All things related to CrossFit, fitness, health, nutrition – anything and everything else. It’s our blog and we will write what we want!
On 19 October 2013, CrossFit IMPAVIDUS held a competition to give our youth the chance to feel what it is like to compete. Athletes ages 6 to 11 participated in a series of WODs demonstrating that they have what it takes to go the distance.
Photos galore can be found at the following location: CrossFit IMPAVIDUS Fall 2013 Mid-Atlantic Youth Competition Photos
Check out the videos at the following locations to see the spirit and dedication found in the youth of the CFI family.
Every month, CFI gathers the Ladies together and encourages them to bring a friend or two for a Ladies-only WOD. October being breast cancer awareness month, CFI Ladies donned their pink WOD gear and burpee’d their way through favorite lady song – Roxanne by The Police – before taking on a 1/2 benchmark CrossFit Girl WOD – Cindy. Ladies WODs happen once a month – watch for the next announcement and join us!
Check out the video here: CrossFit IMPAVIDUS October 2013 Ladies WOD Video — Please note that due to YouTube copyright rules, this video is unable to be viewed on mobile devices.
Is Running Natural?
By Coach Nate
If running is supposed to be “natural,” why do so many people find it so hard to do? A lot of athletes claim that they aren’t very good at running. So every time running is included in a WOD, they convince themselves that the running portion is going to suck.
But before we dive deeper into running, let’s step back a moment and discuss another “natural” movement first: the air squat. We could say that humans were born to squat. Squatting is a movement we find in day-to-day life, but athletes don’t complain so much about it. Why is that? Running is simply putting one foot in front of the other, but squatting properly requires a good lumbar curve, weight approximately in the heels, hips below parallel, an upright torso, knees tracking over the feet, and hands out for balance. Squatting seems to be quite complicated.
Think back to the first time you were taught how to squat at CFI. Did you perform an air squat perfectly? Probably not. But squatting is “natural,” you should be able to do it properly without any instruction. Many of you know how incorrect that statement is. It takes the proper technique and the willingness to work on it to improve your ability to squat properly. I’m sure many athletes still have some things they can improve on their squatting technique.
So how does squatting relate to running? They are both “natural” movements that humans were born to do, but both require proper technique to be performed correctly and efficiently. Just as you were taught how to squat properly, the same approach must be taken with running. Just because something is considered “natural” doesn’t mean it’s intuitive. Running technique requires the same kind of instruction as squatting technique.
Last time I checked I wasn’t born with shoes on my feet. Wearing shoes while running is the furthest from “natural” running you can ever get. But can’t I just throw out my shoes and go for a run barefoot? Sure you can, if injuring yourself the fastest way possible is your goal. If you have crappy running form with shoes on, you’re most likely to have crappy running form without shoes. Simply taking off your shoes won’t fix several years of running incorrectly. Think of how many years you’ve spent wearing shoes. Wearing shoes desensitizes our feet to how we land as we run. Many runners heel strike as a result of the extra cushioning provided in the heels of running shoes. This motor pattern gets so engrained that we will continue to heel strike even when we take off our shoes. Only by retraining these motor patterns will we be able run properly.
Some athletes might say, “But I’ve seen Newton Running Shoes / Vibram Five Fingers / Hoka One Ones (insert latest marketing device here) that claim they can improve your running form.” Will simply putting on weightlifting shoes improve your snatch or clean and jerk? Probably not. There is no silver bullet device that will fix your running technique. As I said before, if you have crappy technique before using (insert latest device), then you’re more than likely to have crappy technique after using (insert latest device).
So what can you do to improve your running?
Find a running coach that shows you proper running technique–I know of a few at CFI. The same amount of effort you put into your snatch, clean and jerk, or squat should also be placed in your running technique. Why fear those WODs with running any longer. Learn to run properly, and you’ll be able to use your running as your rest.
Is nutrition important?
You bet it is! We talk to our athelets all the time about how excercise is only ONE PART of the equation. If you don’t put the right fuel in your body, then you won’t get the results you DESERVE.
Keep an eye out in the next few weeks. CrossFit Impavidus will be announcing the details of its next TWO nutrition focused challenges. That’s right, back to back nutrtion help!
