Well those were fun!


I had commented last week about how August had not been as warm as we are used too. The weather gods heard my snide remark and provided a retort. Their retort was a giant middle finger of humidity. Walking out the front door at 5:15am into an atmosphere of swamp air. Good times.

Heat

MON-FITNESS

10 Rounds

9 Wall Balls s(30/20) f (20/14)

6 Burpees to 6″ Target

3 Clean and Jerks s(185/125) f(135/95)

***25 minute cap***

Summary: Doesn’t look bad, right? Wrong. I switched out med balls because the first one got so covered in sweat I couldn’t catch it. Literally slipped through my hands. Ever have to switch spots on the floor for burpees because it was so slippery? I did. Looked like someone sprayed the floor with a hose. It’s not right. I should be studied. It’s improbably for so much sweat to be generated.  Finished it in 24 and change. The burpees truly were the hardest part. Did 135 weight for C&J’s. Probably could have done 155 instead. 185 would have been too much. It’s not the jerk, which for me is a strict press because I refuse to listen to coaches, it’s the clean, or in my case, the reverse curl, because again, I refuse…you know how that ends.

balls

TUES-FITNESS

“HELEN”
3 Rounds for time:
Run 400m
21 KB Swings (1.5/1pd)
12 Pullups

Summary: Any of our fellow cultfit followers immediately grimaced when they saw the name. She’s a bitch. I felt like I was running through pancake batter. I’m not built for speed. It was more trudging than sprinting. Did ring rows instead of pull ups. KB swings and RR were all unbroken. They aren’t the hard part. It’s the stupid running. Why run when you can deadlift? That’s my motto. Checked the lovely performance history tab in Wodify, and the worst time. Ever. Still a hell of a workout. Also did early birds which is a WOD before the WOD, and Gabe was coaching so the warm up was aggressive. There we go. All rationalized out.

helen

 

WED-FITNESS
Close Grip Bench Press
3-3-3-3-3
+
7 Min AMRAP
10 Pushups s(ring pushups)
20 Air Squats

Summary:

Bench press?!?!? Yes. Almost as good as deadlift day. Almost. Also did early birds this morning which was dips and push ups, I think. Felt pretty good. Jumped from 225 to 255 which was probably to aggressive. Got two and the third required some curling from the spotter. It happens. All in all I was happy with it.  The burner afterwards was fun. Again with the sweating. Did I mention it was hot this week?

FRI-FITNESS

Every 2 minutes for 20 minutes complete:

25 Double Unders/75 Singles

1 clean

***add weight every 2 sets starting at 60% of 1RM. Find a new 1RM***

Summary:

Cleans and I have had an unfriendly relationship for the past couple of years. Logically I should be able to clean 275 without much issue. Front squat is 300, deadlift is 455. Really shouldn’t be a problem here. Instead i have been stuck at 195 for two years or so. Finally got 200 Friday morning which felt pretty good. Attempted and failed 205 several times. I should have recorded the lifts. I was pulling it plenty high. Probably snatch height for most people, who you know….drop under the bar instead of what I do, which is reverse curl it to my neck. Also learned that I really like RX jump ropes. All of my singles were unbroken. The rope was very smooth. Definitely purchasing one.

It Never Happens LIke This!

 It Never Happens LIke This!

Three shirts bit the dust this week. You know it’s time to chuck it when you offend yourself. I apologize to those at City Dock Coffee Friday morning. Yeah, my bad. There isn’t enough Febreze to fix that one. Had to go. Just shy of a decade. Again, I am sorry. Smelled like Victory! And remember, we ….

wod-for-beer

It’s Open Season….2015

Here we go Again!

Here we go Again!

It is that time of year again. $20.00 and a quick registration provides the opportunity to compete against 200,000 of your nearest and dearest friends. Each year, thousands of hopefuls sign up in order to prove their standing in the world wide cult!

