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Archive for October, 2012

Why You Can’t Be Fit

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012
They're getting better at pull-ups!

They're getting better at pull-ups!

Middle school gym teachers and Marine Corps drill instructors have used a variety of tests to measure fitness.  Running, push-ups, pull-ups, obstacle courses, and so on, are common fitness tests.  But the fact is that many regular people can’t do these things well.

To find out just how useful these things are as a measure of fitness, researchers looked at 17 normal weight people who were not strong or fast– you know, regular people.  Three days a week for three months, these people engaged in low-intensity exercises that had little or nothing to do with the aforementioned fitness tests.  They spent most of their time hula-hooping, playing hopscotch, or using a stationary bike while watching Judge Judy.  Over those three months, nobody bothered to track nutrition or sleep habits of the subjects.  The researchers didn’t discuss the experiment details with experts, they just turned a few people loose in a gym for a few minutes every week, with instructions to not break a sweat or strain themselves.  The researchers didn’t even bother to set up a control group for the experiment because they were trying to show that getting fit is hard.  Like, really, really hard.  Especially for regular people.

So, anyway, by the end of the three months, these 17 regular people increased their hula-hoop and hopscotch abilities by 36%.  But the researchers were stunned when they found out that only 4 of the 17 people succeeded in doing better on any fitness tests.  ”We honestly thought we could get people fit by having them hula-hoop and play hopscotch,” said Paul Bunkerhousen.  But Bunkerhousen said that the study and other research showed that fitness takes more than just the ability to roll a hoop around one’s hips, or hop in chalk squares on the floor.  Men and women who are fit tend to have more muscle mass, lower body fat, better coordination and speed, and more a robust cardiovascular system.

So no matter how fit they are, regular people will never be as fit as fit people.  Bunkerhousen noted that some fit people struggle with fitness tests, too.  ”I mean, they do work really hard at those tests.  You ever see the Olympics?  Those guy look so tired when they’re done.  It’s not for everybody.”  This is related to an interesting phenomenon: if a person works really hard at something, they can get better at it.  But, there are some people who, for whatever reason, just aren’t naturally good at running, or push-ups.  Those people should probably just give up on fitness and enjoy reality TV and potato chips, or something.  After all, working hard to get better at something isn’t for everybody.

For those of you who haven’t read the New York Times article, Why Women Can’t Do Pull-Ups, you should do so before you leave a comment.

Halloween In The Cave

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

For those fortunate enough to come in for class on Halloween you were greeted with a staff in costume. I hope everyone has a great time tonight. Be creative about how to dispose of and distribute the vast amounts of candy acquired at this time of year. You can not justify candy as being paleo. Sorry. Have fun, enjoy yourself, keep things in perspective.

