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August 2014

Too Old To Train?

I hear it all the time! "I'm too old to workout" or "I can't do that at my age".  I have one thing to say - BULLSHIT! Sorry for the language but you can and should train at every age; young, old and everything in between.  Your body needs to move and stretch, carry and crawl, and the longer you put off doing it the harder it's going to be.

I can remember driving by a tennis court with a friend of mine when he spotted some older Chinese men and women doing Tai Chi. They were amazing to watch and I was enthralled with how graceful and serene they were.  He looked at me and said "Man, they are crazy!".  My reply: "Yeah, they are crazy alright.  Crazy like a fox!"

Moving and playing with movement is something you should do each and every day.  It will keep you young, keep you smiling, and it WILL save your life.  Get up off your butt and get moving - NOW!


Getting Upside Down - Frogstand to Shoulderstand

ShoulderstandWe've been working on more and more gymnastic based skills lately and the progress you guys and gals have been making is amazing!  Some of you are actually looking for some more challenging skills to master so here you go: mastering the Frogstand to Shoulderstand!

Many of you are already pretty close to nailing this skill and many others are just getting their feet wet.  They can be done on a set of parallettes, on a couple kettlebells, or even from the ground.  Any way you do them you will get stronger, develop more control of your midline and get a better feeling for what transitions you need to work on.  Grab a partner to spot you and let's have some fun Getting Upside Down!


Whacked Out Wednesday Number 24

WowA rudimentary understanding of kettlebell techniques is relatively easy to find on the Internet.  YouTube has literally hundreds of thousands of videos devoted to using the kettlebell; as a matter of fact a search of the keyword "kettlebell" gets over 562,000 results.  That's a pretty impressive number of results.  Unfortunately about 561,000 of those results are completely useless junk created by people who never took the time to learn anything about how to safely and effectively use a kettlebell.

Before you know it there will be a "PrancerBell" video out... and I'll be sure to post it here when it comes out.  Until then enjoy this one... the guy looks like he's in great shape but I'll guarantee you that his size and definition DID NOT come from using kettlebells (at least not the way he's using them).


300 Calories in 15 Minutes?

KBSwingFor those of you that are concerned about burning calories during a workout (and I'm really not sure why you would be) there is an interesting comparison on this website of a number of workouts and how long it takes to burn 300 calories.  Kettlebell workouts come in first at only 15 minutes followed by rock climbing and jumping rope at 28 minutes; swimming (31 minutes), running and cycling (34 minutes) came in next.

I would be curious to know how many calories one of our standard WODs like JAFO or SNAFU burn or even one of our Congressional Medal of Honor WODs.  I'm sure they burn significant calories seeing that I am still sweating 60 to 90 minutes after the WOD! :)

Revisited: Virtuosity

Lauren_brooksThe concept of virtuosity is well outside the mindset of most athletes and lies within the realm of the elite and master athlete.  The acquisition of new and more complex skills out (and more "YouTube worthy") seems to be their only goal - that and knocking seconds off of "Fran", "Murph" or any other named WOD that appears on the CrossFit website or the whiteboard.

Unfortunately the dogged pursuit of new and more complex skills leads to stagnation, frustration and in some cases injury.  It takes a special actively athlete to pursue the perfection, or mastery, of the basic skills that comprise their sport. This is not to be confused with the pursuit of PR's; this is the active cultivation of better and more efficient movement. In the case of a CrossFit athlete the number of skills are myriad (unfortunately) and the opportunity to perfect them are lost in the (chalk) dust by the pursuit of time or numbers.

Virtuosity is the pursuit and mastery of the fundamental skills and the ability to express them exceedingly well.  In the martial arts realm mastery of the basic skills delineates a Black Belt from a White Belt; although a Black Belt is in reality the beginning of training not the end. Timing, rhythm, stance, breathing, coordination, power are all expressions of virtuosity and the opposite is an expression of insufficient time and effort dedicated to the pursuit of skills beyond the athletes grasp. A Kettlebell Swing is a thing of beauty when done by a trained and seasoned athlete; it can be the opposite in the hands of a self-trained (or poorly coached) athlete.  So too can a Push Up or Pull Up - all can be a thing of beauty or an eyesore.

The pursuit of Virtuosity was an integral part of the foundation of CrossFit in its early years.  The trend in the last several years has been that the expression of well balanced and sound movement will be trumped by doing something that resembles an athletic skill for time.  Always looking for the shortcut (i.e., Butterfly Pull Ups) or the easy way around a fundamental skill will leave gaps in your development, strength and athletic ability. Mastering the basic skills and the requisite time, sweat, blood and tears that it requires is something that few athletes will do; but those that put the effort into this endeavor will reap the benefits.

Take a few moments to read the article entitled "Fundamentals, Virtuosity, and Mastery" on the CrossFit website from August 2005. Then I challenge you to look at the movement baselines from the past several CrossFit Games and see how they have devolved from the originals. Don't confuse the most current versions with anything that resembles an improvement on a fundamental movement pattern or skill - if anything they are cruel iterations and inferiors skills than the originals.

I challenge you to take the time and learn the basics until you can do them with confidence, skill, and yes - virtuosity.

Congratulations Jenna!!!

Sometimes I just have to brag... and today is one of those times!  I wanted to recognize our very own Jenna Delaney for making some amazing strides in the strength department in a very short period of time.  She has been training with us for a while now and she has been working hard... hard enough to make a 245 lbs Deadlift look E-A-S-Y! :)

Nice work Miss Jenna!  Keep up the great work!


Whacked Out Wednesday Number 24

WowI don't remember if I posted the original "Prancercise" video to this blog or not.  I've seen it on a number of other sites and I'm flabbergasted every time I see it.  What's even scarier is that I'm sre that this women is making a living teaching this and she's even been on a couple of nationally syndicated talk shows as a fitness expert!?!?

Either way it's one you don't want to miss and it certainly qualifies for a Top Ten place on Whacked Out Wednesday!


Laughing Really Does Help...

Crossfit_womenYou've all been there before.  You walk into the gym and the WOD is on the board.  The closer you get the worse it seems... and then you read the fine print!?!? :)  An ascending ladder of Burpees and Pull Ups?!?!  Who thinks this crap up???

It really does help to laugh, at not only yourself, but how others react to the posted WOD.  Everything from moans and groans to outright cursing happens on a daily basis.  If I don't get some sort of reaction to the WOD then I'm not doing my job... and I LOVE MY JOB! :)

Take a look at this great list of "70 Thoughts Every Woman Has While Doing CrossFit" and see how many of them you have... and this goes for the guys as well!

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Thanks to several people who nominated me to do this challenge (Emily Ledford, Luke Hochman, Tony Blair and others).  Here is my video and my nominations are some of my friends on the Dragon Door Leadership Team: Beth Andrews, Laurel Blackburn, Anoinette Vo, Keira Newton, and Adrienne Harvey!