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Living Our Own Versions of ‘As Prescribed’

Plyometrics: The Basic Science, The Essential Need What CrossFit Has Done For Me




PUBLISHER Christina Elmore CREATIVE DIRECTOR & EDITOR Chris Elmore ADVERTISING Andrea Gravlin ASSOCIATE EDITOR Erik Arevalo COPY EDITOR Kathy Foose CONTRIBUTORS Ben Abruzzo, Geo Rockwell, Heidi Jones, Jennifer Dadigan, Katie Chasey, Cpl. Kenneth Jasik, Rebecca Dreiling, Dr. Rick Henriksen, Shawn Manning, Stephanie Vincent ADVERTISING INQUIRES If you are interested in advertising you can contact us at: CONTRIBUTE If you are interested in commenting, contributing articles or photography you can contact us at: PUBLISHER WOD Talk Corporation 407 West Imperial Hwy. Suite H203 Brea, CA 92821 (714) 900-2804 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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Fear of failure must never be a reason not to try something. Frederick Smith

Photo by Metcon Photos

MAY 2012







10 Plyometrics: The Basic Science, The Essential Need


Can endurance athletes achieve a high level of performance without carb

Understand the basic science, vocabulary and exercises


to help you incorporate jump training into any and every strength and conditioning program.


By Katie Chasey

Jennifer a body that has everyone wanting to know how

if your physician is right for you.


she did it. The CrossFit atmosphere is the main reason

qualified for Regionals while training

and strength in such a short amount of time.

and competing in between missions.

By Jennifer Dadigan


maintaining how we look. Through CrossFit, our focus

Beginner Sandbag Workout The sandbag is an often overlooked tool that can develop a high level of strength and conditioning.

Many women walk through the doors of their first CrossFit gym with the primary goal of changing or

Marines Qualify for CrossFit Regionals Learn about the six Marines that

she has been able to get back to pre-pregnancy weight

30 Living Our Own Versions of ‘As Prescribed’

“Hey Doc? What is your max dead lift?” Simple questions to help you determine

24 What CrossFit Has Done For Me CrossFit before, during, and after pregnancy has given

Carb Loading Conundrum


Running Snob

shifts from what our body looks like to what it can do.

Can CrossFit produce the same

By Stephanie Vincent

endorphin-producing, heart pounding, king-of-the-world transformation that a marathon finish line can?

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Fear, Grasping at Straws and Introspection

What’s Happening In & Around The CrossFit Community


Product Spotlight

By Shawn Manning


Athlete of the Month

The Missing Tool in Your Box


Competition Calendar

By Ben Abruzzo

34 46



The Uncommon

By Geo Rockwell


Forever Changed By Rebecca Dreiling


10 Mental Performance Tips for CrossFitters By Dawn Fletcher

Cover Photo Kevin Schmitt, owner Crossfit SuperNova By Metcon Photos 5 | WODTALK.COM | May 2012

FROM THE EDITOR WOD Talk Sightings SoCal Regionals Pomona, CA May 11-13

The Power of Community When I started CrossFit six years ago it was a killer workout to follow on the web. Not until I joined a local affiliate two years later did I realize what an amazing community it is with people training together from all walks of life. Today, CrossFit is growing in leaps and bounds with products being designed specifically for CrossFit athletes, multiple boxes opening up in every city and companies like Reebok, ESPN and GNC investing in its future. CrossFit is no longer just a fitness program, it is a sport, it is a community and it most definitely is a lifestyle. Last year when I decided to publish the first digital issue of WOD Talk I never imagined that it would have

NLI Competition Laguna Hills, CA June 23 $36,000 to help us take WOD Talk Magazine to print. We are very thankful to the community that supported us make the transition to a print magazine. This demonstration of support is one of the reasons I feel CrossFit is so successful. We come into our local box as an individual, but we leave as a community. We work together towards a common goal of improving our health and performance, which in turn provides the greatest results. The release of this first print issue is a huge milestone for WOD Talk Magazine. We have many plans for the next year which include our first booth at the SoCal CrossFit