Programming for October 29 - November 4

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

October 29th

Level 1:
A) Work on cleans for 20min
B) Strict Press: 6 x 3 @ 75%
C) 2RFT:
10 HSPU; 15 Burpees
(Immediately after)
D) For max distance: 1min Lunge walk steps w/ dumbbells
Notes: HSPU are to be done on the wall. Scale as needed. C and D are to be scored individually.
Level 2:
A) Take 20 min to establish 1RM clean
B) Strict Press: 6 x 3 @ 75%
C) 2RFT:
10 HSPU; 20 Burpees
(Immediately after)
D) FT: 15 cleans @ 80% of 1RM
Notes: HSPU are to be done on the wall. Scale as needed. C and D are to be scored individually.
October 30th:
Level 1:
A) Back Squat: 1 x 6 @ 60%; 1 x 6 @ 65%; 2 x 3 @ 70%; 1 x 2 @ 80%; 1 x 2 @ 85%
B) 3RNFT: Max effort ring dips
C) 2RFT: 400m Run; 10 kettle bell swings
(Immediately after)
2min Amrap: medicine ball cleans
Level 2:
A) Back Squat: 1 x 6 @ 60%; 1 x 6 @ 65%; 2 x 3 @ 70%; 1 x 2 @ 80%; 1 x 2 @ 85%
B) 3RNFT: Max effort muscle ups; weighted ring dips x 3
C) 2RFT: 400m Run; 10 kettle bell Snatch (EA)
(Immediately after)
2min Amrap: wall ball
October 31st:
Level 1:
A) Snatch Grip Deadlift: 10 x 3 (Practice tall snatch between reps)
B) 5RFT: 200m Run; 10 Burpees; Rest 1min between rounds.
Note: Score for B is slowest round
Level 2:
A) Snatch: 1 x 5 @ 60%; 1 x 5 @ 65%; 3 x 2 @ 70%
B) 3 stop snatch Deadlift: 3 x 5 @ 90%
C)  5RFT: 200m Run; 10 Burpees; 30 DU; Rest 1min between rounds.
Note: Score for B or C is slowest round
November 1st:
Level 1:
A) 3RNFT:
10 dips
5 Strict pull up
10 Strict leg lift
B) Establish 1RM front squat
Level 2
A) Warm up cleans and dips for 10min
B) ”Elizabeth”
21-15-9
Squat Clean
Ring Dips
C) Goat
November 2nd:
Level 1:
A) Front Lunges w/ Bar: 5 x 10 (10 Each Side)
B) 3 RFT:
400m Run
10 Single arm kettle bell swings
5 Single arm kettle bell push presses
Rest 2 min between rounds
Level 2:
A) Take 15min to work up to a heavy snatch from blocks.
B) 3 RFT:
400m Run
10 Single arm kettle bell swings
5 Single arm kettle bell push presses
Rest 2 min between rounds
November 3rd:
Level 1 & 2:
A) 5min EMOM: 15 box jumps; 5 push ups w/ feet on boxes
B) Rest 3min
C) 5min EMOM: 10 HSPU (Scale as needed); 2 Wall Walk Ups
D) Rest 3min
E) 5min EMOM: 3 Clean Pulls @ 115%
F) Rest 3min
G) Tabata: Sprints
Notes: Divide the class up into four groups. Each group will start at a different exercise. At the clean pull station, clients are required to strip their bars after their final set.
November 4th:
Level 1 & 2
A) 10min on shoulder mobility
B) 15mn on Handstands
C) Weight pull up: 2 x 3 @ 70%; 2 x 2 @ 75%; 1 x 2 @ 80%; 2 x 1 @ 85%; 2 x 1 @ 90%
D) For Time: 50 Kettle bell swings

You Are The Stuff Of Stars

Sunday, October 28th, 2012
Formation Of A Star

Formation Of A Star

Warning: Science Content

You are stardust.  Now, we do live in Marin so to some, this is a very poetic beautiful thing to say. But I’m not talking about that. I mean you are stardust, literally.

Just sit back and realize that just about everything you are made of was manufactured in a star. It is pretty astounding to think of what this really means. If it weren’t for stars nothing but hydrogen would exist. Over time stars fuse hydrogen into helium, then helium into carbon. Smaller stars (like our sun) stop there. Eventually the Sun will expand consuming the earth, then shed its outer layer and become a (relatively) cool super dense ball of carbon.

Now here’s the crazy thing. All elements heavier than iron are created in a super nova. It is the only event powerful enough (that we know about) to generate these elements. So if you have any gold jewelry it was created in a cataclysmic stellar event. This is why iron is abundant, and these other heavier metals are very rare. Large stars are able to continue fusion on up to iron, which is as stable as things get from a nuclear standpoint so it basically acts like a nuclear heat sink absorbing energy until the force of gravity overcomes the fusion processes and the star rapidly collapses then explodes. This explosion generates an array of heavy elements and spews them out into space.

So appreciate what you are because the processes to make the stuff you are made of are incredible. Really appreciate the rare elements because they were made in a spectacular fashion.

Can You Name the American Ninja Warrior Caver in the Men’s Health Article?

Friday, October 26th, 2012
Who is this Parkour phenom on the American Ninja Warrior IV Course?

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

(We are having our Ninja Warrior & Parkour Seminar at the Cave on Nov. 3rd, 2012 (Kids) & Nov. 4th (Adults), details here… so if you’ll please excuse the shameless promotion.)

Here is your American Ninja Warrior Trivia Quiz for the Day:

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

2>  Name the obstacle that he is on.

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

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

5> What discipline does he specialize in?

6> How far did he get in the competition, ergo, what obstacle  (if any) did he fall on?

