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CrossFit® Competitions - 5 tips on how to prepare

Posted by Talayna Fortunato on

Crossfit Competition Prep advice from Talayna Fortunato
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
One of the more regular inquiries I receive from people goes something like this, “I’m about to do my first CrossFit® competition. Do you have any advice?” The easy response to that is “just have fun!” Of course that’s somewhat of a copout, and even if you’re having a good time, if you feel like you should’ve done better you may not enjoy the experience as much. So in an attempt to avoid copping out on y’all, here are some tips from what I’ve learned… 

1.  Stick to what you know “on” your body! This means the equipment you pack in your gym back, your workout clothes, and your shoes. Unless you’ve tested them in the gym already, game day is not the time to find out. I feel like people for some reason think they’ll have super powers if they put on new “special shoes” sometimes, but the majority of the time they just end up with special blisters or having their concentration taken towards why their feet feel different and away from what they’re doing, competing duh! In terms of equipment, try out hand grips, gloves, knee sleeves, shin guards, wrist wraps, head bands, jump ropes, and any other accessory that makes us look like we’re more elite humans before the competition! Sounds like common sense, but you’d be surprised.


2.  Stick to what you know “in” your body! This is referring to nutrition and supplements. If you don’t drink pre-workout at least occasionally, now is not the time to feel like your heart is going to explode (if there ever is a time). If you usually eat more paleo style, carb loading may have drastic (rather 5 tips on how to prepare for a CrossFit® Competition | WODSuperStore.comgastric) effects! That said, you may need to eat a bit lighter and more energy dense in between multiple events. My advice, try this out before hand as well. Pick a day you can do a double or more session of training with 1-3 hours in between and pack your super powered, nutrient dense snack to eat during your break. Some respond better to whole foods like chicken and sweet potato, others like more quickly processing things like banana, almond butter and honey, and still others prefer very quickly processing things like shakes. It’s all individual, so figure out what’s best for you by being your own guinea pig prior. Key word here is prior to the competition!


3.  Stick with what you know “in” your mind! I’ve seen this time after time. People know how to perform the mechanics of the skills they’re doing and the cues they give themselves in the gym, but for 5 tips on how to prepare for a CrossFit® Competition | WODSuperStore.comsome reason once adrenaline comes into their system all their self talk is a chaotic barrage of “PICK UP, RUN, GO FAST!” The equipment at the competition for the most part hasn’t changed. A 95# bar is still the same, so why change the cues you use to lift it? The key to this is slowing your mind down just enough to give you meaningful mantras you can focus on like “chest up, hips, relax, keep your feet grounded” etc. An added bonus is when you’re focusing on these mantras strongly enough you can actually block out the lying voices of pain that go more like “Suzy is beating us, you need to rest, we’re dying a horrible death right now”.


4.  Stick with what you “can” do! Many times I hear competitors talk beforehand about what they aren’t capable of. Things like, “I can’t do 20 unbroken C2B pull-ups, or I can’t hit a 300# squat clean”, or probably the worst “I can’t beat so and so”. That does no one a bit of good, and sets limits that often times you are capable of surpassing and just don’t know yet. The mind shift here is to focus on what you know you can do. So instead, “I can do 2 sets of 10 C2B pull-ups, I can hit 280# and then I’ll go for more depending on how I feel”, or my favorite “everyone is beatable”, because it’s true! You’re even capable of beating what you “think” you’re capable of, but you have to not set such self-limiting constraints to that potential first!


5.  Take it one event at a time! This one I have trouble with myself. I tend to want to skip ahead in my mind to what’s coming next, or take what might not have gone 100% my way on the last event with 5 tips on how to prepare for a CrossFit® Competition | WODSuperStore.comme into the next one. Both approaches keep you from fully focusing on what you have control over… the NOW! My best competitions I am fully focused on the event at hand. No matter how that one goes I move on with that focus to the next event. One thing that ‘s stuck with me a friend said once was, “Anything can happen in sport. Championships are lost or won all of the time by what happens in the last seconds of the game and upsets are always present.” This truth is why you can never give up on giving your best effort until it’s over, because you just never know. People may stall and then keep failing on a rope climb or HSPU that you wouldn’t have thought could happen in a million years, but it does, and then there’s your opportunity, but it won’t be there if you’ve already given up… so keep digging!


So a lot of my tips are mental and the rest sounds like a bunch of preparation doesn’t it? Many people don’t like that aspect of competing. They just want to go get after it. Take a second though and remember just 5 tips on how to prepare for a CrossFit® Competition | WODSuperStore.comhow many hours you’ve already put into training (your biggest preparation). If you don’t put the icing on the cake with last minute preparations you’re just cheating yourself of a maximal performance. Or one of my favorites is “failing to plan, is planning to fail”. Now sign up for a competition and go get em’… but first make a packing list and bring snacks (everyone loves snacks)

      Read more

      CrossFit® Competitions - 5 tips on how to prepare

      Posted by Talayna Fortunato on

      Crossfit Competition Prep advice from Talayna Fortunato
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      One of the more regular inquiries I receive from people goes something like this, “I’m about to do my first CrossFit® competition. Do you have any advice?” The easy response to that is “just have fun!” Of course that’s somewhat of a copout, and even if you’re having a good time, if you feel like you should’ve done better you may not enjoy the experience as much. So in an attempt to avoid copping out on y’all, here are some tips from what I’ve learned… 

