Tuesday, November 30, 2010

100 words

     Good Day/Morning/Evening/Afternoon to you all, whenever you read this. It now a day shy of December, is everyone excited? I don't know why you need to be excited for that, but I thought I would ask. Well, happy or not, it's time to blog!

Santa... NOOOO!

     Well guys and galls, today I'd like to bring up some of the core words of CrossFit, and that is the "Fitness in 100 word". It is as follows:

  • Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat
  • Practice and train the major lifts: Deadlift, Clean, Squat, Presses, Clean and Jerk, and Snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: Pullups, Dips, Rope Climb, Pushups, Situps, Presses to Handstand, Pirouettes, Flips, Splits, and Holds. Bike Run, Swim, Row, etc, hard and fast.
  • Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combination and patterns as creatively will allow. Routine is the enemy, keep the workouts short and intense.
  • Regularly learn and play new sports.

     So there you have it folks, world class fitness all summed up. So how about we break it down a bit. Lets take the first bullet. It's all about eating good foods. There was a previous post (CrossFit Pyramid) that shows that "nutrition" is the base of our fitness pyramid. Without clean eating habits it will be very difficult to become that Fire Breather.

     Ok, so bullet #2. So it says to do all of these different lifts and movements. Wait a sec, I don't see kettlebells! Does that mean I don't have to train them? ...NO! Look at the words "train the major lifts" and "master the basics of gymnastics." These moves are not the end all, be all of fitness. They are the basic movements, and they transfer over to many other movements. This is CrossFit people, we are specializing in NOT specializing. So be good at everything.

     Alright, now onto #3. Pretty much, get a workout in 5-6 days a week, combining a lot of the movements from the bullet above. How creative it is, is up to you. Now you don't have to get too creative and make a insane 30+ minute MetCon. A simple 21-15-9 will destroy you just as well.

     So finally, "learn and play new sport." So I know we're constantly learning and trying new things in CrossFit. Heck, even last nights class got to spend some time working on their one-legged squats. But, how many people out there or participating in things besides CrossFit? Maybe a marathon, or a mud-run. A local Oly competition (there's one coming up)... Chess match... Just think, we're out to improve out fitness every day, so why not try it out doing new things. You'd be surprised how well you'd do.

The LIFT. from Paul Schneider on Vimeo.


Yesterday's WOD/Strength:

Ring Dips
Slam Balls #25
Time - 5:48

"Cash Out"
1,000m row #1 - 3:44.8
1,000m row #2 - 3:41.7
1,000m row #3 - 3:37.1

Bench Press
- 135
- 155
- 175
- 185
- 195 (PR)
- 205 (f)
- 200 (PR)
2 PRs in one day... I'm happy with that

Monday, November 29, 2010


     Howdy everyone. Well, it's the Monday after a holiday. For many people, like myself, its back to work and the daily grind. It's not too bad getting back into the swing of thing, it's kinda like getting back on the wagon. And many of you, again like myself, may not have stayed on the Paleo. Oh well, back again.

CrossFit, the Winter version

     So, everyone out there, I was hoping we could have a bit of a discussion again... this means I want to hear your comments. We just had Thanksgiving, so in the spirit of giving thanks (and less about slaughter),  What are you thankful for? Of course I'm talking about CrossFit, so how has CrossFit changed your life?

     For me, it's hard to just say one thing. I'm thankful that CrossFit has made me a stronger person. I'm thankful its made me want to push myself, in and out of the gym. I'm thankful that I have a community of people all around the world, that share my passion. I'm thankful that CrossFit has given me the opportunity to train people, and write a mindless blog about fitness. I'm thankful for everything about CrossFit... except for burpees.

Yah Burpees!!!

     So sounds off folks. Post what your thankful for... or 50 burpees... your choice. Till tomorrow folks!

CrossFit Southeast Women's Comp from Boomer Alred on Vimeo.

3,2,1 GO!


Yesterdays WOD:

Skill / Rest / Foam Roll!!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanks Coach B!

     Well good to see you all again, here at another day of the Frosh Blog. I missed you... ok, maybe I'm just saying that. But I bet you missed me, right? You don't have to say anything, I know your answer. Anyway, awkwardness aside, today we're going to talk about how we're going to improve our Snatch (hehe). With the one and only Burgener Warm-up.

'nuff said

     Coach Mike Burgener has been an Olympic weightlifting coach for years, coaching some of the best in the business. To do that, Coach B came up with the awesome tool for our Olympic Weightlifting tool box. So, if we want to improve our Snatch, or Olympic lifts for that matter, the Burgener Warm-up will help you get there. The Warm-up takes less than 3 minutes to do, and can be done before whatever workout you're about to do, it's only going to help. So now I'm going to briefly explain these 5 movements and why we do them.

Down and Up

     This is simply a shrug of the hips and shoulders. Before I get too ahead of myself let me start you off right. You will need a PVC pipe held in the snatch width (basically the same width you'd do your Overhead Squat), feet will be in the jumping stance (underneath our hips), and chest high for the entire movement. To execute bend your knees forward slightly to dip down, while keeping your chest high. Then, without leaving the ground, shrug your hips up and your shoulders up (first hips then shoulders). Do NOT bend your arms for this, that will come later. Remember, "When the arms bend, the power ends." This is very important when working on our speed through the middle. Perform 3-5 reps of this movement

Elbows High and Outside

     The starting position, and almost the entire movement as same as above. PVC at snatch width, feet in jumping position, chest up. This time after the dip and shrug, you will pull you elbows high and outside, bringing the PVC to your chest. This will cue us to keep the bar close to our bodies the entire time. Once again 3-5 reps.

Muscle Snatch

      We have a PVC, so this won't be too difficult. The "bar" and feet will be in the same position as our last 2 exercises. This time, in one movement, we will bring the bar overhead. Feet will still be planted for this entire movement, as it is just a muscle snatch. Here we are building upper body strength and working the external rotation of our shoulders on that fast turnover of the bar. 3-5 reps... go ahead an knock 'em out.

