Put on the shoes!

Some days it’s hard getting motivated to run in Texas.  Man, it’s hot.  So when I find myself considering a nap at Barton Springs instead, I just put on my shoes.  Put them on, tie the laces, don’t think about what comes next, just wear your shoes.   Walking out the door is then easier, almost automatic.  And the nap at the springs afterwards is even better….



Getting fit and staying fit requires effort, commitment, and very little equipment.  The natural environment provides much opportunity in the way of speed, slope, and resistance.

This workout:

  • Overhead lunge with med ball 20 yards
  • Side lunge w/med ball 20 yards
  • Squat jumps w/ med ball (10)
  • Seated overhead press w/med ball (15)
  • 10 rounds for time

Team Wallball Challenge

Free to be? Austin, Texas

The Austin Parks & Recreation department would like feedback on the use of park land for commercial services.  Should personal trainers, dog trainers, yoga instructors, etc… be permitted to instruct on park land?  If so, should they pay a fee?  Should only certain parks be utilized?  They are seeking approval of “activity spaces” with certain organizations assigned to each one.  If you are not assigned, you may not use ANY park space in Austin.  Only designated “activity spaces” may be used and only the organization assigned to that space may use it.

I think the parks & rec. dept might want to survey how Austin-ites feel about their public liberties being taken away.  Pretty sure that less regulation (not more) is the spirit of this town.  Is something dangerous going on?  Are people getting hurt?  If not, why bust the bubble of a fit city?  I thought we were proud of the fact that people are out and about all over town, utilizing public parks and getting fit.  Why would we inhibit that?

Here’s the link.  Be careful with your responses.  It is poorly written and biased in such a way to yield a favorable result for them.

Dynamic Stretching

Gone are the days when we stretch before warming up.  We now know better.  Muscles that are warm are more pliable and more receptive to stretching.  Current research also questions whether or not stretching reduces injury.  What we know for sure, is that stretching improves flexibility – and this is important.  It can also relieve soreness – at least temporarily.  But there’s no evidence to show that it prevents soreness or affects lactic acid accumulation.  We stretch because it feels good, it makes us more flexible, and for some it also provides a psychological benefit prior to competition (perhaps because it is a practice we grew up with and have a hard time leaving behind).  If you’re one of these people that enjoys stretching before your workout, make sure you warm-up at low intensity first.  Then, rather than performing static stretches (think toe touches), do some dynamic stretching instead.  Dynamic stretches require movement during the stretch which helps deliver blood to the muscle thereby helping to warm the muscle for greater pliability.  Save the static stretching for after your workout.  This is the best time to stretch as your body is sufficiently warm for all types of stretching.  The pre-workout stretching session should be consider optional and should only include the dynamic variety. The picture above is our “elbow to instep” stretch which is a walking forward lunge with a stretch to the instep.  This is a full body stretch that focuses on core muscles, shoulders, quads, hamstrings, and hip flexors. Here is an article from the New York Times that debunks what we thought we knew about stretching.


This workout was named after boot camper Holly.  All out effort all the time & doesn’t mind dirt, sweat, and tears. The real deal here.

20 dumbbell swings at bottom of hill
Sprint to top of hill
Down rocky hill to court
20 dips
20 med ball cleans
60 russian twists
20 wall balls

3 rounds for time

Ring dope

I have a pair of rings suspended from the rafters on the back deck.  They are a constant reminder that there is no excuse. The transtheoretical model (TTM) or “stages of change” theory would refer to my rings as stimulus control.  By putting the rings out in plain sight – rather than in a closet or shed – I am more likely to use them.  The idea is that the rings provide a visual cue that stimulates action or behavioral change.  It works with all sorts of stuff.  My banjo leaning against the wall gets picked up far more than when stored in the case.  If getting the ball rolling or the feet moving is a challenge on some days, try adding a visual cue.  Place your running shoes by the door with socks, visor, and mp3 player and see what happens.

Garage Gym Throw-Down

Brandon and his wife Mel participated in Crossfit Central’s Garage Gym throw-down… and were AWESOME… coming in under 30 minutes after hauling sandbags, tire burpees, kettlebell swings, wall ball throws… Nice Job y’all!