CrossFit is a sport, CrossFit is a community, CrossFit is a LIFESTYLE! been downloaded by over 12,000 people from around the world. Over the next three issues downloads continued to increase to over 30,000 by the fourth issue. At that point I realized that this little thing I started doing for fun in the evenings was much bigger than one person could handle. The rapid popularity and success caused me to take a step back, get organized and start building a team that could provide the CrossFit community with the quality publication it deserved. In March we announced our relaunch and in April launched a community funding project on the website Kickstarter. In only 30 days with the support of the CrossFit community we raised over

6 | WODTALK.COM | May 2012

Regionals and the Reebok CrossFit Games. We are also working toward distribution of the magazine at local boxes, retail locations and international. We want WOD Talk Magazine to be an extension of the community and would like to invite you to take part. If you have an experience or motivational story you would like to share with the CrossFit community, contact us to get involved.

Chris Elmore

Reebok CrossFit Games Long Beach, CA July 13-15 NLI Competition Orange County, CA August 11 NLI Competition Orange County, CA October 13 NLI Competition Orange County, CA December 8

Contribute Articles

If you are interested in writing about subjects related to CrossFit such as tips, technique, mental or motivational elements, nutrition, or a success story then let us know. Contact us with the subject you have written about or would like to write about at

Submit Photos

Each month we fill WOD Talk Magazine with motivational images submitted by CrossFitters and boxes from all around the world. If you have a great shot that you would like to share with our readers then we want to see it. We are looking for group photos, events, before and after or someone killing a WOD. You can send them to

SUBSCRIBE Get your 1-year subscription to WOD Talk Magazine! • 6 bi-monthly issues • $35 print & digital magazine • $10 digital magazine only

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The Basic Science, The Essential Need Focus on repetitive drills that enhance power and teach ideal form. Here is some basic science, vocabulary, and exercises to help trainers and athletes incorporate jump training into any and every strength and conditioning program. PLYOMETRIC Plyometric literally means to increase measurement. However, it was originally intended to mean ‘eccentric contraction’. AMORTIZATION refers to the extinction or deadening of something. Time and coupling time (in relation to an individual’s reactive ability) is the time from the end of the eccentric phase to the initiation of the concentric muscle action. During this phase, several physiological events take place that will determine the duration of the phase.

The amortization and transition times are the most important phase of the Stretch-Shortening Cycle (SSC) STRETCH-SHORTENING CYCLE (SSC) The stretch reflex is utilized frequently during sport because most movements involve the two phases of muscular contraction. AN ECCENTRIC PHASE Which is the muscle lengthening under tension, is followed by a concentric phase in which the muscle is shortened. Attaining a pre-stretch of the muscle Red Clover Photography 10 | WODTALK.COM | May 2012

causes it to be lengthened eccentrically so tension is developed in the muscle, similar to a rubber band. This stored energy created by the tension can be used to help increase the strength of the following concentric contraction. This concentric contraction must immediately follow being stretched or the tension created will dissipate as heat. An example is a quick countermovement before jumping which allows the quadriceps to be stretched eccentrically so that the following concentric contraction can be stronger. The amount of tension created by stretching the muscle is dependent on the degree and the speed of the muscle’s pre-stretch.

hinges on training athletes to land, plant and cut on a bent knee while shifting the center of mass (COM) forward. Trainer’s note: Too often, athletes land with stiff knees in an upright posture relying too heavily on their quads. THE EMPHASIS ON HIP AND KNEE FLEXION is vital in order to activate the posterior chain and to provide a restraint to anterior tibial translation. How does this relate to landing and plyometrics?

EXPLOITING THE ELASTICITY of the muscle and the stretch reflex is referred to as using the stretch-shortening cycle. It has been shown that the faster the muscle is stretched eccentrically, the greater the force will be on the following concentric contraction.

