“The great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances, as though they were realities, and are often even more influenced by the things that seem than by those that are.” - Niccolo Machiavelli "Cindy"
20 min amrap
Okay boys and girls, if you have never done this wod, it's one of the tougher ones. First of all ANY wod that's a 20min amrap is likely to be tough. But this one in particular has the tendency to make people very very sore. Many of you will need to cut this in half, and do a 10 min amrap. Others will be able to go 15 min. Don't get greedy, and don't be pig-headed. Be smart, train smart and make progress. Annihilating yourself is not productive. Check with one of the coaches and ask them what they think you should do if you're unsure!
5, 10, 15, 20 x 3 (elite, 150 reps each)
5, 9, 11, 13 x 3 (intermediate, 114 reps each)
5, 7, 9 x 3 (beginner, 63 reps each)
wall ball shots, men 20# ball, women 14# ball
slamball, men 20# ball, women 10# ball
box jump, men 24" box, women 18" box
The way this works is....you'll pick a level and do that rep scheme. For example: elite level will do 5 reps of each exercise, then 10 reps of each, then 15, then 20, then start back over at 5...and repeat for a total of 3 cycles.
Let's talk for a moment about a common pattern seen in the gym. Often a new person's first few months of training will be characterized by great enthusiasm, and a passion for acquiring new skills. They are experiencing the novice effect. It's common for new people to see lots of physical, mental, and even emotional changes during the first 3-6 months of training. This can be very exciting and highly motivating. Often the more de-conditioned the individual, the more pronounced this effect can be. As a coach, I look at this from a unique perspective. It can be potentially both good and bad. In the gym, there will always be some people who don't make it past this initial stage. They let life's little details creep in, the rapid pace of progress begin to slow, the enthusiasm wanes, and they do a slow fade, and eventually disappear altogether. Sometimes they come back, sometimes they don't. So when I see someone with an exceptionally high level of enthusiasm, although I'm happy to see it, it's also a bit of a red flag. I have guarded optimism. I'm always rooting for them and encouraging them, but I know that it's not realistic to expect to retain 100%.
I think in light of this tendency, the best strategy is to develop a patient mindset. Settle in for the long haul. Be enthusiastic, be passionate, but guard your emotions. Instead of being a "flash in the pan," be a steady slow burn. Those clients who are emotionally and psychologically consistent, never too high, never too low, are the ones who seem to be the most successful over the long term.
Anyone who starts CrossFit, at almost any box, especially a de-conditioned person, is going to see results. CrossFit is such a powerful protocol, provides such a varied stimulus, that it almost guarantees results right out of the gate, even if mistakes are made. So the important question is....what occurs after this initial phase? How do you keep motivated when your gains taper off and are less dramatic? At some point you are going to level off. This is a inevitable fact of training. At this point, coaching matters tremendously. At this point training mistakes matter more. Your mindset matters more. At this point one has to refine the training and be a bit more focused, learn to set smart goals, get accurate feedback from an experienced coach about what direction the training should take, where the effort should be focused based on individual strengths and weaknesses. It's not enough to just train harder and/or more.
So the question is, what camp do you fall in? Where are you going to be in 3 months? 6 months? A year? Are your goals realistic? Are your expectations reasonable? What is your work ethic? Are you chipping away at your weaknesses? Have you fallen into a pattern of complacency? Do you always put the same amount of weight on the bar? Do you really stretch yourself during hard workouts? Or are you content to just go so hard and no harder than that? Do you rationalize with yourself that x amount of effort is "good enough"? Have you tracked a measurable improvement in strength? Are you going faster on benchmark workouts? Have you reached any particular milestone? Can you do a pullup? Are you still using a band? The same color band as always? Still can't do double unders? Has your flexibility improved? Can you tolerate a deep squat? Do you have a disdain for lifting heavy weights?
Don't get me wrong, it's ok if you're happy with your fitness level, and you are content to simply maintain that level. But the reality is that most people are going to perform better when reaching for goals, and your gym time will be far more rewarding and meaningful if you're seeing progress and stretching yourself to do better year over year. The mindset of achievement carries over positively into every aspect of your life.
