Archive for the ‘crossfit’ Category
On any given day in the gym, you may see countless athletes, regardless of their fitness levels, covered with crazy colored strips of tape on various parts of their bodies. You may be wondering, What is this tape and why should I care?
Kinesio tape, or KT tape, is a product developed in 1979 by Japanese chiropractor Kenzo Kase. Dr. Kase recognized that manual therapy (i.e. massage therapy, chiropractic care, and physical therapy) was extremely effective for treatment of different ailments, but often the effects were temporary. He wanted something his clients could use between appointment sessions to increase efficacy of manual therapy for lasting results. As opposed to the traditional methods of taping which focused on restricting motion and compression, Dr. Kase developed kinesiology taping, a method that promotes circulation in an effort to ease muscles but keep blood flowing, allowing injuries to heal more quickly. The kinesio taping method was introduced to the United States in 1995, and has been growing in popularity ever since.
Kinesio Tape Tech
Let’s start by looking at the basic function of KT tape. This is not your ordinary athletic tape. Traditionally, athletes or others with muscle injuries would tape a muscle or joint to restrict motion and prevent further injury. For example, for a strained calf muscle, old-school methods would dictate wrapping tape around the entire lower leg — calf, shin, tibia, fibula, etc. — almost like a mummy. While that would prevent further strain by immobilizing the injured muscle, it would also impede circulation and slow down the body’s natural healing process.
Kinesiology taping takes the opposite approach, using the tape to open up the muscle and allow full movement. KT tape is applied on top of an injured or strained area to stabilize it, but care is always taken to ensure that a muscle or tendon is never encircled with a ring of tape. “As you move, the tape, skin and connective tissue (or fascia) over the muscle or tendon also move, pulling slightly away from the muscle and creating space for lymphatic fluid to flow around and cleanse the inflamed tissue. ” Please read this sentence twice because this is the crux of KT tape.
Dr. Kase lists the following as the four major functions of kinesiology taping (these functions drive the technology behind the tape):
Supporting the muscle — Proper taping improves the muscle’s ability to contract even when it’s weakened; reduces pain and fatigue; protects the muscle from cramping, over-extension and over-contraction.
Removing congestion to the flow of body fluids — Kinesio tape improves blood and lymphatic circulation and reduces inflammation and excess chemical buildup in the tissue.
Activating the endogenous analgesic system — This requirement means that the tape must facilitate the body’s own healing mechanisms, a central focus in chiropractic medicine.
Correcting joint problems — The goal is improving range of motion and adjusting misalignments that result from tightened muscles.
KT Tape Benefits: (in my opinion)
Kinesio tape can be a huge asset for athletes. KT tape is extremely strong and can be applied with different tensile strengths which allows the muscles and ligaments to have “help” when injury occurs. The tape essentially stabilizes an area, for example the shoulder, to prevent any further damage.
Kinesio tape can also significantly help with alignment. If you have a tendency to slouch or have an area of the body that is not properly aligned, kinesio tape can bring the body back into alignment and help the athlete sense how this feels in the body. Having correct alignment can decrease pain and help the joints recover from activities.
Kinesio tape can also help decrease pain in certain areas of the body. After manual manipulation, KT tape can be placed on the affected area (using a different method or style of taping depending on the area) to decrease pain and discomfort. If there is swelling, there is a specific taping method that helps drain fluids into the lymphatic ducts to decrease swelling and help the body heal.
The great thing about KT tape is that it still allows for range of motion, just not so much that you are likely to injure yourself further.
KT Tape vs. Rock Tape
What is the difference between KT tape and Rock Tape?
Rock Tape is a type of KT tape that has been enhanced to provide extra stretch without compromising compression. Rock Tape is made for CrossFitters by CrossFitters. I’ve used them both, and I do have a preference, but I suggest you see for yourself.
If you want to try kinesiology taping, or you need anything taped, let me know. When taped properly, KT tape can make a significant contribution to injury prevention, recovery, and pain.
It’s hard not to notice the assorted blender bottles filled with some mysterious, powdery concoctions that CrossFitters run to inhale after they finish a WOD. Have you ever wondered exactly what it is we’re drinking and why? What is this strange powder? These interesting concoctions are our important post-exercise recovery drinks. Now, allow me to explain the “why.”
