CrossFit Burnout

I have always looked at exercising as a means to an end. It was never something I did just to get fit. I’m not saying that it is wrong to workout simply to feel fit, but if you don’t have a reason to workout the journey becomes long and tedious. CrossFit can get you extremely fit, but if you do the same thing for too long, your mind and your body will begin to break.

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Find Your Purpose

Everyone needs a purpose. Whether you want to play with your kids and not get tired or complete your first Tough Mudder, you should know why you train. It is completely fine if you want to just “get fit”. You don’t have to set a goal to climb Everest, but set out to do things you didn’t have the confidence to do before. Put your fitness to the challenge. Take up a martial arts class, sign up for a race, learn a new sport, go hiking or sign up to skydive or paintball. All these things will challenge you both mentally and physically. Find a purpose to train and your training consequently improve.

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Variety Can Be Good 

Variety keeps things interesting, but it also can limit us from progress. Focusing in on something allows us to get better at it. If you want to get stronger all you have to do is focus on lifting heavy things. If you want to get more flexible then just mobilize and stretch. The key is to know what you want to focus on, set a time limit and execute. Adding variety to your training and nutrition will help keep things interesting and avoiding burnout and injury. The reason why we added cycling, Yoga, Pilates and strength classes was because we found them to be perfect compliments to CrossFit and vice versa. Each one of them is challenging in different ways. Try adding 2 workouts of something other than what you have been doing into your training and watch how much more interesting your workouts get.

Colorado Elk Hunt with Cameron Hanes from UNDER ARMOUR on Vimeo.

Go Outside

It is no secret that I love the outdoors. There is just something calming and invigorating about being in the wilderness. The whole idea of the Paleo lifestyle is to live a life we were designed to live. None of us are designed to be a desk donkey sitting inside under artificial lights eating Wheat Thins and drinking Crystal Light. We are meant to be outside hunting and gathering, climbing, running, jumping and being away from WiFi and cell signals. Go outside and see how fit you really are. Trust me when I say that a 10 mile hike over 4000 feet of elevation with a 25 pound pack on can be an unforgiving test. At least nature is honest.

 

Be a Student

Many of you ask your coaches a ton of questions each day from what kind of shoes to wear to what to eat after a workout to how to get stronger. These are all good questions but do a little research ahead of time. Google is your friend and never before have we had so much information readily available. Instead of “Hey Justin, how do I get stronger?” come to you him with “Hey Justin, I read online about [insert strength program] do you think that would be beneficial for me?” Trust me it will get you much further in your training. Also it will empower you to take control of your training.

 

Be an experiment

The scientific method is simple: Ask a question, do research, make hypothesis, test hypothesis and make a conclusion. Be your own experiment. Think you could be better off without eating sugar and gluten? Try it for a month and track your hypothesis. Want to see if you will get leaner from running hill sprints 3 times a week? Try it and see what happens. Doing this will help you keep your training interesting and help you dial in what works for YOU.

 

 

Less Pain More Gain

We moved the gym from Hawthorne to Hermosa November 8th, 2009. Over the years I have coached thousands of different people from all different backgrounds, fitness levels and with all types of pre-existing injuries. I have seen people come in and do CrossFit and make all of their injuries worse and I have seen people practically cure themselves of pain they have had their entire life. For those of you who have been doing CrossFit for over a year, you may have figured out how to manage and/or fix your injuries. Congrats. For the rest of you, there is still hope but you have to stay positive and keep trying. Here are some tips for the rest of you:

 

  1. Listen to Doctors – Listen to them but don’t take what they say as gospel. If you have an injury make sure to go and see a doctor or two. Get lots of opinions. My doctor said that I should never squat again after my knee surgery in 2009. I rehabbed correctly and now I’m able to squat pain free. Make sure to do things right. Don’t just be stubborn, be smart and stubborn.
  2. Do the Boring Stuff – Don’t just do it, do it religiously. The boring stuff is what helps you get better. The boring stuff is what allows you to do the fun stuff. It’s like eating your veggies so you can have dessert. Those rehab exercises and stretches help your body get ready to do more work. Remember, you’re an adult. Life isn’t just about ice cream and weekends. Don’t stop doing the boring stuff just because it doesn’t hurt anymore.
  3. Do More than CrossFit – Before people come to my house with pitchforks and torches, just hear me out. CrossFit is great and it covers a lot of bases, but it’s not everything. The mutants can do CrossFit 6 days a week and get away with it. The rest of us need more variety so our joints and body can recover. We need to do more to help with our flexibility, balance, stability and coordination. Also for your sanity, get outside and do something else. Your CrossFit will be better for it and your body will thank you.
  4. Rest and Nutrition – Guess what you’re not 16 anymore (unless your Madison Kane or Coulter). You should also not be eating like you’re 16 anymore. Your body will be so much happier with the proper nutrition and rest. Drink 1-2 gallons of water a day. Take a multivitamin along with magnesium, zinc, potassium, Vitamin D3 and fish oil. Do whatever it takes to get 9 hours of restful sleep every night.
  5. Swallow Your Pride – My elbows don’t really bend the whole way. This doesn’t allow me to do cleans or front squats correctly. So instead of doing them with shitty form, I just don’t do them. Instead of cleans I do snatches. Instead of front rack position I do the bro front squat. It’s not smart to try to force something if it is only going to cost you more in the end.
  6. Don’t Sit Down – Sitting is the worst thing you can do for your back, shoulders, knees and hips. Don’t do it. End of story.

 

Remember life is about choices. You can choose to change the way you do things in hopes of improvement or you can stay doing the same old things you have always done just hoping for a different outcome. If you are experiencing pain or injuries, take a step back and analyze the root of the problem. Back pain can simply be fixed by figuring out what the hell a “neutral spine” actually is. Try a pilates or yoga class. Take Ana’s Olympic Weightlifting class and learn better technique. Stop doing things for time and get a little stronger first with Liefia in #Gainz class. There is a reason why we offer the variety of classes. Take full advantage of the resources your have. Now stop sitting and starting feeling better.

The Have Knots

This is a repost from about 3 years ago that I wrote about frustration and how to deal with it. Recently, I have been getting back into playing more volleyball and it is extremely frustrating to get that damn ball to do what you want. Also I seem to have trouble getting my body to do what my mind is telling it to do. Sometimes it is good to suck.

Angie and Mel play CrossFit hot potato in On-Ramp.

My dad is one of the most impatient people I know, but he taught me one of the most valuable lessons in life about patience. I was about 8 years old and it was a quiet summer afternoon. My friend Jason and I were bored so we decided to play with the tire swing in my front yard. We tied up some other random stuff with some rope we found in my garage. Then we got some old baseball bats and started hitting all the stuff we tied to the ropes. After about 2 hours of laughing at our debauchery, it was time to go in and eat. My dad comes out and looks at the tangled mess we made and immediately stops me in my tracks.

Dad: “You’re going to untangle all of that and put everything away.”
Me: “I’ll do it later. I’m tired and hungry.”
Dad: “You’ll do it now.” (as he starts to take off his belt)
Me: “But I’m tired and hungry. How about if I promise to do it later.”
Dad: “You’ll do it now.” (as he pulls up a lawn chair with belt in hand)

Adj tries making scary faces to frighten the kettlebell to swing higher.

I started to attempt untangling the mess we spent 2 hours making. It seemed hopeless. Every time I pulled on one rope, it seemed to knot up in three other spots. There were times where I just got so frustrated and tried to pull as hard as I could to try and free one rope and then realized that I had just made things worse and gave me rope burn on my hands. I even started crying at one point. I was crying over tangled rope.

Dad sat there for about hour in silence until he finally said, “Calm down. Take one knot at a time. Follow one strand of rope and concentrate on untangling that one before moving on to the next.” After thinking about how that could have been useful advice an hour ago, I began to do what he said. I picked one rope and focused in on it. The task didn’t seem so daunting if I just concentrated on one rope. It took a little while but I finally got it untangled. I felt a small sense of victory. Untangling the mess didn’t seem like such a huge chore anymore. It was more like a challenge. As I meticulously untangled each knot, the chaos slowly transformed into order. Undoing the last rope, it didn’t feel like it was really that bad. Two hours earlier I was sitting there crying, thinking that all hope was lost. All it took was a little bit of patience and determination.

Good thing that sandbag carrying class at Harvard prepared Dave for CrossFit.

CrossFit often makes us feel the same way. When we first start the process of getting fit, the task may seem like an impossible feat. We want to quit or keep putting it off until later. That tangled mess is just too intimidating and you have no idea where to even begin. Every time you even attempt to resolve the issue, you’re only greeted with the reminder of just how far you have to go. It’s easier to walk away and ignore it than to sit down and deal with it. If you only had Dad there to threaten you into fixing your mess…

Justin tries to run away from his second CrossFit workout. Ironically he didn’t make it far because he ran out of breath.

