Nationals 2014 Recap

First, I would like to thank all of you at the gym for helping put together the wonderful Good Luck book! (I know Rhea took care of organizing it, but you were the ones that looked like idiots for the camera. Thank you, it meant a lot to me.)

I had big expectations for this years national event along with a bit of trepidation. For a couple reasons this will be my last national meet for at least a year due to travel restrictions from a growing family. Fortunately, next years nationals is in Dallas so I have no reason not to compete in it. I am already looking forward to getting back into training for that meet along with taking several of you with me as athletes!! Don’t worry, not before I take at least 3 months off hard training to welcome our baby girl and figure out how to handle 2 kids at the same time…

Many of you may have known that going into my travel day (Saturday) I was quite heavy for my weight class (69kg). In fact I think I was close to 73 kg on Wednesday so I had a lot of weight to drop before Sunday morning. It was a close call and took a couple attempts at weighing in to finally get that beautiful number on the scale 69.00.

My snatches didn’t feel so great in the warm up room and as a result I lowered my starting weight, but once I got on stage, the lifts felt great. I missed a close 120 according to the judges, but hit a solid 115 which is a decent lift for me and allowed me to take 4th in the snatch.

I followed that with a higher opener in my clean than I had planned, but I felt ready to go for it and my legs felt strong. Mentally I failed on the first two jerks, but I managed to pull myself together to hit the last jerk at 150 kg to take the bronze in the clean and jerk and 4th in the total.

Overall, I am satisfied with my performance, not happy, but satisfied for now. I know I have more in me and if things had gone differently on that last snatch, I am certain things would have been different in the clean and jerk.

In sports like these where the judges hold a lot of power and are relatively subjective, it’s important not to allow them the chance to take something away from you. Next time I will make sure my lifts are perfect so there is no one to blame but myself.

Thank you again for every little bit of cheering and support you offered. It means the world to me and I hope to represent even better next time!

-Dutch Lowy

Tuesday S&C Workout:
ME Pullups;

1 min max cal AD

How Do You Feel?

The first question you are asked when you walk in the gym is: How do you feel?

There is alot that goes into this question and its important to explore into the depths of this answer. The way you feel is a good indicator of your overall health measure. If you rank the way you feel on a scale of 1-5 (5 being the best) around a 2-3 or below then there is likely some underlying issues that need to be addressed.

If at any point in your life you notice a dramatic shift in the way you feel there is likely something going on and it’s a good idea to seek advice. Having said that, if you start to feel better at any point then you should take note of what you are doing and continue with your current practices.

How you feel is determined by your nutrition, stress (mental, physical, emotional, environmental etc…), lifestyle, sleep, exercise habits and much more! It only makes sense to have someone that can help guide you and challenge you to reach towards the best feeling you can achieve.

-Dutch Lowy


Confused about something that may be dragging you down? Think you can feel better? Know that you have taken a dramatic step down in the way you feel recently? Come see your coaches at BlackBox Fort Worth and see what we can do for you! Those of you that want to be members, schedule an intro session where we will explore the question in more depth and get you on track to feel as good as you can!!
So, How do you feel?

Monday S&C Workout:
Vertical Jump max,
Power Clean Max;

2 min ME Pushups,
Full Recovery then
ME 500m Row

Day 1:
-Hip SN x 2
-SN x 1
-FS x 1

Day 2:
-Jerk x 1
-Power clean x 1
-Cl DL w/pause @ knee x 2

Day 3:
-Pwr SN + Hang SN x1+1
-Hip Clean x 2
– BS x 4 (med)

Day 4:
-Clean & Jerk x 1
-Push Press x 5
-Cl Grip Good Morning x 4

Mobility Exercises

Six Mobility Exercises from

1. Posterior hip mobilization
On all fours, position a stretching band around one quad, then place that foot in front of the opposite knee. Oscillate your hip against the band’s pull. GOOD FOR: Loosening up a stiff hip capsule or making you more efficient on a bike, in a kayak, or whenever you are in hip flexion.

2. Shoulder extension, external rotation
Place your hand through a stretching band and rotate your palm up. Grip the band and lean back, stretching your arm above your head and engaging the lat muscle. GOOD FOR: Opening up shoulder joints, which are particularly tight among swimmers and climbers.

