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Entries in elizabeth (90)

Beast Mode: 4:30 Session

Last Friday we we had a good turnout at the 4:30 session (including Erika Banet back from OU and Div, who showed up 40 minutes late and still tried to weasel his way into the session). The workout was a burner for sure; we modified the main site version to a 200m run anda 2 minute rest between rounds. We caught the first round on video at the 4:30 session. Check it out.

Case Study: The Z-axis

I, Chris Sinagoga, can deadlift and squat more weight than Jacob at this time. And if I overheard correctly, Carter the Blob can deadlift more than Jack Trastevere. If that isn't an attention-getter, then I don't know what is.

...........

In the days before Summer 2012 was going to begin, Ryan Richard and I went out to Hyperfit USA (the Playboy Mansion of Michigan CrossFit gyms) to buy some equipment - the silver bars, the white rope, black box, and the black mats, to name a few. One of the coaches asked Ryan about some of his workouts and seemed genuinely impressed with the numbers. But he did say one thing in specific that I still remember:

"The thing you need to focus on now is not necessarily hitting a pr every time, but keeping everything within a certain range."

This also falls in line with Matt Fecht's former Quote of the Week about what would happen if people pr'd every time. And it also is parallel with the Pass it On post from December. And probably a ton of other things that has been up here on the site. But on a bigger scale, this was formalized on February 1, 2009 in the CrossFit Journal. Up until this point, Coach Glassman made waves in the exercise community by putting a scientific definition of fitness out for the world to test. But he realized that this formula - work capacity measured across broad time and modal domains - was limited. So he added a Z-axis to his graph that would account for longevity.

Graph of fitnessGraph of health

If fitness was defined as "work capacity across broad time and modal domains" then health could be defined as "fitness through the years."

In other words, your health and fitness is not determined so much by peaks and valleys as it is by consistency as you age. Whenever I get the chance to talk to other CrossFitters and coaches, this is the one thing I try to emphasize most because I think this is our specialty at the Champions Club. If your attendance is consistent, you can bet you will be in a steady-climbing constant ready-state for the next 10 years, and theoretically beyond that. That is a bold statement and avoiding pitfalls takes efficient coaching on my part, tons of patience on your part, and great communication from both sides.

...........

Elizabeth Banet had a Summer 2015 for the record books that resulted in a banner. She beat out a group of 5 athletes at their peak during the best Summer the Champions Club has ever witnessed. She was not a human being, plain and simple. And with all that being said, I am even more impressed with what she has done this Summer.

Biff made one good decision on Monday, April 24 to come in to the 6:30 session after a few months of hit-and-miss attendance; she stayed within the restrictions of what her fitness was at that time. Then made another good decision the next day. And then one more the next day. And she kept making good, daily decisions; all of a sudden I looked up in July thinking, "dang...this might be the fittest Elizabeth has ever been!" The same story can be said for her sister, Jacqueline. During the early winter, Jackie caught a bout of Mono; not only was she out of it for a few weeks, but she never could quite get that consistency back even when she was healthy. That is, until she did. And now she beats Elizabeth in most workouts.

Similarly, Summer 2016 Nicole Murley is probably the best female "CrossFiter" to ever call the Champions Club their home. I'm sure there is some level of bias, obviously, but when I think about the all-around demands of CrossFit workouts, you really can't say she's outside of the top 7 in anything, scaled or unscaled. She was not as fast as Shannon, not as strong as Shakes, not as flexible as Elizabeth, but her all-around ability was Mario with a Star in Mario Super Sluggers for the Nintendo Wii. In fact, Murley was on pace to challenge Shakes for the banner when she got a phone call about a Chemistry teaching vacancy at Riverview Gabriel Richard. Despite it being a year earlier than anticipated, she had to take it. As a result, her CrossFit ability decreased. But how much exactly? Here's her Filthy Fifty times over the years:

January 15, 2012 - 26:50 as rx'd pr

August 4, 2012 - 24:08 as rx'd pr

January 13, 2013 - 23:37 as rx'd (minus box jumps - 20 in. box) pr

August 13, 2013 - 18:55 (16k/14#/45)

August 16, 2014 - 18:53 guys rx'd

Last Friday - 18:38 guys rx'd (minus 14 med ball/20 box)

Judging by just her times, I would definitely look at Friday as anywhere from a win to a major win. Assuming she would have done a 2016 Filthy Fifty in around 18:00 with guys rx'd, this is not too far off. For her to be in the 17-minute range at this exact time, she would need to not be a teacher, have another year of Cross Country eligibility, and be generally interested in doing CrossFit on a regular basis. None of those conditions were realistic on August 18, 2017, so with that being said, she was at-worse 2 minutes slower than her peak self. Again, I would take that as a win. And if you look at it from another perspective:

Filthy Fifty times for other teachers: DNF/TL;DR

...........

