Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Do the hook

Reminder: the hook grip is with your thumbs wrapped around the bar and your fingers wrapped around your thumb.  You don't have to get all white knuckles on me by death gripping the bar, just using two fingers is enough to lock that bar into place.  

So I competed in the sectionals this past weekend and despite the fact that I asked God to "just take me right then and there" at least 47 times, it was still an amazing experience for me.  However, I dont want to talk about MY experience competing. Instead, I want to share with you all what I learned this past weekend.  

From everything that I took away from the competition, the main thing that is stuck in my head is:  Crossfitter's are a whole new kind of species, and a funny one at that.  

" Sage, when I was working out, I realized something.  I'm in a parking lot, lifting weights, and putting myself through terrible terrible pain.  Why would anyone ever CHOOSE to do this?" - Nichole Dehart

After laughing for about 7 minutes, I stopped, and then tried to really think about that question. Why do we work out in odd places, why do we do odd movements that make for WAY too many "thats what she said" jokes, and why do we push our bodies til we feel like death? 

My main answers to that question are:

#1 We do it because we're all obviously a little messed up in the head and in Crossfit, being crazy = being badass .

#2 We do it so that we can give back to this "thing" (crossfit) that has changed  all of our lives. 

I don't know about you guys, but I can honestly say that, without Crossfit, I would be in a completely different place in my life.  I would probably be making millions as a rapper.  (kidding, but not really) 

But its true! I would not be in San Diego, working for the best gym EVER, and I would not be traveling around the world getting to coach and meet so many amazing individuals.  I wouldn't have any friends other than my mom (maybe not even her. kidding mom. but not really) because all my friends are Crossfitters, and I wouldn't have the pleasure of looking at people's facial expression every time I tell them I'm going to be teaching them about the snatch!

My life would be completely different.  My life would be way less fergaliciously awesome.  

Crossfit has provided all of us with so many great opportunities.  It has changed the way we look, the way we act, and the way that we view ourselves.  It has given all of us confidence that we never knew we possessed.  And THAT, my friends, is a beautiful thing.  There is something about beating a previous time in a WOD, or hitting a new clean and jerk record, or doing a workout as prescribed for the first time that makes us feel like we did something amazing.  Like we did something worth while.  Like we did something that we can be proud of.  All of those things are soothing for our souls. And, I dont know about you, but I LOVE a good, soothed soul.    

This post has gotten way out of hand with all the randomness and cheesiness.  So I'm gonna stop.  But, think about what crossfit has done for you.  Maybe that will explain why you workout in strange parking lots and why you choose to push yourself to the point were death seems more appealing than doing one more thruster, and why you risk sounding like a complete hoochie mama when you try explaining to someone that you had 7 different coaches working on your snatch at the last olympic lifting certification. 

keep it sassy.  

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What is death?

Dont let your starting position look like this:

There are three questions that every single human being will ask at least once in their lifetime:

#1  Why, when taking a nap, is it more comfortable to sleep on top of a well made bed as opposed to being under the covers?

#2 Why did the oompaloompas change colors from the very first Willy Wonka movie to the more modern one?

#3 What is death? 

Well I'm here to answer question #3.  

Death comes in three forms:

1) Rounding the back when pulling weight off the ground.
 If you do not tighten everything that can possibly be tightened when pulling a barbell off the ground, you. are. going. to. die. What happens is that the bar starts to pull you WAY far forward and when that happens, you've lost control of the weight.  Not being in control of the weight means that you cannot use your great technique to get that barbell over your head.  Instead,the bar will be flying all over the place.  Trust me, that is NOT a pretty sight...  And we're all about being pretty.  So squeeze your back shoulder blades together, get your chest up, shift your weight back onto your heels, AND THEN proceed to lift the bar off the ground.        

