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Archive for the ‘First acheivements’ Category

What Do These Two Videos Have in Common?

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Ok Cavers, I’d like you to carefully analyze these two videos and try to figure out why they are “the same”.  This is very important for your skill development.  Watch closely.

Video A:  This one is a very good video demonstrating a “Squat-on” in a preschool gymnastics class.  (I know, the little girls are amazingly cute.  We have that same kind of cuteness in our gym. )

OK, now how is Video A the same as Video B, with Ninja Warrior veteran and Cave gymnastics & parkour coach JB Douglass (more on our newest coach to follow in a subsequent blog post) demonstrating this little “Double Kong”.  That is Seraphina Schinner’s (ok,.. Michael & Miyoko Schinner’s) yellow pickup truck that you’re looking at and that is me in the background.  Check this out.   Video B:

OK,… think about it… now I’ll give you some space so you can figure it out without reading the answer below.

..

….

…..

……

…….  Did you figure it out…?

…….. Ok, I’ll give you a little more time…

……… OK, now?…..

……… Here’s the answer:

If your skill level is exactly the same as demonstrated in the squat-ons on Video A, or exactly the same as demonstrated by JB in Video B, or somewhere in between, then you are ready and perfectly capable of participating and completing the American Ninja Warrior Seminar at The Cave on Sunday Nov. 4th from 8:30am-2:20pm.  It is also the perfect place to employ all that fitness and skill that you’ve been working on by training that explosive hip extension, those kipping pull-ups or if you’ve been working gymnastics skills.  Few things could be more fun than exploring new movements in an obstacle course coached by a dozen Ninja Warrior Veterans.  Come meet and train with the celebrities at The Cave.  More details can be found here.  The current pre-registration price is $75 and you can sign up online.  There may also be a couple of slots left for the kids’ session on Nov. 3rd.  Additional details can be found at: http://www.inthecave.com/events.   I know that a bunch of Cavers wanted to come this weekend but had scheduling conflicts.  We’re looking into scheduling another one around April 2013.   By the way, another similarity between the videos is that both the little pre-school girls and JB are overcoming obstacles with just the power of the human body, specifically referred to as vaulting in this case.  Also, the squat-ons are at the beginning of a progression that turns into Kongs and later double Kongs.  I hope you enjoyed the videos, and by the way, here are the answers to last weeks American Ninja Warrior trivia:

Who is this Parkour phenom on the American Ninja Warrior IV Course?

Who is this phenom on the American Ninja Warrior IV Course?

1>  Name the Caver depicted in the “cover” picture of the May 8th, 2012 American Ninja Warrior Workout Men’s Health article show here: http://www.menshealth.com/fitness/american-ninja-workout

Andrey Pfening. He coaches at The Cave on Wednesdays & Fridays regularly, when he’s not subbing or planning out spectacular class programming and obstacle courses.

2>  Name the obstacle that he is on.

Pile Slider

3> What “stage” of the competition is it in and what obstacle on course?  (Ergo, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th,… etc.)

2012 ANW Venice Beach qualifiers

4> What region did he compete in and where was the competition held?

The “Great North West”, as one famous comentator put it.  Venice Beach

5> What discipline does he specialize in?  Parkour, of course!

6> How far did he get in the competition, ergo, what obstacle  (if any) did he fall on?  He fell about 1.5′ past the spot where he is on the picture, before the dismount to the pipe slider

7> Who were the commentators for his run?  Jonny Mosely & Matt Iseman, of course.  I hope I’m spelling their names right.!

Ok,… so,… how about this guy?  (This picture was used on buddy TV: http://www.buddytv.com/articles/american-ninja-warrior/american-ninja-warrior-season-45701.aspx

as well as Monsters & Critcs: http://www.monstersandcritics.com/smallscreen/features/article_1699436.php/American-Ninja-Warrior-Pictures?page=11)

Can you name the Cave Ninja??

Can you name the Cave Ninja??

1>  Name the Caver depicted in the picture above.  -  That’s me, Andres De la Rosa

2>  Name the obstacle that he is on.  Arm Rings.

3> What “stage” of the competition is it in and what obstacle on course?  (Ergo, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th,… etc.)  Venice beach Regional Finals Course, 7th obstacle.

