Thursday 150326

5 Rounds for time:
5 Strict pull-ups
10 Single arm dumbell squat clean, alternating, 40#(25#)
10 Burpees

Post times to comments and BTWB

Sometimes you just gotta do some curls for the girls. . . isn't that right Stan?

Sometimes you just gotta do some curls for the girls. . . isn’t that right Stan?

 

You can wish in one hand and s#@t in the other, see which one fills first
By Courtney “yeah, I just said that” Shepherd, with the assistance of Patrick McCarty and Breaking Muscle

If you have never heard that saying before then I apologize for startling you with such brash words so early in the morning (or late at night if you preview the blog before bedtime). I remember the first time I heard that statement, I laughed so hard because it really is such a bold and cruel way to say that wishing for something to happen will not make something happen. Plus whenever I hear that phrase, doesn’t matter who says it, in my head it’s coming from the mouth of a crusty, 80 year old man who’s seen it all, full of wisdom, wrinkles, and a giant dip in his mouth. This grey haired, leather for skin, old man who’s spent his life working hard, rising with the sun, getting home when it’s dark, is looking at you, and with the crudest of analogies, is telling you that the only way to get what you want in life is to work for it, not wish for it.

It’s such simple concept, work hard, reap the benefits. If it’s at school, we walk away with an A+ on a test. If it’s at work, we walk away with more money or a promotion. If it’s in a CrossFit gym, we walk away with a heavier back squat and a faster time. The reverse would be true, don’t study, fail in school. Don’t do your job, get fired from your job. Don’t work your weaknesses in the gym. . . . don’t worry about it, I’ll just avoid them and never know the consequences of my inaction. Wait. What? This happens. Every day this happens. We see a workout with wall balls in it, “Ugg, I am so bad at wall balls. I’ll just do something else today.” Whereas not doing your job results in a loss of a job, not working a weakness may never have a negative result in the CrossFit gym. . . at least not an immediate or obvious one. Beyond not improving at that one thing we constantly avoid, because CrossFit prides itself on transference between movements, avoiding wall balls could equal to not seeing improvement in our box jumps or thrusters or even kipping pull-ups (each of those movements requires explosive opening of the hips).

So what? So I’ve avoided the thing that will hurt a little more, make me feel a little more uncomfortable, something that shows others I’m not the best. So I avoided the thing that prevents me from putting an RX by my name on the board. By not show casing my weaknesses and crushing the things I am good at, I feel better about myself. That is until something comes along, some pivotal moment, some big event, that smacks us right in the face with the very thing we’ve been avoiding. Something like, oh I don’t know, the CrossFit Games Open. Even more specifically Open workout 15.3, you know, the one that opened with muscle-ups. That workout sent a fury of haters to the inter webs shouting about the unfairness of the CrossFit Games. Could this be the same group of people, who don’t have muscle-ups but all year long told themselves they have nothing to worry about come Open time, because any workout in the Open that has muscle-ups, doesn’t have them until the end of a workout?  Muscle-ups are a coveted movement in the CrossFit world, EVERY BODY is working on their muscle-ups. Are they? If by working on them we mean hopping up on the high rings, getting the biggest kipping swing, trying for a muscle-up, and failing, rinse and repeat for approx 10-15 more minutes, then yeah, I guess we are working on them. Just to be clear, that’s not working on them. 

No joke, true story here. There was a local competition several people I knew were competing in. There was a 4 person team division and one of the workouts had muscle-ups in it. 2 of the team members did not have muscle-ups. Several days before the competition 1 of the non muscle-uppers was in the gym working on muscle-up transitions on the low rings followed by muscle-up attempts on the high rings. I asked the other non muscle-upper if they were also going to put in some practice?  This was their response to me, “No. If I try now and don’t get one I’ll just be upset about it. I’m not even going to try until the workout and then I’m hoping the adrenaline from the whole thing will help me get one.” Ah, yes. Insert old man with giant dip saying “well you can hope in one hand and s#@t in the other. . . “. I’ll save you from the suspense, adrenaline did not get this person a muscle-up. My point is this, be it wishing it won’t show up or wishing I will be randomly successful if it does are both no ways to train. To highlight this point even more is an article written by Patrick McCarty for Breaking Muscle titled “The CrossFit Open: Stop Whining About Muscle-ups”. (click here for full article) Now 15.3 has come and gone, I’m not trying to fire up more debate as to whether or not starting an Open workout with muscle-ups is a good thing or a bad thing. In his article Patrick gives a real world example of the difference between wishing for a result and working for a result:

