You are hereOctober 2006
Lest you think CrossFit is only for burly thugs with bald heads and a propensity for grunting, one of our bedrock principles is universal scalability. Here Annie is in the top position of one of our foundational moves, the front squat. The bar setup she uses mimics the size and feel of Olympic bars and plates, but the whole assembly is a manageable 35 pounds, and allows her to practice her form before moving on to heavier weights. The workouts can always be scaled to accommodate the needs of any athlete (usually scaled down, but sometimes up).
"The CrossFit program is designed for universal scalability making it the perfect application for any committed individual regardless of experience. Weâ€™ve used our same routines for elderly individuals with heart disease and cage fighters one month out from televised bouts. We scale load and intensity; we donâ€™t change programs.
"The needs of Olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree not kind. Our terrorist hunters, skiers, mountain bike riders and housewives have found their best fitness from the same regimen."
-Coach Greg Glassman, founder of CrossFit
A little haunted medball action at CrossFit Oakland due to the early hour and funky camera setting.
The Med Ball is a great tool for developing speed, strength, power, coordination, agility and accuracy. That's six out of ten of the major physical skills, and I am sure if you were resourceful you could find a way to work flexibility, endurance, stamina and even balance: overhead Med Ball Slack Line walks anyone??
Here we have video of Justin push-jerking 183 pounds, which is a 1x bodyweight single for him. He actually did it better right after this (full lockout) but I did not get it on video. OK so it is more of a push-jerky press: did I mention this was the first time he did this lift? Someone's gonna be a monster...
I got 180, a PR for me by 20 pounds. Next target is 200 pounds, any challengers?
On a related note, we are keeping track of various records on the white board in the back room. Check it out, and feel free to suggest any records we should be keeping track of.
Put an empty bar onto a pair of support racks and load the required amount of resistance. Stand behind the bar and take a grip just wider then shoulder width. Rotate your arms under the bar and up, so that your elbows point forward with the bar resting on your anterior deltoids and clavicle bones. Take a 3/4 breath. Hold your head erect and tighten your spinal muscles, raising the barbell up off the support racks. Step forward and plant your feet at hip width. Point your toes slightly out. Release and take another breath. Contract your deltoid muscles and take a short quarter squat dip while maintaining an upright spine. Now explode upward, pushing off the floor and driving the barbell with your arms. At the top of the extension, go up on your toes and quickly jump your feet out to the sides and back down into a quarter squat. Your stance should be shoulder width or a little wider. The bar should lock out overhead on or before your feet land. Secure and center the bar behind your head in line with your ears. Return to an upright position.
Here is a nice contrast to yesterday's brute strength effort. Sam L. uses speed, strength, power and coordination to control his own bodyweight. This is one of the CrossFit Level 3 (advanced athlete) benchmarks. Actually it is five feet more, but we don't have a rope that high, so we will call it close enough. Sam is right at the cusp of, or able to do, many of the level 3 benchmarks. He has put 2 years of honest effort into CrossFit, and since it is said to be a 3-5 year journey of daily, consistent effort to achieve at least some of the Level 4 (elite athlete) benchmarks, he is right where he should be. Nice.
Here are the first two rounds of today's WOD from CrossFit.com. 50-40-30-20-10 double-unders (where the rope goes under twice for each jump) and sit-ups. I have a bit of trouble hitting my stride at the beginning, but at 2:45 you can see a good example of double-under technique, with (I think) 24 in a row. Total time was 7:29.
Little better example of Double-unders: 35 in a row:
The keys to double-unders (besides practice) are hand speed, not jumping too high and keeping upright.
Here is a scaled-down version of one of the Mothers of all Metabolic Workouts, "Nasty Girls". (right side of page: last "WOD video")
We call this "Slightly Naughty Girl" AKA "Sharon".
3 rounds for time:
7 kipping pull-ups
14 jumping ring dips
7 65# Hang Power Clean
Sharon's time: 10:11, which is mighty speedy.
There is a six week Danzan-Ryu Jujitsu-Inspired Women's Self-Defense class at Suigetsukan Dojo. Information at Girl Army. Classes start October 8th.
Strong Women Are Beautiful: excellent article on women's body image by a teammate of our very own Candace Hamilton, center for the Berkeley All Blues Rugby Club. That's her in the second photo from the left.
<rant>While I cannot fully advocate the ultra-high calorie and rather carb-heavy diet described in the above article, it is a hell of a lot better than the salad and low-fat cookie diet which has been foisted upon our nation's women ("Snackwells" are the devil) by so-called "Women's Magazines". Real women need fat and protein in their diet and muscle on their bodies. We sometimes hear women say they don't want to "have big muscles" or "get bigger". Well we are not in the business of making you weak, and we refuse to buy into the idea that women should be weak! Perhaps you have some metabolically inert material you can remove so that you can gain muscle with no net displacement of body mass. Women need muscle mass to avoid osteoporosis, not to mention the fact that in the absence of quality muscle anyone, male or female, looks, well, weak. Is that really what you want? If so I suggest you avoid CrossFit, which will make you strong, and get a membership to a big-box, McDonald's-ish chain gym and take some bouncy-ball arm curl and cable-leg spasm classes. You will be nice and weak even after years of it.</rant>
Today (Saturday) we did the "Man Overboard" workout, with kudos to CrossFit NYC, who introduced this to us.
