Happy belated Easter, Valkyrites!
A few reminders:
This Tuesday, Family & Friends free bootcamp classes
Movie Night featuring The Goonies, Saturday, April 22 @7pm
Saturday, May 6&7 Camping at Ward Pound
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s focus our attention to Lucas, who took the time to give us some helpful advice and information regarding rest and recovery. Make sure to check out what he has to say because if you haven’t already picked up on this, he is a pretty smart person!
Hey guys – I’d like to take a moment to talk about Rest and Recovery. The common theme that I’d like to drive home in regards to these two themes, as I talk more about this, is being aware of how you’re feeling when you make decisions about your workout schedule. How much you rest and work out is influenced by both your personal fitness goals as well as your weekly schedule, but you cannot ignore the way you’re feeling when making these decisions. Being mindful of how well or not well you are feeling on a certain day will pay off in dividends in the way you approach your fitness. So, let’s get into it.
We love going to the gym, we love seeing our friends, we love doing things we didn’t think we could do. We love pushing ourselves in a supportive environment, and what better place to do it than at Valkyrie. However, we, as a gym, need to be more mindful about how we structure our workout schedule.
The workouts in Crossfit, Bootcamp, Row Club and Barbell Club, are designed to be extremely potent. There are specific intentions with each workout, and not all of them are designed to make you feel like you’re going to perish. Yes, metabolic distress (or that “oh my god my lungs are on fire” feeling) is important to consistently program and maintain, and metabolic conditioning is essential to Valkyrie’s programming. However, just because a workout didn’t leave you on the floor breathless doesn’t mean it didn’t “work.”
Some workouts are designed to maximize power output for short periods of time (see – any sprint, ever). Some workouts are designed for you to limit your power output during longer time domains, and keep you moving for extended periods of time. Some workouts are designed to test your skill and agility, and may not even make you feel “tired.” Some still are meant to tax your strength and challenge you to complete it, even if you’re not breathless at the end. Regardless, it’s important to use every workout as a chance to push yourself and improve on your weaknesses, whatever they may be.
Where am I going with this? Simply: for the vast majority of members at Valkyrie, one workout a day is enough. I say this for two reasons. Firstly, we want to use our time at the gym effectively, and if we want to become champions at meeting our fitness goals, we need to approach our workouts with intent and mindfulness. You are much better off focusing on making one class as effective and potent for you as possible than you are doing two classes, and not giving it 100% in either session.
Secondly, we want to be mindful of our body, and of our rest. Sometimes, the week hits you hard. You hit an open gym on Sunday, go to class Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and then show up Thursday feeling worn down, exhausted, grumpy. You’re also stressed because of all types of external factors, which also tire you out. Working out when you’re at this point of exhaustion defeats the purpose of working out. At some point, you need to take a rest day, and when you do, really, take a rest day. Don’t do anything. Eat healthy delicious foods, and catch up on your hydration, which I KNOW you haven’t been keeping up on. Grab your lacrosse ball – do some soft tissue work in front of the TV. See your friends! Knit! Pet your dog/cat/fish/bird/children! I can’t say it enough, if you’re feeling absolutely worn down, a rest day instead of one more day at the gym will be more effective in making you a better athlete and a healthier human. Working out 3 – 4 times a week, broken up with rest and recovery days, is a much more effective training cycle than hitting 6 days in a row, and run the risk of burning out.
I’d like to refer everyone to a graphic from our favorite supple leopard, Kelly Starett. He’s put together a 24 hour adaption cycle that hits on a lot of the key points that I discuss above. Take a look:
Now, here are a few things that I really like about this. Firstly, the morning readiness assessment. If you slept for 4 hours, woke up grumpy, and really want nothing more than to curl up in a ball on the couch after work and catch up on some sleep, DO THAT. Taking a day to catch up on your nutrition, hydration, and rest means you’re serious about your fitness, and serious about making improvements in your health. The other recommendations are all excellent, from hydration in the morning to keeping your sleeping space technology free and dark! Making these improvements to your lifestyle will not only increase your athletic performance, they will also help you feel generally better. These are not difficult tasks to perform, and don’t worry if you can’t hit all thirteen every single day. Even if you begin by drinking water in the morning and improving your sleep, and nothing else, you will see the benefits in your health.
