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11 Dec 2016

Comentarios de Fin de Año

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Hello, Guys! 2016 ha sido un año de mucha transición. Empezando con un cambio administrativo grande, eventos muy satisfactorios como nuestro renombrado FOTB y el nuevo PTY Lifestyle Challenge, miembros nuevos en la familia y culminando con un “redefined” Community caracterizado por un gran interés en los que nos interesa: fitness. Somos los que somos y estamos los que estamos y que venga el 2017 con zero drama y pura motivación.

Les cuento una anécdota de mi primer WODsito post cesárea hace dos semanas. Constaba de unas humildes 5 rondas de 200m Row, 5 Burpees, 10 Reverse Lunges (10 E/L). Señores, todavía me estoy ahogando. Ese día me estaba bañando y parecía pez fuera del agua. Eso me lleva al primer comentario. 1) No hay NADA como los Burpees. No importa que sean 5. 2) El cuerpo es grato e ingrato. Con respecto a este segundo comentario – hay algo que nunca ha dejado de sorprenderme. ¿Por qué en el momento en que MAS necesitamos mantener nuestro training (fiestas de fin de año) es cuando MAS la gente deja de entrenar. Después de pasar un año entero esforzándose por qué tan fácilmente perder el hilo con la excusa del tiempo y las celebraciones? Debería ser lo contrario. Si sabemos que nos vamos a meter una soberana guava (guaba?) y un pebre de exquisiteces pecaminosas con más razón hay que ir a darle a esos Back Squats. No es momento para flaquear. El cuerpo es ingrato. Sé que no es fácil con los tranques y todo lo demás pero hay que darle prioridad a la SALUD. Yo entrené todo mi embarazo no para regresar a competencias de CrossFit sino para sentirme en el mejor estado posible tanto físico como mental. Quiero andar por ahí con el pecho soplado como un pavo real por pulmones que alardean de la capacidad metabólica del colibrí. Quiero muslos de caballo de carrera y nalgas de acero que me permitan meterle una patada inolvidable al que se meta conmigo o con mi hija. Quiero brazos de mono para treparme donde sea y un core que aguante todo mi supermercado. Lo quiero todo. Dios nos dio una máquina espléndida. Aprovechemos. No pierdan todo lo que han logrado. Ojalá el 2017 sea un año en que la salud sea prioridad.

Comentario 3) viene el Open. En las próximas semanas que quedan de 2016 vamos a “have fun” y tomar un descanso de los ciclos de programación de este año que han sido rigurosos pero muy elite. Encenderemos los motores metabólicos oficialmente con el “Open Prep” Cycle el 10 de enero. Ya el trabajo de fuerza está fundado – time to get burning. No significa que dejaremos a un lado nuestros queridos squats, sólo que cambiará el formato. Eso me me lleva al comentario 4) STAY SAFE!! Ahora que viene el Open y el periodo de volumen en repeticiones es cuando tenemos que tener máxima precaución en temas de movilidad y preparación para los workouts y así evitar lesiones y tener una temporada divertida. Y claro, llegar al FOTB2017 CON TODO!! Sin embargo… entendemos que no todos tenemos las mismas metas. Sabemos que hay muchos de ustedes que no tienen much interés en el Open y quieren venir a sudar la gota gorda and move on. Por esta razón habrán notado y seguirán viendo en la programación unos WODs opcionales en ciertos días que serán estilo bootcamp, principalmente con bodyweight movements y menos técnicos. En teoría presentan menos riesgo para aquellos días en que simplemente hemos tenido un día o noche difícil y no podemos entrar en calor necesitando entonces hacer algo más sencillo que jalar hierro (lo cual requiero mucha técnica, sabiduría y discreción!!). También requiere sabiduría saber cuando necesitamos “step back” y cogerlo suave antes de lesionarnos. Eso me lleva la siguiente punto… ya perdí la cuenta… 5) CrossFit is still CrossFit. Lo que quiero decir con esto es que independiente del hecho que usen bajo peso, estén haciendo progresiones o una versión más simplificada del WOD, eso no significa que no estén haciendo ejercicios funcionales, constantemente variados, ejecutados a una ALTA INTENSIDAD. Y eso significa que:

6) Sigue siendo una disciplina, la atención a la técnica reina sobre todo y debemos seguir aprendiendo.