      1.  Stick to what you know “on” your body! This means the equipment you pack in your gym back, your workout clothes, and your shoes. Unless you’ve tested them in the gym already, game day is not the time to find out. I feel like people for some reason think they’ll have super powers if they put on new “special shoes” sometimes, but the majority of the time they just end up with special blisters or having their concentration taken towards why their feet feel different and away from what they’re doing, competing duh! In terms of equipment, try out hand grips, gloves, knee sleeves, shin guards, wrist wraps, head bands, jump ropes, and any other accessory that makes us look like we’re more elite humans before the competition! Sounds like common sense, but you’d be surprised.


      2.  Stick to what you know “in” your body! This is referring to nutrition and supplements. If you don’t drink pre-workout at least occasionally, now is not the time to feel like your heart is going to explode (if there ever is a time). If you usually eat more paleo style, carb loading may have drastic (rather 5 tips on how to prepare for a CrossFit® Competition | WODSuperStore.comgastric) effects! That said, you may need to eat a bit lighter and more energy dense in between multiple events. My advice, try this out before hand as well. Pick a day you can do a double or more session of training with 1-3 hours in between and pack your super powered, nutrient dense snack to eat during your break. Some respond better to whole foods like chicken and sweet potato, others like more quickly processing things like banana, almond butter and honey, and still others prefer very quickly processing things like shakes. It’s all individual, so figure out what’s best for you by being your own guinea pig prior. Key word here is prior to the competition!


      3.  Stick with what you know “in” your mind! I’ve seen this time after time. People know how to perform the mechanics of the skills they’re doing and the cues they give themselves in the gym, but for 5 tips on how to prepare for a CrossFit® Competition | WODSuperStore.comsome reason once adrenaline comes into their system all their self talk is a chaotic barrage of “PICK UP, RUN, GO FAST!” The equipment at the competition for the most part hasn’t changed. A 95# bar is still the same, so why change the cues you use to lift it? The key to this is slowing your mind down just enough to give you meaningful mantras you can focus on like “chest up, hips, relax, keep your feet grounded” etc. An added bonus is when you’re focusing on these mantras strongly enough you can actually block out the lying voices of pain that go more like “Suzy is beating us, you need to rest, we’re dying a horrible death right now”.


      4.  Stick with what you “can” do! Many times I hear competitors talk beforehand about what they aren’t capable of. Things like, “I can’t do 20 unbroken C2B pull-ups, or I can’t hit a 300# squat clean”, or probably the worst “I can’t beat so and so”. That does no one a bit of good, and sets limits that often times you are capable of surpassing and just don’t know yet. The mind shift here is to focus on what you know you can do. So instead, “I can do 2 sets of 10 C2B pull-ups, I can hit 280# and then I’ll go for more depending on how I feel”, or my favorite “everyone is beatable”, because it’s true! You’re even capable of beating what you “think” you’re capable of, but you have to not set such self-limiting constraints to that potential first!


      5.  Take it one event at a time! This one I have trouble with myself. I tend to want to skip ahead in my mind to what’s coming next, or take what might not have gone 100% my way on the last event with 5 tips on how to prepare for a CrossFit® Competition | WODSuperStore.comme into the next one. Both approaches keep you from fully focusing on what you have control over… the NOW! My best competitions I am fully focused on the event at hand. No matter how that one goes I move on with that focus to the next event. One thing that ‘s stuck with me a friend said once was, “Anything can happen in sport. Championships are lost or won all of the time by what happens in the last seconds of the game and upsets are always present.” This truth is why you can never give up on giving your best effort until it’s over, because you just never know. People may stall and then keep failing on a rope climb or HSPU that you wouldn’t have thought could happen in a million years, but it does, and then there’s your opportunity, but it won’t be there if you’ve already given up… so keep digging!


      So a lot of my tips are mental and the rest sounds like a bunch of preparation doesn’t it? Many people don’t like that aspect of competing. They just want to go get after it. Take a second though and remember just 5 tips on how to prepare for a CrossFit® Competition | WODSuperStore.comhow many hours you’ve already put into training (your biggest preparation). If you don’t put the icing on the cake with last minute preparations you’re just cheating yourself of a maximal performance. Or one of my favorites is “failing to plan, is planning to fail”. Now sign up for a competition and go get em’… but first make a packing list and bring snacks (everyone loves snacks)

          Read more


          Test your Fitness on the Miami Waterfront – WODAPALOOZA 2016 Lottery

          Posted by Mark Chandley on

          Test your Fitness on the Miami Waterfront – WODAPALOOZA 2016 Lottery | wodsuperstore.comWodapalooza 2016 is about to get real with the on-line qualifier starting on October 1, 2015.  Every January CrossFit Athletes that are chasing the podiums at great events converge on what has become the best event outside of the CrossFit Games.  Some may even think it’s better as you can’t beat the Miami Waterfront in January – when most of the country is in the middle of winter and snow.

