Workout of the Day

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The first week of the CrossFit Open is upon us. For the next five weeks, CrossFit No Boundaries will be hosting our annual Friday Night’s Main Event on (you guessed it) Friday nights at 5:00pm. We will provide certified judges to score your workouts, as well as necessary equipment, and will be grilling carne asada and marinated chicken for tacos. Guests and participants are encouraged to bring drinks and sides of your choice. Workouts will be run in heats throughout the evening, and there will be plenty of opportunity to cheer on, eat, and spend time with your community. The event is free to all current members that are registered for the Open, and available for a drop-in fee for non-members.

In addition to a chance to participate as an athlete in the Open, you have the opportunity to participate in this event as a judge. Dig deeper on your understanding of standards of movement, and up your own game and have the chance to help hold the standard in your community. If you want to learn about a whole new side of movement and competition, contact us. You can sign up for the judge’s course HERE.

This year, we will also be introducing some extra fun and flavor to our gym’s participation in the CrossFit Open: intra-gym teams and competition. Team scoring will be based on performance (prescribed and scaled workouts will be equally weighted to level the playing field), and every week additional points will be available to teams whose members all participate in the weekly challenge. More details will be released soon.

If you know that you are going to be out of town or at work for one or more of the Friday nights, we’ve got you covered. Makeup appointments can be scheduled online or in-person Thursday evening (after the workouts are announced) through Monday’s score submission cut-off time. Make-ups are based on judge’s availability, which will be posted online through Zen Planner.

We’re excited for another chance to come together as a community and test our performance, and, most of all, have a good time. If you haven’t signed up yet, do so HERE.

See you there!

- PS


2/20/18

  • Squat clean - 2,2,2

Then...

  • 4 rounds

  • In 90s

    • 6 squat cleans (155/105)

    • Max cal row

  • Rest 90s


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What if all you need is a reminder that you don’t have it all figured out? You can be an excellent athlete and still be a student of the fundamentals of movement; and, I would argue, you should. The same 10,000 hours that it takes to gain mastery can also gain you some degree of complacency if these 10,000 hours are not matched by a commitment to, and constant circling back to, the basics.

Think of it this way: how many times have you been reminded by your coach to keep a neutral spine in the deadlift? 100? 1,000? Maybe 5,000? And while you may in the moment feel irritated that you’re being reminded of this simple movement pattern that you “already know,” there’s a reason you’re being cued: it still needs work. Of course after a few years of consistent training under the watchful eyes of a good coach you can probably rattle off the basic textbook points of performance for most of the movements you frequently see, but that doesn’t mean that they deserve any less attention in your athletic endeavors. This is why every athlete needs a coach. It’s not a matter of “knowing” what qualifies as good movement and then you’re set for life. It’s a matter of constant attention, assessment, reappraisal, and moving the needle.

If you’re approaching things the right way, you should need to be regularly reminded to keep your spine neutral -- not because you’ve forgotten that this is how to deadlift, but because you’re regularly working at the fringes of your capacities.

Get a fresh set of eyes and don’t be afraid to circle back to the basics. It’s why you’re here.

- PS


2/19/18

  • Handstand walk skill work

  • Record max distance

Then...

  • 4 rounds for reps:

    • Max strict HSPU

    • Max strict pull-ups

  • Rest as needed


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At over halfway through the Whole Life Challenge, we are moving through a crucial point in the challenge. It’s the point at which casual interest diverges from real commitment.

Everyone started the challenge by answering a simple question: what do you want to get out of your time on the Whole Life Challenge? Lose weight, increase strength, form new habits, improve mobility, decrease stress, etc. Perhaps you even took it a step further to ask yourself why do I want these things? To be a better example to my family. To improve health. To feel pride in my capacity to change and improve.

These “whats” and “whys” are decidedly powerful tools to have in your toolbelt when things get hard. They probably carried you through the first few weeks with momentum and excitement. But the important question that many forget to ask is: how much do I really want these things? This is the question that determines action and behavior. It’s the difference between a wishlist and real-world action. It’s the difference between starting something and actually finishing something.

Because everyone in the world wants to be rich and have six-pack abs, and yet…

Perhaps some of you have already asked yourself this question. Perhaps you’ve answered with a doubling-down on your commitment, with a recognition of the fact that it will be challenging, that it will take patience and effort, and that that’s the whole point. Or perhaps you’ve let yourself off the hook, because you think you’ve already gotten everything there is to get out of the challenge, or because things aren’t going the way you thought they would, or because as much as you do want to lose weight or improve your fitness or form new lifestyle habits, you don’t want it quite as much as you want to feel comfortable and unchallenged.

