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Sunday, July 31, 2011

One more day...

     You guessed it folks, it's the last day of the 2011 Reebok CrossFit Games! Oh man, who's going to be on the podium? Rich Froning Jr. is currently in first place for the men, can he keep that lead for a comeback in the next 3 events?! Kristen Clever also sits a top the leadboard... can she pull off back to back wins?! The top 6 Teams will battle it out with one last WOD in a winner take all event. Can CrossFit Fort Vancouver regain their title? Or is CrossFit New England taking over? Or it could be CrossFit Rocklin, Team Taranis, Front Range CrossFit or Brick CrossFit... it's going to be epic!!!



Mother Nature Wod from henrik österman on Vimeo.


3,2,1... Do Burpees!
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Yesterday's Training:

Rest Day
Yea... I was watching the Games

Day 107 Burpee Challenge / 5778 Burpees Completed

*3511*

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Salute

     I have three words for you: O-M-G!!! The 2011 CrossFit Games have one day in the books, and wow is all I can say. We saw a lot of competitor not make it past the gatekeeper... the very first WOD. Today, let's say, "outstanding effort" to these legit WOD-crushing athletes.


Rob Orlando: The big man at last year's Games
      Hopeful, and all around super strong-ass dude, Rob Orlando is out of the competition in the frist WOD. The former strongman was like a rock in the water. Sad to see something like that happen to such a contender. However, in true spirit of competition, he is still competing in the events, regarless of not being able to move on after WOD 5.

Mikko, the 2009 champ


     Here's something no one could fathom. The human freight train, Mikko Salo, is out of the competiton as well. He finished the first WOD, threw up his He-Man breakfast and had to be looked over by the medics. I was so suprised to see something like this happen.


Deb, showing she may struggle... but she'll get back up
 
     The first WOD not only knocked out some strong women, but some female hopefuls podiums dreams were dashed as well. Deborah Cordner was the first to DNF on the women's side. She should hold her head high, she made it to the "Big Show" despite being diagnosed with Lymphedema in her left leg. She will always be a competitor.

Iceland will continue to field exceptional athletes, like Helga


    Lastly, we see the loss of one last female Helga Torfadottir. The Icelandic belle could not handle the swim. No doubt the former handball player has the fire to come back again next year, ready for anything

     It's a shame to see these guys and gals go. It goes to show how prepared you have to be in CrossFit. I'm not saying these athletes were ill-prepared or got to the Games by a fluke. Sometimes you're dealt a crap hand (like drawing the instruction card when playing poker). I really hope this doesn't discorage these folks, they're work is inspiring. So keep watching, root for your team... and do burpees!

3,2,1 GO!
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Yesterday's Training:

Wendler Program "Big but Boring"
Squat 3 x 3
190 lbs (70%)
220 lbs (80%)
250 lbs (90%) Got 2 out of 3, I was doing low-bar backsquat and it started to slide, so I had to rack it.

Sumo Box Squat 150 lbs x 5 x 8 with red bands
My Squat, Bench, Push Pr-... everything beside my Deadlift, has really felt like a struggle. I'm looking at my strength program, and seeing what works for me. Then I realized something. I was hitting PRs when I was hitting heavy lifts, and throwing in dynamic effort. In the quest for future PRs I switched to Wendler's Program. But here's the thing... why didn't I just stick with the system that I was hitting PRs with?! This is an obvious one, but if it's not broke don't fix it. I think this coming week I'm switching back.

Weighted Situps 95 lbs x 3 x 16
Like the song says... it hurts so good

Day 106 Burpee Challenge / 5671 Burpees Total

*3511*

Friday, July 29, 2011

They're Ready

     Good morning folks. It's been a long day, but someone has to save the word (one squat at a time). By now the CrossFit Games have officially kicked off! I know, I've been talking about this a lot... but who could blame me? I feel like a 6 year old waiting for Santa to come (please tell me he's real). I've been anticipating this epic throwdown since I saw it live last year. I AM READY! Speaking of which, today I offer you some fun video of some other folks that are just as read... enjoy!... and do burpees!

















3,2,1 GO!
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Yesterday's Training:

Rest Day
Due to having to completely change my schedule to night, I thought it would be best to forgo the WOD. Unfortunately for me, I'll be changing back to days by the end of the weekend. So much for Rest and Recovery

Day 105 Burpee Challenge / 5565 Burpees Total

*3511*

Thursday, July 28, 2011

... They're Here...

     Ok, so the title of today's ramble is a refernce to the movie Poltergeist, but today is about something far far scarier. That's right peeps, the frist events for the CrossFit Games have been announced!!! Ramble on (kinda like "Flame on")!


     We have one more day till the start of the 2011 CrossFit Games, and the first events for the teams and individuals have been thrown on the competitors like a 3 pood kettlebell. The Masters Events for the Games have already been announced, and they are just as epic! Take a look on the CrossFit Games website for all of that. So, let's look at the first WOD that the teams are getting ready to destroy:

For time:
Move 15 Sandbags (1,700) pounds 20 yards

     Sounds cake, right?... wrong! First off, look at that number. It's an average of 115lb per bag. Just a hunch, they probably have different sizes to move, but still. So, let's assume we have different weighted sandbags, it's only 200 yards, right?... wrong again. There are 6 log obsticles at the 50 yard line, followed by a 4 foot wall at, what I can assume, will be the 100 yard line. But wait, that yardage is 100 too short, isn't it?.... Right! Once all the bags are over the 4 foot wall, the team will have to move all of them back to they're original spots. Easy to reset between heats... but hell on the athletes!

