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CrossFit-Powered U.S. Kettlebell Victory
You Can’t Lift What You Can’t Hold On To
Part 3: “Assessment”
The Time Trial as a Training Tool
Coach Burgener Teaches the Snatch, Part 2
Technique, Part 1
Use Your Feet for Stronger Rowing
CrossFit-Powered U.S. Kettlebell Victory
Kelly Moore In about May of 2003 I discovered CrossFit when I typed “pull-ups” into an Internet search engine and, no surprise, it appeared high in the results list. I read through the workouts posted on the CrossFit site and was both amazed and skeptical. Who does 100 pull-ups in a workout?! Anyone capable of doing ten was considered a superman in the gym. And who combines lifting with “cardio” for rounds for time? That wasn’t what I read in the bodybuilding magazines, and it sure wasn’t what the powerlifters in my gym did. I was intrigued and figured I had nothing to lose.
continued page ... 2
Row Corrections, Part 2
Why Indoor Rowing? A Quick List
Rear Naked Choke
CrossFit Journal • Issue Sixty-Six • February 2008
CrossFit-Powered U.S. Kettlebell Victory
I had joined a gym in 1981 when I finally got sick of being obese and weak. I started with “20 sets per body part” Muscle-and-Fitnesstype bodybuilding workouts, and then moved into competitive powerlifting when I realized I had actually become fairly strong. After sustaining several shoulder injuries and becoming disillusioned with the use of support gear, I stopped powerlifting and was again going through the motions of non-productive lifting routines until CrossFit changed the way I thought about what a workout could be and the results I could get. In the beginning, I picked through the posted CrossFit Workouts of the Day (WODs), attempting the ones I thought I could manage and posting my results. Here’s my comment several days after my first CrossFit workout, which was the June 27th, 2003, WOD of 50 pull-ups, 200 squats, and 75 push-ups, done in the blazing time of 14:10: “I am in agony! I could use a break from these pull-ups for a couple days.” For comparison, I did the same workout today, after a six-minute kettlebell snatch set and a CrossFit Total—in 7:27. My pull-up technique is now much, much better (my first couple years of pull-ups were of the half extension variety), and I am now able to do the set of fifty non-stop. After several years of extremely avid CrossFitting, I became interested in kettlebells, both as a training tool and as a venue for competition. I pursued kettlebells first on my own and then with several trainers, and I eventually became a certified trainer for both the RKC (Russian Kettlebell Challenge) and AKC (American Kettlebell Club) organizations. In December of 2006, I contacted AKC coach Catherine Imes for kettlebell training advice because I was totally frustrated. Despite having received personal training from several kettlebell instructors and even becoming an RKC-certified instructor myself, I was still unable to do more than a couple dozen kettlebell snatches without ripping up my hands. I searched several kettlebell forums and noted that torn hands were common and almost seemed to be an expected result of the exercise. I did notice that there was one person—Imes—who was not always tearing up her hands despite completing sets of 100+ consecutive reps per hand. Even more impressive, Imes’s training logs indicated she was doing that kind of volume four to five days a week. She was doing full ten-minute sets in competition and her numbers were impressive. Better yet, she lived within driving distance of me, so personal instruction was possible. She was trained by Valery Fedorenko, undefeated kettlebell sport champion
in his weight class and the head of the AKC. His bell-handling technique is what allows for high-rep snatch sets without injury. My first lesson with Imes was in December of 2006. I told her I was interested in doing kettlebell competition (known as kettlebell sport or girevoy sport), and she agreed to be my coach. She asked me to do a four-minute snatch set, with one hand-switch at two minutes, at whatever pace would allow me to go the entire four minutes. I barely made it. My hands were close to a callus tear and were cramping up. Imes had a lot of work to do, as it became clear that I really had no idea what I was doing. She spent that day and many more correcting my technique, with special attention to grip and the overhead position. Proper grip and overhead position are critical to preventing tears and to being able to complete highrep sets. She instructed me to work on the technique corrections for timed sets at a 15 reps per minute (rpm) pace. As often as I could, I traveled to St. Louis for more coaching from Imes. Each time, she fixed more faults and slowly increased the length of time per snatch set in my training, while keeping the rpm the same. I had trouble with the concept of working for length of time rather for total reps, but Imes insisted that working slower under time would expose technique flaws that would hold back future progress if we didn’t fix them up front. She was right. I could complete 20-rpm sets, but I couldn’t last very long and my hands would tear. The slower, longer sets forced me to work on improving my technique.
CrossFit Journal • Issue Sixty-Six • February 2008
CrossFit-Powered U.S. Kettlebell Victory
In March of 2007, I went the full 10 minutes (the maximum set length in kettlebell sport competition) at a NAKF (North American Kettlebell Federation) Cross World competition held at the Monkey Bar Gym in my hometown of Madison, Wisconsin. My numbers were just barely enough to achieve the AKC’s Master of Sport (MS) ranking, the highest available ranking for women at that time. (The ranking tables have since changed.) My technique had a long way to go, but my years of consistent CrossFit training allowed me to achieve high reps after only three months of sportspecific training. In preparation for meets in 2007, I repeated the process Imes had outlined for me: start at a slightly higher rpm pace for six minutes and slowly increase the time while maintaining the rpm, until I could complete a full ten minutes at that pace. Increase the pace incrementally, then rinse and repeat. Simple and effective. Before November of 2007, women could compete only in the snatch. AKC head coach Valery Fedorenko asked for female volunteers to attempt a 10-minute jerk exhibition set as a test at the NAKF Nationals in May. Several of us participated in the exhibition and expressed interest in including the jerk as a competition event for women. Shortly after, the World Kettlebell Club instituted the one-arm jerk competition for women. After the Nationals competition, I added one-arm jerk training to my snatch training, again using timed sets at a predetermined pace and working up to ten continuous minutes. I competed four times in 2007: in March, May, July, and November. At the November World Kettlebell Lifting Championships, I became the first U.S. athlete to achieve the rank of Master of Sport World Class (see video of the event here.). This is the highest possible ranking in the sport. Other than altering a few of the posted CrossFit WODs a month before competition to prevent hand issues, and stopping the workouts just prior to the meets, I continued to do the CrossFit WODs the entire time I was training for kettlebell sport competition. My training schedule for the kettlebell competitions was simple: one timed kettlebell snatch set followed by the CrossFit WOD in the morning at home, and then one timed kettlebell jerk set in the shower room during a break at work. (I had attempted multiple jerk sets throughout the day but quickly found the pain of the bell resting on my forearms unbearable). I work ten-hour days as a police/911 dispatcher, so a few minutes away from the stress to do something enjoyable and constructive was a welcome break! I usually snatched and jerked five times a week. This conservative amount of time under the bell seemed to work with my recovery ability. The timed-set training that Imes and Fedorenko outlined is straightforward and works well. I will be using the same training schedule for the upcoming 2008 20-kg competitions. (The AKC plans to bump the women’s competitive kettlebell weight from the current standard of 16 kg to up to 20 kg).
Kelly’s CrossFit stats
CrossFit Total: 650 “Fran”: 3:15 (65-pound thrusters) “Diane”: 4:30 (225-pound trap bar deadlifts) “Lynne”: 42, 42, 42, 42, 40 kipping pull-ups & 18, 17, 16, 13, 12 bench presses, with a 3-minute break between couplets. Max pull-ups, single set: 62 (33 strict) Height: 5’0” Weight: 114 pounds (109 when she earned the Master of Sport World Class rank in November 2007)
I owe several people big thank yous for making my progress possible. Many thanks to Catherine Imes. She is an amazing kettlebell sport athlete and an outstanding coach. To Lynne Pitts, thank you for always listening and bolstering my confidence when I was frustrated. I owe you big-time for your therapy sessions.Thanks as well to Lorraine Patton, Steve Cotter, Valery Fedorenko, and all the other AKC coaches and athletes who organized meets and offered encouragement (and heckling) throughout the year. And, of course, my special thanks to Coach Greg Glassman and the CrossFit community. My years of CrossFit have given me a tremendous strength, endurance, and mental toughness advantage that I was immediately able to apply to kettlebell sport training to achieve significant results in a very short time. I am deeply in your debt.
Kelly Moore lives in beautiful Madison, Wisconsin, where she is a 911/police dispatcher, part-time artist, and full-time cat mom.
