“If something is important enough, even if the odds are stacked against you, you should still do it.”- Elon Musk
Kara Saunders Announces Move to Mayhem Athlete + ACTIV Collaboration With Froning
One of CrossFit’s most iconic athletes has just joined forces with nine-time champion Rich Froning, joining a host of others at Mayhem Athlete as well as a new exclusive collaboration between Saunders’ ACTIV Eyewear and Froning. Saunders announced the transition from Brute Strength on Wednesday during a special Instagram Live session with Froning.
One big thing: At this point, Mayhem will very likely field the largest number of individual athletes at the 2022 Games, and possibly even across all divisions. Saunders is now the sixth individual athlete to join Mayhem since the 2021 CrossFit Games and the biggest name outside of Froning, but the total is now at least 15, not including the 43 athletes they fielded in 2021 across all divisions.
Six athletes have joined since the 2021 Games: Kara Saunders, Guilherme Malheiros, Lazar Dukic, Agustin Richelme, Piero Gorichon, and Mel Rodriguez.
The list of existing Mayhem Athlete individual competitors: Alex Vigneault, Royce Dunne, Samuel Cournoyer, Alexandre Caron, Aleksandar Ilin, Stas Solodov, Haley Adams, Baylee Rayl, and Sasha Nievas.
How it went down: “You’re actually looking at your newest Mayhem Athlete. I don’t know if you’d heard that,” Saunders said during the Instagram session. She added that she needed a change in her programming, so she reached out to Tasia Percevecz to ask about the different paths.
Saunders began doing one piece of the “What’s Rich Doing” in the immediate aftermath of her mandatory, two-week quarantine. She has since began consistently doing the Mayhem Athlete programming.
“I’ve just been doing the Compete and loving it. But you know, hurting and adjusting,” Saunders said.
“After this year’s Games that I missed I did some reflecting and decided I needed to make some changes to really enjoy my time as an athlete and not lose any mental and emotional energy that could be going towards my family,” Saunders added via email. “My previous coach Nick Fowler was honestly the best and such an amazing human in general. He took such good care of me, but I actually just felt like I didn’t want to have a coach anymore and wanted to just do CrossFit and have so much fun getting better.”
Another big thing: Saunders will head to the United States earlier than normal in 2022 so that she and her family can get settled in. She will head to Cookeville and train with Froning and the rest of the Mayhem Athlete family.
Saunders was open about the emotional toll of being separated from her husband and their daughter, both in the immediate aftermath of the games, as well as during the Instagram Live with Froning. Heading to the United States early provides the opportunity for the family to stick together during a critical time.
“Put your glasses on, Shades”: Another important part of the conversation revolved around a new collaboration between Froning and Saunders’ eyewear brand, ACTIV. The nine-time champion now has his own signature pair of shades, which feature the Froning “R” logo, as well as Galatians 6:14, the Bible verse tattooed on his ribs.
Talks between Froning and ACTIV began well over one year ago. The shades officially launched on December 7 after some considerable time and effort.
The sunglasses are a limited edition. There are only 1,000 pairs available, which will inevitably sell out in a short period of time.
The price of the Froning sunglasses are $199 USD. They come with a numbered signature card, an ACTIV/Froning microfiber pouch, a Froning cleaning cloth, and an ACTIV/Froning hard case.
The bottom line: Saunders has been training hard in Australia to prepare for the 2022 season, and she will have support from one of the sport’s most accomplished figures and his top-tier staff. Now she will draw even more attention as she prepares for the 2022 CrossFit Games.
Sweat is a Slippery Business
Missing out on a PR deadlift because you can’t grip the bar. A slip and hard landing on your back during your final set of toes to bar. Kettlebell swings that end with holes in the wall.
Let’s face it, sweat is a problem in CrossFit.
Element 26’s new wrist bands improve your performance by catching the sweat pouring down your arms before it gets on the equipment. They also use a thin, hybrid material to absorb sweat without adding to it like traditional thick cotton sweatbands.
CrossFit’s Head of Government Affairsweighs in on the COVID variant: “We’re all on our toes right now, thinking, ‘Oh God, what’s going to happen next. The uncertainty really does not help, especially when so many gym owners are almost entirely bled out.”
“This is going to be a critical time and if there is a new variant spreading around and there are new restrictions, that’s going to affect any chance that a small gym owner might have to try to stay viable.”
How CrossFit is becoming a one-stop wellness shop (via Well and Good): “By far the brand wading furthest into this space is CrossFit, which just announced the launch of CrossFit Precision Care in partnership with the telemedicine provider Wild Health. It’s a new physicians network in which all the doctors and health-care providers are also CrossFit-certified trainers (what?!).”
The program is currently being beta tested in eight states with plans to expand nationwide next year, according to Julie Foucher, MD.
“Anyone who’s in the CrossFit community is able to have a primary care physician and a health coach who both do CrossFit themselves and understand their lifestyle.”
Emma Cary’s Workout of the Week
Every Friday, we’re bringing you an exclusive workout challenge programmed by a CrossFit Games athlete or coach that you can take on at home or the gym. You can post your times or scores in the comment section.
Today’s workout of the week is programmed by 17-year old rising star Emma Cary. Cary burst onto the scene this year as she finished second overall in the world-wide Open and then followed that with top-5 finishes in the North American Quarterfinals and the Granite Games Semifinals to earn her invite to the 2021 CrossFit Games.
