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05 Apr 2015

Getting The Basics

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A big part of what we try to do is to achieve Virtuosity – performing the common uncommonly well. This is not sexy, per se, but it is paramount to developing truly exceptional fitness. If you watch any of the best athletes competing in any sport, you will see as close to flawless movement as possible.

When mechanics are sound you are more efficient, more powerful. You can better express strength and fitness. These next 8 weeks we are going to pound the basics. We are especially focusing on improving pull-ups (strict then kipping) as well as dips (strict only). Lets review a few principles for each.

  1. Pull-up Progressions
    1. Ring Rows
    2. Strict Pull-ups in a band
    3. Jumping Pull-ups/Negatives/Flex Arm Hangs
    4. Strict Pull-ups
      1. With Load
    5. Kip Swings
    6. Kipping Pull-ups
  2. Dip Progressions
    1. Bench Dips
    2. Stationary Dips in a band
    3. Jumping Dips/Negatives/Dip Supports
    4. Stationary Dips
      1. With load
    5. Ring Dips
      1. With load

PULL-UPS

If you cannot perform pull-ups, the best starting point are ring rows. This will begin providing the strength for the shoulder girdle and is a gateway to the vertical pull-up. After you can complete 3 sets of 15 reps with excellent form at around 30 degrees. You can begin working in some strict pull-ups with a  band. NEVER should there be any kipping in a band. Choose the lightest band you can complete at least 5 reps with and then build up to being able to complete 10 to 15 reps unbroken before moving to the next lightest band. Continue this sequence until you have moved through all of the bands. By this time you can also begin working in some negatives (jump up and slowly lower yourself down to full arm extension), flex arm hangs, and jumping pull-ups. We will not ask you to perform these in a conditioning WOD because they can cause serious trauma when performed under high volume and for speed.

You are now finally ready to begin performing strict pull-ups. Here is a great article outlining how to keep working on getting more strict pull-ups from CrossFit Virtuosity. Even 4 years later, I have not come across a different version that works as well AND you will see that it has work for getting better at upper body pushing movements (the second focus for these next 8 weeks). Once you can complete 5-10 strict pull-ups without coming off the bar, you can begin adding some external loading to your pull-up. Start light and make small jumps.

Kipping

Kipping pull-ups are a necessity in what we do because it allows you to do more work in less time. Therefore as soon as you are performing pull-ups with a band for assistance, we will begin teaching you the kip swing. Caution! We don’t want you to begin performing kipping pull-ups until you can perform at least 5 strict pull-ups. This is to ensure you have developed the strength of the shoulder girdle to withstand the force placed upon it by kipping pull-ups.

DIPS

The progression to performing ring dips mirrors the pull-up progression in a very similar fashion. You can carry over the same rep schemes as you make your way up the ladder to the next progression. Notice there is no mention of utilizing a band once you are beyond the stationary dip? The rings are a dynamic plane and if you cannot stabilize them with your own strength, you have no reason to be on them. Respect the progressions and you will get there.

The DIP progression will end at strict ring dips with the kipping ring dip not being taught. The reason for this is to ensure tension is maintained throughout the entire movement and the shoulder girdle is always stabilized. If you are able to pick up a “kipping” rhythm on your own, so be it.

CONCLUSION

The number one thing I want to convey here is be patient with the progressions. This isn’t about today, tomorrow, or next month. This is about doing this correctly so that you have a base strength that will stay with you forever and PREVENT injuries to the shoulder rather than contribute to injuries.

Determine where you are presently, drop the ego at the door, and begin working towards the next progression. Don’t place a time frame on this, just come in and put in the work every time you walk through the doors. In no time you will be moving up the ladder.