Catherine Imes & Kelly Moore
then large gravel. you can use a second bucket and another bag of sand. and supporting. where grip plays an important role. grip is probably not something many of us actively focus on training. 2. a static grip that holds an object. I also include object lifting involving the arms as part of this category. small gravel. if you’re really into 4 it. twisting/turning. Rice is an option here. Do a gentle set of twenty. Through overuse and blatant neglect I gave myself a two-year running case of tendonitis in my forearms that left me too hurt to lift anything heavier than a fork. A fourth type of hand control which is closely related but not strictly considered grip strength is wrist and forearm strength. Holding a 2 x 6-inch board by the edge and doing rafter pull-ups. with closed fists. That’s it. and the thumb on the other side. Crushing strength is actively closing the hand. You can add a hand warm-up to your daily regimen in just a few minutes with the simplest of tools. 6. Do ten clockwise and ten counterclockwise. so it is easier to move through. Start with a clean. Concentrate on the eccentric portion. If you want to get fancy. 5. even various metal grits and shots. of this movement. Still with closed fists. Again with closed fists. pinching. Work your hands down in to the sand to about the knuckles on your hand. You can brace your arms lightly on the insides of your legs. concentrating particularly on the opening part of the movement. Two weeks after using the movements in this routine. make circles with your whole arm. one bucket for each hand.CrossFit Journal • Issue Sixty-Six • February 2008 You Can’t Lift What You Can’t Hold On To Tony Young Although we CrossFitters do our share of both heavy slow lifts and Olympic lifts. twist your hands back and forth as if turning a doorknob. As your strength and dexterity improve. We are also exposed to more potential hand and forearm injuries. please believe that a thorough hand and forearm warm-up can be instrumental in your long-term success and comfort as an athlete. Those CrossFitters in law enforcement and combat duties and sports are already aware of the importance of a strong grip and may want to give this training area even more emphasis. rice is less dense. “Ripple” the fingers back and forth in a wave pattern. Do a set of twenty. Though neater. Olympic lifters. five-gallon plastic bucket. 4. Do twenty. that is. I have felt better and better ever since. and curling. There are three broad categories of grip strength: crushing. Think shaking hands. I was pain-free and nearly good as new. Now. Sit in front of your high-tech tool on a low stool. that is. or grapplers. Go around the inside of the bucket. Support or open-hand grip is set around an object to hold it (or you) in place. require pinch strength. the closing muscles. which stabilizes the fingers and hands and includes levering. but it’s worth the effort to learn as it helps build independent finger strength and coordination. for example. And focusing on opening the hand strengthens that set of muscles opposite to the ones we use most. Deadlifting and rock climbing use this grip. It may be awkward in the beginning. make circles using just your wrists. Warm-up and beginner routine If you take nothing else away from this article. usually but not always flat. particularly if the sand is too much resistance at first. But grip strength is no less important to us than to full-time powerlifters. With a rigid wrist. you can move up to coarser sand. Slowly open and close your hands. and. strongmen. In fact. Do ten each direction with each arm. bringing the fingers across the palm with the thumb in essentially a supporting role. or if you have large hands and arms. the nature of our broad training approach means that we have a greater need for healthy hands and multi-dimensional hand strength than most sport-specific athletes. with the fingers on one side of an implement. This article is an overview of grip strength and will suggest ways to add hand and forearm strength and conditioning work to your training. 3. the opening direction. . Pinch grip is a supporting grip. raise and lower your hands relative to your forearms against the resistance of the sand. add fifty pounds of medium sand from your local building supply store. This limbers the fingers using a moderate load to get things moving. The elements in the warm-up/beginner routine can be done in any order: 1. Now. complete with a sample weekly workout plan at the end. This is a static move and will build the strength to resist.
Please. the thumb is the potential weak link of the grip. and Holle. timed holds at arm’s length and lifts to eye level will build complete hand strength. For example. and don’t think I haven’t tried. They come in a wide variety of resistance strengths.. A thinner board.CrossFit Journal • Issue Sixty-Six • February 2008 You Can’t Lift What You Can’t Hold On To . however. Another crushing grip tool is a floor model machine that allows plate loading for progressive resistance. and it’s easy to overdo it at first (without realizing it until serious soreness sets in). Work the whole hand. They’re not toys. A crushing grip only partially addresses this vulnerability.. 5 . Try a few until you find one that’s challenging but not impossible. Just don’t. running a wire keychain loop through the hole. Other variations to the above include the depth of your hands in the sand and the speed at which the movements are performed. the best is probably Captains of Crush Grippers: What They Are and How to Close Them by Strossen. You can progress from these sublime tools into the realm of the ridiculous by including produce in your repertoire. you’ll just be disappointed. Experiment. Put a length of rope through the eye and hang a weight from it. And as you can easily recognize. Again. There are excellent manuals on this tool. Still another is a plate loading leveraction device that closely mimics the action of a gripper. This builds strength and independence in the digits. and hanging the weight from it. since it’s the only grip focus that directly trains the thumb. both with the fingers together and spread apart. so everyone can find a comfortable place to start. also available from Ironmind. you’re probably ready to move on to a more difficult gripper. It’s vital. you can repeat the closed-fist exercises above with open hands. don’t do what I’ve seen suggested by the well-meaning and do these exercises while you drive. Grippers are also just about the only hand-strength tool I haven’t figured out how to make for myself satisfactorily. A classic crushing grip exerciser is the rubber ball. I beg you. Pinch grip Pinch grip is an often overlooked aspect of hand strength training. Crushing grip The simplest way to train crushing grip is to use a gripper. and the thumb and each finger in different combinations. such as a piece of ¾” plywood.continued As you advance. Start conservatively and train two sets of five on a model you can handle three days a week until you’re comfortable. An important word to the wise: treat these or any grip tool as you would a heavy barbell. These look a little like guillotines and work well for the gradual resistances between the strengths of the grippers. Don’t fool around with the models sold in most sporting goods stores. and if you have time. Vary the intensity for your goals: lighter for warm-up and rehab. When you can do three sets of ten. shorter for heavier—as well as lifts to the front and side. An easy pinch grip tool can be made from a chunk of 4 x 4-inch wood with an eye screw added to one side. the escape from a wrist grab is to twist the arm and pull away through the gap between the assailant’s thumb and fingers. With the wood pinched between your thumb and fingers. Apples and potatoes are crushable with enough practice. This close pinch can be taken all the way down to finger tip strength by drilling a hole in a quarter-sized metal disc. They are the grip world’s standard of excellence. Kinney. then add reps as you can. heavier for strength building. though. do timed holds—longer for lighter loads. There are many on the market but far and away the granddaddy of them all is the Captains of Crush series from Ironmind. with a hole and a cord attached will build a close pinch grip.
3 x 5 Friday Pinch: One-hand thin board holds. There are other training schemes. Add reps until you’re doing twice the starting number. Do the holds until the last hold is twice the starting time. Other useful tools are softballs and baseballs with added eye screws and a short length of rope to hang a plate from.continued Support grip Thick bars are good tools for building support or open-hand strength. with the next harder gripper up from the one can close unassisted. but you don’t want to hurt yourself. It’s not a perfect fit but you’re not going to be throwing them around a lot. forward and back x 5 Crushing: Assisted gripper. fire hydrant. Grip these from the top. 3 x 5 Sunday Carries: Large-object bear-hug-style carries (rock. Heavy dumbbells or specially made handles can be used for farmer’s walks. you can easily adapt your training to your needs and desires. and confident. 50 meters x 3 6 . use your other hand to help you close it. then add weight and start again. You can make a thick bar to be reckoned with from any length of 1½-inch pipe. garbage can. 3 x 5. 3 x 8 Support: Thick bar deadlifts. 3 x 5. It’s a mix of dynamic and static moves spread out to allow adequate recovery from each one. 20-seconds x 5 Crushing: Gripper.and two-hand varieties for a great grip and total-body workout. 3 x 8 Pinch: Two-hand thick board holds. etc. which would defeat the whole purpose. once you’re comfortable. Seven-day sample grip workout Here’s a seven-day routine combining all the elements we’ve discussed so far. and then add weight and begin again.. 20 seconds x 5 Wednesday Twist: Thick bar twists on pin. Yes.. this is conservative. If it gets too sloppy.CrossFit Journal • Issue Sixty-Six • February 2008 You Can’t Lift What You Can’t Hold On To . The set/rep scheme is just to get you started. not letting your fingers get underneath the curve of the ball. This diameter will accept your Olympic plates.). Every day Sand bucket warm-up/cool-down (see the “Warm-up and beginner routine” section of the article) Monday Crushing: Gripper. 20-seconds x 5 Twist: Thick/short twists. Thursday Lever: Thin bar front/side levers. conditioned to this work. you can add a layer of grip or athletic tape to the loading area. done with a gripper you can close pretty well Support:Vertical bar holds. forward and back x 5 Saturday Support: Hub holds. 20 seconds x 5 Tuesday Lever: Thick bar side/front levers. Do deadlifts for reps or do timed holds. bag. Do one.
and without sturdy wrists and forearms.CrossFit Journal • Issue Sixty-Six • February 2008 You Can’t Lift What You Can’t Hold On To . As with the ball grippers. overhangs. and turning. These can be used either freehand or mounted on a pin. Again. but your hands don’t operate in isolation. your Olympic plates will fit nicely on these bars.. it’s a whole new ball game. but you might want to climb a 3/8-inch rope. Don’t forget thin-rope pull-ups and rope climbing. Functionally speaking. happy? I said it. This is good practice for rock or stone lifting and other odd object and “round back” lifting. Another roller can be made from a short (3. Be sure to roll in both directions (toward and away from your body). and a thick one that is two inches or more. Substitute a heavy rolled towel if you don’t have a rope. You should have a thin one. the bar will feel like a bone in an arm. mimicking a jar twist. There. lay your arm out across a handy bench or table with enough room for the implement to clear the edge. Using a curl grip on a moderately heavy barbell. Any tool can be used for the wrong purpose. The classic forearm strengthener is the wrist roller.continued Try putting an eye screw in the flat center of a hockey puck or PVC end cap and you’ve got a hub gripper that you can hold flat. Forearms On to levering. Plain old pull-ups done from ledges. (Great for grapplers and the parents of slippery toddlers.) One of the best variants is the power curl. twisting. Try it. maybe one inch in diameter. One thick and one thin bar will cover your levering strength needs. you probably aren’t going to have to carry a 25-foot length of 2-inch rope to make a climbing assault. The exercises in this category are not strictly about hand strength. 7 . To build strength for rope climbing. Curls for girls.. Twist it up by the ends. they just been utilized improperly. This is just like it sounds: drive the weight up using the legs. With your arm in the same position do the same levering action from side to side. and overhead beams are great open-hand strength builders. This can be made from a wood dowel or piece of iron or PVC pipe. A loadable dumbbell handle makes a handy lever bar. don’t let your fingers stray to below the lower edge of the puck. and back. Make them work. Another option is to wrap a towel around your implement of choice and secure it with a couple rubber bands. Let it come down under control. hips. too. and curls are not inherently evil. do pull-ups with a 4-foot length of 2-inch diameter rope thrown over your pull-up bar. slide the weight to just above the knees and “curl-clean” the bar. with your fingers around the outside edge. Thick bar curls are actually excellent for hand and wrist strength and can be improvised from 1½-inch black iron pipe. and finish with the curl movement.to 4-inch) piece of 4-inch PVC fitted with end caps. Using a light weight to start. Fasten a cord either by locking it on with a muffler clamp or drill a hole and knot the cord through it. the strongest grip in the world is a pretty abstract thing. Do these with an even grip and with an offset grip (one hand higher than the other). With three to five layers of towel on it. with one end in each hand. and twist the bar straight out in front of you from horizontal to vertical.
