Rhythm and Balance are two skills needed in the boat and in the gym. One way to improve a skill is by deliberate practice on a regular basis and making every act an act of conditioning. Showing your body and brain how to move properly over and over again in many different situations will force it to adapt and make a movement second nature. The simple task of taking the blade out of the water and putting it in the water in time with the rest of your crew is one example. Above is a video of the BC Men’s Crew Team practicing building 30′s and the chop spin. How do you spin the boat? Have you ever tried the chop spin? Do you use spinning the boat as an opportunity to improve rhythm, balance, timing, and feel?
What do you do every day in the gym that can help improve a skill or a goat? Picking up an empty barbell or plates from the floor? Picking up the med ball to start your first wall ball? Kicking up into a handstand from a standing position vs. the floor? Every act is an act of conditioning. If you’re focusing on a particular skill in the gym this month, look for little opportunities to keep improving and practicing proper movement patterns. If you need help dreaming up creative ways to practice a skill outside of class come find me and we’ll figure it out!
30 Sep / 2013
The kettlebell snatch is one of the movements most commonly performed incorrectly by the novice crossfitter. Often with good intentions an athlete will attempt to perform the kb snatch the same way they would perform a barbell or dumbell snatch. That is, by pulling the object in a straight line from the ground, keeping the bell close to the body and dropping under to receive. Anyone who has done this knows that the resulting outcome is that the bell snaps around and slaps the back of your wrist, which eventually becomes painful. Try out these suggestions to smooth out the kb snatch.
The grip should be off set when snatching or performing the single arm swing. Overhand grip the bell on the floor with the thumb and forefinger all the way against one of the horns of the bell. This grip will allow for a shorter turnover at the top of the snatch reducing impact on the back of the arm.
The Path of the Bell:
The path of the bell should be an arc. Just like a single arm swing, the bell is propelled out away from the body and at the top of the arc there is a “punch”. When punching through be sure to keep a straight wrist and allow the momentum of the swing to continue into the overhead position.
The overhead position is a rest position. The bell should be supported overhead through proper structural alignment, shoulder and elbow locked out with thumb facing the wall behind you. To begin the next snatch allow the bell to fall forward while counter balancing the drop with your body.
Coach Jason Gee
27 Sep / 2013
FIRE IT UP! FIRE IT UP!
It was a big week of training with great effort and energy in the classes by everyone. We are seeing some significant improvement in the olympic lifts and great focus on the weekly skills. Keep up the hard work!
As a suggestion, if you miss the strength days or the skill of the week days, try to get in some open gym times and get your work in. The goal is 3 days per week for the skills and at least 3 days for the strength. As you may notice, each week we have been incorporating the previous weeks skill into the programming. The more you practice, the easier it will be in the metcon.
On the strength movements, work up to weight that you can perform 10 reps for 3 sets. It should be a challenge at these weights with you almost failing on the last 1-2 reps each set. A good ballpark figure to start with is around 70% of your 1RM. This is not absolute and it is not intended to be a ceiling. As the lifts cycle through, you will add TEN pounds to your previous load. For example if you perform 3×10 with 300# on the back squat on Saturday, you are expected to do perform 3×10 with 310# on Friday.
What’s on Tap
Saturday – 9/28
1. Thruster Ladder
With a continuously running clock, complete 1 thruster on the first minute, 2 thrusters on the second minute, 3 thrusters on the third minute…Continue until you cannot complete the corresponding number of thrusters. The weight is to be cleaned from the ground to begin each round.
2. Back Squat – 3×10 (straight sets)
Sunday – 9/29
1. CFGames Regional 11.1 TEAM WOD – with TEAMS of 2
Row 750 x 4
50 Handstand Push ups
Row 750 x 4
Teams are made up of two. Athletes will begin lined up behind the rower. They determine the starting order and must stick with that order throughout the workout. At the start, the first athlete moves to the rower and completes the 750m row. He or she gets off the rower and tags the second athlete behind the line. The second athlete then moves to the rower and rows 750m. This continues until both athletes have rowed 750m twice.
Once the fourth row is finished, he or she tags the first athlete, who moves to the wall and performs a set of handstand pushups. At least one rep must be attempted. An attempt begins in the start position and descends until the head touches the abmat. Each athlete must perform at least one attempt, even if all 50 reps have been completed. If the 50 reps have not been completed after all the athletes have performed their first set, they continue performing one set apiece in order. Once the 50 handstand pushups are complete and each has performed at least one set, the first athlete moves back to the rower. He or she may not move past the line until the handstand pushups are complete. It is the same first athlete who rows first, no matter which athlete performed the final handstand pushup.
