We’ve all heard it.
“You’re going to get hurt doing that CrossFit thing.”
“I knew a guy who knew a guy who went blind from CrossFit.”
The list goes on. In a future post I will explain where all this comes from and give you some truth. In the mean time, I wanted to address the more pressing parts of this topic.
At CrossFit Breaux Bridge + St. Landry, we are in the pursuit of facilitating physiological change in your body. That’s a big part of what getting fit is.
As many of us do not walk into CrossFit for the first time limber, flexible, and ready to hunt a grizzly bear, that sometimes means we need to make A LOT of changes. We do this through a cycle of stimulus and adaptation. The stimulus occurs in the gym, the adaptation (recovery) occurs outside of it.
Change can be uncomfortable. It is highly probably you are going to use muscles you didn’t even know existed, and you are going to try and restore your joints to their original ranges of motion.
This means we will be doing some pulling, pushing, and squeezing on tissues which are not yet accommodated to this. That’s what unfitness is.
At our gyms, safety, efficacy, and sound mechanics are of the utmost priority. You must know, however, that on the path to obtaining these new skills, abilities, and looks, there may be bumps and bruises along the way. This is not water aerobics.
The good news is, the majority of CrossFit injuries are acute (meaning they will go away) and mainly consist of some type of inflammation.
So what should you do if you think you might have an injury?
- TELL YOUR TRAINERS – while we are not doctors and are very cautious not to step beyond our realm of knowledge and expertise, the overwhelming majority of sports injuries are well within our expertise. Healing is part of training, and we know a lot about it. All of your trainers have worked through various injuries in their fitness endeavors. We will also let you know if we think it is something you should get checked out.
- GO TO THE BOX – we can’t help you if we don’t see you. Not only do we not mind scaling and modifying workouts for you, we enjoy it. It let’s us use our creativity. And we cannot prescribe stretches or drills to help you recover if we don’t see you.
- CHECK YOUR NUTRITION – because most injuries are inflammatory in nature, simply eating a non-inflammatory diet can “cure” your injuries almost immediately. That’s right, nutrition isn’t only about being fat or skinny.
- CHECK YOUR EGO – injury goes from chronic to acute when you keep doing the thing that caused it over and over. If you want a life of fitness, don’t break yourself trying to push through a movement that is actually going to make it worse.
- REST DOES NOT MEAN DO NOTHING – while we definitely want to rest whatever part of you may be experiencing issues, that leaves a lot of parts of you we can focus even more intently on. Many of our athletes and coaches will tell you that some of the biggest leaps in their fitness journeys came through injuries.
These tips are not all-inclusive, but if you find yourself with a nagging injury and you do the above, we can help even further! We know a ton of techniques to get you back up and running as quickly as possible.
If you think you may be experiencing this right now and are unsure what to do, email us at either CrossFit Breaux Bridge or CrossFit St. Landry so we can get you fixed up!
We like to push. We feel good about pushing. Pushing feels powerful. It allows us to impose our will. When we are tired we are told to push ourselves, we push our athletes. We push through the pain. We push our kids to do well in school.
In my old days at the gym I liked to push. Bench press, overhead press, tricep press, leg press, leg extensions, maybe even calf raises. These are all pushing. I was more likely to focus on those movements and leave the others for “if I had time”.
I have some theories on why this is:
- We like the muscles we can see in the mirror, and those are the ones most affected by pushing
- Our Western way of life does not typically require a large amount of pulling on things so we have become “front-body dominant”
We call the front-body muscles—developed mostly by pushing—the “show” muscles. But we call the back-body muscles—mostly developed by pulling—the “go” muscles.
In functional movement (i.e. exercises especially useful in actually accomplishing tasks), the pulling muscles and the act of pulling takes significantly more priority to pushing.
When we speak of pulling we are talking about things like:
- Picking things up
These are functions you are performing daily. This is why a well-developed back/hamstrings is a surer sign of fitness than a well-developed chest.
In the first paragraph, I alluded to pushing metaphorically. In our culture, pushing is synonymous with motivating. But what about pulling?
What if instead of pushing, we focused on pulling. Pushing forces me to get BEHIND something while pulling forces me to get IN FRONT.
