Open Team Names, Rosters and Fun Stuff!

Good afternoon!  We are less than two hours away from the announcement of 15.1 and we can’t wait to kick this thing off.  Here are the Open Teams and Names:

Team #fancy           Coach Jared

   –   Kevin   –   Paul   –   Karny   –   Stacey   –   David   –   Mikah   –

  –   Mike  –   Jan   –   Jess   –   Gose   –   Sagar   –   Ann   –   Nina   –

Team Aloha             Coach Christian

        –   Whitney   –   Andrea   –   Brian H   –   Dom   –   Lumi   –

 –   Meghan   –   Robert   –   Marc   –   Carrie   –   Nichole   –   Tyler   –

 –   Marques   –   Jonathan   –   Brittney   –

Team Notorious F.I.T.      Coach Derek

–   Rebecca   –   Nick   –   Brian W   –   Jordan   –   Matt   –   Jenni   –

–   Jennifer   –   Courtney   –   Erik   –   Yih   –   Ashley   –  

–   Hana   –   Galen   –

Some extra information on the teams:
Team #fancy:

Team #fancy is all about high end clothing, hair and accessories (possibly from Value Village).  Coach Jared will soon be posting an image of what this type of team member may look like.

Team Aloha:

“ALOHA is representative of an old Hawaiian acronym meaning Power, Unity, Honesty, Humility and Patience (translated).” -Christian

Team Notorious F.I.T

One simple motto: Mo Reps, Mo Problems.  –Derek

Reminder:

Sign up for what you will be bringing in for food/drinks!  If you won’t be in the gym to do it, please send Jared a message.  Thanks!

Thursday 2-26-15

We have 26 people registered for the Open! And it starts today, so who is excited!!! The announcement for tomorrow’s (Friday’s) WOD will go live at 5pm on games.crossfit.com. Stay tuned.

STRENGTH

Work quickly in 9 mins work to a heavy triple push press

-then-

EMOTM for 16 mins of:

Even: 30 secs ring plank

Odd: 6 push press at 75%-80% of previous triple

WOD

AMRAP for 12 mins

2 laps Farmer’s carry

6 Burpee box overs

12 unbroken Wallballs

Penalty for setting down farmers carry is doubling the burpees and wallballs for that round. 

How to Hide Vegetables

A question came up from one of our clients this week regarding how to hide vegetables in a meal. Maybe you have a picky child, maybe you are cooking for someone who can’t stand the sight or smell of spinach, or maybe you yourself aren’t a huge fan of leafy greens. Although in general I recommend finding ways to include vegetables in meals in a way they can be appreciated and highlighted, it can be beneficial to have some of these tricks up your sleeve for picky eaters!

 

A fun fact I like to share is that some people have a difficult time eating bitter foods such as coffee, grapefruit and vegetables including broccoli and Brussels sprouts because they are supertasters. These people have a gene that allows them to pick up on bitter flavors more easily than those without the gene. If you find it difficult to stomach vegetables, or you cook for a picky eater, then the recipes below are sneaky ways to get important nutrients in meals. Try these recipes as snacks, or to incorporate into your regular breakfast, lunch and dinner repertoire!

 

Breakfast

Pancakes: try adding in grated, mashed or pureed veggies such as sweet potato, zucchini and carrot that have a natural sweetness with little of the distinct bitter flavor common in vegetables. The following are a websites with recipes for veggie spiked pancakes:

http://paleogrubs.com/sweet-potato-pancake-recipes

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sweet-potato-pancakes-recipe0.html

http://minimalistbaker.com/vegan-carrot-coconut-pancakes/

 

Smoothies: adding veggies into a fruit smoothie is an easy way to get a few servings of greens in without tasting them! Smoothies can be a quick and easy breakfast or snack. Veggies that are easily hidden in smoothies are: spinach, kale, carrots, fennel (licorice flavor), cucumber, and zucchini. Follow the simple template below and swap out ingredients for unlimited smoothie ideas:

Base:

  • 1-2 c. fresh veggies (amount may depend on veggie used)
  • 1 c. fresh or frozen fruit (frozen bananas can lend to a decadent “ice cream” consistency)
  • 1 c. milk of choice
  • handful of ice cubes

Fun Additions:

Nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew), cocoa powder, protein powder, coffee beans, chia seeds, ground flaxseed, vanilla extract, peppermint extract, spices (turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg).

