Valkyrie
March 15, 2017

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!

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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!

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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 :
-pigeon stretch
-solder distraction
-ankle & achilles
-dislocates
-banded bully
-samson stretch
-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.

Stay Chasing,
The Lion King aka Coach Double D

Valkyrie
March 7, 2017

With 17.2 complete, Coach Martin took the time to give us a recap of this incredible challenging past workout and include some advice and insight. Check it out!

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Another open workout down in the books! I’d first like to take this opportunity to both publicly protest and thank Dave Castro for including dumbbells again… but at least it had bicep curls!! Ok not really bicep curls, but you get the point. We’ll talk on this further.

First, let’s take a moment to break down the workout…

  • The 50 Foot Lunge – To start the workout off, athletes had to position the dumbbells somewhat awkwardly on their shoulder. This was something entirely new and foreign to nearly every CrossFit athlete out there. Personally, I thought it was interesting. For the majority of avid CrossFit athletes, the front rack with a barbell or medball is very familiar (with the exception of some shoulder and wrist mobility) and the positioning is one of the most functional in CrossFit. But life won’t always be that easy. 17.2 forced us to discover the most effective way to transport 2 separate, relatively heavy, items across a distance of 50 feet. It was interesting to quickly realize the fundamentals of keeping a solid front rack position proved vital to midline stability once we had to execute the walking lunge. If the distribution was not almost perfect of the dumbbell on your left and right shoulder, you would quickly feel the imbalance and find yourself losing your footing and struggling to regain stability. However, I did enjoy watching all the athletes execute the walking lunge with nearly perfect posture. The reason being is because walking with 2 dumbbells as opposed to a walking lunge with no load, bad posture is less forgiving. Whether some of you realized it or not, the weight actually forced you to stay upright! If you allowed yourself to lose core tension here and hunched over as so many of us do in walking lunges, you would probably drop the weight. So let us all appreciate the incorporation of this movement that helped us all recall the fundamentals of midline stability in the walking lunge.

 

  • Toes to Bar and Bar Muscle Ups – No doubt the bar muscle ups were the most challenging piece for those that attempted. I’m sure most of you saw all the videos posted about athletes achieving their first bar muscle up over the weekend. Toes to bar- definitely no picnic either. Whose hands ripped open? Hell yea! If your shoulders weren’t fatigued enough from holding 2 dumbbells, this portion of the workout no doubt help make it worse. It’s a natural reaction that once our shoulders fatigue, our body quickly feels the desperation in maintaining a solid grip. Grip strength is was probably one of the ultimate themes walking away from 17.2. It forced a lot of us to run for the chalk as our saving grace. Careful though. One of the reasons I try to refrain from using chalk is the need to work on grip strength for the very reason of bar movements (i.e. toes to bar, pullups, muscle ups). Unless my hands are very sweaty, I attempt to complete the workout and maintain a high volume of consecutive reps to improve my grip strength. Give it a shot. You’ll find that your hands don’t rip as easily too.

 

  • Dumbbell Clean – Yes! Yes! Yes! Those weekly bicep curls finally paid off in a WOD!! I’m sure many of you noticed my delighted look once I saw the most effective execution of a double dumbbell clean looked a lot like bicep curls. My guess is, this might be CrossFit’s way of slowly integrating the bicep curl into workouts while still maintaining the integrity of being functional fitness…work for me!! Get Soooooome!!!

So Valkyrie members, congratulations on getting through your first two workouts and I’ll expect to see you kicking some more a** this week!

-Martin

Valkyrie
February 28, 2017

As the CrossFit Open has officially kicked off to a strong yet incredibly exhausting start, we thought of an encouraging and helpful way to keep all of us on track each week for the next five intense weeks! It will include tips on how to complete the workouts and do your very best mentally and physically. We are going to have a coach write a follow-up blog every Tuesday to recap the previous CrossFit Open WOD that was completed.

On our private Official Valkyrie Members Facebook group page, coaches will also be posting tips and encouraging words!

Lucas Avidan, one of our amazing coaches has written up some of his wise words of wisdom, so take a look!

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Week 1 of the 2017 Open is in the books! A few thoughts looking back on the weekend…

1) First and foremost, the level of participation in the Open this year is unprecedented at Valkyrie. We are extremely happy to see Valkyrie newcomers and veterans alike signed up and ready to attack each workout. The Open is an excellent opportunity to test your fitness, see what progress you’ve made, and give yourself a few goals for next year.

2) We are pretty fearless when it comes to workouts, and our approach to 17.1 was no exception. When faced with a workout that took around 20 minutes (!), with an extremely high rep scheme (!!) and a heavy dumbbell (!!!), we rose to the occasion and didn’t back down. Let’s keep at it!

