Thursday Workout: Deadlift/Burpee, 21/15/9

If you are signed up for the “31 Heroes” WOD this Saturday, stay tuned as I will be sending out some info on Friday to participants.  The 10am make-up class and gymnastics are CANCELED on Saturday, but all other classes are still on. We will start “31 Heroes” right around 9am, rain or shine.

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STRENGTH

OTM 10:

  • Deadlift x 3
  • Burpee Over the Bar x 4-6

*Scale to regular burpees if necessary

**Start moderate on deadlifts (i.e. rx of 225/135) and build from there as able. All reps touch and go, no dropping from the top.

WOD

Level 1

15-12-9 Reps of Each for Time:

  • V-Up
  • Dumbbell Push Press

After each round, run x 100m (or row x 150m) f

Level 2

21-15-9 Reps of Each for Time:

  • Toes to Bar
  • Shoulder to Overhead (115/85)

*After each round, run x 100m (or row x 150m)

MOBILITY

Work on yourself! Spend some time after class mobilizing soft tissue and trouble areas

ANNOUNCEMENTS/UPCOMING EVENTS

1.  Register for the “31 Heroes” WOD happening on August 1!  More info HERE.

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This is a guest post from Serge Eygenson, founder of FitMinds.

The human body is an incredible machine, but most people only get out of that machine what their mind allows them to.

– Rich Froning, Four-time Crossfit Games Champion

There are no shortcuts in Crossfit – but there is a tool that every Crossfit athlete can use to make progress more quickly and achieve goals more consistently. Enter Meditation for Performance.

The burn in your lungs as you row on a Concept2, your shoulders screaming during a round of wall balls, or the fatigue in your thighs as you push out of the bottom of a squat – whether you are just learning double-unders or preparing to qualify for Regionals, every Crossfit athlete knows there is nothing easy about the sport of fitness. Yet, we keep doing it. Day after day, we keep coming back to our box, pushing through another brutal WOD, energized by the challenge we face and the new PRs we accomplish.

Mental fitness through meditation is a key tool that helps Crossfit athletes of all levels make significant incremental progress more quickly and break through plateaus more easily.

Why mental fitness through meditation?

Meditation is scientifically proven to develop three core skills that are vital to Crossfit athletes at every level:

Focus: When you are looking to run faster, lift more, or cut your WOD time, improved mental focus is a time-tested way to generate improved results. Leading strength coaches stress the importance of concentration to generate new PR’s in their clients. Stanford researchers point to improved focus as a key tool for runners looking to get faster.

By fully focusing on the task at hand, a Crossfit athlete can direct the power of every muscle in his or her body to target its energy towards completing a heavy front squat or that very first muscle-up. Crossfit workouts are, by design, almost always centered on multi-functional movements that engage a variety of muscle groups. Improved concentration, by helping to activate every muscle group simultaneously and with increased intensity, yields improved results in the complex movements that every Crossfit athlete loves to hate.

Unfortunately, full, unadulterated focus on the task at hand is far from easy, particularly when that task involves something as challenging as breaking your PR on a lift or WOD time. Not easy, but possible – especially with an effective meditation practice.

Focus is one of the most widely recognized benefits of regular meditation, particularly in situation of exceptional stress or stimulation (think Murph). While studies have come to a variety of conclusions regarding the reasons for meditation’s measurable impact on focus, one of the most interesting, as identified in a 2012 study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, suggest that “meditators had more stability in their ventral posteromedial cortex (vPMC). The vPMC, a region linked to spontaneous thoughts and mind-wandering…” Increased vPMC stability suggests, therefore, an improved ability to control focus and return a wandering mind to the task at hand.

Grit: That same focus on the present moment will not just help you push yourself to a higher one-rep max, it will also enable you to more easily push through the brutal 300+ rep WOD in front of you.