I actually don't know for sure that I can deadlift more than Jacob at this exact moment in time; my max is probably in the high(ish) 300's, so if he can do that with a herniated disk then so be it. But either way, I am going to let MS Paint illustrate how I see it:

In this theoretical world with Jacob and I starting CrossFit at exactly the same point in fitness and time, he has a couple options: 1. deadlift as much as possible as soon as possible and live with the results or 2. accept his limitations (mobility, midline strength, coordination, arm length), and take a slower approach to his lift - which should turn out much better in the long run. In other words: prioritize the Z-axis, or don't.

I did a post about framing while running a while ago - essentially the more compact you keep the frame, the better your running will be. Same can be said for your fitness. In my opinion, the Pretend Jacob model would be better than the Jacob model despite taking much longer to hit the mutual maximum weight because there is less down time. Now, if he was competing in a weightlifting meet, or just wanted to be as strong as possible right now, I cannot argue against that. My opinion would just be that it is smarter to go the long-term route. Ideally you want to be in a position where you can, at any point in time, say, "I can come pretty close to my best right now", and there is too much time "under the curve" for my liking. In the grand scheme of things, the weight difference on the plus side only matters if you value your deadlift number over everything else. Again, I can only speak on what I think is best to value, but to each their own. I just know I would be embarassed if, for example, one of my track kids asked me to sprint a 400 with them and I had to decline because I wore out my knees overtraining for a marathon.

The longevity expression of CrossFit is an area that I rarely compromise on; sometimes Matt Fecht has to be ready for a race in a month, or Big Kris needs to be able to run 5 miles before going off to Air Force, etc. But this realization of the Z-axis in our fitness, coupled with the idea of having a "constant ready-state" are both integral in our training. And this is precisely why I am so impressed with Murley's Filthy Fifty time, and Elizabeth/Jacqueline's overall Summer. Whatever their training was leading up to these events provided a solid base that made it really, really difficult to fall completely off the cliff. They each made small, smart decisions on a daily basis to help their long-term health and now they could reasonably say they have a chance to pr for anything that comes up (with the exception of Murley's Cross Country race, obviously). Going forward they might get greedy and see if they can eclipse their prime, or they might get greedy in a different way: prioritize other things in their life and see how little they can manage to deviate away. And it might be a different answer depending on what time of year it is. Whichever they choose, you can bet they will be somewhere in the ballpark of fitter than most of the girls they will ever meet, whenever they meet them, in 20 minutes or 20 years from now.

And if they are really lucky, they'll be Mrs. Carey, who is coming up on 8 years into CrossFit and still on the steady climb up.

Army Workout Recap

Earlier this morning we brought back the Summer 2014 Army Theme Workout with a few twists in the mix. First, we had an even group of 12, so we did teams of 4 instead of 5. As such, we took out the ring dip station in an attempt to keep the rotations even. Next we took out the partner deadlift because Coach T's monster sandbags are not here any more and added a bar swing in place, we subbed a medicine ball run for the double unders, and last but not least, Binno came up big for us and brought some 60-lb. logs from his house we could use for the cleans in conjunction with the tire flips.

After people got the hang of it, it seemed to go pretty smoothly.  The playlist was also very interesting; Binno managed to find an Army Cadence station on Spotify, which sounded exactly like you would imagine. The winning team consisted of Elizabeth, Murley, Saporito, and Ricky. You can see the full results here. And I managed to snap a few pictures that can be seen in the August '17 Daily WODs photo gallery.

Great job to everyone today, good looks to Elizabeth for bugging me over and over to bring this one back, and I think we might have room for one more theme workout between now and Harry Potter. So be on the lookout.

Coach's Corner: More With Tempo

Among other things, this has been the Summer of tempo lifts. On Tuesday we worked slow sets of 5 front squats with everyone in our constant attempt to develop more movement control - and therefore strength. Here is the last sets from the 11 am and 6:30 pm sessions.

