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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


      Top 10 Mistakes CrossFitters Make

      Posted by Talayna Fortunato on

       

      Top 10 Mistakes CrossFitters Make by WODSuperStore.com

      Top 10 Mistakes CrossFitters Make

      1. Not Warming Up Properly

      Everyday it takes me around 30 minutes to warm-up. I start with easy cardio for 5-10 min. then do some light foam rolling and stretching, leg swings, lunges, rotator cuff exercises, and finally movements specific to the workout I’m about to do. My warm-up has gotten more extensive (and longer) with each year I do CrossFit®. Almost to the point that it started to annoy me, and then I remembered back to my gymnastics days. Ever since I was on team at age 8, I remember our warm-ups taking us at least 30 minutes with all of the stretching and other calisthenics we did. Even though we were young and healthy I believe the gymnastics coaches knew what they were doing to keep us that way. With the intensity of competitive CrossFit® it’s imperative to put in the time for an adequate warm-up and mobility work. If you don’t put in the time now you’ll put it in later when you have an injury.

      1. Eating too Strict of a Paleo Diet

      If you are a recreational CrossFitter following a Paleo lifestyle is probably nutritionally adequate and a good way of maintaining longevity and health. However, if you are a competitive level athlete and training intensely more than an hour a day your main source of energy is carbohydrates and strict paleo simply does not provide enough sources of them. Now I’m not saying to go out and carb load on pasta, bread, or sugar. That’s just an inflammatory insulin bomb. I am saying look for complex sources of carbohydrates from plants and low glycemic grains to add into your diet, especially when training is at its peak. During an interview at the Games every individual athlete was asked who follows a paleo diet, and not a single one raised their hand.

      1. Sacrificing Technique and Movement Efficiency for Intensity and Eventual Technical Breakdown.

      CrossFit gets results due to the intensity of the workouts, but that doesn't mean throw all good form out the window. For example if your back starts rounding when you’re pulling from the ground or you’re chasing wildly after snatches, it’s time to put the bar down until you can regain efficiency. Your back and other body parts will thank you later! Also if you’re compromising range of motion enough to miss consecutive reps, take a quick rest before you go again. Otherwise you’re ingraining poor habits and when you reach that place of pain and fatigue again in competition guess what’ll happen… No Rep!

      1. Doing Volume for Volume’s Sake without Intent.

      CrossFitters are notorious for thinking that when they’re getting ready to compete more is better. This mindset leads to the performance of multiple hero WoDs in a day with the intent of “loading”, when what it really does is break the athlete down with laborious repetition and impede lasting gains. More is not better, better is better. Having a purpose, i.e. knowing the energy system and muscular groups you’re trying to tax during a workout allows you to work smart and hard, not just hard. Again, your body will also thank you later!

      1. Cherry Picking Workouts and/or Jumping Around Programs

      This is for the CrossFitter that walks into the gym and decides when they get there what workout they’re going to do based on what their gym posts and which one of the blogs they follow appears best that day. Blogs are written for a reason, with progressive intent to allow your workouts to build upon themselves for measurable improvements in your numbers. If you jump from program to program, weekly or even daily, that progress is completely short-circuited. Not to mention you’re probably doing mostly what you’re good at and not working your weaknesses enough.

      1. Following a Strength Progression that Doesn't Makes Sense or One Without Any Progression at All.

      The body adapts to load by responding to meet the load in the form of muscular hypertrophy. There have been many studies showing the best percentages of max load, sets, reps, and frequency to produce optimal gains without under or overloading the athlete. These studies have produced named strength progression tables, squat cycles, and the like. You can reinvent the wheel and use yourself as a guinea pig to do your own research, or you can find a viable progression and just follow it. I’ll give you one guess what most long-term successful athletes do. One other thought to keep in mind is how much loading your conditioning work is providing.  An example would be making your conditioning heavy on the weights during the heaviest week of a strength loading cycle (no bueno).

