No Band November at CFUV

November is upon us, and all month long we're working on building strength in our pull ups. Many of us walk into CrossFit not being able to do pull ups unassisted. The kip is helpful, it makes pull ups easier, and we can do more of them, and faster. These are all things that are very useful in CrossFit. However, investing some time and effort in your strict pull ups before you dive head-first into doing kipping pull ups will have significant pay-offs.

Strict pull ups or strict ring rows strengthen all your stabilizing muscles for kipping. There are a number of small muscle groups that protect the shoulder girdle (teres major, supraspinatus, teres minor, infraspinatus, levator scapula, and subscapularis to name a few), and they can get left out when we move too quickly into higher impact, high-repetition movements, like kipping pull ups. Giving these muscles some extra love and attention means you are lowering your risk for shoulder injuries, like slap tears, bicepital tears, shoulder dislocations, and glenoid labrum tears.

If you are strong enough to do strict pull ups, you can keep your kip more efficient for longer. An efficient kip should stay within a tight window that remains close to your center of gravity. We've all been tired and on our last leg in a workout with lots of pull ups. As we tire, our feet kick out farther in front and behind us, we lose that hollow body position. Again, this puts more strain on our shoulders.

So what's so wrong with using a band? Well, nothing unless you rely on it entirely. The bands are a great tool in our arsenal to building strength. However, if you are combining a kip with the band, it can become a crutch. This month, we're setting aside the crutch. Our trainers have a number of options for you to substitute and scale those pull ups. As a gym, we're excited to see the progress we can all make!

Olympic Lifting: why you need it

At CrossFit Utah Valley, we've recently expanded our Olympic Lifting (remember the oly lifts are clean+jerk and snatch) program to include three days, Tuesdays, and Thursdays at 6:30pm, and Saturdays at 8:00am. For those who've already caught the oly lifting bug, this is great news, and we've already had great interest. But others may still be wondering what's so great about olympic lifting. If you're one of those still on the fence, here are some reasons you should consider joining our Oly class.

1. Olympic lifting gives you all the benefits of other kinds of weightlifting, but faster. Weightlifting makes your muscle fibers more compact, and stronger, it also makes for denser, stronger bones. And unlike other kinds of lifts, oly lifts make use of virtually every muscle in the body. You can't get much more efficient than that!

2. Olympic lifting will improve your athletic performance, no matter which sport. When you improve at olympic lifting, you're improving your speed and power. This translates to any sport you might choose, whether it's running, or tennis, or even CrossFit.

3. More oly lifting translates to more muscle mass, which leads to that extra fat melting away. You'll look and feel better naked!

4. All levels welcome. Jessie is our main coach for these classes, and not only is she a world-class athlete, she's a great teacher. If you're still trying to figure out when to pull and when to drop - and what in the world is the bar supposed to be doing? - no worries! Come try it out. Also, these lifts take lots and lots of practice. Even if you think you've figured the basics out, it never hurts to get in a little more practice!

Oly Lifting Program

CrossFit Utah Valley is excited to announce the expansion of it’s Olympic Weightlifting program! Classes will be held on Tuesday and Thursday from 6:30pm-7:30pm and on Saturday from 7:30-9:00am beginning this Tuesday, the 22nd of July. The addition of classes will allow for more technique work, one on one coaching, and a stronger base to either compete in the sport or to simply get more comfortable with the Olympic Lifts. Jessie will be coaching this program. This is an amazing opportunity to work with a world-class lifter! Anyone is welcome! This class will be geared in a way that anyone from any fitness level or background, will be able to improve their skills and get stronger. Tuesday and Thursday will be lighter in weight and will be very technique oriented; Tuesday will be snatch day, and Thursday clean and jerk day. Saturday’s program will be more open to athletes to work on both of the lifts at heavier weights, and will go along side the sport class’s max effort day. For athletes who are interested in getting stronger in the lifts as well as improving technique, extra homework will be assigned (optional of course) and as the class progresses, the programs for the class will gain more volume and intensity. We invite everyone who is interested to come try it out and learn more about the great sport of Olympic Weightlifting!

Competitor Class Is Changing....

...for the Better.  This Class will no longer be a Competitor Class.  It will be changing to the new "Competitor's Prep Class."  Were we, CFUV, will help you master the harder skills in Crossfit.  We will be doing challenging workouts as well as learning and mastering new skills. There will be no test or list of requirements to get in to this class.  Sometimes in the class we will be teaching skills that everyone will be able to do and other times we will be teaching skills that only a couple can do RX'd but there will be a teaching progression.  This class will help us build up more competitive athletes for the future.

Extreme Endurance Trial

This was a unscientific trial because I am not a scientist.  If you were not there the day I was trying to get people signed up for this then you probably don't know what I am talking about.  We are interested in bringing in good quality products in the gym.  I (Jeremy) ran across this one awhile ago and just never gave it a second thought.  I saw it again on the lovely world of social media and thought I would finally give it a second  or first real look.  So I went out and bought some for me to try.  I liked it so much that I reached out to the rep for our gym's area and asked questions but also got a great idea to see if we would like to bring this into our gym.  Extreme Endurance has an 8 day travel pack of the same stuff I was taking for my month supply.  The product says that it starts to take effect in 72 hours the company does these trials all the time.  We thought what a good way to give our clients a chance to see if they want this product in the box.  We got 25 travel (8 day) packets.  So Monday the 5th of May, I came to all the classes and asked if anyone would like to be in a small group to try it out.  I had a bunch of takers.  We had most of them do a workout with lunges and wall balls in it and ask them to start taking the pills that night.  A week later we ask them to do the same workout to see two things; if they were less sore and if they could do better....Once again this was not a scientific study.  We did not draw blood, give placebos, or check in on them everyday.  After week, I put a survey/questionary from on the whiteboard and most filled it out or let me know the results the next time they saw me. The results- the majority of everyone liked it.  They improved their score and felt less sore over all.  I did have one individual tell me that they would not take it because the soreness is how they tell if it is working and it took that away from them. There was a limited number of bad or indifferent like one person had a gout flare up at the end of the week and another person said he did not like them and a few other were indifferent.   I myself have loved it.  I always have a hard time going from work to the gym and feeling like I can push myself because I was worn down.  I was able to do that on this.  I also hate when I have done so many squats that sitting down on the toilet is the hardest thing of the day that also didn't happen in the month I was taking it.  So if you are like me then you will like these pills.  If people like the product we will bring in some of their other products.

