Category: Blog
November 12, 2017

Coach Ryan’s Succinct, To-the-Point, No-Nonsense FAQ and Recent Events News Blog (With Other Pertinent Information and Relative Knowledge Bombs too, also)

Congratulations to everyone that competed in the Northshore Games! You all did so well; I am incredibly happy with our overall performance. I was elated to hear from so many of you competitors that you had such a positive experience and are that you look forward to competing again in the future. I will be on the lookout for quality competitions in the near future in which we can take part.
Thank you so much to everyone who came out and supported our competitors. Full Bore traveled deep to the Dell and it’s always great for a gym to have such a strong showing at these local competitions.
Speaking to the competition itself, specifically the quality of judging…
As a coach and competitor I firmly believe that a loss should never be blamed on the officials. If you’re the best, you’re the best regardless of bad officiating.
But, speaking as an historian, if it wasn’t for bad officiating in the Montreal Screwjob, Bret “The Hitman” Hart leaves Survivor Series ’97 as heavyweight champion, no doubt!
The ball doesn’t always bounce our way, all we can do is play the hand that is dealt us. We are Full Bore Strong and our pride and our execution of the pursuit of glory through excellence is far more valuable than the stress associated with a “no call” that happened in the past.
“Save your strength for things that you can change, forgive the ones you can’t, you gotta let it go.” -Zac Brown Band
To the next cycle of our program: the end of the year mean Open preparation!
*pause for cheers*

That’s right! Twelve weeks of barbell and gymnastic complexes, AMRAP repeats, Open WODs from days of yore, and burpees, burpees, BURPEES!!!!!

…but, before we kick that off I think we deserve a little fun.

It may come as a surprise to some of you that I can be kind of a nerd.

*pause for gasps*

And one thing I like to nerd-out on is mythology from different cultures around the world. If you have paid REALLY close attention you may have noted my fondness for Viking culture. A few weeks ago I was delving into Greek mythology and started thinking about workouts correlating to the most famous mythological strongman: Hercules!

For the next two weeks all the main class WODs, even Saturday classes, will be inspired by the Labors and deeds of Hercules. I will post a little blurb about the story on Facebook each day.

There is no set progression during this cycle. There is no high reaching goal for the end of these two weeks other than to have a little fun and let me nerd-out. Our fitness year ended on November 11, with the Northshore Games, and we pick up training for the beginning of our fitness year on November 27. Enjoy the Labors!

May Odin’s Ravens Guide You

August 27, 2017

Coach Ryan’s Succinct, To-the-Point, No-Nonsense FAQ and Recent Events News Blog (With Other Pertinent Information and Relative Knowledge Bombs too, also)

Hey all, just a quick update: we are entering week five of fifteen of this cycle of the program. This would typically be a backload week, but, as we do not have a dedicated lifting portion of this cycle the WODs will be back loaded only slightly. Take this week to refine technique and work mobility.
We have slightly over ten weeks until the Northshore Games. If you are competing please let me know, also, if you would like to compete but do not have a partner, let me know. I will do my best to find someone to compete with you! I encourage anyone who may be considering competing one day to consider this competition.
Also, starting next week I should have the ten week lifting companion for this cycle finalized. You will have an option of three additional, lifting focused WODs.
Let me know if there are questions.
May the Ravens of Odin Guide You

August 6, 2017

Coach Ryan’s Succinct, To-the-Point, No-Nonsense FAQ and Recent Events News Blog (With Other Pertinent Information and Relative Knowledge Bombs too, also)