Snatch Lands

     After we complete our last Muscle Snatch, go ahead and leave the bar overhead. Make sure our shoulders are active and pushing the PVC up overhead, feet still in jumping stance. This will be the first time our feet will leave the ground. For the first rep we will drop our hips down and move our feet out about 2 inches each side, this will simulate receiving a moderate load on the Snatch. bring our feet back to jumping and do another land, this time our feet will be 4 inches wide, simulating an increased load. Back to jumping  we now land at... you guessed it... 6 inches, an even heavier load. This is a VERY important drill, because when it comes to performing the Snatch, 99% of missed lifts are attributed to foot work.

Snatch Drop

     Now, the final movement. We will still have the PVC overhead, feet back in our jumping position. For this we will go from our jumping position to our landing position (roughly squat width), very fast, and "receiving" the bar in the full squat. This is again, foot work drills needed to receive a bar in the full squat, which will be our heaviest Squat (maybe even a PR). 3 reps of this and you've done the Burgener Warm-Up.

     So there it is folks, the Burgener Warm-Up. Couple this with the Skills Transfer Exercise we talked about before, and you will be unstoppable! Don't remember that one, huh? No worries here it is -> Skill Transfer. Anyway, I hope this helped in some way. Remember, if you get stronger... it is now because of me. Till next time everyone.

Yesterday's WOD:

4 rounds for time
- 16 DB Clusters (Clean to thruster) #40 L/R arm (alt arm each round)
- 16 box Jumps 24"
- 16 Waiter Lunges # 40 R/L (alt arm each round)
- 16 Double Unders
- 16 Ring Chinups
- 16 Calorie Row
Time - 29:34
Haven't gone to this time domain in a while. Hurt something fierce

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Just get in the gym

     Another beautiful day in the neighborhood, isn't it? Well, a little cold if you ask me. Good morning again everyone, at least it's morning for me right now. Once again, I hope you all had a good Turkey Day, I'm sure yesterday was a rest day for many of you. So now its back to the gym!

Sad, but true

     So what makes us so different from the rest of the conventional fitness industry? Ok, there's the obvious "Constantly varied, functional movement executed at a high intensity", but that' just s a little bit confusing. Or then, "Increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains", even a little more confusing. Hell, you could rattle off these mantras and even other CrossFitters may have to pause to explain what they mean. So why is it we decide to workout in an industrial area with other pain-loving people?

     I think it's because we really see the change in our lives, in and out of the box. Does a good deadlift carry over to the real world? Sure does, we pick up stuff all day long. How about a push jerk, is that replicated in the real world? Hell yes again, I used to bail hay in the summer, talk about using the power from your hips! On the other hand, is the bicep curl "functional"? Well, if you want a big bicep... maybe. But I would say to you that doing pullups are going to be the better choice. I'm not trying to be snobby, the curl does have function for certain sports. Professional arm wrestlers need some whopping arms, 'nough said.

     It's hard to fault people for going to any gym, CrossFit or Globo. They're just trying to better their lives and be healthier. In our position we preach functional movement, eating clean foods and constantly learning new things. In the Globo universe it seems "most" are doing 20 minutes of cardio "warm-up" and Arm Day (or Back Day, Leg day, etc.). Again, I'm not being all high and mighty, CrossFit is the best, and the rest can suck a lemon. All I'm saying is, I spent many years in the normal gym setting, and I've never seen the improvement in my life and gains in strength than I have with CrossFit.

     So, regardless of where and how you workout, just strive to be better every time you go. Till next time you blog addicts.

"I don't exercise. If God wanted me to bend over, he'd have put diamonds on the floor."
     - Joan Rivers

Yesterdays Strength/WOD:

5/3/1 week 4 (deload 3x5)

95 x 5 (40%)
115 x 5 (50%)
135 x 10 (60%)

5 rounds for time:
30 walking lunges
20 GHD situps
10 burpees
Time - 10:53

Friday, November 26, 2010

Chow down (just not as much)

     Hello everyone! And a happy post-Thanksgiving Day to you all. How are you guys feeling? Eat far too much? Dreading the next WOD for fear that you will see your feast again? Well no worries, take it as a manageable pace and you'll be fine... probably.

Looks like he's be on there a while

     Since we just ate some killer meals that we won't be eating anytime soon... or at least till Christmas. We're going to talk today about nutrition. More specifically, Post- WOD (PWO) nutrition. Now I'm no Leeny, so keep that in mind, but I'm just trying to give you the best advice I can.

     So first off, when do we get in our PWO meal? Easy answer is, as soon as possible. About 45 minute would be as far out as you could go and still call it PWO. I try to chow down within 5-10 minutes after a WOD/Lift, but thats just me.

     So what should we be eating? Well, that's all dependant on a few variables. If you're trying to get leaner, then a low carb PWO should be what you want. Are you training to maintain bf% and gain mass? With that, a higher carb PWO is going to be your friend. What we do also pays a big part into POW nutrition. If we just did Deadlifts and nothing else, then you're not going to need a lot to replenish yourself. If you just did the Filthy Fifty, then yes... you want to thow some protein and carbs in quickly.

     So, what kind of food should you eat PWO? Simply, your foods should be able to be digested quickly. For a normal meal we would shy away from shakes because their surface area is so great, and it is absorbed rapidly. However, this is exactly what we need after a WOD. There's a lot of people that are in the chocolate milk PWO, albeit non-Paleo, because it provides a good ratio of protein:carbs. For a Paleo smarter option, yams and applesauce work wonders for our carb, and whey protein with coconut milk get a thumbs up from even Robb Wolf.

