I don’t know about you guys, but my day job isn’t a lot of fun. The best part of my day starts at 4:30 P.M. when I’m walking to my car so I can get to the gym and lift something.
Sometimes I get caught dwelling on things that happened to me during the day. I think about stressful situations and wonder if I handled them properly, customers that were rude to me, employee concerns and performance issues. We all face difficult days at the office. Work pays the bills and supports our families, but it shouldn’t define who we are.
Life outside of work is where you get to make the important choices, whether it’s exercising for an hour a day, having a couple adult beverages with friends, taking a trip to the beach, or spending a day with family. That’s what matters. Getting rid of the stress from the daily grind is critical to our overall health. You have to find things that make you happy.
I consider myself one of the lucky ones, I get to channel my bad days into good days by coming into the gym and coaching all of you. I’ve had quite a few jobs over the years, but coaching is by far the most challenging and rewarding thing I’ve ever done.
Crossfit makes me happy. When I’m in the middle of a workout and you see me start to smile, that’s the exact moment where my crappy day has melted away. It could also be that my brain has overheated… but it works either way. I get to see that moment happen in everyone’s faces throughout class. That’s my favorite part.
What’s your favorite part about coming to class? How do you deal with stresses of the daily grind? Sound off in the comments.
Luckily these shoes all have velcro.
A. EMOTM for 12 Minutes 2 Front Squats
*Add weight every 3 Minutes
B. 4 Rounds
AMRAP 4 Minutes
3 Thrusters (120/83)
6 Box Jumps (24/20)
9 Knees to Elbows
Rest 1 Minute
Well, now you've got a chance. Our very own Scott Igoe (who became internet famous yesterday when his picture showed up on the blog) would like to invite you to attend a recording of the very hilarious, very awesome show Jimmy Kimmel Live (also this). On top of that, you get to watch Joan Jett put on a concert! Here are the details:
August 13th, 6ish-8ish PM.
Hollywood and Highland, at the El Capitan Theatre
Attendees get to hang out in the green room before the show, partake in some free hors d'oeurves and adult libations. Then we head into the theatre for the taping, and finally Joan Jett comes up to do her thing after the taping is done.
It's gonna be an awesome time and space is limited. If you want to be on the list, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tell me next time you see me. Let me know if you have any questions.
A. 10 x 60 yard Sprints
Rest 1 minute between each sprint
B. Tabata Mash-up
30 Kettlebell Swings
Posted by Armen.
This past weekend marked the completion of the 2013 CrossFit Games and I had an incredible time on Saturday watching the Fittest on Earth tackle challenges across broad time and modal domains. When the dust cleared on Sunday, Rich Froning and Sam Briggs stood tall as the 2013 Fittest Man and Woman on Earth. If you didn't get a chance to see some of the events, I highly recommend you check out the archived footage at games.crossfit.com. The consistency, virtuosity, and sheer athleticism of these two individuals (and all the competitors) are something we can all learn from as we use CrossFit to better ourselves and train for anything life throws at us.
Congratulations to everyone who participated!
A. 3x5 Push Press
(Add 5lbs. to last time or find a heavy set of five and repeat for three sets)
AMRAP 20 Minutes:
Posted by Zareh.
Today's blog is written by JB Jennings. JB is a member of CrossFit 818's Coach Development Program and coaches a couple of classes a week on Friday afternoons.
There have been times my mind has taken me back to a hot July South Carolina day. My face was covered in a stinging sweat as my gear weighed on me, covered in sand fleas and soaked in mud and water. I dropped down from an eight foot wall exhausted. It was towards the end of the obstacle course and I stayed in a kneeling position for a little while after I landed. I felt sorry for myself and asked what the hell was I doing here? Soon after I was lifted to my feet and slammed against the wall. The brim of a drill instructor’s Smokey Bear hat jabbing me in the bridge of my nose and tiny projectiles of spittle struck me in the face. The words that followed made all of the pain, fatigue and frustration disappear. “We don’t quit! Keep moving!“ Suddenly nothing existed but the end of that obstacle course, as my focus honed and my determination grew.
“We don’t quit!” stuck with me throughout my Marine Corps career and took on new meaning as I transitioned out of the military. In difficult situations that ranged from running for cover from incoming rocket fire, to transitioning out the military into civilian life, “We don’t Quit! Keep Moving” has been that tipping point, that voice that drowns out fear, fatigue and frustration.
