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      News — Jenn Jones

      Crossfit Open 16.4 Strategy - Written by Jenn Jones and Jared Astle

      Crossfit Open 16.4 Strategy - Written by Jenn Jones and Jared Astle


      Crossfit Open 16.4 Strategy
      Written by Jenn Jones and Jared Astle

      This workout is a true test of moving moderate weight and body weight consistently over the course of the 13 minute cap. It is a classic chipper with a twist at the end. You need to constantly be moving! The key to winning a chipper is to always be moving. Small, quick sets with minimal rest are king in this exercise domain. Don't get sucked into doing huge sets that you are unable to sustain.

      The Deadlift isn't exceedingly heavy, but over the course of 55 reps, it will take its toll on your CNS (Central Nervous System).  How much you can deadlift will delineate how many reps you do at a time.  If this weight is less than 50% of your DL, 1RM (holding to at least 10-15 reps at a time) is a good plan.  Take a few seconds off tension then get back on the bar. Do smooth reps that allow you to breath and stay aerobic as long as possible. If it is more than that, you need to come up with a good game plan before you begin. My suggestion would be something like 10-9-8-7-6-5-5-5.

      The Wall Balls should be treated the same way.  Stick to sets you know that you can work through with minimal rest in-between. Then pick up the ball and do work. Don’t forget to breathe - saving a larger set to push the boundaries for the end of this movement will be advantageous. 

      It’s okay to be a little gassed going into the Row since when you first mount the rower, it will take a few pulls to find your rhythm and regain your breathing.  Remember rowing is highly technique driven.  If you can be efficient with your stroke you will save your arms and lungs for the rest of the work to be had. The row is long! Take your time and recover. If you sprint you may make up 30 seconds but the cost of that time will be extremely high in regards to your output, and therefore isn't worth it. Find a pace you can settle into, one that will allow you to prepare yourself for the HSPUs.

      Don't waste time getting off the rower and onto the wall for your HSPU.  Your arms should be fairly fresh to get a good set in off the bat.  If you are a HSPU boss, still pace yourself. Burning out on the first set will be a costly mistake.  Be smart and move quickly thru the sets with minimal rest and NO MISSED REPS.  Tight midline with feet flexed to ensure your heels meet the standard line. You need to look at doing sets of 10 here if you want to be competitive. For everyone else, focus on consistency throughout this movement. Consistent rest then consistent work. Small, quick sets is a great strategy.

      Depending on when you get off the wall, it’s time to empty the tank and stay in the pain cave.  Don't worry so much about pacing, but rather pushing the limits as you most likely won’t have much more than a couple of minutes left to get the rest of your reps in.

      This workout, like all others, requires a strategy. Be disciplined and trust your body. Good Luck!!!

      The Power of Positive Peer Pressure in Crossfit - Written by Jenn Jones

      The Power of Positive Peer Pressure in Crossfit - Written by Jenn Jones

      Photo Credit: Bryan Anderson


      The Power of Positive Peer Pressure in Crossfit
      Written by Jenn Jones


      We’ve all been exposed to it - the jokes, the memes, and the “Epic Crossfit Fail” YouTube videos. There definitely exists a population of outsiders that call what we do (Crossfit) a “cult” and we respect those opinions. However, if a group of like-minded, driven, and goal oriented people that embrace health and workout together is another way to say “cult”, well then, tell me where to sign!


      CrossFit, just like Zumba, Spin, Yoga, or Body Pump, is centered on a group of individuals that collectively pull together and sweat together, all towards accomplishing specific fitness goals.  Why is it that we achieve better results working out in groups rather than alone? In my opinion, this is the power of Crossfit in creating a positive peer pressure environment. It aligns beautifully with human nature. We like the social aspect that brings with it recognition and acknowledgment. We like organically grown motivation. And lastly, we like to be held accountable by our peers.


      Recognition & Acknowledgment:  As humans we like to feel like we belong, we like to feel accepted, and we definitely like receiving recognition and acknowledgment for progress made.  In a day job setting, most people are only working to please their bosses, to close the next big deal, or just to get the "adda-boy" from whomever.  We also naturally surround ourselves with friends who are similar to us because they accept our likes and/or dislikes and share with us specific goals.  Being a member of a “24 Hour Fitness” to participate in group classes or a Crossfit box to WOD in a group are truly the same things.  They both provide a common place for you and your friends to compete, to acknowledge and give recognition, and to all feel the benefits of working together to achieve a shared fitness goal.


      Organically Grown Motivation: Waking up at 5am to go to a dark empty gym to try to stay moving when you are tired and face a long day of work ahead of you doesn't sound super appealing to most people.  If you naturally find it challenging to find this kind of motivation, organic motivation grown from a group of people may be your best solution. When you have a bunch of your friends create an accountability system as routine, it provides you a bit more to look forward to.  Its fact - there is much more fun in the air when it becomes social and more than just working out. In the Crossfit world, this motivation to “SHOW UP” develops into “DONT GIVE UP”, allowing you to explore the outer limits of your abilities.  If individuals of all different stages of life, age, weight, and gender are sweating alongside of you, I promise the influence your pillow has when that alarm sounds won’t stand a chance against this kind of motivation.


