So what? Right? Kind of, but not really. Let me explain.
In the CrossFit community the end of February is an exciting time. If you're new to CrossFit you may find yourself at the gym hearing all the talk of the open amidst the sound of clanging barbells and AC/DC, thinking to yourself "What the heck have I gotten myself into??" Well here we go.
Let's start with answering the question, "What is the Open?"
If you haven't figured it out by now, the CrossFit community is unlike anything else. We sweat together, bleed together, laugh together, and celebrate together. In 2011 the CrossFit Open was introduced to bring together and include the entire community to challenge ourselves individually towards a common goal. For the competitive athletes, the Open is a chance to make their name known by qualifying for Regionals to then go on to the CrossFit Games. For the rest of us, the Open is a chance to push our limits outside of the normal day to day workout and celebrate the hard work we have put in through the year. It is comprised of 5 workouts, the first of which will be announced this Thursday 2/23, and the rest announced through the 4 weeks following. Once registered, you will be able to put in your results and see how you measure against other athletes in your box/state/region/country and even against all other athletes worldwide.
For those of you who have aspirations to one day be a competitive athlete, reasons for signing up for the open are pretty self explanatory. For everyone else, you're probably thinking, "I'm not interested in going to Regionals or the Games, so why should I care about where I place?" The answer to that is simple, you shouldn't. You shouldn't care because for those of us who put in sweat equity everyday to become the best version of ourselves, it's not about placement...it's personal. I want you to think back to the first time you walked into your box, whether that was yesterday or 5 years ago. Think about the mental and physical obstacles that you have overcome since then. For some, the biggest of all may have been just walking through the door. Think about the nervous feelings you had trying something new, and pushing yourself to do things that you never thought possible. Think about that first competition, and how you felt like you had no idea what was going on, and all you could think about were the butterflies in your stomach. Now think about how much fun you've had doing those things and the sense of pride you get every time you push yourself a little further. That's what it's about. Participating in the Open is the stamp you put on the decision that you've already made. The decision that you are committed to pushing past limits and that there is nothing you can't do.
For the majority of us, at the end of the day, where we place has no significant impact on our lives. That's why you shouldn't care where you are on the leaderboard. Whether that's during the Open, or on the whiteboard for the daily WOD.
No matter why you started CrossFit, we all share the same purpose, to be the best version of ourselves. The Open is just another opportunity for us to push those limits and celebrate with a global community that shares that same purpose. Let's go into this Open season committed to pushing ourselves and those around us to break limits and have fun doing it.
Now go get signed up!!
We had such an amazing turnout at our Competition with athletes from various local Boxes. Even had one drive over from Alabama! Big thanks to all of you for coming to compete! The Competition Bug has stung some of our own first time competitors and are already looking for the next Box throw down! I know some are interested in Gorilla CrossFit's Cherry Bomb Games and CrossFit Loganville's Lockdown! We are planning on hosting two more competitions this year. One in the Summer and our Cancer Event in the Fall. Keep an eye out for details soon! For now, enjoy the video I put together from our Competition!
Be sure to Check out our Facebook page for all the Photos from the Event!!
We are CrossFit Unyielding. And we live up to our name. When I looked at a list of synonyms for “unyielding” I couldn’t help but be struck by the irony: immovable, inflexible, rigid, stubborn, uncompromising, unbending, stiff, and the list goes on. And we are those things in terms of our resolve: working hard and not giving up until we raise the bar and shatter our old PRs. Yet, mobility plays such a critical role within our workout regime. CrossFit is all about functional movement, but without good mobility it is hard to perform the basic movements correctly.
What is Mobility?
Mobility is how a joint moves- the range of motion a joint can achieve. It is different from flexibility which is the length a muscle can stretch. Flexibility is an important component of mobility, because it is difficult to move a joint if all of the muscles surrounding it are short and tight, but they are not the same. Even if you are flexible, your mobility can be hindered by other factors such as inflammation, subluxations (spine misalignments), previous injury resulting in fascial adhesions, etc.