“We don’t quit!” sums up why I am encouraged when I do not get the results I planned to. I believe that there is no such thing as failure, because we always succeed at producing a result. What we do with that result and the questions we ask ourselves makes the difference in how far we go and in what direction. Thomas Edison took over 10,000 attempts to make a light bulb, Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and Bill Gates nearly failed out of Harvard. “We don’t quit!” whether it is in a short time span or the long run. The greats in anything are the ones who keep going until they find a way. “We don’t quit! Keep moving!”
A. Every 90 Seconds for 30 Minutes:
2 Snatch Grip Deadlift
2 Hang Power Snatch
2 Overhead Squats
*add weight every 6 minutes
B. Row 1000m For Time
Posted by Zareh.
818ers... Julie Berger:
I have been at this CrossFit thing for a while now, and people continuously ask me why. When they see the workouts, or find out how early I wake up, they are befuddled.
We are programmed to have these robotic answers, “I want to be the healthiest me!” or “I just love the way it makes me feel.” We all know these answers are BS, especially after thrusting before dawn.
Deep down, we all have those shameful, secret reasons for getting ourselves to the gym. Maybe you have an outlandish but pressing dream to make it to the CrossFit games one day! Perhaps there is a special someone you are toning your bod for. It might even be as simple as some sibling rivalry, or the other end of the teeter-totter to your addiction to refined sugars (chocolate covered gummy bears whaaaaaat).
There is something to be said for giving in to your inner desires, recognizing your dreams, and yelling from the rooftops that one day you plan on beating up Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. We are so quick to write up meta-goals like one strict pull up before winter, double body weight back squats, or RX’ing a few days a week, that we forget the bigger picture.
Why do you want to do a strict pull-up? What is the end game? It is important to circle back to the bigger picture of why these things matter because it helps keep us focused and grounded—it helps put things into perspective.
While it can be frustrating when you do not meet these meta-goals, remember that you are still getting stronger, faster, and healthier in the process! You are still logging the hours that will get you whatever motivated you to step foot in the gym in the first place!
There is no right or wrong reason to get the gym! So I hope whatever motivates you the most is written as an affirmation in lipstick on your bathroom mirror. I’ll go first.
The endorphins from this early morning work out will keep me patient, awake, sane, and positive in the face of work related stress.
I am more than good enough and I get better everyday.
The day will come and go, whether I participate or not. Let us participate.
Julie and her kettlebell participatin'
A. 5RM Deadlift
B. 4x400m Sprint (rest exactly 2 minutes between sprints)
Posted by Commish.
One of our members asked me a very simple question yesterday morning: "Why do we squat this way?"
This is an important question with an important answer. Our bodies are adapted to function in very specific ways; muscles manipulate joints in a mechanical fashion that is both logical and predictable and we can tell how certain joints are meant to move by studying movement patterns in various populations (including toddlers, adults, and even other mammals with slightly differing body structures).
Further, we can make an armchair argument for a hierarchy of movements in terms of functionality by favoring those movements that allow us to move the largest loads the longest distance using the greatest amount of muscle mass. Using these requirements, we can see that something like a bicep curl is less functional than a kettlebell swing is less functional than a full range of motion squat. But why do we want to meet those specific criteria? Think in terms of bang for your buck: you live a life in which you have limited bandwidth to devote to training and exercise, so why not spend that time and energy doing the most work possible in the least amount of time (sounds a lot like how our classes and workouts are designed huh? ..weird..)
So I've provided two excellent reasons why we should squat as far as our range of motion allows, but why do we use the "hip crease below parallel" rule at the gym? Simply put, it's the easiest way to measure a rep that meets our previous criteria. Squatting deeper is better (given your mechanics allow for it to happen without compromise), squatting heavy is great, and squatting deep and heavy is the best.
The best for what? Everything. Properly squatting heavy weights for multiple short-ish sets (say.. 3 sets of 5 reps?) improves everything your body does, physical and otherwise. You're stimulating the largest muscles in your body, the legs and back, putting your body on the fast track to gaining strength and losing fat. You're releasing hormones that function to reduce stress and improve the efficiency of your body's multitude functions (when I say the squatting heavy will make you better at math, I'm only 2/9ths joking).
