Monday, August 29, 2011

Stretch... but which one?

     Morning folks. Another day, another ramble. After this prepare for a few missing ones. Heading out on one of my last trips, so bear with me. Also, Libbie and Andrew, I'll have an answer for the both of you on yesterday's blog soon... just bare with me. Anyway, let's worry about today.

     So, I was reading an interesting comparison of Dynamic vs. Static stretching. Before you ask, static stretching is simply holding a position for 10 to 30 second. Dynamic stretching is moving through a stretch, and not holding a certain position. Down the line you've probably done one or both of these things. Oddly enough, the article I read spoke about the negative effect of static stretching, and the positive effects of dynamic stretching. Both of these types of stretching being done pre-workout.

Static Stretch

     The most widely used stretch in school gym and globo gyms around the world. Some may not realize that there is a negative effect to this type. It has been shown to reduce maximal strength, pressing power, muscular endurance, sprinting and jump height. Yea... but why? Muscle and tissue surrounding it have a begining level of stifness. The stiffer the muscle, the better it can be used. So, when you stretch staticly you are placing stress on the muscle, which will result in "lengthening" of the muscle. Make sense? Stiff muscle good!

     Like I said before, this is in relation to pre-workout stretching. Chronic static stretching is a positive way to for increasing flexibility. This means that you are doing routines of static stretching and nothing else. Very good for morning routines or before going to bed. The detrimental effect of static stretch, which is what I spoke about above, usually last for 60 minutes.

Dynamic Stretching

     Again, this is moving through a stretch position without holding it. This type increases maximal strength and short sprints. So, for "dynamics" we are actually not placing that stress on the muscles and surrounding tissues, negating the lengthening effect. There have also been studies that show the same increase in ROM (Range of Motion) when using static or dynamic stretching. So it would seem dynamic is the way to go!


     Well, the conclusion is you make your own. Try different things. This was a rather one sided article for dynamic stretching. I'm sure I may hear some things from Libbie or Greg (hopefully I haven't screwed this up). So, make time to stretch, increase your power... and do burpees!

3,2,1 GO!

Yesterday's Training:

Rest Day
Got ready to start a Russian inspired strength program. Preparing for a Powerlifting meet at the middle of December. Still CF WODs, but done on non-stregth days. After the meet I'll be gearing back up for the CrossFit Open season.

Day 137 Burpee Challenge / 9331 Burpees Completed


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Get OUT!

     Hey everyone. Back again, back to training... and back to burpees (blah!). I have a couple of rambles in me before I get back out on the road. Nothing like crap food, no sleep and covered in sweat... none of which is part of CrossFit (well maybe the sweaty part). Anyway, ramble on!

     Well folks, let's talk about a huge part of CrossFit... hell, a huge part of optimal perfomance in general. You know it, and maybe dread it: The Squat! Yes, our good friend of squat is one of the King's of Movement. You want to be faster? Squat. You want to be fitter? Squat. Do you want to be more powerful? Squat... do we see a patern here?

      Now, I'm not going to be long winded here. Most of you that perv the rambles have a pretty good idea about proper depth, tight core, and all that jazz. All I want to talk about today is the knees... and they should get out!

     Ok, so maybe I didn't find the best picture out there, but it fits with what were talking about today. To obtain the proper "below parallel" squat is defined by the hip joint dropping below the knees. One of our famous cues is: "Knees Out!". But why those pairs of words?

     Well, when we squat we USUALLY start with toes pointed roughlt 30 dgrees out and set slightly wider than our shoulders (not getting into sumo squat position). As we descend our thighs should track over our feet keeping the femur outside the ASIS or the Anterior Superior Iliac Spine, which is the "hip pointers" that you can feel right below your waist. However, if you are unfortunate enough to have your knees track inward your femur will approach your ASIS as you lower. This will trap muscle, soft tissues or even excess clothes and prevent a below-parallel squat.

     But, why do our knees track in? Well, we have about 5 different adductor muscles attached from the groin to the inner thigh. As we reach the bottom of the squat these muscles are as stretched as they will go. But, as we ascend the muscles begin to shorten, and since they attach to the inner aspect of the thigh, they pull your femur inward. This is where a strong set of adductors and the cue of "knees out" will help tremendously.

     Hey, what about your abductors? Surely those create an opposite pull against your adductors, right? Not so much. Your abdactor is a small muscle group that attches at you anterior iliac crest (part of your hip bone) to your lower leg. Try this, stand up (yes, do it now), raise on knee straight up, and then rotate it outward. That is your abductors in action. Since, we're not in the business of following a Jane Fonda Fitness VHS... well, you get the picture.

