A whole new world…of hurt

NOTE: Today is a holiday (Columbus Day) but we’re on a regular WOD class class schedule (but no Elements classes tonight).
CFE-NYC presents a Rowing Workshop with Tim Broder, Saturday, November 14th (10am-2pm) ($60 for members, $75 for non-members)
In Brooklyn
#14 Mon/Wed @ 8pm, starts October 26

In Manhattan
#83 Mon/Wed @ 9pm, starts this Wednesday, October 14 (3 slots left)
#84 Tue/Thur @ 9pm, starts October 20
#85 Mon/Wed @ 8pm, starts October 26 (4 slots left)
#86 Tue/Thur @ 6am, starts October 27

Monday 091012
21-15-9 reps of:
Clean 135 pounds
Ring dips
Post time to comments.
Compare to 090902.

Americans celebrate victory for rugby

Gender strength

Upcoming local CF certs this fall: running & endurance in Brooklyn, gymnastics in Queens (or you could take a crossfit vacation in Colorado or go see Dr. Barry Sears for free in Massachusetts)
The power of community
Dissecting the energy needs of the body–research review

No more excuses: how to strengthen your flat feet
After unsuccessfully trying for a muscle-up on his own for awhile, new member Jim M. got his first-ever muscle-up last week after I coached the movement pattern during the lunch class (along with some words of wisdom from 2 members who have muscle-ups) and he then proceeded to do the 30 muscle-up WOD with ease! Congrats, Jim, on being a careful listener/observer and putting it to good use! His was definitely the case of having the strength for the move but just needing a better understanding of how to put it all together. Look how easy he makes it look:


  • SCALING OPTIONS from the CrossFit BrandX forums:
    Big Dawgs:
    As Rx’d
    Women 95#
    scale the weight to 95-115# for men/55-75 for women
    If you can’t do ring dips do 2X the bar dips
    Dumbbell cleans
    Bar Dips
    If you can’t do do bar dips do 1.5X the number bench dips.
    Dumbbell cleans
    Bench Dips

  • Gabe K

    Some confusion about whether Elizabeth is Power or Squat Clean – I vaguely recall doing this with squat cleans last time.
    Power Elizabeth – 8:26 RX’d

  • Tim B

    Power Liz – RX’ed – a long time (watch got cleared by accident)

  • Justin K

    Modified to 75 Pounds
    Parallel Dips

  • Jai

    Would anyone be interested in running at the reservoir on Sundays around 1:30pm or after? I find I can’t usually escape to Crossfit in time for a class most Sundays but would like to get some kind of workout in and my running needs more practice.

  • Davi

    My thoughts in response to the “flat feet” article can best be summarized in the following way:
    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
    I had not experienced any running-related problems with my joints or feet or back – knee surgeries, reconstructed ACL, former achilles tendon problem, shortened patella tendon and all – while running from time to time in standard running shoes.
    When I was introduced through Crossfit to POSE running and decided I’d get ‘serious’ about running (which for me, really just meant doing it more often – I hadn’t run really since high school, apart from running on stage/in the studio/on the tumbling track and going for the very occasional run for fun) and at the same time as I did that, I chucked my running shoes and switched to VFFs.
    I can say now: THIS WAS A HUGE MISTAKE.
    I went to see a doctor at the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries the other day and he said to me, with a forlorn irony in his voice, “Well, I really have to thank the makers of those Vibram shoes – I’ll be seeing a lot more people because of them.”
    If you’re experiencing stress and trauma in regular running shoes, by all means, experiment with various kinds of footwear and lack thereof, but if you’re doing just fine as you are AND especially if you know you have low arches: just don’t get swept up in the minimalist footwear fervor and throw caution to the wind (and don’t assume that your body will ‘tell’ you if you’re doing wrong by it – I had no precipitating discomfort. The only indication that something was awry came in the form of tendon thickening detected by my PT/massage therapist friend a few days before it became unequivocally evident that I was hurt). If you must, go find some nice, soft grass to jog on and ask yourself while you’re doing it what your goals REALLY are.
    Injuries that happen by accident – through sudden trauma – are one thing. Injuries that happen through overuse as a result of poor decision making are another and can definitely be avoided.

