You are hereDecember 2006
Parkour (often abbreviated PK) is a physical discipline of French origin in which the participant â€” called a traceur â€” attempts to pass obstacles in the fastest and most direct manner possible, using skills such as jumping, vaulting and climbing, or the more specific parkour moves. The obstacles can be anything in the environment, so parkour is often practiced in urban areas because of many suitable public structures, such as buildings, rails, and walls.
SÃ©bastien Foucan (featured in photo above) developed the discipline of Parkour with his childhood friend David Belle, who practiced the 'Natural Method' of Parkour, influenced by his miltary father, also a great sportsman.
Together SÃ©bastien and David played and put in place a way of being - A Lifestyle - that lasted for more than ten years.
Heavily influenced by asian philosophy, SÃ©bastian decided to immerse himself fully in his art in order to combat negative energy and becoming 'fluid like water'. Becoming aware of the failings of art without context, he later chose to create his own path by developing the philosophy - his own method of learning based on autonomy, play and positive energy. Conveying to others his messages and philosophy has become SÃ©bastien's quest. SÃ©bastien has become a global ambassador of the Parkour / Free-Running discipline.
According to SÃ©bastien: "Nobody ever invents anything - You're inspired and sometimes you can improve!"
Check him out in the new Bond flick, Casino Royale...
"Read Jesse Woody's "Parkour Basics" in the CrossFit Journal:
Well, it might not be as simple as the title of this post suggests, but our brand of CrossFit math and camaraderie sure goes a long way toward building community.
We snapped this picture a couple of days ago, after some of our athletes finished performing the benchmark workout "Barbara" (5 rounds for time of 20 pull-ups, 30 push-ups, 40 sit-ups, and 50 squats).
This photo really could've been taken on just about any day, since we make extensive use of our white boards. But pay close attention to it. Sure, there's the usual (usual in CrossFit circles, at least) smattering of performance metrics, such as the time it takes to complete a round of the workout. But it's the playful teasing, jostling, and kidding that really stands out. Look at the comments on the right side of the board (particularly in the "Candace Kicks A$$" section of the board).
This is a group of people who know how to work hard and have fun while doing it. And support one another.
And special thanks to Candace for being a good sport and letting us post the remarks that were written alongside her performance metrics. Candace is one of our top performers and a future CrossFit trainer to boot.
CrossFit Oakland will be offering our second F.U.E.L seminar (Feeding You Energy For Life) on Sunday, December 17th, 2006 from 10AM to 1PM.
The costs are as follows:
$50.00 for CFO Members and Affiliate Members
$75.00 for non-CFO Members
$25.00 for CrossFit Trainers
Please RSVP no later than December 15th to reserve a space
We will be offering information on changing body composition (both weight gain and loss) and the appropriate micronutrient and macronutrient ratios to facilitate increased athletic performance.
There will be no â€œdietâ€ or faddish ideas discussed: we will provide you with sensible, balanced and scientifically sound concepts for lifetime fitness and health. However, as you might expect from CrossFit, there will be some ideas that fly in the face of conventional wisdom, and are light-years ahead of conventional thinking about food.
Some of the topics we will cover:
Strategies for healthy eating in the real world
Foraging in the urban jungle
How to eat â€œin the Zoneâ€
Fat is not the enemy
Real World Eats
The real deal on carbs
Real women eat real food
Top Fuel eating for serious athletes
Adult Beverages 101
Paleo/Zone (the ultimate fuel for athletes)
Hormonal effects of food
Disease prevention with food
RSVP here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ah shieze! This video is linked from the top page of CrossFit.com!
Sam Larson is one of our most experienced and highest performing CrossFit athletes: in fact Nicole and I owe our introduction to CrossFit to him! Sam recently tested for the rank of Sandan (3rd degree black belt) in Danzan Ryu jujitsu and continues to teach classes at Suigetsukan Dojo in Oakland. This is an important rank: Sam could now legitimately have his own Dojo now, should he so desire.
Danzan Ryu ("Sandalwood Mountain School" from a Chinese name for Hawaii) is a Ryu of jujitsu founded by Professor Seishiro Okazaki (1890-1951) in Hawaii. Danzan Ryu is ubiquitous in the United States, particularly on the west coast.
