Friday 140704

In teams of 2 complete the following (can break up anyway, one person works at a time):
200 Double unders
100 Wall balls 20#(14#)
20 Muscle Ups
100 Med ball cleans 20#(14#)
40 Burpee box jumps 30″(24″)
100 KB swings 1.5 pood(1 pood)
60 Handstand push-ups
200 Double unders

Post time to comments or BTWB.

Captain America 008 475x644 Friday 140704

Nothing more American than Captain America, Uncle Sam, and a bald Eagle!!! ‘MERICA!!

HAPPY JULY 4TH ALL!  

When you come in for the workout, wear your most patriotic outfit to celebrate America!! 

RED, WHITE, BLUE, AND GREENS!

On this most patriotic of weekends, many of us will fall off of the nutrition bandwagon and partake in some less-than-favorable food items.  To lessen the blow on our systems, there are easy ways we can sneak in some green leafy veggies into our favorite naughty foods.

Green leafy vegetables are a nutrient-dense, fiber-filled, protein-packed food that you can virtually eat in limitless amounts.  They contain folate, carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin (which promote healthy vision), calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin’s K, C, E, and many B’s. Here are some tips for this weekend and moving forward on how to add more of these into your daily diet that do not include eating a HUGE salad several times per day:

BLENDING OR JUICING - Who says that Bloody Mary you are going to have can’t contain freshly-juiced Romain and Kale with some tomatoes and seasoning?  Green leafy vegetables don’t pack a bunch of flavor, so it is easy to add your favorite fruit or veggie for a flavor-packed punch.  Here is a great website for juicing recipes that include green leafy veggies.

BREAKFAST SCRAMBLES – As mentioned before, green leafy vegetables don’t ruin the flavor profile of your meal, so they are really easy to add to your eggs in a scramble or a bake.  You do not need to pre-steam or pre-cook them.  Add your greens towards the end of the cooking process and they will be the perfect texture.  When you are nursing a hangover this weekend from your delicious bloody mary’s and head to IHOP, have them add some spinach to your eggs and pancakes!

STEWS, CHILIS, AND SOUPS - You can chop any of the greens and simply add them to the recipe adding more color, texture, and visual interest to your pot.  Another great idea is to juice them and incorporate them into your base broth.  When you go to your July 4th Chili Cook Off with your mom’s favorite recipe in hand, sneak in a cup or two of spinach.

WRAPS INSTEAD OF TORTILLAS – Who doesn’t love a convenient, hand-wrapped pocket of deliciousness wrapped in a flour tortilla?  Another sneaky way to incorporate some greens is to forego the tortilla and use a Collard green leaf or a piece of Butter Lettuce.  Not only are they cheaper than tortillas, they are lard-free!

BURGER PATTIES AND MEATBALLS – No matter what mashed meat product you are making, you can add some spinach to the mix and enjoy some benefits.  This may not amount to a ton of greens but any little bit helps.

For more details and to read about all of the tips listed in this post, this article was found on breakingmuscle.com.  If you have any more ideas on how to sneak in more leafy greens into your diet, post them in the comments below.

QUICK REMINDERS:

  • Don’t forget to join us tonight @ the Denver Outlaws game AT 7PM, tickets are still available.  If you are still looking for somewhere to take the kiddos, this is a great, family-friendly event! 
  • SATURDAY SWIM WORKOUTS will be held BERKELEY POOL.  SIGN-UP ONLINE!  FREE FOR VERVE MEMBERS, $20 FOR VISITORS.
  • FREE INTRO CLASS TOMORROW at 8am @ Verve.  Invite your friends who have been wanting to try-out CrossFit to see what it is you are talking about NON-STOP!
  • MARK YOUR CALENDAR – Saturday, July 26th @ 2pm  VERVE BEACH PARTY AT THE EXDO CENTER!! More details to follow.

 

 

Aerobic Capacity Seminar with Coach Chris Hinshaw

chris hinshaw Aerobic Capacity Seminar with Coach Chris Hinshaw

Coach Chris Hinshaw

Aerobic Capacity Seminar with Coach Chris Hinshaw  –  Saturday, July 19  2014 at CrossFit Verve

Sign up here!

