We spent some time working on our Clean technique yesterday, specifically from a High Hang Position (begin with the bar very close to hips) to minimize momentum and focus on both the explosive hip extension and getting the bar cleanly and smoothly into the rack position. Too many of us are using way too much knee action when pulling from the hang or floor, and muscling the bar into position with the arms. That works alright with a lighter weight, but you’ll find it difficult to use a significant load.
Here’s a nice little article on racking the bar from Greg Everett at Catalyst Athletics.
Some Mobility WOD goodness from Kelly Starrett here.
And here’s some motivation to work on that rack position.
Tired of being sore and tight? Have specific questions or problem areas that you’d like to address with stretching? Come to CFSW’s stretching clinic where you’ll learn anatomy, self stretching, partner stretching and hold relax stretching. Lead by Nathan Price—PTA, NFPT and CrossFit Level 1 Certified Trainer—we will spend time working out the kinks and knots that keep you from moving to your best ability. This clinic is limited to the first 10 CFSW members that respond. The price is $50.00 and includes a foam roller and lacrosse ball.
“With the new year will come every conceivable act advertised as being the new rage form of quick fix, “beach body” transformation. ”Every conceivable act”, that is, absent of this message: You’re going to have to bust your ass in the gym. A “few” of times per week if you’re looking to be healthy, and 6 or more times per week if you’re looking to compete against the best in your chosen sport. You’re going to have to give up tasty, sugary crap for nutrient dense food. You’re going to have to go to bed at a decent hour and get plenty of sleep. You’re going to have to figure out a way to effectively manage your daily stress. There is no pill, magic potion, woo, or even PED that can compensate for this.”—Keith Norris (Theory to Practice)
The New Year is fast approaching, and we are looking forward to seeing some of our old friends who have taken time off for the holidays, as well as the new folks who are using this time of renewal as motivation to make a change.
Beginning Monday, 1/7/13, we will be adding an additional Foundations Class Monday – Thursday at 5 pm.
There has also been some talk of bringing back the 7 pm CrossFit class, at least for a few days per week. If you would like to help make this happen, let me know either in the comments or next time you’re at the gym. If we can get some legitimate interest, we’ll start that up again.
Remember, we will be running an Open Gym from 8-11 am on New Year’s Eve (Monday), and we will be closed Tuesday. We will be back to a normal schedule on Wednesday, 1/2/13.
This is pretty cool. Not sure if anyone is able to take advantage, but it appears that United Healthcare has a partnership with Healthy Contributions.
Any individual who has insurance through a United Healthcare Employer Group Plan for small businesses with 2 - 99 employees, is eligible for a $20 monthly reimbursement on their membership dues. To get the $20 (deposited directly to their bank account) they simply have to go to the gym 12 times each month.
Let me know if you’re interested, and I’ll see what needs to be done on my end to get things set up.
Everyone who is interested in heading to Flagstaff for the Affiliate Cup the weekend of Dec 14-16:
I need to get a firm headcount, and a deposit from you for the house. We have somewhat limited space available, so let me know ASAP if you’re planning on going so we can go over details, costs, etc.
Call, email, or stop me at the gym!
Our Holiday Party is right around the corner! This Saturday, December 1st. We’ll start around 4 pm, and rumor has it that Fredy has already picked out a spot to spend the night.
Please bring a dish to share. We’re encouraging people to bring in something traditional, whether it is a family recipe or something that represents your culture, or just a warm fuzzy memory. It can be an entree, side dish, or dessert. Or even a beverage.
The other thing that we’re going to try to do this year is to sponsor a local family, or at least some kids. I’ll have further details at the party, but any and all are welcome to join us in this.
We’ll have an exact address available at the gym, or contact me for directions.
Make your plans now, CFSW Holiday Party is scheduled for Saturday, December 1st!
We’ll be meeting at the McCullough residence (aka “The House the Quinn Built”—address available at the gym). The party starts at 4 pm, and will continue until we decide to leave.
This year, we decided that we’re going to go with an International Theme to the Potluck. If you’re up for the challenge, bring a holiday dish from the Old Country (wherever that is). Or, if you prefer, bring one from someone else’s home country. Personally, I’m trying to decide which protein source can be roasted whole and presented on a platter with some sort of fruit in it’s mouth, but feel free to get creative! We’ll need plenty of sides and desserts as well.
In addition to getting together with everyone socially, it has been decided that we should also attempt to do some good in the world in some small way. To that end, we will be adopting a family for Christmas. I’ll have further details in the next few days. Obviously, participation will be totally optional, but I’m looking forward to it.
