"Forging Elite Fitness" ... in a Living Room

CrossFit Mainsite WOD (1.09.2009)
Front Squat 5-5-5-5-5 reps
This is another format that some of you might not be as familiar with and as a result think about skipping/replacing it. DON'T DO SKIP WODs WITH THIS FORMAT!!
You are really hurting yourself if you do and I am going to try and delve into the "why"s for this subject in today's little concept lesson. Most people probably tend to shy away from today's type of training because:

1. Previous records to compare and chart progress with don't exist yet, and
2. Skill levels which define a set path (plotted as progressive components) in order to provide feedback on the rate of learning and capacity advancement.

If you feel severe anxiety about the prospect of not throwing up during a CrossFit workout (today's has a better chance of inducing dizzy spells) then make sure you gorge on food 13:00 prior to starting the above WOD, or conduct additional training AFTER this little feller is completed. There are two main reasons for adhering to this rule: "safety" and "producing maximal effort".

WODs are supposed to be hard and you don't want to be going for a new rep/load record and end up resembling an amoeba. You should be approaching this WOD with fear (not anxiety) but not just because you think it lacks intensity. The intensity that you think is lacking comes from a mental block you are letting get in the way of executing the workout correctly. I wanted to offer some flash points that helped me clarify the concepts involved in this type of workout. These tips are not necessarily what CrossFit or the The Performance Menu used as a concept outline but they are how I interpreted the instruction on the "Max Effort Black Box" paradigm of training. I hope these notes help you to experience the WOD as it was intended.

1. Think about each set as an individual WOD with a single movement and a single set with a smaller number. Rest accordingly between sets.
2. Pick loads by your ability level first
3. Follow by adjusting your loads so that by the final rep of each set you can BARELY complete the rep but are still within the standards of "bio-mechanical efficiency"
4. If you can't complete a rep through it's "Full Range of Motion" the lift is a failed attempt and the set is over. Rest and move on.
5. You only get one shot at each set. This is critical to your progress.

Training Details & Scores
Today was a great opportunity for the Savage Society to demonstrate how much "effort" we put into avoiding the descent into "routine". I would like to thank the lack of electricity and cold weather for helping nudge us into new training dimensions. Wondering what happened and how we adapted? Well, the damn electricity in the Garage Gym went out for a few hours and after attaining a borderline cryogenic state from working on more facility improvements I felt we needed to think outside the "box" for a solution (no pun intended...or maybe we have intent to pun).

Now you can breathe easy because if any of you find yourself in a similar situation feel free to refer to the "Official Savage Society Solution for Overcoming Situations Which Would Otherwise Prevent Training"
which is described in easy to follow steps below:

1. Start by making sure you don't let anyone know that your Garage Gym facility is now a frostbite hazard.
2. Prepare for your group's arrival by laying out the necessary training gear on the pavement.
3. When CrossFitters come over the horizon during approach greet them heartily.
4. In your best Proclamation Voice announce a "WOD field trip to your Living Room Affiliate".
5. Enjoy the warmth of an indoor space to train in where you can look forward to dropping weights on hardwood floors if the mood strikes...

To be honest the workout was actually pretty good despite poor music volume and a few other problems which would arise as natural consequences to putting everything of value in the Garage... in the middle of Winter. Oh, and for those that are dying to ask me...Yes, those are the pillows I sleep on.

(record loads attempted each set/be sure to include reps completed, if any, as well as the load attempted on fails)
Jefe 135/135/135/135/205
Hore-Hay 135/135/135/135/205
Enrique 135/135/135/135/205

Savage Society Significant Events
By now I could care less how repetitive it might be to outsiders, but I never seem to encompass the scope of support and creative freedom thrown our way by the Community of CrossFit. Recently things have intensified in how potent the support is and in what manner it is offered. A couple days ago I went out on a limb and the return has astounded me to say the least. Let give you a quick rundown of how everything went down.

While reorganizing my Internet Explorer to better handle the needs of our site I noticed that there were more than 85 links under the Training Resources in my "Favorites" section. Collecting resources that are of the highest quality is something that continues to be a priority of mine, and there are several web pages on there that I check daily for any new theories, science, research, or controversy that can expand and hone our overall conceptual evolution.