7) Los calentamientos y repaso técnico de la clase deben ser respetados. Confíen que los Coaches quieren lo mejor para ustedes.

8) REMEMBER TO HAVE FUN. Por alguna razón los boxes de CrossFit son un foco de melodrama. Creemos que es por la alta intensidad. Todo ese calor y sofoco conlleva a todo tipo de calenturas y pendejadas. Lo sentimos y lo entendemos, nos pasa a los Coaches también. Somos todos CrossFitters, after all. Una meta para el 2017 – dejarle el Melrose a la Tía Chancleta y llegar al box con la meta de parquear con nuestros training buddies y darle tanto palo al WOD que ni al tablero se le olvide.

He escrito de todo un poco desde el fondo de mi corazón y con las mejores intenciones y mucho cariño a mi gente del box. Este Community es lo mejor que hay – llena de gente tan diferente y cada una simplemente espectacular de su propia forma. Reforcemos esto siempre, familia es familia.

Muchas bendiciones este 2017 que nos viene pa’ encima. God bless y vamos con todo!!!

-Coach Whizz

by Evan Yoak

It recently has come to my attention that many folks are breathing incorrectly in their lifting. I was going to write about something else this week, but I consider this topic very important because I like to avoid spinal injuries, and also because I like lifting more weight (plus it relates to the other topic anyway). So read on if you like those things too.

I could write a lot on this topic, but I won’t because it’s important, so I want people to actually read about it, and because it’s simple. Trainers who think balance boards are better than barbells will tell you to suck your abs in; people who actually lift heavy weights will invariably tell you to push your abs out. Yes, you look more shredded with your abs sucked in – who cares. If you expand your abdomen, however, you get better intra-abdominal pressure, meaning that you have a more “locked out” space surrounding your spine. In other words, you get better tension in your body and a more stable spine: more tension means more weight lifted, and a more stable spine means less back injuries. So the breathing process looks like this for, say, a Front Squat:

  1. Breathe in deeply. Your chest should NOT rise because you shouldn’t be breathing into your upper lungs – breathe deeply into the diaphragm in your midsection.
  2. Expand your abs, whilst tightening the abs, the glutes, and the upper back
  3. Hold your breath during the lift. If doesn’t take long to complete, you can do 2 (or sometimes 3) reps with one breath; if it’s a long rep, you can hiss, grunt, growl, scream, etc., while you rise out of the hole, as this, (a) prevents you from passing out, and (b) gives you extra tension for a brief second to break through a sticking point in the squat. At no point release all your air, as you’ll instantly get loose.
  4. Repeat at the top of every rep if they’re heavy reps, or every other rep if they’re lighter reps, as per (3)

And that’s it. By the way, when you use a belt, it’s meant to facilitate this process. It’s NOT meant to physically hold your back in place; rather, you should tighten the belt somewhat less than totally so you can breathe out against it, which, again, lets you generate more tension. It’s a physical reminder to breathe out and get tight, and if you do it right, you will indeed feel more solid (and not because some crappy plastic is strapped to your torso).

A final point. Sometimes doctors who know nothing about training or lifting weights will tell you that you’ll have a brain aneurysm if you hold your breath (which I suppose is where that whole ridiculous exaggerated-overexhalation-on-every-rep in Globo Gym comes from). So I was going to be all diligent and research this on Pubmed, but I actually think one quote suffices to sum up the problem: ” Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage associated with weight training: three case reports.” I laughed so hard when I read that the dog got excited and thought we were going to play. Three cases?? I mean, I might get struck by lightning too, but I’m still going to keep going outside. And this is the point: I’ve seen many many people lose their backs training, and some of those got injured; I’ve never see anyone have a stroke or a cerebral hemorrhage. And I’ll reiterate, if it’s a longish rep, you do forcefully exhale via your hiss or grunt or caveman growl, which keeps you from keeling over in a pool of your own cerebral fluid just in case and lets you stand up that new PR.

