Monthly Archives: March 2011

Fit for the Revolution

I work for the Revolution. We don’t have spiffy uniforms or big command centers. Our headquarters has no easily-found phone number.


We are a ragtag group of athletes, and we gather mostly in warehouses and industrial areas. Sometimes in parks or public spaces, until somebody complains and we get thrown out, told to “move along.”

There are signs in some places, openly stating that they don’t want our kind. “No CrossFitting here. No handstands against the wall. No deadlifts allowed.”


We do them anyway. We are contrarians.

Some people think we’re rude, or loud, or just plain wrong.

We don’t care. In the revolution, we learned long ago that the majority was not always right. In fact, often wrong. The majority was usually just happy to do what people told them to do, even if it was not working.

So we found a better way.


And we listened when the early leaders told us: “Don’t believe us. Look sh** up. Try it. Prove us wrong.”

We couldn’t prove them wrong. And we felt better than ever. We were stronger than ever. Happier too. Then we were hooked. And we wanted to tell everyone we knew about the revolution.

Some listened and joined us. Some did not. Some called us a cult. Our leader said, “We don’t care if you join and we don’t care if you leave. How is that a f***ing cult?”

See? That’s why it’s more of a revolution.

I work for the Revolution. And I don’t want a damn uniform. Turn the music up and let’s wod.

Courtesy of CrossFit Lisbeth.

Wednesday’s Skill:

Windmills

Turkish Get-Up

Front Squat (Elements)

Workout of the Day (WOD)

5 rounds for time of:

30 double-unders

20 kettlebell swings

10 windmills

Elements WOD:

10 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of:

5 pull-ups

10 goblet squats

20 single-unders

Post time and rounds to comments.

And check out the latest toy.  Lots of fun and lots of burn in the legs.


CrossFit Glendale, California, CrossFit Glendale, CA, CrossFit 818 642 7270, CrossFit Los Feliz, CrossFit Atwater Village, CrossFit Silverlake, CrossFit Eagle Rock, CrossFit Los Angeles, CrossFit Echo Park


Top Gear for the Die-hard CrossFitter

CrossFitters are different.  We’ve abandoned the tired and typical gym routine of curls, leg extensions, and 30 minutes on the elliptical.  Squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, and snatches are now part of our vocabulary.  And with this change in training and exercise comes unique gear and apparel for our sport.  So here is a tongue in cheek list of CrossFit gear for the true die-hards:

5.  Inov-8 shoes.  I’m totally addicted to these shoes.  And I’m not alone.  Check out the photo below.  Inov-8 shoes are circled in yellow.

4.  Compression Skins clothing.  I’m actually not sure what these do, other than make you look like you should be in the movie Tron, but CrossFitters swear by them.

3.  Olympic weightlifting shoes.  Again, I’m guilty of owning a pair.  They do help, that’s why Miranda is sporting her blue shoes below.

2.  Board shorts.  CrossFit originated in Santa Cruz.  So people worked out, then hit the beach, no wardrobe change required.  Now, Texas CrossFitters, that live nowhere near water, do WODs in board shorts.

1.  Last, the number 1 gear/apparel for the die-hard CrossFitter, the invisible shirt!  Lots of CrossFitters just can’t keep the shirt on.  See Rich Froning, second place at the 2010 CrossFit Games, strong dude, but doesn’t own a shirt.

Tuesday’s Skill:

Power Clean

Find 1 rep max

Push Press (Elements Class)

Workout of the Day (WOD):

For time, complete 15 – 12 – 9 reps of:

Power cleans (60% of 1 rep max)

Ring dips

Burpees

Elements WOD:

15 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of:

5 burpees

10 lateral hops

1 arm farmer’s carry 100 feet

Post times and rounds to comments

Urbanie with a PR on her power clean.

Another awesome day at CrossFit Merge in Glendale.  See everyone tomorrow.

CrossFit Glendale, California, CrossFit Glendale, CA, CrossFit 818 642 7270, CrossFit Los Feliz, CrossFit Atwater Village, CrossFit Silverlake, CrossFit Eagle Rock, CrossFit Los Angeles, CrossFit Echo Park


Top 10 Ways to Blunt Your Potential

Here are the Top 10 Ways to Blunt Your Athletic Potential.  Courtesy of Freddy C. at CrossFit One World.

