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Rhode Blocks Joins Forces With Smith & Wesson

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It has come to the attention of RhodeBlocks that there is an ever increasing need to be prepared for all possible situations that life may bring–especially during something like The CrossFit Games where anything can happen.

In that light, Rhode Blocks has joined forces with Smith & Wesson to train people for something as simple as needing to shoot a target rather than throw a 30lb med ball at it, or as complex as marksmanship so clients can fight off the Obama FEMA gun grabbers.

We’re happy to introduce gun racks and small hand gun display pegs for your coffee table or glass hutch.

Now that you’ve clicked on our click bate, because you can’t help yourself. Please check out our fine products…

http://rhodeblocks.com/products/

 

splinters2

It’s Not Your Gym: 5 reasons Gym Equipment Should Outlast You…

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At Rhodeblocks, as I am sure elsewhere in other companies, I’ll occasionally get a photograph of either a piece of destroyed equipment that was built by a competitor or even a piece of equipment I built. Often, when I see other company’s destroyed equipment it gives me a moment to push my equipment on them as a better alternative. Honestly, sometimes this isn’t the case. I’ve had a few clients sent me pictures of dents, dings, scrapes, and full on failures with a few of our products; of which over time we’ve improved our products so that future clients don’t experience them.

Often times, being in the equipment industry, you have to make your products fool proof assuming everyone a fool. With that said, 99.9% of the time (hyperbole), it’s operator error. That is why I’m here today to give you a short list of reasons gym equipment should outlast your membership.

  1. It’s Not Yours

A little known fact amongst the Millennial crowd these days is, that the stuff in a gym simply isn’t theirs. I recently saw a video compilation of elite Olympic lifters practicing snatches, cleans, and other movements with brand new looking ELEIKO bars. With the background music set to William Tell’s 1812 Overture, clip after clip showed the likes of Klokov and other elite Chinese lifters dropping empty bars from overhead as well as waist height. I don’t care who you are, you set the bar down. Same goes for jerk blocks, plyoboxes, bumper, and competition plates.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGHM_kgP5-k

  1. The Gym You Go to Isn’t Made of Money

Much like Point No. 1, most gyms don’t have money to burn because of your disrespect. Simple as that. Often times, you’ll find the individuals with in-home gym set ups to be the most respectful when it comes to public gym equipment. They know the value, and know that it’s not cheap to buy new bars, plates, or boxes. Please take time to make sure you handle their equipment correctly.

  1. Disrespect for The Equipment is Disrespect for the Gym Owner

As the first point is coupled with the second, so is the third. If you don’t respect the gym, you don’t respect the owner, and eventually this catches up with you. If you’re a repeat offender of bar, box, or plate misuse, the owners eventually take notice and have to say something. Don’t be that guy. You wouldn’t want someone coming to your house and just tearing up the place, do the owner the due respect of not only handling equipment correctly, but also cleaning up when you’re done. You’re not the only one in this world, and your life isn’t a music video.

  1. Have a Decent Grasp of Physics.

We recommend the use of composite/recycled tire bumper plates with the use of all our products. They are durable and beat up on equipment far less than competition plates. Let’s think about this: composite plates have more elasticity and when impacting a surface, spread the force of the impact out over a larger surface area making the impact less destructive to the equipment. Using a competition plate of cast rubber on a plywood and 2×4 surface probably isn’t the most intelligent thing. Cast rubber doesn’t give as much and concentrates all the force of the impact on a smaller area. Repeated impact using competition plates, well let’s be honest, beats the crap out of any equipment a lot faster.

  1. You Don’t Need Competition Plates; You’re Not That Special

Let’s face it, you’ll save  your gym owner a lot of heart ache if you stop acting like you’re gonna make it to The Games. Metal and cast rubber competition plates are meant for the precision out on The Games field. So let’s set aside the ego and focus on perfecting ourselves in body, mind, and spirit, rather than inflating our ego over the pedantic use of cast rubber plates weighted in kilos. Weightlifters and national level athletes shouldn’t be such prissy you-know-whats about equipment and be able to adapt to whatever gear is available; after all you are in the sport of constant adaptation if you are into competitive metabolic conditioning.

