Important Parking Updates!

 
In an effort to improve the parking situation and deter individuals from using the shared parking lot on the side of the gym, our landlord, InsideOut Services, has decide to start enforcing stricter parking regulations effect immediately. To clarify, we still have our 3 spots in the front of the gym as well as the 4 dedicated spots on the side of the building nearest the gym. As many of you may recall when you first came to the gym, you were directed to park in those specific spots. While we’ve never had legitimate claim to other spots in the lot, it has rarely, if ever, been an issue in practice. However, due to the rise in 3rd party individuals taking advantage of our private lot, they’ve decided to implement a parking permit program with their employees and retain a new towing company as well. Warnings will be issues for the month of June, but beginning July 1, they will be towing cars who aren’t parked where they should be.
 
Here’s the takeaway – you are still welcome to park in the first 4 spots on the right side of the lot, to double park in the 3 spots directly in front of the gym, and anywhere on the street lawful to park. Keep in mind, there has always been adequate parking on the street, it just may require some more walking than we’re accustomed to. We will be issuing regular reminders in classes to adjust to this new system, but please keep it in mind moving forward and act as if the new rules are fully in effect immediately.
 

Athlete Best Practices

“We are the sum of our actions, and therefore our habits make all the difference.”

 
When it comes to sustainable, long-term success in the realm of fitness, fat loss, and health there are certain behaviors top performers typically have in common. Keep in mind, nobody is perfect nor should 100% discipline and adherence to our habits be the mark we strive for. Rather, we should aim to check as many important “boxes” as we can, as often as we can. In doing so, we will likely continue to make progress in pursuit of our goals both in the gym and outside of it. Here’s the list, for reference:
 
Successful Athletes:

  • Keep a training log and know their personal bests
  • Are consistent in their training and don’t make excuses (either do or don’t, there is no “try”)
  • Are willing to prioritize and make sacrifices to accommodate their workouts as needed
  • Focus on cultivating a healthly, well-rounded lifestyle to empower their performance (sleep, diet, stress management)
  • Have things they are working on outside of class – movement, mobility, aerobic endurance, specific weaknesses, etc.
  • Are “coachable” and want to be coached
  • Are good listeners, and aren’t afraid to ask questions for clarity or about how to get better
  • Have other physical pursuits outside of CrossFit. What’s the point of being fit if you never use your fitness in real life?
  • Recognize that the details matter. Small refinements compound over time to create large change
  • Tend to focus internally (in your control) vs. compare themselves to others (external focus; out of your control)
  • Work hard and are competitive! There’s no shortcuts or elevators to the top and you’ve got to always find new ways to challenge and push yourself
  • Have good attitudes! Whining and complaining are a choice and make nobody better
  • Show up prepared and ready to workout. They’ve eaten and hydrated and are mentally and physically ready to go
  • Show up on time (if not early) and typically stay late. Same rules that apply in the real world
  • Are willing to trust the process, presuming the process works & makes sense
  • Have a long term vision of where they want to be, and are willing to be patient to achieve that vision

This is by no means a complete list of habits and behaviors to emulate, but rather a collection of best practices exhibited by consistently successful athletes here at CFSS. Let this serve as a guide to help you figure out where you can make improvements and adjustments to consistently look, feel, and perform better! As a reminder, if you identify areas where you’d like to improve, but are unsure how best to go about it, just ask a coach for advice!
 

Kinesiology Tape 101

Neal Maddox K-Tape

by: Marcos Hernandez

 
Have you seen athletes in the gym or on TV performing their sport wrapped with colorful tape in cool patterns? Ever wonder why they were wearing it or what it does exactly?
Ask those who wear it and they will give you one of two answers: pain relief and performance enhancement.
 
The mechanism by which the tape works isn’t quite agreed upon but there is evidence it helps relieve pain and provide support and stability as part of an overall injury treatment plan. The patterns can get fancy but ultimately the goal is to help facilitate recovery without impeding normal range of motion. Studies have shown mixed results when it comes to proving these claims, however kinesiology tape is widely used by athletes in many sports and many claim to notice a positive change as a result.
 
Placebo effect anyone? Even the benefits are purely mental, it’s still worth trying IMO.
Here are two unconventional reasons I suggest trying kinesiology tape: as a reminder about your injury and to protect the skin.
 
Since k-tape is used in conjunction with other therapy modalities, its presence on the skin can provide a reminder about positions and considerations your physical or massage therapist has suggested.
 
As for skin protection, I personally tape over my collarbone (it sticks up from where I broke it over a decade ago) and I’ve found that it provides a buffer between my skin and the bar. Having lifted both with the tape and without it I can 100% tell you the bruising and swelling when performing barbell front rack exercises are hardly noticeable when I tape up but are a limiting factor when I don’t.
 
