Squatting and Why it is Ok to Regress in the Name of Progress

By Jackie Babington

As most of you know our current major focus is the squat, and as with all things in CrossFit, this is where you stronger units feel like vikings in hitting high numbers and others are faced with working on developing this area into more of a strength (through the inspiration of seeing the squat numbers of our Vikings)
However, lifting heavy numbers doesn’t always mean you are squatting in a way that is progressive. If you’re squatting isn’t quite mechanically sound, then this can result in a few different issues, such as:
- Overuse injuries – when we repeatedly put pressure on areas such as our quads, from sitting into our knees and toes or knees collapsing in during a squat, the surrounding tendons and smaller muscles can strain and tear under the pressure. Compared to our glutes, hamstrings and the surrounding supportive structures, these smaller muscles are simply not made for dealing with heavy loads over long periods of time.

- Lack of Progress – If you are always squatting in and out of weaker muscles or moving in a way that doesn’t allow for the best use of your stronger posterior chain of muscles, this will cause you to hit a bit of a slow or even a brick wall in your strength potential. Often you will notice you will develop a ‘sticking point’ in your squat or even, as mentioned above, hampered by a niggle.

- Issues with your squat in your Olympic lifting – You bet, Poor mechanics in your squat (let’s call it a shitty squat, for a less technical term), lack of progress in squat numbers and injuries will certainly cause for a less than ideal squat position and/or progress in your snatch and clean.

Solution….

This is where regressing and re-developing your squat comes in, with the following things to focus on:

Slow down your descend – This is particularly for those of you that, as I say, ‘drop it like it’s hot’ and like to use the momentum of bouncing to get in and out of the squat. As you all may have seen with the tempo squat and previous pause squats, a lot of you were challenged with having to slow down your descend into the squat and even stay active in the bottom of your squat. Practice slowing down and really keeping the body tight when going into and out of your squat.

Box-squat – or sit your hips back and drive your knees out in the exact same way. This is for the more quad dominant folk (aka, your quads always hurt and your butt NEVER gets sore after squatting). Sitting into the hips and forcing the hamstrings to take the load will really allow you to take the load off your knees

Tightening Your Upper body – If you pick the bar up with hesitation or don’t keep your upper back rock-solid before going into your squat, you are bound for a shaky squat. Bring the arms in close-ish on the bar, elbows back and shoulder blades tight. Your core should be rock solid no matter what and all these will help your nervous system switch on and get more muscle fibres (let’s call it strength potential) kicking in to help you have a better squat position overall.

As I always say, quiz the coaches, ask them to watch your squat closely if it doesn’t feel right and we can then give you something to work on to get you becoming a mechanically sound squat Viking. (aka, a squat Viking without a shitty squat)

The Importance of Unilateral Training.

By Chris Roccisano

Unilateral training is training limbs individually, rather than engaging both sides of the body together. Training this way is highly beneficial in many ways.  Let us start with a quick little study that was published 2004 in the Journal of Applied Physiology. In 1984, Miss Emily M. Brown squeezed a rubber bulb 10 times as hard as possible with her left hand.  She then spent the next thirteen days training her right hand, performing ten maximal contractions each day. When the strength of her left hand was retested thirteen days later, the strength had increased by 43%. Seeing as Miss Brown had only trained her right hand, the authors of the report could only conclude that somehow the training of the right hand had created strength gains in the left. (Carroll, Herbert, Munn, Lee, & Gandevia, 2006) we now know a lot more about this though the study of motor control. (No more studies for now…)

When it comes to strength, the whole is usually less than the sum of its parts. In most cases the total strength of both of your limbs used together is actually less than the sum of the strength of the individual limbs. (Kuslikis, n.d.) This is how unique our bodies are, normally we would think that if two things were working as one they would be stronger but unfortunately, this is not true and is known as “bilateral deficit.” Which mean we need to work individual limbs through unilateral exercise. Everyone has a weak side and by performing only bilateral exercise, your dominant side keeps compensate for your weaker side and furthering the imbalances that could potentially cause injury later in time.

So what can we do? - Unilateral exercises will allow you to train away the deficiency in the weaker side.  When doing these exercises start with the weaker side, after working that side to fatigue do the same number of reps on the stronger side. While you will not be working to fatigue on the stronger side, you will be bringing the weaker side up to meet it, enabling you to strengthen both sides equally as you go forward. (Kuslikis, n.d.)

The good news when doing this type of training is there is no strength loss as the stronger side keeps getting the benefit in the same way Miss Emily M. Brown did, squeezing that rubber bulb. On top of getting the strength more even across the body doing unilateral exercise, it also improves core strength and stability this is because when performing anything with one limb or side you are automatically throw you off balance, and whether you know it or not your body has to recruit muscles that help support you in keeping your centre. Developing these core muscles is important for developing balance and stability, protecting your spine, and cultivating integrated, functional strength. (Kuslikis, n.d.)

Day-to- day activities rarely require bilateral movement. Kicking a footy to carrying groceries is some examples of unilateral movement. Even walking and running are, at their core, unilateral movements. (Kuslikis, n.d.) In conclusion, if you start picking up the slack on your weaker side, you will help your overall strength in perform all elements of CrossFit. Like always if you would like to know more and find out about some different types of exercises please come see one of the coaches for information as there are many great things you can do in the gym before and after class.

Like always have a great rest of the week
Ciao For Now
Be Awesome
Coach Chris

Active Recovery Drill Examples

By Jackie Babington

To round off the topic of active recovery that I touched base on in the last post, here are some handy ways to structure your sessions depending on what you are wanting to work on.

Core development

A great way you can structure this is by:

1. Choosing 3 key movements -
- hollow rock progression (extended, legs up and arms forward, knees bent and arms forward)
- plank variation ( forearms + toes, marching up onto hands + back to elbows, taking one hand or foot off the ground at a time)
- something dynamic like sit ups, GHD's or V-ups
2. Then pick a format -
- AMRAP
- rounds for time
- 30secs work : 30secs rest
- EMOM
3. Make sure it is always varied and focus on quality as a priority.

Develop stability/ gymnastics movements

There are a tonne of these movements you can chip away at but to narrow down some key ones and structures:

1. Pick 1 movement -
- handstands
- pistol squats
- kipping or butterfly pull ups (if you are hitting the standards for these)
- transitions for muscle ups
- L-sit hang or hold on rings or bar.

2. The best formats for this are -
- Accumulating time in the movement (like working up to 5mins in a handstand or L-sit with minimal breaks)
- EMOM ( eg, 8 x kipping/butterfly pull ups on the minute, keeping quality your focus)
- Note : You're not trying to get a work out here, you are improving the 'art', timing and/or stability of these movements.

Working on Mobility

Getting feedback from the coaches to figure out you're 'red flag' mobility issues is a great start, then:

1. Pick 3-5 Stretches or mobility movements focused on improving key issues
2. Aim to stay in the stretch, foam roll or use a mobility ball for 2-5mins
3. Mobilise for 20-30mins in total

These structures should give you a good place to start from and as always, if you need any extra ideas or help with things to work on, grab a coach and we can set you in the right direction.

You are only as strong as your weakest muscle.

By Chris Roaccisano.

