Normal-ish Saturday

Tomorrow will be the first “normal” Saturday in a long time.  If by normal you mean working ridiculously hard and trying to get Robin into the CrossFit Games.

9am WOD

5RFT

10 Power Cleans 135/95

15 Pushups

10am WOD

Snatch

Max Effort

AMRAP 5

5 Muscle Ups

10 Cleans 155/105

Sub for MU is Dips

Go Robin and Save Ferris?

In case you missed it, due to the Master’s Qualifier WODs – Go Robin – we move the Knight’s Ferry WOD to next month.  We will have a normal class on Saturday – 9am and 10am.  At 10a, we will do the Master’s Snatch WOD and the MU/Clean WOD.

COMPLETELY NON FITNESS RELATED MATERIAL AHEAD

One of my favorite movies as a kid was Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.  I loved his irreverence and sense of fun, even if now I kind of think he is a jerk.  But my son dropped a theory on me – that Ferris did not exist – he was a figment of Cameron’s imagination.  Don’t believe this theory?  Read this.  Or do a google search on Ferris/Fight Club Theory.  If you would like to discuss this with me in person, PLEASE, talk to me about Ferris.  I dare you to watch the movie now – it will totally change how you watch it.

Michele PR'ed a ton of times during the Open and continues to work on the hard stuff every day. Keep up the GREAT work Michele!

Michele PR’ed a ton of times during the Open and continues to work on the hard stuff every day. Keep up the GREAT work Michele!

Workout of the Day

10 Rounds, for reps

Deadlift 275/185 for 15 seconds

45 seconds rest

In the remaining time in class, build to a a max effort Hang Power Clean

Goat-Bagger

So, we have a running/core WOD on Thursday.  I think after Monday-Wednesday, we probably need to give the shoulders a rest.

For the sit-ups, make every attempt to keep your entire foot in contact with the ground for the entire sit up.

For the Goat Baggers, take them slow.  This may be hard to do in a WOD, but you can go as fast as you want on the runs and sit-ups.  Try to control the Goat Bags, and really feel the hamstring activation.

Workout of the Day

Strength/Skill

OTM for 12

Even: 6 Pull Ups (Strict)

Odd: 3-6 Dips (Bar or Ring)

Conditioning

AMRAP 20

25 Abmat Situps (Keep the entire foot on the floor)

15 Goat Baggers 35/25

400m Run

Powers of the mind

Beware – Hippie, Dippity do stuff is ahead.  It is kind of fitness related, especially if you think the mind and fitness are related – which I guess do…but even more so now.

Last night I posted a 10 minute video by one of the creators of Headspace, Andy Puddicombe.  I have had this guy in my ear every day for the last 30 days – through the wonders of the internet and smart phones, Andy is teaching me to meditate.

I came to Headspace and meditation because Denny discovered it through his CrossFit quests.  He had just started it, and I think he knew I needed it.  Why?  Because I was stressed out.  Between work, fitness, kids and the normal pressures that we all feel, I was getting run down.  It was effecting my sleep and effecting my well being.  I was searching for ways to help me slow down – basically relax.  Denny suggested Headspace, and like my start of CrossFit, I tried it immediately.

Here’s how you can start – download the Headspace app.  It’s free and provides you with 10 guided 10 minute meditations led by Andy.

Now, I have tried meditation before.  This is the truth – I tried meditation because of Star Wars and Batman and Daredevil did it in the comics.  I guess I was trying to be a Jedi or something.  Newsflash – I am not a Jedi.

What I really needed was a coach for meditation, and Headspace provided that.  In the first 10 meditations, there are videos that accompany a few of the meditations that begin to teach the concepts that Headspace is teaching – those concepts are Mindfulness and Awareness.  After the first 2 meditations, I was definitely interested, but a video accompanied number 3, entitled “Expectation” and it was like a lightbulb went off.  The subsequent meditations were preceded by more animation teaching more lessons on Effort, and more Mindfulness concepts.

As I went through the meditations, more lightbulbs were going off, I found relaxation was becoming easier.  It’s not easy, and it doesn’t happen overnight and the lessons come slow.  But for me, I knew I was overwhelmed with thoughts, information and just stuff.  Taking the time to try to literally think of nothing takes practice.  But seeing as millions, maybe billions of people use meditation reminds me it is a lifetime pursuit, learning and growing, much like CrossFit.

Here are some basic thoughts on Headspace.

It is not religion.  Although through some research, the concepts of Mindfulness are from Buddhism, and Andy was a Buddhist Monk, it is devoid of any religion.  It is just you and your mind.

After 10 days, you need to subscribe.  This opens you to the 20 more meditations that make up the foundations and an “on the go” series.  Short meditations on subjects such as walking, cooking and my favorite, sleep, are there once you subscribe.  Once you complete the foundations pack, many more themed meditations become available.  It’s about $100 if you sign up for a year, or $12 for a month.

