CrossFit Journal: The Performance-Based Lifestyle Resource


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Goal Setting

24/3

It is difficult to set a specific goal for one specific task in Crossfit because there are so many awesome things that we want to learn RIGHT NOW! When we first sign up to a Crossfit gym we are excited because everything is so new and we are learning at a very fast rate. So much so that we don’t need to set a specific goal really because we are smashing so many of them everyday, but once the honeymoon period is over and the excitment is wearing off because goals are acheived slower, those initial bursts of strength and fitness gains do slow down and therefore so does motivation. We start to think it’s too hard, my muscles hurt and my bed is so comfy. It’s easy to see why people quit or stop trying. They are aimless in their pursuit of fitness.

To help reignite you passion and motivation for your training, here are a few tips that we all need to be reminded of along the way:

* Write your goals down and share them

* Make your goals S.M.A.R.T: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely

* Use the F.O.C.U.S strategy to help you, well stay focused. Follow One Course Until Success

* Don’t miss those days the programming matches your goals.

* Make time for it.

* Ask your coach to help you work on any difficulties that are blocking your chances for success.

*Don’t be afraid to ask

* The programming for the whole class for the whole week will never be perfect for your individual needs. It’s up to you to ask ‘hey coach my goal is a 60kg snatch, Instead of deadlifts today can I work on my snatch pulls or overhead squat?’

* Talk to other members that have already achieved what you want to achieve and ask them for advice or support. No one is ever going to say no.

* Here is a crazy idea. how about coming in 10 minutes early or leaving 10 minutes later if you cant possibly give up the metcons.

*Improvise, Incorporate the practise into your workouts. Ask if you can do ring dips instead of pushups to get more practise in. Your coaches won’t bite, they want you to succeed. Sacrifice a good Rx score on the board that day for something more relative and goal specific to you. Short term sacrifice for long term gains.

* Enjoy the journey, there really isn’t any shortcuts, but in saying that, increasing your 1 hour of goal specific training to 2 to 3 hours per week won’t overload you or have a negative impact

* Look at the big picture

* Learn patience and enjoy the journey. It will help to prevent overtraining and injuries occurring, knocking us back weeks or even months because we tried to fast forward our progress.

You can dramatically accelerate your progress on a muscle up if you accept that you can’t do everything all at once. There is simply not enough time or human energy in the day or week. It makes obvious sense that if you doubled the amount of time you spent practising a muscle up then you are most likely going to halve the amount of time it would take to get one right? So what are you willing to give up?

Pullups? No, Dips? absolutely not. You will definitely want to show up to class whenever there is upper body gymnastic training programmed for the day and you could lay off some of the metcons and squats (and ice-cream) to make more time and energy. Will your backsquat suffer for a little while? YES but a month or so of not thinking about them isn’t going to set you back as an all round athlete.

An example plan could look something like this:

GOAL: Ring Muscle Up

Deadline: 3 months

ACTION PLAN: * Lose 3 kgs to be lighter and more efficient

* Get 5 strict pullups and 5 strict ring dips first

*  Do 4 x 20 minute sessions of kipping and transition drills per week

* Test/Attempt every 3 weeks

This may not be the perfect plan but you get the idea and something is better than nothing.

Setting goals long term and having smaller short term action steps in place to achieve those goals will spark your motivation again. Set a goal, have the perseverance to work on it as much as possible and F.O.C.U.S so you can finally achieve that lift or movement you have been wanting so badly for so long. What is it you really want? Go out and get it.

 

The Joys of Weightlifting

(At Any Age)

