Reconstructing the Snatch from the Ground Up, Part 2; The Second Pull

Day two, pull number two. Yesterday, I talked about some things that can happen from the time the bar starts on the floor til the time the bar gets to the knees. This is a very important part of the lift, however the magic happens once the bar gets above the knee. This phase of the lift is where explosive power is generated by the hips in order to generate force into the bar, and harness that force into a vertical pull. The power generated by this pull will determine whether the bar travels high enough for the lifter to move underneath the bar and receive it.

 

SECOND PULL PROBLEMS

1.) Not completing the pull. 

This one seems to be slightly self explanatory but is one of the most common reasons for a missed lift. The reason for this mistake usually boils down to the fact that the lifter is in too much of a rush to get under the bar that they do not go into full hip extension, thus not completing their pull. Working technique at submaximal weight, as well working on hang pulls and shrugs are two of the most effective ways to correct this problem.

 

2. Tossing the head back at the end of the pull.

Second pull whiplash as I like to call it. This is the over compensation for correcting the problem of not completing the pull. Any force produced will create an equal and opposite force. Bring the head or shoulders back, and the bar will move forward and swing away. So, the objective here is simple: try to produce as vertical of a pull as possible, and stay way from over extending. Compensation at the neck and head will not create a higher pull, but will instead create the reaction of the bar moving away from the body.

 

3. Coming up on to the toes too soon.

This is usually done with the intention of generating vertical momentum with the hips (like a jump). However, this will more times than not create a forward push of the bar, thus causing the same swinging effect that we spoke of earlier. One of the best corrections for this problem is the “no feet drill”. This drill is done by concsiencely keeping the feet in contact with the floor while doing a Snatch.

 

One thing I would like to cover is the “bump”. This is when the bar makes contact with the body somewhere between the thighs and the hips in order create an upward “scoop” of the bar. At some point the bar MUST make contact with the body in order to achieve maximal force when the bar is as close to the body as possible. HOWEVER, this is not the most important mechanic of the lift and I feel like sometimes beginning lifters put too much emphasis on achieving the “bump” that they lose sight of the mechanics of the lift. Learning timing, elbow mechanics, feet placement, hip mechanics and pulling technique should be the primary focus of the lifter that is just starting out. Some people will get the bump sooner than others, and for some it will happen naturally, but it should be a goal after achieving the timing and mechanics described above.

Reconstructing the Snatch from the Ground Up, Part 1;The Ground.

Alrighty, back to blogging… It’s been a while! So, let’s cut to the chase and get to what this post is about: the Snatch. More specifically, it is one entry in a series of 3 articles where I will be going in-depth on problems that occur during the lift. The utmost goal of the Snatch is to pull weight from the floor to above the head in one fluid motion, and for our intents and purposes, receiving the bar in an overhead squat. Not too tough of a task when you have a piece of PVC in your hands, but load the bar with some poundage (or kiloage) and things get very serious very quickly.

In this series, I’m going to be reciting some simple corrective strategies for improving your Snatch based on certain breakdowns in technique and strength in different positions of the lift. Today, let’s break down the first pull (from the floor to above the knee), some things that can go wrong, and how to fix them.

 

FIRST PULL PROBLEMS

1. Coming up on the toes, or lifting the hips way too early.

This problem will usually lead to the bar swinging away from the body during the second pull/hip extension phase. This will lead to either a miss forward, or a chase forward to get under the bar. Maintaining active shoulders and lifting the chest at the set up position will increase the likelihood of the hips rising at the proper rate along with the bar. An outward rotation of the elbows throughout both pulls will also help keep the bar closer to the center of mass.
2. Rushing the First Pull

This is as much a symptom as it is a cause of the above problems. The purpose of the first pull is to gather momentum while preparing the bar and body for the violent hip extension and pulling that occurs at the second pull (knees to full hip extension/bar height). One of the first mistakes that lifters make is to want to yank the bar off the floor, thus pulling the bar way too hard and creating a suboptimal situation for the most important part of the lift. The correction for this is easy; when pulling from the floor, think “patience, chest up, drive the knees back.” Doing these 3 things will help put you in the best position to drive the hips into the bar and harness that momentum into an effective pull.

