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Sharpening Your Saw & W30 Details

By Marcus | In Challenges, Events and Announcements | on January 3, 2012

As a trainer, we look forward to helping all of you better yourselves as athletes. Few things make us sadder than when we find we have more interest in someone’s improvement than they do themselves. For example, let’s take skills days. This week I had a client ask me, “Are we going to work out this Thursday, or is it just a skills day?” It’s understandable, you come to a gym to get your sweat on, but the day’s workout is not the alpha and omega of your training.

In the well-known book The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, author Stephen Covey refers to the seventh habit as “Sharpen the Saw”. This website further illustrates what that means with a brief story:

Suppose you came upon someone in the woods working to saw down a tree. They are exhausted from working for hours. You suggest they take a break to sharpen the saw. They might reply, ” I didn’t have time to sharpen the saw, I’m busy sawing!”

Do you think you don’t have time for skills day, because you’re too busy exercising?

Before you groan and skip the next chance to sharpen your CrossFit saw, take some time to self-evaluate.

  • Do you have to sub any exercises in the workouts? If so, is it due to temporary injury…or because you never learned the skill required?
  • Can you kick up into a handstand on your own? What about if a wall isn’t there?
  • How many strict pullups can you do? (Note: bodyweight and sex may be fine excuses on the surface, but after building a base of strength, anyone can do at least ONE strict pullup)
  • Are you able to climb the ropes? Ring dips, etc.?

The list goes on and on, but by now you should get my point. No one can say they are a master of all things. Even pro athletes have to practice (well, except perhaps Allen Iverson). The skills day is an opportunity to expand your repertoire in an environment without one key component — the clock — that often causes form to go out the window. Take advantage, and sharpen your saw!

WHOLE 30 Announcement

We’re so excited to have so many people participating in the W30 this year!  We’ll have sign up sheets at the gym starting tomorrow (Wed), but here are a few more details:

  • There will be a $15 entry fee (which will go toward the prizes for the winners) to be collected when you fill out your entry form.
  • There will be one male winner and one female winner.
  • Before and after pictures will be taken.  Winners will be posted, but you may ask for your face to be blurred. If you are not selected as a winner, we would also love to show your progress — but you may opt out of being posted.
  • There will be a baseline WOD tomorrow that’s mandatory for all participants.  Make up day for this WOD will be Thursday, Jan 5th, which is the official start date for our W30.
  • A final “End-of-Challenge” WOD will be done on Friday, Feb 3rd, with a make up day on Saturday, Feb 4th.
  • Your score will be determined by the following 1) body composition change as shown by photos, 2) performance in baseline WOD, so no sandbagging, and 3) improvement shown in end-of-challenge WOD which may or may not be different from baseline WOD.
  • Food logs posted on our online forum (TBD) will be mandatory and must be updated by the end of the day (11:59pm) each day.
  • Text messages and emails to us will be allowed but if it’s a question that can easily be answered by reading our blog, Whole 9 Life’s blog, or google, burpee penalties will be enforced.
Post any questions to comments!

WOD 1.3.12

Running Skills and Drills


  • 6 Knees to Elbows
  • 12 Box Jumps
  • 24 Kayaks

Rest 4 minutes

500m Row for Time

3 Comments to "Sharpening Your Saw & W30 Details"

  • Xuan says:

    January 3, 2012 at 5:22 PM -

    Great post Marcus! I know the list of skills I still need to pick up is long, but its definitely shorter than when I started and I take pride in that. If I can check off double unders, rope climb and strict pull-ups (still working on increasing my reps) anyone can!

  • Holley says:

    January 3, 2012 at 6:15 PM -

    Agreed, great post Marcus! My list of goats is long and even though I’ve marked some items off my list, they’re still going to require extra work for them to become proficient. Plus there’s always accessory work to be done. I think that’s what makes CrossFit such an addicting sport, there’s always something to work on.

  • Sara says:

    January 4, 2012 at 1:38 PM -

    Looking forward…and a little nervous to starting the W30 and my first workout back at CFI! Happy to report that I kept up my WODs in a makeshift Box/barn back home. It was rustic! Subbed filled and frozen plastic milk jugs for Kettlebells. No heat in the barn helped to motivate me to move faster.

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