Archive for September, 2015


Apologies are in order. And Wod details for Wednesday 9-30-15

September 30, 2015

First off,  I believe I may have gotten the top 5 wrong on last weeks Medium length, Multi event metcon.  Shelby, Jacqui and Jen N.  may have gotten slighted.  And it was even Jen’s Birthday!  So, as soon as time permits I will rexamine the photo I took of the board and correct things.  Meanwhile, apologies to everyone who got gypped.

The WOD tomorrow is as follows

10 Minutes- Clean and Jerk Instruction

10 Clean and Jerks at 205/125, Run a mile, 10 Clean and Jerks at 205/125

The vast majority of you (myself included) will scale this workout.  Here are some metrics to consider when you do so.

  • 80-90% of your 1 RM Clean and Jerk
  • Heavy Enough that you cannot cycle, therefore you will likely drop every rep.
  • Rep spacing is expected to be about 1 every 15-30 seconds.  If you are faster than that,  you scaled too much.
  • 1 or 2 misses on the way to 10 reps is appropriate.

If you must err,  err on the side of lighter, especially if you are newer than 6 months into the program.  If your instructor suggests that you drop some weight, please do.

If you can’t run, your substitute is a 2k row.



WOD for Tu 9-29-15 And Some test results posted.

September 29, 2015

So, at our Instagram page your results from last week’s monday and tuesday test results are in.  I’ve published the top 5 finishers of each gender in the tests of Pure Power, Aerobic Capacity, Gross Motor Skill and Mixed Event Metcon.

Go to Instagram and check out the results. Search CrossfitCB or use the hashtag #cfcbeach to see.  In those four events alone we have Jason, Chris, Larry, Perkins, Kurt, Nick, Fox R, Terrance, Chris, Glen, Rob, Joel, Greg, Andrea, Jill, Marina, K. Magne, Lindsey, Fox, K, Shelby, Whitney, Wendy and Dawn all appearing.

Winners get 5 pts, and top 5 finishers all get 1 point or more on your way to a cumulative total.

WOD for Tuesday- 3 attempts for time of the following

10 Deads at 275/185

20 Box Jumps

4 Lengths Sled Push @ +90/50

Everyone is wary of the deadlifts.  Please scale such that your ability to keep your spine in extension is without question marks.  I really don;t care if that’s 95/65.  Sumo Deads are fine.  We will go over the form and all scaling options before you start


WOD’s for the week of 9-28 to 10-2. Words about variance and specificity.

September 27, 2015

For the next five weeks the programming will be pretty metcon dominant.  Here and there, you’ll get some lifting in the front half of class, some technique stuff, a muscle endurance piece every now and then, but the bulk of things will be couplets and triplets in the 8 to 20 minute time domain.  If there’s a “classic” or “regular” CrossFit, this is probably it,  and this is a potent and valid way to workout and will cover the fitness bases of probably 85-90 % of you just fine.  You might have heard me talk about giving people what they want as well as what they need.  This next 5 weeks is definitely biasing towards what people want.

By that I mean, (in general at least) workouts that are metabolically hard.  The “I thought I was going to die”, high heart rate, multi event workouts.  Workouts where you are not limited by lack of technique, or lack of mobility.  Often workouts where, just as you are about to burnout and stop one action, you’re done and onto something else.  I often call these workouts “water cooler WODs” as in, you tell you co-workers about the crazy shit you did at the gym that morning.

A steady diet of “water cooler WOD’s”  will indeed get you fitter, to a point,  and then you’ll maintain a decent level of fitness,  such that your health markers will be addressed and will stay within normal, healthy ranges, or (if you started in a bad state)  your numbers will move toward healthier.  This is often enough for the suzie-soccer-mom, desk-bound-dave, Basic-Bro’s of your general population. And if you’re one of them, there’s nothing wrong with that per se, but I would respectfully encourage you to aim a little higher than that in some way, shape or form.

If and when you DO decide that “you know what,  I  *AM* more than a basic Bro.  Imma raise that bar”  and you get a little ambitious, THEN we need to adjust what your training looks like.  We need to reduce the VARIANCE, in favor of SPECIFICITY.