This sentence can sometimes be hard to hear especially when everything is going well and you are seemingly getting stronger…but the truth of the matter is that if you continually keep growing when you have not addressed the weaker muscles in your movement pattern, you will end up with more regressions, plateaus and frustration down the track, not to mention muscle imbalances that can have a higher potential for injury.

When I found out that I my glutes were not activating through certain movements I shrugged it off at the start. I thought to myself that this could not be the case as I have a decent back squat and deadlift, not realising that just because those two movements are somewhat strong, and what looks to be proficient, are actually results from restricted and non-firing muscles. Which in this instance has made different muscles take the load of the glutes.

The body doest work in isolation, but it does have favourite patterns of movement.  The body is super-efficient and will find the shortest possible way to get from point A to point B using as little energy as possible and because of this we can run into problems.

Firstly, make sure that everything is firing correctly is a major part of becoming the best version of you. You may have heard that we are a system of systems, this is also true for muscles. All the muscles need to work in unison, contracting and relaxing to provide the best output for the movement. So if we have something that is not working, for example glutes in a squat then how are we going to get stronger when that muscle doesn’t know it is working?

Secondly we need to make sure that the non-dominant muscles are being work in the same way as the dominant ones. If you always do more reps on your “good side” then how is the weaker side ever going to catch up? The short answer is it’s not, and in fact the disparity between them is going to keep growing making it harder to fix.

So what can we do? I’m going to give you all a few things to think about when you next train and see if you can apply any of these tips to make sure you are getting the most out of your training.

1. Always start on the weaker side when you are doing unilateral (single sided) exercises.

2. Don’t train to failure – It is not needed and can lead to over use issues in correcting the problem. Also it can stop you from training efficiency and effectively, and maybe even all together for a while.

3. Do an extra few reps on the weaker side – this is always a favourite of mine, give yourself the permission to have a bit of OCD and make sure you copy what you have done on one side across to the other no matter what.

4. Start thinking about how you pick items up and put items away…try using the other hand when picking up the barbell, dumbbell, kettlebell, box, rower, anything really.

5. Focus on extra work after class that is an auxiliary to WOD - do it with dumbbells or kettlebells (single sided work), it’s a great way to get extra reps out.

One thing I found helpful was looking at the work that needed to be done as a second chance to perform things correctly and build some new muscle. After all that is what you are doing when correcting a problem in the body, and new muscle is awesome…don’t you agree?

In conclusion, it might not seem like it needs to be done today, but one day it will catch up and the plateaus will be real and lasting. So instead of waiting for it to happen, be on the front foot (non-dominant first:) and workout all the weaker muscle just as much, if not a little more for now to help them become just as strong.

Have a great rest of the week and see you in class.

Ciao for now
Be awesome
Coach Chris

What is Active Recovery?

By Jackie Babington.

Active recovery is basically, using low-intensity movement to help promote blood flow through the body and re-fill the areas we have forced fluid out of during exercise. This can, if done properly, assist in the improved recovery of sore muscles and a smoked nervous system.

What are some specific things I can do?

- Work on some of your core development drills (which I will specify in my video blog)
- Do mobility (ROMWOD is very handy for this with videos you just follow along with)
- Try a low-intensity yoga class (this is the perfect time to use your free session at the Pilates and Yoga Shed*)
- You can also work on stability movements like holding a handstand or practicing your pistol squats
- If you feel you are injury prone or need to pre-hab your shoulders, knees or back (this is basically strengthening smaller weak muscles that can often be a contributor to you getting niggles/injuries ), asking one of the coaches for ideas of things to work on can make a big difference in staying on top of these.
- Massage is also a really lovely way to actively recover from an intense few days of training.
- Try a sport you’ve never tried, go kick a football, practice cartwheels in a park somewhere or just go for a gentle long walk.

Remember, you are always welcome to come into the gym on your rest day to hang out and do some low intensity work. If you need help, we are always around to lend a hand and give you things to work on. In addition to this we have some really handy posters pinned up around the gym with ideas you can do on your rest day.

Although Listen to your body when it comes to choosing your rest days as some weeks you may need one or two extra days for whatever reason, so do what you know is best for your body.

Overtraining (as mentioned in my first rest and recovery video) has a wide range of issues that come with it, so be kind to your body as, although its strong, it’s not indestructible.

The dangers of self-diagnosis or Google/ YouTube-diagnosis

As a budding young trainer with the want to give my clients every answer as quickly as possible (and look super knowledgeable) I am very guilty of having done this in my early years as a PT. When I have a client in front of me worried they can't achieve their goals because of an existing knee injury or health issue they have never had looked at, I wanted to be the person to solve their problems. However, having gone through issues personally that affected my training, overtime I truly understood the importance of getting a true professional/coach to help me work on my injury or training sticking point.

With injuries/ niggles, Google can't look into the issues below the surface or screen you for potential problems. A visit to Dr Google for 'knee pain exercises' may result in you exacerbating an injury through the exercises spat out in a search engine. Don't waste time and effort making it worst and get it seen to by someone who can tailor the treatment to an issue they are trained for years to find.

The same goes for training related issues, and commonly Olympic lifting. I've often seen members video taping their lifts, only to look at them with their untrained eye in an effort to try and find a problem they can fix. Don't get me wrong, I love it when you guys take a keen interest in your training and doing personal research. Although YouTube videos can be handy in getting additional training tips with gymnastics (even these can be limited to higher ability levels) , it isn't the best for self-diagnosing an issue in YOUR Olympic lift. Every class in the CrossFit VSC timetable has at least 2-4 coaches on to help you with these exact issues. Heck, that's what we live and breathe and many of us have years of experience under our belt closely watching clients movements and troubleshooting issues to help them progress. This is a massively valuable resource and, if used properly and advice taken on board, you can get a huge benefit from.

We love seeing you guys do well and getting the solutions you need quickly, so give us a heads up on injuries or training sticking points and we will always do our best to point you in the right direction (Google and YouTube don't care like we do...lol)

The Deadlift, Why it is Important from a CrossFit View.

By Chris Roccisano

The deadlift is called the ‘King of Mass-Builders’ in some fitness circles. Understanding why it is important might sway your reasoning mind to do them more often. At a face-value point of view, the deadlift is an easy movement, all you have to do is pick the weight off the ground. But the way you do that is a little more complex and making sure that all muscles are firing together can seem hard when you are first learning this lift. In this lift we can see amazing growth throughout the whole body from the core, back, glutes, hamstring, grip and so many other muscle groups. Engagement of all these muscles in a unified way is where the magic exists, so let’s have a look at why more muscle utilization is best for us.

When it comes to building muscle and becoming stronger we need to understand that we can do this in a few ways, we want to work the muscle we are aiming to grow and we also want to provide intensity (the amount of weight) and volume (the amount of reps and set) so that together we can stress the muscle in a way that will then help it grow. So instead of focusing on one muscle at a time we can perform the deadlift and hit nearly every muscles in the body in one go, it is the biggest bang for buck exercise going around, it even utilizes more muscles at once than the squat does. This can save you time per session which allows for more session per week to happen and that’s how a stronger ‘you’ is made in the long run.

