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May 2014

Schedule Change - 05/31/14

Schedule-changeWe are moving the 0900 am WOD to 0700 am in order to accommodate the HKC certification being held at the gym.  It looks like we already have a good group anxious to get their day started early on Saturday!

Thanks again for your flexibility and help making CrossFit Koncepts the best that it can be!!!

Whacked Out Wednesday Number 17

Spent last Saturday at the Mid-Atlantic Regionals watching some amazing athletes compete in some tough WODs.  While I was greatly impressed by their heart and athleticism I was sorely disappointed in their representation of technique.  I wish I had videotaped the Handstand Push Ups and Burpees in particular...

In honor of the CrossFit Regional Games I present this video:


Kettlebells: Hardstyle, GS or CrossFit?

Hardstyle or RKC

RKC_LogoHardstyle training is associated with the sytem originally developed and taught by Pavel Tsatsouline and are represented by what is now the RKC (Russian Kettlebell Certification) and the HKC (Hardstyle Kettlebell Certification).  This style of kettlebell lifting is centered around the creation, dissipation and management of tension as it applies to strength and power.  The goal of this system is to use whatever means necessary, be it muscular tension, breathing, etc., to generate strength gains and efficient generation of power.  No efforts are made to develop extreme endurance and the mentality surrounding the training is similar to many hard style martial arts: hit hard, hit fast and never back down. This style of kettlebell training has been very popular in military and law enforcement circles as well in civilian athletics.  Pavel left Dragon Door in 2012 to start his own company (Strong First) but the style that created the kettlebell phenomenon is still being taught by a highly qualified group of instructors around the world.

AKClogoGirevoy Sport

Girevoy Sport, or GS, is a style of kettlebell training that was popularized by Valery Federenko who created the World Kettlebell Club. The goal of this system of training is very different than the Hardstyle training method in that its goal is to be as efficient as possible over a long period of time.  Contrast this with the Hardstyle goal which is to generate as much power over a short period of time as possible.  GS athletes compete in events with single and double kettlebells that are either Snatched or Clean and Jerked for repetitions over a designated period of time (i.e. 10 minutes).  The GS athlete endeavors to be as relaxed as possible and use the least amount of energy necessary to complete the task at hand and that includes management of the kettlebell, grip and breathing.


CFKBCrossFit has there own kettlebell certification under the direction of Jeff Martone.  Jeff is a first generation RKC under Pavel that eventually went out on his own (as many did over the last ten years or so) to teach kettlebells to civilian and military groups.  While Jeff's style of kettlebell training was initially heavily influenced by Hardstyle training he has become a GS sport competitor (and a very successful on at that) in the last several years and this has led to some modifications to the training he presents.  CrossFit has yet to take a serious look at the potential behind the kettlebell and most "boxes" only use them primarily for American Swings and not much more.

NOTE: this is not an impartial view of the kettlebell world as I am strongly associated with the HKC and RKC via Dragon Door.  For a more impartial approach to this topic please check out this article on Breaking Muscle by Craig Marker.

Faster, Better, Stronger?

Are we really faster, better and stronger than athletes in the past?  Are our training methodologies and scientific analysis of training that much more superior today than they were fifty or one hundred years ago? Or are the athletic records of today being set by a combination of technological advancements, the introduction of more people into athletics ("deepening the gene pool" so to speak) and a better understanding of the psychology of the athlete?  Watch the following video and find out!


Whacked Out Wednesday Number 16

Oh my God!?!? Seriously!?!?  This is supposed to be a workout for MMA? I'm not sure what they are training for... maybe a tough day at the mall? :)

Training for any martial art, regardless of the style, needs to have a purpose and a reason.  The workouts should support the requirements of the athlete within the sport as well as addressing any weak-links in their strength or conditioning.  For the most part the training should work on building strength and explosive power - two things that they will need in head-to-head competition.

Enjoy this one - it earned its place in the Whacked Out Wednesday Hall of Fame!


Always Hungry?

HungryThere is a lot of debate in regard to which diet is better and everyone has a horse in this race.  Low carb, high carb, low fat, high fat, low protein, high protein, Zone, Atkins, Paleo... did I miss one?  They all make an effort to substantiate why they are superior to other diets and why you should use it.  But do they address the real problem or even mention what the problem is?  Nope... and there's a reason for it.  The problem isn't the diet or the number of calories you consume - it's the quality of the food you eat.

It doesn't matter what diet or eating plan you follow if you are still consuming processed foods that the body is going to convert and store as fat. The one thing that researchers and scientists agree on is that if you really want to lose weight permanently then you have to change how and what you eat.  Primarily you need to realize that the number of calories you consume is secondary to the quality of the calories you consume.  In other words, if you are eating bread, pasta, and processed carbohydrates then you are going to continue to store fat and not burn it.

NOTE: this brings into question the meal replacement diets in my mind as well.  The calories that you consume on these diets, in the form of highly processed meals, that while they may offer short-term weight loss but not lasting results.  In addition, because of the high level of processing that the food is subjected to, are the calories actually usable by the body or are you in effect starving yourself? 

Check out this article from the NY TImes that discusses this problem as well as links to other articles that contains research from Lancet and JAMA.  It may make you think twice about your next meal...

Super Hip Mobility

MAK_2012One of my favorite mobility exercises is what I call the Hurdler.  If you've ever trained with us you know what I'm talking about, and even though I really like it, most people absolutely HATE IT!

It's very intense in regards to the Glutes and Hips and you will feel tension and a burn that is more than surprising - it's shocking!  This mobility drill really opens up your Glutes, Hips, Groin and Lower Back as well as pointing out anywhere else you are tight and "bound up".  Be sure to keep your shin as vertical as possible as well as maintaining good posture the whole time. It's not a competition - the goal is to mobilize a little bit more each time until you can get your forearm flat on the ground.The following video shows a great variation of the Hurdler that takes this position even farther... by farther I mean even more painful!  Enjoy!


Get A Grip

HandshakeThere is always a debate as to what is an accurate indicator of both age and health.  Some think it's BMI (Body Mass Index), others think it is blood pressure or resting heart rate, and two researchers seem to think it's... your grip strength.

According to several studies your grip strength is an accurate indicator of not only your true age but also is a good indicator of future mortality and susceptibility to disease.  Think about it this way - if you have strong hands there is a very good chance that the rest of you is strong inside and out.  I have always stressed to my athletes that one of the most important thing they can do to improve their athletic performance is to develop a vice-like grip.  It commands respect on the field and it might just save your life while hanging from a window ledge waiting for the fire department to show up.

Check out the whole article on the Washington Post website... and go do some grip work! NOTE: one of the best tools to develop grip strength is the Russian Kettlebell.  Every workout will challenge your grip strength and endurace while developing strong forearms and arms as well.

BTW - if grip strength is that important then I know of one very popular president who is doomed; shaking hands with him is like wrestling with a dead fish.