WOD 2/23/17 and Open FAQs

OPEN FAQs

*Do I have to register with CrossFit to compete in the open?

Officially, yes. However, we realize that not everyone will want to do that, which is why we have created teams. We want the open to be fun AND competitive. In reality, all you need to do is show up and work hard, which is what you do anyway! There are scaled options for every workout, so they are accessible to any skill level.

*If I can’t make it at 6pm Friday, can I still do the workout?

YES. Absolutely. Since Open workouts are released by CrossFit HQ on Thursday at 5pm, our scheduled WOD for Fridays will be whatever the Open workout for that week is, which means you can do the workout at ANY of our classes Friday. Also, for the next 5 weeks Saturdays will be the official make-up day for Open WODs. We will have open gym from 8:30 to 11am, and coaches will be available for judging. We can also make-up the Open WODs on Monday, with the consideration of the regularly scheduled programming AND that there is someone available to judge, and must be completed PRIOR to 4:30pm, no exceptions!

*Should I work out all week or save myself for the Open workout?

You should work out as you would normally. We have literally no idea what the Open workouts will be at this point, so we will try our very best to program skill-based workouts that will get you to sweat, and not to over-extend yourself prior to Friday. This means, generally, more volume will be programmed on Monday and Tuesday, with Wednesday and Thursday being considered “taper” WODs. We do want you to perform your best on Friday, but not at the expense of your overall, continued progress toward fitness. We’ve only ever had 1 athlete from CFM make it to regionals, and while we have some hopefuls this year, the vast majority of us will NOT be working out alongside Mat Fraser and Ben Smith in Wisconsin this summer 🙂

WOD

Strength –
a) Push Press 3×5
b) Bent Over Handle Row 3×10
c) 3×1 Minute Handstand Hold

Conditioning –
4 Rounds for Time
25 Double Unders
15 KB Swings (70/53)
10 Box Step Ups (24/20)
*do 3 burpees to start the workout, then 3 burpees every minute on the minute until the final rep of box step ups is complete!

WOD 2/22/17 and Open Teams

We get it – the open is a little scary, especially if you’ve never done it. We want to put a little more fun into it, which is why each year at CFM we divide the entire gym into teams. You will have a couple coaches as your team leader, all we ask is you show up sometime between Friday and Monday and do the workout at WHICHEVER level you can. There are scaled versions for EVERY workout we will do. By this evening we will have the teams sorted and posted at the gym, so let’s have some fun!

Strength –
10 Minute AMRAP
1 Power Clean + 1 Jerk, Across (70-75%) of 1RM

Conditioning –
8 Minute AMRAP
8 Pull Ups
8 Push Ups
2 Inside Laps

WOD 2/21/17

THE OPEN IS THIS WEEK! Friday Night Lights this week at 6PM!

WOD
Strength:
Back Squat
5×3, Climbing

Conditioning:
3 Rounds of –
Min 1: Wallballs
Min 2: Row for Cal
Min 3: Burpee Target 6″
Min 4 Rest

*Tabata style scoring: your LOWEST score per movement will be recorded.

Weights and Open Gym, 2/18/17, and Presidents’ Day Schedule

Hey folks, starting Saturday, we’re making a little change to our routine. Instead of TEAM WOD every week, we will be having open gym from 8:30-10:30 each Saturday. Essentially this means you can make up a WOD you missed for the week, or work on your weaknesses, or make something up you like to do. There will, of course, still be a coach at the gym to make sure you move safely and to help you create a WOD for yourself if you’d like.

We will continue our FIRST Saturday tradition of bringing a friend, however, and that will be (as always) at 10am.

ALSO, on Monday the 20th, we will be on a holiday schedule, and ONLY open from 8am-10am. We will have a WOD posted, but the clock will be running (open gym style) so you can begin whenever you’d like, so long as you finish by 10am :). Coach Sid will be there to help you along!

Have a great weekend!