The youngest athlete in the field placed 16th overall thanks to four top-10 finishes in her rookie debut. Not content with those results, she has had a busy offseason, placing 12th at the Rogue Invitational in October. Next week she heads halfway around the world to compete at the prestigious Dubai CrossFit Championship.
2,000 meter row
30 Hang Power Cleans (225/145)
Some advice from Emma: “This is such a fun workout! Control the row, attack the pistols. Then I would recommend doing small sets with really short breaks on the hang power cleans.”
To inquire about submitting an upcoming workout of the week, shoot us a note.
Can You Lose Body Fat and Gain Muscle Mass at the Same Time?
One of the most common collections of goals among athletes and fitness enthusiasts is to lose body fat, gain muscle mass, and get stronger. Lofty goals, especially when the desire is to do them at the same time.
When asked the question, can an athlete lose body fat, gain strength, and build muscle mass at the same time, the answer is typically a resounding no. The approach should be periodized with fat loss occurring by establishing a calorie deficit while strength gains and muscle mass occur in a calorie surplus. Bulk, cut, rinse, repeat. In fact, there are a number of nutrition programs that are built on this foundational principle. Buy a bulk program then come back 16 weeks later and buy a cut program.
This dilemma of this kind of progress can be a frustrating and daunting task, especially for new trainees who want to do it all. In the most recent MASS Research Review, Eric Trexler discusses a relatively new meta analysis and regression that sheds light on what may actually be feasible from a lean mass standpoint while in a calorie deficit. In two separate analyses, researchers found that a calorie deficit did lead to smaller gains in lean muscle mass but did not have a statistically significant impact on strength gains in individuals who were both dieting and following a hypertrophy program. Notably, participants in the included study did continue to gain lean mass in the calorie deficit, just not to the same extent as the control group, who were on an isocaloric diet.
The researchers went one step further and ran a meta regression to understand if larger calorie deficits would have a greater negative impact on the ability to gain lean body mass. Not surprisingly, that was the case. With each 100 calorie decrease, lean body mass gains are reduced. At a 500 calorie per day deficit, the expected gain in lean body mass was zero. So in these studies, -500 calories was the inflection point where fat loss would continue to occur but no muscle mass would accumulate as a result of training.
RPM Training Co. Launches Redesigned, State-of-the-Art Equipment, Home Gym Kits
“Ever smoke your shin doing a box jump?”
CrossFit athlete’s reply: “Do bears shit in the woods?”
Oh, the notorious, painful box jump shin bruise. While a badge of honor the first time, multiple offenses can be embarrassing, and not something we want to become our go to move.
Finding a solution to the CrossFit athlete’s box bruise experience was one of the problems RPM Training Co. sought to solve with their line of redesigned fitness equipment and customizable home gym kits, all of which were released last month and are available now.
Another was to create a more cohesive, attractive, well-designed home gym, explained RPM Training Co.’s co-founder and CEO Shane Rogers.
“If you go into anybody’s home gyms, there’s no cohesiveness across the individual pieces of equipment…there (is) no oversight from a design perspective,” he explained.
In light of this, from their patented plyometric box—the ExoBox—to their kettlebells and dumbbells, pull-up bar, gymnastics rings, barbells and bumper plates, RPM’s equipment went through a full redesign process in recent months, the ultimate goal being to create a well-designed, fully loaded, attractive, cohesive, space-effective home gym for the functional fitness athlete.
Four Notable Redesigns
ExoBox: To solve the box jump shinner problem, RPM’s ExoBox now features rounded-off corners, making a shin to the box a much less aggressive blow.
“If you have ever caught your shin on the corner of a box, you realize the importance of this rounded corner…if your shin does smack it, it’s not going to be the same kind of trauma you would experience from a traditional box,” Rogers said. “Also, when you rotate your box, or roll your box, in the gym, the sharp corners often splinter…so having this really durable Exoskeleton to protect the edges not only protects the box, but also gives you a nice transition around that corner.”
“This is something we worked on for years,” he added, and are finally launching it in conjunction with their new training platform Atom, which seeks to provide a full at-home training experience.
A final unique feature of the box is the addition of a hatch panel on the front, which can be removed, making it a perfect storage vessel for various accessories—from resistance bands, to a skipping rope to shoes—that you don’t necessarily want laying around your home gym, Rogers explained.
Too far from the wall? You drop the ball. Too close to the wall? You drop the ball...but on your face. Check out this two-second method for finding the right distance you should be doing every time you wallball.
Standing in class watching 20 people simultaneously and spotting every fix needed in their technique. How hard could it be? Watch this video and see if you can diagnose this common flaw in just one lifter. The answer is in the caption, so watch carefully, then read to see if you nailed it.
A Free WHOOP Strap 4.0 And First Month's Membership
Start tracking your body's performance with a free WHOOP Strap 4.0 and first month's membership. WHOOP measures your body's data over 100 times a second to provide personalized feedback on your recovery, strain, and sleep. Giving you the data you need for your top performance.
Sometimes just a tiny change to a classic movement can make a world of difference. Add these different types of push-ups, of varying difficulty, to your workout to mix up your routine and give you a massive chest pump.
Uldis Upenieks, 25th at the 2021 CrossFit Games, deadlifts 440 pounds/200kgs for ten reps.
Congratulations to BAM CrossFit in Council Bluff, IA, which held its grand opening last Friday and already has 70 members.
Melinda Schultz, one of three owners: “My sole purpose with opening BAM CrossFit is to help people realize their own potential, achieve things they never thought possible and foster a safe and healthy environment for all.”
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