Friday, February 27, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sorry Big Mark;

Big Tex has taken that spot on the leaderboard.
You're gonna have to better than 185lbs if you want to stay on top!

Overhead Squat - BW and PR from Full Circle on Vimeo.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Gymnastics Certified...

Just got back from the Gymnastics Cert in DC.

All the things that I might normally complain about in a Crossfit event like this were almost entirely alleviated here;
Wasn't rushed
Wasn't lacking in detail
Really answered questions
Learned how to do, coach and spot
There was NO WOD
There WAS lots of applied practice
The depth was much greater than the breadth
EVERYONE was cool

Jeff Tucker knows his stuff, but more importantly he has a meaningful, uncomplicated way of conveying what you need to know. He's realistic about expectations, both for the seminar and for the participants in the short and long run. He cares about how well other affiliates are doing, both in applying his lessons and simply generally. Short; Hell of a Coach.

I was totally impressed with how totally awesome the entire crew of Potomac Crossfit was. They all seemed to be pretty competent people, but I was more impressed by the fact that they definitely made me feel welcome and where everything that NoVa assholes typically are not.

Byers... Talked through the entire seminar. It never got so bad that I really needed to say anything. I guess if this were one of my 'How to identify a Nurse' classes in school, I'd probably be at the back of the class laughing it up with Melissa (this is not a knock on you either Melissa, as I mean it; we'd probably have a lot of fun at the back of class, and you were not the only one that wouldn't shut up, you're just the one whose name I know/remember, and being taller than EVERYONE else means that you and Dallas' voices carry the farthest). But I felt bad for Tucker this weekend; he's already got to talk himself hoarse, why accelerate that to screaming himself coarse? I guess it's not everyday I feel like I have access to a coach where if I do hear every word versus every other word it's really going to make a difference. There just aren't that many coaches out their that I have access to that can make that kind of impact on my own training, but more importantly how I teach others. I have some new projects for the circus show too.

Finally, I would definitely applaud Tucker for saying (repeatedly... on a daily basis?) "I am not going to make a gymnast out of you in weekend". Amen sister. I have got a lot to digest, even though you could argue that we only covered the most rudimentary basics... I feel like I need to know it inside and out in order to convey it to my clients. I am always looking for ways to help people understand that mastery of any part of what we do would take a lifetime, but competency is achievable in a relatively short time frame. That's the beauty of Crossfit; it milks the Pareto Principle for all it's worth. Why kill yourself progressing from advanced to elite, when the journey from beginner to advanced in some other discipline takes less time? Broaden the base of that pyramid, and the peak can go higher and higher.

And remember... really? Are you really any kind of specialist? If you're paychecks aren't signed by the sport, you need to seriously re-evaluate your emphasis on it in training. If you're killing yourself training for a marathon, with no hopes of getting paid for doing so, it's time you re-evaluated your sophmoric unrequited love. Date a few other girls, and be happier. Ironically, it takes less time to go out on a few dates with several women than it does to be married to one, and trust me; you're gonna have more fun.

Friday, February 20, 2009

WOD Challenge!!!

I tried to have Mark tape me doing our own benchmark workout,
"One Gross WOD"
It's a great workout that looks simple enough, 15-12-9 of push ups, med ball cleans, pull ups and the kettlebell swing (24kg/16kg). The first time I tried it I hit 7:13 and that record stayed up until one Mark Maddux came to visit the gym and knocked it out in 6:30 or so. His pushups were like rapid fire pistons. I was sure no one would beat that time.

Then my client Matt Bahen goes at it for his second time, and I tell him: "Just don't stop. Never quit mid set, just keep moving."
He hits 5:56, and now I am sure that without maybe butterfly kips or something like that, there's no way that this can be done any faster.

My goal was to hit 5:55. I told myself the same thing; 'Don't stop'. I paused in the rack up top in two or three of my med ball cleans. That was about it.

Here's the vid:
well... here's my last five swings and me sucking air...

Aftermath: One Gross WOD from Full Circle on Vimeo.

