Squeeze in your core!

Vasek MalecekCrossfit Committed, crossfit equipment, crossfit tips, instructionLeave a Comment

Squeeze in your core! You hear this a lot, especially in classes where we play with heavy weights. Upon hearing “squeeze in your core” most of you tighten up your back muscles so much that your torso bends back. This happens because you don’t engage all of the muscles in your torso. Simply said your back is tight but your belly is not. Can we safely lift heavy weights when our bodies are in this position? Nope. So let’s take a look how to tighten our core right so that we can lift our next PR soon. Loading our spine with a heavy barbell, or any heavy object, puts it into flexion. Bent back under a heavy load is not ideal, better case scenario is pain and a couple of days of rest, In worse case scenarios we need to see a specialist (doctor, physio, …).  The worst are outstretched muscles, pinched nerves, dislocated discs, etc. Spinal erectors are not strong enough for this kind of work out. To make sure our spine is safe we need to help them out by engaging other core muscles and breathing right. How: Flex your glutes Suck in your stomach – think about … Read More

Standards and RX, Is it worth the risk?

Ryan ODonnellUncategorizedLeave a Comment

crossfit to scale or not to scale

CrossFit is full of standards, “full lock out,” “hip crease below the knee,” “the bar must be received in a squat position in one fluid motion,” etc. On top of that, every WOD you see in your box will have RX weight and movement specifications. These standards and specifications serve an important purpose and provide nice goals to shoot for. However, they should only be met if you can perform the movement properly and safely. This post aims to outline some of the issues that arise from athletes pushing to meet standards or “go RX” and some of the most problematic movements. WHAT IS A STANDARD? A standard, in my understanding, is put in place to ensure that movements are performed consistently by all athletes. This can vary from sport to sport (I.E. power lifting, Oly lifting, Crossfit), competition to competition (can you hold your opposite foot on a pistol? Does a squat clean thruster count as our first rep on this WOD?) and even gym to gym (Do we have to jump on the burpee or just open the hips?). HOW CAN STANDARDS BE PROBLEMATIC? Standards don’t care about technique, plain and simple. In the CrossFit judges course they … Read More

How to swim more efficiently?

Vasek MalecekCrossfit Committed, crossfit tipsLeave a Comment

Swimming has become a popular discipline in CrossFit competitions. It is also a great way how you can work on your endurance and improve your lung capacity without stressing the joints of your body. In addition, it is a great active recovery tool that can release sore muscles after our difficult WODs. Many CrossFitters are scared of swimming when it appears in CrossFit competitions, therefore I am going to give you three tips that will help you swim more efficiently. Body position – water has almost thousand times higher density than air, therefore it is important to swim in a position that will have as little resistance as possible. Try to keep your body straight and tight, so that your hips and legs are hidden behind a “window” created by your shoulders. Tighten your core similar to the hollow rock position and avoid overextending your lower back. Another common mistake can be sinking legs. It happens when your legs are not floating in the same line as your body but they get in front of your body. It is like swimming uphill. You can avoid this by laying more on your chest without sinking your head deeper into the water. Imagine, that your chest is a bouy that … Read More

Movement Mastery

Zuzka Zavodnahealth, instructionLeave a Comment

In CrossFit, we specialize in not specializing. That’s something every member of the gym learns at their first introductory class. We strive to balance the 10 general physical skills: cardiovascular / respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy. Coach Glassman, the founder of the CrossFit methodology, said in his article “What is fitness?”, that we should “practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast. Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. Regularly learn and play new sports.” (This article is considered as the foundation of CrossFit, if you haven’t read it, you definitely should.) With CrossFit, we have a very powerful tool in our hands, with a lot of movements ranging from the most basic to extremely difficult. And just like with any other activity, we want to get to those fancy movements as fast as we can. Who likes doing air … Read More

What is intensity and how you might be doing it wrong

Joey ScafidiinstructionLeave a Comment

intensity gauge

I saw a post from Jon Gilson the other day that made me want to write about this and also because this same subject came up at one of our coaches’ meetings recently. Jon Gilson’s been around the CrossFit scene from the very beginning. He runs a great business seminar and always puts out lots of great content geared towards CrossFitters. Here it is.. “A quick note on CrossFit advancement: The prescription is Mechanics, Consistency, Intensity. This should not be confused with Mechanics, Consistency, Load. They are not equivalent. Put another way, load is an input into Intensity, but not a determinant, and too much load will blunt intensity needlessly, limiting adaptation. At its most basic, this means you should take longer to add load than you believe necessary. Bias toward speed and mechanics. This will keep intensity high, thereby fulfilling the prescription, and ensuring proper progression.” This is something that we’ve told every single one of you from day one at your introductory lesson. “Technique first, then consistency and only after you have those two things then, intensity.” Technique – Moving correctly and safely. Easy Consistency – Moving correctly and safely all of the time, even when you’re tired. … Read More

