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Looking Ahead to the 2017 Online Qualifier

By: Crossfit

The 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games Open is behind us, and it’s time to look ahead to what’s next: the Online Qualifier, which will take place Thursday-Monday, April 20-24, 2017.

Much like the CrossFit Games Open, the Online Qualifier challenges athletes’ mental and physical game with max lifts, high-skill movements and tests of general physical preparedness. In its fourth year, the Online Qualifier will be a stepping stone for both masters and teenagers on their journeys to get to the CrossFit Games.

The top 200 teenagers and masters from each division after the Open will be eligible to compete in the Online Qualifier. The four-day competition will decide which 20 teens and masters from each division will head to Madison, Wisconsin, for the 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games.

In the Online Qualifier, athletes will submit scores and/or videos for four workouts. Once the Online Qualifier workouts are released, athletes will have four days to complete them. Athletes submitting scores must use a registered judge for each workout and have their performances validated by a licensed CrossFit affiliate in good standing. In addition, all four workouts must be videotaped. Alternatively, athletes may elect to submit videos of the four workouts online for judging and validation. All videos submitted for review must adhere to standard Open video submission guidelines.

Athletes will have five scores tabulated in order to determine their final rank in the Online Qualifier: four scores from the Online Qualifier workouts and one score based on their final overall rank in the Open. If an athlete fails to post a valid score in an Online Qualifier workout for any reason, they will receive a score of “0” for that workout.

Ties on the overall Online Qualifier Leaderboard will be broken by awarding the best position to the athlete who has the highest result in any single Online Qualifier workout. This includes the score based on the athlete’s final Open rank. If athletes remain tied after this first tiebreaker, the process continues to their next highest single result, and so forth. Results from individual Open workouts will NOT be used to break ties on the overall Online Qualifier Leaderboard. Ties will not be broken for single event results. More than one athlete can share an event result and each will earn the original point value.

Also . . .Regionals Tickets Are On Sale Now!

Tickets are on sale for the second stage of the CrossFit Games Season: Regionals.

After the Open, the top men, women and teams move on to prove their fitness at the Regional level. Only the top five from each division in each of CrossFit’s eight Regionals will advance to the 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games in Madison, Wisconsin.

Regional Schedule

May 19 – 21, 2017

  • East Regional | Albany, New York |Times Union Center

  • South Regional | San Antonio, Texas | Alamodome

May 26 – 28, 2017

  • Pacific Regional | Wollongong, Australia | WIN Entertainment Centre

  • California Regional | Del Mar, California | Del Mar Arena

  • Central Regional | Nashville, Tennessee | Music City Center

June 2 – 4, 2017

  • Meridian Regional | Madrid, Spain | Caja Mágica

  • West Regional | Portland, Oregon | Portland Expo Center

  • Atlantic Regional | Atlanta, Georgia | Georgia World Congress Center

Get Tickets

Regional tickets cost $75 for three days or $30 per day (Friday, Saturday, Sunday). Kids 12 and under are admitted free of charge with a ticketed adult. You may purchase tickets here.

Congratulations to all athletes who have completed the 2017 Crossfit Opens. Over the past 5 weeks Dave Castro has definitely thrown some curveballs our way but it was nothing we couldn’t handle! Strengths have shined through, weaknesses exposed, overall a great experience to push through to whatever our journeys have in store for us!

**REMINDER** Come out this Saturday (April 1st) morning to celebrate the end of the 2017 Opens and another year of Crossfit Factory Square! You can sign up for the partner wod on the white board and write down any food items you plan on bringing for the potluck after.

Now let’s get to business. . . . tips on mastering box jumps. This movement terrifies me for no reason other than a box has eaten my shin on more than one occasion. I can do them all day BUT as soon as I let my mind get to me it’s like my life suddenly flashes before my eyes before every one. lol Yea I know I’m ridiculous. Anyways. . . .he’s a good article from Box Life Magazine for a few quick tips.

3 Keys To Better Box Jumps

By Bryant Perkins

Box jumps have long been an integral part of functional movement training. Like running, box jumping is one of those things that looks simple but is often dangerous when performed the wrong way. However, it can be very effective when performed the right way.

Practice and perfect three key elements and you’ll be well on your way to feeling more confident in your jumps.

4Stabilization & Strength
It’s about core stability and core strength. Stable core muscles allow you to hold your initial position, as you land on top of the box, and as you land back on the ground. Strong core muscles allow you drive powerfully into the air, hold your position while in flight, and protect your body from the shock of landing back on the ground.

Plank to achieve better stability
Planks help engage the muscles of the pelvis and lower abdomen, which are vital to the execution of a proper box jump.

