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      Recovery During Regionals/Games Competition

      Recovery During Regionals/Games Competition

      Written by Kenzie Riley
      2017 & 2018 Reebok CrossFit Games Individual Qualifier


      We hear a lot about recovery in the competitive CrossFit space. It’s almost a “buzz word” these days. From diet, to nutritional supplementation, to body work, to rest, and then of course sleep; these factors all impact the body’s ability to bounce back efficiently. When you literally beat your body into the ground for 4-5 hours a day and in not just a physical way but a mental way, to avoid setbacks around injury or over-training, recovery is critical and requires even more effort than the actual training!

      When competing either as a weekend warrior or at the highest levels of an official CrossFit Sanctioned event, recovery methods should be routine and without much deviation. This is not because you do everything exactly the same on game-day as you would on a typical training day, but rather to ensure you have developed a trusted set of recovery tools that are now available to you such that you can draw upon the correct ones during that long weekend of fitness. To emphasize this point, part of being efficient at recovering in between events is knowing exactly what to do and having that knowledge set in stone well before showing up to compete.

      Tip: I encourage you to challenge yourself, when you see that weird mobility tool, taped lacrosse balls, compression gear, etc.. ask questions, it’s the best way to learn and it’ll pay dividends.

      From my experience at this past 2018 CrossFit Regional, the typical recovery window was about 16 hours from the finish of the last event of the day to finding myself back at the starting line the following day. For me, that 16 hours allowed for the opportunity to cool down properly, drink a recovery shake (American Gainz - wink wink), hit up my body work girl (shout out to Allison w/ WODbody), get into an Epsom salt bath, eat a solid dinner, connect to My Power Dot (muscle stimulator), and then watch some light TV to wind down and ultimately fall asleep.
      I find that staying connected to social media, leader-boards, and socializing TOO much really keeps me over stimulated and distracted. Adrenaline, anxiety, and nerves are already in abundance, no need to add to it!

      Historically, I’ve had a hard time eating during competition weekends, but food is SUCH a big part of recovery. There comes a point where eating ANYTHING is acceptable. It may not be “healthy” but if its palatable and makes you want to eat, you eat it. This is something I’ve come to make peace with and draw upon when the time calls! Overall, the style/schedule of the CrossFit Regional Competition is a much more manageable time table that really promotes adequate time for recovery efforts! The Games however, that’s a different story all together.  At The Games there is MUCH more hustle and bustle to and from the venue, not to mention if you get pulled for a random drug test, if the lines are long at Whole Foods, or traffic is backed up. Oh, and the “see ya at 7am for athlete briefing” as you depart the venue at 8pm the previous night is an extra added challenge. Your legs are so sore you can barely walk, you got 5 hours of sleep, and hardly could eat anything for breakfast. You KNOW you don’t have an ideal recovery setup, but that doesn't mean you can't perform, it just means being disciplined in your efforts to recover is even more critical if you plan to stay in the competition.

      So although there is not enough time to recover how you would like, EVERYONE is faced with this same challenge so it’s important to realize that you are not special and to mentally rise above what you KNOW and let your body fight for what you WANT.

      Tip: Keep in mind, this is “The Games” I am referring to, I wouldn’t advise entering this type of structured intensity any other time nor would I sacrifice my typical recovery efforts and risk injury for any off-season competition.

      This said, come Sunday of Games weekend I would venture to say most athletes are fueled more by adrenaline and the excitement of the competition than other aspects. It’s incredible what a little hype can do to a beat down body, so in this case, let the “energy” of the moment take over, embrace it!

      In closing, remember that time spent towards your recovery is just as important as time spent training, so invest in your knowledge, ask questions, and make GAINZ to your recovery tool set!!!

      Love -N- Fitness

      Love -N- Fitness

      Love -N- Fitness

      Written by Janet Black

      Is your significant other emerged in the world of fitness like yourself?

      Have you ever noticed all the CrossFit couples out there and wonder what that relationship perk may be like?

      If you’re a regular at your box and engulfed in the health & fitness community, it’s likely that it’s only a matter of time before you catch an interested eye, it simply comes with the CrossFit territory and can be a lot of fun and potentially life changing.

