Here we go…M.O.M for May is Jon Bellish. He’s got a fascinating job and previously frequented shady establishments in Latin America! Meet him…Read More...
Ready to take on some high school football players in a CrossFit comp? Mateo is hosting a fundraiser at Arvada for his team. The money goes straight to the team to help replace old/unsafe equipment as well as to fund team banquets, travel, etc.
Let’s show them what old-man strength is all about May 25th, 1RM Clean workout, long metcon, and other skill tests. Just 15 bucks.Read More...
We are going to run an Elements class this weekend. For those of you that are new to CrossFit but are interested in joining, this class is required and will help you to learn all of our foundational movements (squats, presses, clean, snatch, dead lift, etc) so that you can jump into the normal workouts and be prepared.
The class costs $85 and will run on Saturday the 4th and Sunday the 5th from 11am-1pm. There will be a workout both days. After completing the Elements course, you are free to purchase a membership and join the gym.
Email TJ using the contact form at the bottom of the page if you are interested or you can book the class and pay online. To book online, go to the calendar and click on the Elements class box. It will ask for your info to pay online with an electronic debit. If you wish to pay in cash or check, just email TJ and let him know so that he can reserve a spot for you.
Thanks and see you this weekend!Read More...
Sometimes I don’t live up to my own expectations as a coach, as a fiance, as a son, etc. That’s the way it goes and I try not to be hard on myself. More than anything, it just kind of kicks my butt in gear when I have these little epiphanies, and I am perfectly happy with that.
Over the last few months we haven’t had too many new faces in the gym because we have hovered at or around capacity since October. That is starting to change a bit as we have taken on a dozen or so new folks in the last month and what I have realized is that one area that I was kind of becoming complacent was with coaching. We had all of you grizzled veterans in the gym who knew the drill and more often than I would like, I found myself kind of glossing over the instructional part of the classes, especially when we were doing the Wendler cycles. I subconsciously was assuming that because everyone had a lot of experience in the gym, that some of the abc’s of weightlifting weren’t needed anymore. In the last week, having to help new folks get up to speed on lifting, has helped me to realize that everyone still needs to get occasional refreshers on the basics.
Just today for example, I coached the push press and put a decent little chunk of time into going back through the basics and I was surprised to find, although I shouldn’t have been, that there were plenty of little nuances that people had either forgotten or had never learned in the first place, thus helping them to improve their lifts.
With that being said, I want to refocus my coaching and dive deeper into the instructional periods because the more solid the foundation of the pyramid, the bigger the pyramid that we can build. I encourage everyone else to take this approach as well; if you have a question about something that may appear insignificant, feel free to ask us coaches, regardless of how long you have been crossfitting. The more vested you are in improving, the more likely you are to improve.
On a completely unrelated side note – The 830 crew has been less than satisfied with my musical selection despite my insistance that they should be working hard enough to not even hear the music. Came up with what I believe to be a great solution though…
I made Spotify playlists for time slots that we have a class. They are all open to the public and are collaborative so share away. If you come to a particular class, put your favorite wod tunes on there and we’ll get them played. You’ll either need the Spotify program on your computer or do this on your phone/ipad if you want the link to work.
Load em up! Otherwise you’ll get this…Read More...
Alright, after much delay on my part, the stickers are finally in! $3 each. Just in case you were wondering, the sticker orientation is as shown in the picture. Don’t be “that guy” with the sideways sticker…
As many of you know, I went to the Outlaw camp in Atlanta this weekend. It was a fun time and I took away a few different ways of thinking about and describing the second pull of the snatch and clean as well as some surprisingly torturous warm-ups. Overall it was reassuring to note that we are doing the right stuff at Jai. We are emphasizing good movement patterns on a daily basis and not letting people hammer away with shitty mechanics, thus reinforcing and/or solidifying bad habits. CrossFit is evolving and gone are the days, for the most part, of programming stupid things like Double-Murph, or even Murph for that matter. You don’t need to do that kind of stuff to be strong, in fact the elites of our sport don’t even come close to doing things like that in their training with rare exceptions.
Back to the point, Spencer Arnold was talking this weekend about the squat and was giving us his take on what seems a relatively benign movement, but in reality is one of the more controversial movements. I won’t get into the details of the argument but if you have seen my squat, I try to stay as vertical as I can, allowing my knees to drive out over my toes and not letting my butt go way back. The alternative to this would be a low-bar, butt out, chest down kind of squat. This taller more vertical squat is useful because it is the catch position for the clean and snatch. Spencer was arguing that if your squat is bad, you HAVE to improve it. It is a must. If mobility is inhibiting you, work that as a priority before you ever worry about going heavy. In essence, he was saying that if the squat is bad, it shouldn’t really count as a rep and that you will never be good at something like CrossFit. (He also bluntly stated that you should play kickball if you aren’t willing to improve it). For most of us, “being good” isn’t a priority in the competition sense, but it certainly is important in terms of safety and our ability to improve and get stronger.
