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Run like hell

July 10th, 2012, by · 5 Comments

So when I saw Wednesday’s WOD posted on the programming document this quote came to mind…(mostly because I despise running ;-) )

“Run like hell and get the agony over with.”
--Clarence DeMar

Then, I thought to myself, “PHEW, its Wednesday…my REST day!” Now, I’m not a cherry picker by any means, I will ALWAYS come to the Fort on my regularly scheduled training days even when I know brutality is coming. But boy, am I thanking my lucky stars I’m scheduled to rest tomorrow. With that being said, hopefully no one dodges this WOD because of all the running. If you are a usual Hump Day WODer I hope to still see you at the Fort tomorrow. Remember, there are always scaling options, CrossFit is infinitely scalable.


1 Round of:

1000m Run
30 Pull-ups
30 DB Renegade Rows
30 Ball Slams (30/20)
1000m Run

Get after it, people! Like the quote says guys…run like hell! :-D

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Join the double-under club!

July 3rd, 2012, by · 3 Comments

Who’s sick of subbing bar hops for double-unders? So here’s the deal…if you follow these 5 simple guidelines you’ll be double-undering in NO TIME! Say bye-bye to bar hops & hello to double-under fabulousness!

Stay relaxed. 
Keep your upper body loose. If you’re tense you can lose your rhythm and even create more work for yourself. Double-unders are ananaerobic exercise which is VERY taxing; you don’t need to make them even more difficult by stiffening up and forcing your muscles to work overtime. Keep your arms out and comfortable, a little bend in the elbow is fine and allow the shoulders to relax (see picture).

Steady jump.
No, it’s not about jumping higher. Most beginners think if you jump higher the rope has more time to get around the second time. However this isn’t the case, your jump for the double-under should resemble your jump for a single. Also, try not to tuck or pike your legs, you should be steadily bouncing on the balls of your feet.

It’s all in the wrists.
A typical mistake athletes make when double-undering is using the entire shoulder to bring the rope around. The speed of the rope is most important and it actually starts with the wrists. You need to rotate the rope handle with JUST your wrist; this will help the rope pick up speed so it can make it around you twice. Remember, keep your upper body relaxed and then just use a little flick of the wrist.

Feel the rhythm.
Bad @$$ double-underers make jumping rope look effortless. That is the way it should be. There is a perfect rhythm you’ll find when you double-under. Timing is crucial. The first revolution should take place as you’re jumping up and the second revolution will happen as you’re coming back down, the rope will skim the ground just a millisecond before you land.

Practice makes perfect.
So, if you haven’t been adding double-unders in your warm-up or even cool downs there is a HIGH likelihood you’re not going to get better at them. You can’t just wake up one day and expect that magically you now have double-unders. Just sayin’. The more you practice the better you’ll get. If you’re ready to say goodbye to stinkin’ bar hops, say hello to a jump rope for at least 2 minutes before each class.

Here’s to more of our members joining the double-under club! :-D

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Everyone’s good at something

June 18th, 2012, by · Comments Off

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by CrossFit? I think it’s an easy feeling to have. We enter in Ramp-up willingly and learn loads of movements, and then make our way through group classes only to find out there’s even MORE movements we have to learn. Then, of course we expect ourselves to become perfect at these movements overnight. C’mon folks, lets be real. NO ONE is perfect at every single movement in CrossFit. Not even the Games competitors. Everyone has a “goat.” What you need to remember when you’re feeling overwhelmed is…everybody’s good at something! Remind yourself that you’re blazing fast at burpees, or that you just got your kipping pullups down, or that you can rock out double-unders like no one’s business. No matter who you are, you are good at something.

Saturday was a Team Workout for the books! We had a large turn out and a mega WOD programmed.