Check out the pre-CrossFit picture of a distinctly chubby Sam on the Suigetsukan Instructor page!
Sam is also the owner of a German to English patent translation business if you have the need.
Today is Sam's birthday, so say "happy birthday Sensei" when you see him.
Here is video from Tuesday 12/5/2006.
In memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y., who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005.
This workout was one of Mike's favorites and he named it "Body Armor". From here on it will be referred to as "Murph".
Have you drunk the Kool-Aid?
Post answers to comments.
Graphic by CFO athlete-architects Ann Kelly and Jonathan Heuer.
About 6 weeks ago, Charles did the CrossFit pull-up ladder workout (1 pull-up in 1st minute, 2 pull-ups in second minute, etc., continuing as long as you can until you're no longer able to make the target number of pull-ups) for the first time.
He managed to complete 10 rounds + 1 pull-up.
Last week, he tried the same workout again. This time he managed to get 15 rounds + 13 pull-ups!
That's an improvement in output to the tune of 137.5% (56 pull-ups vs. 133 pull-ups).
What's interesting about Charles's phenomenal improvement is that he hasn't been doing extra pull-up work. He's simply been doing the garden-variety CrossFit workouts. In fact, many of the workouts that he's been doing recently haven't even included pull-ups.
But there is one caveat with Charles: he's tightened up his diet. He's been doing the Zone diet for about two months now and the results are definitely starting to show.
Way to go, Charles!
Hey...KOOL-AID! Coach is smoking the CFO crack on CrossFit.com!
Aminta showing the "arms by ears" finish position of a push press.
Hand, shoulder, mid-hip, and mid-foot (base of support) all form a straight line at the finish position when pressing something overhead.
The one slight correction Aminta needs to make is to have the center of her hip just a tad back, so that it's directly over her base of support.
Nice work, Aminta!
I like to wander the Internet and read about all things fitness-, health-, and performance-related. A lot. Way too much, in fact.
Anyway, here are a couple of great links I came across today:
1. Here's video of some women competing in the recent American Open Weightlifting Championships:
The first clip from this video is neat. It shows just how little the bar actually drops from its apex in the snatch (using a line that traces the path of the bar). You needn't pull the bar up high--you need to pull yourself under!
My favorite clip is at 3:37. It shows one of the competitors doing a snatch from the profile view. Watch how little the bar drops and how quickly (and smoothly) she gets under it. Beautiful stuff.
(As a side note, the woman in the video at 3:37 makes a slight technical error. Can you spot it? If so, post to Comments.)
For those of you who were practicing snatches this weekend, check it out!
I found the link to this video on the Performance Menu's wonderful discussion forum.
2. To justify watching the video I just discussed, check out this neat little bit of science:
Basically, scientists have found that the human brain (specifically, the mirror neurons of the brain) fires in the same way when performing a physical movement as when viewing someone else perform the same movement. The caveat is that you have to be skilled in that movement (i.e., you have to have trained that movement pattern).
So practice the Olympic lifts and watch others as well.
Additional reading on this topic:
I found out about this study on another CrossFit Affiliate website, Again Faster.
Happy reading and happy training!
Grab a cup of coffee 'cause this is a long one! If nothing else, perhaps I'll aid in your getting a good night's sleep.
We captured this video of Nicole performing hang squat cleans earlier this morning.
Nicole has come a long way with her cleans. This is really good stuff. When Nicole first came to us, she was strictly an arm puller, lacking the ability to pull herself under the bar (the skill that separates decent lifters from great lifters).
The first thing that you want to take a note of in Nicole's clean is the lines formed by the relationship between her body, the bar, and the floor.
Most of the lifting we do comes down to simple geometry (with a dash of physics thrown in). The cleaner the lines, the more force one can generate. So what's the proper line for a clean? Vertical! You want as much force as possible being directed upward. This allows you to create momentum and acceleration on the bar (thanks, Coach B, for adding "momentum and acceleration" to the CrossFit vernacular), allowing the bar to remain weightless for a split second--just long enough for you to pull yourself under it with everything you have and land in a rock-bottom front squat.
