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February 2010
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April 2010

March 2010

March Mayhem - Body Slam

March's baseline workout was "Body Slam" and several people made some phenomenal improvements.  Most matched their initial times while others saw a 10-20% reduction in their times after only doing the workout a few times.  Nice work!
  • Kettlebell High Pull and Snatch
  • Air Squat and Bastard
  • Kettlebell Clean and Push Press
  • Mountain Climber and Push-up (3:1)
  • 03 rounds for time; 17/12/08 repetitions
  • Recommended kettlebell: 53# men and 35# women; scale kettlebell weight as necessary to maintain form and safety throughout workout

This is another one of those "that doesn't look too bad" and ends up being "oh my gawd, that really sucks".  Give it a try and see what you think!

I'm a Slacker... No Really!

Geri I've had the pleasure of knowing Geri Shapiro for a couple years now and the more I learn about her, the more I am amazed.  My friends always marvel at how much energy I have and how hard I work - if they only knew Geri that wouldn't be that impressed!  There is only ONE person that I know that can make me look like a total and absolute slacker - and that's Geri Shapiro!

Not only is she the Uber-mom (we just call her Wonder Women), but Geri is an Uber-athlete and always has been.  She's done triathlons and Iron Mans... and now she's doing the Boston Marathon on April 19th, 2010.  Geri is actually running for a cause called the Ally Foundation and she is looking for donations.  Here's where you can help: she's set a goal of $3000 for herself and she's almost there (as of 03/25/10 she was at $2180).  If each and every one of you gave up your Starbucks and Chipolte for just one day she would reach her goal immediately.

So here's my challenge to you: make a donation today and help Geri raise money for a very, very worthy cause.  I believe it is money well given and could very well save the life of someone you know and love.  Here's the link again:

New Kettlebell Video for CFK Clients

Need a fast and "easy" workout to do at home when you can't make it into class?  Just grab your Kettlebell and try this - the Two-Hand High Pull and Push Press.  This simple complex will get your heart pounding and your legs burning in no time - just don't drop the Kettlebell on the cat or the new Plasma TV!?!?

BTW - watch the video and pay attention to how you use your legs to accelerate the KB for both the Push Press and the second catch.  It's a quick dip and drive to get the KB moving and both should be explosive.

CFK and MAK Spring Fling - 04/10/10

Save the evening of April 10th, 2010 for dinner and fun with your friends at MAK and CFK.  We're going to have a semi-formal (that's ties for the guys and dresses for the girls) pot-luck dinner and get together to enjoy each others company and have a little fun.

More details to follow... but line up the babysitter now!

The Pull-up

There are two schools of thought regarding the pull-up - Strict or Kipping.  The Strict Pull-Up (SPU) is the standard for many (including the RKC community) and the Kipping Pull-Up (KPU) is pretty much the standard in the CrossFit community.

There has been a lot of debate as to which is better or worse, which has more application in real life, etc.  As far as I'm concerned they are both valuable tools and need to be developed - eventually.  In class we emphasize the KPU to get people moving fast over the bar and to keep the intensity as high as possible.  When I want to slow things down and focus on tension and technique I like to emphasize the SPU.  I try to equate the two as one being a Grind (the SPU) and one being a Ballistic (The KPU).  You need to have both but not at the same time.

For a good tutorial on the KPU take a look at this video from SurfBody Fitness:

BTW - if you don't have a Pull-Up at all then you to get one... through hook or crook!  There are a lot of accommodations (bands, boxes, pulleys, etc.) to get you over the bar, but eventually you are going to need to do it on your own - start now!

QOD 03/19/10

Vongoethe "There are but two roads that lead to an important goal and to the doing of great things: strength and perseverance.  Strength is the lot of but a few privileged men; but austere perseverance, harsh and continuous, may be employed by the smallest of us and rarely fails of its purpose, for its silent power grows irresistibly greater with time."- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The power of perseverance cannot be denied.  You see it every workout in the eyes and actions of your classmates.  The evidence of their perseverance is in their results - powerful results on their bodies, their minds and a powerful impact on their lives.  Can putting your all into a demanding workout several times a week have an impact on the rest of your life?  You tell me...