Like it or not, Olympic weightlifting is an integral part of crossfit. You can’t become a crossfitter without embracing it. 90% of competitions you go to will incorporate a max lift or heavy complex of some sort into the programming so there is no escaping it. Even for the non-competitive crossfitter, weightlifting should be seen as an important part of their daily health and fitness regime.There is so much information out there about the health benefits, physical adaptations, mental and physiological improvements that weightlifting can achieve. The whole reason Greg Glassman (founder of Crossfit, albeit controversial figure in the fitness industry) incorporates them into crossfit is because they are so difficult yet effective. Although designed to not be specialized, there is still a huge emphasis put on Olympic Weightlifting as there is possibly no other sport that covers a large majority of the ten recognized fitness domains in crossfit, cardiovascular endurance excluded of course.“We also place a heavy emphasis on Olympic weightlifting having seen this sport’s unique ability to develop an athlete’s explosive power, control of external objects and mastery of critical motor recruitment patterns” Glassman 2002.It’s not just for physical health but mental health too. Strength training is so good for stimulating brain function alone and combining that with such a technical art, well imagine the brain training you would receive. So much focus, meditation, concentration, patience, clarity, analysis and memorization going on during a training session. How could you not love, respect and appreciate it.Is it dangerous? yes, is rugby dangerous? yes, is it more dangerous for a bunch of amateurs competing in a local beginners competition with shitty coaches and shitty programming? YES! I’m not denying that this does happen and I can understand the frustration that elite level Weightlifters, Gymnasts or even concerned parents and therapists have with some of the stupidity that has arisen. But the growth is inevitable and for every moron out there, there ARE more coaches who are passionate and dedicated enough to being proficient in this sport so as to not let their athletes bite off more than they can chew.Some general advice for beginners is to dedicate the time to progress slowly, to stay safe so your body can adapt to the demands you are suddenly placing on it after years of sedentary activity. First and foremost is obtaining the required mobility (and you will require a lot!) to move your body around the bar the way it is supposed to safely, efficiently, fast and stable. It’s up to you to seek the assistance of your coach to work out what’s best for you as an individual.The number one point you have to remember is DON’T BE AN IDIOT. You can start when you are overweight and 42 as long as you DON’T BE AN IDIOT and find a great coach who is also not an idiot. If you roll into a gym and are expected to do Isabelle (A benchmark crossfit workout that consists of 30 snatches for time), then GET OUT NOW and find yourself a decent coach. We don’t claim to be elite gymnasts or weightlifters but do we know a thing or two about crossfit? Yes! and part of that is teaching broken down basic segments of these amazing skills. Designed in a way to show anyone and everyone a safe and easy progression to learning something that is far more exhilarating to do than machines at a commercial gym.

Benefits of Gymnastics Training for CrossFit

26/12

We all know that baseline strength, balance, flexibility and body control will enhance athletic performance, but sometimes the things that we love doing the most are not actually increasing these physical attributes and could really be breaking us down instead. This is because we could be slowly creating muscular imbalances by grinding through poorly executed movements and this will eventually lead to injury or at the very least, a decline away from mastering the movements that we love to do so much.

Remember Crossfit is about virtuosity and the only way to have this is through relentless pursuit of beautiful movement. Sometimes the only way to do this is to reset and rebuild our bodies  from the very basic foundations.
Bodyweight training may seem boring and easy but it’s actually really bloody hard!
Gymnastics Bodies was created in 2003 after Coach Christopher Sommer, a USA Jr National Team Coach for 40 years wrote an article about gymnastics strength training that exploded into the bodyweight training scene. So over the last 6 weeks I have been working on the gymnastics bodies foundations 1 online strength program and well, it’s been kickin my ass!
I could barely get through the first week which consisted of 60 second hollow and arch holds, ring rows and pushups. No wonder I would crumble under heavy cleans because I don’t even have the core strength to do 60 hollow rocks or a 10 second L-sit and yes I would just make up another excuse like “oh well I’m too slow getting under the bar” blah blah blah.
I am slowly seeing improvements and do feel stronger and more in control in WOD ‘ S but the initial smack in the face of realizing how much basic strength and body awareness I was lacking is humbling and a massive rude awakening.

When you look at Gymnastic Strength Training as a tool to improve your muscular imbalances and range of motion for improving the way you move in crossfit, then why wouldn’t you want to do it? It becomes a whole lot more exciting for the crossfitter who hates ring rows right? Eliminating all those niggles you have developed because those over-worked over-stretched muscles get a break and a chance to reset, realign and move the way they were supposed to be used. Incorporating weighted mobility such as shoulder dislocates will create not just flexibility, but the strength needed to hold end range positions safely such as receiving the bar in a snatch. Fix the base so you can build strength on better movement.

Ever noticed in crossfit competitions how you can always tell who the ex – gymnasts are? I used to think why are Jess Coughlan’s bar muscle ups so graceful? Am I not timing my kip right like her? Um No! It’s just that she is strong as s*** and can do multiple, strict, weighted L-sit pullups with a smile on her face. So bar muscle ups are so much easier for her.