      The Beginning
      ME: “I think I want to try CrossFit for a few months”
      HIM: “you should, I think you will like it”
      Followed by actions of endless support, this simple exchange of words changed my life in a multitude of ways – the largest being my marriage. Although we met as coaches at the collegiate level completely outside of CrossFit, it is CrossFit that continues to stimulate our relationship towards consistent development currently. This mentioned, I’m sure it would be another avenue of fitness if it wasn’t CrossFit, but whatever the fitness activity is called, through our experience of being surrounded by athletics our entire lives, fitness just seems to connect and attract likeminded individuals. So why is it that CrossFit promotes a stronger connection and a deepening of our love for each other?

      Sweaty Sexiness
      In general, exercise is an invigorating activity that can have many positive effects. Being placed in a vulnerable situation where your personal limitations are being tested, and in front of a group of your peers, well that can be scary, but when this fear is embraced, positive connections with all kinds of people are inherently built. Now when you have already caught someone’s eye or a relationship is ongoing, this same phenomena now can cause a physiological arousal and drive a romantic attraction. In general, partners that sweat together, stay together, – its Science!

      The Power of Presence
      On a personal level, it all began with those simple supportive words. When partners care about fitness—their own and their partner’s—it becomes easier to achieve fitness goals. When I first started CrossFit, I am not sure I had set goals but what I do know is that I might have never started if the words I received were not supportive in nature. Through sport and fitness, we are able to make connections that do not occur in everyday life. The mere presence of someone else can affect your ability to do an activity. Even if you already feel competent doing a particular exercise, having your partner by your side is a fantastic way to boost your energy output. It is a cool feeling to want to impress the one you love through physical movement. With this desire comes positive output. I have lifted more pounds and moved faster than I ever knew possible simply because of my husband’s presence. I love him and always want him to be my number one fan so certainly I want to impress him, even 15 years later.

      Team Black
      There is also something to be said about exercise inducing the symptoms of physiological arousal—sweaty hands, a racing pulse, shortness of breath. These symptoms mirror, in many ways, the thrill of romantic attraction. As popular as online dating apps have become, the experience of meeting that special someone at the box while working on your fitness together creates a build-up and a bond like no other. This said, there is no way that I could have qualified for the CrossFit Games for the past six years without my partner. We live our lives as members of a team – Team Black. We have sacrificed our time and energy for each other through fitness and in doing so, our love has grown immensely.

      In Closing
      Through training, sweating, crying (mostly me) and sharing all those high fives, our relationship continues to thrive. He is my biggest fan, my coach, my counselor, and my voice of reason. We have been given a new dimension to our relationship that I never knew existed and will forever be grateful for CrossFit in providing that environment. Although this is my experience, I hope through this testament, I can encourage you to go for it, lock it up with someone who pushes you to be the best version of yourself through your shared love of fitness. I guarantee your relationship will flourish! So for the next time you’re at the box, instead of burning a hole through that special someone, maybe you try a little harder and go talk to them, everyone already knows you like them anyway :)

      The Off Season

      Preparing for Next Year’s Open
      Written by Camzin Martin - 3rd Place South Central 2018 Reebok CrossFit Open

      The 2018 Reebok CrossFit Open has been full of expected and unexpected surprises. Some of the unexpected surprises included the introduction of new skills & improved (if you think so) movement standards, and let’s not forget the tasking of the CrossFit community to vote on the last workout! As far as what was expected; every year there’s one thing the Open carries with it. No matter your skill level, the Open will always poke holes in your game and expose and then exploit your weaknesses, it’s what makes the Open fun.
      This simple fact holds true even for Matt Fraser, although further establishing himself as the most dominant male in the sport, I would like to think that even Matt would admit that he too learned something about his weaknesses during this year’s Open.

