July 9, 2014

July 9, 2014

Brute Strength

Front Squat 60/70/80 x5

Olympic Skill Session:

Every 90s x 8 rounds
1 High Hang Snatch + 1 Snatch 60% of 1RM Snatch

Work Capacity

5 rounds: Rest 1:30 after each round
5 tire flips (heavy)
5 jumps to tire
25 double unders

Brute Yogi Mindful Pre-Wod Prep

Find Your Flow State: Prepare your mind for succeeding in your workout.  Sit down and drink your pre-workout while you read over the WOD, write down on a white board what you will be doing and what you need to remember. Take a moment to sit and visualize each movement, look around the gym and figure out what you will need for each movement and where you will need to set up camp.  Get down on your roller and see yourself moving efficiently and recognize where there may be trouble for you with today’s tasks.  As you pick out your shoes and slip on your knee sleeves, are there any questions regarding equipment, movements, timing, etc?  Now that you’ve put yourself in the Brute Yogi state of mind, turn off your phone and pick your music for the day – the music is key to the flow ~

Physical preparation:  Start by elevating the heart rate with a jog, a row, airdyne, etc.  Then continue to mobilize with a few rounds of the world’s greatest stretch on each side (say 5 reps), some gorilla squats (go for 10)

Cossack Squat

a slow 10 on each side

(You can also modify this dynamic movement by holding onto the pull-up cage, but follow all of the same alignment cues!)

Front Squat: Squat from the rack at 60%, 70%, and 80% of your one rep max.  If while warming up those percentages aren’t attainable today then drop the percentages until it is…do not go above the percentages.  Take at least 2:00 off between sets.  And as Stella Krupinski says…”sit your ass down” and actually rest during sets.

Snatch Complex: Warm-up to your working weight for the day, not to exceed 60%.  We suggest warming up with something like the Burgener Warm-Up or something like this from Catalyst Athletics.

Work Capacity: The rest programmed in will allow you to work at almost 100% capacity each round, so plan to go hard with that forced rest each round.

  • Choose a tire that will require cognitive reset each rep but will not cause a break down in form as you go through the rounds.  We’re average athletes and would choose an approximately 300# tire.
  • The jumps to tire can be performed as step-ups, and we do suggest stepping down each rep regardless of whether or not you’re jumping up to the tire.
  • Modifications for double unders can be quick singles


July 7, 2014

July 7, 2014


Brute Yogi Warm-Up:

Move for 5 minutes – go for a jog, row on the rower, jump rope.

Roll out – if you don’t have a roller, shoot us an email, we have ’em!

YTAs 10 sets no weight

Gorilla Squats

World’s Greatest Stretch

Dead Bugs Turn on that core – resist putting the back in extension to move the arms and legs

T-spine Mobilization

Ws to emphasize turning on the lower trapezius and posterior rotator cuff in support of a stable shoulder girdle overhead

Brute Strength & Skill:

EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute) for 10 minutes

Even: 3 Axle Clean and Press @ 70-80%

Odd: 3 Strict Pull-Ups

Brute Strength Continued:

Zydrunas Press: 4×5 across

Work Capacity: (do work, but don’t sacrifice form)

10 – 8 – 6 – 4 – 2


Knees to Elbows


Tabata Airdyne

Mindful Brute Yogi Pre-Wod: (Tips and Modifications)

Axle Clean and Press: Choose a slightly challenging weight that you can do all three clean and jerks unbroken with good form – quality is more important than the weight on the bar – set each rep from the ground.  If you do not have access to an axle or fat bar, a traditional barbell will do just fine.

Strict Pull-ups: No kipping allowed!  Choose a band that will give you enough resistance to complete all three.  Or if you have access to a machine to do lat pull downs, choose a weight that is challenging for you but that you can still complete all three reps.  Or go to ring rows as close to parallel as able.

Z-Press: Rest approximately 2 minutes between sets.  Choose a weight that you can do all 4 sets unbroken.  If you’ve never done these before, start with the bar and continue to add weight each set.

Manmakers: Stay light to maintain form, around 60% of what your proposed max effort would be.  Again – form and quality is more important.

Knees to Elbows: If the knees don’t quite make it to the elbows you can modify to knee ups while hanging from the bar.  If hanging from the bar is not possible (if it bothers your back for example) hold on to something overhead while laying on the ground, press the lower back in to the floor and then roll up as if you were hanging from the bar.  And if these options do not appeal there are always traditional sit-ups – just double the reps.

Tabata: 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest for 8 rounds or 4 minutes.  Find a stationary bike if an Airdyne isn’t available, or rower, or treadmill, or hit the pavement for some sprints.

