2/28/2009

Drop by the Garage ... and slay yourself

CrossFit New Hampshire Event for Tonight!
If you would like to start your work week off by experiencing D.O.M.S. so severely that "waddling" becomes your primary mode of travel and the thought of "stairs" threatens to release your bowels then get on your damn hoss and ride over here to your favorite Garage Gym around 4:00PM. 
Mike Molloy, David Sailor, Kevin Omalley, Jefe, Enrique, Hore-Hay and a host of other Firebreathers, Moms, Circus Carnies, and the like will be arriving in a steady stream over the course of 6-7 hours. 
We are expecting quite a few of our CrossFitters to come trudging in from the cold and are anxious to get underway with the weekend's sado-masochistic metabolic slaughter.  The challenges available will include today's CFHQ's "Helen", Viking "Helen", and various other devious concoctions from our CrossFit NH Think Tank designed to slay those that want to make it to the CrossFit Games Regional Qualifier.

Everyone is more than welcome, and we will have some almonds and a small Tanita scale for measuring our guests' portions during snack time... no, but seriously we will.

There will also be quite a bit of family, friends, and curious onlookers coming by to check things out, so bring along anyone that wants to meet this awesome community we have up here.  The forecast definitely says snow, which we obviously are excited for because we can all head outside after and make snow demons on the lawn.  I killed several goats with my hands today to make sure we would have enough horns.

It's been awhile since we've had a little event like this and I am simultaneously drooling and soiling my pants in excitement right now, the thought of finally unveiling a nice Garage Gym without a dirt floor might give me a seizure as well.  Honestly though, the thought of gathering up all our CrossFit NH Savages and providing them with a truly first class facility is something that should make everyone feel proud to have been a part of.

I'm honored to be able to surround myself with not just a community, but a tight knit family of psychopaths ... maybe a cult depending on your social vantage point.  

Hope to see you all when the sun goes down!

I. CrossFit NH "Rest Day Ambush" WOD (02.28.2009)
Push Jerk 1-1-1-1-1-1-1
David 135-185-205-215-225*-235F-235F

Well, well, well... look who's famous over there on the left. Coach David had told me he submitted a bad ass picture to the CrossFit mainsite a few days ago and I was anxiously waiting to see if they would post it.  Little did I know that it was a handstand picture on a volcanic stone precipice taken in the Caribbean.  WTF... the Caribbean? Do you know how cold it get's when I'm all alone at night in the Garage?!    

David actually has been hammered lately with a brutal work and travel schedule, but now he is back in NH where he belongs and is foaming at the mouth for some hard training. What started out as a nice mandatory training break because of the increased workload turnout into a serious battle with the Flu, causing a painful extended layoff from delicious CrossFit.  David seemed to luck out though as his baseline of fitness and abilities hadn't eroded much at all considering the massive amount of weight he tossed above his well rested little skull today.
Back Story: David happened to be in the Manchester area and decided to visit his favorite bearded Garage Gremlin.
 
I basically live in the Garage now so he knew I would be around and the timing was prime because our buddy Kevin Omalley from East Bridgewater was hanging out picking my brain and making paralettes (getting all you crazy bastards to meet each other is ridiculously difficult). This Irish stalker is the level one CrossFit Instructor that Jefe and I met in NJ during the cert... and he really hasn't left me alone since then.
  
Kevin just got his website URL and I am trying to help him get things up and running, the sooner the better so he can dabble CrossFit Kool-aid on the tongues of unsuspecting Mass-holes (expect links and updates and also check the comments for Kevin's hybrid triathlon/MEBB/DEBB/CFE training results...yes, we all told him to take more rest days)
While David and I were catching up he mentioned that a few days ago he experienced some serious frustration with his 1-1-1-1-1-1-1 Dynamic Effort Push-Jerk WOD.  Naturally I immediately broke out the PVC pipes and we began drilling the movements together to see if we could help find what was messing up his lifts.  It turns out that the "Split-Jerk" movement was at fault here as it tends to be considered the easier to execute when compared with the paralell foot version.  Most people favor the Split-Jerk because it allows for a greater degree of error when it comes to the landing and balance when in the receiving position.  I would constructively argue that the traditional Push Jerk landing would be preferable because while it does not allow for very much error I feel that it develops a better foundation for technique and timing, while the Split-Jerk can actually be counter productive by breeding habitual errors in form (bigger margin of error = larger gap for flaws to slip through).

Push Jerks have come up a lot around here recently. The other day Mike made some real progress with his landings and timing during the very same WOD David had trouble with (he is working on getting over his fear of pulling himself under the bar on all his Olympic Lifts).  Just like with Mike we went straight to the beginning of the movement with the PVC pipe only and worked on numerous landing, Snatch, Clean, Jerk and combination sequence drills (thanks to Coach Burgener it's getting very easy to instruct these movements through multiple methods, he has been unconditionally supportive of our desire to teach Olympic Lifting and we are indebted to him).  

Before he knew what was happening David found himself under the bar working his heavy max effort singles all over again (without the split-jerk comfort zone he relies on).  It took some tweaking but by the time 225lbs was overhead there was a noticeable improvement in every "performance point" for the lift.  