A duffel bag filled with sand is a good.continued This brings us to lifts using the whole arms. children. Let it rest there on your lap for a second while you get your arms around it. and other truly astounding feats. though. rolling up license plates. you can’t lift what you can’t hold onto. First responders. you’ll want to hold it with the arms around it in front. and he now lives in warm. As a mature athlete. Logs. Now. and then stand the rest of the way up. Carry it for either time or distance. and fighters of all kinds need a dependable set of hands to do their jobs. for our purposes. The sky’s the limit if you’re willing to do the work. chunks of concrete. Use your imagination when it comes to objects. as athletes and workers. wonderful Columbus. The hands and arms are capable of such a wide range of movements that the variety is truly endless. and enjoy. combat troops. Tony Young is an aspiring grip athlete as well as a level-2 CrossFit trainer. sacks of groceries (you knew it was coming). This barely scratches the surface of grip training. When it’s light you can just lift it on up and carry it any way you like. pull the bag or stone to about knee height and squat your knees under it. Of course. Georgia.. but it’s much more fun to hunt (or make) your own. as well as a great overall workout. There are performers who specialize in tearing telephone books and decks of playing cards. we know that. Stones can be purchased. you’ll have to pull it up and “lap” it—that is. He recently moved away from Dayton (and his affiliate. As you progress to a heavier stone. Stone lifting is functional strength at its most basic. law enforcement officers. 8 . like the man says. Tony looks for new and non-destructive ways to continually improve his training regimen. bending spikes. CrossFit Ohio). or stacks of weight plates are all fair game..CrossFit Journal • Issue Sixty-Six • February 2008 You Can’t Lift What You Can’t Hold On To . adjustable substitute rock. go. Walk with your object. Grip can in fact be a discipline all its own.
and will be. the military branches of the U. who eat. as well as anyone else eager to take on full-fledged warrior preparation.S. an increasing number of “preSOF” trainees at many CrossFit affiliates in the United States. What this means to CrossFit affiliates is that there are an increasing number of individuals across the country who are awaiting the beginning of their training. sleep. and who are hungry for anything that will prepare them for the challenges to come. coupled with the escalating spread of CrossFit’s presence in military SOF training pipelines and in the physical training (PT) programs of operational units. “Indoc” This is the third in a series of articles on pre-SOF training that are designed to provide affiliates with a template for operating a training program for hopeful SOF fighters. This.CrossFit Journal • Issue Sixty-Six • February 2008 Pre-SOF Training Part 3: “Assessment” Robert Ord Due to the increasing trend in global radical extremism. means there are. Review of phase I. 9 . Armed Forces have made a long-term commitment to increasing the size of their Special Operations Forces (SOF). and breathe SOF preparation.
instead of continuing to employ the “gofer” tactic (go fer this. until everything is as it should be. In pre-SOF training. What is also evident. kettlebells. hydration. I say this before describing the principles and programming of the Assessment phase to ensure that coaches and trainers do not lose sight of the objective of coaching and developing pre-SOF trainees just as you would other clients. If everything has gone according to plan.. trainees who did not know each other before are now like family. such as calisthenics and long slow distance (LSD) running and swimming.” “Fran” or running on the beach.” The trainee who is chosen to lead the task is allowed freedom in accomplishing the task but is observed by the trainer. since pants and boots are heavier and more 10 . Another significant change is that the preparation and planning for each progression in training is largely transferred from the trainer to the trainees. In Assessment. You have 1 minute. In most cases. This may very well be the first time some of the trainees have been in this uncomfortable position. and PVC sticks to the beach. as with any other coaching situation. GO!” Trainees are assessed on their composure and their ability to communicate a mission under pressure. Trainees who fall short of metrics by either failing to meet the minimums or by improperly performing the exercises are generally allowed to continue training through the end of Assessment and then given opportunities to retake the “test. called “Indoc” (described in detail in the January 2008 issue of the CrossFit Journal) should have met the following training objectives: 1. go fer that). Every task has a challenging time constraint. 4. to some extent. Introduction to CrossFit movements and stimulus. there are now pass/fail metrics that must be met (see session agendas. 3. During Indoc. Like a slight uphill grade. and every bit as important. but a planned part of the overall training agenda. each individual is at his own stage of development and therefore the stimulus to required to elicit the desired response can vary from person to person. four kettlebells. cumbersome than shorts and athletic shoes. Assessment: Finding the warrior within There are a number of noticeable differences between Indoc and Assessment.CrossFit Journal • Issue Sixty-Six • February 2008 Pre-SOF Training . From here on out. and four PVC sticks to the beach a mile away. They train together and assist each other in areas where one individual might be weak. 30 seconds. the principles that Coach Glassman wrote about in the CrossFit Journal article “Fundamentals. and they are provided time checks at regular intervals during it. by providing a framework for growth and presenting the challenges that elicit that growth.” If they are unable to successfully meet the standards even on retest.” which is to say that the appropriate stimulus will elicit an appropriate response. You have 12 minutes. The time constraints could be something like “Set up four 95-pound bars. every workout in pre-SOF training. the means for the training might be different. bound by a common goal. is the perceptible psychological change in the level of motivation and aggressiveness in the trainees that occurs with the change of attire. I describe this to my clients and trainees as the “stimulus and response principle. they are not allowed to continue on to the “Preparation” block of training (which comprises the last two of the four phases). will result in additional conditioning for the entire group. Of course. below). and Mastery” apply just as they do for any other group of clients.Virtuosity. and even those who excel as athletes can completely break down under the pressure. even though the ends and. with the decree that failure to accomplish the task completely.Assessment. greener trainees. This is accomplished. or within the time allotted. however. “Assessment” The objective of pre-SOF training extends beyond physical preparation to a larger goal that also includes broadening an individual’s self-confidence. 2. led by an appointed team leader. Development of “brass ring vision. the selection of the trainee to lead the task is not random. a seemingly random individual is selected to communicate and oversee the work required to accomplish a specific mission. the assigned timelines are achievable only under near-perfect conditions.continued The first four weeks of the Selection component of the program. Phase II. is done in pants and boots. intensity has increased steadily since the beginning of the first week of Indoc. Trainees have been provided a framework for developing the physical and mental toughness that will be required to get them through the next four-week phase. From the trainer’s perspective.. awareness. the trainer points and yells. is extremely stressful. be it “Murph. accurately. the most obvious of which is that shorts and running shoes are replaced with camouflage pants and jungle boots. and ability to withstand discomfort and pressure. This change in uniform adds an obvious element of hardship. and ample time has been devoted to nutrition. Trainees are made aware of the standards—time limits or minimum required rounds or scores—before beginning the workout. The trainer provides the task. CrossFit workouts for each of the four sessions are the same as those in the previous four weeks. Those who are exhibit leadership qualities can be challenged with more complex tasks. especially when wet. at least in part. Establishment of a cohesive unit. with the knowledge that the result of failure is everyone’s discomfort. GO!” or “Take the four tires. no exceptions.” our first step in developing the warrior spirit. where the slight uphill grade meets the base of the mountain. and trainees jump and fetch. Introduction to conditioning exercises. which provides ample opportunity for additional physical conditioning. of course. and recovery. The act of conceiving a plan and communicating it under the pressure of a tight time window. which may be as easy as “set up four 95-pound bars” or as complicated as “hump [carry] four tires. leaving the simpler tasks to challenge the younger.
The goal of “ready to lead. ready to follow. complete all exercises.continued Session 1 The leader role In Special Operations. never quit” in pre-SOF training is to begin to develop the skills required for leadership under pressure. as training becomes more difficult. library. 40 minutes Kokoro Debrief (See explanation below. in Assessment.. SOF warriors often need to lead members of their own team or other military units or civilians under stressful and dangerous conditions.) Present pass and fail statistics Use Internet.CrossFit Journal • Issue Sixty-Six • February 2008 Pre-SOF Training . in order: CrossFit 100 pull-ups 100 push-ups 100 sit-ups 100 squats Become your vision Running times and “Angie” scores Homework: Research your training pipeline Demonstrate proper form and explain rules of the workout. 15 minutes 5 minutes 11 .. ready to follow. Session 1 Agenda Welcome to “Assessment” Instructor Remarks Set the stage for next 4 weeks Provide Trainees the “Agenda” section only Explain the role of the leader (see below) Team leader leads warm-up Time limit: 24 minutes 40 minutes 20 minutes Phase training schedule “Ready to lead. never quit” Brief Timed Run Easy 1-mile run and stretch 3-mile timed beach run “Angie” For time. Become your vision In the earlier Indoc phase. trainees are instructed in actively making their vision a reality by assimilating the qualities and characteristics of how they see themselves in their minds into their current daily lives. or bookstore. Now. all members of a team can find themselves in positions of leadership. or the warrior spirit. the theory of the “Brass Ring Vision” was introduced as a means for developing the foundation of kokoro. Allow 25 minutes for completion.
