Monday 140210


Dead lift – Use 90% of your 1RM for your math

65% x5
75% x5
85% x5
75% x5
65% x5

250m Row

From Breaking Muscle

It’s Not CrossFit’s Fault, It’s the Reinforcement System

 Contributor – Psychology and Research
When I teach college courses, I am always the happiest when I find students who are chasing knowledge rather than chasing a grade. Many students’ questions relate to how they can do better on the test, rather than to improving their knowledge. I can’t really blame them as I certainly worried a great deal about my grades as well when I was in their position. It is the system of reinforcement in academics. That is, people are primarily motivated to get good grades and in the process we hope they learn. The problem with the reinforcement system is it teaches that we only have to perform up to the grading standard. “If I have a 94%, then I only need to get an 85 or above on this next test to keep an A.”  Students learn how to be efficient in their studying in order to get the grade they want.
Why CrossFit Is Like College
CrossFit has a similar issue. Many times, we work toward improving our time or getting more reps rather thanperforming a virtuous movement. A quantifiable score is an excellent idea in that it helps us consistently measure and gauge improve, but as a reinforcer it teaches us to figure out ways to be efficient to get the best score. We could more cynically state that it teaches us to cut corners.
For most people, CrossFit is an awesome general physical preparedness (GPP) program. For a select few, it is a sport. When CrossFit is a sport there is a built in reinforcer of winning as the ultimate outcome. However, for most people coming into CrossFit, the goal is getting fit and staying healthy. Doing the movements quickly helps with the first goal, but staying healthy and not getting injured relies on doing the movements properly (although we really don’tknow about injury rates in CrossFit). When we are trying to get in as many reps as possible or get the lowest time, we may lose sight of our goals of getting fit, looking better, and continuing a healthy lifestyle.
We have natural reinforcement from exercise. When we do a movement properly or get a good workout, we feel good. However, there can be problems when the time or number of reps becomes the reinforcer. This external reinforcer can become the primary reinforcer and take away our internal motivation. Many studies have shown that when we replace a powerful internal motivation with an external reinforcer the internal motivation dissipates or may even disappear. The following story illustrates this principle much better than I can describe.
The Old Man and the Rocks
An older man had some trouble with the younger kids in his neighborhood, as they would throw rocks at his house. One day the old man approached the boys and said he would pay them a dollar a day to throw rocks at his house. The boys were confused, but they willingly took his dollar. This behavior continued for a week and the man kept paying the boys. After about a week, the man said to the boys that he was having financial problems and he could only pay them ten cents a day. The boys told him there was no way they were going to throw rocks at his house for only a dime.
Thus, as the internal reinforcer changed to an external one, the boys behavior became more dependent on the outside reinforcer. I don’t think we are going to take away fitness if we take away people’s clock, but we can really change how people feel about exercise. They might be much more interested in spastic-like kipping pull-ups because of the clock rather than taking a few more seconds to feel proud of doing strict pull-ups.
The Solution: Our Coaching and Our Programming
crossfit, scores, times, reps, virtuosity, quality movement, incentivesGreg Glassman, the founder of CrossFit, said, “The magic is in the movement.” Gymnastics is a sport where the score is based on how well the movements are performed, rather than on how many reps are done. Taking some of these principles into the programming of workouts might make our students better athletes. The CrossFit Training Guide describes having skill-only days (in the programming section). Focusing a day on how well a skill is performed could be important to the long-term fitness of athletes. (Training doesn’t have to crush your soul every day). Another potential solution is to change the standards to be stricter. That is, we can focus the standards onto the beauty of movement rather than how quickly it can be done. For example, the sport of competitive kettlebells has rules on locking out on the top of exercises for a certain amount of time. This forces competitors to maintain control. In the CrossFit community, we could certainly prioritize more strict standards for gymnastics movements.
An even simpler solution is to use more video. Peer norming is a powerful motivator and if people are thinking more about how they look they will perform the movements better. The current norm of putting a score on the board reinforces finding shortcuts to get the best score. However, we could focus more on how we look or how we will look to others (economists call this important incentive the moral incentive, as we care how we look to others). Even the perception that people might see my WOD changes the way I perform. I know I definitely lock out better, squat deeper, and perform much stricter movements when the coaches bring out the camera (even though I still make my constipated Popeye face). There are some great smartphone applications to take video and many online tools to display them easily (at our box, we use Coach’s Eye and upload videos to Google+, Facebook, or Instagram).

