(for Katie) start in the bottom of a push-up - chest of the floor- with your feet against the wall. Do a push-up, Walk your feet up the wall and walk your hands closer to the wall. RX= chest touching the wall in a vertical handstand. Scale by just walking your feet up as high as you're comfortable. Return to the start position UNDER CONTROL and by walking, not sliding, your feet down the wall.
**Competition Team training tonight, 4-6pm**
RCF will be closed Saturday, October 20th as we host Coach Burgener and a CF Olympic Lifting trainer course.
We tell you guys "make it abundantly clear to me that you're meeting the movements standards. Grey areas mean no credit for you. Make it OBVIOUS." Are they doing it? Would you give them credit for this squat?
Watch: Just Squat
“Do this well and everything else you do will fall into place,” he explains. “Do this poorly and everything else is going to be a little challenging for you.”
Every part of the body must be engaged and tight in the squat, Sherwood notes.
“If you find yourself down in the bottom of the squat and you’re just kinda chillin’, you’re probably not squattin’ right,” he says.
For those feeling averse to the squat, Glassman has a simple question: “What is the preferred method for getting your ass off the toilet seat?”
What if I told you that the most important thing this year was to get a sub 2 minute Fran, RX'd. EVERYONE. And to make that happen, we'd be doing nothing but Fran, every day.You'd be *thrilled*. For maybe a minute.
If I told you that we'd be doing pvc thrusters in our warm-up and nothing but thrusters and pull-ups (21-15-9, of course) you'd start to wonder if I had lost my mind. After all, we go to CrossFit for many things, but a sub 2 minute Fran probably isn't one of them. Sure, we'd take it if it happened...
It would be like me saying that everyday we're going to take a French test. We can tell if our comprehension of language and our vocabulary is improving if our test scores improve over time, right?
The part I forgot to mention is that we're never going to speak French. Or read it. Or study it. We're just going to test, everyday.
Stupid, right? That's no way to master a foreign language.
Well guess what. Trying day after day for that PR, that first pull-up, that muscle-up. It's like taking a test everyday but never studying.
STOP. "Testing" doesn't work. "Studying" does.
After you "study" for a time, you "test" to see where you've progressed to.
The "study" I speak of: lets take that muscle-up. Heading over and yanking on the rings won't get you on top of them. How about working on chest to bar pull-ups, belly-to-bar pull-ups. How are your ring dips? Have you worked that transition enough times that it's automatic? On the low rings? fast? You become proficient at chest to bar pull-ups, a rock solid transition, and from deep-in-the-bottom legit dips -- now you're ready to test out that muscle-up. Go try it. See what happens. It may be there - A+, or it may not. F. If you get an F, go back to studying.
You don't speak French fluently by taking a test.
This "study" "test" principle applies to everything we do. Deadlift. 5K run. Overhead squat. Clean. Handstand push-ups.
Everyday in the gym- study. Every once in a while, we'll spring that pop quiz on you and see how you're doing.
Oh, and no, we're not doing Fran.
So I joke that's there's only one mathematical equation that I know. Seem familiar?
Force times distance equals work
work divided by time equals power
I couldn't show it here but the 3 bar equal sign means "equal by definition" so for us power is equal, by definition, to intensity.
Intensity is where the magis happens. Thats why we like it.
So there are a couple of ways I can increase your power output: increase your force (weight) or your distance.
Oftentimes, these two things are are pretty set. I can't change your body weight (today) and I can't change the length of your arms so the work required for you to do a pull-up is pretty much set by you. (Yes, I can add a weight or use a band to "remove" some of your weight, sure. That is one way I can alter your work load)
I can add more weight to your bar or have you move the weight farther (think thruster vs front squat and how far the bar travels.)
I can decrease the time it takes for you to move.
Take a 200 pound man squatting down 12 inches.
200 x 1 = 200 footpounds (FxD=W)
now add a 200# pound bar to him:
200+200 x 1 = 400 footpounds. More work, right?
Duh- of course it's more work to squat 200#.
So say 200 pound man can do 30 airsquats in a minute:
200 footpounds/1 = 200 ftpounds per minute. Thats his power output.
But it takes him 3 minutes to do 30 of the weighted squats:
400 footpounds/3 = 133 ftpounds per minute.