3) There’s nothing like working out to the soundtrack of your friends cheering you on, and we were awesome at supporting one another through the Open workout this weekend. Let’s keep that going! We all perform better with positive energy of our friends behind us. (Author’s note: I could not have hit this on Thursday without the cheering section next to me.)

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Moving forward, I’d love to see a few things happen (and keep happening):

1) Treat Yo Self

These are intense workouts and you will be giving 110% every time you take a crack at them. So, for the next four weeks, pay special attention to your recovery, hydration and sleep. Make sure you’re taking rest days when you need them. Stay on top of hydration. Don’t watch television until 3am every weeknight (Game of Thrones isn’t even back on till’ the fall). It’s the little things outside of the gym that can make or break your workout. You want to be feeling your best, so treat yourself right!

2) Scaling

CrossFit is founded on the principle that every workout should be measurable and scalable. The Rx workouts, especially in the past few years with the introduction of the scaled division, are tough, and designed that way. Therefore, if there’s a movement or weight that’s going to give you some trouble, don’t feel intimidated about scaling. You want to choose the workout that you will be able to be most successful at, and a heavy barbell or a complicated movement shouldn’t stop you from doing so.

3) Fun!

In CrossFit and in life, it is important to remember to have fun. While these Open workouts can be competitive and fierce, it’s not the end of the world if you don;t get the time you want, or perform worse than your expectations. This is a low pressure environment designed to allow ourselves to showcase our fitness. No need to be nervous! Besides, the more fun we have, the better we’ll perform.

That’s all for now! Looking forward to another productive week in the box and another fruitless guessing game about what the next workout will be.

Yours in Competitive Exercising and General Physical Preparedness,

Lucas and the Valkyrie Team

Valkyrie

So far, we have an awesome amount of people already registered for the CrossFit Open and we are pumped about it! We also know many of you are on the fence about whether or not to register so we’d like to give you just a wee-bit of advice…

JUST DO IT! (…Nike says it best.) It’s a great way to help you reach your goals and be a part of something bigger. Trust us, you won’t regret it!
Here is the link:

https://games.crossfit.com/help/article/40

Though registration does not have an official “close” date and continues through the entirety of the Open (which ends March 27), to be a valid competitor, you must register and submit your score on Open Workout 17.1 before 8:00 p.m. ET on Monday, February 27.

Starting Thursday, Feb. 23, at 8p.m. ET, we will be streaming the 17.1 CrossFit Open live from the box so come join us as we watch! We will begin our 17.1 Open on Friday and we will have an option for you to come in Sunday if you missed the chance to do it Friday or want to try to improve your score. ALL of our coaches will be intently judging. Don’t worry,they have all taken the official CrossFit judges certification.

If you have any questions or concerns at all, please don’t hesitate to ask any of the coaches! We are so excited to be doing this with you and can’t wait to see all the goals you will accomplish!

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Valkyrie
February 2, 2017

Let’s be honest here, a huge part of CrossFit is rowing.

Rowing rowing rowing rowing. That is probably the most used word in my vocabulary at this point in my life. Though it’s a great workout to strength your legs, core, back and arms, it can be a doozy to get through it. So what can you do to row the maximum amount of calories and the most meters without wanting to keel over and die?

Well, here are a couple tips to help you! To conserve energy use these tried and true concepts:
1. Learn to relax on the recovery phase of the stroke.
The recovery is the transition from the back of the stroke (the finish: where the handle is near your chest) to the front of the rower.
Contrary to some beliefs, this is not a stop and pause point. Instead, as you finish the stroke close to your chest, immediately and quickly push your hands towards your feet. Next close your hips. Finally, and make sure this happens LAST: let your knees bend.
Now, here’s how you are able to relax. Avoid pulling yourself forward with your legs, rely instead on the forward momentum you created by pushing your hands away quickly and then let your legs relax as the knees bend.
2. Quick, explosive catches will shave seconds off your split.
The catch to this is the phase of the stroke where you transition from the recovery to the drive. Any lag time here slows the flywheel while you wait. In turn, you spend more energy than necessary getting the flywheel up to speed—and flywheel speed equals power.
On the other hand, if you transition seamlessly from the recovery into the drive by driving your legs down quickly and powerfully, you’ll notice a positive impact on your time. Yay!

Keep your arms and hands as relaxed as possible. Between them they make up a very small percentage of your power output, avoid spending unnecessary energy by gripping too hard or pulling too early.

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As one CrossFit coach, Mike Burgener says, “When the arm bends, the power ends.”

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Reminder: we have open gym three times a week and have amazing coaches who are waiting to help you achieve your goal for the #IWillChallenge so we hope to see you there!