In teams of two:
Complete 3 rounds of:
2:00 wall balls (20/14)
2:00 kettlebell swings (24/16)
2:00 box jumps (24"/20")
2:00 push presses (45kg/30)
2:00 row (cals)
:30 rest

*each partner can only work for :30

The way points were earned for this WOD was by getting the most reps at each station. Each team calculated their reps for all three rounds for each of the five different stations. You were assigned a numerical value for the place your team earned at that station. So if you had the highest number of reps at the wall ball station, you earned a one. The team with the lowest number of points took home belt! To figure out a champion you surely needed to be focused and determined. ;-) Way to go Zach, thanks for your perseverance through the calculations. We almost didn’t get a picture of the winning team because most people had to go before the scores were ranked. :-P Look, the Little Flames class was going on while we quickly snapped our champions shot! My partner Pete & I were the victors this Team Saturday!

The beauty of this workout was the five different movements. Most people felt like there was at least one station they could totally rock. Duh, it's like I've been saying...everybody’s good at something. The scores really showed how each team triumphed: Ron & Ben had the most wall balls, Sammi & Deena had the most kettlebell swings, Garth & John had the most box jumps, Ryan S. and Drew had the most push presses, and Pete & I had the most calories on the rower. See, not one team came out on top at every single station. See, everyone IS good at something!

Remember, go into a WOD eager to tackle your strengths but even more eager to get better at your weaknesses. Because soon (with work), those weakness can become new strengths and you can pursue another weakness you may have.

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Don’t WOD with strangers

June 15th, 2012, by · 3 Comments

A CrossFit box truly is a community unlike a Globo-Gym. You could be gliding away on your elliptical next to someone you’ve never met and will never speak to. That’s no fun! Isn't one of the best parts of CrossFit the relationships we create while we’re at the gym? CFF is known for its AMAZING community. When you’re at the Fort, you should feel like you’re among friends. We are so lucky to have such an amazing group of people who enjoy working-out together AND hanging out together outside of the gym.

Deena has given me a list of fests/fairs that are coming up in our area (see below). If you didn’t already know, Deena is a fest freak; she will probably go to ALL OF THESE fests! I’m sure she would love for you to join her. We were hoping by posting these dates it might encourage a few more get-togethers outside the Fort. We are hopeful all you CrossForters will try to attend McHenry Fiesta Days together (details about the fest is listed below). It’d be a wonderful opportunity to bond with your WODing partners! :-D You do need to purchase tickets for this event so place visit this site to do so.

Music Fest Rock N' Rev - (3:30 pm - 11:00 pm)
Saturday, July 14th                                                               
AT PETERSEN PARK, 4300 Petersen Park Road, McHenry 60050
Admission: $15 per person ($11 online), ages 10 and under free.
♦Food ~ Beer
♦Designated Driver Booth: wristband, free soft drinks & water
♦Amusements Rides: (unlimited ride special 2pm-5pm)
♦Harley Motorcycle Show: 5:00 pm
♦Performance Times:
3:45 pm: Blush
6:15 pm: Lounge Puppets
9:15 pm: Tesla

Summer Happenings
14th – Libertyville Days
16th – Custer’s Street Art Fair Evanston
21st – Wauconda Fest
22nd – Long Grove Strawberry Fest
28th – Crystal Lake Fest  & Mundelein Days
30th – Taste of Grayslake & Glenview Fest
30th through July 8th – Milwaukee Fest


14th – McHenry Fiesta Days (Lounge Puppets and Tesla *tickets needed*)
19th – Vernon Hills Fest
20th – Big Greek Fest Niles
27th – Arlington Heights Irish Fest

28th – Algonquin Founders Days (*Great Band playing Sat night!) & Walla-Pa-Looza Johnsburg

3rd – Rotary Blues Brews and BBQ’s – McHenry & Lollapalooza – Chicago
18th – Long Grove Art Fest in Lake Zurich
30th – Buffalo Grove Days

1st – Schaumburg Fest
28th – Long Grove Apple Fest

18th – Highwood Pumpkin Fest

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Ouch, those hurt my wrists!

June 12th, 2012, by · Comments Off

Who’s been suffering from wrist pain when they’re in the front rack position? I noticed yesterday while working on reverse alternating lunges in the front rack position there were a lot of folks hurting. There’s good news guys, you can increase your wrist flexibility to help alleviate the pain you’re experiencing. Try a couple of the following stretches a few times a day and I guarantee you’ll be feeling more comfortable in the front rack position.

