This week I turned 29 years old. My birthday inevitably causes me to take a look back over the last year and put things into perspective. Did I reach my goals? Was this year better than the last? Would I have done things differently?
Well folks, I gotta say it’s been a pretty damn good year. I got married to an amazing woman. I have the best group of friends I’ve ever had. I have a year full of great memories with good people. A lot of these memories are with all of you.
My main goal this year has been to become a coach for two of the men I respect most at their profession, Z and Armen. I’ve recently been granted that privilege. Last May, Crossfit 818 started its coaching development series. I was lucky enough to be one of the original members of the program. Over the course of the year, we took turns teaching workouts, getting critiqued, and learning about movement. It took a lot of time and hard work, and it’s something I’m incredibly proud of. I’m still learning and I look forward to the challenge of continual growth. I’d really like to thank them and all of you for the opportunity. I’m really looking forward to the next year.
Did you reach your goals this year? Are you working towards them? Whether they’re health related, professional, or personnel, write them down somewhere and don’t stop until you reach them.
In case any of you are thinking about Birthday presents. I’ll give you a hint...
"Fight Gone Bad"
Three rounds of:
Sumo deadlift high-pull (75/55)
Box Jump (20" box)
In this workout you move from each of five stations after a minute.The clock does not reset or stop between exercises. This is a five-minute round from which a one-minute break is allowed before repeating. On call of "rotate", the athletes must move to next station immediately for best score. One point is given for each rep, except on the rower where each calorie is one point.
Posted by Tyler.
Last weekend many of your fellow 818ers participated in the final event of the Weightlifting Development Series. This meet was the culmination of over a month's worth of dedication to refining Olympic lifting techniques and the personal records, of which there were many, proved that the hard work paid off. In addition to the hours put in toward training many of you got to experience competing in front of your peers. Normally, CrossFit competitions are held in heats where you (and your judge) are part of a larger group working out at the same time - the event this past weekend was different because you and the barbell were alone on the platform while everyone else watched.
Situations like this are a true test of mettle and speak volumes of a person's ability to perform under pressure. We've all seen the highlights on ESPN and been awed by the buzzer beater as the clock runs out or a walk-off homerun in extra innings. During our meet some of us missed one or two lifts and had to find the courage and confidence from within to make the lift successfully on the final attempt. How do you react when you have you have to perform in a do-or-die setting? Do you fold and give up or do you focus and find a way to get the job done?
Jun gets focused before successfully snatching 215 pounds.
100 Kettlebell Swings (53/35)
100 Double Unders
100 Front Squats (95/65)
Posted by Commish.
This coming weekend May 18th, May 19th, and May 20th the CrossFit Games SoCal Regionals are taking place in Del Mar, CA (just north of San Diego). This is a great chance to see some really exciting competitive CrossFit action with some of the best CrossFitters in the world battling it out to make the podium and qualify for the CrossFit Games this July.
We're really lucky to be located in SoCal where the competition is incredibly fierce. The athletes that qualify from SoCal (men and women) have a great chance of actually making it to the podium at the CrossFit Games (we've got 1 past women's Champion and several top 12 finishers in SoCal on both men's and women's sides). I will be there on all weekend starting Friday afternoon and am really looking forward to seeing some great action, so hopefully you'll come down and join me! You can get more info here, including a chance to buy tickets.
AMRAP 6 minutes:
Max rep Burpees
Rest 6 minutes
AMRAP 5 Minutes:
Rest 5 minutes
AMRAP 4 minutes:
Max Wall Balls (20/14)
Posted by Armen.
On Saturday, the final event of the Weightlifting Development Series was held at the gym. Congratulations to all of those who participated and made it through the entire development series. The women's most improved went to Molly with an improvement of over 16% in just five weeks. Edwin took home the men's most improved with an improvement of 6%. Jun and Tu won the men and women's overall with totals of 480lbs. and 261lbs. respectively.
