Squat Like a G! Among Other Things…

Written by: Coach Elijah

I’m always watching weightlifting & CrossFit videos to learn new cues or methods professionals are implementing in order to better my ability.Seeing as how we are in the middle of our strength cycle, I thought this video would be helpful in pointing out 2 things that will help build a better squat:

(1) After watching the video, did you see how every one of the lifters (for the most part) keeps their grip narrow, upper back really tight and chest up. They let their knees break first and travel over their toes and really drive with their quads. As they come out of the hole (bottom of the squat) they come out with speed and drive their upper back into the bar. This keeps the torso upright and maximizes efficiency.

(2) See how they attack the weights. Each rep looks like a max effort. Because it is. They take their time between reps, get their breathing right and focus on making each attempt technically perfect. This is the approach we all need to have. Getting stronger is hard, and requires you to constantly push weight. Don’t be afraid to fail a rep, and push yourself. You can handle more than you think.

At 2:21 you will she that girl squatting, and as she drives out of the hole her hips rise immediately, shifting the weight into her hamstrings, glutes and back, eliminating the use of the quads. Not ideal, and technically not great. She isn’t quite able to keep her torso upright with that load and she ends up failing the last rep.

As you progress in the sport, PR’s will be fewer and farther between. Focus on your technique and maximize your efficiency. Every rep, from your air squat warm ups to your max out 1 reps should look the same. Constant attention to the details, and dedication to maximizing your technique will allow the PR’s to continue to roll in.

-Coach Elijah

Insta @crossfitironindustry

Here is Why CrossFitters Should Love Running

CrossFit Endurance Instructor Chris Hinshaw is an amazing Triathlete turned CrossFitter after experiencing how greatly it’s training principles improved his health. Now, he turns his incredible knowledge of triathalon and endurance training on CrossFit’s best athletes and proves that you can structure aerobic workouts that will not weaken your other skills, but rather strengthens each component drastically!

Here is a fantastic podcast interview with Chris Hinshaw explaining the science and detail of this method in greater depth, produced by Barbell Shurgged. You can also check out his website aerobiccapacity.com to see 4 weekly workouts posted with these goals in mind!

My 3 Take-Aways:

  1. 1. 2 Days a week along with regular CF Training is what it takes!
  2. 2. You develop an amazing awareness for intensity at bodyweight when you run building a precise understanding of your capacity.
  3. 3. We want to use running to increase the relationship between our anaerobic and aerobic capacity (400 meter time versus mile time) and this should be done while remembering that younger athletes (under 40) will benefit from an endurance training program whereas older athletes (over 40) benefit from speed training.

Friday Night Frights Events Announced!

Individual Competition – Rx Division

EVENT 1 

6-minute cap to find your 1 Rep Max of the complex: 1 Power Snatch + 1 Hang Squat Snatch

*Athletes cannot drop the weight between the two movements.

EVENT 2 

3-minute AMRAP of Sumo Deadlift High Pulls at 95/65 immediately followed by a 1-minute AMRAP of 15′ Rope Climbs. Every Rope Climb completed awards the athlete an additional 20 seconds to complete an AMRAP of Thrusters at 95/65.

(For example: An athlete performs 30 SDHPs in 3 minutes, then goes into their minute of rope climbs and completes 2 which gives them 40 seconds to complete as many thrusters as possible. Score is total repetitions of SDHP’s + Thrusters.)

EVENT 3

50 Handstand Push-ups for time; every time you break from the wall, do 5 pistols. 6-minute cap.

Individual Competition – Scaled Division

EVENT 1

6-minute cap to find your 3 Rep Max Power Clean.

*Athletes can drop the weight between repetitions, but only have 5 seconds to have moved the bar from the ground starting their next repetition. Judge will count them down.

EVENT 2

3-minute AMRAP of Thrusters at 35 pounds. Athletes then have 30 seconds to transition to their rower before beginning a 2-minute AMRAP of Rowing for Calories. Score is total repetitions of Thrusters + Calories rowed.)

