2018 Crossfit Opens and In-House Intermurals

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I’m not sure how but the 2018 Crossfit Opens are officially starting NEXT WEEK. Where is time going and how do I get it back?!?! If you still want or need to register you can do so online through the link HERE. You must register before Thursday February 22nd and be sure to put Crossfit Factory Square as your team/affiliate in the drop down. All open workouts will be released live on Thursday nights and will be programmed every Friday. Can’t make it to the gym on Friday to complete the workout. . . . no problem! Come in over the weekend during Open Gym on Sunday or Monday to complete. REMEMBER – The Opens are for everyone and any/all skill levels. It’s all about having fun!

With that in mind . . . this year we will be doing a fun in-house competition based around the Opens. We are calling it the Open Intermurals. If you plan on completing the Open workout each week regardless of whether or not you officially register, you should plan to sign up for the Intermural. A signup sheet has already been placed on the back table by the offices. Our goal is to have 5 teams in total. For more information, details have been posted up on the whiteboard. You don’t have to do anything more than do the Open workouts each week and have fun with your team while doing so. Don’t miss out!

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Tips For Wall Balls

Wall balls are an integral part of CrossFit. Do 150 of them and you’ve just completed Karen, one of the sport’s most notorious benchmark workouts. The idea of a wall ball sounds easy enough, right? Squat bellow parallel. Thrust the ball up to a target. Catch the ball as it comes down and repeat until you’ve completed the specified number of reps.
Easy, right? Wrong. Anyone who’s ever been smacked in the face with a med ball or thrown the ball up and completely missed the target can testify that wall balls are a lot harder than they look.

Here are five tips to practice to help you dominate the wall ball.

1. Know your distance
Keeping proper distance from the wall ball target is key in moving efficiently. Stand too close and you’ll risk throwing the ball straight up and missing the target completely. Stand too far and you’ll find yourself working harder to cover the distance between you and the target. It’s important to note that being too far from the target is usually better than being too close.

To measure the proper distance, stand under the target and extend your arms out in front of you. Your fingers should be able to touch the wall or rig. At this point, you should find yourself 20-25 inches from the wall or rig. Practice from this position and slightly adjust until you find your sweet spot. It’s unlikely that you’ll need to adjust more than five inches from the starting spot.

2. Drop low
Athletes sometimes think they’re saving time and energy by not squatting to full depth, but holding back on how low you go can actually have the opposite effect. For starters, energy is wasted in the deceleration process as you attempt to stop just below parallel. It’s actually easier to drop all the way down and bounce out of the bottom—as your body takes advantage of the stretch shortening cycle where your muscles act like a spring, driving you up, resulting in a more efficient movement.

3. Catch in place
Ideally, you want to catch the med ball so that your hands are on the underside of the ball (as opposed to the sides), as close to your body as possible, with your wrists about six inches apart. Catching the med ball on its side can cause your chest to fall forward, making the ball feel heavier and even possibly falling out of your hands.
As the ball makes initial contact with your hands, you should still be standing with your hands near the middle of you face. Begin to squat once the ball has made contact. Squatting before you’ve caught the med ball can make the impact feel heavier. Over the course of a few reps, this impact can take a toll.

4. Rest when you can
Whether or not you’re doing wall balls, holding your arms overhead can become exhausting. Every five reps or so, once you’ve thrown the ball, quickly bring your arms down and shake them out. Your shoulders will appreciate the short breaks.

5. Don’t hold your breath
Just like any other exercise, breathing is fundamental to your efficiency and endurance. Breathing in sync with your reps helps create a rhythm as you’re moving through the workout. As you begin your descent into the squat, inhale. As you spring up, exhale.

Final Word
Practice makes perfect. Focus on perfecting one or two of these techniques every time you perform wall balls. Once you’ve mastered a technique, move on to another one. With enough practice, these tips will become second nature to you!

Photo credit: Zumpano Reps/ CC BY-NC 2.0

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Mental Game

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Don’t forget to register for the 2018 Crossfit Opens! You can register online here.

When it comes to working out there are aspects that can make or break any particular day. A lot of times it’s easy to get wrapped up in the moment and forget things during WODs. Taking the extra few seconds to reset, controlling your breathing, keeping the best possible form – all things that we can lose focus on. Just as important as it is to keep up on the physical part of our training, it is just as important to focus on the mental part. Help out your mental game and follow a few of these simple, yet effective, tips to help you get through even the toughest WODs:

Clear your mind – Stress of work, busy schedules, and even the occasional drama can take a toll on us as individuals. One of the best things to do when going to the box is leave all of that outside the door. Clear your mind of everything going on for that hour plus because it is time to focus on what’s most important – you. It’s difficult to succeed at our task at hand when we are focused on something completely irrelevant. “The successful warrior is the average man with laser-like focus” – Bruce Lee

Positive Attitude – Whether you have a good day or bad, one day does not make or break us, it’s what we do in the long haul that does. Simply keeping an open mind and positive attitude can make the world of a difference in how you feel. When we stop worrying about what could go wrong and start being positive about what could go right is when everything will come together.

