Summer heat, sweaty mornings

Amongst the throngs of people working out early mornings I’ve ascertained that not many really can be comfortable being outdoors for prolonged periods of time due to the weather. Yes, fair weather athletes come in all shapes and sizes.

Not judging at all since they give a good ribbing as well as take it. Once the frost clears, the grass is growing with flowers to boot. So the interest of doing work outdoors increases. The next step is getting them to commit to a schedule and then to commit to the varied weight loads and types of movement included while wearing a ruck.

We typically use the ruck as primary tool for resistance and exercises, and not limited to sliding down muddy slopes without much of a second thought since it’s a benefit added once we get rainfall (dry now), while working out at our favorite hill. Going up is tough, going down fun. So it’s a ying yang type of thing. We adapt accordingly.

Recognizing that every time there is a plan of action we must be fluid enough to adapt to a plethora of circumstances like construction here. Our staging area is beside an under pass where we get some of our work done. It’s being fixed and bricks, rock, and steel can fall on you so we’ve staged further away to keep our nuggets safe.

Then, there is bright sunshine! I love it. Early light means no headlamps, and no reflective clothing for our dreary dark workouts. Shorts, tanks, and bug spray has replaced much of our attire. Not complaining one bit. Except for areas near the river where we ruck the mosquitoes are huge! So, spraying bug juice will continue until we’re comfortable with the bugs everywhere. Then spray some more so you don’t get mugged by them.

Am I the only one that looks forward to a hot cup of coffee on a Hot day, with my favorite cigar to boot after a workout? What is your go to post workout in any temperature or time of year. I’ve been very consistent without losing a beat on endurance.

There is heat then there is-Humid heat! Sweating while thinking of working prior to getting to our workout location is something to ponder if you consider going outside in the summer. In the Midwest, more like Chitown there are two seasons, 1) Winter, + 2) Construction.

You fight the battle in front of you one at a time. Keep hydrated, and smile knowing you can do the things many more can only dream of doing. Complete each evolution, set, rep, workout in the knowledge the the discomfort you’re experiencing is temporary and the benefits outweigh your exertion. Heat subsides, sweat cools you down unless it gets in your eyes then it’s a blistering paragraph of expletives! Speaking from experience here.

Oh let’s not forget the little snags or cuts out in the field you get while crawling around like a mad person doing your thing. Searing hot burning is a threshold you need to learn to appreciate. Swear, scream, laugh, cry, just don’t quit! The high fives and funny post workout pics are well worth it.

I’ll leave you with this.

Get up, go outside and move. No matter how uncomfortable you become just keep moving. The chemistry involved between your ears is what we’re trying to change. Change it will, and for the better.

Below

1) 210611 – RED Friday partner WOD at our hill. Video included of my partner in crime and I

2) 210604 – RED Friday WOD at our Sandlot

Got pretty sweaty, scratched, itchy, and encouraging everyone to get it done!
Sandy WOD with squats, sit ups, bear crawl ruck drag, low crawl-ruck press, flutter kicks, leg levers, walking lunges, mtn climbers, hello dolly’s, 200m ruck run, prone flutter kicks, crab walk. Yes, hot, sweaty, and sand everywhere!

Get some!

See you out there! Hopefully with us soon!

G

Cool Morning Mash-up

Okay so it’s dark with sparse clouds and a sliver of a moon out as we make our way towards our workout location. I’m stoked because it’s above freezing this morning so I don’t have to scrape the icy film from my windshield and that is good by me.

Arriving early is important for a couple of reasons one being not having to rush getting myself and my equipment to be used in their proper place so I have no issues as to the weights I’ll be using. As in weights for today it’s a kb and my ruck.

What’s different this morning is that only one exercise requires the use of our ruck for burpees step ups and the kb for snatches. That’s pretty cool with everyone when they read the workout. They knew going in since Monday of what this morning will bring. A lot of work.