EVENT 3

75 Hanging Knee Raises for time; every time you break from the bar, do 10 burpees. 6-minute cap.

Friday Night Lights Workouts – August 12th Partner competition

Rx Division – Workout 1 is a chipper for time – 12 minute cap!

30 Partner Deadlifts 225
30 Calorie Row
30 Double Unders
30 Wall Balls 20/14
30 Partner Deadlifts 275

Other than the deadlift, each partner will complete ALL 30 repetitions before there partner can start their 30 repetitions. Once both partners complete 30 reps EACH, then they can move to the next station! The workout is for time with a 12 minute cap. Standards reviewed prior to the event at 6:30!

Rx Division – Workout 2 has 2 parts. Part 1 is FRAN for time – 5 minute cap!

21 – 15 – 9
Thrusters 95/65
Pull-ups

Only one person works at a time while they work to complete all 90 reps. Each person must do at least 1 repetition.

2 minutes prior to the start of this workout – part 2 will be announced that starts at the 5 minute cap mark, even if all the athletes haven’t finished all 90 reps. Everyone stops and starts the second workout which will be a couplet involving the loaded barbells (95/65) and a gymnastics movement for another 21 – 15 – 9! If you can handle Fran, you can handle this workout.

Rx Division – Floater – Sign ups available first come first serve at the event. The floater will be posted on the sign up board!

———

Scaled Division – Workout 1 is a chipper for time – 12 minute cap!

30 Partner Deadlifts 155
30 Calorie Row
60 Single Unders
30 Air Squats
30 Partner Deadlifts 275

Other than the deadlift, each partner will complete ALL repetitions before the other partner can start their repetitions. Once both partners complete the listed reps EACH, then they can move to the next station! The workout is for time with a 12 minute cap. Standards reviewed prior to the event at 6:30!

Scaled Division – Workout 2 is a couplet for time – 5 minute cap!

21 – 15 – 9
Power Clean 95 / 65 (KB Swing Modification if needed)
Box Jump Overs 18″ / 12″ (step up modification if needed)

Only one person works at a time while they work to complete all 90 reps. Each person must do at least 1 repetition.

2 minutes prior to the start of this workout, part 2 will be announced that starts at the 5 minute cap mark, even if all the athletes haven’t finished all 90 reps. Everyone stops and starts the second workout which will be a couplet with a weight and a gymnastics movement for another 21 – 15 – 9! If you can handle the first workout, you can handle this workout.

Scaled Division – Floater – Sign ups available first come first serve at the event. The floater will be posted on the sign up board!

Torn hands? How to heal and how to prevent tearing

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This week’s blog post is in response to all those out there struggling with tearing hands. It happens! We get calluses, chalks mixes with sweat and those rough hands become softer and skin starts to pull and sometimes can tear… and it totally sucks. In the shower, typing at work, you feel it all the time and your workouts suffer cause our grip gets challenged. So here is what to do…

PREVENTION: Shave calluses, Work Grip Strength, and monitor wear and tear.

Using a ped egg, razor, file, cheese grater or whatever to file down those calluses removing excess skin that easily loosens and pulls the rest of your hands apart during the workouts. That being said, your skin gets pulled by the sliding of your hand on the bars. Working on grip strength and having a better hold of bars, will reduce the amount of excess rubbing…especially, false gripping those Muscle Ups! Finally, use straps during lifts or GHDs instead of Toes To bar so that you balance the amount of gripping you actually do day to day saving our hands for more workouts.

POST TEAR CARE: Keep them Clean, Use ointments, and tape up.

First and foremost, clean them. Bite your bottom lip and clean them right away and then bandage them up with some ointments: Neosporin or Aquafor (if its a surface tear or like a popped blister). If it is a deeper bleeding tear, then don’t cut the skin away, but just wash and wrap and modify those workouts to give your hand time. For those surface tears, here is a great video on how to tape up!

