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Michael Elliott, CrossFit L1 Coach/Personal Trainer

My passion is helping people reach their fitness goals. Learn more about how I can help you change your life for the better!

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Friday, March 27, 2015

CrossFit Open Workout 15.5 - Initial Thoughts and Tips

27-21-15-9 reps for time of:
Row (calories)
Men use 95 lb. 
Women use 65 lb.

Initial Thoughts:  Our dreams have come true; NO BURPEES!!!  We may be happy that there are no burpees, but what CrossFit HQ gave us is much worse!  This workout is going to HURT!  It is going to be a lung burner.  I am not looking forward to this one!

Tips: These tips are not intended for Games or Regional level athletes. These tips are for the average CrossFit athlete; the person who is using the Open to test and challenge themselves. I am writing these tips very soon after I learn what the workout is. My strategy opinion may change as the weekend progresses.

The Row:  Pace this early.  We all know how we feel after getting off the rower right after a sprint.  We can't stand up and usually fall to the floor in exhaustion.  The rounds of 27 and 21 should be done at 90% effort.  Once you are in the round of 15 it's time to survive.  Just keep pulling.  You will want to stop and take a breath.  Don't do it!  Just keep getting that next pull.

Thrusters:  How you attack these reps depends on how this weight feels for you.  If it's heavy, break the sets up early.  If it's light, get big sets with a steady rhythm.  Keep breathing and keep moving.  It sounds like a dumb piece of advice, but keep breathing when doing your thrusters.  Many people hold their breath for the majority of a thruster.  Find a breathing rhythm that works for you so you're not seeing stars every time you drop the bar.

This one is going to hurt.  You will not feel good after this workout.  You will wonder why the hell you are doing this to yourself.  Accept these truths beforehand, work hard, and be proud of what you have accomplished.  The majority of people in this world don't have what it takes to put themselves through a workout like this.  You do have what it takes.  Be proud of that.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Grilled Sockeye Salmon

Warm weather is right around the corner.  Really, I swear it is!  Pretty soon we will be cooking our dinners on the grill.  Here is a great salmon recipe to try this spring.

Salmon Nutrition Facts: 3.5 oz Alaskan Sockeye Salmon

Calories: 220
Fat: 11g
Saturated: 2g
Omega 3:  1200mg! (Omega 3's help fight heart disease!)
Carbohydrates: 0g
Protein: 27g
Cholesterol: 85mg
Vitamin D: 1000IU  (That's a lot!)
Vitamin B12:  144%  (essential for brain function!)

Here's how to make a delicious Salmon Steak on the grill.

What you'll need:

Salmon, Cedar Plank, Marinade, Grill

How to Prepare:

Soak cedar plank in water for around 15-20 minutes.

Prepare marinade:  Olive Oil, Lemon, Garlic, and Parsley.  This is a very simple and delicious marinade.  You can use any spices and herbs you want but give this one a try, I think you'll like it.

Put salmon on cedar board then top salmon with marinade.  I have also soaked the fish in the marinade over night but have found the lemon flavor isn't as strong.  I prefer topping the fish right before I cook it.

Place salmon on grill.  I have a 4 burner grill, so I turn off the middle two burners and leave the outer burners on high.  Close the lid and let cook for 20-30 minutes.  Cooking times will vary depending on size of salmon and heat of grill.


25min.  Ready to eat!

The cedar plank gives the fish a slight "smokey" flavor and keeps the salmon very moist.  Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

TUESDAY'S TIP OF THE WEEK: Simple Tips To Help Your Strength Development - By Pat Commeret

Some tips to keep in mind when your looking to gain strength.

Get used to being a little uncomfortable when training. Whether this means trying a new movement for the first time and it feels very challenging, or you have a new percentage to hit with your back squat.  Be mentally ready to be a little uncomfortable.

Learn about yourself. Know what you might be good at, and also know what you might be lacking. Make clear goals over the months to balance movements or weights that could be blocking you from achieving that first CrossFit Open Rx movement.

Last tip is to understand how to "ride the wave".  Sometimes I like to mention in classes to "take small victories". Your going to have ups and downs.  Sometimes bigger ups and downs than you expect. Nevertheless, give yourself credit when you achieve lifts or goals that might be just shy of your maxes or what you looked to achieve that day.

Always keep a steady state of mind and Train Hard!

Monday, March 23, 2015

MOTIVIATION MONDAY: Prevention of Disease

"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease." 
- Thomas Alva Edison

Thomas Edison had an idealistic view of our present.  It's too bad our society went the opposite direction.  Too often I see people turn to medicine to "fix" their problems.  High blood pressure?  People pop a pill.  High cholesterol?  People pop a pill.  Need to lose weight?  People pop a pill.

I am very fortunate to work in an environment at CrossFit Syracuse where the majority of people I interact with on a daily basis do not share this attitude.  The people in our community strive to prevent disease by living a healthy, active lifestyle.

If you are a person who relies on medication, please look into alternative methods.  I am not saying we can cure all ills with diet and exercise.  Sometimes medication is a necessity.  There are many circumstances where you can get rid of the pills by changing your lifestyle.  As a society, we need to stop trying to cure disease.  We need to take Thomas Edison's words to heart.  We need to prevent disease.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Open Workout 15.4 - Initial Thoughts and Tips

Complete as many reps as possible in 8 minutes of:
3 handstand push-ups
3 cleans
6 handstand push-ups
3 cleans
9 handstand push-ups
3 cleans
12 handstand push-ups
6 cleans
15 handstand push-ups
6 cleans
18 handstand push-ups
6 cleans
21 handstand push-ups
9 cleans

Etc., adding 3 reps to the handstand push-up each round, and 3 reps to the clean every 3 rounds.

Men clean 185 lb. Women clean 125 lb.

Initial Thoughts:
First time seeing Handstand Pushups in the Open.  It was just a matter of time.  This is also the first time we see a relatively heavy load for many repetitions in this year's Open.  I honestly thought there would be many more repetitions for the heavy lift.  This workout seems to be all about the Handstand Pushups.  Kind of makes me think the last Open workout will have a heavy barbell in it.

Whoever came up with this Handstand Pushup standard is a genius!  Every CrossFit competition I have seen has had athletes getting away with questionable Handstand Pushup repetitions.  This standard makes judging fool proof.  Watch the head, watch the heals.  That's all a judge has to do.  This ensures all athletes are held to the exact same standards.

Tips:  These tips are not intended for Games or Regional level athletes. These tips are for the average CrossFit athlete; the person who is using the Open to test and challenge themselves. I am writing these tips very soon after I learn what the workout is. My strategy opinion may change as the weekend progresses.

Handstand Pushups:  Hey Josh Bridges, maybe after your 10th no-rep you should bring your hands closer together so your heals will get above the tape!  Don't make the same mistake Bridges made.  With this Handstand Pushup standard you won't get away with placing your hands wide and having a very short range of motion.  Think of these repetitions as an upside down Push-Press.  Finish the movement with your elbows locked, head through your arms, and legs extended.  Safety is also key for this movement.  DO NOT SLAM YOUR SKULL AGAINST THE FLOOR!  If you are shooting for the top score in the world, go ahead and bounce your skull off the ground.  If not, don't bruise your noggin.

Cleans:  Drop every repetition.  We've done a lot of cleans this past year.  If you've been coming to CrossFit Syracuse you should be very comfortable with this movement.

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