18 Nov 2014
Awesome PRs all day yesterday Hard work and smart programming pay off.
Nutrition and the Holidays:
I am a huge believer in going to town and stuffing your face during the holidays. Here’s the thing: “Holidays” for me means Thanksgiving, Christmas, my birthday the day after, and New Years Eve – that’s it (yes, I kinda have a cheat in there with my birthday). On those 4 days I take no restrictions on calories, macros, booze, sleep quality, gluten-free, or really anything else. They are CELEBRATIONS and I treat them as such.
However, this can cause a problem with diet and nutrition. There is a way to help blunt the awesomely gluttonous food consumption you’re about to do: Revisit our nutrition challenge from September, be super strict to the plan on all of your non-holiday days.
Sticking to the plan: Here is a major concept – If the plan works don’t change anything, the goal is to be on the plan that is working as much as possible. Let that sink in for a second. Let’s say that Thanksgiving you’re off-plan for the holiday (which I suggest you do, just enjoy it). On that Friday your plan doesn’t say to eat a lot less carbs and do 4 WODs to “make up” for everything you eat on Thanksgiving. If you’re off-plan one day that’s fine, but if you’re off-plan a second day (either high OR low on marcos) then you’re HURTING your progress. Read this whole paragraph again because most people shoot themselves in the foot by doing this.
It’s about being ON-PLAN more often. If it works, don’t change it.
10 Pull Ups
– Rest 4 Min –
10 Deadlifts (155/105)
10 Push Ups
Warm Up with the following complex: Add Load as you can.
Snatch DL – 2 Hang Muscle Snatches – OHS – Sotts Press
3RM BTN Push Press – Snatch Grip
5×5 Chin Ups
5×6 Glute Ham Raises
10 Nov 2014
Welcome to a brand new week! We graduated another group of beginners on Friday so make sure to say hello to the new faces you see around the gym!
Congrats to the ladies of MTM who competed in Friday’s Barbells and Bombshells! MTM Athletes finished in the top 5 in 5 of the 6 categories they competed in! A list of results is posted HERE.
2RM Front Squat
20 Jumping Lunges
10 MB Wall Throws (8′ From Wall)
5 Power Cleans (155/105)
The MB Throw is like basketball chest pass. Standing 8′ (2 Mats) from the wall you’ll throw a Medicine Ball as hard as you can at the wall. It’ll bounce and roll back.
We’re starting a new cycle of squats and oly work. We are in full on Open Prep mode which means a couple things:
1. Wodding takes priority. If you’re looking to compete don’t skip the WOD to lift.
2. Oly work is your second priority
3. Finally you can squat.
8×5 Back Squat 65% – 60s Rest
5×3 Hi-Hang Squat Snatch (80%)
5×3 Hi-Hang Power Clean & Push Jerk (80%)
03 Nov 2014
Welcome to a brand new Week and Month!
Beginner’s Classes start today at 6:30PM!
MTM Athletes really got out and about this weekend – Congrats to everyone who braved the elements to show what their fitness can do for them!
Jenn R completing the Tough Mudder (Don’t worry, it was in Texas so she was allowed to carry Them Guns!).
7RM Back Squat
25 Wallballs (20/14)
25 Power Snatches (75/45)
**On the Back Squat, warm up in sets less than 7. Then pick a weight and make an attempt at a 7RM. If successful make a jump and another attempt. No more than 3 attempts at a 7RM whether you make it or miss it.**
Oly Wk 4/D1
30 Back Squats at 95% of your 5RM in a few sets as possible
Split Jerk (Work to a Heavy Single, no Misses. Then 4×2 at 90% of that).
29 Oct 2014
Free Class Saturday at 11AM Come see what CrossFit is all about before starting our Beginner’s Classes Monday at 6:30PM!
Every now and then I come across something in my in box that is truly amazing to me. This week it came in the form of a new software system that guarantees to simplify everything I do and make me more money with less time working (!!! sounds super legit already). One of the things that “I’ll no longer have to worry about” is programming WODs for the gym if I only take them up on this amazing offer.
CrossFit founder Greg Glassman is known for saying that “the art is in the programming”. What does he mean by that? Programming is the art of CrossFit because the type and style of WODs, along with movements and intensity, will have a direct correlation to the effectiveness of a CrossFit gym. But consider, effective at what?
If one gym programs squatting heavy 4 or 5 times a week and every athlete makes 40lb squat PRs each month, is this an effective program? It depends on their goals. If the goal is big squat gains then YES. If the goal is fitting into your pants and having general inclusive fitness then NO.
At MTM we see our job as helping you reach your own PERSONAL goals. Coaching isn’t about getting what the coach wants from the athletes. It’s about helping athletes get what they want. Which brings me back to the opening line of this post. It’s amazing to me to think that somewhere a CrossFit gym is relying on free programming that isn’t specifically for their athletes. I’ve taken no fewer than 5 separate seminars where programming was covered in great detail. We’ve evaluated, analyzed, torn apart and put back together programs. The overall principle always comes back to – what is the goal? This doesn’t mean that I don’t borrow WODs from all types of places, i certainly do, but they fit the goals of a particular day or week.
