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In football it’s the scream-filled, helmet-slap-laden sack dance on a second down play when the team trails by four touchdowns.
In baseball it’s the bat-flipping, chest-beating homerun celebration the lands in seats already emptied by a lopsided score
In basketball it’s the Jordan-esque jump and fist pump after a last second shot that ends the first quarter drawing your team within 8.
Sports are emotional and with that emotion there comes a time and a place for the sack dance, homerun salute, and buzzer-beating celebration. But too often in mainstream sports the celebration trumps the play, the act usurps the game, the individual overshadows the team. Unfortunately our Sports Center attention span reinforces athletes’ shameless acts of self-promotion at the expense of what makes sports great: the games.
But fortunately for us, fans of the Crossfit Games, our athletes are not ruled by egocentrism. Instead they are driven by one of the foundational values of Crossfit: community.
The second event of the 2014 Crossfit Games, the men’s 1 rep max overhead squat, illustrated all that is right with Crossfit. Little known Emmanuel Maldonado earned some of the biggest cheers of the night. The reason? After failing on his first two attempts, Maldonado was able to grit out his final lift of 295… good for 39th place. They weren’t cheering for his weight; they were cheering for his perseverance.
During the second heat, Tommy Hackenbruck and Matt Fraser were going back and forth, each pushing the other to higher weights overhead. After Hackenbruck set the bar with a successful 376-pound overhead, Matt Fraser successfully lifted 377 pounds to win the event. Hackenbruck’s response? An authentic smile and some applause for his opponent.
But maybe the highlight of the event was seeing what happens when an athletes comes face-to-face with failure. After winning the first event, Jordan Troyan failed on all three of his overhead squat attempts. As a result he was the only athlete not to post a score in the event. Once the heat was complete his fellow competitors came over to console him. Why? Because they’ve all been there before…
The cynics will say Crossfit is too new, too young, that it’s still in its infancy. Its athletes haven’t had time to be tainted by greed and shameless self-promotion.
Others will claim that Crossfit’s media machine dupes us; it shields us from what athletes really think and how they really feel.
Still others will say that we’ve drunk the Kool-Aid; we’re blinded from the truth by our cult-like addiction to functional fitness.
To all the naysayers I respond the same way: You must not Crossfit.
Our first interview and it’s a great one. Greg Martino of CrossFit Virtuosity, heading to the 2014 CrossFit Games in a few short weeks. In Part 1 of 2, Greg discusses how he first found CrossFit, his work with Virtuosity founder Keith Wittenstein, and being a part of the CrossFit Level One Seminar Staff.
When I ask you to picture the top 10 male athletes at ACF–I doubt the latest Member of the Month comes to mind. But go ahead, check Wodify and you’ll consistently find Anthony Carroll amongst the top finishers on a daily basis.
He has an unassuming style and humility that’s not typical from a badass fire breather. There’s a popular t-shirt around ACF that states Actions are Greater than Words and that’s exactly what Anthony personfies.
As CrossFitters we strive to eliminate the holes in our game that exist across the 10 modalities of fitness and when it comes to being well rounded Anthony Carroll is one of the best there is at ACF.
Congratulations to Anthony on being the Albany CrossFit Member of the Month.
Why did you start CrossFit?
Don’t jump to a conclusion without careful thought. Sure, the majority of answers are going to be “because I needed to get into better shape”. That’s great, truly it is. But why?
Was a health concern the main reason? Did you have a life changing experience that made you strive for a change? Was it time to set an example for your children? Your niece or nephew? Maybe a parent? Were you looking for a competitive outlet and thought because you saw some shredded dudes and chicks on ESPN doing pull-ups and weird looking front squats with a press that you could do it…?
Whatever it is, it was motivating enough to do maybe the most difficult part, walk in the doors to the unknown. You’re here. You’ve done more than most. You got started.
If you’ve started recently in your CrossFit journey there is a good chance you are still in the honeymoon phase. You’re seeing gains (#gainZ) consistently. You’re setting PR’s almost weekly. A new gymnastics move may be closer and closer to being a staple in your tool kit. You’re excited about coming to the gym to see what you can improve on daily. That’s great. This blog isn’t for you- yet but continue reading.
This blog is more about reminding those who have been transitioning out of the honeymoon into reality. Some frustrations may have started to mount. You’re not setting weekly or maybe even monthly PR’s. Maybe some of our test/retest benchmark WOD’s haven’t seen the improvement we would have liked- maybe the numbers have gotten a little worse even… yikes.
I’m here to tell you that it’s ok. It doesn’t matter. In fact, it’s completely normal. What you need to do is think back to why you originally walked in the doors. Put yourself in the mindset you were when you first started. Something motivated you to do one of the hardest things we can encounter as human beings, start something new.
Maybe you’ve already accomplished the goals you’ve originally set out to conquer. That’s cool, but that’s not what I mean when I say don’t forget why you started. Your task is a bit more challenging. Your task is to find more motivation and you can’t Google search answers like this. You have to sit down, clear yourself of distractions and dig deep into what matter to you. Put a goal in your mind and re-motivate yourself to accomplish it. Whatever it is, I promise you’ll find yourself in a similar mindset from when you started.
So what’s the moral of the story? When people say, “never forget why you started” you may have to dig a little deeper than the original reason. Never forgetting why you started means finding that mindset you were in before walking through the doors at ACF. The goals will change, but the mindset is always the same.
Sunday mornings. 9:30am. Fish Creek Marina.
I’ll be leading a SUP Yoga Class, aka BOGA! We’ll paddle out exactly at 9:30 so try to get there with some time to rent your board. We’ll anchor down and get to it, to finish up by 11am! The cost will be $35 dollars and that includes the board, paddle, life vest and a yoga class on your board! (If you have your own board, just $15 for class)
Directions: Exit 14 towards Saratoga Lake, turn Left onto Meadowbrook
Rd. (off Route 9P before your reach Saratoga National Golf Course). Take to the end and make right onto Stafford Bridge Rd. Cross over bridge, and first The Kayak Shack is your first right!
It’s 6 o’clock, people are starting to file into the triple wide and you find yourself standing in front of the monitors looking at the WOD. Your coach then begins to go over what you will be doing that day. What kind of thoughts are running through your head? Are you still mentally stuck at work? Or maybe you are thinking about what you are going to eat post WOD. Instead of allowing these thoughts to run through your mind, I challenge you to actually visualize yourself going through the workout.
Lets look at a WOD and see how we can visually go through and prepare ourselves for that workout.
The Workout is:
Box Jumps, 24/20”
As we can see the thruster weight is relatively heavy and we are going to have to break up our sets. How do we break it up? Should I try to go 11/10 or 7/7/7? See yourself going through each rep. If you see yourself breaking down after hitting 11 in a row, then it would be best to go with 3 sets of 7 instead. Now lets take a look at the box jumps. Do I step down from the box or do I jump down and then go into the next rep? Again, visualize yourself going through the movement. See yourself doing the movement both jumping down and stepping down. Which one seems to be more efficient?
Visualizing the workout beforehand can not only give you the confidence to work through the WOD, it can also allow you to see any problems you may run into. So, the next time you are standing in front of those monitors don’t just listen to the WOD being explained. Instead visualize yourself going through it. Think about each movement, the weight you will use, how you will break up your sets. The more variables you can address in your mind, the less you will have to think about during the workout.