So happy we are not kicking off this year with seven minutes of puketastic burpees. Instead it is:

CrossFit Games Open 15.1 (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)
9-Minute AMRAP of:
15 Toes To Bar
10 Dead lifts, 115#  / 75#
5 Snatches, 115# / 75#
CrossFit Games Open 15.1 Scaled (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)
9-Minute AMRAP of:
15 Hanging Knee Raises
10 Dead lifts, 85# / 55#
5 Ground to Overhead, 85# / 55#
CrossFit Games Open 15.1A (Weight)
6-Minutes to Establish:
1-RM Clean and Jerk
The addition of the scaled class is a welcome change. Beats having to enter a zero! I can do toes to bar all day, as long as it’s a barbell and it’s on the floor.
This will be an exciting one and can already envision my forearms getting fried. Lots of forearm and lacrosse ball action prior. Also, lot’s of hamstring work.  Definitely looking forward to catching the 12Labours crowd getting together at 10:00am in Annapolis District.
12Labours

It’s all About the Gear

GEAR

Truthfully, that is probably the number one reason we all do CrossFit. It’s all about the gear. We are in the process of packing for our move the end of this month. I. Hate. Moving.  I have a lot of stuff. Multiple paris of shoes, jump ropes, chalk, bands, wraps, gloves, tape, the list goes on and on. And for what? Because it might help me go a little faster or lift a little more. Nonsense. Americans love to buy stuff. Some of the brightest minds in the country are dedicated to separating you from your money. They are good at it too. Since I seem to buy just about everything I thought it would be a good idea to provide my opinion on what stuff you actually need, versus which is a nice to have dust collector.

Shoes:

Definitely think the right shoes go a long way in helping you perform your best. Innov8s, Reebok Nano’s, and Lifting Shoes. I have gone through three pairs of Innov-8’s, two of the F-Lite 195 and one pair of the F-210’s. I like the latter the best. The 195’s are a little too flimsy for bigger guys like me. I did not like running in them because of the lack of support however they are great for rowing, jump rope, lighter lifting etc. The 210’s are very low to the ground and I like them for deadlifts. Almost the same as going barefoot.

The Nano’s are the best all around CrossFit shoe. No issues with running and due to the extra stiff sole, Olympic lifts like clean and snatch are good to go at moderate weights. I bought two pair of the Nano ‘s and have been alternating them for the past couple of months. Picking up a third pair would just be silly, right? Exactly. So i bought two pair of the 4.0’s when they came out too. So, now i have four pairs. When are the 5.0’s due? Oh wait, Nike MetCons are out…so we know where that will land. Just doing more research for you folks….

Olympic Lifting Shoes:

Oly

I own both the Romaleos and first generation Reebok lifters. Have been eyeing up the another pair of lifters and will more than likely have a pair in the next month or two. I really hope Jen is reading this as she seems to think I have a problem with shoes.

Nike Romaleos:

They are expensive. Probably the most costly of all the options however I think they are worth it. I have had mine for over three years and they still look and feel pretty new. The raised heel helps align your hips to get a deeper squat and the extra stiff sole allows you to drive up through your heels without getting the squishy shoe feeling. Nice solid foundation. You feel bolted to the ground.

Reebok Lifters:

I have a pair of the first generation and I probably wear these more often than the Romaleos, not because they are better, however because they are more versatile. Got a WOD with snatches/cleans/squats and other stuff like box jumps, prowler, etc. These will be fine all the way through. Would not recommend pure oly shoes for the other movements.

Shorts/Pants/Shirts:

I sweat. Ungodly amounts of sweat. I should be tested. I prove Under Armour a liar every time. Can’t wick me! I have tried the more expensive UA shirts and they are still soaked by the time I am done. I stick to two companies now when I need to cycle through clothes.

