Saturday, February 27, 2010

Today was incredible - Day One at Washington Sectionals

Alright, here's the breakdown of my results today: WOD 1 - 26th, WOD 2 - 15th, WOD 3 - 58th. Overall after DAY 1 - 22nd place. Gotta step it up tomorrow and get back in the top 20!

Friday, February 26, 2010


Rest Day

Here's an interesting article about Bottled Water.

Saturday and Sunday, I'll be competing in the 2010 Washington Sectionals CrossFit competition, so I won't be posting workouts for this weekend. I will try to sum up each days events though if I have the time and post them on here. See you guys on Monday!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Thursday WOD - Paleo Chicken Soup

6 X 500m Row
Rest 4-6 min between sets.

Paleo Chicken Soup (the coldbuster)

Wednesday WOD


For those adept in Push Jerks:

8 minutes for reps of
Sprint 200 ft
Max reps on Push Jerk (155/100#)

Start with the sprint. Every minute on the minute, sprint 200 ft, then complete as many reps as possible of push jerk within the minute. Score is total repetitions completed of push jerk.

For those new to Push Jerks:

5 X 5 Push Jerk
5 X 5 Power Cleans

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Are we crazy?

I just wanted to share this great article by Robb Wolf. It lays out the reasons why we eat a paleo diet; because it beats every other diet out there bar none in terms of disease prevention, performance, and general wellbeing.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Tuesday - Gymnastics Practice

Active Rest Day

Practice Gymnastics - 50 regular push ups, 50 pseudo-planche push ups

Gymnastics are important skills to practice as they provide an incredible degree of body control and awareness, as well as strength and flexibility, that will transfer to better performance in CrossFit and life in general. So seek out gymnastic movements, set a goal, and begin to master the movement. Some common goals include: muscleups, freestanding handstand pushups, the Iron Cross, Front Lever, Back Lever, and planche pushups.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Monday WOD - Vitamin D

21-15-9 for time of:
Thrusters (95/65#)

A Closer Look at Vitamin D’s Importance

  • 85-90% of people are deficient to severely deficient in Vitamin D
  • The FDA’s recommended 400 IU may not be near enough, around 5000 IU/day may be the optimal dose. 
  • Strong evidence supports that Vitamin D is important in strengthening the immune system, especially against respiratory infections.
  • Vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk of many cancers, autoimmune disorders, and obesity.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sunday WOD - Washington Sectionals Workouts/ Recipe for Colting's Cocoa and Coconut Snacks

           A healthy alternative to the standard energy/protein bar.

DAY ONE - Washington Sectionals


8 minutes for reps of
Sprint 200 ft
Max reps on Push Jerk (155/100#)

Start with the sprint. Every minute on the minute, sprint 200 ft, then complete as many reps as possible of push jerk within the minute. Score is total repetitions completed of push jerk.

For time:
40 Handstand Pushups
40 Front Squats (155/105#)

There is a 5-minute limit on the handstand pushups, at 5:00, move to front squats. 12 minute limit on the entire workout.



P.S. Sorry for the late postings, I’ve been a bit distracted as of late getting ready for Sectionals coming up this weekend. I’ll try to keep posting daily.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Rest Day

Relax, stretch, and loosen up your muscles a bit.

What will they think of next?…

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Thursday WOD

                            Art De Vany, 72 years young


50-40-30-20-10 for time of:

Post times to comments.

Art De Vany is someone that has used the Paleo diet and lifestyle to stay strong, fit, and healthy in his later years. Here’s his blog, which contains his thoughts on various subjects.

A news story on Art De Vany, a promoter of the Paleo diet and lifestyle

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Wednesday WOD


21-15-9 for time of:
Deadlift (225/155#)
Handstand Pushups

Diane is a great and challenging WOD for all people. Larger athletes ten to have more of a problem with the handstand pushups, while smaller athletes fear the deadlift. One of the fastest times is 1:49 performed by Brett Marshall(aka AFT) in the video below, while for many people this WOD takes 15 minutes or more. As for myself, the handstand pushups are the major limiting factor, and my fastest time has been 12:34. 1:49, just goes to show what you can get from smart training and good nutrition.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Tuesday WOD


5 X 1 Press
5 X 3 Push Press
5 X 5 Push Jerk
Rest 2 min. between sets.

Post weights used to comments.

