Wednesday 150805

As many reps as possible, of an ascending ladder, in 12 minutes of:
1 Hang power snatch, 95#(65#)
1 Overhead squat, 95#(65#)
1 Burpee over the bar
2 Hang power snatch, 95#(65#)
2 Overhead sqaut, 95#(65#)
2 Burpees over the bar
3 Hang power snatch, 95#(65#)
3 Overhead squat, 95#(65#)
3 Burpees over the bar. . . .

Post reps to comments and BTWB

T Swizzle knows where it's at.

T Swizzle knows where it’s at.

 

Do you want to do the WOD RX or do you want to get fitter? By Courtney “the Taylor Swift of blog post writing” Shepherd

Taylor Swift is known for once saying, “If you’re horrible to me, I’m going to write a song about it, and you won’t like it. That’s how I operate.”

So why would I even dare to compare myself to the lyrical genius that is T Swift? Because if you are working out at Verve and something is happening that, as a coach, I think might need to be addressed, there’s a good chance I’m going to write a blog post about it. There is also the chance you may not like reading it. But that’s how I operate.

Today I want to address the simple question of, do you want to do the WOD RX or do you want to get fitter*? (*I know the word “fitter” is not grammatically correct. Just go with me on it for a sec.) I’m certain in all of our minds the answer is “yes” because we want both, but unfortunately doing a workout as prescribed is not always the road to getting fitter. In fact, it could actually be what is holding some of us back from ever really progressing. To best illustrate my point I need to throw a numbers bomb at you. I am going to take the numbers from a recent workout at Verve. Here is my real world scenario/ Taylor Swift like moment that I want to lay disclaimer to, there are some athletes out there that my example may hit close to home. However, while I am using this as an example, I am not trying to make an example of anyone, and I hope you will see the difference. Every person who has entered a CrossFit gym and done a WOD, has bitten off more than they can chew. . . probably more than once. I just want us to see why making a habit of doing so, is not doing us any favors.

Here’s the WOD to be discussed:
20 Minutes as many rounds as possible of:
5 Muscle ups
50 Double unders
10 Handstand push ups
Run 100 Meters

There were several “RXs” throughout the day with scores ranging from 3 rounds to 7 rounds. Alright, it’s number crunching time. For the athlete that did 3 rounds that’s 15 muscle-ups, 150 double unders, 30 handstand push-ups, and 300m run. We can easily double those numbers for an athlete that finished 6 rounds. I will start by saying the design and intent of this workout was to get around 5 rounds. So for anyone that got less than 5 rounds I would start by asking, where did you get stuck? Let’s say an athlete is not super efficient at muscle-ups. They have them, consistently, but in single reps only, they are not yet able to link muscle ups. So at the start of every round, it takes this athlete around 3 minutes to chip away at 5 single muscle-ups, a movement that if done unbroken would take :15-:20. That kind of time adds up.

My next question comes after the first round, when we saw the time adding up, why didn’t we change something? Because our goal was to do the workout RX. But. . . . if perhaps our goal was to come to Verve, do an intense workout, and walk away with more fitness out of the deal, what would that workout look like? It would look like doing 3 muscle-ups/ round and getting 5 rounds. Because, after doing some number crunching, that still gives me 15 total muscle-ups, but it also gives me 250 double unders, 50 handstand push-ups, and 500m run. So next week when a workout comes up with somewhere between 200-300 double unders in it, the appropriately scaled, “5 rounds athlete” will be ready, they’ve built a capacity for that number of double unders. The “3 rounds of RX athlete” might end up stuck breaking down somewhere around 150 doubles unders because they have not built a capacity to do more work than that. If I’m really crunching numbers, 5-7 rounds of that workout is genuinely working out for 20 minutes. 3 rounds seems more like working out for 10 minutes with 10 minutes of rest. So what happens to me if I’m trying to build a capacity of stamina and endurance in a 20 minute workout. I simply don’t, and the next 20 minute workout that comes along, even if it has every movement I’m really good at and I can RX that one too. . . it will probably look similar in output, half the intended work. 