Have Fun – Ever notice how some of the best athletes around are always smiling? That’s because they are having fun. Working out is a lot more bearable to get through when you are happy. Now if you just so happen to bust out a few dance moves or sing a bit of karaoke in the process. . . . lets just say I like your style! From the words on Jon Rohn, “Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.”

Happy Lifting!

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7 Reasons For The Opens

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The 2018 Opens is literally right around the corner. Although registration just opened, before we know it February 22nd will be here! For those still on the fence, here is a good repost of 7 reasons why you should sign up!

7 Reasons To Sign Up Even If You Don’t Care About Competing

By: William Imbo

With the inclusion of the Scaled division, there are now more opportunities for athletes of all levels to participate in the Open. Even the ‘casual’ CrossFitter—the athlete who simply participates in CrossFit for their health and fitness—can be tempted to join in with the fun; the question is, why should they? The Open is a time when “CrossFit—the training methodology” and “CrossFit—the sport” merge together. Yes it’s a competition, yes it’s designed to be fun, but it’s also a great way reach your health and fitness goals. In fact, there are several reasons why anyone and everyone (including you) needs to do the Open.

1. Provides you with a benchmark of your current level of fitness
The Open contains some of the most challenging workouts you will ever be exposed to. It’s not only a measure of where you stand in your CrossFit abilities, but also an excellent test of your general physical preparedness—i.e. your current level of fitness. The toughness of each Open WOD is a great way to measure how far you’ve progressed from year to year, seeing as how it’s designed to test multiple elements of an individual’s fitness. Your strength, stamina, speed, mobility and skill will all be put to the test. You may even be able to achieve new movements and weights that you had previously thought unattainable. Once you complete the five workouts of the Open, you’ll be able to look back at your performances and know that you have set new benchmarks for yourself in all areas of your fitness.

2. Highlights your weaknesses
A major goal of the Open is to expose an individual’s weaknesses. The organizers of the Games are trying to trim down the athletes to find the fittest men and women each year, but even if you don’t intend to ever ‘compete’ in CrossFit it’s still incredibly useful to know where your weaknesses lie. Part of the process of developing your fitness and becoming a better athlete is through identifying which areas are limiting your progress the most. Participating in the Open is a great way to achieve that, because you’ll be hit with a different test of fitness from week to week. Whether it’s gymnastic skills, strength, endurance or Olympic Weightlifting, your weaknesses will become immediately apparent to you as you’ll shine in some of the workouts and likely bomb other ones. You can then come away from the Open with that knowledge and develop a plan with your coach to turn those weaknesses into strengths, and become a fitter athlete as a result.

3. Helps set goals
One of the most important aspects of having a S.M.A.R.T. goal is that you make it timely. That is to say that the goal should be grounded within a time frame—otherwise where’s the sense of urgency to complete it? Well, what better time than the CrossFit Open? Just as the Open can be used to set benchmarks and measure your progress from year to year, it can also serve as an opportunity to create and achieve various fitness goals that you have set yourself. You may want to lose 10lbs by the conclusion of the Open, eat clean for the five weeks of the competition, PR a certain weight or movement, etc. It’s a great platform with which to test your fitness on an annual basis, and the fact that it’s a unique and special competition should encourage you to use it as a deadline for achieving your goal(s).

4. Increases motivation
Everyone’s desire to workout and get fitter can dwindle. It’s hard to maintain the energy and enthusiasm for eating clean, working out regularly and spending the necessary time to become a healthier person. Every year, people succumb to the CrossFit burnout. The Open provides a change of pace to your regular schedule and can reignite your motivation to become fitter, healthier, faster, stronger, etc. You’ll know that for five weeks there will be one special workout that thousands of other athletes around the world will be attempting to complete. Use the Open to reignite your motivation to reach your goals—not just for the five weeks the Open lasts, but for long after that.

