3 Nov 17

Every 90 seconds, for 9 minutes (6 sets):
Snatch
*Sets 1-4 = 1 rep @ 80% of 1-RM Snatch
*Sets 5-6 = 1 rep @ 85% of 1-RM Snatch
Followed immediately by…
Every minute, on the minute, for 4 minutes (4 sets):
Snatch x 1 rep @ 90% of 1-RM Snatch

5 Round for time of:
50 Double-Unders
25 Push Press (75/55#)
*Taken from CF Linchpin

Get Mean is Happening–CrossFit in Manhattan, KS

2 Nov 17

Rest & Recover

-or-

Make-up A Workout

Get Mean is Happening–CrossFit in Manhattan, KS

1 Nov 17

Every 3 Minutes for 18 Minutes:
Sets 1-4: Tempo Bench Press x 4-5 reps @ 21X1
(slow and controlled descent, then pause for one second in the bottom position, then explode the barbell up as quickly as you can; these should be performed at least 5% heavier than last week’s sets)
Set 5: Bench Press x Max reps @ today’s working weight (no tempo)

For time:
Row 1000 Meters
immediately followed by…
Five rounds of:
10 Overhead Squats (115/75#)
15 Pull-ups
*Taken from CF Invictus

Get Mean is Happening–CrossFit in Manhattan, KS

31 Oct 17–Happy Halloween

“Getting Away with Murder”

You arrive at your friend’s house only to discover a dead body. Your friend has no idea how it got there, but asks you to help them dispose of it. Since you both do CrossFit; you decide to complete the grisly task for time. Your friend throws the body over the wall and into the back alley. They comment on how great of a workout it is and ask you to throw it back. You pass the body back and forth over the wall for a bit, but decide to stop because it is beginning to look suspicious. After loading the body into their car, you drive it to a wooded, secluded lake. You tire of carrying the body, and decide to take turns dragging it through the woods. When you reach the water, you discover a small boat. You row to the middle of the lake, disappointed that you can’t see how many cals/hr you are pulling. As you ditch the body, the boat rocks violently and sends you both into the water. You both pull yourselves back into the boat, collect your wits, and row back to shore. As you are walking back through the woods, you hear something loud snap nearby. You both sprint out of the woods, and back to your car. Terrified, but with a job well done, you high five and drive back home trying to catch your breath.

For time complete:
50 Reps – Body Over a Wall
300 ft – Body Drag
1000m Row w/ Partner Holding sandbag
10 Muscle Ups
1000m Row back to Shore
200m Sprint back to the car

Get Mean is Happening–CrossFit in Manhattan, KS

30 Oct 17

Every 2 Minutes for 16 Minutes:
Back Squat
*Set 1 – 5 reps @ 65-70%
*Set 2 – 3 reps @ 75-80%
*Set 3 – 1 rep @ 85-90%
*Set 4-8 – 3 reps @ 80-85%

With a 18-Minute Running Clock:
Min 1: Row for Max Calories
Min 2: Rest
Min 3: Max Handstand Push-ups
Min 4: Rest
Min 5: Strict Pull-ups
Min 6: Rest
*3 sets of each movement

Get Mean is Happening–CrossFit in Manhattan, KS

29 Oct 17

Rest & Recover

28 Oct 17

Every 2 minutes, for 12 minutes (6 sets):
Snatch
*Sets 1-3 = 2 reps @ 75% of 1-RM Snatch
*Sets 4-6 = 2 reps @ 80% of 1-RM Snatch.
When the running clock reaches 12:00…
Every minute, on the minute, for 4 minutes (4 sets):
Snatch x 1 rep @ 85% of 1-RM Snatch

AMRAP in 12 Minutes of:
30′ Handstand Walk
15 Pull-ups
5 Ring Muslce-Ups

Get Mean is Happening–CrossFit in Manhattan, KS

Barbells, Machines, Compound, or Isolation… Oh My!!!

In last week’s blog I perused the idea of building a home gym. If you read it you probably noticed that I favored barbells and free weights over machines. Why you may wonder… well read on my friend!

Simply put, gaining strength is one of the best things you can do to improve your health and extend your life (a little primer for next week’s blog). So if you want to get strong and better your health, why not do it in the most efficient way possible? I mean we’re all are busy, right? We all have places to go, things to do, people we care about to see, so why waste more time training than needed to get the best results? Free weights are just more efficient at building overall body strength than machines. Mark Rippetoe gives a good explanation of this in his article Barbells vs Machines vs Everything Else (or listen to the article via this podcast).

