As you know, one of the big differences between CrossFit and a conventional workout is the use of movements that require a certain degree of skill and practice in order to perform correctly.
Sometimes certain skilled movements we use in CrossFit require more practice than class time allows. Other times, you may find yourself unable to complete certain movements with full range of motion due to mobility limitations. In all of these cases, we encourage you to come early and stay late to work on these movements and your mobility. However, you can reach your goals faster or more fully by practicing at home.
Practice doesn't mean another workout, though. You might spend some time at the bottom of the squat to work on lower body mobility or jump rope for 5-10 minutes to work on double-unders (just a couple of examples).
If you're interested in working on your 'goats' but aren't sure what CrossFit homework you should be doing, just ask one of your coaches!
12 kb swings (53/35, USA)
6 squat snatches (95/65)
rest 60 seconds
24 kb swings
12 squat snatches
rest 60 seconds
36 kb swings
18 squat snatches
rest 60 seconds
48 kb swings
24 squat snatches
Posted by Zareh.
Twice in one week! Another great piece by CrossFit 818 member, Edwin Belen.
Let me start with I never really understood what "check your ego at the door" really meant. If I had to guess, I thought it meant:
It wasn't until a friend of mine joined the gym and while preparing for one of his first WOD's, he told me that he would do strict pull ups. A few years earlier, he could probably do 15 strict pull ups but I'm not sure if his pull ups were up to CrossFit standard. Further, being able to do 15 strict pull ups when fresh is very different than doing that volume during a WOD, as most of us know. He had been out of shape, so I recommended a band to help; he was reluctant. It was at this point that I started to understand "check your ego." He was holding on to the past not understanding that 1. it was OK to use a band, and 2. that soon he would be back to where he was in terms of strength if he stuck to the program. What mattered was that he showed up.
How many of us have not checked our egos and may have pushed too hard? The thing to note is that our coaches are there for us. They can tell us if our form isn't quite right and we should drop down in weight. They can also tell us when we need to push a little harder.
If you've ever wondered what "check your ego" means, I think it means be happy where you are but work hard to constantly improve. What matters is that you show up, listen and be open-minded.
Squat Clean Elizabeth
squat cleans (135/95)
Posted by Zareh.
And when you get to the point where all you wanna do is be is successful as bad as you wanna breathe then you will be successful. And I’m here to tell you that number one, most of you say you wanna be successful but you don’t want it bad, you just kind of want it.
I'm not a big fan of motivational quotes. For the most part I know whether or not I'm staying on track with my goals and I don't require boilerplate phrases on a daily basis to reaffirm why I am doing what I do. That being said every once in awhile the right message comes along that absolutely kicks me into gear. The video below reminds us that our most desired goals will not avail themselves with casual, lackluster effort. No, what we want most requires conviction, dying will and an unwillingness to settle for failure. Your deepest aspirations may involve your career, fitness or spirituality. The theme doesn't matter, what does matter is that you remain so committed to your plan that you would walk through hell to earn it.
P.S. The 1:00 PM classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays have been canceled, so if you want to get a workout in during the afternoon make sure to sign up for the 12:00 PM or 4:30 PM classes!
A. 10x2 Sumo Deadlift
*start light, work up to a heavy double
B. EMOTM 20 minutes
odd: 15 calorie row
even: 10 burpees
Posted by Commish.
You ready for this? I'm about to drop some mad knowledge all up in hurrr: three simple steps to getting better at CrossFit (and therefore become a fitter human being). These same steps apply to beginners and experienced CrossFitters and will work for anyone and everyone as long as you do it as written. Ready? Here it is:
1. Identify your weaknesses.
2. Destroy your weaknesses.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 as necessary.
That's it. Not good at double unders? Well, get good at them. Can't overhead squat very well? Time to work on that shoulder and ankle mobility.
You can be as broad or specific as you want, but the more specific you are the better you'll be able to apply step 2. It's easier to say "I need to get stronger", but it's better to be more specific and say "I need to increase my deadlift". That way you're a lot more focused on exactly what weakness you're trying to improve.
Simple right? So get to it!
3 rounds for time:
30 overhead squats (75/53)
30 pull ups
Posted by Armen.
A few weeks ago I wrote about my experiences during a visit to StrongFit. I left an important part of the trip out of my story, so here it is. The first thing we did when we got there was squat. I consider myself really great at very few things, but squatting is my specialty, at least I thought it was.
