Monthly Archives: February 2013

3-1 WOD

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10 Russian Swings
10 Push Ups


Pendlay Clean Drills



30 Clean and Jerks (135/95)



30 Snatches (135/95)

Cash Out…

Run 800 Meters for time

Roll out where you are sore

Caffeine Based Pre-Workout Supplements…Friend or Foe?

Written by Dave Lipson of Invictus

If you have flipped through any popular fitness magazines you have probably seen advertisements for products like “N0-EXPLODE”, “Jacked-3D”, “Black Powder” “Hemo-Rage” and “Assault.” While these may sound like new band names on the “Warped Tour”, these are actually pre-workout supplements that you could find at your local vitamin/sport supplement store. They are coupled with tag lines like “Amazing Pumps!”, “Unleash Hell in Your Workout!”, and “Ignite Yourself!” These products claim to increase performance in workouts, providing more mental focus, energy, endurance and blood flow to extremities…but what do they really do? How do they work? And what are the real risks and benefits of consuming them?

Most of these supplements are based on caffeine, containing anywhere from 100-300 mg of caffeine in a serving. Just to compare, there is about 100 mg in an 8 ounce cup of coffee. When caffeine enters the body, systems start working harder to evacuate the substance from inside. There are events in the body like increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, the kidneys working harder causing frequent urination, and mental excitement. Make no mistake, caffeine is a powerful drug and has been associated with such silent killers as hypertension. Like many drugs, people tend to develop tolerances and are de-sensitized to the effects of caffeine, resorting to larger doses to achieve a mental high. Chronic and immoderate caffeine use can put undue stress on the adrenal glands and even lead to symptoms such as adrenal fatigue.

Having said that, there are also many advantages to using pre-workout supplements. I use pre-workout supplements from time to time, but I try to do it with an understanding and respect of their power, and a strategic application to my training. These products work. There is definitely a performance advantage when applied in the correct doses to the correct training. The University of Connecticut performed a study clearly showing an increase in bench press and grip strength for groups using pre-workout caffeine stimulants. Research has also confirmed the increased mental focus and acuity from the use of caffeine. For individuals who are trying to loose weight, caffeine can serve as an appetite suppressant and has been shown to increase both lipolysis (breakdown of fat) and thermogenesis (calorie burning).

In addition to caffeine, these pre-workout products are often stacked with other substances such as arginine (N.O.) a powerful vasodilator that is used to increase blood flow to the extremities – providing the “pump” to your arms. The intent is that the increased blood flow will increase performance.

Many of these products contain stimulants that are banned in significant doses for competitions by organizations like the USOC and the NCAA. I would recommend being careful and cross-referencing all the ingredients with a banned substance list in your sport. (Remember, even caffeine is banned in certain doses, so make sure you clear the substance with the appropriate organization.)

Due to the fact that these substances increase heart rate and blood pressure, I would not recommend them for activities where heart rate is already elevated, such as endurance events and metabolic (lactic) training. I have heard of many athletes that claim to feel like they are drowning due to overuse of caffeine in conditioning workouts and end up with nausea and vomiting.
To avoid becoming desensitized to the effects of these products I would recommend using them sparingly. I only use my pre-workout go-go-juice for a long and heavy strength training session to help with the mental fatigue that often accompanies such a stressor. Cycle these products on and off. Take a break after a few weeks and let your body normalize for a while with no or less caffeine. This will help you avoid many of the potential side effects of these pre-workout supplements. Remember, choosing the right supplements, like choosing the right diet, can assist you in your training, but in the end YOU are the determining factor in your training success.
Here is a quick overview of all the Pro’s and Con’s of pre workout stimulants:

Increased Focus
Increased Energy
Increased Upper Body Strength
Fat Burning
Weight Loss

Increased Blood Pressure
Adrenal Fatigue
Possible Drug Test Failure
Feeling of racing heart couple with nausea and vomiting


2-28 WOD

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Goblet Squat
Tuck Jump
Push Up


