EDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to the athlete journal of Allison Moyer. Allison is a nationally ranked NPC Figure Athlete, nationally and internationally published fitness model, an avid CrossFit athlete, BSN, C.P.T, C.S.N, C.N.W.C, and owner ofAlli Fitness Systems and Predator Diet. Read all about Allison’s unique approach to training and diet every other week.
“Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in,
and it will come naturally.”
– David Ford
What a weekend. This journal entry comes at an interesting time for me. This week marked both the conclusion of the first CrossFit Open WOD 14.1, which is always an exhilarating time, and my return from the 2014 Arnold Classic, which was an amazingly motivating and uplifting experience, as every Arnold Classic is.
I’ve had an incredible two weeks. These past fourteen days have left me feeling grateful. As athletes, we all go through training slumps or ruts, whether mental or physical. Those times are always rough, but they also make me appreciate the training highs so much more. Perhaps that’s why I’m in such a good mood over my training lately. My trip to the Arnold was preceded by a five-pound snatch personal record (PR), and that was preceded by a huge front squat PR. My snatch PR now sits at 105 and my front squat at 190.
To top that off, while out at the Arnold I not only had the honor of attending Lydia Valentin’s Olympic Weightlifting seminar at Crossfit Endeavor, but I also finally got to train at EliteFTS in London, Ohio, something which has been on my bucket list for years. I trained legs with Traci Tate, wife of Dave Tate, and Jennica Kidd, fellow NPC Figure Athlete. Just to walk through the doors of the facility and stand in that atmosphere was inspiring. To know that I was using the same equipment that built some of the world’s strongest athletes was a humbling and encouraging experience, and it reminded me of something that I truly feel I needed reminded of – why I began doing this in the first place. And by “this,” I mean training in general, whether for cross country, figure, or CrossFit.
Getting into the iron at Elite reminded me how much I love to train. As a seasoned athlete, I think I lose touch with that sometimes. It’s hard not to. But I think all of us need to keep some measure of connection to that pure, raw, simple passion that we began with as newbies. When everything was new and fresh, and we were just so enamored with training that particulars, politics, and semantics weren’t even of thought.
Lately the industry has turned into such a squabble ground. There seems to be so much dissention among different arenas of sport – whose methods are right, whose methods are wrong, who is better, and who is weaker. You troll any social media network and you’ll find CrossFitters bashing bodybuilders, powerlifters slamming CrossFit athletes, and endurances athletes trying to defend their methods against strength athletes. Admist all the squabbling and fighting about the science and the studies, something has been lost, in my opinion: Passion. Raw passion.
No matter what training box you put yourself into, chances are what brought you to the gym and first placed your hands on the barbell was passion and pure desire. That’s one common thread that links all forms of athletics, semantics aside.
EliteFTS founder Dave Tate has spoken numerous times about the importance of emotion and passion when it comes to the iron. He doesn’t separate emotion from his training. In fact, he’s openly embedded raw emotion into his sport. He talks frequently about unleashing his demons in the gym, and one of my favorite quotations is:
The fight you had with your girlfriend that day? Gone. Your finals? Gone. Your work issues? Gone. Your bills? Gone. The asshole across the gym? Gone. The bullies? Gone. The hurt? Gone. The mental pain is now replaced with physical pain, but this is pain that you crave, because the load you’ve been carrying all your life is now resting on your back. And now you have the power to smash it…This is the only time that I’m truly free, free from the bullshit that other people and life has thrown at me. It’s all gone, just me and the weight – my passion. And that’s where I find my peace.
He’s not talking about training methods, programming, nutritional strategy, or how best to progress an athlete using periodization. To me, that’s all surface shit. None of us stumbled into the iron game because of methods. We stumbled into training because of things far deeper than that. The older I get and the more seasoned of an athlete I become, the more I realize how imperative it is to stay in touch with those reasons.
It’s my guess that all of us, regardless of discipline, spend more time in the gym than we do with our families. We have sacrificed a lot in the way of our personal and professional lives for love of the sport. We have challenged ourselves and pushed our limits, and that’s really what it’s all about. It’s not who is better or stronger or what division of sport makes a better athlete. It’s not about whose methods are backed by what studies. There needs to be less arguing and more getting under the barbell and doing. We need to be learning, teaching, and experiencing. We should be attacking our training with passion and respecting and revering others who attack their training in the same way.
There may be differences in disciplines and in methods. But deep down, I believe we are all the same when it comes to our training. We all are still touching a barbell for the first time, or experiencing the rush in enduring a physical challenge. We are all running the race, standing up beneath heavy weight, tackling our personal demons, and fighting internal battles. We are testing our limits and we are evolving in iron. We were all led to sport by passion, and that passion should keep us inextricably linked.
“Where there is passion there does not need to always be reason. Sometimes there is no how or why – that it makes you come alive is simply enough.” – Unknown
A.M. Training Session
5 minutes jog/walk
8 minutes mobility
3 Rounds for time:
- Run 400m
- Row 500m
- 10 OH med ball slams
- 20 Janda sit ups
4 Rounds (not for time):
- 1 Wall walk + 12 Shoulder taps
- 45sec Hardstyle plank
120sec Jump rope
8 minutes to stretch hamstrings and band out shoulders
P.M. Training Session
Row 15 minutes, with a 30sec all-out effort every 3 minutes
15 minutes mobility- lats/quads/shoulders/hamstrings
- Clean – every minute, on the minute (EMOM) 10×1 -I added weight each round to a heavy single. (I got to 140lbs. My PR is 150).
- Then drop to 65% for 4×2 EMOM (90lbs)
- Thruster 5×3 – I used two warmup sets first. I warmed up with 55 and then 75. I am terrible at thrusters (both physically and mentally). I never did a triple with thrusters, so I was feeling this out. After warming up I went to 85×3, 90×3, 94×3, 100×3, 105×3.
- Good morning 5×3 @95
- Buy-in 25 Burpees
- Then 21-15-9 Deadlifts @ 145/165/185 and Box jumps @ 20”/24”/30”
- 20 minute AMRAP (this SUCKED):
- Run 300m/20 Hand-release push ups (HRPU) – This just annihilated me. I was dying. Got 13 rounds + 5HRPU.
- Pull-ups (I’m on Pavel Tsatsouline’s Fighter Pullup Program) so this was 7, 6, 6, 5, 4
- 3×10 Pendlay row
- 3 sets of Kipping ring dips, stop 3-4 reps shy of failure + 30 second ring support hold
- 3 sets of 20lb Wall balls, stop 3-4 reps shy of a redline, rest 60 seconds between sets.
Today’s Thought: “The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out and meet it.”