When applying it yourself, make sure to use scissors to round the corners so the taped doesn’t get caught on your clothing. Then, anchor one end of the tape in the target area, apply therapeutic tension as directed by your PT / sports medicine professional, and anchor the other end. Make sure you don’t touch the adhesive, and make sure you change the tape every couple of days (if not sooner)!
 

Most Of Life Is Showing Up

 

“Most of life is showing up. You do the best you can, which varies from day to day.” – Regina Brett

 
What’s the secret to long term, sustainable progress in the gym? If I had to provide one simple, actionable piece of advice, it would be this: show up! We’ve all heard it before, but the saying really does hold true, especially in the realm of fitness, health, and longevity. When it comes to improving physical capacity, strength, technique, flexibility, etc. frequency of exposure is a critical variable for success. What we see here at the gym is that there is a direct through line from class attendance to improvement in all the meaningful ways we measure progress and success (better performance, body composition, technical skill, recovery capacity, etc.). Simply put, there are no shortcuts or replacements for doing the work, week in and week out. You can give maximum effort two days a week, but you’re not going to see the same progress as someone who is also working hard and training 4-5 days per week. There are a few caveats here of course: we’ve all got different schedules, goals, and recovery capacities. Let’s look at each of these individually:
 
Schedules: Your schedule might be such that you can’t train every day, even if you’d like to. You don’t need to train everyday to get better, but you do need to be consistent. We recommend 3x / week as a minimum effective dose to aim for. This might mean coming in at 6am if you’re busy in the evening, later at night after a long day at work, or on Saturday morning before your weekend plans kick in. Recognize we all have the same 24 hours in the day and plan your workouts accordingly, even if that means setting the alarm a little earlier than you’d like. Progress or excuses, the choice is yours!
 
Goals: What are your goals? What are you training for? How do you measure success? Taking time to answer these questions will help us mold and adapt our programs to best meet your needs as an athlete. Most people are simply training for the rigors of daily life and don’t have a particular sport, event, or competition on their calendar. If you do play a sport, are training for a race, or have some other specific pursuit in mind, CrossFit should serve as your general preparatory training that supports all those activities. CrossFit should enhance, not detract, from your other physical pursuits, so there is likely a need to be mindful of both weekly volume and intensity, especially when in-season or near competition. If you’ve got specific goals, talk to a coach about a smart plan to achieve them and how to best incorporate CrossFit with any outside physical pursuits you may have.
 
Recovery Capacity / Experience Level: CrossFit is hard. There’s a learning curve when it comes to getting better, and progress can be slow and difficult at times. Rarely does someone come in with the baseline level of fitness and skills required to train 4-6 days / week, nor do they need to. With that being said, the body is amazing at adapting to the stresses placed upon it. Train 3 days per week until your body acclimates, then consider adding another day. After doing that for a few months, maybe you consider adding another day to your weekly routine. Taking the incremental approach is the best way to avoid burnout and injury. Gradually increase the demands you place on your body so that your capacity to recover from training can keep pace. Allow yourself plenty of runway for steady development and sustained results.
 
We must remind ourselves that daily movement is both restorative and essential to our health, fitness, and wellbeing. In order to maintain vital physical traits such as flexibility, strength, and work capacity, we need to practice and train the fundamental human movements that we focus on daily in CrossFit (push, pull, hinge, squat, carry etc.). The other side of the coin when it comes to increasing your training frequency is the need to manage intensity appropriately. Here’s the motto to live by: long-term consistency trumps short-term intensity. Not only is it okay to take an easy day or leave something in the tank for next time, we encourage it! Priority number one is showing up and moving; let your coaches help you navigate the other relevant variables that drive progress.
 

Memorial Day ’19 Schedule!

With Memorial Day Weekend around the corner, here’s the rundown on the class schedule here at the gym so you can plan your workouts accordingly:

Friday 5/24 – Regular Schedule
Saturday 5/25 – 8AM WOD, 9AM WOD, 10AM Barbell Club
Monday 5/27 – 8 AM & 9 AM Memorial Day “Murph” WOD!
Tuesday 5/28 – Regular Schedule

 
If you haven’t done “Murph”, here’s a brief etymology of the workout and American Hero whose namesake it is derived from. Lt. Michael Murphy was killed by the Taliban on a combat operation in the mountains of Afghanistan. His story, and the story of his Navy SEAL team’s actions are chronicled in the book “Lone Survivor”, by teammate Marcus Luttrell. The CrossFit community does Murph every memorial day as a symbolic gesture honoring the sacrifice of all of our service men and women made on our behalf. This workout really is a rite of passage, and we’ll worth the ensuing soreness and fatigue the results from undertaking it.
 
