Remember to ease back on some of your gymnastics and barbell work before any open workout so you are less likely to ruin your hands, you can recover faster, and you have the energy to hit the open with all you’ve got. The few days leading up to that workout should include exercise and typical movement to what you could see in the open workout but dialed way back. What does that mean really? Move, but move well and with intention.
For our athletes at 351 we have the most varied and "intense" if you will, workout on that Monday and we taper from there until Friday (when we perform the open workout perscribed Thursday evenings). Strength components are included through the week except for Wednesday when we will do a true active recovery day. Thursday is more of a primer workout which will have some pushing and pulling and lots of mobility. Since the open we have included strength on Thursdays but will go back to our usual schedule post-open season.
So here's the question:
One of the biggest decisions you have during the season is repeating the workout. Repeating the workout has its pros and cons… There are MANY differing opinions on whether to repeat or not. You should approach the workouts with one goal:
To give it your all and to do it once.
If you already have a mindset to do the workout over again then you’ll most likely not perform to your full potential. Something to think about! Repeating an open workout in such a short period of time could lead to a poor recovery. Think about it, do you think that re-exhausting all of those same muscles is wise? Not to mention the wear and tear on your hands, grip and mental state. Maybe you could improve your time with another try? It’s possible… but is it worth it? Is it worth getting anxious about the entire workout again? We think not.
Here is something to consider:
Any competitive athlete should go through a trial-run before performing the workout. So instead of going all out on the first try, go through a few rounds, time yourself and get a feel for what you should do on pacing and strategy. Go at half-pace to really dial in on form and efficiency.
Make the most out of this open season and take your time during your usual workout routine during the week. Take it up a level and go hard for the next open workout! We’ve only got two more!
- Happy Lifting!
Let’s talk about rope climbs. We do them a lot at 351 and there are a few different techniques and styles to this movement that we’d like to discuss to give you a better idea of how to tackle these.
Rope climbs are an extremely functional exercise involving the athlete starting from the ground in a standing position and climbing to typically a fifteen foot target followed by descend back to the ground. The athlete will use the entire body to complete this movement. The muscles involved in this exercise are the lats, biceps, grip, legs and core. It also involves an immense amount of coordination so, there’s that!
Okay, so you’ve got two minutes until the conditioning piece of class. Your coach tells you that we’re doing rope climbs and you panic. “What progressions should I do?!” “Do I work on clamping the rope, legless rope climbs?”
The answer to the above is that it depends on where you are at. Wait, what? Take a look here:
UPPER BODY CONDITIONING:
This basically means that you aren’t quite ready to start clamping and maybe want to work on strengthening the lats, biceps, grip and core by starting from a simpler position that does not involve you to have to clamp the rope with your feet.
Okay so you’ve mastered the upper body conditioning. Now it’s time to get the clamp going and put it into practice. Here are three progressions that you can use.
Progression I - Pull-up Bar Clamp:
Rope climbs are a great full body workout, but keep in mind to break down the basis of the rope climb to be able to do them more effectively. There are multiple ways to clamp the rope. Get with a coach on what the best way to clamp, bite and climb is!
So you have the option of doing Russian OR American kettlebell swings? Which one do you
choose? For members at 351, we give them the option of either movement. Neither is wrong. They are both beneficial in many different ways. Let’s look at those!
The Russian kettlebell swing involves the athlete beginning with the kettlebell between the
legs at hip level, pushing knees back. The athlete will then forcefully bring the hips through and will tighten the core and glutes with the arms acting as facilitators and moving the kettlebell up and at about torso or eye level.
The American kettlebell swing involves the athlete beginning with the kettlebell between the
legs at hip level, pushing knees back. The athlete will then forcefully bring the hips through and will tighten the core and glutes with the arms acting as facilitators, moving the kettlebell upward and then will finish with the bell overhead. Bell will be pointing up toward the ceiling.
The holidays are upon us and we’ve got goals to meet. October can be a very challenging time with Halloween candy everywhere… Luckily we’ve got some helpful tips to keep us on track for the month of October, courtesy of the lovely Vanessa Stolarski, the Founder of Fork Lift Fitness + Nutrition.
Here’s what the expert, Vanessa, has to say for October:
Eat the candy. Then move on…
This Halloween, when faced with store shelves
of candy, this is your time to practice mindful
eating. Don't obsess over what you can’t have,
just enjoy, but PARS through your experience
while eating it:
1. Plan. Decide your favorite. Research nutrition
facts. Determine how much you can eat guilt-free.
2. Assess. Sometimes what we imagine as satisfying, ends up being anti-climactic. Tune into which is true for you.
3. Remember. Many of us have nostalgia tied to certain candies. As you eat your favorite, think about those memories with joy.
4. Savor. Slow down & enjoy the taste, texture, sweetness & smell.
Want to learn more about the right macronutrient balance, calorie load, and what to eat at what time to optimize your athletic performance?
