Sunday, January 31, 2010

Monday WOD - Saturated Fat, Good or Bad?


5 rounds for time of:
5 Deadlifts (275/185#)
10 Burpees

Post time to comments.

Saturated Fat
Conventional wisdom has conditioned us to automatically connect saturated fat with arteries paved over with plaque. The same conventional wisdom, however does not hold up under closer scrutiny, as a look at most studies dealing with saturated fat and cardiovascular health show little or no correlation. Here is a very informative look at saturated fat, as well as some links to populations that have incredible cardiovascular health on a high fat, high saturated fat diet. Check out the research and take it into your own hands to decide whether you think saturated fat is as bad as it's been made out to be. Maybe those people who live to be a hundred and eat eggs, bacon, and sausage every day were on to something...hmmm...

Tokelau - 50% of diet is saturated fat; lower cholesterol levels than Americans

The Masai

The Inuit

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Active Rest Day
Practice a skill. Olympic weightlifting, double unders, gymnastics, work on your technique and, if need be, flexibility to allow proper form.

Now THAT is pulling yourself under the bar!

Some great videos for learning gymnastics and gaining strength in gymnastics

Friday, January 29, 2010

Saturday - Weaknesses


For time:
1000m Row
50 Thrusters (45#)
30 Pullups

Post times to comments.

Weaknesses. We all have them. Sometimes it’s a lack of strength, other times a lack of technique. Many movements in CrossFit demand not only strength and endurance, but also high levels of balance, coordination, and agility. We must always strive to strengthen those areas in which we fail. But we must be unflinchingly honest about where we fail and succeed, not for others, but for ourselves. It’s  never fun to work on a weakness, we’d much rather try to emphasize our strengths because we feel good about those areas in which we excel. But there is far more to be gained in your fitness by working on your weaknesses than your strengths.

The CrossFit community provides a supportive group of people that are eager to help you in any of your goals, take advantage of this opportunity. We’re all here to help each other become faster, stronger, and fitter. By suffering together, we build a bond, one like that found between fellow teammates and between fellow soldiers. This bond is why a CrossFitter can walk into any affiliate and feel welcome. This camaraderie is what truly changes many people’s lives.

My weaknesses right now are rowing, long distance running, double-unders, snatches, and thrusters.

What are your weaknesses? Post your thoughts to the comments.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Friday - Legumes and Dairy

Active Rest Day
Find something fun to do outside or try a new activity/sport.

Why should we avoid legumes and dairy on a Paleo diet?

The reasons for avoiding legumes are the same for avoiding grains: they were not a food consumed throughout most of our evolution, they contain large amounts of lectins (which is why uncooked beans are toxic, cooking reduces but doesn‘t eliminate these), antinutrients, and a large amount of carbohydrate. We avoid large amounts of carbohydrate in the form of grains, legumes and dairy in favor of the more nutrient dense fruits and vegetables. By doing so we can ensure plenty of vitamins and minerals in our diet and keep insulin levels stable.

As for dairy, Mark Sisson just put out a pretty comprehensive article on it so I’d take a look at that.
The Definitive Guide to Dairy

My advice for those who want to see if dairy works for them, try eliminating it for 30 days and see how you look/feel/perform, then reintroduce it and reevaluate. If you feel better without it, keep it out. Anybody that is not already quite lean though, should avoid dairy altogether until they are fairly lean. Dairy can be of use to those trying to put on lean mass, as it is quite an anabolic food, but should be avoided if trying to lose weight.
Also, go for the full fat, preferably organic or raw if you're going to drink dairy.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Thursday WOD - Why We Do What We Do


10 rounds of:
Sprint 6 flights of stairs
Rest 3:1 (if it takes you 30 seconds, rest 90 seconds)
Time each ascent.

Post times to comments.

Credo - from

I train in a garage gym. Not because I can’t train in a carpeted, shiny, air conditioned palace, but because I know that just being willing to train in discomfort leads to greater gains, some that you can see and some that you will never.

Some see size and think limitation. You’re too big to do this or too small to lift that,” they say. I consider size and ask, “So what?” What they cannot see is the efficiency of my strength. I am stronger than I should be, more powerful than I am supposed to be and I endure greater than I will allow you to see.

They see a momentary flash of light and expect it to flicker out, when really, it is a lasting spark. A spark is the most powerful moment of a fire’s manifestation. My spark is ready to ignite and grow.

What they don't know is that I will bust my tail to lift more, run faster, jump higher and endure even greater. They see deficiency and assume little of me. I see deficiency and recognize a call to action.