Monday 120730


I watched the stream of the Oly weightlifting on my computer. Yes I am a NERD (I watched some of the Tour of France that way too). I was amazed to see someone lift three times their body weight. 3X! check out the story from Yahoo Sports

Om Yun Chol (AP)

Whether it’s high jumpers leaping nearly two feet more than their own height or sprinters running 100 meters in less than 10 seconds, there are some Olympic feats so remarkable they seem to defy basic common sense.

North Korean weightlifter Om Yun Chol pulled off another of those Sunday.

Om, who stands just 5-feet tall and weighs only 123 pounds, won a gold medal in the men’s 56-kilogram category thanks in large part to clearing an Olympic record 168 kilograms (370.4 pounds) in the clean and jerk. In the process, he joined the likes of world record holder Halil Mutlu and Naim Suleymanoglu of Turkey in an exclusive group of weightlifters who have lifted three times their body weight.

Asked how a man so small could lift a weight so big, Om credited the “Great Leader” as North Korean athletes often do after great achievements.

“How can any man possibly lift 168kg? I believe the great Kim Jong Il looked over me,” Om told the Olympic News Service.

What’s most amazing about Om’s accomplishment is he had never lifted more than 156 kilograms (343.9 pounds) in a competition before. As a result, the 20-year-old was part of the “B” group with lower-ranked lifters on Sunday and had to wait until the “A” group competed later in the day to find out if his performance was enough to earn him a gold medal.

Om’s total in the snatch and the clean and jerk was 293 kilograms (646 pounds), four more kilograms than second-place Wu Jingbiao of China managed. Wu, a two-time world champion, was the heavy favorite entering the day.

One aspect of Om’s performance Sunday that was also surprising was the amount of personality he showed in setting the record.

A smiling Om riled up the crowd when it was announced he’d take aim at the Olympic record after clearing 160 and 165 kilograms on his first two attempts. He then confidently secured the bar at his shoulders and briefly lifted it above his head, a mighty effort from a mite of a man who etched his name in Olympic annals for years to come

Monday 110815

Workout – Dead Lift

Using 90% of your 1RM complete:

3 x70%
3 x75%
3 x80%

Mini MetCon

10 – 1 of Burpees and Sit-ups.  Do 10 Burpees followed by 10 Sit-ups, etc…

CNN says restaurants lie about the nutritional information they provide.  I cannot believe that (tongue planted firmly in cheek)!  Read below.

One in 5 restaurant calorie listings is off

By Elizabeth Cohen, CNN Senior Medical Correspondent

July 20, 2011 11:27 a.m. EDT

Click to play
Are fast food calorie counts accurate?

(CNN) — You think you’re being smart when, in an effort to eat more healthfully, you check a restaurant’s website to see how many calories are in a dish you plan to order.

It turns out perhaps that effort isn’t worth as much as you think. A new study by Tufts University nutrition researchers shows nearly one out of five restaurant dishes has at least 100 more calories than what a restaurant states on its website.

The underestimated foods came from several restaurant chains, including Chipotle Mexican Grill, Olive Garden, Boston Market and Outback Steakhouse.

“I think restaurants have a lot to answer for here,” said Susan Roberts, senior author of the paper published in this week’s Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study looked at 269 food items at 42 fast-food and sit-down restaurants in Massachusetts, Arkansas and Indiana between January and June 2010. Lead author Lorien Urban, then a Tufts graduate student, and others purchased the foods without telling the restaurants they were for a study. They brought the foods to the lab at Tufts, analyzed the calories and then compared them with the calories listed at that time on the restaurants’ websites. Read more Monday 110815

Monday 110523

Broken Clock Monday…

100 KB Swings OR 100 Pull-ups OR 100-95 lbs OHS
Chalk up and get some!

Any day this week we will tackle CFT (CrossFit Total).  CFT takes approximately 45 minutes to complete.  Pick a day this week in which you have the requisite time to complete the workout.

The CrossFit Regional Games WODs have been posted….