2/12/13 WOD Sorry for the late response. Probably doesn't matt...More... 15.02.13 11:48 By Leon Chang
2/12/13 WOD Good Morning - Just wanted to clarify a couple thi...More... 12.02.13 07:43 By Aaron Pusateri
12/14/12 WOD Front squat @ 160# 2 rnds + 2 double undersMore... 14.12.12 14:55 By William Schneider
12/13/12 WOD C&J to 135#, attempted 140# OTMEM 19 C&J @ 105#More... 13.12.12 10:48 By William Schneider
12/11/12 WOD Just rolled the ankle on Sun playing soccer. All i...More... 11.12.12 22:02 By Leon Chang
Resources and Friends
CrossFit.com is THE mainsite, the place where it all started. Videos of workouts, movements, journal articles- everything is here and the vast majority of it is free. Any serious CrossFitter will find themselves referring to the mainsite over and over again. Icons that link to the mainsite and journal are below.
PsychSanDiego is co- owned by Alessandra Wall Ph.D., wife of Leon Chang and an avid CrossFitter herself. Dr. Wall specializes in anxiety and eating disorders and is available for clients who wish to formulate a comprehensive weight-loss or lifestyle plan and address the psychological component of eating and weight loss. Click on the "coaches" tab to learn more!
The rumble this past weekend was an absolute blast. The event itself ran on time if not ahead of schedule. No complaints about being too loud. No major injuries. Overall everything went as planned. Every competitor gave it their all and many people surprised themselves with the how well they were able to perform under the stress of competition. I personally was impressed with lots of athletes, both from Elysium and from the other gyms. The overall level of ability has gone up amongst the gyms and that means that overall CrossFit in San Diego is better off.
I am going to recall some of the moments that surprised, shocked, made me proud or just left me speechless. I do want to say that I am absolutely proud of every single person that competed and I don’t want to take anything away from any of you if you aren’t mentioned here.
Alanna’s no rep'd snatch pr and her redemption
Alanna isn’t one of our athletes but this was a fun point in the day. Alanna trains out of 858 and went on to take 2nd in the female intermediate division. During the last few minutes of the snatch workout Alanna threw a barbell up over her head, while some didn’t notice it... it came down and touched her head and she pressed it up. The judge gave her the thumbs up and she celebrated. The thing was that the touch to the body with the barbell and then pressing up, disqualifies the lift. Whether it hits the shoulders and press or the chest or... the head. Another athlete earlier in the day got no rep’d because she pressed it off her head so I wanted to make sure the standards were fair across the board. I walked over to Alanna and asked her if the barbell touched and pressed off her head, she reluctantly said yes. Probably knowing what was coming next, she asked, “does it not count?” I said, “correct, you can’t press it off your body... including your head, your gonna have to do that again.” She said, “ok” with no argument and went along her business. On the next try she threw that barbell into the ceiling like it was ten pounds lighter. I am assuming it was a mixture of being pissed that she had the last rep taken away and not wanting to lose another lift, either way the second lift was better by light years. Her crowd of supporters screamed even louder then the first lift. She turned around with speed a looked me dead in the eye and asked if it was good. I walked over, we exchanged an enthusiastic hand slap and I told her, “thats how you effin do it.” Watching her be more happy about getting solid versus pressing off her skull was pretty cool to watch.
Briana and Irene, twinsies snatch PR’s
On saturday during the snatch event Briana and Irene were lifting side by side. Both of them started to lift and throw weight overhead. They worked their way up in weight to either tying their pr’s or already getting a new one. They had been power snatching the weight at this point for the lift, like I said... throwing weight overhead. Versus getting under that weight. The power snatch was falling apart and they both missed an attempt or two. I had been watching from across the room. When I saw Briana jump a weight up to her face and try to press and fail I made my way over and gave her a little talk. It was simple, Briana is one of our athletes that can dive under a bar when she wants to. So I went up to her and coached her on focusing on less muscling of the bar up and more technique on how getting under the bar HAS TO HAPPEN with the weight she is at or it isn’t going to happen. Next attempt she got under that bar like it was no big thang, lost the lift do to balance but then rested tried again and got under and stood it up no problem!!! Technique for the win! Irene did pretty much the same thing. She reached the limits of what she could rip up and muscle overhead. Once I realized this and went over and told her she had to try and get under the bar, for Irene this is still something that she has a lot of trouble with but I knew if she could just get under a little it could make the difference. Next attempt she popped the weight up then in her Irene style (which i dont’ exactly understand how it works) She essentially held the bar in place at her face and pulled under the bar into her high overhead squat. Probably that slowest third pull under a bar to ever happen in the history of weightlifting. But even the slowest third pull under was enough to make the lift! Once everyone realized Irene was under the bar the room went crazy and cheered her on! REMEMBER PEOPLE, USE THAT TECHNIQUE STUFF THAT WE SEEM TO PRACTICE AROUND HERE ALL THE TIME, IT ACTUALLY DOES MAKE YOU BETTER AT STUFF!
Jump to 2:40 for Briana's lift and 4:20 for Irene's!
Sam makes 170- the Bambi has grown up!
During the snatch event on sunday Sam was lifting and making his way up in weight getting closer and closer to a new pr. Towards the end of the event I was going back and forth between coaching Sam and our new big guy Will (who won the snatch event with 225lbs!) Will had just missed a lift and was resting. I see Sam throw a barbell up overhead and I quickly realize that is a good bit more weight then I have ever seen Sam hold overhead! I watched as he went down into the overhead squat with 170. It was nice and steady and controlled he hit the bottom of the squat and stood up with little wavering. I literally jumped with excitement! Why was this so cool to me? Because I remember when Sam first started doing this stuff back in the little yellow gym. When we first put a barbell on this guys back and had him do a back squat... it looked like a newborn deer trying to walk... on ice. His flexibility was all sorts of messed up and his general control of his body was questionable. When he us to overhead squat with the pvc stick or an empty bar it was like and condor flying through the sky, torso nearly horizontal and shoulders totally behind himself. Steadily and surely Sam has shown up and worked his hardest. Few people get more upset when they miss a lift then Sam. So to see him snatch the weight up and squat it like he did was absolutely fucking fantastic.
Old Greg snatches and cleans the eff out of the rumble!
Greg has been with us for a while now. He has been working his ass off. He understands technique and he can dig in and push when he needs to. Watching Greg lift in the snatch event was a proud proud moment. He probably made more lift attempts than most competitors... but he made almost all of them. Not only did he make the lifts... each lift got better then the prior lift?! Who the heck does that... as the weight gets heavier the technique gets better?! Someone who can focus and feel what’s going on. Greg asks lots of questions on snatch and general technique days and he works hard to get the lifts done as perfect as possible. Watching him pr his lift several times and making them look top notch absolutely rewarding for me. Then, to watch him go through the last metcon was incredible. Greg can get stubborn and just move with the best of them. He was able to keep his cleans to doubles and triples practically the entire workout. I had Greg face the clock becuase I was going to have him use it to keep track of his resting and help him stay moving through the workout. At first he didn’t want to face the clock but after I told him to trust me, he did so. He handled the weight easy, after every set I would tell him how much time to rest and he would do it to the dot and get moving. Greg ended up taking 6th place on that workout... without getting any of the extra muscle up points to help him, that is pretty incredible. We did forget to celebrate with our shoe of bailey’s but we will soon Greg, don’t you worry.