     I hope I didn't make you bored to tears and want to jam a kettlebell into your skull. This is just some things to think about when your chasing that beautiful squat. Be it a 2x bodyweight back squat, or a sound air squat. Do my a favor, post in the comments what you'd like to hear rambled about. Be it some scientific question about kinesiology, paleo options, mobilization... or just some weird crossFit, or even deployment related rambles. So stay strong, knees out... and do burpees!

"The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructos got together and said: 'If we're going to charge $10 and hour, we can't call it jumping up and down'"
     - Rita Rudner

3,2,1 GO!

Yesterday's Training:

Sumo Box Squat 205 x 3 x 5

Deadlift (Work up to heavy pull)
425 lbs

3 rounds for time:
10 dips
10 100 lb Goblet Squats
20 double unders
Time - 5:09
Could have gone sub 5, but a decided to have a whipping party on my legs on my last set of double. Oh well. I like the goblet squat... good fun!

Day 136 Burpee Challenge / 9194 Burpees Completed
It really sucked to play catch up on all of those. Oh well, not too much to go now.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

What are you? (the I'll be back edition)

     Howdy folks. You may have notice in the title, if you read it, it's the "I'll be back edition". Well, my deployed job takes me back out on the road again, so I may be missing some rambles in htese next days. The good news, I'm at almost back at 100%, even so much so that I got a workout in! Anyway, I have a question while I'm gone...

     So, check out the video below. For one, I may have used this before... however, I love the pseudo Fight Club references. So watch the video, and post in the comment: "I am not _______". That is your task, and I'll be back soon, so leave some good stuff. So, attack your weaknesses, be CrossFit... and do burpees (like I can now).

3,2,1 GO!

Yesterday's Training:

Front Squat 170lbs x 5 x 3
Felt good to do some work again, with a weight that was a bit of a challenge but very do-able.

Split Clean: worked up to 185lb single

Day 126 Burpee Challenge / 7879 Burpees completed
I'm playing a bit of catch up, but I'll be back on track


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

More vids

     Morning folks! As promised, I have a few videos for you today. As always, we end with CrossFit. However, it's always interesting to show other disciplines that we use. So I hope you enjoy... and I hope I get better. Much better rambles to come once I don't feel like I've been beaten with a kettlebell... do burpees!



3,2,1 GO!

Yesterday's Training:

Yea... still sick


Monday, August 15, 2011

Sickness and videos

     Good morning everyone. I'm sorry I've missed the last couple of rambles.I have been dog sick!... which also means I have to make up a lot of burpees. Future pain aside, I thought I could throw something up today. So, we have for you some videos. The first four are just parts of what we use in CrossFit, the 5th video being said discipline. I hope you all enjoy. For the time being, while I'm sick, I'm just going to throw up a video (and not my food) for you all to enjoy. Catch you guys later! ... and do burpees (because I can't)!






3,2,1 GO!

Yesterday's training:

Get down with the sickness (rest)


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Fix it part 2

     Howdy again. I've got my coffee, my ramble ready... I guess I'm good to tackle the day! Hopefully after this morning's rant you will be too! Now, I thought it would be important to touch on yesterday's "fix the athlete" ramble. I thought I'd give you my take. So here we go!.

How can we turn this...
... into this!

     Ok, so let's take a look at the questionable power clean above again (the first one). This is the problems that I see:

- The bar is caught low on his chest (good call Libbie)
- Legs are very wide and could be an unstable base he can't recover from
- Not only wide, but the right leg is forward of his left leg (sumo split clean?)
- Because he's so wide his knees are tracking inward
- If we had a side view we may see the knees very far forward, and a more quad dominant catch

     So, that's really quick on what I can see glaring. Whether or not the athlete made the lift, there's a lot we can do to fix this.

     Frist off, let's fix things before ever touching the bar. How about some mobility work to improve his front rake position? Attach a jump stretch band to a pullup bar, let your knuckles rest on your shoulders (while bringing elbows up). and wrap the band your arm at the distal aspect of the tricep. I tried to find a good picture of this, but alas I'm at work and all the good (and dirty) websites are blocked. However, spending about 2 minutes on each are will drastically improve your front rack position. As far as equipment goes... get some good weightlifting shoes!

     After we're warmed up, let's hit the Burgener Warm-Up. Yes the BWU uses the Snatch, but you're still focusing on the natural shrug of the sholders, keeping the bar close to the body and speed through the middle. NOW we're ready to start with some quick warm-up sets before we begin "work set".

