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 Walk into CrossFit Koa and you will notice a lot of things.  Great people eager to make your acquaintance, clean and tidy equipment (or Josh will make us do burpees), bad ass graffiti on both gym walls, gnarly looking ropes hanging from the ceiling reminding you this isn’t an ordinary gym, and of course weightlifting shoes. 
   Lots and lots of weightlifting shoes. 

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Shoe Shopping

 Walk into CrossFit Koa and you will notice a lot of things.  Great people eager to make your acquaintance, clean and tidy equipment (or Josh will make us do burpees), bad ass graffiti on both gym walls, gnarly looking ropes hanging from the ceiling reminding you this isn’t an ordinary gym, and of course weightlifting shoes. 
   Lots and lots of weightlifting shoes. 
   I have never addressed this issue but I think it is time.  As your head coach, I would like to assist all of you in every way I possibly can when it comes to your health and fitness.  These shoes can cost anywhere from $90 to $220 dollars, which in my book means it’s a substantial enough investment to really think, “Do I need these things?”
   Here is my take and my advice to you on whether purchasing a pair of weightlifting shoes is appropriate for you:

  • Weightlifting shoes are NOT a crutch to solve your mobility, stability and strength issues.  This is clearly the number one issue I have with many people who buy these shoes.  You cannot overhead squat a piece of PVC in regular shoes but you can in your Romaleos so VOILA… problem solved.  WRONG!!  You need to be able to move well and develop a baseline of strength without the shoes first. 
  • Identify your goals.  Are you someone who primarily wants to focus on improving your snatch and clean and jerk?  Have you been working at these movements for months and seem to have hit a plateau?  Have you dedicated ample time to learning the intricacies of the movements in AND out of the gym?  If so, then perhaps it’s time to shop around for shoes.  If not, you have a lot of work to do BEFORE you should even consider the idea. 
  • Weightlifters ALWAYS wear weightlifting shoes.  Because they are WEIGHTLIFTERS.   They also cannot run 800m without becoming winded.  Endurance is not their goal.  Lifting a heavy object and establishing it over their head is their SOLE mission.  Therefore shoes are necessary.  Can you say the same?  We are CrossFitters who are concerned with general physical preparedness and a broad based approach to fitness.  We want to run fast and run far, pull ourselves up on a bar or rope, AND lift some weights.  Our goals are quite varied.  How integral are a pair of specialized shoes to helping you reach these broad and varied goals? 
  • When and if you buy shoes, it also imperative that you do not become dependent on them.  Josh and I always joked with each other once we purchased weightlifting shoes that every WOD that came up the first question we asked ourselves was “Can I wear the shoes??” Who wouldn’t love the extra stability at the bottom of an overhead squat or clean during a WOD?  But what if that workout requires me to also run 400m?  Then what?  (Cue Coach Glassman: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Is04CcxYBGs)

   Weightlifting shoes are a great tool and are beneficial for most, but not all people.  Instead of using shoes as shortcut, spend an extra 20 minutes each day at home to work on mobility.  Instead of wearing weightlifting shoes, perhaps take some weight off the bar and work on doing the movements correctly in regular, flat shoes.  Maybe take your eyes off the clock and stop worrying about how fast you move and take your time to perform the movements accurately and safely without your shoes.  Work on just YOU before you work on you with your shoes. 
*** NEW SEGMENT IN MY BLOGS***
   A few members gave me the great idea to do a “Tip of the Week”!  Most of the time it will pertain to movement and improving your health… sometimes it will pertain to miscellaneous stuff.  Today I will give you an example of both:
TIP OF THE WEEK:
-      Are you taking fish oil right now?  YOU NEED TO BE.  Read this.
   http://crossfitimpulse.com/why-fish-oil

  •  Just because you aren’t the last class of the day doesn’t mean you can leave equipment, cups, chalked up bars and whatever else you want lying around so that I can run around and clean it all up when we close late at night.  As much as I love staying in the gym till 10:00pm, I would rather get home to eat dinner and watch the last few minutes of either the Knicks or Rangers breaking my heart with yet another loss.  Thank you!

