fitness

What Does An Ideal Training Week Look Like?

We spend so much time thinking about what we should do, what we would like to do and far less time actually doing it. Which is exactly why a training week should be planned out well in advance.

Your perfect training week lies within your goals (weight loss, muscle gain, toning, strength, skills) your strengths, weaknesses, past injuries and how are you tracking in relation to your goal. However, there are FOUR main elements of fitness which are important for almost all adults when it comes to training.

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Flexibility

With the lifestyle most of us lead, flexibility gradually deteriorates as we age and move less. If you are sitting at a desk for the bulk of your day your joints are not moving anywhere near their full range of motion, let alone building any strength. When we refer to flexibility or mobility we are talking about the ability to move through full range of motion and have strength in end ranges. Flexibility is essential for almost EVERYONE.

Cardiovascular Fitness

Getting your heart rate up helps to improve heart and lung function, as a result helping you live longer. This can be long and low intensity, high intensity interval training and circuits. We like to apply a lot of bodyweight movements as well as free weights to improve gymnastics skills with our memebers. If life longevity is not enough of a motivator for you, you can alway focus on those feel-good endorphins you’ll get every time.


Strength

Resistance training is a must for all adults, for managing body composition, joint strength, maintain muscle mass. To be strong, fit for whatever you want to do with your life. A lot of our skill training ticks this box too, you can’t learn skills without true body weight strength.

Skill 

Training for balance, body awareness, coordination. Many don’t realise how important this is until they reach their later years and are at risk of falling over and breaking a hip. Imagine if your grandparents had better balance, body awareness, coordination. Skill training is also fun, it will keep you going far longer than any 12 week health kick will. You will be proud of your results and it’s a journey you will remember forever because you worked your butt off for it.

We believe a perfect program contains all of these elements. While each individuals’ background and needs vary significantly, the balance will lie in there somewhere.


Some Of The Best Fitness And Nutrition Advice From The Experts

Learning from your own mistakes is one of best teachers you will ever have. Being "self taught" in some area's can be a gift and a valuable introspective process,

but..

We don't have time to make every mistake under the sun for every thing we are trying to learn. We also have to learn from each others' mistakes. We have to be opened minded, find mentors and ask good questions.

The below is some of the fitness advice from the best trainers in Sydney. They share their advice based on a mistake they used to make in the past for themselves or with their clients to save you time.

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Kat Jacob: Coach Dalecki Strength GYMNASTICS


You don’t have to smash yourself and walk out in a puddle of sweat to have had a good session. Leaving your ego at the door is key, especially when it comes to avoiding injuries.

When it comes to skill work, it is never worth trying to skip ahead. You need to build a solid foundation first, if you don’t you will find yourself back at the foundations a little further along any way. Patience is key as it’s a long journey!

Melanie Corlett: Owner Treign Fitness Paddington

Looking back at the last 7 or so years, the biggest “mistake” I made was thinking I needed to train at 100% effort 5-6 sessions (60 - 90 minutes each) a week "NO MATTER WHAT" to sustain my fitness. I underestimated the value of lower-intensity steady-state movement, like walking. I now train 3-4 times a week, sometimes for only 15 minutes a session. I incorporate way more time for simple, low-impact movement (and being outside in nature!) into my week. I prioritise sleep & recovery and if I’m feeling slightly run-down or low on energy - I don’t train! In the past I would have classified that as “no discipline” I now understand it as body wisdom!

Nick Papastamatis: Balance Health and Performance

Personally, I have had plenty of niggles and injuries through sport. I overused certain areas and often in ways which weren’t technically correct. As time went on, I started to avoid exercise whenever I had pain.. This couldn’t have been a bigger mistake. Pain, injury and developing niggles are a natural consequence of growth. As you grow and develop parts of your health, it will expose areas that need attention. I’ve realised through my own experience and through the experience of helping patients with injury - that pain can be viewed as your brain’s natural warning system to let you know that the area needs attention - NOT a reason to stop everything.

