If you follow the Punk Rope Instagram feed (and if you don’t we invite you to do so) you might have thought we won our 6th consecutive City Challenge 5K obstacle race on Saturday in Jersey City, NJ. Well that’s actually a bit of an exaggeration although not quite fake news. We did win…in a sense.
With an average age approaching 50, Shana, Lyana, Heather, and I each attempted to conquer 23 “obstacles” ranging from turning heavy jump ropes to scaling inverted barricades to shimmying up climbing ropes to swinging kettlebells to monkeying around the monkey bars to lugging sand bags and cinder blocks to hurdling police cars to carrying a stranger piggyback.
Did we really have the fastest time? No. Do we care? Hardly. Our goal was simply to give the race our all and do our best AS A TEAM. Collectively we tried to solve each challenge that the race organizers tossed our way. Sometimes we were triumphant, sometimes we stumbled, but we never backed down.
I find that obstacle races are a great metaphor for life. You never know what’s going to be thrown at you. Sometimes you’ll get knocked down. But the bigger question is: will you get back up again? So the next time you think about signing up for a traditional 5K or 10K, consider doing an obstacle race with a team instead. It will test your fitness; it will test your mental toughness; it will test your ability to play nicely with others. And it will be a helluva good time.
Squat – raise 1 arm (75 sec)
Prone Hip Extension (75 sec)
Reverse Lunge (wt optional) (75 sec)
Single Leg Stretch (75 sec)
6 sets @ 24 sec + 16 sec recovery
1. Triangle Jump
2. Crab Walk
3. Lateral Bounds
4. Staggered Hands Push-up
5. Squat Jump – Dorothy
6. Plank Jacks
Resisted Hip Flexion (60 sec)
Squat – Frog (60 sec)
Bird Dog (60 sec)
Lunge – raise both arms (60 sec)
Plank – lift arm (60 sec)
6 sets @ 24 sec + 16 sec recovery
1. Sagittal Jacks
2. Bear Crawl in a Circle
3. Scissors Jump
4. Push-up Jacks
5. Squat Jump – Frog
6. Plank Slalom
Beastanetics is a high intensity, interval-training program that improves stamina, strength, speed, agility, and power, and burns mega fat and calories.
McCarren Park artificial turf field
Bordered by Driggs, Lorimer, Union, Bayard.
Meet by the goal closest to Bayard
Tues, Oct 10 through Tues, November 21
Tu/Th: 6:45am-7:45am & 8am-9am
7-week session/13 classes: $143
drop-in class: $15 (space permitting)
FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE TO SHARE
While we’re the first to point out that caloric expenditure is only a small part of the story when it comes to fitness and exercise, we’re also not naive. The first question most people ask when contemplating a new activity is: “how many calories will I burn?” And for good reason. In our time-crunched culture folks want to be as efficient as possible.
Now, thanks to a new report by the Mayo Clinic fueled by research by the National Institutes of Health, we have a reasonably good answer to that question, at least when it comes to 36 popular activities ranging from bowling to ballroom dancing to baseball.
At the top of the list in terms of calories burned per hour is rope jumping in a dead heat with running fast (8 mph). Both clock in at an estimated 1,074 calories burned in an hour for a 200-pound person. Of course exact figures will vary across body types, gender, age, and other factors.
Our hope is that this report will finally inspire more folks to try rope jumping as not only is it a great calorie burner, but it also leads to a wide range of fitness benefits including improved cardio, agility, coordination, strength, balance, rhythm, and timing. And to top it off jump ropes are inexpensive and portable.
On Saturday, Joyce Snyder, age 71, participated in a Beastanetics workout on the beach in Asbury Park, NJ, making her the oldest person to date to complete a Beastanetics class. Previously, Joyce had been doing yoga and taking long walks around her local reservoir, but high intensity interval training was completely new to her. She said liked the movements and especially the fact that it wasn’t boring. “Before I could get bored, the movement changed and that kept my interest.” Before the class started I stressed to Joyce that she should go at her own pace and stop if she felt she needed to. I also told her I could provide her with alternatives if any of the movements caused pain or too much discomfort. But Joyce didn’t need any alternatives. She did extremely well with the squats, lunges, and planks that preceded the high intensity portion of the workout and also did great with the really tough stuff which included shuffles, backpedaling, mountain climbers, sprints, high knees (in the water!), a lateral crab walk, and a water skiier squat jump (Joyce opted not to jump). Truth be told, Joyce’s daughter is Heather Wagner, who at 47, is one of the fittest and toughest Beasts around, so maybe Joyce’s performance should have come as no surprise. But still, it’s very rare to see somebody in their 60s let alone 70s take part in a bona fide high intensity interval class. Looks like Beastanetics might have a whole new audience waiting in the wings.
