Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

Oh my…… he’s done it. He’s finally done it. SOMEONE has finally created an effective ratio calculator for the Olympic Lifts, and some of their accessory counterparts.

If you known anything about Olympic Weightlifting in the United States, then you know the name Sean Waxman. A coach for nearly 25 years, he has owned and run Waxman’s Gym for the last 6+ years. The lifters that he has produced through his experience, his coaches on staff, and his personal style have gone on to produce great results at the national and international level, and has also helped train some of the top athletes in the CrossFit game.

When I saw some of my “high-profile” friends on Facebook share a link this morning, I didn’t think it could actually be what the Title of the post claimed, but it is!

You, the lifter, plug in your max Snatch and Clean and Jerk numbers. Then, based on what information you have you can also put in certain supplemental lifts or variations, for your Snatch (Overhead Squat, Power Snatch, Snatch Blocks Abv Knee, and Hang Snatch Below Knee) and your Clean and Jerk (Clean, Back Squat, Front Squat, Jerk, Clean Blocks Abv Knee, Hang Clean Below Knee). From that info, an INCREDIBLE summary of your lifts, along with feedback on ways to improve them.

Example, here are my numbers:

First it asked for my current lifetime PR’s for the two Olympic Lifts

Next, the variations of the Snatch and Clean and Jerk. You don’t NEED to have any of these, so I put in the ones I was fairly confident were correct

After that…. you click the “Evaluate Me” button. Complicated, huh?

The next part is where you get all of your feedback and suggestions. First, it shows the variance from your 1RM lifts, to the other variations and movements for each

I am a very visual person, so this was fun to see. However, by themselves, the graphs don’t mean too much. Here’s what followed

The site begins by specifically referencing the ratio between your snatch and clean and jerk. Then it goes on to give you a diagnosis and some suggestions on how to strengthen the supplemental movements to make yourself either stronger, more balanced, or perhaps more well-rounded in general.

This site is SO cool, and I think that every lifter and coach should reference it as a key resource to help identify key areas for improvement!

Want to try it for yourself? CLICK HERE!

Do you want help with your lifting? Reach out to me, I’ve been taking on new remote clients and would love to help!

Lift well, friends.

I heard some really sad news today. While doing my normal morning scan of Facebook, my buddy Jason who is the one of the most active “mountaineers/back country explorers” I know, shared a link to an article talking about the death of Ueli Steck.

Now for most people, that name probably doesn’t ring a bell (even though it should). But for me, it hit a bit closer to home because I had been following Ueli’s, or the “Swiss Machine” as he was called, unbelievable mountain adventures ever since seeing the video below years ago!

I am pretty far from a daredevil and am mildly afraid of heights, so when I watched what he did I was completely shocked. First of all, why would someone WANT to climb the Eiger? Then, why would they want to do it as fast as they possibly could? Finally….. and this is the one that floored me most, why would someone choose to do this as a Free Solo climb?! That means he didn’t have any support ropes, harnesses, or protective gear. Yeah, Ueli climbed the 13,000+ ft. peak in the middle of “Winter Season” alone and with absolutely no supplemental safety equipment!

 

Every time an “extreme athlete” passes away doing something they love, I’m usually left with a myriad of emotions. While it’s always sad when a life is lost, there are a lot of people who say, “At least they went doing what they love.” That doesn’t mean I want to die eating a pizza just because I like doing that, but I see their point. While activities like sky diving or climbing mountains can be seen as “unsafe” by some, most of the athletes who choose to partake in these sports do their research, prepare for as many contingencies as they can, and accept that if things go wrong they would rather accept the consequences versus not taking the risk in the first place. That’s the exact reason why those activities aren’t for everyone.

Ueli inspired hundreds if not thousands of people with his accomplishments alongside mother nature. While his death is unbelievably sad, I hope his legacy will continue to live on forever. Rest in peace, sir.

I have two younger brothers, and they are both amazing. When I say that, I mean I can’t hold a candle to either of them in pretty much anything, and that is so inspiring to say out loud! Still thinking….. nope… they’re amazing at pretty much everything.

Anyways, one of them is in a band called the Big Mean Sound Machine. Not only is that possibly the coolest band name of all time, (right?!) but they can GROOVE!! Last week, they released their first ever Music Video for their song “Seeing the Bigger Picture” and it’s really cool.

I love playing Big Mean songs when I’m running around and need an awesome groove to keep me moving, and this song is no different! Take a watch, and let me know what you think. In a place like the gym, it could very easily be played during a warm-up or cool down period to keep energy high, but not overwhelm people with guitars or bass drops. Really good stuff.