This seminar is centered around developing your resistance to fatigue. Coach Hinshaw will lecture on understanding the sources of fatigue, how it develops and limits performance. He will also cover pacing – athlete on-boarding, assessing your aerobic efficiency, manipulation of workout variables, threshold training, dynamic vs static warm-up, and personalized interval programming. Another lecture will discuss muscle recruitment and development – the transition from CrossFit to endurance and the space in-between. The last lecture will cover developing aerobic capacity – programming endurance workouts (volume verses intensity, general to specific).

There will be two practical application workouts, including a run workout that focuses on the importance of pacing based on the standard list of programming variables (interval distance, workout distance, amount of rest, type of rest) and a row / ballistic team workout.  You will leave this one day seminar with a better understanding of the development of aerobic capacity and resistance to fatigue, as well as how to apply this knowledge to a workout scenario for CrossFit athletes.

A little about Coach Chris Hinshaw:

A former All American swimmer and an experienced professional triathlete with top international finishes including a 2nd place overall finish at the Hawaiian Ironman World Championships, 2-time member of Team USA at the Hawaiian Ironman, 2nd place overall finish at the Ironman World Championships in Canada, and a 1st place overall finish at Ironman Brazil.

Coach Chris has been a CrossFit athlete for almost 6 years. He specializes in endurance coaching for the CrossFit athlete. Chris is a CrossFit Level 1 trainer, CrossFit Competitor Course certified, Certified Rocktape Doc, NC Lab Scientist, and coach at NorCal CrossFit. Chris is the endurance coach to more than a dozen Games athletes including Jason Khalipa, Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, Matt Chan, Lindsey Valenzuela, Alessandra Pichelli, Dan Bailey, Lauren Fisher, Neal Maddox, Pat Barber, Garret Fisher, Gretchen Kettleberger, Rory Zambard, and Cole Sager.

Hours:  9AM–5PM, lunch 12PM–1PM

Address:  3344 Walnut St  Denver, CO 80205

Cost:  $150, via MBO sign-up here.  Non-refundable, non-transferrable.

Sign up here!

Thursday 140703

Hang snatch 2-2-2-2-2
Bench press 3-3-3
Snatch grip deadlift 3-3-3 

Post loads to comments and BTWB

IMG 9991 475x356 Thursday 140703

Mike working on his breathing during his freestyle stroke. Yeah for swim WODs!!

The 1,000 Rep Problem, #whatsupwiththat – (Not originally by, but brought to your attention) By Courtney Shepherd

Last week I blogged about Mechanics, Consistency, and Intensity. I talked about why it is that mechanics comes first. Now I want to take this blogging opportunity to address consistency. Why do we need to be consistent? Do I really only want to be able to perform a lift perfectly once? Well, maybe, if I’m in a 1RM contest and I plan to retire immediately following that one perfect lift. But I don’t see that to be the case. Instead I foresee a WOD in which I will have to perform a lift upwards of 50 times. I want to make sure I can make that lift 50 times with good form, because as stated in the previous mechanics blog last week, we know there is a price to be paid for lifting with poor form. It is not enough to have good mechanics, I NEED to have them consistently.

There is an idea known as the “1,000 rep problem”. Matt Foreman wrote an article about this for the Catalyst Athletics website, you can click here to read the whole thing. This is what Matt has to say:

“The 1,000 rep problem is the situation that exists when a lifter has finally found the correct technique of the snatch or clean & jerk. After tons of work and coaching, they’ve done it right. But now they have to do it right another 1,000 times to memorize that correct movement.

We’re talking about things like muscle memory, nervous system memorization of a specific movement, motor learning, that kind of stuff. Some people think of this as learning correct technique and then making it a habit. I don’t really see it as a habit. I think of it as learning correct technique and then continuing to do it right until you basically don’t know how to do it wrong anymore. Habits are just recurring behaviors, like peeing in the shower. You can stop doing those things any time you want. I’m talking about a more fanatical level of performance, where your body just instinctively executes a certain movement because that’s all it knows how to do.

