Saturday, October 25, 2008

Saturday 10/25/2008

Day 1 of CrossFit Gymnastics Certification at CrossFit Boston.

Today was a whirlwind day, to say the least. I went to bed at 8:00 p.m. last night after setting my phone alarm to 12:15 a.m. so that I could wake up in time to walk over to the Port Authority Bus Terminal (about half an hour's walk from where I'm bunking in with a friend in NYC), to catch my Greyhound bus to Boston at 2:00 a.m..

Well, as luck would have it, apparently I snoozed peacefully through my alarm at 12:15 a.m., and sat up all in a tizzy at 1:55 a.m., almost frantic and wondering how I was ever going to get to Boston by 9 the next morning. I rushed over to the terminal and was lucky to be told that there was another bus leaving for Boston at 3:30 a.m., and scheduled to reach at 8:05 in the morning. It wasn't a full bus by any means, so I continued the rest of my snooze all the way to Boston. I reached Boston's South Station at 8:15 a.m., jumped into a cab, and hightailed it all the way to CrossFit Boston, getting there at around 8:40 a.m.. Whew! What a way to begin my morning.

Thankfully, the day only got better as we were treated to Tucker's (Coach Jeff Tucker of GSX Athletics, CrossFit's expert on gymnastic training) brand of rowdy Texan humor as he proceeded to teach us all about the elements of gymnastics. The morning was spent primarily on bar work, where we learnt the mechanics of efficient kipping (apparently, the verbal cue "push off away from the bar" isn't the right way to teach a kip, and the kip is initiated by the forward thrust of the torso, rather than the backward swing of the legs).

Now, that is SOME kip.

We also worked on progressions involving knees-to-elbows, rolls, skin-the-cats, inversions, and back levers.

Yours truly as the test subject for skin-the-cats on a bar.

After lunch, we worked on the rings with supports, more levers, and muscle-up progressions. We didn't manage to cover the iron cross support today, but I think we'll do that tomorrow (definitely am looking forward to that)! I learnt a ton of things about proper mechanics of the elementary gymnastic movements, as well as the importance of spotting and safety while attempting gymnastic moves. I also learnt a nifty way to modify ring dips (besides negatives and jumping dips) for people who're struggling to get their first ring dip. I'm hoping to apply all this newfound knowledge when I return to Ann Arbor!

Demo Girl Melissa Byers (of shower-rod-pullup and Olympic-bar-breaking fame) demonstrates a L-sit hold on the rings.

Oh, and this particular seminar is filled with huge, huuuuuuuge names in the CrossFitting world -- Kelly Moore, Lynne Pitts (both of whom have workouts named after them)

"Kelly"
5 Rounds for time:
Run 400 meters
30 box jump, 24 inch box
30 Wall ball shots, 20 pound ball

"Lynne"
5 Rounds for max reps (no time component for this WOD):
Bodyweight bench press
Pullups

... as well as Gillian Mounsey (third in this year's CF Games and by far one of the best, most well-rounded athletes I've ever seen), and Jeff Martone (CrossFit's resident kettlebell coach and famed for performing a Turkish getup using his wife). And of course affiliate owners like CrossFit NYC's Michael Pommerening, CrossFit Virtuosity's Keith Wittenstein, CrossFit Boston's Jon Gilson and Neal Thompson, and CrossFit Watertown's Lisbeth Darth (writer and editor for both the CF affiliate blog as well as the CF Journal). It's truly a privilege to be in the midst of such awesome athletes and people!

Here's a brief lowdown on what I've learnt today (courtesy of Coach Jeff Tucker's notes)

Gymnastic Seminar:
The point of this seminar is to educate you in basic gymnastic movements which in turn will allow you to progress in your CrossFit workouts. Such skills and drills, basic or otherwise, will allow you to develop strength moves and variations in your personal training. All of these movements are based on form and the progression toward form with strength. Small moves will bring great rewards – you don’t rush these movements, you LEARN them!

Basic Spotting and Safety:
SAFETY - TRUST - CONFIDENCE
How to spot others. It is a hands-on exercise. Over-spotting. Hands on exercise
Self spot using stationary objects or assistance with power bands
What to look for when spotting: muscle fatigue, form issues, correction and feedback
SAFETY – ALWAYS SAFETY –
Spotting is used until the movement and form is achieved
Grip – thumb around the bar

Terminology:
Spot – various techniques
Active Muscles
Hollow
Core - Tightness
Form – Proper form and being tight in the movements
What is gymnastics? Striving toward perfection of the forms in CF vs compulsory
Static vs. Dynamic Apparatus
Stretch

High Bar/Pull Up Bar Variations
Grip – thumb around the bar – Spot – hands ON EXERCISE!
Kipping
Inversion
Dislocates
Skin the cat / pull back through to dead hang
L-sit raise – Dead hangs
L-sit pull ups
KTE / Ball Up
Muscle up
Back Levers
Front Lever

Rings
Safety
Support - Spot
Inversion
Ring position / strap position / arms close to the body
False grip
Muscle Up progression – training the muscle memory
Muscle Up
Iron Cross variations/progressions

***
All photos courtesy of Keith Wittenstein (thanks, Keith!) from CrossFit Virtuosity.

1 comment:

Keith said...

Great write up! Always good to see you. Please stay in touch!