Hello, 2013.

by admin in Announcement | 4 Comments

Happy New Year! While you’re lying on your couch recovering from last night’s festivities, take a moment (a long moment) to read what I’ve written below. Bear with me as it’s a long one but an important one, nonetheless.

Dear DSCF,

 

The first four months of our existence have been nothing short of incredible. I personally have witnessed so many achievements that I can’t even begin to list them all here. But I’ll try…. No, I’m kidding. You all have shown so much progress and growth that it makes me look forward to what we will accomplish in this next year. With that being said….

 

The results from the “DSCF State of the Box” survey are in! And overall the scores and comments were quite positive. I’m so happy that you all are enjoying your CrossFit experience for the most part so far. If you are happy, I am happy. And thank you to all of you (nearly 2/3 of you! Awesome!) who provided responses. I really appreciate it. And, of course, the positive comments you left for me in the survey have really made a lasting impact on me and show me how much this gym has meant to you. I really, really appreciate the love and support from you all.

I won’t provide all of the results and responses here but what I’ve been able to glean from the ratings and comments is that you want MORE. Good. That makes me happy as well. Please demand more from me, the other coaches, and the gym itself. We can always do better. We CAN do MORE.

In terms of the coaching, there is an overwhelming demand for even more attention to form, technique, and the fundamentals.  It was especially expressed that commenting and corrections take place even more so throughout metcons. Good. I will make sure to do this more frequently, especially with those of you who are more “green” to CrossFit and barbell movements. I agree that WOD times be damned when lifts are being performed incorrectly or unsafely!

In terms of programming, you want more as well….more mobility and stretching, more skill work, and more strength training (in that order actually). Additionally, you want more movement variation (including agility work – we’ve got ladders and hurdles now!), cool down stretches, and check-out work. Awesome! I want to give you all you can handle.

You want more class times during the week, Open Box hours, and new kinds of equipment. Me too! This will be the slowest to implement but it is a priority for me to address. Additionally, you want more storage space for your personal belongings as well as coat hooks for your jackets. A water fountain would be a plus too. (As an immediate alternative, I will be able to provide refrigerated bottled water for a nominal fee.) These facility upgrades are already in the process of occurring.

 

Please continue to demand more from me. In exchange, I ask that you help me in meeting your demands. Think of the following as a social contract rather than a list of rules or requirements….

 

Please arrive to class on time (and by on time I mean early! “If you’re on time, you’re late.”). When you are in class, have a sense of urgency. You want more from me and you want more from each class. In order to do so, we must move quickly between class segments. When a coach says we have 20 minutes to perform a lift or 5 minutes until the metcon must begin, please be aware of these deadlines. Don’t make the rest of the class wait for you. You know what you need to do so get it done in the allotted time. In order to facilitate this process, here is some advice to help you manage your time. If we are performing a barbell lift in a metcon and need to organize other equipment, then perform a warm-up set or two on the bar then proceed to set up your boxes or bands while you recover. “Superset” your preparation, if you will. Then return to the barbell to add the final amount of weight for the warm-up and workout. All of this will also facilitate the beginning and ending of classes on time, which is important for everyone. When classes do happen to spill over, please be respectful of those finishing the WOD and do not stand in front of the white board and clock. The WOD is posted to the blog well before you arrive and we will discuss what we are doing once class begins.

While I think we’ve been doing a great job of this, I want to make sure we bring a little house keeping to our attention. Please put away equipment exactly where you found it. Memory lapses post-WOD definitely happen but do your best to help each other out by remembering to put your things away. If you are a sweaty person (I know damn well what this is like) please wipe down any equipment you used. Additionally, please try to keep chalk in the bucket and do not chalk the bars. The bars do not sweat and, besides, less is more with chalk in all instances. Your hands just need to be dry, not caked in residue. This will actually benefit your hands greatly and prevent tears. Last thing about equipment….if your barbell does not hold a 25 or 45 pound plate, please do not drop it. The 10 pound plates (even if you have two of them on each side) bend easily and bounce like a jack rabbit when they hit the ground. This can be dangerous for the other members and the walls/boxes/barbell racks. We have some of the best equipment in the city (Seriously, we do. I did that on purpose.), let’s ensure the quality and integrity of it remains.

As mentioned previously, there was a lot of demand for focus on technique and form. Please put the onus on yourself to do so as well. CrossFit is hard. So challenge YOURSELF to be better. I can only watch one of you at a time and I can’t possibly repeat myself thrice while others need attention. If you know you need to work on squat depth, YOU need to push yourself to work on that depth while under load. Don’t just stop when it starts to get difficult (and I mean difficult in a challenging way, not painful way).

There was also a desire to be pushed in regards to intensity, energy, and heavier weights. This is great. I want this as well. Technique and form are great but it will be on YOU to push yourself to perform lifts in metcons at a challenging weight until you are Rxing every WOD. Think about the weight in the context of the WOD and the intended time to finish or rounds to complete. I can help but soon I won’t be able to remember what weights you used last time. Additionally, I cannot tell how heavy or difficult something feels for you. This is where you must ask yourself if you can perform a movement in a challenging yet safe manner. YOU are your own diagnostic machine. Your CrossFit experience is a period of self-discovery and growth. It will test your mettle, limits, and ability to persevere. Yeah, you might not be able to get through that set unbroken. But are you Rxing? No? Then good. If you are consistently beating those who are Rxing then something is likely wrong. Never end a session feeling like you could have done more. Believe in yourself. Don’t doubt yourself. Push yourself. And never say you will never be able to do something. You just haven’t done it YET. Progress takes time. It just needs to start somewhere.

Mobility and stretching was the highest requested change to programming. Great! I’m ecstatic that you all recognize the importance of range of motion. More mobility and stretching work will be introduced into warm-ups and cool-downs/check-outs. But please know that mobility work is not isolated to specific mobility exercises. EVERY movement we do is a chance for you to improve your range of motion. Don’t stop short of a stretch under load (think about your squat depth while under a barbell here!). It will be challenging. It will be difficult. You will want to stop. Don’t. Don’t cheat yourself of the opportunity. If you have a severe limitation then YOU MUST work on this on your OWN time as well. You know who you are and you know what these difficulties are. Help me help you help yourself.

When in doubt on any or all of the items I ask of you above, please do not be afraid to ask. If you don’t ask then I don’t know you have questions. I love this stuff. Ask me questions. I will talk your ear off until you say you don’t want to know about physics. And if I don’t have an acceptable answer for you or an answer at all, make me figure it out. Chances are I will want to anyway.

 

Finally, please don’t take the tone of this manifesto as one of anger. I’m not angry. At all. Really. I love you guys. You are my family. I’ve learned so much from all of you so far through our experience together and have become close with many of you as well. I just see so much potential in all of you. And I want to bring that out in you and make you see what you can do. I demand a lot from myself and expect a lot from you. In return, I hope you expect a lot from me. In fact, I demand that you demand a lot from me.

 

Welcome to 2013, DSCF. This will be our best year yet.

 

JJ

Happy NYE

by admin in WOD | 5 Comments

The evening class of Justin V., Brandon A., Richard B., Ro A., and Jon K. doin work

Don’t forget to sign up for our very first PALEO CHALLENGE. More info here.

 

“Annie” (15 min. cap)

50-40-30-20-10

    • double-unders
    • ab-mat sit-ups

 

rest and prepare for….

 

THE FINAL COUNTDOWN

10 pull-ups

9 HSPUs

8 split jumps

7 box jumps (30/24)

6 wall balls (20/14)

5 deadlifts (155/115)

4 power cleans (155/115)

3 front squats (155/115)

2 jerks (155/115)

1 clean and jerk (155/115)

x # of burpees after each round

 

Record both metcon times to comments.

Mark of the Beast

by admin in WOD | 8 Comments

Speaking of beasts….Moosah R. Nuff said.

5 rounds

    • 6 front squats (185/135)
    • 6 muscle-ups (sub 1x pull-ups/ring dips – hardest scale possible!)
    • 6 wall walks

 

If you are doing your pull-ups unbroken with bands then you are scaling too much. Front squats should be heavy as well but are still coming from the floor.

 

Record metcon time to comments.

Proper Posture

by admin in Coach's Tips | 9 Comments

Below is information regarding proper posture and how it relates to progressing with your fitness. Please read this thoroughly and think about yourself in regards to the information provided below. Moving forward, proper posture during casual/rest time in the gym must be maintained. Poor posture will not be tolerated. Do NOT make me push and pull your body into position. :)

Why is proper posture important?

“The body functions best when it’s segments are in a balanced, neutral alignment. The nerves are unobstructed, the blood flows more efficiently, and the muscles work to their full potential. This position also relieves stress on joints and the skeletal structure. In contrast, poor posture is biomechanically inefficient and can contribute to poor performance, increasing fatigue and the potential for injury during activity.” (1)

Basically, proper posture can help keep you from avoidable pain or injuries. It will help you move better and keep you in efficient position for lifts and movements. This equates to less wasted energy and bigger, faster, more powerful movements and lifts.

 

What are the characteristics of neutral posture?

(12)

“When assessing an athlete’s alignment, there are a few key points to look for.

From the front:

    • The point between the eyes should line up vertically with the chin, breastbone, belly button, mid-pelvic area and midpoint between the knees and ankles.
    • The height of the eyes, ears, shoulders, hips and knees should be level.

From the side:

    • There should be three natural curves in the spine, slightly forward at the neck [cervical vertebrae] and lower back [lumbar vertebrae], and slightly backward at the upper back [thoracic vertebrae].
    • The ears should be aligned vertically over the shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles.” (1)

 

What are some indicators of poor posture?

anterior head carriage (AHC)

(2)

    • Imagine a line drawn from the top of the head (along the side of the body) through the ear hole, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles. AHC is diagnosed when the top of the head and ears are held in front of the shoulders and upper back. Holding the head (which weighs about the same as a bowling ball) outside the rest of the body is akin to passing the barbell away from the body during any power or Olympic lift. It is incredibly inefficient and uses excessive energy to hold it off center of gravity. In this case, the muscles in the upper back and neck are under constant tension and because of the change in positioning in front of the body’s center of gravity, the change in leverage increases the effective weight of the head. AHC is almost always associated with kyphosis as well.

kyphosis

(3)

    • Kyphosis is also known as a rounded upper back, hunchback, or slouching. It is characterized by over-curvature of the thoracic vertebrae. Forward shoulders and/or hollowed chest are indicative of some degree of kyphosis. This condition is likely due to over-developed or shortened pectoral and/or anterior deltoid muscles. This is one of the most common types of poor posture positions.

lordosis

(4)

    • Lordosis is also known as swayback or saddleback and is characterized by inward over-curvature of the lumbar or cervical vertebrae of the spine. Lordosis can be caused by tight lower back muscles, weak hamstrings or hip flexors, or excessive weight held in the abdomen either via visceral fat or pregnancy. This condition is often also associated with anterior pelvic tilt (protruding backside).

anterior and posterior pelvic tilt

(5)

    • Anterior pelvic tilt is due to shortened hip flexors pulling the front of the pelvis down and lengthened hip extensors (glutes and hamstrings). The backside typically sits high or juts out in this condition.
    • Posterior pelvic tilt is the opposite of anterior pelvic tilt and is characterized by sliding of the backside under the body. This could be indicative of tight hamstrings or glutes.

inward knee bend/dive

    • An inward knee bend or inward knee dive could be indicative of weak glutes or weak hip flexors. Despite these muscles being on opposite sides of the body, either one could contribute to the knees not staying out during walking, running, squatting, or jumping. Additionally, a long history of crossing your legs while sitting could contribute to shortening of the hip flexors.

 

What benefits can be achieved due to proper posture outside of the gym?

“Studies show that first impressions are formed within 30 seconds of acquaintance, with body language as a major determining factor.  Strong, neutral posture can contribute to:

    • Improved Appearance
    • Increased Confidence
    • Improved Social Skills

Alternately, a person with poor body posture can send a signal of weakness.” (1)

 

What can be done to correct poor posture?

Listen to your coach! Seriously though. Please do. Working hard to force yourself into proper positioning throughout every gymnastic/bodyweight movement, power lift, and Olympic lift no matter how uncomfortable it is is paramount. Gaining depth via a tall chest, tight back, and fully planted foot during a movement as “simple” as the air squat is crucial! Make it hard on yourself. Cutting corners will never get you anywhere.

Daily activities such as standing, walking, and sitting should be accompanied by the description of neutral posture above. For many of you this means drawing the shoulder blades down and back with the chest up and through the shoulders to fix AHC and kyphosis. There is no excuse for poor posture as an adult. And now that you are performing advanced movements, you should be doing whatever you can to facilitate the correction of your posture. If you know you have poor posture, do something about it. I will help you. Heck, I’ve probably already brought it up with you.

After reviewing the indicators of poor posture above, as simple as it sounds, do the opposite of what is causing it. If you have some level of kyphosis, you need to stretch out your pecs and anterior delts and stand tall. If you have some level of AHC, be aware that you are protruding your neck forward. Pull your head back throughout the day. Don’t look like a turtle. If your knees dive in during knee flexion (i.e. squatting, deadlifts, Olympic lifts, jumping/landing during box jumps, etc.) and especially if they make contact, be diligent to push them out!

Half the battle of improving your fitness is not only doing what you are told/expected of and challenging yourself but for you to learn more about your own body. Body awareness and control are key aspects which are learned by athletes as they progress through sports from childhood to adulthood. Often this is what has prevented many from becoming star athletes growing up. Where those who never excelled in sports may have said “I can’t do this” or “I am not good at this”, the athlete will have thought to themselves, “How do I get better at this?” or “What is limiting me from getting better?”.

 

Be the latter.

 

Resources:

(1) http://sportmedbc.com/article/posture-performance

(2) http://erikdalton.com/images/ForwardHdEv.jpg

(3) http://www.umm.edu/graphics/images/en/9499.jpg

(4) http://www.spinesurgeon.com.au/Neurological_Conditions/abnormal_spinal/lordosis.jpg

(5) http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/img/248Bfig1.PNG

(6) http://coachingbest.com/the-importance-of-posture-in-sports-performance/

(7) http://www.squidoo.com/improve-posture-for-sports-performance-part-2

(8) http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/back-pain-how-bad-posture-can-hinder-sports-performance-35886

(9) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyphosis

(10) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lordosis

(11) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pelvic_tilt

(12) http://healthyspinehealthybody.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/postur1.gif

Go Tuck Yourself

by admin in WOD | 6 Comments

Johanna L. locking out over head

Sign up for our very first PALEO CHALLENGE. More info here.

Skill work:

30 HSPUs accumulated via as many max unbroken sets as necessary – hardest scale!

    • if you don’t have HSPUs yet, you will do the hardest scale of negatives

 

Conditioning:

4 rounds

    • 10 power snatches (95/65)
    • 20 tuck jumps
    • 30 double-unders

 

Post max unbroken set of HSPUs and metcon time to comments.

DSCF Inaugural Paleo Challenge

by admin in Announcement, Event | 9 Comments

Here it is….our very first PALEO CHALLENGE!

 

This paleo challenge is four weeks long, beginning on Monday, January 7th. We’ll kick off the challenge with strength and metcon tests as well as body measurements. We’ll be holding a paleo presentation and discussion before we dive into the paleo diet lifestyle to make sure we’re all following on the right path! Participants will be divided into teams to ensure accountability and assigned a coach to review daily food logs, recommend dietary adjustments, and provide support throughout the program.

 

The male, female, and team with the greatest strength, metcon, and body composition improvements will be crowned the paleo challenge winners and rewarded for their hard work!

 

Here is the schedule for the challenge:

Saturday, January 5:

11 am – strength tests

12:30 pm – paleo presentation and discussion (open to paleo challenge participants and non-participants)

Sunday, January 6:

11 am – body measurements and metcon test

Saturday, February 2:

11 am – strength test-out

Sunday, February 3:

11 am – body measurement and metcon test-out

*if you have a conflict with any of these dates but would like to be involved in the program, please post your conflicting dates to the comments so that I can coordinate make-up times!

 

Cost is only $80. So sign up now via MindBody as spots are limited!!!

 

(more details on strength tests, metcon, body measurements, and scoring criteria to follow)

Back in the Saddle Again

by admin in WOD | 5 Comments

Terra T. wrasslin the Bear (Complex) and putting up MAD numbers by the end of the day (85!)

1 RM low-bar back squat

 

12 min. AMRAP

    • 3 barbell rows (115/75)
    • 3 hang power cleans (115/75)
    • 3 push presses (115/75)
    • rest as long as it took you to complete round 1

 

Record your 1 RM back squat and metcon rounds to comments. Welcome back.

The Day After Yesterday

by admin in General | Comments Off on The Day After Yesterday

We are closed today to allow you to recover from your holiday merriment. See you tomorrow when we get back to work (gym work, that is).

Merry Christmas

by admin in General | Comments Off on Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas DSCF crew.

 

Eat well, drink well, and enjoy your time with loved ones.

Hammer Time

by admin in WOD | 1 Comment

Sam C., only a couple classes post-On-Ramp, getting after a heavy Bear Complex

It’s Christmas Eve and we’ve got a couple days off coming up so, hey, what the heck….

 

“Hammer”

5 rounds

    • 5 power cleans (135/95)
    • 10 front squats (135/95)
    • 5 jerks (135/95)
    • 20 pull-ups
    • rest 90 sec.

each round for time

 

Post round times to comments.