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How to Tweak Your Training – By Barbell Shrugged

This week on TechniqueWOD, we thought we’d give you some practical examples of how to tweak your training when things don’t go exactly was planned. Trust us, you’re going to need this skill!

These tweaks are one-time adjustments, not permanent changes. Come back to the gym next time around and perform your WOD as planned. If that’s not possible – if the derailments, interruptions or injuries persist – that’s when you should consider a more significant programming edit.

1. So, what do I do if my shoulder hurts?

Gyms are running over with athletes beating the heck out of their shoulders with endless repetitions of snatches, presses, ring-dips, low-bar back squats, etc. It’s almost guaranteed that you’ll experience some kind of wing pain during your lifting career.

The trick is knowing when to back off.

If you’re shoulder will not allow you to complete a solid repetition – without undue pain or movement restriction – then you have to work around for the day. Instead of full snatches, do high-pulls instead. Skip the jerks in favor of dumbbell presses or handstand holds. Get the heavy barbell off your back and maybe do some temp front squats instead.

All of these changes will unload the shoulder and accelerate recovery. With enough TLC and a few good meals, everything should feel fine the next week around.

2. What if I feel great?

If you feel on fire and ready to train, that’s great! Just keep a few things in mind.

First, be careful when adding in extra volume above and beyond your prescribed workload. Workouts stack and build in effect over time. The WOD you do today will directly effect what you do tomorrow, next week, etc. So, add extra barbell work, but only if you intend on working equally as hard on recovery.

Next, think about your weaknesses. If there’s extra work to be done, make it count! For example, you might kick ass at squats, but suck at gymnastics and pull-ups (that happens all the time). Continue to push your squats, but dedicate all the extra effort to mastering your own bodyweight.

That will have a much more powerful carryover to your performance.

3. I only got 3 hours of sleep. What should I do?

The first thing you lose when you sleep poorly is your speed and coordination. So, keep that in mind when looking over the whiteboard with those blood-shot red eyes.

For all Olympic lifts, just work up to 70-80% of your best and see how you feel. If things feel ok, just repeat that effort a few times and move on. If you go any heavier than this, that lack of speed will show and your form will deteriorate quickly.

As soon as things start to look ugly, SHUT IT DOWN! Move on to a basic strength move, like squats or deadlifts. Yes, you’ll still feel terrible, but strength is much more robust quality than either speed or coordination. You should still back off the planned work a little bit, but don’t be afraid to sneak in a few heavy sets. It’s good for you.

Happy tinkering,


Hero Week Is Coming!

Murph on Monday, May 30th @ 10 am (only class of the day)

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Male and Female Teams of Two (RX,  scaled and 40+ Masters)

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Jerk Dips

Perhaps one of the over looked pieces, yet a critical component to a successful jerk is the dip.  A proper dip and drive will send the bar upwards, however, a slight tilt in the torso and you find yourself failing in front of yourself.  Here’s a quick little ditty on the jerk dip to help you!

this that

No matter what time of day, its always important to pay attention to fats, sugars, and sodium. Just because calories might be on the lower end, doesn’t mean those other numbers are. If you are able, always read the FULL food label or do some research before eating. Most restaurants even post their nutrition information online too. So, if you have to rush out of the house without grabbing a bite to eat, you can still be aware of what you may consume.

breakfast this that

Raise your hand if you woke up feeling like you’ve been hit by a bus this week, after 2 days of CrossFit and one 5-mile run!

*raises hand*

This exercising thing is hard. I can only imagine what it feels like to be a Regionals athlete. That’s why the only way I’m ever going to regionals is with a spectator ticket and a beer in hand.

I know that week 1 is behind us, and we still have 2 more to go. I should have posted this last week. For those of your who are still a bit tech-stunted, here’s a repost from last year on how you can catch regionals without squinting at a laptop or iPad all weekend long:

What You Need & How to Watch the 2016 CrossFit Regionals

Get your popcorn ready, week 2 kicks off in less than 24 hours!

Top Moments from Week 1 of the 2016 CrossFit Regionals – Box Life Magazine

The first three Regionals of the 2016 CrossFit Games season are complete, and they weren’t short of surprises and intrigue. From Kara Webb’s domination to a shock result in California, here are our top moments from week one of the 2016 CrossFit Regionals:

Dan Bailey finishes 7th, fails to qualify for the Games
Leading into the California Regional, most people would have placed Bailey and Josh Bridges as lock-ins for two of the five qualifying spots available. But this weekend we were reminded of just how tough Regionals have become, and how deep the talent pool for CrossFit athletes is. Bailey, who has competed at every Games since 2011 and finished 4th at the 2015 Games, placed inside the top 10 for every event at Regionals. In years past that may have sufficed for a qualification spot, but with only one top 5 finish (2nd in event 5), Bailey ended the weekend with 519 points—22 points away from 5th place.

