Month: September 2016

The Arm Gauntlet of Hugeness + Lunge & Learn w/ Cory Gregory

Ever wonder what a bro pump sesh would be like if ran like a CrossFit class?

While Cory Gregory was in town shooting the show, he led some folks at CrossFit Hit and Run in an arm pump sesh and bodyweight lunges. Cory also answers some questions on his anabolic flexibility diet and training from group while they all get their lunge on.

Enjoy the vid.

REIGN SUPREME

CTP

For more:

Watch Episode 228 with Cory on Anabolic Fasting and the Muscle Trifecta

The post The Arm Gauntlet of Hugeness + Lunge & Learn w/ Cory Gregory appeared first on Barbell Shrugged.

Eggucation

How to select the right eggs, whether you’re interested in nutrition, animal welfare or price.

For years I’ve purchased brown eggs.

Specifically, Trader Joe’s Brown Organic Free Range Eggs.

I bypassed the cheaper options because it seemed like the healthy thing to do. I had the vague sense the brown color meant they were healthier, more natural, but I couldn’t tell you what any of the claims on the carton actually meant.

Then I stumbled across a fact that blew my mind: The color of the eggs has nothing to do with how the chickens are raised. Chickens with white feathers and white earlobes lay white eggs. Dark-feathered chickens with red earlobes lay brown eggs. That’s it. The reason brown eggs cost more is the brown-egg-laying chickens eat more than the white-egg-laying chickens, so they’re more expensive to raise.

Once I discovered the secret of brown eggs, I wondered what else I didn’t know. What’s the difference between free range and cage-free, and why are pastured eggs so expensive?

To read the entire article, click here.

Anabolic Fasting & The Muscle Trifecta w/ Cory Gregory – Episode 228

What’s up everybody, I’m your host McG, here with Alex Maclin & C.T.P.
We’ve got a brand new show, coming your way.
Lot’s of juicy nuggets here to brighten your day.
This week is Cory G, Short for Gregory.
You might have also heard him on show 170.
We talk about Anabolic Fasting, & the Muscle Trifecta…
Lots of hummingbirds like to drink the juicy necta…

Ok sorry, I’m done now.

For real though…

Whether you body-build, power-lift, or CrossFit, Corey G has a very special talent of motivating the $@#% out of people to get in the gym and train hard. In this show we talk about some of his self experiments and things he’s learned as a trainer and fitness model over the last 20 years. Specifically his anabolic fasting protocol, and how he trained to compete in an olympic meet, a bodybuilding show, and a power lifting meet, ALL in the same weekend.

And he will back up his talk. A once upon a time coal miner, turned fitness entrepreneur, he could easily pop the snooze button and go about his day in comfort, yet he chooses to get up and train at 4:30am to start the grind.

Why? Because it’s important to him and his family to lead by example and put the work in.

If you’re looking for some fresh inspiration or new life in your training goals, check out this episode! It won’t disappoint.

Enjoy!

McG

For More:

The post Anabolic Fasting & The Muscle Trifecta w/ Cory Gregory – Episode 228 appeared first on Barbell Shrugged.

HES CrossFit: The Kids Are all Fit

Peter Driscoll is a CrossFit Level 1 trainer and a physical-education teacher at Hartland Elementary School in Hartland, Vermont. He’s also the founder of HES CrossFit, which operates out of a transformed kindergarten classroom in the school. The affiliate is helping the school’s K-8 students gain strength and confidence through the integration of CrossFit into their daily lives.

Driscoll explains that when he brought research to principal Jeff Moreno “that showed him how movement positively impacted cognitive capacity and academic performance,” Moreno decided to support Driscoll’s efforts to build the program.

As a result, what began as a small initiative with six male students, some PVC pipes and a few kettlebells has grown into a school-wide movement. Students now take exercise breaks throughout the day and can choose to do CrossFit during recess or elective periods or after school with their teachers and peers.

“We believe in getting the kids out of their seats. We believe in getting the kids to think creatively, to learn to be learners, to learn to be thinkers,” Moreno says.

Driscoll explains that they call the CrossFit room “the ‘brain fit room’ because students are learning that when they move, they’re actually making their brains stronger and healthier, just like their body.”

Moreno notes that the program also builds character:

“One of the most important things that CrossFit does is it builds confidence in a middle schooler and an adolescent and a young adult.”