WEEKLY PROGRAMMING

Monday 4/6
Conditioning: Complete reps of 21-15-9 for time

Bodyweight Back Squats
Burpees

Skill/Strength: Abs – accumulate 10 minutes of ab work

Tuesday 4/7
Strength: EMOM 12 – 3 Clean and Jerk
continue to add  weight as you are able

Conditioning: AMRAP 10
10 Deadlift, 155/100
10 AbMat Sit-ups

Wednesday 4/8
Strength: Back Squat 2RM
Perform 7 sets of 2 reps

Conditioning: Row (calories)
Repeat 5 rounds of a 30 calorie row for time

rest 1:00 between efforts

Thursday 4/9
Strength/Skill: Turkish Get-ups
Practice your TGU for 15 minutes. Work up to as heavy of a load as you are able with PERFECT FORM

Conditioning: Complete for time with a 20 minute cap.

30 Snatches, 75/55
30 Snatches, 105/75
30 Snatches, 135/95
15 Snatches, 165/115

Friday 4/10
Strength/Skill:
A. Strict Pull-ups – 5 x submax reps
B. 5 x Handstand hold for max time or handstand walk for max distance

Conditioning: Complete 4 rounds for time of:

7 Handstand push-ups
30 Unbroken Double Unders

Saturday 4/11
Complete for time in a group of 4:

50 Thrusters, 95/65
10 Rope Climbs
40 Thrusters, 95/65
8 Rope Climbs
30 Thrusters, 95/65
6 Rope Climbs

Work must be divided evenly and only one person may work at a time.

04 Apr 2015

040515

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Strength: Shoulder Press – 3RM

Conditioning: “Helen” with a Partner

With a partner each complete 4 rounds, relay style while alternating every movement
Run 400m
21 KB swings
12 Ring Rows

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03 Apr 2015

040415

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Strength/Skill:

A. Pull-up Ladder
Perform 4 sets of pull-ups with a rotating group of 3-4 people:
1 rep
2 reps
3 reps
4 reps
5 reps
6 reps
B.Push-up Ladder
Complete 4 sets of push-ups with a rotating group of 3-4 people:
5 reps
6 reps
7 reps
8 reps
9 reps
10 reps

Conditioning Test:

Tabata Squats
Complete 8 rounds of 20 sec work followed by 10 sec rest. Perform max reps in each round. Score is total repetitions from all 8 intervals.
02 Apr 2015

040315

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AMRAP 20 – Rope/PS/OHSQTS/Burp
Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:

1 rope climb
then
3 rounds of
5 Power Snatch, 75/55
7 OH Squats, 75/55
9 Burpees

Joseph Davin liked this post
02 Apr 2015

040215

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Strength/Skill: Weighted Ring Dips
5-5-5-5-5

Work up to a max weight for 5 reps on the ring dips.

 


MetCon: Row 4 min for Max Distance
3 rounds of 4 minutes for max distance

rest 3 minutes between efforts

31 Mar 2015

040115

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Test: Max Pull-ups

Warm up and then take 3 attempts at finding your max reps on pull-ups. This will be your baseline we will be retesting on June 1.

Conditioning: “UNBREAKABLE”

15 Unbroken Wallball Shots, 20/14
30 Unbroken Double Unders

To be completed as Rx all reps must be completed UNBROKEN.

Are You Training OR Are You Just Working Out?

This is much debated on internet forums and in gyms everywhere. I believe that you need to be tracking your workouts (not all of them, I will explain later) or you are just working out and not doing everything you can to create the change you are seeking.

When you wake up and read the WOD posted for that day, 99% of the time you should know exactly what you are going to go for that day, what you did last time, how you are going to improve this time, etc.

There are many ways that you can track your workouts. There are many apps available on smartphones, an old composition book, OR you can use our ZenPlanner Workout Tracker. Lets look at a few of those options.

Smartphone Apps

Apps like SugarWOD and Beyond the Whiteboard are great in that you can upload your workouts into them (customizing as needed) and track your training. The big downside with these is that there is no comparison to our community and our gym’s programming will not already be uploaded.

