10/11/13 WOD You can tell us who you are. I'd prefer to have a...More... 11.10.13 16:11 By Leon Chang
Resources and Friends
CrossFit.com is THE mainsite, the place where it all started. Videos of workouts, movements, journal articles- everything is here and the vast majority of it is free. Any serious CrossFitter will find themselves referring to the mainsite over and over again. Icons that link to the mainsite and journal are below.
PsychSanDiego is co- owned by Alessandra Wall Ph.D., wife of Leon Chang and an avid CrossFitter herself. Dr. Wall specializes in anxiety and eating disorders and is available for clients who wish to formulate a comprehensive weight-loss or lifestyle plan and address the psychological component of eating and weight loss. Click on the "coaches" tab to learn more!
CrossFit workouts are functional, varied and intense. They're also universally scalable, making it the perfect program for any committed individual regardless of experience. Our members range from elite athletes to 60-year-old grandmothers--so whatever shape you're starting from, you'll be able to jump right in.
Make sure to bring water and comfortable athletic shoes.¬†
Video- Members only Oly competition recap
Monday, 28 March 2011 05:53
Here is a video of the made lifts from the intra-gym Olympic lifting competition on 3/13/11!
In my mind, one of the best things about CrossFit is that we learn to do and accomplish things that we never dreamed possible. I don‚Äôt care who you are- if you‚Äôve done CrossFit for any reasonable amount of time there are physical and mental boundaries which you felt were insurmountable before, only to eventually push through and achieve new heights. What was once seemingly impossible eventually becomes routine, and all of you should be immensely proud of your accomplishments. Whether you are someone who couldn‚Äôt get a muscle up or pull up when you started, or someone who found a parallel air squat challenging, all of you have made and will continue to make progress throughout your CrossFit journey.
All that is necessary to progress is a willingness to put effort in, and to risk failure. All of you were willing to put the effort to even set foot in the gym, a step 99% of people are too scared or too lazy to take. You put effort in every time you show up. Similarly, you risk failure every time you try something, especially something new. If everything came easy in life there would be no challenges, and nothing would be rewarding. In addition, technically everything you do is a ‚Äúfail‚Äù until you learn to do it right; it‚Äôs BECAUSE of failure/mistakes/whatever that we learn, get better, and eventually succeed. Personally, part of me welcomes failure, because if there wasn‚Äôt the chance of failing, whatever I was doing wasn‚Äôt hard enough to elicit adaptation and growth. If there‚Äôs no chance I‚Äôll fail on a lift, it isn‚Äôt heavy enough. If a skill is too easy, I‚Äôm not learning anything new or developing some new ability by doing it.
The rewards when you put your mind to something, work hard at it, fail on the way there and eventually succeed are huge. In the gym, there‚Äôs the obvious physical benefit of learning to do something. Taking pullups as an example, learning how and becoming able to do one implies increased strength, coordination, weight loss, joint mobility, etc. When you eventually achieve one, it is the journey that got you there which is important. The pull up itself is simply the obvious, measurable end result. However, the MENTAL benefits from struggling, and eventually succeeding, outweigh the physical ones. The toughness, determination and fortitude which is both required and enhanced by working hard at something translates over to all aspects of life. I think it is no surprise that people who have learned to struggle through something are generally the most ‚Äúsuccessful in life‚Äù, however you want to measure that.
Irene Mejia, one of our most inspirational members. She's inspiring partly because she just tries SO DAMN HARD and isn't afraid of failure.