Five minutes will be allotted to gather personal and workout gear. Discuss meaning of quote and relevance to self-awareness. harnesses. follow. CrossFit and conditioning performance notes Use Internet. and four PVC sticks to the beach. never quit Pick trainees at random Warm-up stretch and run led by trainee. Pick a trainee to lead the evolution and then provide the following instructions for all to hear: • • • • Take tires.. and 1½-inch PVC pipe. and PVC to beach for SOF-style conditioning.50 overhead presses with tire o Man 1 . Carry tires. tubular nylon.Tire drag to far side of rectangle o Man 2 . two trainees per tire. or bookstore.50 Overhead presses with tire o Man 2 .) Session 2 Agenda Team leader collects PT logs Instructor Remarks Review PT logs Lead. Set up the tires at one end of the rectangle..CrossFit Journal • Issue Sixty-Six • February 2008 Pre-SOF Training . library.Tire drag to starting point (Look to future CrossFit Journal articles for more specific preSOF conditioning workouts.continued Session 2 Tire PT The following is an example of pre-SOF conditioning using regular pick-up truck tires (one tire for every pair of trainees). each additional minute will result in one round of: o Man 1 . Set up PVC sticks in the sand in a large rectangle measuring 10 yards by 100 yards. After five minutes. harnesses (10-foot lengths of 1-inch tubular nylon). 10 minutes Team leader brief Training pipeline presentations 1-mile warm-up stretch and run “Cindy” Brief CrossFit Complete maximum number of rounds in 20 minutes: 5 pull-ups 10 push-ups 15 squats Tire PT (see below) “Victory is reserved for those willing to pay its price” -Sun Tzu Individual performance Assignment: Research history of your SOF unit 30 minutes Minimum requirement: 20 rounds. Allow 10 minutes. 60 minutes Kokoro Debrief 10 minutes 10 minutes 12 .
Trainers should watch for signs of mental weakness (whimpering.continued Session 3 Merging Conditioning and Kokoro The conditioning exercises are performed as a group. then 15. and start the set over again from the beginning.e. where trainees are expected to “steel their minds” to push past the barrier of what is comfortable. then 5. Session 3 Agenda Team leader collects PT logs Instructor Remarks Review PT logs Pick trainees at random 20 minutes SOF unit history presentations (last session’s homework assignment) “Murph” For time. so it is expected that trainees will experience involuntary muscle failure. When this happens. 20 push-ups..CrossFit Journal • Issue Sixty-Six • February 2008 Pre-SOF Training . If a trainee puts his feet down or fails in some other way to perform the exercises correctly. 45 minutes 25 of each.. and other obvious forms of giving up). then 20. and provide whatever motivation is necessary. crying. point out the offense. Muscle fatigue and failure are a foregone conclusion. After it is obvious that all trainees are suffering together. 10 sets of 10 pull-ups. from 5 to 25. the evolution becomes more of a mental training exercise. the trainer should begin to describe the role of employing mental strength in meeting and overcoming adversity. the trainer should stop the set for everyone. Done as a group.) 50 minutes Done in conjunction with conditioning. and then back up. 30 squats. complete all exercises: Brief CrossFit Run 1 mile 100 pull-ups 200 push-ups 300 squats Run 1 mile Flutter kicks Sit-ups Leg levers Break up calisthenics sets as needed—i. Performed while feet are 6 inches off the floor. Hold no punches Provide handout Kokoro The role of mental strength in physical endurance Debrief Individual performance Assignment: Memorize SEAL code 5 minutes 13 . (See description below. then 10.
at the base of the stairs.CrossFit Journal • Issue Sixty-Six • February 2008 Pre-SOF Training . PT resumes when everyone is back. The warrior within Individuals can never complete training their inner warriors. where they will follow the trainers’ lead to perform push-ups.. at 21. and return to the trainer for more instruction.. and a number of other exercises. enter the ocean until they are completely wet. “Water Preparation” (See below. 20 minutes Brief Recite SEAL code CrossFit “Fran” Three rounds. sit-ups. across the cliff. It is a lifelong process that consists of inwardly searching the heart and mind for flaws and weaknesses and outwardly searching for information and guidance that can be manifested through skill and discipline.) Hold no punches Provide agenda 60 minutes 10 minutes 30 minutes Conditioning Kokoro Debrief 10 minutes 14 . which provides the fastest trainees a little rest before the next round (drawing on the adage “it pays to be a winner”).) (See below. respectively: Weight as prescribed.continued Session 4 “Attack the Hill” This workout uses a number of tall wooden staircases that lead from the Encinitas beach up to the Pacific Coast Highway. 15. mountain climbers. Session 4 Agenda Team leader collects PT logs Instructor Remarks Review PT logs Group recites from the lean & rest position (plank hold in the push-up position). flutter kicks. At the command “Attack the hill!” trainees go up and down the stairs as fast as they can. and 9 reps. Trainees assemble on the beach. 95-pound thrusters Pull-ups Beach workout “Attack the Hill” The warrior within Individual performance Expectations of next phase. Time limit is 10 minutes. Each individual recites alone to recover.
and Navy divers before devoting his full time to the U.The pre-SOF training template that I describe in this series of articles is designed as a means of introducing trainees to the kinds of stress they will face and as a means of eliciting the first stages of the development of the warrior spirit that they will require for success. based on its efficacy and its use in the training pipelines that they are heading toward.. Special Warfare combat crewmen. He worked as a consultant and contractor with the Navy in its efforts to find and effectively prepare future SEALs.CrossFit Journal • Issue Sixty-Six • February 2008 Pre-SOF Training . as a large part of the pressure that SOF trainees encounter is mental. 15 . Tactical CrossFit Training Center. Tactical CrossFit Training Center in Encinitas..The serious ones are looking to CrossFit. Photos by Richard Schoenberg at BUD/S.com. Rob chose the path of Special Operations by volunteering for duty with SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team One.S.S. Physical preparation alone. The objective of pre-SOF training extends beyond physical preparation to a larger goal that also includes broadening an individual’s self-confidence. is incomplete. however. explosive ordnance disposal technicians. Initially trained by the Navy as a corpsman and deep sea diver.continued Conclusion The increasing need for Special Operations Forces personnel around the world has created a rise in the number of individuals preparing for the grueling training. Robert Ord is the Director of Training at the U. where he oversees all CrossFit training at the center as well as the online training and mentoring provided by NavySEALs. where he worked as a diving medical technician in numerous platoons and other capacities. awareness. California. and ability to withstand discomfort and pressure.
Cat 1 is pro. Well. I use generally use half miles up to 8 miles. because after all without some breakdown. I know that the athlete was able to hold a pace 6:37/mile for 6. rather than set reachable ones that you can really commit to accomplishing? Time trials define the endurance sports. I usually make it a shorter time trial and plan to build their endurance as we go. I and the long-distance athletes I train have been successfully implementing training programs that integrate CrossFit and sportspecific endurance work. to effective use of time trials in your training program. Take the time from the trial and figure out the pace the athlete held. press. What type of pace will you need to hold for the distance? How hard can you work without undermining your mechanics and technical training? You don’t want to try to run/ride/swim/row/ etc. I believe it boils down. he’s 38 and rides pretty consistently still. If I want to set up 200-meter repeats. A lot of people I’ve come in contact with in the last couple of months initially tell me that they think they have to choose to do either CrossFit or marathon/Ironman-specific training and cannot do both successfully. or about 50 seconds.61). For example. it would be too 16 perfect. and are stretching to maintain flexibility—all things that should be done every day anyway. at least in part. For rowers I use 100 meters to 1000 meters. I simply take the original per-mile pace and divide by 8 (since 200 meters goes into a mile eight times). I went on a 10-mile trail run a few weeks back on the same day I had a CrossFit Total lifting event as well. I like to set up time trials every two to three weeks at various distances for my athletes. For cyclists. So. then the athlete held 6. Once you figure out what kind of a time trial to use. especially when CrossFitting. what do their training schedules look like and have they been riding/running/ rowing consistently or have they been CrossFitting more? If it’s the latter. but that will be a pretty easy pace to keep for a 200-meter or even a 1-mile interval. You don’t need to go overboard with that. that you eat right and aren’t dehydrated. They also help define you and how successful you are in training. Are they attainable goals? Or are you like me and tend to set almost unattainable goals and then either hit or miss them. rowing. . That produces a fraction of . I had nothing left and was fried. If it was a 10k run and it took 41 minutes. but within 10 minutes.83.61-minute miles (divide 41 minutes by 6. depending on the distances of their races. Dumb! Once the goals are set.2 miles/10k).1 miles. I like to keep the benchmark test between 20 minutes and 2 hours. In each case. For swimmers I use 25 meters to 1000 meters. Cat 5 are new racers) a few years ago. I’ve sent marathoners on time trials of distances ranging from 5k to 13.07 mph (60 minutes divided by 6. for 200 meters. This lets us keep the intensity up a bit. but you should really be prepared to do your best. you need to establish your goals for that sport. I give 20 percent of their per-mile pace for each 200-meter interval. It all depends on what they can handle at the time—meaning. you can then use the result to set up interval training for that particular athlete’s training regimen. If you are training for a specific sport. You want to think of each of these as much like a race. Now let’s look at the distance and how it determines interval schemes based on the time trial result. but you should be pushing the envelope a bit. but with a little more attention for the time trial. which would mean too slow. Then. With rowers I’ve used 1k to 5k time trials.2 miles. outside your ability. I like to use 100-meter to 5-kilometer intervals for runners. This was a breakthrough day for me. For endurance athletes. within two hours. We sent him out this weekend on a 25-mile time trial knowing that it would hurt but he would recover. our times in our respective sports (running. You don’t want any reasons—or excuses—for not doing well! You need to have a clear view of what you need to do for the time trial. I set personal records on every lift (back squat. depending on skill level. That’s a pace of 6:37 per mile or 9. And our CrossFit times/numbers keep getting better too.CrossFit Journal • Issue Sixty-Six • February 2008 The Time Trial as a Training Tool Brian MacKenzie “How do I CrossFit regularly and not lose my specific fitness for an endurance event?” This is a question I’ve been asked probably no fewer than 100 times in the past few months. He used to ride Cat 3 (this is a mid-level club cyclist. I’ve gone out in a 100-mile race pushing sub9-minute miles in the first 20 miles only to call it a day by mile 20 because I was running way above my ability. swimming) have gotten faster. and deadlift) at the Total. You need to make sure you get enough sleep. you need to look at any PRs you’ve had in the past few months. then go out and set a benchmark baseline. cycling. If the athlete is new to interval training. we had a cyclist who started with us last week. I ran well—not my fastest time on this course. even when the event they may be training for isn’t going to need too much intensity. If none.