When they say to me, “you’re just not at that level,” be sure to examine my reaction closely. You will see a smirk on my face and hop in my step. For I know what they do not. Whichever goal I have yet to attain is closer to fruition than they can imagine. What inadequacies I have are temporary. I am willing to come to terms with those and work tirelessly to dismiss them. My body will adapt to whatever strain is introduced.  I will be better than they know, not because I dream but because I will it so.

My shoulders are strong enough to carry the burdens of life and the weights in my gym but my will is even stronger.  I squat low and drive my Do-Win’s to the core of our earth. I jerk and throw a loaded-up Pendlay to the heavens. I look up and yell, “Take this weight!” Then, after this glaring moment of weakness, I thank God that it falls back to the ground. I have more P.R.’s to break and with every plate that slams on the wood and rubber platform beneath, I grow closer to that record.

Whatever the weather, I step outside and find a way to use it for my advantage. I run, I drag, I row, I sprint, and I climb. I find a way to thrive in my surroundings.

I am raw and my potential, as of yet, is unrealized.

Around the world, millions are training in their garages and warehouses, parks and strength facilities. The mentality of a person that trains their body to such an extent remains constant, over time, even though the trends come and go. Your first weight set was in your garage. When you think of strength and conditioning, you immediately picture a garage, squat rack and bench press. Most of whom you admire train in uncomfortable environments. Discomfort is comfortable to you.

Some will fail to understand why you can’t find solace in a room with mirrored walls. Not everyone is fortunate enough to train where and how hard you do. They yearn for a “raw” experience where music isn’t filtered and celebrations aren’t toned down.  They settle for pop and inside voices. The magazines just can’t capture what it is that you love about what you do.

Kettle bells, chains, platforms, bumpers, boxes, sleds, hurdles, barbells, rings, rowers, medicine balls and ropes are not universal but in our garages, they are. You know that strength inside? You sharpen it every day. That spark that I told you about? It never dies does it? When all is said and done, they will see that the garage gym mentality is shared by many. The Sic Fit will congregate here.

From -

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Wednesday WOD - Insulin


For time:
30 Clean and Jerks (135lbs)

Cleans should be full squat cleans. Post time to comments.

INSULIN - What it is and Why it Matters

Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas in response to increased blood sugar levels. Insulin is a storage hormones and effectively lowers the blood sugar by letting glucose into cells. When we eat a large amount of easily digestible carbs, a blood sugar spike occurs, followed by an insulin spike. When the cells of the body are filled up with glucose, the excess is stored as fat. Insulin is an absolutely necessary hormone, but it becomes very detrimental when there are chronically elevated levels of it, such as on a typical American diet and the 65% carbohydrate diet recommended by the FDA. 
When insulin is chronically elevated, it results in an assortment of problems. High circulating levels of insulin cause the cells in the body to become more resistant to insulin, in that they need more insulin to store the same amount of glucose. This happens via a receptor-downgrade phenomenon, which is akin to alcohol or drug tolerance. If you drink a lot of alcohol or use a drug frequently, it takes progressively more and more to get the same effect. 
When your cells become insulin resistant, the pancreas pumps out more insulin to pick up the slack, and this increased insulin causes more insulin resistance; it’s a cycle that eventually ends up at diabetes. Insulin resistance is basically a measure of how diabetic you are; if you are completely insulin resistant, you have to take insulin.
Chronic high insulin levels are also the main factor in obesity; by signaling cells to uptake glucose and fatty acids and by decreasing the rate of lipolysis(breakdown of fat), insulin causes the body to hold onto body fat.
Eicosanoid Production - Omega-3/Omega-6 Balance
High insulin levels also tend to shift the body’s inflammatory status by altering eicosanoid production. Eicosanoids (ick-ah-sun-oids) are hormones that regulate inflammation throughout the entire body; there are both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory kinds. Eicosanoids are heavily influence by our intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids; namely omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Eicosanoids produced from omega-6 fatty acids, which are disproportionally prevalent in today’s diet, tend to be pro-inflammatory, whereas omega-3 fatty acids on the other hand tend to produce anti-inflammatory eicosanoids. From an evolutionary standpoint, we should be consuming these in about a 2:1 or even 1:1 ratio of omega-6/omega-3, but today’s diet typically provides a 20:1 or even 30:1 ratio; this results in an above normal level of inflammation.

So, what’s the take-home message from all of this?