Mindfulness and presence techniques are specifically designed to build strength of focus even under the most extreme levels of duress. By practicing meditation, you will be able to more easily shift your inner monologue from the long road ahead (“There is no way I can do another 100 of these kettlebell swings!) to just executing the next rep (“What do I need to do to perfectly complete this kettlebell swing.”). As the reps pile-up, your energy will remain in the present moment. It is much easier to overcome the daunting challenge your coach has written on the white board when all you ever have to do is just one rep.

Angela Duckworth, a researcher and Ph. D. in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, identified grit (defined by her as “the tendency to sustain interest in and effort toward…goals.”) as the highest predictor of success in everyone from soldiers, to professional athletes, to middle-school math students. Furthermore, Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University, identified daily meditation as a key tool for improving grit in her excellent book The Willpower Instinct.

Vision: Effective meditation training combines mindfulness techniques designed to improve present moment awareness, with visualizations designed to improve performance. Visualizations help meditators clearly identify their long and short-term goals, experience the feeling of successfully accomplishing those goals, and use the nature of our neural programming to improve their ability to succeed.

Visualization exercises, widely used by Olympians looking to reach peak performance, are recognized as a key tool for elite athletes. Research suggests that an athlete visualizing a successful performances activates very similar brain patterns as an athlete actually engaged in performing the exercise. Crossfit athletes know that, whether working on form for the squat snatch or learning to string together double-unders, practice and countless reps transform the rookie to the firebreather. Visualization techniques, by developing athletes’ capacity to prepare for the actual exercisers, help to accelerate that process.

Simultaneously, as meditator develop and use their mindfulness skillset to clearly visualize the goals they want to achieve, pushing through a tough workout becomes easier. Research has consistently shown that, in the boardroom, on the field, and in the gym, those that have clear goals and start with the end in mind more effectively persevere the hurdles on the path to success. goals, but also develop the skill of gaining that clarity on your own in every situation.

Are these all of the benefits you will experience from meditation? Of course not. Just like Crossfit athletes gain confidence, perseverance, and other qualities that go far beyond the four-walls of their box, meditators gain a wide-ranging skillset of tools that transform not only their performance in the gym, but also every aspect of their personal and professional lives and their relationships.

How do I get started?

If you have never meditated before, the good news is that learning the basics is simple (but not easy!). All you will need is a quiet room where you will not be disturbed for the duration of the exercise, a place to sit that will allow you to be both comfortable and alert, and (if you prefer) an audio recording of a guided meditation. For your first time meditating, try for 5-10 minutes just focusing your attention on your breath and the feeling of your inhales and exhales. Sounds easy, but you will quickly notice your brain start to wander. Just know that it’s no big deal, and, when you have realized your mind has wandered, bring your focus back to your breath. You can find a more detailed guide for your first time meditating here.

If you’re interested in participating in a group meditation specifically designed to uplevel your performance at home, at the gym, and everywhere else that matters to you, shoot an e-mail to info@fit-minds.com to learn more about our meditation workshops around Charlottesville. 

Serge Eygenson is the CEO and co-founder of FitMinds – Meditation for Performance. FitMinds is the world’s first curriculum to combine mindfulness and visualization training to help high achiever optimize performance at work, at home, and in every area of life that matters to them. Interested in using FitMinds to improve your performance in and out of the gym? Check out www.fit-minds.com.

Wednesday Workout: Team WOD

Quick announcement: Gymnastics class tonight (Wednesday) will feature rope climbs in preparation for the “31 Heroes” WOD (among other skills).

Note: If you are signed up for the “31 Heroes” WOD this Saturday, stay tuned as I will be sending out some info on Friday to participants.  The 10am make-up class and gymnastics are CANCELED on Saturday, but all other classes are still on. We will start “31 Heroes” right around 9am, rain or shine.