I think you have to do a massive number of correct lifts before you’ve got that kind of muscle memory. I picked 1,000 for the name of this concept because it emphasizes long-term development and it sounds cool. I know there’s no set-in-stone number.”

Fanatical level of performance? This article specifically targets the Olympic lifts but we can have a fanatical level of performance in anything, from the kipping pull-up to making our bullet proof coffee in the morning. It simply means taking the time to do something right and continuing to take the time to keep doing it right. What’s the rush? When we position our body correctly and move it through space maintaining that right position what results is correct form and highly efficient movement. The question becomes, how do we maintain correct form and highly efficient movement? Answer: Repetition. Even better answer: Repetition of the correct form and highly efficient movement. Anything that’s worth doing right is worth doing right a lot, like 1,000 times.

Some final thoughts:

- We only get the 1,000 rep problem after we’ve done it right for the first time. Our first correct rep is #1. There is the possibility some of us haven’t even had this rep yet. That’s okay. Our goal is to get that first good rep and work from there.

- Bad lifts don’t count towards our accumulated total. So if we’ve done 287 correct lifts and then we have a workout where our technique is lost, we make no attempts to correct it, and we wind up doing thirty sloppy snatches, we are still at 287 at the end of the day.

There is a word used in CrossFit that has become a favorite of mine, virtuosity, doing the common uncommonly well.  

Lighten the load, slow the pace, master the technique, strive to be virtuous. 

*Alright Ververs, we will be hosting a non sanctioned in-house Olympic Lifting meet on Saturday August 2nd @ 2pm. The cost is $10 per athlete. Have you been a committed VBBCer, now’s the time to show your progress. Haven’t been doing VBBC but still want to have the experience of an Oly meet and try for some PRs? Then sign up. To sign up please email me @ courtney@crossfitverve.com. We will keep you posted with more details over the next few weeks. (Non-sanctioned means no worries about those singlettes, unless of course you want to wear one, we won’t judge. Well, we will judge you, on your lifts.)

*Get excited for more swim WODs!! This Saturday, July 5th, @ Berkley Pool at 9am and 10am. The WOD and directions to pool will be posted on the blog the night before. Sign up on MBO, free to members, $20 drop in fee for non members.

Wednesday 140702

4 Rounds for time of:
Run, 400 m
50 Air Squats

Compare to 140114

Post times to comments and BTWB

Screen Shot 2014 06 29 at 11.40.18 PM 475x283 Wednesday 140702

Chicken noodle-less soup. Paleo/ Zone style.

Chicken noodle-less soup. Zoning and picture courtesy of Ali Nichols.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups chicken broth – ½ CHO
  • 1 ½ cup sliced onion – 2CHO
  • 2 cups chopped celery – 1CHO
  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms – ⅔ CHO
  • 2 cups chopped carrots – 2CHO
  • 2 ½ cups thinly sliced zucchini – 2CHO
  • 2 large chicken breasts – about 1.5 pounds total
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder – freebie
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme – freebie
  • 1 tsp. dried sage – freebie

Directions:

  • Get out your crockpot and set to high heat.
  • Add chicken broth and place your chicken breasts in  crock pot. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Add your sliced onion, chopped mushrooms, and chopped carrots to crockpot.
  • To mimic the noodles, I simply used a potato peeler to peel off  noodle-like zucchini pieces.  I just chopped off the ends of a zucchini and used the potato peeler to remove the skin.  Then I  used the potato peeler to peel off 2 ½ cups of zucchini.  Add to crockpot.
  • Next you add your spices to the crock pot and stir together.
  • Let mixture cook for about 5 hours.
  • Once soup is fully cooked, remove chicken breasts and shred chicken breasts. Measure out 1 pound of shredded chicken. Save the remaining chicken for leftovers.
  • Place shredded chicken back in the crock pot and let it cook together on low for another hour.

1 cup of soup = 2P, 1CHO, 0F

 

Tuesday 140701

10 Rounds for time of:
3 Weighted pull-ups, 45#(25#)
5 Strict pull-ups
7 Kipping pull-ups

Post time to BTWB.