Spend 6 min working on KB snatch


18 Min AMRAP

10 Up Downs
10 Box Jumps (Step down) 24/20
10 Walking Lunge
* At some point please row 1000 Meters

Cash Out…

Farmer Carry… 100 Meters
Roll Out Quads
Bar on Shoulder

Courtesy of CF Verve
In a past recent blog we talked about pre-workout drinks. I came across an article that dealt with post workout nutrition and why we should have carbs after we workout if our goal is to gain strength and muscle, which resonates for most of us. I know many of us have our protein shakes mixed with coconut water after we workout. Here are some interesting facts about the benefits of carbs after working out.
What are you trying to accomplish with your working out? Are you trying to gain muscle or simply lose weight? We know we need to consume amino acids after we work out to help support protein synthesis. A new study came out that provides some insight into how much we need to consume.
First, after working out you need to achieve a dose of at least 10 grams of essential amino acids to support protein synthesis. That 10 grams of essential amino acids is in addition to the 15 grams of branch chain amino acids you also need. The good news is that these can be had in most of our whey protein supplements.
Now on to carbs. It makes sense that taking a high-quality carbohydrate supplement with your protein will produce the greatest release of insulin for optimal muscle building. A study suggested that this insulin spike will only pay off if you are very sensitive to insulin. If you are sensitive to insulin, have low body fat, and your primary goal is to gain strength and muscle consuming carbs post workout can be used to increase results and lower cortisol response.
Bottom line is this, if you’re looking to gain mass adding carbs is the way to go, if your goal is fat loss sticking with just protein appears to be more beneficial. Check out the full article here.

2-27 WOD

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10 Bar Complexes

20 Good Mornings (PVC)

10 Push Ups

20 OHS (PVC)

Dynamic – Coaches Choice


Tabata (8 Rounds of each movement, 20 on, 10 off)



Push Press (45/35)

Russian Swing (53/35)

Cash Out…

2:00 Plank

Roll Out Quads

Roll Out Pec with a ball

Roll Out Shoulder with a ball

Courtesy of Marks Daily Apple

5 Primal Meals in Just 35 Minutes       

FiveMeals1Preparing a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven  days a week while living a busy life isn’t easy. Even when you know how to cook  and what to eat (meat, fish, fowl, eggs, veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds) it’s  still a challenge to come up with a variety of tasty meals. The best approach is  to plan ahead at the start of each week so you can make one shopping trip for  many meals. But who actually has time to plan ahead?

This week, it’s done for you. Below are five recipes that can be hammered out  in a total of 35 minutes of focused cooking. All the planning is done for you;  just shop and set aside some time in the kitchen. You’ll be rewarded five days  straight when you open the fridge and a meal is waiting for you.


Now, imagine a world where a weekly guide to breakfast, lunch, dinner and  snacks simply appears in your inbox. Every week you’ll know what to buy in one  shopping trip and exactly how to turn all the ingredients into easy Primal  meals. That world can be yours with the new Primal Blueprint Meal Plan. Subscribers will receive weekly  meal plans, shopping lists and recipes to take the guesswork out of eating  Primal. The recipes are easy to prepare and often provide leftovers to save you  time in the kitchen.

Whether or not you decide the Meal Plan is right for you, give the recipes below a try.  Set the timer and challenge yourself to cook all five meals within 35 minutes.  You’ll be glad you did. Now, if only we could help with kitchen clean-up  too….


  • Each recipe serves two people. If you are serving more or fewer people  adjust the shopping list and ingredient quantities accordingly.
  • Provided below are cooking instructions for preparing all five recipes at  once, and cooking instructions for preparing each of the five recipes  individually.

Shopping List by Item

ingredients 48

Meat: 1 1/2 pounds boneless beef (tenderloin, sirloin,  flank steak, strip steak) (680 g) 4 salmon fillets (6 ounces and about 1 inch  thick) skinned. To save time, ask the fish monger to do this for you. (170 g,  2.5 cm)

Produce: 4 bell peppers (red, yellow and/or orange) 1  head of broccoli 1 large cucumber or several small Persian cucumbers 3  limes 5 to 8 ounces of salad greens (enough for 4 individual salads) (142 to  227 g) 2 avocados

Frozen: 16 ounces frozen chopped spinach (455 g)

Refrigerated: 6 eggs

Nonperishable: 1 can coconut milk (13.5 ounces/400  ml) olive oil salt black pepper powdered cumin chili powder dried dill coconut aminos or tamari

