Have you ever experienced one of those really rough days at the gym? You know, when you stand up out of the squat rack with you warm up and you swear you loaded the bar wrong because you must already be at your workset weight? Catalyst Athletics released a great blog post about this topic specifically, you’re having a bad day at the gym, what happens now? While the post is geared towards olympic lifting, it can apply to you no matter what activity you’re doing. When you realize you’re having one of those off days, you have several options going forward. You can scale back on weight or intensity, you can give up on that particular activity/skill and maybe spend a little extra time on mobility, or just pack it up and go home. I’m sure there are a variety of other options, but once you realize you’re having an off day, before you decide on your next move, consider the factors that are contributing to your off day. Did you miss out on sleep? Did you skip out on mobility work the day before? Was a particular part of your warm up missing? Did you have an especially draining day at work? Did you miss a meal, or make poor food and drink choices the day before or earlier that day? Are you starting to get sick? Any of those external or internal stresses can contribute to a bad day, and a combination of a couple may make for an especially bad day. Once you’ve considered contributing factors to your bad day, then make a call on how you proceed, or mention it to your coach and they can give you advice going forward.
The blogger from Catalyst, Mike Gray, makes a great analogy which leads to a very important conclusion about bad days and I’ll share it with you below:
“It’s like walking a tightrope: when it’s going well, the rope feels like a sidewalk and you just can’t miss, but at some point that sidewalk shrinks down to the size of a piano wire and it makes staying up there that much more difficult. So you are going to slip and your body is going to remind you that not every day is going to go as planned.”
I love that analogy and it’s so true when you’re making progress, but at some point you will slip up. What’s important to remember is we can’t get hung up on yesterday’s rough day, log it and move on and look forward to a better day tomorrow. When preparing for an olympic weightlifting meet, I’m almost to the point that I look forward to my bad day right before the meet because the next day when it matters, it goes so much better!
Skills Day: Farmer handle carry
The goal board near the athlete journals has been a bit still lately. Has any progress been made? Are you shy about your goals? Did you forget?
In this age of smartphones, computers of every shape and size and automated everything, we really don’t have an excuse to forget to work on our goats. If you like to live in the digital world, check out an app called Balance. It is a tasking app that can be set to remind you to work on your goats, goals or tasks on a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis.
Completing a task will unlock rewards and while it isn’t money, it is satisfying. For instance, want to be able to hold an L-Sit for more than a minute? Set a reminder in Balance to alert you on a certain frequency to practice L sitting. It’s really an app centered around building good habits. If you’re one who is great at procrastinating or need an extra bump of motivation, check this free app out. It’s never a bad thing to build good habits.
Power Clean and Jerk 3×3
5 Snatches (115/75)
7 Toes to Bar
9 Box Jumps
We’ve had quite a few people get their bar muscle ups in the gym lately and we couldn’t be more proud! But there’s a fine line between finessing it and relying on the chicken wing or giant kip (which I’m guilty of). These faults show a lack of adequate strength and will lead to shoulder and elbow injury/overuse. It also doesn’t help you achieve other movements such as the ring muscle up.
1. Slow Negatives: Get to bar support (locked out arms over the bar) by jumping or doing a pullover. Perform a negative to a full lockout hang as slowly as you can, focusing on the transition.
2. Gradually reduce your kip.
3. False grip on parallel bars (if you can find them).
4. False grip on pull up bar: This is really difficult and uncomfortable at first. I would start with some controlled hangs from a low bar.
Check out his video below:
This post focused on cleaning up an existing chicken wing bar muscle up. If you are still working the progression to get your first one, check out Carl Paoli’s videos breaking down the progressions. Al Kavadlo also posted a progression video as well.
Good Mornings 3×5
Bar Facing Burpees
*Pick a deadlift weight that you can do 10 of in a row with proper form. Those with back issues/injuries sub hang power cleans at an appropriate weight.
Recently Marcus’ post “Step Up Your Strongman Game!” highlighted an article from Kalle Beck, a Strongman competitor and creator of the Starting Strongman website and online community. I regularly follow Kalle’s updates on his Starting Strongman Facebook page and enjoy following the increasing popularity of Strongman. Kalle recently wrote an article for Juggernaut Strength entitled “Strongman Training for the CrossFit Athlete” where he touched on the prevalence of Strongman movements in the 2014 CrossFit Games (similar to Marcus’ post), and what he believes are the most beneficial ways for CrossFit athletes to incorporate more Strongman into their overall training program.