     When performing the wam-up I'd have him focus on catching the bar with the legs closer to his core with his knees pressed out (instead of forward). This will recruit our adductors, or the inside of the thigh. I mean, we want to use every bit of strength we have in our legs to pull off a monsterous clean. Keep hips a bit back so we can also include our glute/hamstrings (the big muscle movers). Basically I want it to look like this: (for full size)

     Hopefully,  this athlete will, without a doubt, be able to catch that weight. Even better... set a PR! What do the rest of you think? I'm sure I left some stuff out. Anyone selse care to fix this guy a little bit more? Let me know what you think. Post in the comments section, open your hips... and do burpees!

3,2,1 GO!

Yesterday's Training:

1 RM Push Press - 175lbs
Little upset with today's environment... so I decided to deadlift
1 RM Deadlift - 465 lbs (10 lb PR)
Stoked with that PR! That was seriously all I had for that day. My problem in this "globo-gym" environment is actually the fans. I take a while to mobilize and warm-up properly. Basically I want to be good and sweaty before I start any WOD or lift. These giant industrial fans get things quite chilly. Most of the times I turn them away, or turn them off. Maybe it's just mental, but it helps.

Day 118 Burpee Challenge / 7021 Burpees Total


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fix it

     Good morning folks. Another day in sweaty weather, and another ramble ahead of us. I've been getting a lot of comments lately, so thank you all for that. We've actually heard your imput and had some discussions, which is what these rambles are aiming for. So keep them coming, because we have another "fix and athlete" post today.

     Now, usually I have a picture of what is wrong during a movement. Instead we have the end of a movement. The Clean, a Power Clean it seems like. The Power Clean is an weightlifting movement, and it is when the bar is taken from the ground to the shoulders in one movement. Since it is a POWER Clean it is caught high instead of in the squat. This could be done because the athlete may have a weak squat (like myself) or his sport specific training calls for powerful movemnts (like the football player above).

      Now, it's time to fix it. The athlete did accomplish the Clean, but it would seem he made it a lot harder than it should have been. I'm not saying that this athlete sucks, because looking at the picture it seems this guys has anywhere from 315lbs to 405lbs on the bar. My calculations could be off, but the bar has a substantial bend in it.

     Aside from all of that, what do you think could have been done to finish this with much better form? Think about the set-up and the execution. Also, look to see if you can spot some mobility issues that can be corrected before ever moving a bar. The only way we can become better at lifts like these are to know how to make corrections. So let's hear your thoughts. What need to be done? Post thought in the comments, focus on form... and do burpees!


Down this road, in a gym far away,
a young man was heard to say,
"no matter what i do, my legs won't grow"
he tried leg extensions, leg curls, and leg presses , too
trying to cheat, these sissy workouts he'd do.

from the corner of the gym where the big men train,
through a cloud of chalk and the midst of pain
where the noise is made with big forty fives,
a deep voice bellowed as he wrapped his knees.
a very big man with legs like trees.

laughing as he snatched another plate from the stack
chalking his hands and monstrous back,
said, "boy, stop lying and don't say you've forgotten,
the trouble with you is you ain't been SQUATTIN'. "

     - Dale Clark

3,2,1 GO!

Yesterday's Training:

6 rounds total (alternating between A and B)
*3:00 per round. :60 rest between rounds*
1 Handstand Pushup
3 Strict Chest-to-Bar Pullups
5 Chest-slap Pushups
3 Roll-to-Pistol
6 Pushups
9 Jump Squats

- Round 1 (A): 5 rounds + 1 HSPU
- Round 2 (B): 4 rounds
- Round 3 (A): 4 rounds + 1 CTB
- Round 4 (B): 4 rounds
- Round 5 (A): 4 rounds + 1 CTB
- Round 6 (B): 4 rounds + 4 Pushups
Total Reps - 345

This was just some good tough work. I wanted some short efforts, with changing movements, and little rest... mission accomplished. It felt like a CrossFit Football WOD I had done a while back. Strict CTB Pullups got tough! The movements from A we're heavy on skill and quick muscle fatigue. B's movements were just about getting the work done, and I think these complimented each other well.

Day 117 Burpee Challenge / 6903 Burpees Completed


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

System Error

     Hey guys. A little rushed for time today. Basically, my laptop refused to work today, and now I'm writing this moments before I start my shift for "work". Hopefully my computer-illiterate butt can get things working again, and I can bring you a full ramble tomorrow. So, I'll pose a question to everyone today, and respond in the comments.

