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I Screenshot 20+ CrossFit Games Athletes InstaGram Accounts – Not Surprised!

Over the past 2 weekends, I have been watching the CrossFit Regionals to see who will punch their tickets to Carson, California, and compete in the CrossFit Games. While watching the Regionals online, I have also been checking out the Instagram accounts of these top athletes and their excitement leading up to the competition. 

The most common topic amongst all these great athletes is – RECOVERY. 

I have written and posted (Instagram = draustincohen) about this in so many past posts, as well as discussing my favorite foods and lotions for recovery. If you missed any of those, then in the “Search Box” type in “recovery” to see past posts. 

There are 6 CrossFit athletes I treat, and each of them takes their recovery just as seriously as their training. The protocols each day are recover, train, recover, train, etc. 

While at the Atlantic Regionals, many people stopped and asked me what I think it takes to get to the next level in your athletic performance, and my answer was: “Individualized programming as well as a recovery team.” 

A RECOVERY TEAM means a group of people you see to take care of your body not only when you’re hurt but also to prevent injury.  Whether it’s chiropractors, PTs, or massage therapists, having an all-star team is crucial to being the best of the best. This also includes having a system of soaking in Epsom baths, taking magnesium supplements, eating tons of BCAAs post-workout, and the list goes on of what you need to do to recover. Whether you do CrossFit or not, the people who tend to be the healthiest are the people who utilize massive amounts of recovery. 

There is so much in the realm of recovery and so much to write about, which will all be in my book Eliteness coming out in 2016. The top things that I think are most important are: 

* Healthcare Team – Chiropractor, PT, acupuncturist, and massage therapist

* Homecare Recovery – Epsom salt baths and taking the right supplements

* Specific Mobility – Psoas, TFL, hamstrings, and rectus femoris muscles

* Strengthening – Rhomboids and SHOULDERS (before kipping)

* Nutrition – Knowing when to eat certain foods and what to eat post-workout 

I have a big speaking tour beginning June 6th, so if your gym or facility is interested in “3 Strategies to Becoming Elite,” then e-mail DrAustinCohen@gmail.com

Instead of writing more on this topic, I decided to show you over 20 Instagram accounts of some of the fittest people on the planet and what they use.

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SquatMaf

Resiliency – A Life Lesson From the CrossFit Atlantic Regionals

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the 2015 CrossFit Atlantic Regionals in Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Center.

It was the first time CrossFit has combined two regions (Mid-Atlantic and Southeast) together and the first time it was in Atlanta. The crowd was ignited; the arena was jam-packed, and the atmosphere was dynamite.

One of my main reasons for attending was because my athletes, Emily Bridgers and Team Terminus, were competing, and I wanted to support them. They have been extremely motivating the past year and have worked very hard to get to the point they have achieved.

The weekend consisted of 7 workouts in total, and the top scorer would get 100 points, going down by 5 each rank. The people who ranked in the top 5 by the end of the weekend would punch their ticket for an opportunity to compete in Carson, California, at the CrossFit Games.

By the end of Day 1, Emily was sitting in 6th place, below what many spectators expected and not eligible for a spot at the CrossFit Games. Many people probably expected a similar performance on Days 2 and 3 because of the fierce competition and because they don’t know her personally. I, however, knew that wasn’t an option.Em1st

If there is one thing I know about her and what makes her elite, it is her resiliency, embodied in her motto of #allsmiles and her attitude of never giving up.

She took this energy and was placed 2nd by the end of Day 2, and by the final day, she ended up finishing in 1st place.

As I watched the entire weekend, what I noticed was how many people and teams that fell outside the top 10 gave lackluster performances throughout the weekend. It looked as if many of them saw their place and gave up, not wanting to earn that top spot.

Yes, some athletes may have been fatigued, but how was it that Ben Smith at the end of workout 3 went super fast on the box jump overs to beat Noah Ohlsen? He did that because that is what winners do and that is what elite people do.

