The Six Weeks to Summer Challenge is basically over. By now, you've taken your after picture and all that's left is to take on Helen one more time. So what's the gonna look like? Well, here's the down low:
Class on this Saturday are cancelled as this is the day of the Challenge finals. Doors open at 9:30 AM and the first heat will begin at 10 AM sharp. There will be a suggested warm up on the board, but you can warm up in any way you want. After 10 AM, heats will start about every 20 minutes until there's no one left to do Helen. The last heat will begin around 12 PM and the winners will be announced around 12:45PM (1PM at the latest). If you didn't participate in the Challenge, don't worry! Come by, spectate, and cheer your fellow CF818ers on and get a taste of what the Challenges are like.
Don't forget that the Challenge Finals/CF818 1 Year Anniversary Party is Saturday afternoon from 3-7PM at Spitz in Little Tokyo (371 E 2nd St Los Angeles, CA 90012). It's open to everybody from the gym, whether you participated in the Challenge or not, so come by and celebrate how awesome you all are!
I've gotta say, I'm really excited about the prizes for this Challenge's winners. Here's a reminder about winners: there will be 4 Most Improved winners (chosen based on before/after pictures, and percentage improvement in Helen), 1 Fastest Male RX Helen time, 1 Fastest Female RX Helen time, and a Spirit of the Challenge winner. We've got some sweet prizes from our friends at Stronger Faster Healthier and Lululemon at the Americana for our big winners...and that's on top of cash prizes!
Couple of suggestions: make sure to hydrate a ton today and tomorrow. If you wait until Saturday morning to start hydrating, it's too late. Get a lot of sleep between now and Saturday so your body is well rested. If you're planning on working out today or Friday, don't be afraid to scale the WOD down in order to save some juice for your Helen.
5 rounds for time:
20 wall ball (20/14)
Posted by Armen.
In a sporting event, the players are given a break at the half in order to refresh themselves, look at how they played in the first half, and set strategy for the second half. So as you approach halftime for this year, here are some thoughts:
How did you "play" in the first half of this year? Have you met your GOALS that you established at the beginning of the year?
Here are a few ideas to EVALUATE where you are at with your goals as you approach the halfway mark.
Take some time to sit down alone and review your goals. How many are you on mark to make? How many have you not even begun on? How many have you achieved?
Three things have happened with your goals thus far in 2012:
-You have hit some of your goals: "I lost x amount of weight." "My Fran is ____ minutes." "I can do x amount of pullups."
For the goals you have already reached, try to set the new goal at 100 percent of the original goal. Congrats, but you have a ton of weaknesses to attack and get better at.
-You are on pace to hit your goals: "I still need to lose 15lbs for my weight goal." "I off my back squat goal by 40lbs." "I haven't gotten my 1st muscle up yet." For the GOALS you are on pace to achieve do this, stretch it about 10 percent. For example, if your original goal was 10 pullups and you have already reached 5 after halfway, stretch yourself to try to achieve 11 by the end of the year. This will give you a good reason to kick into high gear as the year progresses.
-You haven't even begun: "I haven't even tried to do a handstand pushup in months." I bought the Paleo book, but haven't opened it yet, does that count?"
For those you haven't even begun, my suggestion would be to reset your goal at 10 percent of the original goal. Obviously this goal hasn't been a priority, for whatever reason, and most likely won't suddenly become so. But you can make some ground. Set a small increase for the remaining six months and get ahead a little in these areas.
This time that you spend taking a look back at this year and reseting your goals will help you refocus, adjust, push yourself to a higher level and give you the opportunity attain more than you ever have.
Sound of about your 2012 goals in the comments.
**TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO TAKE YOUR PALEO AFTER PICTURES FOR THE FINALS. YOU WILL NOT BE ELIGIBLE TO WIN THE CHALLENGE IF YOU DO NOT TAKE YOUR PICS BY THE TIME WE CLOSE. Refer to this POST FOR MORE INFO.