Adaptation, in reality the deadlift should be your biggest lift, putting that much stress on your body due to the heavy weights will allow your body to adapt and normalise that load, which means that everything you do in CrossFit will feel a lot lighter, including your WODs. Let’s do a little example. Let’s say you have a 1 Rep Max (1RM) of 250kg in the deadlift. If we work backwards from these numbers we can see that doing a WOD like 17.4 which was 16.4 which had 55 deadlifts at 102kg in it. At a 1RM of 250kg, the percentage of the WODs weight is roughly 40% of your 1RM which means that 102kg is your warmup and that’s the weight that you would put on the bar for the WOD. Imagine that, imagine that every time the coaches showed you a WOD all you ever had to put on the bar was your warmup amount, how easy would the WOD be? How many extra round would you get out?

So I invite you over this next two-month period at VSC to really enjoy the focused element which is the deadlift. Have fun with it, there is no better feeling than lifting some heavy weights off the ground and learn as much as you can about it, so you can use the new techniques (and new strength too) in your next WOD. Like always, please feel free to come see me or any of the other coaches in class for a more in depth look at the deadlift because you will soon see the changes in your strength and understand why it is one of the coaches’ favourite movements to prescribe.

But for now, stay strong have a great week, a very happy and safe Easter, and I will see you all in class, 

Ciao for now, be awesome, Coach Chris.

 

References

"55 Reasons Why The Deadlift Exercise Is The Best Of All Time". The PTDC. N.p., 2017. Web. 10 Apr. 2017.

"Deadlifts: The King Of Mass-Builders?". Bodybuilding.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 10 Apr. 2017.

Johnson, Jake. "The Vast Importance Of Deadlifting - I'm Jake". I'm Jake. N.p., 2017. Web. 10 Apr. 2017.

The Open and Reassessing intensity

By Jackie Babington

What REALLY is intensity?

'Exercise intensity refers to how much energy is expended when exercising. Perceived intensity varies with each person. It has been found that intensity has an effect on what fuel the body uses and what kind of adaptations the body makes after exercise. Intensity is the amount of physical power (expressed as a percentage of the maximal oxygen consumption) that the body uses when performing an activity'  ( Thanks Wikipedia )

So the Open is over. The cheers of your team to pump you up and the handful of others in your heat is over. The 'got nothing to lose', 'I'll give it everything I've got, cause heck, it's the Open' and 'I'm gonna hit this one hard, cause this is my jam!' headspaces are over. I know everyone will have learnt something valuable in this years workouts (eg, time to work on muscle ups) and found new movements they can start to conquer after their first time hitting them in the Open. 

But one thing a lot of us can tend to forget once it's all finished is, the intensity of these workouts helped us achieve. There were so many members I heard say 'I don't think I've ever pushed that hard in a normal workout'. Well, what I want to know is, why not? Now I'm not saying you should hit Open-like intensities in every single workout of the week. Of course, as everyday Crossfitters with things we still need to function for like kids, work, being able to walk down stairs and sit on the toilet effectively this doesn't work out awesome on a daily basis.

Intensity = Progress

As mentioned in the description of intensity, it is really important for progress as the higher the intensity the better chance you have of taking bigger steps forward with your training results. When we force our body more out of it's intensity comfort zone, then we are essentially forcing it to adapt to a new level of what we perceive to be challenging, both physically and mentally. Intensity, just like our our many other skills in CrossFit, is something we need to continually practice.

So the next time you hit a workout, part-way through, mentally touch base and see if you've got another gear you can kick up to and 9 times out of 10, I'm pretty confident to say there is always a little more you can push. If all else fails, refer back to how hard you pushed in the Open workouts to give you perspective on if you are giving the majority of workouts in your week, your all. You've got nothing to lose and lots to gain. Enjoy!

Three ways you can be a little more awesome...

By Jackie Babington

Fuel with Fire: (more of a rehash for food challenge participants and a reminder for everyone else) Clean, simple and close to the source food is made to give us so many good nutrients in a way it was presented to us in nature. Well fuelled machines always work best, so fuel your body like a formula one car!! Quantities that enable us to train effectively but don't stifle our fire. If you overfuel the engine, our bodies like storing it for later (aka increase body fat) or simply work slower when we have too much in our tank. Learn to develop ways to find moderation in your food intake (simply eating clean, healthy food with plenty of fibrous green vegetables helps naturally moderate your satiety and minimise overeating) Drinking plenty of water (even when it's cold), as our strength potential is really affected by hydration. Our muscles are made up of 50-60% of water so even a 10% drop in hydration can affect your lifts dramatically. Dehydration + no gains = an unhappy Crossfitter!!

Get more Flexy: If your tight, when was the last time you worked on it outside of the stretching in class? Ask one of the coaches for some awesome stretches you can do outside of class to help improve areas you know suck for you and are hampering your ability to move well. Not sure what to work on? Ask yourself.... are your able to move weight overhead without restriction or do your elbows stay bent? Can you consistently hit full depth in squats without the coaches giving a little reminder to go deeper? Are there any of the stretches in class you struggle to do? If there are issues in any of the above flexibility areas then it's super important that you put in extra time to work on these to even out some of the creases in your foundations.

Training Tracking, Visions and goals: if you never measure, then how can you see progress? Many (I'm pretty confident) come into CrossFit wanting to see improvements, but so many never pop their scores into Zenplanner at the end of the workout. This little app is super handy for helping you see how big your gains have been over the year and also for helping you workout percentages that almost always come up in strength pieces. In addition to tracking your progress, having solid, locked in goals gives you direction to steer your efforts. Both having a combination of awesome goals and visions (see Adam or Tan for more structure with this) and keeping a track of your performance makes your time in CrossFit move faster in a forward direction and prevent you from feeling like you're stuck in a training rut. Just making small improvements in the above areas can help move you in a more kick butt direction, not only in CrossFit but in the way you move, feel and function in the rest of your day.

Enjoy chipping away ❤️❤️

The Importance of Progressions 

By Scott Somerville

One of the most rewarding parts of being a Coach is seeing an athlete establish the fundamentals, get consistency in their workout and then build off them overtime to reach their goals. All of VSC’s programs utilise progressions so we can work with an individual to help build strength, muscle memory and to reduce the chance of an injury by teaching the correct technique.

The gymnastics movements in CrossFit can be challenging. Most of us will find these movements difficult and sometimes frustrating - thankfully this is where progressions help. Progressions are the base for all gymnastic movements. Skipping past progressions and trying to achieve the end result quickly rarely works. Coaches take on the responsibility for the safety of the athletes and will ensure that the progressions are safe for each individual whilst still making sure it is challenging and that they are progressing with the movements.  

There are so many different levels of fitness and skill levels at every box, taking some time to assess where you are with your movements and where you want to be is a great way to set goals. Progression, hard work and determination are what will get you there. Always keep in mind when aspiring to reach a goal, “What are the progressions I need to learn and practice to get to where I want to be?”

Some progressions to kipping pull ups include hollow rocks and Superman, banned pull ups, negative pull ups, strict pull ups and C’s & D’s. These will all help with engaging and building the muscles to safely achieve pull ups whilst also teaching the athlete the correct technique. Even when the kipping pull up has become a handy tool in slashing time off your WODs, it’s important to remember that the progressions are always there to help build technique and strength.

Coaches will also use progressions or scaled movements to keep the athletes moving safely through the workout at a high intensity, this will make you better at CrossFit and will move you forward in learning how to correctly execute the movement.

Learning and practicing progressions are so important to an athlete’s growth and achieving performance goals. Put in the hard work and you will reap the benefits! If it’s good enough for CrossFit Game athletes to continue practicing and developing through the help of progressions, then it’s good enough for all of us. 

