Specialization in sports is a topic I’ve been very familiar with since working at Velocity Sports Performance. These days it’s very common to see 12 year old kids (or younger) that train and compete year-round for just one sport. Many parents are convinced that this is the only way for their kid to truly excel at their sport, make the varsity squad, and land a college scholarship, preferably Division 1. However, aside from the physical beating these kids’ bodies take from doing the same sport year round, many of them become mentally burned out on the sport entirely by their high school years.
The same is true for adults. While most adults are no longer involved in competitive sports, many of them still enjoy exercise on a daily basis. While running is a sport that is totally free, and accessible to just about everyone, those that specialize by only running, and don’t include anything else in their exercise regimen, are at huge risks for developing some pretty nasty overuse injuries in the feet, knees, and hips. While CrossFit is great because it’s a constantly varied combination of strength training, olympic lifting, cardiovascular training, and plyometrics, it’s still good to get outside of the gym and simply enjoy life. Go for swim, trail run, bike, surf, yoga …. whatever! Aside from giving your body a break from what we do at the gym, it’s also really nice to enjoy exercise without the pressure of the clock and the whiteboard.
Going back to kids, and specialization of youth sports, this excerpt from a recent article in the SF Gate sums it up great!
“I see sports as an opportunity to help my son become a healthier, better-adjusted citizen in the world,” Walsh said. “He has a .0001 percent chance of getting a football scholarship. There’s a lot more academic money out there than athletic money.”
What should parents have their kids do? Walsh has an idea that might sound strange coming from a very successful football coach:
“Let a kid be a kid. Let him climb a tree or sit out in the backyard and talk.”
I highly recommend this article, especially to any parents that have kids in sports. Read full article here. (thanks to Dr. Rob for the heads up on this article!)
Through trial and error, most people who play sports or avidly train year-round understand the importance of a rest period. However, many addicted exercisers find themselves NEEDING to be at the gym as much as possible. But hey, there’s no fault in that. You’re doing it to stay healthy. You’re getting stronger. You’ve discovered something new, fun, and exciting, and you’re driven. Driven to see gains on the regular. However, when we start to see our physical gains diminish, the natural instinct is to train more. When going overboard, this can lead to overtraining in which our work we put in actually makes our performance suffer. Enter, the rest period.
When I say rest period, I don’t mean a specific time. I don’t mean avoid the gym with anguish or remorse, nor do I mean being a couch potato and neglecting your health or exercise. This is a period, however long you need, to let your body and mind to recover from the physical and mental work you put on it day in day out. Most people forget that most of the physical and mental gains COME FROM REST PERIODS. You do not need to be an Exercise Physiologist to understand this simple process. Physically, in a training session, your muscles tear, hormones secrete, heart pumps and bones are stressed. But during REST, is when muscles rebuild, hormones are activated, and the heart and bones are stronger and ready for the next session. Sometimes the body needs more than just one or two days a week of rest if you are grinding every week of the year (like most Crossfitters do). Sometimes a nasty training month for a competition yields a week to recover physically.
Mentally, taking rest periods does two important things. For one, it relieves you of the unintended pressure you put on yourself of whatever fitness or competitive goal you have (i.e. doing anything to get first in a comp, working off the food you ate last night, and quite popular, needing to PR or NEEDING to workout or you will lose everything!). Secondly, it gives you time to refocus and re-evaluate your purpose. This little reflection can help remind you why you are training and allows you to step back and appreciate the progress you’ve made. When all you do is grind, you may loose sight of these. When you do recover mentally, you get a little boost of energy and usually you come back to training with a new excitement and eagerness to not only get better, but having fun with it.
If you’ve been aching physically or have been on the emotional roller coster with your training, I challenge you to try a rest week. What you do with it is up to you. It needs to be fun, and it can’t be something where you are going to be pouting in sadness until you can start doing the amazing burpees again. My favorites are getting completely away from my routine, playing another sport, hike, travel. If you can’t get away from the gym setting, check out this example from CrossFit Invictus of a pretty sweet recovery day WOD.
50 Wall Balls
*Accumulate 1600m of running and (3) rope climbs before finishing
*Divide up ONLY the run and rope climbs
A.) Push Press
7 Bar Muscle Ups
14 Overhead Squats 95/65 115/85
I found this article on the CFO facebook page. I thought it showed a great representation and perpective of how some of the popular health myths about cardiovascular disease came to be. If you attended the SMC Colloquium, this topic was brought up several times.