 

3. The hips are too low in the set up position.

This one is a bit tricky, as it tends to be an over compensation for correcting the two problems listed above. If the hips are too low, the weight will be pushed too far back onto the heels. Ever heard the phrase “getting caught on your heels”? This is not a very advantageous position to be in, as this will create poor hip drive due to a lack of balance from the onset. The shoulders should stay over the bar as long as possible, and sitting back too far will cause the shoulders to shift behind the bar. The solution for this is easy; shift the hips up a little bit more, and work on active shoulders from the beginning.

 

Here’s a quick cheat sheet of sorts to help you with your set up and first pull mechanics:

-Bar over the laces (Center of Mass) during set up position.

-Weight distributed throughout the mid-foot, not on the toes or on the heels.

-Hook grip (LEARN IT), wide hands, elbows rotated outwards, and shoulder blades pinched back and down (think like you are bending the bar around your shins).

-Valsalva Maneuver!!!! (Big deep belly breathe, deep abdominal contraction, and stabilize the spine… LEARN IT)

-Patient and strong off the floor… The battle is won or lost once that bar passes the knees, so don’t blow it by rushing the first pull!!!

 

So there you have it, some first pull problems, as well as some first pull solutions. The next post we will go over problems and solutions of the second pull!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Risk Vs. Reward, “Moar Squatz”, and other rants…

Anyone familiar with the Simpsons? You know, that show that used to be really funny and fresh, but now feels old and stale?  Well every now and again, they would come up with a “Clip Show”, one which would feature snippets of prior episodes because they were too lazy to come up with a whole new episode. Today’s article is my version of the “Clip Show”… Except I’m not too lazy, I just have a lot on my mind.

So… Last week I took a look at functional exercise programs and my conclusions about them. Today, I wanted to take a look at more of the “Hardcore” crowd. When I say hardcore, I mean the CrossFitters, Powerlifters and even the Olympic LIfters. Enough with the parentheses, sorry. So anyways, I have a couple of gripes with this group as well, even though I have a shaved head and several tattoos (a conundrum, I know). What kind of person would I be if I only took one perspective, and never considered another?

1. Most Folks in the Hardcore realm have little understanding of Risk Vs. Reward.

I’ve been guilty of it as well. What do I mean by Risk Vs. Reward? Let’s use a scenario as an example: Marcus has had prior back injuries, and he is feeling not quite 100% today. However, today’s workout requires that he find his 1 rep max back squat. Being that he is too cool and awesome to skip a workout, he comes and puts in work. He works up to about 90% of his 1 rep maximum and feels ok, but there’s still that nagging twinge. Not terrible, but definitely noticeable. Everyone is watching, the PR board looms in the background… These next 2 attempts are for all of the marbles. What should Marcus do?

Risk: Marcus could jack his back up a shit ton, and miss 2 months of training if he falters on one of his next couple of attempts. Reward: Marcus could potentially get his name raised up a little higher on the board, proving to everyone that he is the BOMB-diggity. Hmmm, sounds like quite an easy choice when it’s on paper doesn’t it? In the moment though, the concept of analyzing Risk Vs. Reward doesn’t always take shape. Life isn’t a Disney Movie… Sometimes the choices we make can have really bad consequences.

Am I saying not to attempt your 1 rep max? ABSOLUTELY NOT. My point is this: too often I see people chasing these max efforts when they have no business doing so. It could be for any number of reasons… You may be too stiff that day, you may have sub-optimal form on that lift but have the strength to get away with it at 399 lbs but at 401 lbs will jack yourself up a shit ton, or any other number of things. Hell, more than half of the problem is that people attempt 1 rep maxes on days where they dont even have one scheduled.  All of these things can turn a slow-mo training day into weeks of regret. Ask yourself this question: what do I have to gain and what do I have to lose from what I am about to do? All training must serve a purpose, otherwise you are wasting your time.

2. Squats and Fish Oil Don’t Fix EVERYTHING.  Much of the Powerlifting community and especially CrossFitters love to throw around the phrase “Squats and Fish Oil Bitches” as the be all end all to fitness and “rehab”. This phrase takes different forms, but it’s a dangerous misconception and the thought of novice lifters out there with back injuries and assymetries taking it seriously is frightening to say the least. If you are weak and undertrained, and have the mobility to do so, squatting will definitely help you. Same goes for if you are strong and well-trained with adequate mobility. But this whole belief (I know that there is humor behind it, but some people actually believe this) that squatting heavy and taking fish oil will solely be the cure of all your ailments is asinine. I love the enthusiasm for the squat, being that it is my favorite exercise… however if the only tool you have is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail.