Uberfit:

1stslider

Uberfit is a local business and has grown pretty significantly over the past two years. The shirts have a wicking quality and have great logos and designs. You all know how I feel about cardio….the image below says it all. I have had Uberfit shirts for two years plus and they still are in good shape. I think that says a lot for the quality considering the punishment we dish out. Stones, yoke carries, front rack barbells, etc. They take a beating. Also offer shorts, pants, hats, wrist wraps, and just about everything else you could think of. Enter Rook25 during checkout and receive 25% off your entire order. http://www.uberfitapparel.com/ 

Uberfit

Hylete:

These are the only shorts i have bought in the past few years. I still have the original pair and no signs of them being worn. They are a little more expensive, however they last. They also have zipper pockets and for some reason that means a lot to me. No idea why. Enter CFROOK during checkout and get a discount. Kylie also has their backpack/bag and absolutely loves it. Pockets everywhere….

Rehab/Injury:

Everyone gets hurt. It’s part of the fun. Sprains, twists, pulls, or just being sore as hell they day after. It’s all completely and totally normal. Obviously if you are throwing up, bleeding, can’t sit up or stand without feeling sick from the pain a visit to the doctor or ER is in order, asap.

Rehaband:

Pretty much the gold standard for knee and elbow protection. I have used knee bands and they are very helpful. Guaranteed to see fellow CrossFit athletes donning them at any competition.

Ice Packs:

Exercise leads to inflammation. Inflammation leads to limited ROM. Ice leads to less inflammation. The cold pushes the blood away. Regular ice packs from CVS are fine for home. Just tried Arctic Ease which are really cool. They don’t require time in the freezer. It’s a cold elastic wrap that can carried with you and are perfect for post WOD icing with minimal prep.

Trigger Point:

Lacrosse ball, grid roller/foam roller/PVC. These items will help you work out knots, tight spots, etc. Definitely worth the purchase. Muscles get beat up, period. Also recommend massage therapy if you can swing it. Painful, however very rewarding afterwards.

Jump Ropes: 

If you are serious and plan on doing it for more than six months than your own rope is worth the expense. Beware of false advertising. Some will advertise they assist with making double-unders more easy, however in most cases they just allow you to whip yourself faster. Personally i like the metal ones, they really make a mark. Let’s you know you didn’t come close to doing it right. IT’s more than spinning it faster, jumping also required.

 Wrist Wraps/Tape:

Hands get beat up. Wrists get beat up. Callouses are formed and then torn which result in a blood freakin’ mess on the bars, floor, etc. Tape your stuff. Whether to go with athletic tape or wrist wraps for your wrists is a personal choice, however make the choice and use one. Tape around your thumbs when doing high volume cleans, snatches, overhead work, etc. Also helpful to tape your hands when doing high volume pull ups, ring work etc. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcS5lYs6DkU 

 

 

CrossFit Dictionary

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If your friends CrossFit, you’ll know it because it’s all they ever talk about! The dictionary below should be useful to those CrossFit or who have friends who CrossFit and have io idea what their friends are talking about. Also good if you need a laugh!

21-15-9: favorite rep scheme for many of the Metcons. 45 reps in total, however it feels more like 450. Always starts out with: “That doesn’t look too bad.”

400M: Stupid, incessantly annoying runs, usually around a building. Best completed while inhaling diesel fumes, or dodging traffic.

6am’ers: Cheery, coffeeholic members who only show up at 6:00am. May be treated as Noobs at weekend classes or clinics, simply because other members do not know they exist. If one shows up at an afternoon class, look out. The world may end. Same can be said if an afternoon regular shows up at a 600am class.

Airdyne/Assault Bike: Ungood all around. Part stationary bike, part punching drills, all nasty. You are doing it right if the sweat dripping off your nose is levitated by the fan spinning. Really doing it right if the sweat comes back at you!

