Wednesday 160119

For time:
42 Deadlift, 135#(95#)
30 Power clean, 135#(95#)
18 Push press, 135#(95#)
31 Deadlift, 135#(95#)
22 Power clean, 135#(95#)
14 Push press, 135#(95#)
21 Deadlift, 135#(95#)
15 Power clean, 135#(95#)
9 Push press, 135#(95#)

Post times to comments and BTWB

The sign of a good lifting day. . . all of the 45# plates are gone.

The sign of a good lifting day. . . all of the 45# plates are gone.

 

I recently sat down to breakfast with some friends (yes, I have friends, plural) when one of them mentioned a recent article in “Boxlife” magazine. The article was titled “12 Tips For A New CrossFitter”. My friend mentioned that he didn’t think the article was just for new CrossFitters, he thought is was for all CrossFitters. His exact words were “we could all use reminding of that information every once in awhile.” And an idea was born. So as we start a new year let us all be reminded about a few tips for all of us CrossFitters:

1) Scale– Know our limits. We do not need to get in shape to start CrossFit. Scale and start CrossFit at a level that is right for each of us individually. When do we scale? The question becomes whether we can maintain a high level of intensity and proper form throughout the workout. When people associate CrossFit with injury, it is often times a result of not scaling properly. We need to know our limits and scale accordingly.

2) Take time to recover– What we do outside of the gym is just as important as what we do inside it. Sleep, nutrition, rest, mobility. . . the list goes on. We need to take care of our body. It’s easy to overdo it in the beginning (or whenever), don’t underestimate the importance of rest days. Going too hard too fast can lead to injury and/ or poor performance.

3) Get comfortable with discomfort– It’s hard for us to break plateaus by living in our comfort zone. The more we give in to pain or fear, the stronger the habit that will become. Fortunately, the more you fight through the pain, the stronger that habit will become as well.

4) Find the right box– Find a box that will keep you coming back and best help you reach your goals.

5) Always warm up!– A proper warm up can enhance performance and reduce the chance of injury while mentally preparing you for a workout. A good warm up involves the whole body, functional movements, and is specific to the impending WOD.

6) Eat right– Eat depending on your goals. The nutritional needs of an athlete preparing for competition are different than the needs of someone looking to simply start making healthier food choices. In either case, a post WOD protein shake can help decrease muscle loss while increasing fat loss.

7) Just CrossFit– Constantly varied, high intensity, functional movements. . . that’s CrossFit. As a beginner it’s easy to get sucked into the routine of focusing on just one or two aspects of CrossFit: Oly lifting or gymnastics, for example. However, until we have a basic understanding of all the CrossFit movements, stick to the group classes where we will certainly be practicing new skills daily.

8) Embrace technique over the time on the clock– Poor technique leads to two things: injury and faster fatiguing muscles. Proper form and efficient movement should be the focus of any new and experience CrossFitter.

9) Listen to your coach (not everyone else)– Many of us have advice we want to share. We want to be as helpful as possible. It’s important to focus on the coach of the WOD. Too much information from too many sources can overload any beginner.

10) Some days are PR days, other days we may lift much less– That’s just the way it is. The gains we saw in our first several months of starting CrossFit may take a year, if not more, to match. Some days we may even lift less than usual – a lot less. Chances are we are not doing something wrong. Some days we’re just not going to “have it”. We need to do our best on that given day and look forward to the next day.

11) Keep a training log– A good training log can help us assess our progress and set realistic goals. If we don’t keep a log it’s hard to set goals and really enjoy the improvements we make.

12) Have fun– It’s hard to be consistent at something when we aren’t having fun. Enjoy the time at the gym. Be part of the community, attend social events, and most importantly we can’t be too hard on ourselves if we’re not progressing as fast as we might like. We will get there. We all do.

Tuesday 160119

Every 2 minutes on the 2 minutes for 10 rounds:
15(12) Calorie row
10 Box jumps, 24″(20″)

Score is the slowest round of the 10.

