Hello my fellow swoll monsters, champions of the box, stronger than yesterday compatriots; it has come time to publish another edition of ASK SAM. As I have been working out and coaching with you all, let me just say that, since the New Year, there has been some amazing transformations at Moov. There has been a nutrition challenge (which overlapped with the Super Bowl!! How many burpees does Brandon have to do for that scheduling?), there was the kickoff of the Crossfit Open that ensured we all walked just a little awkward the next day, and there is even more greatness to come.
In this weirdly unseasonable time of year, we have been able to run more than ever, trying to catch the gazelle that is Jeremy Foster. We have gotten to lift some heavy shit overhead (I know I would love to snatch as gracefully perfect as Erin Kovar), but, most importantly, we have gotten to see John Mosher link double-unders, a journey full of lashings, blood, sweat, tears, and post-WOD vodka.
And for this month’s ASK SAM, you all did not disappoint. You have sent many wonderful questions that forced me to contemplate life, love, and lifts. So please continue to send them to ASKSAM@moovvital.com.
Alright, well that is enough of my delaying what some have compared to priceless art – please enjoy what others have asked and hopefully you find something helpful.
Question #1: Sam, is there ever such a thing as too much chalk?
This is a question near and dear to my heart. This is a personal preference; some people prefer no chalk at all and do just fine in their workouts without falling of the rig on a pull up or having a kettlebell crash through a window. There are those of us who rely on chalk to do pretty much ant movement, downward dog included. Now I know I, myself, fall more on the LeBron James side of things and it is like a cloud follows me around the gym.
Back in my early days of Crossfit, about 3.5 years ago, I was looking for all the help I could get in getting a single banded pull up or a couple pulls on a rope climb. Chalk proved to help immensely and I have never looked back. So to answer your question it is a personal preference on how much chalk one uses but as I always like to say “chalk makes you stronger”.
One of the sad things about open gym is that there is no one to workout with… I think I’m the only one in the gym that wants to get bigger… Am I doing this CrossFit thing wrong?
Well this sad news indeed. Open gym is a great time to “get bigger” but here at Moov Vital this time can be used for practicing any skill, repping out at a 225# bench press, or doing mobility until our muscles forgive us for the things we did to them thanks to best programming in the world. No, you are not doing CrossFit wrong, but some people prefer a structured class or do not have the time for open gym. I do encourage everyone to come to open gym and work on a skill and mobilize for a combined hour. I cannot stress enough how important mobilizing is and using our yoga balls makes a huge difference in being able to squat full depth and barely getting below parallel.
What was your inspiration for going to med/nursing school? Was it your parents pushing you in a certain direction? Did it just seem right for you? Did you always want to be in the medical field?
Oh man, this goes into a lot of what I have grown to find one of the most important things in life. Health has always interested me and science was always a way for me to understand more about it. No one in my family has any type of medical background, and both of my parents were and still are supportive of me and I couldn’t be more thankful for it. Health always seemed to be what I was drawn to, but I began to focus solely on the science side and not so much of the fitness side. I didn’t get my first unassisted pull up until after college. Being drawn to health, I quickly began the process of pursuing medical school and then I realized I wanted to actually have a life in the 20’s and 30’s so I switched to nursing and have loved every second of it. Being alongside someone in the hospital, immersing myself in their case and care, being their voice to the healthcare team has gotten me excited for what the future holds.
The medical field was not what I always wanted to be in though. I wrote a mean sports column in the high school newspaper and thought ESPN could use a new anchor.
How do I help my youngest son realize my expectations for him have nothing to do with my oldest son? My oldest has always been a go-getter: knocked out undergrad in 3 years, 2nd year law student and is totally kicking ass, all while holding down 2+ side jobs. My youngest – man, I’m just hoping he squeaks by high school. And, I get the feeling that one reason he’s so anxious and nervous right now, is that he won’t come close to his brother’s accomplishments. How do I tell him…”it’s OK man, you’re your own person, you’ll find your way and be very good at it”?
Even by asking this question I can tell how much you care about your son. I can only answer this question from the view of a son since I have never been a parent, at least not that I know of. The advice I would give is simple, not easy, and may not always seem to be productive. I would say that to be there for him and support him through listening. Now I know as most do that high school boys or men in general are not exactly the most open to talking about what they are feeling or going through. But every once in awhile we open up and having someone to listen and just be there makes a huge difference.
This happened and is still happening in my family. I have two older brothers and one is still trying to figure out what he is suppose to do and just supporting him and making sure he is his own person and not compared to us brothers is hard. I commend you on being willing to work on this. I hope you and he continue to support each other in life.
Constant disagreement with my wife: grilled steak – medium rare or well done?
Well see it really comes down to a simple question, do you like to enjoy your steak or chew on a shoe? I believe I have answered your question.
I think I got sick from a WOD. The next day my chest felt very heavy and I started coughing with body ache. I haven’t feel better. Do you think there is a correlation between WOD and sickness? Do you have a secret method that you do to feel better in 5 hours?
This is a very interesting question that I will start by answering backwards. I unfortunately do not have a secret method to feel better in 5 hours, but a nap always helps along with making sure you are adequately hydrated.
To the first part of your question I would think that this could be something that you had before the WOD, a cold or flu, and it was in the incubation phase until then. But the big thing that this brings up that people always connect with Crossfit is Rhabdomyolysis. I want to include the disclaimer that this blog doesn’t count as a diagnosis and you should always see your provider. Rhabdo comes from the break down of muscle seen in crush injuries of extreme exertion of muscles in athletic events such as marathons. Now I would be lying if I said no one got Rhabdo from CrossFit, but this is why it is important to have rest days (like days where you don’t run 10 miles instead of WOD, but days where you actually rest). And I would like to say, we here at Moov Vital try our best to work with our amazing athletes to mark any workout appropriate for them and where they are in their fitness level to avoid things like this and other injuries. As I always like to say “I would rather see you modify and be safe than not see you back here for two weeks.”
I think everyone who does CrossFit understands this but I don’t. Ha. I saw a couple comments on Facebook about open workout, is it similar to open gym hour on Sundays?
As there are many of us that are starting out in CrossFit and are growing to see how expansive it really is the Open is the culmination of its worldwide community. CrossFit truly believes in including everyone in what they do if they are to truly crown someone “The World’s Fittest Athlete.” To do this, they created a competition that begins by being open to anyone and everyone in the world, which is the CrossFit Open. The Open is a series of workouts that are release weekly over five weeks. The athletes have five days to complete the workout and submit their score. This requires a judge to make sure all repetitions are to standard. Now we are not all on the same level and there are modifications available for all movements, except burpees well because there is no reason to skip the fun of a burpee.
It is different than open gym because it is a specific workout and each person has his or her own coach/judge. It is more like a regular class but we all get to cheer you on and have a beer with friends. The Open is what I love about CrossFit, it allows people of all different skill levels to compete against each other in a great environment and really shows you how far you’ve come as an athlete.
Want your question answered next month? Send all questions you may have about life, lifts, or love to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will answer them right here in our next installment of ASK SAM.