I hope this isn't the case

     So there it is folks, I hope I didn't confuse you too much. There is so much more to go into about PWO, but I wanted to arm you with the basics. For further reading I would suggest Robb Wolf's blog or surf around on OPT's blog and you'll find some good resources, or contact your nearest Leeny. Anyway, till next time folks... that's how the Paleo cookie crumbles.

3,2,1 GO!


Yesterdays WOD:

Rest Day!!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Gobble Gobble yall

     Happy Turkey Day everyone! I hope you kept it Paleo... if not, it's all good. Consider it a cheat day. To celebrate the day we give thanks, why don't you all thank me... for giving you such great rambles. If not, it's still all good. Just don't be surprised when I make you do twice as many burpees.

     Since today happens to be the holiday, I figured I could keep things light. And in the spirit of mimicking an aging womanizer (David Letterman), I wanted to bring you a top ten list.

Top Ten Ways You Can Tell You Are Addicted to CrossFit:

# 10 - You drive in your car using a hook grip.

#9 - Telling your friends that you just did Fran and it was horrible doesn't sound at all strange to you.

#8 - Your friends are horrified when you tell them about your Snatch.

#7 - You don't send your kids to time-out, you make them do burpees (and they never misbehave again).

#6 - If you take a vacation you plan out which CrossFit gyms you're going to visit.

#5 - You've actually tried to shake someones hand using the false grip.

#4 - You have more CrossFit apparel than regular clothes.

#3 - When you pick anything up, you make sure to keep the weight in your heels.

#2 - Everything you do, you do for time.

And the #1 reason you know you're addicted to CrossFit is...

#1 - You can't remember what they actually use PVC pipe for

Now this is what I want for Christmas

     If you or anyone you know fits these descriptions, please contact your nearest CrossFit box for help. Since today's WOD on Mainsite (CrossFit) is Helen, I have OPT's sub 7 minute Helen for your viewing pleasure. Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!

3,2,1 GO!

5/3/1 week 4 (deload 3x5)

Bench Press
5 x 115 lb (60%)
5 x 125 lb (65%)
10 x 135 lb (70%)

Even round: 10 squat jumps
Odd round: 10 situps
Time - 6:31

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Olympic Giant

     Howdy yall. Things going well I trust? Today is gobble-gobble eve, so overloading yourself with turkey and tryptophan will have to wait one more day. But, before we gorge why don't we sit down and have another listen to another inspiring athlete story. The story of Matthias Steiner, and his amazing victory at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Quite the game face you have

     Matthias was not born an Olympic weightlifting god, he was born 25 August, 1985 in Venice. In 1998, at the meager age of 16, Matthias competed in one of his first official weightlifting competitions. He would maintain a very brief stay in the 94 kg weight class, moving up to the competitive 105 kg weight class. Eventually he would go for broke, and compete among giants in the +105 kg weight class.

     During this time, 2004, he first met a German-born woman, Susann, who would soon become his wife. Following a dramatic departure from the Austrian Weightlifting Federation, the couple moved to German, where Matthias would apply for German citizenship.

Matthias holding a picture of his late wife

     However, tragedy hit, when in July of 2007 Susann died in the hospital due to injuries from a car accident. There Matthias made a promise to his dying wife that he would fulfill both of their dreams of being able to take home the Olympic Gold. After her death, Matthias threw himself into his training. Just one year later, he qualified for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

     Matthias came into the competition as the dark horse, a very unknown competitor. Having the tough competition of crowd favorites, and eventual 2nd and 3rd place respectively, Russian Evgeny Chigishev and Latvian Viktors Scerbatihs. Coming in 4th place after the snatch, with 203 kg (446 lbs), Matthias would need to pull off a Clean and Jerk of epic proportions.

     It all came down to the final lift. Matthias called for a 10 kg jump for his third and final Clean and Jerk, bringing his total to 258 kg (567 lbs). A hush fell over the crowd, as this attempt would decide who would take home the gold. In a matter of second it was all over. Matthias beasted up a clean of over 550lbs and, without question, locked out the 1/4 ton overhead!

The medal winning jerk

     This story goes to show the incredible spirit of a man willing to win. When speaking of his late wife, he said, "She is always with me, in the hours before the competition, she's there." The super-heavyweight lifter found the internal drive and motivation it took, and all the training and drive to succeed was evident as he was standing on the top of the podium.

3,2,1 GO!


"3 pood Grace"
30 Clean & Jerks with a 1.5 pood kettlebell in each hand
Time - 5:54

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


     Hey there everyone. A glorious day it is... at least for me. If its a crappy day for you, well... stop being a Grinch dammit! Only 32 shopping days Christmas! Well, I have a great gift for you guys to give. How about a charitable donation. This one will not hurt your wallet... but might hurt your legs.

I know to keep your eye on the ball, but this is ridiculous!

     So, Concept2, the makers of the Rowing machines we have in the box, and the increasingly popular Ski Erg, have issued a challenge leading up to this Christmas. This is what we got going on:

  • Row or Ski 100,00 or 200,00 meter between 25 November to 24 December.
  • Individual challenge
  • Anyone who rows 100k will receive $.02, to their charity, per kilometer rowed. 
  • Any additional kilometers, $.04 will be donated per kilometer.

     Last year, for the same challenge, over 1 BILLION meters were rowed/skied! Almost 28,000 dollars were raised, and this year they hope to pass 30,000. Anyone who completes 100k will receive a down-loadable certificate and the option to buy gear from 3rd party vendors, finishers of 200k will receive that as well... and a pin. But really, why are we doing this anyway? Charity.

      I'm going to be shooting to complete the 200K. I've done 140K in one month before, and it's no easy task. So who else is with me?! Come on guys, lets finish this year off right.

3,2,1 Row!