     What an awesome event! It's remenicent of the individual snadbag/wheelbarrow WOD from last year and the final event for the team competition as well. What's awesome is, not a whole lot of skill involved. What this is going to come down to is brute force and a little bit of strategy on which bags to move. The only thing that hasn't bee stated is how many people will complete this. Usually team events consist of 2 men and 2 women. But last year we saw an event include all 6 athletes. It's going to be awesome to watch!

     On to the individual WOD... if you are of weak stomach, be warned:

For Time:
- 210 meter ocean swim
- 1,500 meter run (in soft sand)
- 50 chest-to-bar pullups
- 100 hand-release pushups
- 200 squats
- 1,500 meter run (in soft sand)

     Can you say: "HOLY @#$%!!!" What an epic first WOD to kick off the Games! There has been so much talk and speculation on whether or not swimming will be included... there's your answer. This is one long grind! An ocean swim followed by almost a mile run, followed by a mini-Murph and another sub mile run. Good lord!

     What I do like, is that the swim may be the shortest part of this WOD (depending on how fast you are at pullups). I have had to do ocean swims before, and it's no picnic. You're battling incoming waves, and you're fighting to stay in a straight line, it's tough! But, not long enough to be dangerous. If the athlete is efficient in the water, then they will not be super taxed in the rest. If you're like some athletes who learned how to swim 5 months ago, yikes (not kidding, one athlete JUST learned how to swim). Some athletes have reported that they actually hired swimming coaches to help prepare for the just in case. Those lucky athletes must be giving themselves the biggest huge right now, cause that could pay off.

     So there you have it folks, the Games are about to begin. For the individuals, this is one event out of 10... so there's a lot left to go. If you're in Cali, then the first individual event is going down at Santa Monica Beach. Obviously it's a free spectating event. For the rest of us, we can watch the Games live online. You know I'll be tuned in all weekend long (so no sleep for me). So master the stroke, be the best... and do burpees!


Quick shout out to CrossFit LA. These guys finished the Open in 30th place, which was the final qualifying spot to go onto the regionals. There they finished in 3rd place and got their ticket to the games. Such a cool story, it'll be fun to watch them.


Believe. TEAM CFLA. Crossfit Games 2011. from Todd Spradlin on Vimeo.

3,2,1 GO!
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Yesteday's Training:

Wendler Program "Big but Boring"
Push Press 3 x 5
120 lbs (65%)
140 lbs (75%)
160 lbs (85%) 4 out of 5

95 lbs x 5 x 10
I was a little upset about my last Push Press, I just couldn't get that last one up. I'm trying to do and explosive drive with my hips to get the bar overhead, and I literally have people walking under my bar while it's overhead. That's just bad form! I was getting really upset, not visually, but a fire was burning inside... So I took the agression out on something else...

Deadlift 1 RM 445lbs (10lb PR)
Really I had planned to work up to 405 and just pull that a few times. Once I got there it felt SUPER easy. After making 425 just float up... I figured I'll see how 445 felt. Its wasn't "easy" but, there was no grind on the way up, and never stopped. After that lift I finally had a smile on my face.

Weighted situps 90 lbs x 3 x 15
Really loving cashing out my strength days with these. I know I need to have a nice strong core to make these lifts, so what better way.

Day 104 Burpee Callenge / 5460 Burpees Total

*3511*

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Drop it like it's hot

     Hey hey hey! Who else is "holy crap excited"?! CrossFit games are days away, and hours from announcing the first WOD coming this Friday. Ok ok, I'll try to contain my giddy school-girl excitement about the whole thing. It's time for another ramble... boom!


     How many times have you heard: "Squatting that low is bad for your knees" or "You shouldn't go that low when you squat." Believe me, I hear that ALL the time. I am on a quest to spread the good word of full depth squats, and how truly wonderful they are for your knees. I have rambled about this before, but I think it's very important to touch on this again... so here we go!


     My answer of, full depth squats are good for you, is not widely accepted by those around me. People want facts, people want science, they want the numbers. So, here's the skinny on getting big. Your Hamstring muscle on the back of the thigh attach to the fron of the tiba. The muscles wrap around both sides and pull back as the muscles tighten (from the bottom). Now, the adductors connect fro the groin (yep, I said it) to the top or your knee. When these muscles tighten they pull back on the knee (from the top). Is this making sense?

    The only way to tighten both adductors and you hamstrings is depth. Then your knee is like a rope if you were playing a game of tug-of-war against your doppelganger. What I mean is, at the bottom of the squat there is equal pull on both sides of your knee actually keeping it in a safe position.

     I have a theory that started the "full depth is bad for your knees" myth. As the weight got heavier people took the easy way out and did not go to full depth. If you don't go to full depth you are not full tightening all the muscles around the knee. A shallow depth squat leads to tight adductors, but an exclusion of your hamstrings, leading to unequal tension to your knees. Now its like an overactive puppy pulling as hard as it can against it rope leash. It's no wonder that knees hurt!

