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Workout Of The Day
The Workout of the Day or WOD is custom-programmed for the CrossFit Oakland community and is taught in our regular group classes under the close supervision of our highly trained coaching staff.
Jun 16th, 2012
One of the best assistance exercises yet developed.
Often when a trainee experiences a problem with one of the big lifts such as a squat or a deadlift, one of the first questions that gets asked is, "What other exercises should I do to make (insert muscle group here) stronger?" This is a very natural reaction and assistance exercises certainly have their place. However, in many cases, a simpler solution exists. If progress in the squat is lacking, then the answer is probably to squat more instead of doing something else.
Strength is not built overnight, but, instead, is the result of hard work and consistency. Lifts like the squat and deadlift are multi-joint exercises that employ most of the musculature of the body and are renowned for their difficulty. Because of the muscle mass used, the technique required, and the will that must be summoned to complete these lifts successfully, it is not always clear what the weak link is when a lift is missed. At limit weights, something is going to give and you are not going to be able to employ technique alone to pick 600 pounds up from the floor. Until a trainee is already fairly strong, it may not really matter what muscle group, or groups, are impeding progress on a lift. The body responds well to being trained as a system instead of a collection of discrete parts. Instead of looking to greater complexity or more exercises, it will often be a better use of everyone’s time to work on the movement in question with renewed focus.
There is probably no movement in the training arsenal capable of building total body strength like the squat. If the squat is a weak point, then choosing a weight that can be handled for three sets of five is a very good place to start. After the training session, the lifter should go home, eat some good food (probably a lot of good food), sleep, and then add a little weight to the bar and squat three sets of five again the next time they train. The process of lifting, recovering, and then lifting a little heavier is a proven method for getting stronger. Note that there is nothing complicated here. The repetition scheme is held constant. No additional exercises are added to bring up weak points. Instead, the only variable adjusted is the weight. Simplicity is good. Training should be as simple possible to drive the progress that is desired.
For many trainees, a simple approach such as the one above is all that is needed for a good long time. As strength levels increase and as familiarity with the lifts increase, additional complexity and exercises will become useful. However, the basic lifts remain the primary drivers of progress throughout a training career. If the goal is to squat more weight, then more time needs to be spent squatting. Any weaknesses that impede progress will be addressed by doing the exercise correctly and loading it in a way that encourages success.
Category: FitnessRead More
Jun 14th, 2012
Connie hitting full depth in competition
Webster defines virtuosity as "great technical skill (as in the practice of a fine art)". CrossFitters have taken to applying this definition to our sport. In a classic CrossFit Journal article, Greg Glassman states that virtuosity is "defined in gymnastics as ‘performing the common uncommonly well.’”
In this article that recently appeared on the CF Games site, CrossFit Ann Arbor coach Doug Chapmen discusses virtuosity as it relates to competing in the various stages of the CrossFit Games. He states that you should embrace virtuosity in your every movement, so that when you are under pressure at the highest levels of competition, your body will know exactly what to do — from the proper overhead position to the appropriate depth of a squat:
Virtuosity is gained through uncompromising attention to detail everyday. Athletes are nervous when they step into the arena at Regionals. Many times, their mind shuts off. Whatever they do on a daily basis comes out on the floor.
Not achieving squat depth in May is the direct result of what you were doing in December. Consistently practicing perfect movements hard wires good movement such that it becomes the default setting. Virtuosity is gained through persistent practice.
Duh, I know. But it is always good to remember that when you are or doing a squat-hip-forward-bend-to-an-inchworm or warming up your front squat with a dowel or on your final round of ‘Cindy’, you should be hitting full squat depth on every rep. You will be perfecting a technique that might come in handy at the next CF Games Snatch Ladder. It could happen, right, Candace?Read More
Jun 13th, 2012
By Mike Minium
Candace transitioning through the muscle-up at the NorCal Regionals
Tomorrow a number of you will be working on muscle-up transitions. Besides the band work we do, an essential part of getting the muscle-up down is linking a solid, compact swing to a tight receiving position at the bottom of the dip (knees up to chest, arms bent into a deep dip).
With that in mind, there’s a great CrossFit Journal article on muscle-up transitions with Carl Paoli. It’s a free download and well worth your time. And even better, it’s just 6 minutes long, so you have no excuses!
Go here to download whichever version you want: Muscle-Up Progressions: Part 2Read More
Jun 12th, 2012
By Mike Minium
Chris Spealler and Matt Chan breaking down knees-to-elbows and toes-to-bar
Since we’ll be practicing toes-to-bar (either getting them for the first time or linking them together), I decided to post this video. It’s brief and to the point, and gives you an idea about the areas you need to work on to make your toes-to-bar more efficient.Read More
Jun 9th, 2012
By Mike Minium
Just a quick reminder, we’re running people through "Hope" tomorrow during our morning group classes.
This is a CrossFit-wide fundraiser workout, with all proceeds going to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
We’re asking for a $25 donation to the cause, and every little bit will help. For more information on the cause and on the workout, go here: hope.crossfit.comRead More
Jun 8th, 2012
By Mike Minium
Jon Gilson going over the finer points of double-unders
Many of you will be practicing double-unders tomorrow as part of your workout. The emphasis is on practice. For some of you, we’ll be working with you to get your first double-under. For others, we’ll be working on having you string multiple unbroken sets together.
If you haven’t yet gotten double-unders down, check out the video above. It has the added bonus of having Robyn’s favorite CF coach as the mic’d instructor walking you through the various technical points and progressions for double-unders (yes, Jon Gilson).Read More
Jun 7th, 2012
Super-fun CrossFit "news" website, The RX Review, has put together a list of the Top 30 CrossFit Games male and female competitors from over the past 5 years. Here is a breakdown of the ranking process:
We trawled through the results of the past five CrossFit Games and came up with a points structure we believe is accurate. Starting from 2007, top competitors in each year’s Games are awarded rankings points depending on where they finished, with winners receiving bonus points. The point system stays the same for each CrossFit Games, but increases for every year after 2007. For example, a competitor who finished fourth in 2010 will receive more points than a competitor who finished fourth in 2008.
Our own Coach Tami made the list at #22. Congrats Tami! You rank a bit higher in our hearts and minds, but we will take any chance we can to celebrate your amazing achievements.Read More
Jun 5th, 2012
By Mike Minium
CrossFit for Hope, courtesy of CrossFit HQ
This year, instead of the traditional "Fight Gone Bad" fundraiser workout that’s done in the fall (usually around September), CrossFit HQ is holding a new fundraiser workout in the summer, "Hope." Hope is going down this Saturday, June 9, and is as follows, per the CrossFit for Hope website:
Three rounds of:
75/55 pound Power snatch
Box jump, 24"/20" box
75/55 pound Thruster
Chest to bar Pull-ups
"Hope" has the same format as Fight Gone Bad. In this workout you move from each of five stations after a minute. This is a five-minute round from which a one-minute break is allowed before repeating. The clock does not reset or stop between exercises. On call of "rotate," the athlete/s must move to next station immediately for good score. One point is given for each rep.
All of the funds raised for Hope will go directly to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a very worthy cause, for sure.
To make fundraising easy, we’re going to ask that everyone who comes in to do the workout on Saturday donate a $25 drop-in fee. We’ll be running the workout during our normal group class hours. You can, of course, donate more if you’d like. We’ve set up a CrossFit Oakland Donation Page and have set a goal of $1,250, which is very doable.
Let’s get a great turnout for Hope this Saturday and support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital!
For more information on CrossFit for Hope, go here: hope.crossfit.com/