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The Going OTE Tour is a Wrap!

Redbull Art of Motion Champions, Cory DeMyers and Jesse LaFlair, wrapped up their nationwide tour of parkour jam sessions and documentary screenings in Los Angeles. ORIGINAL Nutritionals was able to sponsor the tour and set up camp at this past weekends jam session at Tempest Freerunning Academy in Los Angeles.

Hundreds of young athletes took to Tempest’s facility for a free for all of movement in what looked like the largest adult playground I’ve ever seen. Participants got to listen to inspirational talks from the professional freerunners and got free ORIGINAL Nutritionals products and swag, as well as gear from other sponsors of the tour.

The event culminated with a “wall competition” where athletes of all genders, ages, and sizes competed for best trick. The event was won by a young ex-gymnast girl, who showed up all the boys in the event.

The evening following the jam included the final screening of “From Here to There,” a documentary chronicling the boys’ European tour that landed them on the podium of the Red Bull Art of Motion event, the premiere event in free running annually.

 

Logan Gelbrich

@functionalcoach

 

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Sam Briggs Advances to 2015 CrossFit Games

Team ORIGINAL athlete, Samantha Briggs, punched her ticket to Carson, Calif. this weekend with her second place finish in the 2015 Reebok CrossFit Games: Atlantic Regional. The 2013 “Fittest Woman on Earth” will be making her return to the Games after an upsetting finish in last year’s regional event left her out of the biggest competition in fitness she won the previous year. SAM BRIGGS

In this year’s CrossFit Games Regional, Sam took a top five finish in all but two events. The top five finishers from this year’s Atlantic “Super Regional” will be invited to advance to the CrossFit Games. Emily Bridgers, Anna Tunnicliffe, Cassidy Lance, and Whitney Glen will also move on.

We wish Sam all the luck in the next stage. Pinky up!

 

Logan Gelbrich

@functionalcoach

 

Freerunning Jam Session + Documentary Screening

Our friends Cory DeMeyers and Jesse LaFlair are wrapping up their nationwide Going Off the Edge tour with a bang. This Saturday their team will be hosting a jam session of parkour and freerunning at the one and only, Tempest Freerunning Academy in Los Angeles. The night will be capped off with a screening of ‘From Here to There,’ a documentary at the Ace Hotel chronicling the boys’ escapades through Europe include the Red Bull World Championships.

going ote

This Saturday marks the end of a long journey that took these professional freerunners around the country in a tour bus fit for a band of rockstars. They hosted screenings and jam sessions in towns from Las Vegas to Detroit inspiring young mean and women to move and get out of their comfort zones.

We invite you to join us this Saturday. Tickets can be purchased here!

 

Logan Gelbrich

@functionalcoach

cartoon cleanse

We’re Obsessed with Suffering

When the photo above appeared in the New Yorker, I couldn’t help but think of humanity through the eyes of a coach. Of course, the cartoon is a joke that pokes fun at the rising popularity in cleanses of all kinds. Furthermore, the monetary component to all this is just as much of the punch line as anything.

American’s are lining up in droves to spend hundreds of dollars to consume restrictive, sometimes arbitrary, foods (often in liquid form) as a means to cleanse their bodies. The biggest thought I had after seeing the cartoon, however, had more to do with our obsession with suffering than the cleanse phenomenon.

As a coach, I see men and women that want to be demoralized by workouts. They love the idea of “bootcamps.” The dietary version of this looks like not drinking lemonade for lemonade’s sake, but drinking only lemonade even, dare I say especially, if you hate it. Not only do we want the answer to our problems to be extreme and unenjoyable, we want it to be expensive, too.

After all, essential, basic strategies aren’t effective, right?

 

Logan Gelbrich

@functionalcoach

Jesse La Flair_Cory DeMeyers_Woodward_Skyzone_Original nutritionals_658B4578

See It (in Your Mind) to Believe It

The power of visualization is potentially the most underrated piece of performance training in existence. I’m biased towards it as it helped me tremendously in my collegiate and professional career in baseball, but I think the positive reach of these skills are unanimous. Furthermore, I was fortunate enough to be exposed to a number of resources in sports psychology along the way. I couldn’t un-know what they taught me.

In talking with Karlene Pick M.A., our team mental training consultant at the University of San Diego and current Team ORIGINAL mental training consultant, she shared an impactful example with me. The example was of a scholarly study on the topic of visualization that put three groups of athletes through an experiment.

The first group was tasked with a baseline score in free-throw accuracy and given a controlled practice protocol with no visualization time. The second group was given the same practice time along with some visualization time, as well. The third group was only given visualization time.