The Next Episode…
Hey all, we are entering the second week of the current cycle of the program and I would like to take a moment to address some of the things we are working towards.
1. We are focusing on competing in the Northshore Throwdown on November 11. It is a partner competition and I highly recommend everyone who has thought about competing sign-up. You are spending the next 14 weeks prepping for it so why not?
2. I am scaling down the strength specific work. This cycle is the least focused on strength that I have ever programmed. We are focusing on gymnastics and increased intensity and longer times in our metcons. We will still squat heavy every Monday (National Squat Heavy Day) and we will still focus on lifting heavy in our metcons, but, you will see fewer portions of WODs devoted specifically to lifting (not saying it won’t happen).
With that being said, I am working on a lifting companion that I should have implemented next week. I am not sure how I will post the workouts yet, stay tuned! It will include 3 days of lifting and lifting accessories a week.
3. With a heavier focus on gymnastics and competition we are focused more heavily on technique. We will be no repping more intently to prepare everyone for a competition environment; consider proper scaling to make your WODs more doable (ask a coach for scaling advice!).
4. Twice a week the last portion of our warm-up will be an extended focus on the pull-up. I think we did a great job overall of improving our pull-ups during the last cycle and I want to keep hammering while the iron is hot.
5. ROM WOD will remain a weekly mainstay, I will also be implementing some poses into our cool-downs more regularly.
6. You will see Heroes and Girls a little more regularly through the next 14 week.

As always please let me know if there are questions in either the comments or when you see me at the gym. Let’s get fit!

May Odin’s Ravens Guide You

June 18, 2017

Coach Ryan’s Succinct, To-the-Point, No-Nonsense FAQ and Recent Events News Blog (With Other Pertinent Information and Relative Knowledge Bombs too, also)

Rest and the Central Nervous System
When the average athlete thinks of fatigue, they are generally thinking in a localized sense. “We did squats and kettlebell swings yesterday, my hamstrings are fatigued!” But, there is a broader sense of fatigue that is more draining than common local fatigue. This is fatigue to the Central Nervous System (CNS).
Everyone has experienced CNS fatigue. Did you only get four hours of sleep the night before? Were you in such a rush today that you didn’t get your proper caloric intake throughout the day? Did you have an exceptionally stressful day? If so, you know what I mean. No matter how great you felt the day before, no matter how loose your body feels, you just don’t have the drive. Even through warm-ups, you may feel fine. But, build up to the same weight you hit with absolute ease a few days ago and it feels like a truck, that is CNS fatigue, and the causes aren’t always the easiest to determine.
I just listed some very common causes of CNS fatigue but another common factor is intense workouts. Sometimes the CNS needs more time to recover than the local muscles required to perform any given lift. This is why we do deadlifts only once a week at most. It is such a compound movement requiring so many muscle groups across the body to work in concert that often the individual muscles recover before the system as a whole. So if an athlete does heavy deadlifts Day 1, on Day 3 does box jumps and feels fine, and on Day 5 does deadlifts again is crushed that is to be expected. The muscles used in the deadlift and box jumps were recovered by Day 3’s workout but the overall CNS was still not ready by Day 5.
We just went through a test week. We do not have a recovery week built in this week, although it is a large step back in overall intensity from what we have been doing for the past three months. You may opt for additional rest this week, I think that is a great idea. If you do continue your workouts as normal, you may feel slower or weaker than usual when performing common movements, this is expected. Don’t over exert yourself and balance your work with plenty of rest and recovery.
Finally, I saw a lot of gold stars on clean and snatch days two weeks ago when we were building up to 95% attempts. If you have been working at an inflated number for a while because you have made significant gains since our last test week, this is fine and expected as long as those stars represent a true perceived 95%. For those of you who felt so good on 95% days that you put a few more pounds on the bar just to see that gold star early…hopefully you now understand why you complained that what you had hit the previous week felt so heavy during test week. You squandered your peak because you think all that glitters is gold, this is a fool’s errand.

May the Ravens of Odin Guide You

April 30, 2017

Coach Ryan’s Succinct, To-the-Point, No-Nonsense FAQ and Recent Events News Blog (With Other Pertinent Information and Relative Knowledge Bombs too, also)