      1. Forgetting to Supplement Your Program with Basics, Strict Strength, and Supplemental Work.

      Just because you can kip almost any movement in CrossFit, doesn’t mean it’s in your best interest to do so all of the time. Working strict strength with things like dumbbell press or tempo bench press can do wonders for the strength of your jerk or stamina of kipping handstand push-ups. Sometimes to get better at a complex movement you need better strength with the basics as well. Think along the lines how important the hollow position is during kipping in general and you’ll see why doing hollow rocks would have carry over into almost all gymnastics movements. Basic skills and strict strength also overlap with supplemental work, which can be a great way to address muscular imbalances and push past plateaus. Supplemental work is also a staple in the work of some of the strongest people on the planet who employ Loui Simmon’s conjugate method.

      1. Waiting >90min. to Replenish After a Hard Training Session or Only Replenishing Protein.

      The fact is the majority of CrossFitters do not need a liquid protein shake post-workout. If you are just doing CrossFit as part of a healthy lifestyle or you are trying to decrease body fat, then a meal consisting of lean protein, nutrient-dense carbs (vegetables) and healthy fat is best post-workout. However, if you are participating in CrossFit as a competitive athlete and are completing multiple grueling and taxing workouts several days per week (and many times twice per day), your post-workout nutrition becomes vital to your success. Although this is a very individualized thing, there are some constants; the first being that you need more than just protein after each session. Protein combined with carbohydrates is essential immediately following a workout - it's just a matter of how much of each based on the individual. The ideal ratio of carbs:protein can typically run anywhere from 2:1 to 4:1 depending on the athlete's body composition and type of training session just completed. The source of carbohydrates should be something that will work quickly with minimal interference. Some examples would be maltodextrin or sugar. The priority is timing and you want to make sure this liquid shake is taken immediately after the session is completed in order to replenish your glycogen stores decreased from training and spark muscle protein synthesis. Approximately one hour after drinking this shake, you should then consume a whole foods meal consisting of lean protein and carbohydrates. A great example of that would be some grilled chicken and a sweet potato. Again, the amounts of protein and carbs are extremely individualized. It doesn’t have to be the size of a traditional dinner, and each athlete must find their ideal ratio, but the constant is timing and the combining of the two macronutrients.

      1. Skimping on Sleep and Skipping Rest Days

      Nearly as important as what you’re doing in the gym is what you’re doing outside of the gym. The ability to recover is instrumental to seeing consistent gains in athletic performance. Growth Hormone (GH) is an essential part of that recovery. It allows the body’s ability to repair itself after intense exercise through muscular hypertrophy and plays a significant role in the maintenance of lean body mass. Nearly 50% of GH secretion occurs during the third and fourth NREM sleep stages. If you are regularly skimping on sleep by 2 or more hours you are missing the body’s prime production time of GH, and thereby not recovering as you could or should be. Basically all the effort you put into your squat cycle was just thwarted by a significant percentage if you were sleep deprived during it. Another important aspect of recovery is taking needed rest days. Continuing to workout through a certain level of fatigue or soreness can actually be counterproductive long term.   

           10.  Asking for Advice and Then Not Implementing it.

      See 1-9

      Read more

      Top 10 Mistakes CrossFitters Make

      Posted by Talayna Fortunato on

       

      Top 10 Mistakes CrossFitters Make by WODSuperStore.com

      Top 10 Mistakes CrossFitters Make

      1. Not Warming Up Properly

      Everyday it takes me around 30 minutes to warm-up. I start with easy cardio for 5-10 min. then do some light foam rolling and stretching, leg swings, lunges, rotator cuff exercises, and finally movements specific to the workout I’m about to do. My warm-up has gotten more extensive (and longer) with each year I do CrossFit®. Almost to the point that it started to annoy me, and then I remembered back to my gymnastics days. Ever since I was on team at age 8, I remember our warm-ups taking us at least 30 minutes with all of the stretching and other calisthenics we did. Even though we were young and healthy I believe the gymnastics coaches knew what they were doing to keep us that way. With the intensity of competitive CrossFit® it’s imperative to put in the time for an adequate warm-up and mobility work. If you don’t put in the time now you’ll put it in later when you have an injury.