Check it out here.
5 Deadlifts 275/155 (315/185)
Immediately followed by:
50 Air Squats
30 Overhead Walking Lunges 45/25
10 Burpee Pullups (ADV: Bar Muscle Ups)
The Kinesiology Department at Saint Mary’s College is hosting an awesome colloquium this year. This four-day series of presentations explores how our wellness habits have ‘over-evolved’ into into making us sick and how ‘dE-Volving’ will help reverse this trend. Topics to be discussed include:
* Myths about nutrition and fat loss
* How advancements in technology are adding dangerous toxins to our food, environment, and personal care products
* How to restore optimal hormonal balance through lifestyle modification
* Differences in Western versus Eastern stress management techniques
* How the fitness industry has strayed away from real-world functional movements
CrossFit folks will especially like this is line-up. Our buddy Nathan Brammeier will be speaking about how to maintain optimal hormonal balance, C.J. Martin out of CrossFit Invictus will be talking about Functional Training, and Sean Croxton, author of the book “Dark Side of Fat Loss” will be headlining. (You’ve probably seen the book in and around the Sweat Shop.)
The event is FREE!
Date: June 10th~13th, 2013
Time: 4pm – 7pm (-8pm on Mon)
Location: June 10th & 12th in Hagerty Lounge
June 11th & 13th in Galileo Room 201
Check out more event and speaker details here.
50 Double Unders (ADV:100)
25 HSPU (ADV: 50)
25 Toes to Bar (ADV:40)
25 Shoulder to overhead (135/95) (ADV:30 @150)
25 Walking Lunge Steps in place
This has been a topic of a previous post, however, it is something that can never be over-emphasized. In order to be more efficient in all your movements as well as maintaining healthy joints, you MUST have flawless Midline Stability. Echoing our “suck your belly in” and “squeeze your butt” yells, here’s a great post from CrossFit South Bay on the importance of having good midline stabilization.
From the post:
There’s a lot of talk about midline stabilization in CrossFit. I have a few old posts on it here andhere, so I don’t want to go into too much of WHY it’s important. I want to focus more on HOW to work on improving your midline stabilization. You were drilled the importance of it in On-Ramp. The coaches sound like broken records, constantly telling you to keep a good back position with your abs tight. And there’s a good reason for all of this! A stabile midline allows us to have a strong base to move our legs and arms, as well as protecting all of the important structures such as the spinal cord, spine, organs, etc. Yes we need mobility of the spine, but we need the balance between mobility and stability (broken record again).
So back to the HOW to improve your midline stabilization. The first step is learning to activate it. Kelly has an excellent midline stabilization series of videos here. If you don’t have a lot of time, focus on Part 1 and Part 3. These videos will help explain the anatomy behind the “core” and hold to find what a lot of people call “neutral spine.”
- Don’t overextend your lumbar spine (low back)
- Pull your belly button in towards your spine.
- Pull up on sphincter (like you’re stopping your pee midstream)
- Try not to over analyze a good back position. Everyone’s back looks different, with different size curves. If you’re having trouble staying out of an overextended position, stretch your hip flexors!! (mainly your psoas)
- Cody has some more tips here if you’re struggling to find a good position.
- Once you have a good position, practice being able breathe into your belly while maintaining this tight midline position.
A.) 2 Hang squat snatches on the minute for 12 minutes
50 Double Unders (Adv: 100)
20 Wall Balls 20/14
50 Double Unders
20 Ring Dips
50 Double Unders
20 Wall Balls
Mike Tyson: fighter, lover, poet, lyrical genius, dreamer.
Playing Big.What does that mean? Playing big is a choice. You can choose to limit yourself or you can choose to believe that the audacious is possible. Do you play big in all aspects of life? Work, health, goals, family…etc. When are you telling yourself “I can’t”? When are you settling? When are you saying “I would like to” or “someday”? Wouldn’t it be amazing if rather than playing yourself small, you choose to play big? I say play BIG.
I’m a dreamer. I have to dream and reach for the stars, and if I miss a star then I grab a handful of clouds.
