SKILLZ

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A piece on why we can’t recreate those days in which skills just seem so effortless 

I was approached just the other day by an athlete who recently got their first bar muscle-up. The conversation went something like this, “I just don’t understand, I did 10 total bar muscle-ups yesterday and they felt so easy. Everything finally clicked! I came into the gym today and I couldn’t even do one, why is that?!” when something like this happens there are a few things to consider.

Developing a new skill is very similar to developing a new relationship. When you first meet you may be nervous, unsteady, and unsure in your words or actions. However, the more you get to know someone and develop your relationship, the more confident you feel in approaching and engaging in conversation with that person. Working on skills in CrossFit can be the same way. The first time you get on a bar or a par of rings it feels foreign and awkward; you don’t know how to act and you feel like a fish out of water. But then the more and more you use the apparatus more comfortable you’ll become. You won’t even think about how to kip or pull anymore.

To be honest it takes hundreds of reps before you master a movement. But every mile long journey starts with a single step. Like we say all the time, consistency is key. The more y0u can introduce yourself to a skill or practice (within reason) the more confident you will become with its demands. It’s important for your personal goals to take inventory of your performance of said skills and adapt your workouts accordingly every time you approach them.

When it comes to practicing new skills there are many variables that can effect your performance. This includes environment, sleep, diet, hydration, proper rest and many other things. Some of these things are out of your control but you must understand what you can control. What you can dictate is the frequency at which you practice and how you execute these new learned skills. Take the time to make notes of how you practice and what coach helped you, whether it’s what he/she said or what the environment was like.

“Ok, that helps, but what if I can never do them again?” I think it’s important to remember that CrossFit is a lifetime program, it doesn’t end, we never “win” CrossFit. The athlete who wins the Crossfit games still can’t perform some skills, lift certain weights, or run a sub 4 minute mile. However, they all chip away one day at a time and work towards the same goal do, to be better than yesterday, so make sure you appreciate the small victories. Crossfit is a program that is dedicated to a life of health and athletic performance. If you are diligent in your efforts the rewards will come.

The goal of Crossfit is overall fitness. Practice anything and everything to move your fitness needle and you may see improvement all around. For example, if you can’t do Bar muscle-ups any more then spend more time practicing them for 1 month, then take a month to work on something not related. You’ll find that focusing on true weaknesses can improve skills. That’s part of the magic of this stuff, if it seems unrelated or useless then you should probably look into it a bit farther. Maybe improving your double unders and pull-ups will make you better at muscle-ups. If you can take anything away from this, know that you should enjoy yourself, enjoy the process, and work relentlessly to become the best version of you that you can possibly be!

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Shoulder Health

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Shoulders! 

The shoulder joint is a very unique joint. It has more range of motion than any other joint in your entire body and because of that it requires more stability than any other joint in your entire body.

The first thing your need to know about shoulder pain is, “proximal stability, leads to distal mobility.” Max Shank. What that means is if your trunk (abdominals, obliques, lats, glutes, hip flexors) is weak, you can experience shoulder pain simply because these muscles aren’t functioning properly. This is very important for people who do CrossFit because CrossFit by large doesn’t work the obliques (twisting) and lats (bending) as much as it works other muscle groups in the trunk. Something that I’m noticing now after years of coaching is that athletes are lacking seriously in these muscle groups, this is something we are programing to fix but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t attack issues on your own.

-Start adding in some very basic trunk twists and trunk bends with a PVC pipe as soon as you get to the gym. I’ve been doing up to 100 reps of each 1-2 times a week and I’ve eliminated my shoulder discomfort.

-Also, doing single arm Kettle bell overhead carries, waiter carries (front rack) and single arm farmer carries are great ANTI rotational exercises that will also work these muscle groups.

-If nothing else you’re going to have a super sick six pack after adding these things in.

-Pretty much all info above was taken from here.

