CrossFit Challenge Week 8: What’s Mobility

Alright, it’s back at it for CrossFit. The Sickness in Week 7 wasn’t so great but it’s getting better. Even after a week off of CrossFit and some time off work, I don’t feel 100 percent but getting there. Way better than laying around hacking up a lung!

Tuesday’s WOD was a 20 Minute AMRAP was a collection of bodyweight exercises that added up to 50 reps. It started with 15 air squats and decreased in number from there. I love these ones because there’s a mind game to them. You have to pace yourself. There’s a 30 second rest built into each round but after a couple rounds, you’ll wish you’d have 5 minutes to rest and not just 30 seconds.The hardest part about this WOD was keeping count! Every time I finished a round, I added to my tally. Except that I forgot to on a couple rounds. When I got to the end and added things up I was much lower than everyone else. This was confusing until I was trying to remember tallying each round. There were definitely a couple that I missed. That and the fact that there were 50 reps in each round instead of 40 like the board said. Oh well. Chalk that one up to being confused. To score yourself, you add up every rep. Each full round was 50 reps and then the final few reps that you had from your last round.

Thursday’s WOD was killer.  

There was some legs involved in the workout but only to keep you upright. All six exercises absolutely thrashed my arms. By the end of it I was barely getting up to the bar on the pull ups with a bungee on the bar. I think part of my problem for this one was mindset. I wasn’t really in it from the beginning. Thinking you are going to have trouble is pure poison to a good workout.

Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right. ~ Henry Ford

Check Your Expectations

Some days just don’t go so well. Some are down right crappy. At the end of the day though, when you’re tired, frustrated and sore, the fact that you got up off the couch and went for a workout is a huge success. Most people don’t even get to that point. Sometimes all it takes is a realignment of expectations.What’s the goal? What’s can you control? What do you expect to get out of this? All these are great questions I’ve found I have to ask myself sometimes.I find sometimes my expectations are ridiculously high. Why am I not good at this new workout or new exercise? For one, I’m new at it. A little reminder that this is the first time I’ve done a lot these CrossFit workouts goes a long way. Looking at things from the outside is helpful to see that it can take a long time to get good at most things. Expecting perfection on the first try or even the 20th is a recipe for frustration.

Control Your Goals

Another idea that’ pops into my head a lot after workouts, adventures or any worthwhile goals is all about your goals and who controls them. The more external your goals are, the more frustrating it might be when you can’t attain them. If you have full control over your goals then it’s going to be a lot sweeter ride to the end.For example, if I head into CrossFit Nanaimo, with a crazy goal of doing 80 pullups in 10 minutes I’m probably going to end up disappointed. I’m pretty sure I can’t do that yet. It’s completely out of my reach. But if I were to say that I want to do 80 pullups in a short a time as possible, or I’m going to do as many pullups as I can in 10 minutes, then I can definitely complete those goals. They’re just going to have a time or number attached to them.The key is what I’ve attached my happiness and feelings of success to. If I say I won’t be happy unless I do 80 pull ups in 10 minutes. We’ll I’m not going to be happy because it’s not going to happen. But if I say I’m going to be stoked when I do my 80 pullups or after my 10 minute AMRAP, then I’m guaranteed to be happy after.

Attach success to the effort you put in rather than the result and you’ll end up much more successful. 

You have no control over the result, but you can put in as much effort as you like.

Cash Out

For our Cash Out’s we’ve been doing good mobility stretches from a sweet set of CrossFit posters at the gym. They explain them all and have pictures of each stretch. I’ve always known stretching is important but I’m new to the idea of mobility so I did a little research on what it means and why it’s important. That leads us into our first CrossFit Question: What is “Mobility”?

CrossFit Question – What is “Mobility”?

Anyone’s who’s done any sports knows the importance of warming up and stretching. When you get into actually working out you want warm, loose muscles that will take the abuse that you throw at them without going too far. That’s where injuries come in. You want to gently push your muscles without jumping over that limit.

Mobility becomes a factor with a number of the CrossFit exercises and it starts to limit what you can do. Mobility is like range of motion. If you don’t have the range of motion to complete an exercise, it doesn’t matter how strong your muscles are, the range of motion will be the limiting factor.  The Overhead Squat is a prime example and an exercise I have trouble with.

An Overhead Squat is a squat with a bar over your head (after getting it over your head safely). Sounds simple right? It’s not. As you lower into your squat your body leans forward to balance. The weight that’s over your head has to stay directly in line with your contact on the floor or else you’re going to fall. Sometimes you can get that deep squat but your elbows bend. Bent elbows don’t hold nearly as much weight as straight ones do. There’s the rub. You can either get into a deep squat and bend your elbows or not squat much and keep your elbows locked. Neither result in a great lift. A big part of the problem is the shoulder mobility. If you can get your shoulders to rotate so you can hold your arms and bar straight up while leaning forward into your squat then you’ll be able to lift much heavier weight.

That’s just one part of one exercise. Almost every exercise has a limiting factor in it that can be worked on using mobility exercises. I’m seeing more and more now that mobility can be just as important has lifting heavy. It’s one more thing to incorporate into every workout.

That’s it for today! Week 9 will be out very soon as I catch up with my posts. I’l be doing more CrossFit Questions in each post as well so if you have any questions for the CrossFit Nanaimo crew, let me know and I will get them answered ASAP.

Happy WODing!

– Ross

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