Blog

First, before today’s workout take a look back at Coach Adam’s blog post from Friday. Solid info on setting yourself really well to lift exceptionally.  This will be helpful considering you’ll be doing 24 lifts (many tired) up to %85 of your 1RM.

Second, if you would like to develop your running speed sign up for our Speed Team.  The team will meet three times a week for eight weeks starting next Monday, May 4 @ 6:30 PM at the Santa Monica High School track.  Call the office 310.260.9550 to sign up for optimum speediness.



Monday’s Workout

Fun

4 RFT:
10 RKBS (32/20)
1 Squat cleans (85%)
15 RKBS
2 Squat cleans
20 RKBS
3 Squat cleans
      25 RKBS

And Coming Tuesday
Fun

“Grippy Mover”
AMRAP 36
72 Double unders
36 Mountain climbers
100m DB farmers carry (⅔ BW / ½ BW)
36 Situps

 

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23 Apr / 2015

It’s a Set-Up

Have you ever seen a painter paint a wall with little or no preparation? He doesn’t sand the the rough areas, patch the holes or apply a primer/undercoat. No matter how meticulous he is, after all his hard work, the finished product is going to look like crap – or worse, it will look ok for a short period of time until some cracks begin to show and the paint starts to peel off.

Don’t worry – this is not a blog about remodelling your house. I was asked recently about the set-up position of a lift. The question was: How important can the set-up of a movement (or lift) be in determining your finishing position or end result?

Here’s what you need to know.
Like the painter, you will have a difficult time finishing correctly if you set-up incorrectly. It’s as simple as that. You may be able to muscle the weight up now with no problem. But, you could potentially move more weight AND alleviate the risk of injury with a better set-up.

What does the ideal set-up look like?
Think about your current set-up position.

As coach Bob Takano says, “If you are comfortable, you are probably doing it wrong!”

The set-up for the snatch and clean should not look the same as the set-up for a deadlift. Let me repeat that – it should not look the same as the set-up for a deadlift.

In Olympic lifting, the set-up forms the basis of an efficient first pull which, in turn, optimizes the second pull. The first pull begins from the floor and ends roughly at mid-thigh. In the starting position, we want to maintain an upright posture with the arms approximately vertical when viewed from the side. This is important because having an upright torso minimizes the stress placed on the lower back. It also allows for the bar to be kept closer to the center of mass and ensures better balance. During the first pull, we want the bar to start away from the shins and for the hips and shoulders to rise at the same rate, as such, this will cause the bar to sweep back.

Here are some points for consideration during your set-up.
I’d be the first to admit that, although these are general guidelines and can vary depending on the anatomy and proportions of the individual, I have found them to be a good place to start. Only a couple of things to remember. Easy right!!

 –Hook-grip the bar

–Feet below the hips

–Barbell over the balls/mid-foot.

–Hips at or slightly above knee level.

–Knees flared out to the sides and in contact with arms, this allows the knees to be clear of the bar path.

–Flat back.

–Arms internally rotated to prevent looping the bar.

–Weight in the front edges of heels.

–Eyes straight ahead.

–Get tight.

If you cannot set up in this position there’s a high chance that mobility and flexibility are an issue. More than likely, it’s tight hips, hamstrings, ankles and thoracic spine. As much as we all love to hate foam rolling and lacrosse balls, it may be time to rekindle that romance. Spend some time finding your restrictions and weaknesses and make them a priority.

And remember, the purpose of this blog is to help you achieve a better starting position in the Snatch and Clean. Ask yourself, “am I able to set-up correctly in the start position of a snatch or clean from the floor?  What does this look like?” If you wouldn’t tolerate a dodgy paint job on your house, do not tolerate a poor starting position to your lifts. Trust me, your future self will thank you for it.


 Friday’s Workout
Spring Break

A) In 15min establish max effort
Muscle ups

B) AMRAP 15
200m Run
10 Hang power snatches (95/65)
15 Hand-release pushups

And Coming Monday
Spring Break

4 RFT
10 RKBS (32/20)
1 Squat cleans (85%)
15 RKBS
2 Squat cleans
20 RKBS
3 Squat cleans
25 RKBS

 

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22 Apr / 2015

Try it

tumeric tea ingredients

I was talking to my chiropractor the other day and she said “how do you have time to do that?” The “That” she was referring to was cooking.  I was sharing with her that I had made homemade pizza.  My homemade pizza truly means crust and all, which is a little more time consuming then pre-made crust.  I explained and she agreed we all make time to do things that give us joy and pleasure and cooking is just one of them. Though, it wasn’t always that way. When I was a child my mother didn’t really let me in the kitchen. I always wanted to help, but she wanted to be efficient and get it done her way. Looking back I totally get it now. When you need to get food on the table to feed the family and you’ve got limited time the thought of a teaching a kid in the kitchen doesn’t make sense. So Mom, I get it now.

In college I “prepared” food, you know, the basics; pasta, salads etc.  I also got to work in a few restaurants, which were awesome and hard at the same time.  I learned a lot about prep cooking, presentation and just got to see a whole lot of the behind the scenes stuff.  As I started to cook more on my own I was very particular on how I wanted things done. Now, after many years of practice and I am open to things not being perfect. Yes, sometimes I would like my onions all the same size when chopped if that’s the case I’ll do it myself, but most of the time it doesn’t have to be that way.  To me, cooking for those you love is truly an expression of love and much easier than words. When cooking there is room to be creative, artsy and free, which can be an expression of anything you want it to be.

This past week I made myself some turmeric tea.  I’d been wanting to try it for the longest time, but just hadn’t made the time to do it. Funny thing was, it didn’t take long at all. I used a blender and pot and just a few simple ingredients.  It was super simple and truly tasted amazing. When I drank my tea I felt like I could have been sitting at the beach with bonfire, or in the snow next to a fireplace.  I had two reasons for wanting to make this tea. 1.Tumeric is an anti inflammatory and since the WLC ended I’ve slacked a bit on my fish oil. (I also recently learned its an antiseptic). 2. It just sounded good and I thought maybe it could be an alternative to coffee. The verdict: this beverage not only tastes good, but has healing properties. It’s a win, so, I dare you to try it. Check it out: Tumeric Tea/ Milk, recipe from Wellness Mama.


Today’s Workout

Spring Break

“CF Total”
In 45 minutes, 15 minutes per lift
1RM Back squat
1RM Press
1RM Deadlift

And Coming Friday
Spring Break

A) In 15min establish max effort Muscle ups

B) AMRAP 15
200m Run
10 Hang power snatches (95/65)
15 Hand-release pushups

 

 

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Guest blog post by Coach Jamie Silber

We’re so excited to announce the start of CrossFit LA’s first running club, the Speed Team. It begins May 4th and goes through June 26th. In short it’s a training group that meets three times a week to improve running, not matter the level at which you start. Among the obvious reasons why Speed Team was created, here’s a specific anecdote …

I know a gal who’s an avid CrossFitter and is in very good shape. She looooves to talk about her workouts. In fact, that’s all she really talks about. I do chime in from time to time, but I enjoy listening to her. She is very passionate about her practice. Then one day it happened…out came the words:

“I wish we didn’t have to RUN today…I HATE RUNNING!”

I sat there churning for a moment, formulating a biased pro-running retort. I then channeled my behaviorist, Coach Dizzle Rivera, to calm me down, and I came back to her with this question: “Ok, well, what is your favorite lift?”

She quickly replied,”Over Head Squats”.

I asked why and she said, “Because it’s the perfect marriage of technique and power.”

I was tired that day and decided to save her my pro-running diatribe, so I said, “Good answer,” and we left it at that.