          We will be attending our 4th straight year of vending on the waterfront and the fans, athletes, volunteers and organizers always make this event entertaining and enjoyable.  Multiple stages give you a chance to get up close to some of the top stars in the sport as well as awesome heats of Adaptiv Athletes who give it their all and inspire everyone that sees them.

          With the growth of the event, the format has changed a bit this year in terms of qualifying.  This year the Wodapalooza 2016 Lottery has been implemented and not only do you have to do their on-line qualifier to be considered, the ultimate attendees are chosen via lottery system so that everyone has a shot at getting an invite.

          Learn more about the lottery system here

          Check out this awesome video from the Wodapalooza 2015 – lots of awesome athletes in it!

          Read more

          Test your Fitness on the Miami Waterfront – WODAPALOOZA 2016 Lottery | wodsuperstore.comWodapalooza 2016 is about to get real with the on-line qualifier starting on October 1, 2015.  Every January CrossFit Athletes that are chasing the podiums at great events converge on what has become the best event outside of the CrossFit Games.  Some may even think it’s better as you can’t beat the Miami Waterfront in January – when most of the country is in the middle of winter and snow.

          We will be attending our 4th straight year of vending on the waterfront and the fans, athletes, volunteers and organizers always make this event entertaining and enjoyable.  Multiple stages give you a chance to get up close to some of the top stars in the sport as well as awesome heats of Adaptiv Athletes who give it their all and inspire everyone that sees them.

          With the growth of the event, the format has changed a bit this year in terms of qualifying.  This year the Wodapalooza 2016 Lottery has been implemented and not only do you have to do their on-line qualifier to be considered, the ultimate attendees are chosen via lottery system so that everyone has a shot at getting an invite.

          Learn more about the lottery system here

          Check out this awesome video from the Wodapalooza 2015 – lots of awesome athletes in it!

          Read more


          10 traits you need to be a great Crossfitter and Regional Athlete

          Posted by Talayna Fortunato on

          10 traits you need to be a great Crossfitter and Regional Athlete from WODSuperStore.com

          Good integrity of movement and efficiency. 

          Probably the most important aspects of movement efficiency, or what some call virtuosity, are strength, coordination and mobility.  If one of these facets is missing an athlete's internal power output will be much greater to achieve the same amount of work and they'll be leaking energy with every repetition.  Besides, no one wants to be a leaky athlete that's just gross!

          For example, you can have all of the mobility in the world but without the strength to maintain it you will fall out of a good position under stress.  Conversely, you can be very strong but without the mobility to get into a good front rack position to propel a bar off of, you will always be muscling overhead movements with your shoulders and burning them out quickly.  Coordination comes in play by being able to transition from one efficient position to another using the least amount of energy required.

          Here's a little front squat video demonstrating efficient technique vs. what I like to call the squatting dog technique. This video also proves you don't have to be elite to move well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dehR3d6NuQE

          Developed aerobic base

          This one is easy to explain.  The Open qualifies you for Regionals and it consists of hundreds of repetitions and multiple workouts lasting over 10 minutes.  Without an aerobic base it's hard to maintain a pace throughout workouts such as these.

          Example of what a 10min. workout can do to you.

          High level of skill acquisition

          Most athletes at the Regional level are somewhat gifted in the areas of learning new skills.  They don't have to be elite or get muscle-ups their first day, but in general they should have above average body awareness.  With the number of different skills included in CrossFit® at the Regional level now it's important to be able to learn them in a timely manner just because there are so many to get good at! 

          Proficiency in the olympic lifts

          Like it or not olympic lifting is a very large part of CrossFit® and the best at CrossFit® are in the upper echelon of olympic lifting CrossFitters as well.  Here is a chart showing the % break down Olympic lifting takes up compared to other movements at the Open, Regionals and the Games.

          Full link to the interesting article is here, along with a ton of other statistics.  This guy is obsessed with CrossFit® statistics! http://cfganalysis.blogspot.com/2014/09/a-closer-look-at-2014-games-programming.html

          The ability to go to the dark place mentally and physically.

          When I first started CrossFit® I was not in the greatest shape at my gym but I would continually beat people in better shape than me because I was more willing to hurt.  After enough time of doing this they could no longer beat me even if they had wanted to hurt.  In order to progress you have to want to go faster and get better more than you want the pain to stop.  It's as simple as that.  The other thing is no matter how far you progress if you're going hard enough there will always be a workout that takes you into the dark place.  And the dark place never gets easier, you just get faster there!  


          Adequate recovery.  

          This includes getting enough sleep and a low stress environment outside of the gym.  If you're getting 80% of the sleep you need you can be guaranteed you'll have 80% of the energy you need during your workouts.  You also will not be healing as well because most growth hormone production happens while you're sleeping.  Additionally, if you are in mental anguish outside of the gym and hurting emotionally it's hard to make yourself want to hurt physically.  The body interprets physical and mental stress much in the same way.  It knows when it's dealing with too much and won't allow you to push as hard or else it will start to break down.  

          Don't be that guy.

