BodyFit-PullUps

28 Jan

Mastering the pull up is still something I am doing even after 3 years of CrossFit. There are so many variations, such as, strict, kipping, butterfly, supinated, pronated, etc. This week in my BodyFit class we are going over the Pull Up and all the different variations, plus what to work on if you don’t have your first pull up quiet yet.

I have explained to the people who have came to my mini-clinic that these variations aren’t necessarily easier or harder, they are just different things to practice to build up their strength or if a workout calls for pull ups, these are alternates that you can use during.

These variations are not the only things out there I would try, but this is what I recommend in order to get your first pull up:

  • Jumping Pull ups: Get a box so that your arms are bent at about a 90 degree angle while holding on to the pull up bar. Jump to get your chin above the bar a few times, rest and repeat.
  • Jump & Hold: When you feel comfortable enough getting your chin above the bar, grab the pull up bar, jump up and hold yourself as long as possible with your chin above the bar. You will start to shake and this is okay. Then slowly decent and repeat.
  • Bands: I would recommend using 1-2 bands, but never more. Most coaches would prefer that if you are using a band to have them be strict pull ups. I think this will obviously build the strength you need to get a pull up, but if kipping is something you also want to practice, I would not discourage you from using a band. Just don’t let the band whip you in the face. I personally have been using a band to help me with my kipping bar muscle up, and in my mind- if this is helping, a band to help you with a kipping pull up is fine by me. If you have to use three bands, I would recommend building your strength up first so that you only need <2 bands.
  • Pronated: This is simply when your hands are wrapped around the bar, palms facing out, away from your body. This is the most popular type of pull up. While on this subject, I would recommend wrapping your thumb around the bar during your pull ups to prevent slipping off the bar. Just think about hook grip in a snatch or clean, if it gets heavy, you should hook grip. With a pull up, you’re lifting 100+ lbs of body weight into the air… wrap your thumbs.
  • Supinated: Or as some people call it, a chin-up. This is the opposite of pronated, when your hands are facing in, towards your body. This is more bicep intensive.
  • Kipping: If you have been doing CrossFit for awhile, you have seen what a kipping pull up looks like and it seems easy and fast… right? Well- yes and no. Hands down it is faster, but a kipping pull up is complex and unless you get the movement down of what your legs need to do I would recommend building your strength working on strict pull ups before attempting a kipping pull up. To break down the kipping pull up, watch this video: Gymnastics WOD (I love Carl Paoli who is the face of Gymnastics WOD and his instructional videos are awesome, so check him out to get more in-depth info about all sorts of things).
  • Strict: This is when you pull your body weight up, get the chin above the bar and then lower down using all upper-body strength with no kipping (or pumping) of the legs.
  • Butterfly: This is what games athletes are doing. Very fast, very efficient, very complex. There are two videos I want you to check out for more info:

 

Are you lost yet. Do you feel discouraged? Don’t be. Practice, practice, practice. You’ve got this and to help you practice here is a small warm up and workout for you to try on your own:

 

Warm Up

3 rounds

100m jog

10 PVC pass through

5 burpees

10 ab-mat sit ups

5 jumping pull ups

******

Workout

12 minute AMRAP

5 Jumping Pull Ups

4 Iron Mikes

3 Push Ups

2 SlamBalls (20lb)

1 Pull Up*

100m jog

*choose any variation of a pull up you want and it is good to switch it up every round

 

 

 

 

 

BridesmaidGifts

12 Jan IMG_3087

With planning a wedding, there are so many expenses to think about. There are big things like the venue, catering, flowers and photography, but the things that sneak up on you are the little things such as hair, makeup, gifts, and accessories for the day of. I am not saying what I do is what every bride should do, but if you are newly engaged you are going to have a lot of decisions to make on being what you should get your wedding party as a thank you gift.

I have heard from multiple people that the gifts they have received for being in a wedding are sitting in a drawer, were sort of cheesy, or could possibly be long gone in the trash by now. I decided very early on that for my bridesmaids I did not want to get them cheap jewelry, or a mug with their initials on it, but rather, I would pay for them to get pampered on the day of the wedding. In some weddings I have been part of it was sort of an awkward conversation of, “Do you want me to make you an appointment to get your hair done?” and then asking, “I am having my makeup done, do you want yours done also,” and then as a bridesmaid you feel awkward asking, “Are you paying, or am I.” Well, in my situation, I want to pay for them to sit back, relax, sip mimosas and have their hair and makeup done as my gift to them to say thank you for standing by my side.