     Everyone has a feared WOD. Something that destroyed you the first go around (or mutiple times), and you're nervous anytime mentions the name. For example, I have two WOD, of very different time domains. First, Eva... that girl made my hands into ground chuck. 150 pullups and 150 2 pood swings will rip anyone pretty good. Not to mention you have a 2 1/2 mile run when all is said and done, so this thing is a slug fest. second, the Air Force WOD. Odd that something named after the "Chair Force" would make me want to hide under the stairs (just joking from any zoomies out there). But this WOD turns me to goop everytime. The burpees add up, and the Overhead squats are my Lex Luther.

     Anyway, that's my tail of horror. What makes you cringe? 2k row? Fight Gone Bad? Swallow your pride and list in the comments. I'll see you all tomorrow. So work those weaknesses, styay healthy... and do burpees!

"The difference between 'involvement' and 'commitment' is like an egg and ham breakfast. The chicken was 'involved' and the pig was 'commited'"
     - Unknown

3,2,1 GO!

Yesteday's Training:

1 RM Back Squat - 245lbs (just didn't have it in me today)
1 RM Deadlift - 455lbs (10 lb PR... 460 wouldn't budge)

Overhead Walking Lunge 100lbs x 3 x 8
Wide Grip Pullups (strict) 3 x 8
Goblet Squats (increasing load) 5 x 5 @ 21X1
- 60lbs - 70lbs - 80lbs - 90lbs - 100lbs

Day 116 Burpee Challenge / 6786 Burpees Completed


Monday, August 8, 2011


      Morning everyone. Frosh here, fresh and back in the saddle... or on the wagon.. something like that. Anyway, yesterday I promised you a ramble about Volume. Today, I intend to deliver! So sit back and get ready... it's ramble time!

     Obviously, Saturday I had quite the bout with some high volume training.What is that exactly? Well, in the aerobic world volume equals more miles on the bike/road/water. In the strength world volume is more reps (not neccesarily more weight). And, fo course, in the CrossFit world volume is more WODs.

     In CrossFit you will hear of elite athletes, or those training for competition, will routinely throw multi-WOD days into their training. This is going to do a few things. It prepares that person for the rigors of having multiple WODs in a day, like most competition. Not only that, but it can test a person how well their body can recover between WODs. or the day after.

     Experience (recently as last weekend) has told me that being able to perform that many WODs is physically and mentally taxing. At competitions you know you've already hammered yorself on WOD #1, so you have to put faith into your training and into your abilities, that you can still attack the next WOD with just as much... let's say, "gusto". CrossFit competitions are the ultimate proroving grounds of your training methodology. If you are not prepared for extra volume, you may not be prepared for a competition.

     That being said... Is volume training right for everyone? No, definitely not. CrossFit is a strength and condition program. It's a simple 3 on 1 off prescription. You will not see multiple WODs in a day on the mainsite (unless they post CF Games WODs). If you're not prepared, increased volume can lead to overtraining. And volume-induced overtraining does take a while to recover from.

     Basically, there are times to have a double day, or a triple day... certainly not every day. It all depends on what you're training for. Want to go to the Games or compete regionally? Maybe so. Preparing for a military/LEO job? Hell, that may help. Increasing your fitness? Maybe not, just hit one WOD. What do you guys think? Anyone played with muti-WOD days before? I'd like to hear your thought on the matter. So do the WOD, maybe do another WOD... and do burpees!

Crossfit Vortex Teaser from Jazeen Hollings on Vimeo.

3,2,1 GO!

Yesterday's Training:

Rest Day
Much needed

Day 115 Burpee Challenge / 6670 Burpees Completed


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Deep Fried

     Good Morning everyone... or rather, Good Night from me. Yesterday was quite the test and today is a much needed rest day from the WOD, and again from the rambles. My CNS is toast, and you can see why tomorrow. I want to point out that my training/programmin is not for everyone. It involves heavy loads and some extra volume days. Rest and recovery is crucial for a program as such, and that's tough on deployment. So tomorrow, we're going to have a little cost/benefit analysis on high volume training. When to use it, and when not to. So as always... do burpees!

3,2,1 GO!