   Here is what is fascinating about the CrossFit Games and more importantly the Open: as coaches we are always pushing and motivating all of you to throw your hat in the ring and enjoy what we believe is a unique, challenging and rewarding experience.
   But what sometimes unfortunately happens is we look at the workout and think, “Oh man I can’t do that I’m no good.” Or after completing a workout the thought process almost immediately goes to “I totally could have done better” and instead of pride and excitement some of us feel dejected and frustrated.

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A Note About the CrossFit Open

   Here is what is fascinating about the CrossFit Games and more importantly the Open: as coaches we are always pushing and motivating all of you to throw your hat in the ring and enjoy what we believe is a unique, challenging and rewarding experience.
   But what sometimes unfortunately happens is we look at the workout and think, “Oh man I can’t do that I’m no good.” Or after completing a workout the thought process almost immediately goes to “I totally could have done better” and instead of pride and excitement some of us feel dejected and frustrated.
   That should NEVER be the case!!!
   I want to share what I believe the CrossFit Open is supposed to mean to all of us.  These 5 individual workouts are NOT any indication of whether you are “fit” or not.  That probably sounds crazy but it’s true.  We all know many people we would consider “fit” that have not yet developed the skill to perform a muscle up; therefore if muscle ups come up in one of the five workouts, they may not post a great score.  Is that an indication of the level of their fitness?  Are they not fit because they post a relatively low score? 
   Absolutely NOT.
   Well then if it is not a measurement of how fit we are, then what the hell did I go around pushing all of you to sign up for then?!?!?  Glad you asked…
   The CrossFit Open is a test.  It is a test that reveals the truth about what you have been doing the previous 6-9 months. The Open reveals fitness that was created in the days and weeks and months leading up to this event.   Have you been getting to the gym and hitting every workout with the requisite amount of intensity to create change and progress?  Or have you been skipping those days that look “too tough”?  Have you been listening to our cues and instructions and trying to improve your skills?  Or have you been ignoring us and taking the “I’ll just do it my way” approach?  Have you been attempting to clean up your nutrition and fuel your body with what it needs?  Or have you made ice cream and pizza a staple of your weekly diet?
   Also, where has your focus been?  Has it been on strength?  Endurance?  Running?  Gymnastics?  Have you favored one particular area over another?  Have you truly worked on your weaknesses? 
   This is what the Open is about.  It is a chance to look back at your training and see how it has prepared you for the sport of fitness that CrossFit has become.  It can be a reality check, telling you that you have not been working as hard as you thought you were.  Or maybe a wakeup call to stop focusing on your strengths and start getting better at some of your weaknesses.   Remember: the Open isn’t just about where you are at this moment; it’s also about where you want to be in the future. 
   Example: Bill Lord.  Last year in the Snatch ladder – with NO burpees – I believe he got a handful of snatches at 165 lbs. 
   This year – ONE YEAR LATER – with 90 burpees mixed in between, Bill snatched 165 lbs. twenty times.  That ladies and gentlemen, is what we call progress. 
   So do not waste one second wondering if you should have or could have done better.  Instead look back at your last 6-9 months of training and see how that has or has not prepared you for these workouts.  Are you disappointed in your results?  Then map out your next 6-9 months to assure you are exactly where you want to be.  Are you content with your performance?  Then maintain the positive attributes you have established in the months leading up to this Open and make sure you continue them in the future. 
   You do not become “fit” or “unfit” from one workout.  It takes a long time to get to that point.  Use the Open not as a competition against 140,000 people, but instead as a personal test to determine if you are where you want to be and if you have done what you needed to get there.
   And then, after all this analyzing crap is over, sit back and smile and realize just how bad ass you are for even attempting the Open.  Most people will go a lifetime without EVER snatching a barbell over their head once, let alone 30 plus times!!!  In the end, ALWAYS be proud of your effort and your dedication to your goals to improve.  See yourself like I see each and every one of you: as the best damn CrossFitters any gym could ever possibly ask for!!

   As many of you know, a group of us including myself took a road trip out to the 2013 Arnold Fitness Expo, primarily to see the weightlifting competition and one of my favorite athletes Jon North lift and hopefully break the American snatch record.  While the expo is a spectacle for ALL areas of fitness – including everything from figure models to fencing – our main objective was to watch the weightlifting competition, especially Jon North. 

