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Mechanics, Consistency, Intensity
Resilience CrossFit's primary mission has always been to help our members get strong and healthy for the rest of their lives, while having fun along the journey. Our primary service to help people reach and exceed their health and fitness goals is providing top notch programming and coaching. Over the past 6+ years, our programming has gone through various phases, primarily because of who has been the direct mastermind behind the programming at the time. Most recently, Jon Moreno has been putting his twist on RCF's programming to help us all continue to make physical and mental progress.
Jon took the reigns about 3+ months ago now, and we thought it would be a good time to reflect and review what we've experienced in our recent past, and discuss what we can expect in the near future with regards to our programming (in layman's terms at least, so as not to get too geeky). Here we go!
For the first few months, I wanted to take a step back from the usage of barbells in conditioning workouts. I love barbells, and I know personally how effective they are in conditioning when executed properly. However, I feel that a lot of the time they can have a negative affect on a workout as far as intensity goes when the technicality of a movement gets in the way.
So the goal of the first few months was to utilize the barbells in strength pieces to allow everyone to build, and fine-tune, their mechanics and build strength properly. The conditioning pieces have focused on the combinations of more gymnastics (body weight), pure cardio, and KB/DB/Strongman/etc. movements so as not to detract what we just worked on with our barbell work in our strength pieces. These types of "simple" movements combined in long, short, and interval time domains, yields great results on someone's ability to breath, move, and pace. And so that has been my hope up to this point, is that people have noticed that their overall, pure conditioning has improved and they feel like their wind is with them a little more.
With that said, as we come up on almost the 4 month mark, we will begin to see a little more barbell movements sprinkled into the conditioning workouts in the upcoming months. My hope is that as we re-introduce the barbells into the conditioning pieces, that people can rely on improved form and technique and have better lung-capacity to push a little harder, while staying safer/healthier.
I absolutely love this approach. I know I've stated this many a time over the years, and it is actually what CrossFit HQ preaches in their CF Level 1 course: Mechanics, Consistency, Intensity. Meaning work on your mechanics of the movement first, then when you can show proper mechanics consistently over many many repetitions and your efficiency is fluid, then, AND ONLY THEN, can you add intensity in performing that movement. This is the method and approach you should take when thinking about performing ANY movement. (I will refrain from going on a rant/tangent here now, but this is a HUGE message)
So I want to finish this post by thanking Jon for taking the time to elaborate on his vision for our programming for all of us. Hopefully you enjoyed the quick read and getting a better understanding for what's going on with our programming currently.
I hope to make more posts like this in the future, whenever we have a new focus in our programming, to keep everyone informed. I think messages like these will help everyone be able to understand the "why" behind some of the things we are doing, and also be able to explain to others the Resilience method to our madness.
That's all for now. Stay Strong and Be Resilient Fam!
Hey guys! I’m very honored and excited to be doing all the programming related to Resilience CrossFit. I thoroughly enjoy being the reason why you feel like puking after a workout, so don’t hesitate to tell me you hate me, haha.
I wanted to take a little time to explain the programming and briefly describe some ideas behind it. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me and ask any questions or voice any opinions. I fully welcome it!
For the most part you will see 4 week cycles on certain movements such as Deadlifts, OH pressing, and Squatting. This is to ensure that you are getting time to properly and effectively practice certain ranges of motion while getting variance of movement.
Olympic lifting will vary weekly. Each week will differ between the clean, snatch, and clean + Jerk at some point. You can expect both power and squat movements; and also expect those movements that weren’t performed for strength to be in the conditioning to work on barbell cycling as opposed to strength.
Gymnastics will be present in variance. It’s good to work on those movement in both skill and conditioning efforts.
Conditioning will be as varied as possible weekly. You will bounce between classic CrossFit couplets and triplets, shorter sprint intervals, longer endurance intervals, chippers, partner workouts, and of course hero/benchmark workouts. We want to be efficient in all different styles of workouts and time domains.
