“16.4” Thoughts and Game Planning

CF Open Pic

Good Morning Everyone!

So “16.4” huh? What a doozy this will be!!! I have some thoughts on how to approach this workout for all of you.  Many of you will alter this a little but generally with in each group I think this is the best plan of attack for this grinder of a WOD.

AMRAP 13

  • 55 x Deadlift @225/155 (Scale: 135/95)
  • 55 x Wall Balls @20/14  to 10Ft/9FT (Scale: 20/10 to 9FT)
  • 55 x Cal Row
  • 55 x HSPU (Scale: HR Push Ups)

RX & Scale

This WOD is a beauty in my opinion.  We start with a pull (Deadlift), then push (Wall Ball), then pull (Row), and finish with a push (HSPU).  Each movement shouldn’t effect the move that follows, but if you don’t pace/break properly it will effect your breathing and two moves after it.  Let’s be honest with ourselves here, with the tiebreaker coming at the completion of the Row it’s almost a race to that point.  I believe some of us will get through the row and to the HSPU, but it’s all in how you approach it.

Deadlift

After watching the live announcement you can see Katrin and Sara broke up their Deadlift reps from the start.  This is so important, even if this weight is light for you because 55 reps with any weighted movement will become taxing not only in this form on the legs but on the lungs. Forcing yourself to break at (depending on the weight in % to your 1RM and your strength with the movement) 5-10 max will be critical not only through Wall Balls but more so on the Row. Rest :05 to :10 max then back on the bar and start moving. No need to rush the movement but use the kinetic energy from the rubber weights on the rubber flooring to your benefit and don’t pause in the start of the deadlift, basically think touch-n-go for your rep amount. Going out into a big set or two  (i.e., 15-20) isn’t going to save you much time in the long haul on this so I don’t recommend doing it as well as doing singles and dropping each rep from the top and then doing a grab-n-go approach.  Controlling your breathing and staying perfect on form is your main focus on this.

Wall Balls

This should be approached 1 of 2 ways:

  1. Wall Balls are a strength: If this is the case then bang them out in bigger sets than the Deadlift.  I know I’m going to have Keith MacNeil (he doesn’t know this yet, hehehe) go either 35/20 or 25/15/15 because his last “Karen” WOD he opened with 100 Wall Balls in a row.  The big thing here is depending on your rep scheme you MUST NOT BURN OUT YOUR SHOULDERS!  You’ve heard myself and the coaches say it 1,000 times but focus on screwing the feet in, driving with the hips and letting the arms just guide the ball. If that means you go 15/10/10/10/10 or 15/15/15/10 or less than so be it. You do not want to fall to 5’s or less on this especially if you think you’ll be getting to HSPU.
  2. Wall Balls are the devil: Small sets (5’s) and RESETTING AFTER EACH REP!!  You do not want to waste any attempts and get a no rep.  Doing 55 of these is plenty, 56 or more will be too much.  Catch the ball, reset and take a breath, then go. When you rest between sets make sure it’s :05 to :10 and no more.  Don’t get lost in the rest-land, you’ll never get out alive.

Either side of the spectrum here make sure to focus on the movement and avoid no reps and shoulder use as much as you possibly can.

Cal Row

Unless you’re PSO, my advice here is plan on catching your breath here.  If you want to set your damper high, have at it, but make sure it’s not going to make you crap out before you hit the 55 cal.  Like I went over yesterday with people, and the coaches have said numerous times with rowing all of the work on a Cal Row is being done on the drive.  The best thing you can do is focus on a few things:

  1. S/M: Strokes per Minute for a taller athlete maybe 20-23 and for a shorter athlete maybe 25-28.
  2. Monitor: Set the display so you can see your power on each pull. Cal Row is ALL POWER OUTPUT so setting the display to show the graph during each pull will help you see if you’re really pushing hard or not.
  3. Sara Sigmunsdottir, I heard, pulls around 1600-1800 cal/hr on average for a workout.  Last night she pulled on average around 900 or so cal/hr.  Now yes they were at some serious elevation, but that’s around 60% of her normal effort.  Something to keep in mind here.

Every pull should have a purpose and recover on the back end or on the return in.