This has nothing to do with the rumble, but it is pretty funny.
This is probably going to be my top moment(s) of the weekend for somewhat selfish reasons. Both performances on the metcons from Sara were absolutely amazing to watch her finish. Going into each workout Sara and I talked about her strategy and what the event should look like, what kind of pace to use and so on. We knew which movements would be the ones that helped and which would slow her down. We have a good handful of people at the gym that you can watch on a weekly basis doing extra credit work. Either getting to the gym early or staying after late. Sara is one of those people, she works on things she sucks at. She takes direction very well. When I suggest/order/coach her on scaling up a workout or staying after or telling her she needs to start eating double what she currently is... she does it, with little to no complaints. She has been working hard for the past months before and after the competition at Mission Gorge and it is great to see the progress.
Couple someone that is coachable and with someone that is strong and athletic as hell... equals a coach’s dream. On the first met-con there wasn’t much to do for me, Sara and I had discussed what to do and she was doing great the first bout of handstand push ups, swings and burpee box jumps... she did almost get her membership revoked however when she picked up for water bottle to get a drink during the met-con. luckily for her it was at the end of her rest period and she only wasted about a second of moving time. Sara totally redeemed herself in the last minute of the wod how ever. She had been holding a good pace on the swings and box jumps, with less than a minute left she got back to the swings. I promptly yelled at her “unbroken, all effing 15 unbroken, this is where you sprint ahead.” Or something very close to that. She then proceeded to do ALL 15 swings in a row and get a few box jumps into the last minute! Then for the last metcon of the day... it was a similar story. Sara hadn’t been squatting for almost 4 weeks do to a strained hip flexor... so we didn’t have a chance to test this workout. Neither of us were sure how her squats would hold up. We game planned a bit before the wod and went out for the final event. I was on the side line of course watching her cleans and trying to tell how her stamina would hold up. I would yell out how many cleans she needed to do and how much rest to take. She would then do the cleans take the rest and do exactly as planned. She would get through the push ups which slowed most everyone down, so getting through the cleans as fast as possible without blowing her out of the water was key. There was only one round where Sara used singles for the cleans, all other rounds were anything from doubles to linking 4 in a row (something most men weren’t able to do the day prior with the same weight) with about 30 seconds or so left she finished her set of push ups and I yelled, “back on the bar and get all the cleans!” So what did she do? Did she think about it and shake her head and breath... NO, she jumped up, got to the bar and did 6 cleans is a row, would of got the seventh rep if she had 3 more seconds. That is focus and grit... that is giving it everything you got. The thing that made those moments so great was, every once in awhile I think to myself... I think I got this whole coaching thing going on the right path. Where I felt like I came up with a strategy and plan for attack that was more than just yelling, “you're doing a good job, keep going... etc etc” now there is nothing wrong with yelling that type of stuff, if you're a friend a spectator or a judge. As a coach I feel like if that is all I am saying then I am not living up to the title (see, Briana and Irene, twinsies snatch PR’s from above). They were moments where in the midst of all the noise and all the ruckus direction was given and direction was taken and used to get through something very hard.
We are going to be starting a new type of class here at Elysium soon that will be pretty different than any class we’ve had before
One of the greatest parts of the CrossFit community/business is that CrossFit gyms have historically developed their coaching staff from their athletes. We are getting busier around here these days and expanding our coaching staff is something we are very excited about. Ideally we would like our next coach or two to come from you athletes; one of us, someone that has put in the time to better themselves within these walls.
The class format has yet to be formalized. The general idea and goal will be to increase your knowledge of the movements beyond the level they may be at now. An additional goal will be to increase your knowledge of how the programming works at Elysium. In the beginning much time will be spent on improving your knowledge and abilities. With time, the focus will shift to how to apply that knowledge to help coach other people.
This class will be for Elysium members only and I must talk to everyone who wants to take part before you begin. Participation in this course does not guarantee you will end up becoming a coach, nor will it bind you to becoming one. As the class proceeds we can discuss what your goals are.
Most people, especially ladies, are used to the paradigm of exercise being a means to getting "skinny" or being more "slender and toned." Even women that have had an athletic background can be persuaded by the popular notion in our society that females should possess the aforementioned physical qualities.
Many ladies, when they start, have goals of losing weight. There is nothing wrong with this goal and for some people it absolutely is the main goal. If you have 30-40 plus pounds extra on you, we should be working to get that off for many reasons. Remember that the overall goal of CrossFit is to maximize your health and fitness. As fast as you may be with the extra weight, you would be healthier and fitter without it. It is to the benefit of the new crossfitter to realize that, just because weight loss may be the main goal at the moment, it shouldn't be the only marker by which you measure progress. Especially when you begin a program like we have here at Elysium, focusing on just body weight along can be a bad marker of your overall progress.
One of the beautiful things about our program is that we give you dozens upon dozens of things to use as markers of progress. These markers only work, though, if you can let yourself take credit for them.
Every week we have workouts that either are max effort tests or are "go heavier than last week." We have warm ups that involve pull ups with various level of difficulty bands. Week by week we have tests that allow you to see progress. If someone is still stuck in the "bodybuilding" paradigm, for a lack of better term, where success is measured by weight on a scale or body fat percentage, these performance goals will provide little to no reward and can easily be discarded if the number on the scale doesn't change. However, if you can also learn to focus on these other benchmarks - moving down a band, increasing your 1RM - you may notice that your performance markers are outpacing your body weight changes.
Another problem with focusing on the number on the scale is this: The scale only shows your raw weight, it doesn't tell you body composition. If you are starting a program like Elysium where we have a regular strength training program, you are going to build muscle. Especially if you are starting from little to no weight training. Since muscle weighs more than fat, focusing solely on the number on the scale may be deceiving. Embracing the chase of performance goals can be a difficult thing to do. It goes against most everything you see and hear in the mainstream arena. But we believe that in the long run it is healthier and can be more rewarding more often.
If you continue to be focused only on the scale, what will happen when you finally hit your weight/BF goal? Is your goal then just to stay the same? That doesn’t sound very fun to me. The ability to always have something to chase is the thing that makes people love and hate what we do. The constant pursuit to be better than you were the day before, the week before or the month before.
One of the things that I try to teach people is that we train like athletes in order to be able to perform. We don't focus on looks. The looks come as a byproduct. But that is it - just a byproduct. In my opinion, the only reasons most of us (ie crossfitters that have been around for a while) should be getting on a scale is if we have to weigh in for a lifting competition or if we have to do a workout that is based off of bodyweight (e.g., bodyweight benchpress).
Letting go of the chase to look a certain way can be one of the most liberating things you can do for yourself. Trust me, I know what it is like to chase some mythical body image only to never be happy with how you look. That is all bodybuilding is. You go through phases of adding weight because you are too skinny. Then you gain the weight and get bigger, but then you are too fat so you have to lose weight in order to be big and lean. Of course, once you lose the weight you are too skinny again. The cycle goes on forever. When I heard Coach Glassman talk about how health and fitness are about performance and ability, and not about appearance, I thought it was the most beautiful thing I had ever heard.
