Congratulations to Ben Morosse on being September’s Athlete of the Month! Ben is a Philly area native who grew up wrestling and running track. He began rowing in high school, racing internationally in both Canada and England. His rowing career carried through most of college, but he eventually wanted something else and began swimming, biking and weightlifting casually. Ben’s time with CrossFit started in late 2016, with primary goals of improving strength and rehabbing longtime back issues earned from rowing. His most recent PR’s include a 225lb power clean double and wearing L t-shirts.
While we hit benchmark workouts at our affiliates throughout the year (1-rep-max back squat, 1-rep-max snatch, Fran, Cindy), the CrossFit Games Open is the time to see how we perform compared to other CrossFitters around the world.
WHAT IS THE CROSSFIT OPEN?
The Open is comprised of five workouts over five weeks, and this year it starts with 20.1. Open workouts are identified by their year and the order in which they appear. The workouts will be released every Thursday during the five weeks of the Open, and you can watch the live announcement of the workout that will be streamed on the CrossFit Games website.
The announcement will take place at a different location each week, and two athletes (or more) will perform the workout live. After the workout is released, any athlete who has registered for the Open will have until 5 p.m. PT on the following Monday to submit their best score online.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE CROSSFIT OPEN?.
While the purpose of the Open is to find the fittest athletes in each country to move on to the CrossFit Games, it’s also an opportunity for any athlete at any level to participate in the competition. It can add meaning and purpose to your training while also bringing your gym’s community closer together. (As a rule of thumb, the Open is the time of year where we see many people achieve important firsts: bodyweight snatch, muscle-ups, toes-to-bars, handstand push-ups, double-unders, etc.)
Most importantly, the Open will also give you some interesting data on your performance in the gym, which can be a guide for setting realistic goals for the following year.
THAT SOUNDS GREAT, BUT WHY SIGN UP? I’M NOT GOING TO THE GAMES…
Only a very small percentage of athletes will make it to the Games. While I can understand the sentiment of “Why bother?” I really encourage you to think about participating because you will be part of a very big international event that represents your affiliate. Every affiliate in the world can take part in the Open, which is amazing, and we don’t want you all to miss out on the fun!
Affiliate owners can use their members’ performance data to determine how and why the programming should change for the coming year. For instance, if the majority of the gym can’t do chest-to-bar pull-ups relative to every other gyms in the region, then the trainers can work on bringing up that skill in the gym’s population.
It’s much easier to stay motivated during the Open (and with CrossFit) if you are actually committed to tracking your progress.
YEAH, BUT I DON’T KNOW. I’VE DONE CROSSFIT FOR A FEW YEARS ALREADY. WHAT’S THE POINT?
If you’ve been doing CrossFit for a year or more, all it takes is a little competition to really bring out the best in you. It’s easy to lose intensity in your workouts if you are never pushed past what you think you can do.
It can also be a harsh reality check if you’ve been coasting in class this past year or not really sticking to standards for the sake of speed. All those times you wrote Rx’d next to your name on the whiteboard, maybe it wasn’t the case. Perhaps your takeaway will be that you need to count your reps properly, work towards virtuosity in your movements, or at the very least, achieve full range of motion on your reps!
If you have been interested in doing a local competition, then participating in the Open is absolutely your best opportunity to get a taste of what it’s like to be judged and compete in a CrossFit event. While you may not make it to the Games, the excitement of doing the same workout as Games athletes is a really fun element to add to your weekly fitness routine. (I also dare you to not get addicted to Leaderboarding with fellow gym members.)
Finally, consider that the Open is simply a snapshot of your fitness at one point in time. Maybe you are rehabbing an injury, just coming back to the gym after a layoff. The easiest thing is to make an excuse and not participate. The Open can be the catalyst to get you back on track at the gym.
WHAT ABOUT ME? I’VE ONLY BEEN DOING CROSSFIT FOR TWO WEEKS!
Even if you are a complete beginner (yes, those of you who finished Elements last month), you can participate in the Open. Every Open workout will feature a scaled workout option which at CrossFit NYC will be the Beginner WOD on Friday and Saturday.
Think of this Open as an opportunity to set a performance baseline for CrossFit. I promise you that you will be amazed at your progress if you continue with your CrossFit training and retest the following year.
DATA = TRAINING PROGRESS
What’s most useful about participating in the Open is having a complete record of your past performances. From your first fundmentals class to blog reminders about posting your WOD scores and times, writing down your training results is a huge (if not the biggest) component for seeing consistent progress in the gym.
Besides providing a nice reality check about your overall skill and fitness level, you’ll find that reviewing all the past data is beneficial for goal setting.
For instance, if I want to become better at CrossFit, there are some basic takeaways from my past Open results. Using my own data, I can note my strengths (i.e., 15.5, the thrusters and rowing workout) and my weaknesses (i.e., pull-ups – any year, any workout). I’m still waiting for the 30-minute kettlebell snatch AMRAP – fingers crossed for 2016!
OK, I’M CONVINCED! HOW DO I REGISTER?
On the CrossFit Games website, you will see a big red register button. Click it, and you’ll be directed to a login page where you will be prompted to enter your existing CrossFit ID. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to create an account.