      The Accountability Piece:  Once you’ve found that environment where your efforts are recognized and you’ve found your motivation, you are almost there. The last and final piece of this positive peer pressure triangle is accountability.   This is that unspoken contract that’s signed subconsciously when you’ve surrendered to the collective goal established by your peers in your workout group. A great, unescapable application of this in Crossfit is the classic “Partner WOD”. No one wants to knowingly let their partner down and when you have your friends around you, waiting there for you, depending on you, pushing alongside of you, accountability begins to take on a much deeper meaning. This is the factor that forces you to choose that healthy option for lunch and likewise to motivation, this factor gets your ass out of bed.


      You do you!  Don't let the judgment of others deter you from making choices that better yourself.  Sure, “the first rule of Crossfit is to talk about Crossfit” (LOL!) - We’ve all heard it before. The "CrossFitter" talks a lot about CrossFit. We also care a lot about fitness and we help maintain an environment that motivates and acknowledges hard work and progress.  Who knows, this positive peer pressure created by our Crossfit “cult” just might help influence people to refocus their goals to live long and healthy lives.

      Crossfit Open 16.2 Strategy - Written by Jenn Jones and Jared Astle

      Crossfit Open 16.2 Strategy - Written by Jenn Jones and Jared Astle


      Crossfit Open 16.2 Strategy

       Written by Jenn Jones and Jared Astle

      Okay, first things first, this workout can be approached two different ways.  To settle in on a strategy, you first need to be realistic with yourself and identify what part of the workout contains your biggest weakness. You are either weak at toes-to-bar and worried about fatigue, or your 1RM squat clean is close to one of these weights and therefore making that lift 7+ times while tired is farfetched.


      Approach 1: I have the TTB of a sloth not a ninja.

       For you this workout is going to be about pacing and consistency. We saw Bailey and Gudmundsson come out with UB first and second rounds. Bailey finished the first round around 2:25 leaving him with 1:35ish until the cap. Why does this matter? Your first round needs to consist of short fast TTB with little rest between sets. 


      Max UB TTB Guide: If you have…

      5 or less = you are doing 25 singles. One rep, turn around and back onto that bar. Use the swing to conserve your abs and make these the fastest singles you have ever done. 

      5-10 = you are doing sets of 3. Same thing as above, quick sets. Hit your 3 reps turn around and do it again.

      10-20 = you are doing sets of 5.

      20-30 = Set break down is 7-6-5-4-3. Make the turnaround fast!!!!! 

      30+ = you are in the wrong pathway my friend!


      We have to have a fast turnaround between sets because we HAVE to build up as much residual time as possible. We will talk about that later on. Also, be aware of what is fatiguing….is it your hip flexors, or your grip.  Grip you can vary, width, and mix grip.  If your hips are failing, you need to preserve your strength.  Drop your reps.  Your hip flexors will affect your squatting mechanics and ability. Just have a backup plan to stay moving if your initial set plan has to change. 


      Approach 2: Friends don’t let friends skip leg day.

      For you this workout is going to be about time! You are going to have to build up a large reserve so that you can rest and get one or two reps at that “brick wall’ weight. Your TTB sets need to be large. 15-10 is a good strategy. Bailey did 25 straight and if you are a ninja this may be the strategy for you, for the majority of us this will be suicide. This doesn't mean go slow, you have to come after this workout hard and fast, but with consistency of pace.


      Big points to take away no matter what your weakness:

      • Tie break time is based off the 50th DUB. If you absolutely cannot clean the weight, get to that last DUB as fast as you possibly can.
      • Score differentiation is going to bunch at squat cleans.
      • If you can’t hit the weight GET THROUGH THE DUBS AS FAST AS YOU CAN, they are the tie breaker
      • If you can hit the weight but it is going to be like Atlas lifting the world, TAKE YOUR TIME. Recover and hit that first rep. One rep at every weight on this ladder will be hundreds of places. The same goes for two, three, etc. reps.
      • Residual time is huge! Build it up as much as you can by moving at a CONSISTENT pace. You must look at this as a 20 minute workout (or a 12 minute workout if that is your absolute 1RM) It is not a 4 minute sprint, and it is not an EVERY 4 MINUTES ON THE MINUTE. Build up your rest time so that when you need it to get those last few cleans to BOOST your score, you have it.
      • DUBS must be as UB as possible. You can’t waste time or effort on these. If you can’t do 50 straight, break them into 25-25 from the beginning. Or 20-20-10, whatever number you can hit all the time every time and take minimal rest between these sets.
      • Cleans, especially in the first few rounds are not about touch and go.  You need to be conservative and know your limits to your consistent pace.  You can’t waste time between reps, but you can’t red line here either, as you have to get back to the toes to bar.