Post to BTWB

Just some highly intellectual conversation between good friends

Just some highly intellectual conversation between good friends

We have a Free Into Class this coming Saturday at 8 am.  Grab a friend and come show them what CrossFit Verve is all about.

Yes, today’s blog looks very similar to last weeks, but that’s the point.  Rowing starts this week so for all of you that don’t like the erg or consider yourself not that great at rowing, this is your chance to get better.

What’s up with rowing?!

I know, the month of December was cold enough without the wasteland that is no rowing class left in your eager, CrossFitting soul. Do not fear. Rowing is back like jumping into a hot tub in the winter: a little shocking and not not uncomfortable at first, but then once you’re body has realized hot tubbing in the winter was your best idea in this life yet, simply glorious.

Not only is rowing back, rowing is back with another progression. Thus, all you – I’ll wait till the next cycle to become a rowing ninja – humans: the time is now. The idea for this cycle is borrowed from our one and only, Paul Buono. I’m paraphrasing, and we’re shifting things around just slightly, but essentially what we have in store for you will be, super gross yet equally effective. It’s that good.

The Progression:

Week 1: 6x500m with 3 / 3:30 min rest. Week 2: 8x500m with 3 / 3:30 rest. Week 3: 10x500m with 3 / 3:30 rest. Week 4: back to week 1 but 2 sec faster…

What we’re testing (and re-testing): 1k for time AND 15 min time trial for meters.

Why are we testing two different things? We are going to use the 1k to establish a pace. That way you have a unique and perfectly suited to you pace for the whole progression – a custom Armani suit of paces here folks. The 1k also looks to your anaerobic realm AND on an erg, your ability to connect like a champion.

By also using the 15 min piece we’re going to see this progression sneaking into your aerobic capacity. I also have big and extremely fun plans for the retest of this piece. Oh, you want to be a part of this party. 

15 Min test: 1/21 @ 5:30AM or 6:30PM Rowing Class
1k test: 1/28 @ 5:30AM or 6:30PM Rowing Class
Week 1 of Progression: 2/4 @ 5:30AM or 6:30PM Rowing Class

*If you’re going to miss any of the tests just rock that business during OG or at home.

If you have any questions feel free to email Maddie:  maddie@crossfitverve.com

See you in rowing!

Monday 160118

Take 60% of your 1 rep max shoulder press,

Perform 10 sets x 10 reps @ 60%, rest 90 seconds between sets

Add 5# from last week if all 10 sets were successful. If not, remain at same weight until all 10 sets are completed unbroken.  This is week 4 of 6.  Let us know how it’s going.  

Post weights to BTWB

Big E putting in some work.

Big E putting in some work.

I was going to use today’s blog to talk about the epic match up that awaits us all next weekend when the Broncos play host to the Patriots, but I actually wrote this blog almost a week ago so I have no idea of the outcome of either game. . I’ll either take a lot of heat from some of you or be called a psychic due to my prediction abilities.  Instead I’ll use today’s blog for some other information relaying purposes.  

A lot of our Tuesday workouts have been interval based.  Think Row 300 Meters, rest 2 minutes for 10 rounds.  Why do we do this stuff?  Besides being a great mental and physical test, it also is designed to help us in our other type of workouts.  The idea is to train our Vo2 Max levels and Lactate threshold levels.  What exactly are Vo2 and Lactate threshold?  Below are definitions found online by Dr. Alexander Hutchinson featured in his article Vo2 Max and Lactate Threshold Explained.  

V02 max is defined as the maximal volume of oxygen that the body can deliver to the working muscles per minute.

This is an excellent measure of physical fitness because it provides a metric of efficiency. So if we think about the body as a machine, the muscles collectively are the engine. Just like a car engine, the muscles require a constant delivery of fuel (carbs and fats) and oxygen (to aid in “burning” the fuel). One of the functions of blood is to transport the fuel and oxygen to the muscles. The heart acts as a fuel pump, sending oxygen and nutrient rich blood out to the tissues via arteries and bringing back CO2 and metabolic wastes via veins.