Shopping List by Recipe

Steak with Creamed Spinach 8 ounces boneless beef  (tenderloin, sirloin, flank steak, strip steak) (227 g) 8 ounces frozen  chopped spinach (227 g) 1 can coconut milk (13.5 ounces/400 ml) 1 bell  pepper (red, yellow or orange) 1 lime olive oil salt

Steak Salad 8 ounces boneless beef (tenderloin, sirloin,  flank steak, strip steak) (227 g) 1 bell pepper 4 to 6 ounces of salad  greens (enough for 2 individual salads) (113 to 170 g) powdered cumin chili powder 1 lime olive oil salt 1 avocado

Steak Stir-Fry 8 ounces boneless beef (tenderloin,  sirloin, flank steak, strip steak) (227 g) 1 bell pepper (red, yellow or  orange) 1 head of broccoli olive oil salt pepper coconut aminos  or tamari

Salmon Salad 2 salmon fillets (4 to 6 ounces and about 1  inch thick), skinned (113 to 170 g and 2.5 cm) 1 large cucumber or several  small Persian cucumbers, sliced into rounds 4 to 6 ounces of salad greens  (enough for 2 individual salads) (113 to 170 g) 1 lime olive oil salt 1 avocado

Salmon Frittata 2 salmon fillets (4 to 6 ounces and about  1 inch thick), skinned (113 to 170 g and 2.5 cm) 1 bell pepper 8 ounces  frozen chopped spinach (227 g) 6 eggs salt pepper dried dill olive oil

Main Tools to Have Ready

3 rimmed baking pans 1 or two cutting boards Sharp knives for cutting  veggies and raw beef 12-inch or larger skillet (30 cm) 10-inch oven-proof  skillet (to make a frittata) (25 cm) 8-inch or larger pot (20 cm)

Cooking Instructions for 5 Meals in 35 Minutes

Preheat oven to 450 ºF (232 ºC).

Take the frozen spinach out of the freezer and the meat and salmon out of the  refrigerator.

Thinly slice bell peppers and place in a rimmed baking pan.

Cut broccoli into small florets and place in a rimmed baking pan.

Toss both the peppers and broccoli liberally with olive oil.

Step1 9

Put both pans in the oven.

Season the salmon lightly with salt and pepper. Place in a baking pan and put  in the oven. Set a timer for 12 minutes; this is a reminder to take the salmon  out. When you take the salmon out, leave the veggie in the oven.

Once the salmon is in the oven, slice the cucumber and set aside.

Juice the limes into a small bowl and set aside.

To make lime salad dressing, whisk together 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of lime  juice, 1/2 cup (125 ml) of olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) of salt. Set aside.  (Don’t discard remaining lime juice.)

Step2 9

Slice the beef very thinly into 1 to 2 inch long (25 to 50 cm) slices.  Lightly season with salt and pepper.

Check the salmon – is it done?

Set a 12-inch skillet (30 cm) and an 8-inch pot (20 cm) over medium-high  heat. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil to each. When the oil is hot, add 2/3  of the sliced meat to the 12-inch skillet and the rest to the 8-inch pot.

Cook the meat, stirring only once or twice, until it’s cooked through to  medium-rare, about 3 minutes.

Step3 6

Turn the heat off under the 12-inch skillet.

To the 8-inch pot with meat, add half the frozen spinach and the can of  coconut milk. Bring to a boil for five minutes then turn off the heat under the  pot.

Step4 4

Take the broccoli and red peppers out of the oven. Turn the oven off and turn  on the broiler.

Use a fork to flake two of the salmon fillets into small pieces.

Whisk the eggs together really well in a bowl. Add a pinch of salt, pepper  and dried dill.

Warm a few tablespoons of olive oil in a 10-inch skillet (25 cm) over high  heat.

Add the remaining frozen spinach and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes (there should  be very little or no liquid in the pan).

Add the flaked salmon. Stir well then pour in the eggs and stir once to  evenly spread the egg around.

While the eggs begin to set, place a few red pepper slices on top. Put the  skillet in the oven. Cook the frittata under the broiler for 3 to 5 minutes  until the egg sets and is firm.


Finishing Instructions:

Steak with Creamed Spinach: Roughly chop several slices of  roasted red pepper. Add them to the pot of steak and coconut milk. Season with  lime juice, salt and pepper.