Composition Books

This old school method is a great way to keep track of everything that you are doing. The downside is the labor required to transfer your personal records from journal to journal each time you fill the journal. I used to use this method extensively, I still have some journals from when I was in high school and college. With books you still have the issue of not having a gym leaderboard and community.

ZenPlanner Performance Tracking

With our ZenPlanner Performance Tracking (ZP PT) the daily programming is already uploaded for you and there is a “Daily” leaderboard and “All-Time” Leaderboard as well. The ZP PT is mobile friendly. The first time that you open this link on your smartphone it will ask you to save it to your Home Screen. Go ahead and do this and now you can: reserve and log in for classes, view the class calendar, enter your results, and view and manage your profile.

If you don’t have a smartphone, you may use the tablets we have at the gym to log in as well or just click on your icon where you signed in for class and record your results there. If you prefer to head home and do it there, then you can of course just follow the link on your laptop or desktop.

Screenshot of the ZP PT.

Screenshot of the ZP PT.

What Should You Be Tracking?

This depends on what you are looking to accomplish. I like to track the following: weight, strength and conditioning benchmarks, food when eating something out of the norm, and the daily WODS. I could track rest and mobility as well but I choose not to as it doesn’t really vary for me. I know my routines and only when completely out of them do I write it down.

I track my weight because it is a goal of mine to lean out and achieve a certain weight, therefore I do this every day. If you are working towards something very specific, you need to track it daily. Not to the point of obsessive but just to be aware of it.

The benchmarks are obviously how I know if my fitness is progressing, maintaining, or slipping. Benchmarks are ESSENTIAL to be tracked. You need to know either your 1,3, or 5 rep maxes in all of the lifts and you should know your personal bests in the girl/hero WODS.

I like to record my daily results whether a benchmark or not because it keeps me in the habit of recording and I will put more comments in regarding my strategy or areas that struggled with so I know what to do if something similar pops up.

As a minimum, you should be tracking your benchmarks. This will make things easier and keep your head in the game. For some, this will be enough. Those that struggle with eating well, daily journaling of what you eat, when you eat it, how you feel after eating it will go a long way to correcting poor eating habits. I use this quite extensively with my clients. Then there are those like myself that need to track something daily to stay in the habit of doing so.

 

 

 

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It is the last Fire It Up Friday of March and this incessant rain is melting away remnants of what was the WORST winter in my memories. For that I am grateful!

Today we have a classic Girl WOD with “Diane” in classes. 45 reps of 225# deadlifts and handstand push-ups! Here is a little strategy on how to approach this wonderful little gem. The deadlift load is a light/moderate weight. Choose the correct weight for this if 225# is on the heavier side, or you will miss the training effect. The reps should be able to be completed unbroken or one break within the sets. If you are dropping the bar each time from waist height, you have too much loaded. Keep a steady pace so that you can actually breathe. (Think breathing similar to what we teach when performing wallballs).

The Handstand push-ups are going to be where you will struggle unless you can perform 21 unbroken handstand push-ups. You want to have a plan going in as to how many clusters you will need to break the volume into. For example, if you 10 reps of HSPU are the most you have ever completed unbroken, then you should aim for 6/5/4/3/2 to complete the set of 21. You will probably need to reduce that down on the set of 15 to something like 4/3/3/3/2 and finally the set of 9 to 3/3/3. The most important thing is to not go to failure on any particular cluster. The primary muscle groups of the HSPU are small and when they are depleted well…

Good luck and FIRE IT UP!

SCHEDULE CHANGE

Beginning next week, on Mondays and Thursdays the Strength Club will be rolled into the 4:30pm class. Attendees should be prepared for 75-90 minutes of training as opposed to the normal 60 minutes.

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays will continue to be CrossFit classes.