 

Oatmeal: adding veggies to oatmeal can also be an easy way to include veggies at breakfast. Try adding grated zucchini, sweet potato, or carrots to your oats. For a quick breakfast, try overnight oats with no cooking required. The oats will soak up liquid overnight and marinate in the additions of your choice!

Overnight oats (serves 1)

½ c. rolled oats

½ c. – ¾ c. milk of choice

½ – 1 c. fresh or frozen fruit of choice

½ c. grated zucchini or carrots, or mashed & cooked sweet potato

Optional additions: nut butters, nuts, seeds, spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, etc), chia or flaxseed (add appx 3 tbs more milk for every 1 tbs of chia or flax added), cocoa powder, vanilla.

 

Lunch & Dinner

The following are all easy ways to sneak veggies into meals and leftovers:

Soup broths: when the sight of leafy greens floating in broth is a turn off, instead use veggies to make the broth. Using celery, onion, carrot, and any other veggies hanging out in your fridge to build a broth for a soup base is one way to get added nutrients in. Even if these vegetables are taken out prior to adding in meats or starches, the liquid will retain many vitamins and minerals that leached into the water during cooking.

Spaghetti squash: these are more common in the fall and early winter and are a great substitute for traditional pasta. After baking or microwaving the squash, you can scoop out the insides to replace traditional pasta in any recipe.

Spiralized veggie “noodles”: a spiralizer (http://www.amazon.com/Paderno-World-Cuisine-A4982799-Tri-Blade/dp/B0007Y9WHQ) is a kitchen utensil used to peel veggies and spiral slice them. Replace any traditional pasta with spiralized sweet potatoes, zucchini, beets, cucumber, eggplant, or butternut squash. This blog is dedicated solely to spiralizer recipes: http://www.inspiralized.com/recipes/.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust: a fun alternative to the traditional pizza crust!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/katie-lee/cauliflower-pizza-crust.html

http://www.theluckypennyblog.com/2013/02/the-best-cauliflower-crust-pizza.html

Mac n’ cheese: using mashed sweet potato, cauliflower, parsnip or carrot in a mac n’ cheese recipe can give the dish an added nutrient boost. The following recipes include veggies:

Sweet potato

http://naturallyella.com/2012/11/09/sweet-potato-and-spinach-mac-and-cheese/

Carrot

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/carrot-macaroni-and-cheese

Parsnip

http://www.babble.com/best-recipes/a-healthy-twist-on-an-old-favorite-parsnip-mac-and-cheese-recipe/

http://www.tasteandtellblog.com/root-vegetable-mac-and-cheese/

Cauliflower

http://thelemonbowl.com/2014/02/cauliflower-mac-and-cheese-with-crispy-panko-topping.html

 

Dessert

One of my favorite dessert blogs is Chocolate Covered Katie. This girl is amazing at taking traditional recipes and working her magic to produce delicious, more health conscious desserts. I have tried many of her recipes, and recommend this site as a resource for experimenting with dessert recipes. She provides options for gluten free and vegan in many recipes, and also has a cookbook available. The following recipes include veggies and are also delicious 🙂

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting

http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2013/11/11/sweet-potato-cupcakes-marshmallow-frosting/

Kale Brownies

http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2013/08/08/kale-brownies/

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2013/04/25/chocolate-chip-zucchini-bread-muffins/

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2013/10/22/pumpkin-cinnamon-rolls/

 

Be sure to share pictures of your Veggie Success on our Facebook page, and Have Fun Cooking!

