Hello from Ives & Christy
Our desire is that the ula and us blog inspires, educates, and provides practical tips and tricks to help you conquer your individual summits.
Memorial Day is not just a 3-day Holiday weekend. It is a day dedicated to honoring those who have served our country. The CrossFit community dedicates their Hero WOD (workout of the day) on Memorial Day to the men and women who have fallen serving our country. They have a specific workout, named "Murph" that box members complete. "Murph" is in honor of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, who was killed in action in Afghanistan on June 28th, 2005. I was introduced to this workout by Liz who is featured in this post.
So what is a traditional "Murph"* ?!?!?
1 mile run
100 pull-ups (usually kipping pull-ups)
1 mile run
*Suggested to complete with a 20 lb weighted vest
The traditional way to complete this challenge is to go through the reps in 20 rounds of "Cindy" (more CrossFit terms aka 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 air-squats). Typically it takes an average of 48-52 minutes to get through this workout. You can read more about "Murph" here.
I chose to complete a modified Murph and want to shared more with you all. I have been working on strength and wanted to get in my weighted squats. I also run on Monday nights with my run club CSRD and will be putting in 3-5 miles later. For these reasons I did the following format: squats to pull-ups to push-ups as detailed below.
My break down gets a little messy:
I did 2 sets of 10 squats with the 45 lb bar to warm up and then 1 set of 10 squats with 95 lbs of weight (bar + 50 lbs in weight plates). I am slowly increasing my maximum squat weight by 5 lbs per week. I do 5 sets of 5 max weight squats with breaks between. This week the goal weight was 145 lbs. I decided to integrate each set of 5 with 25 air squats to follow before moving on to pull ups. Once I completed all 5 rounds of 145 lb squats and air-squats then I did squats with a 35 lb kettlebell (50x, 35x, 35x).
For the pull-ups, one of the big goals I set this year was to build up the strength to get to 10 unassisted chin-ups by the end of the year. I typically alternate my max weight squats to 5 sets of 3 unassisted chin-ups. Today I tried 3 for the first round and it felt really good! So I did 4 chin-ups for the each of the remaining 4 rounds. After that I did 2 sets of 10 chin-ups with a black resistance band, 2 sets of 10 chin-ups with a blue resistance band, and 3 sets of 10 chin-ups (11 on the last round) with a green resistance band. My husband helped me with that last set...my hand arms and back were jellos and my calluses were screaming --not bleeding.
For the push-ups, I did 25 reps each cycle. Finished the push-ups before the squats or pull-ups, which I was more than fine with...but they felt good!
This workout was a butt-kicker. It was hella motivating, as well as physically and mentally challenging. Pull-ups are my weakness, but it felt so good to power through that. Hats off to everyone who did the full traditional "Murph" Hero WOD today and THANK YOU to everyone who has served and continues to serve our country.
Ever wonder what one of our events is like? We decided to do a write up of our most recent bootcamp for those of you who haven't been to one yet. The hype is real and this community continues to grow in such a positive way!
As you know, we were extremely excited to host our event this weekend at Westland Distillery, as their space is swoon worthy with a mix of rustic, old-world architecture and impressive industrial equipment! Phoebe, the Events Manager, who coordinated the event with us and did the whiskey tasting at the end is the bomb.com.
To start off, our hope for these events is to make movement fun! We want you to break a sweat, but we also want you to laugh with an old or new friend nearby and be able to let loose after doing something good for your body! An attendee from this weekend put it best, "Even though I was in pain , I had a smile on my face the entire time. I was either laughing or feeling very motivated!" You will be surrounded by positive energy and good vibes ALL around as we deliver a unique, body weight workout that allows you to let go of the to-do list and have a freakin' good time while sweating. Knowing there is an adult beverage at the end, doesn't hurt either!
When you come to an ULA event, you will always be greeted with warm smiles and usually a husband to help check you in, (also known as MULAs- Men who ULA)... a new term they have coined for themselves that makes us almost pee our pants (so bring your husbands or sig others ladies)! We TOTALLY GET that trying something new can be intimidating and we are always SO honored when we see new faces taking a chance on us.