On the other hand, I suspect a lot of people don’t expand their abdomens because they don’t know how – it’s not actually easy/trivial to do if you’re not aware of your breathing. So we’ll add that into the homework this week:

Tarea #4:

  1. Breath Drill (courtesy of Ani Whizz) – lying face up, put a bowl or a small change plate (2.5 or 5#) on your abdomen. Breathe in deeply whilst tightening your entire body and expanding your diaphragm, which will make the bowl/plate rise. If the implement doesn’t rise and/or your chest rises, you’re doing it wrong – keep practicing. 1 set of 10 reps, 3x week (preferably before lifting)
  2. Breathe Out When Lifting – i.e., in your Front Squats, Deadlifts, Olympic weightlifting movements, presses, etc. actually put into practice what you worked on in (1) and breathe with an outwardly expanded abdomen. Think about it before each set so it becomes habit.
  3. Quadriceps Roll with Barbell – 2 min./quad, 3x/week
  4. 3 x 1:15 Superman Hold, alternated with 3 x 20 Glute Bridges (hold the superman for a minute and fifteen, perform 20 controlled glute bridges during the rest, and repeat twice more)
  5. No sitting on couches or chairs while watching TV, with minimum *10* minutes of squatting. You can lay, you can mobilize, you can sit Indian style or in lotus (with a neutral spine!), you can and should try all sorts of different positions, but you must squat for at least 10 minutes total. Should be a relaxed squat, the back can round here in the squat since it’s not under load and will decompress in that position. 7x/week (i.e., any time you watch TV or movies or whatever).

Lots of squatting and lunges this weekend, so get those quads loose for efficient moving with the rolling and the squatting. Keep getting your back and posterior chain strong as well. And breathe for performance. Merry WODding!

 

by Evan Yoak

Happy Wednesday everyone! Time for this week’s homework. I’ll try to blab a bit less this time around. (In retrospect this was only sort of successful).

Nonetheless, I want to extend last week’s conversation a bit so people have a better understanding of why they’re mobilizing and when it works (or doesn’t). In Tarea #2, I lambasted lazy stretching, “stretching to stretch” without creating a notable change in flexibility. I should point out that this isn’t totally accurate: there are really two classes of stretching, one for improved mobility, the other for relaxation. If you’re stretching to cool down, relax a bit, feel better, etc., go for it – as long as you’re aware of what you’re doing and the inherent limitations of what you’re doing. For example, sometimes I’ll perform some yoga poses/transitions, or do the splits, because it helps to reset everything a bit and relaxes me. What I don’t do is perform those stretches and expect my overhead squat to drop a few inches in depth.

And if you think about it, this idea makes sense. People often complain when they’re rolling their calves or doing a nasty couch stretch, “I thought stretching was supposed to be relaxing!” Well, it is, if the goal is to relax. But if the goal is to increase range of motion, it’s not going to feel good. It’s like the difference between a spa massage and a sports massage: you listen to chimes and Zen music at the spa and chill out, whereas you try not to cry while the masseuse get your tissues back in their proper places when you get a sports massage1. What I don’t like about stretching of the relaxing type is that people expect some sort of mobility improvement, which is deceptive. I don’t like deception. Stop tricking yourself. If you want to get better at CrossFit or sport in general, mobilize with intent.