Emily was down by 2 minutes on workout 3 getting off the treadmill and ended up beating all guys and the rest of girls in that workout. Why? Because winners never give up. They always give it their max and are committed to winning.

This principle applies to so many facets of our life, whether it’s business, family, finances, or health. How often do you give up, and how often do you dig deep and think, “What can I do to be better?”

Elite athletes and most successful people always ask why and how and find ways to dig deep into their reserves to reach as much of their potential as possible.

On Friday night, when I went to adjust Emily after Day 1, she asked me, “What could I have done or how could I have performed to be better than the rest of the girls today?”

She asked this because that is what elite people do. They want to know how and what they could do to be the best.

If your business is slow and not working, do you keep doing the same thing though it’s not giving you the desired results, or do you strategize with elite mentors to think differently?

If your relationship is failing, do you give up on it and not try to have conversations or dates to keep it growing?

If your finances get low, do you give up on earning more money or do you ask, “What could I do to make more money and grow my bank account?”Terminus

If you’ve been the same mediocre athlete for so many years or look the same with no weight loss or muscle gain despite working out for so many years, do you ask what could I do to improve and reach my optimal results?

Resiliency is a key element that winners have to make their life work for them and not let life happen to them.

What could you do, and who could you be to be better than you were yesterday?

What are you doing to beat the competition, not only in the gym but also outside the gym in your daily life?

A major congratulations to Emily Bridgers on her stellar performance this weekend, and another recognition to Team Terminus. Team Terminus was extremely consistent with their performances, never letting ego get in the way of the end result.

It has been an honor being your chiropractor and health coach, and I am looking forward to being with all of you in Carson, California, at the CrossFit Games.

SquatMaf

Beer Gut

Why I NEVER drink after even 1 workout

As far as creating workout gains is concerned, there is one rule I always abide by, that is to NEVER DRINK ALCOHOL AFTER A WORKOUT.

Working out and staying healthy is my greatest passion. I will do anything I can do to grow in the gym. I know the same is true for many of you, which is why this little step can be a great value for you in the future.

One of the biggest mistakes I see from some people and amongst friends, who have goals to become elite athletes, is their habit of drinking alcohol after a workout. Having one beverage can make a difference to those who want to be average in the gym, and to those who are eager to get elite.

Drinking alcohol is a huge deterrent for those looking to grow muscle mass, enhanced performance, and to those who desire to become overall better athletes.Beer Gut

When you workout and perform moves such as squats, cleans, snatch, shoulder presses, and other weightlifting moves, you produce growth hormone (HGH) and testosterone. HGH and testosterone are vital for increasing muscle mass, losing fat, and many other factors to being healthy.

If you workout in the morning and want to get the best gains from the gym, then ideally you would be eating tons of healthy nutrients throughout the day and keeping your body active, so you can help your body recover 100%. If you workout in the afternoon, then having a solid dinner full of nutrients will be important as well getting a good nights rest.

There are different issues why it is a problem to drink alcohol after a workout; one most important factor is the blocking and lowering of testosterone levels. If you drink a few beers after a hard workout, you just wasted your body’s ability to produce testosterone and grow from the gym. Aside from the muscle gains, increasing testosterone levels from working out is beneficial in other areas such as a youthful glow in appearance, and increases energy.

For those who are highly intoxicated, study shows that testosterone levels drop to an average of 25% lower than normal. Basically, every alcoholic beverage you take after workout decreases your production of HGH and testosterone, which is what you need to help you build muscle mass and become stronger.

I am not saying that you stop drinking, but for those who are looking to get the greatest gains in the gym, you must stop alcohol intake on the day you workout. Drinking a glass of wine on an off day is going to be much different than drinking a glass of wine on a day of working out.

Another negative factor is the empty calories you get from alcohol, which slows down the production of fat loss and muscle gain.