Sure, he CAN do 30 squats with 200 pounds but he SHOULD do 30 squats at body weight because thats where he has higher power output. His intensity is higher during those body weight squats even though they are *easier* than the 200 pound front squats.
CrossFit is about maximizing power output.
Yes, you need to do the 200 pound squats to get stronger. But you HAVE to do the the lighter, quicker, shorter duration training to maximize power output.
The art is in figuring out the correct weight that maximizes your power output. It's a weight that you can move fast. If you slow down , your power is blunted.
Just because there is an "rx'd" weight on the board and even if you CAN move it --- it doesn't mean you should.
Take a wild stab at which hand position makes it easier to launch the ball wall-ward.
Ideally, both hands should be close together and somewhat under the ball to allow for a two-handed "push" of the wall ball. The under-the-ball placement also allows for the ball to stay just in front of the throwers neck, elbows below the ball, and chest up in the squat portion of wall ball. The trick is to catch the ball with the same hand placement and the throw so there is no need to reposition your hands during the squat.
Try this at home: stand with your knees a little bent. Easy. right? Balanced, stable. I bet you're flat footed. Now stand with your knees bent, but on your toes. Hold it for 10 seconds. A little more wobbly, right?
Now picture yourself with 1/2 your body weight or more resting in the front rack position. That wobbly just got a lot worse.
That's what happens in the split second of the "dip-drive" part of the push press or push jerk. If you lift your heels you forsake the stable platform of the ground and your "drive" is weakened. You simply can push as hard off of an unstable platform.
It *IS* OK to come up on your toes at the top of the "dip-drive-press". It's necessary to come up on your toes during the "jump" phase of anything. It's NOT OK to shoot your knees forward and dip on your toes.
Remember that the next time you're struggling to get that PR overhead.
(BTW. the pictures are no-no-yes, even though the yes picture could be back even a little more!)
By now you've seen the two new GHD's in the gym, and probably even been on them.
The goal here is twofold: gain postural awareness of the spine/pelvis alignment and position and then strengthen the spine segmentally and as a rigid unit. We can even begin to build the spines ability and capactity to maintain rigidity. There's no doubt thats a useful skill - consider the deadlift and the overhead press.
Here's a great video from Again Faster that explains the why's as well as demonstates the difference of the hip extenstion vs. the back extension.
Is it time for a deload?
If you're sore, tired, sick, blah, and still sore it might just be time for a deload week.
See, here's the thing. We beat ourselves up in the name of geeting stronger, faster, fitter. But what we actually do in the gym is tear ourselves apart. Literally. We get stronger, faster, and fitter as we RECOVER from the stimulus we just heaped on ourselves. Without recovery there is no progress.
That is why every day, 2-a-days, and constant met-cons don't get us closer to our goals. What you do outside of the gym can make or break what you work so hard for in the gym.
Take a break.
For some, a de-load week is requires as frequently as every 6 weeks. It doesn't mean sit on the couch and eat bonbons. It means back off. Play. Focus. Relax.
The easiest way to "deload" is to decrease the load, duration, and intensity of our workouts. Do half the weight, at half the speed, for half the reps. Don't use a clock. Go for *perfect* form.
Then spend some time kicking up into a handstand, holding an L sit, or working on ring dips. How's your pistol? Does your push-up need work? There's certainly time for some focus work on the things you suck at.
No, a deload week isn't a week off. It is a week off from your typical training week. It can save your body, your mind, and lead to some new PR's -- and who doesn't want that?
If you think you might be ready for a deload week, talk to us and we'll make it happen.
This week the new group of On Rampers will start to think about breakfast - as we all should. Here's the breakfast part of one of my favorite sites: PaleOMG : http://paleomg.com/category/breakfast/
So I asked yesterday what tool you could use to correct the "knees forward of the shoes" position. Meet Mr. Bench (not Kurtis)
With the toes of your shoes slightly under the bench, squat. You'll be surprised how it changes your squat. The first thing you'll notice is that your balance seems gone and that you have to reach way forward in order to not fall over backwards. After a couple more tries you'll figure it out. Grab the bench and give it a try.
Tomorrow is MIMOSA SATURDAY -- don't miss it!
In this one I asked him to shove his knees forward of his shoes. Can you see the difference in his shin angle? Many other things have gone to crap in this second squat - his eyes have dropped, his back is round, his weight has shifted forward off his heels, and those knees have shot forward of his shoes.