Armen and I were paired with the owner of StrongFit, Julien, over in the big boy squat rack where everyone was lifting near, or over 400 pounds. I typically skip most warm-up sets and reps. My body knows what it’s doing with a weighted bar on my back. I always feel like I’m wasting energy if I warm up too much. Julien suggested I warm up with the group, being that it was his house, I hopped into the rack. I sat in the bottom of a squat for a few seconds and came out of the bottom, then racked the weight. He instructed, ”Do 5 reps, I want to see you move.” So I did my set of 5. He looked at me and said, ”You are squatting wrong. You’re a strong guy, but with that form you’re limiting your max weight.” I remember making eye contact with Armen and giving him a subtle, what the hell is this guy talking about, look. I had to have an internal pep talk with myself to not get angry. I had just got there 10 minutes ago and this guy was telling me that my favorite movement, something I considered myself extremely proficient at, was all wrong. I finally got calmed down by remembering that he was the host. I tried out the suggestions he made, bringing my feet wider and not reaching back so far with my hips and the weight felt horrible. Weights that I normally smash on my 2nd warm up felt like a near max effort. I told Julien that I’d try it out later, but I had a heavy 3x3 to squat today, and I couldn’t do that with those adjustments.
I fully intended to forget everything that he told me that day. I was in the middle of the most intense and difficult squat program I’d ever done and I was smashing my goals, easily. I even had to add a week because the bar was still flying. I got a few weeks further into my program and got pinned under a weight that I should have been able to complete. I was supposed to squat 505 pounds for 3 reps. I failed the first one. I thought about it for days, it made me really angry. My sleep and nutrition were good. I felt great, yet I still failed. I got a better shot out of the bottom than I ever had with that much weight and I still got stuck. How did that happen?
That’s when it hit me... Maybe that giant French guy was right. I had the strength. I got stuck halfway up because the bar came forward. I came forward because my technique was all wrong. So I made a difficult decision to fix my squat, unfortunately that involves taking ton of weight off and strengthening some muscles in my legs that I’ve learned are extremely underdeveloped.
No matter how good you think you are at something, there’s always someone better. You can always learn. I forgot that, it’s a lesson I won’t forget again. Has anyone else experienced this during their CrossFit tenure?
Coach Armen pulls a 600 pound sled across a never ending parking lot at StrongFit.
A. 5x3 Paused Back Squats
B. Tabata mash up:
Posted by Tyler
Our member generated blog posts continue with another entry from Edwin Belen. Thanks Edwin!
Let me start by saying that the goal of this post isn't to scare anyone away from CrossFit but only to share a recent perspective I've gained after doing CrossFit for a little less than two years.
I remember when all I wished was to be able to string pull-ups, or be able to do one toe-to-bar, or maybe gain the strength to do one handstand push up. In fact, if I were to name off all the things I wanted to be able to do, it would be too many but I think you get the point.
At some point, I miraculously build up enough strength to do a kipping pull up or handstand push up, and then enough core strength to do a toe-to-bar. But I can only do one or a handful so the wish of being able to do one becomes I wish I can do them during a WOD.
That day comes and you can do these during a WOD but you're so exhausted that doing them well is something that is extremely difficult. The next goal (notice how my wishes have become goals at this point) is to do these movements during WODs with good form and so that I don't have to break up sets as often.
To only make my point a little stronger, my son comes home from college and picks up CrossFit during the summer. He and I have had very similar strength numbers but I challenged him to learn how to build strength from Armen in the afternoons after doing morning WODS. My son started a strength program with Armen and put on about 100 pounds on his total. Guess what my new wish is...
Thanks 818 for great coaching and feeding this continued desire to improve.
A. EMOTM 12 minutes:
B. 3 rounds for time:
20 goblet squats (53/35)
30 kb swings (53/35, USA)
40 double unders
Posted by Zareh.
Michael Kedor, AKA "Dodgeball" is our member blog writer today. Thanks Dodgeball!
While I don't profess to be an adept writer, I do enjoy sharing my experiences with hope that some may learn from my defeats and successes.
Take a moment to think about a lofty goal you set for yourself. Somehow, against the odds, you pushed through and achieved it. Seriously. Take a moment. Meditate on it. Think about how good that felt. Think about how, if even for a fleeting moment, you were untouchable.
Now, think about the path you took to get there. Without a doubt, there was a moment where you stood on the precipice of defeat. You had to decide whether to trudge forth or fall back. You had to dig deep in order to find the willpower to persevere. You could have quit, but you didn't. You decided that you were strong enough, smart enough, clever enough or deserving enough to harness your power and launch yourself wholeheartedly towards your goal.
