Challenge Yourself!

In my bio, I write that I believe “CrossFit instills confidence and a feeling of power which translates into increased performance; not only in one’s fitness goals, but in one’s personal life as well. CrossFit will fine tune one’s body, but also elevate one’s mind and spirit like few other experiences can. In CrossFit we do some scary stuff.  High …

A Squat For Every Occasion

Most trainers will tell you that a squat is inviolate.  That the same squat stance is used for all the squats.  The same squat for  the O-lift landing stance too. However, a good trainer knows that there is a squat for all occasions.  Every movement calls for a different squat. For example, my overhead squat stance has a wider footprint …

Giant Springs

Yesterday I talked about bottom position lifts from a rack.  Today’s post is going to detail a great technique for tricking your body into thinking that a bottom position lift, such as the deadlift, is a top position lift.  I learned this technique from ace CrossFit Los Gatos trainer Billy Bybee. Top position lifts allow greater weight to be moved …

Starting From The Bottom

  Lifts have two starting points.  The top or the bottom.  Squats start at the the top of the lift, ie there is a negative portion of the lift before the positive part. The bench press also starts at the top. So does the dip, the push up and the handstand pushup. Most lifts, however, at least in the CrossFit …

Pullup Bars

The new CF West box is looking better and better.  I am especially happy about the pullup bars.  When I need to make or fix something, I usually try to do it myself.  A good percentage of the time whatever I am working on gets finished by my friend Matt, not coincidentally the guy who did most of the technical …

Renewal and Balance

Many, if not most, sports create imbalances in the body due to repetitive movement demanded by the sport.  CrossFit balances the body, renewing it by virtue of constantly varied exercise. Sports, by their very nature, are repetitive.  A volleyball player performs the same movements over and over, a swimmer even more so.  Not that a volleyball player’s movements are boring …

Using Your Shoulders

Everyone who does CrossFit is aware of the importance of the shrug on the clean and the snatch.  If you don’t, and have been training for a month, get a new coach.  OK, now that that is settled, what is less known is the importance of the shrug on any pressing movement. Let’s start with the most fundamental of the …

We Are Open

That’s right, CrossFit West has officially opened its doors at its new location near Costco in the Harvey West area of downtown Santa Cruz.  The class schedule remains the same, so we hope to see everyone at the usual times.  Please join us at one of two open house style information sessions, on the 31st or March 1st.  Both times …

The New Box

Well folks, Golds Gym is behind us now.  All classes will be held at the new CrossFit West box (address and map to the left).  The class schedule is the same, with the exception that the Tuesday, 3/24, 6AM class is canceled.  Sorry for any inconvenience.  Please join us in this exciting new beginning.  Workout: 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, …

Joint Health

Today’s post comes from CF West member Matt Schwartz.  Matt has been involved in strength and conditioning a long time and he is enormously learned in the field.  Besides being one of the original CrossFitters under Coach Glassman years ago, Matt holds exercise science and personal training certifications, as well the Russian Kettlebell Challenge certification under Pavel Tsatsouline.  This is …

Echoes

“Sam, I appreciate your comments about intensity, and I think it connects with the blog your recently posted about focus. The complexities I face working at the hospital seem to always demand mental and physical intensity, sometimes more than I think I can handle. But, with every Crossfit workout, I begin to see more of what I’m capable of. It …

Timing

Timing, as in life, is of extreme importance in CrossFit. Timing affects so much. It is the difference between a successful and a missed lift. A string of double unders and a string of curses. A long combination of flowing kipping pullups and stops and restarts. It is really the underpinning factor of good technique. Timing is the kinesthetic awareness …

Intent

Where is your focus during class?  Where is your intent? The best performers in CrossFit (or any activity) are those who mentally invest themselves in CrossFit.  You can physically see that investiture come over them when it comes time to train.  It is a look in their eyes, a certain aspect of their posture, an enlarging of their aura, their being.  The …

Renaissance Men and Women

When we think of great artists, we often think of the Italian Renaissance. The two most famous of these great artists are probably Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarotti. These artists and others gave rise to the term ‘Renaissance Man’, one who excels at a wide variety of subjects and fields. Michelangelo and da Vinci could do it all. They …

Heroes

Hero= A person noted for special achievement in a particular field. The word comes from Greek mythology and denoted “one, often of divine ancestry, who is endowed with great courage and strength, celebrated for his bold exploits, and favored by the gods.” In classical mythology, Hero was a priestess of the goddess Aphrodite who threw herself off a tower when …

Level 1

Cliff and Jocelyn stand before the deceptively flat looking hill at the site of the CrossFit Games in Aromas.  They are now Level 1 Certified trainers after killing it at the trainers’ certification put on by CrossFit HQ this weekend.  Congratulations guys.  Thanks for representing CF West.  We are all proud of you. Congratulations to Daniel on his record Christine …

Thrusters

Ah, the thruster. It is such a simple movement.  A front squat and a push press.  So, why is it so damn hard? The thruster is the devil’s own creation. Something about it adds up to be so much harder than its parts. There are, however, some tips that make the thruster a little more easy to manage.  Here are some: …

Intensity

  What is intensity and who has it? I am going to throw one way to define intensity out there and see what everyone thinks.  Here goes: intensity is the ability to push beyond the ordinary in a given situation.   So, how does that apply to CrossFit?  A CrossFit WOD is hard.  I don’t think anyone is going to …

Rest Day

In CrossFit, there is a little seen aspect of overtraining known in the strength and conditioning world as overposting.  CrossFit West trainer and blog writer Sam is currently experiencing symptoms of this dreaded malaise.  He is beat, can’t think of anything, and is taking a rest day. Please post thoughts to Comments. Workout: AMRAP in 15 minutes 3 Front Squats-go …

Faces of CrossFit

The face of CrossFit is intensity, effort, focus, determination.   Please post thoughts to Comments. Workout: 5 Rounds 5 Power Cleans 185/133# 5 Handstand Pushups Please post WOD and score to Comments.