Chronicles of the Crossfit Cert. Trip: Part I

I am sitting here in North Carolina waiting anxiously for the certification to start tomorrow morning. I am not going to dive into the details of the trip and everything that has happened so far because there are some more important details that everyone should be foaming at the mouth for...mmmm delicious scores and training results. I am going to give a recap of the training and wod highlights that occurred on Wednesday and Thursday with a few of our Savage training crews.

It can't be said enough how humbled I end up feeling after watching the effort that everyone has been putting into training. You should know by your scores and new ability to finish wod's that your progress has continued to follow a nice steep curve. Now that everyone has the basic concepts down and is into the full swing of laying their foundation for physical ability, we can now start to really turn some things up. There is a TON of stuff that is coming down at you guys, but bear with me because I want to be able to run everything through the filter of insight I am trying to forge down here at the Level 1 Cert.
The sequence of instruction is something that I am very curious learn about because it as been laid out according to a specific curriculum of functional movement development. All the in depth study we will receive on the 9 fundamental Crossfit exercises will give me the directly to an increase in performance levels during training. I remember trying to learn all these things through Internet video downloads and printing out slides while comparing media and images I snapped of myself during workouts. That method worked in the end for me, but now that I am getting first hand instruction and experience (plus what I learned as a volunteer at the level 2 cert) we can really start making strides and learn some great new movements.

This brings me to another point I wanted to make, and it has to do with something that most of you probably don't think I even grasp the concept of: enjoyment. I was thinking to myself about the various new exercises and movements that I encounter daily through training the way that we do. Just with the rings alone I have expanded the variety and intensity of my training greatly (thank you Coach David), so one could only imagine the breadth of new concepts and ideas that are confronting the rest of you. This is far from a bad thing. Over the last few months I have really felt a passion emerge for teaching myself new skill sets. Actually, I take that back... just trying to learn the new concepts or abilities has become a blast. I had a great time the other day trying to figure out muscle-ups with the regular Garage Gym Crew. Handstands, Handstand Push-ups, L-sit movements, Holds and Inversions, there is just so much exciting material to try out.

This is one my favorite aspects of Crossfit, and I can't imagine going back to training the way we all used to, without any definitive goal or method other than what made us sweat. I want you all to think about this and instead of downloading our skills/hierarchy sheet and becoming discouraged by the sheer quantity of stuff you can't do, let's get jacked-up and enjoy the hell out of the process involved in learning. It is a rare privilege to walk away day after day with abilities that were previously unknown to you. Also in the quest to develop new skills you will see athleticism and fitness levels increase dramatically, you are no longer restricting the variety of training you apply to yourself while your options for future challenges continue to expand.

MMA Fighters Rip Apart a 30:00 Pain-Circus
This crew has been diligently working through wod after demanding wod in their continued exploration of the Crossfit paradigm of fitness. Thursday night was particularly brutal for them and took about a half hour for most of them to complete (if you train with Crossfit you would know how long that session is in comparison to most). Outside of their overall fitness advances there has also been marked improvement in the various skills that have been frequenting their warm-ups. Tonight we spent a little more time working on the Snatch Balance drills in our quest to gain proficiency in the Olympic Lifts. These explosive movements are perfect for fighters (and excellent for anyone in general) because they involve the entire body in a way that requires explosive force generation. As usual they also included Burgener Drills which complement basically everything you can do with your body in training to advance your fitness, all of this being quite enough to "warm them up" before they got hammered with the below workout.

MMA Team Training
Warm-ups/Skill work
800m easy run
2 rounds of Burgener Drills (3 for each of 6 movements)
800m easy run
2 rounds of Snatch Balance Drills with dowels
2:00 recovery and water break

12.18.2008 WOD
4 rounds for time of
Run 1.0/.75/.50/.25mi
(next 4 movements went 15/12/9/6)
Burpees with 10'' Box Jump
Thrusters (with choice of 65/75/95lb load)
Sumo-DL High-Pulls (with choice of 65/75/95lb load)

(as Rx'd)
Ben 31:52 *
Sam 33:58
John R. 33:50
John W. 33:15

(wod altered in some way)
Doug 34:40
Jeremiah 39:17
Nuri 30:44

After everything was wrapped up as far as the pain-circus we all gathered around the rowing machines for a basics class on how to use them. I love the C2 Rowers and they have been both instrumental in my overall athletic development as well as critically supplemental to the advancement of other specific exercises. We have two old model B rowers with PM1's on them and they basically feel like a Model D with the damper setting somehow axe kicked to a level 17 or something ridiculous. They work great now that we replaced the batteries (just start rowing to turn them on and adjust the display for calories, distance and time, or wattage calculations) so I wanted to give a basic introduction chat and demonstration. It only took a few minutes to show them the fundamentals of proper mechanics in using them, but I didn't have anyone actually try it because they were all pretty smoked after the wod. Just planting some seeds that will blossom into vomiting MMA fighters by next week I'm sure.

