Friday 122812

Snatch balance
3-3-2-2-1-1-1-1-1
Then every minute on the minute for 8 minutes:
Two Snatch balances @ 75%

Post results to comments and BTWB.

Jamie and Anna, in a race to the top.

 

The Vasovagal Response ~ Luke Palmisano

So there I was, Saturday morning, getting ready to get my WOD on. I was pumped. I was psyched.  I felt ready.  The clock ticked down from ten seconds.  I envisioned myself, at the end of the workout, fist pumping, chest bumping, high-fiving. Life was good. Three, two, one…. As I power cleaned my bar, however, my utopian visions came to a screeching halt. I liken it to Tom, as he chases Jerry, imagining how Jerry will taste, only to step on that hated rake in the front yard, and have it bash him in the face. I pulled a muscle in my back, which hurt, but wasn’t the worst of what was happening. As I got the bar into the front rack position, and got set to stay there for as long as I could, I remember thinking, “Man, this weight is heavy, but I think I can hold it….”

That’s the last thing I remember of that moment. 

I blacked out. I had what it scientific terms is called a vasovagal response. Some of us have experienced this before. So what is it, and how can we avoid it?

The vagus nerve is a nerve that starts in the cranium, and runs down by the jugular veins, through the neck, chest, and into the abdomen. There is a right and left vagus nerve, and this nerve continues to branch off into other areas of the body. Besides branching out to the various organs in the body, the vagus nerve conveys sensory information about the state of the body’s organs to the central nervous system. Activation of the vagus nerve will usually lead to a reduction in heart rate, blood pressure, or both. So therein gives us a clue. If this nerve is stimulated, and a person is under load, and suddenly the heart rate and blood pressure drop, and blood stops coming to the brain…

It may be the last thing you remember for a few moments, until the blood comes back to your brain. 

So that’s the first key: surrounding tissues can activate and/or irritate a given nerve. So, then, how do we avoid unwanted and unintentional stimulation of this nerve? One way is controlling how big our pre-lift breath is. If we can recite the ABC’s during our inhalation before a lift, we may want to consider taking a smaller breath. Try this: imagine you are trying to draw your belly button in towards your spine, in order to tighten your stomach. All it will require is a quick, fast breath in.  It is small enough of a breath that you should easily be able to perform it through your nose. Another way is through proper form, and lifting within our limits. If your muscles have to contract and bend in awkward ways to support a weight that is either too heavy for you, or weight you have taken on too quickly, stimulation of the vagus nerve (along with other things, i.e. muscle pulls) may be a unwanted side effect.  

The vasovagal response usually looks worse than what it feels like, and it can feel pretty scary. If it ever happens to you, it is important to lay down, and get the blood back to your head. Your WOD will be done. Give it a day or two, and most likely you will feel good enough to WOD once again.  

*Double Under Seminar coming to Crossfit Verve.  So that we all have our double under game tight for the open, we will be hosting JumpNRope on January 5th from 12 PM – 2 PM.  Please sign up here.  The price for the seminar is $35.  Please see the flyers posted around the gym for additional information.  

*P.S. A humble sincere thanks to the amazing generous folks who pitched in and purchased the trainers beef.  We don’t deserve you!  

 

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    Luke, you’re the man!

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