Posts Tagged ‘CrossFit’

The final week of the 2022 CrossFit Games Open is here! Check it out below and close out this Open season with a bang!

What better way to close out this year’s competition than by performing a version of one of CrossFit’s most notable workouts, Fran? Oh, but they decided to make it heavier, more advanced, add reps, AND add an extra movement to make it EVEN MORE fun!

Advice on pacing and strategy for this workout will differ significantly depending on where athletes find themselves with their Gymnastics/Pull-Up proficiency. That said, advice for Double-Unders and Thrusters is pretty consistent across all divisions. (If you’re a top-tier athlete, you just need to go. It’s as simple as that.) If you’re in the majority of those completing this workout, your primary goal should be to break up your sets of Pull-Ups and Thrusters BEFORE fatigue sets in too much. Think QUICK RESTS from start to finish in order to keep moving! As the exercises on the rig increase in difficulty as exhaustion becomes more of an issue, prioritize not missing a rep. That could mean dropping off of the rig a few reps before failure or letting go of the barbell a few reps earlier than you’d like. If an earlier break leads to less time between efforts or sets, you’ll save time and energy in the long run. This workout won’t just challenge grip, the high heart rate will impact one’s ability to perform every exercise. Control your heart rate more efficiently and you’ll be more successful with this one!

My strategy video is below and I hope it helps some of you! Thank you all for tuning in for another year of these videos!

As always: Good Luck, Have Fun, I Believe In You!

Can’t wait to be back with all of you again next year!

The second week of the 2022 CrossFit Games Open is here! Check it out my advice below and let me know what you think!

Quick and dirty suggestions:
1- Easy, Champ! Don’t come out to hot. Over 2/3’s of this workout happens from the round of 6 on the way up to the round of 6 on the way back down.

2- Full Body Deadlifts: We already know the lower back is going to get lit up. Be deliberate with every single rep, brace your midsection, and stay connected to the bar from your big toe to your neutral neck.

3- Stay Low and Go! Over-practice the rhythm and timing of your steps in order to remain as efficient as possible on your Burpees. While this workout may not be won on the Burpees, inefficient reps here will certainly lead towards too much standing around just keep it moving!

Regardless of your experience or ability level, if you’re going to try this workout:
Good luck, have fun, I believe in you!

It’s week 2 of 3 of the 2021 CrossFit Games Open, and we’ve got a repeat workout. Since I already wrote a blog post and recorded a video for this back in 2017, I’m not going to reinvent the wheel. Four years later, my advice is basically exactly the same:

Don’t crash and burn on the burpees and realize that this workout really starts after the round of 30 Snatches. If you’re engine is there, THAT’S when you’ll get your chance to shine.

Click here to go to the original post I made for workout 17.1! And here’s the video that went with it:

Here’s a few extra tips on what to do in order to increase your likelihood of doing better on this workout:

  • Thoroughly warm up your lower back, and keep your chest up throughout the Snatches. It’s going to be easy to drop your chest and use your back on them, resist the urge. Hinge at the hips, load those hammies, and the squeeze your glutes to stand! Capitalize on the efficiency of that movement!
  • Improve DB transition from one hand to the other. The less you need to think about that movement, the more you’ll be able to stay in control.
  • Practice timing of steps/jumps for Burpee Box Jump-Overs. If you’re trying to conserve energy, consider stepping back and stepping up. Learn how to approach the box to be in a safe position to jump onto the box.
  • Don’t rush. On either movement. If you’re in too much of a rush to lockout your arm or stand all the way up, your Snatches won’t count. If you flop down onto the ground out of position, you’ll need to re-do the burpee. Be deliberate throughout the workout and waste NO reps.
  • LIFT YOUR KNEES. As fatigue sets in, many athletes will get lazy and not prioritize getting their entire foot onto the box. Honestly, I feel like not missing a single Box Jump-Over is the biggest win of all in this one! It’s not fun to bust your leg open and it doesn’t feel cool to have a scar on your shin for the rest of your life. Trust me, I’m speaking from experience!

Was this post helpful for you? Let me know, please!

As you approach this workout, remember me saying:

Good luck, have fun, I believe in you!

-Tom

Friends,

The 2021 CrossFit Games Open is finally here!

I don’t know about you, but no one I’m friends with predicted this as the first workout of the new competition year. Wall Walks and Double-Unders are the two movements in the Rx’d division, modified Wall Walks and Single-Unders comprise the Scaled version, the Foundations division includes Bear Crawls and Jumping Jacks, and finally the No Equipment version is made up of Wall Walks and Lateral Jumps.