When the weight got heavier and crossed the 235lb mark there was an accidental reversion to the split-jerk, which was simply due to muscle memory, 
unfortunately this prevented a full and explosive opening of the hips (reduced barbell velocity) causing failed attempts. 
Despite David's frustration with the last two sets he should really be thinking of the 225 lb single as a new PR in light of the fact that he really doesn't have any rep records for the Push-Jerk form he used today (also noting that 225 lbs is a helluva lot of weight to be throwing above your skull).

Hmm, wonder if all the handstands help his overhead power and strength?

II. CrossFit Endurance WOD (03.01.2009)
Swim, Bike, Run, or C2 Rower
Goal is to use maximum effort for each 2 min interval.
(1:20 max effort x 0:60 rest) x 6 rounds
Score=Total Distance Covered

2/25/2009

Quote of the Week: "Samy, someone's...going...to get...hurt..."

The Rundown
I. "Samy, someone's ... going ... to get ... hurt ...," A Epic WOD is conquered.
II. WOD Results for today (three amigos WOD & CFNH Ladies WOD)
III. Girls Soccer Team Results and the gasmask WOD pic I owe them.
IV. CrossFit Endurance WOD
V. Extra Pictures (including the diagram Jefe made of his adventure in the grocery store while trying to recover his loose dog "Andrew" ... who always seems to outwit humans at every turn)

I. CrossFit HQ WOD Scaled Up (02.26.2009)
Complete the following for time with reps of 21-18-15-12-9-6-3
-Deadlift (225lbs)
-Pull-ups 
-Sit-ups (legs straight, no anchor)

Jefe 19:17*
Enrique 21:27
Hore-Hay 20:31

Training Notes: These scores are amazing without even trying to fathom how daunting a WOD like this can be.  I think the best part was also that none of the guys even really slowed down or stopped for more than 5-10 seconds the entire WOD.  Post WOD recovery was also insane, all three amigos were up off the floor and laughing about how much "it sucked" in record time.  
This is far from a workout anyone without some serious experience and strength in the deadlift should be taking on.  Safety is always important and during this entire WOD there was scrupulous attention paid to the deadlift for exactly this reason.  
Hardest part according to everyone was going right into the Pull-ups after the deadlift, which surprised me because 21 Deadlifts is a lot on it's own, let alone being followed by 18-15-12-9-6 and 3 rep rounds.  This WOD should help answer every one's question about why deadlifts help your pull-ups: Pulling from the floor is still pulling.

The unanchored sit-ups are also devastating because they don't let you use your hip-flexors to help you out like we were all used to from the traditional performance standards we learned in gym class (hold your buddies ankles).  All the guys considered this the time to eat up some serious oxygen and the constant thought they put into the efficiency of each breath has paid large dividends to their increases in overall fitness.  
Mind over matter is what separates the elite from the fit, and the fit from the untrained, not just hard-ass WODs. 





II. Row, Burpee, Ring Dip WOD (02.27.2009)
Complete 4 Rounds of the following for time
Row 1000m/750m/500m/250m
Burpees 6/12/18/24
Ring Dips 6/12/18/24

Jefe 18:17*
Enrique 19:38
Hore-Hay 21:20

CFNH Ladies WOD (02.27.2009)
Complete the following for time
Goodmornings (45lbs) x 15
Run 250m
Goodmornings (45lbs) x 12
Run 250m
Goodmornings (45lbs) x 9
Run 250m
Goodmornings (45lbs) x 6
Run 250m

Jill (aka Ms. Bi-Cuspid) 7:09*
Katie 8:12



III. Girls Soccer Team Results from Coach David
"Hi Sam, The girls did FGB! tonight. There were 5 in total.
The movements:
Row, calories
PP, 38 lbs
SDHP, 16kg Kettlebell
Ball Slam, 20 lb ball
Box Jumps, 20"

We did a warmup which included familiarizing them with the 
movements for the workout. 
Ball Slams were new for 3 of them. 
The PP was new for all of them.
The score range: 204, 230, 237, 256 and 266.
The highest score for:
Ball Slams: 30
SDHP: 31
Box Jumps: 23
PP: 30
Row: 15
They did a great job, the gym smelled like a gym after they were done. They have the shakes now but they think it's cool."

Now you guys know how crazy these girls are and why they can make me do WODs I don't want to as a penance for missing a training day due to snowstorms.  Booo, you little evil soccer psychos.
 
IV. CrossFit Endurance WOD
Intervals & Strength Recovery
Choose ONE
Swim: 8 x 50 m @ 3-5 sec slower than best avg, :30 Rest :30 between intervals
Bike: 8 x 1/4M @90% of best avg, Rest 1:00 between intervals
Run: 8 x 200m @ 90% of best avg, Rest 1:00 between intervals
C2: 8 x 250m @ 90% of best avg, Rest 1:00 between intervals


Strength and Conditioning Recovery...
This can and should be done the day of races, after long runs, or on Sundays after interval work.
3 x 15 Glute Ham Developer Sit-ups (make sure you are extending knees aggressively to come up... your quads should also burn on this)
3 x 15 Glute Ham Developer hip extensions (hamstrings and butt should burn)
3 x 15 Kettlebell/Dumbbell swings
3 x 15 Bench Press
3 x 15 Pull-ups All exercises with light - medium weight. 3 sets! Reps are until you feel burn in target area or prescribed amount. This is not a timed WOD.


