CPA STAFF [AT] HOME: STAFF PICKS
Brad’s Strongman/woman Workout
For our production team, strength-building often inadvertently happens on the job with tasks like weight-loading, building platforms, and loading in gear. Brad Munda, Production Manager, takes it one step further as a Strongman competitor. Here, he gives us a glimpse into his training and invites you to safely join along.
Hello, my name is Brad Munda and I have been competing in Strongman competitions for a little over a year now. It began when The Official Strongman Games came to a Raleigh a couple of years ago, and I decided I had to go watch. While there, I met a man who ran a gym for Strongmen/women and powerlifting. It turned out that he was hosting a competition in a few months, and after a good deal of conversation I decided to give it a shot. The day of my first competition was life changing. Since then, I have competed a couple more times and have a great coach, and I have a few more competitions in the months ahead.
I compete in the <200lb weight class which is either a light weight or middle weight, depending on which organization’s rules you are competing under. I never thought I’d be able to compete in something like this, but I’ve always been amazed by it. It is really cool to see what the human body is capable of when you see people lift large stones or pull buses.
Strongman/woman training and competing can be done by anyone, and the community is very welcoming and supportive. Some of the best friends and training partners I have made during my time have been people I’ve competed against. Strongman/woman competitions are places you’ll see someone either successfully complete or fail a lift/event and then immediately go cheer on their competitors. And, since this is an international sport (it is much bigger in Europe), the online community is strong. If you are ever thinking of starting or just want more information there are Facebook groups such as Starting Strongman or Strongman DIY that have a ton of info and helpful members.
Strongman/woman Exercise Sampler
Many of these are technical lifts, so you should consult an expert before trying them. Most of this equipment and training implements I had or built prior to quarantine. [EDIT NOTE: Exercises are in order of their photos and videos in the Instagram post above. Scroll up to follow along.]
Farmer Hold: This lift is great for grip strength (which is very important in Strongman). It’s similar to the Dinnie Walk (below), but stationary.
At home: Grab your paint buckets or water jugs, pick them up, and hold them where your arms naturally fall at your hips. Try to increase your weight and the length of time as you progress.
Deadlift: A staple in every strength athletes training, many competitions have some form of deadlift as one of the events. It may be max weight, deadlift for reps, car deadlift, etc. Probably the best exercise there is and my favorite.
At home: This one has basic of movements and is easy to replicate. You start with the weight on the ground and pick it up. You can do this with anything that you can squat down and pick up with i.e. a bookbag filled with books, sandbag, a stone, water jugs, etc.
Axle Clean and Press: An axle bar is common in Strongman competitions for pressing overhead and for deadlifts. An axle is 2” wide which is twice the width of a standard barbell, so it taxes your grip. It is also a solid piece, so the weights won’t spin like a traditional barbell.
At home: An axle is significantly cheaper than a barbell, but it’s basically a piece of 1.5” Schedule 80 pipe with flanges welded on to keep the weights from sliding. You could simulate this exercise by weighing down a backpack, picking it from the ground, and pressing it over your head.
Zercher Deadlift into Squat: This is how I have been practicing squats at home without a rack. These have great carryover benefits to atlas stones and they work your arms pretty well. Zercher squats and carries are common in our sport; I have a competition in the fall that has a max effort Zercher deadlift into squat.
At home: Hug a bookbag filled with weight in your arms in front of you and squat. Make sure you break parallel, i.e. your hip crease is below your knees.
Throw Weight Practice: Since I dabble in Highland Games, I have made my own throw weight primarily for Weight Over Bar practice. It weighs 3 stones, or 42lbs.
At home: Be very careful when it comes to throwing weight, especially above your head! You can simulate this with a kettlebell if you have one.
Dinnie Stone Walk: This exercise works everything: core, grip, legs, and back. It helps when you want to only take one trip to bring in the groceries.
At home: Grab paint buckets or water jugs and pick them up. Walk in a straight line and either drop them, turn around, pick them back up and walk back or make the turn while keeping hold. If the weight gets high, you might throw off your balance with a turn.