5. Promotes camaraderie
Every CrossFit workout is tough, but an Open workout is one that you get to share with thousands of other athletes around the world—not to mention the people in your box! This is a unique element of the Open, amplified by the fact that you can also post your scores from each workout online so that you can compare yourself against the other Open competitors at your box and around the globe. That is certainly something you don’t get to do every day, and as such, it places extra ‘weight’ on each one of the five Open workouts. Now you’re not just comparing yourself to other people in your gym, you get to evaluate your fitness against athletes from all over the world. And because each Open WOD is special in that sense, you can strategize with other athletes in the box to try and develop a game plan to produce your best score. You can pull tips from people who have already performed 18.1, and in turn pass on your advice after you perform the workout yourself (unless of course you want to keep those tips and tricks to yourself). This competitive spirit and the knowledge that you’re competing against thousands of other people doing the same workout helps to promote an air of friendly competition and camaraderie at the box.

6. It’s a great way to enjoy the thrill of competition
At the end of the day, the purpose of the Open is to give CrossFitters around the globe the opportunity to compete. As the CrossFit Games site states, “The intent of the scaled workouts is to allow everyone who wants to compete, to compete at an appropriate level.” As a fitness enthusiast but casual CrossFitter, perhaps you have always been apprehensive about joining your affiliate team for a local throwdown or competing in a CrossFit-style competition. But by signing up for the Open, you’ll have the opportunity to compete in the familiar surroundings of your home box, and you can fit the workouts around your schedule. I’m sure that your curiosity will get the better of you and you’ll take a look at the leaderboard to see where you stand against the other athletes in your box—and the world. Who knows? After the Open you might be so fired up from the experience that you’ll be signing up for the next local competition you can find. But of course, as with anything, you’ll only be able to experience all of this if you first make the decision to try.

7. It’s fun!
As you may already know, each live announcement of the Open is a show in itself. The Open has evolved to become a form of entertainment for the CrossFitter, with much secrecy leading up to the workout before it’s announced in front of two elite athletes and a box full of eager fans making a lot of noise. No one knows what they’re going to be hit with. It could be a couplet of movements that are right in their wheelhouse, or a monstrous metcon that makes even the most elite athletes sick to their stomachs. But for five weeks, you’ll be able to test your fitness in unique workouts, achieve some of your goals, boost your desire to become fitter, make new friends and experience the competitive side of the sport. Now doesn’t all of that sound like fun!? But there’s only one way you’ll get to experience all of that—by signing up for the CrossFit Open!

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Factory Square Strong

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Throwback to Murph 2015!

Here at Crossfit Factory Square, on any given day you can find some of the strongest people around at our box.  Every one of our members is beautiful and unique in their own way. Beauty resides in the joy and pride that we carry within ourselves. Each member unique with different strengths that they contribute to our community that we’ve built. All having physical strength, mental strength, and more heart than ever imaginable.

Physical Strength

Over the past year, it’s been fascinating to watch the Factory Square athletes grow. Shattering PR after PR, I swear some of you are physical anomalies and literally everything you touch you conquer. You don’t eat Paleo or RP – you eat PR’s for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s like you’re part of the Rich Froning gene pool and the rest of us cannot help but to watch in awe. You all are the inspiration for the rest of us to push past our comfort zones and add weight to our lifts.

Mental Strength

This one can be a bit tricky, but when used correctly, the odds are forever in your favor. Sure you may not even be close to lifting the most weight in the room, but you know just what to do to get to where you need to be. You play the WOD game and adapt to whatever is thrown at you. These athletes constantly are giving out tips on how to master the workout. You are all the inspiration for the rest of us to think past what we see in front of us and not only conquer the workouts to the best of our advantage, but smile and have fun while doing it.

Heart

The final main strength that can be seen in our athletes, also the most common, is heart. Our athletes have grown such a tight community, it’s hard to ignore the heart that we have behind everything that we do. It’s the cheering for people during workouts. It’s helping fellow athlete’s get over injuries, getting over a bad day, or celebrating amazing things happening in every day life. The heart that Factory Square athletes have is what keeps everything together. Heart is what keeps us from quitting. Heart is what helps push a fellow athlete through what may seem like the hardest workout of their lives. It is what makes Factory Square a family.

Although we all have a bit of each of the 3 strengths in us, it’s hard not to ignore that 1 is more dominant over the others. That’s ok, it’s what makes us us, it’s what makes us work as a community. The numbers we lift or the movements we can or cannot do does not define a Factory Square athlete, it’s the effort we put in and the passion behind everything that we do that does. Everyone brings their own strengths to the table. We are not only Crossfit Strong, we are Crossfit Factory Square Strong.

Remember to celebrate ALL your accomplishments and make 2018 yours!

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Snow Schedule for Thursday 1/04

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With the snow storm that may be coming late tonight into tomorrow, the 5 AM and 8 AM FIT Classes for tomorrow (Thursday 1/04) are canceled. We will be in touch about the 9 AM and on regular Crossfit Classes.