  • Davi

    And, by the way:
    I thought I was a pretty good candidate for the VFFs – I spend most of my time barefoot, walking around my apartment, dancing, teaching or practicing yoga, and for years I have rehearsed and performed barefoot (thank you physical theater and modern dance for not forcing me into shoes!). I have rarely held a job for long periods of time that required me to wear shoes while working (my table-waiting career was short-lived). But if you look at this photo (link below) of me dancing in 1989 – that’s 20 years ago, folks! – you will see there that I already have ‘low arches’. Up until that point I’d been tumbling and dancing my heart out and, yes, I’d also been in school wearing shoes and sneakers or on the skating rink or on horseback in boots – and I can’t possibly know now what effect those things had on the structure of my foot.
    Did I once have perfectly buoyant cuneiform bones and a navicular and transverse tarsal joints that later fell from grace through the contemporary equivalent of foot-binding (aka shoes?)?

  • Davi

    And, in fact, I think that photo might have been taken in ’88.

  • Jenn Tang

    Power Elizabeth: 6:47 (62#, purple band for ring dips)

  • Gabe K

    I’ve had a very different experience with VFF’s…and want people to not be scared away from them.
    First, I’m a big dude. 265 on a light day. And I’ve recently run (2) 5K’s in them, one a trail run and the other on pavement around Madison Square Park last week.
    I’ve never had any lasting pain or damage from the shoes. I think it’s all about form. Granted, I used to barefoot run a lot in college playing soccer on grass.
    Everyone will experience calf and toe pain, from what I’ve felt, but once you adjust to them I think it’s an awesome experience.
    I hope I’m not harming myself, and have no conclusive evidence otherwise, but so far it’s been a great running experience I would recommend anyone try.

  • Jeffrey B.

    115# sub power cleans. time not recorded exactly – calling it a 9:10.
    Anybody interested in the Ouray, CO certs for Gymnastics and Nutrition and an additional day of XX skiing or ice climbing?
    Ouray, located in SW Colorado, is one of the most stunning places in all of CO. I’m leaning towards the skiing, but the ice climbing is among the best in the world.

  • Jeffrey B.

    Davi, that is a good frolic you’ve got there in that photo of yours.

  • Reagan

    Elizabeth with Squat Cleans
    As Rx’d 11:45
    Black Box (214,214)

  • HAPPY 30th BIRTHDAY to Brendan G. who is back in town and came in for the WOD today. Great work, Brendan!

  • Sara

    Power Elizabeth, 95#: 10:21

  • kj

    7:55 w/ band dips and 55# power cleans.
    Last time was like 15 minutes with less weight, but squat cleans.
    Basically, I have no idea if this shows progress or regression, but next time I should go a boy heavier.

  • torch

    4:49 – KB Squat cleans – 1.5pood (as per Jeff Martone)
    Happy birthday Brendan

  • Brian

    happy Birthday B and welcome back
    CFE tomorrow (tuesday) 630p central park columbus circle
    CFE wednesday 645a meet at black box run @ Madison Square park
    CFE running seminar @ Crossfit Virtuosity Sat Oct. 17th (this saturday)
    CFE rowing seminar Nov 14th @ Black Box

  • ElizabethW

    My namesake workout:
    Skinny Purple Band

  • Davi

    In regards to Gabe’s reply: I have a split tear in my left posterior tibial tendon, which if not directly caused, was certainly provoked, by my running in VFFs.
    Of course everyone should do whatever they want and not everyone will have an experience like mine, but I just want to share what my experience has been.
    Gabe said: “I think it’s all about form.”
    I disagree. I think the efficacy of one’s foot in absorbing impact is certainly partly about form, but it’s also partly about anatomy. And whether those variations in anatomical structure are due to genetics or movement patterns or shoes or some probable combination of all of the above, it’s still inaccurate to say that ease and safety in running almost-barefoot when one has previously run in running shoes is “all about form”. Even if it were all about form, most people cannot rectify problems with their form in an instant.
    Let’s say I have – or had – the worst imaginable form as a runner. Surely, then, that’s a reason for me to be particularly cautious when transitioning to running with minimalist and/or no shoes. Mark Sisson – and pretty much everyone else who advocates in favor of running in this manner – says that one should proceed with caution.
    But what constitutes caution is relative – it’s like the perennial scaling debate, right? or the conundrum when someone particularly skilled and confident in one activity transitions to another with the same degree of confidence, but less skill. And without feedback from the body to let the person in question know whether they’re doing wrong or right by their feet, it’s a potentially perilous situation.
    Respect to you and your choice, Gabe, but for me the decision to wear VFFs and run hard and fast on concrete was an unwise one.
    Jeffrey B – thanks. 🙂

  • Davi

    And I’d love it if people would approach running in VFFs with a measure of caution – I have no stake in whether they are “scared off” or not…but if seeing a less-than-rosy picture painted makes folks approach the transition with greater caution than I did, then I think that’s great.

