H.A.M.

Hard as a Mother Fucker.

That’s what it means for those of you not up on your Ubran Dictionary terms. This past Monday was the first time I had ever had to stop during a WOD and say “I need to stop.” It was a weird experience for me that is for sure. You see, I have been working with a chiropractor for about a month now to deal with some issues related to a previous work-related injury. Since I’ve started working with the Chiropractor, I have drastically dropped my intensity at workouts. That was until this week. We have been doing some “One Rep Max” Attempts at AE Crossfit. I thought, why the hell not. I’ll give it a shot. I worked on Snatches and Hang Cleans.

I don’t like going from zero to a one rep max lift. Part of this is just ingrained training from my Crossfit Birth. When I work on 1RM, I will start with 5 reps at about 65% of my previous 1RM, then 3 reps at 75-85%, and finally will do 1 reps increasing in weight until I hit a “No Rep.” I am very happy to announce that I had a 25 pound personal record with my hang clean, for a total weight of 165. At 165 pounds I got greedy, I wanted to add more weight onto the bar to see just how far I could go. So I added 10 pounds. I reset my body position and began the motion of a hang clean. I used the power to clean the weight up to the front rack position, except I had lost control over the lift and ended up hyper-extending, or arching my back significantly. I had dropped the bar right away, and decided that a 25 pound PR was good enough.

Now, I didn’t start out writing about this post to brag about my abilities when it comes to lifting. I am writing this post to talk about proper form. I have collected some videos that you can check out below. Some of these failures are just related to the weight, meaning that the weight was simply too heavy for the strength of the athlete. Others, however are just overall poor form.

I’ve also been watching many of the other athletes at my current box and find that they don’t seem to be all that concerned with form at all. I would watch them carelessly muscle weight above their heads with no regard to form. It almost seemed like it was a bit much for the coaches to try and keep up with people and their form, but they did a good job with keeping up on correcting people.

Since the reason I started this blog was to help guide the beginner Crossfitter, I will say this:

  1. Without form, your lift means nothing other then the basis for your pending ortho injury.
  2. You will see your strength PR’s skyrocket when you get the PROPER form down for OLY lifts.
  3. Work up to the “Hardo” weight. If you start off with the heavier stuff, and don’t work up to it, that will also increase your likelihood of injury.

Here are some of the videos I was speaking about. Tell me this, what do you guys think about the form in the clips below? Let’s get a good discussion going about it.

This first video is from the Crossfit Albany. I have no idea who their coaches are, what they are doing, or even if this is a LEGIT WOD session. If it is, shame on them because their coaches are just setting their athlete’s up for potentially debilitating injuries.

Here, is simple misfire lifts that just don’t go exactly the way that it should. Remember people, it is easier to drop the weight and set up the lift again, that it is to repair an injured back, neck, or other body part.

 

 

 

 

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Why Crossfit Is Not Just a ‘Fad’

Here is some great food for thought on Crossfit. Check it out, write down your feelings. Either way, Crossfit isn’t going any where. The businesses will rise and fall, just like anything else in the economy. It is the community that will keep the mentality, and the vitality of Crossfit alive.

Crossroads of the Heart

One of my posts that receives the greatest number of hits each day is this piece on Rich Froning, both 2011 and 2012’s Fittest Man in the World.  Based on this information, the increasing number of commercials on TV, and friends / family members who have gotten involved with a ‘box,’ I’ve determined that crossfit is officially “IN.”

However, as with all things that undergo a drastic surge in attention, crossfit has also received a boatload of criticism.  To the outsider (or unaddicted-er), the community resembles a meat market for egotistical jocks, an inflated workout routine and even criticized for injury-prone movements.

Yet, perhaps the most insulting comment of all comes from the people who call crossfit a FAD.

I will probably still crossfit while I’m pregnant and beyond the age of 70

Ok, before you start freaking out.. are you a crossfitter?

No?

Ok, let me explain something.

I…

View original post 519 more words

The Forgotten Supplement

Sleep

We all live really busy lives. I know for most of us, myself included, that is why Crossfit appealed to us in the first place. High Efficiency workouts in a scheduled block of time. It gave us no excuse really, to block off 5-7 hours a week dedicated to our own betterment. Then most of us caught on with paleo nutrition. It appealed to me because it wasn’t a crash diet. It didn’t require me to spend ungodly amounts of money to learn about it. It was just there. For all to explore, experiment with, and reap the benefits of.

Good sleep is one of the most important elements of health maintenance, as well as athletic performance and improvement. (Rawls-Meehan 2012)

(c) Fitbomb: Check in Post

(c) Fitbomb: Check in Post

Sleep needs to be viewed as the missing capstone to your fitness. We all have changed with the addition of Crossfit into our workout routines. I can think back (8 months ago) and think of the frustrating fitness routines I was doing and getting zero results, and I look at where I am now: 25lbs lighter and two inches off my waist. I wonder why I didn’t find it sooner. Anyway, I am getting a bit off track here. Let’s focus.

We changed our excercise levels, and have become more active individuals. Our eating habits have changed as well, we spend more time at the grocery store looking for natural products with no sugar, grains, etc. Now we see our performance plateauing, maybe even becoming frustrating. Well, if you’re doing everything right nutritionally then there might be a key piece on information you are forgetting.

Sleep

Crossfit Journal actually did a great article about sleep and how it relates to our over all fitness. This is going to be my main source of information that I am trying to relay onto you.
You can find a link below in the “References” section.

