Saturday, December 19, 2015

Happy Holidays from Sports Authority

This weekend only! Enjoy 20% off your entire purchase!
*Valid at any New York or New Jersey Sports Authority location*
Valid 12/16/15 - 12/20/15
OR

Get $20 off your purchase of $100 or more!
*Valid at any New York or New Jersey Sports Authority location*
Valid 12/16/15 - 12/20/15

Big Thank You for our partners at Sports Authority

See you at the Race! AROO!
Coach Aragon


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Kettlebells - Hard Style


This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend StrongFirst Coach Cambio's Kettlebell Hard Style Workshop at Mountain Strength Crossfit. 

Now if you aren't familiar with "Hard Style", It's derived from the russian way of kettlebell techniques. StrongFirst aims to maximize both strength (tension) and Speed (relaxation). 








Coach Cambio: 

"I believe the Hardstyle swing is the best possible training towards building a better athlete! It is a ready position that all movement starts from. It is a jump without leaving the ground. It sharpens your reflexes and balance. It builds strength and power."


As an athlete, Hardstyle is by far the most beneficial to maximize one's athleticism. After 4+ hours of learning the techniques of double arm, single arm, cleans, snatches,  my legs, abs, and grip were toast. It was a great experience and an intense workout! 

Checkout some helpful tips in the video below.
  


See at at the Race! AROO!
Coach ARAGON

Friday, November 27, 2015

Post Thanksgiving 12 minute Fat Burner


It has been done! You binged on turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, rice, corn bread, all kinds of pies until you had one (or two) of everything that was on the table! Now, it's time to pay the piper!

Check out the video below for a great quick way to wake up your metabolism and burn off those accumulated calories.

See You at the Next Race! AROO!
Coach Aragon

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Holly Holm knocks out Ronda Rousey to be the NEW UFC CHAMPION at UFC 193

Holly Holm has made UFC history tonight against one of the most dominating women's mixed martial artists in the world.

It was a classic battle between superior stand up game versus world class ground game! Ronda Rousey was simply out classed in striking. Ronda has never been against an opponent of Holly's caliber. The 1st round was Holly demonstrating her ability to maintain her distance. Even though there where moments when Holly was taken to the ground where clearly she was able to defend herself. Holly at one point did take Ronda down to the ground and got right back with little problem. The outcome was an exciting perfectly executed plan delivered by Holly Holm.


After the entire first round of Ronda getting lite up, In round 2, Holly saw the opening and threw the devastating head kick that knocked out Ronda.
Holly Holm now has an undefeated record with 10 wins 0 losses.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Reebok All Terrain Extreme Review


As some of you may already know, the "All Terrain" is a series of shoes designed by Reebok for Obstacle Course Races (OCR). When they were first released the biggest features these shoes were recognized for were the drainage system and the unique mid foot grip. They started out with the Sprint and Super models. The Sprints were the less expensive models and the Supers were the higher priced model, which had a bit tougher/thicker sole and outside mesh support.

Now lets flash forward to the present to the new All Terrain Extreme edition. 

Let's begin with the color theme, I'm totally for the solar yellow/ neon/ gravel black combo. It's got a cool hardcore look to it. Of course it won't be long before there are more colors available.

Second noticeable upgrade is the webbing on the outside of the mesh. The Kevlar helps a tremendous amount with durability while still maintaining it's ability to drain water quickly and breath-ability. Kevlar is the same material that is used to reinforce tires and protective helmets.
Next upgrade is the wider shoe tongue. Previous versions (see picture below) the shoe tongue was shorter and thinner which kept sliding to the sides.

The sole is a bit tougher and has an awesome grip. But just like the previous versions if you are flat footed, I do suggest you slip in your orthodics or slip in some sort of inserts for better support. The inserts it comes with simply don't provide any support unless you are used to running in bare foot shoes. (See picture below of the inserts it comes with)

Here's a look of the Super and Extreme edition side by side.
So! What's the verdict? Are they an upgrade? How do they handle on course?
Well of course we have to put these puppies through a test; so I chose the 2015 Spartan Race Ultra up in Vermont to see how they can handle. Now, for starters, I did go on a few test runs on trails to break them in so by the time of race day they were ready to go full force. 

Sunday September 20th, race day was here. First lap was great, a smooth 5 1/2 hours. The grip going up and down hills was great. The downhill part was where I really noticed how they grip to the ground. Obstacles were a breeze especially at the traverse wall and rope climb. At the bin drop while replenishing food and hydration I gave them a quick inspection. No holes, laces were still tied, so off I went for Lap 2. Already knowing what was ahead of me I kept a nice pace and took off on the flats. The All Terrain Extreme kept up with another great lap and held up perfectly fine throughout the rest of the race. Finally, I got to the finish line completing this year's Vermont Ultra smoothly. Below are the pics after the race.

