JULY 2011 | ISSUE 01
-Inner Struggle -Metabolic Paradigm Shift -It Really DOES Get Better -Wearing Your Shirt PLUS
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF “THE CROSSFIT WHITEBOARD”
Content JULY 2011 features 12 TAKE A LOOK AT YOURSELF
Are you content with who you see in the mirror?
16 A METABOLIC PARADIGM SHIFT, OR WHY FAT IS THE PREFERRED FUEL FOR HUMAN METABOLISM
22 INNER STRUGGLE
When it comes down to it, it’s solely on us to make things happen
25 FISH OIL - TRIGLYCERIDE
FORM? FREE FATTY ACID FORM? ETHYL ESTERS? Introducing SFH’s New Super Oil
29 CROSSFIT: SEPARATING
FACT FROM FICTIONS The low down on some of those common “myths” and questions regarding CrossFit
38 IT REALLY DOES GET BETTER
If you put in the time and you put in the work it really does get better
46 WHAT IS THE COMMON
THREAD Some of the most principled brands in the CrossFit community support one another
WODTalk.com | July 2011
JAMES MALDONADO Running intervals with CrossFit Brea Endurance
PUBLISHER & EDITOR Chris Elmore CONTRIBUTORS Erik Arevelo Mike Cahill Cesa Ortiz Mark Sission Sam Farina Adam Farrah Dawn Fletcher Sam Sawyar Web Smith Greg Nelson Ken Velez RECIPE Sarah Fragoso COVER PHOTO Red Clover Photography
ADVERTISING firstname.lastname@example.org FEEDBACK, LETTERS & PHOTOS email@example.com
CrossFit Albury Wodonga
Evan age 2 at CrossFit Pensacola
Jessica from Outlier Crossfit
Amber Barlow|PHOTOGRAPHY San Diego
World Camp CrossFit
Welcome to WOD Talk!
With the release of this first issue, we are very pleased to welcome you to WOD Talk Magazine. Our aim is to enrich the CrossFit community by creating a publication that promotes, educates, and inspires individuals to a lead healthy and active lifestyle through CrossFit training and proper nutrition. As you can see from the way you are reading this magazine, we have chosen to start WOD Talk as a digital publication. This has allowed us the opportunity to provide our readers with a FREE magazine that is published frequently and provides a high level of interactivity with our writers and advertisers. Beginning a new publication has been an adventure, a discovery, and a very exciting part of our lives for the past few months. We do not have a manifesto to present, but we do have some ideas and plans we want to share with you. First, I would like to make clear that 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 you read in this magazine are not necessarily those of CrossFit, Inc or its founders. As you read through this issue you will see that the articles in this magazine come from within the community. Every month you are going to read inspirational stories from athletes, tips and advice from coaches, mental performance training from sports psychologists as well as Paleo and Zone educational information from the experts in the field of health and nutrition. We have also included photos throughout the magazine that have been submitted from coaches and athletes to celebrate all of the achievements and hard work happening out there in boxes and garage gyms! In the process of setting up this magazine, we have encountered a great deal of good will, enthusiasm and support from affiliates, athletes, and advertisers for which we are extremely grateful. An enormous â€˜thank youâ€™ must go to our authors who appear in this issue and to all those who have committed to providing content for future issues. I would like to invite anyone interested in providing content for the magazine to submit your article and stories for consideration to use at firstname.lastname@example.org. Looking to the future, we will be publishing WOD Talk Magazine on a monthly basis. It is our hope that future publications will include additional sections such as letters from the community, reviews of events such as seminars, competitions and conferences, as well as user submitted inspirational before and after photos. Finally, we hope you enjoy reading this edition of WOD Talk Magazine and we hope you will consider taking an active role within the growing CrossFit community by contributing to future issues either as an author or photographer.
WOD Talk Magazine
Take a look at yourself When you look in the mirror are you content with
what you see? I am not talking about your body or your stature. I am referring to your eyes. Can you look yourself in the eye and be happy with what you have become? Its very easy to fool yourself when you are with your friends. Its very easy to tell the world how successful you are. Its easy to lead others to believe you are something you are not. But if you take a hard look into your eyes, you know the truth. You know if you have been honest with yourself. The eyes of the individual say it all. If you can’t look yourself in the eye at the end of the day, then you need to change some things. I have been down the road of disappointment, and it is a lonely one. Some are on that road and have no
idea. We all have high expectations, but what are you doing to achieve them. Can you get on the right track with the diet? Can you put all excuses aside? Its so easy to let outside influences get in your way of success. At the end of the day, before you go to bed, you have to take one last look at yourself. What do you see? What did you accomplish? If you are not satisfied, then quench your disappointments and failures with a dose of honesty. If you know that you can improve, then do it. Stop with the “I don’t have time”, “Paleo is too hard”. That’s not it, you just don’t want to. Admit and fix it. Erik Arevelo CrossFit Brea
Athlete Profile Betsy Finley Betsy is from Richfield, OH and tied for 2nd in the Masters Division going into the games. She is 61 years old and this is her first time competing in the games.
• 3 children • 2 Grandchildren • Assistant principal of two elementary buildings in Hudson, OH • Primarily works with special needs students • Began CrossFitting to get in better shape for kayaking • Trains at CrossFit Akron
BEST TIMES Fran: 13:02 RX Helen: 17:29 Grace: 5:37 Filthy Fifty: 33:24
“CrossFit has put me in the best shape of my life”
Squat: 170 lbs Dead Lift: 215 lbs Pull-ups: 9
Coaches Corner It may sound corny or cliché, but I whole-heartedly believe that the things we do inside the gym has direct correlation with how we deal with problems in the outside world. I have a personal pet peeve, some might call it tough or unfair; I call it life. Taking off weight during a workout, saying I can’t before you even try, or making some excuse for the task at hand. Life happens, life throws you curveballs, and life definitely kicks you down, hard. Last week we had a workout; it went to the tune of 100 reps of 4 different exercises, one being kettlebell swings. The kick was that if you stopped at all during it you had a 10 burpee penalty (for those who do not know what a burpee is, it’s similar to an ‘up-down’ or an 8 count body builder with only one push up). The 10 burpee penalty is life kicking you down, without a doubt. We knew that no one was going to do 400 reps without stopping, we knew that your forearms would give out, and we knew that it was going to be hard. But how do you respond? Did you go down in kettlebell weight because you didn’t want to do a lot of burpee’s? Did you say that I am fine doing lighter weight, when you know you could have done something heavier but might have had to do 20 more burpee’s? Did negative thoughts start consuming your mind; reasons on why you can’t go heavier or faster? Did you eat something you are not supposed to and now that excuse is creeping in? Or maybe you slept 6 instead of only 7 hours last night. The big question is, did you accept mediocrity? Did you allow yourself to not give 100% effort and accept mediocrity… I left three dots there because if you did, make a change, put a foot down and say you’ll never accept mediocrity ever again. In life problems come about all the time, some small, some major. It is how you deal with them that defines your character. Do you take weight off during a workout because it’s hard? Do you say “I can’t” before you even try? If this repeatedly happens I am going to take a ‘wild guess’ on how you deal with problems that life gives you. ..how about proving me wrong. Check that, not me, how about proving YOURSELF wrong. It is too easy to hide, too easy to not train or do the right thing when no one is watching. When did you the individual knowing not become enough? When was doing it for YOU not enough? Do it for yourself and no one else. Taking the easy way out will affect no one but you. Life can be real hard, and so can many things we do in this gym. Don’t take the easy way out anymore. Elevate your mental fortitude inside this gym and I guarantee it will translate to life outside the gym.