“Murph” is fittingly an ass-kicker of a workout:
For time:
1-mile Run
100 Pull-ups
200 Push-ups
300 Squats
1-mile Run
 
To make this achievable, most of you will be doing this workout in teams of 2, with a bit less volume as well as scaled back movements as needed. Whether you are doing “Murph” solo or with a partner, you’re going to want to be plenty rested so take it easy over the weekend. If you are going out of town for the weekend or simply cannot make it in on Monday to do Murph, don’t fret- we’ll be doing an encore presentation the following Saturday as well for anyone who was unable to attend the first go round!
 

Spring ’19 Partner Throwdown Recap!

Spring 19 Throwdown Post Event Flex
 
It was a two-horse race going into the final workout, and neither horse was named Asians with Attitude.
 
Dad WOD (Jason Whaylen + Everett Kimball) had the lead over Full-Fat Dairy (Ian Velinsky + Mike Giglio), but if Full-Fat Dairy could win, and get some help from Asians with Attitude (AWA, Steven + Jason Liu), there was still a chance.
 
Dad WOD won the first two workouts of the day and were hungry to redeem themselves after losing points in the Deadlift Ladder and Max KB Press test.
 
AWA’s day started slow. Neither of the first two workouts suited their strengths but as soon as they got to the deadlift ladder they tightened their belts and managed to squeak past Full-Fat Dairy to take first place in the event. After the KB presses were entered into the rankings AWA found themselves sitting in third with the chance to play spoiler.
 
Full-Fat Dairy had to win the final workout; Ian’s calf had other plans. Maybe it was the lack of electrolytes, or lack of Vanilla Icelandic Yogurt eaten using the foil lid bent into a spoon, but once the calf cramped up there was nothing else to do but throw in the towel.
 
Dad WOD witnessed Ian’s withdrawal from the competition and knew first place was theirs. Not in the final workout, but for the overall standings. Despite having the competition sewn up, Jason and Everett pushed themselves to the limit and came away second in the event.
 
After the dust had cleared, Dad WOD sat in first place, AWA in second, and Full-Fat Dairy had dropped to third.
 
L & N (Lynn Blubaugh and Nonye Uddoh) put on a clinic from start to finish. Out of 5 possible scores, they had four first-place finishes and one second. Going into the final workout, their position was never in doubt.
 
Quad Squad (Jess Raptis + Macy Garcia) took a similar route as AWA. The first two workouts didn’t play to their strengths but as soon as the Deadlifts and KB Presses were complete they found themselves in second place with Teenage Dirtbags (Annie Dempsey + Melissa Erickson) hot on their heels.
 
Quad Squad rose to the challenge and came away with an event win in the final workout, handing L & N their only second place finish in the process. They finished the day in second place and Teenage Dirtbags rounded out the podium in third.
 
A big thank you is extended to all the teams who participated, donated money, and made this event an overwhelming success! As a group we were able to raise $400 for Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless, a very worthy cause!
 
For those unable to attend, we hope to see you at our next Throwdown. For everyone that competed, keep training hard and working on your weakness (or your partner selection tactics) so you can climb the leaderboard and gain some well deserved bragging rights over your fellow athletes!
 

Healthy Runners Workshop: Run Stronger and Longer!

Are you frustrated by repetitive injuries interuppting your training? Have your running times plateaued due to shin splints, IT band issues or knee pain?
 
Well, good news! We have helped many runners just like you address their nagging injuries so that you can train at your best and set new personal records!
 
Dr. Alex Immermann and Dr. Zachary Cohen are Performance Physical Therapists at Cohen Health and Performance. They have helped many of the worlds greatest athletes get out of pain and back to performing at the highest level. This FREE workshop is essential to identify the limitations that are impacting your performance and learn what you can do to address them!
 
Register Here
 
In this FREE workshop you will learn:
-What your limitations are and how they are impacting you when you run
-Why these limitations may be occurring
-Activities that you can do RIGHT NOW to help you run stronger and longer!
 
Furthermore, Dr. Immermann and Dr. Cohen will be offering FREE consultations to all attendees of this workshop. Come take advantage of this incredible opportunity!
 

2019 Spring *Partner* Throwdown

spring '18 partner throwdown

 
The CrossFit Open is officially behind us, summer is right around the corner, and that means it’s high time for an in-house Throwdown, Partner style! You’ve been grinding hard, getting stronger and fitter week in and week out, so it’s only right you and your partner put your collective fitness to the test against your fellow CFSS athletes.
 