In closing:

It’s important to remember that even some of my clients in the past have broken these rules. They’ve know our concerns and some have corrected their use of our equipment as well as other equipment that we don’t manufacture or service. Mostly all for the better. This article isn’t to call out any particular client or future client, but more it is to stimulate a conversation that will get your average-Joe to stop and think about his bar path, plate usage, and honesty with him or herself.

And before I forget:

  1. Tell on Yourself

Be honest, you break it, tell your gym owner.

Anthony Gustin

8 Ways A Sports Chiropractor Helps You Get Out Of Pain

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Chiropractors have been long known for popping joints and cracking backs, but those are days of the past. More and more chiropractors are known as sports chiropractors, trained in a diversified background of functional movement, rehab and manual therapy skills. Below are 8 ways that a sports chiropractor can help you stay on top of your game.

Anthony Gustin

  1. Not Just The Spine
    A sports chiropractor doesn’t focus just on back injuries. Sports chiropractors are experts in injuries throughout the entire body’s musculoskeletal system and can help with sprained ankles, sore shoulders, painful wrists, hurting elbows, achy knees, and more. No matter where your injury may be, a sports chiropractor can help. Adjustments and manual therapy to joints other than the spine can have the same physiological effect – increased proprioception, decreased pain, improved range of motion and better overall function.
  2. Active Release Technique
    Ever had a shin splint, muscle tear, knee pain, shoulder pain, or back pain? Most everyone who participates in sports can relate to these kinds of injuries. So what can you do? One of the answers is Active Release Technique (ART). ART focuses on reducing scar tissue and adhesions and improving function in muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and nerves. Finding a chiropractor who is certified in ART is a step in the right direction for treating soft tissue injuries.
  3. Functional Movement Assessment
    Sports chiropractors are masters of movement. Many common injuries occur from moving incorrectly in sports or daily activities for hours, weeks, months, or even years on end. Sports chiropractors use functional assessments to get to the bottom of the movement dysfunction. When looking at whole body function, it is often the case that the site of the pain is not the source of the pain. For instance, lack of movement in the hips could be causing increased motion at the low back. This increased motion is what creates the pain, however the hips would be the source of the pain. Finding out movement dysfunctions is the quickest path to figuring out painful areas.
  4. Functional Rehab
    The best assessment can only go so far without the proper rehab. Trained in the latest functional rehabilitation techniques, sports chiropractors can get athletes back in the game more quickly, as well as get non-athletes pain-free in record time. Fixing movement isn’t just about banded stretches, lacrosse ball smashes, and mobility. Your body is a complex system of mobile segments operating on top of stable segments. Not only do we sometimes need to stabilize segments to create better movement, sometimes the mobility and stability need to be integrated and taught how to work together. No foam roller is going to fix that.
  5. Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Therapy
    This tool-based therapy is used by sports chiropractors to improve range of motion and break up crosslinks in collagen, which decreases pain and increases performance. IASTM also facilitates the underlying neurological and “turns the switch on” for different movement patterns as well as muscle activation.
  6. Return to play
    Sports chiropractors are trained not only to get people better soon, but to know the sweet spot or returning to play to avoid injury. This includes proper timing or getting back in the gym, or back to half-marathon training for the weekend warrior. When it comes to programming for CrossFit, a good sports chiropractor will know what to scale, when and how to keep an athlete moving. When compared to more traditional approaches of “rest until it doesn’t hurt anymore, this can mean maintenance of strength as well as positive effects on psychology. No one wants to be out of the box and not training due to a blown disc or tweaked shoulder.
  7. Kinesiology Taping
    You’ve probably seen CrossFit athletes sporting this colorful tape, often emblazoned with the RockTape logo. But what does this kinesiology tape actually do exactly? Using this state-of-the-art tape, sports chiropractors can influence proper mechanics, decrease bruising and swelling, and prevent injuries for athletes. While it can be used correctly to lock in movement patterns or encourage proper form when learning or modifying movement, it can also be detrimental if taped incorrectly. Have a professional apply the tape for maximum benefit.
  8. Functional Nutrition
    You have to use high-octane fuel for a high-performance sports car, just like you have to use optimal nutrition if you want your body to operate at a high level. Sports chiropractors have the knowledge to create custom meal plans for anyone looking to reach goals–athletic or not. Nutrition also differs if you want to gain mass, lose fat or increase performance. A proper meal plan will have the end result in mind and work with dietary restrictions to reduce inflammation and create an optimal environment for the body to thrive.