Having said that, there's room for improvement with Nicole's clean, as the frame-by-frame sequence (43 frames in total) below demonstrates.
Coffee Does a Body Good
OK, I admit it, I love coffee and the link to the research paper below is likely nothing more than a desperate attempt to rationalize my coffee habit, but I thought I'd pass it along in case there are other habitual coffee drinkers like me out there.
The study finds that among beverages (including green tea, which seems to be the darling of many health and well-being circles), coffee far and away has the highest total antioxidant capacity (TAC).
A couple of interesting excerpts from the study:
"Among the beverages analyzed, coffee drinks were the most effective, regardless of the assay applied, with espresso having the greatest antioxidant capacity."
"The removal of caffeine from the espresso coffee led to a decrease in TAC values of ~25â€“30%, likely due to the antioxidant capacity of caffeine."
So drink your coffee and get your antioxidants!
Link to study:
Link to table displaying total antioxidant capacity (TAC) values for the beverages analyzed (the higher the number in the table, the better):
Things That Make You Say Uhhhhh...
Finally, for your reading pleasure, I thought I'd pass along the link below. Those high heels really work the core, I guess.
(Note: I pulled these photos from Coach Mike Burgener's website. Familiarize yourself with this site; it's a must-read for anyone with even a passing interest in Olympic weightlifting.)
In Analysis of a Clean, Part 1, we took an in-depth look at Nicole's clean.
The take-home points of that discussion were as follows:
1. The clean (and snatch, for that matter) is all about getting the bar to travel in as vertical a path as possible (for the most part).
2. Strive to get full, powerful hip extension so that there's no horizontal displacement of the bar (i.e., don't let the bar move away from you).
3. Don't try and pull the bar up high with your arms, pull yourself under the bar.
I selected the three pictures above because they're beautiful illustrations of the correct positions an athlete wants to be in at critical stages of the clean.
In the first photo, the lifter has just completed the first pull from the floor and the bar has just passed his knees. What's interesting about this part of the clean is that it's virtually indistinguishable from a deadlift at the same spot. The mechanics of the two are very similar up to that point.
In the second photo, the lifter has just completed the scoop, which is the move where the lifter's upper torso becomes vertical (or nearly so) while keeping the hip flexed (the athlete is primed to launch himself explosively upward), and which is where the clean and deadlift decide to part company. The scoop is necessary for the clean, but not for the deadlift, because the objective of the clean is to drive the bar upward with such vertical force that it remains weightless for a split-second, allowing the lifter to dive under the bar and catch it in a deep front squat. The objective of the deadlift is far less loftier (poor pun intended). The bar only needs to be raised to a position slightly below the athlete's hip in a deadlift.
The third photo shows what happens to the bar after the lifter violently extends his hip and sends the bar skyward (skyward being a relative term here) with everything he has. This point in time marks the end of one phase of the clean (the phase involving the pulling of the bar) and the beginning of another phase of the clean (the phase involving the athlete pulling himself under the bar). At this point, it's simply a race between the bar and the athlete to the ground. The first one to get there wins (I'm oversimplifying a tad).
One final observation about the photos: Check out how close to his body the bar stays in all three of the photos. This is critical!
Well, enough writing about the clean.
Let's watch it in action now. In the link below, Pyrros Dimas cleans and jerks 469 lbs at a bodyweight of 187 lbs. That's just sick!
(And please take note of his narrow, feet-under-hips stance in the push jerk--hint, hint, hint to all of you with your precious wide stances out there!)
CROSSFIT FUN DAY JUST FOR KIDS!
All kids 5-12 years old are invited for a FREE introduction.
Saturday, December 16th, 3 to 4
3300 Broadway (near Piedmont Ave)
CROSSFIT CLASSES STRIVE TO ENHANCE FITNESS THROUGH FUNCTIONAL AND FUN GAMES FOR ANY CHILD. CROSSFIT KIDS WILL DEVELOP AND IMPROVE CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH, STRENGTH, POWER, STAMINA, SPEED, FLEXIBILITY, BALANCE, COORDINATION AND ACCURACY. THIS IS A GREAT WAY FOR CHILDREN TO DEVELOP EXERCISE HABITS FOR LIFE LONG FITNESS.
