Happy CrossFit Games season, everyone! Welcome to the triumphant return of Rob’s Rant. I hope to write at least 3 of these posts consecutively. I’m probably repeating a lot of what you watched in the announcement but I did the workout so I’ll tell you how it went.
I rowed 500m on the ski-erg. Then I performed the shoulder warm up. Down and back lunges with a pass through. Then I warmed up snatch and clean and jerk until it felt nice. I kept a sweat shirt on until I was ready to start the workout.
Gear: Nanos. Knee sleeves on the shins. Taped thumbs. Wrist wraps. A hole lot of chalk.
I think at one point during this workout I said something to the effect of “Holy F*ck” to Boyden as she was judging me. As expected, I got hung up on the toes to bar. I think there might be 5-6 athletes in our gym who excel at toes to bar and they will have a distinct advantage in this workout. However, most of us are not very proficient at toes to bar. Therefore, I’d suggest breaking up them up from the very start. The toes to bar is the majority of this workout. Move efficiently and use transition time to rest.
The deadlift weight shouldn’t be overwhelming for anyone. I would use an alternating grip on the deadlift or a hook grip. There is no need to tax your trip doing this movement. The snatch is basically the same. I would be sure to hook grip this movement. It isn’t going to take much energy for most athletes.
Switching between the movement is going to be an opportunity to rest. I’d be sure to catch your breath in between the movements but maintain a steady pace. Set an achievable goal for rounds and reps and get after it! I scored a 115.
Gear: Lifters. Knee sleeves. Taped Thumbs. Wrist wraps. Still lots of chalk.
This workout was more my speed. I rested for about a minute and a half while I switched out shoes. At best, athletes are going to get 4 pulls in the 6 minutes. I hit 205 to start. I would put a weight on the bar that you could hit at any point without any question. I then hit 235, 255, 270. For anyone that is curious, 270 is my one rep max.
I used a squat clean and a push jerk. Focus on maximizing hip strength. You’ll be fatigued and your grip will be shot. The only way to move considerable weight is to use every ounce of hip power you can. Again, grip is going to be smoked, be sure to use a hook grip for the clean portion of this workout.
:: Toya’s Tips #4 – Open Season – 02/26 ::
The Open is here! and all the hype about it. For those old and new, The Open is CrossFit’s worldwide test of fitness. Each week for 5 consecutive weeks a wod is announced, scores are posted, and people are ranked; fitness is put to the test! I questioned various people in our CrossFit community and from other gyms, “How would you describe the CrossFit Open in one word/phrase?” and received the following answers:
“A way to push yourself beyond what you thought you were capable of”
“Testing your physical and mental strength”
“Prove your fitness; test yourself’
“Fun, hard, and humbling”
“Leaves you hungry for more”
“Great way to build community”
So, I guess my tip to you would be consider signing up! Whether it’s online and against the world or for our in-house competition, “just do it” (another response i received). On top of pushing yourself, surprising yourself, and probably killing yourself, you gain an even greater insight on what “community” is to CrossFit and CrossFit Matters! Sign up and have some fun!
:: Toya’s Tip #3 – Risk it to get the biscuit 11/18 ::
You have to put yourself out there and try new things! Challenge yourself in the gym and DON’T be afraid of failure. CrossFit is hard, clearly, and you’re not going to be perfect at everything. Failure is going to happen but that’s how you learn and get better. Do the double unders in the wod, put more weight on the bar (IF IT IS SAFE) instead of taking it easy, use a lighter band (or no band at all!) on those pull-ups, etc. Challenge yourself to do more things in the gym and if you fail, so what? You’ll get better and eventually get it, but you will not eventually get it if you never try. And nobody is judging you if you, for example, try a heavy squat clean and fail or if you take extra time to do doubles instead of singles. Actually, it is more admirable to see people pushing their limits. Pushing yourself makes success that much sweeter.
Everyone at the gym wants to see you succeed! Don’t be afraid of failure! You gotta risk it to get the biscuit.
:: Rob’s Rant – Scaling – 10/08 :: For this week’s rant, I have decided that I need to further discuss scaling. Scaling, as I mentioned in the last post, is very important and there is absolutely no shame in scaling a workout to your abilities as an athlete. If you’re new to CrossFit (we’ll call it less than 9 months in), you don’t need to read any further. Just stop. Tune in next time for another fun rant. I think this post might sound hypocritical when compared to the last rant, but whatever.
There is no way to sugar coat this: if you’re beating the top Rx-ed scores, your scaled WOD is too easy. Again, scaling is incredibly important for EVERY athlete. When workouts are designed, there is a goal. Some workouts are intended to be a “sprint.” Others are intended to be more of a marathon. Certain workouts call for heavier loads with fewer reps and yet still, some workouts have less weight with more reps.
Some of the longer WODs are easier to scale because generally the weights are not as intense. However, some of the sprintier WODs are often scaled by athletes because they’re scared of the weights involved. If a WOD calls for 185# squat cleans and your max is 165#, clearly scaling is appropriate. However, if you can handle 225# but want to do 165# cause it’s easier, then you’re doing it wrong.
It seems to me that people are scared at times to really step out of their comfort zone when attacking these workouts. Another example would be kettlebells. I think all the guys in our gym can handle 55# KBs and many of the guys in our gym can handle 70# swings, but many don’t, for whatever reason. I guess the point is if you can swing that 70# KB, do it and work for it.