In truth, my “I-HATE-RUNNING” friend couldn’t’ have described running better: Running, too, is the perfect marriage of technique and power. In fact, this is what Speed Team is all about; mastering technique and turning it into power. An overhead squat actually has a lot in common with running. Both require active shoulders, a strong, stable midline and dynamic hip extension. But I’m sure my friend would object. Speed Team wants to coach into the commonalities that lie in the technique we apply to our lifts and gymnastic movements and apply them to a running practice. Sound technique and lots of practice will allow ones running to feel less out of one’s control. Running is skill-based, just like anything else, and we often don’t enjoy movements when we haven’t learned the proper way to do them. Maybe the woman in my example could learn to no longer hate running if the same attention she devotes to overhead squats was applied to running. At the very least, she’ll hopefully hate running less and won’t avoid them in workouts. Speed Team is an opportunity to apply power and technique, just over longer periods of time. At best, training with Speed Team has the potential to make every workout feel better.

Check out all the details of what Speed Team has to offer you in this link. Ask questions! We will gladly answer them for you, and we hope to see you out there May 4th.

– Coach Jamie

 

Wednesday’s Workout
Spring Break

A) EMOM 10
O: 14 DB renegade rows (45/30)
E: :30 Candlestick levers

B) FT
750m Row
25 Burpees
500m Row
50 Burpees
250m Row
75 Burpees
**30min Cap**
**See 3/4/14**

 And Coming Thursday
Spring Break

“CF Total”
In 45 minutes, 15 minutes per lift
1RM Back squat
1RM Press
1RM Deadlift

 

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 Part 2 of Coach Benet’s blog about the California Drought.

Over the weekend, I met a young couple from East Porterville, CA. This is a city that has arguably been hit the hardest by the drought. Many of the residents of Tulare County are on a well system, and of the 952 wells that have gone dry in the county, 600 are in East Porterville, CA. One day this family had water from their well, and the next it had gone dry.

How would your water behaviors change if you had to fill up buckets, drums, and trash cans from two 5,000-gallon water tanks parked in your neighborhood? Read about their story here.

The issues surrounding SoCal water (politics, economics, infrastructure, and individual behaviors) have existed for years. It’s only now that we are becoming aware of them because we are in a drought.

What can you do now? We are now directing blame at agriculture, politicians, oil/energy, but ultimately I believe that we have to point the finger at ourselves first as water consumers. We have to change our mindset about how we use water if we expect to make larger change in our total usage. What’s your droughtbeard? A droughtbeard is something you do daily to remind yourself about water use. For me, it is actually why I have a beard. Every day I look in the mirror and I am awkwardly reminded about being focused on water. Whether I’m in the shower, brushing teeth, or buying meat at the store I am 100% aware of my water footprint. Another example of a #droughtbeard can be something as simple as putting up post-it notes by all of your faucets!

Be creative, but I encourage you to find your #droughtbeard and share it with us on facebook, instagram, or twitter!


 

Tuesday’s Workout
Spring Break

A) In 20min find 1RM
Bench press

B) For individual and total time
800m Run
3min Rest
400m Run
2min Rest
200m Run

And Coming Wednesday
Spring Break

A) EMOM 10
O: 14 DB renegade rows (45/30)
E: :30 Candlestick levers

B) FT
750m Row
25 Burpees
500m Row
50 Burpees
250m Row
75 Burpees
**30min Cap**
**See 3/4/14**

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Enjoy the Spring Break workouts coming the next couple of weeks.  Trust your fitness and have a blast!


Monday’s Wokout
Fun

“3.2.1.”

