“Stick to the basics and when you feel you’ve mastered them it’s time to start all over again, begin anew – again with the basics – this time paying closer attention.” – Greg Glassman
Attention to detail and mastery of the ‘basics’ are fundamental concepts I strongly believe in as a coach, and try to put into practice every class I coach. It is common to want to gloss over the simpler movements in favor of more explosive, technical, more glamorous exercises before the appropriate foundation is laid. This is mistake. Put another way, are you here to train and hone your craft or be entertained?
Increased movement speed comes from improved movement efficiency. Increased load, and therefore increased strength and power, comes from improved neuromuscular efficiency, which comes from deliberate practice (repetition). This means we must focus our energy on performing our movements more skillfully and consistently, first and foremost. When it comes to both CrossFit and strength training, you need to recalibrate your expectations and time horizons for progress and advancement. Heathy, sustainable performance improvements are the stuff of delayed gratification. Earn the privilege of performing harder exercises by demonstrating proficiency and skill in their foundational precursors.
There is an anecdote in a great documentary called Jiro Dreams of Sushi wherein the sushi apprentice first learns how to make the rice for months, if not years, before being allow to handle the fish simply in a preparatory context. It will be many years still until the apprentice sushi chef can actually prepare and make the sushi. If you cannot make the rice correctly (fundamental to great sushi), why would we possibly let you handle something as important as the fish? That privilege can only be earned, much like it should be in the gym. I challenge you all to be much more mindful and exacting in your own movement practice, seeking to refine and improve technically every time you set foot in the gym.
“Ultimately, leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It’s about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter. It is about laying the groundwork for others’ success, and then standing back and letting them shine.” – Chris Hadfield
“Do you wish to be great? Then begin by being. Do you desire to construct a vast and lofty fabric? Think first about the foundations of humility. The higher your structure is to be, the deeper must be its foundation.” – Saint Augustine
4th of July Weekend Schedule: Friday – 9 & 10 AM WOD, Saturday – No classes!
“Blur the distinction between strength training and metabolic conditioning for the simple reason that nature’s challenges are typically blind to the distinction.”
– Greg Glassman
EZ Strength 2.0
10 KB Suitcase Deadlifts
12 Air Squats
Cycle 4, Week 3
2 Rounds of…
6 DB Snatch (per side)
6 Box Jumps
“Endurance is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is to the one who endures that the final victory comes.” – Buddha
“We fear discovering that we are more than we think we are. More than our parents/children/teachers think we are. We fear that we actually possess the talent that our still, small voice tells us. That we actually have the guts, the perseverance, the capacity. We fear that we truly can steer our ship, plant our flag, reach our Promised Land. We fear this because, if it’s true, then we become estranged from all we know. We pass through a membrane. We become monsters and monstrous.” - Steven Pressfield
EZ Strength 2.0
7 DB Push Press
Weighted Pull Ups
7 DB Thrusters
I came across a blog post from the folks over at CrossFit Invictus that really resonated with me as a longtime CrossFit coach and athlete (here’s the link), and I’ve been to write a similarly themed blog post for several months now. While re-reading the article, I realized that some things are best left untampered with and would rather share the piece in its entirety because it really is right on the money.
The following article is beneficial for all athletes, not simply our veteran CrossFitters. However, I want all my experienced CFSS athletes to read and take this information to heart. Remember back to when you first started doing CrossFit. I don’t care who you are, everybody struggles in the early stages; whether its the verbiage, all the different movement names and techniques, figuring out the right weight to use, learning how to pace yourself during a WOD, there’s seemingly never a shortage of things to remember and potentially screw up. is very challenging, especially trying to navigate the first several months,
To put it another way “Even the mightiest gorilla was once a weak, frightened monkey.” I implore all my veteran athletes to not take your knowledge for granted and be proactive in helping other athletes out who are clearly struggling. We coaches can only do and see so much in the context of a class, and something as simple as deadlift tip can make a huge difference for another athlete. Remember, a high tide rises all boats. That new CF athlete you help today could be the future stud athlete pushing you to get better in a few months. Below is the inspiration for today’s blog post.
written by Invictus member Amy Baird
I plea is with the veteran CrossFitters in every gym across the country : Take the time to put a newbie under your wing. I realize it may slow down your workout. And you might not get everything that is programmed done. But the benefit is this: you could literally change their lives by encouraging fitness. Two years later and three sizes smaller, my life is infinitely better. In addition, I have new friendships for life with people that helped me battle my way to fitness and continue the journey.
In the end, it’s about developing healthy, fit bodies that can function well. Functional fitness is about living life to the fullest possible level. Now because of CrossFit, I can keep up with my nieces and nephews, I can stand up from a chair without using my arms, I can go skiing and not take as many breaks, I have more muscles to protect my bones from falls, I handle stress better, and I have a higher probability for life expectancy. My ability to “do life” is dramatically better than five years ago.
Checking the Ego
I can only speak from my experience here, but I’ve been fortunate to be around CrossFitters that have a noticeable lack of ego. There will always be those that have to beat you and will drop their weight so they can. But in its essence, it’s about you beating you. There’s nothing like dramatically improving one of “the girls” workouts from six months ago. And for those people who get that, CrossFit is addictive.
A Call Out to The Veterans
If your workouts have gotten stale or you just need something new in your workouts, might I suggest looking outside of yourself to encourage another person!
Things to consider when you have newbies in your class.
1) TIPS – Most people that are new to CrossFit feel intimidated, to say the least. They likely feel like an idiot and out of place. So be careful about sharing “your tips”. They could have the opposite effect of actually making someone feel more ignorant. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t share information. I’m saying be careful of “how” you do it.
2) There’s a reason there’s an instructor in every class. If you feel like someone needs a little extra help than you can provide, bring it to the instructors attention discreetly. Likely the instructor will want to know, and will work to pair that person with the right individual in future classes.
3) Just say Hi! I’m always amazed when people that come regularly don’t talk to you and leave and still haven’t said a word. It means a lot to me when people learn my name and greet me with it when I see them again. Names can be hard to remember but the majority of people will not be offended if you ask for their name again. It’s better to be known than ignored.
4) Say Good Job! It makes me feel good when someone comes up to me after my workout and says something positive. That somebody noticed that I was working hard.
5) Notice when people make gains. There were many times in the last two years that I felt like I was clawing my way through each workout. So it means the world to me when somebody after class mentions to me that they noticed how far I have come. And even if I felt like I did horrible that day, it makes me want to fight on.
In the end, I just want to challenge those people that been doing CrossFit a little while to intentionally look outside of themselves to the new folks. The onus is on you and me to continue to build the strong community across it has become.
No Classes this Saturday due to the USAW coaching course being held here at CFSS
“What we face may look insurmountable. But I learned something from all those years of training and competing. I learned something from all those sets and reps when I didn’t think I could lift another ounce of weight. What I learned is that we are always stronger than we know.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
Ian Wilson 173kg Snatch – New Men’s Sr. American Record (Video)
Better Than Fried Chicken with Coconut Aminos Dipping Sauce
Can the National Pro Fitness League Become the Next Big Thing?
EZ Strength 2.0
Run 300 Meters
21 Kettlebell Swings
12 Ball Slams
Cycle 3, week 3
Run 300 Meters
21 Kettlebell Swings
12 Pull Ups