Wednesday – Cherry Picking

 

cherry picking

Found this online and couldn’t help myself . . . it’s brilliant.

Cherry picking you say? What? Have I gone off my rocker?? Most certainly not. When I refer to cherry picking I am definitely not referring to those delicious little nuggets of fruit that grow on trees. I’m referring to the term that no one likes to hear or even admit that they tend to do. Let me explain. . . . Like when going to pick cherries, or anything else for that matter, you always looks for the best ones. The pieces that appeal most to you and that you know you will enjoy better than the other not so fortunate ones left behind. Some are easy to find, others may be hidden gems. However no matter what any of them may actually look like, in the end each one picked still holds the same value. One magically isn’t going to give you super powers and the other one won’t suddenly turn into a completely different fruit. (If this does happen to you and you gain super powers, let me know because we need to talk! Lol)

Take the same premise explained for cherry picking – now apply it to your workouts. Yea I know I’m the big meanie that just went there. In all seriousness, REALLY think about it. From time to time we all have a tendency to cherry pick our workouts. Now you’re probably going to say, “But Jen, I never cherry pick. I simply don’t go to class when my body tells me it needs a rest day.” That’s great! You should be doing that to keep yourself safe and give your body time to recover. I’m more so referring to looking at the programmed WOD, seeing something that you HATE doing (or one of your weaknesses) and suddenly deciding that you’re not going to go just because. THAT is cherry picking.

The reason why I bring this up is because I recently caught myself cherry picking. I know I cannot be the only person who is guilty of this. If I’m going to pep talk myself out of this, might as well for everyone else too right?? One good way to help prevent this is to pick a schedule and stick with it. Most of us have a pretty good idea of what our bodies are capable of and know when we need rest days. Use that when picking a schedule. If you can only go 3 days a week, select those 3 days and be consistent. Even something like switching around your days because of what you see is programmed I still consider to be cherry picking. Not going to class on heavy cardio days will never make cardio any easier. OR only going on heavy lifting days won’t help us when gymnastics are programmed.

Like cherries, every one (workout) still holds the same value as the rest. Just because we may not like how one “looks” it doesn’t mean it’s not as beneficial as the rest. For those participating in The Opens, you haven’t had the option to cherry pick a programmed WOD. If Dave Castro says you are going to do burpees, guess what . . . you do the burpees (he’s evil I know). If we only ever do the WODs that we like, we will never get any better at the WODs that we hate.

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Wednesday – Mentally Handling Failure

When it comes to our training it’s not all about the PR’s and the successes that shape us as athletes. It is easy to forget that our failures have just as big of an impact on us and from time to time it’s important to reach failure. Sure no one likes to fail at a lift but it’s part of the process and the journey. A necessary evil if you will. That being said, here’s a good article from Catalyst Athletics on how to mentally handle failure . . . Happy Reading!

bobby

Our fearless leader getting the troops ready to battle 17.3

Mentally Handling Failed Attempts in the Heat of the Moment
By: Matt Foreman

Let me tell you a quick story. I was coaching a lifter at the American Open once, and we were in the back getting him warmed up for the snatch. This was his first Open, and we were planning to start him with 113 kg (his PR was 120).

Even with 70 kg, his nerves were starting to get to him. The bar looked a little shakier than usual, positions were tight and hesitant, etc., but he still made his warmup snatches up to 95 kg fairly solid.

Then he missed 100 badly, out in front. We repeated and he held on for a good lift. Then he missed 105 a couple minutes later, big overpull that went behind. At this point, the meet was moving quickly and we didn’t have time to repeat the 105, so we went straight to 110 (his last warm up). He missed this one too. Now the bar was already at 113 out on the competition platform, and we only had about 3-4 minutes before we had to go out there. I couldn’t move his opener down to anything lighter. He was crapping his pants, obviously.

Want to know what I did? I took the bar down to 70 kg and told him, “Snatch it.” He snatched it easily, then looked at me. I could see his eyes settling down a bit. So I said, “Snatch it again.” He snatched it easily again, and I literally saw him take a deep breath and exhale calmly after he made it. I looked at him and smiled and said, “Okay, now you’re fine. Just go out there and do the same thing.”

He made his opener with 113, made his second attempt at 118, and came extremely close with a big 123, which would have been a 3 kg PR. Pretty good day, considering the debacle that led up to it.

Sometimes athletes just lose their rhythm. They lose the feel of the lift. It’s got nothing to do with strength, or even technique. It’s about timing and composure. After they’ve screwed up a few lifts, their movements are rattled. Panic often sets in when this happens, especially if it happens in competition.

If you’re an athlete, one of the best weapons you can ever have is the psychological ability to stay cool in these situations. When you mess up a lift, you don’t piss down your leg and start getting excuses lined up in your head, planning out what you’re going to tell your family and friends when they ask why you blew it. You simply think about what you did wrong, think about what you need to do to fix it, and move on to the next one without blowing a gasket.

Most athletes aren’t born with this ability. It has to be developed through experience. This is why you rarely see veteran competitors having mental meltdowns. They’ve been there before. They’ve stepped into big holes and had to dig themselves out. Once you’ve done this multiple times, you simply develop the confidence that you’ll be able to do it again if you need to.

I once lifted in the National Championship and opened with a 180 kg C&J. I missed the jerk on my first attempt, repeated and missed the clean on my second, and then jumped to 185 kg (which was a PR at the time) and made it on my last attempt. If I made that last lift, I set a new PR and won the bronze medal. If I missed it, I bombed at the Nationals. I got the job done and showed a lot of mental strength that day, but this meet happened after I had been competing for almost 10 years. I don’t know if I could have done this when I was a beginner. Probably not.