  • Wrist rotations - this stretch is super easy and one you probably already know since we sometimes do them in our warm-up. Lock your fingers together and use a bit of push-pull to put your wrists through full range of motion. Make sure you fully extend, flex and rotate your wrists. If you work at a computer with immobile wrists for hours & hours, work the wrist rotations every few hours. This stretch can also be beneficial in a static hold, especially in the positions that are a little tenderer.
  • Kneeling Pushup Position – you begin this stretch by kneeling and having your upper body in a pushup position. Slowly turn your hands so your finger tips are facing your knees, or as close as you can handle. This is a static hold; hang out there for about 30 seconds at a time. To increase the tension on the extension you can pull your weight backwards and you will immediately feel some tightness.
  • Rack Position – get in the front rack position as often as you can. Just remember, our wrists are tiny, and essentially scrawny in comparison to our body. We can’t expect them to bare the entire weight of the barbell. Racking a barbell isn’t about using your wrists to hold the weight; it’s about using wrist mobility to keep the barbell resting on your shoulders. Your shoulders support the barbell, and the wrists merely keep it in place. Check out Garth and his amazing from rack position. You can see he is focusing on letting the bar roll back and up toward his throat & only letting his fingertips keep the barbell in place. Great wrist mobility Garth! :-D

Here’s to new and improved wrist mobility! If you have found any stretches that have helped you increase your wrist flexibility please post them to the comments. Happy stretching!

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Are your shruggers sore?

June 8th, 2012, by · 4 Comments

Thursday we got the chance to work on our hang cleans. Remember the word hang just indicates that the movement starts in the “hang position” just above your knees & not from the floor. Typically athlete’s cleans are a smidge heavier than their hang clean, so you want to keep that in mind when choosing your load. When we start from the hang we lose a little momentum so its super important we get a big shrug and pull. That’s probably why your shruggers are a little sore today. The ground to overhead in the MetCon may also be the culprit…

9:00 AMRAP of:
3 Ground to Overhead (60/45)
6 Ring Dips
9 Box Jumps (24/20)

So ground to overhead, huh? Basically I can lift the bar anyway I want as long as I get it over my head? Yup, that’s right! You can cluster it, clean & jerk it, squat clean and jerk it, clean and press it, or even snatch it. As long as the barbell started from the floor and made it overhead we didn’t care how you accomplished it.

Deena deserves a shout out for her progress. She has been working her butt off focusing on the oly lifts and yesterday you could see how far she’s come! No more reverse curls or press outs for Deena, just big shrugs and high pulls! Atta girl! Sammi also deserves a pat on the back for completing the WOD Rx’d with unassisted ring dips. Nice work, hun! Beth has also been jumping on a box during WOD's, as you can see from the picture. What great gains you're making, Beth. Keep it up! :-D

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Wait…is it Saturday?

June 7th, 2012, by · Comments Off

Nope, it’s Tuesday! The WOD Father got creative and threw in some teamwork during the week. Sweet!! I love working in teams, don’t you? :-D

In teams of 2, complete 4 rounds each of:
400m Run
10 DB Man Makers (45#/30#)

Man makers? I think this movement is improperly named. They’re more like man killers! A man maker is essentially a burpee combined with, pushups, DB rows, a squat clean, and then a press. Phew. It’s like seven movements in one! Anyone have a hard time with these? You’re not alone. Man makers are totally a tough movement to master but you all did a great job with them. We’ve been seeing these come up in the programming once a month, so be prepared to see these guys again in about 30 days. We’ll become experts soon enough!

Drew ended up being the odd man out in the 4pm class so he tackled this WOD on his own. I think he read the board wrong because he didn’t rest…AT ALL! He also upped the prescribed weight to 50 pounds. He ended up finishing around 23 minutes! Holy cow that’s SUPER fast for being Rx’d+. Way to go Drew. Melissa was showing off her sweet pushups in the 7pm class. Throughout the entire WOD she kept great form and full depth. Nice job Melissa. You rock!

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