The anniversary post.
These are never easy to write. Last year’s post commemorated the founding of a community built on virtuosity. That community has continued to thrive. And once again, there are far too many milestones and accomplishments to attempt to list here. There have been a lot of changes since November 1st, 2012; so many, in fact, that the only real constant is progress. Consistent, relentless, and awe-inspiring progress. Looking around the gym, there is a level of performance unimaginable two years ago.
What is the secret to the success we see every day? Sadly, there are no gimmicks or easy answers. There are no shortcuts. There is nothing we do that gymnasts, weightlifters, powerlifters, sprinters, rowers, etc. haven’t been doing for decades. We simply apply the basics with care, stick to our principles, and work our collective tails off.
What then is it that drives our athletes to work so hard day in and day out?
Are you disciplined like monks? Are you driven like Olympians?
We suspect the real answer is much simpler.
What brings people back in the door day after day? It is fun. We love every minute of it.
Now we are on to a new question: what in the world about all of this hard work is fun?
Another simple answer: the people.
The shared struggles.
The shared accomplishments.
Our job is straightforward. Despite what many would have you believe, once you cut through all the bullshit (which is the hard part), there is nothing all too complicated about applying calculated stress to the human body, allowing it to adapt, and repeating. Strength and conditioning is not rocket science.
What is infinitely more magical is what you, the Solidarity athletes, provide. Your heart and soul drive this endeavor.
Thank you for a wonderful two years.
Today is a mobility/rest day/make up day. Come in and do some targeted mobility work, active recovery and light skill work, or make up a workout you missed earlier in the week.
We keep records of our workouts, because sometimes progress is incremental. It can be hard to see it day-to-day when we are caught up in the stresses of work and relationships, but much easier to measure on a month-to-month basis. We recently revisited the Solidarity Baseline for members who have been with us for at least 2 months. The results were impressive.
- The average baseline time was 1:51 faster than in November (an average of 24% off earlier times).
- The gym average time was 7:01 in November and 5:10 in January.
- The fastest time on the board dropped from 4:04 to 3:43!
- The range of scores narrowed: in November, it was 5:22, and in January it was 3:29.
While everyone saw improvements in time and scaling, there must be something in the water over at Silverchair, because both Steph L. and Craig G. improved their baseline times by 3:40 (Steph improved by 3:43, while making the transition from ring rows to bands!). They were slightly out edged for most improved, however, by buddies Ben E. (3:59) and Daniel P. (4:43). Had Daniel kept going, he would have finished the baseline twice in the time it initially took him to do it once!
These results are a testament how much you can achieve by committing to show up and put in hard work every week. What improvements do you hope to make 2-3 months from now?
On Tuesday we did CrossFit LA’s Baseline workout. We are going to retest this same workout later this summer and compare our scores. In the meantime keep working hard; I look forward to seeing everyone blow Tuesday’s inventory time away.
If you missed Tuesday, shoot me an email and we can meet up on Cherry Ave outside of normal class times and make it up.
Congratulations to those of you who just finished a 12-week strength cycle focused on the squat and deadlift. We saw tremendous improvement in form and strength over the last three months, with many of you setting new rep PRs only to kill them a few weeks later. Nice job!
A few special shout outs go to Joules and Paula:
- Joules went from a deadlift 1RM of 200# to repping out 185# for 8 reps (with perfect form).
- Paula made a commitment to get in the gym every session and made up lifting sessions outside of class when this wasn’t possible. This consistency showed. In three months, she went from struggling with 125# for one squat to doing the same weight for 5+ reps! Her deadlift started at 145#, and yesterday she pulled 137.5# five times.
If you see them, give them a high-five (ladies, pat yourselves on the back).