Monthly Archives: August 2013

MON 8.12.13 Getting to know your workout

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Get to know your workout

Part 1 - Know your redline
By Coach Ben

With every workout it's important to be conscious of your state of being both mentally and physically. And part of that is getting to know your redline.
What do I mean by redline?
Think of it as a car engine blowing out because you exceed the maximum RPM’s (revolutions per minute) the engine can handle.
Going over your redline or otherwise mental or physical threshold means you reach the point of failure. You quit moving efficiently or in some cases quit moving at all because you go over your threshold. In result, your engine has blown.
Seconds of recovery during a workout have now turned into minutes. The mind has taken over what the body thinks it can do. The fatigue and exhaustion sets into your body and now your brain is telling you to stop because it hurts too much.
During workouts, it's important to maintain intensity without going over your redline. Be conscious of your mental and physical state to find a happy medium of maintaining intensity while being able to continue to move efficiently.
How do you do that?
1. Have a PLAN (and STRATEGIZE) for the workout. Then stick to it. 2. PACE yourself. 3. Get to KNOW THYSELF with every workout. I'll talk more about this coming up.
photo-2 copy 3Shay showing some great strict pull ups!

Workout of the Day (WOD)

A. Complete 5 rounds for time:
1 Press 90% of 1 RM
1 Strict Pull Up
1 Press 90% of 1 RM
3 Strict Pull Ups
1 Press 90% of 1 RM
5 Strict Pull Ups
B. Tabata hollow rock & superman

And coming tomorrow...

A. Back squat: 5-5-5+
B. Hang snatch
C. Tabata air squat (hold bottom of squat on rest) then Tabata push ups (hold top of push up on rest)

FRI 08.09.13 Protect those heel cords!

By | Events, WOD | One Comment

Heel cord mobility

by Coach Khaki
Every so often we hear a horror story about box jumps or running causing a ruptured Achilles tendon (or heel cord). It sounds awful!
So, what can we do to prevent that?
For starters, we need to make sure that we maintain a flexible heel cord. This helps us not only avoid injuries like mentioned already, but also helps us to achieve a better squat position, which translates nicely into our Olympic lifts.
Check out this video by K-star, give this a try (yeah, it hurts, I know), and see how much better those squats get:

IMG_7268Mary & Arielle crushing Helen Prelims. Who will improve most and win prizes on Saturday at the Finals Party? Thanks to our prize donors Vita-Coco, Big Peach Running Company - Midtown, Parq, The Nook, Rira & CFM student Vanessa/pink80sgirl for donating prizes!

Workout of the Day (WOD)

A. Bench press: 5-5-5+ @ 70%
B. "Cindy"
As many rounds as possible in 20 mins:
5 pull ups
10 push ups
15 squats

And coming tomorrow...

Team WOD at 9a & 10a
TO HELEN BACK FINALS at 11a! Join us at 12n for the Awards & Finals Party! Like your finals parties in college. Only with sweet potato chips.

Sunday WOD

12:00 WOD:
10 power clean and jerk @ 60% 1RM
10 dips
90 yard shuttle sprint (15 yards out and back, then 30 yards out and back)
8 power clean and jerk - same weight
8 dips
90 yard shuttle
6 Power clean and jerk
6 dips
90 yard shuttle
4 Power clean and jerk
4 dips
90 yard shuttle
2 Power clean and jerk
2 dips
90 yard shuttle