Once everyone is checked in and has found a spot to sweat, we kick things off by giving an introduction about who we are, give the low down on the local charity we are donating to, and then move into our warm up. During the warm up, we always set an intention! This week, the the intention was to silence your inner critic and choose positive talk throughout the workout. Pick a mantra and when it gets tough continue to repeat this mantra. Setting a positive intention has been proven to help you push through challenging physical feats. I chose STRONG BODY, STRONG MIND and told the group that if it resonated with them, to repeat this mantra throughout the workout.
Once our bodies are nice and warmed up, we move into a 45 minute workout, in which the two of us trade off between teaching, while the other walks around to help correct form, motivate, and joins in next to an attendee! Our workout always focuses on whole-body, body weight, functional movements. We work to get your heart rate up while toning lean muscles. We typically incorporate loop resistance bands and from time to time, other equipment when our workout is station based (such as at Queen Anne Beer Hall). Modifications and next level challenges will always be offered. Below is a quick screen shot of this weekend's workouts to give you an idea of what to expect.
We encourage hooting and hollering, dancing, and calling out our husbands throughout the workout (especially when they hold hands at the end... if nothing else, hopefully they make you laugh!) After we burn out the body and have worked up a good sweat, it's time for the ZEN. We cool it down, stretch it out, and end class in savasana pose (because sometimes we try to be yogis, but only after we have worked out the crazies). One of our favorite parts is leaving our amazing community with an affirmation and this week's inspo came from the below quote:
“I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.” ~Joseph Campbell
Makes you think, huh?
Now on to what we imagine everyone actually comes for! The WHISKEY (or beer if it's a Burn and Brew). Phoebe poured 2 neat tastings and 2 cocktail tastings for every attendee... and they were tasty! She walked us through the process of distilling the different single malt whiskies and the different notes we would taste. Apparently the PNW (A.K.A. ULA) is graced with some of the finest ingredients for making their unique single-malt whiskey. I would definitely recommend checking them out if you haven't already! From there, everyone hangs around and socializes for about an hour or sometimes longer, depending on the crew. If you are in the mood, some have checked out a few other breweries in the neighborhood or grabbed brunch nearby! It's definitely not a bad way to spend your Saturday friends, and we would love to see you there! If you are curious, check us out at our next event in June at Populuxe Brewing in Ballard, get tickets here!
This week our affirmation was, "excuse the excuses!" It is so easy to list a million reasons why we can't accomplish a task, but most of the time we all feel better when we just do it. This week one of my Flywheel instructors said, you can either choose progress or excuses and that really resonated with me. Christy and I decided to really take this to heart and squeezed in a hike this past Saturday. We had a million reasons why we didn't need to hike, including not wanting to set another early alarm, Cinco de Mayo or Derby activities, and other workout engagements. But we are SO SO SOOOO HAPPY that we chose to conquer a summit.
Whether you are new to hiking or just finding your groove for the season, the Heybrook Lookout Trail is a perfect climb. Even better, it's a dog friendly trail! The trailhead is about an hour outside of Seattle off Highway 2 (so the drive itself is a stunner by Index, WA). The trail is just under 3 miles round trip and under 900 ft of elevation gain. We would describe it as an easy-moderate hike due to the distance and moderate elevation gain. The trail is well groomed and there is no snow. You definitely can get breathless on the way up if you are hiking a fast clip, but there is good tree cover which will be perfect as the weather gets warmer. Just before the lookout, you get to see stunning views of the mountains but just turn the corner and you will see a 6-story lookout tower with EPIC VIEWS.
We met at the trail around 9 AM. Started hiking by about 9:15 AM, enjoyed the views and of course a lil photoshoot at the tower. We made it back down by 10:30 AM and were in Seattle by 11:30 with plenty of time to celebrate with friends! It's possible you guys, it really is.
Fun fact: you can rent out the lookout for a fun overnight experience :) Also, there are no facilities at the trailhead so make sure you stop at the cutest espresso stand (Index Espresso Chalet) with the cleanest port-a-potties about a quarter mile, on your passenger side, before the trail. The espresso stand also has picnic tables in the back with spectacular mountain views.