The Janda Sit-up

Behold the "Janda Sit-Up"

You'll be shocked at how difficult this is. The idea is to flex your hamstrings against the pull of the cable, which minimizes the degree which your hip flexors can assist the Sit-Up (vis reciprocal inhibition). The heavier the weight on the cable the harder it is. If you can do 5 sets, increase the weight. This drill is to increase your core strength. Good Luck!

Check out our fitness offerings and classes here.

 

Get the most out of your yoga class

Tips on how to get the most out of your yoga class

Whether you have been to multiple yoga classes or your new to the practice, stepping into a new class can be intimidating. We are striving to feel open, relaxed, energized and connected. We have invested in the class, carved out the time in our busy schedule and arrived on our mat. But what makes one class feel like a path to enlightenment, and another a struggle to get through? Maybe it isn’t so much about the teacher or the studio, but about what we do to get the most out of our yoga class. Here are a few tips that can help you get the most out of your yoga classes.

Leave the baggage and your phone at the door: Give yourself a break from the feeling of always being on-call. Leave your phone behind when you step onto your mat. You might feel a little lighter and more free just by tuning out so you can tune in.

Don’t eat right before yoga: A heavy meal before yoga is discouraged. This might seem like a no brainer, but can be difficult to manage sometimes. Have a light snack 30 min before class to allow time for digestion and avoid the over-full and bloated sensation while on your mat.

Disclose physical limitations and injuries to the teacher: Students can feel shy about disclosing specific issues in front of the whole class. So advocate for yourself and inform the teacher of your limitations or injuries before class begins. We also provide Hands-On Assist chips at Shri which indicate if you’d prefer to have hands on assistance in your postures - that decision can be changed at anytime throughout class.

Arrive free of expectations: What would it be like to just meet yourself as you are the moment your arrive in class? We can accumulate expectations whether it's in our practice, in our relationships or work life. Being truly present will invite this awareness into your practice and then into the rest of your life.

Practice on your own mat ( if possible): We have beautiful, Prana mats at Shri which are always available for you to utilize. There is something to be said for practicing again and again on your own mat. If you are coming to class regularly you may consider making the investment. Objects that we practice on and around accumulate our prana or energy and will help to bring us into our yogic state with more ease.

Set an intention: You have set this time aside in your busy schedule to practice yoga. What is it that brings you back to your practice again and again? If you set an intention for your practice you can deepen your experience of the breath, postures, mindfulness so that it positively affects you and others during your yoga practice and for the rest of your day - and maybe even longer. Let your yoga light shine way beyond the time on your mat!

Come and check out the amazing classes and teachers at Shri Studios in LCC. We offer 16 weekly class plus special events and workshops. Dedicate some time to you this summer with a regular yoga practice.

What to do about your elbows

This Tuesday, June 4th, at 7 PM Dr. Michael Morrison from Red Hammer PT will be coming in for a free talk on the "bows" elbows.  Here's a short yoga tutorial on keeping your elbows safe on the mat.

In a weight bearing position you will want to ensure that your elbows are not locked. Some of us - including me, have some hyperextension in our elbow joints. This allows further than "normal" range of motion in an extended position. This compromises the elbow joint and doesn't encourage the strength and stability that are necessary for more weight bearing positions such as handstand. What's the fix?

  1. Keep your elbow joint soft. Any locking out of the joints can prove to be detrimental over time, but this can be worse if you are putting weight on the joint.
  2. Rotate the center or eyes of your elbows towards one another. This assists in proper alignment of the forearms and shoulders and keeps your "bows" healthy and strong.

Next time you see your elbows pushing out, remember to take care of your joints - keep them slightly relaxed and strengthen around them from that state.

Training is practice. Enjoy the process.

