Earlier today Ohio went on a soft lock down. Whether you want it to happen or consider it medical martial law, there a lot of unknowns for the duration, which at its earliest is April 6th
What happens tomorrow? What happens next week? What happens next month?
It’s all so daunting and somewhat unsettling.
What will our world look like, economically, demographically, politically, or structurally when this is all over?
Will our family members get infected? Will it be mild, severe, or deadly?
So many questions, very few answers.
Can I offer some advice…both to those reading, and to myself writing this.
Don’t worry about tomorrow. Don’t worry about next week. Don’t worry about next month.
Focus on the present. Focus on today. Focus on the morning.
Those who can see the future, but can break the task or uncertainty into the smaller manageable chunks inevitably will be more successful than those who get overwhelmed by the deluge of media information everyday at 1230pm and 200pm.
So focus on getting through the 24 hours in front of you. Be the best you can for the people around you. If 24 hours feels like too much, get to breakfast, then lunch, and then dinner. These small chunks of time allow us to focus in the moment, and give our best effort to the set time determined by our resoluteness. Above all, don’t let the uncertainty of the vast unforeseen future, distract you from the moment. Turn those moments into an amount of time that you can manage….Just you…no one else. For each of us is unlike the other with different skill sets.
You determine the moments, but don’t look at so many they overwhelm you.
In 2006 when i stumbled across Crossfit.com and started doing workouts, everything was online, and it was great. We were doing something atypical and it hurt, but it worked, and we loved it.
Who were we?
Names on the computer?
We didn’t personally know the people that we were interacting with, but we knew them, and how fit they were.
It was simpler.
There were a few CrossFit gyms around the nation, most close to Santa Cruz.
I was one of 4 in Ohio in May of 2007 when a few us met at Rogue Fitness on saw horses, and a guy (Bill Henniger) I’d never met before said he was thinking of making equipment. Fast forward 13 years, he has a company, Rogue Fitness, that as of this moment is making PPE equipment for the Coronavirus pandemic.
For years now, there has been a murmur in the CrossFit community of returning to its roots. At its core, nothing has changed in the training methodology of CrossFit. CrossFit HQ still posts workouts which are effective and painful, we still sweat and we wonder why we do this to ourselves.
What has changed though in the expectations of the people.
We have large gyms with all the equipment we need, class times to fit our schedule, recovery drinks, proteins, movies, the CrossFit Games, and icons that we follow and adore(albeit too much) on social media.
It’s now March 2020, and CrossFit Legacy along with every other gym in Ohio has been shut down by the state government with zero indication of when we will be allowed back reopen in the name of Public Health because of the Coronavirus pandemic. We no longer have the face to face interaction of our local community and friends that we rely on for motivation, accountability, and friendship.
It feels foreign and different, but is it really?
We are forced back to 2007, and 99% of our interactions are now online or via social media.
Our workouts are still programmed by our local Crossfit Gym, much like we used to look to crossfit.com for our workouts in 2007.
But, something is missing.
At least it feels that way.
We, as humans, are designed to live in community, and that community functions best when it is face to face. That is one of the reasons the online community of crossfit.com slowly began to fade as more gyms began to open up. The interaction became personal, face to face, and that was real, and significantly deeper than what initially started in the virtual world. Yet, we find ourselves driven back to interacting in the digital world, working out at home, or in our garage. It doesn’t feel right, but it’s where we(early adaptors) started, and what we grew out of.
My hope is that like in 2007 and beyond, we will grow out of the digital interaction and one day soon be allowed to workout with our friends and laugh and rib one another in the morning or evening. We will once more be allowed to look at the coach and give them the ugly eye when they are describing time domains of the workout, and once more, I will be able to give the “dad look’’ when someone kicks the chalk bucket over or drops a barbell from too high. I am looking forward to that, and the face to face smiles of my friends and fellow crossfitters that I have grown to depend on and look forward to each day.
We are really excited about all the new additions to Legacy, and are looking forward to being able to offer these to everyone. Any questions, please don’t hesitate to post, or talk to Brian or Leslie at the gym.