1:00 TO 2:00 OPEN GYM

THURS 08.08.13 Athlete Profile: Ester K

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Athlete Profile: Ester K

Hometown: Marietta, GA
Age: 27
Occupation: Event Marketing
Three words to describe you: loyal, competitive, adventurous
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit? coaching volleyball, playing volleyball, basketball and tennis, concerts, traveling and EATING
When did you first start CrossFitting?: February 2013 (6 months ago)
How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? What made you try it? My best friend was doing it and he suggested I try. He told me that my competitive nature and the fact that I really enjoy working out and pushing myself, that it would be a great fit for me. I've always been in the gym and/or active whether it's crosstraining, running, playing sports, lifting, etc, but it's a different kind of workout that I've never tried. So, I figure I would give CrossFit and shot, and I have really enjoyed my experience with it.
Take us back to your first WOD... what was it, and how did it feel? I have no clue what it was exactly, but I know it involved pull-up and me using a green band. I felt silly watching everyone else not use and band while I was struggling just to get my foot in it. HA! Well, I made it a goal to get out of bands by week 6--thanks to Cassie always riding my ass.
Favorite WOD: People have favorites? I guess I like the ones that require more endurance. I'm not always the strongest, but I think I do better when the WOD requires some endurance to finish strong.
Least Favorite WOD: Angie
Sports & fitness background: volleyball and basketball athlete, other than that, I just love working out. Well, maybe not love, but don't feel as gross if I do 🙂
What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)? Definitely stronger. I feel a more all-round fit--endurance, strength with weight and against body weight, and technically sound.
What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected? I always thought I was competitive against others, but I've found that I'm more competitive against myself than anything. For example, I'm mad at myself if I could've pushed harder or gotten a better time--not because of anyone else doing better or more, but because when I'm finished I like to know that I couldn't have given any more than I did...UNLESS it has to do with maxes...I HATE lifting heavy for some reason.
Favorite CFM moments: First strict pull-up!
Any advice for people just getting started? Do what you can as best as you can, and you will gradually start to see the difference. Let the coaches push you, you'll be amazed at what your body is actually capable of as opposed to what you think you are capable of.
Do you follow the paleo or primal lifestyle? What is your nutrition philosophy? Umm, no. Nutrition philosophy?...I don't work out to be a stick (obviously haha), I workout so I can eat and be merry 🙂
What did you eat today? Smoothie in the morning; taco salad with no chips or tortilla, just ground turkey meat, black beans, lettuce and salsa; some cherries; dinner has not happened yet. Since I'm writing this on a Friday, I'm sure dinner will be somewhat unhealthy. Dang it!
IMG_3292 (1)Here's the most recognizable part of Ester. She's that chick with great legs who usually trains in the early evening classes. We're about to see less of Ester as she takes some time off to coach the St. Pius girls' volleyball team. Good luck this season!

Workout of the Day (WOD)

A. Overhead squat: 5-5-5+
B. Complete 8 rounds:3 Power Cleans @ 75% of body weight
3 Broad Jumps for max distance
*Once you finish power cleans, perform 3 broad jumps for max distance. 
*Rest 2 minutes between rounds.

And coming tomorrow

A. Bench press: 5-5-5+ @70%
B. "Cindy" As many rounds as possible in 20 mins:
5 pull ups
10 push ups
15 squats

WED 8.7.13 Upcoming Events

By | Events, WOD | 3 Comments

To Helen Back Finals this Sat: NO 11A CLASS!

Come cheer on your CFM buddies in the To Helen Back Finals this Saturday at 11am! Challengers, check your inbox for an email from Lis with more info.
Email Tirzah to confirm your heat time - 11a (10:40 warm-up), 11:20a (11 warm-up), or 11:40a (11:20 warm-up). Warm-ups will be led by ITP student, Czarlos.

Free workout at Fab'rik tonight at 6!

Join Lis for a free bodyweight WOD, every Wednesday at 6p next door at Fab'rik... break a sweat, then reward yourself with a glass of wine (thanks to Fab'rik!) and shop their duds for 20% off. No purchase required... just come break a sweat with us!

STRONG! screening & PRIDE fundraiser is next Fri, Aug 16

Help us support the Atlanta PRIDE committee as we celebrate our new Olympic Lifting coach Cheryl Haworth. Get your tickets here - NOW just a $5 donation to join the fun!

POSE Running seminar rescheduled for Aug 17

We pushed the POSE running seminar back to Saturday, August 17th. Join Coach Amy for an hour of skills & drills practice to make you a more efficient runner! Register here by Tues, 8/13 to get the EARLY BIRD discount of $15 ($20 after Tuesday; $25 for CFM guests).

More events:

Coming soon: Self-Defense 101 with Coach Walter: Join Walter for a one-hour introduction to self-defense. Learn to defend yourself on the mean streets of Midtown!
Bring-a-Friend Days are Thurs 8/22, Fri 8/23 & Sat 8/24! Invite your friends to join us for any class these three days, by emailing FRIENDS at crossfit midtown dot com.

IMG_7317Good luck to Sarabess and all the other To Helen Back challengers at Finals this Saturday!

Workout of the Day (WOD)

A1. Ring dips/dips: 3 sets max reps STRICT, rest/mobilize 2 min
A2. Chin ups: 3 sets max reps STRICT, rest/mobilize 2 min
B. Every minute on the minute for 9 minutes:
Rd 1, 4, 7: Run 200m
Rd 2, 5, 8: 12 KB swings
Rd 3, 6, 9: 6 Pull ups

And coming tomorrow

A. Overhead squat: 5-5-5+
B. Complete 8 rounds:
3 Power Cleans @ 75% of body weight
3 Broad Jumps for max distance
*Once you finish power cleans, perform 3 broad jumps for max distance. 
*Rest 2 minutes between rounds.