“When I competed in the CrossFit Games 50-54 masters division in 2014, I knew almost beyond a doubt that handstand walks would be tested. I didn’t want them to be, but they were the flavor of the year, coming up in at the regional level and knocking a lot of folks out of the running, so I was pretty sure they were going to show up. Even for the old guys. And despite my coach prescribing the requisite amount of training for handstand walks, I won’t lie – I traded the hard work for hope. Hope that there was a smidgen of light that would cause Dave Castro to bypass this particular movement for the masters. So I did my work, but I basically phoned it in. I would sort of hope that I got upside down, but I never did. It was easier just to roll back off the floor and say to myself “Whelp, that should do it for today.” Contrast that with Heather McCauley, another athlete at my box, Cincinnati Strength and Conditioning. Heather is a strong female who excels in heavy barbell movements – but one year ago, she did not have muscle ups. So, Heather began a serious effort to achieve them. Almost daily, I would see her working on some variation of the progression. Not just jumping up on the rings and flailing and hoping it happened, but working on progressions from the floor, working the turnover, working the chest to bar, working the grip. Day after day, week after week, she worked on her muscle ups. It was almost as if she was possessed. 

As for me, I got to the CrossFit Games in July, and sure enough, handstand walks came up. Each athlete had to go a minimum of five feet to get a single point. I made it four. Zero points for me. Some of my competitors walked over 200 feet on their hands. I basically did a legless bear-crawl for four feet. It was, to say the least, sad. I chose to sidestep the hard work, and I paid the price. Meanwhile back at the gym, Heather was still working on her muscle ups. Finally in late 2014, she nailed one. Success! However, as is somewhat common with muscle ups when first achieved, they come and go. Heather experienced that ebb and flow where after the initial joy of getting on top of the rings, the muscle ups went away again for a while. Undeterred, she kept at it. Day after day, week after week, just hammering those muscle ups.

She put in the work – relentless, driven work – in order to master this movement and was ready for a testing piece that started with muscle ups. Heather did 15.3 and scored 161 reps – one full round and four muscle ups.

The difference between my handstand walks at the CrossFit Games and her muscle ups in 15.3? Where I traded the work for hope, Heather simply did the work.”

Everyone has weaknesses. Everyone has a goat. Avoiding them will not make them less so. Fearing them will not make them less so, fear only adds a mental component to a physical limitation. We cannot be afraid to fail and we cannot be afraid for others to see us fail. Avoiding these two situations is what leads us to be angry when something like 15.3 is announced. We say we are angry because starting an Open workout with muscle-ups defeats the spirit of the Open, blah, blah, blah. But we know we are angry because we didn’t put the work in and now it’s too late. Attack weaknesses with as much spirit and confidence as you do your favorites. Leave nothing to regret or useless anger. 

Wednesday 150325

Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
Run 400 meters
7 Muscle-ups
28 Ab-mat sit-ups

Post rounds to comments and BTWB


One Inch Punch
By Donny Shankle

I like to use the example of Bruce Lee’s one inch punch as a comparison to how you should move your feet when snatching, cleaning, or power and squat jerking. If you have not seen the video of Bruce Lee demonstrating his one inch punch, it shows him with his fist one inch away from another martial artist. Within this small space, he applies enough power as he strikes to knock the other man down into a chair placed behind him.

At its most crude level, all three lifts within weightlifting resemble a jump. Both feet come off the floor and this by definition is a jump. The jump needs to be sharp, short, and quick. Just because the jump looks different does not negate its identity. There are many different types of punches fighters use. The jab, uppercut, backhand, etc. are all different punches but they are all still identified as a punch in form. Some weightlifters even like to think of the change of direction which takes place as a sort of jumping down. What does this have to do with Bruce Lee’s one inch punch? It gives you an idea of how the feet should move within a small amount of space.

