Saturday, May 09, 2009

Speal - a Paragon of Fitness

One of the areas in which I find inspiration and motivation is athletic performance. I've posted a few profiles or stories of pro athletes here, but today I wanted to highlight an amateur competitor. As a bit of background, when I started following the crossfit workouts, I'd compare my times to other posters'. Crossfit suggests scaling workouts according to bodyweight which is what I did. So after learning the movements, my typical experience was to do a workout in 30 minutes, then check the website and see that most people completed it in 20-25 minutes with a few standouts finishing in 18 minutes. Then there'd be the inevitable post: 12 minutes as RX'd (meaning unscaled) signed by "Speal" who happens to weigh 140 lbs. I never really doubted the veracity of the posts, but as they say, seeing is believing. There are a number of videos of Speal on the crossfit site, but for a taste of his fitness level, check out the videos of the crossfit game qualifiers: first wod, second wod, finals (the first and last are particularly impressive when you see the size of some of his competition). I'm definitely cheering for him to win the overall games.

4 Comments:

Blogger Rajesh said...

The guy is super fit. I thought cross-fit workouts are great. It is close to the workouts I used to do (injured since some time now). I used to do Olympic lifts with sprints and combine it with other regular exercises like pull-ups, dips, push ups, and other stuff. I used to surprise a lot of people with my strength (5.8 and 37 yrs then). What was lacking was the nutritional knowledge (besides lack of proper equipment which caused injury-I live in India) which after reading good-calories.. and reading a lot of good stuff on various sites recently I am hoping it would make a huge difference.
I have been reading your posts regularly now and I really like what you write. I am also trying to get used to the flowers but the names are very difficult, maybe you could give them nick-names:)

11:59 AM  
Blogger Amit Ghate said...

Sorry for the late reply ... I was out of town. If you don't mind my asking, how did you come up with those workouts? From a book or website, a coach, or just on you own?

And as to the orchid names, as soon as the various orchid societies see fit to change the names, I'll be right on board ;-)

9:58 PM  
Blogger Rajesh said...

I started exercising in my late 20's. Before that I was involved with sports but no workouts. I started very slowly as I was recovering from a tendon grafting operation on my right wrist. Initially it was all traditional weight training-one body part a day sorts. After the initial gains I hit a plateau and I gradually got bored. For a couple of years I just went through the motions and lost interest. Then I stared reading a bit and got myself Arnold "the green governor" terminator's book on bodybuilding. I liked the book and it's emphasis on exercises like front squats, pushups and more importantly ones like clean and press, dead lifts etc.. Since during those days most of the guys were weightlifters and then bodybuilders, strength training was an integral part of their training. It's these exercises which excited me.

I was a very-very strong kid (I could throw kids twice my size over my head using a judo move I saw once) and I enjoyed these exercises. Gradually the interest came back and I could lift a lot more weight. The only problem was that there was nobody to show me the right way of doing these exercises so I started looking at YouTube for guidance. I realized that a lot of what I liked was Olympic exercises. Meanwhile I was constantly changing my routines and also including commando training-one set of each body-part with no rest. I was doing pushups with 60 kg on my back and dips with same weight, bench press with 40 kg dumbbells (no help while picking). Although chest and back are almost ignored in O-training, I enjoyed them too much, so I came up with a routine combining the exercises along with sprints on the treadmill. I had a gym partner who was 10 years younger and tried to keep up with me (he could not).

I damaged my heel while sprinting with my hiking shoes (perfect for heavy lifts) and its been 3 years and in spite of treatment it keeps bothering me. So no heavy lifts and light training at home till I recover fully. As for the orchids, various orchid societies could use a bit of Objectivity while naming their flowers.

7:54 AM  
Anonymous Lucy H. said...

This Speal guy is awesome, Amit!

I'd heard of crossfit, but I didn't know exactly what it entailed. Interesting video clips, and yes, very inspiring. Thanks for posting.

3:24 PM  

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