Find a good supportive chair if possible.  I started sitting crossed legged, and my legs would fall asleep.  This can be distracting – although Andy addresses the subject of discomfort in later meditations – but a supportive chair is best for me.  Noting too comfortable, because you may fall asleep.

Ultimately, Headspace is about being more present in your own life.  If you find your mind is always working, thinking of other things, it may be something you should try. 

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Workout of the Day

5RFT

20 Wallball Shots 20/14

20 Power Snatch 75/55

20 minute cap

In the remaining time, build to a heavy Hang Snatch

A little more Headspace

So, I have been doing Headspace – a guided meditation app – for the last 30 days.  I am going to do a post on my experiences in the first month, but this TED talk by Andy Puddicombe explains why you might want to start taking 10 minutes a day to do basically nothing.

Workout of the Day

Strength/Skill

Press Complex, Week 8 of 8

Take 15minutes to build to a heavy set of:

2 Shoulder Press, 1 Push Press with a 3 second hold

Conditioning

21-15-9

Shoulder to Overhead 165/110

Chest to Bar Pullup

CFO Athletes Had an Awesome Weekend

Congrats to CFO Coach Denny and Mike S from CrossFit Excel for winning (totally dominating, actually) the Alpha and Omega CrossFit Master’s Competition.  Kirk and his partner from CrossFit Quake just missed making the finals, taking 4th place.

Congrats June and Ro who won their age divisions in the SOS run.  June won the 5k for her age division.  Ro won the mile for his age division in the mile and took 2nd in the 5k.  Micayla took 2nd in her age division for the mile run.  Kyra took 3rd in her age division in the 5k.

And not to brag, but my son Will took second in the 5k in his age division, 8 and under.  I’m super proud of my boy!

Good luck to Vanessa, who is back in Boston for the Boston Marathon – and she is quite pregnant.  Not hat you could tell.  She says she’s only going to run a few miles.  We’ll see.

Robin is competing the CrossFit Games Master’s Qualifier this weekend.  The WODs are posted on Thursday, and she has the weekend to do them.  Hopefully, we’ll get a good one for the whole gym to take a shot at.  Make sure you wish Robin luck!

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Workout of the Day

Strength/Skill

Back Squat

Test your 1 Rep Max.  Take 25 minutes to get there.  Be warm and lift heavy.  If you have a target weight, think about your strategy to get there.

Conditioning

10 Rounds

40 Seconds of Burpees

20 Seconds of rest

Your score is total burpees completed.

Intensity is Key

**** See You at the SOS Run on Saturday AM- we are closed for this function****

Volume, It Comes at a Cost, and is it Necessary by Chris Spealler.  Speal, the guy our sticky pull-up bars are names after, breaks down his experiences is training for competitive CrossFit.  As Sturgill Simpson says, it ain’t all flowers.

Be impressed with intensity, not volume.  You don’t get any prizes for doing the most work.  You get results from doing the most work in the least amount of time.

I think the best line in the whole post it Speal’s comment at the end of the comments section.  Train hard and have fun.  What is fun (for me anyway)?  It’s training really hard, moving well with good people and laughing about it after.

Trevor "Knee Sleeves Ya Later" was King of the TL Davis loop. Trevor came in at 4:03 and Ryan "gringo peligroso" had 4:07. PR's for both!

Trevor “Knee Sleeves Ya Later” was King of the TL Davis loop. Trevor came in at 4:03 and Ryan “Gringo Peligroso” had 4:07. PR’s for both!

Workout of the Day

OTM 12

Even 6 Pullups (Strict)

Odd 3-6 Dips (Rings or Bar)

Conditioning

100 Doubleunders, then 

3 Rounds

25 Overhead Squat 75/55

25 Toes to Bar

Then

100 Doubleunders

For the 100 Doubleunders, sub 3 minutes of attempts.

There is a 17 minute cap.  So, if you can’t do Doubleunders, you get 6 minutes of practice and 11 minutes to do the OHS/T2B.

Something Borrowed

So, I use other people workouts.  I do it all the time.  I make some up, I search the inter-webs, I find cool WODs.  Sometimes I change them to fit our gym, sometimes I don’t.  I love Pat Sherwood’s site, CrossFit Linchpin.  He almost always posts simple, some would say, elegant, WODs.  Hard and fast couplets, triplets.  Once in awhile they are heavy, once and awhile they are long.

I really like that he will take a cool WOD and give the gym that he got it from credit.  I’ll start doing the same.  If you like the WOD, check out their site and programming.  It’s a big CrossFit world out there – if you see something cool, shoot it my way.

Anybody that is programming CrossFit style WODs is borrowing from somewhere.  Unless your name is Greg Glassman, and you made up 21-15-9 for time, you’re pushing it if you think you’re totally original.