For this strategy post, I won’t be breaking down each workout division as I have in the past. Instead, I’ll be covering a few main themes I think will be appropriate for nearly all versions of the workout.

The three topics I cover in my video are: (1) Scaled or Rx’d? Which should you choose and why? (2) Pacing? How should you approach the two movements? and (3) Technique – What are a few things to think about to make the movements as efficient as possible.

This is only the first week of the Open and I am always interested in your feedback for how to make these videos more helpful for YOU. Did you like this? Tell me! Would you prefer that I dive more deeply into any other aspect of the workout? Let me know!

I hope you find my advice over the next three weeks to be helpful!

As always…. Good Luck, Have Fun, I Believe In You!

Friends,

It’s the final week of the 2020 Open, and this workout is a good one!

Not a ton of time to share strategy via text here since I’m trying to get this posted before people wake up to hit those 5am classes, but I’d love for you to watch the video at the bottom of this post and let me know what you think.

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Here’s my main strategy, though… there are three primary groups that will be attacking this workout.

Group 1:

These athletes don’t expect to get a single Muscle-Up. As long as you can complete Rx’d Wall Balls and Rowing, this workout is a SPRINT to finish 80 Calories and 120 Wall Balls. Quick sets, quick transitions, then spend the rest of the time working to get your first-ever Muscle-Up!

Group 2:

These athletes can complete some, even many, of the 40 required Muscle-Ups. This group should STILL plan to reach their tie-break time in a decent split, but they should sprinkle in their muscle-up reps throughout the process in order to accumulate as many reps as possible while they’re more fresh! This group should definitely begin the workout with a few muscle-ups while they’re most fresh.

Group 3:

These athletes plan to complete the workout in 20 minutes or less. Athletes of this ability level are really good CrossFitters, and I think they should view this as essentially “40 Muscle-Ups for time.” What does that mean? I think they decide reasonable sets and reps for how they plan to complete their 40 reps, and then break down the Calories and Wall Ball sets to fit around those Muscle-Ups.

Regardless of how far athletes hope to get, I think it’s critical to identify one’s main weakness out of the three movements. What I mean by that is, if Muscle-Ups start failing first due to shoulder fatigue, I believe the majority of Wall Ball reps should be saved towards the end of the workout. Prioritize movements based on expected levels of fatigue.

We all know each of these movements is “full body” and require cardio, so the goal needs to be to ensure quality reps, no/few misses, and a steady pace throughout.

It’s the final week of the 2020 CrossFit Open. I hope you all have had as much fun competing as I did.

More than that, I hope you found my advice over the last five weeks to be helpful.

As always…. Good Luck, Have Fun, I Believe In You!

And I hope to see you soon!

Since my video this week is 13 minutes long, I’m going to keep the writing in this post short.

Workout 20.2 is:

20 Minute AMRAP

4 Dumbbell Thrusters

6 Toes to Bar

24 Double-Unders

Here’s the basic gist of my advice-

Find a pace for each of the three movements you can maintain at a “forever” pace. If you come out too hot, the last half/quarter of the workout is going to be spent trying to keep it together.

  1. Transitions – Keep your gear as close together, and as neatly organized as possible the entire time. Don’t waste 1-10 seconds per round trying to pull your dumbbells back together or untwisting your jump rope.
  2. Break before you fatigue – If you know you’re going to be wrecked trying to hit 24 DUs in a row, break it up on purpose, take a breath, then continue.
  3. Find a sustainable pace – If you get 3+ more rounds in the first half of this workout than you do in the second half, I think you went out too hot. I’d rather you find a pace that allows you to feel STRONG at the halfway point and THEN turn it on.

Final question I get asked a lot-

Should I “Rx” or “Scale” this workout?

If you care about your “Open Ranking” AND you have the ability to physically perform even ONE rep of each of the movements, I think you should go Rx’d. Remember, if you complete ONE REP at the Rx’d weight, you’ll rank above every single person in the world who completes this workout scaled. That means if it takes you 20 minutes to do 3 reps of double dumbbell thrusters at Rx’d weight, but you can do it, I think it’s worth it to get a score of “3” Rx’d!

However, if your goal is to get a good workout in and sweat for 20 minutes, Scaled is 100% the way to go! Find weights and modifications that will allow you to keep moving, and remember that the best of the best in the world will get close to (or more than) THIRTY rounds of this workout completed.

I don’t know about you, but the last time I completed 1,000+ reps of ANYTHING in 20 minutes was….. probably never. When scaled appropriately, this will be a sneakily effective workout, regardless of the modifications used.