Bodyweight exercises and progressions

Tomas HorakinstructionLeave a Comment

Bodyweight exercises and progression Pull-ups, push-ups, dips, ring dips, hand stand push-ups, all these exercises sound very familiar to anyone who has ever done CrossFit, or any physical activity for that matter. Not only these movements sound familiar, they are also one of the biggest weaknesses and a kryptonite for CrossFitters, who already know how to move decent weights over their heads, or they can squat 100%+ their bodyweight and deadlift twice of it. In CrossFit, one cannot be successful or proficient without mastering the basics, because when they show up in a WOD, they will always remind us, how important they are. This article is going to take a deeper look at the basic bodyweight movements, which could be divided into two major groups: pulling and pushing movements, and this article is also going to provide few tips how to get better at those exercises. Pushing movements: Pushing exercises are any exercises that push weight away from our body, or our body from the ground, rings, or bars. These exercises usually work the pectoral muscles (chest muscles, triceps, and shoulders). Pulling exercises: Pulling exercises are movements in which you are pulling the weight towards your body or your body … Read More

Aerobic capacity, what is it and why it matters to you

Ryan ODonnellinstructionLeave a Comment

On Ben Bergeron’s blog he explains his programming philosophy, and introduces the concept of a “three-headed monster.” What is a “three-headed monster?” It’s someone that excels in all three of the basic focuses in Crossfit (strength, skills, conditioning). This is the guy or gal who can squat out of the gym, hammer out 15 unbroken muscle ups and then handstand walk home. He or she can also smoke everyone on a mile run or a 2k row. This last aspect is what we’re going to look at today. So what in the world are we talking about here? OK boys and girls, without getting too scientific there are a few things you need to understand to make the most of this blog post. Most importantly you need to know that our bodies have three energy pathways, they are: The ATP-PCr pathway, the glycolytic pathway and the oxidative pathway. The first two pathways do not require oxygen and are therefore considered ANAEROBIC while the third does require oxygen and is considered AEROBIC. The basic purpose of each one of these pathways is the same: to break carbon and hydrogen bonds in order to release energy and then use that energy to … Read More

Rowing – damper settings, efficiency and correct technique

Dora StenclovainstructionLeave a Comment

CrossFit uses rowing quite often as it’s a great conditioning tool. It’s low impact on your joints, it utilizes large muscle groups and it can really smoke you if you push hard enough. It practices opening/closing your body and hips just like in olympic lifting, so it’s a great development tool as well. Even though we probably row at least 2-3 times/week in warm ups and WODs, I often see poor technique and incorrect damper settings. In this article, I’ll explain while setting the damper to 10 is not that great of an idea and may just be exercising your ego and I’ll also cover correct technique. Setting up the rower When you get on the rower first thing you want to set up is the damper. The damper is the little wheel with numbers from 1 to 10 and it controls how much air is coming into the cage. This means that there is more air that the wheel spins against. Setting the damper is very individual and there are not na prescribed settings. It will also differ for different types of workouts. If you do sprints or generally shorter distances, you will probably be more effective with higher damper settings. For … Read More

Snatch program

Joey Scafidiinstruction, newsLeave a Comment

olympic lifting technique

Our new strength cycle is all about the snatch and just like the previous cycles the format will remain the same. It will be 15 sessions over 6 weeks.   Last Monday, all of you that came to the gym found your max snatch, whether it was a power snatch or a full squat snatch. For some of you newer guys maybe you were going from the hang position. All versions are ok! While the goal is to eventually gain the mobility and technique required to do a full squat snatch, for some people that might happen over the course of this upcoming cycle and it might not.   The picture below is the time table for our snatch cycle. If you’re serious about improving your technique don’t miss snatch days!   15 sessions over 6 weeks is a great dose of volume to see some significant improvements in your technique and strength.   Typically the first few weeks will start out light. We’re developing the technique to be able to lift the heavier weights. Don’t let your ego win and start adding more weight before you’re ready! I’ve been guilty of this as well. You know your technique wasn’t … Read More

Newbies – New strength session – Linear progression

Joey ScafidiinstructionLeave a Comment

I talked about this briefly yesterday during the intro to the program for the day but it needs to be said again and in a little more depth. We’ve got a lot of new people in the gym and also a lot that have been with us for more than a year. The strength sessions for both groups will look very different. The people that have been with us for a longer time will no longer see the same quick and easy results as new people will and therefore, they’ll need  a little different approach. While you’re still relatively new to strength training the results come quickly; practically every session and that’s an awesome thing! There’s no sense in trying to rush into a more advanced program while there are still so many gains to be had on a very basic system. That system is called a Linear Progression. It’s extremely simple and extremely effective for newer people. We’ll be using it with squats during this program and also the bench press. The system goes like this: For our squats and bench the repetition scheme will say 3×5. That means that you’ll do 3 sets of 5 repetitions. 15 reps … Read More