Email from a Friend After you Join CrossFit

Hey, it’s been a while. Seriously I don’t even know if you’ll have time to read this email since you practically live at the CrossFit gym now. Oh, sorry it’s a box. What gives? We haven’t seen you in forever. Every time we talk to you it’s CrossFit this and CrossFit that. Either it’s some workout at midnight, which is weird, or some weekend competition. Next thing it’s a cookout or a happy hour.

We don’t even understand half the stuff posted on your Facebook page. What the hell do you mean you PR’d and did something Rx? And now your up at five am posting stuff to boot! You used to be a night owl. Are you ok? Taking pictures of your food or posting pictures of empty plates with the caption “time”? Huh? Time for what? Chipotle three times a week. Thanks for checking in every time. Trust me, we know where to find you!

Please explain to me your new-found love for bacon? Six months ago you wouldn’t have touched the stuff, now you can’t wait to find something new to wrap in bacon. Dates, seriously? Bacon wrapped dates!?!? Have at it bro. All you.

People have been saying its a cult. Is it? Please don’t tell me there is a leader in a white robe talking about the end and only his or her disciples will make it! I checked it out online and it looks hard as hell and people have gotten hurt. This rhabdo stuff is no joke.

Ok, time to come clean. We want in. Your box looks ten times more fun than our globo gym and the members, well, God bless Facebook pictures. Damn! You are having way more fun than us and look a hell of a lot stronger than when we were doing preacher curls. Are you still doing those? You have to be. Or did you switch to cable curls? Anyway, how can we join? Is there a pizza night or something?

Look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks

Getting Better

20130316-065902.jpg

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

Do You Know Squat?

The lovely squat. Simple in design. Trunk stays perpendicular to the floor, tall chest, butt goes back, knees push outward, butt drops down so your quads are below parallel, and up you come. Repeat as needed with a ton of weight. Sounds easy, right? Look, even a toddler can do it!

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So what is so hard about squatting?

Balancing the Weight:

Stand in front of a mirror for a side view. Try not too flex your biceps. We all know they are huge and beautiful. Pull your shoulders back and up. You will notice a groove between you traps and rear delts. That’s where the bar goes. It doesn’t go on your neck or directly on your traps. Practice it a couple of times and get used to the feeling. If the weight doesn’t feel secure, neither will the squat.

What am I looking at?

I have a tendency to look at the floor or worse yet, look at my feet. The body follows the head. You look down and you fall forward. Not good if you are trying to balance weight on your shoulders. Pick a spot on the wall at eye level. The head and neck should be in a neutral position. Not looking up. Not looking down. It should be comfortable.

Foot Position:

Part of my rehab for my knee is to do squats with a med ball between my back and the wall. I lined up with my toes pointed slightly out, weight on my heels and outside edges of my feet, and as I descended I pushed my knees out. I was immediately told that was wrong and my feet should be straight and my knees tracking straight over my feet. Weird. I did as I was told. It felt completely and totally wrong!

Shoulder width. Weight on the heels and outside edge of your feet. Countless instructional videos from well respected coaches all have the same points.

Justsquat

Squatting

Squat tutorial

Squat Therapy

Get Depth:

If you think you are deep enough, go down more! The crease of your hip should be below your knees. Just keep working on it and you will get there. Lots of stretching for hamstrings hips. Gotta be loose to get low.

Back Up:

As in getting upright again. Drive through your heels while shrugging your shoulders up. The chest as to stay will. There will be a tendency to lean forward. Look up a little and take a deep breath in. Both of these will help you get tall. Repeat as needed.

What squatting tips can our readers provide? Please list them below in the comments section.

Have fun out there! Lift it, swing it, pull it, press it, and climb it. TIME

Don’t Bargain with Yourself

We live in an age of compromise. We are told that we can’t always have everything we want. We spend a lot of time negotiating, whether it be to purchase a car or get a child to eat their broccoli. Bargaining is part of business and personal relationships. We can’t get away from it. This all fine and good however we should not compromise or bargain with ourselves when it comes to diet and getting our WOD on!

