Thursday, May 26, 2016


          When is the last time you trained your grip strength in an effort to improve your workout of the day (WOD)? Whether your WOD is a metabolic conditioning mix of rowing, pull-ups and kettle bell swings or a strength challenge like a max dead lift or barbell snatch your grip may be what is holding you back. It is definitely important to focus on the major muscles of the hips, legs, shoulders and arms since they produce the strength and power to move large loads over long distances quickly. However, if you want to crush your WOD and litter the whiteboard with personal records (PR’s) then you must train those forearm muscles too.

          Before you roll your eyes and assume that this will necessitate a globo gym-esque routine of wrist curls, think about how often your grip is challenged in a WOD. There are two types of grip strength necessary in CrossFit: crushing strength and support strength. Crushing strength is best thought of as the strength necessary to squeeze something such as a barbell in your hand as you manipulate it. Support strength is the type of strength used to hold something or carry it. Although support strength is slightly more passive it is just as essential as crushing strength.

          The list of exercises where grip strength is essential includes pull-ups, any barbell work, rowing on an ergometer, farmer carries and ring work to name but a few. However, the importance of forearm strength is often overlooked in exercises like handstands. Here the muscles of the forearms must provide balance and control which can be just as important as strength. Finally, there is a conditioning element necessary for these smaller muscles. Without sufficient endurance in these muscles an athlete will surely be hampered during longer grip-intensive WODs such as rope climbs and dead lifts.

          To improve your grip strength start by manipulating thick handled barbells. These can be bars such as tire axles or fat bars or you can improvise by wrapping a thick towel around a traditional barbell. Start by using this thicker bar once every other week or so in your dead lifts. Shoot for 10-20 repetitions to start but as you get stronger work all the way up to your one rep maximum (1RM). Then try adding a towel to the pull-up bar and follow the same progression. Once you have mastered that try legless rope climbs.

          Grip strength can also be strengthened using exercises such as farmer walk. Grab two dumbbells or kettle bells of decent weight and carry them for at least 100 meters. When that gets too easy try loading up two barbells and carry them the same way. Next try pinching weight plates between your fingers and see how much weight you can handle and how far you can carry the weight plates. If you are stuck in an office during the day try buying a pair of hand grippers. (These are simple implements that are spring resisted and work by grasping, squeezing and releasing). Make sure the pair you get has enough resistance that five repetitions at a time is initially challenging.

          Finally, work those extensor muscles as well. Wrap a rubber band around your fingers and work on spreading your fingers as wide as possible. Look at that as a functional use for all those rubber wrist bands everyone seems to have these days.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


Run 1 Mile
100 Pull-ups
200 Push-ups
300 Squats
Run 1 Mile
*you may partition the pull-ups, push-ups and squats any way you want to

WOD DATE AND TIME: MEMORIAL DAY (5/30) @ 8:30AM, 9:30AM OR 10:30AM

Saturday, May 21, 2016


           When thinking about or discussing your core it often helps to use an analogy.  Your core is like the foundation of a house.  If the foundation is solid then the house that sits upon it will stand tall.  If your core is solid then your body will perform at its highest level both inside and outside of the gym.  If the foundation is cracked then the house will crumble over time.  If your core is weak then your body will break down leading to injury and lost training time.
  The core is often thought to be just your abdominal muscles.  Technically your core is comprised of all the muscles between you hips and your shoulders.  Some of these muscles such as the rectus abdominus and hip flexors people are fairly familiar with but who has ever heard of their transverse abdominus or their erector spinae muscles.  Even the muscles you might never have heard of deserve proper attention when training the core.
Having a strong core has numerous benefits.  Athletes will see improved performances and decreased rates of injury.  CrossFitters will see improved technique, strength gains and decreased WOD time.  Average people will see improved quality of life, body composition changes and increased energy levels.  The key to all of these improvements can be found in the increased efficiency of movement derived from a stronger core.  This in turn leads to better body control and coordination.
Likewise having a weak core can lead to a number of different injuries.  Chief among these issues are lower back strain, disc injuries, hip pain, pulled hamstrings and shoulder injuries.  Weak core muscles are often found in the posterior chain.  Simply put people tend not to focus as much on the muscles that they cannot see in the mirror.  Everyone likes to train their abs because they want to see a washboard stomach.
The key to training the core muscles is to understand their role and how they function.  Most muscles within the core are designed to eliminate unwanted movement.  If you only train these muscles to perform flexion then they will be unable to handle the stresses of an overhead squat which requires tremendous midline stabilization.  When performing core to extremity movements, think about any athletic movement, the muscles of the core must fire in a coordinated fashion and this must be controlled.  There is a specific sequence that these muscles must work and this is developed through the proper mobility and stability training.
Mobilization and stabilization of the core must be worked into every workout.  The best and easiest way to do this is through a functional warm-up.  Start with some form of cardiovascular exercise to increase blood flow and soft tissue temperature.  Then start activating your core through dynamic stretching and core work.  Choose exercises that will target the muscles you are going to use in your workout.  If it is leg day make sure you stretch and work the muscles of the hips -- hip flexors, glutes, hamstrings and quads.      

Thursday, May 12, 2016


6 Rounds:
2 Squat Cleans 205/145
4 Strict C2B Pull-ups
6 Strict Handstand Push-ups

For time:
100 Air Squats
50 Push Jerks 135/95
100 Air Squats

For time:
500m row
400m run
300 Double Unders

*Rest 5 minutes between each workout


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

      CrossFit Is For Everyone

     By its very definition CrossFit is meant to be broad general and inclusive. However, there is a very good chance that if you have seen or heard of CrossFit it then you are intimidated by it. Reebok commercials and YouTube videos feature ultra fit 20-somethings sprinting, throwing weight around and jumping. Visit your local affiliate and you are likely to find muscled, shirtless members writhing around on the ground after a grueling workout. No wonder you think the local globo gym is more appealing.