Lactate threshold is defined as the intensity of exercise at which lactate begins to accumulate in the blood at a faster rate than it can be removed. This is problematic because as a result, unbuffered acid is added to the blood, a condition that makes you feel like you have to vomit and stop right away.

The definitions above may still make things a little murky and trust me there are a lot of definition and examples online that don’t help to clear up the confusion.  Click the article above to read more about the two as well as view other articles that go into more detail and research on the subjects.  

 

Sunday 160117

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 10 minutes of:
60 Bar-facing burpees
30 Overhead squats 120#(80#)
10 Muscle-ups

Compare to 120406

Post rounds and reps to comments or BTWB

buff chick ring

Sometimes you just have to say FUGETABOUTIT!  You spend a majority of the week focusing on diet, fitness, and health-mindedness (it’s a word).  It is a great day for football and friends today, so why not go off the reservation a little and make this delicious, easy-t0-share snack. PS – I place full blame on Ali N. for introducing me to the site Tasty on Facebook.  This recipe comes courtesy of that site (watch the video with instruction for making here)

Ingredients:
– 4 oz cream cheese
– 1/4 cup hot sauce
– 2 1/2 cups cooked chicken
– 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
– 1 cup Mozzarella cheese
– 2 cans (8 oz each) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls.

Recipe Inspired By Pillsbury

Directions
1. In a bowl, mix cream cheese and hot sauce until smooth.
2. Mix in chicken and Monterey Jack cheese.
3. Unroll cans of dough, separate into triangles. On a large cookie sheet, arrange the triangles in ring, dough should overlap, leaving around 5 inches in the center.
4. Layer half of the Mozzarella on each triangle closest to the ring.
5. Spoon mixture on top of the Mozzarella. Top with the rest of the Mozzarella.
6. Bring the top of the triangle over the filling and tuck the edges under the bottom layer of dough. Repeat around the ring until the entire filling is enclosed.
7. Bake at 375˚F / 190˚C for 35 minutes or until the dough is golden brown.
8. Cool 5 to 10 minutes before cutting into serving slices. Serve with choice dressing.

VERVE UPDATES

  • The CrossFit Games Open is LIVE and ready for registration.  If you don’t know what it’s about or are interested in registering, go here.
  • The next Free Intro Class will be Saturday, January 23rd @ 8am!

Saturday 160116

As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
10 Clean and jerks, 135#(95#)
2 Rope climbs, 15′

Post times to comments and BTWB

Future Verve site teaser.

Future Verve site teaser.

 

Well Clancy’s post last Saturday got more comments than this blog has had in the last 6 months combined.  I’m not sure how to follow that.

Here is a snapshot of Verve’s future site. Yes, we are still moving. No, we still don’t know when. No, we don’t even have an idea at all about when-ish. Yes, seriously. 

Verve will be hosting Mile High Sprints Saturday February 6th from 7am-2pm. Stay tuned for more details about the event. 

Go Broncos!!!!

PFM

PFM

Friday 160115

5 rounds for time:
40 (30) Calories on the rower
20 Burpee toes to bar

Post time to comments or BTWB

 

Lisa getting after some Back Squats!! Everyone showed great mental fortitude yesterday!

Lisa getting after some Back Squats!! Everyone showed great mental fortitude yesterday!

 

The SAFETY SQUAT BAR- An under-utilized piece of equipment  (Anna Mattson)

One of the many, many advantages of working out at Verve is the variety of equipment we have on hand.  One piece of equipment that we have that you don’t see often unless you may have had an injury, is the Safety Squat bar (SSb).  Given some of the feedback we have had recently about some lower back and/or shoulder pain, I thought I would include a video on when and how to use the SSb courtesy of Charles Poliquin’s blog, Strength Sensei (see full article here)

  • The main advantage of this bar is for people with lower back pain is that it brings the centre of mass further down
  • It allows you to keep a good upright back posture
  • With the centre of mass being lower than when using a regular bar, there is less stress on the L5 vertebrae, which means that this squat method is a viable alternative for people that have lower back pain
  • Some of the stress is taken away from the lower back, and the exercise is more comfortable, yet still challenging

In the video, they focus on the SSb and its help with lower back pain.  Realize that the SSb is also beneficial if you are having shoulder issues.  If pulling your arms back to the barbell when you back squat causes pain or numbness in your shoulders, elbows, or wrists, the SSb is a great option.  If you are not sure how to use it or when to incorporate it, talk to a trainer and we can show you!