V. Below are a couple pictures of Jefe telling an amazing "fight for freedom" tale about his dog "Andrew" that wildly escaped from the car and began running laps around a local grocery store.  Yes, the picture DID need to be that elaborate to really give the story justice.






2/24/2009

CrossFit HQ WOD (02.23.2009)
Complete the following for time:
Row 500m
21 x Push press (115lbs)
Row 500m
18 x Push press (115lbs)
Row 500m
15 x Push press (115lbs)
Row 500m
12 x Push press (115lbs)



Scores
Jefe 13:40*
Enrique 15:30
Hore-Hay 14:56




Link 1 will bring you to a free CrossFit Journal Article written by a friend of ours up in Vermont (Greg Hammond) which helps explain why rowing is such a potent tool for developing elite fitness.

"Why Indoor Row?" by Greg Hammond

Link 2 is an article by Coach Glassman that was written to educate athletes in the basics and fundamental efficacy of the overhead movements, including the Push Press. These two links will help solidify your understanding of the movements that played such a powerful duet in the CrossFit WOD above.

CrossFit Endurance WOD (02.23.2009)
1:1 Pacing WOD, Training today is geared for learning to manage your workload based on perceived exertion
3 + Hours After CrossFit Main Site WOD
Choose ONE: Swim, Bike, Run, C2 
Complete 3 Rounds of:
1min on 1 min off, 1min on 1min off, 1min on 1min off
Hold distances as consistent as possible, score is distance in meters
"Foul" if you go over or under your 1st round distance.
RPE (follow the link below for an explanation of RPE) of no less than 16.
If you "Foul" then perform 1 min of max rep push ups


Link 3
Primary RPE Scale that CrossFit Endurance Uses

2/22/2009

The Journey Continues... (02.22.2009)

Below are two pictures we snapped of Taco and Chalupa during a hard and brutal training session designed to develop two new skills for them. The barbell snatch work was involved because they were simply ready for it based on their level of proficiency with the fundamentals (and it didn't make sense for me to throw something like one arm snatches at them if they still only think that is a vulgar word). The guys also spent some quality time hanging from a Pull-up bar performing a little complex to develop the L-sit pull-ups (1 x L-sit Pull-up/ 1 x Shins to Bar/ 1 x L-sit Pull-up/ 1 x Shins to Bar = 1 rep). No time component because both movements were nice and spankin' new.



















CFHQ WOD (02.22.2009) Front squat 3-3-3-3-3 reps

Make sure you freaks are keeping logbooks, training will severely lose its potency if you fail to do so... especially on days formatted like the above WOD.
Loads for Chalupa w65-95-115-135-155-175* 

CrossFit Endurance: Rest Day
I can hear the collective sigh of relief out there

Here's a peek at a typical early AM scene from CrossFit New Hampshire. We always dry run the WODs for our athletes so that any logistical issues that would arise from running the workout present themselves... plus it trashes us physically and who doesn't love that? 
I also toss up tons of pictures that show ridiculous faces and funny poses for everyone else so why not join the party so everyone can poop on me too? 
(P.S. No more arrow boards, Taco)


2/20/2009

A CFNH Ally Claims Victory & WODs for CFHQ/CFE (02.21.2009)

CFHQ WOD "Joshie" (02.21.2009)
-One-arm Dumbbell Snatches are executed to Squat Snatch standards 
-L-pull-ups need to maintain a 90 degree angle in the hip crease to count for a rep.
Complete three rounds for time of
21 x 40 pound Dumbbell snatch (right arm)
21 x L Pull-ups
21 x 40 pound Dumbbell snatch (left arm)
21 x L Pull-ups
In honor of Army Staff Sergeant Joshua Whitaker, 23, of Long Beach, CA who was killed in Afghanistan May 15th, 2007.

CrossFit Endurance WOD 
16(:10 max effort work x :20 rest)
CFE Advises 3+ Hours Before (or after) CrossFit Main Site
Choose ONE of the Following Sports:
Swim, Bike, Run, or C2 Rower

10:20 x 16
10 seconds on 20 seconds off for 16 rounds:
All out efforts! Terrain or incline is your choice.



Our Buddy Joe Venuti Opens CrossFit Mass. He's the nutcase building our new plyo-boxes...

Rest Day Topics: This Weeks WOD's, Scores & CFNH News

The Rundown
I. A Sick Little Twist on the WOD from yesterday that trashed our guys (awesome scores regardless)
II. CrossFit NH continues as a Half-way house for freaks like this guy named Kevin, who came up and stayed to help me coach and also tap into some radical thoughts on program twists and spins for him to bring up some weak points in his training.
III.Tales from the Garage: Updates from various training sessions and all the glorious candid pics associated.
IV.People Get Crazy with Handstands and Paralette work because of certain leaderboard contention hot spots.