Post-exercise nutrition can improve the quality and the rate of recovery after a serious exercise. The right nutrition ingested immediately following a workout, and up to two hours later, can drastically improve one’s recovery time. Classic signs of poor recovery include fatigue, lackluster workouts, extended muscle soreness, lack of increased strength, and lack of increased muscle mass. Obviously, we’ll experience certain degrees of these signs at different times, but wouldn’t it be great to minimize them?
First, a little science lesson to aid in your understanding: From a physiological perspective, muscle fibers are made of protein and will increase in size if the protein is synthesized. Exercise increases the breakdown in muscle protein while decreasing protein synthesis. Exercise also depletes glycogen (consisting of glucose molecules), which is what the muscles use for energy.
The goal of post-exercise nutrition is to replenish the glycogen stores and encourage protein synthesis, or muscle building. Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of glucose, the molecule used to build glycogen. By ingesting carbohydrates, glycogen stores are replenished rapidly, which is important because consistently low glycogen stores lead to a breakdown of muscle protein and a loss of muscle mass. Carbohydrates also increase the body’s insulin concentration, which is essential for glycogen and protein synthesis. Carbohydrates also promote the release of growth hormone, which promotes protein synthesis, and leads to increased muscle mass. Finally, carbohydrates decrease cortisol concentration. Cortisol, also known as a “stress hormone,” is released in response to both physical and psychological stress. During a workout, cortisol levels are increased, causing muscle protein to break down.
Adding protein to a carbohydrate mix will significantly enhance the release of insulin compared to carbohydrate alone. Whey protein is quickly absorbed, while additional amino acids increase their availability to be used as building blocks. An important essential amino acid in a recovery drink is leucine because it works synergistically with insulin to maximize protein synthesis.
What does the the optimal post-recovery drink nutrition look like after a high intensity WOD? The drink would consist of a mixture of carbohydrates and protein, with no more than a 2:1 ratio. If the recovery drink is consumed immediately following exercise, the rate of glycogen synthesis is three times higher than if it is consumed two hours after exercise completion. Therefore, it is important and more beneficial to consume the drink as soon after exercising as possible.
So, the next time you witness a box full of sweaty, exhausted CrossFitters reaching for their blender bottles filled with mysterious powder, you’ll know they are just making sure to get the most out of all the hard work they just did.
Our Youth Strength and Conditioning (YSC) program is thriving! We are excited to announce 2 brand new classes to the program — Strong Girls!
Coach Chelsea will be bringing her experience and expertise to coach these new classes starting in April.
Strong Girls - Wednesday at 3:00 pm, ages 8-11
Strong Girls - Wednesday at 4:00 pm, ages 12-15
Strong Girls is a Youth Strength and Conditioning program for girls only. We want to train both our girls’ bodies and minds to be strong. The class entails 35-45 minutes of age appropriate athletic development while allowing 15-25 minutes for some girl talk. The class provides girls with a safe and empowering place to have facilitated discussions about body image, self-esteem, healthy eating, bullying, boys, goals, friendship, sportsmanship, and integrity. The girls will mentor each other, challenge themselves, and grow stronger—together.
The program involves gymnastics elements, running, weightlifting, cardiovascular conditioning and more. This broad approach will develop a base fitness level that will enhance performance in any sport and allow for competent participation in new activities.
Due to the increasing interest in the YSC program, we are also adding another YSC class:
Youth Strength and Conditioning - Tuesdays at 4:30pm, ages 11-15
The goal of the YSC program is to combine fitness with fun and to help kids grow up healthy, strong and develop a lifelong love of working out. These classes are offered in the CrossFit area and are a great way to introduce your child to fitness and a healthy lifestyle.
All YSC workouts are functional and natural and correlate directly to your child’s physical needs in daily life, recreation and sport. Our experienced coaches are incredibly skilled at conveying the importance of lifelong health and fitness in a way that is meaningful and relevant to your child.
