Happy holidays everybody!
Hey friends. I know you’re all disappointed that the cold weather means less running in the programming, but I promise I’ll do my best to keep an eye on the forecast and program running whenever I can. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s have a hard conversation about progress.
Are you making progress? I hope 95% of you can say, without hesitation, “yes!” If you have been doing CrossFit for less than 3 months, the answer is yes: undeniably, you are making progress. If it has been longer, you can look at the progress in your skill work, the improvement in your metcon times, and the increasing weight you are able to lift. Of course, you can only do this if you are taking good notes. Are you taking good notes?
If you are taking good notes, and you’re not sure you’re making progress, because you still can’t do a muscle-up, you missed the last three benchmarks, and/or the weights aren’t clearly going up, then there are two roads in front of you:
- Accept it.
- Dial it in.
Acceptance is fine. Maybe you’re Rich Froning, and you’ve already done everything you set out to accomplish. Rest on your laurels. Or maybe you’ve been doing CrossFit a while, you’ve gotten stronger, you’ve done some pull-ups, and you feel great, but you’ve got two kids, or a really taxing job, or something else going on, and you really only want to commit yourself to coming to the gym twice a week. That’s okay! CrossFit is not life. Life is life. Live it up! There are more important things than PRs.
Still reading? Then it sounds like you want to dial it in. You want to become stronger, faster, and better? The first thing you must do is seriously evaluate your commitment. Can you come to the gym at least 4 days a week? Do you want to? Do you want greatness? Then come get it.
Let’s say we’re doing 3×5 back squats twice a week for a month. Are you going to hit some of those days, most of them, or all of them? If you miss one, are you going to make it up in open gym, or do something more fun?
Let’s say we’re lifting heavy in various styles and rep schemes, sometimes for load, sometimes for reps, sometimes for time. Are you disciplined enough to know what is heavy for you, to track your estimated maximums, and increase the intensity over time, even if you never see the same workout twice?
Bodyweight strength is a fundamental element of our programming. Will you be more excited about a workout that challenges you to develop skills you don’t have with scaled repetitions, or will you prefer those workouts you know you can dominate with the skills you already have? Is there that one skill that you really freaking want, maybe before the CrossFit Open? Will you commit to practicing 3 times a week?
Let’s say it’s cold outside. Will you run? Will you run hard? Let’s say the workout has a 1k row in it. Will you dog that row? Let’s say there’s someone faster than you in your class. Will you race them, fully expecting to lose? Will you slow down when it starts to hurt?
Do you have excuses? Leave those at home.
Do you want it? Come get it.
This month we’re going to use some percentages in our strength programming. This means that if you show up and stick to those percentages, making gains will be like picking apples… sweet and easy. Initially, you’re going to need to find your 4rm front squat. We’ll do this together on Monday, December 5th. Don’t miss it!
Men’s Night – Tonight! December 1st. See you boys at Heidelberg at 7pm.
Ladies’ Night – Tomorrow Night, December 2nd. 3rd Ave Ale House at 7:30.
Holiday Throwdown – December 17th. Bring cookies and milk for Santa.
12 Days of Christmas Workout – Saturday, Dec 24th.
Holiday Schedule – Limited hours December 23rd and 24th. Closed December 25th. Limited hours Dec 26th. Ditto for New Year’s. Watch the blog for details.
Bodyweight Skill of the Month
Each month I select one gymnastics skill for you to focus on.
This Month’s Skill: Handstand Push-Ups
Handstand Push-Ups are an awesome display of overhead strength and mobility. They’re also one of many skills that punish you for every extra 10 pounds you’re carrying. Want to rep out lots of handstand push-ups: get strong, and get lean. Kipping and time spent inverted can go a long way, but the core necessity is upper body strength, and nothing builds raw pushing strength better than strict, hard pressing.
The easiest way to build the strength you need is consistent training until you can do 20 push-ups in a row, then 10 great pike push-ups in a row. Try the fighter pull-up program we’ve been promoting lately, with push-ups instead of pull-ups. Or do a 5 minute AMRAP on Monday, 50 reps for time on Wednesday, and a tabata interval on Friday, then repeat this every week for 3-5 weeks. The extra volume will put you on the fast track to handstand push-ups.
This month, we’ll do plenty of hspus in the wods, and devote some extra time to skills like kipping and handstand walks. If you have the requisite strength, than this practice should help you obtain or refine your handstand push-ups. If you don’t, then get to work on those push-ups, and be patient!
Links to Cool Internet Stuff
An Open Letter to the “Big Dogs”, tough love for anyone who skips a day with no barbell work.
An Open Letter to the “Met-Heads”, tough love for anyone who loves racing the clock but doesn’t get amped up by 3×5 back squats.