With that distinction out of that way, let’s quickly talk about how to determine if you accomplished your intent or not. Kelly Starrett introduced the idea of “test and re-test,” which is simply trying out (testing) the movement you wish to improve, mobilizing, and then trying the movement again (re-testing) after mobilizing to see if you effected a meaningful improvement. People like to talk about Science these days, as if using Science means your argument is incontrovertible; these of course are the same people who can’t distinguish between causation and correlation and why that distinction nullifies a lot of “scientific” studies, but I digress. However, if you really want to be scientific, you can simply use scientific method sorts of processes in your life, such as your mobility, to get better results. For example, you set your hypothesis as, “The couch stretch will improve the range of motion and subjective ease of my squat.” You isolate the variable couch stretch by performing some air squats without having done the couch stretch, and then you do the stretch. Finally you repeat the squats and note the difference; either filming yourself or having someone check you doing the before and after squats is helpful if you yourself can’t feel the difference (though I think subjective ease or comfort of the movement is an important indicator of difference as well). That sequence is far better and more useful science than some silly correlative study funded by biased parties or whatever. If you haven’t noticed, one of the themes of these recent homework blogs has been that of taking responsibility for your body/life; instead of reading some sensational online article about “the 7 most important exercises to do!” or about “new study says to never eat salt!” or whatever, I hope people will take away from reading these blogs that they have to think critically and take personal responsibility for what they do in the gym, what postures they adopt throughout the day, what they put into their bodies. And of course, you don’t have to do all the work yourself: you have a fine team of coaches at PTY to guide you through the silly bullshit and maximize your results. So before someone says about your couch stretch experiment, “That’s not scientific! Your population is only one!” I would say, “Who cares?” The whole point is to figure out if couch stretch works for you or not. Therefore, if your squat improves after couch stretching, do it before and after squatting; if it doesn’t improve your squat, either you did the stretch wrong (likely), or it doesn’t improve your squat. In the case of something like couch stretch, that’s fairly easy to do wrong if you’re not careful (as we discussed last week) and nearly guaranteed to help your squat, I would definitely ask one of those coaches to check you out to make sure you’re getting the maximum benefit from the stretch and not cheating.

On that note, this week we’re going to employ some testing and re-testing to see if the mobility work is truly helping or not.

Tarea #3

  1. Roll anterior shoulder/biceps with partner, 2 min./side; test and re-test with 3-5 good pushups. 3x/week
  2. Partner froggy stretch, 2 min.; test and re-test with 5 air squats. 3x/week
  3. 3 rds. of 1 min. Superman hold, resting at most 1 min. between sets (Extra Credit: perform a 30 second Hollow Hold during your rest period). 3x/week
  4. No sitting on couches or chairs while watching TV, with minimum *8* minutes of squatting. You can lay, you can mobilize, you can sit Indian style or in lotus (with a neutral spine!), you can and should try all sorts of different positions, but you must squat for at least 5 minutes total. Should be a relaxed squat, the back can round here in the squat since it’s not under load and will decompress in that position. 7x/week (i.e., any time you watch TV or movies or whatever).

For the rolling, use a barbell to roll out your partner’s front should and more important biceps; partner should rotate the hand to various angles after forty-five seconds or a minute; communicate so it isn’t a massacre (see footnote).. Partner froggy stretch is with one person laying faceup with the legs up in the air and knees bent (like a squat); knees and feet should be aligned! (i.e., don’t let feet drift in towards center). Other partner should put pressure on the thigh just above the knee, pushing hard down and slightly up.

Superman is here because I’m seeing a lot of weak backs. As in, people couldn’t hold a superman for a minute (which I consider a low number), and I saw a lot of back rounding on the Back Squats at the Co-ed Comp. Yeah, not Deadlifts, Back Squats. That ain’t good. So while CrossFit is clearly an anterior-dominant sport, you must still have some kind of posterior chain strength if you want to succeed, get stronger, protect your joints, etc. (thus all the Reverse Lunges and Glute Bridges). Finally, same no-sitting policy as last week, only this week try to accumulate 8 minutes in a squat.

There you have it. Let us know how it goes, and if you manage to improve your squats and pushups. Happy WODding!

1 – A word of caution: far too many masseuses are far too aggressive. I think they look at massage as some sort of battle, in which they lose if they let the tight tissues survive. Look, you can’t just massage harder and longer to make that work; as discussed last week, it takes time, and the body responds with the opposite effect if it it hurts too much. So if you’re masseuse is giving you bruises, get a new masseuse. Just remember, it should hurt about a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10.

By Evan Yoak

Welcome back everyone . Last week’s highlights include the greatest crying-out-in-shock-and-pain reaction reel of possibly all time – why I don’t have more video is beyond me – as well as the MVP of the Week for the person who interpreted “body weight lunges” to mean “lunges with an external load equivalent to your body weight.” Kudos to Lady for the inadvertent masochism, and for what must surely be a strong set of glutes.

Warning: this blog is a bit long, so if you desperately need the homework without the jib-jab, click here to jump down; be sure to watch the video as well. I recommend reading, however, as everything will make more sense that way. Also, apologies in advance for the terrible sound quality. Maybe I’ll refilm it in Spanish and actually, ya know, enunciate if there’s a public outcry that nobody understood anything.

