WOD 01/15/14

Great job everyone working through that killer WOD. I really appreciate everyone’s patience and ability to keep working hard even though quarters were cramped. I saw some really great squats, runs and effort being put out. Keep up the great work everyone.

Also make sure to see Jason or me to talk about your goals for the challenge. Remember the challenge is $5. This is your buy-in and helps me off-set the cost of prizes. Work hard and let’s get those goals.

Bootcamp Challenge

Today we will start the Bootcamp Challenge. We will spend some time discussing it but here is a brief overview. If you have any specific questions please see Mitch.

– The challenge will cover 3 areas. Nutrition, Strength goal and cardio/gymnastics goal.
– It is a $5 buy in for the challenge. This money will be used to reward the overall male and female winner. Prize will be from Rogue or another CF equipment supplier.
– Total of 112 pts possible; 42 Nutrition, 30 Strength goal, 30 Cardio/gymnastics goal and 10 pts for baseline improvement
– Baseline will be done this Wednesday
– Challenge will run for 6-weeks

1pt per day; 7 pts in total for the week.

Week 1 – Remove all obvious sugars that include:
Cookies, Muffins, Doughnuts, Candy, Chocolate, Cake

Week 2 – Continue with week 1 protocol and also remove not-so-obvious sugars that include anything with:
Artificial sweeteners (ALL of them), High fructose corn syrup, Corn syrup, Maple syrup, Honey

Week 3 – Continue with week 1 & 2 and also remove any and all products that contain white flour that include, but not limited to:
White bread, Cereals, Pasta, Bagels, Croissants

Week 4-6
Continue will all protocol from week 3 and maintain.

Strength Goal:
This goal should be quite challenging but achievable if you put the work in. Take time and think about your goal. Choose a strength improve you can work on over the 6-weeks. Coaches will review goals with each person before we are to far into the challenge.
For example: Athlete A deadlifts 225lbs. Their goal is to each a 1rep max of 285lbs by the end of the 6-weeks.

Cardio/Gymnastics Goal:
This goal like the strength goal should be challenging but achievable. Take time and think about your goal. Choose a movement to improve on over the 6-weeks. Coaches will review goals with each person before we are to far into the challenge.
For example: Athlete B can do 1 un-assisted pull-up. By end of 6-weeks they want to do 5 un-assisted pull-ups.

Rhabdo, the media, and Mitch’s soapbox…


There has been a recent surge in internet articles on Rhabdomyolysis. Such as the following articles.


While these articles can make some good points. Keep in mind the media thrives on controversy. Hence the recent prevalence of these type of internet articles/buzz as “Crossfit” rises in popularity. As such I believe it is more important for everyone of you understand how rhabdo can be “contracted” and what you can do to avoid it. My soapbox rebuttal to these articles will be at the bottom.

Rhabdomyolysis “Rhabdo”
Occurs when a muscle is damaged. A protein called myoglobin is released into the bloodstream. It is then filtered out of the body by the kidneys. Myoglobin breaks down into substances that can damage kidney cells. When your blood is filled with too much myoglobin and or your kidneys cannot filter it you can have symptoms of Rhabdo.

Causes (which actually apply to us):
Low phosphate levels – ie dehydration
Severe exertion, such as marathon running or calisthenics
High-rep workout using a single muscle group (Ie hundreds of pull-ups or push-ups)

So in the end:
The basics are that you have to be smart, you have to drink plenty of water and know what days you need to take it a little easy. This leads back to REST DAYS, which Jason and I have talked about before. Your body needs it and having an active rest day every now and again is a great thing. Though we program for every day of the week it does not mean you have to show up every day if you body needs the rest.

/steps on soapbox

I really love how the media thrives on controversy. Through this articles and internet buzz I believe enough has been shared about the likelihood of “contracting” rhabdo and it’s side effects. I believe the greater issue, which is not really being addressed in those posts is how the athlete and or coaches (as programmers) can take measures to avoid being the next gym who gets vilified by some irresponsible writer.