OLIVIA’S TIPS TO MOVE YO BODy
In our latest staff pick, Olivia Begos, our marketing and communications student assistant, shares how she’s staying active and setting goals while social distancing.
Basically, the only thing I’ve been doing in quarantine besides eating has been working out. Is that a good combo? Idk… Here are some things I’ve been finding very motivational in getting up, getting outside, and moving my body to get out of the isolation rut.
Set a goal for yourself and stick with it! Whether you’re sitting at a desk, looking at your phone, puttering around the house, or reading a book all day, give yourself a goal of getting up and getting your blood pumping for at least 30 minutes a day. Maybe a goal of yours has been to run a marathon, or a 5K, or to START running. Get out there and do it! There’s no time like the present.
If you have a smartphone, a computer, a notebook a sticky note – ANYTHING – start your day by writing five goals you have for the day and/or the week. For example:
– Run for 60 minutes straight this week
– Deep clean and declutter my room
– Stretch and recovery for my body
– Play fetch with my dog
– Bake my favorite dessert
Motivate yourself to get up and get moving by putting on your favorite pump-up music before you’ve started. Here are some of my favorite motivational mixes for all kind of exercise:
I DON’T USUALLY WORKOUT, WHAT CAN I DO?
Yoga is a really good way to move your body inside or outside. If it’s raining, set up a towel or lie on a rug for a quick, relaxing, low-impact workout.
– @yogawithadrienne is a really good YouTube channel for all ages, skill levels, and needs.
– Core Power Yoga is offering free on-demand yoga workouts! These are high intensity and are guaranteed to get you sweating.
Put on a podcast and go for a walk. This is another great, low impact way to get your body moving and refresh your mind if you’ve been sitting at a computer all day. Remember to wear your mask and practice social distancing! Here are some podcasts I’ve been loving:
– Happy Hour
– The Daily
– Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness
– The Moth
Whether indoor or outdoor, biking is a great high intensity, low impact workout.
Apps like NikeRun, MapMyRun, Couch to 5K are great options for new or experienced runners. Couch to 5k is an app that offers guided runs to increase your distance and speed. Great for beginners!
Above all, make sure to listen to your body. If you’re sore and tired, maybe take a day off from getting after it. But if you’re feeling sluggish, unmotivated, tired, get up and get outside for a change of pace and scenery. If it’s raining, try yoga or meditation, it’s always good to take your eyes off of the screen every once in a while. You’ve got this!
– Olivia Begos
IDALIS’S STAY HOME AND STREAM WATCH GUIDE
Stay Home and Stream: A What to Watch guide from CPA’s Patron Services Coordinator
Hey y’all! Hope this time at home is treating you all kindly, as it’s not a normal time. Many of us are having to transition to a work-from-home lifestyle which, I’ll admit, hasn’t been super easy – at least not for me. Although this is a challenging time, trying to retain a sense of normalcy and comfort has been a major key to me keeping some of my sanity. Below are four shows that currently have my attention.
Gilmore Girls – Netflix
Quality wholesome television. A pop culture classic. I’m on my first watch of seeing the Gilmore women take on the world, and I can’t complain. If I had to pick a small town to live in, it’d be Stars Hollow. One of the few shows where I don’t have the urge to press the “skip intro” button, mainly because I can’t help but sing along to the theme song, “Where You Lead” by Carole King.
3rd Rock from the Sun – Amazon Prime Video
Oh, the nostalgia. For some reason, I have very vivid memories of watching reruns of this show during the early mornings when I was home from elementary school. I’ve been working my way through this comedy since last fall, but now that we’re in full social distancing mode, I’ve found myself going back to this comedy. Quite frankly, I’d give almost anything to be Sally Solomon right now because who wouldn’t want to be an alien during a pandemic?
Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness – Netflix
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a huge binge watcher. Every time I’ve tried, I usually don’t succeed. But y’all, Tiger King is just that wild – it’s worth the binge. There are only 7 episodes, not including the after show hosted by Joel McHale. Each episode is like traveling further down a never-ending rabbit hole of things that really happened. Even if you’ve been fighting the urge to watch because you don’t want to seem too mainstream, I guarantee you it is worth caving to peer pressure. This series does depict some very heavy topics and even though they aren’t always presented in a serious manner, I encourage everyone who watches to take a step back when necessary.
