Monthly Archives: June 2011

7-1 WOD


For time:
20 Thrusters
20 Sumo deadlift high pulls
20 Push jerks
20 Overhead squats
20 Front squats

*Start with 4 burpees… Do 4 burpees on the minute, every minute.

*As always, We’ll scale the weights.

*20 Minute cap

The below article makes me think?

Attention Scale Addicts, part 2

Posted on June 22, 2011 by Jason

Latest blog post from Jason Seib of Primitive Stimulus!

Brace yourself.  I’m coming at you with all guns blazing on this one  and you aren’t going to believe what you’re about to see.  First things  first, if you haven’t read my diatribe condemning your bathroom scale, please begin there.

Alright, now that you are caught up, let’s revisit Deb from my last  post.  Deb has been kind enough to let me exploit her for your education  on these here interwebs and I am very grateful.  Showing the world  where she started isn’t easy, but she is a kind person who wants to help  you and she has accomplished some remarkable things in her health and  fitness.

So here is Deb at the beginning of a contest we held at my gym in January of last year.

Here she is at a size zero with her nutrition dialed.  For the full  effect of this picture, place your thumb on your screen directly over  the ugly guy on the right.

And here she is a couple of weeks ago after a lot of hard work that  has dramatically increased her fitness capacity.  I didn’t actually  intend for this post to be all about Deb’s accomplishments, so I won’t  repeat her numbers here.  Suffice it to say, my money would be on Deb  versus the average American girl half her age in a contest of any  exercise I have ever convinced her to perform.  Now for the really good  part.

I spent my entire career waiting patiently for the right situation that would produce the picture below.

Now that you are done staring in amazement, eyes darting back and  forth between the two Debs and down to “155lbs” to make sure you read it  right, let this information really sink in.  Let it change your  perspective to something healthier.  Forever!

Now go throw away your scale.

Faced with the facts above, basing your goals – or even worse, your happiness – on the number on your scale is absolutely ridiculous.   I’ll give you an example of why weight is useless information in all  but extreme cases.  Let’s pretend Deb came to me at a weight of 200 lbs  and told me she wanted to get down to 155 lbs.  Which side of the  picture above do you think she would prefer?  Do you think she would  have been satisfied with the left side?  Look at her face.  She is  ecstatic with her body on the right, but on the left she can hardly  stand to have her picture taken.  We can glean from this that goals  based on weight are too vague to be useful.  If I had only given you her  circumference measurements (waist, hips, thighs, bust, etc.) and no  photos, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind which 155 lb Deb you  would have chosen as the more aesthetically appealing.  But when you  look in the mirror and see a body like the Deb on the left you probably  say, “Damn, I need to lose some weight.”  Now you have undeniable  evidence that defies that thought.  Losing weight is  not what you want and pursuing a number on your scale is not the path to  success.  It will drive you insane, though.  But that’s probably not  your goal.

Change your perspective to something healthier.  Forever!


Edit: One little point I left out of this post is that Deb totaled up her calories just for fun a few weeks ago.  She came up with an average of slightly over 3900 per day.  Take that calorie restriction diets!




*Photo is courtesy of CrossFit Inc

Open Gym… Make up a WOD… Skill Work… Stretch… Whatev!

*The below article is courtesy of CrossFit Lisbeth…

Inexperience is never a sign that you should quit. Boredom and a complete lack
of interest are signs that you should quit.” — Lindsay Gibson

Well, whaddaya know? Applies to CrossFit too. Imagine

Newbies get all wigged out about trying (and sticking with) CrossFit.
“I’m not good at this.” “I don’t know how to do everything right.” “I
must look foolish.”

Yup. Yup. And Yup.

And who cares?

Not me. Not your coaches. Not your fellow CrossFitters.

Nobody gives a damn if you don’t have experience in CrossFit.
Well, let me make a slight correction: A**holes care. But they’re
a**holes. Duh.