The jump which takes place during a snatch, clean, or jerk does not have to involve your feet coming a foot off the platform. In fact, to think of it this way will leave you “toe tied”. After you have completed your pull during the “Finish”, move your feet and pull yourself under the bar within a short amount of space using great power. Picture your feet moving with the same power as Bruce Lee’s one inch punch.

Don’t equate triple extension- extension of the ankles, knees, and hips, with “jumping” from the floor and slamming your feet down.  This post is a great reminder that, at no time, are you actually jumping from the floor on the clean, snatch, or jerk.  If your feet momentarily leave the ground, it is only because you hips opened so explosively,  your shrug was so powerful, and you are moving your feet into your squat stance.  Here is a slow motion video of a snatch, focus on the feet (FYI: that’s a 321 pound snatch):

Tuesday 150324

30 Minute AMRAP:
Row 25 minutes for Max Distance
Then, 5 minute AMRAP back squat for max weight

*At the end of the 25 Min, athletes will load the bar with any weight they choose. Once the clips are on, the weight cannot be changed.
*Score = Meters rowed + (back squat weight x reps)
 
Post to BTWB.

*NOTE for today’s workout: PLEASE sign up for class. If you are not signed up you may not get a rower. You may be substituted with the air assault bike or running. 

People helping people...it's powerful stuff!

People helping people…it’s powerful stuff!

 

When we are trying to learn something new, whether it’s a new language, how to play the guitar or even trying to perfect a new movement in CrossFit, it helps to understand how our brain learns.  We all learn differently of course, but some traits are pretty common.  An interesting read can be found HERE with some tips and exercises to try.  Here’s a brief synopsis.

We take information better when it’s visual.  Our brains use 50 percent of it’s resource on vision.  50 %! That means all other functions have only 50% of what’s left for all tasks.  One interesting finding from several studies is that we treat text as images.  This means that reading is inefficient in terms of processing information as compared to absorbing information by looking at a picture.  

Sleep affects learning and memory.  This is kind of one of those duh statements, but here’s a little more color.  In a study where participants learned a new motor skill and were tested at how well they remembered what they learned, participants that had a night of sleep tested almost 17 % higher than people who were simply tested in 4 hour intervals after the new motor skill was learned.

Learn best by teaching others.  As a coach, I know this works well.  When I teach movement or use cue to help correct faults, seeing it put into play by our members helps me become a better mover.  Seeing how my words or cues for corrections are interpreted allows me a chance to learn better ways to learn how to correct movement.  

The article has a few more tips on how to best learn including action plans that you try to see if the recommended tips are ways to help you improve learning.  Click HERE for the full article and links to studies referenced in the article.   

Monday 150323

For time:
50 Dumbbell snatches, 70#(50#)
5 Rope climbs
40 Dumbbell snatches, 70#(50#)
4 Rope climbs
30 Dumbbell snatches, 70#(50#)
3 Rope climbs
20 Dumbbell snatches, 70#(50#)
2 Rope climbs
10 Dumbbell snatches, 70#(50#)
1 Rope climb

Post to BTWB

This type of cold is what we are looking to shower in.

This type of cold is what we are looking to shower in.

Most of us, at least I hope anyways, take showers in the morning.  It’s part of our daily ritual, helps us wake up, and it’s just hygienic really.  How many of you take a cold shower in the morning?  I’m not talking you turn the cold water on a little to cool the hot water, I’m talking about turning the dial to the C or if you have a two dial system, not even touching the H one.

I’ve been reading and hearing more and more about the benefit of a cold shower in the morning, I’m talking mountain spring water from melted snow cold too.  Ice baths are common during CrossFit competitions and many professionals athletes in major sports also utilize ice baths to help relieve sore muscles and reduce inflammation.  But what about a freezing cold shower first thing in the morning?  An article on the FastCompany website dug a little deeper in the benefits.  Here are a few of the takeaways from the article and the link can be found at the end of the blog.

In the simplest terms, cold water can flood the mood regulating areas of our brain with happy neurotransmitters.  Separate studies have show that winter swimmers, people that swim in cold water, have a decrease in tension and fatigue as well as improved mood and memory.  