Train hard, train smart, give nothing less than your best, and walk with confidence in all that you do!
Tuck Lever, skin the cat, tuck lever pullups
Squat 3 x 5
Points on squatting:
Take your time! Don't rush through it. Give the movement your full attention, and the best quality effort you have. It's an enormously productive movement, and squat strength is foundational to everything else you do.
Warm up thoroughly! You should do several sets before you get to the work sets. Everyone has preferences in this area. Personally I do a bit more warm-up than most. I might do as many as 6 sets, starting with bodyweight etc....and working my way up gradually. I think this is smarter than jumping up in weight prematurely.
Don't be afraid of heavy weight! The sensation of heavy weight on the back may be unfamiliar to many of you. As long as you have solid mechanics, and good coaching, you will be fine.
Cool down...Run 800m. This is NOT for time. Just run the whole way if at all possible without stopping. Keep it at an easy pace.
Torso Position in the Overhead Squat Be nice to your shoulders!
Disclaimer: You are all great. We are comparing and contrasting athletes' overhead position to help make everyone better, not to single people out and hurt their feelings. Last time I checked, we were all adults, so no hissy fits people.
Check out these eight athletes. What looks different about the athletes in the top row as compared to the bottom row? TORSO ANGLE. Athletes in the top row have very upright torso positions. Remember, the bar stays balanced overhead when it is centered over the middle of the foot. For the bar to stay balanced overhead with this upright torso position, the arms are also upright, meaning there is a very small shoulder angle. This makes our shoulders, nerves, soft tissues, etc. HAPPY. It also allows us to squat well below parallel.
In the bottom row, are athletes are showing a more inclined torso, i.e. a larger forward tilt. For the bar to stay balanced overhead when the torso is tilted so far forward, the shoulder angle must increase dramatically to keep the bar centered over the foot. If you had a small shoulder angle with a forward torso, the bar would be out in front of you (impossible, damn you gravity). The forward torso lean also makes it really difficult to squat below parallel, often leading to athletes coming forward on to their toes. This increased shoulder angle may be tolerable over the span of a workout or two, but your dear shoulders are not really happy here. Ever get a little numbness in your thumb or forearm after doing high rep overhead squats? Not a good sign. Duh.
Summary: the white cartoon has an upright torso, and the bar stays balanced over the centered of the foot (blue line) allowing happy shoulders and good squat depth. The yellow cartoon has a forward inclined torso, meaning that for the bar to stay balanced overhead, the shoulder angle must increase dramatically, which also makes it hard to achieve good depth in the squat. Check out the two superimposed to see how dramatic the difference is.
A good torso position in the OHS is no joke. It requires a tremendous amount of strength, balance, proprioception, and flexibility (especially in the thoracic spine, hamstrings, shoulders, and ankles). Don't get frustrated if you can't get there in a day. Remember: TECHNIQUE-->RANGE OF MOTION-->INTENSITY. Technique and range of motion can take an unpleasantly long time to develop. No one said it was gonna be easy, folks. If it were, everyone would be doing overhead squats with 2x their body weight.
Don't give up on overhead squats because they're hard. That would be a totally sissy move. Be persistent, be patient, and you'll get there if you really want to.
Melissa recently finished foundations. In this picture, she is doing OHS's to a medicine ball... which, based on her leg length, is getting her to squat right around parallel. Without the med ball, Melissa has trouble finding depth with the good technique she is showing above (feet flat on the floor, arms locked out). We don't want any of you to rely on med balls to squat to in the long term, but they are okay for beginners as a training device.
Remember: TECHNIQUE--->RANGE OF MOTION--->INTENSITY (inc weight, reps, or speed at which the workout is done).
Take 30 minutes and perform 5 x 3 Deadlift. Use about 85-90% of your 1rm.
Example: If my max deadlift is 300#, I'd work my way thru the five sets, going from about 255-275.
Don't know your max deadlift? Not to worry! Just warm up by doing sets of 5, gradually adding weight to the bar. After about 3-4 sets like this you'll be ready to go!
Four rounds: 3 min per round. 1 min rest between rounds. Upon completion of the dips and jumps, get as many C&J as possible.