The movements he recommends for CrossFit athletes are the Log Clean and Press, Yoke and Farmer Carries, Sled Push/Pull, and Atlas Stones. If you haven’t tried on of our Strongman classes yet, these movements are regularly programmed on a weekly basis and with the help of Coach Marcus you’ll be able to really excel. As Kalle says, there’s no subsitute to training with a good coach and we at Intrepid have worked hard to train and learn from some of the best in the business in Strongman and other disciplines too. We’ve worked hard to set ourselves apart from other gyms by providing not only quality coaching but offer it in a variety of disciplines (weightlifting, powerlifting, rowing, etc). Every service we offer is aimed at helping you become your best, most well-rounded, and healthy self. Sometimes learning to lift heavy, odd shaped objects is excatly what it takes. Contact Marcus or I with any questions regarding Strongman Classes, Strongman Personal Training, or Strongman Remote Training.
Please congratulate the newest additions to the Intrepid Family:
Al and Michelle Viquez welcomed Mateo to the world. Mateo is the 4th boy in the Viquez family! Congratulations guys.
Front Squat 1RM
A.) 4 Round for Time:
25 Wallball Shots
B.) 5 Round for Time:
15 Wallball Shots
I refrained from labeling this “Paleo” because some people really get it twisted and think if they use (semi-) Paleo ingredients, any junk food is then somehow healthy. It’s not. If you eat desserts regularly, even when they’re Paleo, you are much more likely to gain body fat.
That said, there is nothing wrong with the occasional treat when you have everything dialed in. Note: occasional does not mean several nights a week! If you’ve found that certain items you eliminated during the Whole30 do not agree with you, it is probably in your best interest to still avoid them — even in cheat meals. This is where the proper application of a “Paleo” dessert would be called for.
Personally, I can’t handle gluten very well and I get some reaction from dairy. This recipe gave me the chance to enjoy a banana cream pie minus either of those and with much fewer ingredients than the average store-bought variety! For the mashed bananas, you want them very overripe — the peels should be almost black. You also need a high-powered blender to properly mix the filling.
Over the last week or so I have heard about a few upcoming events that will be taking place locally in the South Bay. One of these events will be a little farther down in San Diego.
The event that is around the corner on November 9th is the Battleship WOD. It is a Veterans Day Benefit Workout that will actually be taking place on the Battleship IOWA. It is only $40 to register and is down in San Pedro. The WOD will only require one piece of equipment which will be a kettlebell. Below is the WOD:
With a Kettlebell Complete
The weights to be used for the Advanced Division are 70lbs/53lbs. If you are looking to do the workout in the Intermediate Division then the weights will be 53lbs/35lbs. There is also a Fun Division for those just looking to get a good WOD in and you can choose any weight. The event will be capped at 100 athletes so if this sparks your interest I would suggest registering ASAP. The WOD will begin at 9am.
In the month of December there are two Crossfit competitions that will be taking place the same day which is December 6th. Our friends at Code 3 are putting on a Triple Threat event. This will be a team competition and the teams will consist of 3 men or 3 women. From the registration site, which can be found using the same link as the Battleship WOD, there is only an Advanced and Intermediate division. Details of the WODs haven’t been released yet, but you can always check out the site to look for updates. The start time will be 8am and will be $180 per team. I think this is will be a very fun event. I know we have a handful of Intrepids that have verbally committed to this event. Get a team together and sign up now!
About 90 minutes away in San Diego the 2014 Reindeer Games will be taking place. Crossfit East County will be the box that is holding this competition. It is a two person event with the teams being either 2 males or 2 females. While I was reading the description of this event I really liked that they included a Beginner Division along with the Advanced and Intermediate Divisions. This particular event is $85 per team. The Reindeer Games make for a longer day with a 7am start time and a 6pm finish time. Registration will be open on October 20th which is this Monday. No workouts have been released just yet, but the movements for all three levels are available and can be found below.