Just call me daddy. We coaches are here to help you untangle that mess. Show you how to systematically restore order to the chaos. Don’t look at CrossFit as these impossible pull-ups, handstands, overhead squats, double unders or Olympic lifts. Nobody learns those things overnight nor does anyone double their strength or endurance or flexibility in a week. Be patient. Look at it more like untangling one thing at a time. Focus on one goal and you’ll see as you start to get closer to achieving that goal the others will also start to fall in line. Yes, it’s easier to sit at home on your couch, or say CrossFit just isn’t for you. The simple truth is that good things require hard work and patience. Look at some of the fittest people in the gym and then watch how they work at perfecting their technique. Watch how Wes works on his shoulder mobility, or how Shira practices bar pull-overs, or how Remy gets stronger 5 pounds at a time. CrossFit is hard work and I would be a liar if I said CrossFit is for everyone. Not everyone in this world is dedicated, motivated or works hard. There are people who find comfort in mediocrity. There is a place for them right down the street that only costs $24 a month. For those who want something more, CFSB welcomes you with open arms, but it won’t be easy. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.

Kelly stringing together her double unders for the first time. What a good little pledge. YEAH Kappa!

You are going to get frustrated. You will get discouraged. You will make mistakes and you will fail. Your muscles and joints will ache. You may bleed. You may cry. One thing is for damn sure, if you dedicate yourself to the coaches at CFSB, you will get in the best shape of your life both mentally and physically. Take that deep breath and lets do some work.

Apprentice Coach Program

Ashley and The Captain show off their holiday spirit in Union Square

Ashley and I recently went up through NorCal to visit our families over Thanksgiving. We stopped by my house and looked through some old pictures. Looking back on the 18 year old me, I was a know-it-all little shithead. It is laughable how I thought that I had it all figured out. The ironic thing about getting older is that as you learn more, you realize just how much you really do not know.

The journey to becoming a great coach is really no different. Whether it be CrossFit, high school basketball or the NFL, coaching is more of an art than a science. Even the best coaches are continually learning. We have created the CFSB Apprentice Coach Program that will put potential coaches through a 3-phase program to help them become successful CrossFit coaches. Think of it like an On-Ramp for coaches.

Expanding Our Family

Option A for our Torrance location floorplan. Click to make life size.

Most of you have heard about our new facility that is currently in design. We are very excited for the new programs and the new space. CFSB is not just about fancy new barbells and shiny WattBikes. It is about excellence in coaching and fostering communities. My mission has always been to create a place where people can learn and improve on their fitness, meet other good people and just want to hang out. That is why the quality of our coaching is so damn important. There has to be zero tolerance with elitism, favoritism and pessimism. Our coaches have to ooze passion from their pores and excrete inspiration from their loins (OK maybe that was a little much). The point is, as we expand it is extremely important that we continually strive for excellence in our coaching staff.

Now 50% Bigger than Last Year

This is the view from our future Hermosa yoga and endurance rooms. Hopefully the summer view won’t look like the apocalypse.

Some of you may have heard, but Hermosa is most likely expanding as well. We will most likely be taking over the upstairs portion of our Hermosa facility. It adds an additional 3,000 square feet to our footprint. We plan to put in some pretty amazing locker rooms and showers. Sorry, no ice bath in Hermosa. That’s what the ocean is for. We will also put in a huge yoga/mobility/fundamentals room with heated floors and a killer ocean view. Our endurance studio will also be upstairs with WattBike and rowers galore. Finally we will have some office space as well. All this for the same exact price of your membership!

With all this expansion, we will be looking to hire 12-20 coaches in the next 4 months for everything from CrossFit level 1 and 2, weightlifting, Fundamentals, Cycling, Yoga, Pilates and mobility.

How to Become an Apprentice

Ain’t no party like a Functional Movement Screen party because the Functional Movement Screen party don’t stop!

With all this expansion, a number of you have expressed interest in becoming coaches. It starts off by sending an email to me at forrest@crossfitsouthbay.com and expressing that you would like to get in the program. I will send out the first phase of coaching and the requirements to all of you. All the applicants will complete phase 1 and out of those we will select 12 apprentices based on who we feel has the best potential. The apprentices will then move on to the second phase and begin to work with all the coaches individually. There will be bi-monthly meetings covering topics from motivation, community, coaching cues and class organization. You must email me by Friday to be included.

CFSB Holiday Party!

 


Workout of the Day 12/5/2012

Level 1

A. Find your 3RM Power Snatch

B. Find your 3RM Power Clean and Jerk

Level 2

A. Find your 1RM Snatch

B. Find your 1RM Clean and Jerk

Low Intensity / Crossfit Mom

A. 3×10 Power Snatch (or One Arm KB Snatch)

B. 3×10 Clean and Jerk (or One Arm KB clean and jerk)

Fundamentals

A. 3 Rounds
10 Hang Power Cleans

B. AMRAP 10
10-1 Hang Power Clean
10 Box Jumps

Rest 2 min

AMRAP 8
8 KB Swings
15 Leg Raises

Rest 1 min

AMRAP 6
100m Spring
6 Push Ups

Reading Material

So dreamy with that long flowing hair

First of all I just want to say how proud I am of Jenny, Vinny and Cody for putting together a flawless competition. Their hard work made CFSB’s first competition a success. Also, a huge thank you to all of our volunteers who helped make the event run smoothly. Lastly, tons of respect to all of the athletes who competed last weekend. It takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there in competition. I was extremely proud to be a part of the CFSB family. I will be taking all the footage from the day (thanks to Andrew Brown) and making a sizzle video. Should be done next week.

I apologize for the lack of content of this post. We will soon be making some big announcements on some really great upcoming things. We have put in a lot of work behind the scenes and you will all see the result very soon. That’s all I can really say for now. Get excited…

In the meantime, since so many of you are always looking for some great new reads, here is a list of some recent books you may like:

 

Talent Code

This is an amazing book about how the human brain learns new skills and how to coach those skills. You will see a ton of similarities with CrossFit. I would highly recommend this book if you are coaching or managing anyone.

 

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

We aren’t just motivated by money. To be truly happy, we need to have more than just monetary rewards. This book gets to the bottom of why we do what we do. You will see what really drives us to work so hard and how to focus that drive into things that really matter. If you are looking for a little WOD motivation, this is a good book.

 

The Power of Habit

Just finished this one a few weeks ago. This book was a huge eye opener into some of my good and bad habits. The book is centered around the cue – routine – reward cycle.

 

Winning by Jack Welch

The guy who ran GE for years basically created the gold standard for business. Jack Welch talks about ways to win in business and life. This doesn’t really relate to CrossFit that much but if you manage people, this book is pretty amazing. Worth a read if you are in business for yourself as well.

 


Workout of the day 9/12/2012

Level 1

A. Hang Power Snatch
Set 1 – 12 @ Heavy Weight
Set 2 – 12 @ 5% lighter (than set 1)
Set 3 – 12 @ 10% lighter (than set 1)

GHD Hip Extension
Set 1 – 12 @ Heavy Weight
Set 2 – 12 @ 5% lighter (than set 1)
Set 3 – 12 @ 10% lighter (than set 1)

*perform these sets together. Do one set of the hang power snatch and then move over to the GHD to do the hip extension.

B. 2 Sets with a 2 Min break between sets of:
4 Rounds:
30 Seconds Box Jumps (20/16)
10 Second Rest
30 Seconds Kettlebell Swings (16/12kg)
10 Second Rest
30 Seconds Sit-Ups
10 Second Rest

C. 3 Sets of
10-20 Double Unders
30 Sec Plank Hold

Level 2

A. Power Snatch + Overhead Squat
Set 1 – 8 @ Max Weight
Set 2 – 8 @ 5% lighter (than set 1)
Set 3 – 8 @ 10% lighter (than set 1)

B. 2 Sets with a 2 Min break between sets of:
4 Rounds:
30 Seconds Box Jumps (24/20)
10 Second Rest
30 Seconds Kettlebell Swings (1.5/1)
10 Second Rest
30 Seconds Sit-Ups
10 Second Rest

*Shoot for an average of 15 reps on each exercise. Try to stay consistent.

C. 3 Sets of
5-8 deficit handstand push-ups
5 40M high bar low bar heavy prowler pushes

Fundies

A. 2 x 500m Row

B. Complete 75 of each (chipper or break into segments)
KB Swings
Goblet squats
Push Press
Dumbbell Push Ups
Every 3 min Run 100m

Are you hurt or injured?

