Posts Tagged ‘Squat’

The first few weeks of my Weekly Throwdown is in the books, so it’s time for challenge number two! We’re still working to practice different pacing strategies for “Murph” at the end of next month, so keep that in mind.

Last week we worked on the 3/6/9 pacing breakdown. This week, we’re going to do what I view as the most common way of breaking down reps; 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 air squats.

Throwdown #2

4 Rounds

200m Run

5 Pull-Ups

10 Push-Ups

15 Air Squats

Focus/Modifications/Progressions:

Overall Strategy- In Murph, there is only a mile run at the beginning of the workout, and another one at the end. For today’s workout, your goal is to try and get a little bit faster for each one of your four rounds. Too often during Murph, athletes run a blazing fast first mile and then a significantly slower second one. By pacing today’s short workout, the goal is to focus on being able to control your speed and effort in hopes to still have some gas left in the tank for the end!

Runs– The distance is short, so there will be some effective pacing required to not go too hard on round one! Try to get faster each round!It doesn’t end with run, so feel free to really push that final 200m run!

Pull-Ups– Kipping and butterfly pull-ups may be performed today, but remember, we want to get faster each round.

Push-Ups– No hand-release push-ups required this week, but make sure your chest, hips, and quads STILL touch the ground, AND that you lock out all the way. Since most people can’t do sets of 10 throughout the entire Murph workout, my advice is to break up these reps how you’d plan to do it on game day. Most people try 4/3/3 or 3/3/2/2, with really short rests between each small set.

Air Squats– Chest up, crease of your hip below the top of your knee! We all know how to squat, just because we’re not holding a weight in our hand today doesn’t mean we don’t need to start practicing actual full range of motion.

I will be very impressed if athletes can actually get faster each round. My main advice for getting after it is to intentionally hold back on both the run AND reps for the first round. On the last round, get after it and push both. Last round should feel like a sprint from start to finish.

Let me know how it goes!!

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NEW SEGMENT ALERT!

To strengthen our community of readers, I’m going to try and post a challenge or workout that we can do together most weeks. They’ll be fairly fast and shouldn’t negatively impact any specific program you’re following!

Each week will have a different focus and “WHY are we doing this” aspect, and can be done any time from Monday through Sunday of that week. All I ask, is that you share your results here and comment on how it went!

The first few weeks of my Weekly Throwdown will be in preparation for a workout thousands of CrossFit athletes do around the world each year on Memorial Day: “Murph

Too often at the end of May people realize they haven’t devoted enough time to improving their running or their strength for the pull-ups, push-ups, and air squats that make up the workout.

Since you’re allowed to partition your reps any way you’d like in that workout, today’s variation is going to include the 3/6/9 break down, and will focus on strict and slower movements.

Throwdown #1

400m Run

5 Rounds of 3 Strict Pull-Ups, 6 Hand-Release Push-Ups, 9 Goblet Squats

400m Run

Focus/Modifications/Progressions:

Runs– Push the runs. Today’s workout includes slower movements by design. Since you’ll be standing around a little more than on a typical Murph, you’ll have plenty of time to recover before the next run. Run your first 400m at about 85/90% effort (faster than Murph pace), then try to match or beat it the second time!

Strict Pull-Ups– Make these the most challenging version of “chin-over” pull-ups you can do. Unassisted reps? Great! Pause and the bottom and don’t swing. Need a little kip to get that chin over? Use it! Can’t quite get your chin over yet? Although it’s not my favorite substitution, you can also use a band. But only if it only gives you that “little extra” push to get your chin over. If you’re needing to attach multiple or really strong bands, I always prefer a good strict ring row to build strength. These reps do not need to be unbroken, so feel free to break them up!

Hand-Release Push-Ups– My favorite version of push-up to ensure that an athlete’s chest actually touches the ground! If you’re doing push-ups from your toes, tell yourself not to let your knees touch the ground at all during the rep. At the end of each rep, come to a complete pause before beginning the next rep.

Goblet Squats– Holding a kettlebell, perform a set of 9 unbroken goblet squats. The goal with these is to ensure the chest is kept high at the bottom of each rep, and that the athlete stands all the way up at the top of every rep. It’s really easy to “shorten” range of motion in a workout like Murph, try to avoid that today!

