Wednesday, April 24, 2019

WOD Wednesday #102

Fight Gone Bad!
3 rounds for max reps of:
  • 1 minute of wall-ball shots
  • 1 minute of sumo deadlift high pulls
  • 1 minute of box jumps
  • 1 minute of push presses
  • 1 minute of rowing (calories)
  • Rest 1 minute
STIMULUS: Well I was kind of kidding with the gifs. But also kind of not. This, to me, is the worst it gets when it comes to CrossFit workouts. Just when you're like, "yay my arms are dead so I get to rest now" the minute is up and you're into the next thing. So look to adjust weight/height/movements so you can be constantly going through all the stations.
GROUP: Stations work but for us if you're scaling for equipment. If you're doing 2 heats, start one on wall balls and one on sdhp so that they never run into the same bar. Burpees are what we use as a sub for rowing. 
I'M SCALING THIS WELL IF: The 1-minute rest feels way shorter than any of the 1-minute stations.
I'M SCALING THIS POORLY IF: Honestly, for most people, your score is under 250. Drop some weight and do more reps.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Product Review: Bear KompleX Knee Sleeves - 7mm

Product Details:
The Bear KompleX Knee Sleeves come in a pair of 2 and are available in Black, Purple, Red, Black Camo, Blue Camo, Pink Camo, and Neon Yellow Camo.

United States Powerlifting Association (USPA) - APPROVED

  • BEAR KOMPLEX KNEE SLEEVES that will provide the best in support and compression while performing a variety of exercises including: Squats, Power Cleans, Snatches, Box Jumps, Lunges, Running, Double Unders, and more.
  • KNEE SLEEVES ARE 5mm & 7mm FOR OPTIMAL SUPPORT AND COMFORT. The sleeves fit snug for added support and compression
  • INCREASE BLOOD FLOW AND REDUCE PAIN with our sleeves. Keep your knees warm while performing a variety of movements and eliminate injury.
  • MULTIPLE SIZES AND COLORS to appeal to both men and women. Be sure to check our size chart in our images.
**DO NOT MACHINE WASH KNEE SLEEVES. Hand wash and air dry.

Product Review:
These Bear KompleX 7mm Knee sleeves are a standard 7mm thickness, made of neoprene and the thickness is similar into most other knee sleeves on the market, intended to offer joint warmth, knee support, and compression based Benefits for weightlifting, powerlifting, and fitness support.

Out of the box, the sleeves offered a high amount of support and rigidity, some of the most I have felt compared to the standard 7mm sleeves in my past. The rigidity would be beneficial for lifters looking for a very stiff knee sleeve for heavy squats, Olympic lifts, and rebounding out of lifts; however there was some flexibility for lighter movements

The Bear KompleX 7mm knee sleeves sizing was comparable to other 7mm knee sleeves that I have reviewed as well a trained/competed in. The contoured fit allowed for a rigid yet flexible feel of the sleeve, however I do feel that a break in period would be needed with the sleeves.

The sleeves did a good job keeping things warm and offered good support during heavier squats and snatch training. Transitioning from more WOD-based sessions in them was more noticeable, as they did have some extra stiffness and lacked flexibility

The durability of these sleeves seems to be higher than other lighter options. The neoprene had a good stiffness, offering durability and support. The stitching was very reinforced across the seams, make me feel confident that that could hold up to many heavy and ballistic Olympic weightlifting and squat sessions

I imagine these sleeves to be a very solid choice for lifters and athletes looking for a supportive, rigid knee sleeve that offers some (not great) flexibility. The pricing of these sleeves makes them very appealing to lifters looking for a basic sleeve to squat, lift, and do explosive full range of movements in.

For lifters who are more specific with their needs (wanting even more support, a taller sleeve, a more flexible hybrid sleeve, etc) these may not be the best option, as the are pretty standard sleeves that may slightly offer more support in exchange for being slightly less flexible.

Testimonial from Taylor J.
"If you are having knee pain or just trying to hit that new PR these knee sleeves will get the job done. Once you figure out the correct size these sleeves will provide you with optimal support for any workout. 