I’m with you on the idea that doing workouts RX is pretty cool. That’s why we make it part of our goals and we celebrate it as accomplishments. However, I would encourage a bit of a change in mindset. If we change our goals to being fitter, to doing a workout with the intended stimulus and intensity, if we push ourselves to keep moving and take less breaks, we may find that our level of fitness has risen to a point where doing a WOD RX just happens. If all we do is come into the gym and say to ourselves ” I can do all of this. It might take me a while, I might be pretty slow, or it might be pretty ugly, but I can do it. And I can get my RX.” I hope you all can see that this may be a recipe for not getting better at CrossFit but rather getting better at staring at a bar and resting, or staring at a set of rings and resting. Simply put, not progressing any farther than where I currently am, which is 3 rounds of RX. So my final question is, is that good enough for you? 

My final thoughts on the matter are this: you can always go lighter, do a few less reps, and get done way faster than everyone else AND that would be a better outcome, in my opinion, than doing the heavier weight, all the reps, and taking twice as long to finish the WOD. Why? Because the former option keeps you moving, it builds stamina and endurance. The former can build speed and a capacity for time under tension. The latter builds a puddle of sweat and a time of completion. 

As I said earlier, every single CrossFitter is guilty of overestimating their abilities or underestimating a workout or both. Doing so does not make us bad people, it doesn’t make us guilty of CrossFit heresy. But if we keep doing it over and over and either don’t learn from the experience or don’t care to learn from the experience, we can’t be shocked if 2 years down the road of our CrossFit journey, we are still a 3 rounds of RX kind of athlete. 

Tuesday 150804

5 Rounds for time:
400 Meter run
30 Meter farmer carry

Post time and weight to BTWB

Beast Mode!  That is all.

Beast Mode! That is all.

Below are some points from an article featured in Box Life Magazine.  They are just some of the bold points from the article.  Click the title below to read the entire article on Box Life Magazine’s website.

5 Training Traps You Need to Avoid by Box Life Magazine

Jumping from program to program

Legendary powerlifter Ed Coan once said that his ‘program’ was called ‘getting stronger’, and that was the only program he ever followed. If the programming you’re following is getting you positive results, why change things? Keep doing what you’re doing! Of course, many CrossFitters will stick to the programming on offer at their box, and trust in its variance and effectiveness to help them reach their goals. However, many athletes take advantage of open gym hours and choose to follow different programs that are easily accessible online.  

Setting yourself bad goals

Each year we erase the Goals board and tell you all to put something on the board that is realistic, attainable, timely, measurable, and specific.  Setting unrealistic goals can do you a disservice as it could zap your will to train if you’re not seeing yourself progress toward the goal at hand.  Set goals that lead to a more effective and enjoyable game plan that allow you to make the right jumps towards the over-arching objective or goal.

Ignoring a gaping hole in your fitness

We all do this.  We skip working on the things that we aren’t good at because let’s face it, it’s not fun to fail over and over.  If we don’t have double unders, but the only time we work on them is during a day in which double unders are a movement, then we’re not giving the weakness enough attention.  Sometimes it gets frustrating to continually work on something and not see improvement, but eventually the hard work will pay off and a movement will just click.  

Trying to mimic elite athletes online

The volume most elite athletes in CrossFit perform isn’t necessary for most people that use CrossFit as the fitness methodology to stay in shape and live a healthier life.  Chris Spealler says it all the time in Level 1 seminars, the CrossFit Games is not the essence of CrossFit, what we do inside Verve on a day to day basis in our WOD’s is what CrossFit is all about.  Making us more fit so we can live more enjoyable lives outside of the gym.  

Ignoring the intangibles (rest, diet, mobility and active recovery)

When new members start at Verve they always ask, how often should they come to classes.  We typically recommend the CrossFit main site application of 3 days on 1 day off.  As the members progress on their CrossFit journey, they typically end up coming more often.  It’s only natural when something you do is enjoyable that you want to do it more often.  This means that days off are fewer which means less time time we give our bodies to recover.  Rest days are important and should be a part of everyone’s training. Diet is another intangible that we harp on all time.  There are many different diets to follow, but remember diet is the bottom of the pyramid on which all other aspects of fitness and health are built on. Dial the diet in and everything else will see improvement as well.  

Click the title above to read the entire article the above was referenced from.  