The questions I pose do not come from a place of judgment. They should prompt authenticity and honest introspection. If you truly don’t want to make change as badly as you want to be comfortable and unchallenged, then you ought to live out that truth. But I would challenge you all, whether you’re in the Whole Life Challenge or not, to ask and answer the question for yourself. And if these questions and answers make you uncomfortable, there’s probably a good reason for that. Dig deep.

- PS


2/16/18

  • Box squat - 5,5,5,5

Then...

  • 3 rounds for quality:

    • 10/leg single leg lying hamstring curl

    • 10/leg DB step-ups (AHAP)


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In 2015, over 800,000 slip and fall cases ended in hospitalizations, and over $31 billion was spent on healthcare related to falls by Medicare alone. Countless lawsuits are brought against cities, businesses, and individuals for allegedly being in some part responsible for these slips and falls, and plaintiffs sometimes end up the victor, even being awarded sums in the millions. I have no intention to debate whether or not Walmart is responsible for someone slipping on a piece of smashed fruit in the produce section or whether the city is responsible for someone tripping over a crack in the sidewalk or an icy patch on a public path, but I wonder if all of the efforts around slipping and tripping hazards is really a net-losing game.

People can salt the frozen walkways daily, continuously mop the wet floors on rainy days, and grind down any gaps or cracks in the sidewalk, but at the end of the day, there will always be tripping hazards. Humankind cannot keep up with the fact that physics doesn’t care about whether or not you saw that cracked cement or stepped wrong on a slick surface.

Should we continue to mop wet floors and salt the icy sidewalks? Absolutely.

But what if we all took a little more responsibility for watching where we walk? Maybe we wouldn’t fall so much.

- PS


2/15/18

  • Spend 10 mins on toes to bar skill (strict, kipping)

Then...

  • 12 min AMRAP

    • 10 burpee box overs (24”/20”)

    • 10 toes to bar

    • 40 double-unders


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In theory, you could spend the night in a mattress store just as your would in a hotel room. A mattress store would have all of the amenities that you need for a good night’s sleep: plenty of comfortable beds, pillows, night stands, probably some sheets and duvets, and a bathroom and sink to brush your teeth. Perhaps there’s no complimentary continental breakfast at the mattress store, but as far as basic comforts go, it’s not that far off from what a hotel offers. And yet, you won’t find mattress stores renting out beds to folks in town for the weekend. This probably all sounds absurd, and that’s because it is: a mattress store’s function is to sell mattresses, and a hotel’s function is to provide temporary housing. Hotels would put themselves into a tricky pickle if they started selling off mattresses and were left with nowhere for their patrons to sleep, and mattress stores would have a hard time making sales if they had to shoo sleepy guests out of bed every time they wanted to show a mattress to a potential buyer.

We are frequently asked why we don’t allow people to use our gym and our equipment to do their own training apart from our offered programs, and the answer is that this is not our mission or function. Rather, it is our mission and function to offer goal-oriented athletic programs, high-level coaching, and growth-minded community. Our best expression is not a large room with an assortment of equipment that people can use freely, because large commercial gyms can do that far better than we can. And, on the flip side, we can execute coaching and build community far better than a large commercial gym can. We are in the business of digging deep into our best expression, and doing anything differently would only detract from what we do best.

You could sleep in a mattress store, but that wouldn’t be a very good mattress store.

- PS


2/14/18

  • Weighted strict pull-ups - 5,5,5

Then...

  • 5 rounds:

  • In 60s, complete:

    • 10 DB thrusters (50/35)

    • Max cal row

  • Rest 90s


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There is a space between who you are now and who you want or intend to be. Plenty of things exist in this space between the current you and the desired you. But getting to the other side isn’t a matter of one big leap. It’s not a single brave jump from one crag to another, but rather a process, a series of smaller steps and leaps. And the thing is, you can’t actually know how far the distance is, or what exactly your travelling from here to there may entail. You may have rough ideas, but the details are obscured, and surprises are sure to come up along the way. The one thing you can know for sure, though, is that you have to move to get from here to there. You will not and cannot know what the best move is, and so biding your time until the “best move” presents itself is just delaying the inevitable. Now is the best time to start -- go!

- PS


2/13/18

  • For time:

    • 50 hang power cleans (115/80)

    • 50 pull-ups

    • 50 deadlifts (115/80)

    • 50 HSPU


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Joe Paterno is quoted as saying, “You're gonna get better or you're gonna get worse, but you're not gonna stay the same.” While perhaps not strictly true (there are, I’m sure, examples of exceptions in which you can stay roughly the same in some skill or condition for a period of time), this concept is true in every practical sense. The brain has a very useful function of committing minimal mental energy towards tasks which are comfortable and regularly encountered. It would be downright paralyzing if we approached every task with the same focus and attention to detail as the when we first learned the task: driving on the freeway, cooking a meal, mowing the lawn, etc. This ability to “autopilot” through tasks is an undeniable advantage, as it clears up processing power for newer tasks or more important demands.