For total time, no rest between rounds.
3 Rounds:
5 Jerks (135/95)
7 Pullups
9 Jumping lunges

2 Rounds:
8 Front squats (135/95)
10 Power cleans
12 V-ups

1 Rounds:
400m Run
50 Double unders
50 Med ball situps (20/14)

And Coming Tuesday
Fun

A) In 20min find 1RM
Bench press

B) For individual and total time
800m Run
3min Rest
400m Run
2min Rest
200m Run

 

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Hometown:  Simi Valley, CA
Age: 33

Occupation: CFO
When did you first start CrossFitting?: November 2012
When did you first start training at CFLA?: November 2012
Favorite WOD: 1RM Bench Press
Least Favorite WOD: 16 x 100m Franklin Hill sprints

Tell us about you sports & fitness background: I played sports as a kid, but generally I was pretty lazy until I started martial arts at age 13. It completely changed my life. Not only physically, but in other parts of my life as well. My grades in school skyrocketed, I had a much better relationship with my family and I was much happier. I eventually earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. After high school I mostly just moved from different workout to workout, including various gyms, boot camps and yoga studios. I always tried to stay active. I love hiking, when I can find a hiking buddy.

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD… what was it, and how did it feel? I tried a lot of different workouts, but none of them really made a difference, nor did they give me the results I was looking for. I’m a big believer in not reinventing the wheel. I’ll just do what all those really in shape people are doing, which was CrossFit. Once I moved closer to CFLA, I made the leap and joined.

I don’t remember my first workout, but it was towards the end of 2012. I do remember though, that for the first three months, I felt like puking after every class. Eventually that feeling went away. Until Franklin Hill sprints, then that feeling comes right back to remind me of the good ol’ days.

  What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)? I’ve definitely progressed so much, but I still have a long way to go. For instance, when I started, I had to do pull-ups with the large band while everyone did regular pull-ups. Then, after about a year and a half I could regularly do pull-ups without a band. But by then, everyone moved on to chest to bar pullups! When I finally got chest to bar pull-ups, everyone else was doing bar muscle-ups. If I finally get those, who knows what we will be working on next…

In general, I feel really great though. I have been lucky to not get injured and have been very happy with how I feel. Looking to just keep improving.

What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected? The big unexpected change I’ve noticed must have come from all the back squats we’ve been doing. Between my wife and Woogene, I probably get slapped on the butt at least 3 times a day. That’s 3 more than before CrossFit.

Please share with us any favorite CrossFit / CFLA moments:  Last year we did 14.5 at Trojan CrossFit, and I was the last competitor in the last heat to finish. The workout DESTROYED me, but I had my 7am crew coaching (or, yelling at) me through the end of the workout. I couldn’t have done it without them and the 80 other people pushing me through.

My funniest CFLA moment was last Halloween, when completely unscripted, Alyssa and I dressed up as each other. I had a ponytail and wore neon, had a back pack and put on black tights under my shorts. I run into the gym thinking “I got her good! Wait, why is Alyssa wearing glasses and wearing white socks hiked up?” It was pretty hysterical.

Any advice for people just getting started? Show up. A lot. I started coming twice a week, then 3 days, then 4 days. Now, if I came any more, Andy would probably have to start charging me rent on top of my membership. It takes a lot of time to make big changes, so you have to be patient and keep at it. Especially showing up on days that you don’t really like the workout.

I make CrossFit part of my regular schedule. I wake up, put on pants, check pants for giant holes in the crotch (I learned that one after a couple bad experiences), and head over to CFLA. It’s easy to come regularly if you don’t have to think about it.

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?I have a whacky family made up of a very loving wife, an adorable 10 month old baby, an almost blind and diabetic dog, a pig (yes, a pig) and couple chickens. They definitely keep me busy! Being an entrepreneur means rarely being able to turn that off. I also enjoy anything outdoors (unless it is cold) and traveling to places that aren’t cold, but really my main pastime outside of work and home is CrossFit.


 

Friday’s Workout
Retest

4 Rounds for total time
60 Double unders
20 Alt. pistols
10 Bar muscleups
**2min Rest between rounds**

And Coming Monday
Spring Break Week!

“3.2.1.”
For total time, no rest between rounds.

