De-load - officially not a word in any dictionary.
But it means a lot to many a lifter, cross fitter, or athlete. What is it? and why do we need it?
Traditionally, De-load phases in exercise programming, follow a 4-6 week block of intense work and volume. After that work block, you take a period of time (a week in this case) where you continue to stay active and train, but keep volume and intensities at a lower level. This is to help prevent overuse injuries and let the body heal and recover. We never truly realise that week in and week out of training puts a lot of stress on the body and your CNS. This can lead to overtraining, a loss of strength and power and may eventually lead to injury. So we are thinking ahead and planning to train smarter by slotting it into our programming.
So How do I de-load?
There are a number of ways to de-load and the options work differently from person to person. Thankfully though, we've programmed the next week for you as a de-load. You will notice that the routine will change slightly and the workout volume and intensity would be less. We've programmed it in using a number of different options. We do this with the hope of coming back the following week and hit some big numbers and maybe some long awaited PRs. However this may not always work for everyone. Here are some other options for how to de-load when you feel the need to do so.
1.) The most common method of deloading is just to reduce weights. Normally, you would perform your sets at around 40-60% of your 1RM. The loads are light and the reps and sets are low. The idea is to keep active and train but keep it light and easy.
2.) Another option is to keep your weights, but reduce your volume. If we were doing squats at 300 pounds for 5 reps, we would normally try to reload by doing the same weight for a single or double. This gives you the feeling of still lifting heavy without the prolonged stress of completing it for reps. This gives people that feel like their performance suffers if they don't lift heavy week in and week out, a chance to mentally think they stay on track of their weights without the same stress on the body.
3.) Do something else. Yoga, Pilates, Dance... Work your body in a different way and see how it respond to a different stimulus. They say forcing your body and your brain to learn something new helps keep your mind and your body young.
4.) Do nothing. Probably not the best option to choose for people who can't imagine not doing any exercise, but sometimes this can actually be most beneficial.
Now that you know your options, you need to know when. We plan to always work in this cycle of work and de-load with our programming at the box, but just in case you find yourself slow and sluggish, and just don't know why your numbers are stuck. Maybe, your body is telling you to take one unplanned. Here's a quick list of when it would probably be best to take it easy.
1.) You're getting weaker. Slow and sluggish is just the start, but then you can't seem to feel explosive through any of your lifts. Might be time to rework your training with a de-load.
2.) You're sore everywhere. Not just your plain old muscle soreness that you get from getting a good pump from lifting heavy, but the kind that it hurts to even just execute an air squat. Or your hips are on fire from just walking up a hill. Might be time to get a massage and chill for a short while.
3.) Post Open or post competition. The open is probably the most stressful time of the year for most cross fitters. Taking a good couple of weeks of light work and rest is always best immediately after.
So as we've mentioned, next week is already planned as a week to take it fairly easy. Hopefully it will help you find some balance back in your training and bring some big numbers the week after.
1.Personal Goal Orientated
When you first train with a personal trainer, one of the things your trainer will help you with is setting up some goals. Many people start exercising without having a clear direction. This means that not only is there a good chance that you will not be taking the most effective route to your goal, but even worse, the lack of direction might cause you to give up before you get there!
Your trainer will be there to talk to you and help you set up goals that are realistic and achievable in a short-run. Your trainer will also talk to you about other goals that may take a little longer and help you find the best way to get you there.
2. Skill Improvement
Not all of you out there who need personal training are absolute beginners. Even if you are a little more experienced, personal training may be of benefit for you too!
Sometimes having a second pair of eyes is just that much better than looking at yourself in a video or a mirror when it comes to feedback. Personal training is particularly useful when you are trying to improve your form for moves such as snatch or clean and jerks.
On the other hand, if you are a beginner, personal training would help you develop the skills you need to get fit without injuring yourself.
3.Personal attention & encouragement
The most obvious difference you will appreciate with personal training right away is the individual attention you get from your trainer. During your one hour session with your trainer, you are the star of the show and it is all about you. While different methods are effective for different individuals when it comes to motivation for exercise, some people thrive when they are encouraged and supported personally. If you are looking for a way to motivate yourself to show up at the box, personal training might be what you have been looking for.
4.Tailor made program and ongoing progress monitoring
A tailor made Italian suit will always fit better than its counterpart at a department store. Personal trainers design tailor made fitness programs in accordance to your goals and needs; goals being what it is you want and needs being what you might not have realised. For instance, you might want to lose weight and get stronger but in order to move forward your trainer identifies the need for you to get more flexible in order to do movements without hurting yourself.