The rest of us? We’re just happy that you’re CrossFitting
with us, near us, away from us, in another state, country, or on another
continent. We just like other CrossFitters. We like that someone does what we do
and understands our joy and our pain. We don’t expect you to do everything well
and to have tons of experience. None of us were born knowing how to CrossFit.
We’re all just learning too, with some folks learning faster than others — just
like in every aspect of life since we all popped into this world.

So if you’re bored with CrossFit or you just don’t give a
damn about it? Quit. That’s cool.

But if you’re just worried about your inexperience, stop
Just get back in the gym and learn more. I don’t give a damn
if you’re experienced or not. All I care about is that you have a good heart and
an open mind. Period. Dot. Time for more pull-ups.


6-29 BENCHMARK “Christine”

*Shane rocking the pullups!

3 rounds for time
500m row
12 Body Weight Dead Lift
21 Box Jumps

To Heal a Heart, Train Harder

Not Just for Athletes, Intense Exercise Replaces Slow, Steady


Telling heart patients to really push themselves during exercise sounds
risky. But a growing body of research suggests that a workout routine athletes
use to get in shape may do the same for some patients.

High-intensity interval training, workouts that consist
of short bursts of intense exercise and rest periods, may be beneficial to
people with heart problems and those at risk for diabetes. Triathlon coach Neil
Cook talks to WSJ’s Christina Tsuei about the method and why he thinks it’s so
effective in improving heart health.

Some scientists and clinics are backing the use of high-intensity interval
training, which involves short spurts of intense exercise at 85% to 95% of
maximum heart rate alternating with periods of moderate exercise. Heart patients
have traditionally built up fitness with steady sessions of aerobic exercise
aimed at keeping the heart beating at about 70% of its maximum rate. That’s
meant to give the heart a workout without risking chest pain or a cardiac event.

Using intense exercise with patients suffering from heart failure and
coronary artery disease, and those recovering from bypass surgery and heart
attacks, is still controversial. Even proponents of the approach say more
research is needed. But studies to date suggest that intense interval training
improves the ability of the body in at least some patients to transport and use
oxygen—which is generally associated with living longer—more effectively than a
steady, moderate workout. The technique is also being studied in people with
hypertension, diabetes and other conditions.

Stephen Maturen for The Wall Street
Roger Solheim, 77, getting back into shape after
double-bypass surgery in April.



Intense interval training is commonly used by athletes to increase their
speed and endurance. Alternating the hard work with periods of more moderate
exercise enables them to accumulate the benefits of an intense workout.

“What our group has done is to train these patients a bit harder,” says Trine
Moholdt, a postdoctoral fellow at the Norwegian University of Science and
Technology. Her team presented a 107-patient study at a scientific meeting last
fall in Stockholm. It showed a cardiac-rehab program that included supervised
high-intensity treadmill workouts improved peak oxygen uptake better than a
standard moderate-intensity program that burned the same number of calories.

Ray Squires, program director of cardiovascular health and rehabilitation at
the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., has been using high-intensity intervals in
patients for about four years. “There’s been a natural progression over time of
what we’ve thought exercise for patients with cardiovascular disease should be,”
says Dr. Squires. “If you go back 50 years, people were told to hardly do any
exercise for weeks after a heart attack. Gradually we learned that was wrong.”

Stephen Maturen for The Wall Street



Dr. Squires says he believes Mayo is one of the only clinics in the U.S. to
use intense interval training in the early stages of rehab for people who have
recently left the hospital following a heart attack or cardiac surgery. Over
several weeks, patients build up to exercising steadily at a moderate pace for
20 minutes, usually walking on a treadmill. Then they start incorporating
30-second bursts of exercise using faster speeds and a steeper incline at a hard
to very hard pace. “We’ll gradually increase the number of intervals and their
length to 120 seconds,” he says.

