprints up + down
Light jog
LIFE: High/high | low | no weight
FITNESS: High/high | high/low | low/low | 140/90
SPORT: High/high| high/low | low/low | 180/140
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New Year New You FITness SICcess!

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New Year, New You FITness challenge was a huge SICcess on Saturday!

22 of our finest students showed up and accepted the challenging workout, and showed huge heart, strength and courage! Way to go everyone! It was great to see so many PR’s on the Backsquat, and see students push themselves past limits they never thought they could accomplish. We also had so many new competitors with this being their first competition, and the newly added Teens and Tweens Division!

Way to show up, not quit, and make your coaches proud!

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Athlete Name: Division: 1RM Backsquat: Ranking BS: Workout Time Ranking Workout
Ashley Bucko Life-Women 150# 1 8:23 1
Ganine Davis Life-Women 135# 2 9:40 2
Mary Arabyan Life-Women 115# 3 11:31 3
Youssef Dri Life-Men 155# 1 11:40 1
Kristin Hudgins Fitness-Women 155# 2 12:23 2
Nicole James Fitness-Women 140# 3 10:52 1
Alicia Beardsley Fitness-Women 160# 1 13:30 4
Alex Heath Fitness-Women 135# 4 13:13 3
Laurie Laird Fitness-Women 125# 5 14:24 5
Taylor Webb Fitness-Women 115# 6 19:59 6
Ashwin Sundaram Tween-Fitness 40# 1 11:15 1
Antonio Lasater Teen-Sport 105# 1 11:51 1
Sarkis Arabyan Teen-Sport 105# 1 17:50 2
Jeff Schwartz Fitness-Men 315# 1 14:34 2
Brent Quade Fitness-Men 245# 3 13:14 1
Justin Olsen Fitness-Men 255# 2 15:03 3
Michael Talarico Fitness-Men 225# 4 24:16:00 4
Elizabeth Zapata Sport-Women 190# 1 17:39 1
Chris Tommarello Sport-Men 385# 2 10:00 1
Chris Cannon Sport-Men 405# 1 14:56 5
Dustin Anderson Sport-Men 325# 3 14:12 3
Alex Thien Sport-Men 315# 4 14:38 4

Beat Blue Monday

 

Strength in Conditioning for Monday, January 20, 2014

Today is both Martin Luther Kind Jr. Day, and according to some scientists’ calculations, a little phenomenon known as Blue Monday. Based on weather predictions, average motivation and debt levels after the holidays, and a few other variables, there comes a time every late January that is thought to be the most depressed day of the year. To help counteract the negative effects of this day, and to honor Dr. King and his historical work towards equality, SICFIT Scottsdale is offering a day full of free classes! In addition, check out the tips below to make the most out of your Blue Monday! Classes are at 8am, 12pm, Teens at 3:45 and 5pm, only.

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Four Tips to Beat Blue Monday with SICFIT Scottsdale
  1. Get up half hour earlier – (you’ll immediately feel more productive)
  2. Get out of the house (even for 15 minutes) and walk, jog, bike, etc. (seeing the sun revitalizes your soul)
  3. Eat a light, healthy breakfast with plenty of protein (skipping the carbs helps you avoid feeling sluggish mid-morning.)
  4. Do or say something nice to someone ASAP! (The good Mojo will carry with you throughout the day.)
Now you are ready to tackle the most depressing day of the year.
Afterwards, burn off the day’s stress in a supportive, team environment with a free Blue Monday workout at SICFIT Scottsdale.
WARMUP
Air squat + push up + burpee + dynamic movement
CONDITIONING A
5 Rounds
5-8 Bench press
5-8 Single arm dumbbell or kettle bell row
5-8 Dumbell hang squat clean
5 Burpees
10 Strict sit ups
20 Flutter kicks each leg
3 Minute walking rest 3
CONDITIONING B
1k row sprint
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Photo by: D. Sharon Pruitt
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SICFIT Scottsdale 2014 Fitness Challenge

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SICFIT Scottsdale is doing big things in 2014, and we’re taking our community of fitness focused friends along with us! Kicking off the new year is the SICFIT Scottsdale 2014 Fitness Challenge! Even if you aren’t competing, come out and enjoy the festivities beginning today (1/18) at 9am. Athletes of all fitness levels need your support and energy as they challenge themselves against this two-part test of strength and aerobic capacity. Come our and let SICFIT Scottsdale light your fitness fire and keep it burning all year long! ..

NewYearFitnessChallenge2014

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Heat Assignments: New Year New YOU FITness Challenge!

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The challenge is finally here! The New Year, New YOU FITness challenge is tomorrow! It starts at 9:00am so be sure you are at the gym and checked in before go time! Bring your family and your friends to come help cheer you on!! We have prize packages for the top winners in all Life, FITness and Sport Categories and for both male and female along with our Teens and Tweens divisions as well. Below you will find your heat assignments- good luck athletes and we will see you in the morning!