Sometimes, reorienting yourself to focus on performance goals rather than weight loss goals can even make it easier to achieve your original weight loss goals. In my trainer days, whenever I asked people why they wanted to lose weight, I rarely ever got an answer of any significance. It tended to be something like, “Well, if I could lose that 10-15lbs, I would totally be happy with myself.” Or something even more ambiguous and meaningless than that. Now, I encourage people to re-focus on performance goals. For example, losing 10 pounds might make it easier to get off the pullup bands and start doing unassisted pullups - so focus on getting those pullups. It might make you a faster runner - so focus on changes in your 400m time. Or, changing your diet in a way that helps with weight loss might also help you recover better, which in turn will help you increase your strength - so focus on your 1RMs. Using the things at the gym that you want to improve can add fuel to the desire to control your eating better and change your body.
This is going to be a little bit of a series that circles around a topic/idea that has been going around the gym, focusing on body composition and how to get the results you want when taking part in our program here at Elysium or most CrossFit facilities.
The goal of lowering body weight/body fat percentage is a very common goal at most gyms. When most people start coming to CrossFit they will lose some weight somewhat steadily due to the increased activity, even if they don't change much in their diet. After a while, though, this approach will plateau and the weight will normalize. At this point, something needs to change if you want to continue or re-start the body composition changes. So let's take a look at what the common thought may be and what the best approach could be.
It is common that someone will ask me if they should be doing more "cardio" in order to lose more fat/weight. The first thing I will do is to ask them how many times a week they are coming in, on average. If they are only coming in 2-3 times a week I will encourage them to attend more CrossFit classes. This is going to provide more strength/weight training, which is a much more powerful tool in fat reduction/body composition change, as well as more overall activity.
The next thing I will start questioning is food habits. When someone starts to train on a regular basis they will typically self correct their diet in some fashion to what they think "eating well" is. Here at Elysium we tend to not push diet with much force at the start. We post and talk a bit about paleo eating and there is information pretty easily available. However, when it comes to trying to achieve a weight or body composition goal, most people can’t just “eat pretty well” and hit these goals. For the most part you need to be eating less then you are burning off. While this isn’t the only mechanism when it comes to losing fat/weight, it is a major factor.
If I ask you how much you are eating on a daily basis and the answer is, “well I eat pretty good.” This tells me two things. First, you have no idea how much you eat. Second, you probably aren’t eating that clean. I know this because someone who has actually taken the time to figure out what to eat knows that it takes time and effort, and in the effort you learn about what goes into your body. You can tell others about it because you you know.
At some point if you want to lose weight you need to pay attention to the quantity of food going in. I don’t care if you are counting calories, Zone blocks, grams or whatever. I know it is annoying and it isn’t fun but if you want results you need to work for them.
How does one figure out how much to eat? Well, a fantastic way to get started to is journal everything you swallow for 3-4 days. I recommend doing this for a few weekdays and a weekend. Look at everything you eat and measure it. Most likely, if you want to lose weight, you should probably be eating... less than that. There are also lots of online calculators that you can use to find a general range that you should fall into based on activity level and body fat percentage. The are also many websites and tools online that have calorie tracking apps that you can use to build a food plan for yourself that will show calories and macronutrient breakdown. If you don’t want to figure out all that stuff on your own, then working with a coach individually might be the route you should take.
Don’t get me wrong. We would rather see you focus on food quality than stressing out about calories or blocks or whatever. We would like to see you eating less grains, powering your diet with more fat and protein and getting plenty of veggies and getting fruit in there. If you have been stuck at a certain size or weight for a while and you want that to change then you need to be a bit more focused on how much you are eating... ideally while also focusing on quality.
To touch base on the opposite end of the spectrum. If you are trying to gain muscle or gain weight on this program. Which is totally possible with the amount of strength training we do. It is pretty simple... you need to eat more. Eating should be somewhat of a chore at that point. Still trying to make your calories sourced from quality foods but a lot more. Finishing your meals should be difficult and it should be more often than you want. Here is a good article about how to eat to gain weight from the 70’s big guys.
In the next installment of the blog I am going to touch base on why I think focus on body composition as the main goal is not good. Why it can be detrimental to your training and long term happiness. Should be coming in the next day or two.
This may be something that I make a regular thing. It has nothing to do with who lifted the heaviest... well maybe sometimes. Most of the time it is gonna be about the story of the lift or the person.
This week the winner/person I am gonna pick on is Rachel B. Some of you know Rachel. Others have probably seen her around. She is pretty quite most of the time and tends to keep to her self. Don't let that fool you into thinking that she isn't one of the hardest workers we have around here. She has been with us for a while now... probably getting close to a year or so. She started out as someone who was a runner that wanted to use CF as a way to boost her running performance. Eventually she had to stop running because of a back issue that arouse from too many miles. This issue also took a bite out of training. Lots of movements had to be done lightly or replaced altogether.
Eventually with less running, active rehab work and lots of scaling and subbing... she began to start bringing back movements that were takin out. Here back has been getting better and better over the past months. There aren't many moves that she can't do now, including running.
For a while cleans were a lift that we cut out and only recently have we been bringing them back into the mix. This past tuesday when we tested she came into the 7am class and started working towards her max lift for the day. When it comes to milestones with lifts, I tend to think about what it would look at a normal gym... ie... 95lbs is a bar with 25, 115 is a bar with 35's and 135 is a bar with wheels (45s). I am not sure why my brain does this but it just does. I am pretty sure that Rachel had already got a PR on a earlier lift and was going a little higher. I looked at here bar and added up the plates... she had worked up to 115lbs. 115 might not be the craziest weight being thrown around that day... but a 115 squat clean is pretty damn legit for a lady in my book. You would be hard pressed to see a lady to anything with a bar with 35s on it anywhere in the normal fitness industry. As well, this is a lady that several months ago wasn't doing this lift at all.
So there was only a minute or so left in the strength portion and she set up for the lift. She shook off some jitters and went for it. Rachel also has this style to her lifting where she sets up fairly fast and goes for it... she does pretty well with setting up into the right postions even with the fast start, which gives the lift a style that can be fun to watch. She jumps the bar up and pulls under with great speed. Sits at the bottom to balance and stands the weight up without much issue.
Was it a perfect clean? No, there are some rough spot to fix up, overall though the technique is awesome. 115 is heavy, watching our ladies get stronger is one of the things I love watching around here.
I am sure many of you are excited that the snatch cycle is coming to an end this week. Today and Sunday will wrap up the last months program which means that we will be moving into a new focus.
We are changing things up a little and actually making, "no focus" the next focus.... Sounds exciting right! Next week we will test multiple events. Testing will cover strength events, benchmark metcons and endurance.
After next week we will go into a 6 week cycle where the schedule is set each week and will allow everyone to know what is coming ahead of time thus allowing people to focus on their weak points (or for the cherry pickers.... Choose which day to avoid) and help develop better.
The general schedule will look something like this....
Monday- back squats Tuesday- clean Wednesday- overhead strength Thursday- gymnastic strength and Met-con development. Friday- snatch Saturday- Will be choice of programmer each week, meaning it will be different each week.