Burpee: Banned by the Geneva Convention in 1899 as unfair punishment. Adored by CrossFit instructors worldwide. Originally named the Squat Thrust by gym coaches. Burpee sounded more friendly. Sadly, we were duped. Squat down, kick your legs back, do a push up, bring your feet to your hands, jump in the air, clap your hands over your head. Repeat. Vomit. Could be used as punishment for politicians who cannot come to an agreement. Burpees until they resolve all outstanding issues.

Cleans: Explosive Olympic lift where you take the bar from the floor to your shoulders by jumping and pulling yourself under the bar. Otherwise known as a reverse curl. Requires lots of practice and should be practiced with a dowel or empty barbel every day.
Tutorial

Double Unders: Fap, ow. Fap, shoot. Fap, Damnit! Fap, how many singles do I sub? The rope passes under your feet twice instead of once. Easier for smaller lighter people. The rest of us look like our legs have been whipped.
Tutorial

Ewwww: Common retort when the WOD is a mix of Turkish Get Ups, Bulgarian Split Squats, Box Jumps, and Burpees

Fem-Bot: Usually starts out with a thought: “She’s cute, I’ll work out next to her.” Turns into “She has more weight on her bar, she’s moving faster, and is completely crushing me. I need to leave, now.” Worst outcome is she’s the trainer. More weight will miraculously appear on your bar if left unattended. She wants to make you better. Your ability to survive the WOD is inconsequential.

Goals: Can’t hit something if you don’t know what it is. Track your progress and set goals for thirty days out. Look at the WOD before you go in and have a plan of the weight you will use along with any substitutions. Talk to the trainer and ask if they agree.

Hand Stand Push Ups: It starts with getting upside down and the putting your feet against the wall. Then lower your head to the floor and push yourself up. Good times. You will fall. Everyone does. HSPU is the warning, I mean abbreviation.
Progression Tutorial

Innov-8’s: Minimalist running shoe favored by CrossFitters because of the simple design and low heel height. Surprisingly more expensive than regular sneakers even though they have less material. Cool color combinations, which is handy because you’ll have several pair. Addict.

Jerk: Pushing the barbels over head by dropping under the bar and straightening you arms and engaging your shoulders. I have been accused of completing a push press instead of a jerk. Obviously they can’t see the difference.
Tutorial

Kipping: Pretty much the foundation of the majority of lifts and movements we complete. Explosive hip drive movement. Takes a lot of practice to do it correctly. More commonly used with pull ups. Progression Tutorial

L-sits: Horrible. No idea who came up with them. Incredible for strong arms, shoulders, and core. Starts on the floor with PVC pipe where you kick your legs out in front holding them parallel to the floor. Torso is perpendicular to the floor. Pros do it on the rings. Example

Metcon: We lift weights to get stronger. We lift weights faster for cardio. Short for metabolic conditioning. High intensity cycle consisting of lifts and either running, rowing, or body weight exercises like pull ups, HSPU, etc. My personal favorite is Diane. 21-15-9 225 dead lifts and HSPU. You won’t die. You’ll just feel like it.

Nanos: Brought to us by Reebok. Direct competition for the Innov-8’s. Favored by CrossFitters For the low height and versatility. Favored by Reebok because of the price. Lots of cool colors and they are customizable if you want to wait two to three months.

Omergawdddd: Common response when someone tries a heavier than normal weight for a dead lift or clean. Also common response when asked “How was the WOD?”

PR: Personal record. We celebrate them all. Could be for the fastest 400 meter, heaviest triple, getting a double under or a rope climb. If the box doesn’t have a PR bell or a board dedicated to track these, find a new box.

Quit: No meaning because it doesn’t exist. Similar to unicorns and Sasquatch. There is no quit.

Rx: Completed as prescribed. Followed the weights and movements with zero substitutions. You graduated.

Sweat Angel: Think snow angel minus the snow. The WOD is over and you crushed it. Assume the position. Flat on your back on the floor, arms and legs sprawled out like a starfish. Eventually the walls will stop shaking. Take a picture and post on Facebook. You accomplished more in an hour than most will do all day.