      In mentioning this, let’s take a step back and reprocess what the 5 weeks of live announcements were like. If you were gathered around the tube with your CrossFit crew watching the The Dave Castro; How many of us when Castro said “18.X is….”, heard a panicked voice in the back of our head praying “Oh please not _____ …” or “If _____ please in low volume…”? We all know what we thought, and 99% of us are guilty of fearing whatever weakness we have, it’s human nature. But…

      The 2019 Reebok CrossFit Open Will be a different story:
      19.1 is less than a year away, so on the bright side, you have time to train your weakness. This way, 19.X can be ushered in with open arms and the omission of crossed fingers, lucky relics, and or praying hands. Something’s we simply already know. Handstand walks are coming again and so are muscle ups!

      Get a Plan:
      To fail to plan is to plan to fail, a saying so cliché because of how true it is. If you aren’t going into this year with a 52 week vision of what you’re going to do each week to demolish this goal, then you should. Don’t wait until later, start now and start with purpose.

      Get Perspective:
      If you’ve been writing your own programming, or working on this weakness on your own, and you still haven’t conquered it yet, it may be because we tend to avoid what we don’t like to do, and we shy away from the failure required to grow. Download a free template designed toward your goals, or pay for one, or go all in and hire a coach. You know how disciplined you are or how much help you need, bite the bullet and commit to what will WORK for you. There’s a reason why programs like Compete Elite, MisFit, Black Magic Training, Invictus exist, and it’s not because its super intuitive to train optimally!

      Get Support:
      If you’ve hired a coach, develop a working relationship that keeps you accountable but also encouraged. If you’re in it alone, get some friends involved or supporting you. The grind is real, and so much progress is made in the days, weeks, and months where you feel like you’re treading water. Success is built in those moments when you press on when quitting seems like the only choice, and having a support system in place makes staying the course all the more likely.

      Get Started:
      Do it. Do something right now to take a step toward your goal. Email that coach you’ve been thinking of reaching out to. Text your friend and tell them you’re committing to getting after that goal. Whatever comes to your mind, take that step and get after it.

      When 19.1 gets here you’ll be glad you started today!

      ~ Camzin Martin, CrossFit Central Houston

      Crossfit Open 18.5 Strategy

      Crossfit Open 18.5 Strategy

      2018 Reebok CrossFit Open 18.5 Strategies
      Written By American GAINZ Nutrition

      2018 CrossFit Open Workout 18.5 is the Repeat WOD 11.6 & 12.5

      – Let’s call it “Death by Fran”

      Directly from the CrossFit Games website:  This workout begins with the barbell on the floor and the athlete standing tall. After the call of “3, 2, 1 … go,” the athlete may perform 3 thrusters, then 3 chest-to-bar pull-ups. The athlete will repeat this couplet, performing 6 thrusters and 6 pull-ups, 9 and 9, 12 and 12, and so on, until the 7-minute time cap. Link to 2018 CrossFit Open 18.5

      The athlete’s score will be the total number of repetitions completed before the time cap expires.
      Complete as many reps as possible in 7 minutes of:
      3 thrusters
      3 chest-to-bar pull-ups
      6 thrusters
      6 chest-to-bar pull-ups
      9 thrusters
      9 chest-to-bar pull-ups
      12 thrusters
      12 chest-to-bar pull-ups

      This is a timed workout. If you complete the round of 18, go on to 21. If you complete 21, go on to 24, etc.

      Women use 65 lbs
      Men use 100 lbs

      Big Picture:
      Wait… No wall balls in the 2018 Reebok CrossFit Open!

      When Annie mentioned this workout felt like “Fran twice” she wasn’t joking as she was literally a few reps shy of 180 Reps. What was really funny, was Katrin stating she needs to start training now as the 2018 CrossFit season has started…lol Her season beginning happens to be the last workout of the 2018 Reebok CrossFit Season for the overwhelming majority of us, but fear not, GAINZ come all year round for those who earn them!!!

      So back to 18.5. The big picture for this workout, whoever has the most passion and hunger will perform well. If you enter this workout timid, you will leave a lot on the table. Getting psyched up ahead of time is key. We would approach this workout mentally hungry for what the pain cave offers. This isn’t the workout you use to recruit your friends to undertake if they are on the fence about joining a CrossFit Box. This is the workout you program for your members who are late to teach them to be on time or make them stay home all together.

