Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A New Approach

Last night as I walked around the gym before I left, picking up stray equipment and unraveling bands, I thought to myself that we need a new approach.  Clearly our pleas to help keep the gym clean and organized are falling on deaf ears.  Poor Monica, bless her heart, is having near daily panic attacks.

Why is there a Dumbbell in the Kettlebell rack!!?? Incidentally, we're having this made into a frowning Monica sticker that we can place on stray equipment.

So I've decided we need a new approach.  Here are a few common BARx situations, and the new approach I'd like you to take in resolving them:

If you see an assistance band left on the pull up bar rig .... please add 3-4 more assistance bands onto this.  You can loop them around each other like a giant bracelet or something.  The more obstructive and trip hazardous it is, the better.

Only one band? NOT a PR.  

If you see a stray kettlebell in the middle of the floor ... assume that we have decided to no longer use the racks and move ALL of the kettlebells over to this spot.  This is their new home ... until tomorrow.

If you see a stray box left out ... please stack another stray box or two on top of it, creating some sort of sculpture park origami type piece of art.  Or just smash it to bits with a barbell (you thought I forgot about that, didn't you?)

If you see a mess of chalk on the floor ... please go outside and grab a couple handfuls of dirt to throw on top of it.  Chalk is not enough.  If time allows, dump a cup of water on the whole thing and smear it around until it becomes paste-like.

If you spill your entire 2 gallon water jug on the floor ... thank you.  We call that "mopping."

And finally, if you see the Jerk Blocks left in a state of disarray .... Report this most heinous of offenses to me immediately so that the culprit can be brought to justice.  This is serious.  The rest of this post is not serious, but this is serious.

Exceptions made if the kids are using the blocks for graffiti art, because that's adorable.  Just #$%&@ adorable.

07/31/2014 - WOD

A): Power Snatch (5 x 3)
** Use weights that allow you to move quickly and with perfect technique for 5 sets
B): Muscle-ups (15 Minutes Skill Work)
** Use this time to work on muscle ups or a related skill (pull ups, ring dips)

Metcon (Time)
For time:
800m run
50 slam balls
50 kbs
50 goblet squats
** Break up reps any way you want

Core and Mobility
C1) Lying pigeon stretch - 3 x 30 seconds/leg
C2) Band Pull Aparts - 3 x 30

Monday, July 28, 2014

Are We There Yet?

Is summer finally over yet?  My goodness.  The sun, the vacations, the schedule changes, people being gone ... I'm sick of it all.  It's about time that we all get back to the one thing in this life you can always count on:  routine.  The glue that holds everything together.  Some people say that variety is the spice of life.  I disagree.  I judge each day by its similarity to the day before it.  If something happened that was different or out of the ordinary, that's a rough day.  Unless, I don't know, you happen to be on a 20,000 mile bike ride across America's heartland and run into these guys:

We're pretty sure the guy on the right is Lampitt, or his long lost brother.

The other exception to that rule would be PRs.  PRs are good change, and I will accept them with open arms.

07/29/2014 - WOD

A1): Push Press (5 x 5 at 70%)
** Find a working weight to use for 5 sets across
A2): Ring Rows (5 x Max Reps)

Metcon (Time)
For Time:
400m run
21 thrusters (75/55)
21 toes to bar
400m run
15 thrusters
15 ttb
400m run
9 thrusters
9 ttb

Core and Mobility
C1) Tricep Extensions (Light plate or DB overhead) - 3 x 10
C2) Ring Plank Holds - 3 x 10
Finish with 5 minutes of roller or lacrosse ball work

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Misc Announcements

I'm off to Chicago for the weekend, home of the Blackhawks, Cubs, and about 2.7 million jackasses.  We'll be out in the suburbs so hopefully people aren't as rude out there.  I'm trying to get into a gym tomorrow, but it's really hard due to the strict NEVER ANSWER YOUR PHONE OR EMAIL policy that every other CrossFit gym in the country has.  Awesome.

Before I leave, Rachel gave me a few announcements that I need to post up.  The first of which is that there will be CrossFit Games Watch Party at BARx tomorrow (July 25th) from 6-8 PM.  Monica is "in charge" (so no Muscle Ups with a beer in one hand).

