Yesterday, the Green Army made a big commitment: we're entering a team in Relay For Life 2010. We committed $1200 to the cause. Now we need some athletes! Click here, search for the 'Catalyst Crusaders,' and do the right thing: sign up!
- Management assumes no responsibility for the name -
..then find Kristen Hoffman, thank her for being Captain, click your heels together and say, "ready to serve."
Today, the challenge is a bit different:
Over the next 12 hours, perform ALL THREE WODs:
From the Utah/Nevada Sectional (this weekend!)
5, 4, 3, 2, 1
115/73 Overhead squat
Push a loaded prowler sled from cone to cone. Distance is sideline to sideline on a standard basketball court.
Event 2 Video ... [wmv] [mov]
With over 50 athletes participating, Murph 2010 is going to be the best one ever! It will be a terrific spectator event, too: bring your family! Bring your cameras! Bring your noisemakers!
Below are our projected start times for each athlete. Need a change? Just email to: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 256-1344.
Need a band? Bring, beg, or borrow - but we won't have one here waiting. Lots of rings for prone pullups, though!
Not on the list? Give us a call ASAP!
5k runs had popped up on CrossFit.com before, of course, but I'd always found an excuse to skip. The lizard brain was in full effect: I was still considering more Powerlifting meets, and was scared to drop weight. Realistically, I was just scared to fail, even if failure would be private. I would know.
I had the accoutrements of a runner: Christmas gifts from my sister (a real runner,) or little things I'd picked up along the way, to be ready for the "someday" when I'd finally do a 5k run. I had no idea what to expect, but I tentatively set a goal of 30 minutes to finish. I Google-mapped out different 5k options. I timed my meals all day (on a Sunday!,) checked with my wife a hundred times (are you sure you don't need me to re-hinge the cupboards today? Re-gravel the driveway? Check the shingles?) and finally set out. I told myself to go slow. At the turnaround, I knew I'd finish: I had to get home, after all. I walked a lot of the way back (there's a massive hill, about a mile long, at a grade of 6-12 degrees.) But I finished, just over 30 minutes. I was happy. And sore.
Training for last year's Ontario CrossFit Challenge, I was running 400m and 800m pretty regularly. I wasn't a better runner: I was still very up-and-down, with a long stride and a huge shock to absorb on every step. I'd finish runs exhausted, but just try to gut-out the lifts anyway. But when my quads started seizing during training runs, I started to worry: my legs would go numb, and the VMO (largest quadriceps muscle) would fire uncontrollably, as if it were attached to a car battery. I couldn't get my thighs to shut off. I DNF two workouts that I should have dominated.
Despite my years of training and coaching and study, I had missed something very simple: running is a skill. Like cleans and jerks and deadlifts and pullups. Technique matters.
After the Ontario CrossFit Challenge, I booked some private personal training sessions with Mike. His words: "You run like a hockey player." I was leaning back, with a heel strike way in front of my torso. He videotaped my runs and showed me; I was shocked. We practiced the POSE method three times, on the hot asphalt of the Industrial Park. First, I could hold my position for about four or five strides; then for a hundred metres; and slowly, over an entire 400m sprint. In July, I ran sub-25:00 at midnight, carrying a beer in my gut. I didn't win, not by a long shot (Beharriell shot by me around the 2k mark - he was already on his way back!) but it was a PR, and I knew I was onto something. My 800m times went from 3:45 to 2:55. My 400m times, even in the middle of a tough WOD, still dropped to 1:20s.
How many runners, I wonder, run for 20 years without a coach? How many read about running, follow the sport, watch the Boston Marathon...and never have their stride assessed? How many New Year's Resolutions die on the cold pavement on January 3rd out of pain and frustration?
Beginner's running groups in the Sault have always served a very important function: develop a running habit. Cough up some running germs, and let the running itch slowly kindle. Hope that the passion of the coach is infectious (and usually, at least a few would become runners for life.) But others became immunized: they'd tried it, found it painful, and given up forever. If your only exposure to something is painful and frustrating, after all, why would you continue?
It's now very obvious to us that technique coaching is critical for beginners. If we can make running easier, 'softer,' virtually pain-free......and you can get better, faster......you're more likely to continue forever. Maybe...you'll like running? It's not too much to ask.
We all need coaches. The more elite the athlete, the more it's expected they have a coach. But it's absolutely critical to use a coach when you're a beginner (or a second-time starter.) Let's do this right.
We've been hosting "Mondays With Mike" - part one and part two have already been published - to help folks learn to run better. Now he's making himself even more available to help: we'll be starting a morning group for beginners AND an evening group for beginners on March 9. You can sign up below. It's definitely the best running experience we've ever offered:
On-the-fly running coaching (he's out there with you!)
Whiteboard instruction pre- and post-run
Group runs (critical to building a habit)
8-week running program
When you're done, you'll run 5k. You'll love it.
7am Group - readers of this blog: sign up online before March 1 and get 10% off!
7pm Group - readers of this blog: sign up online before March 1 and get 10% off!