Coach Mike Cahill CrossFit Coach
A Metabolic Paradigm Shift, or Why Fat is the Preferred Fuel for Human Metabolism There’s a good reason so many people (mostly the sugar-burners, whose disparate group includes fruitarians, veg*ans, HEDers, body-builders, most MDs, the USDA and virtually every RD program in the country) can’t seem to grasp why a lower carb, Primal approach to eating is a better choice for health and fitness: their fundamental paradigm – the core theory that underpins everything else in that belief system – is flawed. They remain slaves to the antiquated notion that glucose is the king of fuels, so they live their lives in a fear of running low. The truth is, fat is the preferred fuel of human metabolism and has been for most of human evolution. Under normal human circumstances, we actually require only minimal amounts of glucose, most or all of which can be supplied by the liver as needed on a daily basis. The simple SAD fact that carbs/glucose are so readily available and cheap today doesn’t mean that we should depend on them as a primary source of fuel or revere them so highly. In fact, it is this blind allegiance to the “Carb Paradigm” that has driven so many of us to experience the vast array of metabolic problems that threaten to overwhelm our health care system. It boggles my mind that such a large segment of the so-called health and fitness community would continue to defend high carbohydrate diets with such tenacity. It should all be very obvious by now. The studies keep piling up indicating that carbohydrate intake is the major variable in determining body composition and that excess glucose from carbohydrate intake (especially from processed grains and sugars) is the primary culprit in obesity and in many disease processes. It follows logically that if you can limit carb intake to a range of which is absolutely necessary (and even up to 50 grams a day over) and make the difference up with tasty fats and protein, you can literally reprogram
your genes back to the evolutionary-based factory setting you had at birth – the setting that offered you the opportunity to start life as a truly efficient fat-burning organism and to continue to do so for the rest of your life as long as you send the right signals to your genes. Becoming an efficient fatburner is the major premise of the Primal Blueprint eating and exercise strategies. But logic doesn’t rule when you are stuck in the Carb Paradigm, so I still see some misguided
bloggers decrying the Primal Blueprint eating strategy as potentially harmful for its relatively low carb intake or stating that my advice to “generally keep carbs under 150 grams a day unless you’re an athlete” is ridiculous. How many more times do I have to overhear a trainer advising a still-portly client to “eat 5 or 6 small meals throughout the day, always with some carbs, so you keep your blood sugar up and don’t go into starvation mode.”? It’s time to stop this nonsense and reframe the current views of human metabolism to accurately reflect the two and a half million years of evolution that shaped the current human genome – a perfect DNA recipe that fully expects us from birth to function largely on fats.
It’s time for a Metabolic Paradigm Shift within the health and fitness world. The Faulty Carb Paradigm “Logic” Goes Something Like This The basic underlying assumption is that glucose is the preferred fuel of most cells; BUT, because we can’t store very much glucose (as glycogen in liver and muscles), we need to provide a continuous source of glucose in the form of exogenous carbohydrate (high carb meals) to keep the brain, blood, and certain organs humming along and the muscles primed for activity. AND, if we don’t feed ourselves enough carbohydrate every few hours, our blood sugar will drop and we’ll go into “starvation mode” and cannibalize our precious muscle tissue. AND any lack of regular glucose refilling (i.e. skipping a meal or fasting) will cause cortisol to rise, which will have additional deleterious effects. FURTHERMORE, an excess of glucose in the bloodstream is known to raise insulin and will predispose excess calories (from all sources) to be stored as fat. THEREFORE, we should also be doing a lot of moderate-to-heavy cardio or lifting activity most days to burn off this excess stored body fat. HOWEVER, if we want to be ready and able to exercise frequently and strenuously
to burn off our stored fat, we need to eat lots of complex carbohydrates between workouts to refill our glycogen stores. And ULTIMATELY, the only way to lose weight is to restrict calories (calories in<calories out), BUT if you’re working out regularly, it’s almost impossible to maintain a calorie-restricted regimen and still be able to work out hard enough to burn appreciable calories. Sheesh. Sure, there are exceptions, like the driven and genetically gifted types, who can train long hours, refuel on carbs and not add much body fat (hey, I was one). But unless you love to work out incessantly and have really lucky familial genes, the Carb Paradigm is an unsustainable and ridiculous literal and figurative treadmill, a self-fulfilling prophecy for most people who tend to gain weight steadily and insidiously over the years and wonder why. If you are one of the 60+% of the American population who is overweight, the above scenario plays itself
FAITH WORK HEALTH DREAMS RELATIONSHIPS
out because you have spent your life programming your genes in the direction of being an effective sugar burner and, as a result, have become dependent on a fresh supply of sugar (carbs) every few hours. Naturally, in the presence of all that glucose, and provided you actually do some exercise, your genes will eventually get the signals to up-regulate the enzyme systems, pathways and receptors involved in sugar-burning and fat storage and they’ll downregulate all those involved in accessing and burning fat for energy. Of course, that doesn’t make it right, but it sure makes it appear as if glucose is king. What makes it worse, if you don’t exercise, you head down the path to insulin resistance and/or obesity.
The Problem: The Basic Assumption of the Carb Paradigm is Wrong
Glucose is not the preferred fuel of muscle cells under normal human resting metabolic conditions or even under most normal human movement patterns (exercise). Fat is. Sure, given an unlimited supply of glucose and regular refilling of glycogen stores, skeletal muscle will burn through it during exercise the same way a fire burns through kindling when that’s all you have to offer. The body can shift
carbohydrate oxidation to keep up with intake. But skeletal muscle can burn fat with great efficiency (and far less oxidative fallout) at relatively high outputs for very long bouts. Cardiac muscle actually prefers ketones, and the brain can run just fine (maybe even optimally) on a blend of ketones and minimal glucose. Our survival as a species has depended on these evolutionary adaptations away from glucose dependency. Entire civilizations have existed for ages on what is practically a zero-carb diet. Think about this: there is actually no requirement for any “essential dietary carbohydrates” in human nutrition. It’s possible to live a very long and healthy life never consuming much – if any – in the way of carbs, provided you get adequate dietary protein and fat. The same can’t be said for going too long without protein or fat. Cut too far back on either of those macronutrients and you will eventually get sick and die.
The Evolutionary Model
Fat and protein were the dominant macronutrients (when food was even available) over the majority of our two-and-a-half million years as evolving humans. The lack of regular access to food and
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a scarcity of carbohydrates for much of this time necessitated that we adapt efficient pathways to readily store and access body fat for energy if we were to survive day-to-day and generation-togeneration. Our movement patterns were such that we never required large amounts of glucose or that we needed to store very much glycogen. It was predominantly fats, ketones and the minimal infusion of glucose via gluconeogenesis that got us here. Dietary carbs were insignificant. In fact, when you consider how ridiculously small the body’s glycogen reservoirs are, you understand that it would have been impossible for us to survive as a species if glucose were truly the “preferred” fuel. The liver, the main back-up glycogen/glucose storage facility for the brain and other glucose-burning organs, can only store about 100 grams of glycogen. Less than a day’s worth. Your muscles can only hold another 350-500 grams, barely enough to run for 90 minutes at a reasonable clip, and that glycogen isn’t even available to provide fuel for the brain. Meanwhile, we have a virtually unlimited storage capacity for fat (like 100,000 grams or close to a million calories on some people). The reason glycogen storage wasn’t necessary is because, between our copious fat storage
capability, easy access to fats as fuel, gluconeogenesis and ketones, we just didn’t need much. Evolution tends not to reward structures or functions that take up unnecessary space or waste energy. So How Much Glucose Do You Really Need? Much less than most people assume. At any one time, the total amount of glucose dissolved in the bloodstream of a healthy non-diabetic is equivalent to only a teaspoon (maybe 5 grams). Much more than that is toxic; much less than that and you pass out. That’s not much range for a so-called “preferred” fuel, is it? Several studies have shown that under normal low MET conditions (at rest or low-to midlevels of activity such as walking and easy work) the body only needs about 5 grams of glucose an hour. And that’s for people who aren’t yet fat-adapted or keto-adapted. The brain is the major consumer of glucose, needing maybe 120 grams a day in people who aren’t yet on a low carb eating program. Low carb eating reduces the brain’s glucose requirements considerably, and those who are very low carb (VLC) and keto-adapted may only require about 30 grams of glucose per day to fuel the brain (and little-
to-none to fuel the muscles at <75% max efforts). Twenty of those grams can come from glycerol (a byproduct of fat metabolism) and the balance from gluconeogenesis in the liver (which can actually make up to a whopping 150 grams a day if you haven’t metabolically damaged it with NAFLD through fructose overdosing). Bottom line, unless you are a physical laborer or are training (exercising) hard on a daily basis, once you become fat-adapted, you probably don’t ever need to consume more than 150 grams of dietary carbs – and you can probably thrive on far less. Many PBers do very well (including working out) on 30-70 grams a day.