 

 

Monday 150803

Weighted pull-ups
2-2-2-2-2-2-2

Then, every minute on the minute x 10:
2 Pull-ups + 2 C2B + 2 T2B

Compare to 150406

Post to BTWB

This coming Saturday we are hosting the 31 Heroes WOD at CrossFit Verve.  Everyone is invited to participate and as in years past, we will not be charging drop in fees.  Instead we ask that you please donate to the 31 Heroes Project.  To register and donate please click HERE.  You can also donate on the day of the workout as well. We will collect all donations and then mail them to the 31 Heroes organizers.

31 Heroes

On August 6, 2011, a tragedy shook the military community and Americans everywhere. In a single instance, America lost 30 military service members, many of whom were members of the Navy SEAL community—and one military K9– when an Extortion 17 helicopter was downed in Afghanistan.

In the wake of the unimaginable tragedy, a mission was born. Following the downing of Extortion 17, a fundraising WOD—hosted at more than 430 gyms around the country with more than 10,000 participants—raised $300,000 over a four-week period to support the 30 families affected. This prompted the organizers to create The 31Heroes Project to remember our fallen heroes and take care of their loved ones.

Since our first event in 2011, more than $1.5 million has been given back to our nation’s heroes and their families through grant-making opportunities and partnership programs. In 2015, The 31Heroes Project launched the initiative to send a designated number of veterans to distinguished brain centers across the country to receive cutting-edge treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and/or Traumatic Brain Injury.

CrossFit Verve has hosted the workout for the past few years and we always have a great turnout and are able to donate to a worthy cause. 

The workout is as follows:

AMRAP 31 minutes (As Many Reps As Possible)
8 Thrusters (155/105#)
6 Rope Climbs (15 ft. ascent)
11 Box Jumps (30/24″)

Partner #1 will perform the work listed above. Partner #2 will run 400m with a sandbag (45/25). Once Partner #2 returns from the run, Partner #1 will grab the sandbag and begin their 400m, while Partner #2 continues work wherever #1 left off.

Score is your total # of reps

As you know we can scale every movement so please bring anyone that would like to participate.  

We need everyone to sign up through MBO, this includes non members as well.  We will have two classes, one at 9:00 am and another at 10:30 am.  We at Verve thank you for always coming together to support great causes and we look forward to another great turnout this coming Saturday.  

Sunday 150802

5 rounds
With a 2 minute clock:
Row 15 Calories (10 Calories)
with remaining time:
Amrap Hang Power Snatch 115#(75#)
Rest 2 minutes

Post reps to comments or BTWB

Linda K. leap frog's so fast, she is hard to catch on camera!

Linda K. leap frog’s so fast, she is hard to catch on camera! Jake and Pedro seem un-impressed?

EASY SNACK TIME!! No really, this is super easy.

2 ingredient Macaroons that are both Paleo and can fit into your macros.  You can view the whole recipe here.

Two Ingredient Coconut Macaroons
Makes 14 macaroons
(about 3.5 servings)

1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 egg white

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk one egg white and then stir into the shredded coconut until well combined. Spray a cooking sheet with nonstick cooking spray (I used coconut oil spray, but any will do). Using a 1/2 Tablespoon measuring spoon, scoop the mixture, press into the spoon (to keep the mixture together), and then place onto the cooking sheet. Once all of the mixture has been scooped into 1/2 Tbsp balls, place cooking sheet in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes until they become a light golden brown. If only the bottom halves of macaroons brown, turn the oven to broil and cook for 1 minute until the tops turn golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Note: Watch the macaroons while baking because they tend to burn quickly.

Nutrition Info: per 1/2 tbsp ball
Fat – 2g
Carbohydrates – 5g
   Fiber – 1g
Protein – 1g

*If you make these, let us know how they turn out in the comments!

Saturday 150731

In teams of 2 complete the following for time:
Run 800 meters
50 Front squats, 115#(75#)
50 Bar facing burpees
40 Shoulder to overhead, 115#(75#)
40 Lateral hops over the partner
30 Deadlifts, 115#(75#)
30 Bar facing burpees
20 Power cleans, 115#(75#)
20 Lateral hops over partner
Run 800 Meters

Post times to comments and BTWB

 

 

 

All the happenings at Verve. . . get ready for some fun!!