PROGRAMMING

Saturday 032815

“OPT Repeatability Test”

3 rounds, at 100% effort:

Row 250m
10 Kettlebell Swings 70/53lbs
10 Burpees
10 Kettlebell Swings 70/53lbs
10 Burpees
10 Kettlebell Swings 70/53lbs
Row 250m

Rest 12 minutes between rounds.

Sunday 032915

“Joshie”
Complete three rounds for time of:
40/30 pound Dumbbell snatch, 21 reps, right arm
21 L Pull-ups
40/30 pound Dumbbell snatch, 21 reps, left arm
21 L Pull-ups

Post time to comments.

These are squat not power snatches.

Monday 033015

Front squat 3-3-3-3-3 reps

Post loads to comments.

Tuesday 033115

“300FY”

Max calories in 10 minutes on the Airdyne or on the erg.

Wednesday 040115
Test: Max Strict Pull-ups

Test: Max Kipping Pull-ups

Conditioning: 5 RFT
15 Unbroken Wallball Shots, 20/14
15 Unbroken Double Unders

Thursday 040215
Strength/Skill: Ring Dips 5-5-5-5-5

Conditioning: Complete 3 rounds for max distance
Row 4 minutes

rest 3 minutes between sets

Friday 040315
Conditioning: AMRAP 20

1 Rope Climb
then perform 3 rounds of:
5 Power Snatch, 75/55
7 OH Squats, 75/55
9 Burpees

Saturday 040415
Strength/Skill: Strict Pull-up Ladder
4 sets building up to 6 reps (work in groups of 3-5 people resting only as your squad performs their reps)

Strength/Skill: Push-up Ladder
4 sets beginning with 5 reps building up to 10 reps (work in groups of 3-5 people resting only as your squad performs their reps)

Conditioning: Tabata Squats

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20 Mar 2015

Fire It Up Friday! 032015

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It has been a great week of training in the gym. Nice to see some faces that have been away this winter getting after it. Mother Nature is still playing some games with us with the weather variability. She’ll settle down soon. I hope.

Fire It Up! Fire It Up!

The PR Bell was ringing this week. Nothing gets me more pumped than when I have an entire class hitting new lifetime personal bests in a lift. It is truly electric. Each person just starts feeding off of the other’s previous attempt and by the end of the session, everyone is moving weight that they never thought they would be able to move.

5:30pm Class all rocked out Lifetime PR's last night.

5:30pm Class all rocked out Lifetime PR’s last night.

Meet Justine A!

Please welcome Justine to Our Crew! Justine is in the picture above on the far left. She has been training with me privately since December and just recently began training in our group sessions. She is awesome!

When Justine is not training with us here, she is a Wushu practitioner. Wushu is a form of Kung fu that has developed into a sport and is regulated by the International Wushu Federation. There are two disciplines: forms and sparring. Justine participates in forms. Think rhythmic gymnastics with Kung Fu Panda kicks and swords. AWESOME RIGHT! Justine is training with us to continue advancing in her sport.

Justine is also a Foodie. Audrey, you and her need to get together. You will usually see Justine in our 5:30pm class and be sure to introduce yourself to her and welcome her to Our Crew.

St. Patrick’s Day

Thanks to those that rocked out in great spirit for St. Paddy’s Day on Tuesday. The winner of the $15 Starbucks card is…Audrey H! Audrey was decked out head to toe in green with shamrock headband. Congratulations Audrey! (Her pic can be found on Instagram, I have yet to figure out how to save an image from there!)

SFH – This Saturday Get Some Deals and Save Some $$$$

Will from Stronger Faster Healthier is going to be visiting with us again on Saturday from 9-12. He is going to have a table set up for all to sample products. If you have never used any of SFH’s protein or fish oil, this will be your chance to try before making any purchases.

I personally LOVE the FUEL. FUEL is their anytime, everyday protein and I mix it with some frozen berries, greek yogurt, chia seeds in my blender to make a delicious smoothie.

Any purchases or orders placed this Saturday ONLY, you will receive 10% off your purchase.

