Monday May 1, 2017

How Can 10 Minutes Change Your Time Here? by Coach Kelly

There are many ways CrossFit Local is different from a regular gym and our goal setting sessions are one of them! I have literally set aside 10-15 minutes to meet in person with every single one of our 200 members, not once, not twice but 4 times a year!

So why haven’t I met with you? Quarterly, you get an email from me asking you to look at our Goal Setting Worksheet and set up 10-15 minutes with me to discuss.

I don’t hear from very many of you so… let me break it down for you.

What if I come at 6 AM and you can’t meet me then? I will not be seeing you at 6 AM, sorry ? If we can’t find a time to meet, we can always chat over the phone!

Why are goals important? Failing to plan is planning to fail. We take goals seriously here. Feel like you’ve plateaued? Can’t seem to get the snatch? Persistent knee pain? You need goals to help you get past those hurdles.

What do we do during the goal setting meeting together?

Before you come… you can spend about 10 minutes filling out the aforementioned Goal Setting Worksheet. This will help you narrow your focus and make our time together efficient.

If we have ever met before or you set goals at your Intro session, we will follow up on those and see how you’re progressing.

If this is your first meeting, we will select two or three areas on which to focus. It sounds like this:

You: “I would love to get double unders. I just can’t seem to get them.”

Me: “Where you now? Do you have any?”

You: “One, maybe two or even three on a good day, with the right rope.”

Me: “Great, let’s set a goal for you to get 5 consecutive double unders 2 months from now.”

You: “Sounds good, how do I do it?”

Me: “Here, let me break it down for you.”

Then, I will break it down for you into smaller, achievable goals and arm you with information and resources to help you get there. Here’s an example of part of a follow up email I sent to a fellow Local who set goals with me:

“As promised, here’s some information that will hopefully help you with your double unders. First, remember that like most movements it is a skill and is learned through lots and lots of practice.

Here is a 3 part series on Double Unders with Carl Paoli (CF Gymnastics guru):

http://gymnasticswod.com/content/jump-rope-progression-pt1

http://gymnasticswod.com/content/jump-rope-progression-pt2

http://gymnasticswod.com/content/jump-rope-progression-pt3

Here’s a longer video with Jon Gilson:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gV1NfxgmzT4

Here’s a quick video with Chad ?

https://vimeo.com/31262717

Coach Emily is our resident double under fiend so I’m attaching a guide she created as well. ​

CrossFit double under guide.doc

If you feel like you need some one on one help with them, I know she or I would be happy to help you with that. Sometimes seeing what the error is on video and making corrections is helpful. Just try to work on them EVERY DAY and you’ll get them more consistently soon.”

Is your brain busy thinking of new goals already? Excited about the possibilities? What are you waiting for?! Email me and set up a time!!!

Friday April 28, 2017

Are You Sitting Too Much? by Coach Bryce at CrossFit Invictus in San Diego

Are You Sitting Too Much?
Written By Bryce Smith for crossfitinvictus.com

You spend hours upon hours during the course of a week working on your mobility, yet your mobility is not improving as rapidly as you would like. In particular, you have found that you are extremely tight in your hips and your upper back. What could potentially be the cause of this constant tightness?

Let’s say you spend half an hour both before and after your training sessions working on mobility and you train an hour a day, four or five days a week. That sounds like a pretty standard training schedule for most CrossFitters. Now think about the amount of time you spend sitting – that includes on the toilet, at the dinner table, in your car, at your desk, or simply lounging on the couch watching television. As a society, we love to count calories, steps taken during the day, hours trained, miles run, but everyone forgets to manage the amount of time they spend sitting in a chair.

Poor posture and tight hips seem to be major problems that I see daily in the gym. Both of these issues can be linked to sitting with internally rotated shoulders at a desk for hours on end. The enhancement of technology and the growth of social media also has people texting and typing with their heads forward and, as a result, the musculature in the front of the body gets tight and shortened while the musculature in the back of the body gets weak and lengthened.

Excess sitting has been connected with a huge number of health problems. Sitting for long periods of time and not standing or moving tends to cause changes physiologically within your muscles. It has been linked with high blood pressure, obesity, bad cholesterol, and too much belly fat. Sitting for long periods of time can lead to less fat being burned which later causes blood to flow more sluggishly. This poor circulation can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and many other things [1].

Even if you exercise for an hour a day, it still will not reverse the eight hours of sitting that you have done. Does exercise compensate for a poor night’s sleep? No, it does not. So why then would exercise compensate for the fact that many of us sit all day long?

Try some of the suggestions below to combat our sitting habits:

  • Break up sitting time by getting up every so often and moving around. This will enhance circulation and lengthen the muscle tissues.