     Ok, I hope those visuals helped in my explaination. I also hope they I have armed you with a counter-argument to the "I hate squats" movement. So treat yourself right, and hit full depth in your squat. If you do this I promise you have a long life of squatting ahead of you. What arguments have you heard against squatting? Do you hear the same things I'm hearing? Has someone told you if you hit full depth you release the Kraken and the world will end? Love to hear stories. So make the depth, keep getting stronger... and do burpees!




3,2,1 GO!
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Yesterday's Training:

Rest Day
It was a late and hellish night yesterday. It probably would have hurt my rest/recovery more if I did. So, I think this was a smart choice.

Day 103 Burpee Challenge / 5356 Burpees Total

*3511*

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cue Cards

     Hey everyone! How excited are you? It is Tuesday morning, and athletes are showing up to the Home Depot Center, getting ready for the CrossFit Games! If you're not keeping up with the epic throwdown that is about to occur, you should be. Almost 100 individual men and women, 50 teams, and 160 Masters are about to kill it this weekend. Alright, I'll settle down and deliver the ramble.


     So, I found myself reading through Mark Rippetoe and Lon Kilgore's book: Basic Barbell Training (2nd Edition). I came across something that translates specifically into CrossFit, and that is the art of the cue... and I'm not talking about playing billiards.

     A cue is something we, as coaches, may yell out during the WOD or when you're preparing for a lift. We are not about to recite a dissertation, but we are going to offer one to five words to correct small problems we may encounter. However, making sure we are giving cues that make sense is what we have to establish beforehand.

     If I yelled out, "Heels!" do you really know what that means? Am I telling you to keep the weight in your heels for a deadlift? Are you being told to bring your heels off the ground for an explosive Clean? Or maybe I'm yelling because those stilettos have no business in the box. This is something we should be adressing during our warm-up, or when we are discussing the movements we are about to perform.

     Effectively, a cue should be something short that you can process and fix issues you may be having. Sometimes a simple two word cue can fix a whole hell of a lot. "Chest up" comes to mind as an outstanding universal cue. As coaches we're hear to set you up for success and make sure you are moving the efficiency of a McDonald's prep line (un-Paleo reference).

     Lastly, we deal with two different type of cues. Every example I've used thus far has been a "body cue", which of course is used to fix positions of our frames. However, there is also "equipment cues" and that refers to the piece of gym junk we may be moving. "Keep it close" can be a good cue to keep the bar as close to us as possible. Even when we talk about kettlebells we may scream out "straight up", which is a cue to make sure the bell is not canted.

     So, there's your brief ramble about the importance of cues. I'm sure you've heard these called out mid WOD, amidst the blaring music. So the question I pose, is what has been the most helpful cue that you have heard. Maybe we'll hear something new that we can all use. So listen closely, be efficient... and do burpees!


"With great mustache comes great responsibility"
     - Frosh (enjoy the video below)



3,2,1 GO!
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Yesterday's Training:

Weighted Dips 3-2-2-2-1-1-1-1
25lbs - 35lbs - 45lbs - 55lbs - 70lbs -  80lbs - 85lbs (fail) -90lbs
This was really fun. I don't know that I'd ever done weighted dips. Great test!

Sumo Box Squats 155lbs x 8 x 2 every 60 second with red bands

Deadlift 275lbs x 12 x 1 every 30 second with red bands

Weighted situps 90lbs x 2 x 20
That was ouch!... a good kind of ouch.

Day 102 Burpee Challenge / 5253 Burpees Total

*3511*

Monday, July 25, 2011

Fix a Frosh

     Hey again peeps! Today is the first day of the rest of your life... and also one day down on deployment. I don't think I've ever missed rain so much in my life, as I have not seen one drop thus far. Oh well, crushing WODs in 100 plus degree weather means you can easily destroy it under optimal conditions. Anyway, let's do the damn thing.


     Alrighty, it's another episode of fix the athlete. Today's athlete is none other than... me. So the video below was taken from a competition earlier this year. The WOD was 8 minutes to establish a 1RM Overhead Squat. My progression was 135lb, 155lbs (PR), then spent the rest of the time failing at 165lb (then my bodyweight). The video is of my last attempt, which I believe was my best attempt. So watch the video, comment below with critiques... and don't hold back


video

     It can greatly benefit to take videos or pictures of attempts like these. For one, you can self-critque your lifts and try to see where you can improve. The other is having other people and coaches look at it, and they can give you their take. So let me know what's good, and elt me know what's bad. I do have to point out an anatomy problem I have. My left arm was broken when I was 2, and did not set back "properly". So, when I Snatch or do Overhead Squats I can only truely lock out one arm. I mean, if I lock out my left arm there will be a bend in my right, and visa versa. It's not an excuse just something I have to work around and be mindful of. So post your comments, practice your lifts... and do burpees!


"Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't how hard you hit; it's about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done. Now, if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain't you. You're better than that!"
     -Rocky Balboa

3,2,1 GO!
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Yesterday's Training:

Rest Day
I have been contemplating my Strength Routine (ala the Wendler Program). I just don't know that I get enough volume. I mean, I squat only once a week or once every other week. I'm just trying to find what works best for me. I will finish the program and see if I do hit new 1RMs, but we shall see. Maybe the extra rest will be good, so only time will tell.

Day 101 Burpee Challenge / 5151 Burpees Total
Still waiting to see some times posted for yesterday's challenge.

