Posts tagged with ‘clean’

  • WOD Blog | Workout of the day

    MONDAY 14-10-2013

    - by Imtiaz

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY FOR SUNDAY, CRAIG van der LINDE, GAVIN WOLFF, JACO LATEGAN & TANYA NESPOR!!!!

    Understanding the Programming: Strength Only Days

    We know that you all love the metcon. It’s your new fix. But while the metcon is what gets CrossFit a lot of it’s exposure, CrossFit is not all about the metcon. You need to be strong and powerful too. Heavy barbell, and barbell technique work are therefore essential components to our fitness program.

    We regularly program strength only days, and sometimes those days include Olympic lifting work. This allows us to spend a lot of time in the skill component of the class to develop your understanding and proficiency of the prescribed movements. Given that there is no metcon, it allows you to devote all your energy and focus to just one or two movements. And because you have so much more time to complete the given tasks, we have valuable time to really evaluate and improve your movement.

    We also program strength only days to train your central nervous system (CNS). There are two changes that contribute to strength gains: 1) By improving the CNS’ muscle recruitment patterns; and 2) By increasing muscle size. On strength only days we typically lift heavy in low volumes (total amount of sets and reps). This form of training primarily stimulates the CNS. Ladies, this is also why the strength training we do doesn’t make you bulky.

    Strength only days therefore require the same effort, if not more, as metcons. Approach the barbell with the same intent that you do a benchmark metcon. Don’t avoid those days either – you’ll just be cheating yourself of better performance improvements.

    More efficient = stronger = fitter.

    Beginner

    A.
    Power clean
    3-3-3-3-3 (progressive)

    B.
    Front squat
    Establish a 3RM

    Intermediate

    A.
    Clean
    1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1 (across or progressive)

    B.
    Front squat
    Establish a 2RM

  • WOD Blog | Workout of the day

    THURSDAY 26-09-2013: Lessons in Weight Belts

    - by Imtiaz

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO NIKI HARF!

    Thanks to coach Mike for sending in this great article about the use of weight belts. We’re seeing more and more people use them in the gym without the advice or guidance of a coach. This article by Matt Biss will tell you when you should opt for a belt.

    Lessons In Weight Belts: How And Why To Use Them

    by Matt Biss October 12, 2012

    In the dark corner of my local gym, I recently spied a guy doing sit-ups…while wearing a weight belt. The sight was like a swift punch to the crotch! While it’s not the worst gym offence, or even an incredibly rare event, I realized that many trainees don’t know what a lifting belt does, when to wear one, and why someone should.

    Wearing a belt during sit-ups, for example, is actually contrary to the function of the belt. The whole point of a weight belt is to prevent spinal flexion; the whole point of doing a sit-up is to flex your spine by contracting your abs. See the problem here? I’ve also seen people belt up for biceps curls, lat pull-downs, and leg extensions. Clearly, some instruction on this common accessory is needed.

    Belt-Ology In Action ///
    Most people think that weight belts support the back and can help prevent injury. That’s generally true, but a better understanding of the mechanics will change how many people use their equipment. Even some weight belt manufacturers don’t understand how a belt is supposed to work, which is revealed when they make the back of the belt wider than the front.

    To talk about belts, we first have to talk about breathing. Most people are taught to inhale on the eccentric (negative) part of an exercise and to exhale during the concentric (positive). While you should definitely breathe, this isn’t the method that works best when you need to produce a large amount of force. In the everyday world when you need to move something heavy—a couch or an Atlas stone—you take a big breath, push or pull while holding your breath, and only exhale after completing the movement.

    We use this technique—known as the Valsalva Maneuver—when we’re performing certain exercises at near-maximal effort. Holding your breath against a closed glottis while increasing you thoracic abdominal pressure braces you, and allows you to lift more weight. You’d never see a powerlifter squatting 600 pounds while slowly breathing out.

    When you inhale, pressure increases in your thoracic cavity; this pressure is further increased when you flex your abs. In this regard, the muscles of your abdomen serve chiefly to apply pressure to the anterior side of your spine, attempting to balance the forces produced by the extensors on the backside. In other words, this pressure keeps you from being crushed by the weight when you squat.

    The back muscles apply force, position and support to the spine from the back while the abdominal wall and increased abdominal pressure from a deep breath support it from the front. A weight belt’s main function is to add support from the front by increasing abdominal pressure.

    Belt It Real Good ///
    In a nutshell, a lifting belt provides a wall for your abs to push against. The added force with limited space means increased anterior pressure for the spine, helping to stabilize it. This gives you a more rigid torso with better transmission of force from the hips to the bar, plus a more stable foundation for overhead lifts. The width in the back of the belt has absolutely nothing to do with a belt’s function, as many people think.

    Ideally, a belt between three-and-four-inches wide, all the way around, is sufficient. If it’s much smaller than that, it won’t provide much support. If it’s much larger than that, it may not fit well between your ribs and hips. The material should be firm, typically leather/suede or something that won’t stretch.

