October 31, 2013 - 5:28PMTweet
If you were given an opportunity to increase the amount of weight you were able to lift, trim time from your metcons during class, and make drastic improvements to your overall health and quality of life, would you take it?
Now what if I were to tell you that this opportunity would not only transform your level of fitness, but provide a uniquely fun and exciting experience with people who are equally passionate about making the most of life, quick to offer love and support as you strive to achieve (and exceed) your goals together? Would you even hesitate, I mean, it's a no brainer, right?
Of course! That is, until you hear that this opportunity is the gymnastics class offered at DogTown every Wednesday night at 7:30pm. The thoughts that begin to surface go a little something like this: "Gymnastics? Oh dear, there's no way: I'm too tall, too wide, too old, too busy," and the list goes on.
Well, I'm writing to share with you why it's time to lay aside any preconceived notions you may have when it comes to gymnastics, give in, and give the class a try!
Let me begin by introducing myself: fellow DogTowner, Hanna Halteman, here. For those of you who don't know me, I stand just south of 6'3 and was born with limbs that extend further than the East is from the West; I’m pretty much your typical gymnast... NOT. Growing up, however, all I ever wanted to be was an Olympic gymnast, true story! I was enamored by the grace and the beauty the athletes possessed and fell completely in love with the sport! When I wasn’t watching it on TV, I was practicing on my own performing cartwheels on the Duct Tape balance beam I crafted in the living room or choreographing elaborate floor routines, “sticking” every tumbling pass. I convinced my mom to sign me up for classes at a world class, competitive gymnastics club located just across town, and I was determined to earn a spot on the team as quickly as possible.
What came sooner than a spot on the team was a heartbreaking conversation with the coaching staff regarding the realities of my future gymnastic career, or lack there of. Apparently my height was a problem, and I was becoming a liability. “You can be anything you want to be in this life except for two things,” I remember my Momma saying after we left the gym, (one of them being a jockey, haha) and the other, a GYMNAST.”
While I know full well my mother’s intentions were good and her words were spoken with love in response to the difficult conversation that had just transpired with my coaching staff, this was the first day I joined the bandwagon of perception regarding the lies of exclusivity the sport portrays. The truth of the matter is... I AM a gymnast... and you are too!
A common misconception surrounding gymnastics is the idea that the only opportunity to participate exists within the confines of the “sport of gymnastics”, but the beauty of the practice is that anyone can perform gymnastics movements, anywhere, anytime. Pull-ups, push ups, handstands; these are all gymnastic building blocks that construct the foundation of CrossFit. Attend only one CrossFit class at DogTown, and you will most likely execute all three of these movements in the warm up alone! Gymnastics, in addition to being foundational to the progressions used to create CrossFit workouts, also develops strength, joint stability, and core control.
That being said, let’s revisit the question, “If you were given an opportunity to increase the amount of weight you were able to lift, trim time from your metcons during class, and make drastic improvements to your overall health and quality of life, would you take it?” Get excited, because this question is far from hypothetical.
Every Wednesday night at 7pm Dusty Hyland, DogTown Co-Owner, spearhead of CrossFit Gymnastics, and Co-Author of the phenomenal gymnastics book entitled, “Breaking Parallel,” is helping all participants invoke their inner “gymnast” by instructing, spotting, and encouraging each to be able to perform gymnastic based movements in a safe, fun, and supportive environment - free from the limitations we immediately place on ourselves when we hear the words “gymnastics class.” From my own, personal experience, the once “too tall Hanna”, I can say that in addition to gymnastics class being one of the highlights of my week due to the pure joy that results from the creativity and camaraderie of each session, I have experienced exponential increases in my strength and a heightened sense of stability and body control. My 1 Rep maxes have gone up, I am able to perform skills that had once seemed impossible, and I am noticing considerable improvements in the quality of my movements in both the strength work and metcons we execute during classes. So much so, that I will never doubt the awesome sauce that is gymnastics or my ability to be a gymnast ever again! I can’t get enough of this stuff and am falling in love with the beauty of it all... try it, and you will too!