Overall, I definitely recommend this model for any OCR. As with all things, the sport of OCR will continue to evolve, so will the gear and this model is a great sign of what is coming from Reebok and the OCR world. 

See you at the next RACE!
AROO!

Coach ARAGON

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Prepare for the Vermont Killington BEAST! (Updated)


Last April I made a quick easily accessible list to be better prepared for the NJ Beast. Many that have gone through a Beast (Elite or novice) should know that you will be out there for hours. How many hours? That's up to the individual.

First of a Killington Beast is a Beast of another kind, the following list can serve as a guide to all Spartan Race Beasts but it is devoted to the MOTHER OF ALL BEASTS.....VT KILLINTON.



1. Hydration Pack or Belt 
 
Whether you are elite or a novice, water stations may not come around during the time you need them to. I have seen many racers make the same mistake which is to wait until they feel thirsty to have drink. Feeling thirsty is the body's natural indicator that you are already dehydrated. Having a sip or two every 15-20 minutes will keep your body hydrated and performing to the best of your abilities.

2. Sodium

Have you ever tasted your sweat? When you sweat you are losing sodium in the body, in fact you can lose about 1.5g per hour. So why is sodium so important? Sodium helps keep your body temperature and heart rate from rising during lengthy amounts of exercise. Where to get your sodium fix? Most endurance sports drinks contain enough sodium to keep you going (without cramping as well). Feel free to toss in a sports drink into your hydration packs. Ran out sports drink? Can't find the next convenience store on the race course? NUUN! When you get to the next water station fill it up with water and pop in 1 or 2 tablets of Nuun and Wallah instant sports drink with the sodium to keep you going! Don't like NUUN? Mustard PACKS! Racers live by them to avoid cramps! I personally use them as a back up or to save racers screaming on the ground because of a nasty cramp.

3. FOOD

Yes, you need to fuel up during prolonged amounts of exercise! Even the best of athletes can only hold a certain amount of muscle fuel (glycogen). With in an hour into the race eat, whether its a gel pack or a sports bar. After 45 minutes, have another 60 - 80 grams of carbohydrates while still keeping the body hydrated every 20 minutes.
Here are some examples:
Gels: Roctane, Gu pack, PowerBar Enery, Surge
Bars: Clif Bar, Clif Builders, PowerBar, Bloks
Real Food: Beef Jerky, dried fruit, Pretzels, SunRype

Estimate the amount of time you believe you will be out there and take a little more. It's always better to carry a little more than to be scavenging on race day. I have seen people picking up gel packs and eating left overs from desperation.... YUCK! 

4. Compression Apparel


You may have noticed many racers wearing a bunch of tight spandex looking cloths. Why are they wearing all this tight cloths? Is it a fashion statement or are they going to audition for black swan Part 2 right after the race? 
Compression apparel, whether it's socks, arm/calve sleeves, shorts, pants. or shirts are meant to help increase blood flow  which can improve performance and speed up recovery time. Now it is still open to researchers on whether it fully does what it's stated to do but any boost to prevent a nasty leg cramp is worth it! Hylete has been a popular choice among the OCR community.
If you're interested in getting some apparel use code "AragonFitness25" at https://www.hylete.com/ and save 25% off your next purchase.
Or take a look at Reebok's Spartan apparel on the right hand side of this page-------------> 

5. Shoes

The right pair of shoes is a must when it comes to muddy or rocky terrain of these races. Reebok has come out with the Spartan All-Terrain Series specifically meant for Spartan Races. These shoes can obviously also be used for all other OCR races as well. I have used them in many past races and the Spartan Super and now Extreme models have a bit more durability then the Sprint model. Another great pair of outdoor running shoes is from Inov-8 X-Talon models. Inov-8 was among the first on OCR scene. Many may remember seeing them a couple of years back at most Races. When looking for a good pair of OCR running shoes you are looking for something light and has a good grip.
Here is a list of a few more to choose from: Icebug, New Balance Minimus, Salomon

6. Sports Tape

There are many kinds of tapes out there, all of which need strip after strip AFTER STRIP, and many can't even handle the battle and tend to fall off. Rapid Force has simplified and eliminated the headache of knowing how to or what patterns the tape needs to be in order for it actually support you. All the shapes are done for you and SUPER EASY to apply! Want them? Want to learn more?
check them out at: http://www.rapidforce-phs.com/ and use code "ARAGON10" for a discount
or call them and mention COACH ARAGON sent ya!