Remember you can’t run until you learn to walk! 

 

 

 

 

The Open 2017

By Chris Roccisano

In 2016, 324,307 was the number of registered athletes from 175 different countries. 58% male and 42% female with a mix between teens, open and master divisions all in the running to be the fittest on earth. For some of athlete this statement rings true, a lot of people out of that 300 plus thousand want to be the ‘Fittest male or female on Earth’ and that is amazing, awesome and truly aspiring but what about the rest of us, why should we be interested in it?

When I first started CrossFit, I was really excited about the “Games”, “Regionals” and the “Open” and to be honest nothing has really changed. I just love being in the gym, pushing myself, learning something new and being part of a community that is so supportive, we have a very special and unique community that is like no other and it is this time of year that always puts a massive smile on my face because it reminds me of my first open experience…let’s go back to 2014.

“Chris are you doing the open 14.1?”
“Al…of course I am, it looks pretty simple and I was hoping for more.”
“Yeah I know, it starts in 2 weeks and the first event is ONLY a 10 minute AMRAP of 30 double-unders and 15 power snatches”
“I know its only two exercise, and now that I have my double-unders its going to be awesome”

I looked at this workout and I thought; Yeah pretty easy, I should get though at least one round per minute. I just got my double-unders last week in practice and snatches are easy as, (mind you my 1RM was 45kg at this point in time) I reckon I should do well. So here I am, 7 seconds before the ‘beep’ focused, ready. I looking at my rope, then at my bar and thinking to myself I just have to keep moving the rest will happen…and boy did it, you should have seen me move, it was something else…no really it was something else I must have looked ridiculous because at the end of it I had whip marks up and down my arms, my shoulders felt like they were on fire and I only completed 2 rounds and 13 reps. After falling to the ground and yelling at the whiteboard for lying to me, I remember getting a helping hand up off the ground, a pat on my back, a hi-five and one of the boys saying good job. Even know I knew I did the least amount of rounds and reps in the box I still had the biggest smile on my face because I felt that I was a part of the something bigger and after 14.1 finished everything seemed to click into place. I started to see the why in CrossFit. The open helped me to understand myself differently and in a much better way.

I wanted to learn more, get better at my weaknesses and to push myself, which then led me to see a small glimpse of my potential but more importantly I started noticing how much happiness it brought me and how much fun I was having.

So I am here today to hopefully help you with a decision. I am not saying that you will get the same experience out of the open as I did or that you will feel the same way but what I am saying is that I hope you take up the opportunity to share in something that could change your life, to find out more about yourself, to be a part of the greater community, to show yourself you can do it and most importantly to have fun. I have seen you work out, the progress you have made, the commitment to your training, all the hard work you have put in and with that said it is time to reward yourself with fun and excitement that the open brings.

As it stands the CrossFit 2017 Open is around the corner. I will be one of the thousands in it this year, a bit wiser and with a different goal in mind but the main priority is always to have as much fun as I can. I really hope that you will join me and the rest of us in creating and sharing this amazing experience too because I can just about guarantee that you will love every minute of every WOD and you will be kicking yourself for a year if you miss out.

I hope you all have a great rest of the week and I will see you at the Friday Night Lights

 

Know Your Coaches at CrossFit VSC

'Being able to help people hit mini wins and work on crushing their weaknesses is one of the biggest reasons I love Coaching’ - Jackie Babington

“I love helping people believe in themselves, getting them to do things they thought they couldn’t.” - Chris Roccisano.

“Seeing people's enjoyment after the WOD is done and camaraderie it brings is what Coaching is all about, I love it” - Jodie Bennett

“I love Coaching and seeing the look on the athlete's face when they achieve their goals!” - Scott Sommerville

“I Coach to influence change, change in mind set, change in lifestyle, change to increase people potential.”- Tania Winter

“Being able to share the happiness I feel when I CrossFit with others is why I do what I do.”- Adam Winter

 

At CrossFit VSC we are a general population, fitness for life gym.  
What does this mean, it means we train your everyday person to become stronger, fitter and better than they have ever been.  We can take a member with no prior experience in training, and over time and with careful direction, we can turn them into a fantastic advanced athlete.  

At CrossFit VSC we are super lucky to have Coaches that have a genuine interest in the people they are Coaching.  The Coaches at VSC are very motivated and educated and seek no greater high than that which comes from getting an athlete to become the best they can be.  This is a Coaches income, this is what makes Coaching rewarding, this is what energises a coach at 6am and keeps them going with the same enthusiasm to 8pm.  

The above can all be summed up in one word- Passion. 
Passion cant be learned - you either have it or you don't.

The Coaches at VSC are driven by passion and it is this quality that makes them outstanding Coaches.  Coupled with passion the Coaches at VSC have countless hours of experience working with all different types of people and a number of qualifications ranging from Nutrition to gymnastics to weightlifting.  
The calibre of our Coaching staff is well equiped to take you from whiteboard warrior to top 1000 in the Australian Open. All that you need to do as an athlete is listen to what they are saying and trust in their guidance.

The Athlete:Coach Relationship

“A Coach is someone who tells you what you don't want to hear, 
who has you see what you don't want to see, 
so you can be who you have always known you could be” - Tom Landry

Make no mistake, if you Crossfit, your an athlete.

It is the Coaches job to help you achieve what you want to achieve as an athlete, however to get to this end result there are many steps that as an athlete you may not realise you have to take.  To reach the maximum off your potential, you need to have the patience, ability and above all integrity to take direction from those that know how to get you to your peak performance. 

It is important to know that your Coaches not only have studied countless hours of literature about exercise physiology, they have also trained thousands of people over the space of their careers.  This gives them a unique insight into improving movement patterns of the human body and how to fix incorrect movement patterns that have been created.  It allows them to analyse what you are doing as an athlete, and build a plan on how they can make you better.  

Understanding that your Coaches are here to help you is vital for your success and will allow you to break through your barriers.  If you do not understand how something works or want to know more about something we are doing, simply ask the Coaches and they can further explain and get you closer to your goals.

Ability vs Knowledge.

There is a belief that exists in some people that every CrossFit Coach needs to be the greatest athlete in the world before they can Coach others.  As you are now all aware, CrossFit is bloody hard and to be awesome at everything takes time.  Your Coaches are actively working on becoming the best they can be and are much further along on their CrossFit journey than the athletes they coach.  This gives them an insight that must be trusted.

If you look across many sports, some of the best athletes in the world don't make the best Coaches, and some of the best Coaches in the world are not the best athletes.  There are many reasons for this and every reason is very individual in their nature.  
Most Coaches just simply make better Coaches than athletes.

Take a look at Usain Bolts Coach Glen Mills OD for example:

Coach Glen Mills OD and Usain Bolt

Coach Glen Mills OD and Usain Bolt

Although extremely knowledgeable in his field, Coach Glen Mills was not much of a runner himself however had the passion and the knowledge to help people become the best they can be.  With Coach Glen Mills knowledge and Bolts relentless drive he has helped make the phenomenon that is Usain Bolt.

Every Coach worth their salt, is always on the pursuit of more information, new knowledge, constantly learning new things that will help them teach others.  Your VSC Coaches are relentless in this pursuit! If they cant answer something on the spot, you can bet they will have the answer next time they see you.  

