Training Layout Dec 19-25

I cannot believe it’ll be Christmas in 1 weeks time! Insane how time flies. We’ve made it through that cold snap, now it’s time for some snow and slightly warmer weather! 


Some huge Milestones this past week at the gym. Lula got her first Muscle Up! And Austin hit one his many goals of cleaning over 300lbs, which in our world is a 137.5kg. Both remarkable achievements, both put a huge smile on my face. But really there’s only 2 words that come to mind. Hard work. In both cases these are things that don’t happen by accident. So many little things that were done right along the way to even have these things come to fruition. Congratulations you guys, well deserved. There’s a lot I can say about this, but there’s one thing worth noting. Lula hurt her hand pretty badly this spring. So much so that wasn’t allowed to use it. Wasn’t allowed to Mountain Bike. And if you know Lula, you know that mountain biking is her thing. She was racing world cup downhill the year before, it wasn’t just a hobby. So, as you do when there’s an injury, you stop coming to the gym, and wait for everything to work perfectly before training again. NO!!!! You work with what you’ve got. Lula avoiding many things, and for quite some time. Still not out of the woods yet, and might still be looking at surgery, she was able to achieve a Muscle UP. 2 actually. All while working around an injury. So, if you are reading this and hurt something on the mountain, or any where. There’s still so much that can be done in the gym. If you don’t think you’ll be better off for it, let this story change your mind.


For the week ahead, it’s a special one. We are hitting our 12 days of Xmas WOD on Wednesday. And our feats of Strength Saturday. If you’ve never done either, they are polar opposites. 12 days is a long WOD. Feats of strength of bunch of fitness tests. Both are meant to be fun. 


As for the holiday schedule. The only change out of the ordinary is on Monday the 26th we’ll be closed for Boxing Day. 


Enjoy the week! 

Training Layout Oct 3-9

Welcome to October! September is a fun month, as those that were away for the summer tend to make their way back. And…. it’s always fun to catch up! So, if you were waiting for summer to end to make your way back…… it’s time to get in here! 


We officially have 1 more week before we do our 3rd annual half marathon row on the Thanksgiving Monday. I’ve seen a few names up on the board. Big thumbs up! Please note, it’s expected that you do some rowing homework before next monday. As much as you are more than fit enough to row that distance. You should get your butt ready, get your mind ready, and…. have some goals to work towards. As nothing will sink your spirits more than sitting on the machine for 90+ minutes with no purpose to serve! I have last years times posted on instagram and Facebook. It can give you some guidance.


As for the week ahead. We are hitting the half way mark of our 12 week wave. Which, in of itself, isn’t indicative of any thing particular in this week of training. But more to the point we’ll start to see many of things we are looking to improve on start popping up over the next seven weeks. One thing we are introducing, is a strength layering in one of the endurance classes this week. It’s not as focused on lifting heavy weights, but using more unilateral movements. These movements can done with a lot of weight, however, our focus will tend to be addressing single leg imbalances, as well as transferring nicely in to SST (Sport Specific Training, ie. snow sports). 


Last but not least, some of you have seen the Nespresso Machine upstairs, and or seen me bouncing off the walls with caffeine in tow. In the next couple of days I should have a systematic approach on how to take advantage of it. In the meantime, you should know the following. We will be recycling and composting the Pods, as environmental impact is a concern. Believe me, it’s troubled me before knowing that the aluminum pods can recycled unlimited times, and the grounds can be composted. There is also a aerocinno machine, which froths milk. We will keep almond milk onsite to fancy up your coffee. Unfortunately, we will charge for this service. $1.50 for espresso, and $2.00 if you fancy it up with milk. For the short term, none of the systems are in place, so it’s all free for the time being. So enjoy!



Training Layout June 6-12

Let’s start by talking about the Whistler Half Marathon. I was at the finish line to witness and to be a part of an unbelievable feeling. Trust me when I say everyone in the group of athletes that entered felt on top of the world. Nothing beats it! It’s way people do things that are hard, maybe a little outside their comfort zone. But trust me, I think that the most talked about topic at the finish line is what comes next! There’s always more, which we’ll take about shortly. 