I thought I should include the photo that caught Nuri cheating on the workout by turning off Doug's treadmill. Not only is that a mean and dirty trick to pull, but the worst part is that he wasn't sprinting hard enough...you can tell by the picture that he was sandbagging because he could still laugh at Doug. Bastard.

On a different note I want to briefly bring up an important safety chat I had to have with the team. If you are training with us or using any of the workouts that are linked through this site then it is mandatory that you read the safety articles above (reading them all would benefit you more), you need to understand some critical things about Rhabdo and related safety/training intensity concepts. I say it constantly but maybe not clearly enough: This is not about pride, this is about developing yourselves on multiple levels. These training techniques we are using are some of the hardest and most intense in the world, they are designed for those looking for an elite level of overall fitness. Listen to your body and be smart with how hard you push yourself and what you think you should push yourself through. I am constantly watching for those warning signs of injury but my eyes can't watch everything at once, looking out for yourselves and the rest of the team is something I shouldn't have to tell you, especially this far into our training.

No one was hurt or anything but there was a situation where someone told me about pain in the lower back and this can be an acute symptom of some serious dehydration related issues involved in the intensity levels we use in our workouts. The pain wasn't the problem, the issue I had was with the desire to finish the workout no matter what. I explained why stopping was necessary and that was that, I just wanted to note things here so everyone can learn from this experience.

Garage Gym Crew Goes Stealth, Infiltrates YMCA
By the time 4:30 rolled around there was frozen slush and snow all over the place, mostly untouched by the plows in our neighborhood as well. The Crossfit wod that was posted that day required some running and I really didn't think it was a good idea to use our 200m loop (normally a perfect distance to finish wods as rx'd with a few laps and it doesn't make you cross any streets either) because shovelling up brains from a hit and run while one of our guys was sprinting on ice didn't really fit into my schedule for the night. I had to be down in Nashua for the soccer team at 7:00 and brains are hard to get out. The three amigos didn't mind the alternative at all.

We roll up to the YMCA, park illegally in a parking garage (shhh don't be tattling on us) and went inside to see if we can mooch some free passes for those that live a life of service to the wonderful state of NH. No dice, $10.00 a head which is three bucks more than I actually pay for membership, but these guys are so dedicated they forked out the cash and followed me down the rabbit hole of physical conditioning.

I had done this wod earlier in the day to give it a dry run (this is usual so I can plan for it's administration and the contingencies that might be necessary) so I knew how tough it was going to be. It has been days and my abs and back are still awesomely sore, and I knew this would be the first time that L-sit Pull-ups were part of a workout for the crew. Ratcheting up the difficulty some more was the fact that Hore-hay had yet to experience a Crossfit session that involved sprint runs, he must have been salivating with excitement.
Like usual everyone tore this wod apart and really scored very well. The max number of rounds scored according to logitall.com was 6, and this is a compilation of scores from all over the world. The wod and it's scores are below.

12.17.2008 WOD
(warm-up was done with some light rowing on the C2 and an easy jog, I didn't want to get kicked out for teaching 3 guys Olympic Lifting Drills before we finished our workout)
Complete as many rounds as possible in 20:00 of
400m run
L-sit Pull-ups x 15
Hip Extensions x 15

Jefe* 5 rounds
Enrique 4 rounds +400m
Hore-Hay 4 rounds +400m

This was the last time I got to train everyone because Thursday was a "rest day" and I flew out pretty early Friday (just missing the storm). This was a great way to get motivated for the certification and I know there was a good deal of pride in the scores attained. I think the crew has been training together at the Garage Gym for about two weeks and they are already performing better by the session and have acquired quite a few new skills, these sessions are what I look forward to when I get up in the morning.
I don't have the scores for them but while I am away I know that the "Filthy-50" and a 4 round 800m repeater workout were viciously assaulted. This coming week will bring some exciting concepts and new training wods to the table, can't wait to find out what's next for them.