  • Keep track of the amount of time you sit each day and make sure you balance out that time with not just exercising, but stretching with movements like the couch stretch seen here, or the perfect stretch seen here. Both of those exercises are tremendously beneficial when trying to loosen up tight hips and open your joints. Practicing these movements can significantly change how your body responds physiologically [1].

  • Grab a foam roller and roll out your upper back to loosen the fascia between the shoulder blades and the spine. You can also work on t-spine extension and rotation all of which can be seen here.

  • Avoid sitting completely by using a standing desk. Check out this video by The Primal Blueprint’s Mark Sisson, showing some of the ways he has changed the work space of his office which has enhanced the productivity, safety, and longevity of his employees.

By incorporating easy mobility into your day and getting up often, you will not only move more efficiently in the gym, but you will also start to lengthen the tight tissues and hips that have occurred as a result of years of sitting.

References

1) Doheny, Kathleen. “Sitting Your Life Away?” WebMD. Michael W. Smith, M.D., 7 Apr. 2014. Web. 03 Aug. 2015.

Wednesday April 26, 2017

Wednesday Morning Barbell Club crew

My New Friend by Coach Kelly

For my birthday, Chad surprised me with a shiny new Rogue Bella barbell! I have been asking for one to add to our very small home gym so I can lift even when I’m not at the gym. I asked for a pink one to match my lifting belt. I even (sort of) joked about getting a gold one so I’d look like a gangsta. Can I really even pull that off?

Chad got me a shiny black one and I LOVE it! I was so surprised and excited! I mean, black goes with everything right? And it’s slimming so it’s going to make whatever plates I have on there look huge!

I NEVER would have imagined that one day I would seriously be asking for a barbell for my birthday. Who wants to spend money on a big piece of metal that makes your hands develop blisters and calluses and makes your thumbs hurt (hello hook grip)? Me!

If you’ve ever been coached by me, you know I always talk about muscle memory and repetition with the Olympic lifts. They do not come naturally for most so we have to train ourselves to be proficient at them. Now I can practice them whenever the urge hits.

Want to feel like a badass? Lift some weights. Want to feel like the strongest woman you’ve ever known? Pick up a barbell. Stressed? Frustrated? Angry? Take it out on the barbell. There is something totally primal, freeing and just plain FUN about lifting weights!

I am always sad when people tell me that they do not want to try CrossFit because of the weightlifting or are afraid of the barbell or “dumbbell” as some noobs like to refer to my new sleek friend. I know for most of you reading this, you’ve met my friend (well maybe not mine but a cousin or something), but for those of you who haven’t, don’t be shy. Come in and say hello!

Monday April 24, 2017

I want to walk on my hands!

Even though we are designed to walk on our feet! For some reason one of the very first CrossFit movements I wanted to master was handstand walks and handstand push ups.  I’m convinced this is because society has brainwashed us to think that photos of people doing handstand walks and pistols are legit athletes. This is so wrong and yet there I was dying to master the moves.

Yup, we’re that annoying couple. Hand stands and pistols…

Thank heavens I’m married to a coach because he was able to give me ALL the different progressions and just last week I did my first Rx handstand push up, and I was able to walk approximately 10ft on my hands!! Before I actually officially started at CrossFit Local I begged Bran to sneak me into the gym so we started going in the evenings on Sunday, when I was certain no one would be there to see me make a fool of myself.

handstand1

The very first part of the handstand push up is starting with your feet on a bench and trying to lower your upper body. Once you feel like you can handle this you can move to using as many abmats as you want and practicing just being all the way upside down against the wall.  Strict handstand push ups are just what they sound like and ask that you simply (mmm I don’t think this is simple) lower and raise yourself just using your arms. For me the hardest part is getting started so I think that means I still have to work on shoulder strength.

handstand2

Similar to double-unders I discovered quickly that I didn’t have the most patience (read as ANY patience) with handstands and handstand walking. I wanted to master the skill NOW and since I’m decent at balancing I wasn’t impressed with being able to kick up into one. On Saturdays I often practiced going from crow pose into a headstand and there’s a possibility that this helped strengthen my shoulders.

handstand3

Once I got comfortable with three mats under my head, I lowered it to two. Two mats is still where I’m the most comfortable, however last week during a work out I was able to complete 40 hand stand push ups with just one mat. I didn’t have any plates (which would be Rx) but it’s definitely a step in the right direction! In these photos you see that I’m in a weird upside down squat. Mr.BarBelle calls it the tripod position and basically you are balancing in this position and then using the force of your hips to throw your body against the wall. Yup, when I do it, it looks as violent as it sounds.