Observations from a Client

Eric (Doten) and I were talking about training a while ago and he made some observations that I wanted him to share with all of you.  He was kind enough to write them down - so here they are:

Eric Many athletes struggle as they improve their craft because as one increases their abilities, he/she must mature body awareness.  This process takes time and practice; and one of the first things athletes must accept is that there are techniques and body feedback that they won’t understand until they reach a certain level of maturity (through time and practice).   This is why it is impossible to achieve higher levels of skill without a coach.  Whether you are a mature intelligent adult or arrogant teenager, it’s hard to believe there might be a concept that you can’t yet conceive to understand when it comes to how your body works.  Especially to those of us to tend to be perfectionists.  I first saw this in martial arts.  You hear your coach tell you over and over again to keep your shoulders down, or your hands up, or you feet rooted, but not until a few years into it do you understand why.  At that point, your body reaches a level where now you “get it”--or more accurately, you feel it.  You realize you are stronger when you “grab the ground” with you feet; you are not fast enough to react to block if your hands are down.  I also saw this a lot as I taught rock climbing; body awareness is something that develops over time, and telling someone to keep their hips close to the wall, or lean back onto a straight arm doesn’t seem to make sense at first. It might take months or years, but if they stick to it, they will get it. 

There is an old adage that you must “empty your glass” before it can be replaced with new knowledge.  This applies a lot to something where you need to un-train yourself one way to learn a better way.    I prefer the analogy that you get a new glass for this new knowledge; you never lose the old, but it gets warm and flat, so you just don’t choose to drink it.  But this new glass starts out very small.  You can only learn so much in the beginning, and as you gain experience, you wake up and the glass is larger, and you now understand new things, and that continual increasing of the glass never ends.  Look at anyone who is the best in the world at something; singing, skiing, playing guitar, boxing, etc; they all have a coach who helps them improve.  

So, as a trainer, it’s important to make students aware of this concept, and that it’s okay not to understand why we are telling you to do a certain technique, grip, or body position.  You will find when they let it go, they become more accepting of the advice; and look forward to the day when they themselves realize the propose and value of the item.   Patience is not just a virtue for a good trainer, students need it too.

Thanks for your insights Eric!

QOD 03/11/10

This is the first of what I hope to be a regular addition to the CrossFit Koncepts website - the QOD or Quote of the Day.   This is a chance for me to share with you quotes that I have collected over the years and share their meanings and challenges.  I hope you like this and please feel free to suggest your own favorite quotes to share with your fellow CFK family members.

Theodore_Roosevelt "The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."  - Theodore Roosevelt

I wanted to start this series off with one of my favorite quotes of all time by my favorite president (he's my son Mak, Jr's second-favorite... Ronald Reagan is his first).  Teddy Roosevelt was a larger than life character, a deeply devoted family man, a philosopher and a warrior - what more can you ask for in a president?

Kettlebell Meltdown 300 Workout

This video from YouTube is one of the Most Viewed kettlebell videos on that site and it's from Mark Erickson, RKC II from Kettlebell Advantage.  It's a good combination of Kettlebell and Body-weight exercises that will most definitely put a hurt on you.  Give it a try and see if you can beat the time of 11:16 with a 24 kg Kettlebell.

Kettlebell Meltdown 300

  • 25 V-ups
  • 50 KB Snatches
  • 25 Push-ups
  • 50 KB Swings
  • 50 Burpees
  • 50 KB Clean & Press
  • 50 Mountain Climbers

NOTE: CrossFit Koncepts clients will need to modify the form on several of the exercises to fit our training protocols.  Watch the video and you'll understand what I mean.

One Person's Expert is Another Person's...?

All good intentions aside - sometimes you've got to wonder what qualifies someone as an "expert".  Is an expert someone who has had extensive training and field experience, has been published and reviewed by their peers or is it someone who tells you they are an expert?  I guess this is just another example of buyer beware and a very good reason to do some research before you buy something - be it a service or a product.

Watch the following video and decide for yourself: expert or not?  NOTE: this video has over 100,000 views on YouTube...