3 things pain could mean:
1. You’ve overused an area
2. You need to improve how to control an area
3. The exercise is too hard for the tissue to tolerate

It goes without saying - if you have pain - consult your trusted Chiro or Physio. However, it doesn’t always mean you’re ‘injured’. It often just means you need to keep getting better but in a different way.

Peta McDonald: Coach Treign Fitness Paddington

Training everyday won’t get you there faster... In fact it will probably even hinder your progress. When I first started training I had the understanding that I’d get results quicker if I worked out more and thought more was always better. Different people can handle different volumes of training, so figuring out how much you can recover from is really important. I now make sure I move everyday but as for training sessions it’s around 4/week.

Holly Edstein- SPORTS Dietician

“I now focus a lot more on the whole person. While I use high-quality scientific evidence to form the basis of my practice, the intervention I advise is always tailored to be feasible and sustainable for the individual’s context. I strive for dietary relevance, not perfection.”

In other words, there is no perfect diet. My advice is to stop searching for one.
Instead search for a nutritious and sustainable approach to food that maximises health and performance.

Hassan Abdallah: Owner CrossFit Volume

Your training expectations need to be inline with your current physical and mental state. Set realistic goals around the amount of time you have to train and what your body allows you to put in. You will gain far more satisfaction by placing the right training expectations on yourself.

Shaun Diachkoff: Co Owner Accelerate Strength

While goals will motivate you to be better, it’s your actions that will help you achieve your goals. All too often I hear people say they want to lose weight or to get better at a particular skill. However the reality is their daily routine is not in line with reaching these goals. They want some sort of weight loss goal yet they keep eating the same. Or they want to get better at pull ups and they haven’t done the daily homework required for weeks… If this is you I say take a step back and assess whether you actions are in line with your goals because only then will you achieve them!

Matt Williams: Co Owner Accelerate Strength

The number one thing I have learnt over the past 20 years as an adult and what I love to pass onto others who are feeling lost, stressed, distracted or just a little scattered is to..
Just breath.... “The simple things are the most extraordinary, only the wise can see them” - The Alchemist

Lochie Simpson: Head Coach Creature Fitness

You will never be able to do more work in one day than you will be able to do in a week/month/year. Play the long game, focus on consistency, sustainability and reap the rewards. There is no “magic” exercise program, the magic is in finding something that you enjoy and will be able to maintain as a long term practice, whether it be yoga, gymnastics, CrossFit, tennis etc.

Joey Worthington: Co Owner Jungle Brothers Strength & Movement

When starting out, enjoy the linear gains, but know that's it not gonna last. Once the honeymoon period is up and you've established a solid training base, your progress will take a much more convoluted path and at times along that path, you'll feel like you're going backwards. Manage your expectations, commit to the process, and know that in the long run you're progressing as fast as you can.

Our predictions (and tips) for the 2018 Open

In a short 40 days, the 2018 season kicks off. 

From the novice, to the advanced competitor, to the coach or even just the spectator, If you are a part of a CrossFit box, you will be drawn into the chaos and excitement of the Open.

So far, we only have a few of Dave Castro’s cryptic Instagram clues about what the workouts might involve.

Here our coaches are going to offer up their predictions and a few tips on how to approach the gymnastics skills if or when they show up. 

Coach Ev

New movement prediction? 

Strict handstand push ups. 2015 was the first year we saw handstand push ups in the open, and kipping was permitted. Kipping HSPU were then repeated in 2016 and 2017, meanwhile at regionals the focus was on strict handstand push ups. I think this year they will progress this movement.

My advice for any one working towards strict handstand push ups is to ditch the ab mats. This is the most common fault I see with people working towards this movement. There is little benefit to becoming strong in a shortened range of motion, then having to re build the strength all over again but from a different position later. 

