The Open is Closed.

15.5
 15.5 We all saw it coming. We knew it would be thrusters, and a lot of them, and guess what. Thrusters. Thruck Fusters.  It could be worse. No burpees!!! I  was prepared as I could possibly be. Bullet Proof coffee in the morning.  Followed by a little BSN NO-Xplode…happy hour!  Last night’s IPA’s will have absolutely no effect whatsoever.

15.5 thruster

Going in I was thinking it wouldn’t be bad. I could break up the thrusters in halves since it’s 95lbs,  not super heavy, just a lot of legs. Rowing isn’t bad, just hard pulls to get a calorie a stroke. No worries! Then I watched the 900am class suffer through. I couldn’t leave. People had already seen me. A quick chat with someone who had completed it, and was finally fully functioning, resulted a in a rethink. Cut the thrusters in thirds.

27 cals went quicker than I thought it would. Set of 9. rest. Set of 9. rest. Set of 9. Back on the rower. 21 cals. Set of 7. Set of 7. Set of…whumph. What just happened! I can’t breathe and my legs don’t want to push back up. Finished the last set and then started 15 and that’s when the fun began. Coach Christa the Fembot in my ear, “you won’t catch your breath, just GO!”. “Back on the bar”. I calculated it would take me between 12 and 15 minutes to finish and it turned out to be 14:43. It’s not a matter of strength, it was a matter of wind. I was chasing something I couldn’t catch. My breath. Need to fix that.

Kicked

Two Natty Boh’s, and a Progenex shake and I was back to normal. I usually opt to go in the second round because, well nobody wants to go first, and I want to get it over with and it provides the opportunity to cheer on those who are still going through it. That’s they key with CrossFit. Something the other gyms won’t get. It’s the community. It’s the support and friendships. After that WOD, there was a potluck happy hour. As you can imagine, carb city. Krispy Kreme, pasta salads, chips,..you name it.

This year’s Open was by far my favorite. The scaled WOD’s were challenging however very doable. 15.4 was my favorite. Hit 100 reps. I happen to like push press and that helped significantly. 15.5 was the most difficult, however I liked it and hope it finds it’s way into the 12Labours rotation. You know it’s a good when you are washing down two Aleve with a a Manhattan a few hours after the WOD. Of course, looking forward to the 12Labours Team heading to Regionals, and then back to the Games. We expect great things!

12Labours

3, 2, 1….

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 

 

 

Filthy Fifty; The Day After

filthy_fifty

 

All I can say is wow…. I had never done the WOD before. Only heard the rumors. Hands down, toughest WOD ever. Even tougher than 14.5 which I am sure all of you remember. Squat cleans and burpees for days….Yes, that’s the one.

What is it, dare you ask?

CrossFit_Filthy_50

Everything was fine until i got to wall balls and burpees. That is where the train left the tracks and i wondered why i pay money to do this stuff. I subbed step ups for box jumps and did ab-mat sit-ups instead, singles instead of DU’s, 150 of them.  All in all i was happy with the time of 40 minutes. I did much better at the lunges than I have in the past. Wall Balls and Burpees sucked the life from me and there wasn’t enough Kill Cliff to bring it back. No joke, those two probably took me fifteen minutes to complete.

If you haven’t done it, do it. If you have done it, do it again.  Definitely the toughest WOD, however very rewarding to complete as well!

Damn, hurt me so bad it affected my memory.  I thought I posted this already! Whoops. In any event, this has been my favorite WOD. It destroyed the 5k run that somebody posted for the previous week. Still not over that one….I will get over it soon I am sure.

 

 

WOD: Cindy…we all know her and love her….

thecindyworkout

 

It is April, which means May is right around the corner, which also means Murph is coming. What’s the best way to prepare for Murph? By doing Cindy of course! Twenty rounds of Cindy sandwiched between mile runs. Your friends will be at BBQ’s, opening pool parties, you know, enjoying themselves while you and the rest of the CrossFit addicted horde will be running pulling and pushing. Yay.

In my mind this is what “Cindy” looks like. She can’t hurt you. The highest rep count is 15 and it’s squats. You do this all day every day. How can this possibly be hard. She wouldn’t hurt you. She’s little and innocent. You are going to crush this…in twenty minutes there is no reason why you logically can’t get at least 20 rounds. At least. No way you get less. It’s Cindy.

I wouldn't hurt you...

 

Here is a picture of you before Cindy.

Bullet proof coffee, Kill Cliff, exuding confidence and pissing excellence. You are a mixture of Froning, Ricky Bobby, and the Hulk. Nothing will stop you from destroying Cindy. She stands no chance. She will run and cower in the corner.

Games08JeremyPostRun_th

 

Chalked, taped, stretched, rolled, rowed, and assault biked. You are warm, limber, caffeinated and fueled. 3,2,1 GO! Jump on the bar, get your grip right and…what the hell? How is that person already on push ups? shoot. I better get going. Knock out the first round in less than a minute. You own it. This feeling continues, until about five or six rounds in. Time to Suck it up Buttercup. Dig deep.

The rubber mat feels cool against your face as you have now resorted to hand release push ups. Don’t fall into that trap. Keep pushing. When squatting all you see is your sweat imprint on the floor from the push ups. That’s weakness leaving the body. It’s a good thing. Another pool has formed on the floor between your feet. Damn, should have invested in that Rogue headband!