New feature to the blog, I will be posting yesterday's WOD/lifts, so you can all see what I'm doing... so here we go:

5/3/1 week 4 (deload 3x5)

5 x 220lbs (60%)
5 x 235lbs (65%)
10 x 255 lbs (70%) felt strong and went for 10, could have done more

3 rounds for time:
50 Double Unders
21 KB Swings (1.5 pood)
12 pullups
Time - 6:47

Monday, November 22, 2010

G to-the H to-the D!

     Morning yall! Hope you had a good weekend. Got plenty of paleo, sleep and recovery... right? Well, it's Monday now, so back on the wagon you (yea, I know who you are)! Ok, so I'll stop threatening my followers/viewers. I will do burpees later.

This makes me smile :)

     So, if you haven't guessed, today is an overview on the GHD situp. GHD stands for Glute-Ham developer. So this means we are not only working the stabilization of our abs, but we're recruiting power from our hip flexors to really make this effective.

     Now, when we progress we're going to start with the basics. Please, do not jump onto the GHD if an Abmat situps is too difficult. The full ROM GHD is a taxing and advanced movement, not something we can or should just do. So, once we can do enough situps to power a car, lets start thinking about incorporating the GHD.

Starting Position

     So above is the starting position that we're going to be in. Legs secured, knees bent, hips hanging off the mat a little (which is not what she's doing in the pic, but that's ok), back and core tight. The first intro to the GHD, after a sound start position, will be the half GHD situp. To do this we will keep our knees bent, back/core tight and come back until we are parallel to the mat we're sitting on. Once we reach this position we immediately, and aggressively, straighten our legs to shoot our body back up. It is very important to realize that the primary work hoarse in this movement is the hip flexors (hense Glute & Hamstring developer). The full GHD just required for ROM, reaching back until our hand touch the floor and then using the aggressive straightening of the knees to propel us forward... Tada! GHD Situp!!!

David - GHD Sit-up - 03 17 10 from Greg Keeter on Vimeo.

     It should be obvious to not that the video posted above is not at full speed... don't go that slow, that would suck! So that's the name of the game folks, practice and learn new things. Until next time: Live Life, Get Strong, and do Burpees.

3,2,1 GO!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sumo (and I don't mean the high pull)

     Greetings again everyone. I do believe we are on post #40... and I haven't missed a day yet! Granted some post, like yesterdays, did not have the full flavor of many others you've seen. However, we're still going strong. Speaking of strong we're going to talk again about the deadlift... but one we rarely, if ever, do. The Sumo Deadlift.

Close, but that's not what I'm saying

Now that's what I'm talking about

     The Sumo Deadlift is simply one of the many deadlift styles out there. There's also Romanian Deadlift, Stiff Legged Deadlift, Snatch Grip Deadlift, etc. But we're not talking about those. In CrossFit we mostly see this in the form of a Sumo Deadlift High Pull (SDHP), done at light weight and high reps. So why not put two and two together and make the Sumo Deadlift a part of your strength training.

     In a normal Deadlift our feet are under our hips with the hand outside of our feet, torso is bent forward and hips are back. In the Sumo stance our feet are about twice as wide with our hand inside of our feet, the torso is more upright and our hips are lower.


     Duke University performed a study using 13 Division 1-A Football players, testing their 12 rep max in both the conventional and Sumo Deadlift. They found that the conventional Deadlift used more of the muscles from the outer hamstrings and the glutes (ass). The Sumo Deadlift used more muscles from the quads and inner hamstrings.

     So, does this mean one is better than the other? Not at all. It means that we're working a slightly different set of muscles. Whether you used one or the other, or both, the Deadlift is still there to make you one strong mother. So that's the name of the game everyone... lift heavy things!

**Authot's Note: perform 1 burpee for every time I said "Deadlift"**

3,2,1 GO!

Saturday, November 20, 2010


     Good morning all. Please don't talk so loud... I have a headache. I blame it on non-paleo food and drinks. So take a page from your dear ol' buddy Frosh. Stick to you training, and limit your cheat days. So this begs the question... what do you guys do for a cheat day? What are your vices? Feel free to post your horrible habits... I'm going back to bed. enjoy the video.

3,2,1 GO!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Dawn of the Dead(lift)

     Morning everyone! I've been up since 4am, and I'm still trucking. One cup of "paleo" coffee in and I'm ready to tackle the day... and tackle today's blog! Pardon the George A. Romero reference, but today we're going to break apart the deadlift.

... and real women

     So, the deadlift is a very sound tool to build strength, and one of the 9 foundational movements of CrossFit. I just want to make sure you're doing it right. Because, contrary to popular belief, the deadlift can be a very safe lift.

     The most important part is going to be the set up. Take a look at the picture above... this is what we want:

  • Feet underneath the hips with shins against the bar
  • Bar is centered over the feet with the weight in the heels
  • Hips are slightly raised
  • Shoulder slightly in front of the bar
  • Core is tight (no man belly) and chest is up
  • Spine maintained in natural curve
  • Head is neutral (not craning up or down)

     Now, the second most important part... lifting weight off of the ground. We need to make sure that the bar stays as close to the body as possible, pretty much dragging against our shins. As we lift to the weight to our knees we have to make sure that our torso maintains the same angle. Once the bar reaches the knees we will then open up the torso and bring the hips forward.

     The weight is lowered the same way it is lifted. Starting from the fully open and standing position we will then bring our torso forward (while maintaining a tight back) and send the hips back. However we MUST NOT send our knees forward until the bar reaches the knee caps. Then we will maintain the angle of our torso (just like before) and send the knees slightly forward... then repeat! But, this is me just talking, check out the video below.

Women's Nationals 2009 Deadlift from Kelli Lambert on Vimeo.
     The top of the torso may not be "super" tight, but then again SHE is lifting a crap load of weight! So keep at it guys and gals, because at the end of the day... I just want you to pick up heavy shit.