It’s that time of year again—it’s getting down into the 50’s and 60’s at night, so Arizonans need to bundle up!
We’re going to put in another order for hooded sweatshirts soon, and we will be doing pre-orders only! So, if you would like to get one this time around, you need to let me know your size and color preference. We can do either a pullover or zip up, $35. Thermals are $25.
Click here for the color options on the hoodies.Any color but red will work.The long sleeve thermals can be found here.
We will be placing the order by 11/24. All money must be received before that date, or you will not receive your sweatshirt.
I’m hoping to get them back in time for the Flagstaff competition on 12/15, so there will be NO extension on this date!
Please contact Ken with any questions.
The return of Elizabeth! (see here for previous scores), and this time we had some people take care of business! Several people dropped a considerable amount of time, and we also had many people using heavier weights than the first time. Love to see all the PRs! Great work everyone.
This past weekend, several of us went down to the Honey Badger Invitational Olympic Weightlifting meet hosted by our friends at Evolution Tucson.
Reuben was “talked into” competing on Monday, and walked in with a whopping 3 days of actual lifting preparation. He did great for his first meet, hitting lifts at or near his all-time PRs to win his weight class.
Sara lifted at the East Valley Open about weeks ago, and wasn’t happy with her first meet performance. She trained hard, and put up much better numbers at the Honey Badger. That being said, she was still throwing around the barbell like it was a matchstick, and can definitely put up a lot more weight. Look for her to have some really big meets in 2013 if she decides to stick with it.
Many thanks to Matt D. for coming down to help coach, and Cali for taking pictures. (We’ll post a few in the next few days). Also, thank you to Fredy, David and Steven for making the trip to support our lifters.
Next stop: Arizona Affiliate Cup in Flagstaff December 15th!
As promised, a blog post about movement quality and range of motion and all that. I’m not sure if it’s the weather, or the impending holidays, or just the fact that we have a lot of new folks running around. Regardless, I’ve been slacking in my duties. So, here’s a reminder:
IF YOU DON’T COMPLETE THE REPETITION, THROUGH THE ENTIRE ACCEPTABLE RANGE OF MOTION, DON’T COUNT IT!!!
You know who you are, and you know what I mean. Pullups that are scarcely forehead to bar, pushups that don’t approach the floor. Quarter squats.
So, this is your warning. We’re going to crack down on questionable reps.
And, I’ve posted this before, but it’s a message that needs to be heard. Via my friend Doug Chapman at CrossFit Ann Arbor, Clock Whores.
A friend recently dropped some mythology my way, in the form of Sisyphus. You may know him as the King who got a little too clever for his own good, and was sentenced to an eternity in Hades, pushing a heavy boulder up a steep hill all day. At the end of the day, he would reach the crest of the hill, exhausted. As the first stars appeared, the boulder would roll down and he would have to start again from the bottom.
His punishment was intended to represent futile effort—a useless, grinding task in retribution for disrespecting the Gods. To this day, Sisyphus brings to mind the idea of mindless, unending toil.
Sounds a lot like your workouts feel sometimes, right? You work hard in the gym, grunting and swearing, sometimes collapsing in a sweaty heap. And the next day it feels like you have to start right back at the bottom of the hill. Over time, it can feel like you’re fighting your way over the same ground, over and over and over. That boulder can start to feel immovably heavy, and the slope impossibly steep, and it’s easy to lose the will to keep going.
We are all familiar with this feeling, in life as well as the pursuit of fitness. It is at times like these that we can draw inspiration from Sisyphus.
(Indulge me for a moment, I promise we’ll bring this back to fitness. First, though, a brief layover in French Existentialism.)
Albert Camus published an essay, The Myth of Sisyphus, wherein he examined the nature of life and man’s place in the universe. I won’t bore you with details, but the short version involves the search for reason and meaning in a world which may be devoid of such. According to Camus, when faced with the realization that there may not be a greater meaning in life, Man is faced with 3 choices: assign responsibility to some higher power (Fate, Destiny, the Gods, etc.), surrender to hopelessness (ultimately requiring suicide), or acknowledge that this search for reason may be futile.
Camus rejects the first two, and instead argues this contradiction between the human need for reason and the unreasonable world must be acknowledged. Acknowledged, but never accepted—one must constantly confront and revolt against it. Facing this, then, allows us to embrace life, and live it to it’s fullest.