As I have progressed in my own training,  more and more have I directed my efforts to improving one or two specific things in the short term, rather than try to cover all bases all the time in the hopes that doing so will be create a “tide that raises all ships”.  I’m now more of a nautical handyman that jumps from ship to ship and fixes them one at a time, secure in the knowledge that once I have “fixed the ship”  IE- learned a movement, a motor pattern, a technique,  it may regress somewhat, but even so, will remain at a higher level than BEFORE I put it on the front burner, so to speak.

Here’s an example:  In March and April, immediately after the 2015 Open, I took two months away from any sort of impactful ballistic work,  like cleans or pullups or box jumps, and devoted myself to building a lactic/aerobic base.  Every week I’d do a ten minute max effort on the Rower, The Airdyne and the Ski Erg.  At the start of this effort I was getting in the low to mid 170’s calories on the Airdyne.  At the end of 2 months I broke 200. (That’s about 14%).  In May and June I shifted focus to improving my Olympic lifting.  I picked a fairly simple Olympic program, did THAT 3-4 sessions per week, and was only able to get a single ten minute Lactic acid/Aerobic session in.  At the end of June my I pr-ed my snatch at 171,  not great, but a ten pound jump (6-7%) in a movement that, when I left it to “broad, general, inclusive programming” hadn’t moved consistently in over 4 years.  My best 10 min airdyne had fallen to 182.  In July and August I was strength focused doing a lot of Front Squatting, and a little sidetracked by a small shoulder injury and my best 10 min Airdyne during THAT period was 185.

In other words, when prioritized, I jumped from the low 170’s to 200 with concerted, focused effort. THEN even as that the 10 min max effort pieces were demphasized I was able to hold onto roughly half of the gainz I had made even as my focus shifted to another fitness domain.  It’s THIS pattern that is the key to your improvement beyond a modest, slightly-above-the-average-jerk at-Buffalo-Wild-Wingz level of fitness.   Front-burner some aspect of fitness,  maybe your 5k row,  maybe your deadlift,  maybe your HELEN time, get that aspect to jump and then turn your focus elsewhere. This is particularly true of the more technical, precise, and/or balanced based efforts. Olympic Lifting. Handstand progressions. Double Unders. Those action need, not just flight time, but FREQUENCY. You must return to and practice those actions often before the motor pattern is at your command.

Just something to think about as you embark on WOD’s for the Week.

MONDAY- Four, 5 Minute couplets for max reps per couplet. Meaning you will have 4 different scores.

3 Minutes in between to rest/transition.

A) 5 Front Squats 135/95, 20 Abmat Situps
B) 10 Calorie Row, 5 Wall Walkups
C) 10 Pistols (20 airsquats), 10 T2B
D) 10 Burpees, 10 Sandbag Ground to Shoulder @ 60/40

TUESDAY: At 9 minute intervals for cumulative total time. 3 attempts.
10 Deadlifts @ 275/185
20 Box Jumps 24/20
4 Lengths Sled Push @ +90/+50

WEDNESDAY- A) 10 Minutes, Clean and Jerk Practice. B) For time 10 Clean and Jerk @ 205/125 Run 1 Mile, 10 Clean and Jerk @ 205/125.

THURSDAY- Fight Gone Bad Format (Three 5 minute rounds. 5 actions, each 1 min for max reps)
Push Press @ 95/65
Airdyne Calories
Lunges 40/25 single dumbbcell
KBS @ 24/16
5m Shuttle Run.

FRIDAY- A) Ten minutes Kipping progressions. B) 21-15-9 Overhead Squats @ 95/65, Pullups.


OPEN GYM IS ON 10-12 Noon.

September 26, 2015

WOD for Friday 9-24-15

September 25, 2015

BALANCE/BODY AWARENESS-  4 RFT.  50 Heavyrope Singles on 1 leg, Balance beam Traverse,45/25 Plate held Overhead, 10 HSPU’s, Balance beam traverse W 45/25 Plate held overhead.

You may even call this workout “Fun”.  Pretty Short,  not that hard.

LOWER BODY STRENGTH-  Back squat max reps in two minutes. M/225, W/155

Nice work on the Overhead Squats.  I saw some great improvement even from beginning to end of the workout.  Well done!


