Box Review: Update – CrossFit Kilo

My original review of CrossFit Kilo is still pretty accurate. I got to visit Kilo again this past week and see their new place as I was in Iowa for family. The workout on Friday was awesome – heavy squats with strict pullups for strength followed by a metcon combining overhead squats and deadlifts. On Saturday we did a team Fight Gone Bad, sort of, that ended up being a great lung burner.

The gym is full of athletes. In their new place they have a wall of their teams that have competed in Regionals (TWO teams qualified for Regionals last year) and they have had two men qualify for Regionals (one in 2014 and the owner made it to the Games in 2011). They have a wall of records for girl and hero WODs and the times are very impressive. I think they had 3 or 4 athletes with sub 3 minute Fran times and all 5 slots for the best Murph time were under 40 minutes with the guy who made Regionals last year with an impressive 32 minute Murph time.

Anyway, the new space is pretty sweet. They have CrossFit classes beginning every half hour. On the right they do their warmup and strength portion which lasts about 30 minutes and then the class moves to the left side of the gym to do the metcon and any extra work. Meanwhile, the next class moves in behind the first class to the right to begin their warmup and strength work. There is still plenty of space for athletes who get to class early or stay late to mobilize and not get in the way. There is room for the coaches to work with kids from the University of Northern Iowa, to which it is clear that Kilo has a strong relationship.

Their new place is great and I highly recommend giving them a try if you are in the area.

The entry/waiting area. Filled with trophies, pictures and awards. Also lots of merchandise for sale.

The entry/waiting area. Filled with trophies, pictures and awards. Also lots of merchandise for sale.

A look towards the right side of the gym (strength/warmup side) from a space near the restrooms/showers where you can roll out or mobilize before/after class.

A look towards the right side of the gym (strength/warmup side) from a space near the restrooms/showers where you can roll out or mobilize before/after class.

A look to the left. You can also see the space in the back. There is a lot of room for extra work (running/sleds/prowlers).

A look to the left. You can also see the space in the back. There is a lot of room for extra work (running/sleds/prowlers).

How would you test fitness?

I like checking the local news station website on Friday because they have “9 things to do in Denver” every Friday for the weekend. Kind of interesting to see what they come up with, and, hey, maybe I actually do one of those 9 things sometime?

This week they listed this.

If you have never been to Red Rocks, you need to go. It’s just plain beautiful. If you have never worked out there, you need to. It makes working out a lot more fun…even if that workout is just running steps. The view is amazing and you will DEFINITELY get a good workout. It has been a while since I have been there to workout (last summer?) so I thought I would check it out.

Of course, tomorrow at 7am it will probably be about 32 degrees and possibly really wet, so I won’t go. I’ll stick inside the gym tomorrow to avoid the weather.

I did find the website interesting, though. They basically charge what a CrossFit gym might charge, but do not have to pay any sort of overhead, other than their time and effort. No roof to pay for, utilities, or, and I am guessing, not much equipment. Just use the clients body weight and the surroundings to get a workout.

What really caught my eye was how they test your “fitness” before and after the eight week session. As a CrossFit fan you know I like constantly varied and unknown. The CrossFit Games is obviously not reasonable to test a bunch of people looking to workout. So how do they test “fitness”? This is what they test:

Fitness assessment activities will include running, body fat measurement, weight, BMI, plank hold, push up and stair test.

How would you test fitness if you have just about an half an hour to do so? I wouldn’t use three different measurements to see how fat or skinny you are, for one. Testing body fat, body weight and BMI is basically testing the same thing three different ways, right? And BMI is a joke. Just had to get that out of the way. But, if I was testing, I wouldn’t even bring a scale. However, 99.9% of Americans only care about weight so if you are catering to your clients I guess a scale is probably a requirement.

They test your body composition, cardiovascular endurance, some core and push capacity. Running and stairs are both testing the same thing, too. That’s akin to thinking that biking, running and swimming test something different. It’s all cardio testing.

They test body composition, pushing capacity (to some extent), core (to some extent) and cardio. Not really a solid test if you ask me.

How would you test Jill or Joe Schmoe? What if you had a line of them to test inside a few hours? While I would love to put them under a heavy bar, that probably isn’t realistic – or safe. I would want to test pushing, pulling, cardio and leg strength. I would think a great test would be something like Angie – 100 pullups, 100 pushups, 100 situps and 100 squats would be a great test of general fitness. It tests pulling, pushing, core, legs and cardio. Yep, you don’t have to just run to test cardio. Anyone who has done Angie will tell you that they sweated a whole bunch and were definitely out of breath.

But Angie isn’t really feasible. Not many people off of the street can do that. Something smaller. How about 25 pushups, 25 squats and 25 situps? Might not have access to a pullup bar.

It looks like the first and last workouts are at Red Rocks, so let me use the space to make a nice test of fitness.

This is what I would do:

I would weigh the clients. Very, very few people would embark on something like this who didn’t want to lose weight.

Then, they would warm up and …

Starting at the bottom of Red Rocks they would run up the steps to the top, circle to the other side and run back down. Once you get to the bottom you need to do 50 situps, 50 pushups and 50 squats. Once that is complete you need to use the planters/walls along the outside of the amphitheater and “muscle up” your way up all of the walls (testing pulling a little bit). Once that is complete you run back down the outside steps.

