Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Thursday WOD


5 rounds for time of
5 Power Clean and Jerks (135/95#)
10 Burpees

This is a speed workout, so if you need to, scale to a weight that you think will allow you to finish in a little more than 5 minutes of all-out effort.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wednesday WOD

(Added) Here's a pretty crazy video of someone playing with planches

5 X 5 Back Squat
5 X 5 Push Jerk
Rest ~2:00 between efforts.
3 X L-Sit for max time.
Rest 1:00 between efforts.

Post loads and max time in L-Sit to comments.

Lectins are molecules present in many neolithic foods(grains, legumes, and nightshades such as tomatoes, eggplant and potatoes(not sweet potatoes/yams though)). These molecules are one of a plant's line of defense against being eaten, and can cause numerous health problems for organisms not adapted to eating them(such as humans). Here are a few good articles on lectins, and some ideas as to why they didn't cause AS many problems a few generations ago.
Leptin and Lectins Pt. 1
Leptin and Lectins Pt. 2
Leptin and Lectins Pt. 3

Monday, March 29, 2010

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaack...

(I'm in the bottom picture, 2nd from the left, standing)

Hey guys! Sorry for not posting for the last few days(an for my absence at training today), but I was in Boise, ID at a Level One CrossFit Certification this weekend. I'm proud to say I am now an official CrossFit Trainer! I hope you guys had a great spring break, we're back on schedule for training this Wednesday, and may be adding in a time on Tuesday as well this quarter!

Here's a little something something to make up for the lack of posts.
Sugar Suppresses the Immune System
End the War on Fat

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wednesday WOD - Sleep

"Air Force WOD"
Every minute, on the minute, do 4 Burpees.
For time:
20 Thrusters
20 Sumo Deadlift High Pull
20 Push Jerks
20 Overhead Squats
20 Front Squats

Post time to comments.

Sleep has recently been written about a lot lately on He just put out two good articles, Dear Mark: Sleep and Oxidative Stress and The Definitive Guide to Sleep. Check them out, and educate yourselves on the important of getting a good night sleep. Then, put that info to use while you can still sleep in!

Robb Wolf

This weeks podcast is out. Robb Wolf is a former biochemist and cancer researcher. He worked with Professor Cordain, the man who has done much of the studies on paleolithic nutrition, and author of The Paleo Diet and The Paleo Diet for Athletes. Robb is the former nutrition expert for CrossFit and puts out a weekly podcast on his website, He's also finishing up a book, The Paleolithic Solution, likely coming out around early September. It's going to be an great source of info.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Go Wild

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to go outside and do all the stuff we used to do as a kid, but because of some misplaced sense of maturity, no longer do. Find an awesome tree, nay a FOREST - climb it! Find a good stick and go around whacking bushes. Run around, jump, throw stuff, sneak around, chase animals, build a fort, and HAVE FUN!!! Let that inner kid out!

Saturday, March 20, 2010


This is simply an amazing tool here. It's easy to use, and will calculate your needed intake of fish oil very accurately. CHECK IT OUT!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Highlights from Hawaii Sectional Day 1

This sectional has one of the toughest set of workouts that I've seen yet (

Here's a video of the highlights from Day One.

Thursday WOD

21-15-9 for time of:
Deadlift (225/155lbs)
Handstand Pushups
If you can not do handstand pushups, scale to handstand holds of 42, 30, and 18 seconds respectively.

The Importance of Nutrition
I cannot underline HOW important it is to eat right if you want to see improvement in your performance. In determining how much your performance will improve, diet is at least 50% of the equation. You need to get plenty of quality protein (read: animal protein), and this is a point I'm focusing specifically at you, girls. I've noticed that women, more so than men, often fail to include adequate protein in their diet, and as a result will hardly benefit at all from the hard work and effort we put in at the gym. Because of this, come spring quarter, I'd like everyone to log their eating for ONE WEEK. This is optional of course, but would be of great benefit to you. Keeping a food log will allow me to check up and diagnose issues with your diet that may be holding you back from improving. I'll give you the info and advice, but it's completely up to you whether you want to change your diet or not. Another benefit of keeping a food log is that many people don't truly know how much they're eating and of what kind of food; this will help you to become more aware of your eating habits.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wednesday WOD

5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Front Squat
5X5 Weighted Pullups

I found this study posted today on It talks about ketogenic diets and discusses how more and more evidence for the efficacy of ketogenic diets is being found, an interesting read.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Tuesday - Dealing with Muscle Soreness Part Two

Active Rest Day - Spend some time playing a sport, go for a hike, throw a Frisbee, just enjoy the beautiful weather we've been having!

Dealing with Muscle Soreness Part Two

Warm Up - Much of the stiffness and soreness can be dealt with by simply engaging in some light activity. Going through a decent warm-up will help to provide an increased fresh blood supply to recovering muscles, and performing full range movements will help to fend off stiffness. This can also be incorporated on rest days in the form of playing a sport, rock climbing, hiking, swimming, or some other light activity.

