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More Program than Gym

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Entries in elizabeth (82)

Beast Mode: College Freaks

The Freaks are in college now, let that sink in for a minute.

Ricky Carey and crew just finished their first collegiate year and are now back at the Champions Club for the Summer. The 9 am session from last Tuesday featured Slick, Elizabeth Banet, David Saporito, Katie Shakes, and Mrs. Fitz. They put in a great performance on the wallball/box jump ladder. Check it out.

From the Vault: Moving up and The Feet

In October 2015 I did the Moving up... or not post that gave a good glimpse of what I look for when coaching back squats - in specific, whether to move an athlete up in weight, keep them where they are, or drop them down. Over time, I have refined this coaching technique; things I might have let go before I don't anymore and other things I have been less picky about. In the post referenced above, I used Collin and JZ as examples. Here's what they looked like:

Looking back on it now, I still would have called it the way I did. Also, I shared this with the Martins from Brand X and they said they would have as well. While this standard has stayed the same, Kelly Starrett brought up another one in last week's MWOD episode that also reminds me of a former video/post.

Coach's Corner: For All Things Pokemon and Foot Related

Looking at the arch in your foot is a great way to tell exactly what is going on upstream with the hips. We have avoided a lot of barefoot stuff recently 1) because of the weather and 2) because I have been looking for increased ROM and intensity. But I think for the next few weeks, especially for squatting, we are going to do a lot of barefoot work to help you guys get a better sense of what good torque feels and looks like. Look for a post coming soon on more specifics (I planned on one with Shakes this morning, but her lack of ability to perform bad form made it virtually worthless).

The Church Poll

Easter Sunday has come and gone, and for most of us this meant going to church in some form or another. This could be the epic Saturday night 3-hour Easter Vigil, the classic all-school mass, or the traditional Sunday morning gathering. Most of us have also been brought up in a churchgoing setting, and the Gospels, hymns, and sacraments are all too familiar with us.

Because of the sheer repetition, it's inevitable that our mind wanders at some point during mass. So the poll for this week is,what is your preferred pastime during church? (note: Will Farrell in Old School is not an acceptable answer for this one)

a. scanning the crowd for someone you know
b. having a hand-squeezing contest during the Our Father
c. doing calf raises while standing in hopes to increase your hops
d. other
e. all the above

Beast Mode: Filthy Fifty at 6:30

The staple of last week's rough string of workouts was the classic CrossFit benchmark "Filthy Fifty." It is themost famous workout in the category known as "chippers" - meaning there is a set of exercises to be done and you run through them in order.

Our 6:30 pm session consisted of Mr. Wonsil, Mr. Carey, Aaron Sexton, Carter, Elizabeth, and Matt Fecht. Here's how they looked.

Pics of the Week Go Waaaaaayyy Back

You may be wondering what caused Ricky Carey and Elizabeth Banet to burst out in uncontrollable laugh on Thursday...

Well, earlier in the day my dear mother was digging through some old boxes and found a envelope of cards that were made for me. Apparently when I was a freshman in high school we had to do a service project every Wednesday by going to visit different schools in the area and helping the kids read and do math stuff.

I was stationed at Guardian Angels and as luck would have it, there were some familiar names in the mix.

Other names in the card mix include Elizabeth Banet, Hannah Kimmel, Connor Moore, and Austin Richard. I couldn't stop laughing when I saw these and thought about the fact that I had no idea who these kids were at the time.

Butterfly Pull-ups: Blocked Practice

One of my unofficial goals for the Champions Club is to get the kids I feel are ready comfortable with butterfly pull-ups by the time Summer rolls around. If it doesn't happen, my heart won't be broken but I would really like to see it.

The butterfly pull-up is a movement that is unique to CrossFit and came about in 2007 when stud CF athlete Brett Marshall (known in the community as AFT) posted a video of a record Fran time using the style.. The standard of chin-over-bar done as fast as possible lead to this style being naturally adapted; meaning it was only a matter of time before someone figured it out. When I first found out about them I practiced and practiced and practiced until I could finally do them comfortably in workouts.

Then I tweaked up my shoulder in 2009 and had to resort to modifying many workouts. It was no fun.

I wonder why...and these were better than the ones I used to do

So it seems like a tricky place when it comes to butterfly pull-ups: they are a higher skill movement and requires a lot of practice to get the rhythm, but they also require more mobility and can wreck your shoulders and elbows if done incorrectly over and over.

This is where the concept of blocking movement comes in handy. When we flip our hands backwards (reverse grip) it automatically puts our shoulders in external rotation and therefore keeping them safe in that overhead range of motion. So recently we've been practicing with a few athletes during workouts. Below is Alyssa and Carter from earlier in December and Jay, JZ, Elizabeth, and Jackie from yesterday. For all of them this was their first time doing butterfly pull-ups in an actual workout.

The rhythm will take lots of reps of practice and the blocked position (hands backward) ensures that they'll stay safe doing it. Then when they have the rhythm down and their mobility allows for it they can flip their hands the normal way.

The butterfly pull-up catches probably more slack than anything else in CrossFit. I definitely get it; it's new, looks funny, and makes doing a pull-up much easier and seems to take away from the strength portion of it. But this kip actually requires a great deal more strength to perform than a regular kip - especially in the midline (abs and core). It's a great skill-transfer for the positional demands of the snatch and running, as well as throwing and kicking. Plus, it helps you do more work over a shorter period of time - meaning you'll often get more of a cardio feel.

The more I think about it, I really wish I had spent more time starting in 2014 teaching both butterfly pull-ups and strict pull-ups. But it's never too late. We've been doing a good amount of strict pull-ups in the past two years or so, and now I think it's time for the butterfly pull-up to be added to your skillbag.

Thanksgiving Workout Recap + Schedule Reminder

Not bad on the turnout this morning. We had 14 people for our annual Thanksgiving workout and we kept the format the same as last year; two-person teams instead of three.

After the usual complaints from JZ, Mr. Z, and Arlene during the warmup, we split up the partners, dragged out the kettlebells, and knocked out another Thanksgiving workout. Elizabeth and Nate finished with the top score of 380, with Reggie and JZ finishing at a close 2nd with 367 reps.

You can see the full workout and results here.

Also, another reminder that the schedule for tomorrow (Friday) is:

10 am

5 pm

6 pm

Finally, some Bob Ross for the soul!