Stacy Park Boot Campers compete in 10K obstacle race

It all started with breakfast burritos and coffee early one recent Saturday morning at the home of yours truly. Fully fueled, we got out the map, grabbed our passports and headed north to the fine town of Round Rock for the annual 10K Plus race. Suited up in teams of two, Huntley, Kennon, Lara, and Holly each ran a 5K with many obstacles thrown in for good measure. Crawling through tires, leaping over military hurdles, walking across balance beams, and climbing 6 to 8 foot walls challenged the fortitude of these mighty athletes.

Speedy, agile, and coordinated — they all had awesome performances.

Until next year….

Strength & Conditioning clinic at UT for Women

Coming up this Saturday, April 17, 2010 is Coach Jeff “Maddog” Madden’s
3rd Annual University of Texas Women’s Strength & Conditioning Clinic.
This clinic provides a great opportunity for networking with individuals
from a magnitude of different professions. It is also an extremely
fun-filled event with women ranging from ages 18-80! Come join Coach
Madden and his Strength and Conditioning Staff as they teach you how to
train properly like a University of Texas athlete. All fitness levels
are encouraged to join and participants will be grouped according to
skill level. We want you to leave our clinic with a better understanding
of how to use training to build healthier bodies. We will be giving away
prizes as well as giving each participant a “goodie” bag and a T-Shirt.
Clinic spots are filling up very fast so please contact Lauren Holt at
Lauren.Holt@athletics.utexas.edu if you have any questions and to
reserve your spot.

New best friend

Coaching in the early morning cold has taken a beating on my hands.  I came across this intensive skin repair creme that is made in Wimberley, Tx.  Check it out.  You’ll like it.


Stacy Park Boot Camp

Where’s Holly?

The Stacy Park Boot Camp recently gathered around our park mascot (burpee the turtle) for a group photo.

There are 8 athletes in the photo.  Can you find them all?

Mike Burgener’s Olympic Lifting Certification

I had a great weekend in San Antonio improving my ability to coach the olympic lifts.

Speed in the middle or piddle in the middle?  Which are you?

Check out Coach B’s talk on weightlessness of the barbell.


I’m considering it no coincidence – in fact it was more like karma – that I put on my New England Track & Field Championship t-shirt from 1985 on this morning before heading to Jessica’s 6:15am Crossfit workout at Runtex.  The benchmark workout for the day was “Helen”.  400m – 21 KB swings – 12 pull-ups.  I checked my split as I was coming in from my first 400m: 1:52.  Almost a full minute slower than in 1985.  Granted, I was doing 3 rounds and in 1985 I ran around the track once and then lay on the ground in lactic acid hell for many minutes thereafter… but that provided little solace for me this morning as I recalled a typical workout back then to be 4 x 400 @ 65-70 seconds with one minute rest between each interval.  As painful as it was in those days, I loved the longest sprint.  It was pure and raw.  One lap around the track with the goal of leaving nothing in the tank.  On the basketball court, my efforts were part of a bigger collective that could be masked in the shadows of my teammates.  They could make up for my errors or hide my faults… if I was tired after a full-court press I could be lazy on offense for a few seconds to recover.  On the track, there’s no where to hide.  I want to get back there.  I realize that 24 years later my ability to run a sub-60 400m may be questionable but what am I capable of doing?  More importantly, do I have the guts to find out?  Anybody up for a track workout once a week?  Get in touch.