Why does mobility matter?
Plan of Attack:
1. Identify Weak Areas and Commit to Mobilize Your Entire Body
Identify the areas in which you are restricted and begin to work on them. You know the lifts at which you are weakest. You should also know which parts of your body are tighter than they should be. Tight hips will affect your squats and lunges. Tight shoulders will affect your overhead squat, snatch, clean and jerk, etc. If you are looking to improve your technique and speed, as well as power, mobility should be a critical part of your plan.
It’s obvious to mobilize problem areas, but you can prevent other areas from becoming tight and losing range of motion if you commit to mobilizing your body as a whole. Just as you cannot “just tone your stomach” because your body does not discriminate its fat loss to one region, you cannot address one mobility issue and ignore the rest and expect to see the results you are chasing. It does not work that way. If you address issues solely in a reactive fashion, after they are already problems, you will not see the same level of benefit as you would if you address them proactively.
2. Perform Self-Myofascial Release
There is a high probability that each of us has at least some degree of fascial scarring or adhesions. The fasciae are the collagen-based connective tissues that wrap around the muscles to hold nerves, muscles, and blood vessels together. They act as a very thin and flexible net providing structure and support while also allowing flexibility of movement. Under physical stress as these connections are pulled past their limit, the body creates fascial adhesions. Instead of running parallel, the fascia become knotted and cannot glide smoothly which creates limitations to mobility. Think of it as a series bungee cords securing a bookshelf in the back of your truck. If the bungee cords run parallel they allow for stretching while still keeping the bookshelf secure. But if they were to become knotted up, they no longer stretch as far and the amount of give in the bungee is reduced. Learning how to perform self-myofascial release on tight areas with a foam roller or a lacrosse ball can loosen problem areas tremendously. Roll until you feel a sore area or “hot spot” and apply pressure until you feel it release.
3. Make Sure Your Spine is Aligned
If you know you have imbalances, chiropractic is also a great option. It can help correct and maintain alignment. Being poorly aligned can affect balance, and can cause strain on certain parts of the body due to overcompensating. If your neck is out of alignment, everything beneath your neck will follow suit. This will create a cascading imbalance effect. As bones are pushed out of their proper place, they are not as free to move.
4. Come When RomWOD is on the Program
There is a reason part of our weekly programming includes RomWOD. It’s easy to think, “Well, we’re just doing RomWOD. I’ll skip today and go tomorrow when we are actually doing something important.” But, if you commit to coming and putting in the work to improve your range of motion, it will translate over into other areas of your workouts as well. Your lifts will become easier and more powerful and you will be able to increase weight. It isn’t in our programming just for filler. It’s necessary it to get the gains! Training the muscles and joints to move past their current limits is one of the most effective ways to see improvements in your lifts. It does not have to be complicated or overthought- it just has to be done.
Now get to mobilizing. And we expect to see you all on Wednesdays for RomWOD!
We had a fantastic turnout this morning to Honor Shane Beam. A big big Thank You to all who showed up. I cannot express in words, the gratitude we feel. So I can only say again....Thank you!!
Earlier this week, we all received some very sad news about our dear friend, Shane Beam. Shane had an aggressive brain tumor and had been fighting the good fight for a long time. We hosted a Cancer Event, Unyielding to Cancer, in October of 2015 to raise funds for Shane and his family. It was so wonderful to have the Entire Community come together to show our support. A few Days ago, Shane gained his wings. He will forever remain in our memories and in our hearts.
To Honor Shane and his long fight, CrossFit Unyielding will be performing the Tribute Wods on Saturday February 4th. We invite all CrossFit Gyms who are reached by this post, to perform one or a few of the workouts we did at our Cancer Event. We ask that you post pictures and videos with the hashtag "#SHANESTRONG". Lets show his family and friends that the CrossFit Community can come together and show our support!