 

Wednesday 2-25-15

Strength day:

A) 15 mins Snatch work up to 85% (three misses at one weight means drop it back down to a make able weight) 

B) 2-2-2-2-2-2 Back Squat at 85-90%

3 rounds of:

C1) 12 strict Ring Dips or Ring Push-ups

C2) 10 GHD sit-ups 

D) Pendlay Rows – 4×8 with barbell and solid form, focus on technique 

E) Snatch Pulls – 4×3 starting at 90% and work your way up to 110% of 1RM snatchweight

Tuesday 2-24-15

STRENGTH: 

2 Hang Clean + 1 Push Press + 1 Split Jerk

Review and work to find heavy single complex in 14 mins

WOD: 

“Jackie”

1k Row

50 Thrusters (45/35)

30 Pull-ups 

Monday 2-23-15

STRENGTH
6×3 Front Squat up to 85%

WOD
3 rounds for time:
5 Power Snatch (155/115)
30 double unders (RX unbroken)

Sunday 2-22-15

A huge thanks to Mikah for covering the classes yesterday while Jared was away at his certification. He rocked everything and did an awesome job!

GYMNASTICS

Split time warming up and reviewing HSPU progressions and L-sit holds.
Accumulate 2 mins in the L-sit position, alternating with handstand elements.

WOD:
10 rounds for time:

10 step ups w/dumbbell pair (farmers carry hold)
7 burpees

Saturday 2-21-15

STRENGTH
Deadlift
6×3 @ 85%

PARTNER WOD
Teams of 2 complete AMRAP 20 of:
100 Wallballs
90 Double-unders
80 Box Jumps, 24/20
70 Sit-ups
60 Wallballs
50 Double-unders
40 Cleans, 145/
30 Jerks
20 OHS/FS
100 cal row

Friday 2-20-15

STRENGTH

Push Press

7×3

 

WOD

(compare to 8-6-14)

TK
AMRAP 20
8 Strict Pull Ups
8 Box Jumps 36/24
12 KBS 70/53

Scaling Guide: this is a longer workout, don’t rush out the gate and burn out 5min in.  Set a pace you can keep for a longer period of time and try to keep moving.  That said – just because this is a hero WOD, it doesn’t mean it cannot be scaled:

  • Strict Pull Ups have a strong eccentric component.  Scale the reps if you need to.  Scale to ring rows on this one rather than to negatives, and chin ups are always an acceptable option.
  • If you are new to Crossfit, 20min is a long WOD.  There’s nothing wrong with taking planned rest.  You’ll find that most of your more experienced classmates will find a way to break it up.  Try working in 3min intervals with 1 – 2min rest in between, or maybe doing 1-2 rounds  with a set rest in between.  You’ll probably get more work done this way than if you go to failure and need to stop and recover.

Slate Crossfit Team Open

So…there have been some talks about burpees, beer, prizes and all that good stuff.  What about the other details???  Below is a breakdown of how you may earn points for your team, how teams will be chosen and a theme for each week!

Let’s start with a couple of the important facts:

For every person who signs up on http://games.crossfit.com/: 15 burpees for the coaches

If we have 45 people sign up on the Games website: Jared will let Stacey color his hair

 

Hours:

During the Open (Starting Feb. 27), Friday schedule:

3:00-5:00 Open Gym

5:00-7:30 Crossfit Open Heats/Judging

If you cannot make it to a Friday night, you may still have your workout judged.  Please make arrangements with the coaches as soon as possible.  Thanks!

 

Points:

10 points for completing a workout, but not signing up on: http://games.crossfit.com/

30 points for each workout, if you do!

10 bonus points if you capture your sign up moment on social media (a link is provided at the bottom of your confirmation page).

30 points for each PR – Movement first, PR String of movements, weight PR, et al.

Top 3 men and women: 50 for first, 40 for second, 30 for third

50 points for bringing a friend! (They don’t have to workout, just come in and watch/cheer/check it out)

10 points for wearing a Slate Crossfit T-shirt

15 points for wearing a costume

50 points for Team Spirit Award per week

10 points for bringing food

10 points for bringing beer/drink

5 points for every Instagram picture (taken on the Friday nights)

5 points for every Facebook check-in (during the Open)

 

Awards:

Top Male and Female Athlete

Spirit of the Games

Best food

Best Costume

 

Teams:

This is all about working together, and having a great time doing it! If you have a few friends you would like to team up with, please shoot us a message, email, or let us know in person!  We will be organizing the teams on Tuesday, February 24, so all requests must be before!  We will be selecting the teams randomly, but ensuring that some of our more seasoned /competitive athletes, are spread out between all three Coaches.