Plan on spending an hour and a half in the gym or separate it in to two sessions with the strength portions first and come back for the work capacity and endurance later.

Activate them Glutes!

Activate them Glutes!

Squat it out!

Squat it out!

It’s time to warm-up!

We’ll say this a lot – A LOT – to the point of being annoying – but warming up is SUPER important while on your journey to becoming a Brute Yogi.  While it’s fun to get straight on over to the barbell, metcon, strongman implements or whatever you are going to fill your gym time with that day, it’s wise to set those fun things up for success.  If you’re not warm, you’re not moving efficiently, you’re mind isn’t in the game so-to-speak and you’re setting yourself up for injury.

Before getting to the meat and potatoes of your work out, take a few minutes to warm up the specific muscles and prepare the  joints in a manner that will prepare you for the day’s movements.  Spend a little time on your weaknesses too.  We’ll guide you through the warm-ups for the day, but it’s not an absolute – if you need more, do more!  Just don’t wear yourself out before hitting the heavy stuff.

Brute Yogi’s YouTube channel is LIVE!  Be sure to subscribe for all of the videos presented on the blog.  Today we’d like to share one of our favorite warm-up drills before hitting heavy deadlifts, squats or leg intensive metcons.


Thanks to a fellow Brute Yogi, Jenn, for this one!


Full programming starts July 7th!  Be sure to follow us to get any updates delivered right to your inbox!

BruteYogi WOD is Here!

BruteYogi WOD is Here!


It's time to become a Brute Yogi.

It’s time to become a Brute Yogi.

Welcome to the BruteYogi WOD!

What is a Brute Yogi?  In case you missed the answer look here.

Today we bring you the “how to” of the BruteYogi WOD.  If you’ve been following the progress on FaceBook, thank you!  If not, go ahead on over and give us a like.  We’ll also have connections to Twitter and Instagram up and running shortly.  While all of this social media stuff keeps us in contact, this website right here, the one you are currently reading, will be the most up to date and informative of all – so be sure to bookmark it!

Here’s the CliffsNotes version of the who, what, when, where and whys before we get to the real meat and potatoes.  Lisa (the originator of BruteYogi.com) and Anne-Marie (XfitinYogi.com) have been athletes for a little while, basically all our lives.  We’ve discovered over the years that one cannot just BE an athlete, one must be a MINDFUL athlete – no matter your chosen sport.  Some of this discovery has come through injuring ourselves, some of it has come through learning and experiencing different coaches and programming, some of it has come through coaching other athletes, and some of it has come through our yoga practice.  We continue to learn and grow as athletes and coaches every time we step in to the gym, on to the mat and in to the world (maybe it sounds cheesy to you – but it all relates, PROMISE).

Who is this for?  Really, anyone.  Anyone that wants general strength and overall conditioning.  We’ll approach the workouts and programming from our experience in Yoga, CrossFit, Strongman, Olympic Lifting and Weight Lifting and Endurance Sports.  Everything is scaleable, modifiable and accessible.

How does it work?  There will be a Mindful BruteYogi Pre-WOD (including warm-ups), Brute Strength, Work Capacity, Skills and Accessory, and BruteYogi Integration.  

  • Mindful BruteYogi Pre-WOD: To prepare your mind and body for the work ahead.  Centering exercises to include breath and physical movements.
  • Brute Strength: Barbell movements like squats, deadlifts and presses – Olympic lifts too.
  • Work Capacity:  Similar to a CrossFit WOD, there will be a metabolic conditioning aspect that will include movements geared to accompany each other.
  • Skills and Accessory Movements:  Specifically chosen to improve upon the movements programmed for the day and target areas that are generally most out of balance
  • BruteYogi Integration:  Mobility and yoga most directly related to the day’s movements.

We’ll post the programming the night before (we’re on the East Coast).  We’d suggest following it in order even if you’re not completing the workouts on the exact day we post them.

Rest days will absolutely be programmed in!  We HIGHLY suggest taking rest seriously as that is where most of your growth will occur.  Recovery weeks will also be part of our programming approximately every six weeks.  Those weeks will be lighter in volume and overall work to allow for sufficient rest.

Feel free to ask us any question you may have, we’re here to support YOU in your evolution in becoming a BruteYogi!

Oh yeah…and we actually do the workouts ourselves too!

On being “Brute”

On being “Brute”

Hey, folks.  I know, I know – I have totally fallen behind on this whole blog thing!  It is a lot harder than I thought to think some thoughts and then organize them into simple words that others can read and understand.  The other bloggers in my life, like my introspective and eloquent wife, #xfitinyogi and an unlikely buddy to a lesbian yogi like myself, Vonmunchausen, make it all look so easy!

