Monday, April 30, 2012

Let's Find Some Better Use for that WOD Stalling Time!

Everyday you see any number of people come strolling into the gym oblivious about what they're going to be doing that day? The first thing they will likely do is glance at the whiteboard, bitch and moan for a few moments and then start their warm-up (which hopefully is directly related towards the days tasks and of course involves some of K-Stars favorite gems) before then rolling right into the Met-Con abyss of not understanding why they performed the way they did whether better or worse than expected only to walk out the door until tomorrow when it happens all over again.

For most people this will be common practice for some time but if becoming the best athlete you're capable of becoming is a goal (better be or you coaches may just ask u to leave) then you'll eventually what to starting prepping the brain just as thoroughly as the body before each workout. I'm surely not talking about "Gaming" the wod but actually breaking the work down into pieces, movement by movement, set by set and taking an honest look at how you think you'll perform each movement...Goats especially, they'll break you if you don't have some sort of contingency plan.

Think about this in comparison to evry time you get in the car. You may be heading to 5 differ places throughout the day, but most if not all of them you've likely been before. How do u decide which route to take? Are stoplights a concern? Prefer straight routes? Take the SUV, car, or bike? Do you avoid rush hour? Did you fuel enough? How you approach this most basic life scenario is just how you should take on any daily WOD.

Just like the example above, when you take a look at the workout of the day what are some question you should ask yourself?

What do I like?
What will I struggle with?
Can i do the sets unbroken?
How expensive will unbroken sets be?
If I do break the sets, what's the most efficient way?
How do I get the best value out of my rest time?
Will I need water (god I hope not)?
Oly shoes (hopefully not if it's a 5k run day)?
Who in the class is on your competitive wavelength?
RX'd for my Ego or drop the weight a bit to ensure maximum output?

This is just a short list to get your brain rocking but these are wickedly important details that should be addressed before 3.2.1...GO! As you get deeper into Crossfit and more aware of where you can push the body, this will became a very large asset in helping you accomplish your goals (because you put some of those on paper since my previous post right!?)!



Sunday, April 22, 2012

Next Order of Business - Strength

What's the difference between someone that's been crossfitting for 3 years that places somewhere near 200 in the open within their Region and someone that who has only been crossfitting for 1 year and made it to the Reginal level? In the most basic form...STRENGTH. This shouldn't lead you to believe that strength in and of itself with get you that far as that would be just as preposterous as having an elite marathoner make it, but is possibly the most important portion. Surely gymnastics, skills and an assortment of other tasks are extremely neccessary but muscle endurance would likely be 2nd which is easier to train once the strength is already under your belt.

I'd be willing to bet the majority of athletes who participated in The Open would agree that their primary deficiency was the ability to to more work in a shorter period of time than others (people, yes this is the ultimate goal FYI). This is most likely because you muscles couldn't keep the work up as long as needed, not because you didn't want to continue.

In my experience the last couple years, as my strength has continued to go up (body weight with it) my general fitness has also. RX'd metcons are not an issue, it's more fun to lift when you are lifting more, and having strength goals has assisted my respect for proper nutrition. This all sounds great but I have noticed a few draw backs, stuff that I used to crush like "Angie", "Cindy", and "Annie" are no longer my preference due to the fact my body weight has gone up faster than my ability to control it. This is something that is continuously getting better, just being aware of the trade offs that can come up when exercising a "Strength Bias" Crossfit regime is important. When we experience this we have to trust that Muscle Memory will override our issues as you work on them.

I bring all of this up because I believe NOW is the best time to get yourself on a Strength Bias plan of some sort. Most of us have are recently done with The Open and as I'd stated in last weeks blog, it's time to have Goals in mind to increase your overall performance going forward and when envisioning the 2013 Open. For myself, it's a 10-12wk Starting Strength Program that also includes a Saturday morning Oly sessions to test our Snatch and Clean & Jerk. This is a Monday/Wednesday/Friday strength routine and the Oly portion is to put our gains to actual "work". We will do the occasional metcon but right now lifting heavy and eating (or drinking if you're going GOMAD) a ton is the objective as the muscle memory will return when it enticed to do so.

Some may oppose the idea going on a gainer at this time as "Beach Season" is quickly approaching! Why, because you've been working so hard to trim the unwanted fat with hope of a better chance to attract the opposite sex (how many beaches do you midwesterners see on a regular basis not including pseudo beachs like WWW!?)? I hear you loud and clear as its a familiar theme that's gone through my head many times in the past(and present as yes i'm single) but it all comes down once again to those damn goals. I will tell you this very important fact; "you will not get the strength gains you desire as fast you desire them without eating like someone that already has that strength".

Humbling fact i know, but I hope you can digest that and follow the reasoning behind it...YOU NEED MONEY TO MAKE MONEY!!!


Disclaimer: most if not all above is something I'm preaching through this blog to myself about, its on the web so you
get the pleasure of assessing it for yourself also ;)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Post Open - Current State of Affairs

The Open finished 3 weeks ago already and if you're anythining like me, the only thing on your mind is "what do I do with myself now?" Most of us who'd been preparing for The Open had been going hard at it for 6-9 mos prior. For those of you that fall into this group, if you haven't done so already now is the time to take your much deserved week of rest. I hope I didn't stutter...yes you body would greatly appreciate AN ENTIRE WEEK OFF! Now I'm not suggesting you mold your ass into the couch for a week but use you brain and simply spend your time at the gym wisely focusing on mobility, stretching and that fabulous term Crossfitters use to avoid true rest days..."Active Rest".

The reasoning for the rest week is two fold:

1.) As mentioned earlier you just went through (still going through if are a regional qualifier) the toughest and most emotionally taxing 5 weeks of CrossFitting that you have ever experienced, not to mention all of the 2/day workouts logged on the way in preparation. Your body and mind need a break to recuperate and reinvigorate. Plain and simple you should want to take a step away and enjoy in the spenders of your exceptional achievements and hard work while endulging in a few things that make you smile (Sam Adams Summer Seasonal or a Liene's Shandy come to mind for me).

2.) The second portion of this week off is to take a mental evaluation of where you've come in the last year and what you'd like to see for yourself for the rest of 2012 and going into Games season 2013. I know, I know..."Games season 2013, you've got to be kidding me if that's on your mind already!". No I'm not kidding, this week of rest is the ideal time to take a personal inventory of yourself. The Open should have givin you a solid look into what areas of your training may need a little work and today (not tomorrow) is the best time to take an honest look at them. This would be a good time to have conversations with your coaches also to help you dial in new goals and pathways to reach them. A solid Coach will appreciate your concern and be glad to assist you here, if not my email is and i'd be glad to!

Starting a 10 month programming cycle next week is by no means what I'm implying and your coaches would probably slap you in the mouth if you asked them to do that for you! Its time to revealuate yourself as an athlete, while having fun moving some heavy weight and Wod'ing again without the added stress of strict program. Embrace all of the awesomeness that the Regional and finally Games events will bring to your overall motivation working towards your goals for the next year and the 2012/2013 Games season!

As for me, I'm already 2 weeks into another Strength Cycle and have hit 5lb PR's in my Snatch and Clean & Jerk two weeks in a row which I most defiantly attribute to my week of relaxation, evaluation, and planning. Go on, try it for yourself!