Tuesday, September 01, 2015

2015-09-02 WOD

Back squat 4x4 @85%

4 Rounds
...20 KB swings (70/53#)
...20 Toes to bar
...20 cal Row
Time cap of 20 minutes. Post time to comments below!
Seriously, is nobody going to post their times? How about posting anything? Or is everyone going to post their comments to the Facebook post?

COMPETITORS: http://misfitathletics.com/mft-742/

Monday, August 31, 2015

2015-09-01 WOD

Pause power position snatch 4x1 @90-100% -- If they feel smooth go for a small PR, then move on. If not stay around 90-95%

Find your 1RM PAUSE low hang snatch -- Drop the weight back down to a moderate weight and get used to the movement before heading back up to your max.

AMRAP 6 minutes
...10 Thrusters (95/65#)
...8 Box jump-overs (24/20")
...6 Deficit kipping HSPU (-4/-3")
Post rounds/reps to comments below!

COMPETITORS: http://misfitathletics.com/mft-741/

2015-08-31 WOD

Strict Press 5x5 @75%

Teams of 2** or 3:
...320 cal Assault Bike for time, switch every 20/16 calories.
**Teams of 2 females, 256 cal
Time cap of 18 minutes. Post time to comments below!

COMPETITORS: http://misfitathletics.com/mft-740/

Programming sources and strategy

Hi everyone! Just wanted to let everyone know exactly what we're doing for programming at Sigma CrossFit! In case you guys haven't realized it already, we have actually been on this program for 2 weeks already (we started as soon as Wendler finished), and are about to start week 3 on Monday, Aug 31st. Some of you may already know that our old programming (since mid-November 2014) was being sourced from Ben Bergeron's CFNE/CompTrain programming. Ben Bergeron is a well respected CrossFit coach for MANY CrossFit Games athletes, including Chris Spealler, Mat Fraser, Katrin Davidsdottir, Sara Sigmundsdottir, Rebecca Voigt, etc... However, after much analysis and consideration, we feel that the program is very complete for the CrossFit Games athletes, but has left some holes in our fitness for those of us who are not at that level. Certain movements are neglected if you're not following the Games level programming, such as handstand push ups and ring dips in particular, and even running. After much consideration for our competitors who want to reach higher levels of fitness and for our general fitness athletes who need more variation in programming, we've decided to source our programming from MisFit. Keep in mind that MisFit is a competitor's program designed for Regional-level athletes and has even brought 2 individual athletes to the Games (Jordan Cook and Travis Williams), as well as teams (CF Maximus took 7th place at the Games). So why have we switched over to a program that has brought less athletes to the CrossFit Games than CompTrain has? The biggest deciding factor was Travis Williams. Personally, I remember during my Coach's Prep Course (which has now become the CrossFit Level 2 Trainer's Certificate Course), Chris Spealler was one of my instructors and said to watch out for anybody that can take someone who is a nobody and send him or her to the Games... When evaluating a program, you cannot just look at how many athletes they have sent to the Games, but you must also consider the prior athletic background of those athletes before they started CrossFit. Many CrossFit Games athletes were already elite athletes in other sports prior to their exposure to CrossFit. Teach them how to squat snatch and do a muscle up, and they're well on their way. However, if you could take someone who was just an average athlete in the beginning and build them up to a Games level athlete, that is truly impressive. Check out the YouTube video to learn more about Travis Williams and how he went from being overweight at 5'9" and 270# to the CrossFit Games.

I'm a big believer in what CrossFit teaches during the Level 1 seminars, and as it still says on CrossFit.com, "The needs of Olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree, not kind." However, instead of taking a program that is designed for general fitness (such as CrossFit.com) and trying to add to it to make it suitable for our more advanced competitors, we believe it's easier to start with a complete program designed for competitors and simply scale it down (or remove some of the extra workouts) for our general fitness athletes. Since MisFit provides 4-5 workouts each day of their program, it gives us a good variety to choose from. This also allows our competitors to workout with the class, which is one of the major benefits of CrossFit: the community! We've seen several gyms where the competitors are doing something completely different than everyone else, and we feel that isolating the competitors is both bad for the community (with the general fitness athletes feeling left out), and bad for the competitors as well (due to poor effort when working out alone). You all know you push harder in a workout when you've got someone next to you who is just one rep ahead or behind you... After the class is over, competitors will usually have one or two extra workouts (which will still be listed under the CompWOD section of our chalkboard) to do on their own to complete the full MisFit program for the day.

This will bring about a few changes as well. You'll see that Thursday's workouts are actually taken from MisFit's Saturday programming. MisFit recommends (and we've recommended this before when we were following the CompTrain) that Thursday should be a rest or active recovery day. If you're doing the full competitors' program, we suggest you follow the recommendations and take Thursday off (or as an active recovery day and do something OUTSIDE the gym), then do Thursday's WOD on the following Saturday, as it was originally intended to be. However, we do understand that many of you are committed to family time on the weekends and can only workout Monday through Friday, which is why we're making Saturday's programming available on Thursday so you are still getting access to the same workouts, just in a slightly different order.

Timing-wise, everything worked out almost perfectly that we were able to finish our last Wendler cycle and start MisFit on Cycle 1 Day 1 of their programming for the 2016 CrossFit Games season! For those of you who like to be prepared for the WOD (or like to cherry-pick), we will be following MisFit with a 2-week delay. This allows us to program Saturday Skill Workshops based off what movements we are planning to see the following week. Keep in mind, even though MisFit programs additional workouts to be chosen based on your weaknesses, sometimes we will make the executive decision and choose one of those optional workouts for everyone, since we know they're a weakness based off our past programming. For example, last Friday we chose to do the pistol squat workout for the class, which was one of MisFit's optional workouts for that day. But over the last 9-months of CompTrain programming, we've only seen pistol squats in the main WOD only ONE TIME, so we know pistol squats are a weakness for most of us simply because of lack of practice.

