Yeah…check this shit out. Lindsey Johnson lost a bet to Neal Maddox…so she had to do 500 burpees. Spencer Hendel was dragged along to do this WOD with her. Check it out:
I thought it was pretty insane cause we just did a WOD yesterday that started with 50 burpees AND ended with 50 burpees. Those 100 alone got me close to breaking. My right quad even cramped up a bit, so I had to lean a bit more towards my left upon finishing each rep.
Aside from the physical strain, it’s once again that mental game that can get to a lot of people with such an intense workout. Seriously…500 burpees? Lots of props to Lindsey and Spencer.
By the way…”Niggas in Paris” at the end of that video? Haha…reminds me all too much of my CrossFit box.
I’ve mentioned a few awesome CrossFit videos before that helped me out with my progress, but here are some others that I’m sure a bunch of you will benefit from. Maybe you want to improve on your CrossFit gym workouts or you’re trying CrossFit workouts from home. Or maybe you want to get into some next-level shit like the mental game of CrossFit. Whatever it is, you can definitely find some golden nuggets in these vids. They’re a few of my favorites that I constantly turn back to. These are 10 of the best CrossFit videos that changed my life:
1) Kipping Knees-to-Elbows by Again Faster
For the longest time, I had no idea how the fuck to kip knees-to-elbows. I was always flopping around like some goof on that pull up bar. While I still struggle with this movement, this was the video that taught me how to string them together.
2) Butterfly Kipping Pull Ups With James Hobart
Another Again Faster vid haha. What can I say? Their Mic’d Instructor series has helped me out for the past nearly 3 years. I believe I’ve posted this video before, but it’s just one of those classics that I had to add to this list.
About 2 years ago, when I finally learned to do some kipping pull ups, I wanted to butterfly. Bad. Normal kipping was just too slow and tiring for me, so I watched a shitload of vids and kept working on various steps of the progression. It was this butterfly kipping pull up vid that got me addicted to the movement, and it pretty much inspired me to come up with the domain name “KippingItReal.com”.
Once you learn to butterfly, you’ll never go back…unless you’re too exhausted during a WOD and form goes to shit. I love doing them so much I even forced myself to learn butterfly chest-to-bars.
3) Again Faster and Double Unders
Yes, Again Faster. They’re too helpful with this stuff. And yes, I’ve already shown this video on double unders before. Even to this day, it was really a game changer for me. I used to be so bad with jump rope work that my coach during my 1-on-1 on-ramp sessions didn’t have me spend too much time on that shit.
“Um…let’s move onto some power cleans…”
Now double unders are just a matter of endurance for me. I hope this vid and my tutorial on dubs help some of you out there.
4) Mobility WOD – Improving My Rack Position Flexibility
First of all, I want to say that Kelly Starrett is the man. For all your mobility-related needs, check out his website and digest his vids.
When I started barbell movements through Starting Strength, getting the bar in the proper rack positioning seemed IMPOSSIBLE. And my push and strict presses always started a few inches from my shoulders. I remember reading the book and looking at the pics of the athletes resting the bar on their shoulders.
Not possible. Me? Flexible? Never.
Thanks to CrossFit and pre/post-workout stretching, I gradually improved on my flexibility. Still…keeping my elbows high during a front squat or when catching a clean was a challenge. Thanks to this vid from K-Starr, I kept doing these small mobility exercises and some others and over time, the proper rack position just happened. Messing up my wrists happened less often, despite a few issues here and there.
As a result, my front squat weight shot up and I finally was breaking the 225# clean barrier with ease. Upping your strength isn’t the only way to improve your lifts. Sometimes all it takes are simple, gradual improvements like with your flexibility.
5) Greg Amundson and Positive Self-Talk
“The greatest adaptation to CrossFit takes place between the ears.”
Even before coming across this video from Greg Amundson, I found the topic of self-improvement to be interesting. It all started with learning about lifestyle design from Tim Ferriss and The 4-Hour Workweek and some other books I stumbled upon. But yeah, this video shows that CrossFit is more than just a matter of conditioning, power, strength, and all that good stuff.
The mental game is huge. And if you can learn to harness that inner game during your CrossFit WOD’s, you can easily transfer that shit to your everyday life. I’m tellin ya…you feel so much better when you understand what you can and cannot control. Check out the video. It’s one of the reasons I jumped down a rabbit hole of books and vids on the mental side of things. I’ll definitely review some of these books at some point. If I were to suggest only 1 book, I’d say it’s Psycho-Cybernetics.
6) The Original Fran YouTube Video
Shit…I’m getting all nostalgic here. So what’s up with this vid? It’s shitty quality (hey…this was 2006 YouTube) and Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” was playing in the background (wtffffff).
This was the first CrossFit video I watched. It’s old school. No one was doing butterfly kipping pull ups. It was just so fuckin raw.
I can picture it now…it was about 4 years ago, sitting at my desk in my on-campus townhouse. My buddy and I came across some article on CrossFit, so we decided to look shit up. Of course I was skeptical. What the FUCK kind of strength and conditioning workout is this? And the music didn’t seem to help.
However, it was this 1 damn video that started it all for me. Even after struggling with those CrossFit Brand-X scaled workouts, I decided to keep at it. Now, friend watching the vid with me is head trainer at his local box and now I’m some douchebag with his own CrossFit blog.
Yeah, despite having an awesome pair of wrist wraps, I still do have wrist problems, particularly my right wrist.
And NO…it’s not from cleaning and jerking it.
While we haven’t done that full movement in months, I’m pretty comfortable with my form on that lift (what did you think I was talking about?). For a while, I was wondering what the hell would cause this extra strain on my wrist. Catching the barbell for cleans has become a lot easier and more efficient for me. Everything seems to be in its right place. However, my right wrist would always have some issues.