And, actually, the thinking of the thoughts part is really easy – the hard part is that it usually happens when I am shut up in a quiet room working on a very still and probably sleeping client (which relaxes me too and is hence why the thoughts flood in) or while I am driving listening to some of my favorite podcasts and then I have no way to record my thoughts because my phone is plugged into the car.  My most inspired thoughts unfortunately come to me when I have no way to record them and then when I go to sit down t0 record them, they are poof – gone!

So, I pout and I give up and then I get smacked up side the head by these creative forces around me who say, “just fucking write – write something – anything!”   A writing professional and young, spirited visionary in my life, Tara, gave me a swift kick in the ass the other day when I was lamenting about how psychologically stunted I am when it comes to sharing my thoughts with the world through the written word and that I tend to write in short phrases – single worded thoughts – and pictures like a child.  She ever so casually said, “Do it like that then! Why not?  It is you are and how you speak!”  Keep it simple, stupid!  Duh.

I’ve recently pulled my shit *almost* together to begin what my very first marketing mentor, guru of go-getting, Amber,  has been on me for years to do – create and cultivate a brand.  I think I did?!  Brute Yogi!  And, now that it is out there, I am getting a lot of questions like, “oh are you teaching yoga at Brute Strength Gym now?” “Are you the in-gym yoga teacher for them?” “Isn’t being ‘brute’ a bad thing?”  “Why would you want to be called a ‘brute’ and a ‘yogi?”  “So, you aren’t called ‘The Space Above’ anymore?”

Look, here’s the deal: I’ve been an athlete most of my life, a yogi 18 years, and have recently joined an eclectic community of warm and fuzzy (almost always grunting while covered in chalk) brutes at Brute Strength Gym.   In the 8 years I’ve been a member of the brotherhood of  Crossfit, I began to see my unique perspective being a yogi and a massage therapist and yet still feeling right at home with the muscle heads and the six packs.  Within the past several years, I’ve lost all romantic notions about yoga (not unlike this woman’s story and experience with her break-up with yoga )and realized that the best way for me to practice yoga is to share it the way I use it as a life style paradigm that anyone can integrate in their life and their flow – mala beads, flowy white pants, and references to blossoming your buttocks not necessary!

The term “Brute Yogi” just popped in my head one day and it felt right – I owe a lot to trusting my intuition .   I’ve done and am still doing my work on the yogic path, it just doesn’t quite look the way that you expect it to.  (I am saving that for another blog post – my intentions in sharing Brute Yoga.)  For now, I just want to bring the two worlds together – these two worlds that seem too opposed or that there isn’t any way to know both parts of oneself.

Anyone can benefit from this advice, right? “Good distraction frees us from emotional pain. Bad distraction gives you a mouth full of whizz.”

What is a Yogi?
 A yogi is a person who practices yoga and seeks to unite the physical body and the spiritual being. This is an individual who chooses to pursue the union of individual consciousness with the ultimate consciousness of the Divine.  Through mindfulness, self-study,  a practice of controlling the breath, and understanding the physical body, a yogi learns self-control and ultimate takes ownership of their experiences and their state of mind.
Now, who wouldn’t want this and why couldn’t anyone make this their practice?  Why couldn’t a dirty, sweaty ditch digger who uses the F word to express his passion and sees beauty in his quiet moments alone on his porch with a beer learn to practice mindfulness and be given an opportunity to find some relief in his physical body without the threat of doing asana that his large, weary biceps and formidably bulky thighs will NEVER EVER be capable of mimicking – even if he keeps practicing, “all will [not] be coming” (it is a pet peeve of mine to hear a teacher quote one of the fathers of the physical yoga practice, Sri Pattabhi Jois, “practice and all is coming” to students in their slack-jawed, dismissive, condescending yoga voice instead of using thoughtful discrimination to recognize where their students are in there hard-working everyday bodies and then taking the extra step to find ways these “normal” bodies can experience yoga.)  Deep breath…

What is a Brute?

A wholly instinctive being who tends towards being very strong or forceful and is capable of generating a great amount of force when necessary. **On the other hand, there are also these definitions: A savagely violent person or animal.  A person who is offensive and rude.

There is a time and place for tenacity – for being a brute when undaunting force is necessary to move heavy things or to have an indomitable will in furthering a cause or to prevent a boundary from being crossed.  So, why not be a Brute Yogi?  Why not be gritty and graceful – courageous and compassionate – bold and sympathetic – an even-tempered beastly badass?  Why the fuck not?  Namaste, bitches!  Feel love and feel your power!