Instead, progressively build your capacity using regular floor push ups, deficit push ups, pike push ups, isometric holds and contractions. You will need to set aside time to specifically work on this movement, minimum three times per week. 

My prediction for the retest workout is 17.2 This means you really have to know your capacity on toes to bar and bar muscle ups. This work out is all about how well you know yourself, so that you don’t red line your grip.

Coach Kat

New Movement prediction?

Handstand walking became “trendy”again in 2017. People were becoming a little bit more interested in doing handstands away from the wall potentially inspired by Dave Castro including a handstand walking obstacle course in the CrossFit Invitational. 

This is an easy movement to judge and I think he will throw it in this year! 

My advice for any one starting to learn handstand walking is, put effort into mastering your handstand entry technique. It seems obvious but it is a step that people often miss. Over kicking into the handstand wildly, then having to stabilise once up side down is a very ineffective way to learn this skill. It may get you a few random steps, but it won't allow you to learn proper control with your handstand.

Repeat prediction?

17.5 Thrusters and double unders.

Coach Courtney 

New movement prediction? Single leg squats, aka pistol squats.

If you check CrossFit.com occasionally you would have noticed that these have been included in the CrossFit programming for a long time. Most recently

For time (180104)

10 single leg squats alternating

10 yard HS walk 

20 single leg squats alternating 

20 yard HS walk

30 single leg squats alternating

30 yard HS walk

40 single leg squats alternating

40 yard HS walk 

CrossFit doesn't shy away from including challenging movements in the Open. They like to see the entire CrossFit population improvement from year to year and acquire skills they previously could not complete.

Repeat prediction? 

17.3 Snatch ladder with chest to bar pull ups.

Of course, there is always the chance that Dave Castro surprises us all and gives us a gymnastics free year.

If you don't like the chances of that happening. Get in touch with us and we can help you get on track with your gymnastic skills before the Open.

Term starts 22nd January. We will be focusing on handstand push up and pull up strength, ring muscle ups and handstands for skill.

This will give you 6 weeks of structured gymnastics practice before the open starts and continued support once the workout starts being released. 

Click the button below to learn more and get started.

"Minimum work requirement" Why these three words are ruining your life

In 2013 Kat and I found out we were going to be competing at the CrossFit Regionals together on a team. 

I didn’t realise it at the time, but what unfolded next has shaped and defined Dalecki Strength as well as Kat and I as coaches.

The workouts were released..

EVENT 3 on Day 1 

Complete as many total reps in 7 minutes of:

Burpee ring muscle-ups.

MINIMUM work requirement- 6 reps per gender.

This meant that 2 out 3 women had to complete 3 burpee ring muscle ups. 

In 2013 ring muscle ups were very rare for women.

Kat had a natural ability for muscle ups. They were strong, consistent and beautiful.

Sam our other girl was very far away from her first muscle up. 

That meant I absolutely had to get 3 muscle ups on the day otherwise our team would be disqualified and knocked out of the competition.

 

Rewind back a year

I had started CrossFit exactly 1 year prior to this moment.

Yes I was an ex gymnast but I had ZERO exposure to ring training. 

In traditional artistic gymnastics, women (sadly) do not learn the rings as an apparatus. 

Not only that, when I started CrossFit I was de-conditioned, unfit and had even lost my strict pull ups!

During my first year of CrossFit I progressed really quickly. I took full advantage of the “beginner gains” but also I was able to rely on my previous athletic background. I knew how to move well, I just had to be disciplined with my training.

I pretty much picked up everything I needed to be decently competitive at CrossFit, I had all the barbell and gymnastics movements, the one exception being the dreaded ring muscle up.

I felt pressure to be good at CrossFit because people expected me to be good. 

“Oh you are an ex gymnast, CrossFit must be easy for you"

“Ah you are Kat’s sister.. Are you as strong as her?"

This caused me to become incredibly stressed. CrossFit was the furthest thing from easy.

I was embarrassed and anxious. To add to that, I was extremely competitive.