4> What region did he compete in and where was the competition held?  North West, Venice Beach.

5> What discipline does he specialize in?  None.  I’m not a specialist.  I’ve done them all, just about.

6> What obstacle during the competition(s) (if any) did he fall on?  Trick question.  Did not fall!  Finished course with 6minutes + change., which was the slowest run of the athletes completing the course.  Note to self: don’t stop to stretch on the course because you’re tired!

7> Who were the commentators for his run?  Matt Eiseman & Johnny Mosely, same as for Andrey

Come train with both of these Cave Ninjas and many more of the ANW 4 Celebrities at the Cave on Nov. 4th.  Read more here: http://www.inthecave.com/blog/?p=7556

I hope you guys can make it.  All I can promise is how much fun it can be!

So,… other than the blog0-post coach being a little bit of a pain in the ass, I hope that all is well and that you’re all having a fantastic experience at  The Cave.

Cheers!

Spencer’s Progress…Approaching 30 Pounds!

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

A while back, I wrote about Spencer and his new diet.  This guy amazes me.  For someone who really just LOVES food–I mean LOVES FOOD (nothing wrong with that as long as its in moderation)–he has been so dedicated and on it that it’s really paying off.

He started this diet back in mid-late August.  He eats egg whites and steal cut oats (oatmeal) for breakfast, with a quarter avocado and salsa for flavor (the oatmeal get lots of cinnamon).

Then, throughout the day, four more meals consist of 40 grams of protein, 30 grams carbs, and 10 grams fat.   His protein consists of lean ground turkey, chicken breasts, sirloin steak, or salmon (salmon reduces the amount of fat he gets to eat).  For the fat, he usually sticks to avocado.  Salsa is a free food for him (as long as its fresh), so he tries to make his food Mexican style, for flavor.  Otherwise, his fat is counted in the oils he uses for cooking or eating with salad.  Fibrous veggies are free to eat.  And for the carbs, usually he can have brown rice, potato or sweet potato.  He does have the option of oatmeal again, but who wants that more than once a day?   Additionally, he gets a post workout meal of some sort of protein shake, or apples and peanut butter, berries, or something called PB2.  (PB2 is a supplement you can buy at the store which is pretty much like dehydrated peanut butter–its a powdered substance with a lot less fat in it, but a whole lot of flavor).

Now, this post workout meal is where Spencer cheats a bit, as he is not working out every day!  In fact, his workout regime is about one or twice a week.  Something that he is trying to work on, but not quite succeeding yet, is increasing the workouts.  He knows now that after loosing close to 20 pounds his first month, and then a total of 6 or 8 these last two, that if he wants to continue seeing drastic changes, he must get crackin on the sweat fest!

Now, here’s the cool part:

The “tight jeans” have come back out from the back of the closet.  The belt is on its last notch, t-shits have become not as short,

AND…

Spencer did his first unassisted pull up ever!  In fact, he has now made 3 of them!  One of which was partially caught on video.  But how cool is that?  He told me and Roger during the last of a gymnastics class and we just about looked like idiots we were so excited.  Jumping up in down in fact!

I tell you this, because if you work at something long and hard enough you will see results–whatever it is you are working on.  Personally, I like setting mini goals that help me achieve the big goal in mind, because it feels better to slowly chip away at something and see results, rather then waiting for the magical moment as which you have transformed into something completely different.  Poof, I’m sexy!  It just happened! I swear!

Look around the gym and find people that inspire you to be and do better.  Because we are with a group that is constantly working hard.  Cathleen and Ehren are both eating paleo and looking awesome, Shari M is killing it always, Rich L…we’ll hes just our own American superstar, Eileen M had some amazing handstand push-ups the other day…its really pretty easy to find motivation!

So, Spencer…awesome work!  You are helping me stay motivated and keeping my spoon out of the Ben and Jerry’s.  Keep it up and get your pull-upping self to the gym!

Wish us luck in the Shoot tomorrow.