How-To: Begin in a plank. Hold 45 seconds. Extend your arms, one-at-a-time, until in a full push-up position. Bring your right knee to your chest and hold for 30 seconds. Take your leg back and bring your left knee to your chest. Hold 30 seconds. Take your leg back to its original position and rest. Repeat the sequence for 3 sets of 4 to 6 holds per leg for max benefits.

To build strength: Wrap a band around the base of a rig. Slip your foot inside the loop and instead of bringing your knee to your chest, pull forward for 12 reps on each foot.
Repeat entire sequence for 3 to 4 sets of 12 reps for max benefits.

3Takeoff Posititon
Your takeoff position is key to achieving lift and accuracy in your jumps. Imagine your body is a tightly coiled spring. Your objective should be to release that spring straight up, not out, and as close to the box as possible.

Positioning yourself closer to the box forces you to drive vertically, decreasing the distance between you and the box before, during and after each jump. A closer position forces you to drive your knees higher, increasing your trajectory, enabling you to achieve maximum lift, clearing the height of the box. The shorter the distance from the box, the faster you can perform each jump.

How-To: Position your body as you would during the start of a hang clean. Rise up slightly onto your mid/forefoot. This foot position will trigger the reflex needed for the initial take off.

Position your arms behind you so that they follow the angle of your torso. Good arm placement aids in timing and balance at takeoff and landing. Your head along with your eyes and chin should be focused forward, not up or down.

2Takeoff & In-flight Mechanics
When you are set to jump, violently swing your arms up towards the sky. This motion will begin to draw your torso up initiating the movement. At the same time, drive your knees up towards your chest in order to leave the ground and complete the lifting process. Your main objective is to clear the height of the box, not necessarily to land on top of it. Think height first!

Tuck Jumps
Tuck jumps are great for practicing your takeoff form and in-flight mechanics without a box.

How-To: Start in the takeoff position. Takeoff from the ground as you would during a box jump, violently throwing your arms up, and driving your knees to your chest at the same time. Land back on the ground and repeat for 2 -3 sets of 4-6 reps for max benefits.

1One-Leg Low Box Jumps
These are perfect for building up the lower leg muscles needed in both the takeoff and landing of your jumps. This exercise will also ensure that you are building the strength, stabilization, and endurance of each individual leg. Legs that are conditioned separately and equally have fewer imbalances, and will be twice as powerful when used together.

How-To: Find a flat surface to jump on about 1ft off the ground. To start, tuck the leg you’re not jumping with behind you and hold that leg, bending it at the knee. Standing on one leg, position your body in the correct position to do a standard box jump. Leave the ground the same way you would during a standard jump as described above. Repeat for 2-3 sets of 5-10 reps per leg for max benefits. Do not alternate.


cherry picking

Found this online and couldn’t help myself . . . it’s brilliant.

Cherry picking you say? What? Have I gone off my rocker?? Most certainly not. When I refer to cherry picking I am definitely not referring to those delicious little nuggets of fruit that grow on trees. I’m referring to the term that no one likes to hear or even admit that they tend to do. Let me explain. . . . Like when going to pick cherries, or anything else for that matter, you always looks for the best ones. The pieces that appeal most to you and that you know you will enjoy better than the other not so fortunate ones left behind. Some are easy to find, others may be hidden gems. However no matter what any of them may actually look like, in the end each one picked still holds the same value. One magically isn’t going to give you super powers and the other one won’t suddenly turn into a completely different fruit. (If this does happen to you and you gain super powers, let me know because we need to talk! Lol)

Take the same premise explained for cherry picking – now apply it to your workouts. Yea I know I’m the big meanie that just went there. In all seriousness, REALLY think about it. From time to time we all have a tendency to cherry pick our workouts. Now you’re probably going to say, “But Jen, I never cherry pick. I simply don’t go to class when my body tells me it needs a rest day.” That’s great! You should be doing that to keep yourself safe and give your body time to recover. I’m more so referring to looking at the programmed WOD, seeing something that you HATE doing (or one of your weaknesses) and suddenly deciding that you’re not going to go just because. THAT is cherry picking.

The reason why I bring this up is because I recently caught myself cherry picking. I know I cannot be the only person who is guilty of this. If I’m going to pep talk myself out of this, might as well for everyone else too right?? One good way to help prevent this is to pick a schedule and stick with it. Most of us have a pretty good idea of what our bodies are capable of and know when we need rest days. Use that when picking a schedule. If you can only go 3 days a week, select those 3 days and be consistent. Even something like switching around your days because of what you see is programmed I still consider to be cherry picking. Not going to class on heavy cardio days will never make cardio any easier. OR only going on heavy lifting days won’t help us when gymnastics are programmed.

