Monday, September 15, 2014

What is Friday Night SWOD?!

After becoming certified Underground Strength Coaches, Travis and I both found a new respect for the gym. It actually COULD be fun. No, I do not find doing hundreds of pull-ups and lightweight thrusters "fun", its just not my personnel preference. I knew I couldn't be the only one....right?? 

I DO find heavy deadlifts, squats, body weight moves, chains, tires, stones, logs, and kegs fun. I like seeing what I can pull around a building, or pick up under a yoke, and also adding some body weight moves with it. Mixing it up. Gymnastics, strength and conditioning, and strongman are our foundations.

The Friday Night SWOD came out of an attempt to put our Strictly Strength and LIFT athletes to the test. We wanted to pack some athletes in the gym, blare the music, and see who could life the heavy shit the fastest. Short, heavy, awkward, and intense. Just like in regular class. 

On October 3rd we are having our next SWOD. There will be three workouts in 2.5 hours. This is a community event, we want you to come and watch even if you are not participating. It's $25 to compete and the winner takes home a portion of everyone's sign up fee. The SWOD is what our programs are based on. Short fast workouts, that are FUN.

Friday, September 12, 2014

To run faster, GET STRONGER!

I've heard you attract what and who you are. So, I attract distance runners who need a change. Here came Jennifer Calland. I have been coaching her for around four years now and have seen drastic changes not only in her body but her overall athletic ability. Her self awareness, esteem and overall confidence has improved as well. She pushes other chicks and is a pleasure to have in and out of class. 

She has improved her running by NOT running. WEIRD?!?! She started lifting and making her joints and muscles STRONGER. Going out and pounding the pavement for hours four times a week will do nothing for your strength. Jennifer has learned this and is now a great example of someone who is faster because they are stronger. 

"On the left is when I was running/biking 4x a week, sometimes more. Weekends were often 3 hours or more of training just to get in long miles. I was injured a lot. On the right is running 1x a week (with some short sprints with the dog) and lifting...lots of squats, deadlifts and cleans. 
I am not injured, I am faster, I have more time and I am just happier!!"

Would you like to run half marathons without joint pain? SQUAT. DEADLIFT. PRESS. SPRINT

Monday, August 11, 2014

Congrats Taylor!

Over the weekend one of my LIFT girls, Taylor, competed in a Houston Crossfit competition to represent TCS and LIFT. This was her first ever RX competition as an individual. I was pleased to see that the competition had workouts that utilized heavy sleds and stones. The stone weight for the RX women was 115lbs, scaled was 95. This was the first I have heard of any Crossfit box using this heavy of a stone weight. 

Taylor fought and worked her way up to take second place! So proud and happy for this girl! 

I watched every second of this years Crossfit games. It was awesome to see so many strength/strongman movements utilized to find the fittest male and female on earth, including the teams. I hope this pushes other boxes as this one in Houston to include more strongman moves. They are fun, entertaining, and take pure grit to get through. I love watching and seeing people fight to the finish with every muscle they have. 


All TCS athletes work with sleds, stones, tires, farmers bars, yokes, trap bars, barbells, rings, and dumbbells. We are confident that our athletes will be comfortable with any movement competition can throw at them. Strongman and underground strength moves/equipment are not the most technical ones. It takes 5-8 minutes to walk someone through these moves and let them go. They are fun, easy to learn, and very rewarding.

If you are missing strength and odd objets in your routine or training program, contact us and drop in to try it!

So proud of you Taylor! Can't wait for the next one. 

#FridayNightSWOD coming soon!

Friday, August 8, 2014

What is strength?

How much do you snatch?  Does it really matter? Is that really going to help you get away from an intruder? Pull a loved one out of a fire? Carry someone a far distance in an emergency situation? Yeah, I does help. However not all problems you are faced with come in tight pretty little packages with time to set up and get chalk, as Trav says. When shit hits the fan, you do as your adrenaline says and fucking move. You might think that is over the top..but I assure you it is not. 