It’s important to keep in mind last week’s lessons going forward because we’re going to shift gears a bit this week. If you’re coming late to the party, or didn’t read between the lines, the takeaways from last week were:

  1. Your daily postures are wreaking havoc on your body, resulting in massively tight muscles you didn’t even know were tight (e.g., calves)
  2. Body weight reverse lunges are not as easy as they sound
  3. Having friends makes for a better mashing experience

Let’s take a look at that last point. Having someone else stretch or roll you out has a huge advantage, in that you will never inflict as much pain on yourself as your good buddy will inflict on you. This is why I like partner stretches: it’s really easy when you’re by yourself to be lazy and pretend like you’re doing yourself some good because, hey, I’m stretching something, right?

Nope, wrong. Lazy stretching and massage are insidious because they make you think you’re making improvements, while in reality you’re just fooling yourself and not changing anything. It’s akin to putting toothpaste on a toothbrush, sticking the toothbrush in your mouth, playing Angry Birds for five minutes with your toothbrush hanging out of your mouth, and then removing the toothbrush without ever having done any actual brushing. And then wondering why you have seven cavities a month later. Likewise, if you constantly stretch and have been wondering why you still can’t overhead squat to full depth – and full depth of course means full depth, ass to ankles, not just below parallel – without having a train wreck happen with your shoulders or without your torso swaying forward like a drunk on a bender, read on.

There are two secret ingredients to fixing these stretching/rolling problems:

  1. Correct positions
  2. Time

That is, you must stretch in the correct positions, and you must do it for enough time. Sounds simple, right?

Weellll, sort of. Time’s easy: put a damn timer on and don’t quit til you make it through. It always amazes me when I tell people, “Two minutes each arm,” and then I see them walk off to the dressing rooms after thirty seconds. Like, most people’s sense of the passage of time is horrible. Not a big deal, this is why we have Science, and measuring: put a clock and stick to it. One minute, minimum, and I mean minimum: 2-3 accumulated minutes (doesn’t have to be consecutive) for whatever you are doing is usually best.

The first bit, correct positions, is a bit tougher. A lot tougher, actually – no one that I know of in the mainstream teaches how to adjust someone properly to make their stretches effective. Kelly Starrett does sometimes, but not often enough. The better yogis and yoginis probably do, but then you’d have to do yoga. Kidding! Yoga’s great. But you do have to find someone who knows what he or so is doing, and who knows how to make proper adjustments, which is only slightly less uncommon than finding a unicorn.

Fortunately, you have your own body to listen to, which only you can hear, and which can tell you a lot more than anyone else ever can about what’s going on inside it. Which translates to, if you don’t feel some sort of change happening, no change is happening. Brilliant, right? For example, when your homie was rolling that barbell up and down your calf, you could veritably feel the tissues adapting, reverting to their original positions whence they had been diverted so cruelly by the evil Desk. Hooray, change.

I used to hate when people asked me, “Where am I supposed to feel it?” It sounds like such a Globo Gym question. Which it is, taken in the context of isolation movements, which are indeed generally stupid. If you’re spending all your time figuring out how to do better concentration curls so you can “feel it” more in your biceps, you’ve got issues. And if you’re doing pullups, or better yet squats, and find yourself asking, “Where should I be feeling it? In my quads? In my glutes? In my abs? In my hamstrings? In my back?” then the answer is of course, “Yes.”

But notice I said “generally” stupid: isolation movements have their place, and yes, you should feel the isolated muscle working when you do them (cuz otherwise it’s not). I like isolation movements for waking up inactive muscles, fixing muscle imbalances, prehabbing the body’s transmissions like the shoulders and hips, etc.

I would also consider stretching to be an isolationist activity. I don’t think it’s usually a good idea to say, “Ok, now I’m going to stretch my triceps, and then my quads, and then my adductors,” since you need don’t just need to lengthen those muscles, but rather lengthen them in a position in which you are going to be moving. So, for example, it makes more sense to say that you’re going to stretch your front rack, rather than your triceps.

