Strength training for injury prevention


“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” -Benjamin Franklin

 

Life is unpredictable and sometimes in our sports, exercise, and daily life we come out of these unpredictable situations a little bit worse for the wear…

Some folks try to prevent these situations from happening through avoidance, but if you want to have a high quality of life I highly recommend you adopt a strength training program as your physical insurance program. This is certainly a much more proactive approach to mitigating physical injury than hoping for the best.

“If you train hard, you’ll not only be hard, you’ll be hard to beat.” -Herschel Walker

 

Or if you are an athlete like Robert Griffin III, you may want to consider the risk factors of your sport. Robert, aka RG3, came into the NFL and was an instant phenom and fan favorite for his dazzling display of athleticism that was so uncommon in quarterbacks. His jukes, spins, and leaps were no match for the demands professional football places on an athlete and RG3 has spent most of what was once a promising career watching from the sideline, injured.

You see, despite his athleticism, RG3 has not trained in a way that reinforced a fundamental movement pattern. As we look at the series of pictures highlighting the windup before an explosive jump, We see a valgus knee fault where his knees cave in creating a very compromised position for the joints of his lower extremities. Even though not all injuries are preventable, by focusing more on proper technique and exercises that stabilized the knee joint rather than increasing strength and speed RG3 may have avoided some major injuries in his career.

 

“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” -Beverly Sills

 

So what should a workout look like?

Exercise should replicate natural human movement patterns. The ones we encounter on a day to day basis. Squat, lunge, hinge, push, pull, rotate and walk. Most exercises fall into at least one and sometimes several of these movement patterns. By addressing all of them in our training we not only improve our functional strength but also prepare our bodies for anything life could throw at them.

 

In one study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine there was an 88% overall reduction in ACL injury rate in an intervention group of soccer players who participated in an injury prevention program. The right knowledge and a little consistency can go a long way when it comes down to keeping your body healthy.

 

Is your current training program addressing mobility, recovery, full range of motion, and then total body strength?

If you have suffered from injuries in the past or have concerns with your mobility it is important to address those with your trainer or coach. They will be able to help you by assessing the area of concern and designing a program to help you improve function with goals and checkpoints along the way. It is not always fun, easy, or sexy to do but giving attention to our problem areas will be easier to do the sooner you start.

 

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ”Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” -Muhammad Ali

 

Don’t be the dad who throws out his back building sand castles at the beach. Talk to one of our coaches and we’ll help you tackle your challenge areas today!

 

Danny Richter


Have you met Danny?

 

  • How long have you been a member of Nela Athletics?

4 1/2 years

  • What’s your favorite CrossFit/Ignite achievement?

Physically, probably pull-ups. I worked on them daily for months.

  • How do you think you have benefited most from Nela Athletics?

The fitness gains have been tremendous – I can do things now that I couldn’t in high school. But it has to be the people. I’ve also been able to formulate for myself what I call the “Three Rules of Crossfit.” To wit: 1.) have fun with your friends; 2.) Do your absolute best; and 3.) try not to sh*t yourself. Also, hassle the coaches whenever possible.

  • How has your life changed from when your first started to now. Can be physically, mentally, emotionally.

Physically, I dropped a ton of weight (almost but not quite literally) – mentally, I think I’ve gotten a lot tougher. Shortly after I started, coach MJ came up to me after a brutal workout and said, “you give up too easily.” I was pissed but I thought about it and realized he was right. My mental game is much stronger now. But again, it has to be the people. It’s like an extended family.

  • What are your hobbies or activities you do enjoy outside of CrossFit?

Well. I don’t want to brag.

  • What is one thing people don’t know about you?

I make all my own furniture. My six year old thinks I have, and I quote, “an annoying sense of humor.”

  • If you could pick three famous people to be a part of your entourage, who would you pick?

My entourage? So you mean my posse? Assuming that if I pick a dead person, they come back to life (otherwise, I would go for live people for practical reasons) – I would say: Robin Williams and Genghis Kahn (I think the two of them would engage in hilarious banter) and Barack Obama. I think Williams, Khan, and Obama would make a great team. Diverse and inspirational. We would definitely get shit done.

 

Does Cardio Hurt Muscle Gain?


It’s the ultimate tradeoff you must face whether you’re an athlete, bodybuilder, or recreational gym goer. How do you structure your strength training routine and still make time for trail runs, pickup basketball, or your metcon of choice? Strength is good. Cardio is good. So how do you balance the two for optimal health and performance? A great strength and conditioning coach knows exactly how and the truth might surprise you…

 

The perceived problem is rooted deep in bro science. “Ditch the cardio and just lift heavy if you want to get yoked!” Yet there are incredible athletes around the world have found ways to carry muscle mass and maintain a high level of cardiac output. CrossFit Games competitors casually bust out 225 pound snatches between sets of burpees. Hybrid athletes compete in powerlifting meets deadlifting 600+ pounds and complete Ironman triathlons in the same week. The threshold for excuses just dropped through the floor.

 

So why is it such a problem balancing strength and metabolic conditioning? It takes knowledge of exercise science and how the human body adapts to training in order to properly prescribe a routine that works. At least if you wish to improve your strength and maintain your cardio or vice versa. There are many folks who run their body through the ringer day after day. Hard work is not the sole element for achieving fitness success. In fact hard work can be misapplied and eventually become a hindrance to your training if not properly executed. Layering intensity on top of dysfunction or lacking a clear goal leads to burnout and chronic fatigue.

 

So how do balance out your strength and conditioning pieces. The key is to understand how to work in different heart rate zones. Working at different prescribed intensities will improve cardiac output, build muscular endurance, and even help improve recovery from your strength training routine. The volume and intensity spent in each zone will be dictated by your training age and specific goals in training.

 

A great coach will tell you that you can only have one priority for each block of training  you execute.They will also understand that your energy needs, micronutrients, electrolytes, and will all have to be supported in order to sustain greater output. Finding a great coach will be the first step in determining the specific way you should organize your training to make gains in strength and conditioning!

 

1200 Push Ups


For the month of June there is a challenge of completing 1200 push ups in a month. You can break up the reps how every you would like. For example 40 push ups a day will get you to 1200 push ups by the end of the month, you can complete 20 push ups in the morning and 20 push ups at night, what it ever it takes for you to complete 1200 push ups by the end of June.  Best part about this is that even if you can’t make it into the gym it easily can be done at home, work, vacation. No excuses!

Feel free to hold your self and peers accountable by posting a video of your push ups tagging your friends and family using the hashtag #nela1200 #justshowup

Push up break down.

40 per day = 1,200

60 every week day = 1,200

80 every other day = 1,200

300 per week = 1,200

Why

The push-up is a great exercise to develop upper-body pressing strength. It enhances core and hip flexor strength and develops shoulder stability. The push-up has more variations than any other exercise. Through various progressions the intensity and difficulty of the exercise can be increased.

How to do a push up

If you are all in click the link below to confirm that you are committed.

I’m committed

 

Tracking Workouts


For 2 weeks starting on May 13th to May 27th  you will be challenged to log every workout.

Firstly, logging your workouts holds you accountable and honest. Your workout logs reveal either a positive pattern or a negative avoidance. You are doing the workouts and showing commitment or you are not.

Second, tracking your workouts make your purpose-driven and more efficient. Workouts need to have a goal or purpose. Whether it’s about getting strong or improving your endurance, a workout log is an important component to the planning, organizing, actualizing and understanding of your fitness and life goals. When you have a purpose and goal, your workouts become more efficient too. Each workout should be about improving something.

Third, tracking your workouts provides a clear measurement towards completing your goals. As the classic quote goes, if you don’t measure it, you can’t improvement. Whether it’s an endurance sport like cycling or running, weight lifting or just getting moving, tracking your workouts provides a portrait into the progress you are making towards running faster, cycling longer, lifting more or whatever.

Fourth, tracking your workouts summarizes your progress and lets your know exactly what you’ve done. Your logs tell your how long you ran and how fast. It tells your how much you lift and which exercises you did. It only counts if you show up. Your workout logs don’t lie.

Fifth, tracking your workouts isn’t just about the workout; it’s also about your story. You can track more than just the workout info. You can record how you felt, both positive and negative. It can be your fitness- or health-focus story and provide a form of self-talk too. I often log my workouts along with a short journal entry.

Sixth, tracking your workouts provides you with health data. The data you collect helps you check on your progress and understand how you are performing and improving. Whether it’s your active heart rate, intensity or weight lifting, your workout data provides a way to accelerate. your health and fitness improvements.

Memorial Day Schedule


Memorial Day Schedule

8:30 AM WOD

9:30 AM Iginite

10:30 AM WOD

Memorial Day WOD: Murph

In memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, NY, who was killed in Afghanistan June 28, 2005. A United States Navy SEAL officer, Murphy was awarded the U.S. military’s highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions during the War in Afghanistan. His other posthumous awards include the Silver Star Medal (which was later upgraded to the Medal of Honor) and the Purple Heart.

