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Mar 16 2014

U Mirin’ Glossary, Brah?

By: Coach David Peregrino

Quite often slang used in the online fitness subculture will bleed into mainstream. Expressions such as “u mirin?” or “u jelly?” will pop up on Facebook, or, even worse, be used IRL (in real life) at the gym. The use of arcane colloquialisms and jargon makes it difficult for Internet novices and people over 40 to understand online discussions. To remedy this, I’ve prepared an abridged glossary of terms commonly used in online fitness (and other) forums.

I considered providing links to some of the most popular fitness forums, but thought better of it. Entering this virtual world is wildly entertaining, but most of it is NSFW (not safe for work). And, as you probably suspect, spending time in this subculture will lead to a severely diminished IQ.
Pro Tip: Only use these words in the appropriate context, and don’t overuse them, or else you’ll end up looking very foolish.

Coach David’s Online Fitness Glossary

aware: having knowledge.
• Aware me on the new protein Kai Greene is using.
• Five Guys secret menu: U aware?

brb: be right back. Can (annoyingly) be used in nearly any context.
• What, you didn’t post a vid of your 600lb deadlift? Brb, using my imagination.

cliffs: A short, often bullet-pointed version of a long post. (See tl;dr).
• Here are the cliffs on my botched surgery:
1. No money
2. Found lipo surgeon on Craigs
3. Blacked out, ended up in ER, $50,000 bill
4. Wat do?

bro science: Advice from others, usually backed up by questionable evidence.
• The doc said eating raw eggs was bad. Man, that’s pure bro science!
• My trainer said I shouldn’t squat below parallel because I’d hurt my knees. I dunno, sounds like bro science to me!

copypasta: A portmanteau of “copy” and “paste,” this is a block of text (usually NSFW) that gets pasted in a forum, usually to troll for the lulz. Legendary copypastas include the “navy seal copypasta” and the “was so cash copypasta.” (Warning, these copypastas are NSFW).

e-stats: Exaggerated performance stats posted online
• On his Games profile, he said he has a 1 minute Fran and 700lb deadlift. He’s gotta be e-stattin’!

gear: performance enhancing drugs (PEDs)
• Did you see how he blew up from 250 to 300 in a month, and all his hair fell out? He’s on all kinds of gear!

GOMAD: gallon of milk a day diet
• You wanna make sick gains, brah? You gotta do GOMAD.

________ gonna ________: Usually “haters gonna hate,” one of many expressions that mean people will always do what is in their nature to do.
• Did you see them checking out my 185 hang cleans for reps? Mirers gonna mire!

gonna make it: An uplifting phrase popularized by a now-deceased bodybuilding celebrity, who reassured his followers that “We’re all gonna make it.”
• I lost 20lbs by cutting carbs and doing the Stairmaster every day. Am I gonna make it, brahs?

IIFYM: A diet where everything is game, if it fits your macros (the macronutrient ratio that you have deemed acceptable for your fitness goals).
• You: This McDonald’s double cheese has 46g of carbs, 25g of protein and 29g of fat. Should I eat it?
Friend: Hey, if it fits your macros, why not?
You: Man, this IIFYM diet is awesome!

irl: in real life
• Are you foolish enough to use internet slang irl?

jelly: jealous

• I’ve been doing GOMAD and IIFYM for two months and I’ve upped my bench from 225 to 315. You jelly of my mad gains, brah?

lulz: A pronunciation spelling of LOLs, roughly translated to “many laughs.”
• Friend: Why did you troll the CrossFit Games Facebook page with that funny pic of Castro?
• You: I did it for the lulz.

lurk: To visit and read forums without participating in the discussions. It’s a good idea to lurk a forum for a long time to learn the language and culture before posting. Otherwise, you may make a fool of yourself.
• Friend: Do you post in that bodybuilding.com forum?
• You: Naw, I’m just a lurker.

mirin: a variation of “admiring.”
• Instead of saying, “Are you admiring me, good sir, as I complete 20 unbroken chest-to-bar butterfly pull ups?”, you simply look at your mirer and say, “U mirin, brah?”

moar: A portmanteau of “more” and “roar,” to emphasize that you want more of something.
• Holy smokes, that almond-crust pizza was tasty. I want moar!

natty: Used to describe an athlete who is “all natural,” meaning they have never used PEDs.
• Friend: How the heck did your clean and jerk go from 225 to 300 in two weeks? Are you on some kind of gear?
• You: No way. All natty, brah!