Tests for Thursday 9-24-15. Running is at Ashley HS At 5:45. Repeat Words on recovery

September 24, 2015

GRIP STRENGTH-  STATIC HOLD  (M- Chin Above the bar, W- 90 degrees at the elbow), Immediately (5 seconds) after falling below your specified range of motion athlete MUST begin Max rep KB swings to above the head (not Overhead, but slightly higher than the russian swing).  Score is seconds in the hang plus total # of swings.

PACING AND GAMESMANSHIP–  EMOMx 25 (down from 30)  2 Overhead squats for load.  Score is total poundage across all 50 possible reps.  I have to say, THIS is my favorite of the workout tests.  The movement is like a a magnifying glass in terms of exposing structural weakness, stiffness and inefficiencies.  The format and scoring give you, the athlete, a lot to think about.  Do you go for it early and see if you can hang on?  DO you look around the room  and base your weight selection on how others are doing?  Do you check the board and divide by 50 to see what you need to do per rep?  If you CAN safely and effectively Overhead Squat to parallel, you should do so, even though your loads may be light.  If you absolutely can’t hit depth with even just the bar, THEN AND ONLY THEN, scale to Power Snatches on the same format.

(NOTE-  This was posted in July of 2013, but we have plenty of new people who may benefit from checking it out)

Regarding recovery:  The exercise volumes in CrossFit are EXTREMELY HIGH.  Whenever I have a foundations session with someone and they say words to the effect of “I’m in pretty good shape, I ride my bike a lot”  or  ” I lift weights 3 times per week”  I have to stifle a smirk.

I say this with no sense that I’m holier than thou,  as I had the same experience.  But now,from the vantage point of 5 years in, I should stress that ACTIVE recovery is a big part of your fitness efforts.  What exactly is “active recovery”?  Good Question.    Active recovery is taking conscious steps to shorten the time between the onset of significant muscle soreness and when you can train again.  It is part nutrition, part rest and part manipulation (for lack of a better word).  I will elaborate.

If I squat on sunday, I will likely be sore on Monday.  If I do nothing to offset that soreness on Monday, I will probably STILL BE SORE ON TUESDAY.  If I take measures to address that soreness, I may be ready to go on Tuesday.  Over a given year that is X number more training days I now have given myself to improve.  This is a big deal in terms of your overall fitness advancement.

Lets examine each aspect and how you can affect it.

Nutrition: Let me preface this by saying that first and foremost you must eat to your best advantage.  Protein and healthy fats high, carbohydrates/starches low.  Your water intake should be high, and whole foods are the best sources, if your circumstances allow such.   I am firm in my belief that CrossFit need not be bogged down by 1) gadgets (this shoe and that wrist wrap, and that sweat band etc) or 2) supplements ….BUT…. after a certain point SOME supplements CAN impact your recovery efforts and therefore your fitness.   On that front here are some of my top choices:

BCAA’s (Branched chain amino acids, whic are Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine).  High doses of BCAA’s (15-20 Grams) go a long way to offsetting delayed onset muscle soreness.  as does

GLUTAMINE  another amino acid that reinforces recovery efforts.   Whitney, Jeff K, Kathleen, Nick and Myself (and possibly other I have forgotten) all report an immediate and tangible reduction in muscle soreness when these dosages of BCAA’s and/or Glutamine are adhered to,

FISH OIL:  The science behind fish oil as an anti inflamatory is pretty compelling.  Here you DO want to spend up to the higher quality brands like Carlson’s or Nordic Naturals and take more v less.

PROGENEX:  This is the product we sell.  Ou of reluctance to appear like I am “pushing” you towards buying it, I try to tread softly about singing the praises of Progenex Recovery,  BUT I am a very big fan.  I have taken supplements in some way, shape or form since I was about 14 years old, always with the results being kind of “Well,  I THINK it works….Maybe.  I guess it’s better than some things I could otherwise eat” and so on.  Progenex was the first product where I felt a difference in muscle soreness on 1 dose on the first try. Every recovery shake on earth will say womething along the lines of “our proprietary protein blend is better than the next product’s blend”  but in this case, it seems to be true.   I’d say about 4 out of 5 people I’ve recommended it to have had similarly good results, and about the same percentage have really enjoyed the flavor.  If you are constantly, substantially sore from what we do, the first product I recommend is BCAA’s the second is Progenex.  I put BCAA’s  IN  my Progenex and I am bullet-proof.