Kids learn lots of lessons playing sports as children. You learn how to work as a team, how to play with integrity, that perfect practice makes perfect, how to lose gracefully and how to win with class. These lessons have to be learned through experience and not just by some coach telling you how it is.

I developed faster than most kids and really did well in Pop Warner football simply because I was stronger at an earlier age. When I got to high school, I went directly onto the JV football team as a freshman. The kids were all pretty big. I played outside linebacker. My first game we played a team who was far and away better than us. I was determined to prove my worth on the team, so I played really aggressive. The other team decided to do an outside run. I saw this early and started to side shuffle to spread the play to the sideline. I heard a huge clash…then a whistle…then cheering. The other team had scored. I was on my back looking up at the lights. A crack back block (where the receiver runs full speed at an unsuspecting linebacker) left me dazed and confused. Seconds later the athletic trainer was asking me how many fingers he was holding up. I hesitantly answered two. He then asked me “Son, are you hurt or are you injured?” I shook it off and said I was just hurt. I went to the sideline, shook it off and got back in and finished out the game.

As CrossFit coaches and athletes we have to know the difference between hurt and injured. CrossFit has been getting its fair share of good and bad press. The good press states that there is finally a workout that will actually get you fit in a fun and motivating environment. The bad press states that it puts you at high risk of injury because of complicated movements performed at high intensity with inexperienced coaches. These days it seems like for every other success story there is also a horror story about CrossFit.

Understanding Risk Reward

 

The concept of risk reward dates back to the dinosaurs (this is not fact and/or based on anything). The reward of going after the bigger kill means that you get a bigger dinner. The risk is that the bigger dinosaur could mortally wound you in the process. Today, we want all of the reward with none of the risk. We want to win big in Vegas without having to throw down a week’s pay. I do not condone going to Vegas and throwing down your paycheck on black and crossing your fingers (although would be kinda awesome). I mean you have to understand your risk/reward when it comes to fitness or Vegas or anything else really. Never doing CrossFit and entering into an all-levels class with no prior instruction is like going to Vegas to play poker for the first time and going all in on the first hand. The odds are that you are going to lose. The same goes for experienced CrossFitters. We risk our bodies by pushing them beyond what they are capable of for the reward of elite fitness. Understand the game before you start to throw down the big chips. Take your time and learn what you risk and what you stand to gain. If you are overly risk averse, stick to Zumba. If you are overly risk seeking (to the point of stupidity), then you should probably do base jumping. For all of you in between, CrossFit may work for you.

Being Injured

An injury is associated with bodily pain and implies to cause or do any kind of harm, such as tear, severe sprain, etc. An example is if you jump up for a rebound and come down on someone’s shoe and tear the tendons in your ankle. An injury means you need to sit out and seek treatment for recovery. There is no playing through the pain or walking it off or rubbing dirt on it. Your body undergoes permanent change where an injury occurs. The next time you feel a tweak in your knee and you say that you tore your MCL before seeing doctor or getting an MRI, you are either guessing or have developed the most efficient way of diagnosing knee pain in the world. Now there are plenty of pro athletes who have broken and torn all kinds of things and gone on to win the championship game. That’s because they are professional athletes who get paid millions to be the best at their sport. And unless your name is Rich Froning or Annie Thorisdottir, then you are doing CrossFit to get fit and have fun. No need to play through an injury.

 

Kids can do box jumps in onesies and flip flops. Adults would hurt themselves.

Being Hurt

Kind of like that time your high school crush started dating your best friend. No not that kind of hurt, a different kind. It doesn’t feel good, but you can walk it off and it gets better over time. You’re not permanently affected (or maybe you are) by it. Odds are that you will get hurt doing CrossFit. There is no amount of coaching or experience that will prevent you from whipping yourself with a jump rope or pulling a little bit with your back when you get tired. Mistakes happen and you’re not perfect. You came into CrossFit with hot garbage biomechanics. In order to fix it, you are going to have to go through a little pain. Just like if you run three days a week, odds are that you may eventually sprain your ankle. You can, however, minimize how much you get hurt. For example, you can jump on a box that is the right height so you don’t bust your shins. You can mobilize your shoulders so an overhead squat doesn’t sacrifice your back and knees. You can listen to your coach about dropping weight or scaling a workout. You can practice hip activation techniques so you don’t overextend your back. You can practice training smarter. If you get hurt, address it and move forward.

 

Pain or pleasure face?

Perfect Practice Makes Perfect

I hated practice. Loathed every single minute of it. Regardless, I did it every day and, even though hate to admit it, got better because of it. CrossFit requires practice. Your coaches are telling you to use your hips in your clean instead of your shoulders for a reason. We want you practicing the right movement patterns to reinforce healthy movement. Nobody comes in our doors perfect. There are years of bad mechanics, scar tissue and tight muscles. Practice moving correctly and fixing the deficiencies. I promise you will get better because of it.

Take Home

We train hard. That does not mean it is ok to tear your labrum in order to get your 30th muscle up. What it does mean is that you will experience some pain. Some good and some bad. You tweak your back? Figure out why and do not let it happen again in the future. If you are unfortunate enough to injure (i.e. torn ACL, broken finger, etc) yourself, seek medical help immediately and start the road to recovery. The journey to being fit is not going to be easy. Train smarter because your goal is to be fit for life, not just next bikini season.


Remember this is the second week of the new programming. You should have done one workout on your own that is 30-45 minutes of steady state aerobic exercise. Also you should be completely gluten free by this week. Keep up the good work and report your progress.


Workout of the Day 9/5/2012

Level 1

A. Front Squat
Set 1 – 10 @ Heavy Weight
Set 2 – 10 @ 5% lighter (than set 1)
Set 3 – 10 @ 10% lighter (than set 1)

These will be performed at tempo 30X0. This means 3 count down, 0 pause at bottom, explode on the way up and 0 pause at top.

B. 2 Rounds (Not for time but move through it)
10 Pull-Ups (if using a band, use a slightly harder one)
10 Box Jumps (24/20)
10 Knees to Elbows or V-Ups

C. 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 (for time)
Pull-Ups
Box Jumps (20/16)
V-Ups
*Perform 3 goblet squats (24kg/16kg)

Level 2

A. Front Squat
Set 1 – 8 @ Max Weight
Set 2 – 8 @ 5% lighter (than set 1)
Set 3 – 8 @ 10% lighter (than set 1)

These will be performed at tempo 30X0. This means 3 count down, 0 pause at bottom, explode on the way up and 0 pause at top.

B. 2 Rounds (Not for time)
10 Strict Pull-Ups
10 Box Jumps (30/24)
10 Toes to Bar

C. 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 (for time)
Pull-Ups
Box Jumps (24/20)
V-Ups
*Perform 3 cleans between each set at (135/95)

Fundies

A. Technique – 2 Rounds
10 Sumo Deadlift high pull
Review part B movements

B. 4 Rounds – 1 minute stations
Slam Balls
Wall Balls
Hand Release Push ups
Sumo Deadlift high pull
Row
After each round, run 300m (1 min rest from time 1st person enters room)

Our Next 6-Week Cycle

We have started a new 6-week cycle as of this past Monday. This cycle will be slightly different from ones in the past. Thanks to Collette’s dad, Jan, who gave me a couple of different programs to base our cycle off of. For this program to work it will require some pretty good consistency in the gym and a clean(er) diet.

 

Strong Like South Koreans

Our strength portion will be based off of a South Korean program. The basis of the program is to build overall strength for the beginner weightlifter. Take the term “beginner” lightly. This program was setup to help weightlifters get through a plateau. Most people follow some sort of Eastern European rep scheme aimed at getting big Eastern European balls of muscle even stronger. The difference between us and them is that we weren’t clean and jerking at the age of 4. This program utilizes the rep scheme of 5’s and 8’s (modified for 10’s and 12’s for level 1). The basis will be building up to an 8 rep max and then have 2 down sets following that at 95% and 90%. The program has 2-3 major barbell lifts each day and has 3-4 auxiliary lifts following it. If we were to follow just this program exactly, each session would be around 2 ½ hours. I think the general consensus will be to modify it a little bit.

Con-deeshnah is Bettah

We are taking a different approach to conditioning as well. We have been focusing on extremely high power output workouts for short bursts. This is great to develop some raw nasty anaerobic work capacity. This is CrossFit’s bread and butter. These short, intense workouts have become the cool kid where the longer, less intense, aerobic workouts have become the redheaded stepchild. Since we are all trying to be a Spartan version of Jack Bauer, we need to train in all energy systems and not bias our conditioning. Our daily WODs will focus in two areas. The first will be conditioning sessions lasting on average 15-20 minutes. The second will be a lot more interval work to maintain our anaerobic lactic energy system.

