June Kettlebell Swing Challenge!

 
Starting tomorrow, June 1st, we’ll be performing a month long “extra credit” challenge of 50 Kettlebell Swings a day. This challenge is great for improving grip strength, work capacity, swing efficiency, and strengthening the posterior chain (butt to low-back). Additionally, short term challenges are highly effective at keeping you motivated and improving a specific area of your fitness, while still having a clear end-point in sight.
 
Here’s the specifics: This challenge is intended to be done every time you come in to the gym to workout, either before or after your workout (we recommend after). You must complete the swings in 1 continuous, unbroken set. The goal is to use the heaviest bell you can manage on that given day for 50 reps, while maintaining sound technique and achieving a full range of motion (chest height swing). The weight you use can change day by day, but make sure it always appropriately challenging. Give yourself a daily “minimum”, referring to the lightest load you can use, and scale up from there based on your fatigue level. For example, my minimum is 24kg, but if I am feeling good I may use the 28kg or 32kg instead.
 
If you want to get fitter and tighten up those buns at the same time, the challenge begins tomorrow. Lookout for a challenge tracking sheet on the whiteboard for you to mark your progress throughout the month!
 

Memorial Day Weekend ’18 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 5/25 – Regular Schedule
Saturday 5/26 – 9AM WOD, 10AM Barbell Club
Sunday 5/27 – No classes (rest up for Monday & be patriotic!)
Monday 5/28 – 8 AM & 9 AM Memorial Day “Murph”!
Tuesday 5/29 – 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, which is partly why there won’t be classes on Saturday. 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!
 

2018 Spring Throwdown Recap!

By: Marcos Hernandez

 
For everyone who missed out on the Spring Throwdown this year: We’re sorry. Sure, whatever you had to do instead was probably important. Hell, it might have even been life-altering. But the knowledge that you missed CrossFit Silver Spring’s first ever Partner Throwdown has got to pull at the old heartstrings. Just a bit.
 
The Throwdown this past weekend was the gym’s second fundraising event of the year and a big thank you is extended to all the teams who donated money! As a group we were able to raise $500 for Puppies Behind Bars and the money has already been donated. Now, you can feel good about all the hard work you put in. Unless you won, in which case you feel good already. The two winning teams were, on the women’s side: Buck Furpees! (Lynn Blubaugh and Mallory Band) and on the men’s side: Team Guy & Joe (creative, right? If you can’t figure that one out we have bigger problems to address).
 
The day started out with Cardio is Hardio. The name says it all: Running, burpees, rowing… it was a blast. Workout 2, Raise the Bar, saw the athletes finding either their max overhead squat or three-rep thruster, followed immediately by as many thrusters as they could manage in five minutes. If anyone reading this felt their legs the next day, or two days, or three… this is why. The athletes killed it! Quality transitions, clean reps, A+ effort. All of the things that bring a tear to a coaches eye. Balls to the Wall had, you guessed it, Wall Balls (for Rx) or Ball Slams (for Scaled). Rx took about ten minutes but some of the Scaled teams completed the workout so fast that the coaches made them do another round! Brutal stuff and let’s all count ourselves lucky that the athletes took the added work in stride. Part of them must have known there was no way they would gert off so easily. Come to think of it, the last workout, Tough Sledding, could also have contributed to some leg soreness. Maybe. After some synchronized bodyweight work, Toes to Bar and Pull Ups for Rx and Sit Ups for Scaled, the athletes had to make their way outside to where the sleds sat waiting to be pushed by the Rx teams. Scaled teams had to carry and if any of you felt some soreness in your upper back this is what it was from.
 
All told, after the four workouts ended, we had spent over 4 hours working out! Sure, there was some rest during the other heats but the fact that all of the teams were able to grit their teeth and push to the end says volumes about each and every one of them. One thing must be said about the rest intervals, specifically about the choice of snack from some athletes. For the most part everyone chose to bring quality foods that enhanced their recovery between workouts. One of the athletes (don’t want to name any names) must have the stomach of a goat because he was able to eat yogurt between workouts and, miraculously, keep it down! Kudos to them for having the intestinal fortitude to do what no mere mortal could have done.
 
In case anyone was wondering about who rounded out the top three:
#2 Women: Buns & Guns (Katie Weddle and Yomery Espinal)
#3 Women: Sassquats (Rachel Fronapfel and Amanda Boyce)
 
#2 Men: Lotta Meat (Ian Velinsky and Vittorio Scioli)
#3 Men: Flexual Healing (Everett Kimball and Zach Cohen from Cohen Health and Performance)
 
Again, great job to everyone that came out and if you couldn’t make it, be sure to keep the calendar clear for next time!
 

How Often Should I CrossFit?

 
The effectiveness of any workout routine, CrossFit included, lies largely in the dose. Perform it too infrequently, and you are more likely to experience soreness than progress. Perform it too frequently and you can expect soreness, mental and physical fatigue, and increased risk of injury. We are frequently asked the question, “how often should I do CrossFit?”. However, the question that really needs to be asked is the following: “what is the optimal amount of CrossFit I should do?” In order to effectively answer this question, we must also take into account the individuals ability level, lifestyle, and current goals. A full accounting must take place before we can get to the final workout prescription and ways of structuring the training week.
 