          Nutrition regimen that works for the individual 

          There is no one way for athletes to eat.  Some need to perform on an empty stomach and others need to be eating something on the start line.  The percentages of macros is also individual, as is total calories.  The one thing that remains consistent though is athletes need to fuel themselves well enough for performance and recovery, and this means not skipping any energy substrate.  You may eat lower fat or low carb, but you can't not eat them and do well.  It's important athletes experiment to find out what's optimal for them, and that doesn't always mean being super clean either.  This will take recording things and observing the effects with some trial and error, but it really does make a difference and is one of the things that is easily controllable when it comes to performance.  I can't control my femur length, but I can control what I put into my body so might as well do it! 

          The ability to focus during a workout and mastering the mental game. 

          Often new CrossFitters get tunnel vision when they start a workout.  You know the look, like deer in headlights, unaware of the drool dripping onto their shirt as they bend forward hands on knees looking at a wall ball that might as well be 100lbs now.  This is about the point where people report that they miscounted (but that's a whole other issue!)  You could replace their wall ball with one 15lbs heavier and they might not even be coherent enough to realize something has changed from the last round and check their equipment.  They may know it's harder but the ability to think within a workout and realize things aren't going as they should and then adapt is imperative to success in competition.  

          I think the mental game in CrossFit® is very under-emphasized.  There is a lot of strategy to many workouts, and a good competitor can focus well enough to implement the strategy or even change it when needed. Instances where this is the case might be a strict or even non-communicative judge.  While you need to be focused on what you're doing you also have to pay attention and if you're getting no-repped figure it out as quickly as you can.  Other mistakes due to lack of focus are things like grabbing the wrong object to run with, transitioning to the wrong exercise, or forgetting the rep scheme all together.  Beyond staying in your own game with all of this, the next level is being able to juggle your own performance while gauging where your competition is.  Are you able to catch them without reaching beyond your own limits and blowing up?  Is the risk worth the reward for trying?  And if you're really good can you push at just the right time to make your competition question themselves and break?  See what I mean by the mental side?

           

          A training program that makes progressive sense.

          This one should be obvious.  There are many skills in CrossFit® and you should be sure you are practicing all of them with enough frequency to be proficient.  There should also be a focus on weaknesses in your program.  Cherry picking will not get you to Regionals, and if by chance it does you can bet the programming will make cherry pure out of you.  That's just how it seems to go, but it's the beauty of CrossFit®.  If you want your deficiencies exposed, go compete.  That said you can't complete hero workout after hero workout without diminishing returns at some point either.  That's the progressive part.  Training should be varied and challenging, not random and demolishing.  

          Desire to achieve and work ethic.

          No one in CrossFit® gets to Regionals without putting in the work anymore.  I have yet to see even the most talented athlete come in and have no weakness their first day or month for that matter.  The work ethic required to turn a weakness into a strength is one of the keys to mastering this sport and differentiates athletes with time.  Mostly because the person with the fewest weakness, not the most or greatest strengths, is usually the overall winner.  

          Working weaknesses is usually not fun either.  That's where the discipline comes in.  Becoming competitive requires the ability to stick to a skill until you master it and the tenacity to stick to a lifting program until you get stronger.  I've seen many class members try muscle-ups and when they don't get them after a few minutes abandon the endeavor.  The approach from someone hell bent on competing is quite different and goes something like this: research on progressions towards a muscle-up, relentless practice of those progressions and the ability to delay gratification while their strength increases until one day they get their muscle-up. Then the process begins again when they want to learn to string them together efficiently.  It's never ending.  You can always add more weight to the bar, make a skill harder in some way, or go faster. 

          That's sort of the beauty of it as well.  You may arrive at game day, but you never truly "arrive" as a progressing athlete and you can't cheat the grind.  It knows if you've worked for it and competition will reveal it.  I've had people surprised before by how hard I work.  I think they view the top athletes in our sport as just being more gifted, and in many other sports that might just be the case. In CrossFit® the top athletes, however gifted, all work as hard as anyone in any other sport.  I've seen a World Champion Decathlete train over the course of months while I was in college on the UT track team and most Games athlete's training is harder.  So hard that you really have to be desirous of it because training with a work ethic that great isn't for everyone!  For those who think it is go back through the list and start checking them off!   

          Read more

          10 traits you need to be a great Crossfitter and Regional Athlete

          Posted by Talayna Fortunato on

          10 traits you need to be a great Crossfitter and Regional Athlete from WODSuperStore.com

          Good integrity of movement and efficiency. 

          Probably the most important aspects of movement efficiency, or what some call virtuosity, are strength, coordination and mobility.  If one of these facets is missing an athlete's internal power output will be much greater to achieve the same amount of work and they'll be leaking energy with every repetition.  Besides, no one wants to be a leaky athlete that's just gross!

          For example, you can have all of the mobility in the world but without the strength to maintain it you will fall out of a good position under stress.  Conversely, you can be very strong but without the mobility to get into a good front rack position to propel a bar off of, you will always be muscling overhead movements with your shoulders and burning them out quickly.  Coordination comes in play by being able to transition from one efficient position to another using the least amount of energy required.