After the 6 week cycle is up we will have another testing week where we redo all the strength events, benchmarks and endurance events.
Going to the gym is many different things for many different people. For some people it is a place they dread. They go because they know it is good for their health to exercise and they are doing their part to take care of them selves. For others it is a place to see friends. They connect with people and love to go through the pain together and relax and complain... I mean discuss how hard the class was after it is done and over with. Other people just like to move and be active so they come in to burn of energy.
For me, the gym is where I go to get away from everything. It is my time to work on myself and to get centered. If there is something happening that is taking up a lot of head space in my life.... Well, training helps clear the mind.
Especially since starting CrossFit and getting more and more into the Olympic and power lifts. The space I have to be in mentally when lifting a heavy clean or snatch is a place that is all in the present. My head has to be clear and focus must be precise. I forget about my errands for a few seconds, things go silent almost. It is all about me and the barbell, the weight, the pull up bar, the running course, etc etc. It is a kind of peaceful chaos.
Similar to back in the day when I would go skateboarding. I would go out for the afternoon after school, Saturday morning, really any time I could... And just skateboard until the sun went down. I think that out of all of my friends I was the only one that liked to skateboard by myself as much as I did with everyone else. Just going out and learning a new trick or perfecting an old trick.... There was never a day with out challenge. Just like with lifting. There is always something to work on, something to learn, something to beat you down.
Through the process though, my head becomes clear. It is a type of meditation for me. Sometimes it is a total escape. If something is bearing down on me, a lifting session is just what the doctor ordered. As well though when everything is just peachy, it can be the icing on the cake that reminds me that things are going well. On the other end it can be the thing that frustrates me to no end. Luckily though that isn't that often and normally it serves as a learning point of what I need to focus on.
This place that I go to in my head when I skated, this place that I go to now when I train... I would bet that most people have this place. For some it may be a special chair in a room where they sit and read that takes them there. It may be somewhere between mile 5 and 10 in a run for some. It may be a morning ritual of coffee or tea on their patio. For others it may be a meditation group they attend. Some people would say that is why they attend church.... It is their place where they center themselves. That place where nothing else besides them, their thoughts and the moment exists.
It has beena since I skated on a regular basis. Kinda hard to go out for an all day session when your legs are wrecked from back squats and thrusters. Here is a video from back in the day when I was a little skate rat hooligan.
The past week or so has been a fun thing to watch around Elysium. Watching everyone work on complex lifting drills and for the most part figure them out. Between the tempo deadlifts, 3 stop pull, 3 position and the behind the neck work... just about everyone has had a day where they felt like they had a severe learning disability. (Not to make fun of people that actually have legitimate learning disabilities) Those exercise drills are designed to find what your weak points are... and to punish them. In the process you are forced to figure them out and that in turn will make you a better and stronger lifter.
Here at Elysium we tend to do things a little different then other affiliates, not to say we do things better... just saying we do them different. I would make the guess that many coaches and gyms focus too much on just making you stronger. What do I mean by that? Well stronger means that you start with little understanding of the moves and get the basics down. From there you begin to add weight and add weight. Over time you can lift more pounds on the different lifts... If 6 months go by and your max snatch goes from 95 to 145, that would be getting stronger. At first that sounds cool, I would be interested in asking the question, what did the pr attempts look like? if both your pr from the beginning and you current pr look like a gorilla humping a barbell... then I would say that you haven’t got one bit better. Now if you pr from the beginning was 95 and that 95 was a big-ol ugly power snatch... and your pr is now 115... but a legit full snatch! THAT IS GETTING BETTER.
Getting better means that you are learning to do the moves correctly. You understand the science of the moves. Getting better means you look different when you lift now then when you lifted at the beginning. The great thing about focusing on getting better is that you will get stronger for sure. Gaining strength will happen as a by-product. Temporarily this may mean that you feel weaker, that is ok. The strength will come, just be patient. I know it is frustrating... just relax and stick with it.
One thing that I say over and over again to people is this... Remember that you are learning and Olympic sport, you wouldn’t expect to jump up on a high dive platform and be able to do what those athletes do, even thow I bet some you think you could. So don’t expect to be able to master these lifts right away. Those athletes have dedicated years upon years to learning how to do this stuff.
Learn to appreciate the battle for better form and the mastery of the moves. This way when you get it right (regardless of how much weight is one the bar) you can take pleasure and joy in the feeling of a good lift... because we all know there is nothing that feels quite like a good snatch. Learning to fight and develop technique will also allow for you to have more fun in the long term. If you always focus on just moving the weight overhead without developing technique your strength will top out sooner than later and you will have the choices of quitting because it will be frustrating as hell, having to restart and learn technique (which at that point will be even more infuriating because you will have so many bad habits developed) and... well I am sure there are more options but I can’t really think of any at the moment.
The other day a member who has been with us since the “little yellow gym that could” said something to me that I found interesting. She said that she feels like she is smarter for coming to our gym. I asked her what she meant and she said something along the lines of, “Well it seems like you guys explain and teach a lot more advanced things that other gyms don’t.” As well the same member thanked us for dedicating so much time to strength training. She said something like, “I really appreciate the regular strength program, if you don’t have that it really isn’t much more than a glorified bootcamp.” I had never really thought about it that way, but when she said it, I kinda agreed.
One of the things that I have realized about including the strength portion of class all the time is this. It makes people figure stuff out. If you have a new person that has a hard time figuring out a move regardless if it is a simple squat or a clean and jerk... if you never weigh them down and always let them stay with the light weights, their bad habits will stay the same. Forcing heavy weight one a person’s body forces the system to figure out how to work properly. Many of you have probably been through a met-con or a strength session where I have made you go a little heavier than you thought you could do. At the beginning you have a pretty difficult time moving... you fail a few reps and then you give me “the look.” Then I typically reply with something along the lines of, “SLOW DOWN AND FIGURE IT OUT.” More often than not, you figure it out... WOW, who would've thought it was possible? Oh that’s right, I did. Because despite what most of you think... I don’t make things harder on you because I like to watch you fail. I make something harder because I am pretty sure you can do it, if you pay attention to how you are moving.
So remember next time we are doing some of the more complex stuff. When things get difficult... Strive for excellence in your technique, make it look and feel like you are a platform at the olympics. Force yourself to work for a better lift... if you do this the numbers will go up. That will be a necessary by product. Promise!
Hey there everyone. Just wanted to fill you all in on some things that are happening in the next weeks and months.
*Starting next week, 7/16, the 930am class will be moved to 10am. As well open gym will be changed from 8-930am to 8-10am. Please remember to mark your calendars if you attend the morning classes.
*We have multiple competitions happening in the coming month or so that members are competing in. July 21st there is a powerlifting meet at CFSDthat several of our ladies and men are taking part in and your cheers and support would be great! As well August 18th and 19th will be theLCI at CFMG. Again we have people going on saturday and sun day for this event and your support would be AWESOME!
*Next thing that you might want to mark in your calendar is an Elysium beach day at the end of August. We currently haveit penciled in for August 25th (saturday) hopefully we can get a big group to go out for the day and have a great time!