Moreover, your personal trainer is there to monitor your progress and make necessary adjustments to your program. This will help you stay on track to achieve your goals.
5.We hold you accountable
In my opinion, perseverance is the key to getting in shape. Personal training means there are no excuses and you would be held accountable for turning up to a workout. Your trainer will be there to make sure you come to the box and give it your best. At the end of the day, no fitness programme will do any good if you don't give it your best!
Please don't try to sing it in your best Evita interpretation...
Here's a sneak peek into what we've laid out for you for the next 8 weeks of programming.
We thought it best to explain the intent of how the next 2 months have been programmed so that everyone will have a better understanding of what we hope we all can achieve together.
Like most things that I program, whether its for a PT or a class, I try to draw upon experience from what has worked in the past and what makes sense with where everyone in the box is now, in terms of Skill, Strength and Conditioning.
The idea behind the next 8 weeks is that we would like everyone to get "Stronger" with your basic movements. Squat. Push. Pull. Hopefully, building enough strength through the next 8 weeks, so that we can then increase volume in the succeeding cycle.
Is it harder?
No, just different. We've had fun WODs for the past few months post Open, that has hopefully given our bodies a much needed de-load from the Open's stresses. Now we plan to rebuild and get strong! Hopefully this brings more direction into our training as compared to the last few weeks . The idea is to provide more structure to our squat cycles, and all movements that feature regularly in the Open workouts, that I feel that we as a box lack. We will work with percentages to help increase our 1 RMs. Build stronger hips and shoulders through unilateral work and increase our ability to cycle through movements.
I used to RX workouts before and now I have to scale some of them.
Just because you can RX the movements in a workout does not always mean you should, if you lose the intent of the said workout. Doing a 10 minute Grace for example, is not what the workout was designed to be. As you get past certain hurdles/benchmarks in your training, there are always new ones to get over. That goes for every single athlete out there.
We feel that the skill and strength level across the board has gotten better, and we believe taking this next step will help elevate everyone in the box to bigger better numbers.
I don't like doing accessory work because there's no score or its boring.
If you want to get better scores in your Open workouts and be able to finally execute movements you've never been able to do, you need to do the accessory work. It may not always be sexy and put you on the leaderboard, but it is essential in growing as an athlete and just becoming a better and stronger individual.
So what will our week look like now?
There will be 2 days of squatting. A day for pulling and a day for pushing, whether weighted or gymnastic. Saturday's are still for fun team or partner WODs. Sunday is for Oly Lifting for people that miss the lifts throughout the week, and a day dedicated to cycling movements and improving capacity in our gymnastic movements. The goal is to make sure people that come 5 days a week, or someone who comes 2 times a week will be able to get all three basic movements worked as much as possible. (Very difficult to achieve, but that is the hope!)
So... Where do we go from here?
Together, we hope we continue to grow as a box in becoming stronger better versions of ourselves. If you have any questions about anything at all, feel free to hit us up and we'd gladly explain what the next 8 week journey will be like.
It's official guys!
Cav's Fit for Summer 8 week challenge has started. Not only has it been a fruitful 2 weeks of weighting and testing everyone, but also 2 weeks of a lot of CHANGE. (Eating habits, Workout patterns, etc.)
Unlike any of the other challenges we've held before, the "Fit for Summer" challenge focuses on one's nutrition. For all participants, a change in the way we eat is a must.
The Challenge is divided into two parts: Quality & Quantity.
By using the list provided by Coach Cam, everyone scores points for eating the right things in the right amounts. Which brings me to the topic of this week's Food for Thought Friday:
Erhm....What about Water?
Well, water plays a big part in any dieting scheme.
Drink more water...Keep a bottle with you always...Sip whenever you can...
For anyone who has been on a diet before, you would have heard of similar hydration advice given along with other eating modifications.
Just in case you aren't convinced that water is just as important for you as a good diet, here are 5 reasons why you should pick up a bottle and sip away while counting your daily challenge scores:
Reason No.1 : Water enhances your energy level
If you’re dehydrated and sluggish, it makes it hard to get up from the couch to the box for a WoD. Water lubricates everything in your body, which keeps your cells working properly, your muscles oxygenated, and your brain functioning at its best — all of which helps you stay motivated and focused on your goal and challenge. The next time you are trying to decide whether you should come in for the Metcon, grab a glass of water instead of pouring yourself a cup of coffee.
