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CrossFit: the punishing fitness regime that sorts the supermen from the mortals - Telegraph.co.uk

CrossFit: the punishing fitness regime that sorts the supermen from the mortals - Telegraph.co.uk | Crossfit | Scoop.it

If you've ever encountered it before, the word CrossFit should strike fear into your heart.

This high intensity fitness regime uses a mixture of aerobic exercises, gymnastics and Olympic weightlifting to push the body to its absolute limits of strength, endurance, and flexibility. If that sounds exhausting, then I can assure you: it is - and I've only watched from the sidelines, at the recent Battle of London competition. Dragging your tired carcass through CrossFit's relentless routines certainly looks like it's no picnic. But the physical results are remarkable.

An hour-long CrossFit class typically includes a warm-up, an activity training segment (where you might, for example practise a handstand push-up), the high-intensity ‘Workout of the Day’ (or WOD) section, and a period of individual or group stretching. The WOD, set on the company website, is always fast paced and varied; it changes every day, providing new stimuli for the body and mind. So, while the suggested regime on Wednesday January 29 focused on short runs, pull-ups and squats, the day before it was all about weightlifting (Thursday, mercifully, was designated a Rest Day).


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What I Learned from watching Kill Cliff’s East Coast Championship

What I Learned from watching Kill Cliff’s East Coast Championship | Crossfit | Scoop.it
I have been doing Crossfit for the past 7 months and I like it more and more everyday. Some might say that is all I think about, talk about, and do. They may be right. Last weekend I attended an event where I was surrounded with people JUST LIKE ME!
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Ask the Doc: How to maintain your body like an high performance engine.

Ask the Doc: How to maintain your body like an high performance engine. | Crossfit | Scoop.it

Our bodies are our engines.  An engine can run forever if you take care of it, not to mention the improved performance and durability you keep with a little preventive maintenance.  The point is there are a few things we need to do to our human engines from looking like the mess above.  As athletes, we don’t want to let our bodies look like a faulty, poor performing engine which can lead to a season ending or a reoccurring, chronic injury.

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High intensity exercise: CrossFit spinal injury questions safety of top trend - Examiner.com

High intensity exercise: CrossFit spinal injury questions safety of top trend - Examiner.com | Crossfit | Scoop.it

While more details on the spine severing injury suffered by a CrossFit trainer were released Jan. 18 on NBC, the debate over the safety of high intensity regimens such as CrossFit continues as its popularity increases.

Following the CrossFit regimen since 2008, the injury to 28-year old Kevin Ogar occurred last Sunday when he attempted consecutive lifts of over 200 pounds, at the "2014 OC Throwdown" competition in Costa Mesa, CA. One friend described the injury as a "freak accident." Now the CrossFit community is spearheading efforts to raise money to help pay the medical costs for Ogar, who does not have health insurance.

While CrossFit, Inc. did not organize, sanction or license the Costa Mesa event, the Throwdown series which began in 2010 has grown to be the second-largest competition worldwide attracting CrossFit athletes outside of the CrossFit Games. The Throwdown invites the highest-caliber CrossFit athletes to compete in events that include multiple 250-meter swims with “burpees,” or squat thrusts, in between; a three-mile run with kettlebells; and other standard CrossFit techniques.

A form of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) which involves short bursts of activity followed by a short period of rest or recovery, the CrossFit prescription is comprised of “constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movement” in order to develop the necessary capacity to move large loads over long distances, and to do so quickly.

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Casualty of CrossFit: A catostrophic injury shocks a community - The Advocate

Casualty of CrossFit: A catostrophic injury shocks a community - The Advocate | Crossfit | Scoop.it

Shockwaves were sent through the fitness world when Kevin Ogar, a 28-year old CrossFit trainer, severed his spine during a competion in Southern California last Sunday.

Ogar, a Denver-area resident, was attempting to lift more than 200 lbs in a routine called the 'snatch', a move that requires an athlete to bring weight from the floor to above the head. Ogar buckled and suffered an injury that has left him paralyzed below the waist.

Ogar had been a trainer and competitor in CrossFit,  which is a high-intensity workout that combines weightlifting, gymnastics, and sprinting. The sport began in 2003 and has grown in popularity across the country.