On the other hand, sometimes you do need to isolate a muscle and loosen it up. After all, what is rolling if not massaging specific muscles? You don’t have to know that you just stopped rolling your latissimus dorsi and started rolling your teres major to know that you need to specifically relax the muscles on the sides of your trunk in order to raise your arms overhead; you’re still in a sense “isolating” the lats and the teres. Semantics aside, the point is that you ought to feel some response in your body. It will often be pain, particularly if you’re tight (and I should point out here that too much pain is indeed too much: you shouldn’t walk away with bruises, for example. If it hurts too much, your body will treat the “massage” as an intrusion and shut down, having the opposite effect of restoring the muscles to a supple state and instead tightening up more. A good rule of thumb is that it should hurt about a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10).

So that’s a good starting point. If everyone else is crying like little girls whilst doing couch stretch and you’re all like, “This is so easy!”, chances are you’re doing it wrong. Take responsibility and try to observe what part of the position your body is avoiding, or ask a coach to check you out to see what’s what. The human body is really good at avoiding inflicting pain on itself, so one must be extra vigilant to ensure the stretch is doing what it’s supposed to be doing.

So now we’re going to take an example of a simple stretch that I constantly see people doing wrong, and we’re going to all do it right for the next week. Then you can call out all your friends when you see them screwing around pretending to stretch and politely fix their posture.

Voilà.

Tarea #2

  1. Lateral opener with band – 1 min. with hand up + 1 min. with hand down. 3x week. Try some pushups or overhead squats before and after to compare.
  2. 3 x 20 Glute Bridges (2220) + 20 Reverse Lunges – That’s 20 Glute Bridges and then right away (no rest) 20 Reverse Lunges. You can rest between sets, but no dilly dallying. Tempo for the Glute Bridges is 2 up, 2 pause at the top, 2 down, and no pause at the bottom. Tight, controlled – as I talked about above, with this type of movement you should be actively trying to squeeze your glutes throughout the movement. 2x/week
  3. No sitting on couches or chairs while watching TV, with minimum 5 minutes of squatting. You can lay, you can mobilize, you can sit Indian style or in lotus (with a neutral spine!), you can and should try all sorts of different positions, but you must squat for at least 5 minutes total. Should be a relaxed squat, the back can round here in the squat since it’s not under load. 7x/week (i.e., any time you watch TV or movies or whatever).

There you have it, round number two. If you’re doing a lot of jumping, running, or squatting, and the calf rolling helped, it’s recommended to hit it before those activities. Happy WODding!

 

by Evan Yoak

Good Monday to all you CrossFitters out there. I wanted to take the start of this week to introduce a new aspect of training at PTY – everyone’s favorite, homework. Now, before you get all hot and bothered and complain, “Homework?! I already work out 5 days a week! Isn’t that enough?” to which the response is, “Eh, sort of” – hear me out. You see, for general health purposes insofar as keeping your heart safe and your waistline trim, one hour a day for five days is certainly enough; the point isn’t to do lots of extra physical labor just because. If, however, you want to move well, then no, you can’t just go to the gym for an hour, work til you puke your guts out, and then forget you have a body to take care of the other 23 hours in the day. We as modern humans simply spend far too much time in horrible postures that cause us to get tight and have dysfunctional movements. For example, if you spend 8 hours sitting at your desk (probably at a computer hunched over), another hour sitting in your car driving to and from work (gotta love that tranque),  another hour sitting watching TV (also probably hunched over), and another 2 hours sitting and consuming your meals, you’ve worked up to sitting over half your life. Allow me to let you in on a secret: the human body is not designed to sit, and certainly not for half of its time on this planet. Standing, lying, crouching, kneeling, squatting, sitting in lotus or Indian style, etc., are all natural postures for the human body. Any time you deviate from a natural. good posture, your body tightens up to compensate.