I once heard actor Al Pacino say, “Pressure is a funny thing. You squeeze some people, and they focus. You squeeze other people, and they fold.” Those words have stuck with me for a long time, more than some of the other great quotes I’ve heard.

Are we all going to pull it off and work miracles every time? Hell no. Naim Suleymanoglu, the greatest lifter of all time, bombed out at his last Olympics. So did Vasily Alexeev and David Rigert. These guys were the ultimate veteran miracle workers in the game, and even they got melted down to nothing at some point. It can happen, no matter how good you are.

But the reason we remember Suleymanoglu, Alexeev, and Rigert so well is because they won the battle a lot more than they lost it. They might have failed at times, but their successes completely overshadowed it.

You can become the same kind of athlete if you hang in there and keep trying long enough. You might never have the ability to win an Olympic gold medal, but that doesn’t mean you can’t become a great competitor who rattles off your own list of successes.

A lot of things go into the building of a tough fighter. But the main one is always going to be the willingness to simply…keep fighting. You can’t get experience without time, and you can’t accumulate time if you quit and walk away. You have to pay your dues.

Remember that.

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Tuesday – Gym Closed

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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Wednesday – Food, Fun and Fitness

For those of you who have not seen it yet – Crossfit Factory Square is proudly celebrating another year and what better way to do it than with all of the Factory Square community! Join us for some Food, Fun and Fitness. This year’s celebration with include a 2 or 4 person partner WOD (your choice) followed by a potluck brunch around 11 AM. We hope that everyone can join us for both but please feel free to come to one or the other.

Now that you know about the event, how about some of those important details . . . .

WHEN: Saturday, April 1st – Doors open at 9:30 AM, WOD at 10:00 AM

WHO: All are invited!

WOD: 4 Person Team WOD

40 Handstand Push Ups (mod:pike)

60 Burpees

800 meter Run

100 Kettlebell Swings 53/35

120 Hand Release Push Ups

140 Abmat Situps

160 Wall Balls 20/14

180 Hurdle Hops

All movements must be completed in order and only one athlete working at a time. Team must also complete a 2 mile run (sub will be a 4k row). This can be broken up however you wish with one working at a time and can be done at any time while other team members are working on the reps of each exercise. The run can also be done as a buy in or cash out (if done as a two person team the reps/mileage will be cut in half).

Hope to see everyone there!

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Disc Problem???

Most disc injuries occur in the neck and lower back. Herniated disc of the mid back occur much less often. Disc injuries often cause pain radiating into an extremity. The herniated disc of the neck (cervical spine) pinch nerves that radiate pain into the arms often into the hands and to the upper mid back region. Herniated disc of the lower back (lumbar spine) cause pain in the lower back and radiate into the leg often to the toes. Herniated disc in the lower back often cause leg pain without any lower back pain. Ninety percent of the time when you have radiating leg pain below the knee it is related to a herniated disc of the lumbar spine.

Three at home tests for lower back discs you can do to indicate if you have a herniated disc are:

Slump Test – Sit on a chair. Then slump your shoulder forward and let your lower back curve toward the back. Then raise one or both of your legs straight out in front of you. If you have radiating pain in the leg you probably have a herniated disc.

Leg Raise Test – Lay on the floor flat of your back and raise your both legs off the floor about 6 inches. If you have radiating pain into a leg or legs or you are unable to hold you legs up you probably have a herniated disc.

Leg Traction Test – While laying on your back have someone pull on your leg from the ankle and foot. If your pain lessens, traction would be a good intervention and treatment.

Two tests to help you understand if you have a herniated disc in the neck are:

Upper Limb Nerve Tension Test: While sitting raise your upper arm to horizontal and your forearm pointed straight up. Then tilt your wrist back. While your wrist is tilted backwards extend your arm straight and then push it backwards. If you have pain radiating into your arm with the Upper Nerve Tension Test you probably have a herniated disc in your neck.

Traction Tests – While sitting gently lift up on your head so to apply traction to the neck. If your pain diminishes spinal decompression would probably be a good treatment intervention.

However to be absolutely positive you have a disc protrusion diagnostic imaging is necessary. MRI of the neck or lower back is best because it not only giving detail of the bone but also the soft tissues of nerve and disc.  CT scan also allow you to see a disc protrusion. CT scans are also best for detail of bone and not as good for soft tissue.

Ultimately, to know if you have a herniated disc consult a doctor who is experienced, knowledgeable, and deals with back related issues daily.  

I have been getting this question a lot lately.  I broke it down to some simple tests that may help you make a better decision as to what to do next!

Have a great week!

Dr. Meghan

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Wednesday – 7 Reasons For The Opens

2016-crossfit-games-open-crossfit-open

The 2017 Opens is literally right around the corner. In fact, if you plan on participating and you haven’t signed up yet, time is running out! 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 will now be 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 15.1, 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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MONDAY – NO 5AM & 6AM DUE TO WEATHER

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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Thursday – Gym Closed Due to Storm!

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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Annual Christmas Party 2015 and New 5:00 AM class

12/08/2015 11:15

NEWS FLASH!!
1. Our Annual Christmas party will be Friday, December 18, starting at 6:30 pm (right after the 5:30 pm class). It will be a Potluck (Paleo or not, your choice) and BYOB. As in past years we will have a White Elephant gift exchange.

AND new this year, in keeping with the spirit of Festivus, we will have a “Feats of Strength” event following the meal. MAS wrestling with be the strength event. We will follow the official MAS Wrestling USA rules. All ages will have the opportunity to compete. Come join the fun!!!

2. Effective Monday, December 14, CrossFit DTW will begin offering a 5:00 AM class for all you early birds out there. Participates will need to sign up the night before using the MindBody Connect app on your phone OR call 719-696-2145 no later than 9:00 PM the night before each class session.

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