CrossFit Games Open 2022

 

Are You Ready?!

We are currently in full-blown Open prep! Haven’t you noticed the higher amount of volume lately? The number of workouts with rowing, biking, double unders, etc.? We are training for the Open which begins on February 24th!

The CrossFit Open happens once a year. It’s an opportunity where people from all over the world can compete against one another in a test of fitness for all age groups. Each week, for 3 weeks, Thursday nights will have a live announcement that will explain the workout, and then a couple of the sports top athletes will battle it out head to head. The Open then takes top-scored athletes on to the next stage of the competition which is the quarter-finals, then semifinals, and then finally the CrossFit Games, where the fittest on earth will be crowned.

Why You Should Do The CrossFit Open

Every year when the Open comes around, it brings a sense of community to the world of CrossFit. There is just something about knowing that you are doing the exact same workouts as everyone else in CrossFit during the weeks of the Open. Everyone, from the youngest teen athletes to games athletes, and even 65+, will be doing their version of the same workout, which is tapered to their division.

Open workouts are designed to be very challenging, so it is an opportunity to truly test your fitness, to show yourself how far you’ve come. If you’re into the competitive side, then it allows you to test yourself against others all over the world.

The CrossFit Open is a staple moment each year for the CrossFit community. Everyone can do it, just as everyone can do CrossFit. There will be multiple divisions: Scaled, Teens, Masters, Rx, and Adaptive athletes as well. There is nothing quite like your first CrossFit Open. For those who have been through it on numerous occasions, they will agree, the CrossFit Open is an opportunity you do not want to miss!

 

 

Steps You Can Take To Prepare

  1. Be Consistent. Try not to miss your workouts. The more consistent your training is, the more fit you will become, the better you will do with the workouts!
  2. Increase Your Technique & Efficiency. Efficiency is the name of the game, the best way to do that is to focus on your movement quality. The better your technique, the less energy you spend, the more efficient you become!
  3. Recover, Recover, Recover. You must recover from your training. Recovery is where you will get better, stronger, faster, etc. Be sure to sleep a lot, eat your protein, drink your water, and stretch often.
  4. Work On Your Weaknesses. If your weakness is mobility, then do more mobility. If your weakness is a skill, then practice that skill. If your weakness is your engine, then do more monostructural/cardio training.
  5. Reduce Your Self Criticism. The mental side of things is huge when it comes to performance. It’s good to have high standards, but if you constantly beat yourself up, then you’ll never be able to enjoy yourself. The open, while challenging, is also supposed to be fun and enjoyable.
  6. Register! (Let The Games Begin!)
  7. Take the Judges Course! If you plan to need a judge, be a judge! Judges count reps and ensure scores are counted up accurately. The Judges course will educate you on movement standards and qualify you to judge for the Open. You must take the CrossFit Judges course to be a judge for the Open. The cost is $10. Judges course registration link

 

Gym Time Optimization

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Time Working Out

Sure, you put in a ton of effort when you work out. You leave the gym feeling exhausted, struggling to get your water bottle to your mouth, or having a hard time going up and down the stairs, then you wake up sore the next day. You’re probably thinking to yourself that you had an awesome workout, you burned a ton of calories, you’re going to get so much stronger… but will you?

Let’s break things down a little bit. When we work out, our muscles go through stress and get tiny micro-tears. These tiny micro-tears need to then “patch” themselves back up to still be fully useful. This “patch up” is your recovery.

Those days where you feel completely trashed after a super tough workout the day before are the days where you were unable to fully recover in time. Not being able to completely recover will lead to feeling sluggish, weak, winded, and just plain worn out. We all know what those workouts feel like, and they aren’t fun. It’s almost a feeling of survival rather than being able to attack the workout.

The Answer Is Knowing What Effort To Give And When

If you go after every workout as though you’re testing, you’re going to push too far beyond your ability to recover and that is when you get those really rough days and injury happens. The reality is, testing should only be about 10% of your time in the gym. That leaves 90% still which is split between training and practicing. Practice should take about 20%, and then training fills the final 70%.

Test

Testing should be about 10% of your time spent training. This means workouts that have a maximum heart rate and intensity. Intensity in this context is talking about any loads heavier than 90%+, weights that are not capable of having a technical focus, or high recovery ability when used repeatedly, day after day. Imagine how you would feel if every single workout in a week was a big benchmark of some kind? The kind of workout where entering a score is important because it allows you to track your progress over time. How will you necessarily get better if there isn’t any days of training or practicing in between those benchmarks? Testing is important, but cannot be all the time.