 

 

 

Thursday 160114

Take 60% of your 1 rep max back squat

10 x 10 reps @ 60%. Rest 90 seconds between efforts.

This will be done for 6 weeks. Add 10# the next week if all 10 sets were successful. If not stay at 60% until all 10 sets are completed unbroken.

Post weight to comments and BTWB

Brothers don't shake hands. Brothers gotta clean barbells together. Kyle getting a little one on one instruction from his bro Ryan.

Brothers don’t shake hands. Brothers gotta clean barbells together. Kyle getting a little one on one instruction from his bro Ryan.

 

Injury and Opportunity By Bill Starr and The CrossFit Journal, continued. . . . 

“Shifting Your Focus

Whenever athletes were injured at the University of Hawaii and Johns Hopkins, they were treated by the team trainer or team physician. Then they came to me and asked my opinion. In every case they had been told to rest. No exercising at all. I suggested just the opposite, even for those who would need surgery. The more fit an individual is when he has to have a surgical procedure, the faster he will recover. And there are plenty of exercises anyone can do that don’t involve the injured joint, muscle, tendon or ligament.

For example, I advise anyone who is about to have knee surgery, hip replacements or back surgery to work their upper bodies extra hard, especially with dips. By making the shoulders and arms stronger, the patient can deal with using a walker much better than those who do not have strong upper bodies. Even with a bad knee or hip, an athlete can still do dips, seated presses with dumbbells, inclines, curls, triceps movements, lateral and frontal raises, etc.

I instruct these athletes to come to me as soon as they have the surgery. And they do because I explain my reasons. I have had several athletes show up in the weight room on the same day they were released from the hospital after they had knee surgery. I had them do a short, light session for about 15 minutes. I had them perform a couple of sets of bench presses with dumbbells with their legs straight, then seated curls, frontal and lateral raises—short and sweet.

One of the rules I have is that when they’re rehabbing any sort of injury, they cannot take any pain medication for four hours before coming to the weight room. This is most important. They must be able to tell if any movement is irritating the injured area. To override the pain is a big mistake that can set recovery back weeks or even months.

The main reason I want them to start training right away is it allows them to stay in the habit of training even if the training is rather easy. Once they get back in the pattern of working out, they’re on their way to becoming fully healed—again, because they’re controlling the process.

Perhaps the very best example of an athlete dedicating himself to train diligently while he was injured was Mike House, an outstanding offensive lineman who maintained a 4.0 GPA over four years as a pre-med student at Johns Hopkins. He broke an ankle during a game on a Saturday. On Monday, he was in the weight room waiting for me when I arrived and asked me to give him a routine to follow while his ankle healed.

He was in a cast but wasn’t the least bit despondent. On the contrary, he saw the task as a challenge. He had come ready to train and hadn’t taken any pain pills since the night before. Squats and pulling exercises were out, but he could do a lot of movements for his upper body: flat and incline benches, seated dumbbell presses and dips. He was unable to do standing good mornings, but he could do them while seated. So I made that his primary exercise for his back. For his legs, he did leg extensions, leg curls and adductor work on machines without difficulty.

I told him his goal was to greatly improve his shoulder- girdle and lower-back strength during his rehab. He was willing and determined to do just that. Prior to the injury, he was handling 220 for 8 standing good mornings. Even though the seated version is much easier, I still started him out conservatively with 185 x 5. Quickly, he figured out how to do them without putting any pressure on his injured ankle. He did the seated good mornings three times a week as the first exercise in his program. At each workout I bumped the numbers up just a bit. Baby steps. By the time he got his cast removed he was handling 280 x 10.

