Meet Your Coach: Jon H

Continuing our series, our latest is on our Level 2 Overlord and badass resident personal trainer, Jon Hanna. Since joining the staff at UB, he's been busy inspiring us to be our best selves, always!


unnamed-3.jpg

How long have you been exercising?

Since I was 5 or 6. I always loved basketball, baseball,  and football. I was an avid snowboarder and skater and still am, and in high school I was a competitive distance runner. My favorite distances were the Mile(4:25) and 800m run(2:00.01)

What is your work out program? 

I currently follow Thrivestry Competition Programming from Jeremy Jones

Do you play sports? 

These days I stick to Crossfit, longboarding, snowboarding, and the occasional run.

unnamed-2.jpg

 

If you could share just one piece of knowledge to someone just starting out in their fitness journey what would it be? 

"Be consistent in your diet and effort, follow a coach you trust and listen to them only."

Do you eat a specific diet?

I follow renaissance periodization year round.  

How often do you train? 

6 days a week, once a day. 

How often in training do you hit a new PR or acquire a new skill?

Once every couple months, that period continues to get longer. 

What do you find contributes to your fitness the most?

I'm very consistent with my diet and I always complete my programming. I've always attacked my weaknesses first and have turned some of them into strengths. 

IMG_0368.jpg

What is your next strength /fitness/skill goal to be achieved?

 Squat 400lbs. Clean 300lbs. 

What is your pie-in-the-sky health/ fitness/skill goal?

Clean and Jerk 300lbs and Snatch 225lbs at Rite of Passage in November 2018. 

 

Have you ever been injured? How did you move past it? 

Yes. Fortunately nothing long term. I always continue to do the exercises I can and I stick with my regular workout schedule and diet throughout the injury. 

 

Bite Sized CrossFit Concepts: Cardio

If you remember during the Open, we talked about the 10 physical skills.  When you look at the list - where are your deficiencies?  Which one (or few) of the 10 are keeping you from being your ultimate self?  Over the next few weeks, I want to look at these 10 from a CrossFit perspective.  For today, we'll start at the top...

1. Cardiovascular/respiratory endurance
2. Stamina
3. Strength
4. Flexibility
5. Power
6. Speed
7. Coordination
8. Agility
9. Balance
10. Accuracy

 First rule of zombieland: Cardio!

First rule of zombieland: Cardio!

Cardio/Endurance is one of those things that people already have an understanding of when they walk through the door.  It might be a love/hate relationship, but you get that it's relates to that winded feeling and the ability of the body systems to gather, process, and deliver oxygen to your muscles. 

What I want to highlight for you in this post is the cardio is not only built with long slow distances.  Yes the occasional longer run is important, but if you focus on just putting in the miles, you could cause muscle loss, and at the very least inhibit muscle gain.

So if cardio is your weak spot, remember we CrossFitters usually get our “cardio” in by combining it with other physical skills. You do not have to train like a hamster to be cardiovascularly fit, but you should also stop cherry-picking longer workouts, or WODs with longer runs or rows. 

The Weekly Dose Of Awesome: Coach Cam!


I’m incredibly excited to try a new awesome blog post format of audio for this week!

Tune into my interview with a man who caught my attention when he walked through our doors after moving from Boston who showed up exuding openness, strength and humility. I’ve had the honor and privilege of teaming up with him multiple times to experience how he plays on a team and also have experienced him in a coaching capacity on a few mornings. I’m stoked to be sharing my interview with the one... the only... Cameron Seher.

LISTEN BELOW... LOADING LOADING LOADING


The CrossFit Tween

Every day you come into UB to do a class, you make a choice - to RX, or not to RX?

For the high-level CrossFit athlete, RX’ing a WOD is usually a foregone conclusion. On the other end of the spectrum, a CrossFit newbie relies on the scaled version of a WOD to ensure they can actually perform the movements and get the work done safely.  But what about the CrossFit tweens?  How do the awkward middle grounders scale? Who have a bar muscle up not 15? Who have double unders but not consistently strung together? Who have a clean clean, but not at 185 for reps? 