Keep your eyes open for information on our next challenge and our next Development Series coming soon!
Overhead Squats (135/95)
*400m run between each round
Posted by Zareh.
Some of you may know one of the hats I wear outside of the gym is that of a Commissioner in the City of Glendale. I serve on the Audit Committee, which has the responsibility of overseeing the audit function of the City of Glendale. I am also a voracious reader and I love a grood CrossFit blog. So I was especially excited to see one of our good friends, Logan Gelbrich, write a blog on auditing within the context of coaching. Read below and check out their site here for some great supplemental reading:
Cue the suspenseful music. Athletes, there are eyes on you. Sometimes as a coach, or even just as an observer, I like to get “inside” students’ workouts. I’ll join them for a round or two, and count reps with them. It’s here that I can see when they choose to break, I can see their thought process in their movement and body language, and sometimes (unfortunately) it makes me a silent auditor.
Nothing hurts my heart more than an athlete that chooses to cut rep counts short, and like watching a train crash I can’t erase it from my memory. Guys and girls, if we don’t have our word then what do we have? If the integrity of the numbers in our training slip just a bit, then there’s no meaning in any of them. So, what are we doing here?
If you haven’t the diligence to hold yourself to the standard. Let the thought of another set of eye balls on you motivate you. Beware of the auditor.
EMOTM for 12 Minutes:
3 Thrusters (155/105)
AMRAP 9 minutes:
3 Box Jumps (30/24)
6 Thrusters (75/53)
Posted by Zareh.
I’m a huge fan of combat sports. I follow mixed martial arts, boxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and wrestling. There’s something about the old saying, “Two men enter, one man leaves”, that’s always appealed to me. I did a report on Muhammad Ali in fourth grade, for some reason I still remember it. I get butterflies in my stomach when a good main event starts. I suppose that’s why I enjoy Crossfit so much; I get to push myself against others in a competitive setting.
This past weekend I had the pleasure of watching one of the most controversial and talented boxers of the era, Floyd “Money” Mayweather, defend his multiple welterweight titles. It can be argued that he is the greatest boxer of all time. Floyd has entered the squared circle as a professional 44 times and has never left without his hand being raised. I can’t imagine how much pressure there is entering that ring with so much on the line. He has spent his entire life as a boxer, he grew up in a gym, and it’s all he’s ever known. His motto is; hard work, dedication. Simple, yet very effective. Love him, or hate him, you have to respect his talent. I don’t watch his fights to see if he loses, I watch because it’s like watching an artist paint a picture. Floyd is famous in boxing circles for his work ethic and attention to his craft. During training camps he’s known for his 3 A.M. distance runs through Las Vegas and sparring sessions that last 24 rounds. Even after all that success he still trains like it’s his first big fight.
How much time are you really dedicating to being healthy? Can you imagine the results and how different your life would be? I’m not asking you to devote your entire life to the pursuit of fitness. I know that family, work, and life in general gets busy. I’m asking you to dedicate an hour of your day to come in and crush a workout. Get to gym, we’ll help you take care of the rest.
"5 Foot Blue"
10 rounds for time:
3 power cleans (135/95)
6 wall ball (20/14)
Posted by Tyler
Last summer a handful of your fellow 818ers participated in the Tough Mudder obstacle course at Snow Valley. The event is widely regarded as the toughest of its kind, and the course, which was located at an elevation of 7,000 feet, was over 10 miles in length and featured over a dozen obstacles of varying difficulty. It took our team 5 hours and 5 minutes to complete the entire course and looking back it was pretty challenging, particularly the steep inclines that we had to traverse at several points throughout.
Have you ever signed up for something or been put in a position where you didn't think you were tough enough to get the job done? The Tough Mudder was certainly a daunting challenge (I was a little concerned about how it would go) but I realized that CrossFit prepared me, both physically and mentally, to handle the task. Since I knew it was going to take awhile, I took what I learned from over a year's worth of workouts and treated it like a very, very long chipper - instead of looking at the whole thing I focused on smaller goals like getting to the the next obstacle or the next mile marker until I finally got to the finish line. Next time you are faced with a challenge use what you've learned in the gym to prove that you're tough enough to handle anything.