Now you may be asking – how do you present this as a gift? And when do you tell them, because this gift would need be discussed long before the day of the wedding. After talking with a few friends who have been recently married I got some great ideas. Feel free to take this and run with it because my bridesmaids loved it.

Our wedding is in June and by January I had sent and delivered all of my “glam bags” explaining my gift. I got really cute bags from Target and stuffed the bags with shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, mascara, and makeup remover wipes. Inside of the bag, I added a thank you card that said, “Thanks for saying yes to waking up early with me on my wedding day. As my gift to you, I am going to pay for you to relax, sip mimosas, and get your hair & makeup done!” On the outside, I made a tag that read, “You’ve been glammed!” I sent these off six months in advance so that all of my bridesmaids would know that they do not need to worry about paying for it and wouldn’t need to contact their hair or makeup artist to help on the day of.

There are plenty of do’s and do not’s for wedding planning, but after looking at so many things, this is something I really wanted to share with newly engaged women as something that your bridesmaids will love and appreciate.

IMG_3087IMG_3088

MuscleUps

8 Dec

In the 2015 CrossFit Games Open, there was this workout that included muscle ups and for those four days after the announcement, everyone and their mother was trying to get their first muscle up so that they could continue being ranked on the Rx Leader board. I was one of those people. I got a lesson from one of our coaches about what I needed to do, because frankly I thought I was the perfect candidate to get one. I could do strict pull ups. I could do strict ring dips. What was I not getting right?  I had four days to get it,and damn it, I was determined. When the day came, I still was unable to do a muscle up, so I put my ego aside and did the scaled version of the workout. It was something like 150 wall balls, jumping rope and maybe something else. Right after I completed my work, I decided to play on the rings again, all with a judge watching- just in case. And holy crap- as the second wave of competitors were going, I got a muscle up, and then continued to get two more in the time cap. I was able to take a total score of 3 as Rx which was a better score than any number in the scaled division. Awesome.

Well… Nine months pass and I lost it. I couldn’t get another muscle up to save my life. I would take tips and tricks from people, try them out and then just head back over to the rings with a band and work on technique. False Grip. Arms in close. Drive through the hips. Squeeze your butt. Flare out more. Flare out less. Hips to rings. Any of these- we have all heard it. Yesterday (12/7/2015) I went into the gym a little tired, but continued with my training. For the past few months I have been following Invictus Competitors training with some other supplemental things on the side. One of those consistent supplements is a 12-minute alternating EMOM of strict pull ups, handstand push-ups, ring dips, and push-ups every Monday the past three weeks in a row.  Last night consisted of a lot of shoulders and upper body movements, but at the end of the workout I decided to jump on the rings and give ‘em a swing. First try- nope. Not happening. Second try- still nothing. Then two girls from the gym give me two great tips. One that I had heard before and a new one. Angela; who is an awesome coach and is married to Joe reminded me of what he has told us before, “pretend you are wiping paint off your forearms – keep them close,” and Monique, an awesome athlete at our gym told me to stop flaring out so much. With those two things, and VERY warm shoulders I hit my first muscle up since The Open. And then continued to do four more!

I am writing this post to remind myself to keep practicing or else they will be gone again. I am also reminding all of you crossfitters to keep trying, never give up, and look at me- even after three years of crossfit, there are always things to work on.

HighSchoolReunion

31 Jul

“Who is planning our 10-year high school reunion?”

I asked this back in December of 2014 because I knew that come summertime we would hit our 10 year mark of when we graduated high school and I was curious if anyone had started planning. When I talked about this with my girlfriends at dinner, I specifically said, “I will not do it.”

Well that changed quickly.

My good friend Tiffany said something along the lines of, “If I do it, will you do it.” So that is how it sort of got started. We posted something on Facebook making sure no one had started planning and away we went. This post is going to talk about the planning process of our first ever high school reunion and what went right and also, what went wrong. For those of you looking for advice on how to plan your reunion, take it or leave it, but his may help you out.

