30 November 2010

Today we put into play (a.k.a. A Met-Con)what we worked on yesterday as a skill,

The KettleBell Snatch

Kettle Bell Snatch, Press, Squat (in rack position)

30, 20, 10, 5 starting on either the left or right side, the athlete completes all three movements of 30 reps, and then moves to the next side once both left and right have done all 30 reps of all 3 movements, you move on to 20 reps…

So we are continuing this week to really focus on the principal of “core to extremity.” Take a look at this video which shows one violation of the core to extremity principal and attempts to correct it.


Core To Extremity

29 November 2010

Skill: pistols and KB snatch

WOD: Thrusters 115/95 one thruster at the top of the first minute, 2 thrusters on the second minute, 3 thrusters on the third and so on….

Both the kettlebell snatch and the thruster are great exercises really demonstrating the principal of ” core to extremity.” We talk about core to extremity or hip extension in nearly every movement, in every workout of everyday. But what is meant when our coach yells “core to extremity” or “open your hips all the way at the top?” Sure we get that it means the movement we are doing is originating and powered by the core and finished in the extremities. But why? What does that actually mean? What is happening when we access power from our core? Let get a little deeper with this concept….

“Functional movements originate from the core. This applies to the vast majority of movements described in this site, and especially to movements like the squat, deadlift, clean, jerk, and snatch (just to name a few). These movements are concerned more about moving a large load than they are about working a specific muscle group. The best way to move large loads is to use the largest muscles possible. Smaller muscle groups jump into the action after the bigger muscle groups are finished. This gives the large muscle groups optimal force transfer through the limbs and gives the limbs a stable platform from which to move.

When someone pulls with their arms in a clean or snatch before they have fully extended their legs, they are violating this principle. Similarly, on a thruster, if you press with the arms while still coming up from the squat you commit the same core-to-extremity violation.” noscrolls.com

This brings us to “Core to Extremity Violation(s)”

“Core To Extremity Violation.”  Functional movements, when performed correctly, use the strongest body parts first and move outward to the weaker parts of the body in sequence.  In other words, when you perform a clean or a jerk, you want to use every inch of your hip (core) range of motion before you begin to move your arms (extremities.)  When the extremities move before the core finishes, you put a weak link in the kinetic movement chain and the speed/power of the movement is limited to the weaker part of the body.  When the movement is coordinated in the correct order, the body is able to express the full potential of the strongest body parts.  If you begin to pull your arms on the clean before you finish hip extension you have committed a core to extremity violation.  The same is true for the push press if you begin to press the bar overhead before your hips finish extension.” CrossFit Sacramento

21 November 2010


whew! what a chipper….this work out of the day was a real leveler. with so many different movements we had the chance to excel and be humbled all in one lovely work out…..

So what is a “chipper” exactly……From the Crossfit.com discussion boards…

“People throw around a lot of explanations for the word. Feeling like you’ve been through a wood chipper is what they threw out at the cert.

Chippers typically have a long list of exercises for you to work through, and don’t repeat or have rounds. Because of this, it’s very linear: you start at one end and work your way in one direction until you’ve done it all, which I think of as the same way a log is worked through a wood chipper.”

From Crossfit I-5 Mission Viejo, Ca

A “Chipper” is a workout format that involves multiple tasks and movements to complete in a certain order. Chippers are designed so that as you fatigue in one task, you switch movements and continue on until your workout is complete. These workouts can be challenging yet rewarding. The wide variety of movements requires an incredible base of skill combined with strength and endurance.

Chippers typically level the playing field. Every athlete has strengths and weaknesses. When a workout includes 5 or more different movements, both strengths and weaknesses will likely be exposed.

Crossfit Connection. Burlington Ontario

I LOVE CHIPPERS….I think I like them so much because they are one of those few things that I am sincerely comfortable with. That crossfit mantra…get comfortable with the uncomfortable….well I gotta tell you there aren’t many things that I am comfortable with in Crossfit . Every workout is hard hard hard because we are always challenging ourselves. Now don’t get me wrong, chippers are hard but I think its the way I can put each movement completion behind me and feel like I’m making progress toward the end goal of finishing. In a way it reminds me of my Ironman experience, its a really long race but you get to the end with one swim stroke, pedal stroke and running ( sometimes walking) step to the end.