"When the ^%# did we get ice cream?!"
     - The Ringer

3,2,1 GO!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Growing up Globo

     Howdy howdy howdy! Another great day in the neighborhood. Won't you be my neighbor? .... ok, that sounds a bit creepy. That and I already have some neighbors, and they either do P90X or have a lot of sex, judging from all the moving around I hear from upstairs... it's a good thing they don't read this blog.

     Ok, enough neighbor bashing for one morning. Just so you're all not worried, tomorrows blog will have some solid coaching. Today, I have to ramble JUST a bit more. And if you can't guess from the title, it's about the Globo Gym.

Would you guys worry if I sported a stache like that?

     By Globo Gym I'm just referring to the mass produced Gold's Gym, Planet Fitness, or other corporations around the world. Sometimes I have to used the gym on base, cause I'd like to eliminate the hour on the road going to and from the box, especially if I'm going to do for Back Squats.

     So yesterday I did exactly that (with the Back Squats). Normally I have a run-of-the-mill trip to the base gym. Every so often... it gets a little weird. So I made my way near the squat rack and was warming up with a jump rope and hitting an MWOD. So this fairly athletic gentleman also came to the area. First impression was the guy was all business, which I don't see all the time.

     However, in the middle of my mobility work the guy starts singing whatever is playing on his iPod. Ok, maybe that's too weak a word. He wasn't singing... he was belting out the song! I didn't know if he was there to workout or put on a concert... sounded a little bit like the later. Perhaps it was his mating call and he was there to attract a female. Who knows... I wasn't going to ask.

     I'll finish the story of my trip on a positive note. I saw two other guys there squatting fairly heavy and with very good form. It's always nice to see someone at the gym that actually there to get stronger.

Wow, that looks like an accident waiting to happen

     So, that was my little rant I had to put out. We're going to spend the next couple of days talking about some of the core movements in CrossFit, so it won't be mindless rambles... I promise. Tell you what I want from you: either leave a comment of a funny gym story you've seen or heard... or do 50 burpees. Your choice.

3,2,1 GO!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


     Hello everyone. Another day another dollar an hour... not from the blog of course. Anyway, I want to bring something to everyone's attention, and I'd really like to hear what you have to say about it, so don't be shy.

     So, you or may not have heard... but Reebok is now an official sponsor of CrossFit. Graham Holmberg, who was the male winner for the 2010 CrossFit Games, has been named as a spokesman for the company.

Your Fittest Man on Earth

     What does this mean for CrossFit? Checking message boards and comments, there seems to be 2 schools of thought for the recent happenings: 1) CrossFit is evolving as a legitimate sport, and becoming more accepted 2) Coach Greg Glassman (CrossFit founder) is selling out the CrossFit name.

     In my opinion (whether is matters or not) is that this is a great step forward for CrossFit. At the 2010 CrossFit Games, which I was fortunate enough to attend, there was a literal sea of vendors out there. UnderArmour had a huge truck out there, Progenex was offering free samples of protein shakes, and even the TRX system had a booth set up. Did I hear, "what the hell are these posers doing out here?" Not at all! All I saw was complete acceptance by the community at large.

     I think this will only enhance the message the CrossFit is trying to spread. Lift heavy weights, eat good food, and always strive to be better. Using CrossFit, thousands of men and women from around the world have done things they've not thought possible. Why do we have to keep this to ourselves, it needs to be shared with the world!

     As I said, this is just my opinion. But I REALLY want to hear from the CrossFitter out there. Is this one great step forward for CrossFit? Or one giant failure by some ass-hat? Speak up everyone.

*Author's Note: Coach Glassman, I am in no way calling you an ass-hat*

3,2,1 GO!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Furious Pete (Warning: not Paleo Friendly)

     Good morning everyone. So here's the question, is anyone hungry? Well, after today's blog you may be wanting to chow down on some grub... or get a little bit sick to your stomach. Either way, today is another athlete profile. Today is about Peter Czerwinski or, as many know him, "Furious Pete".

THE STORY OF FURIOUS PETE - opening from George Tsioutsioulas on Vimeo.

     So, if you watched the video above, you got a glimpse of Furious Pete, a professional competitive eater. Along with that, he is a former anorexic. Some of Pete's consumption accomplishments include:

  • 72 oz steak in 7 minutes
  • 17 bananas in 45 seconds
  • 27 extra large pizza slices in 12 minutes
  • 7 1/2 pound of rice and curry in under 6 minutes

     However, in the winter of 2002, Pete was hospitalized for anorexia. Weighing a meager 120 pounds, if Pete waited another day he may not be alive today. He goes on to say the stress and pressure of school and other surrounding he controlled his food intake as a way to cope, which eventually lead to to his hospitalization.

     With support of friends and family, he turned his life around. It was a tough road, but Pete began to see changes in his body and his life. Even recently he turned to CrossFit as his training program, and has never been stronger. Pete tell the story of how he first learned that eating would soon become his "sport"

"... In the early part of 2007 a few of my buddies and me went out to a breakfast pub. A few of us, including me ordered a dish called the linebacker (which consisted of two pieces of every breakfast item you can think of). To everyone’s surprise I finished my plate before anyone else got through a quarter of theirs. So we asked what the record was in the restaurant for linebackers consumed and it was two in an hour….so I did four plates. "


     Pete's story became an inspiration to many afflicted with anorexia. He showed people that they can change their lives to become healthier. I'm not saying we need to eat an extra large slice of pizza between each round of Helen (which he has done). Take away that Furious Pete's inspiring story showed people that they can regain control of their life.

THE STORY OF FURIOUS PETE - 1 Hour Documentary from Tricon Films and Television on Vimeo.

3,2,1 Live!

Monday, November 15, 2010

A squat a day keeps the doctor away

     Hello everyone in Internet-land, I hope you had a wonderful weekend! I'm hoping you used your "sabbath" to hit an MWOD or two and rest up for the upcoming week... if not, shame on you. Ok, I'll stop giving you a hard time. For what it's worth, you're alright in my book.