Setting blanket programming days, weeks, months in advance is never a great solution because each gym will respond a little differently and there needs to be room for tweaks and changes to keep the progress going. Today is one of those days. By our plan we should be repeating Flight Simulator again. But we’re not. We’ve had some tough WODs and we’ve got some more coming up and Flight Simulator no longer fits with where our programming has gone. Instead of being tied to it we’re augmenting the plan to make it more effective for our gyms unique goals. That’s where the art is.
2 Min Max Effort Double Unders
– Rest 5 Min –
25 Candle Sticks
15 Ring Dips
5 Wall Climbs
7/15 Pause Front Squat (Heavy Single, then 3 singles at 85%)
16 Oct 2014
Free Class Saturday at 11AM Come see what CrossFit is all about!
Everyone did an awesome job power cleaning yesterday! Tons of PRs! Keep up the great work!
The Whiteboard by CrossFit Verve
What’s the first thing we all do when we get into the gym? I’m talking about after we’ve changed, said hello to our friends, and put all our belongings away. Look at the Whiteboard of course. Maybe you look to see what your friends were able to do or maybe you look to see what the best score, time, weight of the day is.
I have a love hate relationship with the whiteboard. I love it because it’s great to help us track our progress but I hate it because many of us are so concerned with seeing an RX next to our name that we sacrifice certain things to get said RX. Workouts are written and programmed for studs of CrossFit. I’m not talking about the athletes in our gym, I’m talking about the Matt Chan’s, Jason Khalipa, Julie Foucher and Rich Fronings of CrossFit. When we program workouts we design them to have a certain intensity to them and then we scale so that everyone still feels that intensity. Now clearly not all of us can do all the workouts as written and that’s a good thing. We need to scale to keep intensity high, have great mechanics, and get better at movements we need work on. There are many more benefits to the whiteboard, but also some negative aspects as well.
Here are a few good things about the whiteboard as referenced from an article in BoxLife Magazine.
Motivation. The scores your friends or friendly competition put up are great for motivating you and also to give you an idea of how you should approach a workout. Perhaps you see that your friend did a workout at a certain weight. You know that you and your friend are pretty close in strength so seeing her weight might convince you to do a similar weight.
Goals. Writing your score on the whiteboard shows that you’re moving in the correct direction to your fitness goals. A few days we did “Karen” and I heard people saying they beat their previous time by 2 minutes! That’s amazing. Put that on the whiteboard with a big ass PR next to your name!
Now here are few of the not so positives with the whiteboard.
Loss of Focus. Say you’re in a workout and you know what your friends time is. Well what happens if you look at the clock and realize you’re not going to be able to beat his time, what happens? We lose focus and start our brains running, instead of busting your butt to finish the workout and put up your best time possible.
The Whiteboard doesn’t tell the whole story. What if an athlete messed up counting and ended up doing a few more or less reps but that loss of counting was reflected in the time on the board? What if something effected the workout result? We may not know the whole story behind the time listed.
My advice is take the whiteboard for what it is, a board we write your name on and keep track of your score. That’s it. The real question should be how much better are you than the day you began your fitness journey? We try to describe a workout and it’s intended intensity so you can choose how you scale so you get the best workout for you.
6 Squat Snatches (135/95)
12 Pull Ups
24 Double Unders
14 Oct 2014
Moving weight all day yesterday Excellent work!
Come to our NEW movement and mobility class Wednesday at 6:30 Led by CPT and all around badass Tim Stiffler this 30min class will focus on building strength and mobility. Free to all members.
Now that the Nutrition Challenge is over I’ve decided to leave the FB group open and I encourage anyone who didn’t do the challenge, or fell off the wagon, to re-read the rules and start back up. Here’s the original post
10 KB Snatches
-Rest 2 Min-
10 Pull Ups
20 Double Unders
-Rest 2 Min-
10 Push Ups
-Rest 2 Min-
10 Candle Sticks
-Rest 2 Min-
5 x 1+1+1 Pause Clean Pull + Squat Clean + Sjerk (Heavy up PERFECT Form)
5×2 Power Snatch (70%)
19 Aug 2014
The attitude in the gym yesterday was amazing! Everyone came in eager to crush a movement that we had never done before then tackle a tough shoulder WOD. Great work by all, Keep it up!
The very first NPGL Match is going down tonight at 7PM Live from Madison Square Gardens. Here’s a preview:
5×2+1+1 Squat Clean + PP + Sjerk (75%)
5×2 Power Snatch (70%)
3×10 Glute Ham Raise
3×10 Bicep Curl
3×10 KB Flags
05 Aug 2014
Swim WOD This Sunday at 9AM – Dogwood, be there!