  • Matt K

    9:48 Rx

  • Mike K

    8:06 rx’d (squat cleans)

  • Avery

    I did a main site WOD circa 2003 tonight at Brooklyn:
    75 Sit-ups (these were anchored)
    65-Pound Tabata Front Squat (I subbed 53#)
    75 Sit-ups
    Rest as needed between squats and sit-ups. Try to complete sit-ups in as few sets as possible. Tabata squat score is least number of squats in any of the eight intervals.
    Post time as set count for first sit-ups, Tabata squat score, and set count for second set of sit-ups. E.G., “1,13,2”
    All sit ups done in a single set, 2:12 first round and 2:19 the second round. These were slow after yesterday’s GHD sit ups.
    Tabata front squats were just a pain – barely eeked out 10 each round. Thanks Kevin P for timing.
    So my score was: 1, 10, 1

  • Kirk

    Not to belabor this argument…but you are missing a critical point that whatever happened to you to cause this injury may have happened regardless. It may be the result of any number of things and could just as likely have happened if you were wearing “regular” shoes.
    It is simply your theory that it was/is connected to your Vibrams. A doctor “agreeing” with you and noting that he assumes he will be getting more business from the makers of Vibrams shows nothing more than mainstream thought shining through…
    People should do what works for them. I’m with Gabe on this – it is about form…and more importantly it is about learning it properly, taking the time to develop skills, being aware of your body and your limitations and practice, practice and more practice.
    I’ve had the exact opposite experience from you – I used to hate running, but had to do it. I was often injured. Since switching to Crossfit Endurance, getting proper coaching and running in Vibrams I have had no injuries and have improved my running substantially. I encourage everyone to try them out – even if, as Coach Glassman said last week at the 101 @ Crossfit LIC – “they’re a bit creepy”!

  • Kirk

    Great bit from an Oct. 5th LA Times article: Barefoot Running Tips:
    * Finally, don’t have too much fun at first. “Avoid RBES — the ‘Running Barefoot Exuberance Syndrome,’ ” Saxton says. “People get so excited that they run too much too soon and get hurt, especially calves and Achilles. So build up slowly.”
    Katy Onstad, a 26-year-old information-technology specialist, knows all about RBES. A five-year runner who had completed 10 5K runs but then developed shin splints, she read “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall in two days, bought a pair of Five Fingers, found Saxton‚Äôs website and drove down from Lompoc for the recent clinic. At the end of that day’s 4-mile barefoot run, her stubbed toes were bloody. A couple days later, she couldn’t walk.
    “My Achilles tendon was so swollen that I could barely get out of bed,” she said. “But I know it’s the right thing. So I’m going to take it slow, increase 10% a week until I’m running barefoot 100%.”

  • 8:12 power cleans. I still suck at ring dips

  • Martin P

    Subbed 120# Power Elizabeth

  • Mike Mishik

    11:55 rx (squat cleans)

  • Davi

    “It is simply your theory that it was/is connected to your Vibrams. A doctor “agreeing” with you and noting that he assumes he will be getting more business from the makers of Vibrams shows nothing more than mainstream thought shining through…”
    Sure, but it is likewise your theory that wearing vibrams did NOT contribute to this problem substantially.
    There’s no way to prove it either way.
    It may be a pure coincidence that the emergence of this problem occurred alongside my decision to practice, practice, practice in VFFs.
    All I know for sure is: my left ankle now hurts more often than not – I wish this weren’t so.
    I’m looking back at my own decision making process and questioning appropriately whether and how some of the decisions I made contributed to what can only be classified as an atypical overuse injury. It may have been the weightlifting, which was new to me, it may have been the combo of weightlifting AND VFFs AND insufficient recovery AND any number of other factors that we cannot possibly isolate from one another given the nature of my life. Maybe if I had only run in VFFs and NOT lifted on top of everything else, I wouldn’t have experienced this injury. Maybe I would…who knows?
    It’s clear that *I* made some decisions that took a substantial toll on my body and I think it is entirely appropriate, reasonable for me to question whether the way in which I ran in VFFs might have been a considerable factor leading to the rather arduous outcome with which I am now faced.
    I felt great while I was running in the VFFs – maybe that’s an indication that they weren’t principally the problem. I also felt great lifting. And dancing. I felt altogether great until one day I didn’t.
    And ultimately, something that I think most people can agree on is this:
    muscles adapt far more easily than tendons and ligaments do – my muscles stretch, grow, contract, and shrink without too much difficulty; however when my (and pretty much everybody’s) tendons stretch, they don’t bounce back.
    All I’m encouraging people to do is precisely the same as what you’ve said: to approach their training with intelligence. And sometimes you can’t know your limits until after you’ve crossed them.

