11-3-10 WOD

30 Box Jumps
12 Burpees
12 Hang Cleans
20 Box Jumps
9 Burpees
9 Hang Cleans
10 Box Jumps
6 Burpees
6 Hang Cleans

Squat Clean instead of Hang Clean


Before we get into the science behind box jumps, it’s important to understand what a box jump is. If we break it down to the simple fact that box jumps are plyometric exercise, we can more effectively discuss the benefit they provide. In the 1970’s Plyometric’s or “jump training” began to gain popularity in the United States. For years the Soviet and European counties used this type of training to improve their athletes in sports like Weightlifting, Track and Field and gymnastics. A coach by the name of Veroshanski was one of the first to publish a series of these jumping drills. Over the last 30 years or so Plyometrics have become one of the staple exercises performed by both novice and high performance athletes. Now that our little history lesson is over, lets get into the science.

Muscle is truly an amazing structure, it is the only structure in the human body that can generate forces and drive movement. At the same time muscle provides tone and protection from our brutal environment. Even more interesting, is the relationship between muscle and tendon. This relationship can be compared to that of a spring, when force is applied, its stored to be used at a later time. When you stretch a spring (or muscle for that matter), the energy you put into it is stored by the springs structure as elastic energy. When you release the spring, it snaps back into its pre-stretch condition. Under the right conditions a muscle can act the same way. This feature of the muscle – tendon relationship is helpful in understanding the theory behind box jumps (or any plyometric for that matter).

The amazing part about plyometric training is the benefits returned. Along with Olympic lifting, its one of the few training modalities that has been researched and repeatedly demonstrated to increase both the speed at which you can move a muscle and the maximal strength at which a muscle can perform at. (Last time I checked those two things are important for crossfitters)

Here’s how it Works:

The body uses the energy storage and release properties of muscle and tendon all the time. The best example is probably running (which in itself a form of plyometric). When you run, some energy is stored in the Achilles tendon and is stretched and returned to provide propulsion as the foot pushes off the ground. Now, intensify this process and imagine the amount of energy stored on the impact phase of a box jump.

In kinesiology we define the process of energy storage and the subsequent release of that elastic energy the Stretch Shorten Cycle (SSC).

Phase 1: of the SSC is known as the eccentric phase, where preloading and stretching of the muscle occurs. During this phase the rapid stretching process through the tendon stimulates muscle spindle. A message is then delivered to the muscle to contract. During a box jump, we experience this phase on the way down, once we have landed and energy is absorbed from the ground into the muscle.

Phase 2: Is the amortization phase. This can be further defined as the amount of time it takes to accept the load and reapply force into the ground to get you back off the ground. This phase is by far the most important and I feel this is where the majority of us can improve dramatically. This phase must be kept as short as possible to fully take advantage of the stored elastic energy. The longer you remain on the ground after you have made impact with the ground, the more potential energy escapes. This is also the point of the box jump where the muscle and tendon receive the most benefit. In actuality, jumping onto the box does nothing for you in terms of increasing your ability to generate power.

That’s right, Ill say it again. The act of jumping on a box has no plymetric properties; it’s the landing that provides us with all the host of strength and power benefits! It’s amazing to think that the small window of time between when your feet strike the ground and the time it takes you to jump back up is where we get all the benefits of a box jump. Sure jumping up on a box might get your heart rate and look cool, but so does break dancing…

Phase 3: is the concentric phase, where the voluntary action of jumping is combined with the neurologic, spring-like release of elastic energy. I fear this is where most crossfitters think they are getting the benefit of jumping. Plyometric training goes well beyond basic concentric muscle contractions.

Now how do we capitalize on all this gibberish? Next time you look up at the board and see box jumps keep these tips in mind.

  1. As your dismounting from the box have your arms back in what we call the ready position. This will assist with your timing and place you in a preparatory position.
  2. As you approach the ground, anticipate your landing and apply as much force as possible to the ground. Pretend your legs are two pogo sticks and you’re trying to get those springs to recoil as much as possible.
  3. Avoid heal contact! You are able to produce more force, at a greater rate of speed if you land on the balls of your feet. Your ability to capitalize on the benefit of storing energy in the Achilles tendon is also dependent upon your ability to stay on the forefoot.