Hands are starting to tear but it doesn’t matter because you are over halfway there and while 20 rounds may be out of reach you are however on pace to PR. No stopping you now. Damn, she is still doing unbroken push ups. How? Isn’t she tired!! WTF.

Three minutes left and you need two full rounds. No problem. Does that person not feel pain? Jeez…they have been doing two rounds to my one round. How the hell do they do that? Can’t focus on them. Finished the second round and started the third…you Pr’d but have to keep going. TIME! Because you are a bad ass you finish the round and this happens:

Mommy…?

Mommy…?

The walls are vibrating. Can’t really catch your breath. You’ve never sweated this much….of course you have. You are a CrossFitter. We sweat a lot. Heartbeat is finally slowing down. Need water. Vision is back to normal. Whew. Thankfully that is over. The average person would have quit halfway through. You have done more in the past twenty minutes than most people will accomplish all day. The hardest part of your day is over. Time to EAT!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mommy…?

Thoughts Going Through the Mind of a CrossFitter

images

CrossFitters are goofy. Our gym dues are the equivalent of a car payment and we’ll tell you how Paleo we are while we are pounding our third beer and eyeing up a bottle for a shot. We’ll drop forty bucks on a T-shirt which is only meant to be worn working out, and we’ll rip it off eighteen seconds into a thirty minute AMRAP.

It would be nice to tell you that the only thing we think about during a WOD is being focused on proper form, doing the movements correctly, and listening ever intently to the wonderful tips and coaching provided by our trainers. That would be a lie. This is a list of thoughts that go through my mind, as well as additives from extensive interviews of other CrossFitters. Three actually. While we were having lunch at Five Guys after dropping some serious coin at the dollar over liquor store sale.

The WOD doesn’t look that bad:

They rarely do! That’s the trick. People wouldn’t come to class if the WOD looked ridiculous. Sure, some you know will straight up suck, like three rounds of 500M row, 21 burpees, and 400M run. I don’t know who came up with that one, you are evil. The 20 minute AMRAP of farmers carry, ring rows, GHD sit ups, and wall runs did not look bad. However it was. Damn. Fooled me again.

I am going to smoke this WOD:

Similar to the previous thought. Usually the response when it is what appears to be a short AMRAP. The truth is we come out of the gate like a thundercat and blow the doors off the first round and then wonder why we can’t breathe. Save a little in the tank for the remaining rounds. You can rest when it is over, however you have to get through it all for it to be over.

Get off my rower…or that’s my spot:

We are territorial and most of us are superstitious. We have the shorts that make us run faster, well maybe some people do. All of mine are like running through mashed potatoes in snow shoes. We all have a “spot” in the gym where we are stronger, faster, and perform our absolute best. Stay out of our spot….please.

WTF, What the….?:

Usually the response when the coach puts 800 meter med ball runs in the warm up. No logical reason for those to be included. Can also occur when somebody puts 5 rounds of 50 walking lunges in a WOD. You know who you are. Hang your head low…very low.

What the….?

Didn’t we just do this…?:

We all like to think those in charge of the programming spend hours meticulously going through past WOD’s and thinking up new ways of torturing us, however they are people with other obligations and once in a while we do repeat WOD’s, which aren’t the hero or the named girls. It happens. Get over it. Better have a better score than last time or it’s off to Jazzercise.

I can do this Rx (Prescribed for you non cult followers):

21-15-9 of 225lb. Dead lifts and pull ups and your max dead lift is 230lbs. Probably not a good idea. Go for it! Stud.

Those aren’t real…

Three pood Kettle bells, yes they are and they are awesome! Burpee box jump over pull ups! Yes, they are real and they are not awesome. What did you think I meant?

That is a nice Snatch:

Some people can catch it low and the rest of us rely on the tried and true reverse curl to the forehead followed up with a shoulder press. What? It’s overhead. Thinking about this lift will only make it worse. Lift the barbell, while keeping your back at the same angle, open your hips, while shrugging  and getting bar high enough for you to jump under the bar. How do you jump low? Don’t know. I stick with reverse curls and my max weight hasn’t moved in over a year. That sucks, time for a beer.

Somebody went to Lulu:

Decked out from head to toe, including the headbands. I hear their clothes are great. They don’t make it in my size. Maybe I could buy two and sew them together? I have only heard good things so have at it! They are a great company and have great messaging.

Holy crap, I want those shoes:

I am a shoe whore and proud of it. Currently I have enough shoes to fill a closet however I am eyeing up the Reebok Lifters because obviously they would make me stronger….and as it turns out I got them for Christmas. Time for some more shoes. Maybe a pair of the Nano Speed….yeah, that’s the ticket. Those will help.

What is that smell?…Shoot it’s me.

CrossFit = SWEAT. Lots and lots of sweat. Sweat = Stink. Yep, you stink. All the moisture wicking fabric in the world won’t do a damn thing. I make Under Armour a liar every damn day. It looks like I jumped in a pool with my clothes on. I have a beach towel in my Jeep to sit on during the ride home. I may have to change seat belts….it’s that bad.

Still some dry tank top….

When will this be over…

It will be over when you finish. NO REST! Get going already. You won’t die. Biologically proven you’ll pass out first. You can’t catch your breath so don’t stop. Just keep moving forward.

Doesn’t everybody want a piece of this action? Sounds like fun, right? Tell your friends. The cult always needs new members. It’s like a human ponzi scheme. You can’t leave until you bring forth your replacement!

Have a great weekend!

CrossFitRook

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

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.