  • Matt

    14:13, 95lb squat cleans, ring dips

  • Davi

    And Kirk – the excerpts you just posted only BOLSTER what I’ve said.
    I’m not telling people NOT to run in VFFs. I am encouraging people to be cautious running in them. And to be cognizant of the particular issues their bodies may face in undertaking this transition should they choose to do so.
    As I said – everyone should make their own decisions. But sometimes your body doesn’t give you feedback in a way that you can hear or see (like bloody toes or an achey achilles).
    If you’re an overpronator, check your post tib tendon for wear and tear/thickness. Check in THERE – your achilles may not be where you experience added stress. And while running in VFFs may aid you in rolling more evenly through the foot, if you’re sprinting in them, chances are you’re not able to monitor what’s happening to your midfoot with each stride.

  • Davi

    And one more thing (I’m happy to belabor the point, Kirk ;)):
    I think the important thing is this: you can strengthen the intrinsic muscles of your foot. But you can’t change the skeletal structure of it. And so you’d better know – or learn – and really pay attention to YOUR unique foot. Not mine, not Kirk’s, not Gabe’s.
    YOUR foot. Study the bottom of your shoes, walk around barefoot, look at your footprints.
    I knew before I started running in VFFs that I had low arches. And I knew I had only a passing acquaintanceship with POSE technique. I raced in high school with NO technical instruction whatsoever. The coach said, “You’re strong and fast. Go!”
    All that intellectual knowledge didn’t affect me one iota when I ran earlier this year. That’s not VFFs fault, that’s mine. But if you’re anything like me, take the more conservative route. And if that means you get your sprinting jollies in your regular clunkers and you practice POSE-ing meticulously for ages in VFFs before you make the full swtich, then great.
    Part of what I meant when I said: look at your goals is this:
    I didn’t actually care that much about becoming a serious runner. I just thought it was fun and it was an easy metcon component/take-anywhere activity. I liked feeling fast. And at the Games I discovered that I really liked running down hills.
    So I didn’t REALLY put the work in – I didn’t practice POSE drills endlessly, I didn’t take it slowly. I just jumped in. And maybe I could have gone on for longer in that vein in the shoes I was used to – maybe not.

  • Davi

    And to conclude (maybe ;)) my dissertation:
    another way of looking at this is:
    running in VFFs – especially if they caused this injury – may have been one of the BEST decisions I made with respect to my training.
    I’m learning so much from this injury and I’m seeing just how unkind I have been to my body, to myself.
    (What if) less is more? That’s one of the precepts of Crossfit workouts vis a vis broader trends in fitness, right? It applies to art, it applies to many things…
    (maybe it applies to blog posting too!) 😀

  • Tony

    11:53 (full cleans with 75 lbs). Last time I did this with 75lbs it took 15 minutes. Big improvement!
    Thanks Rickke, Mike and Dan Def for cheering me on.

  • rob

    Will be back soon, and was wondering wtf are vffs?

  • Hari

    11:42 (PR) Sub 105 lbs
    (68,54), (55, 42), (61, 48), (8, 5)

  • Rickke

    17:26 subbed 115# squat cleans.
    1:30 slower than last time, which isn’t so good. I’m spending way too much time on ring dips. Thanks to Mike & Tony for pushing me through it.

  • Lisa

    OMG, Rob – you do not know what vff’s are? LOL!
    VFFs = Vibram Five Fingers – those rubbery ‘foot gloves’ you must have seen people wearing.
    Good discussion here on people’s experiences. I am taking such a conservatie approach I have not even tried on a pair yet 😉 I have a few runner friends who are slowly easing into barefoot running, and only on trails. I also see a small number of barefoot climbers at the cliffs and cannot imagine how long it took to be able to do that, but it must feel wonderful not to squish ones toes into tight climbing shoes and use one’s (callused) soles for friction.

  • Jari

    Kirk’s is clearly not saying that running in VFF’s did not contribute to your injury. He is simply saying that correlation is not causation.

  • Hari

    Mistyped my name on the previous comment.

  • Peter Moskowitz

    17:15 using 95#