Low back tweaks have have plagued many of us and often strike when we least suspect. Recently several folks have complained about low-back issues that have them sidelined or modifying their workouts. The most common back injuries we encounter stem from pelvic misalignment often resulting in tight or spasming muscles. Dr. Kelly Starrett owner of CF San Francisco and MobilityWOD.com put together a 10-minute video of how he approaches recovery from a low-back tweak. Start with techniques to re-align your pelvis, follow it up with techniques to calm the nervous system and muscles that are spasming and overly tight, and follow it up with light movement like walking as the spasms settle. What’s great about Starrett’s approach and methods are that all can be done on yourself with easily accessible objects. Check out Starrett’s video below to take care of any low back tweaks you might be dealing with or keep K-Star’s video in mind if you find yourself down with a low back injury.
On the Minute for 24 Minutes:
7 Handstand Push-ups (sub dips)
3 Squat Cleans (225/148)
Those of you who have participated in any competition know the rush of adrenaline that courses through your body as you hear the word go, the crack of the pistol, or the buzzer. If the stars align, you are elevated to a higher level of consciousness and you perform better than you ever have in training. You walk (or crawl) away exhausted, but mentally rejuvenated by your success and excited to train harder for the next challenge.
The important thing is to recognize the difference between your training mode and your testing (or competition) mode. Each serves a purpose and has a different goal. If you approach your training like you do a competition, you will never recover enough to allow your body to adapt to the stress you place on it. Don’t let soreness or “beat-upness” be an indicator of a successful training session. Here are some of the differences between the two:
-Work as hard as you can while being able to recover before your next training session.
-Consistent schedule, but mindful of potential overtraining (knowing when to rest a muscle/joint) to avoid injury.
-Recovery and nutrition is a daily component to aid in recovery and gains.
-Get to know yourself as an athlete. Where are your mental/physical limits?
-Push the envelop intelligently.
-Listen to your coach and not your ego (this is hard for everyone, including coaches).
-A quantifiable result of successful training.
-100% effort relative to the event.
-Use the adrenaline to set a new personal record (PR) and use the confidence of the new PR in your next training session (example: you push past the nausea during your last Helen 400m run and discover that you don’t puke but find your second wind. You can recognize that level of discomfort in a workout later and know you can push past it)
-Look at results as a way to identify weaknesses and re-evaluate your training plan.
Most days in the gym we should be in training mode. Every now and then we’ll have benchmark tests for strength (1 Rep Max), agility (max height box jump), or workouts (Helen). On those days, you should treat it like a test and go as hard as you can. Otherwise, train hard, recover, and repeat.
B. Deadlift 3×8
Chest to Bar Pull Ups
Burpees (jump to target 6″ from reach)
20 Double Unders
With the 2015 Nutritional Challenge underway I thought it would be a good idea to repost from last year’s challenge. Although the post was geared toward Whole30, I think it is a good way to keep motivated during this challenge.
It has almost been two weeks since the start of the Nutritional Challenge and for some of you it hasn’t been the easiest transition. I’ve heard of folks that have been experiencing headaches or overall tiredness. Cravings for certain foods have probably been the biggest “side effect” of converting to clean eating. The good news is that the first couple of weeks are supposed to be difficult and very soon our eating habits will become second nature. Below you will find 5 reasons to Whole30, but these are not my own reasons I have made up. They are part of 30 Reasons to Whole30 by Melissa Joulwan, author of Well Fed (one of Amanda’s favorites), and you may find some of these reasons as helpful or inspiring to keep pushing through this challenge. The 5 that I picked are my favorite and also what I feel the most.
Your workouts will feel invigorating. Workouts fueled by real food are the bomb. That is all. I tend to have a little more pep during lifts and WODs.
You’ll enjoy consistent energy. Forget energy that peaks and drops like a rollercoaster, you’ll become a bullet train. No more getting tired at work at 3pm. I’m ready and alert all day.
You’ll find new favorite foods. Who knows which vegetables, spices, and meat preparations will become your favorites?! It’s exciting to think about, no? There’s so much room in your kitchen and on your plate for new stuff when you banish the grains, beans, and dairy. Ancho Chili Bacon, anyone?
You might lose weight — or gain muscle. Or both. If losing body fat is your goal, a Whole30 can be a great way to start that process. Just don’t cheat yourself out of a lot of joy if you make that your only focus. At the end of the challenge you’ll find out where you are.
You’ll sleep longer and more soundly. When sugar is out and protein/fat is in, you sleep the sleep of the righteous. Sleep has always been tough for me. I usually get around 5-6 hours a night, but when I’m on the Whole30 that easily changes to 7-8 hours. I toss and turn less throughout the night as well.
Be sure to click on the link and see what reasons you have noticed so far, if any. Or if there is something else you would like to add, go ahead and post to comments if you want to share. Keep up the great work everyone!
