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Who likes to hit a PR? Obviously everyone, right!? At least I would hope so. One of the greatest parts of actively participating in any type of exercise is being able to see yourself progress. To be able to do things you’ve never been able to do before. Celebrating those “personal records” is something we all have come to not only enjoy, but crave. I know I’m not the only one that has a magic number in their head for that one lift that is always seeming to get the best of them. That one that you know you can do it, but somehow, the weight always wins. Well today we’re gonna look at an aspect of fitness that is many times overlooked, that could potentially help a lot of us hit a few of the PR’s we’ve been chasing for so long. Mobility and warm-up.

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I know I can feel the eye rolls from here. We’re all guilty of it. We’ve grown so close to our Crossfit family that the first fifteen minutes of class is usually more of catching up with one another and sitting on a foam roller more than it is an actual personalized warm up. Then dare I even mention when we come to open gym….. We do a good job as a gym getting in a warmup before the WOD when we have a coach that runs us through something specific, but when we come in on our own to do a workout, how well do we do? I know I’m definitely guilty. Grab a PVC do a couple pass throughs, maybe row 500 meters. OKAY, Lets do Fran!!! Now we all know this is a little bit of an exaggeration, but not too much.

 

I could go on and on about the specifics of why a proper full body warm up is important for our bodies in the physiological aspect… (trust me, google it, there’s literally tons of info) and even more about how flexibility can help us hit our positions better. But I think we all understand fitness enough to understand the importance. During our workouts we use so much of bodies that we don’t even realize so a full body warm up may at times feel like you’re wasting your energy for the WOD, but really, we’re just priming the pump! So next time, when you’re looking over at the coach like their crazy, because you feel like you’re sweating more in the warm up than you thought you would be in the WOD. Know that it’s because we want you to reach your full potential. And we promise we’ll be better at warming up when we open gym too!

 

-Mike Hickman

Oh and for those that geek out over this stuff like me, here’s a link to an awesome article from Crossfit Journals that I got a lot of the info for this on http://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf/CFJ_2014_09_Flexibility_Starr2.pdf

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    Thank you to everyone who came out for the “Now I Can” 5k Fundraiser, It was an awesome event! We had a total of 38 runners take on our course and we were able to raise a total of $1000.00 which was donated to the “Now I Can” Foundation. If you haven’t heard of Now I Can you should definitely check them out. They are a charity that helps disabled children get stronger and healthy through physical therapy.  

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Also a huge thank you to the businesses that donated to the charity as well as prizes that were awarded to all the race winners.

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Last but not least THANK YOU to the volunteers that came to set-up, hand out water and cut up delicious watermelon! Shout out to Mikey, Kendall, and Fia for setting erthang up and making this whole thing possible. I am constantly amazed by our community and the things we are capable of together.

 

Brian

*Please forgive my NOOB camera skills I’m still getting use to manning a legit camera, I took a bunch of pics but about 88.2% of them are out of focus 🙂

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          Okay, I want you to close your eyes (but not really so you can keep reading) and imagine that you own a pristine 1969 Chevelle…a prized garage trophy indeed!  Now imagine pushing the pedal to the metal a few days a week, with maybe a day or two each week where you take it out for a nice stroll or get under the hood and work on preventative maintenance.  I’d like to think that the car owner in this situation knows what’s best for his baby.
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Now imagine revving that engine everyday, multiple times a day.  Still a reasonable possibility if you’ve primed your baby for an intensity level like that…behind the scenes extra care and maintenance to ensure that your baby can handle the load.  Again, the car owner knows best!  But what if the owner of the car is still in the process of learning what’s best for that HOT Chevelle?  Is there a chance that an owner may experience outcomes of an overheated engine, broken parts, and wear and tear on his vehicle?…Absolutely!
So, here’s the loaded question for the day.  As the proud owner of your body, do you know what your body can handle?  I wish I had the perfect answer to share with all of you on when to workout and when to rest to achieve optimal strength development, but the truth of the matter is…one size definitely does not fit all.  Each and every body is uniquely different in so many ways, and it’s up to each of us individually to find our balance.  How do we find our balance?  Here are a few factors to help you find your answer:
How young are you?
Um hello…I’m not in my 20’s anymore.  If you are, I hate you (but not really ;)).  Age definitely matters, and as you get older, you may start to realize that more rest is crucial for optimal performance.
How restful do you sleep?
Are you filling your tank with enough rest to allow your broken muscles to reconstruct while asleep?  A disturbed sleep will counteract with the rebuilding of muscle, and not enough sleep won’t allow your muscles to recover in stronger formations and increased size.  Yes, that’s right…not enough sleep and disturbed sleeping patterns will mess with those gains!
What are you using to fuel your body?
I could write an entirely different blog post on nutrition, so for the sake not making this post a novel, I’ll keep it short and sweet.  When you’re at the gas pump, you fuel your car with proper fuel, not garbage from the trash can (unless your Marty McFly and Emmett Brown fueling the home energy reactor in the DeLorean).  And not only do you fill with proper fuel, but you stop it from overflowing and before it’s completely full…right?  If you’re one of those that keeps clicking to the very brim…STOP IT! 🙂
Intensity and Duration
Now this formula may take a lot of trial and error.  I would suggest listening to your body.  If you’re a beginner athlete, you’ll need more time to recover between workouts until your body acclimates to the training intensity.  If you’re an intermediate and/or advanced athlete, look for signs of decreased performance, elevated blood pressure, decreased immunity and disturbed sleeping.  If you’re experiencing any of these overtraining symptoms, step away from the increased intensity workout for a day, and enjoy a nature hike, a light jog on a beautiful trail, a swimming day with friends/family, gardening/yardwork, a home project you haven’t had time to complete, batting practice, (cue music) shooting some b-ball outside of the school, etc.  The list for ACTIVE rest truly goes on and on and on.
Hope this helps you find your groove.  Balance is a key ingredient to success!  If you have any questions, you know where to find me 🙂
Fia