On a totally related note: Mobility Tomorrow at 4:30! The ball and socket joint such as the hip and shoulder are fully mobile under the control of muscles, ligaments, and tendons. When we are mobile, the ball and socket joint provides swinging and rotating movements. However, when we are tight within our muscles surrounding our joint, we are likely to experience limited range of motion and discomfort. Play BIG!
10 Overhead Squats 135/95 (ADV:155/105)
10 Box Jump Overs
10 Thrusters 135/95 (ADV:155/105)
10 Power Cleans 155/95 (ADV:205/125)
10 Toes to Bar
10 Burpee Pullups (ADV: Burpee muscle Ups)
10 Toes to bar
10 Power Cleans
10 Box Jump Overs
10 Overhead Squats
Max Burpees or Pullups in 1 minutes
Saturday morning CFO heat schedule here.
Along with a legit photo from Tom C., he also writes a great post on a commonly voiced concern- the knees should not be allowed to travel in from of the toes while squatting.
From the post:
People often suggest that squatting is bad for the knees. I am not, however, going to address that assertion in much detail this evening. Suffice to say that I disagree and I would sincerely enjoy hearing an explanation for how a properly executed, full depth squat is dangerous to knee health. Said explanation should involve a thorough treatment of knee anatomy and a look at the forces encountered by the knee during a squat. Enough about that.
Instead, we’ll take a brief look at where the knee should end up during the squat, particularly with respect to the toes. When I talk about knee position, think about a plumb bob (I like that word) tied to a string hanging off the front of the knee. The position of that plumb bob above the ground is that in which we are interested.
Let’s address a commonly voiced concern – the knees should not be allowed to travel in front of the toes while squatting. Due to varying segment lengths among trainees, the position of the knee will not be the same for everyone. However, for a large majority of lifters, the knee can and probably should travel in front of the toes by the time they are about half way down in the squat. The biggest reason for this is balance. Try this for yourself – squat with as vertical a shin angle as you can. Not very easy is it? You have to lean pretty far forward to counteract the vertical shin, if you can even maintain such a configuration. Allowing the knees to come forward in front of the toes allows a trainee to keep their center of mass, which closely approximates the barbell at heavy weights, over the middle of the foot, which is also the point of balance for human beings.
Read full post here.
A.) Back Squat
C.) 12 Minute AMRAP
6 Handstand Push Ups
9 Kettlebell Swings
12 Front Rack Walking Lunges
AMRAP in 6 minutes:
9 Thruster 95/65
-REST 2 MINUTES-
AMRAP in 8 minutes:
8 Toes to bar
12 Power Cleans 95/65 (ADV: 115/75)
Thursday evening 13.4 heat schedule here.
When coaching olympic lifts, we get the common question, “where should the bar hit my hips?”, or “I don’t feel it hitting my hips, am I doing it wrong?” Although striking the bar in the “sweet spot” is a common point of reference for good extension, how you get there may be different.
Here, Greg Everett from Catalyst athletics talks about the differences between the pound and drag of the bar at full extension.
When it comes to the barbell’s contact with the body during the extension of the snatch and clean, it seems the issue has been divided into two camps, which in my opinion are not accurately representative of what’s happening, but exist nonetheless: brush and bang.
Each camp has characterized the other, and I think this is where much of the disagreement comes from: neither has characterized the other accurately. The bang crowd believes the brush crowd encourages lifters to drag the bar up the body as they extend perfectly vertically with excessive ankle extension and a big shrug and hesitation at the top; the brush crowd believes the bang crowd encourages lifters to allow the bar to stay away from the body too far so the hips can be slammed into it and kick the bar forward. In cases in which either is actually being done as described, I believe it’s the result of misinterpretation or misunderstanding.
Read full article here.
5 Deadlifts 275/155 (ADV: 315/185)
50 Air Squats
30 Overhead Walking Lunge 45/25
10 Burpee pullups (ADV: Bar Muscle Up)
Heat Schedule for Friday & Saturday here.
From Starting Strength on performing good squats:
Many of us have preached this quote to others, advocating the squat as the fundamental exercise for developing real, full body, functional strength. However, because fear of a thing will always rule the popular opinion, we are continuously wading through poorly reasoned claims that squatting is dangerous, unnecessary, or better if only performed halfway. Unqualified summary assessments like “squats are bad for your knees” are particularly frustrating, because they are thrown around without reference to a standard or model and, consequently, with no analysis of what happens within the body during a “correctly performed full squat.”