I.CrossFit HQ WOD Rx'd (02.19.2009)
For time:
50 x Ring Dips
Run 400 meters
50 x Push-ups
Run 400 meters
50 x Handstand push-ups
Run 400 meters

Brutally Modified for CFNH
Complete the following for time
25 x Ring Dips
Run 250m
25 x Ring Dips
Run 250m
50 x Push-Ups
Run 250m
10 x HSPU's
Run 250m
10 x HSPU's
Run 250m
10 x HSPU's

Our reasoning behind changing this WOD's format was to keep everyone gassed out while still allowing for working sets to failure on all three pushing movements. The pattern went push down, push straight, push overhead, and we adjusted sets and reps accordingly to keep the WOD hard and fast while still getting the benefits of training to near failure on the gymnastic based strength movements.
Scores
Jefe 12:35*
Enrique 15:07
Hore-Hay 13:40

Scaled for the Queens of CFNH ... and only because they haven't had ring training exposure yet!
3 Rounds for time of:
Push-Ups 21-15-9
Push Press 21-15-9
Run 250m-250m-250m
Scores
Jill 11:04
Katie 10:53*
How serious do these girls get when it comes to the WOD's? Ask Jill who smashed herself in the chin with a 45lb barbell, chipped a tooth, spent 15 seconds walking it off, showed me the pieces of her tooth on her finger... and then started back up by repeated the REP SHE SMASHED HERSELF WITH. Then she almost overtook her head to head competition, wow.
The five of us that weren't actually doing the WOD with them huddled in stunned reverence while the ladies earned some sicky times.


II.CrossFit Coaching Guests Kevin O. came up from Brockton two days ago and moved onto my couch so he could help me coach and meet the various CrossFitters that have been frequenting CFNH's Garage Facility. This place is a half-way house for CrossFitters anyway and it was nice having someone here around the clock to help me out.

While he was here we put together an interesting medley of CrossFit programs for him to try out. Since he is an avid Triathlete and loves running there was no way he would let me cut out his CFE training (like I would do that anyway), and he is a die hard 3 on one off mainsite guy as well. Kevin really felt his weak points were in his strength, power, and explosiveness with the various complex barbell movements that slaughter us all on met.con's.

After spending some time in the garage working on the Burgener warm-up drills and brainwashing him into performing them prior to any session of training with some PVC pipe or a dowel, we went through some triples sets with a few movements like squat cleans, deadlifts, and front squats. The data and numbers we collected gave Kevin a good idea of where to start come Monday (his first of two dedicated training session a week for strength and power emphasis) and using a set and rep system based on the Max Effort/Dynamic Effort black box (thanks to the endeavors and radical thinking by guys like Mr. Rutherford) he will see some serious improvements over the next few weeks.

The trick is to pay attention to the CrossFit HQ and CFE WOD's and change their stimuli emphasis if needed to keep yourself fresh during the week. There is one complete day off, but for most people two would be better. It will be interesting to see the progress that comes out of this over the next month, and Kevin will be posting his results in our comment section. I know Patrick Haskell will be able to give some solid feedback, as will Mike Molloy, and David Sailor. Everyone is invited to give Kevin some feedback, and me as well. Should be an interesting show.

CrossFit HQ WOD (02.18.2009)
-With a continuously running clock do one pull-up the first minute, two pull-ups the second minute, three pull-ups the third minute... continuing as long as you are able.
-Use as many sets each minute as needed.
-Score is the total # of rounds (minutes) completed.




Scores
Jefe 20 Rounds*
Mike 13 Rounds
Frank 7 Rounds

III.CrossFit HQ WOD (02.17.2009)
Squat Cleans 1-1-1-1-1-1-1

Dynamic Effort Black Box Singles Day
Scores
Jefe 135-155F-155F-155-185-195F-195
Enrique 135-155-175-185-195-205-215F
Hore-Hay 135-155-175-195-205-215-225*

Squat Cleans 
3-3-3-1-1-1-1
Scores
Chalupa 65-85-95-115-125-135-145
The change in sets and reps was because Chalupa was performing squat cleans for the first time today and hadn't yet established set/rep records for this movement. He easily executed the movements with a high regard for technique and immediately shot up with his weight increases as a result, amazing what a month medicine ball cleans can do for ya.
For improvement the only thing we noticed (Enrique picked it up as I was too busy taking glamour shots with my Nikon...) was that the negative side of the final rep was jerking Chalupa's lower back because he was hurrying to floor the barbell.
This is a lesson for everyone, especially with heavy weights: We teach you to keep that barbell on a straight vertical path in its ascension, this should also apply to its decent in a slow controlled manner. Nothing takes the high away from a personal best lift like breaking your lumbar vertebrae and sending your spinal erector muscles shooting across the gym...I'll catch them for you but I'd rather not.

Named WOD "Jackie" (02.16.2009)
Complete For Time
1000m Row
50 x Thrusters (45lb Barbell)
30 x Pull-ups
Scores
Jefe 7:45
Taco 14:03
Chalupa 11:22


CFNH Ladies Group WOD (02.17.2009)
Complete 3 Rnds For Time of
SDHP's (45lbs) 15-12-9
Push-ups 21-15-9
Scores
Jill 3:29
Katie 3:01









2/18/2009

Todays Training
CrossFit HQ WOD (02.18.2009)

-With a continuously running clock do one pull-up the first minute, two pull-ups the second minute, three pull-ups the third minute... continuing as long as you are able.
-Use as many sets each minute as needed.
-Score is the total # of rounds (minutes) completed.