Turkish Get Ups: Nobody likes these. Evil drill which consists of holding a weight overhead while standing up from the floor and them laying back down. Tutorial

Uberfit: Clothing company which one day may be as big as Under Armour. Clothing for athletes designed by one of our own! You Need A New Shirt

Victory: You did it! Celebrate every win. Ring the bell and track it in the log book.

WTF?: Common thought when the WOD doesn’t make sense or the trainer has an 800 meter run in the warmup.

X-out: What we do to goals. Hit the goal. Cross out the goal. Add a new goal.

Yowsa: Prescribed response when a fellow CrossFitter hits a new PR or when you hit one. It is a team sport. Celebrate everybody’s wins. Best way to cool down? Cheering for the people who aren’t done yet!

Zercher Carry: Carrying a significant amount of weight by making an L with your arms. The barbell or yoke rests in the crook of your arms. Usually carried for 50 to 100 feet.
Example

Links to other CrossFit dictionary’s.

CrossFit Active Performance

Arenal Fitness

CrossFit Manassas

Thank you for reading and have a great day.

Ten Crossfit Truths

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I am coming up on my two year anniversary of CrossFit. “Come on in.” they said. “It’ll be fun.” they said. It has been fun and I have learned a lot. Before I wrote this blog I searched for other blogs with a similar topic and found more entries about CrossFit myths. Below is my take on the truths.

1) CrossFit is not a cult. The best boxes are a community comprised of individuals striving to get better in each of the ten components of CrossFit. No flowing white robes. No Kool-aid. Just people focused on getting better.

2) CrossFit is addictive. I have yet to meet anyone who was not hooked after their first WOD. It hurts. It leaves you gasping, in the fetal position, on the floor. It makes you wonder how the 125 lb woman next to you lifted more, lifted it faster, and isn’t sweating nearly as profusely. It is also fun as hell and provides a sense of accomplishment which is unmatched.

3) CrossFit is contagious. It’s all we talk about. I am sure our friends and family get tired of hearing about it, until they try a WOD. Then it’s on like donkey kong.

4) Not all athletes are “elite”. I hate the word elite. Almost as much as I hate the words epic or slim fit. Froning is elite. Iceland Annie is elite. They also have all day to train, eat, and rest. I am not trying to be the best in the world, only better than who I was yesterday. Most if our trainers are top shelf athletes and I appreciate the dedication. You don’t have to be elite to CrossFit.

5) Competition is powerful. “I can’t do that.” is soon replaced with “Holy hell, I did that!”. Competing against both yourself and others is a sure fire way to get better.

6) CrossFit is expensive. Dues, $150 – $200. Progenex $60. Nanos or Innov8, $90-$125. Reebok, Lululemon or Under Armour shorts, shirts, pants, etc. $$$$$. It is an investment in yourself. Aren’t you worth it? The clothes don’t have a huge impact so save the dollars and invest in the gear like shoes and a custom fit jump rope. A quality post WOD protein is also a good idea.

7) CrossFit does not get easy. It just sucks a little less. The workout is going to punch you square in the throat. Would we want it any other way? It’s only thirty minutes, or less in most cases.

8) The WODS you hate are the WODS you should not miss. Yesterday was a perfect example for me. Nicole. 20 min AMRAP of 400 meter runs and AMRAP pull ups. I hate both, hence I hate Nicole. Don’t skip the stuff at which we suck, as we would never get any better.

9) Nutrition is the foundation. Paleo is preferred by most CrossFitters I know however that does not mean it is the best. Each athlete has to test which plans work the best based on individual needs. Drinking three nights a week while alternating cheeseburgers, pizza, and fried Oreos is not a plan conducive to increased physical performance, sadly.