When you drink alcohol you slow down your metabolism. Once this occurs, fats cannot be broken down. Your body is trying too hard to digest and metabolize the alcohol; the fat burning and muscle gain process stops.

I have seen this in many triathletes who think that just because they workout so much, they can drink as much beer as they want. When we all go out after a long ride or run, I see them devour the bar. If you look at their body type, they are higher than normal body-fat percentages.

Bottom line is that if you are not seeing the gains you want or have hit a plateau then look into your alcohol intake, the day you head to the gym. This simple strategy can be a game changer for those looking to grow to new levels in their health and fitness.

 

 

 

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15.4 Crossfit Open Strategies and Tips

This morning I went to Crossfit Terminus to take care of Squat Mafia and Team Terminus, who is currently ranked top 3 in the World.

I had the opportunity to watch them do 15.4 and got to share some strategies with them while also learning of strategies and tips to implement. This Crossfit Open workout is going to be tricky as those who already have HSPU’s will need to alter their technique a bit to meet the new standard.

Mobility

1) Roll out the upper thoracic spine.

2) Shoulders should be mobile with both internal and external rotation. Wrap the band on the pull-up and put the arm through rotating the arm from the shoulder joint. Check your mobility before you start loosening up your shoulders then recheck to make sure they move even more post warm-up. 

3) Stretch out the calf muscles! You will want these loosened up during HSPU as you will want great ankle flexion to lift those heels above the line.

4) Roll the bottom of your foot on a lacrosse ball.

Little Extras to Win

1) Nutrition

Be extremely hydrated going into this workout as you will not have time to stop and sip your water or fuel. This is a workout where I will drink a sports drink or coconut water roughly 15 minutes beforehand to get my electrolytes moving and balanced. 

KEY – Definitely have a protein shake post-workout and make sure to load up on protein following. 

2) HSPU

1) The rules are different with the HSPU, so be sure to have your judge call out the rep once it is complete. This way you do not waste your shoulders on a  no-rep. 

2) Do not hit failure on the HSPU. Once you feel you are roughly 80% to failure, drop and reset. 

3) Your neck is your lifeline so PLEASE do not crush it on the mat every rep and either use a cushion or be gentle. The last thing you want to do is overload the discs and spine for future problems because you wanted 1 or 2 more reps. 

4) Keep your arms closer and not too wide. The wider you go with your hands the harder it will be to throw your legs up and reach the point where your heels need to go over. This video below demonstrates how 1 athlete setup too wide then readjusted her hands even wider, and got no repped because she lost distance by widening her arms. 

3) CLEANS

1) If you can touch and go..then you are awesome! For most of us, breaking this up in short sets will be important especially so we do not compromise form. 

2) Warmup with a decent weight to get the nervous system loaded up and primed. Do not go cold into this workout so when you lift 185 it feels heavy. 

3) Find weight that bounce less! Don’t put on the bumper plates that bounce away from you when you drop each time but place the ones that stop once they hit the ground. 

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15.3 Crossfit Open Strategies and Tips

This morning (3/13/2015) I did 15.3 so I could get an idea for certain tips and strategies you can implement into the third Open workout.

Castro threw a curveball putting muscle ups first, which I would love to hear your opinion in the comments, good or bad business decision?

Mobility

1) SMASH YOUR FOREARMS.

2) Shoulders should be mobile with both internal and external rotation. Wrap the band on the pull-up and put the arm through rotating the arm from the shoulder joint. Check your mobility before you start loosening up your shoulders then recheck to make sure they move even more post warm-up. 

3) Stretch out the calf muscles! You will want these loosened up during double unders and wall balls especially for the quantity of reps you will be performing. 

4) Roll the bottom of your foot on a lacrosse ball. 

Little Extras to Win

1) Break up the muscle ups from the beginning. If Lauren Brooks broke them up in the 1st round, then none of you should go unbroken. I did 2 – 2 – 2- 1 then I did singles on the next 2 rounds. 