The Fat Paradigm
The Fat Paradigm, under which the human species has thrived quite effectively for two and a half million years, recognizes that human metabolism is pre-programmed by evolution to be primarily fat-based (the real preferred fuel). In other words, our genes expect us to function optimally when we consume fats and can easily access our stored fat. The Fat Paradigm acknowledges that the body is able to manufacture adequate glucose as needed. It acknowledges that most typical human movement
patterns can be fueled almost entirely by fats and/or ketones (PDF) if need be, but can draw on glycogen when energy bursts are required (and which can then be replaced over time). It acknowledges that fat (and cholesterol) are not the proximate cause of heart disease. It acknowledges that fat cells are designed to release stored fatty acids as required, especially during times of scarcity or fasting. It allows for intermittent fasting as a means of accelerating fat loss without sacrificing muscle tissue. It increases insulin sensitivity, modulates energy and mood swings, and allows for a normal and healthy drop in hunger and cravings. There is a downside, however: you can’t train long and hard day-in and day-out in the fat paradigm. Now then, having explained all this, please understand that I am not carb phobic. I actually permit more carbs in the Primal Blueprint than many other low carb eating strategies. I prefer to view carbs as the “elective” macronutrient, as a tool to use to manipulate your glycogen levels as needed. Low carb isn’t even the main objective of eating in the PB: eliminating grains, sugars and seed oils are the primary objective. Of course, when you get rid of that
crap and naturally limit your carb intake to veggies, root tubers and a few fruits, you almost invariably decrease carbs to under 150 grams a day. And that emulates our ancestral dietary intake. I came up with a simple Carbohydrate Curve a few years ago that offers a pretty concise picture of where most people ought to fall if they are seeking optimum health and energy, depending on their size, weight, sex, age, goals, etc. Now, many hundreds of thousands of user experiences later, I am finding that the Curve is pretty much spot on for a large segment of the population. When I say generally that a chronic intake of over 150 grams of carbs can lead to insidious weight gain over a lifetime, I am factoring in the concept that many people are at the effect of a familial
genetic predisposition to storing fat easily under the carb paradigm (the 60+% overweight). I am also factoring in the drop in metabolism that happens naturally with age, as well as the fact that PBers donâ€™t NEED to purge and refill glycogen stores every day via exercise. Yes, there are some people (a small percentage of outliers) who might maintain pretty decent body composition at up to 300 grams a day on little exercise. I would bet that they also are selective about the carb sources and do a better job of controlling overall calories, so thereâ€™s little excess to store. For most of the population, that 150 mark remains a good average level for maintaining ideal body composition. Mark Sisson http://www.MarksDailyApple.com
INNER STRUGGLE By Cesa Ortiz
the Regional games approached, I spent more and more time thinking about the struggle within us all to compete and become Better Than Yesterday. CrossFit is such a community driven activity and I’ve spoken before about the support system that we each posses in our training partners, coaches, and families that allow us to devote so much time to our passion. At the end of the day though, when the “rubber meets the road” it’s solely on us to make things happen. No one is going to swing that 2 pood kettlebell or drive up that last overhead squat for us, no matter how bad we wish they would. This is one of the things that I most admire about our sport and our drive, personal achievement. I’ve seen so many athletes over the past few years hit new PRs and strive over and over again to accomplish a goal until success is finally the outcome. The beauty with this though is that it isn’t specifically standards driven so much as it is personal results driven. Follow me on this thought process. The 35 year old man or woman who has allowed themselves to reach a complacency in fitness. One who now is working hard at CrossFit day in and out is no more, and more importantly, NO LESS thrilled about a 12” box jump than the seasoned 23 year old “Firebreather” who finally reached 48”. You see they both are on different physical playing fields but in many way they share one thing, a very personal, driven, focused, and sometimes painful journey to reach new goals.
It’s amazing to see the athletes at these regional’s doing what many would think humanly impossible and do it in a manner that makes most just shake their head and wonder how. At the root of them though, they are the same as all of us. They have a never ending desire to be better, to conquer something new, and drive themselves to their own limits. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it here in this forum, there is something to be said about inclusion in all things. Every weekend hoards of Americans run half marathons or whatever ––distance races knowing they’ll never place, but they do it anyway...why? I truly believe in my heart of hearts it’s just ingrained in us as humans to push the limits and find new boundaries for ourselves. Since the beginning of time man has behaved in this manner, and somewhere in all of us that fire still burns, albeit some feel it more than others, but it’s still in there. Crossfit is simply the medium in which we test ourselves. This week as you walk in your box and get ready to get to work, remember that within you, you posses not only the means to conquer your personal goals but push that line of impossible to possible. There burns a fire in each of us, it is up to us to embrace that very real, very personal struggle and allow it to transform us into what we are meant to become ... our fullest potential.
Number of CrossFit Affiliates listed on the CrossFit mainsite
State with the most number of affiliates: California
City with the most number of affiliates: San Diego
Number of affiliates in North Dakota, South Dakota & Vermont
“The iron ore thinks itself senselessly tortured in the blast furnace. The tempered steel blade looks back and knows better.” Cesar Ortiz Fight Through
Data above was gathered from the CrossFit mainsite at http://www.crossfit.com
Greg Amundson (left) and J.C. Nessa (right) photo by RX Jump Ropes
Triglyceride Form? Free Fatty Acid Form? Ethyl Esters?
Introducing SFH’s NEW SUPER OIL
By now most of us know that the “active “omega 3 fats are EPA and DHA. By elimination, the other omega 3s such as ALA are much less active and require conversion to EPA in our bodies to be active. Fish oils also contain other fats. Good fish oil should contain as little omega 6 fats as possible. Companies that still advertise a “mixed” product containing both “essential fat groups (omega 3 and omega 6) are not sticking to the facts of science. It is true that omega 6 fats are essential fats. However, we ingest far too much omega 6 fats in out diets…even clean diets!! Also remember that the omega 6 fats are inflammation drivers (pro-inflammatory).