Again, a huge congrats to those who ran on Saturday. Great Job by all! There were other photos, but not one photo captured everyone in the race. Another big thanks and shout out is to Coach Munny! He gave it his all in helping all of you. I know I don’t speak for myself that your help was invaluable. You’ve been a great addition to the team, and we don’t want the clinics to end! And they won’t……. He’s talked about Stand Up Paddle Board Clinics. Beginner Mountain Bike Clinics. Plus, there’s no need to stop running either. We’ll take some time this week to formulate scheduling and to keep the momentum rolling. 


As for running events that should be on your radar…. The red bull 400 Saturday july 30th, 2016. Copy and paste the link to see details:http://www.redbull.com/ca/en/stories/1331788312795/red-bull-400-returns-to-whistler-for-2016

The Salomon Valley to Peak Race, Sept 3rd 2016. http://store.whistlerblackcomb.com/Content/Commerce/Products/DisplayProducts.aspx?ProductGroupCode=2425&ProductCategoryCode=30417

The Whistler Ultra 50, Oct 15, 2016 http://www.bcathletics.org/Whistler50RelayUltra/

All 3 of the races have relay components, or can be done Solo. The great news is that they all leave a great amount of time to prepare. Both from a training perspective, and to organize teams. 

There are more out there, and not to mention there’s comfortably numb this weekend. It’s june 11th, meaning this saturday! Website here: http://www.comfortablynumb.ca/


As for the week that lies ahead. It’s hard to find a true highlight. Friday is a great little test. Wednesday will be too. And the strength layered in is again continuing to build. From the endurance side. Phil is here this week. So, in true form, we’ll use him to help with Tuesday’s class. It’s a classic rowing test. For those that have been running hard, your improved cardio should help squeeze out some extra seconds and finish faster. Also, more importantly, it’s a great idea for those new to the gym to come to Tuesday’s endurance class. Phil is a game changer when it comes to rowing. Not only will he help you improve on your results and technique. But his passion will translate down, and help you fall in love with the devilish machine. 


On the Lifting side. We will be doing EMOM’s and complexes during the week. Snatching on Tuesday, with Clean and Jerking on Thursday. While on Saturday we will be doing a bit of both.



Momentum..... And somewhere down the line, our weekly training layout

Momentum is everything:

It’s 10 plus years I have been living in the strength and conditioning world. It’s hard to say whether that’s a short period of time, or a long one. In many ways it feels insignificant, as there’s no way in the world I am done learning. But, on the other hand, it’s over 25% off my life to date. 

I wanted to dedicated a little time to talk about a simple word. It’s momentum. Yes, we can all google it if we want the definition. But you know what it is. But, I don’t think you realize the significance. Just how important it is to your success in life. Oops, I mean your health. No, what I really mean is the gym. 

I get asked many questions about the gym. But this one comes up a lot. People want to know how many people who do foundations, continue to train at the gym? The people asking are the ones who are still here, so what they are politely referring to is. How come I am still here, and so many of the people that started around the time I am aren’t anymore?

Before I answer that question specifically, I want to say a thing or two about success. You hear things like success is contagious. Expressions that refer to being on a roll. Successful people talk about routine. They talk about discipline. I’ve come to realize that life doesn’t need to be all that complicated. Or rather, there’s no need to look to for outlandish explanations for things that can answered quite simply. 

The way to be successful in CrossFit is to have momentum on your side. That’s all you need. Nothing else. Those that continue to train and be successful, all have momentum on their side. Some have more than others. But, I can answer so many of questions by explaining the amount of momentum, someone had, or lack thereof. 

Let’s look at diet. Since so many of you are doing the Opus Vita 30 day challenge. First off, 30 days in there so that you can gain enough momentum so that when the 30 day is over, you keep up your good habits. Then there’s those who have done these diet challenges before. Most seem to say that it’s way easier getting into the routine. Why? They are doing it again because they know it works. They would like to maintain a healthy lifestyle of eating and exercising. But they lost momentum along they way, and just needed a kick start to get back on track.  

Did you once upon a time have the ability to eat really well? Be extremely discipline in the face of peer pressure? Or just simply be able to resist that nightly sweet tooth before bed. What you had was momentum on your side. It’s not as if you had discipline, lost it on the ferry back from Tofino, and are looking for it again. Discipline is either in you or not. But it was momentum that kept you on track. It was easier to keep going, then to stop your way of doing things. 