So where am I going with this? Well, let‚Äôs take the realm of competition. We‚Äôve had a few intra-gym competitions already with a great turnout. We also currently have a 21-member strong team that is competing in the CrossFit Games. In addition, most of you attack each workout as if you win a prize if you come in first, or like you‚Äôll be eaten by a lion if you don‚Äôt. And yet‚Ä¶
Some of you shy away from competition. Some of you are afraid of looking bad in front of everyone else, afraid of failing, I don‚Äôt know what. That‚Äôs ok on some level- I know we‚Äôre all different people with varying degrees of competitiveness and self-confidence. But think about what I just wrote above, and think about what brought you in and what has driven your success in the first place. That‚Äôs right- you tried, you did something new, you took the risk of failure, and guess what? You ended up a better person for it. So my question is, why not apply that determination to every opportunity that comes up in the gym? I‚Äôm not saying that all of you have to enter every competition that crosses your path. What I AM saying is that there‚Äôs no reason to only go ‚Äúso far‚Äù. Our gym remains the same supportive, non-judgmental environment that it has been since day one. No one is going to laugh at you or criticize you if you fail, or come in last, or whatever. They will clap and cheer you on regardless. To me, that is the PERFECT environment to grow in- supportive and friendly, but where everyone is trying their hardest.
In practice, these opportunities for growth exist everywhere in the gym. Can‚Äôt do a particular move? Spend extra time working on it before or after class. Don‚Äôt have the strength to do full pushups for a whole WOD? Challenge yourself to do as many full pushups as you can, and then try and get a little better each day. Be less willing to ‚Äúget on your knees‚Äù. Inflexible and can‚Äôt get into a full squat? FORCE yourself to go a little lower each day, and you‚Äôll get there eventually. Scared of competition and performing in front of others? Sign up for a competition, and drive those fear demons out for good. I could go on and on; there‚Äôs literally innumerable examples I can think of. The point is, keep pushing and keep working. We only grow at the margins of our ability and experience.
Well, better late than never. CrossFit Elysium will be opting-in for the first WOD, which is-
AMRAP 10min 30 double unders, 15 power snatch, 75/55lbs.
Everyone has until Sunday to complete, submit and have their score validated.
For non-Elysium members-
- we can host and judge you on a limited basis. Call one of the coaches to set up an appointment. We have jump ropes, barbells and bumper plates. The cost will be 15$, first come first serve.
For Elysium members-
- at least this WOD is fairly straightforward. We encourage all of the games competitors to try and get the WOD done/judged by us earlier rather than later. Coach P and I will attempt to judge at least 1-2 of you per class doing the WOD as you come in. Stay in communication with the coaches, and we'll do the same. More to follow.
Today is the LAST DAY to register, and we need EVERYONE interested to sign up for the 2011 CrossFit Games! The unique format of this year promises to be a lot of fun, and requires NO minimum skill level or expertise. Our team literally depends on all of you. Let me explain further. To qualify as a team, we need a minimum of 3 men and 3 women on our team competing every week. The people can be different each week, so long as we have that bare minimum. If we ever don't have that minimum, the team is out of the running. The workouts can be done at CrossFit Elysium- you won't have to travel to get to a special location. The one time sign up fee is 10$ TOTAL. So, if you complete even one workout as Rx'd, you've helped our team. I personally have no illusions that I can qualify as an individual for the Games; I am participating to help our team and to compare myself against the entire global spectrum of people. However, the main reason is to have fun. So for all of you athletes, it doesn't matter how new you are, or which moves you can't do. If you can complete any of the workouts your performance will help us, and even if you can't we can do a scaled version so at least you can join in the fun and compare yourself to others. The specifics of the format and instructions to register are below. Again, there's NO REASON not to participate, whatever your ability level. Come on and support our team! As the workouts get released we'll have more info for you all. Thanks!
Format: - everyone registers as an individual for 10$ total; then, they can join a team as well - 6 weeks long, 1 workout a week that can be done any time that week; you can "try" as many times as you want in that week - submit your results via video or do the workout at Elysium or another affiliate who will validate your performance - people on a team have their performances count for both themselves and their team!
Registration: 1. Go here- http://games.crossfit.com/¬† 2. Click on "register" 3. Register as an individual 4. After you are done, hit "join a team" 5. Our team is "CrossFit Elysium". Join our team, and when I get your request I will approve it.¬†
Deadlifts, anatomy and injuries
Tuesday, 08 March 2011 21:45
In this post, I‚Äôd like to address the deadlift and injuries. I‚Äôve discussed some of these concepts with Coach Ian McHugh of CrossFit Mission Gorge and wanted to share them with you. The deadlift has a (mostly) unwarranted reputation as a great way to injure your back. The media at large, the misinformed public and idiots in the fitness industry (meaning: almost everyone) are the chief perpetrators of this notion.