 

Restless Legs

Another thing you will see peppered into our training is going to be an explosive leg cycle. There will be a few days of jumping lunges, squats and variations on box jumps. Most of these will be untimed so that the body and neuromuscular system have time to recover between each set. Most beginner athletes lack the explosive power necessary for a lot of our exercise and the advanced athletes can see an increase in work capacity and power output if they are able to increase the maximum potential of their explosive power.

 

Cleaner Nom Noms

Instead of launching face first into a Paleo challenge, I thought it would be better if we did a 6-week cycle on nutrition as well. Ashley has help consult a few of our athletes on cleaning up their diet and has seen some great success. The plan is to take 2-week sessions and clean up your diet. Click here for an easy infographic on Paleo. Here is a breakdown:

  • Weeks 1 thru 2 – Subtract gluten and processed carbs. Add in more protein.
  • Weeks 3 thru 4 – Subtract sugar and anything that tastes sweet. Add in more dark leafy greens.
  • Weeks 5 thru 6 – Subtract dairy. Add in essential fats.

Follow this plan for 6 weeks and see what happens. It’s not rocket science that better nutrition leads to better health. Allow yourself one cheat meal a week. That means if you have half a bite size Snicker bar, that counts as a cheat meal. Make it count.

Consistency

When I was studying for the GMAT, Kaplan set me up on a study schedule where I was doing at least 45 minutes of test prep each day and on the days I wasn’t studying, I was taking a practice test. They do this because that by repetitive habit and constant stimulus, your mind (or body) will adapt and improve quicker. This is the same for exercise. Make your fitness a priority for the next 6 weeks and see what happens. Do not allow your self to skip days because you had a tough day at work. That’s even MORE reason to come in and sweat it out. If you miss a workout, come in and make it up. Now that we have the outdoor space, there is plenty of room.

Homework

  • Spend at least 5-6 hours a week in the gym.
  • Take one day a week and plan out your meals. Go to the grocery store and then spend time prepping your food for the week.
  • Take one day out of the week and do a 45-60 aerobic workout. This means either running, rowing, biking, swimming or even mix it up with some CrossFit at lower intensity. Point is to move for that amount of time.
  • Take measurements and before pics if your goal is to lose weight.
  • Record your weights of your key lifts at the beginning and measure them again at the end.

Workout of the Day 8/29/2012

Level 1

A. Back Squat
Set 1 – 12 @ Heavy Weight
Set 2 – 12 @ 5% lighter (than set 1)
Set 3 – 12 @ 10% lighter (than set 1)

B. EMOM for 8 Minutes
8 Jumping Lunges (each leg)
*You can weight these as long as the sets can be performed unbroken.

C. Not for time
4 Rounds
10 Depth Jumps
10 Glute Ham Raises

Level 2

A. Back Squat
Set 1 – 8 @ Heavy Weight
Set 2 – 8 @ 5% lighter (than set 1)
Set 3 – 8 @ 10% lighter (than set 1)

B. EMOM for 8 Minutes
8 Jumping Lunges (each leg)
*Use an unweighted bar or weighted dumbbells.

C. Not for time
4 Rounds
10 Depth Jumps
10 Glute Ham Raises

Fundies

A. Technique – 10 min
Hang Power Clean
Dumbbell thrusters

A. AMRAP 8
10-1 Hang Power Clean
12 Box Jumps

Rest 90 sec

AMRAP 8
8 KB Swings
10 Knees to Elbows

Rest 90 Sec

AMRAP 8
10 Ring Dips or Bench Dips
10 Dumbbell Thrusters

Forging Elitism

The following is a repost. I thought it was good for all the newbies to read.

I started researching CrossFit in 2007 because I had heard about from a few volleyball player friends. I found some articles that outlined the dangers of CrossFit and how it was for the sadistic and genetically gifted. I was neither of these things, so I opted to stay clear of this crazy workout. I started dating a girl who was also doing CrossFit and I would ask her questions about the gym she was going to and she would tell me crazy stories that further solidified my decision to stay far away from the program. After I had already fallen in love with CrossFit, she forwarded me two blog posts about her friend’s bad experience at a CrossFit box.

Now before you read these two articles, realize that this was written a few years ago and I have removed the affiliate’s name. She brings up some very valid points and also takes some very emotional jabs. I make it a point to read these articles every few months just to remind myself what type of environment we want to create for our athletes and what we want to avoid. There is really no right or wrong answer to the situation below. I understand that this isn’t like our normal posts, but it does offer us a valuable and different viewpoint on something we all share a passion for. It is important for all of us to understand we at CFSB all work very hard to make sure none of our athletes has an experience like this. You make the call. Post your thoughts to comments:

“Forging Elitism”

from Malingering’s World

Sadly, something has happened at my gym recently and there’s been an epidemic of arrogance and egoism which continues to grow. I’m not exactly sure what’s happened, but I’m pretty certain they should change the motto from “Forging Elite Fitness” to “Forging Elitism” as it’s truly terrible. The other day someone got very irritated with me for sharing his/her equipment during the warm-up. Like I was interfering so dreadfully with his/her warm-up that I shouldn’t even exist. And then there was the person who finished the warm-up a good 3 minutes before everyone else in the class and started loudly complaining about how s/he has to wait sooo long before starting the workout and “why is it taking so long??!?!” People post diet logs online which are becoming reminiscent of those anorexia nervosa message boards where people encourage each other that being hungry and depriving yourself is a good thing. Jokes are made about getting “rhabdo” (rhabdomyolisis has happened in a number instances in CrossFit workouts, and is the leading cause of kidney failure in this country), creating a culture where pushing yourself too hard is glorified. There is no room for moderation, and safety often goes by the wayside. The whole place is so full of ego, there’s hardly any room to work out. A few days ago we were in class and two people from the previous class sat inside the gym and loudly chatted away, bragging about their scores for Fight Gone Bad and their times for this and that and their strategies for so-and-so workout and in a furious tornado of self-promotion, managed to distract everyone working out. I also heard someone say to another member “yeah, but you only did the intermediate class” with such scorn that one wondered why an intermediate level person even bothered working out at all. The other day someone called another person a pussy for lifting less weight than him/her, even though the person lifting less weight had a serious injury and was adjusting appropriately. And then (my favorite) was the person who pointed and laughed when I dumped the bar on a failed clean. S/he laughed so loudly that about 5 people silently turned and looked at him/her and this person then shouted “nice ass plant!” at me as I tried to get up (fortunately the other 5 people did not join in).

Sadly, this is not the gym I joined 18 months ago, which was a supportive and positive environment. People are becoming quite concerned with their weights and times and records, and much less cognizant of the community itself, which is deteriorating rapidly. People are so worried about “the board” (a whiteboard listing the top 5 students/instructors results in various exercises) that they’ll sacrifice form and dignity to get there. People even come into the gym when there’s no class going on to do special workouts to “get on the board.” Not to mention it’s a near impossibility for most people to “get on the board” because the top 3 spots are invariably the names of the gym employees so it becomes this elusive space for only the most, well, elite. The other day I saw a group of people spend at least 5 minutes gazing upward to the leaderboards in the sky, calculating how they could lift more weight than so-and-so and what it would take to “get on the board.” Ugh. Just focus on your workout and worry about yourself. It’s not worth it to compare yourself to everyone else, especially these people who live, (don’t) eat, and breathe CrossFit.

I’ve been faced with the dilemma about what to do about all of this, as I feel the once positive and nurturing community that I wrote about last year is a mere shell of itself today. I love being in shape, and I love working out, and I love the pressure of pseudo-personal training to keep me in check. I have made some amazing friends at the gym and I’ve learned a lot about fitness, diet, and exercise (a lot of which I’ve outlined here on the blog). On the other hand, I see the hegemony emerging and I don’t want to be a part of the elitsm, arrogance and self-promotion that is only getting worse. For a few months I thought it was just me, that maybe I, was the one who was becoming overly competitive or arrogant and this was how it was manifesting. But the more people I talk to, the more I realize it isn’t just me at all, in fact it is noticed by almost everyone I’ve talked to. I keep hoping things will turn around, that at some point it will come full circle and we’ll be back to where we started. Occasionally I catch a glimmer of that old environment and it keeps me going, because those days were pretty damn cool.

“What to do, what to do”

So this is me. I’m overhead squatting 125lbs, which is well over what I weigh. And as you can imagine, that feels pretty awesome. I can do things that I didn’t think I could do (yesterday I almost bench pressed my bodyweight, which has been another goal of mine). I’m stronger than I thought I could be. I’ve met some people who are really cool. Some of my closest friends are people I met at the gym. I work out consistently because the thought of losing any sort of money by not showing up to class just pains me. I like showing up and being told what to do by an instructor rather than wondering what I “should” be doing. There’s a (for the most part) good staff on hand who knows and loves CrossFit. The non-douchy people are encouraging and helpful. I’ve learned a lot about fitness. And for that reason, I stay at Crossfit Blank.