Programming

Here is this upcoming week’s programming:

SATURDAY 3/21/15
For time:
21 Handstand push-ups
500 meter Row
21 Weighted pull-ups
15 Handstand push-ups
500 meter Row
15 Weighted Pull-ups
9 Handstand Push-ups
500 meter Row
9 Weighted Pull-ups

SUNDAY 3/22/15
In teams of two, complete as many rounds as possible in thirty minutes of:
25 Burpees
Average body weight back squat, 15 reps
One partner working at a time.

MONDAY 3/23/15
5 RFT
15 Burpees
15 Power Snatch

TUESDAY 3/24/15
Shoulder press 1-1-1-1-1 reps
Push press 3-3-3-3-3 reps
Push Jerk 5-5-5-5-5 reps

WEDNESDAY 3/25/15
AMRAP 15
15 calorie row
15 deadlifts 135/95
15 wall balls

THURSDAY 3/26/15
Complete as many rounds as possible 20 minutes of:
15 Double-unders
15 GHD Sit-ups
15 Back extensions

Post rounds completed to comments.

FRIDAY 3/27/15
“Diane”
21-15-9 reps for time:
Deadlift 225 lbs
Handstand push- ups

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13 Mar 2015

What’s Under The Kilt?

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St. Patrick’s Day is next Tuesday and we are going to have a little fun with it. Let’s get in the spirit of the holiday that this city so enjoys! We are running two different mini contests. One of which is very simple and every one can easily participate. The second…requires a bit more on your part and the reward, in my humble opinion, is far more valuable.

Here are the details:

Contest #1: Wear your favorite green workout outfit during your WOD on Tuesday. Make sure that your Coach takes a picture with you (in the group) and posts it to our social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with the #whatsunderthekilt.

Each participant will be entered to win a $15 Starbucks Coffee Card. BONUS: If you wear a green VINTAGE CrossFit Boston T-shirt, your name will entered twice to win the $15 Starbucks Coffee Card and double your chances of being chosen.

Contest #2: Wear a Kilt OR any Tartan/Plaid design (SHORTS/SKIRTS/PANTS/KILTS ONLY – SOCKS DON’T COUNT) during your WOD on Tuesday. Make sure that your Coach takes a picture with you (individually) and posts it to our social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You then need to share it with your friends and family along with the #whatsunderthekilt. Tweet and post to @crossfitboston along with the #whatsunderthekilt.

The person with the greatest amount of likes/shares/retweets will win – 3 Personal Training Sessions with yours truly.

So, lets have some fun with this and I will have some Guiness on sight to enjoy post WOD.

 

cartoon courtesy of Cagle Cartoons.

cartoon courtesy of Cagle Cartoons.

Programming

SATURDAY 3/14/15

Five rounds for time of:
115/75 pound Push-jerk, 15 reps
15 L pull-ups

SUNDAY 3/15/15

Teams of two, one partner working at a time. Partition work as needed.

“Partner Eva in a Boat”
Five rounds for time of:
Row 1000 meters
2/1.5 pood Kettlebell swing, 30 reps
30 Pull-ups

MONDAY 3/16/15

“Angie”

For time:
100 Pull-ups
100 Push-ups
100 Sit-ups
100 Squats

TUESDAY 3/17/15

“Narf”

Three rounds, 9-15- and 21 reps, for time of:
Pull-ups
95/65 pound Thruster

WEDNESDAY 3/18/15

“Backwards Elizabeth”

9-15-21 reps of:
Ring dips
Clean 135/95 pounds

THURSDAY 3/19/15

1. Deadlift 1-1-1-1-1-1-1 reps

2. AMRAP 8
8 total pistols
8 deadlifts at 50% of day’s heaviest

FRIDAY 3/20/15

AMRAP 12m

5 DB Cleans, AHAP
10 DB Push Press
15 DB Squats


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