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Top 10 Intermediate Crossfit Mistakes

#1. Jumping from one program to another. You gotta stick with it. Don’t just do workouts you think “look tough”.

#2. Learn how to Olympic lift. Sure you “can” muscle up 135 lbs in a workout a couple times. However, you are wasting potential, time, and energy unless you commit yourself to learning the Olympic lifts.

#3. Not spending enough time in the gym. I know, I know part of Crossfit’s selling point is that our workouts are short. I’m not talking about workouts, I’m talking about time in the gym. “Fran” is between 2 and 4 minutes long for advanced athletes. It isn’t uncommon for them to warm up for 45 minutes prior to Fran. Throw in PNF stretching and myofascial release (which you should be doing), and you are in the gym for more than an hour…. for a 3-minute workout.

#4. No organization or plan for supplemental work. Doing a couple handstand push ups every other week isn’t a plan. Running a couple 800s isn’t “doing CFE”. You need to have a plan. Set some goals.By January 1st I will be able to do X. The way I will accomplish this goal is Y.” And you gotta write it down. And you gotta talk to a coach.

#5. Not taking back off weeks. If you aren’t excited about getting into the gym to train, you need to rest. Every month or two, take a couple days off (not because of injury) and stay out of the gym. When you come back, you’ll be able to get after again instead of just “punching the clock”.

#6. Stop F$%KING pacing. Seriously. I know you can do 100 pull ups in sets of 5. Why not just “get comfortable being uncomfortable” and not set an artificial limit for yourself? Turn your rational mind off.

#7. Trying to be something you aren’t. Look, if you are 5′6, 145 it is going to take years and years of training to have a 450 lb deadlift. Recognize that you are probably not going to have an 1100 lb CF Total at that size. You gotta play the cards you are dealt.

#8. Stop trying to get “lean gains”. I get it, everyone wants to gain 15 lbs of “lean muscle”. Me too. Not gonna happen. You can’t gain that much muscle in a short period of time without some serious steroid consumption or phenomenal genes. Gaining weight is a great goal, just recognize that you might not have an 8 pack for a couple weeks.

#9. Respect don’t revere Crossfit. Ask yourself this question: When was the last time you read something outside CF.com or the CF Journal that you applied to your training? If the answer is “never” it is time to explore the studio space a little.Want to learn to gain strength and weight? I’ll bet the strongman community knows a little about that. Want to learn some new gymnastics progressions? I’ll bet a collegiate gymnast would know a couple.

#10. Taking yourself too seriously. I get it, this Crossfit stuff is awesome and fun. However, in the end, it is about working out. You aren’t good enough to get mad. Maintain some perspective on the whole thing. Your family, your religion, your country… these are things to take seriously.

If you don’t enjoy the journey, you’re in it for the wrong reasons.

Bonus: #11. Newsflash: You probably aren’t going to make it to Aromas. Neither am I. Here is the weird part- it doesn’t really matter. Honestly, it is a little anti-climactic. You have to love training and working hard for its own sake, not for the sake of some competition you probably aren’t going to make.

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A bullterrier nevelse, Nissan note 1.4 visia 2008, Dimensioni nuovo nissan qashqai

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Regularly Play Interesting New Sports

Unless you knew someone who was into it, a family member or friend, you probably had very limited exposure to Olympic lifting growing up, other than seeing it on TV once in a while and vaguely associating it with communism. A completely unfair association, but what can I say, MTV probably rotted your brain.

You might have also known someone who participated in gymnastics. Same theme – you probably thought about it as participation, not playing a sport like a basketball or a baseball. Even if your elementary school gym class had a pommel horse and those giant blue mats, your exposure may have ended there. Unless you got into it as a kid and stayed with it, you may have quit before you could do the really cool stuff as an adult.

And if you’re a brah, you benched your way through school no doubt. Probably shoulder pressed, too, and anything that ended in “-curl” was squarely in your domain. But squatting was not something you did because the board shorts totally cover your quads, and you probably never did a real deadlift. Ladies generally focused on toning the lower extremities, however, they avoided barbells.

Football players may be the exception here, but I don’t think they did a lot of gymnastics or snatches.

Not saying everyone applies, but unless you got into these sports by chance or bloodline, most Americans simply missed the boat on powerlifting, Olympic lifting, and gymnastics.