Steak Salad: Place beef slices and 1/2 of red peppers over  mixed greens. Lightly season the salad with a few pinches of cumin and chili  powder. Right before eating add 1/2 of a sliced avocado to each salad and lime  dressing.

Steak Stir-Fry: Toss remaining steak slices with broccoli  and red peppers. Season lightly with coconut aminos or tamari.

Salmon Salad: Set each of the two remaining fillets over  several handfuls of salad greens. Garnish with cucumber slices. Right before  eating add 1/2 of a sliced avocado to each salad and lime dressing.

Salmon Frittata: Slice to eat, hot or cold. Serve over a bed  of salad greens if desired.


Individual Recipes

Beef with Creamed Spinach

Serves: 2

Time in the Kitchen: 25 minutes


  • 8 ounces boneless beef (tenderloin, sirloin, flank steak, strip steak) (227  g)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
  • 8 ounces frozen chopped spinach (227 g)
  • 1/2 a bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 can coconut milk (13.5 ounces/400 ml)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of black pepper


Slice the beef very thinly into 1 to 2 inch (25 to 50 cm) long slices.

Lightly season with salt and pepper.

In a wide skillet or pot heat a tablespoon of oil.

When the oil is hot add the beef. Cook the meat, stirring only once or twice,  just to brown the outside, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the spinach. Cook until soft then add the bell pepper and coconut  milk.

Bring to a boil for five minutes then turn off the heat under the pot.

Season with lime juice, salt and pepper.


Steak Salad

Serves: 2

Time in the Kitchen: 20 minutes


  • 8 ounces boneless beef (tenderloin, sirloin, flank steak, strip steak) (227  g)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) plus 1/2 cup olive oil (125 ml)
  • 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 4 to 6 ounces of salad greens (enough for 2 individual salads) (113 to 170  g)
  • Pinch of powdered cumin
  • Pinch of chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice (45 ml)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (1 ml)
  • 1 avocado, sliced


Slice the beef very thinly into 1 to 2 inch (25 to 50 cm) long  slices.

Lightly season with salt and pepper.

In a wide skillet heat a tablespoon of olive oil.

When the oil is hot add the beef. Cook the meat, stirring only once or twice,  until it’s cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Set the meat aside in a large  bowl.

Add the bell pepper to pan (with a little more oil if needed) and saute for  just a few minutes. Toss the bell peppers with the meat, along with the salad  greens. Season the salad lightly with cumin and chile powder.

To make lime salad dressing, whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup of olive  oil with the lime juice and salt.

Dress the salad and add avocado.


Steak Stir-Fry

Serves: 2

Time in the Kitchen: 35 minutes


  • 2 bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into small florets
  • Several tablespoons of olive oil
  • 8 ounces boneless beef (tenderloin, sirloin, flank steak, strip steak) (227  g)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Coconut aminos or tamari


Preheat oven to 450 ºF (232 ºC).

Place bell peppers and broccoli in a rimmed baking pans

Toss the vegetables liberally with olive oil and put the pans in the oven.  Set the timer for 20 minutes.

Slice the beef very thinly into 1 to 2 inch (25 to 50 cm) long slices.

Lightly season with salt and pepper.

In a wide skillet heat about a tablespoon of olive oil.

When the oil is hot add the beef. Cook the meat, stirring only once or twice,  until it’s cooked through to medium-rare, about 3 minutes. Put the meat in a  large bowl.

Toss the meat with the bell peppers and broccoli. Season with coconut aminos  or tamari.


Salmon Salad

Serves: 2

Time in the Kitchen: 20 minutes


  • 2 salmon fillets (4 to 6 ounces and about 1 inch thick) (113 to 170 g and  2.5 cm)
  • black pepper, for seasoning salmon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning salmon (1 ml)
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice (45 ml)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (125 ml)
  • 4 to 6 ounces of salad greens (enough for 2 individual salads) (113 to 170  g)
  • 1 large cucumber or several small Persian cucumbers, sliced into rounds
  • 1 avocado, sliced


Preheat oven to 450 ºF (232 ºC).

Lightly season the salmon with salt and pepper. Place in a rimmed baking pan  and bake for 12 minutes, or until cooked through to your liking.

While the salmon cooks, make the salad dressing by whisking together the  remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt with the lime juice and olive oil.