So proud of you, Duke!

What a fun week it’s been in the “CrossFit” Community! I feel like the conversation about “Rhabdomyolysis” is at an all-time high in my history of being a CrossFit athlete. And to think this all started from one little article is amazing.

The article in question is entitled: CrossFit’s Dirty Little Secret“, written by a guy named Eric Robertson, and has CFers furious all over the world. You know those articles that FB tells you seventy-five of your friends have shared? Yeah, this is one of those pieces.

To summarize it poorly, I assume he is trying to bash CrossFit and say that they hide Rhabdo from its athletes, in essence, stating how unsafe and irresponsible the program is to follow. For those of you who have read the piece, do you think that’s a fair summary (without getting into the inconsistencies or simply false statements made)?

So, a few days later, one of the first “rebuttal” articles came out. This one from a woman named Ericka Andersen, and her piece was called: CrossFit Doesn’t Have a Dirty Little Secret — You’re Just Irresponsible. Ericka goes ahead and takes the exact opposite side of the coin. Her stance is that no trainer or gym owner should be held responsible for Rhabdo, rather the athlete should know themselves well enough to know when to stop pushing.

Here are two quotes from her post:

“Rhabdomyolysis — an extreme condition thwarted upon oneself — is not the fault of CrossFit. It’s not the sport, the organization or even the coaches. It’s your own fault.”

“But use your common sense! Don’t do something that will hurt yourself. Listen to your body. Go slowly when you start. Learn correct form. Don’t lift too heavy. Scale down if you need to. Take it seriously — weightlifting isn’t a joke.

Any good CrossFit coach will tell you these things. Of course, there are bad coaches! There are bad gyms. There are people who will tell you to do things that may be harmful. Be smart.”

My take on her article, is that Ericka puts a little bit TOO MUCH responsibility on the athlete. While I do believe that people need to be aware of their body, and know when to stop pushing, I also have experienced first-hand… HUNDREDS of times, that some people simply don’t know how to do that. Some folks that walk into the gyms where I coach have never worked out a day in their lives. Others were potentially elite-level athletes…. twenty, thirty, forty years ago, and truly believe their bodies can go back to that level of performance overnight. That’s not quite how it works.

While I absolutely side with Ericka if I had to pick one of the two articles discussed so far, I 100% put a large amount of responsibility on the gym owners and coaches to know enough about the human body, and their athletes, to try their best not to let people hurt themselves. One of my favorite parts of coaching is looking around a full class of athletes and knowing them well enough to be able to safely and correctly pick weights that they should use for strength training or workouts.

So there you have it, the two opposite ends of the spectrum on whose fault it is that Rhabdo occurs. Now, the gel to bring them both together. Mike Ray, one of the owners of CrossFit Flagstaff (who has been in the CrossFit game with his wife Lisa for a lonnnng time), posted his thoughts on the situation. I read his post and thought… perfect. He addresses the potential risks of CrossFit, of lifting, of working out in general, as one should. He also mentions the potential benefits of that type of training, when done right. He brings up the different workout styles associated with an individuals’ fitness goals. I mean, he touches on basically everything that I thought about when I tried to record the video below a few days ago.

The bottom line, if you want to read someone who is articulate and sounds intelligent covering “all of the bases” on this topic, and someone who I agree with basically 100%, please read this article: “Secret” Rhabdo. It’s beautiful.

Now, here’s my rambling attempt at addressing my thoughts on this situation. Before I started recording I had 5 or 6 talking points, but when the camera started rolling. It rambling at parts, misses some of the key points, but as it is, it’s taken me 3 days to post my thoughts because I wanted this post to be all-inclusive. HA! Anyways, there you have it, folks. Rhabdo discussed. I am incredibly interested in hearing what you guys think on this situation. Let’s discuss….

Alright, the second-to-last workout of the 2013 CrossFit Games Open, WOD 13.4, has been released!

Here is the workout listed below, pasted right from the CrossFit Games Website.
Workout 13.4
7 minute AMRAP of:
3 Clean and jerk
3 Toes-to-bar
6 Clean and jerk
6 Toes-to-bar
9 Clean and jerk
9 Toes-to-bar
12 Clean and jerk
12 Toes-to-bar
15 Clean and jerk
15 Toes-to-bar
18 Clean and jerk
18 Toes-to-bar…
This is a timed workout. If you complete the round of 18, go on to 21. If you complete 21, go on to 24, etc.”