To push something, I get behind it and try to force it to move forward to a new place. But to pull it, I have to get where I want it to be, and then pull it to where I once was as I move further along.
What if instead of pushing our kids to eat right, work hard, get good grades, never give up… we pulled them to do those things. This means we have to get where we want them to go first. This means we have to be the example.
Instead of, “Hey, you should go do that.” It becomes, “Hey you should come do this!” Instead of “Eat like that.” It becomes “Eat like this.” Instead of “Act like that.” It becomes, “Act like this.”
People, especially kids, don’t really give a shit what you say. It is very hard to hear over what you actually do.
What if we pulled each other to a higher, better place? Sounds great, right? But this means we, ourselves, have to get their first.
If you need help getting there so that you can help bring people to that place with you, that is our specialty.
Schedule your free No Sweat Intro here at CrossFit Breaux Bridge or here at CrossFit St. Landry. We’ll show you how we can pull you into that life/body you deserve.
Alright guys, I’ve been doing some experimenting.
I am not a supplement guy. I am a food guy. That just means that I am always going to encourage you guys to get what your body needs, micro and macro nutrients, from the foods that contain them. And, you guys that know me know that by food I mean actual food, like from before we ate out of boxes.
However, even the most adamant meat and veggies proponents can have a difficult time obtaining and consuming all that is required for optimal living. Even though you’ll still be better off than the majority of the population, I have come across a supplement that I can recommend.
Here is the kicker, it’s actually still food. And that’s why I like it. It’s also why it actually works.
We don’t sell it. Although I wouldn’t be against stocking it one day if that’s even possible. But in the meantime this is a completely unbiased and disinterested review/recommendation.
The product is called Athletic Greens, and outside of taking Progenex for recovery, it’s probably the best thing I have added to my routine.
I’m not going to go into the details about it, or write shit that’s already on their website and every review out there, just wanted to let you guys know about it.
I don’t take anything I can’t immediately tell I’ve taken, or that I can’t tell when I forget to take it. That’s why I stopped taking BCAA’s, multivitamins, SSRI’s, and college courses.
But, after about 2 months, I can confidently recommend this product to you guys. Cost per serving is about the same as a (real) serving of vegetables which you aren’t eating enough of anyway, I actually like the taste, and the improvements in my clean energy levels, mental clarity, workouts, and mood have been “statistically significant.”
Part of my responsibility as your head coach is to let you know when I stumble upon things like this, so there you go.
Alexandra has been experimenting as well so if you guys have any questions about it let us know.
As with anything, I recommend you guys try it, then stop it. If it’s not noticeable, leave it behind!
Final caveat, NOTHING will fix your shitty diet.
This is not going to “override” your poor decision making abilities if you have those, but if you are trying to eat real food and feel like there may be some gaps in there that need filling, give Athletic Greens a try.
Your success is our success.
P.S. Dear Athletic Greens, please don’t sue us for posting a picture of your product while trying to advocate your product.
Happiness is your natural state. Worry is its enemy.
One of our biggest sources of worry is concerning our health. The world would have us believing that cancer, heart disease, and diabetes are unavoidable and lurking around every corner—waiting to pounce. While we CrossFitters are not immune to health problems, we know that we are doing everything we can to not be responsible for them.
Another source of worry is what people think of us. As CrossFitters we have learned that we are more capable than we ever thought we were. We regularly participate in activities we once thought impossible. We achieve on a regular basis. We develop a healthy opinion of ourselves that often overrides our concern for others’ opinions of us.
A third source of worry is finding ourselves in situations we are unable to handle. Flat tires, muggings, car wrecks, bar fights, the backyard with our grandkids. Again, many CrossFitters have laid this worry to rest and are living a fuller, happier life with their newfound fitness.
Many people think of CrossFit as too hard or too difficult. They do not wish to experience the discomfort that we seem to love.
What they don’t realize is that CrossFit is not about loving discomfort, nor is it some crazy masochistic endeavor. It isn’t pain for the sake of pain.
Comfort is actually the result… Comfort from worry.
We do it for the Happy.