There is a story in the Bible about Gideon, who was charged with finding an army of men capable of fighting a foreign invading force.
One of the criteria was how the men took a drink of water from the local river. Gideon took 10,000 men down to the river to quench their thirst. Those who lapped water like a dog were asked to leave, and those who used their hands, and remained ready and aware of themselves and their current surroundings were allowed to stay.
This is merely my opinion, because is not noted in the story, but those men who used their hands to drink water(and were allowed to stay), and remained on the ready while quenching their thirst in the middle of a hot middle eastern day.—–“rested well”
During the Regional Training Camp at Hyperfit a few weeks ago, I either overhead a conversation, or briefly talked about how well the regional athletes were “resting” mid workout.
Those who appeared to be suffering during their rest inevitably did not finish as fast as those who didn’t allow their inner struggle to be seen in their body language. Even at CrossFit Legacy, there are those at the gym, who are told, “I can never tell that you are suffering so much in a workout!” Yet, there are also those who would like to entire gym to know that the workout is hard whether others are looking or not.
The take away here is that how you maintain your composure during a workout will affect how you progress through a workout and how you finish.
—-Keep your head up
—Control your breathing(belly breathe)
—Have a plan before the workout begins
—be willing to adjust your plan(after you get hit in the face)
—Positive self talk
—being dramatic won’t make you go faster
—always keep moving
—keep your hands off your knees
These are just a few things to keep in mind, but the next time a workout makes you feel like your soul is being ripped out of you, don’t show it. Rather, say to yourself, “this is tough, but I am tougher!”
The better you rest, the faster you will go and the fitter you will become.
By the way, only 300 men remained after Gideon took them to the river, so it is a rare thing to rest well.
Where do I draw the line between the two? Walking into any gym or CrossFit box can be an intimidating sight. Often times you find yourself walking into a packed house with a bunch of people throwing what appear to be massive amounts of weight overhead, or picking up even larger amounts of weight from the floor. We’ve all been to the point where we are flat out amazed by a lift we have seen or a number on the whiteboard when we first started.
Speaking of the whiteboard.
After crossfitting for a while and becoming a “veteran”, it is easy to get caught up in how everyone else is scoring. We see that our friendly competition has maxed out his snatch for the day and that number happens to be 20 pounds greater than yours.
So what is our first instinct?
Load that bar until we hit a lift that is greater than our counterpart regardless of how rounded our back is—right?
If we did this, we are obviously more focused on amount of weight lifted rather than technique used.
Okay okay get to your point.
The point is that many CrossFit boxes, or fitness gyms are so focused on amount of weight lifted that form and technique are often thrown out the window.
Let’s get back to that friendly competition up on the whiteboard. It may say that your counterpart out lifted you, but how are they moving?
Is their lift one that is technically sound without any hiccups or faults?
Are your lifts technically sound without any faults? If so ignore the rest of this and continue on with your day.
For those of us who do not have the perfect lift, or the best mechanics in the world, this article is for you. The whiteboard can be a deadly thing and it can make us try to beat someone in all aspects of fitness while forgetting the fundamental aspect of CrossFit—”the fundamentals”
We must get back to the basics. Working technique and building a foundation are the most important concepts you can perfect and have a full understanding of, especially within the CrossFit community.
There’s a reason you started to snatch with a PVC pipe.
So what are the benefits to hammering technique prior to lifting heavy weights? Well for starters dialing in mechanics will prevent injury. Many of us find ourselves in the gym upwards of five times a week. Improper mechanics will surely put an end to that. Many injuries heard of within the fitness community are due to improper mechanics whether we want to believe it or not.
Stop loading the bar if you know your back is rounded!
Another benefit to perfecting your mechanics? More personal records! That’s right, chances are if your technique is dialed in and you are consistent with a program and put the effort in your PRs will not only happen more often but the jumps will be greater. Who doesn’t want that?!
So before you go loading that bar to try and beat someone else, why not take the time and better yourself, not only now, but in the long run as well. Take the time to use a PVC pipe, an empty barbell, or just running through the movement within your mind.
