Tuesday was the last day of March, but this week was also the start of the April training cycle. Let's talk briefly about what you can expect this month.
Skill work - April's skill work will be more structured than what we've done in the past, based on our group's specific goals and needs. We'll work on the same elements every week much like we do with weight lifting. For example, today we alternated DU practice with pistol technique. We'll do the same thing on another day next week and hopefully you'll have an 'ah-ha!' moment when you get more double-unders in a minute or perform a better pistol than you could before.
Strength work - April's strength work will return to the basic barbell lifts we worked on in January: the deadlift, bench press, back squat, and shoulder press. We'll do a week of 5-rep maxes, a week of 3-rep maxes, a week of 1-rep maxes, and a de-load week. Expect to see bigger numbers than you got in January.
WODs - The WODs are always a surprise, of course. This month you can anticipate the return of several Girl WODs, as well as some single-modality benchmarks/tests of skill. Each week will also feature a power training day like today's, where we use precise work/rest intervals.
First, there's Joe. Joe's setup looks pretty good. I'd like to see his back more flat, but the position of knees, elbows, and shoulders in relationship to one another is basically correct. He's literally jumping off the ground in the second picture, rapidly extending his hips and knees while he shrugs his shoulders and pulls his elbows high to make the bar fly. However, as good as he is at pulling the bar up in the air, he's unable to get into the right position to catch it. You'll notice that he let his knees go forward instead of setting his hips back.
Now let's see Khirstie's lift. Her setup is less efficient than Joe's. She has her hips too high and that closes their angle, making the first pull more work than it should be (remember, she still has to get vertical for the second pull). On the other hand, she does a very good job at throwing that bar up in the second pull. You can see she's basically leaping into the air to make the bar move. And her catch is clearly superior to Joe's. She has her hips back with the bar overhead in a comfortable overhead squat position.
There's always more work to be done on these lifts, even the folks in the Olympics are constantly training to improve their technique and put up heavier loads. But, for today, let me just say they both know how to get the bar up there. Joe needs some work on his catch, and Khirstie needs some work on her setup. Good thing they have lifting partners to help them fix those missing pieces.
Coming into this year's last Open WOD, we knew there were a few movements we hadn't seen yet that would probably come into play, namely:
It wasn't likely that we'd get burpees and thrusters together after a couplet of those two movements finished out last year's Open. What seemed more likely was that rowing would be part of the WOD. Rowing showed up for the first time ever in the Open in 2014, and it would be really surprising if they didn't bring it back this year. The safe prediction was something with Thrusters, Box Jumps, and Rowing, maybe as a longer AMRAP or Chipper.
And then we got this... With the announcement on Thursday, all the joy of anticipation came to an end. Now we'd just have to grit our teeth and do it. Congratulations to Paul and Marlee for really stepping up to the plate. You guys killed it!
- Coach Nic
Remember Angie? Another classic girl WOD, Angie is a "Chipper" with 100 reps each of pull-ups, pushups, sit-ups, and squats, in that exact order. One of the easiest ways to break the work up is to do pull-ups in sets of 40, 30, 20, 10, then move on to push-ups for another 40, 30, 20, 10, etc. "Upside Down Angie" is just a twist on that basic format. It's the exact same amount of work in a different arrangement. So, instead of completing all the pull-ups before moving on to the pushups, you do the movements in sets that increase by 10 each round. The idea is to shave off some time by eliminating those inevitable rest breaks on the sets of 100, therefore creating more intensity (all the work in less time).
Did it work? This is where a training log comes in handy. Compare your most recent Angie score to Upside Down Angie and see how you did. And be prepared... Angie's coming back in a couple weeks.
So, that was just... rough. Great conditioning, for sure, and I know it made us better rowers, but I never want to do that again (probably will anyway). The little smiley-face next to Sam's name indicates that he did double-unders instead of rowing, but he didn't want to count the reps. I don't blame him. :)
Aww, Elizabeth. In the early days of CrossFit, this was the kind of WOD we did every day. Before there were Games and Opens, even before the epic Heroes, there were Girl WODs. Designed to be repeated as periodic tests, they consisted of fundamental movements at weights that might seem heavy the first time around, but became light after a few months on the program. I remember the sense of progress I felt when I first completed Elizabeth as RXed; my next goal was to do it under 10 minutes. Those feelings came back to me on Tuesday as I watched Donalda and Char clean real weight! I wasn't here last time you guys did Elizabeth with Andrew back in August, but I'm positive you all performed better the second time around. That's how we know the program works.