Video by Jay Driscoll.

15min 57sec

Additional reading: “Not Taking It Sitting Down,” by Maureen O’Hagan, published March 24, 2015.

Conditioning Drills For Basketball That Are Fun

Conditioning drills for basketball don’t just prepare you for your matches, it in fact helps you become a better player as it instills the discipline and true essence of the game in terms of sportsmanship and always giving it your best.

Conditioning drills for basketball need not be boring

Most of the time, skills and technique are always developed off-court, meaning you get to train on the basic skills of the game then you start to develop your techniques.

Knowing these basics help plan out your strategies for the game, not just mastering lay-ups, rebounds or dribbling, but it sharpens your senses, keeps your mind focused and helps the body build the strength and endurance needed for the game.

But make no mistake, although you might think that basketball conditioning drills are boring, then think again. If basketball is not a fun game, surely you would have to contend with the millions of fans who not just love the sport, but have also embraced it as their sport of choice- both for competition and for staying fit.

Ideal conditioning drills to brighten up your workouts

Whether you are playing indoors or outdoors, basketball remains to be a social sport activity, with the number of players that help each other make their score and the opposing team defending theirs, it would always be important to take good note of the need to have good conditioning workouts to develop yourself.

Sprint/ free throw challenge

This is one of the most physically demanding exercise that you can do for conditions as it allows you to stay focused under pressure and at the same time build your resistance to in crossing courts and aiming for the hoops while in constant motion.

This is often done as a timed session to enhance your focus, speed and flexibility. The idea is to run the width of the basketball court between 15 to17 times within a specific timeframe usually between 60 to 90 seconds

Each player is then made to do two free throws and record the number of shoots and misses for each round.

Traffic drill

Also called the red light, green light drill, this allows players to develop their skills in dribbling and active listening at the same time as this helps them develop quick reaction to moving team plays and on-the-fly instructions or changes.

Line up the players on one end of the court with a ball each and when you say ‘green light’ they are expected to run towards the other end of the court with the ball dribbled all the way.

But make sure that when you shout “red light’, they may need to freeze and stop dribbling the ball. This drill allows players to develop good endurance and active listening skills.

This exercise makes effective use of bodyweight instead of heavy gym equipment that you hope should not be brought along.

Relays;    

This helps develop and coordinate your teamwork. Remember that you have played the game well, so now it is up for you to develop your behavioral and social skills.

Your relays can be timed activities so that players can achieve delivery and cooperation while in play.

Divide two teams on both ends of the court, the teams from one side sprints to their counterparts while dribbling the ball to the other end of the court, hand them the ball and those from the other side repeat the process.

Dribble suicide drill

This will improve ball handling and agility skills.

Start from the baseline and sprint-dribble along the free throw line and back. Start moving to the halfcourt and back, then move on over to the far free throw line and back. Then move on over to the opposite baseline and back.

Catch, lay-up and jump shot

To help you train for change of pace, scoring and back door cut.

Ask a friend to act as your passer and start from under the basket. Jog to the wing of the three-point area then change pace and sprint to the back door.

Take a pass and shoot with a short jump shot then make sure to grab your own rebound. Pass the ball to your passer as you follow the same movement to the opposite side.

Do this routine five times.

Have fun while doing your conditioning drills as it can help you stay prepared and always ready to take on a challenge.

Gripping and holding the basketball is also a skill that you need to master so to avoid losing grip of the ball use Liquid Grip– a “water based hydrocellulose thickener that allows for rosin and chalk to mix in a suspension formula” that will provide you with better gripping power and hold, ideal for those playing basketball and reduce the risk of the ball always getting into the wrong hands.

The post Conditioning Drills For Basketball That Are Fun appeared first on – Best Liquid Chalk Online!

Busted 10s and Benjamins

Affiliate owners discuss budgeting for replacement gear and making the new equipment last.

A 45-lb. plate can be a great doorstop.

Of course, it’s a better fitness tool, but what else can you do with a broken bumper?

The business of fitness is tough work, and CrossFit athletes are tough on implements. As eager as affiliate owners are for their clients’ PRs, progress inevitably comes with broken weights, snapped skipping ropes and busted rowers.