Speed Is a Skill


Here is how to master it…

 

Depending on your sport the importance of speed could be a defining characteristic of your success. Naturally track and cross country athletes want to run fast, but speed can help in almost all team and individual sports where strength and conditioning comes into play. Whether you’re a running back who needs to hit the gap just a split second before the linebacker can wrap you up or a basketball player who needs to explode past the defender for a layup speed can be your best friend on the field or court. Given all else, a faster athlete tends to be a better one and luckily many of the defining characteristics of speed are skill based. That means they can be trained and improved upon. It is important to work with a coach who can teach you the skills and mechanics you need to learn. When improving speed is the focus you need to make progress in at least one and possibly all 3 areas of strength, mobility, and mechanics.

 

Strength

An athlete can become faster by improving their absolute strength and relative strength to their body weight. This can be achieved through a combination of resistance training and plyometric exercises. Heavy squats and deadlifts will help develop the the motor unit recruitment and force production ability of the leg muscles. Plyometric exercises like box jumps will strengthen connective tissue and improve the stretch shortening cycle in the muscle. Athletes will grow stronger and more powerful and this will directly correlate with increases in speed. Working with a coach who is well versed in speed development will help you get results quickly as well as stay injury free.

 

 

Mobility

Improving mobility, the ability of your joints to move freely and easily can directly improve your speed. This is primarily due to the increase in stride length when the hips, knees, and ankles have full range of motion. This allows for greater muscular contraction due to the body having a higher threshold for motor recruitment. Your coach should explain the proper way to dynamically stretch, warmup, cooldown, and mobilize as a part of your program. It is important to discuss any past injuries with your coach so they can help you to the best of their ability.

 

Mechanics

The foundational movement pattern of running is a skill just like any other. Learning how to generate power through the proper mechanics can be a game changer for many athletes and may make you feel like you are running for the first time all over again. The timing, stride length, ability to change directions, and use both the arms and legs for explosive movement are all essential skills to improve speed. Your coach will be able to address your unique needs and provide the proper guidance to dial in your mechanics.

 

If you are serious about improving speed to crush it in your sport seek out one of our coaches to develop a training plan to reach your goals.

 

Nela Fit In A Minute


What is Nela Fit In A Minute?

Nela Fit In A Minute is a 60 seconds or less weekly fitness challenge. Every Monday for 10 weeks, a video will be released via Instagram and Facebook for the announcement of the challenge. Some challenges may be individual and some you may need a partner.

Why?

Nela Fit In A Minute is great way to push your self. Some of us may not want to impact our score during a workout by going up a level, with Nela Fit In A Minute its a great way for you to push yourself out of your comfort-zone when you have nothing to lose. Participation is a big thing when it comes to athlete of the month and this can always help you stay in the conversation.

What do you have to do?

  • Recored your attempt of the challenge
  • Post your attempt via Instagram or Facebook
  • Tag 3 friends in your post to challenge
  • Use the hashtag #nelafitinaminute

Once you are tag, its only right to give it your all and pay it forward to the next person!

Squat versus Deadlift


Which lower body movement is “King of the Lifts”?

 

The squat and deadlift are the two staple movements of a lower body training program. The squat and hip hinge are also two fundamental human movement patterns and are important for normal daily function. They also require a large percentage of muscle recruitment making them essential for developing muscle mass as well as increasing neurological capacity and hormonal output.

 

The squat and deadlift are also both elegantly simple in theory yet technically complex in application which can make them intimidating for new lifters. The human body is capable of moving tremendous loads with these movements and to stay safe you must master the basics. After all, strength training should always be performed with the proper coaching, equipment, and environment to keep you safe as an athlete.

When it comes to strength training many athletes tend to prefer one lift over the other. There are many reasons for this. Comfort. Body type. Skill level. To name a few. Some people may have stayed away from performing either the squat or the deadlift from a negative past experience or injury.

 

Let’s take a look at:

 

  • Who should be training squats and/or deadlifts
  • The benefits and muscle groups worked
  • The Volume and Intensity you should be using

 

 

General Population versus Athletes

If you are a recreational athlete or utilizing strength training to stay healthy and fit then it is essential that you learn the basics of squatting and deadlifting. After all the ability to squat and hinge are components of everyday life. The human body is an adaptation machine and responds to the demands that are placed upon it. When we spend a lot of time sitting in chairs instead of moving We begin to lose these human movement standards. Don’t worry, the gym is the perfect place to bring them back. When you first learn these lifts make sure to work with an experienced coach who can give you the visual, audible, and tactile cues to perform these lifts.

