First Annual Cressey Performance Thanksgiving Morning Lift (A Recap)

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Setting: Thanksgiving morning 6:30 AM. The last time I willfully got up this early outside of work related obligations was to watch Saturday morning cartoons last weekend when I was nine.

Remember how each episode of GI Joe used to end with a Public Service announcement? I used to play a game with myself and try to do the exact opposite. Like that one time Flint said to have an ump ref your baseball games:

“Well, fighting won’t stop it. When people disagree sometimes they need someone who’s not involved to settle things.”

Pffffft. Whatever. Sometimes what people need is a fastball to the side of the head. That’s the only way they’re going to know not to crowd the plate. And knowing is half the battle!

Nevertheless, my alarm went off at 6:30. But to be honest, I was actually awake 45 minutes prior due to sheer excitement for the awesomeness that was about to go down. I made a quick protein shake, finished packing my car for my trip home back to NY, and off I went to the First Annual Cressey Performance Thanksgiving Day Lift.

When all was said and done, a total of eleven people showed up at 8AM, despite the fact that the night beforehand was the biggest drinking night of the year. There was no 5K Turkey Trot. Nor was there any pink dumbbell boot camp. Just loud music and people anxious to lift heavy shit. Did I mention this was eight in the morning?

Here’s some of the guys (including yours truly) warming up with their foam rollers, etc. Notice Dan against the wall with what can only be described as his child molester beard. Note to reader: he’s not really a child molester. The only thing he molests is his Spike.

Eric, Danny V, and myself decided to start the day off with a 225 bench test. I mean it only makes sense that if we were going to be eating lots of meat later on in the day, that the next most manly thing to do would be to bench till our hands bled. Here’s Danny being coached by Eric as he did his test.

A few things to note

There’s actually a strategy to doing a proper bench test. It isn’t about flailing around like you’re having a seizure and banging out reps. First and foremost, it’s about getting a solid set-up.

Cliff Notes Version, because I’m too lazy to go into depth here:

1. Feet under you, and out. Drive your heels into the ground so that you can get a decent leg drive.

2. Shoulder blades tucked and together.

3. Elbows IN, not out.

4. Belly high.

I believe Danny’s previous best was eleven reps. With that in mind, listen to Eric as he coaches Danny through the set. He bangs out his first five reps as fast possible. From there, he pauses, gets his breath, and then performs doubles till those get challenging. Then it’s singles till he can’t do anymore. Danny ends with 13 reps, and breaks his PR. All without anyone yelling, “all you, all you, all you.”

Here’s a video of Eric repping out a 405 trap bar deadlift. Final count=20 On an aside, I think my spine shit itself.

And because I’m a major tool, I decided to end the day with some good ol’ fashioned curling in the squat rack. It’s my facility, so deal with it. I don’t know if it was Stanley Kubrick behind the camera or not, but my guns have never looked so gunny. *tear rolls down cheek*

Not to be outdone, here’s Michelle doing some Anderson Front Squats like a champ. Note Eric yelling in the background to Dan T and totally calling him out. Classic. Note to readers: Michelle should have paused a bit longer on the pins, but it was early, and I this was the only video I got of her doing the squats. I anoint myself a mulligan.

She even smiled afterwards, weird.

All in all, everyone had a blast and I’m pretty certain that this is going to be an annual event. It just goes to show how important training environment (as well as a little attitude) is for motivating people and getting results. Plus, it certainly helps that we have clients who are willing to bust their asses.

And show us their invisible water jugs…….(I bet you can’t guess who)

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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

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