HSPU/HR Push Ups

Ah, the rub…For those that make it this far time will be the major factor in your approach on reps. Also, the set up for HSPU in the Open will be tricky for some of you.  If you have very little time (<1:00) get off the rower and get right on the wall and get a few fast reps in.  Rest is minimal, I’m talking a breath or two then back up. If you get off the rower and have a little more time (between 1:00 to 2:00+) then you have to be honest on your strength with this workout as well as how your shoulders/arms are feeling from the Wall Balls.  Here are my focus points:

  • Big F*cking Kips every F*cking time! Get the shins vertical, keep tension on the hands and arms but use as much damn hip and kick as you can to get up.
  • The rep finishes with heels on the wall ABOVE the tape marker and arms and hips fully extended.  When you kick up pull your toes towards your shins to reach higher with the heels (we will review in the box).
  • If you have the time break your reps before you feel fatigue in shoulders, like any fatigue.  Once the fatigue rolls in it’s singles or no rep city!

Stay tight through the middle and TUCK YOUR DAMN CHIN WHILE PRESSING (SUE)!!!

Warm-Up

3 sets w/ Empty Bar

-5 x Deadlift

-5 x Cleans

-5 x Thrusters

then, 10 x Inch Worms + 5/5 spider mans + 5/5 child’s pose to moose antler

MWOD

Shoulders & Upper Back:

  • Lax Ball Trap Smash on Rig 20/20
  • Double Lax Ball or Foam Roll T-Spine 2:00

Upper Leg:

  • Couch Stretch or Banded Samson Stretch 1:1
  • Banded Hamstring 30/30 reps
  • Barbell Hammy Smash on Rig

Lower Leg:

  • Lax Ball on Arch of foot 1:1
  • Achilles smash 1:1

 

WOD Prep

*Done at WOD Speed*

  • 5 x Deadlifts @135/95 (Scale: 95/65)
  • 5 x Wall Balls
  • 5 x Cal Row
  • 3-5 x HSPU (Scale: HR Push Ups)
  • Rest 1-2
  • 5 x Deadlifts @185/125 (Scale: 115/85)
  • 5 x Wall Balls
  • 5 x Cal Row
  • 3-5 x HSPU (Scale: HR Push Ups)
  • Rest 1-2
  • 5 x Deadlifts @225/155 (Scale: 135/95)
  • 5 x Wall Balls
  • 5 x Cal Row
  • 3-5 x HSPU (Scale: HR Push Ups)

 

Remember through this to breath, be smart, and be patient at the beginning.

 

Cheers!

Mat

 

 

CF Open Pic

**Remember to message me for a spot in one of the heats for this afternoon.  I’ve posted pics on FB of available times but they’re going fast!!! Also, if you sign up for 7pm that means you start at 7pm so get here 20-30min early to warm up.**

WOD

“16.4”

AMRAP 13

55 x Deadlifts @225/155

55 x Wall Balls @20/14 to 10ft/9ft target

55 x Cal Row

55 x HSPU

“16.4 – Scaled”

55 x Deadlifts @135/95

55 x Wall Balls @20/10 to 9ft/9ft target

55 x Cal Row

55 x Hand Release Push Ups

*For athletes that did NOT register for the CrossFit Open we have many different ways to scale this workout. Also, if you want to come in but a heat time is full you may substitute the AirBike for the Row so you can join one of full heat times.  Message/Email me to put you down for a time.*

“Faces in the Crowd – March Edition”

Good Morning Everyone!

Here’s a few pics of some of our newest Elements graduates! I will follow up in the next week or two with those of you whose picture I have missed. Make sure to introduce yourselves and welcome these folks to our community!

Kayla Towle: Finished Elements 3/16/16. She’s looking to get back into shape and start training for the Spartan Beast Race at Killington, VT in September.

Kayla Towle

Bonnie Swanson: Finished Elements 3/16/16. Bonnie joins us looking for a workout plan/routine that isn’t boring…I think you’ll find it to be a good fit here with us Bonnie.

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Keith Pilotte: Finished Elements 3/16/16. Not another family member!!!! Keith is one of my younger cousins, and also the middle child to “Uncle Marc” who many of you remember from here (speaking of Uncle Marc, I think it’s time he gets back in here…). Keith joins us looking to regain energy and get back in shape similar to his hockey days.

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Bryan Dine: Finished Elements 3/16/16. Bryan is a teacher and wrestling coach at Merrimack High School.  Bryan joins us looking to get back in to shape, feel better, and have more energy.

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Again, make sure to say hello and help these folks (and a bunch more to follow in the next week) get acclimated to the box.  It’s a pleasure to have some new faces in the gym and we’re all excited to see the progress you’ll all make over the next few weeks/months/years!