What tools would you suggest we use to make his second squat look more like his first?
There's a partner stretch to help you get your elbows high. Ask me and I'll show you, and I'll try to get some pictures of it and post it here. It's a good one.
Elbow position in the front squat is important for a reason you maybe haven't though of-- If your elbows are near your knees as you descend into the front squat and if they hit each other in the bottom, the bar, which was resting on your shoulder is now trapped between your forearm and your chin. Your forearm length won't change and that knee/elbow collision will cause a chain reaction resulting in that bar smacking your chin, breaking your teeth, breaking your wrist, if it slips forward it could get your nose. All bad (painful) things easily avoided by getting your elbows up and away from your knees.
THATS one reason we harp so loudly on ELBOWS UP!!
I spent a lot of time yesterday reminding you guys to straighten your elbows in the top of the push-up. The movement standards for the push-up are really very simple: chest touches the floor at the bottom and the arms and body are straight at the top. It's probably to most wrecked movement around here. We get tired, we shorten the range, we sag through the middle.
One way of ensuring full depth is to require a "hand release" or lifting of the hands off the floor at the bottom.
We've gotten away from on-the-knee push-ups completely. We've never seen a knee push-up actually progress to a real push-up so we've taken them away as a push-up option. In stead, we drill the bottom and the top positions and tell you guys to get there any way you can. Ugly is acceptable. Snaking is fine. Swearing in Spanish is ALWAYS encouraged. As long as the bottom and the top are right, the middle portion will improve with time, practice, and increased strength.
Here's your Sunday reading: From the CrossFit Journal-- The Push-Up
Jim's on top again - this time it's the rings. Jim got his first (and second, pictured) muscle up last night. CONGRATULATIONS Jim - right before you head the CrossFit Games in LA is a GRAND time to get your muscle-up!!
If you're interested in a strongman WOD plan to join Kurtis today from 4-6pm. We'll still have the normal CrossFit workouts going on, too. Decisions, decisions.
If you spent any time at all over the last 2 days admiring and appreciating the beautifully painted walls be sure to throw a "thank you" to Chuck, Corina, Cassidy, Cheryl, (The C Team) Karla and Aaron. They are ROCKSTARS in the painting realm and got our gym looking *almost* finished in a couple of short hours. Maragritas all around.
Storeroom, office space, finished whiteboards, and new leaderboards are next! OH - and that pesky Friday thing I keep hinting about on facebook...
Consider yourself a runner? Want to be one? (even if it's just for a Saturday 5K?)
Today, runners need to do more than just run. Runners need to be strong and athletic. If they’re not, they can get hurt even if they practice good running form. In fact, some injury statistics put the annual injury rate for runners at a staggering 66 percent. That’s higher than professional football!
Reducing the injury rate isn’t actually that difficult, though. In fact, we can do so effectively with just 10 to 20 minutes a day of strength training.
If you're a runner looking to CrossFit for a strength program, ON RAMP may be a good starting place for you. It begins Monday and runs 3x/week for 4 weeks. Call us for more information! 253-686-9994
If your spring and summer plans include some races, let us know. We have an active group of fun-runners doing local 5k's to crazy people doing marathons and ultra's. Let us know your plans and we'll help you.
For the past few years, proponents of barefoot running have argued that modern athletic shoes compromise natural running form. But now a first-of-its-kind study suggests that, in the right circumstances, running shoes make running physiologically easier than going barefoot.
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado in Boulder, began by recruiting 12 well-trained male runners with extensive barefoot running experience. “It was important to find people who are used to running barefoot,” says Rodger Kram, a professor of integrative physiology, who oversaw the study, which was published online in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
To the surprise of the researchers, barefoot running, often touted by fans as more natural than wearing shoes, was actually less efficient.
It’s important to note that the study looked only at the metabolic efficiency of wearing shoes, compared with going barefoot. The scientists didn’t evaluate the common claim that barefoot running lowers injury risk.
For the rest of us, the lesson might be that even if you’re not interested in going barefoot, you might want to invest in a slimmed-down trainer. “There is a metabolic cost to wearing really heavy running shoes,” Dr. Franz says. Lightweight models, though, that provide cushioning to spare leg muscles without mass to slow movement may be the physiologically smartest alternative, he says, to being bare.
