Mapping out a plan for 2018 – Coach Ashley

“If you don’t know where you’re going you might not get there.” –Yogi Berra

In 2017 I was training harder than I ever had, eating the best I have in my lifetime and was surrounded by a core group of friends that are incredible to say the least. I enter 2018 training less, trying to improve my overall relationship with food and still, thankfully, surrounded by those incredible friends. I also charge forward with new direction and focus on where I want to go in this new year.

Last year I was training and eating like I was because I didn’t want to feel left out, it was convenient, I had people tell me I should and (most days) it was fun. Not because that was my goal, and that’s exactly why it didn’t last. I wasn’t pulled towards these things by passion. Folks would ask me if I was training for regionals or some grand finish line. Nope. I’ve heard athletes speak of regionals or the games being their goal but that never stirred up anything within me. Those goals sound stinkin’ cool but that’s not enough to pull me out of bed at 5am to train or say no to ice cream at a party.

2018 isn’t about FOLLOWING a dream or idea anymore but rather being PULLED so strongly towards my passion that nothing can tempt me away from it, get in the way of it, or divert my drive towards it. This year I have an idea of where I want to go and I can start setting a plan or roadmap to get me there.

Managing New Year Resolutions when Everyone is Talking Change – 3 Strategies for Success in 2018

Happy New Year Iron Athletes!

EVEN if you lived under a rock…some way…somehow…you have inevitably been exposed to some kind of advertisement talking about new year resolutions. So what do you do when you are inundated with this idea that you have to change everything about yourself?

FIRST Breathe & Brainstorm
Nothing was ever accomplished without planning and preparedness. You are going to take 20 minutes and write down EVERYTHING you think will make you a better person (for your eyes only). Then each week, you will pick JUST ONE thing to implement into your normal routine. Once it becomes habit and not feeling like “extra” effort (hopefully in 1-2 weeks) then we go back to our list and add in something else in addition to the great new habit you have completed!

SECOND Be Consistent
People are made up of what they practice every day. It is easy to focus on the outcome, but the process is what gets you there so you need to bring clear intent to the work you do each day and that is easy when our goals become a priority in our life. Try ranking your brainstorm list or pull out what seem to be the most important things to you right now and that will make it easier to be consistent with your weekly task of one new thing to add to your schedule. If you don’t care about what you are doing, then it will show in the work.

THIRD Be Your Biggest Cheerleader
Before anyone else believes you can do it, you have to believe you can. Lots of times, I have frustrations about how I look and fears about how capable I can be at CrossFit, but all of that is based on other’s perceptions or future experiences that haven’t happened yet. I shut myself down before I even have a chance to feel good and that is how we fall from what’s really important to us. Fear of failure.

Do not fall victim to false perceptions. Love yourself in order to build resiliency to the pangs of life and keep good people around you that affirm the things you value in your own life!

  • Coach Josh

Stay Tuned for next week when Coach Ashley Shares her thoughts on Resolutions!

 

Benchmark Testing: Numbers aren’t the only thing we are training when we test workouts

Hey Iron Athletes,

What an amazing week of testing! The bell literally broke three times in one day because of all your fantastic 1 Rep Max Efforts! At the same time, some of us struggled. Our legs weren’t under us or shoulders didn’t have it that day. The important thing to remember is it was one day. One opportunity to meet a challenge and come through the other side of it a stronger person. Maybe you were stronger physically this go around or maybe you had an entirely different battle. One that left you short of your goal. That’s only true however if your only takeaway from testing is the number.

Testing 1 rep max lifts or benchmark WODs are really important for us because there is something on the line, right? You can feel it as you set up for the workout. That building bellyache or 4th trip to go pee leaves is really a symptom of a bigger question: “Am I better?”

You’d be wrong though if you thought the answer to that question lies solely in the score you got that day. Don’t get me wrong. If you got a bigger 1 rep max or a faster score, then there is definite improvement and you should be proud! But, has every day felt like that? Has every workout been a win?

My point is, if you are not also considering what has also changed throughout your life with work, relationships, sleep, food, training schedule, new pets, whatever, then we are limiting our scope of success.

Before you set up for a workout or even before you come into the gym, realize that we are a product of ALL the choices we make and whether they have been good or bad, they have gotten us this far. That’s your reality so embrace it and find a way to make the most out of your next 24 hours. If we spend time complaining about our situation or getting frustrated at our performance, then we focus our time and attention on the negative. Instead, spend your time being thankful for what has brought you here. Set up excited that you get to use your body and fight to make it stronger. If you hit that moment in the workout where you feel like your failing, then be happy. You have reached a new threshold and your new task is to be better than you thought possible.

Greatness is reserved for people that seek challenges in life.

See you in the gym,

Josh

 

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.