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FITNESS

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NUTRITION

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MOTIVATION

PHOTOGRAPHER SPOTLIGHT SCOTT BRAYSHAW

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LIFESTYLE

WODAPALOOZA HOW TO MAKE AN EVENT GO FROM GOOD TO GREAT

APRIL 2016

THE RISE OF RP STRENGTH STYLE DIETS

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ISSUE 28


Table of Contents APRIL 2016

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ISSUE 28

FEATURES

STORIES

20 Becoming Your

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Own Superhero: Kenny Santucci

My Wild Workouts, Training in Nature’s Gym

By Amy Lawson and Alexandria Lemos Photos By Shane Geraghty

By Natalie Foote

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36 Photographer

How to make an event go from good to great

Spotlight: Scott Brayshaw

By Lauryn Lax

40 STORIES 8 Spartabells

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Gym Bag Essentials

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The Benefits of Weightlifting Shoes Fit DJ — Playlist and Recipe

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The Rise of RP Strength Style Diets

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Sequencing Your Warm-Up For Success, Part 2 By Brad Leshinske, BS CSCS

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Is Your Gym Boring! I know that’s a rude question to ask. But really, is it?

Life rarely works out exactly how we planned it.

DEPARTMENTS

By Wes Feighner

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Julian Alcaraz

By Lauryn Lax

By Lauren Pappas - aka fitDJ

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WOD DOC Docket — Understanding Stability & Its Role In Functional Fitness By Dr. Tim Simansky

By Ashley Sargiotto

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Intensities For Pregnant Athletes By Colleen Flaherty

28 Wodapalooza

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No Gym? No Problem!

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From the Editor

Contributors

Meet the Content Team

COVER

Kenny Santucci Photo by Shane Geraghty www.pwrmnky.com

By Tiffany Breyne

THIS PAGE

Kenny Santucci Photo by Shane Geraghty www.pwrmnky.com


From the Editor

Love the Madness

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have a confession to make that I hope doesn’t offend anyone: I don’t really care for college basketball. I don’t have any particular complaint against it; I simply don’t get excited about hoops like a lot of my friends do. Maybe this is because I attended a small liberal arts college without a great basketball tradition, or perhaps it’s just some genetic defect that I possess. Or maybe it is because I would rather spend my time and energy getting excited about something else. Maybe I don’t need the NCAA’s version of “March Madness” because the CrossFit community has its own brand of dramatic, all-consuming sports action. The Open offers five weeks and five workouts filled with all that defines the Sport of Fitness, and now that the chalk dust has settled on 16.5 and this year’s Open is over, I am more convinced than ever that the day I started CrossFit was one of the best days of my life. In early January CrossFit HQ released a video called “The 2016 CrossFit Open: Why We Love It.” You have probably seen it, but in case you haven’t, the video shows elite CrossFit competitors talking about why they find the Open to be such an

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amazing event. In turn, I think the video is amazing because the elite CrossFitters aren’t talking about the Open as a way for them to get to the Games; they talk about it in terms of what it means to everyone who participates in it. They talk about how the Open brings CrossFitters of all levels together and gives them a chance to test themselves with the support of the entire CrossFit community around them. As Camille Leblanc-Bazinet explains, “I think it’s the biggest celebration of fitness that exists in the whole world.” And really, who doesn’t love a good party? I will agree that part of the fun of the Open is seeing who will make their way to Regionals. We all have our favorites whom we are tracking, hoping to see them eventually at the Games. But the real fun for the couple hundred thousand of us who will never be on top of the RX’d leaderboard is challenging ourselves in ways that we may not have been challenged before. We follow the lead of our CrossFit heroes; we embrace the challenge, head into the darkness, and push through to the light.

we love the Open. It provides us with an opportunity that no other sports event can. It gives everyone a chance to challenge themselves on a world stage. And for that, we don’t really need a sweet sixteen, elite eight or a final four. We have the constant hundreds of thousands, and I’ll take that support any day. Yes, the Open is over, but the party rocks on, and it wouldn’t be a party without us. Yours in fitness,

Geoff Smith Editor WODTALK Magazine geoff@metconmedia.com

This may sound like madness to some, but we love the madness, and that’s why

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April 2016


Contributors Brad Leshinske, BS CSCS Brad has trained more than 5,000 athletes in sports performance in Chicago and Florida, including four NCAA All Americans, seven state champions, and more than 250 collegiate athletes. He teaches health and human performance at Chicago’s North Park University.

PUBLISHER

Christina Elmore christinae@wodtalk.com

FOUNDER

Chris Elmore celmore@wodtalk.com

Alexandria Lemos Alexandria Lemos is a recent graduate of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. A long-time CrossFit enthusiast, she is currently transitioning back from working out in the downstairs weight room of school to the garage gym lifestyle in her home in Hanford, California. Alexandria loves CrossFit, writing, photography, teaching, and spending time with her family. The highlight of her summers since 2010 has been attending the CrossFit Games which she happily claims to be her “Christmas in July.”

EDITOR

Geoffrey Smith sales@wodtalk.com

CREATIVE DIRECTOR / DIRECTOR OF PRODUCTION

David Montano Corecom Enterprises, LLC dmontano@corecomenterprises.com

Colleen Flaherty, CSCS Colleen believes every woman deserves the opportunity to harness her fierceness through appropriate movement, openness and an evolutionary mindset. Keeping pregnant women safe at the level of intensity they crave and building a pack of trainers to teach them appropriately is Colleen’s passion as a strength and conditioning coach and co-creator of the first Pregnancy Functional Strength Guide and CEU course for coaches. Colleen owns Baby Bump Academy in Rochester, NY. Email: colleenbba@gmail.com Web: http://babybumpacademy.com Instagram: @bbabirthpower

SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECTOR

Heather Villeneuve heather@wodtalk.com

PHOTOGRAPHER

Felix Cervantes

Amy Lawson Amy Lawson lives in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. She is a CrossFit Level 1 coach, English teacher, wife of a strength coach, and mom to two teen boys. She competes in CrossFit, elite Spartan Races, Tough Mudders, and just about anything else that presents a new and different challenge. Facebook: fb.com/amylawson323 Twitter: @ALawson323 Blog: running4one.blogspot.com Email: a_c_lawson@yahoo.com

CONTRIBUTORS

Alexandria Lemos, Amy Lawson, Ashley Sartiotto, Brad Leshinske, Colleen Flaherty, Lauryn Lax, Lauren Pappas, Natalie Foote, Skye Pratt Epperson, Tiffany Breyne, Tim Simansky, Wes Feighner

ADVERTISING INQUIRES

If you are interested in advertising you can contact us at: sales@wodtalk.com

Lauren Pappas – aka FitDJ Fitness Spokesperson and DJ. Sharing her love fitness & music with the world. Lauren puts a positive spin on DJing by taking it out of the clubs & into gyms, sporting events and festivals. Lauren is a graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia with a degree in broadcast journalism. She is a certified personal trainer with 10 years experience and shares her workouts along with nutrition tips on her YouTube Channel: Pimpin Iron. Lauren was inspired by her father Dr. Phil Pappas nutritionist and owner of Earth Foods, health food store. Instagram/Twitter/Snap: @LaurenFitDJ Facebook: facebook.com/fitdj/ YouTube: Youtube.com/PimpinIron

CONTRIBUTE

If you are interested in commenting, contributing articles or photography you can contact us at: info@wodtalk.com

JOIN MEDIA TEAM

Ashley Sartiotto Ashley Sargiotto is the Owner and President of WOD Repair Lotion, an athletic skin care company focused on healthy calluses for all. Ashley’s background lies within the cosmetology world, giving her an in depth knowledge not only into the inner workings of hair, but also skin. She is sharing this knowledge through WOD Repair Lotion and various articles, hoping to enhance the knowledge of others. www.wodrepairlotion.com

If you are interested in joining the WOD Talk Media Team you can contact us at: media@wodtalk.com

PUBLISHER

WOD Talk Corporation 407 West Imperial Hwy., Suite H203 Brea, CA 92821 (714) 900-2804 info@wodtalk.com

Natalie Foote: Natalie is an avid adventure athlete living on Catalina Island with a passion for all things health and fitness. When she is not out on her paddleboard or trekking up the side of a mountain, she studies integrative nutrition, is a free-lance writer, and lifestyle ambassador/athlete for SurfTech and Purakai. Follow her adventures on Facebook and Instagram.