WOD 2/15/17 & FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS

If you’ve been around for a while, you already know; Friday Night Lights is one of the most fun, somewhat nerve-wracking events of the year. Starting next Friday, Feb 24, CrossFit Merced will be hosting the 2017 CrossFit Games Open workouts. We won’t know the workouts until they are released by HQ, so every week will be a bit of a surprise. And here’s the fun part – whether or not you officially register on the CrossFit main site for the open (it’s $20, and plenty of folks from our gym will be doing it), you will be placed on a CrossFit Merced team, with a couple CFM coaches as your team leaders. To be clear, this is all for fun, but we do encourage everyone to come out and give it their best! Yes, there are scaling options! No, you don’t have to perform the workout on Friday night (although it’s more fun!) – we will be programming the Open workouts every Friday for 5 consecutive weeks, with make-ups on Saturday (team WODs will be replaced by “Open Gym” – more on this to follow) and Monday until 4:30pm. If you’re new, I’m sure you have questions! If you’re a veteran, you may still have some questions. Ask a coach! Let’s have a blast this year together 🙂

Strength –
4×4 Turkish Get Ups (2 Each Side), Climbing if Possible
4×20 Land Mind Twist

Conditioning –
21-15-9
KB Swings (53/35)
Goblet Squats
Box Jumps (24/20)

WOD 2/14/17

Strength –
6×3 Pause Front Squat (2 Second Hold), Climbing

Conditioning –
With a Partner, accumulate for time:
100 Cal Row
100 Burpees
400 Double Unders
*Partners may work at the same time, in any rep scheme, so long as the numbers are reached.
**Scaling is permissible, and even recommended in some cases 🙂

WOD 2/13/17

Two weeks away from the OPEN! Some of you haven’t experienced Friday Night Lights or the Open. While we will write more about that this week, for now, let’s just say its SUPER fun. We divide the gym into teams and compete against each other for 5 weeks – its a blast. More to come…

A quick word about why we are judging each other so much. We are ALL held to the same standard, whether it’s depth on air squats or a lock-out on a push press. We want everyone to know exactly what those standards are and to be able to hold each other accountable to them, especially as the open gets closer and we HAVE to judge each other. Also, it’s just fun to be able to cheer on friends as they work out!

WOD

First, a wonderful shoulder warm up, then
TABATA – Pull Ups

Conditioning:
“DT” – with judges
5 Rounds for time:
12 Deadlifts (155/105)
9 Hang Cleans
6 Push Jerks

Figure it out, by Anthony

Paleo Challenge

[This is going to be long-winded, so bear with me while I get through the tedious foundation of this bit before we get into the practical stuff. Also, sorry about all the lists.  There’s way too many lists.]

Being strong is very important to me.  Getting stronger has been a priority for me for most of my life.  I grew up in a home that put a lot of value into physicality.  My family was constantly doing manual labor and playing sports and doing all sorts of physical things.  Some of my youngest memories are of my parents doing manual labor on the dairy: I remember watching my mom carry massive milk crates when she fed calves; she would carry one on each side – easily.  I remember watching my dad buck (hundred pound) hay bales like they were as light as a pillow.  My older brother used to carry calves from the back corners of the pastures to the barn on his shoulders, which required a lot of total-body strength and endurance for a twelve-year old.  We didn’t really watch TV; we would gather in the living room to have push-up contests for hours. And yes, we were ALWAYS wrestling each other.  All these examples of strength are to demonstrate that when was young I didn’t even need to intellectually understand what goes into developing a strong body; it was just something that I naturally understood to be an advantage.  It’s kind of like the innate understanding of Mark Rippetoe’s infamous quote: “Strong people are harder to kill; and generally more useful.”

Then, as I grew to adolescence, I got super scrawny. Really, though, I was outrageously skinny.  When I was a freshman in high school I weighed just north of a hundred pounds, which some of you might relate to, EXCEPT I WAS 6’2”. IMG_4304

While I had always been able to hold my own in a sibling wrestling match and compete with my peers at sports, I was never strong enough to stand up to my own high standards for strength.  Around the age of 14 I made it my charter to do whatever I could to become strong.  (yes, I know that’s a subjective and esoteric goal, but I didn’t care.  I wanted to be as strong as possible.)  My dad was on board, too.  My dad hooked me up with more milk and eggs every morning than any normal boy could handle.  He had me on the GOMAD plan for about eight years.  (for those of you who are unfamiliar with the bulking lexicon of the 90’s/2000’s, GOMAD= Gallon Of Milk A Day)  Think about that for a second: A gallon of milk a day for eight years.  I dare you to try it for A WEEK.  You’re going to be in pain by day 2.  I’ll bet you two hundred burpees you can’t do it.  I don’t say it that way to brag.  Rather, I mention it as evidence that speaks to how focused and dedicated I was to my charter.  It meant EVERYTHING to me.  I lifted every weight I could find and ate thousands of extra calories EVERY DAY.  Then, right about as I was getting close to my goal, high school ended and I found myself on a college football team full of polar bears, mutants, and monsters.  Guess what happened next: I needed to get strong(er) again.