For more information:
Some of you may remember a recent post on form where we talked about the importance of focusing first on mechanics, then on consistency, and finally on intensity. Put simply we recommend learning, for example, how to do one good double-under, then string them together, and finally to go for broke and get a maximum number of reps before failure. As any of you know who have tried this, if you give it everything you have, your form simply cannot be the same on the first rep as on the last rep, and herein lies the paradoxical nature of reaching for higher and higher performance.
Coach Glassman, the founder of CrossFit, expounds on this seeming paradox in two posts from the past week on CrossFit.com. The first post is called "Virtuosity" and contains the above philosophy on mechanics, consistency and intensity.
You can find the article here: VIRTUOSITY
The second post is from the Comments section of the 061210 entry and is reproduced here so you don't have to go searching for it. It concerns the inevitability, nay necessity, of form breakdown in the pursuit of increased performance.
If safety is your sole or even your primary concern, your athletesâ€™ fitness potential will be soundly blunted. Where fitness is your sole concern, safety must be given reasonable priority. Safety, efficacy, and efficiency are clearly, mathematically, interdependent. It would be foolish to think otherwise.
Olympic lifts "Highly technical"? Rubbish. Only compared to the rest of weight training. There are thousands of gymnastics movements fantastically more technical than the clean and jerk and the snatch. In any case, CrossFit, with high rep weightlifting, has been shown in clinical and institutional settings to be dramatically safer than the traditional run, sit-up, pull-up, jumping jack, push-up, lather, rinse, repeat, PT. This is not due to the "highly technical" nature of jumping jacks and running.
Not practicing complex movements fatigued? More rubbish. Only by practicing them fatigued will we advance the point where fatigue adversely affects form. Learning to race cars at high speed increases the likelihood of crashing. It is not the crashing that improves the driver's skill, however, but transiently increasing the likelihood of crashing is an essential part of decreasing the likelihood of crashing at any given speed.
Not all form faults are dangerous. Most clearly are not. Most increase the metabolic costs of an exercise or workout, i.e. reduce efficiency, and are not only acceptable but beneficial to conditioning. But what is certain is that only by working to exhaustion, where form faults are ineluctable, will we push the margins of power output where form falters. We push to the point of exhaustion and form breakdown to 1) increase/improve the safety of high output max efforts, and 2) maximize work capacity. How simple is that?
Show me a program where form is controlled to the point of never failing and I'll show you an athlete who a) will fall apart at output levels where CrossFitters are untaxed and moving with grace, and b) cannot match the work capacity of CrossFitters.
The ideal state for learning new activities is certainly when the athlete is fresh. This should not be confused with advancing the horizon line where form is maintainable under duress.
Mr. Boyle was able to quantify his concerns for the dangers of high rep weightlifting - anything approaching twelve reps. As reported to me, this wasn't load qualified, but rep qualified.
If taking your one 1RM for the C&J and attempting 20 reps is an example of dangerous high rep weightlifting then it's dangerous like trying to jump up and touch the sun, and I haven't met anyone stupid enough to try or even think it possible. Calling 100 clean and jerks with a twenty pound medicine ball for time dangerous makes even less sense, and this effort qualifies by Mr. Boyle's statement. It is also consistent with CrossFit programming. (Hmmm?)
At the SOCOM Conference Mr. Twight (Yes, Mark) appeared with his arm in a sling due to a recent surgical repair of a climbing injury. To great derision and laughter, his condition was attributed to high rep weightlifting. That cheap shot holds the crux of Mr. Boyle's logic and reveals what really motivated his and other presentersâ€™ gripes about CrossFit - we're eating their lunch in the marketplace of ideas.
Sadly this has nothing to do with safety, efficacy, and efficiency and everything to do with falling in a very distant second place, or more likely even further, in the quest for improving human performance. Mr. Boyle's problem with CrossFit is that his program got left behind. Think tipped over rice bowls, not dangerous lifts.
Where CrossFit has been analyzed, injuries have been recorded, the analysis has had to bear the investigators' names, and the results made public, CrossFit has been shown to be safer than traditional PT.
The assemblage of presenters at the SOCOM conference is like a conference on retailing where Penny's, Sears, and K-Mart are presenting on WalMart. You bet they think it's dangerous.