AFFILIATION STATEMENT WOD Talk is an independent magazine with no affiliation with CrossFit, Inc nor is it endorsed by CrossFit, Inc or any of its subsidiaries. The views and opinions expressed in WOD Talk Magazine are not those of CrossFit, Inc or its founders. CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit, Inc.

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April 2016


Meet the Content Team Chris Elmore

Founder / Team WODTALK Athlete Chris is an endurance athlete with over 20 years of competitive swimming experience and 8 years of running and triathlon training, racing and coaching experience. He has competed in endurance events of all distances including Ironman Coeur D’Alene, Ironman Lake Placid, and Ironman Arizona. Chris began training with CrossFit in 2008 when he realized that the years of long slow distance (LSD) training commonly practiced by most endurance athletes had significantly decreased his muscle mass, strength and power. E-mail: celmore@metconmedia.com Twitter: MrChrisElmore

Instagram: mrcelmore

David Montano

Creative Director / Director of Production David was born in Long Beach, California, and credits his passion for design to drawing gobs of architectural structures as a kid. He ventured into his first business at 22 specializing in printing, graphic design, and marketing. When he’s not developing the visual presentation of our content he’s a father to three “awesome people” and searching for excitement somewhere around the globe: riding dirt bikes, mountain biking, skiing, or boating. Eons ago, he thrived competing in biathalon, triathalon, 5K, and 10K events. E-mail: dmontano@corecomenterprises.com Facebook: facebook.com/david.montano.1612

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/david-montano-49246514

Geoffrey Smith

Editor / Team WODTALK Athlete Geoff started CrossFit in 2010 as a way to get back in shape after “retiring” from adult rec-league soccer. Always ready to try something new, he signed-up for the fundamentals class at CrossFit Brea, and it was love at first burpee. That first day lead to many other first days conquering Olympic lifts and chalking up PRs. He is constantly testing his training outside of the gym by running road races, paddleboarding, snowboarding, skiing or jumping into any other adventure he can find. E-mail: geoff@metconmedia.com Instagram: wodtalkgeoff

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/geoff-smith-464b6573

Heather Villeneuve

Social Media Director / Media Team Manager Heather is a Marketing Manager who moved to Orange County in early 2006. She tried her first class at CrossFit Forest in 2011 to make some friends and lose some weight and was immediately hooked. Never being an athlete Heather found that CrossFit was fun, challenging and the community is something that you will never experience anywhere else. When she’s not coordinating media for us she spends time with her boxer Panzer and travels when she can. E-mail: heather@wodtalk.com Facebook: facebook.com/ocheather

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/heather-villeneuve-mba-4185ba8

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April 2016


REEBOK CROSSFIT NANO 5.0

REEBOK CROSSFIT SPEED TR

www.shopcrossfitreebok.com


SPARTABELLS Spartabells were developed by a physician who has been involved in wellness and fitness for over 20 years. They are a spherical designed dumbbell/kettlebell combination. Spartabells have multiple grips, so if you grab them in the center, they act as a dumbbell (but the weight is evenly distributed around the wrist, which may reduce strain of the joints). If you grip them on either side, they can function as a kettlebell. They are awesome for floor exercises, such as pushups, and renegade rows. They will also provide incredible variation for burpees. Spartabells will slide and rotate on smooth floors, so you can vary your pushups, or other floor work. Individual Spartabells stack on one another for saving storage space. Spartabells come in pairs, with sizes starting at 9lbs and going up to 35lbs. They will eventually have sizes up to 85lbs. Custom colors are available. $

59.00 – $199.00

www.spartabells.com

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April 2016


Gym Bag

Essentials by ashley sargiotto

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s your gym bag a black hole of unknown fitness gear that you struggle to find anything in? When was the last time you reorganized your gym bag to maximize the space?

protein available to you. Either a protein bar, shake or snack pack will do. Something about a “metabolic window” is really important here.

There are a few staples that all athletes and regular gym goers should have to not only maximize gym bag space but also performance: a.k.a. The Gym Bag Essentials.

Lastly, but definitely not least, is skin recovery. Stock up on WOD Repair Lotion and keep some in your bag and at home so you are always able to care for those hands, because it really does make a difference. Giving your hands some TLC the day before a serious workout is the best way to prevent (yes, prevent) rips from happening.

First and potentially the most important item… footwear! It seems incredibly obvious but you should always have a pair of regular trainers and weight lifting shoes in your bag, ready to throw down at all times. Having the proper shoe for a specific WOD will make a difference in your performance. Unless, of course, you are comfortable enough to smash out a 1RM in sprinting shoes. Also, never under-estimate the power of fresh socks. Keep a spare, clean pair in your bag so your feet can be refreshed for the next WOD.

Stability items Knee sleeves and wrist wraps are a common staple for most since they really help. Keep your favorite pair of each in your bag but remember to take them out and actually wash them. The stink won’t give you any extra points in the Open workouts. Tape is vital to some workouts, and others not as much, but always essential to have in your bag. It is easiest to buy tape in bulk and stock up because there will always be someone who isn’t as prepared as you are in the gym asking for it. Grips and gloves are 100% an individual preference item. Some athletes swear by them and others are just not comfortable using them. This item is only essential if you deem it so.

Warm-up and Recovery items The first warm-up item is resistance bands. Warm-up your arms and shoulders properly by getting a great stretch in, and for hip circles the Slingshot is fantastic! Activate your legs, glutes and hips easily with the Slingshot prior to hitting the gym floor. If you plan on hanging out in gym for a while post workout, make sure to have some source of

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April 2016


The Benefits of Weightlifting Shoes A very common question coaches hear is “Do I really need weightlifting shoes? Will they really make that big of a difference? Will I be able to lift more weight?” The simple answer is yes, yes and yes. If you are serious about improving your Olympic Weightlifting then below are a few of the reasons why you should consider the investment.

Hard Wood or Plastic Soles The stiff sole of weightlifting shoes are designed to enable you to utilize the force you produce while lifting, unlike the running shoe. Running and cross-training shoes have soft rubber soles designed to help absorb impact, which is the opposite of what you want when performing a snatch, clean, jerk or squats. You want to get as much force as possible off the ground to help you move weight.

Think of it this way: More force off the ground = higher bar pull, which means a better chance of getting under the bar. Once you are under it, all the force you generate will go into driving yourself out of the squat.

you have a strong and consistent base to push through, land on, and push out from. The Velcro straps, which help give the shoe a snug fit feeling, stop your foot from slipping around inside your shoes while performing a lift or squat. The straps also allow you to push out against the side of the shoe with your foot. This increases hip activation, which will equate to a stronger pull or squat.