Once you’re signed up on the Games website, let us know so we can add you to the list!

 

Themes:

Week One: No theme, but you will see team flags, some music and prizes explained!

Week Two: Action Movies

Week Three: Science Fiction

Week Four: 80’s

Week Five: No theme, but we will have some fun things set up to close out the Open!

 

 

Thursday 2-19-15

Today is called “Weird Day”

We will be working on a new movement, one that we typically do not program often here at Slate for a multiple reasons. Why do you ask? Well chances are it might show up in the upcoming CrossFit Open (More details coming!!! Super excited) and we want to ensure you have the best experience, rather than rush teaching a new movement in the midst of all the excitement.

STRENGTH
SDHP (Sumo Deadlift High Pull)
5×8

Partner WOD

Partner A does 4 rope climbs while
Partner B holds a (100/75) barbell in a front rack position
Switch places
Run a 200m together

Return for 3 rope climbs each, then 2, then 1. Finish each round with a run.

There is a 3 person team workout version as well.

 

*wear long socks/pants for the rope climbs to protect your shins!!

 

What is Normal Eating?

This seems like a loaded question with many different answers, and may make you wonder if there is such a thing. The passage below is one of my favorite because it approaches eating from a balanced perspective. In our current world of extreme and fad diets, it is refreshing to see a sensible approach to eating. As a student I have studied Ellyn Satter’s approach to wellness and nutrition and believe she is paving the way for eating and enjoying food. She has wonderful resources available regarding joyful and competent eating, please see the links below for more information.

 

What is Normal Eating?

Normal eating is going to the table hungry and eating until you are satisfied. It is being able to choose food you like and eat it and truly get enough of it -not just stop eating because you think you should. Normal eating is being able to give some thought to your food selection so you get nutritious food, but not being so wary and restrictive that you miss out on enjoyable food. Normal eating is giving yourself permission to eat sometimes because you are happy, sad or bored, or just because it feels good. Normal eating is mostly three meals a day, or four or five, or it can be choosing to munch along the way. It is leaving some cookies on the plate because you know you can have some again tomorrow, or it is eating more now because they taste so wonderful. Normal eating is overeating at times, feeling stuffed and uncomfortable. And it can be undereating at times and wishing you had more. Normal eating is trusting your body to make up for your mistakes in eating. Normal eating takes up some of your time and attention, but keeps its place as only one important area of your life.

In short, normal eating is flexible. It varies in response to your hunger, your schedule, your proximity to food and your feelings.

For more about eating competence (and for research backing up this advice), see Ellyn Satter’s Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family: How to Eat, How to Raise Good Eaters, How to Cook, Kelcy Press, 2008.

©2015 by Ellyn Satter published at www.EllynSatterInstitute.org – See more at: http://ellynsatterinstitute.org/hte/whatisnormaleating.php#sthash.m6f36xa2.dpuf

 

Take some time today to think about your own eating. Does it seem similar to this passage, or is it hard to relate? What would it be like to eat this way, what do you think would change in your life? My challenge to you is to think about these questions, and try out normal eating for one day. You may find you like it.

Wednesday 2-18-15

I have always loved this picture. So many things here at Slate are still being filled in and worked on. I practice things, we practice things, and we all improve slowly and surely. I thought about leaving the logo like this but eventually we all make progressions forward. Today is a day where we can keep practicing our filling in process. Good luck and keep moving forward. – Coach Jared

SKILL
Double under practice and drills

STRENGTH
Alternating rounds of:
A1) Double-unders
A2) Front Rack Step Ups

WOD
“The Chief”
5 rounds of 3 min AMRAP
3 cleans
6 push-ups
9 air squats

Score each round

Tuesday 2-17-15

SKILL
Kipping Technique

STRENGTH
4 Rounds
A1) 15 Pullup Elements
A2) 10 Goblet Squats (increasing weight)

WOD
2 Rounds
4 mins of:
30 Wallballs
25 KBS
20 Wallballs
15 KBS
Max Burpees in remaining time

Rest 2 mins between rounds

Monday 2-16-15

Regular business hours today everyone, if you are off work, come in early at noon and enjoy your day. We’ll be here for all the regular Monday schedule for those that are at work.

