Month: January 2012

CrossFit Total

Squat, 1 rep

Press, 1 rep

Deadlift, 1 rep

After warm-up, your coach must approve your heavy loads before you lift them, and proper form must be maintained at all times. The numbers don’t matter if your form is bad, and lone-wolf lifting is strictly forbidden.

Heavy squats must be performed inside the power cages, and we will use spotters.

Going for a PR even when you aren’t feeling it is a stupid idea. Lift within your means, and lift with excellent technique. PRs come when technique is sound.

It doesn’t matter what anyone else lifted. You are competing with yourself. Be smart.

Some of the best coaches in the world will tell you to “leave something on the platform.” That means breaking a PR once is awesome, but breaking it twice might be less than wise. Be patient: there are lots of days to lift. Write down your numbers: we will do this workout again in a few months.

The CrossFit Total is a great tool for revealing lagging muscle groups and weakness that need work, and your coach will identify any problems and give you ideas on how to fix them.

You can read the standards and procedures for the CrossFit Total here. Pay particular advice to Mark Rippetoe’s advice on Page 4:

1. Don’t be stupid.

2. Don’t be greedy.

3. Don’t be pig-headed.

Special Note: The 5-9 p.m. session will not have individual class times but will be run as one long session. Sign in as normal for the class time closest to your planned start time. A warm-up will be on the board, and after that you can take as much time as you like to warm up and register your lifts. All lifting must be completed by 8:45 p.m., and you will have to share racks, bars and plates as needed – no Bogarting the racks or change plates.

Competition is a big part of CrossFit, but there are many different ways to view that competition.

For some, winning daily workouts is tremendously important. For others, winning local throwdowns and regional events is the main goal. For others still, the competition is with yesterday’s personal numbers and doesn’t have a lot to do with the numbers on the whiteboard at the gym.

I fall into the latter category. My athletic competitions are with the numbers and times and dates I keep in a giant Excel spreadsheet stretching back into 2008. I want to beat those numbers and times more than I want to beat someone else’s. It’s nice to put a good number on the whiteboard every once in a while, but for me it’s more important to keep updating the records in my spreadsheet.

I’m inspired by every athlete in our gym who does the same thing regardless of whether the numbers they report sit in top spot on our Scoreboard. A squat PR of 75 lb. fires me up just as much as a 400-lb. squat record. I’m excited every time I see “PR” on the board, and most of the time I don’t even care what number is beside it. “PR” is more than enough because it signals improvement.

One of the things I love best is seeing athletes set personal goals and then chase them in competitions. They might not be trying to win the whole event; they’re just trying to prove something to themselves, get fitter and do more than they could before by testing themselves in a competition. They’re trying to be better than they were yesterday, and that’s pretty noble.

We had a number of athletes set personal records at this weekend’s FrostFit competition, and it’s the kind of thing that brings tears to my eyes. I’m so proud of everyone who competed regardless of where they finished. Every new record, every personal accomplishment and even every rep with great form fired me up to get back to the gym.

On the other end of the spectrum are those who care about personal improvement but also have performance goals that include winning or placing well in events. I’m just as inspired by those people. Their drive, determination, competitive spirit and grace fill me with admiration, and the things they do are unbelievable. I’m so lucky to be able to train beside these people every single day. They motivate me and help me get the occasional “PR” next to my own name.

I particularly love how both groups of athletes supported each other throughout the weekend, and I can’t even say how impressive it is to see our top competitive athletes so invested in the success of all their teammates. I’m also proud of how our competitors cheered on their rivals in the spirit of competition. That kind of character is priceless.

Finally, we have the 204 community that came out to support our athletes. We had a huge number of people there cheering all day, and many were there from start to finish.  I can’t thank you guys enough for coming to watch, and the athletes really appreciated the support. There’s nothing better than hearing a familiar voice encouraging you during a hard workout, and our voices were many on Saturday.

Overall, the weekend of competition was proof that the strength of any CrossFit gym isn’t found by adding up the numbers on the whiteboard. It’s found by adding up the character of the people who represent it.

I’m so proud of everyone who represented CrossFit 204 on the weekend. You guys truly inspire me.

I’ve written a lot of blogs over the past year for CrossFit 204. Most of them are about my training, my nutrition, and my philosophies regarding competition and CrossFit. I’ve never talked about where it all started, why I love to compete and whom I really have to thank for all that I have accomplished.

My Dad. He taught me how to compete. He taught me how to win with humility and lose with grace. He taught me how be unreasonable, to strive for the best and not set boundaries for myself.  He taught me how to be fierce.

I started running track and field when I was 12. My Dad was almost more passionate about it than I was. His support was unyielding. He bought me my first pair of spikes and drove me to the Max Bell Centre at U of M for every event. He woke up at 4 a.m. on event day and cooked me pasta to “carb up.” He added honey to my water, which I drank from his old camping canteen, and he played Eye of the Tiger to get me focused and pumped up. He loved watching me run, high jump and long jump. He loved watching me win and was proud of me when I didn’t.

Some of my fondest memories are of my dad and me training together at Grant Park track in the heat of the summer. He could push me just by being there. I knew if he was standing there with the stopwatch, I just couldn’t slow down, and I couldn’t stop. He expected the best from me, and I learned to demand the best from myself.

My Dad also taught me the value of hard work. You work for the things you want in life. There are no excuses. There isn’t an easy way out. You’ll always get what you put in. Period. He taught me how to love someone the way you should truly love someone. His passion, his absolute devotion to my Mom and our family was unparalleled. Our family had so much love even when we didn’t have much of anything else.

My Dad passed away on Jan. 27, 2012. I made the decision to compete in FrostFit the next day because I knew that he would have wanted me to. He had a picture of me getting my muscle-up at the 2011 Canada West Regional on his coffee table in his living room. He was unbelievably proud of me.

Dad, I wish I had a little more fire in the tank and I could have gotten on the podium for you. It’s what I wanted to do. I know you’re proud of me. I can hear you saying it.  Thank you for all of your wonderful gifts.

With all my heart, I love you always, forever and a day.

The heat schedule and times have been updated. The link that was posted yesterday is incorrect. To view the correct heat times, click here.

FrostFit is at 739 Lagimodiere (Arnold Bros. Trucking) from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Athletes, Mike and Jenn will have a copy of this list if you have the old one.

Good luck to everyone!

Go, 204!