Limit the amount of carbohydrates in your diet to at a maximum of 40% of your calorie intake, and try to get most of your carbs from nutrient-rich non-starchy vegetables and fruits, with an emphasis on the veggies. This will help you stabilize insulin levels, end hunger pangs, and avoid chronic disease and death. : )

(P.S. Exercise enhances your insulin sensitivity, hooray CrossFit! Just don't count on it to make up for a crappy diet though.)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Tuesday - Active Rest

Active Rest Day

Find something fun and active to do. Play a sport, go for a hike, go rockclimbing, or just get out and enjoy the beautiful state of Washington!


A little dramatic, yes, but not too far from the truth. Grains are NOT HEALTHY, no matter how ‘whole-grain’ or ‘unprocessed’ they are, that can actually make them worse. There are many reasons for this, but let’s start at the beginning:

Organisms tend to thrive when they are in the environment that they evolved in; this is a basic rule of biology. Departure from such an environment, such as in a drastic change of diet, may cause numerous problems to arise; this is what has occurred in the human population today. The average American’s diet is composed of about 72% of foods our ancestors didn’t eat (you can see why our country has the obesity epidemic that it does now).

Today, I'll focus on grains.
Grains weren’t a large part of humans’ diets until somewhere around 10,000 years ago. With the Agricultural Revolution came grains, a new, carbohydrate-rich energy source! Exciting? Maybe not. Grains carry with them a whole host of harmful substances, besides their blood sugar and insulin spiking ability (that‘s a whole other topic).

Gluten, a protein found in many grains, irritates the gut, so much in some people that it can cause an illness called celiac disease, where the a strong autoimmune reaction occurs and the villi (small fingerlike projections in the intestine that allow for absorption of nutrients) are slowly eroded by the body’s own defenses. This process occurs every time gluten is consumed, and the villi are eventually not able to absorb nutrients properly from the gut. Celiac disease occurs in about 1 in 135 people that are have no increased risk factors. Many more people however show an immune reaction to gluten, showing that very possibly, many more people are sensitive to gluten.

Lectins act on wounded cells in the GI tract and stop them from repairing the plasma membranes, which are ruptured from insoluble fiber consumed in the diet. When these cells die, a portal to our body is created where intact proteins and other substances can pass through and enter our bloodstream. These intact proteins and other substances trigger the immune system and inflammation is increased throughout the body.  When an immune response is acute and severe, this can lead to an allergic reaction. (It’s no wonder that peanuts, which also contain lectins, are a major allergen) Otherwise, this inflammation can go unnoticed, and may only make itself known after much damage has been done. This can lead to a condition called leaky gut syndrome. Legumes also contain high levels of lectins, and nuts and seeds do as well to a lesser extent. Some of the lectins are destroyed through cooking, but large amounts remain.

Phytates and other Antinutrients are substances that are found bound to the micronutrients found in grains, legumes, and other foods, making them unavailable for absorption in humans. The iron in beans, and the other minerals in those "nutrient rich grains" pass right along into the toilet. Some of the antinutrients are destroyed while cooking, but many remain, especially with today's cooking methods.

More Reading On Grains

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Monday WOD


As many rounds as possible in 20min of:
5 Pullups
10 Pushups
15 Squats

Post rounds and reps completed to comments.

An interesting article on CrossFit

The attitude the author uses in addressing CrossFit is pretty critical and shows a lack of familiarity with CrossFit. There is, however, value to this article in that it brings to light the potential danger of rhabdomyolysis. This is why we approach workouts in a scaled manner at first, especially for those with athletic backgrounds able to push themselves too hard.

Another little interesting tidbit, CrossFit started in 1995, and at the time of this article had 50 gyms. As of now, there are around 1500 affiliates around the world!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sunday WOD


Run 5 K


Find a good, long, steep hill to run, from 1 K to 5 K. Run to the top as quickly as possible. In the future you’ll use this hill again, so note specifically where you started and where you stopped, along with the time to completion. Have fun with this one!

Post time and details of hill to comments.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Saturday - Supplements


For time:

100 Burpee pull-ups

Ideally, the pull-up bar is one foot above your reach.

Post time to comments.


FISH OIL - Fish oil is a great source of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. The modern diet, and even a well kept paleo diet will be higher in omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3’s. The balance in our ancestral diets ranged from around a 1:1 to a 1:2 ratio of omega-3 to omega-6, whereas the typical ratio in today‘s diet is 1:20 or 1:30.This is an important imbalance to fix because these two kinds of essential fatty acids regulate a large part of inflammation within the body. Fish oil is relatively cheap, safe (even the lower quality brands), and a necessary supplement to a healthy diet.  A 5 g/day dose of omega-3’s will work for most people, though the amount needed will increase/decrease based on quality of diet and levels of inflammation (omega-3 concentrations vary with each brand). More information on the topic of omega-3/omega-6 balance can be found here. (Note: omega-3’s in flax products are ALA, which is very inefficiently converted to EPA/DHA)

VITAMIN D - Vitamin D is a rather benign, healthful addition to ANYONE’S DIET. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to increased incidence of Parkinson’s disease, and there are few dietary sources of this nutrient. Those of us in the Northwest are at an even higher risk for deficiency because Vitamin D is synthesized in the skin with sun exposure; less sun = less vitamin D produced. Visit for some more info.

