LAST CLASS TODAY IS 5:30pm
Saturday – Normal Schedule
Sunday – Open Gym 9-11am
LAST CLASS TODAY IS 5:30pm
Saturday – Normal Schedule
Sunday – Open Gym 9-11am
Reminder- tomorrow there will be only 1 class – 9 AM. Friday resume normal schedule.
Safe travels to everyone traveling over the next few days! Be sure to let those who mean most that you are thankful for them. Oh behalf of everyone at Factory Square we are thankful for each and every athlete, coach, cheerleader, etc. Together we are Factory Strong.
I’ve always been a firm believer that both rest days and reaching failure in our training are just as important as training days and hitting PR’s. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the day to day grind that we think more is better or that if we do fail it means that we’ve failed as athletes when in reality this isn’t the case at all. This especially applies to when we reach failure during a lift. We all react differently to failure. Some days we let it get in our heads, other days we remain patient and try again. Here’s an article from Box Life Magazine that I think looks into this topic perfectly. . . .Happy Reading!
By Adam Saucedo
Failure is generally synonymous with words like “breakdown” and “disappointment.” Those words generally evoke thoughts and feelings of negativity. However, if you redefine what failure means to you, you can start changing how it impacts you. Failure is a mindset. If you change your perspective on what failure means to you, you can view every challenge as a means to achieve mastery.
Think back to the last time you missed a rep or faced a challenge during a WOD or in everyday life. How did you react? What did you say to yourself (either aloud or to yourself)? How did this impact your mood? How did this impact your overall performance? Take a second to think about this.
It’s important to understand that your thoughts do impact your feelings, which in turn, impact your performance. If you considered your missed rep a failure, you were probably also frustrated or disappointed with yourself. In that moment, you may have lost focus on your performance, wasting critical energy on being negative. Instead, by viewing your missed rep as tool for improvement, you can be more efficient. This new tool allows you to feel confident and under control for the next rep. Remaining calm and poised, you can effectively evaluate what you need to correct in order to complete the next rep. Your positive thoughts create a positive emotional reaction, which in turn, positively impact your performance.
I constantly observe and learn from high-level CrossFit competitors and coaches. One day at NorCal CrossFit, I heard Pat Barber touching on the subject of failure as he coached a class on a heavy lifting day. I recently followed up with Pat to gather his thoughts in further detail. He told me, “On heavy days, if you have not failed you have not gone heavy enough, especially if it is a one-rep max day or three-rep max day. You need to find your limits; otherwise you’re probably undershooting yourself.” He went on to reinforce the importance of accepting failure. He commented, “Accepting failure is a huge thing. Being able to accept that and view that failure as a something you can improve is huge.” Just as I do and you should, Barber recognizes the importance of consistently challenging yourself and pushing past your preconceived limits. Not accomplishing the challenges as you’d expect, doesn’t define you as “weak” or “incapable”. You are merely being provided with instant feedback on your current limits. This is great information to help in the process of setting new goals. By continually setting new goals, you will always have a motivation to improve.
The next time you evaluate your performance, remember to view your challenges and obstacles as a means of development and ultimately, mastery. Think back to when you first started — every day was hard. Now, it is probably a little less hard. Like life, CrossFit is full of challenges; that is what draws people to the sport. If you can embrace the challenge of failure by adjusting your perspective and definition, you will be on your way to continuing your growth as a CrossFit athlete.
Squat hunger has been real this week to the point where I’m not even done with my current meal when I’m already thinking about what I will be having for my next. Actually who am I kidding that’s not squat hunger that’s normal for me.. . .work has been crazy busy, life has been crazy busy and in return keeping my diet on point has started to suffer. Lucky for all of us we have Box Bistro to our rescue! If you have no tried it yet, ask around and everyone will tell you how much they LOVE it.
Another way to help keep things on track is by meal prepping and trying new recipes to keep you interested. This will help you remain dedicated to keeping your diet on point. It’s very easy to get off track. One wedding reception, trip, or even family get together and BAM all inhibition goes out the window. lol Don’t worry it happens to the best of us from time to time.
That in mind, here’s one of my favorite recipes that I like to make (with my own twist), found from Perry’s Plate, Roasted Sweet Potato and Chorizo Lettuce Wraps! In about 45 minutes you have a delicious meal and I highly suggest making extra for left overs (favorite leftover is to sub the cilantro cream with two over easy eggs).
