June 6, 2012

Wednesday Form: Of a question

A: This movement is a full front squat into a push-press.
Q: Uh, what is a Thruster?

Yes! Ask, ask, ask!

How do you do that? What is that? Am I doing this right? How can I improve this? What are we doing? 

There’s an interesting CF group fitness concept…policing your group/partner. This includes a few things:

1) Good cop: Encouragement! That’s all you hear…mental prompts of positive thinking; policing in a positive way!
2) OK cop: Cues and corrections! Butt down, elbows, heels, backward, use the hips, slow down, speed up. Coaches cue, but long-time CFers know the “policing policy” and will give good reminders, too.
3) Bad cop: The occasional “pay attention” “get your sh&% together.” Hey, nobody said police work was pretty.

Yes, positive interdependence exists. CFers understand this and that’s why they are helpful people (see #1, #2). But CFers also understand this: because CF is a place of constant risk-taking, improvement, and pushing of limits, EVERYONE has questions. It might be simply “How do I do this move?” or it might be “How do I improve this move?” or it might be “How do I make this move much more challenging?”

If you’re unsure of something or you’re trying to improve/learn something, ask before or after class for assistance. When you see people playing around on the Smokehouse, ask about kips. Ask the Double Under-er how to improve. Ask for some KB refinements. Ask the person why they are using the Foam Roller.Avoid waiting to figure it out DURING the class.

“We often think that admitting struggle is a sign of weakness, but we all struggle sometimes. We all get overwhelmed sometimes. We all need help sometimes. Acknowledging this is not a sign of weakness, but struggling alone is a choice to grow weak.” -Lori Deschene

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    Jan June 6, 2012 Reply

    I must have multiple personality disorder b/c I’ve been all 3 of these cops within minutes of one another ~ sometimes all while talking to myself, too.

    What if people don’t know what they don’t know so they can’t ask? What if their goals don’t impel them to ask b/c they just want to jump around for an hour and sweat, not necessarily get better or stronger?

    Tangential to asking questions, I feel like we could use more specific instruction or benchmarking b/c not everyone (me) knows what certain moves are or what their weights should be for them. What should I overhead squat? no idea. What should I push press? no idea. I couldn’t even tell you what the 9 functional movements of CrossFit are….. What if we took a class to review them and got individual benchmarks that are written down for us, so we’d know for when it comes up in class? Maybe these are easy for guys to remember b/c you’ve been lifting all your lives and have a schema for it already. Ladies? Anyone?

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    Maria N. June 6, 2012 Reply

    Yeah, ditto. Then it also depends on # of reps. Five deadlifts or 50? Big difference in the weight to load. Or not?

    Is “Not barfing” a functional movement??

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    Kyle June 6, 2012 Reply

    Everything you need to know including the 9 functional movements.

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      Jan June 6, 2012 Reply

      Appreciated but not the point. I threw myself under the bus to exemplify what a potential scenario might be for folks who don’t know what they don’t know. With Chris, Matt, Ed and Eric running classes, Corps Fitness has stellar, qualified, certified coaches who can teach us all we need to know and then some. I’d like to learn from their expertise in a hands-on way that fosters retention and provides accessibility to that knowledge for later use. I like to work out, but I like it to take place within the confines of the House of Corps Fitness. When I leave, I leave. I have no desire to pore over documentation on my own time. I imagine I’m not alone in this approach.

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    Wicasa Yatapika June 6, 2012 Reply

    At this point in my life I have come to realize that I cannot be an expert at every single movement that we perform…one reason is physical limits and one reason I don’t have the motivation to practice all the things I am not perfect at. I know my limitations, I will never be as athletic as some of the people who walk through that door, I also accept that. I also have come to realize that the CrossFit movements require lots and lots and lots of practice. A pure CrossFit gym is where that dedicated practice takes place. Based on my experiences at other CrossFit gyms that is the core of what they do, they work on those movements all the time. At CF we don’t do that, we do circuits with some CrossFit exercises thrown in for good measure and we do Hero WOD’s mostly during Hero Week and maybe a few benchmarks throughout the year. That is not the same as what you get at a true CrossFit gym where it is CrossFit all the time…I personally believe this is why there is confusion when CrossFit movements, that some people might only see once or twice a month, show-up in class. The focus at CF IS NOT CrossFit, it is Corps Fitness and there is a difference…as far as weights go, for me it depends on how I feel on any given day. That’s just the way it is for me…and I accept that. I do the best I can on a given day, and some days are just plain better than others…

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    Kyle June 6, 2012 Reply

    Personally, I’ll take any one of the 3 Cops! One day Schippers yelled at and said “dude get rid of the bands”! After that day I have completed every CF WOD without touching a pull band since! I still remember Jan yelling at me to lock the elbows when doing OH lunges when I first started. Still working on it but the comments help. When doing WODs while traveling I can hear Matt D yelling “just get three more” and thats enough for me to complete the WOD without breaking and set the time for that WOD for that class or even the entire day. Keep the comments coming! 🙂 Its these moments that make CF awesome and push me to new PRs!

    I have visited other CF boxes. There not all amazing. All very friendly but some I have visited the people say very Little to each other, if anything, and go home after WODs. They may not have the sense of community that CF has.

    I think the hard reality is that even in a true CF box each individual still needs to do some homework setting personal goals and doing some reading outside class to learn the fundamentals of CrossFit to improve on a certain exercise or movement. I think its a nice goal for CF to attempt to provide this during class but then again trainers may only have 1-4 hours a week providing directions during workouts for most members.

    I love Chris’s idea of adding more daily open WODs in the future! This will allow the folks that are serious about skill building to put in the extra time and improve and work on CrossFit fundamentals.

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    Wicasa Yatapika June 7, 2012 Reply

    One other note about CrossFit gyms, in Bozeman MT, when you join the CrossFit movement at CrossFit Bozeman you are required to go through an initial instruction program unless you are already active in the CrossFit community. But if you are active you still must first be interviewed by one of the staff members to asses your abilities. Secondly, you are assigned a notebook that stays at the gym, and you are reminded after every class to write down such things as reps, weights, WOD’s, “for time” and AMRAPS in order to track your own progress.

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    Kyle June 7, 2012 Reply

    I think tracking against certain bench mark WODs is a great idea! Most of the other CF boxes I visted post all daily WOD results for all members on the whiteboard to add a little competitive flair that no doubt pushes your a little harder. I like the idea of a personal journal that stays at the gym even better.

    Awhile back most of did Cindy for rounds. I beleive we recorded those results some where.

    My 1 year anniversary in August. I should know my FRAN time before my one year anniversary! 🙂

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    Captain Awesome June 7, 2012 Reply

    Just to throw a plug out there but also to help address some of what was mentioned. The class Eric has been running for a couple of months on Thursday mornings at 6:30, is a GREAT class for learning a lot of these basics and to get some good hands on instruction. While it might be listed as a “Olympic Lift” class, we go through the basics of all movements first which translate to so many CF exercises. Plus we usually do a base max load test which gives a much better baseline for what weights can be used for WODs and CF style classes.

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