In summary, I want us to constantly strive to be better at taking care of ourselves. Work on following that 24 hour adaption cycle, and don’t be afraid to take a rest day now and them. We love seeing you all in the gym, but we also want to see you there ten, fifteen, even twenty years from now. To quote Ben Bergeron, our fitness journey is a “low trajectory toward a distant horizon,” so we want to adopt training habits that are sustainable for years, not weeks. Let’s be smarter about our rest and recovery and keep ourselves healthy outside the box, so when we get to the gym, we can kick ass and take names.
Yours in General Physical Preparedness,
PS- I’d like to encourage all of you to take note of how you’re feeling, and share these thoughts and data points with me and the other coaches. I am not, at any point in this post, going to prescribe a work / rest cycle for anyone (although I am happy to talk about such things in person).
Happy Spring, Valkyrites! (Or so we thought.)
Though the weather has been up and down every single day, don’t fret! We have some exciting events coming up this month so make sure to sign up on ZenPlanner to save a spot!
Indoor Ruck WOD: Tuesday April 11th @7pm – The indoor ruck is back! Bring your weighted pack! Very similar to the bootcamp class, but with a weighted ruck. If you don’t have a ruck, you can still attend the class. If your new to this ask a coach to catch you up!
Friends & Family Night: Tuesday April 18th @ 7pm- Back for ONLY 3 Tuesdays. Start spreading the word & bring a loved one for FREE to the 7pm bootcamp class.
Women’s WOD & Wine Night: Tuesday April 25th @ 7:45pm- Sorry gentlemen, this one’s for the ladies only! All female members are encouraged to come with a friend or family member and a bottle of wine! This is a bootcamp style WOD for any level and/or age group. This year we are making it extra special by offering a ladies WOD tank to go with the occasion! Deadline to purchase is April 10th, so get your order in now . You can click here to purchase through ZenPlanner.
To shop all other apparel, click here:
Outdoor Ruck: Saturday April 29th @ 9am-11am- Location TBD week of event. Expect some trials and some fun! Bring a weighted ruck and plenty of water.
Just like CrossFit Valkyrie, Ruckers are a tribe and rucking is a way of life. A community and a movement of people in cities, suburbs, and neighborhoods all over the world leading physically and socially active lives, together. We’re committed not only to our own betterment, but also to the betterment of those around us.
There are many GoRuck events taking place in this next few months so make sure to check out all the events! (WestPoint and Light GoRuck coming up in June!) There is a 25% gear discount code (CFVALKYRIEGEAR) Please keep this code internal to your members. In order to keep this code active, you will need to purchase at least $300/month. It is set to expire on 4/15/17. Also, there is a 35% discount off all events (CFVALKYRIE35).
Next week, we will be informing you on the pull-up challenge we are holding. Since many of your #IWillChallenge’s are regarding pull-ups, the pull-up challenge will be meant to help support one another and practice together the first 30 minutes of the open gym’s on Sunday’s. We want to encourage everyone to take advantage of open gym and achieve your goals!
17.5 is a wrap! Congratulations to all who completed The CrossFit Open! For many it was a first time experience, and we applaud you! Many of us walked away with PR’s and even learned a few new things about ourselves. Whether it was pushing your strengths or confronting weaknesses, or realizing how to break down a WOD it was a great experience all around.
17.5…Bam! One thing we can all agree on, is that it’s not an open without double unders! We all knew double unders had to make an appearance! Some breezed through like a walk in the park, others whipped themselves crazily or were spinning singles. Regardless how you approached the double unders, rx or scaled, 17.5 did not disappoint. It was a shoulder buster, a quad killer, and a heart pumper, especially if you didn’t take rests.If you were new to CrossFit you may have thought this was going to be an easy one. If you’re an experienced crossfitter than you knew better- whenever it looks easy it’s too good to be true! Every athlete’s strength, endurance, and mental capacity was tested. It brought us together; cheering, encouraging, and pushing each other beyond limits. Below are just of few of those moments captured forever in time.
The Valkyrie Staff would like to thank everyone for their participation. Without you, none of this happens. Every ONE of you contribute to our great community that continues to forge greatness within these walls and within ourselves.
The Whole Life Challenge has come to an end and as always, it was a complete success! But it wasn’t easy by any means.