    To Belt Or Not To Belt ///
    There is no need to wear a belt all the time. There is a lot of discussion in the fitness community about whether you should wear a belt at all. Some people believe you should only rely on your own abilities to stabilize heavy loads. I don’t intend to delve into that debate here, but I will say two things: first, under a heavy load, a belt can help reduce your odds of getting an orthopedic injury. Second, a belt will definitely aid in lifting performance.

    In my opinion, a weight belt is only necessary during near the max attempts on compound lifts, definitely not when you’re on a bicycle. You shouldn’t wear a belt with loads that you can easily support—below 90% of your one rep max on big, barbell lifts.

    Wear It Right ///
    When wearing the belt, it should be positioned and tightened correctly. Many times I’ve seen lifters move the belt to a more comfortable position under their gut, even though that is contrary to what they’ve learned about belt usage. Obviously, the belt shouldn’t be too loose, although many make the mistake of making it too tight. A belt so tight that you can’t properly contract your abdominal wall will actually work against you. Take a breath (hold it), place the belt in position and brace the abdominal wall. Draw the belt just tight enough to slightly restrict your braced abdominal position to achieve maximum benefit.

    [divider]

    Beginner

    A.
    Clean deadlift
    5-5-5-5-5 (across)

    Clean grip only

    Intermediate

    A.
    Clean deadlift
    5-5-5-5-5 (across, 100% max clean)

    Clean grip only

    B.
    Play a game of musical med balls!

  • WOD Blog | Workout of the day

    WEDNESDAY 18-09-2013

    - by Imtiaz

    To all you suckers that thought the workout wasn’t posted early because “it must be some hectic MetCon” – you’re wrong! We’re always going to keep you guessing and on your toes at CFJ. So the time the WoD is published is always going to vary, and it’s going to have very little to do with the type of workout that is programmed.

    So if you’re akin to cherry picking workouts, you may just end up missing on too much to ensure continuous progress.

    Remember this always: Routine is the enemy of progress 😉

    Beginner

    A.
    Hang power clean
    3-3-3-3-3 (progressive)

    B.
    Front squat
    5-5-5 (progressive)

    Intermediate & Advanced

    A.
    Hang clean
    3-3-3-3-3 (across, 75% max clean)

    B.
    Front squat
    5-5-5 (across, 75%)

  • WOD Blog | Workout of the day

    WEDNESDAY 04-09-2013: An Example of GPP

    - by Imtiaz

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ALEN FERRARA  & COURTENAY MORDT!!

    Last week one of our Regional athletes, Brad Wolff, injured himself in training and as a result will be out of training for a while. Brad was a member of the team that was to compete in the Big5 Showdown that took place at Cresta Shopping Centre last weekend. Given his injury we needed to find a replacement, but only managed to do so late on the day before the event!

    The team asked CFJ intern coach, Marcus Swanepoel, to fill the gap, and he obliged. Marcus has written a bit about how CrossFit helped him prepare for the unknown.

    Ready for Anything

    We’re often encouraged by the coaching staff to “work on your weaknesses”. This often falls on deaf ears as many of us just don’t have the time in our busy schedules. I’ve been fortunate to have the time to work on mine. I don’t want weaknesses to affect me (or possibly my team) should I be in a competition environment. Each of us do CrossFit for our own reasons – to keep active, for weight loss and fitness, for strength and conditioning, to challenge ourselves and others with the desire to participate in competitions.

    Regardless of our goals, one of the foundations of CrossFit is general physical preparedness (GPP) – ‘Being ready to deal with the unknown.’ This exact scenario was brought to reality for me this past weekend when I was asked at around 5pm Friday evening if I could replace Brad Wolff (a phenomenal all round athlete who’s competed at Regionals) in the Big 5 competition over the next two days! I agreed to compete and realised that I was being thrown in the deep end. It was time to sink or swim!

    I was part of a strong team that included three other Regional athletes – Tamarr Schroeder, Louis Achadinha and Andre Gadney. I felt the pressure to up my game. I didn’t want to let my team, CFJ, or the CFJ supporters down. I had no idea what I was getting into but I somehow felt confident in my abilities to perform any given task because I have been fortunate to be on the receiving end of the best coaching & programming at CFJ, and recently switched to the paleo diet too.

    During the two days of competition I was faced with many activities and tasks I’d never seen before. Some were awkward, heavy or technical and I questioned my ability to get through it or how I’d be able to carry on. CrossFit had prepared me to face anything in my path and gave me the tools to get the job done!

    Your body will give up long before your mind will. Your mind is like a muscle, so make sure it is strong too!

    Marcus Swanepoel

     [divider]

    Beginner

    A.
    1 1/4 front squat
    3-3-3-3-3 (progressive)

    B.
    Tall clean
    3-3-3-3-3 (progressive)

    Intermediate

    A.
    1 1/4 front squat
    Heavy double

    B.
    Tall clean
    Heavy double

    Advanced

    A.
    1 1/4 front squat
    Heavy single

    B.
    Tall clean
    Heavy single

    CrossFitJozi_Marcus_GPP

  • WOD Blog | Workout of the day

    THURSDAY 22-08-2013: CrossFit & Reebok, Again

    - by Imtiaz

    Following a lot of questions on the topic, I wrote a post about the CrossFit and Reebok relationship late last year.