          Here's a little front squat video demonstrating efficient technique vs. what I like to call the squatting dog technique. This video also proves you don't have to be elite to move well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dehR3d6NuQE

          Developed aerobic base

          This one is easy to explain.  The Open qualifies you for Regionals and it consists of hundreds of repetitions and multiple workouts lasting over 10 minutes.  Without an aerobic base it's hard to maintain a pace throughout workouts such as these.

          Example of what a 10min. workout can do to you.

          High level of skill acquisition

          Most athletes at the Regional level are somewhat gifted in the areas of learning new skills.  They don't have to be elite or get muscle-ups their first day, but in general they should have above average body awareness.  With the number of different skills included in CrossFit® at the Regional level now it's important to be able to learn them in a timely manner just because there are so many to get good at! 

          Proficiency in the olympic lifts

          Like it or not olympic lifting is a very large part of CrossFit® and the best at CrossFit® are in the upper echelon of olympic lifting CrossFitters as well.  Here is a chart showing the % break down Olympic lifting takes up compared to other movements at the Open, Regionals and the Games.

          Full link to the interesting article is here, along with a ton of other statistics.  This guy is obsessed with CrossFit® statistics! http://cfganalysis.blogspot.com/2014/09/a-closer-look-at-2014-games-programming.html

          The ability to go to the dark place mentally and physically.

          When I first started CrossFit® I was not in the greatest shape at my gym but I would continually beat people in better shape than me because I was more willing to hurt.  After enough time of doing this they could no longer beat me even if they had wanted to hurt.  In order to progress you have to want to go faster and get better more than you want the pain to stop.  It's as simple as that.  The other thing is no matter how far you progress if you're going hard enough there will always be a workout that takes you into the dark place.  And the dark place never gets easier, you just get faster there!  


          Adequate recovery.  

          This includes getting enough sleep and a low stress environment outside of the gym.  If you're getting 80% of the sleep you need you can be guaranteed you'll have 80% of the energy you need during your workouts.  You also will not be healing as well because most growth hormone production happens while you're sleeping.  Additionally, if you are in mental anguish outside of the gym and hurting emotionally it's hard to make yourself want to hurt physically.  The body interprets physical and mental stress much in the same way.  It knows when it's dealing with too much and won't allow you to push as hard or else it will start to break down.  

          Don't be that guy.

          Nutrition regimen that works for the individual 

          There is no one way for athletes to eat.  Some need to perform on an empty stomach and others need to be eating something on the start line.  The percentages of macros is also individual, as is total calories.  The one thing that remains consistent though is athletes need to fuel themselves well enough for performance and recovery, and this means not skipping any energy substrate.  You may eat lower fat or low carb, but you can't not eat them and do well.  It's important athletes experiment to find out what's optimal for them, and that doesn't always mean being super clean either.  This will take recording things and observing the effects with some trial and error, but it really does make a difference and is one of the things that is easily controllable when it comes to performance.  I can't control my femur length, but I can control what I put into my body so might as well do it! 

          The ability to focus during a workout and mastering the mental game. 

          Often new CrossFitters get tunnel vision when they start a workout.  You know the look, like deer in headlights, unaware of the drool dripping onto their shirt as they bend forward hands on knees looking at a wall ball that might as well be 100lbs now.  This is about the point where people report that they miscounted (but that's a whole other issue!)  You could replace their wall ball with one 15lbs heavier and they might not even be coherent enough to realize something has changed from the last round and check their equipment.  They may know it's harder but the ability to think within a workout and realize things aren't going as they should and then adapt is imperative to success in competition.  

          I think the mental game in CrossFit® is very under-emphasized.  There is a lot of strategy to many workouts, and a good competitor can focus well enough to implement the strategy or even change it when needed. Instances where this is the case might be a strict or even non-communicative judge.  While you need to be focused on what you're doing you also have to pay attention and if you're getting no-repped figure it out as quickly as you can.  Other mistakes due to lack of focus are things like grabbing the wrong object to run with, transitioning to the wrong exercise, or forgetting the rep scheme all together.  Beyond staying in your own game with all of this, the next level is being able to juggle your own performance while gauging where your competition is.  Are you able to catch them without reaching beyond your own limits and blowing up?  Is the risk worth the reward for trying?  And if you're really good can you push at just the right time to make your competition question themselves and break?  See what I mean by the mental side?

           

          A training program that makes progressive sense.

          This one should be obvious.  There are many skills in CrossFit® and you should be sure you are practicing all of them with enough frequency to be proficient.  There should also be a focus on weaknesses in your program.  Cherry picking will not get you to Regionals, and if by chance it does you can bet the programming will make cherry pure out of you.  That's just how it seems to go, but it's the beauty of CrossFit®.  If you want your deficiencies exposed, go compete.  That said you can't complete hero workout after hero workout without diminishing returns at some point either.  That's the progressive part.  Training should be varied and challenging, not random and demolishing.  

          Desire to achieve and work ethic.

          No one in CrossFit® gets to Regionals without putting in the work anymore.  I have yet to see even the most talented athlete come in and have no weakness their first day or month for that matter.  The work ethic required to turn a weakness into a strength is one of the keys to mastering this sport and differentiates athletes with time.  Mostly because the person with the fewest weakness, not the most or greatest strengths, is usually the overall winner.  