Skill: high hang clean
Run 1.2 miles
....for total time.
Coming up today: a big Run Group announcement! Stay tuned!
Not signed up for Murph 2010 yet? Preliminary heats will be announced tomorrow! Get on the list:
Facebook Event - Call 256-1344 - Email our general mailbox (email@example.com)!
This: is not this:
....absolutely true. CrossFit is frequently the target of derision among those who haven't done a WOD. Without a foothold from which to attack the science, they instead pick out minutae - like the kipping pullup - and ridicule, instead of question.
The goal of the kipping pullup? Perform more work. Not "isolate the back" (as if such a thing were possible,) or "widen the lats" or "build thickness." The kipping motion allows for greater wattage output in the same amount of time, and more consecutive work to be accomplished.
The most common counter-kipping position? It's "cheating." But by whose rule-sheet? Is there a secret Hoyle Book of Calisthenic Exercise? Is this guy really our best frame of reference; our greatest referee?
Kipping is different, yes; and often, different means scary. That's our Lizard Brain talking.
A kipping pullup and a bodybuilding pullup are different exercises. Neither are 'better' than the other without the context of the athlete's goal. The goal of the kipping pullup is NOT to develop the 'bodybuilder' pullup; therefore, use of the kip does not detract from the usefulness of the exercise.
I'm still amazed, after 14 years in the industry, at the furious arguments online over what's "right" or "wrong" - as if there were such things. Our goals, as part of the CrossFit community, are to increase work capacity across broad time and modal domains. Do bodybuilder-style pullups have their place at our table? Yes, insofar as they increase our ability to do more abduction in the frontal plane in less time. They're an assistance exercise, like front squats and bench presses. They're means to a greater end.
The path to glory can't be charted from a couch. If you're exploring the New World, you've got to be on this side of the globe before you can comment on the natives.
On the minute:
Perform 3 Power Cleans and 6 Ball Slams on the minute for 10 minutes.
*Complete Power Cleans at 65% of 1 RM
*Ball Slam use 40 lbs
*For every rep not completed perform 1 handstand push up.
Part II of our Mondays With Mike series:
Mike's beginner running group is unlike any other: coaching in skills, homework, group runs...you'll be a safer, better runner, and reach your goals faster.
Complete 5 rounds of the following:
3 Clean Pulls
3 Power Cleans
3 Push Press
3 Push Jerks
3 Good Mornings
*Perform at 60%-70% of 3 RM Power Clean
*Rest 2 minutes between rounds
Want a taste of CrossFit Football? You got it.
New Barbell Bettys Starts tomorrow! Don't miss your chance to be a Betty!
Level II - Mondays at 7pm - click to sign up!
Level I - Thursdays at 7pm - click to sign up!
$80 for Catalyst Gym members; $119 for non-members (includes a 6-week gym pass.)
Mickelson started his career 0-for-46 in majors, then changed his approach. He dialed back the aggression and started making much better course management decisions. And it paid off: He entered the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot going for his fourth career major and third in a row.
And he almost got it. But then he reverted to his previous form. His driver deserted him all day (he even hit into a trash can on No. 17), yet he kept hitting it; and his decision-making deserted him on the final hole.
Mickelson had a 1-stroke lead as he stood on the 18th tee. Despite hitting only two fairways all day, he pulled the driver again. And again, he missed - only this time badly, his drive hitting the roof of a hospitality tent and bounding into the spectator area.
Mickelson had a decent lie, but a bad idea. Rather than advancing the ball a short distance but getting it back in the fairway - where he might make par the hard way, or, at worse, bogey to get into a playoff in which he'd be the heavy favorite - Mickelson attempted a huge slice under and around tree branches. It didn't work. The ball hit a branch and stopped 25 yards in front of him.
He hit another big slice, but this one plugged in a back bunker, and not even Mickelson's short-game magic could save him from there. He double-bogeyed and finished one shot out of a playoff.
"I am such an idiot," he succintly said afterward.
“We don’t rise to the level of our expectations – we fall to the level of our training”
-Archilochus, Greek Soldier
What we're talking about here is internalizing a skill until it can happen subconsciously, without conscious thought. Is it coincidence that the "Canadian Sport For Life" website lists a minimum of 10,000 hours of practice before mastery can be reached?
Malcolm Gladwell sure doesn't think so. In his essay, "Outliers," he talks extensively about "prodigies" who simply had more practice than their peers. Mozart was composing symphonies as a child, yes. But his best work started to emerge in his early 20s - still young, but by that point, he likely had 10,000 hours of practice under his belt. Gretzky was the same. Tiger Woods, at age three, below:
The process of internalizing motor patterns takes repetitive practice. And skills must be practiced as close to perfectly as possible, not just wobbled through. Practice makes permanent. To become masterful, a child has to stop practicing a new skill when his form degrades, and resume when they can successfully coordinate the movement again.