3 rounds of:
5 Jerks (135/95)
7 Pull Ups
9 Jumping Lunges

2 rounds of:
8 Front Squats (135/95)
10 Power Cleans
12 V-Ups

1 round of:
400m Run
50 Double Unders
50 Med Ball Sit Ups (20/14

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Cycle 7.0 is coming to a close as we finish Retest Week this week. So what happens next? We will complete three full 14-week cycles this year. They are spaced out throughout the year, and there is some time in between each cycle. Cycle 8.0 does not begin until May 4, so we will have 2 weeks of “Spring Break” programming between the end of Cycle 7.0 and then.

This will be a fun couple of weeks with a variety of workouts. You’ll have the opportunity to test 1RMs, establish max efforts, and PR in other areas.  There will also be a day when you can try to make it on the Leaderboard for certain events. We are even doing the famous CFLA Baseline!

Have a good time these next few weeks, then get yourself ready to go in the Cycle 8.0 Test Week!


Thursday’s Workout
Retest

For reps
1min Power cleans (135/95)
1min Jerks (135/95)
2min Power cleans
2min Jerks
3min Power cleans
3min Jerks
**Inspired by CrossFit.com**

And Coming Friday
Retest

4 Rounds for total time
60 Double unders
20 Alt. pistols
10 Bar muscleups
**2min Rest between rounds**

 

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Post by Coach Kevin Kurz

This will be the first of many posts on nutrition.  I hope to answer many questions as we continue our quest to better ourselves through nutrition and healthy living. Here’s the first of probably many posts on the subject of sugar. 

People gain weight for several reasons including genetics, metabolism, insulin sensitivity, and over eating.  High-caloric intake with lots of sugar, will lead to an unbalanced insulin-glucagon axis which acts as the storage and transport hormones for blood sugar, and the body won’t be able to process and use up all the sugar in the body, and it will be transported to adipose tissue cells, hence the buildup of fat.  This is why it is paramount to maintain an active lifestyle, in order to use up the glycogen stored in our body for energy, and to constantly replenish those stores daily.

There are different types sugar. Glucose (can be from starches or fruits) can be used immediately for energy or it is stored in muscle cells or the liver as glycogen.  The brain uses up a lot of glucose, hence when we are not consuming enough sugar, we fall into the “brain fog” trap.  Fructose is found in fruits, and is metabolized by the liver before being sent off to various cells of the body, whether it be muscle, adipose (fat cells) or other.  Galactose is found in dairy,  and along with fructose, can be extremely difficult to digest due to their complexity.

Excessive sugar in your diet can lead to health and life threatening issues such as Type 2 Diabetes, which occurs when our cells become resistant to the effect of insulin.  As a result, the pancreas can’t keep up with the demand of producing enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels down.  At this point, blood sugar levels skyrocket and a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes may be made.

Here are just a few facts on the rising epidemic of diabetes in the U.S.:

  • 5% of the US population have diabetes – 25.8 million children and adults.
  • Researchers from the Jefferson School of Population Health (Philadelphia, PA) published a study which estimates that by 2025 there could be 53.1 million people with the disease.

Overweight and obese people have a much higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes compared to those with a healthy body weight. People with a lot of visceral fat, also known as central obesity, belly fat, or abdominal obesity, are especially at risk. Being overweight/obese causes the body to release chemicals that can destabilize the body’s cardiovascular and metabolic systems.

Recent research on the effects of sugar as a potential cause of cancer take into consideration the harmful effects that sugar has on metabolism.  Cancer is characterized by uncontrolled growth and multiplication of cells, and insulin is one of the key hormones in regulating this sort of growth.  Therefore, elevated insulin levels (a consequence of sugar consumption) can contribute to cancer growth.

This information isn’t meant to scare you. It’s to get you thinking about what you are eating, and what changes you can make in your diet now that may influence your health for years to come.  We all want to live healthy and prosperous lives, unencumbered by health-related issues that limit our ability to perform any task, be it physical and mental.