But as Charles Caleb Cotton said, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”  If I borrow someone’s WOD, it’s because I’m impressed.  If someone borrows one of my WODs, it warms my heart.

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Hannah H. is 13 years old, plays water polo and can Front squat 78# for 5. Keep up the great work Hannah!!

Workout of the Day

“Hurricane”

3RFT

800m Run

21 Power Cleans 155/100

Shamelessly borrowed from CrossFit New England

Running Events

We will be having a 50/50 raffle for Thursday night’s festivities – “Showdown in “O”Town” . Half of the money collected will go to the fastest runner and the other half goes to the winner of the drawing. $1 a ticket $10 gets you 12 tickets. The race will be just after the 5:30pm and right before the 6:30pm. Bring your friends to cheer them on.

CrossFit Oakdale will be closed Saturday.  Why?  Because, GULP, we will be…running?!?!?  THat’s right, CFO is running in the Oakdale Save Our Schools 5K.  That’s 3.1 miles – or about how much I run in a 2-3 week period – in support of Oakdale schools.  It’s $25 to sign up, and it’s a low key run with a 1 mile run for the kids too.

There’s still time to sign up, so we hope to see you Saturday!

Workout of the Day

Strength/Skill

No Hook, No Foot Hang Snatch

Lots of words here – no hook grip, feet start in the landing position and work from the hang.  This will really emphasize pulling your body under the whilst punching the bar aggressively.

Conditioning

AMRAP 12

3 Kettlebell Swings 53/35

3 Box Jumps 24/20

Every round, the reps go up by 3 – so sets of 6/6, 9/9, 12/12, 15/15, etc…

Where I Talk About Squatting…

Tuesday will be the final week of our 8 week Back Squat builtd.  Throw in the CrossFit Games Open, where we did a million Overhead Squats, Wallball Shots and Thrusters, plus all the squat work I throw at you, and you have been fighting a war on your legs.

After all these squats, we will test our 1RM next week.  Maybe you PR, maybe you don’t.  Truthfully, it matters, but not a whole lot.  As long as you are building a durable body, and you are getting stronger, you are winning.

If you have been training for more than a few years, you know PR come fast early, but get harder as you train.  I have not PR’ed my 1RM Back Squat – I am not kidding – in 4 years.  It’s 365.  This might sound like bragging, but here goes: during that time, I have qualified for 4 CrossFit Games Regionals, PR’ed every WOD I can think of, added 30 pounds to my Snatch, 45 pounds to my Overhead Squat, 50 pounds to my Clean, and 60 pounds to my Front Squat.  The Back Squat is an accessory lift.  I do it all the time, but the goal for me is to get my body stronger and more fit, not just add numbers on the bar.  If you are getting stronger, perfecting your position, the numbers will happen.

For me, and in my experience in coaching, there is a sweet spot between lifting heavy and getting banged up.  Working at or close to 90% of established 1RMs is great, and can be good for you.  But consistently working at 90% or above has led to dings, bumps and bruises that have effected other aspects of training.  This has been true for me and many athletes that I have been around.  5RM work doesn’t always lead to 1RM magic.  5RM does lead to strong sets of thrusters, wall balls and nearly everything else you want to do in life.  In my opinion, if you want to get 1RM PR, you will have to do 1RM work and attempts.  That means lots of work at, near or above 90% of established 1RMs.  For many of us, the bang for our buck just isn’t there.

Now, if you are dead set on hitting a back squat PR, let me give you a quick tip.

To prep your Central Nervous System for a PR attempt, try a “walk out” this week.  Take some time to load the bar to what you want to hit, or even above, and perform a “walk out.”  Literally, load the bar to that heavy weight, walk out like you are going to squat it, and stand there for 10-30 seconds, feeling the weight.  Then put it back.  Try this once or twice this week if you have a number you are shooting for next week.  As always, please do not interfere with an ongoing class if you want to try the walk out.  Otherwise, squat as heavy as you can and move on with your life.  

The Med Ball Clean and the Sumo Deadlift High Pull are 2 of the 9 foundational movements of CrossFit, and they are taught at the Level 1 Seminar.  They are also derided for many reasons, mainly because you can’t (and shouldn’t) really load them heavy.  Yes, there are probably better versions of these movements.  But, in my opinion, and through lots of experience, the MBC and the SDHP are fantastic ways to develop stamina.  Like a Burpee, if the load is set appropriately, you can always do another one – it’s whether YOU want to actually do another one.

This is like a greatest hits of CrossFit people talking about Squatting.  Coach Glassman may be a little under the weather when talking at the chalkboard.   

Workout of the Day

Strength/Skill

Back Squat, 5RM, Week 8 of 8

Take 20 minutes to build to a heavy set of 5.  If possible, add 5-10# to last weeks lift.

Conditioning

“The Humpty Dance”

7 RFT

10 Med Ball Cleans (20/14)

10 Burpees

Shamelessly borrowed from CrossFit Providence.