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.