May 2, 2008

May 08 CrossFit Journal


The May 2008 CrossFit Journal issue (#69) is out.

Jeff Tucker, "Pull-Up Drills, Part 2: Moving Toward Levers" (Video Article) -This, the second video article in a series demonstrating CrossFit-oriented gymnastics drills on the pull-up bar with Jeff Tucker and Jason Malutich from GSX Athletics, gives hands-on demonstration of some progressions and drills almost anyone can use to work toward front and back levers. Coach Tucker works with some regular CrossFitters, starting with beginning inversion on the bar and progressing closer and closer to a full lever. Plus some good information on safety and spotting techniques.

Jason Dougherty, "The Hard Routine" - Dougherty talks about the general applicability of the idea of the "hard routine" that originates in special operations communities, where mental toughness, determination, and discipline are required for success and, often, survival. There is a lesson here, he says, that applies to all of us, even in far less dire circumstances, as a powerful catalytic agent for change and success of all sorts.

Mikki Martin, "A CrossFit Kids Class" (Video Article) - If you've ever wondered how the incomparable Martin family and staff, of BrandX Martial Arts/CrossFit Ramona manage to train so many kids so effectively and with relatively little chaos, this video is for you. It follows Coach Mikki Martin as she and her assistants put a whole CF Kids class through their paces, from the beginning introduction, through warm-up, skill demos, workout circuit, and a follow-up game time, keeping them working hard and fully engaged throughout.

Chris Spealler, "Wrestling Escapes and Breakdowns" - Speal's articles in the past couple months have gone over a small set of basic wrestling movements from the feet, but what happens when you get on the mat? This month, he talks about the bottom position for escapes and reversals as well as breakdowns from the top position. With photo and video demos, as always.

Michael Rutherford, "Running a One-Trainer Business" , & Andy Petranek, "Balancing Act" -
In a pair of related articles, Rut and Petranek tell their stories of how they've managed two very different CrossFit-affiliate training businesses, dealt with some of the hurdles they've encountered along the way, and how they've gotten themselves to where they are now--to their current point (not of stasis or perfection by any means, but) of greater balance.

Tony Budding, "Media Tips #3: Tripod vs. Handheld" (Video Article) - The third in TonyB's series of media tips or CrossFitters and affiliates addresses the benefits and drawbacks of shooting video on a tripod versus filming free hand. Ultimately, how you choose to shoot, as with most everything in photography, is all about the purpose of your video, the subject of it, and the conditions under which you are working. Budding walks us through some of those choices and trade-offs here.

Tyler Hass, "Scaling Up CrossFit Workouts with Rings" - In an earlier article,'s Tyler Hass talked about ways to scale down CrossFit workouts for beginners by using rings. This month, he goes in the opposite direction, showing how to use rings to scale up the difficulty of workouts for advanced athletes.

Greg Hammond, "Rowing Corrections, Part 3" (Video Article) - In this installment of his rowing lesson and technique troubleshooting, Greg Hammond of Concept2 works with an audience member on the finer points of an already-strong stroke, focusing on teaching him to keep a slow but powerful and consistent stroke rate, maintain good head and elbow position, move the handle and seat in sync, and so on. He goes on to address the technique for starting from a dead stop to get up to speed quickly and safely and how to determine the damper settings for various kinds of rowing pieces and body types.

Mark Rippetoe, "Low-Bar vs. High-Bar Squats" - Rip is back! In this piece, he delves deep into another one of his favorite topics: why the low-bar back squat, with its emphasis on hip drive, is "the best strength exercise there is"--for CrossFitters, for Olympic weightlifters, and for anyone who wants to be strong. In particular, he explains the intricacies of its advantages over the high-bar, or "Olympic-style" squat.

Becca Borawski, "Succeeding in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu" - In the last article in Borawski's series on getting and staying into Brazilian jiu-jitsu she brings together her panel of experts on BJJ to discuss the issues of how and how often to train, how to avoid and cope with injury, what to do about burnout, and the whether competition is necessary.

Lon Kilgore, "Dissecting the Fish: Plotting Progress in Multi-Mode Training" - Professor Kilgore takes another look at his and Mark Rippetoe's model of how the body's adaptation to training stress drives programming for barbell training, He looks here at what happens when we apply that model to CrossFit's comprehensive fitness programming and what all that means for integrating more specialized barbell training with CrossFit. See what he finds when he tries to peer into the black box a bit.


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