20- shoulder to overhead (165)*You can break up the burpees and shoulder to overhead into as many sets and reps.*
Post by Chris.
This is why you never say the words "I would NEVER...". For most of my fitness career I have loathed yoga!
I was bored, felt it was mundane and a waste of a good hour of my time... until I found "the one".
I was introduced to yoga when I was 19, it was a class at the gym where I worked called "yoga stretch". It was basically 1 hour of static stretching and then 15 minutes at the end of "sleeping" and in my opinion "a waste of
Needless to say from that point forward I avoided any yoga class like the black plague!
Chris on the other hand has always thought very highly of yoga and would practice at home with DVD's and if the opportunity to take a yoga class arose he would jump on it immediately.
He wasn't a yogi, he just saw the importance and benefits that stretching had on his athletic ability. He would try to get me to do it with him, but half way through I would either walk out of the class or find something more eventful (in my opinion) to do at home.
Then I met a good friend last year who taught yoga for many years and had just begun her CrossFit journey. I saw her flexibility, her ability to get low in a squat, chest hitting the ground on pushups, and her ability to perform
movements that most of our beginning athletes could not perform (i.e front squats, overhead squats, thrusters, etc..).
I had a nagging hamstring and shoulder injury that would not go away, so she started to tell me about the importance of yoga. I quickly told her I had no interest in doing any type of yoga, "it just wasn't for me."
She mentioned that I would really like this yoga studio called "Yoga Hop". It is geared towards athletes, and the instructors were very friendly and helpful. But then she said the words that made me say yes ... "They blast hip
hop music," that was all I needed to become intrigued!
The next day Groupon was offering a deal for yoga hop and I knew this was where my "new" yoga journey needed to begin.
The next Saturday I went by myself and was introduced to my instructor Matthew Reyes. I immediately hit it off with him and had a completely different feeling then I had in previous yoga classes.
I loved the class, and the benefits were tremendous for my body and my mind! I would come out of the class feeling like I had just gotten a CrossFit workout, but feeling all of the amazing benefits of the yoga.
It was a match made in heaven. Then in March I came across a flyer for an instructor training intensive for a month with Matthew. It was exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to incorporate yoga with my clients in Crossfit and personal clients as well.
I know the importance of yoga and if I can make it fun, energetic, and beneficial it will help my athletes with injury prevention, rehab, and become better athletes in their sport.
So now, I am officially a yoga instructor!
I am so excited to inspire many more people to love yoga and all the benefits that comes along with it!
I am also very pleased to announce that we will be adding a Yoga Class at CrossFit 818 every Sunday at 11:45am beginning June 3rd.
This class will give you all the wonderful benefits of yoga, while making you feel like you got that CrossFit Workout.
I can't wait to see all of you there!
Find 1 RM Back Squat
In 5 min, row 500 meters and then AMRAP:
10 KB Swings (24kg/16kg)
10 Push-Ups (Competition)
Post by Annie.
Happy Memorial Day, everybody. Between the beer and BBQ, remember how the sacrifices of America's fallen heroes have given us the freedoms that we so very often take for granted. Thanks to every one of our Veterans for your service and to the families of all those who've made the ultimate sacrifice for us to have the awesome lives we have today.
Gym's closed today, so enjoy your day off and we'll see ya Tuesday!
Posted by Armen.
We frequently get visitors or new members who tell us they don't want to get "big". For some reason, weightlifting = this or this in their minds. First off, those are bodybuilders, who primarily focus on exercises that target individual muscles and do them in rep schemes that promote hypertrophy. They eat tremendous amounts of protein and regularly spike their insulin levels to promote even more muscle growth. They supplement with steroids, testosterone, and human growth hormone. CrossFitters, on the other hand, focus primarily on exercises that target large groups of muscle, and perform them in rep schemes that promote increased work capacity. We generally eat a paleolithic diet consisting of meats, vegetables, some fruit, and good fats. We supplement with fish oil and grass-fed whey protein. You won't get "big" unless you train to get big, but that doesn't mean you can't be strong... Just ask Mike! (And check out Geoff's 200lb. power snatch on our Facebook page while you're at it!)