How long does it take you to complete all of that? It tests a lot. Certainly tests aerobic capacity, leg strength, push and pulling, to some extent and a little core. I would think the most unfit I would scale back to maybe only running half way up, half the reps for situps/pushups/squats and instead of using the planters they could do some sort of jump/dip movement on the wall and see if they could press out 15 or 20 times.

I think that would be a great test of fitness. I think the best could complete the entire workout in 10 minutes or so? The least fit would take closer to 30 minutes. They have a solid measurable to see if they get more fit over the course of the session.

How would you test?

Val Voboril gets preferrential treatment?

It is stated several times – if you don’t post a score prior to 6pm Pacific Time on Monday then you do not get a score. No questions, no excuses, nothing – no score.

As I understand it, an athlete can enter a score prior to 6pm PT and the affiliate owner (or whoever needs to approve the score) can approve it within a certain window after 6pm PT. I am not certain how long that window lasts.

I know at our box in the first week we had an athlete submit their score prior to 6pm PT and when I checked the leaderboard later that night they had a “–” for their score. The next morning? Same thing. The owner of our box just hadn’t approved it yet and when she did the athletes score was there and counted.

So, with that being said, I don’t know how long someone can have a score of “–” due to the person who needs to approve hasn’t approved before that “–” sticks and they don’t get a score. Maybe it is several days?

On Tuesday I took a screenshot of Val Voboril’s score:

voborilI checked it again yesterday. I am not sure when I checked it, but it was sometime on Wednesday prior to around 3pm. A solid 36 hours after, and nearly 48 hours after the deadline passed for when scores had to be submitted and she still didn’t have a score. I was anxiously awaiting the update show on the Games website to see if they would inform us why Voboril didn’t post a score. She must be hurt, right?

That didn’t line up because before the Monday deadline she did post on her Instagram asking people to guess her score for a chance to win something.

So she did complete the workout, so why wasn’t there a score?

Then, late last night she posted this on her Instagram.

This morning I check the leaderboard and there she is sitting in 14th place in the SoCal Region:

valAnyone know the rules for this? Every so often I read disgruntled posts on Twitter, Instagram or other places on the internet that CrossFit HQ gives preferential treatment to those close to HQ. I am not saying that Voboril was given a reprieve from the deadline everyone else has to adhere to, but it feels fishy. Maybe the approval process has 48 hours after the deadline? Or was Voboril given an exception when it is explicitly stated that there will be no exceptions?

15.4 puts judging to the test

First, where is Val Voboril’s 15.4 score?! As I am writing this sentence it shows her with a no entry for 15.4.

voborilI hope there is a technicality of some sort because I love to root for her at the Games. I think she was second in the SoCal Region prior to this event trailing only Lauren Fisher.

OK, now that that is out of the way, on to the judging of 15.4. We all know that the quality of judging differs from one box to the next. From one judge to the next. From one coach to the next. Whether we are judging depth on overhead squats or whether or not the t-shirt touched the bar in a chest-to-bar pullup or if the chest itself actually touched, judging varies. With that being said, I think 15.4 put those varying standards to a real test.

I myself, even at my own box, felt I may have been judged a bit harder than others. First, I will say that I have a bum left shoulder. When I performed 15.4 on Friday I tried to shoulder press a 50 pound dumbbell with my right arm – no problem – light weight, but then I tried with my left and it was a real struggle. I did mobility, took my time and it sort of loosened up. I was able to do a handstand against the wall and was able to do a kipping pushup. I couldn’t do a strict handstand pushup, but I could kip. Shoulder wasn’t right, that’s for sure. I went on anyway.

My initial measurement for the line in which my heels needed to cross for the HSPU to count was deemed too low and I was re-measured. Even after the new measurement when I was testing my shoulder I was told my heels were well over the line. I didn’t get a picture or verify myself, took the word of the guys looking. Then, during the workout there were times in which I got into a full handstand, with my hands closer together than my usual HSPU and even my UPPER back touching the wall – no rep. I would get fully extended and then extend my scapula even more, hold it for a few seconds, push….PUSH even more and then come off the wall only to find it was a no-rep. I seriously wondered how getting over the line was even possible. Continue reading

“Professional” exercisers, huh?

What’s with all the “professional exercisers” tearing in 15.2? What other sport, as a professional, would someone intentionally leave off a piece of equipment that could help them from getting injured? In baseball if you swing a bat over and over you could get some nasty blisters – so baseball players wear gloves. Same thing in golf. In basketball the hi top was invented to help prevent twisted ankles. Shoulder pads in football. Shin guards in soccer. Why not protect your hands in a workout with a high volume of pullups?

A sign of pride or toughness? Nah. It’s dumb. It’s preventable. I taped up and I only got 129 reps (58 pullups). But, you know what? I could wash my hands after the workout and not scream in agonizing pain.

I wear knee sleeves to help protect my knees. I have lifting shoes to help when squatting. And I rarely use things like wrist wraps and a host of other accessories that can be used when doing CrossFit, but I sure as hell taped. Why would all these professional CrossFitters who get paid to endorse things NOT tape up or use some sort of gymnastic wrap?

Beware, hand gore coming Continue reading