Any time spent scouring potential resources for new stuff that excites my curiosity enough gets the "can this help our athletes" filter and upon passing will undergo a rigorous trial for efficacy. This is a blast for me but also helps to sharpen and work my professional capacity to teach. If people weren't making leaps and bounds with what we put out there then I should NOT be doing this as a job, or at least have enough integrity to take some time off to explore my deficiencies and figure out how to make myself a better Coach.
Being properly Obsessive Compulsive about everything in my life functioning as efficient as possible I wondered if I could clean out some old pages or figure out some better system than a long list of websites...hmm...
In the end all I did was find some more and add them but a little light bulb went off in the dark recesses of my brain:

"How come no one posts CrossFit's main WOD in conjunction with the very best versions of Affiliate/CrossFitter created training programs?"

Naturally the first thought to follow that was an image of me getting arrested for plagiarism. The second thought was to reach out to my personal favorites, the very sources of some of the best in training and skill development. People that run CrossFit Endurance, The Jersey Kettlebell site, Catalyst Athletics, and numerous others that have earned my devoted respect over time by allowing me to reap great benefits from the information and WODs they provide.

I just went nuts and began emailing everyone to see if they would let us re-post their daily workouts with links to their site. A format of posting that presented all of these Elite resources to the you guys would be like finding a better shape than the wheel. Within 10 minutes I got a response back from THE Olympic Lifting and CrossFit Coach Mike Burgener which is posted below:

"thanks for your kind words samy. by all means use my wods and use anything on my website that will make your site and business better..."
-coach b

A world class Olympic Lifting Coach just became one of our best Friends, even though I already have enough to thank him for due to the immense and excellent materials he provides for free in order to assist in developing Olympic Lifts. Another cool twist here is that he still uses his Garage to train his athletes, even if the garage is somewhere sunny and nice it is still very much the same sort of thing we are doing here. To give you a better understanding of who Coach Burgener is and what he does I am posting the "Welcome" paragraph from his site:

"Mike's Gym is a Regional Training Center for USA Weightlifting, which is the governing body of the sport—Olympic style Weightlifting, as well as a crossfit gym affiliate where the crossfit philosophy is highly adhered to. Olympic Weightlifting is the only weightlifting sport participated in the Olympic Games and the crossfit philosophy strongly adheres to the insertion of the Olympic lifts in its daily programing.

I have dedicated my life to Olympic Weightlifting both as an athlete and as a coach. Now at the ripe old age of 62 and 32 yrs of being a strength coach and teacher in the public school system, I train athletes to become better Olympic Weightlifters as well as make football players, volleyball athletes, basketball players and any athlete for that matter more explosive and powerful in their respective sport.
These athletes train in my 2 car garage, which is equipped with 4 platforms and all the equipment that one would need to become a better Olympic Weightlifter and a more powerful athlete. Mike's Gym is also part of Team Southern California and has a philosophy based on the concept of training to prevent injury as well as the enhancement of performance using the Olympic lifts, crossfit techniques, kettlebells and other heavy equipment.

It is our philosophy that an exercise must utilize "yes to the 4th power."
YES 1: Is the exercise ground based and are you standing up while performing the exercise? YES 2: Is the exercise a free weight exercise?
YES 3: Does the exercise work multiple muscle groups and surround multiple joints?
YES 4: Is the exercise performed in an explosive manner?

If i can satisfy the requirements to "yes to the 4th power" 75% of the time, then the program and exercises I select are good functional exercises."

I am still waiting to hear back from a bunch of other resources and once I see who is left standing we will use a new format for daily posts that will accommodate and house the best training around. The end goal here would be two sided, part 1 being to provide everyone with an overall picture to see how different aspects of CrossFit can fit together as synergistic components and implement such additions if desired (ahwile ago I printed out calendars and wrote in 6 months of CrossFit.com and CrossFitEndurance.com WODs to see what patterns I could find) The second part would be to provide those looking to knock of a few "goat list" entries by using methods from the realm of "skill progression & ability prioritization".

Girls Soccer Team Training
I wasn't able to get down to Nashua to help David train the Soccer team this week so instead requested a summary from him on their experiences. This is what he sent to me in its intact and original form so you guys can read through another CrossFitters eyes on the progress these kids are making. Thanks for your synopsis, Coach David.

