Monthly Archives: March 2013

4-1 WOD

biggest looser


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6 Bar Complexes

12 One armed Swings

100 Meter Run


Coaches Choice


Work up to a heavy 3 Thruster in 15 Minutes


EMOM for 12 Minutes

Odd – 6 Thrusters and 6 Pullups (Rx+ 8 and 8) (95/65)

Even – 15 Russian Swings (Rx+ American) (53/35)

Cash Out…

10 Pause Supermans (5 Seconds)

1:00 Couch Stretch on Each Side

Ball on the pec

*Courtesy of CF Verve

Looking for a way to save some cash and eat healthier?  Here’s 8 simply tips to help.

1. Squeeze lemon or lime juice into an ice tray and freeze it.  Citrus can be hit or miss with sales so if you stock up when it’s on sale, this is a clever way to keep it until you need it.

2. Isolate the trouble fruit.  Much like Thanksgiving at my family house, you have to keep the trouble makers separate.  Apple, bananas, and peaches emit a gas that can ripen vegetables more quickly.  Keep these separate to keep your veggies fresher longer.

3. Line the bottom of your crisper with paper towels.  This absorbs moisture and keeps your fruit and veggies fresher longer.

4. If you neglect food you put in the crisper stop using the crisper.  How many times have you thrown away food that was out of sight so you simply forgot it was there?  If this is an issue for you, place the produce in bags in clear sight so you don’t forget them.

5. Some food don’t need the fridge.  Keep avocados, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and sweet potatoes on the counter or in a drawer under it.

6. Freeze your herbs.  Susan Belsinger,  a culinary herbalist says that the best way she’s found to retain the flavor of herbs is to chop them up and mix them with some oil, so that it becomes an “aromatic paste,” which she then freezes, ostensibly in airtight plastic baggies.

7. You can revive limp carrots by peeling them and placing them in ice water.  The carrots will absorb the water and gain some of their snap back.

8.  No need to wash all your fruit, just the pieces you plan on eating now.   The added moisture from washing invites mold and spoiling.


3-29 WOD

No Benchmark this week, but this will be fun:)

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10 Goblet Squats
10 Russian Swings
5 Slow Mo Burpees


Coaches Choice



5 Front Squats (135/95)
10 Push Ups ( Rings for Rx Plus)
100 Meter Run
* Rest 1 Min Between Efforts

Cash Out…

15 Supermans with a 5 sec pause
Achilles roll out (Bar)
Tricep Roll Out (Bar)

3-28 WOD

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5 Bar Complexes
5 Knee Raises

Dynamic… Coaches Choice



MEN – includes Masters Men up to 54 years old
Complete as many reps as possible in 7 minutes following the rep scheme below:
135 pound Clean and jerk, 3 reps
3 Toes-to-bar
135 pound Clean and jerk, 6 reps
6 Toes-to-bar
135 pound Clean and jerk, 9 reps
9 Toes-to-bar
135 pound Clean and jerk, 12 reps
12 Toes-to-bar
135 pound Clean and jerk, 15 reps
15 Toes-to-bar
135 pound Clean and jerk, 18 reps
18 Toes-to-bar…
This is a timed workout. If you complete the round of 18, go on to 21. If you complete 21, go on to 24, etc.

WOMEN – includes Masters Women up to 54 years old
Complete as many reps as possible in 7 minutes following the rep scheme below:
95 pound Clean and jerk, 3 reps
3 Toes-to-bar
95 pound Clean and jerk, 6 reps
6 Toes-to-bar
95 pound Clean and jerk, 9 reps
9 Toes-to-bar
95 pound Clean and jerk, 12 reps
12 Toes-to-bar
95 pound Clean and jerk, 15 reps
15 Toes-to-bar
95 pound Clean and jerk, 18 reps
18 Toes-to-bar…
This is a timed workout. If you complete the round of 18, go on to 21. If you complete 21, go on to 24, etc.

We’ll scale as needed!

Cash Out…

100 Meters backward and forward
Roll out hammy
Roll out shoulders

Courtesy of Poliquin…

Tip 574: Why Whey Protein Is Your Best Post-Workout Protein Source: Lose Fat, Build Muscle & Jump Higher

Monday, March 25, 2013 5:30 AM
Get lean and improve your athletic performance by taking a large dose of at least 25 grams of whey protein after training. Research shows that taking the right protein after exercise can significantly improve body composition, strength, power, and even agility—and doing so benefits the young, old, male, and female alike.