      Lastly, there is no tie-breaker, so literally EVERY REP MATTERS. There will be for huge jumps on the leader-board with hundreds of athletes sharing the same scores. So, remember, if 200 athletes tie for the same rep count they will all share a like score, however, the next athlete with one more rep than them would get 200 more points added for that 1 single rep. So although the difference between you and your workout rival may be a single rep, that single rep will have a massive impact on the total standing and unfortunately there’s an entire year between this loss and a chance for 19.1 redemption!

      Here’s the live announcement splits, mostly held by Annie Thorisdottir. 6 years ago, based on 12.5 leaderboard, Camille LeBlanc-Bazinet hit 173 Reps & Rich Froning hit 161 Reps.

      Live Announcement Pace
      3 Thrusters @ :6
      3 CTB @ :14
      6 Thrusters @ :24
      6 CTB @ :34
      9 Thrusters @ :52
      9 CTB @ 1:06 – 36 Reps Total
      12 Thrusters @ 1:32
      12 CTB @ 1:48
      15 Thrusters @ 2:20
      15 CTB @ 2:42 – 90 Reps Total
      18 Thrusters @ Broke once 3:34
      18 CTB @ 10-18 4:17 – 126 Reps Total
      21 Thrusters @ Broke twice 5:37
      21 CTB @ Broke twice 6:38 - 168 Reps Total

      To gauge your score or establish your target reps for this workout we think the leaderboard come Monday/Wednesday will look something like this:

      Elite Men & Women: > 160 Reps
      Regional Invitation Contention: > 150 Reps Men & > 140 Reps Women
      Top 500 in the Region: > 120 Reps for Men & > 100 Reps Women
      Top 1500 in the Region: > 100 Reps for Men & > 75 Reps Women

      Remember* - 12.5 was 6 Opens ago and the field has grown immensely with every passing Open athletes getting fitter and fitter. Based on the Queens of the sport tonight, seems like the MOST elite athletes may be bound by similar scores to 12.5, however, where the leader-board will change drastically isn’t at the very top, it’s in the first several hundred per region, this is where the true growth of the competition will get realized.

      For most athletes who will break these intervals up by round 4 (the 12 reps interval) there can easily be 20+ transitions in this workout by the time it’s said and done. Do the math, if you transition only 2 seconds slower than your buddy, you will be behind by 40 seconds worth of work by the 7 min mark.

      Thrusters hurt, this is fact, however have you ever seen a male athlete fail a 100# thruster on the way up or a woman fail a 65# thruster on the way up? Its not really that common. In these style workouts, athletes fail mentally at thrusters, but they don’t fail them physically like they would a heavy press out where the weight is just too heavy.

      *Tip: If you commit to front racking the barbell and drop below parallel, in ONLY the rarest cases will you not be able to successfully get that next rep! So when you’re at minute 4, instead of dropping the bar from the top, breath at the top and stay tight while committing to the next rep!

      Be intentional and follow a plan. Work hard to each planned break and treat this workout as intervals if it helps you mentally.

      Chest to Bar Pull-ups
      If you don’t have butterfly Chest to Bars, this workout is going to tax your grip and shoulders like no other. The amount of time under tension to perform a full kip will catch up with you. Then again, this is the type of workout that if an athlete starts, no matter how fit, they will find that intolerable pain level at some point and have to break.

      If you have chest to bar, we suggest making sure you have two stations ready. The 1st station allows you to butterfly through with no chance of your feet brushing the ground. Most likely you have to jump up to this bar a couple inches.

      Then the 2nd stations is the “singles station”. This is the one where you can perform fast singles, drop from the top, and not lose time adjusting your footing to begin the next rep. This strategy gives you a fall back plan WHEN your CTB fail. Notice we committed to the word “when” and not “if”.

      Lastly, If you have to choose between hand protection or tape on the bar, hand protection is 9 times out of 10 is the correct choice. CrossFit is a bad ass sport, but not being able to shower without crazy hand pain is beyond sucky, so don't rip!

