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07 Sep 2014

Handstand Push-up Practice

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“I can’t do handstand push-ups! How do I get better at pistols? I just can’t figure out Double-Under’s.” 

Alright everyone. We hear you. And we’ve decided to do something about it. Here’s the deal. We are going to be working on some skills that are plaguing our members. Skills are to be worked on before or after class. The daily skill and their progressions will be posted on the whiteboard for the day and then moved to another whiteboard for you to come back to and catch up on skills you chose to work on. (If this doesn’t make sense, it will. It promise.) You should do these skills and their progressions at least once per week, but can do them more if you so choose. Just make sure to give yourself some recovery time if you’re feeling beat-up. 

 

So let’s get right into it. Here is the first section on the Handstand Push-up skill work. Let’s first define to which Training Phase you belong.

There are 4 phases depending on where you stand with the handstand pushup.

Phase 1: Unable to do 1 strict OR kipping HSPU

Phase 2: No strict, but able to do kipping HSPU

Phase 3: 1-5 unbroken strict HSPU

Phase 4: 5+ unbroken strict HSPU

You are not permanently in this phase, rather you will graduate as soon as you are able to achieve the next levels requirements. So now that you know where you fall, lets get to work. Perform these 1-3x/week (preferably on HSPU skill day and every other day). Next week will be new skills to work on or add into your HSPU training. 

Phase 1: 

5 x 5 Handstand Push-Up Negatives @ 30A1; Rest 90 seconds (A= reset)

Phase 2:

5 x 5 Handstand Push-Up Negatives @ 40A1; Rest 90 seconds (A= reset)

Phase 3:

5 x 5 Handstand Push-Up Negatives @ 50A1; Rest 90 seconds (A= reset)

Phase 4:

5 x 5 Handstand Push-Up Negatives @ 60A1; Rest 90 seconds (A= reset)

 

Alright, get to work! 

Can you top Tito?

Can you top Tito?

Coach Pat’s Pistol Program!

That’s right CFB!  It’s September!  One of my favorite months of the year.  Students are back in town and everyone at the gym is looking forward to crushing some goats this fall.  At least I hope you are!

Every Thursday this month I’ll be posting some extra programming for you to do before or after class to improve your pistol.  As the weeks go by you’ll be able to progress through the program based on your ability in the pistol.  Today’s programming is below.  Give it a shot and let me know how it goes.

Set a clock for 20 minutes and work through all letters.  After progressing through all letters, perform a pistol Test.  How many pistols can you do?  If you can do more than one, repeat all letters with more weight and a lower target.  If you still can’t do a pistol, repeat all of the letters at level I.  Continue this process until 20 minutes is up.

Level I

A. Over Head Squat w/ dowel or bar 3×5

B. Good Morning w/ Dowel 3×15

C. Hollow Body 3×10 3″ Hold

D. Seated Pistol on Bench 3×5

Next week I’ll reveal level two, so get after it today and be ready to work for Level 2 next week.

Post how many pistols you get today or where you’re at in regards to your pistol!

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FIRE IT UP! FIRE IT UP!

This is the final week of the 2104 CrossFit Games Open 14.5. What a great workout to finish it off with. Two low skill movements that just require you to have an engine! I love it! I mean I hate it because I am 6’3″ 240 pounds and that is A LOT of mass to move up and down for 84 reps, but hey it is what it is! 

Here is some tips and strategy from Barbell Shrugged:

2014 REEBOK CROSSFIT GAMES REGIONALS

It’s still a little early but our very own Carla B is sitting nicely in 34th for the Northeast Region. She has been busting her butt all year and it is paying off for her. This workout plays to her strengths as she can go and go and go! If you see her in the gym today or over the weekend let her know that you are rooting for her to kill it!

We will be setting up a tent at Regionals for members that wish to head down and cheer. We will keep you posted as the date draws near.

SPRING FLING

This Saturday, tomorrow, beginning at 6pm is our Spring Fling at Daedalus in Harvard Square. The 2014 Transformation Challenge winner will be announced and it will be an opportunity to kick back, celebrate the end of the Open season, and welcome Spring into Boston. Be sure to come on by!

PROGRAMMING

Strength work continues in our programming along with a continued emphasis on strengthening the midline as well. You will notice in this weeks programming there is AB work to be completed on your own outside of the class. Don’t skip it. It is important and it will help you in the WOD and the rest of your training. 

PR Friday is back! Each Friday there will either be a benchmark WOD or we will attempt to PR a lift. Get excited and set your hair on fire!