This keyboard is fuckin wide thanks to the number pad on the right, forcing my mouse positioning to be outward and awkward.
I noticed in addition to some strain on the wrist, the front area of my right shoulder also has some discomfort during overhead squats or snatches. So there’s most likely a chance that awkward, outward positioning that I have day in, day out is to blame.
So what did I do?
Once again, another ghetto solution. I’m all about these simple yet effective tricks. My keyboard and mouse are on top of stacks of books, with the stack for my mouse being a little bit higher. I just shifted the top book on the mouse stack to the left, covering my number pad which I barely use anyway.
With my forearm angled inward, the positioning is more natural and causes a lot less strain on my wrist. Sure, nothing beats the positioning my keyboard gives my right hand, but it’s not like I can put my mouse over the “Y-U-I-O-P” area of keys.
I’ve had this setup for the past week or so, and I finally put things to the test today. It’s a deloading week, so I was taking it easy. Still, I got up to 225# on my squat clean, focusing on form. Then I did 60 75# overhead squats over the course of 5 rounds for a WOD.
So far, so good with my wrist. To think it was most likely this really basic problem I had that was messing up my wrist all the time.
If any of you are having constant wrist problems from cleans and whatnot, think about the everyday habits you have. The things you do every day. The shit you do at work. Think of anything that you do that may seem like a tiny issue with your body. This small issue could be something that you do all the time that only causes huge problems for you.
“Wrist Wraps Are Just Another Unnecessary CrossFit Product”
That’s what I thought.
This past spring, my buddy sponsored by Manimal Wear gave me a pair of their wrist wraps. I’ll admit that I had no idea what the fuck these things were for at the time. So they just stayed in my gym bag in its plastic bag for a good 2 months or so.
Then around the summertime, I hurt my wrist (again) going for a 1 rep max power clean. I think I was going for 235#. At around the 225#-ish mark is when my wrist safety would go to shit on cleans. It was one of the main factors that held me back in my clean development.
At least I was able to figure out it also had to do with my rack flexibility. My shoulders were able to get to the proper positioning over time thanks to a bunch of videos on Mobility WOD. But still…my wrists were still prone to injury if my catch positioning messed up just one tiny bit. On top of that, anything overhead – jerks, snatches, overhead squats, etc. – was affected by these small wrist strains I’d experience here and there.
That’s when it hit me…uh…I should give these wrist wraps a shot.
You Can’t Be Totally Dependent Upon Wrist Wraps…
…but at least for me, they give me that extra room for error when improving my form as I get heavier in cleans and overhead lifts. With this extra leeway, I was able to get that 240# power clean, 185# overhead squat, and banging through an ascending ladder of 135# thrusters was actually possible in a recent WOD.
Everyone at the box keeps asking me if they help.
I honestly can’t see myself without them for any workouts that could hurt your wrists. They provide enough support during those heavy and/or high reps, while giving you enough mobility for more technical shit in the same WOD. Yep, I’ve managed to string my double unders with these wrist wraps on.
Most of the CrossFit products out there are unnecessary. Rarely do I spend money on this shit unless it really does help, like the right pair of shoes, a jump rope of my own, and a comfortable pair of underwear. I don’t see a need for sweat-activated, graphic t-shirts or expensive handcare products when old, ready-to-dispose-of gym clothes and a foot file + moisturizer do the job.
With The Wrist Wraps, It’s Different
They actually protected me from a bunch of injuries and really stepped up my CrossFit progress. Having a pair was like a paradigm shift for me.
Plus, wrist wraps are cheap as fuck compared to most CrossFit gear out there. I don’t mind dropping $12 every time a pair gets too smelly from the sweat.
What if I were really a JUSTINE, not Justin? Who the fuck knows?
Anyway…lately, I’ve been getting back into Pinterest. I’ve blogged about it in the past, and then forgot about that social media site. It wasn’t getting the same exposure my Facebook page was getting (like it if you haven’t already), so I just let it die out.
Then about a month ago, I noticed my Pinterest following grew to over 400 followers. As of writing, I have 643 followers. Thanks for all your support!
Sure, around 60% of the Pinterest demographic is female and the majority of my pins would represent something a CrossFit girl blog would post, but there’s a lot of inspirational stuff in there…and also some eye candy for the guys lol.
I’m all about visualization going into something – whether it’s a big meeting, some sort of sales pitch, or a 1 rep max deadlift. You see yourself kicking ass, so eventually that automatic response system helps you execute. That’s why many of you out there might benefit from checking out some of these inspirational images on Pinterest or Instagram prior to your CrossFit workouts.
…there’s also the bad side to these pics. I see a lot of people on my personal Facebook feed posting this stuff all day, every day. Hey, it’s cool that you want to kick ass at life. So do I and so do many of you reading this. But by constantly sharing this shit with your friends to express how you want to motivate yourself, you almost feel satisfied with whatever goals you’re going for. It’s like the more you share these quotes, the closer you FEEL you are to your goals.
Um…hitting the share button won’t do shit for you. Taking action will.
I came across a TED Talk a while back that pretty much described this take on your goals. Check out the 3 minute video. It’s some food for thought:
I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather shut the fuck up on my personal newsfeed (which I actually have for almost 2 years), and keep doing my thing. No need for some external validation. Of course, once in a while, I’ll have to mention some CrossFit goals on here, but to tell you the truth, my biggest goals are non-CrossFit related.
Basically, I’m saying that these inspirational images/quotes are great for sparking that fire in you. However, it’s up to you and your own actions to reach the finish line in motherfuckin style.