The common rule of thumb for determining maximum heart rate people can safely
achieve is 220 minus their age. That guidance isn’t very precise and so, if
their health permits, patients may get a stress test, which monitors the heart
during an increasingly difficult workout. Some doctors instead rely on patients’
perception of their exertion level using a scale of 6 to 20, aiming for as high
as 17, to determine how hard they can go.

Adding Intensity to Cardiac Rehab

Interval training has improved some key measures of Mr. Solheim’s fitness.
Some sample data from his workouts.

Patients’ capacity differs widely. “In heart-failure patients, 90% of max may
be walking,” says Darren Warburton, director of the cardiovascular physiology
and rehabilitation laboratory at the University of British Columbia in
Vancouver, who has researched interval training.

Roger Solheim, a retired schoolteacher in Rochester, Minn., had double-bypass
heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic in April. After three weeks of recovery at
home, Mr. Solheim, 77 years old, began rehab training at the clinic. His initial
fitness level was low, he says. “I couldn’t even go 20 minutes on the treadmill”
with no incline, he says.

After about two weeks of moderate training, Mr. Solheim was instructed to mix
in periods of more intense exercise. Now he goes for 35 minutes, with one minute
of elevated intensity after every five minutes. “Even though [the intense
intervals] are hard, they break up the routine,” he says.

He continues to go to rehab three times a week and hits the gym on his own
about five times a week to lift light weights and do crunches. “I’m getting my
strength back and I’m sleeping a bit better,” he says. He says he is now capable
of mowing the lawn again.

Some patients aren’t good candidates for intense interval training, including
those with recurrent angina or bone or muscle problems.

The American Heart Association doesn’t have a position on high-intensity
interval training for rehab. Barry Franklin, an AHA spokesman, says that
although recent research is encouraging, larger randomized, controlled studies
are needed in higher-risk groups.

[P1-SKYBOX] Getty Images

“I’m still not convinced … that taking people with coronary disease and
exercising them at 95% of their [maximum] heart rate is a safe procedure,” says
Dr. Franklin, who is director of the cardiac-rehabilitation program and exercise
laboratories at the William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich. Dr. Franklin
says he currently uses intense bursts of exercise only in selected lower-risk
patients, in the later, maintenance phase of rehab.

By contrast, the most recent version of the Canadian guidelines for cardiac
rehab, published in 2009 by the Canadian Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation,
say there is “compelling evidence” that high-intensity interval training can
lead to improvements in aerobic capacity, functional status and quality of life,
and that it can be used as an alternative to traditional continuous

Intense interval training is already being used in some community rehab
centers in Norway, says Dr. Moholdt. She is working to analyze safety data from
those centers and from clinical studies.

Some research also suggests that intense interval training might benefit
people at risk for diabetes. People with insulin resistance “essentially need to
dispose of the glucose” that reaches too-high levels in their blood, says Carl
Foster, a professor in the department of exercise and sport science at the
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Increasing the action of the muscle fibers
that fire quickly to generate power needed in intense exercise, known as
fast-twitch muscle fibers, may increase the capacity of the muscles to take up
additional glucose. This is in addition to the capacity of the slow-twitch
fibers used in steady cardio. “If you train twice as many muscle fibers, you’ve
got a place to put it,” says Dr. Foster.

Also, a randomized study of 88 patients with hypertension found that
high-intensity interval training reduced blood pressure more than a steady
workout regimen. The study, by the Norwegian University of Science and
Technology, was published online recently by the European Journal of
Cardiovascular Prevention & Rehabilitation.

High-intensity intervals are “not a panacea,” says Martin Gibala, professor
and chair of kinesiology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. People
need to be properly screened and supervised, and much bigger studies need to be
done, he says. “But many populations can benefit,” he says.

Adding Intensity to Cardiac Rehab

Interval training has improved some key measures of Mr. Solheim’s fitness.
Some sample data from his workouts.

