Rest day/make ups/mobility work
This time last year… we rocked a picture of Tom doing double-unders.
Part 1: @ 0:00
10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps of: (8:00 cutoff)
Push-ups (Hand Release)
Part 2: @ (20:00)
This time last year… Alex wrote on his “2011 Sectionals Routine”.
WE NEED YOUR HELP! We are planning the Open and for addition programs after the Open. Please take 2 minutes to fill out this survey:
5 Rounds for time of:
10 Squat Clean Thrusters (95/65)
This time last year… we formally introduced “The Red Bands”.
The CrossFit Games Open
The worldwide CrossFit community is gearing up for the start of The CrossFit Games Open, which begins in less than a week. For our newer members, the CrossFit Games Open is a 5-week online competition where each athlete does a single workout per week that’s scored and submitted online. Not only can athletes see where they stack up against the region, but also against their friends and families across the world. After the 5 CrossFit Games Open workouts are completed, CrossFit HQ invites the top 60 men and women individual athletes and the top 30 teams per region to the 3-day CrossFit Games Regional. There are 17 regions worldwide and for reference, CrossFit Chicago resides in the North Central region. Once the final regional workouts are completed, the top 3 men, women, and teams move on to the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games. At the final competition, the fittest man, woman, and team will be crowned.
The CrossFit Games Open is much more than a step towards determining the fittest people in the world however. In reality, the overwhelming majority of competitors know they won’t even make it to regionals before the first Open workout is announced. They’re doing it for a variety of reasons, most of which are covered by Alex’s post about reasons to do the Open. If you’re still on the fence, read it and it may change your mind. http://www.crossfitchicago.com/archives/6989
We’ll have more details on how GameDay Saturdays will work in an up coming blog post, but the entire CrossFit Chicago coaching staff fully supports this event and we encourage everyone to participate. Even if you’ve been CrossFitting for a month or for 5 years, the CrossFit Games Open is a chance for you to (re)ignite that competitive spirit that’s in all of us, set new goals, and maybe even surprise yourself with your performance. I hope you can join the already 100 CrossFit Chicago members that have already registered and compete alongside us.
Register here: https://games.crossfit.com/mygames/login.php
Anyone who would like to carpool to the CIRC can meet at CFC at 7:00am.
The event is located at Chicago State University 9501 S. King Dr. Chicago, IL 60628 Here is a detailed map of the area.
Registration begins at 7:30am along with weigh-ins for those who are competing in the Lightweight and Coxswain divisions. It is recommended that you arrive at least a half hour before your heat. Your waiver will already be turned in with the everyone’s from the team so you don’t need to worry about bringing it.
We will all meet up in the same area as we did last year. As you come into the gym/event space, walk all the way to the right against the bleachers and then go down as far as you can toward the rowing area. Basically we will claim an area where you can put your coat, bag, and hang out.
Here is a Schedule of Events for the day. All of CFC’s individual 2k rows will take place between 8:00am and 9:30am.
The mens and womens team relays will take place 12:30pm.
Our February Member of the Month is KarenC! Karen has been a proud member of the CrossFit Chicago community since July 2009 and has done quite a bit with the community including attending the last CrossFit Games sectional in Missouri, competing in the 2011 CrossFit Games Open, traveling to LA for the 2011 CrossFit Games, and bringing the fun to every party. A leader in the community, Karen has seen great improvements by focusing on mobility, technique, and doing her best day in and day out. Find out about her experiences in the Open, what she thinks of Coach AlisonS, and what she thinks of “Karen”. Please join us in congratulating our February Member of the Month, KarenC!
Rest day/Make ups/Row
This time last year… Abbey wrote about Skinning Cats. It had more to do about running than cats.
As many rounds as possible in 10 minutes of:
5 Jerks (155/100)
9 Kettlebell Swings (1.5/1 pood)
This time last year… Zack wrote an article on “Grass-fed Cooking”.
Supplements: A Broad Overview
Around the box over the last several years there have been waves of supplements. Fish oil, BCAAs, caffeine, protein shakes etc. with any new supplement there are always questions, not just about its safety and effectiveness but also the dietary, ethical, and moral legitimacy of their use. As such, I thought it was worth a quick primer on supplementation.
First, supplements are simply products found in food that have been isolated into another form. Gatorade is a carbohydrate supplement. The carbohydrates in Gatorade could be obtained through food, but because eating sugar on the sidelines is probably not an effective strategy; the carbohydrates have been introduced into a solution to make them more readily ingestible. This is the most common reason to make/ use a supplement; the food based version is simply impractical. For instance, a vitamin C supplement allows one to have a large dose of vitamin C without the caloric load to the equivalent amount of fruit. Steroids, chemical amphetamines and the like are not supplements and neither are prescription medications (in general).
