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For those of you who watched the CrossFit Games you may have noticed the movement patterns of the top athletes. Minus the sweat and heavy breathing, their first reps looked almost identical to their last reps, and for the top finishers they held that over the course of 4 days. There is a reason why they can do that- it’s called efficient movement. I’m sure you have heard our coaches say “Movement quality first, movement under load second, and speed of movement third.”   The reason we say that is because speed plus poor movement equals injury. You may be asking yourself “How do I know if I am moving efficiently?” Your movement should look very similar to the top athletes you see at the Crossfit Games and feel as easy as they make it look when you are working with a load less than 50% of you max for that movement.

One limiting factor we see in movement quality is that it is a new movement and you just need time practicing the motor patterns of the movement. Another big limiting factor is mobility. Things like not being able to sit in a squat, always being in a slouched position with your upper back, and not being able to put your arms straight up over your head are big limiters in the way you will be able to perform a large amount of the movements we do in our metcons. I say metcons because the speed and detachment from what you are doing becomes a problem for people that have poor movement quality. It is very dangerous to “zone out” of the movement because you’re just trying to get through the “pain” of a metcon. Even Games athletes stay present in their movement patterns because one poorly performed rep on the fourth day of the Games can cause them to put the bar down more times than necessary or even worse: cause injury.

Movement patterns need to become second nature to a person in order to move up in weights and/or speed. Even then, you need to practice being under a heavier load before moving up in weight. If a person has a mobility issue then they have no business putting themselves under a heavy load. In such a case, they should definitely not add speed to the movement, and the reason being is that the person’s position in an unloaded state is sub-optimal. Performing that movement under load is going to put them at an even greater sub-optimal position risking injury. If you add speed, most times it’s a train wreck waiting to happen.

Rich Things you can do to make your movement quality better are practice the movements under moderate to light loads. If you have mobility issues, fix them. I know neither one of these are fun and exciting but neither is sitting in a hospital bed. If you have mobility issues and you need help, ask a coach. We will gladly point you in the right direction in fixing you mobility issues. Do remember though- it probably didn’t take one week to develop your mobility issue so don’t expect it to be fixed within a month with the fifteen minutes you put in a week. It takes time and work. You need to be doing it everyday for at least two minutes per issue. So if you have tight ankles you would spend two minutes of sitting in the stretch for each ankle for a total of four minutes.

Teaching great movement quality is a coach’s art form.   We love to see it because it reassures us that you are moving in an injury-free way. When your coaches see poor movement it hurts us. We cringe at the sight of it. I would go as far as to say that a little bit of us dies when we see it. If your coach makes you stop or tells you to fix your movement pattern it’s not because we hate you- it’s actually because we care. Our job is to make you better and there is no way to make you better while moving poorly.

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Keeping on track with a fitness routine as parents, in addition to balancing family a and home life, can be an incredibly difficult task at times. If you don’t have a regular babysitter, finding one can be stressful, expensive and inconsistent which is why when your gym provides daily child care, it can be a life saver! Keeping yourself healthy helps keep you feeling good so you can be at your best. It lets you take care of yourself, gives you more energy and has you feeling mentally well which makes life much more enjoyable. Here are a few reasons why utilizing your gym’s child care services can be beneficial to both you and your family!

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1. Familiarity. We staff our Kids Care program with a coach that you see everyday and is easily accessible to you if you ever have questions, concerns or comments. We love talking to our members about anything so never hesitate to come to us.

2. Consistency. Routine and consistency is important for children which is what our program provides! We have the same coach everyday making sure your kids have a safe environment to play in while you work out. We’re here everyday and will let you know if there is a change in hours at least 2 weeks ahead of time. You never have to worry about your sitter bailing on you!

3. Cost effective. Child care services can be expensive. Just like CrossFit is significantly less expensive than personal training, our Kid Care program is affordable as well. Even if you just want to use our program once, it costs only $4/hour for you. An unlimited membership breaks down to less than $1/hour!

4. Safe. Every member of our staff is CPR certified and our Kid Care staff makes every effort to ensure that the play area for your children is kept safe and secure.

5. Fun! Your children get an opportunity to meet new friends and socialize with other kids.

6. Involvement. When you bring your kids to the gym with you, they get to see where you go everyday and learn to value the place that you also value. (And someday they may even want to join you!) It also gives them a great example for staying healthy and active.

7. It keeps everyone healthy and happy.  When you feel good, you can be at your best. Having a consistent fitness routine lets you take care of yourself, gives you more energy and has you feeling mentally well which makes life much more enjoyable.