I personally use them for heavy lifts, lunges and squats. The variety of thickness allows you to find the perfect sleeve for your needs. The 7mm is great for helping you hit a new squat or deadlift PR, but I prefer using the thinner sleeves for lunges or running.

They also come in a multitude of color options. It is important to note that these need to be hand washed and air dry to decrease the wear and tear of the product. This will enable you to get the longest use from them. Overall these are a great product that should be apart of anyone’s gym bag."

Thursday, April 18, 2019

What is Pre-hab and How Can it Help Me Recover Faster?

It’s no secret that having physical therapy after an injury or surgery helps you recover faster. But what if there was a way to prevent an injury in the first place? Or what if there was a way to speed recovery from surgery long before you went under the knife? Pre-hab or preventative rehabilitation helps patients heal faster after surgery, speeds recovery and, in many cases, prevents injury in the first place.

What Is Pre-hab?
The term pre-hab is short for preventative rehabilitation. A physical therapist typically uses pre-hab in two ways. First, they can teach targeted exercises and stretches to patients who are at risk for serious injuries. Second, pre-hab is a form of physical therapy used prior to surgery to speed healing and recovery.

Pre-hab for Injury Prevention
Pre-hab is one of the best ways to prevent injuries in patients at risk for developing significant movement problems. Those with physically demanding jobs may find that the exercises, stretches and pain relieving techniques taught at physical therapy help them perform in their jobs. This is especially true in jobs where there are high incidences of certain injuries. This type of physical therapy typically targets areas where injury is most likely to happen. For instance, those in the military are more prone to develop foot, knee, hip, and back problems due to the rigors of training and combat. Pre-hab can mitigate many of these injuries by teaching correct lifting techniques, proper posture and effective core strengthening exercises that keep service members strong and healthy. The same can be said for construction workers, firefighters, factory workers, or other employees in highly physical occupations.

Even pro and amateur athletes are finding that working with a physical therapist is paying off, long before an injury happens. Focusing on the areas that are stressed by everyday movement and poor habits, a physical therapist looks at your most injury-prone areas and helps you correct any problems before you get hurt. Chances are you are hunched over your computer most of the day. Working with a physical therapist can help strengthen your core and correct your posture, keeping you strong and healthy. Since an object in motion tends to stay in motion, physical therapy is also an ideal way to begin an exercise regimen. Focused on strength, mobility and balance, pre-hab can keep you injury free for life as you begin the process of getting in shape.

Pre-hab for Better Surgical Recovery
When it comes to going under the knife, many people fear what will come after the stitches have been sewn. This is especially true for anyone who has a total joint replacement. Faced with the risk of time in a rehabilitation hospital, many people delay joint replacement surgery out of fear of a long, difficult recovery. But doing physical therapy before surgery can reduce the odds of needing inpatient rehabilitation by 73 percent. Patients who are stronger before surgery also meet physical milestones sooner than those who do not. Within 24 hours of surgery, someone who has had a total knee replacement is expected to walk 500 to 1000 feet with the assistance of a walker. Those who work with a physical therapist before surgery are more likely to meet this demand. These patients are stronger and have better blood flow. Physical therapy also teaches them many of the movements stretches, pain relieving techniques, and strengthening exercises they will need in their recovery.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Product Review: Valor Fitness BD-21 Yoke