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WOD

In Teams of 2, Complete the Following for Time:

2 Rounds of:

  • Thruster (95/65) x 50
  • Row for calories x 50
  • Box Jump Overs (24/20) x 50
  • Power Clean (95/65) x 50
Level 1 Subs
  • Dumbbell Thruster
  • Row – same
  • Box Jump Step Up/Down (18/12)
  • Hang Power Clean

Notes: For Level 1, also consider scaling overall rep count. One rower per team regardless of number of people in class!

POST YOUR SCORES TO THE COMMENTS!

MOBILITY

Work on yourself! Spend some time after class mobilizing soft tissue and trouble areas

ANNOUNCEMENTS/UPCOMING EVENTS

1.  Register for the “31 Heroes” WOD happening on August 1!  More info HERE.

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Thank you Charlottesville and the CrossFit community for making six years possible. It’s been an awesome experience learning from everyone, trying to make ourselves a better business, a fitter community and being part of positive change in people’s lives. Thank you all :)

CrossFit Charlottesville has been open for six years. It’s crazy to think of how we’ve progressed over time. From a tiny 800 square foot warehouse and a population that hadn’t heard of CrossFit, to today, a lot has changed. I’ve been doing CrossFit for nearly eight years, trained multiple athletes at the highest competitive level, and hundreds of members at our gym. While CrossFit isn’t perfect, it’s changed my life and I’m happy to be a part of the movement.

I wanted to spend some time reminiscing on some key themes I’ve seen over the last eight years and share those with the community.

CrossFit’s still the best program out there if you care about results

There have been a number of copies of CrossFit that try to mimic its success, through franchises, globo gym fitness classes and the like. There are now a half-dozen or so copies of the original in Charlottesville. It’s amazing how strong a testament these programs are to CrossFit, but they miss the key elements that made CrossFit successful. Sure, they have a community and they make you sweat, but they aren’t defining their goals and results in a meaningful way.

What sets us apart is that we measure and define our results; we have a methodology that is observable, measurable, and repeatable. As a result, our athletes are capable of improvements in their fitness because we have a definition of fitness that is better than anything else (increase work capacity across broad time, modal, and age domains). Besides those programs that measure improvements in a single domain (running programs, weightlifting, etc.), CrossFit’s approach to a general physical capacity is the new bar for fitness. I’ve seen those results personally and with our membership. It works and it works better than anything else out there.

CrossFit has opened to doors to a variety of different specialties that are becoming incredibly popular

Whether its the massive growth in the sport of weightlifting, or the people who are interested in being better at muscle ups, we’ve seen a lot of folks pursue specialization in things they have been exposed to through CrossFit.

That’s awesome and we’re happy to support their fitness pursuits. We used to only run CrossFit classes and were skeptical about alternate programs, but now realize that so long as what folks are doing is functional, that’s what matters. We want the expertise from these smaller communities so we can make ourselves better all-around athletes. So, please keep specializing, but don’t go to far because we want to learn from you.

CrossFit has put a redefinition of beauty in the spotlight

Mainstream culture values an archetypal body type that isn’t necessarily about physical excellence.  When we wrote our most-popular article ever “Intimidated by CrossFit Women? That’s a Good Thing” we argued the following:

Women are built to be athletes, just the same as any human, and that’s the fundamental starting point for empowering yourself and realizing your vision of why you came to CrossFit in the first place. Not everyone has the willpower to suffer through pain and eschew popular conceptions about fitness and beauty. It’s a tough culture out there, but we want to be here to make you comfortable and to see you make constant improvement in and out of the gym.

And the truth is, we frequently hear women say that “they don’t want big shoulders,” and that’s fine. Personally, I stopped caring because people have a right to look however they want and there are plenty of ways to use your body in positive ways.

But, more importantly, those women who want to be powerful, suffer to increase their work capacity, and care about performance have been brought into the spotlight and in a good way. I’m happy that CrossFit has put the spotlight on this issue and will continue to inspire young athletes to value performance and results over a flawed archetype.