Please give this a try at your own box, and post your results to comments. If you hit under 7 minutes, post a video link. I'd love to show it!


Off to Gymnastics Cert

I will be heading up to DC at about 6am tomorrow morning, hoping to arrive with my shit together by 8am.
We will be learning a whole mess load of stuff on the HandStand, basic bar progressions (pull up, knees to elbows, skin the cat, etc), parrallette fun and more.

There may also be Thai food involved.

Tell you all about it when I get back. Looking forward to some quality time with two of my favorite Crossfit peeps: Tucker and Byers.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Join the party

Follow the blog

mainly, we talk about KBs, O lifts and Grappling

take the quiz

I try to guide content by demand to some degree

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Big Tex on the Clean

Crossfit Full Circle

Big Tex on the Clean from Full Circle on Vimeo.

Monday, February 16, 2009

"Big Tex" and his Snatch

I decided to screw around with my Snatch ten minutes before I was supposed to go to Dim Sum this weekend:

Big Tex Snatch from Full Circle on Vimeo.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Why doesn't Crossfit use the Kettlebell Snatch?

A question posed over at Byers Gets Diesel

Crossfit is intentionally broad, general and inclusive. The kettlebell swing is broad, general and inclusive.

The GS style snatch is not. Hand someone a moderate weight and challenge them to do more than 20 reps; they will end up bruised, callouses torn and cardiovascularly unchallenged and frustrated. It’s true that the barbell snatch is difficult, that thrusters are tough, that kipping pull ups take time to learn. It’s also true that there’s a shortage of qualified coaches in weightlifting and gymnastics. The problems of coaching, equipment and access to information are essentially the same. So what’s the difference?

Ignorance; most people consider the barbell snatch essential to the development of speed and power in hip extension. They often see the kettelbell snatch in the same way. Why use a kettlebell, which is typically restricted to 53, perhaps 70lbs? A barbell can be easily loaded with 95lbs and already the general benefits are exceeding the KB experience. Add to that the difference between “Ow my hook grip hurts” and “Fuck. I tore another callous”. Why even bother?

The kettlebell snatch is not a barbell snatch. Let me repeat this:

The Kettlebell Snatch is not the Barbell Snatch. Nor is it a substitute for it. They are not interchangeable and they do not address the same training needs.

snatch from AW on Vimeo.

(PS: I have no idea who this guy is, I just searched Vimeo and his was the nicest looking snatch that came up first. And really, it's pretty good. So kudos to you, AW. If you don't like your video here, I will take it down)

I hope the differences are obvious. Even though this imagery is immediately obvious to most, very few who are exposed to the Kettlebell ever attempt to time a continuous set, to do more than 20 reps on one hand or other aspects of Girevoy Sport that would be considered ‘introductory’ at most.

I believe that the quick answer is ‘because it’s hard to do/coach’. I believe that the harder/longer answer is that most people, including most Crossfit trainers who are not RKC/AKC/Jeff Martone certified don’t realize the differences between the barbell and the kettlebell. Anyone that asks you “Why not use dumbbell” is not experienced in Kettlebell training. Coach once said “I don’t know anyone that is GOOD at the Olympic Lifts that would argue that they are dangerous or don’t apply to athletes” (roughly). The same is very true. I don’t know anyone that can do a continuous set of 100 snatches that would say “This doesn’t help me develop the same power that heavy power cleans do”. Finally, Crossfit HQ has stepped away from WODs that are too coaching/equipment intensive. If you’ve been around for a while, you remember seeing things like Rx for swimming for instance. They have whittled down the tools to a core group: “the 9”. While they will make room for the Olympic Weightlifting barbell snatch, they are currently not willing to allow for the Long Cycle. That’s their call. Simplifying is a good thing. If you haven’t noticed, the workouts that really use the full lifts are not as frequent as thrusters, or SDLHP.