If you fall into the tween category, there are a couple of questions you should ask yourself as you approach your daily workout:

  • What is the intention of the workout? 

Your goal of the WOD is never to RX or not.  Instead, it should be to satisfy the intention of the workout.  Is the WOD after a high intensity sweat-fest?  Is it focusing on serious strength gains?  Is it a skill-tastic WOD day?  The intention of the workout is a great guide for how to apply your efforts and scaling decisions.  If you can't tell, ask your coach!  That's what we are here for.  Our scaling answer might surprise you, but our recommendations are based on our combined knowledge of the intended purpose of the WOD along with your skills as an athlete. 

  • Can you stay safe and consistent?

Safety is another crucial deciding factor in choosing to scale.  If you can only string together one or two deadlifts at 185, should you really struggle through 45?  If you lose form on a kettlebell swing after a few reps, should you commit to that weight for a workout?  If you just got your muscle up, should you really spend 5 minutes each round flailing on the rings? 

When you approach the WOD do you think “screw it, I’m racing the clock and I’m go to finish THIS WOD with THIS WEIGHT and no ones going to stop me,” or do you calculate risk?  Yes, we want you to challenge yourself, but it is very important to us that you can leave the box under your own power and come back the next day for more.  Doing a WOD inefficiently and inconsistently with repeated reps just to say you did RX is asking for trouble, and it feeds the CrossFit trolls when you invariably get hurt. Don’t feed the trolls, people.

  • Can you split your effort?

Scaling doesn't have to be black and white.  You can split how you scale in a workout.  This is especially the case for skill-based scaling.  Here are a couple scenarios where you might try it out

- If you always go for singles instead of doubles because just aren't that consistent.... you will never get consistent.  But if the idea of fighting for each and every double under in a WOD makes you want to punch a wall, perhaps you can split your effort.  In a 5 round WOD, do singles on rounds 1, 3, 5 and doubles on rounds 2 & 4.
- In a WOD with 7 HSPU per round, consider doing 3 RX HSPU every round and the scale the remaining reps in each round.
- If the rhythm of a full snatch is getting you down, maybe you break down your 10 reps into 5 power snatches and 5 hang squat snatches so you can work the components.

The point is if you sell yourself as always scaling a movement and never try it, how will you ever get better at it?

No matter where you are on the scaling spectrum - remember, scaling is never a point of shame.  It is a matter of getting the most out of each and every workout and aspiring to be the best version of yourself.

So You're Starting to Plateau....

Starting out in CrossFit is great - everyday is filled with new challenges and skills. Then you start to get the hang of it, and it's PR city. You can't touch a barbell without PRing. You feel stronger and more capable everyday. You are on the fast track to badassdom, and it just keeps coming. You are unstoppable. And then, just like that, it happens... PRs start to slip away, the weight loss slows down and the frustration kicks in -- you wonder why CrossFit isn't working anymore. And then one morning you decide it's cold outside and you elect to battle it out with your snooze button instead of coming in for your morning WOD. Then one missed class turns into two, and suddenly 2 weeks have gone by since you have come into the gym and we coaches have gotten the torches out and are ready to send out the search party.......

If any part of this sounds familiar - don't fret. Despite your frustration, this is a temporary phase - a growing pain of your fitness journey. The important thing to remember is you are the tortoise, not the hare. Just because you have stopped making regular gains does not mean you have met the maximum of your fitness potential. What it does mean is that you have hit a plateau. But I will repeat - this is not permanent. There are some simple changes you can make to your routine to break this barrier and start feeling like a badass again:

  • Talk to your coach - Your coach sees you on the regular, and they might have some insight as to where you should be focusing your attention.  Be accountable for your fitness journey - schedule 5 minutes with them and ask!
  • Change your class time - sometimes getting out of a rut can be as simple as surrounding yourself with different athletes and a different coach. New people in your routine might help you push yourself and give you the boost you need.
  • Mix-up your intensity - if you have been choosing heavier weights for WODs to push your strength, try going a little lighter and turning up the speed (with good form). After a couple weeks, try switching back and test it out.
  • Tweak your nutrition - maybe you've been allowing more cheat meals. Maybe you've been eating the exact same thing every single day. Just like with your exercise, you need to have variety in your diet. Mix it up and dial it in.
  • Focus on recovery and mobility - the right mobility work will do wonders for you. The only hard part is figuring out which one you need. Talk to your coach and take some extra time to make sure you are addressing your issues. They just might be what's holding you back.

With any changes you make to your routine, overall remember to be patient. Most people have the potential to be good or even great athletes if they allow themselves the patience to stick it out.

Food for Thought: Stay and Cheer

The open might be over, but the spirit doesn't have to be.  A quick read from Words with Lisbeth.

Don’t be that guy or gal. You know, the one who puts away their gear while others are still working.

This used to be a common rule in the old days of CrossFit. Everybody knew it. If you finished first, you cheered on the people still working.

The old days are long gone.

Now, I see people put away their gear while the class is still going. Sure, affiliates are all different, and some still enforce the old rules, but I’m constantly struck by the idea that we are not in Kansas anymore, Toto.

Some folks may say that’s not such a big deal. “I’m finished. I have places to be.”

I get that. So does your coach. I don’t have a one-size-fits-all answer, but I do know some boxes have a rule: if you have to leave early, tell the coach and go. Leave your gear out. The coach and the class will take care of it. I think that’s a better option than putting away gear in front of your classmate who is still working. To me, putting gear away during a metcon is a sign of disrespect.

But I’m old-school. And I notice these things because I’m one of the slower class members. I’m not usually the first one done — and, if I am (probably because it’s something like power cleans and kettlebell swings), I leave my gear where it is and I cheer for people who are still working. (But I’m like that anyhow. You can take the coach out of coaching, but you can’t make her shut up.)

Anyhow, it’s not the most important thing in the world, but if you can use a few moments of your day to help lift another person, wouldn’t that be awesome for both of you?

Partner-WOD.jpg

Meet Your Coach: Lisa

Today we continue a series of blogs that give you an insight into our coaches here at UB.

We've asked some questions about their workout and diet habits, as well as their athletic & sport experience, and their future goals.


Do you play sports?

CrossFit is now my only sport.

What is your next strength/fitness/skill goal to be achieved?

I just want to get better at everything. Keep lifting, Keep working on skilled bodyweight movements and always be adding muscle mass.

What is your pie-in-the-sky health/ fitness/skill goal? Also known as a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) 

If I had more time to train I would be working towards my first oly meet. 

Have you ever been injured? How did you move past it?

 I'm lucky I have never been truly injured. I have been pregnant twice and at times if felt like an injury because of modification and limitations I had at times. 

Do you eat a particular diet or follow a specific diet philosophy?

I try to eat colorful and avoid my kids leftovers.

unnamed.jpg

What is your next strength /fitness/skill goal to be achieved?

I just want to get better at everything. Keep lifting, Keep working on skilled bodyweight movements and always be adding muscle mass.
 


How long have you been exercising?

I have been CrossFitting since February 2013, it was love at first WOD. I have played sports all my life, competing against anyone who would play me. High School I competed in Volleyball, Soccer, Track, Cross country and Diving. I use to BMX bike race. 

What is your work out program? 

Workout as much as possible, whenever possible. At the gym, home or on a walk with the family you can always add push-ups and air squats. 

  If you could share just one piece of knowledge to someone just starting out in their fitness journey what would it be?     " Show up. Never give up. Try new things even if they are scary. At first Crossfit terrified me, I obsessed over the workout everyday I know I was attending class. I was worried I wouldn't be able to do a movement. However at the end of every class or workout I have never regretted coming and I only wanted to try harder, and get better to become the fastest, strongest, healthiest version of myself. In the end Crossfit and this new found strength game me confidence in every aspect of my life I never knew I could have."