We know that to get better we need to relentlessly work on the ‘boring’ stuff, so why don’t we? The only way to move forward is to go back and start all over again and do it properly over and over again. So I am looking forward to more crazy, body shaking, sweat inducing hollow rocks.

” Shoulder dislocates can and should be a part of everyone’s joint prehabilitation”
” If I had to choose one exercise for shoulder girdle to build strength, mobility and mass, I had to go with dislocates” Coach Christopher Sommer

 

Check out http://www.gymnasticbodies.com

Eating for Athletic Performance

5/11 

Precisely one month ago I was given the opportunity to become the first female ambassador for Natural Wholefoods. A Melbourne based food company that believe in providing the community with fresh, nutritionally balanced, paleo meals and snacks. They have taken their meal plans to the next level for crossfitters and other athletes by supercharging a menu designed to improve athletic performance and I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to be on this new plan. My morning, pre-workout, post work-out and evening meals and supplements have been carefully layed out for me so that I don’t have to stress about getting what I need.

Jason the creator, believes that food is the most important way to provide our bodies with what it needs and for us to absorb vital nutrients in the most natural of ways. This required me to cut out all the crap that I used to take such as artificially flavored bcaa’s and other workout drinks that were supposed to help me and to be honest, I haven’t missed them at all.
I have even eliminated milk from my coffees and now if I do have the odd one, I can feel it sitting, curdling in my stomach.
The plan is simple but covers everything I need including pure pharma morning and night supplements of fish oil, magnesium and Vitamin D.
I have been keeping account of my sleep and recovery from training and mostly, it has been great. I have a more steady energy level and my little niggles feel dampened, less inflamed, and I am ready move again the next day. Something that, for quite some time dealing with injuries and getting older, would flare up and force me to stop training a lot longer than I would like. All that inconsistent training and eating has definitely held me back in the past and the more I follow the natural wholefoods plan, the more I feel that a whole lot of healing is going on inside.
I can’t wait to see how far my body and mind will take me now and knowing that I am giving myself the chance to reach a higher potential than I ever thought possible, has made me the happiest and most focused crossfitter, coach and parent I have ever been.

RISEUP & REVIVE

1/10

To awaken everyone’s motivation, Ben and I decided that we are going to run a 12 week fitness challenge. We are calling it The RiseUp and Revive Project and it is aimed at reviving our crews passion for fitness and healthy lifestyle. It is the perfect time to re – assess our goals, revamp our diets and re – ignite our energy. It has also inspired me again to focus more on doing what I love to do best and that is helping my RiseUp family achieve their goals and to grow as athletes. Everyone is getting excited as tracking progress and seeing results drives you to push forward in your efforts and doing it alongside your friends makes it fun. The human body was designed for activity and fuelling our bodies right makes those activities easier to accomplish. Good healthy wholesome real food is necessary for our bodies and minds to function optimally. Staying active and eating well will promote a healthy heart, strong bones, general wellbeing, a good social life and will make you look amazing too ( coz that’s the least priority right ;) ). I have been busy organizing the challenge, making booklets and setting up workshops. I am having heaps of fun already and the challenge hasn’t even started yet so I know it’s going to be incredible.

I am inviting you all to join us on this fun journey to better health. You will have my full support and the support of your  RiseUp family. The RiseUp and Revive Project kicks off MONDAY OCTOBER 13th! For more details contact Logan 0434275455 or email logan@crossfitriseup.com