First, remember your “why” for coming to the gym in the first place. Nobody starts doing CrossFit with a goal of getting really, ridiculously good at doing CrossFit. The reason you start CrossFit is to try something new, challenging, and different than whatever you’ve been doing (or not doing) up until that point. You do CrossFit as a means to be healthy, move well, feel good, and like how you look in a bathing suit. You do it to support your outside the gym activities and pursuits as well. Keep these concepts in mind when you are thinking about how much time you should dedicate to being in the gym. With that in mind, here are a few of the most common training templates worth modeling your own workout habits after.
 
For the purposes of this discussion, I’m only going to focus on training frequencies of 3 or more times per week. While lower volumes than these are still beneficial, they are too infrequent to merit additional consideration for how they should be structured in the context of a training week.
 
“3 x 52”
 
3 days a week, 52 weeks a year. You pick the days, whether consecutive or spread apart, just make sure the work gets done each and every week. For most people, this is what optimal training looks like. 3 sessions a week seems to be the minimum effective dose threshold where you can make great progress and cultivate a respectable level of strength and capacity, while still leaving plenty of time for other activities, family, work, life, etc. Don’t fall into the trap of “more is better”; in reality, it is probably just more, providing marginal additional benefit. 3 sessions a week allows you to spread apart your workouts and hit it hard every time you train, or give you a little extra recovery time when things are hectic at the office. The key with this plan is consistency; you can’t reap the benefits of this program if you aren’t disciplined in you adherence and regularly miss workouts. Conversely, you could likely follow this kind of in the gym template for the rest of your life and see great results with little downside risk of injury, or chronic soreness / fatigue.
 
“3 on, 1 off”
 
This is the classic CrossFit prescription for experienced athletes, typically those with who are strongly concerned with performance as primary goal. This training split doesn’t take into account weekdays versus weekends or other possible scheduling constraints, and is intended to be followed on a continuous basis. The logic here is that intensity and quality tend to drop off significantly after the 3rd hard day of training, hence the rest day on day 4. This is an old school CrossFit approach; while no doubt effective, the athlete must have a strong recovery capacity and lifestyle to support this frequency of training without breaking down. This means there must be an emphasis on sleep, nutrition, body maintenance, and stress management for this plan to be sustainable.
 
“3 on, 1 off, 2 on, 1 off”
 
For the recreational CrossFit athlete with full time job (aka real life), this is a winning template. 5 sessions per week, with 2 rest days inserted to smartly partition the training volume and allow for adequate rest as well. Depending on your schedule, you could also do 2 on, 1 off, 3 on, 1 off with the same expected results. While quality is undoubtedly better than quantity, high volumes of quality work lead to the best outcomes. In order to continue to develop your fitness, your body will require progressive overload- heavier weight, faster paces, more technical movements, more volume, etc. There is a simple reality than you can’t cram 5 days worth of training into 3 days. If you want to get better faster, this is a great approach. Like the aforementioned “3 on, 1 off”, lifestyle considerations must play a major role in order to be sustainably successful with this approach.
 
“Alternatives”
 
A few other common templates worth exploring are, “4 on, 1 off, 1 on, 1 off”, and “5 on, 2 off”. Both of these approaches are focused on getting the bulk of the training week done during weekdays, allowing for more flexibility on the weekend for other activities. There are many other viable approaches to structuring the training week that are beyond the scope of this post, such as multiple sessions / day (short version: don’t do this). The most important thing to consider is the reality of your schedule and desire to train. “3 on, 1 off, 2 on, 1 off” may appeal to you in theory, but in reality “4 on, 3 off” may be a much closer approximation of your schedule. In that case, follow the option that is realistic and attainable, not optimal in theory.
 
The last concept worth revisiting is the idea that we do CrossFit not simply to be good at CrossFit, but to enrich our lives and support our other pursuits. Play new (or old) sports and activities, get outside and run, hike, bike, play, and generally strive to be more active. Put your fitness to good use and don’t simply pursue increasingly higher levels of fitness for its own sake (unless that really is your “why”!). Use this guide to hopefully strike a better balance between hard training and the necessary rest and recovery your body needs in order to sustain it over the long haul.
 

CFSS Beer Mile 2.0

 
Save the Date! Next Friday (11/17) at 6PM we’ll be hosting the 2nd Annual CFSS Beer Mile to benefit Cupid’s Undie Run and The Children’s Tumor Foundation. What is a beer mile you ask? Begin by chugging a beer, then run 400 meters, repeat for 4 rounds and you’re done! The beer must be above 5% ABV. We’ll be providing all the beer for the event; there will be alternatives to beer for anybody who doesn’t drink beer but still wants to participate, and you can also perform the run in teams of 2 if you aren’t ready for the real deal.
 