Most all of exercises were to be performed on grass since its forgiving when you face plant while doing the dive bombers (google it). I enjoy it along side the yoga/Hindu push ups. A challenge to be had for developing upper body strength, core stability, joint mobility and endurance. Yes, muscle endurance is needed.

3-2-1, Go!

RED Friday WOD

It was good to work with like minded individuals. Many found out that the workout was deceiving since the reps were a tad small for a regular RED Friday, but the sets were high. Balance.

The #Ruffcrew took it in stride working within their capacity to complete the workout and joking, laughing and encouraging each other through it all. Some finished faster than others while others put their heads down due to a heavier weight selection on their part for a better challenge to be had.

Skills are needed to improve technical proficiency to strengthen connective tissue, and get stronger in the process. Once you are proficient then the weights go up and you get faster. Not the other way around so be patient is what I tell the team.

All of them have made great strides this year. Since March I’ve pushed some buttons and gotten them to become mentally stronger and physically stronger. I love watching them grow.

Go out and enjoy your time, life and physical self. Challenge your norm. Challenge yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically. You never know what your limits are. Or will be.

‘Til next time.

Mi A Gi

The #RuFF Crew

Keep moving, mental health is your reward

The continuing order to endure enclosed spaces for most people means a lot of time spent being either complacent in their life’s choices, or deliberate on staying focused and active. Which are you?

Well, for starters I like being active. I love to workout, mostly outdoors with my ruck, kettlebell, sandbag, hilly area or just a trail. Either way, I can make it work also at home since exercise is not exclusive to either out of doors or indoors in the context of moving. Complexity is not useful, simplicity is the norm.

Using basic movement patterns of push/pull, press, extension, flexion, and rotation you can basically move in any pattern that your body can get into without much effort, but the magic in that pudding is the amount of times you perform it, and frequency with a good serving of either resistance, time or speed.

Look around your environment right now. Where are you seated? Let’s begin with a simple chair, either folding, fixed four legged model with or without padding. Pry it up against a wall and you can use it for squats if you’re learning to sit and stand again for rehab or prehab. Squats once more if you are trying box squats with a weight to a prescribed depth. How about upper body work by performing dips, on one chair while legs are elevated on the other, or push ups with feet atop of seat while hands are on floor?

Core work? Sure, lets try this: Sit ups with elevated feet on the seat portion of the chair, plank holds in same manner, or glute work like butt biters- where your butt raises from the floor while feet (heels) remain on seat portion of chair for multiple reps. Bridges (one legged) with heels in the same place (atop of seat) go for multiple reps/sets. You see that it’s just imagination that is the limiter.

Food items – no, not raw food like chicken or frozen fish. I’m talking about canned foods, and there are plenty of sizes and weights to use for exercises. Cans in a backpack/rucksack wrapped in a towel so it doesn’t jostle around in the pack while you exercise with it. You can run with the pack, squat it, swing it, plank with it and press it. Imagination once again is your limiter. Indoors/Outdoors are your playground.

Just because you’re asked to stay home does not mean you should be sedentary. You need to keep moving, because mental health is not a given. You’ll need to make the effort to sweat a little and get the benefits you so desire.

Happy Easter All!!

Butt biters, dips, hill bear crawls, ground to overhead, and team squats!

The week before the quarantine

Well, one week prior to being shut indoors in IL we were rucking and working out very hard. Parks are now off limits, especially at Chicago’s lakefront path. Mayor Lightfoot ordered the lakefront closed until further notice and people are going to get a warning, a fine, and then possibly tossed in the brig!

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot! This is gonna piss more people off, but I get it. I’m mostly an introvert so being alone is not a big issue. Having time to catch up on audiobooks, read books, and reach out to people I’ve not heard from in some time.

Now as you sit there contemplating your life in the new age of being cooped up inside many people that I’ve spoken with have stated a truth that was missing in everyone’s life. People contact is important. A meaningful conversation, or a handshake or bro hug goes a long way to make people connected.

Stay in touch using a product called zoom, Skype, or FaceTime. Anything, or smoke signals….. not kidding. (J/k)

Our pics from the workouts – enjoy: