Big Pink Elephant in the Room

c29d76411299eaf00785dd6f3561bcf0.jpg

In CrossFit there are occasionally athletes that cheat on their WOD.  They cut out, skip, or lie about the number of reps they completed in a workout to achieve a better “Score”. 

Cheaters have no place in CrossFit.  There I said it.  End of story!

The phrase “If you cheat, you’re only cheating yourself” is mostly FALSE!  Cheating reps affects you and your fellow members.  If effects our community.  It can cast a dark cloud over a class.

1.      Yes, if you cheat reps you are doing yourself a disservice.  We program the WODs with a certain expected stimulus for your body.  Cutting out or skipping reps changes the stimulus and will give you an incorrect response from your body.  You are at SPCF to get healthier and better.  Our programming will do that so long as you follow the program.

 

Take this example

 “DT”

5RFT:

12 Deadlifts

9 Power Hangs

6 Push Press

RX 155X


If you cut 1 repetition on each exercise per round you will have 2325lbs that you did not lift.  Also you body will not be tasked correctly as you will move on to the next exercise quicker.  This cheating of reps will greatly change the stimulus for the WOD.

 

2.      If you want to compete in a competition you will lose.  You can’t cheat reps at a competition.  So all of those athletes you were trying to “beat” at the box are going to finish well ahead of you.  Treat each WOD as a competition!

 

3.      Cheating reps gives you a bad/incorrect benchmark scores to compare to your previous scores.  When DT comes up again will you remember how many reps you skipped or cut out?  If it is a just a repeated WOD you will have a tougher time comparing your scores.  How can you see if you are progressing if your scores are not correct?  Don’t you want to see the improvement?

4.      Cheating reps also cheats the other athletes working out with you.  While I always say and believe each WOD is your own, CrossFit also breeds internal competition.  We all push harder when we WOD together.  We want to be better or the best and attempting to get a better score drives the intensity.  False scores cheat your fellow athletes.  It gives them an incorrect or unrealistic score to try to achieve. 

 

5.      Cheating also affects the whole box.  Members know who is cheating pretty quickly.  This can cause the other members to isolate you.  It hurt the relationships we build at the box. It shows a lack of respect for your fellow athletes.  It puts a dark cloud on the class.

 

6.      Other member’s workouts suffer.  Once members know you cheat they will watch you in class.  They will unfortunately put less focus on their workouts and more on you.  This decreases their progress and results.

  

Cheating reps is just bad.  Nothing good comes from it.  Don't make excuses.  If you lose count then just go back to the number you remember getting to.  It is much better to do extra reps than it is to cheat.  Cheating reps is not acceptable under any circumstance.

Focus on getting better.  You are going to achieve great results by doing the WORK!  Every rep will make you stronger and healthier and better.  Challenge yourself to be a better you!  There is no shortcut in fitness.  There is no shortcut in life!  DO THE WORK!

-Coach David-

Top 6 Myths about CrossFit

 

 

  1. You need to be in shape before you start- This is the worst one since it keeps the potential member from even considering getting started. This is like saying you need to learn to swim before you jump in the pool! Meanwhile, the only way to learn is to take the leap. The beauty of CrossFit is in its scalability to make the 40 year old that wants to lose 100 pounds, and the professional athlete to work hard. Many gyms offer “levels” to their classes that will allow them to meet you where you are, not expect the new member to start at any particular level of fitness. Let CrossFit get you started on your new fitness journey from the very first step.
  2. Lifting weights will make you “bulky”- This myth can be a tough one to overcome, especially for women. We have been bombarded by TV and magazines as to what “beauty” looks like, and unfortunately it leads to many unhealthy habits. There are several factors that come into play here, namely, calorie intake/nutrition and genetics. If your goal is to lose weight, and/or develop a more athletic, lean physique; then I suggest you give CrossFit a try…If at some point, you feel as like you’re getting “too bulky”, then we’ll cross that bridge when we, if ever, get to it.
  3. It’s expensive- Put the money that goes towards your long term health and fitness in a different category….an investment. Perhaps that will change how you perceive it. Expensive is $100+ for a pair of shoes, pants, shirt, or handbag.  Expensive is $300 each month for cholesterol, or heart medication! How much would you be willing to pay for something that’ll bring more benefit to your life than you ever imagined?  Certainly there will be a segment of the population that just cannot afford certain things. However, once we put priorities on the important things, and you see the value a product or service offers, a funny thing happens. Like many things in life, if you want it enough, you’ll find a way to make it happen.
  4. CrossFit is dangerous- I’m guessing this one came after someone watched internet videos of people doing something dumb with a barbell, and said they are “doing CrossFit”. With the proper coaching, CrossFit is infinitely scalable to anyone. I have seen people do some pretty silly things; but the fact is that there will be good and bad in any business. Doctors, accountants, plumbers, CrossFit coaches…In our 6+ years as an affiliate, I have seen people join with missing limbs, or after back, knee, shoulder surgeries and return to exceed their and the doctors expectations for recovery.  We’ve had patients suffer (and survive) a variety of cardiovascular issues and their doctors told them if it weren’t for their fitness level, they wouldn’t have survived. I’d need more than 3 hands to count the number of members that have told me they no longer need their blood pressure medication, diabetes medication, or anti-depressants thanks to CrossFit. CrossFit isn’t dangerous. Poor nutrition, lack of proper exercise is. Not knowing what you don’t know is dangerous.
  5. You can’t get in a good workout in that amount of time- This is one of those where I feel people just have to experience it to believe it. Or, I could bore them to tears with physiology and biochemistry babble, but I suppose that we’d both prefer the former. The key word with this myth is intensity. Intensity that is relative to your current fitness level in order to achieve the results we’re looking for during each workout. The combination of strength training, gymnastics, plyometrics, cardiovascular training and other methods of trainings will give you just want you need to achieve your goals. Don’t take my word for it. Try it.
  6. “I heard people throw up during workouts”– Sorry, you heard wrong. In 6 years as a CrossFit affiliate owner, I can count on one hand (my hands only have 5 fingers too) how many times this has happened. While some places may unfortunately point to that as a badge of honor; they shouldn’t. If you’ve heard of this happening to someone, it’s likely one of a small number of reasons, usually related to the timing of their last meal prior to a workout. Nothing more, nothing less. A good affiliate will have an understanding that we are a business that promotes improving ones health and fitness, and that applauding the current topic is unprofessional and dangerous.

Technique vs. Intensity in CrossFit – Why Scaling is so important

As CrossFit has exploded over the years a lot of things have changed.  The Games have changed from essentially a backyard BBQ on a dusty ranch to a spectacle of fitness that awards over 1 million dollars in prize money.  Reebok has come on as a title sponsor (anyone remember when Inov-8’s or chuck taylors were the “crossfit shoe”?). More and more people are doing CrossFit at their local affiliates and not in their garages following crossfit.com or getting kicked out of YMCA’s or Gold’s Gyms.  I also have a sneaking suspicion that a very high percentage of people who have started CrossFit after 2013 or so do not read the CrossFit journal.   If this is you, I would strongly encourage that you do a little bit of searching.  There are tons of free journal articles that do not require subscription and tons more free journal content that has been put on YouTube.  If you do not know Greg Glassman (founder and CEO), you need to.  There is something magical about the way this man talks.  He knows everything about what he’s trying to accomplish with CrossFit so inside and out that it will make your head spin.
Lacey and I had the pleasure of meeting him for a brief moment at the 2012 Regionals.  We were in the middle of day 2 of competition and Dave Castro came over and said he wanted to introduce us to Coach Glassman.  At was around this time that we had started thinking about the idea of opening our own gym.  We didn’t have the money, we didn’t know anything about running a business, but after 2-3 minutes of speaking with Coach Glassman the decision was made – and less than 2 months later we had keys to our building.  I remember every word he said.  That’s the kind of man he is.
Bit of a tangent there- go check out some CrossFit Journal.

I want to bring some of the most important ideas I’ve learned through the CrossFit Journal, and had the ability to draw upon as coach over the last several years

Every rep should not look perfect every time – Here’s why.

The image above represents 3 athletes of varying abilities.  Athletes are asked to perform 5 Clean & Jerks at 155lbs as fast as they can.  Each athlete finishes in exactly 20 seconds.  The scatterplots above represent the athlete’s ability to “hit the bullseye” in terms of technique.  What can we learn from this?

 

Athlete 1 – 5 reps in 20 seconds. Every rep looks basically the exact same.  Nice and efficient.  Could this athlete go faster and still keep respectable technique? Absolutely.  And that should be the focus for this athlete.  Pushing the pace will yield a higher average power output and more of all the results we are looking for (strength, power, endurance, but also increased lung capacity, lower blood pressure, decreased body fat and triglycerides, etc). This athlete could be working harder.

Athlete 2 – 5 reps in 20 seconds.  Not every rep looks quite the same. One maybe has a bit of a pressout on the jerk, maybe a slight early arm bend on the pull during the clean, but the reps are being completed quickly and in a way that doesn’t propose any immediate safety concerns for the athlete.  Every now and then there may be a rep that’s a little iffy, but that comes with pushing the pace.  It is clear this athlete is working at or near the limits of their ability.  This is where we want to be.

Athlete 3 – 5 reps in 20 seconds.  Things are starting to degrade.  Lower back is rounding on the pull, overhead position is unstable, and generally movement looks sloppy.  This weight is clearly too heavy for this athlete to perform at high intensity.  There are a couple of reasons this may occur.  The weight could simply just be too heavy for the athlete, or if this is a newer athlete the motor patterns for proper technique may not yet be developed to a level that allows them to use this weight.  In either case, the athlete or coach should strip of some weight such that the athlete can achieve both acceptable technique and high intensity.

There is a great video in the CrossFit Journal of Dave Castro explaining this concept very well:

http://journal.crossfit.com/2009/03/dave-castro-technique-vs-intensity.tpl

CrossFit Intensity Explained and Why Scaling Can Equal Better Results

Watch this, it will help. We’re getting mathematical.


Intensity is directly related to power output.  It’s not how hard you think you worked, or how much your sweating, its actually measurable.

Work = Force x Distance
Ex. A 6ft tall man power cleaning 135lbs.
135 lbs x 5ft (estimating 5ft to the shoulders) = 675 ft/lbs of Work

Power = (Force x Distance) / Time
aka Work / Time

If we use the example of the workout “Grace” 30 Clean and Jerks at 135lbs we can find the following data based on how long the workout takes.

Work = 135lbs x 7 ft (estimating barbell overhead is 7ft)

= 945 ft/lbs  (x30 reps) = 28,350 ft/lbs

Power = 28,350 ft/lbs / time

If the workout takes 1:30 the average power output is 315 ft/lbs per second

If the workout takes 3:00 the average power output is 157.5 ft/lbs per second

If the workout takes 5:00 the average power output 94.5 ft/lbs per second

Remember Average Power is directly related to Intensity and all the results we are trying to achieve.

Let’s look at another example and why scaling properly is SO important.

Using a WOD we did earlier this week (10 min AMRAP- 10 OHS @95/65, 10 T2B)

We’re going to assume the T2B work = ½ of your mass moving a distance of 3 ft, and we’ll use the example of a woman who weighs 150lbs.

Workout completed with full T2B and 65lbs yields a result of 3 Rounds + 4 reps

30 reps of T2B = 75lbs (1/2 of BW) x 3ft (agreed upon distance)
= 30 x 225 ft/lbs
= 6750 ft/lbs of work from 30 T2B

34 reps of OHS @ 65lbs
= 34 reps x 150lbs BW + 65lbs barbell / 2 ft distance
= 34 reps x 430 ft/lbs
= 14,620 ft/lbs of work from 34 reps of OHS

Total work = 6750 + 14,620 = 21,370 ft/lbs
Average Power Output = 21,370 ft/lbs / 600 seconds
= 35.6 ft/lbs per second

Let’s assume that the 65lb barbell was a bit of an ambitious choice and slowed the athlete down.  Reps were slower, confidence in their actually ability to do the movement under fatigue was lower, and thus the breaks in between were longer and some rounds were split up into 5-5.

Let’s use the example of the same workout, but now using 45lbs which the athlete has no reservations about using and can move quickly and confidently.

Workout completed with full T2B and 45lbs yields a result of 5 rounds + 12 reps

52 reps of T2B = 75lbs (1/2 of BW) x 3ft (agreed upon distance)
= 52 x 225 ft/lbs
= 11,700 ft/lbs of work from 52 T2B

60 reps of OHS @ 45lbs
= 60 reps x 150lbs BW + 45lbs barbell / 2 ft distance
= 60 reps x 390 ft/lbs
= 23,400 ft/lbs of work from 60 reps of OHS

Total work = 11,700 + 23,400 = 35,100 ft/lbs
Average Power Output = 35,100 ft/lbs / 600 seconds
= 58.5 ft/lbs per second


Let’s look at those numbers for a second.

58.5 ft/lbs per second is a 64.3% increase in average power output from 35.6 ft/lbs per second

This is important and cannot be understated.  The common argument from the athlete is “I need to go Rx. I don’t feel like I’m getting any better if I don’t” -or something to that affect.

There are times to push the weights a bit, yes.  Some workouts are meant to be heavy and to slow things down a bit.  But the time when you should be focused on increasing your weights is during our strength and weightlifting portions of class.  Improvements there will lead to the ability to use heavier weights in WOD’s.

From the perspective of a coach who understands proper scaling, all we are trying to do is find the best movement standards and weights to allow you to produce the greatest average power output and essentially produce the biggest stimulus fitness.

SCALING PROPERLY = MORE FITNESS = BETTER RESULTS.

-Shared from CrossFit Outlaw North-

The 2016 CrossFit Open!

The CrossFit Open

 February 25th, 2016

The CrossFit Open season is upon us!  The Open starts today February 25th.  For five weeks, for five open workouts, any and every athlete in the world has the opportunity to participate in an event that is the precursor to Regionals and then the CrossFit Games where the best of the best will throw down on the big stage for big prizes in July.

I know the question I am getting from allot of our members is "Why should I sign up?.” 

1.  Learn what you are capable of - I guarantee, you are capable of more than you think. And when you sign up for the Games, you’re bound to find out just exactly how much more you can accomplish before the clock runs out. The open will force you to go outside your comfort level.  What is more CrossFit than that?  If you can only do one or two double unders you may find yourself choosing the single unders during a normal WOD. During the open you may not have the option to do singles.  This will force you to attempt double unders instead of scaling to singles for a better time or to avoid the double unders all together.  Many athletes find they are capable of achieving more than they thought or allowed themselves.

2.  Get inspired - Competition causes one to want to do better.  That drive to do better can help inspire you to push the line and break through any obstacles that have held you back.  You will be inspired to achieve the very best time/rep count you can.  Competition drives athletes to perform better and focus on their form even more.

When you sign up to compete in the CrossFit Games, you will probably find someone around you, in your gym or in your new group of friends, who inspires you. It might be the mom with the 6 kids, or it might be the 60 year old grandpa, or it might be the 17 year old high school kid who comes to the gym after school every day.

I guarantee you’ll meet someone during the CrossFit Games Open who demonstrates courage and tenacity, someone who makes you proud to workout next to them. You’ll meet someone who inspires you.

3.  Inspire others - Nothing inspires others more than seeing someone push hard though a workout.  When you are challenging yourself others want to see you succeed and they want to follow your lead.  You can inspire everyone to do their very best by bringing your best.

You just might be the person who inspires your kids, or your spouse, or your coworkers or your fellow CrossFitters. You just never know who is paying attention to what you do. But when you sign up to compete, you are showing everyone you aren’t afraid of a few burpees.

4. Build community - What is CrossFit?  Community.  It is every member caring for and cheering for every other member.  This builds our love for each other and our box.  It grows our family.  It shows who we are as a group.  We are in this WOD together and we will be victorious, As a family!

5. Meet other CrossFitters - CrossFit releases the open WOD's on Thursday at 7pm.  We will have the Thursday 7:30pm class attempt the WOD.  We will use that WOD for our Saturday classes.  And finally we have setup an agreement with 2 other local boxes to offer the WOD on Sunday's at different locations.  What does this mean?  It means you may go to a class outside of your usual times.  It means we may have classes with different people from our box or other boxes.  This is a great time to meet other CrossFitters.  To share your love foe what we do and find that common link between all of us.

6. It's fun - CrossFit kicks ass.  We all know this.  There is a reason you do CrossFit.  It is supposed to be fun.  Yes during a WOD we may not love it but after the WOD we absolutely love it.  The CrossFit open will allow you to do some awesome WOD's with your CrossFit family.  You get to have fun with that family. What is better than that?

 

So why aren’t you signed up yet?  No excuses!

Sign up here!

 

-Coach David-