Buy Grips?! So if taping and tearing become an often occurence, you may want to look at different grips, gloves or gymnastic straps to help your way through CrossFit. This is a common need for the avid CrossFitter and wraps can be used as preventative or post tear care! Here is a popular option for straps and wraps! And for those of you looking for the full package of hand care products, there are also options like the WOD Welder Handcare Kit from Rogue Fitness!

Friday Night Lights: Individual Competition Workouts

June 24th – Registration at 6:00pm / Workouts announced at 6:30pm / Event 1 – Heat 1 at 7:00pm 

COMPETITIVE DIVISION

EVENT 1: Kettlebell Chipper (53/35)

– 200 Meter Run with KB shouldered
– 50 KB Swings
– 200 Meter Run with KB shouldered
– 50 KB facing Burpees
– 200 Meter Run with KB shouldered
– 50 OH Lunges

* 11 minute cap
* SCORE is time it takes to complete workout.

Standards:
– Athletes must start behind the line. Race to get the KB and start the run. Every time they return from the run, they need to find a marked “X” to place the KB down on before starting there 50 repetitions of any of the three movements.
– Men will use the 53# Kettlebell and women will use the 35# Kettlebell at every stage of the event.
– Kettlebells can be put down. There is no expectation for KB’s to be unbroken, but it will happen cause you are rad.
– Swings: KB must pass between hips and then get a full lockout of elbows overhead. Judge needs to visibly see ears pass through arms during overhead lockout. Hips/Knees locked out as well.
– Burpees: Face the KB. Chest to Ground, Jump over KB with BOTH FEET.
– OH Lunges: Lunge with KB in one hand at a time during lunge as well as having it held overhead. Arm doesn’t need lockout, but can’t gain support from any other part of the body, unless resting between lunges.

EVENT 2: Ascending Ladder AMRAPs of Deadlifts and Bar gymnastics

– 45 second Deadlift AMRAP 225/155
– 15 second rotation
– 45 second Pull-up AMRAP
– 15 second rotation
– 45 second Deadlift AMRAP 295/195
– 15 second rotation
– 45 second Chest to Bar Pull-up AMRAP
– 15 second rotation
– 45 second Deadlift AMRAP 365/245
– 15 second rotation
– 45 second Bar Muscle Up AMRAP
– 15 second rotation

SCORE is total repetitions at the end of the workout.

Standards
* Deadlifts: Full lockout at the top with knees extended, hips open and shoulders behind the bar when standing.
* Pull-ups: Elbow locked out at bottom of the pull-up and chin over the bar at the top.
* Chest to Bar Pull-up: Elbow locked out at bottom of the pull-up and Chest makes contact with the bar below the collar bone.
* Bar Muscle-up: Elbow locked out at bottom of the muscle up and elbow locked out at the top of the muscle up. Feet can’t rise higher than bar during kip.
* Not being able to perform a lift or gymnastic movement, doesn’t disqualify you. Everyone rotates forward in 15 second transition whether they completed any reps or not.

FLOATER: Skill Tests! Announced at Friday Night Lights!!

Scaled Division

EVENT 1: Bumper Plate Chipper (45/25)

– 200 Meter Run (no Plate)
– 50 Ground to Overhead with plate
– 200 Meter Run
– 50 Burpees onto plate
– 200 Meter Run
– 50 OH Lunges

* 11 minute cap
* SCORE is time it takes to complete workout.