Named WOD’s
We often use names to identify specific workouts that can be used as benchmarks for one’s fitness: Cindy, Diane, Annie, Fran, and many others. This week we’ll be hitting two of these, Diane and Annie. Some of you have already done Annie before, so this will be your chance to see how far you’ve come since then.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Monday - Stretching and Cortisol

Rest Day

Work out the kinks in those muscles! Try to spend at least 20 minutes today on loosening up your muscles with massage, foam rolling, stretching, etc. You might have noticed that there has been an increased focus on limbering up lately, and this is in response partly to my observations of CrossFitters in general (myself included) and partly to a few good articles I’ve been reading. Often we put so much focus on the training and slack in the stretching/body maintenance department. Neglecting to maintain muscles can lead to more injuries, more soreness, worse recovery, and WORSE PERFORMANCE. Tight muscles inhibit your ability to perform at your best, so Release Your E-Brake and get loosened up!

Cortisol Management For CrossFitters

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sunday WOD


10 rounds for reps of:
1:00 Squats
1:00 Rest


Stretch for 10 minutes total.

Try to keep your numbers as high as possible, and keep track of reps per round. Post reps per round and total reps to comments.

Why You Got Fat - an entertaining and informative video on insulin.

*Also, because of the three day weekend, there will be no class on Monday, we'll be holding the workout on Tuesday at the normal time, 3:30. Hope to see you there!


This was yesterday's photo on Merry Christmas!

Gymnastics Practice

Accumulate 2 minutes of balancing in a handstand. For rest in between attempts, rest 6 times the seconds your last attempt lasted for. (Eg. If you balanced on your hands for 10 seconds, rest 60 seconds.)


15-12-9 for time of:
Handstand Pushups
Deadhang Pullups

Focus on form, but do it quickly as well.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Friday - Man cannot live on meat alone...or can he?

Rest Day

Go through a 15 minute stretching routine twice today. Hold stretches for 20 seconds or more, until you can feel the muscle release COMPLETELY. For some muscles this may take longer. Pay specific attention to tight areas. Reading a book or just focusing on relaxing while stretching can help



Before starting a weighed and measured, Paleo (ala Loren Cordain) diet, I was between 240 and 245 lbs.  Within a few months, I dropped to my current weight of 205 lbs at 6’4”.  I’ve been doing CrossFit seriously for about 2.5 years and maintain a paleo diet, plus butter and the occasional cheese.

After reading Mat Lalonde’s post about his experience with a very low carbohydrate diet (VLC) and CrossFitting, I decided I would push the envelope a bit further.  I had read Good Calories, Bad Calories and read about the controlled study involving Vilhjalmur Stefansson and his cohort on a meat-only diet for one year.  That intrigued me enough to read his book on the subject Not By Bread Alone (  Like Cordain, he recounted the high-fat, low-carbohydrate diets of various Native Americans and recounted his experience with the Inuit.  Not only did the meat-only diet not cause scurvy, Stefansson’s cohort actually experienced improved health.

My experiment was simple.  I strove to mimic Stefansson’s diet as closely as possible for the month of November.  I ate only meat and eggs (which are meat by definition) with seasonings like salt, pepper and the like–nothing, though, that would contribute any carbohydrate or nutrients other than the meat did.  I also ate a good amount of grass-fed tallow in order to ward off the dreaded rabbit starvation, which occurs when protein constitutes too much of one’s diet, and to get enough omega-3s.  I naturally fell into an 18-20 hour intermittent fasting schedule, since it seems like I just never felt hungry.  The common question is “How were your BMs?”  They were fine.  Daily, sometimes twice daily.  The biggest concern with the diet is the acid-base balance, which Cordain talks about in the Paleo Diet.  I haven’t heard of epidemics of osteoporosis in the Inuit, but we’re in the business of health optimization.

The only downside to the diet was the fact I couldn’t have red wine and other tasty foods. I felt no negative side-effects like headaches or lethargy, after the first couple of days, which typically accompany VLC diets.  After my first time eating too much fat, I did have indigestion, however, I quickly realized where to cut the fat down.

I did three test WODs to see my change post-diet.  Again, I am not a top-tier athlete by any means.

WOD                           Time (Paleo diet)                              Time (Ketogenic diet)

Annie (RX)                 7:01                                                    6:46

Helen (RX)                 11:23                                                  10:46

Christine (RX)           14:59                                                  13:41

All the WODs were performed 2-3 weeks into the diet, which I timed to coincide with other people’s accounts of acclimation to VLC diets (cf.  WODs in the longer domains felt difficult, but I continued to place in the range of the same people I had before the diet.  In a few cases, I happened to place near the top of the gym.

