Fitness
Aug 6th, 2013

Just a Couple Spots Left for Jo Ann’s Women’s Strength Program

The women from Jo Ann’s last session showing the fruits of their labor   Jo Ann is kicking off another 6-week cycle for her Women’s Strength Class.  She’s going to run two sessions, with both sessions starting Thursday, August 15th.  The class is limited to 12 females, and there are currently a couple of spots […]

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Jul 30th, 2013

Steve P & the CrossFit Games: Final Thoughts

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  I’m not sure I can really write anything that hasn’t already been said (either in person or via the blog and FB) regarding Steve’s performance at the 2013 Games.  His defining moment will surely be the his deadlift/box jump workout on Day 2, which shot him from 17th place to 9th place overall, which […]

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Category: Community
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Jul 25th, 2013

Steve’s Climb Up the Leaderboard!

Steve’s 2nd Place Performance in the Deadlift/Box Jump Couplet Days like yesterday make days like today all the more satisfying.  The same perseverance and grit Steve showed yesterday, as he clawed his way through workouts that weren’t in his wheelhouse, he showed today as his back was against the wall and he knew he had to deliver. […]

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Jul 24th, 2013

Tough Day 1; On to Day 2!

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  Some days, you just have a tough day at the office, so to speak.  Today was one of those days for Steve.  We kind of expected the first two workouts to be rough ones, since Steve’s shoulders would be smoked after the 75 overhead squats in Nancy, and he was looking at 25 handstand […]

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Jul 23rd, 2013

Steve P Ready to Go!

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Well, after a ton of hard work, it’s time for Steve to compete in the Games!  I got to spend some time with Steve today at the Masters athlete briefing, and as usual, Steve is taking everything in stride and looking forward to getting the competition started tomorrow. Over the next three days (Tue-Thu), Steve […]

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Jul 20th, 2013

What do you do when you get injured?

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On one of the many visits I made to my surgeon before finally deciding on my shoulder repair, he asked me “what’s in it for you?”  My guy is the team surgeon for a pro baseball team and is invited to ‘the Combine‘ every year.  He deals with athletes that have millions of dollars riding […]

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Category: Fitness
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Jul 12th, 2013

Femme Fit Prep Workout This Saturday at 11am!

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  As we posted a couple days ago, we’re going to be doing Femme Fit prep workouts for the next four Saturdays, from 11am to 1pm, leading up to the competition.  If you’re doing Femme Fit, take advantage of these sessions.  But even if you’re not doing Femme Fit, but are interested in competing at […]

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Category: Community
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Jun 25th, 2013

What Does Golf Have to do with CrossFit?

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A typical golf scenario for me, playing deep in the rough on the other side of the cart path, scrambling for dear life

So what does golf have to do with CrossFit?  Nothing at all.  And everything.

I’m not talking about training adaptations here, or energy systems, or anything like that.  It’s more philosophical.

I’ve been reading a great book (a big thank-you to CFOer Tom L for lending it to me) on Tiger Woods, written by his former coach, Hank Haney.  It’s called The Big Miss.  It’s really more of a behind-the-scenes look at Tiger Woods, the type of sacrifices he makes to be the best, and some of the personality traits that he possesses which enable him to be the best golfer he can be.  It also gets into a lot of the technical golf swing stuff I like, but that doesn’t make for good CFO blog fodder.  It has nothing to do with the personal headline-grabbing stuff that happened to Tiger off the course.  Haney keeps it pretty much (90%) about Tiger the golfer, via his relationship with him as his coach.  But this isn’t a book review.

There was one particular passage that really jumped out at me, and it relates to anyone who’s training with us, from pages 100-101:

To me, it was an example of a great performer doing what Geoff Colvin in his book Talent is Overrated calls "deliberate practice."  It’s the most difficult and highest level of practice because it requires painstaking focus on weaknesses.  A lot of players hit a lot of balls but focus only on their strengths.  The great improvers are willing to get uncomfortable and make the mental and physical effort to correct a flaw, which often involves difficult "opposite-oriented" remedial learning.  But that was Tiger in major-championship preparation mode. (Emphasis mine.)

CrossFit training is all about bringing up your weaknesses, whether it’s getting a strict version of a bodyweight movement (pull-up, handstand push-up, etc.), getting better at the Olympic lifts, improving your running, the list goes on and on.  

You should always be devoting some time in your training session to tackling those weaknesses, whether it’s before class, during our skill work pieces, or after class.  Yes, you want to get stronger (our Part A workouts) and get better stamina and endurance (our Part B workouts), but you also want to work to eliminate weaknesses.

If you have no idea what you should focus on, or would like to get a plan for attacking your weaknesses, ask one of your trainers.  They love coming up with ways to get you to improve.  And when working on those weaknesses, remember to pay attention to the second sentence in bold in the quote above.  Tackling weaknesses is going to involve difficult "opposite-oriented" remedial learning.

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Jun 21st, 2013

Running Performance and Heart Health

Dr. O’Keefe giving a TED Talk on running and heart health

File this away in the old "some is good, more isn’t necessarily better" folder.  In this TED talk, Dr. O’Keefe, a cardiologist, discusses heart health and heart attack risk factors among runners and non-runners, and summarizes a few studies on mortality rates between runners and non-runners.

The take-home points of his talk, as it relates to running, per the studies he discusses, are as follows:

  • Not running at all (couch potato syndrome) sets you up for the greatest risk of heart attack.
  • Some running, or being an average or mediocre runner, is beneficial in terms of reducing heart attack risk factors.
  • Getting really good at running (think elite level) is better than being a couch potato, but not as beneficial as being a mediocre runner.

A couple of points to consider when taking this in:

  • He didn’t discuss other forms of exercise and their impact on heart health.  It was only focused on medium- and long-distance running.
  • He is coming from a health-oriented point of view, and all of his recommendations are based on optimizing heart health, not performance.

So what does this mean for you?  It depends on if you’re after health or performance (some would argue that you can have both, but at the highest level of athletic performance, health and performance are going to diverge, at least somewhat).

If you’re after health, you’re training at the right place.  Due to the nature of our program, we try and balance not only metabolic pathways (time duration of workouts and their related adaptations), but also disciplines/modalities.  We’re not just a barbell program, or a bodyweight program, or a running program.  Due to the balancing act of all our modalities, you’ll never be over-exposed to one discipline and will have well-rounded health.

And if you’re after performance, you’re also in the right place.  We’ll do everything we can to optimize health while chasing performance.  To that end, we have a number of specialty coaches (Olympic Weightlifting, Powerlifting, etc.).  And more related to the subject at hand, we even have Coach Aaron, our CFO Endurance and Running coach.  Did you know he runs track workouts every Saturday morning at 8am at PIedmont High School, or that he runs an entire strength-and-conditioning program for track and endurance athletes?  Check out his Facebook page for more information.

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Jun 12th, 2013

A Simple Positional Change for a Better Front Rack

K-Star covering the front rack position

You may have noticed that we’ve been doing a lot of clean-and-jerks lately, and for good reason:  It’s a great exercise for developing power, coordination, and stability through the shoulder girdle.

That being said, if you don’t get a handle on your front rack position (how you hold the bar on the clean, jerk, and front squat), the clean-and-jerk is going to be a nightmare for you and your wrists (even though it’s not wrist flexibility that’s the issue, believe it or not) and you’ll never lift what your legs and hips are capable of doing.

So get on board with positioning your hands wider on the clean and front squat.  And if you’re lacking the mobility to get into the proper position at present, talk to one of the trainers at CFO and get some mobility drills from them.  It’s worth the investment in time.  Your body will thank you.

 

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