Friday Findings: It's That Time of Year

Hey <<First Name>>!

For the Crossfitters out there, today is a big day -- The Open! You've been working hard all year, went Paleo (except for the weekends), and you're ready to absolutely crush your friends and family.

Don't do Crossfit? Don't 'mark read' this email just yet. these are great tips for anyone motivated to continually improve their health and quality of life in the gym -- not just Crossfit athletes.

I'm going out on a limb here (not really) assuming you're not going to be competing in the Games anytime soon, so why put yourself at risk? Be smart this year by taking care of your body this Open season so you can perform you best and get through it all coming out injury free on the other side.

Here are some points to keep in mind:

  • Stay hydrated. You need to because you're about to go ape shit on some burpees, squats, and double-unders over the next five weeks. It's simple enough yet often overlooked and underappreciated. If you're thirsty, you're already dehydrated! Make it a point to carry around your water bottle full of filtered water especially if you're roaming the streets of Flint-town (too soon?).


  • Properly warm-up. Warming-up doesn't mean you stroll in 5 minutes before the start, cramming in a few air squats, a couch stretch, and you're good to go. You are about to test yourself, so you better check yourself and prep yourself before you really wreck yo-self! I would recommend focusing significant time and attention to good movement prep. I don't have a specific "Mo-stability WOD" up for 16.1 (coming very soon), but this is good one for it that I had made previously.


  • Don't break your back. This one is huge because back pain it is by far the number one complaint that comes out of the Open. There are so many Crossfit movements that require the hip hinge, and when you combine the high volume and load of pulling from the ground (e.g. deadlift, power clean, and other Olympic lifts) with fatigue, you tend to fall into crappy patterns such as rounding and pulling with your back. If you've suffered from back pain from lifting before, you are high risk. Don't let it happen again!


  • Be courteous and rack your weights...and not like a jerk! I can't tell you how often I see people moving plates to and from the barbell with piss-poor posture and form. We spend so much time practicing how to lift weight properly from the ground yet when we remove plates and pick those off the ground we do it by bending at the waist, rounding the back. As I have spoken before, forward flexion-based back injuries are by far the most common and easily prevented.


  • Rest & recover. This is another easy one that's underappreciated. Make sure you are getting more than your average sleep duration, eat extremely well, and just chill (to the next episode). Disrespecting rest and recovery during this time can significantly increase levels or your body's resistance to the stress hormone, cortisol, which is associated with inflammation and modern disease.

Crossfitters: good luck to you over the next five weeks! Remember, even though you will give it your all and do your best, don't pretend to be a hero trying to break records -- the scales tips toward it not ending well!

That's what I've got for ya this week. Stick with me and you'll be alright, kid! Until next week.


Treating patients on a daily basis, I frequently address questions regarding nutrition, lifestyle, and "how do I now stay out of pain," questions. In our technology age, there's instant access to vast quantities -- not always quality -- of information, but so little time. Friday's Findings offers access to quality information, in small, weekly doses, so you can make the little changes that make a significant impact, without having to sift through all the mumbo-jumbo. I believe you'll find value. To maintain relevancy to you, please, email me with suggestions for future topics. Thank you and make today count, because it only happens once!

- RJ Burr, D.C.
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