So if you want less soreness in your life try this product out.  We are selling a monthly supply for just $44.95. http://www.xendurance.comVideo- Kick the Bear in the Acid

A CF Accessories Guide from Head-to-Toe

There are so many accessories to go with CrossFit.  What started out as knee-high socks and chuck taylors has turned into a full get up of headbands, wrist wraps, belts, knee sleeves, and lifting shoes just to name a few.  How do you know what if any accessories you need?  I'll do my best to give you a breakdown of the most commonly used accessories, what they are for, and when to use them. Headbands: This one is pretty simple.  It helps keep sweat out of your eyes and from rolling down your face.  Headbands can be used by guys and girls.  In my opinion the best headband is the bang buster from Lululemon.

Arm/Elbow Sleeves: This can help with "CF Elbow" a.k.a. tennis elbow.  After all the pull ups, toes-to-bar, burpees, and barbell work the elbow meat can take a beating and get quite inflamed.  An arm or elbow compression sleeve can help by applying pressure to increase circulation and support the muscles and tendons.

Wrist Wraps: Do your wrists hurt from front squats, overhead squats, hspu, and similar movements?  If so wrist wraps may be the answer to all your problems.  Wrist wraps offer joint support while still allowing you to have the flexibility to perform whatever else the wod throws your ways.  There are two common types; the velcro and the twistable fabric.  This is totally a preference thing.  I like the twistable ones because they aren't as bulky and can easily be adjusted during the workout if I need to tighten or loosen them.  Others prefer the velcro as they have a nice thumb loop and are typically a little stiffer, therefore may offer more support but a little less flexibility.

Gloves/Grips: Lots of pull ups and toes-to-bar means eventually your hands are going to rip.  Ripping is no fun and makes it hard for you to workout for up to a week.  I have seen so many different glove and grip type options to try to prevent hands from tearing.  Most people will try something and decide there are other disadvantages to the gloves such as sweating inside of them, feeling like your grip isn't as strong, and even tearing inside of the glove.  Gloves and grips can also make it hard to transition to the next movement like double unders, or power cleans.  I only use hand protection if I've already ripped and can't really lay off my hands for a few days.  You can make your own grips out of tape, and they can be reused until they breakdown.  Tape grips are nice because they are very thin, so you can still grip the bar as normal.  Rogue just came out with a version of a tape grip called the Natural Grip.  I just ordered these and am excited to try them out on days when my hands aren't looking so hot.

Coban:Coban/Coflex is great for wrapping fingers and thumbs for oly lifting.  It's flexible and only sticks to itself.  And we sell it at the gym!  This stuff is a must have!

Weight Belts:Weight belts are great for helping you brace your midline (back and abs) when doing max weights as well as really high reps at any weight.  There are velcro belts as well as leather belts.  Again this is preference typically power lifters (squat and deadlift) like leather belts and weightlifters (snatch and c&j) like velcro belts.  The velcro is usually a little less bulky and can easily be adjusted say, during a CF wod or between sets.  A weight belt should be used to help you brace and stay tight.  It should not be what is bracing your midline.

Knee Sleeves: Knee sleeves help keep your knees warm and maximize blood flow and you'll hit the bottom of your squat a little easier.  They also help reduce inflammation and can provide comfort for existing pain/injuries.  The most loved brand on knee sleeves is the original Rehband.  New on the market is the Workt brand, made by a CrossFitter.

Calf Compression Sleeves: Double unders and box jumps got your calves screaming at you?  If so, you may need some calf compression.  These are similar to the arm sleeve.  They offer increased circulation and support the calf, shin, and achilles during activity.  These might also be of benefit to you if you are on your feet all day for your job.

Lifting Shoes:Lifting shoes offer increased ankle flexibility due to the raised heel.  This means you'll instantly be able to overhead squat better simply by getting them.  Seriously though, you'll be surprised to find the bottom of your squat with lifters on versus regular shoes.  They also offer a hard sole instead of a squishy shock absorbing sole.  This means all the power you put into that clean and jerk will go up instead of being absorbed into the floor.  I even like to wear mine for bench press as I feel I am able to push into the floor better.  The only lift you do not want to wear them for is deadlifts.  You want to be as close to the ground as possible on a deadlift therefore chuck taylor or vans will do just fine for deadlifts.

I hope this helped explained what all the crazy things are that you see people wearing at the gym.  Even if you are newer or "not very strong", or "not very good" doesn't mean that you shouldn't be using some of these items.  These accessories don't know if you're squatting 75 lbs or 400 lbs.  They don't care if you do banded pull ups or rock the butterfly.  They are just there to provide help and support to your body during your workout.  What are your must have accessories and why?