Work on the new space continues to move along at a great pace and we should be ready to open by the beginning of March! Keep following the blog for more details as they arise. Today we're finalizing the design/plan for the CrossFit 818 pullup bars. 91 linear feet of pull-up space with three distinct height levels and two bar widths! I'll have pictures of it up later this week when it is completed.
Posted by Zareh.
As athletes we understand that the food we put into our bodies is as vital as the fuel we put in our cars. High performance sports cars all have warnings to only use "Premium" fuel. So why don't we treat our high performance selves the same way? My challenge with eating healthy is that I enjoy good tasting food! Sometimes, people (including myself) have a tendency to equate healthy with bland. I have two strong, beautiful CrossFitting friends who have heard our cries for tasty, healthy food and have started their own personal food revolution: Meet the Sweet Cheeks!
Alyssa Dazet and Shirley Brown not only burn up barbells and pullup bars during WoDs, but they combine to bring you fun, easy-to-make, healthy recipes to keep your high performance body properly fueled while keeping your taste buds in a blissful state of Nirvana!
Posted by Zareh.
Many of you who have heard of CrossFit probably first saw a video of an athlete doing something 'impossible' or amazing. One of the most important aspects of your journey towards elite fitness is understanding that it isn't a several week goal or a several month goal. Your fitness should be a several year or even better a several decade goal! Does this perspective mean that you cannot enjoy your progress in the short term? Absolutely not. You will see changes and make improvements in a short period of time that will amaze you! But, the reason I tell you to consider your fitness a long-time journey is to ensure that you don't fall into the common trap of letting your ego derail your training.
Yesterday, I did the CrossFit workout "Eva": 5 rounds - 800m run, 30 kettlebell swings at 32kg, 30 pullups. Considered one of the more difficult CrossFit workouts, even finishing is considered a badge of honor. After three rounds, I felt like the workout was becoming unproductive for me. I was just plodding through, not really challenged metabolically, but unable to move much faster because of the effect of the sheer volume of work. I completed the fourth round and called it. Why? Was I so mentally or physically beat down that I couldn't run another 800m or finish 30 kettlebell swings and 30 pullups? No. But I did realize that I still have another three days of training this week. And if I had finished the workout (and received my 'badge of honor'), I may have adversely impacted my ability to get done the work I need to do to continue my consistent journey towards elite fitness. While most people who did that workout are probably taking the day off today, I will be continuing my training, taking small, but consistent steps towards elite fitness... and one day soon, I will be fit enough to finish "Eva" without negatively impacting my continuing training!
Posted by Zareh.
I like CrossFit for many reasons, one of the foremost among them being the carryover it has to my everyday life. The physical advantages of being a CrossFitter are obvious, but the mental advantages should not be overlooked! One of the most important skills I have learned during my time CrossFitting is how to stay relatively calm under pressure. In the case of CrossFit, pressure tends to manifest itself as a ticking clock, burning lungs, and a skyrocketing heart rate. The athlete who can manage to stay composed and as relaxed as possible through that pressure tends to do the best in the long run. When confronted by pressure situations in life, I like to think of my most difficult workouts. If I am able to stay calm and get the job done during the last leg of 2,000 meter row, despite the lactic acid in my legs, my burning lungs, and the edges of my vision going black, then working under a deadline behind a desk doesn't seem like such a hard thing anymore.
CrossFit workouts have also taught me to split up daunting tasks into smaller, more manageable parts, and to take pleasure from completing each of those portions as I work to the large goal of finishing the workout. How has CrossFit helped you in your everyday life?
Speaking of performance under pressure: My first CrossFit Coach, Becca Borawski, will competing in a rowing competition this Saturday in Long Beach. Come on out if you want to see some athlete's staying calm under pressure!
One of the most important aspects of our journey towards elite fitness is consistency. A simple idea, but not easy to execute (like most things in CrossFit), consistency requires the commitment to do the same types of things day in and day out, even when one feels tired, sick, or even a little bored by the daily grind. While CrossFit is fun for me, because I am constantly seeing improvement and I am rarely stuck in a "chest/tri's, back/bi's" routine, consistency can still be difficult to achieve. One of the most important factors in staying consistent are your friends and family. If your support group understands your goals and works actively in supporting them, you will have a much easier time staying consistent. If your friends don't understand what you're doing or why you're doing it, then you sometimes feel like you're carrying an extra weight around your shoulders. Communicate with your friends and family what your fitness goals are and why you are going about reaching them the way you are and you will have a powerful support group on your way towards elite fitness. And don't forget to thank them for their support along the way!
Posted by Zareh.
I sometimes fall into the mental trap of looking at an athlete and saying, "well they were born with this or that natural advantage." That kind of statement isn't just unfair to the athlete I am looking at, but it psychologically provides me with a rationalization for not working as hard as I need to in order to meet my fitness goals. Obviously, some athletes have 'natural' gifts, but to simply credit those with their athletic ability belittles all of the hard work they do to maximize those gifts.