There is a $10 entry fee for all participants; all proceeds will benefit Cupid’s Undie Run and Team CFSS. If you aren’t familiar with Cupids yet you soon will- it’s our big gym charity event that we participate in annually every February. Team CFSS raised over $18,000 last year for Cupid’s Undie Run, ranking in the top 25 Nationally and was also named #1 Gym Fundraiser in Washington, DC. This event is the kickoff for our fundraising season, and a highly entertaining event to spectate and partake in!
 
If you are on the fence about participating, we’ll definitely need judges/volunteers or you simply come and cheer people on and drink beer (minus the running)! Bring friends and family, the more the merrier. We appreciate any and all donations to this great cause, regardless of whether or not you perform the run. We will be doing a prize raffle for everyone that does the run or donates as an added incentive to attend. While beer will be provided for the Beer Mile itself, all other drinking will be BYOB.
 
Right now, Cori M. has the top women’s time of 9:57 and Marcos has set the bar for the men at 9:25. There will be prizes for the fastest guy, gal, and team finisher. If you plan on getting on the record board, just know the workout must be performed with beer (and you’ve gotta keep it down, at least during the run!). If you are going to participate, please sign up so we can get a rough head count and make sure there is enough beer for the event. Bring your running shoes and an empty stomach!
 
Lastly, here’s the link to photos from last year and a great video documenting the run for a little added motivation!
 
*We will still have an evening WOD on Friday at 430PM prior to the beer mile
 

14 January 15

jd split jerk side by side
—-
Nadezhda Evstyukhina 126kg/277# Snatch Almaty 2014 WWC (Video)
 
How Exercise Keeps Us Young
 
Gingerbread Cookies – Revisited
—-

WOD

 

LI Strength:

EZ Strength 4.0
 

LI Conditioning:

4-5 Rounds:
7 Barbell Thrusters
7 Burpees
14 Kettlebell Swings
 
-Rest 1 Min between Rounds-
 

LII Strength:

Thruster
3-3-3-3
 

LII Conditioning:

25-20-15-10-5
Kettlebell Swings
Double Unders
Row (cals)
 
Rx: M – 24kg, F – 20kg
 

13 January 15

leah split jerk
—-
Chad Wesley Smith 226kg/500# Back Squat x 22 reps @ OCT Throwdown (Video)
 
Official release details for Nike Metcon 1 CrossFit shoe
 
Chocolate Chip Espresso Banana Bread Muffins
—-

WOD

 

LI Strength:

EZ Strength 4.0
 

LI Conditioning:

7 Rounds:
Row 1 minute, Rest 1 minute
 
Track total meters rowed every round. Score is cumulative total meters rowed
 

LII Strength:

Intermediate Template
 

LII Conditioning:

Every minute on the minute:
Minute 1: 5 Burpees + 1 Front Squat
Minute 2: 5 Burpees + 2 Front Squats
Minute 3: 5 Burpees + 3 Front Squats
Continue until you cannot complete all reps within the minute
 
Rx: M – 135 lbs, F – 93 lbs
 

10 September 14

400 m run start
—-
Mat Fraser 315lb Snatch (Video)
 
This Is What Weight Loss Does To Your Brain
 
That Sickening Sugar Subsidy
—-

WOD

 
LI Strength:
EZ Strength 4.0
 
LI Conditioning:
AMRAP 10 Minutes:
10 Situps
10 DB Push Press
10 Lunges / leg
 
LII Strength:
EZ Strength Intermediate Template
 
LII Conditioning:
“DG”
AMRAP 10 Minutes:
8 Toes to Bar
8 Dumbbell Thrusters (35#/25#)
12 Dumbbell Lunges (35#/25#)
 

15 July 14

start of throwdown run wod
—-
RE2PECT. (video)
 
CrossFit, neuroscience, surviving the zombie apocalypse: Is your workout a fraud?
 
Great Ingredients: No Recipe Required
—-

WOD

 
LI Strength:
EZ Strength 2.0
 
LI Conditioning:
AMRAP 12 minutes:
5 Power Swings
5 Burpees
10 Air Squats
 
LII Strength:
Wendler
Cycle 5, Week 1
 
LII Conditioning:
AMRAP 12 minutes:
5 Hang Power Cleans
5 Pull Ups
10 Pushups
 

23 June 14

annie bb oh
—-
The Story in Central East (Video)
 
How To Hack Your Immune System
 
Simple Chorizo Butternut Squash Hash
—-

WOD

 
LI Strength:
EZ Strength 2.0
 
LI Conditioning:
Death by Ball Slams
At the top of every minute…
Minute 1: 1 Ball Slam
Minute 2: 2 Ball Slams
Minute 3: 3 Ball Slams

go until you cannot complete prescribed reps within one minute interval
 
LII Strength:
Wendler
Cycle 4, Week 2
 
LII Conditioning:
Death by Ball Slams
At the top of every minute, perform 2 burpees then
Minute 1: 1 Ball Slam
Minute 2: 2 Ball Slams
Minute 3: 3 Ball Slams

go until you cannot complete prescribed reps within one minute interval