Squatting is one of the most basic of human movements. We squat to sit down, field a ground ball, and use the toilet. In Beastanetics, each class includes 60 seconds of squatting. Click here for an instructional video showing our 16 favorite squats.
To learn to squat properly we like to first bring our elbows to the inside of our knees to add stability. Follow these cues when you’re just getting started:
1) Begin in a standing position with feet wider than hips.
2) Descend into a squat by flexing your ankles, knees, and hips.
3) Depth will be determined partially by flexibility and partially by strength.
4) Keep your knees aligned with your toes. Don’t allow them to cave in.
5) Keep your heels flat on the ground.
6) It’s okay to turn your feet out slightly.
7) Purse your lips and exhale powerfully as you squat down.
8) Place your elbows inside your knees and push out.
9) Ascend to standing and inhale while swinging your arms back.
10) Keep your head up.
11) Do not round your back.
12) Try to establish a consistent rhythm.
13) Relax your jaw and your face. Try to smile.
Once you’ve mastered the bodyweight squat, you can begin to experiment with adding resistance in the form of a barbell, kettlebell, dumbbell, or human or animal companion.
Our guest author is Bronson Dant, the owner of CrossFit PCR in Ellicott City, Maryland. Shana and I will be leading a double unders seminar at Bronson’s box on July 17. As an aside, I’ve now visited more than 75 CrossFit gyms around the country and have had a great experience 95% of the time. Okay, here’s Bronson now…
Everyone loves lists. We see a million posts on social media day in and day out. “Top 10 reasons to grow a beard!”, or “Top 12 reasons beards suck!”
This is not one of those articles. This article is about you.
If you are reading this, chances are you have heard of and/or thought about trying CrossFit. If you haven’t, then you just got real lucky, because now you have, and your life will be better for it.
CrossFit training is defined as constantly varied, functional movements performed at a high intensity.
There’s a lot of buzz about CrossFit. Much of it is positive as in “it’s an awesome workout” and “the community is amazing” and “it works.” Some of the buzz is intimidating as in “it’s crazy hard,” and some of it is frightening as in “CrossFit is dangerous.”
But, you’re not sure. You see a photo of an elite CrossFitter doing handstand push-ups and you think to yourself: “what the hell is that? It looks really hard and clearly can only be done by somebody in amazing shape.”
But the truth is the vast majority of rave reviews about CrossFit are not coming from elite athletes, but rather from the average person—the student, the mother, the grandfather, and the high school chess club president. These are typical Janes and Joes who want to be fitter, feel better, and look better.
The reason CrossFit is growing and the reason it has become a world changing fitness program is because it works for regular people. Each person has a goal that they are trying to achieve. CrossFit has enabled thousands upon thousands of people to reach their goals.
You have a goal you want to accomplish. You are looking into options to find a way to get to where you want to be. So here is…
The number 1 reason to try CrossFit: it works.
Plan and simple.
But wait, there’s more!!!
It works, for people just like you and here are some reasons why:
– 1 hour a day 3-4 days a week
– Never get bored with your workouts
– Let someone else put your workouts together
– Build strength
– Lose fat
– Play harder and longer
– Feel younger
– Workout with friends
– Start where you are, then grow. There is zero expectation other than what you can do today.
– Do the work, get the results
As I was lying in down in my physical therapist’s office due to yet another sports injury, I was reminded of how important it is to strengthen the glutes and hamstrings and also how simple it is to do with no equipment. Just bridge! Lie on your back. Bend your knees enough so that you can keep your feet flat on the floor. Your low back should be in neutral, neither arched nor rounded. Lift your hips up, but don’t hyperextend. There should be a straight line from your shoulders to your heels. Squeeze your butt at the top of the movement. Do a set of 10 with your feet parallel, another set of 10 with toes pointed out, and a final set of 10 with toes pointed in. And if you’re feeling super strong try a set of 10 with your left ankle crossed over your right thigh and then a set of 10 with your right ankle crossed over your left thigh. If you’re unsure as to whether your glutes are working properly just put a hand on one of your butt cheeks at the top of the movement. You should be able to easily tell if the muscle is contracting. You might get a few funny looks at the gym, but you’ll have the last laugh when your glutes are rock solid.