Utilise your Coaches to become the best that you can be, and always know all the Coaches at VSC are here to help, support and guide you in any and all fitness endeavours you have.

 

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth is Fast

Slow is Smooth, Smooth is fast

What this relates to is our ability to stay consistent with our movements and move through each workout safely, effectively and relentlessly.  

We have all been there, continually missing reps in a WOD, getting frustrated and recording a dismal result.  This can be in relation to Olympic lifts or any gymnastic movements.  

There are many reasons that can cause this, some of which maybe because we are trying heavier weights in a met-con, or trying new movements that we haven't done before or simply because we are just having a bad day.  Couple the above with the pressure created when the timer starts and when people you usually beat in WODs start to overtake you and you have a recipe for a shit time!
When this happens in a WOD, if not addressed will lead to spiral of swearing, frustration and usually end with questions of “why am I doing this?” or “Am I getting worse at CrossFit?”

How to combat a Shit time:
As soon as you realise your having one of those days, step back for a second, take a deep breath and slow down.  This where the title of this at blog comes into play. When you slow down- 
-You are able to focus on the movement at hand,
-You remember the movement and how it works,
-You can catch your breath, and
-You are able to hear the Coaches cues.  

Slowing down allows the movement to become smooth and constant.  You will spend less time resting between reps and will move from one exercise to another without hesitation.

To be clear, slowing down doesn't not mean dropping your intensity, it means slow down so you can achieve the movements you are attempting and work consistently thought out the WOD.

The more you practice slow is smooth, smooth is fast, the overall speed in which you complete WODs will increase.  

The best example of Smooth is fast, fast is smooth is the awesome Rich Froning.  In every workout that you see Froning compete in you will see that his first reps look exactly like his last reps.  Although he looks like he is moving slowly he rarely stops to rest other than to take a deep breath in and then continues destroying every WOD.  His ability to stay composed throughout a workout allows him to stay consistent and leave his competitors in his wake. 

Check out the video belowof Froning completing a Snatch Ladder with increasing weights. Notice that Fronings first reps and last reps are almost identical and his composure is constant throughout the entire WOD.

 

So next time you find your WOD going pear shaped, step back and slow down- I promise you will be surprised at how much more efficient you can be.

For more information on this topic or any other, please don't hesitate to ask the Coaches at VSC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consistency, Challenge and Rest.

By Jackie Babington.

Three really important elements I have found in your approach to CrossFit that give the BEST bang for buck are:

Being consistent - not only in your training frequency but consistent with standards, nutrition, hydration, with being coachable, with your flexibility, working on weaknesses and with challenging your mindset. Which brings me into....

Challenge - consistently challenging yourself on your weakness is a sure fire way to get good at CrossFit.... FAST. This is something that's just so easy to stray away from cause simply, hanging outside our comfort zone is just a yucky place to be. However, we've all had those workouts that started as 'oh not snatches/I hate running/yuck Burpees/I suck at wallballs'..... got through a workout and ended on ' that was horrible but I'm glad I did it/ yay my snatches feel better/ wallballs still suck but I got through them easier'. It's these moments we progress from both mentally and physically but it just takes one or two steps outside that comfort zone to reach it.

Rest rest rest - To balance these out nicely rest needs to also be consistent and a really a priority, especially for those of you looking to increase training frequency or compete. CrossFit is intense, that's what we love about it and this also challenges our nervous system (sometimes our soul on certain workouts!). This is why it is super important that we are kind and give it a rest day on a consistent basis and plenty of solid sleep.

Training 3 days on and 1 day off, then 1-2 days on 1 day off can be a good approach to make sure you get 2 consistent rest days in a week. 

If we don't get an effective sleep cycle and fail to drop into R.E.M. Stage of our sleep cycle (this is the stage where our body best repairs muscle tissue and recharges our nervous system) then our progress can be hampered.

Overall everyone has a different journey they're on with their CrossFit. Some of you love the competitiveness and shooting for the elite level, some are just happy to be able to make it 3 x a week, some use it as therapy and others have CrossFit as an awesome hobby that happens to keep them healthy. Whatever level your at, make sure you are always looking for ways to move outside your comfort zone, have fun in your workouts and be kind to your body along the way.

 

 

4 Easy Holiday Workout Ideas

By Scott Somerville

It’s that time of year again - holidays! You have worked your butt off and you well and truly deserve a holiday away... but don't forget the hours of hard work you have put in at the box.

Holidays are a great time for you to unwind and celebrate everything you have achieved throughout the year. A time to catch up with family and friends, indulge in food you wouldn’t normally eat every day, and booze you definitely wouldn’t drink every day. Keeping up with your exercise will mean you don’t return from your holidays feeling sluggish. It will keep you motivated, and give your body that extra energy to enjoy the festive season and help you get back at the box in 2017.

We all know how hard that first session back at the box is after the holiday season, especially if you don't keep up with a little bit of fitness. So, let’s make this easy! All you need to take with you is your rope, the hotel, resort or holiday house will provide the rest. 

Here are 4 quick and easy workouts you can do while you’re away from the box:
Remember to always spend about 10 minutes doing a good warm up!

Day 1 - 3 rounds, 30 Double unders, 15 push ups, 30 air squats
Day 2 - 150 air squats for time
Day 3 - 5 rounds, 30 second hand stand hold, 20 sit ups, 20 lunges
Day 4 - 7 minutes of burpees

You get the idea on how simple it can be – keep it going and make up your own workouts and get stuck into it. Be creative, you really can do a heap of workouts without ever leaving your hotel room or house. 

You can even find exercise that will seamlessly fit into your day. While you’re out and about enjoying the sunshine, and exploring new surroundings, go for a run or find a walking trail or practice your double unders in the open air. If you’re in a hotel or resort check out the gym, hit up the rower on one of the days and then cool off with a swim in the hotel pool or the beach.

Exercising while you’re away will create a moment for you to switch off and focus on you to recharge. Keeping it short and impactful, will make you feel so much better about what you’re eating and drinking.

Don't make these workouts stressful, make them fun and work on some weaknesses to help you hit the ground running when you get back to the box. Remember the CrossFit Open is in February!

If you need any other ideas or help with workouts while you’re away feel free to hit up any of the coaches at VSC.

Enjoy your well-earned holidays and Merry Christmas!

 

Considerations For Goal Settings

By Chris Roccisano

So you are six months to a year or two into CrossFit and everything is going well. You have stepped up the consistency of your training from “I can’t walk the next day”  to “why are my hands always sore?”.  Rarely missing a day of training, unless it’s a “rest-day” and furthermore, training is the only thing you look forward to at the end of your work day…so what’s next in your fitness journey?

You always hear about goal setting. Simply write down a goal, put some steps in to help you achieve that goal and BINGO you will achieve it.  Unfortunately, it is not that simple and can be detrimental to think it is that easy.  Without proper planning or consideration of ALL factors you are likely to miss your targets more often than you hit them. So what is proper goal setting and why should you care about it.

Firstly, let’s look at the process in a more holistic view and you will see that an individuals goal is the result of many systems that make up the overall picture that is goal setting. The list below are some factors to consider when thinking about your individual goals, designed to integrate with each other to help achieve the best possible outcome for you.