MAY 6 MAY 20 JUNE 21
Resting heart rate 84 beats per minute 67 50
Average heart rate 120 112 107
No. of 1-minute intervals 0 5 5
Workload during intervals 2 mph, 0% grade 2.5 mph, 4% grade 3 mph, 6% grade
Workload during recovery Same (no intervals) 2.3 mph, 0% grade 2.8 mph, 0% grade
Total workout time 20 minutes 30 minutes 35 minutes

Source: Mayo Clinic



6-28 WOD

Sara showing us how to do a thruster!

Buy in…


5 Med Ball Squat Cleans



15 Push Press

400 Meter Run

50 Situps

30 Wall Balls

50 Situps

400 Meter Run

15 Push Press

Cash Out…

2 Minute Plank Hold… You can do 4 sets of 30 Seconds or whatever you have to… Just make sure you do 2 Minutes total. Try for 2 Minutes straight!

Even Diet Soda Induces Weight Gain in the Elderly

By Neil Canavan



June 24, 2011 (San Diego, California) — The perception that diet soft drinks are a benign alternative to highly sweetened beverages might be dangerously wrong, according to the results of the San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging, which were reported here at the American Diabetes Association 71st Scientific Sessions.

Diet soft drinks have long been thought to be a healthier alternative to their sugary counterparts; however, past reports have linked increased incidence of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes to the frequent intake of diet soft drinks.

In the study presented, Sharon P. Fowler, MPH, from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and colleagues examined the effect of the long-term consumption of diet soft drinks by a population of individuals 65 to 74 years of age (n = 474).

At baseline, measures of height, weight, and waist circumference were recorded, as was diet soft drink intake. Three additional exams of the study subjects were conducted over an average follow-up of just over 3.5 years (the study was conducted over a 9-year period).

When the results of these observations were compared with those from subjects who did not drink diet soft drinks, the differences were striking. Overall, consumers of diet soft drinks experienced a 70% greater increase in waist circumference than nonconsumers. Further, among elderly drinkers of 2 or more diet soft drinks per day, mean increases in waist circumference were 5 times greater than those recorded for nonconsumers.

“These results suggest that — amidst the national drive to reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks — policies that promote the consumption of diet soft drinks may have unintended deleterious effects,” state the study investigators.

Previous work by Ms. Fowler has evaluated the negative effects of diet drinks (Obesity [Silver Spring]. 2008;16:1894-1900).

Ms. Fowler has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

American Diabetes Association (ADA) 71st Scientific Sessions: Abstract 0062-OR. Presented June 25, 2011.

6-27 WOD

J.T. showing us how high to throw a Wall Ball!

We are going to do 3, 5 minute AMRAP’s:

Run 400 Meters 1st

Then with the remaining time do…

5 Pushups… Perfect Form!

10 Pullups

15 Kettlebell Swings

*Rest 2 Minutes between efforts

Courtesy of CrossFit West Santa Cruz…

I was watching my sister-in-law rehearse at the ABT headquarters the last
time I was in New York, and I noticed that whenever she had her leg in the air
balancing, such as in an arabesque, she always lifted the leg a little higher
before she put it down. She told me that it was a little thing that left an
impression of height and airiness in the audience’s mind. She said that little
tricks like that make all the difference between being a good dancer and the
consummate professional and that far too many dancers neglect that last 5
percent of the movement.

The same can be said for CrossFit. How many times have you watched someone
perform a movement and they are short-cutting the end of the movement. Maybe
thrusters for example. Or kettlebell swings. Sure, you want to cycle fast, but
there should be that little pop at the end of the movement.

How about cleans or snatches. So many times the last 5% of the pull is left
out. That last little bit that will set the body on the heels and bar tight.
Even on the setup. Did you get the all tension you could?  The last 5%? Or
squats. The last little bit of depth that leaves no doubt that it was low
enough. The last 5% of the movement.

Focus on the last five percent of the movement. It will make everything you
do crisp and clean


At a track close to your house do this…. IF you want a WOD.

400 Meter Run

20 Burpees

400 Meter Run

20 Tuck Jumps (Pull your knees as high as you can while jumping)

400 Meter Run

20 Walking Lunges

400 Meter Run

20 Push Ups

Tell me your time…. Have a good weekend!