*3511*

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Empowerment

     Morning everyone! 100 days! I hope you all do your burpees. That's right, today's challenge, if you choose to accept it, is 100 burpees for time. And, if you can stomach that... you may be able to handle some ramblings too.


     Well, something caught my eye while seeing the news go by while at work. Actually, it was a question: "what empowers you?" That got me thinking (as it was a question), does my fitness empower me?

     Answer... a definite, YES! I don't think I could say that without my journy through the CrossFit battlefield. I know that if had to sprint and then work my ass off... I could do it (huge benefit to military life). I know that I can push through pain, when every muscle burns and my hands are torn to shreds. I know that I am competitive in the gym, and that makes me hungry for life. My fitness makes me ready for any challenge I may face.

     I think it you may hear that same type of things from fellow CrossFitters. Not that women aren't strong, but how many imagine doing 100 pullups in a workout before CrossFit? How many people that used to be deconditioned can now think of themselves as an athlete? How many CF addicts call their time in the gym one of the best parts of their day?

     I don't want to speak for everyone. I'm just saying what I feel and what I've seen. What are your thought? Does your fitness empower you? Post to comments below, along with your 100 burpees for time. So stay positive, be better... and do burpees (lots of them)!


"Just knowon the inside that you won't quit. That's it. There is nothing else. Shaespeare said, 'To thinke own self be true'. I don't know what the @*$% he meant by that, but just don't quit on yourself. It's worth it. The juice is worth the squeeze. I assure you"
     - Forrest Griffin (UFC Champ)

3,2,1 GO!
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Yesterday's Training:

Wendler Program "Big but Boring"
Deadlift 3 x 5
285 lbs (65%)
325 lbs (75%) felt REALLY easy
370 lbs (85%) 7 reps... left some DNA on the bar

225 lbs x 5 x 10
Wish I had a place to use my bands. That weight just flew up and down. Rested 60 seconds between efforts

Day 100 Burpee Challenge / 5050 Burpees Total
Time - 5:08
I was flying! Blew through first 60, slowed a bit up to 80, then turned the gas back on!


*3511*

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Haters

     Good morning folks! Nothing like a day off from work and heavy deadlifts to get you going... albiet now I'm just doing laundry. But hey... you can't WOD in stinky shorts! Now that I have successfully pointed out the obvious to everyone, let's ramble.


     I think you all know by now, that I LOVE CrossFit. And, if you didn't know that I really wonder why you perv this blog. Anyway, as much as I love this program and community, I cannot walk blind through the CF banter. I find myself reading the "I hate CrossFit" or "CrossFit is stupid" camp. I want to see both sides, and why there is all this hate over a fitness program.

     I think, this can be summed up into a few different catagories. First, it's the "I hate CrossFit" or "CrossFit sucks!!!".... Alright, why? I found that there are some over zealous purists that just hate what we do. Powerlifters that scoff at our puny comparative Deadlifts. Olympic Weightlifters that cringe when we do Isabel and Grace (though I kind of do too). Or, just your average bodybuilder that can't understand a sub 5 minute workout (there's no "pump"). They see this as we're destroying form, or not being true to their type of training. Sometimes, it's understandable. I read comments from CrossFitters that are just as nasty trying to defend their sport. Moral of the story: ignore the hate... just train.

     Also, we have a group that dislikes the training and, more or less, safety of what we do. In reality, is everything we do safe? No, not at all. Some max effort attempt look down right distrubring. I know I know, this gets brought up a lot, but uber high volume of olympic lifts can be quite the hazard... especially when there's slack form involved. So, I can somewhat agree with things these folks are say, I just don't like the execution. Instead of an outsider mocking what we do, why doesn't he/she offer some helpful advice. And, if they do, we have to be humble enough to listen.

     Look, people like what CrossFit is about, and people don't like what CrossFit is all about. I think that CF brought proper squat depth back into mainstream. I am overjoyed when someone goes ass to ankles! Also, CF is getting people a lot more interested into Powerlifting and Olympic lifting. I am realistic that we will not produce World Record holders (our training is too varied for that). The point I'm trying to make, is there's now a lot of local Power and Weightlifting competitions held at CrossFit gyms... and that's awesome. Every once in a while I run into a CrossFit that is just as... "opinionated" about his or her fitness that there is nothing else. All I'm saying is whether you're a CrossFitter, Powerlifter, Weightlifter, Martial Artist... at least we're not doing P90X.

     So stay humble, like I know you all are. Learn to be a better CrossFitter, and a fitter all around person. Keep doing what works and ditch what doesn't. Let me know what you guys have seen. Post any "Hate" you've seen spread at CrossFit (whether in person or through the inter-web). It's always interested to hear from the other side of the fence. So like I said, ignore the hate, just train... and do burpees!




3,2,1 GO!
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Yesterday's Training:

3 Rounds
50 Double-Unders
21 Med Ball Cleans #30
12 Pullups
90 sec rest
Round 1 - 2:10
Round 2 - 2:14
Round 3 - 2:04
I like this type of training that puts rest in the middle of rounds, it forces you to stay at +90% every round. That 30 lb med ball sucks! And the bar is only 18 inches from the wall... so very little kipping.