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CrossFit, Weightlifting, and More Life Lessons

   As many of you know, a group of us including myself took a road trip out to the 2013 Arnold Fitness Expo, primarily to see the weightlifting competition and one of my favorite athletes Jon North lift and hopefully break the American snatch record.  While the expo is a spectacle for ALL areas of fitness – including everything from figure models to fencing – our main objective was to watch the weightlifting competition, especially Jon North. 
   With a start time around 6:15pm, we sat down in the back of the room far away from the stage at around 2:00pm.  We watched other lifters, all the while leapfrogging our way to the front as people got up to leave.  Eventually we made our way to the front row.  Only the three judges responsible for determining a “good” lift were closer than us. 
   As the time approached, it occurred to me that instead of only getting to see Jon lift a total of 6 times – 3 clean and jerk and 3 snatch attempts – why not head to the back and sneak a peak of his warm up lifts as well?  So Chris and I took a walk around back and found the door way leading into the practice area, where we leant up against the wall, acted like we belonged there, and got ready to watch Jon and all these beasts go to work. 
   Finally Jon was about to lift on the far platform.  I was giddy with excitement, and couldn’t wait to see that patented technique that has become so familiar to all of us be put on display right in front of my eyes. 
   But that isn’t what I saw.
   Instead, I saw Jon begin to initiate his first pull, and then drop as if he was shot in the kidneys.  He rolled around on the ground holding his lower back in obvious pain.  Chris and I turned and exchanged a stunned look, silently saying to each other, “Did that just really happen????”  As Jon continued to writhe in what certainly appeared to be serious pain, Chris and I headed back to our seats to share the terrible news with the rest of the guys.
   In time, we would learn (told to us by Jon himself) that he strained his back and would not be able to compete.  He came directly to me and apologized for disappointing, even offering to pay for our gas used on our road trip.  I said that was completely unnecessary and the two of us talked for about 15 minutes before having to leave. 
   The whole situation was definitely unfortunate – obviously for Jon as well as for those of us who travelled from a far way to see him lift.  And as time passed I thought about how I felt about the whole ordeal, and was immediately reminded of a quote that impacted me more than any other quote I have ever heard:
 
“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it”
 
   This quote from Charles R. Swindoll changed my life profoundly when I first heard it and once again I was thinking of it and how it applies to this situation.  Injuries are a part of sports, a part of competition and virtually all human activity.  It is not the injury that will define Jon North.  It is not his absence on the stage that night that will define my opinion of him.  It is, however, how he reacts to this setback that will largely shape my opinion towards him.  Will he heal and return to training even harder and more aggressive than ever?  Or will he allow this injury to linger and use it as an excuse?  I believe I know the answer to that question, but I will let time tell the story.
   As for us, we are not world class weightlifters.  I don’t think anyone travels halfway across the country to see us do our job.  However, we can and should relate very closely to this scenario in our CrossFit gym AND in our lives outside the gym.  So many things will happen to us, some our own fault and some completely undeserving.  Circumstances will arise that will seem unfair and we will have to deal with them.  An injury, an argument with a loved one, a car accident… so many curveballs life loves to throw at us.  But as the quote explains, that is merely 10% of what life is about.  That means that the other 90% - the most important part – is completely up to us.  We have FULL control on how we decide to react and deal with life’s crazy ups and downs.  No one or nothing has control over how you react to situations; that part is entirely up to you.
   Therefore as you continue on your journey in CrossFit, and you encounter roadblocks and barriers along the way, remember it us up to you whether you get frustrated and quit or get motivated and push through.  Whether it is a struggle with weight loss or learning a new movement or a failed PR attempt, you are the only person who can determine what happens next.  You and you alone control your emotions, your thoughts and your ability to make a change in your life… both for the better or for the worse. 

