Advice for Long-Term Success, and Recovery Tips for Advanced Athletes

Swim Night! 730pm- Culver City Plunge

Thursday August 7, 2014


Bird Dogs x 10 ea. side
Foam Roll Thoracic Spine (bottom to top of shoulder blades)
Keg Drill

Warm Up

2 minutes Single Unders with Short Rope
30s Jump & Touch
30s Bottom of Squat
1 min plank
30s Scap Pushups
30s Lat Activations

Cool Down

20 situps to pike stretch
Calf Stretch on plate 1 minute
Pec Stretch 30s ea. arm



Three sets with 60 seconds rest between movements:

Deadlift x 6-8 reps
Bench Press x 8-10 reps
Double-Under Practice x 60 seconds

Notes:  Use Kbs, Dbs or barbell for the deadlift and bench press.  Be sure to follow the Double Under progression HERE.  If you can perform 50 double unders in a row, try practicing triple unders!


21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time

Kettlebell Swings (55/35)
Box Jumps

-15 min cap-

Notes:  Newer athletes focus on form over weight and perform Russian swings.  Advanced athletes may perform 21-15-9 of Power Cleans (135/95) and Bar facing burpees.

If you have committed to the fitness programming, chances are you either want to improve your fundamentals so that you can progress to the advanced programming, or you just want to get fit with no specific athletic or competitive end goal in mind. No matter which category you fall into, your focus every day should be improving the quality of your movement and not intensity. Here is why.

In CrossFit founder Greg Glassman’s, open letter to CrossFit trainers, he describes virtuosity as “doing the common uncommonly well”. For the sake of this conversation,  let us agree that the squat is a common movement because sitting down and standing up is something that we do many times in a day. Despite the squat being so common, it is less common to see somebody who is able to do an air squat with a perfect upright torso, bottom position below parallel, feet flat, and shins perpendicular to the ground. It is actually more common to see dysfunction in the form of  knees collapsing inwards, weight on the toes, chest collapsing towards the ground and spine rounding. The former example represents virtuosity, while the latter represents dysfunction.

The progression you should follow in your pursuit of fitness is virtuosity first, consistency second, and intensity last. The curse of the novice in a competitive environment is the desire to quickly progress to more advanced movements, or within the context of the gym- add intensity to “get a good workout”.

If you fall into the category of athletes who want to eventually progress to the advanced programming, you will stifle your progress if you pursue virtuosity through intensity. You, at all costs, want to avoid adding strength or intensity to dysfunction because as soon as you reach the advanced class your deficiencies will be exposed, and guess what you’ll have to do? Correct your fundamentals. You are better served in the long run if you focus on quality movement now while you are learning. As a novice, you might not know what quality movement looks and feels like, but that is what your coaches are for! Ask for a form check before the clock starts.

If you fall into the category of athletes who just want to get fit without any particular athletic aspiration you might have short term goals, such as improved body composition, that can be achieved by adding intensity to your workout. I implore you to  consider that your future self will thank you if you keep them safe and injury free by focusing on quality movement now. Take a long-term orientation now and realize that every move you make will either help or hurt your future self. If you continue to do 100 air squats with the same dysfunction(s), you have taken 100 reps towards injury. If you do 100 air squats with a focus on improving movement quality, you are 100 reps closer to virtuosity.

Patience is a virtue, especially in the pursuit of virtuosity. Be patient while you are learning new movements, be patient while you are correcting old movements, and ask questions of your coaches every day. If you do these 3 things, I promise you will be on the fast track to success- however you define it.

Watch this video before class and practice virtuosity in the double under

Advanced – Active Recovery Day! 

Five sets of:

Swim 200 Meters

Rest 2 minutes

Notes: SMC Pool costs $3 for residents of Santa Monica and $7 for non-residents. You can buy a book of 20 passes that includes a parking pass for $110. Here is a link for more information. These swim workouts are an integral part of our training and should not be ignored!

Mobility and Maintenance:

Choose 1-2 Thoracic Mobility Drills and spend 5-10 minutes with them
Choose 2-3 Lower Body Mobility Drills and spend 10-12 minutes with them
Choose 1-2 Upper Extremity Mobility Drills and spend 5-10 minutes with them.

– AND/OR –

Body work from a licensed body worker (ART, Graston, acupuncture, etc…)

I have been seeing a Rolfer weekly and have seen measurable improvement in the mobility of my structure and quality of movements (like running, airdyne, walking). I highly recommend finding a body worker with knowledge of both myofascia and human movement.

Inflammation Maintenance:

This could be a lot of things, but think in terms of compression, contrast baths, salt baths, castor oil packs, etc….

Don’t forget the role diet plays in inflammation! Drink your fish oil and eat your veggies. I have also found EMS (electro muscular stimulation) to be quite effective as well.

Nutrition Preparation:

Ensure that you have quality foods prepared in the appropriate quantities to fuel your efforts for the remainder of the week.

A slow cooker is key to making sure you have plenty of good foods (especially meat) convenient with little effort. You can get 7 quart hamilton beach models on amazon for about $35. If you struggle with your nutrition or planning for the week, set up an appointment with me for help.

Mental Restoration:

Different for everyone – could be meditation or could be gathering with friends; the key is to engage in activities that make your life full and help you recharge your batteries.  

This is tomorrow, so recover today!

Author: Matthew Walrath

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