As a direct result of the increase in strength in his lumbars, he was squatting as much as he had before his ankle injury within three weeks of recovery. By the fourth week, his power clean also matched his previous best, and all the shoulder-girdle exercises had improved considerably.

Because he had worked hard while his ankle was in a cast, he had made himself stronger overall. Had he followed the regular course of rehabbing, done some physical therapy and rested, he would have lost a considerable amount of strength in that same period of time. He had, in fact, turned a lemon into lemonade. It’s all about mindset and desire.

Smart Rehab

If any athlete is determined to get stronger, he will figure out how to train when he’s injured. It will take some time and plenty of trial and error to learn which exercises can be done and which ones cannot, but it is extremely gratifying to know it lies in your power to heal yourself.

Of course, serious injuries have to be dealt with in a manner different than minor ones, although sprains, pulled muscles, tendonitis and sore joints can be as troublesome as broken bones or surgical procedures if they’re not handled correctly. Often, most of these physical problems are handled by the athlete without consulting a doctor. In other words, you must learn how to treat yourself.

I have to believe every strength athlete knows the acronym RICE—rest, ice, compression and elevation—in relationship to treating an injury. The acronym helps to remember the four steps, but the order in which they are done is ice, elevation, compression and finally, rest.

The sooner you get ice on an injured area the better. Then elevate it if you can. This isn’t always possible for some lower-back and hip injuries, but they can be compressed. Ace bandages work, although those wider, longer wraps that are used in powerlifting are best. It’s important to know that you should only apply ice to an injured area for 20 minutes at a time. If ice is left on longer than this, it begins to act like heat, and you do not want this to happen. It will cause blood to rush to the hurt body part and results in more tissue being damaged. Ice as often as you can, but for no longer than 20 minutes at a time. Then rest the hurt area and try not to involve it in any strenuous movements.

For most minor dings, such as sprains, strains or pulled muscles, you can start exercising after a couple of days. In the meantime, figure out how to work the rest of your body. Movement facilitates healing. If the injury is in your upper body and prevents you from doing any upper-body exercises along with squats or pulls, just walk. That will cause blood to circulate through your entire body and will bring healing nutrients to the damaged area. As a bonus, the walking will also produce endorphins, hormones that activate the body’s opiate receptors, causing an analgesic effect. In other words, they relieve pain.

I’ll use strained biceps for my example. Curls are out, but you might be able to do triceps pushdowns on a lat machine or straight-arm pullovers. And wrist curls and lateral and frontal raises, or maybe even seated presses with dumbbells. No two injuries are alike, so time must be spent trying out various movements. Use very light weight and run the reps up to flush more blood to the damaged area. Try to find movements that hit the muscles directly above and below the ding.

When you’re rehabbing an injury, it’s critical you understand the difference between a dull ache and a sharp pain. If it’s a dull ache, keep going. If it’s a sharp pain like a knife, stop. And if it persists for some time, go see a doctor.

If, on the third day after the injury, you find you can do a freehand curl without any pain, it’s time to go to work—but first do some experimenting. Try a variety of curling motions to find the one that’s the least bothersome to the injury— palms up, reverse curls, hammer curls. In this case, regular curls are best. Do 2 sets of 20 with no weight. No more than that regardless of how easy they are. You want to get feedback before moving forward. That will come later on at night or the next day. If those 2 sets were OK, do 3 sets the next day. You’re going to be doing the rehabbing six days a week. Then do 3 sets twice a day, and finally, three times a day. Ice the area after each of these therapy sessions, and wrap it and elevate it.

After three or four days, or when the injury is feeling much better, begin to up the workload by using light dumbbells for the curls. Fives are enough. Stay with higher reps. They bring more healing nutrients to the injury than lower reps. When 3 sets with the 5-lb. dumbbell is easy, start using 7 or 10 lb. And so on and so forth until your biceps no longer bother you.

This is a critical stage in rehabbing. Because pain is absent, it’s easy to assume the injury is back to 100 percent. But it may not be. Here’s the rule I follow: Even after an injured area is back to full strength, you should act as if it’s still hurt. That means spending time warming it up thoroughly and icing, compressing and elevating for another two or three weeks. This precaution will keep you from re-injuring the area, and as everyone knows all too well, when you re-injure a muscle, tendon, ligament or joint, the rehab process is two or three times longer than the first time around.