The final test had some interesting results. The group that was able to physically and mentally practice out paced the other groups. No shocker there. But, the second highest performing group was the group that was only able to visualize, while the group that was given practice time and no visualization time improved the least of the three groups. Could visualization be more productive than actually practicing the task in question?

Even if you’re new to meditation, breathing exercises, or visualization, if performance is your goal, you may want to put more eggs in this mental skills basket. Do you use visualization to get a competitive edge?

 

Logan Gelbrich

@functionalcoach

[VIDEO] The Going OTE Tour is LIVE!

I had the pleasure of meeting Cory DeMeyers and Jesse LaFlair and was totally captivated by their mission to tour America. They had the goal of screening their recent documentary of their free running exploits in Europe, host a jam session with local parkour athletes, and send their young fans off with a few choice words of wisdom. GoingOTE_Motus_Caveman_Original_Molly Water_MyPakage_GoWorx_TMPST_Rotation_Farang_Woodward_3737

Flash forward to today, these boys are fulfilling every bit of their dream. In fact, the Toronto Star recently captured their stop in the Canada’s most populated city. It’s been our pleasure to support the Going Off the Edge Tour and couldn’t be more excited about with Cory and Jesse have to say.

As a coach, I can’t help but see their expression of movement as the pinnacle of what we do in the gym. Keep up the great work, boys. You’ve got me inspired!

 

Logan Gelbrich

@functionalcoach

 

pinky up pirate

Represent with Clean Athlete Gear

The time has come where you don’t need to scour your local fitness event for the ORIGINAL Nutritionals booth or know the right people to get one of our coveted tee shirts or tank tops. Our online store has been stocked with two different styles to represent the Pinky Up movement.

Remember, the ‘Pinky Up’ concept is an inside joke turned brand motto from a collection of athletes who posted photos taking their daily PERFORMANCE: O3 or FUNCTIONAL: O3 fish oil straight from the bottle with what looked like their pinkies extended. Who needs a spoon when it tastes good, right?

These supplies won’t last long so hurry to checkout with your tee or tank of choice!

 

Logan Gelbrich

@functionalcoach

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A Skinny Guy’s First Strongman Competition

It’s been less than twenty-four hours since I snuck into California’s Strongest Man as a 231 competitor. My only goal was to choose my first sanctioned event, prepare sufficiently, and give myself the best chance possible to win.

I took 11th, one spot behind Alan Thrall, which is a trip considering I’ve followed his work online for quite some time. Every competitor was a class act and a damned good strongman.

I figured I’d share my experiences, while they are fresh in my mind because I think the sport of strongman should (and eventually will see) the growth and participation that it deserves.

Plain and simple, there are far more people with the desire to compete than actually throw their name in the ring.

Full disclosure: I trained specifically for a strongman event for eight months leading to this event. Four of those months, I knew which contest I’d compete in and, for the most part, I knew the exact events involved in the show.

My 11th place finish was a 100% effort. I didn’t get “screwed” or unlucky. I competed out of my mind, PRed on every event, and clawed for 11th out of 27. (This won’t be one of those “I did OK, but…” kind of articles.)

Here’s what getting ready for my first strongman event looked like:

 

BIGGER

This was my first contest and though I’d trained the movements and coached the movements for years proceeding, according to competitive strongman standards I was well under weight and under prepared strength-wise. Plus, it was my first sanctioned event. Over 8 months, I put on six and half pounds to weigh in at a lifetime PR of 226.5lbs on game day.

I had to be bigger to do this. Period.  weigh in

My version of “eating like an asshole” is very different than most average American’s, so take this with a grain of salt. My effort to gain weight was fairly tame. I relied on white rice, tubers, fruit, nut butters, and gallons of raw goat milk to combat some lifelong hard gainer tendencies. It was several months of eating burgers with buns on them and dabbling around pizza and not saying “No” to desert. I couldn’t completely forget my experience with nutrition, no matter how far 231 pounds was away.

Though I could have gained more weight completely falling off the wagon, given a second chance, I wouldn’t do this differently.

 

STRONGER

Of course, everyone needs to be stronger, but I’d argue that I wasn’t even strong enough to play when I got started on this idea to compete. My training shifted away from the GPP work we do at DEUCE Gym. I took very little GPP classes, and I took on a conjugate method-based strength approach. The first 12 weeks of my training came from Kalle Beck, founder of Starting Strongman, which I think was the perfect shift for me to get serious about what I was trying to do. It felt like basic strength work that included assistance work that was essentially body building with a bit of athletic flavor. Here I did my first biceps curls and shoulder raises.

To be honest, I was embarrassed doing this stuff at the gym.