   My intention was to write a blog post on some additional things you can do to supplement your fitness on days or times you can’t make it in to Koa.  It had been suggested by a member and I thought it was a terrific idea.  Unfortunately that post will have to be pushed back till next week as there are some more pressing issues I would like to address in the gym. 
   Several topics that I want to address so I will try to be as succinct as possible:

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Gym Talk

   My intention was to write a blog post on some additional things you can do to supplement your fitness on days or times you can’t make it in to Koa.  It had been suggested by a member and I thought it was a terrific idea.  Unfortunately that post will have to be pushed back till next week as there are some more pressing issues I would like to address in the gym. 
   Several topics that I want to address so I will try to be as succinct as possible:

  1. I have jokingly said before that “Members member, coaches coach.”  The line is silly but the message is true.  It is not spoken out of arrogance or pride, but out of a deep rooted love for what I do for a living and a heartfelt concern for the health, fitness, and happiness of ALL of your gym members.  I have spent years upon years watching and studying human movement, always trying to improve my ability to train individuals on how to move better and as a result become a healthier person.  I have learned that EACH PERSON learns differently and it is essential to address each position with a specific – not general – approach.  Josh and I have developed a training style that has worked, one where we are able to complement each other’s strengths and improve on our weaknesses.  We have implemented various training programs, including our own programming, the 5-3-1 Wendler strength program, and the Outlaw Way.  We are constantly trying to find the optimal way to bring results to all of you. 

As our gym grows we are now training new coaches to follow in the path we have started.  We have specific plans and instructions we want to use to help bring the best experience possible to our gym members.  This means when I or another coach is working with a member, we are trying to accomplish a specific goal.  We are trying to focus on a particular aspect of a movement for that person to master.  If another member – with the best intentions at heart – comes to try and help this same individual with a different message, it will serve to do nothing more than further confuse the member and prevent ANY progress for that class.
Please give us a chance to do our jobs.  If someone is lost encourage them to address the coach in that particular class to give them assistance.  If a coach is occupied please be patient as the nature of group classes requires a coach to be in many places at once. 

  1. Full range of motion and technique are not suggestions, they are requirements.  If you are unable to complete a movement with full range of motion, it is your responsibility to work on mobility to obtain the necessary flexibility to hit these positions.  If the weight on the bar is preventing you from hitting the right positions, then please lower the weight to something you can handle.  If you are not sure of your technique, ask your coaches for help and again, make sure you are using a manageable weight… that means scaling people. 

We are concerned with all of you being healthy and fit.  We are NOT concerned with your “Fran” time or how many times you finished 1st in a WOD.  Health and fitness comes from full range of motion and proper technique, not finishing 1st. 

  1. Respect the whiteboard please.  We have been getting lax with our taking care of the whiteboard and now, pretty much anything goes up there.  The letters “Rx” aren’t two random letters that we haphazardly throw up next to your times.  It is one of many indications of your progress and hard work paying off.  It is also an indication of your character and integrity, as putting an Rx next to your name also means that you have counted EVERY rep and completed EVERY SINGLE REP as required by your coach.  We cannot count every single rep or monitor every single squat and pull up so we rely on you all as individuals to be honest with us.  If you tell us the workout was done “As Prescribed” we will take your word for it.  Our programming is quite advanced and it is certainly no shame to scale workouts on a regular basis (go back and read #2!) We understand the occasional miscount, but we have very little tolerance for outright cheating.  Our members work their butts off to post a time on our whiteboard they can be proud of, and it’s not fair to them to put up false numbers on this same whiteboard. 

   Our number one goal is to make sure that every single one of you walks out of our gym – EVERY SINGLE DAY – feeling more than satisfied with your workout for that day.  We want to bring to each one of you the best experience possible, and addressing some of these above issues will certainly help us accomplish that.  Please keep an open dialogue with me and the rest of the coaches here at CrossFit Koa and share with us any of your thoughts and concerns so that we can constantly work to improve things.  This is your gym and I want to make it as great a place as I possibly can for every single one of you. 

Ok I am going to take everyone back (much like Way Back Wednesdays) and make a Super Mario Brothers reference.  All you young people who are thinking “Oh yea Nintendo 64 I remember that!” you are WRONG.  I am talking about the original Nintendo gaming system… the one you had to blow into the game cartridge and into the machine to get it to work sometimes.  The one that came with “Duck Hunt".  OLD SCHOOL.