Truth is, some people will never be able to squat a ton of weight. Acheiving good squat depth and mechanics should be a great goal for anybody, but that doesn’t mean that they will all become amazing squatters. In the real world, people have limitations that just won’t go away. Contrary to popular “Moar Squatterz” belief, these people can still be trained and workout effectively, leading to a much more fulfilling life of movement.

*Disclaimer: Marcus LOVES squatting, and does not speak ill of the squatting gods EVER.

3. Improving your kipping does not make you stronger.  Let’s take a little break from the kipping pull up, kipping handstand push up, kipping ring dip, and any other kipping variation of a bodyweight movement. Obviously, the purpose of adding kipping to any movement is to be able to increase work capacity by prolonging muscle failure with a little help from Vitamin Kip. I understand the concept very well, and I am not opposed to it. What I am opposed to, however, is when folks use nothing but kipping exercises. You will not get stronger from kipping. More efficient, yes. Better met-con times, yes.

Contrarily, I will go as far as saying that I’ve seen that the amount of kipping pull ups I can do has gone up in direct proportion to the amount of strict pull ups and the amount of weight I can pull on a weighted pull up. Again, I am not stating that kipping is stupid or anything of the like. What I am saying is that too often I see people spending too much effort on refining their kip, and never putting in the work to get strong in that movement. The payoff from working these strict movements and adding resistance to them is that it will have carry over into your kipping, as well as make you stronger. Working solely on kipping will only improve your kipping. Coming back to my earlier point, ask yourself what the purpose is for your training.

 

4. CrossFitters tend to have scatterbrain.

It would not surprise me that some of you out there reading this blog would answer the above question with something along these lines: lose weight, look better, feel stronger, improve my Fran time, qualify for the CrossFit Games, run a marathon, enter a lifting competition. The list goes on and on. Although these seem to have all of the same vibe of getting “fit”, too often they are in direct conflict with each other. I guarantee that your Fran time will suffer if you train for a marathon, you will not be as strong as you can be if you are on a calorically deficient diet (weight loss), and you will not be the best CrossFitter you can be if you are the best Powerlifter you can be.

That being said, I’ve been guilty of it more than anyone else I know. I hit a point where I got ok at everything, but not great at anything. That’s fine, and I’m not saying it is a bad thing. It’s very nice to be able to run a mile in under 6:40 while still being able to clean 275 lbs and squat almost 400 lbs, with a respectable 4:00 Fran time. However, sometimes you have to prioritize. You would be surprised at how much progress you would make by just taking 3-4 weeks to work on something specific.

This becomes kind of confusing for those who CrossFit 3-4 times a week and just want to improve their fitness. My advice to you; keep CrossFitting… It will get you fit. I am mainly speaking to those of you with more specific goals. In CrossFit, what tends to happen is that the better you get at it, the more your weaknesses show through (let’s exclude the elite group of Regional/Games athletes, as they are pretty much outliers). You can do 25 rounds of Cindy, but your Clean and Jerk sucks. You can deadlift 500 lbs, but the 400 meter run feels like quicksand.

Think of your body as a machine with finite but renewable resources. You can only dedicate so much of your body’s resources in any given amount of time. If you are dispersing those resources towards your Fran, your bench, your pull ups, your Cindy, your Grace, then those things will improve… Just not as quickly. But if you apply those resources directly to your target goal you will see improvement that much faster. If you are a CrossFitter through and through (competitor status) and think specificity is the enemy; ask yourself what you suck at. Then ask yourself, in the past 6 months, how much better you have gotten at it. Will that weakness prevent you from standing on a podium?

 

My take on this whole article is as the same as last week. If you are up and moving, that is better than sitting on the couch and getting fat. Do what you have to do to get moving. That being said, not every system or mindset is perfect. CrossFit is no different. But it is a highly effective program that I love teaching and being a part of.

 

Basically, my goal is to have everyone be less like this:

 

 

 

My Take on The “Functional” Community

Let me start out by saying that my take on exercise is this: If you are up and moving, ultimately it is a much better choice than the alternative of sitting down and getting fatter. I think as fitness professionals, we get caught up in trying to prove that what we are doing is the BEST system out there. Truth is, it’s just another system.

