The Ten CrossfitRook Commandments

Below are ten  tips I have learned during my CrossFit experience. I don’t always follow them, however when I do, I usually have better results. Please feel free to comment and add your tips.

10) Show up Mentally and Emotionally Prepared

It is an hour of your day. Be ready to go when you get to the box. Leave family and work stress at the door. This is your time. If your head isn’t right, the WOD won’t be right either.

9) Drink the Kool-Aid

Is CrossFit kind of like a cult? Sure is. We wear funny looking shoes, have our own language, and we talk about it all of the time. Get a few of us together and others will look at us like we have two heads. It is O.K. It is a good cult. We want everyone to be healthy and to succeed. Now, if your trainer shows up wearing a white robe, and asks you to drink the actual Kool-Aid, turn around and run.

8) Compete Against Yourself

CrossFit is definitely moving into the mainstream. ESPN 2 now regularly shows the Games. It is easy to fall into a trap of comparing yourself to the professional athletes, or the elite athletes at your local box. Try not too. Track your times and weights for the WOD’s. You will notice that you are getting stronger and faster, keep competing against yourself or against other team members who are similar.

7) Don’t Scale Only to be Faster

I often fall into this trap. I am worried about time so I sub ring rows for pull-ups    because I can do them faster. Guess what? I am good at ring rows and still suck at pull ups. Not quite what I wanted. Check with your trainer and ask their opinion. If it is a WOD that is supposed to be fast, it might be OK to sub. The only way you get better at the movements is to practice,…a lot.

6) YES YOU CAN!

One of the beauties of CrossFit is that any WOD can be scaled. There are substitutes if you have not yet mastered HSPUS or DU’s; however don’t talk yourself out of it if you haven’t even tried it! Give it an honest effort and then sub if needed.

5) Do the Whole Warm-Up

O.K., so the three legged dog looks dumb as hell and I hate baby elephant, but guess what, you have to warm up the muscles and stretch to reduce the chance of injury. Don’t, and you’ll be out of action for a while.

4) Celebrate the Wins

Don’t always focus on the weights you didn’t do, focus on the records you set. Every box has a bell for PR’s, ring it! You are going to get stronger and faster. You will accomplish things that you previously thought weren’t possible. Be happy!

3) ]Don’t Stop, you are not Going to Catch your Breath

It may sound odd, however it happens to me quite often. I am in the middle of doing a WOD and I feel like if I just got ten or fifteen seconds, I could catch my breath and then finish out. It doesn’t happen and instead my time is a lot longer. Just keep going, try not to stop.

2) Nutrition is Just as More Important than Exercise

Proper Nutrition is the Foundation

The image above shows that nutrition is the foundation. GIGO. Garbage In, Garbage Out. Changes to your diet such as following Paleo will result in quicker and bigger gains. You are asking your body to do more so don’t you need better fuel?

1) Listen to Your Trainer

Your trainer wasn’t born knowing all of the movements and lifts. They made mistakes and learned the correct form. Listen to them. They want to make sure you get a quality workout and are not injured.

Back from Vacation and Back on Whole Life Challenge

We are back from our week long celebration of my brother in law’s wedding, and the ridiculous amount of eating and drinking that went along with the celebration. I think we did pretty well. We had a lot of fun and didn’t go too overboard. We did still work out while we were away. We are both back on the clean eating wagon and are both very thankful for it!

This week’s WOD’s were challenging after being away. I did set a PR on my front squat with 270 lbs which is nice.  I didn’t follow on my advice from “Cleans and Snatches”, https://crossfitrook.wordpress.com/2012/09/29/197/ yesterday though. I didn’t get under the bar and paid the price in regards to the amount of time it took to complete the WOD.

I did notice a difference this week when I ate something before the WOD. I ate hard boiled eggs, fruit, almonds…not all at once on the same day. It helped quite a bit and I noticed I had more energy.