As for strength, the lifts I tested were the back squat high, bar (275 lbs x 3 reps) and low bar (325 x 1), and the press (155 lbs). They did not move, but I had also not practiced those that month.  I focused, instead, on gymnastic strength that month and I finally conquered the “big kids’ muscle-up” and was good enough to finish “Nasty Girls” as RX’d at the behest of Sage Burgener who was at our box doing a cert.  I also got my first legit one-legged squats.  Additionally, I tested my 1000m row and I PR’d at 3:12.5, which is down from 3:15.7 my previous time.

At least for some people, a VLC or ketogenic diet can not only help individuals feel better, but can allow them continued performance gains.  At a minimum, I found that a zero carb diet didn’t inhibit performance, and even allowed gains.  Personally, I visibly leaned out and lost 2 pounds in the space of a month.  If the liver makes glycogen for recharging muscles and feeding the brain, many people probably don’t need to be eating so many carbohydrates—especially not the 162 grams/day I was eating on the Zone.  We need to think about this in light of the deleterious effects of sugar in the longer term, which can lead to high oxidative levels and decreased insulin sensitivity.  Fructose and glucose aren’t necessarily beneficial substances for our bodies—especially for athletes who may have pre-existing conditions.

I suspect a decreased need for sugar is especially true, if the athlete adheres to a WOD-ME-WOD template, since ME days likely don’t use much glycogen.  The case may be different if working out 2+ times a day or competing in an endurance event.  As Robb suggested to me, adding in some low Glycemic Load veggies would be a great way to shore up micronutrient intake and keep acid-base balance without adding too much carbohydrate.  What I’ve come to realize is that the Zone, or Paleo, may be sufficient for fitness, but not necessary.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Thursday WOD - OPT's Clinical Observations


3 rounds for time of:
400m Run
21 KB Swings (55/35#)
12 Pullups

Post times to comments.

James Fitzgerald, ‘07 CrossFit Games Champ, and very intelligent trainer shares a few insights:

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Wednesday WOD - Hydration


For time:
2 ½ laps on the upper IMA track of walking lunges
20 Pushups at each corner

This should be a total of 200 pushups.

Here’s a good video from CrossFit Endurance about the importance of hydration.

Mark Sisson has the view that drinking water may not be so important as getting water through our food, but I'm not so sure. I've always had better performance when I made sure to drink plenty of water, so much so that at times, I've had a gallon-a-day goal. It helped me recover better, feel more energized, and maintain flexibility. Now, am I saying go drink a gallon of water a day? No. But I think that the above clip from CrossFit Endurance successfully underlines the important of staying properly hydrated and we would be wise to heed its guidance.

Monday, February 8, 2010


Active Rest Day

Find a new sport or activity to play/do. Hike, swim, rock climb, whatever, have fun with it!

Cortisol plays a large role in our lives. This stress hormone can really get out of whack in those whose lives are hectic, people who don’t eat right and/or exercise right (too much/not enough/ wrong type), and people who don’t sleep well. The thing is, stress increases cortisol, and increased cortisol can lead to stress, so it all just accumulates many times. It’s important to keep cortisol levels in check and here’s a little bit of info from our good friend at Mark’s Daily Apple:

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Monday WOD - "Get comfortable with uncomfortable"


10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 for time of:
Power Cleans (155/105#)
KB Swings (55/35#

Standard for KB Swings is directly overhead. Scale as necessary. Post time and loads used to comments.

(IMPORTANT! Watch the video below!)


Active Rest Day

Get outside and do something active. Go rock climbing, take a hike, try something new, but most importantly, have fun staying active. Tomorrow’s going to be a tough one so make sure you’re rested up.


In CrossFit, we train specifically for performance, which sets us apart from many other ‘fitness’ regimens. We don’t train specifically to look good in the mirror, we don’t train to have as big muscles as we can possibly get. We train to be able to do things, not just look like we can do things, and this is important to keep in mind as we focus our training. Nevertheless, it’s a nice bonus that you not only FEEL more able, but you see changes in the mirror, which help to reinforce your diligence to continue pushing your limits in workouts. CrossFit creates able-bodied, efficient, powerful athletes that not only perform at high levels, but are also incredible physical specimens. So enjoy those changes in the mirror, and take a look at what kind of machines CrossFit produces.