MULTIVITAMIN - A good multivitamin will contain a complete range of micronutrients and quality ingredients. A multivitamin is not truly necessary, but many choose to take one as an insurance policy to prevent any possible deficiencies. A good diet can provide all necessary micronutrients, but a multivitamin is a cheap easy way to ensure you are getting everything you need. Here is a link for finding a good multivitamin,

PROBIOTICS - Our ancestors didn’t have access to hand sanitizer or soap, and thus, likely consumed quite a bit of bacteria along with their food. Then again, they didn’t have to deal with antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria as well. Beneficial bacteria in our gut act as part of our immune system, as well as helping us digest and absorb our food. Keeping the numbers of beneficial bacteria strong in our gut helps to combat dangerous bacteria that can cause food borne illnesses. Thus, probiotics are a good addition to most peoples' diet, reinforcing gut health, which in turn may result in less inflammation and a stronger immune system. You don’t need to take probiotics every day, because the whole point is simply to give the good bacteria in your gut a boost, twice a week will likely work well. Under times of increased stress or right after taking antibiotics, this can be increased to every other day or so.

CREATINE -  Creatine is a naturally occurring substance used by vertebrates in energy production. Red meat is a good source of dietary creatine, but additional supplementation may be beneficial for some people. Supplementation can help improve performance in short, all-out activities (0-10 seconds) in some people, whereas others are non-responders. Some potential side effects include water retention, cramps, and slight dehydration. Creatine may also be a potent antioxidant, and 5g a day may be of benefit to non-responders as well. Creatine is one of the cheapest supplements out there, and is worth giving a try to see whether it helps you. Add it in for 30 days, see how you look/feel/perform, and decide whether you want to keep it in.

PROTEIN POWDER - Liquid meals should generally be avoided because they are absorbed so quickly and can cause higher insulin spikes. However, for those trying to gain weight, a good low-carb protein powder used post workout can be quite useful. Whey protein causes an increase in insulin and insulin-like growth factor, both of which are anabolic. It is also a high quality, very bioavailable protein. For those with dairy intolerance or those trying to lose weight, dairy should be avoided.  Casein protein should be avoided by everyone as well.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Getting back to the basics...

Friday - Rest Day

It is truly amazing how day after day many people try to support their training with supplements. There are a few supplements that may help some people, but these matter so little compared to the basics that it is simply ridiculous to even consider supplements before you get the basics down.

1.  EAT REAL FOOD - Meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, NO SUGAR. This also means limiting grains, legumes(beans, lentils, peanuts), and dairy. Our ancient ancestors ate very little to none of these foods and you shouldn't either. For the reasons why, refer to Mark Sisson's BlogRobb Wolf's Blog and Loren Cordain's Blog also have a wealth of information on evolutionary nutrition.

2.  SLEEP 8-9HRS EVERY NIGHT - Sleep is when your body recovers, when you become stronger, and a whole slew of problems begin appearing with less than optimal sleep, including insulin resistance, altered hormonal status, etc. Sleeping in a cool pitch black room, with a little white noise, helps most people sleep. So try to get as much sleep as you can without getting fired or divorced!

3.  DRINK PLENTY OF WATER. Carry a water bottle and drink it throughout the day, stay hydrated, it can help you sleep, being hydrated helps you to perform better in your workout, it helps keep your muscles more relaxed, what's not to like? And water means WATER - energy drinks/gatorade/snapple/etc DO NOT COUNT.

Following these simple but oft-ignored guidelines will account for the majority of your ability to perform and train well. The basics are the basics for a reason, they've been proven effective time and time again. Tomorrow I'll post some information about a few useful and effective supplements and a little bit about why they work.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Thursday 1/21/10 WOD

10 Burpees
200m Row @ 50% pace
10 Burpees
200m Row @ 75% pace

6 X 500m Rows
Rest 4-6 min between each effort.
Post times to comments

New Website

Because the program I used to create the other website was a trial version, I would not be able to edit the website after the program's 15-day trial period, and so I've created this website. I think this will actually be a good switch, and will allow for more input from you guys(and girls).