For example, a new study is one of the first to compare the effect of taking casein with whey protein in young female athletes. Study participants were Division III basketball players who engaged in an 8-week pre-season weight training and plyometric program. They took 24 grams of either whey or casein protein before and after workouts.

Results showed that both groups produced significant beneficial changes in body composition and performance, and although not statistically greater, the whey protein group had better outcomes as follows:

• The whey group lost 2 percent body fat and gained 1.5 kg muscle mass, compared to only 1.6 percent body fat loss and 1.4 kg muscle gain in the casein group.

• The whey group gained 88.7 kg in the leg press, 7.5 kg in the bench press, and increased vertical jump and shuttle run speed significantly more than the casein group, which gained 90 kg in the leg press and 4.3 kg in the bench press.

Researchers suggest that taken with previous research outcomes, this study shows the more favorable effect of whey protein because it is “fast” digesting, making the amino acids available for protein uptake and muscle building more quickly after consuming it. For example, a previous study done on male body builders revealed that a group that took 1.5 g/kg/bodyweight a day had much greater gains in all strength tests in addition to increasing lean mass by a rather amazing 4.2 kg more than a casein group (whey +5.0 kg lean mass, casein +0.8 kg lean mass).

The study authors conclude that men and women may respond somewhat differently to casein and whey since the difference in body composition changes between the female basketball players was not statistically relevant, whereas the male bodybuilders experienced a big difference. This is possible, but it could also be that the weight training program used by the players was not ideal. It followed an undulating periodization model with the trainees doing only one set of all exercises on two of their training days.

The take away is that you should opt for whey protein for your preferred post-workout protein source whenever possible because of the overwhelmingly favorable benefits for building strength, power, and getting you lean. Whey has also been shown to sustain protein synthesis to a greater degree than straight amino acids at 5 hours after taking it.

However, if you are allergic to whey, take amino acids with added leucine since a large proportion of leucine is one of the principal benefits of whey. Also, if you can’t take whey, shoot for a larger dose per kg of body weight of protein daily because there is some evidence that providing an extra large pool of amino acids can sustain muscle building to a similar degree as whey protein.

Churchward-Venne, T., Burd, N., et al. Supplementation of Suboptimal Protein Dose with Leucine or EAAs: Effects of Myofibrillar Protein Synthesis at Rest and Following Resistance Exercise in Men. Journal of Physiology, 2012. Published Ahead of Print.

Wilborn, C., et al. The Effects of Pre- and Post-Exercise Whey Vs. Casein Protein Consumption on Body Composition and Performance Measures in Collegiate Athletes. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. 2012. 12, 74-79.

Copyright ©2013 Charles Poliquin

3-27 WOD

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10 orbits
10 around the worlds
10 goblet squats
10 Russian swings
10 KB cleans
30 second arm bar on ea side


Coaches Choice


14 Min AMRAP

100 Meter Run
10 Meter Bear Crawl
10 Meter Broad Jump
10 Meter Crab Walk
10 Meter Walking Lunge

* 1 run with a sand bag and 1 with 2 kettlebells at some point
* Row 600 Meters at some point

Cash Out…

2 Min Plank
10 Supermans with a 5 second pause at the top
Roll out the back of your shoulder.

3-26 WOD

Cortney Batchelor… Wonder Woman!

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Every 30 Seconds for 4 Minutes
do 1 Snatch @ 75%

Then when clock hits 5 do:

3 Max Effort UB Sets @ 70% in 3 Minutes

*idea is from Outlaw CF

*If you are newer, we’ll do 3 Hi Hang Pwr Snatches Per min instead of this.


50 Goblet Squats (53/35)

30 TTB

600 Meter Run

Cash Out…

Roll Out Quads

Roll Out your inner pec

Great Reminder…

10 Tips for Starting CrossFit

Stepping into a CrossFit gym for the first time can be a bit intimidating and overwhelming. You might see a bunch of half-naked hard bodies showing off their ink and abs, ripping out butterfly kip after butterfly kip. You might ask yourself, “Is that person having a seizure or doing pull-ups? What’s with all the Chuck Taylors? Do they get a group rate? What’s with the guy in the corner wearing only sweatpants, shirt off, all tatted up and muttering to himself? Is he on a work-release program?” Fear not newbie; these people won’t bite. They’re actually pretty darn friendly and overly supportive once you get to know them. It can be a lot to take in at first glance, especially if you’ve had limited exposure to CrossFit prior to stepping into a gym. But don’t worry; we’ve got your back. The following are 10 things to keep in mind as you begin your CrossFit journey.