  1. Not having goals, both short term and long term. A fitness regimen with no goals is like driving to a destination you have never been to before without a map or directions. Goals keep you on track. You seek out guidelines and information on how to achieve them. Make those goals!!!
  2. Avoiding your weaknesses. Why is it everyone and their mother shows up on the days we do some crazy workout, but when weightlifting days or running days come up, people suddenly don’t feel so well??? Weaknesses stem from a series of issues. Suck at an Olympic lift? It is probably tied into deficiencies in the strength and flexibility department. Can’t get through that whole 5k run? You need to eat better and build up your cardio/respiratory endurance. Attack your weaknesses and your strengths will improve.
  3. Poor nutrition. Food completely controls how your body functions throughout the day. It is the gasoline for your engine. An engine needs gas to run, and it runs better with good gas than it does with crappy gas. Start simple. Make changes in the quality of what you eat then fine tune it from there.
  4. Alcohol consumption. Alcohol is good for only one thing: getting buzzed. Unfortunately, getting buzzed causes a bunch of bad things to happen, mostly lack of control. You don’t sleep well (despite possibly even passing out). It dehydrates you. You tend to succumb to eating crap. You are damaging brain cells and your liver. But did I mention that alcohol is really good for getting buzzed??
  5. Lack of sleep. You can never get “too much” sleep. Our bodies are actually wired to go to sleep when it gets dark and wake up at the crack of dawn. Electricity has jacked up our internal clocks, so no matter who you are and how much you sleep, it is never enough. Sleep is a huge component in the body recovery system. Get more of it!!!
  6. Not taking proper rest/recovery time. Rest is different from sleep. You need to let the body rest from your training regimen. Take a rest day every few days. I would even recommend that every few months you take at least a week off from high intensity training. Your body needs time to heal, along with your brain. You will come back rip roaring ready to go both physically and mentally. Recovery simply means listening to your body. Pain is different from the discomfort of training. Pain needs to be respected. Pain takes time to heal. Turn your ego off and let your body heal up proper. The dumbest thing I ever heard anyone say was, “It hurts to train, but I have to workout.” (That was me by the way….)
  7. Poor hydration. Water is often an overlooked ingredient in a good training regimen. Water makes up about 60% of the human body. Lean muscle tissue is about 99% water. Bone is made up of about 22% water and even your skin contains water. There is not one system in the entire body that does not depend on water. You will be hard pressed to drink to much water in a day. Drink up!!!
  8. Lack of consistency. It’s not easy to stick with a workout program. You can get very positive results working out only two to three days a week if you really work hard and follow a solid nutrition plan. Start small…commit yourself to two days a week and build up to three. Once you start training three or more days a week, you will make leaps and bounds in reaching your athletic potential.
  9. Lack of a proper warm-up/cool down. Sure, argue all you want that when the shit hits the fan in life, you don’t get the chance to warm up. Very true, but a training session is not life. You are attempting to improve your athletic ability. You can’t do jack if you get hurt. Warm up those muscles, joints and connective tissues by doing active stretching in full range of motion. Take the time to do some good static stretching when you are done working out. Flexibility will increase. Injuries will decrease. Your workout performance will improve dramatically.
  10. Not listening to your coach. An experienced coach knows what he is talking about. For the most part, I know I can judge a person’s athletic ability watching them perform a few simple tasks just within a warm-up. Why is it when I tell someone they should scale a movement or a rep count or the load, they don’t want to listen to me? The road to better athletic performance is a path easier traveled when you listen to an experienced coach. Trust me.

Post thoughts or additions to this list to comments

Monday’s Skill:

Max rep box jumps in 1 minute (2 sets)

Mobility prep for the WOD

Wallball Shot (Elements Class)

Workout of the Day (WOD)

5 rounds for time of:

30 wallball shots (20#/14# for women)

15 overhead squats (75#/53# for women)

Elements WOD:

12 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of:

10 wallball shots

10 push-ups

10 lunges

Post times and rounds to comments


Ginger’s stellar flexibility makes the overhead squat a strength for her.

The Elements crew getting thoroughly acquainted with the wallball shot.

CrossFit Glendale, California, CrossFit Glendale, CA, CrossFit 818 642 7270, CrossFit Los Feliz, CrossFit Atwater Village, CrossFit Silverlake, CrossFit Eagle Rock, CrossFit Los Angeles, CrossFit Echo Park


How to Focus Your Brain

“Who can cross a busy road better, a varsity wrestler or a psychology major?”  The results of this study about athletes and brain focus were interesting, to say the least.  Here is one excerpt:

“the constant multitasking and information processing demanded by athletics increases both the capacity of the athletes’ mental information processing systems and their speed.”

Read the whole article here.  Athleticism, it’s good for the body and mind.

Here’s a quick recap of the weekend:

Friday’s Workout:

15 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of:

5 pull-ups

7 deadlifts (185/115)

9 push-ups

Elements Workout:

15 minute AMRAP of:

7 sumo deadlift high pulls

7 jumping pull-ups

Medicine ball run to the driveway and back

Burpee Mike (front) and Darren (back) getting their deadlifts done.