STRENGTH
18 mins to review and warm up to a HEAVY triple thruster

WOD
“Fran”
21-15-9
Thrusters (95/65)
Pull-ups

Sunday 2-15-15

STRENGTH

Deadlift
5-5-4-4-3-2

WOD
3RFT
50 box jumps
25 DB clean and jerks
Run 200m
Rest 2 mins

Friday 2-13-15

Strength

18 mins to find 1rm Strict Press

WOD

Row Sprints 6x300m with 30secs rest

Core:
Ring of Fire

How to Select a Jump Rope

I will preface my article with this: you can do double-unders with ANY rope, but having your own does make it easier.  

It has been great to see some people practicing their double-unders, and the progress being made.  Part of helping with DUs are having a correct rope for your skill level.  The ropes provided in the gym are fine for starting, but to really keep progressing, you should get one of your own.

Having your own rope allows you to consistently practice with a familiar piece of equipment and ensure it is the right size.  Instead of tying a new knot, or hoping to find the same rope as last time, this will be a guaranteed piece of stable equipment.  Proper sizing is key to being efficient, and to ensuring you get the most out of your rope.  Below is a quick video on how your rope should fit:

With this being said, there are a few different brands that I have seen people have the most success with.  Each has their own strengths and weaknesses, but are made out of solid materials and should last for a few years.  Some of the factors I looks for are: quality, handle weight, durability and ease of adjustment.

Again Faster:

https://www.againfaster.com/shop/jump-ropes/

These are some great middle of the road ropes, with a nylon coating and simple design.  There are different levels of ropes, based off of your skill level, and all are extremely easy to adjust.  I personally use the Revolution X, and have zero complaints with it.  It is a bit slower than some of the others, but it still spins great, and the Revolution is an outstanding rope to learn with.

https://www.againfaster.com/shop/jump-ropes/rpm-speed-rope-20/

This is the Again Faster version of a speed rope.  It has a great design, and is very durable, but should only be purchased by people with a good solid set of DUs.

Rogue:

http://www.roguefitness.com/rx-custom-jump-ropes

The link above is a rope that is customizable to the person.  With these ropes, you select the length, color and cable size.  These are fun for people to have their own original rope, and the different cable sizes are great for all skill levels.  My one reservation about this rope is the handles.  Personally, I did not find them to be very comfortable, and they are a bit bulkier than others.

http://www.roguefitness.com/rpm-speed-rope-12935?gclid=CL2q8-mZ3cMCFYqEfgodr0AArQ

This is a link to Rogue’s version of a speed rope.  If you are consistently hitting large sets of DU, this is the rope for you.  It is as simple and bare as a rope will get, but the design is outstanding.  It spins fast, is light-weight, and will hang tough for a few years.

JumpNrope:

http://jumpnrope.com/jump-rope-store/jump-ropes/

The JumpNrope series are a product you will see being promoted at Regionals and other Crossfit events.  Their training series is geared towards gym owners, but their ropes are very high quality.  One small perk, is they do offer a bare wire rope, without the speed rope handles.

These are a few of my personal favorites, and please feel free to ask any of the trainers if you have any questions!

Thursday 2-12-15

STRENGTH

Split time between:
1 Arm KB OHS Practice: 5R/5L
– and –
TGU

WOD
10-1 & 1-10 Sliding scale of:
DB Man Makers
Jumping lunges

20 DU after each Set

MOBILITY

Quad Smash

Kick the “Diets”

Paleo, The Zone, The Whole30…what am I supposed to be eating?

Paging through health and fitness magazines, checking websites and reading books may lead you to think that nutrition science changes daily. Eggs are out, eggs are in….fat is out, fat is in. How are we supposed to know what to eat? Nutrition seems to contradict itself for two main reasons. First, research in this field is constantly changing and makes us aware how food works in our bodies. Second, this research is often picked apart with choice pieces highlighted in the media without regard to what conclusions the researchers came to. If someone tells you that “this” or “that” diet is the best and the way you should eat, always pause to consider who knows your body the best…the answer is you!