Rest:  Time off of working the sore muscle/bodypart is necessary, but again, our goal is to recover as fast as possible and get to training again.  To that end, deep restful sleep is worth more per minute than rest while you;re awake.  If you (like me) have trouble sleeping, first examine your intakes.  Caffeine is the most obvious no-no.  A central nervous system stimulant, caffeine will/can inhibit your sleep in all phases.  Alcohol is less obvious, as it often helps you FALL asleep but significantly hinders DEEP sleep.  Understand that the hormonal effects of deep sleep are significant and in their absence even 10 hours of tossing and turning light sleep will leave you at less than optimal recovery.  Recently, I have had good luck in improving my sleep quality with Magnesium supplementation.  Look for a magnesium supplement with the -ATE (like asparate) suffix not the -IDE (like oxide)  suffix.  Start with the suggested dosage and over 3-4 days work your way up to double.

MANIPULATIONS:  Stretch, Roll and Temperature.  Stretching is the one most people know about.  An aggressive post workout static hold will go a long way towards offsetting your soreness.  So, when you’re done with your squats, before you leave and sit in yuour car and contribute to further muscle shortening, STRETCH.  30 Second holds. Moderately Intensity.  This can do a lot.  PRIOR TO heavy or intense training I would NOT stretch aggressively.

Temperature manipulations 90% of the time, are a fancy name for ICE.  This is a big and uncomfortable commitment.  You have to get an ice bag, apply, suffer, deal with the drips etc.   So much so that I only ice when it’s a big deal, say between day 1 and day 2 of a competition, BUT it is HUGELY helpful.  You will suffer during, but you will feel a difference.   The exception is IMMEDIATELY PRIOR to working out, you wouldnt want to Ice up the group about to work.  Then and there mild heat is valid as it physically warms up the target group.  Even something like the neoprene knee sleeves some athletes wear is a form of heat therapy.  * Science is split on ice’s validity with several studies advocating against ice.  I have seen enough soft tissue injuries where ice was applied in seconds or minutes do MUCH better than where ice was applied later or not at all,  so I am an “Ice Believer”  but it would be remiss of me not to mention the contrary studies.  I have my theories on why some studies conflict, and am happy to discuss them.

Therapy Rolling:  I’ve saved this for last because it is, per unit of time, THE SINGLE BEST THING YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR FITNESS.  In the above scenario, if I squat on Sunday, I’m sore on Monday.  If I “roll out” on monday, more than  ANYTHING ELSE (IMO) I will be setting myself up for success on tuesday even if Tuesday is more squat demand.  If i do nothing, Tuesday will likely be another lost day.  The rollers and lacrosse balls are, per unit of time, your very best recovery tools, and they are free and they are idiot proof.  I can tell you exactly how I think they should be used, and if you did everything COMPLETELY wrong, you would still have advanced your recovery.  There are a million youtube videos on how to roll body part X.  Please check them out or better yet, ask me.


TESTS for Wed, 9-23-15 and Another Yoga Idea.

September 23, 2015

Upper Body Push Strength–  2 Mins max reps Bench press at 100%/66% Bodyweight.  Bar from full extension to contacting the chest back to full extension is one rep.  Hips cannot leave the bench.  Spotter can assist from rack to extension and back again, but if the spotter touches the bar or the lifter during a rep, that rep is void. Start and stop as many times as you like in the 2 minutes.

Mental Toughness/Discomfort–  Row M-2000m/W-1500m, then 100 wallballs 20/14 for two scores.  1st score is the row portion for time.  Second score is the total time for both row and Wallballs. Scores are weighted equally. This is done to stop people from dogging the row.

As you may know, my efforts to bring Yoga to CFCB and/or Monkey Junction have thus far been unsuccessful, but I had an idea I’d like your assistance with.

I’d like to trade a monthly membership to a yoga instructor willing to teach 1 class per week at CFCB. The only restriction is that we’d hold this class on the weekend. This would give the membership at least 1 opportunity to get some yoga in at no cost to you, so please spread the word amongst the yoga types you know. Ideally the class would bend toward some sort of strength based yoga, (Power Yoga?!??! I don;t really know if that’s actually a “thing”).

While it’s on my mind, Ashley HS running is happening at 5:45 am. Soon it will be too cold, so get your laps in now!!