For the filling:
2 large sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup fresh peppers, chopped
3 Tablespoons heat-safe oil (like coconut or avocado), divided
2 teaspoons ground cumin
healthy pinch of cayenne
pinch of salt
1 cup chopped onion
1 lb chorizo, diced (occasionally Whole Foods has Chicken Chorizo made in house – AMAZING)
juice from 1/2 a lime
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
For the cilantro cream:
1 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt (or a combination of the two)
1 T freshly squeezed lime juice
2 T chopped fresh cilantro
pinch of salt
For the wraps:
1 head of leaf lettuce (green, red, butter, or Bibb), leaves separated and rinsed well
1 cup crumbled feta
Additional lime wedges, for garnish
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place sweet potato cubes and peppers on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 T of the oil and sprinkle with cumin, cayenne, and a pinch or two of salt. Toss to ensure the vegetables are coated in the oil and spices. (Use your hands. It’s fun.) Give the pan a few shakes to spread everything evenly in the pan. Roast for 15-20 minutes, stirring a couple of times during roasting, until the potatoes are tender and all of the vegetables have brown spots. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining Tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Add the chopped chorizo. Stir and cook until the chorizo begins to brown on the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the sweet potato mixture to the skillet, then squirt the juice from half a lime over the top. Sprinkle in the cilantro and mix well. Remove from heat.
Combine the sour cream, 1 T of lime juice, and 2 T chopped cilantro in a small bowl. Stir to combine, adding a pinch of salt to taste.
Assemble the wraps by putting a couple spoonfuls of filling into the middle of a lettuce leave. Place a small amount of cilantro cream and feta cheese on top.
Few new exciting things happening around the gym! To start . . .a few words from Rosanne- In order to make Crossfit Factory Square and your experience the best it can be, we launched our first annual survey on Monday, October 30th. This survey will be located on the back table until Friday, November 17th. Please take some time before or after class to fill it out within that time and provide us with as much feedback as you are willing.
Your comments and suggestions are the best tools we have for tracking our progress as coaches and as a business. Understanding what our athletes are looking for in their fitness program and in their coaches is a valuable tool for us to make any adjustments necessary.
Another new and exciting thing is the introduction of new F.I.T. (Functional Interval Training) classes which are scheduled to begin next week Monday, November 6th. Classes will run 4 times a week and will be taught by new coach Sean Collins. See above for more information and details.
Everyone have a great week!
Wrist Mobility: Why It’s Important + 8 Exercises to Improve It
How’s your front rack position? Do you wince with pain in your wrists when the barbell forces them back, swing a kettlebell overhead, or even try to complete several push-ups in a row? I’m sure you are not alone. In fact, I’d wager that almost every CrossFitter has experienced some sort of wrist pain in their training career. There’s a reason why CrossFitters and Olympic Weightlifters alike invest in wrist wraps and straps. The amount of stress and tension being placed on the wrists from heavy weight can create a lot of pain, and when combined with a lack of attention to the flexibility of the joint (not to mention working at an office where you are required to use the computer all day) this can quickly lead to poor wrist mobility, an inability to get into the front rack position—thereby limiting one’s capability to execute a lift—and the risk of creating further damage and injury.
The wrist sounds pretty important now doesn’t it? Let’s negate this crucial joint no longer and focus on how we can keep our wrists healthy so as not to affect our performance at the box—not to mention our quality of life outside it.
The Wrist Joint
The wrists are a complex joint full of bone, ligaments, connective tissue, muscles and nerves. It also has multiple ranges of movement—flexion and extension (moving the palm backward or forward relative to the forearm), adduction and abduction (moving the hand from side to side). Compare this to the movement of, for example, the knee joint, which only has flexion and extension. It also marks the area of transition between the forearm and the hand—so the health of the wrist can directly impact your grip strength (more on that later).
