Previous month:
February 2022
Next month:
April 2022

March 2022

The Deadlift is the Foundation for all other Lifts!

Arguably, we have a different approach to training at CrossFit Koncepts. This approach is the culmination of teaching and training people at our facility for over 15 years, as well as over four decades of lifting experience.

So when we say that the Deadlift is the foundation for all of your other lifts, we mean exactly that. If you have technical issues with your Deadlift, they will effect all the other lifts, grinds or ballistics.

The lessons learned from honing your Deadlift technique will put you at the head of the class when it comes to understanding how to properly generate force and speed, as well as give you the base to build other techniques upon.

What you see as Deadlifts on YouTube and Instagram is not a Deadlift. It's people pulling weights off of the ground, which fundamentally the opposite of what you want to do with the Deadlift.

Constant and Never Ending Improvement

The only requirement, when you walk into the CrossFit Koncepts, is that you try to be a little better than you were yesterday. 

Maybe it's a little stronger. Maybe it's a little more mobile. Maybe it's just paying a little more attention to your warmup. 

It doesn't matter! Just commit to being a little better each time you walk through the doors, and before you know it, you have made MASSIVE improvements. A commitment to getting a little better every day will allow you to reap benefits in every aspect of your life.

Maybe it's time you start trying to get a little better every day? We can help...

Skill and Technique Transference

The concept that skills and technique should transfer across platforms is not new or unique.

I didn't say that it was common, I just said that it's not unique.

The ability to take athletic skills like coordination, timing, speed, power, rhythm, etc., and apply them to other tools is what distinguishes good athletes from great athletes.

In the following video, I demonstrate how to take the Steel Mace Swing, and transfer the requisite skills across a wide range of loads. If you've ever swung a Steel Mace before you know how difficult this can be. If you've never swung a Mace before, let me know and I'll walk you through it so that you can experience it for yourself!

Deadlift Variations

Arguably, the humble Deadlift, is one of the most important lifts you can do. It is unequaled when it comes to teaching how to interact with the ground and developing systemic tension.

Most lifters are familiar with the Conventional Deadlift or the Sumo Deadlift. Both are very popular, and effective, in developing strength and power. The setup and execution for both are relatively simple to learn and "expertise" can be developed in both in a relatively short period of time.

There are several other Deadlift variations that, while just as or possibly more effective than the Conventional or Sumo Deadlift, don't get as much appreciation.

The Hack Squat (or Deadlift Behind the Legs) is an excellent technique that challenges the athlete in ways that the Conventional and Sumo Deadlift can't. This variation reinforces a strong, tight starting and ending position, as well as requiring a near vertical drive out of and into the starting position. Deviations in technique or bar path are instantly apparent and this makes this technique almost self correcting. I did say almost, didn't I?

The Jefferson or Health Lift is the Granddaddy of Deadlifts (pictured below). This is one of my favorite variations of the Deadlift because of the required attention to detail on the setup, as well as their being a "right side" and "left side". This is tremendously disconcerting the first couple times you do this lift, but once you've ironed out the kinks in your stance, it will be a staple in your Deadlift training toolbox.

NOTE: every single time I do the Jefferson Lift I get a host of comments about how dangerous it is for your "nether regions". I've been teaching this Deadlift Variation for several decades and I've NEVER had anyone come close to hurting themselves. Of course, if you were training T-Rex to Jefferson Lift... then all bets are off!

Singles are the Key!

Take just a few minutes watching either YouTube or Instagram and you'll people doing some insane stuff in the gym. Some of it is just to get attention, and the rest of it is to get attention to how hard they are working or how much they are lifting. Invariably, the people doing these videos are not the best examples technique or form-wise. As a matter of fact, they are invariably one rep away from a "fail video".

When you're in the gym you need to optimize your time there. Doing insane workouts, with equally ridiculous rep schemes, are a waste of time in the long run. Instead, take your time and work on your technique by doing Singles. Let's say your WOD says " 05 Double KB Cleans", and some other stuff. How about making those 05 Double KB Cleans into 05 Singles instead? This will give you extra time working on your setup, your loading backswing, time in the racked position, the unloading backswing, and putting the KB's down safely.

It might take a little bit longer, but the time you spent working on Singles, will allow you to focus on each element of the lift and that extra attention will pay off in the long run and establish a strong platform for future lifts and increased loads.

Sleep Hygiene Tips

Matthew WalkerSleep Hygiene (SH) doesn't mean that you should sleep on clean sheets... but in some cases it just might! SH refers to how you can influence the quality and quantity of sleep you get. Following are some suggestions from Dr. Matthew Walker, professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley.

Sleep Hygiene Tips

  • Regularity: go to bed at the same time, wake up at the same time
  • Lighting: sleep in the dark, wake up to the light
  • Temperature: cool temperatures will help you sleep
  • Don’t lie in bed awake; that triggers the brain to think you should be awake and instills a learned association
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine; after 03:00 pm as much as possible
  • Sleep is not a light switch; you need to have a wind-down routine to prepare the brain and body to rest
  • Remove clockfaces from the bedroom; it doesn’t help to know that it’s 2:00 am and you’re still not asleep
  • No Tech in the Bedroom (phones, tablets and TV's); keep technology outside of the bedroom and don’t make it the first thing you do in the morning
  • Do not check your phone for one (01) hour after waking up; Checking your phone right when you wake up trains your brain that anxiety/stress is coming to you as soon as you wake up and lightens your sleep throughout the night
  • One Step at a Time; Don’t try to change it all at once – start with something manageable: maybe wait five minutes before checking your phone in the morning, then ten minutes, then after you shower, etc.

The CrossFit or American Swing

I remember learning the American Swing over twenty (20) years ago at one of the first RKC's. Back then it was called the "Two-hand Snatch", because that's what it boils down to. The trajectory of the Kettlebell matches that of the High Pull, Clean and Snatch.

It has absolutely no relation to the Swing, unless you learn how to use Kettlebells from another gym that is. Seriously, you don't want to be stopping the KB overhead with your shoulders. Just let gravity do it's job and you'll save some serious wear and tear on your shoulders.

Train or Die!

With many people, it is a matter of extremes, especially when it comes to working out. Either they are outright killing themselves in the gym, or they are sprawled out on the couch eating cookie dough ice cream. Or, it could just be a matter of intensity. Some will tell you that you have to "confuse" your body to make changes to your metabolism, or that you have to crush yourself every workout or there won't be any adaptive response.

If only it were that simple! The body is a tremendously complicated organism and to approach it from extreme angles makes no sense. So does more intense exercise equate to better results? Not that anyone can definitively say, because there really hasn't been any research done to prove it wrong or right.

But, there is one thing that is guaranteed. If you find a workout program that you love to do, and you surround yourself with people you enjoy spending time with, then you're more likely to stick with it. If you are absolutely miserable very time you walk into the gym, or even dread the thought of going, then you are definitely doing the wrong program and you are going to use any excuse to not go or to quit.

The long and short of this subject is this: find something you love, do it with people you enjoy spending time with, and keep going!