As it unfolded this adversity was the biggest blessing I could have asked for.

Kat worked with me on this every single day in the gym for hours. 

During these few weeks we learnt..

  • 1001 ways to teach and not to teach muscle up.

  • You should not be skipping any steps in skill acquisition.

  • A little bit of skin in the game is very useful motivation to achieve a crazy goal.

The trivial outcome. 

I got those muscle ups and we progressed through the whole weekend of competition. 

It was surprisingly easy on the day.

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The lasting outcome

We learned true empathy for our future clients. 

We know how to help them because we have been through the struggle personally. 

Another lesson was in the beauty of CrossFit. 

Competing in CrossFit is not just “an exercising competition.” It is more than that. It is about tackling your fears and insecurities in front of thousands in a public arena. Whether that is on the Open Leaderboard, Regionals or a local comp, it takes bravery and can make you a better person in the process.

If you need help with gymnastics to get better at CrossFit and you care about doing things properly, we are here to help. We have been through the struggles you are facing now.

 

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A little mistake that CrossFitters are making today, costing them years of frustration down the track!

A little mistake that CrossFitters are making today, costing them years of frustration down the track

There so many variations of skills in CrossFit gymnastics movements.

Which is the most efficient?

  • Bent leg versus straight leg TTB? Or using the scoop?

  • Straight or Scorpion Handstand?

  • Butterfly or kipping pull up?


Your answer can be found right here. Firstly ask yourself these questions:

  1. Why are you learning it? Is it to perform workouts RXd? Is it for competition?

  2. What comes after mastering this skill?

Hint: Always look ahead.
To steer you in the right direction, think along the lines of similar movement patterns.

Example: Handstand —> Handstand walk —> HSPU —> Ring HSPU

Before we get to handstands, let’s first take a look at the process many follow to learn and understand new movements.

If you wanted a heavier snatch, what are the first things you would be likely to do? Obviously you’ll first seek a coach and refine technique.

You’re also likely to head to YouTube, watch professional lifters, analyse their technique, striving to look like “one of them”.

Improved technique generally will lead you towards a heavier snatch in the long term. The Weightlifting element in CrossFit is far more closely replicated in the sport of CrossFit in comparison to gymnastics. There are CrossFitter’s that are now competing at high levels in both sports.. it’s incredible.

SIMILAR

Weightlifting in Weightlifting looks like this..

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Weightlifting in CrossFit looks like this..

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VASTLY DIFFERENT

Gymnastics in the sport of Gymnastics looks like this..

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Gymnastics in CrossFit looks like this:

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Now let’s look at CrossFit and Gymnastics. A skill commonly sought after by CrossFitters is the handstand walk. If you follow the same protocol, at some point you’ll be researching, looking at others technique.

Here’s the problem, what is right, what is wrong? You cannot look at an Olympic level gymnast performing handstand walks, butterfly pull ups and kipping TTB because..

They do not perform those movements.

You’ll then look to professional CrossFitters, who walks the fastest and longest distance. Some have their legs bent over, others have a major scorpion shape and the odd one will be walking backwards. Although your coach has told you that a straight back is the way to go…very confusing huh? Are you going to learn scorpion or straight HS?

Back to our two questions:

  1. Why do you want to learn the skill? Is it for a competition? Is it because your ultimate goal is to get fast HS walks for long distance on your hands?

  2. Once you master the skill, what else would you like to learn? This is so important!

If you’re answer leans towards harder more advanced skills, Handstand balance, Handstand on the rings, freestanding HSPU you need to look at the technique that’s going to get you to that.

Now it’s about the best technique that is transferable across skills to higher level skills. This is the straight handstand. If your ultimate goal is a fast handstand walk- in a straight line- and that’s as far as you want to take it then the scorpion may be a better option for you.