      1. Eating too Strict of a Paleo Diet

      If you are a recreational CrossFitter following a Paleo lifestyle is probably nutritionally adequate and a good way of maintaining longevity and health. However, if you are a competitive level athlete and training intensely more than an hour a day your main source of energy is carbohydrates and strict paleo simply does not provide enough sources of them. Now I’m not saying to go out and carb load on pasta, bread, or sugar. That’s just an inflammatory insulin bomb. I am saying look for complex sources of carbohydrates from plants and low glycemic grains to add into your diet, especially when training is at its peak. During an interview at the Games every individual athlete was asked who follows a paleo diet, and not a single one raised their hand.

      1. Sacrificing Technique and Movement Efficiency for Intensity and Eventual Technical Breakdown.

      CrossFit gets results due to the intensity of the workouts, but that doesn't mean throw all good form out the window. For example if your back starts rounding when you’re pulling from the ground or you’re chasing wildly after snatches, it’s time to put the bar down until you can regain efficiency. Your back and other body parts will thank you later! Also if you’re compromising range of motion enough to miss consecutive reps, take a quick rest before you go again. Otherwise you’re ingraining poor habits and when you reach that place of pain and fatigue again in competition guess what’ll happen… No Rep!

      1. Doing Volume for Volume’s Sake without Intent.

      CrossFitters are notorious for thinking that when they’re getting ready to compete more is better. This mindset leads to the performance of multiple hero WoDs in a day with the intent of “loading”, when what it really does is break the athlete down with laborious repetition and impede lasting gains. More is not better, better is better. Having a purpose, i.e. knowing the energy system and muscular groups you’re trying to tax during a workout allows you to work smart and hard, not just hard. Again, your body will also thank you later!

      1. Cherry Picking Workouts and/or Jumping Around Programs

      This is for the CrossFitter that walks into the gym and decides when they get there what workout they’re going to do based on what their gym posts and which one of the blogs they follow appears best that day. Blogs are written for a reason, with progressive intent to allow your workouts to build upon themselves for measurable improvements in your numbers. If you jump from program to program, weekly or even daily, that progress is completely short-circuited. Not to mention you’re probably doing mostly what you’re good at and not working your weaknesses enough.

      1. Following a Strength Progression that Doesn't Makes Sense or One Without Any Progression at All.

      The body adapts to load by responding to meet the load in the form of muscular hypertrophy. There have been many studies showing the best percentages of max load, sets, reps, and frequency to produce optimal gains without under or overloading the athlete. These studies have produced named strength progression tables, squat cycles, and the like. You can reinvent the wheel and use yourself as a guinea pig to do your own research, or you can find a viable progression and just follow it. I’ll give you one guess what most long-term successful athletes do. One other thought to keep in mind is how much loading your conditioning work is providing.  An example would be making your conditioning heavy on the weights during the heaviest week of a strength loading cycle (no bueno).

      1. Forgetting to Supplement Your Program with Basics, Strict Strength, and Supplemental Work.

      Just because you can kip almost any movement in CrossFit, doesn’t mean it’s in your best interest to do so all of the time. Working strict strength with things like dumbbell press or tempo bench press can do wonders for the strength of your jerk or stamina of kipping handstand push-ups. Sometimes to get better at a complex movement you need better strength with the basics as well. Think along the lines how important the hollow position is during kipping in general and you’ll see why doing hollow rocks would have carry over into almost all gymnastics movements. Basic skills and strict strength also overlap with supplemental work, which can be a great way to address muscular imbalances and push past plateaus. Supplemental work is also a staple in the work of some of the strongest people on the planet who employ Loui Simmon’s conjugate method.