I have worked with many of you on your squats because I too see it as a foundation for everything that we do but ultimately you, as the athlete, have to WANT to improve. Work on it every time that you are at the gym. Obviously we as coaches will help where we can but it will come down to each athlete in the end.
From a coaching perspective, I’m not certain what path I will take for here on out. On one side, I can go down the tough love route, not giving reps for high squats or bad ones, not giving a C&J rep to a jerk caught with bent elbows, etc. you can argue that for the sake of respecting the disciplines within which we work (gymnastics, weightlifting), it is worth putting in the time to do it correctly. Our goal is to avoid making a gymnast/weightlifter throw up in their mouth when they see us perform something they do. This is how we garner and maintain respect for what we do. This element is very important to me as an affiliate owner. On the other side, we have been more mellow about it in the past. Giving more gentle/less confrontational cues about chest up, knees out, etc but maybe that doesn’t do justice to the amount of attention that this should get.
So squat, and squat well. Take the time to ask questions about your technique. The coaches will miss things occasionally, ask them to watch a lift if you’re curious. Take videos of your own lifts so that you can study them. I take a lot of pride in my technique and study A LOT! Ask Lindsay, I’m constantly watching the best in the country on FB or YouTube. Consequently, I’m proud of the fact that both Rudy and Spencer approached me this weekend asking me if I was a trained weightlifter. Both were surprised that I am essentially self-taught. Work your mobility! Do it all the time! At work, at home, at Jai – if you need it, do it. Eventually you will reach a point where it isn’t necessary all the time, but you have to get there first.Read More...
Nutrition is one of those funny things for me. I know that it is an absolutely necessary part of my training but at the same time (unfortunately), I’m not drawn to broccoli and Kale as I should be. I enjoy some of the finer things in life and always have.
My parents tell 2 stories about me that will give you further insight into my psyche. 1)They used to keep cookies/treats on top of our refrigerator in Oklahoma. I was kind of a wild one when I was little, as evidenced by the 5 or 6 ER worthy scars that I have on my head/face, and I would climb up onto the fridge as a 4 year old by using a very complicated tiered drawer system that I had designed. I would follow this sugar binge by jumping, unannounced, onto my unsuspecting father as he walked past. 2)I once told my grandmother, or somebody in my family/can’t remember now, that if I were to be anything in the world besides a little boy, I would be a chocolate bar. Nuff said, I like my treats.
So anyways, I’ve kind of always grown up enjoying that stuff and now my take on nutrition has been completely flipped on it’s head since I began to care enough to investigate it further. Due to the changes I have implemented I am the healthiest that I have probably ever been but it still isn’t easy to turn down my weaknesses in terms of food.
So Linds and I find ourselves in the throes of another sugar detox. We are on day 6. We had a good time in CR and decided it was time to buckle down upon our return. Now, I have done 5 or 6 paleo challenges/sugar detoxes and I do have to say that they have gotten easier each time but the part that I struggle with is that they are so extreme. Literally, it feels like someone is telling you to eat kale and chicken breasts every meal of the day, I realize it isn’t that dramatic but it feels that way sometimes! Last night Linds and I both felt like we were struggling just a week into the detox. We went to the movie theater aka “TJ’s House of Pain during Detox” and of course we caved, buying a small bag of random treats that you can put together yourself. Nothing crazy, your typical…peanut M&M’s, choc covered gummy bears, chocolate peanuts, etc but still, we folded like a cheap suit.
Afterwards we started talking about how we had to get back on the wagon the next day and continue to eat clean. I realized that I think that this is the way I would prefer it to be all the time. Go 4 or 5 days clean (listen to me, I sound like a heroin addict) and then splurge a bit (with heroin of course), get back on the wagon and continue. I know full well that I feel the best when I eat clean but all too often I just fall apart for weeks at a time until it affects workouts, stress, etc.
Ken and I have chatted about food a few times and then I listened to his talk about food a couple of months ago and I really appreciate his take on it – although he seems impervious to everything bad except dark chocolate and (boatloads of) coffee! Come on, chocolate and coffee?!? Don’t ridiculous amounts of ice cream call to you? Ken’s whole thing though is that you shouldn’t necessarily do what I do, cleanse and binge, cleanse and binge. Slowly start to create new ways of thinking about food, essentially stop seeing all of that shit as food altogether and its appeal begins to loosen its grip on you.