In the graph at the to the right, we can see that virtuous performance in any sport or motor skill must start from a base of repetitive practice, and then be refined by comparison, competition, and challenge. Practice IS necessary, but so is competition, to evolve a skill. And each skill has to start out at the same level, but several can be learned concurrently; some will even help the development of others.
You simply can't 'skip' a level. Mastery must be achieved at the most very basic set of skills before they can be complemented with greater, better skills. For instance, if a child isn't taught how to fall and get back up on skates, they'll never progress to learning to stop properly. Likewise, if an adult isn't first taught how to squat properly, they'll never progress to a clean..... they'll probably defer to the Smith machine and blame their 'bad knees' on squats in general.
Add stress into the equation - good 'ol Lizard Brain! - and the athlete will start to backslide, dropping levels until they reach the level at which they've developed the most unconscious skill.
That's not a discouragement; rather, it shows that it's NEVER too late to learn brand-new skills. It's also a terrific illustration of the domain mastery trap: once someone is really, really good at a skill, it's tough to make them consider another. They'd have to restart at the bottom, after all. A comfort zone is just another name for quicksand.
Starting a child with a broad base of skills, including running, jumping, tumbling, skipping, calisthenics, ball sports, and weightlifting, ensures that they're starting from a higher level when they learn a sport later in life. Think Whit's grace in the clean and jerk is just something she's born with? That's years of gruelling dance rehearsal, plus two years of hard work and coaching. Think Ty's just one of those 'gifted' kids who are great at everything? Well, he DID everything. He established a solid motor base as a kid, refined it enough to play baseball at a University level, and is now developing parallel skills - but the broad base was there.
Development of the 'broad base' can happen at any age. To become more athletic - fitter, leaner, and able to do more of the good stuff - are you better to do CrossFit, or sit your way through a machine circuit?
Then 30 Deadlifts at 225lb/155lbs
The adventures of Super Whit continue today! She'll be competing with the Team from Huronia CrossFit (Midland, Ont.)
GREEN ARMY WOD: (1pm by punch card, proceeds to the travel fund for Ontario Sectionals 2010)
3 Rounds flying pull-ups21 / 10 Handstand push-ups
Scoring will be the sum of your times for the first two workouts plus half of your time for the third workout.NOW, THE BIG NEWS:
COACH WHIT WINS THE Element CrossFit Ontario Challenge #1!
Here's the link, and here's the video:
10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps of the triplet:
Deadlift: 1 1/2 body weightBench press: body weight
Clean: 3/4 body weight
Set up three bars and storm through for time.
Warmup: Hand Walking
Skill: Bench Press.
The bench press is not commonly used in CrossFit. It was originally an assistance exercise for the Jerk and Press (once, a part of OLY weightlifting before being banned in the 1960s.
Like the deadlift and back squat, the lift took on its own following, and the three together went from gym lifts to competitive weight triathlons: Powerlifting.
Now, in turn, Powerlifting is digressing into its component parts: assistance and partial lifts form the backbone of Strongman; Grip constests are becoming more popular; and 'shirted' bench press meets are resulting in bench presses in excess of 1000lbs.
Last night, the Catalyst Teens group (just a nickname; it's really ages 10-15)gave me a terrific analogy. If you've been following this blog for a long time, you've probably read my comments about Perfectionism being the real enemy of progress. Last night, the Teens, in their final week (every single one signed up again!) of this term, had Filthy Fifty as a workout.
Kid #1: "That looks im-poss-ible!"
Kid #2: "We'd better get started."
I loved it.
Another favourite quote, this time from a parent: "You should stop calling this group 'Catalyst Teens' and start calling it, 'In bed, on time, for sixty bucks.'"
In the teen years, exercise provides an important outlet for the more negative effects of the hormonal soup. It also provides an important social on-ramp, and helps reinforce confidence that may be lagging.
While our North American culture struggles with eating disorders at both ends of the spectrum, the answer is really just achievement-based exercise. Focus on individual challenge, instead of individual appearance.
Another interesting point brought up by the Canadian Sport For Life site: teens learn to cope with the mental and physical challenges of competition. Yes, this is important for athletes. But in our non-confrontational culture, where we no longer insist even on a two-minute oral presentation every YEAR for in elementary school, exposure to challenge is critical. Teenagers are blanketed by anonymity; they're rarely called into account for their one-on-one interactions. In sport - and, I'd argue, in CrossFit - you're only as real as your last WOD. How can we expect adult interaction from youth who aren't practiced in dissertation, discussion, or debate? Give 'em Toastmasters, or give 'em sport.
Quick, now: how focused were you as a teenager? How much can you remember from a given math lesson in the tenth grade? What if that blonde girl in the next row had those jeans on - how much could you remember then?
Allison Cameron, a teacher in Saskatoon, decided to try to help. She put treadmills right in the classroom! Watch the video here. Down the line, our forward-thinking friends at CASS are about to launch a study on the effects of 20-minute exercise breaks in students.