Here’s the excerpt from that article that I found to be the most useful:

  • Studies have shown that athletes who consistently get around 10 (ten) hours of sleep per night show marked improvement in strength, speed, agility, and reaction time.
  • Athletes who get around 10 (ten) hours of sleep demonstrate significantly better muscle memory for movements they have learned for the day before.
  • People who don’t get enough sleep are more prone to diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and other various cardiometabolic and endocrine disorders (Rawls-Meehan 2012).
    • Wait a second, isn’t that we started exercising in the first place? So…if we don’t get enough sleep that implies that we are essentially shooting ourselves in the foot!!

That is some pretty interesting stuff huh?

Now here is my dilemma. I am a Paramedic, because of such I work two 24 hour shifts. From 7am-7am the following day. That’s two days a week that I cannot guarantee proper sleep. Those days I am at the mercy of the general public, the EMS Gods, and my overall tendency of bad-luck. Sometimes I get to bury my face in that pillow for a solid 6(ish) hours, and sometimes I can only day-dream about it at 3 in the morning. There is no rhyme or reason to it at all. So…that being said, short of a major schedule change or career change I cannot have any control over the sleep I get on those two days. I have accepted it, I will still complain about it, but there is nothing that I can do about it.

I do, however, have control over the sleep I get on my days off. I have selected not to pick up overtime on the overnight tours (11pm to 7am) unless it is absolutely necessary. I encourage all of you out there to really take a look at what you are getting for sleep, or not getting in many cases.

I plan on being much more aware of my sleeping patterns in order to truly reach my health goals.

For more information, check out this article that I used for most of the information in this post:

Rawls-Meehan, Martin (June 2012). Sleeping For Performance. Retrieved from: journal.crossfit.com/2012/06/sleeping-for-performance.tpl

May the Force Be With You…

I was aimlessly wasting time today, like it was my fucking job. (If I figure out a way to not do anything and get paid for it, I will certainly capitalize on it let me tell you).

I came across some pretty scary, annoying, stupid, and overall obnoxious stuff while surfing various Crossfit resources on the internet. Frankly, it scares me to see what it might do to the sport that we have come to love so much. A post popped up in my Facebook feed from the site “Crossfit and Paleo Resources.” The site talks about how Greg Glassman (if you don’t know who he is, you can find the Google Search bar in the upper right corner of most web browsers) is dealing with some problems with his board members (who is also his ex…hehehe):

The following quote was taken from the Crossfit New England (Natick, MA) Website:

One of the board members of this firm [Anthos Capitol], Bryan Kelly, approached us months ago with schemes and offers to turn each and every one of our 4000 affiliates into a franchise location designed to pimp supplements, clothing, and fitness industry garbage we all rejected when we first turned to this program. When we told him we weren’t interested, he went behind our backs, deceived us, and is now making a move to take what we wouldn’t give him.

We all know that we already pay a premium for our experiences at Crossfit. Some of us, are lucky enough to have worked out some sort of indentured servant arrangement for membership prices, but for the most part all of us pay premiums. This is a topic that we, as a community, definitely need to stay on top of us or the world that we love could be turned into everything that we hate about the fitness industry.

This information just started popping up on the social media networks, and this thread appeared on the CF HQ Message boards. I have to admit, the conversations on this thread are inquisitive, and very professional on both parts of the Crossfit Staff and the affiliate managers tuning in for information. It is definitely worth the read.  On Crossfit New England’s website Russell Berger goes on to talk about how we need to ” spread the word, but we are dealing with a threat that must also be understood. We want you all taking a hard look at the Affiliate system and asking important questions about why it is so successful, and what we have to lose. Enough of you now know the basic facts of the issue to start forming opinions and coming to conclusions on what an Anthos purchase of CrossFit could mean for you and your Affiliate, and for many of you this is scary.”

Change, or even the thought of it, is scary. I am looking into forming my opinion about Anthos, and currently it is not a positive one.

I feel like this is a test.

It’s a test to deal as a community. Think about “normal life” when someone threatens a neighbor, or if there is a fire, or (a little less dramatic) if someone needs help watching their children who do we turn to? Each other, right? Well…this is the kind of situation where our neighbor needs us to watch over his kids. (bare with me I promise this analogy will make sense). We need to be there to support the Crossfit Community, if we can support the brand name then that is awesome. However, it is not the brand name that brought us all together. It is the desire to evolve from the fatness that brought us down in the first place. It is the desire to see each other pack on the plates for dead-lifts and see our PR’s shatter. It is the desire to succeed, and we as a community will do that with out Athos Capital.  We need to branch out and explain to people why this would be a bad thing. If they want to throw away $20 Million, then you know what…let em. Our community won’t change, just the name above our door.

Please keep in mind, I am a simple, bottom-level crossfitter. I am NOT a CF L1 Trainer, I am NOT an affiliate owner. My opinions of this potential change are that of a participant. That being said, franchising will ruin everything the Crossfit Movement was founded upon. If this allowed to happen, there will be a black hole in the “account’s receivable” office at Crossfit HQ. Affiliation agreements will flee faster than you can say…WTF?!

All I have to say is this:

To Lauren Glassmen, and Athos Capitol: You are NOT welcomed by the Crossfit Community. You are not embraced, nor will you be when you enter a box. Take your greed, and selfish desires elsewhere.

To all the Crossfitter’s out there: This is the time to show Athos just how strong a community is. Let’s make them understand, that their business is not welcomed here and affiliations across the world will loose the “Crossfit” name.

Until then, I am going to keep getting my WOD on like nothing’s wrong. You can bet, however, that I will be watching the evolution of this story like a hawk.
Take care everyone!