OP: The original poster, or the person who starts a forum thread.
• You’re saying you’re a real-life Navy SEAL and an expert in “gorilla” warfare? OP, you gotta be trolling.

________ of Peace: Used to refer to anything unusual or attention-getting (not necessarily in a good way).
• Friend: Did you see that guy who got freakish arms by injecting synthol?
• You: Yep. Biceps of Peace.

poverty: shamefully inexpensive, cheap or poorly made
• You should have seen my poverty breakfast this morning: microwaved hot dogs and mustard from the dollar store, washed down with warm Miller Lite.
• Why are you laughing at my poverty car? This ‘95 Geo Metro 3-cylinder gets great mileage.

(srs): This means “serious,” and is used in forums to indicate you are not joking.
• I need some advice guys, a spider just bit me in a bad place. Wat do? (srs).

stay safe: Used to advise others in a forum to avoid activities that could lead to harm, such as taking three scoops of an unknown preworkout.
• Some of those preworkouts have meth in them (srs). Stay safe, brahs.

strong: Similar to ________ of Peace, used to refer to anything unusual or attention-getting (not necessarily in a good way).
• Friend with a big forehead posts a selfie, proudly showing off his newly shredded abs.
• You: Strong forehead.

tech: Derived from “dat-dere Cell-Tech,” an inside joke about the use of PEDs in professional bodybuilding. Like gear, tech refers to PEDs.
• See those guys on the leg press machine? They are teched-out!

that feel: A phrase used by netizens who share their emotions, also known as “feels,” online. Usually accompanied by a pic of the “Feel Guy.”
• That feel when you’re killing the 14.2 WOD and your hand tears.
• Last week I was able to deadlift 520, but today I could barely pull 480. Dat feel.

tl;dr: Too long; didn’t read. Used when someone posts way too much text, usually some kind of rant or emotional release.
• Friend posts 1000-word diatribe against eating tilapia from China.
• You: tl;dr lol

troll: A person who posts in a forum with the intent of derailing the original discussion and making people angry. Troll posts can range from the very dumb (u mad?) to the very clever and subtle (at which point they are considered an art form).
• Man, I got mad when that guy posted that you should kip your pull ups first before learning strict pull ups. Then I realized he was trolling.
• I don’t know why you bother trying to troll in that forum. You’re basically trolling in a sea of trolls.

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Mar 10 2014

Gym Etiquette 101

By: Coach Edith Peregrino

One of the things that separates a good gym from a great gym is the people and the atmosphere that is created by the members.

We can all do our little part to make the best environment possible and make the gym a better place. Here are a few things we can do to make your gym visits and WODs more enjoyable:

*Be on time– for your own safety it is important for you to warm-up properly and be ready to start the class right on time. If you can, get to the gym a few minutes before class and make your way to the white board when the coach is ready to start the class.

*Don’t try to sneak in– if you are late, I know it happens sometimes, just come up to the coach and let him/her know. Nobody likes burpees but they are a great way to warm up. It is not fair to the other members who made it on time to have to wait on you to catch up.

*No chatty Kathys- especially when the coach is going over the warmup, skill and WOD. Even if you have been a gym member for a while and you know the movements remember there are members switching from Alpha class regularly who might want to hear everything the coach says. Be a good listener!

*Cooperate- Sometimes WODs can be hard to organize, especially during the larger evening classes. Be patient and help out the coach by setting up equipment promptly.

*Cheer!– most members appreciate being cheered on by their fellow gym mates

While WODing…

*No ghost riding- this includes kettlebells, wallballs, and of course barbells. Be aware of the people around you and keep yourself and them safe by not dropping equipment from above your head and letting it bounce around wherever. Follow these heavy pieces of equipment down to the floor carefully.

*Chalk- I love chalk just as much as the next person. Heck, I feel like chalking up to do wallball shots!( just kidding) Use only a small amount and dust the excess chalk off your hands OVER the bucket. There is no need to clap off the extra white stuff all the way to your station. I’m sure the cleaning crew will appreciate it too.

*Don’t steal other people’s equipment– if you must share equipment arrange this before the WOD starts. Don’t just take someone’s stuff without asking.

*Be patient- Sometimes we are limited on equipment or stations. Don’t give someone the evil look or breathe hard on them while they are trying to finish because they are taking long to finish using something you are also using i.e. Airdyne, rowers. Encourage them, be positive and wait your turn.