If you missed the Fireman's carry you may have to wait until next years Maltz Challenge to see it again.
We're in the last days of March (still waiting for that "out like a lamb" part) but soon our sun will return and we'll be outside running more again. If you're looking for some running tips, here's a great video that talks about running economy, stride, cadence, body positioning, and elasticity.
The MALTZ CHALLENGE IS TOMORROW!!
What is myofascial release?
Myofascial Release is a safe and very effective hands-on technique that involves applying gentle sustained pressure into the Myofascial connective tissue restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion. This essential “time element” has to do with the viscous flow and the piezoelectric phenomenon: a low load (gentle pressure) applied slowly will allow a viscoelastic medium (fascia) to elongate.
Trauma, inflammatory responses, and/or surgical procedures create Myofascial restrictions that can produce tensile pressures of approximately 2,000 pounds per square inch on pain sensitive structures that do not show up in many of the standard tests (x-rays, myelograms, CAT scans, electromyography, etc.)
What we practice is "self MFR" using foam rollers, lacrosse balls, bars. We've talked a lot about adhesions between structures and fibers that should move freely. Here's a graphic that may help you to visualize those "adhesions" Kelly Starrett calls it "fuzz" - see why?
We've yet to see a pull-up or a couplet. Our bets include those.
RCF trainiers and friends - if you're uncertain or lacking a robust toolbox when coaching the pull-up, join us for this Saturdays Train the Trainer - it's pull-ups - kippin, butterfly, progressions. An invitation and cheat sheet will be emailed tonight or tomorrow.
Tonights 12.5 announcement will be the last event of the CrossFit opens. Within a few days we'll know who will be invited to Regionals and the load regional machine will begin to roar. Thus far it's been quietly humming in the background, waiting for The Opens to exit the stage. Get ready, it's almost time to step up.
Go fill your coffee cup, you're gonna need it.
So by now you've heard of the new Harvard study that villianizes red meat and says you'll die sooner if you eat it. You can read about it here.
It's worth the read.
Back in 2007 when I first published Good Calories, Bad Calories I also wrote a cover story in theNew York Times Magazine on the problems with observational epidemiology. The article was called “Do We Really Know What Makes Us Healthy?” and I made the argument that even the better epidemiologists in the world consider this stuff closer to a pseudoscience than a real science. I used as a case study the researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, led by Walter Willett, who runs the Nurses’ Health Study. In doing so, I wanted to point out one of the main reasons why nutritionists and public health authorities have gone off the rails in their advice about what constitutes a healthy diet. The article itself pointed out that every time in the past that these researchers had claimed that an association observed in their observational trials was a causal relationship, and that causal relationship had then been tested in experiment, the experiment had failed to confirm the causal interpretation — i.e., the folks from Harvard got it wrong. Not most times, but every time. No exception. Their batting average circa 2007, at least, was .000.
Now it’s these very same Harvard researchers — Walter Willett and his colleagues — who have authored this new article claiming that red meat and processed meat consumption is deadly; that eating it regularly raises our risk of dying prematurely and contracting a host of chronic diseases. Zoe Harcombe has done a wonderful job dissecting the paper at her site. I want to talk about the bigger picture (in a less concise way).
This is an issue about science itself and the quality of research done in nutrition. Those of you who have read Good Calories, Bad Calories (The Diet Delusion in the UK) know that in the epilogue I make a point to say that I never used the word scientist to describe the people doing nutrition and obesity research, except in very rare and specific cases. Simply put, I don’t believe these people do science as it needs to be done; it would not be recognized as science by scientists in any functioning discipline.
Science is ultimately about establishing cause and effect. It’s not about guessing. You come up with a hypothesis — force x causes observation y — and then you do your best to prove that it’s wrong. If you can’t, you tentatively accept the possibility that your hypothesis was right. Peter Medawar, the Nobel Laureate immunologist, described this proving-it’s-wrong step as the ”the critical or rectifying episode in scientific reasoning.” Here’s Karl Popper saying the same thing: “The method of science is the method of bold conjectures and ingenious and severe attempts to refute them.” The bold conjectures, the hypotheses, making the observations that lead to your conjectures… that’s the easy part. The critical or rectifying episode, which is to say, the ingenious and severe attempts to refute your conjectures, is the hard part. Anyone can make a bold conjecture. (Here’s one: space aliens cause heart disease.) Making the observations and crafting them into a hypothesis is easy. Testing them ingeniously and severely to see if they’re right is the rest of the job — say 99 percent of the job of doing science, of being a scientist.