Please login to our “CrossFit Factory Square Members Only” Facebook page for our up to date weather and class updates.

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Upcoming Holiday Hours

At Crossfit Factory Square, in Southington, Connecticut, our goal is to enable you to perform at your best. For some, this may mean having more sustained energy throughout the day, losing body fat and/or life long health. For others, this may be important for athletic purposes and performance enhancement. Our programming is based on CrossFit methodology. This means we follow a program consisting of constantly varied, functional movements (like squatting, pushing, pulling,running), executed at high-intensity.

Contact us today to get started!

37 West Center St. (Suite 114)
Southington, CT 06489
860.426.1010

vargoteam@att.net

CrossFit Factory Square

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Meal Prep

With the holidays right around the corner and the RP Challenge to start shortly after, if meal prepping isn’t already your best friend it will be soon . . . . Here’s a good article from Box Life Magazine on meal prepping and it’s importance!

By William Imbo

Regardless of your diet goals or whether you choose to go Paleo or count macros, it’s important that you attack your plan the right way to give yourself the best chance of success. One way to attack clean eating for success is meal prepping.

Meal prepping is exactly what it sounds like: You buy food for a set period—a few days, a week, or even a month—cook and prepare the food in advance, store them in the fridge or freezer and voila! You’ve planned ahead and there’s a higher chance of you sticking to your plan than falling off the rails.

What are the benefits of meal prepping?
Saves time
If you never take time, how can you ever have it? By carving out a couple of hours on a Sunday to batch cook your meals for the next few days, you can be sure to save yourself a ton of grief and time when you come home from work or the box and find your next meal waiting for you in the fridge. Pop it in the microwave or oven, and you’re good to go. The last thing anyone wants to think about when they’re on their way home from a long day is having to make dinner. But when your meal is already prepped, it’s one less thing to worry about and makes eating clean that much more enjoyable.

Dissuades you from eating crap
When people are tired and hungry the thought of preparing and consuming a clean meal becomes less appealing to a pizza that takes 10 minutes cook in the oven and requires no work whatsoever. When a healthy meal is already staring back at you when you open the fridge, time isn’t a factor anymore, and that pizza can wait another week.

It’s cost-efficient
The first time you buy in bulk, that monster receipt might make you do a double-take. Be prepared to shell out a little more than you normally would for groceries. Knowing where (and how) to shop for groceries, can save you money. Often stores like Costco, BJ’s, Sam’s Club and Aldi will have some amazing deals (including organic options) you can take advantage of. On top of that, buying for the week means you’ll be less likely to spend any extra on particular cravings you have from meal to meal—like that pizza we discussed earlier.

Tips for Meal Prepping
Plan ahead
Just as you need to carve out a few hours to cook and prepare your meals, you need to devote 10-15 minutes to formulate a solid food list for the length of time you’re planning to prepare for. You should also include some substitute food options in case they’re out of stock of your first choice.

Invest in good quality containers
You’re going to be making a lot of food, so it stands to reason that you’re going to need a lot of containers to keep all those delicious meals tucked away in the fridge and freezer. Moreover, you’ll likely bring a container or two with you when you go to work, and the last thing you want is for the lid to fall off in your bag and the food to spill out everywhere. Glass containers are great, but need to be handled carefully. Find containers that work for you and don’t shy away from spending a few extra dollars as the investment will go a long way in the end.

Carve out time to meal prep and make it fun
Set aside enough time to get cooking. Plan to spend a good amount of time in the kitchen, boiling, baking and frying away to your heart’s content. Many people might enjoy this, but it can be torture for others—you’ll just have to keep the big picture in mind. Also, consider listening to your favorite music or podcast while you chop away. That being said, you don’t have to cook absolutely everything in one go. You can prep vegetables and season your meats and leave them in the fridge to be cooked another time—that should help to take the load off a little bit!

Prep snacks too
CrossFit has a way of spiking your metabolism, making you feel hungrier between meals. These are the make-or-break hours when the convenience of a cookie or a bag of chips is incredibly tempting. Therefore, it’s just as important to prepare your snacks for days ahead, as it is your meals. Have your fruit, nuts, shakes, or leftovers readily available so when the hunger creeps up—and it will—you’ll be reaching for the right option to satisfy your cravings.

Keep it simple and start slow
If you’re new to meal prepping, there’s no right way to do it. There may be a lot of trial and error, but it’s all about finding and developing a method that works for you. If the process sounds intimidating, work with manageable chunks—one to two days at a time, at first. Then move on to three to four, then five, and so on. And as you’re progressing, you can get a little more creative with your menu, but start with simple meals, some bacon, avocado and grilled chicken with some balsamic vinegar. Doesn’t need to be any more complicated than that. You’re eating to achieve your diet goals.