The Leaderboards are also now up and running.  If you would like to see how the "Skill & Ability Leader Boards" are run then download the Skills Hierarchy document that is linked at the top. The current highest skill level holder has the Leader Board spot for whatever skill was demonstrated. 

For example, Enrique was the first one to hold a handstand on paralettes for 1:00 which means he has attained a skill level of 1 for Hand Stand Push-Ups. To get knocked off the boards someone has to attain a skill level of 2 for HSPU's, which is 10 complete reps.

There are various load, rep, timed holds, and other measures of skill based on the type and difficulty of ability. The spots are rapidly filling up, but don't fret... you can also compete by performing the WOD or skill and submitting a score in the comments, but there has to be some sort of validity to your post like photos or a short video file of your performance for it to be officially eligible for the boards. At any time a skill test can be performed here while we train, these leader boards are already a hotbed of competition, and it probably won't be long until there aren't any "goat lists" left ... good luck, freaks!!

P.S. Yes, the pillars of hellish competition that we like to call the "Named WOD Leader Boards" still exist on our walls.  A new top spot on there was snatched up by Jefe for the "Jackie" WOD. 

All the new scores and results will be added to the post later tonight.  Sorry for the wait but there are CrossFitters that need access to our Garage Gym and I can't leave anyone out in the cold anymore.

Results, Scores, and Photos will be posted Tonight.

Thanks to my Mom and sister for coming by to help wrap up the heavy duty renovations in the garage.  On the left are some pictures showing the new garage layout to give you guys a glimpse of what came from our hard and frantic work, now we have a first class facility with which to administer elite training.

2/07/2009

"28 Days Later" The Foundation Has Been Laid


Headlines
I. Graduation Notice
II. Jefe and Enrique take some extra rest and then set new PR's for Fran, score excellent times on the Valentine's Day WOD
III. We get a little high tech with our training training tools

*Welcome to the Family: I want to thank Lance for coming by yesterday to check out the garage and hang out with me while we ran some of the guys through Fran. It was his first experience being around other CrossFitters in a place where we don't get arrested for training and we all remember how exciting that day was for us. 
Can't wait to have ya back to tear it up, dude.


I. Graduation Notice
Chalupa has officially passed beyond the realm of "Hellishly Endless Repetitions of the 9 Fundamental Movements" and today reached an exciting milestone as he took on his first CrossFit Mainsite WOD.
Taco isn't far behind and these two Squires of the 99cent menu have put an awe inspiring amount of work into preparing themselves for full throttle CrossFit Training.
28 days have passed since Training Day Uno (remember that 4:00 WOD called "Bottom-2-Bottom Tabata Squats"?), over which thousands of repetitions have been meticulously executed with no "performance point" left behind.   I am humbled and honored to have been able to help these work horses out in whatever small capacity I could, however, the true lessons learned came over the course of each rep in it's three-faceted objective of moving a large load over a long distance as quickly as possible.  The lessons didn't stop there either, and once the movements were being executed efficiently, safely, and consistently we began to slowly pour on the intensity... and that topping comes in many flavors.  The evolution from novice to fire-breather was fun as hell for me to witness and it helped me remember exactly how basic an evolution it should be.  There is nothing complex or difficult in the this foundation we are trying to lay, and over the last 28 dayI often found myself thinking back to the words of a top CrossFit Trainer named Chuck"The Magic is in the Movements." 
Taco and Chalupa can definitely agree with that statement.

CrossFit HQ WOD Scaled (02.14.2009)
Ten rounds for time of:
7 x Sumo-Deadlift High-Pull(75lbs)
3 x Ring dips x10 reps

Notes on Scaling: Ring dips are brutal, plain and simple... just ask Kevin D.  The scaling in this WOD took into account a brand spankin' new pack of skill sets surrounding the use of rings.  We switched around the rounds, reps, and load a little bit so that the same types of metabolism could be thrashed while taking care not to overtrain (and potentially injure) areas of the body that would be taxed heavily by the new movement.
Score
Chalupa 11:33*

II. CrossFit HQ WOD RX'd (Sat 02.14.2009)
Seven rounds for time of:
10 x Sumo-Deadlift High-Pull(95lbs)
10 x Ring dips

Notes on Warm-ups: Today we really made it a point to use a solid warm-up and skill/ability development portion to practice for the WOD and prime each athlete physically for performance. 
Most of the warm-up sessions now contain hip and shoulder mobility drills, timed support holds and inversion intervals for rings and paralettes, as well as a specific skill that gets highlighted and worked on. The rower has also taken a front seat in letting the guys work up a light sweat and truly elevate their body temps prior to whatever gauntlet Coach Glassman has in store for them. 
I always write it out for the fighters, from now on I will do the same for all the groups so everyone has some options to use for actual warm-up routines, your longevity as an athlete and a human will depend on it more than you think.