This is a circuit workout with as many stations as there are people. The person rowing serves as the "pace car" and everyone else continues the exercise they are doing untill the rower finishes and calls "man overboard". Everyone then rotates exercises and continues without a break until everyone has rowed. After a one-minute break the cycle is repeated: in this case for 2 rounds.
Today the exercises were:
Row 250 Meters
Thrusters (Men 65#, Women 35#)
Ugly day at CFO. Not one of us had good push-jerk. I failed at 175, even though I got 180 just a few days ago. Megan's were more like dip-press (topped out at 95) and Carlo while he did get 145 overhead had a few spectacular crashes.
Lessons learned: Focus on form first, then weight. Don't try to put 125 pounds down with your arms (use your legs). A six-pack is not an ergogenic aid. Roll the tape...
Shira demonstrates remarkable upper body control, spatial and kinesthetic awareness.
This little sequence also shows something not so obvious. The bill of goods we as a society have been sold by the Big-Box Fitness Chains is woefully inadequate and heavily discriminatory towards women. Workouts consisting only of bodybuilder-style exercises and hampsterish treadmill work are not only boring and ineffective, but only work cardio/respiratory fitness and limit strength. These are the two areas of human performance where men have a clear advantage. However there are least eight other parameters where men and women are equally matched or women have a slight advantage: stamina, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy...(more to come later this am).
Both the Men's and Women's Push-Jerk Records at CrossFit Oakland fell today. You will have to watch to video to find out who generated the most power.
Also on the table is the Bodyweight Push-Jerk record. So far Justin has it at 1x bodyweight (183), but a certain super-hero like CF'r can probably beat it...
Healthy competition is a hallmark of well-rounded athletes. If you can wrap your mind around the concept of being goal-oriented without attachment to results you will be most of the way there. You can compete in many sectors: against yourself, against others, against others in your age group, against the clock, against a fraction of a world record (for example can you get within 1.5x of the world record for the mile; about 5:50?), etc.
Competition is important because it shows us what is possible: before Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile in 1946 it was thought to be "impossible". Once he broke it the record only stood for 26 days! Admittedly there is a bit of hype in this example, but the logic is sound. There are many other examples of this type of athletic achievement being inspired by competition.
You can be notified when new videos are posted by subscribing at YouTube (assuming you have an account). There are lots of other good CrossFit, Oly, powerlifting videos, etc.
Interesting article on gender differences in competitive urge:
Sorry folks, I did not get any other good videos or pics today, so it's gonna have to be me doing 30 (not 35 as it says in video, I miscounted) double-unders. Plus I'm an only child, so you figure it out...
Building on the competition discussion from yesterday I compete against myself in double-unders (which I never heard of before CrossFit) and also against Mike M. who has 52 (I got it on video, but erased it, argh!). It's good for both of us, because if I get 53 he is sure to figure out how to get 75, and so on...
Also I sure would like to equal this guy!
Check "The Bad Boys And Girls Of CrossFit Oakland" on the national site! We're world famous. Scroll down to October 7th.
Also check out this utterly amazing display of strength, coordination, balance, and just plain skill!
Oh yeah baby: CrossFit Oakland is featured on the top page of CrossFit.com!
CrossFit Oakland will be offering our first annual seminar on using nutrition as fuel to drive athletic performance on Sunday October 22, 2006 from 10AM to 1PM for CrossFit Oakland athletes at CrossFit Oakland, 3300 Broadway, Oakland Ca. The cost will be $50.00 and an RSVP is required as we will be providing a meal for everyone who attends and need to know how many people we are cooking for. All affiliate athletes may attend for $50.00. CrossFit Affilates and Trainers may attend for $25.00. Non-athletes may attend at a cost of $75.00.
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
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
Here we see Charles (white shorts) and Justin (red shorts) going head to head on yesterday's WOD:
With a continuously running clock do one pull-up the first minute, two pull-ups the second minute, three pull-ups the third minute... continuing as long as you are able.
Use as many sets each minute as needed.
These are two relatively evenly matched athletes, but Charles has learned to strongly recruit his hip power. You can see Justin fall apart starting in round six as he tries to do it all with his upper body. There is a strong strong corollary in almost 100% of athletic activities: power is generated by a wave of contraction that starts at the core (hips) and radiates to the extremities.