Standards:
– Athletes must start behind the line and at 3-2-1-go, take off on their run. Every time they return from the run, they need to find their designated weights in the rack, unrack it, move to their marked “X” on the floor and then begin their movement. At end of 50 repetitions, they must return the weight to the same rack and begin their next run.
– Men will use the 45# bumper plate and women will use the 25# bumper plate.
– Plates can be put down. There is no expectation to do 50 reps unbroken, but it will happen cause you are rad.
– Ground to Overhead: Holding the plate with both hands, athlete, must touch plate to the ground, then extend it overhead with elbows locked out. Judge needs to visibly see ears pass through arms during overhead lockout. Hips/Knees locked out as well.
– Burpees: Face the plate. Chest to Ground, Jump onto the plate with BOTH FEET.
– OH Lunges: Lunge with both hands holding plate overhead during lunge. Arm doesn’t need lockout, but athlete can’t gain support for weight from any other part of the body, unless resting between lunges.

EVENT 2: Ascending Ladder AMRAPs of Deadlifts and Push-ups

– 45 second Deadlift AMRAP 135/95
– 15 second rotation
– 45 second Push-up AMRAP
– 15 second rotation
– 45 second Deadlift AMRAP 185/125
– 15 second rotation
– 45 second Elevated Push-up AMRAP
– 15 second rotation
– 45 second Deadlift AMRAP 225/155
– 15 second rotation
– 45 second Ring Push-up AMRAP
– 15 second rotation

*SCORE is total repetitions at the end of the workout.

Standards:
* Deadlifts: Full lockout at the top with knees extended, hips open and shoulders behind the bar when standing.
* Push-ups: Start at top of push-up with Elbows locked out. Chest touches ground without thighs touching and returns to full lockout at the top.
* Elevated push-up: Feet on a plate and then the same standards as push-up listed above.
* Ring Push-up: Biceps to the rings at the bottom of push-up, then lockout elbow at the top.
* Not being able to perform a lift or gymnastic movement, doesn’t disqualify you. Everyone rotates forward in 15 second transition whether they completed any reps or not.

FLOATER: Skill Tests! Announced at Friday Night Lights!!

MURPH

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Last night I made the decision that I would fully Rx MURPH meaning doing the workout unpartitioned as a chipper while wearing a 20 pound vest. I knew there would be hard moments physically. I knew there would be gear malfunctions. I knew that others may beat me to the finish, but I also knew that nothing short of injury was going to stop me. As Chyna Cho (6th at the 2015 CrossFit Games, Team USA) “It’s gonna be hard. You know it’s gonna be hard. You just gotta embrace the suck.”

My weight vest didn’t have straps so using an old shoelace and some gauze, I was able to secure it well enough. Then, 3-2-1 Go and within the first 400 meters, realized the vest was strapped in such a way that a flap right at my chest holding 10 pounds of Iron kept bobbing back and forth hitting me right below the chest a.k.a. perfect position to get hit and immediately feel like puking. I couldn’t help but smile thinking about the person I have become through mind breaking workouts like this because there was not one second I thought about stopping.

With my cousin’s and my grandfather’s names written on my forearms, I looked up and put one foot in front of the other. Mile 1 finished. Then off to sets of 5 on the pull-ups. Honestly my pace slowed because for me this whole workout was those push-ups. The 200 rep grind that was right in front of me. Every rep I completed brought me that much closer to what started as 10 reps at a time, quickly falling to 5 and then sets of 2. SETS of 2 until I got done with 200! Woof. After crossing 100 repetitions, I was helped through my final reps because of member Robbin. Every time she hit a push-up, I did as well. I pulled on her strength and made my goal simple. Move when she moves and it got me to focus on what I could do rather than what I couldn’t. Once that final one was completed, I thought, “Thank God, I have made it!” Then I did 20 squats and quickly got hit with the fact that 300 might take more time than I thought.

That’s the deal with this workout though. Just when you think you have a handle on it, the work gets harder or you are surprised by some new challenge, but that should never stop you from your goals. During the last mile, all I could think about was how great it was to do that workout with my fellow Iron Athletes.Opening Iron Industry and coaching all of you has been a dream realized. Murph solidified for me that we have one of the best communities of people around and I look forward to the years to come of laughing with you all, sweating with you all, and pushing myself to be better than I believed because of you all.