Raised Heel Weightlifting shoes also have a raised heel, which allows you to squat deeper, stay more upright and helps keep your knees angled outward by increasing your ankle range of motion.

So which shoes should you get? Well, that is going to require you to do some work. Research a few brands, try some on and see which feel the best. A few of the common brands you will see around the gym are Adidas, Do-Win, Nike, Reebok, Risto and VS athletics.

Those of you that have tight ankles and hips will see some of the biggest improvement in your ability to squat when you start using weightlifting shoes.

Increased Stability Finally, weightlifting shoes are more stable than running and cross-training shoes both below and around your foot. The hard sole ensures

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References:

Charniga, Andrew. “Why Weightlifting Shoes?” Why Weightlifting Shoes? Eleiko, 2006. Web. 29 July 2012. http://www.dynamic-eleiko. com/sportivny/library/ farticles015.html Kilgore, Lon. “Weightlifting Shoes 101.” Weightlifting Shoes 101. ExRx, n.d. Web. 29 July 2012. http://www.exrx.net/ WeightTraining/Weightlifting/WeightliftingShoes.html


FIT DJ Playlist and Recipe by lauren pappas - aka fitdj

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PLAYLIST • 1"Ride" Twenty One Pilots • 2"Roses" (DiJiTAL Remix) The Chainsmokers feat. Rozes • 3"Cake By the Ocean" (DJ X Remix) DNCE • 4"Booty" JLO feat. Pitbull • 5"Welcome To The Jungle" Guns N Roses

SK I NNY COCONUT PANCAK ES RECI PE Ingredients

Toppings Optional

• 1/3 cup Coconut Flour

• Salted Grass Fed Butter

• 3 whole eggs

• Coconut Nectar or Agave

• 1/2 cup coconut milk

Directions

• 1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl until thoroughly combined.

• 1 tbsp coconut oil

2. Grease skillet with coconut oil spray and cook each side on medium high heat until golden brown.

• 1/4 tsp baking soda • 1/8 tsp sea salt

• Serves 8

• 1 tbs unsweetened coconut flakes

• Prep Time 5 minutes

• 1/2 banana in the batter (optional) for extra sweetness

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• Cook Time 10 minutes

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The Rise of RP Strength Style Diets

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hy are diets like Renaissance Periodization steadily eclipsing older diets like Paleo amongst even CrossFitters? For the sake of time I will assume people know what Paleo is, and if you’re reading this magazine you’ve probably tried it at some point in your life. Think of this article as a quick, at a glance version of why Paleo wasn’t overly sustainable.

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The bottom line is effectiveness. The RP, or “science based” diets as they call them, are customizable, performance based, and have the ability to be adjusted on the fly to any workout or life style. This is leaving the highly restrictive and vague diets like Paleo behind, despite the emergence of Paleo initially as the “CrossFit Diet.” This is not to say that people cannot accomplish their goals using Paleo, nor

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am I saying that Paleo is unhealthy. The food choices available to you in a Paleo-style diet are healthy for the most part. What I am saying is that simply eating under the umbrella of Paleo leaves many without a real strategy or road map for success. We tend not to appreciate the value of calories, and often times the amount we eat does not match up to the activities we perform. This is a big problem.

April 2016


The other hurdle people run into with Paleo is the inherent lack of carbohydrates. Any way you want to slice it, carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy for high intensity, short duration exercise. This means literally EVERY CrossFit workout, especially the ones that have to be done in 45 min to an hour. Paleo leaves out many sources of carbs, with the exceptions of some fruit here and there and sweet potatoes. And while your body can get used to converting fat to carbs for energy, it just isn’t optimal or efficient (cue the mind fog and headaches). From a physiological standpoint, there is something known as the crossover concept. This is basically a spectrum of fuel sources with carbs on one end and fat on the other. For low intensity, high duration activities we use fat as our fuel. This would be things like walking around and taking care of the kids. As we slowly increase in intensity towards the hardest metcon you’ve ever done, we will be shifting to exclusively carbohydrate as the main fuel source. Everyone’s body does this, no matter who you are. If carbs aren’t present and we need them, our body has to use valuable energy to convert them from fat. And this takes time, and it doesn’t feel good, and it surely doesn’t give you a faster time on your workout.

by wes feighner

Here is a real world example: You go to a steak house. Initially you start off with a Caesar salad (no croutons though; cavemen didn’t have those). So far so good on the Paleo front. From there you order the ribeye. We know fat is good stuff, and red meat is about as Paleo as it gets. Let’s substitute in a sweet potato for our baked potato. And maybe we have one glass of wine. Grapes are Paleo and you were strict all week (sound familiar?).

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Now while all this falls under the umbrella of Paleo, we haven’t examined the implications of eating all of this food. Even if we omit the wine (but let’s be honest, people tend to cherry pick the items they want to be Paleo…Paleo brownies anyone?), we’re looking at over 2,000 calories in this meal alone. And that isn’t even taking into consideration all the other meals of the day. If we want to lean up, this is a serious problem.

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Enter the RP-style diets. While they haven’t “invented” performance based dieting, they have repackaged it in a highly efficient and user friendly way of eating for your goals. You get more calories depending on your activities and whether or not you want to lose or gain weight. You get carbs implemented strategically for performance and to mitigate energy loss during workouts. This allows many to maintain their strength even while dropping weight. And they implement the benefits of macro nutrient ratios and timing to maximize recovery and weight loss (or gain in some cases). It is a systematic and goal oriented style of eating. And it works.

April 2016


Part 2 of Sequencing

Sequencing Your Workouts by brad leshinske, bs cscs

This is part 2 of a 4 piece article designed to help you sequence your program for success.

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roper program design is key for the outcome you desire from your hard work and goals you have set for yourself. Not only as we mentioned in the first installment “Sequencing Your Warm up For Success” but also how you sequence your lifting movements. The key to a great outcome of your training and the ability to reach your end goal is proper sequencing. You can talk sequencing in a few aspects: • Movement in warm up • Lifting movements • Percentages of lifts

The reason for proper sequencing are:

• Overall structure For the purpose of the article, we are going to hit on movements in a gross or overall picture. Dealing with power, strength and accessory movements. No doubt the before mentioned list is crucial in overall programming, but many coaches, athletes and general public mix up proper program design with regards to movement sequence. The reason for proper sequencing are:

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1.

CNS burnout

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Ability to give your full effort

3.

Based on complexity of lifts

4.

Typical rep ranges

5.

Type of program Linear vs. Non Linear

April 2016


article > Sequencing Your Warm-Up For Success

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The Central Nervous System is the overall key in how the body reacts and moves and allows the body the internal energy or mechanisms for complex lifts like Olympic lifting or heavier lifting if percentages are high. The CNS needs to be fresh for the athlete to lift heavy, if not serious injury can occur due to the body not being able to signal mind to muscle fast enough.

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The ability to give your full effort is an obvious key to your overall outcome for your program. The ability to give your full effort has to do with proper rest in between sets to help recover you energy systems so you can lift at the same intensity again. It also has to deal with your sequencing of movements. If you sequence poorly (for example, doing your power work at the end of the training session) you run a risk of being fatigued and with the complexity of the lifts as in Olympic style, you have a chance of injury or failure. The more technical the movement, the more the CNS needs to be sharp in order for the lift to be successful.