We'll hear every bit of noise imaginable from Mr. Boyle, but here's what you'll not ever see: Him posting his athletesâ€™ work capacity across broad time and modal domains like we do here three days out of four. That would truly be dangerous.
Comment #41 - Posted by Coach at December 10, 2006 01:54 AM
So: focus on form and intensity. You cannot have both all the time, but playing with the interstice will yield amazing results.
There are few better examples of this paradox in action than the "Nasty Girls" video which You can download in full-screen video (177MB) HERE. Scroll down, it's on the right side. Abbreviated low-res version below. Warning: humbling.
Running. Some of us love it, others hate it, but preferences aside, it is one of the most fundamental functional movements that our bodies are designed for. We highly recommend that you treat running like any other skill that can be refined, trained and improved.
The POSE METHOD OF RUNNING Book was published by Dr. Nicholas Romanov in 2002, and offers a system of training that helps athletes increase performance while avoiding many of the injuries commonly associated with running.
What is the Pose Method?
The essence of the Pose Method is to use gravity as a major propulsive force and let the other forces assist it. The Pose Method's objective is to redirect gravity's downward movement into forward motion.
The body starts falling forward at mid-stance when you're supporting yourself on one leg - this position is called the Running Pose. It creates an 'S' shape, which enables you to utilize muscle elasticity.
In order to increase the free-falling effect, only one action should be instigated: breaking contact of the support foot with the ground while falling forward. The easiest way to do this, is to pull the support foot from the ground using the hamstring muscles. In this way, the running technique could be reduced to a very simple sequence: fall forward from the S-shaped Pose position until you lose support, then swap support to the other foot to begin falling again by utilizing the hamstrings. It's simply Pose-Fall-Pull.
The distinguishing characteristic of Pose running is that the athlete lands on the mid-foot, with the supporting joints flexed at impact, and then uses the hamstring muscles to withdraw the foot from the ground. This is the opposite of the heel-strike method that most of us use.
Next time "Michael" or "Nicole" is kicking your a** give the simple pose-fall-pull a try and you'll notice a greater ease of motion along with a new awareness of your calves!
Learn to Pose:
Quickie version for beginners:
CrossFit discussion of Pose Method:
How does the Pose Method help prevent injuries?
Helpful video analysis of runners:
Today Charles all of a sudden felt like trying a back tuck, even though he hadn't tried one since high school (ten years ago).
It's not the prettiest thing but he gets the job done.
Now if he can just get some lessons from Shira...
Getting Old Ain't So Bad After All
(special thanks to Carl Close for passing along the article)
TONS O' CROSSFIT EVENTS THIS WEEKEND:
TONIGHT: Lanesplitter's 6 P.M.: PIZZA, BEER, AND GRANDMA'S X-MAS SWEATER COMPETITION (http://www.countryewe.com/enlarge_picture.cfm?Brand=berek&Image=967510r).
SAT AND SUN: WODs at 9 a.m. AND 10 a.m.
SATURDAY AFTERNOON: Our first FREE CrossFit Kids Intro class with Shira the Great and Nicole from 3 p.m. to 4p.m.
SATURDAY NIGHT: FELLOW CROSSFITTER JOHNATHAN AND BAND MYOTONIA:
1700 Clement Ave (all the way at end of Clement)
show starts at 7 P.M.
SUNDAY: F.U.E.L. Seminar 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
THIS IS THE LAST DAY TO RESERVE YOUR SPACE!!!
Here is a new contest at CrossFit Oakland for your amusement. The rules are simple:
1.Guess the exact WOD which will be posted on the national CrossFit site before it is posted.
B. Post your guess to CrossFit Oakland.
3/3. Guessing "rest day" does not count!
Winners will get a free CrossFit T-shirt!
Hint: the WOD design is not random, and the template can be found in the CrossFit Jounals.
Monday, December 25th at 10 a.m.
We will be meeting on Christmas morning for a FREE community workout in the park across from Gold's Gym on Grand Avenue. Please invite friends and family--the more the merrier!!! Dress for the cold and be prepared to get dirty...the CrossFit elves have something up their sleeves!