The key is challenge. Teens are no longer awed by the mediocre. They require the extraordinary example: something to Google. Something to watch on YouTube. Someone like, say, Connor Martin, the original CrossFit Kid, overhead squatting 250lbs at age 16. Something to reach up toward; not just their parent's tired standard. Teens need a flag to wave. They need something to post on facebook. They need a car to crash. And they want their buddies with them.
So....what if we had CrossFit on Fridays? And what if it were free, with coaches and everything? And what if we had a whole high school gym to play with? And what if we blogged it? What would we get? 70 kids. Cassathletics.com. Maybe, a new master race. Probably, though, a group of adults who don't face overcrowded hospitals, clogged health care, and a drug cocktail as a solution.
Tomorrow: The Red Herring. Research and dogma on kids and weightlifting.
Right now: a shameless plug (hey, these groups are filling really fast, and we hate saying 'no' to anyone.)
Catalyst Teens: Tuesday at 7pm - FULL
Wednesday at 6pm - 6 spots left
Wednesday at 7pm - 3 spots left
Saturday morning at 10am - 8 spots left
Rest 1 minute
Rest 1 minute
Rest 1 minute
Rest 1 minute
The Tabata interval is 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest for 8 intervals.
Tabata score is the least number of reps performed in any of the eight intervals. Unit for the row is "calories".
Last night, his twin sons disappeared downstairs on their own. They're five years old, and after twenty minutes, he decided he'd better take a look. Peering around a corner, he saw one boy with a five-pound dumbbell on one shoulder, doing squats. The other was doing pushups. Now, this guy is a dad who believes in doing stuff with his kids; each of them (his older daughter, too!) have been to the Park with him, and participated. What's more, mama just finished OnRamp. Do you think these guys are learning from watching? Better believe it.
Yesterday, we posted a little essay about appropriate exercise choices for kids as they grow.
It's absolutely critical to start young. Studies done in small schools (like ours) show that, while all school teams are full, it's nearly always the same kids playing each sport. This is especially true for girls. Statistically, if you have 10 girls on a basketball team, and 10 girls on a volleyball team, and 10 girls on a school soccer team...9 are the same kids. 5 years later, as High School Seniors? Almost 100% played elementary school sports. If they don't start early, they don't start.
While no one would call our Park gym a "family fitness centre," we're the only ones around who allow small kids to come with their parents. Why? Well, we believe that immersion leads to participation. And participation leads to effort. Got a 2-year-old? As Allyson once put it to me, "the big tire is the best playpen money can buy." Even if they're not paying attention, focused on colouring the giant tire with sidewalk chalk or hiding their little cars inside, they're there. They notice. They know.
There have been attempts, of course, to include kids in exercise before. The problem is that the well-meaning administrators attempt to apply an adult solution to a child problem. Kids aren't miniature adults. Nerf-coloured exercise bikes with video games won't hold their attention long; they have better video games at home. And is teaching a kid that self-distraction is the best way to endure the painful, horrible, boring practice of exercise the right message anyway? I think we can do better.
The real best way? Make up a challenge (read: game.) You participate, too. Make it tough. If the challenge is truly difficult, you don't need to offer a reward at the end. Finishing is the reward.
Go to CrossFit Kids and try some stuff. Take them to activities. Race them. It's your responsibility to leave your child with the habits that will one day save their lives.
My kids do burpees. Am I a dad who pushes his kids, relentlessly, up some ladder of sport? Nope. It's a trick to get them into the tub(3 burpees! 10 squats! Run upstairs! 3-2-1...go!) Did Walter Gretzky force Wayne outside, night after night, to skate for his dinner? Nah, he just flooded the rink. Did Lance Armstrong's mom poke him awake at 5am to go to a cyclodrome? No, she just made sure he always had a bike to get around. It really doesn't take much.
Provide opportunity and encouragement, then jump in with them. Insert finish line. Everybody wins!
Alternating arm kettlebell / dumbbell clean and press
Ring Dips (with and without kip) progression
...for time. Each rep must touch the ground and achieve full overhead lockout.
Yesterday, we featured a short video clip of Mike talking about running. It was just an intro...there's plenty more where that came from! Check every Monday for more in-depth running tips! (By the way, here's a link to his new beginner's running group, starting March 9.)
Another sneak preview: we're expanding our Youth group offerings. Catalyst Teens (ages 10-15) will now span FOUR groups:Saturday Morning at 10am
...lots more info to follow, as we continue our week-long series of essays on youth athletic development.
Watching Jackie last week on a typical "Entertainment!"-type show, I was surprised to hear the interviewer ask him the key to turning kids into martial arts superstars. No doubt the answer would surprise a lot of parents: Chan didn't emphasize discipline or practice or even a martial art. His answer?
In The Dancing Wu Li Masters (Gary Zukav, 1979,) contributor and Tai Chi teacher Al Huang describes speaking at a conference and providing a very visual example of technique vs. brute strength. Huang, a ping pong player of small stature (around 135lbs,) asked a 300lbs attendee to jump into his arms. After much back-and-forth and assurance, Huang caught the man - more than twice his bodyweight - and held him up in front of the audience.