Mike power cleans 185lbs. and makes it look easy!
AMRAP 12 Minutes of:
1 - KB Swing, 1 - Pull-up
2 - KB Swing, 2 - Pull-up
3 - KB Swing, 3 - Pull-up
continue to add 1 to each movement each round
*at minutes 3, 6, and 9 stop and run 200m, then
pick up where you left off.
Posted by Zareh.
The Six Weeks to Summer Challenge is nearly over. Summer is basically here, your after pictures must be taken between this Saturday (5/26) and next Wednesday (5/30), the Helen final is taking place in 9 days, and official winners will be crowned then.
So what are you gonna do with yourself when the challenge is over and suddenly there isn't some external competition to keep your engine burning and your motivation high? Here are my suggestions:
Pick a project
Want to have a better overhead squat? Maybe you want to squat deeper in general? Or get better at push ups? The beauty of CrossFit is that there are so many different things to work on at any point, but that can get a little overwhelming if you look only at the big picture. One way to keep yourself motivated and still mentally in the game with your workouts is to give yourself short term goals.
Pick a project to work on, whether it's to improve your front rack position on the clean, or get better at double unders, or finally get those pull ups, and put aside an extra 20-30 minutes every day where you work on it.
If it's something skill related (double unders, muscle up, kipping pull ups, Olympic lifts, rowing, etc) your best bet would be to practice it every day until you get comfortable or develop the skill necessary. Some of these skills are harder to develop than others and may require to to reach out to one of the coaches for some guidance...good! That's what we're here for.
If you wanna open up those terribly immobile shoulders some of you carry around or work on getting more comfortable in the bottom of your squat or maybe get rid of that nagging pain in your wrists when you work out, that's simple too: work on it every day. How? Check out one of my favorite sites: www.mobilitywod.com. It's run by CrossFit genius/hilarious human being/mobility genius Kelly Starrett and it has resources to help you with basically anything mobility related. Just hit up the search function and type in what you're looking for: shoulders, hips, glutes, and even movements you want to be better at. Want some guidance on what exactly to look for? Ask one of the coaches...that's what we're here for!
Enlist your friends form CF818
You get to workout with some of the coolest CrossFitters around, people who are just as dedicated as you are, and people who can help you with living a fit lifestyle. The best part about this is it won't really require any work as you already chat with your peers about your dinner last night, how you felt during the last workout, and the things you're working on. All you have to do is engage the people around you and they will get invested in your success. Even better, you can help them out with your own success and knowledge. Turn them onto some cool fitness blogs, or new Paleo recipes, or training methodologies...wait, you don't know where to look? Well, here are a few of my favorites:
CrossFit Los Angeles (one of the first CrossFit boxes in the world, where I used to train, great blog posts)
70s Big (the science, art, and culture of weightlifting, and how to get bigger, stronger, and better)
Sweet Cheeks (the Paleo recipes of two fun loving friends in Santa Monica)
Fit Chic LA (the personal blog of your very own Annie Mello)
CPM Fitness (the personal blog of your very own Chris Mello)
There are others out there, but that's a great place to start. Read some of the posts, discuss them with your fellow students or with the coaches...once you get other enrolled in your journey, you start building momentum that's really difficult to stop.
15 min Amrap
250m Row/200m Run
15 Ring Push-Ups
20 Goblet Squats 24/16
Posted by Armen.
Monday night was the last meeting for our Paleo Posse Challenge. The topic was one of my favorites, "Life After the Challenge". Those that complete these types of Paleo challenges see some incredible results, not only
physically but mentally and emotionally. The common fear is that we will fall back into our old ways now! The structure, accountability, and the group will not be there when the challenge ends.....Or will it???