So when is a supplement a practical solution? First, when there is a specific, localized deficiency in a known nutrient. This is one of the reasons why we don’t push the multivitamins. A multi gives you a ton of supplements, most of which you don’t need. It is better to log your food and take some standardized screens to determine where your specific deficiency lies.
The second reason is when whole food is not an option/ practical. One great example of this is fish oil. In theory, you could obtain the equivalent fatty acid profile from grass fed beef, high quality fish and nuts. However, this can become very expensive in a hurry. As such, fish oil may be a more practical solution when the food is simply too expensive. Another example is BCAAs. These are basically just pre-digested proteins that are digested faster than a whole protein. You could eat turkey during the work-out, but most people can’t stand to have food in their stomach while working out.
A third reason to take a supplement is that it simply works better than the food option, BCAAs is an example of this. The most common example of this is whey protein. Whey protein is simply one of the two milk proteins. One could drink an equivalent amount of milk; however whey protein will be digested faster, in a smaller volume and cause less gastro-intestinal issues than milk may. In this sense the supplement is more effective than the food.
A final reason to consider a supplement is that the nutrient is not available in your current diet/ climate. Vegetarians have this issue. There are nutrients that are difficult to obtain in a vegetarian diet and these may need to be supplemented (iron as an example). In this same vein is those of us who live in the northern part of the US may find good results from vitamin D, in response to the lower wavelength of sunlight during the winter months.
When should you not use a supplement? When you should be eating food! For example, just because you drink ‘Primal Greens’ doesn’t mean you stop eating veggies. Supplements are made to be used on top of a well-balanced, comprehensive diet. Supplements will never make-up for a diet with holes in it. They have a specific purpose and as they say on the label, they are not a meal-replacement.
So finally, how does one choose a supplement? First and foremost you need to be sure it is ‘safe.’ This can mean different things to different people. Some people are willing to accept a higher level of risk than others and while this is a personal decision you need to be well informed. Second, you need to know if it is empirically effective, on a similar population to yourself. The best example of this is creatine. Creatine is not effective for untrained people; they are developing too fast for the creatine to demonstrate any change. However, in trained (2+ years of barbell training) creatine can and does produce a significant (p>.05) difference over placebo. Third, you have to decide if a supplement is cost effective. My general guideline is that if taking a supplement will reduce the quality of my food intake then it is not worth it. You should never trade food quality for a supplement (contradictory since I talked about fish oil supplementation earlier, but hopefully the point is made). If a supplement is safe, effective but costs $10,000 a month then it is probably not the supplement for you. Again, this is a personal choice. Finally, we always need to come back to the basic question; can I achieve the same result from a food? We always want to choose food if possible.
Hopefully this provided a valuable resource for your supplement decisions. Just remember, there are a ton of coaches here at CFC and likely, we have taken just about everything. Shoot one of us an e-mail, grab us after class, drop a question on the blog. Likely someone else has the same question and we can all learn together.
Every minute on the minute for 15 minutes:
1 Power Snatch
1 Hang Power Snatch
1 Overhead Squat
3 Box Jumps
This time last year… Glenn wrote an excellent article on the “Proper Overhead Squat Position”.
Shoe Review – Reebok Crossfit Nano, Nike Free Trainer and Inov8 230′s
Lately, I have been purchasing more shoes than usual in hopes of finding a shoe that is perfect for Crossfit. My most recent purchases have included Nike Free TR, Inov8 230′s and the newly released Reebok Nanos. How do they compare? Read on…
Nano = Women’s 8.5 (true to size)
Nike Free TR = Women’s 9 (they run a little small)
Inov8 230′s = Men’s 7/Women’s 8.5
Nano = These run a little wide in the toe bed which is perfect for my wide, flat feet.
Nike Free TR = Also seem to run a little wide but less so than the Nano.
Inov8 230′s = These are pretty form fitting to the foot and run more narrow
Nano = Nice sturdy sole with enough padding to protect the foot on runs and box jumps. Another great feature is the slightly raised heel which acts similar to an OLY shoe. This makes the last minute decision of what shoe to wear easy. I like to wear my OLY shoes in WODS containing heavy OLY lifts but often these lifts are combined with runs or box jumps which are not fun to do in OLY shoes. The Nano seems to be the perfect fit for these WODs.
Nike Free TR = Nicely cushioned sole that still allows you the “Free Feel”. There is a little issue with the sole stability during lateral movements.
Inov8 230′s = Minimal sole with great stability. The issue that I have with these is that the ball of my foot often aches following any high impact moves such as running and box jumps due to the lack of cushion.
Nano = Since these are so newly released, color choices are limited but I’m sure more colors will be seen in the future.
Nike Free TR = Excellent color selection!
Inov8 230′s = They have upped their color game and have some pretty cool shoes.
Nano = I’ve already used them twice for rope climbs and they still look brand new. The rubber sole is very sturdy and does not get ripped up from the rope.