Take home message; Girevoy Sport is an intermediate cardiovascular sport that tests anaerobic endurance, lactate threshold, VO2 max, grip endurance, hip power, shoulder stability and perseverance. If you’re from the martial arts world, some teacher at some point has most likely made you hold ‘the Horse Stance’ for minutes on end. If you played Football, you ‘ran suicides’. The kind of pain that must be tolerated is very similar. It’s slow paced, and repetitive. It isn’t sexy. If you can do it, you are a better man/woman for it. Not everyone chooses training modalities based on the positive impact to their development as person, but minute nine of a GS set of snatches is spiritual. If you haven’t been there, you don’t know. I don’t blame you. I don’t look down on you. I just don’t think you’re qualified to speak on this particular subject. It’s entirely the same as saying ‘you do Crossfit’ when you’ve never been into an affiliate gym. You don’t know what the hell you are talking about.

So I have pointed out what’s wrong. How about a solution? I don’t know if there’s an easy answer. Do you have access to a qualified coach? Do you want to do it? Do you think that you would benefit from greater grip strength and endurance, repetitive hip power, greater resilience and flexibility in the posterior chain? Well, you can start in some of my earlier posts.

this may help as a place to start

Not everyone will head towards 100+ reps of 24kg or 32kg snatches, as Valery was doing above. But any Crossfitter(male) can do 50 reps with a 24kg. That means you can do 100 with the 16kg without hurting yourself, and that’s a great way to replace 1000m row if you don’t have a rower, or 800m run if you’re smart enough to hate running. If you don’t know how to run, don’t have shoes and don’t have a good surface to run on, it’s not smart! Sub the KBs!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Been busy

Sorry guys

I haven't had much of a chance to write up any original content...

School still takes up some of my time, we are now offering 29 hours of classes at Crossfit Full Circle, I am now the president of VCU Judo and sort of the instructor for lack of one and I am sure there's other stuff I am forgetting to mention.

I just returned from Austin, which is still weird(if you've been there, you know what I mean). I attended the 'Affiliate Gathering' or 'FilFest 2009'. It was mostly an opportunity for everyone to pat each other on the back, and to talk about Rhabdo and Insurance. It was good, but I was really looking forward to some specific info from Andy and John about how they run their business or from Lisbeth or Tony about running your blog.
They tried, but there simply wasn't enough time left. Everything preceding it ran long and they left those things until the end.
I am taking off for DC next weekend to do a gymnastics cert with Jeff Tucker at Jen Conlin's Crossfit Potomac. The idea is become a better teacher with some of the basics.
Everyone at the gym is making some serious progress. I've had a couple of clients come in with a couple of dead hang pull ups under their belts progress to 15+ kipping pull ups, some go from NO pull ups to a couple and a bunch of people starting to look like they know what they're doing when they snatch. It's a pretty good feeling.
My 'internet friend' Melissa Byers is affiliating up in New Hampshire. My first instinct was to say 'Yay. Another affiliate.' (as in sarcasm) Which is bullshit. Not only is she funny, engaging and obviously disciplined but she's clearly a 'student of the game'. She seems to spend most of her free time traveling to certs, including the one that I am headed to in DC. I look forward to meeting her. Maybe we can talk shop about running our boxes. Maybe she can help us with our image.
I will leave it at that for now. I am tired. BJJ, Judo, Lifting, Coaching, Graduating. I love all of them, but I am finding it hard to give everything to all of them. Sorry school. And Judo, I don't have time for someone who's going to play hard to get. I mean, just look at the way BJJ is dressed. BJJ is asking for it. You're acting like a cock-tease.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Friday, February 6, 2009

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Freaky Windmill

Today's WOD included a heavy set of five in the Windmill
Inspired by my new pup,
I had to give it a go in the Windmill:

Freaky Windmill from Full Circle on Vimeo.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Circus Freaks

You asked for it

Circus Freaks from Full Circle on Vimeo.

Kettlebells will work too

I prefer the stability and predictability of parallettes

Power Foods

T-Nation article

I am not gonna say this a lot: This T-Nation article is pretty good intro to 'food analysis'. I agree with most of what is said about most of the food.

Check it out.

Rings, bars and bells

Are good things

I am noodling some ideas on a conditioning book with some simple, portable tools.

Rings, Bars and Kettlebells from Full Circle on Vimeo.