03/28/17: Reflections

First, congratulations to everyone who completed the 2017 CrossFit Open. There is something about the Open that makes it “not just another workout.” Whether it is the internal stress we place on ourselves, the fact that we are judged, or the motivating atmosphere of the Saturday morning craziness, something pushes us to try a littler harder on these five workouts. For some, it is the first time doing certain movements, or the first time lifting that much weight. For others, it is stuff we have done for years, but we want to do better than we have done in the past. It is stressful, and many times it can make us feel like we’re totally unfit. Too often we define our self worth by our most recent workout performance. It sounds crazy, but I’m almost positive every single person at 908 has had a day where the workout made them feel a little crappy about themselves. That is never the intention, but we’re our own biggest critics a lot of the time. Instead of focusing on what you could not do, or how poorly you think you did relative to what you think you should have done, focus on the positive takeaways. If you pushed your intensity harder than you ever have in the gym, that is a huge win. Intensity is the magic ingredient that makes us progress. If you tried something that in your typical daily routine you would have said was way too heavy or difficult, that is also a big win. I know so many people who did 50# and 35# dumbbell snatches for the first time and now realize they probably should have been using those weights earlier. I know some people who deadlifted the weight in 17.4 for 55 reps, even though they had never lifted it once prior to that day. Some people got their first bar muscle up, some PR’d their snatch, and some did better on the repeat workout. There are small wins all over the place that we need to celebrate. But, where do we go from here?

After seeing how we did as a gym, both performance, proficiency, and movement wise, I think we can continue to progress our programming so that if we see any of these workouts come up next year, we can almost guarantee we’ll do better.

First and foremost. Conditioning, we need more of it. Now, I know many of you are rolling your eyes because you want to do a strength cycle and lifting weights is fun, burpees are not. However, we are a CrossFit gym, not a powerlifting gym. Being cardiovascularly fit is what we do, along with being strong AF. This does not mean we need more 30 minute workouts. What it means to me is we need to be more mindful of our effort when doing conditioning. We, as coaches, need to give you more guidance on what the intention of the workout is. Sometimes it may be a slower, heavier grind, and sometimes we’ll want you to keep it light and move fast. Obviously we’ll continue to analyze the programming to ensure we are giving you the right tools to bring your intensity to the gym. We don’t just want to beat you down with lots of volume, but rather we want to build you up to attack workouts with confidence.

Secondly, we need to continue to build our overall strength, and more specifically our pulling strength. So much of this Open was focused on pulling (dumbbell snatch, power clean, toes to bar, bar muscle up, snatch, chest to bar pull ups, deadlift, row). We will be focusing on these areas through our next program cycle.

Third, and what goes hand in hand with our strength, are our movement patterns. How do we become more proficient in our movements? Practice, mobility, and repeat. I know we do not snatch a lot as a gym, and I don’t think we’ll ever snatch that much. It is an extremely demanding movement, and many of us either have serious mobility restrictions or lingering injuries that prevent us from being able to get into a snatch / overhead squat safely. We will do our best to incorporate it more, and give those of you who need modifications proper substitutions. Away from just specific movements, many of us need to focus on our mobility on a daily basis. It is not something that happens overnight, and it will need constant focus. My suggestion is to determine what you think your biggest limitation is and dedicate 10 minutes each day to see how much progress you can make over the course of a month. We would be more than happy to give you helpful stretches and drills to keep you focused.

Lastly, we need to continue to work on the basics. Foundational movements like rowing and double unders. Learning how to breath through our movement so we don’t redline in the first minute of a workout. Proficiency and Virtuosity at the most basic level will give you the tools necessary to be more efficient and effective in your workouts.

As we, the staff, continue to develop programming we’ll keep all of this in mind and continue to make your safety a top priority. We really enjoyed this year’s Open. With over 90 people from 908 signing up, it was our biggest showing to date. My suggestion to everyone is to look at your scores from the Open, decide how you think you can improve, and put it into practice every time you are in the gym. Most of us are not going to the Games to compete, but we certainly can continue on our fitness journey in a positive direction. There are several local competitions coming up, many of which are partner competitions. Most have Rx and scaled divisions. While competing may not be your focus, having something to train for always helps spur your progression on certain movements. Also, if anyone is looking for a little extra focus on certain exercises, personal training, even if it is for a couple of sessions, can really help fix major flaws with your technique.

Thank you to everyone who helped out with the Open this year. I know judging is tiring and challenging, so a huge thank you to everyone who stuck around on Saturdays and made the days run so smoothly. Team 908 is the best!


Today’s Workout:

  • Skill – Handstand – We will spend 15-20 minutes going over proper handstand positioning.  Focus will be on the actual hold of the handstand.  For those more advance, freestanding handstand holds and walking will be options.
  • Conditioning – For Time
    • 1K Row Buy In
    • 18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of
      • Handstand Push Ups (Sx = Box HSPU or DB Push Press / Rx = Head to Ground / CRx = Deficit OR Strict)
      • Box Jumps (Sx = 20″/18″ – Rx = 24″/20″)
  • Finisher – 2 Sets Each Hand- :30 of 1/2 Waiters Hold / 1/2 Farmers Hold – Alt. every 30 seconds.  Rest as needed

We have so many 908 babies born recently.  John. M. kicks us off with baby Lucas.  Congrats to John and his wife Arika.

Baby Lucas