Until they tried CrossFit. CrossFit works these movements into WODs in a way that focuses on work completed as a priority over perfect form. But when you get a taste, you actually want to understand the form and feel the technical side of the movement, the mechanics that make it feel like smacking a ball with the sweet spot of a bat. There are CrossFit Oly certs, powerlifting certs, kettlebell certs – even endurance. They aren’t just to help people improve in a non-workout environment, but also a response to demand for focused training in these skills. Many more people are checking out weightlifting clubs or registering for powerlifting meets. Handstands in public are getting to the point where they’re not even unusual. People are discovering these sports and realizing they’re fun as hell.

Remember that CrossFit calls on athletes to regularly learn and play new sports. Gymnastics body weight movements alone could keep you occupied for years, but you can learn some very cool, very impressive new things if you practice at your house or in a park. Try learning the flag – it’s a crowd pleaser. Or, just use the strength, speed, and capacity you’re developing at an obstacle course dash/mud run. Be sure to pick one with fire, as the beer is generally better at those.

CrossFit MMA day courtesy of Derby City Crossfit

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Floreio.

The Floreio Art.

Floreio means flower in Portuguese. and it is a sub-art of Capoeira which includes a very sophisticated form of floor flow work.
In the last 15-20 years this art has made big steps and developed a great deal, but only by a select talented individuals in the Capoeira world that showed a much higher level of Floreio work than the rest of the 99% of Capoeiristas.

Ido Portal, the man shown in the video above states:

Until today I have found very little in the world of movement, fitness and conditioning that aproaches floreio’s rewards as a means of metabolic conditioning, joint mobility, strength endurance combined with balance, power (advanced movements include jumping into and out of various position on your hands for example) and relative strength.

Ido’s blog has step by step video instruction on how to learn Floreio. Check out the first Workout here: http://idoportal.blogspot.com/2009/07/floreio-workout-number-1.html

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Vitamin D

Vitamin D Deficiency
by Dr. Frank Lipman:

For the last 30 years or so, doctors (dermatologists in particular), health officials, beauty experts and many product companies have been demonizing the sun. They’ve told us to avoid it because without sunscreen, exposure to the sun’s rays will damage skin and cause cancer. But this oversimplification distorts the facts. In the past few years, numerous studies have shown that optimizing your Vitamin D levels may actually help prevent as many as 16 different types of cancer including pancreatic, lung, breast, ovarian, prostate, and colon cancers. And the best way to optimize Vitamin D levels is through safe, smart and limited sunscreen-free exposure to the sun.

For hundreds of thousands of years, man has lived with the sun: Our ancestors were outdoors far more often than indoors. We developed a dependence on sunshine for health and life, so the idea that sunlight is dangerous does not make sense. How could we have evolved and survived as a species, if we were that vulnerable to something humans have been constantly exposed to for their entire existence? Is it possible that our bodies are made in such a way that the sun is really a lethal enemy? Not in my opinion. Like all living things, we need sunshine, and it feels good for a reason. Much as plants harness the sun’s rays through photosynthesis, our bodies use sunlight to help the skin produce the Vitamin D it needs to build bones, quell inflammation, bolster the immune system and protect against cancer (including skin cancer).

“Let the sun shine in”

Western medicine has made a practice of telling us to abstain from things that are bad for us in extreme quantities, when in fact those same things⎯fat, salt, and sunshine for example⎯are very good for us when consumed wisely and in moderation. In the case of sunshine, our UV paranoia is contributing to a silent epidemic: Vitamin D deficiency. It’s silent because most people don’t know they are deficient. And it’s deadly, because this deficiency can lead to cancer and a multitude of other diseases. But we’ve demonized the sun and been brainwashed into believing that even small amounts will harm us. We are told to slather on sunscreen whenever we are in the sun, which blocks Vitamin D production and exacerbates the Vitamin D deficiency induced by our modern, indoor lives.

Studies show that as many as three out of four Americans suffer from Vitamin D deficiency. A study published in 2009 in the Archives of Internal Medicine (a leading scientific journal), found that 70% of Caucasians, 90% of Hispanics and 97% of African Americans in the US have insufficient blood levels of Vitamin D. Indeed, it’s thought to be the most common medical condition in the world, affecting over one billion people and we now have research showing just how essential Vitamin D is to health.