Is amazing balance and coordination, then, a racial trademark? Is it the domain of a culture rooted in the martial arts; is it borne of the necessities of combat against larger opponents? Or is it the fruit of a different cultural value system, in which 'sport' and 'art' are not parallel lines, but part of the same continuum?
As Westerners, we've taken the approach of prioritization of time: a child leans toward doing artistic things, OR sporting things. This is largely a function of our industrial-model system of education: sit here. Listen. Repeat what you're told. Now choose: do you want to go left, or right? You can be a red circle, or a blue square. If you like blue, you're a square. If you like circles, you're red. Simple.
The more prevalent philosophy in Eastern (and most European cultures) is one of variety. Consider the USSR's system for preparing athletes throughout the 1950s, 60s, and 70s: teach children a huge variety of sport while young, including wrestling, gymnastics, and weightlifting. Develop skills in all disciplines until physical maturity is reached. At that point, begin specialization, but always continue to include "off" sports as part of the annual training plan. Their weightlifters played soccer; their throwers wrestled. And played badminton, ping pong, and did tumbling exercises.
The reason: different systems develop at different rates. For instance, most of your neuromuscular development happens at a young age; this is why kids who do gymnastics or dance before age twelve typically have better balance and coordination when they're older. A child's kick reflex develops very young; their aerobic capacity develops later; and their hormonal systems develop later still.
Want a sneak peak ahead? Want the long version? Click Below:
Thanks for your interest. Here's your Free Prize Inside!:
Catalyst Crazies Brent Rose, Alecia Hemphill, Carolle Robinson, Allyson Schmidt, Nicole Gignac, and Joe Scott at yesterday's Polar Bear Swim.
IT'S FAMILY DAY! THE 'PARK' IS OPEN REGULAR HOURS - BRING A FAMILY MEMBER WHO'S NEVER DONE CROSSFIT BEFORE TO ANY OF OUR GROUPS FOR FREE!
For time:155 pound Squat clean, 15 reps
300 feet Walking lunge with 45lb plate held overhead
Today, we begin two new series: Mondays With Mike, a 5-part briefing on the way we coach runners. Our new methods get people running more consistently with less pain and faster progression - hard to beat that, right?...and coming later today: our first of a week-long series of essays on kids and the absolute necessity of exercise. Parents: it's not optional. It's part of our history, anthropology, biology, chemistry, and critical for brain development. We hope to make that case, if you'll indulge us the time this week.
1 minute: as many sledgehammers as possible
1 minute: do the same amount of ball slams as you did sledgehammers
1 minute: do the same amount of donkey kicks as you did sledgehammers
1 minute: if you failed to reach the same number of ball slams and donkey kicks, you must do DOUBLE THE DIFFERENCE in burpees. Otherwise, you can rest for the remainder of the minute.
5 rounds. No rests unless you're fast (Cupid always gets the last laugh.)
Valentine's Day trivia: which Catalyst couple 'met' at a sleigh ride in the 8th grade, when he pushed her off the sleigh repeatedly, offered to help warm her back up, and asked her to the Valentine's Day dance? Hint: 30 years later, their kid - currently in 8th grade - is ripping up our Youth record board.
I've just finished reading, "Linchpin" by Seth Godin. It's a terrific book - as always - and I recommend you pick up a copy. The main thrust of the book is something other than just the basic biology of your brain, but Godin spends a lot of time talking about why we self-sabotage, delay, procrastinate, and fail to live up to our own high expectations. He's talking about our Lizard Brain.
In the very deepest recesses of your think-box hide your Amygdala, almond-shaped clusters of cells that formed the earliest parts of our advanced thinking as humans. These are where it all started, and still form the "buck-stops-here" final decisions that override our conscious mind. The cerebral cortex ("grey matter") is actually pretty new, compared to the amygdala; this 'Lizard Brain' (Godin's term) is what saw us through the earliest phases of humanity.
Flight (default setting)
F - ( uh, procreation.)
...in short, survival at any cost. Avoidance of risk is its specialty.
It's easier - far easier - to check email a dozen times this morning than to drive to CrossFit. It's soothing to stay on facebook until it's too late to make it to the Group on time. It's easier to research cell phone plans online than to go to the store and have a conversation. As Jerry Seinfeld joked, "Public speaking is the #1 fear of most people. Death is #2. People are more scared of public speaking than death. That means that most people would rather be in the coffin than giving the eulogy."
The Lizard Brain hates confrontation. It fears judgment - even if that fear is irrational. It avoids eye contact. It screens your calls. It makes excuses. It hides in the familiar. And it overrides your smarter brain, which creates a lot of anxiety.
Show up at CrossFit for the first time? Nah, let's read the blog a few more times.
Call the girl? Not today. Tomorrow. I have a deadline.
Hold my wife's hand in public? My buddies might be there.
Sign up for Murph? I hate groups. Plus it's not my 'cardio day.'
Get some running coaching? I hate running. I'm so bad at it. Plus, it's boring.
Call out a local politician in a public forum? No, it might reflect badly on my business.