Day 99 Burpee Challenge / 4950 Burpee Total
Alright folks, tomorrow is 100 burpees for time... where we will also cross into over 5000 Burpees!!! Post times in comments tomorrow.

*3511*

Friday, July 22, 2011

Top Ten!

     Sorry folks, yesterday got to be an uber busy day. Poor excuse, I know, but I'm out saving lives... so rambling had to be pushed back a day. Anyway, here I am again, and I'm ready to throw down! Today I just have some fun in store for you today.


     So, I've done this before, but I have some new ones for you... it's the: Top ten Reasons you Know Your Addicted to CrossFit:

10. CrossFit Mainsite or your local CrossFit gym is your homepage.

9. You do a pistol when you get up or sit down in any chair.

8. You buy a nail file only to prevent your callouses from ripping

7. You get offended when someone offers you a bagel.

6. You go to Home Depot to buy workout and mobility gear.

5. You own half a dozen lacross balls... but have never played.

4. You're head turns and you get worried anytime you hear someone count down from 3.

3. You know that you must Clean it before you Jerk it (and that sentence doesn't sound odd at all)

2. You have marked on your calender that the CrossFit Games are one week away!

And... the number 1 reason you know you're addicted to CrossFit is:

1. Your husband/wife is excited that you say that your going to Clean... then realizes that you're just going to work on your Olympic Lifting (Epic win: he/she joins you)

     Hope you enjoyed that folks. Let's hear what you got. Post why you're addicted to CrossFit in the comments... and do burpees!


"The lazy never started, and the weak died along the way"
     - Viking saying


3,2,1 GO!
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Yesterday's Training:

Wendler Program "Big but Boring"
Bench Press 3 x 5
135 lbs (65%)
150 lbs (75%)
170 lbs (85%)
No PR, and I didn't feel that great with that. It's been a long time since I Bench Pressed. I know this doesn't fit into the CF "Functional Movement" model, btu I think there's a lot of carry over with this.

100 lbs x 5 x 10 with red band
Next time I'm going to use the lighter band... &^%$ ego!

Day before Yesterday's Training:

15 min AMRAP
1 Handstand Pushup
1 Strict Pullup
1 Kettlebell Swing 25kgs
3 HSPU
3 Strict Pullup
3 KBS
5 HSPU
5 Strict Pullup
5 KBS
Rounds: 5
The name of this game, was Handstand Pushups! That was 45 HSPU in 15 minutes, with more shoulder pummeling added in. This was tough! For some reason my low back was hurting, this is obviously due to a break down in form in the later rounds... I really need to clean that up. But, I'm happy with this WOD.

Day 98 Burpee Challenge / 4851 Burpees Challenge

*3511*

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ritualistic WODing

     "Good morning my neighbors!" ... "Yes, %$# you too!" Ah, nothing like a good Coming to America refernce to start the day off. Welcome back folks, so glad you joined us on today's ramble. Good stuff, as usual, coming your way... and I don't just mean the CrossFit Games. Alrighty, so lets dive right in.


     Ok, so since I started the Wendler Program (See below) I am really trying to make the most about it. So, yesterday started off with squatting (everyone's favorite). Now, I've noticed something about my preparation that goes into a nice heavy squat. It is as follows:

     Once the bar is loaded to the desired weight I take a few moments to set myself in front of the bar. Next I set my hands on the bar, and then I lay my forehead against the knarling in the middle. This may sound weird, but I'm visualizing in my head completing every rep. I think how each will look, and how it will feel. Lastly I raise my head and slam the bar against the rack and immediately get under the bar into a good high bar position. I'm not disrespecting the equipment, but I find slamming the weight puts the thought into my head that the weight is light. Finally un-rack the weight... and make the &%$ing lift!

     I think I went into far much description over the squat. I just want to show you the importance about getting into the right mindset for a lift. Look at videos of some of the top powerlifters of the top weightlifters out there. Many have a ritualistic approach to a heavy load. Like Coach B says," what do you tell a lifter that makes a lift with a slightly odd form?... you tell him, good job!"

     This doesn't only apply to just heavy loads, we also see this pre-WOD or maybe even during the WOD. Some people just like to have a lucky bandana, others stop their feet before adressing the bar. But, its really hard to knock something that works.

     What have you got, audience? Do you have some crazy foot manuever you must do before a deadlift? Do you like to do the hokey pokey before you swing the kettlebell? Nothing wrong with that, but I'd like to hear that I'm not the only strange one out there. So hit the WOD, pay attention to recovery... and do burpees!


Crossfit Mt. Adams from Sheer Madness Productions on Vimeo.

3,2,1 GO!
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Yesterday's Training:

Wendler Program "Big but Boring"
Squat 3 x 5
- 180 lbs (65%)
- 205 lbs (75%)
- 235 lbs (85%) [new 5RM]

140 lbs x 5 x 10 sumo box squats with red bands

So, like I said, I got the 5/3/1 Program going on. All you do is plug in the numbers of your recent 1 RM (if its not recent take off 10 lbs for safety) and do the movement. The very last set should be an AMRAP. So, if it says 5 reps try to get as many as possible your last set. In my case yesterday I could just hit the 5, which is fine.

Now, the "Big but Boring" part is the ligter weight and higher weight at the end. For this I try to incoperate my jump stretch band for extra tension at the top. Since the weight is light, speed is key to this movement.