Working out and being strong will allow you to be that person that can help save your family, be the reliable force that others know will be able to get you out of whatever shit hole you have put yourself in. Working with odd objects will allow you to do these things. Now let me be clear, in order to work with odd objects you have to press, deadlift, and squat. Otherwise you have a back that is as strong as cotton candy. And ain't nobody got time for that!

Logs, stones, kegs, yoke, sleds. They are difficult, odd, hard. Oh is anything that is worth it. Learning to use this equipment will make you the strongest version of yourself, and make the barbell seem easy! 

On the 24th Nick Mounce will be heading up a class focusing on some of these objects. If you think I am just full of it, come on and sign up. Prove me wrong. Better bring your strong back though.


Thursday, August 7, 2014


Babies on Babies!  The last six months the LIFT program has birthed Madeline, Ruben, Iona, Dillon, and soon to be on the way another little one from Sheila. Is there something in the water at TCS? Who knows, but its so great to see these ladies working through pregnancies in the healthiest way possible. 

These ladies didn't miss class and were always happy to be able to workout. Modifying movements came along as soon as they were needed. Every woman is different, some could do pull ups and some couldn't do any "pulls" as soon as they found out they were pregnant. As long as there was no discomfort the workouts went on. Biggest modifications for all of them was no going upside down. Instead I had them do strict barbell or dumbbell presses and push presses. Still keeping that upper body strength without inverting them. Other than that we just tried things out, if it didn't work...we didn't do it. It was simple and easy to give these ladies the workouts they needed to keep up their strength to get ready for the biggest workout of their life!

If you are reading this and are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, keep working out! I am no expert on having babies, but I do know women who are. Birthfit is by far the best resource out there for women who lift weights, crossfit, or do any sort of workout. On the site there are videos, questions answered, and contact information if you want to talk to someone about your own situation. Every birth is different, just be smart and listen to your body. 

These are some of my fav pictures of the all the babies!


A new Coach!

Starting this month Nyki Helmcamp came on to LIFT to help me coach and build the program. She brings with her years of fitness experience, knowledge, and an amazing personality. I am over the moon about having her at TCS! Not only is she a bad ass coach with tons more patience that I have, she's a great friend. 

Look for her on Tuesdays and Thursdays coaching the 530, 630, and 9am classes. Lots more to come from her this Fall!

Nyki on IG: _NYKINYK
Facebook: Nyki Helmcamp

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

New Class

Starting today at Travis County Strength I will be holding a power hour class at 6pm. This class is dedicated to working on the middle of the lifts. The front squat for the clean, core stabilization for the back squat and deadlift, mobility, and all the power/slow lifts. I have been wanting to do this for a long time, can't wait to get it started! 

This class is capped at only 5 ladies, so get in! 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Athlete Profile: Vicki Buch

Vicki. She has been with me since almost the beginning of Lean Lifting. I think she has missed class....maybe three times without letting me know. She is always busting her ass to improve. I am pretty sure she enjoys the pain because after something just awful and grueling she asks, "what's next?" and then when I tell her class is over...her response is "ok thank god." 

When we made the big move and opened TCS she didn't bat an eye, just came right over and never missed a beat. The newer ladies look to her for direction and a good laugh. 

Vicki comes into class ready to go and always loves a burner at the end. She knows her max lifts, she logs her workouts, she food logs. Basically a bad ass client to have in your gym. I am lucky to have her, and when I see her name on the attendance roster I am happy and look forward to coaching her. 

Vicki's Lifts:
Deadlift          =     185
Back Squat     =     130
Press              =       65
Clean             =       90
Clean & Jerk  =       85

Vicki was pretty excited for GET RIPPED to start, here are her results:

Total inches lost = 6.7

"The holidays seemed extra tough this year in terms of being surrounded by temptations I couldn't always resist.  When 'Get Ripped' started in January I was so ready and actually looking forward to being accountable for my food choices.   I stopped all sugar and got rid of the dairy that was creeping back into my diet, as well as removing nuts and nut butter.  I think increasing my water intake to 100 oz. a day made a huge difference in my ability to fight off the sugar cravings since I never felt hungry.