Another key point is that unlike “processed sugar, where fast absorption is a big negative, fast absorption of omega 3 fats is essential to optimize health benefits. Why is this the case? It is all about the Law of Mass Action. Omega 3 fats compete with Omega 6 fats for membrane storage sites and also for positions on fat storage molecules, a.k.a. triglycerides. Triglycerides are a major way we store fat in our bodies. Thus when you exercise and burn fats, it is best to liberate via triglyceride lipase “anti-inflammatory” fats than fats that drive inflammation. Thus it makes sense to
load up on omega 3’s stored as triglycerides. The bottom line is that without question one should take liquid omega 3 oils and when possible on an empty stomach! Liquid omega 3 fats are absorbed better than omega 3 in capsules or even omega 3 in fish. What about potency??? Omega 3 fats are totally safe to ingest and in most cases more is better. The question about how much for optimum health and fitness depends on the amount of rigorous exercise that you undertake per day/week. The more time in the pain cave the more omega 3 oil that is needed to counter inflammation.
The clinical data would suggest that for normal non athletes about 4.0 grams/day is adequate to lower serum triglycerides and to provide “lipid” health. Doses as low as 3.0 grams may be adequate for
lowering the incidence of sudden cardiac death, usually a result of cardiac arrhythmias. Given human individuality (genetic) and diet choices from Paleo to Primal to Neolithic to Mediterranean, the actual dose needed to optimize health and fitness will vary. When in doubt more is better and more will not hurt you (caveat if you are on blood thinners or allergic to fish or shrimp) consult your healthcare provider. Lastly, one may want to consider the chemical forms for EPA and DHA. The most expensive forms are usually the ethyl esters of EPA. These products require chemistry to make the ethyl ester form of EPA. This makes the molecules more volatile which allows this fatty acid ester to be separated and concentrated from other fats by distillation. Free fatty acids are another major form. Finally, EPA and DHA may be prepared naturally and delivered in the triglyceride form. In fact, the most expensive over the counter liquid omega 3 oils are in the all triglycerides form and these products cost between $70 and $80 for an effective month’s supply. One last point, most omega 3 oils use a soy based Vit E oil as an anti-oxidant. This Vit E oil carries low levels of allergens derived from the GMO processed soy and may actually increase inflammation! Read the labels and avoid soy based Vit E as an antioxidant.
At SFH we formulate our oils naturally, in liquid form, no chemistry, using natural flavors and NO soy based VIT E. Our product contains less than 5% Omega 6s. For these reasons, our product has been very effective for controlling inflammation induced by rigorous exercise, BUT WE CAN AND HAVE DONE MORE!!! Allow us to introduce our best ever omega 3 oil: SO3 OIL. This formulation is 50% more potent than our old oil (current product) and delivers over 5400 mg of EPA and DHA in two teaspoons. Further our clinical research indicates that our oil is absorbed more efficiently. SO3 Oil is a mixture of EPA and
DHA in the triglyceride form and in the free fatty acid form of EPA and DHA. This combination of the triglyceride form and the free fatty acid form facilitates the absorption of omega 3 active fats. This observation is so important that we have filed patents on this new formulation. We recommend that you take between 1-2 teaspoons a day of our new SO3 oil. This will deliver between 2700 - 5400mg. In addition to our 10oz bottle we will also offer a 6 oz bottle at a lower price then our original 10oz bottle. The 6oz bottle will last a person who is taking 3500mg/day - 28 days! The 10oz bottle will last someone who is taking 3500mg/ day - 46 days! Why you shouldn’t take less then 3500mg a day? Inflammation is the root cause (initiator) or sustaining contributor of most chronic diseases. Inflammation is present after every workout and also present in everyone’s body (“silent inflammation). If you have pre-existing issues, injuries, etc you should take more oil … With all this information, the question still remains: How much should I take? To properly answer this question would require a measurement of omega 3 fats in your cell membranes (red blood cells) and
then correlate content with benefit. Our studies at SFH suggest that the optimal amount of EPA and DHA fatty acids combined should be about 10% of the available fats in the cell membrane. Even when we eat a clean diet, it is hard, if not impossible to reach this number. (The average American is around 0.8%, the clean eating, omega 3 oil taking adult, is around 6%.). With our new super high potency SO3 oil, with absorption enhancement, it is expected that we can finally optimize omega 3 oil dose and health benefits. This takes us to the cutting edge of science. As we define the optimum dose and quantify the benefits for the serious athlete and the general public, we will be releasing our findings at SFH.
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Separating Fact from Fiction
By Sam Farina
If you’ve heard anything about CrossFit, there’s no
doubt you’ve probably heard a few negative thoughts mixed in with the volumes of science-backed results, success stories and CrossFit devotees out there. So here’s the low down on some of those common “myths” and questions regarding CrossFit: MYTH: CrossFit is so hard, it’s only for die-hard athletes. TRUTH: CrossFit is hard…it’s as hard as you make it. CrossFit is 100% scalable to the ability of the athlete so that the work that you put into the WOD (Workout of the Day) is 1) inclusive of weight, resistance and challenges that are within your abilities, and 2) up to you as to how intense you make it. The intensity of CrossFit is what makes it appear to hard to those who don’t know CrossFit. And since intensity is relative to the individual, it’s up to you to determine how hard you want to work… how much you want to push past your comfort zone, if at all. We think you’ll find that if you are consistent, patient and work hard, you’ll love the results so much you’ll find yourself WANTING to push a little harder…making it “harder”. MYTH: CrossFit is reckless; a lot of people get hurt doing CrossFit.
Alexis Adames Corporal CrossFit
TRUTH: That’s a bunch of malarkey! Oh, sorry. Was that our “out-loud-voice”? Compare the two settings below. CrossFit is, in fact, safer than a typical gym because of the supervision included
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Leah Polaski with your membership. It’s definitely more challenging, but that’s probably why you see results with CrossFit and maybe not so much in other settings. While you may not be one-on-one with a trainer, you are in a dynamic group environment and you are supervised by a qualified and certified personal trainer who is also certified in CrossFit’s methodologies and who practices them on a daily basis. You may be performing skills and exercises that aren’t typical of the standard “personal trainer” program, but then again, the result CrossFit produces are atypical as well! TYPICAL BIG-BOX GYM: You pay your monthly dues, and show up. Unless you hire a trainer, the gym holds its breath and crosses it’s fingers and hopes (and prays) you know what the heck you’re doing on the machines! You fumble around, push a lever here, squeeze into a padded seat there…. no instruction, no supervision, and frankly, no one ensuring you’re receiving the correct stimulus to see results and progress. If you find yourself sore or have aches
or pains you’re not sure about, you might as well call your mom or a friend, because you’re on your own. TYPICAL CROSSFIT GYM: You pay your monthly dues, and show up (and if you don’t, we call you to find out why!). You work with a coach to learn the foundational moves of CrossFit, which are the underpinnings to the daily WODs. Each time you come in, you practice these moves in some way, shape or form, all the while under the supervision of a coach who has been certified by CrossFit. As you approach the daily WOD, your coach will scale the WOD to your ability – whether it be lowering the weight, modifying the rep scheme or scaling the actual exercise so you still receive the stimulus and are fully partaking in the WOD. Your form is constantly critiqued, cued and corrected until you’re flawless in your performance. If you’re sore the next day or have aches or pains you’re not sure about, your coaches are there to be your resources. MYTH: I’ll get big & bulky if I CrossFit and lift heavy weights.