Practice

Practicing should be about 20% of your time spent training. Practicing is where you develop skills. This could be practicing your muscle-ups or even light technique work on snatches. The heart rate here is low, the loading is low, and the focus is very high, emphasizing your technique and control.

Train

What’s left is the 70% of your time that is spent training. Training is working out to get better, not just to finish the workout for the sake of finishing it; Get Better, Not Done. This is a medium to high intensity which allows for a higher heart rate while still having a high level of focus. This style of training allows us to focus on the quality of movement while still getting some form of metabolic conditioning. Weights will be anywhere from 75-90%. Training is a level of working out and intensity that allows us to have optimal recovery.

Next time you workout, ask yourself if your effort matches the intention of the workout. Is it a test day? Is it a practice day? Or should your intention be focused on a training-style effort?

Concentric vs. Eccentric

Concentric vs. Eccentric.

Simply put, concentric is the contraction of the muscle, while eccentric is the “relaxing” of the muscle. For example, when you stand up with a deadlift you are in the concentric phase of the movement, and when you guide it back down to place it on the floor you are in the eccentric phase.

Now that the simple definition is out of the way, let us get into the nitty gritty of what makes them different.

Eccentric

Lets talk in terms of a bicep curl. Once you have the dumbbell all the way up to the shoulder, its time for the eccentric portion of the movement. The eccentric phase is actually the part that makes you the most sore. What is happening is holding the contraction of the muscle while also controlling the dumbbell back down, so you’re stretching the bicep while simultaneously flexing it.

Think of a rubber band, its job it to continuously “contract” and stay together, but if you stretch it out repeatedly then it wears out over time. Well your muscle is the band, your “wearing out” is the eccentric movement which leads to soreness, and the “over time” is your workout.

Concentric

If getting sore means getting bigger, stronger muscles, then what is the purpose of having a focus on muscle contraction, or the concentric portion of a movement? This is where you get fast, explosive, and increase power. Lets use a box jump for our example. There really isn’t much of an eccentric phase to a box jump right? Its all concentric, a fast and aggressive contraction of the muscles that get you to jump up onto the box. Another example is a deadlift, just a single deadlift, stand up the weight and then drop it, boom, concentric movement because you aren’t lowering the bar back to the floor.

Concentric & Eccentric

Here is something you can think about for your next workout. Lets use deadlifts as the example and say that the workout has 50 of them at one time. 50 deadlifts is a fair amount, especially all at once right? There is always the debate of “do I touch and go, or do fast singles?” For some, touch and go could be the answer, but for many it could be the hair that breaks the camels back which would slow them way down because it would fatigue them too much. The fatigue would be due to the eccentric portion of doing touch and go more than the concentric portion of just picking up and dropping each rep from the top; quick singles.

Can you hold onto touch and go? Or should you work those quick singles?

Grind Workout vs. Threshold Workout

Grind vs. Threshold.

Whats the difference? Don’t they both hurt?

Yes, both hurt, and they do have similarities, but today we will talk about how they differ from one another. To help me do so, I’m going to use two workouts done recently that were very similar, yet meant to be two different stimuluses.

On Friday (12/17/2020) we had a workout that consisted of Wall Walks, heavy Dumbbell Snatches, and Toes to Bar. Just a couple days later on Monday (12/20/2021) we did something similar with light-moderate Dumbbell Snatches, Toes to Bar, and Rowing. Friday was a 16:00 AMRAP, Monday was a 20:00 AMRAP.

Really similar right? Practically the same?

Yes, very similar as far as the movements are concerned, but quite different in stimulus. Friday we had a Grind workout type.

Grind is meant to be heavy. The Dumbbell Snatches were meant to be at a weight that forced you to slow down and focus in on each rep, not just grip and rip. That combined with the tougher gymnastic movement of Wall Walks made for a more methodical paced workout, forcing more rest time so that you can do the tougher movement/heavier weight.

Monday we had a Threshold workout type.

Threshold is not necessarily meant to be heavy. The Dumbbell Snatches were supposed to be at a lighter weight than Friday which should have allowed for Touch’n’Go reps; less thinking, more doing. In a Threshold workout we are working at, or right below, our work/lactic acid threshold. Our work threshold is a pace that allows us to challenge ourselves, but remain consistent throughout the entirety of the workout; nothing should be so heavy as to slow us down, hence the lighter weight.

How are they similar? How are they different?

Both workout types will challenge you, and increase your heart rateGrind will increase your heart rate during the heavier lifts, but force longer rest between reps/movements allowing the heart rate to come down. Threshold will keep the heart rate up for a longer, consistent, time duration. So rather than a spike and drop, its more consistent across the workout.