So let’s just address rhabdo being “Crossfit’s” secret first. In truth anyone can get rhabdo. According to the Sports Injury Bulletin, “Moderate cases of rhabdo are common after triathlons. For example, when 25 triathletes were studied during a triathlon which included 1.25 miles of swimming, 53.5 miles of biking, and 13.5 miles of running, it was found that most of the participants had unusually high levels of myoglobin in their blood immediately after the competition” Is rhabdo a big secret in triathlon then? No it is not. In addition, the bulletin explains that “other studies indicate that rowers and cross-country skiers are susceptible to rhabdo, and some reports have indicated that acute rhabdomyolysis can strike about one out of every 300 military recruits during their first week of training.” Is it a big secret in these sports as well? No again. It’s worth mentioning, then, that rhabdo is not a CrossFit disease. It’s condition of over training/exertion in general as it could occur in any sport.

As such it is important for people to keep in mind their own personal fitness goals, and not let the influence from the “Crossfit™ culture” dictate what you hope to accomplish. Even I am guilty of this sometimes. For example every time I do high rep sets in close succession of Deadlifts, my SI and lower back inflame terribly. This usually leaves me with terrible pain that lasts anywhere from a couple days to a week. It took me a while of this punishment for the sake of my own machismo before I finally quit doing high-rep deadlifts. Nobody was forcing me to do them, nobody gives a shit when I find a scaled substitute for them, and nobody thinks less of me for not doing them. In other words, this pressure was not from anyone in the gym, trainer or otherwise, it was simply a function of my own ego. I purposely harmed and injured myself because I was trying to be a strong, capable man, and as such I felt that I should do the workouts as prescribed.

All that said, I do believe it is very important to get outside of your comfort zone. I think it is important to try to lift a higher weight and fail. I think it is good to say to yourself that (if capable) you will do the workout as prescribed, even if that means extra time spent suffering through a slog of a WOD. We occasionally program high-rep WODs to put you outside this comfort zone. These type of workouts are not put back to back. And certain muscle movements are always skipped from day to day to help avoid the possibility of “contracting” rhabdo. Not to mention we always also put a time cap on these WODs and also tell people to modify down the weight, reps and or rounds as they need to get a good workout.

At the end of the day you should know your own body better than anyone else. You should listen to it and let your trainers know so we can help with modifications. Understand though, that you are often your own harshest critic. If you don’t aspire to be as strong, swift, or steady as others in the gym then don’t compare yourself to them. Use them as a source of motivation and focus on your individual accomplishments. The people you workout with are great examples of what humans are capable of, and that is too be admired. But if you’re just looking to lose a few pounds, sleep better, and be able to wrestle with your children, then try hard to keep it all in perspective and listen to your body.

/picks up soapbox and leaves

And as a further point of rebuttal here are a few other articles from review. Some of them use some adult language (you have been warned).



Body Comp and BMI

There is a lot said today in regards to what weight range people should be in to “be” healthy. However a number of these standard doctor metrics can be wrong once you focus efforts on strength, endurance, or another sport. As such people have started to understand how strong is the new skinny and how weight and BMI alone does not determine your level of health.

One Crossfit coach decided to call out some of the harsher stereotypes put on women in regards to weight. She has written a pretty interesting article and openly shared some of her numbers. This article is a great example of how random numbers (weight and BMI) mean nothing out of context.

A 157lb Dissection

And it is just another reason to throw out the stupid scale and focus on the goal/results you want.

Nutrition Challenge

There was a bunch of solid info in the packet yesterday but there is also so much more info out on the internet. Here are some helpful links and information for the Nutrition Challenge. If you need another packet or have questions please see Jason or myself.