TRUTH: Increasing muscle mass or size (“getting bigger”) occurs when three factors are present: 1) progressive muscle overload (lifting heavy weights, frequently), 2) a high enough level of testosterone to augment the training, and 3) ample (meaning a lot of) calories for repair and rebuilding. With CrossFit, we do not perform that systematic attack on each body part, twice to three times weekly at a specific percentage of your 1 rep max for 6-12 reps for 3-5 sets….that sounds boring already! Our goal is not to strategically and progressively overload each of the major muscle groups – rather it’s to randomly build strength, power, speed, and stamina (among other skills). You will get stronger, not bigger. You will get faster, not bulkier. MYTH: CrossFit is so much more expensive than a typical gym. TRUTH: Our rates are actually comparable to, or less than any other group led workout program in our local area, if you look at the monthly rate and a frequency of 4 to 5 times per week. The reality is, with the quality of instruction and level of attention you get from the CrossFit Rebels Coaches, you are essentially getting personal training at a fraction of the cost. The question is not, “can I afford CrossFit Rebels?” The question is, “can I afford not to train with CrossFit Rebels?” Your answer should be obvious if: • Your health is a top priority. • You are focused and want results. • You want to take your fitness and mindset as to what is possible to a whole new level. • You life demands that your workouts be short and effective. • You want the best CrossFit coaching you can find. MYTH: I like cardio workouts, and mine are over an hour on average. How can I get fitter if CrossFit’s average workout is 20 minutes? TRUTH: It’s much about the intensity of our training, but in addition, the multiple “modes”
or exercises we use to change up that long, slow intensity you’re probably used to. More and more research shows that shorter duration/higher intensity workouts yield significantly better results than long, slow training – results that include improved body composition (less body fat, more lean muscle mass), greater strength, greater speed and power, enhanced flexibility and agility…you get the picture. The truth of it is, the longer the effort, the lower the intensity. If you run 10 miles, your intensity (power output) will be lower than if you run multiple 400 meter sprints. The majority of our workouts are shorter in duration, with 30+ minute workouts programmed on occasion. If your workout is shorter, you can work harder by nature, which will lead to a better physiological response, especially combining the exercises the way CrossFit does (and of course with proper nutrition). No matter who you are or what workouts you do, without some heavier weight on occasions, and some intensity in your workout, you will not see true results – results from the inside out. Someone might “look” fit, but performance is truly the determining factor of fit, not appearance.
MYTH: CrossFit is only for serious athletes; for those already in great shape…it would have to be to withstand those crazy-hard WODs TRUTH: That statement couldn’t be further from the truth. CrossFit’s founder, Greg Glassman, was quoted in an interview as saying: ”CrossFit believes people’s needs differ by degree, not kind. Let us say that again: PEOPLE’S NEEDS DIFFER BY DEGREE, NOT KIND. This is related to fitness, of course. Olympic athletes and our grandparents both need to fulfill their potentials for cardio respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, speed, power, coordination, accuracy, balance, and agility. One is looking for functional dominance, the other for functional competence. Competence and dominance manifest and optimize through identical physiological mechanisms. [The CrossFit program is scaled] by altering rest, load, intensity, etc., while utilizing the same tools (exercises) for everyone whenever possible.” (Source: www.powerathletesmag.com/archives/ Girevik/Five/interviewglassman.htm)
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Being fit is not unique to any one sector of our community – it’s a necessity and part of being healthy on all fronts. How you get there is up to you, but the path that’s the most effective, the safest, contains the best people, and also happens to be the most fun is certainly the path we choose! MYTH: There’s no rhyme or reason to CrossFit’s programming – they just throw a dart at it. There’s no methodology as to which workouts come up when. TRUTH: Those who say that simply don’t know CrossFit. If you have attend the Certification Course, subscribed to the CF Journal, or engaged a CrossFit Coach with that question, you’ll surely get your answer, and an accurate one. CrossFit DOES indeed have a method to their programming…in fact it’s called the Theoretical Template for CrossFit’s programming. CrossFit’s model of programming allows for wide variance of mode, exercise, metabolic pathway, rest, intensity, set and reps. In fact, it is mathematically likely that each three-day cycle is a singularly unique stimulus never to be
repeated in a lifetime of CrossFit workouts! Yes, there is a methodology. CrossFit programming is a unique blend of metabolic conditioning (aka cardio), gymnastics and weightlifting (powerlifting or Olympic lifting). Sometimes the WODs (Workouts of the Day) are single element days, sometimes two element days…three element days, or sometimes a mish-mosh of multiple elements -all the while maintaining structure with the programming template. Yes, there is a methodology.
Sam Farina CrossFit Rebels Clearwater, FL
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Smokey Roast A nice beef roast is something I crave in the fall or winter months but I had a big ol’ grass fed chuck roast that was asking to be made; so I made it. I wanted to try something different then the standard roast in the oven or slow cooker so after being inspired by watching a recent Food Network show called Chopped, when one of the contestants rolled a giant elk tenderloin in a coffee spice mixture, I decided to make my own version and try it on our roast. The results? So good, beyond description really, you’ll just have to try it for yourself and let me know what you think!
Coffee Spice Rub
• 2 tablespoons coffee grounds • ½ teaspoon ground chipotle • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon • ½ tablespoon garlic powder • 1 tablespoon dried oregano • 1 tablespoon cumin • 1 teaspoon sea salt • Mix all spice rub ingredients together and set aside
• ½ tablespoon coconut oil (I tried out a new brand of coconut oil called Kelapo and it’s very tasty, mild, and down right delicious!) • 2.5 lb beef chuck roast • 1 red onion, halved and sliced • ¾ cup water
Heat your coconut oil in a skillet over medium to medium high heat, make sure your pan is nice and hot! Take the spice rub mixture and rub the entire amount into and all over the roast – really rub it in, do not just brush it on!. Using tongs, place the roast into the hot skillet and sear for 3-4 minutes on each side. If your pan is not hot enough you will lose your spices, but if it’s too hot, you will burn your roast. You want it to make a nice crust on both sides of the meat. Place your sliced onions in the bottom of a slow cooker. Once the roast has been seared, put the roast in the slow cooker on top of the onions. Add the water, cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours or on low for 7-8 hours. Serves 6.
Sarah has a strong passion for helping others acclimate and succeed on the paleo diet and has done so globally with her extremely successful paleo recipe and advice blog, EverydayPaleo.com. Sarah is also author of the best selling book, Everyday Paleo as well as a strength and conditioning coach at Norcal Strength and Conditioning. Sarah has mentored under the leading expert in the field, Robb Wolf, New York Times best selling author of The Paleo Solution. She also holds a degree in psychology, and has successfully found true health and wellness for herself and her family thanks to living a paleo lifestyle. Finally, Sarah runs the extremely successful podcast, “Paleo Talk” as well as conducts nationwide Paleo Talk seminars and also contributes to several publications and blogs regarding how to successfully introduce and maintain the paleo lifestyle for both individuals and families.
Athlete Profile Erik “Dirty” Alvarez Erik is a coach at CrossFit Oahu in Honolulu, Hi and will soon be taking will soon be the head coach at CrossFit Kailua. Erik recently competed at the CrossFit NorCal Regionals and where he placed 21st. Erik recently was accepted by the Afro Brutality N.W.A CrossFit Team and will be their first sponsored CrossFitter from Hawaii. He is only 22 years old and is the youngest person to receive the CrossFit Level 2 Certification. Alvarez is best known for being the creator of the “WODKILLA” T-shirt sold by Life AsRx.
CrossFit Level 1 Certified CrossFit Level 2 Certified CrossFit Kids Certified CrossFit Olympic Lifting Certified USA Weightlifting Certified CrossFit Gymnastics Certified Pose Running and Military Running Certified CrossFit KettleBell Certified CrossFit Running Certified CrossFit Endurance Certified C2 Rowing with Olympian Erin Cafaro CrossFit Mobility Certified CrossFit Nutrition Certified Certified in General Badassery
LIFE ASRX AFRO BRUTALITY team NWA
It Really DOES Get Better… I finally realized today that it DOES get better. If you put in the time and you put in the work it really does. I’ve always had FAITH that it got better, but today I could actually SEE that it DOES.
eating that stuff. There was NO WAY I was going to mess up my nice long stretch of eating clean with a bunch of crap and then feel like shit today. No damn way!