For me the kipping handstand push ups are all about where my hands are. It took so much practice to be able to instinctually know where to put my hands so I could go up and complete a bigger set (5-6 of them in a row).

handstand4

It’s hard to capture a handstand walk in photos and none of my videos really turned out but please oh please notice the pointed toes. This is all because Mr.BarBelle loves him some technique so when he was teaching me there was a lot of technique work involved! And me yelling at him to look away because when he watched I was totally going to mess up and fall.

Walking on my hands hasn’t necessarily correlated to my handstand push ups (read as I don’t really know why I can do it now but couldn’t before), but my biggest weakness on my hands is the strength to keep picking up my arms. Sounds silly, but it’s true. I also often get going too fast and find myself in a sideways cartwheel. I promise when I do this move I am a-okay!

So there ya have it, this has been my journey to view the world upside down!

What about you? Do you ever try inversions or some iteration of being upside down? 

Wednesday April 19, 2017

11899982_1163753953640544_5647859223499326673_n

10 Things People Say When You Wear Your CrossFit Local Shirt In Public by Coach Kelly

  1. “Can you help me move this <insert heavy piece of furniture>?” We seriously got asked to move not one, but two pieces of furniture last weekend by a random lady at a random yard sale.
  2. “Look at those legs! Are you a runner?”Capture
  3. “I have a cousin/niece/uncle who CrossFits. Do you know them?”
  4. “Do you think I could do it?”
  5. “I’ve heard about it. It looks hard. You flip tires right?”
  6. “I saw it on ESPN. Were you there?”
  7. “Wow, your legs <insert amazingly strong body party> are so strong! Way to go!” Followed by a hi five.
  8. “Oh cool, I do CrossFit too! Well, at my globo gym. They called it GetFit <insert other CrossFit-esque program name>.”
  9. “I do CrossFit too! Except we don’t use weights. And we do ours to a dance routine. In the air conditioning. Okay, I do Zumba.”
  10. “Do you eat Paleo? I’ve been trying to eat better.” Said while discreetly hiding their <insert junk food of choice> from you.

Monday April 17, 2017

Capture

Italian Fajitas by Coach Kelly

This recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks, Primal Cravings. Above is all the stuff you’ll need for a yummy dinner tonight!

What You Need:

Butter (preferably grassfed like Kerrygold)
1# skirt/flank steak, cut into thin strips
3 garlic cloves, minced (I keep a jar of minced garlic on hand)
2 tsp Italian seasoning blend (You can buy pre-made or make your own like I did with some or all of the spices below)

  • 1 Tbsp basil
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 1 Tbsp parsley
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp thyme
  • ¼ tsp rosemary
  • Pinch black pepper & red pepper flakes

2 bell peppers, cut into strips
1 yellow onion, cut into strips
Salt and pepper
Bruschetta salsa (I just bought some pre-made to help with time-saving)


What To Do:

  1. Heat a tablespoon of butter over high heat in a skillet and saute steak strips with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper until cooked to your liking. Remove steak.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and add garlic, onions and peppers. Cover and cook until soft.
  3. Mix it all together with bruschetta salsa. Bon appetite!

Want more info? Go here to download our Guide to Quickly Melt Belly Fat for FREE!

Wednesday April 12, 2017

Feel the Love by Shevonn H

I decided to sign up for the recent Rowing Clinic because I thought I had my technique down and it was free…and who doesn’t love free workouts?? I learned right away that I was not as good as I thought I was. I learned about all the parts of a rower (including the damper and what level it needs to be on), the steps for a proper pull, and even how to keep my ankles down. Coaches Matt and Emily were amazing. They would watch you individually and let you know what you need to change. With some practice, it started to feel much better than before.

I love that CrossFit Local lets the beginners get an opportunity like this. Thanks!

Tuesday April 11, 2017

unnamed

Keep the Bell Ringin’ by Coach Chad

I know you’ve heard it. That bell rings at least a few times a day. Even though you’ve heard it, you might not know the detailed history of it and why it matters. Read along to find out…

First off, where did it come from? I’m sure you know Coach Kevin (who now coaches the diving team at Clemson) and how crazy that fool is. He’s a nut! He’s also crazy good at motivating people. He pushes their limits and allows them to break barriers, mental and physical. Well Kev-o decided that he wanted a way to announce to the gym every time someone set a new personal record (PR). Kinda like, “Welcome to Moe’s!” Back in 2012, Kevin was slated to move to Mongolia to serve in the Peace Corps and decided to bless the gym with a PR bell to grace it’s newly expanded space before he left. That is why the Angry Bird sticker lives on the bell. It’s kind of Kevin’s mascot and general way of living. Smash first, ask questions later.

Okay so we’ve established where it came from, but why is it so important? In many ways, it relates back to the psyche of the athlete. We know that CrossFit is very goal- and community-based. Without these two things, we become just another gym. These two things matter immensely and set us apart from the pack. For the athlete, ringing the bell signifies progress. It gets the snowball rolling and allows us to build speed while progressing towards a better and fitter future. For the community, ringing the bell is a call to action. It is your responsibility to support your fellow teammates and let out a loud yawp of encouragement. If the athlete doesn’t smile, you did it wrong ?