Here’s a way to give it a shot yourself and see if you experience the benefits.  Instead of jumping into a cold shower, start with a hot one and slowly lower the temperate until the water is cold to the touch and the skin.  Once it’s at the cold to the touch temperature, stand under if for 2 – 3 minutes.  This was the template the participants that reported the above results followed.  

I am very adverse to temperature whether hot or cold.  It takes me forever to get in a hot tub and cold tubs or ice baths are just as bad.  I’ve been trying the above formula of starting warm and lowering the temperature gradually and I’ve been able to make it up to 1 minute.  I’m hoping to be at the recommended 2 – 3 minutes in the next week or so.  

Has anyone else tried cold showers or use them regularly?  Click HERE for the full FastCompany article.  

Sunday 150322

For Time:
100 Double Unders
10 Muscle Ups (bar or ring)
80 Double Unders
8 Muscle ups (bar or ring)
60 Double Unders
6 Muscle ups (bar or ring)
40 Double Unders
4 Muscle ups (bar or ring)
20 Double Unders
2 Muscle ups (bar or ring)

Post time to BTWB.

 

SIDE DISH ALERT!

SIDE DISH ALERT!

SIDE DISH ALERT! - Anna Mattson

When planning my meals for the week, I usually NEVER have an issue deciding my meat selection for the week, in fact, it is exciting (sad, I know).  Where I struggle is coming up with new and exciting side dishes that don’t take a ton of prep.  The following recipe is easy, takes little prep, and is delicious!  You can find the original recipe here.
NOTE:
The chef suggests finding a medium-sized head of cauliflower.  A larger head will have issues cooking all the way through and will scorch on the outside.

WHOLE ROASTED CAULIFLOWER

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium-sized head cauliflower
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp finely-grated Parmesan
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9″ pie dish with cooking spray. Trim the leaves and stems from the underside of the cauliflower and cut the bottom stem even with the florets so that the cauliflower sits flat.
  2. Stir together the olive oil and garlic. Begin by brushing the bottom side of the cauliflower with the garlic oil. Season the underside and up inside the cauliflower with salt. Turn the head over and brush the top liberally with the garlic oil. Season the head with salt and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.
  3. Place the cauliflower into the pie dish and bake for 50–60 minutes or until the center of the cauliflower is tender when pierced with a knife and the exterior is golden brown.
  4. Slice into wedges and serve nice and hot. Enjoy!

252 grams of cauliflower = 1 block of CHO

VERVE UPDATES:

If you plan on doing/re-doing the Open workout tomorrow, you can start warming-up at 1:30pm to warm-up.  The first heat for the workout will begin at 2pm!!  You can sign-up for heats on the white board.

Saturday 150321

“Crain”

2 Rounds for time of:
34 Push-ups
45m Sprint
34 Deadlifts, 135#(95#)
45m Sprint
34 Box jumps, 24″(20″)
45m Sprint
34 Clean and jerks, 95#(65#)
45m Sprint
34 Burpees
45m Sprint
34 Wall-ball shots, 20#(14#)
45m Sprint
34 Pull-ups
45m Sprint

Post times to comments and BTWB

Danni keeping the little ones occupied while mom and dad workout. Just 1 of the many things Danni does for us at Verve.

Danni keeping the little ones occupied while mom and dad workout. Just 1 of the many things Danni does for us at Verve. We love us some Danni!!!

Surely you can’t be serious.

I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley.

We are totally serious about all the events happening at Verve. And trust us, there’s a lot. So get out your calendar and start marking it up:

Saturday March 21st- 
Teton Waters will be out front from 12pm-2pm with a truck full of grass fed beef. 

15.4 re-do from 1:30pm-2:30pm, sign up on MBO.

Sunday March 22nd:
Yoga @ 8am with Molly, sign up on MBO.

Final class of the Basic Self Defense Course, 12pm-1pm.

15.4 re-do part deux, 2pm-3:30pm, sign up on MBO.

Saturday April 4th:
Ladies only Parkour @ Urban Acrobatics at 8pm. Email Anna with your RSVP, AnnaM@crossfitverve.com.