2) Not fully extending AKA not finishing
Some people LOVE the feeling of the bar hitting them right in the face, but I personally do not love it.  I don't know why, but I just never wake up in the morning and say,  " You know what I would really love today?  A good smack in the face by a heavy barbell!" Call me crazy, but that's just me.  SO, if you're on the same page as me, take my advice and FINISH your pull.  A good finish ( and by finish i mean the movement, not a Finish person) is with the body fully extended, a big proud chest at the top, and the shoulders slightly behind the barbell. That will allow for a great path for that barbell to travel straight up.  If your finish is with your hips vertical, but your shoulders hunched over the bar, you're inhibiting that bar from taking the path that it wants to take in life, so in turn, it will smack you in the face or be out in front of you in a position where you cannot stand up with it cause its too far forward. (talk about a run on sentence) Anyways,  it's a mutual relationship here people.  Love the bar, let it take it's desired path in life (which is going over your head) by getting your chest and face out of the way, and it will do good things for you.   

3) Not flipping the hook grip out on the turnover on the clean
I've seen broken wrists TOO many times from slow elbows on a clean.  Fred Lowe, a million time Olympian, was helping me at my cert this past weekend in Chicago.  He said the greatest quote EVER... "The turnover is an attitude".  He is totally right.  Turning those elbows around FAST and with a "junk yard dog" (as my dad likes to say) attitude, is the only way you will not die on a clean.  And the only way to get that incredibly ghettofabulous fast turnover, is by flipping your hook grip out and letting that bar land back on your finger tips with your elbows WAY high up.  Keeping the hook grip means low elbows, which means all the weight is on your arms, which means arms hitting the knees at the bottom of the squat, which means broken wrist, which means death.  Got it? Think about turning the elbows ALL the way around (flipping the hook grip out) the same time that the feet hit the ground.  MAKE THE LIFT SNAPPY!

Dont make me post a video of some guy doing a clean with slow elbows and his wrists are flying all over the place hitting people in the audience in the face.  They show those videos enough on the news.  Which pisses me off, btw.  But thats a whole different blog post for a whole different time. 

keep it sassy. 

Sunday, March 14, 2010

pretty much the fastest burgener warm up in all of existence

So, I was in Florida visiting my bestest friend for a week and was without a computer, so dont sue me for not updating my blog.  I was told that I apologize all the time for not updating my blog, yet still continue to not update it, so Im just going to stop apologizing so that I'm not looked upon as a liar.  I got a rep to keep up, yo.  

First off, I would like all of you to know that I got shoes that say fergilicious on them.  They're pretty much the coolest things ever. 

Second, a lot of people have been asking me "Sage, I am just SO perplexed! What iiiisss the REAL Burgener Warm-up? I've seen so many different versions and it has been giving me extreme anxiety not knowing which one I should follow!" (thats exactly how they said it too, im sure of it!)  Well! I'm here to clear things up for ya'll.  The burgener warm up HAS been modified slightly over the  years, so I want to give you guys the most updated version cause I'm a nice person AND I don't want you to feel out of the loop. 

1-2-3- Down and up: you have a Snatch grip, the hook grip OF COURSE. You dip straight down drive straight up and shrug at the top. Dont lean forward when you dip, that is a different position. (this is pretty much the jump)

4-5-6- Elbows high and outside: this is followed by the down and up and you continue with your elbows going high and outside (hence the name).  This helps to keep the bar close to your body. Always make sure the elbows are above the wrist.

7-8-9- muscle snatch.  NO REBENDING OF THE KNEES OR ILL HIT YOU WITH A PVC PIPE.  This helps with the snappy turn over.  Its a muscled movement (hence the name..again.. We like to keep things simple. K.I.S.S. keep it simple stupid-michael scott) so you don't want to be thinking about getting underneath it, that will make you rebend your knees and that's bad!

10-11-12- snatch land- this helps with footwork. The bar stays overhead after the muscle snatch and we have people land in a two inch depth squat, a 4 inch depth squat, and then a 6 inch depth squat.  All above parallel, but working on getting lower (this helps with practicing meeting the bar at different heights) without throwing the feet out.  You want your feet to be in the EXACT same position every time no matter what depth of squat you are in.  Kapeesh?

13-14-15- Snatch drops- this again helps with footwork.  The bar is still overhead and you pretend there is a trap door under your feet and DROP all the way down into a overhead squat AS FAST AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE!!! DROP IT LIKE ITS HOT, YO.  again, make sure that your feet are hitting the same landing position every time.  Dont throw those kicks (ghetto term for shoes) out wide trying to get depth. Squat to get depth. 

This is probably THE worst burgener warm up technique wise, but get over it. It was hella (nor cal version of saying EXTREMELY) fast.