The BIG concerns are, "How do I stay on a roll?" or "I'm afraid I will fall back into my old ways." What can I do?!?! Here are 5 steps, when followed, will help you not only survive and stay on track, but THRIVE!
Role model: Being a role model is one of the most fulfilling things you can do in your life. When it stops becoming about you and your pursuit of the perfect body, and starts becoming about others you begin to act with purpose. And if your purpose is to help others, you find you end up helping yourself more than you thought was possible.
Education: Education feeds motivation. Knowledge is power! And when you continue to increase your knowledge you will began to empower yourself and begin to become unstoppable. Armen, Annie, Z and I were all CrossFit students and in your shoes at one point in our lives. We became so motivated and so inspired that we continued to do something about it and that has lead us to the position that we are in today. When you can plan you day, week and year with informative blogs (like this one:-), pod casts, books, audio programs, seminars and
certifications you can become wise beyond what you thought you had in you.
Associations: "The books you read and the people you meet will determine where you are in five years." -- Charlie 'Tremendous' Jones.
Do you ever notice how easy it is to eat healthy when the people around you are health conscious? How about the opposite?
If you want to be a millionaire? Hang around rich people.
If you want to be ripped? Hang around other FIT people.
CrossFit is so successful for a lot of us because it surrounds us with others that are just as motivated (or more), have similar goals and want the best for themselves. It is waay too easy to adapt to what the people around
you are doing. So be careful who you associate with, it makes a BIG difference.
Bring it back to what you know: We all have areas in our lives where we are experts and successful. The hard part about staying motivated is... staying motivated! Especially when it is something new and out of your comfort zone. When we get stagnate, drained, fatigued and we feel like stopping or giving in to our old self...STOP, DROP and revert to what you know. For example, I received an email from one of our athletes last week:
Need some secret sauce. What can I do better? more off? eat better? workout less? more? differently? Feel stagnant. Don't like this mortality stuff.
He was at a point where he was frustrated with everything. It was more about having a tough week with everything vs. what his actual question/frustration was. My response was to take it back to what you know. Being successful in FITness is using the same success principles as in finances, relationships, career, etc... His career is as a financial professional. So I asked him...
How would you treat your business growth? You are not going to make a million dollars over night, especially in the beginning! How would you tell someone to grow their portfolio? Treat your goals in CrossFit with other things in your life that you know (financial) and then translate it. That is your answer.
Success principles: This one springs off the last one. Whatever makes you successful in one area of your life, can make you successful in all other areas of your life. If you are dedicated to your work/career, then you can be
dedicated to your health and FITness. If you are consistent with certain habits in some area's in your life than you can be in other areas of your life. It just takes you making it a priority, focusing on it daily, and with time it will
transfer over to your goals.
What I recommend is coming back to this list every quarter and grading yourself on the development of each point.
Keep up the awesome work posse!
“Over & under”
Complete five rounds for time of:
• 5 overhead squats (135/95)
• 5 handstand push-ups
• 50 double unders
Post by Chris.
The most common misconception in regards to eating healthy that I hear in my line of work is " I can't afford it" or "It's too expensive for me to eat that way". So what if I could create guidelines for you to not only make it inexpensive, but help you actually save money by eating healthy.
Here are some great tips that I have learned along way, that really make the wallet happier:
First, look for coupons, if you are not a coupon cutter no worries. Grab a coupon flyer when you walk into the store, look through it quickly and see what you need that is on special.
Second: Get the store brand i.e. whole foods brand, Hyvee brand, Ralphs, Trader Joes, Target, etc... They are usually much cheaper and taste just as good if not better, but you are just not paying for the Logo!
Third: Always, always, did I say Always, get the in store specials. Like Protein bars that are ten for ten, or waters 5 for 5. Buy one get one free. 9 out of 1o times when I go through the meat section there is discounted meat that has an expiration date of two days from now or the next day, and if I am not planning on using it I will just put it in the freezer.
