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The Wounded Warrior Project

7 Sep

It was a trip I’d made a number of times – SFO to Seattle, Seattle to Anchorage, Anchorage to Kodiak.  This time my family had traveled up ahead of me and I was on my way to meet them.  Unfortunately, the weather had other plans and I ended up ‘stuck’ in Anchorage airport for 2 days.  With all this child-free time on my hands and in the same boat as many other stranded Kodiak-bound travelers, I set about making some friends to pass the time with.  As I waited to board the flight that finally landed me in Kodiak, I made my last 2 friends of my airport adventure – two warriors traveling with the Wounded Warrior Project on a Kodiak Expedition.  One had no legs, one arm, long scars on his head, neck and arms – he had been back from the Middle East for over 5 years and has a two year old.  The other had lost an arm and seemed to have returned from the war relatively recently.

The Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) provides tangible support for the severely wounded and helps them on the road to healing, both physically and mentally.  WWP helps injured service members successfully transition into civilian life and reintegrate into their communities.  Support and counseling for wounded vets as well as their caregivers is another benefit the project provides.  The Kodiak trip is one of many trips donated annually by individuals and corporations to enable these individuals to connect with one another while having access to some good old-fashioned fun.  Additional programs include peer mentoring, job training and alumni support.

Three years ago, the Wounded Warrior project became a beneficiary, along with Athlete’s for a Cure, of CrossFit’s annual Fight Gone Bad fundraiser.  Unlike prostate cancer, where unfortunately we all know someone who has been affected, the Wounded Warrior Project always felt a bit more distant to me.  Sitting there next to these 2 guys really brought home the benefit that every dollar raised brings to the lives of these young men and women who have given their life, as they knew it, in service to our country.

Fight Gone Bad has always been an awesome day here at FIT where participants accomplish more then they thought themselves capable of.  Each person comes in with his or her own motivations and goals.  At the end of the day, not only will each participant go home with the satisfaction that comes from physical accomplishment, but also with knowledge that their efforts helped and inspire those whose suffering unfortunately does not end when the workout does.

If you are, or are thinking about, participating or donating and need some added inspiration, please take a few minutes to read the stories of some of our country’s wounded warriors: http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/content/blogcategory/96/878/

“Fight Gone Bad 5” – How much fight is in you?

7 Sep

In 2006, a unique charity fundraising event was created to benefit prostate cancer research.  Crossfit gyms across the country and around the world were asked to hold a one-day, one workout event, to draw participants and donations for a great cause.  Using the “Fight Gone Bad” (FGB) benchmark workout, the Crossfit community, and those who joined ranks in support, have raised a combined total of more than $2 million for charity within the first four editions of FGB.

It can be so easy to get caught up in the importance of our own lives and successes that we forget about those less fortunate than us.  At FIT we strive to have a positive impact on our clients’ lives, both physically and mentally.  We also want to affect more than just our client base by reaching out and creating a difference in our community and our world.  FGB has been a great way for us to give back.  FIT and CrossFIT Los Altos have been involved with the FGB charity event since its inception.  In 2006, at FGB 1, we were excited to have 26 participants.  Last year at FGB 4 we had a robust 78 participants and raised over $25,000! That year CrossFIT Los Altos was the highest fundraising team in the Northern California 26> division, winning the honor of hosting the NorCal Regional Champion Traveling Trophy until FGB 5, this September 25th.

The FGB workout was originally designed over a decade ago for Lightweight UFC Champion BJ Penn.  It was intended to match or exceed the domain of a UFC fight in terms of the metabolic demand, force, range of motion, and speed.  After BJ Penn finished the workout for the first time, he was put flat on his back. When asked to compare the workout to a fight, he said it was like a “fight gone bad,” thus putting a name to the cause of his pain and this amazing worldwide charity event. Today FGB is one of the most famous benchmark workouts in the Crossfit program.

In 2010, FGB 5 opens its arms to benefit three charities: LIVESTRONG, Wounded Warrior Project and the Crossfit Foundation.  For more information on the actual workout, the charities, how to make a donation, or to join Team CrossFIT Los Altos, please visit the FGB 5 website at www.fgb5.org.

FIGHT GONE BAD 5- September 25th

1 Sep

Take your next workout to a higher level and join us on September 25th at CrossFIT Los Altos for our 5th Fight Gone Bad fund raising event.  Your participation will provide much needed support for our troops, law enforcement, first responders communities, and the millions of Americans fighting all types of cancer.

The Workout

The Fight Gone Bad workout is 17 minutes in length and consists of three rounds of five exercises: Wall-ball, Sumo dead-lift high pull, Box jumps, Push press, and Rowing.  With a minute rest between each round, this workout will challenge your anaerobic fitness.  But, don’t think this challenge is beyond your capabilities, the workout is scalable to match any fitness level.

How Do I Sign Up?

Follow this link to sign up for FIGHT GONE BAD5

Each participant that raises $150 will win a t-shirt!