Good Mythical Morning – YouTube
Led by North Carolinians Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal, Good Mythical Morning (GMM) has recently been a source of many early morning laughs – which are definitely needed during this strange time. Honestly, GMM is one of my favorite channels on YouTube and while we’re holed up, I highly recommend giving them a watch. Most of the videos are no longer than 20 minutes and sometimes feature special guests, which makes whatever challenge, game, or taste test that much funnier.
INTERIM EXECUTIVE AND ARTISTIC DIRECTOR JAMES MOESER’S PLAYLIST
Carolina Performing Arts interim executive and artistic director James Moeser has gone into his archives to put together a Spotify playlist of beloved classical and jazz pieces—including some works for organ that he himself has played as a concert organist.
Watch his intro and then add his new playlist, featuring music both familiar and rare, into your rotation. Read on for some insights into his choices.
“Putting together this playlist was a great reminder to play this music we love so much. So, now we will be listening along with anyone who listens to it through #CPAathome.”
Take Five: The father of modern jazz—the best single jazz composition of all time by the best jazz group ever.
Ave Maria: When we lived in Lincoln, NE, the recording of this by the Dale Warland Singers was played continuously by the local NPR station.
This Time the Dream’s on Me: This is a live recording, performed by Marian McPartland, our favorite jazz pianist who performed at CPA in its very first season.
The Little Green Lane: This recoding by The King’s Singers is one of our favorites on this album!
Grand Choeur Dialogue: This piece for two organs by Eugene Gigout is a special one for me and Susan. We performed it live together at First Plymouth Congregational Church in Lincoln, Nebraska during a recital Susan was giving. You can listen to the recording of that performance here. There is a long pause before the music starts. Susan is on the big organ in the front of the church. The first sound is from the back organ, which was the one I played. Since it was Susan’s recital, we did not indicate on the program that I was going to play at all—I was then the chancellor of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, and no one had ever heard me play before, so it was kind of a big surprise.
ELLIE’S MUST-HAVE VEGAN EATS
If you’re like us, you might be starting to run low on cooking inspiration after all these days at home. We called in Ellie Pate, artistic coordinator and chef of some of the most delicious work lunches at the CPA office, to lend us some inspiration. Whether you’re vegan, looking to jazz up your meals with more veggies, or just want to learn how to make the most beautiful pizza we’ve ever seen, read on.
CPA: What are some good plant-based pantry staples to have on hand?
Ellie Pate: One of my favorite things about being vegan is that you can make so many different things out of the same food staples if you have basic spices. I always keep the following on hand, and use generously:
i. Garlic (I always use fresh and usually double the amount)
viii. Nutritional yeast !!!
ix. Black pepper
CPA: Favorite single ingredient?
EP: I find many people aren’t big fans of mushrooms, but I love them and eat them probably every other day. They are the only plant-based source of vitamin D (important when we’re stuck inside all day!) and are actually really versatile in the ways they can be used. My go-to way to prepare them is to dry-sauté them by adding them, sliced, directly onto a pan over medium heat without any oil. When they get a little tender, add your spices (I like cooking them in rosemary, basil, and oregano). This method allows them to release water as they heat up, so they won’t stick and they’ll absorb flavor better. Try it this way if you usually find mushrooms too slimy! Add to pasta, pizza, mix in with rice, bake with potatoes, stir fry it, do whatever you want. I like to eat them with steamed garlic greens.
CPA: What’s your advice for meal-prepping?
EP: Most of my meals are basically vegetables on some sort of “base”, like rice, pasta, or quinoa. Some of my favorite ways to avoid eating pasta three days a week are to make polenta, gnocchi, and pizza! (We all have the Italians to thank.)