The Value of the CrossFit Level 1 Cert (CF-L1)
Recently there’s been a lot of press about how dangerous and “bad” CrossFit is. While it is my opinion that CrossFit HQ could be doing several things better: slowing affiliate growth, dealing with the media, creating basic affiliate standards and guidelines – the CrossFit Level 1 is one of the BEST certifications available to any fitness professional.
Over the weekend I saw something that terrified me: an $89 Personal Trainer Certification on GroupOn. I’m not arguing that a certification has to be expensive to be good but generally the cheaper something is the less hands-on training you get. There is a whole group of certifications, particularly for Personal and Group Training, that fall into the original price range of the GroupOn Cert. I’ve read through a couple of these courses supporting materials and even passed their practice tests. While lots of it is valuable information would it surprise you to find out that only about 25% of the course actually deals with what you do with clients on a day-to-day basis?
The CF-L1 is one of the only certifications available that places an emphasis on Movements, Scaling, and Programming. And it’s really more than an emphasis – it’s the foundation of the Cert. You learn to squat, to press, to deadlift, to do Pull Ups, to do Oly Lifting. The course covers how to bring new members up to speed, common faults with movements, and so on and so on. It teaches you how to improve people’s fitness on a day-to-day level. The simplicity of this fact has gotten lost in the shouting about CrossFit. Training people to be fit isn’t an exercise done in a lab with white coats on. It’s not about knowing all the anatomical names for muscles and bones. It’s about being able to TEACH someone to move. It’s about knowing when to use these movements and when to use those movements. It’s about bringing athletes along at the proper pace so that the program is effective and safe.
Does the CF-L1 make you instantly ready to coach a class of 20? No. That’s why MTM has a coaches apprenticeship program to bring new coaches into coaching at the proper pace. To ensure that each and every coach is ready to handle group CrossFit Classes. But the CF-L1 is a hugely valuable cert and the trainers who hold that cert will have gotten training with Functional Movements far beyond any other major cert currently available.
Single Arm KBS
400m Run (Between each round)
4x 2-P Squat Snatch (55% – Hi Hang then Hang)
4x 2-P Power Clean + 2 Push Jerks (55% – Hi Hang then Hang, Both Cleans then Both Jerks)
3×15 Back Extensions Un-Weighted
3×10 Curls (Not a joke, do some DB curls, don’t use momentum)
3×10 KB Flags (lighter than last week)
24 Jun 2014
July 4th Wilson Fundraiser will go down from 10AM to 12PM. A $20 donation gets you a Hero WOD and helps send MTM’s own Jerry Wilson to the CrossFit Games!
With a running clock
9 Deadlifts (95/65)
6 Hang Power Snatches
1RM Power Snatch
30 Double Unders
20 Sit Ups
10 OH Weighted Lunge Steps (45/25)
**Each section lasts a total of 10 Min. If you finish before time is up you get extra rest and set up time. While it seems like a lot of moving parts this entire workout can actually be done in the same space with just you, a barbell, some weight, a rope and an abmat**
17 Jun 2014
Awesome Job by everyone yesterday coping with some pretty unpredictable weather and large classes. As usual we made it work!
Do you read Suppversity?
Suppversity is a site, and fb page, that brings together a bunch of scientific articles related to fitness and tries to boil them down so that the average Joe can get the most out of the real research going on. Often you really need to read the article, read a supporting article, re-read the original and then pick out the important lessons to get the FULL meat of what’s being said – but if you do it’ll benefit you HUGE.
Just yesterday they published this article “Natural BB Contest Coverage 2.0: 26-week Contest Prep”
Overview: A 26yr old Male followed a Body Building diet and exercise routine for 26 weeks and lost nearly 30lbs of Fat while maintaining his Lean Body Mass. Finishing out at just under 8% Body Fat the athlete did his show and got a Professional qualification (which is a big deal in the Body Building world). Important Side Note: This was a “Natural” Body Builder – which means drug tested shows and no steroids/cutters/juicing/etc.
When you look through the protocol of what this athlete did some things start to jump out. And this is basically how I read every article on this site asking myself “what’s unique, what is there to learn?”
His diet consists of 5 days of 250g Protein, 240g Carb, and 70g Fat – then 2 High Carb Days with 250g Protein and 400g Carb and just 65g Fat. Wow, looks pretty familiar to those of us who came to the Nutrition lecture a few months back…
Then the real jewel in this article: “Macro Nutrient Intake was within 5g on all values each day” and “Weight loss was very linear with .58kg loss per week”
WHOA. Read that again, and again. This is what the entire article is really really about. Consistency. For 6 Months this athlete kept a STRICT diet. He didn’t just blow it up 2 weeks in when he had only lost 2 pounds. He stuck to the plan. That is a LONG time to be dieting and strict. But it works.
What this study shows is that it doesn’t take fancy foods or meal timing or “one weird trick!” It just takes consistency and discipline. Consider that next time you’re reaching for a doughnut while saying “I really want abs for the summer”
1RM Power Clean
[Warm Up: 3×3-Position Hang Power Clean (Hi-Hang, Hang, Floor)