Finish my school work? Not when the skiing's so good!
Write the speech for PodCamp in advance? I'm better 'off the cuff.'
Join the new Barbell Bettys group? No, I don't know anyone there.
Start the WOD? Wait for a good song to come on / wait for Whit to finish her warmups / chalk up again.
Do the Polar Bear Swim? No, it's pointless. Just look at those laughing, screaming jerks!
BEATING THE LIZARD BRAIN
1. Recognize what's happening. If you've checked email more than once in the last 3 hours; if you've been on facebook all morning; if you're checking hits on your website more than once per day; if you're using a code-name on news forums.....the Lizard is in charge.
2. Acknowledge that you're reacting with a primitive portion of the brain.
3. Frequently expose the Lizard to challenge. Do more public speaking. Do stuff that makes you uncomfortable. Go to karaoke. Join a group as a stranger. Take a lesson.
4. Train the weakest links first. Great at double-unders? Run to warm up. Awesome at deadlifting? Train muscle-ups all week.
5. Choose things that make you uncomfortable. Exercise, books, public exposure. Do them.
The longer you avoid, the deeper you dig. Running a mile, twice, in sub-zero temperatures, is not comfortable. It's not fun. Snuggies are warm, and safe, and feel like a nice hug and look great on your new couch and don't get bored while you watch the Olympics all morning. But that big, fuzzy parachute will become an anchor. That's okay, says the Lizard Brain. You just lean back, and let me do the talking...........
As many rounds as possible in 8 minutes
Scoring: Every Rep Counts
20 Front squats Men will use a 95lb barbell. Women will use 65lbs. Each athlete must do four burpees at the beginning of every minute before moving on to the barbell work. The athlete is allowed to move to the next barbell skill once an he/she has completed all 20 reps. If the minute clock beeps during a repetition the athlete will complete their rep and then start their four burpees. There is a 20min cap.The athlete is allowed to rest the entire minute once he/she has completed his/her burpees. If an athlete decides to scale down his/her WOD or does not finish in the allowed time the athlete will be given a DNF. Judges are looking for full range of motion (ROM) on all skills, which will be explained at the event.
WOD 2:Complete as many repetitions in five minutes as you can of:
On any given Monday morning, Betty will be 10 minutes early for work. The kids squared away, husband off to his job, Betty organizes her week. On Tuesday, Betty may add a little flair to her day with a different hairdo, or flavour in her coffee. Wednesday, she may bring a new, exotic fruit in her lunch.....
But Thursday nights, Betty goes out.
Out of the house. Out of her do-it-all role. Out of her cold-creamed skin.
On Thursdays, Betty puts on her 'goin'-out shoes,' checks her outfit, texts her friends, and leaves. Her peers will be scattered among various clubs and other evening hotspots, but not Betty. Betty's "goin'-out shoes" have very low heels instead of the high variety. Her outfit is tight, but functional, not frilly. And she'll be movin', all right, but not shakin': her dance will be the ballet of the box squat; her bar of choice will have sharp knurling.
This is not what the average woman does. The average woman stays home on Thursdays, because that's when Desperate Housewives is on. The average woman folds into her couch, waiting for the perfect commercial opportunity to make the popcorn. And that's too bad, because real inspiration won't be on CBS tonight. Mama won't find fulfillment in that bathroom makeover after all. Self-improvement won't be in the Victoria's Secret catalogue this month, and nobody's going to care that she did 32 reps on the hydraulic pec deck at the 'health club' circuit today.
Average women don't pick up 250 pounds off the ground. But they could. Do you think those women get osteoporosis?
Average women don't drip sweat in a group with a coach. But they could. Do you think those women beam with pride after their workouts?
I think every woman is born with a bit of Betty somewhere inside. The female of the species, after all, is usually the protector of the brood. She's capable of not just placation, but power. And pride.
Barbell Bettys is definitely a group for women: it's very social, very upbeat, very friendly. The Bettys meet up outside the gym. They stay friends. They post on facebook and take pictures and clap and cheer. But they're also challenging the stereotypical "woman's workout": there are no triceps kickbacks, no pink-covered dumbbells, no checking of headbands in the mirror to make sure the lululemon logo is just so.
The growth of our Bettys Club has been fantastic. Its popularity is 100% due to its amazing members: they hound their friends to join. They host Betty parties.
Thursday evenings, we'll welcome the new gals. They'll get all the basics that make Bettys famous: deadlifts, squats, presses, and the like. They'll become True Bettys, and one day they'll grow up into the type of woman that makes us most proud: the strong type.
95 pound Thruster, 15 reps
Warmup: 50 butterfly kips, whether your chin reaches the par or not.
Right: "Baby Betty" - and our newest co-op student - hoping the smallest hole plus the towel will be enough. Coach Ty (aka "Barbell Ken") going for a belt-pulling PR.
Times are a-changin' for the Bettys. Our most popular group (and, let's face it, best-looking) is going to meet Ty's new 'rubrick': a clear progression through different levels of achievement, understanding, and Bettyness. Details coming soon.We're gonna make even Better Bettys.
"Hey, how are you guys going to get into the new high school to do CrossFit?"
Me: "Uh...... we're......not?"
"My son is going there next year. How do I get this kid some real physical teaching, coaching, and challenge? Drive him to CASS?"
The parent was grinning, but I knew what he meant. Ray's doing amazing things in Desbarats with CrossFit, physical education, and just general enthusiasm. Kids are learning about kinesiology and motivation and challenge by choice. On any given Friday, Ray has more kids show up to do CrossFit than for any regular phys'ed class all week.
The Ontario curriculum 'recommends' 20 minutes of exercise daily per child. Recommends. 20 minutes.
Hunters Vs. Farmers, by Seth Godin. His blog is mostly about business, but this post was his lead-in to the 'industrial model' of our education system (think: labour factories.) You may not agree with everything, but it's a good place to start the discussion.
For consideration after reading: what happens with the food stores are full, and the hunter still wants to hunt? What happens when The Hunt is done for its own sake?
20 Wall ball shots, 20 pound
10 L Pull-ups
Warmup Deadlift x 2 every 30 seconds for 10 rounds using 50% of max. Focus on speed and smooth execution.
1 mile run100 pullups
1 mile run
*pullups, pushups, and squats may be split in any order.
Timids (never-evers, and the shy types): 7am at the Park.
Open (everyone doing it solo; this is the MAIN group): 8:30am at the Park.
Teams (up to 3 members): 10:00am at the Park.
#1 Goal: survive. Celebrate afterward.
#2: Do it as Rx, or closer to Rx than you've ever done it before, even if that means a slower time
#3: Go for the board!
1. 1 MILE RUN - the run will start from the large door at the Park. Athletes must be touching the front wall of the gym at the start. You'll run to Industrial Park Crescent and turn right. You'll turn left at Drive-In Road, and continue until you reach the first Kal-Tire driveway on the left side. You must pass the fire hydrant. We'll have cones ready.
2. PULL-UP - All pull-ups must start from a dead hang (elbows completely extended) and end with chin above the bar. Any pull-up variation is acceptable as long as it meets the defined range of motion.3. PUSHUP - The athlete must start from a full lockout (elbows and knees,) and lower until chest and thighs both strike the ground, before returning to full lockout. Failure to touch the floor with both chest and thighs at the same time, or failure to completely extend the elbows will count as a missed rep.
- The athlete will descend until the crease of the hip is below the
sweep of the quadriceps. That means thighs parallel to the floor, at a
1. Pullups with bands - BYOB. Pullups must still reach 'full hang,' with arms fully extended.Bodyweight rows - chin must reach the wrist on every rep to count.
2. Pushups from knees - available if necessary. If the athlete starts with full pushups but switches to partial pushups partway through, their time will count as scaled.A 'Murph' that's scaled in any way is not eligible for the record board. But it will still make you feel good!
Each time must complete:
1 mile run
1 mile run.
Runs must be completed as a unit. Reps may be completed in any order, in any increment, by any group member. However, ONLY TWO GROUP MEMBERS MAY BE MOVING AT A GIVEN TIME on the pullups, pushups, and squats. One group member must always be at rest. The group's time will be determined by the last group member to cross the line.
If you're not competing, make noise! This is a very spectator-friendly event, and anyone who's participated will tell you that hearing their name helps push through a very tough set of pushups. Stick around and cheer for the others. Celebrate the mutual success of a good Murph!
Warmup: "Murph" Prep
5 rounds, for time, of: 5 pullups - 10 pushups - 15 squats
WOD:Resting 60 seconds between sets:
Back squat 2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2
Cooldown: foam roller / pec and hamstrings stretch
Above: Luke and Odane, our new Sault College co-op students. They're going to help us turn the fitness industry upside down. Or something.
*Rest 1 minute between rounds.
Green Army: we've been called out! Alex Cibiri of Element CrossFit in Mississauga has issued a challenge for Ontario CrossFit boxes. Every second Friday is now "Challenge Friday" at Catalyst! Have your atempts videotaped at our group times!
Read more here! Measure your progress against other Ontario CrossFitters (or not...if you'd prefer to just try the workouts, that's fine too!)
These are our 'Team Green' shirts for CrossFit Sectionals 2010. Preorder in our new Store!
9am / 12 Noon Groups:
Complete 3 rounds for time:
15 Thrusters 135 lbs15 Ball Slams 40 lbs
Pull to inverted hang and lower as slowly as possible.
On SDHP's, pull the bar to make contact under the chin. On pulls to inverted hang, keep arms, trunk, hips, and legs as straight as possible, both up and down. This is not for time.
GREEN ARMY (CrossFit Sectionals Traveling Team) WOD (thanks, Jason Khalipa) :
155lbs Clean and Jerk
1 round of "cINDY" between each round of CJ:
5 pullups10 pushups15 squats
Wanna train with the Team? 1pm at the Park. Entry by punch card, proceeds to travel costs.