 

Cheers!

Mat

“16.3” WOD Prep and Thoughts

Good Morning Everyone!

First off I have to say this has been the best year for programming in the Open, at least in my opinion.  Each WOD has had a great combination of movements, we’ve seen some new movements, and we’ve been surprised by how the WOD’s have felt vs. what we expected.  Great job Mr. Castro (minus the 16.3 announcement of him struggling through the snatches and muscle ups while half in the bag…really?)!

Anyway, we are on week three and we knew it was going to involve a difficult gymnastics movement combined with some bar work.  Many people saw bar muscle ups showing their faces this year and now we have them. Combine them with a light power snatch on paper looks like a dream come true…then 2:00 in you realize, “What have I gotten myself into?” This without a doubt will be a lung burner and a forearm killer if approached the wrong way.

For those that have Bar Muscle Ups

So if you have Bar Muscle Ups AND they are a strength for you then this workout is all about controlling your breathing and pacing through the snatch.  Yea, the weight is light but don’t let that over excite you.  If you go out like a bat outta hell (ex: See 16.3 announcement video and watch the kid at the start vs. min 4) you will burn yourself out fast. Both movements are complex regardless of the weight on the snatch.  Focusing on bar path AND using your hips to lift the weight will be a make or break factor for everyone.  Instinct may tell you to muscle snatch all of them, but be careful to not just hinge at the hip at the bottom and use all back to whip the bar up.  If you do this, say good by to your hammy’s and low back at the 3:30 mark. Treat the weight like it’s a moderate weight for you, control your breathing, and don’t be afraid to break the reps into 5/5 early!  You don’t have to approach this like “Randy” and go unbroken through the 10’s, remember you will do some pulling on the bar muscle up so we don’t want to smoke out the forearms.

If you have a bar muscle up but they’re not that strong, I’d say break them down into singles.  Yes, you have more momentum coming from the top of the bar into the next rep…but you also have all that momentum and if you can’t control it or your kip isn’t great then all you’re doing is wearing on the grip.

For those that don’t have Bar Muscle Ups

If the snatch weight isn’t heavy, the best approach may be to crank out the first set of 10 Power Snatches to give you more time to get that bar muscle up.  I guarantee we will have at least 1 or more people get their first bar muscle up today (or over the next few days). “Well Mat I barely have kipping pull ups, never mind chest to bar pull-ups!” Who cares! It’s the Open, crazy shit happens every year! Two years ago 62 years young Margaret got not 1 but 2 Toes to Bar.  Anything can happen and will.  I’d suggest if you’re going Rx to crank out the snatches and take the rest of the time (if you need it) and try like hell for the bar muscle up.  If it doesn’t happen, then redo as scaled if you want to.

*Remember, Bar Muscle Ups are not a pulling movement when done properly.  It’s a violent hip kip vertically to the bar then the most aggressive sit up you can possible do.  This video may help. http://gymnasticswod.com/content/bar-muscle-progression-pt3 or this one, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iavLl655Y6k (ok minus the first demo Dave Durante did, the rest is very beneficial). 

For those going at this straight up Scaled

Same rules apply, control breathing and keep an eye on the grip.  Sure Jumping Pull Ups may be “easier” than Bar Muscle Ups, but you will actually be wearing on your grip more so than the Rx group.  Don’t get caught up in going out super fast, the last you want is to spend the 3-4 min of this 7 min workout trying to breath.  Force yourself to break early and then if you’re in a good position and controlled with two minutes to go, let it rip!

Warm-Up: 2-3 sets NFT

  • Row 250m
  • 5 x Inch Worms
  • 5/5 x Spiderman Crawls w/ chest opener
  • 3/3 x Child’s Pose to Moose Antler Stretch
  • 5 x Rig Kips (big kips for Rx folks and focus on driving hips UP to bar)

MWOD (these are suggestions, you can pick from here or work other moves)

  • Shoulder Girdle
    • Foam Roll Outside of Lats & T-Spine 1:1:1
    • Lax Ball Shoulder Blades and T-Spine 1:1
  • Midline
    • Alt. Down Dog to Cobra Stretch; keep hips down when in Cobra…alt. :10/:10 for 1:00
    • KB to Psoas 1:1
  • Hips/Hamstrings
    • Pigeon Stretch 1:1
    • Banded Hamstring Stretch 30 a side
    • Lax Ball Arches and Achilles

WOD Prep: Easy pace just to get and stay warm, don’t push it or tear the hands!