Recover Faster and Stronger by Following Simple Daily Practices

We workout. We get sore…maybe even feel exhausted at times. We cannot take for granted the importance of a few daily things. Did you catch that…DAILY. If you drink the appropriate amount of water after a goods night rest tomorrow to start these practices, don’t expect to feel a change instantaneously. Practice these following things diligently for 2 weeks and let’s see how you feel a the end.

DRINK WATER & SLEEP Drink at least 96 – 128 oz of water throughout the day! More on days you workout! As for sleep, try to get 6-8 hours. If you can’t get that all at once, A lot can be said for a 30 minute nap. Can’t fall asleep, download the “Relax” app on your phone that does a guided relaxation practice that can be programmed to 15 minutes! These two things will help restore resting length of your muscles, energize the body, and will support nutrition absorption and filtration of the excess crap in our system.

MOBILITY is key to our CrossFit program. Not only to improve positioning in our lifts and get stronger in our gymnastics practice, but it also to restore proper resting length of our muscles! When we are consistent, daily aches and pains of our joints can reduce that would also become aggravated during our workouts. Take advantage of stretching on your floor at the end of the day each day and see your lifts go up and rowing get faster!

POST WORKOUT We need proteins and carbohydrates. When you workout, you are tearing and stressing muscle fibers and burning through stored carbohydrates to produce energy for you to work. So you need to replenish your energy source with more carbs (fruits, veggies, whole grains, etc.) and then rebuild muscle with protein. If you just take in protein and no carbohydrates, then your body will synthesize the protein and have to use it to renew your energy source and your muscles will be left hanging. When that happens, your muscles get tight, knot up, pull on our joints more and make us feel…in a simple word…”shitty”.

ZONE DIET & SUPPLEMENTS – Matt Chan Video on programming your Zone Diet

  • We will be having a Nutrition class may 30th at 7:00pm writing people’s Zone Diet and talking more about it if you want to try!

This is Next Level stuff. If you have been practicing the CrossFit motto “Eat Meats and Vegetables, Nuts and Seeds, some fruits, little starch and no sugars.” that can serve as a great starting point, but ultimately leaves us with questions: What is the right serving size? When do I need to eat my meals? What should I get in my post workout? How will I meal prep all this? FOOD IS FUEL and just like an engine, we need to make sure we are getting the right fuel at the right time.

Supplements Keep it simple to start. Take a Multivitamin and Fish Oil (6g/day).

Fish Oil is an anti-inflammatory (Omega 3’s) and this is going to be helpful for those CrossFitters who also eat paleo (nuts, grains, starches, meats, eggs) as those things are pro-inflammatory. Along with helping your muscles out, Omega 3’s from Fish Oil will help improve cariovascular function, nervous system function, immune health, memory and mood issues.

BE CONSISTENT.

Does your Diet Keep Falling off Course? Here are 3 Ways you Can Build Better Habits

meal prepIt can be hard to not only make the right choice on what we should be eating, but also to stay consistent, keep it cost affordable, meet your timeline…the list can go on when we talk about barriers to having the best diet. Considering this, there are some basic things we can do to make sure we are getting enough of the right stuff in your diet.

1. HAVE A PLAN You have to know yourself if you want to make changes to your eating. What are your current habits? Do you grocery shop? Do you just eat on the go? Kids? Work? Cost? Answering these questions and budgeting out what you want to spend on food are going to be huge pieces to knowing what barriers exist and how you can plan to avoid bad practices.

For instance, if you have limited time and options during the week to eat healthy or have access to healthy food, then you need to do MEAL PREP. Pick a 2 hour chunk during the week where you can chop up veggies, fruits, cook some meats in build and then parcel them out among tupperware so you don’t have to stress during the week! Make it fun and food prep with a friend! You may also find meal prep is a great way to save money!