How we teach a CrossFitter:

  1. Joint movement and control

  2. Strength through required range of motion

  3. Body awareness

  4. What skill are we working on now? What are we working toward in future?

  5. Breaking down the skill into small components.

Want to ensure you’re learning the right technique? Register your interest for the next Dalecki Strength Squad term below.

 

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What can you learn from the Dalecki sister's combined 7 Regionals experiences?

Collectively, the Dalecki Sisters have competed at the CrossFit Regionals 7 times.

Kat
2012 CrossFit Sydney 30th
2013 Reebok CrossFit GCS 18th
2015 Team Creature 15th

Ev
2013 Team Reebok CrossFit GCS 18th
2014 Individual CrossFit Creature 16th
2015 Team Creature 15th
2016 Individual CrossFit Creature 25th

 

Every season of competition is unique and has its own twists and turns along the way. The one thing that remains unchanged every time is, you come out of it a better person, because you will have learnt lessons about yourself and how you respond to challenges. 

Here is what Kat learnt from her first Regionals experience.
You can't hide from anything and you need a coach.
We often focus on skills and movements that come up on a regular basis, squats, toes to bar, cleans etc. We sometimes avoid things that just don't come up very often, we are not so good at or we fear.
In my first Regionals experience, I was absolutely crushed by a heavy ass DB snatch. It was 2012 and 32.5kg DB snatches were almost never programmed for women in our regular CrossFit sessions.  After Regionals, I was pretty content with thinking to myself that I will never have to face them again.. So I ignored them and got away with it for a few years!!

But then..

A few years later I was training for Regionals again with a new team and new coach and I was forced to face this movement, 3 times per week. My coach knew me well and had realised I was avoiding something. He helped me to overcome it.

This made me realise there is always going to be a period of frustration and struggle before you get comfortable with a difficult movement. I realised how important it was to have a coach to help guide my training and plan a strategy
Everyone needs a coach!! Even the coaches!!
 

Here is what Ev learnt from her team experiences

As much as you might like to think you have a good chance of predicting which movements are likely to come up at Regionals, there are always surprises. Lets say you spend all year perfecting your pull ups in your most comfortable environment, on your favourite pull up bar in the gym, the one that's not too high or too low. There is no doubt that you will make progress like this.

But..

Then HQ releases the Regional events and you have a team workout thrown at you where you will have to synchronise your chest to bar pull ups with a partner. A male partner, twice the height of you, on a bar so high you can barely even jump to it. Then perhaps your partner prefers kipping pull ups instead of butterfly but you have perfected your butterfly style pull up all year. 

 

You realise that you will be limited by your ability to adapt. Not by the effort that you have put into your skill training. 

My main take away was, as much as specific skill practice is important and valuable, you also need to focus on movement so that you can flow, make adjustments and adapt to what ever circumstances you find yourself in. 

Feel like your movement and skills could use a brush up before the Open 2017?
 

Click HERE to find out how we can help you!

Do you have LEAKS in your training?

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Reading Seth Godin’s blog this week Visualize the leaks had me thinking about wasted effort. Whilst Seth is referring to leaks in organizations. I started to think about leaks in training sessions.

When was the last time you saw a leaking tap in your home and simply walked past without doing anything about it?

You didn’t I’m sure.

You hate waste.

If you had walked past it would have been on your mind all day long.

However, there are leaks in your training and you keep walking past. Address them and stop pretending they don’t exist.

1. Goals

Have you set them?

Training without setting goals does not mean you won’t make any progress. You almost certainly will. 

Although, training without specific goals that are meaningful to you means that you might make moderate progress in areas that are not really that important to you. 

Example- you consistently PB your back squat, but deep down you are frustrated that you still can’t manage a pull up.

You need to identify where you want to go- and have a plan of attack to get you there.

Goal setting can be extremely challenging if you haven’t done it before. Recruit a coach that you trust to guide you through the process. 

