Fill Your Canister

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We've heard about breathing and bracing, chest breathing vs. belly or abdomen breathing.  This scene from Jurassic Park popped in my mind. There are so many new and exciting little details that the coaching staff has been sharing with you towards improving your movement that I felt like shedding a little light on this subject could be useful.
Being able to brace your core and maintain tension through movement is critical to everything we do, think about something as simple as getting in and out of a car or loading up a barbell for some front squats.  Maintaining core stability, breathing comfortably while holding tension, and moving from point A to point B is what we all ultimately want.
Taking that deep breath and pushing out your "canister" (credit Angelo Sisco​ and Ryan DeBell​ for the terminology) to keep your core secure through movements inside of the gym, will directly improve moving from that A to B outside of the gym.  We can all agree that we want to move the safest and most efficient way possible anywhere and everywhere.
The little details that we focus on in the gym will make things easier and easier outside of the gym.  Continue to work hard but also work smart.  Those little details will become automatic and more like a reaction to the movements. Let's hope we can avoid raptors in the process.
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Coach Zach Riberdy

Check in for Charity – May 2016

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Member - Marie Pishos Great Strides is the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s largest national fundraising event. Each year, more than 125,000 people participate in hundreds of walks across the country to support the Foundation’s mission to cure cystic fibrosis. The funds raised from Great Strides helps provide people with CF the opportunity to lead full, productive lives by funding research and drug development, promoting individualized treatment and ensuring access to high-quality, specialized care. I joined the Specialty Team @ Walgreens at the end of July where I have gained knowledge on Cystic Fibrosis as this is one of many disease states that my team supports. We focus on Specialty patients that require high-quality care and clinical monitoring for their medication regimens in order to help them lead full, productive lives. Last week, I listened to an 8th grader who lives with CF and whose life was completely changed by a drug that was recently released. His story was inspirational and eye opening of the challenges he faced as a child that wasn’t able to have a regular childhood (wasn’t able to go to Chuckie Cheese to avoid getting sick). He shared how since starting the medication, the number of meds he takes has decreased, he only has to wear a breathing machine in the morning and at night for 15 min as opposed to multiple times throughout the day, and he said he just overall doesn’t feel sick. He inspired me because even though he doesn’t feel sick he will continue to take Great Strides to find a cure as he has 2 cousins and a friend that have CF where the drug he takes will not help them due to the gene that is affected. There is 1 drug in the pipeline to be released in the next 5 years that will help his cousins, but the drug will not help his friend. Right now, his friend has no hope for relief to start feeling better since there isn’t a drug currently available for the gene that is affected. The date of the walk: Saturday, May 21st, 2016 Event Home: Schaumburg 2016 Date: 5/21/2016 Check-in: 10:30 AM Event: 12:00 PM Distance: 3 Miles Chapter: Greater Illinois - Chicago Event Location: Grove 28-30, intersection of Golf Rd and Frontage Rd of 290 Print Event Details: http://maps.google.com/?q=Grove 28-30, intersection of Golf Rd and Frontage Rd of 290,,IL

There is nothing like the O’Hare CrossFit & CrossFit Harwood Heights Communities

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As some of you may know, Sunday’s programming is made up of crawling, hangs or holds, and interval cyclical work. I find this to be a nice break from the week of barbells, kettle bells, and dumbbells. This also builds a bigger aerobic base which allows for better breathing during CrossFit workouts as well as aids in recovery. Sunday morning I arrived early to OCF as I usually do and was going to do a rowing workout. For some reason, I didn’t have the mojo or desire to train on my own. I set up the rower, turned on some music, strapped in and felt no willingness to push myself. Although I struggle to admit this, I just didn’t even try to do it. I went in my office, and did some work. As the people began to pour in the for 10am class, I became inspired to participate in the class. The spirit of people that come to OCF and CFHH are second to none. I know I am bias, but I emphatically believe that our gyms are the best. Our community is a family comprised of energetic, kind, loyal, and unique individuals. I decided to hop into class, did squat holds, crawling work, and get up work and a new found energy came over me, and I wanted to hit some hard intervals. I of course am not a big fan of coaches working out with classes; however, in a instance like this where I could provide an extra push, I needed one myself (the chance of someone injuring themselves peddling an Airdyne was relatively low) I felt it was ok. I asked the class if I could play and they obliged. In between each interval we compared scores, found ourselves pushing each other, smiling and laughing and getting better.  I could not have been more proud to be part of our community. The next time you aren’t feeling the mojo, just walk into OCF. Share the air with such amazing, inspiring people, and I bet you leave feeling like a million bucks. OCF & CFHH Communities - You are my oxygen. Thank you for making my life so wonderful. #CreateExcellence Angelo Sisco