You’ll then be prompted to select your division, which is going to be either “Male” or “Female,” your location, and agree to the competition rules and waiver.
You’ll also be asked to pay a $20 registration fee. This fee goes towards running the competition, and your Open scores will be stored under your profile for years to come.
To complete your registration, make sure you join your affiliate and then also select your affiliate’s team.
There are seven age brackets: two for Teenagers (14-15, 16-17), and five for Masters (40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60+). If you’re born within the cut-off dates, you’ll be automatically entered into your age bracket.
Lastly, don’t worry about signing up for Rx’d or Scaled workouts. Everyone competing in the Open has the option of performing a scaled version of the workout in any given week. If you are a complete beginner, this is great news! It ensures that the experience will be even more inclusive.
It’s time to officially kick off the fall season with a ladies night out!! On Saturday September 28th, Megs and myself will be hosting a wine tasting themed ladies night at my house in West Conshohocken. The fun will begin around 6:30pm 🙂
If you would like to bring a specific wine, seltzer, favorite drink, or snack please let us know on the FB event page!
We’d really appreciate everyone to RSVP and can’t wait to see you there!
Britt & Megs
Colleen was a competitive dancer all of her life and was also involved in track, soccer, and cheerleading in later years. Since she was always active, so she never had to worry about working out at a traditional gym. Once college was over Colleen was lost when it came to work outs. For years she belonged to a local gym and enjoyed the classes but never went consistently. It took a car accident and a couple of arm surgeries for her to take her health serious and find a workout routine she enjoyed and could stick to. Colleen was hooked after her first CrossFit class but had to try a couple of gyms before finding the correct fit. When she moved to Conshohocken and had to start the process all over again, she was overwhelmed. Colleen immediately felt comfortable when she walked into Thermal. It may have taken a year of drop-ins to finally make the full time change to Thermal – but she has never looked back.
Thank you to the coaches for teaching me something new every time I walk in the door and thanks to the members for making the workouts so enjoyable!
Coaches Corner: How to Prevent Your Calluses from Ripping (and what to do when they do)
Two common questions that are frequently raised in the gym are “How do I take care of the calluses on my hands” and “I ripped. How do I take care of it?”. Well today we’re going to address a few things for things for you. First, we have to make sure that we’re taking care of our hands. Secondly, we have to ensure that we’re using the right amount of chalk in WOD’s and what to do if the chalk quickly becomes liquid. Lastly, we’ll talk about how to take care of your hands if you do rip. Let’s get started!
Hand Care at Home
The best way to make sure you don’t rip is to actively take care of your hands. It’s fairly simple actually. The first, and easiest, preventative measure you can do is to pick up a pumice stone. You’ll typically find these around the foot care sections in stores like Target, but there are specific ones made for CrossFitters by brands like Sandbar Hand Care. If you pick up a pumice stone all you’ll need to do is spend a few minutes at the end of your shower shaving down your calluses. If you pick up something like Sandbar, you’ll use it after you get out of the shower instead.
Another way to help prevent your hands from ripping is by using some sort of lotion to prevent your hands from drying out from all of the chalk and washing your hands. There are numerous different lotions you can use; Working Hands Hand Cream is my choice of preference.
Doing these two things on a daily basis will help to greatly reduce the chance of you ripping your hands
In the Gym
The Lebron Chalk Toss is cool to see but in a Metcon you’re not doing your hands any favors by coating them like that. The only time that serves you is in strength training. Be frugal with your chalk usage. Often, you’ll find all you need is a little on your palms and a touch on your fingers. The small amount will help keep your hands dry and allow you to maintain your grip.
“But what about when there’s a puddle of sweat on my hand?!?” – The best thing you can do when you know it’s going to be an incredibly hot day, and you’re sweating the moment you open your front door is to bring a small hand towel. Instead of caking your hand in chalk, use the towel to dry your hand between sets and then chalk up.
Gymnastics grips can be your best friend as long as you’re not reliant on them. These grips are used at your own discretion. The benefits are using gymnastic grips is that helps reduce friction on your hands to avoid from ripping. The only downside is if you’re doing gymnastics moves paired with a barbell, you’ll need to remove the grips. It’s a small con to a long list of positives and healthy hands.
Ripped Hand Treatment
At this point you’ve done all you can to prevent from ripping but alas, you still ripped. Now what? The first thing you need to do is take care of the skin flap. You may want tip rip it off, but don’t. Ripping off the skin can tear off healthy skin enlarging the wound. Using a pair of small medical scissors, cut the flap off so that it doesn’t catch on anything while healing causing it to reopen.
From there you’ll treat it as a normal wound. You’ll want to do the following routinely:
- Wash your hands frequently to clean to the wound
- Apply Neosporin or some other anti-bacterial.
- Cover the wound and let it heal.
Some methods that circulate around the internet that help speed up recovery include soaking your hand in an Epsom salt bath for 10 minutes daily, using Vitamin E Oil, and applying Dermabond skin sealant. If you test any of these out let us know how they work!