Another thing to consider is that if we lack motion at the wrist, we’ll try to make the motion up at the shoulder and elbow. Conversely, if we lack shoulder mobility, we’ll try to make it up at the elbow and wrists. It is therefore just as important to focus on scapular and shoulder mobility as it is on the wrist, as the two are interconnected and focusing on one may not alleviate the problem for the other. As an example, in the catch phase of a clean, we need to have adequate wrist extension, forearm pronation and external rotation of the shoulder to allow us to receive the bar on the front of the shoulders and fingertips. Ideally, one would have enough mobility to keep a closed grip on the bar with the elbows high and the bar resting on the shoulders. However, when attempting a heavy clean (and jerk) this is pretty hard to do, which is why you usually see Olympic lifters bounce the bar of their shoulders and re-grip the bar when they come out of the hole before attempting the jerk. If the wrists are stiff or weak, this will place additional stress on the structures of the joint and down the front of your forearm. As such, we need to address these two elements (wrist mobility and strength) through proper exercises and stretching.
Wrist mobility/strength exercises
It should be noted that a major factor in keeping the wrists healthy and executing a lift properly is utilizing proper technique. This includes employing the right grip, aligning the body correctly and having a good bar path. Staying on top of your lifting form can go a long way in alleviating some of the work placed on the poor ol’ wrists. Of course, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t spend a good amount of time working on the mobility of your wrists every day. We use these suckers more than we realize, and it’s really no wonder that people can develop arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome (a condition in which there is excessive pressure on the median nerve, which allows feeling and movement to parts of the hand) if they don’t take care of them. As I hope I have emphasized, they are crucially important in CrossFit, so start incorporating them into your mobility warm-up. Here are a few exercises/stretches to get you started:
1. Wrist Rotations. This is very basic. Wrap your fingers together and move your wrists around in every possible direction. Hold any position that feels a little tender/limited for a few seconds. Repeat often throughout the day.
2. Prayers. Stand up and place your hands together in front of you, as if in prayer. Maintaining contact between your hands, lower them. Go as far as you can. The longer you can keep your hands together, the better you’ll stretch the wrists. At the bottom, reverse things so that your fingers point downward and your hands remain together. Come back up.
3. Static Holds. Pull your wrist back into extension and/or flexion and hold for at least 20-30 seconds.
4. Planche push–up position. Get into a plank position (elbows fully extended at the top of the push up). Turn your hands inward so your fingertips are pointing toward your toes. Keeping a rigid torso, shift your body forward so you have an angle from your shoulders to wrists. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds (or as long as you can bear) and repeat. If this is too intense, drop down to your knees and complete.
5. Wrist walks. Place your palms on a wall, with your arms straight and fingers pointing to the ceiling. Keeping contact with the wall, walk your hands down the wall. Go as far down as possible without letting your palms come off the wall. Once you reach the point where you can’t walk your hands down any farther, turn your hands around so your fingers are now pointing to the floor. Walk your wrists back up the wall as far upward as possible. Repeat.
6.Front squat rack position. If you have pain when trying to hold a front rack position, or can’t even get into it in the first place, you need to get your wrists working through the range of motion required for the front squat. Even though it’s your shoulders holding the bar in place rather than your wrists, you still need good wrist mobility to get the bar sitting correctly on top of your shoulders in the first place. Load a bar on a desired rack setting. Set up in a rack position, with your elbows pointing as far forward as possible and weight sitting on your shoulders. Pick up the bar and rotate your elbows forward, then re rack the bar. Repeat this process until you see a change in your rack position.
7. Ring push-ups. A great exercise to work on wrist stability, as well as stability through the elbow, shoulder and core. Adjust the height of the rings appropriate for your fitness level (the lower the rings the more difficult the exercise). Grip the rings, keep your body straight and your legs fully extended behind you. Slowly lower yourself down towards the floor. Pause at the bottom then push yourself back up to the starting position. Do not lock out your elbows to maintain tension throughout the muscles during the exercise. Repeat.
8. Double kettlebell rack walk. Take a kettlebell in each hand. Lift the kettlebells up under your chin so that your palms and your wrists are facing each other. The kettlebells should be resting on your shoulders and upper arms. Begin walking forward and hold the kettlebells at the same position the whole time. Continue for the desired amount of time or distance.
These are just a few exercises to get you started, but I hope you now understand how vital the wrists are in CrossFit and how underappreciated they are. It doesn’t take much effort to work on them—you could do them at work if needs be. Which reminds me, make sure that if you do work on the computer a lot that your wrists are in a neutral position when typing. Just another helpful adjustment that can do wonders for the health of the joint. So, no more ignoring the wrists! They should now be the first thing you target for every mobility session.