Part 1

10 minutes to find a 3RM Back Squat

You may have as many attempts in this part as you can in the 10 minutes. Bar is taken off the rack for the start of all attempts. Hip crease below the knees at the bottom and full extension of the knees and hips at the top.

15 minute rest between part 1 and part 2

Part 2

                                Life                  Fitness                      Sport

20 Deadlifts          45/35                  95/65                       115/95

10 Thrusters         45/35                  95/65                       115/95

Row                      200m                  250m                         300m

4 Rounds for Time

Teens/Tweens

                                 Fitness                      Sport

10 Deadlifts           25/35                       35/45

10 Thrusters          25/35                       35/45

Row                          200m                         250m

4 rounds for time

Athlete Name: Heat:
Ganine Davis 1
Alicia Beardsley 1
Laurie Laird 1
Mary Arabyan 1
Taylor Webb 1
Ashley Bucko 1
Youssef Dri 2
Yassin Dri 2
Sarkis Arabyan 2
Zac Scope 2
Antonio Lasater 2
Ashwin Sundaram 2
Justin Olsen 3
Rohit Sarkar 3
Michael Talarico 3
Jeff Schwartz 3
Elizabeth Zapata 4
Kristin Hudgins 4
Nicole James 4
Laura Lucky 4
Alex Heath 4
Chris Tommarello 5
Dustin Anderson 5
Alex Thien 5
Jeff Rifkin 5

New Year Fitness Challenge

Strength in Conditioning for Friday, January 17, 2014

With 2/3rds of the 1st month of 2014 already behind us it’s time to put your resolutions to the test with SICFIT Scottsdale’s 2014 Fitness Challenge. Come get a taste of the action tomorrow (1/18) at 9am and experience how a little competition can inspire and motivate us to make 2014 our fittest year yet! This challenge is designed for all levels of fitness, so no matter where you are on your FITness journey, you can do this! This challenge is open to both members and nonmembers, and our doors are open to your friends and family to cheer the competitors on! Sign up at the gym today or call 480-922-3253 to reserve your spot!

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newyear

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WARMUP
Dynamic warm up + mobility in the movement
SKILL
Kettle Bell swing
LIFE: Russian swing
FITNESS: #55/35
SPORT: #75/55
CONDITIONING
5 Minutes of jump rope
10 Kettle bell swing + 5 hand release pushups
09 Kettle bell swing + 5 hand release pushups
08 Kettle bell swing + 5 hand release pushups
07 Kettle bell swing + 5 hand release pushups
…. down to 1
5 Minutes of jump rope
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Fuel Your Fitness

 

Strength in Conditioning for Thursday, January 16, 2014

As we continue prepping for the Level 1 test, coming 1/23 at 7pm, it is important to consider how nutrition plays a major role in your fitness — and potentially in helping you earn the White Band. When it comes to health and physical fitness, food is the foundation. We cannot expect to thrive in our workouts or in our daily lives if we are not fueling our bodies with the kind of energy it responds best to. To learn more about this essential component of wellness, please come to the SICFIT Scottsdale Food as Fuel seminar tonight at 7:30pm. The information you will learn in this class may be just what you needed to level up in your fitness and earn that band!
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STRENGTH

Thrusters off rack
LIFE: 12 – 10 – 8 + 12 + 10 + 8 | pvc/barbell
FITNESS: 9 – 7 – 5 + 9 – 7 – 5
SPORT: 3 – 2 – 1 + 3 – 2 – 1
5 Minute rest
CONDITIONING
Level I prep
2 Minute max air squat
2 Minute max sit up
20 Box jump/step downs
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Wear Your Fitness on Your Sleeve

 

Strength in Conditioning for Wednesday, January 15, 2014

It’s a brand new year and level testing is back in action at SICFIT Scottsdale! Come out and fight for your chance to wear your fitness on your sleeve and sport the White SICFIT Scottsdale Band on January 23rd at 7pm. To help you prepare, we are including one of the test elements into today’s skill portion: the handstand hold. Hold yourself inverted against the wall for 70 seconds or more and you can consider this task “in the bag” on test night. We encourage all our students to give this test a shot, even just to identify which areas of fitness you need to focus on. Who knows, you may even surprise yourself and earn that band after all!
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Level III test at CrossFit Scottsdale

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WARMUP

Med ball fun toss, slam, wall ball, thruster, sit up
SKILL
Handstand hold level I test prep
STRENGTH
Press 3×5 | 2 minute rest
Push press 3×3 | 90 second rest
Split jerk 1.1.1.1.1 | 1 minute rest
CONDITIONING
8 Minute AMRAP
 3 Air squats + 3 burpees + 3 wall balls
6+6+6… 9+9+9… 12+12+12…. and so on by 3s
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Stretch of the Week

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FRXc-sW-LowBack

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