FGB Mice by Evelyn Rodas. Dry erase on white board.
Post scores from FGB and ideas on how to improve scores. Also critique the form of the mice in the picture. Be nice, they are only mice. Bonus points for mouse haiku.
Grip can be the weakest link in your muscular chain. Here is an explanation of your options when lifting heavy (or light):
Closed Grip- The fingers are wrapped around the barbell with the thumb positioned along side the index finger. This is the grip that comes naturally to everyone and is therefore the most common. Under submaximal loads it works just fine, but will not withstand maximal lifts!
Hook Grip- For clean and jerk/snatch- The thumbs wrap around the barbell first and then the fingers wrap over the top of the thumb. This means that the thumb is applying pressure to the barbell and the fingers are also applying pressure to the thumb and barbell. Athletes who use this grip can lift heavier than athletes who use the closed grip. Begin using this now for long term development of grip strength!
Initially this is not the most comfortable grip, but over time the discomfort will pass and your body will adapt to the effects of the grip. You'll be amazed at how solid your "pull" off the floor will be when using this grip mode.
more on hook grip:http://tomgorman.moonfruit.com/hookgrip/4511451994
Alternated/Mixed Grip- For deadlift. One palm faces towards the body and the other faces away. Generally, this is stronger than a closed grip and is similar to a hook grip in terms of the amount of load that can be lifted before grip failure.
As you know by now, CrossFit builds fitness across 10 interrelated physical capacities: endurance, Stamina, Strength, Flexibility, Power, Speed, Coordination, Agility, Balance, and Accuracy.
Strength can be increased by improving neuromuscular efficiency. For example if 1500 muscle fibers are needed to perform a movement and a muscle has 1600 such fibers, but your mind can only tell your body to fire 1000 of them, you cannot do the lift but you have a lot of untapped capacity. So if you are at the beginning of your weight training career, increasing the mind-body connection is probably the best way to increase strength.
If, however, you are experienced at lifting, you may be firing 1500 fibers and be able to do the lift, but have very little capacity to increase the poundage. The solution? More muscle fibers, also known as hypertrophy, or increasing muscle mass.
For those who wish to pack on some additional mass, I will be offering a six-week modified class schedule focusing on building quality muscle starting January 16th. We will be focusing on the big three slow lifts: The Deadlift, Squat and Bench Press, with some work on Overhead presses and other Dino/Retro/Diesel training methods (pushing Mike's Truck, Heavy object carries and lifts, etc.). Secondary focus will be on building grip strength. I have a few tricks up my sleeve that most of you have not seen.
I will post the schedule when we get closer to the 16th. There will be some additional classes, including Sunday at 11AM-1PM and possibly some evening classes if I can figure out how to work that.
All CFO members are welcome. The Sunday and possible Eve. Classes will have a $5.00 drop in fee for members and a $20.00 drop-in fee for non-members. Classes offered during regular hours will be free for members and $20.00 for non-members.
I am asking that anyone interested in doing this be able to do the following: deadlift 1.25x your bodyweight, bench press .75x your bodyweight, squat 1x your own bodyweight. If you cannot do this but would still like to participate call me or email me directly. Everyone who is going to do this should attend the first class, so we can talk about:
eating for mass
how to modify WODs to focus on strength
why aerobics and strength building don't mix (except when they do)
One additional caveat: in order to really focus on strength, you must realize your metabolic capacity will diminish a bit, and you may gain a pound or two of fat, but putting on 2-4 pounds of quality muscle mass will make a big difference in your athletic ability in the long run, and it will be easy to lean out get your metcon back when the strength phase is finished.
Post questions, dino/retro/diesel training ideas and links to resources under comments.
BTW, ever wonder what firefighters do when they are not putting out blazes or blazing through FGB? Apparently they... decorate!
Injury to the knee
In balloon sports such as wrestling, basketball, competitive swimming, American football, Australian rules football, skiing, volleyball, soccer and hockey or other sports that involve great stress to the knees, it is common to tear one or more ligaments or cartilages. The anterior cruciate ligament is often torn as a result of a rapid direction change while running or as a result of some other type of violent twisting motion. It can also be torn by being extended forcefully beyond its normal range, or as a result of being forced sideways. In such cases, other structures will incur damage as well. Especially debilitating is the unfortunately common "unhappy triad" of torn medial collateral and anterior cruciate ligaments and a torn medial meniscus. This typically arises from a combination of inwards forcing and twisting.