"I saw the video of the incident and it was a freak thing," said Andy Parker, co-owner of CrossFit of Stamford. "There are Olympic weightlifting competitions around the country all the time and you rarely see anything like that ever happen."

The injury has renewed concerns about an excercise regime that is far off the beaten path of others such as spinning, running, and normal lifting.

"The competition that guy (Ogar) was in, was legit and hardcore," said Parker. "Many of the athletes in the competition were also in the CrossFit games and that is for serious CrossFitters. 99 percent of the people that we train do it for the fitness aspect and don't compete."

Parker said those signing up for CrossFit at his gym, must go through a three-week training program before even being allowed to enter a class.  Newcomers must find a way to exist and survive in the land of burpees, power cleans, snatches, and kettle bells.


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In the cross hairs of CrossFit: Local businesses find niche in fitness craze - Washington Post

In the cross hairs of CrossFit: Local businesses find niche in fitness craze - Washington Post | Crossfit | Scoop.it

“Our goal was to have 20 people sign up when we opened,” said Losie, 34. “We immediately had five or six times that.”

The billion-dollar CrossFit industry has grown dramatically in recent years, and in the process, has given way to a network of businesses — ranging from meal delivery services to clothing and shoe lines — that cater to tens of thousands of Washington area devotees.

The fitness program, founded in 2000 in California, is a mix of aerobic exercise, gymnastics and weight lifting. The company licenses the CrossFit name to more than 7,000 gyms around the world for an annual fee of about $3,000.

In the Washington area, there are more than 150 CrossFit gyms, double the number of Washington Sports Club and Gold’s Gym locations combined, with more opening in the coming weeks.


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The Top 20 Hottest Bodies of CrossFit

The Top 20 Hottest Bodies of CrossFit | Crossfit | Scoop.it

We rank the 20 fittest and most appealing bodies CrosssFit has to offer. 10 women and 10 men that are truly fit

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Former collegiate water polo player Matt Chan has never finished outside the top...

Former collegiate water polo player Matt Chan has never finished outside the top... | Crossfit | Scoop.it
Former collegiate water polo player Matt Chan has never finished outside the top 20 in a CrossFit Games event with swimming. Chan took 3rd in Pendleton 1 (2012), 4th in The Pool (2013) and 17th in the Beach (2011).
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Five Things You Need To Know About CrossFit - TIME

Five Things You Need To Know About CrossFit - TIME | Crossfit | Scoop.it

CrossFit, the high-intensity exercise regimen that has spawned its own ESPN television event – you may have noticed the CrossFit Games — is exploding. At the end of 2012, CrossFit had some 5,000 gyms worldwide. The company expects to pass 10,000 this year.

In the January 20th issue of TIME, you can find an in-depth story on the CrossFit craze, and the controversy surrounding the workout. Before signing up for CrossFit, here are five things you need to know.

1. Its Most Intense Workouts Are Named After People Who Died In War
CrossFit’s most difficult workouts are named in honor of members of the military and first responders who died in the line of duty. An example of a “Hero” workout: the Murph, named for Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2005. The Murph is a one-mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats, followed by another one mile run, completed as quickly as possible.

Don’t worry: the Hero workouts aren’t assigned all that often, maybe at the top of the month. The core benchmark workouts have female names, like Cindy: 5 pullups, then 10 pushups, then 15 squats. Repeat this cycle as many times as possible in 20 minutes.

She’s mean too.

2. Its Mascot Is A Vomiting Clown
His name is Pukie.

3. Another Mascot Is A Bloody Clown
If CrossFitters overexert themselves, they risk getting rhabdomyolysis, a condition where muscle fibers break down and can cause serious kidney damage. Rhabdo cases are pretty rare: one researcher surveyed 132 CrossFitters, and found no cases; another surveyed 733, and found three cases.

(MORE: This Exists – CrossFit For Toddlers)

CrossFit acknowledges the risks, and stresses that its trainers shouldn’t push too hard. The company has written about rhabdo on its website, and has even adopted another cartoon mascot: Uncle Rhabdo, an exhausted, bloodied clown attached to a dialysis machine, with a kidney and his large intestine lying on the floor. “People look at that and they get offended and say, ‘You guys aren’t taking this seriously,” says CrossFit spokesman Russell Berger. “And the whole point – it’s supposed to get people’s attention. The last thing we want is somebody who’s uneducated or unaware of this condition giving themselves a serious case of it.”