Toss the salad greens and cucumber slices with salad dressing. Set the salmon  on top of the greens. Garnish with avocado.


Salmon Frittata

Serves: 4

Time in the Kitchen: 30 minutes


  • 2 salmon fillets (4 to 6 ounces and about 1 inch thick), skinned (113 to 170  g and 2.5 cm)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 6 eggs, whisked
  • Dried dill
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces frozen chopped spinach (227 g)
  • 1/2 a bell pepper, thinly sliced


Preheat oven to 450 ºF (232 ºC).

Lightly season the salmon with salt and pepper. Place in a rimmed baking pan  with the red pepper and bake for 12 minutes.

When the salmon comes out, turn the oven off and turn the broiler on.

Use a fork to flake two of the salmon fillets into small pieces.

To the eggs add a pinch of salt, pepper and dried dill.

Heat olive oil in a 10-inch skillet (25 cm) over high heat.

Add the frozen spinach and saute for 3 to 5 minutes (there should be very  little or no liquid in the pan).

Add the flaked salmon. Stir well then pour in the eggs and stir once to  evenly spread the egg around.

While the eggs begin to set, place the red pepper slices on top. Put the  skillet in the oven. Cook the frittata under the broiler for 3 to 5 minutes  until the egg sets and is firm.


2-26 WOD

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Wall Ball Sub

Push Up

Jump Lunge

Dynamic – Coaches Choice


EMOM for 6 Min



For time:


1 Round of Cindy (5 Pull Ups, 10 Push Ups, 15 Squats)

50 Doubles and Sit Ups

1 Round of Cindy

40 Dbls and Sits

1 Round of Cindy

30 Dbls and Sits

1 Round of Cindy

20 Dbls and Sits

1 Round of Cindy

10 Doubles and Sits

1 Round of Cindy

Cash Out…

50 Meter Farmer Carry (Heavy)

90 Sec Couch Stretch

Ball on Hammy

Rachel Jonat, The Minimalist Mom

My husband and I completed a Whole30 in September of 2012.

It was a huge milestone for both of us: for my husband because he had never stuck to a real food diet for that long and for me because we finished it in my 26th week of pregnancy. My husband had improved his eating habits in recent years but still had a love of Subway sandwiches and Cadbury chocolate. It was my second pregnancy and my first was littered with cookies the size of my hand as afternoon pick-me-ups and evenings snacking on Triscuits smothered in cream cheese.

Eating clean for 30 days, and all the benefits we saw from it, was a huge accomplishment for both of us.

Completing a Whole30 together was also something that we couldn’t have imagined doing just a few years previously. Back then we were too busy, overwhelmed, and burning through too much cash and time to dedicate 30 days to nutrition and wellness. We had our excuses as to why we couldn’t eat high quality food, get enough sleep or exercise regularly:

  • · We had a new baby.
  • · My husband worked a lot and traveled frequently.
  • · We didn’t have the money and we didn’t have the time.

Our crutches were Diet Coke, take-out meals (because I was too tired to cook) and, for me, impulse spending on things we never ended up using. Our spacious urban condo felt cluttered. We owned a lot of things that were supposed to make our life easier – electronics, baby soothing gadgets, a DVR/Tivo – but really stole our time, money, and space. I said I valued health but couldn’t fathom, much less afford, buying organic or local produce and free range meats and eggs.

So how did we get to a place where we could focus our time and money on our health and complete a Whole30 together?

Choosing Simplicity for Better Health

Do you have a dream scenario? For us it was a vision of working less and spending more time on our health and each other. My husband wanted to travel less for work and have time for health and fitness. I wanted more hours in the week for our family to be together and for myself to pursue a new career. I wanted a cleaner home and a fitter mind and body.

For most of my life I assumed that my dream lifestyle was tied to earning more money. Or winning the lottery.

When I started to read about Minimalism I started to see that our dream lifestyle was closer than a random windfall of cash or a big promotion at work. There were some hard and easy ways we could improve our health and quality of life without an increase in annual income or an inheritance.

If we spent less we could work less.

Inspired by stories of people living out of backpacks or with just 100 things, I decided to purge our home of the unnecessary.

It wasn’t easy.

It was painful to donate things we had never used and things that we were still paying for.