      1. Waiting >90min. to Replenish After a Hard Training Session or Only Replenishing Protein.

      The fact is the majority of CrossFitters do not need a liquid protein shake post-workout. If you are just doing CrossFit as part of a healthy lifestyle or you are trying to decrease body fat, then a meal consisting of lean protein, nutrient-dense carbs (vegetables) and healthy fat is best post-workout. However, if you are participating in CrossFit as a competitive athlete and are completing multiple grueling and taxing workouts several days per week (and many times twice per day), your post-workout nutrition becomes vital to your success. Although this is a very individualized thing, there are some constants; the first being that you need more than just protein after each session. Protein combined with carbohydrates is essential immediately following a workout - it's just a matter of how much of each based on the individual. The ideal ratio of carbs:protein can typically run anywhere from 2:1 to 4:1 depending on the athlete's body composition and type of training session just completed. The source of carbohydrates should be something that will work quickly with minimal interference. Some examples would be maltodextrin or sugar. The priority is timing and you want to make sure this liquid shake is taken immediately after the session is completed in order to replenish your glycogen stores decreased from training and spark muscle protein synthesis. Approximately one hour after drinking this shake, you should then consume a whole foods meal consisting of lean protein and carbohydrates. A great example of that would be some grilled chicken and a sweet potato. Again, the amounts of protein and carbs are extremely individualized. It doesn’t have to be the size of a traditional dinner, and each athlete must find their ideal ratio, but the constant is timing and the combining of the two macronutrients.

      1. Skimping on Sleep and Skipping Rest Days

      Nearly as important as what you’re doing in the gym is what you’re doing outside of the gym. The ability to recover is instrumental to seeing consistent gains in athletic performance. Growth Hormone (GH) is an essential part of that recovery. It allows the body’s ability to repair itself after intense exercise through muscular hypertrophy and plays a significant role in the maintenance of lean body mass. Nearly 50% of GH secretion occurs during the third and fourth NREM sleep stages. If you are regularly skimping on sleep by 2 or more hours you are missing the body’s prime production time of GH, and thereby not recovering as you could or should be. Basically all the effort you put into your squat cycle was just thwarted by a significant percentage if you were sleep deprived during it. Another important aspect of recovery is taking needed rest days. Continuing to workout through a certain level of fatigue or soreness can actually be counterproductive long term.   

           10.  Asking for Advice and Then Not Implementing it.

      See 1-9

      Read more


      How do you keep track of your AMRAP rounds or reps when doing those spicy CrossFit WOD’s?

      Posted by Mark Chandley on

       

      Since I started doing CrossFit I have always been challenged by keeping track of those AMRAPS or worse yet, a WOD like the dreaded Barbara; killing myself for 5 minutes, then a 3 minute rest.  When did I start?  Wait, when did I finish?  Oh man, I don’t want to cheat myself here!

      At least with something like Fight Gone Bad the whole group is on the clock so the coaches are clear about when it’s time to change and when your rest is over. 

      Here are a few methods I have discussed or observed in our box over the years:

      • Steal Trap – Some CrossFitters can just remember their rounds (or at least they say they can).  I can’t comprehend this method as when I am gasping for air my brain shuts down.  Well, actually it starts the good cop, bad cop routine.  You know what I am saying . . . “stop, you can’t breathe and this sucks” followed by “come on, just keep moving, they always say you will pass out before you would die.”  The last thing I can think about is what round I am on or how many reps I am on after the 3rd round.
      • Buddy System – With this approach, you need to find someone that is slightly higher in fitness level to you AND is employing some system other than the buddy system (THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!).   Now this isn't a fair proof system but for an AMRAP with rounds, this can be very effective and quite mindless.  Just keep yourself aware of how far behind you are of your “pace car” and when you complete the WOD, just walk over and ask them how many rounds they did.  You then add or subtract where you thought you were against them.  Not the most scientific but it can work.
      • Chalk – This is my preferred method but the down side is obvious, you need to stop and keep track of your reps or rounds.  A trick to cut down some time out of the WOD would be to keep track of every two rounds at a time.  I sometimes find myself prolonging the time it takes to mark two hashes on the floor. 
      • “Guestimate” – Believe it or not, I have seen this done.  It’s the least effective method but for those who are there purely for the workout and not the competitive nature of CrossFit, it can work.  I don’t recommend it but needed to include it.  It’s actually anti CrossFit if you ask me.

      Outside of competitions where the judge counts your reps (and will NO REP you from time to time) I don’t know that any of these are fool proof.  Oh, and one last tip, never be fooled by the whiteboard.  If the workout looks short, NEVER assume those are easier as the WOD always wins!