Anthony Gustin

Dr. Anthony Gustin is a chiropractic physician and movement specialist. He earned his Doctorate in Chiropractic as well as Masters of Science in Exercise and Sports Science from The University of Western States. He currently runs a busy sports medicine based clinic in San Francisco, SF Custom Chiropractic. Dr. Gustin also operates a performance based nutrition website, PureWOD

Mark Cannella

Let’s Go Up 10kg

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When coaches/lifters pick attempts at a local meet, it is imperative that they follow a general pattern to allow for their lifter to perform at their best.

Simply going up 10 kg for example is not what you want from your athlete nor coach when it comes to successfully making attempts and making the most of your competition. I see many athletes only make their first attempt and/or bomb due to selecting weights that only provide for more misses.

From the most prestigious competitions, we see coaches & athletes select weights that position themselves for their best total, which is what we desire from the local level too.

So how do we do this? Coaches and athletes should sit down a few days before the meet and discuss plans on what has worked well in the past, attempts that allow the athlete to be comfortable on the platform and allow for them to compete with others in the competition.

To script something like this directly above, one must write out from the proposed opener and then count backwards on the normal progression to the very beginning of the warm-up.

Moving into the meet, it is important at any level, but at the local level especially to make this opener. We witness so many new coaches/athletes that miss their opener and then move up quite a bit as if that first selection was a make. In our opinion, this creates issues that prove to be the downfall of these lifters as they many times, bomb in the meet. If you miss a lift, you probably should repeat, especially if it is the opener on either discipline.

Select weights that prove good results and are solid lifts to build upon for future meets. What if scenarios are just that if one continues to put the proverbial cart before the horse?

What sounds better to you, 2 for 6 or 6 for 6, yet the totals are the same?

Success breeds success and we at CWL look to make lifts all the time.

Yours in Sport,

Mark Cannella
Head Coach, Columbus Weightlifting

Mark Cannella

Tin Can Burger

Top 10 Burgers to Try When You’re at the SoCal CrossFit Regionals

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And now for something completely different.
In the spirit of Americana and the fusion of Memorial Day along with the SoCal/NorCal super regionals, I have decided to do something a little fun this week.
Initially I was prompted by a horrible review of burger joints in San Diego this past week, so I thought I’d give a quick review of what I consider the best burgers in town.
I am an authority.
My list covers just about every possible demographic, so I’m sure that you’ll be able to find one of these that you’ll like whether you’re single, married, with kids, or looking for a bar style environment….
When you come to San Diego, you’re going to want get the best burger in town after a hot day at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, not to mention more bang for your buck than paying $8 for a bottle of water…
Here goes…