Then, with a great deal of respect for the work of Westside Barbell, I had to find a way to finagle the conjugate method for strongman. Luckily, someone already took this on. ASC Lightweight Pro, Derek Stone, put together the Refuge Method with this in mind. By this point, I was following through for the first time on a plan towards a given date on the calendar, which I hated because I hate programs and I hate calendars, but to ignore the specific information of having a specific contest on a specific date would be foolish.

training logThe Refuge Method basically followed the conjugate method (max effort upper, max effort lower, dynamic effort upper), but substituted the dynamic lower day for a strongman event day. In hindsight, I feel better with a true dynamic effort lower day.

My training took one more shift after spending time with the world’s most accomplished female powerlifter, Laura Phelps Sweatt, and world champion coach, Shane Sweatt. Getting ‘Westside’ from the source put my focus and direction on another level. It was here that I dropped the Refuge Method to commit to Westside.

The creativity in assistance work quadrupled in my mind. I found ways to diversify and get specific with what my assistance work, which looked like and did things like heavy carries and heavy loading for lower assistance work, for example, instead of what I’d call more “typical” powerlifting assistance exercises.

Keep in mind this is my experience.

I had to be stronger. As I’ll explain later, the skill part of what was coming at California’s Strongest Man wasn’t my focus. Many, many prospective strong people can and should check out programs like The Refuge Method to get moving towards the events, but for me every minute spent not getting stronger was a minute wasted. This isn’t true of every athlete, however.

 

GAME DAY PERFORMANCE

Event one was sixty seconds max reps on the axel clean and press (clean once). I pressed the axel nine times (250lbs) and missed two reps. My PR coming in was six, and I wanted seven on game day. As someone with zero experience with team sports, the energy was insane. So, much so that I PR’ed by three reps and my field of vision was like looking through a straw at the judge’s eyes.

Event two was the keg toss and it was the most fun I’ve had competing in fitness. I was the first in the weight class to clear all five kegs. There was zero fatigue here. It was all show. keg toss

The farmer’s carry was miserable. We had a minute to cover two hundred feet (250lbs each hand with a turn), but I overachieved here, too, making it about 190 feet before running out of time. I had one drop before the finish and had some poor time awareness, which put trying to race the clock to get to line as time expired.

The medley was brutal. Fifty feet with a 240lb sandbag and six tire flips (700lbs) was fast and light for me, but the 50’ sled drag to finish was the most terrible feeling I’ve experienced anywhere, ever. At this point, I was first in the event and the first to finish the sled, which gave everyone trouble, including myself, mostly because of traction issues and how the sled stuck on the surface.

sled drag

The last event was a stone series with five stones from ~250lbs to 365lbs, which we all thought leading up to the event the final stone was 330lbs. In preparation, I consulted with incredible SoCal Strongman and strongman coach, Julien Pineau. He helped me more than anyone for this event. I went to his place to play with tacky for the first time and big ass stones for the first time. I loaded his 340 pound stone, which gave me the utmost confidence to finish the series (thinking the last stone was going to be 330). As a tall guy, I hoped to surprise some people here. DSC01780

When they announced the last stone being 365, I just figured it was going to have to be a PR day. And, somewhat to my surprise, it was! Loading that last stone was a thrill I haven’t felt since rounding the bases after putting one out of the yard. Wow! Eight months, condensed into 10 seconds is a rush.

 

 

A LOOK INSIDE THE STRONGMAN COMMUNITY

As an outsider coming in, I don’t think the event organizers knew what to expect from me, which I’d consider an advantage. The event included it’s fair share of playful heckling from the PA. I also benefited from an incredible majority rule-type presence in the crowd. Event organizer, Scott Brengel, was sure to mention that I won ‘Most Loved by the Crowd,’ which doesn’t get you a free steak, by the way.

You’d have to win to earn that prize.

The competitive strongman community is a unique one. Much like jujitsu, CrossFit, powerlifting, and any other specific discipline, there’s camaraderie and passion abound. I do feel like if they knew I competed in the 2011 CrossFit Games, however, I could have been burned at the stake, but that’s neither here nor there.

I had a few tips that the vibe would be pretty pro-strongman, and pretty anti-anything else strength and conditioning related, so I held my cards close. I chose to be the “ex-professional baseball player” then instead. There were probably half a dozen announcements that “you wouldn’t get this strong in a CrossFit gym” over the PA.

Noted.

One key take away was that though this wasn’t strongman at the highest level that, in general, the movement was far from excellent. Trying to communicate this without sounding pompous, I was shocked to receive comments from competitors and event coordinators saying, “you move so well” and “you have amazing technique,” considering this was my first show.