“Things are gonna break,” said Justin Riley, owner of CrossFit East Sacramento in California. “It’s part of being a business owner that you’re going to have to fix things and replace things and do maintenance.”

Equipment shelf life isn’t always the first thing affiliate owners think of after they open their gyms, but according to Jeremy Thiel, owner of CrossFit Central in Austin, Texas, it’s something they should consider from the start.

“It’s very hard to know exactly when equipment’s gonna go out,” he said.

With two locations and around 700 members total, Thiel has seen his fair share of damaged goods. Since he opened CrossFit Central in 2005, he’s lost four rowers due to damage and wear and tear. He’s purchased six barbells in the last six months alone, and every six months or so he orders a new batch of bands. These costs are obviously in addition to regular monthly expenses such as utilities, payroll or even chalk, and smart affiliate owners set a nest egg aside to cushion the blow, he said. For CrossFit Central, that’s 3 percent of monthly revenue “so we’re not caught off guard and we have that money available to reinvest,” Thiel said.

The figure was the result of some third-party number crunching: The percentage is based off membership base and past expenses that were closely analyzed by an accountant.

“It’s really important for boxes to make sure they have bookkeepers and accountants that they’re working with,” he said. “As an affiliate owner, you wear a lot of different hats, and managing your budgets and accounting, that’s probably not your expertise.”

CFJ_Collateral_Saline4.jpg Perhaps also useful for burden runs, but not much else.

Kevin Montford, owner of CrossFit SoCo in Colorado Springs, Colorado, does things a little differently, replacing broken equipment and buying new things once a year with funds raised by an annual equipment fee. Each April, CrossFit SoCo members pay US$50 each toward replacement and new equipment (families pay only one $50 fee). The gym has around 350 members, and the equipment fee brings in approximately $15,000 each year.
Montford came up with the idea in 2013, when, after four years of affiliation, he found that replacing equipment was eating into paychecks.

“(The impact on the budget) was big,” he said. “People are pretty aggressive on equipment, and we were constantly breaking bumper plates and replacing medicine balls and slam balls that were busting.”

The key to the program’s success, he said, is including members in the purchasing process. As April approaches, Montford takes stock of what needs replacing and writes it on the whiteboard with a cost breakdown for each piece of equipment. After replacement equipment is accounted for, members vote on what they’d like to buy with the rest of the money. Past votes have yielded SkiErgs, rowers and specialty gymnastics equipment.

“No one’s ever complained about it; it’s been great,” he said. “They’re the ones who are going to benefit from it.”

At CrossFit Fort Bragg/Evolution Athletics, Daniel Skidmore and Chris McNamara take a less direct approach, rolling the cost of equipment into regular membership prices.

“I look at it as (equipment fees) are part of the encompassing package in your monthly membership,” Skidmore said. “You’re paying to keep it nice.”

Tender Loving and Care

The best way to deal with broken equipment, McNamara said, is to minimize breakage in the first place by buying quality equipment—and then maintaining it.

“Spend a little bit more money up front in the hopes of getting a long run out of it and maximizing your total time with it,” he said.

Brett Marshall, owner of CrossFit Calgary in Alberta, Canada, agreed. Over a span of six years, CrossFit Calgary ate through several climbing ropes, each set made of different material, before switching to a more expensive—and more durable—synthetic rope that didn’t fray down to a shoelace after regular use.

CFJ_Collateral_Saline2.jpg At CrossFit Calgary, more expensive synthetic climbing ropes have proven to be more durable.

“We’ve been over a year now with these new ones … and they are essentially undamaged,” he said, “which, for the amount of rope climbing that we do, normally there would have been extensive fraying going on by this point.”

McNamara stressed that aside from purchasing high-quality equipment in the first place, the best thing affiliate owners can do is take care of it.

“Don’t forget to start out with a maintenance schedule from the very start so you’re being more proactive with your equipment plan versus reactive,” he said.

CrossFit Fort Bragg/Evolution Athletics adheres to a maintenance plan divided into one-, two- and three-month intervals, with duties ranging from lubricating the chains on the rowers to inspecting pull-up rigs for rust damage.

“If you see something (broken), do something about it,” Skidmore added. “And when something needs (maintenance), just go ahead and check everything.”