How about getting fitter? Meeting your training goals? Do you know what that the most successful clients/athletes we have in common? They are in the gym the most consistently. Not necessarily the most often. They are consistently able to keep their routine. They have momentum. By now you know I am referring to the definition.

Def: Momentum is generally used to mean increasing forward motion. A boulder rolling down a hill gains momentum. So does a great idea, a team on a winning streak, or the economy.

An object in motion, stays in motion. These people don’t stop. They continue to move forward. They gain “momentum”. Making it hard for them to stop. These clients, you know them by name. They are the ones you expect to see when you show up in class. Maybe you are new to the gym. Maybe you are hoping to be a fitter version of yourself. I am here to tell you that it’s up to you. You don’t have to be great to start, you have to start to be great. That means start with day 1. Show up to do an orientation. 2, get through your foundations if you haven’t already. 3. Set yourself a routine where you make it to the gym consistently. We suggest start with a minimum of 3 times per week. Sure, you’ll need discipline to stay on course. But trust me, once you are there, all you have to do is be that boulder rolling downhill. That is how it works! It’s how Yoko went from zero pushups, to idolized by all. How Brew continues to shed weight, lift more weight, and improve mobility. How Chris Munro just won the 15km distance on the Loop the Lakes event in Squamish. How Marley continues to climb the leaderboard on every workout we do. I can keep going, those are by no means the only ones. The improvements happen across the board more consistently by those who are here regularly. Those who can make it their routine a real routine have momentum on their side. Those with momentum, have a hard time slowing down, and they are the most successful. 

So, whether you are looking to get started. 6 months in. 1 week down on the 30 day challenge. Your goal is to keep moving. The more momentum you have, the harder it is to lose it. 

So the answer to the original question is, those who are here gained momentum. Those who are not, did not.

For those who are reading in hopes for a training layout. I suppose I will offer it too. With the weather about to turn, we are planning to avoid a lot of outdoor based WODs for the week. One of my favourite benchmarks this Monday. I know I say that a lot. But it’s true. It’s often people’s first Rx’d workout. I am really looking forward to Friday’s WOD. Perhaps my favourite Open WOD of the year, only this time it is a little nicer. Plus, I am loving how well you guys are doing with our strength training. So many of you are getting stronger, and doing it the sustainable way. Not by heavy volume cycles, not by overdoing the lifts. But through variance, practice, and good old fashioned hard work. 

Last but not least. This week Austin will be back coaching. Welcome back Duster!

PROGRAMS-What we offer and How we offer it

If you look at the schedule, you'll see that there are offering more of our specialty classes. Endurance and Olympic Weightlifting classes are now offered 3 days/week. This, along with a slight twist to the general programming should make for a much improved product.


In many ways the answer to that question is no. In the past, CrossFit was the core of what we did 5 days per week, and specialty classes 1.5 days per week. However, within the CrossFit programming we would always program days where we specialized. Meaning, even though Thursday was the day to attend an Endurance class on the schedule. You could be sure to see a CrossFit class early in the week that had an Endurance focus. The only difference between the layout now, and before the change, is that everything is a little more transparent. It is clear as mud that on Tuesday, if you'd like to come get your sweat on, come to an Endurance class. 

Obviously this is different from how we've done things in the past. But, from a programming perspective, it's really not all that different. It does however change things from the client's perspective, and that is to allow you to get more of what you are looking from a class by choosing the right one. 



If you are all about the CrossFit. Training for anything and everything. Love the idea of the unknown. And are looking to eliminate any weakness in your fitness game. Then you should be pumped! Yes, you did loose Tuesday as an unknown workout. But in exchange, here's what you gained.

  • More Skills: You can really get after your weaknesses on Tuesday and/or Thursday. If long workouts/cardio is not your forte, then get your butt in to the endurance sessions. And if you have cardio for days, but need to work on your barbell skills and strength, then come to the olympic weightlifting session. 
  • Better CrossFit Programming: Because we can offer our endurance classes on a regular basis, our CrossFit programming can be a little more "CrossFit". Higher skills and higher intensities. We can do this because we know, with 100% certainty, that those who are looking for the lighter side of CrossFit, the longer side of CrossFit, can get exactly what they are looking for 3 days/week. So if our CrossFit seems to be very strength and skilled focus, it's now not only the best way to up your CrossFit game, but, the perfect compliment for the endurance athlete. Win Win!