Ok so that takes care of stability, what about mobility. These exercises worked for me because I have no mobility restrictions, that doesn’t mean they won’t help you, but any restrictions must be addressed. In all honesty before you workout basic arm swings, arm circles, PVC pass throughs, goofy PVC pass throughs are a great way to increase range of motion and control dynamically, then after your workout, take a band throw it on the rig and lightly stretch that shoulder joint in all directions you know how. Below I’ll tag a couple of videos to get you started on these mobility exercises. Just remember, like anything in the gym FLEXIBILITY TAKES TIME, YOU HAVE TO DO THESE THINGS EVERYDAY FOR A WHILE TO SEE CHANGES. As always if you have debilitating pain that won’t go away, seek professional help, in our last blog entry we have tagged some professionals we know and trust.

-How to do a proper shoulder circle

-Dumbell / Bench stretches

-5 way shoulder MOB this is the one I wanna see everyone with tight shoulders using.

 

Come see me with questions.

-Jacob

Injuries…

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We all have them, and we all don’t want them. 

I truly hate to say it, but we will all more than likely get injured at some point while participating in CrossFit, even if that’s having a slight ache in your shoulder, it’s probably affected all of us. The good news is there are a lot of steps that can be taken to avoid injuries and little aches and pains that come as a result of pushing yourself.

Self help

Trust that your coaches are hearing your concerns and are doing our part to make sure these injuries are corrected and will get better. In the mean time are many great resources out there as far as prevention and rehabilitation that can be done at home.

  • Mobility wod – This site can be paid for or you can check it out on youtube, he has a library of over 300 videos that will more than likely cure whatever hurts ya.
  • Romwod – accountability is super important, have a daily flexibility routine can do wonders for preventing injury and creating positive habits in your life.
  • Youtube – There are millions of videos on how to pre/rehab injuries and also how to perform the movements you do everyday in CrossFit better, taking a little time to look up the movements in the wod for tomorrow can provide huge gains in a relatively short time.

Obviously there are many other resources out there, these are just a couple to get you started and they’ve been proven to be effective, so check them out and give us some feedback.

Professional help 

Not all injuries can be fixed with a foam roller and a yoga mat, especially if you have a history of problems. Here are some names of some professionals we know and trust. Basic maintenance is important, if you’re not the kind of person to stretch and rollout on your own, or you have some more serious issues, check out these folks and tell them we sent you.

Bruce White – Chiropractic (270) 782-5400

Dr. Nick Starnes – Chiropractic (270) 834-8922  [Glasgow]

Dr. Preston Wakefield – Chiropractic (615) 383-0969 [Nashville]

Dr. Howerton – Acupuncture and overall health (270) 904-5120

Nathan Johnson – Physical Therapy – Bluegrass active release therapy

(270) 796-6800

Mark Cline – Massage – Suite zen

(270) 745-9399

2017 CrossFit Open

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Get Ready My Friends! 

As many of you know the 2017 CrossFit Games Open is upon us. We are less than 3 weeks away from the first announced open workout of the 2017 season. I’m sure some of you guys have been thinking about this time of year a lot– like every time you walk into the gym a lot. We had an amazing turn out last year and it was lots of fun and we hope to see the same again this year! Go to http://wwe.games.crossfit.com to sign up and make sure you type in Vette City CrossFit for your affiliate. That way we can all see scores on our own leaderboard.

The first workout will be announced on the games website at 7pm February 23. Keep your Friday nights open for “Friday night lights,” where we get together from 4-7ish PM and throw down on the open workouts. These won’t be typical classes, you will just show up and hop in a heat whenever you’re ready to go.

We encourage everyone to sign up and support the CrossFit community that has been so kind to us, and support our VCCF family members as we all suffer together for the next 5 weeks. Even if you don’t think you are an ‘elite athlete’ it’s still way more motivating to have your name on the leader board, you’ll find yourself pushing harder than you ever imagined!!! Just ask anyone who has done it before! Best of luck to you all!