Monday, our workout is Murph. This workout was created to honor Lt. Michael Murphy, and most CrossFit gyms tackle it on Memorial Day.
If you’ve never done it, you probably feel pretty intimidated by this workout. Let me reassure you that this workout is doable. Over the last 10 years, I’ve seen Murph completed by athletes of all ages and fitness levels. Like all workouts, we can scale Murph as appropriate.
If you have done this before, you know that it’s doable. You have a PR and you’re ready to beat it. And that’s great – you should definitely push for the best time possible. However, the purpose of this workout is to honor those who have died while serving in the US Military. From Box Life Magazine:
CrossFit affiliates around the world, regardless of ethnicity or nation, honor their courage by pushing themselves to the limit in these (intentionally) brutal workouts. It is a way to remember these men and women—to ensure that they are never forgotten. Every Memorial Day weekend, we remember Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy.
So, come ready to push yourself to the limit in honor of all of our fallen soldiers. We will have plenty of meat from Super Smokers after. Feel free to bring some drinks and sides to share!
Ok, I’ll admit it. I’m bad at doing mobility. I mean, I have good intentions, but I always seem to get too busy. Or I forget. Or I just don’t want to do it. Yeah, it’s basically just the last one.
But here’s the deal: if we don’t do mobility we will get hurt. If we get hurt, we can’t workout. If we can’t workout, we will look silly in that speedo (but we will still wear it, right?)
So, let’s all agree to make it a priority starting RIGHT NOW! This week, pick 3 days and do these 4 movements -after the workout – for 90 seconds each, per side. If your hips don’t feel better by the end of the week, then you were right, and I was wrong. But if they do feel better, you have a new post-workout routine.
There is a distinct difference between training and testing. In the world of CrossFit, or all exercise, training is designed to make you fitter – faster, stronger, more endurance, etc. Testing is designed to see how fit you are. If you talk to high level athletes, they’ll tell you that TESTING takes a major toll. You need days, if not weeks, of recovery. Training, on the other hand, can be done 3, 4, maybe even 6 days a week, depending on the athlete.
So, what does that mean for you? It means that you don’t always have to Rx. Our workouts are designed to be challenging for very good athletes. Your goal is to scale the weight, reps, and movements to get the best workout for YOU. That is the fastest way to get better at CrossFit, meaning the fastest way to improve your fitness, meaning the fastest way to a body you want to stare at after getting out of the shower. (You know you’ve done it.)
It also means that sometimes you should push yourself to Rx. Even if it slows you down considerably. As long as you can safely perform the movements, you should step up – every once in a while. If you are always scaling to the point that you finish first, it’s time to kick it up a notch. If you’re always going for the Rx and finishing last, it’s time to back off a bit. Find the right balance of training vs. testing, and you will maximize your results.
Sleep. You’re not getting enough of it. You know that’s true, but you always have an excuse for it. Work. Kids. The new season of Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu. It’s tough to get it all done, and sleep usually loses that battle. We wear it on our sleeves like a badge of honor. “I only got like 2 hours of sleep last night.” “I’ve been up for 3 days straight.” “I haven’t slept since 1987.” Yikes.
I know you have a lot on your plate, but here’s the thing. You’re not doing yourself any favors by spreading yourself so thin. The less sleep you get, the less efficient you become. Two hours of work ends up taking you three hours. You end up sick all the time. You gain weight. You end up tired, cranky, and arguing with your significant other because they bought the wrong type of dish detergent.
Every time you get on a plane, they remind you to put on your oxygen mask before helping those with you. That’s what we’re doing. You can’t help others if you’ve passed out from oxygen deprivation. Sleep deprivation is the same.
Make yourself a plan. Maybe you have to miss the end of the game and catch the score in the morning. Maybe you have to skip your afternoon latte or switch to decaf. I’m not sure what you have to do, but give it a shot. You’ll lose weight, think more clearly, your relationships will get better, and you’ll live longer. Which is great if you have great relationships and a rockin’ bod, right?!?!
For a quick article on sleep, check out this journal article.
If you’re looking for more detail, give this book a read.
Virtuosity is a key component of CrossFit. It’s what makes us different from boot camps and other fitness classes. Virtuosity doesn’t come easily, but it is a goal worth chasing.
So, what is virtuosity? Commonly, it is defined as “great skill in music or another artistic pursuit.” Thanks Google. In CrossFit, virtuosity is defined as “performing the common uncommonly well.” Thanks Greg Glassman. What does that mean? It means that 20 air squats aren’t just a barrier to a fast WOD time. It means that 20 air squats are 20 opportunities to focus on keeping your weight in your heels, keeping your back straight, pushing your knees out, squatting as deep as your range of motion safely allows, etc.
But why virtuosity? Aren’t we just working out? Yeah. You’re right. And you’ll still get a good workout. But you won’t get a GREAT workout. And that’s our goal.
So, this week, we’ll be giving you some reminders. Nothing you haven’t heard before. Just some reminders to help you achieve virtuosity and a great workout.
Time for a refresher, folks! This is the CrossFit Pyramid of Fitness:
If you start at the top, this all makes pretty good sense, right? Sports are top – competing in a specific sport requires an incredible base of fitness. Weightlifting and throwing – if you’ve ever been frustrated by a squat snatch or missed a wall ball, you know that requires a ton of strength, coordination, power, etc – aka fitness. The next tier is gymnastics. Body control. The strength, coordination, and flexibility to move your body how you want. Metabolic conditioning is next. You have to be able to move without being out of breath to be fit, right? That’s pretty basic.
And then… Nutrition. Part of fitness? Duh. Now, is it possible to do all of those other things without thinking about nutrition? Of course it is. The same way it’s possible to build a 7,000 sq ft house on sand. It may be magnificent, but it likely won’t stand for very long.
So, if you’re looking to get the results you expect, take a look at your nutrition. What does that mean? It means that you have to write it down. Get yourself a little notebook and write it down. Everything. Every single thing you put in your body. “Can I just take pictures?” Absolutely not. Why? Because you will NEVER look at those pictures again. If you have a notebook that you have to physically open, you will see it all the time.
Ready to get in bikini/speedo mode? Let’s get that nutrition dialed in.
Another LONG back squat cycle has come to an end, which means… TIME TO MAX OUT!!!!
Here are a few tips to MAXIMIZE your max:
Good luck, gang!!!
Hope that you are all having a great Easter, enjoying the time with your families!