In college I stayed on the GOMAD plan and lifted all the weights and ate all the protein and did all the training.  Then, just about the time I got big and strong enough (235 lbs) to get onto a college football field and catch a few touchdown passes… college ended.  (side note: College is awesome, but I digress).

Now I found myself out of college and without any utility for the inflated body I had so fervently pursued.  I had all of the habits and behavioral disciplines that go along with GETTING BIGGER (because to me, bigger meant stronger), but none of the lifestyle that went along with being healthier.

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So I stumbled around a little bit trying bodybuilding, endurance training, P90x, and eventually I found RKC (RKC is Russian-style kettlebell strength and conditioning).  I fell in love with RKC because I was reminded of what it meant to need to be stronger. (related note: You see, there’s lots of people out there that want to be stronger.  “Being stronger” is a novel concept and it seems great – there’s no obvious down side.  Naturally, bunches of people want to be stronger.  Conversely, though, very few people find themselves in many lasting positions where they need to be strongerThe difference between want to and need to is the difference between short term effort and long term success.  When I was doing RKC, and now again when I do CrossFit, I need to be stronger.  So, putting myself into the CrossFit lifestyle has created for me the need to that is necessary for long term success.)  So there I went doing RKC routines over and over and eventually it led me to the CrossFit website, then to a CrossFit gym in Fresno in 2008 where the first workout I ever did was Fran, and before I did it I told the coach I could do it in four minutes, BUT I was wrong and it took ten, and I realized that I was missing something, because the guys at CrossFit gyms were kicking ass and I was nowhere near their level.

Looking back, I think this is the exact point where I had my “Ah Ha!” moment.

  • It started with me wanting to be as strong (or stronger) than the biggest strongest guys.
  • I always felt the need to be strong, so I stayed focused.
  • Then I spent ten years trying to get there, but (to a certain extent, in my own mind) failed.
  • Now I’ve got this thing called CrossFit, and to be good at CrossFit, you need to be strong.
  • EXCEPT, and here’s the great part: You don’t need to be AS STRONG AS THE STRONGEST, you only have to be close, because even if you’re not as strong as them, CrossFit rewards you for being stronger for longer.

Example:  Really strong guys clean & jerk 400 pounds.  I worked my ass off to get strong, but I could only clean & jerk ~300 pounds.  Now, though, I’m doing “Grace” (For time: 30 Clean & Jerks at 135 pounds), and I’m better at it than those super strong guys.

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This was something that – I’m not kidding you – CHANGED EVERYTHING.  I used to be the scrawniest dude around (don’t believe me? my nickname was Twig), but CrossFit was right in my wheelhouse, because to be good, you need to be strong, but you don’t have to be the strongest.

View More: http://lisadejagerphotography.pass.us/XvNbL138285

All of this is to lead me into the discussion about the Paleo/Primal Challenge.  (related note: I hope you’re still focused on eating clean foods.)  I am excited about the CFM Paleo/Primal Challenge for two reasons:

  1. You’re going to improve your body composition. This is always a good thing.  If you’re not underweight, there’s no down side to getting leaner.
  2. YOU’RE GOING TO LEARN ABOUT YOUR BODY.

Yes, being lean is great.  It looks good; it feels good; it works good.  But more importantly, we all need to understand what makes your body work better.  If you do the CFM Paleo Challenge you’re going to get some feedback about your body that you might not have known.  Let me explain what this means by telling you about my own experience with Paleo.

Let’s go back to what it looked like when I was in my first year of CrossFit.  I was having a great time and training my butt off and I was (again, just like when I was 14) doing everything I could to get better.  I started to focus on nutrition, so I read everything written by

Gary Taubes

Robb Wolfe

Mark Sisson

Mark Hyman

and lots more.

After reading everything I could consume about performance nutrition, I tried Paleo.  I stuck to it – for a long enough time to get some good results – and I paid attention to what happened to my body.  I was doing it so I could become a better CrossFitter, because that was my new charter. As a result, a lot of positive things happened:

  1. I got leaner.
  2. I ate as much as I wanted, and I LOVE to feel satiated.
  3. I could eat all of the things I really love to eat, without sacrificing very many things that I like.
  4. I stayed strong – for the most part.