*Gonna ask all the members for a favor... I would like as many of you as possible to write a small letter to us about your story here at Elysium. Whether you have been here since the old gym or this has been your first month. Write a few paragraphs about where you started and how far you have come. Any accomplishments you have made, what you like about the gym, the community or the coaches. I want to collect these to place around the gym so that all of us and any one visiting can read and hear about what happens to the members here at Elysium. Many of you have made big changes to yourselves and your lifestyles since becoming a member here. Be proud and tell us about it!!!
That is all for today.
One last thing... we haven't had a fail video in a while so I am gonna throw one in here.
This month we are spending time on learning how to snatch. When i say learn how to snatch... I mean, really learn how to snatch. Proper pull off the floor big jump and pulling under into a full overhead squat. For most people this is a very difficult lift to learn and can be intimidating. It is by far the most complex barbell movement that we do in CrossFit and it shows by how much most CrossFitters suck at it.
Most people end up learning the snatch as just get the barbell over your head, regardless of how it looks. Most of you know that isn’t how I coach. I make you keep the weight lighter and get the movement properly. Then after you get the weight a few times, then you make it heavier.
One of the most amazing things about yesterday was that most of you were actually getting better as the weight got heavier. Watching everyone struggle with the lightweight, struggling to camp out at the bottom of the squat, struggling to lock out their arms fully... but once everything warmed up and coordinated, it was like they turned into a different person. Many people got higher numbers for multiple reps yesterday then they did on monday when we tested the 1 rep max!
This was me in my head, all day yesterday!
Yesterday would of been a day that if another coach walked in I would of been pretty freakin proud to show off how many people were lifting so well. I know many of you would like to be able to just throw the weight over your head and not worry about the squat. Learning to do the full move creates appreciation for the lift.
A while ago when we had an oly coach come to Elysium to do a seminar, the second day of the seminar he had people do snatches and he was amazed that almost everyone was diving into a full squat without him saying too. He later said to me that he hadn't seen that anywhere. He asked how I get you people to do that? I think I replied with something along the lines of, I tell them that's what they have to do and I don't give them any other options.
In the short term this is can be a frustrating process and difficult. In the long run however it means that your numbers will be higher and higher! It means that if you go visit other gyms in your travels that there is a good chance that the gym that you are visiting ends up using YOU as their demo person... Cause that has happened to several of our athletes.
The reason we train the snatch properly? So you don't end up a joke on the webernet like these guys at what ever box this is. Dim lights
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I can't wait to see how everyone looks at the end of the month after all the component work and practicing. New records are gonna be set with no problem and they probably will look light years improved from this week.
In regards to the next few weeks, here is the general schedule for the days and the purpose behind them.
Monday- snatch balance, balance in stability in the bottom of the snatch. Tuesday- snatch deadlift/ pulls, strength and proper from of the floor. Wednesday- behind the neck overhead work, strength and stability in getting and holding weight overhead with the snatch grip. Thursday- snatch/ snatch variations, repetition of the full move. Friday- overhead squats, slow general strength through te overhead squat. Saturday- bank squats, get swole.
Keep up the awesome work everyone and keep making us proud!
One of the things that makes CrossFit different from the majority of the fitness industry is the focus and purpose of our program. The paradigm that we live in is one where the focus and purpose of training is to increase overall fitness. You may be asking, “Isn’t that what all gyms work on?” I would say no. Most of the fitness industry is focused on aesthetics. Most everything is geared towards looking a certain way... trying to have a certain body fat percentage or body weight.
At CrossFit we could care less about what you look like. Granted we help people all the time with losing weight and also gaining weight. For us when it comes to gaining or losing weight it has a purpose behind it. We want you to be fast and strong at the same time. So if you need to lose some pounds in order to run faster, pull up better then we will help with that. As well if you come in weak as a bird, most likely we are gonna be on your back about eating more so you can gain some strength faster.
Another way to think about it is that you are training to be athletic. Athletes don’t train body parts, they train to be able to perform different events or tasks. They train their whole body to be able to work together as one functional piece. Granted, after enough training most people/athletes will end up with a physique that reflects their habit of training. They end up looking that way as a by product... not as a goal. Most gyms or fitness trainers live in a thought process where they train to look a certain way without much care for actual athletic ability.
We choose the movements here at Elysium (and other CF gyms as well) because of their ability to produce stronger bodies. Movements like thrusters, cleans, squats, deadlifts etc etc. These moves require the entire body to function as one piece. The body has to learn how to coordinate and get the large muscle groups to produce force and speed and only rely on the smaller muscles as needed. We don’t use small isolation exercises like bicep curls, chest flies... even when we do moves like sit ups, you hear us say to use your legs and arms to help swing through the movement. That is because we want to create a whole functioning unit instead of isolating the abs. Unless you are trying to be a bodybuilder, moves like curls, extensions, flies and such are pretty much NONSENSE exercises. They have no utility in helping with much of anything we do. This is why you never see them at our gym. Now there is nothing wrong with being a bodybuilder. If you want to do that go right ahead. I have no right to tell you not to do that.
What I will say though, is that you will not do bodybuilding training here at Elysium. In classes or in the open gym time. Every now and then I will see newer members doing extra sit ups after class... I understand what they are doing, since everyone knows that “we don’t do abs” at CrossFit they are getting their own extra work in. Typically I will stop them and recommend that they practice their toes to bars instead. That way the move becomes something that will make their entire body stronger and make them feel like they are getting the work in that they “need.” Recently we had someone feel like they needs to work on their “strength”... Nefermind who it was. In the process of their workout they decided to ad bicep curls into the mix. Once I saw this I immediately put a stop to it. Why you ask? Because here at Elysium we don’t do nonsense exercises. We program workouts that will work wonders for your health and fitness advancement. If you feel like you want to do extra credit to help you advance faster that is great. Ask for help, look at the workouts and the moves we program and do some more of what we do. Coming in and doing exercises that we NEVER do, will NOT help you advance in the classes. Come in and do a back squat 5x5, weighted pull up 3x3 etc etc etc... something that resembles actual strength training.
“But I thought open gym was time to come in and work on what ever I want to work on?”
Yes it is and no it’s not. If you are in my gym doing nonsense exercises, and another affiliate owner or coach drops in from out of town you are gonna make Leon and I look like asshats. We will be the gym that has people doing curls and flies at the gym. I would think that you wouldn't want to make us like bad infront of other coaches? (Which on a side tangent is why you should be learning and remembering the different lifts and vocabulary, so you can travel around to different cities and not look like a dumbass noob when you drop into other gyms.)
To wrap this up... BODYBUILDING MOVEMENTS ARE NOT ALLOWED AT ELYSIUM. If you are caught doing them in the gym you will be openly made fun of in front of whoever is present and most likely on the faceypage as well. This shit is my religion, you wouldn’t go into a mosque and start singing silent night... so don’t do it here.
PS. This video has nothing to do with this post, but it is halarious.
Hello there everyone. Just wanted to inform you of some things that you should probably know.
Incase you haven't noticed we have changed the sign up system for classes. We upped the amount of spots that can reserve online. the class cap is still going to be held at 12 people. All twelve spots are available to be reserved on mindbody now. Meaning if there isn't anymore guessing on whether or not you can show up for one of the first come first serve spots. Please make sure to cancell your reservation if you can not make a class so that others can reserve a spot.