People stay for the community

It’s important to note what makes people long term CrossFitters. The top qualities that indicate long term retention and success in athletes are:

  • Community involvement
  • Humility
  • Desire to improve and work on weaknesses
  • A little bit (or a lot) of crazy desire to push yourself

Of all these things, I think being involved in the community is the by far the most important for CrossFit and any gym. I think CrossFit gyms do it better than any other fitness community. You’d recognize that when you walk into other gyms all over the world.

Those people who aren’t successful in CrossFit are the ones who don’t push themselves, don’t want to improve, have big egos, or are just looking for the latest trend. CrossFit’s a lifestyle that’s connected by a community of people who are all seeking improvements in their lives and want to help each other get there. I always tell people it’s not for everyone, but it is for everyone who really wants to improve. 

Thanks to You

I’ve started a half dozen or so businesses and CrossFit Charlottesville by far is the most meaningful in my life. I’ve made some of the best friends of my life here and I’ve experienced the positive impact of the community from Carson, California, to Munich, Germany. I’ve seen meaningful results in people’s lives and am honored to be a part of each of those stories.

Here’s to another six years. Thanks again!

Tuesday Workout: Power Snatch, Burpee Pull-up, Sit-up, Wall Ball

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STRENGTH

OTM 10:

  • Power Snatch x 4

WOD

Level 1

AMRAP 10:

  • Burpee x 10
  • Ring Row x 10
  • Abmat Sit-up x 15
  • Wall Ball x 20

Level 2

AMRAP 12:

  • Burpee Pull-up* x 10
  • Abmat Sit-up x 15
  • Wall Ball (20/14) x 20

*Set up so that pull-up bar is about 6 inches above reach. Scale distance from bar as needed.

ANNOUNCEMENTS/UPCOMING EVENTS

1.  Register for the “31 Heroes” WOD happening on August 1!  More info HERE.

Monday Workout: Back Squat, Masters/Teen Event

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STRENGTH

Back Squat, 5 sets of 3 reps, aim for 80-90% of 3RM

WOD

Masters 40-44 and Masters 45-45

3 rounds for time of:

  • 100 double-unders
  • 7 hang power clean and jerks (185 / 115 lb.)

Masters 50-54

 3 rounds for time of:

  •  100 double-unders
  •  7 hang power clean and jerks (165 / 105 lb.)

Masters 55-59

 3 rounds for time of:

  •  70 double-unders
  •  7 hang power clean and jerks (135 / 95 lb.)

Masters 60+ and Teens 14-15

 3 rounds for time of:

  •  50 double-unders
  •  7 hang power clean and jerks (135 / 95 lb.)

Teens 16-17

 3 rounds for time of:

  •  70 double-unders
  •  7 hang power clean and jerks (185 / 115 lb.)

Notes: Scale as needed – do 2x double unders for singles, or do 1x double unders for singles plus 1 burpee for every 10 reps of double unders (i.e. 100 singles + 10 burpees).

ANNOUNCEMENTS/UPCOMING EVENTS

1.  Register for the “31 Heroes” WOD happening on August 1!  More infoHERE.

Friday Workout: Thruster, AMRAP 6s

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STRENGTH

Thruster, Build to a 3RM (from the floor)

Compare to here

WOD

Level 1

AMRAP 6:

  • KB Deadlift x 10
  • Box Jump Step Down (18/12) x 15

Rest 2 Minutes

AMRAP 6:

  • Ring Row x 5
  • Box Push-up x 10
  • Air Squat x 15

Level 2

AMRAP 6:

  • Deadlift (185/135) x 10
  • Burpee Box Jump (24/20) x 15

Rest 2 Minutes

AMRAP 6:

  • Pull-up x 5
  • Push-up x 10
  • Air Squat x 15

ANNOUNCEMENTS/UPCOMING EVENTS

1.  Register for the “31 Heroes” WOD happening on August 1!  More info HERE.

2. WE’RE TURNING 6!!  CrossFit Charlottesville’s Anniversary Party is at the end of this month!  Sunday, July 26!  See the Facebook Event for more info and to RSVP.  Park WOD in the morning at 10am!!