Verve is hosting a Level 1 Seminar the weekend of April 11th-12th. Verve will have a 7am WOD and some offsite WODs for those looking to sleep in. Verve will be closed the rest of the day Saturday and Sunday. Interested in signing up for the course, go to Verve’s Events Page for more details. 

Saturday April 11th:
Collabeeration 5K and brew fest in Longmont, CO. For more details and to get signed up, click here.

CrossFit Football Trainer Course, July 11th-12th:

This course is an introduction to the concepts, movements and level of intensity needed to be successful in training for sport. In the course, participants are provided with a foundation for training athletes. They are taught the fundamentals of sport-specific training, including sprinting, basic movements, warm-ups and cool downs, change-of-direction and agility drills, jumping and weightlifting. Participants are given information on programming, nutrition and diet, and film study. Film study demonstrates the practical application of the CrossFit movements to football and other power sports. Anyone who trains groups that are required to be strong, agile and powerful can benefit from this course, no matter the level of athletes. Click here to register.

CrossFit Weightlifting Trainer Course, August 29th-30th:

Two days are spent detailing each lift (snatch on Day 1, clean and jerk on Day 2). The focus is on participants experiencing the basic positions and learning the foundational teaching points for instructing others to achieve them. The snatch and clean and jerk bring speed, power, coordination, agility, accuracy and balance to training and are indispensable to CrossFit programming and developing a well-rounded athlete. Click here to register.

Phew, all done. For now.

 

Friday 150320

Open workout 15.4

Complete as many reps as possible in 8 minutes of:
3 handstand push-ups
3 cleans
6 handstand push-ups
3 cleans
9 handstand push-ups
3 cleans
12 handstand push-ups
6 cleans
15 handstand push-ups
6 cleans
18 handstand push-ups
6 cleans
21 handstand push-ups
9 cleans
Etc., adding 3 reps to the handstand push-up each round, and 3 reps to the clean every 3 rounds.

Men clean 185 lb.
Women clean 125 lb.

Post reps to comments, BTWB, and your Games registration page

Notes
Prior to starting this workout each athlete will need to stand against the wall and measure and mark their foot line for the handstand push-ups (details to the left). At the call of “3-2-1 … go,” the athlete will kick up into a handstand and perform handstand push-ups. Once 3 handstand push-up reps are complete they will move to the barbell for 3 cleans, then back to the wall for 6 handstand push-ups, then 3 cleans, etc. Each round, the number of repetitions of the handstand push-ups will increase by 3. After every 3 rounds, the number of clean reps will increase by 3. Athletes will continue following this pattern for as many reps as possible within the 8 minutes.

Your score will be the total number of repetitions completed before the 8-minute time cap.

Tiebreak
In this workout, we are using a special tiebreak method. Time should be marked after every third set of cleans (the last set before increasing the clean reps), i.e., after the third set of 3 cleans, after the third set of 6 cleans, after the third set of 9 cleans, etc. Whichever occurred last will be your tiebreak score.

For example, a male athlete finishes 5 handstand push-ups in the round of 24 reps for a total of 125 reps. During his workout he finished his third set of 3 cleans at 1:31 and his third set of 6 cleans at 5:25. In this case, he will submit 125 reps for his score and also enter 5:25 as his time in the tiebreak field. This athlete would be ranked above someone who got 125 reps and a tiebreak time of 6:00, but below someone with 125 reps and a tiebreak time of 5:15.

Note: All tiebreak times must be reported in elapsed time, not in time remaining. If you are using a countdown timer, you must convert to elapsed time before reporting your score. For this reason, it is recommended you set your clock to count up.

For Scaled options there is no tiebreak.

Equipment
• Wall with a line at the appropriate height for the handstand push-up
• Barbell
• Collars
• Plates to load to the appropriate weight for your division

For each workout, be sure the athlete has adequate space to safely complete the event. Clear the area of all extra equipment, people or other obstructions.

*The official weight is in pounds. For your convenience, the minimum acceptable weights in kilograms are 84 / 56 kg for Rx’d, 43 / 29 kg push press and 52 / 34 kg clean for Masters 55+ and Scaled, 52 / 34 kg clean for Teens 16-17, 43 / 29 kg clean for Teens 14-15, 29 / 20 kg push press and 34 / 24 kg clean for Teens Scaled and Masters 55+ Scaled.