Fourth: Buy in Bulk (sometimes)....Bigger is not always better! But, I have come to find out what items are cheaper when you buy them at your local Sams or Costco. Peanut butter, salsa, eggs, almond milk, nuts, jerky, larabars. You have to watch for fruit, veggies, and meats (sometimes they are a lot cheaper other times not at all). The only problem sometimes is storage, but if storage is not an issue this is the way to go!
Fifth: Don't buy things already done for you, like pre cut veggies, pre cut fruit, kabobs, etc... buy them separately and take the extra time to cut them and your bank account will thank you!
Chris is always amazed when I come home now, and tell him how much I spent, and what we saved. He is a HUGE eater (in fact I have never seen someone consume so much), and our grocery bill used to be astronomical; but not anymore. It has now become a fun game for me entitled "how much can I save"..... Chris would laugh at me when I would go to certain stores and hold off on certain items because I knew I could get them cheaper at a different location. Last night at the check out I had my him guess how much we had saved.... our bill was $43.23 and our savings was $36.65. We almost saved as much as we spent. The proof is in the pudding ladies and gentlemen. Try these tips for yourself and see how much you can really save!!!Six and Last: Shop on the outside of the store and do not go down the aisles. What we as Americans spend the most money on is PROCESSED FOOD. This food does absolutely nothing for us, and is putting a huge hole in the wallet. The outside of the store is where all the nutritional goodness is placed, so don't stray and your wallet will thank you!
In 12 minutes:
30 Box Jumps (20")
10 Push Press (85/53)
20 Box Jumps
20 Push Press
10 Box Jumps
30 Push Press
With remainder of time complete-
Score is total number of Burpees
Posted by Annie.
Most of you know by now the visceral negative reaction I have to athletes using the word "can't" in my gym. As a coach, I can correct inefficiencies in movement to help you move more weight better and faster than you could before. I can program a series of workouts that can help address your weaknesses and turn them into strengths. I can help evaluate the current state of your nutritional intake and help you optimize it so you can achieve all of your goals. What I am powerless against is your most powerful weapon: your own mind. I cannot coach "can't".
Your mental state and preparedness before a workout or even a single complex movement can mean the difference between success and failure. Visualize yourself succeeding. Picture yourself going through the movement. Above all else, train yourself to utterly believe that what you are about to do is not only possible, but inevitable to occur. Your mind is your most powerful weapon when it comes to your fitness... use it!
30 Snatches (115/75)
Posted by Zareh.
As all of you probably know, I suffered a serious leg injury in January (tears to multiple muscles in my calf). Coming back from that injury has been a difficult (and ongoing) process, but I've had the support of my family and friends both in and out of the gym. Sometimes it's hard to put recovery into perspective, so I found an older post about it and the concept bears repeating:
Injuries are an intrinsic part of sport. Whether through a poor decision of the athlete or a freak, unpreventable occurrence, most athletes will have some sort of injury at some point in their athletic careers. While we hope that these injuries are relatively minor in scale and scope, there will be times that an athlete has to work through a "devastating" injury. The hardest part of these injuries are all the people telling you that you'll never be the same or you'll never be able to do this or that ever again. The voice of doubt begins to worm its way into your skull, and all of a sudden, you're not sure if you want to put in the hundreds or even thousands of hours of work to try to get back to where you were, only to fail. Crush that voice early and often! Tell naysayers that if they are going to say "nay!" rather than focusing on the positive, you'd rather not talk to them at all. Realize that being dealt a specialist's hand is an opportunity to work on some things you may not have worked on as diligently before your injury. Most of all never ever ever give up.
What were some of the challenges you've overcome during a recent injury?
4 rounds of:
AMRAP 4 minutes-
[Rnds 1 & 3] Max Kettlebell Swings (53/35)
[Rnds 2 & 4] Max Pull-ups
*rest 1 minute between rounds
Posted by Zareh.