Thor's SICK video of CrossFit 818 taking on Tough Mudder
5 rounds for time:
5 Snatch (155/105)
5 Handstand Push-ups
Posted by Commish.
We all have friends that don't CrossFit, and we all know people who find out how we train and immediately begin to tell us all the reasons why we're wrong. "Squats are bad for your knees" or "Aren't you afraid you'll get hurt?" or "Girls shouldn't lift weights because they'll get really manly" are some of my favorite objections. But when you press them for a reason or proof, their responses tend to be "Well that's just common sense" or "Haven't you seen all those crazy manly bodybuilder women?!"...or in other words they don't have any idea what they're talking about and felt that they needed to share their baseless opinions with you.
In most of these situations you can safely ignore what they have to say because they're not basing their opinion on sound reasoning or reality, but are instead using "common sense" or hearsay. The thing is people will always want to express their opinion on your actions, especially with something as touchy as exercise (think of the differences between yoga and cycling and climbing and running and CrossFit and how possessive each of those groups are of their methodology). When they offer their opinion, don't argue because that'll get you no where. Instead, try to invite them to try out a class so they can actually get an idea of what it is they're talking about. If they refuse that, then you can't help them, so don't sweat it!
And if you wonder why we do what we do, ask us! We'll be happy to answer your questions about why we tell you to do the things we tell you to do.
Just a reminder: tonight's class schedule is new - 4PM, 5PM, 6PM, 7PM, and 8PM. See you tonight!
3 rounds for time of:
21 kb swings (53/35)
12 pull ups
Posted by Armen.
I was looking back at some of my old blog posts and I stumbled across one that bears repeating...
One of the most common things I've seen during my time CrossFitting and coaching has been the propensity for little things to derail people's journeys toward fitness. Small injuries, busy work schedules, family issues, or relationship strife are all reasons one might stop paying attention to their fitness... but they usually aren't good reasons. We've talked about excuses and the fact that your fitness at CrossFit 818 consists of just a few total hours of week. Each of you have made a commitment to yourselves to show up and not quit, so don't let anything get in the way of that!
Have a minor injury? Work around it. We pride ourselves on being generalists, maximizing our capacity over ten components of fitness. But sometimes, in order to stay on track, you have to become a specialist.
Busy work schedule? I empathize, but CrossFit 818 has classes 7 days a week, so you have no excuses! Get in here and get your work done.
Family issues or relationship strife? Nothing better to clear your head and give you a shot of endorphins than a butt-kicking CrossFit WoD.
The bottom line: don't allow the small things get in the way of reaching any of your goals!
Don't forget: this Wednesday we add a class to the schedule and all classes start on the hour (4pm, 5pm, 6pm, 7pm, and 8pm)!
10 rounds for time:
10 Kettlebell Swings (70/53)
5 Burpee Broad Jumps (6 feet min/4 feet min)
Posted by Zareh.
One of the best feelings as a coach is watching someone improve themselves over the course of many months, better their lives, and then move on to bigger and better things. Scott Butler was one our earliest members at CrossFit 818, and last week was his final one in Southern California. Scott is moving to Northern California to get married and pursue new opportunities. Scott won our first paleo challenge, participated in almost every gym event over the past two years, and thoroughly incorporated fitness and CrossFit 818 ideals into his everyday life. We're sad to see him go, but happy to have played a small part in helping make his life better. We wish you the best, Scott, and hope we'll get a chance to work out with you again at some point in the future! Keep squatting!
A. EMOTM for 10 minutes
3 strict press
*increase weight every 2 rounds
B. For time:
21 deadlifts (135/95)
21 push jerk (135/95)
15 push press
Posted by Zareh.