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Shortcuts - Just Say No

Ok I am going to take everyone back (much like Way Back Wednesdays) and make a Super Mario Brothers reference.  All you young people who are thinking “Oh yea Nintendo 64 I remember that!” you are WRONG.  I am talking about the original Nintendo gaming system… the one you had to blow into the game cartridge and into the machine to get it to work sometimes.  The one that came with “Duck Hunt".  OLD SCHOOL.
   Anyways, Super Mario Brothers was the first legitimate video game that had a plot and many levels that I remember playing as a kid.  I seemed to be able to get pretty far, but there was always this one part that I could not get by.  For the life of me, I could not beat the bad guy at the end of this one level.  Friends were beating the game and moving onto bigger and better things like “Tecmo Bowl” and “Excitebike” but not me… I was still trying to beat Super Mario Brothers. 
   Then one day a friend showed me a way to “warp” right to the final level.  Finally I could skip past that one sticking point and join the ranks of badass kids that beat this classic game.  Soon I would be playing as Lawrence Taylor and crushing QBs in my next gaming adventure after finally beating this stupid game. 
   But alas, I couldn’t beat it… still. I was right there at the final level and merely needed to run, jump and fireball my way to victory, but I couldn’t do it.  I realized if I wasn’t good enough to beat the bad guys on level 5, what sense did it make that I would somehow be able to beat the monsters on level 8?!?  Frustration soon settled in and in time I just said “SCREW IT” and buried that game deep in my toy box never to be seen again. 
   Till this very day it drives me nuts that I never beat that stupid game. 
   So what the hell does this all have to do with CrossFit?  After all this is a CrossFit blog.  Well people, it has everything to do with CrossFit.  So many of you want to learn how to properly snatch, clean and jerk, perform muscles ups, do unassisted pullups, learn to kip, master double unders… and some of you – like me and my adventures in Super Mario Brothers – want to just skip past the hard part and get right to the good stuff.  But as I learned many, many years ago it just doesn’t work that way.
   There are no shortcuts in CrossFit.  Everything you want, you have to be willing to put in the time and earn.  That is one of the things that makes what we do so special.  When you finally do get that first pull up or you complete your first half marathon, you know just how much hard work and effort you put into achieving that goal and it feels amazing to know that you completed it. 
   Understand that Rich Froning did not come out of the womb cleaning and jerking 335 lbs.  Bill Lord just last year had a hard time doing one muscle up.  But both of them put in the time, the effort and the dedication and the results came.  Failure after failure sometimes has to be endured before enjoying success.  Remember that.  Heaven knows those of you who walk out the door with whip marks from all those missed double unders certainly understand that!
   Stop looking for a short cut or instant gratification inside our gym.  Master your air squat before trying to snatch your body weight.  Perform proper strict pull ups for reps before learning the muscle up.  Become proficient doing high rep perfectly executed push ups before even contemplating flipping upside down on a wall in a handstand.  Put in the requisite time in order to obtain the abilities you seek.
   Take my advice and learn from mine and Mario’s mistake.  I would hate to see any of you get frustrated and throw your health and fitness away in a toy box.  Trust me… you will live to regret it.

President's Day Schedule - There will be no 6am and 7am class on Monday, February 18th. The rest of the day will be a normal schedule.

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President's Day Schedule

President's Day Schedule - There will be no 6am and 7am class on Monday, February 18th. The rest of the day will be a normal schedule.

   After this past Saturday’s AMAZING fundraiser, I was pretty wiped out.  Add to that a late night with the CrossFit Koa family, I was feeling quite exhausted – and so sore- and wanted to do nothing but lay around and be lazy.  The only activity I was interested in was eating and playing PlayStation3 and carrying my animated NY Rangers team to the Cup.