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Your ability in the weight room will also help set your sequencing. The more advanced you are the more you have to pay attention to the way you sequence your movements. Because the more advanced you are, the more tools or movements are in your toolbox. This is a good thing, but you need to pay strict attention to how you put them into your program. For novice or beginners, sequencing is key but gross or bigger movements are your goal and not necessarily crazy technical lifts like Olympic style.

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Rep ranges will also play a role in your program and design based on sequencing. You generally want to work from a lower rep at the beginning because you will be performing at a higher intensity if following a normal percentage chart; if you have mid rep or strength rep ranges, you will be putting those in the middle of the workout and your high rep will be towards the end. This will allow for your technical lifts and your core lifts to have your CNS’s full attention.

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Finally your program style, linear vs. non linear. In linear your rep ranges will be determined based on the goal of the block or the section you are specifically on. For example, for muscle endurance you will be at a higher rep range throughout the whole workout, so sequencing might vary and just work from core lifts to accessory. For non linear your rep ranges may differ day to day or week to week depending on what kind of program; in this case proper sequencing is crucial and it needs to be strict to get the right outcome and to remain injury free.

Here is the proper sequencing for strength and conditioning: • Power (Olympic style lifting: clean, snatch, complexes, etc.) • Strength (core movements squat, bench, deadlift) • Accessory (small muscle groups non-multi joint) This sequence will put you in the right order for success in the weight room. Most importantly, it will help steer you clear of overtraining, injury and create the ability to be more technical with your lifts because your CNS is most alert and prepared for the complexity of the lifts in the order listed above.

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Is Your Gym Boring I know that’s a rude question to ask. But really, is it? by tiffany breyne

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April 2016


other people. And that’s something that’s powerful. But what, as a box owner, and a coach, are you doing to facilitate that? Some things to consider:

What kind of music has an impact on your members? If a class starts, and the only person who’s excited to hear a song is the coach, then something’s not right. More often than not, music is the driver for how people feel and perform when they’re at the gym. Play stuff that will get people moving and excited. If you’re not sure what to play, ask members at your gym. Or Google “good workout music” and you’ll find dozens of playlists.

What is your warm-up like? Do you guys do the same exact warm-up movements every day? Because if so, that stinks for your members. Warming up is not fun. And though safety is a concern, especially considering many members have sedentary desk jobs, it’s still possible to have some fun with this part. Make up games that get people’s heart rates up. Like burpees to “Roxanne” by Sting. Or Simon Says. Or red light/green light with running and kettlebell swings. Give your members some life and fun and a chance to not act like grown-ups for a few minutes. Those minutes of indulgent childishness are what help create that bond and loosen them up mentally and physically.

Is there a chance for people to get to know each other while they’re at your gym? I visited a gym a month ago and part of the class intro was high fives and introductions. No, I don’t remember anyone’s name. But it sure helped me feel more welcome and less guarded doing that and looking people in the eye. Do you have something mixed into your class schedule that encourages active engagement between members?

Do you and your coaches engage with members outside of the hour-long class?

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There are coaches who make you feel like they’re one of the gang, and there are coaches who make you feel like you’re not part of their gang. It’s important to have inclusion in your gym, and it starts with the example the coaches set. Coaches should be social, joke around with people, ask questions about how their week is going, lead after-class hangouts, etc. It may not be part of the “job description,” but if a coach says something like, ‘hey, let’s throw a BBQ after class on Saturday” that really says a lot to the members. It shows members that they’re more than just clients to the coaches; they’re people the coaches want to get to know better.

We all have discovered that one of the joys of WODing with others is that it creates a bond that is really difficult to find in the real world - especially for adults. We all go to dark places and suffer and attempt to do things we’re not that good at alongside

Getting members signed up and in the door is what you want. But in order to keep them there, you need to show them that you want them there! Your gym offers fitness, but it also offers a client experience that creates value and builds your reputation. What kind of reputation is your gym building?

f you’re aiming to have a very serious gym that’s laserfocused on athleticism, and you’re not concerned with the community aspect, this article isn’t for you. But if you’re looking to create the kind of box that people will want to hang out at even after their WOD is done, then read on.

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BECOMING YOUR OWN SUPERHERO:

Kenny Santucci

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by amy lawson and alexandria lemos photos by shane geraghty hat ma kes com ic books and superhero movies so appealing?

doesn’t really exist? Kenny Santucci may have figured it out. “Superheroes are always faster and stronger than the aver-

Young children are obsessed with the supernatural strength and abilities of t he cha racters: t hey ca n f ly, shoot lasers, and defy death. It is u nder s t a nd a ble that young people would want to emu late t hese sav iors of t he world. But why do we never seem to get past our desire to become a superhero? Unlike Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy, humans of a ll ages cannot seem to overcome their fascination with what they know to be fictitious characters. Why do we still want to become something we know

age person,” Santucci stated. “Striving to be your own superhero is so fulfilling.”

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Santucci may be best known for his time as a reality star on MTV, labeled as Mr. Beautiful while competing on nine seasons of The Cha llenge. His resume is impressive; he’s hosted shows on MTV, VH1, and TLC. With a headful of dark hair and a charming smile, this Italian seems to have it all together. What some of his adoring fans may not know is that Santucci wasn’t born into a chiseled body. In fact, up until his freshman year of high school, Santucci would have been considered more of a cupcake than a stud muffin. That is, until he decided to turn himself into his own superhero.

April 2016


article > Becoming Your Own Superhero: Kenny Santucci

“Growing up a fat kid, fitness has been the most positive thing in my life,” Santucci revealed. Reaching 220 pounds as a freshman, he recognized it was time for a change. He wanted to change from “The Cup Cake Kid” to something more respectable. Santucci turned to sports and fitness to transform his life and found great success in wrestling at both the high school and collegiate level. No longer the fat kid, he journeyed on to become a beloved fixture on MTV’s The Cha l lenge, w i n n i ng t h ree t i me s as he excelled in endurance events. Not what you would expect from a formerly overweight child. W hile many people tend to turn inward when approached with fa me, Sa nt ucci has done quite the opposite. Now a co-owner of CrossFit GSP and coach at the preeminent CrossFit Solace i n Ma n hat t a n, he continues to develop himself and others into the superheroes that they desire to be. Using #teambeautiful on all of his social media posts, Santucci strives to help the world see that the “true beauty in someone is when they are making themselves better or helping others become better. That's what it means to me to be beautiful.” He works to inspire people to seek out the super strength they may have buried underneath their insecurities. Santucci’s personal philosophy is that “iron sharpens and iron,” and constantly reminds his clients, friends, and the world of the importance of surrounding yourself with people who lift you up and make you better. His enthusiasm in helping others improve and become something they thought they never could be defies the reality star stereotype and more directly reflects the best of the CrossFit community.