Your child doesn’t have to be an athlete to participate. Our training provides an atmosphere that is challenging, motivating and builds confidence. If your child is already athletic, we can help her become a well rounded athlete, excelling in her current sport while staying fit during the off season.
We now offer 7 classes:
Mondays 5pm, ages 11-15 with Coach Patrick
Tuesdays 3:30pm, ages 11-15 with Coach Dana
Tuesdays 4:30pm, ages 11-15 with Coach Chelsea
Wednesdays 3pm, ages 8-11 Strong Girls with Coach Chelsea
Wednesdays 4pm, ages 12-15 Strong Girls with Coach Chelsea
Wednesdays 5pm, ages 11-15 with Coach Patrick
Thursdays 3:30pm, ages 11-15 with Coach Dana
Kids will need to be enrolled in classes and registered for a corresponding monthly plan. See below for pricing:
One class per week $95. per month
Two classes per week $160. per month
Three classes per week $210. per month
Four classes per week $230. per month
A 25% discount for families applies. Class size is limited to 8 kids, but drop-ins will still be allowed if there are open spaces. Enrollment is easy — please either call the office (415) 927.1630 or e-mail me the details at Dana@inthecave.com.
We’re excited about the growth of this program and we look forward to working with you. Remember, class size is limited to 8, so sign up quickly! Please contact me with your questions or comments.
Well, that’s certainly new. But what are the movements that will be accompanying this rep scheme?
“The first movement is…push-ups.”
What?! Looking out across the CrossFit floor, I saw many confused faces. But, knowing Castro and his flair for drama, something was coming…
“The second movement is…cleans at 85lbs. 15.4 is…wait, wait, wait. We do have a scaled option this year, let’s take advantage of that.”
Oh boy. Here it comes.
“The first movement in 15.4 is really handstand push-ups. The second movement is cleans at 185lbs for the men, 125lbs for the women. As many reps as possible in 8 minutes.”
For the RX division, there weren’t that many cleans, but they were certainly heavy. Many athletes achieved singles while others were looking for a PR on their cleans. The real work was the handstand push-ups. HQ’s new movement standard for handstand push-ups required your feet to pass a line. This was challenging and caused the phrase “no rep” to be used more often than not.
The athletes that did the best broke up their sets and tried to keep moving without reaching failure until the end. If anything, people were more limited by the skill challenge and the weight of the cleans rather than their cardio.
The scaled division was accessible to everybody that was unable to do handstand push-ups. The 10 push press/10 cleans at a medium weight let athletes storm through as fast as possible. Even though the workout was only 8 minutes long, it definitely challenged our cardio as we worked hard to alternate between the two movements.
HUGE SHOUT OUT goes to Jayson N., who achieved his first handstand push-up!!
Sera got the highest female score in the gym with 107! Can’t forget about Daniel T’s amazing 1 clean. Stephanie R’s first attempt score was 5, but she improved it to 14! Same thing for our teen girl Caitie B. whose 2nd attempt score was significantly higher than her first. Karen L. deserves honorable mention because handstand push-ups are a HUGE mental challenge for her. She worked hard this year and posted a competitive score. Don’t lose faith Karen! Your muscle ups are coming! AND Jeff P. PR’ed his clean!
Other highlights include Mike T. and Margo T. showing GRIT! Chris B. really worked hard on this one. How about Patrick C. was amazing for doing this workout while his 8 year old son screamed at him from the kitchen. Steve V. also posted a HUGE score. AND ROGER USED THE WALL!
The best story belongs to Joe W. When he recorded his score on the games site, he accidentally chose the wrong affiliate therefore, his score was invalid. We learned of the mistake at 4:40 PM on Monday, which led to a mad dash to make the 5 PM deadline. In a shocking turn of events, after reaching out to CrossFit HQ Monday night, they decided to allow Joe’s score anyway.
All in all, once again this community showed how united, strong, supportive and FIERCE we are.
15.5 prediction: Thrusters, box jump up and over, and pistols. Yes, I’m sticking with the pistols. Well done everyone!