      Have fun with this one guys. It’s going to be rough and for some of us frustrating, but stick with YOUR plan and run your race. Don't get sucked into the guy or girl next to you as their pace isn't your pace. We hope you all crush it and have a good time enjoying the spirit of competition!

      Training with Your Partner - Written by Jenn Jones

      Training with Your Partner - Written by Jenn Jones

      Photo by Sierra Prime

      Training with Your Partner

      ~ Written by Jenn Jones


      Your spouse, your girlfriend, your boyfriend, your number one supporter….Is training together good for your relationship?

      There are many dynamic components to a good training environment and I think there are pros and cons to incorporating that into an activity you and your SO (significant other) do together.  You need to take a step back and do some self evaluating prior to jumping into this.


      1. If you met in the gym I think you are off to a great start.  This shows that you both have a passion and interest in fitness and can appreciate the goals that your SO may have.


      1. What type of motivation do you need?  Do you need someone to be in your face yelling?  Do you want gym partners to always be a little better than you so you are constantly striving to get better?  Do you just need a fun atmosphere and someone to go through the motions with you?  Understanding how you need support in a “stressful” environment, such as the middle of your WOD, can deflect a lot of unwanted stress down the line.


      1. Do you know how to take criticism? Is your SO someone who has more knowledge than you? Always being told how to do something, or that you are doing something wrong can be tiring, even if the tips and tricks are coming from a loving place. 


      1. Tensions are slightly higher when you are doing something less than comfortable like working out, or trying to be the best version of yourself you can be.  There needs to be a mental divide.  Know that what happens in the gym stays in the gym.  If you had a bad work out, and bad day, couldn't hit 60% of your best lift, when you go home you no longer have to dwell on it.  


      I’ve had partners that have tried to be supportive to me while we were training together and I literally just wanted to throw my dumbbell at them, but I’ve also been on the other side of the spectrum where they don't want to be in the gym at all.  Bottom line is the choices that you make with your SO should build the relationship that you have with one another.  If it’s putting more stress on the relationship, then you need to reevaluate your priorities, or reevaluate your partner choice. 


      Understanding Concepts - Written by Jenn Jones

      Understanding Concepts - Written by Jenn Jones


      Understanding Concepts

      Written by: Jenn Jones

      Athletes walk into a Box for the first time.  Nervous and excited, eyes wide, shaker bottle in hand ready for this new fitness experience. Everyone who drinks the cool-aid wants to experience the intensity, go RX’ed, throw-up on the floor and pass out after the spicy WOD.  What new athlete and most athletes forget in my humble coaching experience is “form follows function”.

      The core principles of why CrossFit coaches are coaches, is to help athletes move better and preserve and improve function of the body to provide health and wellness over a spectrum of life. You aren't going to sneeze and herniate your disk from the sneeze, its the 20 something years of sub-optimal movement patterns that have compromised the integrity of the disc and the sneeze is the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

      We understand you have goals as athletes, but we have to keep you healthy and pain free in order to get you there.  The “RX” workouts and weights don't really mean anything if you don't understand the best way to generate force, and preserve your joints. 

      Three things I cannot harp on enough for my new athletes are: 

      1. Knowing how to actually brace through the middle to protect your spine.  Back injuries can be devastating, so practicing core strength and stability is SO SO important.  It's a hard concept to master; to brace the mid-line so the spine doesn't flex while flexing at the hip.  Your spine houses your spinal cord that is connected to your brain.  I think we can all agree that it is a pretty important thing to focus on and to protect.  


      1. To generate the most power in the best positions you have to set your body up to have the most mechanical advantage. The hip and the shoulder are the main joints that we focus on, turning the limb outward, or “externally rotating” to create more stability in the joint capsules to be stronger under load.  Creating this torque and turn out of the joint creates a stable platform for the joint to drive from.  It also avoids pinching of tissues between surrounding bones.  It's a small change that can make a big difference in your mechanics.


      1. The way our bodies work using the biggest muscles and largest joints most maximally allows for the rest of the movement to follow thru the periphery of the limbs. If you can Clean or Snatch a bunch of weight because you are super strong, but you are pulling early with your arms, you are not even close to reaching your full potential. Coach Burgener says its best, "When your arms bend the power ends” Movement patterns matter!  The way you row is very similar to the way you clean and or snatch.  Everything builds!


      If you are truly involved in the Box to create the best version of you that you can be, LISTEN to your coaches.  They may SLOW you down and you might get the worst time in the class, BUT they are setting you up for longer success and movement down the road.  The longest term goal should be to be functional when you are 90+.  I know I don't want to pick anyone up off the floor or toilet because they can’t do it for themselves.