I’d venture to say virtually every 231 was as strong or stronger than me, some just under performed based on what looked like a premium placed on strength and some lack of value placed in the skill element. Before the strongman community reads that like this newbie thinks he has strongman figured out, let me be the first to stop you. That’s not the case. I’m the first to tell you I’m a student of this game. However, if there are more reps to be had with better movement, they should be had. Period.

At the end of the day, many reps were left on the table this weekend for a ton of competitors, including athletes that still out placed me.

Surely, there were some technical studs this weekend in the women’s event, the lightweights, and the heavy weights. I can say fully, however, that this event wasn’t a clinic on movement.

 

THE TAKE AWAY

I would do this 1000 times over. This won’t be my last competition. In addition, I’d encourage anyone who’s had any itch to compete to do it, especially women.

These events need to be inclusive in order to grow. When strongman can be both legit and open to new people, ignorant people, and weak people, the sky is the limit. A show like California’s Strongest Man should be in a place that attracts dozens of vendors, charges admission, and is packed with sponsored athletes. And, I think this is all possible without losing the element of it being “for the love of the game.”

Beyond strongman, the biggest take away here was sticking your neck out there to say you’re going to do something and following through. I learned a great deal along the way that I couldn’t have without the commitment to the plan. I’d venture to say that many folks around me paid attention to and that’s the kind of example we should be to each other, and that has nothing to do with strongman competitions and everything to do with who you are.

I want to thank California’s Strongest Man, Scott Brengal, Casey Garrison, and everyone else that made this show possible. I’ll remember it forever and I’m lucky to have such a well-run, timely show be my first experience in competitive strongman.

The DEUCE gym family showed up big! I loved everything about this event, but the only part that made me nervous was the droves of people that were coming down to watch me. It felt like a birthday party and I’m not big on parties for myself, but you guys all saved my ass. Thank you and I love you all.

L

The last thank you efforts go out to Julien Pineau, who gave his wisdom and time to help me above and beyond. Also, I wouldn’t be in this position without Rob Orlando. He inspired me to get into this. Now, I’m lucky enough to call him a co-worker and friend. Few, if any, have helped put more hands on atlas stones that him and I’ll have you back eight days a week, brother. The biggest thanks for to my beautiful girlfriend, Lindsey, who offered her love and support. As a bonus, I did not say no to her world-class chiropractic care.

 

 

 

Logan Gelbrich

@functionalcoach

burpee

Is Missing the Main Move Missing the Point?

When I think of what goes on in most corporate gyms, all the stereotypical thoughts of guys doing curls in the squat rack and copious amounts of “core” comes to mind. These are, after all, the behaviors that haters of corporate fitness hate, right?

With the growth of CrossFit, also came the growth of hate for accessory work like triceps exercises, the lat pull down, and other corporate gym staples. As the functional fitness industry pendulum swings away from a more staunch constantly varied, high intensity, functional-movements-only mind set to include more tried and true accessory work, I began to wonder:

Did we ever hate the accessory stuff? Or, were we just irked that men and women were throwing out the main move?

After all, when you include a main move, (deadlift, squat, press, clean, snatch, etc) and train like a typical corporate gym rat, isn’t that shockingly close to how a weightlifter or a powerlifter would train?

The reason I bring this up is because the “hater” side of fitness is my least favorite. If you’re going to fly the CrossFit flag, rock on! I’d just hope that we could look at ”globo gym” life as something closer to something we all universally respect than you might first think.

Keep working hard, everyone!

 

Logan Gelbrich

@funcitonalcoach

 

pinky up original nutritionals

A Telling Question

A while back I posed an interesting question on social media to spur some thinking. The question asked:

“Is there a difference between a sedentary life and choosing to train/ eat with intent for a year only to quit to return to a sedentary life?”

I’m less concerned with the “right answer” and more concerned with what kind of thoughts the question would evoke. Numerous men and women chimed in with their respective opinions. Some held a hard line that “something is better than nothing,” while others started to express concern that over the course of an entire lifetime, three hundred and sixty-five days is virtually nothing.

Returning back to the moment, I think most men and women would agree that committing to training hard and eating clean for a full year seems like a hell of a journey. It seems like a journey that is nothing to be scoffed at. Yet, the question I asked earlier seems to disarm this year long “commitment.” In the end, if we can’t get on board to a lifestyle of performance-minded training and nutrition practices, our flash-in-the-pan efforts (bootcamps, diets, juice fasts, short sided training interests, etc) don’t hold any merit.

My call to action here is a mind shift away from the often faulty quest for the perfect training program or the perfect supplement, and get on board with a lifestyle that’s in it for the long haul. If you can’t repeat your daily efforts almost indefinitely, considerable changes aren’t possible anyway.

#PinkyUp

Logan Gelbrich

@functionalcoach