  • 5 x Empty Bar or PVC Power Snatches
  • 3-5 Rig Kips
  • REST 1:00
  • 3-5 x Snatches @45/35
  • 3 x C2B Pull Ups
  • REST 1:00
  • 3-5 x Snatches @75/55 or 45/35
  • 1-2 x Bar Muscle Ups

 

*Remember:

  • Breath
  • Stay in control
  • Force the pace early and break reps before you “have to”
  • Focus on the movement and hips on both
  • Don’t tear your hands!
  • Have fun!

The Open & Nutrition Challenge

CF Open Pic

Good Afternoon Everyone,

A couple of things I wanted to bring up to you all in regards to the next 5 weeks with the Open approaching as well as closing the books on the 2016 addition of our Nutrition Challenge.

As some of you know the CrossFit Games Open begins this Thursday at 8pm EST where they will announce “16.1” (16 – 2016; .1 – 1st workout). Each week for the next five weeks on Thursday at 8pm you can go to http://games.crossfit.com and watch not only the live WOD announcement, but also watch some of the top athletes from Games past complete the workout.  For many of us this time of year is very exciting. Majority of our training has been for these five workouts to see where we stack up within CFAF, across NH, the Northeast Region, and even Worldwide.  Another great aspect of the Open is the energy within the box during the WOD’s which is why we are hosting them every Friday night from 4:30pm to until the last athlete finishes. Next time you’re in the box go to our “Upcoming Events” board and sign your name up for a time slot to complete the WOD, or at least a time frame that works best for you.  If you need to be out ASAP, mark that down so the coaches know.  Without knowing what the workouts are until Thursday night, time frames and heats won’t be decided until Thursday night at the earliest.  This is all about fun for most of us, even though the competitive energy will be pumping, so we’d love to have you all there working hard and cheering each other on through these crazy WOD’s.

With the 3rd Annual Nutrition Challenge come and gone, we FINALLY have our winner set.  I would like to announce the top 3 athletes Friday, 2/26 at 5:30pm in between heats of “16.1”. Hopefully many of you, if not all of you can join us Friday evening as the last 45 days have been a great test for you all. If you cannot make it please email me at crossfitadfinem@gmail.com.

Cheers! And Welcome to the 2016 Games Season!!

 

Mat

2016: The Year our Hard Work Pays Off

Good Afternoon Everyone,

So with 2016 already a few days old I’m sure you all have been thinking about your “New Year’s Resolutions”.  Here’s some food for thought for you while you ponder what it is you want to accomplish over the next 362-ish days:

  1. Set attainable goals.  I am a firm believer that anything is possible as long as you’re willing to work hard for it.  What I have realized over the last 34 years is that not all people (an unfortunately larger number) are willing to work as hard as they need to be in order to achieve these goals.  As many of you know after hearing Mike Molloy’s lecture on Nutrition and Lifestyle, losing weight doesn’t just happen; there are a TON of factors at play.  What’s even harder is after you lose weight, you then need to keep it off!!!FB_IMG_1451859531692
  2. Be specific with your goals.  Don’t just say, “Damnit I want to lose weight!” What will happen is you will most likely not lose weight, or if you do it won’t be what your were really hoping to lose.  Write down EXACTLY what you want to lose, or gain, or whatever the goal/goals may be.
  3. Come up with a game plan.  Writing your goals down is only a fraction of a % of what needs to be done to achieve the goals.  Figuring out HOW to achieve them and planning it out is a large step in the right direction that cannot be overlooked or missed.  If no plan is laid out (yes you gotta be specific here too people) then all you’re doing is planning to fail.  Majority of resolutions fade out in two weeks, after 1 month majority are lost.  Don’t be a failure, plan it out.
  4. Get help! News flash hot shot ~ you don’t know everything.  Also, most magazines you read, Facebook posts you look at, and ‘advice’ your coworker/family member/best friend give you will not apply to you specifically. Ask a professional to help you come up with the game plan (yea I am one of those people especially if we’re talking healthy living).  Take some of the stress off your shoulders and have a coach, therapist, financial advisor, or whomever is the professional for your specific goal sit down with you and lay out a plan of action.  This will include ‘mini-goals’ along the way as well as tests or check points of some sort to make sure you’re on the path.
  5. Lastly, do the damn work! I’m sure we could put another 5-10 steps here but honestly nothing else matters unless you’re going to do the work.  No it won’t be easy. No slipping is not ok.  Yes, everyone has excuses and some may be more ‘legit’ than others.  The bottom line, if you’re not going to do the work and prioritize everything around your goal then don’t put it on the paper to begin with.