7. Lights




Depending on your start time, some of you may be out there for a good amount of hours. This is a must if you are doing ULTRA! Last thing you want is to be so near the end that you night hits and you WILL not be allowed to complete the course unless you have proper gear. Have a head lamp and some glow sticks in your bag ready just in case. Be prepared.....Not sorry!



8. SPARTANS! PREPARE FOR GLORY!


You signed up, now SHOW UP! You have all the nutrition, hydration, and gear to get you through the race. Now the rest is UP TO YOU!
"SPARTANS NEVER RETREAT! SPARTANS NEVER SURRENDER!"- King Leonidas

Just keep in mind..... 
"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step"- Lao Tzu

Keep moving one foot in front of the other and you will be at the finish line before you know it! 
Also, YOU WON'T BE ALONE! There are thousands of Spartans on the course right there with you battling along your side to accomplish and own this dreadful F***ing NORM course! 

There it is troops, simple and sweet! If you feel I should add something, please feel free to comment below.

See you at the FINISH LINE! AROO! AROO! AROO!

Spartan SGX Coach ARAGON

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Road to Death Race


As many may know, this past summer 2015’s Death Race may have been the last one ever, and I may have lost my chance at tackling it due to falling asleep at the wheel ……twice!

Since I had just seen Norm’s post on Facebook the night before about it being Death Race time, I said to myself  "eh What the hell?". I shot them an email to see if there were any openings left....and there were!

So on June 26th, the day of, I was up and working by 4am not thinking anything of it. Later on around 9am I had a chance to glance at my e-mail when I saw a reply from Peak (Peak Races coordinates all Death Races). They quickly helped me set it up and sent me the gear list of materials to bring. At that moment I took a deep breath and began to figure out how I can make this happen… how am I going to get there? I grabbed a pen and paper and wrote down what I needed to make this happen.
  • -          $400
  • -          Get all items on gear list
  • -          Ride to get to Vermont
  • -          Food & Hydration
  • -          Tell the wife I am going away for the next 3 Days

Being a husband and dad of a 3 year old and not being a millionaire means shelling out $400 bucks is a bit tough. Keep in mind that it ALL GOES TO CHARITY! I would participate in the race, do my very best and raise money for Charity.  I would cover all the gear, gas, and travel costs on my own. So in order to complete the registration part I turned to my fellow Spartans. I quickly setup a GoFundMe page to see if I could raise the money to help me tackle this race since 100% of the registration would be sent off to several charities. Low and behold, the most amazing community I have ever known came through and helped me put together the funds. Once again, A HUGE THANK YOU! to all the Spartans who pitched to hit goal. I am incredibly grateful for the amazing support. 

By this time it’s now 4PM. I immediately called all of my evening clients and weekend clients and told them that there would not be any training and classes would resume Monday.
In the middle of all this I called my wife and simply said to her, “Honey, the Death Race is happening tonight/tomorrow……”
Wife: Oh awesome!
Me: I got in! I can participate in it!
Wife: …………….. (-__-) ………….
Me: H..e..l..l..o…
Wife: How long is this?
Me: I might be done Sunday or Monday
Wife: ……………WTF?!?
Me: It may be the last one …EVER!

Being the most supportive woman I have ever met, she began to figure out how we can get me up to Vermont. So I quickly began to tackle the gear list which also included sorting out food and hydration. I first searched around the house to see if I already had some of the items. Following that, I jumped in the car and went to several stores searching for duct tape, tubing, suit for church, hot sauce, whipped cream, shovel, etc. After a couple of hours everything was assembled by 10:30PM.

 
Last of all was how the hell am I getting over there? Since I didn’t want to drive, my wife was the first choice but she had work the next day, so scratch that. Next was to ask friends and family if they can do me a favor to drop me off in Vermont in the middle of the night to make the 7AM late registration. Everyone either had kids or had work the following day or just thought I was nuts. J Last choice was me. I took everything, tossed it in the car and was ready to make the 4 ½ hour drive. By this time it was 11PM something. Having had worked the entire week and the day of since 4am, I was already sleep deprived. My wife looked at me and said, “Make sure you don’t feel sleepy on the road”. Off I went!