In an average year, Bambi outscores Jaws by a huge margin: 130 to 1.
The reason most people guess, "shark!" is because immediacy trumps common sense. People are more scared of tornadoes than lung cancer or car crashes, because they can relate to the overwhelming fear they would feel when faced with imminent danger.
Statistically speaking, statistics don't work. Since people generally can't visualize groupings larger than about 50, or 100 at the outside, saying things like "twenty thousand people will die of lung cancer this year!" or "we'll spend $3 Billion fighting diabetes in 2012!" doesn't have the impact that one good story will. We can't relate to the million, but we can relate to the one. Consider donations to testicular cancer research pre- and post-Lance Armstrong. It's not that people aren't aware of lung cancer; of course they're aware. They may even know the statistics. But until you've heard a story, well.......you can't internalize the fear.
Talking on the phone to a reporter from the Sault Star two weeks ago, I was asked why we push such an elite perspective on fitness. My answer? We don't. But we DO show what's possible. We tell stories, we show movies, we celebrate success. We talk about Connor Martin, the original CrossFit Kid, overhead squatting 250lbs at age 16 (and 165lbs bodyweight.) We talk about Everett and Burgener and Khalipa and Salo. We talk about Tanya Wagner. We talk about Carolle.
Talk about something serious, like diabetes, which I may or may not have earned, 30 years from now? I'll walk tomorrow. Today is for cupcakes. McDonald's will always be more convenient than pullups.
Hold a stick over our heads, and we'll jump for it. It's animal nature. Talk about walking more, or 'taking the stairs,' or incorporating more 'whole grains'........meh. Post a notice that we're doing "Murph" on March 6th? Anxiety. Stress. Nightmares. Self-doubt. And strict preparation. No missed workouts. Intensity in the gym.
What it is, is fulfilling. It demands a lifestyle change. It doesn't beg; it compels. Get to bed early, or else. Don't eat junk, or you'll suffer for it. Measure your progress against the clock; the bar; the board; not the scale. Hold yourself against something higher. Give yourself a reason.
"The average 30 year old Canadian is in about the same physical shape as the average 60 year old Swede."
This, in a study on Canada's fitness in the late 1960s.
The result: ParticipACTION, Canada's huge attempt to test and reinforce its citizens' fitness levels. From grades 3 through 8, if you were in elementary school between the late 1970s and 1990, you did the test. Most of us can remember clear details, either high or low, about the tests. As for me, I probably finished a solid "Participant" in every single test.
Interestingly, many folks blame their failure at the test for their future hate of all things exercise-related. I don't think that's fair. It WAS embarrassing to fail miserably at the flexed-arm hang.....but 30 years later? Maybe I'll do better this time!
Pushups. No time limit. Maximum continuous reps.
10m Shuttle Run
Situps No time limit. Maximum continuous reps.
Standing Long Jump
Flexed-arm hang for time.
Scoring: Download Download Fitness_test
If you're over 25, and were born in Canada, I'm betting you can sing along to this:
In the 1970s and 1980s, Canadian students were pushed through a needle-eye called the Canada Fitness Test. The test consisted of pushups, situps, a paused pullup ("flexed-arm hang") some sprints, a shuttle run, and a longer run. Students were awarded Levels, based on their achievement in each event: Bronze, Silver, Gold, or the coveted "Award of Excellence."
The standards were a bit odd. For instance, consider the times necessary to achieve an "Award of Excellence" in the 1-mile (1600m) Run. As a twelve-year-old, you'd have to run the mile in 7:41. As a 13-year-old? 11:31. That's almost an extra 4 minutes, or 50% longer!
Here are the original standards (labeled as 'Air Cadets Fitness Testing', but the same as the original ParticipACTION tests.)
Why is it gone? Well, like all tests, it was meant to be a tool for guiding teachers toward the pursuit of their students' weakest points of understanding. Unfortunately, many teachers embraced the 'test' concept without using the resulting data to change the direction of their instruction. No one in Grade Five can do more than 9 pushups? Well, back to our regularly-scheduled floor hockey game.....
Also, the tests seemed very divisive. The stigma attached to a Bronze continues to haunt many (as evidenced on various discussion boards,) and these days, it's not kosher to promote anything other than sameness. In our lockstep march to mediocrity, the pace is driven by our desire to ignore individual strengths and weaknesses. Failure must be avoided at all costs, right? Kids will only be successful if they never experience losing.......right??? Instead of being great at some things and bad at others, it's better if we're all just kinda average at everything, maybe.
Many 30somethings will remember their scores on these tests (mine were all Silvers and Bronzes, I'm sure.) I was probably reading a book while trying to do pushups. The point: can you match - or better your scores today? On Thursday, you'll get a chance to find out!
Bring your shorty-shorts. If you can fit into your Amazing Spider-Man, E.T., or Michael Jackson "Bad" t-shirt, wear it. Pigtails optional. Let's revisit our youth.
Coach's prediction: CrossFitters will kill this test.