Monday – 9/30
Power Snatch, 95#/65#
Knee to elbows
2. Power Clean – 6 x 3 ascending weight
3. EMOM 10 – Pull ups (choose a number that you can hit for all 10 rounds)
Advanced – EMOM 10 CTB Pull-ups
Tuesday – 10/1
1. AMRAP 20
20 Wallball Shots 10′ target, 20#/14#
20 DB Power Snatch, 55#/35#
2. Press – 3 x10 (straight sets)
Wednesday – 10/2
1. For time
15 Bench Press, 135#/95#
10 Bench Press, 185#/125#
5 Bench Press, 225#/155#
2. EMOM 10 – Pull ups (choose a number that you can hit for all 10 rounds) +1 if you completed all rounds on Monday
Advanced – EMOM 10 CTB Pull-ups
Thursday – 10/3
1. For time each round
5x500m run (2:00 cap)
2. EMOM 12 – 2 Clean + 1 Jerk (moderate weight)
Friday – 10/4
Handstand Push ups
2. Back Squat – 3×10 (straight sets)
3. EMOM 10 – Pull ups (choose a number that you can hit for all 10 rounds) +1 if you completed all rounds on Wednesday
Advanced – EMOM 10 CTB Pull-ups
25 Sep / 2013
Over the last few days my schedule has kicked in to full gear and I’ve had the opportunity to coach a wide range of athletes. In the mornings I coach athletes from CrossFit Boston and Boston College Men’s Crew in the gym. In the afternoon I coach high school athletes from Wayland-Weston Crew. The biggest thing all three teams need to improve their performance is mobility. Today is a good day to focus on improving your mobility. Let’s get after it!
In rowing the longer your stroke the further you can move the boat and ultimately the faster you can go. Same thing applies indoors, rowing on the erg. The only problem with that equation is your positioning. Are you in a strong position at the catch and finish? Today is a day to work on mobility and improve that positioning. Take at least 15 minutes, ideally longer, to work on your tight spots. What limits you? Ankle flexion at the catch? Shoulder mobility at the finish? Tight hips/hamstrings at Bodies Over?
Share where you tend to be tight during a row as well as your problem areas for WODs. What are you doing daily to work them out?
Last but definitely not least, the video at the top of the page is something I put together to inspire the families and firefighters still recovering from one of the deadliest blazes in Houston’s history. Tito, Hannah, and I attacked the “Iron Bill” Inspire WOD last Saturday. Who have you inspired lately?
20 Sep / 2013
Fire It Up! Fire It Up!
It is PR Friday and it has been a week of personal bests in the gym! The bell has been ringing so much that it came off the wall.
What a testament to the efficacy of CrossFit in that while we have been emphasizing building work capacity over a traditional strength training cycle many of you continue to improve your strength numbers. Even while attacking strength after met cons you still are increasing your lifts. This has been true even for our intermediate and advanced lifters.
This week was especially difficult week of programming with the WOD’s really challenging both physically and mentally. Which workout did you find the most challenging?
How Are You Refueling After Workouts?
Wednesday was a heavy volume day for my training. I trained on the Airdyne in the morning, completing 20 minutes of :30 second sprint followed by :30 recovery along with a 10 minute warm up and cool down. That evening I completed “Kelly” as part of the programming. Total training time was almost 1.5 hours of hard work. I made sure to slam back a PROGENEX recovery after my workouts so that I would be ready to go the next day.
As an official PROGENEX Affiliate, I can now share a special discount code that enables you to get any PROGENEX products at 10% off the retail price. Simply use the Affiliate Code 02134 during checkout to receive 10% off your order. I chose to partner with PROGENEX because I feel strongly about their products and the results they produce. As always, I am happy to share my experiences with PROGENEX, too, so feel free to ask me!
If you are not sure what flavor you prefer, you can pick up a single serve PROGENEX Recovery in the gym and try it out first.
What’s on Tap
This week we will be focusing on handstand push ups as our skill. Be sure to get in at least three days of practice this week using the EMOM protocol. When you are training extra time during open gym be sure to get in a back squat day and an overhead lift.