Do as much high quality work as possible, as often as possible, while staying as fresh as possible.” ~ Vladimir Zatsiorsky

Sometimes I’ll flip through the health magazines to “see what’s going on” in the fitness mainstream. Amazing revelations on every page! “This 5-minute Ab Blaster will obliterate your obliques & terrorize your transverse abdominis!” “Do high-intensity interval training on Monday to burn off Sunday Funday!” “This brutal complex will destroy your deltoids, cauterize your quads and blitz your biceps”! I’m only slightly exaggerating. You’re probably familiar with this rhetorical strategy— metaphors of destruction, debt and punishment abound in the glossy world of Popular Fitness. In case it’s not obvious: I’m not a huge fan.

Other than the false promises, my issue with metaphors of this sort is that they erode the underlying goal of all training: improvement! When we talk about training as destruction, training as punishment or training as debt, we tend to forget that our time at the gym is about making ourselves better. It’s about setting goals and working to achieve them. We’re here to build something, not to burn something down. Consider the term “work out.” What are we working out—the demons? It’s exercise, not an exorcism.

I’m guilty here, too. For example, I have a workout called “Death Ladders.” I’ll refer to sessions as “savage” without really thinking about it. And who knows, maybe it doesn’t matter, then again maybe it does. If we start thinking of training as practice, maybe we’ll be more inclined to stop while we’re ahead so we can train again soon, rather than getting so “worked” that we have to take the rest of the week off. If we start thinking of strength as a skill, maybe we can bring mindfulness into the weight room and become much stronger while avoiding the overuse injuries that are far too common in the fitness world.

For clarity on this issue, I really like Vladimir Zatsiorsky’s summation of the core principle of training: “do as much high quality work as possible, as often as possible, while staying as fresh as possible.” Don’t miss that last part: while staying as fresh as possible. That’s the easy part to overlook. The equation that answers Zatsiorsky’s riddle is the holy grail of strength & conditioning, and I won’t claim to have it all figured out, but how about some bullet points to sum things up?

  • Only do perfect reps. Grinding out sloppy reps just to hit an arbitrary number won’t do much for you unless you’re a bodybuilder.
  • Do what you can, and be obsessed with making it look perfect. This applies to lifting weights and climbing rocks (and pretty much everything else).
  • Train frequently. Pick a handful of lifts and practice them often until they improve. Simple.
  • Stay fresh. Take a light day when you need to. Use whatever recovery tools you need to use—foam roller, massage, hot tub, etc. Don’t be afraid to cut a session short if you don’t feel right. Also: remember to warm up!

Give it a shot. Instead of waging war against yourself in the weight room, just show up, punch the clock & get some work done. Pay no mind to the hyperbole of the fitness mainstream. Training is a practice. Strength is a skill. Enjoy the process, because that’s all there is.

Taylor Rimmer
Head Trainer / Membership Director LCC

St. Patrick’s Day Party!

St. Patrick’s Day will be here soon and we are ready to throw down for a block party!  It will start Sunday, March 17th, 11am and Shoes & Brews and Longmont Climbing Collective have created challenges to start your day off right!

We have challenges running at both locations that day! Take part in both and earn free limited edition swag! Take part in both and also earn an entry into our massive raffle giveaways which include Saucony Kinvara shoes, LCC Punch cards, memberships, apparel, beer, and more!

We’ve got the challenges broken down below, but you can also join us at Shoes & Brews to drink two St. Patricks Day Shoes & Brews exclusive beer releases: Irish Red and Green Wheat! We will also have The Flavor Cartel out that day serving up Corn Beef Sandwiches!

Shoes & Brews opens early at 10 am. LCC opens normal hours at 9 am, but all challenges kick off at 11 am!  Here’s what we’ve got going down that day, all the challenges kick off at 11 am!