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A Confession about my Obsession to use Fitness to Manage my Depression

A Confession about my Obsession to use Fitness to Manage my Depression | Crossfit | Scoop.it

I’ve been into fitness, strength training, trail running, and healthy eating for the last 5 years. Some might say that I have become obsessedwith it. People at work, friends, and even family have commented on the fact that it seems to be what I talk about the most. They notice that I am obsessed with not missing my training sessions; that I find ways to train when I travel, and that I am careful about the food that I eat. Yes, I guess I am. But, probably not for the reasons that they might guess.

You see, it isn’t really about how I look, how much I can lift, how far I can run, or even how I feel. It has become about survival. No, not survival related to physical health; although that is probably true too. I’m talking about survival related to my mental and emotional health. This isn’t some trite comment about not getting my workout “fix”. I really do mean survival, because I’ve struggled with depression for most of my life. It started at a very young age. I can remember the panic of being a perfectionist around 5 years old. The fear of not getting everything right and not being good enough. I did very well in school, but it never seemed to be enough. I made a few close friends, but I was an introvert. I was close to my family, but I didn’t like being around a lot of people. I spent a lot of time reading, at home, in the car, in the library. I preferred books to people.

Now, I guess I was lucky. I really did have a great family. Great parents, siblings, and a good home life. I can’t blame my depression on them. What you learn is that no one and nothing is responsible for your depression. It comes from deep within. Nothing external can cause it and nothing external can really fix it. When you’re younger, you think about a lot of “if only” scenarios that you are certain will fix it. If only I had better friends. If only I didn’t live in this miserable town. If only I did better in school. If only I had a girlfriend. If only I had a better job. Now, I’m not saying that situations can’t suck. They certainly can, and you should always remove yourself from bad situations and remove bad people and things from your life. But it is easy to fall into the “if only” trap. What you will find out though, as I did, is that the depression is in you and will follow you. No matter how great your life becomes, it will still be there in your chest. In your head at night.


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CrossFit Mobility: 5 Tips to Ease Your Front Rack Wrist Pain

CrossFit Mobility: 5 Tips to Ease Your Front Rack Wrist Pain | Crossfit | Scoop.it

If you’ve noticed that you’re having trouble with some basic movements such as front squats, a lack of wrist mobility may be the culprit. Pain in both your wrist and forearm can be a sign that you need to focus on this area. With consistent exercise, you can increase your wrist mobility, both decreasing the likelihood of injuring yourself, and also getting more from your lifts.

Wrist Extension

Start with a basic extension. This can be done at your desk or anytime you want to get in a few wrist mobility exercises into your day. Pull your wrists back and hold them in an extended position for about 30 seconds. Repeat this movement a few times a day and you’ll start to notice increased range of motion.

Wrist Rotations

Another easy move you can do throughout the day is a wrist rotation. This is a great way to relieve tension when you’ve been typing at a computer and your wrists begin to feel sore. Make a fist and then move your wrists around in a clockwise and counterclockwise position. If you start to notice a position that feels tender or limited, hold in this position for a few seconds. It’s very effective when repeated on a consistent basis.

Inverted Push-Up

An inverted push-up is another great exercise to do. You’ll start with your body in a plank position and then turn your hands inwards so that your fingers are pointing towards the toes. Only turn as far as you’re able to comfortably and stop when you feel any tension or pain. Make sure that your torso stays firm and then move your body forward to create an angle from the shoulders to the wrists. Hold this for about 30 seconds, although stop if you start to feel pain. If you’re having trouble completing this movement, you can do it from your knees.


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Joy & Pain: How Much Torture are you Willing to Take?

Joy & Pain: How Much Torture are you Willing to Take? | Crossfit | Scoop.it

My absolute favorite comedian is Jerry Seinfeld. I quote him constantly, I’ve watched every episode of Seinfeld and Comedian in Cars Getting Coffee multiple times and I’m seeing him perform his stand-up live later this month. Recently, I came across an interview that Jerry did with Howard Stern back in June. It’s a fun, rambling conversation during which Howard tries to understand Jerry’s writing process. After explaining how he sits for hour upon hour, day after day figuring out a joke, it’s exact wording and intonation, Howard says, “It sounds like a tortured life.”