Courtsey of CrossFit South Bay


11-2-10 WOD

30 – Walking Lunge with Med Ball Overhead
30 – Med Ball Sit Ups
200m Run w/med ball

30 – Wall Balls after the med ball sit-ups
400m Run with the med ball


Begining tomorrow (november 3rd) we will be adding a noon class.

Just want to send a shout out to my good friend and fellow CrossFitter Kathy Gunther. After a little encouragement she opened her door on November 1st in Bountiful. CrossFit 22 is another great affiliate and if you have any family or friends in the Bountiful/Woods Cross area, be sure and send them into see Kathy. She’s a great coach and it’s nice to know we have a sister box in the Bountiful area! Congrats Kathy!


500m Row
25 Wall Balls
25 Kettle Bell Swings

Row 1000m 15 strokes at a time. After every 15th stroke, do 10 burpees
5 min rest (the clock continues to roll)
60 – 95#/65# Push Press. If the bar stops moving you must do 15 Box jumps (24″/20″) before you can go back to the bar. Time stops when you complete all 60 Push Press.

30 Mountain Climbers
30 Sit ups
30 Push Ups
400m run


CrossFit IoTA Class Schedule
Monday thru Friday

5:30 am, 6:15 am, 7am, 8am, 9:15 am CrossFit Class
3:00 pm, 4:00 pm, 5:00 pm, 6:00 pm CrossFit Class
Friday Afternoon 1:40, 4:30, 5:30pm CrossFit Class
Saturday 7:30 am

10-30-10 – Haloween Monster WOD

Today was exciting!  The workout turned into 4 teams of 5 and everyone that came had a great time!!  It was fun to see some old friends, meet some new ones and watch everyone work.  Here is the picture of everyone who took the time to dress up.  Over on our Facebook page I’ve posted a few more pictures from the WOD today.

Halloween at CrossFit IoTA!

As we complete another month I can’t help but think of the progress that so many of you have made.  I was attending a social get together last night and couldn’t help but smile as Tandy and I talked about how CrossFit had made life easier and that when he started he just wanted to do 3 pull ups.  He then commented that he had done 75 during Cindy yesterday.  Talking with Tonya she now does dishes and other household work that may not be the funnest with a timer…dirty dishes, lets see how many you can do in 5 min.  Coach Brett recounted the story of having to pack out an Elk rack and full head across his shoulders and how without CrossFit he would have never been able to carry it for over an hour.  CrossFit is there to make us better at life.  When it’s all said and done it doesn’t matter whats on the board, what our time was, how many rounds we got… It’s all about being the best that we can be and looking at the progress we as individuals are making.  Keep up the great work all.  Being consistent and doing the workouts the best you can do is all we ask!!

CrossFit IoTA October 2010 Goals and PR's Board!


10-27-10 “Annie”

Double Unders (4:1 Singles)
Sit Ups

CrossFit IoTA Annie Scorecard, Oct 27, 2010

BURPEES for SANTA – DAY 5 = 5 BURPEES … Hows that Halloween costume coming for the MONSTER Halloween WOD  on SATURDAY!

Here is a great video about learning the technique of Double-Unders with Mikko Salo the 2009 CrossFit Games Champion at CrossFit Santa Cruz – video [wmv] [mov].  If you’ve been working on double unders, or already have them, these are some great tips on leaning them and making them a more consistent part of your game.

‎”Intensity is the independent variable most commonly associated with optimizing return.” — CrossFit Founder Greg Glassman. Are you going after your day (and your workout) with intensity?

For pain, one needs to ice for 20 min every other hour…why? In simple terms, ice causes blood flow–blood flow causes healing, healing causes power! Therefore, ice rules!!!

10-26-10 WOD – Appearance and Performance Part 2

Sumo Deadlift Highpull
Walking Lunge with a plate
Push Press

Coaches Challenge
Deadlift (225#/155#)
Overhead Squat (135#/95#)

BURPEES for SANTA – DAY 4 = 4 BURPEES and don’t forget about the Halloween WOD this coming SATURDAY!