          Working weaknesses is usually not fun either.  That's where the discipline comes in.  Becoming competitive requires the ability to stick to a skill until you master it and the tenacity to stick to a lifting program until you get stronger.  I've seen many class members try muscle-ups and when they don't get them after a few minutes abandon the endeavor.  The approach from someone hell bent on competing is quite different and goes something like this: research on progressions towards a muscle-up, relentless practice of those progressions and the ability to delay gratification while their strength increases until one day they get their muscle-up. Then the process begins again when they want to learn to string them together efficiently.  It's never ending.  You can always add more weight to the bar, make a skill harder in some way, or go faster. 

          That's sort of the beauty of it as well.  You may arrive at game day, but you never truly "arrive" as a progressing athlete and you can't cheat the grind.  It knows if you've worked for it and competition will reveal it.  I've had people surprised before by how hard I work.  I think they view the top athletes in our sport as just being more gifted, and in many other sports that might just be the case. In CrossFit® the top athletes, however gifted, all work as hard as anyone in any other sport.  I've seen a World Champion Decathlete train over the course of months while I was in college on the UT track team and most Games athlete's training is harder.  So hard that you really have to be desirous of it because training with a work ethic that great isn't for everyone!  For those who think it is go back through the list and start checking them off!   

          Read more


          Hydration for High-Intensity Exercise in the Heat

          Posted by Ashley Kelly on

          Hydration for High-Intensity Exercise in the Heat  from WODSuperStore.com

          As the temperature rises this summer, being properly hydrated for your workouts is essential for safety and performance. The reality is that MOST people are chronically dehydrated and this can lead to a number of issues. However it is important to be aware that there are dangers associated with over-hydration as well. Regardless of whether you’re guzzling a gallon of water or barely drinking 12oz of water throughout the day, read up, because there is information here for you.

          Dehydration 
          Dehydration is defined as an excessive loss of body-water with an associated disruption of metabolic processes. Severe levels of dehydration can be life-threatening resulting in heat-stroke and possibly even death. While most of us will never reach these levels of dehydration, most of us will experience the performance decreases associated with minor levels of dehydration. Research has shown that even as little as a 2% loss of water can result in a 4% decrease in strength or aerobic performance performance. That means if your 1RM back squat at optimal hydration levels is 300#, then at 2% dehydration your 1RM would be 285# (yes I rounded, but either way it sucks!). Minor levels of dehydration also result in muscle-tissue stiffness leading to a decrease in mobility and an increased risk of muscle-strain injury.


          Dehydration issues

          1. Increased risk of heat-stroke
          2. Decreased strength and endurance performance
          3. Increased muscle-tissue stiffness
          4. Decreased mobility
          5. Increased risk of strain injuries
          Hyper-hydration (hyponatremia)
          Hyponatremia is defined as an electrolyte disturbance where the sodium concentration in the blood is lower than normal. Hyponatremia can result in a range of metabolic and nervous system issues that often resemble dehydration.  Hyponatremia can occur during exercise when athletes are losing excessive amounts of salt and other electrolytes through sweat coupled with drinking excessive quantities of water. This is commonly seen in inexperienced endurance runners who are drink only water at aid stations essentially diluting their blood sodium concentration to below physiological levels.  Hyponatremia is easy to prevent by consuming an electrolyte solution occasionally during exercise.

          Practical Applications
          As an athlete I am constantly aware of the impact my hydration status can have on performance.  I can usually tell that I am dehydrated pretty early in my warm-up, I notice that I’m not sweating very easily and its taking me longer to get loosened up. At this point it is probably too late to get re-hydrated for that training session but my immediate response is to drink an electrolyte solution in an effort to prevent further dehydration.  The reality is that an ounce of prevention is worth 24oz of cure. In other words - deal with your hydration needs before your workout, because once you start its difficult to correct dehydration.
          Dehydration - WOD SuperStore
          Hydration Tips
          1. Drink at least ½ your body-weight in ounces daily (this is #1 most important!) Keeping a water bottle with you throughout the day is a good way to achieve that many ounces.
          2. Utilize electrolyte solutions like NutriForce Balanced Hydration mixed with 12-24oz of water 30-60min before your workout to help prevent both dehydration and hyponatremia
          3. Creatine monohydrate MAY increase total-body water and prevent dehydration during exercise in the heat, however this is highly individual
          4. Research shows people drink more cold water during exercise versus room temperature, bring ice water to your workout to keep it cold
          5. If you are exercising for extended periods of time (90min+) consider adding an electrolyte solution to your water during exercise
          6. The more you sweat, the more water you need to drink.  In order to quantify how much water you need to replace, weigh yourself before and after your workout and drink 16oz of water for each pound lost during exercise
          7. Avoid alcohol immediately post-workout as alcohol will contribute to dehydration, deal with your hydration needs first, then enjoy the post-WOD festivities
          8. Caffeine in your pre-workout drink is a diuretic, if you’re consuming a caffeine infused pre-workout make sure you’re increasing your water consumption

          Kyle Ruth M.S., CSCS, CFL-1, USAW-L1
          WOD SuperStore Athlete
          President: Accelerate Athletics Inc.
          Owner: Crossfit LKN

            Read more

            Hydration for High-Intensity Exercise in the Heat

            Posted by Ashley Kelly on

            Hydration for High-Intensity Exercise in the Heat  from WODSuperStore.com

            As the temperature rises this summer, being properly hydrated for your workouts is essential for safety and performance. The reality is that MOST people are chronically dehydrated and this can lead to a number of issues. However it is important to be aware that there are dangers associated with over-hydration as well. Regardless of whether you’re guzzling a gallon of water or barely drinking 12oz of water throughout the day, read up, because there is information here for you.