Saturday – 3/29

1. Run 400m x 5
rest 2:00 between efforts

2. 15-12-9 reps for time
Front squat, 185/125
Push ups

3. Abs – Post class – 3 x 1 minute plank holds with a load on the back

Sunday – 3/30

1. Partner WOD
For time
2000m
10 Handstand push ups
20 Pull ups
40 Squats
60 Double Unders

Both Partners must complete the workout in its entirety. Only one person working at a time and you may alternate in any fashion you wish. Neither partner can move on the next movement until both have completed the preceding movement.

2. Post Class ABS – 20 Ball ups (STRICT)

Monday – 3/31

1. Heaving Snatch Balance – work up to a heavy single, then drop to 90% of that weight and perform 6 more sets at that weight.

2. EMOM 12
5 Burpees
1 Snatch, 165#/115#

3. POST CLASS ABS – 15 STRICT BACK EXTENSIONS (3-1-3) TEMPO

Tuesday – 4/1

1. Shoulder Press – 3 x 3 – work up to a heavy 3 and perform a total of 3 sets at this weight. Do not drop

2. AMRAP 15
Row 30 calories
20 Push Press, 75/55
20 OH swings, 32kg/24kg
20 Box Jumps, 24″/20″

3. POST CLASS ABS – 3X10 GHD SIT UPS

Wednesday – 4/2

1. “FRAN” – TEST DAY
21-15-9 reps for time of
Thruster, 95/65
Pull ups

2a. 100 Hollow Rocks
2b. Dip supports (top & bottom)

Thursday – 4/3

1. Clean – work up to a max double for the day (18 minutes)

2. Handbalancing – 5 minutes to practice walking on your hands

3. 30-20-10 reps for time
Double unders
Knee to elbows

PR Friday – 4/4

1. Back Squat – 4 x 2, work up to a heavy double (attempt a PR if you have it) and then drop down to 90% of that weight and perform 4 sets of 2 reps at that weight.

2. For time
100 Alternating DB Snatch, 60/40
50 Mountain Climbers
25 AbMat sit ups
12 Burpees

RR Snatch Setup

Olympic Lifting and Rowing?

What do you think about using Olympic Lifting in training to be a Rower or using Rowing to be a better Olympic Lifter?  Both require speed and power and incorporate similar movement patterns.  However, in rowing you sit down and are in contact with three surfaces.  In Olympic Lifting you are only in contact with two.  In Olympic lifting the goal is to transfer forces vertically and in rowing the goal is to transfer forces horizontally.  Where do you see the most benefit in training with both?  Are there downfalls?

 

One skill, concept, and idea that I keep coming back to is Connection.  Coaching people in the gym and on the water allows me to see many different movement patterns and levels of ability.  

Athletes that grasp this idea of connection from one joint to another and one external object to another are able to learn faster, create more power, and transfer skills to other movements.  Learning to connect the hips to the hands as you initiate a movement or connect your feet to your hands at the catch, both in rowing and snatching, is invaluable.  Once this skill is perfected the possibilities are endless.

 

Yesterday morning I introduced the snatch to the BC Men’s Crew Team.  While we only worked with PVC pipes to begin with and 45# bars in the workout, the importance of generating speed through the middle of the drive and being turned on at the catch became apparent.  Those that had explosive hip extension from rowing and knew how to create speed on the oar through the middle of the drive in the boat had a lot more success transferring that skill to the barbell.

 

Using the Clean and the Snatch to generate speed on the drive through good connection is a lot of fun.  Rowers become athletes and are empowered to push harder by learning new movements and finding power they never knew they had.  It’s also a lot of fun seeing olympic lifters and other athletes learn to row because it helps them to find more connection and speed in their lifts.

 

Post your thoughts to comments!  Any experience transferring skills from one sport to another?

14 Nov 2013

Suck it up Buttercup!

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I was reading an article online about the quality standards of CrossFit gyms. Luckily, I feel we at CFB fall into most, if not all, categories of what makes a good “box.” Anyway,  I read one portion in particular and it was almost as if I had written the article. Not only is it solid advice, but I think I may have said something like this a few times before. Anyway, here it is. Take it to heart. This doesn’t just apply to pull-ups btw…

 

“Quality of Movement Stressed Over Type of Movement


Do you get annoyed by your coach chattering on about technique? Do you zone them out when they suggest strict pull-ups with a band instead of kipping pull-ups? “By golly I’m not getting a band! I can kip the crap out of 2-3 pull-ups!” Face palm. Suck it up buttercup, no one cares if you need a band. We’ve all been there and the only person you’re holding back is yourself. If you have an annoying coach that chooses kinder words than mine to express the same idea, hug him or her the next time you see them. You are blessed.”

How do you Master Skills?

 

Jodie from 7am challenges the BC Men's Crew Team on Wednesday!