If you have yet to drop by on a Wednesday night, I encourage you, rather, I implore you to do so! What have you got to lose? I can attest, from first hand experience, you have the world to gain! What are you waiting for? Like I said, it’s a no brainer!
October 31, 2013 - 5:19PMTweet
Today’s blog is about the DogTown CrossFit annual holiday party, which has come to be known as “Festivus”.
The roots of DogTown’s Festivus party are based on the infamous episode from televisions’ Seinfeld. In the TV episode, the Costanza family celebrated Festivus rather than participate in the pressures and commercialism of the Christmas and holiday season. This alternative holiday included a Festivus dinner, “Airing of Grievances”, labeling easily explainable events as “Festivus Miracles”, and of course “Feats of Strength”.
At DogTown CrossFit, we celebrate the “Feats of Strength” very literally. In year’s past, there have been incredible feats of strength: Over a 600 pound deadlift. Over a 300 pound overhead squat. Over a 150 pound weighted pull up.
The 2013 DogTown Festivus Party will be different than past year’s events because of the amazing growth of the gym. Instead of each member defining a specific goal (barbell lift) to get better at and perform the day of Festivus, we as coaches are defining the goal: The CrossFit Total.
As most of you are aware by now, the CrossFit Total is the combination of your heaviest (and successful) Back Squat, Shoulder Press, and Deadlift in one training session.
DogTown’s weekly strength and conditioning program will adjust to this new goal of getting members stronger at the three core lifts involved in the CrossFit Total. We will be squatting. A lot. We will be pressing. A lot. We will be deadlifting. A lot.
This will get you stronger. This will get you healthier. This will allow you to push harder in conditioning workouts.
So why is getting strong so important to the coaches at DogTown CrossFit?
Simple. “Strength is the most general of all athletic adaptations. All other physical capacities, such as power (a guy with a 400-pound deadlift cleans more than a guy with a 150-pound deadlift), even balance and coordination depend on the production of force within the physical environment. If strength improves, all other capacities improve with it, to varying degrees.”
For a person who is not strong, time spent getting stronger returns more improvement in all measures of physical capacity than time spent specifically developing any of the other derivative capacities that so many exercise programs consist of. And yes, that does sometimes include CrossFit training. Think back to that last 30 some minute workout you did…
So how do we define “strong”. Using the core lifts of the CrossFit Total (Squat, Press, and Deadlift), trainees should aim to be around 1x bodyweight, 2x bodyweight, and 3x bodyweight, respectfully. Until a trainee reaches those numbers, there is no need to be performing 30 minute AMRAP’s.
The great thing about strength training is that it doesn’t take that long to get stronger. The 8 week program we are embarking on at DogTown will yield hundreds (literally) of PRs (personal records) the day of Festivus.
You may be asking yourself, are we ever going to do conditioning workouts at DogTown ever again?
Of course we will. We as coaches need you as members to understand some of the science behind what we do though. For novice athletes, or for members with many other things to learn, strength training improves cardio-respiratory endurance (VO2 Max) as efficiently as conditioning programs that take much more time and produce no useful strength improvement. It is pure science at the end of the day.
Strength doesn’t disappear after a vacation or break from the gym. Once you get strong, you will always be stronger than you were. Even if you quit training. Your body will adapt to your new baseline level of strength forever.
Conditioning, however, develops very quickly and goes away very quickly. Most of you have experienced this at DogTown. You go away for a week, come back to the gym, and get crushed by a 10 minute workout. Easy come, easy go.
Moral of the story is this: increase your strength base, and all other aspects of athletic performance will increase.
So, enjoy the next training cycle. Embrace the fact that you are getting stronger. Understand where conditioning has its place in a strength and conditioning program.
Let me know if you have any questions or concerns about anything related to these topics.
See you at the gym!
October 30, 2013 - 11:39PMTweet
What's up Dogtowners. Welcome to the new website! My name is Jason Pang and I am a fellow Dogtowner like the rest of you! If you have any questions, concerns, bugs about the new website or have ideas, please feel free to email me at jason[at]sbjctdesign.com.