TUES 8.6.13 USAPL Raw Nationals recap from Lis

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Nationals recap

Last month I competed in the USAPL Nationals in Orlando, FL. It was my third powerlifting meet.
The week before the meet, my coach asked me: "So what are your plans after the meet?"
I wasn't sure. For June and most of July leading up to the meet, I ONLY trained at powerlifting. I missed CrossFit. I told him I wanted to get through the meet, see how I do and decide after that. He recommended I consider training for the state meet in November. I promised to think about it.
I had so much fun at the meet. I felt more mentally & physically prepared than I had for the other two meets I'd done. In past meets, I let nerves get the best of me. This time I looked at it differently: it's okay to be nervous. Use the adrenaline to your advantage. Let the butterflies help you lift the bar. Yes, I realize that's a super silly visual, but it worked.
In powerlifting, you get three attempts at each lift... first is back squat, then bench press, then deadlift.
I trusted my coach to choose the weights I would attempt to lift. Each of my opening attempts were at easy weights I was very confident I could lift. After that, Coach Josh would decide my second and third attempts. Since I'm terrible at doing kilogram to pounds conversions in my head, I didn't bother trying. I just trusted that Josh knew what I could do, so I just went out there and lifted.
I made all three of my back squat attempts. Before my last lift, he told me "you're gonna have to stay tight and just keep pushing." Got it, coach. I knew I'd probably be attempting a PR. I made the lift, and set a new personal best of 292#. This was the 4th best squat in my division.
On bench press, I made my first attempt easily. My second attempt at 143# was my old PR. I made that attempt so easily that Josh decided to take a big jump for my 3rd attempt (to 159#). I got caught off guard for the lift when my turn came up sooner than I was expecting, so I was a little flustered going into it. I failed the attempted, stalling out after pressing the bar about two inches off my chest. That stupid lift haunts me. If I'd made that attempt, I would have placed 5th in the meet. Oh well, time to deadlift.
I pulled the first attempt with no problem. I took a little longer to set up on lift #2, but made that one as well. Josh's friend Jeremy was helping him coach since Josh had so many lifters in the meet. Jeremy helped me warm up and tried to keep me calm between attempts. He hyped me up for the last attempt... even gave me a little head butt. Powerlifting is weird.
When I walked out to attempt my third deadlift, and final lift of the meet, I had no idea I was attemping a 10# PR. As I approached the bar, Coach Josh yelled: "OPPORTUNITY!"
I fought like hell to make the lift. I still haven't seen the replay, but it felt like it took ten seconds from start to finish. I DID IT! *FIST PUMP* I ran off the platform to a big bear hug from Josh and Jeremy.
They told me then that the "opportunity" Josh screamed about was the Arnold. With my final deadlift, I achieved a qualifying total to be invited to lift at the Arnold in early March. The Arnold Sports Festival is the largest multi-sport event in the nation. And the Arnold USA Powerlifting Championships features the best male and female powerlifters in the United States. No. Big. Deal.
I set new PRs in squat (292#), deadlift (352#) and total (787#). I have a TON of room for improvement on bench press. I came in 8th of 35, and set a new Georgia state record in the back squat (for those keeping score at home, I now hold four state records :)).
Two days later, I sent Coach Josh a text message: Okay, I'm in. Let's train for the state meet and the Arnold. Game on.
The state meet will be held up the road in Norcross on Saturday, November 9th. I hope you'll come cheer me on.
photo-2 copy 2Antony crushing deadlifts!

Workout of the Day (WOD)

A. Deadlift:5-5-5+
B. High hang snatch: 3-2-1-3-2-1
C. As many rounds and reps as possible in 10 minutes of:
10 wall balls 20/14
2 muscle ups (OR 6 pull ups & 6 dips)

And coming tomorrow...

A1. Ring dips/dips: 3 sets max reps STRICT, rest/mobilize 2 min
A2. Chin ups: 3 sets max reps STRICT, rest/mobilize 2 min
B. Every minute on the minute for 9 minutes:
Rd 1, 4, 7: Run 200m
Rd 2, 5, 8: 12 KB swings
Rd 3, 6, 9: 6 Pull ups

MON 08.05.13 August programming

By | WOD | One Comment

August programming

Congrats to all who set new PRs (personal records) last month during our testing sessions!
Given the great results people achieved, we're following a similar strength cycle again this quarter. Our lifting will be based on a modified Wendler/linear progression plan, when each final set will be a "burnout" or to-failure set when you do something like 5+ reps...
5+ means you're shooting for 5 reps, then doing as many additional reps beyond that as possible (in the same set, without reracking the bar). The goal is somewhere in the 1 to 4 additional reps range.
Each week you'll adjust the weight based on how many reps you got in the burnout set of the prior week.
Our lifts this month will be back squat, overhead squat, bench & strict press and deadlift. Our Olympic lifting focus is on the snatch. Other focused work will be on chin ups (supinated, or underhand, grip) and dips.
As always, track your workouts so you know how to adjust weight each week.
Work hard, keep a positive attitude and listen to your coaches!

imageCongrats to everyone who finished the 31 Heroes WOD on Saturday! The POSE Running seminar has been rescheduled for Saturday, August 17th, so you can still learn to run like a gazelle!