Thirty minutes into the trip, my eyes began to feel heavy. Forty minutes in, I began swerving. How did I know I was swerving? Thanks, to the loud horn of a truck waking me up. I estimated the time and thought, Ok, I’ll pull over to take a quick nap. Twice I took naps to keep going but the second time was the “Oh Shit!” moment when the side bumps woke me up before I almost smashed into the railing. I still had 3 hours of driving by the time I took the second nap. That was around 4am. It was 1 hour 40min to get back home. I stopped by a shop for a redbull which got me back home. (Even the Redbull only lasted 30min)

As a husband and parent, when I had that moment of almost smashing into the guard rail at 80 miles an hour, the first thing that came through my mind was my family. As my efforts to get there didn’t prevail, I had to make the decision to just pull over, snooze, and turn back.

According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 100,000 reported crashes are a direct result of driving drowsy each year.
“ This results in an estimated 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in monetary losses. These figures may be the tip of the iceberg, since currently it is difficult to attribute crashes to sleepiness.” (source: http://drowsydriving.org/about/facts-and-stats/)

Why am I doing this post? So YOU don’t become another number to these Statistics! Driving drowsy is not only putting you in danger but others on the road as well. Before hitting the road take a quick moment and think to yourself, “Is this an emergency or a priority?” 100% of the time it should be NO! Take a nap, find someone else to get you there, drink some black coffee, do a couple of push-ups to keep the body alert, open the windows, blast the AC on the coldest temperature. When there is no option left, then it’s time to just catch up on some much needed rest.
video

If you would like to learn all there is about Drowsy Driving Prevention, please checkout: http://drowsydriving.org/

See you guys in dream land………… ZZZZZzzzzzzzzz
AROO!

Coach Aragon

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Jump Ropes - Good? Bad?


Where did it originate?

Let's go back in time where human beings didn't have cars, bicycles, or roller blades and traveled everywhere on foot. Humans had to run on unleveled terrain and had the need to jump over objects to get to food or shelter. According to the Jump Rope Institute (http://www.jumpropeinstitute.com/), we instintively did this movement to catch prey or move around a constantly changing environment. This reflex played a big role to the survival of mankind. 

According to historians, the jump rope first emerged in early ancient Egypt where vines or flexible bamboo was used to jump over as a type of game. From Egypt to China to Europe to North America, it spread across the globe and hasn't stopped yet. 

What's the big deal?
Due to movies and T.V. many assume jump roping is always associated only with boxers or MMA fighters. In reality, jump roping is key to any athlete in any sport. Learning to jump rope not only benefits your cardiovascular system, it also has huge benefits for your nervous system. Jumping rope increases your reflexes, alertness, balance and coordination without destroying your knees. The load on your knees is less than the load per step while running. Staying sharp while under a fatigued state is of high importance to all sports. Athletes need to stay sharp the entire game.
Running Vs. Jump Rope

Fact: You’d have to run an eight-minute mile to work off more calories than you’d burn jumping rope.
Let's face it, we don't all live in beautiful all year round warm climate. Many of us have to deal with harsh blizzards and icy below 0 degree temperatures. Or let's look at the other perspective where people may have the warm weather but are stuck indoors due to a severe thunderstorm. Although being the Spartan that I am, some snow outside does make running outdoors rather enjoyable, not all of us mind tackling the elements. Calorie for Calorie, you can burn more calories jumping rope in a shorter amount of time than running. Instead of losing out on your fitness, GRAB A JUMP ROPE!

How to Jump Rope?

  • Jump on the Balls of your feet. Try to softly jump up and down on the balls on your feet. Your heels should never touch the ground.
  • Don’t Jump too High, Relax. Small jumps off the ground without tying up the jump rope.
  • Don’t Swing your Arms/Shoulders too Much. Jumping rope is all in the wrists. Just use your wrists in a circular motion.
  • Use the correct length. If you fold the jump rope by putting it under your feet, the handles should reach your Mid-chest.
  • Hands Slightly Above Waistline.
  • Build a Rhythm. 
  • Stick with it! It doesn't happen over night. Keep at it!

Jump Rope is boring!

Don't worry troops! I've got you covered! Check out the video below of 45 ways to jump rope.


Alright troops, there you have it! Just add 5-10 minutes of jump rope a day with your workouts and you will get you closer to the Ripped Spartan bod we all want. Get roping! 

AROO!
Coach ARAGON

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Prepare for the BEAST!


Many of my students have been inquiring about what to bring or wear to the NJ Beast coming up April 18th. So I decided to make an easily accessible list for all Spartans to share. Many that have gone through a Beast (Elite or novice) should know that you will be out there for hours. How many hours? That's up to the individual. First of a Beast is a Beast, the following list can serve as a guide to all Spartan Race Beasts.