But then, of course, there’s the other side of things. There’s the elitist attitude held by some members. There’s the sloppy conditions. And then there’s the general competitive nature of CrossFit which has people bragging and boasting and sucking each other’s cocks about how freaking awesome their Nancy time was or whatever.

I was doing a workout the other day, and we were doing one of “the Girls” which are these standard Crossfit workouts that are on the website and people use as benchmarks to try to test their progress and such. I think originally you were supposed to see how much you improve, but at my gym they post the results of the top 5 people on the wall for everyone to see, so of course for a subset of people, it’s all about beating those times. Anyway, a relatively new and incredibly strong gym member starts doing this workout. He’d never done it before, and he’s kicking ass and everyone’s encouraging him because he’s a machine and it’s awesome to watch. But (and this is what ruined it for me) one of the members of the staff was standing next to him, with a stop watch glancing up at the wall and shouting what the current time was and then what the “time to beat” was, over and over and over. He’d say “finish in 30 seconds, you can beat Andrew!” “You’re one minute ahead of Bob!” “Forty-five seconds and you’ll take down John!” Continuously. For the entire 4 and a half minutes it took for this guy to finish the workout. It wasn’t about HIM anymore, it was about who he could beat and how he could get his name on the wall. (The somewhat ironic part of this story is that this person ended up beating almost everyone, getting the 3rd fastest time in the gym, and they never put his name up on the wall. It’s been like a month and his name was never put up there. So the whole cheering and rooting on thing was a total cocktease.) This is how it’s been recently, more so than before. Now whenever we start a workout, the instructor tells us the “time to beat.” And really, some of us just want to work on our own personal goals because making your gym-time into a constant competition is more stressful than it should be. Obviously you can use other people’s times and weights as a reference point, but does it need to be all about beating people?

The other interesting thing is that every instructor at CrossFit Blank has been going to the Landmark Forum (the awareness program started by the EST people back in the 80s). Do what you wish, if it works for you, that’s great. But don’t use your influence as an instructor to try to recruit gym members to your Landmark meetings, because it’s not really cool. I had one instructor come up to me before class and tell me to leave the gym and join him at a Landmark meeting rather than work out that day. And then people get all Landmarky on you and start making comments that they NEVER would have made before going to their Landmark meetings, like when I said I was sore from yesterday’s class, the instructor replied “the workout didn’t make you sore, YOU made you sore.” Everyone’s getting The Secret for Christmas.

The thing that’s getting to me (and the one thing I simply can’t ignore, that other bullshit I can block out or roll my eyes at, but this thing I can’t), is that I get injured. A lot. My back, wrists, knees, shoulders and feet take turns at causing me agony depending on what I did at the gym. The Olympic lifting seems to fuck my shoulders and back. Now every time I lift my arm over my head I get a loud clunking sound and a sharp pain. I can’t sit for more than 30 minutes at a time because my back spasms are so bad. My neck is always stiff and by the end of the day I have a tension headache. My old gymnastics injuries get aggravated, and even though I had wrist surgery, I still have pain when I lift weight overhead. And this doesn’t affect me just in the gym, it affects me all goddamn day. Sometimes it’s just annoying, and sometimes it’s freaking terrible.

So what to do, what to do, what to do? The cost-benefit analysis is making my head hurt even worse.


Workout of the Day 8/8/2012

A. 3x
10 Back Squat
15 OH Wall Squts
20 Single Unders

B. 4 Hill Sprints
1@80%
1@85%
1@90%
1@90%

C. 2x
Calf Stretch 30sec/side
Hip Flexor (wall stretch) 30sec/side
10 Overhead Squats (45/33)

A. 5 Rounds
2×2 @ 90%, 3×1 @ 95% Back Squats
5 Barbell OHS

*Part A is more important than Part B, do all 5 sets at the prescribed weight

B. 4 Hill Sprints
1@85%
1@90%
1@95%
1@100%

C. 2x
Calf Stretch 30sec/side
Hip Flexor (wall stretch) 30sec/side
10 Overhead Squats (65/53)

Fundies

A. 3 rounds
10 Push Press
5 Strict Pull Ups
30 sec Hollow Hold

3 rounds
Run 400m
40x Walking lunge steps
30x Sit ups
20x Push ups
10x Burpees

Take my picture

Suzie is intense when looking for her earring that fell out.

Like proud parents, we coaches take plenty of pictures of athletes every day. We catch all of those precious moments on camera to be immortalized forever in cyberspace. Every day we take about 250 pictures of our athletes doing CrossFit or goofing around post WOD. Today we will be adding a Flip video camera to the mix. Why do we do all this stuff?

I didn't realize L-sits were so much fun. We must've all been doing them wrong

Marketing

We wouldn’t spend this much time on photographs if we didn’t find it important to the business side of CFSB. The pictures allow those who are reluctant to come in and watch a workout to see what we do on a daily basis. CrossFit looks intimidating and IS intimidating, but the pictures help take some of mystique out of CrossFit. Each day I go through the pictures and crop and color correct each one and delete the really blurry and dark ones and keep the rest. Every few days I upload them to our Facebook fan page and tag everyone I can. Best form of free marketing out there…our athletes.

Matt: "Hey Bro, how do you get your biceps so big?" Dane: "I do a lot of bicep curls. You know, preacher curls, hammer curls, reverse curls, behind the back forarm thingy."

Visual Diary

Some of us forget what it was like when we first started CrossFit. We forget how hard it was to lift a barbell or to do a kipping pull-up. We lose sight of how far we have come and how fit we have become. Look back at some of the old pictures and examine your form, your physique and the weights you were doing. I can guarantee that all three have improved. Some of you may not feel your body changing and the pictures serve as a nice reminder of the progress you have made.

Cheli showing us her version of a wall ball

Form

We don’t have any mirrors in our gym. The reason is that if you are watching yourself, you’re already practicing bad form. Your coaches are there to help correct any bad form you may have. We take pictures midway through a movement or at the bottom of a squat to show if your form is correct. Look at your back, heels, shoulders, neck to make sure all the things we’ve been telling you are actually happening.

CrossFace

CrossFace is a phenomenon which happens as a result of the intensity of a CrossFit workout. Catching CrossFace on camera is one of my favorite things to do. Some days when I wake up in a bad mood, I just refer to my favorite collection of CrossFaces and it makes everything all better. There really is no avoiding CrossFace and furthermore you should be proud that you’re working hard enough to let your CrossFace out.

Our Flickr site currently gets 2,500 different unique visitors each day. Granted some of them could be internet pervs trying to catch a peek at some of girl athletes (or Matt trying to see Vinny’s abs), but the majority of them are you and other people interested in CrossFit. Now quit worrying about the camera and get back to work.


Workout of the Day 6/15/2010

A. Romanian Deadlift 5-5-5

B. AMRAP 15
5 Power clean
10 Slam ball
20M Walking lunges

Hi, my name is…

Tonto showing how excited he is to meet new people

Gyms have rules. We are no exception, only that our rules are a little different. Instead of no dropping weights, we encourage you to drop weights so you don’t get injured. We encourage intensity in the form of yelling, grunting and sweating. We make you go the full range of motion and we keep you accountable. One of my favorite rules is also the highest penalized: Introduce yourself to everyone new. Penalty = 30 burpees per person.

This rule, above all others, differentiates us from all the globo gyms and other fitness studios. I always wondered why people in gyms always had to be such dicks. I used to be one of those dicks. I hated everyone in the gym including but not limited to crazy guy, steroid high school kid with beard, make-up girl, elliptical girl, old stinky guy, weird lift guy, fanny pack grunting guy, break dancer bro and is-that-a-guy-or-a-girl guygirl. No wonder I was a dick and no wonder I didn’t want to introduce myself to them.

Alex shows us the most comfortable position post WOD.

Our gym is different. From the outside it’s intimidating. People lifting weights over their head, carrying sandbags, flipping tires and swinging from bars. People visit us apprehensively like it’s the haunted mansion at Disneyland. They have preconceived notions that they are going to look dumb or embarrass themselves. All of that is diffused with just a few people introducing themselves. You make new people feel welcome just as someone made you feel welcome on your first day.

My first day of CrossFit, everyone was so nice. It felt like they were too nice, like they were getting ready to kidnap me and harvest my organs. Luckily they didn’t. I felt excited to go back to the next class and motivated to get fit. I wasn’t afraid of looking silly or people making fun of me (to my face anyway), but my experience could have been different.