Clearly, we here at CrossFit Elysium do not feel this way, otherwise we‚Äôd never have our athletes deadlift. Instead, we ascribe to the belief that the way to prevent injury is to get the area you want to be injury-free STRONG. Experience and common sense bears this out; who is more likely to hurt themselves picking up a box- the person who can‚Äôt deadlift 100lbs without rounding their back, or the person who can deadlift 400lbs without issue? Furthermore, there are tremendous benefits to be gained from deadlifting properly. Chief among these is learning to ‚Äúset the back‚Äù or put the lumbar spine into rigid extension. Learning how to do this, which is critical to being able to deadlift properly, translates over to any activity you might do in life where you might injure your back. Think about how you‚Äôd pick something up off the ground now, after learning how to deadlift, as opposed to how you might have picked it up in the past. At this point I‚Äôm sure most of you would lock your backs into rigid extension and drive with your legs/hips without even thinking about it. The safest, most biomechanically efficient movement has been so ingrained in you that you‚Äôd do it reflexively. In this respect, we can say with real confidence that learning to deadlift has made you safer and protected your back.
While this is possible from deadlifts, it's not the sort of injury we're worried about.
All this being said, it is possible to hurt yourself, and quite badly, deadlifting improperly. To begin, I‚Äôll address what I refer to as an ‚Äúoveruse‚Äù injury. An overuse injury is simply when you fatigue your muscles (in this case, the lumbar erectors, hips, glutes, etc) by exposing them to a stress they‚Äôre not used to. Think of the burning any of us would get in our legs if we ran past a certain distance, the pain in our forearms after a max set of pull ups, or the soreness in your shoulders and triceps after doing a ton of push ups. This is the same thing most people feel the first few times they do many reps of deadlifts, such as in a typical CrossFit metcon. The difference is, most of us never ‚Äúoveruse‚Äù our back like this, and thus have no basis for comparison. We then equate this soreness to injury, especially bony, joint, or ligamentous injury. This is not the case- it‚Äôs simply the same muscle soreness your arms would feel after many pushups, just we‚Äôre not used to that in the back and interpret it as an injury. This kind of overuse is benign and goes away with time and experience. If you start feeling this in a workout you may want to scale down the weight or reps (it‚Äôs definitely not pleasant) but the chance of real injury is minimal.
The second item is in my mind actually more dangerous, and more likely to result in real injury. This is doing repeated, heavy deadlifts unbroken, tapping or bouncing off the ground between each rep. Let‚Äôs talk about this a little more. ‚ÄúHeavy‚Äù, of course, is a relative term. I will arbitrarily define heavy as anything over 80% of your 1 rep max. Now let‚Äôs examine the deadlift more closely.
Coach Stacie with her 275lb PR deadlift.
The deadlift is a completely concentric movement, meaning the movement starts from a dead stop (hence the name) and there is no loading or stretching of the musculature in the opposite direction before the lift begins. You can move around and bounce up and down as much as you want before you pull, but the fact of the matter is the bar is NOT MOVING down at the start of the lift- it is static on the ground, and first thing that happens is the bar moves in one direction- UP. Contrast this with the back squat- you FIRST descend with the bar, and your leg musculature gets tighter and tighter as the bar goes down, THEN you explode back up. This is referred to as an eccentric movement. Thus, a properly-performed deadlift is concentric, while a properly-performed squat is eccentric. When you squat, you‚Äôre SUPPOSED to use the eccentric portion to aid the lift.
It turns out the spine does not like eccentric loading very much. This would equate to the lowering portion of the deadlift when you set the bar back down. You can and should put the bar down much faster than when it comes up (still with proper form and the same bar path, of course). Trying to slowly lower the bar, all the while holding the back in rigid extension is precisely what you DON‚ÄôT want to do. However, learning how to set the bar down quickly, yet under control is not easy.