Jodie from 7am challenges the BC Men’s Crew Team on Wednesday!

As Winter starts to set in and you start working toward your goals, be aware of how you recover and master skills.  One goal you’ll probably set for the Winter is to master a new skill, like double unders, hand stand push-ups, or muscle ups.  I want to draw your attention to how you attack these skills and actually master them.

 

To master a skill is to know and have full control over every piece of a skill, both physically and mentally, when your fresh and your fatigued.  Lately we’ve been pushing the intensity in the gym and many people have found themselves sore and out of it for a few days.  One example would be Coach Tito and Carla of CrossFit Boston competing at the Southie Throwdown this past weekend.  They literally were crushed from back to back competition days.  What would you do on the Monday following a weekend like that?  

 

The days following a hard training day are perfect for mastering a new skill through active recovery.  Rather than going back for a second or third hard training day and not performing at full intensity, commit to an active recovery day focused on mastery of the skills you’d like to develop.  Carla did just that on Monday.  

 

Coxswains pushing hard right alongside their rowers!

Rather than join in on the 7am class at CFB, she took 1 hour out of her day to actively recover, instead of sitting around and feeling sore.  She set the erg for 2,000m of work and 10min of rest.  She rowed an easy 2k and then spent 10 minutes working on her goats, handstand push ups, pull ups, and Toes to Bar.  Three sets of this active recovery interval scheme gave her confidence with her skills and prepared her for a hard training day on Tuesday.

 

The erg is a great tool to use as active recovery.  A few hard training days back to back will leave your body depleted and full of metabolic waste.  In order to replenish your energy and clear out the metabolic waste it helps to eat well, move, and keep the blood flowing.  The erg provides a stable platform and is low impact,  perfect for recovery at a sub-maximal effort.  Next time you’re feeling sore or a workout absolutely crushes you, go sit down on the erg and row for 10 minutes.  It doesn’t have to be hard.  Enjoy it!  Row at about 40% effort, just hard enough to breath a little bit.  You should be able to maintain sentences and tell your training partner what you’ll be doing to master your next skill!

 

If you have any fun methods to master skills please share in the comments!

03 Nov 2013

To Rx or Not to Rx

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I was reading this article here.  I find it VERY interesting and I agree with it totally.  I can totally understand and relate to the desire to complete the WOD as Rx’d but is it in your best interests?  What is the cost of doing so?  Tell me your thoughts and experiences?

BC Men's Crew prepping for Head of the Charles

BC Men’s Crew prepping for Head of the Charles

It’s been said that Rowing Is Passion!  Rowing as a sport has been exploding over the last couple of years.  You’ve seen it here in our very own gym.  Do you know any other CrossFit gym that has 16 ergs at its disposal?  I’ve been in touch with many followers of the Renegade Rowing WOD as well as athletes and gym owners who have started their own rowing clubs.  They all have found passion in the hard work, power, and grace that it takes to row.  Have you thought about joining the Renegade Rowing Club?  We will be starting it up again this November and training for CRASH-B’s – The Indoor Rowing World Championships held here in Boston every February.

 

How do you incorporate rowing into your everyday training and what makes you passionate about this amazing sport?

 

Renegade Rowing was lucky enough to be interviewed by Alexa Pozniak of Boston.com for a video and article on why rowing can be such a great fitness tool and how local rowers are training for the Head of the Charles.  Having the opportunity to spread my knowledge and passion for the sport with the athletes of Wayland-Weston Crew, Boston College Men’s Crew, CrossFit Boston, and followers of Renegade Rowing is what I live for.  Seeing all of you improve and find passion in rowing is what it’s all about.  Please checkout and share this video and article with your friends and get in touch with me, [email protected], if you’re interested in the Renegade Rowing Club.

Good Morning CrossFit Boston! 

 

Just wanted to give a shout out to the 6am and 7am classes!  Well done keeping your brace and not letting those backs round out.  A good cue we used this morning that helped people focus on keeping everything locked in was “Push the Floor Away!”  Rather than imagining you’re pulling a bar off the floor, think of it as pushing the Earth down through your heels. Today’s WOD is all about pushing!

 

Last but not least I’d like to call out Elizabeth from the 6am class.  She crushed it today.  In the beginning rounds she was only able to link together 5 unbroken double unders.  In workouts like this you have an opportunity to get lots of quality reps in and commit to learning double unders.  Elizabeth flipped the switch.  Rather than sticking with single, double, single for the whole workout, she committed to linking doubles together.  By the end of the WOD she hit 14 doubles unbroken, a personal record.   Today is your day for double unders.  Commit to linking them and finding them mid-WOD  under fatigue.  Get ‘em!

Have a great day CFB!

 

BC Men WU

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!