It is very common for us as coaches to get asked the question "how do I get better at ...?". The simple answer is quite frankly to "practice", whether that be pull-ups, jump roping, snatches, etc. The concept I'll introduce today is known as "greasing the groove". Without getting too wrapped up into the science behind the concept, you quite simply just pick an exercise (let's roll with the push-up) and perform it several times throughout the day. First you need to establish how many push-ups you can perform in a single attempt. You will want to calculate about 75% of that number, and that's how many push-ups you will perform each time you perform a set. Next find a place to perform the push-ups (living room, next to your desk, empty room at work, sidewalk, etc.) Finally you will need to perform a minimum of 3 sets and no more than 10 spaced out as much as possible throughout the day. An example might look like this:
Jennifer: max push-ups: 16, 75% of 16=12
6:27 AM- set of 12 waiting for her coffee to brew
7:00 AM- set of 12 after getting out of the shower
11:00 AM- set of 12 in the corner of her office while taking a work break
3:00 PM- set of 12 next to the water cooler to show off in front of her co-workers
5:27 PM- set of 12 while waiting for her 5:30 PM CrossFit class
7:56 PM- set of 12 during commercial break before Final Jeopardy
So let's jump on it folks! Let me know if you have any more questions about "greasing the groove" and encourage friends, relatives, and co-workers to join in on the fun!
NO 5:30am or 6:30am this morning due to inclement weather...
Be sure to check out our new and improved retail area! We've put up new shelving and added some items to our inventory. Fish oil, jump ropes, mobility bands and fresh beef are just a few things that we will regularly be carrying. Marilyn Griffin, owner of Griffin Farms and provider of our grass-fed beef, will be adding to our selection of cuts in the next few weeks. We'll be offering a few kinds of steaks, ground beef, stew beef and some roasts.
Try putting a roast in the oven on 200 degrees with some stock and seasoning (a heavy duty pan made of cast iron works best) and let it slow cook for 4 or 5 hours. The meat comes out super-tender and flavorful. I picked up an extra cast-iron pan (made by Tramontina) yesterday from Tuesday Morning for just $35 so you don't have to shell out $150 for Le Creuset if you don't want to.
We will also be getting in some new t-shirts very soon for Spring and Summer...
Stefanie and Bryce have started a blog, eat.stretch.lift. and it is great! We encourage you to check it out and take advantage of their funky recipes and yoga wisdom. They have several recipes posted and here is their latest...thanks for sharing with CFBB! Looking forward to the Swedish style roasted sweet potatoes recipe...
Coffee Burgers from the Yoga Couple:
Inspired by the pub's breakfast menu, Stef and I have created our own recipe for a coffee blackened burger with no gluten and pastured eggs! The Underground has a breakfast burger that is rubbed with coffee and topped with an egg. The coffee adds a complex flavor and makes a really nice crust on the burger. Add the egg into the mixture and it's definitely a winner.
Burgers are something I take very seriously (Stef still barely eats meat, but this recipe was a big hit), and unfortunately when eating out, it's tough to get giant leaves of chard, kale, or steamed cabbage with which to wrap them in, so as usual we decided to take it into our own hands. With some local, grass fed ground beef from Griffin Farms (thanks CrossFit Blacksburg!) we got to work and made an awesome version of this great burger idea at home:
-1lb of grass fed ground beef
-Sliced mushrooms (as much as you like, we did about 1 large handful)
-1 minced clove of garlic
-2 jalapenos, diced
-1/2 yellow onion, chopped
-local, farm fresh eggs (1 for each burger)
-Avocado slices + salsa (or any other type of fixin')
-Large Dinosaur kale leaves to wrap (substitute any large leaves here - they said you can get these at Eats or Annie Kay's - Farmer's Market folks should be selling them, too...)
-1 tablespoon freshly ground coffee
-2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
-1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
-1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
-1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
-Form meat into four evenly sized patties
-Mix the spice rub and sprinkle onto meat
-Sautee veggies in a pan with about 1 tbl of oil
-In another pan (or on a grill), heat some oil or butter over a medium flame and add burgers, covering with a lid
-Fry the egg over medium (or harder or softer, depending on how you want it)
- When burgers are done, place on kale leaf with fried egg, veggies, salsa and avocado on top.
We paired these with some Swedish style roasted sweet potato (recipe to follow!) and a green salad.
How much quality sleep do you get? Are you a night owl, an early riser, or both? Do you regularly get 7+ hours of sleep per night?