House Rules

It’s not just coaching staff who should do the maintaining, though. A huge factor in how long equipment lasts, Marshall said, is how it’s treated. For that reason, CrossFit Calgary has a few house rules.

“Our house rule is pretty simple,” he said. “It says, ‘Don’t drop things that shouldn’t be dropped.’”

CFJ_Collateral_Saline3.jpg Pull-up bands fray with regular use, and gym owners should budget for replacement.

Light barbells tend to scatter when dropped, careening into other equipment—or people—and light bumper plates have a tendency to crack. Even kettlebells can crack when dropped on end from a height.

“We don’t freak out if people are dropping things here and there (because) they’re fatigued and if the intensity’s very high, but as a general rule, our members are instructed in terms of how to care for the equipment, which definitely doesn’t involve dropping it,” Marshall said.

But it’s not just about rules and burpee penalties. It’s about setting “a culture of respecting the equipment,” Riley said, and that starts with the staff.

Fresh off a stuffy gig as a trainer at a country club at which he had to tuck in his shirt and take care not to leave so much as a scuff on the floor, Riley opened CrossFit East Sacramento in 2008. He and his business partner “were so excited to be out of there that we … started this gym with sort of a thrasher mentality,” he said.

Soon he had more broken 10-lb. plates than whole ones, and the sheetrock walls were pocked with holes punched by athletes’ heels during careless handstand push-ups.

“That got old,” he said. “I think initially we didn’t set a culture of having a lot of respect for the facility, and that’s something we had to go back and do later.”

Still, at the end of the day, CrossFit affiliates are about fitness first. Do your best to prevent and save for damage, Riley said, but remember that a few broken plates are sometimes the price of progress.

“These facilities get used hard, and things will break,” he said. “Just understand that it’s part of being an affiliate owner. It’s really important that you are upkeeping the facility because people pay a lot of money to come into a place like this. Lead by example, and in a polite way, with good leadership, make sure you set a precedent for respecting the gym’s equipment.”

About the Author: Brittney Saline contributes to the CrossFit Journal and the CrossFit Games website, and she trains at CrossFit St. Paul. To contact her, visit brittneysaline.com.

Photo credits (in order): Wendy Nielsen, Brett Marshall, Wendy Nielsen

Affiliate Roundup, Part 14: “Balance and Dedication”

It takes more than just a Level 1 Certificate to run a successful CrossFit affiliate. In this series, learn about the various ways affiliate owners and trainers evolve and plan as they work to lead the fitness industry.

In Part 14, the conversation continues as CrossFit Inc.’s Tyson Oldroyd talks about balance and dedication with Pat Burke of MBS CrossFit, CrossFit Verve founders Matt and Cherie Chan, Nicole Christensen of CrossFit Roots, and David Tittle of CrossFit Low Oxygen.

As an affiliate owner, being dedicated to your business is important for its success. But what happens when other things in life demand your attention?

Matt says it can be detrimental to the business to have too many high-priority pursuits—if you’re training for the CrossFit Games or splitting your time between gym ownership and another career, for example.

“You have your passions … but in reality, if you’re pouring your heart and soul into one thing, something else is going to suffer,” he says.

Oldroyd echoes that sentiment, remembering something Australian CrossFit Games Masters athlete Matt Swift said: “You can only have one most important thing.”

Cherie agrees, but she adds that striking a balance is important because life is inevitably full of many important things.

Video by Mike Koslap.
5min 15sec

Additional reading: “Dirt Rowed” by Emily Beers, published Jan. 5, 2016.

Lift to Live Well

Physiotherapist Sharon Mallia reports on the success of CrossFit-based training with 20 seniors aged 75-91.

CrossFit is becoming increasingly popular in older populations, but so far no academic studies have delved into the topic of CrossFit and older adults. I am a physiotherapist by profession and was introduced to the world of CrossFit about three years ago. Since then, I have been incorporating some aspects of CrossFit in my work at a geriatric rehabilitation hospital, and after seeing its efficacy, I decided to incorporate CrossFit in my thesis submitted as part of a master’s degree in gerontology and geriatrics.

The primary objective of this study was to test whether CrossFit principles can be safely and effectively used to improve the physical function of older adults, consequently increasing their level of independence in activities of daily living and offering them better quality of life. The second aim was to investigate the perception older adults have of this training program.

To read the full article, click here.

