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Michael Elliott, CrossFit L1 Coach/Personal Trainer

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Friday, February 27, 2015

Open Workout 15.1 - Initial Thoughts and Tips

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 9 minutes of:
15 toes-to-bars
10 deadlifts (115 / 75 lb.)
5 snatches (115 / 75 lb.)

1-rep-max clean and jerk
6-minute time cap

Initial Thoughts
CrossFit gave us a bit of a surprise with two scored events in Workout 15.1.  The first is a classic CrossFit WOD.  15-10-5 repetitions of Toes to Bar, Deadlifts and Snatches.  Pacing will be very important and a good game plan will be vital.  The second is a straight forward strength and skill test.  How much weight can you get from the floor to overhead... right after 9 minutes of work of course!  Nothing too shocking really, just CrossFit.  Be prepared for anything!

This is a very grip intensive workout.  Break up the toes-to-bar and deadlifts right from the start.  Initially, my thought is to break the toes-to-bar into sets of 5.  The deadlifts are light, but if you hold on to that bar for all 10 reps, your grip will get fatigued very quickly.  I would also break the deadlifts into sets of 5.  For most, I would recommend dropping every repetition of the snatch.  Bringing the bar to the floor will fatigue your grip very quickly.  The first 5 minutes of this workout is all about saving your grip.

You should already have an idea what your 1-rep-max clean and jerk is.  You only have 6 minutes, so you aren't going to have a lot of time to make many attempts.  Get a quick rep in, with a somewhat heavy load, quickly.  A clean and jerk done after a 9 minute WOD is going to feel much different than a clean and jerk when fresh.  Get your second rep in at around the 2:30 mark.  Third attempt at around the 5 minute mark.  This will give you one extra minute to get one final, last ditch attempt in.

Have fun everyone!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Why Are You Doing The Open? - An Interview With Minousha Bari

Minousha Bari
CrossFit Syracuse Member


What Level Athlete Do You Consider Yourself?
Beginner CrossFiter.

Do you have a history of athletics in your past, before CrossFit?
Besides walking on a treadmill?  No.  Never played any sports.  I started running about two years before CrossFit, but that was just to keep the weight off.

What Got You Into CrossFit?
I saw a friend, Chrissy (A CrossFit Syracuse member), who had started doing it and she looked really good.  So I had to give this a try.  I walked in after I finished the Empire (half marathon).

Why Do You Continue To CrossFit?
I think it's the variety of the activities and exercises.  The people.  Your always learning.  There's so many things.

Why Do You Train At CrossFit Syracuse?
The coaches are amazing.  The level of knowledge; I trust that with such heavy movements and some of the techniques with the movements, you can trust the coaches and know that they are watching you and know that they will try their best to not let you get hurt.  The people are wonderful.  It's a good place.

Did You Do The Open Last Year?
Yes I did.

What Was Your Experience Like?
Last year was my second year.  I signed up the first year and I only did the first 3 or 4 workouts then I went away.  I did it (the first year), just because.  I know for a lot of people it was very difficult that first year.  Last year it was nice to do it to see the change.  To see that I was able to do a little bit more.  The other thing I like about it is, though we judge ourselves in each WOD, someone else is judging you (in the Open).  Everyone is judged the same way.

Why Are You Doing The Open This Year?
To measure change.  To see how far things have come along.  What things need to be worked on.  I'm hoping I'll get a Toes-To-Bar.  Last year I tried forever and didn't get one, so that would be my thing this year.

Do you measure your progress year to year based on your standing in the Open or do you measure your progress in other ways?
It's nice to see that standing.  It's nice to see that hey, you know, for a 41 year old I'm not doing as bad as I thought I was.  Really it's more about change.  Even with the daily WOD's.  I like writing things down and keeping track of things. Then you can see, I was able to lift 30 pounds more!  It's just to measure that personal change and that personal growth. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Tip Of The Week - How To Approach The Open

The CrossFit Open is almost upon us.  Tomorrow evening the first of five workouts will be announced.  The past couple days I posted interviews with two different athletes at CrossFit Syracuse.  These athletes have very different goals for the Open and will be approaching this competition in very different ways.

Dan Goldberg is doing the Open as a competitive athlete.  His goal, and only goal, for the Open is to qualify for Regionals.  Lilly Thomann is doing the Open for other reasons.  Lilly wants to be part of the community.  She wants to test herself against herself.  Within the next couple weeks I will be posting more interviews with athletes at CrossFit Syracuse.  I want to see what makes people tick, why they want to participate in the Open and what drives them to be better.