Sir Mix a lot had it right 

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Twenty years ago, Sir Mix a Lot suggested that about having big butts are good thing. I completely agree with him, and not just for ladies. Having your booty working, activated and a part of your fitness and every day movement is essential for long term development and injury prevention. Most athletes do not understand what it feels like to activate and use their posterior chains. Many frustrated coaches get blue in the face repeating that bullshit push your butt back cue, but does your athlete know what activating and using the glutes means? The athlete needs to learn to feel what its like to load and use the glutes.  By “Feeling it” I mean Pushing hip back into butt and hip socket with the whole foot pushing down and not being off balance. Here are some ways to get them understanding what they need to be using for success. Mobility - This word makes me cringe personally. Its like core. We use it and get lost in a bunch of youtube crap. Keep it simple - Pigeon Stretch x 60-90s per leg Active Straight Leg Raise x 20/leg Activation - Monster Walks x 10 step square. I prefer to tech this with the band around knees to get the connection of external rotation and pushing knees out as well, as keeping the toes fairly straight. Single Leg RDLs x 10/leg Movements  - Bottoms up Step ups (Similar to pistols)  - use this as a way to teach to reach back into hip. Set the box height accordingly to mobility and ability level Wall Facing Squats (Air or Goblet) - Watch to make sure how movement is initiated Use hips Lateral Step ups Skater Squats Other tools to consider Get Creative -
  1. You may need a hand some where to give a sign or signal of where they should or shouldn’t be going.
  2. Use a band around the knees or post to help teach activation properly. Knees out and the glutes firing together are essential
  3. Holds in positions where engagement is at its pinnacle - Parallel of squat or pistol.
Whether you are a male or a female you better have "much back” or you’ll be playing with fire. #CreateExcellence Angelo Sisco

Don’t ever Count Yourself Out

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I can not think of anything more self defeating then when I hear someone say they can’t do something prior to ever attempting the action. When I hear someone self-defeat, a piece of my heart breaks for them. As a coach one of our duties is to create an environment and mindset for our athletes wherein they can attempt new things and fail without a worry.   A lot of this self-doubt stems from who we associate with and how we see the world. Our fears are perpetrated by the need to please others and accomplish. We are attached to the result of everything.  We are innately competitive, but we need to start seeing victory in our attempts and failures. Some refer to this methodology as the growth mindset versus the fixed mindset. Many of us as adults have lived most of our lives with the fixed mindset, which makes it incredibly difficult to switch a habit. But I beg of you all to start trying to look at life this way. The joy of it all is in the process, the attempts. The end result is not as important we think.   Think of all the amazing things that we have in our lives today because someone decided to try something, most likely not succeed and kept trying to make it better. Do you really think it took the Wright brothers one shot to make a plane or Henry Ford to make a Model T? Amazing things come from attempting without holding any water to the result.   Next time you hear that little voice tell you you can’t, tell it to fuck off and get out there and try. A life time of mistakes is much better than a lifetime of regrets. #CreateExcellence Angelo Sisco

OCF Monthly Newsletter – April 2016

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New O'Hare CrossFit Apparel!

Spring is Here! And So is New O’Hare CrossFit Swag! Get yours Today!

Hoodies - $40

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T-Shirts - $25

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Tank Tops - $25

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Congratulations Becca!!