If you guys want some more info I have an entire book from Wendler and he has a lot of different programs. All good stuff!

Day 96 Burpee Challenge / 4656 Burpees Total
Counting down to the 100 burpee for time!

*3511*

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Competition... again

     Hey party peeps! Got back for an ardeous trip to lush Afghanistan. Nothing like a 24 hours day right off the bat, a 40+ hour day at the end, and waiting at a flight terminal for 14 hours... mobility be damned, aparently. Anywya, I'm here again, so lets ramble away!



     So, on this last trip, I got a little bored. Of course, I was thinking about the CrossFit Games coming up, and how everyone is going to stack up. So, I put on my "nerd pants" and tried to find a somewhat accurate representation of what we might see at the CrossFit Games... only 10 days away! So, I took all the results from the Regionals competition from the athletes and teams going to the games, re-ranked everyone, and came up with some pretty interesting data. Let's look at the top 5 for each:

MEN:

1st - Dan Bailey (36 points)
2nd - Ben Smith (52 points)
3rd - Austin Malleolo (59 points)
4th - Joshua Bridges (62 points)
5th - Jason Khalipa (76 points)

     So, the Men's data actually reflected the Regional ranking very well. There was only ONE shift, and it was in the South East. When re-ranking was factored in Brandon Phillips would have finished 1st instead of 3rd. Besides that, everyone's ranking stayed the exact same. Odd to note, the only one without a #1 World Wide finish was Ben Smith. Everyone else had a world record finish. Bailey (WOD 1 AND WOD 6), Malleolo (WOD 3), Bridges (WOD 4), and Khalipa (WOD 2). Neal Maddox (who finished 16th) had 1st on WOD 5.

WOMEN:

1st - Annie Thorisdottir (30 Points)
2nd - Smanatha Briggs (49 points)
3rd - Michelle Kinney (58 points)
4th - Becky Conzelman (74 points)
5th - Stacy Tovar (80 points)

     The re-ranking that happened here was rampant! Hell, well over half of the regionals have a different ranking when we add everyone together. For this top 5 it's interesting to note that only Annie (WOD 3 AND WOD 6) and Becky (WOD 1) came away with the world records for the regional WODs.

TEAMS:

1st - CrossFit Invictus (24 points)
2nd - CrossFit New England (34 points)
3rd - Front Range CrossFit (51 points)
4th - Brick CrossFit (57 points)
5th - CrossFit Omaha (76 points)

     Once again, shifting in the leaderboards were all over the place. Even though teams like TJ's Gym had a HUGE win on WOD 2, with 475 lbs, they were not consistent enough to sit in the top spot (though they did have a respectable 8th place finish). Once again, only CrossFit Invictus (WOD 1 AND WOD 6) and Front Range CrossFit (WOD 3) had world record times in the top 5.

     So, there you have it folks, the top athletes and teams, ranked against each other. Do you think this will hold true to the Games? I don't think so. Let's look at some issues. Weather was a HUGE factor. South Central only had 2 athletes finish the 100's workout, and only 2 men completed Amanda! The heat was brutal down in Texas. What about NorCal and the South East? The pouring rain destroyed some people.

     Weather aside, how about other factors? I think the competition brought out some big finishes. Toamas Vanio, from Europe, only placed 10th. Now, I think if Mikko was out there, being chased, we would have seen some faster finishes.

     Lastly, I think we're going to see a lot of changes because we don't have data on everyone. Remember, Mikko, Spealler, Chan, Holmberg and Froning did not compete, or competed on their team. That's the TOP 5 from last year! We don't know where either of these legitimate contenders would stack up. For the women both Foucher and Clever completed on their teams, so where they would stack up, we don't know... though we do know that little ol' Kris Clever tied Annie on the thruster ladder at 175 lbs! Even for the team CrossFit Fort Vancouver isn't out there, and this hugely consistent team edged out CrossFit New England last year.

     There you have it folks. Even with the data this years Games are impossible to predict... but are going to be EPIC to watch. If anyone wants a copy of the spreadsheet I made just let me know in the comments with your email address. And while you're there, let me know what you think of the rough data. Do you think this will predict the Games? I mean, Open Finish or Regional Finish... it all comes down to one weekend. So get excited, get ready... and do burpees!


"Suffering is a choice."
     - Ryan Moody

3,2,1 GO!
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Yesterday's Training:

"Annie"
50-40-30-20-10
Double Unders
Situps
Time - 6:20
I don't know if this was a PR or not, I'm not sure. It didn't feel like it, because I tripped up 4 times on the double unders. Had I got those I would have been a lot closed to 6 flat. Oh well, next time.