     Regardless of your background – whether you are an experienced weightlifter, runner, gymnast, or yoga enthusiast – CrossFit can be, and is for everyone. Make no mistake about it, even if you only spend one or two days per week training in a CrossFit box you can certainly stand to improve your skills and conditioning and this will make you even more proficient in your chosen fitness regimen.

     If you come into CrossFit from a weight training background you will immediately have a valuable set of skills to draw upon. Almost all CrossFit workouts draw on a strength element. Knowing how to bench press, squat, dead lift and power clean will allow you to pick up other CrossFit skills much faster. The conditioning elements are where you will be challenged. Moving heavy weights at a high heart rate may initially be disconcerting, but be patient and look to get more comfortable over time.

     Runners also have an advantage when starting a CrossFit routine. Many workouts have a running component between 400 and 5,000 meters. Being able to run faster and with good form when tired is a huge advantage. As an endurance athlete you will also have the mental toughness to persevere through the long brutal workouts. Lack of experience with weight training will likely be the limiting factor here. A potentially weaker core and lack of motor skills will mean you have to spend more time learning to perform weight lifting skills safely and efficiently.

     Gymnasts usually possess an awareness of body movement that makes their learning curve much shorter. Having already developed tremendous flexibility, endurance and stamina gymnasts are often lacking in strength training. However, gymnasts have an almost innate awareness of ideal body positions for maximal force production. This is essential for heavy lifting and power movements and will allow an individual to get stronger faster than the typical athlete.

     CrossFit is about strength expressed through efficient movement. Efficient movement in turn hinges on flexibility and mobility, two skills yoga enthusiasts are masters at. Where a yogi might stumble is with the speed element. Most CrossFit workouts are done for time which is the antithesis of a slow moving yoga workout.

     In the end there is something for everyone. A weight lifter will achieve a more balanced and developed athleticism. A runner will improve mechanics and become a faster runner. A gymnast will get stronger and improve their existing skill set. A yogi will enjoy the symmetry of mental focus and philosophical bliss associated both with meditation as well as high intensity workouts.

Thursday, May 5, 2016


  • Ruck Run 3 Miles (40/20)
  • Row 5K
  • Ruck Run 3 miles (40/20)
  • 200x Burpees


Wednesday, May 4, 2016


Success in CrossFit is analogous to success in life. If you want to get better at either one you have to strive each day to improve, push yourself and make positive changes. Becoming stagnant or complacent is a sure fire recipe for failure. However, it is equally important to reflect on where you have been, what you have accomplished and where you want to go. Here are a few things that will help you make each day your very best.

1.) Keep a log. In CrossFit we always suggest that you keep accurate records. Record your times, loads, recovery activities, and general observations. This will quantify what you are doing and constantly provide real time feedback on your results and progress. This also applies to life. Keep a journal to record your personal and professional goals. Establish key benchmarks with dead lines and record regularly what progress you are making toward these goals. Think of CrossFit and life like you would a small business. Develop your business plan and then hold yourself accountable for your progress.

2.) Active recovery is essential. Take fish oil, sleep 7-8 hours in a given 24 hours, drink at least a half an ounce of water per pound of body weight, do basic joint mobility exercises and be mindful. Mindfulness is much like meditation. Close out the noise and let your mind rest. Give your body the things it needs to grow, repair, change and improve. Doing these things will help your personal and professional life. Keep your body healthy and your life will follow.

3.) Learn constantly. Always read and watch any and all videos that you can get your hands on. Make sure, of course, they come from reputable sources. Just because something appears on the internet does not mean it is legitimate. Also, visit your local book store or download a few books on your iPad or Kindle. There are some phenomenal self- help books and resources out there for professional development and personal well being.

4.) Seek out informed professionals. Someone always knows more than you, and there is no such thing as an expert. If anyone ever claims to be one then they have just suggested that they are not open to learning themselves. Move on to the next informed resource and always double check the facts. Hire a trainer for some additional one-on-one instruction with your exercise. A life coach or business coach can also be an invaluable tool, but always try and get a referral as the better coaches often only work through referrals. This will help you avoid the scammers.

5.) Put 10 minutes in each and every day. Put 10 minutes into improving your fitness, put 10 minutes into improving your mobility and put 10 minutes into being a better you. Thirty minutes a day is all it takes, but consistency is the key. Try it for one week and you will definitely see the improvement. If you say you do not have 30 minutes per day, then you are either over-scheduled or just making excuses. Manage your time better.

6.) Set the benchmark as high as you can. Measure your progress against the best in the field. Your potential is likely higher than you give yourself credit for. If you set the benchmark too low you will find a great deal of success but you will never have to challenge yourself. Likewise if you set the benchmark much higher you might not always be successful but you will always be working much harder than the average person.

7.) Do not shy away from adversity. The greatest test you can put yourself through is facing your fears. This is where people really learn the most about themselves. Whether it is a workout that scares you or finding the courage to switch careers, you will come out the other side a better and likely more mature person.

8.) Own your weaknesses. Humility is a greater character trait than is pride. Face your limitations head on and turn your weaknesses into strengths. This in turn will make everything stronger.

9.) Publicize what you are doing and what your goals are. If others know what you are up to they will not only provide another layer of accountability but they will also show support and provide additional strength for your success.

10.) 3-2-1 Get After It!!