7> Who were the commentators for his run?

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.

2>  Name the obstacle that he is on.

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

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

5> What discipline does he specialize in?

6> What obstacle during the competition(s) (if any) did he fall on?

7> Who were the commentators for his run?

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

(Answers will be posted later this week on The Cave’s FaceBook account.)

What the hell is a “Goat?”

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Last week, we had “work on goat” as part of every class.

Baa-aa-aa-aa-aa?

Baa-aa-aa-aa-aa?

Most of you figured out that, since we’re not a boxing gym, goat doesn’t mean Greatest Of All Time.  In CrossFit, a goat is something that you suck at.  It’s usually a skill that you should be able to do, but you just haven’t put in the time to get good at it.  Skills like double-unders, muscle-ups, and overhead squats are common goats.  We worked on our goats all last week because it was “recovery week,” and we occasionally need to take a break from doing hard training and focus on skills that we need to improve.  I’m hoping that everybody got some work on their goats last week, and suck at least a little less.
But… why do we call them a goat?  Is it because they have horns?  (Doesn’t really make sense)… Or because they’re stubborn?!  Being a part of the CrossFit community for several years, the best explanation that I’ve heard comes from CrossFit Toronto:
goat /gōt/

n. Slang

Someone who is blamed when things go wrong.

Examples:

  1. Sarah made Michael the goat for the broken lamp.
  2. The goalie was the goat in the 1-0 soccer match.

Etymology: ‘Goat’ is short for ‘scapegoat’, which is a person or thing that is given all blame or responsibility for a negative event. A ‘goat’ is the opposite of a hero

Synonyms: fall guy, patsy

Now it makes sense.  You got a terrible time on “Annie” because there are double-unders in it.  Double-unders are your fall-guy, your excuse, your scapegoat… your goat.

In keeping with the spirit of my post earlier this week, if you have an excuse it’s because you’re not working hard enough.  If you suck at double-unders, you should practice them.  There’s no law saying that you can’t do a few reps of your goat in the warm-up, or that you can’t come in early or stay late to work on them.  Figure out what your goats are and work on them.  Get better!

How to Feed your Kids Paleo

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Jacqui M. challenged me with advising her how to pack a paleo lunch for her kids.  Now, I think it’s all about the presentation.  If it looks good (and fun to eat) it will be eaten.  However, this will take time and planning to accomplish–which some people just don’t think they have.

Here are some ideas:

  • Apple slices and almond butter (peanut butter is preferred, but we know the rules on this).
  • Sliced veggies (baby carrots, cucumber spears, bell peppers, etc).  Making a paleo dipping sauce would be great if time permits (when I was in middle school, I loved just eating veggies as is).
  • Veggie chips–for the crunch! I really like the Tarro chips, but they are made with canola oil so it depends how paleo picky you are.  Otherwise, whole foods, woodlands market, etc all sell veggie chips in bulk.  Also, sweet potato chips are yummy!  Trader Joe’s are my favorites right now.
  • Rolled up deli meats–this is the hard part, depending on what your kids like.  I hated mustard until recently, but have always liked vegetables.  So I now roll turkey around some lettuce with mustard in the middle.  Put it on a tooth pick and call it a sandwich bite.  You can make all kinds of sandwich bites.  Ham around apples, Lettuce around bacon and tomatoes…if you stick each roll with a toothpick, it will be easy to eat and other kids will be jealous–trust me–my mom did this and others wanted what I had!
  • Beef Jerkey–you could make your own, or you can find some brands that don’t have all the bad stuff.  I believe whole foods has a good supply.
  • Other fruit, for sweet and snacky cravings.
  • Paleo muffins or breads–if you have the time to make some of these (and you can find recipes all over the internet), they are super tastey and easy to bake.  Also, many of these freeze well, so they’ll last throughout the week.  In many of these recipes, you can sneak in great nutrients, as many of them call for odd ingredients just for substance.
  • Peeled hard boiled eggs.

The list goes on!

I was also a huge leftovers kid, so I had no problem pulling out the chicken leg and chewing on it.  I also had no problem eating salads.  I am fully aware that I was different than most kids today, but I’m just sayin…

Hopefully theses are some good ideas and substitutes from the everyday sandwich and chips lunch.  If this feels totally unmanageable since your children are carby types, start with eliminating some foods.  Get rid of the gluten and see where that takes you.  Or, get rid of the dairy.  There are plenty of options to experiment with.