Men from the 2009 CrossFit Games
Women from the 2009 CrossFit Games

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Friday - "Five Rules to Live By" by Michele Vieux

                 Sausage Stuffed Peppers from

Rest Day

Some good paleo recipes!

Five Rules to Live By
Written by Michele Vieux

Have you ever found yourself in a potentially embarrassing or painful situation? Would you like to avoid future encounters? Well now you can! Just abide by these five, simple rules.

1. Remove necklaces before a workout involving any lift you must use yourself as a rack (i.e., cleans, front squats, back squats, shoulder press, push press and push jerk). The constant pounding of the bar into your chest or back of the neck can damage your skin. Yes, the bloody t-shirt looks tough but the scarring left behind is less than desirable - as is the painful stinging (followed by the scream of a pre-pubescent girl) you will feel upon entry into the shower.

2. Throw down the towel (or t-shirt) to avoid the AbMat raspberry. Some people are more prone to this phenomenon than others. I have never experienced it myself but I have witnessed many a raspberry on CrossFitting friends. This wound may initially go unnoticed, that is, until it reveals itself to you when your nice, warm shower washes over it. (See above re: high-pitched screaming)

3. Always pee before double-unders. Enough said.

4. Hygiene is great but NEVER wash your hands before pull-ups. I learned this one from a former weightlifter AFTER I tore badly at last year’s Games (picture here). The water softens up the skin which can cause painful tearing of the hands.

5. And, the top rule to live by: To avoid the pain, you must maintain (your calluses). We use our hands a lot in CrossFit to move ourselves around objects (pull-ups) and to move objects around ourselves (kettlebell swings, cleans, snatches, etc.). The constant rubbing of the bar on the hands causes a callus buildup which can tear if not properly maintained. Everyone will eventually blister and/or tear at some point during their CrossFit journey but excessive tearing can be avoided. Go to your local drugstore and scope out the beauty aisle where they stock manicure/pedicure kits. Buy one. Use it often. You can purchase a variety of tools to help shave, sand and buff down your hands a couple times a week. Overzealous buffing is not recommend so don’t attempt to get rid of all the buildup in one sitting—this can be just as painful as the result of not maintaining. However, taking a few minutes here and there to address your problem areas will save you much pain and suffering.

(The above mentioned rule #4 can be applied to any workout in which you have a good chance to get a rip.)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Thursday WOD - The Squat

                        Nicole - Overhead Squat Competition

Row 2K for time.

Post time to comments.

The Air Squat (otherwise known simply as the squat)
The squat is the basis for a great number of movements in CrossFit. The unweighted squat is also one of the most basic functional movements someone can perform, as it’s useful in training and in the real world. In CrossFit, we use the Olympic style squat because it carries over into other movements such as the thruster, clean, snatch, overhead squat, high-bar back squat, and wallball, just to name a few.  Mastering the proper form for the squat may take some a very long time, as the squat requires not only coordination, balance, and flexibility, but also for some people, an elimination of bad habits. The benefit gained from mastering the squat, however, is enormous.

Below is a collection of videos to help you understand what IS and what IS NOT good form.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Wednesday WOD

               This is the standard for KB Swings, directly overhead.

5 rounds for time of:
10 DB Thrusters ( 35lbers/20lbers)
20 Anchored Situps*
30 KB Swings (35#/20#)*

Post time to comments.

KB Swings

P.S. (Sorry, fixed an error on the WOD, *20 Situps and 30 KB swings, not the other way around)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Tuesday - The Kipping Pullup


Five rounds for time of:
5 Thrusters (155/105#)
5 Muscle-ups
Run 400m

Post time to comments.

The Kipping Pullup is an exercise you will very rarely find outside of CrossFit. It is also an integral part of CrossFit. Most others see it as a way of cheating, but what they fail to realize is that by using a kip, you can push your body to farther extremes than a strict pullup. It is an altogether more metabolically taxing movement, which helps develop hip and shoulder flexibility, coordination, and explosiveness. These same people, after learning the kipping pullup, usually have a change of heart and consider it a valuable training tool.
A CF Journal article talks about the similarities of the kettle bell swing and the kipping pullup.

Videos for Learning the Kipping Pullup
A Comparison of Power Outputs in Strict vs. Kipping Pullups