Beginner Division (Only Female movements have been posted)
Even though this is 90 minute trip away I really like the movements for each division. Hopefully we can get at least one team to represent the gym:)
In exactly 2 weeks from today, we’ll be celebrating my favorite holiday, HALLOWEEN! In years past, you have all shown incredible creativity and straight up hilarity (just look at the “cholos” in the above photo!). We’d love it if you would do the same and dress up in costume this year. Please take into consideration that you will be WOD’ing in your costume. We don’t want you to pass out in your full on sock monkey suit! And in Intrepid tradition, we will award a prize for the Best Costume amongst all classes. Please don’t be a party pooper or you will face a stiff burpee/bear crawl penalty enforced by every coach! Looking forward to seeing all of the costumes!
To get an idea of past Intrepid Halloweens, check out the photos on Facebook.
Then 4 rounds 30sec on/30sec off of the following 4 stations:
This past Sunday, Kathy and I went up to coach Bob Takano’s facility for a 2 hour Olympic weightlifting clinic. His facility was impressive with 10 platforms and one competition sized platform, jerk blocks, and high quality weights and bars. This clinic covered “the bottom position” and it was the first in a series of 12 clinics. The clinic was done in two parts, first we would cover a drill in a lecture type setting, then we would perform the drill. During the lecture setting he would describe the drill, talk about its purpose and pitfalls, and also show a video of someone proficient at the movement. We would then go to our bars and perform the drills with no weight or very light weight. Fortunately there were only 5 of us at the clinic, so we got a lot of individual attention. Once we had gone over all of the movements, there was about 1/2 an hour left in the seminar, so he allowed us to perform some snatches and clean and jerks, focusing on the bottom position. There were multiple coaches around so we ended up getting a ton of pointers.
During the clinic I learned a couple of new drills I had never seen before, but most of it wasn’t new to me. However, coach Takano presented the information in a way I hadn’t heard before. That’s the great part about working with different coaches, one of them might present the same information to you in a different way, but one way of describing a movement may resonate better with you. That being said, if any of you are interested in olympic weightlifting, I encourage you to attend at least one of his upcoming clinics. There will be one clinic every month (except December) and it will be for 2 hours on a Sunday. The Takano Athletics facility is in Woodland Hills, so it’s not too far away. The next clinic is titled “movement patterns” and will be at 9a on Nov 9th.
If you’re interested in reading more about coach Takano, you can visit his website here, and also use that same website to sign up for the next clinic. For a summary of what Kathy and I learned during the bottom position clinic, read coach Takano’s post here. We hope to see more of you there with us next time!
Skill: sledgehammer strikes
The human body never ceases to amaze me. Some of the smallest point of our body can affect the biggest movers and vice versa. You see people rolling out their glutes and hips all the time but how often do you see people working on their ankles.
We are on our feet all day, our major flexion point is the ankle. Ankles need love too. Our ankles can dictate the quality and depth of our squats by affecting which muscle groups we recruit. And yes, sometimes our hips and hamstrings can be impinged but our ankles are players too. Another cause of tight ankles can be old sprains or breaks that never quite healed properly.
Sometimes, lifting shoes or plates can help you along on your journey to greater squat depth but that almost skirts around the real issue that needs to be addressed. As with any impacted range of motion in other areas of the body, tight ankles can set you up for injury as your body tries to find ways to compensate inefficiently. Below is a video suggestion of how to work with these hard workers. Make your ankles happy by showing them the same love you do to any other part of your body that you stretch and roll.
Back Squat 3×5
30 Double Unders
15 Snatches (75/55)
Yesterday I arrived in Portland and offloaded all of our household goods at our new house. Today, I’ll drop off all the gym equipment and pick up Ruth and Cade from PDX. Besides listening to NFL games and the occasional Pandora song that would come on when I’d get network coverage, I had plenty of time with my thoughts during my day and a half of driving. I would wonder what Ruth and Cade were up to, and then I’d shake my head in disbelief because I couldn’t believe how fortunate we are to be surrounded by such an amazing community at Intrepid.
Ruth and I really can’t say thank you enough. Thank you for being amazing people who made our work so fulfilling. Thank you for being our friends and family helping us start our family and letting us live upstairs so we could make ends meet. Thank you for the amazing chili and the help packing up the moving truck this past weekend. I could go on and on but in the end we’re just thankful for all the incredible times we shared.
Keep up the good work in El Segundo, and by Nov 1st Intrepid Athletics PDX should be up and running here in Portland. We look forward to keeping tabs over social media and can’t wait to have visitors here in Portland. In case you’re wondering, a current membership is good at all Intrepid Athletics locations