One of my favorite things about fatherhood is vicariously experiencing my boy's first encounters with various things in his life. His realization that splashing water is fun, the look on his face when he had his first sip of coconut water, his joy when he bangs his hand on a drum, and so on and so forth. As a CrossFit coach, I've also learned a lot by watching Zach (he will be one year old on the 4th of July) as he goes about his day. Here are some of the things I've noticed:
1. Babies are natural squatters. Anyone who says squatting is bad for you has to watch ambulatory babies for just 10 minutes and they'll change their minds. Babies squat cute little butt-to-grass, have perfect biomechanics, and can hang out in a squat all day.
2. Babies love to practice. Stand up, balance, fall down, stand up, balance, take a few steps, squat, stand-up, balance, hang on to something, rinse and repeat. The single-minded determination to perfect whatever they are working on can be a fantastic lesson for us.
3. Babies don't do anything half-way. Their intensity is either zero or one hundred. When they want to do something, they give it their 100%. For example, if Zach doesn't want to lie on his back he will use every ounce of his strength, every fiber of his being to turn over. It doesn't matter who is holding him down, he feels like he's applying tremendous, supernatural strength, when all he's really doing is not holding back anything. Failure doesn't exist for him in that moment.
So next time you're in the gym, channel your inner baby: squat perfectly, practice your weaknesses incessantly, and commit yourself body, mind, and soul to the task at hand!
Reminder: The gym will be closed on Wednesday, July 4th in observance of Independence Day. Also, we will be closed on Saturday, July 7th as Coach Armen will be competing in the Occupy Strength competition at CrossFit Balboa. Sunday, July 8th we will have classes as normal, but no CF818 Yoga, as Coach Annie will be out of town. If you have any questions or concerns about the holiday schedule, please speak to one of your coaches!
5 rounds for time:
30 Box Jumps (24/20)
30 Wall Balls (20/14)
Posted by Zareh.
This Saturday is the Combine! What?! You don't know what that is by now? Well, refer to this post for a general explanation and this post for a list of exactly what you'll be doing.
A few reminders:
Sign up if you intend to show up. The first heat (10AM) is full, but there's space in the later heats if you still want in.
The whole thing takes 90 minutes, so be prepared to be here for at least that long if you sign up.
The heat times (10AM, 10:30AM, 11AM, and 11:30AM) are the START TIMES. You will need to come early to warm up and get ready on your own.
There will be one normal class at 8:30AM, but the 9:30AM, 10:30AM, and Wreck Shop are all canceled.
"Santa Monica Smoker"
30 front squats (bodyweight/75% bodyweight)
1 mile run
Posted by Armen.
Believe it or not, there are a lot of peeps who actually show up early for a class! When I am coaching, I have noticed lately that most people arrive to class anywhere from 5 to 30 plus minutes before class and just hang around and wait until LITERALLY we say "2 laps" or "Grab a jump rope". If you are early (or hanging out after), this is a great time to work on your weaknesses or do some extra warm-up.
Previously we discussed this topic in a post named, THE WARMUP BEFORE THE WARMUP, but I would like to expand on the topic (hence the title).
Lets break it down and make some simple (yet effective) suggestions. The Warmup Before the Warmup 2.0 (lets call it TWBTW) can be broken down into 3 main areas: Skill, Mobility and Strength.
Skill: Anyone ever hear of the 'Yuushgdh'? Don't worry it's okay to do it before class even if we actually do it again in class. If double under's are not happening in a WOD yet, I would start with the Yuushgdh everyday. I personally do the Yuushgdh everytime before I start my workout, and I'm pretty damn good at DU's;-)
Other skill work that would be very VERY beneficial to you:
-BURGENER WARMUP: Watch VIDEO HERE. Start with a PVC pipe. Graduate to a empty bar.
-Handstands, Handstand push up's, regular pushups.
-Pull ups, Toes to Bar/Knees to Elbows.
-Bascially anything that is difficult with Gymnastics is a great area to focus on. Check out the GWOD site for more info and resources.