An Open Letter to the “Big Dogs”

Nice deadlift. What’s your Helen time?

We’re well aware of your snatch PR.

We can indeed hear you grunting as you rep out.

We know you hold the top spot on the squat leaderboard.

And yes, we know all about your big bag of supplements, your special gear, your amp-up music and your pre-lift routine.

But a great many of us really don’t care about your strength numbers.

Here’s why: You’re in a CrossFit program.

This, of course, is not to throw shade at those who are specifically training for powerlifting, weightlifting or strongman. You guys and girls are cool. We’re thrilled to watch you clean and press our deadlift PR. We’ll gladly lend our car if you need something to pull around the block. Have at that 700-lb. yoke with our complete blessing. We respect you and your goals.

We’re also down with strong guys and girls who bust their asses all week in workouts that include heavy barbell work, long runs, gymnastics and everything in between. You guys are A-OK.

The people who need a reminder are the Big Dogs—those who are part of a CrossFit program yet clearly dodge every conditioning workout, taking pride only in their lifting numbers.

Lest you miss the point, let it be stated again: There is nothing wrong with a love of lifting. Training specifically to lift heavy is fantastic. Regularly lifting heavy is also part of a well-rounded CrossFit program. Lifting to target and eliminate a weakness is fine as well. However, exclusively lifting heavy to the detriment of other aspects of fitness is ridiculous if you claim to do CrossFit. CrossFit is not just showing up to max out on heavy days.

CFJ_BigDogs_Warkentin-1.jpg Ben Smith’s lifting numbers are impressive, but they’re even more impressive when placed next to his scores on conditioning workouts.

If you only want to lift and begrudge anyone who suggests true fitness includes stamina, endurance, flexibility, conditioning and so on, you stick out like a chalk-free barbell at a CrossFit gym. We suspect you want to stick out because you believe it’s important that many other people know how much you can lift.

If it wasn’t, you’d probably be in the basement benching alone to the “Rocky IV” soundtrack.

Big Dogs generally lack self-awareness, so if you’re unsure if you’re a member of the pack, please review this list of telltale behaviors:

• Writing strength numbers on the whiteboard in larger print or in a color that stands out.
• Speaking overly loudly about recent strength PRs.
• Scaling loads up to turn met-cons into strength work.
• Justifying brutally slow met-con times by saying “but I scaled up.”
• Having a work schedule that somehow always prevents attendance on conditioning days.
• Commenting on other people’s PR videos with thunder-stealing nonsense such as, “Finally joined the 400 club, hey?”
• Grunting and over-the-top PR celebration.
• Stating “I’ve done way more before” after any submaximal lift.
• Asking other members what they lifted only so they’ll ask in return.
• Justifying poor results by mentioning soreness from an “epic squat sesh” earlier in the week.
• Claiming the most prominent squat rack so people can see what’s on the bar.

CFJ_BigDogs_Warkentin-2.jpg Top CrossFit athletes have proven that it’s possible to earn a 300-lb. snatch, a 500-lb. squat and a 20-minute 5-kilometer time.

About six or seven years ago, Big Dogs were slightly more accepted in CrossFit programs. Your strength and power were indeed impressive, so some looked past an overall lack of fitness in what might be considered the early-middle part of the CrossFit revolution—a time when many athletes were only beginning to scratch the surface of what’s possible.

Then something interesting happened: Athletes proved that you can get really, really strong while still improving all the other aspects of fitness.

CrossFit Founder and CEO Greg Glassman always said this would happen, but you scoffed at the thought and instead took pride in your place at the top of the deadlift leaderboard, which interestingly corresponded with your absence from the Helen leaderboard.

It took a bit of time for things to sort themselves out, but guys like Ben Smith have utterly ruined it for you. Smith’s slightly outdated CrossFit Games profile lists impressive strength numbers: 480-lb. back squat (he’s hit 500), 540-lb. deadlift, 300-lb. snatch and 335-lb. clean and jerk (he’s lifted 370).

But Smith, the Fittest Man on Earth in 2015, can also run 5 kilometers in 20:20. He can do Helen in 7:19. He’s scored 520 on Fight Gone Bad. He’s done Filty Fifty in 16:17.
Smith’s just one example. Look to the stats of just about any Games or regional-level competitor—male or female—and you’ll find an astounding blend of strength and, yes, conditioning. Fitness, in other words.