Any analysis of a movement or exercise—and any conclusion that it is good, bad, or otherwise—must have as its basis a well-defined, standardized model. The model defines the movement as correct. Potential deviations from the model are not valid bases for analyzing the model itself, because such deviations are, by definition, incorrect. For example, if we argue that the squat is both safe and beneficial for one’s knees, neither an incorrectly performed squat nor variations of the movement may provide a suitable basis for a counter argument or concluding otherwise. As Rip wrote, discussing the press, “you don’t get to redefine the exercise and then claim that it’s dangerous.”
Read more here.
20 Front Squats 135/95
20 Toes to bar
Dr. Kelly Starrett on the benefits of flossing.
Mobility Class Times
Monday @ 6:30
Wednesday @ 4:30
We will be covering flossing using resistance and voodoo bands in our upcoming classes.
A.) 12 C2B Pullups (ADV 10 Muscle Ups)
then 4 Rounds of:
12 Push Press 115/75 (ADV. 135/95)
15 Box Jump
2 Rope Climb
12 C2B Pullups (ADV 10 Muscle Ups)
B.) 2 Sets 10-12 Reps Good Mornings with barbell
The students in my Weight Training class had their final exam today. I was quite impressed at how well they did, considering the fact that, in this specific section, about 90% of them are not Kinesiology majors and most likely have no desire to be a trainer or continue to do heavy weight lifting once they leave my class. When correcting these, I thought, “hmm, I wonder how well our members would do on this test”. My knee-jerk reaction: “too easy” (thought in a Patrick Face). Later, I was met with a little hesitation as I remember how much I reiterate cues from this exam to you guys all the time. I thought I’d give you guys a shot to see how well you would do. Any brave takers? Post answers to comments. The member with the best score gets to choose a workout of choice for next week!
KINES 08-01 Weight Training
1.) Briefly go through a properly executed back squat. (Explain the set up, downward, and upward movements).
2.) T/F____ The knees should be pushed inwards during the squat.
3.) T/F____ Breathing during a heavy Back Squat is advised.
4.) Describe the optimal starting position of the traditional deadlift.
5.) Which should rise first in the deadlift: the chest, the hips, or both at the same time?
6.) T/F____”Looking up” during the deadlift is NOT advised.
7.) What are some common cues you would give to someone before they push the weight overhead in a Strict Press?
8.) What benefits do barbell lifts yield that machines do not in terms of strength training?
A.) 2 Clean and Jerks on the minute for 12 minutes
B.) As many rounds as possible in 10 minutes:
10 KB Swings 53/35
Ever since I started getting really into the power and olympic lifts, I am constantly reminded that no joint is more important than the other in terms of improving full body mobility. The frustrating part is that once you put forth all the focus on one area, (let’s just say the hip), the lack of attention on another area may cause some problems down the road. My most neglected area are my wrists. Considering all the pounding it takes from heavy overhead lifts like the snatch, press, and jerk, combined with other wrist intensive gymnastics movements, mobility in the wrist is a must. Although there is not enough time in the day to do mobility exercise for every joint, here’s a video from Kelly Starret that shows some wrist mobility exercises that you can do to prevent or treat any problems you run into.
“Halloween Buddy Chipper”
In 2 person teams with only one person working at a time:
403 m Run
20 Squat Snatches 135/95
20 Clean & Jerks 135/95
70 Barbell Lunges 135/95
200 Double Unders
70 Wall Balls 20/14
200 m Partner Carry
At the Sweat Shop, we can’t stress enough the importance of a good warm-up and mobility. For those of you who show up early and use the equipment correctly, keep it up. For those who may have forgotten the purpose of some of these items, refresh the brain and check out the instructions below.
GOOD FOR: Increasing full body mobility, improving posture, balance, and is ideal in which lack of mobility requires you to practicing movements with really light weight. Some examples: Shoulder Dislocates, Good Mornings, Overhead Squats, Snatch Balance.
Wooden Dowels ARE NOT meant for…..
GOOD FOR: Myofascial Release (AKA: Poor man’s deep tissue massage). Foam rollers provide a great service to all Sweat Shoppers alike! Because CrossFitters live through soreness throughout the brutal week of workouts, the foam roller can be used to loosen up knots and adhesions created from such workouts. The tightness that occurs in the fascia and muscles cannot be loosened through stretching alone, which is why foam rolling is necessary. Good places to foam roll: The Iliotibial (IT) band, Quads, Lats, Hamstrings, and Calves.