Video Submission Standards
Prior to starting, film the plates and barbell to be used so the loads can be seen clearly. Also film the process of measuring the line for the handstand push-ups. All video submissions should be uncut and unedited in order to accurately display the performance. A second person with a stopwatch should be in the frame throughout the entire workout. Shoot the video from an angle so all exercises can be clearly seen meeting the movement standards.

Workout 15.4 Variations

Rx’d
(Rx’d Men, Masters Men 40-44, Masters Men 45-49, Masters Men 50-54, Rx’d Women, Masters Women 40-44, Masters Women 45-49, Masters Women 50-54)

Complete as many reps as possible in 8 minutes of:
3 handstand push-ups
3 cleans
6 handstand push-ups
3 cleans
9 handstand push-ups
3 cleans
12 handstand push-ups
6 cleans
15 handstand push-ups
6 cleans
18 handstand push-ups
6 cleans
21 handstand push-ups
9 cleans
Etc., adding 3 reps to the handstand push-up each round, and 3 reps to the clean every 3 rounds.

Men clean 185 lb.
Women clean 125 lb.

NOTE: Athletes in all Masters categories who choose to perform the scaled version of this workout will still be eligible to advance to the Masters Qualifier. They will be ranked below all athletes who performed the Rx’d version, but will not be ineligible for the next stage of competition.

Masters 55+
(Masters Men 55-59, Masters Men 60+, Masters Women 55-59, Masters Women 60+)

Complete as many reps as possible in 8 minutes of:
3 push presses
3 cleans
6 push presses
3 cleans
9 push presses
3 cleans
12 push presses
6 cleans
15 push presses
6 cleans
18 push presses
6 cleans
21 push presses
9 cleans
Etc., adding 3 reps to the push press each round, and 3 reps to the clean every 3 rounds.

Men push press 95 lb. and clean 115 lb.
Women push press 65 lb. and clean 75 lb.

Teens
(Teen Boys 14-15, Teen Boys 16-17, Teen Girls 14-15, Teen Girls 16-17)

Complete as many reps as possible in 8 minutes of:
3 handstand push-ups
3 cleans
6 handstand push-ups
3 cleans
9 handstand push-ups
3 cleans
12 handstand push-ups
6 cleans
15 handstand push-ups
6 cleans
18 handstand push-ups
6 cleans
21 handstand push-ups
9 cleans
Etc., adding 3 reps to the handstand push-up each round, and 3 reps to the clean every 3 rounds.

Boys 14-15 clean 95 lb.
Boys 16-17 clean 115 lb.
Girls 14-15 clean 65 lb.
Girls 16-17 clean 75 lb.

Scaled
(Scaled Men, Scaled Masters Men 40-44, Scaled Masters Men 45-49, Scaled Masters Men 50-54, Scaled Women, Scaled Masters Women 40-44, Scaled Masters Women 45-49, Scaled Masters Women 50-54)

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 8 minutes of:
10 push presses
10 cleans

Men push press 95 lb. and clean 115 lb.
Women push press 65 lb. and clean 75 lb.

Scaled Masters 55+
(Scaled Masters Men 55-59, Scaled Masters Men 60+, Scaled Masters Women 55-59, Scaled Masters Women 60+)

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 8 minutes of:
10 push presses
10 cleans

Men push press 65 lb. and clean 75 lb.
Women push press 45 lb. and clean 55 lb.

Scaled Teens
(Scaled Teen Boys 14-15, Scaled Teen Boys 16-17, Scaled Teen Girls 14-15, Scaled Teen Girls 16-17)

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 8 minutes of:
10 push presses
10 cleans

Boys push press 65 lb. and clean 75 lb.
Girls push press 45 lb. and clean 55 lb.

Thursday 150319

Back squat
5-5-3-3-3-1-1-1-1-1

Post loads to comments and BTWB

Artis working on his max height box jump.

Artis working on his max height box jump.