At CrossFit Chicago, Dave Castro addressed the CrossFit nation: “Week 1 was fun. Week 2—not so much. Week 3 is going to be fun…for some of us.” Clearly, Dave was messing with us, as he continued, “Week 3 will have no pull-up bar and no barbell.” What?!! Oh no…There have only been three occasions when neither a barbell or pull-up bar was used in an Open workout — 13.3, which was a repeat of 12.4, and 12.1. Castro continued, “15.3 is a triplet. The final movement in this tripartite workout is double-unders. The second movement is wall ball. And the first movement is muscle-ups.” There you have it — for the first time in Open history, a workout began on the rings.
15.3 was a game-changer. It eradicated some fierce competition and officially promoted the muscle-up from a luxury move to a necessity. What an exciting workout! Many athletes had great success in achieving their first muscle-ups, while others had to see their goals for the Open drastically altered.
Before the highlights, I’d like to acknowledge how impressive and fierce every single one of the athletes in our community is. Everyone rose to this challenge in an extraordinary way. Some didn’t get a muscle-up, but they didn’t give up until they had no choice. Outstanding.
An extraordinary shout out to Dana H., who achieved 1,000+ reps in the scaled division! All of her wall balls were unbroken and she didn’t stop! Amazing.
Many congratulations to those who reached the First Muscle-Up Club! (I’m pretty sure this is the longest list among Bay Area CrossFit affiliates.): Cody B., Dave W., Lori E., Mikaela V. and Jeff P.
Others who gained significant proficiency:
Daniel “If I can get one, I’m getting 7″ Tyreus - His first attempt score was 6. His final attempt score? 65!
Jason R. made it to his 2nd round of muscle-ups.
Mark R. gutted through 7 muscle-ups when previously he could only do 1.
Our Masters men continue to thrive and rise on the leaderboard! Rich L., Martin H., Michael S., and Mark A. have continued to solidify their places toward the Master’s qualifier. Sera again shined in this workout with an adorable father/daughter rivalry, culminating in each of them repeatedly accomplishing one more rep than the other. Bo’s first round of muscle-ups was practically straight armed, and his first round of 100 double unders was unbroken! Amanda destroyed 15.3, positioning her even closer to the coveted regionals spot.
More highlights included: Michael V. not needing a modification for this workout; Narendra R. got a full round; Wesley B. performed strong muscle-ups but got stuck on the double unders, and our dear Russ B. has now logged 3 Open workouts in a row! Style points go to Steve V, I thin he’s riding a bicycle while doing a muscle ups!
While this Open workout certainly had it’s ups and downs, we once again came together as a community, celebrating our accomplishments and encouraging each other through the struggles. The cheers were enthusiastic and the camaraderie was palpable. Well done.
What will 15.4 bring? I think…pistols, burpees and box jumps up and over.
Recently, while coaching on the CrossFit floor, an athlete suggested creating a blog post titled “Injury Is the Enemy” with the focus teaching that it isn’t worth getting injured for that extra weight or additional repetition. Although he’s absolutely correct about it not being worth it, referring to injury as the enemy caused me to ponder the subject. The more I thought about this, I realized that injuries are NOT our enemy, rather they are our challenge. Injuries are not only our challenge to avoid, but our challenge to overcome. This post, Part 1, will focus on the challenge to avoid injury. Part 2 will focus on the challenge of overcoming our injuries.
Cave community, I throw down this challenge! I challenge you to daily remember these 5 tips, both in and out of the gym, to avoid the “enemy” known as injury:
1. Intensity (not INSANITY) in a WOD.
You’ve heard this before… now its time to take it seriously! Stop throwing insane weights around before you are ready! Think about your longevity not only as an athlete, but for your overall fitness. It is extremely important for you to learn how to recognize when to say when and seek out your coach for assistance. We love to help (its our job!), and we can assist you by substituting another movement that can achieve the same stimulus of the intense and effective workout you desire, all while keeping you safe.
We know you signed the waiver, but as your coaches, we are responsible for your safety and we need to be sure you can move weight correctly over the course of an entire workout; or have the baseline strength to do the movements to proper standards. Make no mistake, WE WILL STOP YOU! If you are in danger of hurting yourself, it is our job to make sure that you don’t strain or tear your labrum, or herniate a disk, or something even worse. I’ve seen it.