    We’ve been getting a lot of the same questions again. And I also just received a call from someone telling me that Reebok owns CrossFit and that they wanted more information on the ‘Reebok CrossFit Course.’ So I thought a post on the topic is warranted again.

    Before the keyboard warriors get at it, let me stress something – this post is intended to educate both the CrossFit and greater communities on the relationship between CrossFit and Reebok. I couldn’t care less about which brand you or your business chooses to associate with. However, I care a great deal about the CrossFit brand because it’s my life, and I believe that many people are still unclear about the relationship between these two brands.

    Firstly, in 2010 CrossFit signed a 10 year deal with Reebok to become the official title sponsor of the CrossFit Games, hence the name ‘2010/2011/2012/2013 Reebok CrossFit Games.’ Unless the year precedes the title, it’s just called the CrossFit Games. And if you’d like to question that, contact CrossFit HQ’s legal counsel. Secondly, Reebok are presently the official supplier of CrossFit apparel and footwear, hence the current CrossFit clothing range powered by Reebok.

    These are the two official relationships between CrossFit Inc.  and Reebok. Thanks to the partnership with Reebok, as well as with Rogue fitness, the CrossFit Games have been able to grow substantially. And they will continue to grow because of it! Given that Reebok now manufacture the apparel and footwear for the CrossFit store, there is a quality line of CrossFit-specific gear for CrossFitters all around the world! Reebok is growing and the CrossFit community is being supported – win/win.

    Since the CrossFit Games title sponsorship there have been a couple of spin-off relationships between SOME CrossFit affiliates and Reebok. Read again: Between SOME CrossFit AFFILIATES and Reebok. NOT between CrossFit and Reebok.

    1. Some CrossFit affiliate gyms have  partnered with Reebok to become Reebok CrossFit affiliates. For example, Reebok CrossFit Durbs – the first CrossFit gym in SA to partner with Reebok. There are also ‘Reebok Recognised’ CrossFit gyms. A Reebok CrossFit affiliate and a Reebok Recognised affiliate are very much the same thing. Just as Reebok and CrossFit Inc. have decided to work together on the Games on CrossFit apparel, these gyms and Reebok decided to co-brand.
      Businesses co-brand to help each other grow through the sharing of services and expertise, and via positive brand association. Good co-branding means a win for everyone. For example, we have chosen to co-brand with REBEL Elite Fitness and Tamarr Schroeder Physiotherapy because of the quality these brands provide our business, and because of the value we give their business.
    2. Another spin-off has been the Reebok sponsorship of fitness events run by CrossFit affiliates. For example the UWS Games in Durban and Big 5 Showdown in JHB will be sponsored by Reebok SA. As a CrossFit affiliate we cannot market these as CrossFit events because they are not sanctioned by CrossFit Inc. – the CrossFit Games are the only CrossFit event. Call them fitness events or exercise competitions, but not CrossFit events. Again, the organisations running the event and Reebok have decided to co-brand on these events.

    The official CrossFit/Reebok relationships, and the affiliate/event relationships that have spun-off from that, both add value to Reebok AND the CrossFit community and that is great. Given the strong association between the two brands, one can easily mistake CrossFit and Reebok for being one entity. They are not.

    What is important to note is that each official CrossFit affiliate is independently operated and free to run the business how they see fit. The only thing CrossFit Inc. has control over is that affiliate’s name and how that affiliate uses the CrossFit trademark. So a Reebok CrossFit affiliate or Reebok Recognised affiliate is just another affiliate, but with a specific co-branding relationship.

    So to help clarify, ‘CrossFit’ should never follow ‘Reebok’ aside from the following instances:

    • The [insert year of event] Reebok CrossFit Games
    • Reebok CrossFit apparel and footwear given that Reebok are the official manufacturer of the gear
    • A Reebok CrossFit affiliate whereby Reebok and that affiliate have partnered up and their business name becomes ‘Reebok CrossFit [Affiliate Name]

    Reebok does not own CrossFit. Reebok does not administer CrossFit courses. There is no such thing as ‘Reebok CrossFit.’

    CrossFit is a fitness program, a sport, and runs various coaching certifications. Reebok sponsors the CrossFit Games and makes clothing.

    Beginner

    A.
    1 1/4 front squat
    3-3-3-3-3 (progressive)

    B.
    Tall clean
    3-3-3-3-3 (progressive)

    Intermediate

    A.
    1 1/4 front squat
    3-3-3-3-3 (across)

    B.
    Tall clean
    Heavy triple

    Advanced

    A.
    1 1/4 front squat
    Heavy single

    B.
    Tall clean
    Heavy single

    squats-and-fish-oil_design