The “Fitness” tier of the programming will provide everyone with a little more basic strength and conditioning work. We will break down the movements of the day to the bare bone, and often have them without any Barbell. This track will be the most beneficial on high skill/lifting days.
The “Competitor Add On”. I want to make sure everyone knows this isn't just for “Competitors”. The entire purpose of this piece is to simply add some daily volume if you have the time for it. These pieces will vary weekly and flow into the overall program. They will consist of strength, gymnastics, and endurance pieces that last anywhere between 10 and 15 minutes. They will be challenging and higher in skill/weight. Please make sure if you choose to hit these that you can do so with intensity.
On another note, I’m sure many of you have noticed the similarity in the Bootcamp programming to the CrossFit programming. These two programs will match up on movement patterns most days. This is because we want our members to be able to safely take any class they prefer. The goal is to avoid too much of a certain movement pattern, like doing push presses, Wall Balls, and Thrusters 3 days in a row because you went to a mixture of CrossFit and Bootcamp. If you feel the need to do something extra take a peak at the Add On we will have for most days and scale appropriately if need be.
Always remember that volume doesn’t get you more fit, the intensity in which you attack workouts with does.
Come and join the CFR ladies for a WOD and some wine! All are welcome. Feel free to bring a friend.
NEW THIS LADIES NIGHT: Athletic Clothing Swap!! Please bring your GUC or EUC athletic clothing and after the WOD we will have a clothing swap. Bring at least one item or 100. All items will be up for grabs by anyone - so only bring items you are willing to part with! Any left over items can be reclaimed or we will donate them to Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Please click here to register.
Good news!! Resilience will be running a 7 week program for the Kids this summer. Here are the details:
If you have questions or would like to register please send Jamie Weeden an email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Managing the Battle Between Good Inflammation and Inflammation… Cortisone and NSAIDs
By Dan Osuch (Orthopedics New England in Natick)
(To see Dan's introduction video please click here...)
What follows is not necessarily a full and thorough medical review, but instead a useful synopsis of how I think about musculoskeletal pain, and how/when non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs, e.g. ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.) and cortisone injections are useful.
Inflammation can be our friend, and it can be our foe. In the setting of normal muscular training/post exercise soreness, or post injury, our body initiates the inflammatory cascade to facilitate healing. This inflammation may cause swelling and pain, cues to the body that it needs time to heal (from an evolutionary perspective, this is actually useful). These are examples of “good inflammation”, and I generally recommend against NSAID use and cortisone in these situations, as stopping this inflammation may actually be counterproductive. However, at some point, good inflammation, can become chronic and “bad”, causing pain without really fixing the underlying problem. I most commonly see this in the setting of arthritis, bursitis, and tendinitis. In these settings, it may make more sense to use NSAIDs and/or cortisone to decrease the bad inflammation and alleviate pain. Sometimes it is difficult to figure the difference between good and bad inflammation/pain, and that is where the help of a professional (physical therapist, sports medicine doc, etc.) can be helpful. The causation of the inflammation is also important to explore, to get a better understanding of how to achieve a more long-standing solution.
NSAIDs and cortisone are generally pretty safe, but are not completely medically benign. Chronic NSAID use has been linked to gastrointestinal ulcers, cardiac disease, high blood pressure, and kidney disease. Repetitive and nonselective cortisone injection can cause tissue deterioration and impact/delay the normal healing response. Therefore, as with anything in life, I consider these medicines useful in selected situations and in moderation. They should also be used in conjunction with things that are considered to be safer interventions (rest, ice, compression, elevation, activity modification, physical therapy, etc.). Furthermore, I often tell people in the office that NSAIDs and/or cortisone are the short term solution, but we also need to understand the underlying causes of the problem to make changes for the long term solution. Often, the problem stems from overtraining and/or poor movement patterns, which is where rest, activity modification, and physical therapy are very important to helping fix the problem. If someone has a true anatomic problem (e.g. a rotator cuff tear), then surgery is an option as well, though I prefer to leave that as a “last resort”.