Like cherries, every one (workout) still holds the same value as the rest. Just because we may not like how one “looks” it doesn’t mean it’s not as beneficial as the rest. For those participating in The Opens, you haven’t had the option to cherry pick a programmed WOD. If Dave Castro says you are going to do burpees, guess what . . . you do the burpees (he’s evil I know). If we only ever do the WODs that we like, we will never get any better at the WODs that we hate.

When it comes to our training it’s not all about the PR’s and the successes that shape us as athletes. It is easy to forget that our failures have just as big of an impact on us and from time to time it’s important to reach failure. Sure no one likes to fail at a lift but it’s part of the process and the journey. A necessary evil if you will. That being said, here’s a good article from Catalyst Athletics on how to mentally handle failure . . . Happy Reading!


Our fearless leader getting the troops ready to battle 17.3

Mentally Handling Failed Attempts in the Heat of the Moment
By: Matt Foreman

Let me tell you a quick story. I was coaching a lifter at the American Open once, and we were in the back getting him warmed up for the snatch. This was his first Open, and we were planning to start him with 113 kg (his PR was 120).

Even with 70 kg, his nerves were starting to get to him. The bar looked a little shakier than usual, positions were tight and hesitant, etc., but he still made his warmup snatches up to 95 kg fairly solid.

Then he missed 100 badly, out in front. We repeated and he held on for a good lift. Then he missed 105 a couple minutes later, big overpull that went behind. At this point, the meet was moving quickly and we didn’t have time to repeat the 105, so we went straight to 110 (his last warm up). He missed this one too. Now the bar was already at 113 out on the competition platform, and we only had about 3-4 minutes before we had to go out there. I couldn’t move his opener down to anything lighter. He was crapping his pants, obviously.

Want to know what I did? I took the bar down to 70 kg and told him, “Snatch it.” He snatched it easily, then looked at me. I could see his eyes settling down a bit. So I said, “Snatch it again.” He snatched it easily again, and I literally saw him take a deep breath and exhale calmly after he made it. I looked at him and smiled and said, “Okay, now you’re fine. Just go out there and do the same thing.”

He made his opener with 113, made his second attempt at 118, and came extremely close with a big 123, which would have been a 3 kg PR. Pretty good day, considering the debacle that led up to it.

Sometimes athletes just lose their rhythm. They lose the feel of the lift. It’s got nothing to do with strength, or even technique. It’s about timing and composure. After they’ve screwed up a few lifts, their movements are rattled. Panic often sets in when this happens, especially if it happens in competition.

If you’re an athlete, one of the best weapons you can ever have is the psychological ability to stay cool in these situations. When you mess up a lift, you don’t piss down your leg and start getting excuses lined up in your head, planning out what you’re going to tell your family and friends when they ask why you blew it. You simply think about what you did wrong, think about what you need to do to fix it, and move on to the next one without blowing a gasket.

Most athletes aren’t born with this ability. It has to be developed through experience. This is why you rarely see veteran competitors having mental meltdowns. They’ve been there before. They’ve stepped into big holes and had to dig themselves out. Once you’ve done this multiple times, you simply develop the confidence that you’ll be able to do it again if you need to.

I once lifted in the National Championship and opened with a 180 kg C&J. I missed the jerk on my first attempt, repeated and missed the clean on my second, and then jumped to 185 kg (which was a PR at the time) and made it on my last attempt. If I made that last lift, I set a new PR and won the bronze medal. If I missed it, I bombed at the Nationals. I got the job done and showed a lot of mental strength that day, but this meet happened after I had been competing for almost 10 years. I don’t know if I could have done this when I was a beginner. Probably not.

I once heard actor Al Pacino say, “Pressure is a funny thing. You squeeze some people, and they focus. You squeeze other people, and they fold.” Those words have stuck with me for a long time, more than some of the other great quotes I’ve heard.

Are we all going to pull it off and work miracles every time? Hell no. Naim Suleymanoglu, the greatest lifter of all time, bombed out at his last Olympics. So did Vasily Alexeev and David Rigert. These guys were the ultimate veteran miracle workers in the game, and even they got melted down to nothing at some point. It can happen, no matter how good you are.

But the reason we remember Suleymanoglu, Alexeev, and Rigert so well is because they won the battle a lot more than they lost it. They might have failed at times, but their successes completely overshadowed it.

You can become the same kind of athlete if you hang in there and keep trying long enough. You might never have the ability to win an Olympic gold medal, but that doesn’t mean you can’t become a great competitor who rattles off your own list of successes.

A lot of things go into the building of a tough fighter. But the main one is always going to be the willingness to simply…keep fighting. You can’t get experience without time, and you can’t accumulate time if you quit and walk away. You have to pay your dues.

Remember that.


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