      As always, we will keep this page as up to date with the latest strategies and tips the community discovers between tonight and the 18.5 submission deadline. Until then, best of luck and try to hit this one hard, the first time, to avoid an unnecessary repeat. GOOD LUCK!!!

      ~ American GAINZ Nutrition

      Crossfit Open 18.4 Strategy

      Crossfit Open 18.4 Strategy

      2018 Reebok CrossFit Open 18.4 Strategies
      Written by American GAINZ Nutrition



      2018 CrossFit Open Workout 18.3 – Let’s call it “Heavy Diane”

      Directly from the CrossFit Games website:

      Prior to starting this workout, the athlete will need to mark a foot line on the wall for the handstand push-ups (details in Movement Standards section). He or she also will need to measure and mark lengths on the floor for the handstand walk. This workout begins with the barbell on the floor and the athlete standing tall. After the call of “3, 2, 1 … go,” the athlete may perform 21 deadlifts, then move to the wall for the 21 handstand push-ups. He or she will then complete 15 deadlifts and 15 handstand push-ups, then 9 deadlifts and 9 handstand push-ups.

      The athlete then can move on to the heavier deadlifts to complete 21 deadlifts, a 50-ft. handstand walk, 15 deadlifts, another 50-ft. handstand walk, and finally, 9 deadlifts and a third 50-ft. handstand walk.

      The athlete’s score will be the time it takes to complete the workout or the total number of repetitions completed within the 9-minute time cap. In the handstand walk, each 5-foot section will count as 1 rep.

      For Time:

      21 deadlifts, 225 lb.
      21 handstand push-ups
      15 deadlifts, 225 lb.
      15 handstand push-ups
      9 deadlifts, 225 lb.
      9 handstand push-ups
      Heavy Diane
      21 deadlifts, 315 lb.
      50-ft. handstand walk
      15 deadlifts, 315 lb.
      50-ft. handstand walk
      9 deadlifts, 315 lb.
      50-ft. handstand walk
      Time cap: 9 min.


      Big Picture:

      Well this was honestly an unexpected surprise. The handstand walk we all new was coming; this movement becoming extremely popular in just about all Rx competitions as well as it being regularly programmed on the website should have been a solid clue.

      The real surprise was the heavy deadlifts after the heavy 1RM Clean of 18.2A. I think most of us assumed the “heavy weights” box was checked for the 2018 Reebok CrossFit Open Season. For the bigger athletes out there, there is still hope, leave it to TheDaveCastro to keep us coming back for more!

      Also, the HSPU standard changed, we think for the better well partly. It’s fairly straight forward; depending on your arm measurement (knuckles to elbow), you’ll be adding anywhere from 5” to 9” to your height to place your line on the wall. Important to note, the arms do need to start and finish locked out for each rep to count.

      This standard basically normalizes the distance traveled among athletes of varying heights. If you are on the shorter side, you'll find your hand position now to be much more narrow in order to travel the necessary distance (feet above the line).  The days of shorter athletes going wide and traveling 2"-3" per rep totally locked out are gone as of this standard.   

      On the flip side, taller athletes, will now be able to go much wider with their hands and the distance traveled compared to what they were held to standard wise in years passed just got cut in half.  

      Tip: Know The Standards!!!

      So this WOD is very straight forward. If you don’t have Handstand walks your workout is basically a race to complete Diane and attempt to Deadlift the heavy weight 21 times. If you do have handstand walks, well this is where the Box Regulars will separate themselves from the in-shape weekend warriors. Like Sam Briggs during the only Regional Season (2014 - Regional Event 2) she didn’t make the Games, Handstand walking isn’t a skill that can be developed on demand. This high skill movement requires some time, sweat, and tears. Like the dumbbells showing up again this year, we all should expect handstand walks to show up next year as well; so with this said, add this skill to your 2018 season goals!!!