Paleo, The Zone, and The Whole30 are diets that may sound familiar to you, especially within the CrossFit community. Maybe you have even tried one or two. What was it like being on this diet? Was it easy? Hard? Impossible? Doable for a few weeks? The difficult part about diets is that they usually aren’t sustainable. You may wonder why it matters whether a diet is sustainable when it comes to goals of weight loss, muscle gain, and feeling amazing and confident in your own body. Not one diet is the best, not one diet works for everyone regardless of what proponents of the diet may say. Instead of thinking diet, think lifestyle. Do you still want to be counting calories or thinking about blocks when you are 70? What is stopping you from eating the foods you love and enjoying your meals right now? When you support your body with a variety of nutrient dense whole foods, you don’t need to count calories or food groups, you get to just eat!

In the end, some people just want to know what they should be eating. For this I say, examine what your plate looks like. Does it look like something humans would have consumed not only hundreds, but thousands of years ago? Our bodies have been engineered to thrive on foods we could harvest and hunt from the earth, not open from a package in the grocery store. A whole foods diet provides our bodies with the fuel it needs to get through the day, along with the WOD! I use the list below to help me choose foods that keep me feeling great:

  1. How many ingredients does your food have? The less the better (one is best!)

                          Egg = egg

                          Protein bar = whey protein isolate, natural flavor, too many to list!

 

  1. Can you pronounce, or do you recognize these ingredients? If not, stay clear.

 

  1. Can you imagine yourself picking the food from the earth? It’s hard to imagine picking Oreos from a tree and pulling Mac & cheese boxes from the ground. 

 

  1. How much of your plate is plant based? I try to aim for 50-75% – think vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains. Lean meats can be a great source of protein, but can take the place of important nutrients from plants.

 

  1. Eat the rainbow. The colors of foods indicate the different phytonutrients they contain; these colors all have beneficial effects within your body and decrease your risk for all types of illness and disease. Concentrate on dark, leafy greens,  red/orange veggies & fruits, and dark blue/purple veggies & fruits.

 

To be clear, I do believe many of the foods that certain diets promote are very healthful and beneficial to our bodies. But following a “diet” can be restrictive, and can make it seem like foods not in this diet are not healthful for our bodies. When you restrict foods and calories, your body naturally craves them, because in its infinite wisdom it knows what it is missing. You may be able to reduce the amount you eat now, but your body keeps tabs. When you are stressed or in a social situation with an abundance of delicious looking and smelling food, your body may be shouting at you and resisting may prove too hard. If this sounds like you now, or in the past, try another approach, kick the diets and start exploring all types of whole foods mindfully, with intention and attention.

Wednesday 2-11-14

STRENGTH

A) Full clean and push jerk (no splits) 5×3 increasing

B) Front squats 4×4 at 75%

4 rounds
C1) 8 GHD sit-ups
C2) 4 negative pull-ups (5 count)

D) snatch deadlift (slow lower) 5×3

Coaches choice of time for a 5 min burner WOD. Simple

Tuesday 2-10-15St

MOBILITY
Throne Opener
Serratus Smash

STRENGTH
A) Snatch Pull + Hang Snatch + 2 OHS
10 min to review and warm up the complex
then
5 sets, working up to 80-85% of your max snatch (No missing lifts, focus on a straight pull)

B) Accumulate 2min in the bottom of your Overhead Squat. You can use a PVC pipe and a board if necessary. If more comfortable use an empty barbell.