Saturday August 8th- 31Heroes WOD @ Verve.
CrossFit Verve has registered to host the 31Heroes WOD on Saturday August 8th. We will have 2 classes, 1 at 9am and 1 at 10:30am. Verve opens these classes to those outside of Verve as an opportunity to workout in remembrance. We charge no drop in fee, we simply ask that instead you donate to the 31Heroes project. If you do not have any CrossFit experience, that’s okay, the beauty of CrossFit is that is infinitely scalable, we just ask that you let us appropriately scale you. We promise no matter what work you do, it will be hard and absolutely be a great workout. This is an amazing opportunity to come together as a community and do one of the things we do best. . . support each other. Support our community and the men and women who serve it, defend it, and sacrifice for it.

So please join us, get signed up on MBO and reserve your spot while you can. Non Verve members need to sign in as well!! You can also get registered at the 31Heroes website and get a t-shirt with your donation. For more information about the WOD, get registered, and donate, click here. Pick Verve as your gym when you register!! It’s a partner WOD, so it’s even more important you bring a buddy.

Saturday August 15th- The O2X Summit Challenge in Winter Park. The sign up sheet is at the front desk @ Verve.

Sunday August 30th- Stand up paddle boarding outing from 8am-10am in Evergreen. The sign up sheet is also at the front desk @ Verve. It will be $5 per Verve member.

Saturday August 29th & Sunday August 30th- Verve is hosting the CrossFit Weightlifting Trainer Course. Changes to the schedule will be made and announced as the seminar gets closer. Aside from 1 morning class, however, Verve will be closed the rest of the day. You can still get signed up for the seminar if you are interested, for more info click here.

Saturday September 5th & Sunday September 6th- Verve is hosting a Level 1 Trainer Course. Changes to the schedule will be made and announced as the seminar gets closer. Aside from 1 morning class, however, Verve will be closed the rest of the day. You can still get signed up for the seminar if you are interested, for more info click here.

Friday 150731

For time:
5 Rounds
20 Pull ups
30 Push ups
40 Ab Mat sit ups
50 Walking lunge steps
Rest ~ 2 minutes between rounds

Post time to comments or BTW

 

AND....Nat found his max!

AND….Nat found his max!

CROSSOVER SYMMETRY: WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR?

This may not be a news flash, but CrossFit can be hard on the shoulders.  At Verve, we take your shoulder health seriously!  For those of you that do not know, we have 13 Crossover Symmetry units for you to use to help keep your shoulders healthy, wealthy, and wise.  We are going to take some excerpts directly from their website so you can see how Crossover Symmetry can help you and your shoulder pain.  Please note: We are not advocating you utilize Crossover Symmetry in lieu of seeking help from a physical therapist.  If the pain persists, please seek help from a professional.

WHAT IS CROSSOVER SYMMETRY GOOD FOR?

ROTATOR CUFF WEAKNESS/FATIGUE

The primary function of the rotator cuff is to keep the ball of the humerus in the shoulder socket throughout a full range of motion. If the rotator cuff is weak or fatigued, the humeral head tends to move upwards excessively and closes off the subacromial space. The WOD listed above would undoubtedly fatigue the rotator cuff and reduce its ability to perform the primary function of keeping the ball centered in the socket. Crossover Symmetry will improve the muscular endurance of these stabilizing muscles to help athletes withstand demanding workouts with repetitive overhead movements.

FORWARD SHOULDER POSTURE

Poor shoulder posture from a lifestyle with the shoulders rounded forward (e.g. driving, sitting at a desk, texting, ect.) results in a combination of tight chest muscles, weak upper back muscles, and poor thoracic spine mobility. This creates a dysfunctional position which alters the proper movement of the scapula and has been shown to cause a reduction in the subacromial space during overhead motions, resulting in shoulder impingement.

DELTOID DOMINANCE VS. ROTATOR CUFF

The deltoid is the primary muscle involved when elevating the arm overhead. The deltoid moves the ball upward in the socket during arm elevation, which must be balanced by the opposing pull of the rotator cuff muscles (See image below). If the pull of the deltoid vs. rotator cuff are not balanced, the ball will move upward in the socket, further narrowing the subacromial space. CrossFit™ training places a huge emphasis on deltoid strength through an abundance of dynamic overhead movements such as the push press, hand stand push-ups and Olympic lifting. The nature of this training develops the deltoid to a greater degree than the rotator cuff resulting in a muscular imbalance that may lead to shoulder impingement issues.