Mobility: In my opinion this is the KING of TWBTW. Most everyone is tight, inflexible or unable to get in a proper functional position on command. All of us are capable of much much more performance if we can unlock all the tightest that we have. The key is consistent mobility practice.
Places to go for Mobility help:
-Kelly Starret has a website called: MOBILITYWOD.COM
Or even better...
-We have our very own Annie Mello teaching our YOGAFIT class every Sunday from 11:45a - 12:45p
Strength: This section deals with weightlifting. Getting stronger comes with consistent work over time. If you have come to the afternoon classes you may have noticed a few of our members lifting to the side. They have worked with the coaches on a specific program to help with their personal goals. This isn't for everyone. If you want to increase your strength outside of class, talk to one of the coaches and we will help design a program for you. Also, refer to the Wreckshop class every Saturday from Noon to 2p for additional help.
I know a lot of you are hungry for more results. Starting with TWBTW is a great way to maximize time and results.
A FEW UPCOMING EVENTS:
-CrossFit 818 will be CLOSED in observance of Independence Day on Wednesday, July 4th.
-CF 818 SUMMER COMBINE is this Saturday. You MUST sign up for a heat time. Don't just show up! It may (probably will) fill out.
-Yoga is this Sunday 11:45a - 12:45p
A. Max double unders in 2 minutes
B. AMRAP 20 Minutes:
30sec Handstand Hold
30 sec squat hold
30 sec L Sit
30 sec Bar Hang
Post by CMO.
This past weekend I went to San Diego with some of my close friends who also
happen to be athletes at our CrossFit. We were heading down for a friend's
birthday and wanted to have fun, but not throw our diet out the window in the
So is this attainable?
Can you still have fun and be healthy, or do you have to sacrifice your
health every time a fun event rolls around? .....
The answer is definitely not!
Here are some tips to help you still have fun, and not go completely off
1. Bring Snacks - This way you know that you will have your "healthy" snacks
in case you get hungry and don't have decent choices around you.
2. Drinks - For liquors stick to clear liquids such as vodka, gin, or tequila
and add soda water with lime or lemon. This weekend we added cucumber to our
cocktails and it tasted amazing! Stick to wine or champagne. For wines
avoid sweet reds or whites, and stick to brut champagnes. Especially with
summer here there is nothing like a nice cold glass of beer, no worries just
make sure it is gluten-free. Cider beers tend to always be gluten -free so if
you don't see gluten-free go for the cider.
3. Plan Workouts as a Group - Saturday morning we all got up went to the roof
top deck in downtown San Diego and worked out together. This way we had an
amazing view, a fun time with friends, accountability to do it, and felt great
in the process.
4. Yelp or Google it: When deciding on where or what to eat with friends,
grab your phone or a computer and yelp or google restaurants in the area. Now
you can look up the food menus and see what food choices they have. Pre-plan
your order so you know you can stick to a mostly Paleo style meal.
5. Try to get a hotel with a kitchen in it - Now days most Marriot Residence
Inn, Radissons, Clubhouse Suites etc... all are very nice hotels and they
contain their own kitchens. This is a really great and easy way to stay on the
Paleo Train and save a ton of money in the process. You can go to your local
store and stock up for breakfast, lunch, and even dinner if you want. Now you
have the quality control for your food, and you know exactly what ingredients
you are working with!
These 5 steps are a very easily attainable, and still allow you to have a
Now not only will fun be the priority, feeling good will be too!
Find 1RM Overhead Squat
Overhead squat, 21 reps
95/65 pound Overhead squat, 15 reps
95/65 pound Overhead squat, 9 reps
Posted by Annie
Last week, we announced the Summer Combine. This coming Saturday, June 30th, you'll have a chance to set benchmarks, have fun, and get a great workout at the same time. So what are the events? Well, I'm happy to announce the events and order of the 2012 Summer Combine:
1 mile run for time
max push ups in 2 minutes
5 minutes to max snatch
max double unders in 2 minutes
max muscle ups (optional)
max box jumps in 2 minutes
max set pull ups
5 minutes to max front squat
max kb swings
max handstand push up (optional)
max burpees in 2 minutes
max L-sit on rings or parallettes
5 mintues to max shoulder to overhead
5 minutes to max weighted pull up (optional)
You will have 30 minutes at each section. Remember that you're going to be working with a partner, so for almost every event, you will be counting for and cheering on your partner while they go and vice versa. The optional events are exactly that: optional.