2) Break up the wallballs. I did 25 – 25 then 15 – 15 – 10 – 10 – 10. The last thing you want is to go hard during these then lose your breath and have to perform 100 double unders. 

3) Break up the double unders. If you feel your forearms or shoulders burning then that is your clue to stop and take a 5 second. Remember, this is a 14-minute workout so there is plenty of time.

4) Do this next to someone better than you so it pushes you to get more reps. 

5) Have a cup of water next to you to get a swig after each round.

6) Remember  to not lose your breath as this is a longer workout.

7) The money is in the double unders so if you have 30 seconds left and only 5 wallballs to go then bust your ass to finish those wallballs and get on the double unders. Also, every rep on the muscle ups will be a difference maker and can move you up hundreds on the leaderboard.

15.2

15.2 Crossfit Open Strategies and Tips

Hope everyone is excited about 15.2 and I have some strategies that can be very beneficial.

For those that watched Emily and Michele go head to head they utilized a lot of these tips.

Also, if you haven’t watched my webinar with Emily Bridgers then you should watch this first before reading ahead.

Link to Webinar – http://draustincohen.com/3-strategies-to-dominate-open/

NUTRITION PRE/DURING/POST

For 15.2, I ate a medium size meal with good carbs (quinoa) and chicken around 6:00 PM the night before. The morning of I ate a banana or some sugar fruit around 7:00 AM and this will be my final meal. My goal is to not feel heavy during this workout and be as light as I can for the amount of C2B pull-ups that will be happening.

* During the workout our body will be burning sugar off so it will be good to have some sugary drink after each round on your rests. My plan is Amy and Brian’s Coconut Water unless I find a good sports drink not loaded with artificial crap. You could see Emily drink some of her drink between rounds to replenish her body with sugar.

* After the workout I will load up with protein such as a grass-fed double patty. Do not think because you’re finished with 15.2 you can go get pizza or some other toxic dish as this will completely ruin the workout and not give your body proper nutrients to recover? Nope! There 3 more weeks left of the Open so make sure you are keeping your body in its A game.

WARM-UP

* When I warmed up I focused a lot on hamstrings, shoulders, and did mostly static stretching. I also utilized  dynamic warm-up and get my blood flowing.

* Start with 5 minute run.

* Jump rope for 3 – 5 minutes

* Leg up against wall stretching hamstring – Push leg into wall for 3 seconds and relax. Repeat 7 times

* Overhead squat (45 x 5, 75 x 5, 95 x 3, 115 x 2) – I will do this to get the nervous system ready for the loading. This is the same concept as warming up precisely for any workout as you never want to shock the nervous system with high loading.

*  Use band to stretch ankle

* PVC to stretch shoulders as well as band.

WORKOUT STRATEGIES

 Use Oly shoes for support and to keep your balance. As you saw last night, Emily and Michele kept the OHS unbroken for the most part and broke up the C2B.

* Find your pace!!! Last night Emily and Michele broke up their pull-ups from the beginning. Determine your pace and stick to the plan. Ex: Round 1 – 5 5, Round 2 – 4 4 4 Round 3 – 5 5 4, etc

* During workout I had a pull-up bar that was 6 inches over me, which meant I had to jump an extra 6 inches to start my C2B. ROOKIE MOVE!! Whether you need  box or weights to elevate you, definitely don’t exert any more energy than you need to by jumping for the pull-ups. Once I hit the 3rd round of 14 it became tiresome jumping while I was doing sets of 3.

* There is no extra credit for getting your belly button the the bar. The movement is chest to bar so be sure to not over pull in the beginning when you are relaxed.

If you have any other recommendations or comments please post below.

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15.1 Crossfit Open Strategies and Tips

This morning (2/27/2015) I did 15.1 so I could get an idea for certain tips and strategies you can implement into the first Open workout. If you watched last night, then you saw the beautiful pacing Froning and Frasier did which is the whole design for the 1st part of this workout.