Nike Free TR = Not good for rope climbs. The sole flexes too much and does not provide enough stability to effectively cinch the rope.
Inov8 230′s = These feel great on rope climbs until it’s time to get back down. The sole gets ripped to shreds by the rope after just a few climbs.
Nano = U-Form Technology! You get to heat up your Nano’s with a hairdryer and wear them seated for 8 minutes and they form to your feet. I must say that it was fun doing this whole procedure but I am not sure how effective it was. I wore the Nano’s a few times before forming them and they feel exactly the same after forming them.
Nike Free TR = The sensation of “Free” running. These shoes are light and let your foot do what it does without restricting it.
Inov8 230′s = Same deal as the Free’s. These shoes allow for a nice sensation of barefoot running and you can feel the pavement under your feet.
Nano = These have a nice solid frame. The heel is sturdy and supports your foot.
Nike Free TR = These are pretty flexible and even have a heel feature that allows the shoe to have a little stretch to it.
Inov8 230′s = Super light shoes with soft frame.
Nano = $119.99 + $6 shipping = $125.99
Nike Free TR = approx $59.99-$84.99 depending on color and website that you order it from. You can find sites with free shipping.
Inov8 230′s = $110 and you can also get free shipping.
In conclusion, everyone’s feet and preferences are different but I feel that the Reebok Nano’s have met my expectations as a Crossfitting shoe. If I have them on my feet, I don’t have to worry that there may be a movement in that day’s WOD that they aren’t suitable for. The Nano’s are an all around solid shoe designed with Crossfitters in mind.
8 Rounds for time of:
10 Wall Balls (20/14)
This time last year… we had a pic of the endurance class doing “Death by 10m” in the upstairs garage.
The Numbers Game
Today’s article comes in timely with the Open fast approaching, but one topic that’s touched upon during some workouts but perhaps not often discussed when explaining a workout, is that of pacing. Back in September 2010, I wrote an article called “To Game or Not to Game” (found at the link below), where I discussed ways of setting simple game plans before a workout in order to not only get the best “score” or “time,” but more importantly, of how to learn to work at a high intensity level at a consistent pace. Today I wanted to expand on a few additional tips that I find helpful, as well as get thoughts from our other athletes and coaches.
Link to “To Game or Not to Game”
Repping Out Numbers
My darkest, deepest fear is seeing the workout “Karen” written on the blog: 150 Wall Balls for time. Standing at 5’ 5”, I’m not the most efficient at wall balls, nor do I enjoy them—much less 150 of them. That said, I can manage a decent time on the workout by breaking it up into sets I know I can do with short rests in between—maybe 15 or so at a time. Perhaps your “Karen” takes the form of 50 pullups, box jumps, or burpees in the middle of a workout. When coaching I’ve sometimes seen athletes knock out a big first set on a movement, only to quickly resort to doubles or singles. Of course an athlete is fatigued, but one way to increase your work capacity is to break up your sets into smaller pieces that leave you with enough energy to keep consistently moving. This takes some experimenting, but try different rep ranges depending on the movement and see what works best.
One example of this would be watching AlexN work out. At Regionals last year it always seemed like other competitors would race ahead on a workout, while Alex calmly stuck to his set rep plan on a movement—somehow, by the middle of the workout, he had passed everyone else up. Every workout is different depending on its time domain (you don’t pace Fran!), but higher repetition workouts can favor the steadier athlete. Think about it this way: if you wanted to make up time on a particular workout, do you think you’d be able to shave more seconds off by doing an air squat or pushup rep faster than you already are, or by keeping a steadier pace and resting less?
Not Staring at the Red Number on the Wall
This next tip is something that I’ve only recently tried toying with during workouts, and while I’ve found it to improve overall performance, it’s something I don’t use every workout and is more of a mental test for myself.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been trying to not look at the clock during a workout as much as I can avoid it. While pacing is certainly advantageous in many workouts in order to complete the most work, it’s also possible to pace workouts too much. I don’t think I can count the number of times I’ve said to myself or seen posted on the blog “felt good with my pacing/strategy/game plan but could have pushed harder and had some left in the tank.”
The Open will be a solid chance for everyone to see what the CFC community has to offer, and my favorite part is seeing everyone give it 100% and not have anything left in the tank after each week. Coming in with the rest of the 6am Crew, I’m usually one of the first people to do the workouts and don’t have a time on the board to shoot for or how other athletes approached the workout. While in the past I typically just completed the workout pacing according to the time I had set in my head, I’ve started to not watch the clock as much. As I’ve said, I wouldn’t use this strategy for every workout or even the majority of them, but give it a try sometime—I’ve found that I’m usually able to do better, while also learning what my limits are.
Rest day/make up/mobility work
This time last year… we had a pic of AlisonS looking serious overhead.