January 6, 2008

January 08 CrossFit Journal


The January 2008 CrossFit Journal issue (#65) is out.

Featured CrossFitter: Jolie Gentry - The journal's first featured CrossFitter, Jolie Gentry, is a California police/SWAT officer and the winner of the 2007 CrossFit Games. She talks in this interview about her background, her introduction to CrossFit, and her take on being a woman in the worlds of elite fitness and law enforcement.

Becca Borawski, "Double-Leg Takedown for Submission Wrestling" - Becca Borawski teams up again with world-champion grappler Valerie Worthington to describe in detail (and in photos) the how-tos of the double-leg takedown that Brazilian jiu-jitsu has borrowed from wrestling.

Brian Jones, "Sandbag Lifting" - The guru of sandbag lifting himself, Brian Jones, discusses why sandbag lifting is so useful, explains how to make durable bags for your garage or gym, and shows how to lift them properly once you've got your hands on them.

Brian MacKenzie, "Endurance Training: Decreased Training Time & Increased Work Capacity" - Endurance sports coach Brian MacKenzie challenges the "more is better" dogma that pervades endurance training circles, offering in its place an argument (and experiential support) for smarter, safer, more varied and more broadly functional training-and less of it, in terms of time and volume. When his athletes train stamina, strength, flexibility, power, coordination, agility, and balance in addition to cardiovascular endurance and speed, he attests, they make much larger gains in work capacity for their specialized sport, and with a much more positive effect on their overall health and fitness. He includes a detailed sample program-that incorporates CrossFit workouts and principles-for the last five weeks of training for a 50-mile race.

Mike Burgener, with Tony Budding, "Coach Burgener Teaches the Snatch Part 1" (Video Article) - We pulled Olympic lifting coach Mike Burgener aside during the lunch break at a recent CrossFit certification seminar to start to teach Pat, of CrossFit Virginia Beach, to snatch. He gets through some basics on footwork and positioning, plus the Burgener warm-up, in this month's video. Next month, part 2 in the series will continue the lesson.

Andrew J. Thompson, "Tribute to a Coach" - Many of us have a coach or teacher who has changed our lives and inspires and drives us to be better, both in the moment and in retrospect-and all of us who are coaches or trainers ourselves surely hope to have that kind of impact on our athletes. CrossFitter, trainer, and U.S. Marine Andrew Thompson pays homage to his U.S. Naval Academy football strength and conditioning coach, Phil Emery, whose impact still inspires him (and us).

Jeff Martone, "Double-Kettlebell Push Press and Jerk" - Jeff Martone walks us through the intricacies of the clean, push-press, and jerk as done with two kettlebells. As he points out, the important thing is to master the movement, regardless of the tool (whether barbell, kettlebell, medicine ball, sandbag, or what have you), but there some specifics of the KB that make this article an invaluable how-to for everyone.

Greg Glassman, "Productive Application of Force" (Video Article) - True, useful strength is not merely the muscles' ability to generate force but the ability to productively apply that force. The missing link in so much mainstream fitness programming is the neuromuscular component of this application of strength-in particular, the development of coordination, accuracy, agility, and balance. Omitting them from one's training necessarily results in only partial fitness, partial expression of one's genetic potential, and a decreased threshold of maximal capacity. Coach Glassman makes the point persuasively, in his characteristic engaging, no-nonsense style.

Robert Ord, "Pre-SOF Training" - Part 2 of our view into the workings of U.S. Tactical CrossFit's program for preparing potential military special forces recruits for entrance into one of the U.S. military's elite training pipelines. This month, he details the "Indoctrination" phase of his program's instruction in the physical and mental fundamentals of what takes to be in special operations forces.

Matt Swift, "Partnering with a Martial Arts Dojo" - One of our affiliates from down under, Matt Swift of CrossFit Brisbane, offers firsthand advice and personal anecdotes on the ins and outs (and ups and downs) of running a fledgling CrossFit affiliate out of someone else's gym-in this case, a martial arts studio. There can be drawbacks and stumbling blocks, but, as Swift has found, if your situation and gym-owner are right for it, there can be some pretty compelling advantages too.

Greg Hammond, "Row Corrections" (Video Article) - Greg Hammond of Concept2 Rowing works with two quite different CrossFit athletes in front of an audience to demonstrate rowing fundamentals and correct their mistakes. The point is clear: Faster rowing doesn't come from faster movement (i.e., higher stroke rate). It is the result, rather, of more power transfer and increased efficiency. In short, better, faster rowing (i.e., increased output) comes from better technique.

Keysha McClenton-Benzing, "Form for Runners, from Head to Toe" - Strength and conditioning coach, Olympic lifter, and badass runner Keysha McClenton presents a detailed guide to proper running mechanics, from head to feet. While running style is necessarily individualized, she walks us through the universal biomechanical positions and functions underlying efficient, powerful, safe running.

Jeremy Thiel, "Corporate Wellness" - Thiel, co-owner of CrossFit Central in Austin, Texas, explains how he and his staff started a CrossFit-based corporate wellness program for bringing training and education into local businesses and corporations. What might seem to be a huge undertaking really is quite manageable, he says. This article helpfully gets into logistical specifics about the structure, pricing, and positioning of the program, and the successes Thiel and company have had with it to date.

Michael Collins, "Where is Your Body Weight? The Key to Efficient Movement" - To be successful in endurance (and other) sports, Collins attests, you need to learn how your body weight can be your primary movement force and use your muscles to "service" your body weight instead of the other way around. The key to this is understanding where your body weight is supported and how forces such as gravity, ground reaction, torque, and buoyancy (in the case of swimming) affect your control of your body as it moves through space (or water). Triathlete Collins gives concrete examples from the sports of running, swimming, and cycling.

Comments: January 08 CrossFit Journal
1. Posted by solly on January 7, 2008 2:19 AM

*shakes head* i think this gal is cute and very fit, but i question the whole 'one-arm OH KB squat on the beach, in a bikini, while wearing uggz.' If I wanted the absurdity of hot women exercising in reflective poses and risque apparel I would renew my subscription to Muscle and Fitness. Stick to what we know, guys. For example, the rest of the entire Journal! Another great job!

2. Posted by Tom on January 8, 2008 2:57 PM

I just got done reading January's journal and I have to agree with the previous comment. She's hot, but I don't think that the journal should focus on that.

I guess maybe I could see doing a "featured CrossFitter" sidebar in the journal to introduce the community, but more like a short bio/interview with maybe a single small picture. 4 pages and 7 pictures is just too much - especially as the lead article.

Stay on target guys. This is important. It's FUNCTIONAL fitness, not FASHIONABLE fitness.

3. Posted by Richard on January 9, 2008 2:57 PM

I have to agree on the smut-fit featured athlete this month in the journal. Though I enjoyed the rest of the articles, I could not figure out where this piece fit in. It is also nice to see the journal contributor list steadily growing, kudos!

She had great accomplishments on the WOD, and the CF contest(don’t want to take anything away from the athlete). If you are going to have smut-fit, minimize the full spread in the journal, and get implants (hello!), thongs and baby-oil for your models...

4. Posted by Brock on January 10, 2008 9:31 AM

Here's another vote for avoiding swimsuit spreads in the journal. Introducing the community to some of the spectacular athletes in CrossFit and highlighting their achievements is an awesome idea and I fully believe that Jolie is an amazing athlete, but I'd rather see the article take the form of a half-page template profile that sticks to biographical details, CF related accomplishments, and maybe some inspirational/educational snippets.

In my mind, including a pic of Jolie in a bikini and Uggz on the beach with a KB just cheapens my image of her and the journal as a whole. It's a pair of stripper heels away from being one of those pandering photos from the cover of Lowrider magazine.

5. Posted by Sean on January 11, 2008 3:04 PM

Hmm, interesting that all the comments have not favored seeing the athletes body. I on the other hand would respectfully, disagree. Sexuality is a part of life, and I enjoy seeing a sexy body. I also want to see what a strong crossfit athelets body looks like, male or female. I want to know what sub four minute fran body looks like, and I wont get to see that if she is wearing a parka,,,or sweats,,I get to see that in revealing garments (you can keep the uggz though). Many of the crossfit innuendos are sexually suggestive (snatches, doing the 'girls', etc), that is one of the appeals of crossfit is we are not ashamed of talking and acknowledging sexuality.
So, acknowledge the appeal of a fit body and count this as a vote to show us more anatomy.

6. Posted by solly on January 12, 2008 8:50 AM

Sean, I think you are missing the greater point of what the rest of us have said. Subtle humor and innuendo are definitely a part of the regimen but this month's CFJ was hardly subtle or innuendo. What we don't want is an image-driven fitness method. The integrity of the program depends on it.

Further, this is the CFJ, which "is a monthly chronicle of the CrossFit Program...Designed to support and expand the CrossFit community, the CrossFit Journal will bring you the theory, techniques, and practice in use by trainers of U.S. Military, Police Academies, Martial Arts Champions, and Olympic and Elite athletes worldwide. The CrossFit Journal will allow you to duplicate with great success the same methods employed by our coaches in our facility, in essence bringing your garage or gym into ours, making you a part of the CrossFit family. Each issue covers different aspects of the CrossFit Program in great depth with articles, drawings, photos, links, challenges, and assignments."

The Eva T calendar is along the lines of what you are looking for and ought to exist independently

7. Posted by GW on January 28, 2008 2:04 AM

Have to side with Sean here. I fail to see how the journal focused on her - it was just one article among several. As long as the CFJ keeps its informational value they can put anything in they feel good about, imho.

I also want to point out that what is "subtle or innuendo" greatly depends on your cultural background. Over here accross the big pond or just a mere couple of hundred miles to the south of the US of A, such pictures won't even raise an eyebrow. That said, I found the before and after shots pretty helpful in getting a female friend of mine to give CF a shot. Sure, buying an Eva T calendar might have done the same, but then I already have a CFJ subscription.

8. Posted by sakura on February 3, 2008 7:26 AM

I can only say so much because I haven't read January's journal, but I've seen "the picture".

I disagree that it's "smut fit" or "absurd". I feel that it displays a fit female body. It shows me what I need to aspire to--what I should look for in my body. She's wearing something revealing so that people like me can use it as a sort of guide. It also shows what her hard work and dedication has accomplished. Plus she has great form and I can see where mine needs a little brushing up.

I admire Jolie for taking such a beautiful picture. It takes a lot of confidence to do something like that and she did it with a heck of a lot of grace. Great job, Jolie and congrats on being the featured Crossfitter!

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