Archive for March, 2013

Monday Meme (yes, we know it’s Thursday)

Posted: March 28, 2013 by CrossFit Lewes in Funny, Memes

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Monday Morning Quarterback and Week 3 Update

Posted: March 28, 2013 by Uncle D in Uncategorized

Monday Morning Quarterbacking –
First the quick update on 13.3 then on to the meat. Can I just say that I actually yelled at the television when they announced this workout. Having already done this last year I knew what was in store, and let’s just say I wasn’t too excited about having a second go at it. The funniest part of all is that even with fore knowledge it still sucked worse than I remembered! God I hope they don’t have that one repeat again next year. I improved by 23 reps from last year, still didn’t make it to the muscle ups though, which was my goal. However my score of 205 was enough to move me up 4 places to 562 in the world keeping me in the top 17% and on track for my goal of top 20%.

As with most workouts I found myself questioning things I did during the workout, and asking what if I did this and I wish I had tried such and such. This is not a productive use of brain cells for any crossfitter after any workout. Yes, you should try to identify ways to improve, but those are different questions than rehashing your workout over and over and thinking about what might have been. The problem with that type of thinking is that it’s a question that has no answer. You don’t know what would have happened. It could have been worse. My particular example had me questioning whether I should have stopped after my first 30 WBS. I felt really good after 30, I was breathing well, and felt like I could have kept pushing. But what if I did, I can’t know whether that would have helped or hurt, maybe I would have burnt out faster, as it was my shoulders went to hell in a basket at 100. So my point is don’t waste time looking backward, if you had a plan and stuck to it, and gave it your best shot that’s all you can do.

On the flipside I do think there is significant value in asking how you could have trained or prepared differently. I personally knew double unders would be in one of the workouts this year, they always are. I am mediocre at them fresh and dreadful at them when I’m gassed out. So knowing that, I really need to make it a priority to practice double unders fresh and TIRED!. This is something that I can set as an action plan for next year. And it’s something you should try to do even if it’s in baby steps to get better in every day workouts. Do you know your squat flexibility is bad, what are you doing differently to make it better? Always stink at toes to bar? Have you identified the weak link? Have you asked a coach for help, or to video you? Wrists always hurt in the rack position? How can you fix that?

If you are going to show up 4 times a week and really try to make this a lifelong sport you need to continually improve even if it’s very slowly. If you don’t you may end up getting disillusioned with Crossfit because you’re not getting better, but in reality you didn’t get any better because you didn’t make an effort to fix problem areas. Eventually the weakest link in your fitness will become a barrier to improvement. So stop avoiding stuff you stink at and start working on it now. Just so we’re clear I’m yelling at myself here as well. I hate double unders and don’t really like dead lifts and I have been slack in attacking those weaknesses. I also have always had a limited top end capacity, I gas out and muscle fatigue too quickly. I am going to try to be more diligent about working on both this year. So you will see me this year(after the open is finished and I recover), adding work before or after WOD’s. One thing I am going to test drive is to pick something each week and keep adding numbers without breaking. It will look like this
Week 1 – Burpees start at 25 unbroken, add 5 each day I work out going unbroken for all
Week 2 – Wall balls same deal start at 35
Week 3 – Double Unders
Week 4 – 175 lb deadlift

I’ll keep changing it up every week, repeating after a certain cycle and always trying to start where I ended the last time I did that exercise. I’m hoping this will help improve my overall work capacity, as well as to help train my brain that I can do more reps without taking a break. I am going to run the test drive for three months. I will measure my progress by using a specific workout or two as a bench mark and see if I improve at the end of that time. If that doesn’t work I can always try something else. If anyone wants to participate in this experiment, just let me know and we can track progress or make a plan together.

So to sum up, don’t waste time rehashing a particular workout, do choose to improve, ask for help, find a friend, and go get to work.

Focusing on the warm up.

Posted: March 27, 2013 by CrossFit Lewes in Warm Up

By now you may have realized one of my favorite blogs to read is Paleo Secret. They have a lot of great stuff on their site. It’s worth adding them as a daily read, IMHO.

I saw a great write-up on warm ups today and thought I’d share.

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to warms ups I’ve been of two minds – the first and primary thought I have is our warm ups are a good way to warm up and loosen up to prepare for the WOD. But every once in a while, the other thought prevails… “Let’s just get this done already and get to the main event?”

But overall, I’m pretty confident that the warm-up is a good and necessary thing. There a lot of boxes out there that don’t spend time on warm ups, they leave it up to the individual to do it themselves. That is certainly not the CrossFit Lewes school of thought. Our warm ups are deliberate and structured. And more and more frequently, they include skill work that is crucial to performing many of the movements and lifts efficiently and safely. Lately they’ve included mobility exercises as well.  I love this stuff and think that is a good thing for us all.

So back to the Paleo Secret article. Check it out. It gives a nice overview of the importance of the warm up – but more so it explains specifically what each of the different the stretches and movements do for you. A lot of what is featured we do in our warm ups. Enjoy the read.