Congratulations to Head Coach & OCF Athlete Becca Chilczenkowski on qualifying to 2016 North Central Regionals. She placed 7th in the 2016 North Central Region Open.
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Tonight Show meets OCF!

Tonight Show meets OCF! - Starting this month we will doing a show called at the White Board that involves 3 members, telling their stories, and having some laughs! Filmed live on April 14. Just in case you missed it live here it is!

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Foundations Referral Program

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Have you heard the news....?  We have made our referral program permanent to all friends and family of our OCF members.  We are extremely humbled by the success that this program has had because we know you have given us the best compliment there is! If you have a friend or family member that has always been interested in trying CrossFit, but for some reason has yet to pull the trigger, give them the Gift of Fitness!   Give friends and/or family a $150 voucher towards getting started at O'Hare CrossFit. If they are brand new, this will go towards their Foundations. If they are experienced, it can go towards membership. Either way, they now have no excuse not to come and experience what we are all about!
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Doing the UN-Sexy to do the Sexy Well

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Most people who are entering in the CrossFit world do not come from a background with a well developed foundation of strength & conditioning, weightlifting, or gymnastics. I happen to be one of these people.  We spend most of lives behind a desk or in positions that are not optimal for progress in the CrossFit arena.   We look at a lot of over things that are happening in the world, via our social media streams, and see what other top level Crossfitters are doing, Olympic caliber weightlifters are doing, and gymnasts are performing. We grow to admire what they are capable of, and some of us begin to believe that this is exactly the practices that got them to perform at such a high level. We do not see the hours and years they spent doing the “UN-Sexy” movements to build a proper foundation for these proficiencies. We don’t see the teenager who is going into Olympic lifting doing RDLs, or the gymnast spending 45 -60 minutes a day stretching. It takes the experienced athlete years to be able to do the “Sexy” part of their sport.   There is no way around it; you must work, work, and work on the minutia of the sport to be successful in the grander elements.  Many people try to shortcut the “UN-Sexy” because it is not fun, taxing on the body, and does not look appealing. No one is posting their skater squats, RDLs, Getups, Bar hang holds, Bent over rows and Static midline work on IG. You see the muscle ups, snatches, cleans, and higher level movements.   If you are a mere mortal like me who spends most of his life not being athletic, moving poorly, lack activation, and has developed imbalances and asymmetries, you need to work on it. One thing is for certain, if you can grip 300 pounds, I’m willing to bet you can’t snatch it. Take some time and work on these little things like grip strength and shoulder health that will lead to amazing “SEXY” movements.  The little things will pay dividends in the long run. Enjoy the process, and be patient. Good things take time, so play the long game. Leave the short game for people that do not know better and don’t appreciate the journey.   #CreateExcellence Angelo Sisco

Put your best Foot Forward

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It’s that time of year again; spring is here and summer is knocking on the door.  The clocks have been set back; we have more daylight; the weather is slowly beginning to turn, and most of us are noticing that the urge to run is growing.  The beast has been kept in the cave over the winter months like a bear in hibernation waiting for the right moment to awaken and attack the trails. If you are from the Midwest, with little to no options of running out doors in the winter, some running cues and corrections may have been forgotten over the winter months.  This can cause cramps, aches, and pains that are unnecessary and unwanted.  Hitting the trails or the track safely is what is most important this early in the season. Top Five things to think about before taking off…. Posture is everything - Maintaining upright, comfortable, chest proud, posture while moving stride by stride will allow you to comfortably create a breathing cadence that won’t be affected by slouching shoulders.  Poor posture will result in the decrease of the diaphragm size and making it harder to breathe. Land light - When your foot is beginning to make contact and striking the ground, land lightly almost as if you were to tap the surface.  The harder you land the more pressure is caused on the surrounding joints, which work as a team.  A hard pounding movement will create shockwaves from the ankles to the knees to hips. Pull your foot off of the ground from stride to stride - This is one of the biggest misconceptions that people have when working through strides.  You should focus on pulling your leg off of the ground versus pushing from stride to stride.  After landing lightly through your mid-foot, actively pull your foot off of the ground to a high knee position. Pay attention to your distance - Not everyone is going to come out doing 250 meter repeats at 90% of there 1 mile pace.  Running in the spring is usually something people do to knock the rust off, so treat the distances that you are running accordingly.  Don’t go for broke on a 5k when you haven’t ran since your coach programmed 100m sprints in the fall.   Switch things up - Most people will hit the streets accumulating block after block totaling a mile or two before heading back home.  The spring is the perfect time to find a trail that is close to home, a new bike path that starts some where near by, or a local high school or collegiate track.  New areas can create a fun environment that is challenging and can remind you why you love running. Whether you would like to admit it or not, people have an innate urge to open the front door and take off.  Who doesn’t remember being a little kid, Mom giving the ok to play outside on a warm spring day?  The screen door opens and your feet are moving faster than you expected, creating a smoke cloud of debris and dust as if you were a cartoon Roadrunner or Fred Flintstone.  Remember that you are doing this for that same reason; have some fun and put your best foot forward. Coach Zach