There will also be a sand volleyball event coming up on Saturday, August 9th from 1-6 at Fenton Park.  We decided this was way safer and not nearly as stupid as HooverBall, mainly because it would result in far less dislocated fingers and smashed faces.  This will also be our "going away" party for our college students returning to school and a few athletes that are abandoning us for other areas due to work and other life stuff that's not as important as the gym (you know who you are).

Lampitt is ready.

You better believe there's going to be some shirts off high-fiving taking place at this event.

I also have a PDF of upcoming competitions, but I can't post a PDF on here.  That's not entirely true, but let's just say that I don't know HOW to post a PDF on here.  So we'll find another way to get it to you.  Enjoy the weekend.

Also, special note:  since everyone is out of town on Saturday and we've forced Monica to get up and come in, please take note of the special skills we have planned for that morning (they're hilarious).  We couldn't force her to get up THAT early though, so the 7am is cancelled.

07/24/2014 - Thursday WOD

A): Snatch Balance (4 x 3)
** Focus on catching the weight as low as possible, stay light and work on technique.  Feet move from pull position to squat position.
B): Power Snatch (4 x 3)

Metcon (No Measure)
10 Rounds for Quality:
Row 150 Meters every 1:30 (Rest with remainder of the time each round)

Core and Mobility
C1) Close-Grip OHS - 3 x 10
C2) Bird Dogs (from all fours, extend one arm forward and one leg back for a 3 second count) 3 x 10 Alternating reps
C3) Pigeon stretch - 3 x 30 seconds per side (use box if you can't maintain an arched spine, no leaning forward)

07/25/2014 - Friday WOD

A): Shoulder Press (Find 5RM For Today)
** Work up in sets of 5 to heaviest possible set with perfect technique.
B1): Shoulder Press (3 x 5 at 85% of Today's 5RM)
B2): Pull-ups (3 x Max Reps)

Metcon (Time)
10 Rounds for time:
5 Deadlifts (225/155)
7 Barbell Push Ups

Core and Mobility
C1) Banded Hip/Hamstring stretch (on back) - 3 x 30 seconds per leg
C2) Press In Snatch (with PVC or light barbell) - 3 x 8.  Snatch grip, bottom of squat, press the bar from behind the neck
C3) Side Planks - 3 x 30 seconds per side.

07/26/2014 - Saturday

Skill Work:
A.) Handstand Push Up Skill Work (20 Minutes of Skill Work with Monica)
** Work on Handstand holds, kicking up, strict or kipping push ups, walking, or anything else that floats your boat.

B.) Double-Unders (Learn to Double-Under)
Skill work with the "Double-under Whisperer"

Bradley (Time)
10 Rounds for time of:   
100m Sprint  
10 Pull-ups   
100m Sprint   
10 Burpees   
Rest 30 seconds

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Well it's happened again.  Mags is all geared up for another run to Goodwill, and this time she means business!  This Friday, all of these precious belongings, carelessly left behind, will be donated to a good cause.  See anything you like?

Bonus:  the Heineken Light Cooler Bag has a warm, slightly aged Bud Select inside!  Yours to keep.

Not a single one of these items fit me.  We need more barrel-chested members.

If any of this crapola belongs to you, speak now or forever hold your peace.

07/23/2014 - WOD

A): 3-Position Clean (8 sets working up in weight)
** The 3 Positions are:
1.) Hang at Mid-Thigh
2.) Hang at the Kneecap
3.) Floor
Focus on driving first with the legs against the floor from all 3 positions.  Keep the bar close.