SCAPULAR MUSCLE IMBALANCE

Scapular Dyskinesis describes poor movement of the scapula often due to muscular imbalances of the upper back. The upper trapezius, lower trapezius and serratus anterior muscles work together to rotate the scapula upwards allowing the arm to move overhead (See image below). Much like a tripod, the three legs work together to form a stable platform; however, when one of the legs is off balance, the stability of the base is compromised. CrossFit™ athletes often have strong upper traps compared to their lower traps, resulting in limitations in the ability to upwardly rotate the scapula when going overhead. Recent research has shown an increased risk for shoulder injury when the upper trap is significantly stronger than the lower trap.

HOW TO USE CROSSOVER SYMMETRY

When in doubt, ask one of the trainers how to use it!! Rolling out and mobilizing will only get you so far, you must strengthen the surrounding structures and Crossover Symmetry is the way to do it.  HAVE FUN GETTING SCAPJACKED!!

 

Thursday 150730

Back Squat
10-8-6-4-2 reps on the 3:00 minute send off

Then,
3 x 5 Tempo back Squats @ 50% of 2 rep, 33×1

*For tempo work the numbers/ letter “33×1″ are the tempo. It refers to 3 seconds down, 3 second hold in bottom, explode up, and 1 second hold at top before starting next rep.

Post loads to comments and BTWB

Sarah, Melissa, and Danielle just hanging out. . .working with some dumbbells. . . no big deal.

Sarah, Melissa, and Danielle just hanging out. . .working with some dumbbells. . . no big deal.

 

The art of not freaking out, or at least harnessing the freak out, part two. . . Still By Courtney Shepherd and Noa Kageyama, Ph.D. of The Bulletproof Musician

This is a continuation of yesterday’s post about “How to Make Performance Anxiety an Asset Instead of a Liability”, using the article written by Noa Kageyama, Ph.D. (click here to read full article). After splitting the brain into two hemispheres and talking about each sides major roles, we left off talking about using a tool called “centering”, to help us shift from left brain thinking to right brain thinking and get into “the zone”. Another reminder that the author of this topic uses musicians and performing for an audience as his examples. As CrossFitters we can easily take this information and apply it to the idea of practicing an Olympic lift and later working out in a competition.

Centering is what sport psychologists call a pre-performance routine. It was designed in the 1970’s by the renowned sport psychologist Dr. Robert Nideffer, and adapted for performing artists by Olympic sport psychologist Dr. Don Greene. Centering is a highly effective means of (a) channeling your nerves productively and (b) directing your focus even in extreme situations. Once mastered, it is very quick and highly effective, and will ensure that you begin each performance with a bang (in a good way)!

There are seven steps, each specifically designed to move you progressively closer to right brain quiet, focus, and poise, and take you further away from left brain fears, doubts, and self-criticism.

Step 1: Pick Your Focal Point
Select a fixed point in the distance, somewhere that feels comfortable. This point could be on your stand, the ground in front of you, or on the back row of the hall, but wherever it is, ensure that your focal point is below eye level. A focal point helps to minimize distractions and avoid the temptation to engage in left-brain thinking.

Step 2: Form Your Clear Intention
A clear intention is in essence, a specific goal statement. What do you intend to do when you step out on stage? How exactly do you intend to sound? What, precisely, do you intend to communicate to the audience?

Use assertive, declarative language, such as “I am going to perform brilliantly, with passion and clear dynamic contrast,” as opposed to “I hope to play well.”

Do not use the word “don’t”. Doing so will only put the negative picture in your head and generate fears and doubt. For instance, when you say to yourself “Don’t miss the high note”, what’s the first image that pops into your mind? Missing the high note, right? What image pops into your mind when you tell yourself “Nail the high note?” Learn to focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want.