Workout of the Day (WOD)

A. Back squat: 5-5-5+
B. As many rounds & reps as possible in 12 minutes of:
5 Box Jumps 30/24"
5 Chin ups
10 Walking Lunges

And coming tomorrow...

A. Deadlift:5-5-5+
B. High hang snatch: 3-2-1-3-2-1
C. As many rounds and reps as possible in 10 minutes of:
10 wall balls 20/14
2 muscle ups (OR 6 pull ups & 6 dips)

FRI 08.02.13 POSE Running

By | CrossFit Games, Events, WOD | 2 Comments

The Pose Method® of running

by Coach Amy
In 1990 Madonna released her hit “Vogue” that had people all over the globe striking a pose on the dance floor. But many years prior, Russian athletes were striking a different kind of pose on the track, using a running method now simply known as “Pose”.
The Pose Method® style of running was created in 1977 by Russian scientist and track team coach Nicholas Romanov. The Pose Method teaches how to move the body through a series of poses using the least amount of effort, becoming more efficient and effective. Pose running is scientifically proven to reduce 50% of impact on the long as you do it correctly!

Here are some basic tips to get you started on your Pose journey:
1. Strike a pose by creating an “S” shape though the body. There is a slight lean forward with a small bend in 3 key areas: hips, knees and ankles. The “S” shape and the small bends create a springiness in the body which help to propel you forward. Remember - springiness does not equal muscular tension. Just relax!
2. Landing on the ball of the foot while in your “S” shape maintains the springiness of the body. Keeping your GCM (general center of mass, aka the hips) centered over the ball of the front foot helps to maintain this sense of ease and lightness as you spring along down the road.
3. As you land on the ball of your foot with your GCM centered properly, think about PULLING your front foot off the ground rather than pushing the ground away. This helps to reduce the effort of the leg muscles and decrease fatigue. And let’s face it, we want to look good but we don’t want to have to work hard while doing it.
4. Keep your strides short, quick and soft. Want to go faster, speed up the oscillations (Ooo! Fancy pants word).
5. Gravity is your friend, and you shouldn’t fight with your friends. Just allow gravity to do its job and everyone is happy.
6. Relax your face! And your shoulders! AND your arms! Imagine running with a potato chip between your thumb and first finger and not breaking it. And for you Paleo folks, imagine a kale chip instead.
7. The angle and speed of the arm swing is related to the cadence and speed of the run. BLADES! And “chin to hip”. (Shameless self plug...come to the workshop on Saturday and you’ll understand what those two things mean. Muuuahahaaaa)
As you move your body through the series of poses, you begin to create a pattern of effortless running. But remember, most of the poses are a result, not a cause, of proper body POSE-itioning. Haha, did you see what I did there? I inserted Pose® running into “positioning”. Yes? No? Ok...
So strap on your running shoes, channel your inner Madonna (or Russian athlete) and hit the road feeling light and springy and strike a Pose®!
Join Amy Saturday at 9:30 for a one-hour POSE workshop to become a more efficient, faster runner! Cost is $20 for CFM students or $15 for CFM Helen Challengers ($25 for non-members). Register here.

971376_10151555673501732_853555946_nLis is back from her vacay to the CrossFit Games & elsewhere! Join her & the rest of your CFM peeps tonight at Parq on Piedmont for Happy Hour from 6 to 8p!

Workout of the Day (WOD)

A. Goat work Choose a skill or lift to work on for 10 minutes (with your coach's help!)
B. "Jackie" For time:
1000 meter row
50 thrusters 45/35
30 pull-ups

And coming tomorrow...“31 Heroes”

As many rounds & reps as possible in 31 minutes:
(choose your version)
8 Thrusters (Rx weight is 155/105#, scale as needed)
6 Rope Climbs (scaled do 12 ring rows)
11 Box Jumps (Rx: 30/24″, scale box height as needed)
This is a Partner WOD – Partner #1 will perform the work listed above. Partner #2 will run 400m with a sandbag or kettlebell (Rx: 45/25, scale weight as needed). Once Partner #2 returns from the run, Partner #1 will grab the sandbag/kettlebell and begin their 400m, while Partner #2 continues work wherever #1 left off.
Score is your total # of reps

This WOD was created specifically to honor the 30 men and one dog that gave their lives for our country on August 6, 2011. It is 31 minutes long—one minute in remembrance of each hero. The rep scheme is 8-6-11—the date of their ultimate sacrifice. Finally, this is a partner WOD. The men who gave their lives were from multiple branches of our military, working together as a team. In the workout you and your team member will constantly be taking the load from each other providing much needed support and relief. We realize that no physical sacrifice made during a workout can come close to the sacrifice our brave heroes made, but we consider this WOD a CrossFitter's “moment of silence.” This is how we can honor those that gave all in the name of freedom.