First step. We have it easy these days with Facebook. My mom was and still is on her high school reunion committee and thinking about having to call people and find addresses to send invites seems like such a hassle. Facebook helped us tremendously with finding people. I mean, that is what Facebook is for- finding people. Tiffany created an open group for Legacy High School Class of 2005 10-year reunion and shared it with everyone through her status update. People slowly started to join in. Then we posted an update saying, “If you are interested in being part of the committee to plan the reunion, please meet at this place, at this time to get started.” We had eight people show up. And really that was a perfect amount of people. And this group of people were not necessarily close friends back in high school or even today. TIP: Your committee should have men and women and not be your close group of friends. Branch out. This allows for more people to know about the event from all around your graduating class.

Second step. Pick a date. A lot goes into this. Yes, most reunions are scheduled either around the day you graduated, or the high school’s homecoming, but it isn’t all that easy. By the time we got together, homecoming had already come and passed and June 1 would have been exactly 10 years. We decided as a committee that July is a good month because typically the weather is nice, if you are teacher- you’ll have time off, and honestly when we met, June seemed too close, but July seemed just right. So we settled on July 25, 2015.

During our first meeting we also decided that we would meet monthly every fourth Monday of the month. This is key. Don’t do everything online or over email. So much more got done when we would meet at talk face to face. Our meetings lasted about an hour every time and we would bring our notepads, and discuss what needed to be done. We also decided to pick somewhere central. Denver. We had some people up north and others down south- so to make it fair we picked somewhere sort of in the middle and not at someone’s house to make them feel like they always had to host people. A restaurant worked for us so we could all huddle in, discuss our plans and get the most done while eating and drinking.

Everyone during the 6 months of planning really took on their jobs and went one step further. Everyone needs a job. I personally took on the task of managing the social media side of things. Facebook updates. Create a website. Post photos on Instagram. That is my jam anyways, so I was happy to take on this task. But man… people on social media can be.. let’s say.. brutally honest. I just want to give a warning to those people looking at this blog for advice, be prepared for some people to NOT be happy with what you are planning. Be prepared for people to give you opinions on what you should do, although they never came to a committee meeting. We would HAPPILY take any opinions at our meetings and we made it public of when our meeting where, so anyone could come in and ‘join the fun.’ On the flip side, when you see posts of people disliking what is going on, you have two options- reply. Or ignore it. I am going to recommend that you reply, but in a very well-thought out manor. Think before you type. In all honesty- it is a business. You are selling tickets (which I will get to how we decided on that later) to an event where you want to make a profit and you want as many people there as possible. I responded to the questions/concerns publically so that everyone could see what was already asked, and what the answers were. Sort of like a FAQ via Facebook. It is OKAY to ask questions, and it is OKAY to dislike something, and really, it is OKAY to give your opinions because we want it to be the best reunion possible – but if you are on your own committee just be warned, you cannot make everyone happy.

So- my tip after all of that is to create a facebook group and make it private about 3 months before the event and create a website to have more information on and a link to purchase tickets, where I would recommend wordpress.com and keep both of these active even after the reunion.

Next. Ticket sales. First, the price of the tickets will all depend on sponsorships, location, and what will be available at the reunion. We as a committee had a sponsor for the park event, and the evening event so we didn’t have to pay any fees to rent both places out. We also decided that there wouldn’t be food provided for free, but that you could purchase food for an extra cost at the evening event and made the park event a pot luck. Here we go. Let me break it down. Oh… paypal. It is so convenient, but they also have a surcharge. But, we decided that pay pal was more convenient than having checks sent to us and so we set up a business bank account, a business paypal account, and got it going. Tip: make ticket prices low. More people will come and will be able to afford it. Heck, at your 10-year a lot of people are new parents, or just got married and in all honesty, are probably broke. Anything over $50 per person seems a little high. Even if food will be served. We set our ticket prices at $25 per person with the stipulation that the prices would increase July 1. We did this so that we would have a good head count a month before the event. This worked somewhat in our favor. On the last day of June we had 13 people purchase tickets before the price increase. We had a headcount of about 60 people before the price increase so this helped us plan for one or two food trucks at the night event.

A great tip I would add is that the price of the ticket should include something. Whether it be food, or drinks, or something make people feel like they are getting SOMETHING. We decided that if you purchased a ticket, your ticket included two drink tickets. So, for $25 you were getting access to the party, and two drinks. People were very happy with this, and I would highly recommend it.