This is something that we are very excited to announce. Many of you have asked for it for a while. Now it is finally here. We are adding more classes to the schedule here at Elysium. Where in the schedule do you ask? We are adding saturday morning classes in a few weeks. We will add 2 classes to saturday morning, the exact time is not decided but we will let you know soon!
I am very proud to let every one know that there will be a new face running classes here at Elysium. Many of you know him already and some of you have seen him run some of the sunday classes and fundamental classes recently. Our fantastic member Vlad will become one of our coaches and run the saturday classes when they start in a few weeks. Vlad is a fantastic guy and it will be great to have another set of eyes and a new personality teaching and helping all of you.
Left coast invitational
This is a competition that we have been a part of for the last two years and this will be our third time visiting. Our neigbors over at CrossFit Mission Gorge host this competition and it is always a great time. There are going to be intermediate and advanced categories this year. The competition isn't till august but I am telling you now becuase it is something that many of you should consider taking part in. If you want more info on this go check out there site for the event here.
Gonna go threw a few announcements and things to bring up for the Elysium community.
First off if you haven’t heard about or read about the gym competition we are having in June yet, you should go here to read about it and then go mark your calendar.
A small announcement that some of you have probably already noticed, is that we now have recovery drinks in the front of the gym. We are carrying Mix1 recovery shakes. I tried them out a few times and after looking at the ingredients in them, I am stoked to have something to offer everyone after a tough class. Post workout nutrition is critical to recovery and development. There is a sign in sheet next to the cooler that you fill out when you grab a shake. You can drop cash in the box or you can opt to have us add the shake price to your monthly tab when we run your dues.
Classes are still keeping busy and getting more filled week by week. Please continue to use the online sign up and reserve your spot in class as to help us maintain our class sizes to a manageable level. That way we can continue to provide an environment where you get the attention and the space you need to train.
To piggyback on the last mentioned point, I want to go over a few etiquette changes that we are going to start asking of the members at Elysium. As well as a few etiquette reviews we think are important around here.
If there is an active class running and you get to the gym and park in the back. Please walk around the gym and come in through the front door. DO NOT walk through an active class. Maybe even jog around the building and consider it an extra part of your warm up. Many times people walk in when the prior class is in a met-con and end up getting in the way of people that are training. This is not cool. If someone has to stop swinging their kettlebell or stop doing toes to bars because you walked in front of them... that is your fault... and if they hit you... you are at fault on that one.
As well, if there is a busy class and the met-con takes up the space over by the rowers under the mezzanine do not start foam rolling and stretching or warming up right infront of someone that is doing their met-con. The area under the mezzanine is active workspace, please respect it if the class is expanded under that area. Try to stretch on the Krav maga mats if the Krav people are NOT there. If they are there stretch on the mats that extend towards the showers. We will be re-arranging things so that if you need a foam roller or lacrosse ball you do not have to go through a class.
Another thing that everyone can do to help classes flow a little easier is managing plates better. When there is 6-8 stations being used on the strength portion of class the smaller plates get taking pretty fast. This causes people to walk aorund and waste time trying to find a set of tens, fives or the 2.5’s. There is no reason for you to have three tens and a 5 on each side of your barbell, go switch them out for a 35lb plate.
This is not acceptable use of small plates!
Last thing I want to touch base on is personal space when lifting. Again this is related to busy classes as well as the transition time between classes. Be aware of people that are actively lifting or moving when you are walking around. If someone is doing double unders and you walk in front of them and they have to stop because they think they are going hit you... YOU got in THEIR way (if they hit you, it is YOUR fault). If someone is doing muscle ups and you walk in their area when they are kipping up and they have to bail mid-move... YOU are in THEIR way. We have talked before in class about the “face-crotch alley” (when you walk in front of someone when they are in the deadlift starting position) when oly lifting and the “splash zone” (the space between/on the side of two lifting station). Personal space has duel responsibilities, the bystander needs to be aware of the people around them... as well the lifter NEEDS to communicate to their neighbors if they feel their space is being infringed on. Asking someone in a polite manner to watch out because you don’t want to drop a barbell on them, through a kettlebell at them or kick them in the face is not bad. If you feel weird about asking someone to move ask the coach to bring it up and the coach can remind the class to watch out.
That is all for today. I just want to remind everyone that we are always working to provide you all with the best experience possible here at Elysium. As we continue to grow with new members, classes and coaches... it is important to remember that the experience here is an effort on both the sides. Us, the coaches enforce and teach the habits and etiquette we want to see happening. You the members help by continuing and following them. The veteran members are our best help with assimilatingthe new members how our gym works. We want to maintain that small gym feeling to last as we expand Elysium. It is great to watch the new people welcomed and invited in by the senior members and brought into the fold. This is something that surprises most people when they first join, it is one of many things that makes our space so different from a “normal gym.”
A while back I wrote a blog post called “Sharing a rack like a boss”. You can re-read it. I want to bring it up again based on some observations that I have made lately, especially since classes have been getting busier. As you know, we usually have a barbell-based strength move for the beginning of class. And as you may have noticed, it is getting more common that you will be paired up with someone of relatively the same strength on that barbell move, because classes are getting busier and there are usually not enough barbells or lifting stations for everyone to have their own (with the exception of the taller guys, who sometimes get paired up on the white rack due to height and not strength).
So what does this mean for you? Well, I have noticed that for some people this means that there is a serious period of negotiation that happens when people are getting paired up. I hear a lot of talking about “what weight do you want to use?” or “Is it OK if I use X weight?” or even “I’m sorry for using [whatever] weight”. To be honest, I don’t really understand why this happens, and I wish you would all cut it out.
You may have noticed that I said that you will get paired with someone of RELATIVELY the same strength. But this does not mean the SAME strength. Naturally, you and your rack partner will be lifting different weights, proceeding through warmup sets using different jumps, and ultimately finding a working weight (or 1RM) that is different for each of you. So there is NO REASON that you and your partner need to be using the same weights for each lift or apologizing for the weights that you’re using. Even worse, sometimes I see people either a) lifting a weight that is under their potential because they don’t want to “bother” their rack partner with changing the weights (cough cough WOMEN cough cough), or b) making jumps that are too big and/or failing attempts because they are trying to keep up with their rack partner who is stronger than them (cough cough BROs cough cough). If you’re doing this you are just lessening your chance of setting a pr for the day and maybe even increasing the chance that you’re going to hurt yourself.
Lets talk about these two examples a little more. In the first example (cough cough women), it is the stronger person typically, who holds back because they don’t want to make the other person feel bad about being not as strong. Guess what? Honey badger don’t give a shit if their rack partner isn’t as strong as them and neither should you. THERE SHOULD NOT be a full on conversation about what your partner “feels” they want on the bar. You tell them what you need and they do the same. Warm up and go for attempts that are appropriate for your strength. If you are the person on the rack that has to use less weight don’t feel bad about it, use that as motivation to get stronger. In all likelihood the person that is stronger has probably been here a little longer and has earned their strength. Now let’s talk about the second example, no cough cough on this one, it’s the dudes. You're NOT proving anything by failing a set that is 30lbs above your pr. Call for weights that fit YOUR ability level.