Megan: 15 (to 6" target)
Max: 17 (to 6" target)
WOD #2 (done back to back with the above)
10 Kb swings
Franklin: 5:03 20# db/ 35#
Connie: 5:16 12# db/ 25#
Ann:7:39 15# / .5P
Sharon: 4:25 20# db/1P
Megan: 4:51 25# db/25#
James: 3:18 35# db/ 45#
Peter: 5:03 30#/55#
Max: 5:43 92.5#/1.5P (absolutely brutal, I was in intense distress from the third rep and wanted badly to quit untill about halfway through)
CrossFit is getting a huge bump into prime time due to the following upcoming blockbuster movies featuring CrossFit protocols either as training methods, or actual plot elements:
"FRANK MILLER'S THE 300"
I'm not exactly sure what I think about this. While It is great to get more people to do effective workouts, I do like the "undergound" aspect of CrossFit. Paradoxically, I am annoyed with Mark Twight, the "300" trainer, who is doing straight CrossFit, and makes it seem, by omission, that he made it all up on his own.
Here are Mark's "stats"
Clean & Jerk: 165#
Overhead Squat: 155#
Front Squat: 195#
Weighted Pull-Ups: +106#
500m Row: 1:28:2
2000m Row: 7:05
5000m row 18:51
Pretty sweet: I'm hoping to beat these times/scores within the next year (as far as Mr. Twight's Alpine times all I have to say is: whoa.).
Please post your opinions to comments, we are interested to know what you think!
This is one of the CrossFit benchmark workouts.
21-15-9 reps of:
225 pound Deadlift
Scale as needed.
This weekend there are several special events, and schedule changes: please pass this on to anyone who you think might not have read this.
Saturday: Class will be at 8AM instead of 9AM. There will be no 10AM session because we are going to Treasure Island (middle of Bay Bridge) to watch Candace and and the #1 ranked Berkeley All Blues rugby team play at 10AM. Everyone is invited to caravan with us. Bring a camera and a sweater. Directions are HERE.
Sunday: Class will be from 8:45 to 9:45. At 10:00 we are offering our Nutrition Seminar (FUEL). You must RSVP in advance if you want to attend because we are providing a meal and if people don't let us know in advance we won't know how much food to get!
Cost is $50.00
I'm sure you have all heard us say "everything we do in CrossFit is a wave of contraction that starts at the core (hips) and radiates to the extremities." Well how does this work exactly?
The hip flexors or iliopsoas are a group of muscles passing through the pelvis that act to flex the hips and rotate the lower spine. Lying deep within the torso, these are some of the least known skeletal muscles.
Imbalances in the muscles of the hip can cause back and hamstring trouble. Most problems with the hip flexors (such as leaning forward in the squat), don't originate in a lack of strength but in a lack of flexibility. If the iliopsoas and hip flexors are tight, they pull down and forward on the pelvis, which tilts the pelvis forward and rounds the lower back. We must fight to pull the pelvis back and keep it from tucking under.
This lack of flexibility also impacts the ability of an athlete to fully fire the hips in exercises such as the squat, kipping pull-up, deadlift, clean, box jump, sprint, etc. and is referred to in CrossFitese as "muted hip function."
Over time, as many of you have experienced, such inflexibility can become uncomfortable, if not downright painful--causing problems with full mobility and creating some sciatica-like symptoms. We urge you to keep working through this issue!
There are several hip flexor stretches that can be done daily to alleviate chronic issues, and should be included in a daily stretching program for athletes that are just beginning to to develop the musculature of the hip flexor.
These hidden muscles are a goldmine of power that are heavily relied upon in 95% of athletic activites and 75% of CrossFit moves!
Find those hip flexors, use them, and stretch them! We have an arsenal of stretches to help fight off hip flexor problems: talk to us if you are having "issues"...
Maybe if Jamie Sommers had some of Shira's skills those pesky fembots would not have given her so much trouble!
We call this a muscle-up by the way. Not easy.
We've recently had a few of our athletes (we consider all of our clients athletes) share with us how pleased they are with our style of training and the results they're getting.
During this conversation, they'll share with us a particular outcome that has led them to the conclusion that their level of fitness has improved. In so doing, they share with us their criteria for evaluating their own level of fitness (although they may not think of it in those terms).
Almost always, the outcome will be something along the lines of dropping down to X pounds for the first time in Y number of years, or being paid flirtatious compliments by relative youngsters, etc. In short, the outcomes that resonate with them are almost always tied to a qualitative end.
What's interesting to us as trainers is that almost all of these qualitative outcomes can be seen coming a mile away, so to speak. Is this because we possess some sort of weird psychic ability? Absolutely not. We know that our athletes are getting results because we measure them. And it's been our experience that the quantitative measures we do daily (and the results tied to those measures) usually precede the qualitative outcomes that clients are looking for.