      Live Announcement Pace
      21 Deadlifts @ :33 (21 Reps)
      21 HSPU @ :59 (42 Reps)
      15 Deadlifts @ 1:29 (57 Reps)
      15 HSPU @ 2:01 (72 Reps)
      9 Deadlifts @ 2:21 (81 Reps)
      9 HSPU @ 2:45 (90 Reps)
      21 Heavy Deadlifts @ 4:19 (111 Reps)
      50-ft. handstand walk @ 4:45 (121 Reps)
      15 Heavy Deadlifts @ 5:55 (136 Reps)
      50-ft. handstand walk 6:24 (146 Reps)
      9 Heavy Deadlifts @ 6:51 (155 Reps)
      50-ft. handstand walk @ 7:13 (165 Reps)


      To gauge your score or establish your target reps for this workout we think the leaderboard come Monday/Wednesday will look something like this:

      Elite Men & Women: 6:00 - 8:00
      Regional Invitation Contention: < 8:30
      Top 500 in the Region: 121 - 136 Reps
      Top 1500 in the Region: > 90 Reps

      General Strategy

      This classic couplet was designed to be a sprint, however with the addition of “Heavy Handstand Walk Diane” your pacing to a degree is absolutely necessary.

      Although most elite athletes will attempt to keep a steady unbroken pace through the entire workout, the Panchik strategy of breaking often and consistently on dead lifts seems to be a strong example to follow.

      For reference, "Diane" was programmed originally as a CrossFit Regionals workout back in 2012. To give you an idea of how fast Diane can be completed, Dan Bailey early in his career completed this benchmark in 1:35, you can YouTube that video. Important to note, the standards have changed since then and not for the betterment of speed as we all saw the live announcement “No Reps”.


      This movement is all about kip-efficiency and shoulder fatigue. The best tip we can offer is to break often with quick rest and STAY STEADY at whatever your pace you set. All those small body weight ninjas will blow by you, but they will be waiting for you while they stare at that heavy barbell, so take your time and try not to red line until the set of 9s.

      Important to note* - The difference between fast HSPUs and slow HSPUs can be massive. Once you have reached muscle fatigue, HSPU can literally take forever just to hit singles, so you should pace accordingly.

      Lastly, the most amount time spent on this workout was during the set of 21 Heavy Deadlifts. So, if you redline to finish HSPUs, you will have time to recover for handstand walks while you are resting between deadlifts so dot panic.


      This workout is a 1 and done. Your lower back is going to be screaming so we recommend approaching this workout with injury prevention in mind. If you aren’t risk assessing this movement, please take the time to do so. Ask yourself this question before starting, “What are some of the things I’m going to do to keep good form and protect my back from injury?”

      I think the vast majority of us will make good use of a reliable weightlifting belt. More importantly than the equipment is to set some mental and physical queues before attempting the heavy deadlifts. There are two easy options to save your back for failing, both of which by avoiding the "slow negative" portion of a touch-n-go Deadlift descent.

      1. One option is to accelerate the barbell down and take the advantage of a small rebound and gravity.  This means, being intentional with each rep and fully committing to the next rep prior to bending at the back from the top position. To a degree, push the barbell down.  The logic here; If you are pushing down, you are not pulling up.
      2. The other option is to avoid the negative all together and drop the bar from the top position. As you may have noticed while watching the live announcement, there was a decent amount of time between sets once on the 315lb bar.  This option requires discipline, try not to move your feet, stay close to the barbell between singles, and if possible use the black bumper plates so your not chasing the barbell all over the gym.  

      In general, when fatigued an athlete performing steady singles at that 80% or more weight may become faster than an athlete doing small sets of touch-n-go followed by walking away and breathing.

      Handstand Walk

      Stay tight, squeeze your butt, point your toes to the sky, push through your shoulders and dig your finger pads into the floor! This skill looks so different for everyone, so just get it done! And remember to roll if you collapse trying, there's nothing like having to explain to co-workers Monday morning how you obtained that facial bruise while working out!!!

      As always, we will keep this page as up to date with the latest strategies and tips the community discovers between tonight and the 18.4 submission deadline. Until then, best of luck and try to hit this one hard, the first time, to avoid an unnecessary repeat. GOOD LUCK!!!

       ~American GAINZ Nutrition