Logan Gelbrich, a young man I have had the pleasure of working out with many times, is such an athlete. At first look, you might think "He's 6'3", 220lbs., strong and fast... that must all be natural talent." But I have personally seen how hard Logan works. He works on his weaknesses harder than he works on his strengths, and I have never seen him go through a workout half-assed. He asks questions from his coaches, never assumes he has nothing else to learn about a movement, and approaches everything he does with intensity and maximum effort. Listen to his interview on CrossFit Radio: here.
Bottom line: don't blame your parents, the gods, the universe, or any other outside factor for the hand you were dealt. Work your ass off and you'll achieve your goals!
Posted by Zareh.
I hear stories all the time about people who realized at a very young age that they wanted to accomplish something enormously complex or difficult, set a big, hairy, audacious goal and thirty years later achieved their goal. But while these apocryphal stories of motivation and success are nice soundbites, they rarely touch upon the reality of the situation: one must set many smaller, short-term, attainable goals in order to reach the bigger one.
In fitness, attainable goals are the difference between continuing on a path to elite fitness, and giving-up after a few weeks or months. When I first started CrossFit, my pie-in-the-sky goal was to complete a workout called "King Kong". Three rounds of 1 455lb. deadllift, 2 muscle-ups, 3 250lb. squat cleans, 4 handstand pushups. Over the past couple of years, I have increased my deadlift to 415lb. (from 215lb.), my clean to 260lb., and an ability to do bar muscle-ups. What was an impossible dream is now gradually becoming a real possibility, because every step of the way I set attainable goals with the bigger goal of completing King Kong. What are you goals and how do you go about setting the many attainable goals along the way?
The video that started it all for me. Josh Everett doing "King Kong".
Posted by Zareh
Construction has begun at our new space at 425 N. Brand Blvd. (yes, that is directly across the street from our 'friends' at 24 Hour Fitness). While it will still be a couple months before the process is complete, I have been scouting out some of the types of equipment I would like to have at the new location. We have a beautiful, straight alleyway in the back, with very little traffic, that would be perfect for one particularly brutal, yet effective piece of equipment: the prowler!
I had the opportunity to experience the sweet devastation of functionality that is the prowler this past weekend at the OC Throwdown. The video below shows me pushing, but thankfully it doesn't show the 10 minutes of writhing in pain afterwards! What are some of your favorite non-standard equipment that promote functional fitness?
Posted by Zareh
My competition at the OC Throwdown over the weekend was a great success! I finished 31st overall and got to experience five great workouts over a 24 hour span. Ben Hopkins, whose picture I posted up last Friday, staged an incredible come from behind performance in the final workout to make up 11 points and tie for first overall. He eventually got 2nd place after a head-to-head muscle-up competition, but his performance was amazing.
I met a lot of great athletes and saw several gritty and spectacular efforts, but one in particular stood out this weekend: Michael Devaney, an athlete who just started CrossFitting less than three months ago, had never done a double-under. The second floater workout on Sunday featured 150 of them along with 10 ground-to-overhead movements with a barbell. With a seven minute cutoff, Michael could have simply decided not to do the workout, but instead he gamely knocked out his first two ground-to-overhead and proceeded to attempt double-unders for seven grueling minutes. When the seven minutes were over, Michael had completed eight double unders. Despite having to perform in front of a large crowd of spectators, Michael didn't give up and while his performance on that workout dashed his otherwise good chances of making the cut, he went after it with everything he had and came out the other side with a big smile. I suspect that the next time I see Michael, he'll be doing double-unders like a champ!
The 1st place tiebreaker: 20 Muscle-ups for Time
Posted by Zareh
I CrossFit because I want to be able to tackle anything life throws my way. My only significant injury during my time CrossFitting occurred when I wasn't CrossFitting at all! I was invited by a friend to play softball at a local field one morning. I was playing 3rd base and a high pop fly was hit over my right shoulder into foul territory in shallow left field. I gamely sprinted after the ball looking over my left shoulder. What I didn’t realize was that the grass ran out and there was a narrow concrete walkway 20 feet in foul territory…. the pop fly happened to be right over that walkway and when I tried to come to a stop on the concrete with my cleats, I might as well had been trying to stop from a full sprint on ice with sneakers. My friends told me that they thought I had broken my back (the sound of me hitting the concrete pavement). I escaped serious injury, but for the next two months I was sorely (literally) limited in what I could and could not do. Instead of quitting and moping on a couch, I focused on the things I could do. The key is making sure you understand that an injury is not the end of your progression to elite fitness, but simply an opportunity to focus on specific things, like a specialist would.
If you're dealing with injuries, don't use it as an excuse to avoid working out entirely. Give us a call and we'll help you work around an injury and focus on bettering yourself in other areas!
Posted by Zareh.