Great little tid-bit on why we pay for CrossFit but more importantly why you should pay for CrossFit.
In case you have no clue who Sage Burgener is, you might have seen on any number of videos as the demo girl for her dad, Mike. Her sister is also badass as well. She know how to lift, and lift with great technique. Her points are worth a read.
#1: Discontinue your day job at the strip club…you’re better than that. (Shoulders, hips, and bar move up together off the ground).
#2: God gave you lats to activate. Do NOT disappoint him (Set your lats before the bar leaves the ground,or you WILL pull with your arms)
#3: The bar’s main goal in life is to pull you forward and down. CRUSH that bar’s dreams (Shift to your heels IMMEDIATELY off the floor)
#4: On a hot day, milk is a bad choice, but using your legs is ALWAYS a good choice even on non climatically- perfect days. (Jump HARD)
#5: A wise woman once said, “My hips don’t lie”(Your hips must move UP and DOWN in a matter of milliseconds. Slow hips=slow bar)
#6: You’re not on the dance floor. “Dropping it like it’s hot” is not recommended. (Do not dive or drop. PULL yourself under the bar)
#7: 99% of the population has suffered from the deadly disease MonoSyphiSlowElbow. Will you be one the them?(Fast elbows=brownie points)
#8: Favorite alliteration: Petunia Practiced Perfect Posture… On Her Jerk…wait… (The jerk dip: chest up, toes out, weight on heels)
#9: Chewing gum instead of brushing your teeth counts for nothing, but jumping up and punching down on the jerk, counts for a lot.
#10: Weight on your hips doesn’t always mean you have love handles (Receive your jerk with ALL the weight centered on your hips)
Whether you are the newbie or been in the game from the beginning, these 7 lessons are worth a quick read.
From day 1, no matter our fitness level, our goal is to complete the WOD. Most of us modify, striving to take steps to some day write unassisted pull ups, completed double unders, did a 24″ box jump, or the holy grail, RX. The real question is when the opportunity presents itself to increase the weight or take away the rubberband; do we really take the challenge or hold out for something more comfortable? Have you told yourself, yeah I can do the first round or two but it might be too challenging after the next few, and I really don’t want to be the last one standing. Don’t kid yourself, we have all done it. This is where the nudge comes in.
We all need something or someone to push us out near the ledge. For some it might be the competition of staying 1 for 1 to a fellow athlete, others peer pressure, but more than not, it is usually the coach that looks at you and says, “what, no way, grab something heavier,” or “haven’t you been on the red band now for over a month, you can’t use it until you fail without it.” Most of the time coaches catch us from doing stupid things, but when it matters, they are usually the first to push the issue and press that we need to step it up a bit.
So we listen to the coach and set up our station in complete fear. We were already pissing ourselves seeing a 20 minute AMRAP, now the stomach is rolling. In our minds we have already lost the battle. So right before the go button, we hear, “you have the ability, just stay focused, push yourself and reset when necessary.” All of the sudden we are in beast mode, still terrified and ready to pee ourselves, but ready to give it a whirl.
Then it happens, just what we thought would happen, we couldn’t go unbroken, we were falling behind our normal pace, we are seeing stars; what in the hell am I doing? TIME!!
Falling over, exhausted, can’t remember what day it is , or any other lack of sanity and bodily function – it happens. WE DID IT! Might not have been real pretty, might not have set any records, might even be a little dazed; but we did it. And more importantly it feels really good to have done something 20 minutes ago we were ready to throw in the towel. Beast mode is on!
I write this little tid bid as a reflection. I have been working hard to improve myself as a competitor. If asked, most of the people I work out with would say I tend to push myself every time and might need the reins pulled in at times. However, we all have fears, and to overcome them, no matter how much we push ourselves, we need a good support system and a willingness of others to call us out when the going gets tough.
I accomplished two things today, a 135 lbs. hang clean 5 times and an overhead squat at 95 lbs. 10 times in two separate AMRAP WODs. Neither of which would have been on my “let’s try this out today” list, but I did it. And I did it because my coach not only knew I needed to be pushed, but believed in me to know that although I might be challenged, in the end I would succeed. I wasn’t as fast as normal, nor was I looking as effortless as usual, but my confidence and my drive to be better moved up a notch. I don’t just know what is need to improve, I felt and lived what I need to do to improve. More importantly my ability to move forward when I could have quit. My mental capacity and gratification of accomplishment gave me new life.
In the end, all I needed was a nudge.
Stretching: yeah we do that because our coach makes us do it before the WOD.
Seems taxing at times to spend 10-20 minutes stretching when all we want to do is kill the WOD or set a new PR in oly class. What if someone told you stretching could shave seconds off your benchmark WOD, or crush your hang snatch by another 10 lbs., or achieve that first muscle up. Stretching might be worth a few more minutes.
Mobility is crucial to progress. Not only does it prepare the muscle for the WOD, but it also helps with recovery and reduction of injury. All of which will keep you participating and performing day in day out.
The article below is a great write up of the reason why stretching should be just as important as the oly PR and faster WOD times.
My coach threw out a WOD that for all practical purposes was fully depend on the person’s will to push themselves harder on easier body movements. Everyone can do a pull up (modified counts), air squats, push ups, jump rope (better know as double unders), right? Look closer, and there it is, pistols, one legged squat. How hard can that movement be? For those who have never had the pleasure, demo is available at CrossFit.com.
The pistol is a gymnastics movement not a weightlifting movement. No doubt a person has to have enough strength to lift their own body weight vertically; the true skill is flexibility and balance. When an athlete does a squat, they can often make minute changes in the stance and foot placement to compensate for flexibility flaws. However, when it comes to completing a legit pistol, weakness are abound. Balance and flexibility are what make this movement difficult not the strength aspect.
Great, so how do I get through those horrible 10 pistols (twice no less) to proceed to my staple movements? It starts with mobility practice. I use the word practice, because it triggers a mindset to know it is required work. Flexibility in the ankle is being able to move the ankle with the knee out over the foot during a squat. How is this achieved, by grabbing a rubber-band, (lacrosse) ball, and/or round pipe or form roller. Complete the mobility WOD links at the bottom. Kelly Starrett (K Star) of MobilityWOD has great demos on the how to open up the ankle, lower leg and hips to master the pistol and just about every other squat movement.
Got it, but I’m still struggling with the range of motion. Remember this is a gymnastics skill. Motor control of the muscles plays a part in the this skill, and really for any movement we do. Muscles have to be trained or primed to work. When was the last time someone was seen squatting down to pick up something and did the movement with one leg, probably never. The muscles need to be trained. The best way to start is with a box. This allows the athlete to lower the forward leg below the horizontal plane, and thus enables stability and allows compensation for the strength and flexibility needed to lift the leg to parallel. The goal in the exercise is motor control. Work towards shorting the height on the box. The last progression should be using rail as needed as counter balance by sliding the hand on the rail with the movement. Also a great two for one is the 10 minute squat with pistol. Follow the same format as 10 minute squat, however abduct one leg away from body, and then bring it forward in the pistol position position. Leg must remain straight. Over time the the muscles will learn the movement, and then just like that, the one legged squat becomes a normal range of motion.
To get to the perfect pistol takes time. However, tackling these steps and the pistols will be just as easy as those double unders. Off to get ready for my WOD.
- Ankle and lower leg flexibility WODs
- Hip Flexibility
The link is to another CrossFit box article on the misconception of CrossFit making women bulky. A total farce in my opinion.
Enjoy the link!