Come to our performance nutrition clinic hosted by ForkLiftFit on October 12th at 11AM. This is a fantastic opportunity to hone in on your performance and nutrition before the OPEN as well as 351’s regular WODs. Knowing how and what to fuel your body with each day is important and good nutrition is the biggest part of fitness. What you put in your body will determine how your body will respond during a workout. This is the key to helping you maintain a healthy weight, reduce any risk of potential diseases, and to help promote your overall well-being!
We get so many questions on how to eat to perform and stay in either that maintenance stage or even that weightloss stage… How does one do this? There is absolutely no one-size fits all approach to this which is why it’s so important to chat with an expert on how to tackle this. Come and check it out on Saturday, October 12th at 11AM! Bring your friends and family and get those questions answered!
RSVP AT THE BELOW LINK FOR ONLY $30!
For the month of October we have tons
of events going on almost every
weekend! We are super excited to
share with you all the growth and
awesome stuff that 351 has to offer.
The FIRST FRIDAY of October is upon
us! Come on out and enjoy a workout
with us at 5:30PM, followed by
some hangout time. BYOB and snacks
if desired! Don’t want to workout and
just want to hang? That’s okay too.
The point of this is to be together in a positive environment supporting all things fitness.
Barbell class is coming up this SATURDAY at 8AM. We couldn’t be more excited to host this again and get those athletes wanting to dial in on their form with the snatch and clean & jerk. Why come to barbell? In this class, we focus on just the lifting portion of things, no metcon. That means all the drills. Get ready. Coaches Mike Leonard and Hayden Perry will be leading the way with this fantastic class. Doors open at 7:30AM to all members and non-members for mobilization. We will then warm up together at 8AM (coach led). Please note that you must register for this class by FRIDAY, October 4th at 5PM.
Open Workouts begin Friday, October 11th at 5:30PM! What does this mean? The open is a way to test our physical abilities against other athletes in our age groups and see where we stand. If you are a 351 member, it is also a way to come and workout with friends and hangout as a group. The open announcements are released Thursdays at 8PM and we complete them the following day. If you have any questions regarding these events, feel free to shoot us an email and we are happy to answer any questions at all! All are welcome!
We are proud to announce another Nutrition Clinic coming up on Saturday, October 12th at 11AM. It couldn’t be coming at a better time and Fork Lift Fitness + Nutrition has labeled this as a PERFORMANCE NUTRITION CLINIC, a topic we haven’t gotten down to the nitty gritty on. As we are approaching the open season, heck even the holiday season let’s face it, we are getting more and more questions about food. Come on out and have your questions answered and meet Vanessa, the woman behind Fork Lift Fitness! You can email us directly regarding class reservation or click on the link here on our website. Here is a direct link to Vanessa’s website as well. Feel free to browse!
We did have to make a slight change to the Kid’s Class scheduling. These classes are still going to take place, we just need a little more prep time for them. The plan for these is still to hold them around the 4:30 and 5:30PM class time slots but we are working on what days of the week are most appropriate. Please stay tuned! We are so excited to launch these additional classes for our young fitness enthusiasts.
351 will be closed from 12:00PM-4:00PM on Tuesday, October 8th for maintenance. All classes that day will be operating on the usual schedule.
Finally, as we are still enjoying the warm weather days at the gym we need to remember that the cooler days and nights are upon us. With that said, November marks a much cooler month where it requires us, unfortunately, to keep the garage doors closed. Because the doors will be closed during the winter season, we must be mindful of how tight the main gym floor will become. Our classes can get pretty full and our coaches do a wonderful job accommodating the athletes and modifying but we do have a class particpant cap. Please note that beginning November 1st, all athletes will need to be reserving their spots using their Wodify app. This will not only help our coaches out tremendously in preparation for classes, but it will keep our gym safe. If members need assistance with the app and a quick, "how to" breakdown on class reservation please give us a shout out, we are happy to help! We feel that this will only make our gym a better and safer space by enforcing class reservation. Please also note that entering through the office doors for all evening classes will be enforced. Children must be taken to the kid area, belongings put away in cubbies and participants must be clear from the gym floor while class is in session. A coach will prompt athletes to approach the double TV screens prior to workout brief when the floor is deemed safe.
Please be sure to check the event board at the gym to get caught up with with all of the local and in-house events if you are a member! Turn those email and SMS subscriptions on so that you can get connected! We will also be posting through social media and sending out reminders weekly!
The Snatch is a complex olympic lift that can be a tall order to dial in. First, there’s the mobility portion… have you ever tried squatting while holding something overhead? That’s extremely difficult! Then, breaking down each pull can be daunting… There’s a lot that can go wrong potentially. Here is a bit of insight into this lift and how you can improve it. Of course, having a coach or personal trainer who is fluent in this movement to watch you is ultimately the best case scenario. If you are local to the Shenandoah Valley, attending one of our Barbell Clinics is a great way to get you doing the movement and through more quality repetitions, the lift can be successfully executed. If you can’t make it because you aren’t a local, we have online coaching available to accommodate any athlete.