But is it safe to put ourselves in those ends of our range of motion with so much weight?? Yes, given you listen to what your coaches say. Remember our first argument: the body is adapted to moving in very specific ways and while those movement patterns have a wide range of variability between individuals, there are very clearly things that you should NOT be doing. When we yell to shove your knees out, you should listen. When we tell you to reach back with your hips, to sit a little deeper, you should listen. When I repeat the phrase "chest up, butt back" for the 4th time in 3 sentences, you should probably do that.
At the end of the day, our program is designed to improve your health, fitness, and wellness and one of the best ways to get fit now, build lasting strength and durability for the future, and be awesome while doing it is to squat. You're welcome.
A. Press 5x5 (find a heavy set of 5, repeat for a total of 5 sets or add 5 lbs from last time)
B. Static Hold Tabata Mash-up
Bottom of Squat
Posted by Armen.
This is not another blog about excuses. Well, it sort of is, but I’ve got a good point.
I started a new training program a few weeks ago. It’s specifically tailored for me and it should eliminate some of my weaknesses. The program is hard, it’s heavy, and the volume is high. I’m going to have to really work at it, but I’m excited because I can see the forest through the trees.
Last Saturday, I did one of the most awful things at CF818 that I’ve ever done to myself. I picked up that giant 150lb med ball a bunch of times and carried it a few laps around the gym holding it against my chest. I was basically asleep at the wheel for the rest of the day, and Sunday I was half sick. Getting out of bed Monday morning is normally difficult, but yesterday was particularly excruciating. I sat at my desk today and tried to think of excuses to not come to the gym. I knew I had to coach the 6:30 class, but I was still trying to conjure up a way to get out of it. Then I got to thinking… If I don’t hold myself to a high standard, how can I hold all of you accountable? What kind of coach would I be if I made some lame excuse and called in sick?
What did I do? I got my tail into the gym and somehow squatted without using my back. Some days are going to be hard. There are days you aren’t going to feel like it. Life happens. You can always find an excuse. The hard days are where you really earn it. They separate the weak from the strong. I learn the most about myself when I’m at my worst. What are some of the excuses you use to justify not attending classes? Sound off in the comments.
Vito doesn't make excuses. Even on wall ball days. Ugh.. Wall Balls
A. Squat 3x5 (add 5lbs from last week)
Overhead Lunges (45/25)
100m run between rounds
Posted by Tyler
When it comes to your fitness, there are no shortcuts. Results come from a consistent application of will and adherence to a quality program. You've seen the infomercials for dozens of 'fitness' programs and devices that promise results in the comfort of your own living room... I hate to break it to you: if it's comfortable, it isn't doing anything for you!
A reminder that this weekend is the 2013 CrossFit Games! We'll be having some modified hours at the gym, so keep your eyes on the blog and your email boxes for announcements on that in the coming days.
A. 1RM Power Clean
30 Clean & Jerk (135/95)
Posted by Zareh.
An often ignored aspect of elite fitness is mobility. Mobility work includes self-stretching, self myofascial release, and PNR (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation) stretching and should become a daily part of an athlete's ritual. Mobility work helps ensure that your soft tissues (muscles, ligaments, and cartilage) remain in the optimal state for performing the movements you put them through during high intensity workouts. Tightness in one area can lead to significant imbalances, overcompensation, and eventually injury in another. Address those areas systematically and on a day-by-day basis and watch your performance skyrocket!
We offer a monthly mobility mini-clinic and offer a weekly yoga class on Sundays at 11:45am! First yoga class is free, so come in and see how much better you'll feel with some stretching in your life.
100 Thrusters (95/65)
*1 Round of Cindy every time bar is dropped
*(5 pullups, 10 pushups, 15 squats)
Posted by Zareh.
Travel, for business or leisure, has the potential to throw a monkey wrench in our workout plan. However, with a little bit of planning and time management we can can get some good workouts in while you're on the go! Here is a list of workouts, broken down by available equipment, that you can do at home or mix in at just about any hotel gym anywhere in the world. All of these workouts (warm-up and cool-down included) take an hour or less, so make sure you stay on track at the gym before you head to the boardroom for a meeting or a tour at the Louvre!
Heavy farmer carries, at home or abroad, Art is ready.
A. Squat 3x5 (add 5lbs from last week)
B. AMRAP 15 minutes
15 wall ball (20/14)
15 push ups
Posted by Commish.