What Happened to August? What Happened to Summer?

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Hey, what happened to August? It was the first and then it was Labor Day in the blink of an eye! What gives? I haven’t written a post in over a month which is odd. Too busy sucking up the last drop of Summer…….Shandy. It was a great Summer and I am sorry to see it come to an end. Cookouts, pool party’s, trips to the beach. Mostly done for another year. The good news is Autumn is upon us. Football, brats, and cooler temps! Definitely my favorite season.

August was a good month. Definitely learned a lot and made some progress.

100 Day Burpee Challenge:
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What a wonderful challenge. Day one, one burpee. Day two, two burpees and on and on it goes. Miss a day? The next day you do those as well. Miss day 25? Good news is you have 51 to complete the following day. Kylie and I are on day 33. Doubtful I will make 100 days however I will go as far as I can. Definitely learned about pacing and foot placement. It’s better to have your feet under your hips when coming up. Wide feet equal a sore lower back.

I have had wrist issues so I have been taping my wrists. Some argue it is a little overboard. They are welcome to their opinion. I like tape and use plenty of it. I have noticed my wrists feel better so it’s working. I have also focused on putting my weight on my fingers instead of entirely on he heel of my hand.

CrossFit Total: I finished at 940 which is about ten to fifteen pounds less than last time. Squat was off because my knee was off. It feels better since I have been back in rehab and following the advice of well educated and trained medical professionals. Interesting how that happened. According to my Mom I am not stubborn, I am obstinate. I think I’m stubborn and don’t understand what she means. September will be dedicated to getting back to 100%.

Hotshots 19 WOD: https://hotshots19.crossfit.com/

CROSSFIT’S MEMORIAL WOD
Show your support by attending the memorial event in Prescott, or host the workout locally on August 31st and donate online.

AUG

31
“Hotshots 19”

Six rounds for time of:
30 Squats
135 pound Power clean, 19 reps
7 Strict Pull-ups
Run 400 meters

This is still fresh in my mind since we just completed it less than 48 hours ago. Quite possibly the toughest WOD I have attempted. Do not under estimate this beast. It may not look daunting on the white board…..you are wrong. Six rounds of “am i done yet?” Do not go towards the light. You won’t die, you’ll pass out first.

One of the trainers pointed out that I was bouncing the bar off my upper thigh during the clean, which I refer to as a reverse curl. This is not the first time she has told me this, nor is it the second or third time. We should consider it a recurring theme. So, instead of continuing to do it my way, incorrectly, I took her advice and shrugged more, and what do you know? Again, taking advice from a well trained professional paid off big dividends. Interesting how that happened. Refer to the previous paragraph referencing stubbornness.

You can get through anything and you should listen to your trainers. They know what they are doing. Unless they have 800 meter med ball runs in the warm up. Obviously they are delirious and require medical attention.

Whole Life Challenge: http://www.wholelifechallenge.com

We are getting ready for our third run. We are currently 100% Paleo 80% of the time so it won’t be a big change for us. It really only results in a reduction of weekend beverages which is fine. We are looking forward to it. We always find some great new recipes and always come out feeling better and performing better at the end. We’ll be on vacation for one of the weeks which means we’ll have to stockpile points!

Selected for Athletes of the Month: http://crossfitbwi.com/2013/08/30/augsept-athletes-of-the-month-robert-and-kylie-taylor/

This was a huge honor for Kylie and I. CrossFit has had a significant impact on our lives and we can’t imagine not being a part of it in the future. It is a team sport and we have a great team at CrossFit BWI and CrossFit Syndicate.

Heading out to the box shortly to have some quality time with Cindy. I hate Cindy. Just kidding, I love Cindy.

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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

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!