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Always looking for the next adrenaline rush, Santucci found it in CrossFit. His journey with CrossFit began five years ago when a trainer friend invited him to partake in a workout “as fast as possible.” He said that the workouts themselves were not what was different; it was the belief system and the community that truly made it special. Santucci has immersed himself into the group by using his talents to serve as both a

Reebok Ambassador, Fit Aid Morning Show host, and competition emcee. Most recently, he’s using his talents and knowledge to develop programming for Body by Solace. This unique class takes the concepts of CrossFit, removes the barbell, and progresses the athletes in strength and conditioning. His athletes use kettlebells, dumbbells, rowers and their own body weight to increase their fitness. It’s part bootcamp, part CrossFit and all challenge. An often discussed question in this extraordinary community is the effect of different diets on workout and fitness success. Santucci appears to be the epitome of fitness, and one would assume his dedication in the gym is mirrored with dedication in the

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kitchen. When asked if he follows any specific diet, Santucci openly admits that he “adheres to the diet ‘Kenny eats what Kenny likes’. It's a strict diet of doughnuts, cheeseburgers, and coffee as often as possible. I don't recommend that diet for everyone, but it's my personal favorite. You can keep your quinoa salad; I'll just work out harder.” Santucci emphasized that it is important to have guidelines to help you reach your goals, but following a diet so strictly that it causes you to no longer be able to enjoy your life or go out for a night with family and friends is not worth it. Life is meant to be enjoyed. Santucci has proven that life can be lived to the fullest su r rou nded by those who make you better. He is his own superhero who has fought many battles in life and won. Now this superhero is using his powers to inf luence the fitness community. Santucci is helping the world realize that their dreams can come true; the power to become their own superhero lies within themselves.

Greatest Achievement? Creating something from nothing. In high school Santucci developed from not being an athlete to winning his wrestling’s district championship to competing in college. As a young adult, he walked into an open casting for MTV’s The Challenge and not only earned a spot on the show, but also was asked back multiple times, winning 3 seasons of his appearances.

Best Advice Received? “Somebody’s going to do it great. Why not you?” from his big brother.

April 2016


article > Becoming Your Own Superhero: Kenny Santucci

Fun Facts I love to slow dance at weddings I had a hulk hogan impersonator at my 3rd bday party. I'm a huge wrestling fan not a big sports fan. I was an art major in college. Team beautiful is a team I created of people who do 2 things very well. Treat others the way they want to be treated. And do take themselves to seriously. If you do that your team beautiful.

Fav Recipe Paleo pancakes. Erica goivinazzo taught me how take make them. It's just eggs bananas. Cinnamon vanilla extract and almond milk.

Fav Workout Any workout with a good group of people and no thrusters.

Snapshot of your day I teach most mornings so I'm up at 5am at Solace by 6am. Teach till 9 go for breakfast at Marta which is my favorite in the city on 29 and Madison Answer emails run to an audition. .Have another snack Teach At 12 to 230 train with my buddies till 5pm. Teach from 5-8. Sometimes take Dave Durante gymnastics class. Then go have dinner with friends. After that try and go to bed but never happens. I'm a night owl for sure. I'll prob creep on Instagram for 2-4 hours.

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April 2016


article > Becoming Your Own Superhero: Kenny Santucci

were comfortable in their own skin, and it didn’t matter what anyone else said about them.

Biggest Inspiration? “My parents — I admire the hell out of them.” He says anything they’ve done for the last several years has revolved around him and his siblings.

Favorite workout? He loves anything with snatches, especially a good EMOM. He voices what many of us feel about our weak area that we constantly work on: “I used to really suck at snatches, but I’ve improved, so now I’m just bad at them.”

Find and follow Kenny http://kennysantucci.net/

Best Advice Given? Trying to perpetuate the concept of #teambeautiful—it’s about helping people become comfortable in their own skin. Growing up he was a fan of

pro wrestling, when guys like Ric Flair were f lashy and bold, loudly telling everyone how great they were. And they were never as good as they claimed to be, but they believed in themselves. They

https://twitter.com/ KennySantucci?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw https://www.facebook.com/ Kenny-Santucci-130723926955570/

Educational & Quick Reference Posters for your Box or Garage Gym www.metconmarket.com metcon_media.indd 1

1/17/16 11:10 AM WODTALK.COM

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April 2016


No Gym? No Problem!

by natalie foote

My Wild Workouts, Training in Nature’s Gym

I am an island girl. I was born, raised, and continue to live on the rural and rugged west end of Catalina Island, located off the coast of Southern California. While I am just 22 miles across the sea from the hustle and bustle of L.A, life on the island is like taking a step back in time to a simpler way of life. Two Harbors, the town that I call home, is technically a village consisting of about 100 residents, 1 restaurant, 1 small store, and a handful of buffalo. There is no gym. Believe it or not, I have never actually been into a real, modern day gym. I ran on a treadmill once while visiting the mainland; it was torture!

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April 2016


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s an athlete, one of the most common questions I am asked is how I train to perform like I do without the use of a gym, machines, and a coach. I usually answer by pointing to the hills. This island, and the ocean that surrounds it, is my gym. My backyard consists of endless empty trails, dirt roads, mountains, beaches, and the open ocean. Every day and every workout is an adventure. Here are 3 of my go-to island style workouts. I know not everyone lives on an island, but if you can get outside, get creative, and use your imagination, you’ll be surprised at what you too can do in nature’s gym.

TRX Trek

Adventure Tri Swim, bike, run. Three of my favorite things to do on warm summer days. However, not always in that particular order, and sometimes I paddle instead of swim. I usually start on my bike and cruise down the coast about 5 miles to a point that looks out over the ocean. I stash my bike in the bushes and grab a pair of swim goggles that I’ll hold onto as I start to run or hike the ridge line a

TRX suspension trainers are a great, convenient, and versatile tool to have whereever you go, especially if you go outside. When I am looking to combine strength and endurance, I load up my pack with the TRX, a 15lb plate for good measure, and then I head for the hills. I hike about 4 steep miles to the top of my favorite ridge line where there is a shade structure that is the perfect anchor for the TRX. The view from up there is rewarding all in itself, so I stay awhile and complete a full body circuit before packing up and hiking back.

few more miles down the coast until I’m at one of the most beautiful beaches on the island, Emerald Bay. There, I jump into crystal clear water and swim in the direction I came from until I end up back at my bike’s location. I am often accompanied by schools of fish, curious sea lions, and if I’m lucky I’ll spot an abalone shell for my collection. Ocean swimming is incredibly invigorating, leaving me with ample energy to hop back on my bike, ride to retrieve my shoes that I left at the beach, then turn around and bike all the way home with the biggest smile on my face.

Lifting Heavy Things Rocks, beached logs, tree limbs, tires, and ropes are all essentials in my outdoor gym. You can use them to squat, flip, deadlift, carry, climb, jump on, hang from, and do pull ups. The possibilities

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are endless. Currently my most valuable pieces are an 80lb wood block that I found on the beach and a simple rock that fits my grip perfectly. I squat down and flip the wood block across the field in front of my house when I’m doing a strength training circuit. I use the rock for underwater rock running, which is just what it sounds like, using a heavy rock to submerge yourself underwater and seeing how far you can run with it before you run out of breath. It’s mentally and physically challenging, but improves several areas of fitness. Life on the island, immersed in some of the best nature has to offer, is what sparked, lit, and continues to fuel my success as an adventure athlete. From paddling 22 miles across the open ocean, to biking half way across the island to simply check the surf, before running back for boards, the island has a way of keeping me outdoors and active every day. It’s not so much a means of exercise or training as it is a lifestyle. I believe everyone can benefit from going off the beaten path, thinking outside “the box,” getting out of the gym, and into The Great Outdoors. Our surrounding environment is constantly changing and ever evolving causing you to benefit from consistently having to challenge yourself in order to adapt and overcome nature’s obstacles. The seasons change, as does the weather, therefore, so do the workouts. In this way, nature keeps me balanced and never bored. Nature will keep you humble. Nature will challenge you and shape you into a better athlete, so get outside, climb mountains, dive for dreams, and make nature your gym.