Week’s WOD’s:

Monday:

PC 8×3 reps OTM (65%) 115lbs

then
3 sets
10 Pistols Alternating (use the video in continuing education to scale)
10 Pull Ups (Bands)
10 OH Squats 95/65

Tuesday:

5 sets
1 min AMRAP Db Push Press 40/30
1 min AMRAP Box Jumps 24/20
1 min AMRAP Burpees

204 total reps
Wednesday:

A1. Front Squat@30×1 3,2,1,1, 205. 225. 245. 270
A2. Strict Pull Ups 8-10 reps; add weight if necessary

then
B1. Kettlebell Swings 3 sets x 15 reps; rest 30 sec 2 pood
B2. GHD Sit Ups 15 reps x 3 sets; rest 30 sec

Thursday:

20 Ring Push Ups
10 Deadlfit 245
20 HSPU
10 Clean 155/105
20 Ring Dips
10 Snatch 95/65

Friday:

3 five minute sets for reps(including double unders)
Airdyne (cal) 45 sec
Slam Ball 45 sec
50 Double Unders
rest remaining time

then
Tabata Sit Ups

then
Tabata Kipping Pull Ups…

I’ll be taking Saturday off!

CrossFitRook

These two lifts are definitely challenging. When done correctly they are explosive and controlled violence. Good lifters do them quickly. I usually wind up muscling them both up and then pressing out the snatch, which is obviously incredibly wrong. It is also a freight train to injury town, which is the last place we want to be.

I hear some of the same tips from trainers:

1) Slow Down!

2) Jump higher

3) Get under the bar

4) Keep your chest up

What do these mean?

The first pull, from the ground to mid thigh, is supposed to be slow. We are “loading” our hamstrings, i.e., getting them fully engaged for the explosive part.  I tend to lift from the floor, which is just wrong. Get low, and when you think you are low enough, get an inch lower. Shoulders go back, tension across traps and forearms as you are trying to snap…

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Cleans and Snatches

These two lifts are definitely challenging. When done correctly they are explosive and controlled violence. Good lifters do them quickly. I usually wind up muscling them both up and then pressing out the snatch, which is obviously incredibly wrong. It is also a freight train to injury town, which is the last place we want to be.

I hear some of the same tips from trainers:

1) Slow Down!

2) Jump higher

3) Get under the bar

4) Keep your chest up

What do these mean?

The first pull, from the ground to mid thigh, is supposed to be slow. We are “loading” our hamstrings, i.e., getting them fully engaged for the explosive part.  I tend to lift from the floor, which is just wrong. Get low, and when you think you are low enough, get an inch lower. Shoulders go back, tension across traps and forearms as you are trying to snap the bar in half. This first pull should be slow and used to build the tension in one of your biggest muscle groups, hamstrings and glutes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CReQ2XZ5LEs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9bA4a2WjqE&feature=related

The jump…my feel hardly leave the floor, and if they do, you can barely slide a stamp between my foot and the floor. The dip, which is the first part of the jump, is straight down with you knees being open. Try not to lean forward as that will put too much pressure on your lower back. Imagine jumping backwards. Lean back with the bar hanging in front of you, as if the bar is the only thing stopping you from falling backwards. Your shoulders should be in your back pockets. Low and back. This will give you the freedom for the big shrug. Your feet should come off the ground. The higher, and more explosive the jump, the better.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mE-aPvYTWuU&feature=relmfu

Well, I try to remember that I am not lifting the bar to my neck, or over my head. I am lowering myself under the bar and catching the bar low. Instead of catching it high, which is harder, and then doing a full front/overhead squat? Why not catch the bar low and then stand up? More efficient, right? Of course, if it were only that easy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0PITbWa0eU

Everyone, especially beginners, tends to lean forward during the squat portion. It happens. The biggest reason, is because we look down or at our feet. I know I am guilty of this. Pick  a spot on the wall, or out in the distance and keep your head neutral. Don’t look down, or look up.

I just found out heavy cleans are part of today’s WOD. Good times!

First Week of Whole Life Challenge Down

And guess what? Everyone is fine. Sure it stinks. Can’t eat the thinks we like, or drink the things we want, which is probably the harder part; however we made it through the first week just fine. I was a little grumpy and groggy this week as I am sure that is part of the sugar withdrawal known has Carb Flu. It takes planning and willpower, both things that everyone can employ.