There are a lot of remedies for this problem (e.g., standing desk, squatting when you talk on the phone, being continually cognizant of your posture), some more practicable than others, but at the end of the day, as human athletes, you’re going to have to put in some maintenance work if you want to optimize your movements and not end up looking like the hunchback of Notre Dame when you’re 40. Thus, homework. Obviously we mobilize during our classes, but again, not to beat the point to a pulp, but if you have a desk job, stretching for a few minutes is not going to compensate for all the hours and hours of horrible postures with which you’ve abused your body. So what I propose is to give all you PTYers weekly homework, both mobilizations and exercises, in order to be better prepared to come in to the gym and kill it. We’re talking maybe 10 or 15 minutes a day, most of which you’ll be able to do at home. We’ll follow some sort of theme (e.g., hip flexors, internal rotators, glute activation) for several weeks, and then mix it up. So, without further ado:

Tarea #1

A) 100 Reverse Lunges (body weight) for quality, 2x/week

B) Roll each calf for two minutes, 3x/week

Let me ‘splain. I was inspired to proffer up the first bit of homework after witnessing many people Farmer’s Carry big heavy weights this morning, and then promptly grab a lower weight with which to lunge. CrossFitters are notorious for being weak unilaterally – anyone remember 2013 Regionals, with the 90 ft. of Walking Lunges at 160 lbs.? And people were like, wow, Froning did it unbroken! And then everyone realized that that was sort of pathetic that it was a big deal to do it UB, since lots of guys should have been strong enough to do it UB. Anyway, your glutes should be strong! I could write a 3000 word article about why the glutes are so vital, but no one wants to read that. So instead, just do the damn lunges so I don’t write that article and make everyone read it as homework. Keep in mind as well that, in spite of what some strength coaches will tell you, your glutes will not get sufficiently strong just from squatting and deadlifting (clearly, look at the Regional athletes in 2013). As for the lunges themselves, we want good, controlled lunges, fairly slow, making sure to squeeze the glute as you come up off the floor and again at the top; drive through the heel and keep your torso upright at all times. This is for quality, not for time. Obviously make sure to keep the knee back so that the shin remains nearly vertical with the ground (the angle will be slightly more acute than 90 degrees). If you don’t feel your glutes the next day after having done this, you probably did something wrong.

The second part is just what it sounds like. Either with a roller, lacrosse ball, or barbell, spend two minutes on each calf working out the kinks; partner style with the bar is the most fun. Everyone suffered horribly this morning rolling their calves, which tells me everyone has really tight calves; I mean, do you really want to do 5000 double unders and run 50 kilometers in a year and never stretch or massage your calves? Yikes. This is going to impede your ability to squat low, to burpee efficiently, to avoid shin splits running, to box jump well, to avoid knee pain, and on and on. The calves are the first muscle in the kinetic chain for any lower body movement, after all. One other bit to keep in mind is that there are really two major muscles in the calves, the gastrocnemius (the big meaty part) and the soleus (the part below the big meaty part). I would roll it all, but pay particular to the soleus, and where the soleus connects to the gastrocnemius. That will give you the most bang for your buck for squatting movements.

calf gastroc

So that’s it for this week. Add this in apart from the normal training and mobility work you do and let us know in the comments how you feel in a week.

by: James Chandler                                      February 10, 2014

 Like probably most of us I had a past before CrossFit. That’s right, I said it! – I wasn’t born with words like AMRAP, WOD or EMOM as part of my DNA.  

Before CrossFit I played football for almost 13 years until I went to the sissier version of it, like my old football buddies call it, flag football. As part of those football teams I went to a couple of championships where we won some and lost others. These were all small leagues with no more than 6 to 8 teams, but of course that every time a team won, they had bragging rights to feel like Super Bowl champions until the next season started.

Even then, I didn’t feel exactly like a “football player”. I still did A LOT of other activities, none of which defined who I was as a person. I went running sometimes but never felt like a “runner”, I used to go to the pool but never felt like a “swimmer” and so on.

 So now you can see where this is going…

A lot of times I see people get caught up with the flashy and trendy side of this new sport. They go out with their “non-crossfitter” friends and go non-stop talking about how their workout went and why CrossFit is the best sport ever and why they shouldn’t been doing nothing else . How many reps they did, how they got a PR on their snatch, etc (I’ve been that guy…Sorry friends!). They update their Facebook status and upload hundreds of pictures to Instagram about how their CrossFit journey is going. I know that on this social media era we live in, if you don’t let EVERYONE know about what you are doing, it’s almost like you are not doing it at all. But it’s important that we look pass the high socks, hot shorts and flashy color shoes. There might be a whole other aspect of this great sport we are missing.