Another problem with ‚Äútap and go‚Äôs‚Äù is the eccentric portion actually aids the next rep. Everyone who has deadlifted knows that the first rep of the ground in a heavy unbroken set is actually the hardest. Each subsequent rep is helped not only by a small bounce off the ground, but also the eccentric stretching of the hamstrings, glutes and lumbar erectors. This stretching elicits a ‚Äústretch-cycle reflex‚Äù which actually makes those muscles CONTRACT HARDER. It is a physiologic fact that muscles stretched to a certain point can contract more forcefully. The classic example of this is a two-footed jump. Think what you would do if you were going to try and jump two-footed as high as possible. You‚Äôd bend your knees and ankles a bit, then explode upwards. This bending of the knees and ankles is your body CREATING a stretch reflex. Imagine trying to jump upwards WITHOUT any knee bend; better yet, try it right now. It‚Äôs almost impossible to do. Your body instinctively wants to engage this reflex since your brain is saying, ‚Äújump as high as you can‚Äù.
What the bounce and the stretch reflex do, in practical terms, is enable you to lift more weight than you would be able to if every rep is concentric. A set of 3 reps strung together is MUCH easier than a set of 3 singles. By ‚Äúartificially‚Äù being able to move more weight, all the while eccentrically stressing the back, the potential for injury goes up.
I have injured my back doing repeated heavy deadlifts exactly as I explained above, and now in my strength training I do all my heavy deadlifts as singles, each with a dead stop from the ground. So what‚Äôs the problem? The quandary for us as CrossFitters is that many of our workouts are for time, or for max reps, etc. The goal of the workout (do as many deadlifts as fast as possible) ENCOURAGES repeated, unbroken, bounced reps. Put another way, if you want to do well in a workout, you almost have to do it in a less safe way.
So, what‚Äôs my approach, and what do I recommend for you?
For strength training (in other words, with near maximal weights), I would do mostly singles, with no tap and go. Full reset between each rep. Lower the weight quickly, almost dropping it each time. If a weight is ‚Äútoo heavy‚Äù for you, you just won‚Äôt be able to lift it, and you won‚Äôt injure yourself this way.
For workouts/metcons- it depends. If you are quite experienced you‚Äôll have a better idea which weights you can throw around without fear, and which may mess you up if you do too many repeated reps. In addition, with more experience comes more strength, more endurance and thus less likelihood you‚Äôll hurt yourself. Don‚Äôt be ashamed of scaling down a weight if it means you‚Äôll be able to knock out reps (which is the goal of a metcon).
Don‚Äôt eliminate repeated reps or tap and go‚Äôs entirely. As I stated before, there is a skill involved in being able to set the weight down quickly, yet under control. Learning and practicing this will make you better and less likely to injure yourself on future attempts. In addition, it will help you in the metcons as stated above. I can‚Äôt give you an exact ratio, but in general I‚Äôd say reserve tap and go‚Äôs for metcons, light weights and warm up sets during strength days. If you‚Äôre going for heavy weight, NOT for time, then don‚Äôt use tap and go‚Äôs. It is still worth it to learn how to do them properly and to get good at them.
This is doing it WRONG.
Finally, I‚Äôd like to say a bit about the anatomy of the back, pelvis and hips. When people get back pain (one of the most common medical diagnoses BTW), a lot of the time the problem isn‚Äôt the back per se but one of any other number of structures. The hamstrings, glutes, lumbar erectors, and spine all attach in some way to the pelvis. Tightness in any of these structures causes the pelvis to shift and the other muscle groups to get stretched and take up the load. Over time, abnormal loading can cause previously uninjured structures to become injured themselves. In addition, you often don‚Äôt feel pain in the specific area of injury, but rather in non-specific fashion ‚Äúsomewhere in the back‚Äù. What this means is- back pain doesn‚Äôt mean your back is injured. It could be due to any number of issues- injury or tightness to any of the other muscles that attach to the pelvis, joint injury, ligament injury, etc. In point of fact, I‚Äôd have to say most people I‚Äôve seen with ‚Äúback problems‚Äù actually have tight hamstrings and glutes (a consequence of our modern, seated, desk-bound society). This is actually a good thing if you think about it. It means those ‚Äúback problems‚Äù can actually be addressed by becoming more flexible. There may not be an injury that needs to be rehab‚Äôd. Ask one of the coaches for some good hamstring/glute stretches if you‚Äôre interested.