If you could share just one piece of knowledge to someone just starting out in their fitness journey what would it be?

"Show up. Never give up. Try new things even if they are scary. At first Crossfit terrified me, I obsessed over the workout everyday I know I was attending class. I was worried I wouldn't be able to do a movement. However at the end of every class or workout I have never regretted coming and I only wanted to try harder, and get better to become the fastest, strongest, healthiest version of myself. In the end Crossfit and this new found strength game me confidence in every aspect of my life I never knew I could have."

How often do you train? 

5 days a week.

How often in training do you hit a new PR or acquire a new skill? 

Sadly not as often as I use to. I have not PRed in a year. 

What do you find contributes to your fitness the most? 

Sticking with CrossFit and the ability to workout with my husband has helped keep my fitness going. 

DOMS

Does this sound like you?

"How do you feel after WODding this morning?" "Actually I feel fine.... Maybe I didn't deadlift enough..."

When starting CrossFit, one experiences great soreness, but partnered with the consistent gains of a new athlete. So, commonly, one associates one with the other. Soreness becomes the gold star of hard work well done and the sign of personal progress. But as the body adapts to the demands of a new training style, soreness becomes less intense or less frequent. This is often mistaken for a sign of not having done enough, trained hard enough. This mentality, revering the inability to walk comfortably up stairs or get up from your toilet seat, is misdirected.

Soreness, both DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), as well as the temporary diffuse "burn" you feel after a set of an exercise, in small doses are signs progress - they are signs of microscopic tears in your muscles that will lead to an adaptive healing process leaving you stronger. But the DOMS pain sensation is not necessary to gaining strength... so not feeling soreness does not mean you didn't do necessary work that will lead to future gains. On the other side of the equation, if you can't function (e.g. can barely lift your arms to put your shirt on or you shower like a dirty T-Rex) it is a sign of severe DOMS. Extreme DOMS is not a sign of bigger gains. Instead it limits your ability to train, function, and if not dealt with properly, can serve as a precursor to injury.

It is true - a some soreness on occasion is a good thing. But it is not a necessity, nor should it be the goal. If you do experience DOMS, remember to address it - don't take the day off, but instead do light movements with the muscle group and foam/lacrosse roll as necessary.

It's 18.5 Announcement Day!

5a70b4b657484.jpg

18.5 ANNOUNCEMENT DAY!

CF-Games-Open-logo-no-year.jpg

18.5 will be announced today at 5pm. You can watch the announcement live or check out the website for a short video including movement standards.

The final workout will be announced from CrossFit Reykjavík in Reykjavík, Iceland, and it will be the battle of the Dottirs. With two Fittest on Earth titles under their belts, Annie Thorisdottir and Katrin Davidsdottir will compete against each other and 2017 Games fourth-place finisher Sara Sigmundsdottir. 

PLEASE BE AWARE that we will not be holding regular classes tomorrow (Friday) evening. From 5pm on we will be running heats of 18.5. Morning and noon classes will also be 18.5 however they will be run like regular classes. If you're not participating in the CrossFit Open or the House Cup, you can still participate in the Friday evening heats! Make sure you come early to put your name down and grab a judge.

This is the final CrossFit Open workout. Friday evening classes will go back to normal next week!

 Annie Thorisdottir, Sara Sigmundsdottir, and Katrin Davidsdottir

Annie Thorisdottir, Sara Sigmundsdottir, and Katrin Davidsdottir

Olivia Graff

Olivia's athletic origins lie in gymnastics and circus arts. After finding CrossFit in 2007, she became obsessed, and three years later left her IT career and opened United Barbell. Olivia is particularly passionate about helping people new to fitness to find joy in their growing athletic abilities. Since the birth of her daughter, Isis, in 2013, Olivia can add helping little ones find their athletic path to her list of passions.