Post WOD:

*Clean up time– pick up your equipment and help your class buddies pick up there stuff too. Working together will make cleaning up a breeze.

*Organize– most of the equipment is color coded with tape according weight/size. If you do see something misplaced such as kettlebells or barbells be a good sport, take an extra minute and make them look nice. It helps everyone when setting up for a WOD to have things in place.

*Wipe off your DNA– we sweat, we tear, we spit, we bleed. It’s ok because we WOD hard!! But it’s also kind of gross. We have paper towels and sanitizer near the white board, let’s use them! Wipe bars, rowers, wallballs…

 Good equipment, amenities, and having a good coaching staff paired up with positive, friendly members is what makes our gym stand out from others.  If we all do our part, we can keep our WOD community at its best.

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Mar 04 2014

The Olympic Lifting Shoe

By: Junior Coach Tomas Frias

Every shoe serves a purpose, track spikes for sprinting, cleats for football, Jordans out on the basketball court. Today, even CrossFit has become successful enough for big name companies to take notice and supply their  very own shoes for different types of WODs.

One of these specialized shoes that can actually be of great benefit to CrossFitters is the Olympic lifting shoe. Many benefits come from these snazzy attention grabbing shoes and just like all other specialized footwear the true power behind them can be found in their construct. Oly shoes are designed with the optimization of power output in mind. Maximal force production is what causes Oly shoes to be flat and hard soled, with a heightened heel and additional straps to secure a tight fit.

Hard Sole 

The  hard flat sole is intended to make sure that when pressing downward on the floor every bit of force is acting in your favor. This is different than a  running shoe that is cushioned and absorbs some of the force that could be essential when going for those heavy singles. Typically the soles of Oly shoes now are made up of some hard plastic material but in the old school days they were made up of wood, Coach David Peregrino still wears his awesome Adipowers with a wooden heel.

Raised Heel 

On all Oly lifting shoes, the heel is elevated by a much higher ratio then typical athletic shoes. The heel being elevated allows for extra mobility in the ankles and hips. According to Greg Everett from Catalyst Fitness: Olympic Weightlifting, “the ankle has to flex — or dorsiflex — a great deal to hit those bottom positions with an upright torso” the elevated heel on an Oly shoe allows you to do so more easily. While not even a great Oly shoe can replace our need to mobilize and stretch, Oly shoes can also be beneficial in a WOD containing pistols which requires similar ankle felxibility.

The Straps 

As for the strap, its all about a tight secure fit.  We often see people squatting in Nike Free’s and the foot is pressed up against the cloth fabric reaching past the sole which makes for a shaky lift throughout the range of motion, the strap really helps keep the foot in place almost to the point where you feel strapped into the floor. This added stability lets you focus less on foot position and more on getting the weight up.

Should You Own a Pair? 

Olympic Lifting shoes are an investment that aren’t a complete necessity for all CrossFitters. If you’re training CrossFit just for overall health and fitness, you can get by without them. If you are taking CrossFit a bit more seriously though, or are interested in competitive CrossFit or Weightlifting you should definitely get a pair.  While purchasing Oly shoes won’t necessarily translate into an automatic PR, they can help you improve your positions and stability throughout the lifts- which are stepping stones to higher one rep maxes. Many of us at Crossfit 915 have them because they really do help, a couple of brands we like include Nike Romaleos, Adidas Adipower, Again Faster Oly, and Rogue Weightlifting Shoes.

Feb 25 2014

CrossFit for Fitness Vs. CrossFit as a Sport

By: Coach Josh Duran

When you think about the different reasons people participate in CrossFit, there are a few motivations that come to mind.  First off, there is the general physical fitness aspect of it.  This is the part of CrossFit that probably drew most people to their local box in the first place.  CrossFit is a great workout that yields tangible results, both in weight loss, muscle development and performance.  The CrossFit community and mindset also help people to live a healthier lifestyle and become more active in their everyday life.  This is where most people tend to start off when first joining a CrossFit gym: they enjoy the workouts, the group atmosphere, and of course, the results.

There is also another side to CrossFit, that is the competitive side.  This is the side where you want to showcase your skills in a public setting.  The competitive side of CrossFit involves taking the sport more seriously, writing down every workout, singling out key weaknesses and working to improve those areas.  Competitive training also includes making sure you are getting enough rest, having a proper diet, and constantly trying to improve form and technique.