See, even Bill thinks your cool

     Well, pleasantries aside, we're going to talk again about a very vital part of CrossFit... the Squat! I know you've heard it before (I hear it all the time), "Squatting that low will hurt your knees". I've heard this time and time again. When I ask people why, they have no answer for me. Well, today, I'm going to arm you with the rebuttal to shoot their not-full-squatting asses down! Ok, maybe not that spiteful, but at least you may be able to sell them on why we do what we do.

Front Squat     /     High-Bar Back Squat     /     Low-Bar Back Squat

     In all fairness, Squatting below parallel is actually safer and easier on your knees. What do I mean by below parallel? Well look at the pictures above... that's what I mean. The crease of your hips are below your kneecaps. So how is this safer?

     When were squatting, the big 3 muscles that are being used are your quads (front of your thigh), adductors (inside of your thigh) and your hamstrings/glutes (back of your thigh/ass). Now, without getting too complicated, your adductors connect the groin to the femur and, as a result, pull back on the knee when tightened. Your hamstrings connect from the back of the thigh to the front of the tibia, and wrap around both sides of the knees. Once again, when tightened, they will pull back on the knee. Both the hamstrings and adductors will pull from behind the knee. The quads, however, creating a pulling force forward of the knee. Thus, when we reach proper depth, and all the muscles are pulling correctly, there is the correct balance of pulling posterior and anterior (back and front) of the knee. Not confused too much, right?

     Well, Think about it like this. Why are partial squats bad for you? Well, when you don't reach full depth, the hamstrings and adductors are not tightened and creating the proper pulling force, and the movement becomes quad dominant. This means the knee is being forced forward, instead of remaining neutral, like it is in a full squat.

     My attempt today was to teach, and not confused... I hope I achieved the former, rather than the later. If nothing else, enjoy the video posted below. Have a great day everyone!

Office Space Trailer - recut from David Smith on Vimeo.

3,2,1 Squat!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

5,3,1 GO!

     Good Sunday everyone... or whenever your decide to perv the blog. It's been a been a busy month, but don't worry, I'm never too busy to ramble for my loyal followers/viewers. And you know me, I'm all about getting the information to you!

     So, today I'm going to share with you of how I get all big a strong (kinda). So my weakness would be my strength (makes sense doesn't it). I'm fairly comfortable with the bodyweight movement, I mean I'm no Speal, but I can hold my own. But what destroys me is picking up heavy things. To fill in this gap I'm on my second rotation of Jim Wendler's 5/3/1 method.

If this guy told you how to get strong, I'd listen
      So, what is the 5/3/1 program? Well, it's designed to boost your strength by focusing on 4 different exercises: Press, Bench Press, Deadlift and Squat. The great thing about this program is you're never lifting your max load, but just shy of it. This is a 4 week program designed to build up as the weeks progress, with the final week deloading. It works like this:

Week 1: 65% x 5 reps, 75% x 5 reps, 85% x 5 reps or more
Week 2: 70% x 3 reps, 80% x 3 reps, 90% x 3 reps or more
Week 3: 75% x 5 reps, 85% x 3 reps, 95% x 1 rep or more
Week 4 (deload): 40% x 5 reps, 50% x 5 reps, 60% x 5 reps or more

     What does it mean, "5/3/1 rep or more"? Well, when you get to your final set you should push to get as many reps in as possible without going to failure. Or, as Wendler puts it, the final set will be the one that "puts hair on your balls".

Put that in an AMRAP!

     So, the way I've been doing it is 3 days a week I'm incorporating these strength movements. You'll notice that there are 4 exercises, so I have to mix it up a bit, like this:

Week 1: M- Press W- Deadlift F - Bench
Week 2: M - Squat W - Press F - Deadlift
Week 3: M - Bench W - Squat F - Press
Week 4: M - Deadlift W - Bench F - Squat

     As I said, I'm on my second rotation of this program, and I've seen some drastic improvements! My Deadlift went up 30 lbs, Bench went up 10 lbs, Squat and Press have stayed the same. So these are the goals I'm shooting for: Deadlift 400lbs (35lbs away), Bench 225lbs (35lbs away), Squat 250lbs (25lbs away), Press 170lbs/bodyweight (... still a while away). I still have a while till I achieve these goals, but I think I will be able to reach them with this program.

     I hope everyone enjoys the rest of your weekend. Does anyone have any Strength goals they'd like to achieve? Let's hear em! Post to comments, and I'll talk to you guys again soon.

3,2,1 GO!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The CrossFit Pyramid

     Good morning everyone. I've got my cup o' coffee, and I'm sitting here, ready to ramble on... still have plenty on my mind. Today we're going to discuss the "pyramid", for lack of a better word, of the CrossFit hierarchy.

     So what exactly does this mean? Well, this is the natural order of importance when it comes to using CrossFit as your sole Strength & Conditioning program for your sport. So what if you have no sport (like myself)? Well, everything but the top will pertain to you... but still very important.


     I know a lot of people subscribe to the idea of Paleo. Not a bad camp to be in, I try to follow it as best as I can. However, Plaeo or not, its very important, when it comes to training, that our nutrition is dialed in. I mean, if you eat nothing but junk food, pop and other crap, how do you think you're going to progress? As much as people don't like to think of it, nutrition is our founding base. This is taken from "World-Class Fitness in 100 Words":

               Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.

     Pretty simple, isn't it? Eat the good food so you can get stronger, healthier, fitter and look better naked. What more can you ask for?