Yup. 20 minutes of double-under heaven. It's not about how many you can do in 20 minutes, or even about your biggest unbroken set. This is about learning to control a skill that most people just throw themselves at haphazardly. Making yourself hit that set of 5, then 10, then 15, etc., forces you to refine the technique and get into a groove. I think this is why many of us got further than we thought we could today.
For me, it's all about finding a 'lucky' place on the floor, with something at eye level on the wall to focus my gaze on (this time it was a TRX strap), then keeping my reps tight and consistent. I couldn't complete this WOD the first several times I attempted it, but now I can get the whole thing done in around 16-18 minutes usually. Once I get it under 10:00, I'm gonna come up with a new WOD called "Space Flight Simulator", where you go to 100 reps.
Congratulations to Rachel and Russ on their successful double-unders today!
Spirits were not quite as high after this week's Open WOD. This year, CrossFit HQ introduced the "Scaled" division for the first time and it looks like they're trying their best to push people into Scaled by making the RX workouts harder than ever before.
This week's RX workout was very hard. For 8 minutes, you follow a rep scheme of:
3 Handstand Pushups, 3 Cleans @ 185lbs. or 125lbs.
6 HSPU, 3 Cleans
9 HSPU, 3 Cleans
12 HSPU, 6 Cleans
15 HSPU, 6 Cleans
18 HSPU, 6 Cleans
21 HSPU, 9 Cleans, etc. adding 3 HSPU per round and 3 Cleans every 3 rounds.
Writing it out that way makes me wish I'd gotten into those higher rounds, but I was stopped short by the heavy cleans. Similarly, many athletes were stopped by the HSPU, which used a movement standard we haven't seen previously.
The positive side of this situation is that it gives us something to work with; a target, a goal to focus our development towards. For me, it's getting stronger (and faster) in the Clean. For others, it's building a solid handstand pushup. If they repeat this one next year, we'll be ready.
I know many of you who struggle with double-unders are saying, "Why would we ever want to try triple-unders? Double is hard enough, but now you're talking about TRIPLE!!! It's not like we're trying out for the Olympic jump rope team."
In fact, Buddy Lee--the CrossFit jump rope guru--is a former Olympian, and he thinks you can get everything you want from the jump rope; including hand speed, foot speed, hand-eye coordination, and endurance. His jump rope tutorials on CrossFit.com taught thousands of people how to double-under and now the double-under has become one of the basic movements of CrossFit.
These days, there's more and more interest in developing the triple-under. This movement has shown up several times on CrossFit.com over the past couple of years amidst ongoing speculation that it might show up in the Games. Attempting the triple-under is an awesome challenge of speed and coordination, definitely a brain teaser, and who knows--you might need it in the WOD one of these days.
- Coach Nic
They're not the sexiest, they're not the coolest. You're not going to be bragging to your friends about them, but every once in a while you need a good core WOD. You can be sure about a couple of things though: you'll feel it the next day, and the strength and awareness you build through this will transfer over into everything else you do.
- Coach Nic
Nic - Lead CrossFit RHC Instructor
Lindy - CrossFit RHC Instructor
CrossFit RHC is a small group personal training class that optimizes fitness by using varied functional movements performed at high intensity. Using a combination of barbell training, bodyweight gymnastics, and cardio, CrossFit prepares you for any physical contingency known and unknown.
Riverside Health Club
2225 Riverside Drive
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
Click here for Crossfit Schedule. Select "X Studio" under the "All Studios" drop down menu.
CrossFit RHC classes are available to Riverside Health Club members. These classes are sold as monthly packages.
Sign up at Customer Service or by calling 360-424-4200.
Monthly Billing Available
Our CrossFit instructors can conduct personal training in the X-Studio just like any of our other Personal Trainers, but they are qualified specifically to help out with CrossFit skills, such as:
-Improving weightlifting technique (Clean, Jerk, Snatch, Squat, Deadlift, Press)
-Developing gymnastic progressions (such as muscle-ups & handstand push-ups)
-Improving WOD scores & times
Prices are the same as Personal Training, starting at $65/hr, with lower hourly prices when purchased in larger packages or as monthly recurring services, conveniently auto-billed to their club account.
Courtesy of CrossFit Inc.