Fortunately, CrossFit is not likely to cause such acute injuries, however unsound mechanics in running, squatting, deadlifting etc. can cause injuries as well.
Knee pain occurs for a variety of reasons, but the following tips generally help prevent or reduce pain. Check with your physician for specific recommendations for your situation:
Increase Training Gradually
Doing too much too soon, is one of the major causes of sports injury. Knee pain is particularly common in runners who increase training mileage quickly. The best way to avoid this is to follow the 10 percent rule. This simply means that you should limit your training increases to a maximum of 10 percent each week. That cane be time, load, mileage or any other parameter.
Muscle weakness or imbalance is one of the first things physical therapists check for when evaluating knee pain. Such an imbalance can be the source of pain. In addition to specific muscle strengthening of the muscles that support the knee (quads, hamstrings, calf), building core strength improves overall stability which may reduce the risk of injury.
The balance of quadriceps to hamstring strength is not 1:1; but closer to 3:2. In general healthy hamstrings can lift 60 - 80% of what healthy quads can do.
More about Conditioning Exercises.
Athletes who are less flexible than average may benefit from flexibility exercises. This is more critical in athletes involved in stop and go sports or those that require quick cuts and turns. Improving flexibility in the quadriceps, and the hamstrings are helpful. For specific stretching information, also see Flexibility Links.
Coordination drills and proprioceptive training have also been found to be helpful in protecting the knee from injuries. More about Proprioception.
One of the best programs for preventing knee injuries, particularly ACL injuries, has been seen in the Santa Monica ACL Injury Prevention Project (PEP). This program, designed based upon the results of a research project, involves a specific routine of exercises and skills training. While designed to address the increase ACL injury rates in female soccer players, the exercises can be used successfully by anyone who wants to avoid knee injuries, as the core concepts are the same for all knee injuries.
Finally, using the correct footwear is helpful to control excess ankle motion (pronation and supination). Prescribed orthotics may also help with this.
Get With The Program
In a way, I guess we're bowing to social convention with this entry, but alas, we are social creatures.
As the end of the year approaches, it's only natural to look back at what's occurred and ahead to what one thinks, or hopes, will happen in the future.
We've displayed just a small piece of our recent past in the photos above. We think it's a pretty good visual representation of the fun work and serious play that characterize our style of fitness training. And most importantly, you get to see some of the people we are fortunate enough to train on a daily basis.
As for the future, we want more of you to start training with us!
To that end, we're providing the following incentives:
1. Any new/prospective CFO member gets to train with us for 1 week free of cost.
2. Any existing CFO member who brings in someone new (and that person signs up for at least 1 month of training) gets 3 months of training at a 10% discount and gets to attend one of our seminars (nutrition, climbing, olympic lifting, etc.) free of cost.
It is time for CFO athletes to take the world famous Mud Run by storm! Registration opens Jan 1, 2007 and will be sold out quickly, so in order to secure our spaces we need a confirmation of CFO members that are going to participate. Once we have a head count we can form teams (5 people each) and then choose Team Captains. Team Captains will be responsible for making sure that everyone in their group is registered--all team members have to register together. Registration is $50 a person.
The Mud Run is a challenging 10K run with hills, tire obstacles, river crossings, two 5-foot walls with mud on both sides, tunnel crawl, slippery hill climb, and the final 30-foot mud pit. All team members must cross the finish line together!
We will provide information about training and coordinate meetings to help all CFO athletes prepare for June 9th...
For full details and course map:
Photos of Mud Run:
Post today if you intend to take part--then we can choose captains!
We are also going to need a t-shirt representing CFO, any graphic designers willing to take a stab at it?
Give Up the Goods
Post your three favorite books, movies, and websites to the Comments section.
(Note: CrossFit and CrossFit Oakland are excluded as favorites in the website category, since it's a given that everyone's favorite website is CFO.com!)