Step 3: Breathe Mindfully
One of the most powerful techniques for reversing the stress response involves learning how to breathe diaphragmatically. When stressed, our bodies have a tendency to revert to shallow, rapid, chest breathing. Doing so keeps us in fight or flight mode. Diaphragmatic breathing is the most biomechanically efficient way to breathe, and furthermore, is conducive to activating what’s called the parasympathetic nervous system response which is our body’s antidote for the fight-or-flight state.

Step 4: Scan and Release Excess Tension
One of the most detrimental consequences of performance stress is muscle tension. As our thinking becomes more negative, our muscles tend to get tighter and less facile. And not just any muscles, but often the ones that we most need control over!

Scan your muscles from head to toe as you continue to breathe slowly and deeply, one muscle group at a time, releasing tension on the exhale. There is a short video clip on YouTube which illustrates an exercise that tests your ability to truly relax your muscles on command.

If you develop a more acute awareness of muscle tension even in the practice room, and are able to control the degree of tension you experience in your playing, you will be able to retain much of this ability during a performance and will feel much more in control.

Step 5: Find Your Center
Are you familiar with the martial arts concept of ki or chi? In Eastern philosophy, chi is described as being one’s “life force” or energy. There is a specific location in our body where the energy tends to congregate, which is essentially our center of gravity. If you have ever observed the movements of a great martial arts master or even some athletes or dancers, you will notice a presence, grace, and balance about them regardless of their size or physical dimensions. Not only is the feeling of being centered a very calming and reassuring one, but the mere act of searching for you center will quiet your left brain activity.

Step 6: Repeat Your Process Cue
There is a tendency when stressed to hyperfocus on minute details. This may be highly desirable in the practice room, but can be paralyzing on-stage. The solution is to focus on a right-brain process cue, in essence, a reminder of what it sounds, feels, or looks like to produce the exact sounds you want.

There are two possible ways to do this. One, you could brainstorm and experiment with words that cue up the sound/feeling/images of producing the beautiful sound, clean articulation, or solid intonation that you wish to produce. Examples of such words are smooth bowing, light fingers, even shifts, fluid, powerful, calm, or easy. It’s not the word that is important, but the resultant mental sound/feeling/image of performing exactly the way you want to that is key.

Thus, a second way to do Step 6 is to avoid using words altogether and merely hear, feel, or see yourself performing exactly as you wish.

Step 7: Direct Your Energy
By the time you have gotten to this step, you will have made the shift into a more quiet and focused mental state conducive to performing your best. You will have taken the edge off of your nerves, and in this last step you will channel the remaining energy that remains into a dynamic and inspired performance. This is how you use the energy instead of trying to get rid of it.

Do a quick internal search for all of the energy that you feel in your body, and feel it gathering at your center. Now, direct that energy upwards, through your torso and neck, into your head, and blast it out through your eyes or forehead like a laser beam at the focal point you identified in Step 1. Think of this beam as a conduit for your music and the energy that will convey your clear intention to the audience.

When you first try to Center, it may take several minutes to go through all of the steps. If you practice this for 10-15 minutes per day, however, and stick with it, you will begin to notice a difference within a week or two and find that you can center in 5-10 seconds. Some notice a difference within days. The key, like anything else, is consistency and persistence.

Many, if not all, of these elements can be shared with even the very youngest students, whether they get nervous before performances or not. Not as a means to reduce anxiety, but as a way to improve focus and clarity of musical intentions. Many of Centering’s aspects can even be tremendously helpful in practice sessions, to ensure that one remains focused on the task at hand (instead of reinforcing bad habits via mindless repetition).

As the saying goes, “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”

Wednesday 150729

As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
5 Muscle ups
50 Double unders
10 Handstand push ups
100 Meter run

Post rounds and reps to comments and BTWB

Maddie doing what Maddie does best. . . taking class through a nice little rowing warm-up.

Maddie doing what Maddie does best. . . taking class through a nice little rowing warm-up.

