Hali and I are going to co-teach a workshop on Tuesday night November 29th 6pm-7:30pm! Hali is in back town from her new home in Washington state to visit family and friends for the Thanksgiving holiday and we thought it could be awesome to combine our superpowers into a fun, inspiring evening practice. We can guarantee it will be a creative mixture of mobility and strength exercises, Pilates, Yoga, arm balancing drills to improve your Inversion skills and lots of powerful positive energy! All levels are welcome!
Please come play with us! We would love to have you there! Let us know if you are coming ASAP because the room can only hold 20 -tight!
Hey, hey, HEY! It’s been almost two years since we’ve posted here on this blog. WTH, right??!! It’s been a ghost town up in here for lots of reasons – the biggest being my trying to get pregnant…failing after many tries…trying to figure out why…then having major surgery to feather the nest and make it ready to hold a human…then trying again to make a human…then having said human in all of her uniqueness and down right cute-as-hellness (yet still a baby and kicking her moms’ asses.) If you care to read about the last two years, you can read all about it on our personal blog.
The Night Before Skylar Joined Us!
And now, back to business! We wanted to get ourselves back in the swing of writing and sharing and stimulating discussion here on this blog by first simply introducing you to some of our favorite Brute Yogis. The Brute Yogi Tribe is tight and we couldn’t love what we do as much as we do without them!
Last Brute Yoga class before maternity leave!
Our first victim is Rana Parham. Rana is something special and one of our favorite faces to see in the gym. Really, when you meet her, the brightness of her light is obvious. She gives really good resting bitch face, but it’s all a front. Rana is powerful beyond her own comprehension and even though she complains about every single damn thing the entire time she is at the gym, she always finishes with a smile. She’s usually up for anything – just no planks in Brute Yoga. What I especially love about Rana is that she can stroll into the gym with nails done, hair on point, and skin glowing – and then still look that way when the workout is over!
How did you meet Lisa and how did you decide she was worth working with?
I met Lisa at Brute Strength Gym one morning after a Crossfit workout and observing her working with a client and asking her some random questions about improvement of my horrible squat movements and mobility. She was sooooooo nice and I could tell she knew what she was talking about and her methodology sounded completely feasible for where I currently was. I had signed up for my first Powerlifting meet and knew that I had some work to do and needed a movement coat in order to get there.
What were your goals? Was she helpful in reaching them?
My goals were at that time to gain depth in my squat, plain and simple. After working with Lisa, those goals actually expanded because I began to see how many other areas of my mobility needed work and I could no longer ignore and expect improvement. I have to say without question working with her has been the sole reason I have any depth in my squat at this time and many of my other movements have improved and are steadily improving. I am not currently competing but as I continue to train she has helped me to get some clarity of expectations for how an athlete my age should prep, train, and compete. It has been extremely valuable.
Would you recommend Lisa as a trainer – massage therapist or yoga teacher? What makes her so special?
I have had the benefit of having Lisa as a trainer, and massage therapist (she has literally put me back together before meets), and as a yoga teacher. Without question I would and do recommend her every opportunity I can. Prior to meeting Lisa I had one yoga experience in my life and I can assure you it was frustrating and uncomfortable. When I attended Lisa’s first class I felt welcomed and I really felt she wanted me to be successful at the level I was at. There is no question when I attend class I am her problem child, but she creates such an environment of acceptance that I cannot help but find some success in the movements I am attempting.
As a trainer she disguises her toughness under that nice sweet spirit. She pushes me past what I think my limits are and I always feel so much better after the training session. She has taught me not compare myself to the progress of others around me because I am uniquely me and that I can do much more than I give myself credit for.
What is your favorite thing about working with Lisa?
I have many, but one of them is that she lets me fuss and complain, yet still pushes me to do more and to be better. She gets me! That is always important to me when I am training in any capacity because I know I can be a handful and I appreciate that she let’s me be who I am (LOL) yet doesn’t take any stuff from me.
Go barefoot! No, seriously….do it. Take your shoes off, socks too! Maybe don’t smell your feet and definitely take the toe jam out first. This is coming from the Brute Yogi that has some serious foot issues (Anne-Marie, if you haven’t figured it out). Here’s why barefoot rocks:
Foot and Ankle Warm-up. You have a clear path from your body and its nervous system right to what ever your foot touches. Without the shoes and socks your feet can feel everything underneath and all of the muscles have the opportunity to work in the way that they were designed to work. This travels all the way up the chain, the knees and hips will join the party and pretty soon everything will be working in harmony.