Mud Run Follow-Up
It now looks like a certainty that we'll be sending three 5-person teams from CFO to the June 9 Mud Run. Awesome!
To close the deal and ensure your spot, please make out a check to Nicole Okumu for $50. Nicole will take care of registering everyone who responded in Comments but she needs to be reimbursed. Drop the check off the next time you're in to train (we're back to our normal training schedule).
Year of the Pig
What do you hope to achieve with CrossFit this year? Use the following guidelines to help you and then share your hopes/goals/aspirations in the comments section. Not only will this help you while training, but will also be invaluable for Mike, Max and Nicole! The more we know, the more we can help you...
Positive Statement - Express your goals positively.
Be Precise - Set precise goals, putting in dates, times and amounts so that your achievement can be measured and planned for.
Set Priorities - Where you have several goals, give each a priority. This helps you to avoid feeling overwhelmed by too many goals, and helps to direct your attention to the most important ones.
Write Goals - Writing goals down keeps you focused and in touch with what you are trying to do.
Be Realistic - Have a clear understanding of what you want and how you are going to achieve it.
MUD RUN UPDATE:
Team Captains: Mike and Nicole
Quick Registration Meeting: Sat, December 30th, 11:00a.m.!! Please bring a check/cash for $50 made payable to Nicole or CrossFit Oakland!!
FREE COMMUNITY DAY WORKOUT, MONDAY, JANUARY 1ST @ 10A.M. CFO
Knowing the target you're aiming for is important.
To follow up on Nicole's post from a couple of days ago, I'd like to discuss one of the finer points of performance and goal-setting.
It may seem like the world's biggest "duh" statement, but it bears mentioning nonetheless: Your goal(s) will determine how you perform (and more importantly, how, and if, you use performance in a workout as an evaluation tool, as the end itself, or some combination of evaluation tool and end result).
So what does this mean, exactly? It means that your approach to the WODs (as posted on CrossFit) will determine, in large part, how quickly you make fitness gains in all ten general physical skills (as defined by Jim Cawley at Dynamax): endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, speed, power, agility, accuracy, balance, and coordination.
Basically, there are two approaches one can take in using the WODs:
1. You can use the WOD as the end itself.
2. You can use the WOD to diagnose weaknesses and then take specific steps to address said weaknesses.
Approach 1 is the easiest to implement, will provide the most bang for the buck for those new to physical training, and will lead to general health and well-being better than any program out there.
Approach 1 treats each workout as the ultimate test and the goal is to perform one's best on each WOD that comes up, and let the beautiful template of the workout program take care of the rest.
Approach 2 uses the occasional WOD to gauge (or benchmark, if you prefer) one's current level of fitness. This approach is particularly useful when evaluated against the backdrop of the ten general physical skills because it allows one to clearly identify where he or she is weak. After this evaluation is performed, one then engages in a more focused program that directly addresses those weaknesses.
Approach 2 can be employed when an athlete is trying to jump from one performance level to another (within the context of a CF workout; e.g., trying to move from a sub-10-minute Fran to a sub-3-minute Fran) but won't be able to get there without some dedicated work (e.g., the athlete could do Fran using 135# thrusters and a weight vest for pull-ups, engage in a pull-up training program, etc.).
Either approach is valid. Both will yield results. Most (all?) of you will engage in both methods over the course of your training life. It simply depends on what you're looking to achieve in your training.
With that in mind, now is as good a time as ever to read through Coach Glassman's Fundamentals, Virtuosity, and Mastery.
And after you finish reading, post to Comments the approach you're currently using in your CF training and give the reason(s) why.
FREE FREE FREE FREE FREE FREE FREE FREE FREE FREE FREE FREE FREE
Start 2007 off with CrossFit! We are having a Community Day Workout on Monday, January 1st at 10 a.m. Everyone is welcome, please bring friends and family for the first WOD of the New Year.
We'll be working out at our location on 3300 Broadway.
Coach B's Warm-up:
Happy 29th Birthday Ann! (Born Jan. 1 1978)
Ann K. is one of our most dedicated athletes. She has an amazing attitude and is a true pleasure to work with. She has come a long way in a short while, and we expect big achievements from her!
Post New Year's/Ann's Birthday Resolutions & comments to comments.