This workout isn’t designed to be incredibly challenging. View it as a cardio component, focused skill and strength work, then a cardio piece to finish up. If you decide to tackle it, leave your time and some notes in the comments section.

For the last 8.5 years, almost to the day, CrossFit has been a huge part of my life.

In that time, I’ve ranged from being a rabid advocate of the program, badgering everyone I knew to try it with me like a beach vendor who nearly accosts foreigners in hopes of selling them his local trinket… to the head coach of a gym with over 350 members, who didn’t feel the need to push it on anyone, rather just loved the program because he knew it worked.

I’ve had periods of time where I would spend nearly three hours per day working out, completing two training sessions per day, 4 days per week, I’d compete in local events every few weeks to try and put my fitness to the test, and I looked forward to planning my next soul-crushing workout each every day. There have also been times where I simply couldn’t find the motivation to pick up a barbell because it just didn’t feel fun anymore.

Now, I find myself at a crossroads.

Recently, I’ve experienced more change at the same time than at any other point in my life. Usually, life spreads the big things out, at least a little! In the last 6 weeks however, I’ve left my job, planned to move across the country, got married, traveled to Brazil to visit family, decided not to move after all, and had the privilege of learning how much fun it can be to look for a house in one of the most competitive Real Estate markets in the entire country. That’s a lot in a month and a half!

What’s crazy, is that it’s all really positive change! Some people are hit with bad break after bad break, yet for me, these have been really good. I think the kids say #Blessed, right?

The crossroads has to do with what I will do for fitness now. Do I stick to CrossFit? Maybe a strength/squat cycle to focus on getting stronger and improve my technical movements? Is it time to head back to a Globo gym and try to get those 6-pack abs in time for summer? Do I go cardio for a bit, and get into running or swimming? Obviously the answer that me, the coach, tells myself is to do it all! I live in a place where you can be as active as you’d like outside. I’ve got so many friends who own or coach at CrossFit gyms that it shouldn’t be that hard to find people to train with here and here. And the thought of a “Bi’s/Back” and “Tri’s/Chest” training regimen really doesn’t seem that bad some days!

The reason it’s so tough for me to decide is because I had always convinced myself that I needed to train FOR something. I had to be in a squat cycle because if not, how would I get stronger? If I wasn’t Snatching at least once per week, I’d lose all of my “gainz” and regress. Want to do burpees without stopping? Then keep doing burpees! But at the end of the day… why does it matter?

I always tell people that CrossFit can prepare you for just about anything. It will make just being active more fun. So, with that logic, I don’t need to go through brutal workouts all the time. Visiting the “Pain Cave” every time the clock counts to “3, 2, 1, GO” isn’t required for someone to be fit. It isn’t required to be healthy. It’s only required if the END GOAL is being a good CrossFit athlete. And I’m not sure that’s what I want right now.

I’ll tell you what though, it’s hard to say that to myself and not feel like I’m letting “2011 Tom” down just a little bit!

Over the next few weeks I’m going to assess what makes me happy, what gets me fired up to go do, and what I find to be…. fun! I have always told people that fitness should be something you enjoy (even when I wasn’t necessarily feeling that way myself), and I want to get back to that place.

I’ll keep you posted on how it goes. Who knows, there might be a competition or race I decide to train for sometime in the next few months!

Wish me luck!

Hello Friends! There is a pretty big CrossFit Competition in Denver this weekend known as the “Turkey Challenge“. Personally, I consider it the second biggest “local” event of the year, and the turn-out will be AWESOME! (If you live in the area, you should come to MBS CrossFit Saturday and/or Sunday to check it out.)

With the event coming up, I thought I would share two different posts I’ve come across recently that will not only apply to athletes participating this weekend, but to athletes (especially CrossFitters) everywhere! The first is a list of useful stretches that we should probably all do this weekend.

This post comes from the crew at CrossFit Done Right in Rockville, Maryland, and it’s called “9 Stretches You Should Know“. It features a TON of links to videos and articles from Kelly Starrett’s Mobility WOD web-site. That site, if not already, should be bookmarked on ALL of your browsers. Hundreds of hours of stretching and mobility techniques for every part of your body!