Reason No.2: Water is WoD fuel
Now that you have gotten off your couch to the box, it's time to drink more water! If you’re dehydrated, your workout will suffer — and so will your results. In fact, just losing 2 percent of your body weight in fluid can impede your performance by up to 25 percent. And if you start out dehydrated, you’re just going to become more dehydrated as you sweat. To get the most out of your workout, drink water before, during, and after exercise.
Reason No.3: Water is a metabolism booster
Drinking water helps you burn more calories. That’s because whenever you eat or drink, your body burns energy to process whatever is coming in. And since water is calorie-free, you’re burning more than you consume. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that healthy men and women who drank about 16 ounces of water experienced a 30 percent increase in their metabolic rate within ten minutes!
Reason No.4: When you are drinking water you are less likely to drink unhealthy drinks
With summer around the corner, we can all enjoy a nice cold soda or maybe even a light beer on a hot day to cool down. However, drinks like those are usually packed with a lot more calories compared to a glass of water. There are even some studies that suggest drinking ice water, which causes a sudden drop in body temperature, can increase a burn of extra calories. On a hot day drinking an ice cold glass of water...Sure, why not?
Reason No.5: Water helps cut down binge eating and snacking
Thirst can masquerade as hunger. So when you’re tempted to eat, you may actually just need a glass of water. Other symptoms that we often associate with hunger — such as a gurgling stomach or lightheadedness — may also indicate thirst. When you feel hunger kick in, try drinking a glass of water before you eat.
So the question now is...How Much?
According to Dr. John Berardi at Precision Nutrition :
Sedentary individuals drink at least 2L or about 8 cups of water per day
Athletes in normal climates drink at least 3L or about 12 cups of water per day.
Athletes in hot weather climates drink at least 4L or about 16 cups of water per day.
And since we will all be working out like an athlete ***wink wink***and summer is just around the corner, aiming for 2L to 3L or about 8 to 12 cups of water per day should be sufficient. However, do listen to your body and adjust accordingly.
Tips on Drinking more water:
- Always drink 1-2 glasses of water with a meal (before or after)
- Infusing your water with fruits, such as lemons or oranges, will certainly make it more tasty.
- Log what you drink each day with an app or the spreadsheet provided for The Challenge under each day's comment section.
Like past nutrition and body composition challenges, will be a "reset" for a lot of you. Whether you're recovering from Rugby 7s, Easter weekend, or still feeling the effects from Christmas (?!) nutrition is an important step in the journey to overall health and wellness. This isn't just a weight loss challenge, it's a lifestyle challenge. It is for anyone looking to improve several aspects of their lives. Here are the deets:
This will be an 8-week long, two part challenge. The first 4 weeks will focus on quality of food. During the last four weeks, we'll dial it in with the same quality food but with an added focus on quantity. The number of meals will be determined by the athlete’s size and goals.
Part 1: Quality
4 Points: Perfect day of eating.
Example: You didn't cheat at all!
3 Points: One minor slip.
Example: Cream in the coffee, salad dressing, mayo, bbq sauce, ketchup or one tortilla chip, one bite or sip of anything that is not allowed.
2 Points: Significant slip, but not an entire meal.
Example: One glass of wine or one beer, finished your kid’s Mac ’N Cheese, piece of bread at dinner.
1 Point: Major slip, a full meal went bad.
Example: You had Pizza or pasta for dinner, more than one alcoholic drink, dessert.
0 Points: More than one meal went bad.
Example: You went off the rails at dinner and then went out for drinks.
1 Point You worked out.
Part 2: Quantity
Everything stays the same
From part 1, but you now have the opportunity for bonus points. Check it out!
2 Points: You have the correct amount of trays in a day
1 Point: You are within 1/2 of your food quantity.
1 Point You worked out.
Most people are nutrient deficient in more ways than one. By choosing nutrient dense foods, we can help to eliminate those deficiencies and help bring our bodies back to homeostasis. For the challenge, you will be choosing your foods off of a list. This will ensure we are eating the right types of foods for sustained health and longevity. You will notice the absence of things like bacon, sausage, and other high fat meats. Just like many of the processed carbohydrates we avoid, these foods are often void of nutrients, yet very dense in calories.
Here's what you can eat:
Center Cut Pork Loin
3 Eggs* = 1 portion
Ground Turkey Breast
*NO DELI MEATS
*ALL MEATS MUST BE SKINLESS
Grass Fed Butter
Homemade dressings (2 tbsp**)
Raw Macadamia Nuts
Raw Nut Butter **
Listen, we know that only being able to eat certain foods off a list isn't sexy. It's not glamorous. The thing you have to understand is that this is a CHALLENGE. It might get difficult. It will be tough. But it will change you.