Take a look at the below tips and try them out! Be sure to SUBSCRIBE to our content by connecting with us over instagram and facebook. Hit that follow or like button!
Active Recovery Day
What stretches are good for active recovery? Two great stretches for active recovery or enhancing your overall mobility are the elevated prayer stretch and the frog stretch. A great stretch to do before a workout or even afterward for recovery is the frog stretch. The frog pose targets the hips, groin, and the lower back. There are many benefits to the frog stretch like helping to improve your posture, increasing mobility as well as circulation. For many athletes or just simply active people who run, cycle, lift, or do rapid workouts, this stretch helps target the very areas that get tight during consistent movement. If you spend a lot of time sitting during your day the frog stretch is a great way to wake up your muscles and get rid of any pain or tightness in your back.
Another stretch that is great for active recovery or just warming up for any type of workout is the elevated prayer stretch. This stretch is great for your hips, lower back, and shoulders. It can be done elevated or from the floor, but if you elevate this stretch you will feel a deeper stretch in your lats and triceps which is much more beneficial. By doing this type of stretch you will increase your overhead range of motion which will then benefit your workout performance, relieve back pain, increase mobility, and helps take the pressure off your lower back.
Step-by-step FROG STRETCH
Before you start this stretch, consider putting a blanket or a yoga mat on the floor to help take off the tension of your knees.
Step-by-step ELEVATED PRAYER STRETCH
Monday marked the beginning of our re-test week. This week is focused on our main lifting movements such as snatching, back squats, cleans, front squats and jerks. Just because it’s test week does not mean you have to PR, just focus on doing your best. Proper nutrition and fuel are key to PRing your lifts. Time of day is a key factor as well. Be sure to get enough sleep to recover and repair yourself on weeks like this.
Today is an active recovery day for our athletes. Because our active recovery days are typically lighter and less barbell intensive, we try to take the time to either work on skill work or that cardio engine. We had a lot of toes to bar programmed today. Here are some quick tips on toes to bar and how to improve upon your kipping:
Kipping can be a very difficult skill to master when beginning this style of fitness. It can be hard to maintain the tight hollow position as well as transition into the arching position at a faster tempo.
1. Try to keep the feet together as much as possible. Imagine that you are holding a small towel at your feet and you are trying to keep it from falling.
2. Point the toes down. By pointing the toes down, this not only makes the athlete stay tight, but it also forces the athlete to squeeze the quads. We want to avoid breaking the knees on the back swing and into the arch position as well as in the front swing and into the hollow.
3. Don’t aim for a high target with the feet. Keep your kipping small and if necessary, have a coach place their hands at the small, desired target to ensure that you are not only hitting it, but that you maintain that core tension.
4. Keep the core as tight as possible. The core must be very engaged this entire exercise. If you find yourself just kicking or swinging around like a weird worm, we might need to re-think some things.
By following these steps your on your way to achieving a great kip and eventually toes to bar. This movement may not be easy at first, but it has proven to be very helpful.
Over the last few weeks we have been concentrating on our midline stabilization and bird dogs has been one of those exercises that we have been incorporating during our warmups.
So here are just a few reasons why bird dogs on a bench (preferably) are so awesome:
1.) Great for Core Stability
2.) Great for Glute Activation
3.) Great for Shoulder Stabilization
4.) Great for the Hip Flexors
5.) Use it in your Warm-Up
To Complete this Exercise:
Strong core muscles are important for athletes and this area can be easily neglected. Weak core muscles can lead to more fatigue, less endurance and a ton of injuries. Get that core strong!
Give this exercise a try and let us know what you think!
It has been a little over a week since we concluded our kid’s classes for the summer and we are still sad its over. We played games, ran obstacle courses, burned a lot of energy, and had so much fun. As our kids classes came to a close, we noticed a lot of the older kids wanting more of a “real” workout. Not sure how this would turn out, we took a few of them down on the main floor, and gave them the opportunity to do a real WOD. They loved it! It was amazing to see how such young kids could follow instructions and be coachable enough to complete a full (super scaled) workout!
After such a great response from the kids and parents, we have decided that we definitely need more kids classes here at 351. Coming in October we will be offering kids classes again. This time, with legitimate programming for our older kids. We want to get them ready for this style of fitness by teaching them the forms and movements early. This style of fitness is truly a sport, and with all sports, the younger you start the better you will be in the future. Don’t worry, we will still have lots of fun activities for the younger kids!
Thank you so much to all the wonderful kiddos that participated in our kids classes this summer, we hope to see you back in the fall! Pre registration for classes will start beginning of September, as we will have limited spaces!