This is most apparent between the two warring factions of “Functional” and “CrossFit”. I am a very open minded person, and the thought of not growing or becoming set in my ways scares me to death. With that in mind, I decided that I would take the past couple of months to brush up on my “Functional” knowledge. I’ve read 4 different books about “Functional” training, and have mixed feelings about the whole concept. Just to clarify, the gist of “Functional” training occurs pretty much universally among most Personal Training certifications: that being ACE, NCSF, NASM, and even NCSA. Their train of thought is usually the typical examples of training in most commercial gyms and in a lot of performance centers. This community is usually the first to bash CrossFit as being unsafe and ineffective.

I will never say that CrossFit is the perfect system, nor will I say that “Functional” training does not work. However, after reading up on some of the top experts in the field of “Functional” training, I have some interesting conclusions.

1. I have found the amount of single leg and rotational work to be very frustrating and counter-productive. In life we are very rarely going to work in one plane or on both feet… I GET IT. But, dont tell me that consisting your program around single leg curl to presses, chop and lifts, and lateral bounds is going to make your athletes a cut above the rest. These exercises are not stupid, useless, or anything along those lines. However they should make up a very small portion of an athlete’s program. In Mark Verstegen’s “Core Performance” (Mark Verstegen owns one of the nation’s top performance centers called Athlete’s Performance) his workout for an advanced athlete consists of supersets including: Alternating DB Bench presses/PhysioBall leg curls, 1 arm-1 leg DB rows/Split Squat… Then a circuit of Physioball Push Ups/ Split DB Curl to Press/ DB Pullover Extensions/ Physioball Reach, roll and lift.  Out of these 10 exercises, I consider only 3 of them to be much more of a warm up. Some of them have their place for corrective strategies for those with assymetrical movement patterns and strengths, but these exercises are the bread and butter of his program. Can I get some triple extension on 2 feet? Can I get a HOT TUB (anecdote from a commercial)?

2. They err towards the side of caution and injury prevention. One thing I am grateful for in my “functional” education is that I have picked up a lot of ideals about keeping my clients healthy and well preserved. Sometimes in CrossFit, powerlifting, and olympic lifting there tends to be more of a focus on numbers than on safety. One thing I love about “Functional” training is that they definitely aim to prevent injury in the client. This may be the main reason for my gripe in the above paragraph. Unilateral movements help raise body awareness, which will in turn help the client in injury prevention. These will also sometimes be the best ways to correct muscle imbalances. For this reason, I am a big fan of the FMS (Functional Movement Screen). I think unilateral movement and corrective exercise is good and should be supplemental to a training program.

3. This Shit is not Rocket Science. Probably my biggest gripe with the “Functional” community. Guess what… Get more proficient at squatting, deadlifting and pressing on two feet. Once you are good at those things, work on generating explosive power and coordination in olympic lifting and kettlebell work. Sprinkle in some assistance work, some complimentary effective bodyweight exercises, and progression for these exercises. Continue to progress weight on the lifts, vary the accessory exercises, and make the bodyweight things more challenging. Voila.. It’s really that simple. Dont put them on a PhysioBall, dont have them clean on one leg, or curl in a lunge…. Sometimes the “Functional” crowd gets a little too complex for their own good. One of my favorite coaches in the “Functional” side of the spectrum is Mike Boyle. In his book “Advances in Functional Training” he covers everything from the FMS, functional dynamic warm ups, strength training, power training, plyometrics, and program design. Much of his programming is broken down into Linear/Lateral Plyo’s, Trunk stability, Hip Dominant, Knee- Dominant/ Vertical Press/ Horizontal +Vertical Pulls/ and Power+Explosive movement. That’s it. Train these movement patterns with what exercises best fit your athlete. Progress them in these large movements that are put together in a methodical way. Dont reinvent the wheel, just get your clients results.

 

So here’s the verdict on “Functional” exercise: much of the methods that are still in tact baffle me. I have been slightly frustrated by the fact that these coaches with such a great track record have published books with ideas and programs containing many things that are (for lack of a better term) geriatric. It’s not necessarily the movements themselves, as they carry a lot of efficacy. Moreso, their application is my true problem. When the main course of your programming is single leg DB rows and chops/lifts and the closest thing you have to a heavy compound lift is alternating DB bench press, I feel like your athletes are missing out on timeless, highly effective exercises. All is not lost however… Combining these “Functional” concepts to help prevent injury, improve body awareness, address assymetries, and create new stimuli is not a bad thing. Improvements in these avenues will definitely create better athletes and should be a goal of any strength and conditioning coach.  The thing is, as with any program out there, there are holes and omissions.