Proprioception is in its purest form without added distractions. Shoes and socks can mask underlying structural issues as well as the ability to feel the surrounding environment.
You will get stronger. Your squat, deadlift, presses all will improve in technique alone. If the technique improves the strength will follow. The feet are the foundation of any standing movement, strengthen those puppies and you’ll create a trend along your athletic continuum.
Posture will improve. Basically see all of the above.
Here’s the deal –
Safety first! Even with shoes on you wouldn’t want to drop dumbbells, bumpers, iron plates, etc on any part of your body – so be aware of your surrounds and move mindfully. Likewise, you wouldn’t step on sharp glass or nails with shoes on, so there’s little chance of you doing that without (unless of course you’re in to that).
MRSA! Ok, so it’s a real possibility that the gym floor is gross and thus your feet will also be gross once you’ve walked around barefoot for all of 2 seconds. If you have open sores or cuts on your feet, FOR THE LOVE don’t put anyone, including yourself, in jeopardy of contracting some kind of nastiness. Otherwise it should be pretty safe as long as you wash your feet after being in the gym, which you should probably be doing anyway. Again, coming from the girl who used to get athletes foot from just looking at a bathroom floor, I’ve been nastiness free just from making sure I clean with some good ‘ole fashion soap and water.
Take it slow. Just like the barefoot running craze, you don’t want to go naked for a marathon right out of the gate. Just do your warm-up, use an empty barbell going through your usual oly routine or squat routine or deadlift routine or whatever it is you do before you hammer out some awesome sweat induced funness in the gym. Maybe work up to adding some weight to the barbell or doing some light jogging back and forth on the gym floor. Don’t go and add your 1RM to the barbell and expect to feel amazing afterwards. There’s potential (not an absolute) that you could injure yourself if you go to heavy, decide to do an entire WOD, go for a 20 minute run or what ever craziness you think up for yourself. Your feet are likely not used to that type of loading and having a set back is worse than spending a little extra time in the gym preparing the body for work.
Reluctantly I went barefoot in the gym after much pressure from the number 1 Brute Yogi (that’s Lisa of course). The first day I knew I was converted. I just owned it, and went full on naked foot for my warm-up and haven’t looked back. It’s been over a month and I can honestly say that I’ve noticed a difference in my sessions at the gym. My feet get super dirty but they’re so nice and warm before I start lifting. I feel like it’s helped increase my over all strength as my joints and muscles feel better as I start adding the weight on the bar and put my shoes back on. It also seems as though I’m recovering faster as well. Whether or not this is due 100% to my decision to go naked footed or not, I know I can attribute at least some of this recent gym success to my feet nudity.
A. DeadLift: Set-up is everything! Set up the SAME WAY every time. Here’s a little clip from Kelly Starrett worth watching on the set-up. How do I breathe?? Check this video out for our suggestion on where/when to breathe. Warm-up = 10 @ bar, 8 @ 40-50%, 6 @ 50-60%, 4 @ 60-70%, 2 @ 70-75% (if needed). As you can see we feel that it is VERY important to do warm-up sets and really prepare physically by loading slowly to avoid injury.
B. Glute Ham Raises: FANTASTIC way to improve pulling power in the deadlift by strengthening the hamstrings and torso overall. Some of our favorite bloggers/podcasters over at Barbell Shrugged have a great instructional how tohere. These can be done at the end of your workout, or after the strength portion. You definitely want to be warm before you do these and very honest about form and capabilities – no hamstrings getting pulled here!
C. Before performing the metcon warm up each movement with a few reps. Choose a box height that is an average height for most of your work outs. Step ups, jump up and step down are both acceptable. Remember to open the hips at the top of each rep and maintain control over each repetition. If rope climbs are not available or accessible substitute 6 as close to parallel ring rows as possible or 3 strict pull-ups AND 6 knees to elbows, knee ups, or roll-ups.
First round: In an effort to load the body and neurological system for the work-out try this – perform the row at a consistent pace, not all out; do 6 step-ups each leg on the box and perform one of the modifications above for your rope climbs.
Stay consistent throughout all 4 rounds using the transitions between each movement as your break.
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!