Hey, have fun out there, folks!
At the end of the day, it’s only fitness.

Get out there, be safe, and have some fun!

I’m excited to announce that I’m ready to start contributing to my blog again!

I started smashbytraining.com almost a decade ago to share information I’ve accumulated over my lifetime to help other people feel more empowered to improve their health, fitness, and overall wellness.

After another break due to “life getting in the way,” I think I’m ready to start creating content again! I welcome your questions/requests, always appreciate your feedback, and am excited to continue to build this community of friends all over the world.

Thanks for continuing to go on this ride with me.

-Tom

In March of 2010, I sat down in a leasing office to sign my name on the dotted line at my new apartment, when the employee looked at me and said, “CrossFit, huh?” She told me that she had been seeing that word (that was written on my shirt) pop up more and more over the last few months. “I know,” I told her, “this fitness program is going to be the next big thing!” She let me know that there was another person in the complex that was into it, and that I’d probably recognize him because he was huge, had red hair, and was always smiling. While I was excited to hear that another person nearby did CrossFit, I was far too stressed with work, unpacking a new apartment, and trying to find where my new gym would be (since I moved across town) to try and hunt down some stranger.
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Fast forward a few weeks. I was getting ready to compete in my first-ever CrossFit Competition; the 2010 Mountain Sectionals. I was simultaneously nervous and really pumped, and to make things even more exciting, the night before the competition in typical “March in Denver” fashion, it snowed. A lot. This was particularly interesting since one of the events on the first day involved an outdoor run component. After heading outside to scrape the snow off of my car the next morning, so early that the sun was still down, I was ready to go. I pulled out of my parking space but before reaching the end of the lot, I noticed someone else scraping their car. This person was huge. And while I couldn’t see whether or not he had red hair under the beanie he was wearing, he was definitely smiling. This *had* to be the other guy in the complex who did CrossFit, I thought to myself.
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Mustering up the courage to introduce myself to a complete stranger (which I don’t know about you, I find a lot more difficult to do as an adult), I rolled down my window and asked, “are you on your way to compete at Sectionals, too?” “Yep!” he said back through his smile. “I’m Tom,” I told him, “I’ll let you warm up your car and we can chat when we get there.” “Sounds good,” he said. “My name’s Kevin, by the way.”
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And that was the day I met Kevin Ogar.
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After a proper introduction at the event, we hit it off, hung out together for a large portion of the competition weekend, and it became immediately clear that this guy had the kind of magnetic personality that just pulled people in. Strangers were walking over to introduce themselves to him and saying how impressed they were with his performances. He was going out of his way to compliment other competitors and, when they asked, he would give them feedback on how they could move better.
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Later that weekend, we talked about when we started CrossFit, where we trained, and what we did for a living. I shared that I worked out alone in a Bally Total Fitness, and that I’d get some pretty strange looks running from the treadmill area back to a barbell to do some deadlifts and then back to the treadmills. Kevin mentioned that he was actually a coach at a CrossFit gym, and I told him that I had been considering getting certified to coach, myself. Without hesitation, he walked me over to the owner of the gym where he worked and introduced us. After a few conversations with her, I was told that once I completed my training certification, I was basically hired. That was it. I was going to be able to coach CrossFit. I couldn’t believe it!
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For the next few years, while working five days a week at my “day job,” I’d also coach CrossFit two to three evenings. Each new member I brought in felt like a victory. Each PR I watched made me feel like I had done it, myself. I started to see the positive impact I was having on people’s lives, and it was so rewarding. Then, one day, I was given the opportunity to coach full-time. While it was one of the scariest decisions I’ve ever made, I jumped at the chance. I haven’t stopped coaching CrossFit since.
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As we look back through particular moments in time, we can rarely grasp the true impact they might have on our lives. That one moment, saying hello to Kevin in the parking lot of our apartment complex, helped shift the course of my life to get me where I am today.
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Today, I want to thank Kevin Ogar for selflessly helping me get my first CrossFit coaching opportunity in 2010. I also want to thank all of the gym owners who have trusted me along the way to do my best to add value to their businesses. It’s a risky move allowing a new face to come in and work with your members that you’ve worked so hard to attract, and I’ve truly cherished each opportunity. Finally, I’d like to thank each and every athlete with whom I’ve had the privilege to work; especially those of you that followed me from gym to gym. Your friendship and support meant, and still means, the world to me. It still blows my mind to think that I’m doing what I love for a living, and that it’s still as rewarding now as it was when I first started.
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Life is pretty good, and I’m thankful that mine has taken this trajectory to lead me where I am today.
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My reason for writing this post is to hopefully inspire you to think of someone who has positively impacted your life and tell them! Even if they know. Remind them again. The impact that it could have on them today could be far greater than you could ever imagine. If you want to share that story with me, or tag them on this post, I’d love to hear about it!
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The picture below is from my very first day at the gym where Kevin helped me get hired. We did a workout together, he destroyed me (as he always did), and I was thrilled to finally have a CrossFit gym to call my own! Good times.