For me, this moment happens every single time we are deep in the WOD. I have to make a decision to either quit, or push through. When I first started CrossFit, the quit instinct was always just a half step behind me. It seemed insurmountable to complete the workout. 'I could just quit, and I'd feel better.' The problem is that the "feel better" part is ephemeral. The regret of quitting is what sticks with you.
I've been doing CrossFit at 818 for a year now, and that quit is easily two steps behind me now; probably more. This has transferred into other parts of my life. Those that I team up with in workouts know me as "Dodgeball". It's a nickname acquired from my penchant for playing this silly social game a few nights a week with other silly adults. There are times in gameplay where you've had such a burst of movement that you burn out a bit. I've noticed since working with 818, that these near-quit moments are far less frequent. I've also started training for the L.A. Marathon in March 2014. I've never run more than 5 miles in my life, and I credit CrossFit with the "can-do" spirit I've acquired. There are times when I'm running that I feel like I've got nothing left, and I think of the team and the coaches at 818, and I push through; just like I would for the WOD.
These "no-quit" moments are what make us great people. The next time you're standing at the precipice of defeat, think about how you pushed through in your WOD, and use that feeling as a driver for your success.
Sound off in the comments about a "near-quit" moment that you pushed through.
"2009 CrossFit Games Day 1 Final Workout"
30 Wallballs (20/14)
30 Hang Squat Snatches (75/53)
Posted by Zareh.
I like to think of music as the oil that helps run a finely tuned workout machine (read: your body). When I'm working out I mostly prefer listening to grunge, house music and an inordinate amount of Third Eye Blind. Yesterday on the 818 Facebook page there was a thread asking people to chime in with the songs they'd like to hear when they're at the gym. Since 90's pop rock may not be your first choice I want to know what you want to listen to when you're in the middle of a kickass workout. Sound off in the comments with your favorite hits!
Jill showing off her new dance moves or levitating... or both.
10 Thrusters (95/65)
10 Ring push-ups
Posted by Commish
Ladies and gentlemen, Julie Berger:
As I did my ritual eyes closed, lift the recycling bin lid, and run for my life routine, it got me thinking about fear. Here are my top three fears, in very particular order.
1. Someone hiding beneath the floor tiles in a public bathroom, waiting to kill me when I go into the stall (which will be the only stall with toilet paper to ensure the victim wanders into the correct one)
2. An undead body waiting in the recycling bin to kill me when I take out the trash at night
While these are all ridiculous, and maybe even absurd, they feel very real to me during late night chores, janky road trip rest stops, and when I’m scanning all four corners of my room before bed. Everyone has these fears, but because they are associated with our wild imaginations, we push them to the back of our minds and never let them interfere with potential fun or success.
So why is it any different with weightlifting? There are so many days when I know, the coaches know, and even classmates know, that a fellow 818’r is capable of lifting the weight they keep psyching themselves out over. I know I am constantly intimidating myself out of PR’s, I just don’t know why!
Fear is a pesky and churlish emotion, lurking around every corner, determined to throw us off our game. When you look at it that way, fear is even worse than a clown with a chainsaw. So clean that heavy barbell! Jump into that handstand! Front squat your own body weight! And stand up to your fears. You don’t let other silly worries take over your life, so why would you let toxic thoughts push you around?
When it comes to exercising there is little to fear, and so much to gain. The more you push yourself, the greater the results. Inanimate equipment around the gym is not the enemy, YOU are the enemy; you are the pull-up band’s, the wooden box’s, and the kettle-bell’s abominable snowman.
Unless its snakes…why’d it have to be snakes.
A. 1RM Box Jump
B. EMOTM for 12 Minutes
2 Press + 2 Box Jumps (80% of A)
*Add weight every three minutes
C. 400m Sprint for time
Rest 4 minutes
500m row for time
Posted by Armen.
The mind of the competitor is an interesting machine because each person prepares their headspace a little different than the next before game time. I like watching interviews with athletes because it gives an insight into what they do to prevent the "yips" and further their chance of success on the field. Growing up I played in a number of baseball tournaments and last year I participated in the NLI summer series. Now, let me state that none of these events rank with the Super Bowl in importance but they provided me with a glimpse of what athletes do day in and day out for a living. Personally, the feeling of adrenaline before it's "go time" is something that I liken to jumping into the deep end of the pool. As soon as the clock starts you have to jump and as your plummet toward the water you have to trust that you know how to swim. Where does your mind go when it's time to get after it?
Dimi stringing some knees-to-elbows together.
A. 3RM Weighted Pull-up
B. For time:
35 Front Squats (235/140)
35 L-Hang Pull-ups
Posted by Commish