It’s not just efficiency that makes free weights advantageous. Mark touches on another key point of using barbells and free weights… “they utilized the normal functions of all the joints and muscles in the body”. Some call this Functional Movement or Compound Movement.

To keep things simple, I’ll only touch on a couple of the many benefits of functional movement. First, functional movements are natural movements that you would do in real life. Do you sit down in a chair and stand back up? That’s a squat. Do you lift objects up off the floor? Hey, that’s a deadlift. Have you ever put something up in a cupboard or on a shelf above your head? Amazingly enough you’ve done an overhead press! These exercises mimic real world movements… hence “functional movements”. If you’re still scratching your head trying to understand what “functional” or “compound” movements/training really is, here’s a fun video.

Contrast this with movements that aren’t very functional even with free weights, like a Side Lateral Raise.  There’s not a lot of everyday use in life for this type of motion, unless maybe you’re trying to flap your arms to learn to fly (tried as I might, I figured out as a kid that it’s just not possible… very disappointing). The other thing that is the antithesis of functional movement is when only one joint or very small muscle group is targeted. This is often referred to as isolation exercises.  This brings us back to to why machines aren’t very effective. They usually isolate one joint or muscle group. It is not very time efficient if you have to train a bunch of small groups instead of multiple muscle groups at one time. This is also where the saying “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” rings true. Compound exercises overall will deliver superior results.

That doesn’t mean isolation exercises and machines are bad. If you have some stubborn areas you want to work on, isolation exercises may be what you need. However this is usually comes much later in your training, and maybe never if your goal is to just improve overall body strength. Does this mean a newcomer to free weights can’t use machines? No!!! Some people are hesitant to start lifting free weights right off the bat. If you are already already using machines as your primary exercise equipment, slowly transition to free weights by learning one exercise at a time as discussed in this article.  One word of caution though if you are new to strength training and want to start off on cable machines and transition to free weights over time… watch the pulley setup on the machines or you may become frustrated/have false expectations of what you may be able to lift with free weights.

So if you’re starting out and you don’t want to waste time building strength, focus on those compound functional movements using barbells and other free weights. If your going to push yourself to work out in the gym (be it at home or a commercial gym) there’s going to be times when it’s psychologically difficult to want to do it. If you’re going to push yourself through those moments it’s best to have the cards stacked in your favor. Do things that are effective (you can see and measure the results) and are efficient (greatest progress for the least amount of time… note I say least amount of “time” not “effort”), which barbells and free weights are compared to machines. It’s demotivating to spend 2 hours in the gym doing isolation exercises on machines and see slow/little results when an hour doing functional compound lifts could get you the same or better results.

Yes machines are easy to learn. Yes a commercial big box gym doesn’t have to employ trainers to teach you how to use isolation machines (a single joint movement is hard to mess up versus a compound multi-joint movement). So be safe and do your research on proper form and technique prior to doing barbell exercises. With proper form and technique, weightlifting is actually safer than most sports.  So if you’re not afraid to play Badminton, where you’re 41.7* times more likely to get injured than weightlifting, you might just give pumping some iron a try.

Till next week…. stay healthy, stay happy, and stay strong! ~Ryan

Past blogs

*In full disclosure, this is a “relative risk” statistic (ie. a scare tactic showing how much more likely to be injured in one sport relative to another). Absolute risk for injury in Badminton is 0.05 injuries per 100 participant hours, and 0.0012 injuries per 100 participant hours according to the study.

27 Oct 17

Every 2 Minutes for 16 Minutes: Deadlift
*Set 1 – 8 reps @ 55%
*Set 2 – 6 reps @ 65%
*Set 3 – 4 reps @ 75%
*Set 4 – 2 reps @ 85%
*Set 5 – 1 rep @ 90%
*Set 6 – 1 rep @ 95%
*Set 7 – 1 rep @ 101%
*Set 8 – 1 rep @ 101-105%

Three rounds for time of:
10 Handstand Push-ups
20 Toes to Bar
40 Double-Unders
*Taken from CF Invictus

Get Mean is Happening–CrossFit in Manhattan, KS

26 Oct 17

Rest & Recover

-or-

Make-up A Workout

Get Mean is Happening–CrossFit in Manhattan, KS