Metcon (Time)
For time:
21-15-9-15-21 Reps of:
KB Swings (53/35)
Hang Power Cleans (95/65)
Box Jumps (24/20)

Core and Mobility
C1) Planks on Med Ball 3 x 30-60 second holds
C2) Single Leg RDLs with Light Dumbbell - 3 x 10/leg
C3) Banded Lunge Squats - start with band around high hip facing the pole, banded leg is back/down.  Move from the top of the lunge down to the bottom, focused on squeezing your glute the whole time.  3 x 10/leg

Monday, July 21, 2014

Constant Improvement

Here are BARx, that's what we're all about.  So starting today I've decided to make some changes to the programming, however slight they may be.  Really the purpose is three-fold:
1.) Add in additional "Core" work to the programming, for the sake of making us feel like we have abs and also the health of our backs.
2.) To stop people from doing 300 sit-ups after every class (you know who you are)
3.) To sneak in some extra reps and force you to do the mobility work that you constantly ignore (again, you know who you are)

Contrary to popular belief, THIS is your real core.

So I guess the most important takeaway would be this:  the Mobility and Core work after the WOD is no longer optional.  It's now a part of each class.  I will be shortening the "B" skills slightly to make time to accommodate for this.  Yes, I know you're going to be so exhausted after tearing up that metcon that you don't even want to move.  That's kinda the point.

As you'll see below, there is now a 3rd section for each class, after the Strength and Metcon portions. Enjoy!

07/21/2014 - Monday

A): Back Squat (Find 5RM For Today)
** Use sets of 5 to work up to the heaviest possible set with perfect technique
B1): Pull-ups (5 x 3 Strict)
** Scale appropriately.  These should be 3 explosive reps, focusing on squeezing the abs and posterior.  Chest to bar, full range of motion reps.
B3): Box Jumps (5 x 3 Waist Height)
** Focus on solid landing position in a 1/4 squat and perfectly balanced.

Metcon (Time)
10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 Reps for time of:
Front Squats (135/95) From the floor
3 HSPU after each set

Core and Mobility
C1) Side Planks - 3 x 30 seconds per side
C2) Bird Dogs (from all fours, extend one arm forward and one leg back for a 3 second count) 3 x 10 Alternating reps
C3) T-Spine on roller - 3 x 30 seconds

07/22/2014 - Tuesday

A): Bench Press (Find 8RM For Today)
** Take 3-4 sets to work up to the heaviest possible set of 8 Reps.
B1): Ring Dips (3 x Max Reps)
B2): 1-Arm Dumbbell Bent Row (3 x 10/arm)

Metcon (Time)
2 Rounds For Time:
40 Calorie Row
30 Wall Ball (20/14)
20 AbMat Sit Ups
10 Hand Release Push Ups

Core and Mobility
C1) Ring Mountain Climbers - 3 x 30 Alternating Reps
C2) Barbell Roll-Outs - 3 x 10 with perfect technique.  Block the end of the range with a wall or box so you can't break the midline.
C3) Banded GMs - 3 x 15.  Focus on a perfectly flat back for each rep.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Good Times

Apologies for the lack of posts this week. Part of it is simply the availability of time; the other (probably bigger) problem is that I'm currently injured which seems to turn everything upside down and causes me to question the laws of the universe. But injury also makes me contemplative, and sometimes it's a blessing in disguise. It can expose technique or strength deficiencies, or maybe even lead to a blog post, which some may find inspirational and others depressing. I, of course, will continue to not really care either way.

Ah weightlifting.  Wouldn't life be so much easier and simpler if I just gave up on this shit? Can I find a way to surgically remove the part of my brain that cares so deeply about making the jump from mediocre athlete to a very slightly less mediocre athlete? And if so, would my ever-degrading health insurance cover the operation, and what would the co-pay be?

The Jackass Cortex of the brain controls the human impulse to swing a kettlebell until we soil ourselves.  It's Science.

At some point along the way, many of us make the turn. It's not exactly a sharp turn, but more of a slow gradual curve that is barely noticeable until you finally realize you're moving in a different direction. I'd imagine this is similar to the development of mental disease. You don't just suddenly wake up one day as a crazy SOB, mumbling to yourself about getting your chest up during your pulls as you lower yourself slowly to the toilet using a pulley system you rigged up with some bath towels and the shower rod ... You end up that way over time.

I dropped this pen under my desk 4 days ago. I'll pick it up in August.