 Tuesday 140701

Big congrats to Mark and Melissa who were married over the weekend in Aspen!

 

Do you ever have an upset gut?  What do you do when things just aren’t right downstairs and how do we take the necessary steps to fix what ails us?  Here are common signs our digestion is off and ways we can remedy the situation.  These are some of the bold points from the Poliquin Group post and the full article can be found by clicking HERE.

Too much inflammatory gut bacteria.
The microflora (or bacteria living in our guts) is a hot topic right now in metabolic science due to the fact that recent evidence indicates that gut bacteria affect all of the following:
 
1)    How much fat we store
2)    How we balance levels of glucose in the blood, and
3)    How we respond to hormones that make us feel hungry or full.
What to do about it: To solve an inflammatory gut, you need to both eat in a way that promotes the growth of protective bacteria, and stop doing things that promote the growth of bad bacteria.
 
First, antibiotics and use of other prescription drugs and NSAIDs kill your beneficial bacteria. Avoid all drugs that aren’t medically necessary.
 
Second, eat plenty of probiotic foods and consider taking a probiotic supplement. Probiotic foods are those that have been fermented, such as high-quality yogurt, sauerkraut, Korean kim chi, kefir, miso, kombucha tea, and pickled vegetables.
 
Third, eat a varied diet that is high in protein, fruits, and vegetables. Add resistant starch to your diet because it encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria. Get it from raw unmodified potato starch, green bananas, oats, peas, maize, and raw potatoes. It’s also available in cooked and cooled potatoes, and cooked and cooled white rice.
Eating the wrong foods for your unique gut.
Bad digestion is not just about your gut bacteria. Another way it goes wrong is when you eat foods that your digestive system is not able to handle for some reason.
 
Factors that cause us to be intolerant of certain foods include genetics and stress. Unfortunately, it’s common to find you are intolerant of multiple foods once your gut health goes bad. This is because the body releases a protein called zonulin in response to foods that it’s not able to digest properly.
 
Zonulin increases the permeability of the cell layer that lines the intestines and prevents pathogens from passing into the bloodstream. When the gut becomes permeable or “leaky” dangerous compounds passes into the bloodstream. The result is inflammation, brain fog, immune activation, the development of allergies, lack of recovery from training, and metabolic problems.
What to do about it: Identify foods you are intolerant of and avoid them like the plague.
 
Common foods that people are intolerant of due to genetics include gluten, wheat, tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, lactose, eggs, and soy.
 
But, you can develop food intolerances to anything (even strawberries or coffee for example) and people with poor guts are more at risk of random intolerances because the gut will have been “leaking” for a while.
There are many additional symptoms and fixes.  Click through to read the full article on The Poliquin Group site and post comments if you have any additional resources or information that may be helpful.  

Monday 140630

Hang clean below knee 2-2-2-2-2
Back squat 3-3-3
Clean pull 3-3-3

Post scores to BTW.

colby vail rugby 475x578 Monday 140630

Coach Colby using that fitness outside of the gym. It’s science – mustaches make you better at sports.

RX or Scaled?

Prior to each workout, we coaches like to explain the intent of the workout, time domains, and strategies in addition to any sort of scaling or modifications that need to happen.

We do this for a reason - not every person has the ability to do every workout as prescribed every day. So the question then becomes, “Do I go Rx, or should I scale?”. Well, if you’re even questioning it, then chances are you need to scale. But that’s a conversation for another time.

William Imbo from BoxLife magazine had a great write-up about this exact same concept. Check the full article out here.

Regarding safety and proper technique, here’s a excerpt from his article that really hit home with me, as it is my job to make sure you are moving safely and effectively while still getting a good dose of intensity in your workout.

“You may have hit a muscle-up or two in practice, but if the workout calls for 10 each round, is it really smart to try and keep throwing yourself up on to those rings? Should you really be throwing that kettlebell over your head repeatedly if you can only do a few reps at good form?”

Anyways – the article is worth the read. Check it out and learn something from it – it will surely benefit your training in the long run.

