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Work Out of the Day

  • 04MAR


    March 4

    Hello again CFU Family!

    Coach Kyle here! The Open is upon us and over the next few weeks I’ll be writing with some advice and help so that you can perform at your highest level. This week we’re talking rest and recovery. With the first week of the 2015 Crossfit Open coming to an end, you’re probably either extremely happy with your performance or you’re contemplating redoing it at the last minute to try and increase your placement by one or two slots. Either way the results of 15.1/15.1A and the workouts over the next four weeks are a cumulative effect of the workouts, dietary changes, skill work, mobility work, or lifestyle choices you’ve made over the course of the last year. Whether you’ve put in the time and effort only you know but at this point there’s not much you can change. However, there are a few things that you can change over the next four weeks to optimize the performance base that you have so far. Now’s not the time to start doing more Metcons, focusing on getting your strength up, or completely changing your diet in hopes that you’ll make up for lost time. What you can do though is take control over the little things outside the gym that will make a difference in your performance over the next four weeks. The biggest one that everyone knows that should do but is often overlooked is increasing your rest and recovery.

    Rest and Recovery
    While now’s not the time to try and get in extra workouts to try and get in shape, it is the time to let your body have some extra rest. While The Crossfit Open is listed as a new set of workouts each week, it’s not the same as doing the workouts you do week in and week out at the gym. In the end, The Crossfit Open is a competition whether you’re comparing yourself to the rest of the world or just trying to compete with yourself. These workouts are harder on your body not because of the movements, time, weight or reps in the WODs but because of the anxiety, adrenaline, and nerves that go through you as the clock counts down to one. When these emotions run through you they have a physiological effect on your body. Some of these effects are increased use of carbohydrates, increased sweat production, and increased muscular tension. Like any stress, these have an effect on your body. So during the next four weeks do yourself a favor and take a day or two off during the week. Plan your rest/recovery around the upcoming WODs. An example of this would be if your plan is to take your first crack at The Open workout on Friday then take Thursday off of training and go lighter during Wednesday’s training or take Wednesday off of WODing and get some light rowing or mobility work in. Also getting extra sleep in the days leading up to your attempt. Sleep works on a 24-hour delay. So just getting a good night’s sleep on Thursday won’t be enough for a Friday workout. However, getting a good night sleep on Wednesday will have a solid effect on Friday’s workout.

    If your work schedule or other life things get in the way of getting a full night’s sleep each night, pretend you’re in kindergarten again and give yourself a nap time or five each day. Just a couple 15-30 minute power naps a day will make a huge difference in your recovery and energy levels. Adding in extra foam rolling, stretching, quiet time, and light aerobic work will all add to your ability to improve your recovery rate and get you ready to crush whatever Dave Castro can throw at you. When doing your mobility work or aerobic work, the thing that cannot be stressed enough is that these should NOT be painful or overly taxing.

    The whole point of mobility work is to improve your muscle’s ability to go through a certain range of motion (ROM) and your muscles/tissues cannot do this if the brain feels that there is a threat. When foam rolling or stretching the pain you feel should be no more than about a 4 on a scale from 1-10. If you’re used to “crushing” yourself on the roller or in a stretch and having that “no pain, no gain” mentality, there’s a high chance you’re actually DECREASING your body’s ability to go through the desired ROM. You’re more than likely creating new tension up or downstream to take the pressure off the area you’re working on. This is because whenever we’re stretching or rolling we’re sending a signal to the brain, this signal can either be one that says “oh hey this feels good, let’s keep doing this” or it can be a signal that says “oh sh*t this is not good, I don’t like this, let’s make it stop.” The former is the one that we’re after, this would be letting our brain go into a “rest-digest” state and allow the positive changes to happen. When the “oh sh*t” happens we’re sending our body into a “Fight or Flight” response and any changes will be limited. Especially with The Open going on, use the mobility work to “treat yourself.” Think of it as giving yourself a free massage without having to undress for a stranger. This is a very brief description of how to improve your mobility work and the brain affects your ability to go through a certain ROM. As always I’d be happy to answer any questions you have if you’re looking for a more in-depth answer.