Upon completion of a successful goal setting session you should have clarity on:


1. Where you are right now

2. Where you want to go

3. What immediate action you need to put in place & a plan to stay accountable to it

 

Finally- the goal needs to SCARE you. Not to death, but it needs to give you butterflies thinking about it. If you have set a goal that would likely be achieved in time with little or no effort on your part, a very low sense of accomplishment will be associated with ticking off that goal.

 

2. Are you bringing the right attitude to your sessions?

Each and every training session has the power to transform you. You can come out a better person and better athlete in every single session if you approach it with the right mindset.

However, if you are dragging yourself to the gym with self talk such as “I just want to get this over and done with.” That is exactly what you will get. Before you know it, the session will be over and done with. Whilst you will have gotten some physical benefits out of doing it, you haven’t taken anything away and become a better person in the process.

DO THIS INSTEAD

Before you start your workout, ask yourself

WHY am I doing this? 

After you finish your workout, ask yourself

What did I learn about my mind and body today?

What could have gone better?

What can I implement to improve next time?

Once you are aware of the leak, you need to TAKE ACTION. 

           STOP WALKING PAST.

How you do something, is how you do everything

Starting gymnastics young taught us many lessons in discipline. Alarm clocks set at 4:30am, juggling school and training as well as sacrificing social events.

 

Generally, if you are putting in more than 10+ hours of training per week into an athletic endeavour you are showing some level of commitment to your goal. However, time alone as a measure of discipline is limiting. You can pour hours upon hours into an endeavour and but unless your mind is in the right place and your practice is extremely deliberate- you may see some average results but never discover your true potential.

 

We were taught that our success didn’t depend on purely just showing up and going through the motions. Our effort was noticed in every single movement we performed in a session. This meant perfect alignment in stretches, complete body tension during core work and our attitude towards training partners.  It even meant standing and walking was graceful and emphasis was placed on correct posture.

 

Two important lessons

  1. It’s not what you do, it is how you do it.

  2. How you do something, is how you do everything.

 

If you were "that" girl who needed the coach to be there watching and keeping you accountable for every piece of your training. Everyone knew it was only a matter of time before you gave up on something important. Your advanced goals would slip from your grasp and it would be because the correct attitude wasn’t a part of the small actions, so it wasn’t a part of you.

 

Patience towards goals was a given in our gymnastics experience. There was no skipping ahead and attempting skills outside of an athlete’s strength capability. Not even once. You were never allowed to ask your coach if you could attempt a skill because ‘you wanted to.’ More importantly, none of us wanted to skip ahead. We didn’t want injuries and we wanted the decisions to be left up to the coach instead of our ego. There was no sense of urgency in our training environment. However what it did have was a deep sense of importance and seriousness.

 

That small action and drill we were performing was just another piece being added to a future masterpiece.

 

This is something now ingrained in our teaching philosophy and it is something we are very proud of.

Proper progression and patience are keys to success and the ones who are rushing ahead to stay at the pace of somebody else or a false idea of their own capability are destined for injury and don’t succeed in our program.

 

Questions to ask yourself

  1. Are you in a training environment that supports proper progression?

  2. Is your practice deliberate or random?


Need some guidance on your current training? Request a discovery call below & discover 3 small actions you can take NOW to get more out of your training sessions.

 

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How Ev Dalecki is approaching the Open differently this year

How Ev Dalecki is approaching the Open differently this year

2016 marks the 5th year I am participating in the CrossFit open. Every year that I am in the sport, my training, goals and situation is different. Although this year I have kicked off the Open season with a different plan. I was determined to not let the Open stress me out and instead enjoy the whole 5 weeks. I also planned to release the videos of all and any Open workout attempts as soon as I had them available.

Having trouble with your handstand? Maybe it’s your wrists…

Having trouble with your handstand? Maybe it’s your wrists…

Article by Jeremy Salcedo

Meet Jeremy,  our new superstar coach! He has an extensive Capoeira background, has been training with Dalecki Strength for 2 years and he’s also a Physiotherapist. Jeremy has a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to movement and health.