Greetings my Children of the Iron,
As we reach the halfway point of our current, endurance-biased cycle I want to address the notion of “good” reps vs. good reps.
These are the repetitions that achieve all measurable standards of what a repetition entails but the movement is done in a way that the intent of the movement is subverted at best and ignored at worst.
For clarity I will use the Russian kettlebell swing (RKBS) as an example. For a rep to be “good” (i.e. would count as complete in a competition) the kettlebell must pass behind the midline of my my body between the hips on the negative swing and reach approximately eye level on the positive swing. To achieve a “good” rep I can easily dip down ever so slightly, like during the loading phase of a push press, and push the bell behind me and then use my hip lockout to push the bell forwards while doing a front shoulder raise. By any standard that would count as a completed rep. However, it ignores the intent of the movement.
By squatting into the negative swing instead of hinging, I overload my quadriceps; the intent of the RKBS is to load the posterior chain and train dynamic hip extension. The further we get our shoulders in front of our toes (while maintaining a neutral spine and flat feet) without allowing our knees to lever forward, the more preloading of the muscles of the posterior chain will be achieved. The more muscles that I can load means more muscles get stronger which means I become a better athlete when concerning dynamic hip extension which then translates into literally everything we do in the realm of sport.
Overloading the anterior chain shortens the range of motion of the movement thus allowing the movement to be done more quickly but completely ignores what the movement and the program are attempting to express.
At the other end of the movement, the top portion of the swing, I can easily finish a dynamic front raise with a kettlebell if I can push the bell in front of me with my hips, but, the swing is supposed to be a swing, not a shoulder lift. This comes back to the preloading aspect of the swing. The kettlebell should be finishing somewhere around eye-level height due to the extension of the hips; this should be able to be done with absolutely no pull from the shoulders. At the top portion of the swing I want to be intently packing my shoulders back (imagine sitting upright on a rower and pulling back as hard as you can on the chain without bending your elbows) and maintaining stability in my midline. If I am overexerting myself with a shoulder lift, I may be able to do more reps more quickly but I am once again subvert the intention of the training.
When it comes to competition I encourage everyone to find the shortcuts that make you move the fastest. I hope you all podium one day. But on any given Tuesday afternoon at the gym we aren’t trying to podium. Yes, being #1 on the whiteboard feels great, but, if that comes at the expense of truly getting stronger, no one cares. And if your top priority is doing workouts only “technically” correctly so you can beat the local pool of athletes that you train with every day, that is why no one will remember your name.
May the Ravens of Odin guide you

March 26, 2017

Coach Ryan’s Succinct, To-the-Point, No-Nonsense FAQ and Recent Events News Blog (With Other Pertinent Information and Relative Knowledge Bombs too, also)

The Open is over!!!
(Everyone, do a happy dance!)

Excellent work. Excellent effort. As a whole we did very well in the Open. Going into the last day of eligibility we have a few athletes ranked top 10 in the state in their respective divisions. Congratulations all around!
Everyone should use the Open to gauge their weaknesses. Were the weights too heavy? Was the volume too much on some lifts? Were movements more technically demanding than you are able to complete? Or was the length of some of the workouts just too much?
If any modality needs more work than another and you would like to improve your standing in next year’s Open, get with a coach to address some fixes.
The next cycle of the year will be twelve weeks and focus heavily on the squat and endurance style metcons. Enjoy everyone!
May the Ravens of Odin guide you

March 7, 2017

Coach Ryan’s Succinct, To-the-Point, No-Nonsense FAQ and Recent Events News Blog (With Other Pertinent Information and Relative Knowledge Bombs too, also)

Active vs Passive Mobility

With the incorporation of ROM WOD, the idea of being passive in a stretch is being relayed regularly. This week, I would like to address when to be active vs passive when targeting mobility.
After the workout is done, while the muscles are warmed and accepting of a stretch, static stretching is best to employ. Prolonged periods of time in certain poses force the muscles to stretch and strengthen to adapt to the stressors being put upon them, many times simply gravity and body weight. ROM WOD, yoga, and cool-down stretches are all examples of times when a passive stretch is best.
During the warm-up phase of our workouts, rarely are we looking to be passive. The workouts require us to be continually active, especially when under a barbell; being active in our warm-ups is necessary.
Too often an athlete will find herself falling into a state of passiveness during active components of a warm-up. This is most obvious on movements like the Dead Bug and 4-point Squat.
Let’s examine the 4-point squat. The phase of raising the arms from the squat and maintaining an active press out overhead is paramount to addressing weaknesses and imbalances in moves like the snatch and overhead squat. Too often I see athletes hanging their heads with a passive neck or not reaching for top position with their arms.
I understand that lack of shoulder mobility makes positions 3 and 4 quite uncomfortable if not impossible for some of you, and that’s ok! The issue comes when we are no longer attempting to reach top position. It’s an attitude of “I’m not already good enough so I won’t work this position.”
How can an athlete expect herself to be able to maintain active position when receiving and squatting the bar in a snatch if she can not achieve, or attempt to achieve, top position in an unloaded position.
Not being able to reach a certain position is understandable. Not striving for and actively reaching for that position is inexcusable.
In a 4-point squat, if you can reach your fingers to the ceiling, you should be able to notice your arms shaking under the effort of trying to reach.