Jerry explains his outlook, “Your blessing in life is when you find the torture you are comfortable with….That’s marriage, it’s kids, it’s work, it’s exercise, it’s not eating the food you want to eat. Find the torture you are comfortable with and you’ll do well…You master that, you’ve mastered life.”

Jerry loves comedy. It is the core of his essence and thus he is willing to put himself through all that torture.

Though Jerry might be an odd source of motivation for my training, I believe he is right on the money. I’ve talked before about how there are no magic words; and we all know that things worth doing are never easy. As Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock told us, “Joy and pain, like sunshine and rain” – the two are inextricably linked. How much am I willing to suffer to enjoy the fruits of my labor?

As Freeze Fest quickly approaches, I keep thinking that I can and need to push myself harder. Too often, I hold myself back because the work is tough – really tough. But that is exactly the type of work I must embrace. And it is not just in the gym, but in life.


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Redding Recreation: Get fit walking and with CrossFit training - Record-Searchlight

Redding Recreation: Get fit walking and with CrossFit training - Record-Searchlight | Crossfit | Scoop.it
Redding Recreation: Get fit walking and with CrossFit training
Record-Searchlight
CrossFit features constantly varied, functional movements performed at high intensity.
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DC-area businesses find niche in CrossFit craze - W*USA 9

DC-area businesses find niche in CrossFit craze - W*USA 9 | Crossfit | Scoop.it
DC-area businesses find niche in CrossFit craze W*USA 9 The billion-dollar CrossFit industry has grown dramatically in recent years, and in the process, has given way to a network of businesses - ranging from meal delivery services to clothing and...
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The Lil’ Champ…Lauren Fisher Wins Gold

The Lil’ Champ…Lauren Fisher Wins Gold | Crossfit | Scoop.it
The Lil’ Champ…Lauren Fisher Wins Gold
Written by C.J. Martin
(Photo courtesy of Hookgrip.)
The champ…lil’ Lauren Fisher! Lauren swept gold medals in the snatch (75 kg), clean & jerk (102 kg) and total (177 kg) at USAW Junior Nationals.
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The Conversation That Has To Be Had About Crossfit

The Conversation That Has To Be Had About Crossfit | Crossfit | Scoop.it

For years, the wider fitness industry has warned people of the dangers of Crossfit, and now an injury nobody would wish on anyone has occurred.

Kevin Ogar, a Crossfit trainer in Englewood, Colorado, was performing a 3 Rep Max Snatch when he lost control of the bar overhead.

He was unable to get out of way in time, resulting in the bar damaging his T11 and T12 vertebrae, and severing his spinal cord.

Kevin currently has no feeling below his waist.

Weightlifting is dangerous. Whether it is Power lifting, Bodybuilding or Olympic lifting is irrelevant. There have been life-changing injuries in all of these sports, as well as deaths.

Crossfit is no different. One trainer even publicly came out, stating that clients should expect to get injured… it’s Crossfit.

How does Crossfit differ from all other types of lifting?

Kevin was competing in a competition that consisted of nine workouts over the course of a weekend.

According to the OC Throwdown webpage, the nine WOD’s the athletes were to compete in over the course of the day included:

WOD 1: The NFL combine
WOD 2: Squat Cleans and Handstand Push ups with Handstand Walks
WOD 3: 3 Mile Run
WOD 4: Touch and Go Snatch, 3 Position Clean and Jerk, Back squat
WOD 5: Overhead Squat, Muscle Ups, Wall Balls, Double Unders, Deadlift, Power Snatch

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Statewide CrossFit Community Raising Money For Injured Coach -

Statewide CrossFit Community Raising Money For Injured Coach - | Crossfit | Scoop.it

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – The worldwide CrossFit community is rallying together to help one of their own who was seriously injured during a competition.

CrossFit has become a huge fitness craze in the past few years and has become a community with a lot of heart behind it. CrossFit Unbroken in Englewood is a community putting their name to the test after one of its own coaches was severely injured in a California competition last Sunday.


Kevin Ogar was performing a powerlift when his spine was severed and he lost the use of his legs. There is now a big movement to help Ogar with his medical bills. When clicking on the fundraising page set up for Ogar the amount of money raised for him literally jumps by thousands every few hours.