Metabolic Conditioning

     There is A LOT you can say about metabolic conditioning (or MetCon). Let's just break it down into two parts: Aerobic and Anaerobic. It's quite simple, Aerobic means with air, and Anaerobic mean without air. Do you think Fran is Aerobic or Anaerobic? I'll bet you a box of Paleo donuts, that Fran is an Anaerobic monster! A lot of what we do in CrossFit is Anaerobic, not to say that being able to run or bike 5 miles at a time isn't important. Here's the great thing about Anaerobic activities though... anaerobic condition will not effect/decrease our aerobic condition, in fact it will enhance it. On the flip side, Aerobic training can decrease our Anaerobic conditioning. So why do you think we do what we do? Take a look at the picture below... who do you think is "fitter"?

marathon runner                                        sprinter


     Here's a big staple for us in our daily WOD. Now, when we talk about gymnastics do you think I mean only working with the rings, handstand and paralette bars? No! Easy way to think of it, is any exercise that we do using our own bodyweight. Pullups, pushups, dips, muscle-up, rope climb, situps, L-sits... all part of gymnastics. It's pretty obvious to see the importance of being able to move our bodyweight. If not for the simple fact that we have to every day!


     Want to get stronger? Then lift heavy shit! Weightlifting is the epitome of power output. When we talk about weightlifting were are referring to either Olympic of Powerlifting. The "3" movements of Olympic lifting are: the Snatch and the Clean & Jerk. There are, of course, the other movement that stem from those: Front Squat, Overhead Squat, Push Press... and so on. The Powerlifting moves are: Deadlift, Back Squat and Bench Press. All of which will make you a strong mother!

     But what about "throwing" well, there's the obvious... Wall Balls! Don't think throwing around a 20/14 lbs ball is too tough? Try doing Karen (150 wall balls for time) and then come talk to me. Also, we have ball slams, kettlebell swings and, hell, you could even say tire flips. Not only do we need strength for these movements, we're also using speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy. Man... what more can you as for?!


     The last part of the pyramid... if you have a sport that is. I don't, but it doesn't mean I'm going to stop doing CrossFit. When we talk about "sport training" we practice. Unlike CrossFit, sports like basketball, baseball, soccer, football, etc, are not going to focus on the "Unknown and Unknowable" (for the most part). A person that participates in sports most practice the specific movements and drill they will use for their sport. But trust me, CrossFit will do nothing but help.

3,2,1 GO!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Transfer those "mad" skill

     Good morning again everyone, or evening (whenever you're reading this). Only 42 shopping days left till Christmas... though with all the X-mas decorations I've already been seeing, you'd think it would be soon. That being said, there's a certain little Frosh that would love some bumper plates in his stocking. Just kidding... or am I?

This is what we're using for the WOD for the rest of the year

     So, today were talking about some skills we use from time to time. To be more specific, we're covering the Skills Transfer series, which we do often when we're going to be snatching. The 5 parts of the Skills Transfer are: Snatch Press, Overhead Squat, Pressing Snatch Balance, Heaving Snatch Balance, and the Snatch Balance.

Snatch Press

     So this is simply our overhead press. The difference is that the PVC or bar will be behind the neck and we will have our hands in our snatch width position. Our feet will be under our hips, in a normal jumping/pulling stance. However, for all these movements, we will forgo the hook grip.

Overhead Squat

     If you've been playing the CrossFit game for while, odds are you've performed the Overhead Squat. Yet, without a solid Overhead Squat, we will not be able to perform a very strong Snatch. The bar will be pressed overhead (active shoulders!!!), hands spread to a snatch width again, but now our feel will be in our landing position. This means our feet will be slightly wider than our hips. We perform the movement like we would a normal squat: weight in the heels, hips move back and down, chest up a head neutral. We have to fight to keep the weight centered directly over the middle of the feet. Too far forward or behind could result in a missed lift.

Pressing Snatch Balance

     This starts the first of the 3 different snatch balances. The set-up for this will be: bar behind the neck, feet in our landing position (little wider than the hips), hands set in our snatch width. Slowly, and without moving the bar/PVC, we will press ourselves underneath the bar until we are in the bottom position of the overhead squat. After that will simply stand and lower the bar back into the starting position. Many people may have problems with the bar moving. To combat that you can have a partner hold your bar in place, until you can perform this solo.

Heaving Snatch Balance

     We will start this movement with the same set-up as the Pressing Snatch Balance. The difference in this movement is we will dip and drive at the knees, while keeping the torso up, driving the bar into the air. When the bar is "weightless" in the air, we will drive our bodies quickly underneath the bar. Again, it is important that the chest doesn't dip forward and the movement is not initiated by the hips coming back, it is with the flexion of the knee that this will be achieved.

Snatch Balance

     This is the coup-de-grace of the Skills Transfer, the full Snatch Balance. Here will introduce the transfer of the feet from the jumping position to the landing position. So the set-up will be: feet underneath our hips, bar behind the neck, hands at snatch width and standing upright. We will perform the same dip and drive as we did with the Heaving Snatch Balance. The difference is after we drive the bar up will the move our feet out the our landing position and drive under the bar. This calls for explosive power and quick movement. The Snatch Balance, when working with heavier loads, will give us confidence to quickly move underneath the bar, the same way we would when performing the actual Snatch.

This could be you!

     So once again, I've armed you with knowledge... this most important tool of all (besides burpees of course). Take a look at the video below, and pay special attention to the Skills Transfer, that we just talked about.

CrossFit Olympic Cert (Snatch) from dan staton on Vimeo.

3,2,1, GO!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Up high? Or down low?

     Well good morning everyone, and Happy Veterans Day. Also, we're reaching another milestone today... day 30 of rambling! So today we're going to be talking about our favorite exercise. No, I'm not talking about burpees, we're going to talk a little a bit about the squat. Specifically, we're going to talk about the bar position on the back squat.

The Back Squat... you're doing it wrong

     So, I wouldn't really suggest squatting, like the picture above. If you want to... more power to you I guess (just don't come crying to me with broken ankles). Anyway, back on topic, when we perform the back squat we're going to have the bar in either a high-bar, on the traps, or low-bar position, mid scapula.