Our coaches are equally excited about this one. We now can get a true weightlifting program going, by having an opportunity to coach people specifically through 3 sessions per week. 

  • If you really want to focus more on your lifts, not only will practicing them more be of benefit. But, so will doing less conditioning. As much as gaining that extra day of lifting is a plus, taking away a day of unnecessary volume is equally as big. You need to be on your game when it comes to the precision on Olympic Lifting, and this will help!
  • We can also now take someone who is Weightlifting on their own and is looking for coaching, and offer them a program.


Adding the 3rd day of endurance classes seems to be the biggest improvement to our clients needs than any of the above. As a client, you are inevitably classified in to 1 of 2 categories. None of which is better than the other, they are just different. We have those who come to the gym for a workout, and those that come to train. The Endurance classes really appeal to those coming for a workout. And the majority of our clients fall in to this category. The hour you dedicate to the gym, needs to provide you with instant gratification! You want to burn calories, you want to break a sweat, you want to earn it. CrossFit programming can provide you with this, just not all the time, not every day of the week. 

  • 3 days of dedicated Endurance programming will guarantee you 3 days of workouts where you know you are getting a butt kicking! 
  • You can also guarantee that there will be little emphasis on some of the more skilled barbell exercises that can get in the way of a good workout if you have not yet mastered those skills. Take barbell snatches. If a workout calls for 30 barbell snatches at a heavy weight. You can guarantee that someone comfortable with that skill will get an extremely challenging and complete workout. Someone who doesn't have that skill mastered might not get that same good workout with a PVC pipe of empty barbell. Endurance classes you can guarantee that won't happen with you
  • Steady state, longer duration! Yes it's true, CrossFit methodology often shies away from this type of work. And not because it isn't relevant part of training and results. But because it's very hard for this type of training to translate in to shorter duration high intensity training. But, the reverse is true. Hence the heavy emphasis on shorter duration and high intensity for CrossFit. Yet, as true as it is, if you live in a steady state world. You do need to train this way. I can list a ton of Whistler Activities where this is the case. Cycling, Cross Country Mountain Biking, Swimming, Cross Country Skiing, Ski Touring, Hiking, Snowshoeing, Running, etc... So, if you want to excel in this world, it's nice to train here too. Now, not all the time, as it has it's downfalls. 
  • Now, just because it's an endurance class, don't think that you won't do any sprint work. Look no further than the paragraph above. Sprint work, interval work, high intensity work not only will help train your anaerobic work capacity, but will translate out to your aerobic capacity.
  • Lastly, if you unfamiliar with CrossFit, or rather don't want to do CrossFit, this is the class for you! What you do get is coaches who know functional movements, that know technique, because in CrossFit it has to be applied at the highest of intensities. You will still get the skills, and the emphasis on proper techniques. We just apply them to a more accessible skill set. 


If you want your gains, look no further. This is your conjugate system powerlifting program, with CrossFit flavour to it.

  • The beauty of this class is that it meant to get you strong. It is our powerlifting program as it is truly meant to be applied. Yes, we have a strength program in the CrossFit classes. But, we can't offer all of the variants we can here. Camber bar, Football bar, Safety Squat bar, Axel bar. Plus the accommodating resistant work; bands and chains. As well as all of the assistance work that goes along with it
  • Some of the biggest knocks to those looking to gain strength and do CrossFit is the volume. And not just the volume, but it's the bodyweight exercises. When conditioning does arrive in this program, it's shorter in duration, and has a heavy strength biased. Pun intended.
  • Olympic lifting is also a big part of this program. So you can expect to those skills to improve along with your strength.


Overall, I couldn't be more excited about what we are transitioning towards. I can't think of one individual who can't benefit from the changes in our programs. What we can start doing is catering to people who only want a specific program. Just Endurance, or just Olympic Weightlifting, etc..... Now it's time to start spreading the word. Opus Athletics, here we come!