If you’re interested in using our Kid Care services at CrossFit OLAF, you can find more information here or stop and talk with any of the coaches for more information!

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CrossFit OLAF is proud to announce that we will be hosting Kendrick J. Farris from October 11-12, 2014 for a 2 day Olympic Weightlifting camp that will feature the snatch, clean, 3 jerk styles, and deadlift technique. Kendrick is a two time Olympian and top ranked American weightlifter holding multiple records. Visit our EventBrite page for more information and to reserve your spot!

 

 

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Join us for a “one and done” competition with fun some drinking and barbequing afterwards! There will be cash prizes for 1st & 2nd place in both divisions and we will provide burgers so BYOB and bring a portable grill if you have one! Please visit this page to reserve a spot for your team. Heats go off at 9 am!

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CrossFit competition days are long, full of working out, waiting, and recovering. You’re going to need a few key items to ensure you are prepared for everything!

What to Bring

Gear
1. Shoes (obviously!). Bring Olympic lifting shoes along with your zero drop shoes for regular WOD’s. Also bring a pack up pair of shoes, just in case.
2. Shirts (2 or more). If you get sweaty, you will want an extra shirt to have before each work out.
3. Shorts/pants (2 or more) for the same reasons listed above.
4. Socks (2 or more pairs)
5. Wrist wraps
6. JUMP ROPE! Bring your own rope. You will most likely not be provided with a rope at the competition
7. A change of clothing for after you are all done working out. You won’t want to drive home in your sweaty, post work out clothes!
8. 2 shaker bottles and/or water bottles
9. A cooler for food and drinks

 Additional items you may not have in your gym bag already:
1. First aid kit/band aids in case you get some regular CrossFit style bumps and bruises.
2. Hand care items for tears and rips if they so happen to occur.
3. A cooler for food and drinks
4. Flip flops or slides so you can let your feet relax in between work outs
5. A towel

Food and Hydration
1. WATER. Bring a case of water or a jug. There may not be much more than a water fountain, if that and generally there are no vending machines. You will want to ensure that you are properly hydrated for the whole day!
2. Coconut water
3. Protein shakes.
4. Other easily digestible carbohydrates, like bananas, mashed sweet potatoes, or white rice.
5. Protein bars, fruit bars, etc.

What and When to Eat

The Night Before
The night before, eat a large meal full of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Don’t plan your cheat meal the night before a competition in case you get an upset stomach from it!

The Morning Of
Wake up early enough on the day of the competition, preferably about 2.5-3 hours before to be able to get a good sized meal in of… you guessed it, protein, fat and carbs. Sweet potatoes, eggs, avocado, almond butter, meat, are all good choices you could throw in there.  Depending on your habits and your stomach, you might want to eat a little about an hour before the first WOD  but this isn’t always necessary for everyone. Something small could be a protein bar.

Before and During Competition
After your first WOD, you will want to do a protein shake and carbohydrates right away. You can mix your protein shake with some coconut water to hit two birds with one stone! Avoid fats as they are slow to digest and you will need to be digesting your carbohydrates and proteins as quickly as possible. After your second WOD, try some chicken or other solid protein and some white rice or fruit. Stick to foods that are easily digestible. If you’re not able to eat solid food, make sure you are at least drinking protein shakes and getting carbohydrates in however you can!

These are just guidelines. Listen to your body and what it needs. Make sure you stay hydrated and replenished!

Things to Remember

Get there early. You will want to check out the layout of the gym, find where the designated athlete areas are if they have any, find a place to warm up, etc. There is nothing worse than rushing into a new environment right before you are supposed to work out and risk forgetting something. Get checked in and get comfortable before you have to focus on the first workout!

Be ready. Nobody is going to call your name or remind you to get ready before you have to work out so pay attention to when your heat is going. It can be chaotic and to keep things running smoothly, athletes need to be ready to go.

Be respectful! You are a guest at another gym; be a good one! Clean up after yourself, keep your belongings in designated athlete areas, and follow the rules of the gym you are competing at. In addition, be respectful to your judges. You may think that last rep should have counted but you don’t see what they see and also, people make mistakes. The judges are volunteers and they are doing the best that they can to ensure you get a correct score. Stay focused on your work out and make each rep count!

Don’t forget the CrossFit spirit. Yes, you are competing against other athletes but it’s ok to cheer each other on. That’s what it’s all about after all!

Have fun! If it’s your first competition, give yourself some credit. In a new environment, you may perform differently than you expected yourself to. Don’t forget to enjoy the new experience and remember why you are there!