So yes, the bell matters in a huge way. Ring it with pride!

Monday April 10, 2017

Patience in Olympic Weightlifting

 Written by Bryce Smith for CrossFitInvictus.com

Olympic Weightlifter Lauren Fisher from CrossFit Invictus in San Diego

Olympic weightlifting has become a huge part of the CrossFit world. The sport of Olympic weightlifting, which was unappealing to many athletes prior to the evolution of CrossFit, has grown immensely and has tons of participation from athletes around the world. With growing participation in the sport along with the growth of social media, videos and photos circulate every day of someone’s new personal record in the clean and jerk or the snatch. With more and more people striving to lift more and more weight, some common faults are accentuated, such as the early arm pull shown in the photo on the left.

I like to think of the Olympic lifts in a very simple manner:

1)   Hips

2)   Shoulders

3)   High Pull

4)   Fast Elbows or Punch

These four steps sum up the basic sequence of the snatch or the clean. Obviously there are a world of cues out there; but to simplify the two lifts, we are basically jumping and landing. The hips extend, the shoulders shrug, elbows come high and outside as we begin to pull ourselves under the bar (versus pulling the bar up to us). For the clean, we have fast elbows as we catch in the front rack; for the snatch, we have a rapid punch as we receive the bar overhead. Although we practice the high pull as a skill transfer drill, it shouldn’t actually happen during the snatch or clean and jerk. The “high pull” is actually the beginning of the athlete pulling themselves under the bar and NOT them pulling the bar to their shoulders or overhead.

Now that we’ve discussed the basics of the two lifts, let’s get to the point of this post.

In order to be successful and efficient in the Olympic lifts, we must follow those four steps in order. The sequence is very important! However, the most common fault we see is that the “pull” is taking place before the hips extend. Knowing this, the best cue in Olympic weightlifting is PATIENCE!

Here is an analogy I will throw your way. In football, when a running back receives a handoff from a quarterback, very rarely does he simply run forward. This would be like gripping and ripping a barbell off the floor. Running backs are usually smaller athletes who are very fast, agile, and strong, but not as strong as the lineman they are running behind (this is the musculature of the upper body). The running back must wait for the big, strong lineman to get a push and/or develop a hole for them to run through. Once this happens, THEN they can accelerate and gain some yards.

The same holds true for Olympic weightlifting. We must wait for the legs to push into the floor and the hips to violently extend before we begin to pull on the bar. As the amazing Coach Burgener says, “When the arms bend, the power ends.”

So next time you are practicing your Olympic Lifts, let your big strong legs work first, be patient and THEN pull on the bar. Patience goes a long way in Olympic Weightlifting.

Here are a few things you can do to allow yourself to be more patient.

  1. Flex your triceps and allow your arms to remain long.

  2. Practice pulling the bar into the body with the lats rather than with the biceps. This is known as sweeping the bar and can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZR2tolczAo

  3. Practice halting clean and snatch deadlifts. The halting clean deadlift is a pull variation that stops short of full extension at the top to strengthen and reinforce the position of the lifter over the bar during the pull of the clean. An example of this lift can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OP2ZoOXfvsw

Good things take time and if you are looking to lift more weight and hit new PRs, patience is an absolute must. Get out there and give these exercises a shot and see your Olympic lifting reach new heights!

Tuesday April 4, 2017

Mental Preparation by Coach Kelly

While watching the CrossFit Games last weekend, a couple people asked if I did anything mentally to prepare for a WOD or if I just sort of made it through.

For me, I try to have some sort of game plan. It’s not always anything elaborate or that I stay up the night before plotting out and losing sleep over. When I look at the board, I generally look at the times of those who are in my skill level and break that down to see how many minutes per round, for example, it would take me to beat that score.

If it’s a rep scheme like 21-15-9, I might break up the round of 21 into 11 and 10 so I’m over halfway on the first one or into 7-7-7 because less than 10 reps seems doable. It is a numbers games so that mentally the reps seem reasonable. Many of you know that I run two 200m laps instead of one 400m lap – same distance, but for me, it makes a difference mentally, and that’s where it matters.

Some of it is knowing your limits and some of it is learning what your limits are. Most of us don’t really push ourselves as hard as we can but what if we did?

What if you go faster than you thought you would? Or use more weight than you thought possible? What if you succeed? But what if you don’t? Either way, you’re getting your sweat on, having fun with your Local buddies and finding out what you’re made of.

If you’re in my class, I’ll be happy to help you strategize. Give it a shot this week!