April 2016


Wodapalooza How to make an event go from good to great 1350 ATHLETES

TENS OF THOUSANDS SPECTATORS

515 VOLUNTEERS

AND ONE MISSION: CELEBRATE FITNESS

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April 2016


Unlike many other local fitness competitions, The Wodapalooza Miami is not just another weekend of back-to-back workouts, Kill Cliff and Progenex samples, or Reebok shoes sales, it is an experience: • Spectator workouts and mini-competitions throughout vendor village • Break-out educational seminars—talking everything, from an AMRAP mindset, to double-under tips and tricks, nutrition 101 and training for the Open

• Ample paleo-based food vendors and trucks, serving up pasture-raised eggs and organic sausage, grass-fed sliders, sweet potato fries, chicken, pulled pork, sautéed veggies, Bulletproof coffee, and fresh smoothies

by lauryn lax

• A unique Adaptive Athlete division, bringing in 20+ athletes

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n its fifth year running, The Wodapalooza Miami Fitness Festival has grown from a small, local throwdown with 145 competitors, 40 volunteers and 500 spectators in 2012 to an international sensation—attracting CrossFit athletes from around the globe to compete, make memories and celebrate fitness at Bayfront Park in South Beach, the heart of downtown Miami.

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• A barge floating in the bay for the crowd to enjoy a little fun in the sun • Free giveaways and prizes throughout the day • Entertainment and spectator contests between workout heats to ease the boredom

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April 2016


article > Wodapalooza

• MCs calling every workout with play-by-play action and keeping the crowd’s spirit up • Glow sticks and bracelets to bring the night to life every evening under the Miami stars • Live DJs at each workout station venue • A kid-only zone, complete with a bouncy house and obstacle course challenges by Battle Frog • Swag bags for all volunteers and staff, entailing specialtrademarked Reebok Nano 5.0s, discount coupons, workout wedding bands and paleo-friendly treats You name it, Wodapalooza thought of it.

In fact, it is the experience of Wodapalooza that has made it the success it is. “The main focus year after year is not about getting bigger, but instead, getting better,” co-founder Guido Trinidad said. “Every year we learn from the last, and put all our focus as an event and business into doing everything we can to be better than the year before.” Adding, “Ultimately, we stick to our original mission: To create experiences that produce life-long memories for all involved,” Trinidad said. Trinidad and co-founder, Steve Suarez, never fully saw The Wodapalooza Miami being the large-scale “local” event it is today; that is until they discovered it was a gift

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April 2016


article > Wodapalooza

they could give to their CrossFit community—by and large.

ing a competition or fitness event in the park.

“To be honest, I originally never thought I wanted to do something like this,” Trinidad said. “Every event I would go to as an athlete seemed to be very chaotic, and I remember thinking, ‘Wow I’d never want to be behind scenes of this!’”

Light bulb.

So how did it come to be? Nearly four years ago, in 2012, Wodapalooza Miami: Fitness Festival was born when these two friends were discussing the possibility of Peak 360 CrossFit hosting a regular workout or bootcamp outside at Bayfront Park for people in the local community. They scheduled a meeting with the Park manager, and the manager asked them if they’d be interested in host-

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An idea was born, and Trinidad and Suarez began to embark on the task of making one of the greatest fitness festivals in the world happen. “When the manager at the Park asked, ‘Would you guys be interested in running an event here?!’ we thought, ‘We live in such a cool place, and we could actually showcase our beautiful city here it would be amazing,” Trinidad said. Adding, “I didn’t have to think too much further once the proposition came up. I always had confidence I could do well with something like Wodapalooza, because I had a well-rounded perspective as a competitive athlete, a

April 2016


article > Wodapalooza

about it, and ultimately, creating memories,” Malitsky said.

coach, a box owner, and a spectator at various other events. I knew I wanted to make a change than what many other competitions seemed to offer—organized, a beautiful setting outdoors, fun and a well-rounded test of fitness,” Trinidad said.

Both Trinidad and Malitsky shared their insights on what they’ve learned over the years about hosting a competition and shared tips for taking your competition, event (or business for that matter) from ‘good’ to ‘great’:

The rest is history. Today, Wodapalooza provides an opportunity for all athletes— regardless of their competition division—to feel like they are in an elite like atmosphere.

Trinidad and Malitsky’s (event coordinator) 12 tips for making your event a stand out event:

1.

Know your brand— be the best you that you can be. And believe in your brand. For instance, take McDonald’s— they KNOW, without a doubt, what they do: They are all about cheap food, fast. They don’t care about quality or really even service—cheap food, fast food. What do you stand for? Know that and do that.

Additionally, it provides spectators an opportunity to feel like they are, well, “at Disney World,” Dylan Malitsky, head of Media and event coordinator, said. Malitsky officially came on staff this year, after years spent volunteering, as Wodapalooza has grown from more than just a weekend competition to a full year operation.

2.

“It’s all about the details—we try to think of everything—from the signs when you are leaving the park talking about making memories, to making sure we were prepared for anything—rain or shine (like towels at all the stations to dry off barbells and platforms), air conditioning in athlete village, special-made jerseys with names on it for the athletes, customized water bottles, billboards for our marketing to let spectators know all

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3.

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Surround your self with selfless, hardworking people— build a quality team. Details, details, details. The little things take care of the big things—for example: by ensuring we had towels for our platforms and barbells when it rained, we kept the bigger picture (athlete safety) at the forefront.

April 2016


article > Wodapalooza

4. 5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

Learn from your mistakes. We all make them. Use last year’s experiences to grow.

Make your vision known. Make sure everyone understands what event is about—for Wodapalooza that meant: a world class competition. Also if you are putting on a “world class competition”—or whatever your vision is, communicate that to people by and large-tell them what you’re all about.

Don’t underestimate power of media and marketing—pumping out content to the outside world, you reach a grander broad audience. We did this through video, written content and social media throughout the year, as well as bringing on a full staff of people (photographers, writers, videographers, social media, etc.) for the weekend.

10.

Don’t be afraid to be different and do different things. We do that through programming, the structure of the workouts and days themselves, our colors. Do you.

11.

Failure to plan is planning to fail. If you have no clear idea of what you are doing, and think you’ll just figure it out when you get there—that does not fly! Dive into details.

Always keep the broader picture of your vision in your head. Write down clear objectives clear mission and vision for event use those as guiding principles

12.

Keep your volunteers happy (breaks, swag, appreciation, high-fives, respect). They are the life blood (and the employees) of your event!

Don’t be afraid to delegate—there is power in allowing others to help and trusting others. This year was the first year we really had a hired staff of us, not to mention about 25-30 ‘managers’ for all our volunteers to help bring more organization and allow things to run even more smoothly.

The best part of the entire event for Trinidad? “The smiles from people having a great time and the sun shining down on their faces,” he said.

Keep your volunteers happy—they are the life-blood of your event.