So the next time you see us walking around with dry-erase markers or poring over the workout journals we keep, understand this: there's a method to our madness.
While we take great pride in--and love to hear--qualitative endorsements of our training, it's nothing that we can hang our hats on. We need data, and we need to be able to quantify, analyze, and compare said data. The bottom line is that if we're not measuring, we're not doing our job.
With that in mind, we'd like to give you a sneak peek at our new CFO Skill Assessment Guidelines.
All of our athletes will become familiar (probably more familiar than they'd like) with this document--and the standards it defines--in the very near future.
Those of you who are familiar with the national CrossFit site (and the discussions that ensue there) will see that our guidelines are based in large part on the guidelines that CrossFit North put together (we've changed a few things here and there). We owe them a huge debt of gratitude for the work they did in creating the original assessment document.
CrossFit Toronto has created a neat little graphic test based on the standards; you can take it HERE.
Shnikes! We are on the top page of the CrossFit Affiliates Page!
Thanks to all of the participants for our first food-as-fuel nutrition seminar: Connie, Chad, Kristine, Charles, Jen, Justin and Megan.
Here is a list of links to websites of interest on the subject of nutrition
Chad: This is one of the articles you are looking for:
Stephen A. Whole grains â€“ impact of consuming whole grains on physiological effects of dietary fiber and starch. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 1994; 34: 499-511. 12. Yudkin J.. Archaeology and the nutritionist . In: Ardrey R., ed. The Hunting Hypothesis . Collins, London, 1976.
For those of you who don't know newly minted trainer Nicole O., she started CrossFit (and the Zone) last year. Since that time she has made amazing gains: She has two children under three years old, and at 35, she has reconfigured her body and is in the best shape of her life. Nicole has radically changed her body composition, flensing 50-60 pounds of inert metabolic material and gaining at least 10 pounds of lean muscle.
Here we see her doing 50 free squats in 55 seconds with perfect form (full ROM, full extension at the top, toes off the floor). She is a metabolic monster and this was too easy: we should have had her do 100. She also deadlifts 145, a PR and a huge increase from where she started last year.
When Nicole started CrossFit, she literally could not jump up 3 inches. She could not jump onto the curb! Here we see she has overcome her fear of heights, as she jumps onto a 24-inch box, climbs a 15 foot rope and jumps to a high bar from the top of the box.
Bonus: one sweet chin-over-bar kipping pull-up!
95 # Thruster
Sub as needed.
Sam L: 10:56 as rx'd
Peter: 10:55 75#
Justin: 14:27 75#
Franklin: 8:49 70#
Max: 6:05 65#
Shira 9:56 65#
Leo 10:48 65#
Scott 12:53 65#
Candace 12:57 65#
Pat 13:10 65#
Dave 17:32 65#
Sharon 12:59 25# DB
Tim: 14:02 65#
Nicole: 9:08 55#
Joanne 15:01 45#
Aminta: 10:21 20 DB
Janet: 12:53 20 DB
Jenny 13:32 20# DB
Connie 15:33 20 DB#
Annie: 10:00 15# DB
Eliza 13:25 15# DB
LaDonna 13:18 10# DB
Workout in the park this Sunday at 10:00 AM across from Gold's Gym (600 Grand Ave., Oakland Ca.), at the Pull-up bars. Workout is Free! All are welcome.
Hey Affiliates: ever wonder how you can get people to understand that they are not getting their chins over the bar when they do so-called "pull-ups"? Members: ever wonder why we keep saying "chin over bar" when, darn it, you are getting your chin over the bar?!
Well the answer to both your questions is the same: The CrossFit Oakland Pull-Up Fraud Detector! This is a simple radio shack motion detector (cost $29.99) mounted above the bar in such a way that a tone chimes when you get your head high enough in a pull-up to break the beam (yep, you guessed it: chin over bar)!
So get 20 pull-ups on your bar and come to CrossFit Oakland and you will have 10 on ours!
Roll the tape...
Please join us this Sunday, October 29, 2006 at 10 AM for our monthly workout in the park. We will be across from Gold's Gym, 600 Grand Ave, Oakland CA, at the pull-up bars pictured above. The workout is free for everyone, so bring friends and family. We can scale the workout for anyone of any age or physical condition.
Please join us today, Sunday, October 29, 2006 at 10 AM for our monthly workout in the park. We will be across from Gold's Gym, 600 Grand Ave, Oakland CA, at the pull-up bars. The workout is free for everyone, so bring friends and family. We can scale the workout for anyone of any age or physical condition.
If you forgot to set your clocks back, do it now!
Egads! We made the top page of CrossFit.com again!
Thanks to all who attended our 2nd monthly workout in the park! It was a bit confused, but Pukie was absent this time. We promise to make order from the chaos next time!
Special thanks to Jonathan for showing us some cool new moves with the kettlebell.