When you’re rehabbing, you absolutely must pay close attention to your diet. Build your meals around protein and take extra supplements. And perhaps most important to the healing process, get lots and lots of rest—at least an hour more than usual every night. Rest is crucial because when you are doing an exercise to rebuild a body part, you must pay strict attention to every single rep. One sloppy rep can set you back weeks and even months. That extreme concentration makes the nervous system work much harder than usual, and it takes longer for the nervous system to recover.

Stay Strong

Injuries are simply just a part of the ongoing process of getting stronger. No strength athlete I know of has ever figured out a way to avoid them. You really have two choices: You can lay off all training and wait until nature and medication help you heal. In that case, you will get a great deal weaker, and it will take a very long time for you to regain your strength. Or you can keep training and use the opportunity to improve strength in a weaker area while you’re rebuilding the injured body part.

The bottom line is you can be hurt and stay strong or you can be hurt and become weaker. In my book that’s a no-brainer.”

For article, click here.

The trainers at Verve are not PTs and doctors. . . except for Dan, Dan is in fact a PT. Except for Dan, we do not diagnose or prescribe. What we can do is simply help you modify a workout to meet your needs. If you are consulting with a doctor or PT on your injury, we can help you follow their guidelines and give you a workout that helps fulfill your rehab needs. We can simply be a part of the game plan that is bringing you back to full capacity. So don’t let an injury keep you out of the gym, maybe in the beginning what you are able to do is not much and possibly seems boring, but it’s something, and you can do that something with other people around to keep you motivated and encouraged. 

 

Wednesday 160113

For time:
10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1
Chest to bar pull ups
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10
Deadlifts, 225#(135#)

Post times to comments and BTWB

Liz, Kristi, Lindsay, Katie, and Meghan grinding through Tuesday rowing.

Liz, Kristi, Lindsay, Katie, and Meghan grinding through Tuesday rowing.

 

Injury and Opportunity By Bill Starr and The CrossFit Journal

Unfortunately Verve has recently received a few emails regarding it’s athletes getting injured away from the gym. It happens. That’s life. We understand. However, the injury is not the end of the unfortunate-ness (yeah, it’s a word. . . I think) of the situation. The other unfortunate part is the belief that once injured, we may need to stop going to the gym until that injury is fully healed. Blasphemy. Unless a doctor has ordered you to not put to use any one of the other 3 perfectly good working, uninjured limbs. . . then don’t be so quick to cancel your membership. Don’t be so quick to hang up those Reebok Nanos/ Nike Metcons and swap out your sweet Rogue shirt for a bathrobe, and take up shop on the couch for the next few months. There are so many amazing benefits to continuing to workout while rehabbing and recovering. In an article written by Bill Starr, and published in The CrossFit Journal, he discusses the opportunities that can come from being injured. 

Anyone who trains seriously for any length of time is going to sustain an injury. This is simply a law of nature, and no one, as of yet, has found a way to avoid it.

Even those who do fitness routines and use light weight for higher reps still get dings somewhere along the way. Then there are those injuries that occur outside the weight room: hurting a shoulder when chopping down a tree that had fallen across a driveway, tweaking something while helping a friend move some extremely heavy furniture up three flights of twisting stairs, falling from a ladder while cleaning out the gutters. Injuries are a part of life.

Lao Tzu, author of“Tao Te Ching,”summed the matter up rather profoundly. An older contemporary of Confucius, he wrote the following in the sixth century B.C.: “Accept misfortune as the human condition. Misfortune comes from having a body.”

Eternal truth, and what really amazes me is that more people don’t get hurt while lifting weights. They don’t bother to warm up at all before doing their workouts, overtrain their upper bodies to the extreme, never bother stretching after a session, and do many exercises using very sloppy form. But sooner or later, this neglect of the more important aspects of strength training and bodybuilding catches up with them and they have to deal with an injury.