            Dehydration 
            Dehydration is defined as an excessive loss of body-water with an associated disruption of metabolic processes. Severe levels of dehydration can be life-threatening resulting in heat-stroke and possibly even death. While most of us will never reach these levels of dehydration, most of us will experience the performance decreases associated with minor levels of dehydration. Research has shown that even as little as a 2% loss of water can result in a 4% decrease in strength or aerobic performance performance. That means if your 1RM back squat at optimal hydration levels is 300#, then at 2% dehydration your 1RM would be 285# (yes I rounded, but either way it sucks!). Minor levels of dehydration also result in muscle-tissue stiffness leading to a decrease in mobility and an increased risk of muscle-strain injury.


            Dehydration issues

            1. Increased risk of heat-stroke
            2. Decreased strength and endurance performance
            3. Increased muscle-tissue stiffness
            4. Decreased mobility
            5. Increased risk of strain injuries
            Hyper-hydration (hyponatremia)
            Hyponatremia is defined as an electrolyte disturbance where the sodium concentration in the blood is lower than normal. Hyponatremia can result in a range of metabolic and nervous system issues that often resemble dehydration.  Hyponatremia can occur during exercise when athletes are losing excessive amounts of salt and other electrolytes through sweat coupled with drinking excessive quantities of water. This is commonly seen in inexperienced endurance runners who are drink only water at aid stations essentially diluting their blood sodium concentration to below physiological levels.  Hyponatremia is easy to prevent by consuming an electrolyte solution occasionally during exercise.

            Practical Applications
            As an athlete I am constantly aware of the impact my hydration status can have on performance.  I can usually tell that I am dehydrated pretty early in my warm-up, I notice that I’m not sweating very easily and its taking me longer to get loosened up. At this point it is probably too late to get re-hydrated for that training session but my immediate response is to drink an electrolyte solution in an effort to prevent further dehydration.  The reality is that an ounce of prevention is worth 24oz of cure. In other words - deal with your hydration needs before your workout, because once you start its difficult to correct dehydration.
            Dehydration - WOD SuperStore
            Hydration Tips
            1. Drink at least ½ your body-weight in ounces daily (this is #1 most important!) Keeping a water bottle with you throughout the day is a good way to achieve that many ounces.
            2. Utilize electrolyte solutions like NutriForce Balanced Hydration mixed with 12-24oz of water 30-60min before your workout to help prevent both dehydration and hyponatremia
            3. Creatine monohydrate MAY increase total-body water and prevent dehydration during exercise in the heat, however this is highly individual
            4. Research shows people drink more cold water during exercise versus room temperature, bring ice water to your workout to keep it cold
            5. If you are exercising for extended periods of time (90min+) consider adding an electrolyte solution to your water during exercise
            6. The more you sweat, the more water you need to drink.  In order to quantify how much water you need to replace, weigh yourself before and after your workout and drink 16oz of water for each pound lost during exercise
            7. Avoid alcohol immediately post-workout as alcohol will contribute to dehydration, deal with your hydration needs first, then enjoy the post-WOD festivities
            8. Caffeine in your pre-workout drink is a diuretic, if you’re consuming a caffeine infused pre-workout make sure you’re increasing your water consumption

            Kyle Ruth M.S., CSCS, CFL-1, USAW-L1
            WOD SuperStore Athlete
            President: Accelerate Athletics Inc.
            Owner: Crossfit LKN

              Read more


              Gear Essentials for the new Fitness Athlete

              Posted by Billy Doherty on

              Gear Essentials for the new Fitness Athlete from WODSuperStore.com

              So you took the plunge and Joined a box.  No matter if you have sights on being the next Rich Froning or Sam Briggs or just want to become the next success weight loss story in your box, there are a few things you will need on your journey. 

              From our experience, most newbies don’t buy a ton of gear up front but I think it’s important to share a few things that you could benefit as you begin your new fitness regimen.  The investment will be worth it and make the experience better than it will already be. 

              Jump Rope

               First and foremost, you need a good jump rope to learn your double unders.  We all know how to jump rope but these double unders seem to be allusive to some and come quick for others.  We recommend that you start with a jump rope that is “heavier” meaning the rope is thicker and has some weight to it.  They key here is that the rope will provide some feedback so you know where it is.  It’s about timing so connecting the placement of the rope with to your brain helps the process.  There are a few that work well for learning double unders.  The Buddy Lee Rope Master and the Jump N Rope R2 Trainer are great for learning the double unders. 