     So let's first talk about the high-bar position, which is sometimes referred to as the Olympic squat. It is so called that because you will have much more an upright torso (at least you should) throughout the movement. So when we address the bar, we will  let it rest on our traps, similar to the picture below.

High-bar back squat

     You'll notice that our knees are a lot more forward, making this a more quad dominant movement. Though it is sometimes referred to in a negative light, we do need some strong quads. And a back squat like this has more transferability to a movement like the Olympic-style clean.

     Now, when we talk about the low-bar back squat position, the bar will sit at the middle of the scapula. We will need to have our elbow back more to create somewhat of a shelf for the bar to rest. Take a look what I'm talking about below.

A very strong low-bar back squat

     So you can see that, instead, the bar is much lower on the back. This may take some getting used to if you've never done this before. However, you will find that you are generally able to move more weight in this position. This is because we are enlisting more help from our glutes and our hams... and those are some big ass muscles (no pun intended). Our knees will still track over our toes, but a lot less forward. Also, our torso will be more forward, keeping the weight centered over the feet, instead of upright.

     So both of these are a bit more personal preference than anything. For both of these positions we still want to utilize the basics:

  • Weight in the heels
  • Hips move back and down
  • Knees track over the toes
  • Lift heavy crap!

     But why not switch them up, and be a beast at both! I guarantee you'll be stronger as a result.

3,2,1 Squat!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Walk Hard

     Hello again everyone! We have a Birthday to celebrate. If you happen to run into a Marine today, you make sure to wish him a very Happy Birthday. You know what that means though, they're 235 years old now... that's 235 burpees   3,2, 1 GO!

.... Done? Ok, I'll assume you are and continue on.

     So, we've had posts in the past about amazing and inspiring athletes. So, keeping with that, I have another story for you.

DJ Gregory

     Meet DJ Gregory. DJ was born with Cerebral Palsy, and when he was young, doctors told his family that he would never walk. Destined to be stuck in a wheelchair for life was not an option for DJ and his family. DJ spent his early years crawling around the house, and endured 5 surgeries on his legs by the time he was in first grade; and, as a result, DJ was able to learn to walk with a cane.

     DJ quickly found that he had a passion for sports. Unfortunately, many sports were not accessible to him, until he stumbled onto golf. As he grew up, DJ set a goal for himself... walk all of the holes during the PGA tour. This is something professional golfers won't even do, so it was even more of a challenge for someone like DJ.

     DJ's plan was to shadow a different professional golfer for each round, which added up to 44 rounds in 45 weeks. Just staying upright would be a challenge for DJ, and when asked about falling down he said, ""I'm going to fall; it's just the way it is. I'm going to do it. So you know what? You get back up, and you learn from your mistakes, and you don't do it again."

      In 2008 DJ was able to complete the task with the following stats:

  • Falls: 29
  • Miles walked: 988
  • Holes walked: 3,256
  • Accumulated steps: 1,436,610

     Take a look at the video below, highlighting DJ's challenge. I'm sorry, it get cuts a little short, but still... very inspiring.

Walk On from Boomer Alred on Vimeo.

3,2,1, GO!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Forging Elite Friendship

     Good morning again, to all my loyal and motivated readers. Once again, I'd like to get a little discussion going. Today I'd like to talk to yall about relationships.

     I'm speaking about the relationships you have with CrossFit and the people involved with it. How do you feel when you walk in the doors, minutes away from getting your WOD on? Do you smile when you see the faces of people you share pain with? Is there a certain trainer or class that you try to never miss?

     What about life outside of CrossFit (if you can call that a life)? What do friends and family think about this type of workout? Do they give you an odd stare when you tell them about the girl that you just "did"? Have your friends/family given you odd comments about your diet (for all you Paleo monsters out there)? Heck, have you lost friends? Have you made friends? Have you done things you've never thought you could or would? This is what I want to hear about!

3,2,1 GO!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mobile and deadly

     Hello again everyone, and hello my to my 7th follower! Very exciting, now repeat after me:

You: "Hello, my name is ______, and I read the Frosh blog."
Everyone: "Hi _______!."

     Ok, so we all know each other again. Last weekend was uber busy, but very rewarding. Sunday, sacrificing 12 hours driving in the car, I was able to attend Kelly Starrett's Movement and Mobility Certification. I am convinced, the man is a mobility ninja! I'm sure anyone who gets the "opportunity" to take my classes will experience the knowledge I have gain. To those that don't have the chance, let me impart some wisdom on you right now.

Mobility WOD

     Again, if you're not following the Mobility WOD (link above)... what's wrong with you? Do you want to be stiff and inflexible?! I kid, I kid. But seriously, it's a great resource.

     Like me, many of you may be stuck at a desk job during the day... or as I like to think of it: sitting down for time. What better time than to practice our mobility! Are you sitting down right now? If you are, take a look at how your sitting. Are both feet planted on the ground? Is your stomach hyper-extended? Is your back nice and flat or is it rounded? Is you head neutral? Or (my favorite), are you shoulders rounded forward creating, what K-Star calls, "Douchebag Shoulder"?

D-Bag shoulder: You're doing it wrong!

     If you answered yes to any of the questions above, it's no wonder that you may be sore when trying to overhead squat! Do you think anyone gets up in the morning and says: "I'm going to spend 8 hours of my day compressed in some crappy form and then try to do Fran." ... that doesn't inspire confidence, it just makes me want to cringe, cry and run for the hills!

     So let's just try that today. Be the best you, you can be... by sitting in the best position you muster. Feet planted, stomach and back flat, shoulders back and head neutral. Just try it a couple minutes at a time (that's right Tabata sitting is no joke). If you forget and resort to what I like to call "Crap Position", get back to "Awesome Position" as soon as you've realized once you've done. You'll be surprised with the results..

NC/SC CrossFit Sectionals from Boomer Alred on Vimeo.

3,2,1 GO!