10) Rest and mobility are important. Lifts, running, rowing, push-ups, etc., all result in torn muscle fibers. That is why we are sore after a workout. Rest and mobility work help heal the tears, making the muscle fibers thicker and tougher. Skipping these is the equivalent if skipping the lift or the workout all together.

11) CrossFitters tend to push harder and want more…..whether it is physically, professionally, or personally. No quitting. No giving up. No time outs. Every rep, set, and round counts. There are no shortcuts. Skip a rep, suffer the wrath.

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Getting Better

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So, you don’t think you are getting any better. Most of that is negative think and negative speak. Leave it at the door. Nobody wants to hear it. No negative Nancy’s or Mancys here. Fact of the matter is everyone gets better, perhaps at a different pace. Want to get better faster?

Ask Questions:

Ask good questions. CrossFit is more expensive than other gyms because of the access to personal trainers. Ask them questions. Insanity is doing something the same way and expecting a different outcome. Trainers have a wealth of knowledge to share and should be your go to person with questions about scaling, form, practice, aches and pains, etc.

Set Goals:

You can’t get there if you don’t have a destination. Set tangible numeric goals. Instead of “I want to get better at pull ups” set a goal of “I want to do five unassisted pull ups by March 30th.” Keep your goals realistic. Setting unattainable goals is leads to a path of disappointment and regression.

Track your WOD’s. There are dozens of apps for tracking weights, times, meals, etc. Log your information and then review it before every WOD.

Lift Heavy Weights:

Lift a calf in the morning and then a cow in the afternoon. When someone first starts, the weights should be scaled and more handleable, however once you have several months under your belt and the form is good, pack on the plates. Talk to your Coach about whether the purpose of the WOD is to be fast or you should be using the prescribed weights. We don’t get stronger by lifting the same weights we did six weeks ago.

Two weeks ago your max dead lift was 225, this week your max attempt should be at least five pounds heavier. The rep we don’t get is the one that gives the most benefit. Failure is an important component of getting stronger.

Read:

Do your homework. There is a significant amount of information available which can help anyone overcome sticking points. Stick with reliable sources like CrossFit HQ, Mobility WOD, etc. A quick post on your Facebook account may yield additional resources which have proven useful for your friends. Face it, if you are doing CrossFit, it’s the only thing on your FB page anyway, right?

Heal Thyself:

Generally, we know what’s wrong, we may just have a tough time admitting it. Eating junk and partying two or three nights a week will not lead to success. Unless you are in your late teens and early twenties. For the rest of who are more advanced in years, it’s time to get serious. Eat better, sleep better, rest better, perform better. Getting old is better than the alternative.

Positive Mental Attitude:

Think good things and good things will happen. Visualize success before you step in the door. Don’t make the muscle between your ears an enemy.

Additional Resources:

It seems like other people decided to write about the same topic. See, I do know what I am talking about. Don’t even have a Level 1 Cert.,…yet.

Fifty Ways to Get Better at CrossFit

What I Learned After Three Years

Getting Better at CrossFit

Getting Better

Break a record today.

CrossFitRook

January is Almost Over….

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Which means less people in the gym! It was actually empty the past two days which I think was the result of our unseasonably warm streak. People took to the trails and streets for running and biking.

It also means the Whole Life Challenge is right around the corner. I strongly suggest you enter the competition. It’s $45.00 but you will learn a lot about yourself. It is worth it!

I have not been getting to the pool in the afternoon so the cardio has been lacking. I plan on going his afternoon. As usual, the goal is not to drown, and not to drink more than a gallon of pool water. I don’t remember swimming being so difficult or so tiring.

Tuesday’s WOD:

Rep Count: 7, 5, 3, 3, 1

Shoulder Press

Weight: 135, 145, 155, 165, 175

Three Rounds:
5 pull ups
10 push ups
15 squats

Wednesday:

Rep Count:
10, 7, 5, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3

Weight: 135, 185, 225, 225, 225, 245, 245

Three Rounds:
5 pull ups
10 dips
15 sit ups