Yesterday's Training:

WOD #1
Dynamic Effort Pressing
Push Press 135lbs x 8 x 2

Accessory Work
DB Floor Press (progressive) x 3 x 8
- 40lbs - 50lbs - 55lbs
Hardest thing about this was gettin' the damn dumbells up there
One-Arm Push Press (progressive) x 3 x 3
- 65lbs - 70lbs - 80lbs
Weighted Situps 100lbs x 3 x 12

WOD #2
Hill sprints on the treadmill 15.0 incline for 0.10 distance with increasing speed
- 0.65 - 0.66 - 0.67 - 0.68 - 0.69 - 0.70
I didn't time this, felt there was no point, it was all going to be the same since I had a set speed. Let me just say hill sprints, if you didn't know, hurt! I tried to keep the pose method, and I think I did fairly well. My ass was on fire by the end of it... good stuff!

WOD #3
5 rounds for time
7 Deadlift 275lbs
21 Double Unders
Time - 4:58
This is a CrossFit Football WOD. Rxd was 315lbs, but my posterior chain felt fried from the speed pulls yesterday. It was tough to pick that ball up.

Day 114 Burpee Challenge / 6555 Burpees Completed


Saturday, August 6, 2011


     Happy volume day everyone. Today I am one WOD day (Dynamic Effort lift), with 2 to go (Sprints and Heavy Metcon). I'm trying to recover in between effort. However, I find myself in Hell's laundry room (I'm referring to the heat). So, I'm sorry for a late notice and unappreciated ramble. Below is yesterday's stuff, and I will have more for you tomorrow. Enjoy the video... and do burpees!

Think outside the box from Ohoj on Vimeo.

3,2,1 GO!

Yesterday's Training:

Sumo parallel Box Squats 165 lbs x 10 x 2 with red bands every 45 seconds
One thing to this, on my last 2 sets I bumped up to 185 lbs. I was able to keep my speed and felt just the same. The toughest thing about Dynamic Effort... keeping the damn time. It's not every 30 second or a minute, so I had to add up in my head when I would lift again, and remember what set I was on. Good stuff though.
Speed pulls 315lbs x 15 every 30 second
Who has 2 thumbs and loves to deadlift... this guy

Accessory work:
Man-makers (progressive load) x 3 x 3
- 40lbs - 50lbs - 60lbs
Have you every gone near max effort on a Man-Maker before? Whole crap, me neither! That sucker was tough. Before you ask, a Man-Maker is: 1 pushup on DB, left arm DB row, right arm DB row, come to a deep squat, full clean (or power clean + squat), finish with thruster 
one-arm DB rows (progressive load) x 3 x 8
-60lbs - 70lbs - 80lbs
Weighted Situps 95lbs x 3 x 12

Day 113 Burpee Challenge / 6441 Burpees Completed


Friday, August 5, 2011


     Morning again your ramble heads (do you like your nickname?). Today I'm shooting to blind you with science... so shield your eyes. And no, it's not "Weird Science", the 80's have passed. Anyway, grab your easy chair and your iPad, and let's get to it!

     So, I was reading something from good ol' Uncle Rip (Mark Rippetoe for those of you that don't know). He said:

"Don't confuse high effort with high intensity"

     I remembered him speak about intensity, and measuring intensity from his and Dr. Lon Kilgore's book: Practicle Programming for Strength Training. Lot of good info in that book, but I was looking for the specific passage. After checking the Index for "Intensity" I found what I was looking forward. Let me sum it up for you.

     Intensity is the average amount of weight lifted, relative to your 1 RM. Actually, there's a very simple formula:

Volume / Reps = Average Weight Used (AWU)
AWU / 1RM x 100 = % of Intensity

     So Intensity actually refers to your workload in a given workout. Lets say (for saying's sake) that you are a burly man that can squat 3 wheels (315lbs). So you do a progressive load of 225lbs x 3, 275lbs x 3 and 295lbs x 3. The math should look like this:

[(225x3)+(275x3)+(295x3)] / 9 reps = 265
(265 / 315) x 100 = 84%

     So, your workout averages to 84%, which isn't too shabby. However, we're looking at your work set for a progressive load of 3 x 3. What we didn't calculate was your warm-up set. So let's say that you did 45lbs x 5, 135lbs x 3 and 185lbs x 3 to work up. Then we redo the math:

[(45x5)+(135x3)+(185x3)+(225x3)+(275x3)+(295x3)] / 20 reps = 178.5
(178.5 / 315) x 100 = 57%

     You see what happened? Crap... that's a drop in intensity right there. However, your top number is probably a better view of your actual workout. The bottom number is to harp on the fact that we can't spend foever on warm-up sets. You're warm-up sets are just that, you should no be taxed going in.