6-24 BENCHMARK WOD (Tabata This)

Tabata Intervals ( 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest repeated 8 times) is applied in turn to the Squat, Rower, Pullups, Sit-ups, and Push-ups with a one minute rotation break between exercises. Each exercise is scored by the weakest number of reps (calories on the rower) in each of the eight intervals. During the one minute rotation time allowed the clock is not stopped but kept running. The score is the total of the scores from the five stations. For more on this WOD and how it is properly scored click here.

*From Mark’s Daily Apple

On a hot summer night, there is nothing more refreshing than a bowl of soup.

If that statement made you think, “Huh?” then clearly you haven’t discovered the delicious and refreshing world of chilled soup. Just as hot soups provide a comforting buffer from winter, chilled soups are a refreshing respite from the heat of summer. While chilled soups are often too light to be a full meal, we love them as a summer starter or side dish.

The most well-known chilled soup is gazpacho, a tomato-based blend of peppers, onions, cucumbers and a long list of other vegetables blended together and spiked with the vibrant acidity of vinegar or lemon. We love a spicy bowl of gazpacho, but when we’re the ones in charge of making a chilled soup we like to keep the recipe as simple as possible and the ingredient list short. It’s summer, after all, a season better spent relaxing outdoors than cooking elaborate meals inside.

Chilled Beet Soup is all about celebrating the sweet, earthy flavor and deep, vibrant color of beets. We use just a few other ingredients to perk up the flavor, including apple cider vinegar and dill, then let the beets speak for themselves. It’s a simpler version of borscht, minus the potatoes and long cooking time. Chilled Red Pepper Soup is a little more subtle, with the red pepper sneaking up on you along with a hint of cumin. Creamy yet light with amazing flavor, we’re often tempted to slurp this soup with a straw rather than bother with a spoon.

When there’s a pork tenderloin or steak on the grill, we like a bowl of chilled beet soup on the side. We serve the chilled red pepper soup with everything from a whole grilled chicken to grilled flank steak to seafood. Instead of serving the seafood on the side, try grilling shrimp or scallops and then throw them right into the bowl after the soup is served.

Chilled soups are most refreshing when chilled completely in the refrigerator (not just at room temperature) so plan to make them a few hours before serving.

Chilled Beet Soup Spiked with Dill and Vinegar

4 servings


beet ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil**
  • 4 cups grated beets (peel the beets and cut off the top greens)
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 3 cups water, or enough to just cover the grated beets
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns or 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped dill
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar, or more to taste


Heat olive oil in a pot then sauté grated beets and carrots for 3-5 minutes.

beets carrots

Add water and bring to boil. Add salt and pepper and bay leaf. Cover and reduce heat slightly and simmer 15 minutes. Turn off heat.

Remove the bay leaf. Add dill and vinegar. Chill completely before serving.

**For a variation, fry a few slices of bacon and use the bacon fat to sauté the beets and carrots instead of olive oil. Crumble the bacon on top of the soup as a garnish.

chilledbeet soup2

Chilled Creamy Red Pepper Soup


2 servings

redpepper ingredients

  • 2 roasted red bell peppers
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 cup chilled chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Sea salt to taste


You can buy roasted red peppers or buy raw red peppers and roast them yourself.

roasted pepper

To roast the red peppers: If you have a gas stove, place the whole pepper over the flame. The peppers can also be blackened on a grill or under a broiler. Turn as each side of the pepper blackens. Place the blackened pepper in a plastic bag or a covered container to steam briefly (so the skin is easier to remove) then rub off the blackened skin. Cut the pepper open and run under water to remove all the remaining skin and seeds.

roasted redpepper

Puree the roasted peppers in the blender with the coconut milk, chicken stock and cumin until smooth. Add sea salt to taste. Chill completely before serving.

chilledredpepper soup

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