With all of that as a background, here is my general philosophy on NSAIDs and cortisone: If a problem appears to be more of the bad inflammation category, rest, ice, gentle stretching/mobility work, and modified training are the foundation to recovery. NSAIDs are an important part of the treatment program provided they are used with consistency at reasonable dosing for a relatively short period of time (7-10 days). I usually recommend people try naproxen 220mg tablets, 1-2 tablets twice a day, always with food in your stomach, for 7-10 days. This is easiest to do after breakfast and after dinner to minimize stomach ulcer risks. Putting the pill bottle behind the sink is a great way to remember too (assuming you clean up your own dishes of course…). The consistency is key to decrease the inflammation more thoroughly, as intermittent NSAID use is less likely to be effective. If someone has performed this NSAID trial and the problem still persists, that’s when cortisone may be an option. Cortisone is a potent, locally delivered (i.e. injected with a needle ideally where it’s needed) way to decrease inflammation. Cortisone injections can be both diagnostic (any response helps to localize the source of the pain) and therapeutic (they provide long standing relief). It is generally safe to repeat cortisone in the same location after 4-6 months, although if people are in need of the injection with some regularity, it is my opinion that we need to take a harder look at the underlying problem or diagnosis.
There are also a number of interventions thought to promote “good inflammation”, but that is a topic for another post.
CFR APPAREL is closing on 5/16 so be sure to get place your orders today. Don't be the only kid on the block without the cool new swag.
- Here is the link to the store with the Masters Shirts
- Here is the link to the store with other CFR Shirts
CFR has decided to sponsor a Trail Race & CrossFit Challenge on Saturday 6/3 that is very unique and extremely exciting. We've created a series of CrossFit workouts that will go at the end of a 5k-trail race in Ashland State Park. The CrossFit workouts are exclusively for CFR members.
You can click here to see details about the trail, the event, and the charity to which all money will go (Boston Children's Hospital League).
To see the awesome CFR WOD's please click here.
Participants will run the 5k trail race and then will complete the WOD's as a team of 3. This is not a race!! This a community field trip for CFR members (of all experience levels) that will be an unforgettable experience.
CFR’s 2017 Nutrition Challenge Update – 1.9.17
Are you looking for all of the Nutrition Challenge information?
99% of what you need to know should be found on this web page, so please check it out:
The challenge officially starts on Monday, January 9th! Here we go!
What you should have done by now, or be doing within the next couple of days?
TRAVEL WODs FOR PEOPLE
SOME DIETARY GUIDELINE CHOICES
How do I use the tracking sheet?
Olympic Lifting Clinic: 8-Week Program
Are you new to Olympic lifting but would love to learn the basics?
Do you already do Olympic lifting but really want to elevate your game?
In either case, we have an 8-week program that will be ideal for you. We’ve hired Carly Mauch to run an 8-week Olympic Lifting clinic from 1/18 through 3/12. Carly is truly one of the most effective coaches that you'll ever work with and she is still the US Collegiate record holder for the C&J.
This clinic is ideal for athletes of all experience levels.
Here are the details:
Limited space is available so please act quickly.
As I mentioned in my latest Brooks’s Bite on Facebook, I will make sure to distribute the monthly programming preview descriptions that Jason Brown gives me. These will help those who are interested in following along with our mad scientist minds. It will also give you all a better sense of what you should be focusing on during the various phases.
CLICK HERE to see my notes for you all! You’ll notice I “let slip” the Month 4 description as well…so that you can see we will be re-testing some things we performed in Month 1…so hopefully you’ve all been keeping diligent logbooks with your results so we can compare and gather some gym-wide data.
Let’s stay focused on the long-term goals by tackling the short-term ones!
(Dog-Shit Day Workouts)
Objective: These workouts have been developed for athletes who are feeling a little run down and are trying to still get a good workout. These workouts were designed to be much easier on the joints so that fitness levels can be maintained while recovery takes place. These are great workouts to do during Open Gyms. We hope you like them!