CFJ_BigDogs_Warkentin-5.jpg Sam Briggs, a former CrossFit Games champion, has a world-class engine in addition to significant lifting numbers.

It’s clear that Smith’s numbers are not the sort of thing that would put him at the top of the podium at a weightlifting or powerlifting meet contested by highly trained specialists, but they’re damn good for an athlete who trains for general physical preparedness, and they’re more than enough to take the Big Dogs out of the conversation in a CrossFit box.

This is terrible news for you, as your prized strength numbers are now often equaled or significantly bettered by athletes whose fitness allows them to be good at every single CrossFit workout from one-rep-max deadlift to Murph. Every Big Dog has his or her day, so you might beat these athletes in one or two strength workouts, but they’ll smoke you in the next nine—if you show up, of course.

You’re quickly becoming a rarity. The strong guy/girl is being replaced by the strong athlete who can run, row and bang out muscle-ups, too.

You really need to make a simple choice: train like a lifter or train like a CrossFit athlete. Either option is totally fine. If you select the former, expect us to cheer you on as you bend the bar. Bending the bar is very cool.

“It is not a character flaw. There is no value judgment. Rather, you are not advancing your fitness. Instead, you are advancing a very narrow bandwidth of a specialized capacity,” as stated in the “CrossFit Level 1 Training Guide.”

Usain Bolt has done exactly that, and no one should criticize him. Specialization isn’t bad. Specialization is what allows people to break world records. But specialization also 100 percent ensures that certain elements of fitness will be neglected on purpose.

CFJ_BigDogs_Warkentin-4.jpg If you do CrossFit, why covet a big deadlift or a great Cindy score? Why not earn both?

So if you choose to stick with this CrossFit thing, keep in mind that we’re all chasing the kind of well-rounded fitness that allows us to be good at any physical task.

That doesn’t mean you need to give up your love of lifting, and you don’t have to hide your ear-to-ear grin on deadlift day. We want to see you load up the plates and pull, and we’ll be cheering as you notch a new PR. But you do need to start showing up to conditioning and gymnastics workouts and putting in some effort. Stop ducking the 5-kilometer run or trying to do Cindy with 225-lb. squats that hide your inability to do pull-ups quickly. Quit benching after class and do some rowing intervals instead.

Read “What Is Fitness?” and realize strength and power are but two of the 10 attributes we’re training. Buy into the program.

If you’re really into overall fitness, feel free to join us for a sweet 5 by 5 of heavy back squats.

But we’re doing a 400-meter run after each set, and the workout is scored by time to completion.

About the Author: Mike Warkentin is the managing editor of the CrossFit Journal and the founder of CrossFit 204.

Photo credits (in order): Chris Nolan/CrossFit Journal, Naveen Hattis/CrossFit Journal, Dave Re/CrossFit Journal, Ruby Wolff/CrossFit Journal.

The Art, Science & Psychology of Teaching Technique w/ Doug Larson – Episode 227

Audio:
http://app.stitcher.com/splayer/f/28802/46490930

This week the, Owner, the Creator, The OG, Doug Larson is back on the show and we decided it was time to flip the mic and interview him.

Doug is known for his technical understanding of movements. Which is why he started TechniqueWOD. He has a great ability to break down complex movements into simple parts, making them really easy to understand and implement into your training.

So this week we thought we could pick his brain on how much time and how often you should spend on practicing “good” technique. We also discuss how too much technique work could hurt your training. After all, the point of training hard is to get better. If you’re just working really hard and not getting better, what’s the point?

Now, we all understand that ONLY doing technique work can eventually become pretty boring, so we discuss several ways as a coach (and as athletes) how you can keep clients motivated while trying to improvement their movement quality (aka unf@#$ their technique). Specifically, creative ways to add technique work into your programs, and how to communicate with athletes on why they’re doing what they’re doing. Which is, to fix movements, so you don’t continue to work against yourself or even worse, get hurt.

It was great to have him back on the show. Doug is a really, really smart dude and I love how deep of an understanding he has on training related topics. We’ll definitely do this format again.

I hope you enjoy!

McG

For more:

We’ve got a ton of FREE videos to help you improve your technique. Check out all our TechniqueWOD videos here.

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