Don't forget to sign up for a heat on the board in the hallway! Heat 1 (10AM) is already full, but there's space in the the other 3 heats (10:30AM, 11AM, and 11:30AM). Also, there will still be an 8:30AM class just like regular Saturdays in case you don't want to participate, but you do want to work out (9:30 and 10:30 are cancelled).
Questions? Post up in the comments!
400M Plate Carry
12 Power Clean (135/95)
12 burpee box jump
400m Plate Carry
10 Power Clean
10 burpee box jump
400m Plate Carry
8 Power Clean
8 burpee box jump
Posted by Armen.
Logging your workouts and nutrition is an important part of your journey to better fitness. Only through proper logging can you compare your training and look back to see how the current you compares to the old you. Logging is as easy as taking a picture of the whiteboard and writing a few notes about how you felt and what you could have improved. If you don't log now, it isn't too late to start... ask one of your coaches and we'll help you get started!
Note: CrossFit 818 will be CLOSED in observance of Independence Day on Wednesday, July 4th.
Armen's Secret Workout #3
*Come in and find out what we have in store for you... no cherry-picking!
Posted by Zareh.
Obviously, we all like music. We like listening to it, we like dancing to it, and we like working out to it. What does this have to do with you? Everything!
Want to tell us what songs to play? Go for it! Easiest way to do it is the make a Spotify playlist and share it with us. If you don't wanna do that, tell us what you want to listen to in the comments.
You already know what we like: rap, rock, surf music, dance music, electronic stuff. Now's your chance to add to it, so get on it and tell us what's up!
Posted by Armen.
Last Friday I had the pleasure of going to Universal Studio's Theme Park (thanks Jun!) with some great peeps. It was a fun filled day by all. As we were standing in line to get some 'Paleo' friendly lunch a gentlemen behind us spotted us as CrossFitters.
He heard us mention the word Paleo and then he looked down at my lime green Inov-8's.
It got me thinking that. If you are a CrossFitter you can spot another CrossFitter a mile away. And the longer you are in CF the easier it is to spot them. I found a fun blog post from Fletcher Fitness about A 20 Step Story of a Typical CrossFitter.
Below is the steps in BOLD and my personal answers. Post YOUR answers to the comments. Lets light up the comments today!
1. Hear about CrossFit through someone that is annoying and obsessed. I heard about crossfit.com from my brother (Mark an athlete now at CF Costa Mesa). It was July 2007 and one of his firefighter buddies was doing it. It looked to me like High School football offseason lifting so I was immediately interested.
2. Attend a Free class…and one of two things happen – you love it & you are hooked already (skip to #6) OR… Did my baseline with Andy Petranek in August something 2007. And yes, was immediately hooked!
3. Still very skeptical, go back to the couch or your regular way of training… but…whether you like it or not, can’t stop thinking about & hearing about CrossFit and all those fit, amazing, fun people.
4. Come back again, start asking more questions & poking around at the equipment.
5. Check out some links online, one thing leads to another & hrs pass by. I remember this step all too well:-) I still am on the web everyday.
6. Join a box. Joined CFLA March of 2009.
7. Start carving out 3ish hrs a week to do a bunch of crazy functional stuff that hurts a lot but feels so good. Such a fun step. It is like the honeymoon phase in the CF and You relationship.
8. Friend other CrossFitters on facebook. This happens fast!
9. Rip your hands open, a little shocked and in a bit of pain…you’re smiling on the inside. It feels cool. I have ripped my hands 12 times in almost 5 years. Most in the first 2 years. Now not so much.