Hello everyone! The 2011 CrossFit Games are fast upon us, and to that end I wanted to give you all some information regarding the events and competition.
The road leading up to the CrossFit Games is as follows- qualify through open sectionals for regionals --> qualify at regionals for the Games. For an affiliate team to qualify for the regionals, the team must have individual members qualify through the sectionals.
The Open officially begins on March 15th. The website for the competition is expected to go live sometime before then. As you can see, this is one week from now. Each week for six weeks, starting on March 15th, CrossFit HQ will post the workout of the week. Anyone wishing to qualify for the regionals, the Games OR as part of an affiliate team MUST complete all six workouts during the week they are announced. There are only two ways to ‚Äúcomplete‚Äù a WOD and get your score validated- by video, or by competing at a registered affiliate.
Here at CrossFit Elysium, we plan on hosting any qualifying WODs we can, subject to equipment and space limitations. Due to the limited info at this point, we can‚Äôt say if/when we will be able to host, and how many people we will be able to accommodate. However, we will put our athletes first and attempt to meet your needs before non-members.
The cost for anyone wishing to compete is 10$. This is to register with CrossFit HQ and is not set by us at CrossFit Elysium. Depending on the format, we may run ‚Äúqualifying days‚Äù here at Elysium for an additional, nominal fee. For non-members- if we are able to host any WODs we will do so and post details on the website so you can come in for qualification. As soon as we know more information we will let you all know.
Lastly, Coach P and I would like to encourage anyone who is interested to compete. We‚Äôd also like to put an affiliate team together if we qualify for regionals. At this point, it is not necessary to have a specific team- we simply need enough members compete and qualify individually at the sectional level. So, if you‚Äôre interested talk to one of the coaches. We will likely also do some or all of the WODs as they appear during the classes.
We want to remind you of all that is going on this week so you don't miss out:
Monday and Wednesday - 3/7/ and 3/9/11, all day -¬†Friends¬†and Family Days.¬†
, members:¬†(Register here).¬†This is a great opportunity to bring anyone into the gym and have them experience a true class with you.
Wednesday - 3/9/11 at 7 p.m. - Yoga with Karla Wagner. ¬†Come check out her style as she fills in for Courtney this¬†week.¬†(Register here)
Sunday - 3/13/11 at 2 p.m. - Member's Olympic Weightlifting Competition here at the gym (Register here). Let's have some fun and friendly competition with the 1st CrossFit Elysium Olympic Weightlifting competition- Members only event, coaches can compete but are not eligible for placing/ prizes.¬†There will be both men and women's divisions, we will be applying the Wilks Formula to every lifter to adjust for body weight so everyone has a chance to win! ¬†Events: snatch and clean and jerk. Each participant will have five attempts at each lift. ¬†The coaches will judge based on standard CrossFit rules and movements. ¬†There will be prizes for top snatch, clean and jerk in each sex, plus top three men and women overall (prizes tbd).¬†$20 per person to participate.
Friday - 3/18/11 at 7:30 p.m. -¬†Member's night out! ¬†See email for address and information. Please¬†
with any questions (about this event only).
¬†¬† Please let me know if you have any questions. ¬† ¬†¬†Thanks, Stacie -¬†
Also, don't forget to sign up for the¬†Elysium Members Olympic Weightlifting Competition
Sunday, March 13 ¬∑ 2:00pm - 5:00pm
3311 Adams Ave, Suite B
San Diego, CA
Let's have some fun and friendly competition with the 1st CrossFit Elysium Olympic Weightlifting competition
- Members only event, coaches can compete but are not eligible for placing/ prizes.
- There will be both men and women's divisions, we will be applying the Wilks Formula to every lifter to adjust for body weight so everyone has a chance to win!
- Events: snatch and clean and jerk. Each participant will have five attempts at each lift. The coaches will judge based on standard CrossFit rules and movements.
- There will be prizes for top snatch, clean and jerk in each sex, plus top three men and women overall (prizes tbd).