1.) You’re Competing Against Yourself, Not Others

When it comes time to throw down in a wod, don’t feel like you have to do everything RX’d or be able to complete 20 rounds of “Cindy” right off the bat. Go at your own pace. Let the intensity find you. You need a solid foundation of strength and flexibility in order to progress into more demanding workouts. Start light, get your form down, and don’t worry about the mother of three who is deadlifting 250 as you struggle with the bar. Chase your own capacity before chasing the person next to you. Which brings me to my next point…

2.) Don’t Be Too Proud To Scale

Sing it with me now:

Ain’t too proud to scale, sweet darling. Please don’t leave the wod. Don’t you go. Ain’t too proud to scale, baby baby. Please don’t leave the wod. Don’t you go.

Tony Budding (of CrossFit HQ) describes scaling as another form of programming. Scaling is such an individualized topic that it’s hard to make sweeping generalized statements. You have to know your own body and its limits. But most importantly, there’s no substitute for common sense.

3.) What You Eat Is More Important Than What You Lift

Nutrition is the key to every aspect of your life. It affects your energy levels, your recovery, and your overall defense against disease. To quote the late Jack Lalanne, “You put junk in, junk comes out. You put good in, good comes out.” When you’re first starting out, the quality of your food is far more important than the quantity. Call it whatever you want: Zone, Paleo, Primal, Hunter-Gatherer; just eat clean. You are a Ferrari. You wouldn’t put regular unleaded fuel in a Ferrari, would you?

4.) Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Clarification, Over and Over Again

It’s your time, money, and most importantly, health. If you don’t fully understand something, ask. If you still don’t get it, ask again. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you don’t fully grasp the concept, or you think others in the class will get frustrated with you for taking up too much time. We were all newbies at one point. We’ve all been there. Learning the mechanics of certain movements like the kip, squat, deadlift, or any of the olympic lifts takes lots of practice and critique from a trained eye. If you need help, just ask.

5.) CrossFit Isn’t Everything

CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program that focuses on building general physical preparedness (GPP). It is quickly evolving into a sport of its own, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be your sport or your lifeblood. I CrossFit so that I can do whatever I want: Go out, play sports, learn new things. Having that GPP allows me to take on new challenges. CrossFit is not my life. I CrossFit so that I can have a life…and be awesome at it.

6.) It Doesn’t Get Easier, It Just Sucks Less

The longer you immerse yourself in the suck, the less it sucks. You get stronger, build a greater aerobic capacity, and become mentally tough. All of these aspects, combined with experience, allow you to know when to push yourself and when to back off, so that you can attack each workout to the best of your ability. Soon, you’ll come to love the beatdowns. Much like Kevin Bacon in Animal House, you’ll be screaming, “Thank you sir! May I have another?” Well, maybe not. But you get the point.

7.) You Won’t PR Every Day

Don’t mistake intensity for hard work. Even if you’re having a bad day and the intensity just isn’t there, you can still get a lot out of your time in the gym through hard work. Intensity and hard work are not the same thing. Don’t skip a planned session just because you don’t think you’re going to kill it and leave everything out on the table. Not feeling too strong that day? That’s fine; scale the weights and/or rounds or time domain back. Something is better than nothing.

8.) Have Fun!!

Let’s face it, some of the workouts are not fun. Frankly, some of them just plain suck. I’m looking at you, Hero wods. But when it’s over, you feel a sense of accomplishment and maybe a little queasy. You shouldn’t be pissed that you didn’t get as many reps as the person next to you. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Smile. Laugh. Introduce yourself to people you don’t know. If you’re not having fun, why are you here? Do you enjoy your overall time spent at the gym? Do you enjoy the people, the community, the knowledge and support that it provides? If so, then don’t be too concerned with your competitive nature until you have a strong grasp on the 9 Foundational Movements.