1. Personality Inventory- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
2. Motivation- What are your motivations?
3. What do you want to achieve?
4. Self-Talk- Do you respond to positive or negative cues?
5. Psychology - What type of person are you- driven? Self motivated? Optimistic? Do you have integrity?
6. Discipline- can you stay on track? are you focused and committed? 
7.Stress & Anxiety Management- How do you cope with pressure?
8. Imagery- Can you visualise what you want?

So what does this all mean:

  1. From a Coaches’ eye, If we know more about you we can better understand:
    -why you are training.
    -What approach yields the best response from you.
    -What you need to focus on.
    -Help priorities the important stuff.
    -Keep you on track, and
    - Keep you focused and motivated.

        2. From Your eyes:
            -Understanding the real steps and time frame to achieve your goal.
            -Whether or not it is the right goal for you at this point in time.
            -Seeing where you are at the present time.
            -Understanding how to optimise your approach
           - Understand the unknowns that might be limiting you at the moment.

So whether you are a Rx athlete, sports focused person or someone who just wants to be fit for life, having an understanding of, 

  • where your are now, 
  • where you want to be and 
  • how your going to get there,
    Will increase your ability in training and maximise your potential for success.

Like always, it’s a pleasure and if you have any questions please feel free to ask me next time we are in the gym.  Keep your eyes forward for some more information regarding this topic and have a great rest of the day.

Ciao for now • Be Awesome • Coach Chris 

As I always say ‘You train how you eat’

By Jackie Babington.

Simply, if you eat junk you’ll train like junk, but on the flipside if your eating great, your training will feel awesome.

I just wanted to touch base on some of the essentials of pre-training fuel and the issues I’ve seen a few members having recently:

Not eating enough throughout the day and coming into a session feeling flat and light headed. 

Our muscles need a certain amount of glycogen and overall good clean nutrition to get through high intensity exercise like we do in CrossFit, and if your running on empty or eating poor quality nutrition, your strength and overall capacity will be really affected. It’s essential that you get a good balance of food through out the day so your muscles have enough fuel and you can get the most out of your training sessions. Not having enough fuel can also affect your ability to maintain good technique throughout the session which can put you at risk of hurting yourself.

Solution – Try having a piece of fruit and some nuts or a small snack around 1-1 ½ hrs before training. If you are pushed for time, grabbing a small protein bar (although not super ideal) from a petrol station is better than running on empty. But most important thing is to be organised.

Eating too much or the wrong thing prior to the session. This can make you generally feel unwell and that can be really off putting in a session. Having too much food in your stomach causes fluid to pool around your stomach as our body prioritises blood flow to this area during digestion of food (and more so in large meals). This, just like not eating enough, can cause you to feel light headed and flat. It’s a similar mechanism to a fire, whereby if you put too much fuel on the fire, it goes out.

Solution – Keeping pre-training food (again without being obsessive) in the 2-3hrs prior to the session relatively light and making sure you have a loose plan with what you’re going to have. If you’re going out for a ‘big’ lunch at work make sure you keep it scaled down and your training will be much more enjoyable.

Not having enough water is another big issue I’m seeing.

Just like over and under eating this can cause lightheadedness, an overall feeling of low energy, and poor strength performance. Studies have shown that even a 2-3% drop in overall body hydration can have an impact on strength output!! Now add in a hot day, 2 coffees and a crossfit session… That’s a lot of awesome performance your missing out on from not being on top of your water intake. In addition to this our bodys ability to recover from training can be really affected by poor hydration.

Solution – Make sure you are aiming for 2-3litres of water throughout the day. The best way is to get a big water bottle that you won’t forget about or that wont easily get lost in your car or bag. Another method is having a goal for how much water your going to get in before a certain time in your day (everyone loves a little challenge ☺ )

Overall good balanced nutrition and optimal hydration will make your Crossfit journey a much more enjoyable and progressive one, because, lets face it, we all love crushing workouts on a regular basis.

What's in a Rx Athlete?

CrossFit competitions are always so much fun and so motivating to all involved.  Even if you don't take out the crown, being able to see what your body can do on competition day is an epic feeling and helps generate a new level of intensity in your training.  

As much fun as competitions are, they do expose weaknesses in your training that need to be addressed if you want to improve. After a comp is always the best time to reassess your training focus and target the weakness that were exposed.

It is not unusual to feel quite overwhelmed with the thought of all the things you want to work on and multiple gym sessions seem like the first place to start- especially since Fronning does it:)

Here's the thing, to get better at CrossFit, you need to do CrossFit- Constantly varied, Functional Movement, done at high intensity.  You need to learn all movements required in CrossFit and get really good at them.  Focusing on any one thing will make you loose out on something else.  Secondly, volume isn't the answer.  By volume I mean lots of training many times a day however, Intensity is where it's at.  By intensity I mean committing to what your doing with everything.  If its learning a new movement, commit to it, if its a conditioning WOD, give it everything, if its a strength WOD, push your limits. Imagine being able to train like you compete on game day, imagine the potential you could unlock, imagine what would happen on game day then!!!!

But before all that can kick off, there some questions you need to ask yourself and some realisations you need to understand.

Where Am I at now?

The first place to start is to admit to yourself and realise for yourself where you are on the CrossFit spectrum.  This is a tough question to answer but a very important one so you can best direct your energy, focus and training.

Am I an Rx athlete? How far away am I from being an Rx Athlete?

To help answer these questions let's use the Allstar affiliate series as a gauge.  Taking day 1 into account, the first 2 events were pretty even for everyone in the way of skill.  The movements were basic and all that separated teams was each individuals ability to endure pain and push to get fast reps.  However when it came to event 3- the 2rm overhead squat- this is where the Rx athlete pulled away.  

For the women- the range of 2 rm overhead squats in the Rx category was 60-75kg.
For the men- the range of 2rm overhead squat in the Rx category was 100-120kg.

*Please note this is the weight that were hit by athletes in the event- after 6 burpees and 1 attempt. Also some off these athletes that did these weights snatched into their first overhead squat.  

This means that your Overhead squat needs to be solidly within these ranges under fatigue, and your snatch needs to be close to these numbers to confidently be able to hit them.

Moving onto day 2:
The events in day 2 were a little more skilled based and obviously were already divided into Intermediate and Rx category's.  However a couple of things are very important to take note of in order to answer the questions of where you are on the CrossFit spectrum.  

At the Rx level there are no substitutes provided.  If you required a substitute on the day, your still on your way to becoming an Rx athlete.
It was not enough to simply have the skills required on Day 2, but you had to be great at those skills.  Pull Ups- needed to be efficient butterfly or efficient Gymnastic.
If you were a RX athlete in the Rx category, you had to be proficient with Chest to Bar Pull Ups.
Toes to bar - needed to be kipped.
Clean and Jerk- The required weights needed to be moved in sets of 10 and the last weights needed to be moved in 3-5's. Rx weights 90/70kg.

These skills and strengths required take months even years to develop, and if you were not close to them when the workouts for the AllStar affiliate series were announced, unfortunately they are not the type of skills and strength numbers that can be developed in 6 weeks.

"I do Rx weights in class, why am I not an Rx Athlete?”