If they are just holding on by the skin of their teeth. Both were mountainous runs. and that’s something you don’t want to jeopardize. sometimes in the week following a poor time trial. which I then apply a bit of cushion to (3 seconds for 200 meters is a decent cushion). either. You don’t necessarily need to use the same time trial as before.continued In our example. Every other week or so I also like to throw in an easier run/ ride/swim/row that is aerobic. more to the point here. in most cases. I speed it up a second or two. I back off a couple seconds to where they can now make the intervals. but the possibilities are there. including the Western States 100 and the Angeles Crest 100. If the athlete tells me the intervals are too easy or is recovering in under a minute. He is a level-3 CrossFit trainer and a level-3 POSE certified running coach. and 10-mile paces on the 10-mile run. What about for 400-meter intervals? Based on the athlete’s fitness. or mix them up by steadily increasing duration and slowing the pace slightly.com) is ideally what I want my athletes doing every week. I usually set up 8 x 200-meter sets at a pace of 39 to 41 seconds each. I usually have a beginner athlete recover 3 minutes between each set. the week of a race. or a pace of 12:41 per mile. give them 2 to 3 minutes of recovery. But as you get closer to a race. These give the best assessment of overall fitness. I have found that the athletes who can CrossFit each week as prescribed on the main site and also follow my (relatively low-volume) sport-specific programming are the ones who make the most gains in their sports and also maintain the best overall health. So what about revisiting the time trial? About three weeks after the first one. If you are going to design your own CrossFit workouts rather than following the daily Workout of the Day (WOD) from the website. When starting out. However. pacing. and the less recovery time they need.. Brian MacKenzie is an expert in strength and conditioning for endurance athletes and a coach for Multisports Orange County. You eventually want to CrossFit someone four to six times a week. with sport-specific training four to five days a week. What is the reasoning behind this? Most athletes I deal with use heart rate monitors. If they just can’t get through it.. and he went faster in the 50-miler. If the athlete continues not to make the intervals. with the same high work speeds they have been training at. only to find out they just put all the components of technique. you want to sharpen the recovery times to 1 minute or less. his time was 6 hours and 36 minutes. As for CrossFit. but it should come back up. I drop about 3 to 7 seconds with each increase. then. Unfortunately. I make sure they do them before their CrossFit workouts. This sometimes gives me a faster performance then the unmonitored time trial. And that boost is essentially is what we are looking for. and. I can use them to see how quickly an athlete’s heart rate recovers after an event or interval. and although they are poor indicators of intensity and measures of performance. even with elite-level athletes).5 miles of interval training. In two to three weeks you should see a change in performance. I’ve had athletes go out on runs or rides where they PR’d an aerobic time trial (according to what they thought their heart rate monitor was telling them). Just the other day. a 50k (only 31 miles). this comes out to 39 seconds.CrossFit Journal • Issue Sixty-Six • February 2008 The Time Trial as a Training Tool . this doesn’t mean two hours of training a day. All of this is assuming the athlete is eating correctly to support their work. I wait it out a week or two to see if the next week gets easier. . with one day of hill repeats that is also interval-based. a lot of them can’t handle the prescription. I can send an athlete out on a time trial that has a target heart rate attached to it (usually requiring them to stay at around 80 percent of calculated max heart rate). This is a huge mental boost. and just watch what happens. they might see a dip in performance on WODs at first when you introduce the interval days. I suggest incorporating three or four of the classic benchmark workouts (“the girls”) each month. CrossFit programming (as represented by the WODs posted on CrossFit. So I would have this athlete come in between 1:24 and 1:27 for 400 meters. If they are not making the set then you may need to slow the interval pace a tad until an adjustment is made. thinking they were going easier. You can’t guarantee this result for anyone. In his last race. You will probably be able to make the intervals longer (I never go over 2. back off the training for a couple days before a time trial by scaling back on intensity and/or load. then you probably need to pull back some either on the CrossFit training or the total amount of training they are doing. For the days my athletes do intervals. of course. This does not change until the intervals become easier and/or recovery gets quicker. finishing in 10 hours and 22 minutes. He is the owner of CrossFit Newport Beach and operates an internship for professional trainers. and start them off with about one mile of interval work. because a happy athlete is an athlete who wants to train. 10k-. and intensity together. He averaged 12:26 pace. and pay close attention to the performance in their intervals. Some days should be solely for CrossFit and no other sport-specific training. (Maybe go a 5k or 10 miles?) In my second week of training like this I PR’d my 5k-. so we scale workouts or create our own until they are strong enough 17 follow the WODs as prescribed. It should be more like one hour. He is a competitive ultra runner and Ironman triathlete. He has competed in Ironman Canada as well as several ultra marathons ranging from 50k to 100 miles. one of our newer athletes who has been training this way ran a 50-mile run on Catalina Island in Southern California (this is the athlete I called “Rookie” when I presented his training plan in the January 2008 CrossFit Journal). The greater the ability the more they can handle. I usually program interval work two times a week in training.
3. on some basics of footwork and positioning for the snatch. Snatch balance: An even more dynamic move. 2.The feet begin and end in the landing position and do not leave the ground. He teaches CrossFit’s two-day Olympic lifting certification seminars. In Part 2. California.CrossFit Journal • Issue Sixty-Six • February 2008 Coach Burgener Teaches the Snatch Part 1 (Video Article) Mike Burgener In Part 1 of “Coach Burgener Teaches the Snatch. a USAW Senior International Coach.crossfit. Online Video http://media. here. 4.com/cf-video/CrossFitJournal_BurgPatSnatch2xj8a. which emphasizes the initial “down and up” and teaches the athlete to actively drive the barbell upward and pull his body down under the bar. Snatch from the high-hang position: Coach B gives his now-classic instructions for any of the Olympic lifts: “Jump the barbell through a range of motion. of CrossFit Virginia Beach. 5. and the strength and conditioning coach at Rancho Buena Vista High School in Vista. in which feet begin in the jumping position and move quickly to the landing position during the jump. keep the elbows high and outside.” last month.wmv http://media. 18 . Overhead squat: The landing position for the snatch. former junior World team (1996-2004) and senior World team (2005) coach. Coach B worked with Pat.” is the owner of Mike’s Gym (a CrossFit affiliate and USAW Regional Training Center). Pressing snatch balance: A slow pulling of the body down under the bar.com/cf-video/CrossFitJournal_BurgPatSnatch2xj8a. and pull yourself down into the overhead squat. they walk through a progression of preparatory skill-transfer exercises and then into the snatch from the high-hang position—all still with just PVC: 1. aka “Coach B” or simply “Burg.The feet begin and end in the landing position and do not leave the ground. Heaving snatch balance: A faster move.mov Video Article (12:56) Mike Burgener.crossfit. creating momentum and elevation on the bar.
Inc.com/cf-video/CrossFitJournal_CoachTechniqueLecture1xja8. and the publisher of the CrossFit Journal.crossfit. power.CrossFit Journal • Issue Sixty-Six • February 2008 Technique Part 1 (Video Article) Greg Glassman In his earlier video article “Better Movements” (Oct 2007 CrossFit Journal) Coach Glassman explained that high power functional movements such as the jerk and the kipping pull-up are better exercises—in several critical ways—than their simpler relatives. which cannot be independent of the skills and mechanics of functional movement. the press and the strict pull-up. What really matters is the ability to apply that muscular force to do real physical work.com/cf-video/CrossFitJournal_CoachTechniqueLecture1xja8.wmv http://media.mov Video Article (9:59) Greg Glassman is the CEO and founder. In “Productive Application of Force” (Jan 2008) he explained why our definition of strength is not equivalent to just muscular contractile force. form. he explains—like its cousins mechanics. Online Video http://media. next month. Proper technique is the mechanism by which potential human energy and strength are translated into real work capacity.crossfit. Glassman elaborates further on the relationship between technique and functional movement. of CrossFit. will be Q & A. In this month’s video. and fitness. mostly A. 19 . Part 2. Technique. with Lauren Glassman. and style— is not at odds with intensity but is in fact essential to maximizing power and thus fitness..