Workout #1: Row and Burpees
Workout #2: 450 Cal Cardio
Workout #3: 30 Lengths of Pain
Workout #4: So Many Things
(Very easy to sub strength movements if any particular body part is too sore. Good full body workout, which combines strength and cardio)
Workout #5: Deadly Sprints
Workout #6: Tabata Town
“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.”
After this past Saturday’s class I talked for about 10 minutes on Mental Toughness. If you missed it no need to be bummed out. I will go over exactly what I talked about below! It is a bit long but
Firstly, I talked about The Path of Least Resistance. Now, this can relate to a lot of things, however what I am referring to speaks to human nature. It is built into our minds to follow the path of least resistance whenever possible to conserve energy. When we need to pick something off the floor say a pencil or pen, we do send our down and back, slightly bend our knees, send our shoulders forward while maintain a braced core and intact lumber curve. We just round our backs and pick it up. In workouts however, the path of least resistance could be not sending your hips back to catch a power clean, or coming off your heels during the dip of a STO, or letting your elbows drop during a front squat. During all of these actions your body, is following the path of least resistance. It’s trying to expend the least amount of energy to accomplish the task. Ironically it is failing. When we follow the path of least resistance we become drastically less efficient, and in the long run slows us down.
When we are less efficient it can lead to the second topic I talked about: False Rest. What is false rest you ask? False rest for example is when you stop to rest at the top of a box jump when your legs aren’t really tired, when you drop a light hang power clean when your grip isn’t that tired, when you start to walk in a 400m run when you know you could still jog. False Rest is when your mind wants the path of least resistance aka the easy way out and tells you to rest. More times than not, you could have kept going. On Saturday I used the thrusters as an example. I asked a couple folks in the crowd “what is your 1 RM thruster?”. A couple men answered with numbers both higher than 200. The Rx weight in that workout was 75/55. How many times did people put their hands on the thighs or stare at the bar during their ~2:00 rounds? That’s a false rest. Between a rock and a hard place everyone could probably do 30 reps unbroken at the weight they chose on Saturday. False rest just gives you a fake sense of security and holds you back from your true physical potential.
What keeps false rest occurring is the negative voice in your head. The voice telling you, this is too hard, I need to stop, I can’t do this etc. All this is, is food for one of two wolves in your head:the negative wolf. The negative wolf is fed through your own disbelief in yourself, and all the negative talk, all of the false rest you take. If you constantly feed it, it will devour the other wolf:the positive wolf. The positive wolf feeds of confidence, will, and self-efficacy. We have all been in workouts, that we lost mentally. Those instances are where the negative wolf won. How do you insure the positive wolf wins in workouts and in life?
Positive self-talk is the pep talk you give yourself in your head constantly. Ben Bergeron puts it simply, “Turn your have to’s into Get to’s”. Turn, I have to do three more rounds into I get to do three more rounds and get fitter. “I have to run into today’s workout. Ugh I hate running”. That should be “I get to go run into today’s workout. Good, time to get better”. This can apply to life as well I have to go to work, no you get to go to work. I have to pick my kids up, no you get to go to work. “It’s only ten thrusters you got this” would be a great example for Saturdays workout. Or “I get to rest after this, push hard through.”
Using simple phrases is all it takes. Having a self-mantra should be your ace in the hole. It’s a small phrase or word that has significant emotional importance and motivates you. Mine is “still breathing”. The story behind “still breathing” comes from my freshman year in college. I almost passed away. I went into anaphylactic shock after taking a medicine and didn’t breathe for over four minutes. I spent the next six days in the ICU recovering and getting tests run. I remember so desperately wanting air in the back of the ambulance, trying to inhale with all my might but to no avail. I remember thinking “this is it”. Fortunately, I lived almost right next to a hospital and am still here to tell you about it. Whenever I’m in WODs and my lungs feel like they are filling with battery acid, my heart is pounding out of my chest, my muscles feel like they are on fire, I tell myself “Still breathing”. I’m still here and I can keep going. Find a self-mantra and use it as fuel.