This is the place that I would like to come to. I feel like I’m getting there slowly but surely and maybe I will have to continue these radical cleanses until I get there but I know it’s worth it in the end. The juice is worth the squeeze. (but really, don’t drink juice, just eat the fruit as the glycemic index of juice blah blah blah…..Read More...
Just a few random tidbits…
So we should clarify something really quickly for the uninitiated…
1)Power lifting = Bench/Back Squat/Dead-lift and all the movements associated with strengthening those lifts for competition.
2)Weightlifting (one word) = Snatch and Clean/Jerk and the movements associated with strengthening those lifts for competition.
3)Bodybuilding = Training for competitions that judge appearance instead of strength.
4)Weight lifting (two words) = generic word for whatever you might do at a place like 24hr fitness.
Recently we’ve seen some high profile weightlifting coaches come out in support of what CrossFit is doing to the sport of weightlifting. To briefly name a few of the big ideas; CrossFit has given a lot of recognition to the sport and it has added thousands of gyms where you can actually train (drop weights, use chalk, has bumpers, etc).
Obviously there are still nay-sayers out there and that is fine. CrossFit isn’t for everyone and that’s how life goes. The website Tabata Times came out with a good post that summarizes several peoples points of view in regards to the connection between CrossFit and Weightlifting.
It also linked to a study that I found interesting. It studied the correlation between 10 weeks of CrossFit and the athletes’ changes in body fat as well as VO2 max. I’m sure you can guess the results as many of you have found this to be the case with your own journey in CF.
That is all…off to bed.Read More...
So….Lizzie is our member of the month for April. Sorry for the tardiness on this one, the beach had me away for a bit. I hope that you had the chance to get to know Liz in her time at Jai. She was an inspiring girl all around, I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we all benefitted immensely from having her at the gym. Plus, she had like a double body weight dead-lift which is super legit. So without further adieu, Lizzie…Read More...
Boba is paleo right? I’m pretty sure that tapioca is good to go….now, the syrupy red bean deliciousness that constitutes 90% of the drink, not sure about that but whatever…Linds and I went to pho last night for dinner with Claire-bear and Bean Stalk because it was cold, my thighs were tender from 150 wall balls, and we felt like it. I most definitely replenished my glycogen stores between the rice noodles and 1000 calorie balls of boba. While we were eating we were talking CrossFit, which tends to dominate our dinner discussions. It got me thinking about our tribe, so to speak.
We are a tribe of very capable people, I like to think that we are the select few who are capable of great things in life – both physically and mentally in our daily tasks, jobs, and relationships. We know what strife is. We reach the precipice regularly; sometimes getting so damn close that we don’t know if we are going to make it. We always do. Sometimes we go over head first and we fail, but the consequences of that failure are determined solely by what we allow our egos to make of it. Mostly, we get back up and dust ourselves off; heading back to the gym the next day for fresh start and a better outcome. We experience this same cycle outside of the gym, but we are prepared.
Physically, we are doing amazing things. CrossFit tends to have this fucked up scale of perceived strength or weakness. You are strong, you are doing harder things than 90% of the country, hell the world. Within that 10%, there are some that are exceptional and you will realize how soft we really are compared to them. Unfortunately, or fortunately (however you look at it), Annie/Rich/Julie/Christmas/Neil/Jason/etc are all outliers. They are the 99th percentile of that 10%. Remember that just by showing up, you are doing amazing things regardless of what you write down as your “number”.
I am a better man because of CrossFit. I accept my weaknesses, knowing that they obviously exist, but am confident in my strengths, knowing full well that they exist too. I find that the strife that I encounter in the gym helps me to confront difficult scenarios in life. ”I have done harder things than this and can tackle this challenge adequately”. I am a work in progress, forever. There is no point where I will have arrived, I can always work, always improve.
People think of us as a cult. Fanatics. Perhaps that is true for some. What I see, is a collection of people that are happy with the lives they are leading. We are healthy, we worry about the health of those around us. We acknowledge our weaknesses, tackling them with more readiness than most. Don’t piss on our flowers just because you are unhappy with your state of being, do something about it; join us. We will support you through every step of the way, we have been there. We have been the new person that can’t remember the names of the lifts, we have been the person getting worked by the medicine ball, we have all been the person to drop the empty bar and receive TJ’s wrath. We have been there. Once your with us, once you’ve suffered with us, we will do anything for you. Name it, we may end up being more reliable than those you previously leaned on. We’ll help you in your time of need, lend an ear when it is required. Our tribe is select and we are of the few.Read More...