 

Whatever you do, don’t freak out. . . or do, whatevs. By Courtney Shepherd and Noa Kageyama, Ph.D. of The Bulletproof Musician

When you click on the WOD blog in the morning and see the workout of the day is “Fran”, do you do what we all think you’re going to do, which is just FRAK OUT? Or does it really have to be “Fran”? Pretty much every day you walk into Verve and see anything written on the whiteboard that involves doing hard work for time, does your anxiety level instantly pique? Whether it’s getting ready to start a hard workout, take a test, or go in for a job interview, most of us find ourselves experiencing nerves or the feeling of being nervous. Following that feeling is generally either someone else or possibly ourselves, telling us to calm down, maybe even take a deep breath. Well according to Dr. Kageyama, in his article “How to Make Performance Anxiety an Asset Instead of  a Liability”, telling ourselves or someone else to relax, is actually doing a disservice by implicitly confirming that the anxiety we feel is bad and to be feared. 

“. . . I’ve come to understand that anxiety itself is not the problem. The problem is that most of us have never learned how to use adrenaline to our advantage. . . I soon learned to welcome the rush of adrenaline and to use that energy to power my performances, and to perform with more freedom, conviction, and confidence. . .”

Before answering the question of how do we transform anxiety from a liability to an advantage, the good doctor wants us first to understand a little bit about how the brain works. He is using music and musicians as his examples, however, I think it’s easy to see how we could simply swap out the idea of practicing music and performing in from of an audience, to practicing the snatch and doing it in a competition. 

Left Brain vs. Right Brain

Our brains can be thought of as being comprised of two basic regions, the left hemisphere and the right hemisphere. Admittedly, it is an oversimplification of the immense complexity of our brain to imply that the left and right hemispheres are completely independent of one another, but this is a very helpful model when it comes to understanding optimal mental states for performance.

Left brain thinking is associated with words, numbers, logic, analysis, criticism, rules, details, planning, and judgment. Conversely, right brain thinking is associated with sounds, images, patterns, kinesthetic or sensory input, emotions, the “big picture,” free association, and creativity.

Based on this information, which mode of thinking seems most conducive to effective practicing? Yep, left brain! Now, which seems most conducive to dynamic, inspired, and artistic performances? Right brain, exactly! Unfortunately, we often do the opposite. In the practice room, we have a tendency to practice somewhat mindlessly, merely repeating passages over and over until they sound better, making corrections, but doing so almost unconsciously. However, as soon as we walk on stage, we tend to get flooded by left brain over-analytical thinking, criticism, excessive planning, and so on, which only serves to lead to a pre-occupation with technical details and an inability to play as freely and automatically as we are capable. Are you familiar with the phrase “paralysis by analysis?” This is exactly what happens when we know that our every move and sound is under close scrutiny by others. The opposite of this paralyzed state is often referred to as “flow” or “the zone,” where everything just seems to “click” into place and our playing is easy, free, and effortless.

How do we make the shift from left brain thinking to right brain thinking and get into “the zone?” One very effective tool is called Centering.

Centering is what sport psychologists call a pre-performance routine. There are seven steps, each specifically designed to move us progressively closer to right brain quiet, focus, and poise, and take us further away from left brain fears, doubts, and self-criticism. All of which you can learn about in detail in tomorrow’s post. . . so I guess you better stay tuned. 

 

Tuesday 150728

3 Rounds for time of:
Row 300(250) Meters
20 KB Swings 32 kg(24kg)
15 Toes to bar

Post to BTWB

I'm not sure if the track we are running looks like this one, but if it does, we are in for a good time!

I’m not sure if the track we are running looks like this one, but if it does, we are in for a good time!

The O2X Summit Challenge is just a few weeks away.  If you haven’t signed up yet, be sure and put your name on the sign up sheet at the front of the gym.  Below are a ton of details about the weekend and some logistics regarding the mountain and where everything is.  

Event Weekend Schedule
Friday August 14th
4:00pm-10:00pm – BaseCamp opens!

What will you find up at BaseCamp?

Racer Packet Pickup
Live music
Exclusive O2X lululemon gear on sale
Camp grounds open!
Local food and beverages available
Crazy Mountain Brewing Co. Beer on tap!
10th Mountain Whiskey sampling
Mountainside Yoga & Meditation
8:00pm – Fireside Chat with O2X Co-Founders and presenting speaker Bill Kitchings
Tent space available onsite; $30 (pay at registration tent)

Saturday July 11th
7:15am – Packet Pickup available
7:30am – Breakfast and coffee served
8:30am – Pre-race stretch, yoga and music
9:30am – Racer start time!
12:00pm – Kid’s Race (Day-of registration ONLY for Kid’s Race)
1:00pm – Awards Ceremony
FAQs