Shoes & Brews presents – THE 800 M BEER CHALLENGE:
So you’ve heard of their 800 M Road Challenge and you’ve heard of the Beer Mile, we’ve combined the two in a unique way for a shorter faster challenge. You’ll be running two laps of our mapped our course. You start by drinking an 8 oz beer, run a lap, drink a beer, run a lap, drink a beer. Best time for the day wins bragging rights for the next year, as we will ONLY run this challenge once a year!  You can reserve your spot in one of the heats, heats go from 11 am – 1 pm, starting every 15 minutes.  Free to participant. Green beer provided for challenge with valid ID.  Kids 800 challege run at 800 m with water at 11 am heat!  Call or email into [email protected] to reserve a spot! Once they are full we will not run any more!

Longmont Climbing Collective Max Challenge – including pull-ups, grip and pull-ups. A chance to explore all the cool things happening at LCC. Each event can take place at a different spot in LCC.
Challenge your skills and test your strength on each of the challenges.

If you do both challenges, you get special edition swag for the day! You are also entered into the St. Patrick’s Day raffle with prizes like: Saucony Kinvara shoes, apparel, beer, LCC Memberships, punchcards and more!

Kid friendly and dog friendly!  Join in on the fun, or come and watch the challenges with us!

Tell us you’re you’re coming by RSVP’ing on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/events/250248865920400/

Welcome Erin Doyle – LCC’s newest bouldering coach

After moving to Colorado Springs from Northern New Mexico in his early teens, Erin began his life-changing ascent through the adventures of climbing on the famous, albeit somewhat chossy, red sandstone pinnacles in the Garden of the Gods. When climbing gyms were not a thing, Erin found creative ways to climb every day by setting up a less than sophisticated way of top roping the stone chimney of the family house or bolting rocks and poorly molded Bondo “climbing holds” to the side of the tree house. After discovering a primitive climbing gym in The Springs in the early 90’s, and enjoying a short career in the competitive circuit, Erin took part in coaching the youth team, teaching individuals the nuances of vertical movement, as well as some outdoor guiding. When it came time to “get a real job,” Erin started a career as a wildland firefighter in 2002 after being evacuated from the Hayman Fire that devastated Colorado and has been fighting fires around the country ever since. Erin has spent much time on the granite big walls of Yosemite, the overhanging limestone caves of Greece, and everywhere in between. Erin’s passion is watching the flame grow in peoples’ spirits as they begin their journey in climbing and bouldering. His mantra for people just starting out in the sport, as they nurse forearms so fatigued that gripping the steering wheel to drive home becomes potentially problematic, is “Welcome to your new addiction!”

He’s currently teaching the Intro to Bouldering Class.  It starts Monday, March 4th at 6:30 PM and runs on Monday’s for 4 weeks.  You can sign up here – http://bit.ly/2Th7anm-LCC

Training – Progressive Overload

People ask trainers lots of funny questions.

“If you could only do one exercise for the rest of your life, what would it be?”
“Can I build muscle and burn fat at the same time?”
“Will squats hurt my knees?”

As inclined as I am to answer “Turkish Getup,” “No,” and “Not if you do them right,” the answer that you should expect from any competent trainer to any of the above questions is “It depends.”

It depends on your goals, your physical history, mental history, work schedule, play schedule, attitude…I could go on. Figuring all this out is what trainers do—we sort through the details that we gather about you during intake/assessment and design a custom program that addresses the things on which the future of your fitness depends.

But there are some core truths in the world of fitness that don’t depend on anything. There are core concepts that don’t really change, for anyone. As much as I believe that the perfect training plan for any one person is totally unique, let’s zoom out for a moment and look for ideas that don’t “depend.”

PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD

Progressive Overload is the idea that we must consistently find ways to make our training plan “harder” over time, so that the body continues to adapt to the training stress. I’ve spent a lot of time in gyms, and all too often I’ve noticed that person who comes into the weight room and lifts the same weights, for the same sets and reps, week after week. They’re going nowhere. Progressive overload is the difference between “training” and just “working out.”

You might be familiar with the Greek myth of Milo and the calf. Essentially, a guy named Milo starts carrying a young calf around when it is small. As the calf grows larger, Milo continues to carry it around, until one day he is carrying around a full-grown bull. Predictably, Milo gets really strong. This is what progressive overload is all about.