The ball moves in a circular path. At the time. or performing any exercise over five reps was a big fat no (no surprise that I weighed 180 pounds)..CrossFit Journal • Issue Sixty-Six • February 2008 Hammer Time Throwing Drills Robin Lyons In 2006 I was referred to CrossFit. discus. depending on the kind of technique used. and even chariot wheels with a single spoke attached (such competitions are still part of the Scottish Highland Games. For most of the drills described in this article. for the hammer.com to check out a workout called “Nasty Girls”. but in order to advance you will need to have an area with proper netting and caging. repetition and more repetition are key to success. This is not a skill you can learn overnight. the throwing surface is marked with an 8-foot-diameter circle. doing any “cardio” training. where the implement used is a steel or lead weight at the end of a wooden handle). I encourage anyone who is learning how to throw the hammer. the technical details of the environment are less important. faster—soon became blurry. if you’re using throwing drills and practice for broad conditioning purposes. For serious training and competition. Then they apply force and pick up speed by completing one to four turns in a concrete circle. Most throwers turn three or four times. I wasn’t sure if I should open a video with that name in a public room. Athletes gain maximum distance by spinning the hammer around the front of the body to set up the circular motion. or just wanting to incorporate functional throwing work into their general fitness training to use the information and drills here as groundwork for your practice routine. The name “hammer throw” dates back to 2000 B. Of course. The two most important factors for a long throw are the angle of release and the speed of the ball. or marked landing area. or was that blur caused by the CrossFit workout I had just completed?) The event In this article I share some drills from one of throwing events that I believe is the most dynamic and exciting to watch. (Hmm. Well. what I found was probably more shocking than what I expected: a workout prescribing multiple rounds of fifty air squats backed up by “crazy” muscle-ups and power cleans. The thrower then releases the ball from the front of the circle. This is essential space for hammer throwing drills. Like other throwing events in track and field such as discus and shot put. The hammer throw is an athletic throwing contest where the object thrown is a heavy steel ball attached to a wire (with a maximum length of four feet) with a handle. Out of curiosity. sledgehammers. My long-held belief in what fitness was—bigger. . As a national and collegiate competitive athlete in the hammer. considering competing in the event. Equipment You will need a throwing surface no smaller than 10 feet by 7 feet. I had been trained to be a specialist in the weight room. the low point of the hammer is at the back of the circle away from the sector. gradually increasing in velocity with each turn.C.2 kg (16 pounds) for men. stronger. Running excessively.8 pounds) for women and 7. I gave the program whirl and soon after found a renewed desire to improve my own fitness goals. all done with strength. and perseverance by three truly remarkable women. intensity. 20 When learning a highly technical skill like the hammer. The weight of outdoor competition hammers used today in the Olympics and nationally accredited (IAAF) track and field events are 4 kg (8. and indoor weight throw. competition in the hammer is decided by who can throw the implement the farthest. you will not need the specified throwing area. from when historians have found records of contests consisting of throwing stones. with the high point of the ball toward the sector.
which decreases the speed built up in the preparation. as you do when front squatting. counter and maintain your balance. or similar stores and simply cut off the tips of the fingers and the whole thumb of the left glove.CrossFit Journal • Issue Sixty-Six • February 2008 Hammer Time . along with postural core strength. you will need a glove to protect your left hand (if you are a right-handed thrower). is sitting back with your hips while maintaining an upright torso and tight midline. and learning how to move your body and counter against a force is the first step in developing rotational balance and awareness. Partner spin and counter The first step in learning or becoming a hammer thrower is learning how to rotate. and deadlifts are excellent movements to include in a training program for the hammer throwing event. The least expensive option. An athlete with insufficient core strength will bend forward during the throw. The hammer is an extension of the body..continued Technical footwork is fundamental to the hammer throw. Exercises such as kettlebell swings. Once you begin throwing the hammer. preliminary winds.. You can purchase a glove similar to the one pictured here from any track and field distributor. Home Depot. Be sure not to bend over or round your shoulders. I have chosen basic cognitive drills that are fun and simple to achieve those skills. lean back against them in the counter position and quickly move in a circle around your partner on the balls of your feet to create rotational speed. though.” as it’s called. Grab a partner by the wrists and sit back to counter your partner’s weight. It is crucial not to let go of your partner until you have both returned to a standing position. In this article we will work on rotary coordination. They can be implemented into more generalized workouts or warmups as well. Spin around for a total of five turns and then stop. is to buy a gardening glove from Wal-Mart. Common running shoes are not only inadequate but dangerous footwear for learning the hammer throw because of their thick soles and sharp edges. weighted squats. Building foundational strength is key to early success in performing hammer drills. and the release before delving into technical turns. balance. Rotate! Rotational balance is essential in the hammer throw. or spine and trunk stabilization. Once you have grabbed your partner’s wrists. thrusters. this drill will introduce rotary skill and countering and balance on the balls of the feet. 21 . The least expensive. The “counter position. thinnest-sole sneakers are best until you can purchase specialty shoes.
g. national coach Stewart Togher. your momentum will raise the ball and your arms automatically. • Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and the hammer held in front of you on the ground.CrossFit Journal • Issue Sixty-Six • February 2008 Hammer Time . I was taught this drill by U. 1. when you can do that cleanly. For example. • Take eight steps around to time you back to your starting position. It will also help teach you to keep the weighted object in front of you while you begin to create momentum rotating. (Lefties will use the right hand. • Once you can get your body and the hammer as a unit back to the position you started from. The walkaround drill This drill is an excellent way to learn how to move with the hammer without worrying about technical footwork.continued Once you gather the concept of rotating and countering. feet parallel to 22 . Wind-up drills Winds are essential in starting the momentum in the hammer throw. the next step is to implement a hammer or similar object (e. and feet all facing the same direction. and shoulders are not leading the turns. head. • Make sure your feet. shoulders. 2.) The right hand will then cover the left hand. keeping your head. and then reduce to six. a rope with a weight on the end) into your rotational drills. The hammer also needs to stay in front of you. place the handle across the end joints of the fingers in the left hand. and then. to four.S. when you begin to move. Standing in the back of the ring. start reducing the number of steps you take to complete the circle... relaxed. start with eight. Without winds it would be very difficult to create a rhythm or tempo along with the speed needed to throw the hammer a competitive distance. as in the photo (previous page). stand at the back of the circle. causing you to drag the hammer. hips. don’t let it lag behind. Everything must move together. If you have a hammer. • Step your feet around in a small circle. In the starting position. Key points here are to keep the arms relaxed and use the shoulders to create rotational momentum. and down in front. with your arms straight. facing out.. Don’t hold your arms out in front of you with the weight off the ground.
Release the implement when the hips and shoulders have turned 90 degrees. 4.CrossFit Journal • Issue Sixty-Six • February 2008 Hammer Time . 5. Turn the hips and feet together. 3. Wind the hammer as described above and begin walking forward. 23 . 2.. and finishing balance. For a right-hander thrower: 1. 4. You must time your walking and winding to coordinate the movements and optimize execution. stand with the feet no more than shoulder-width apart. Curl your left arm as the hammer passes overhead. sweep the broom to the right side to initiate swing momentum. A broomstick (approximately four feet long) is an excellent tool for practicing extension. and pull back with the head and shoulders 5. To begin. This is a great drill to include in your warm up prior to throwing. hold the hammer on the ground behind the right side of your body. Release To learn the release. a great drill to improve specific core strength and stability for hammer throw is to walk and wind with the hammer. I also have used this drill for golf and long-drive training. throw direction. I recommend working with an object similar to the hammer but lighter to give yourself a chance to practice before actually attempting to release a heavy steel ball.continued each other and legs bent. Hold the end of the broomstick in front of the body with straight arms and the left hand over the right. With the hips square to the front and the back facing the release area. Once the stick has passed the right toe. Once you can wind the hammer and maintain balance. reverse the direction of the swing and powerfully push the broom around the left side of the body. Swing the hammer out in front of your body by straightening your legs and pulling with your left arm.. grasping the end of a shortened broom stick (a straw broom can remain on the end). 3. Rotate the shoulders to the right and sweep the hammer out in front again.
of the throwing sector.wmv http://media. As soon as any part of the unit separates from the others. Keep the body working as a single unit—head.continued 6.com/cf-video/CrossFitJournal_Lyonswalkarounddrillwithhamer.crossfit. she is co-owner and a trainer at the Edge Athletic Club in Mesquite.com/cf-video/CrossFitJournal_Lyonswalkandwind.crossfit. Wind and release Once your release technique is solidified. Wind and release the hammer until you can finish in balance on every throw. 3. Medicine ball release Another great tool to work on releases with is a good ol’ medicine ball weighing around 4 kg for females and 6 kg for males. with arms extended overhead.com/cf-video/CrossFitJournal_Lyonswalkarounddrillwithhamer.crossfit.) The thrower must rotate enough that the implement lands approximately in the center. Return to the start and repeat. she competed six times at the World Long Drive Championships (farthest drive 338 yards). It is imperative that you not make extra effort at the point of release. Nevada. Robin’s passion has always been fitness and sport. Once you can execute proper releases consistently with a broomstick or aluminum baseball bat.com/cf-video/CrossFitJournal_LyonswalkarounddrillNOhammer. For general conditioning. placing second in 2004. to catch the ball when it rebounds from the wall.wmv http://media. Keeping your arms straight.wmv http://media. in turn minimizing distance. She also has competed in the American Cup bobsled circuit as a brakeman. swing the medicine ball from the right hip (for a right-handed thrower) around and up the left side of the body.wmv http://media.mov Online Video Wind And Release http://media. Online Video Walk And Wind http://media. Make sure you have proper netting/caging before trying this drill. 5.crossfit. Continue rotating and finish with hands high. Hold the medicine ball between the hands with arms straight. Prepare.com/cf-video/CrossFitJournal_Lyonswalkandwind. The goal is to create a rhythm and string the throws together. Keep the hips and feet turning as a unit.CrossFit Journal • Issue Sixty-Six • February 2008 Hammer Time . This will cause loss of balance and decrease the speed of the ball.mov Robin Lyons is a two-time Canadian National Champion in the hammer and discus. 1. and she has now diversified into other sporting arenas. discus. 24 . Her NCAA career highlights include five-time All-American titles in hammer. 2.com/cf-video/CrossFitJournal_Lyonswindandrelease. Finish with the arms raised high (touchdown!) and chin up. you can try them with a light hammer.mov Online Video Walkaround Drill WITH Hammer http://media. release the implement into a net or open field. try adding the winds to the release with a light hammer.. (You should look like a football referee signaling a touchdown. Work on the walkaround drills to establish the way the body works as a unit. and keep the eyes focused above the ball. Today.crossfit. Most recently. or slightly to the left of center. shoulder.crossfit.mov Online Video Walkaround Drill NO Hammer http://media. Once you can wind the hammer twice under control.com/cf-video/CrossFitJournal_Lyonswindandrelease. you will lose speed and balance prior to the release. do throws from both the left and right sides for balanced body development.. Stand with your back about four feet from a solid wall. hips. Don’t worry about trajectory at this point.crossfit.com/cf-video/CrossFitJournal_LyonswalkarounddrillNOhammer. Try to get three good sets of twelve throws. and feet all moving together. 6. 4. facing the sector. and indoor weight throw and Mountain West Conference Championship titles in hammer and indoor weight throw.crossfit.