No matter what your goals are for the Open, or your reasons for participating, here are two important tips to help you be successful in the Open.
  1. Have Fun!  Competition can be stressful.  Don't let that stress take over your life.  Remember, you have been training at CrossFit Syracuse.  We have prepared you.  Just work as hard as you can and see where you stand at the end.  Talk to fellow members about your experience.  Laugh about how much those burpees sucked.  Predict what you think the next WOD will be.  Cheer on everyone else in the gym.  Just enjoy the experience!
  2.  Learn From Your Performance.  One of the great things about the Open is that it shows you where you stand.  You may find you are able to do things you didn't think you could do.  You may also find that you don't do as well as you expected at a given workout.  This is what CrossFit is about.  Finding your weaknesses then working to make them your strengths.

    Tuesday, February 24, 2015

    Why Are You Doing The Open? - An Interview With Lilly Thomann

    Lilly Thomann
    CrossFit Syracuse Member


    What level athlete do you consider yourself?
    Intermediate/Beginner CrossFiter.  As an athlete, I'm an experienced athlete.  I played middle school and high school sports.

    What sports did you play in your past?
    Elementary school I did swimming and soccer.  Middle school I played basketball and volleyball.  In high school I played basketball, volleyball and swam.  But I was most competitive at volleyball.  We won states and county and conference.

    Why do you CrossFit?
    What drew me to CrossFit originally was actually a picture I saw of Camille Leblanc-Bazinet (2014 Fittest Woman On Earth).  I looked into it and I started doing some stuff on my own.  It was fun but it wasn't competitive.  I was running by myself and it was driving me nuts.  I came to college and there was no competition; with grades, with art, and I didn't play a sport any more and I missed that (competition).

    Why do you train at CrossFit Syracuse?
    I chose CrossFit Syracuse because I read all the coaches bio's and decided that CrossFit Syracuse's staff was way above all the others in the area.  I keep coming back because of the community.  I just find it inspirational to work out with all these amazing people.

    Did you do the Open last year?
    I did.

    What was your experience like?
    That's when I realized I had the ability to be good at CrossFit and if I pushed myself a little bit harder I could learn the skills that I was lacking.  Like double-unders; I had to (try), I didn't have a choice.  They don't give you a choice.  Do you want to do a muscle-up or do you not want to do a muscle-up?  You have to try.  I had never tried.  I would just stick to singles (instead of double-unders), and think it's fine.  It pushed me to do better than I was, at that point.

    Did anything surprise you about last years Open?
    I did better in pretty much everything than I expected.  The deadlift/box jump, I did way better than I had ever done in a WOD before that.  So that was eye opening.  What was it, 14.3?  The power clean, wall ball, rowing, toes to bar, 60-50...  That was the first time I realized I was good at wall-balls because I did all 40 unbroken.  That's when I got the nickname "LillyMonster"!

    Why are you doing the Open this year?
    To surprise myself.  To see how far I've come.  I don't have a lot of patience, so day to day I think I'm doing so terribly.  Then when I think about how far I've come in a year it's pretty cool.  Like last February I hurt my back trying to power clean 125 (lbs), and I just squat cleaned 205 (lbs).  I lose sight of that, so the Open is a great measurement.  I'm excited because it brings everyone together.  I think that's when I also started making more friends, because we were all bonding over, well, misery.  Everything kind of comes alive.  It's kind of like the nutrition challenge.  People you don't know come out of the woodwork and start talking to you, so that's exciting.  I'm excited to see what i can do this year that I couldn't do last year.

    Monday, February 23, 2015

    Why Are You Doing The Open? - an interview with Dan Goldberg

    With the CrossFit Open right around the corner, I thought I would interview some of our athletes at CrossFit Syracuse to see why they are participating in the Open.  To start out, I interviewed CrossFit Syracuse's head coach and 6 time Regional athlete Dan Goldberg.

    Dan Goldberg


    What level athlete do you consider yourself?
    Regional level CrossFit Athlete...  With a world class attitude.

    Why do you CrossFit?
    I love to make progress.  I love to make goals and realize them.

    Why do you train at CrossFit Syracuse?
    It's the best gym in the whole world... and I own it.

    Did you do the Open last year?

    If so, what was your experience like? 
    Very stressful time for me.  It is such a long test.  5 weeks is a long time.  The goal is to make it to Regionals.  I feel like once I'm at Regionals, it's just fun.  So the real challenge is the Open.  

    Any specific experiences that stand out about last year compared to previous years?
    Last year, for one of the workouts, I broke into the top 100 in the world.  To be that good at anything is pretty neat.

    Why are you doing the Open this year?
    To make Regionals.

    In the future, when you know Regionals is not attainable, will you still do the Open?
    It's hard to say.  I don't like the idea.  The Open to me, is going as hard as you can.  Risking everything to go as hard as you can in a workout.  Risking your health and your body to do the best in that workout.  I don't know if I'm willing to do that if I know I'm not going to Regionals.  It will just open me up for increased risk of injury, there's no point.  I can't go 95% in the Open, I can only go 101%.

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