Lastly, we will for the first time in Sigma CrossFit history, try posting the WODs in advance the night before! Although, since you all know where the WODs are coming from, if we ever fall behind in posting the WODs you can just look it up on MisFit yourself (remember the 2 week delay) and try to guess which workouts we will choose for the class. However, we have built a community that often doesn't even like to be tempted to skip WODs if they know what they are in advance, so we will only be posting the WODs to our website, sigmacrossfit.com, and not on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, so we can try to avoid any accidental spoilers for those of you that just like to show up and find out what the WOD is when you see it on the chalkboard. This is also helpful for those of you who want to follow our programming even if you're traveling but have access to a hotel gym! This can also be helpful when planning your extra accessory workouts to work on your weaknesses! For example, if you want to work on butterfly chest to bar pull ups for extra accessory work, you can look at the upcoming WODs on MisFit and figure out if doing that extra work will leave you too sore that you cannot participate in tomorrow's WOD... If any of these situations sound useful to you (or you simply like to cherry-pick your WODs and show up only on bench press day), set a bookmark on your phone and computers to sigmacrossfit.com and feel free to discuss the WODs, workout strategies, and post your scores and PRs to the comments on our WOD posts!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Buy from Reebok with our affiliate link

It's official! Sigma CrossFit has signed up with the Reebok affiliate program! So if you guys could do us a favor & utilize our link when you want to purchase shoes or apparel directly from Reebok.com, that would give us a small commission that will all go back into new gear for the box! The prices are EXACTLY the same, but the commissions we would get for using our referral link can add up to new bumper plates, more rowers, etc...

So here is our link for the Reebok CrossFit Nano 5.0 (since I've been talking about it since the Reebok photo-shoot in March, & yes, those are my feet!):

Monday, June 08, 2015

Wendler 5-3-1 Template

Just a heads up on what's going on at Sigma for programming! In the sport of fitness, strength is a commodity. Want to get your first pull up or muscle up or do more of them? Want to clean & jerk over 300#? Want a sub-3 minute "Fran"? Having more strength will generally get you closer to all of those goals, & as Coach Rip would say, "make you more useful & harder to kill." After much experimentation & research of different strength programs, all of your friendly neighborhood Sigma CrossFit trainers got together & decided it would be best to try to implement Jim Wendler's 5/3/1 program during our strength cycle!

There were a couple of reasons why we went with Wendler:
First, it's quite possibly one of the simplest strength programs to implement, while being extremely flexible & the least invasive to the rest of our CrossFit programming. Some other strength programs are so focused on strength, that they actually recommend only light cardio (jogging or walking only) on days where you don't lift. CrossFit is about balance among all fitness attributes, & there are several programs & athletes who have proven that it is possible to get stronger without becoming fat & slow & completely losing your metabolic conditioning (& even some gymnastics ability too). Its simplicity allows us to implement it in a manner that is accessible to EVERYONE, & not just as extra credit for the few among us who have an extra hour to spare everyday to do the CompetitorWODs.

Second, it's progressive (starts out light & slowly gets heavier) but still allows you the opportunity to push yourself for rep-PRs right from the start! Some strength programs start very light & get progressively heavier by adding 5/10# every week, but are limited to particular sets/reps, so it takes a long time, about 4-6 weeks before you really feel challenged. Coach Rip's Starting Strength & Strong Lifts 5x5 are like this. In other words, more experienced lifters will get very impatient with programs that ramp up that slowly & not feel like they're getting a workout until they're about 4 weeks into the program. Wendler's program starts out with light weights as well, but asks you to get as many reps as you can on every workout! But it's still progressive by continually getting heavier from week to week & month to month!

Third, longevity. It's not uncommon for athletes to do Wendler for years & still make #gainz! We will be guiding everyone through 3 months of Wendler & then retest our 1RMs again. If you'd like to continue on with Wendler after that, or switch up the lifts & keep going, feel free to do so! But after 3 months, you'll already know what to do & how to adjust the template yourself from month to month...

The math can be a little confusing at first. So Andrew & I have been working on a Google Spreadsheet to help all of us out!
1. Open the spreadsheet (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1IWCALRFAYzgc3yHwZW68N-i0wk4uIImfumXV3rJfzOg/edit?usp=sharing)
2. Make a copy to your own Google Drive (requires a Google account) or download it as an Excel or OpenOffice spreadsheet (downloading it may require some slight tweaking of the formulas to make them work).
3. Fill in your own 1RMs (just so you don't forget what they are), & your Training Maxes for each lift (90% for the FIRST cycle only).
4. Print it out (or access it from your phone) whenever we do Wendler in class so you know what weights you should be lifting & then record how many reps you got on your final set into the spreadsheet.

Every month, we'll gradually increase your Training Maxes to be closer to your 1RMs. The more volume we can build at these sub-maximal weights, the higher it will push your max effort lifts!

If you want to learn more & read some of Jim Wendler's tips for being successful on his program, there's a great article on T-Nation by him (https://www.t-nation.com/workouts/531-how-to-build-pure-strength). He has a few books as well, but the article is a great place to start.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Best snatch PR video EVER!

Finally got 200#! Been chasing this for over 2 years! Last time I attempted snatching over 195# (2012-10-29), I injured my right shoulder due to incorrect technique. It took a while to recover & build some muscle memory in good technique, but I'm better than ever! Shot in slow motion @ 1/8 speed. Thanks Tommy for the guest appearance! Remember, whenever someone is lifting heavy or attempting something spectacular (like their first muscle up), always watch out for cameras & don't be THAT guy! Please share it if you thought it was funny!