If you think double unders are hard, just watch this video. The guy does a burpee double under.


Imagine for a second that you walk into a CrossFit for the first time and no one says hi to you or even acknowledges that you’re there. You say hi to some people, but they just look away because they are too busy with their workout. The owner finally walks up to you and asks you to fill out a waiver and throws you in to the rest of the class. No one helps you as you struggle through learning a clean. Once you start lifting, no one helps you or corrects your form. You start the workout and nobody helps you with your weights. You come in last and no one acknowledges your time or says good job. You write your name and time on the board and leave.

Now compare that to your first time at CrossFit South Bay. How was it different? Introducing yourself to everyone is the beginning to making us all better by strengthening our CFSB family. It removes the fear of embarrassment and lets people focus on getting fit. A lot of you have even said that you have even started to introduce yourself outside the gym. Newsflash: You’re supposed to introduce yourself to new people.

I understand some of you just aren’t the outgoing type and that’s totally fine, but you better damn well be the burpee type because you’re gonna be doing a lot of them.

Reminder the Town Hall meeting will be after the 9AM class this Saturday. It will be informal and we will discuss future plans for CFSB and you will have a say in upcoming improvements.


Workout of the Day 6/11/2010

A. 500M Row max effort x 2

B. 10 Clean & Jerk (135/85)
20 Double Unders
8 Clean & Jerk
20 Double Unders
6 Clean & Jerk
20 Double Unders
4 Clean & Jerk
20 Double Unders
2 Clean & Jerk
20 Double Unders

*Cleans are full squat cleans. Perform the double unders unbroken. If you plan to do this Rx then every time you break your double unders, you stop and do 3 burpees before continuing. Scale this workout down by doing the burpees every other time or not at all if you can’t string together double unders.

Outside your comfort zone

Some of my most valuable life lessons were learned as a young boy. I took Kenpo karate from ages 6 to 11 and felt like I got pretty good at it. My first competition was when I was 10 and I got my ass kicked. Then I started playing football and was naturally good at it. I played pop warner for three years and got MVP and made the all-stars. Then I went to high school and got moved up to JV as a freshman and got flattened by a bunch of juniors who somehow had facial hair (which I still don’t have as a 31 year old man). I was in honors classes in high school and never had to study and then went to college and got my first F in calculus, which was my strongest subject. I’ve been served my fair share of humble pie in my life and I I know there is plenty more to come.

Remy and I attended the CrossFit gymnastics cert last weekend and we both realized that we weren’t as fit as we thought we were. Remy apparently has a sucky “strength prowess” (don’t ask her about it, it’s a touchy subject) and I apparently have no control over my own body. We left the cert a little more humble, but more importantly, motivated to get better.

Getting outside of your comfort zone isn’t easy, but it’s something we all need to do to get better. In CrossFit, we get comfortable with a certain weight, a certain kettlebell or a certain pull-up bar. Build upon your successes in workouts and begin to push yourself outside your comfort zone and to the next level. Begin holding yourself to a higher standard in form and technique. The humility isn’t going to taste very nice, but it will make you a better person. I’ve noticed a lot of you starting to really mature as CrossFitters and start to up the weights while keeping the full range of motion. You’ve started to get sets done unbroken and string multiple double unders together and hit those pull-ups and overhead squat more weight. We coaches are extremely proud of all of you. Keep up the good work and keep pushing yourselves outside of your comfort zones.

Welcome On-Ramp

Welcome the On-Rampers when you see them. They just started last night and have a damn good class. This group is going to give the rest of us a run for our money. The classes are starting to sell out a month in advance so if you have people who want to sign up, make sure they do it soon.

LA Rugby Fundraiser

There will be a special fundraiser tonight for the LA Rugby club at Sharkeez in Manhattan Beach at 8:30PM. One of their teammates was playing volleyball this weekend and had a stroke and is critical condition. He is part of our CFSB family and we need to support him. For more information contact Gabe.

Coaches Prep & Town Hall

Last week was a very successful coaches’ prep meeting. We had a little over 13 people show up and got great feedback. We will do it again this Thursday at 6PM and cover an Oly lift, the role of a coach and scaling. We are planning on having the town hall meeting this Saturday after the morning WOD, unless most people can’t make it. We will take as long as you want to cover any topics you may have questions on.


WOD 6/8/2010

A. Back Squat 10-20-30

Perform each set unbroken and rest between rounds as needed. Pick weights for each round that will be relatively heavy. You may rest with the bar on your back, but if you have to rack it or dump the weight, mark it as a fail and move on to the next round. An example weight scheme may be 225, 185, 135. 15 minutes to complete.

B. 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1
Thrusters (95/65)
Knees to Elbows
Burpees

Coaches’ prep

In CrossFit, this means "Thank you coach for a great workout". Trust me, I get it all the time.

A lot of you have expressed interest in getting your CrossFit level 1 certification and starting the path to becoming a coach. The level 1 takes you through some of the basic CrossFit movements and shows you different methods to teach them. The instructors teach you some of the philosophies of CrossFit and how to properly convey the teachings to your athletes. I would recommend getting the certification to anyone who is serious about becoming a coach, partly because it creates consistency in coaching and partly because you will see how committed you are to getting it (cost is about $1000).

Shira helps Donna how to use the meat tenderizer on her arm

Fortunately the path to becoming a coach can start way before the level 1 cert and can be much cheaper. First you need to subscribe to the CrossFit Journal which has boatloads of information on anything from correcting a squat to becoming an affiliate owner to coaching the elderly. If you find that information boring and mundane, then coaching probably isn’t for you. Becoming a good coach means you have to posses the desire to constantly learn.

Chris winning the biggest man muscle up contest

Today at 6PM we will be holding an informal intro to coaching where we will be answering questions and discussing the role of the coach at CFSB. If there is an interest, we will continue the classes every Thursday at 6PM to cover topics like programming, coaching techniques, prehab, safety, common challenges, motivation and expectations as coaches in more detail. Anyone is welcome to attend. Our intent is to educate our athletes and potential coaches to help better the overall quality of coaching at CFSB. If you’re not interested in becoming a coach, but are curious about why we do the things we do, you should come and listen in.

I would like to congratulate Chris and Scarlett for signing up for their level 1 certification at the end of July. We are all excited to get them coaching classes and potentially starting up new programs. Remy and I will also be attending a gymnastics certification this weekend and should come back with all kinds of fun new stuff for you guys to do.


WOD 6/3/2010

A. Overhead Squat 3-3-3

B. AMRAP
3 minutes of wall ball
3 minutes of power cleans
2 minute rest
2 minutes of wall ball
2 minutes of power cleans
1 minute rest
1 minute of wall ball
1 minute of power cleans

*Score is cumulative amount of reps. Record your reps at each rest. Pick a weight for the cleans where you can average about 1 clean for every 3 to 4 seconds.

Town hall meeting

Remy plays hide the kettlebell

This Memorial Day we will only have two classes from 10AM-11AM and 11AM-Noon. We will be doing the Lumberjack 20 to honor our fallen soldiers.

We will also have more t-shirts early next week with the same design as our red shirts, but this time they will be printed on the American Apparel tri-blend black and the women’s will be tri-blend racer back tank tops. There is also a new design in the works for a summer tank top. It’s a retro design to mimic the old school Pee-Chee folders. It’s kind of an homage to late 70’s early 80’s fitness done CrossFit style. Let me know what you guys think and we can decide how we want to move forward with the design.

CrossFit South Bay has experienced unbelievable growth in the past few months. Mariessa and I are dedicated to providing our athletes with the best possible facility and coaching available. In order to do that, we need to voice to you what our goals are as an affiliate and hear what your feedback is. I think the best way to convey the message and open up discussion is in a town hall style meeting. We will cover topics like:

  • Goals and milestones for the gym
  • 1, 3 and 5 year growth and expansion plan
  • Programming
  • MindBody Online
  • Becoming a coach
  • Coach feedback. What can we do better?
  • Coach expectations. What we expect of you.
  • How to get involved
  • CrossFit South Bay culture

Jon and his minime team up for a Saturday WOD.

I have the best job in the world. Every day I think of how lucky I am to be in a position to help our athletes achieve their goals. In return, you provide valuable feedback that helps improve the experience for everyone. The town hall meeting will give you complete transparency behind the scenes of CFSB and what our plans are. Think of it as an annual shareholders meeting where you’re able to tell us anything that’s on your mind. Remember, we’re not 24 Hour Fitness or Equinox, we’re CrossFit South Bay and your input actually matters.

I was thinking we could either plan to have the meeting on a Friday afternoon or Saturday after the morning WOD. What do you think? Will this benefit you and/or the athletes as a whole?