#10 – Hodad’s – 5010 Newport Ave, San Diego, CA 92107 (619) 224-4623
I put it first on the list (or rather at the end), because it’s kind of the default of a lot of people that come into town that want a good, local, timeless burger.
Postitives – Great vibe, great beach scene, family friendly, beers on tap
Negatives – Crowded, usually a line, hippies. Lots of hippies.
#9 – The Sandbar – 718 Ventura Place, Mission Beach, CA 92109 (858) 488-1274 (21+)
This is probably the best boardwalk burger in Mission Beach. The crowd is college age, and you must be 21 to get in. This is not a family friendly location, but the bar food, and the 30+ TV flat screens to watch any and all possible sports are there for you to choose from. If you like the college scene, this is the place for you. If you like bikinis with American flags on them, this is the place for you. If you like quiet, this is not the place for you…. Oh, and there’s a roof top too!
#8 – Soda and Swine – 2943 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116 (619) 269-7632
This little gem tucked away in the hip Abbot-Kinney-esque neighborhood of University Heights is a different approach on the burger. They have meatball sliders and pulled pork sliders that rival any gastropub stylized burger. The atmosphere is family friendly with alcohol options which is connected to Polite Provisions next door via a back hallway. Seating is picnic table style and the roof is retractable for those glorious sunny San Diego days. Be sure to get the pulled pork nachos as an appetizer, they’re unreal.
Do you have screaming brats? This is the place…. But before you make a decision see #2.
#7 – The Monkey Paw – 805 16th St, San Diego, CA 92101 (619) 358-9901 (21+)
For the hipster. This place is a delight. The burgers are delectable and the gastropub food is on fleek. Try the waffle cut fries, but remember to get cheese and pulled pork dripped and oozed all over them. This is a bar, so kids aren’t welcome, but your pocket book is. They have easily over 50 beers on tap by bottle and by local or international brewers. If you like a frothy cold one, this is the place for you. If you’re under 4’ tall, it’s not. Moments away from downtown, parking is surprisingly easy to find on the street, and Petco Park is only a 10 min walk if you’re 6’ tall.
#6 – Hamilton’s 805 – 1521 30th St, San Diego, CA 92102 (619) 238-5460 (21+)
Owned by the same people as The Monkey Paw, Hamilton’s again nails it on the head with over 50 locally brewed beers on tap as well as some international labels. The décor is great and the burgers are unbelievable. If you like a little heat, be sure to get the Witchfyre Burger. It’s my favorite. You can also find a 20’ shuffle board, and play a round of pool. Sorry kiddies, this one isn’t for you……. Choose your own adventure and skip to #2.
#5 – Carnitas Snack Shack – 2632 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104 (619) 294-7675
Family friendly, this outdoor gastropub is the perfect environment for a large family or all your Crossfit friends to spread out and sit in the sun or the shade. The food is awesome, and the pork burgers are the best. Make sure everyone gets at least one of everything on the list so everyone can taste test. The Pork Belly App is to die for, and the Triple Threat Pork burger is unreal. And the corn-slaw is freaking unbelievable.
Family friendly, but the wait can be a bit. There’s usually a line about 20-30ft on average at the walk up window. But well worth the wait.
#4 – Jeffery’s Burgers – 2152 Avenida De La Playa, San Diego, CA 92037 (858) 454-8038
If your kids are dying to get into the water regardless of temperature just because, hey, it’s San Diego…. Jeff’s is the perfect place for you. The burgers are simple and strictly American in style. Reminiscent of Coney Island, the mustard is French’s, and the fries are crinkle cut. You can’t go wrong. This place is always busy, but the line moves fast, and orders are up quick. Massive plus: when you’re kids are done being wet and covered with sand, Jeff’s doesn’t mind. There’s people with no shoes, no shirts, and getting plenty of service. Sand is welcome too. A huge plus for families. Minor drawback: not much seating. Get the food to go, and walk to La Jolla Shores about three blocks away… It’s a win-win.
#3 – Tioli’s Crazee Burger – 4201 30th St, San Diego, CA 92110 (619) 282-6044 (North Park Location)
Or you can go to their Old Town Location at: 2410 Congress St San Diego, CA 92110
A family friendly pub, this restaurant has it all…. Bison, Kangaroo, Elk, Antelope, Crocodile, the list goes on…. With easily over 25 brews on tap or wines by the bottle, this place is great for the parents as well as the kids. Seating is limited at the North Park location, so if you have kids, you might wanna try Old Town… Run by a bunch of cranky Krauts, this place is great for a good juicy burger and fries.
#2 – Station Tavern and Grill – 2204 Fern St, San Diego, CA 92104 (619) 255-0657
Are you a yuppie? How about a hipster with too many children? Do you have a sling that holds your child up front? Do you breastfeed in public as a statement of your liberation? Station is the place for you. Tons of outdoor seating, your entitled stroller space should find a happy home here along with tons of micro brews available and a kid’s place to play on a large wooden cut out of a vintage trolley. So while mom and dad are getting hammered and trying to remember the days before kids, their little progeny are off playing in the pea gravel. The menu is small, but there’s no need for a big one. The food is on point, the tater tot portions are HUGE, as well as the fries. Get the chipotle mayo as a dipping sauce, you won’t be disappointed. Try their paprika spread as well. This is my go to on a Friday night. For a smaller crowd, go after 8pm.
#1 – Balboa Tavern and Grill (Formerly The Tin Can) 1863 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101 (21+)
It was really hard picking the #1 spot or even trying to put these restaurants in order. If you have friends in town and need a good burger, and you’re more into the Rockabilly scene. This burger is for you. The burgers come on rectangular buns and have kind of a ‘Hobo’ or ‘Poor Boy’ feel. The meat is juicy and the toppings are fresh. This is the kinda place you’ll find live music on a weekend night, and the crowd is more 30 something-esque with a few old salty folk mixed in. The drinks are stiff, and the burgers are good. If you want a true experience and only 15 minute walking distance to the Gaslamp Quarter, go here, and hit the other ones on your way out of town.
———-
Well, there you have it, my top 10 burgers in San Diego. This isn’t your highbrow cultured kinda list. This is the tried and true list. These burgers have stood the test of time, and restaurant closures. Most of these listed have been open for 10 years or more, so they’re neighborhood staples. If you go to George’s at the Cove for a burger I will hunt you down, I will find you, and I will kill you.
And on a lighter note, I hope to see you at regionals!