Every so often, my mom and I end up near this donut place in Niantic, CT. Mom has a “thing” for bakeries and that stuff, so she always stops and gets herself something. When we were there about 2 months ago, I was pretty stressed and miserable and I got about 6 of those glazed chocolate donuts I love. I ate them ALL at one sitting and had some of mom’s stuff as well. Needless to say I felt like complete SHIT the next day and even the day after…
Yesterday we were in Niantic again. Mom wanted to stop. Even though I wasn’t getting anything, I went in with her – this is after nearly 2 months of 100% clean eating. And you know what? I didn’t even want anything! Yeah, it all looked good, but my stomach started hurting and feeling sick just thinking about
At the end of April 1011, I decided to do the entire month of May 100% clean and nearly all Paleo. I DID IT. And what did I want to do when I got to the end of May? KEEP GOING! I committed to doing the ENTIRE SUMMER 100% clean. And I’m doing it. It’s EASY too. I have enough momentum built up that it’s easier to keep going along the track I’m on than to change gears and eat garbage. I have a good training schedule forming up and a bad day of eating will throw it off. Why would I do that? It would be stupid… The momentum thing is becoming huge for me. The more momentum I build, the easier it is to build more.
It’s Really Just Physics…
I studied chemistry and engineering in college. In physics, when you get into 2-Dimensional motion, you learn that, for something to reverse direction, it has to slow down to the point that its speed and acceleration are ZERO in the original direction BEFORE it can start moving in the opposite direction. I think this is what trips people up in training and in life. If you’re heading in the WRONG direction and not getting where you want to go, you have to put in work just to slow and eventually stop your movement in the WRONG direction and then completely STOP before you start moving in the direction you want to go. I think a lot of people give up too early because they “don’t see results.” Really, they ARE getting results it’s just that the early results are a slowing of movement in the wrong direction. You have to put in a ton of work to slow your movement toward where you DON’T want to go, THEN come to a complete stop and ONLY AFTER YOU STOP COMPLETELY do you start slowly moving in the direction you want to go in.
Of course, once you get headed in THE RIGHT direction, it’s just as hard to reverse direction as it was when you were headed in the wrong direction. It gets EASIER to stay on track and KEEP going in the right direction. You just have to hang in when it feels like you’re not getting results and keep making positive change and taking positive action. BTW, when the Buddhists talk about “burning up negative Karma” or “Karmic debt” this is essentially what they mean. The negative stuff keeps coming even after you change your behavior to more positive and appropriate behavior because your “momentum” is still heading in that other direction…
But, You Have to Know What You Want…
Here was one of the keys for me: I had to get CRYSTAL CLEAR on what I wanted. And I mean CRYSTAL CLEAR. I’ve been doing a TON of work on my goals and my vision for my health, training and life lately and it’s paying off. It’s paying off because I weigh ALL my decisions against that vision when I’m making them. That’s why it was easy to pass on the donuts. “Will eating those donuts get me closer
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to what I REALLY want?” Of course, the answer is NO! Decision made, problem solved...
Here’s What I Want…
I want to achieve the best health and performance of my life. I want to compete in Jiu Jitsu and possibly Mixed Martial Arts and CrossFit. How bad do I want that? How about I ditched my entire old life and changed virtually EVERYTHING to build a life where I had the time and opportunity to train every day and obsess about my diet and rest. Last week, when I was training with my friends at Modern Self-Defense Center, I realized that I was THERE. As in, I’ve gotten to the point where I can train as often as I need to and WHEN I need to. My life supports my goals and my training and my efforts. Yeah, there’s still a metric crapload of work to do, but I have the time and the energy and the OPPORTUNITY to do that work. Even just a year ago I didn’t...
Speaking of a Year Ago…
It still messes with my head when I think that, at this time a year ago, THIS BLOG DIDN’T EXIST. I was still trying to figure out what I was going to do and how I was going to do it. And my book “The Paleo Dieter’s Missing Link” was just a bunch of ideas in my head and a bunch of notes in MS Word. I had NONE of this a year ago. Strong is the New Skinny on Facebook didn’t exist until September 1, 2010. I wrote the original “Is Strong the New Skinny?” blog post just a few weeks before that. As of today, there are 19,084 friends following SINS on Facebook and the blog post that started the whole thing has been read 14,344 times. That all happened in less than ONE YEAR. LESS THAN ONE FREAKIN’ YEAR. That gives me one hell of a perspective. And it makes me think about what I can accomplish THIS year… What can YOU accomplish in a year? Adam Farrah IKFF Kettlebell Teacher CrossFit Coach http://practicalpaleolithic.com
The Psychology of “The CrossFit Whiteboard” The whiteboard is meant to help you, not hurt you.
Fran. For Time. Goals. Top Scores. Max Reps. James – 22 ½ rounds. Charts. WOD. Rx’d. Kim -100kg. 6:14. Do the markings on your CrossFit’s whiteboard make you anxious? Amped? Focused? Fearful? Many members dread the whiteboard and many people outside of the CrossFit Community can‘t fathom belonging to a fitness center where their workout outcomes were going to be posted. Whiteboard is simply a name for any glossy surface, most commonly colored white, where non-permanent markings can be made (as defined by Wikipedia). So why do these WORDS and NUMBERS that are TEMPORARY elicit such a psychological response, and why, oh why, does the CrossFit Community insist on using such a device? CrossFit was on to something when they decided to utilize the whiteboard. The whiteboard is a type of public posting, which is a technique widely studied
in the field of Sports Psychology. Public posting is actually a behavioral strategy that has been shown to improve performance. “Public posting has demonstrated robust effects across diverse populations, a variety of settings, and a broad range of behaviors” (Ward & Carnes, 2002). Sound familiar? It seems as though this behavioral strategy and CrossFit have some commonalities. We CrossFit because we are interested in results. The whiteboard likely improves your results. Whether you like it or not. Take a moment to think about each of these questions: • If everything that you ate in the past week was going to be written on the whiteboard in your box, for everyone to see, do you think you would eat differently?
• If your max overhead squat goal for that month was the only circled one on the whiteboard, do you think you would try harder to achieve it? • If you saw Jason Khalipa’s WOD score before you began your workout, would that intimidate you and cause feelings of self-doubt? Or invigorate you to try to compete with it? The whiteboard may elicit positive psychological responses such as motivation, positive self-criticism, confidence and/or reflection. On the other hand, it may also evoke negative psychological-responses such as fear, intimidation, negative self-criticism, and/or doubt. Take some time and figure out what type of response you get from certain postings on the whiteboard, even take a few notes in your personal journal. Awareness is the first step in mental skills training, which is necessary in order to reach the highest level of performance. Mental skills training is simply a term used to describe becoming aware of your
mental processes and behaviors and developing methods to improve your control over them. Future articles in the CrossFit MENTAL Series will delve into ways to improve control over your mental skills and processes. Each CrossFitter has a specific and individualized mental skills set and can learn to use a variety of postings to their benefit. Therefore, I would encourage coaches to vary the types of posts (scores, goals, etc.) on the whiteboard. Research in the field of Sports Psychology has shown that goal setting is strengthened when publicly posted. Are your goals written on the whiteboard in your box? Try posting a couple of personal goals up there. Another highly effective strategy in improving performance is combining goal setting, public posting and oral feedback (Brobst & Ward, 2002). This simply means writing your goals on the public white board and having someone orally state what has been posted. If coaches would continuously verbalize the goals that are written on the whiteboard, it could increase the likelihood of those goals being achieved. These
findings are just reinforcing the idea that making goals and scores public can help you improve your performance. I would suggest using the whiteboard as a tool to learn more about yourself and your mental game. The whiteboard is simply used by the CrossFit Community as an open journal to display information. It is another distinction that sets us apart from Globo Gyms. CrossFitters should learn to embrace the whiteboard and all the markings that are temporarily posted on its glossy surface. So, use the whiteboard. Get outside of your comfort zone. Become comfortable with the uncomfortable. The infamous CrossFit Whiteboard likely enhances your performance more than it hinders it…and by the way, it isn’t going anywhere.