To keep it simple, you should invest in a few Tupperware containers to help you measure out your meals for the day. The vegetables will fill the large compartment, and the protein and carbohydrates will each fit into one of the smaller compartments. We will be using a simple tablespoon from our home kitchen to round out the meal with a quality choice of fat from the list. Idea here is to be getting a starting point or a baseline on how much we are taking in without overcomplicating it.
How many meals per day? Lets keep it simple and look at your t-shirt size!
XL- 5 full meals
Medium-3 full meals
XL/Very active-4 full
*full means filling Tupperware container to the max. Regular meals are below max capacity.
The points system is based on honor. Be honest with yourself and others. The points system, combined with body measurements will determine the winner of our 2017 Fit For Summer Challenge.
We are always on the lookout for fresh talent!
Are you passionate about fitness and helping people?
Are you looking for a career in the fitness industry?
We are looking for like-minded individuals the are self-starters and have a passion for helping others achieve their fitness goals!
Interested? e-mail email@example.com
It is Friday lunch time and for the first time in over a month I am feeling stress-free. Im heading into the weekend not counting repetitions in my head. I am not spending sleepless nights strategising how to get faster or stronger. Mixed feelings abound. After my 4th CrossFit Open, for the first time I am thankful it is over. I am in one group of people who are happy the stress is gone. We enjoy it in the moment but now that it is over we are more than happy to get back to regular programming. We know the game is long and we are already thinking ahead to next year.
For some people though, the week after the open can feel a bit empty. There is a feeling that surely, there's more to it. They miss the Saturday frenzy watching other people go at it whole heartedly and lay everything on the line for one more second, one more rep. I was once there too. However, it is good to always keep reality in check and get back to the grind sooner than later so we can hop straight back into training. For the fittest among us, there's regionals to look forward to and the elite go one step further into the Games. But for us plebs, this is the end of the line. Another year down, and hopefully, better than last year.
Whether or not you belong to either group, this time is mostly spent reflecting on what the last year has been and looking forward to another year of work towards beating this year's results. At the end of the day, the euphoria, the manic weekends and the highs and lows of the Open will fade and give us clearer goals towards next year's open.
Did we lack strength? Did we fail at the gymnastic skills in the WODs? or did we not have that much coveted engine needed for those long grinding workouts? Whatever our short comings the only way is forward and the time to start is now. Let this week or the next settle. Give the body its recovery, then hit the training hard and get back on the Fitness train! Looking forward to The CrossFit Open 2018 already
Coincidentally, if you're looking to Calibrate some skills, Correct some technique or Commit to learning some new tricks that would be helpful in the next Open. Give any of the coaches a holler and we'd love to talk to you about how we can help you get those goals!
For some of you, that means nothing. For others, that's a chance to retest a workout that you probably remember vividly.
Let's take a look at the workout and break it down to HOPEFULLY hit some new personal bests:
Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 13 minutes of:
55 wall-ball shots
55 handstand push-ups/hand release push-ups
In this type of workout, the first step is to come up with a solid plan. I know CrossFit is all about intensity and moving super fast but for this, it's calculated intensity that will lead you to success. This is especially true on the earlier movements to ensure that we not only make it to the HSPU but that we are able to execute them properly. Let's talk about some things to think about for each movement.
-Let gravity help a little here. Don't control the bar all the way back to the floor like you're performing tempo deadlifts. That additional time under tension will fatigue you much faster than letting gravity assist in the descent. (Without bouncing, of course)
-use a mixed grip from the start! Alternate hands each set as well. Even though your breathing will be elevated, having a belt to remind you to stay braced and tight may be a great idea. Play around with it in the warmup.
-Keep the medicine ball high on your chest. You should look like you're performing a front squat, not a set of 55 wall ball deadlifts.
-breathing is constant and rhythmic.
-Stay accurate. No reps are toxic.
-There are literally hundreds of faults that we go over and talk about here but I'll save you the trouble. The most common thing we saw last year in this was people push-up the row too hard. Back and forth most of you went at a 27-32 strokes a minutes and within 30 calories you turned into a sloppy, convulsing mass of a human doing something that didn't even resemble rowing. Fix that this year. Make each stroke a proud, strong stroke. No weak, choppy or short strokes. Some of you may be able to maintain that while at a higher stroke rate but don't be scared to slow up when you feel like you're getting too deep.
-Remember your breathing. Regain control on the rower.
Handstand Push-ups/HR push-ups
-Kip. If you don't have kipping, your workout will more than. Likely end here.
-when kipping, ensure that lower back and hips rest on wall as a solid base to drive from as you shoot your legs skyward.