Friday, October 21st, 2011

So about a week ago on Thursday I get a call from this guy named Evan from Bodega studios.  Turns out he’s in charge of casting for a  wine commercial that features a few Parkour moves or at least some “cat-like” movements.  I tell the other parkour coaches on the CFM staff about it and Glenn helps me with pictures and I get some last minute headshots done.  A few of us went to audition last Friday for the principal part, which actually pays pretty well.  We enjoyed using what Andrey calls our “Parkour Vision” to find different moves on the small obstacles by the bay next to Pac Bell stadium.  That was the easy part.  The hard part was trying to look “suave” while pretending to swish fine wine in our wine glasses- errr.. water bottles.   It was definately fun, at least after we got over the nervousness.  ( Maybe I’m speaking for just myself, but I was nervous at first, anyways, until the cute parkour girl showed up to audition.  Then it was just plain fun. )  None of us got the principal part but Ryder and I were offered paid parts as extras.  Not that much, but pay is pay.  The principal part was offered to a fellow from L.A. who’s been involved in different parkour related movie projects.  Other big-name traceurs also applied and I’m not going to list them off, but naturally it made me think of our old friend Shane Daniels, who coached at CFM briefly before moving down to L.A. and finally landing a spot on Team Tempest and fullfilling his dream of becoming a professional stuntman and actor.  Ryder Darcy is also an aspiring actor and he plans on moving down to L.A. eventually to give it a shot, as does our ballet and tap dance teacher, Lindsey Herrera.  (I’m also encouraging Seraphina Schinner, our youngest parkour coach, to look into a stunt/acting career.  She is definately talented enough.)  Both Ryder and Lindsey have been on commercial and modeling shoots before and Ryder recently played a character who heroically gets killed off on a B-rated horror movie.  It’s a process to try to break into an acting career, unless your the child of a famous actor.  I’m happy to go tomorrow to participate, learn, make new friends, and watch the process.  Now I’m just nervous about my wardrobe being adequate for the shoot, which starts early tomorrow morning, so there’s now time for shopping.  Oh well, what I have will have to do.  Wish us luck. 

In the meantime, here is a video that Tempest made when they were shooting the AT&T parkour commercial featuring some of our favorite traceurs, and of course, Shane:

Celebrate small achievements

Saturday, February 5th, 2011

So Friday night Logan decided to walk. He’s been standing freely for a while, and it’s been clear that he just needed to give it a shot. So Friday night he did, and fortunately we were able to get it on camera. In a couple of weeks he’ll be running around. Of course, everyone present celebrates.

So, we celebrate an infant learning to walk. We make a huge deal over every little achievement that a child makes, no matter how small. It is a new accomplishment for them. So, why is it as adults we stop celebrating the little achievements. Whenever we accomplish something new we have a tendency to brush off the accomplishment by comparing ourselves to someone better. Guess what. No matter how accomplished you are, odds are there will be someone better. Unless you are the Olympic gold medalist, world champion, etc there is someone out there better than you.

Our gym can be a bit hard when it comes to comparing ourselves to others. We have a lot of very accomplished people in a wide variety of skills. This means we have plenty of opportunity to deride ourselves for not being the best. Here’s the important thing. An achievement is worthy of celebration no matter how small. Is it 75 concecutive pull ups, or your first. Is it back squatting 400 lbs, or a full range of motion air squat with good mechanics. One of the best things about this place is that I get to celebrate achievement with all of you every day. Enjoy the moment. Allow these events to lift your spirit and drive you on to the next achievement. You deserve it!

PRs in Gymnastics Means New Skills

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

So when we’re weightlifting a PR means adding a bit more weight to a movement. In gymnastics it means the next step in a progression, or a completely new skill. It is a blast to acquire new skills. I get just as excited when one of you make something new as when I do. The good thing about that is I get to experience it all the time. The last couple of weeks have been ripe with new achievements.

Sarah W. came in the door with a decent handstand and quickly improved it with some basic tips. I told her that she needed to work toward a free standing handstand push up, and a press handstand. She appears to have taken this challenge seriously. Here she is making her press to handstand. No small achievement for anyone, much less a non-gymnast.

Kerry C. and Bo W. have been racing to see who was going to get their muscle up first. And the winner is!!! Bo. But only by about 2 minutes. Unfortunately since Bo wasn’t able to make a second one right after the first I didn’t get it on video, but I did get Kerry C’s first. This was an act of sheer will.

So today we ran another trainer’s gymnastics seminar and Amanda N. was on hand to help coach. During the muscle up segment she got a little tip from Jill S. and this was the result.