Girls Soccer Team Training
I don't want to elaborate too much on the training the girls soccer team accomplished on Wednesday because several ego's might walk away from the screen bloodied and bruised. Just kidding, I am going to rub it right in everyone's wound like really grainy salt...no wait, salt mixed with acid. And venom.
In all seriousness these young ladies are little whirlwinds of ability. They just got back from a tournament they attended over the weekend and from what I hear they did pretty well. Despite the ridiculous weather these soccer ninjas managed to congregate down at the gym we use for training the MMA Fight team in Nashua, where Coach David and I were plotting their metabolic demise.
That night would bring a new challenge to the table for them and they were more than ready for it (they had previously done variations of "Angie" and "Cindy" wods). Before they would get to the actual wod for the night they spent some time warming up with some team drills and then got a foundation lesson on the deadlift and sumo-deadlift high-pull The primary workout is described below, and I challenge anyone to try and crush the scores they put up. Honestly, these girls would not stop holding angry little soccer fingers on the treadmill's "speed increase" button, they were so furious with the competitiveness. Oh, and they could still talk and socialize all while watching t.v. at the same time.

Soccer Team Training 12.17.2008
3 Rounds for time of
400m Run
21 x Burpees with a 10'' Box jump
21 x Sumo-Deadlift High-Pulls (8lb dowels)

Most of the times were around 10-12:00 so let's see if anyone thinks they can smoke the Girls Soccer Team... so small, yet so savage. They don't really know about our website but I want to share all the training each group is doing so that we encourage competition and learning (seeing how different crews are experiencing the rotation in training and increasing overall performance). These kids really gut it out 100% and I am constantly fighting them to drink water, slow down, and even breathe! I hope they are all having a great holiday break, I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how they attack the next challenge.

End Notes
That will be about it for tonight, I am going to get to bed now because there is another intense day of instruction planned for tomorrow. I have been snapping pictures as often as possible and taking meticulous notes from the classes to add to this little chronicle, so far my experience has been top notch. I know it probably seems strange to take this weekend so seriously to some of you, but this was something I never thought I would be able to actually attend (at least not this soon). I have put so much effort into educating and practicing things on myself that it is a great pleasure to receive the reinforcement this course offers me. I am very excited to come home bearing a credential such as this, and even more so to apply the things learned here to your training in an effort to enhance the progress you are already making in huge strides. Train hard, rest easy on your days off up there, and I will post part II tomorrow.

Thanks, Ashley for being our Offical Team Photographer. You have nasty skills with the camera as well as an uncanny ability to harvest freckles.

John will finally be home on Tuesday... good luck on your long ass drive.


Eric Montgomery said...

Just sent you an email from my gmail account the other day--don't know if it didn't go through or maybe you've been too busy traveling with your cert to take a look at it. I'm one of the guys Chris Toomey recruited to try to expand your operations into a for-real CF gym--been checking out your site a little and it looks like you're running some good stuff there. Get back to me when you get a chance and we can go over some of the plans.


APurple said...

I'm not sure if I'm better at taking pictures or harvesting freckles.. it's a close race!! As long as you're cool with both I'm there!! :o)

BamBam said...

Eric, one look at the guy with the sweet socks on the rower and you'll know we’re as "for-real" as it gets.

Just to clarify as new people discover this web site Ross has been doing this type of training for years and it is my opinion that Cross-Fit should pay to be Ross Certified so they can claim him as a trainer. (It just doesn’t economically work that way.)

I think we need a bio section on you, so newbi’s to this site don’t think you are just now getting into this as you get certified and there is business talk of “legitimate” gyms. Just so their not afraid to jump in NOW! I’ll start it…

It all started with a high school power lifting coach who taught us how to record our daily workouts and set new records each day. (weight totals, rep records, timed conditioning routines) Ross took to it like a fish to water and I took to it like a fish to a net. (he got stronger but I got way tougher than him) He went from there and experimenting on himself with all kinds of workouts blowing off his friends to toarcher himself. I’ve seen Him in collage as a 5’3” 210lb power lifter and 5’6” 155lb MMA fighter. He had been training others along the way making me do Tabata drills and other toarcherus things…..

(Key: Samy = Ross, Ross = Samy) (also known as “you can call my Rudy coach”)

Sailorcrew said...

That's just Nuri showing a little Crossfit Humor!

Welcome home, Samy. Your picture was on the main page so I know you were there.