Strong and Strong(er)
By Coach Conan
Athlete to Coach: “What do I need to do to get strong?”
Coach to some Athletes: “Where were you on back squat day?”
I get the first question a lot from CrossFit athletes that are getting towards the latter part of their first year or so of training. I ask the second question of A LOT of the athletes in our gym. Both of these questions deal with strength so I am going to try and tackle them in this post.
If you want to get strong, pick up heavy stuff…consistently. When you pick it up it should be difficult. Sometime towards the end of the workout (that last set maybe?) you should probably feel like you are going to poop your pants because you are focusing with such intensity (some sarcasm there, but you get the point…it should not be an easy day).
If you want to get strong(er), then you may want to add some specificity in your training for a cycle or two. I like 6 to 8 week cycles. (Now, I can already hear all types of potential “naysayers”, outside our gym that might read this, getting ready to slam that advice. Understand that if you read this post, it is written with OUR gym in mind, knowing the programming, athletes, equipment and logistical realities of our CrossFit gym. OK, thanks, rant over, ha ha). Do what works for your body and gets the best results for YOU. When in doubt listen to your body and your coach.
What do I mean when I say strong vs. strong(er)? Our gym focuses on getting the average person (80%-90% of folks that walk into our gym) fitter than when they first showed up, and helping them have fun while doing it. With that in mind, a combination of Gymnastics, Weightlifting, and Metabolic Conditioning will not only make you fit, but also make you…wait for it…strong. (reminder: the varied combination of those three things is CrossFit). In our regular CrossFit classes you will get fit and strong. If you show up consistently…and…don’t cherry pick the WODs. What do I mean by cherry picking? Any time you see Box Squat 2-2-2-2-2-2-2 show up…you take a rest day. Bad juju. Sure, we do deadlifts and thrusters and all sorts of barbell movements during our “met con” couplets and triplets. They ARE fun. But, so is Push Press 3-3-3-3-3. All the workouts serve a purpose. AND doing the strength days will actually improve your performance on “met con” days!
Now let’s tackle the strong(er) idea. In our gym we have developed Specialty Classes: Strength Class (powerlifting), Gymnastics Class (moving your body where you want it), Olympic Lifting Class (gymnastics with a barbell, great expression of power), and Endurance Class (teaching running as a skill). At some point after an athlete has been CrossFitting for about nine months to a year they start to really understand what they suck at. Many times athletes will focus on the fact that they would like to be strong(er). This is when we direct them towards the Gymnastics, Powerlifting, and Olympic lifting classes. These classes allow them to SUPPLEMENT their attendance in regular CrossFit classes with some specialty work. Work on your weaknesses. Spend 6 to 8 weeks getting better [strong(er)] at something and then rotate on to another specialty class, or maybe even just go back to regular CrossFit classes. Special Note: The Endurance Class is a never ending need. It takes a lot of time and work to re-teach your body how to run. We recommend spending 8 to 12 weeks at a minimum working on the skill of running.
“So what’s the bottom line coach!!?”
Take full advantage of the membership level you are at. If you are new to CrossFit (30-90 days) then 3-4 classes a week will work for you. At some point you will need to step up to unlimited CrossFit classes so that you have the flexibility to attend 4-5 days a week. That is where you will see the best results. [Your schedule might end up looking like: Mon/Tues/Wed ON, Thu OFF, Fri/SAT ON, Sun OFF (making up the Thu workout on Saturday).] If after 9 months or a year of CrossFitting you really start to identify your weaknesses, then attack them in our specialty classes. Just don’t “cherry pick” there either. Don’t spend 6 months in the Powerlifting classes because you hate metcons and bodyweight movement. At some point your coach will hurt your feelings and tell you it’s time to rotate to another weakness.
We are open 7 days a week for a reason. Saturday and Sunday classes are “make up” WOD days, for a reason. This allows you the flexibility to do a benchmark WOD or any of the 5 previous WODs throughout the weekend. You can make up a strength focused WOD or a metabolic conditioning focused WOD (just remember: DO NOT cherry pick!).
If you follow our programming and listen to our coaches, then YOU WILL GET FIT. That is the ultimate goal. Remember: there are 10 general physical skills and CrossFit is meant to make you better at them ALL (cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy).
Want to learn more about how we program our workouts? Click here