Setup

1) Bar and rig should be close to each other so you can avoid too much walking. My bar faced the rig as seen to the right and I made sure to use the pull-up bar that was roughly 6’1. I am 5’11 so the jump was very small instead of using the pull-up bar that was 6’4. The goal is to conserve as much energy as possible. FullSizeRender

2) Keep the 35 lb plates on the end and load up from there. Most likely you will get 3 attempts so go ahead and figure those out ahead of time. Determine the goal weight, then go 50-60% on 1st attempt, 70-80% on 2nd attempt, then hit the goal weight on the 3rd attempt. 

3) Every pound matters! Whatever you set up with always put a 1 lb plate on the end of each. This gives you a small edge from those people who don’t have 1 lb weights or don’t even think about this strategy. For instance, if I was going to 185 by having 2 35 lb plates on each side, then I should add a 1 lb plate to the ends making the weight 187.

Nutrition

1) I made sure to eat a banana beforehand and get some light nutrition in my body. The weights are extremely light and that is exactly how I want to feel during the workout. 

2) In between part 1 and part 2, be sure to get a swig of some sports drink to get this electrolytes back in balance and give you that extra boost. Personally, I am a big fan of coconut water and mixing with a protein powder from SFH. 

Mobility

1) SMASH YOUR FOREARMS. The one thing I did not do but wish I did was roll a lacrosse ball over my forearms as seen in the picture. I would have done this for 30-60 seconds on each side to get the blood flow moving through the soft tissue. 

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2) Shoulders and lower back should ready to go and warmed up. Take that PVC pipe and use it to open up those shoulders and practice those movements. 

Little Extras to Win

1) I would 100% see your chiropractor within a few hours of this WOD. Get your biomechanics in line, increase nerve flow, and decrease the negative loading on joints for increased performance. 

2) This comes down to pacing. Determine ahead of time a goal pace and try to stick to it. This is only a 9 minute workout so a 1:30 pace will get you 6 rounds on the dot.

3) Visualization will be important. For those who watched my webinar with Emily Bridgers or downloaded the workbook, visualizing was one of our key strategies to dominating the 2015 Crossfit Open. On the clean and jerk, be sure to see yourself getting the lift right before you pick up the bar.

4) Wear light shoes. With the toes to bar you will not want to add any extra weight. 

5) Break up the toes to bar. First round fo 10 + 5 and either keep that or break it down to 5 – 5 – 5.

6) When transitioning from deadlift to snatch KEEP your hand on the bar. 

7) DO NOT REDO this more than once! This workout needs good recovery so be sure on the 2nd attempt you go all out because fatigue can set in especially with the L spine.

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My cheap and easy recovery bath for my muscles

I have been getting a lot of questions about the recovery baths I regularly take. I take my recovery very seriously as part of my training, and the baths are one of my favorite secrets. 

With Ironman training, the number of hours and miles I put on my body has become astronomical, and the physical stress keeps building. I can IMG_4146definitely feel the physical tension and do not know how I would be able to keep going without these “recovery baths.”

When I was doing crossfit and we had heavy-lifting days, this would be my day to take the bath and get some recovery. This strategy is very easy to do and one that can make a major impact on your long-term health and performance. 

My goal is to take at least 2–3 baths each week, and I soak for a minimum of 20 minutes, completely submerging my legs and lower back. 

Here are the 4 main ingredients: 

Epsom salt (CVS/Rite-aid/etc.) – The compound that makes up this salt is magnesium sulfate. Magnesium sulfate is easily absorbed through the skin, which is why soaking in it for a minimum of roughly 12 minutes can exponentially help with recovery. 

Magnesium salt flakes (Ancient Minerals) – I like these flakes because they have slightly different trace minerals, helping with recovery. 

Stress & Tension Relief (Village Naturals) – The ingredients in this mix include different essential oils, as well as menthol, which makes your body feel amazing afterwards. 