Scores
Jefe 8:22* 
(Yesterdays Fran time Jefe 4:22*)
Enrique 10:40 
(Yesterdays Fran time Enrique 6:00)

Jefe and Enrique are both back at it after a few extra days off to rest and recover. The times and scores these guys (and their comrades) have been tossing around are nothing short of top tier performances which makes the rest and recovery part of training that much more important.
Everyone already knows that rest and recovery are critical to your success (even survival) in continuing to forge elite fitness through CrossFit's Methods. There are too many CrossFitters that merely pay this fact lip service and end up injured or over-trained because an unchecked enthusiasm fuels their mental belligerence (this was a lesson I learned the hard way).

The scores might have still been awesome to witness around here but it was obvious on the faces of the guys that there was some serious downtime needed. When everyone came down with the same kind of cold on the same day really there was a real awakening around here.  After some nice rest Jefe and Mike are frothing at the mouth again and there is no stopping them as they drive towards their next set of CrossFit Benchmarks, the times from today and their Fran workouts definitely underline that fact (poor hore-hay is still somewhere between the land of the living dead and purgatory).

Part of the reason I post all the pics and scores here is to encourage the kind of nail digging, teeth-sinking competition that CrossFitters thrive on, my other goal is to help show what we are all going through so that every athlete doesn't have to suffer the same suck-fest in order to learn some very useful lessons. Smarter not harder (never thought I would say that with any note of seriousness ...).
 
III. Tools of the Trade
Below is a cursory breakdown of how we can use the "time-lapse" and "sport shot" settings on our camera to capture different points in a the total range of motion for whatever movement an athlete is executing. This will prove to be a potent tool for us to use in educating ourselves and each other as we can now observe ourselves from a whole new dimension.  Sometimes an athlete already knows everything they need to learn and can complete a movement flawlessly if not for the warped vision they have of themselves in their mind's eye, images like the ones below can help alleviate this issue by providing a non-biased perspective after the fact for analysis.
Not only will this help all the athletes we currently have training here but it will make the learning curve steeper for those that are just now enlisting in the fundamentals development class...Every day gets a bit more exciting around here.


2/05/2009

Carving, Cutting, Hacking...

I. David Works Fundamentals & Tabata Squats
Everytime someone decides they really want to get going and learn those fundamentals I make a small, secretive leap for joy inside.  I look forward to this type of education and class more than any other at the moment, and with good reason. 
 
First and foremost it is a humbling and powerful experience when you get to play a role, no matter how small, in how an athlete develops.  In addition to the pride that comes from seeing your CrossFitter succeed you can expect to notice an immediate increase proficiency with whatever skills or topics you are trying to teach. The same principle of repetitive practice seems to apply here, and the more we try and help teach our athletes the better we get at imparting that knowledge.  This is quite the two-for deal, and I wanted to thank people like David for having the courage in the first place to show up at a garage where a strange bearded guy 'apparently lives', and begin a training regimen he outlined for you so you can excel instead of die in the course of a brutal new training concepts.

David came very well prepared for the course (as it turned out he spent the better part of a year reading and learning about CrossFit before he had the opportunity to implement it into his regimen). I mentioned in a previous post that David was a competitive cyclist, and it bears noting again because this truly adds a unique and exciting possibility of programming to the pool of resources we can draw on in taking this athlete to the top of his game.  You know what I am going to say... CrossFit Endurance.  The CFE programming will help keep his cycling razor sharp and his mind fresh so he can focus on the CrossFit mainsite WOD's to elevate his overall fitness.

The first of David's classes involved going over the basics and concepts behind CrossFit, after which we decided that working some technique with the Squat 
Fundamentals and the rowing machine would probably keep us alive instead of hypothermic.  After some work on form with both the rower (warm-up is critical in cold weather) and the squats David prepped himself for a 4:00 blitzkrieg of training that I learned about during my level one cert: Bottom-to-Bottom Tabata squats.  This is some serious conditioning despite it's short overall time, the leading CFNH score for our fundamentals classes so far is 12 reps (score = the lowest rep set out of 8 performed as: 20 sec squats x 10 sec rest in the bottom position for 8 total sets.  

The WOD is brutal and David's score was an impressive 10.  
Chalupa should feel some breath on the back of his neck, I don't think the high score is going to hold up for long...
Now that we have a nice competitive WOD for our new CrossFitters I want to include a little information behind it for you to peruse.  Click below for a great resource on the Tabata protocol and some cool ways to use it. Chris Stroud's amazing and very useful article on Tabata

II. Taco and Chalupa's WOD
3 Rounds for time of
Row 750-500-250 meters
Med.Ball Cleans 12 x 15 x 18
Burpees 12 x 15 x 18

Scores
Taco 20:43
Chalupa 15:31*

Both of these crazies have been working the fundamentals from scratch and developing their fitness for a little over two weeks now.  There have been serious improvements in the performance, not isolated to their fundamental movement execution but covering the entire span of abilities and fitness that CrossFit is designed to enhance.  Chalupa crossed an important 
line today and took his level of output to a whole new level (much like Jefe and Mike around the time of "virtual shovelling").
The only thing that was new in this WOD was the Burpee's because the distances both guys rowed, the reps for the Medicine Ball Cleans, and the pounds associated had all been encountered before.  This goes to show what a little desire and the repetitions from discipline can do for your performance.

