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Sunday
Mar162014

Let Me Bask in the Glory of Open WOD 14.3 ... (temporarily)

As of mid-afternoon today, shortly after completing my second run at Open WOD 14.3, attaining 143 reps, I was told I was 2nd in the World, in my Masters age group (55-59)!

You and I know this won't stand; a mess of people will be posting scores tonight and tomorrow morning. But hey, 2nd in the World, even if only for an hour or so, feels pretty cool. I'll take it.

 

Friday
Feb212014

"All You Have to do is Beat Rich!"

Saturday
Dec212013

RumbleRoller's Wonderful new Beastie Line 

Rumble Roller Beastie Bar + Stands; Beastie Ball, Beastie Hook

Foam rollers are commonplace and well-used today in most CrossFit facilities; they’re now more often seen and used in other workout gyms, as well. I see traditional foam rollers, often worn and no longer straight, in the stretching areas of commercial gyms these days. At least some type of roller is around these places, and hopefully people are using and appreciating them.

A big step up in effectiveness is the knobby Rumble Roller, written about last month. For most people, moving to the Rumble Roller and learning how to slowly and effectively utilize it, will be all the roller work they ever need. I’m months in using this beast, not as regularly as I should, but often, and believe me, the Rumble Roller produces a hell of a lot of pain. Useful pain, in my opinion, and knowing I’m helping my body operate properly keeps me on track. Think of your time on a Rumble Roller as important mobility and workout preparation.

Before I viewed the SMR Tips DVD by Jeff Alexander, I thought I had a pretty fair understanding of just how to effectively use rollers and balls. After all, as a CrossFitter I’ve been rolling a lacrosse ball around my shoulder and upper back, on the floor and against a well, like many of us. My bases were covered, I assumed. Wrong. There is so much more.

Alexander provides running commentary relating to technique, positioning, muscle groups, tightness patterns and operation of the body. Until I utilized his breathing techniques I had little understanding of how important that would prove to be using rollers and balls (my coaches are all laughing at this point!). Stability comes into play constantly. 

Treating tight hips, for example, means three different muscle groups are worked on, using three techniques and specific positioning, to accomplish a pain-free, properly moving and engaging set of hips. My hips working better improves my entire life, not just my Olympic lifting or squatting or wall balls. 

I find myself impressed with Alexander’s ability to communicate technique, while at the same time weaving explanations of which specific muscles are being tapped into. Knowing specifically what body-part I’m working on, and why, and how all this works together to enhance healing and operation, is the true bottom line for me. My curiosity demands knowing why breathing patterns and relaxing at certain times, makes such a difference. I need to know to better heal and maintain my own fitness and mobility, and better pass this knowledge along to others.

I discovered first-hand how interesting these new Rumble Roller Beastie Balls, stands and Beastie Hook were late one recent evening. Friends were over, CrossFit people of course, and after a bit of wine consumption, the topic of new products I may have on hand came up. As it does. Out came the recently delivered Beastie Hook, Beastie Bar, and several Beastie Balls, and the fun began (no photos were taken, to protect the innocent!). Watching competitive athletes quickly get the hang of these aggressive tools, notably the Beastie Hook, made clear to me how longed-for these products are in CrossFit gyms. I know at least one set was ordered an hour later. The shame is that more athletes don’t know Rumble Roller has this new line, but I’m doing my best to tell my world.

Here’s what you should do: if you haven’t yet bought the tried-and-true Rumble Roller, get that taken care of pronto. In my opinion, if you’ve been involved in CrossFit for a year and were some type of athlete before that, buy the black extra-firm model. But get one of them into your hands and onto your floor. Carry it to the gym. Keep your eyes on it, or at least know people are going to want to borrow it and roll on it.

The new Beastie line is amazing, in my limited experience. I carry one Beastie Ball at all times in my gym bag. So far I’ve not used the stand too much; I believe beginning tomorrow I’ll do so, in the living room, while watching football! The Beastie Hook works best with a lightweight t-shirt on, sitting upright on a stool or chair (I suppose standing would be excellent, too, of course). As someone with old shoulders, rotator cuff tears in my history, and generally tight body-parts (CrossFit and Olympic lifting have done so much for enhancing my movement and mobility, but I still have a long ways to go), I consider Rumble Roller and Beastie Balls essential to my fitness. 

www.rumbleroller.com

Monday
Oct212013

Treadmills the Next Big Thing in CrossFit?

While enjoying the latest "behind the scenes" footage from the most recent Barbell Shrugged video podcast, I was surprised to see Jason Khalipa geeking out about the new fancy treadmill he just installed in his home garage gym! Is this the next trend in CrossFit? Nobody jumps on trends like CrossFit athletes...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFRstnPZdFE

Monday
Aug192013

FringeSport One Fit Wonder Gymnastic Grips

Calloused hands, ripped and torn palms, perpetually sore hands - these are seemingly facts-of-life for CrossFit athletes. But watch the elite athletes during Regionals and the Games, and you’ll see gloves and grips coming into play often. Why tear up your hands if you don’t need to?

Most of you will have tried athletic tape on multiple occasions, wrapped all over your hands. It’s inefficient, rolls and moves and bunches up... in other words, using tape mostly sucks! Sometimes incorrectly wrapped tape hurts the hands more than unprotected skin.

FringSport is prepared to rescue your hands, while maintaining performance. Their One Fit Wonder Gymnastic Grips are the simplest, most effective solution to the problem of using your hands through multiple reps and sets of pullups, toes-to-bar or any other gymnastic move involving the bar.

They’re lightweight, weigh very little, easily slide onto my fingers, and have proven to be effective. For myself, weighing in the 190-195 range, they don’t slide or bunch up, and have proven to be worthwhile, easily earning a place in my King Kong bag. I’ve used other brands in the past, and find the FringeSport to be my favorites.

I lent my grips to a fellow CrossFit athlete, Tim Gehring, who used ‘em hard for a few weeks. Tim said, “The FringeSport OFW Gymnastic Grips saved my hands during Murph. I came off the bar with no torn callouses. They are also helping my transition to butterfly pullups. I get a better grip, enabling me to stay on the bar longer. I'd recommend them to anyone wanting to improve their pullups.”

This is the experience of a hard athlete in the box. Gehring used these grips with intensity and they not only held up, they improved performance. It was all I could do to get them back from him!

These babies only cost $19. Think about how much you’ve already spent on shoes and knee socks and Starbucks. Go to www.fringesport.com and set your hands up for success and better health!

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