For some other good ideas, check this out:

http://nomnompaleo.com/post/30325459154/a-week-of-paleo-school-lunches-part-2-of-5

Why Your Excuse Sucks

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

I’m going to talk about excuses for a few minutes.  Some people are going to be offended.  Sometimes the truth hurts.  Your excuse sucks.  That’s the truth.  Whatever excuse you have, it just sucks.  An excuse is a lie that you tell yourself to make you feel better about limiting yourself.  I’m not talking about a legitimate reason for not doing something, that’s a different thing.

No excuses in here.

No excuses in here.

For those of you who haven’t heard of Kyle Maynard, go look him up.  I don’t reference him to try to make you feel guilty, I reference him to show you an example of a guy who doesn’t have excuses.  Kyle might have thought, when he was younger, that he had a legitimate reason to avoid physical activity; what could he actually accomplish without arms and legs?  But he realized that his disability was just an excuse to avoid hard work, and that his disability didn’t mean he got a free ride.  It meant he had to work harder than everybody else just to keep up.

The same is true for you and me, whatever our excuses are, and I’ve heard tons of them.  Here are some of the most common:

  • My back/ knee/ foot/ shoulder/ etc. is messed up, or my body just doesn’t move that way.
  • I’m too old.
  • I just don’t have the time because I have work/ pets/ kids/ obligations.

These are excuses that you use to limit yourself.  Let’s talk about them one at a time.

Injuries.  If you have an acute or chronic injury, you have to work harder to keep up with everybody else.  That does not mean that you need to run on your busted foot, or do heavy lifts with the herniated discs in your back.  What it does mean is that you have to put in the work to rehabilitate yourself.  It might mean seeking out doctors, chiropractors, and physical therapists.  It might mean doing rehab and mobility work multiple times every day.  It might mean changing your diet and sleeping patterns, or changing how you do basic activities.  It might mean that you have to do things that are harder than the thing you need to avoid.  Just because you’re injured or immobile doesn’t mean you get a free ride, it means you have to work harder to keep up.

Age.  If your excuse is that you’re too old, then you might as well just give up and die.  Getting older is normal, it’s how you know you’re still winning at life: the difficulty setting increases.  There is or there will be a time when you feel like you’re not as good as you used to be.  That’s okay.  But it’s not okay to use it as an excuse for not doing something or for not trying as hard as somebody younger than you.  If you’re old and stiff and messed up, then you need to put in more work to maintain yourself.  Fix your diet, do your stretches, break your bad habits.  Just because you’re old doesn’t mean you get a free ride, it means you have to work harder to keep up.

Obligations.  If you’re using your kids as an excuse for not taking care of yourself, maybe you should consider how your kids would do without you, or with a you that is constantly tired, injured and sick.  Your family should be the reason that you take care of yourself, not your excuse to slack off.  (Ask Bill Berry about that).  Work is a bad excuse too.  Guys, this isn’t 1890 and none of you are mining coal or laying railroad.  Whatever you’re doing isn’t that bad.  You just have to change your habits and learn to stand up from your desk and stretch 3-4 times per day, do a workout at home or in the hotel while you’re traveling, pack your lunch, go to bed early, take an actual rest day, or whatever it is that you need to do.  It isn’t easy, but you don’t get a free ride just because you have kids, a hard job, or other obligations.  You have to work harder to keep up.

Now that you know why your excuse sucks, go do hard work.  See you in the gym.

Save the Tens (Or in our case 5kgs)

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

Some funny musings for Saturday night. This is pretty hilarious.

Workouts for October 22nd - 28th, 2012

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

October 22nd 2012:
Level 1:
A) Spend 20min working on Snatch balance
B) Push Press: 8 x 2. Sets 1-3 @ 75%; set 4 @ 80%; sets 5-6 @ 85%; sets 7-8 @ 90%
C) 6 Emom: 3 Snatch Grip Deadlift; 8 pull up.
D) 6 min Amrap: 2 HSPU; 4 Dips; 4 Burpees.