So this next week and the following ones in and out of the gym. Refuse to follow the path of least resistance, don’t take false rests, feed the positive wolf not the negative one, use positive self-talk, and create your own self-mantra. These simple tasks will help improve your state of mind and also your fitness.
Onward & Upward
Well if you haven’t seen after a few weeks the leaderboard is finally updated! Through a small issue with Zen and the Carnival this task took us longer than we had hoped. However, the hard work and dedication has paid off and the PR’s have proved it. As a gym, in the past 4-5 weeks, we have been focusing a bit more on Olympic lifting than usual, and I must say as a coaching staff we are impressed with all the improvement we have been seeing! Along with honing in on the small technical aspects of Olympic lifting, you all have been maintaining and even building on your pulling strength from the floor and tempo front squats (everyone’s favorite).
Moving onward into our next phase of the year, you will see a decrease in positional work with tempos and a return to classic style squatting, pulling, and pressing. That being said, although CFR will not be on a specific strength program (Smolov, Conjugate, Hatch, etc.). You will still be gaining strength and progressing towards your goals. Using a classical CrossFit training methodology along with the consistent development of movement mechanics will allow us to broaden your skill set and expand your fitness to new lengths. CrossFit is and will remain the backbone of our programming here at CFR.
When this phase is all said and done we will be trying something new when it comes to testing. We are restructuring the way we assess and test benchmarks. Instead of having a two week regimented period of testing filled with specifics, we will broaden the time domain in which you are all tested. Coaches and Programmers will have a general idea of when the benchmarks will appear and the dates will be chosen to maximize your potential to succeed. This isn’t something that will be announced, however it is not something that is random.
To sign off this short letter to you all I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Greg Glassman, the founder of CrossFit: “The magic is in the movement, the art is in the programming, the science is in the explanation, and the fun is in the community.” The coaching staff and I are looking forward to getting down to business and we hope you all are too!
If there is one major misconception regarding nutrition that the world should stop believing it is that you need to starve yourself and severely restrict calories in order to lose weight. There tends to be a belief that in order to lose weight and see muscle definition, a diet of a few hundred calories a day is required. However, I can happily assure you that this could not be further from the truth. In order to keep a healthy metabolism, a caloric deficit (i.e. expending more calories in a day than you are taking in) should not be sustained for a long period of time. Your body needs the chance to recover from being deprived of the calories it takes in order to sustain your body weight. After a prolonged period of “dieting” and eating at a restricted caloric intake (we’re talking more than 12 weeks) many people actually find it harder and harder to lose weight as the time passes. We refer this as a stagnant metabolism. Your body starts to go into protection mode from being calorically deprived and therefore slows down body functions, including your metabolism. In order to maintain a healthy weight, it is of the utmost importance to keep one’s metabolism running at a healthy rate.
As opposed to so severely restricting calories so as to potentially cause metabolic damage in the long run, it makes much more sense to only restrict calories enough to where someone is safely, but consistently, losing a small amount of weight each week for no longer than 12 weeks at a time. For example, if a person’s base calories required to sustain his current body weight is 2000cal a day, it makes much more sense to only cut out a few hundred calories a day to ensure smart weight loss as opposed to cutting these calories in half. Why should this person suffer more than he has to? Now, instead of this person being miserable throughout the duration of his diet because he is trying to function on a tiny number of calories, he is happily eating enough to feel mostly satiated, keeping his metabolism safe and steadily losing weight to accomplish the goal of weightloss.
As a practical example, looking at many of our higher-level athletes at CFR who are leaner and more muscular, if they are not working out they can most likely be found eating! On the contrary, many of our athletes here who have complained they have a hard time losing weight are admittedly eating only a couple times a day and taking in only a few hundred calories, thus keeping themselves in a deprived state that does not allow for optimal metabolic function or workout performance. In the words of CrossFit HQ Intensity (work/time) = results. Therefore, any pestilence that will hamper our intensity must be shunned like a repeat of 16.5.