    Just like with the mobility work, when doing extra aerobic work during the week to recover, we want to help our bodies get into the “rest-digest” state and out of the “fight or flight” state. Fight or flight is helpful when doing a hard workout or a competition or if there’s a lion in your house. It is detrimental when trying to recover, sleep, or relax. If you’re going to add in extra aerobic work, keep the intensity around a 4-5 on a scale of 1-10. This will be enough to get your heart rate roughly between 110-150bpm. I would recommend trying to keep it between 110-130 if you’re doing it as a way to recover. This will give enough of a stimulus to get the blood moving and nutrients to your muscles but won’t provide so much of a stimulus that you’re worn down from it. Try to keep these sessions to around 20-25 minutes at most. If you’re one of those people that “needs” to move the day before you do The Open WOD, this would be a good time to add this in as well as 1 or 2 other times throughout the week. If you’re planning on re-doing the workout on a Sunday or Monday, then adding in 20 min of light rowing following your first attempt at The Open WOD will help start your recovery process so you’re able to attack your second attempt even harder.

    As always, I hope that these little tidbits help you on your fitness and health journey. If you have any questions please e-mail me at

    “Dream big and dare to fail”- Norman Vaughn

    Sarah will be here today from Myo-Fit


    Strength: 5X5 Dead Lift. #HAF

    WOD 1: 8min AMRAP

    12 hand release burpees to target + 8 chin-ups. 2 min rest

    WOD 2: 4 min AMRAP: 10 box overs + 10 dead lifts #135/95




  • 27FEB


    CrossFit Open 15.1

    CrossFit Open 15.1

    Here is an assessment from Coach Sarah, our mobility guru.

    Also be sure to watch this video on toes to bar:

    As per the open wods, 15.1 is going to be taxing. The first 9 min are light and fast, but there are things we need to be careful of because we will burn out. First and foremost, there is the grip issue. The toes-to-bar is going to get the grip burning, but you need to stay on the bar as long as possible to keep moving. Once you come off the bar on any round, just get on as soon as possible to keep getting reps. The deadlifts are light, but you must be cautious and aware of form at all times. This one will light up your lower back real fast and make the toes-to-bar much more difficult later if you fatigue the lower back. The snatch again is fairly light to moderate (for most women) and form needs to be stressed because there is 5 additional deadlifts done each round with the snatch added. I think the point of the snatch is really just to suck more oxygen out of your body. The only rest that I can see possible in this wod is with the deadlifts (only if form is good). This is a place where you might be able to catch your breath during the 10 reps. Once the AMRAP is done we move on to the 6 min of 1 RM clean and jerk. Spend 30-45 sec catching your breath, analyzing how you feel and setting up your first attempt, which you will hit. This should be a weight that you KNOW you will hit, but is moderately heavy. Hit this around 1 min-1:20 and then assess how you feel. You have plenty of time here still to add weight and get a few more reps in. I think you should be able to get about 80-90% your 1 RM here if you can control your breathing and settle in to this lift.

    There’s my analysis and here is the mobility warm-up for 15.1.

    Dynamic warm-up (conversational 500-1000m row)
    Glute bridges (hamstring and glute activation for DL) 5-10 for 20 sec
    Groiners (hip openers, 3-10 sec pause each leg) 3-5 each side
    T-push-ups 3-5 each side
    Forearm stretch 4×30 sec
    Forearm mashing with knee in forearm, 30 sec
    Good mornings 10-15
    Pigeon stretch 2x 1 min
    Child’s pose (taking arms side to side for lat stretch)
    Pass-throughs 10-15
    OHS with PVC pipe 5-10
    barbell clean and jerk (front squat and press for progression) 6 reps