Women will not get big bulky muscles because they just plain don’t have the hormones to build them.  It is the difference in the hormonal profile between men and women that causes their performances to also be different.  There are several aspects of a woman’s performance that will different from those of a man, all of which depend on neuromuscular efficiency, and all of which are a direct result of lower testosterone levels and the effects that testosterone has on motor unit recruitment, central nervous system excitation and other neuromuscular factors.
You might now be thinking that because there are such big differences, then it must be true what the fitness industry says about the necessity of gender specific programs and exercises.   This could not be further from the truth.  Women may lack higher levels of testosterone, but we are built the same when you look at our body structures.   We are not as different as bunnies and fish.   Men and Women, however, both recruit motor units into the same patterns to cause muscle contractions…..just to different degrees.   A real world example would be that physiologically, Aaron Rogers and your grandmother operate the same way, in the same sense that Labradors and Toy Poodles are both dogs.
What does this all mean?  That the type of stress (i.e. training / heavy strength) will cause the best results in both men and women, only the degree of results will vary.  For example, Squats work better for everybody than leg extensions, leg curls, and the Bun Blasters because of the quality of stress they produce.  “Squats are performed with the same muscles by everybody, they are hard for everybody, hard enough to produce system-wide stress for everybody – and this is why they work for everybody.   Men are more efficient at responding to the stress of squats in terms of elevated testosterone levels, and in this respect men can get stronger and bigger faster.”  (Rippetoe) What this doesn’t mean is that women are not served well by using “less efficient” ways to produce stress on their bodies.  We just wont get as strong or big as men.
So what should we do ladies?   We need to be doing barbell exercises that demand strength, balance, power, coordination, and mental focus to produce a type of stress and adaptation that is superior to either low-intensity floor exercise (or walking on the treadmill) or isolation type machine exercises (i.e. bicep curls, leg extensions).   It is the stress that causes the adaptation, and the quality of the adaptation is dependent on the quality of the stress.   For example, an exercise that does not involve balance cannot cause an improvement in balance.   The stress on the body must target the parameters that need improvement or these parameters will not see adaptation.   It is this simple fact that is ignored and/or misunderstood – by the fitness industry, and thus the value of squats, deadlifts, presses, cleans, and combinations of barbell movements with gymnastic skills and track & field skills goes unappreciated and therefore causes an incorrect education of our society.
The other unfortunate aspect is that holding businesses to these truths would complicate their businesses.  It is very hard to find qualified staff to train members at optimal levels of skill and intensity and it will continue this way as long as the standard fitness center pays minimum wage for trainers.  Qualified coaches generally get paid more than fitness centers are willing to spend.   All hope is not lost!   This paradigm is slowly breaking down and we can thank CrossFit!  As CrossFit grows and it becomes harder to ignore the results of honest work done at high intensities, the “fitness media” is taking notice.  You see more stories featuring the benefits of weight training versus aerobics-only programs.
It honestly isn’t rocket science, as most things in life work in a way that you get out of an effort what you put into it.  This is something that we all know, however, we still crack and are willing to believe people who tell us otherwise.   We hear 20-min a day and you could look like this, or all you have to do is walk on the treadmill.  Unfortunately it isn’t true and we know that because we are smart people.
To summarize my experience as a CrossFit Coach and Affiliate owner for 1 1/2 years, on top of 10+ years in the fitness industry, is that not one of the 180+ women we have trained has gotten bigger and stayed bigger.  I have seen a couple women get bigger as the body begins its transformation.  However, bigger is temporary. Usually lean mass increases first.  Shortly thereafter, a layer of fat melts off the top of the newly acquired lean mass.   As soon as that happens, the women are thrilled.   For the clients that incorporate a zone/paleo approach to nutrition, the results come quickly and without fail.   For those that do not make dietary changes, the process takes longer.  And don’t forget that strength will have longer lasting benefits than the immediate tight buns or smaller waist.  It will help you open jars, carry your own groceries, move your own furniture, stay mobile and osteoporosis free so you can enjoy a long active life!   So get started and pick up some heavy weights to start making the changes that you want to see.
Want to read more about Women in CrossFit?  Check out this great article from the CrossFit Journal Beyond the Body,