Rene Lynn, who has participated in the Whole Life Challenge three times, said that the hardest part is always the meal prep and portion control, but once you get the hang of it, it pays off!
“I’ve seen myself focus more on water intake as well as trying to make better choices with nutrition.”
This was Krystina Falzon’s first time participating and she doesn’t regret it one bit.
She says, “The easiest part has been joining a community of people who are welcoming and motivating. Other gyms just don’t compare.”
Kim Klami, also was a first timer and completely agrees with Rene saying, “My schedule is crazy so it’s hard to keep up with nutrition.” But she also says that being accountable for the 7 daily habits has helped her stay organized and conscious of her time management.
Ariana Gailie says that she would most definitely do the Whole Life Challenge for a second time. She has seen changes in my body that I wasn’t expecting. “Eliminating wheat and sugar was really hard and now I don’t feel well when I do make allowances for things outside of the nutrition guidelines.”
This Friday at 8pm, the members of WLC are going to be celebrating their success. BUT we are also going to have food and beer ( of course) to celebrate the beginning of the 17.5, aka-the LAST of the US Open!!! We can’t believe that it is coming to a close. We are sure you all have thought this may have been the most difficult and physically demanding few weeks of your life, but we want to voice how awesome you guys have done and also encourage you to FINISH STRONG!!
So don’t forget to come to the box this Friday evening and celebrate with us!
Coach Dennis De Leon took the time to write a blog for us revisiting the 17.3 workout. He includes great tips and motivation to get through this next week!
Let me start by saying what a week!!! I don’t know if you felt it, but there was a tremendous amount of electrifying energy in the gym this week and let me tell you, there is nothing better than seeing our athletes motivated to kick some a** and hitting some new PR’s! So pat yourself on the back for a job well done and for hitting the halfway mark of the 2017 Open. Only two more workouts to go, so let’s stay motivated!
Castro was kind enough to exclude the dumbbells this week (I know some of us have had enough of them already…. for now). He decided to throw it back with some good ol’ barbell squat snatches and C2B pull ups. Two simple yet complicated movements, that if not prepared for ahead of time, can become challenging. The setup of this workout was meant to push you to your limits by requiring you to get 72 reps in 8 minutes and if completed, rewarding yourself with an extra 4 minutes and adding 36 reps. Oh, and of course adding weight every 3 rounds until completing a total of 216 reps. Some of you might have found yourself cut off by the 8 minute mark, but that’s alright because this was a hard one! We’ll get em’ next time. For those who got past the 8 minute mark and finished the whole thing (or almost finished), congratulations!
If you don’t already know by now, I am a huge stickler for warming up, mobilizing and going through the motion before starting a wod. For this WOD, it was very crucial to be mobile, especially in the ankles, hips, shoulders, and wrists. If you experienced limitations to your squat snatch, whether it was not being able to get low enough in the squat, being on your toes at the bottom of your squat, or feeling restriction on your shoulders when pulling yourself under the bar, then it’s probably because of lack of mobility in one of the four places mentioned above.
So quick tip: do mobility before, during, and after class to increase your range of motion. For snatches in particular, stick to 1-2 minutes on each side of :
-ankle & achilles
-goblet squat hold with light kettlebell and
-crossover symmetry (If you don’t know what this is, ask a coach! You’ll be glad you did.)
Going through the motion and practicing the movements is key before beginning the WOD. Get a couple of reps in so that you can get comfortable with the movement. This way when the workout begins, you are not thinking much about the movement and it will instead be muscle memory. Going through the motions also helps you pre-plan the way you will embrace the workout. Picture yourself doing the WOD in your head so that you’ll know how to attack it, reducing the risk of getting stuck in-between sets. And lastly, know how to pace yourself, but not to the point of comfortability. You should be out of breathe by the time you finish these WODs. A key part of successfully completing the WOD is to know your strengths and weaknesses, and understanding which movements will require you to use more energy. By doing so, you can determine when to pick up the pace and when to slow it down. During 17.3, for example, some of you might have noticed that athletes were doing the pull-ups at a faster pace and then slowing down on the sntaches. Obviously, the snatches will require more energy out of you because you are using every part of the body to perform the movement.
So Valkyrites, I hope this helped. And if you need any clarification, don’t be afraid to ask!! We are here to help. Every day we get better. Don’t forget it.
The Lion King aka Coach Double D