 

Reasons you’re not getting deep enough (that’s what she said) By Courtney Shepherd and Breaking Muscle

Last week I talked about how much I love the squat, squats are my favorite. But not just any squat, the air squat. . . the full range of motion, hip crease below knee crease, below parallel air squat. My love for this functional movement even earned me a title of “mean”. I did realize however, after so many requests for athletes to get lower in their squats, that perhaps them no going below parallel wasn’t because they didn’t want to but it was because they simply couldn’t. Some athletes may have physical limitations that either inhibit their abilities to get below parallel or they can get below parallel with discomfort.

In an article titled “4 Reasons You’re Not Getting Deep Enough in Your Squats” in Breaking Muscle by Tyson Austin, the author addresses 4 possible reasons an athlete may have trouble reaching full depth in their squat. Establishing that one of these possibilities is in fact the answer, may provide us an opportunity to address it and help improve our squat.

Reason #1- The Spine

If you have any misalignments in your lumbosacral region, you will be putting pressure on your nervous system and interfering with its signaling to your lower extremities. If you don’t have proper nervous system signaling to your lower extremities, you can see how they will not be working optimally or properly. 

Reason #2- The Hips

In most jobs these days sitting is involved for long periods of time, which can be detrimental to musculature in the hip area. While you are sitting at your desk for hours on end, your hip flexors are chronically activated (shortened), while the hip extensors are chronically inhibited (lengthened). This does not bode well for you when you attempt to squat. The main thing you want to do is work on lengthening the hip flexors, namely the psoas, via daily stretches, myofascial release, foam rolling, lacrosse ball smashing, and flossing.

Reason #3- The Knees

Next up are the knees, specifically the under activation of the vastus medialis muscle and the over activation of the tensor fascia latae muscle and its tendinous attachment known as the iliotibial tract. These muscles are not necessarily going to affect your squat depth, however, they do play a huge role in knee joint alignment. They also play a huge role in many cases of knee pain, which can ultimately affect your ability to squat. If the vastus medialis muscle is under activated it allows the iliotibial tract to pull your patella laterally and can result in the aforementioned knee pain, known as patellofemoral pain or runner’s knee.

Reason #4- The Ankles

The thing we want to know is how good your dorsiflexion is. To assess this you can do a functional movement test where you kneel on one knee, have the other foot planted on the ground with toes about five inches from the wall. Then, lunge forward toward the wall. If you can do this with no problem and your front heel stays firmly rooted on the ground then your dorsiflexion of that ankle is mostly likely sufficient. Obviously you want to assess both ankles. If you are like many and either heel comes off the ground, then the ankles are definitely a culprit that is keeping you from achieving optimal squat depth. There are also several different ankle mobility drills that you can do at home that will speed up the process as well.

From mobility to exercises to seeking care from chiropractors/ physical therapists, there are several steps that can be taken to improve upon these areas. Working on ankle flexibility goes beyond improving the squat, same for increased hip mobility. We don’t have to squat to involved our ankles and hip, what about a push press or push jerk? Working to improve these 4 areas not only improves our performance in the CrossFit gym but, as we improve our functionality, we improve our over all quality of life outside of the gym. Click here for full article with ideas, tips, suggestions for getting yo-self fixed. 

*Get ready for Open WOD 15.4 to be announced at 6pm. 

*Stay tuned Saturday for a whole list of cool events and Verve happenings that are coming up.

 

Wednesday 150318

With a 7 minute clock 

Row 1000 meters
With remaining time as many reps as possible rope climbs
rest 3 minutes
With a 5 minute clock
row 500 meters
with remaining time as many reps as possible toes to bar
Post to BTWB.
That's one awesome cloud of POWER!

That’s one awesome cloud of POWER!

CHALK = POWER!!!  – Anna Mattson

Welllll, yes and no.  Does chalk help give our hands more grip? Yes.  Does chalk covering our entire hand, forearm, and thighs look awesome? Yes.  Does chalk give us a great excuse to rest? Absolutely.  I have listed the many reasons why chalk can be GREAT!  There are also drawbacks to using chalk, especially too much chalk.  I want to discuss why we even use chalk, how to properly use chalk, and where it is best stored!

WHY DO WE USE CHALK?