U.S. and Norwegian researchers have found that people who live in higher latitudes are more prone to Vitamin D deficiency and more prone to developing common cancers and dying of them. It’s now thought that this is due in part to the body’s inability to make enough activated Vitamin D to help regulate cell growth and to keep cell growth in check. Independent scientific research has shown that whether you live in a sunny or not-so-sunny climate, exposure to the sun and its UVB radiation will increase your production of Vitamin D and help lower the risk of a host of debilitating and fatal diseases – including many cancers, heart disease, high blood pressure, Type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and depression.

And now the experts are concerned that we’re passing an epidemic of Vitamin D deficiency down to a new generation. Studies have shown that Vitamin D deficiency may imprint on an infant for the rest of his/her life. Infants that are deficient at birth can remain Vitamin D deficient for the first several months after birth, which may put them at risk of developing many chronic diseases much later in life.

What is Vitamin D and how much do you need?

Although called a vitamin, it is not. Vitamin D is in a class by itself, behaving more like a hormone. It is made in the skin, gets into your bloodstream and then goes into the liver and the kidney where it becomes activated as a key steroid hormone called Calcitriol. It then goes to the intestines, bones and other tissues, effecting metabolic pathways and the expression of myriad genes. Vitamin D’s active form can interact with almost every cell in the body directly or indirectly, targeting up to two thousand genes, or about six percent of the human genome. It is necessary for numerous cellular functions, and when the body does not have what it needs to function optimally, it follows that we experience a decline in health and put ourselves at risk of disease. We now know that almost every cell and tissue in our body has Vitamin D receptors, which raises the question: Why would those receptors be there if they didn’t have a function?

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Muscle Gain, Step 1

Sleep.

Dan John wrote:

You will ignore this point, everyone does. The first thing to do to increase muscle mass is to sleep more. Cover your windows in your bedroom with an additional blanket, toss a towel over your LCD on the alarm clock, and stuff towels under the door to block out light and sound. Quit talking to sexy_vixen in the chatroom, stop watching reruns of “Friends,” and go to bed early. Now, when I went through my growth spurt, I had a helluva time falling asleep, but couldn’t get up in the morning. I later “taught” myself to fall asleep with Bud Winter’s book, “Relax and Win.” There are dozens of tapes and books available now to help one fall asleep faster. I combined several of my favorites and made a “sleep tape.” Now, I can fall asleep quickly and anywhere.

How much sleep are you getting? I know I often fall into the trap of training hard, eating strict, but only catching 5-6 hours of sleep per night. Want to lose weight? Sleep. Want to gain mass? Sleep. Want to have clear skin? Sleep. Want to PR in the gym? Sleep.

Weekends are another thing: if you party every weekend evening, no only do you risk other problems, but you are cutting into a great opportunity to sleep. I am not trying to be a martyr, but I gave up “partying” in Junior College so I could get my goal of an athletic scholarship. It worked, a short-term sacrifice led to long-term success.

When is the last time you got 8-9 hours of sleep per night for a week? For me, it’s never happened.

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book. ~ Irish Proverb

Mark Sisson breaks it down for us:

Sleep is key, essential, absolutely downright necessary for our basic physiological operations – with special support for neurological performance, endocrine balance, immune system functioning, and musculoskeletal growth and repair. For one, you wouldn’t be half the man or woman you are without the physiological feats sleep achieves. I mean that both literally and figuratively, since sleep spurs the release of human growth hormone (HGH), an essential player in cellular regeneration.

read the rest at Mark’s Daily Apple.

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The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban

This website is absolutely essential for anyone who coaches Olympic or Power Lifters.

The basic premise? Post original weightlifting articles from the 50s and 60s. This is back when “Muscle and Fitness” “Flex” and “Men’s Health” didn’t exist. Weightlifting back then was only a few simple moves— the clean, the press, the jerk, the squat, and the snatch.

The attached image is one of several from one of my favorite posts titled “Flexibility and Stability For Lifting”.

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Compression Gear – Does it Work?

If you’ve been following any of the CrossFit Games coverage lately, you most likely have seen the huge growth of compression gear warn among athletes. At the 2009 CrossFit Games, Skins was one of the sponsors and many athletes sported the Skins Socks and other gear throughout the weekend. The question is, does compression gear actually work? It supposedly aids in recovery and has a handful of other positives. Many athletes sware by them, including OPT. Well according to new study done at Indiana University, researchers found that

that lower leg compression sleeves don’t affect a runner’s oxygen consumption, which means there is no improvement in running economy or efficiency. Their study of 16 highly trained male distance runners also found that lower leg compression garments have no impact on running mechanics.

No word about recovery in the article, but apparently they could be all hype and style…

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