Dawn Fletcher www.FletcherFitness.com Blog on Sport Psychology for Elite Fitness
Brobst, B. & Ward, P. 2002. Effects of public posting, goal setting, and oral feedback on the skills of female soccer players. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 35(3), 247-157. Ward, P. & Carnes, M. 2002. Effects of posting self-set goals
Dawn Fletcher has an M.A. in Kinesiology with a specialization in Sport Psychology. She is a CrossFit Coach (with numerous CrossFit Certs.) & a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist in San Diego, CA. She focuses on the mental aspect of performance and works with individuals/athletes looking to perform at an elite level.
on collegiate football players’ skill execution during practice and games. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 35(1), 1-12.
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Catherine Weaver CrossFit Obsession
What is the common thread? I have been involved in CrossFit for just over 2
years now at CrossFit Dallas Central, and I am continuously amazed and proud to be part of such a cool community of people. Entrepreneurs are the reason this sport continues to grow and expand on such an explosive level. I have heard numerous stories of people joining a gym, CrossFitting for a couple of months, quitting their â€œdayâ€? job, and starting up their own gym. I have seen a couple
of people in our one gym alone come through the doors before moving onto launch their own gym. Entrepreneurs are typically self-starter, Type-A personality type people, and I wanted to put this post together to weigh in on this subject: what is the common thread that binds together all CrossFit athletes (affiliate owners and athletes alike)? What is the common thread holding us all together? Fitness levels, personal backgrounds, gender,
photo by Jarret M. Streiner
and age are all across the board in any CrossFit gym you visit across the entire world. In our gym here in Dallas, you will find kids under the age of 10 working out with people over the age of 60. Mixed in there you will find the serious/competitive sponsored CrossFit Games athletes and you will also find some dedicated people who just love CrossFit to stay in the best shape possible. Some people who merely speculate on the CrossFit community call CrossFitters “crazy” or “meatheads” or any other non-sense term that definitely does not identify with the community. So, what is the common thread that binds together people who enjoy and participate in CrossFit? Are all Crossfitters type-a go-getter types who love to be challenged? Are all CrossFitters addicted to fitness and staying in the best shape possible? Well, maybe, but I don’t think this is the answer. CrossFit gyms allow people to be themselves, constantly challenge themselves, meet new people,
and form a common bond with all others in the gym. There is something unique about enduring such a challenge with other people that brings a special connection to other people in the community. The CrossFit system is universally scalable which makes it easy in turn to instantly identify with someone in a gym across the world even if you have never met this person. If you had to pick one word to describe the common bond shared by people in the CrossFit community, what would it be? I know this is a challenging question, but there has got to be something that we can all agree upon that goes beyond fitness level, age, gender, and any other label you could easily place on the CrossFit community being an outsider… ”meathead” , “psycho” , “caveman” etc. Sam Sawyar Sawyer Speaks http://www.sawyerspeaks.com
Wearing Your Shirt
Some of the most principled brands in the CrossFit community support one another. FORGED clothing, ROGUE, Life AsRX, Stronger Faster Healthier, and SICFIT are all mainstays in the CrossFit community. These are just a handful of the tight-knit CrossFit brands. We sponsor each other’s events. We support one another’s businesses. We celebrate each other’s accomplishments. And, often enough, we wear each other’s brands. In a community driven by unity and performance, CrossFit brands have become an integral part of the sport and the community. With Reebok here and here to stay, we also extend our unity and performance to them. Their presence drives everyone to be better: athletes, coaches, and businesses. Because of Reebok’s support of a community that we’re a part of, more people will know who we are and what we do. Both as athletes and business owners. But for those that know us already, we hope that this photo provides a perspective on our solidarity. The CrossFit community is unique in this sense and it’s for this reason that these companies will always grow.
Because every principle that we teach and exemplify is founded upon principles of community, coaching, collaboration, and performance. So for all those who feel like the CrossFit Games is moving too quickly to honor its start, Malcolm Gladwell says it best: Who we are cannot be separated from where we’re from. Watching the sport and the community grow is amazing because many of us remember the days of Aromas, California. And like a magnificently performed metcon, we stared at our stopwatches in awe as all of this happened so quickly. And it is for that reason that I am excited to be a niche-brand in a sport like this. Greg Glassman taught us a few important things about performance; it should be measured in time. And in measuring strength/ speed / power, the beginning of time is just as important as finishing with “time”. A perspective on our presence in an exploding community. Web Smith http://websmithblog.com
8 years wasted
Failing at a Fitness Center
this is part of my story…it could be you too. I spent 8 years at a couple different Fitness Centers with a best-case outlook of “I hope to maintain.” Literally, that was my goal…”stay the same.” Sure, I had a few bursts of improvement in that time, but overall, I just wanted to “not get fatter.” I am not alone in this view. In fact , I estimate over 90% of people at a Fitness Center waste their time trying just to slow the pace of bodily degeneration. They are in a rut and think the best of them is past…many years past. They believe it to be true. They have absolutely no plans of actually getting stronger, fitter, leaner…they just hope they can maintain what they have left; the ol’ status quo with low intensity blood flow. They are losing. I was there. I was hanging on. I was losing; daily, annually, for 8 years. I was getting physically old. I was quitting what I loved. I could no longer do some of my favorite things well or even wanted to try anymore – basketball, snowboard, wakeboard. Frankly all the competitive sporting and fun activities that require vigorous movement and skill, I had past glory days to reminisce. That was it! 8 years, year after year, older and more deconditioned elipticalling myself to death. I can still envision it, but the memory is slowly starting to blur – I am still just 14 months post deconditioning. I loved the “lowimpact, high-calorie counting, piece of cake leg sway of the elliptical…I could watch ESPN and CNBC and even switch back and forth when a commercial came on…it was great – “country-club fitness.” The reward, I was losing. Frankly, I looked fine in an XL Polo shirt and loose size 38 jeans of styles that sell 38s that are really 40s, but in a swimsuit, I was Fat. Back fat, front fat, Body Fat – 35% or so fat. I should insert the photo I have of me here sitting on the roof of the boathouse at our old lake home, but
dang…I was fat, and though I was happy I am embarrassed to insert it…maybe in the future ;) . In that photo, I was already 30 years old. Wait, I was only 30 years old in that picture (and I got even bigger or wait, fatter). 30 years old; I should have been in my prime. Instead, I was losing. I stayed on this losing track for another 3 years. I quit playing the sport I love, basketball for a new sport “disc golf.” I love disc golf my friends but if you quit basketball to take up disc golf you are losing. I almost threw my snowboard away when we moved houses. I did not wakeboard for 3 years and I could no longer get up on water skis…yes I tried and failed. As time continued to pass, 30 became 33 and 225lbs became 245lbs. “Hanging on” status quo my friends (I sound like John McCain ;) Disc golf actually became a workout. So did hauling my sleeping babies up the stairs to bed at night. I would actually make my boys wake up and hold them as we did the “groggy walk” up the stairs my firm hand under their armpit – they were heavy in my weakness. I finally quit the Fitness Center altogether. I disc golfed.; I was a professional, amateur