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Love it AND Hate it

   After this past Saturday’s AMAZING fundraiser, I was pretty wiped out.  Add to that a late night with the CrossFit Koa family, I was feeling quite exhausted – and so sore- and wanted to do nothing but lay around and be lazy.  The only activity I was interested in was eating and playing PlayStation3 and carrying my animated NY Rangers team to the Cup.
   But it was a Sunday and I am four weeks into my CrossFit Endurance training for the New Jersey Marathon coming up in May.  Scheduled for this weekend was a 10K tempo run.  Between muscles that were so sore I could barely touch them and the fact I was nursing a slight hangover, I cannot express how badly I wanted to NOT run this 10K.  The day wore on and as it did my desire to embrace the cold and chug through these 6.3 miles was becoming less and less. 
   However in the back of my mind, there was a voice that kept telling me, “You will go run today.  Stop trying to fight it.  This is happening one way or another.”  And I knew that voice was right.  I knew that there was no way I was going to skip this run.  I committed to this program and dedicated myself to following it through to the end. 
   Sure enough, around 4:00pm I laced up and hit the road.  Inexplicably, I felt amazing once I started and got into my grove.  The soreness seemed to fade away, my mind cleared and I was knocking down 8:00 / miles with relative ease (it was after all, only a tempo run). 
   There was one point, about 3 miles in, where I wasn’t feeling so hot.  I had no gloves on and was only wearing a t-shirt and my arms and hands were already becoming numb.  I was angry I didn’t prepare better for this run but at that point there was nothing I could do about it.  I started thinking, “Ugh.  This is miserable.  Why the hell am I out here?” Then I watched a car drive by and I swear the girl in front was eating a bagel… damn I wanted a bagel.  Stupid running. 
   That’s when this thought occurred to me: we need to spend time doing things we do not want to do, in order to one day be able to do exactly what we have always wanted to do.  I didn’t really want to run that day, and truth be told I never really want to run my intervals and distance runs during the week (they hurt!).  But I know if I ever want to run that marathon and finish under four hours, I need to do these things now.  I want something and it is only going to come by getting after all these things I really do not want to do.
Not just in marathon training but in life this is true.  You want a promotion?  Stay late.  Go that extra mile on that report.  Work on the weekends.  Do those things that you wouldn’t want to do so that you can get that coveted promotion.  Want to develop a relationship with your son or daughter?  Go to that boring school recital instead of watching the football game, or maybe coach that Little League team and deal with the other bratty kids and pain-in-the-butt parents so you can spend more time with the little guy.  Doing these things will all pay off, and one day you will get exactly what you want. 
   I learned this valuable lesson through CrossFit.  I learned that if I wanted to become healthier, fitter, faster, stronger, I needed to put the work in.  I needed to do those things I hated in order to be able to do those things I always wanted.  I wanted to Rx workouts and snatch properly and do some muscle ups, but first I had to do things I didn’t want to do.  I had to practice with scaled weights, I had to rehab my shoulder and get it strong, I had to do the drills and practice my butt off day in and day out until finally being able to do these things.
  And this certainly applies to all of you.  You do not get better just by showing up and throwing weight around.   You must dedicate yourself to your goals and embrace doing these things you generally don’t care for (double under anyone?) in order to be able to do everything and anything you want.  It’s not always fun during, but trust me in the end it will be 100% worth it. 
So next time you check the website and you see a workout with a movement – or several movements – you despise, remind yourself of what your goals are and what you are trying to achieve.  And tell yourself that those goals will never be met unless you attack these things head on.  Be relentless in your efforts and I promise you the results will come. 
Simply put:  learn to love those things you hate… and soon will you be able to do the things you love.

We will have open gym from 4:15-6:15 instead of our regular classes. We will close promptly at 6:15. 

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I used to LOVE peanut butter and jelly.  Some fresh bread, a little more peanut butter than jelly, evenly spread as to assure equal amounts of joy in every single bite… yea, that was living.  I would eat about 3 a day, until I realized 15 PB&J sandwiches a week was actually not conducive to my overall health and performance.  Damn Paleo…

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PB&J is delicious... and makes for a great metaphor!

I used to LOVE peanut butter and jelly.  Some fresh bread, a little more peanut butter than jelly, evenly spread as to assure equal amounts of joy in every single bite… yea, that was living.  I would eat about 3 a day, until I realized 15 PB&J sandwiches a week was actually not conducive to my overall health and performance.  Damn Paleo…
   Anyways, I realized that our fitness and our health is a lot like that peanut butter and jelly I used to love so much.  Much like that delicious sandwich, there are three components that are all completely necessary for me to achieve my goals for my own personal health and fitness.  CrossFit, a solid nutritional foundation, and proper recovery are all equally paramount in reaching your goals.  Lets take a look:

  1. CrossFit (“Peanut butter”) – For me this is the best part.  Therefore I usually add a little more of this to my “sandwich” because it makes me so frikkin happy… as does real peanut butter.
  2. Recovery (“Jelly”) – I usually go light on the jelly, as I do on my recovery.  And when I do, I pay for it.  A mouth full of peanut butter and I can barely swallow.  It’s important to match my jelly with the amount of peanut butter, just as it is important to match your recovery to your work outs.  The harder you train, the more recovery you will need. 
  3. Nutrition (“Bread”) – The bread is the foundation of the sandwich… without it, I have no sandwich at all.  Nutrition is the same way.  Train all you want.  Rest all you want.  If you are filling your body up with garbage, you can forget seeing any results.

   If you are not satisfied with your progress, you must first take a long, hard look in the mirror and ask yourself: “Am I really dedicating myself to all three areas?”  It is not an easy thing to do… heck if it was, we would all be walking around shirtless like Joe P. or Chris F.  But the rewards you will reap for discipline in all three are certainly worth it, both in looks and overall health. 
   I have seen all of you give 110% during WODs in the gym.  It is time to put that same level of dedication towards your recovery and your nutrition.  If you already are, keep it up! And if you are not, the time to start is NOW.

   Here is a video of Rich Froning and Dan Bailey doing a lot of snatches in a very short time… let’s see how many times they use poor technique to complete a rep:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boRe82OwxU4
   Damn… how is Froning’s 98th rep going to look better than my first warm up rep with the bar????

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3-2-1... SLOW DOWN!

   Here is a video of Rich Froning and Dan Bailey doing a lot of snatches in a very short time… let’s see how many times they use poor technique to complete a rep:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boRe82OwxU4
   Damn… how is Froning’s 98th rep going to look better than my first warm up rep with the bar????
  Isn’t it interesting how Rich Froning, the two-time CrossFit champion has nearly perfect technique throughout all 98 reps.  His pal Dan Bailey put up an impressive 95 reps, but couldn’t keep up with the great Rich Froning at the end.  Was it because Bailey just isn’t as fit as Froning?  No, I seriously doubt that.  Was it because Froning’s technique is so solid that when fatigue settled in he was able to rely on that sound technique to get through those last 8 reps?  Now that is much more probable. 
   People, I have said this countless times (as have many other smart coaches): it is no coincidence the fittest man in the world Rich Froning also has some of the best technique and mechanics of any athlete in or out of the CrossFit world. 
   This begs the question: if technique is so important to the fittest man in the world, shouldn’t we give a crap about it too?
   Let me help you with that answer… HELL FRIGGIN YES!
   I am growing weary of this “get the weight up at any cost” style of lifting.  I can no longer sit idly by and watch these “kipping” pull ups that look more like a sheet flopping around in the wind hanging from a laundry line than an athlete using his/her body properly to maximize his/her power output in a given workout.  While producing as much intensity as possible is an integral aspect of our conditioning, it cannot be done at the expense of totally ignoring form and technique. 
   Therefore I am challenging all of you to no longer hear the call “3-2-1 GO” and blindly charge your way through another grueling met-con just so you can finish it.  Instead make it “3-2-1 SLOW DOWN and FOCUS on technique!”  Try placing an emphasis on doing all the movements as close to perfect as you possibly can.  Do not get caught up in the clock winding down… and do not EVER feel compelled to keep up with someone else.  These workouts are personal; they are for YOU and YOU only.  If you are in our gym strictly to “beat” other people in workouts, you are probably in the wrong place. 
   Unless that person is Chris Faustino.  ALWAYS try and beat Chris Faustino.  That is just fun.  I should know… I beat him all the time. 
   Moving forward let us all take the time to dedicate ourselves to getting better by actually getting better.  Do the boring drills, take the time for mobility at home, take some weight off the bar and really work on your technique.  Take that one step backward so that you can take countless steps forward.  Stop taking shortcuts and put in the requisite work to become the best you can possibly be. 
   Do that and soon it could be you facing off with Rich Froning, head to head in a contest to determine the fittest on earth. 
   Or maybe face off with Chris Faustino… same amount of abs but you will have a much better chance of winning.

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