Here are some of the things that I was able to figure out about thinking about your feet can get you rowing better. you know that you have done it correctly. the coach can be standing directly next to the athlete. The possibilities are nearly endless. Then repeat. There is no splashing water or risk of capsize. but controlled and smooth. the better chance you have of a nice clean placement at the catch. allows the upper body to be more relaxed.CrossFit Journal • Issue Sixty-Six • February 2008 Use Your Feet for Stronger Rowing Tom Bohrer Compared to the complexities of rowing a boat on the water. As you move into the catch. Having your weight down low. Show them how to relax their shoulders and how to engage their lats as they start the drive. and this is fine. keep 25 Photo 1 Heels up at the catch. Land smoothly on your heel then transfer the weight to the ball of the foot and then spring back. and everyone stays nice and warm rowing inside. think about pushing off the balls of . You need to feel the patience of the weight smoothly rocking onto the balls of the feet. I was not totally aware of what my feet were doing until I was 36 years old (I started rowing when I was 19) and rowing with Charlie Butt. I think I spend most of my time talking about the feet. your weight is down low on the balls of the feet and for a split second you should feel as if you could stand up at the catch.) Be careful what you say. Coaches who try to tell their athletes to keep the heels down are asking for problems such as rowers shortening up their slide as they come toward the catch and then overreaching with the upper torso at the catch. I also like to watch the speed of the heels rising: not coming up too fast. you can have them row in front of mirrors or take video and show it right away so they get an image of what they are doing right or wrong. and how to push off the balls of the feet at the catch—and how this can improve your rowing tremendously—I began to coach this to my rowers. you have your weight on the balls of your feet. Think about keeping the feet in contact with the foot stretchers for the entire stroke. back to basics work on the fundamental body positions and mechanics for rowing both on and off the water. If they come up fast and out of control. There are no balance issues to contend with on the erg. (The rower should not stretch out extra from the armpits and round the shoulders at the catch. During the drive. on the feet. The catch There are not many rowers who can keep their heels down at the catch. it usually means that you are rushing into the catch. However. Start the drive by springing off the balls of the feet. All this gives you a wonderful opportunity to really get hands-on. If you’re coaching rowers. indoor rowing presents few technical challenges. which are so often overlooked in discussions of rowing technique. Unless you are really flexible. pushing with the feet as if you were going to point your toes so that you have a stable platform as you finish the work of the stroke. feel the heels slowly rise and your body weight rock onto the balls of your feet and toes. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the role of the feet and breaking down the elements of it. the heels will come up some. Don’t even worry about the heels. And the more your upper body is relaxed. starting with the recovery. and see if and how it affects your stroke. As the body starts to tilt forward from the finish into the recovery phase. As you approach the catch. you feel some of your body weight going on to the foot stretchers. Sound easy? Work on rowing with special attention to your feet. The timing of the rock and drive has to be just right. you can feel the heels come up slightly as more weight transfers onto the balls of the feet. You don’t have to feather or square your blade. The closer you move to the catch. When you can spring back explosively. the more weight you feel going on to the feet. what it feels like to have your weight low in the feet compared to the upper body. Once I realized myself how important it is to keep contact with the feet on the foot stretchers for the final push at the finish. The drive and finish When you are at the catch. in all the things I talk about in the stroke. You can use the feeling of your heels coming up as a reference point indicating that you are almost at the catch and as a cue to start swinging the arms up to place the blade. As you draw the handle into the finish. You can practice this out of the rowing machine by standing up and then stepping forward as in a lunge. At the catch. Get it right and you should feel like you can stand up. Get off your butt and onto your feet Let’s look at how the feet bear and transfer weight throughout the various phases of the stroke.
If he could pull the money out then they were not doing it right and he got the money. To maintain contact at the finish. and your leg drive becomes less effective.S. Try to have someone pull the paper out as you finish. who lean back too early against the handle and opening the back angle prematurely. Photo 3 Good: Feet maintain contact at the finish. the power will naturally transfer from the balls of the feet to the heels. I want to feel more pressure going onto my fingers as they come up the slide. finish. This is not a pushing pressure from the leg drive. still concentrate on keeping the toes in contact with the foot stretcher. Another problem with the feet losing contact with the stretchers is that it leaves your body weight almost in free fall as you drive.You will have to concentrate. He is a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) and a certified personal trainer (CPT). the weight increases. 26 . from catch through drive. Don’t cut yourself off at the ankles by leaving your feet out of the loop. You can send questions to Tom at tom@tbfit. It becomes even worse as the stroke rate gets higher. Tom Bohrer has over 20 years experience rowing and coaching. if the feet pull off at the finish you don’t have a strong platform to pull from and you are ultimately giving away power. If your back opens early as you start the drive. as you get closer to the catch.. he was voted U. and recovery—even on the erg—is about the transfer of body weight and the smooth handoff of force production throughout the body.com or visit his website TBfit. think about pointing your toes. He is a two-time Olympic silver medalist (1988 and 1992) and a three-time medalist at the World Championships. Which is more powerful? If the feet start to lose contact with the foot stretchers as you are opening with the back and then drawing with the arms. I am happy. rather than thinking about what the heels are doing.com for more training information. As you come forward with the body (as the shoulders begin to get forward of the hips) in the recovery phase. He is currently the head rowing coach at the Union Boat Club in Boston. What it comes down to ultimately is regarding the feet as a part of the rhythm and coordinated movement of the rowing stroke. Why? Try rowing arms only on the erg with your feet either totally out of contact with the foot stretchers or with just your heels on the foot stretchers. It is a discipline and skill that should be learned. (This is a common problem for many CrossFitters. where he trains rowers of all levels. I strongly believe that it is important to be able to master the drill of rowing with the feet out of the foot stretchers. Then try it again with your feet on the stretchers and pushing with your toes as you draw the handle to your body at the finish. rowing coach Charlie Butt would say. In 1989.. If my fingers are getting crushed. Bill Manning from Harvard gave an erg demonstration at the rowing convention one year and he used dollar bills between the feet and the foot stretchers with his athletes. Try rowing with a piece of paper under the toes at the finish.) As you go through the drive. but pressure from a shift of body weight on to the feet. I sometimes put a piece of paper between the foot and the foot stretcher to make sure a rower is keeping contact. then you are throwing away power. Remember. but you don’t want it to be early. Rowing Athlete of the Year. The circular flow of the stroke.continued the feet as long as you can.CrossFit Journal • Issue Sixty-Six • February 2008 Use Your Feet for Stronger Rowing . I like to think of the foot stretcher as a scale. you take the weight off the balls of your feet. but you will be able to train yourself to do this even when rowing hard. feel as though more weight is going onto the foot stretcher as you come to the catch. Even as you finish the stroke. During erg practice. As you finish the stroke keep thinking about pressing with the toes to maintain contact with the foot stretcher. Photo 2 Bad: Feet pulling off the foot stretcher at the finish. push with the feet as if you were stepping on a car accelerator. As you draw the handle in. The result is very sloppy finishes. I will go and place my fingers between a rower’s foot and the foot stretcher.
and straight forward. Being able to see the problems and corrections in video makes them easy to understand and correct.crossfit. • Keep the chain straight.CrossFit Journal • Issue Sixty-Six • February 2008 Rowing Corrections Part 2 (Video Article) Greg Hammond Greg Hammond of Concept2 Rowing continues the rowing lesson he started in last month’s video article. • The back will be slightly rounded throughout the stroke. leading the body toward the front. taut. and then it explodes back out from the catch. most recently as a liaison to the CrossFit community and to fire and police departments and moto/action sports groups. Think of compressing the body like a spring: the recovery phase is a controlled compressing of the spring. He has a Bachelor’s degree in health science and formerly owned and operated a fitness business called Hammond Corporate Wellness. He was a Crash Rescue Firefighter for the Air National Guard for 8 years and was a longtime rugby player until he took up the safer sport of motocross/enduro riding instead. The knees do not bend until the hands pass over them. Hammond also demonstrates and explains how to correct one of the most common and ugliest problems on the rower—arcing the hands up over the knees on the recovery phase.crossfit. swinging over the hip. with the torso beginning in forward inclination. You need to generate drive power right off the bat. and ending with a slight backward lean. are the most important part of the stroke. Here.com/cf-video/CrossFitJournal_GregC2RowFixes2jx8a. He has used indoor rowing as part of training for his sports for the past 17 years. The recovery phase traces the same pattern in reverse. beginning at the catch. Some of the key takeaways that Hammond demonstrates: • The first couple inches of the drive.wmv http://media. • The recovery should be slower than the drive. out of the finish position. • The body is like a pendulum.mov Video Article (9:29) Greg Hammond has worked for Concept2 Rowing for 11 years. Online Video http://media. 27 .com/cf-video/CrossFitJournal_GregC2RowFixes2jx8a. moving back and forth in a straight line at all times. The hands should move quickly. and level. he offers tips on efficiency and troubleshoots a full slate of common technique problems. not fully upright and erect.