“It was just kind of a freak accident,” CrossFitter Christian Lucero said.

Lucero was in the competition with Ogar. He’s amazed at how people worldwide are responding.

“Mostly with social media its spread so fast that everybody seems to know about it and be willing to help,” Lucero said.

“There are posts from Australia on Facebook, from everywhere, from every corner,” CrossFitter Lacy Harmony said.

Ogar doesn’t have insurance, so a fund was set up.

“In less than 48 hours they’ve raised over $100,000 for him,” CrossFit Unbroken owner Matt Hathcock said.


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Sprinting and Glutes

Sprinting and Glutes | Crossfit | Scoop.it
In sports and in the weightroom, all muscles need to be strong and powerful. The body works in a series of kinetic chains to produce forceful, powerful, and coordinated movement. Nevertheless, some muscles are more important than others.
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Andrea Ager: Getting to Know Ms. AgerBomb

Andrea Ager: Getting to Know Ms. AgerBomb | Crossfit | Scoop.it

She’s one of the sport’s best known and most admired athletes. Moving from Boulder, CO to California to immerse herself in CrossFit, Andrea Ager has accomplished that and much more. Having competed at the Games in 2011 as part of Team Brick CrossFit, she’s now committed to competing Individual in 2014.

Ager was well on her way to the Games this year, finishing 7th overall in the worldwide Open. Unfortunately her dream to compete on CrossFit’s highest stage was cut short when she made the tough decision to withdraw from the SoCal Regionals after controversy over a judge’s misstatement during the overhead squat event. Though a difficult decision at the time, it was a small stumbling block that hasn’t changed much else for AgerBomb, as she’s referred to by her legion of fans.

Known for her tirelessly long training sessions, the girl who loves to compete has vowed to put herself through an intense off-season competition schedule to keep her mind focused on her ultimate goal. In our interview, Andrea shares her genuine love for the sport and how coaching and her faith have shaped what it means to be an elite athlete in this sport.

From what we know, you’ve always loved working out. Is it true that at age 14 you told your dad you were going to work out every day for a year straight?
AA: (laughs) Yes, that’s very true. I’ve just always loved training and working out. It’s a pretty funny story. I’m Catholic and one night we were talking about what we were giving up for Lent. I thought, ‘Why give up something?’ So I told my dad that I was going to work out every day for a year straight because working out is good for you and fun. (laughs) Talk about the mind of a 14-year-old! During that time, I learned a lot about training. I trained my brother. We’d go to the basement and use my dad’s random gym equipment for an hour every day. I’d make him do random things like 100 bicep curls with a 5lb weight. Weird stuff like that. We thought, ‘Yeah, we’re working out!’ That motivated me to join my high school swim team and to play volleyball. I also ran track all four years of high school and college. I was always involved in sports and it just never stopped.

In college, you focused on track and field. Tell us about your experience.
AA: I did. I ran cross country in college. We had three seasons year-round, so we never took breaks. I got my scholarship for the 400m hurdles…that was my favorite thing on Earth! I also ran the 800m and the 4x400m relay. There were times that I did the triple jump and the 200m. That heptathlete feeling is what reminds me of CrossFit.

So how did you make the transition to CrossFit?
AA: I started CrossFit after college when I felt all washed up and needed something else. Right around the time I thought I was going to be a ‘has been’. I studied Exercise Science and in one of my classes someone did a report on CrossFit. As they were presenting, I had so many questions. After class, I followed them into the hallway and asked ‘How do I go there? Where is it?’ I didn’t even care what it required; I just wanted to start it. I didn’t even know how to CrossFit and I wanted to start coaching. As a coach now, I see how unrealistic that was, but I just wanted to learn everything there was to learn about it. I was like a sponge. I remember spending five hours a day in the gym, all while maintaining a full time job. I dove right in when I started.

Given your background, you’re qualified to answer this, who do you consider the fittest athlete a heptathlete or a CrossFitter?
AA: This is a biased opinion, but I would say the CrossFitter is more well-rounded. I would say though that as a CrossFit athlete you’re always saving yourself, because you know you have another training session, another WOD in competition. A heptathlete has to be more explosive and more focused, maybe… It’s a very difficult question to answer, especially because a CrossFitter lifts heavier, but I’d say that a heptathlete has to push it 100% more often.