Different fitness qualities respond to progressive overload in different ways. Below is a general outline of how to overload 3 broad fitness qualities: strength, power-endurance and endurance. Of course, there is much more nuance that we can apply to improving different qualities of fitness, but if you observe these principles in your training, you’ll be on the right track.

STRENGTH

The term “strength” refers to the body’s employment of the Phosphagen system to produce energy. The phosphagen system is used for high-intensity efforts that last between about 1-20 seconds. When we talk about strength, we are talking about the ability to exert a maximal force against resistance. Short, difficult boulder problems, hangboarding, and lifting weights for sets of 2-5 are all distinctly in the realm of strength.

Strength responds best to an increase in intensity. In sports science, intensity means increased resistance—heavier weight. Strength is a fairly simple fitness quality to improve. Over time, lift heavier weights than you used to lift. Add weight to yourself via a belt for your pull-ups and your hangboard sets. Switch from regular pushups to one-arm pushups. Simple.

POWER ENDURANCE

“Power Endurance” refers to Glycolysis. The glycolytic pathway revs up around the 20 second mark (right as the phosphagen system runs out of gas) and runs for 2-3 minutes. Power endurance provides us with the ability to perform several repeats of a fairly difficult movement. It is the “feel the burn” fitness quality. Long boulder problems, sport routes, and lifting weights for 8+ reps are all examples of power endurance in action.

Power Endurance responds very well to an increase in density. When you increase the density of a training session, you are doing more work in the same amount of time. There are several ways to go about this, but the simplest is to decrease the rest times between sets. Yes, that means you’ll need to use a timer (if you use the timer on your phone, make sure the phone is in airplane mode—no Instagram during training sessions!) A difference of a few seconds might not seem like much, but it matters. Gradually decrease the rest time between sets while keeping the workload about the same, and your power endurance will improve.

ENDURANCE

After about 3 minutes, energy supply comes mostly from the aerobic system, which is the system that fuels endurance events. Endurance is the ability to do sub-maximal activity for a long time—think big-wall climbing, triathlons and soccer. It is often difficult for athletes in training to go easy enough to keep themselves in the aerobic pathway. Nose breathing is an old-school way to make sure that your endurance training stays aerobic. If you can’t breathe through your nose while you’re doing it, then you run the risk of slipping into the glycolytic pathway and completely missing the mark.
Improving endurance is straightforward, and boring. Endurance responds best to increased duration. So yes, just do the same exercise at the same intensity, but do it longer than you did last time.

THE BOTTOM LINE

The above is a very crude outline of the body’s energy systems and how to improve them. The main theme here is that you’ve got to continue to find ways to best your previous performance.  In order to improve upon past sessions, you’re going to have to start writing down what you do when you’re at the gym. A training log is the only way to hold yourself accountable for continuous improvement. Next time you’re at LCC, take note of what the strongest people are doing during their rest periods. Most of them are writing in notebooks.  Of course, you can’t always beat your last training session. If that was possible, I’d have hit a 1,000 pound deadlift a long time ago. Be prepared to take 2 steps forward, 1 step back, and repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And remember…

He not busy being born is busy dying.
–Bob Dylan

Expanding our Yoga and Fitness Classes

Shauna and Taylor have been busy expanding the Yoga and Training programs for you!
We are now offering 6 Training classes per week such as the Quick Fix, Core & Mobility plus Strength and Conditioning. And, we have doubled our yoga classes, to give you more of what you are asking for. We have more Restorative classes, morning and afternoon classes as well.

Climbing Smarter = Climbing Harder

Reverse flag, gaston, arête—oh my! If you’ve visited the Longmont Climbing Collective, you’ve surely heard this technobabble flung around a time or two. As with any sport, having a strong understanding of and being able to correctly utilize a plethora of techniques is a game-changer. Let’s discuss why technique skill-building is the #1 way to improve climbing performance for beginning to intermediate level climbers.