Saturday – 9/21
1. AMRAP 17
1 Power Snatch
30 Double Unders
Choose a starting weight and increase by 10 pounds each round if the double unders are completed unbroken. Score both weight and rounds completed.
2. Accumulate 15 minutes of a free handstand hold
Sunday – 9/22
1. Teams of 2 Complete 3 rounds for time
15 Deadlift, 275#/185#
15 Knee to elbows
Using a staggered start, partner 1 begins on the deadlift and partner two begins on the deadlift as partner 1 moves on to the knee to elbows. Partner 2 must follow partner 1 the entire time.
2. Run 2000m relay for time
Each partner must complete 1000m of running while alternating each 500m
Monday – 9/23
135#/95# Back Squat
2. Power Snatch – 6 x 4 reps with ascending weight
3. 10 EMOM Handstand Push-ups
Choose a number you can complete each round
Tuesday – 9/24
1. Front Squat – 3×10 (straight sets)
2. Row 6 x 250m with 1:00 rest
Wednesday – 9/25
1. AMRAP 15
10 Deadlift, 225#/155#
10 AbMat Sit-ups
2. 10 EMOM Handstand Push-ups
If you completed all of your reps on Monday then increase by one rep per round
3. Midline work (your choice)
Thursday – 9/26
Begin each round with a 500m run
155#/125# Front Lunge
2. 2 Position Snatch (high hang + mid hang) – 5 x 3 reps (light to moderate weight)
Friday – 9/27
1. Deadlift – 3×10 (straight sets)
115#/75# Push press, 10 reps
24kg/16kg Swings, 10 reps
24″/20″ Box Jumps, 10 reps
3. EMOM 10 – Handstand Push-ups
If you completed all of your reps on Wednesday then increase by one rep per round
See you in the Box! ~ Neal
18 Sep / 2013
Every day you go to work there is a team of people you work with. Every day you go to the gym there is a team of people holding you accountable and pushing you. Every day you go home there is a team there to support you and love you. Recognize your team. Support them by working as hard as you can every single second of the day and you’ll make them better.
Fall is here. Set a goal, whether it’s a competition or a benchmark, and let’s get after it. Here is a little video of the Renegade Rowing Team.
After 8 weeks of training, they learned to row together and push themselves to a third place finish at the Rumble on the River last Sunday. If you’d like to attack your goals and have an awesome team to help you get there, come check out Renegade Rowing – either Online or in Boston!
18 Sep / 2013
Everyone has heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Here’s why:
Every body needs a certain amount of fuel to perform the most basic functions, like breathing, circulating blood and oxygen through the body, adjusting hormone levels, and growing or repairing cells. The more you ask of your body (as in, the more exercise you do), the more fuel it needs. During sleep, your body performs all of these functions as it repairs and rejuvenates your body. And depending on when you last ate and when you wake up, you can go anywhere from 8-15 hours without eating. This leads to decreased glycogen stores and make your morning workout or routine harder.
Current research, including a review of studies dating back to the 1950’s, shows that eating breakfast is associated with better concentration, memory, and school achievement in children and adolescents compared to skipping breakfast. The brain is fueled primarily by glucose, the simple sugar also used as the body’s most readily available source of energy and found in most complex carbohydrates. Without an adequate supply of glucose, the brain does not function optimally, and skills like memory, alertness, and understanding of new information are negatively affected.
Eating breakfast habitually has been shown to reduce risk of overweight and chronic disease in children, adolescents, and adults. One study found that men who skipped breakfast were 20% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than men who didn’t, and people who ate breakfast had lower rates of heart failure through their lifetimes. In addition, people who eat a nutritious breakfast are more likely to make healthier food choices throughout the day.
Athletes need breakfast to help them maintain a balanced energy intake and fuel the brain and body for a day of training and school or work. Breakfast is especially important if you workout in the mornings, as exercising after over 8 hours of fasting will result in lower energy levels, decreased performance, and poorer concentration. Basically, you won’t be able to go as hard, move as quickly, or focus as well as you would if you had some fuel in your body.