*** CHECK YOUR EMAIL —- THE ANNUAL SURVEY WILL BE SENT OUT TODAY! The survey is anonymous and we would really appreciate your feedback! Your feedback is the driving force behind us improving our craft and improving the gym. If you choose to include your name and e-mail address, you will be entered into a contest for $50 worth of Verve retail gear. Deadline for survey submissions is on July 14th at midnight.

*** If you do not receive the e-mail by Monday afternoon, please reach out to colby@crossfitverve.com and I will send you the link!

Sunday 140629

“Nasty Girls”

3 rounds for time:
50 Squats
7 Muscle-ups
10 Hang power cleans, 135# (95#)

Compare to 130727.

Post time to comments and BTW.

IMG 0147 475x316 Sunday 140629

Accessory work post WOD is waaayyyy more fun with other people!

**Parking alert**  Due to a festival happening Saturday and Sunday at 32nd & Larimer St, the Larimer St driveway and street will be closed this weekend.  All parking for Verve needs to be only in the CrossFit Verve reserved parking spots or along Blake St/side blocks.  Any cars not in Verve spaces or street parking may be towed.

Get ready.  Running and rowing have  joined forces.  The result: (besides the obvious of added intrigue into your week. I mean, duh) a more cohesive endurance program for you to enjoy on a bi-weekly basis.  Nate and Maddie have joined up their programming that compliments each other modality.  If rowing is working on distance, running will be working on speed and vice versa. Will you benefit from going to one and not the other?  Of course!  Can you drop in at any time to either modality?  Double of course!  Will you get the most benefit from going both days?  You betcha!

Both rowing and running are skills, and ones that pop up all of the time in WODs.  Often we see them as places to rest, places to suffer, or places just to get through without dying.  Wouldn’t it be awesome if instead those were the places you looked forward to, or were the places you knew you could make up some serious time?  No matter what system we are focusing on, technique will always be at the foundation.  Our goal is to get you better at these skills; to take ownership of them; oh, and to have lots of fun usually in the wee hours of the morning…

What’s up for the next 8 weeks?

Rowing: We will be focusing on a 40 min time frame with the goal being at the end of the progression to sit on that machine for 40 minutes straight and to kill it. We’ll be building up to that goal via a series of workouts in which the intervals get longer and the total rest time gets shorter. This is a great series to build up your engine and this is a great time of year to do it!

Rowing: Thursday at 5:30AM & 6:30PM

Running: We will be working sprints and speed. Think nothing longer than 800m at a time. We will working on explosive speed via weighted sled drags and prowler pushes. Every class will have instruction regarding pose running and other tips to help improve you moving efficiently on those handy feet of yours.

Running: Tuesday at 5:30AM

Email Nate or Maddie if you have any questions! (nate@crossfitverve.com or maddie@crossfitverve.com)

Saturday 140628

In teams of two perform as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes:
Partner 1 rows 20 calories
Partner 2 performs 1 legless rope climb,
     then as many reps as possible of Bench press 135#(95#) while Partner 2 finishes rowing 20 calories

Partners then switch.  Score is total calories and reps of Bench press. 

Post scores to comments and BTW.

IMG 0150 475x712 Saturday 140628

Sam enjoying some glute activation post WOD. 

*Parking alert*  Due to a festival happening Saturday and Sunday at 32nd & Larimer St, the Larimer St driveway and street will be closed this weekend.  All parking for Verve needs to be only in the CrossFit Verve reserved parking spots or along Blake St/side blocks.  Any cars not in Verve spaces or street parking may be towed.

Free Saturday Intro Class is happening at 8am.  Next Foundations Program begins Monday, July 7 at 7pm.  

Swimming Workshops and WODs next Saturday, July 5th at 9am and 10am at Berkeley Park pool.  Back at Verve on Sunday, July 6th with Anna.  

Get ready.  Running and rowing have  joined forces.  The result: (besides the obvious of added intrigue into your week. I mean, duh) a more cohesive endurance program for you to enjoy on a bi-weekly basis.  Nate and Maddie have joined up their programming that compliments each other modality.  If rowing is working on distance, running will be working on speed and vice versa. Will you benefit from going to one and not the other?  Of course!  Can you drop in at any time to either modality?  Double of course!  Will you get the most benefit from going both days?  You betcha!