     More to the point of today's ramble, I think the word "intensity" is a buzz word in the fitness community (a lot like core), that get's missused a whole lot. Let's take a look at a WOD that you may or may not have been bested by, the hero WOD Randy: 30 75lb Snatches for time. Let's do the math, and use differnt poundage for the snatch: Person A - 135lbs; Person B - 185lbs; Person C - 200lbs

(75 x 70) / 70 = 75 (easy math I know)
Person A : (70 / 135) x 100 = 52%
Person B : (70 / 185) x 100 = 38%
Person C : (70 / 200) x 100 = 35%

     What have we learned? Either way you stack it, the relative intensity (intensity for each person) is really low. Am I saying that it's an easy WOD? Not at all. 70 of anything is going to be tough. The EFFORT is going to be high, but not the INTENSITY. Are we seeing the difference yet? Basically, intensity is not something abstract, it's something that we can calculate. So, I may not yell out "keep the intensity up", I may just go with, "rage out on the mother ^%$&ing bar!!!"

     So there it is, my rant/ramble on intensity. PR on a 1RM = intense, PR on Fran = tough as hell... but not as "intense". Are there other schools of though? Yes. Is there other measures of intensity for different disciplines like sprinting? Yes. But we're talking about moving the weight. So keep intensity high, put forth the effort... and do burpees!

"To be pleased with one's limits is a wretched state"
     - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

3,2,1 GO!

Yesterday's Training:

Sprints: Row 400m x 7 with 2:30 rest between effort
Round 1 - 1:22.9
Round 2 - 1:21.5
Round 3 - 1:21.3
Round 4 - 1:23.6
Round 5 - 1:22.4
Round 6 - 1:24.4
Round 7 - 1:23.7
The rest was deceiving on this, you got your wind back... but not your legs.

For time:
30 Pullups
40 Overhead Walking lunges 45lbs (1=1)
50 Situps
40 Burpees
30 Push Press 40 lbs
Time - 11:28
This didn't go down as planned. The room I was going to do this in had kettlebell, but it wasn't available. Had to change it up a bit, and probably a quicked WOD than I was shooting for, but still good. Longest part was the Push Presses.

Day 112 Burpee Challenge / 6328 Burpees Completed


Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Quick note

     Howdy folks! Back again, and always ready for a ramble. Let me tell you, there is nothing that can screw up my day. Just today, there is a huge bin of fresh whole avacados at the dining facility! I take at least 2 every time I eat and put them in my fridge in my room. Something so small... yet so awesome!

     Anyway, I'm beat up and pressed for time today, not going to lie. Today's ramble is going to be a bit quick, but tomorrow we're bringing some science back to the ramble, so stay tuned for that. Anyway, I just want to pose a question to everyone out there in internet land... What have you benefitted the most from CrossFit? Example, I've always been pretty decent and moving my body, ala gymnastics. Not to say that hasn't increased, but my strength is gettin up there. I've learned the importance of full depth squats and deadlifts, and I've come to enjoy both of them too much. Anyway, what about you? Is it inches on your waist? Improving you speed? Moving the weight? Speak up! So stay tuned, check back tomorrow... and do burpees!

3,2,1 GO!

Yesterday's Training:

Press 1 RM - 135 lbs
I was pretty happy to tie my PR on this. Press is something I struggle on a lot. As far as progression goes 125 felt a bit tough, I think my form was off. When I put up 130 it just floated up. 135 was tough but got up there. Made it halfway wth 140, but no dice.

Hang Power Cleans 135lb x 3 x 8
Weighted Dips 35lbs x 3 x 5
One-Arm Push Presses (progressive load) x 5 x 3 each arm
- 50 lbs - 65lb - 70lbs - 80lbs - 90lbs
The push presses taught me that my left arm strength is lacking, so I really like being able to work on that. Big drive from the hips and tried to hold each rep up there for a good second before lowering.

I know I was supposed to follow this up with sprint, but it was getting late. I think next week I'll do stength before work and sprints after work. I did my sprints this morning and I'll post times tomorrow

Day 111 Burpee Challenge / 6216 Burpees Completed


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What's in your stocking?

     Hey hey everyone! Rambles are back again. Coach Glassman has said to routinely learn and play new sports. Be that as it may, today we cover another interesting game, in the wide wide world of sports... maybe something new to train for.