Turning the corner means that fitness/Crossfit/weightlifting (slash whatever the hell you want to call it) is no longer a tourist attraction in your life. It's no longer a question of "will I make it to the gym this week" or thinking "deadlifts are probably improving my golf swing." No, after you make the turn, it's no longer something you "do", but rather it's something that has become a part of you. And now my friend, you are truly and irrevocably screwed.

People have different words for it. Passion. Obsession. Compulsion. Insanity. Stupidity. Whatever. Now the first thing you do when planning vacation is google map the nearest gyms. You're reading books on hip anatomy to make your squat more safe and efficient. And years down the road, you're limping up to a barbell with wrapped knees and elbows, hoping your shoulder stays attached long enough to power snatch 150 pounds just one more glorious time. And you love every minute of it.

This is what you look like now.

Moving well, technique, positional development, mobility, stability, flexibility ... All of this is important to your health and staving off injury. But those of us who've turned the corner have also accepted the fact that some level of injury is inevitable, and part of your disease. To oversimplify, let's say the human spine can withstand about 7 pounds of compression force in the absence of any surrounding musculature before it starts to buckle (I think that's actually pretty close to the truth). Now think how much higher the stakes have risen when you're pulling 300 lbs off the floor rather than 100. That's 200 extra pounds just waiting for you to make a slight mistake or lose your focus for a split second. And you will.

Those numbers are begging for a chart or graph but I just don't have the resources at the moment.

But now it's different. Earlier injuries left you wondering how long you would be kept out of the gym. Now there is certainly no question: I'm going to the gym, and I'm going to train, and the pain can come along if it wants to. Now the questions shift to how bad is this going to hurt, how pissed off am I going to get that I have to snatch from high blocks rather than the floor, and how long is the freakin' warm up going to take ? Truthfully, the only thing that's going to stop me from lifting today is the nastiest injury of them all: death.

Hates heavy clean pulls. Oddly enough, loves long walks on the beach.

Some of you may be confused by all this, and may never experience what I'm talking about. God bless you. Keep it that way. You are the envy of all of us who see our chiropractor more often than our own mothers. As for the rest of you ... Keep on grinding. I'll see you on the other side of all this agony, where we will surely be rewarded with that extra 5 pounds on our front squat that we've bled for.

Back injury tip #17: learn to love the taste of Crest. The hip-hinge required to lean over the sink and spit is not worth the agony, you're going to have to choke it down.

Times to beat for today:
8:33 Rogers
8:40 Louis
7 + 10 Donny (actually followed the cap)
5 + 1 Monica (actually followed the cap)

07/18/2014 - WOD

A): Shoulder Press (Find 5RM)
B1): 1-Arm Dumbbell Bent Row (4 x 10/arm)
B2): Weighted Sit-ups (4 x 10 (Heaviest Possible))
B3): Front Rack Lunge (4 x 10 Step, Alternating Legs)

Metcon (Time)
For time (8 Minute Cap):
1-8 Muscle Ups ** Sub is 2 Pull Ups and 2 Dips
1-8 HSPU

Cool Down/Skill
** Chest/shoulder stretch with band on pull up bar
** Lying spinal twist
** Hamstrings on roller

** Traps on lacrosse ball

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Lack of Title

Resident Pigeon

Tim is busy. Yes, he has a full time job that apparently gets in the way of his true passions - blogging, yoga, and marathon snatch sessions.  I thought I would post a picture of him so you can remember what he looks like while he takes an extended beach vacation - his other true passion.

Quick announcements:
Due to lack of teams the Masters Melee Competition this weekend has been postponed until October. A couple more months for the Masters to master those double unders! 

Yoga on tap for Saturday at 10am. Come take the morning beatdown class and then zen it out with Amy.

Beat the Trainer week is in full swing and we have had some impressive showings.  Notable time is Lauren S. on her 100 burpees at 5:17 - beating all the trainers and superheroes in the gym. For tomorrow we have a Snatch/Wall Ball couplet and we will all be chasing Donny who crushed it with a time of 4:47.

Thursday, June 17, 2014

A1) Snatch Balance 5x3 at medium weight
A2) Turkish Get up 5x3 each arm
A3) Ring Planks 5x3 max hold

Power Snatch (95/65)
Wall Balls (20/14)