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CROSSFIT STEPS UP DRUG TESTING - BoxLife Magazine

It’s one of the most taboo topics surrounding CrossFit, but one that won’t go away. As the sport continues to experience exponential growth worldwide, with increased viewers, sponsorships and prizes up for grabs, questions continue to arise over whether the playing field is really even.

For the newcomers to CrossFit, or the uninitiated who may come across the Games on TV, the exceptional physique and performance on display by both male and female athletes often leads to a healthy dose of skepticism over whether those competiting are indeed “all-natural”. We’ve all heard it from one non-CrossFitting friend or another, but those same questions have started creeping into boxes across the country (and internationally), fueled further whenever notable athletes breach the subject. In a sub 3-minute interview with CrossFit last December, Dan Bailey admitted that he didn’t believe that all the male competitors in the 2013 Games were “clean”. Bailey went on to state that CrossFit’s drug testing “could and should be improved…because the incentive is there and nobody’s perfect, and people will dive into that at some point.” With the sport and competition growing in prominence, isn’t it time that the tests for performance enhancing drugs grow along with it?

CrossFit HQ thinks so.

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Saturday 11/01/2013 Hero WOD – Hotshots 19 - CrossFit Gym In ...

Saturday 11/01/2013 Hero WOD – Hotshots 19 - CrossFit Gym In ... | Crossfit | Scoop.it

One of the great aspects of CrossFit is that the community often comes together to support fellow Crossfitters when they are need or when there is a important cause to support. This year CFMB is committing more time and energy to supporting those in our little family who may need.  Coming up in the next couple of months, we will be running a charity WOD to support the Shave For A Cure fundraiser as this issue had touched many of members and collectively we can make a sizable contribution.

Keep an eye out for more info on that soon.

Since the original days of CrossFit, the community has also been really pro-active in recognizing the actions and sacrifice of fallen soldiers and service men and women in the CrossFit community who have lost their lives protecting others. This recognition comes in the form of Hero workouts and are traditionally very challenging WOD’s that allow us to think about the sacrifice that other make for us to live the way we do.

So each month at CFMB we will be completing a Hero WOD on a Saturday morning and before the class we will be explain who the WOD was dedicated to. To get the ball rolling, here is this years first Hero WOD:

HotShots 19

This WOD is dedicated to 19 fire-fighters who lost their lives in June last year trying to fight a blaze. These 19 lives where lost all from a very small town so you can imagine the effect it had on the community. You can see more about how the CrossFit community supported it here https://hotshots19.crossfit.com/


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Someone 2 Know: CrossFit Peter - KTVN

Someone 2 Know: CrossFit Peter - KTVN | Crossfit | Scoop.it

If you have not heard of CrossFit, it is a hardcore, high intensity, explosive workout. Once the circuit is explained, participants do as many reps as they can in a certain amount of time. Lief Lawson and his wife opened Carson City CrossFit three years ago and as intimidating as this may look, they have coached all fitness levels. "We're inclusive of everybody and anybody," explains Lief. One client, however, has more-than-impressed them though.

Peter Wade was turned on to CrossFit back in August, but had never before stepped into a gym. "No, I was a big wave rider." His life changed while riding waves in Hawaii, however, when he scraped his leg on coral reef. Peter says it led to cellulitis, or a really bad staph infection. "The coral reef infection caused blood clots and the blood clots caused gangrene and the gangrene caused me to get an amputation," explained Peter. He lost his leg below the knee and spent months in a wheelchair before learning to walk again on a prosthetic leg. Since then, Peter has refused to put limitations on himself.

"That's because I don't want to be different than anyone else." He does not expect special treatment either. At Carson City CrossFit he is pushed just like every other athlete. He performs box jumps, toe-to-bar touches, jumps rope and lifts heavy like everyone else. His advanced, custom leg helps him get it done.

Scott Forrester, of Forrester Custom Prosthetics, designed Peter's prosthesis specifically for CrossFit to give him more range of motion. "Another thing is we put a very shock-absorbing foot on the prosthesis, so that it helps absorb shock with box jumps and when he's pounding on it." Scott says watching it work for Peter is incredibly rewarding. "It makes this all worth it." 