Understanding the CrossFit Athlete Lifecycle

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When I surveyed affiliate owners about what the biggest struggle in their business right now, the resounding answer was: Retaining current athletes and attracting new ones. Understanding the CrossFit Athlete Lifecycle in your gym is a key measurement in the performance of your affiliate. In this series, we’re going to breakdown each piece of the cycle and give you tools on ways to implement and add more value. Having a clear picture of the CrossFit Athlete Lifecycle for your affiliate will not only make running your gym easier, it’ll make sure that you’re focusing on the important pieces that grow the business, drive the athlete experience and keep your athletes around for the long term. Whether you are about to open your gym or you are the first CrossFit Affiliate out there, you’ll benefit from understanding this concept.

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Renaissance Periodization

PART II: THE RENAISSANCE DIET – THE PERFECT TIMING AND WHAT YOU’RE DOING WRONG…

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PART II: THE RENAISSANCE DIET – THE PERFECT TIMING AND WHAT YOU’RE DOING WRONG…

An interview with Mike Israetel and Nick Shaw, owners of the book The Renaissance Diet and facility, Rennaissance Periodization in New York City.

We sat down with Nick Shaw last month and went over some nutritional guidelines when it came to macro consumption. This month we’re sitting down with both Mike and Nick to discuss nutrient timing:

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Nick Shaw

Part 1: Dialing in Your Diet: Bringing the Nerd and the Meathead together.

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An Interview with Nick Shaw of Renaissance Periodization and RhodeBlocks

Editor’s Note: Our blogger this week is Nick Shaw, owner oand founder of Renaissance Periodization in New York, New York, and currently has an eBook out called “The Renaissance Diet.” Thanks for reading the blog, and consider downloading the eBook to dial in and better understanding your dietary needs. Rhode Blocks interviewed Nick over a course of two weeks, and the amount of knowledge that Nick put into the answers after reading a portion of his book, left us with so many more questions, and so many great answers. We know you’ll be hooked once you start reading this blog. Be sure to visit the online store and purchase his book.

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ChandlerWalkerTitlePhoto

Chandler Walker 5 Ways to Create a Magical Snatch

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In the CrossFit community there are a ton of people who move beautifully and can perform the Weightlifting movements like they have tiny little angels strapped to their shoulders, but there are also people whose Weightlifting movements look like a zombified, foot dragging, head cocked to the side horror story. This post is for the latter of the two and includes some common mistakes I’ve seen in the Snatch.

  1. Pulling with the weight on the heels. Why is this bad and how do we fix it?

    • In order to perform an effective Snatch we have to create what we call an S curve or backwards S curve. This allows the bar to begin to travel back into the hips and prevents it from going around the knees.