disc golfer with handicaps – I played 6 days a week. I was athletically done. Coach of my kids would be as close as I would get to anything “in-game” anymore. The kid in me who loved competitive sports, laughing with friends over healthy competition, sharing in a memorable day of vigorous activity was gone. I was a dad who would just have to watch the memories rather than be active in their creation. The guy “hanging on” only to really be continually losing the battle. No different then a hamster on a wheel, I was a dude sliding legs back and forth on an elliptical getting nowhere. Does this sound like you Fitness Center member? Does this sound like you Dad? Does this sound like you 50 yr old? Does this sound like you Grandpa? Does this sound like you 34 yr old former varsity athlete? Does this sound like you Mom? Does this sound like you best friend? Co-worker? Sister? Brother? You? Does any of this sound like YOU? If so…read on…
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There is a lot of back-story to my CrossFit beginnings, but I was at a shaky point in my life on that first day I ventured in to 9:30AM. Losing physically and among other things, I was losing myself and parts of life. I needed to change. I sure as heck did not need any more “Fitness Center.” So why not…(I will do it for Liza and when I fail I will tell myself I am a Disc Golfer and that is a workout so leave me alone.) Here I am CrossFit. Day 1, 2, 3 of CrossFit. Then day 4, 5, 6. Day 7, 8, 9. Day 10, 11, 12…and I start to realize…”holy cow, these ‘fitters are cool and they work their asses off. And the ladies accept me (or at least ignore me) and my stupid remarks in here too.” This can be you. You too can do it. You can fuel that competitive fire inside your body again. Gain a confidence that was lost in the past. Compete. Smile. Laugh. Kick someone’s ass and the next day they kick yours back. Be an athlete, again! You are an athlete, stop hibernating. My best friend used to say, “if you aim for the ground, you probably won’t miss.” If hanging on rather than improving is your goal, you only have one way to slide. At CrossFit, sliding is not tolerated. If you want to stay the same and hang on, join a Fitness Center, Wellness Center, whatever center – they will take your “I want to just hang on” money. But, if you want to be a better you…join a CrossFit. Anywhere. At any age. In any condition. In your current condition and today. Just join and do it! CrossFit is not a magic pill that cures all your problems, issues, challenges in life, but it will equip you to be better. And it will get you fit, which in and of itself sprouts further gains. Stop hanging on. Don’t waste another day. Discover the best you. Start today. Commit. Stay with it. Succeed. Be athletic. Competitive. Confident. Anew! And by the way, I had a great time wakeboarding again last summer, hit the slopes hard snowboarding with my kids this winter, and if anyone is up for a game of hoops…I will try to kick your... Greg Nelson is dad of 5 kids and the husband of a box owner. His wife Liza has a deep passion for CrossFit and the people at CrossFit Sioux Falls and is the person who introduced him to CrossFit and sent him on this journey. Greg is a CF-L1 and CF Kids Certified Coach at CrossFit Sioux Falls in South Dakota.
Greg Nelson Liza’s husband ;) CrossFit Sioux Falls
Weightlifting Shoes: The Why and What Kind “Weightlifting shoes? C’mon, you can’t be serious. Do they really make that much of a difference?” I had been crossfitting for about 5 months when I asked that question. After all, I saw all the other athletes at the box wearing those awkward looking shoes with their goofy soccer socks as if they thought they were trying to win a gold medal or something. I figured it was all about being part of the “cult”, and I just dismissed buying those shoes altogether. But as I became more proficient with the power lifts and oly lifts, I became more aware of what my feet were doing...or more importantly what they weren’t supposed to do. I realized how unstable I felt in a lift from setup and start to finish. Now almost 3 years later, I firmly believe that a decent pair of weightlifting (WL) shoes is the single most important piece of equipment you can invest in to improve your performance NOW.
Chris Maria photo by Red Clover Photography
Check out this video to see what I mean:
clean 50-60 lbs more with WL shoes than I can in my Asics Onitsuka Tigers. And when I used to wear Asics GELs during deadlifts...well, let’s not go there. Of course, WL shoes alone won’t make you a great lifter, but you’ll never be one without them. Trolling the internet, you can spend anywhere from $70 to $200 on WL shoes. Now I’m not saying more expensive is better. But with some makes and models, you definitely get what you pay for.
This video accurately captures the unstable footwork that I witness as a coach almost everyday at the box. It’s quite obvious that the compressibility of running shoes certainly do not make them effective at lifting, and you can observe that much of the athlete’s energy is absorbed by the shoe rather than transmitted to the floor or lifting platform. Fortunately, these energy inefficiencies and stability problems can be easily improved with WL shoes. I know many athletes that have made the leap to WL shoes have instantly added 10-20 lbs on their overhead lifts. Personally, I can squat
So here are a few pairs from least to most expensive. This list is by no means all inclusive, but it should give you an idea of the range that’s out there. VS Dynamo Ahhh, my first WL shoe ever. You never forget your first, right? Pros: Great starter shoe. Relatively lightweight and therefore versatile across many WODs(great during Fran, for example). True to size (mens and womens). Affordable price at $76.00 Cons: Below average durability - breaks down
in a short period of time. Average stiffness. Below average traction. Velcro straps aren’t all that sturdy. Less than desirable lateral roll and forward roll. Wasn’t a big fan of the black/red styling. Overall: Decent shoe for the price. But I should’ve paid a bit more for a pair that had higher stability and durability. Rogue Do-Win Highly popular and perhaps the best-seller among crossfitters everywhere. Pros: Excellent shoe. Above average durability. Above average stiffness. Moderate weight and somewhat versatile - can still do several types of WODs (even OK with double unders). Has slightly lower heel than VS and some other brands, which helps keeps hamstrings engaged in powerlifts. Above average traction. Above average stability significantly less lateral and forward roll than the VS. Nice styling.
when wearing these. Make no mistake: these shoes are for lifting, and that’s about it. Overall: Just awesome. Admittedly, I’m somewhat biased because I own a pair. No way in hell did I pay full price though. I picked mine up from eBay for $140, and I’m so glad I did. I love these shoes, but I’m well aware of their limitations. If you can find a great deal and can live with its weaknesses, you’ve got a rock solid WL shoe. Well, that was just a snapshot of the WL shoes I’ve either owned or tested. They are obviously other makes and models out there. So do your research. But I guarantee that any WL shoe you purchase will make a quick and positive difference. Happy hunting! And don’t forget those soccer socks! Ken Velez CrossFit Yongsan
Cons: $120 price tag + plus shipping may be too rich for your blood. Be advised of sizing issues. Rogues tend to run a 1/2 size large, especially with womens sizes. I’d check with Rogue Fitness customer service before placing an order and save yourself time and postage. Overall: With the exception of the price and potential sizing issues, you can’t go wrong here. These Rogues are a great investment. Nike Romaleos Nike’s holy grail answer to weightlifting comes in at a crazy steep price but with excellent performance. Pros: Very high stability. It’s like wearing ski boots. As long as you hit the ground flat, you’re gonna stick. Excellent traction. Virtually no lateral or forward roll. Excellent velcro strap system although just a tad long. Highly durable - takes a beating. Nice styling - love the black/silver model. These shoes love oly lifting. Cons: $190 + plus shipping = very steep price. Very difficult to perform other WODs - double unders are manageable but pretty tough and definitely forget about box jumps. Pullups feel weighted
Ken Velez is a coach at CrossFit Yongsan located on US Army Garrison Yongsan in Seoul, Korea. He has competed in the 2011 CrossFit Games Open Sectionals, 2010 CrossFit Games VA/DC/ WV Sectionals, and multiple area athlete exchange WODs. He is 38 years old and is stronger and faster than he ever was at 28.
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