As I let go of the things—the dress I bought because it was a great deal and not because it looked good on me, the Sleep Sheep I bought my son praying it would somehow make him sleep more than three hours at a time. I felt lighter. As I began to have fewer things in my home to look after and clean, I started to have more time. I spent less.

The list of excuses and reasons why we couldn’t eat well, exercise and get enough sleep dwindled.

If you can’t spend the time or money to eat real food, get a good night of sleep and exercise, what are you spending your time and money on?

Look at your bank statement. Save those credit card receipts. Look at where your money is going each month. Is your cell phone or cable plan worth it? Could driving a second hand car, instead of buying new, allow you to purchase better quality food for you and your family?

Most of us have a choice to simplify and live a bit smaller

Maybe what’s standing between you and real food is taking a job closer to home.  Or moving into a smaller home. Or unsubscribing from those daily deal sites so you’re no longer tempted to buy salsa lessons you’ll never take.

Simplifying your life can give you more time and money than the next promotion you’re gunning.

Everything was on the table when my husband and I looked at ways to reduce our possessions and lower our cost of living. I sold my wedding dress, the torch I ran with in the 2010 Olympic torch relay, and our huge DVD collection. For a time we seriously considered selling our home.

Eventually we decided to sell our car. It not only simplified our life and improved our health, it saved us several hundred dollars a month.

As we let go of more and more things, things we had thought were essential in our lives, things like iPhones and cable TV, our budget and spending better reflected our values and the lifestyle we wanted.

Suddenly we had extra cash to start paying down our large consumer and student loan debt. As our finances improved so did my sleep.

If you want to improve your health and your diet, start by evaluating where you spend your time and money.

Those extra dollars for farm fresh eggs and the early bed time can be yours but you’ll have to make choices. You’ll probably have to give some things up.

It might mean stepping down from a committee that meets late at night, or choosing to vacation closer to home. It might mean selling all those things in your garage that you rarely use. It might mean making do and repairing instead of rushing out to buy the a new replacement.

It will likely mean owning less and even doing less, so you can dedicate more dollars to your nutrition and more time to sleep, rest and exercise.

How have you changed what you spend your time and money on since adopting a Whole9 life? If you’re struggling to find the time and money for your health, what things currently take up most of your time and money?

Rachel JonatRachel Jonat, The Minimalist Mom, is a mother, wife and writer from Vancouver, Canada, currently living in the Isle of Man with: 2 pairs of jeans, no car, no debt, more time, and less stress. You can read more about her here.

2-25 WOD

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6 Bar Complexes

3 Strict Pull Ups

Then Dynamic…

With a group and a light KB or Dumbell

Arm Bar

Half Get Ups

Slow mo Goblets


*If you have been coming and are confident with weight on the oly lifts:

1 Shankle Complex every 2 Minutes for 14 Minutes

*If you are newer to the lifts

Even – 2 Hang Pwr Cleans and 2 Jerks

Odd – 8 Goblet Squats


“Real Fast Real Ugly”

1 Min On, 1 Min off for 7 Minutes

12 Clusters (Squat Clean to Thruster) (95/65)

*If you don’t get all 12 in the minute do 2 Burpees in your rest min per missed rep

*Idea came from CrossFit CDA.

Cash Out…

20 Supermans

Bar on Shoulder

Roll Out Quads

Courtesy of Sara Womack

Let  me start by stating the obvious.  I love CrossFit.  I think it is a brilliant training philosophy.  I have felt the benefits of CrossFit in my own life and witnessed many other people’s transformations all thanks to CrossFit.  But I also have a growing annoyance with CrossFit as it itself evolves and grows.  It is this idea that CrossFit is the end goal.  Becoming good at competing or good at CrossFit is starting to replace the idea that CrossFit is a tool used to make you better at life.  The competitive side of CrossFit seems to be overshadowing everything else.

So, for a while now I have been wrestling with my own personality and how I fit into CrossFit.  I have heard over and over again, “You need to compete; you need to understand how it feels.  It will make you a better CrossFitter.”   Well, I’m just going to say it; I am not interested in competing.  I don’t enjoy it and I don’t want to do it.  However, try as a box owner, telling another CrossFitter that you’re not interested in entering the Open.  They look at me like I’ve got lobsters climbing out of my ears.