This post features a link to info on stretches to help warm up 9 areas of the body in particular. Yeah, 9, so you can pick and choose what needs it the most!
1- Heal Cord & Calves
2- Front of Hips
3- Shoulders and Bands
4- High Groin/Hamstring
5- Hamstring
6- More Hips and Glutes
7- Feet
8- Shoulder Blade/Rib Cage
9- Neck and Traps

Please check out the page and learn at least one new stretch!

The second post is about SQUATTING. Yes. Squatting. There are a lot of people out there who argue and claim to know what is and isn’t the safe and appropriate depth to squat as an athlete. Before I share the link, let me share my own personal take. While this is highly influenced by my last 4 years following CrossFit, let me state that much of this stance has to do with my own personal experience with the movement. I feel that when performed safely and correctly, that the full depth squat (crease of the hip below the top of the knee) is one of the most effective strength and conditioning exercises known to humans.

So this post, which is called “3 Squatting Myths That Refuse To Die“, talks about…. three myths:
– Myth #1: Squatting below parallel is bad for your knees
– Myth #2: Your knees should never go past your toes
– Myth #3: Squats are bad for your back

My favorite part of the post, is that it HAPPENS to feature a picture of my good friend, Zach Krych (who had yet another INCREDIBLE video made about him and his story)!

So, do me a favor please, friends.

Check out the post above about mobility, and then read the post about squatting, and please share your thoughts with me on the two topics. I always welcome discussions about what you all think about those things, those two areas in particular.

Thank you in advance for checking out the post, the blog, and for your comments!

Team CrossFit Lakewood is at it again, this time with the third workout of the 2011 CrossFit Games Open.
One more time, the workout was as many reps in 5 minutes as possible of 165lb/110lb Squat Clean and Jerks.

Two heats of athletes lifted on Saturday, and the energy was high! Check out the video below and see how much fun we have together. Great job, team. Let’s keep it up! WE’RE HALFWAY THERE!

*****Highlight of the day for me*****
Drew Vance, aka Dru-Tang, hit a HUGE personal record for his Clean and Jerk today meeting the prescribed weight of 165lbs. He then went on and did it 3.5 more times! AWESOME!

Then on Sunday I decided that I had a few more reps in me, so I wanted to give it another go. A HUGE thank you to Megan for being willing to head to the gym to be my official judge/counter. (I ended up getting 4.5 more reps then attempt #2!)

Today was the first day of: FREE CROSSFIT WEEK at CrossFit Lakewood, and it was a HUGE success!!!

I’ll let you guys see what our group warm-up looked like. Good thing the gym wall was knocked down and doubled in size, or we wouldn’t have had room to hold everyone!

During the Strength Portion of the workout, Coach Chrissy and I took all of the “Newbies” through an extended warm-up where we talked a little bit more about CrossFit in detail. There were some very good questions, so hopefully we answered them for you guys!

The workout today was inspired in structure by the Classic CrossFit Workout “Fight Gone Bad.” We had 5 different stations, each of which lasted one minute. There was no rest time in between stations, and then after all 5, there was one a minute rest. Athletes go through all 5 stations a total of three times. I hope that makes sense.

Workout of the Day:
Strength
85% of Deadlift – 1 Rep every minute for 10 minutes

WOD
3 Rounds for Time
5 Stations, 1 Minute each, 1 minute rest after all 5 Stations
Wall Ball / Burpee / Sit-Up / Air Squat / Box Jump

Check out some video we took from a PACKED HOUSE last night!

3, 2, 1… GO!!!

The front row of Box Jumpers are some of our veterans, while the newer folks crush the workout behind them!

Over halfway through the workout

Maybe the best 10 seconds of the workout… the last 10!

Athletes, feel free to post your results in the Comments Section. This week I will likely not be able to note scores for everyone.

Thank you so much to everyone who brought friends to the gym last night. We’ve got 3 more days this week of Free CrossFit, so PLEASE keep it up! Bring your friends, once they love it, have them bring their friends for the rest of the week! See you all tonight at 6pm!!!