 

Athletes also need to hinge and squat to develop explosive power, muscle stiffness, and joint stability for their sport. They may prioritize either the squat, deadlift, or a derivative like the trap bar deadlift based on the demands of the sport on their muscles. Working with a strength coach on sport specific training will be key to choosing the right lifting program for you.

 

Benefits and Muscle Groups Worked

The ability to perform a basic body weight squat should be the first goal of a training program. The squat requires mobility of the ankles, knees, hips, and spine as well as the motor recruitment patterns to properly extend at the knee hip and ankle simultaneously. The primary muscles worked are the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. Depending on the squat variation being used as well as the depth and other variables you can increase or decrease specific muscle activation. Low bar back squats and box squats achieve greater posterior chain activation. Front squats and overhead squats require a more upright torso and are quad dominant.

 

The deadlift is the most effective exercise for working the posterior chain. The posterior chain is essential for developing strength and power as an athlete. Powerful hamstrings and glutes will make you run faster, jump higher, and lift more weight. The muscles of the back also benefit from deadlifting due to the powerful isometric contraction required to maintain a neutral spine during heavy pulls. The rear delts, lats, and erector spinae all will grow as a result of deadlifting.

 

Volume versus Intensity

As a general rule of thumb strength training programs should have an inverse relationship between volume and intensity. Since squats and deadlifts are both total body lifts that require intense focus and neural activation it is important to vary loading patterns, volume, and intensity.

 

Deadlifts tend to be great for intensity but can be problematic in large volume. One fix for this is to train the hinge movement pattern with other implements that remove the need for heavy loading. Kettlebell Swings, Romanian Deadlifts, and Glute Bridges all train this movement pattern and are great.

 

Squats on the other hand seem to respond better to higher training volume. With that said you can still grind yourself down with too much high intensity work in the rack. Sticking to Prilepin’s chart for percentages is a great way to stay on top of loading parameters to ensure progress without burning out!

There you have it. A breakdown of the squat and deadlift as well as the reasons you should train them. If you’re looking for help learning these movements and building a movement practice to change your body or get stronger we have a team of coaches who can help you reach your goals.

 

What is Nela Athletics?


Nela Athletics is more than a CrossFit Gym

Let’s dive into our Box Guide Lines and see what they really mean.

  • This a community. Not a gym support others!

Ever go into 24 hour fitness or LA fitness and all you see is people with headphones on doing their own thing and going home, being a community starts with communication and getting to know everyone, who knows you might find your next best friend or lover.

  • Arrive early, stay late! Cheer others on!

One positive thing about arriving early is that you are never late! Some of us might have a specific body part or muscle group that needs extra attention before you get into the WOD which is another reason to come in early, or it can just be to help cheer on the previous class. Staying late is a great time to talk with members or coaches on how you felt with the days WOD or just want to kick back and socialize.

  • Egos are left at the door.

No one wants to be around that “guy” who thinks they are better than someone else just because the can run faster or lift more than the next person. The same way they cheer for you is the same way you can cheer for them.

  • Introduce yourself

This is a community if we are going to sweat together we might as well get to know each other. Especially when it comes to a new member, be open and welcoming, we all did something for the first time and felt out of our comfort zone.

  • Chalk is for hands not the floor!

Cleanliness makes for a better gym. Everyone knows chalk makes you stronger so let’s keep it for our hands and nothing else.

  • Keep track of you WOD, be honest. Don’t cheat yourself!

Keeping track of the WODs is a way you can see how far you have came and progress as an athlete. The Zen Planner app is a quick and easy way of doing so, if you have question you can always ask a coach how to navigate the application. Being honest is big! Be true to yourself and the rest will follow.

  • Scream, yell, grunt, sweat, do your best!

CrossFit is a loud and fulfilling sport. Do not be afraid to channel your inner beast!

  • Return equipment, clean your area

A clean gym is a healthy gym. Respect the equipment and clean up your area for the next class.

  • Brag about CrossFit to Everyone!

When you go to work and your coworker ask “are you okay? why are you walking like that?” and you tell them about your CrossFit workout from the previous day! Embrace it and brag about it.

  • Have Fun! Smile! Another WOD complete