    • A proper start in the Snatch begins with the weight on the midfoot or ball of the foot. After the bar is lifted off the ground the weight shifts to the rear of the foot.

  1. Not using your lats AKA golden wings of power.

    • Once you pick the bar off of the ground and you shift your weight to the rear of the foot it is important to begin to pull the bar backwards (not up) using your lats. We want to pull the bar backward to continue to take advantage of the backward momentum we have created by shifting our weight back.

  1. Not moving your knees back, because smashing a barbell into your knees is kinda painful and not very fun.

    • Once you’ve figured out how magical the first two recommendations are you’ll start to bang the bar into your knees. Why? Because the bar is moving backwards and if your knees don’t move back they provide a nice cushion for the bar to crash into.

    • To fix this drive your knees back as you pull the bar off the floor, but be sure to keep your chest up as well. If you don’t drive your chest up you’ll start doing a stripper Snatch and that creates a host of new problems plus no one want’s to see your favorite dance moves while Snatching.

  1. Extending early AKA jumping forward AKA doing a Snatch broad jump AKA the bar crashing down on your neck.

    • This problem should be alleviated by the above techniques, but the easiest way to stop doing this if it isn’t is to keep your knees back for as long as possible in the pull. Wait until you feel the bar touching your pelvis then extend your hips forcefully then pull up. If you don’t pull up you will bang the bar out in front of you and have to chase it. So don’t hump the bar bro, wait for it to come to you and then extend your hips.

  1. Lazy catch position or how I learned to press the bar out in every Snatch and became incredibly strong, but technically inefficient.

    • You should be thinking about a couple of things when you pull yourself under the bar in a Snatch. As soon as you are under the bar you need to push the bar up and pull it apart like your life depended on it and at the same time you should be driving your head through hard this activates the upper back and allows for a much more stable overhead position. (if you can actually pull it apart please put it on YouTube as I would enjoy watching it.)

snatch chandler walker

Thats it for this post I hope these fixes to some common Snatch errors help you get out of the zombie Snatch horror story and into the godlike golden Snatch zone.


Chandler Walker is a Coach at StoneAgeFuel for both CrossFit and Weightlifting. He is a USA Weightlifting Club Coach and CrossFit level 2 instructor (he holds many certifications and his full bio can be found HERE). Chandler is a National level Weightlifter and coaches both a competitive youth and adult Weightlifting team at StoneAgeFuel Barbell Club in addition to remotely coaching many others around the world. You can contact Chandler at Chandler@stoneagefuel.com and follow him on instagram at chandler_saf.

Seven Reasons MMA Fighters Choose CrossFit Style Training

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Let’s face it, CrossFit gets a bad rap from the more “hardcore” factions of
athletes.  They’ve been in the gym for years, and many for decades.  They
 pioneered the place.  They built it, literally and figuratively.  They were 
hitting the iron back when the iron consisted of sand/concrete filled Weider 
weight sets.  They were on the mats in high schools twenty years ago, long 
before the new corporate, commercial gyms with sanitized everything and
 name-brand “MMA-style” classes for housewives and newbies. They were in the
 gym killing it, long before it was trendy.  The experienced MMA athletes 
don’t need any fly-by-night fads like CrossFit telling them how to train and
 get the most out of their bodies.  They’re old school, and they get results
 the old-fashioned way- Hard, consistent work!







Well, times they are a changing.  And in the next five minutes of reading, 
you are going to be challenged to abandon this old-school approach.  It 
won’t be easy.  But you want to get better, so you’re willing to give it a
 chance.  The last thing you want to do is put on a “WOD 4 Life” t-shirt and
 take selfies with a bunch of newbies who were doing scrapbooking the 
Saturday before, and just felt like CrossFit would look cool on their 
Facebook walls.  But you DO want to improve, and provided you find the right
 kind of serious, devoted CrossFit environment in which to train, you might
 just be open to it.  Why?  Because you want to push your body to perform at 
the highest level possible.  You check your ego at the door and you learn to
 improve, even when it’s not easy.  All kidding aside, CrossFit can help you
 to do that.

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