 

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Thrusters and Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups for 19.5. A lot of us knew they were going to show up, but I don’t know anyone who predicted a workout this brutal! It’s more reps than Double-Fran, and is more challenging because of the chest-to-bars. Ouch!

Screenshot 2019-03-21 at 11.16.13 PM

My three main pieces of advice for this one are as follow:

  1. Planned Sets. This applies more to the Thrusters than the Pull-Ups. One way to do this (if you are proficient with the Thruster weight), could be to break down your Thrusters into three sets each round. Meaning, for the round of 33, complete three sets of 11 reps. Or, if you’re like me and don’t like needing to repeat the same number of reps more than once, go 13/11/9. Then, for the set of 27 reps, go 11/9/7, and so on.
  2. Control. Controlling your hear rate will be critical, especially with the Thrusters. Coming out of the gate too hot will lead to a ton of standing around by the time you’re halfway through this workout. On pull-ups, know yourself and your abilities before this workout begins. Completing a couple of huge sets at the beginning will lead to most people frying their grip early on. This is going to be a longer workout. Be smart, conserve your energy, and complete steady sets from the start. It’ll be much better to save a little energy for the end of the workout than to crushed for the last two rounds!
  3. Double Fran Plus! The workout Fran is 21-15-9 Thrusters and Pull-Ups. This is more than double that volume. And with Chest-to-Bars! I say that again because I think you need to remember that from the very beginning of this workout! Break up your sets often and early, just minimize your rest between them. Keep yourself moving.

If you watch my video for the week, as always, please let me know what you think and if it helped you at all.

This is the final week of the 2019 CrossFit Games Open! Let me know how it goes for you!

A lot of people I know predicted that workout 19.4 would include some sort of Snatch variation and one kind of Muscle-Up. Well, those friends were correct!

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My three main pieces of advice for this one are as follow:

  1. Which version are you? In my mind, there are two versions of this workout for “Rx” athletes. The first is for athletes who are able to complete the first 3-round workout without too much difficulty, but who will then likely be unable to complete a single Bar Muscle-Up. My advice to those athletes is to view this workout as an ABSOLUTE SPRINT! Get through those three rounds of 10 Snatches and 12 Bar-Facing Burpees as fast as you possibly can! The tie break time after that final Burpee of the third round (Rep 66) will separate THOUSANDS of athletes around the world. Get to that tie break as fast as possible! For the other group of athletes who plan to make it to, and through several of the Bar Muscle-Ups, I think this workout needs to be paced a little bit more. Making it through the first three-rounds and being destroyed will likely leave very little in the tank to get through the Bar Muscle-Ups as efficiently as you’d like. Leave some juice in the tank, and break up the Muscle-Ups earlier than you might want to. Something tells me that shoulders and triceps are going to be more fatigued than people expect.
  2. Breathe. For athletes looking to get into the second three-rounder, it will be very easy to get a little bit too excited when this workout starts and make it an absolute sprint. A lot of athletes can sprint one, and maybe even two rounds of Snatches and Burpees, but if that third round takes it out of you, even a three minute rest won’t allow you to finish strong in the second portion. Keep your heart rate down, your breath slow and controlled, and put yourself in a position where you can *finish* this workout stronger than you start it.
  3. Relax. Same advice as last week. You can’t control other athletes who get credit for “garbage reps” by their judges, so don’t even worry about it! Stand up all the way on your Snatches, face your bar and take off with both feet on your Burpees, and follow protocol on the Muscle-Ups. I received several messages last week from people telling me how frustrating it was to watch judges count Handstand Push-Ups that didn’t meet the standard, but my response to that remains the same; “It’s just a silly competition, and none of it really matters.” Stay in your lane, have fun with your friends, and only worry about controlling what you can control. Remember, this is supposed to be fun!

If you spend the time to watch my video for the week, as always, please let me know what you think, and if it helped you at all.

Only one week of the 2019 CrossFit Games Open remains after this week. Have some fun out there, everyone!