How many times have we all been told that climbers have to possess great upper-body strength in order to be successful? To be clear, getting stronger through systematic strength training is a great idea and is a crucial component for advancing through grades, so be sure to check out Taylor’s training classes. But strength isn’t everything. The idea that climbing is only for the super strong has led to many being too fearful to even give the sport a try, and it’s time this adage be debunked. I can truly say that the climbers I have enjoyed working with the most are the ones who threw this silly idea into the dust bin and tried it all the same. My greatest joy comes from their beaming smiles and lightbulb moments when they overcome struggles to find success.

So, how did these climbers without bulky upper-body muscles manage to not only have fun, but also be successful? They learned to utilize proper climbing technique. If you get the chance, watch multiple climbers navigate the same route. Some will seem to pull hard and power through the moves, while others will look as if they’re gracefully floating up the wall with minimal effort. Also take note of the “veteran” climbers. They know that muscle is harder to maintain with age and those powerful moves don’t jive so well with aging joints, so they must compensate with technique in order to maintain their skill level. Also consider slab routes with tiny or sloping holds, where the only option is using technique.

We’ve all been told at one point in our lives to take the path of least resistance. In climbing, this means utilizing a wide variety of techniques in order to use the minimum amount of muscle, energy and power to reach the top. Think about it—muscle is heavy and weighs us down. In a sport where we are literally fighting gravity, being lighter is highly beneficial, which is why almost all professional climbers are very lean and have exquisite technique. Using more energy and power than is necessary is simply inefficient. The next time you’re climbing, pay attention to your hand tension. Are you using the minimum amount of gripping force in order to not slip off the hold? I can assure you that using more than the minimum is directly related to fear, lack of confidence, or shoddy technique.

Now let me address my fellow ladies. Please, let’s collectively decide to stop allowing each other to use “I’m too short” or “I’m too weak” as excuses. These, and many other so-called challenges can be overcome or lessened by climbing with proper technique. In fact, technique can transform these challenges into advantages. Case in point- try sticking someone over six feet tall in a compact sequence of moves that can’t be skipped. Being tall can certainly turn one into a pretzel in this scenario! Small climbers and those with pinpoint technique accuracy can also expertly navigate seemingly too-small holds and keep their feet from popping off of dime-sized edges and slabby pancake nubs.

Hopefully by now you’re thoroughly convinced of why it is imperative to master that technobabble and start climbing more efficiently. So now the question remains, how do you learn this mythical unicorn technique? You could watch skilled climbers float up the wall and puzzlingly attempt to parse out what exactly they did. Or, you could fast-track the process by attending a class at the Longmont Climbing Collective! We offer a co-ed Bouldering Level I class on Mondays designed to teach you the essentials of climbing as well as a place for women of all levels to support each other’s learning through the Lady Crushers class on Tuesdays. Visit us online or speak with a staff member at the front desk for more information and to sign up.

Are you ready to transform how you approach climbing? I thought so! Register Today for Bouldering Level I or Lady Crushers to learn how to climb smarter so you can climb harder.

Rebecca Allison, AMGA Certified Climbing Wall Instructor & Lady Crushers Coach

Adult Bouldering League Launch

The Longmont Climbing Collective’s Adult Bouldering League is a social league focused on building camaraderie and having fun. Climbers of all skill levels are encouraged to participate.

The league will meet on Wednesdays at 6pm from November 7 to December 12.  Teams of 2-6 are ideal and climbers must be 18 or older.  Fees are $29 per climber.

Scoring will be based on your V-MAX when the season starts. This is the highest grade that you’ve been able to regularly climb at LCC recently.  The point value of a boulder problem that you climb is based on your V-MAX, so climbers of all abilities can compete against each other on a level playing field. (See table below)

Your team score will be the average of the top 5 climbs completed by each member of the team.
1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes will be awarded at the end of the 6-week season, based on highest total points per team.