The Benefits of Practicing Awareness

Swim Night!  Register HERE!
Gymnastics Club!  8pm in Venice

Thursday May 29, 2014


Wrist Mob
Fire Hydrants
Lat Activations

Warm Up:

400m Jog
2 Rounds:
10 each side Bird Dogs
10 each side Plank Hip Abduction
10 Tuck Ups
5 Strict Pullups


EMOM 12 minutes:
Odd: 5 Hang Power Cleans
Even: 5 Weighted Pull ups

Notes: May increase loads each round.  Kipping may be used on the weighted pull ups or may perform strict with assistance.



5 rounds for time of:

Run 400 meters
15 Overhead Squats (95/65)

-20 minute cap-

Notes: This is a classic benchmark!  If limited in the OH position, front squats may be performed

Cool Down:

Alternate x4:
:30s hollow hold
10 wall extensions



One of the highest return on investment practices an athlete can implement right now is the practice of meditation. The problem is meditation is often a misunderstood practice, can be very intimidating, and its not exactly clear how to “do it”. I will admit, my old perception of meditation included visions of baldheaded monks secluded on a mountaintop temple achieving some mystical state known as “Nirvana”. I now know after 5 years of practice how wrong that perception was. So, I have linked to a series of illustrations that will help to understand the practice better.

To highlight the benefits as it applies to athletics, the same year I learned how to meditate I earned my first All-American AND Academic All-American Honors as a college lacrosse players. I also learned how to sleep. Why? Because meditation is, put simply, the practice of being completely involved in, focused and aware of the present moment.

In sports, if you are thinking about what you just did, or what you are about to do, you are not going to perform to your highest potential. The same applies to your training. If you are about to snatch and you’re already thinking about getting under the bar you will miss extension. If you are thinking about extension in your setup you will rip the weight off the ground and miss your positions. If you are completely present and aware throughout the movement you will execute it properly, or if you don’t your awareness will allow you to assess any mistakes you might have made. Guess what? Even if you don’t know it, you probably meditate every time you are in the gym.

I will leave you with one simple meditation practice called mindful breathing. This practice will not only help you bring awareness into your movements during training, but will also help you improve your ability to “breathe through movement”. Start by sitting comfortably. Don’t worry about double lotus, you can sit in a chair, just make sure your spine is upright and neutral. Start by closing your eyes and turning your attention 100% to your breath. Feel the way the air passes through your nose, passes through your throat, fills up your lungs and expands your chest and belly. Don’t forget to experience that moment where you are neither breathing in nor out. Feel how your belly retracts towards your spine as you begin to exhale, notice the air passing through your throat and back out your nostrils. Feel again that moment where you are neither breathing in nor breathing out. Set a timer and do this for 5 minutes at first, even one minute, or 30 seconds is sufficient to begin the practice. Start at your own pace. You will notice that thoughts about the past or the future will pop up. Do not entertain these thoughts, let them leave your head with your breath and return your focus to the present. 

Author: Matthew Walrath

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