For pizza, I usually just get pre-made dough from Trader Joe’s, but its pretty easy to make yourself too. Throw veggies on there–so easy. For the pictured pizza, first take dough out of fridge to rest for 20 mins. Meanwhile, cut up desired vegetables into bite sized pieces. Here, I used mushrooms, half one green pepper, half one large onion, (thinly sliced), broccoli (stems cut off, about 1 inch pieces), a handful of spinach, chopped grape tomatoes, and 3 minced cloves of garlic.
Put them all in a bowl and drizzle 2 or more tablespoons of oil (I recommend grapeseed or olive), and then 1 tsp of each rosemary, oregano, and basil, and ½ tsp of crushed red pepper flakes. Salt and pepper to taste. I also added a good amount of nutritional yeast to get a cheesy flavor, but I put that on everything! Mix so everything looks evenly coated. Roll out dough to about 12 inches across and just thin enough not to tear. Add marinara/ pizza sauce and use the back of a spoon to cover the dough. Top with the veggies to desired thickness, and bake according to dough instructions.
Voila! (I had a lot of the veggie mix left over and ate it with pasta the next day for dinner)
CPA: Give us your best plant-based wisdom.
EP: Embrace the chickpea.
CPA: Best quick meal or snack?
EP: Omg, sweet potato and avocado sandwiches are GREAT. I bake my sweet potatoes in the microwave because its fast – just stab with a fork all over and put it in there for 4-8 mins depending on the size of the potato. Smear these things on toast and put a little salt and pepper – so good, and an easy lunch when you’re working from home.
CPA: What’s a good way to add a little pizzazz to a meal?
EP: Consider adding nuts to top things off and add flavor, texture, and protein! I found a whole bag of frozen walnuts in my freezer and have been experimenting with just toasting them in a pan and adding them to sautéed kale or pancakes.
CPA: What kind of bread should we be baking while social distancing?
EP: If you’re looking for a project, start making sourdough bread. It is a fun experiment and a way to eat bread that is kind of healthy (yay probiotics!)! There’s lots of resources online, but the way to start is to mix equal parts flour and water (leave a glass of tap water out for 8 hours first to evaporate off any chlorine, because it will kill the yeast) in a glass or steel bowl and cover with a kitchen towel.
After 24 hours, pour off 2/3 of it, and add equal parts flour and water again. Do this every day for about 5 days – it should start smelling nice and yeasty. When its nice and bubbly (kinda foamy), drop a little of it into a glass of water. If it floats, it’s ready to use. If it sinks, feed and check on it again in about 4 hours, and then at 8 hours, then at 12.
CHRISTINA’S READING RECS
To be (read), or not to be (read): CPA’s associate director of marketing and communications on her book pile
“It’s safe to say we’ve all got a little extra time on our hands in these strange new days. To make sure I’m not simply going from my computer screen to the TV screen, I’m getting outside for walks and making a real dent in my to-be-read pile (don’t worry: it’s still pretty big). Here are some books I’ve recently loved—I realize none of them are performing arts-related, but as Rory Gilmore once said, “’my interests are teasingly diverse.’”
Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl
I started reading Ruth Reichl’s food memoirs when I was in high school and it was a treat to live inside her brightly painted world again as she recalls the final years of Gourmet magazine. Plus: the title references the famous and wonderful William Carlos Williams poem.
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Despite being a little embarrassed to admit, as a former book editor, that I had never picked up one of Whitehead’s books before, I tore through this novel in 24 hours. What a beautiful and heartbreaking work of fiction about one of the darkest times in this country’s history.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
This novel by a retired wildlife biologist was a sleeper hit. Blockbuster or no, it is a gorgeously rendered mystery wrapped up in a bildungsroman—and it’s set right in North Carolina. At a moment when most of us probably aren’t getting enough time in nature, Owens’s writing will make you feel like you’re out motoring around in protagonist Kya’s little boat in the wilds of our state.
Indian-ish by Priya Krishna
You might know Priya, as I do, from Bon Appetit’s videos or magazine. In this unique cookbook, she breaks down her Indian-American family’s style of cooking in a really fun and approachable way. Plus, perhaps you, like me, have loads of dried beans and legumes lying around and don’t know what to do with them. May I suggest Priya’s Lemony Lentils and Rice for your supper?