"Hi Sam,
So, to recap, There were 6 girls tonight, the showing was very light but the weather was likely the cause. Regardless, more attention could be given to them individually, whether they wanted it or not. There was one new girl from the U13 team so I was able to give her a lot of time during the warm-up and workout to get her acclimated. They started with 3 rounds of 50 rope turns, 5 pushups and 10 situps to warm up.
Then strecthing including the samson stretch and active leg swings. We spent 10 minutes on technique, today was the overhead squat. They used the 9 or 12 lb body bars and they all looked pretty good by the time they were done. For the workout I gave them a choice. Either 4 rounds of 400m run and 50 squats or Nancy, 5 rounds of 400m run and 15 OHS with the 12 lb bar. One chose Nancy, the others all took the first choice. The one who chose Nance finished in 12:42, the first finisher for the 400m/50 was in 12:45, the next in 12:54.
The other 3 were done by 15 minutes. The new athlete, who was 13 years old, did the 400m run and I scaled down to 30 squats each time. Afterwards, we spend some time on weighted situps, I had them use the 7 and 9 lb med balls, they did 50 situps holding the ball above their head the whole time.
Then we fooled around on the Bosu ball for a few minutes doing squats on it upside down.
They are really getting to understand the intensity of Crossfit and some of them are pushing quite hard to finish strong during the WOD's.
They are setting a great example to the others and they are starting to catch on."

Note: David makes the team sound like innocent kids being coached in some new concepts of fitness. Let me just clarify by saying that most of us should learn to fear how intense these young warrior ladies are. They come from an athletic background, they have the advantage of youth which lets them recover from hard training, and they can master new skills with blinding speed (unfair), and they are out of their minds in a way that is 100% conducive to a successful experience with CrossFit training.

We find some family on the West Coast
I am honored that what we are doing up here can generate the kind of positive response and respect that CrossFit San Elijo has afforded us. They totally gave me all the credit but by now you should all know that this has very little to do with me and everything to do with this insane community that we were privileged to become a part of.

I responded to the blog and joined their site (I recommend it to all of you... and not just because we are on an ass kissing parade to California but the format they use is really sweet) which I will link permanently on our page so everyone can see what's going on out there. Whenever I look at the CFSE main page and blog I can't help but envy the unique way they frame themselves and their take on CrossFit.
You can't help but get the impression that they are very passionate about what they do and enjoy the freedom and creativity involved with taking things whichever way they feel driven to go.

The CFSE post (and my response in the comments) that mentions us can be found here http://crossfitsanelijo.ning.com/profiles/blogs/get-some-crossfit-nh-aka-the

Thanks again, CrossFit San Elijo (Still collecting resources that can help outline the theories and ramifications involved in the application of various potential gas-mask and submerged training methods ... I am still working through my training notes and adding to the my little article but I will post it ASAP, can't wait to hear what you think.


Kevin Daigle said...

Samy, Dude......

That is F****** hardcore......front squats in your living room, onto pillows. I'm speechless man. I can't WAIT to do that when I get a house (purchase in the works as we speak) I'm heading to the gym in awhile to do the pullup WOD from the other day. I'm going to pretend I'm hanging from the rafters in the house for added intensity.

sdaghir@gmail.com said...

Yeah man it was fun as hell, it's a wonder with all the retarded shit we do that something like Barbells going through the floor don't happen frequently haha. I wanted to catch you before you go hit things up and invite you to come join us for an intense thrash session tonight. I am going to Nashua for 2-4pm and then will be back up here from 5 until there are no more CrossFitters standing (probably around 9 ish). The workouts in the garage tonight will be some heavier met.con variation and intense skill work.

Just wanted to let you know that we would love to have you come by tonight and add to the festival of self slaughter. The guys will be practicing Kipping tonight a lot also which might be a good environment for you to check out and learn in (or teach). If you want to drop in just gimme a call 603-759-6335 to let me know so I can bring down some more water be ready to accomodate your metabolic needs.

APurple said...

Well at least we can see how beautiful your living room is! and the awesome curtains in the background! you have a very good style sense! :o) Must run in the family perhaps? hahaha!