back. Even on a rowing machine you can just paddle easily. and arm are executed in a rhythmic whole-body way. All this elevated activity of the lungs and heart trains and conditions the cardiovascular system. But even on a rowing machine. This is not true of many other forms of aerobic activity. as with anything. or you can train like an Olympian. (But it’s also scalable for rehab or for individuals with limited flexibility for whatever reason: the stroke can be shortened to accommodate them. bringing oxygen to power the muscles. walking or biking. Catch Drive 28 . Of course. the knees 130. relates to how hard you push yourself. More muscle mass The advantage of rowing is that more muscle mass is used doing the activity than while running. shoulders. the shoulder and elbow each about 100. the hip 80. and the amount of power being generated. In every stroke. glutes. and of course. a lot of heavy breathing.) Multijoint coordinated movement and balance Anyone who has tried skimming over a calm lake in a skinny rowing boat (or observed a skilled person doing so) can appreciate the coordination and balance required. Rowing. Consider the joint rotation during the rowing movement: the ankle rotates through 70 degrees. which increases blood flow. and arms are all being worked. Your legs. the actual amount of work being done. rowing requires full compression and full extension of the arms and legs. abdominals. has some unique advantages over other forms of aerobic training that are often overlooked. Greater range of motion Rowing puts all your major body parts through a large range of movement. and lengthened incrementally as need. the large movements of leg. though.CrossFit Journal • Issue Sixty-Six • February 2008 Why Indoor Rowing? A Quick List Greg Hammond I am often asked “What makes the indoor rower any better than other forms of equipment for metcon (metabolic conditioning) training? The typical measure of aerobic exercise is elevated heart rate. back.
it also allows you to compare performance across all machines and users and can introduce a competitive element. professor of exercise physiology). accelerate.e. neuromuscular engagement.. You are constantly overcoming inertia” (Fritz Hagerman. a relatively short burst of explosive power production followed by a brief recovery phase that accumulate to constitute a longer rowing effort. In addition to letting you reliably chart your output and progress. The drive and recovery cycle of each stroke is essentially a mini work-rest interval. “In rowing. and change direction twice each stroke. is its accuracy. you catch. the more resistance you get. It is simple: the harder you pull. and the data it provides is observable. even if it is just getting back and forth on the sliding seat while pulling the handle in the most efficient way. You will never outgrow rowing as you get stronger.. Variable resistance The beauty of variable resistance is that you can use the rower with everyone from kids to the biggest strongest guy you have in the gym. and from rank beginners to seasoned experts. it’s a scaled-up version of the CrossFit whiteboard (“Men will die for points”). Learning to make your limbs work together to achieve a goal. measurable. and repeatable.continued The synchronization and coordination of your movements is not defined by the machine. decelerate. the Performance Monitor. including watts. an elliptical device. is an inherently valuable element of functional movement. a bar chart and a force curve. Finish Recovery 29 .. You can choose from a variety of measurement parameters and display options. Rowing requires learning and skill—i. say. whether a short sprint bout or a more sustained aerobic session. Interval-like force generation Rowing is not a steady-state activity. calories. Feedback and performance analysis The main principle behind the indoor rower’s computer. however. as it is on.CrossFit Journal • Issue Sixty-Six • February 2008 Why Indoor Rowing? . In a sense.
Called the Lion Killer or “Mata Leão” in Brazil. from professional wrestling to law enforcement. In this month’s article (the last one in our series with world champion grappler Valerie Worthington). Her hands are gripping his lapels (Photo 3) and she is hugging herself tightly to his body. where it is known as the “hadaka jime” or “naked strangle.CrossFit Journal • Issue Sixty-Six • February 2008 Rear Naked Choke Becca Borawski One of the most popular moves in martial arts is the rear naked choke. Photo 2 Photo 3 Photo 1 30 . Andy. and variations are put to use in every venue. This means she has her legs wrapped around Andy’s waist and her feet are hooked inside his inner thighs. The choke is known by many names. She is able to control and restrict his movements with her feet hooked in this way. her opponent. The rear naked choke can be executed with or without the traditional gi (kimono). The first variation begins with Valerie in the dominant position (Photo 1). we will walk through two variations of the rear naked choke. or rear. She has capitalized on this by getting her “hooks” in (Photo 2). thereby potentially rendering the victim unconscious.” The rear naked choke is the move most feared when a competitor gives up his back to his opponent. it is “naked” because it does not use the gi. its lineage reaches back to traditional Japanese jiu-jitsu and judo. In this situation. meaning it constricts either the air or blood flow to the brain. and it is a choke. has his back to Valerie. The name describes the central components of the move: it is “rear” because the attack comes from the back. for whatever reason. while he bears her full weight on top of him.
Photo 6 Photo 4 Photo 7 Photo 5 Once Andy is flattened out. She lets go of his lapel with her right hand and begins to slide it underneath his neck (Photo 7).CrossFit Journal • Issue Sixty-Six • February 2008 Rear Naked Choke .. gripping his shoulder and walking her fingers forward. Her goal is to reach her arm far enough through that the point of her elbow is underneath his chin. Her right hand will then grip her own left biceps (Photo 8).Andy can potentially buck Valerie off (Photo 4). To execute her offense. the next thing Valerie wants to do is flatten Andy out and restrict his movement.continued While still on all fours. She can use her fingers to help pull her arm through. She does this by arching up and putting all her weight into her hips. Valerie presses her upper body down (Photo 6) on him. or at least distract her with trying to maintain her position. She drives her hips forward while maintaining her hooks. flattening Andy out onto the floor (Photo 5). Once her right arm is through. 31 Photo 8 . she will release her grip of his lapel with her left hand and bring that arm over his shoulder.. but maintains her hooks throughout the execution of the choke.
In the event that Andy is defending effectively and Valerie is unable to get her right arm all the way underneath his neck. Valerie needs to get her arm through only enough that her forearm is under Andy’s chin (Photo 11). When her arm is far enough through that she can reach it with her other hand. of her forearm is pointed upward.. putting pressure on his carotid arteries and reducing blood flow to his brain. Again. but it can be an effective move. This version does not allow for as much control over the opponent’s head. she will clasp her hands together (Photo 12) in a “Gable” grip. She will use the blade shape of her hand to make a slicing motion downward to get her hand low at the base of his head and behind his neck.CrossFit Journal • Issue Sixty-Six • February 2008 Rear Naked Choke .) Photo 11 32 . She is going to position her forearm so that the “blade.continued At this point Valerie will make a “blade” with her left hand (Photo 9) and slide it behind Andy’s head. (Photo 10) These movements will close up the space around Andy’s head and compress his neck. Andy will tap out or risk quickly becoming unconscious. (It is also the grip used for thumbless pull-ups. this variation of the rear naked choke is sometimes referred to as the “Severn Lock” or the “Dan Severn” due to his successful use of the technique in several early UFC events. and squeeze her elbows together. by gripping Andy’s collarbone or shoulder she can use her fingers to help pull her hand through.. This is a grip common to wrestling and it means that the thumb stays with the fingers and the hands clasp together like two paws. In fact. Photo 9 Photo 10 To execute the Severn variation. Her head will move down close next to Andy’s ear.” or bony side. She will expand her chest to create downward pressure. there is an alternate version of the rear naked choke.
CSCS..com Your input will be greatly appreciated and every effort will be made to answer e-mails. send them to firstname.lastname@example.org ©All Rights reserved 2008 ®CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit Inc. Kazuyuki Fujita 80: BJ Penn vs. She has a Master’s degree in film from the University of Southern California and a background in martial arts training. check out the following MMA matches: Pride Fighting Championship 26: Fedor Emelianenko vs. She has blended these skills to produce DVDs and build websites for professional fighters.. but it is more painful. Jr. pressing the bony blade into his throat. The rear naked choke. Publishers Greg Glassman Lauren Glassman Photo 13 Editor Carrie Klumpar Project Manager Eddie Lugo Photo 3 For some exciting examples of the rear naked choke in action. Joe Stevenson UFC TUF 5 Finale: BJ Penn vs. It has been featured in television shows and movies. Ken Shamrock UFC Design/Layout Otto Lejeune Advisors Brian Mulvaney Lynne Pitts Media Tony Budding Circulation Deana Dinel Becca Borawski. Valerie was a gold medalist at the 2007 World Grappling Championships in Turkey. This variation of the choke is more likely to be an air choke than a blood choke because the pressure is applied directly to the front of the neck. She currently trains Brazilian jiu-jitsu with Rey Diogo. Subscription information and back issues are available at the CrossFit Store at http://store. a Carlson Gracie affiliate.com Photo 12 If you have any questions or comments. Jens Pulver UFC 45 or 52: Matt Hughes vs. 33 . She will put her head down close to Andy’s ear and she will pull upward with her forearm (Photo 13). A dedicated member of Petranek Fitness/CrossFit Los Angeles. It is not as quick a choke as the first variation. and it is put to practical use frequently in mixed martial arts (MMA) and in the real-world law enforcement.continued Valerie will then expand her chest and create downward pressure. just as in the first variation of the rear naked choke. in either variation presented here.CrossFit Journal • Issue Sixty-Six • February 2008 Rear Naked Choke ® . is one of the most popular and recognizable grappling moves—and not just because the name lends itself so easily to jokes. teaches and trains at Petranek Fitness/CrossFit Los Angeles in Santa Monica. The CrossFit Journal is an electronically distributed magazine chronicling a proven method of achieving elite fitness.crossfit. it has a history in professional wrestling and catch wrestling. www.crossfit. Frank Trigg UFC 1: Royce Gracie vs. Valerie Worthington earned her Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt from Carlson Gracie and Carlson Gracie. She currently trains at the New Breed Academy in California.