Also, getting ready to start Wendler's 5/3/1 program. So 6 weeks from now... I hope to have some new PR's. Here's where I stand:

Squat - 275 lbs (hopefully hitting 300 at the end)
Deadlift - 435 lbs (450 is the goal)
Bench Press - 200 lbs (shoting fior 225)
Push Press - 180 lbs (instead of Shoulder Press I'm going with Push Press... also, shooting for 200)

Day 95 Burpee Challenge / 4560 Burpees Completed

*3511*

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Top 3

     Like I said yesterday folks... the CrossFit Games are almost here! I'm uber excited for this epic battle to go down. As the time gets closer and closer, more pundits will cast their vote on who's going to take away the title: "Fittest on Earth." So, time to throw my picks out there... and see what sticks:

Men's Podium
     1st - Rich Froning Jr.: It's tough to think this guy won't be on top. I hate to point it out... but if he could have climbed a rope he would have had it. I think it's his year to stand on top.
     2nd - Matt Chan:  I think this guy is just a powerhouse. He's super strong with a 255lb Snatch and a 335lb Clean and Jerk. Reports are saying Matt has been working all year at his weakness... gymnastics. I think if he can clean this he can be on there, and consistency among everything will get him there.
     3rd - Graham Holmberg: Poor guy, he wins the 2010 Games and he's still an underdog. I don't know if he'll make it to the top, but I see him making it to the podioum. We haven't seen much of him this year, but reports say that he is coming to clean house... question is, will he do it? I think he's going to do really well... just don't know if it'll be a repeat performance.
    There's some many people that I want to do well, but above is my pick on the podioum. I'm going to say right now, Dan Bailey will not be there. I know the guy is destroying thing... but I don't know if he can pull it off. Looking at the regionals some guys are just as strong as him, but with less of his weknesses (not saying that there's much).

Women's Podium:
     1st - Kristen Clever: I think this girl is unbeatable. Many think it's Annie's year, but I think Kris' VERY few weaknesses are less glaring than Annie. I think we're going to see the first back to back champ right here!
     2nd - Annie Thorisdottir: I don't know that anyone aside from Kristen is going to beat this gal. However, I think her gymnastics will keep her from #1.
     3rd - Camille Leblanc Bazinett: I think Camille is going to be one of the few girls that can get close to Annie. Looking at the Regionals she actually beat her in a few WODs... I think she's making the jump to the podioum this year.
     The gals competition is really starting to get fierce. Last year it seemed it was between Kristen and Annie, and 3rd was the only thing up for grabs. Honestly, the girls are catching up... it's really going to start to be close.

Team Podium
     1st - CrossFit Invictus: These guys did dominate the regional. Just by the numbers they beat CrossFit New England in a few WODs. However, they weren't competing right next to each other... so the Games could be a different story.
     2nd - CrossFit New England: Just look at the girls on this team! Heather Bergeron AND HQ's own EC?! Hold crap Batman, that's some super strong chicks right there. This is actually really tough for me to put them in 2nd. I think they will make it to the podium again this year. Just please be careful when supplements you're taking this year... don't lose your place again by taking some Jack'd 3D or something.
     3rd - CrossFit Valley Park: How can I not throw some props to our resident St. Louis team. One, I've seen them in action just in the local throwdowns and they're always animals. Dan Thacker and Jake Howard are not human. Second, they cleaned up at this year's regional. They're ready for the podoium

     Ok, that's the picks for me. What about you guys? You don't have to rank them, or even go into explaination like I did... but I would LOVE to hear what you think. Andrew, calling you out on this one. I hear through the grapevine you're going to this year's Games (lucky!). So we have to hear your picks, you'll be there in person! Ok guys, keep at it, always be better... and do burpees

3,2,1 GO!
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Yesterday's Training:

Rest/Recovery Day (+ handstand practice)

Day 86 Burpee Challenge / 3741 Burpees Total

*3511*

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Competition

     Hey folks, Frosh here again. Sorry I've been off and on on the Rambles. Its been hectic at work, trying to plan further trips, and getting information for people... its sucks being important. Ok, I'm not that important, but it has been hectic anyway. So, let's get a Ramble in.



     So, I found myself watching Fearless in my room last night, which is of course a subtitled movie, with none other than Jet Li. There was a quote that I saw on there I HAD to write down so I could talk about this today. It is as follow:

"through competition we discover ourselves"

     When I saw that I really tried to think about what that meant, and what it says to me. I've been in 3 competitions in CrossFit to date. The first I was there on a team, the second two was as an individual. Loved the team competition, but I'm really driven by the individual competition. That and when I see the workouts I just want to be a part of them all. I digress.

     In every competition I've thrown my hat into I've walked away with a greater understanding of myself... that and being absolutely thrashed. Obviously I walk out seeing multiple chinks in my armor, which I feel sometimes is made of plastic. But being able to lay everything on the line and throw everything you have on the floor, I feel almost... enlightened... almost as if I find more about myself through competing. Not only do I walk away knowing weaknesses, but I walk away knowing my strengths. And sometimes that strength is just that will to compete... and that's a HUGE one.

     If you've never competed before, I would most definitely reccomend it. It doesn't matter whether you're first or last (my usual finishing spot). It's like the quote says, "It's what you do that defines you." Let me tell you, and some of you have seen this; I've seen the last place competitor (myself included) be cheered for louder than the person that finishes first. And in my case, I know I was able to perform better than I would ever do at my box. Not saying against anything about those I train with, but it's a completely different environment with almost 100 people there cheering for you to lift the ^%$!ing bar!

     So, with the ever approaching CrossFit Games at the end of this month, I'll be talking a lot about competitions. So it's time for my viewing and reading public to pipe up. Have you even been to or competed in a competition before (CrossFit or not)? What did you see, do or feel while you were there? Let the comments come flying in, and hear what you have to say. As always, stay sharp, be strong... and do burpees!


CrossFit Raleigh-Long from Tyler Northrup on Vimeo.

