Ignite MY Fight! Running Shoes, WOD and CrossFit Games Open

Jumping in Bluebonnets Puma IgnitesWhy am I jumping the in bluebonnets? Well, for a couple reasons – it’s finally spring and the sun is OUT, the 5-week CrossFit Games Open is OVER (mini recap below) and I have a snappy new pair of running shoes to keep my feet happy and hopping.

Puma Ignite Running Shoes in Austin Spring Flowers Trail Run

Puma Ignite Running ShoesFirst, let me tell you about the shoes – love them! They are called Puma Ignite, a super responsive running shoe that features cushioning to disperse impact while providing energy return to help make me faster. Usain Bolt wears them, so enough said!  The uppers are not only attractive and available in a range of color combos, but these shores are made with lightweight materials to provide a super comfort with a light ride – the average weight is 8 ounces.  As a neutral and efficient runner, I often run in really light shoes for speed work and shorter tempo runs – but definitely enjoy the little extra oomph of these Puma Ignites for everyday runs through the neighborhood and logging lots of miles on the road. I’ve also worn these shoes to the gym and Crossfit and have found them to provide enough cushioning combined with flexibility for explosive box jumps, burpees and jumping rope.

Speaking of CrossFit, here’s my quick rundown on the 2015 Crossfit Games Open that just ended a week ago.  First of all, I swallowed my pride and I decided to compete in the new scaled division this year and am so glad I did. Last year, in a couple of the RX’d WODs, I just plain ran into a wall where I physically could not perform the task – mainly, I’m talking about the heavier Olympic lifting. For example, last year I remember on the deadlift ladder, I knocked off the sets of 95lb, 135lb and even 155lb deadlifts, but then had to just stand there and watch the clock tick away helplessly because there was no way I could deadlift 185 lbs once, let alone the 20 times I needed to get back to the box jumps.

2015 CrossFit Games Leaderboard - Jennifer Fisher

Jennifer Fisher 2015 CrossFit Games OpenSo, my point here is that in the scaled division I was actually able to get after it in the workouts for a maximum personal effort  – that made it much more fun (if one can call quivering quads, raw palms and sore-for-days shoulders “fun”)!  It was still HARD! The exiting part is that at the end of the five weeks, I actually placed 12th in the South Central states region in my age group and even won 1st in the 15.3 WOD!  My worst workout by far (and really hurt me in the rankings) was the 15.1B where after completing a full workout, you immediately had to get the bar overhead with a max load. I never expected how trashed my arms would be and I really failed on this one –  I also rarely try to PR any of my lifts (usually just keeping everything low with lots of reps).  Next year I know what I need to focus on!

Are you ready to IGNITE your next workout?  I’ve put together this Don’t Stop (Ignite Your Fight) Workout that will test your stamina and strength, both mental and physical. Don’t stop, don’t give up half way through — you’ll be on fire, but in a good way!  Also, check out the Puma Ignite running shoes if you are looking for a great pair that will take you from a morning run to an afternoon at the gym.  Don't Stop Workout - Ignite your fight in this CrossFit style workout from TheFitFork.com


Do you wear the same shoes for running and working out — or do you buy activity-specific footwear? Please share in the comments!

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of PUMA.

How To Make Burpees Fun – Did I Really Just Say That?!

How to Make Burpees More Fun - 5 Variations

Notice the headline reads “How to Make Burpees More Fun,” not “How to Make Burpees Easier.” There is just no way around the truth that this full-body, functional exercise is a a tough one – I’ve seen grown men hurl. String a bunch of burpees together and your heart rate will sky rocket and the muscles of your arms, chest, quads, glutes, hamstrings, and core will be screaming for sweet mother mercy. Why do you think the burpee is a go-to conditioning exercise at military boot camp, police and special ops training, and football team practice?!  Because burpees get results!

However, seeing the same old burpee sets programmed into your workout can almost feel like a punishment, am I right? One way I like to make this exercise a bit more bearable (maybe FUN isn’t the right word) is by creating an interesting variation – like piggybacking on another element to create a compound exercise or doing them with a partner to create a good laugh.  Here are my five favorite takes on this essential exercise:

Disclaimer, most of these videos are sped up in double time so that you will be spared the misery of me slogging them out in real time!

Burpee Power Jack:  Drop into plank position of burpee and then simultaneously jump both feet outward past width of shoulders.  While still in plank jump feet back in and pop up from burpee to finish one rep.

Partner Leap Frog Burpee:  Grab a friend and stand shoulder to shoulder. First person drops into a plank position (or rests chest down on the ground) while second person performs a lateral tuck jump over planking person’s torso.  Upon landing, jumper drops into a burpee and then pops up, lateral jumps back over friend to start position, and drops into a plank himself.  First person now pops up from plank and takes his turn lateral jumping over second person, performing full burpee, and then jumping back over and dropping to plank.  Repeat until worn out.

Burpee Box Jump: Stand facing box or platform of a comfortable height (I do 20 to 24-inches), make sure you are a body-length distance away if you like your face. Drop into a burpee push-up, pop back up, hop toward box and then jump with both feet landing on the box. Jump off backward, hop backward to the burpee start position for one rep.

Burpee Pull Up: Stand under pull-up and drop into burpee with or without push-up.  Pop up from burpee and immediately jump to bar with both hands and pull up until chin clears bar. Land on ground in start position to finish rep.

Burpee Tuck Jump: Drop down into burpee with or with-out push up and pop back up. Instead of the little hop and hand clap that comes with a traditional burpee finish, jump explosively upward with both feet, tucking knees toward chest.  Land in the standing start position to finish one rep.

Soooo . . .do you have a favorite way to burpee? Challenge me in the comments please!


Throw a Wall Ball Into Your Workout

If you’re getting into CrossFit or some other functional fitness program, you’ll soon be introduced to Wall Ball, if you haven’t already!  When you consider functional exercise is meant to move multiple muscles and joints over multiple planes, Wall Ball is a winner in so many ways!  This one move alone works 11 different muscles including quads, glutes, calves, hamstrings, abs, lower back, chest, front delts, back delts, bis and tris.  Plus, if you are doing the drill to achieve the highest number of reps possible within a certain time period, it can also be quite an intense cardiovascular workout.

As the name implies, the only equipment needed for Wall Ball is a sturdy wall and soft medicine ball. Beginners can start with a 6-pound ball and, over time, work up to 10, 12, 16, 20 pounds or more! Before you start the drill, chalk off a line about 8 to 10 feet above the ground as your target.

To perform the movement, assume a front squat position with feet shoulder width apart. Hold ball to your chest, elbows tucked close to sides. Propel body upward in an explosive movement and follow through by pushing / tossing the ball toward the wall target. As the ball rebounds, catch it with outstretched arms and absorb the impact while moving back into the squat position.  Repeat for a predetermined amount of reps (5 sets of 8 reps a good start). Be mindful that each shot / catch movement remains fluid and continuous.  The drill can be made as difficult as needed by increasing the weight of the ball, moving further back from the target, or raising the height of the target.

As you become more proficient, The CrossFit Journal  lists milestones to work toward:

  • 1 minute: 25 shots
  • 2 minutes: 50 shots
  • 3 minutes: 75 shots
  • 4 minutes: 100 shots
  • 5 minutes: 125 shots
  • 6 minutes: 150 shots