Here is how it usually goes. The WOD will have box jumps, something which I suck at, and I will immediately bargain with myself to do half regular and to the other half as step ups. It is a great method to continually not do well at box jumps. We all have movements with which we struggle. Remember that the only way to get better is to practice. Don’t sacrifice your results for the clock. Being fast at a scaled version does not feel as good as writing Rx on the board.

My other favorite is bargaining that I can eat something bad or have a few cocktails and make up for it the following day with a run or “working out harder”. We know how that ends. Doesn’t happen. I am guilty of this a well.

In the end, Who are you bargaining with? Only yourself! Why purposefully short change yourself? You have already paid the dues, bought the funny looking shoes, and are all chalked up. Might as well see it through.

We often short change ourselves by automatically thinking we can’t do something, often without trying. Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’ll be right. Courtesy of Henry Ford. So what if it takes you longer to complete the WOD as prescribed. Our friends at CrossFit Syndicate recently wrote a blog pertaining to this subject: http://cfsyndicate.com/?p=5040

My point is that you may have to negotiate or bargain in other aspects of your life; however your diet and the quality and intensity of your WODs are off limits.

Break a record this week. Try something you haven't tried before. I recommend the HSPU slingshot!

CrossFit Sweat

 

Sweat angels are a thing of beauty. Nothing shows how hard you have worked like laying on the floor leaving a puddle of DNA for future analysis. You filthy animal!

That’s what I’m Talking About!

Most of us have worked out before, and worked up a sweat. You have never sweated like a CrossFit sweat before. You are drenched. Shirts can be wrung out like a damn towel. Your car seats will never be the same again. Go ahead, buy the “moisture wicking” gear. It won’t help. It will only increase the size of the sweat pool on the floor as you are standing over the bar.

How to Prepare:

Febreze:

Buy a lot of it. Keep a can in your car. Spray your shoes, your gym bag, the seats,..heck spray yourself while you are at it!

Doing CrossFit leads to you smelling like Victory. Try a different, better smelling version of Victory to cover it up.

Beach Towels:

Keep two in your car. Drape one over your seat, otherwise your car will smell like a hockey bag. Never smelled a hockey bag? Good for you. Count yourself lucky. Use the other to try and dry yourself off, otherwise your seat belt will smell like a gym sock.

Chalk:

No joke, your hands will sweat. Do you know what happens when you try KB swings with wet hands? You might kill somebody and you don’t get to pick so don’t risk it. A little goes a long way. Use too much and you will tear your hands which looks cool however takes you out of the game for a day or two.

Does anyone have any other tips they would like to share to battle the stink! Chuck Norris does:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxUKLQ8x7z0&feature=related

Last Week of October

Trick or Treat…no candy for you because you thought it would be a good idea to do Whole Life Challenge!

It isn’t that bad. I don’t like candy, however if they were handing out IPA’s with corn dogs, we’d have a problem! Two weeks to go in the challenge. We did break down Saturday night and have a few cocktails. That will be it until the end of the challenge.

WOD’s:

Monday:

Workout of the Day
Max Snatch(Full) in 20 min

then
7 Min AMRAP
7 Overhead Squat 95/65
7 Burpee over Bar

Three rounds and a few OHS

then

5 min AMRAP
20 Unbroken Wall Ball Shots

2 rounds and a lot of ten wall ball rounds

Tuesday:

4 sets
10 (CTB) Pull Ups
10 Deadlift 225
Run 400m
rest 4 min

Thursday:

5 sets
60 Sec Row for Cal 22, 20, 22, 23, 19
60 Sec Singles 87, 63, 79, 85, 62
rest 2 min

Friday: 

Max Power Clean in 20 min

185lbs.

then

Press 3,2,1,3,2,1; rest 30 sec

135, 155, 175 (f) 155, 165, 175(f)

Unbroken Kb Swings 20 reps 2 pood

rest 2 min

Saturday:

for time:
1000m Row
30 Db Front Squats 45/30
30 T2B

Tuesday: 

20 Min AMRAP
Row 500m
15 GHD Sit Ups
AMRAP Strict Ring Pull Ups

5 rounds, 12 pull ups

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.