Eating before a morning workout can be challenging, but if you had a recovery snack and good dinner the night before, your glycogen stores will be better off, so even a small amount of food will make a difference. Because you often wake up as late as possible and are short on time, the key is finding something that provides enough energy, is portable, and that you tolerate well. Your daily breakfast should contain carbohydrates, protein, fiber, and fat, but an early morning, pre-workout breakfast should be lower in fiber and fat because these two can cause stomach discomfort if eaten in high amounts right before exercise. Some good options include a banana and a few almonds, apple and deli meat or jerky, dried fruit, a fruit smoothie with protein powder, or a Lara bar. But remember that you can eat anything for breakfast, so don’t feel limited to “breakfast foods”. If you want last night’s leftovers at 7 am, go for it. The best choice for your pre-workout breakfast will depend on how much time you have between eating and training and how well your body tolerates fat and fiber close to exercise.
17 Sep / 2013
I have this conversation every week. (Which means I should probably expand my social circle.) What is the best way to train? Should I focus on my Olympic lifts, hit three metcons everyday, do forty-five second pause front squats once a week?
Its a valid question, we all want to see gains and spend our time as effectively as possible. For me the answer is simple. Do the programming and other than that, do one thing. Pick something, anything you want to improve and do it everyday. Don’t just do it until your “okay” or “good” at it. Practice it, train it, live it until your excellent, until your a master of that element and it will always be part of your capacity.
Anyway, enough of my preaching. I’m off to practice.
Want to hear more about choosing your programming. Check out Yo Eliot below.
16 Sep / 2013
Horizontal Pulling. Hearing this, many of us think of ring rows and correlate this movement as a “bad” thing or a scale for pull-ups. First of all, it is DEFINITELY not a “bad” thing. It is a “tough” thing. It’s an appropriate scale for those of us who cannot hang from a bar for very long or get pull-ups with a band (which many of you know I can’t stand). But even if you are more than capable of hangin’ from a pull-up bar and bangin’ out 20 reps, you should still add in some horizontal pulling to your routine. If ring rows are easy for you to get, try doing strict ring rows with your feet elevated. Show me 20 good reps of that, and I would say you don’t need to add this into your training routine. My favorite way to add in horizontal pulling is by adding in barbell rows or Pendlay rows (both very similar, but still… a little different). If you don’t have pull-ups yet, this movement will definitely get you a more stable shoulder girdle and on your way to getting those elusive pull-ups in no time.
The following is a link to a video explaining some technique for some horizontal pulling movements. Check it out. Add some in to your week. Get stronger! That’s why you came to us!
13 Sep / 2013
Fire It Up! Fire It Up!
This has been an awesome week. I can’t tell you how much fun it is to work with motivated people. You all have been putting in great effort on the workouts and really improving on the skills we are prescribing for practice. You will have an opportunity to put the practice to use tomorrow with “Karen”. I can’t wait to see the results!
We are about to begin the volume training for our strength cycle that I had been written about previously. Not all of the movements will be programmed into classes and it will fall onto you to put in some extra work before or after class to keep pushing forward. The entire month of strength will be posted up by mid week in the gym.
Fire It Up Fridays will be getting juiced up as they will know include a benchmark WOD for testing going forward. Sunday will also be refreshed and will consist of either HERO WODs or TEAM WODS. Be sure to join in on the fun!
What’s On Tap
Saturday – September 14
Complete for time
150 Wallball shots 10′ target, 20#/14#
2a. Strict Pull-ups 4 x 5 AHAP
2b. Strict Handstand push-ups 4×5
Sunday – September 15
Teams of 3 - For time
Run 1 mile
90 Deadlift, 225#/155#
The work can be split up any way the team desires. Only one athlete can be working at a time and the entire volume must be complete before moving on to the next movement.
Monday – September 16
Box Jumps, 24″/20″
Power Snatch, 155#/115#
Overhead Squat, 155#/115#
2. Clean – 5×4 ascending weight
Tuesday – September 17
1. AMRAP 12
10 Thruster, 115#/75#
40 Double Unders
2. Front Squat – work up to a max single for the day
3. 10 minutes of walking on your hands
Wednesday – September 18
30 Box Jumps, 20″
30 Wallball Shots, 20#/14#
2. Accumulate 100 reps of midline assistance & walk on your hands in between sets
Thursday – September 19
1. EMOM 20
2 Clean and Jerk, 185#/125#
2. Push Press – work up to a max single for the day
Friday – September 20
1. CF Open 11.2 – AMRAP 15
9 Deadlifts, 155#/100#
15 Box jumps 24″
2. Accumulate 50′ of handwalking