The things you’ll learn in a CrossFit gym are fun: gymnastics, olympic lifts, new swear words. You can’t do this stuff in a globo gym. The attitude is different too; no one is going to get in your face and cheer you on as you knock out those last five minutes on the elliptical. And the feeling you’ll have the first time you get an unassisted dead hang pull-up or full squat snatch is an amazing sense of power and accomplishment.

9.) You Are All Firebreathers

The term “Firebreather” comes from CrossFit legend and bad ass Greg Amundson, and he defines it as such:

Firebreather –Fie-r-bre’-th-er: (n) 1. One who faces the triumphs and tribulations of great physical opposition with an indomitable spirit. 2. An optimistic energy associated with the heart of an athlete.

You don’t have to be an “elite” CrossFitter to embody the essence of a true Firebreather. It’s not your “Fran” time, it’s the spirit you bring to “Fran” that makes you a Firebreather. Don’t forget that.

10.) Respect Rest and Recovery

Too many newbies (and even those of us who have been doing this a while) get caught up in overtraining. Don’t be afraid to schedule in a deload day once per week, or a deload week every 4-6 weeks where you cut the weight, rounds, and intensity in half. You have to think about this from a longevity standpoint. If you’re killing yourself every time you step foot in the gym, week after week, month after month, year after year, you’re going to eventually break down. You need to respect your time outside of the gym. There’s an old weightlifting adage that goes something like: “You don’t get bigger and stronger from lifting weights, you get bigger and stronger from recovering from lifting weights.”

Proper nutrition, hydration and sleep all play their part in recovery, but you also need to listen to your body. If you continuously beat yourself down, you’re going to get hurt, injured or worse. Stay on top of your mobility work. If you haven’t done so yet, pay a daily visit to Kelly Starrett’s Mobility WOD. The information there is invaluable.




3-25 WOD


Coaches Choice

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10 Bar Comlexes
20 Lateral Hops


Every 2 Minutes for 12

1 Clean Shrug
1 Full Clean
2 Front Squats
1 Jerk

* Add weight each time if you feel good
* If you are new please do 3 high hang power cleans and 2 push presses per min


5 Shoulder to Overhead (135/95)
10 Burpee Box Overs (20/16)
15 Russian Swings (53/35)
10 Shoulder to Overhead
20 Burpee Box Overs
30 Russian Swings
15 Shoulder to Overhead
30 Burpee Box Overs
45 Russian Swings

* Please scale as needed.
* Strict 20 Min Cap

Cash Out…

Run 100 meters forwards and 100 meters backwards
Bar on 1st rib
Ball on hammy

Courtesy of Poliquin

Tip 572: Take Magnesium For Better Body Composition: Low Magnesium = More Body Fat & Less Muscle

Thursday, March 21, 2013 6:01 AM
Take magnesium for better body composition because it enhances insulin sensitivity and fat burning hormones. We’ve known for a while that having extra magnesium in the body can help to make your cells hyper sensitive to insulin so that you build more muscle and store less fat. Now, there’s evidence that simply getting enough magnesium can help you stay lean and cut.

Just published in Nutrition Journal, researchers from Taiwan surveyed 210 people with diabetes for body composition, magnesium intake, inflammatory status, and blood pressure. They found that almost 90 percent of the subjects had low magnesium, and that magnesium intake was significantly associated with body fat percentage and waist circumference. The results are included here because they are so intriguing:

As you can see, in this fairly large population with poor insulin health, simply getting enough magnesium in the diet led the participants to have much less body fat, have slimmer waists indicating less dangerous belly fat, and better blood pressure health. Those in the fourth quartile who had the highest magnesium intake also had better cholesterol and triglyceride markers.

In fact, other than blood pressure, which, at 132.9 mmHg for systolic is considered high, the group with the highest magnesium intake is the only one to have “normal” health in terms of body fat, waist size, and cardiovascular health markers. This groups also showed the fewest symptoms of depression.

The researchers suggest that adults require 5 mg of magnesium per kg of body weight daily for adequate health—an amount that was not even reached by those with greatest intake in this study. They estimate that between 60 and 90 percent of the world population has low magnesium due to the shift to eating more processed foods and away from whole grains, beans, greens, and nuts that all provide dietary magnesium. Be aware that many nutritionists recommend a higher intake in the range of 5 to 7.5 mg/kg of body weight of magnesium a day.