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April 2016


Intensities For Pregnant Athletes by colleen flaherty

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reat news for all you women who want to bear children! Research shows active females can continue to perform at high levels of maximal heart rate without adverse side affects to mom or baby in utero. So why do so many doctors, midwives and other humans still poopoo ‘intense’ exercise during pregnancy? Because they’re ill-informed. And afraid. Let the education begin! First, lets get clear. Just because pregnant women can continue to train at high percentages of maximal heart rate, doesn’t mean they should do it for hours on end or day to day. Pregnancy is not a time to get PRs, it’s a time to maintain fitness levels and surrender to the sweet waves of growing a human inside you. Pregnant athletes can train at a perceived exertion of “somewhat hard” which is a 3 to 5 on the Borg 1 to 10 scale(5). ACSM states that developing and maintaining fitness requires higher activity, 60% to 90% of maximal heart rate. Yes! This is blowing the doors off the 140 bpm recommendation the ACOG removed in 1994 yet MANY professionals STILL recommend. If you’re one of them, Stop. It. Artal and O’Toole(3) recommend women who were sedentary prior to pregnancy work in 6070% maximal heart rate during pregnancy. For those who wish to maintain fitness during pregnancy, they’re encouraged to work in the 60-90% zone. This study correlates with another meta-analysis that found no significant adverse affects with exercise intensities of 80% maximum heart rate(2). This table breaks down upper limits and appropriate exercise prescriptions based on activity prior to pregnancy(1). I’ve expanded on the suggested guidelines according to my expertise, client experiences, and other research:

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April 2016


If you were SEDENTARY before pregnancy… Minimum 3 FREQUENCY times per week

INTENSITY Moderately hard

Low-Moderate TYPE impact

This information is not a reason to go ovaries-to-the-wall during pregnancy. It’s showing you what research has found safe. Technically, there is no data about extreme exercise and the affects it has on the fetus(4).

Most days include full body movements with weights HR 65%-75% max

1-2 higher intensity days

1-2 lower intensity days

Build strength Swimming, foundation becycling, weight fore introduction lifting, walking of plyometrics

Common sense dictates that your body needs a lot of nutritional resources during high intensity exercise and there can’t be much left over for that little babe in your belly if you’re going nuts. So be smart. Don’t deprive your baby or your body during this cool, divinely feminine time.

TIME 30-45 minutes

If you were a RECREATIONAL ATHLETE before pregnancy… Most days full body movements with weights

3-5 days FREQUENCY per week

Moderate to INTENSITY moderately hard

Low to TYPE moderate impact

HR 65%-85% max

2 higher intensity days

Weight lifting, jogging, prior activities

Activities that don’t involve falling or objects flying at stomach

2-3 lower intensity days, 1-2 active recovery days

If you were an ELITE ATHLETE before pregnancy… Mix of body weight and additional weight throughout training

4-6 days per week

Moderate INTENSITY to Hard

Low to high impact TYPE depending on gestational age

(1) Adapted from Joy EA: Exercise and pregnancy. In Family Practice Obstetrics, edn 2. Edited by Ratcliffe SD. Philadelphia: Hanley & Befus; 2001:81–88.

(3) Artal R, O’Toole: Guidelines of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for exercise during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Br J Sports Med 2003, 37:6–12.

HR 75%-80% max

2-3 higher intensity days

Activities that don’t involve falling or objects flying at stomach

Competitive sports, weight lifting, running, swimming

2-3 lower intensity days, 1-2 active recovery days

(4) Paisley T, Joy E, Price R: Exercise During Pregnancy: A Practical Approach. Current Sports Medicine Reports 2003, 2:325–330. Current Science Inc. ISSN 1537-890x Copyright © 2003 by Current Science Inc. (5) Pivarnik JM: Maternal exercise during pregnancy. Sports Med 1994, 18:215–217.

TIME 45-90 minutes

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References:

(2) American College of Sports Medicine: Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, ed 6. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2000.

TIME 30-60 minutes

FREQUENCY

Your body is kicking ass and taking names even if it means slowing down, modifying correctly, and adjusting as you go. That’s part of life! And if you can’t mentally deal with it all, talk to someone; a coach, a friend, your partner. They want to support you to be the healthiest you want to be. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. You got this, Momma!

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April 2016


photographer spotlight

Scott

Brayshaw Bio: I was born and raised in Nebraska but have been living in Colorado for the past 20 years. My background and education is graphic design but I've always had a camera in hand. I've done a bit of everything from designing the interface for a massively multiplayer online video game to painting award winning choppers. If it's creative, I've probably done it. I've been married for 20 years to my beautiful wife, Sara, and we have two boys, Aiden (13) and Dylan (9), and a dog named Rigby. I've been doing CrossFit for about 5 years. I'm a Level 2 trainer and coach at CrossFit Eminence in Denver.

Events that I have photographed: Girls Gone Rx, Winter WODfest, Turkey Challenge, Tuff Love, Southwest Regionals

Fun Facts: I love obstacle racing and hope to be on American Ninja Warrior at some point.

Social & contact info: website: www.BrayshawCreative.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/ BrayshawCreative instagram: @brayshawcreative

Additional info about Scott: I love being a designer and coach. In both areas I keep an eye on movement, alignments and balance. I think each helps me be better at the other.

Athlete – Kris Marcelli

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April 2016


photographer spotlight scott brayshaw

Athlete – Kris Marcelli

Athlete – Regan Doele

Athlete – Amy Zucal


photographer spotlight scott brayshaw

Athlete – Jayci Cormier

Athlete – Kris Marcelli

Athlete – Ed Thompson

Athlete – Regan Doele


photographer spotlight scott brayshaw

Athlete – Amie Jindra

Athlete – Brent Smothers

Athlete – Andy Stenzel

Athlete – Jayci Cormier


by dr. tim simansky

WOD DOC DOCKET

Understanding Stability & Its Role In Functional Fitness

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f you look up “stability” in the dictionary you won’t get all that much help. It’s listed as a noun and defined as “the state of being stable.” Now if that clears things up no need to read on, but if you are still scratching your head, grab a coffee and settle in.

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April 2016


article > Understanding Stability & Its Role In Functional Fitness

Fitness professionals define stability as the ability to resist aberrant motion. Simply put this means the ability to stay within the defined position or movement pattern. Falling outside of the movement pattern or position is considered leakage and deemed instability.

Take, for example, a traditional plank. The defined position would require an athlete to support themselves on their toes and forearms, keeping their heels, knees, hips, torso, shoulders, and head inline with each other.

During a squat, athletes are expected to keep their knees inline with their toes throughout the entirety of the movement.

If that athlete was unable to do so and allowed their torso to dip towards the ground we would say that athlete is leaking out of position and demonstrating torso instability. The same holds true in patterned movements.

If during the movement an athlete’s knees migrated inward we would say that athlete’s knees were leaking out of position, thus demonstrating another example of instability.

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April 2016


article > Understanding Stability & Its Role In Functional Fitness

Who is affected?

There are two components required to be stabile in any position or movement pattern. The first is neurological and referred to as motor control. This is the specific sequencing of muscular contractions and relaxations needed to hold a given position or permit a given movement pattern. Think of it as a well-versed orchestra where the musicians are muscles and the maestro is the brain.

By understanding that strength is not the only path to stability we can digest that instability is not limited to the weak and feeble but can affect athletes even at the highest level. Simply put everyone may want to spend a little less time taping 1RM snatches for Instagram and give their stability game some love.

The second and often forgotten component of stability is strength. An athlete can have perfectly timed muscular contractions and relaxations, but if the task supersedes the muscle’s ability, failure is inevitable hence making strength quintessential.

To recap, stability is the act of resisting leakage in movement. It is composed of a muscular component we call strength and a neurologic component we refer to as motor control. Both components are a necessity; one can’t live without the other. Each component relies on the efficiency of the others for optimal functionality.