Sisyphus becomes the embodiment of this concept to Camus. Day after day for eternity, he faces his boulder, and fights and claws his way to the top of the hill, only to see his efforts are in vain. The boulder crashes back to it’s starting point at the bottom of the hill, and Sisyphus must make his weary way down to begin anew. It is during these moments when Sisyphus is headed back down the hill that he is most conscious of the absurdity of his fate—and, according to Camus, it is during these moments where he is free. Knowing that he faces the same soul-wrenching journey up the hill, still Sisyphus chooses to walk down, place his body against the rock, and begin again. His fate is his own. ”The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart.” In this acknowledgement, Sisyphus is content. In fact, according to Camus, ”We must imagine Sisyphus happy.”
So it is with fitness. It’s easy to get caught up looking for a higher authority to take responsibility for everything—that magic diet guru or plastic surgeon are prayed to frequently. It’s also easy to just give up hope and stop trying at all. To commit fitness suicide, if you will. But to me, you must acknowledge that it’s hard, and that making progress takes time and effort, and isn’t always a smooth road.
The important thing isn’t just the goal at the top of whatever hill you are climbing—the journey itself should be embraced. Each session is an opportunity to take another step, to move your boulder a little higher. The times of despair, of wanting to give up, that is the rock’s victory. Every rep, every pound, every time you grasp the bar and vow to fight once more—that is your victory over the rock.
"Myths are made for the imagination to breathe life into them. As for this myth, one sees merely the whole effort of a body straining to raise the huge stone, to roll it and push it up a slope a hundred times over; one sees the face screwed up, the cheek tight against the stone, the shoulder bracing the clay-covered mass, the foot wedging it, the fresh start with arms outstretched, the wholly human security of two earth-clotted hands. At the very end of his long effort measured by skyless space and time without depth, the purpose is achieved. Then Sisyphus watches the stone rush down in a few moments toward that lower world whence he will have to push it up again toward the summit. He goes back down to the plain. It is during that return, that pause, that Sisyphus interests me. A face that toils so close to stones is already stone itself! I see that man going back down with a heavy yet measured step toward the torment of which he will never know the end. That hour like a breathing-space which returns as surely as his suffering, that is the hour of consciousness. At each of those moments when he leaves the heights and gradually sinks toward the lairs of the gods, he is superior to his fate. He is stronger than his rock."
THANK YOU to everyone that came out today to compete and support the CFSW community! That was a lot of fun for us to put on, I hope everyone enjoyed attending.
Special thanks to Matt D. and Steven for all their help, Lisa for getting the medals, and Cali for taking photos. There are some great pictures up already on the Facebook page, and it sounds like there are a couple hundred more to get through.
Congratulations to the Winners today!
Men’s Rx: Patrick
Women’s Rx: Emma
Men’s Scaled: Sathish
Women’s Scaled: Meghan
Master’s Men: Jim S.
Master’s Women: Lisa
As they say, everyone who competed today is a winner. These folks just won a little more than the rest.
Again, thank you all for coming out. Let’s plan to do this again sometime!
For those who haven’t been to the gym yet, here is the first workout for Saturday morning’s Competition:
(Use the same barbell for all movements—prescribed is 135# for Men/95# for Women)
One time through for Time:
Barbell Ground-to-Overhead x 15
50 Double Unders
Barbell Clean (Power or Squat) x 15
50 Double Unders
Barbell Front Squat x 15
50 Double Unders
For the Ground-to-overhead, the barbell must be stationary on the ground at the start of each rep (no bouncing), and finish with the barbell fully overhead, with elbows, hips, and knees fully extended. The barbell may be lifted by any means needed (e.g., snatch, clean and jerk, clean and push press, clean thruster, etc.)
Score will be the time necessary to complete the workout, or total number of reps completed at the end of 12:00, whichever is appropriate.
This is a belated recognition for one of our 6 am folks. Over the weekend, Marius competed in the Mogollon Monster 100, a ridiculous 106-mile race up on the Mogollon Rim. Racers ascend the Rim four times, and climb approximately 18,000 feet over the course of the race.
That’s some serious work!
Only 9 out of 37 runners finished the course this year, and Marius finished 4th (31 hours, 5 minutes).
We will be holding an open/combined class 830 am class only! It will be open to everyone.
Individual Workout 1: First heat starts at 10 am
Partner Workout: First heat starts at 11:15 am
Individual Workout 2: First heat starts at 1 pm
Came across this quote a few days ago, and thought it might be appreciated. This comes from Lt. Col. Christopher K. Raible, one of two Marines based out of Yuma, AZ, who were killed last week in Afghanistan.
Take out the specifics of ‘attack pilots’, and I think this is pretty solid advice for anyone. Just wanted to share.