Eat Right - Eating a paleo diet (What Do I Eat?) will help improve many aspects of your body's performance. The immune system is strengthened, inflammation is reduced, skin health is improved, digestive health is improved, and RECOVERY IS IMPROVED SUBSTANTIALLY. Not only is recovery quicker, but also more effective. It will result in more performance gains more quickly(from my experience, and the thousands of cases of anecdotal evidence out there).

Fish Oil - You read it right. You eat it; please don't slather it on sore muscles(never tried it, but I wouldn't do it even if it worked like a charm). Fish oil is a concentrated source of omega-3 fatty acids, which, as discussed before, have anti-inflammatory properties by producing certain eicosanoids. Intense exercise causes microtrauma to muscles, and leads to an inflammatory response. This inflammation is needed for muscle repair and growth, but having an omega-3/omega-6 imbalance in our diet (pretty much everybody does) leads to excessive inflammation and pain.

DO NOT USE NSAIDs (ibruprofen, Tylenol, aspirin, etc) - Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs can have been shown in many cases to reduce muscle growth caused by training stimuli. In other words, that training you did to get that sore, won't help you improve as much if you take NSAIDs. There are also a host of other side effects such as liver damage, increased risk of ulcers, etc, you just want to avoid NSAIDs in general.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Monday WOD - Dealing with Muscle Soreness Part One

For time:
30 Clean and Jerks (135/95#)

Post time to comments.

Dealing with Muscle Soreness Part One
CrossFit is an inherently intense program, and it WILL make you sore if you're doing it right (aka pushing hard enough). Facilitating recovery from these tough training sessions can not only make you feel better, but help you perform better as well. Recovery usually takes 1-2 days, but can last as long as 4 days in some cases. Here are a few ways to help speed up the recovery process.

Contrast hydrotherapy - Preferably, this would be done with a tub of hot water, and an ice bath right next to it, with the water as hot/cold as you can stand (don't burn yourself!). The basic premise is to alternate between the hot to cold water multiple times, with a short duration in each. This stimulates a fresh blood supply in the body, from dilating and constricting blood vessels. This can also be done in the shower (albeit not as effectively) by alternating hot and cold spray. You can start with either hot or cold, generally it's easier to get into the cold if you're already hot (for me at least). Alternate about 2 minutes in the hot water, with 1 minute in the cold water. Repeat this cycle around 3-5 times. If you're in a shower, focus on the sore areas. Always end with cold water.

Massage - Massage can help by not only increasing blood flow to the muscles, but also by relaxing them and  breaking up adhesions that can occur from training.

Stretching - This may not alleviate the soreness directly, but it can help to dull the pain and make it easier to deal with by relieving some of the stiffness. PNF is one of the most effective methods of stretching. PNF consists a series of contracting and relaxing. Move a muscle into a decent stretch, then contract the muscle being stretched for about 5, then release like a light switch and take off tension for a brief second, then pull the stretch a little further and hold for 10 seconds, then contract again. Repeat this cycle 5-6 times or as long as you still see changes in range of motion. This can be done by yourself, or more effectively with a partner, just be careful not to push the stretch too far too soon. Warming up can also help the muscle to take the stretch better.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thursday WOD

21-15-9 for time of:
135# Squat Cleans
Ring Dips

Post time to comments.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Wednesday WOD


5 X 5 Deadlift @ 85% of Max
5 X 5 Press @ 85% of Max

"Belief" by Jon Gilson of

As a child, you can do anything. The future is an unwritten story, unencumbered by the fetters of harsh reality. Belief is easy to come by, as simple as hearing or seeing. Potential is infinite, and always given its due.

As we get older, living is no longer an exercise in blind faith. Doubt creeps in, and skepticism finds its way into our minds. The world gives us our knocks, and with each blow, the bounds of reality narrow. The vernacular of the impossible impregnates our speech and infects our actions, until we stay with the safe, the pleasant, and the known, afraid to push back against the unfamiliar and the difficult.

This unfortunate evolution leaves us unsure of our abilities, scared to display incompetence and unwilling to attempt the unknown. Terrified of another hard knock, we display only those traits with known rewards and certain payoffs. We become small and weak as the chains of doubt weave themselves into our lives.

We cannot conquer frustration by quitting, nor defeat the unknown with doubt.

Every time you grab a barbell or strap on a weight vest, you have the opportunity to reverse this disastrous course. Instead of succumbing to the gravity of your misgivings, you can take heart in your potential. You can push back against the pain, secure in the knowledge that every failure can be remedied, every misstep righted. With a piece of cold rolled steel, you can crush the virus of inadequacy beneath your heel.