I watched the Disney movie Moana a few months ago. In it, Moana is charged with the task of finding the demigod Maui and asking him to save her home island of Motonui from total destruction. That’s a hell of a goal, if you ask me. I remember thinking, though, how convenient it was to have the help of the ocean water to ‘propel’ her efforts.
Disney movies are really good at that—overcoming tremendous obstacles with a few special effects. Real life isn’t alway that way, unfortunately.
But! that doesn’t mean we can’t achieve even our most outlandish dreams. And scientific studies are showing that there is a methodical way to go about reaching our goals.
It’s called WOOP.
In Western culture, we are well aware of the power of positive thinking. Watch or listen to any motivational speaker and you’ll hear things like:
“You can have, do, or be anything you want,”
“Whatever belief you hold in your subconscious mind, will become your reality”…
While there is tons of merit in imagining our success or creating positive fantasies, it simply isn’t enough.
The scientists who developed the WOOP method found that those who more positively imagined their goals being achieved were seduced into feeling already-accomplished. This feeling of false accomplishment caused inaction, and therefore, led them to be less prepared to achieve their goals.
Visualizing success gives direction, but not energy. It is only the beginning of achieving a goal. It must be accompanied with action.
That is where the WOOP method comes in.
WOOP stands for:
We must, first, identify an important wish. It can be any attainable goal that we want to achieve. Once we have identified our wish, we must ask ourselves, “What would be the best outcome if I fulfilled this wish?” The answer to this question would come about in the positive fantasies mentioned above. Then, it is imperative to switch gears and ask, “What stops me from fulfilling my wish? What is my inner obstacle?” Making the distinction between internal and external barriers are important, because all we ultimately have control over is ourselves. And finally, once the obstacle within us has been identified, we must establish a plan to overcome that obstacle.
For example, let’s say my wish was to deadlift 300lb. for a 1-rep max. I would then visualize myself in class, surrounded by all of my buddies, wearing my favorite workout clothes and no shoes (because it’s deadlift day, duh!). I would approach the bar with chalk on my hands, take a big deep belly breath, and separate the bar from the floor until I was standing proudly, veins popping out of my forehead and all. But then I think, what in me has kept me from hitting 300lb. already? After some honest digging, I come to find that I’ve always believed I was too small to hit “big numbers”, and that has ultimately kept me from even trying. Rather than succumbing to this belief, I can research women who are my size that have deadlifted +300lb. and remind myself that my size doesn’t have to be a limiting factor. With this inspiration, I can plan to overcome my inner obstacle and keep it from inhibiting my efforts.
What’s your wish? What outcome are you imagining? What’s the obstacle in your way and how can you plan to overcome it?
Let us know if we can help by emailing email@example.com!
Author: Bambi Panagiotis
Probably the best “P”(ersonal) “R”(ecord) celebration I ever saw was Hunner Huval’s recent snatch. Along with the jumping and hollering, he took off running ……. ran out of the garage door at CrossFit Breaux Bridge and in through the front door. IT. WAS. AWESOME!
But not every day is a P.R. day. Not every day ‘should’ be a P.R. day or an attempt at one. That’s not how it works. Sorry guys and gals! It takes a lot of lifts at lesser weights to get there.
Ever wonder why we train percentages?
First, when the goal is to develop maximal strength it’s essential to lift maximal or near maximal weights. While this doesn’t necessarily mean 100% of our 1Rep Max, it does mean that some portion of our training must include lifting loads at or above 90% 1RM.
Second, we must understand the importance of speed in relation to maximal strength. If we aren’t capable of accelerating quickly, then strength will be negatively affected.
Take, for example, the equation for force:
Force (F) = Mass (M) x Acceleration (A).
Greater acceleration leads to greater force, which leads to heavier weights being lifted. To train for improved speed one must use light(er) weights with the goal of moving them as quickly as possible. Generally, this requires some portion of our training to include lifting loads between 50% – 65% 1RM. That’s why we program sets like Wide Stance Box Squats – 8 x 3 @ 60-65% 1RM.
As you can see, to optimally train for maximal strength we can’t just focus on lifting heavy. We must also focus on lifting quickly.
Incorporating a wide variety of percentages with the consistent goal of moving weights as explosively as possible will lead to the best strength outcomes. And who don’t want that?