My Warmup – A Way to Stand Up Straight in a World That Sits – The Paleo Secret.

Paleo Recipe – Sausage and Cauliflower

Posted: March 21, 2013 by CrossFit Lewes in nutrition, paleo, recipes

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The picture doesn’t do this dish justice. But this is unbelievably delicious. That’s why there is almost nothing left in the crock pot.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb hot Italian, sweet or mild sausage
  • ½ head of cauliflower
  • ½ large red bell pepper diced
  • Dried or fresh parsley to taste
  • ½ cup homemade chicken stock

Instructions:

  • Begin heating a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Remove the casing from the sausage
  • Brown the sausage in the pan, using a fork or spatula to break up into pieces
  • While the sausage is cooking, cut up the cauliflower r into smaller florets, place in a 8×8 glass dish, cover with plastic wrap and heat for 4 minutes on high in the microwave. (do not  add water to steam, there is enough moisture in the cauliflower already)
  • Once the cauliflower is cool use a grater and “rice “the cauliflower.
  • Remove the sausage from the pan and add the riced cauliflower, and parsley.  Cook about 10minutes.
  • Add the red pepper and cook another 5 minutes.
  • Add the sausage back to the pot and add the chicken stock.  Simmer uncovered until almost all of the stock is absorbed.

A helpful tip to avoid franken-fruit.

Posted: March 19, 2013 by CrossFit Lewes in nutrition

As you may or may not be aware – the gov’t does not require food labels to indicated when a food has been genetically modified (GMO).

Interestingly, those little codes on the labels that you find on your fruit can give you some clues. These codes are not designed for consumer use, rather for the food producers and distributors. So the meaning of these codes can change at any time. But for now, it appears the following graphic may be a good rule-of-thumb for finding out if your fruits and veggies have been genetically modified. If you are skeptical, check it out on Snopes.

PLU codes

Open Week 2 – Fair or Foul???

Posted: March 18, 2013 by Uncle D in CrossFit Games
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Crossfit Games Open Week 2 –
Open week 2 is in the books.
In ten minutes perform as many reps as possible of –
• 5 shoulder to overhead at 115 lbs
• 10 deadlift at 115 lbs
• 15 box jumps on a 24” box.

I scored a 225. My goal was 240. I wasn’t terribly disappointed but wasn’t thrilled either. It was enough to move me up 55 places in the overall rankings and not only keep me in the top 20% worldwide but move me into the top 17% giving me a little room to breathe.

However, I want to talk about a slightly different topic for this post. It relates to the open but only loosely to my performance. If you came to the box to watch the workout you probably noticed a lot of people stepping up on to the box, this was legal as long as the movement standards were kept, which was both feet on the box knees and hips fully extended. After doing the workout on Sunday, Meg made the comment that it should have been box jumps. No stepping allowed. At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about that, but as time has progressed I find that I agree whole heartedly.

Crossfit is supposed to be hard, and the open is supposed to be a true broad spectrum test of an athlete’s capabilities. Yes, Crossfit is scalable and should absolutely be so, but in no way, shape, or form, should an open workout use a function that would be considered scaled at any normal workout. I would probably be ok with allowing stepping off the box just to reduce the possibility of injury. If you haven’t heard there have been some Achilles injuries from the landing on high rep count box jumps, so it is an area where caution could be warranted. However, on the way up it should be a box jump. Yes you may get a badly scraped shin if you miss, but that is a whole different animal then a blown Achilles. So if you made burpees have to jump to a six inch target so folks don’t short the top of the burpee, why are step-ups ok?

Just to be clear I did step up on the box throughout my workout. And to be further clear my score would have suffered if I had to jump up on the box every time. And yes it’s easy for me to say now it should have been box jumps only. But let’s face it lessons are often only learned after the fact. I’m not trying to be some holier than thou, “THE SANCTITY OF CROSSFIT IS RUINED!” blogger. But I do feel it’s a topic that is worth discussing and thinking about in greater depth. Maybe I’m off base here, maybe it’s totally fine that step-ups are allowed, be prepared for the unknown and the unknowable and all that good Crossfit mantra. Honestly step-ups could be totally cool if they were weighted, man…, can you imagine, your forearms would have gotten smoked in that version of the workout.

But something about that workout bothered me and I hadn’t been able to put my finger on exactly why I felt…. odd, unsatisfied…. I don’t know, even now it’s hard to really classify. True I didn’t reach my goal, but that wasn’t it. After the first workout I was really disappointed after my first attempt and then thrilled after progressing on my second, both were short of my hoped for goal. That’s what an open workout is supposed to be. Not that this version wasn’t hard even doing the step-ups, it was, but for better or worse I feel a little bit dirty, like I cheated, and I don’t love that.

I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts on this one……

P.S. Mad Props to all who box jumped the whole time! Hope your calves recover soon! 🙂

THIS is genius. Take one of the most reviled CrossFit movements and put it into context of your next ill-chosen junk food binge. You’ll never look at an order of McDonald’s fries the same way again.