Grind workouts will make you stronger when the stimulus is followed correctly. Threshold workouts will increase your work/lactic acid threshold (how consistently you can workout without needing rest) if the stimulus is followed correctly. Both workouts are crazy effective, but have different benefits. So while sometimes a workout might look the same, the stimulus will have an intentional difference.

CFK Weekly, December 20, 2021

 

Holiday Schedule, Click Here.

 

Anyone For A Programming Insight?

Thursday we will be having a Field Day style workout! Come in ready to work for 45:00, moving through 20 different movements, and having a fun time doing so! The pace is slow with a ton of variety. The goal is to move for 45 minutes and have a fun, stress free workout, followed by the 12 Days of Christmas WOD the next day!

 

 

Merry Christmas CKF! We hope you all have a wonderful holiday, enjoy time with friends and family.

CFK Weekly, December 12, 2021

Holiday Schedule, Click Here

 

BIG Thank You to everyone who participated, judged, moved equipment, brought food, and even just hung out to watch the Holiday Hustle on Saturday. We appreciate every one of you and look forward to the next!

Track System

Does the way you workout and train each day you’re in the gym reflect what your goals are?

With the new Track System, the goal is for you to be able to train in a way that more easily reflects your goals and your “why” for working out. Each day all three tracks (Sweat, Train, Compete) will follow the same workout, only on some of the days there will be some slight changes. Sweat will have some lighter weights and kipping movements. Train will have some heavier weights with a focus on strict movements. Compete will have the same heavier weights as train, but will also include higher skill gymnastics movements for those who want to do competitions. Sound simple right? Well, lets talk more in depth about the differences.

SWEAT

Sweat, as stated above, is going to have lighter weights and kipping movements. The goal here is to increase maximal power, AKA, work. With lighter weights and kipping movements, the hope is to be able to move as much as possible during each workout with less time spent resting, therefor getting the absolute most amount of time spent moving as possible. What happens when you move for longer? Your work capacity increases, conditioning increases, and best of all, if you can only workout a few days a week, its the best bang for your buck. Sweat is perfect for those who just want to get a great workout, sweat a lot, increase their fitness and functionality, build some muscle, increase their conditioning, and are not worried about high skill gymnastics movements.

TRAIN

Train has more of a focus on strength. Train will have heavier weights than sweat, but with greatly reduced kipping movements. The reason for this is that the goal with Train is to increase strength with both external objects and bodyweight. This track is perfect for those using CrossFit as a means of training for something outside of the gym, such as a sport or job (football, softball, rugby, LEO, military, etc.), or even someone more concerned about getting strong. This can almost be thought of as a strength and conditioning style focus.

COMPETE

Compete is fairly straight forward. This track will have the same weights as Train, but will also include high skill gymnastics rather than strict movements. With an emphasis on the higher skill gymnastics come a slightly increased injury risk, however the trade off is increased ability to perform in competitions/the CrossFit Open. This track is for those who want to compete, or even those who just want to work on those higher skills in a MetCon. Now, an important thing to make a note of, Compete is not necessarily going to teach you how to get your first muscle up or handstand push up, or any other high skill gymnastics movement. Instead, it will make you more capable of doing them at higher volume in MetCons.

 

At the end of the day, some movement is better than no movements, however, what is suggested to do is figure out what your goal is and then follow the track every day accordingly. For example, if your goal fits the Sweat track the best, then you follow Sweat every day rather than switching around. Every tack is still able to be modified and tapered to each individual every day, but being consistent with one track at a time is going to help you achieve your goals the most efficiently.

 

Lets get an example of a workout that would have three different variations for each of the tracks, shall we?

“AMANDA”

9-7-5

Ring Muscle Ups

Squat Snatches (135/95)

SWEAT: Lets change it to 15-12-9 reps, but do Burpee Kipping Pull Ups and (95/65) for the Squat Snatches. Lighter weight, simplified gymnastics, increased volume, however it should be able to be completed in the same time domain, but with less rest.

TRAIN: Keep 9-7-5, keep (135/96), but do Burpee Strict Pull Ups, or even Strict Chest To Bar Pull Ups.

COMPETE: Exactly as written.

 

The athlete who is less worried about strength and just wants killer workout will complete the Sweat version. Tom Brady needs strength, but shouldn’t risk messing up his shoulder with kipping, so he does the Train version. Rich Froning competes, so obviously he does the compete version. All athletes finish within the same time frame, but follow the workout as it best suits their goal.

What is your goal? What is your track? Stick with it, be consistent, crush your workouts, and smash your goals.