So, the night before the big party we had a headcount of 75 people, and ticket sales were cut off online. Then we announced via Facebook that you could buy your tickets at the door…  You just have to do this. People procrastinate. People decide last minute that, “Oh hey! I know a lot of people going, I wish I could go.” Well everyone should be able to go. We ended up having over 100 people at the event and everyone was happy.

How do you get everyone their tickets? You have a welcome table with some pretty cool parents that would be fine offering their time. We had two sets of parents working the welcome table and while some people may think it is strange, I wouldn’t want it any other way. In high school my house was the place for a lot of people to come, and a lot of people knew my parents. And my parents loved seeing so many familiar faces. This also allows the committee to enjoy the party and we could let loose and enjoy the hard work that we put in. Ah. Finally- you see your hard work pay off.

I know I have left a lot of stuff out, but I told myself that after the reunion I would write something.. anything. Just to remember a few key points and to hopefully help others out when planning your high school reunion. I want to thank our sponsors, to my good friend Bryce who gave a speech acknowledging the committee’s hard work, our volunteers who helped the day of, and most of all the people who came every month to the meetings, put in their time, and got this shit done. Haha you’re all amazing, and I am so happy we got to work together. Until next time.

Quick Summary:

1. Keep ticket prices low(er).

2. Don’t just email invites and save the dates- call people. Peer pressure works great.

3. Use Facebook groups.

4. Lower the cost of the class reunion by offering an early bird discount.

5. Keep your registration form short and simple.

6. Create a class reunion website that keeps your classmates engaged. Check ours out: Legacy2005.wordpress.com

7. Have a family friendly event along with an adults only event.

8. Tell classmates who is attending.

9. Have a diverse group of committee members organizing the event.

10. Call your high school and let them know when the event is to get the word around to teachers.

11. Have the event be in the same town as your high school.

12. If you have extra money, roll it into an account to have a starting point for the next reunion.

TheDress

26 Jun

There are so many different styles of wedding dresses and when I made my appointment to try some on, I told my four ladies to pick away and I would try them all on to know what style fit me best. We picked some with lace, some that were very form fitting, others that had straps or sleeves, and the list continues of some mermaid style dresses, A-line, and a fiesta style dress that made me feel like the emoji of the woman dancing in a red dress.

image1

Here is my story…

I invited my mom, my sister, Dan’s mom, and his sister. I have not picked my bridesmaids yet, and wanted only family to be involved with choosing my dress. I felt like this is something I needed four totally different opinions for. Each person has their own individual style and I knew each of these ladies would give me their honest opinions.

Each girl picked 2-3 dresses for me to try on and so I started working away, trying on dress after dress taking photos of the front and back and walking around to see how it flowed. It reminded me of house hunting. After about eight dresses we figured out my style. I would put one on and right away I knew if it was a yes or no and the pile started to dwindle down. I had narrowed it down to two dresses and then one that I really liked and took the information down, but wanted to sleep on it to see if that was the dress.

Dan’s mom and sister had to head back to work, but after we were done at the first place, my sister recommended we go check out another place since we had the day off. So we hopped in the car, and headed over to Amanda’s Bridal. In my mind, I knew I liked that dress that I had put on at the other place, but you always hear that girls get emotional when they put on the dress. I have never been a super girly girl so maybe that is normal for me to not get emotional. Well. I was wrong.

At Amanda’s I walked in and was very honest with the assistant letting her know I wanted to try some on, but most likely am not going to buy today. We picked some out, tried them on, took some photos and then I put on dress number four, walked out, Tina- my assistant put some accessories with it, and when I turned around and looked at myself in the mirror the waterworks began. I turned around and then my sister, mom, and even Tina started to get teary-eyed and Tina says, “Well I don’t think we thought this was going to happen!” And she rushed around looking for tissues. I had found the dress. What! Is this for real? Let me try on one more just in case.

I put on another dress that I actually really did like, but just knew that the last dress made me feel like a bride. I put the previous dress back on and just remember my mom asking, “Are we buying a dress today?” And I said, “Yes!” This dress is amazing and I cannot wait to walk down the aisle to marry the man of my dreams.

First big item to check off the list. Now it’s the when and where that we need to figure out. :)image2

Engagement

8 Jun chamagne

May 23, 2015. He put a ring on it.

After a few weeks of shock, I can now sit down and write about the perfect engagement and how I cannot believe the time has finally come for us to plan a wedding and for me to be Mrs. Bullock.