The Throwdown will take place Saturday, May 4th from 9:00am-1:00pm. There will be ~4 events with a little bit of everything mixed in, from max effort strength tests to CrossFit WODs to skill based challenges. Stay tuned for clues as to what will be included but the workouts will feature movements we have been / will be practicing and emphasizing in class! Same-sex teams will be required to sign up for either the Rx or Scaled divisions so everyone will be able to participate.
 
Sign up online here!
 
There will be a $20 buy-in per team that will go to a charitable organization chosen by all the participating teams. On the sign up sheet we are asking for 1 recommendation per person for a worthy charity who will receive a donation. Keep an eye out for a follow up email as we get closer to the event to narrow down the list and determine which charity ultimately receives the donation.
 
Mark your calendars and assemble your squad for what is sure to be a great day of fitness and fun competition. Once you’ve got your partner, don’t delay – get your team registered ASAP. Now is the time to showcase all the effort and progress you’ve made here at the gym and to set new goals moving forward! More details to follow in the coming weeks.
 

CBD & Me

Cannabidiol Oil, or CBD as it’s commonly referred to, is an increasingly popular health supplement derived from the Hemp plant, used by athletes to help relieve stress and combat exercise induced inflammation. There’s a lot of misconceptions and misinformation surrounding CBD and it’s applications, and if you’re not a Cannabis industry expert, it can all seem rather daunting to comprehend.
 
Cannabis is a family of plants (Marijuana and Hemp), both legal and illegal (depending on the state) that contains several chemical compounds that affect a system in the body known as the endocannabinoid system. The two most important compounds for this discussion are THC and CBD. THC is a psychoactive compound found in Marijuana, responsible for altering your mental state and getting you “high”, and also the compound that would show up on a drug test. CBD is a non-psychoactive compound found in Hemp, widely credited for its potent anti-inflammatory effects and general wellness enhancing benefits, which is federally legal across the US.
 
Back to the endocannabinoid system: this system has been shown to be involved in everything from mood to appetite to pain-sensation. This is where CBD comes in and the reason I’ve added it to my nightly routine. I’ve been dealing with a nagging hip injury and I believe CBD oil has helped provide pain relief and aided in my recovery from both injury and the stresses of training.
 
After consulting with Dr. Cohen and finding out there wasn’t any structural damage to my hip, that it was more of a patterning issue, there was a “back to the drawing board” moment for all my lower body movements. Everything had to be reevaluated while I learned to preferentially use different muscles and techniques to accomplish the same tasks. But, after logging so many reps in what was now a painful pattern, I needed help to relax the overtaxed muscles and ease the associated pain. (An important aside: never go into pain. When you regularly work in painful ranges of motion, your body will develop compensatory movement patterns and you set yourself up for eventual further injury down the line.)
 
For example, I took my squat width closer in, with my knees forward, in an attempt to get rid of the pinching sensation in my hip. If there was any residual pain from my nervous system guarding that hip it could have sent pain signals telling me to stop. In essence, I needed to re-pattern my squat in order to allow some muscles in my hip to relax and others to be active while I moved through the hip’s functional range of motion, pain-free. CBD oil, in my opinion, helps relax the pesky hip muscles so I can make changes and adjustments without my hip being in a guarded, limiting, and tight position.
 
If you want to try CBD oil, I recommend Select CBD drops. If you’ve been dealing with nagging pain it doesn’t hurt to try!
 
I’ve also tried out both balm and drinks, both good but not as simple as the drops which are taken under the tongue and therefore are very fast acting.
 
TL;DR CBD helps reduce inflammation and allows your muscles to relax – the drops work best!
 
Further reading:
How To Get All The Health Benefits Of Marijuana Without Smoking
The ABC’S of CBD
CBD Oil Revolutionizing How Athletes Recover

Drop It Like a Squat!

Are you frustrated by your limitations when squatting? Have you been stuck working on the same things over and over again but gotten no-where?
 
Good news! We have helped many people just like you bury their squats!
 
Dr. Alex Immermann and Dr. Zachary Cohen are Performance Physical Therapists at Cohen Health and Performance. They have helped many of the worlds greatest athletes, crossfitters, powerlifters and weight lifters get out of pain and back to performing at the highest level. This FREE workshop is essential to identify your limitations in the squat and learn what you can do to address them!
 
Register Here
 
In this FREE workshop you will learn:
-What your limitations are in the squat
-Why these limitations may be occurring
-Activities that you can do RIGHT NOW to address them!
 
Furthermore, Dr. Immermann and Dr. Cohen will be offering FREE consultations to all attendees of this workshop. Come take advantage of this incredible opportunity!