Thursday Workout: Rope Climbs, Run, Barbell Work

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STRENGTH/SKILL

Legless Rope Climb, start from sitting position and accumulate 5-10 reps within a 10 minute period (For example: can do a rep EMOM or every 2 minutes)

Notes: Sub rope pulls or ring rows for strength work, or scale to legless rope climb from standing position. If you are doing 31 Heroes WOD and are unable to do legless rope climbs, accumulate ~10 regular rope climbs with wrap technique

WOD

Level 1

3 Rounds for Time:

  • Run x 400m (or 500m Row)
  • Hang Power Clean (75/45) x 7
  • Shoulder to Overhead (75/45) x 5

Level 2

4 Rounds for Time:

  • Run x 400m (or 500m Row)
  • Hang Power Clean (135/95) x 7
  • Shoulder to Overhead (135/95) x 5

ANNOUNCEMENTS/UPCOMING EVENTS

1.  Register for the “31 Heroes” WOD happening on August 1!  More info HERE.

2. WE’RE TURNING 6!!  CrossFit Charlottesville’s Anniversary Party is at the end of this month!  Sunday, July 26!  See the Facebook Event for more info and to RSVP.  Park WOD in the morning at 10am!!

Wednesday Workout: OTM Work

Hey all – the rowing clinic has been canceled for tonight due to lack of sign-ups. We’ll try again in the future!
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STRENGTH

OTM 8:

  • Snatch (full snatch) + 2 Overhead Squats, light to moderate weight

*Scale to Power Snatch + 3 Overhead Squats at light weight

Rest 2 Minutes

OTM 10 (Starting at 10:00 on clock):

  • Even Minute: Front Squat (from floor) x 3, start moderate
  • Odd Minute: Toe to Bar* x 5-10

*Consider scaling to v-up variation touching feet to vertical bars on pull-up rig. Add weight as possible on Front Squats – can squat clean the first rep.

WOD

Level 1

AMRAP 6:

  • Wall Ball to 9′ x 30
  • Russian KBS heavy x 15

Level 2

AMRAP 6:

  • Wall Ball (20/14) x 30
  • Kettlebell Swing (70/53) x 15

ANNOUNCEMENTS/UPCOMING EVENTS

1.  Register for the “31 Heroes” WOD happening on August 1!  More info HERE.

2. WE’RE TURNING 6!!  CrossFit Charlottesville’s Anniversary Party is at the end of this month!  Sunday, July 26!  See the Facebook Event for more info and to RSVP.

Tuesday Workout: Row, Burpee, HSPU, and more

Hey all – we are doing a rowing clinic in place of the gymnastics class this Wednesday at 7pm!  Please sign in to the class ahead of time if you’re coming using the link HERE.

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WOD

Level 1

4 Rounds for Total Working Time:

  • Row x 250m
  • Jump Rope Single x 50
  • Burpee x 10
  • Hang Dumbbell Snatch x 10 (5/side)
  • Push-up x 10
  • Rest 1 Minute

Level 2

5 Rounds for Total Working Time:

  • Row x 300m
  • Double Under x 30
  • Burpee x 15
  • Dumbbell Snatch (55/35) x 10 (5/side)
  • Handstand Push-up x 5 (use deficit if possible)
  • Rest 1 Minute

Notes: Consider scaling handstand push-up to hs hold (i.e. 30 second hold).

MOBILITY

Lax ball pec and/or upper back/sub-scap area

ANNOUNCEMENTS/UPCOMING EVENTS

1.  Register for the “31 Heroes” WOD happening on August 1!  More info HERE.

2. WE’RE TURNING 6!!  CrossFit Charlottesville’s Anniversary Party is at the end of this month!  Sunday, July 26!  See the Facebook Event for more info and to RSVP.