View More: http://lisadejagerphotography.pass.us/XvNbL138285

For the most part, choosing a strict paleo plan worked well for me.  Eating Paleo was a way for me to continue to accomplish my goal of having a strong and useful body. I learned a few things about myself and my own body:

  1. Eating zero gluten and zero processed sugar makes my body look the way I want it to. I get lean to the point where I can see the cuts in my arms and body that I like.
  2. Preparing paleo foods isn’t all that difficult when you get used to it.
  3. Eating lots of fats made me feel good; and made me sleep great.
  4. The leaner I get, the better I perform at most CrossFit workouts, especially those that are biased toward body weight movements.
  5. I missed beer and fried foods.
  6. For me, Low carb diets create a deficit of glycogen in my muscles when I am training hard, which is a negative. The result is that I am not able to perform well during heavy lifting.

After I spent enough time on a strict Paleo diet, I started to make tweaks based on what I learned. So I played with substituting some non-paleo foods.   After some experimenting I learned:

  1. I have a moderate tolerance to gluten. This means I can eat a little bit without negative consequences.
  2. My body responded well when I eat peanut butter at night. Natural peanut butter (only ingredient: peanuts) was good, but the processed junk (skippy/Jif) was better.  This was because the combination of sugar/fat/protein provided glycogen for the next day’s workout.  (note: I make a point of this because one of my best friends gets exactly the opposite results from peanut butter.   Fortunately, he know this about himself and avoids the stuff.)
  3. Potatoes make me stronger.
  4. When I eat more fiber my digestive system tends to work better. (also, yogurt, see below)
  5. Lean meats and fatty meats provide the same results in terms of recovery, strength, body composition, etc. but fatty meats taste way better.
  6. Fish oil supplements make me recover more quickly.
  7. Coffee is the best paleo beverage.
  8. Dairy products, from whey protein to cream to cheese, are a nutrient rich way to eat delicious foods with lots of positives, but that have minimal, if any, harmful effects on my body.
  9. The only dairy product I avoid is milk – it makes my stomach upset. Cream is fine.
  10. When I train hard, yogurt is the best thing for me.
  11. I can drink beer one night a week without many negative effects, if any – if I train hard.
  12. I can drink beer two nights a week with some, but minimal, negative effects – if I train hard.
  13. If I drink beer more than two nights a week I struggle with dehydration, digestion, body composition, sleep patterns, mental focus, and anxiety – no matter how hard I train.
  14. Hard cider is fine, but I like beer way better.
  15. Frying foods in paleo-friendly fats is still delicious.

The point here with all these lists is simple: I know what works for me.  I know what I have to do to be as strong and as fast and as fit as possible.  I also know what kind of foods I can eat and still stay lean.  I know what kind of foods (and how much of them) change the hormones in my body.  I know what things my body responds poorly to.  I know how to align my fitness goals with my lifestyle goals and how to find an equilibrium.

Let’s go back to my CrossFit journey.   Five years later (being now), I don’t care as much about my Fran time (which, by the way, ended up peaking at 2:30, which accomplished my goal of beating that faceless guy in my nightmares) or my max clean & jerk.  I still do care about being able to perform well in my workouts because it makes me feel good.  I no longer feel like I need to be the strongest guy around, but I like to be able to show my kids what it looks like to be strong and healthy, the same way my parents showed me.  I know I’ll never squat five hundred pounds, but I think it sure would be cool to squat four hundred – and run a six minute mile.  Accordingly, I eat using Paleo principles.  I don’t eat sugary snacks or drinks.  I avoid processed foods.  I limit grains.  I eat LOTS of meat and vegetables, and outrageous amounts of fat.   I use all of the things I’ve learned to create the best system that aligns with my goals, my lifestyle, my family life, and the culture i’m a part of.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0502.

So now let’s talk about you…

Do it.  Eat Primal. Or Paleo. Be strict.  Figure out what works for you.  Figure out what makes you feel/work/look great.  If you’ve never done it before, you’ve got some work to do, but you can do it. After you go strict, you can experiment with what foods, if any, you can add or subtract to your diet.