Additional things you need to know about magnesium in order to achieve optimal body composition and health are the following:

• Taking medications will deplete your magnesium stores and your vitamin D. This has a drastic effect on at least three areas—cardiovascular health, body composition, and bone health. Be sure to get extra of both when taking medication, including over the counter drugs.

• Getting enough magnesium can help prevent migraines—a study of people who commonly suffered from migraines found that getting 0.9 mg/kg/bw of magnesium a day led to a significant decrease in severe headaches compared to a placebo.

• Magnesium can improve sleep because it calms the sympathetic nervous system, but it can also improve your training performance when you are tired. A study showed that giving subjects an extra 100 mg of magnesium after a night of short sleep allowed them to perform at a much higher level of intensity and for longer on an exhaustive exercise test.

• Magnesium can enhance hormone levels for better health. Men can significantly increase free testosterone by getting enough magnesium—one study showed a 24 percent increase in testosterone after exercise from taking 10 mg/kg/bw a day for four weeks.

• Magnesium can also help women going through menopause to reduce the incidence and intensity of hot flashes by 50 percent.

• Magnesium can enhance muscular power because it’s involved in turning ATP into energy efficiently.

Reference: Huang, J., et al. Correlation of Magnesium Intake with Metabolic Parameters, Depression, and Physical Activity in Elderly Type 2 Diabetes Patients. Nutrition Journal. 2012. 11(41).

Copyright ©2013 Charles Poliquin

3-22 WOD

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Pendlay clean drills



Spend 15 Minutes working up to a heavy Power Clean

* If you feel good go for it

* If you are newer, take this time to work on form


1000 Meter Row

Cash Out…

200 Meter Farmer Carry
1:00 couch stretch on ea side
Ball on pec

Courtesy of Poliquin…

Tip 571: Take BCAAs To Lose Fat & Gain Muscle While Training On Low Glycogen

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 5:54 AM
Take the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) during training if you’re trying to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time. A common pitfall to fat loss is that it’s difficult to increase muscle at the same time, and training “feels” much harder if you are working out on low energy stores. Taking BCAAs and supplemental protein can solve this problem. New research shows that providing your body with an extra pool of amino acids can have a profound effect on fuel utilization to promote fat burning and protein synthesis.

Researchers analyzed what happens when trained athletes performed a high-intensity cycle workout to exhaustion with low muscle glycogen. One group took a protein supplement that provided the BCAAs and the other took a placebo before and during the workout.

To review, your body stores the carbohydrates you eat as muscle glycogen, and it favorably calls on glycogen over fat for energy during training. However, an excellent way to lose fat and increase your work capacity is to use training cycles in which you exercise with low muscle glycogen. Then, when you compete, or simply go back to training with full energy stores, your work capacity is enhanced and you are leaner—can’t go wrong there.

The concern is that athletes who train with low glycogen will lose muscle mass over time, which is where BCAAs and protein come in. The study in question found that by taking a protein supplement before the exhaustive exercise test, protein synthesis pathways were enhanced post-workout compared to the placebo trial. Researchers suggest that training with low glycogen but increased protein availability is a beneficial way to help athletes build muscle and improve performances. Although not shown in this study, it may also lower the rating of perceived exertion by alleviating central fatigue.

This was seen in a previous study that showed that BCAAs improved mood scores in young men after a tough workout. The BCAA group also recovered faster than a placebo group, reporting less fatigue two hours after the workout. Any coach knows that minimizing the sensations of physical stress and pain during high-intensity training is a benefit for getting trainees to work harder and faster.

To recap the benefits of BCAAs and protein include the following:
1) Greater work capacity and reduced sensations of fatigue.
2) Enhanced protein synthesis for bigger muscle gains—this is especially effective when trying to lose fat.
3) Faster recovery after hard workouts allowing for less soreness and more frequent intense training.

Taylor, C., et al. Protein Ingestion Does Not Impair Exercise-Induced AMPK Signaling When in A Glycogen-Depleted State: Implications for Train-Low Compete-High. European Journal of Applied Physiology. 2013. Published Ahead of Print.

Hsu, M., Chien, K., et al. Effects of BCAA, Arginine, and Carbohydrate Combined Drink on Post-Exercise Biochemical Response and Psychological Condition. Chinese Journal of Physiology. April 2011. 542), 71-78.

Copyright ©2013 Charles Poliquin