     No, photo above is not of groups of people running from a heist. They are competing in sport over 45 year old... Coal Carrying. The name of the Game is to carry a bag loaded with about one hundred pounds of coal for a 1k run. To be specific, it's 50kg for the men and 20kg for the women. To be even more specific, the course clocks in at 1012.5 meters

     This sport originated by a dare between 2 fellows in 1963... doesn't everything start with a dare (mostly with alcohol involved)? To date, the race takes place near Yorkshire, UK, falling every Easter Monday.

     Just last April, a new woman's record was set in the event. Catherine Foley came across the finish line in 4 minutes and 25 seconds, beating the old time by 40 second!. Coal Carrying Baddass David Jones still holds the record at 4 minutes and 6 seconds. I called him a badass because he finished in that time in 1991 AND 1995 (just to prove it wasn't a fluke). In fact, he hold 6 of the top 10 times for the course! For both of these athletes, they probably run this race faster than most could do unweighted.

     So, who's up for a trip to the UK next Easter? Take in some sights... carry some coal... ya know, the usual. Interesting enough, we do have the ocassional WOD that will include toating a sandbag, or maybe running with a wallball or kettlebell... not too far off wouldn't you say? Anyway, move weight, move it fast... and do burpees!

"Someone once told me the definition of Hell: The last day you have on Earth, the person you became will meet the person you could have become."
     - Unknown

3,2,1, GO!

Yesterday's Training:

5 rounds:
5 Burpees (touch one foot above reach for the jump)
10 Walking Lunges (L/R=1)
10 Hand-Release Pushups
10 Walking Lunges
5 Chest-to-Bar Pullups
*Rest 120 seconds between rounds*
Round 1 - 1:35
Round 2 - 1:28
Round 3 - 1:22
Round 4 - 1:27
Round 5 - 1:27
After the first round my goal was to keep every other round under 90 seconds. Walking lunges quickly added up, since I hit Front Squats and Deadlifts yesterday.

Day 110 Burpee Challenge / 6105 Burpees Completed


Tuesday, August 2, 2011


     Howdy folks. By now I've came off my CrossFit Games high (I think). Only 363 days till 2012! OK, I kid... kind of... Now I'm able to really devote some time to the gym, and not spend it re-watching athlete interviews and doing math on who will win (my women's prediction was correct btw). Anyway, it's back to the daily grind.

     Well, in getting back to my training (towards the 2012 Open season) I've been re-working my personal programming. I know I haven't hit a lot of metcons here on deployment, and I have been focussed on more of a power lifting schedule. I'm trying to program smart and regain my speed while not losing the strength I've worked so hard on these last 4 months. With any luck, I will be hitting PRs on both sides of the coin (head=strength, tails=speed). This is my preliminary program I've come up with:

Monday: Max Effort (ME) Squat / Lift (+accesory work)
Tuesday: Bodyweight metcon with rest between rounds
Wednseday: ME Press (+accesory work) - Sprints (track/treadmill/bike/rower)
Thursday: 15-20 minute metcon w/ mixed modalities (ie barbell, kettlebell, bodyweight movements)
Friday: Dynamic (DE) Squat / Lift (+accesory work)
Saturday: DE Press (+accesory work) - Sprints - Heavy Metcon

     So, you've noticed that I still have a lot of strength work. I'm trying to keep with a Westside Brabell bias for strength work, as this is where i saw my greatest gains. I'm also trying to incoperate sprints at least twice a week, as well as metcons using different time and modal domains (hello original CrossFit prescription). This is what I'm going to be doing for the onth of August. In September I'll probably change it up some more, and do 4-5 metcons a weeks, and maybe doing less strength work. I'm hoping that I'm going to make the transition when I get back home.

     Sorry to go on a rant about what I do. But I do get questions about what I do. Maybe you guys/gals think this is on point, or maybe this is crazy in your eyes. I'd like to hear what you guys think about this, and if you have any questions I'd be glad to answer. So shoot for the PRs, get fitter... and do burpees!

BeachSide CrossFit from WOD Gear on Vimeo.

3,2,1 GO!

Yesterday's Training:

- 5 min DU practice
- foam roll
- weighted sumo squats 3 x 8 (21X2)
What is  21X2 you might ask? You may see this is some strength programs. This is the tempo of the movement, it spilts the movement like this: descent - bottom position - ascent - top position. So for this I will take 2 second to descend, the 1 is the pause in the bottom, the X means to ascend as fast as possible, and the second 1 is the pause at the top. If this was a move like a chinup or deadlift (begining with the ascent) you would start at the 3rd number.