Want some real talk?  If you’re overweight you have absolutely no business drinking soda, Starbucks drinks, or juice.  When I see overweight people casually drinking Starbucks drinks it reminds me of a person with emphysema smoking a cigarette.  Generally speaking, if you’re overweight you should avoid every carbohydrate until you reach your body composition goals.  Generally speaking, whether you’re overweight or not, you shouldn’t casually eat anything out of a cellophane wrapper.  Generally speaking, the food you eat should rot if you leave it on the shelf.

When I say “generally speaking,” I’m talking about the people who have not gone on strict paleo diets and taken notes about the feedback their body is giving them.  Let this be encouragement to you to get it done.  We love Paleo/Primal because we love the simplicity and the sustainability of the lifestyle. My family and I have had success with Primal because IT’S A SYSTEM THAT IS SUSTAINABLE.  I don’t wish I was out there eating something else – I’m satisfied.  I don’t wonder how I’m going to get through the day getting enough food – I’m used to it.  I don’t crave candy or chocolate or sweets – I’m not addicted to sugar (any more).  I don’t have to spend lots of time counting or measuring or weighing food – I’m too darn busy for that.  If you’re on a plan that is not sustainable, you’re much less likely to succeed.  I, along with the rest of the CFM team, want you to succeed.  We want you to be well.  If you haven’t done so yet, figure it out.

Death by 1,000 Paper Cuts & WOD 2/8/17

If you watched the Patriots and Falcons this weekend, you were witness to one of the greatest wins (and comebacks) in Superbowl history. Love him or hate him, Tom Brady put on a clinic. He earned Superbowl MVP for the 4th time in his career, and won an unprecedented 5th title as the starting quarterback for a Superbowl winner. He was, simply put, incredible. Anyone who says otherwise is a liar or a hater. Or both.

But I’d like to ask a question, perhaps one you haven’t thought about yet, about his performance; which was his greatest moment of the game? Do you remember which throw was the best? The most meaningful? Or, which drive was more important than the others? To be sure, there were some moments that stood out (Julian Edelman pulled off some magic to pull that catch 1 inch from the ground), but I’d argue that largely, you can’t remember the 3 most significant moments in the game that lead to the Patriots victory. It was, as one announcer described, “death by 1,000 paper cuts.” Moreover, could you list any 5 of those moments from any 5 of the Patriots Superbowl titles? Probably not.

So? What’s the point?

If you haven’t figured it out by now, there are some pretty amazing parallels to your CrossFit journey. Looking back over the last month, (heck, even the last year), can you point to some significant moments that made you become a better, fitter version of yourself? Could you highlight the top 5 workouts you did that made you a better CrossFitter? While my guess is that there may be a few moments that stand out, there are a 1,000 more that you wouldn’t even think of. There are multitudes of other little tiny things you did that added up to where you are now.

Do you remember when you couldn’t hit the target with the prescribed wall ball? Then you did a 1,000 air squats and a 1,000 push presses. Now you don’t think twice about doing 15-20 consecutive wall balls in a row.

Remember when you started CrossFit and dreaded seeing snatches in a WOD? Then you did 1,000 dead lifts and 1,000 hang power snatches and 1,000 overhead squats, now you don’t bat an eye at snatches.

Remember your day 1 Baseline? You thought you were going to puke, then die, or vice versa. Guess what, you did the exact same workout last Friday and CRUSHED your day 1 time…and you weren’t even breathing that hard. That’s because you’ve rowed 1,000s of meters, did a 1,000 sit ups (with some GHDs thrown in), did 1,000 push ups and 1,000 pull ups since then. None of those 1,000s of reps stand out any more than the others. None of them were spectacular in their own regard.

But add them all up. The tens of thousands of good reps you’ve done have got you this far. And you’ll do tens of thousands more, and at some point you’ll look back and think “how did I get here? I’m actually pretty good at this, and I actually kind of like it.”

So keep walking through the front doors of CFM, even when you don’t feel like it. Keep hitting that wall ball target. Keep squatting to depth, every single time. Keep your midline tight on deadlifts and push presses and handstand holds. KEEP SHOWING UP, and doing the tiny little things that seem like they may not matter today, then ask yourself – in one year from now – if all those little things made a difference. I promise you the answer will be a resounding “YES”.

WOD 2/8/17

Strength-
A) 4×3 D-Ball to Shoulder
B) Med Ball Push Ups 4×10 (switch hands @ top, don’t roll medball!)