And, to not leave Bo out of the videos. Here’s Bo making a glide kip in the first session working on it.

What a week!

Matt P. Gets His Muscle Up

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

A lot of new achievements recently. The last time we did muscle ups for skill work both Matt P. and Jesse M. made their first one. We didn’t get Jesse on video, but Matt’s is here. He makes it look like he’s been doing it for quite some time. Nice and smooth. Matt P. is rapidly becoming our giant gymnast. Handstands getting solid, muscle ups. We’ll get him doing giants on high bar one of these days.

Conellen’s Got a Pull Up

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

We haven’t had any achievement posts in a while because our blog has been busy with Ninja Warrior and other topics.

Conellen hit her first pull up a couple of weeks ago. This video is not her first, but shortly thereafter. Additionally, these pull ups occurred on the day we had the rope climb WOD. She ended up making 8 of the 15 ascents legit. Major achievements all around.

Noah G. and Ken W. Muscle Ups

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

During skill work on Monday two people got their first muscle ups. Ken W. and Noah G. Congrats to you two. This movement generally takes people quite a while to get. A lot of pieces need to come together. Unfortunately the camera batteries died before Bill was able to get Ken’s muscle up, but he did several, and they were solid. Now here’s the deal, and Noah picked up on the one downside to making your muscle up. He turned to me and said, “Now I have to start doing these in the workouts, don’t I?”. Yes, Noah, yes you do, and that is a glorious thing.

Raising the Bar

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010
Noah G. Knees To Elbows

Noah G. Knees To Elbows

If you haven’t noticed there are some crazy fit people walking into CrossFit Marin on a regular basis. When I look back over the history of our program I see a steady increase in the top point of work capacity, loads and technique. Now what is also interesting to see is that the average is also increasing. We are steadily adding new people (at a faster rate) so this means that people are stepping up and improving faster than they used to.

There are a few reasons for this. First, our program is a touch better as we do keep improving our systems, programming and training. Second, and this is the important one. With the top bar being raised, expectations are also raised. When you consistently walk in the gym and you see people putting down freakish times, reps, rounds, loads, whatever they gradually don’t seem so freaky anymore. Once they don’t seem freaky, you start to believe that you can obtain them. Then you do obtain them, and set the bar for someone else. As my post Limits of Human Potential indicates, that often once a barrier is broken, suddenly it is broken by a series of people. It’s not that suddenly human physiology changes. What changes is peoples perception of the achievement.

We see this a lot in the gymnastics world. If you train in a gym with high caliber gymnasts it’s easier to progress through difficult and scary skills. If you’re seeing this stuff every day it doesn’t seem so impossible. It’s just part of the program.

So achievements of note that are raising the bar. Karen L’s 4:44 grace. Gabe T’s 2:27 grace. Now that one is just crazy. On Grace day Noah G. did Grace in 4:26, which would have been the new gym record, but instead he is a FULL TWO MINUTES shy of the gym record. Almost every time we do a workout the gym record on the workout is broken. Often times by a huge margin. I’m proud of you all, and am just excited to see what you will continue to achieve in the coming months and years.

More Big Numbers On Heavy Days

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

So Monday was heavy clean and jerk day. Everyone is getting much more efficient in their movements. And we’re seeing significantly larger loads going overhead. Highlights of the day include Gabe T. setting another PR by hitting 110kg overhead. He was able to get under the bar at 115kg, but got stuck in the bottom of the front squat. The big female number of the day was Karen L. with 55kg. She’s up there with all of our heavy lifters. Pretty scary when you have someone that can lift heavy, run fast, and go long. Carlos E. and Matt M. just barely missed 100kg and we had a lot of other PRs.

Carlos just needed to get his elbows around a smidge faster to make this clean. He’ll be there soon.

Sarah W. with her first heavy clean and jerk day hitting 45kg. Bodyweight clean and jerk is just around the corner.

Gabe T with 110kg. Pretty solid mechanics and form. The jerk was rushed, but got overhead no problem. With a little more speed he’ll make a 120kg jerk.

Johnnemann has improved his first and second pull tremendously. Watch up until he finishes his second pull, then avert your eyes because it gets ugly after that.