We bought a few new cookbooks and had some great meals. Planning is key. Eat beforehand if you know you are going to an event which doesn’t have WLC compliant food. Pack your lunch for work. Pack snacks. Prepare your meals ahead of time. A little planning goes a long way. 

Did we almost cave last night and head to Victoria for burgers and beers. Absolutely. Did we joke about five guys for lunch today. Yes. Did we do either of them? Absolutely not. 

First Week of August

It was a great week. Set a new PR with front squats when getting 245 for 2. Previous best was 240 for 1. Kylie and I ate pretty clean. A few cocktails Thursday night. Life is too short, and work is too stressful!

 

Monday:

Front Squat

2,2,2, 2+ AMRAP at same weight

185, 205. 225. 245

then

6 Sets NFT
Push Press 5 reps; rest 45 sec
Kb Swings Unbroken 15 reps;1.5 pood; rest 45 sec

135/155 and 1.5/2.0

Tuesday: 

12 min AMRAP
10 Db Hang Squat Cleans 45#
10 T2B

subbed 35# db’s and v sit ups

five rounds, this sucked.

Wednesday 

3 sets
100 ft Farmers Carry
5 Stone To Shoulder
100ft Farmers Carry
Row 500m

Time 19:49

115/115

Thursday and Friday I took off, except for Burpees. 

Festivus…a Competition for the Rest of Us

We are getting ready for Festivus which are games intended for beginner CrossFitters. BWI has a good showing of people who are participating so it will be fun no matter what. Means clean living for a while to make sure we are ready to go…well sort of clean living. We’re 70% paleo 90% of the time…ish.

http://www.festivusgames.com/

http://www.arenalfitness.com/

Rumor has it the WOD’s include a 2,000 meter row which is great, if you like rowing. If not, too bad, row anyway. Also possibility of max dead lift which I am excited about. Pick it up, put it down, add weight, pick it up, put it down. Repeat. I am sure box jumps and pull ups will be involved. Very rarely do those two miss a WOD.

There is a renewed sense of competition with the games being so recent. There is also a renewed sense of “holy hell they are machines.” Competition is great, just keep it realistic. Compete against yourself, not Froning or Thorisdottir. It would be like having a throwing competition against Manning or Big Ben. Ain’t gonna happen.

I heard somebody say “I’m not a fire breather like the pros.” This guy hits the WODs hard, 100% intensity, always with prescribed weights, etc. Guess what, you are! http://crossfitamundson.com/firebreather

Firebreather – Fie-r-bre’-th-er: (n) 1. One who faces the triumphs and tribulations of great physical opposition with an indomitable spirit. 2. An optimistic energy associated with the heart of an athlete.

The definition doesn’t say anything about having the winning time, heaviest snatch, yada yada yada. You get the point. If you give it 100%, do your best, work hard, you are in the club.

Off to dead lifts and box jumps, and my favorite, running. BOOM!

 

 

 

Progenex….or Joining the Reebok Following?

I have set a few PR’s over the past two weeks which is great, I just don’t know why I set them. Sounds odd, right? I haven’t changed much with the exception of two things. I started taking Progenex Recovery and More Muscle. The other thing I changed was giving into the Dark Side…Reebok.

Progenex is great, just really expensive. I know, I know…”you’ll blow $100 on booze but not $60 on a good protein.” Heard it, got it. Progenex has done a great job building both a brand image and a rabid following. The composition is relatively easy to duplicate through True Nutrition and I am patiently awaiting my order. I am interested to see if the results are similar.

Reebok: I was against the whole Reebok CrossFit push because what I liked about CrossFIt was that is was not mainstream. Reebok took over and now ads are all over the place and you do not see CrossFit without Reebok. I am sure box owners are happy because it is great for advertising which is good for them because it helps business. Will CrossFit be able to maintain it’s identity or will it end up becoming Reebok? Is this a merger or an acquisition. Big difference when it comes to company culture. Is it possible this little sticker helped me get stronger? If so, that would be awesome because they are a hell of a lot cheaper!