10. Start using the lingo… “WOD” “Rx’d”, “AMRAP” “Snatch” & “Fran”. I love talking in code.
11. Attend some CrossFit oriented events and begin actually looking forward to working out on the weekends. This is one of the best parts of CF I love.
12. Lift a barbell that weighs more than you off the ground. Such a cool feeling!
13. Continue to drink too much & overload on carbs bc now that you train so hard, you deserve to celebrate with a few beers and a pizza. This has never really happened to me. But I don't ever feel guilty about indulging every now and then.
14. Buy some t-shirts that have catchy slogans on them and special shoes. This happens fast. Talk to me when you have more CF shirts then regular shirts. My first CF shoes were Vibrams May 2009. My first pair of O-Lift Shoes June 2010.
15. Date someone from the box. Stalk games athletes online. I wouldn't recommend the date part. Ever heard the term, "Don't bring sand to the beach"? Stalking games athletes is cool tho:-)
16. Realize after 6 months or so that you are slightly stagnant and need to give this dreaded ‘Eat Clean’ stuff a try. Educate yourself & commit to trying a Paleolitic-based Diet. What are you people waiting for if you haven't hoped on this train yet??
17. See drastic improvements in your daily life, feel incredible, dominate workouts like never before and preach about eating REAL FOOD & functional movement to everyone you know. This a great step!
18. Talk about CrossFit, Think about CrossFit, Dream about CrossFit. (ahhhhh, life is good)
19. Get a CrossFit inspired tattoo…okay, probably not, but you kinda want to.
20. You bleed this lifestyle, surround yourself with likeminded people, and want everyone that you love and care about to join your CrossFit ways…. because you know, that as of now, and as far as you can see…this is the best community there is (FYI : you are now that person from Step #1)
Which step are you on?!?!
Post to comments.
KB Swing (American, 32kg/24kg)
1 Round of Cindy (5 pull ups, 10 pushups, 15 air squats) After Every Set
Post by Chris.
For years, I have self sabotaged, talked down to myself, etc... thinking that this was how I was going to "Keep my Edge".
I was going to beat myself up so that I couldn't quit! If I was my worst critic no one else could knock me down right?
What I was doing was digging myself into a deep dark hole, that was going to take a lot of work to climb out of.
It got to the point that nothing was ever ok anymore! I would do a workout, but I would always think you could have done better, you could have gone harder, used more weight etc...
It even began to carry over into all aspects of my life. When I would coach, I would tell myself "you should have coached the exercises more effectively, pushed your members harder, etc....
I was literally driving myself (and I am sure my husband) INSANE!
The ultimate problem is that it was never going to be good enough, because I wasn't letting my brain allow it too. It was also not good for the people around me; the environment I was creating.
I could not enjoy time with my clients, in fear I would miss a workout I had programmed. I could not just sit and be still, because my mind would keep telling me "how lazy" I was, and what about all the things I should and could be doing!
I was not being the best leader, motivator, or coach by living my life this way. Even though I was scared to change, what did I have to lose?
I was already loosing myself, "not my edge".
I went back to the drawing board and changed my game plan. What if I allowed positivity to come into play?
Now I am able to be a better coach, because I am genuinely worried about my clients needs not myself! I am able to enjoy "quality" time with friends and family, because I am not constantly obsessed with what's next. My workouts have actually improved knowing that I am doing the best that I can for that day. Even if it isn't the best I can do ultimately I am still coming from a place of gratitude and positivity.
I have now given my clients, husband, and community the best of me because I am not so focused on beating myself down. When you exude positivity, it comes right back to you. Now I have many positive, inspiring, hard-working people in my life that keep me accountable to get better and grow in a way I never would have been open or able to before.
So CF 818'ers... How do you talk to yourself.... and how are you going to fix it to make sure it always comes from a place of positivity and growth?
Post in the comments below....
A: 3 Rep Max Bear Complex
B: 2 minutes Max Poundage via Bear Complex
Post by Annie.
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?
CrossFit Games Open WoD 12.1
AMRAP 7 Minutes:
*Jump must terminate at least six inches from standing reach.
Posted by Zareh.