Fight Gone Bad-ish
3 Rounds of 1 Minute Stations
The 2015 CrossFit Open has officially begun. This is the first step in the quest to crown 2015’s fittest athletes and teams at this summer’s CrossFit Games. The 2015 season began with 3-time champion, Rich Froning, going head-to-head with last year’s runner-up, Mat Frasier at the official workout announcement. This year’s first workout is a two-part event. The first part is a 9-minute AMRAP. The second part allows competitors 6 minutes to find a 1-RM Clean and Jerk.
Today, we will be completing 15.1 and 15.1a in our classes. There are scaled versions allowed for the movements and weights with hanging knee raises in place of toes-to-bar, deadlifts reduced to 85/55 and ground-to-overhead in place of snatches.
You can review the workout standards below for a more in-depth explanation of 15.1 and 15.1a. Have fun and let the Games begin!
Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 9 minutes of:
10 deadlifts (115 / 75 lb.)
5 snatches (115 / 75 lb.)
1-rep-max clean and jerk
6-minute time cap
With the first week of the nutrition challenge underway, you may be doing more meal planning than you’ve done previously. Burgers made from grass-fed ground beef are certainly a mainstay in Nick and my meal plan, but sometimes you just run out of variety trying to change up the toppings to go with your burger. So for dinner last night, Nick tried out a meatloaf-inspired burger, and let me tell you, it was a delicious success. The burgers had so much flavor and were extra tender. The recipe is super simple, it requires just three ingredients and some spices:
– 1 lb Ground beef
– Almond flour
– 1 Egg
– Spices (salt, paprika, oregano and garlic powder)
He put all of the ingredients in a bowl and mixed them by hand. You can use 1/2 cup to 1 cup of almond flour depending on the consistency you like, and then add the spices for added flavor. Once everything was mixed he made them into burger patties (we ended up with 3 good sized patties). Then he seared both sides of the patty in a cast iron skillet on the stove, and stuck them in the oven on broil until they were cooked through. We pared it with a sweet potato hash to make a delicious meal that we wolfed down in no time. Finally burger night was not so ordinary. This will definitely become a new mainstay in our weekly meal plan.
CrossFit Open WOD 15.1 is announced tonight on games.crossfit.com at 5p. Watch Rich Froning Jr and Mat Fraser go head to head at Reebok CrossFit One in Canton, MA.
Max height box jump
Jerk squat + jerk 4 x 2
Max height box jump
Movement/mobility practice for 15.1
Coach Marcus has posted on Penzey’s spices before and I thought assembling a “beginner’s list” would be helpful for the upcoming nutrition challenge. Just throwing it out there that these are solely based on my opinions and not based on any kind of research other than stuffing food in my face.
Morning foods: I like having Fox Point and Sunny Paris on hand to liven up scrambled eggs or a breakfast plate. Sunny Paris is a salt free blend that contains shallots, chives, green peppercorn, dill weed, basil, tarragon, chervil and bay leaf. Fox Point is nice blend of salt, freeze-dried shallots, chives, garlic, onion and green peppercorns. It is milder than Sunny Paris, both are great sprinkled on after cooking and not during the cooking process.
Meats: Nothing beats a salt and peppered steak served with herbed butter but sometimes you want to change it up and other times you just can’t have dairy products. I would suggest the following to be used as a rub prior to cooking. California Style Seasoned Pepper is a great alternative that requires no after seasoning like Worcestershire sauce or other flavors. Freeze dried shallots are a nice addition to a steak, especially if you don’t want to go through the hassle of chopping the darn things yourself. A nice post preparation seasoning is Black and Red, especially if you like heat.
Fish: Hands down, the best blend for fish is Ruth Ann’s Muskego Chicken & Fish Seasoning. I personally don’t like it that much on chicken but on a white fish or even vegetables, oh the yum!
Poultry: I used to cook with my roommates and prior to seasoning my poultry I would scream “Chicken Taco Chicken!” as I wildly shook the seasoning on (this is why I live alone now; just kidding, maybe). Chicken Taco seasoning is so good and so versatile. You can use it alone or add some lime juice to make it a marinade. The stuff is golden.
Green things and all else: Of course having flake kosher salt and a pepper mill to freshly grind your pepper is key but don’t over look the freeze dried enhancers like garlic, Less mess and so easy to use. Tuscan Sunset is a good all around seasoning and when added to oil and vinegar makes a great dressing. Always read labels when you are shopping, even for herbs. Avoid the sugar added blends and always avoid the stuff with chemical preservatives.
A.Snatch 50% x 2, 60% x 2, 70% x 2, 75% x 2, rest 1 min between sets
80% x 2, 85% x 2, 80% X 2, 85% x 2 rest 2 min between sets
B. Power Snatch + OHS 4 x 2
21 Kettlebell Swings (53/35)
12 Pull Ups
The Squat is a fantastic measure of strength. It’s also one of the best ways to guard your body from injuries in sports. The repeated loaded multi-joint movement strengthens your muscles, bones, ligaments, and tendons. When done correctly, it also forces you to develop your midline stabilizers (or “core” muscles).