Front Squat 1RM - 195lb
Tied my PR, but it felt a whole lot easier today, breaking 200 will be coming soon!
Sumo Deadlift 1RM - 385 lbs
This was a 40 lb PR in the sumo style. It felt really good, and I may have got 400... but I had angry people waiting for the bar.

Walking Lunges 115lbs x 3 x 10
Weighted Pullups 45lbs x 3 x 5
Bent over Dumbell rows 55lbs x 3 x AMRAP
Weighted Situps 95lbs x 3 x 17

Day 109 Burpee Challenge / 5995 Burpees Completed


Monday, August 1, 2011


     You guessed it folks, the 2011 Reebok CrossFit Games have come to completion. We have crowned the Fittest on Earth in the 4 Master's groups, individual male and female, and finally the teams. It was a long weekend of little sleep and crazed emotions. Mostly due to the fact that I wanted to chuck my laptop halfway across the country any time the live feed crapped out on me. So, who topped the charts of our fitness list? Let's take a look (and do burpees).


     No WOD, or rope climb for that matter, could stop Rich Froning Jr from standing tall atop the podium this year, placing 2nd last year and raking the top spot this year (a Tonya Wagner-ish career). Rich was the model of uber consistency, grabbing a heaping handful of 1-3rd place finishes. In fact there was only one WOD that Rich finished outside of the top 10 (WOD #1). Now the talk of all next year may be, "Can he win it back to back"

     To round off the top 5, Josh Bridges made a mad dash, but couldn't gain enough to take the top spot. A legit contender, he brought home 2nd place... no small feet (even though he is on the miniture side). For 3rd place, Ben Smith moved weight and his body effortlessly. A super consitent athlete, there will be more to come from this young pup. Graham Holmberg also proved that he is a force to be reckoned with. "The End" favored him super well, and he took the 4th place spot. Lastly (and not least), californian outdoor-WOD machine Blair Morrison get the auto-ticket to the Games next year. Not that he need is, he was an outstanding athlete all weekend.


     The individuals are setting a theme this year. 2nd place last year, and 1st place this year, Annie Thorisdottir takes the red bumper plate podium. Her largest blemish was the 1st skills session WOD, after that her lowest placing was 7th. Annie is a force to be recconed with, as she is not the one everyone will be chasing next year.

     Kristen Clever, no surprise, took 2nd this year. It begs the question to if she and Annie will just continue to swap the top spot back and forth. My predections? I doubt it. In 3rd place, and another "Valley Girl", is Rebecca Voight. Going to show that there may be something in the barbells there in VCF. In 4th place, female locamotive Sam Briggs. She has a drive like non-other. If she can clean up he tecnhique, and tighten up he back on deadlifts, she'll be a hugely competitive athlete next year as well. Finally, repeat 5th place finisher Julie Foucher. This smaller framed athlete is still ready and capable to throw down... can't wait to see it happen again next year.


     The Beast of the East: CrossFit New England is your fittest group this year. At the regionals they won every WOD handely. This year, at the Games, they won the only one that mattered. CFNE blazed through the "Gallery of the Girls" and took top honors. You tell a team that they're going to complete 6 girls at once (head out of the gutters) and these guys and gals say, "BRING IT ON!" Way to go team! Now, there was a lot of haters about the wiping the slate clean for the final WOD in a winner take all throwdown. But, look at the number, had they retained their scores... CF New England still would have won

     Front Range CrossFit, CrossFit Rocklin, Brick CrossFit, Team Taranis, and (last years winners) CrossFit Fort Vancouver battled it out, and battled hard. However, they were a speck in New England's rear view mirror. I'm not doubting the legit performance all weekend by these teams, and I am sure we will see all of them fighting next year,

MASTERS (a picture montage)

45-49 winner Scott DeTore

45-49 winner Susan Habbe

50-54 Male Winner Gord Mackinnon (submitted all his open WOD via video)

50-54 winner Mary Beth Litsheim

55-59 Winner Steve Anderson (Don't hate, I tried forever to find a pic)

55-59 Winner Shelley Noyce
60+ Winner Greg Walker

60+ Winner Betsy Finley

     A hearty congrats to everyone that competed this weekend. Super kudos to the Judges and Volunteers that made this weekend happen. The sport of CrossFit is growing, and that is leading to more and more people flocking to the box. Some people are going to compete to win, but others are CrossFitting to be healthier... and that's what its all about. So celebrate, get back to the WOD... and do burpees!

3,2,1 GO!

Yesterday's Training:

Watch the Games... for time

Day 108 Burpee Challnge / 5886 Burpees Completed