What You Need:

Trail running or light hiking shoes
Water/hydration pack – O2X will provide water stations on course but we strongly suggest that all racers bring their own hydration/nutrition as well
Post-race change of dry clothes
An appetite – plenty of food and drinks at BaseCamp
You will not need any orienteering or technical hiking gear – the course is meant to be completed on foot with no assistance

Where To Go:

85 Parsenn Lane
Winter Park, CO
80482

Directions
To get to Winter Park Resort from all points around the Denver area, find your way to I-70 heading West out of Denver. Follow I-70 West approximately 40 miles to Exit 232 to Winter Park, Empire and Granby. Follow Exit 232 onto Hwy 40 which will take you over Berthoud Pass (great photo ops) and to Winter Park. Mileage from Exit 232 to Winter Park is approximately 24 miles. Total mileage from Denver is 67 miles.

Hotels / Lodging:

Winter Park Resort is offering special rates on lodging and activities for all O2X racers. Special lodging rates are available to book online at the Zephyr Mountain Lodge, Fraser Crossing/Founders Pointe, and Vintage Hotel (all walking distance to O2X BaseCamp for a hassle free race morning). Click here to book now!
What We Provide:
On course water stations
FREE Bag Check for all racers
Real-time GPS flaik tracking devices for each racer
Dinner, Breakfast & Lunch for purchase Winter Park & vendors
BaseCamp water refilling station
Top Male & Female Finisher Awards (receive $500 each and hand-made trophy)
Team Award – top average time for any team of 4+ (receive hand-made trophy)
A RIDICULOUS swag bag:
Signature O2X lululemon shirt
A free Crazy Mountain Brewing Co. finisher beer
Custom Canteen Finisher Medal
O2X Racer Bag
Free Finisher Photos
Encourage friends and family to REGISTER TODAY – quality is the essence of our Summit Challenges and registration is subject to availability.

Please click here for our full O2X Summit Challenge FAQ

Monday 150727

10 Minutes to establish a 1 rep max of:
Shoulder press
10 Minutes to establish a 1 rep max of:
Push press
10 Minutes to establish a 1 rep max of:
Push jerk
*Score is total for all 3 lifts combined

Post totals to BTWB.

Walter busting out some dumbbell snatches.

Walter busting out some dumbbell snatches.

Hot Dogs and Cupcakes Update

I’m sure plenty of you are wondering what we are going to do next now that we’ve wrapped up the first phase of Hot Dogs and Cupcakes.  Move on to the second phase of course.  Starting tonight we will continue with HD and CC just as it has been for the past 4 weeks.  Remember that it’s a strength program so volume is key.  Make sure you are watching the amount of WOD’s you add in.  Reference the previous post on HD & CC if you have questions about what you should be doing and when.  

So what’s in store for the next few weeks?  The past phase focused on using percentages and staying true to a send off clock, well the next few weeks will be a little different.  There will still be a lot of work but rather than use percentages and send off clocks, we are going to be working with max efforts, chains and bands, and plenty of accessory work.

Tonight we are starting with box squats.  Here’s the thing about box squats, if you can’t get up from the bottom of a box squat, DON’T PANIC.  Stay calm and simply relax on the box while your lifting partners and coaches help you lift the bar back up to the rack.  Dumping a bar while box squatting means the end of the bar you are using as it will hit the box and bend and then become unusable.  If you think you are getting close to a weight that is questionable for you, ask for spotters.  We are going to be box squatting for the next few weeks so please remember what you just read and what your coaches tell you.  

There will also be a lot of speed work that requires the use of bands and chains.  The reason for the chains and bands is to add resistance the further up the barbell moves.  This provides resistance to help us pull and press through the sticking points.  If you’ve never used bands or chains don’t worry, the coaches will take you through the set up and execution.

When this cycle of Hot Dogs is finished we will take a week off that is designed to be a de-load week for you.  This de-load week is designed to allow your body to recover from the past 8 weeks of heavy lifting.  We’ll talk about this in more detail once we get to the end of HD and CC.  

Should be a good couple of weeks coming your way.  Please ask questions if you have them and remember don’t panic on the box squats