Author Archive: Jon Bryan

THE CRUCIBLE: FORGE A NEW YOU

A crucible is an extremely difficult test that combines different elements that when completed form something new. Beginning Monday, 6/19 our next training cycle – The Crucible – will give you the chance to do just that! One day each week for eight weeks you will have the chance to perform a WOD programmed by each coach and specifically designed to be a challenging physical and mental test. Hit these workouts with all you have got and great results will follow!!!

Also during this cycle we will be shifting focus to include a bit more Olympic lifting each week than we have done so far since The Open.

Finally, it is really starting to heat up outside. Be sure you are staying hydrated and getting plenty of rest!!

New Programming Cycle Begins

On Monday, 3/27 we are starting a 6-week cycle where we will be working on building your strength base (squat, deadlift, press), aerobic capacity (some longer, slower WODs), and gymnastics.

The first week will allow you to test your current strength levels, and we will retest several weeks down the road. Remember we are not interested in how much you can lift but rather how much you can control. Said differently, don’t sacrifice mechanics/technique for a few more pounds. Be patient. Respect the principle of mechanics – consistency – intensity.

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The World’s Most Powerful Recovery Tool

Sleep.

Bottom line – get as much as you can without getting divorced or fired. Make it a priority and pretty much everything in your life will improve. Neglect it and you are really stacking the deck against yourself – it does not matter how hard you train or how spot on your diet might be – if you are not making good quality rest a priority you will significantly hinder improving your fitness and make yourself more susceptible to injury and illness.

Nothing you don’t already know. Not difficult for anyone to understand. But for some of us really easy not to do. Remember that we get fitter when we RECOVER from exercise, and a big part of the recovery process occurs when we go night-night.

If you want or need more specifics, read below or ask a coach. Thanks for reading.

CF Journal Sleep Article

Split Jerk Technique

Split jerks are coming up next week during the strength portion of a class. Here are 5 things to think about and work on in preparation for that movement.

1. Stay on your heels during the dip.
2. Dip straight down and drive straight up.
3. Think about pushing up on the bar in an effort to drive your body down into the receiving position.
4. When you recover from the lift, step back with your front foot then forward with your back foot.
5. Have fun.

Also, use the simple diagram above (from CrossFit Invictus) as a general frame of reference to get your feet into the correct position to receive the lift. Practice this as a part of your warm up with no bar or a PVC. Also, get in the habit of videoing your lifts so you can get some visual feedback on how you are moving.

Finally, here is an article from the CrossFit Journal if you would like some more detail on how to properly execute this lift.

CFJ Split Jerk Article

TECHNICAL MAX

TECHNICAL MAX – This would be the max weight that you can hit on a given lift WITH PERFECT TECHNIQUE, or at least without any excessive deviation.
PERSONAL RECORD (PR) – This would be the most weight you have ever successfully moved in a given lift REGARDLESS OF TECHNIQUE.

When performing the strength portion of workouts (Olympic lifts, squats, presses, etc), a good rule of thumb for most people is to base your efforts and percentages off of your “TECHNICAL MAX.” Yes, by all means there is a time and a place to go for a true maximum effort or lifetime personal best. But in general, over the long haul more benefit will be derived from working to improve how much weight you can move with solid technique and strengthening your body in correct positions than just trying to get the weight from point A to point B no matter what regardless of form.

Getting stronger takes time, discipline, and patience. There are no shortcuts or easy fixes. The smartest and most productive thing to do is to take your time, enjoy the journey, and build your strength step by step with your primary focus consistently being on moving the weight with as close to technical perfection as you can obtain. Don’t worry – your strength will still improve, you will still get a great workout, it will be brutally difficult, and as you become more experienced as a lifter, the difference between your technical max and PR will become smaller.