The misconception The general consensus is that being strong automatically means being stable, not true, and that getting stronger automatically means getting more stable. Also not true. Yes, as stated above there is a minimum strength element required for all positions and movement patterns, but grossly superseding that minimum requirement is not the road to stability. Picture a slender child slacklining. If you have ever watched YouTube you know they can do some pretty amazing things while balancing on a chord between two trees. Now, take them off their slackline and test their squat strength. You would be hard pressed to find one that squats their body weight. Wander into any gym and the scene quickly changes. It is not uncommon for even the average gym rat to rep out double body weight. However, throw that gym rat on a slackline and you have the makings of the next viral Snapchat post. Although there is a large difference in strength to weight ratios, stability to strength ratio is not carried over in the same fashion.

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Want to learn the proper guidelines for training stability? Stay tuned for part II of Understanding Stability & Its Role In Functional Fitness!

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April 2016


Julian Alcaraz Life rarely works out exactly how we planned it. by lauryn lax photos by michael frazier

S

o when Julian Alcaraz moved to Los Angeles during his senior year of high school to pursue a career in acting, he never foresaw becoming a CrossFit Games athlete. “I grew up playing sports—mostly soc-

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cer and wrestling as I got older, but I had never heard of CrossFit before. I was set on becoming an actor and convinced my parents to let me leave school and move from Oregon to California, along with my older brother, in order to do that,” Alcaraz said.

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Prompting his abrupt move, Alcaraz had been scouted by an L.A. talent agency that told him he had potential to make it big. Always up for adventure and fun, Alcaraz shrugged his shoulders and said, “Why not?”

April 2016


He finished up his senior year in California, and quickly became acquainted with the “LA way of life”—chasing his dreams. Fast forward to today, nearly six years later, Alcaraz is still chasing his dreams; however, those dreams have morphed

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to also entail a second trip back to the CrossFit Games in 2016.

there competing with a lot of the athletes I used to look up to,” Alcaraz said.

“After years and years of hard work, and slowly rising up, I finally made it to the Games for the first time last year, and it’s just unbelievable…to now be right out

In fact, 2015’s Wodapalooza Miami competition had him out on the floor, competing neck and neck with the “champ” himself, Mr. Rich Froning.

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April 2016


article > Julian Alcaraz

“I was on a team—me, Wes Piatt and Nick Urankar; and it was a really close and competitive weekend—especially in the final workouts. My team, the Smith brothers’ (Ben Smith, Alec Smith) team and Rich’s (Froning’s) team were all neck and neck for third place. Definitely a great way to see where I am at in my training and competition-wise for another year to come,” Alcaraz said. Alcaraz’s team ended up placing 4th overall for the weekend, but he said he walked away with more than a trophy could have given him. “Every opportunity I get to compete now—Regionals, the Games, Wodapalooza—it’s all about bettering myself, growing as an athlete…and ultimately, having fun,” Alcaraz said. Like many serious CrossFit athletes,

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Alcaraz said he didn’t always have this outlook. After discovering CrossFit through his brother, Ricki, at Valley CrossFit, Alcaraz was motivated from the get-go to push it hard in the gym—which meant hours of training. “My first workout was something fairly simple—kettlebell swings and body weight movements. But after finishing it up a little early, the coach then prescribed we do pull-ups—I think something like 100 pull-ups and I didn’t have chestto-bar, butterfly, anything. Straight up pull-ups. But, I loved the challenge and the fact that there was always something new to work on,” Alcaraz said. Alcaraz began dedicating his time and energy to his training—putting his acting career on hold, and steadily, developing into the athlete he is today.

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Alcaraz’s current stats include: • • • •

420 lbs. front squat 535 lbs. deadlift 275 lbs. snatch 370 lbs. squat clean

And his competition history is robust, including: Three years competing with Team Valley CrossFit (2012-2014), followed by his standout year, last year, as an individual, finally reaching his personal long-term goal of making the Games (2015). “It was an unbelievable experience to be out there and I learned a lot—mostly about myself,” Alcaraz said. Adding, “I definitely made some [rookie] mistakes, and figured out more about adapting to challenges throughout the weekend. But the Games, it also really beat me up, and as much as I love compet-

April 2016


article > Julian Alcaraz

ing and training, it also gave me a fresh outlook on my training and what I do with my time—no matter what it is…I want it to be fun, and I believe enjoying life (all of it)—no matter what it is I do,” Alcaraz said.

Warmup 10 sets on Rower (20 seconds hard, 40 seconds easy)

C. Front Squat- 4,4,4,4 (building every 3 minutes) • Anderson Front Squat 1.1 x 5

A. Hang Power Snatch 7 x 2 (building every 2 minutes)

• Rest 10 Seconds Between Cluster Reps

B1. Hang Power Clean

D. 3 Rounds for time

“It’s easy to get caught up in spending hours and hours in the gym. You see all these other athletes training all day, every day—and it can become a full-time job,” Alcaraz said.

• 1.) 18 AFAP 135/95

• 50' Front Rack Lunge Axle Bar (185/135)

Instead of training more this past year, Alcaraz said, he’s been listening to his own body and keeping focused on his personal growth and how he best operates—still training hard, but not all day long.

• Rest 1 minute

A peak from his training log, from his coach out of Squat Mafia, looks something like this:

• Rest 2 minutes

Keeping this in mind, Alcaraz said, postGames, his training took a new turn:

• 2.) 15 AFAP 155/115 • 25 Chest to bar pull-ups • 3.) 12 AFAP 185/135 • Rest 7 minutes

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• AMRAP X 6 minutes B2. Strict HSPU from 4" deficit • 12 DB Push Press 45/30 • Max UB Reps (or AMRAP X 1 min.)

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• 30 Double-unders

April 2016


article > Julian Alcaraz

E. Accumulate 3 minutes in Plank + 100 V-Ups • Finish with 4 Rounds of (Wim Hoff Method) “Believe it or not, I have cut back some on my training and have found that works best for me. Most days, I train with my senioritas (Kris Clever and Becca Voight at CrossFit Training Yard)—and some days do have double days, but I have also learned to value rest a lot more, and incorporating other things, life outside the gym as well. There’s more to life than just CrossFit,” Alcaraz said. Things like dating, career, good food, and dancing. In fact, it’s a Friday night at 8 p.m., and Alcaraz hasn’t just gotten home from a P.M. session at the gym…he just arrived home from an evening of dancing.

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“I take dance lessons weekly. Right now, I am learning the Cha-Cha. You go out to clubs, and see all these people dancing to hip-hop, but they aren’t really dancing. It’s kind of become a lost art. I love really dancing,” Alcaraz said.

“I was pursuing acting really hard, and with CrossFit, everything’s kind of gotten put on hold. But CrossFit has allowed me to continue to build my body, feel healthy, strong and capable of getting back into it, and that’s my plan after this year’s season,” Alcaraz said.

Dancing is a newer hobby for Alcaraz. “I didn’t grow up doing it. I was a sport kid, but as I’ve gotten older, I love doing different things,” the 26-year-old said. As of late, that’s included: Dating girlfriend and CrossFit lady Miranda Oldroyd; Coaching about nine CrossFit classes each week at his box, Training Yard; Noshing on “good food” (buffalo wings, pizza or “whatever else I want”) come dinnertime; Helping brother, Ricki, start up his local paleo catering company; And looking forward to his continued acting dreams.

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To date, Alcaraz’s resume includes appearances and roles in the films Red Dawn (2012), Haywire (2011) and Chasing a Dream (2009). “I love action films—doing stunts here and there is also pretty cool [especially more so now since beginning CrossFit]. We’ll see where it takes me,” Alcaraz said.

April 2016


Profile for Metcon Magazine

WODTALK - Issue 28 - April 2016  

WODTALK - Issue 28 - April 2016  

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