At first glance, someone would probably say that these are two completely different areas within CrossFit.  You have the fitness/recreational CrossFit and you have the competitive sport of CrossFit.  But to truly understand the differences of these two aspects, I think it is first important to review how the two are alike.  First off, let’s look at the movements themselves.  You have movements that range from basic movements such as squats, situps and pushups to your more complex movements such as the snatch, the clean and jerk, and the overhead squat.  Let me ask you this, are the movements any different for a beginner than they are for a CrossFit veteran?  The answer to that is an emphatic NO!  Regardless of your level, the proper form on any movement remains the same.  Granted some movements may need to be modified to accommodate a person’s ability level, but the end goal is still the same and that is to perform the movement as quickly as possible with absolutely PERFECT form.  Any good CrossFit gym will focus on proper form for all its athletes regardless if that individual is an aspiring competitor or someone who just loves the feeling they get from a good CrossFit workout.  A good box will also try and motivate all its members to complete the movements at full range of motion (ie hips below parallel on the squat, or full extending on top of the box when performing a box jump).  Another area where recreational CrossFit and competitive CrossFit are similar is the inner battle that takes place within each person that comes to the gym.  I truly believe that everyone who keeps coming back to a CrossFit gym has somewhat of a competitive nature.  There will definitely be some whose competitive nature is minimal.  But if people did not want to make themselves better, did not want to improve their lives, I do not believe they would continue to show up to the box on a regular basis to put themselves through so many tough workouts.  I believe everyone in the CrossFit community has that small drive to be better versions of themselves then they were the day before.  The competition is you vs you.  This does not change between someone who competes and someone who doesn’t.

I believe the only TRUE difference between these two aspects comes down to priorities and preference.  The ones who choose to compete and try to do so at the highest possible level are the ones who are willing to put their bodies through more pain and willing to put in more time working on things they feel need work.  You will see them in the gym every day working on different skills.  The ones who simply want to do CrossFit recreationally  are the ones who see CrossFit as a great workout and a great addition to their lives and nothing more.  And let me be clear when I say that there is absolutely nothing wrong with either choice!  I believe it is important for everyone to take a moment and ask themselves why are they doing this, what do they want out of all this?  CrossFit is great in that it offers so many different opportunities to so many different people.  The young man trying to get in shape to join the Army, the older lady who wants to be active enough to play with her grandkids, the athletic kid who has been in sports his whole life and still wants to compete, the guy who has never been active and using this as his opportunity to lose weight and get in shape, etc.  As long as you understand what the purpose of CrossFit is in your own personal life, you can’t go wrong!
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Feb 24 2014

Why We Do Handstand Pushups

By: Coach Ryan Chavez

Certain movements in CrossFit have that “cool” factor. I’m talking muscle ups, handstand walks, butterfly pull-ups, and of course, handstand push-ups. Lets talk about the handstand push-up.  A handstand push-up is basically your body being upside down, in an inverted position, with your posterior region facing the wall, while you hold your body up with your hands. From this position, the goal is guide yourself down to the resting position, which is your head touching the floor, and push yourself up, ending in an elbows locked out position. Though, many building blocks must be mastered before we can accomplish that handstand push-up, the benefits that it ultimately provides are the real reason we work on this awkward movement.

We do handstand push-ups for a variety of reasons. First, we force ourselves to be comfortable in an uncomfortable position. With this being said, we are using a whole array of muscles. Lets start with the shoulder and triceps muscle groups that are going to be your main source of strength when pushing out of the resting position to the locked out position. The pectoral muscles (chest), also aid in the strength portion as well.Not only will handstand push-ups improve your strength, they will also help your balance, coordination, and aid in the fear of being upside down. So, don’t be timid to try something new, like a handstand push-up. Ask a coach to help or guide you through one. Master the basics first:  get comfortable kicking into a handstand against the wall, learn to hold the upside position and maintain a stable core in this position for an extended period of time, and finally start developing the strength to push your body.

Many progressions can be used to help build our handstand push-ups. For example, if you are having trouble pushing out of the bottom position, try using an ab mat or two to shorten the distance you must travel to the locked out position, then slowly increase the distance between your head and the ground, which will in turn build your strength to do them without any help. Patience is the key when it comes to handstand push-ups, just like many other movements we want to be proficient with.