Over the course of 4 weeks I lost a total of 6.7 inches!  Best of all I really felt SO MUCH better in terms of energy and motivation and just overall well-being.   I'm still a 'work in progress' so my
awesome food log partner, Jennifer c., and I are continuing to log and be vigilant about eating good food and getting enough water.  

LIFT has been such a positive force in my life - I may not be able to lift the heaviest weights (yet!) or
run the fastest or jump the highest, but each week I feel good that I'm showing up and getting stronger and working hard.  Jen has been a great combination of encouragement and tough love ("put that weight back and get a heavier one!") and the women in class are awesome/bad-ass/strong AND inspiring... it doesn't get better than that!"

Monday, February 24, 2014

Athlete Profile: Mari Barreda

Mari racing a car

Mari Barreda is a 48 year old bad ass. She's a CPA, a wife, has two boys and a boy scout leader. If I knew where she got all of her energy I would bottle it, sell it, and make millions. Mari has been a huge supporter for me in my personal and professional life. She is one of those women who has unwavering honesty and unbelievable knowledge. Mari brightens the mood in every class she is in, the 9am would not be the same without her!  

Mari and Pedro let me come to their 12 year anniversary dinner.

Mari's Lifts

deadlift - 215
back squat - 185
press - 100
clean - 125
clean and jerk - 125
During get ripped, what could I say? Mari does not need to loose weight, or really body fat. That does not mean that a month of eating clean and changing some habits won't help her along. Not everyone needs to show huge weight loss numbers or inches to have looked "successful". Changing daily habits and feeling better inside is a huge accomplishment...just because you cannot see everything in a picture or on a scale does not mean you have not accomplished anything. Mari really did! Her goals were to tighten up and not be so dependent on bacon to live. Results= 2 inches lost, and a new outlook on breakfast.
Total inches lost=2
"My big change that I have KEPT, is I cut out bacon from my daily egg and veggie scramble. I use about a tsp of coconut oil instead. I'm amazed that I could do this and that I have continued the tradition, and don't miss bacon that much. Not that I don't grab a piece or two when I make it for the kids, but it's not the daily part of my life that it was. Also, I'm trying to keep up the increased water intake. Great challenge, thanks to Jen, Taylor and my awesome partners Leslie, Lisa and Dani!"

Sunday, February 16, 2014

LIFT Athlete Profile: Meghan McCracken

What can I say about this woman??? A lot. She walks in excited to work, pushes other girls in class, and takes every workout seriously. She is not bullshitting around- she's there to work and see progress, like its her job to leave herself on the black mats completely obliterated by the workout. She knows its not the actual workout that makes you tired, its the energy and the work you put into it. Having her in class pushes all the other girls, and makes it more fun!
Meghan listens to her body better than any other client I have. When it's time to take a day off, she does. When it's time to switch things up with her nutrition, she does because she recognizes changes in herself and the way her body operates. I love when she is in class, and quite often miss her when she isn't. Meghan is a pleasure to coach and watching her the last couple years has been amazing.

Side note: she also picked Darwin up from the airport and let him spend the night. That's more than a client, what a friend! 

Deadlift: 250
Press: 90
Back squat: 175
Clean: 160
Power clean: 155
Snatch: 110
Jerk:  140

The following is, in her words, her thoughts after the past couple of years of Crossfit, LIFT, and GET RIPPED.

Left - Before pic, Get Ripped 2013

Right - After pic, Get Ripped 2014

"Not everyone has a lightning-bolt sudden change, and month-to-month pics may be discouraging, but slow steady progress over a year really shows. In both of these pics, I'm the exact same scale weight - 155lb. In the first pic I was eating 1200-1500 calories per day, crossfitting 5x/wk and eating around 75g carbs per day. The second pic is after a year of eating 2300 calories per day, with 200g carbs on training days, and switching training to more LIFT and barbell, almost no Crossfit. I'm not saying Crossfit is bad, just that it took me a year of doing it to realize that it's not what my body likes best."