WOD 5/27/2010

A. Max L-Sit Hold x 3

B.
40 Box Jumps (24’/30′)
20 Snatch (55/95)
30 Box Jumps
15 Snatch
20 Box Jumps
10 Snatch
10 Box Jumps
5 Snatch

*The snatches are full squat snatches from the floor. You can power snatch it up and overhead squat it as long as you get your hips below parallel.

Potty training

Girl Ryan and Lisa attempt donut flips for time. Photo courtesy of Lisa.

Five minutes before the WOD begins and you can feel those butterflies in your stomach. You think, “Do I have to go to the bathroom? Maybe I can hold it. No I should go.” Then you covertly scurry to the bathroom like an art thief slipping past security. As you make peepee you think, “Phew, I barely made that. Good thing I went.” Then you triumphantly exit the bathroom ready to face that workout head on, then it hits you. You have to make poopy.

I know you may be thinking, “How does he know? I lit the candle and I was so fast.” It’s because it happens to everyone. There are a lot of different things going on in your body right before the WOD. It’s your fight or flight response kicking in to conquer the immediate threat. Your brain creates a physiologic response in the form of stress that causes a chain reaction in your body.

  1. Your hypothalamus releases neurons to trigger the release of adrenaline and cortisol.
  2. The pupils dilate so that you are able to see an signs of danger.
  3. The heart begins to pump harder and faster (that’s what she said) to get blood to your muscles.
  4. All the blood vessels going to nonessential fight or flight organs begin to constrict. (i.e. kidneys and intestinal tract)
  5. Blood vessels involved in fighting or fleeing dilate to increase bloodflow (i.e. skeletal muscles, heart muscles, liver and connective tissue)
  6. Breathing increases and airways dilate to get more oxygen to your muscles.
  7. Processes that are not used in fight or flight shut down like the gastrointestinal tract

Chris practicing the shake weight before the WOD

Why do I have to make peepee before a WOD?

When your fight or flight response kicks in, blood is transferred from your gut region to your muscles. More blood in your muscles means more oxygen and glucose for energy. The fluid that was in your muscles before is then flushed out to your bladder. That’s why you have to pee.

Why do I have to make poopoo before a WOD?

Normally when you eat something, it passes through your stomach to your large intestine and is inched along until it reaches your small intestine. Your intestinal tract moves slowly as to extract as much nutrients and water as possible. When your fight or flight mechanism is activated the gastrointestinal system shuts down. The large intestine begin to contract much faster pushing whatever you have in there through faster than normal causing whatever you have in there to forcefully come out.

I clean the bathrooms every single day. I know when people are more nervous about a WOD than others.


WOD 5/25/2010

A. Back squat 5-5-5

B. 3 Rounds
400M Run
40 Wall Ball
40 Sit-ups

On-Ramp

A. Ring holds

B. 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1
Deadlifts
Kettlebell Swing
Box Jumps

Roll it up

Libby "loves" the foam roller

Back in the early days of CFSB, there was one foam roller and nobody used it. I began to develop a little bit of knee pain and constantly had muscle soreness. After doing some research, I found that foam rolling was supposed to help alleviate these problems. I eagerly showed up to the gym to try out my new discovery. Out of all the research I read on foam rolling, none of it said it was supposed to feel like a Hades was trying to give me a Charlie horse. It hurt…bad.

What is fascia?

Foam rolling and using the lacrosse ball is a form of self-myofascial release. Without getting to much into the science of it, the fascia is the soft tissue component of your connective tissue. That connective tissue supports and protects most of the components of the human body. Think of your muscles wrapped in and connected to one another by this tissue. This soft tissue can start to harden and start to become inflexible. Think of beef jerky versus filet mignon. Overuse and inactivity can cause this tissue to harden and form scar tissue.

Jen working her abs while rolling her booty trigger point.

Why does it hurt?

When we exercise, we create tiny tears in our muscles and fascia. On our recovery days, our bodies begin to repair those muscle tears, but in doing so builds up junk in the form of knots caused by use to the muscle. Inactivity can also cause these knots to form because the fascia and muscle begin to tighten if not used. All this junk is generally scar tissue which can lead to muscle imbalances, inflexibility, muscle soreness and instability. The foam roller acts as a meat tenderizer by breaking up all the scar tissue thus making the fascia and muscle flexible and pliable again.

How do I fix it?

Foam rolling and using the lacrosse ball is the most effective (and cheapest) way to fix all that junk. Yes it hurts, but only for a little bit. Roll around for a little bit until you find a hot spot (AKA a trigger point), when you find that spot apply some pressure. Slowly roll in all directions and then come back to that spot  until the pain has been reduced by about 75%.

We had to trick Lisa to foam roll by rubbing peanut butter on it.

Why put myself through all the pain?

We are all constantly living with a little bit of muscle soreness. The foam roller is like a poor man’s massage. It also helps keep the muscles pliable so you can get full range of motion in your joints and muscular system. It will cut down on pain in your knees, back, shoulders and ankles. It will also help elongate (I love that word) your muscles. Overall, foam rolling every day will improve the overall quality of your muscle tissue.


WOD 5/20/2010

“Bear Complex”

5 Rounds, 7 sets of the following sequence:

Power Clean
Front Squat
Push Press
Back Squat
Push Press

Rest between rounds as needed.
Notes:  The Power clean must be seperate from the front squat.  No resting on the ground during rounds, not even to re-grip.  You want to be at max load by round 4 or 5.

A better warm-up

Reason #1 as to why you should practice double unders.

Warming up is a little like foreplay: We do it because we’re used to it, but we forget that it makes the actual WOD so much better (pun intended).

Just like foreplay, we need to add a little variety to our warm-up or it becomes, well, mundane. Use the warm-up to practice movements you are deficient in. Try showing up a little early to work on some of the complex movements such as overhead squats, power cleans, jerks, snatches or even muscle ups. Instead of a run try 1500 meters on the C2 or 100 double-unders. Work on Turkish Getups or do a couple of handstand pushups. Maybe your shoulders are as inflexible as mine are, so try doing a few of our shoulder stretches. Knees bothering you? Well it could be from a tight IT band or poor squat form. You could remedy that by hopping on the foam roller or doing some squats facing the wall. Sore lower backs can be caused by tight glutes or hamestrings. Take an extra ten minutes to stretch everything you can. You will see that the extra 10 minutes a day will pay dividends in the future.

Play around with it, have fun, try it and see what happens. Start attacking your warmup like you do your WOD and I’m sure you will start to see PR’s.

The new pledges right before hell week.

The current On-Ramp class is just starting their second week. Make sure to welcome them in to the classes or face the consequence of the 30 burpee rule. The next On-Ramp begins May 24th and is already sold out.


WOD 5/17/2010

A. Clean max effort
If you are recently out of On-Ramp you will do 5-5-5

B. 4 Rounds
20M Walking 1-arm overhead lunges
10 Power Cleans
20 Push-ups

Daddy likey

Girlfriend Jen at her first CrossFit competition

Daddy likey. You’ve probably heard me mutter these words in the gym. Maybe you were creeped out, but you definitely laughed a little.

When Mariessa and I partnered up, the first thing I did was ask everyone what we could do to improve the gym. At the time, CFSB was about 95% male, so the typical response I got was, “Bro, more hot chicks”. Seven months later, CFSB has quadrupled in size and is just over 50% female, or “hot chick” as my brethren would call it.

I remember back in college that I used to have a type. She was a skinny blonde party girl with a daddy complex. That was my wheelhouse. UC Santa Barbara was full of them. Now every once in a while, I may venture out to the skinny brunette party girl with a drug problem or the skinny ginger party girl with low self esteem, but I really didn’t venture too far away from my safety zone. Over the years, I like to think I’ve changed a bit and so has my taste in chicks…ergh…I mean women.

Nicole getting some on the rower

Last weekend at the CrossFit Regional Qualifiers, I realized how much my taste has changed. There were CrossFit girls from all over the West Coast gathered in one spot wearing scraps of spandex while they grunt and moan and glisten in sweat. Just like when you go to the Getty and see a great piece of art work, you kind of just want to touch it, but can’t because big guards will come and escort you away. This was no different. I didn’t realize how much my taste had changed until I realized that there were some promo girls handing out free water.

Nothing against these little promo girls, they were cute. They were probably some young college student trying to make some easy money by handing out free water. These girls were in my aforementioned wheelhouse. There was nothing really wrong with them, but there was nothing really right with them either. Standing around all these strong, hot, CrossFit girls they just seemed so blah. It’s not all about looks either. It’s about how strong and capable CF girls are that makes them sexy. The looks are just a byproduct; an added bonus if you will.