The gist of my advice is this:
Ground to Overheads, in my opinion should all be done as Power Cleans, followed by a quick push jerk. (At no point should an athlete rely on push press v/s push jerks because of the significantly larger amount of strain that’s put on the shoulders.)
Toes-to-bar should be completed in a fashion where that athlete is never approaching failure. That means that if 8 is the max number of reps possible at once, hop down at 4, shake it out, and get right back on that bar.
For most people, once Toes-to-bar grip strength goes, the no-reps start coming out. Don’t get to that point.
The final ~90 seconds or so is when the gloves come off, and you just go.

This workout is fun. Just take your reps at a pace that is comfortable for YOU! Don’t be psyched out by people who come out swinging (and believe me, they will exist).
Breathe, breathe, breathe, and efficient transitions.

Any questions, let me hear ’em!

Good luck, friends.

Travelled all day, and then had internet issues in the evening, so this is going to be late to some of you that asked my take on 13.2. Sorry!

Nonetheless, here is my Advice video for how to attack 13.2, and as your bonus for it being late…. footage of me SUFFERING through it, merely a few hours after it was announced.

Wowzas.

Enjoy, and GOOD LUCK!!

Advice Video:

Suffer Fest:

I am certainly not what most people would consider a “Daredevil.” Sure, I’ve been known to take on a double-black diamond trail or three at local ski resorts, but I’m not the dude who is going to huck a back flip off of a 30 foot cliff. Nope, not even on a powder day.

THESE guys, however, blow my mind. Again, while I wouldn’t say I’m afraid of heights, I would never choose to place myself on a thin rope hundreds of feet above the ground!!! Making the conscious decision to go after putting yourself on a high line and walking across takes a certain amount of mental “zen” and strength that I’m just not quite sure I have.

Life will often times present us with challenges and situations that instill fear in our hearts (such as waiting for the CrossFit Games Open workout release each week.) As they say in the video, though:

“It’s not about eliminating the fear. It’s about finding the courage, within the face of fear, is what matters the most. And then really, it’s just your ability to stand up and put one foot in front of the other. Kind of like how you should do everything else in life.”

Rock on, GoodLineFilms. I LOVE this clip.

Here we go! The first workout of the 2013 CrossFit Games Open is under way!

The first video below is my “Advice” video, which I’ve been doing for the past few years for the Open. Basically, I just talk about the workout, and then my own personal strategies for attacking the workout. Below that will be the two featured videos from the CrossFit HQ YouTube page that review Official Movement Standards and a “Workout Demo” by none other than the beautiful Julie Foucher.

Here’s a summary of 13.1 one from me:
– Find a comfortable pace for those burpees, so shoulders and heart rate aren’t RACING when you get to the bar for Snatches.
– Feel strong on the snatches. If doing 10 snatches unbroken will destroy your grip/lower back/form, then every snatch thereafter will be a disaster.
– BREATH. 17 minutes is a long time. Don’t think you need to sprint at any one part just to make up ground. Control yourself and know your pace.

Have fun out there, and GOOD LUCK!

My advice:

Official CF Movement Standards:

Workout Demo Video:

This year, I will be competing in the CrossFit Games Open for the fourth year. It’s crazy for me to think about how much this event has grown in that time.

I wanted to try and record a quick video giving a little bit of insight as to WHY I decide to sign up for this thing.

While I am someone that can be pretty competitive, the main motivation behind registering is more about the sense of community for me. It’s fun for me to be able to check in with, and relate to, friends from all over the country about how they did on a particular workout. Not to see if I beat them or not, but bc it’s fun that for five weeks, everyone does the same workouts!

Also, I have seen the sense of solidarity that it can bring to a gym when so many people are committed to giving their best together, once a week. It’s just inspiring to see!

So, as I say in the video… Do I think you should register for the CrossFit Games Open?

Absolutely yes.

BUT, I think you should do it for yourself, not for anyone else. Give yourself a 5-week commitment, and look back in a month and see how you’ve done for 5 workouts. These workouts turn up the intensity a bit in terms of ensuring that we’re all held to legitimate range-of-motion standards. Sometimes a change as simple as that can help our own focus and standards improve.

The Competition starts in just over a week! I hope you sign up, it’s going to be a blast!

I love a lot of electronic music. I also enjoy people who can dance really well. I ALSO like really bright colors. I ALSO like beating a point into the ground when I’m really excited about something! #AmIRightOrAmIRight

I usually draw a parallel between the “athletes” in the videos I post in the Moment of Awesomeness (yes, I absolutely consider people who dance, skydive, surf, and pogo, athletes) and the 10 Physical Skills of CrossFit (they’re on page 4… but read the whole thing if you never have). Sometimes, though, the skills required to learn a routine, regardless of the field, are pretty clear!

This video is awesome.