III. Hore-Hay & Enrique's Mainsite WOD
3 rounds for time of
25 x Kettlebell swings (1-pood)
25 x GHD Sit-ups
25 x Back Extensions
25 x Knees to Elbows

Scores
Hore-Hay 17:20
Enrique 14:47*

This workout was completely new for these guys and involved applying some new techniques with back extensions, ham glute style sit-ups, and the kettlebell swing.  The way we scaled for this was to reduce the rounds to 3 instead of 5, and also to use a 1-pood Kettlebell instead of a 2-pood.  This was not just a responsible approach but still made for an insane slaughter fest that put some much needed work into the midline and it's stability.
I made sure to spot and assist everyone with help from Jefe (he was resting up today for his level one CrossFit certification over the weekend) so that these often underestimated moves didn't result in severe injury.  
Soon our Ham-Glute machine will keep WOD's like this from looking like an incest scene and I can't wait... 
Actually, I think I might kind of miss how serious everyone looks in the pictures of this madness.

IV. Carving new progress into the Garage Gym...literally 
There are a huge number of changes 
in the garage gym, ranging from tiny and almost inconsequential to profound in scale and scope.  While I would love to spend a huge amount of time explaining them all in detail I am afraid that getting to sleep so Jefe has an alert Samy to guard his back tomorrow is much more important (guard his back really just means "take candid photographs so Enrique and Hore-hay have mockery ammo").
 
Tomorrow's post will have a few new photo's of the place in top notch condition, but because it took 6 hours to do I wanted to glorify our obsession with making things perfect (overcompensation complex from a CrossFit Garage Gym infancy spent floorless in the dirt).  The pictures below show the wall and how we had to cut various small segments of gym mat flooring into appropriate lengths to make a flush edging. 

This floor mat was pretty tough, and after hours of biting it, kicking it, lighting it on fire, and finally giving up and hacking it to death with a sharp knife I finally finished the damn thing. It was definitely one of those projects that you wished you never started but find out too late that you went to far to give up, know what I mean?  In the end it makes for a nicer floor, which we all kiss and caress daily for being there.


2/03/2009

The Content Rundown
I. Welcoming New CrossFitters to our Family
II. WOD Details for Jill
III. Enrique and Jefe (Muscle-Up skill work, Brutal bodyweight WOD)
IV. Taco and Chalupa attain one hell of a milestone, their way of celebrating the two week anniversary with CrossFit.
V. Here are some Pictures of a snowshoe adventure up a mountain with my bro Derek. There is a comment (with a tag of "A NOBLE") on the affiliate blog about us the other day that had some nice words of encouragement about us becoming official, turns out "A NOBLE" used to sleep at the base of Monadnock which is exactly where Derak and I were. Just wanted to put up two pics and let A NOBLE that there is an open door here for training anytime the feet happen to hit the east coast again. Now everyone go look at the picture of Derek picking on the Mountain after discovering his Elite Fitness... no one likes bullies, Derek.

Welcoming Some New CrossFitters to Our Family
Today was about the busiest I have ever been with things that needed to be eviscerated right off the CFNH to-do-list. I sort of enjoyed the stress involved with trying to balance everything out for renovating the gym because the antagonists were a couple new faces that came by to check things out and maybe sneak in some training.
After exchanging a few e-mails I lured David in around 7:30 to hang out for a bit and talk about where he was and wanted to go with his fitness development. Basically the session ended with me overly excited again after learning about his experience as a competitive cyclist and adventure race bike rider (mix of roads, obstacles, and trails... doesn't it just beg to be trained for with CrossFit?).
I can't wait to get started with this new facet of athleticism and I think David is going to be blown away by the potential advancements he will see come to fruition in his off season with us. I am going to be starting another Fundamentals progression series of training with him at 7:30 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays so if there are any other crazies that feel like really putting some work into your foundation of knowledge and skills then let me know via the comment section, e-mail, or phone. This stuff is fun as is but it becomes a fun as hell adventure if you get together in groups to take it on, not to mention the added speed with which you acquire new skills and concepts when there are others around for you to observe while executing technique.
See you on Thursday, David, welcome to the family!

Our second guest got her exposure to CrossFit from Enrique, and it says a lot about the depth of his conceptual understanding of the fundamentals when she shows up with a nearly flawless Overhead Squat. Jill was definitely ready to get to work when she showed up and despite my usual hesitancy to throw people into a WOD right after meeting them I felt like her history and base of athletic ability (not to mention a noticeable hunger for training) would allow me to give her some skill and fundamental work and then work her through a simple triplet WOD (which I based around some things she identified to me as lower on her proficiency scale).
Down below you can see the WOD and the score that she earned, and the crazy part was the fact that she kept recovering so fast if she happened to get out of breath.