              Once you become proficient with them, it’s time to move to a “speed rope” that has a lighter rope with much less feedback.   These ropes often have wire ropes or coated wire ropes.   They come with a variety of handles and can really make a difference when looking to string together a big set of double unders.  We are highlighting the RPM Jump Rope and JumpNRope R1.

              Post WOD supplement

              For the first few weeks of your new workout, your muscles will be sore.  If you keep pushing yourself along in the sport that may never go away.  Post workout supplements a great way to combat the soreness.   You may think this is only for elite athletes but you will get tremendous benefit and feel better in your next training session.  There are a lot of different brands out there but going with the “clean” ingredient list is key to maximizing your experience.  Two great options are the Nutriforce Sports Natural Amino (comes in fruit punch and watermelon) as well as the Xendurance Extreme Endurance.  Your body will thank you.

              Hand Care

              One of the next areas that every Athlete endures is the wear and tear on your hands.  From lifting the barbell to hitting the pull up bar, there is always something tugging at your grip.  There are all kinds of options here and were going to talk about two of them, prevention and maintenance. 

              When it comes to preventing rips on your hands, there are two products that we want to share with you.  The first are JAW Grips.  These grips are made of fabric, don’t bunch up when you’re on the bar and can be easily used lifting as well as swinging from the bar.  The second products are the Natural Grips.  These are handmade re-usable gymnastic type grips that are great for protecting the hands when you’re swinging from the bar.  They need to be attached with some tape around the wrist and without a doubt the best product for that is Goat Tape.

              The next area is maintenance.  Even with the grips, you will from time to time have calluses form or small irritations develop on your hands.  There is one product that provides you everything from prevention to care.  It’s the RIPT Skin 3 Phase system.  If you just don’t want to take the time to maintain your hands, check out the CrossFIXE hands product.  Great for healing and getting your hands back on track quickly when you do have some issues.

              As you become more immersed into the Sport of Fitness® you will find more and more gear that will be helpful.  We will cover more on that in future articles.  For now, good luck on your journey to better fitness!

              Read more

              Gear Essentials for the new Fitness Athlete

              Posted by Billy Doherty on

              Gear Essentials for the new Fitness Athlete from WODSuperStore.com

              So you took the plunge and Joined a box.  No matter if you have sights on being the next Rich Froning or Sam Briggs or just want to become the next success weight loss story in your box, there are a few things you will need on your journey. 

              From our experience, most newbies don’t buy a ton of gear up front but I think it’s important to share a few things that you could benefit as you begin your new fitness regimen.  The investment will be worth it and make the experience better than it will already be. 

              Jump Rope

               First and foremost, you need a good jump rope to learn your double unders.  We all know how to jump rope but these double unders seem to be allusive to some and come quick for others.  We recommend that you start with a jump rope that is “heavier” meaning the rope is thicker and has some weight to it.  They key here is that the rope will provide some feedback so you know where it is.  It’s about timing so connecting the placement of the rope with to your brain helps the process.  There are a few that work well for learning double unders.  The Buddy Lee Rope Master and the Jump N Rope R2 Trainer are great for learning the double unders. 

              Once you become proficient with them, it’s time to move to a “speed rope” that has a lighter rope with much less feedback.   These ropes often have wire ropes or coated wire ropes.   They come with a variety of handles and can really make a difference when looking to string together a big set of double unders.  We are highlighting the RPM Jump Rope and JumpNRope R1.

              Post WOD supplement

              For the first few weeks of your new workout, your muscles will be sore.  If you keep pushing yourself along in the sport that may never go away.  Post workout supplements a great way to combat the soreness.   You may think this is only for elite athletes but you will get tremendous benefit and feel better in your next training session.  There are a lot of different brands out there but going with the “clean” ingredient list is key to maximizing your experience.  Two great options are the Nutriforce Sports Natural Amino (comes in fruit punch and watermelon) as well as the Xendurance Extreme Endurance.  Your body will thank you.

              Hand Care

              One of the next areas that every Athlete endures is the wear and tear on your hands.  From lifting the barbell to hitting the pull up bar, there is always something tugging at your grip.  There are all kinds of options here and were going to talk about two of them, prevention and maintenance. 

              When it comes to preventing rips on your hands, there are two products that we want to share with you.  The first are JAW Grips.  These grips are made of fabric, don’t bunch up when you’re on the bar and can be easily used lifting as well as swinging from the bar.  The second products are the Natural Grips.  These are handmade re-usable gymnastic type grips that are great for protecting the hands when you’re swinging from the bar.  They need to be attached with some tape around the wrist and without a doubt the best product for that is Goat Tape.

              The next area is maintenance.  Even with the grips, you will from time to time have calluses form or small irritations develop on your hands.  There is one product that provides you everything from prevention to care.  It’s the RIPT Skin 3 Phase system.  If you just don’t want to take the time to maintain your hands, check out the CrossFIXE hands product.  Great for healing and getting your hands back on track quickly when you do have some issues.

              As you become more immersed into the Sport of Fitness® you will find more and more gear that will be helpful.  We will cover more on that in future articles.  For now, good luck on your journey to better fitness!

              Read more