Product Details:
The Valor Fitness BD-21 Yoke is a versatile piece of equipment being a functional all-in-one rack.
Featuring 2”x3” 11-gauge solid steel uprights with 41.5” of inside working space, versatile skid sled style/storage feet with 4 10” weight pegs, J-Hooks for bar support, and a weight capacity of 750lbs. Fully adjustable crossbar and pull up bar with locking popper pins and a 72” height range allows customization to any workout, from a basic yoke carry to the Zercher Carry, Zercher Squat, pull-up station, squat station, bench station, and sled training exercises. The numerous possibilities for this unit, make it an all-in-one option for a home/garage gym.
Features/Benefits :
  • ALL-IN-ONE RACK- A functional and versatile piece of equipment can be used as a Pull-Up Station, Squat Station, Muscle-Up Station, or Bench Press Station. Allows for a variety of Sled Training exercises, a basic Yoke Carry, Zercher Carry, or Zercher Squats, making the Valor Fitness BD-21 the perfect all-in-one equipment for a home gym.
  • UNIQUE SKID SLED STYLE- Allows the user the ability to lift and smoothly slide the Yoke Rack for Sled Training exercises. Yoke Rack weights 160 lbs. by itself.
  • STORAGE PEGS- Designed with 4 (10 in. X 1.5 in.) weight pegs at the base to create storage for Valor Fitness Bumper Plates and provide added stability of the Yoke Rack when weighted down. Allows the option to add extra weight for Carries and Sled Training.
  • ADJUSTABLE - Fully adjustable Crossbar and Pull-Up Bar with locking popper pins and a 72 in. height range allows customization to any workout. Includes Safety Catches and J-Hooks on both sides of the Yoke Rack for bar storage during Bench Press and Squat Workouts. Built with a 49.5 in. X 50 in. base to allow for a 42.5 in. of working space
  • STURDY- 92 in tall, 11-Gauge solid, Steel uprights (2 in. X 3 in.) can hold up to 750 lbs. Designed for light-commercial use. 3-year warranty.
Shipping Dimensions:
· Size/weight: 92" x 8" x 4" / 59 lbs.
· Size/weight: 49" x 17" x 6" / 97 lbs.
Assembled Dimensions:
· Size/weight: 92" x 49.5" x 49" / 150 lbs.
Product Review:
I’ve had my eye on the ValorPro Yoke for over a year now since building my garage gym. Back then it was initially my plan to have this yoke also serve as my rack. I am a minimalist, the sort of person who travels light and likes to keep things very sustainable.
However I also understand the importance of having the right tool for the job, and the aggravation of NOT. And, after many attempts at conniving minimalistic ways to achieve full body strength— at one point the whole of my equipment being a sandbag, tires, and a few kettlebells.  I ultimately settled with the conventional home gym route.
Make no mistake: this ValorPro Yoke unit can and absolutely WILL serve as an all-in-one piece of equipment for much, if not most, of the fitness community.
However if you are a more serious hobbyist or a competitive lifter, if you plan on moving extreme weights or if you simply want the unshakable rigidity of a commercial piece of equipment, as far as a rack is concerned a full-scale power rack bolted down to the floor is the only way to go if you truly want less inconvenience and limitations while also providing utmost safety.
But in no way does that make this yoke superfluous or unnecessary. I am absolutely in love with this thing. In fact, there are certain pieces of equipment which are worth purchasing for one exercise alone. Now that is NOT the case with this yoke, as there is just so much you can do with it. But, just as an example, I purchased a pair of top-loaded farmers handles from a different manufacturer for over $300. There’s really nothing else you can do with them besides farmers carries, but 1) farmers carries are such an exceptional movement, 2) proper implements make such a difference on the effectiveness and enjoyment of the movement, and 3) top-loaded handles are just so convenient, that it was indeed well worth the price.
My point is, even if all I could do with this yoke were yoke-related movements (no rack capability, extra storage, etc), I would STILL buy it.
But the versatility of the BD-21 Yoke has me stoked beyond belief. Overhead walks, traditional yoke walks, Zercher carries, prowler pushes, you name it. I have admittedly let my conditioning slip in the pursuit of strength, but I know that for optimal strength and certainly for optimal health, one must have a certain degree of conditioning. But forget sitting on a stationary bike or jumping rope. This is the alpha manner of conditioning. These movements simultaneously get you incredibly strong and assist your other lifts, unlike typical conditioning methods where you have to altogether replace time spent doing strength work for the sake of cardio. If you are limited in the amount of time you have to lift each week-- as I am-- this is a major bonus.

The assembly is very simple and safe, and very doable by oneself. I left all of the hardware just a touch loose so that the skis and structure can settle on the uneven ground outside. I love how when you finish a walk, the skis allow the yoke to continue a few inches past you. The unit doesn’t keep sailing for several feet, nor does it stop short right where you drop it. It’s perfect.