When you share a rack you can guarantee that there will be weight switching going on. That’s part of the deal. The other thing I talked about in my “like a boss” post was that sharing a rack means that you need to have better time management. Instead of messing around talking about who wants to lift what weight and whether or not you think your rack partner is OK with whatever the eff you’re lifting, just know your numbers, tell your partner what you want on the bar, and lift it. period. It doesn’t matter if that means you’re taking on and off 45 pound plates or 5 pound plates each time. If you know your numbers and communicate with your rack partner you should have no trouble getting through the warmup and working sets in the allowed time. If you don’t know your numbers, look them up in your training log before we start class. If you don’t have your numbers written down, talk to a coach and then start writing them down. That’s why we’re here. And then write it down in your book so that you know for next time. That’s why you have a training log.
Sharing racks is good because it helps our members get to know each other. It can also help you pay more attention to your rest periods, since you’re cycling on and off with someone else. And when you set that next pr you can be pretty sure that someone will be standing right there to see it. Sharing racks does not need to be a painful or stressful experience for anyone, as long as everyone is responsible and handling their own business.
Tomorrow is our testing day for the back squat cycle. Many of you have been coming in on schedule working on the program. Hitting the heavy days and the pause squat days. Those were the training days. Tomorrow is the "game day."
The question isn't, IF you are stronger.
The question is, HOW much stronger.
When you show up tomorrow, you need to be ready to push weights that you haven't done before. It's gonna be heavy. You have to be ready to grind out the last half of the squat. You have to be ready to fight. There are going to be lots of PR's set tomorrow and you need to have your name on the board with one.
Watch this video. Is it kinda cheesy? Maybe you think so. I don't, I listen to this sometimes before I go a pr attempt and I am by myself. Whats your squat? If it isn't above 406lbs then shut your face and watch the video and come lift some heavy shit tomorrow. Consider "them" is your old PR.
So this is something I have been thinking of for a little bit of time now and I decided to bring it up. Around Elysium we are starting to develop more and more strong & fast people. This past round of the CrossFit Open was fun. I got to watch many people set new records and perform beyond what they expected for themselves. As well, it was great to watch people really get competitive with themselves and with their fellow Elysium athletes.
We started running our “Elite class” on sunday mornings several months back so we could give our more advanced members a time when they could compete head to head and to practice the more advanced lifts and skills. It has been great watching people attend and take part and get better at things that we can’t really program in the standard classes. Personally, it is fun for me because I get a chance to train with people who normally I don’t get to train with, since I normally coach when they train.
Since the open has finished I have been looking forward to next year, because I think that Elysium has a lot of room to improve. I also think we have several members who are on the cusp of becoming some of our “competitive athletes.” They show up very regularly, they spend time working on extra things before and after class and the give everything they have each visit. When they are instructed to make something more difficult they do it with little to no whining. Most of these people didn't come to Elysium as competitive level people, most of them joined and had to climb the ranks on the whiteboard like everyone else.
One of the things that I want to make clear is that we don't want to change the environment of our gym into an agro competition gym. We like the “laid back but work your hardest” approach. If you don't want to be on the top of the board every day... that is a 100% cool. Just keep showing up and work to continuously do better than the day before. On the other hand, if you want to be the top lady or the top guy of the gym... If you look at coach Stacie or Coach P and think, “I want to beat them someday, I want to be that strong, fast or whatever,” then let's talk.
One of the best ways to start to speed up your progress is to scale up your warm-up. Many of the skills that separate people in the more advanced ranks are gymnastic movements. If you want to step things up, one way is to add the more advanced gymnastics skills to your warm-up: toes 2 bars, rings dips, handstand work, pistols and other such movements. Does this mean you might need to show up early for class sometimes or stay late? Yes, extra work is extra work - but if you look around you’ll see people doing this every day. Many people have a goal of getting a toes to bar or a pull up and they work almost daily to get closer.
If you still need to develop more strength in order to do more wod's at the rx'd weights, keep showing up and make sure you fight for every rep. What does it mean to fight for every rep? You might hear me yelling at people to “grind through” the rep. This means that when a rep gets sticky and the bar is barely moving you don’t just give up because it is hard. The people that fight for reps will hover in the middle of a squat for 10 seconds before letting it push them back to the floor. They take what seems like forever to push through the last 5 inches of the press over head. Ever watch Irene do shoulder press? That is fighting for your reps. If you are fighting for your reps you should be getting angry when you miss an attempt, you should be getting fired up to give it one more try. Instead of failing a rep and immediately telling yourself, “oh, I can’t do that.”
Embed Embed this video on your site Some of you that have been to the sunday advanced class have probably seen me get this fired up from missing a pr before.This was my first attempt at getting 405lbs overhead ever. This is the kind of reactiion you should have when you miss a Pr attempt, becuase you want it that bad. After this attempt I went on the make the lift on the next attempt.
On days that are heavier hitting, like squat, clean or deadlift days, make sure you are eating more fat and protein in order to help recover and repair better. Many of you that are training 4-5 times a week probably need to eat more, especially the ladies. Adding some extra fat and protein to your breakfast, having a post workout snack like milk, chocolate milk or some sort of protein shake will help recovery as well as having a solid quality dinner will increase strength faster.
Attending the Sunday class can also be a fantastic way to bump your training up a notch. However, the Sunday class is something that you need to ask about before showing up. If you aren't capable of most of the advanced moves and are not doing a majority of the wod's Rx'd then you won't be getting the real benefit of the class. Likewise, if you are someone who we have to continuously talk to about proper range of motion on basic movements, you probably aren't ready for the Sunday class. Like I said, the people at the Sunday class are there to compete against each other. If you show up and think you win wod's all the time, but in reality none of your overhead lifts are actually overhead and none of your squats are legit, you should be prepared to be made fun of by everyone (not just the coach). If you are serious about attending all you need to do is talk with me and I can give you some specific goals you should be working towards in order to start attending.
If you are content with not adding extra work to your program when you come into class that is totally fine. Keep on showing up and following the daily class schedule. There is nothing wrong with that, you will continue to get into the best shape of your life. If you do want to bump your training up a bit and be able to learn some of the advanced skills and works towards being more competitive that is also great. Sometime in the near future I am going to be posting and making “extra work” posters that you can use to help guide you on what to add in based on what you need help with.
Keep on attending classes, keep on giving it everything you got and if you want to give more we can let you know how.
I was coaching a few people the other day on when to take a rest day and one of them said there are probably other people who could use some info on when to rest. I thought it was a good point so I wanted to take a moment to throw some knowledge at you.
Coach L wrote an awesome article on recovery a while back, if you haven't seen it you should check it out here. I am just going to touch base on when you should probably take your rest day or days.
This is something that is going to vary from person to person. Some athletes have a hard time making it in enough days a week becuase of their schedule. For them taking a rest day isn't much of an issue. For the members who have the ability to make it in practically every day and especially for those members that are a little more advanced/competitive then rest days may need to be planned out.