Wednesday’s Workout
Retest Week

FT
50cal Row
50 Burpees
50 Box jumps with step down (24/20)
50 Wallballs to 10’ (20/14)
50 Toes to bar
50 Wallballs
50 Box jumps
50 Burpees
50cal Row
**40min Cap**
**Inspired by CrossFit Games Regional 2014**
Compare to Jan 14

 And Coming Thursday
Retest Week

For Reps
1min Power cleans (135/95)
1min Jerks (135/95)
2min Power cleans
2min Jerks
3min Power cleans
3min Jerks
**Inspired by CrossFit.com**
Compare to Jan 15

 

 

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This is part one of a two part series on water by Coach Benet Heames who is also the Managing Director of www.droughtbeard.com, which was created to raise awareness related to the drought.

How do you value water? 

Before you answer that, let’s have a better understanding of water and give this some context. 

Water is an exhaustible natural resource. That means that there is a finite amount of it on earth. Yes, the earth is covered in it, but only about 3% is consumable for personal or agricultural use. You can’t grow tomatoes with sea water, and yes, a lot of the produce in America comes from California. 

Water is not an abundant natural resource to Southern California. Los Angeles is located in a basin surrounded by three deserts and an ocean. Our natural water supply is limited to groundwater aquifers that are fed by precipitation from the local mountains. These aquifers can not be depleted because we then run into a problem called saltwater intrusion. If these run low, they HAVE to be replenished with water from other sources. 

Water travels a very long way to supply the demand. You will have to look into what the California State Water Project and Central Valley Project  did to understand how Los Angeles gets water. It is complicated, political, and the backdrop of the movie “Chinatown.” It is a brilliant and disturbing history, but we could not call LA home without the actions taken by William Mulholland in 1907. Ultimately, Los Angeles could not exist without water being brought in from the North.  Check out some information on William Mulholland, the actions taken to acquire water rights from the Owens Valley, and the failure of the St. Francis Dam that killed over 450 people. 

Let’s also discuss what value means, as it relates to water in the question above. 

We value water financially, but the cost of water ranges throughout the state. This also depends on use, water for farming can cost $50 per acre foot, but water for the Southern California Water District is nearly $298 per acre feet. One may think that agriculture should pay more in a drought, but that would only be passed on to consumers. Can your grocery bill (because you buy organic/fresh) be increased 5x because of the cost of water for agriculture? That’s a tough question. We currently do not have a price mechanism for use or waste. We all shoulder the cost burden with waste. Unfortunately, our actual delivery system (pipes under streets in LA) is in major need of repair. The cost of repairs is almost $4 BILLION. Our aging water delivery infrastructure is also a big financial problem that we will be exposed to in the coming years (regardless of drought) because of how much waste comes from pipes that break. 

Our price for water does not impact our behavior towards water. When gas was expensive, people changed their driving behaviors and bought efficient cars. You financially felt the difference between $5 and $3 per gallon. With water, you don’t know if you took a $5 shower, or a $1.00 shower. If we had a better water pricing mechanism, our behavior would change. 

So, back to my original question with some more context:

How do you value an exhaustible natural resource that is not found in our region, travels over 300 miles from the source to delivery, and is governed by complicated regulatory laws with pricing that is not transparent across the user base?

For part 1, please discuss with your family. We will build on the issues related to the drought in part 2, as well as offer solutions and what www.droughtbeard.com is trying to accomplish!

Look for Part 2 on this blog April 21.


 

Tuesday’s Workout
Retest

A) 1RM Back squat (20min)

B) 1RM Squat snatch (20min)
Compare to Jan 13

And Coming Wednesday
Retest 

FT
50cal Row
50 Burpees
50 Box jumps with step down (24/20)
50 Wallballs to 10’ (20/14)
50 Toes to bar
50 Wallballs
50 Box jumps
50 Burpees
50cal Row
**40min Cap**
**Inspired by CrossFit Games Regional 2014**
Compare to Jan 14

 

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