In conclusion, if you have been trying for quite some time to lose weight and your weightloss seems to be stagnating, it’s probably time to get a hard look at how many calories you are eating and where or not that is actually a sustainable number for you and your metabolism.
If you have any questions regarding nutrition or would like to learn more, please email Nicole at email@example.com!
As of this past testing week CFR has been in business of making mere mortals superhuman for 3 years. In that time we have had plenty of time to observe trends in training, what works and what doesn’t, which skills come easier and which can be a grind, and what factors can influence progress. From this we try and get a feel for what training focus areas will result in the greatest fitness gain for the greatest number. So lets take a look at some recent trends, and also at what our next block of programming will entail.
“The Heavy stuff”
Over the summer and the past few months we were in a fairly mixed modal “pure crossfit” phase. I purposely chose to omit most truly heavy lifting (lifts @ > 90% 1 RM) in favor of an increased volume of lifting done at ~80%
This was done consciously to see what effect sub maximal lifting at higher volumes would have on maximal strength. I would say the results are definitely favorable. Granted its now incredibly difficult to macro view our population since we now have a huge variety of “training ages” and skill levels, but on average the norm was a modest improvement or at least maintenance in 1-3RM strength. Whats cool about this finding, is that it puts some backing behind the theory that higher frequency lifting at 75-80% will result in positive adaptations, which from our standpoint is great because we can stay in the game longer by minimizing the risk and joint strain of true maximal lifting.
“The ole fashion PE exercises”
Within this “pure crossfit” phase there was also a big emphasis on bodyweight pressing movements, namely pushups and that family of exercises. I am of the firm belief that a pushup tells A LOT about the body, and performance. While with our diverse population it is difficult to speak in absolutes, there was a big improvement in the performance of pushups in testing, as well as in class. I still maintain that if an athlete is unable to complete perfect pushups, that should become the #1 training priority, because it is such a universal indicator. On the pulling side of things pull-ups remain a challenge for a great number, but for those who put in the work the improvement shows. I forecast a focus on eccentric and isometric pulling work to hopefully help activate pulling musculature that may lay dormant.
“Barbell Gymnastics (oly lifting)”
On the side of olympic lifting technique there has been a huge improvement in the ability to cycle a barbell in a met con setting (think touch and go hang cleans etc.) this is really cool because more people are now getting a greater benefit from WODs with a barbell component. Heavy oly lifting is steadily improving, but to make serious gains in this area a more dedicated focus is needed. To this end the clinics we have added with the wonderful Ms. Carly have filled a much needed void. We will still continue to olympic lift for those who are able and willing in class, but those desiring high level olympic lifting gains would be well served to check out the clinics.
“Hows the engine?”
One thing I would really like to see improve over the current status is our collective ability to be absolute monsters going 110MPH (while still safe and in control). I see a great ability of many to sustain an effort steadily, find a pace, stay in a groove, and operate in a “happy place.” I think we need to improve our ability to handle large uncomfortable UB sets, short aggressive workouts, and doing things in a very fatigued state. That said, EVERYONE can ALWAYS improve this area, its not a new thing by any means. Its also not something you can train everyday, or you risk some serious burnout. But i think 2-3x a week or so, we need to challenge ourselves to delve deep into “the suck” and take up residence. Buckle up.
Whats on the horizon?…
-A decent volume of lifting between 75-85% (a bit here and there between 85-95)
-Pullup work on the regular, with oodles of holds and negatives
-A variety of Hero workouts/partner workouts/and longer met cons on saturday
-A high amount of work on “burners” in which we want to push ourselves to and through the breaking points
-The mix of fitness beauty we have all come to know and love that leads to the extermination of weak and average
What do you think? Questions comments concerns, speak up and post below!