From: Commanding Officer, Marine Attack Squadron 211
To: Squadron Attack Pilots
Subj: COMMANDER’S GUIDANCE FOR SQUADRON ATTACK PILOTS
1. Professional hunger. My goal is to identify those Officers who want to be professional attack pilots and dedicate the resources required to build them into the flight leaders and instructors that are required for the long-term health of our community. This is not a socialist organization. We will not all be equal in terms of quals and flight hours. Some will advance faster than others, and because this is not a union, your rate of advancement will have nothing to do with seniority. Your rate of advancement will instead be determined by your hunger, professionalism, work ethic, and performance. If flying jets and supporting Marines is your passion and your profession, you are in the right squadron. If these things are viewed simply as your job, please understand that I must invest for the future in others. Your time in a gun squadron might be limited, so it is up to you to make the most of the opportunities that are presented.
2. Professional focus. Our approach to aviation is based upon the absolute requirement to be ‘brilliant in the basics.’ Over the last few years Marine TACAIR has not punted the tactical nearly so often as the admin. Sound understanding of NATOPS, aircraft systems, and SOPs is therefore every bit as important as your understanding of the ANTTP and TOPGUN. With this in mind, ensure the admin portions of your plan are solid before you move onto objective area planning. Once you begin tactical planning, remember that keeping things ‘simple and easy to execute’ will usually be your surest path to success. If the plan is not safe, it is not tactically sound.
3. Attitude. I firmly believe in the phrase ‘hire for attitude, train for skill.’ Work ethic, willingness to accept constructive criticism, and a professional approach to planning, briefing, and debriefing will get you 90% of the way towards any qualification or certification you are pursuing. The other 10% is comprised of in-flight judgment and performance, and that will often come as a result of the first 90%. Seek to learn from your own mistakes and the mistakes of others. Just as a championship football team debriefs their game film, we are going to analyze our tapes and conduct thorough flight debriefs. It has often been said that the success of a sortie is directly proportional to the caliber of the plan and brief. The other side of this coin is that the amount of learning that takes place as a result of a sortie is directly proportional to the caliber of the debrief.
4. Moral courage. Speak up if something seems wrong or unsafe. We all know what the standards are supposed to be in Naval Aviation and in the Corps. Enforce them! When we fail to enforce the existing standards, we are actually setting and enforcing a new standard that is lower.
5. Dedication. If you average one hour per workday studying, 6 months from now you will be brilliant. That is all it takes; one hour per day. As you start to notice the difference between yourself and those who are unable to find 60 minutes, I want you to know that I will have already taken note. Then, I want you to ask yourself this question: ‘How good could I be if I really gave this my all?’
6. When all else fades away, attack pilots have one mission: provide offensive air support for Marines. The Harrier community needs professional attack pilots who can meet this calling. It does not require you to abandon your family. It does not require you to work 16 hours per day, six days per week. It requires only a few simple commitments to meet this calling: be efficient with your time at work so that you can study one hour per day; be fully prepared for your sorties and get the maximum learning possible out of every debrief; have thick skin and be willing to take constructive criticism; find one weekend per month to go on cross country. When you are given the opportunity to advance, for those few days go to the mat and give it your all, 100%, at the expense of every other thing in your life. To quote Roger Staubach, ‘there are no traffic jams on the extra mile.’ If you can be efficient during the workweek, give an Olympian effort for check rides and certifications, and are a team player, the sky will literally be the limit for you in this squadron.
C. K. RAIBLE ————————
We will have two individual workouts, and one partner workout. The first individual workout will start at 1000 am, the partner workout will begin at 1130 am, and the second individual workout will begin at 1 pm. Tailgating is encouraged! Bring along something to grill, or your favorite side dish or dessert.
Prizes will be awarded in the following categories:
Men’s Masters (35+)
Women’s Master’s (35+)
Registration Deadline is October 1st. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop by the gym. If emailing, please include your name and age, and the name of your partner (if you are competing in the Partner Competition). There will be a $10 per person entry fee, due on or before October 1st.
You may participate in either or both of the Competitions (Individual and Partner). Workouts will be announced during the week of Oct 1, and you can decide the day of the competition if you are competing in the Rx or Scaled division.
This competition is open to any current CFSW member, regardless of experience level. If you are a past member who would like to participate in the individual competition, please contact us for details. You may invite a non-CFSW to be your teammate for the partner competition, but please contact Ken in advance if this is the case.
Spectators and guests are, of course, welcome!
Please direct any questions to Ken.
I’ve moved away from posting the daily workouts on the blog, but in an effort to post a bit more regularly, we’ll be posting the occasional workout highlights.