WOD
AMRAP for 15 mins
5 HSPU
10 Pistols (5 each leg)
15 Deadlifts (135/95)

Monday 2-9-15

STRENGTH

20 mins to warm up and find a 1RM Back Squat

WOD
2 rounds for time
25 burpee box jumps (24/20)
40 air squats
15 hang power cleans (115/75)

MOBILITY
Hip openers

Saturday 2-7-15

STRENGTH
Tempo Deadlifts
5×5 at 40×2

PARTNER WOD

Partner Death by
Burpees and Push Press (115/75)
(Partners do work simultaneously)

Rest five minutes from failed minute
-then-

6RFT
5 Squat Cleans
10 Pull-ups
200m Row
(Partners alternate rounds, 3 each)

MOBILITY
Super Friend Smash Time

Friday 2-6-15

MOBILITY
Pec mobilization
Peanut T-Spine

STRENGTH
10 mins to warmup and review snatch
then
10 EMOTM of 1 Snatch + 2 OHS (increasing weight)

WOD
“Karen”
150 Wallballs (20/14)

No pull-ups? … Master the ring row first

*Slate Day!

  • Running? Fast.
  • Squats? Beast.
  • Double unders? Beautiful butterfly.
  • Pull-ups? Fish out of water.

Whelp! “Stage 2” it is.

Frustration hits when you know you can kill “Stage 3” if it wasn’t for your inability to do pull-ups. The frustration is understandable, but these stages have been programmed this way for a reason. The ring row (as seen in stage 2) is a perfect-scaled movement that is a basic body-weight style of Pull-up. The ring row progression is designed to develop your ability/skill to efficiently work up to a pull-up. Master the ring row first and pull-ups will soon follow.

The mechanics that go into the ring row are extremely similar to the pull-up. The ring row is a combination of mechanics and it can be easily defined:

  • Grip
  • Shoulder position (scapular mobility)
  • Organized/Neutral spine

Grip

Having a good grip on the rings to develop the Row is almost as important than how you perform the movement itself. Learning to grip effectively is like learning to stand before you walk.

“Pinky knuckle over the bar”: Placing the pinky knuckle above the ring before gripping adds a rotational component that establishes a better shoulder position. With the way your body is built (architecture) “pinky over bar” creates a rotation in the arms that sets the shoulders in external rotation, which means that they are optimally set up to perform a pulling movement.

Shoulder position (scapular mobility)

External rotation in the shoulder means stability and increased integrity of the structure (shoulder capsule). While in keeping with external rotation at the humeral head for stability, the mobility of your scapula (shoulder blade) is much more important when it comes to the actual pulling action.

Motor control of your scapula with in the range of motion of pulling your chest to the rings is the key to unlocking the gate to transitioning to a pull-up. Controlling your scapula in the retraction (pulling) phase and protraction (lowering) phase of the ring row will lead to efficient muscle activation for greater strength in the surrounding muscles. Most people have good control over the mid range of motion of muscular contraction but the control over the long range [start position (chest away) of ring row] and short range [end position (chest level) of ring row] of scapular mobility is typically poor. Creating neural drive with in the weakest ranges of motion by focusing on scapula positions during the ring row will allow appropriate muscle activation for ideal efficiency.

With that being said, ask a coach to assess your strength/mobility of your scapula during a ring row and we will be able to identify any movement issues and efficiently progress you to a proper ring row.

Organized/Neutral Spine

If any members can attest to my “Elements” class on how I drill “organized and neutral spine” they will agree that I am relentless at quizzing them through out each session. It is for an extremely important purpose, and that is safe and effective movement production. When “organized” the flow of energy and power will be efficient when performing the ring row.

Once you have developed the proper grip, shoulder mechanics for the ring row and have the strength to maintain good positions for several repetitions and at different speeds, you can add more complexity to the movement. Increase the load by changing the angle of your body, the more horizontal you are the harder it gets. Even try putting a box under your feet so that when your arms are fully extended your head is horizontally below your feet.

Once you master the row, I promise that you will develop the strength (proper motor control and muscular activation) to get to your first pull-up.

 

 

*[Slate day involves a “Slate benchmark” WOD for our members. There are stages (1,2,3,4 &5) that are based on skill level that measure your performance and improvement. Depending on your skill level, the WOD is to be done with-in your stage level. The movements get increasingly difficult through progression of each stage.]

Double Under Improvement

This week, the gym did our monthly Slate Day, and part of this was the Slate Workout of the Day.  With this, some of the members found themselves being limited by a pesky movement known as the double under.  I will start my guidance with this: you have to practice them, all the time.  