Arnica Oil (Kneipp) – Arnica is a plant that provides a lot of anti-inflammatory properties and is easily accessible in oil form. I dab a few drops of this into my recovery bath, as it has a high concentration, so you do not need to put a lot in at once. 

Once you get out of the bath, your whole body should feel very good, and it is best to go to bed and relax so the properties of all the ingredients can keep the recovery process happening. 

This is just one of the steps I use to recover. Stay tuned for more secrets by joining our e-mail list at: http://draustincohen.com/free-daily-survival-guide/.

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4 Recovery Methods Done by Crossfit Games Champ Rich Froning (and, boy, are they special)

A lesson I feel very fortunate to have learned almost 10 years ago was that “success leaves clues.” Instead of trying to recreate the wheel and fail miserably, I should just follow the clues that successful people have left. This way, instead of moving slowly and experiencing the failures that they had, I could move right along, bypassing many of those mistakes they made and moving closer to success.

I use this in my personal life with the relationship with my wife, as I seek to be mentored by and study other couples who have healthy relationships. I use this in my financial life, as I study wealthy people and follow many of their steps to creating long-term wealth. I use this in my professional life, as I study many successful businessmen and women and get consulted by people who are living the professional dream I hope to achieve. froning

So, instead of being close-minded to the steps that they have taken to achieve success, I always consider that maybe there is a reason they are achieving this level of success. Commonly, it is easy to follow the status quo and not have to think outside the box, but the most elite are the ones who define the box. 

One of those leaders in fitness is Rich Froning who has won the Crossfit Games for four years in a row (‘11, ‘12, ‘13, ‘14). Froning has a specific recovery protocol that he says is “not special,”but what he is doing is much more than most athletes. To him, it is not special because these are steps that have become a lifestyle for him, but what he does not know is that MOST people are not utilizing these 4 steps or even 3 of the 4 steps. 

Many people I meet at Crossfit gyms are working 8–12 hour days and the only recovery they have is the 10-minute mobility work before the WOD. This is ludicrous if you expect to improve and become one of the best. And I don’t mean the best at the gym; I mean the best YOU. 

Some people will read the 4 steps Froning does and make excuses such as: 1) Froning has more time, or 2) Froning has more money. These are the 2 most common that I hear, but the difference between people like Froning and other people is he sees value in these protocols so he spends his money there. People think I spend a lot on healthcare because I see a chiropractor, massage therapist, and acupuncturist regularly. The difference is I VALUE those tools much more than going out to a bar and spending that money on drinks or going to a fancy restaurant and spending it on food. People can find the resources for what they want, but it’s a matter of placing it as a VALUE. 

When asked on this video below for Project Mayhem about Froning’s recovery, these were the 4 keys he utilizes in order:

1) Chiropractic AT LEAST once a week

Any form of lifting utilizing heavy weights and performing gymnastic movements is stressful on the body, period! This is not a question but a fact, and by not removing misalignments in the spine, it will wear and tear faster and create more nerve pressure. The spine is designed to act as a shock absorber, but if the spinal column is out of whack, then it cannot properly absorb the loading. I care for over 75 cross fitters in Atlanta, and I have seen the ones who are proactive versus the ones that are reactive. The reactive cross fitters almost always have more damage. 

2) Regular Massage Therapy 

Froning did not say how often he utilizes massage therapy, but he indicated that it is part of his recovery. Massage is effective for releasing the soft tissue to flush the lymphatic system and increase circulation throughout the muscles. Also, working out on tense muscles is just plain stupid, so either foam roll/lacrosse ball or get a massage every once in a while. 

3) Marc Pro

The Marc Pro is a unit that stimulates the muscles for increased muscle performance. The Marc Pro can be found at MarcPro.com

4) Ice Bath

Froning admits to taking an ice bath every once in a while when his body is beat up and in rough shape.