Getting Back to Working Out
Ripping shouldn’t prevent you from working out, you just have to be smart. Commonsense will come into play a lot here. Work with a coach to find a substitution for bar gymnastics or anything else that is bothersome due to the tear. If for some reason you MUST be on the rig, use gloves. Sharing is caring but not when it comes to blood.
**Products mentioned were not sponsored, just products that have been tried and tested**
On Monday September 2nd, we’ll be hosting our Labor Day Friends and Family Event, and all are welcome to attend. We do this every season and if you missed it back on July 4th check out this video!
Come be a part of the action doors open 9:00am, and our Hero Workout will begin at 10:00am. As always stick around for backyard games and a cookout starting at 11:00am.
On Friday September, 6 th 2019 after the 6:30 WOD for Thermal’s first bottle share! This is event is open to both beer AND ciders. Let us know you plan to attended by RSVP’ing on Facebook!
What is a bottle share? A bottle share is simply a get-together where each person brings beer (or cider in our case) to open and share with other attendees.
You are encouraged to bring at least two bottles of your favorite local/craft beer/cider to store in the refrigerator while we do the WOD at 6:30. Afterwards we’ll be taking the bottles out in batches to help ensure nothing gets too warm before you have an opportunity try it. We’ll also share some beer knowledge with you! What’s the difference between a New England IPA & a West Coast IPA? Do some beers taste better when they’re warm?
This is a wonderful opportunity to explore different styles of beer and ciders that you may not have had the opportunity to try or may have never thought to try. The point is to try a little of a lot! It’s also a great time to get to meet, and see, other members from the gym! Maybe 6am is a mythical time that’s never been proven to exist or 6:30pm is your time to wind down, we’ll have members from all different classes in attendance.
If you have any questions, reach out to Coach Nate (NateLaBrusciano@gmail.com)!
We’ve received your feedback from the survey regarding your thoughts on the squat cycle. After consideration of community interests, we present to you our next cycle, “Trident”. A trident is a three-pronged spear, relevant to us for the three major components that we will focus on during the next 6 weeks. Because of the capability that you showed during the squat cycle as well as some of the feedback from our survey, we decided that we will be focusing on three different, yet related strength elements.
Showing an increase on a micro level with each of these elements will have a great impact on the individual goals that we each have. As our performance metrics increase , and in this case specifically our strength and strength endurance, we’ll see that carry over into our conditioning segments. With an increased ability on these 3 fronts, we can expect to achieve higher levels of intensity during workouts, go heavier, perform bigger sets of body weight gymnastics and increase our core strength.
This cycle will run from 7/29 – 9/6. Week One will be three baseline tests making up the basis of our cycle. Our baselines will test the following:
- 1 Rep Push Press (Vertical Pressing Strength)
- 10 Rep Deadlift (Strength Endurance)
- Max 1-Count Pull-up OR Inverted Barbell Row (Relative Strength)
The cycle will consist of 6 components spread over the course of 5 weekdays. Each weekday will have a different focus, listed as follows:
Day 1) Pressing Strength
Day 2) “Non-Barbell” WOD
Day 3) Pull-up Strength
Day 4) Squat-Focused
Day 5) “Classic Crossfit” + Pull-up Accessory Work
Day 6) Deadlift-Focused
Of course, each day will be “CrossFit”, we have some creative ways to mix all of these pieces into some fun and engaging workouts. Our goal is to follow this framework, while always mixing it up and keeping your body and mind guessing.
Saturday and Sunday will not be included in the program. As usual, Saturday will be a team or partner-style workout. Sunday’s will be run differently during the cycle. Athletes will have a choice of either an endurance-style workout (longer MetCon with heavy cardio focus) or a “Make-Up Day” in order to do a workout that they may have missed during the week.
Help us choose a workout for this summer event (voting on FB group)
50 Pull Ups
400 Meter Run
21 Thrusters (95 lbs / 75 lbs)
800 Meter Run
21 Thrusters (95 lbs / 75 lbs)
400 Meter Run
50 Pull Ups
“Glen” (partner style alternate 200s)
30 Clean and Jerks (135 lbs / 95 lbs)
Run 1 Mile
10 Rope Climbs (15 foot ascents)
Run 1 Mile
5 Rounds For Time:
3 Rope Climbs (15 ft.)
10 Toes to Bar
21 Walking Lunges with Plate Held Overhead (45 lbs / 25 lbs)
Run 400 Meters
3 Rounds For Time:
Run 800 Meters
30 Dumbbell Squat Cleans (50 lbs / 35 lbs)
As Many Rounds As Possible in 20 Minutes:
1 Rope Climb (15 foot ascent)
200 Meter Run
(Wear 20 lb / 14 lb vest if available)
10 Rounds For Time:
5 Thrusters (115 / 75 lbs)
10 Pull Ups
100 Meter Sprint
Rest 1 Minute
10 Rounds for Time
Run 150 Meters
7 Chest to Bar Pull Ups
7 Front Squats (135 lbs / 105 lbs)
7 Hand Stand Push-Ups
3 Rounds For Time:
30 Squat Cleans (95 lbs / 75 lbs)
30 Pull Ups
800 Meter Run