The problem with observational studies like those run by Willett and his colleagues is that they do none of this. That’s why it’s so frustrating. The hard part of science is left out and they skip straight to the endpoint, insisting that their interpretation of the association is the correct one and we should all change our diets accordingly.
In these observational studies, the epidemiologists establish a cohort of subjects to follow (tens of thousands of nurses and physicians, in this case) and then ask them about what they eat. The fact that they use questionnaires that are notoriously fallible is almost irrelevant here because the rest of the science is so flawed. Then they follow the subjects for decades — 28 years in this case. Now they have a database of diseases, deaths and foods consumed, and they can draw associations between what these people were eating and the diseases and deaths.
Andrew- arguable one of the strongest 12 year-olds in the gym - struggles with the overhead squat because of shoulder inflexibility. A drill we use is an OHS with flat hands balancing a pvc pipe. Since Andrew's not actually holding on to the "bar" he can feel where his upper body begins to fall forward because that pvc starts to roll off his hands.
(He's not really 12)
Today we'll begin deconstruction of the whiteboard wall by taking everything down. We've been told that Wedneday is the target day to take the wall down although that may vary by a day or so. We're not going to knock it down with sledgehammers - we're hoping that the builders have a way to tear it down with very, very minimal drywall dust.
There is a possibility that we may need to close over the next week- either as the wall comes down or as the electicity is shut off and moved. Our goal is to accomplish these things during the midday hours when we're closed already but if any of the gym expansion work impacts our ability to run workouts safely we'll close. The building owners are working with us to minimize the impact to you guys. Watch this space and FB for any announcements.
Her gymnastics background sure helps but it her technique (shoulder WAY behind the bar) and her timing that make these look effortless. Her pointed toes make them pretty :)
The secret to toes to bar- let Kristi do them for you. I know she's my go-to girl!
Open WOD 12.2 is released tonight. Pretty sure we'll be seeing toes to bar and double unders. Maybe not tonight -- and hopefully not together. (Now THAT would be nasty. bye-bye midline)
You know those stubborn spots- those painful little knots in hard to reach places? Try getting in there with a lacross ball (tennis or raquet balls are softer). Get the ball right in the painful spot and leave it there. Now move your arm to over your head either going straight out in from or around to the side - try both. It's a little different way to apprach sore spots. We can roll over the sore spots by moving the ball or we can dig into them and then move the tissues over the unmoving ball. Two different approaches to solving the same issues.
Be careful when you're first starting out- it's really easy to bruise yourself.
THE most unlikely source pointed me to this website which compares "the bounce" allowed by various brands of sports bras. (Maybe it's not unlikely at all- maybe it's a guy thing.)
Anyway, the "correct" foundations are critical to support and comfort during much of what we do. Think running, double unders, box jumps. LIttle to no support can be painful and embarrassing in the short term, and can lead to stretching of the Coopers ligaments over the long haul.
So HerRoom.com has videos showing some of the most popular sports bras in action. This might be a good starting place if you're looking for some new support for your girls.
We often talk about a full range of motion- that each movement has a start and a finish, a top and a bottom. The bottom of the squat is when the crease of the hip is below the knee. When a marble placed on the knee would roll back toward the hip. With the Opens coming up quickly, it's your job as an athlete to show your judges that you CLEARLY, WITHOUT A DOUBT meet the standards of the movement. Anything in the grey area won't count. It's not your judges job to decipher- it's your duty to display it clearly.
So what are the CrossFit Opens? They are a world wide, open-to-everyone, CrossFit competition. CF will announce a workout, complete with movement standards, for participants to complete. You do it, in front of a judge who makes sure you're meeting (in our case- exceeding) standards. You submit your score, and each week for 5 weeks you're ranked among the tens of thousands of CrossFitters based on your score.
The Opens are designed for 2 things: to flesh out the top competitors and invite them to Regionals, AND to allow a competition where almost everyone can participate. Anyone even the slightest bit competitve should create a profile and beginning February 1 you'll be able to register as an athlete.
EVERYONE can participate. The more the merrier. Create your profile here.