Props to the Spartan Race Blog for this junk food to burpees conversion!

http://blog.spartanrace.com/burpee-equivalents-understanding-junk-food/

Let me tell you about CrossFit.

Posted: March 13, 2013 by CrossFit Lewes in CrossFit

If you haven’t seen this yet, this is a pretty excellent video and sums up why we all CrossFit.

Open scores – 13.1

Posted: March 13, 2013 by CrossFit Lewes in CrossFit Games

Great job everyone. We find out tonight what 13.2 has in store for us this week!

13.1

The Open Week 1

Posted: March 12, 2013 by Uncle D in CrossFit Games

Crossfit Games Open Week 1 –So the first of five workouts in this year’s Crossfit Games Open is complete. It may have been one of the most grueling workouts in what is now my third year of participating in the open. Of course it’s also the most recent, so I could very well be saying the same thing next week. The games makers basically took two of the hardest workouts from last year and combined them into one 17 minute mess. The workout is listed below.
In 17 minutes complete as much as possible of the following:
• 40 Burpees to a target 6” above your max reach
• 30 Snatches at 75 lbs
• 30 Burpees
• 30 Snatches at 135 lbs
• 20 Burpees
• 30 Snatches at 165lbs
• 10 Burpees
• As many snatches as you can get with remaining time at 210 lbs
Your score is total reps completed, so if you completed the second set of burpees your score would be 100.

The weights listed above get very difficult very quickly for most athletes.

My first attempt left me frustrated and to be honest, pretty dejected. I scored a 108. I had been hoping to get to 130 when the workout was announced. When I finished the workout I was ready to write this one off and call it a day, but after judging three more rounds of my fellow open competitors, the Crossfit crack kicked in and I knew I’d take another shot at it.

To give a feel of what this workout is like to participate in – it went like this for me, minute one feeling good 17 burpees complete, minute two starting to breathe a little hard 32 burpees complete. Minute three burpees complete legs are a little heavy, breathing hard, snatches underway, this weight is pretty reasonable so I am moving through them pretty quickly for me, but trying to manage the burn rate. Complete the 30 snatches at 5:29. Straight back to the burpees, UGH! and now my brain wants me to quit. Legs getting heavier, ground feels so nice to lay on…, get back up, touch the bar. Get down, get up, keep telling yourself this 30 times until you’re done. I’m at the 9 minute mark, my legs weigh approximately 300 pounds each. My lungs are begging for mercy while I fumble around changing the weights out, I still have 7 minutes to go. I reach down and pull on the bar and it’s almost double the weight I last lifted. “Don’t fail, don’t fail, don’t fail, slow pull, jump, drop under, lock out.” Drop the bar and repeat, mentally I get in a decent groove forgetting about failing. At the last minute fear of a failed lift creeps back in, and I desperately want to get to 123, someone from Riverfront had posted 122 in my age group, I really, really want 123. Pull, jump, lock, drop breathe. Don’t fail! I’m terrified of wasting the energy associated with a failed attempt. Lockout 122 with 12 seconds left, drop the weight, reset, breathe, pull, lock. 123 at 16:58 smile, collapse on the floor, try to find some position that gets air into the lungs. But it doesn’t hurt nearly as bad after such a big improvement. So, you know…….. basically just another day at the box…..

As I stated in my previous post my goal this year is to be in the top 20% in the world in my age group of 45-49. Last year I finished in the top 35%. The 123 puts me in a tie for 621st place out of 3,254 total competitors. (This will be the number of competitors I use to gauge myself for the entire competition, some will drop out, some will drop in, but for me it’s easiest to use the week 1 number of participants all the way through.) That puts me in the top 19% at the end of week one, a significant victory for me as I am not very good at snatches. (Insert joke here.) If I had stuck with the 108 score it would have put me in 1,346th place, or in the top 42% which would have put my goal for this year in serious jeopardy and more than likely given me an impossible amount of ground to make up. In the open every rep really does matter, 15 reps was a difference of 725 places on the leader board!

I couldn’t be more proud of the people in our box that are participating. This shit is hard! You are putting yourself out there in front of your peers trying to do your best and that takes real courage. It honestly is incredibly amazing to watch not only the effort that each individual puts forth but the continuous cheering, urging, and support of everyone else present at the box. It’s what makes the open awesome! If you were on the fence this year, then you should watch, experience the energy, and make sure you sign up next year. Remember there are very few of us that have any real shot of making it to regionals. You are measuring yourself against your own abilities and seeing how you stack up, setting a target for yourself, so next year you can burn it down! Keep on rocking open competitors, Wednesday night we find out what horrors await us for the second workout, and in that weird Crossfit way, I’m looking forward to it.
Follow along on the Crossfit games Leaderboard and watch videos of the workout on Wednesdays at 8:00PM at http://games.crossfit.com/.

Uncle D