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7 Ways to Dominate the Pull-Up

7 Ways to Dominate the Pull-Up | Crossfit | Scoop.it

1. Improve your relative strength!

Pull-up and chin-up performance is determined by your relative strength, which is how strong you are in relation to your body weight. It stands to reason that the more unnecessary body weight you're carrying (i.e., body fat), the weaker you'll feel and the less work you'll be able to complete.

It's like putting on a weighted backpack – you'll do a lot fewer reps with the weighted pack on than without it. Plus, you may not even be able to complete a single full chin-up without assistance.

That imaginary backpack represents the real-life performance limitations of carrying around an extra 5, 10, 20, or more pounds on your body. And, when you lose the extra fat (remove the weighted backpack), your relative strength automatically increases, which means your chin-up and pull-up performance potential automatically increases.

It's for this non-negotiable reality that my single best piece of advice is this: If you want to quickly improve your chin-up and pull-up performance, lose the extra fat.


2. If you need assistance, ditch the bands.

If someone needs assistance with chins and pulls, I'll pick the Gravitron over bands every single time. Bands, by their nature, help you less and less the closer you get to the bar, whereas the Gravitron machine provides consistent assistance throughout the entire range of motion.

In other words, if you need assistance, you don' t just need that assistance at the bottom where you're just hanging from the bar; you need it throughout the entire range of motion, especially in the middle when your humerus is parallel with the bar, as that's the point when the lever arm is the longest.

However, when using band assistance, you get the most help at the bottom, when the band is most stretched, and as you pull yourself up the stretch in the band is progressively reduced so the band helps you less and less. Additionally, if the band offers you sufficient assistance at the top of the range of motion, it's helping way too much in the bottom and mid-ranges of the chin-up or pull-up.

Many people don't have access to a Gravitron machine, which leads me to my second choice: the lat pulldown machine.

I go with lat pull down machine over bands for improving chin-up and pull-up strength for the same reason I like the Gravitron – because it offers consistent resistance throughout the range of motion. In addition, both the Gravitron and pulldown machine allow for smaller adjustments in weight, whereas with bands you really only have three or four different thicknesses to work with.

Don't get me wrong, I feel that bands are absolutely an effective way to add assistance. I've used them as an assistance tool on many occasions and will continue to use them when I feel the situation calls for it. Plus, bands are the most cost effective, space friendly, and travel-friendly means of adding assistance to chin-ups and pull-ups.

So I'm certainly not saying that people shouldn't use bands as a means of adding assistance; I'm simply sharing my hierarchy of assistance tools.

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Explode Your Deadlift

Explode Your Deadlift | Crossfit | Scoop.it
Here's what you need to know...

A new deadlift PR requires a program with a progressive loading scheme that also focuses on becoming more explosive.

This program uses snatch-grip deadlifts, deficit deadlifts, deadlifts from blocks, and conventional deadlifts to train weak points without detraining the specific motor pattern.

Box jumps are performed first before every workout to harness the powerful effects of potentiation and neural recruitment.

For assistance work, choose exercises that address your specific weaknesses.

Nothing beats busting your ass, blowing past sticking points, and hitting a new deadlift PR. This program is designed to do exactly that. This eight-Week plan is for high-level intermediate to advanced level lifters who have a working knowledge of their maximum strength. If you don't have a good idea of your current max, you're not ready and you need to lace up your Chucks, train a few months, and then revisit this program.


Submaximal Training

For years I trained with frequent, near maximal intensity sessions. I thought, "How could a strength-minded individual get stronger without pushing intensity above 90% for multiple sets?"

Injuries, plateaus, and frustrating sessions changed this. Training isn't about putting your body through the most hell possible; it's about maximum benefit while minimizing risk and making consistent progress.

To that end, I now base training maxes on 95% of competition max, similar to the 5/3/1 philosophy. This is to spare the nervous system, train speed, and decrease injury risk.


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Backstory: Free workouts lead to weightlifting, conditioning, teamwork - News & Observer

Backstory: Free workouts lead to weightlifting, conditioning, teamwork - News & Observer | Crossfit | Scoop.it
Backstory: Free workouts lead to weightlifting, conditioning, teamwork
News & Observer
Every day, the gym offers a different CrossFit “WOD” or workout of the day that can be scaled depending on the client's fitness levels.
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