Skillwork & Warm-ups
She spent a lot of time practicing the Overhead Squat today and got to learn all of the different parts that comprise the "Burgener Warm-up" drill (Snatch-centric with applicability to everything explosive in movement). Learned about how to develop Pull-ups and use rings in several different ways to assist in a broad range of ability improvements.
Jill's WOD
3 Rounds of the following
Overhead Squats (pvc) 21-15-9
Ring Pull-ups Variation 12-9-6
Burpees (CF Games Standards) 15-12-9
Score 8:13
Being Gassed didn't even matter to Jill, her OH Squat form remained impeccable and she strung her burpees together as well as any of our other "fire-breathers". Great job, Jill, welcome to our family!

Rosemary Comes to Visit
Shortly after Enrique, Jefe, and Jill showed up I got a call from Rosemary who I have been keeping in contact with for about a month through e-mail. When she originally wrote to me Rosemary had just jumped headfirst into the pool full of Kool-Aid and was taking some nice big gulps (she started training with WODs like Murph, sounds like our kind of crazy).
Even though things were a mess in the garage I didn't mind letting her come by because she had been asking to come see what we were up to around here for quite some time and I wanted her to meet some of these guys that I have so much fun training and being around.
I'm pretty sure she thought I was just some "weird bearded guy with a gym in his garage" at first (paraphrase quote from Hore-Hay's description of what his workout class was when his girlfriend asked) but once I got her to start talking about her experience and history in CrossFit she probably figured I had been walking upright for at least a week and a half. My favorite part of meeting new CrossFitters because it really lets me get right to helping everyone with all the stuff that I hated figuring out on my own so much. Jill and Rosemary both felt weaker in the Pull-up/Muscle-Up area and had made some comments about our rings so I hauled them down and went to work trying to share some techniques and training points that I thought would give them both the most mileage in their development. I had a great time working through the progressions with them and covering some fundamentals from the Squat series of movements... another lady CrossFitter that comes through the door with a perfect Overhead Squat, I could feel the envy from the guys.
It was great to finally meet another CrossFitter that I hadn't been able to put a face to for so long, welcome to the family, Rosemary.

Oh, sidenote: She found us because of Brad who came down the other day for Viking Fran (Don't think I don't hear you dipping your oars with this WOD all the way down there in Virginia, Maj H.) . It turned out that both Jefe and I had already met this guy awhile ago and it was a bit like a reunion. The CrossFit world is a lot smaller than we think.

II. Taco & Chalupa WOD Results
Both of these CrossFitters took a serious crack at one brutal WOD today. Both Taco and Chalupa have been religiously following the outline of programming and instruction I helped compose for them when they asked for a true "developmental CrossFit indoctrination process".
If you look back a few posts you can see that it hasn't even been that long since they came in for an hour and listened to me talk about all the things we consider elemental to CrossFit. That same day they spent 4 minutes in bottom-to-bottom Tabata hell and finished their CrossFit New Hampshire welcome session on the floor with serious doubts about regaining walking ability.

Since a few days ago I have been getting a lot of feedback from other people who are familiar with Taco and Chalupa about the progress they have made. The general consensus is that everyone is blown away that someone could come this far in such a short time. This WOD is partly the product of such reactions, which were muttered during observations of the guys performing technical movements during the WODs. The Foundations have been well laid due to the simple diligence of the athletes. They dragged themselves in day after day with nothing more than a promise of "death by repetitious execution of proper fundamental techniques".
The most fun I had was teaching the med. ball progressions to these guys, and now that they have such a solid grasp of the movement (they were executing it extremely well while gassed the other day during "Fight Gone Fundamental") I decided to bring out this WOD for two primary reasons. One, I wanted them to see how powerful the rower is in smashing your metabolism to little inefficient bits, and two, if you combine these three movements you get a power clean to the front squat and push jerk progression with a load of 75lbs. Watching this WOD get taken apart with both intensity and technique makes me think that it might be time to really ratchet up the learning curve for these two.

Taco & Chalupa's WOD
Warm-ups and Skillwork involved repetitions of the 9 fundamental movements and short rowing segments with time spent refining technique. Once there was a nice sweat going and the heater had the place at a balmy 80 degrees it was time to hit it.
3 Rounds for time of
500m Row
Deadlift (75lbs) x 21
Front Squat (75lbs) x 15
Push Press (75lbs) x 9
Scores
Taco 22:51
Chalupa 13:46

Enrique & Jefe's WOD Results
The mainsite WOD today was 30 Muscle-Ups for time and both these guys can perform between 1 and 3 reps of the movement successfully. Despite this fact we still didn't attempt to tackle that WOD as RX'd and instead cleaved the training session into two portions.
Part I. Skill Development/Technique Refinement
-Short Rowing bouts with a heavy emphasis on the proper technique
-Sets of max rep Muscle-Ups and Assisted Muscle-Ups when needed

Part II. Neck and Neck WOD (7 tenths of a second difference in scores)
21-15-12-9-6-3 rep rounds of the following
-Pull-ups (Full range of motion to count, extension at bottom is everyone's nemesis)
-Ring Dips (Shoulder must break parallel with elbow and full extension for the rep to count)
-Burpees (CF Games Standards)

Scores
Jefe 13:26:00
Enrique 13:25:03*
(This is not a joke, that was the actual time difference...talk about some crazy competition brewing in here)

Hiking Pictures From Sunday