2015 Games rookies fail to qualify
Bailey is the ‘big name’ causality from this weekend, but there are other breakout stars from the 2015 CrossFit season that failed to qualify at Carson this summer. Brooke Ence, who won the California Regional last year and finished 14th at the 2015 Games, placed 6th at Regionals—17 points away from the final qualifying spot. Elijah ‘EZ’ Muhammad competed at his first CrossFit Games in 2015, finishing in 16th after taking four top 5 finishes. He just missed out on a return trip in 2016, placing 6th at the South Regional—four points away from 5th. Kevin Manuel was the first man from New Zealand to qualify and compete at the Games last year, where he finished in 17th. He also competed with Pacific Team at the 2015 CrossFit Invitational in Madrid, Spain. Manuel placed 7th at the Pacific Regional in 2016.

Kara Webb dominates week 1 of the Regionals
It’s always toughest for athletes competing in the first week of Regional competition, since they act as the pacemakers for all subsequent Regional competitors. Athletes in the Central, Meridian, Atlantic regions and so on get to watch and take notes on what works and what doesn’t. With that being said, Kara Webb’s performance at the Pacific Regional is going to be hard to beat. Webb, 26, won the Pacific Regional last year, and was victorious at the Australian Regionals in 2012 and 2013. She can add another Regional championship to her impressive resume after obliterating the competition. She had four event wins, all of which are current event records, and placed 3rd, 3rd, and 4th in the three other events. Webb finished the weekend with an astounding 665 points—a total that is yet to be matched by any competitor, male or female.

Event 1 is tough/heavy
The first event of Regional competition is a hybrid snatch speed ladder. Athletes must complete 10 squat snatches at 185/135lbs, 8 squat snatches at 205/145lbs, 6 squat snatches at 225/155lbs, 4 squat snatches at 245/165, and finally 2 squat snatches at 265/175lbs. There is an 11-minute time cap on the event. Out of the 126 men who competed in event 1 over the weekend, only 38 completed it. That’s around 30 percent. Only 21 women from 125 finished the event under the time cap—that’s 16.8 percent.

Becca Voigt qualifies for her 9th CrossFit Games
There have been nine CrossFit Games since the inaugural competition in 2007. Becca Voigt has qualified for and competed at eight of them, dating back to 2008. After finishing 2nd at the California Regional, she’ll be heading to her ninth—a feat that no athlete, male or female, has ever accomplished. She finished in the top 10 for all seven events and won event 5. During event 1, the snatch speed ladder, Voigt came in with the goal of completing the six snatches at 155lbs. She completed the event in 9:25.03, snatching her listed PR of 175lbs twice in the process.

Travis Williams annihilates event 3
Event 3 is a quick couplet of 104 wall balls and 52 pull-ups with a six-minute time-cap. Travis Williams, who made his Individual rookie debut at the Games last year, made that time-cap look excessive. He went unbroken for the wall balls and pull-ups as he finished with an event-record time of 4:08.44. Marcus Filly (California) was the next closest of all the Regional men with a 4:10.21 time.

Candice Wagner makes a mockery of event 5
Event 5 is a triplet: Complete 3 rounds of a 400m run on a TrueForm runner, 40 GHD sit-ups and 7 deadlifts (405/275lbs) in a 16-minute time cap. The deadlift weight is expected to stump many competitors, and that was the case for athletes in the first three Regionals. One athlete who had no such problem is two-time Games competitor Candice Wagner. She finished the event in 12:54.52, an event record for the women and a time that places her 9th among the male competitors at this weekend’s Regionals.

The return of some familiar faces
Josh Bridges famously missed out on qualifying for the 2015 CrossFit Games after placing 6th at the California Regional. He entered the 2016 competition with a chip on his shoulder—not only for the missed qualification last year, but for also having his score adjusted in 16.4 during the Open following faulty reps on his deadlifts. He made no such mistake during event 5. Bridges won the event in 12.23.87. He also picked up a victory in event 4, along with two other top 5 finishes on the weekend. Bridges finished the weekend with 598 points and the overall victory at the California Regional, ensuring his return to the CrossFit Games. Joining him is Lauren Fisher, who gained prominence at the 2014 Games when she finished 9th on her rookie debut. She failed to qualify in 2015, but returned with a bang this year, winning the California Regional. Fisher’s brother Garret, who also competed as a rookie at the 2013 Games (placing 5th), booked the final qualifying spot in the California Regional.


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