Our focus in class is for the general population and is reflective of people's abilities, strength and skill.  This is a constantly evolving piece of our programming that strikes a perfect balance between achievable and challenging.  The Rx standard at VSC is different to other Box Rx standards due to the age of our box and the level of our average athlete.  An example of the progress with the Rx standard over the time we have been operating can be seen in the following examples:

2013- Average Back squat 80/40kg
2013- Average Clean and Jerk 1rm 40/30kg
2013- Average Clean and Jerk in a Met-Con- 30kg/15kg

2016- Average Back squat 130/70kg
2016- Average Clean and Jerk 1rm 70/50kg
2016- Average Clean and Jerk in a Met-Con- 60/40kg

Strength and stamina take consistency and time to develop.  Each and every CrossFit class you do at VSC will help develop these components of fitness.  All you need to do is show up and put everything into the WOD.  At this stage there is no need for additional strength programs, weightlifting cycles, or high volume amounts of work.

Skills however take discipline, focus and dedication to develop.  You learn the basics in class, then you need to work on them every chance you get.  Skills are great to do everyday as they don't exhaust you like strength or conditioning WOD’s can, however develop the proprioception required for mastery.  Skills are where your effort and focus should be and you should be striving to develop your skill tool box as much as possible.  

What Skills should an Rx Athelete have?

We start with basic gymnastics- Pull Ups, Chest to bar pull ups, Toes to bar, handstand Push Ups, ring dips, ring muscle ups, bar muscle ups, handstand walks.
If you want to compete at a high level, the question isn't do you have these skills, the questions is how good are you at these skills? Even more importantly, How many reps of these skills can you string together?  

A basic set for all these movements should be:
10 Plus - With out doubt -  Confidently achieved - Repeatedly

Along with gymnastic skills an Rx athlete must have a great understanding of Olympic weightlifting and be able to lift at the very least body weight snatch and body weight +30kg Clean and jerk.

Once you have the above, you will be well on your way to smashing it at an Rx level.  In order to achieve the above you would of developed a lot of skills along the way and will be a very well rounded athlete.  Your training will be at a greater level, and we can start to look at different strength protocols and multiple training sessions to keep your body adapting to varying stimuluses.  You would of earned the right to train like a top level athlete, because you have put in the work and developed all the skills required for a top level athlete. 

However the above cannot be achieved unless you have a strong foundation.

I have some of those skills, how do I get the rest?

Once you know where you are at, you can make some clear decisions on what needs work. However get ready to work on all of the things you don't like doing.  

You have weakness for a reason
- you don't like working on them, 
- they bring you no joy, 
- they are too hard and
- your not good at them.  

It's time to accept what needs work, understand where you are at physically and start working on becoming better.

How Do I Get There?

To Start with.......Muscles ups and Handstands.

It doesn't matter if you have a 2 minute Fran Time or deadlift twice your body weight- if you can't do a Muscle Up and walk 10m on your Hands then you can't think of yourself as a Rx Athelete just yet.
At the start of July I put 2 challenges on the board for all Rx Athletes.  They were a ring muscle up and a 10m Handstand walk.  
The reason I chose these 2 skills to focus on is because to achieve these 2 skills you need to work on them regularly outside of class and yhey are a staple in a lot of CrossFit training literature about developing maximum physical potential. (Also the transfer of these 2 skills into the workouts of the Allstar series is immeasurable).

Muscle Up- If you get a muscle up, a chest to bar pull up is a walk in the park.  Not to mention the countless other strength developments you will have when you can move your body weight throughout the range of a muscle up.

When you do muscle up, your moving your body weight from below something to above something- when you do a Power clean and jerk, your moving a weight from below you to above you.  Can see how the strength required for a muscle up is similar to the strength required for a Power clean and jerk, both movements require a pull and a press.  

To get a muscle up you need to work on a number of pulling and pressing movements that will all lead you to a muscle up, and when you reach your muscle up then you would of achieved strength in a number of pulling and pressing movements that all reside in your skill tool box!
To further explain in order to get a muscle you need to do ring pulls, ring hangs, ring holds, ring dips, pull ups, chest to bar pull ups, bar muscle ups, swings, kips, negatives etc. 
However when you finally get that muscle up you will be good at ring pulls, ring hangs, ring holds, ring dips, pull ups, chest to bar pull ups, bar muscle ups, swings, kips, negatives etc. 
And when you get multiple ring dips, you will be proficient at ring pulls, ring hangs, ring holds, ring dips, pull ups, chest to bar pull ups, bar muscle ups, swings, kips, negatives etc. 

Handstand Walk- If you can walk 10m on your hands then the stabilisation in your shoulder and strength required to complete a heavy Overhead squat and completing a overhead walking lunge will be easier to achieve.

When it comes to maximum shoulder stabilisation and strength, the Handstand walk is the greatest!  In order to do it you need to work on handstands, handstand presses, single arm handstands, ALL pressing movements with the barbell etc.  
To explain more in order to get a 10 meter handstand walk you need to be able to do L-sits, planche push ups, ring push ups, handstands, head stands, handstand push ups, shoulder touches, strict press, negatives, Sotts Press etc
Once again when you can achieve a 10m handstand walk you would of also achieved increased strength and proficiency in a number of other movements that all reside in your skill tool box!

To be clear, muscle ups and handstand walks require work on lots of other things in order to achieve them, that is why they are so effective and important to learn.  
If you only work on them in class it will not be enough.  You need to commit your time outside of class learning and developing them.

If you have questions please don't hesitate to ask.  I have handed out muscle up and handstand programs in the past and still have them if you require them.  Furthermore don't hesitate to look things up and try them out when you can.  Chris Speller, Carl Paoli, CrossFit Gymnastics are a few great resources to use as much as you can.

How much time is enough?
As much time as you can afford!  
2 minutes of getting upside down after class is not enough time to develop your skill.
If you want the skill you must dedicate more time than you would if you were doing something you were good at.
You need to work on it, and for it every chance you get.  

"But I feel like Iam not strong enough.  I want to just do strength work until I feel like Iam strong enough"

You will never be as strong as you want to be for a comp, there's just no magic number that you will reach that will be appropriate, and by the time you realise this you would of wasted so much time on getting stronger that you don't have any other skills in your tool box.

Dont get me wrong, Yes you need to be strong and you need to work on it, but not Only on it.
Furthermore, working on gymnastic skills will develop your strength anyways, it just won't be via your traditional 5x5 barbel format.  (If you want a way to develop your muscles, try doing any gymnastic movement slow and controlled (strict). Its not often seen because it is so damn hard!)

Which brings me to my next point- One of the greatest aspects of CrossFit and probably the most misunderstood is the idea of constantly varied training.  The reason this is misunderstood is that it goes against everything mainstream fitness programming has thrown at us for years.  
We have always been told if you want get better at one thing do that thing more.  For example, you want get better at Back squats then do more back squats.  You want to get faster at a 10km run then do more 10km runs etc.  

However with CrossFit, we look at movement at its core and then challenge that movement in as many ways as we can, constantly making the body adapt to new stimuluses.  

For example Back squat, front squat, over head squat, snatch, cleans, box jump, lunges, wall balls are all varied approaches to developing squat strength. All of these movements lend themselves to each other, you get stronger at one you get stronger at all of them.  
In addition to movements we challenge the body with reps schemes, workout times, number of rounds, varying weights etc.  ROUTINE IS THE ENEMY.

It's not complicated, it doesn't need to be fancy. It just needs to be effective and intense.

None of us are full time Athletes.  We all have jobs, Uni, children and varying commitments that prevent us from dedicating massive chunks of our day to training.  That is exactly why we need to train smart and intense in order to get better!