Two articles on sleep were recently published that I found very interesting: The first by the BBC titled "The Myth of The Eight Hour Sleep", and the second is Robb Wolf's response to it. (If you don't know who Robb Wolf is, you need to find out!). Read the BBC article first, I promise they aren't very long.
I know I do better with 7 or 8 + hours of sleep per night in a dark room. The two blocks of sleep sound appealing, especially some of the ideas of what to do with the time in between!
Again, how much quality sleep do you get? Post to comments.
CrossFit is based extensively, if not exclusively, on functional movements. As daunting as learning to Snatch, Clean, Overhead Squat, Jerk, and Muscle-up, may be, especially never having heard of them, they, like the rest of the movements we perform, are movements that largely mimic and reproduce natural efforts like standing, throwing, lifting, pulling, pushing, climbing, and running. There is no circumstance of age, gender, stature, weight, or fitness level that reduces the need to be able to perform functional movements. This is not the same as saying that everyone should do Muscle-ups. When Muscle-ups are impossible, substituting Pull-ups and Ring Dips preserves the intended training stimulus and helps to prepare for the Muscle-up. Any weightlifting movement can be practiced and performed with a PVC pipe. It is our ability to modify and scale any movement that allows us to train the grandmother of three right beside our Navy SEAL candidate. The natural movements that we teach can be rapidly learned and performed by even the most novice student. It is important to remember this as you begin and continue your path towards a higher level of fitness.
The Jackie Finals on Saturday was a lot of fun, and there were some blisteringly fast times.
Congratulations to the winners:
Jialeou fastest and most improved woman - 8:28
Ben Lehmer fastest male - 6:50
Stephen G. most improved male RX - 10.36%
Boon most improved male Int. - 23.08%
Ish most improved male Beg - 16.37%
Daron 2nd most improved male RX - 9.68%
Along with the fast times and awesome improvements, there were some disappointing performances. Many participants could not uphold the movement standards, which proved very frustrating for them. Some athletes' times increased due to the strict movement standards.
The take-away from this experience is to make sure that you are moving through a full range of motion. Take the coaching you get in the box, and make the necessary changes to your movement. Sometimes that means taking a deep breath and exaggerating the range of motion, and other times it means reducing the weight. Do what it takes to meet the requirements.
Mobility Homework: Here's the page - do this before your training today if at all possible.
Just a reminder that this Saturday is the Jackie Finals from 8 to 10. There will be no regular classes (neither 8 nor 9 AM), and you must be registered in the Jackie Challenge to participate in the Finals. If you completed the Jackie preliminaries in January, you can still buy in to the Challenge. The cost is $30.
We will be sending out the heat schedule later today. If you have any special request (need to go early, need to go late), please let us know ASAP.
Also, the CrossFit Games Open starts this week! If you are interested in finding out how you stack up against the rest of the world, register at the games site. We are an official location, meaning we can verify scores. The Open lasts 5 weeks, and we will be doing that weeks workout on Fridays. Bring your Burpee best tomorrow!
More running info/data. Scientists explore the injury rates between various running styles. Thanks to CrossFit Surf City for the lead on this!
Purpose: This retrospective study tests if runners who habitually forefoot strike have different rates of injury than runners who habitually rearfoot strike.
Methods: We measured the strike characteristics of middle and long distance runners from a collegiate cross country team and quantified their history of injury, including the incidence and rate of specific injuries, the severity of each injury, and the rate of mild, moderate and severe injuries per mile run.
Results: Of the 52 runners studied, 36 (59%) primarily used a rearfoot strike and 16 (31%) primarily used a forefoot strike. Approximately 74% of runners experienced a moderate or severe injury each year, but those who habitually rearfoot strike had approximately twice the rate of repetitive stress injuries than individuals who habitually forefoot strike. Traumatic injury rates were not significantly different between the two groups. A generalized linear model showed that strike type, sex, race distance, and average miles per week each correlate significantly (p<0.01) with repetitive injury rates.
Conclusions: Competitive cross country runners on a college team incur high injury rates, but runners who habitually rearfoot strike have significantly higher rates of repetitive stress injury than those who mostly forefoot strike. This study does not test the causal bases for this general difference. One hypothesis, which requires further research, is that the absence of a marked impact peak in the ground reaction force during a forefoot strike compared to a rearfoot strike may contribute to lower rates of injuries in habitual forefoot strikers.