Conditioning:
10 Rounds, decreasing reps!

10 Box Jumps
10 KB Swings (70/53)
1 Inside Lap

9 Box Jumps
9 KB Swings
1 Inside Lap

(Continue decreasing reps by 1 each round until final round is 1 Box Jump, 1 KB Swing, 1 inside lap)

WOD 2/7/17

STRENGTH:
a) Deadlift 5×5, Climbing
b) Strict Pull Ups, 5×5 (ADV – weighted)

CONDITIONING:
4 Rounds for Time
Min 1: Row for Calories
Min 2: Push Jerk (95/65)
Min 3: Burpee Target Touch (6″ above reach)
Min 4: Rest

*athletes should begin moving to the next station at :50 of each minute
**SCORE: We will be treating this similar to TABATA scoring – your lowest score for each of the movements in any given round will be the one we keep! So pick a number you can keep for all 4 rounds, and PUSH yourself!

WOD 2/6/17

Fall off the Primal wagon during the Super Bowl? It’s ok, you’re human. Let’s pick ourselves back up this week and get to work! 3 weeks left until the OPEN.

STRENGTH:
a) Front Squat, 4×8 Climbing
b) Weighted Hip Extensions, 4×10

CONDITIONING:
12 Min AMRAP

5 Full Cleans (155/105)
10 Toes to Bar
25 Double Unders

WOD 2/3/17

Strength –
A) 3 x 50ft OH Walking Lunges, Climbing

Challenge –
Death by HSPU
*Cap at 11 Minutes*

Conditioning –
Baseline: Foundations Day 1 (with judges!)
500m Row
40 Air Squats
30 AbMat Sit Ups
20 Push Ups
10 Pull Ups

WOD 2/2/17

Strength –
A) Bench Press 10-8-6-4-2
B) 5×8 Barbell Bent Over Handle Row

Conditioning –
50 Cal Row, then
2 Rounds of
25 Kb Swings (53/35)
25 Wall Balls (20/14)
Then 25 Cal Row

*Advanced option = 3 Rounds of Kb/Wall Balls

Safety first, kids.

I’d like to follow up on last week’s post about why you should not do CrossFit. Yes, there are some people out there who have done CrossFit poorly and gotten hurt. We do it differently at CFM. We want to build you up – not beat you up. Each and every day we focus on stability on a core-to-extremity basis, meaning the first priority is stabilizing your midline (you MUST take great care of your spine), then look to add stability in the hips and shoulders, then outward to the knees/elbows, then down the wrists/ankles. After we achieve stability we then look for “mobility” in the same sequence, looking for braced extension and flexion in universal motor recruitment patterns. This means that your body moves only as much/as fast/as heavy as your body will allow using proper mechanics for each movement. With this approach we’ve seen increased function in athletes who had previously debilitated bodies – to the point that they now thrive.

Regarding movement progressions, our hierarchy of movement is as follows:
1) Stability
2) Range of Motion
3) Volume (amount of reps)
4a) Speed
4b) Load

Let’s use the hierarchy of movement to look at squat (or most foundational movement) for a beginner athlete; we’ll call him Rich Froning.

First we want to see Rich start with a good base, meaning his heels are going to be under his shoulders and his toes pointed slightly out. Why? Because THAT is going to give him the most stability. Then we want to see rich push his hips backward and slightly bend his knees as he initiates his squat. As Rich’s body is moving downward, the first priority is (again) a stable midline. So what if Rich can only go down a little way? Then he should stop, because, you guessed it: he needs to keep a stable midline. He also needs to keep his feet flat, his knees out, his back flat, and hips back. This is all part of #1.

Then, as long as he’s stable, we want Rich to travel as far as he can in his squat. Here’s the deal: we have two standards for range of motion in our squat. The first is a subjective standard: Travel as far as you can while maintaining a stable midline. This is different for everyone. Holly and Gus can squat low and stay stable. Anthony and Jeff can’t quite get as low without their back bending. So, keep your chest up, Rich; you gotta squat with a flat back. The second standard is a hard/objective standard: the crease of the hip should pass below the top of the knee. This is not a matter of opinion – it is a simple matter of fact. I can look at any squat and easily determine if the squat is good, bad, or close. MOST of our athletes are held to this objective standard, because those athletes automatically can apply this objective standard to the hierarchy. SOME of our athletes get a bit of relief; we want them to stop squatting lower if we think it’s unsafe. This subtle difference is something that makes CrossFit Merced’s brand of coaching special.