Carter: "OOWWWWW"

A couple points of note:

Rack position. The front rack archetype is one of the fundamentals shapes our shoulder need to be able to go through, and is very prominent in things like throwing and tumbling. In the front squat, the main limiting factor for most in keeping the elbows up isn't the wrists, and it's not necessarily the shoulders (although improved mobility will help). It's actually midline strength. At the bottom I yell out "elbows up" as a means to make sure the athletes are not breaking any position of the midline. I'm sure they noticed how much harder this made the lift.

Gravity. The more I am learning about strength and conditioning, the more I am beginning to realize the role of strength: resisting gravity when needed. If we are exaggerating the skill/technique of a movement, then we are working with natural forces (gravity, muscle/tendon elasticity). But in real life, we will not always have the perfect technique to serve what nature is offering us. Or maybe we will be blindsided by a linebacker. This is where strength comes in to help us keep our position relative.

Movement control. In order to keep position, we need to control how our body moves. This is what I refer to as movement control. This can be as simple as bracing the midline, or holding the figure-4 Pose in running. When you speed a movement up, athletes can find flow that can help them with the skill/technique; when they slow it down, it helps on the other end of the movement control spectrum. The front squats in the video above are a great challenge to the athletes' position. Watch Elizabeth go through her front squats; how many moving parts are there? Is her head moving? Her arms? Her belly? Not really. Watch Crawford (with 3 years less CrossFit experience); how many moving parts do you see? Was he able to control the squat movement to the tempo of my counting? What about Kroll?

Now this is all fun for me to talk about, but the thing I really value is intensity. So when we see movements with the squat performed at high intensity, I am interested to see if this translates as well as I think it will. Just some things to keep in mind...

Beast Mode: Elizabeth

At the 9 am session today I had the opportunity to do some individual work with the four athletes in attendance: Jacqueline, Elizabeth, Sap, and Mrs. Kroll. We did some tempo stuff before letting them go at their 1 rep max deadlift, and their firm stayed really good. Elizabeth hit a 30-lb. pr with her last lift, topping out at 230 lbs. Check it out:

Disney Doozy 2017 Recap

After three straight weeks of poor showing on team workout Saturdays, we finally got a great turnout! Carter, Kenny, Conor, Maddy, and her brother Nolan all set their alarms for an unusually early time of 8:30 am and joined the rest of our crew for the classic Disney Doozy Theme Workout.

Lindsey surprised everyone by bringing on our choice of Moana or the new Beauty and the Beast for us to watch after the workout, and Pat provided us with a slew on unfavorable carbohydrates to snack on (though, you heathens ate my Starbursts).

On a more serious side, Elizabeth and Jennifer teamed up to win the workout under the alias "Olaf and Sven" from that God-awful movie, Frozen. But we forgive them because they won.

There are few things that can put me in a better mood than seeing a well-attended Summer Theme Workout, and you guys all did a great job today, especially rookies Lindsey and Pat. Big shouts to Bubs for being Bubs. And special mention to Binno, who not only won the best-dressed award for his Aladdin outfit, but also put his plunging powers to good use a half hour before the session and unclogged the paper-towel stuffed boys' toilet. (Paper towel is for the garbage can... I thought that was a given!)

But I digress. Again, thanks for a great workout folks. Be on the lookout for 80's coming soon. Until then:

Disney Dooozy 2017 Photo Gallery

Disney Doozy 2017 Workout Results

Schedule Adjustment: Team Workouts

What I hope for is the last time this Summer, we are making an adjustment to our schedule. The parents will now be joining the kids for team workouts on Saturday at 9 am. So the weekend schedule will be as follows:

Saturday

9 am (team workout - kids and parents)

11 am (babies)

 

Sunday

11 am (mobility/makeup WOD)

Also a reminder that there is no 9 or 11 am session tomorrow morning! It's Wednesday, so the mobility sessions are at 10 am and 5:30 pm. Div!

 


 

The workout last Thursday called for some odd-object squatting, in this case with a single bumper plate. Aftet testing out one round of each, athletes were allowed to hold the plate any way they preferred. In addition, we tried to place an emphasis on the dip position of the push press - not letting the knees come forward and such. Here's what the 4:30 pm session looked like.

Depth was definitely more difficult to reach with the hands in a different position, but I think the overall form looked good.