Be patient with the process yet remain consistent. Eventually, meal prepping—making a list, doing your shopping and preparing your meals—will become second-nature, and that’s when you’ll know you’re on a roll, and the results will invariably follow.

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Wednesday – 2018 CrossFit Schedule

Yes, you read that right. With 2017 coming to an end, Reebok has officially announced the 2018 Reebok CrossFit Games Schedule. Anyone notice that our WOD’s have been more like open style workouts?? Surprise! The 2018 Opens will be here before we know it. Here’s everything you will need to know about the 2018 schedule . . ..

Stage 1: The Open

Five Weeks – Feb. 22-March 26

18.1- Feb. 22-26

18.2- March 1-5

18.3- March 8-12

18.4- March 15-19

18.5- March 22-26

Registration for the Open begins Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018.

The Open is the first stage of the CrossFit Games season and the largest community event of the year. Every year, hundreds of thousands of athletes come together to compete in the worldwide, online competition.

Anyone aged 14 or older can compete. All you have to do is sign up at Games.CrossFit.com and log your score each week. Workouts are released on Thursdays at 5 p.m. PT, and athletes have four days to complete the workout for the week and submit their score. Scores are due before 5 p.m. PT the following Monday. Complete the workouts at a CrossFit affiliate with a judge, or film your effort from anywhere in the world and submit a link as proof.

The Open offers two versions of each workout, scaled and Rx’d. The scaled option makes the event all-inclusive. All athletes can compare their results to others worldwide, regionally, by age or within their own gyms. An official CrossFit Games app will be available in late January, which will focus on your own personal performance in the Open.

At the end of five weeks, the fittest move on to the next stages of competition: the Regionals and the Online Qualifier.

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Stage 2: The Online Qualifier (Age Group)

Thursday-Monday – April 19-23

The top 200 masters and teenagers from each division will be invited to compete in the four-day, online competition.

The qualifier will decide the 20 fittest masters and teenagers from every division who will receive a ticket to the Games.

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Stage 2: The Regionals (Individuals & Teams)

Three Weekends: May 18-June 3

There have been some big changes made to the CrossFit Games Regional format in 2018. Get all the details here.

Week 1: May 18-20, 2018

East Regional: Albany, New York, Times Union Center Europe Regional: TBD South Regional: Salt Lake City, Utah, Salt Palace Convention Center

Week 2: May 25-27, 2018

Central Regional: Nashville, Tennessee, Music City Center West Regional: Del Mar, California, Del Mar Arena Latin America Regional: TBD

Week 3: June 1-3, 2018

Atlantic Regional: West Palm Beach, Florida, Palm Beach County Convention Center Meridian Regional: Madrid, Spain, Caja Mágica Pacific Regional: TBD

Regional Map

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Stage 3: The Games

Aug. 1-5, 2018

For the second year in a row, the CrossFit Games will be held at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin.

The Games will start Wednesday, Aug. 1, and conclude Sunday, Aug. 5.

*The events at the Games are held secret until weeks, days and sometimes minutes before the athletes compete. A detailed schedule and app will be released at a later date.

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Wednesday – Beautiful

The Webster Dictionary first defines the word “beautiful” as something that is “physically attractive”. Sure this can be true for many things, however something or someone can be beautiful in ways other than what you literally see in front of you. That in mind, I tend to agree more so with the Webster Dictionary’s second definition, “the qualities in a person or a thing that give pleasure to the senses or the mind”. This is exactly what Crossfit does for many.

Whether you are feeling beautiful, handsome, dapper, stunning, glowing, whatever you want to call it . . . .each and every person can have a different way of feeling ultimately the same . . . beautiful. Crossfit teaches everyone to feel beautiful again. In confidence, in friendships, in your own skin. It’s walking out in that new outfit and watching people’s heads turn. It’s having the courage to try something that once terrified you and succeeding. Beauty is trying to reach your goals, failing, refusing to quit, and in the end walking away victorious.

“There are people who spend their entire lives allowing their reflection in the mirror determine their self esteem, submitting to a cultural judgement established decades ago. But in Crossfit gyms all over the world, mirrors are conspicuous by their absence. Fitness is gauged in reps, speed, power, virtuosity. Beauty is measured in joy, and in pride.”

Both at Crossfit Factory Square, and in Crossfit gyms across the world, every day we are Letting Beauty Speak for itself. . . .

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