Double unders are a great way to elevate the heart rate, build coordination, strengthen the body and develop more endurance.  With that being said, they are also one of the easiest ways to see how quickly someone may become irritated, swear, or even throw a jump rope.  Having a rope whip your legs, arms, face, neck or other areas hurts!  If this isn’t bad enough, this only adds to your frustration, and makes them more difficult.

So…let’s talk about how we can fix all of that.  Below, is a great, short video by one of my personal favorites, Chris Spealler of Park City Crossfit.  He goes over the basics, and provides a great demo of what to do/not to do.

With these tips in mind, I would also like to bring up another important aspect.  Relax.  The very first thing I tell struggling members is to remain relaxed and level headed.  If you watch some members doing DUs, it may look almost effortless.  One of our members has sets of triple unders, and she makes them look as easy as my singles.  This eased approach helps to keep in proper positions, and to save your shoulders from burning out.  If you miss, take a deep breath, shake it off, and get right back into the effort.

Now, how do we put this into practice?  Simple: start doing double unders every time you enter the gym.  Alternate between before/after the workout, but do them, each and every time.  Here are a couple of ways I suggest for people to develop them.

The “overall minimum” approach:

Set a number (Ex: 30), and do that many, each and every time you come in.  This number will grow, but if you use this approach, limit the overall effort to 5-10 minutes.  If you have a sporadic double under, here and there, talk to a coach to help fine tune some of your miscues, and we will gladly help setting that number.

The “set minimum” approach:

This is a personal favorite for if you have a certain number of DUs, but lack consistency.  Let’s say that Jared can do 5-10 DUs, but sometimes this is a struggle.  I am going to advise him to do 3 sets of 8 unbroken DUs every time he comes in.  Once you start nailing these sets, that number will increase.

These are just a couple of short programs you can do in the gym, and please feel free to ask any of the coaches for on the spot advice!

Thursday 2-5-15

STRENGTH:
Strict Press Deload week

5 sets of:

A1) 4 Negative Pullups

A2) 5 Strict Press at 40-60%

WOD:

6x300m with 60 secs rest in between sets

CORE:

Tabata

Hollow Holds
Side Planks
Ring Planks

Fuel for Fitness, My Approach to Nutrition

 

Understanding someone’s approach to health and wellness gives insight into how they live their life. My life has seen some pretty big changes in the last few years, most recently since moving to Seattle from Wisconsin, starting a graduate program, and getting married! Let me start out by sharing that I have experienced my fair share of diets, exercise routines, and lack of care for my overall health. My journey has brought me more awareness of what most people consider “healthy”, and I can relate to the frustration of not knowing what I’m supposed to be eating because advertising tells me one thing, Dr. Oz tells me another, and family and friends also share their opinions.

 

The thought of sharing your relationship to food with another person is a scary thing. What foods you purchase at the grocery store, the foods you cook (or don’t cook!) at home, along with the way you eat these foods are all very personal. I am here not to pass judgment, but to act as a support system to the ways wellness and health are important, and fit into your lifestyle. Your goals and life path are different than the person next to you on the bus, at work, or in the gym, and so your path to health, including your food choices, will also be different.

 

Everyone has an opinion regarding what good or optimal nutrition is, which can make choosing foods an exasperating and confusing experience. My current graduate experience has taught me that although nutrition is deeply rooted in science-based research, the results can often be misinterpreted in the media and often precipitate fad diets. I try to provide the most current, science-based information, while balancing traditional nutrition practices that have been successfully applied for thousands of years. These traditional recommendations frequently parallel current scientific research, however they also emphasize the importance of recognizing individuality and a persons ability to participate in their own path to health.

 

A pattern will emerge in my blog posts regarding local, seasonal and organic foods. I have not always eaten this way, especially growing up and living in the Midwest! Organic whole foods were a foreign concept to me until fairly recently, and I understand that not everyone can afford or chooses to eat this way. I respect your food choices, and hope to be a guide along your journey to wellness and offer the support you ask for without fear of judgment.

 

Please email me for any nutrition, health, or wellness topics you are interested in learning more about and I will be happy to post about them!

 

Nichole