Sadly, the use of our western toilets, cars, chairs, and even bicycles has been sabotaging your squat for decades. Most of your waking day is spent with your hips in suboptimal positions. The hip is a ball and socket joint that needs to glide freely. When the ball isn’t positioned well in the capsule, you risk causing the hip to impinge, or pinch.
Fu Barbell recently posted a hip mobilization video to help with hip impingement:
Kelly Starrett also posted a great video with various hip mobility exercises to try:
One way to test the efficacy of these exercises for you is to do a few squats before and after. See if you can get deeper into the squat and feel less restriction in your hip socket.
A. Bench Press 4×3 @21X1
B. Bench Press 3×5-7
CrossFit Open 14.4
As Many Reps As Possible in 14 Minutes
60 Calorie Row
50 Toes To Bar
40 Wall Ball Shots
30 Power Cleans
20 Muscle Ups
B) Athletes can Any Which Way the workout and sub Ring Dips for Muscle Ups, A) Athletes will get priority on the rowers.
**Open competitors can do:
7 Power Cleans (185/123)
2 Rope Climbs
If you regularly follow the CrossFit Games then you recognize the names Froning, Khalipa, Bridges, Thorisdottir, Briggs, and Leblanc-Bazinet. Last year’s Regionals saw a number of shake-ups with big name CrossFit athletes getting sent home instead of punching their ticket to Carson for the Games. In the end the 2014 CrossFit Games Season was a fun one and CrossFit HQ recently released a 90 minute recap following many of the top contenders from the Open, to Regionals, and through the 2014 CrossFit Games. You get to know the athletes, see into their lives, and their struggle and sacrifice that goes into achieving something as incredible as being a CrossFit Games athlete.
If you’re new to the sport of CrossFit you’ll find that as your appreciation for CrossFit grows so will you appreciation of these athletes and how graceful they move, how effortless they make difficult workouts look, and how they handle such a large amount of volume over just a few days time.
Take a look at the recap of the 2014 CrossFit Games to become familiar with where we’ve been as this week we begin the next chapter, the 2015 chapter, of the CrossFit Games with the 2015 CrossFit Open beginning this Thursday. Only a handful of Intrepids have thrown their names into contention, but there’s still time if you’re interested. Check out the CrossFit Games website to register and join our gym.
Front Squat 4×3 @23X1 Tempo
Snatch Lift-off 3×3 @ 1013
Front Squat 5×3
12 Walking Lunges
10 Strict HSPU or 100m Overhead Carry
The 2015 Winter Shakedown is happening today! Crossfit Tustin is hosting the event as 64 teams will be competing through 4 events. This event marks the first time the Shakedown Series is offering an Rx and Intermediate division. 25 teams are signed up for the Intermediate division and the remaining 39 will be in the Rx category. Our gym will be participating in this competition and will be represented by Team Shakeweight (Avelyne, Kathy, Josh, and Bruce) and Booties and the Beasts (Anna, Holley, Nick and Jake). The day will start early as usual with a 6:15am check in time and an 8am start time. The below information can also be found on the shakedown website.
WOD #1- “C.L.U.” 14min Time Cap
*This will be done in a relay race format. Athlete #1 will complete all 3 stations before Athlete #2 can start. Team Shakeweight will be going at 9:30am and Booties and the Beasts will be at 10:24am.
WOD #2 and #3- “Derezzed” 6min Time Cap for Guys and Girls
*Guys will start first and must complete their x number of deadlifts before moving onto the burpees. Once they have completed a set they must remove weight for the next batch of reps. Once 6 minutes is up then there will be a rest period so the girls can setup. The ladies will do the same rep scheme as the guy, but at different weights. This WOD is the floater and teams get to sign up for their heat time.
WOD #4- “Legacy” 17min Time Cap
3 Rounds for Time
*The first pair (guy/girl) will do 25 synchronized KBS and then the next pair will do the same. Then as a team, they must complete a total of 40 thrusters. While one pair (guy/girl) is on the bar one person must be doing the thrusters while the other is holding the bar in the front rack position. After the thrusters the team must accumulate 20 ring muscle ups or toes 2 bar. Team Shakeweight will be going at 2:05pm and Booties and the Beasts will be at 3:04pm.
As you can see it is going to be a very busy day for our Intrepid teams. If you are interested in supporting our teams be sure to head on over to Crossfit Tustin, which is located at 2682 Walnut Ave, Tustin, CA 92780. Hopefully we will see you there!
“Screw Your Neighbor”
Teams of Up to 6
The $85 fee enters you to win prizes in one of two categories – Body Fat Percentage Lost and Muscle Gain.
Those of you who have signed up should already have a time slot reserved on the sheet in the gym. If not, give us a call at 310-819-5415 to find out which slots are still available.
If you haven’t signed up yet, it’s not too late. You can sign up here and give us a call to reserve your spot using the number previously mentioned.
A. Clean – Work to a heavy double
B. Power Clean 3×3
3 Push Press (80%BW)(50% for B),
30 sec max cal row
Athlete A does Push Press/Thruster while B rests. B does Push Press/Thruster while A rests. Then A rows for 30 seconds while B rests. Switch. 5 rounds each