That brings up the questions:  Is there a place for someone like me in CrossFit?  Can it make me happy?  Is it possible to be a good CrossFitter and not be competitive?  Yes, and here’s why.

The goals and ideals of CrossFit as a training philosophy do not match up to the realities of CrossFit competition.  The rewards of CrossFitting responsibly, working on skills and trying to continually improve and learn are; better health, stronger bones, elevated mood, increased mobility, and I can go on and on.  You get the idea.

The rewards of competition are winning competitions.  Perhaps at the expense of all those wonderful things we just talked about.  If you are serious about competition then you need to realize; with the level of competition in CrossFit right now, you are going to have to push your body to its limits.  Dedicate large amounts of time and make a lot of sacrifices.  And risk injuries.  I don’t want to be completely negative about competition.  Hey, I love watching the Games too, those athletes are amazing!!  But I am negative about people who think that is CrossFit.  That is not CrossFit at our box!

CrossFit really should be you against yourself.  Comparing yourself to others is the fastest way to sap the happiness out of your CrossFit experience.  To quote Theodore Roosevelt, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”  I have seen it too many times.  An athlete works their tail off in a WOD, adds up their score and their face falls when they compare it to other scores on the board.  In all reality the other scores on the board don’t have anything to do with that athlete’s improved health, or effort during the WOD.  The person who works the hardest doesn’t necessarily “win”.

I will use myself as an example.  Not too long ago we did the benchmark “Cindy”.  I hate “Cindy”.  I do not have any advantages in that workout.  I’m too big to be great at pull-ups and my arms are too long for me to be overly good at push-ups, when compared to a smaller, more compact athlete.  However, I did my best and improved my old score by more than a round.  That’s improvement!  I should be happy, right?  And I am, unless I focus on the fact that lots of girls got a better score than me.

Put myself against that same compact, smaller athlete in a different benchmark.  Let’s say “Christine”.  My larger mass and height give me an advantage on the rower and the box jumps.  So, chances are I will have a faster time in that WOD.  So, does this mean I didn’t work as hard in “Cindy”, that my improvement is somehow less valuable?  If I show some improvement in my “Christine” time is that improvement more valuable because my time was faster than my more compact classmate?  Not really, it’s impossible to compare with another athlete.  The only way to gauge improvement fairly is against yourself.  All WODs work this way, they will naturally favor someone or other and really it’s kind of stupid to put yourself into a competition with an uneven playing ground.

I love the fact that CrossFit is measurable and challenging.  And it’s FUN, if I don’t let my pride get in the way.   Improving me only affects myself.  It does not affect my abilities as compared to other athletes.  We all have a different starting place and realistically, no matter our effort or heart, we may have drastically different rates of improvement and natural ability.  Just enjoy the fruits of your own efforts.  Bask in all your accomplishments and increased skills.  There is joy in just doing!!  Enjoy the journey and enjoy the other people at the Box.  We have a pretty amazing group!

2-22 Benchmark WOD

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5 bar complexes
5 slow mo burpees

“The Chief”

As many rounds as possible in 3:00 of:
3 Power Cleans (135/95)
6 Push ups
9 Air Squats
Rest 1:00.

Repeat for a total of 5 rounds.

Cash out…

15 Supermans
15 hollow rocks
Back of shoulder with a ball
Hammy with a ball

Courtesy of whole 9…


11 February, 2013

From Whole9, as a preface to our Manifesto series:

As we wrote in It Starts With Food, “We have a theory about food that directly influences the rest of this book. The food that you eat either makes you more healthy or less healthy. Those are your options.”

Of course, we spend the rest of the book explaining why a concept that sounds so simple is not that simple at all in practice. That’s why our Good Food recommendations are based on not just one foundation, but a combination of three:

Based on the science as we understand it today, and our vast clinical experience with the tens of thousands of people who have completed our Whole30 program, we make some general recommendations as to which food groups may make you less healthy—including grains. Below, we’ll outline the basics of our case against consumption of grains as part of your daily diet. But until you undertake your own self-experiment (via the Whole30) for yourself, you’ll never know for sure how consumption of grains are affecting how you look, how you feel, and your quality of life.