Deloading: Improving the Longevity of the Athlete

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O’Hare CrossFit and CrossFit Harwood Heights programs both have deloading weeks in them. This time period is essential in a successful training regiment. In my experiences working with athletes of all skill levels, this week has proven to be a reprieve necessary for sustainability, recovery, and prolonged focus. A deload is a short, planned time period of recovery that steps back from the intensity and volume one may have grown accustomed to in the course of the programming. Just as our strength cycles involve us pushing limits of capacity to make gains, this deload period provides a time of systemic recovery. We stress the central nervous system (CNS) for a period of time to allow for adaptation (growth). Without allowing a deload component in your training you risk running yourself down, adrenal fatigue, injury, regression, and no gains How do you Deload? There are many schools of thought on this. I am a believer that every athlete responds a bit different so using all the approaches over a period of time and seeing which results the best is the answer. Yes there is no magic program, trial and error and making adjustments are essential.  Here are a few ways to Deload -
  1. Pull back on Intensity (Percentages)
  2. Pull back on volume (Amount of reps you are doing)
  3. Completely change up all the movements you are doing. This is less common but I have seen this help with the mental side of things as well as physical. Sometimes people just need a change of movement to get back in the groove.
Who has to Deload? Anyone that doesn’t want to burn out, train for a long period of time, or get injured.  What is the athlete’s responsibility during this week? You need to respect and understand it and not over do it, to enjoy feeling like you have more in the tank. Sweating a lot, being sore, or going to failure does not always mean that the session was beneficial. Play the long game when approaching your training. Realize that our programs have a purpose. Trust it, and you will see everything come to together exactly as it is supposed to. #CreateExcellence Angelo Sisco

This Week at OCF 4/11 – 4/17

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Thank you for friends and family week!

On behalf of all of us at OCF we wanted to say thank you to everyone that participated in friends and family week. It means so much to us that you would share OCF with those close to you. It is the highest compliment you could give us. We appreciate you all very much!


Don't miss the first episode of Behind the Whiteboard!

Tonight Show meets OCF! - Starting this month we will doing a show called at the White Board that involves 3 members, telling their stories, and having some laughs!

Tune in Live April 14th at 9pm.

O’Hare CrossFit Facebook live


O’Hare CrossFit Athletes YouTube

O’Hare CrossFit has been putting updating our Youtube Channel !

What you will find on here -

  1. Nutrition Videos

  2. Workout Tips

  3. Videos of Classes

  4. Other Fun Ideas we are working on :)


Hoodie Order Goes out 4.22.16

This is your last chance to pre order our latest hoodie design! This will be available to only those who pre order!

Price for Hoodies - $40 Email_Rocio

Upcoming Coach's Blog

Coach Zach’s Blog- Put your Best Foot Forward Coming Friday!

Here is a taste of what’s to come -

If you’re from the Midwest, with little to no options of running out doors in the winter, some running cues and corrections may have been forgotten over the winter months. This can cause cramps, aches, and pains that are unnecessary and unwanted.