Foam Rollers ARE NOT meant for…..
GOOD FOR: Nastier Myofascial Release. Similar to the foam roller, the LAX ball can also break up knots and adhesions when you are sore or tight. However, the LAX ball is like a meaner, hairier, and more aggressive massage therapist. The because the LAX ball is smaller, you can get a more specific and therefore more instense release in areas that are tight. Best places for the LAX ball: Scapulothoracic Musculature, Anterior Deltoids/Chest, Glutes and TFL, Upper Hamstrings, Calves.
LAX Balls ARE NOT meant for…..
GOOD FOR: Increasing full body mobility and flexibility. The bands are great for stretching when you do not have a friend to help you out. You can easily put the band on a stable surface and stretch pretty much any big muscle group (with a little bit of body shifting). The hidden gem of the resistive bands is that you get an added bonus of a thing called “Joint Distraction”. Although stretching the tendons and muscles are important, it is just as crucial to give the acutual joint some movement. Some examples: All joints, whether its a ball and socket joint like the shoulder, a gliding joint like the ankle, a pivot joint like the elbow, or saddle joint like the wrist all can be done with the band.
Resistive Bands ARE NOT meant for…..
Take your warm-up and mobility seriously, and more importantly use the equipment in it’s rightful manner. The most interesting man in the world once said, “I don’t always do mobility, but when I do, I do so correctly”.
A.) Push Press
B.) 3 Sets of Max Reps Strict Pullups
403 m Run
30 Kettlebell Swings 53/35
3 Rope Climbs
20 Kettlebell Swings 53/35
2 Rope Climbs
1 Rope Climb
A.) 2 Squat Clean and Jerks on the minute for 15 minutes
As many rounds as possible in 6 minutes
12 Wall Balls
9 Toes to bar
C.) Max reps strict pullups or muscle ups in 90 seconds.
Last week I posted a video entitled People, We’ve Got to Stop Icing. We Were Wrong, Sooo Wrong. suggesting that the use of ice to combat pain and inflammation after an injury would best be avoided. However, Jonathan Sullivan, MD, an emergency room physician who also wrote Barbell Training is Big Medicine took issue with some of Starrett’s points and brought up an interesting argument which gives caution to saying “We were so wrong” on an issue regarding medicine. It is important to remember that before taking a side on a specific issue, it is best to hear another side by an informed professional. The article is pretty “sciency” but I’ve included the basic points that he touches upon. Go forth and decide yourself.
From the article:
Inflammation is the body’s natural-and therefore correct-response to injury. Your body knows what it’s doing, and interfering with the inflammatory response is therefore ill-considered.
This is the easiest argument to dispense with, because it’s just silly-not to mention selectively applied. For example, in the video it is made clear that ice and NSAIDs are bad because they interfere with inflammation, but compression, which suppresses post-inflammatory edema, is not. In any event, this argument proceeds from the assumption that pristine natural processes are always optimal to the realization of human ends, which is clearly not the case; and that the human body is a “perfect machine,” which is just so much bullshit.
Here’s a reality check: Mother Nature doesn’t give a rat’s ass about your program, your WOD time, your 1RM bench press, or even your survival as an individual. She designed you to make new primate gene replicators, and then croak. Let’s not even talk about the design of the low back, the exquisite suicidal sensitivity of neural and cardiac tissue to brief ischemia, or the deplorable shortcomings of cartilage. Inflammation is not an ideal adaptation just because it’s the “natural” response to insult. Pain, scarring, functional impairment, tissue loss and cancer are also natural responses to insult-and all can result from inflammation. On the logic of the AAI (Anti-anti-inflamation) crowd, analgesia, wound repair by primary intention, tissue debridement, abscess drainage and tissue salvage are also bad ideas. If that’s what you really think, it’s unlikely we’re going to have a meeting of the minds. God help you if you ever get anaphylaxis or appendicitis.
Rene’s Dirty DT
12 deadlifts 135/95 (ADV:155/105)
8 hang power cleans 135/95 (ADV:155/105)
4 push press 135/95 (ADV:155/105)
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