Our general nutritional recommendations don’t include grains of any kind—no breads, cereals, pasta, rice, not even gluten-free grains or pseudo-cereal. No, not even whole grains.* While grains are technically seeds of plants in the grass family, for our purposes we’re going to lump similarly-structured pseudo-cereals in this category as well. This list includes wheat, oats, barley, rye, millet, corn (maize), rice (including wild rice), sorghum, teff, triticale, spelt, kamut, buckwheat, amaranth, and quinoa.

*Note, we are well aware that this information may run counter to everything you’ve ever been told by your parents, doctors, personal trainers, government agencies and TV advertisements. For that, however, we make no apologies… because all the people who have been selling you Whole Grains for Health all these years have been just. Plain. Wrong. We understand if this makes you kind of angry. It makes us angry too.. but that’s a topic for another post.

Refined Grains

During the refining process, the bran and the germ portion of the grain seed are removed—and so are the fiber, vitamins, and minerals present in those two layers. Any nutrients added to “fortified” grains don’t make up for what is removed during the refining process. These grains (usually refined wheat and corn) are then turned into junk and snack foods.

As critical satiety factors are missing (fiber, water, and complete protein),and calories are concentrated (making them easier for our bodies to absorb), these foods are easy to overconsume, and tend to promote cravings, blood sugar dysregulation, and unhealthy metabolic effects.

Whole Grains

While whole grains leave the bran and germ portion intact (increasing the fiber and micronutrition content compared to refined grains), they are far from nutrient-dense when you compare them to vegetables and fruit.

In a comparison* done in our New York Times bestselling book, It Starts With Food, a daily diet based on “healthy” whole grains provided more than three times the sugar and sodium as a diet featuring vegetables and fruit, but provided less fiber, potassium, and substantially less magnesium, iron, zinc, and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K.

*Refer to p. 109 in It Starts With Food.

In addition, many of the minerals technically present in whole grains are not accessible to the body, thanks to anti-nutrients called “phytates” found in the bran. These phytates grab hold of minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium found in the whole grain, creating an insoluble and undigestible complex. As these nutrients are no longer in a usable form, they are not absorbed into the body—and you don’t get the benefits. (If you can’t use the minerals, they may as well not even be there.)

Problematic Proteins

There are different protein structures in grains that have been found to create transient increases in gut permeability. These problematic proteins are particularly resistant to digestion, meaning they arrive in the gut largely intact. They can improperly cross the gut barrier, and may allow other substances (like incompletely-digested food particles, bacteria, or viruses) through the gut and into the body, all of which triggers an immune response and promotes systemic inflammation.

One such class of profoundly problematic proteins belongs to a group called prolamins. Gluten, a protein found in the wheat, rye, and barley, is partly made up of prolamins (in wheat, for example, that prolamin is called gliadin).

Non-gluten grains (like corn and oats) contain different prolamins (and other compounds) that may be similarly irritating. While these protein fractions and compounds have not yet been as well studied as gluten, it’s fair to say that they have a significant potential to create similar undesirable effects on your gut function and immune status.

The interaction between foreign proteins and immune cells triggers an inflammatory response of varying degrees of severity, depending on the individual. (There is considerable person-to-person variation, though the research on individual sensitivity is still fairly incomplete.)

The inflammatory effects can show up anywhere, as anything: allergies, arthritis, asthma; autoimmune diseases like celiac, Crohn’s, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis; chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, endometriosis; these effects can even be seen in the brain. (Inflammatory messengers in the brain are associated with depression, anxiety, and even conditions like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.)

What About Soaking, Sprouting, and Fermenting?

Ancient cultures reliant on grains for survival figured out ways to prepare them to mitigate some of the inflammatory and anti-nutrient downsides. Prolonged soaking, extended cooking, rinsing, sprouting, and fermenting have been shown to partly break down some of the phytates and some of the inflammatory proteins in certain grains. But note the words “partly” and “some.”

These preparation methods don’t guarantee a safe food product in your gut, and vegetables and fruit still provide far more nutritious benefits with none of the downsides of grains.

What About Gluten-Free Products?

Please refer to our articles on gluten-free grains and products:

2-21 WOD

Buy in…

3 Half Get Ups
1 Arm Bar
20 One arm swings


In teams of 3 row 10,000 Meters

* During the rest, you must do a 30 second wall sit and a 30 second plank.

Cash Out…

Roll out where you are sore… Please!