I know this may seem harsh but honestly we need harsh honesty. There are too many softy’s out there and our kids are being raised in a society of ‘everyone gets an ice cream for showing up, there are no losers,’ and it drives me crazy.

If your goal for 2016 is anything health or fitness related then don’t hesitate to see me or ask for help.  I set one goal for this year – to make sure all my members don’t have a health and fitness ‘resolution’ for 2017.  Here’s how I’m going to achieve this:

  1. Realize you can’t make anyone do anything and not everyone will change.
  2. Provide as much information possible in nutrition, mobility, strength training, recovery/rest, supplementation, training vs. competing, kids/family wellness, body mechanics and movement to my members to aid in their overall health and wellness journeys.
  3. Organize workshops, health fairs, fundraisers, and community events to help increase the above knowledge to the community around us.
  4. Program workouts with specific metrics to track our athletes progress in the box.
  5. Offer coaching clinics for the members for specific areas that they need to work on to optimize their CF experience.
  6. Create a work space for members to note their achievements each month and throughout the year (already done, boom winning).
  7. Have fun and make it fun.

I told you all when you started here at CFAF (I know for a lot of you that was a few years ago) that if you really wanted to achieve something and you were willing to put in the work, I could get you there.  I still believe that 100%, now you just have to allow yourself to believe it.  Final thought; don’t write your goal/resolution down unless you intend to do whatever it takes to achieve it, otherwise all you’re doing is wasting your time.  Hoping to accomplish and execute these goals is a waste too. Don’t give yourself an easy out.  Admit upfront it will be hard but that you will fight through it, you’ll be surprised at the person who comes out at the end of it.  Working hard and hard work are good for us all.  It teaches us so much more than getting something handed to us.

Here’s to 2016, the year our hard work pays off!

~Mat

“Faces in the Crowd”

IMG_20150925_162415134Amy Wolf

Amy started with us back in September after finding her way to us through Rebecca Binder.  She had accomplished so much on her own (losing 70#’s!!!) before starting CrossFit, but now is looking to continue pushing herself by adding in weight training.  You will find her in any one of the afternoon classes but most often in 430pm and 630pm.  Next time you see Amy say, “Hello” and welcome her to our community!

 

 

 

 

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Adrienne Davis

Adrienne had begun CrossFit back home in Maine at KV CrossFit before starting with us.  After moving to Manchester she started here and we quickly started fixing some mobility issues which have helped her tremendously with improvements in OLY lifts, HSPU, and Squats.  With these improvements she now is working on showing her older brother, Tucker, how it’s done on the competition floor.

“Faces in the Crowd”

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Hello CFAF Athletes,

To kickstart our new blog on our awesome new website I thought it would be great to introduce some of our new members that have joined our community in the last few months.  Some of these faces will look familiar, and some will not.  Now when I post the WOD pictures on FB you’ll be able to put a face with those new names.

 

Meredith Caruso and her two children Joshua and Juliana.  

They join us from North Carolina (though originally from NH) where they all lived while her husband was working as a recruiter for the Marines.  Meredith thoroughly enjoys barbell work, especially the Oly lifts and both Joshua and Juliana enjoy playing on the rings! Welcome to CFAF guys!

IMG_20150908_092058739Keith Macneil

Keith is another experienced CrossFitter who made the box move from CF603 in Hudson, NH.  He brings some serious power and experience to the gym with ambition of becoming a coach in the near future.  Keith, who is still an active Chief in the US Navy, looks to make a splash this year in the Open in the Master’s 40-44 division.  Welcome to CFAF Keith and thanks for your service!

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Stay tuned as we introduce more of our new Ad Finem members into our community over the next few weeks.

Cheers!

Mat

New Website!

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Hello Everyone,

Thanks for checking out our new website for CrossFit Ad Finem. We are wicked excited to finally launch the site with new features and of course our new blog! Over the next few weeks make sure to click back to read up on various topics including:

  • Hand care and maintenance
  • Training vs. Working Out
  • Should I do a competition?
  • Proper Gym Etiquette
  • How do I know when to go up in weight?

And many other common topics and questions running through our athletes minds. We look forward to helping you grow as an athlete and move closer to being a better YOU!

Cheers!

Mat