November 18, 2010

Handstand skill

Warmup is 3rds:

200mtr run,15 pullup,30 squat,15 ghd sit-ups(or 30 abmat sit-ups )

WOD is hang power clean 3,3,3,3,3,3,3reps

There is much controversy in the CrossFit community about which lift is more difficult and/or should be used in met-con work outs, the clean or the power clean. Yesterday, we used the clean in a met-con workout. Today, we used a power clean in a strength workout. Our intention behind this was to begin to see the difference between these two lifts.

A squat clean requires and develops coordination, agility, balance an endurance. However, it allows the athlete to get under the weight without necessarily reaching full hip extension and/or truly “finishing” the movement in a full shrug. This can rob the athlete of the full benefits intended by this dynamic and complex movement.

A power clean develops explosive strength by forcing the athlete to fully open the hips in order to clean the weight. The shrug and the core to extremity movement are crucial to the success of this lift. Without them, the weight will be impossible to clean. The downside to this is there is less of a metabolic response. Balance, coordination and agility become much less necessary in a power clean.

Here are a couple of quotes from top Crossfit coach Coach Burgener:

“A [squat] clean is a missed power clean.” he also says:

“…Strength is worthless in Olympic lifting without speed”

Another legend in the world of strength and fitness, Coach Bill Starr says “When an exercise is done in an explosive manner, the muscles and attachments are worked in an entirely different way than during static movements. The quicker, more synchronized motions required in these exercises forces the nervous system to be involved to a much higher degree. This not only produces greater strength gains, but helps improve other athletic attributes, such as foot speed, timing, balance, and coordination, which are easily carried over to any other athletic endeavor.”

These are all very interesting things to think about. Do you think that one ought to do power cleans until the weight is such that you must pull yourself under the bar? What is your opinion?

Undisputed Holiday Party!!!

3..2..1… GO!!

Mark your calendars! Save the date!

Saturday, 18 December 2010……….details TBA

“Elizabeth” aka Liz, Lizzie, Beth, Liza…..


Squat Cleans 135/85  & Ring Dips  …. though many combinations of scaled versions happened

This Workout of the Day was preceded by a strength exercise

Front Squats 5,3,3,2,1,1

By practicing our front squats we started to develop the necessary form needed to execute a proper clean, and all that shoulder mobility we did the day before came in handy when needed really get those elbows out and up! And here is something I talked with athletes about all day….

What is the difference between a snatch and a clean?

Squat clean aka Full Clean aka Clean = start from the floor, catch in a full squat.
Hang clean = start from the hang position (above or below the knees), catch in the full squat position.
Power clean = start from the floor, catch in a quarter or half squat position aka the power position.
Hang power clean = start from the hang position above or below the knees, catch in the quarter or half squat.
“Hang” describes where you start.
“Power” describes where you catch.
Tip o’ the hat to Keith Wittenstein

And P.S. athletes…these movements, when first introduced to them, can be frustrating, but take it from an old timer, Burgener says “paralysis by analysis”…let it flow. Don’t overthink it.

16 November 2010

Shoulder Mobility stretches, Snatch Progressions and AMRAP strength/gymnastics Work Out of the Day

Today we focused the first part of the class on some new shoulder mobility stretches, and then tested out the water with Ring dips, max reps in one minute, 3 times. The shoulder mobility movements we are doing in class are all things that can be and should be done at home, rest day, on days, every day! Increasing flexibility and mobility in our joints will improve our form, time, power output, and decrease chance of injury.

Next we worked on a snatch progression. The snatch is a complex movement. “The snatch is the ultimate in athleticism, and the pole vault is the only other movement that’s comparable in terms of concentration and difficulty.” Bill Starr   That being said, one can imagine how easy it may be to get frustrated with the movement.  Important things to remember; relax, breathe, focus. Be patient with yourself. Practice and consistency are key!

Finally we came to the Workout of the Day     AMRAP 8min.  8 DL 225/155 and 8 Box jumps

Fantastic First, ” Bring A Friend Day!”

CrossFit Santa Fe’s first ever “bring a friend day”  on Saturday 13 November 2010, was a huge success, thank you to everyone who turned out and brought their friends and family!

ExtraExtra ReadAllAboutIt!!!!!

By popular demand…6am CrossFit has arrived Monday-Thursday beginning Manana!

15November2010….be there

PR day!

11 November 2010…we are closed for morning classes in honor of Veteran’s Day, classes will resume starting @12pm

We will be rowing for our 500 or 1000m personal record today followed by a strength training with a skill we practiced on Monday, Back Squats!

Mobility WOD