Here are the reasons why daddy likey CrossFit girls:

1. They are goal oriented. These girls know how to set a goal and work their ass off (sometimes literally) to achieve them. It’s never this helpless, whiny, why-does-nothing-go-my-way, I’ll-start-Monday kind of attitude. These girls are relentlessly ambitious and it spills over to other aspects of their lives.

Constance admires her kettlebell on a turkish get up

2. They aren’t afraid. I’ve dated so many girls who are afraid of life. Afraid that people are going to make fun of them or they will look like a bitch to their friends or that they look fat in some outfit or that lifting weights will make them get big muscles (my personal favorite). CrossFit girls know that they can do just about anything and in most cases do.

3. They are confident. There is something about pushing half your body weight over your head multiple times that makes everything else seem rather inconsequential. Like there is something about doing Filthy Fifty or Fight Gone Bad that makes tasks like child birth or writing a thesis seem not so difficult. CrossFit girls know they are badass and are proud of it.

Scarlett, nice rack.

4. They are smart. I know some of our conversations in the gym can sometimes be juvenile, but just about everyone in the gym is pretty intelligent. I think it’s the CrossFit methodology that attracts intelligent people. All the talk about kinetic chains, myofascial release, metabolic pathways and all that other stuff generally turns all the dumbasses away.
5. They are capable. I remember going on a trip with a girlfriend back in the day. We were getting ready to put our luggage up on the scale and she couldn’t pick it up. She fumbled around for a minute like she was on some game show and all she had to do to win was put the luggage on the scale but just couldn’t figure it out. The first thing that went through my head was “Why did she pack 30 days worth of clothes for a 7 day trip?” But more importantly, the second thing to go through my mind was, “Is this the kind of girl I want by my side when the zombie apocalypse happens?” Right then and there I decided that we were going to break up and had 7 of some of the most miserable days of my life after that.

Courtney (aka 110 lbs. of muscle and sunshine) and Emily having some fun with jerks.

Remy showing you the tougher side of Lulu

6. They are fun. Maybe it’s the endorphins or the adrenaline, but CrossFit girls are generally happy, fun and outgoing girls. Now I know the outgoing part is a stretch since I force you to introduce yourselves to each other, but I think it sometimes gets the ball rolling. Barely any of us knew each other before we started CrossFit. Now most of us are friends outside of the gym. It goes without saying how much fun some of you have. (you know who you are)

7. They are happy. Most CrossFit girls could be raging bitches all day, but when they come to CrossFit they are all rainbows and roses. Look around the next time post WOD and see how many smiles there are in the gym (after everyone has recovered obviously).

Suzie testing out her new pink lifting shoes

8. They are strong. There is just something sexy about a girl doing pull-ups or overhead squatting her body weight or rattling off double unders. Girls who aren’t afraid of adding a little weight. It’s a beautiful thing to watch girls when they finally get the triple extension shoulder shrug in a clean or a snatch. (note: I never thought I would ever type those words in that order in my entire life)

Charlene, booty to the floor

9. They take care of themselves. There is no doubt that CrossFit girls work hard. They don’t negate all that hard work with shitty food and booze all the time. Yes, there is the occasional cheat day, but for the most part they eat well and take care of their bodies. Because of that, their hair and skin are healthy and they stay fit.

Lauren is powered by the sun

10.They have rockin’ bodies. Like I said before, it’s not all about looks, it’s about being fit. Most CrossFit girls just happen to look fit which coincidentally leads to sexy legs, butt, abs and arms. Garnish that dish with some knee socks, a sports bra and some booty shorts and you get some hot CrossFit daddy likey girls.


WOD 5/13/2010

A. Hang Power Clean 4-4-4

B. AMRAP 15
9 Front Squats
21 Kettlebell Swings
100M Run

Team Awesome


I witnessed and experienced pure joy. The CrossFit South Bay family always manages to surprise me with their infectious inspiration and relentless motivation. This past weekend at the games, our affiliate team took 20th place overall out of 84 teams. I am so proud of our athletes who competed and those of you who came to cheer them on. Our team suffered through three grueling workouts, including one which half of the competition couldn’t even finish.

Remy

I realized that you have a hidden inner beast inside your inner beast. You haven’t even been CrossFitting for a year yet and you’ve already managed to qualify for the individual regionals and help secure our team a top 20 finish in our first competition. I remember watching you do those dumbbell snatches so fast that it looked like you were doing some version of a 70’s disco dance. CFSB is so grateful to have you and we all appreciate your dedication.

Courtney

I can’t believe how far you have come in the past 6 months. I remember when you had to do filthy fifty for your third CrossFit workout and you powered through it like a champ. It was that moment that I knew you would turn into 110 pounds of muscle and sunshine. I was so impressed that you pushed through those dumbbell thrusters that weighed more than half your body weight. I watched girls close to twice your size fail on reps where you kept powering through. I envy your enthusiasm for the sport of CrossFit.

Nicole

You are a fireball. You’ve overcome a debilitating back injury and came back to be a major contender. CFSB wouldn’t be the same without your constant encouragement and passion. We all watched in awe as you sprinted like a cheetah chasing after her prey around the track. Who knew you could run so fast? I remember hearing some guys from another affiliate say, “Damn, look at her double unders. They are better than our guys’”. We couldn’t have secured that 4th place finish in WOD 2 without you. Now get back to planning our happy hours, queen of social.

Greg

From day 1, I always thought you were a freak. Then when I found out you were 40, then I really thought you were a freak. We all strive to be in as good of shape as you when we get to be your age. For the past 18 months I have watched you methodically get stronger, faster and better conditioned. I have modeled a lot of my training after you and owe a great deal of my personal fitness to you. When we finished WOD 2, I saw a look of pure happiness on your face. You made those double unders and pull-ups seem easy. Keep setting the bar for the rest of CFSB.

Jon

You are an incredible athlete and an even better teammate. You truly understand what it means to be a part of a team and are willing the sacrifice anything for your teammates. CFSB is fortunate to have you be a part of our affiliate. You’ve got a big heart wrapped in a big ass caveman body. In WOD 3, I know you would have flipped that tire with your teammates on your back if you had to. When the zombies attack, I want you on my side.

Dane

You are scary strong and scary humble. Honestly if I were as strong as you, I would probably be knocking binders out of kids’ hands and pushing them into lockers and stealing lunch money. We watched you almost pass out in WOD 3, but you kept going. I was more proud of your effort than our end result. You gave everything you could in that last workout. It’s surprising how far you have come after only doing CrossFit for about four months and even more surprising since you were eating Cheetos in between workouts. I respect your humility and I can’t wait to see where CrossFit takes you.

Scarlett & Chris

I think it goes without saying that all of CFSB is thankful for all the work you put in to everything. Thank you so much for organizing all of the little details for all of our competitions. Without you, we would be running around trying to find all the little items we forgot at home. We all thank you a thousand times over for your contribution to the family.

As for the rest of you, we plan to do the affiliate competition in costume next year. We were thinking ninjas and cavemen. CFSB is going to bring the pain.


WOD 5/11/2010

A. 3 Rounds
30 Seconds L-Sit
10 strict toes to bar (use a 3 count on the way down)
15 floor wipers (each side)

This portion is untimed but you have 15 minutes to complete it. L-sit time only counts when feet are off the ground. Rest as needed.

B. 650M Run (one time around block)
25-20-15
Push Press or Jerk
Slam Ball
Pull-Ups
650M Run

On-Ramp

A. Handstands

B. 100 Single Unders
10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1
Deadlift
Kettlebell Swing
Box Jump
100 Single Unders

Game time, pain time

This weekend is the Southwest Regionals leading up to the CrossFit games. If you have never been to a CrossFit competition, I highly suggest you come and witness this weekend’s athleticism. Come and support our Affiliate team bright and early on Saturday morning. Make sure to wear your CFSB shirts to represent and be ready to yell. The tickets are $50 per couple and both days are included. Make sure to show up early and we will have our canopy set up, but make sure to bring your own chair and something warm to wear. We learned our lesson at the LA sectionals that after the sun goes down, we froze our glutes off.

You will also get a chance to see some of the big names in CrossFit like Josh Everett (my personal man crush) and Pat Barber. If you just got out of some of the On-Ramp classes, I would highly recommend going to see this competition. It will be like nothing you have ever seen before.

Class is canceled this Saturday, May 8th because we will be at the CrossFit Regional Qualifiers supporting our CFSB team. You better be there or there will be hell to pay next week.


WOD 5/6/2010

A. 500M Row x 4
Take 3-5 minutes rest in between each one. Foam roll and stretch.

B. Technique and skill work. Choose a lift or gymnastic movement to work on with your coach. For example:

  • Muscle Up progression
  • Kipping
  • Snatch
  • Clean & Jerk
  • Running technique (pose method)
  • Midline stability work