HERO MONTH – There is another week left to get your 19 WOD’s in to earn your HERO T-Shirt. Please put your T-Shirt Size on the board next to your name so we can place the order on Tuesday August 1st.
Want to get up off the toilet by yourself when you’re 80 years old? Start squatting below parallel when you’re 30 years old. Trust me. By Courtney Shepherd
In my coaching career, I have on occasion, been accused of being mean. That’s right, you heard me, mean. Following a workout once an athlete actually came up to me and said, “Dang girl, you’re mean today.” You would think this might have upset me or at least caused concern about what it was I did to this athlete to earn the distinction “mean”. Well I was not upset, and I knew exactly what I did. And I’ve done it many more times since.
I relentlessly made this athlete, along with the whole class, for the entirety of the workout, squat below parallel. Yeah, that happened.
Now, I hope at this point you realize that, while this really was said to me, it was said with humor. This athlete may have disliked me in the moment for lovingly reminding them often to get lower in their squats, but they know my constant nagging is out of a desire to see them get stronger, healthier, and live a longer, more productive life. Wait a tic. What’s that you say? Squatting below parallel isn’t just something CrossFit Games made up to help establish guidelines for a “no rep” during a workout? Nope, they sure didn’t. (Yes, I realize I’m having a conversation with myself. . . publicly, for all you to enjoy) Long before the Crossfit Games came to light CrossFit was teaching the air squat as one of it’s foundational, functional movements. A point of performance for this movement is that the hip crease gets below the knee crease, also known as getting below parallel. Why does CrossFit teach it this way? Because that is what life demands of us. Life demands at times that we set our butt down on something that is lower to the ground, and I’ll be darned if at some point in time later life asks us to get our butts up. We want to be able to do this without the help of someone or something else. So CrossFit is preparing us for life.
The squat is my favorite foundational, functional movement because you see it in so many other things. You see it in the thruster, snatch, clean, overhead squat, wall ball, and more. We do a workout with 150 wall balls in it, and after it kicks our butt we rack our brain trying to figure out how to get better at wall balls, but very few of us will actually say, “I bet if I worked to improve my squat I would also improve my wall balls.” I’m not talking about throwing weights on a bar and squatting our brains out. I’m talking about sitting back in our heals, driving our knees over our toes, and keeping our chest upright as we squat below parallel. Taking time to perfect the air squat translates to those sexier movements we all want so bad, like a heavier snatch or clean.
The squat is also my favorite for it’s presence in everyday life. My Nana use to live in an assisted living facility. When I would visit, I couldn’t use her private bathroom because it had a 2 foot booster seat on top of the toilet. The facility put this there for my Nana because she had long ago lost the ability to sit down and stand up without assistance. She lost her functional ability to squat. CrossFit was not in my life at a time I could have helped make a difference in my Nana’s. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wish it would have been. I would have loved to have visited Nana and done silly things with her like sit down and stand up, now do it holding this phone book. She wouldn’t have known it at the time but she would have been working on doing squats with a little bit of weight. She would have been doing CrossFit.
Today you are going to be doing a lot of squats. When I coach I’m going to expect that each of these squats gets to the proper depth, something I will be continually reminding some of you about. I know it seems “mean” to hear my obnoxiously loud and raspy voice booming across the room, “get lower in that squat for me”, but I obviously don’t see it as mean. I see it as keeping you healthy and functional, so that when you are 80 no one puts a 2 foot booster seat on your toilet and it freaks out your grandkids.
In short, you’re welcome.
Dynamic Warm-Up – Mobility
Captain Ronald G. Luce, 27, of the U.S. Army Company C, 2nd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group, headquartered at Jackson, Miss., died August 2, 2009 in Qole Gerdsar, Afghanistan, after his vehicle was struck by a command wire improvised explosive device. He is survived by by his wife Kendahl Shoemaker and 5 year old daughter Carrie, and parents Ronald and Katherine Luce.
A. WOD: “Luce”
3 RFT, 35 min cap
1000m run or 1.6 mile bike or 1250m row or 1000m ski
10 Ring MU or 15 burpee broad jump
100 Air Squats
**Normally done with a vest.
* Scale accordingly to maintain consistency of good mechanics, while applying intensity through rounds. Ask your coach for help.
B. ABOVE and BEYOND:
B: Alternate for 3 sets:
Deficit plyo pushups, 30 sec max rep. Hands on 25lb plates, chest touches ground between, explode so hands come off plates, land and repeat.
Wide stance good morning, 8-10 reps
C: Alternate for 3 sets:
Single arm push up, max rep. Start with weaker arm, perform same number with strong arm.
Single leg dead lift, 8-10 reps per side. Use a barbell.
Chin up isometric L sit hold on rings. Perform a pull up or chin up on rings. Hold at top, chin above hands, perform L sit. Accumulate 2 min.