Reason we are doing the challenge:
– Reset/Cleanse our bodies so we can hear what it is telling us
– Reduce systematic inflammation
– Improve recovery and ability to perform high intensity workouts
– Give our body the actual food/nutrients it needs not the sugar and other processed crap our brain thinks it wants
– Make out bodies a fat burner machine… not a sugar dependent addict.

Principle of the challenge:
– Eat foods which promote a healthy physiological response
Meaning: Food without supernormal stimulus (processed foods) and correct macro nutrient balance (whole real foods).
– Eat foods which promote a healthy hormonal response
Meaning: Hormones are our internal messengers so want them functioning properly. Items with supernatural stimuli can affect their message.
– Eat foods which promote a health gut
Meaning: Gut is internal security system so we want to support and protect it.
– Eat foods which support out immune system
Meaning: Similar to health gut but on a stress response factor. If immune system is always working then it cannot do the minor repair/rebuild functions. Immune system eliminates systematic and silent inflammation so we want it working correctly.

Foods to eat:
Lean meats, seafood, eggs, vegetables (lots), occasional fruits, oils, nuts, and seeds (healthy fats). Buying seasonally helps in this.

Foods to avoid as they violate the challenge principles:
sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, and peanuts.

Common timeline/feelings people have during those 30 days:

Remember there is a ton of science and information out there. The initial 30 days (Whole 30) is a little stricter than eating this way as a lifestyle. This is to help clear out your system and allow your body to give you the right messages. As well as become a fat burning machine. We can discuss further eating this way as a lifestyle once you get everything moving in the right direction. For now focus on doing your best, eating good foods and getting the sleep your body needs.

Helpful Links:
Whole 9: http://whole9life.com/
Robb Wolf – Paleo Solution: http://robbwolf.com/
Everyday Paleo: http://everydaypaleo.com/
Nom Nom paleo: http://nomnompaleo.com/
Nom Nom paleo (whole 30 days): http://nomnompaleo.com/post/16824406467/the-whole30-recap-every-single-day
** For those who want an almost day by day what to eat guide.

Burpee Equivalents: Understanding Junk Food in terms of Your “Favorite” Exercise

With the nutrition challenge approaching I thought this might provide some extra motivation to avoid the junk food items. Remember you cannot out train a bad diet. So you might as well be fueling your body correctly.

Spartan Races HQ has pulled together some research to quantify energy expenditure during the Burpee exercise. Here is what they found:

Item / Calories / Burpees (130lb person) / Burpees (180lb person)
Large French Fries / 500 / 524 / 349
IPA beer / 195 / 204 / 136
Slice of Dominos Peperoni Pizza / 260 / 272 / 182
Scoop of Ben Jerry’s Cookie Dough ice cream / 270 / 283 / 189
12” Roast beef sub from Subway / 970 / 1016 / 677
Cola soft drink / 200 / 210 / 140
Plain Bagel / 320 / 335 / 223
Slice of Cheescake / 1000 / 1048 / 698
Egg McMuffin Sandwich / 300 / 314 / 210
Cadbury Creme Egg / 59 / 62 / 41

Body Weight (lbs.) / Calories per Burpee
120 / 0.95
130 / 1.03
140 / 1.11
150 / 1.19
160 / 1.27
170 / 1.35
180 / 1.43
190 / 1.51
200 / 1.59
210 / 1.67

Example – for a 140 lb person:
2 slices of Domino’s pizza = 600 kcals
600kcals/ 1.11 Calories per Burpee = 540 burpees

Check out Spartan’s full article for the hard science.

Extra Thought….
Even though we already know this, because each of us has had the chance to experience it first hand…take a look at the link below. It is a some documented research showing that CrossFit gets results.



The Bear Trap

The Bear Trap

Lunch menu for week of 03/11 – 03/15.

Monday: Sausage and roasted veggies
Tuesday: Magic Dust Chicken and spinach salad
Wednesday: Roasted Pork Shoulder and aspargus
Thursday: Chorizo Burgers and kale salad
Friday: NO LUNCH – 3Form Bowling