We don’t trade in exercise. We trade in the idea that your potential is exactly what you believe it to be. Squats, pull-ups and levers are merely tools, a chance to show the world that it is wrong, its lessons flawed. We cannot conquer frustration by quitting, nor defeat the unknown with doubt. Meekness can never be rewarded, and with every clash, we scream this message.

I’ve seen athletes perform the impossible, heaving against every fiber of their being, a living war cry in the face of adversity. They overcome through sheer exertion of will, shattering the fallacy of the immovable object by becoming the unstoppable force. These athletes come from a thousand different places, unique only in their refusal to accept the world’s false constraints. They choose to believe in their own capacity for greatness, and they are rewarded.

Belief is a place where the irrational exuberance of childhood finds new life, where the burden of the past is shed in favor of the promise of the future. Belief is a chance to give all the hard knocks back, to free ourselves to become anything. Stop wondering if you can, and know that achievement is as simple as trying, over and over again.

Written by Jon Gilson -

Monday, March 8, 2010

Real Food vs Fake Food! - Round 2

Here's round 2 of Real Food vs Fake Food. Today our competitors are:
Cream vs Non-Dairy Creamer
Oil and Vinegar vs Fat-Free Italian Dressing
Grass-fed Hamburger vs Boca Burger


Real Food vs Fake Food! - Round 1

A great look at the differences between wholesome food, and man-made substitutes. In the end, there's really no contest, natural wins every time. In this round we have:
Butter vs Margarine
Bacon vs Turkey Bacon
Eggs vs Egg Beaters (liquid egg substitute)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Just wanted to share this video,

Monday WOD

AMRAP in 20 min of:
5 Pullups
10 Pushups
15 Squats

Get ready, tomorrow's a tough one! Also, you can compare this to 1/25/10, the last time we did "Cindy."

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Light and Sleep

Just to let you guys know, I will be bringing my rings with me for anyone who wants to attempt to get their first muscleup during training on Monday.

Here's a very well written article on how light affects our sleep cycle -
As well as some free software that automatically adjusts your computer screen's color to help diminish the effect of its light on your sleep cycle. It works pretty well!

As you all know, sleep is very important, it is what allows us to recover and reap the benefits from the hard work we put in in the gym. Getting plenty of quality sleep is important, try to shoot for 8-9 hours per night. If you don't get enough sleep, you can dip into overtraining, and no amount of work will bring you out, additional training will often actually make it worse.

Great video of the Utah Sectionals

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Thursday WOD

(AMRAP in 3 minutes) x 5
10 Power Cleans (135/95#)
25 Double Unders

2:00 Rest between 3 minute go’s.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Wednesday - CrossFit Total

                                              340 X 5

"CrossFit Total"

3 max attempts at each lift:
Back Squat

(Compare to 1/19/10)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Monday WOD - Sectionals Day 2

                                                 WOD 1


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


WOD 4 - 69th (340 X 5 Deadlift)

WOD 5 - 41st (Sled Drag/Double Unders/Muscleups - 12:30)

Overall Placing - 30th Place

Another incredible day spent losing my voice cheering on my competitors (and getting cheered on by them); such an amazing community we have at CrossFit. I made quite a few friends, and met tons of great people. 

I just read this piece by James Fitzgerald (OPT '07 CF Games Champ) and it is a very good piece of wisdom.

"Get Comfortable with Uncomfortable"

There is more to improvements in physical work capacity than meets the eye.
I first thought that exercise only made our muscles more able, our hearts sustain and our minds free. When I first started introducing people to a component of intensity, I would see changes and outcomes moreso at a psycho-social level than at the physical level.
I thought that there must have been something to the exercise that was causing this.
I have discovered over time that the point at which a person reaches a certain level of intensity is when exercise becomes a "spiritual" thing for them.
Their friends call it obsession, I call it discipline. An act in which they search out ways to get outside of the normal homeostasis a lot of folks seem to be comfortable with today.
When exercising, I have direct evidence that for those that get to limits that are safe but outside of their comfort zone, these individuals become "stronger, more confident" people on multiple levels.
Getting uncomfortable is different for everyone. For one it may mean stepping in our doors, for another it may be breathing hard for the first time since they were a child and for another it may mean teetering on the edge of performance and injury.
Whatever the case, it is important to get uncomfortable and over time create a comfort with this state of being. I can attest that it makes it all worthwhile in the end.
Recently a beginning client mentioned she was going to make the step to go to the local community gym and do her OPT workouts there as she felt confident enough after doing it in her basement.
Another example was an online client of mine who has agreed to change his life that required changes in his job in order to move forward.
And finally, one long time client had gotten to the point where she felt that it was time to compete at a fitness competition after her long journey with self perception challenges.
All of these examples are of folks that are stepping into another realm and making it happen; a realm that requires some discomfort, and that is OK.
 - James Fitzgerald