Trust the process.
“Build your empire on the firm foundation of the fundamentals”
With the competition season rapidly approaching, I know many of us are eager to add new skills to our skill sets and/or refine techniques for existing skills. As coaches, we welcome the infectious enthusiasm that spreads throughout the community this time of year–regardless of your competitive aspirations. It’s a fun opportunity for us to help all of you address those individual goals.
It’s always nice to see people practicing and working the progressions required to safely and efficiently develop proficiency with these skills. I am particularly excited to see many of you are making time to attack some of the higher skill gymnastic movements. Recently, the butterfly pull-up has been a focal point for many. As such, the comments below will focus on that movement as a way to illustrate the bigger picture.
(Below is a video of the butterfly being performed as well as I have seen. Video and series of questions below courtesy of CrossFit Milford and Power Monkey gymnastics)
To butterfly or not?
Are they safe for you? How many are you doing? Why are you doing them? (desired training stimulus) What is your structure? Shoulder/spine/hip range of motion? Can you control that full range of motion? Can you demonstrate scapular stability and control? How is your posture? Have you worked on building a solid structural foundation? How are your strict pull up positions? Age? Training age? Any past/present injuries? How is your technique and timing?
All these considerations are of the utmost importance for determining your readiness to perform/practice any movement. At any given moment, you are as fit and as skilled as you are. Improving one will improve the other. They are not mutually exclusive.
Like other dynamic movements, the butterfly pull-up places a very high demand on the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints. As such, your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints must be properly prepared for this demand. This is accomplished by working your progressions! Ignoring the progressions is a recipe for disaster.
Let me be clear–prepare properly or prepare for injury.
Always practice the basics. Fall in love with the process, not the movement. Demonstrate the willingness to put in the work required to perform the movement WELL!
Quality trumps quantity. Intelligence and patience trump blind enthusiasm. If you were preparing for an algebra test by taking as many practice tests as possible, wouldn’t it be best if you knew basic arithmetic first? I am fairly certain that all the enthusiasm in the world for voluminous practice testing is going to prove to be useless if you can’t add. The same principle applies to our goals. It’s been my experience that the person who can pair their enthusiasm with a patient willingness to learn will be much better off in the bigger picture. Don’t forget we always have other things to work on. Obsessing over any one thing is a mistake. All skills and abilities are part of the whole. When we assess someone that wants to “fix” their butterfly, or any other movement, the fix (more often than not) is going back and putting in the work with the basics.
Enjoy the process. Laugh off frustration. Most importantly, have fun.
Happy New Years to all of the members of the CrossFit Legacy family! It has been an exciting year, and we all look forward to even better things coming in 2016.
We coaches would like to thank each and every one of you for your continued support and dedication to the gym and to one another. It’s one thing to see everyone evolve in the gym, but it has been even greater to see how this gym is so close outside of the Legacy walls. I can recall multiple times throughout the year when a member was moving and needed a hand with moving furniture and there were numerous people from the gym willing to lend a hand and help out. Or, a few members would be competing at a competition over the summer and a number of members would be there to cheer them on and support them. Clinics have been attended, CCW courses have taken place, Yoga classes have started up, and it has been YOU all that have made these possible.
Seeing first hand how members will regularly get together outside of classes to have breakfast, go for a run, see a movie, truly shows how this gym has come together as more than acquaintances or even friends; this is a family.
As we go into this new year, of course it is a great idea to think about goals and commit to them. Consider what you have planned for yourself, where you see opportunities to improve your fitness, or what challenges still need to be overcome. But also think about your goals for improving your character. A great way to do so is by helping each other reach their goals. You have shown time and time again that this is an easy task. Maybe someone has a weakness they want to work on that you happen to be a ninja at. There’s your chance! Showing your compassion and selflessness by giving some helpful advice can go a long way.
Again, thank you, Legacy family. Have a happy new year and be safe. We look forward to seeing what all we can accomplish in this coming year!