As an athlete, know when to say when. It is a challenge to do so, but imperative as well.
2. Warm Up
What you do directly before beginning your workout can have a big impact on what you are able to accomplish during your workout. I know we all run late sometimes, choosing to skip the class warm up exercises. However, it’s important to remember that warm up exercises prepare the body to move quickly and efficiently, while giving a valuable boost to your performance and help keep you injury free.
Warm up exercises should (and in our case do) include static (non-moving) and dynamic (moving at lower intensity) exercises, preparing your body for the higher intensity movements that make up the main part of our workouts. Static stretching exercises (holding a single position) are used to simply elongate a particular muscle or group of muscles. These stretches help ensure your movements go through the full range of motion for the upcoming workout. Dynamic mobility exercises and drills help stimulate your nervous system, muscles, tendons and joints in a very dynamic manner.
3. Anti-Inflammatory Foods
I could go on for years about this, but I’ll get straight to the point. Processed food and drink contain substances that inflame our tissues, which slows the process of healing those microscopic muscle tears created during our intense workouts. Consuming food items with anti-inflammatory properties promotes faster recovery from hard workouts! Try including these 10 foods in your diet to help reduce inflammation and help your body heal faster.
1. Dark, leafy greens are packed with flavonoids, which may reduce inflammation. Good sources include spinach and kale, while soybeans, berries and tea are helpful as well.
2. Pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain, which can help treat muscle injuries like sprains and strains. Add pineapple to a smoothie or salad.
3. Flaxseed is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation. Grind up flaxseed to release the oils, then add a spoonful to your salad, oatmeal, or yogurt.
4. Carrots are rich in carotenoids, a group of phytochemicals that help protect cells from free radicals, boost immunity, and help regulate inflammation. Other carotenoid rich foods include apricots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, and pumpkin.
5. Cinnamon not only reduces inflammation, but also fights bacteria, assists with blood sugar control, and enhances brain function.
6. Ginger contains several anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols, which may relieve joint pain, prevent free radical damage, and increase immunity. Steep a couple of slices of ginger in hot water for ginger tea.
7. Onions can be used as a base for soups, sauces, and stir-fries. Similar foods with anti-inflammatory benefits include garlic, leeks, and chives.
8. Tart cherries are one of the richest known sources of antioxidants, while also being anti-inflammatory powerhouses. Research suggests that tart cherries offer pain relief from gout and arthritis, reduce exercise induced joint and muscle pain, and improve inflammatory markers. Drink a glass of tart cherry juice or combine dried tart cherries with nuts for a snack.
9. Walnuts are loaded with anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Top a salad with a handful of walnuts or eat raw walnuts as a snack.
10. Turmeric, a mustard yellow spice from Asia, gets its coloring from a compound called curcumin. Research shows that curcumin can improve chronic pain by suppressing inflammatory chemicals in the body. Make a homemade curry with turmeric or mix it into other recipes once or twice a week.
Do I really need to say more? Our very own Stephanie R. provides us with daily WOD recovery yoga poses that make all the difference in injury prevention. Please don’t rush out after your workout…take the time to allow your body to recover. Grab a lacrosse ball and roll around on a sore spot; grab a band or a foam roller. We provide you these programs and make available these tools in the gym to keep you safe. We’re not looking to make life more difficult for Russ by cluttering the floor.
5. Take a Rest Day, or 2
Resting allows your body time to physiologically repair itself from the pounding you give it on a daily basis. Rest days make you stronger by allowing your body to repair the microscopic tears in your muscles and by replenishing glycogen stores. This process then improves your performance when you are in the gym, helping you feel stronger and fitter. Taking a rest day is NOT defined by sitting on the couch and doing nothing. Check out my previous post about active recovery which describes what you should do on your rest day(s).
There you have it! I challenge each of you to utilize these 5 tips to help you stay injury free.
Stay tuned for Part 2!
Since its second year in 2012, the CrossFit Open has included a repeat workout. These reappearances give us a chance to see how much progress we’ve made throughout the year. This year’s repeat was last year’s 14.2, an unforgiving couplet of overhead squats and chest-to-bar pull-ups. A few people were discouraged when the workout was announced. Common questions we heard on the floor included: “I can’t get into a full-depth overhead squat.” “The scaled option is still a regular pull-up?!” Despite the uncertainty, our members showed up and gave their all and many were pleasantly surprised with the results.
There are about 20 (give or take) athletes, who competed last year and had the opportunity to see if they had made any improvements over last year. In an overwhelming number, most of you absolutely killed your previous year’s rep count. This is a great testament to the strength, development, hard work, and dedication to the programing. You do not get stronger without doing the work. We had a large number of you, who did the workout for the first time, both RX and scaled, all of whom had great results. I was very proud of all of you once again, for coming together as the CrossFit Marin community rooting each other on and putting up some impressive numbers. We even had great numbers posted by our Teen division!
HUGE SHOUT OUTS:
To Rich Lefurgy, who came in first in his age group in our region, 21st in the world!
Another highlight of the week was watching Sera crush another workout again, she is putting up huge numbers. Michael V’s reverse grip overhead squat were the perfect adaptation for him, and Mark R. even doing an overhead squat at all is exciting. Daniel T nearly TRIPLED his score from last year, Stephanie R performed her first chest to bar pull up and Heather R did her first pull up! More highlights included Narendra’s excitement for scoring higher than Roger, Margo T’s incredible performance and, Joe W tackling chest to bar pull ups. And how about Russ logging 2 open workouts in Row?? Well done everyone.
A true example of not only mental strength, but also fantastic athletic performance, came from our Athletic Director Amanda. She injured her neck a few days prior, and after several days of mobility, chiropractic and soft tissue care and a little luck, she was able to perform this workout and even eked out 3 reps more than last year. Well Done Amanda.
15.3 is just around the corner, I feel wall balls and double unders coming! Don’t forget our Mid-Open Recovery Party on Friday, March 13, starting at 7 PM. Check out our leaderboard!
The 2015 CrossFit Open kicked off at Copperhead, Massachusetts last Thursday evening (2/26/14) with the live announcement show. About a half dozen Cave members huddled anxiously around the flat screen to see what was in store for 15.1.
This year, CrossFit Director of Training, Dave Castro, decided to throw us a curveball right out of the gate. In previous years, competitors had asked for heavy barbells in the open. This year, we got ‘em in the form of 15.1A; a one-rep max clean and jerk! On top of that, for the first time ever, an Open workout will consist of two different scored events. 15.1, affectionately renamed the “grip reaper,” consisted of 9 minutes of 15 toes to bar, 10 deadlifts, and 5 snatches followed immediately by 15.1A—6 minutes to establish a 1 RM clean and jerk.
As soon as David Castro announced the first Open workout, our Mark Anderson was the first of 53 registered CrossFit Marin athletes to take it on. He kicked us off with a memorable performance, and we quickly learned this workout was all about grip strength. Mark set a great pace with 160 reps on 15.1 and a 199 lb clean and jerk on 15.1A. What an amazing athlete!
HUGE shoutout to our coach and athlete Seraphina Schinner, who KILLED this workout! She got the most reps of anyone in the gym on 15.1 at 197—an amazing performance that was exciting to watch—and a huge clean and jerk on 15.1A of 155 lbs!
Amanda’s performance was spectacular and has landed her in the top 60 of Norcal, keeping the regionals dream alive and in her sights.
There were so many highlights this weekend. Every athlete truly gave it his or her best. There were PRs and firsts all weekend. Cody Bartrug never snatched 75 lbs before but went for it and scored a total of 53 reps! Gotta love Michael Schinner catching the clean on his knees, Daniel T’s ability to high pull and strict press his lift, Dave Whaley’s being 1 kg shy of his 1RM max, Michael Tatum’s INSANE clean and jerk, and Rich Lefurgy punching out his jerk a nano second before time was called. It all exhilarated us and ignited our community further.
15.1 brought us a ton of toes-to-bar (which was to be expected) and a one-rep max clean and jerk (which was not expected). Our members counted, cheered, and high-fived each other into numerous new PRs. All in all, it was a great first week, and we’re anxious and excited to see what’s in store for the rest of the Open. Check out our leaderboard!