Sunday, July 18, 2010

Back From The Dead

After a week of being away from CFS for some wonderful R & R 'm ready to be back in the saddle. I have thoroughly enjoyed the break from training myself, training clients, and answering or responding to any form of digital communication (I just checked my email today to find I have 275 unread messages in my made me giggle a little, then laugh histerically, and then cry like a schoolgirl for 30 minutes). I really didn't do much during my vacation. I managed to lay by the pool, get some new ink done, eat like a pig, me and Jenny went to the moon before hitting the Branson Landing, took a nostalgic trip to Silver Dollar City where we met a gypsyboy on the "Fire in the Hole" ride who looked strangly like our son, and also managed to connect the 2010 CrossFit Games HD livefeed to my TV screen for 48" of HiDef GLORY from the comfort of my sofa. Friggin' Awesome. Yes, I meant to capitalize the "A" in "Awesome".

I trained very little during my 9 days off. 3 times to be exact. Surprisingly, at least to me, it didn't bother me one bit. Usually on vacation I feel anxiety about needing to keep up with my training. This time, not at all. That's evidence to me that I needed the rest. This past month I've been nursing a thumb sprain, an anterior deltiod strain, and my chronically jacked up hips and SI joint, so I know for sure my body has been pleased with the break from the pounding I typically inflict on myself. Going into this next few months, I'm going to continue to stay in cruise control and not overdo it with overtraining and eating super strict. My goal is to peak in performance by February of next year- not by two months from now. My strategy until around September or October is to follow a 3 day cycle of Strength on day 1, Endurance/Conditioning on day 2, and Metcon on day 3. I'm going to train by myself to avoid getting caught up in the "who beat who?" cluster F. I find it worthless for right now considering I'm in need of programming for my weaknesses- not anyone elses. There'll surely be plenty of time for all that in the months leading into next year's CrossFit Games Qualifying Events.

Speaking of the Games, wow! What a weekend. I've got plenty of thoughts, which I'll of course unload on everyone whether they like them or not. But- First I must say how thankful I was that CrossFit HQ offered the HD livecast for free! It was amazing and you truly felt like you were there for each event. HQ did some great things this year. By moving the event to the Home Depot Center, they found an event center with two separate large spectator seating and athlete performance areas. The flow of the competitions went well all weekend. There were a few things, however, that were lost in translation because of the new 2010 Games digs. #1 That raw mob mentality of the crowd cheering and engaging the athletes. The community, by nature of the set up at the Home Depot Facilities became sort of segmented. #2 I feel there was a huge missed opportunity for someone...Dave Castro, maybe... Greg Glassman, maybe, to speak to the crowd and the crossfit community and address the fact that this weekend was the culmination of a year long journey of sacrifice and effort for all of the athletes who reached the finals. As a sentimentalist, I tend to get all emotionally vested in these ideals but look at what CrossFit has grown to...From the thousands of Affiliates worldwide to the amount of competitors and qualifying rounds you must now trudge through and surpass just to make the Finals. The ho-hum vibe at the closing ceremonies was in stark contrast to the magnitude of what the CrossFit Games Organizers are trying to say that these athletes have accomplished: "Fittest on the Planet"!!! I mean, come on- if you're too tired from running the show all weekend to actually announce the winners with some piss and vinegar- that's your deal- just find someone representing your NEWLY FORMED SPORT who has the energy and congeniality to do it!

As for the actual 2010 CrossFit Games Competition, my thoughts are these:
#1. The 50 fittest male and female athletes were represented this weekend. When you stop and think of all of the thousands of stellar athletes who competed at the sectional and regional levels around the filter that initial number of 5-6,000 athletes down to 50 men and 50 women, you know you've got the cream of the crop.

This year's games showed me one thing in particular- I- as in myself...and many, many other crossfitters around the city, the state, the country, and the world are not nearly as good as they think they are. "Segmented training leads to Segmented Capacity" ~ Greg Glassman

There are so many athletes out there who's egos don't allow them to train their weakness properly. They pick and choose the WODs that they know they'll do well at and then are no where to be found when their weaknesses are programmed. Oftentimes this type of reality is also linked to the aspiration of competing in the CrossFit Games. Unfortunately, the Games have grown to the level of LEGIT SPORT. I can't call myself the worlds greatest golfer just if I own a nice pair of clubs and tend to shoot really well when I play 9 holes every other weekend. Am I practicing on an easy course- Is it the toughest course in the world? Do I have a coach teaching me the proper techniques required to hit the ball well? All of these factors begin to play in. Likewise, in order to be LEGIT as a competitive crossfitter and do well- this year's games proved that you must train for the SPORT OF CROSSFIT. This is more than "I do thrusters, I do burpees, I can butterfy my pull ups" this means understanding the science, mechanics, and the physiology of the body, of workload capacity, of food intake, and of CrossFit movements. Hockey players practice slap shots; crossfitters must practice rope climbing, running with sandbags, scaling walls, and lifting barbells. Why? Because they're all in our SPORT.

The bottom line: and #2. The fittest athletes prevailed. The objective of the games programming is to find the athlete who can suck at less and be the best at the most...mission accomplished. The events were very broad in terms of movements, time domains, modalities, etc- it worked to perfection. Graham Holmberg and Kristan Clever were consistently better than everyone else, and likewise presented us with less suckage. Well done!

More than ever, those who wish to compete at any level next year will have to be well-versed in all aspects of their CrossFit game.


  1. Programming at Sectionals is going to need to improve, I think. Obviously our regional was very well programmed because two of our top guys went top 10 in the Games: Go Chan and Burke!!! I don't know how everyone's sectional programming went though, because I don't know if they presented our most balanced, and therefore fittest, athletes for regionals. I'm with you though, I've been taking it relatively easy, and am starting a baseline strength program that I will focus on for the next 16 weeks while maintaining or slightly improving on general conditioning/metcon work. I think the conditioning piece might be more important than people give credit for, over the last two years people have really favored the strength bias thing due to Khalipa's success, but I think the last two years have shown that it's really more balance, but really strong in the metcons, short or long, that make the big difference.

  2. Hey bro good word. I used to be one of those guys who pick and chose wods due to my strengths. But over the past 4-6 months I've geared in on my weaknesses so the Games will even make sense to compete in this year, opposed to years past. I'm pumped for you too, and your methods. Can't focus on everyone else. There's something to be said for training by yourself and having that mental discipline. Also knowing that we are both family men, with minimal time to train, it'll be especially important to focus on stuff we bite at, instead of going for max reps of pullups. I just recently noticed you were blogging. Like it man. Good perspective. See you at the gym soon.