At the same time, I am well aware that even when an athlete does everything right in terms of preparation and using proper technique, he can still get injured. That’s because there are so many variables to deal with when an athlete is striving to improve the top-end numbers on several exercises and also pushing the workload higher and higher. The major variables are rest, nutrition, biorhythms and, perhaps most important of all, mental stress.

The weather also takes its toll. Many athletes get injured when cold weather rolls in and they don’t take the time to thoroughly warm up before training. Extremely hot weather can take its toll, as well. If water-soluble vitamins and minerals, along with plenty of fluid, aren’t provided, muscles and attachments can be dinged.

Then there are the old injuries to contend with. Any joint or area of the body that has been hurt previously is more prone to being hurt again later in life. That pulled hamstring you got while playing football in high school is more likely to be hurt again than the one that was not dinged. When I first started adding long runs to my fitness routine, I turned my left ankle at least once a month. It’s still my weaker ankle, and if I overwork my ankles doing lunges or squats, that’s the ankle that gives way first. Over the many years that I have been weight training, participating in a wide variety of sports, and been through minor and serious accidents of one kind or another, I have probably injured every body part in some manner, which means I have to pay attention and make sure I warm up properly before putting my body under stress, both in and out of the weight room.

Finally, some dings develop over a long period of time and can’t be traced to any singular event. Rotator-cuff injuries are often like that, as are problems in the back and hips. These dings don’t necessarily mean the athlete used faulty form on the exercises in his routine. It’s simply a matter of accumu- lated workload over the years finally taking its toll. Constant heavy training is not conducive to long-term health. But many strength athletes cannot switch from lifting heavy to a more sensible regimen of higher reps and lower poundage. This is especially true for those who keep pounding away on their upper bodies. That’s why the two most abused parts of the body are the elbows and shoulders.

If this sounds as if I’m a doomsayer, I’m not. I’m an advocate of training throughout a lifetime. I’m simply stating a hard and fast truism. Train diligently and you’re going to get hurt. The key to being able to continue to train is the ability to deal with any injuries that occur along the way. And unless the injury is a serious one that requires the attention of a medical specialist, I believe the burden of healing that injury falls on the individual himself.

Working Around Injuries

Perhaps my view of managing injuries is a result of my history. I began lifting weights in the mid-’50s, when everyone who wanted to get stronger devised his own routine, and when he got hurt, he also figured out how to deal with the problem.

Back then there were very few doctors who knew anything about rehabilitating injured athletes—even on the profes- sional level. Mickey Mantle was a perfect example. Over and over he hurt his knees. The doctors would stabilize a knee, have him rest and give him pain pills, and after a period of time, they would send him back to the lineup. It’s not that the owners or the team doctor didn’t care, because they most certainly did. They simply did not know how to get those knees strong enough to withstand further stress. With proper treatment, such as that available today, Mantle might have played another 10 years, and it boggles the mind what he could have accomplished.

In the mid-’60s, when I moved to York and became a member of the York Barbell Club lifting team, I met perhaps the two most knowledgeable men in the entire country on the subject of rehabilitating injured athletes. Dr. Russell Wright was the team physician for all three major sports teams in Detroit, Michigan: the Red Wings, Tigers and Lions. Dr. John Ziegler of Olney, Maryland, was the person who formulated Dianabol, the first anabolic steroid that athletes used to enhance strength. He also invented the Isotron, a machine that could contract the muscles of bedridden patients. Both physicians specialized in rehabilitation, and both did remarkable things.

When Bob Bednarski dislocated his elbow at the Pan-American Games in Winnipeg, Canada, in ’67, he was immediately sent to Detroit to be treated by Wright. Ziegler was the team physician for the U.S. Olympic and World Championship team and treated the York lifters, as well, but at the time he was in disfavor with York owner Bob Hoffman. Bednarski was in good hands. Exactly 100 days after he had blown out his elbow, he set an American record in the clean and jerk with 450 lb. at the Kutzer’s Invitation meet in New York.

