Everything you need to know about the CrossFit Total.

Daffy, in one of my favorite photos ever, by Ramsey Beyer.

It’s the week of the CrossFit Total!

The CrossFit Total, as many of you know, is this coming weekend on Saturday! The deadline to sign up for a time slot is THIS THURSDAY. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to max your deadlift, back squat, and press in one day! You get three attempts to max once you’re on deck. Usually this means your first is a given, your second is a PR attempt, and your third is something WILDLY crazy that may or may not actually lead to your getting petechia.

We do this two times a year and it’s always completely worth it to see how far your training has allowed you to progress. If you’re wondering why we emphasize Strength so much at CFCC, check this explanation out from the Mayo Clinic.  Also, remember to be familiar with this article from the CrossFit Journal, – strength plays a huge part in the foundation of a good athlete and an optimally healthy person.

For more information about the CrossFit Total go here.

To see what Totalling looks like at CrossFit Center City, go here, and here.

What to do on the day of:

The gym will be open on Saturday morning pretty early and will be all laid out so you understand exactly where you should go when you get there. Since sometimes we have spectators (WHO ARE VERY WELCOME) it’s important that everyone follow directions and stay in their designated areas. The CrossFit Total is open to members of the gym ONLY.

A great mobility piece for Squatting Big, photo by Ramsey Beyer.

Upon entering the gym, Emily Avener, our lovely new/old all around CFCC Superfriend will be directing you to a warm-up station along with giving you a much less entertaining summary of the structure of the day. Should you have any questions about where to be or what to be – you can always ask her, or myself (Erin) what you should do. Once your hour of lifting has begun, you are expected to report to the platform – aka, if you signed up for 10am – that’s when you move from general warm-up to warming up for your first lift.

Rach, in the first space CFCC occupied (you can understand by looking at this why we REALLY needed to move), back squatting what she currently triples easily. Photo by Mike Mackintosh.

As a subset of the Squatting Area – the Squatting Warm-up Area will be manned by Chris Santaniello, the man with a heart of gold and almost as many box jumps as Record (sorry, Chris). In all seriousness, Chris will be there to get you from empty barbell to your first attempt on the platform so be ready to tell him what weights you’d like to open with if any.

The Squatting Warm-up Area and Platform will both be downstairs in the CFCC Strength Dungeon and will be manned by none other than the illustrious Jim Rutter and the infamous Tim Heckman (of TIMJIM, a new jerky made only of the wildest boar of German forests). They will be your trusted spotters and will guide you should you need assistance in making fateful decisions about what weights to lift for your three attempts at the best back squat you can muster.

Meghan, pulling 300lbs. - a year in the making. Photo by Mike Mackintosh.

Once you have squatted you will ever-so-slyly be asked to move directly on to warming up for your Deadlift. You may sumo or conventional deadlift since there is no reward but the sheer ecstasy of your own personal improvement. Mistressing the Deadlift Warm-up station on the First Floor of the gym will be a woman of sound mind and +345lb. Deadlifting Body: Cassie Haynes Grassia. Cassie, a CFCC Coach in training (what, what?) will be able to help you ramp up to your first of three attempts at the MOST WEIGHT YOU CAN PICK UP, otherwise known as the Deadlift.

A woman who can single leg deadlift your mom will be waiting for you on the Deadlift platform. Elizabeth Edmonds, known for her keen eye and shameless love of a good lockout will be watching your deadlift attempts and will actually signal you to drop your deadlift if and only if she truly believes you are done. Pine for the signal, friends – it means real and good things have happened.

Arrus, racked for the press. Photo by Ramsey Beyer.

Summoning up all your courage you may take your buzzing spinal erectors to the Barbell Pressing Platform where you will be asked to name your three attempts and simply work up to them as you are able. The aptly named Samantha “Pixie Warrior” Wright, will be standing by to sprinkle eager admonitions of “HEAD THROUGH, HEAD THROUGH, HEAD THROUGH,” at you for as many reps as she must (but no more than three).

After EVERY lift (and not at the end of all lifts) you MUST report your numbers to Avener for her safe-keeping. They will be placed on a chart for posterity’s sake and will ne’er be forgotten – until you shatter through them at the next CrossFit Total.

How to prepare for the day.

The programming this week is intended to allow for a tapering of your training so that Saturday is the day you will be able to peak appropriately. We often perform lifts for a “peak set” – on the day of the Total, you’re looking to be at the peak of your peaks! We often joke that this is one of two days out of the year that you are allowed to lift slow.

Here are a few steps to making your CrossFit Total day as good as it can be:

1. Do train during the week. Every day of this week will attempt to keep intensity high, and volume low. You should feel powerful and a little antsy by Saturday. The movements of the total will be in the rotation but they will not be exhausted by any means. Friday’s training in regular classes will reflect the total but will also contain an alternate WOD for members who will not be able to make Saturday (the Total).
2. Go to Mobility class. Gaining better mobility for the lifts is a bit like taking the parking brake off while driving a Ferrari. Without the mobility to complete certain lifts you’re really only partially experiencing your strength.
3. Get lots of rest if you can. Good sleep means good neural recovery which means – fast and strong lifts!
4. Eat before you lift and if you normally do coffee – definitely do it on the day of – but not too much. This may be a day that only focuses on 9 reps but these are some of the hardest reps you’ll do this winter – fuel for them! Don’t eat too much and don’t eat anything that’s tough to digest, i.e. bacon and eggs and a bit of fruit BEFORE total steak, eggs, and potatoes AFTER ☺
5. Know what you want to lift. Come prepared to talk to a coach about what you would like to do that day in the squat, deadlift, and press. Dream dreams of bigger deadlifts, deep squats, and speedy presses.
6. If you want, dress fancy. Ramsey Beyer will be there to capture all the wonderfully strained moments of the day – if you’ve got stuff that makes you look weird, strong, awesome, paleolithic, CFCCish, or more like a superhero – this is your day to strut your stuff.

See? Earrings, purple leopard print pants = better Deadlift. Photo by Mike Mackintosh.

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