At 5’11” I have found the ValorPro Yoke to be plenty tall. Setting up for traditional yoke walks I have 7 or 8 empty holes above the top of the crossmember.
I have two comments ... the side storage pins are nice, but we just hang gym belts\wrist wraps over them because the plates get bumped when squatting (if you have a shallow walkout), and the storage on the feet aren't friendly if you have a wider stance. Also the cross-member can be difficult to move up and down. The uprights want to lean. Since the sleeves on the cross-member are pretty closely toleranced, which is good, because it provides good stability for the assembled yoke, the uprights don't have to lean far to stop the cross-member from being able to slide. So forget breaking this thing down frequently by yourself to save space between workouts.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

WOD Wednesday #101

5 rounds for time of:
1-minute handstand hold
21 toes-to-bars

STIMULUS: Noobs and Bros would look at this one like, “So what’s after this?” If you BS through this workout, you’ll definitely feel like it’s a glorified warmup. But these are two tough movements in the volume they’re being presented. If you take this workout “For Quality” – meaning not looking at the time, if at all, until the very end – then you’ll find a great opportunity; getting better at handstands and toes to bar transfers to a lot of other things.

GROUP: When I did this, I used the 1:00 handstands to mean a running clock, and I did the best I could within that minute. I usually spent around 40-45 seconds out of that minute in the handstand. I’m glad I did too because I could feel myself overextending on the last two rounds. For the toes to bar, I like to use kipping in high number and not worry about hitting the actual bar, but being able to get a good rhythm and keep a good Pike position. I also used rings for them because my shoulders were feeling tight and it helped me get the legs a little higher. When scaling for a group, I’d not worry about the “to bar” part and just get the feet as high as possible with the legs straight. This helps keep the integrity of the pike position, the kipping motion, and the relative intensity, plus makes it less likely for the athletes to pull with the arms. The running clock on handstands is self-scaling; all you a-holes who have stronger shoulders than me can accumulate 1 minute. If wall/bar space is limited, split into 1-minute stations, best efforts for each exercise within the minute. Don’t worry about reps. Hit up the comments for any injury scales.

WARMUP: 3 rounds of: Kip – prime overhead position and rhythm Squat – always needed and loosens up hips Jump rope – always needed, especially when snowy, and singles are undervalued in running skill transfer Rope climb – warm up the grip a little, we need them even though I always get complaints Hip extension – kind of a Pike position, prims hips and hamstrings

Thursday, April 4, 2019

PT Therapies: Positive Expiratory Pressure Therapy

Positive Expiratory Pressure (PEP) allows air to get behind the secretions to clear them.  A mask or mouthpiece with a one way breathing valve slows exhalation, allowing pressure to keep the airways open.  A manometer determines the correct level of PEP (10-20 cms of H2O pressure)

Breathing should be normal with slightly increased expiration.  Supplemental oxygen, or nebulized medication can be used at the same time as PEP.  Huffing or coughing is performed after use of the device.


  1. Equipment needed:
    1. PEP device with Mask or mouth piece
    2. Manometer (measuring device)
  2. Sit upright. Hold the mouth piece tightly between lips or hold the mask tightly against the face with both hands.
  3. Breathe in a normal sized breath.  Breathe out actively (but not forced) through the mask or mouthpiece.
    1. Adjust the resistance to expiration until the manometer measures 10-20cms of water pressure.
    2. When the proper resistance is reached, take 10 breaths through the PEP device at a normal rate.
    3. Exhalation should take about 3-4 seconds
  4. Perform 2-3 huffs or coughs to remove and mucus produces
  5. Pause and perform normal breathing using the lower chest with the upper chest and shoulders relaxed.
  6. Repeat the above procedure (#3-5) as needed.
  7. A treatment session should last about 20-30minutes.  The appropriate resistance of the device and the procedure used should be rechecked periodically during clinic visits or hospitilization.
Image result for pep device
PEP devices should be cleaned according to the manufacturer's directions or atleast washed regularly in hot, soapy water to avoid contamination.  The one-way valve should only be washed in hot water (no soap) to prevent the valve from sticking.