2. SHOP THE EXTERIOR OF THE GROCERY STORE the best way to know if you are getting the right foods is to shop the exterior. The meats are our protein needs, veggies and fruits and bulk whole grains give us those good carbohydrates we need and the bulk nuts and seeds sections round out our Paleo or whole foods diets in the best way! Take these foods home and immediately prep them for the week!

This is also a great time to practice grocery shopping based off of a weekly menu so you can better estimate quantity and get the freshest foods!

3. SUPPLEMENTS Our goal is to get a balanced diet of 40% carbohydrates, 30% Protein, 30% fats and within that breakdown, we need the right fats, lean meats, complex carbs and more and supplements can be a great way to get your body primed for our workouts! Start with a multivitamin and a lot of people are lacking a good quantity of protein so check out a Progenex sample for a quality product and a good price!

Check out next week’s blog on FISH OIL!!!

Most importantly, be kind to yourself. Health is a process of ups and downs and it is important to do what we can one day at a time.

The Perfect Shoe for CrossFit is…

…I don’t know! But that is GOOD NEWS because there is such thing as the RIGHT shoe for you. If you are a lifter, crossfitter, shin splint recover-er or whatever, we have narrowed the search down to a few options which may help you take your health and CrossFit career to the next level!

Perhaps you are thinking those running shoes with the pinky toe holes are the love of your life and there is no other shoe you’ll need, but the simple truth is a lot of shoes are built for one purpose. Running shoes are designed for forward monostructural movements and as we all discover in CrossFit, we have weightlifting, gymnastics, lateral plyometrics, and so much more that a “cross trainer” will be better suited for the variety of work we have in class.

What we need is a shoes that is light for running and cardio work, flat for weightlifting, and have strong soles for rope climbs, sled pushes and other “grippy” movements. With that said, keep your running shoes for running and take a look at these options for when you take your next class and want to be ready for everything.

 

Nanos and Metcons: Classic CrossFit Shoes

We must be prepared for “Constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity”. Two of the most popular shoes used among CrossFitters are Nano’s by Reebok (for the OG’s), and Metcons by Nike (the new ‘cool kids’). Nano’s are slightly softer, and add a little more cushion, while Metcon’s are more similar to a lifting shoe in the sense that they have a firm sole. Again, both of these shoes will best prepare you for a daily workout, but it is up to you to seek a shoe that feels best for you. There will be some trial and error and if you can’t swing the cost, then find a shoe that meets those same listed suggestions we mentioned. Start in the “Cross Trainers” Department of any general shoe store.

  • – NOW – We are going to totally throw you for a loop! If you have been CrossFitting for a bit and want to tap into Olympic Lifting Shoes or more sport specific shoes, here are some things to consider:

Olympic Lifting Shoes

Weight lifting shoes are designed with a heel ranging from a ½” to a 1 ½”, and a strap running over the top. Unlike running shoes, lifting shoes were designed to resist compression and withstand heavy impact. The heel in the shoe allows athletes to stay upright and get lower under the bar. Because lifting shoes cannot be compressed under pressure, it allows the athlete to have more stability in their upward drive. Running shoes on the other hand are designed for absorbency; so if you are trying to lift in running shoes you can see how that creates a problem. If your upward drive becomes absorbed due to your shoes, then your ability to lift heavier weights decreases.

Now, there are a lot of shoes out there great for lifting; for example Romaleos. Romaleos are great for someone who plans to solely lift in their shoes. Ultimately it boils down to personal preference so, try a few pairs out and then make a decision.

The CrossFit Lifter

A lot of people switch from lifting shoes to cross training shoes depending on the workout, however Reebok designed a shoe for a bit of both; the CrossFit Lifter. According to Reebok the shoe was designed to be fit for any WOD, claiming the shoe is a perfect balance for lifting and agility.

A shoe is just like all the other equipment in the gym; we need to pick the best pair for ourselves, take good care of them, and replace them once they are worn down.

~Jessica Brearley and Joshua O’Donnell