 

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“3…2…1…GO!!!”

Did your heart rate spike? Let’s back up.

So you’re in class and the coach is briefing you on the WOD, you’ve already picked a time on the board you want to beat and got your P.W.P. (pre-WOD-potty) out of the way. The 10 second countdown starts and it’s pedal to the metal! You finish, crawl over to the fan and whimper your time to whoever is listening to be recorded on the whiteboard.

We’ve all been here and this is an awesome feeling. But does this need to be an everyday thing? Will you make progress if you’re not always racing against the clock?

First, let’s talk about why we use the clock and it’s purpose. We believe that fitness is: increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains. Basically the ability to do a certain amount of work in as little time as possible (as safely and efficiently as possible, for all dem haters out there). Everyone in the gym wants to improve, they want to be stronger, get in better shape and be more capable to improve their quality of life and reach their goals. That my friends is why we measure and time our workouts. It lets us see if we are increasing our fitness and where we need to be better.

The clock is a really good thing but, just like anything it can become a bad thing. If you find that your palms get sweaty or you get the nervous poops pre-WOD you may have problem. If this is you I highly recommend that you pick 1 WOD every week and just work, don’t worry about the time or how fast you did it, JUST MOVE!

There is a reason we have a deload week in our strength cycles, to let the body rest and recovery. Why wouldn’t we apply the same principles to our conditioning? Remember I’m not saying stop using/worrying about the clock or pushing the pace. All I’m saying is take one day a week and focus on your movement, feel what your muscles and limbs are doing. Movement mastery comes with time, patience and a whole lot of focus. Plus let’s be real, it’s a bunch of blinking numbers on a wall. It’s OK for those little lights to not mean something once a week. So Pick a day and focus on what you are doing, feel what you are doing, understand what you are doing. A 2 minute “Grace” time is awesome and impressive but understanding your life-long potential and enjoying the process of getting there is a much greater feat.

 

Brian

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One of my favorite things about CrossFit, is that everything we do is measurable and repeatable. This makes tracking progress easy.  It also creates a perfect framework for setting and demolishing personal fitness goals. Many of us just completed the CrossFit Open.  The Open is a great measuring stick to show us our weaknesses.

Moving forward, we have a great opportunity to start making our weaknesses our strengths.  It is critical that as we go through the goal setting process that we keep in mind some important variables.  Once we have identified an area that we want to improve, for example: pull-ups, muscle-ups, double-unders, handstand push-ups, etc.. We can start to build a game plan.

Our goals should follow the SMART template.

They should be:

  • Specific – state exactly what you want to accomplish.
  • Measurable – how do we evaluate our performance objectively, (reps, weight, new movement, etc..)
  • Achievable – set goals that are challenging, but attainable.
  • Relevant – how does this tie into my overall fitness and quality of life
  • Time Bound – set target dates that, and break the goals up into smaller milestones as needed, always keeping the long term goal in mind.

At Anvil Athletic and Generator CrossFit we are putting together some tools to help you reach your goals.

  • Look for our new integration with “Beyond the Whiteboard”
  • Please come in and write your refreshed goals on the goal board
  • We also offer personal programming to help reach your specific goals. If you are stuck on a skill or movement, please come in and let us show you how we can help

Lastly, here is a short video clip on the mental mindset necessary to start crushing your goals: