The July 2008 CrossFit Journal issue (#71) is out.
Steve Liberati, "Steve's Club: A Nonprofit CrossFit Affiliate for Urban Youth" - Steve's Club is a nonprofit CrossFit affiliate in Camden, New Jersey (traditionally ranked as one of "America's most dangerous cities.") Founder Steve Liberati's goal is to build on the kids' inherent interest in athletics to engage them in a fitness program promoting excellence both in and out of the gym and sports arena. "While physical fitness is the heart and soul of Steve's Club," he says, "a sense of community, belonging, and responsibility is its backbone." See the full article for more details on how Steve's Club got started, how it operates, and what effects it's having.
Jeff Martin and Cyndi Rodi, "The Inherent Responsibilities of Training Children and Teens" - "Training kids and teens comes with a profound responsibility," remarks Jeff Martin. "It is not simply a scaled-down version of training adults." As a longtime CrossFitter and teacher, a CrossFit Coach, a father of four young athletes, and the co-owner of BrandX Martial Arts and the CrossFit Kids program, the man knows whereof he speaks. But the experience of taking two extremely high performing and hard-charging CrossFit teenagers over the past year and reining them in to focus on proper form and safe mechanics at very low loads yielded some important new lessons for him and the rest of the staff at his gym--lessons relevant not only to anyone who works with kids but to all CrossFitters and trainers.
Jeff Tucker, "Handstand Drills, Part 1: Ken C.'s Handstands" (Video Article)- This month, Jeff Tucker and his crew from GSX Athletics give clear visual demonstrations of the basics of the handstand, touching on everything from how to get into position from standing to how to execute a forward roll out of a belly-to-the-wall or freestanding handstand. They address the key concepts of being able to strike and maintain the pose: hand width, shoulder and head position, "locked and loaded" arms, and a tight "hollow" body position. Demo guy Ken C. had a "decent" handstand going into this exercise but found he still had things that a little expert coaching helped him improve on in just one session.
Christian "Mac" Ward, "A Nonprofit Affiliate in a Military Context: The Case of CrossFit Cherry Point" - As for Steve Liberati, above, the desire to provide CrossFit training to people who do not have access to it was the catalyst for Mac Ward to set up a rather different kind of nonprofit affiliate, this one aboard Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point, North Carolina. Getting started on something like this may seem a daunting task, Mac acknowledges, but, as with any other affiliation venture, if you just take small steps, it will generate its own momentum, as his story shows.
Eric Devine, "Fully Alive: The 2008 CrossFit East Coast Challenge" - In the build-up to the 2008 CrossFit Games, CrossFit Albany hosted a regional two-day competition and community event this spring called the East Coast Challenge. Eric Devine was there, and his competitor's report from the inside makes for a good read. In the afterglow of the event, he may have been taken to rhapsodize on the experience a bit: "The Challenge was raw beauty. Limits were tested, barriers were broken, and camaraderie forged through shared experience and pain. It was evidence that CrossFit is like no other sport."
Tony Leyland, "Human Power Output and CrossFit Metcon Workouts" - From the beginning, CrossFit has unorthodoxly enjoined us to "strive to blur distinctions between 'cardio' and strength training." But, for university exercise physiologist Tony Leyland, that flies in the face of much of the accepted knowledge in his field and raises a plethora of tough questions. How is that "blurring" possible given that strength/power training and cardiovascular training are at different ends of the power spectrum? How do CrossFit's signature "metcon" workouts, in particular, work--and work so effectively? What are the mechanisms? Join the good professor as he continues on his mission of trying to peer under the lid of that inscrutable black box.
Chris Spealler, "Combining Wrestling and CrossFit Training" - In his series of recent CrossFit Journal articles, Speal has talked about some of the basics of wrestling such as stance, shots, takedowns, escapes, reversals, nearfalls and pins. That was all about rather specific wrestling moves. Now, he gives some thought to the broader question: How can and should wrestlers use CrossFit to complement our wrestling?
Tony Budding, "Media Tip #5: Shooting Stills" (Video Article) - CrossFit's Media Director brings us more useful information on taking good photos and video. This time, he takes a consumer-grade point-and-shoot digital camera into a random class at CrossFit Santa Cruz and narrates his process of capturing stills in a real-world CrossFit environment as the photo opportunities--and challenges--arise.
Becca Borawski, "Escape from the Clinch" - Last month, Borawski worked with Tait Fletcher, a veteran of the television show The Ultimate Fighter, on how to get into the clinch and deliver knee strikes. This month, they approach the move from the other side and look closely at one way of escaping from the clinch, a vital skill in mixed martial arts--and especially when fighting an experienced Muay Thai fighter (as anyone who watched the recent MMA fights between Anderson Silva and Rich Franklin has witnessed!).
Sue Lozinski, "From Obese to Athletic: A Success Story" - CrossFit Watertown client Sue Lozinski has come a long way since just over a year-ago, pre-CrossFit, when climbing up the thirteen stairs to her bedroom left her out of breath. "This was no way to live. Something had to give," she says. "But, even as I started to try, the voice in my head told me that wasn't really possible." Since she started CrossFitting (and has lost seventy pounds so far), everything is different. What she's learned, in addition to immeasurable practical knowledge of effective training and nutrition, is something even more important: "I have no doubt that I will reach my next set of goals...because now I know, for the first time in my life, that I can do this."
Dave Castro, "CrossFit Programming, Part 2: The Movements" (Video Article) - In Part 1 of his lecture on CrossFit programming (i.e., putting together effective training and workouts) in last month's video article, Dave Castro explained the proper application of the principles of variety and intensity, two out of three of the foundational pillars of CrossFit programming. This month, he covers the third, functional movements, which are, by definition, those that move large loads over long distances quickly. Exercises that meet this criterion provide the meat for any CrossFit workout.
Tony Budding, "The Quest to Measure Fitness" - CrossFit produces, and bases its definition of improvements in fitness on--"increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains." But that raises an important question: How relevant is this fitness? In other words, how much do improvements in a broad ability to generate and sustain power across broad time and modal domains within CrossFit translate into real, improved capacity in the world outside the gym? Does the capacity developed in CrossFit improve capacity in the real world? And, can that improvement ever be scientifically established and measured? Tony Budding is on it, and he reports his thoughts and observations from that quest in the article, just in time for the CrossFit Games test case.
Lon Kilgore, "The Measure of a Man" - Movement, specifically technical movement in exercise and sport, is subject to anthropometric and geometric influences. And, while the laws of geometry are pretty well fixed and understood, the precise effects of anthropometry in athletic movement and coaching tend not to get their due. Professor Kilgore explains in detail how being able to see, at a glance, how an athlete's body dimensions compare to an average template helps us place that athlete (or ourselves) in correct, efficient, and safe exercise positions.