Saturday’s Workout

2 Minute Defense

Complete 5 rounds for time of:

1 power clean (135#/85# for women)

3 hand squat cleans

2 shoulder to overhead anyhow

Sprint to the driveway and back

Rest 2 minutes, then repeat for 5 more rounds.

Barbells were a flyin’

Sunday’s Workout:

‘Tabata That’

Tabata Burpees

Rest 1 minute

Tabata Sit-ups

Rest 1 minute

Tabata Push-ups

Rest 1 minute

Tabata Squats

Lowest score counts

Score total reps (Elements)

Did you know we’re on Facebook?  Oh, so you knew?  Then go ahead and Like us.

CrossFit Glendale, California, CrossFit Glendale, CA, CrossFit 818 642 7270, CrossFit Los Feliz, CrossFit Atwater Village, CrossFit Silverlake, CrossFit Eagle Rock, CrossFit Los Angeles, CrossFit Echo Park


Fitness Standards

I knew it was bad, but I didn’t know it was this bad.  This is a pretty staggering statistic, only 1 in 3 California students earned a “healthy” score on the state’s physical fitness test.  The test includes a one mile run, push-ups, and curl-ups (I assume this is some sort of sit-up).

Talk about starting off on the wrong foot.  I know, budgets are tight and school test scores are way down, so something’s gotta give, and physical education is an easy target.  But this the health and wellness of future generations we’re talking about.  Is this the best we can do?  Does anyone even care?

You can read more on this topic here.

CrossFit, being a maturing sport/activity, also has some fitness standards as well.  Here is one from CrossFit L.A.’s website.  See where you rank and then set some goals based off of the standards and milestones in this chart.

Click here to download the list.

Thursday’s Skill:

1 mile run

Ring work: static holds, skin the cat, muscle up practice

Workout of the Day (WOD):

For time, complete 20 – 15 – 10 – 5 reps of:

Kettlebell swings

Goblet squats

Try not to put the kettlebell down.

Post times to comments

John, Sal, and Benny going for the ring L-sit.

Not your normal push-ups, ring push-ups fire a lot of the small, stabilizing muscles.

CrossFit Glendale, California, CrossFit Glendale, CA, CrossFit 818 642 7270, CrossFit Los Feliz, CrossFit Atwater Village, CrossFit Silverlake, CrossFit Eagle Rock, CrossFit Los Angeles, CrossFit Echo Park


Shirts Are In!

No, not as in shirts are back in style, because that would mean they went out of style.  But rather CrossFit Merge T-Shirt have arrived!  Get yours now because they’re selling fast, especially since I reduced the price from 200 burpees to only $20.

Wednesday’s Skill:

Front Squat

3 – 3 – 3

Back Squat

3 – 3 – 3

Workout of the Day (WOD)

10 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of:

7 dumbbell/kettlebell snatches

7 weighted box jumps (20″ at 25# for men/15# for women)

suicide sprint or 7 burpees if raining

Elements WOD

10 minute AMRAP of:

7 squats

10 sit-ups

7 burpees

Post rounds to comments

Chris with a 205# front squat for 3 reps.

Annelise conquering the barbell.

Squats, sit-ups, and burpees = a tough Elements WOD.

CrossFit Glendale, CA CrossFit Glendale California, CrossFit 818 642 7270, CrossFit Atwater, CrossFit Los Feliz, CrossFit Silverlake, CrossFit Los Angeles, CrossFit Echo Park, CrossFit Eagle Rock


Out With The Scale

“Muscle weighs more than fat.”  We’ve all heard that before.  But that’s imprecise and not actually true.  It’s sort of like saying, which weighs more, 100 pounds of bricks or 100 pounds of feathers.

5 pounds of muscle weigh the same as 5 pounds of fat.  The difference is that fat is much more voluminous, whereas an equal weight of muscle is much smaller due to its higher density.  This photo illustrate my point.

A person weighing 150 pounds, but with 30 percent body fat, is going to look a lot larger than a person weighing 150 pounds but with only 15 percent body fat.

Moral of the story: lift weights to pack on muscle and boost your metabolism, and forget what your scale reads because clearly not all pounds are created equally.

Better than weighing yourself is determining how you look, feel, and perform.

Tuesday’s Skill

Push Jerk/Press (Elements)

Workout of the Day (WOD):

5 rounds for time of:

Run to the far corner (~330 meters)

15 toes to bar

20 back extensions

Post times to comments


Cristina getting stronger every time she comes in.

Shantanu setting a personal record on his press.

The toughest workout you’ve ever done, we call that Tuesday.

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Action Packed Monday

Awesome workout yesterday!  It definitely felt like a Monday session with lots of high energy to start off the week.  Great job on a tough workout.