So, now let’s put Rich into a regular class – and here’s the WOD:

3 Rounds- 500m row / 10 Front Squats (135/95) / 15 pull Ups

We’ll do an assessment on Rich and modify his workout according to the hierarchy above.
1) Stability: Rich has demonstrated that he can do front squats without bending his midline. Check.
2) Range of Motion: Rich has also demonstrated that he can do front squats through enough range of motion that his hip crease is below the top of his knee. Check.
3) Volume: Rich has done a bunch of front squats in last week’s strength portion, so we’re sure Rich can do 30 reps. Check.
4a) Speed: Well now we’re getting into trouble. When Rich goes too fast he is losing stability and range of motion. SLOW DOWN, Rich.
4b) Load: Rich’s front squats look great with 75lbs, but they are bad at 135. SCALE THE WEIGHT, Rich; keep it at 75lbs until your midline gets stronger.

Now that we’ve got Rich all set up we’re going to keep an eye on him, but we’ve also got to watch the rest of the class. We want to make sure that Rich does great reps, but he can see us out of the corner of his eye and he knows when we’re not looking. Understand this: Rich now knows what he’s supposed to do. THE ONUS IS ON RICH to do it right. I’m sorry if it’s hard; I’m sorry if you REALLY want to beat your friends; I’m sorry if you REALLY want to do this wod Rx. We’re always going to try to point you in the right direction, but, once Rich learns how to do good front squats, ITS ON RICH to do it right.

There have been some bumps and bruises, but for the most part, CFM athletes have been very safe. The ones that have a tendency to be safe are the ones that are coachable and have the discipline to back off when they need to. Of the injuries that can happen, we’ve seen it for the following reasons:
1) Not moving as instructed. One time I saw an athlete hurt his knee. 30 seconds before he got hurt the coach told him “Don’t slam your knee into the ground – it’s going to get you hurt. Well, crap.
2) Old injuries exposed. A guy who tore his rotator cuff playing baseball never took care of himself. Then he came in and tried to clean and jerk 200lbs. It didn’t work out well for him.
3) Overuse/deconditioned: An athlete who had an existing Achilles tendon injury hurt himself when he showed up to run a 5k. Note: He didn’t show up to any of the running workouts that we implemented in the 6 weeks before the 5k. The previous workouts were designed to be an accommodating conditioning leading up to the 5k.
4) Accidents happen. This one is the one we see the least, but it’s a huge bummer when it does happen. We always want to steer CFM athletes toward functional movement that isn’t going to lead to injury, but shoot, you’re building yourself a massively functional body. To build this body you have to push yourself. It’s not much different than if you were trying to make yourself the best basketball player possible: you’d play basketball every day. Eventually you’re going to land on somebody’s ankle if you rebound enough basketballs. Does this make basketball bad? No. It makes it a sport.

Like we said last week, the best way to stay completely safe today is going to be to stay on the couch. We all know that there’s a small amount of risk that goes along with a high level of physical exertion. Never forget, though, that if you come in anyway, you’re going to get fitter – and getting fitter eliminates risks. We’re confident that the bumps and bruises we’ve gotten from CrossFit are FAR less damaging than being overweight/being slow/being weak/being tired/being sick. We hope you’re on board with us – we’ll do our best to be responsible in our programming and teaching – you do your best in being awesome. I’m sure we’re all going to be just fine.

WOD 2/1/17

Don’t forget, we still have Superbowl squares to fill, $20 apiece! Winners of quarters 1-3 will receive $400, and final score gets $800!

Strength
EMOM 12
1 Full Clean + 1 Front Squat, Climbing (every other or every 3 minutes)

Conditioning:
3 Rounds for Time
20 Box Step Ups
15 Hand Release Push Ups
10 Power Cleans (155/105)
Inside Lap

WOD 1/31/17

Strength-
a) 5 x 2 Push Press + 1 Jerk, Climbing
b) 5 x 5 Ring/Barbell Roll Outs

Conditioning:
5 Rounds for Time
10 Power Snatch (75/55)
10 T2B
30 Double Unders

*DO NOT compromise form for time today. Even with light weight, make every rep a safe and efficient one.