We are finishing week 8 of our Olympic Weightlifting emphasis, and will be moving on into our next block of programming in another week or so. The extra work has been paying off, and everyone’s technique is really shaping up—and it’s noticeable. A few people are really putting things together I didn’t get it on video, but Jon’s snatches the other day were sweet!
We did this workout Wednesday, but it was sneaky hard, and I wanted to put it up. After our barbell work, we finished things up with:
dumbbell snatches x 8 each hand
200 m run
Men’s weights were 40# - 70#, women’s ranged from 25# - 35#. This was a great effort from everyone involved!
Still think it’s a good thing to take away PE and recess in schools?
This study concludes that less than 10 minutes of vigorous activity daily increased heart-protective mechanisms in children and teens. 7 minutes of intense physical activity per day resulted in significant reductions in body weight and blood pressure, and increases in fitness. These results were superior to lower intensity exercise of longer duration.
"That is a huge difference," said principal researcher Jonathan McGavock, an exercise physiologist at the Manitoba Institute of Child Health.
"If we look at physical activity as the magic bullet or drug that is going to have health benefits, such as reducing the risk of overweight or reducing the risk of high blood pressure, a higher intensity is like taking a higher dose of that drug," he said Monday from Winnipeg.
"It says that the more intense the exercise is, the less likely [youth] are to be overweight or to have high blood pressure, compared to (those doing) lower-intensity exercise."
Interested in trying out a CrossFit competition? Just want to come out, grill, and support your friends? Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 6th, for our first ever CFSW Competition!
Men and Women can compete in either Prescribed or Scaled Divisions, or grab a partner and compete in the Team workout. There may be trophies involved (just sayin’), but the only cash on the line will be whatever side bets are placed (and I don’t want to know about it). Workouts will be announced the night before.
This will also be a Potluck—we’ll fire up a grill or two, and everyone is welcome to bring a dish to share.
This event is intended for CFSW members only, but you may petition to bring a Guest for the partner workout. CFSW Alumni are also eligible to play, but please check with Ken first. Of course, anyone is welcome to spectate.
The Foundations classes are run at 6 pm Monday -Thursday, and Saturday mornings at 930 am. You may enroll at any time, and get started immediately. Each class will focus on one topic or movement, with an emphasis on technical instruction, and then typically finishes up with a workout that involves some of the same movements.
The Foundations class rotates through 12 different topics, and you transition into the regular group classes as soon as you feel comfortable with the different movements and exercises. You may stay in the Foundations classes as long as you would like, and anyone in the regular group workouts are welcome to attend the Foundations classes as well if they would like to brush up on any of their skills.
For more information, or to make an appointment, please contact us.
We’ve been focusing on Olympic Weightlifting during this block of programming, so I thought it would be good to repost this graphic, as well as a couple of inspirational videos. We’ve got about 4 more weeks of this block, where the emphasis is on learning the lifts, and then we’re going to be incorporating the lifts during the next round of programming as well. So, look, learn, love.
Here’s a slow motion video of a World Record holder (Liao Hui). It’s long, but worthwhile. Notice on the first pull how his knees move backward, while his back maintains the same angle relative to the floor. We’ve talked about it, but this is what it should really look like. Also, notice how high the bar doesn’t get.
Here’s some full-speed video of Hui, winning the Chinese National Weightlifting Games (‘09), with a 163 kg Snatch and 195 kg Clean & Jerk. (358 lbs and 429 lbs, respectively) Oh, did you catch that he’s in the 69 kg/151.8 lb weightclass?
Trying to do a better job of keeping everyone updated on CrossFit and related events and happenings around the valley and state. Here is a partial list:
Sat, Sept 1st
East Valley Open Weightlifting Meet
East Valley CrossFit (Chandler)
Sat, Sept 8th
Rich Wenner Powerlifting Clinic
Coach Wenner is Strength Coach at ASU
East Valley CrossFit
Sat, Oct 6th
CrossFit Purgatory (Tucson)
Sat, Oct 6th
Barbells for Boobs
East Valley CrossFit
Sat, Oct 13th
The Furious 5
CrossFit Fury (Goodyear)
Sat, Nov 10th
Lift It Love It
CrossFit 480 (Scottsdale)
Sat, Dec 15th
We’ll probably be sending a few folks to some of these events, but they’re also a good time if you just want to go watch and see what one of these competitions looks like. Please let me know if you have any questions or are interested in competing.
Busy week or so around here, but I wanted to post up our Fran times from last week. Several PRs, and many more people performing the workout as prescribed (or with less scaling) than last time. Great job everyone!
Also wanted to give you a sneak peek of our latest shirts. This is a very limited edition design! Don’t worry if you miss out on this one though—we’ve got another design coming in the next week or two.