GET MOBILE

27/8


Admit it! You don’t mobilize enough.  You work all day (probably sitting down for hours), you drive to the box, spend five minutes with a broom stick, start lifting and wondering why your squats feel so much harder today. You do your 15 minute met con, grab your keys, drive home and sit on the couch for the rest of the evening.
I get it, you have to make dinner, pick up the kids and clean the house but….
No wonder your hips are aching and you can’t pb your snatch. You will also ALWAYS suck at pistols too. (They will not just magically happen, you have to work on predominantly ankle flexion EVERY SINGLE DAY to get even remotely close to being able to perform even one single decent pistol).
Kelly Starrett mobility god says that it’s the first and foremost important aspect of your training. If you have poor range of motion and can barely get into an overhead squat position, there is no way you should be attempting a high rep overhead squat workout with anything more than just the bar or even broomstick let alone thinking about
rx’ ing just because all the other guys can. This even applies to more skilled athletes. You may look half decent in the squat but if your biomechanics are just slightly off because of say restricted T spine mobility, overtime you will breakdown, won’t recover properly and injure yourself (take it from me).
Don’t you want to perform as efficiently as possible? Lift heavier and not ruin your shoulders? There is no excuse to not having at least a spare 10 minutes a day to work on something. Ideally spending say 4 minutes on your G.O.A.T ( greatest of all time) mobility issue and then the remaining 6 minutes improving your R.O.M relevant to the task you are about to tackle that day.
If you simply just can’t stretch straight after class, which would be the most productive time to do long deep stretches that aids in recovery, Doing them WHEN EVER you can is much better than not at all. Check out mobilitywod.com, ask your coaches and fellow athletes, watch what others are doing and just start doing something!!
You would be surprised by how much improvement you can actually make rolling and stretching out your tight muscles and joints. You don’t need to nerd out on specifics and know why loosening the fascia on the soles of your feet will improve mobility higher up the chain like in your hamstrings therefore improve your deadlifts. (But it’s a fun fact to know ;) ). Just start doing it.
For those of you who think that you are not an athlete, are just here to workout and don’t need to improve your snatch because you will never compete, think again. Moving efficiently is not just so you can pb your lifts. It is so your body is moving correctly, safely and wants to move again the next day. You will enjoy your workouts more, sleep better and feel better with a little bit of mobility in your day.

 

HOORAY!!!

1/8

I have just completed my 30/30 squat challenge! Very proud of myself and highly recommend it to anyone with range of motion issues in the squat. I really do feel more mobile and able to drop down whenever i feel like it without spending 10 minutes warming up. After the first week i noticed i wasn’t getting stuck and having to crawl out of position, I could simply stand straight back up again. Other things I noticed too was that my butt was getting deeper and deeper towards the floor and I felt that I could keep an upright torso without having to hold onto something or feeling like I was falling backwards. I gradually increased the difficulty by going barefoot occasionally and rocking from left to right, hanging out on one side for longer to accentuate a deeper stretch into each ankle. My left ankle has poorer mobility from old injuries and it did start to flare up. I wasn’t too concerned as I saw this as kind of a good thing, hoping it meant that I was finally getting into that old scar tissue a bit. Maybe now my heel will stay flat in a pistol squat! I won’t lie some days were tough especially when I had the flu, but I didn’t stop. One day I forgot and only did 20 minutes so I made up for it and did 40 the next day. Towards the end I couldn’t wait until it was over but I stuck with it and I’m glad I did. I am more confident now to not rely on my lifting shoes all the time. Incorporating this into a regular routine is important so I don’t undo all the progress i made however i think it’s safe to drop it down to 10 minutes at the most. Not just for time saving but also for my sanity. Give it a go and i promise you will notice a difference in your training. You will move more efficiently, put less pressure on joints that aren’t moving correctly and that are put in unsafe positions and you will overcome plateaus caused by poor biomechanics. Squatting fixes everything. 

 

The Squat Challenge

6/7

Today is day 7 of my squat challenge that requires 30 minutes of sitting in a deep squat position for 30 days. This challenge was created by movement expert Ido Portal who believes that it will significantly improve not only your hip, knee and ankle flexibility, but also your digestive system among other things. I have been breaking it up into 10 minute slots morning, lunch and evening. At first I was wearing shoes with roughly a 6 mm heel and holding onto a kettle bell for some balance and not worrying about a straight back, just relaxing into the bottom which he says is totally fine. I realized I was ready to wear minimal shoes or go barefoot and didn’t need the counterbalance anymore. Pretty happy that I can easily do 10 minutes so may even increase it next week. It was hard to get back up out of the squat for the first few days but I’m finding it easier now. I’m sure it will start to get harder though still a long way to go. I’ll let you know in 23 days.

 

Perfect Practice

26/6

My coach reminded me the other day that there is always something you can be working on. He said ‘practice perfect practice’, (or something like that). So for me this meant spending time tightening up my butterfly pullups. It’s a huge humbling smack in the face when you think you are pretty good at something only to take some time off, come back and realize how inefficient you actually were moving and having to relearn things from scratch all over again. It is all too easy to get caught up in the daily brutal wod and not focus on what is really important. Every wonky thoughtless rep you do is one extra rep down the wrong road, one extra rep that needs to be unlearned and redone the right way and I am guilty of this from time to time. Now back to the drawing board. The box is our place we go to master our art. Practice perfectly people.