Level 2:
A) In twenty minutes, build to a heavy 1RM Snatch.
B) Push Press: 8 x 2. Sets 1-3 @ 75%; set 4 @ 80%; sets 5-6 @ 85%; sets 7-8 @ 90%
C) 6 Emom: 3 Snatch Grip Deadlift @ 150%; 8 Chest to bar pull up.
D) 5 min Amrap: 2 HSPU; 4 Dips (MEN: 10%BW; Women: BW); 4 Burpees.

October 23rd 2012:
Level 1:
A) Front Squats: 8 x 3. Sets 1-3 @ 65%; set 4 @ 70%; sets 5-6 @ 75%; sets 7-8 @ 80%
B) Wall Hand Stand Push Ups: 10 x 2
(Scale down: additional mats; scale up: deficient presses)
C) 8min ME: 5 Burpees; 5 Ring Push ups

Level 2:
A) 1 ¼ Front Squats: 8 x 3. Sets 1-3 @ 65%; set 4 @ 70%; sets 5-6 @ 75%; sets 7-8 @ 80%
B) Wall Hand Stand Push Ups: 10 x 2
(Scale down: additional mats; scale up: deficient presses)
C) 8 min Amrap: 5 Burpees; 5 Ring Push ups
-Then-
ME 1000m Row

October 24th 2012:
Level 1 & 2
A) 800m run @ 50%
B) Dumbbell skull crushers: 5 x 5
C) Weighted Pull Up: 10 x 3. Sets 1-3 @ 75%; set 4 @ 80%; sets 5-6 @ 85%; sets 7-8 @ 90%; sets; sets 9-10 @ 95% - 100%
D) Remainder of class spent on shoulder mobility w/ partner

October 25th 2012: HAPPY BIRTHDAY NICK
Level 1:
A) Spend 20min working on split jerk.
B) Dumbbell step ups: 3×5 (EL)
C) Single Leg Deadlift: 3 x 10 (EL)
D) 8min As Many Reps As Possible: Toes to Bar

Level 2:
A) In twenty minutes, build to a 1RM Split Jerk.
B) Dumbbell step ups: 3×5 (EL)
C) Single Leg Deadlift: 3 x 10 (EL)
D) 8min As Many Reps As Possible: Toes to Bar

October 26th 2012:
Level 1:
A) 10Min EMOM: 5 Push ups; 5 wall Balls; 5 medicine ball sit ups
B) Rest 3min
C) Bent Rows: 5 x 3 (Heavy)
D) 3 rounds for time: 30 T2B; 20 Thrusters 135#/95#

Level 2:
A) 10Min EMOM: 2 UB Snatches @ 75%; 2 UB hang snatches @ same weight; 5 wall Balls
B) Rest 3min
C) Bent Rows: 5 x 3 (Heavy)
Note: If a client should lose their back position while performing bent rows, he or she must be struck 30 times across the shin with a bamboo switch.
D) 8min Amrap: 30 T2B; 20 Thrusters 135#/95#

Level 1:
October 27th 2012:
A) 3xME L-Sit; 3xME Strict Pull Up; 3xME Dips
B) For Time: 100 Wall Ball
C) Rest 3min
D) For Time: 50 pull ups
Rest 3min
E) For Time: 30 Push Presses

Level 2
A) 3xME L-Sit; 3xME Strict Pull Up; 3xME Dips
B) For Time: 100 Wall Ball
C) Rest 3min
D) For Time: 50 chest to bar pull ups
Rest 3min
E) For Time: 30 Push Presses 62kg/40kg

October 28th 2012:
Level 1:
A) High Bar Back Squat: 1 x 5 @ 75%; 1 x 3 @ 80%; 1 x 3 @ 85%; 3 x 1 @ 90%
B) Sots Press: 5 x 5
C) 4 Rounds For Time: 10 front squats @ 50%; 200m run; 20 T2B

Level 2:
A) High Bar Back Squat: 1 x 5 @ 75%; 1 x 3 @ 80%; 1 x 3 @ 85%; 3 x 1 @ 90%
B) Sots Press: 5 x 5
C) 4 Rounds For Time: 10 power clean @ 70%; 200m run; 20 T2B