1. Hydration Pack or Belt 

Whether you are elite or a novice, water stations may not come around during the time you need them to. I have seen many racers make the same mistake which is to wait until they feel thirsty to have drink. Feeling thirsty is the body's natural indicator that you are already dehydrated. Having a sip or two every 15-20 minutes will keep your body hydrated and performing to the best of your abilities.

2. Salt 
Have you ever tasted your sweat? When you sweat you are losing sodium in the body, in fact you can lose about 1.5g per hour. So why is sodium so important? Sodium helps keep your body temperature and heart rate from rising during lengthy amounts of exercise. Where to get your sodium fix? Most endurance sports drinks contain enough sodium to keep you going (without cramping as well). Feel free to toss in a sports drink into your hydration packs.

3. NUUN 

Ran out sports drink? Can't find the next convenience store on the course? When you get to the next water station fill it up with water and pop in 1 or 2 tablets of Nuun and Wallah instant sports drink with the sodium to keep you going! 

4. FOOD

Yes, you need to fuel up during prolonged amounts of exercise! Even the best of athletes can only hold a certain amount of muscle fuel (glycogen). With in an hour into the race eat, whether its a gel pack or a sports bar. After 45 minutes, have another 60 - 80 grams of carbohydrates while still keeping the body hydrated every 20 minutes.
Here are some examples:
Gels: Roctane, Gu pack, PowerBar Enery, Surge
Bars: Clif Bar, Clif Builders, PowerBar, Bloks
Estimate the amount of time you believe you will be out there and take a little more. It's always better to carry a little more than to be scavenging on race day. I have seen people picking up gel packs and eating left overs from desperation.... YUCK! 

5. Compression Apparel


You may have noticed many racers wearing a bunch of tight spandex looking cloths. Why are they wearing all this tight cloths? Is it a fashion statement or are they going to audition for black swan Part 2 right after the race? 
Compression apparel, whether it's socks, arm/calve sleeves, shorts, pants. or shirts are meant to help increase blood flow  which can improve performance and speed up recovery time. Now it is still open to researchers on whether it fully does what it's stated to do but any boost to prevent a nasty leg cramp is worth it! Hylete has been a popular choice among the OCR community. If you're interested in getting some apparel use code "AragonFitness25" at https://www.hylete.com/ and save 25% off your next purchase. 

6. Shoes

The right pair of shoes is a must when it comes to muddy or rocky terrain of these races. Reebok has come out with the Spartan All-Terrain Series specifically meant for Spartan Races. These shoes can obviously also be used for all other OCR races as well. I have used them in many past races and the Spartan Super model has a bit more durability then the Sprint model. Another great pair of outdoor running shoes is from Inov-8. Inov-8 was among the first on OCR scene. Many may remember seeing them a couple of years back at most Races. When looking for a good pair of OCR running shoes you are looking for something light and has a good grip. 

7. Determination

You signed up, now SHOW UP! You have all the nutrition and hydration to get you through the race. Just keep in mind..... 
"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step"
Lao Tzu
Keep moving one foot in front of the other and you will be at the finish line before you know it! 
Also, YOU WON'T BE ALONE! There are thousands of Spartans on the course right there with you battling along your side to accomplish and own this dreadful course!

There it is troops, simple and sweet! If you feel I should add something, please feel free to comment below.

See you at the race! AROO!

Spartan SGX Coach ARAGON

Monday, February 16, 2015

7,000 Burpee Challenge



In light of people talking about or doing 1,000 burpees for time, I believe it's the right time to unleash this challenge upon the world! 


Beginning Monday February 16th, 2015 I will be uploading my daily thousand Burpees 
on our YouTube Channel at 9PM in a mini Webisode series

For 7 days I will attempt to do 1,000 burpees EVERY DAY.....Yes let's read that again..
For 7 days I will attempt to do 1,000 burpees EVERY DAY!

7,000 Burpee Challenge Rules:

- 1,000 Burpees must be done in one shot 
(not throughout the day) 

- You must do 1,000 Burpees Everyday back to back
(NOT Start Monday..take Tuesday off and go again Wednesday)

- FULL BURPEE.......NO PARTIAL BURPEES
1. hands to the ground 2. chest to floor with legs fully extended 3. back all the way up with feet off the ground (NO TURTLING)


- Start WHICHEVER day you'd like! 
(Today ...Tomorrow....NOW) 
Just make sure it's 7 DAYS BACK to BACK

- Never done that many Bucking Furpees?
Whats the highest you have ever done in one shot? Whatever it is ADD 25 and do it EVERYDAY for 7DAYS

Everyday post, comment, or share Via our 
Facebook Event Page!


Let's Go! Get OFF THE COUCH! 

Coach
 Jonathan Aragon