Both rowing and running are skills, and ones that pop up all of the time in WODs.  Often we see them as places to rest, places to suffer, or places just to get through without dying.  Wouldn’t it be awesome if instead those were the places you looked forward to, or were the places you knew you could make up some serious time?  No matter what system we are focusing on, technique will always be at the foundation.  Our goal is to get you better at these skills; to take ownership of them; oh, and to have lots of fun usually in the wee hours of the morning…

What’s up for the next 8 weeks?

Rowing: We will be focusing on a 40 min time frame with the goal being at the end of the progression to sit on that machine for 40 minutes straight and to kill it. We’ll be building up to that goal via a series of workouts in which the intervals get longer and the total rest time gets shorter. This is a great series to build up your engine and this is a great time of year to do it!

Rowing: Thursday at 5:30AM & 6:30PM

Running: We will be working sprints and speed. Think nothing longer than 800m at a time. We will working on explosive speed via weighted sled drags and prowler pushes. Every class will have instruction regarding pose running and other tips to help improve you moving efficiently on those handy feet of yours.

Running: Tuesday at 5:30AM

Email Nate or Maddie if you have any questions! (nate@crossfitverve.com or maddie@crossfitverve.com)

Friday 140627

Hang Snatch 2-2-2-2-2
Bench Press 3-3-3
Snatch Grip Deadlift 3-3-3

Post load to comments or BTWB

IMG 0158 475x316 Friday 140627

Either marching to the beat of their own drummer or working on that Posterior Chain?

Thoughts turn into things…..

Recently, while perusing the CrossFit Journal, I came across and article Enemy Mind by Ed Tseng.  This article resonated with me because most of us have a strong tendency to allow negative thoughts to creep into our minds and take over, ultimately affecting our performance. All of the following will be key points and take aways from this article and I encourage you to read it in its entirety using the link above.

I can’t do this“, “Be prepared to come in last because you can’t compete with these guys“, “Maybe I can’t do this?“, “I don’t want to be here“. These are common thoughts that creep into EVERYONE’S head, elite or novice crossfitter.  Ask yourself a question: Do you remember when you had a GREAT workout?  How did you do it? You probably didn’t have to think twice about it and it just happened.  Now ask yourself the last time you had a bad workout.  What were your thoughts then?  You probably thought too much about the movements you couldn’t do, feeling you had to scale too much, or the workout was filled with movements you hate.  You can probably remember more what your thoughts were when you did poorly than when you did great.  Tseng discusses why these thoughts come into our head and not trying to control them, but merely how to ignore them and not let them affect your performance.  Here are some key points listed in the article:

#1 Thinking About Thoughts – When you wake up from a nightmare and realize it was just a nightmare, do you stress over it? Nope, it wasn’t real.  Dreams are thoughts we have when we are sleeping, so if we don’t care about them when we are sleeping, why do we care about them when we are awake?  Thoughts are not reality!  Will you have these thoughts? Yep.  Do you need to concern yourself with them? Nope.  The less you concern yourself with the negative thoughts, the less they pop into your head.

#2 Doing What Needs To Be Done – There are many days for all of us when we don’t feel like training, but the greatest athletes train anyway.  IT’S THE START THAT STOPS MOST PEOPLE.  Has there ever been a time you truly regretted showing up for a workout when you didn’t want to?

#3 Pat Attention of Disregard? – Try to remember the last 10 thoughts you had.  You can’t do it because that’s how quickly they enter and leave our minds when we choose not to stew on them.  Thoughts we give attention to can consume us, but those we allow to pass through have no power over us.  Think of it like a subway: If you are waiting for the C train, can you control whether the A, B, or D train come into the station? No, but you can control which train you get on.  If you pay no attention to the negativity in your mind, it will pass through.  