It was from these two competent men that I developed my philosophy of treating injuries. Instead of backing off and allowing nature to heal the damaged area over an extended period of time, I use the methods Wright and Ziegler recommended: immediately do something to feed blood and nutrients to the injured body part.

The main thing I stress to all of my athletes when they get hurt is to keep training. As could be expected, this goes against the grain of most trainers and team physicians.

They avoid this proactive approach for good reason. Should an athlete further damage his injury by training, they could be held responsible. I’m not worried about this happening because I know it won’t if the athlete does what I tell him. In addition, I always insist that the athlete has the final word in any form of rehabbing. He knows his body much better than anyone else. So while sports-medicine specialists list “rest” as a favorite word, “stay active” are my favorites.

Training while injured is beneficial in several ways. It gives the athlete the opportunity to focus on other body parts that are lagging behind. When an athlete exercises, even without resistance, he is flushing blood and healing nutrients throughout his body, and that includes the dinged area. Whenever an athlete stops training completely when he’s hurt, he typically also stops paying attention to his diet and taking nutritional supplements. And because he isn’t exercising as he did previously, he doesn’t bother with getting any extra rest.

But if he continues to train, he also continues the disciplines that greatly aid the healing process. But perhaps the most important reason for an athlete to keep training when he’s hurt is that it allows him to be in control of his destiny and not completely dependent on someone else to make him 100 percent again. I really believe this active-involvement approach creates a much more positive attitude on the part of the athlete, which in turn results in a faster recovery.”

To be continued in tomorrow’s post. . . . 

 

Tuesday 160112

10 x 300(250) Meters Rowing Sprints with
2 minutes of rest between intervals.

Score is slowest and fastest time.

Post times to BTWB

Caption this. Scotty I know you'll have a few.

Caption this. Scotty I know you’ll have a few.

What’s up with rowing?!

I know, the month of December was cold enough without the wasteland that is no rowing class left in your eager, CrossFitting soul. Do not fear. Rowing is back like jumping into a hot tub in the winter: a little shocking and not not uncomfortable at first, but then once you’re body has realized hot tubbing in the winter was your best idea in this life yet, simply glorious.

Not only is rowing back, rowing is back with another progression. Thus, all you – I’ll wait till the next cycle to become a rowing ninja – humans: the time is now. The idea for this cycle is borrowed from our one and only, Paul Buono. I’m paraphrasing, and we’re shifting things around just slightly, but essentially what we have in store for you will be, super gross yet equally effective. It’s that good.

The Progression:

Week 1: 6x500m with 3 / 3:30 min rest. Week 2: 8x500m with 3 / 3:30 rest. Week 3: 10x500m with 3 / 3:30 rest. Week 4: back to week 1 but 2 sec faster…

What we’re testing (and re-testing): 1k for time AND 15 min time trial for meters.

Why are we testing two different things? We are going to use the 1k to establish a pace. That way you have a unique and perfectly suited to you pace for the whole progression – a custom Armani suit of paces here folks. The 1k also looks to your anaerobic realm AND on an erg, your ability to connect like a champion.

By also using the 15 min piece we’re going to see this progression sneaking into your aerobic capacity. I also have big and extremely fun plans for the retest of this piece. Oh, you want to be a part of this party. 

15 Min test: 1/21 @ 5:30AM or 6:30PM Rowing Class
1k test: 1/28 @ 5:30AM or 6:30PM Rowing Class
Week 1 of Progression: 2/4 @ 5:30AM or 6:30PM Rowing Class

*If you’re going to miss any of the tests just rock that business during OG or at home.

If you have any questions feel free to email Maddie:  maddie@crossfitverve.com

See you in rowing!

Monday 160111

Take 60% of your 1 rep max shoulder press

10 x 10 reps @ 60% rest 90 seconds between efforts

If you did this last week and all 10 sets were successful, add 5#. If not stay at 60% until all 10 sets are completed unbroken.

Post weights to BTWB

 


The above is a great video about how confusing the world of nutrition has been over the past 50 years.  It’s around 12 minutes but if you’re interested in diets and how the recommendations have changed over that time, give it a watch.