As I said last post, I would love to see every athlete in the gym RXing every WOD. I know that’s never going to happen as our community continues to grow. However, if you are ABLE to handle the weight in the WOD do it (don’t be afraid to challenge yourself, which will only benefit you and your development). There is NO shame in getting time capped or having a “bad” score because the workout calls for a heavy movement. Regional/Games athletes get time capped ALL THE TIME. I watched 80% of the CF games. Certain Team WODs only had 3 teams finishing the whole workout. Same goes for the individual athletes. Again, there is absolutely NO SHAME in getting time capped.
So, in summary, scale if you have to scale. But, in scaling, make sure that you’re challenging yourself in the way the workout is intended to challenge you. I think back to the Comp Class WOD the other night. It had 185# power cleans, 30 of them. NO WAY did I ever think I would be able to do that but Dustin’s programing did just that. CrossFit is intended to make you uncomfortable, what we do defies logic. Constantly pushing the limits of the human body and our potential. I promise to continue to push my limits if you’ll do the same.
:: Toya’s Tip #2 — Chickity-check yo self before you wreck yo self! ::
Before you even read any further, how’s that posture?
Most likely not that great! Bad posture is innate, it seems, and it can really wreck you. I’ve noticed constant back pain now that I’m back in school because I sit for 8 hours all sorts of slouched/hunched/slumped, and I’m sure many of you do the same with your jobs.
Periodically throughout your day you should “check yo self” before you “wreck yo self.” Nobody wants to be hunchback grandma in X amount of years, so start doing something about it now!
But let’s talk about cR0sSfiT. You’ve heard all the pointers — tight midline, set those shoulders/active shoulders, external rotation, etc. Well, how in the world do you expect to do that perfectly when you come to the gym for one hour of the day, and you’re Hunchback of Notre Dame the other 23 hours. Practice makes perfect, so practice setting those shoulders back, having a tight midline, etc., the entire day, so when you get to the gym and set up for your lifts, the feeling is natural — muscle memory! If you want to get better at CrossFit, get better at posture. If you constantly slouch or roll those shoulders in, guess how you look when you lift? Slouchy. I mean, slOUCHy. Let’s give it up for Ice Cube, changing lives (and hopefully midlines) — check yo self before you wreck yo self!
P.S. What is good posture doe? (1) Shrug your shoulders, (2)send those shoulders back, like someone is poking both of your shoulders back, then (3) un-shrug, or bring the shoulders down while keeping them back. It should feel like your shoulder blades are touching and that you’re sticking your chest out. Questions? Ask Jim lol!
:: Toya’s Tip #1 – “Slow Down to Speed Up” – 09/16 ::
I know you want to get through the WOD with the fastest time, be first on Wodify, blah, blah, blah, but if you slow down and maintain good form, you’ll get through it faster and more efficiently than going so fast that you can barely control the bar! On top of that, you’ll probably burn out quicker and have an even slower time. I constantly see athletes all amped up trying to kill the WOD, but their form is sloppy and it’s painful to watch. This is particularly common when the workout calls for “lightweight.” Since it’s light, form seems to go out the window. For example, way back when I did “Nancy,” (look it up if you don’t know… but you should really start memorizing benchmarks :)) I came in from the 400m run, grabbed the bar, which is meant to be lightweight, and started my OHSQ as fast as possible. I ended up barely staying in my heels, bouncing all around at the top trying to find balance, having to re-find my squat stance every rep, etc. The next time I came in from the run, I told myself to slow the heck down and to focus on good form. That round I was consistent each time, and finished that round of squats quicker because I was going slower and was able to control my body.
This is applicable to many things. I cannot take credit for this phrase, so, shoutout to good ol’ First Watch Restaurant. As a food server (and in life), we get swamped all at once and the mind is going a million miles an hour. The best way to get everything accomplished is to SLOW DOWN.
:: Rob’s Rant – Rx Button – 09/08 ::
Lets get started! This week’s topic is the Rx button. CrossFit is unique, the better an individual gets at CrossFit, the harder CrossFit becomes. The weights increase, the reps increase, and the movements become more complex. One of the uniquest aspects to CrossFit is the Rx designation.
The Rx designation is something that is earned. Clicking that hallowed button means an athlete performed the prescribed workout exactly as written. The appropriate number of repetitions, amount of weight, and in the a lotted time. At times, I have seen athletes at our gym click the button who haven’t really earned that designation.
Seeing an individual prematurely click the Rx button upsets me for two reasons. First, it is dishonest to you, the athlete. It is paramount that a person understand their abilities and their weaknesses. Pretending to Rx a workout is only a misrepresentation of your abilities. Second, it is unfair to other athletes. It is always a pleasure to see an athlete hit a new PR in an Rxed workout. It always awesome to see an athlete complete a a new benchmark WOD Rxed for the first time. Be honest to your self and honest to your community.
That is not to say there is ANY shaming in scaling a workout. Just yesterday (9/2) I scaled the 800m run because my ankle was bothering me and I didn’t run to aggravate it during the run. This decision to scale the workout to a row allowed me to hit a personal record on my 1000m. My purpose for telling this brief story is to show that there is no shame in listening to your body and respecting your abilities. There is no sense putting your body at risk of injury just to earn the Rx designation.
I would love to see every athlete in our gym consistently “Rxing” every WOD. However, it is important for every athlete to understand their abilities, know their weaknesses, and listen to their bodies. There is never any shame in dropping the weight, using a band, or modifying a movement. All of our coaches are ready, willing, and able to help you work towards that Rx designation. Please, please, please, don’t prematurely click the button. Work for it.
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