The Dr. Oz Diet

Please read the above check list to see what I did NOT put in my grocery cart this weekend. Wow! So, I am going to make something very clear… Unless you have hemorrhoids, you would be better off not listening to a word Dr. Oz has to say. Last year he featured Gary Taubes (author of “Good Calories, Bad Calories” and “Why We Get Fat”, and one of the leading minds in nutrition) on his show and completely skewed Taubes’ low carb, high protein and animal fat dietary approach. I could not find a link to the video, but rest assured Dr. Oz’s perspective of Taubes’ diet was nothing short of an all you can eat pepperoni and pork rind diet. So upon my perpetual search of the interwebs for all things interesting, I found this above picture. This is basically Dr. Oz’s rebuttal to a Taubes-esque (Paleo) diet: Foods that consist of at least 70% carbohydrates that he does not “endorse”, yet are listed by brand on a shopping list endorsed by his insignia. Blueberry waffles? English muffins? Popcorn!?An entire section devoted to DESSERT!?!?? SHIT, I must be severely misinformed. Here I am trying to look and eat like god-damn Tarzan, and the highly edu-ma-cated Dr. Oz is telling me that I should have these things in my shopping cart. My shopping cart looks something like this on Sundays:

 

Tri-Tip: 2.5 lbs

Chicken: 8 whole breasts

Bacon: 1.5 lbs

Cold Cuts: 2 lbs

10 squash/zuchini’s

Broccoli: Shit ton

Spinach: 2 large bags

Romaine Lettuce: 2 large bags

Almond Butter: Jar

Olive Oil: Small Jar

 

Sucks to know that I’ve been eating in such a way that Dr. Oz does not approve of. I assume that Dr. Oz is also going to tell me that he does not advocate heavy lifting.

 

 

Ahh shit. This whole time… I’ve been trying to lift to put on muscle and lose body fat. I’ve been neglecting the most important way to get the body of my dreams: WALKING and keeping my caloric deficit at 100 calories. Even the most basic dated knowledge says that a pound of fat equates to 3500 calories of energy. So by Dr. Oz’s suggestion, thats a pound of fat lost every 35 days. Can you say RESULTS? YES! So I guess the hour of walking will burn the 100 calories that I need for my deficit. And in a year I will have lost 11 pounds. But of course! It makes sense that I’ve been wrong this whole time… I don’t have my own TV show, or a cool last name. I’m glad that I found all of this out in time.

 

Ok, enough with the sarcasm. The moral of the story: Don’t believe what you see on TV. More importantly, don’t listen to a word that Dr. Oz has to say involving being healthy or lean. Like I said, if you have hemorrhoids, go nuts. But otherwise, eat quality meats, little fruit, tons of veggies, no sugar or grains, lift heavy and often, and keep your conditioning short but intense.

 

 

First Quarter: Things I’ve Learned

So… It’s April, the second quarter of the year. I’ve decided to take a look at my training (both for myself and my clients) on a quarterly basis and toss what I don’t like, and keep what I do like. There was a version of this concept in one of my end of 2012 posts. Lets just keep it simple and call it “things I’ve learned”:

Linear Progression is AWESOME…


Sometimes in life, simplicity is king. For the novice to lower intermediate athlete, simplicity is especially effective. Much of the problems in this industry stem from people trying to reinvent the wheel. I’m all for outside the box thinking when it matters but that being said, there is also a box for a reason. I made the mistake of having my clients start out on a Wendler 5/3/1 template way too soon… Instead I’ve saved it for my clients who have been training for quite some time. The approach I’ve taken with 80% of my clients is much more simple: Squat, Press, and Deadlift once a week for 3 sets of 5 at roughly 80% of their one rep max. Add 5 lbs to the squat and deadlift every week, 2.5 lbs to the press every week; and ride this til the cows come home. After 8 weeks or so, I’ve had multiple clients increase their 5 rep maxes by upwards 30 lbs. I had a client with a 155 lb  1RM deadlift, who progressed from 120 lbs for 5 reps to pulling 145 lbs for 5 reps. Those are consistent large gains over a 2 month period. One of my favorite strength and conditioning coaches, Mike Boyle, lives by the mantra “KISS”… Keep It Simple Stupid. Well put.

Listen to Your Body
Ahh… This is quite the cliche, is it not? Who actually listens to this, besides the utmost hippies and losers. HA! So, if you’ve frequented my blog in the times it’s actually been operational… You will find that I’ve had a history of back injury. There are still days where I wake up and cant tie my shoes too well. Instead of being Old Marcus and saying screw it I will lift anyway, I’ve taken the new approach: 3 days of stretching without working out beats 1 day of working out with 2 months of walking like an old man.  I will say that I’ve had a couple workouts that I’ve cut short due to strange pain and uncomfortablity… And in doing so, I’m certain that I’ve averted at least 3 instances where I would have missed serious time had I continued. And by the way, my hamstrings are doing much better!

A Month of Clean Eating Can Make all the Difference!!

So… You want to get into shape and are tired of feeling sluggish and having a little muffin top? You would be so surprised at how quickly change can take place. From February 22nd til March 22nd I cleaned my diet up 100%. I cut out all grains and sugars, ate 1 gram of protein per lb of bodyweight, and got a consistent amount of fish oil and water. I went from 227 lbs to 216 lbs. These 31 days of clean eating have increased my performance, my clothes look better, and I feel much better.

Make Sure Your Goals do not Cancel Each Other Out

This might be the most important personal realization I’ve had in quite some time. This type of problem happens especially in the CrossFit realm. I love CrossFit, and think as a conditioning program it is second to none when applied correctly. However.. There are a lot of plates to keep spinning in CrossFit. Naturally, I want to get stronger and faster and move better and optimally all at once. What reality has shown me is this: take the time to move better and feel better first. Strength training through injuries is something that will only compound those injuries. Getting metabolically fitter will more than likely cause a decrease in strength for more seasoned athletes. Getting stronger will more than likely cause conditioning to falter. Moral of the story… If you’re hurt, get as healthy as you can first and foremost. Do not plan on getting stronger or more conditioned until your body is intact. If you are weak, get stronger and leave the metabolic conditioning alone for a while. If you are strong as hell, what do you care? Life is good just the way it is.

The Complete Gym Bag

I decided to share one of my latest strange obsessions with you guys… The search for the ultimate fully stocked gym bag. I dont know where this compulsion came from, but I do know that it lives deep within my loins like a golden flaming hawk. Here’s the breakdown of the top things you need for your bag, the price and brand, and the reason behind it.

The King Kong Bag: 89.95. Yes, this is slightly pricey for a gym bag. But this baby is fully loaded. It has a place for your shoes, valuables, a water bottle and pretty much everything else you could think of. A carpenter cant work without his tools, and he cant carry his tools without a bag. Truth.

 

AdiPower Weightlifting Shoes: 199.00. Again, this is pricey… But I am assuming everyone who reads this blog has an equal amount of richness in their bank account as they do in their increasingly informed-by-Marcus minds. Weightlifting shoes are a must for those that are serious about moving serious weight. If you’re still lifting in your Chucks, Inov-8’s or Vibrams, you’re not lifting heavy enough.

 

Inov-8 F-Lite 230’s: 115.00. I’ve tried both the F-Lite 195’s and the 230’s. I have to give the slight edge to the 230’s. They have a slightly wider sole, which helps me run on my mid foot a little easier. I would say for those of you that are not used to a minimalist running shoe, this would be an easier introduction than the 195.

 

Rogue Wrist Wraps: 15.00 for medium pair. Wrist wraps are also a must for olympic lifting, heavy benching and other wrist intensive exercises. Be smart and protect those babies; missing 3 weeks because you wanted to be cool and “edgy” by barebacking it is not the business. Besides, you can totally work your outfit around the red and black wraps.

 

RX Jump Rope: 34.95. Again this might seem pricey for a rope, but being able to customize the length, type of cable and handles of the rope will help your timing and ability on those pesky double unders. Plus, keeping the rope in your bag will assure that when jump roping does come up, you never have to get stuck with the rope meant for a 3 year old.

 

Progenex Recovery Protein: 59.95. 8 grams of carbs, 23 grams of high quality protein. It comes in a convenient pouch and not a crappy bulky container that makes you think you’re getting more than you actually are. Plus it tastes great… Sounds like a win-win.

 

Schiek Weightlifting Belt: 99.95. It’s competition legal, and has a lever closing system. Anyone that has hade one of those crappy velcro belts for a while will actually appreciate it.

 

WODBook: 14.95. The cheapest thing on this list, but also the most valuable. The ability to record your wod in such an organized format is a big deal. Not only that, it has a place for pretty much any kind of CrossFit information that you can think of.