-at the top, dorsiflex your ankles to elevate heels past taped line.
-legs together at the top.
-move closer to the wall if able.
Breaking it up
Obviously, unbroken everything is not the way to go unless of course you want to die. Then go for it! Have a set breakdown in your head before you even start the timer.
You want to break it up so that when you rest between each set, it's no longer than 10 seconds. If you find that you're resting for 20, 30 or 45 seconds, then you went a little too aggressive and it's time to make anew plan. Be adaptable.
Some numbers to think about:
5 sets of 11
11 sets of 5
...you get the idea. Use a strategy that works best for you!
Be realistic with yourself. You won't become the words beat deadlifted overnight so don't come in with a max set unbroken on Saturdaymorning.
For the wall balls, you can be a little more aggressive with larger sets like:
11 sets of 5
DO NOT go lower than sets of 5. Make that 5 reps happen NO MATTER WHAT.
A strong guy will finish 55 calories in about 2 minutes. A girl in about 4. In warmups, row 55 cals at an easy pace, imagining you've just done all that other stuff. See where you fall. Use your best judgment. Guys, if you have 2 minutes left in the workout when you climb on that rower, there is no need to pace. Go!! Finish as many calories as you can and pray that you get a shot at that handstand push-up or two.
Avoid failure like a hippie avoids gluten. That is until about the 30s left on the clock mark. Go all out at this point. Don't hold anything back.
Above all, everyone, stay safe. Take the extra second or two to set up before the deadlifts. If you've never kicked up into a handstand or have done a HS push-up, nows not the time to be flailing upside down under heavy fatigue. Leave your ego at the door and scale if it's the realistic option.
Here we are boys and girls.
CrossFit Open: What's going on?
For newcomers in CrossFit out there, here is a little background and info on the CrossFit Open.
Started in 2007, the CrossFit Games is the only true test of fitness out there. Perfect time for CrossFitters in all Levels to show others the hard earned results of their training. (Even if you are just starting out it's great fun to be a part of it too!)
Here's what you need to know
The Open (Feb 23 - Mar 27)
5 weeks 5 workouts
Workout released on Thursday every week
Submit your score before Monday
Check your rank on Leader Board!
The Regionals (May 19- June 4)
Top Ranking Athletes from the Open get invited to the Regionals
3 Days event designed to test athletes who compete for 5 qualifying spots in The CrossFit Games.
For those who make it this far, the Hong Kong region is grouped under the Pacific Regional competition.
The Games (Aug 1-6)
This is it!
Best of the best from all around the world will go to The Games.
40 Men, 40 Women, 40 Teams, 80 Teenagers, and 220 Masters will compete in the 6 days event that's designed to separate the weak from the fittest on earth!
CrossFit Open: What else should you know
No Competition would be Fair if there are no standards in place.
This is particularly important for the CrossFit Games because the difference of
a split second or a single repetition can be the deciding factor of your results!
Scoring criteria could differ from workout to workout .
However, there are standards to moves that need to be met in order for a rep to be counted.
Your form need NOT be perfect guys!
Just meet these criteria and your reps are counted :)
Whether it's Back Squat, Front Squat, Overhead Squat or Thrusters,
the same principle applies when it comes to the depth of the squat.
Here, we can see Jay's hip crease below the top of her knee. That's important because no matter how bad you think your squats are, as long as you go as low as this and stand up to a full extension, you're good.
WallBalls are counted when the ball hits the target.
Don't forget to squat below parallel too!
Make sure to Stand Straight Up and extend those hips & knees on those Box Jumps.
That goes for every Rep!
The ending position of any Overhead Lifts, such as strict press, push press, push/split jerk, require you to extend your knees and hip as shown in the picture. Also remember to straighten out those arms out too! Anything less than what Jay is showing us here will simply not do :)
So make sure you lock out those joints and crush those overhead components!
One of the most common mistakes many make in cleans is not turning the elbows out.
Make sure both elbows are well in front of the bar for each rep to be counted!
For Pullups, you need to clear your chin above the horizon of the bar!
Furthermore, your arms need to be completely straightened out before continuing onto the next rep.
PS: Don't get intimidated if you are struggling with your pull-ups just yet, there's always the scaled version and having fun is what counts! :)
Toes to Bar
After all it's been said and done, Don't forget to SIGN UP for the CrossFit Open 2017 !
Register on the Official CrossFit Web Page & Keep on WOD-ing with anticipation with the rest of us here at
CrossFit Cavaliers - Kennedy Town's 1st CrossFit Box (Tel. 25731180)