However, this same adaptation can be a hindrance to progress in the wrong tasks. Consider approaching your career with the same apathy and lack of attention with which you approach driving on the freeway. While your first months or years on the job may have been filled with focus, intentional effort, perhaps even excitement, 10 years in you find yourself moving through motions and nothing more. And while this may confer the benefit of taking less energy than you committed during your first months on the job, I can guarantee you are not getting any better at your job with this approach. You would be lucky to stay the same.

This ultimately brings us to a decision about how we approach any practice. Will our practice be deliberate, attentive, goal-directed, and forward moving? Or automatic, complacent, and far from progressive? I have witnessed both approaches in people’s training efforts, and the results speak for themselves.

Undeniably, it is difficult to commit to deliberate practice in something which you’ve done 5,000 times before -- far more difficult than it is when you first learn. But this stands as the greatest difference between those who move into excellence and those who plateau and eventually fade out.

It’s all a choice: move forwards, or backwards?

- PS


2/12/18

  • For time:

    • 800m run

Then...

  • Every 2 mins for 10 mins:

    • 100m sandbag front carry (AHAP)

*5 burpee penalty for every drop/lapping of the bag


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On the first day of classes, teachers will generally provide a syllabus for their students: a summary of learning objectives, subjects covered, major assignments and due dates, rules and guidelines, and what the student can generally expect to leave the class with at the end of the semester. And if you’re playing your cards right (read: in education for the right reasons), you should look through this syllabus and see a bunch of things that you don’t fully understand yet. Because that’s the point. If you’re enrolling yourself in a course on basic woodworking, you should be doing so because you don’t know the basics of woodworking and would like to learn, and the professor should have no expectation that you will enter the course with anything more than a cursory understanding of woodworking. So when you come to class on day one and don’t know how to properly use a hand plane yet, that’s okay. It’s exactly why your there.

The same principle applies to our fitness school. When you enroll at CrossFit No Boundaries, you do so with the understanding that you are here to learn and develop new skills and capabilities -- a point that we emphasize in our intro session that every prospective student at No Boundaries goes through -- and we have no expectation that you will know how to perform a snatch or be capable of performing a muscle-up or a handstand walk. And so when the program for the day calls for muscle-ups or heavy overhead squats or a long distance run, or any other number of things that make you think, “well I can’t do that,” that’s okay. We don’t expect you to be able to do it, yet. You are here to learn, not show off what you already know. Our GPP course is as much a class for improving physical capacities such as strength and endurance as it is a class for learning, developing, and refining new and challenging skills. You’re here to work on the things you can’t do yet, because that’s the only way to move the needle closer.

So next time you think to yourself “I can’t do that,” know that that’s exactly why you’re here. See you in class.

- PS


2/8/18

  • Sumo deadlift - 1rm

Then...

  • 4 rounds:

  • 60s max KB swing (70/53)

  • 30s rest

  • 60s max DUs

  • 30s rest


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If you received a call today inviting you to play a free round of golf with Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Jason Day next week, whether you’re any good at golf or not, you would probably agree, if for no reason other than to spend a day hanging out with three golfing champions. Of course you would lose. After all, you are an amateur playing with high-level professionals, and so you wouldn’t really feel any shame in your loss just as a cyclist would feel no remorse at a Lamborghini beating her in a “race” from one stoplight to the next.

On the other hand, if you received an invite to play a round of golf with three amateur golfers, all with a handicap the same as or just below yours, you might be more hesitant to accept. Your opponents would be, to some degree, your equal, and that would mean that the outcome of the round of golf would reflect your performance as an amateur golfer. This is two cyclists or two Lamborghinis racing each other from one stoplight to the next: the winner will have cycled or driven better than the loser.

Like against like competitions, while they may at first glance seem more approachable than competitions with large disparities, are in fact the harder competitions to engage in and the harder pills to swallow with a loss. The ego is easily protected when your opponent is at an entirely different level than you. Of course I lost, those guys were pros, and I was just trying to have some fun.

The smaller the disparity, though, and the greater the sting of loss. I lost, and I’m supposed to be just as good as those guys.

Competition is a healthy and powerful motivator, but like anything, it is how we use it that determines its positive or negative effects. Do you find yourself shying away from competition with others who are at a similar level? Do you readily accept competition in which you are the guaranteed loser or the guaranteed winner, but avoid situations in which the outcome is unsure?

Step up your game. Find a competitor that’s on your level. Or better yet, someone who is a fraction better than you. Grow your circle of friends that you engage with in the healthy competitive sphere by inviting them into the gym, the workplace, the basketball court, or wherever you are seeking growth. You and your friend may just push each other to become better versions of yourselves.

- PS


2/7/18

  • 20 min AMRAP

    • 3 power snatch (155/105)

    • 12 C2B pull-ups

    • 400m run