3. Anterior hip mobilization
Place the stretching band around one quad’s hip crease and stretch that leg back, placing the knee on the ground and slowly rotating the hip forward. GOOD FOR: Loosening up tight hip flexors, common among runners, cyclists, and rowers.

4. Ankle dorsiflexion
Standing up, place stretching band just above the ankle and step forward with that leg. Move knee forward and oscillate outward. Repeat facing the other direction. GOOD FOR: Ankle flexibility, which helps save runners tremendous energy.

5. 10-minute deep-squat test
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and lower your hips to your ankles, making sure to keep your feet flat on the ground. Remain in that position for 10 minutes, moving slightly to stimulate circulation. GOOD FOR: Increasing mobility in the ankles, knees, and hips.

6. Couch stretch
Start on all fours with your feet against the wall. Raise one leg so the shin and foot lie flat against the wall, then step the other leg forward, foot beneath you. Engage glutes, quads, and hip flexors by arching and relaxing your back. GOOD FOR: Opening up the entire anterior muscle chain, allowing you to fully extend your hips, knees, and ankles.

Contact Rhea (817-841-8678) to get set up with your own mobility session from Angela Smayda.

Friday S&C Workout:
TRX Jump Squats x8,
Cl + JK x3+1;

4 sets:
15 wall balls,
rest 45 sec

Why We Like Women Lifting Weights

Some Strong Ladies!
Women lifting weights has been taboo in mainstream media for quite some time and I’m tired of it!  Today I am going to talk about a couple reasons women should lift weights.  There happens to be more to it than simply the way you look.  Although, to me, a strong woman is way more impressive than a toned woman.  Strength takes hard work and most of the women I know thrive on that idea.  In my coaching professional life I have enjoyed coaching many women and am always impressed with their willingness to push through painful situations more so than most men do.

The first reason lifting weights is important for women is pure strength.  In my Family growing up my mom was and is the most active person I know (although Meggie rivals her).  She was always putting her body to work and no manual labor deterred her.  She is strong and getting stronger while maintaining her feminine beauty.  Her strength drove the family and I think we all have a great appreciation for what women can achieve and is one of the reasons I don’t like it when women are told that lifting weights is not for them.

Next, and a little more scientific, is what happens when we lift weights.  there are a couple points in here so I will try to make sure and point them out clearly.

  1. Lifting weights builds muscles.  This is good in the sense that muscles are more insulin sensitive than fat.  This simply means that with more muscle mass, our body is able to process carbohydrates more efficiently by producing less insulin.  This allows the body to store less fat and use more energy.
  2. Lifting weights strengthens bones and joints.  There is a process in the body that is constantly happening and involves bones breaking down and rebuilding on a constant basis.  Things like osteoporosis happen when there is no stimulus for the body to build new bone.  Lifting weights creates that stimulus and causes your bones to get stronger and more dense.  Since we use functional movement, it is built in a way that supports life outside the gym.  For example, if you miss a step on your way out the door, you are less likely to break your ankle.  You may spill your coffee but your bones should be safe.
  3. Stimulating muscle tissue (lifting weights) causes a hormonal response from the body.  This hormonal response is androgenic or something that causes growth.  The hormone released is called testosterone and is very important for women.  Those of you that have been pregnant know the effects of elevated testosterone as it elevates in your second trimester and from what i hear this is when you start to feel more energetic and even more sexual.  There is a reason men tend to be more sexually driven…  Raising  Testosterone tends to do good things in the normal female as it can help regulate mood and decrease symptoms related to your monthly cycle.
  4. Low testosterone levels in women correlate with low sex drive, especially in post menopausal women.  After Menopause women tend to produce little or no testosterone in their ovaries and very small amounts in their adrenals.

Lastly and most importantly, you improve performance in all athletic areas.  You are able to run faster and longer, jump higher, lift more weight over your head.

So, Ladies, come on in and throw some weight on the bar, its fun to be strong!!

Thursday S&C Workout:
Agility Series
KBS x5,
Lat Medball Throws x8;

3 sets:
Heavy Sled push x1,
20 Burpees,
Rest 1 min