As some of you know- Dan and I have been dating for almost five years, we have lived together for four, and have been doggie parents for three. He is the man of my dreams and no matter when you would have asked us, the answer to the question, “When are you two getting married,” was always, “three to five years.” You could have asked me on May 22 and I still would have answered the same. I literally had no idea a proposal was coming, so let me tell you about the surprise.

Over Memorial Day weekend, my best friend Kelli came into town and was staying with us and had plans to meet up with some old co-workers on Saturday the 23rd. Dan and I knew that with having a friend in town, the events are non-stop, and so we had planned that for the few hours she was away, we would go rent a movie, grab some food, and relax. As she left to go meet up with her co-workers, Dan and I ordered a pizza, grabbed a Redbox movie and were just excited to sit on the couch and do nothing. As we pulled onto our block from picking everything up, I noticed a woman mowing her lawn with a push mower and a baby sitting in a stroller, and she looked like she was struggling. I looked at Dan and insisted that we let her use our lawn mower. He gave me this look like ‘why is she always trying to be so nice’ and so when we parked, he went inside and I brought her our mower. When I got back inside, he had put in the movie and put down the curtains to block out the sunlight (it was maybe only 6:30pm). Right before the movie started, Dan says, “Don’t ask any questions, but I have a romantic night planned and just want you to relax. So don’t get up off the couch and let me take care of you.”

Jackpot. I get to just sit here and be catered to. Okay.

At around 7:30pm, Dan gets up off the couch and announces something along the lines of his first romantic act. He goes into our guest bedroom and brings me out a letter. I start to read it and immediately start crying. It talked about how technically we are married by common law, that he knows he wants me in his life forever, and is “80%, maybe 90% sure he wants to propose someday.” I just thought it was super cute and it got me pretty emotional. And then, he announces his second romantic act. This is where he has something behind his back and as he sits on the couch next to me he says that he knows he has never got me any jewelry, but wanted to get me something small and he pulls out the jewelry box and this is where my heart started to burst out of my chest. I of course was hoping it was an engagement ring, but didn’t want to get too crazy in case it was earrings or something else. Then he got down on one knee while I then proceeded to ball my eyes out and said yes a few too many times while he proposed.

After the initial shock of him proposing to me, Dan told me to call my mom to tell her the good news. I call her and at first she cannot hear me. The phone is breaking out. Of course… Thanks stupid cell phone. I yell over the phone that I am balling my eyes out and that Dan proposed. She tells me to go outside or something because she really cannot hear me. Annoyingly, I go outside and to my surprise, my family, his family, and a few close friends were hiding in our back yard, ready to celebrate. Tears cue up one more time.

We pop champagne, take photos, cheers, and celebrate our engagement the best way I could have ever imagined. Dan truly did an amazing job planning everything and I cannot wait to celebrate the rest of our lives together.

And from now on- every time I do something nice, I am hoping for some jewelry—kidding. To back track, Dan was a little freaked out when I brought our neighbor the lawn mower, because at about that time was when people were supposed to be heading over to the house for the surprise. I could have ruined everything, but luckily it all worked out and the secret was still safe.

BootCamp

13 May bootcamp2

You want to kick your own butt while having someone coach you? You want to get bikini ready for summer? You want to drop that last 10lbs before your high school reunion? Well….. I found something that may work for all of that, plus some.

bootcamp3

Last night I attended my first Boot Camp class that my gym hosts. I am hesitant to say that CrossFit South Denver hosts it because the term “CrossFit” scares people away. But this is just the SPACE they are using. If you are someone who is looking to do more body weight movements, not pick up a barbell, and to get a good 20-30 minute workout in with an intimate group of people, then I am not joking, you need to try out Boot Camp at CrossFit South Denver.

Bootcamp

To give you an insider tip- here was what we did last night, but know that each time you step foot into Boot Camp expect something new. Shelby, the instructor led us through a warm up, workout, and cool down all within one hour. The workout consisted of body weight movements, but we also incorporated a box and a kettlebell. Each person was able to scale to their ability and each person was sweating at the end of the workout.  If sweating, scaling to your own ability, and fitting it all in within an hour appeases you, on Tuesday nights at 6:30pm and Saturday mornings at 10am come join Boot Camp for $25 per drop in, which includes a shirt.

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