May the Ravens of Odin guide you

February 12, 2017

Coach Ryan’s Succinct, To-the-Point, No-Nonsense FAQ and Recent Events News Blog (With Other Pertinent Information and Relative Knowledge Bombs too, also)

The Open is upon us.

In less than two weeks our sport’s season begins. We have been working very hard for this and I have high expectations for Team Full Bore this year.
For those of you going through your first Open, enjoy! For five weeks we will be doing a workout determined by CrossFit HQ alongside almost 100,000 other fire-breathers worldwide. The program will look slightly different while “in-season” as we are gearing up for a 100% effort workout every Friday.
For those of you on the fence about competing, I highly encourage you to sign-up. It is only $20, you get to see how you stack up against the global CrossFit community, you will be doing the workouts regardless, you have been working for these five workouts for months now, and it is a great way of tracking your progress from year to year.
For those of you competing, this is the tell-all. No more will that Wall Ball that wasn’t quite high enough be counted. No longer will you be able to count those failed reps on your DUs as completed reps. If you have been laying on my leg, the Open will expose it.
The Open may also awaken the fire-breather in some of you. Being pushed by a global community with a gym full of people around you cheering you on, the primal desire to conquer may take hold. The Open is the great equalizer. Hard work will pay off while malaise will exposed. Enjoy it, my friends.
“The only reason a warrior is alive is to fight, and the only reason a warrior fights is to win. Otherwise, why be a warrior? It is easier to count beads.” -Miyamoto Musashi


May the ravens of Odin guide you

January 29, 2017

Coach Ryan’s Succinct, To-the-Point, No-Nonsense FAQ and Recent Events News Blog (With Other Pertinent Information and Relative Knowledge Bombs too, also)

Box Step-ups vs. Box Jumps

You all have grasped my attitude of the jump vs. the step-up, but, I would like to clarify why I have such a preference for the jump.

First off, I have to say, if the reason for stepping instead of jumping is a concern for your ability to safely complete a jump, this is not what this post references. This is about the decision to complete a work out stepping up rather than jumping because the needed recovery time between reps is lessened and more reps are able to be completed. If you are still working towards your first Rx box jump and are using the step-up as a strength gaining technique, keep it up!

The amount of force needed to push yourself off of the ground onto the top of a box is tremendous. Power is force times velocity. The ability to rebound from a box jump and launch into another rep with minimal time spent on the ground increases your velocity. While controlling for force (body weight and height of box) the best way to generate more power is to increase your velocity as much as possible. More power generated is greater gains in the glutes and hamstrings which translates directly to literally everything else we do in fitness. One can simply not replicate the velocity generated from a jump with a step. We severely limit our gains when we choose to step-up rather than jump.

I understand that box jumps are incredibly tiresome and the allure to get through the workout or to score higher in the workout by doing steps is tempting. But, we don’t go to the gym to score better in a WOD, we go to the gym to get stronger.

When in competition like The Open, I encourage you all to do whatever necessary to score as many reps or finish as fast as possible. If this means stepping up, so be it. But on a random Tuesday afternoon at CrossFit Full Bore we should be trying to get as strong as possible. And physically speaking, if you choose to step instead of jump, you are choosing to be weaker than you could be.

May the Ravens of Odin guide you.