In a nutshell...
To be an Rx Athlete takes time and dedication, time to develop your strength and intensity and dedication to develop your skills.

So…

Continue smashing the workouts in class- moving faster and better is vital.
Commit to the class and give it everything, every time.
Outside of class work on the skills you need to improve so that you can move fast with those skills.
Learn the skills required for CrossFit so they all can be incorporated in your training.
Build your foundation wide so we can build a lot on top of it.
Ask, Ask and Ask for help and guidance.

It's that simple.

-Coach Adam

 

World-Class Fitness in 100 Words:

“Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise, but not body fat. 

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, and 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.”

 

- Coach Greg Glassman, CrossFitFounder and CEO (Courtesy of CrossFit Inc.).  

 

The Importance of Community.

By Tania Winter

We always talk about how important being strong, consistent and eating well is for CrossFit and life.  In this blog I want to talk about how important community is to CrossFit boxes, and the individuals who make up that community.  

Our community is a vital component of what we call Crossfit. 
A strong community benefits the individuals within the community and society as a whole. All of us who feel a sense of belonging tend to lead happier and healthier lives, and a strong community creates a more stable and supportive society.  Our current society is moving at a fast and detached manner due to technology, busy schedules and the frequency at which we change jobs and home locations.  It makes it harder and harder to feel any sense of community in our culture nowadays. It also can be easy to become isolated in our homes and isolation tends to beget a sense of loneliness and depression.  Being a part of a community promotes mental health and according to Psychologists Smith and Segal, “People who are emotionally and mentally healthy...due to involvement in a community... have the tools for coping with difficult situations and maintaining a positive outlook in which also remain focused, flexible, and creative in bad times as well as good."

Our community begins with fitness and grows with friendships.
There is something special about meeting everyday at the same place with the same people and getting through a tough workout. 
Grinding through reps, lifting weights you never thought you could and pushing through your pain barrier leads to a better version of you. Rep after rep, heavy breath after heavy breath, no time to think of anything else but giving this WOD everything you have - Oh the struggle is real!!! This is the time where your barriers are broken down, your ego is striped away and your at your rawest. 
In the depth of your struggle you start to hear that little voice inside your head telling you to quit, but you cant, you won't!
Then, between the sweaty bodies and barbells you lock eyes with another fellow CrossFitter mid WOD, you suddenly get this sounding relief that you are not alone.  They are pushing just as hard as you are and with a simple glance you both feel relief mixed with motivation as you both start to push each other.  It is in this moment of pain mixed with enjoyment, that you feel the depth of true camaraderie.  It's this feeling that some how makes you dig deeper and go further past your limits.   Before you know it, the WOD you thought you would never finish has come to an end.  You high five everyone in the class and congratulate each other for a job well done!  These relationship we develop during and after an intense workout is one of a kind. 

The beauty is that we get all kinds of people from all walks of life at our Box.   However the one thing we have in common is a pursuit to be better and a drive to push ourselves and each other further.  We find comfort in talking about the struggles and wins we endure during these crazy workouts, and along the way we find ourselves calling these people our friends.
We all started CrossFit because we wanted to become strong and healthy on our own.  Suddenly we find the motivation to get us to the box is not only the pursuit of fitness but because we don't want to let each other down.

Let's be real- Training on your own is shit!  Training with your mates is Awesome!

Remember those old solitary gym days?? 
Turning up to the gym with your headphones on, listening to your favourite tracks that normally get you in the mood to train. 
You scan your membership card at the counter where there is some bored receptionist that avoids making eye contact incase it leads to them having to converse with you. 
As you make your way to the gym entrance you decid what body part you will work on for the day.

Warm up time!! 
5min jog on the treadmill while looking out the window to a beautiful green park on a glorious sunny day. 
Times up on the tready and time to move on to the machines you love to use. Fingers crossed no one is using them. 
By this time you have only talked to people to ask them "are you done using this?"
You walk out feeling like you've done something- "Man I smashed my triceps today!" - Ha.

Ah... them were the days....

These days be like....
Waiting... Waiting.... 
Notification!!! 
CrossFit WOD posted! 
Let's see let's see!!! 
It's always two reactions, Excitement and fear.
Next…… Book in and check who else is doing the same class as you. 
Yes!!!!! Can't wait to train with them!! 
You can't stop thinking about the WOD while your at work, you have already contacted the guys that your training with to discuss WOD strategy. 

When you think about it, this is a pretty epic thing that we are apart of, for all of this to happen and we haven't even stepped into the box. 
As you walk through the roller door you immediately feel at home, you know everyones name and they know yours. People always ask how your morning or days been and before the class starts the coaches always introduce new members to the class.
During the WOD, if your the last to finish your community is cheering you on and are by your side to the end. If any outsiders were to be watching, they would think this athletes coming first!!  We all start together and finish together. 
You don't go home straight after class because you like to hang around to have a chat to your mates. 

Being a part of a Crossfit community we start to find ourselves out at birthdays, weddings, dinners and much more outings with these sweaty friends. We might not even recognise each other and ask ourselves "who is this person that smells so good, has such a great complexion and dress style".  Knowing earlier that day you were spotting this person to go for that 1RM back squat, yelling words of encouragement and giving each other that hi-five at the end. As the spotter you still felt that you were a part of such a satisfying goal and achievement. Suddenly years have gone by and we find each-other close than ever. 

It all starts from your home affiliate where this belonging to a small group develops and you soon learn how big our CrossFit community really is. From local comps to regionals to the games, we all relate in one way or another, and the one thing we love and keep coming back to is CrossFit. The CrossFit community has been around for over 20years now and is in no way of slowing down.  As humans we all want to belong to something, and how lucky are we to be a part of a movement and community, that is forever changing the landscape of fitness and pushing the limits of human potential. 

 

 

How To Be a Better Crossfit Ninja

By Jackie Babington

As the old saying goes, you are only as strong as your biggest weakness, and this couldn't be truer in Crossfit.

Believe me, we all have our thing, you know that thing that's your jam, you have a party inside when you see it programmed and can't wait to hit the days WOD.

We also know that yucky feeling when (insert thing you wish never existed) is put into the WOD, and you almost want to skip it and call it a rest day, or even have a teeny tantrum mid workout.

The beauty of Crossfit is we get forced to face the things we are least strongest at almost as much as those we are strongest with. However there is nothing better than conquering those weaknesses and them often becoming 'your thing' because you worked so damn hard on them!!

- Spend Extra Time On them

Spending a little extra time, either before or after a session, to work on weaknesses (it can even be mobility) can pay off big time, not only in the things that you can start to do, but in the way your body moves, your weights going up and helping you stay away from injuries too!

- The Coaches Want you to Be a Ninja

Hit up the coaches for any skills and drills you can integrate into your training to make you a better. We live and breathe fitness so we will always find a way we can help. Also, I don't know if you all noticed, but we get just about as excited as you do when we can help you achieve something that you couldn't do before!

- Don't Avoid them

Make sure you do everything in your power to tackle your weaknesses head on. Avoiding them never works, cause they'll almost definitely come up in a workout and bite you in the butt for avoiding them.

Overall, CrossFit is about having fun and seeing some of the cool stuff the body is capable of doing. So enjoy the whole process, the good and bad.