Small group and 1-on-1 Personal Training spots available

I am currently accepting small group (2-4) and 1-on-1 personal training clients.  Session locations can vary based on the workout planned for the day and are always challenging, unique, and fun.   For those needing a more structured location, various parks, indoor gyms, or your home are all possibilities.   If not now, when?


cf joe&nat on wall crop

Nature Fit

kayak blog

I awoke with the sunrise a few mornings ago.  It was my last day of vacation in Vermont and I was eager to soak it up.  My paddle dipped into the calm waters of Lake Champlain well before the alarm would sound later in my empty room.  The air was brisk at 62 degrees so I gently slipped into my kayak hoping to stay dry and warm.  I could feel the muscles in my shoulders and back awaken with every stroke as the mindfulness of my morning greeted the perfect day.  I paddled in silence along the cliffs looking for signs of animal life.  Unexpectedly and without warning – a flock of Canada Geese took flight from the water.  I heard the flutter kick spray of their splash before sighting the birds with the black heads, distinctive white chinstrap, and graceful wing power.   I sat in stillness observing the beauty of that moment from take-off to v-formation until their pack was out of sight.  And there it was: beauty, movement, teamwork, and nature.

Wilderness is therapy.  The word wilderness is derived from the word wild-ness. Or, that which cannot be controlled by humans.  It is fascinating to consider the notion that what soothes us is something beyond our control.  What is it about nature that is so healing and why don’t more people take advantage of it?  Researchers have acquired ample evidence on the restorative benefits of nature.  Nature restores us by alleviating stress through the replenishment of our mental abilities.  Mental fatigue results from social interactions, school, work, and other daily stressors.  A flock of Canada Geese taking flight over the glassy morning water does not require our steadfast attention but distracts us with simple fascination.  Such wonder invigorates us.

So, what happens when you add intensity and variety to my placid morning on the lake?  An exercise prescription that renews the mind, spirit, and body.   Envision this:  your workout begins with a short and easy trail run through the woods.  You see a switchback in the distance that will continue you on the trail but beside you is a tower of secure boulders that provides a more adventurous route to the same path above.  You take the shortcut; scramble up the boulders and continue your run, picking up the pace to attack the short hill before you.  The trail narrows to singletrack before winding down to a river.  You notice a doe and her fawn drinking water out of the river downstream.  The choice before you is to continue on the trail or swim 100 yards across the river to new territory.  You choose the swim.  You exit the water refreshed and resume your run only to discover a 10 lb medicine ball at the foot of a cliff.  Your task is to get the ball up onto the landing above.   You can carry it to the top by running it the long way around or test your strength and ability to throw the ball up the cliff wall….time is ticking….what do you choose?

What you have achieved is a workout that improves cardio endurance, increases strength, power, and agility in an adventurous fashion that is challenging, spirit renewing, and fun.

kayak cliff

The Space Between

“I have noticed that in our culture, transition is looked upon as ‘no-thing’, or a ‘no-place’ between places. The old trapeze bar was real, and the new one coming towards me is also real, but what about the place in between?  Is this place, as in my experience, our culture promotes, just a scary, confusing, disorienting “nowhere” place that I must go through as fast and as unconsciously as possible?  What if the trapeze bar was not real? My hunch is that this transition zone is the only real place, and the bars are illusions to avoid the void where real change and growth occurs.   Whether or not my hunch is true, the transition zones in my life are incredibly rich places that I honor and even savor. My imagination of fear and of being out of-control may accompany transition, but they are still the most alive, growth-filled, passionate, and expansive moments in my life.”  — Author Unknown

tattoo black profile

OUTSIDE the Box – New class begins July 27, 2009

CrossFit Central Outside the Box is a 6 week action packed program of trail running, mountain biking, swimming, and bouldering (sometimes all in the same workout!) with Crossfit-style training mixed in to create an adventuresome fitness experience! This program will meet 3x a week at various locations around Austin such as the Greenbelt, Mt Bonnell, Walnut Creek, the Veloway, Barton Springs, and more – True to Crossfit form, every workout will be different, challenging, and fun!

This program is scaled to all levels of fitness – All abilities will be accommodated!                                                        Beginner & Advanced Mountain Bikers welcome.

Schedule & Sign Up

Monday & Wednesday 6:30-8:00pm (traveling locations)

Thurs 6:30-7:30pm (Little Stacy Park – 1 mile south of the river off So. Congress)

July 27th – Sept 4th

cf sarah full body climb

To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.

“Most people run a race to see who is fastest.  I run a race to see who has the most guts.”  –Steve Prefontaine

pre at the finish line