#4 Mastering The Mind – Have you ever felt like the clock, a stronger more experienced member, a failure, or a teammates’ reaction is the enemy?  The truth is, none of these things affect how you feel, the only thing that can affect how you feel is your thoughts.  Imagine you are in a bad mood and the clock is running down.  How do you feel? Anxious, angry. Now imagine your are in the zone, great mood, confident, and the clock is running down. How do you feel now? Motivated to move faster and switch to a higher gear.  The clock is not your enemy, it is your thoughts that are controlling how you feel that are your enemy.  It’s not what happening around you, it’s not what’s happening to you. What truly matters is what’s happening inside of you.

When you don’t concern yourself with unnecessary thoughts, you will naturally have more productive thoughts, perhaps something like this: In the words of Christmas Abbott “I am the baddest b*$#h in this place”.

Thursday 140626

“Elizabeth”
21-15-9 reps for time:
Power cleans, 135#/95#
Ring dips

Post times to comments and BTWB

hub 475x316 Thursday 140626

The Hubner Family

hub1 475x316 Thursday 140626

Elliott Richmond Hubner, born June 22, 2014.

Congratulations to Tara and Peter on the newest addition to the Hubner family!! We are happy to hear mom and baby are happy and healthy.

Mechanics, Consistency, Intensity, Oh my! As imagined by Courtney Shepherd

Hopefully everyone, at some point in their time at Verve, has heard about the idea of mechanics first, followed by consistency, and lastly adding in intensity. Good old MCI. But why pray tell is Mechanics first? It may be obvious to some but for those who find themselves scratching their heads and putting a good hard think on it, I would like to turn to Dr. Kelly Starrett and his book Becoming a Supple Leopard, to help answer that question.

Without actually using the words/ phrase Mechanics, Consistency, Intensity, Kelly addresses the importance of body positioning in the first few pages of his book. He starts first by saying that our bodies will take a ton of abuse for a really long time before it finally gives up the fight.

“Our bodies will put up with our silly movement and lifestyle choices because they have a freakish amount of functional tolerance built in. We shouldn’t however, make the classic error of confusing this miraculous genetic inheritance with a tacit rationalization for eating, sleeping, or moving however we please.”

We can move incorrectly, put our bodies through a ton of stress, and continue to get fit but to a point. That point is pain and injury. Kelly classifies pain and injury into four categories: 1) Pathology, 2) Catastrophic injury, 3) Overtension, and 4) Open-circuit faults. Categories #3 and #4 combined account for 98% of all pain/ injury we see in athletes. I would like to specifically address #4, Open-circuit faults, which is just a fancy way of saying “moving in bad position”. Examples of Open-circuit faults includes: rounded back, shoulders rolled forward, hyperextension of the lower back, feet turned out, head tilted up or down, and elbows flared out. Sound familiar? Possibly like positions we attempt to address and correct during our warm-ups and WODs?

“The problem is that the body will always be able to generate force, even in poor positions. This is not unlike being able to temporarily get away with driving your car with no oil in the engine or with a flat tire. Sure, you can do it, it just gets expensive.

Herein lies the problem: We have confused functionality with physiology. Positions that have served us functionally, like jumping and landing with feet like a duck’s, quickly become a liability when speed, load, or fatigue is introduced. Sure, you can lift heavy loads with a rounded back for a long, long time, but at some point your tissues will fail, resulting in some kind of injury.”

There is no magical way to fix this. This post will not provide a one sentence cure to bad positioning and henceforthly bring all future injuries to a halt. The key is to working on and mastering our technique/ mechanics, our good body position, without the load, speed, and fatigue. We must first start in good position, we can not have good movement out of bad set up. After addressing our set up then we can slowly add in the load and speed, all while still maintaining an awareness of our mechanics. When the mechanics breaks down, we need to take a step back. This step back does not equal failure, being weak, or losing out on the intensity of the WOD. This step back is designed to generate several future steps forward. As we strengthen our good set ups, we generate more force and power, and we can do more work. All good athletes hit a plateau, the really good athletes know they need to address their technique to continue to climb.

Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes permanent. Perfect practice makes perfect permanent. Focus on the mechanics. Work to make those mechanics consistent. When the good mechanics are consistent, then let’s add in some intensity. MCI Baby, YEAH!!

*Quoted portions of this post were taken directly from Becoming a Supple Leopard by Dr. Kelly Starrett.