Skill:

3 max sets of weighted pull-ups

3 max sets of band assisted pull-ups (Elements Class)

Workout of the Day (WOD)

Football Gone Bad

3 rounds, with 1 minute at each station for max reps of:

Dumbbell thrusters

Box jumps (20″)

Push-ups

Double unders

Row for calories

Rest 1 minute between rounds

Post total score to comments

Cory driving up the weight on the thruster

One minute of rest, use it wisely

A very common finishing pose

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Competition Weekend

Some people think CrossFit is only for the super fit.  They see the videos of shirtless guys tossing weights all over the place and doing an insane number of pull-ups and think that’s what CrossFit is all about.  And while the elite CrossFitters compete on a global stage, CrossFit is fitness for anyone that is willing to learn the movements, show up, and work hard every single time.

This weekend was a CrossFit Games competition bonanza.  Here’s the recap:

On Friday, CrossFit Merge athletes took on the week 1 CrossFit Games WOD.  CrossFitters from all over the world did this exact workout, and our athletes were right there with them doing the WOD.

10 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of:

30 double unders

15 power snatches (75# for men/55# for women)

Here’s is Jason Khalipa, a top CrossFitter, doing the workout.

And here are the CrossFit Merge athletes.  We’re all athletes now, and it’s all CrossFit.

Marianoel power snatching

Lots of nerves, excitement, and some gutsy performances from our CrossFitters at the Friday Night Faceoff.

On Saturday, we did a variation on the 2009 CrossFit Games team workout.

In teams of 3, complete the following for time:

Every member must do 30 wall ball shots, one person working at a time through his/her entire set of 30 before the next person starts.

Then, each member completes the following 4 stations (only rotating to the next exercise once all team members are done):

30 burpees

30 dumbbell push presses/jerks

30 box jumps

30 kettlebell swings

Then each team member must complete 30 deadlifts.  Again, one person working at a time through his/her entire set of 30 reps.

Here’s a great photo of this WOD from the actual 2009 CrossFit Games

But I like the below photos even more

Kenny finishing off the deadlifts for his team, FTW!

Finally, Sunday’s workout was a lung burner from the 2009 CrossFit Games Regional competition in Colorado.  The WOD was 3 rounds of:

10 pull-ups, chest touches the bar

10 front squats

10 burpees

Here’s Chris Spealler’s take on this WOD

But anything he can do, we can do too

I was so proud of everyone’s effort this past weekend.  Bigger and more important than your finishing time on the board is the drive and self improvement you make as athletes and people with CrossFit.  Keep it up, and see you on Monday!

CrossFit Glendale, CA CrossFit Glendale California, CrossFit 818 642 7270, CrossFit Atwater, CrossFit Los Feliz, CrossFit Silverlake, CrossFit Los Angeles, CrossFit Echo Park, CrossFit Eagle Rock


How To Get the Double Under

You’re strong and can deadlift 500 pounds.  You run a 6 minute mile.  You knock out 50 pull-ups in your warm-up.  You’re pretty fit, right?  Then you try the double-under with the jump rope, and all that strength, all that speed, and all that power does nothing for you because you lack coordination, accuracy, and agility.

CrossFit lists 10 general physical fitness skills: Strength, Endurance, Stamina, Flexibility, Speed, Power, Balance, Accuracy, Agility, and Coordination.  Which of these 10 skills would you want to live the rest of your life without?  None, right?

The double under is a staple movement in CrossFit because it tests the neurological components of physical movement.  Nearly everyone can jump 3″ off the floor, and spinning a rope isn’t too demanding, but putting it all together is another story.  So, here are some good tutorials on getting the double under.

Double Under Technique Review

Tutorial From Again Faster

It’s going to take practice and then some more practice.  And if you get really good, see if you can beat Chris Spealler in a 2 minute test of max double unders.  He did 251.


Thursday’s Skill

Back squat

3×5 (3 sets for 5 reps using the same weight)

Workout of the Day (WOD)

12 minute AMRAP (as many rounds/reps as possible) of:

20 wall ball shots (20#/14#)

10 sumo deadlift high pulls (70#/53#)

Post rounds to comments


6:30 morning crew with their sumo pulls


David is improving in all areas.  These 5 back squats at 145# were nothing for him.

Burpee Mike and Ant were thankful it was only a 12 minute AMRAP, not a 15 minute AMRAP.

CrossFit Glendale, CA CrossFit Glendale California, CrossFit 818 642 7270, CrossFit Atwater, CrossFit Los Feliz, CrossFit Silverlake, CrossFit Los Angeles, CrossFit Echo Park, CrossFit Eagle Rock