Many people familiar with the CrossFit.com method of 3 days on 1 day off will think that is the gold standard of how to properly rest. The fact of the matter is that this varies and depends on each person and their programming. Remember that one of the things that makes CrossFit work so well is the intensity of it. You should be showing up to class planning on giving it everything you got. If mentally you are beat down and it would feel like you are showing up just to go through the motions, then you should probably rest.
When you are new to Elysium we normally tell you to push through being sore, that way your body can acclimate to the training and learn to recover faster. After a while you grow accustomed to "living sore," there is always going to be something that is stiff or sore when you CrossFit. That is one of the best things you can learn about this program. If you aren't sore from the workouts after a while, you probably aren't trying that hard. Keeping the intensity up is what makes you continue to progress and make gaines with us. If you feel like the trip to Elysium is just going to be a hang-out hour because "you are SO sore and tired" from the last 2-3 days in a row... DON'T come in. Why? becuase I don't want to hear your whining. Complaining about being tired and sore and how you are "going to take it easy today" will only get you made fun of in front of every one. If you are that tired, stay home!
One of the athletes asked me if the WOD should dictate whether they should rest or not... my answer was something along the lines of , "possbily." Some days the programming is more aggressive then others. A day with shoulder press and running isn' t as bad as a day with max effort cleans and "Fran." Knowing that a day is going to be beyond what you can put out is different. That is NOT "cherry picking," this is training smart. Seeing the wod and deciding you "don't want to do that" is cherry picking... and is effing lame.
For myself it tends to be any where from 2-4 days in a row before I need a rest. The amount of days i can train can depend on the quality of my diet at the time, my amount of sleep and the programm I am following. I still get this wrong sometimes. Occasionaly I will ponder if I should rest or not, more often then not I will opt to train. Sometimes about half way through my workout it hits me and I think to myself , "I should of rested today." It can be a fine line of pushing yourself just far enough and a bit to far. Eventually you get better at reading your body and learning when a rest is needed. '
We are going to try something new with the way we program here at Elysium, we will be having a barbell and gymnastic focus every four weeks that will help us advance our athletes better in the strength department and at the same time increase our ability to handle some of the more difficult gymnastic skills. If you are someone that is interested in learning what exactly is changing please keep reading. For this first month we will be focusing on back squats and muscle ups. Why did we pick these moves? Well the back squat is the king of the jungle when it comes to being strong with a barbell. If you have a great back squat that means your hips should have more power for a front or ohs... You have more drive for that push press or jerk. In general back squats make everything better.
The muscle up should be a goal for every member at a crossfit gym. It represents a great level of strength and coordination. There are different aspects to the muscle up that present problems for different people. Some have the strength but lack the flexibility or coordination to pull it off. While others understands the general movement but lack the power to do it. We will be working on different parts of this through out the month. As well as showing you how to add things to your daily practice to help you as well. Hopefully we will get some more people into the "muscle up club!"
If you would like to maximize the new program then continue to read. If you don't care about how to best take part then don't worry about, just continue to show up and do what you have been doing since you started. Just don't ask me any questions that could be answered by reading the following paragraphs, unless you just want me to make fun of you.
How does this affect your experience here at Elysium?
For the next month Monday and Thursday will ALWAYS be back squats. These days won't be max effort days like we normally do, you will be doing sets based off of a percentage of your one rep max record. The sets will move faster round to round - since you are not maxing out the way you keep the intensity up and progress is to keep the rest intervals shorter. That means while the sets are sub-maximal they will still get difficult. At the end of the four week cycle we will have a test day where everyone will get a chance to see how much stronger they have become! Missing a day or two won't ruin the whole thing but planning your schedule and rest days to make it it on squat days would be best.
The other days of the week will stay about the same as they are now, working on over head shoulder strength, skill work, oly work will still stay. The metcons should stay the same except for back squat days, on those days it may be a bit on the shorter side. Remember the back squat focus doesn't mean we are doing less met-con work. It just means it is being organized differently. I would suggest that in order to get the most out of the system, you plan on being in classes 4 days a week. Scheduling your rest days accordingly might need a little more planning than usual. If you miss a some days it won't be the end of the word.
This was just my brief and simple explanation. If you would like to know more details or if you have questions after reading this, just ask Coach L or myself next time you see us.
A quick rant on why we are changing things.
Leon and I have decided to change things for one reason... we want to provide to you the best service and product. That is what you pay for and that is what you deserve. We have always thought that are programming was good, simple and reliable. We still think that it is. However we want to see if we can improve with some things we have learned in the recent past. Programming the strength differently and little changes to the met-cons in order to make all of you stronger and faster. With the CrossFit Open the past month we definitely learned a few things... we are decently strong around Elysium and with a good handle on complex moves, which is why our best event was the Snatch ladder. We also learned that our general conditioning can be a whole lot better, since the burpee wod was by far our worst performance. Overall we did pretty good and you can bet that I sure am damn proud of all of you for taking part and doing your best. We are a young box and with focus I totally believe that we could have a team being sent to the socal regionals in the future. This is now an opportunity for those of us who think it would be cool to be a part of the group of us working towards building that team. All you have to do is work hard at showing up on the important strength days and spending some extra time learning the skills it requires to be a little competitive. We aren’t going to turn into a super agro competitive gym, we will always be the Elysium that you all know and love. We just want to continue to improve as much as we possibly can!
Hey there everyone, just wanted to remind you of a few things that are happening this month.
-Want to remind everyone that we have our second anniversary party/wod coming up in a few weeks on FEb 18th. We will be doing a big team workout in the morning at 10am and then meeting back up at morley field for a BBQ and hang out at 1pm. Most likely going somewhere after but that wil be determined. The BBQ will be B.Y.O.M/B we have own gril so far that someone will be bringing so if you want to contribute another grill or meat/appetizers or drinks let Coach P now and he can help keep track of who is bringing what.
-Also the order for shirts and sweaters will being going in very soon so make sure to get your name on the sign up sheet with your name on it. The winner of the t-shirt design is "HTFU" we are having a design made for it and you will see the finished pic soon!
-Yoga on the 11th will be cancelled... so make sure to attend the monday noon class to get your work in!
-Another big deal that is coming up is the CrossFit Open. Registration is open and the event starts on the 22nd. Last year we had a good crew of people sign up and it was pretty fun. This year we won't as many of you to sign up as possible and give it another go! Why would/should you sign up? The way it works is there is a wod posted at the beginning of the week online, after that you have 1 week to complete the workout and then you submit your score to the games website and your score helps the Elysium team. The more people we have sign up the better our gym does. The other cool thing about this is that when you upload your score you can compare your score to people of your same demographic from around the world and see how you compare. Many people were surprised at how well they did relative to people around the world. Last year they made the workouts pretty simple and many people were able to do several of the workouts full RX'd and help contribute to the team score. We will have a bigger post about this soon but i wanted to get the idea out there now. You may have seen some of my post about competition in the blog before, I think that participating in the competition side of this can be fun and a great experience for anyone and you should give it a try. Think of it like running a 5k or a marathon or a mud run... you don't enter to win the entire race, you enter to give a shot and do the best that you can.
Here is a video from last year. A few of us went down to CrossFit San Diego for a big group session for one of the workouts and it was a great time.