      Read more

       

      Since I started doing CrossFit I have always been challenged by keeping track of those AMRAPS or worse yet, a WOD like the dreaded Barbara; killing myself for 5 minutes, then a 3 minute rest.  When did I start?  Wait, when did I finish?  Oh man, I don’t want to cheat myself here!

      At least with something like Fight Gone Bad the whole group is on the clock so the coaches are clear about when it’s time to change and when your rest is over. 

      Here are a few methods I have discussed or observed in our box over the years:

      • Steal Trap – Some CrossFitters can just remember their rounds (or at least they say they can).  I can’t comprehend this method as when I am gasping for air my brain shuts down.  Well, actually it starts the good cop, bad cop routine.  You know what I am saying . . . “stop, you can’t breathe and this sucks” followed by “come on, just keep moving, they always say you will pass out before you would die.”  The last thing I can think about is what round I am on or how many reps I am on after the 3rd round.
      • Buddy System – With this approach, you need to find someone that is slightly higher in fitness level to you AND is employing some system other than the buddy system (THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!).   Now this isn't a fair proof system but for an AMRAP with rounds, this can be very effective and quite mindless.  Just keep yourself aware of how far behind you are of your “pace car” and when you complete the WOD, just walk over and ask them how many rounds they did.  You then add or subtract where you thought you were against them.  Not the most scientific but it can work.
      • Chalk – This is my preferred method but the down side is obvious, you need to stop and keep track of your reps or rounds.  A trick to cut down some time out of the WOD would be to keep track of every two rounds at a time.  I sometimes find myself prolonging the time it takes to mark two hashes on the floor. 
      • “Guestimate” – Believe it or not, I have seen this done.  It’s the least effective method but for those who are there purely for the workout and not the competitive nature of CrossFit, it can work.  I don’t recommend it but needed to include it.  It’s actually anti CrossFit if you ask me.

      Outside of competitions where the judge counts your reps (and will NO REP you from time to time) I don’t know that any of these are fool proof.  Oh, and one last tip, never be fooled by the whiteboard.  If the workout looks short, NEVER assume those are easier as the WOD always wins!

      Read more


      Outlaw Open and WODSuperStore.com

      Posted by Mark Chandley on

      We are excited to be packing for our first official sponsorship of a Crossfit Competition, the Outlaw Open, with a booth and everything.  We are expecting this to be a great group of CrossFitters including many Crossfit Games competitors.  WODSuperStore.com is proud to be sponsoring Becky Conzelman at the Outlaw Open.  Becky finished 14th in the 2012 Crossfit Games and is expected to do well this weekend. 

      If your going to be at the event, be sure to stop by and grab your free roll of Goat Tape, the stickiest tape you have ever used.  It's perfect for the sweaty hands you get while crushing your WOD!  In addition, we will have some Trigger Point Therapy products available to demo as well as were giving away $100 in WODbucks at our booth.  All you have to do is sign up at the booth.

      Be sure to follow us on Instagram as well as check our Facebook page as we will be updating everyone with real time photos and posts about the competition.

      Here is a little intro to Goat Tape for your viewing pleasure.  

      Goat Tape from George Kunhardt on Vimeo.


      Read more

      Outlaw Open and WODSuperStore.com

      Posted by Mark Chandley on

      We are excited to be packing for our first official sponsorship of a Crossfit Competition, the Outlaw Open, with a booth and everything.  We are expecting this to be a great group of CrossFitters including many Crossfit Games competitors.  WODSuperStore.com is proud to be sponsoring Becky Conzelman at the Outlaw Open.  Becky finished 14th in the 2012 Crossfit Games and is expected to do well this weekend. 

      If your going to be at the event, be sure to stop by and grab your free roll of Goat Tape, the stickiest tape you have ever used.  It's perfect for the sweaty hands you get while crushing your WOD!  In addition, we will have some Trigger Point Therapy products available to demo as well as were giving away $100 in WODbucks at our booth.  All you have to do is sign up at the booth.

      Be sure to follow us on Instagram as well as check our Facebook page as we will be updating everyone with real time photos and posts about the competition.

      Here is a little intro to Goat Tape for your viewing pleasure.  

      Goat Tape from George Kunhardt on Vimeo.


      Read more