Don’t get me wrong, I think we all as coaches enjoy that enthusiasm and we are always excited about sharing our passion for the sport. There are things like that first “Fran” or that first muscle up that MUST be celebrated and shared with everyone (even with your non-CrossFitters friends), because it is a great accomplishment and you should feel very much proud of all the effort you put into it. But let’s not forget, this is a sport, the sport of Fitness. This is not something that you wear or something you need to talk about 24/7. You can enjoy other things too and most important, as one of those quotes you probably know by now says…Let’s apply our fitness.

Take CrossFit not as a final destination but rather as the beginning of new challenges in your life. Some that you may have thought were not even possible. Don’t be define just as a “CrossFitter” – If you have 3 months or 3 years doing CrossFit and you have tasted what fitness feels like, go out there and go crazy with it. Run, jump, swim, climb…do it ALL!!!!. Why? Because you do CrossFit and you can.      

 

30 Jan 2014

Travel&Train – by Ani Whizz

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Algo que casi siempre está de disponible en gimnasios de hoteles es un buen
set de mancuernas. Como ya sabemos por experiencia reciente, podemos
quedar petrificados tras un sencillo WOD con Manmakers y corridas J.
Pónganse creativos con esas mancuernas y no pierdan ni un día de training!
Prueben este DB WOD la próxima vez que se encuentren de viaje y en un
gimnasio leve: 21-15-9 de DB Hang Clean to Thruster and Burpees, worse than
Fran!

Creo que esta es la mantequilla de nuez casera más fácil de hacer ya que la
pepita de marañón es tan suave. También es súper accesible en PTY en cuanto
a precio comparado con otras nueces. En el súper venden la marca nacional
Pepita y tienen un paquete que dice “sin sal, sin aceite.” Viertan las pepitas en
un procesador de comida y empiecen a pulsar. Demora alguito pero en unos
minutos empezará a ponerse más y más cremoso. Eventualmente se convertirá
en una mantequilla total cuando las pepitas sueltan su propio aceite pero si
quieres acelerar el paso un poquito y no quemar la máquina puedes añadir un
poquito de aceite de coco y tendrás de mantequilla de cashew súper rápido. Es
deliciosa con lo que sea, reemplaza la mantequilla de almendra en otras recetas
paleo y aprovechamos lo nacional.

En esta ocasión hacemos nuestra última parada (por ahora) en Grecia. No podía faltar esta
cremosa salsa ideal para acompañar un delicioso filete de puerco. Deja marinar el filete de
puerco en jugo de limón, ajo picadito, sal y pimienta. Cocínalo a la plancha o al grill.

“Salsa de Yogurt y Tomate”
1 taza de yogurt griego (natural)
El jugo de 1 limón
2 tomates picados en cuadritos chiquitos
½ taza de orégano fresco
Sal y pimienta al gusto
Combina todos los ingredientes en un tazón y disfruta!

El Voodoo Floss Band, ideado por Kelly Starrett de Mobility WOD, es una venda
elástica diseñanda para técnicas de movilidad con compresión. Básicamente
envuelves la articulación/tejido con esta venda creando una compresión del
área afectada. Al realizar una movilización con la venda puesta (ejemplo:
hacer squats con la venda en la rodilla, círculos con el codo, etc.) creas una
fuerza compresiva y sumado con el movimiento, ayudas a suavizar y restaurar
la flexibilidad de los tejidos que están adheridos. Por otra parte, cuando
sueltas la compresión, la sangre satura estas áreas afectadas (generalmente
áreas inflamadas y/o con restricción en movilidad carecen de una adecuada
circulación). Adicionalmente, la compresión ayuda a drenar una articulación
inflamada empujando el líquido acumulado a ser absorbido por el sistema
linfático. Hay ciertas precauciones que debes tener con esta técnica, si quieres
saber un poquito más o probarlo, consúltame!! J
Puedes conseguirlo en: http://www.roguefitness.com/voodoo-floss-bands.php


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