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More Program than Gym

See the editorial here.

Schedule change

8:30 am, 4:30 pm, 5:30 pm, 6:30 pm

New Kid on the Block: Pat

Two Saturdays ago, a random guy walked in the gym during a mobility session asking if he could check out the place and see what we did. It is not often someone comes in to watch a mobility session and thinks, "This is the place for me." But whatever was going on during that session seemed to be appealing and we got ourselves a new member. His name is Pat Luetz.

Pat is an engineer who has strings of Bishop Foley ties and now has kids who go to Lamphere. He did some research on us before coming in, came prepared with a few questions, and was ready to get things under way with Fundamentals. As it turns out, he actually knows Mr. Warthman, so those two kicked it off on his first visit.

So far, Pat has been a very eager learner; he asks a ton of questions and is incredibly open to any direction I give him. He has aspirations of becoming a personal trainer after his engineer career is done, so is in complete student mode. Luckily for me, Mr. Luetz has been very quick to pick up on the skill of the movements. Push-up form, kettlebell swing timing, and jump ropes all improved over the course of the session. Much like our last Fundamentals graduate, Mrs. O aka "Pastor C," Pat's limiting factor is going to be his conditioning. Once that comes around, things will be looking really good.

I'll check back in after Day 8. 

Let the Countdown Begin

The weather appears to be breaking, spring sports are under way, colleges are wrapping up. It can only mean one thing:


Beast Mode: Shakes and Kris Modify

On Tuesday's max effort front squat, the limiting factor in some people was the mobility to stay in a good rack position. Most of the time, this is limited by the shoulders missing external rotation. For Kris Campbell and Katie Shakes this was definitely the case, so we modified things.

This variant of the squat is called the Zercher squat. Not sure where it came from, but I remembered we did them in 2013 after it was featured on the main site and those are not something you forget. Shakes's wrist was really bothering her in the morning so I tested the Zercher squat out on her. It went well so we used is in the afternoon for Kris and Reggie (not featured in the video).

Good job with the modifications and keep working to get a better rack position!

The Power of the But

"I want to help but I don't really have time."


Despite my best efforts, I managed to learn some very important things during my time at Marygrove College. Aside from the lessons taken from basketball, priorities, and slang (I'll give you a dollar if you know what "I got the itis" means), taking English classes with Dr. Levin and Mr. Martin have helped me with coaching more than I ever thought possible.

Of course, I didn't take away any specific information from the books I didn't read or papers I wrote, but the principles of how to use our language to communicate has definitely carried over. One of the points I remember vividly comes from Dr. Levin. It's about buts.

When you use the word "but" in a sentence, the reader or listener tends to erase everything that came before it. Take the quote at the top of the post: "I want to help but I don't have the time." There is no doubt the intention of this is positive; if the person wanted to be rude or negative, they would just simply say, "I don't have time" when asked to help. They probably want to insert something that gives the feeling of empathy for the other. It's just that three-lettered word that gets in the way. How would this look if we flipped that around?

"I don't really have time, but I want to help"

For most people, this gives off a lighter vibe, changes the tone of the sentence, and, most importantly, might do a better job of describing what you are actually thinking. Take a look at the following sentences and flip them around the "but" to see how it changes the feel.

  • Now it's March and he still prances like a deer when he runs (maybe a stag now) but his form on everything has improved drastically on every single movement he does." - Kenny's AOTWinter Article
  • Fry has taken a brief hiatus to finish up some stuff on her to-do list, but as I always say, "Once in the Champions Club, always in the Champions Club." - Fry's Anniversary
  • The stars get the headlines, but glue guys help you get in the winner's circle - Dickie V's QOTW
  • If you can link to an example where football players are using exclusively a close grip for overhead press and bench press for training then you might change my mind but I just don't think this is the case. - Jack on Kris's push press
  • Shannon Marchant might not be a saint, but she might not be human either. - Shanada's Wedding

"Shannon Marchant might not be a human, but she might not be a saint, either." Sounds kinda mean, doesn't it?It's weird to think how much impact small little words have on people, it's also what was cool about taking those English classes. We don't always have time to think about what we say before we do, or proofread and revise a text message or comment. Just remember to pay attention to your buts!


Quote of the Week vol. 184

Me: "Pull-ups for the warmup are a mix between strict and kipping..."

Mr. Wonsil: "Put them together and you get 'skipping pull-ups'"

Rx'd FYI pt. 1

"The CrossFit prescription is designed to, over time, exceed the demands of the fittest human beings on earth."

- Coach Glassman

Read that statement again, because there are four pain points that sould be highlighted.

1. Fittest human beings on earth

The CrossFit program philosophy was designed with the top-notch athletes in mind. With the recent inclusion of the CrossFit Games and software like Beyond the Whiteboard, there is measurable data available for the public to determine who exactly is considered the fittest human beings on earth. Although we've had a lot of really good CrossFitters come through our program (and are still involved), it is safe to say that nobody reading this blog is included in the conversation of "fittest on earth" in the same way it is safe to say that nobody reading this blog plays in the NBA, NFL, or MLB - even though most of us have played basketball, football, or baseball.

2. Exceed demands

Note this is not saying "meet" the demands of the fittest, or "challenge" the fittest. It is going to go beyond what will ever be required from someone who can reasonably consider themselves among the fittest human beings living on the planet. This means that even the best of the best will come up against something they can't do.

3. Over time

This phrase builds on the last two. Today's crazy hero workout that came up might be doable for the fittest human beings on earth. And the workout tomorrow might also be doable. And same can be said about the next day, the next week, and the next month. But, as Mel mentioned in his debut guest post, the effects of a high-intensity workout do not stop once the timer beeps and your reps are done. You might be sore, tired, or mentally fatigued for a few days afterwards. So yes, you may be able to complete the workouts thrown at you, but what's that going to mean for the next day's workout? Eventually, over time, the effects will build up and your capacity will be exceeded.

4. Prescription

This is the fun part. Based on the first three phrases, CrossFit gives a prescription; a dose, if you will, of fitness like a doctor would give for medicine. Again, the dose is based on the three points listed above: fittest people, exceed demands, over time. It looks like the this:

The following things are prescribed:

  • distance on the run (range of motion)
  • weight held on the run (load)
  • reps of toes to bar (volume)
  • distance moving on toes to bar (range of motion)
  • reps of front squat (volume)
  • distance moving on front squat (range of motion)
  • weight on front squats (load)
  • height climbed on rope (range of motion)
  • reps of rope climb (volume)
  • bodyweight climbed on rope (load)

Based on what the data considers the fittest human beings on earth, the previous 10 standards were set for the workout in order to help exceed their demands over time. If you met those standards, you get to say the workout was done "as rx'd," or as prescribed. If you are not ready to meet those standards, then any one or combination of the standards can be modified to fit your purpose.

What if you are not among the fittest human beings on the planet? Can you still do this workout as rx'd? Absolutely! That's part of what makes CrossFit so fun. You get to test yourself in a way the top people do. just know that it might have a rougher effect on you than it would someone like Chris Spealler or Rich Froning.

It's also important to know that the standards listed above for this workout don't exist anywhere else in the world other than this thing called "Liam." Keep that in mind for pt. 2 coming soon...

Beast Mode: Goobers Gone Good

On Friday's 3 RM Back squat, we had Summer 2016 alumni Conor Fitzgerald, Josh Ellsworth, and Kenny Jensen in attendance at the 5:30 session. They all had a great day squatting and topped out their 3 RM at 135 lbs.

Remembering what they looked like in the Summer, I was really impressed with how they did on Friday. Keep up the good work kids!