3,2,1 GO!
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Yesterday's Training:

"On the minute"
Every minute perform 2 Power Cleans at 80-85% 1RM for 15 minutes
*If you don't complete both within the minute 5 Burpee penalty*
This was take from yesterday's WOD on CrossFit Football. Now that my PC 1RM is 200 lbs I was foaming at the mouth to give this a try. I did 160lbs (80%) without any misses. This WOD was suprisingly tough, and didn't give you a lot of recovery time between sets. I would recommend giving this WOD a try (Libbie).

Day 85 Burpee Challenge / 3655 Burpees Total
15 days till the 100 Burpees test... get ready folks

*3511*

Thursday, July 7, 2011

200!

     Happy 200th ramble everyone! Can you believe it? I know I can't. That means I've talked about whatever pops into my little (operative word) head 200 times... and you folks have actaully decided to read and follow that nonsense! Well, I hope it hasn't been nonsense, and you have gotten something out of it. So let's see what we have in store for you today.


     I have been watching videos about the CrossFit Games (yes I am a junkie), and I see a lot of similaties is these athletes. I'm not talking about the fact they all of them are monsters and are destroying WODs that could injure a medium-sized bear. What they have a tendency to talk about it mental game, which is something I've rambled about a lot, and feel there is a great importance in CrossFit (unoficially, the 11th General Skill of CrossFit).

     Louie Simmons said it best, "If you have a million dollar body, but a ten cent mind, your finished." These athletes have all the strength and drive in the world, but everyone hits the wall at some point. Some people get crushed by said wall, but others... they just climb over it.

     We've all battled some feroscious WODs in the past, and I believe at one time or another we've ALL hit this wall. We've dropped the bar cause we're dying, we've put the kettlebell down cause our arms are jello, and we've put our hands on our knees because just the thought of another burpee makes us want to vomit... that's the wall. This is where our mental toughness really kicks in. It's where your mind is tell you to stop, but you just stop listening and LIFT THE &%$@ WEIGHT.

     Our minds will give out before I body does, and you do have to be strong enough to stop listening and move. It is a very difficult thing to do, but possible. Look at an elite athlete like CrossFit super stud Jason Khalipa. Jason won the CF Games in 2008. During the first WOD in '09, which was a 7k hill run, he wound up in 73rd place (or something near that). He literally collapsed in the last mile. Everyone thought he was completely out of contention to even make it to day 3, let alone anywhere near the podium. It took a lot of strength between the ears for Jason to rally and climb back up. 20 minutes after finishing his painful run he Deadlifted 505 lbs, for first place! He kept on going and had another first place in a brutal wallball and snatch couplet! He ended the weekend in 5th place.

     Now Jason is a prime example of forgetting about the rough finishes and being mentally strong to compete. Now, maybe many of us will never make it to the game (myself included), but we can all work on being mentally strong. So hold on to that bar as long as humanly possible, limit your rest to two breaths, and know that the pain only lasts so long. So what do you have folks? What was one time you were mentally strong? When did you hit that wall? And what did you do? Leave comments below, keep training hard... and do burpees!

3,2,1 GO!
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Yesterday's Training:

1RM Split Clean - 200lbs!!!
Uber excited to be in the 200... quite honestly, felt like I could do more, but decided to leave that for another day

Conditioning WOD (no lime)
6 Deadlifts
6 Bent Over Rows
6 Hang Squat Cleans
6 Front Squats
6 Back Squats
75lbs - 85 lbs - 95lbs - 105lbs
I cherry picked this conditioning WOD from SEALFIT. Everything went well untill I was at 105lbs, that's when my lower back really started to fry. All of the squats we're ass-to-ankle

Day 83 Burpee Challenge / 3486 Burpees Total


*3511*

Monday, July 4, 2011

Community

     Good morning again everyone! I'm back again, for the time being. This was a long trip with little sleep, bad food and few WODs. I still got some work in and made use of a tire... always fun stuff! Anywho, I'll leave my boring ol' work behind me, and get to rambling.


     So, I've been catching up on my CrossFit Games happening since I've been back. I'll tell you what I have noticed that is saturating these videos and stories... the strong sense of community that CrossFit brings to the table!

     As a sport, CrossFit has some of the most beastly and inhuman athletes in the world. But what is missing from these WOD machines? Three simple letters: EGO!!! CrossFit breeds a superhuman community of humble individuals. Have you ever experienced cheering someone one mid-WOD? How about watching competitions and local throwdowns and see people that just creamed the WOD are staggering around and cheering fellow competitors on? I mean, would you ever think you would see Lebron James congratulate Shaq for dunking on him? ... I doubt it.

     I believe it is because we all suffer together. No matter what the WOD, it will still destroy everyone. Maybe that's why we push so hard, and push each other so hard. It's because we're all in this together. Every ripped palm and trip to the puke bucket is because of the people around us, making us wanted to be a better CrossFitter.

     That's just this authors opinion though. What do you think makes CrossFit so different? Why do you think we're all so crazy? What drives us to be such a strong community? Looking forward to some heartfelt responses. So push yourself, cheer your fellow WOD partner... and do burpees!


Paradiso Crossfit from WOD Gear on Vimeo.

3,2,1 GO!
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Yesterday's training:

Travel/Rest Day

Day 80 Burpee Challenge / 3240 Burpees Total


*3511*