Charitable Organizations supported by your Fight Gone Bad 5 Donation

LIVESTRONG fights to improve the lives of people affected by cancer.  www.livestrong.org

Wounded Warrior Project rasies awareness and provide programs and services for severely injured service members during the transistion between active duty and civilian life.  www.woundedwarriorproject.org

The CrossFit Foundation provides support and assistance to the men and women of the military, law enforcement, and first responder communities and their families.  For more information on the foundation, please contact foundation@crossfit.com

CrossFit is the principal strength and conditioning program used by many police academies and tatical operations teams, and military special operations units, as well as elite athletes and champion martial artists. www.crossfit.com

The Sportsgrants Foundation is one of the few nonprofit event production companies in the United States. www.sportsgrants.org

CrossFit on the Road

4 Jun

Summertime is rapidly approaching, and for many of us that means vacation! It also means time away from FIT.  But, you don’t have to let your fitness suffer.  It only takes 30 minutes a few times a week, to maintain the fitness you’ve earned.  All you need for a solid workout is:

1. Motivation

2. Space

3. Creativity

Motivation will most likely be the greatest obstacle to training while on vacation.  Having a structured regiment at your finger tips could be the stimulation you need.  While planning your vacation,  put a 30 minute WOD on your travel itinerary.

Finding space is easy. The hotel fitness center (as small as it may be), a park, or even your hotel room has ample room for squats, push ups, and burpees.  Another option is to find a CrossFit affiliate within your travel destination.  Most affiliates allow experienced CrossFitters to drop-in for a workout.

With some creativity, equipment limitations are easily overcome.  Some fitness centers have dumbbells and cardio equipment, however usable items can be found anywhere. Look for monkey bars and benches in the park. Even a hotel chair can make a good dip station. Regardless of exercise equipment, the combination of body weight and gymnastic exercises are virtually limitless for a great workout!

Here are some sample workouts designed to deliver a good dose of intensity in 10-20 minutes.  All you need is your able body and a little room to move.

-50-40-30-20-10 reps of: Squats, Walking Lunges, Push-ups

-5 rounds: Run 200m, 15 Burpees

-As many rounds in 20 minutes: 5 Burpees, 10 Squats, 15 Pushups

For more CrossFit on the Road workouts email me at jimmy@focusedtrainers.com.

Remember, getting the workout in is great, but if you’re putting too much junk in your body’s fuel tank you’re really just taking one step forward and two steps back.  Have a great summer!

Making Exercise a Sport

5 May

Crossfit Games 2010 Norcal Sectionals where FIT Trainers, Jimmy and Rick, Competed

Physical activity and exercise are interchangeable phrases, but sport is defined as: an individual or group competitive activity involving physical exertion or skill, governed by rules, and sometimes engaged in professionally (often used in the plural).  Physical activity is the goal for health and well-being but motivation can often be a challenge so why not look to sport for the inherent motivation it provides?

Being a part of a team, the motivation that comes from trying to make yourself better, the satisfaction derived from supporting others to do the same . . .these are all benefits traditionally been reserved to organized sport but thanks to Crossfit, every and any individual who wants to stay or get in shape has access to them.  Participating in Crossfit is different from going to the gym to get a workout, it is the feeling of being a part of something bigger than yourself.  The workout of the day is not just about how well you do, it’s about supporting or inspiring those around you, it’s about pushing yourself to try your hardest and do your best.  Like taking up any new sport, it can feel awkward at first leading to uncertainty, but then you chat with a more seasoned Crossfitter and learn that they too were once like you.

Greg Glassman, founder of Crossfit, describes it like this: In implementation, CrossFit is, quite simply, a sport—the “sport of fitness.” We’ve learned that harnessing the natural camaraderie, competition, and fun of sport or game yields an intensity that cannot be matched by other means. Using whiteboards as scoreboards, keeping accurate scores and records, running a clock, and precisely defining the rules and standards for performance, we not only motivate unprecedented output but derive both relative and absolute metrics at every workout; this data has important value well beyond motivation.

The Crossfit principle is competing against yourself.  It’s about self-improvement and mastery of skills.  It’s about practicing skills so you can be better than you were the day before. Like any team sport, tt’s not just about how well you do, it’s about supporting your teammates and being part of their success.  The thing most people seek from team participation, aside from the sport itself, is the camaraderie and community among teammates . . . if this is something you are seeking, and looking to try a new ‘sport’, why not drop in to a crossfit class and give the sport of fitness a try?

Crossfit Games

5 Apr

Rick and I participated in the Sectionals of the Crossfit Games on March 27th and 28th at Mitty High School in San Jose.  Over 250 men and 150 women paticipated in the two day event.  While we didn’t qualify for Regionals, we had a great time competing and really absorbed the spirit that all the athletes and fans brought to the event.  The workouts and competitiveness was fierce, but everyone was supportive and in the end what mattered was that you gave it your all.  I know it sounds like an advertisement, but it even shocked me!  Anyway, here are the workouts we went through:

Saturday, Workout 1:

In 6 minutes, you ran 800 meters and then completed as many overhead squats as possible with 115lbs.

Saturday, Workout 2:

10 minutes, AMRAP:

7 Barbell Thrusters @ 115 lbs

12 Kettle Bell Swings @ 55lbs

7 Chest to Bar Pull-ups

Sunday – Chipper

6 minutes to register your best Clean and Jerk.

Immediately following the 6 minutes you had to complete the following for time:

25 Burpees

100 yards of Walking Lunges

5 Rounds of 15 DB Thrusters and a 100 yard Farmers Walk @ 40lbs

25 Burpees

500 m Row

450m sprint.

Only 357 days left of training until next year!