Our grip is very important in CrossFit.  We pull things off the ground, we put things in the air, and we pull ourselves up over objects.  When our hands are slick with sweat, this just increases the element of danger; hence, why we use chalk.  Chalk helps to dry out our hands when they sweat so we can keep a stronger grip. 

HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?

Setting chalk’s mystical powers aside, let me put the theory of “the more chalk the better” to rest.  Chalk adds grip to our hands.  As we are working out, our hands sweat, we use more chalk, more sweat, more chalk, and so on.  This cycle creates a paste of stickiness on our hands that, especially when doing pulling work, leads us straight into rip town.

HOW TO USE CHALK

You wouldn’t think there is much to the chalking process, “I put the chalk on the hands, I pick things up, I put things down”.  There is more to the chalk process than covering your whole hand from wrist to finger tip before doing pull-ups.  Take a moment and think about what part of your hand you use for any lifting or pulling; more than likely, if you are a homosapian you are only using the base of your fingers to your third knuckle up not the palm of your hand.  When chalking up, just focus on that area.  When re-chalking, possibly keep a towel near by, wipe down your hands before adding another layer of chalk.  Following this process along with good hand maintenance should help you avoid the constant ripping of the hands.

WHERE DOES CHALK BELONG?

We try to do our best to keep Verve clean!  When chalk leaves its’ home in the bucket, this task of cleanliness gets harder.  I will start this with where chalk does not belong:

On a J-cup

On a J-cup

At the bottom of a post

At the bottom of a post

Randomly laying on the ground

Randomly laying on the ground

When chalk is left in the above places, it will likely get stepped on or dropped, crumbling into a pile of a million pieces, then Lindsay Lohan magically appears and jumps on the new pile of powder and has a party.  We have 5 chalk buckets set throughout the gym, so you will never have to walk more than 20 ft. to get some chalk.  Being as how we are not at the CrossFit games, you can either take a couple of extra seconds to go grab chalk from a bucket or decide we don’t need more chalk and we move faster!

SHAMELESS PLUG

One of our members, Danielle D, runs a t-shirt design company BARCODEFIT and has designed some shirts specifically for this topic!  If you are interested in one of these shirts, just follow THIS link to get your very own!  Enter promo code “VerveChalkPower” to receive $5 off.

Chalk=Power

Chalk = Power

Tuesday 150317

For Time:
30 Thrusters 115#(75#)
30 Burpee box jump overs (20″)
Run 400m
20 Thrusters 115#(75#)
20 Burpee box jump overs  (20″)
Run 400m
10 Thrusters 115#(75#)
10 Burpee box jump overs   (20″)
Run 400m

Post time to BTWB

Maddie working through muscle ups during 15.3.

Maddie working through muscle ups during 15.3.

Who doesn’t love a great cheat meal?  How many of us actually plan out our cheat meals ahead of time, either when or what we are going to consume?  I read an interesting article over the weekend and thought I’d share some of the interesting points about how losing body fat with cheat meals is recommended.  

First, let’s talk about how often we should cheat.  The zero tolerance approach is really difficult to follow, so having a cheat meal every now and again is good for your mental state as well as your physical state.  Typically a cheat meal should be taken between 20 and 30 good or healthy meals.  Healthy is relative to you.  This means that if you eat 5 good meals a day, you should have a cheat every 4 – 6 days.  It’s recommended that the last meal of the day be the cheat meal.  

Have a plan.  Eating a great meal at a favorite restaurant is sometimes more satisfying than just eating a bunch of junk food while watching TV, although that has it’s place too!

Deciding what to cheat with is sometimes difficult.  Take note of how you feel the following day.  If you feel worse than being hungover, perhaps better choices are needed for your next cheat meal.

Here’s a great tip that I hadn’t heard before.  When your butt leaves the chair, you’re done.  Sometimes a few bites can lead to an all out assault of everything unhealthy in your house.  Make a rule, that once you get up, you’re done.  Throwing away food isn’t condoned by everyone, but if you can’t finish the things you purchased for your cheat meal, sometimes getting rid of them will help.  If it’s not in our house, we won’t eat it.  If you don’t like throwing away food, be more realistic when purchasing the items for your cheat meal. 

Click HERE to read the article the above was referenced from.  Pretty interesting article with some additional data for those scientifically inclined.