The Need For Mobility

You guys have heard me ramble on and on and on and on about the importance of mobility, likely to the point where it's borderline annoying. Well, I've been annoying since I could talk so I'm not stopping now. And if you are dedicated to improving your performance, you'll embrace the importance of mobility.

I wanted to provide some quick anecdotal evidence supporting my stance on this issue. In training for the Blue Ridge Open, I was having some trouble with my split jerk - my lockout was poor, my shoulders and elbows were soft, bad posture, etc. It's no secret that my thoracic spine was lacking in mobility. So, I decided to be proactive about it. I began doing this routine from Mark's Daily Apple to improve my thoracic mobility (hat tip to Nate Nash for the link). With only a few weeks of work, the results were significant.

Both lifts are within 5lbs of each other and as you can clearly see in the first picture, my torso is leaning backwards to compensate for my tight upper back and shoulders. In the second picture, my torso is upright, my shoulders are back, the barbell is over my midline, and I look just plain fantastic in a singlet. All three of my jerk attempts at the meet were successful and solid - I actually wish I tried for a little more on my third attempt. Obviously, improving my mobility in that area paid dividends at the competition.

I continue to do the above-mentioned routine daily, as I sit at a desk for 10-hour shifts and my posture still isn't optimal. So take the time to think about which movements you have problems with. Chances are, your ability to perform them is being hindered by a mobility issue.

Currently, I'm researching/learning different assessments to test for mobility impairments so when I have more, I'll be sure to let you guys know...


Now What?

Well, for now, the A-Team is pretty much finished. It's another year until the next CrossFit Games. Many of you have approached me personally and asked what you should be doing. You've been following my crazy ass since January, so now I'm asking all of you: what do you want to do?

This is a critical point for all of you, really. This is where goals come in. The major benefit of the A-Team is that you all had something to train for, to work towards. Now that's over, what next? I think that will vary among all of you.

Obviously, many of you need to improve your strength. Right now, Greg, Peter PC, Jess, and HMS are all doing Starting Strength. Nils is doing Jim Wendler's 531 and Simon was on a Performance Menu cycle. I can't say how happy I am to see that you're all committed to getting stronger. Even if you goal is to improve your CrossFit abilities, building strength now will be most beneficial.

Again, you need to figure out what your goals are. Maybe you want a better "Fran" time, a bigger deadlift, improved Oly technique, or you just want to lose 5 pounds. Whatever the goal, it's crucial to choose the most appropriate path/program to achieve it. I'll help however I can.

You'll notice to the right that I have posted two upcoming events: The CrossFit Courage Games and the Keystone State Games. The former is (obviously) a CrossFit competition, while the latter is an Olympic weightlifting meet. I encourage you all to sign up for either or both. When there's an event on the horizon that you're preparing for, you're training. When you have a specific goal in mind that you'll work your ass off to accomplish, you're training. But when you're just coming to the gym and going through the motions, you're exercising. There's a big difference.

And if competition isn't for you, that's fine. Please at least heed the following advice from Dan John...


I Hate Running...

...but this is incredible


WOD - 05/05/10

Mobility: DeFranco's Agile 8 & Shoulder Prep.

Skill Work:
Sandbag Carry technique
Snatch technique
C2B Pull-ups
Heavy Kettlebell Swings

**Work on whichever movements you choose at your leisure.
Moderate Volume / Low intensity**

Long Stretch / Mobility / Foam Roll / Massage / Ice Bath / Lacrosse Ball

"We talkin bout practice!" Stay loose, fresh, and active...

For your viewing pleasure...

WOD - 05/04/10

Events Announced.

You've all likely seen the events posted. We had a LOT of discussion about them yesterday. Again, it's hard to set any sort of strategy in stone until more details regarding weights and standards are released, but in the meantime, we can figure out some basics. I discussed who should do what workouts and we seemed to come up with a few ideas. Unfortunately, Greg wasn't here to offer his opinion, so hopefully he can provide some input. As we all know, the girls must do all the workouts - rough, I know. Again, this is just a rough idea and will likely change when we know the order of the workouts. So...

Affiliate Challenge #1 – The Quad:
20 Kettlebell Swings
10 Chest-to-Bar Pull-ups
20 Burpees
10 Box Jumps (24/20”)

>>For this one, we seemed to agree that Nick and ODB would probably be the best option. But it is possible we would swap ODB with Ryan or Greg depending on event order.

Affiliate Challenge #2 – The Run:
Trail Run – Approximately 5K with Sandbags and Hills

>>This one we kind of volunteered Greg for (sorry, bud) along with Ryan. Both are competent long-distance runners. As details for this event are released, we may need to change our approach.

Affiliate Challenge #3 – The Snatch:
Max Snatch (15 Min. Cap 1 Men’s Bar, 1 Women’s Bar)
Max Handstand Push-ups (5Min)

>>And here we thought it best to go for Nick and ODB again, mainly due to Nick's decent snatch and good HSPU and ODB's overall strength.

NOTE: Remember, this is only tentative. If you're schedule to do the events in a different order i.e. 3-1-2, then we'll probably have to switch to optimize rest. So if we begin with the snatch, we may have ODB rest during the metcon and do the trail run. Obviously, there are a lot of factors at play here and we will adapt accordingly. In the meantime, today's workouts are designed to hopefully better prepare you for what to expect on Friday.

Mobility: DeFranco's Agile 8 & Shoulder Prep.

Snatch technique
Sandbag Carry techniques (except Nick)
C2B Pull-ups

Sarah & Katie:
Run 1 lap w/ sandbag

2 Rounds:
10 Unbroken Kettlebell Swings (44#)
5 Pull-ups (C2B if possible)
10 Unbroken Burpees
5 Unbroken Box Jumps (20")

Run 1 lap w/ sandbag

Nick & ODB:
[8 Minute Time Limit]
2 Rounds:
20 Kettlebell Swings (70#)
10 Chest-to-Bar Pull-ups
20 Unbroken Burpees
10 Unbroken Box Jumps (24")

**With remaining time, perform as many HSPU as possible.**

Ryan & Greg:
Run 1 lap w/ sandbag

2 Rounds:
10 Kettlebell Swings (70#)
10 Unbroken Burpees
5 Unbroken Box Jumps (24")

Run 1 lap w/ sandbag

Stretch / Foam Roll / Lacrosse Ball / Ice Bath / Massage / PNF

Tomorrow will focus on recovery and skill work...


WOD - 05/03/10

Mobility: DeFranco's Agile 8 & Shoulder Prep.

Weakness: 8 Minutes
Sarah: dips
Katie: dips
ODB: double-unders
Greg: HSPU
Ryan: HSPU
Nick: hamstring mobility/stretching/rolling

A. Power Clean + Front Squat + Push Press; medium-heavy single in 10 minutes
B1. Kettlebell Swing (70/53) - 25 unbroken; 3 sets; rest 30 sec
B2. Ring Push-ups - amrap(-1); 3 sets; rest 90 sec
C. SLER @ 3030; 12 reps; 3 sets; rest 60 sec
D. KB/DB Sidebends - 20 reps; 2 sets; rest 60 sec

Tomorrow will be our last moderately difficult workout, the remainder of the week will be tapering with soft tissue work, mobility, stretching, etc...