By paying attention to the amortization phase of the SSC one can efficiently utilize plyometrics in any training program where qualities of power are a goal. SERIES ELASTIC COMPONENT (SEC) The series elastic component of a muscle is part of the mechanical model of plyometric exercise. The tendons attached to the muscle constitute the majority of the series elastic component. When the musculotendinous unit is stretched, as in eccentric muscle action, the SEC acts as a spring and is lengthened; as it lengthens, elastic energy is stored. If the muscle begins a concentric action immediately after the eccentric action, the stored energy is released, allowing the SEC to contribute to total force production by naturally returning the muscle and tendons to their unstretched configuration. CENTER OF MASS (COM) The center of gravity of an object is the point you can suspend the object from without there being any rotation because of the force of gravity, no matter how the object is oriented. If you suspend an object from any point, let it go and allow it to come to rest, the center of gravity will lie along a vertical line that passes through the point of suspension. Unless you’ve been exceedingly careful in balancing the object, the center of gravity will generally lie below the suspension point. POSTERIOR CHAIN ACTIVATION IN INJURY REDUCTION STRATEGIES INVOLVING PLYOMETRIC TRAINING Research consistently shows that neuromuscular training is beneficial in reducing ACL injuries. It | WODTALK.COM May 2012 Photo11by Kx of Julie|Punaro

THE EFFECTIVENESS OF A PLYOMETRIC TRAINING SESSION depends on maximal effort and a high speed of movement for each repetition. Rest intervals between sets are should be long enough to allow almost complete recovery. As much as 5-10 seconds may be required between depth jumps and a work to rest ratio of 1:10 is recommended.

PLYOMETRIC VOLUME PER SESSION • Beginner (80-100 Ground Contacts) • Intermediate (100-120 Ground Contacts) • Advanced (120-140 Ground Contacts) (e.g., a bounding jump set takes 30 seconds so rest interval would be 300 seconds or 5 minutes)

KEY FACTORS IN IMPLEMENTING A SAFE AND EFFECTIVE PLYOMETRIC PROGRAM • Focus on Technique • Focus on Deceleration and Control • Using Key Words in Training • Short Intense Sets - Technique Failure ends the set • Progression over Weeks, not the Workout • Duration + Technique = Intensity Plyometric Exercises Low Intensity • Squat Jumps • Wall Jumps • 180 Jumps • Box Jumps • Lateral Hops Medium Intensity • Tuck Jumps • Broad Jump Verticals • Depth Drop and Vertical • Scissor Jumps • Lateral Box Jump Up High Intensity • Depth Drop Vertical Broad • Broad Jumps 180’s • Any Unilateral Plyometric

AMORTIZATION PHASE “Proper and efficient landings become paramount” thus, pre-landing body position as well as maintaining posture, balance, and stability after ground contact is key. An athlete must learn to land on the balls of Ritchie Paracuelles - CrossFit Brea By|Michael Sifter 12 WODTALK.COM | May 2012

:: Plyometrics: The Basic Science, The Essential Need :: the feet (or front two-thirds of the foot) with the ankle dorsiflexed and with a slight flexion at all major joints involved in landing. IF THE HEELS TOUCH THE GROUND during the contact phase, the intensity or load to overcome is too great and should be reduced. The shoulders, knees and toes should all be in alignment in this landing position. All of this in combination will allow for the quickest absorption rate, lowest ground contact times, and a more rapid recovery of potential energy which will make a more powerful concentric action more likely. WITHOUT PROPER LANDING TECHNIQUE it is unlikely that the athlete will be able to efficiently stabilize the forces at the time of ground contact and switch into a positive work position in the amortization window. In addition, because the body is required to withstand in many plyometric exercises, having incorrect landing technique may put the athlete at greater risk of mechanical inefficiency and/ or potentially facilitate a so-called non-contact injury. In other words, the quicker an athlete is able to switch from yielding (eccentric) work to overcoming (concentric) work, the safer the movement becomes.

By Katie Chasey Strength | Conditioning | Speed Agility | Olympic Lifting Russian Kettlebell | CrossFit Nutrition

Resources • Energy Fit and Well is a training facility that gives weekly educational clinics to it’s coaches on these methodologies. Special thanks to Coach/Trainer Henry Delaney for the distribution of materials, his individual 1:1 time in teaching them, and his commitment to making the best trainers out of us so that we can go out and create great athletes. 1. Potach, David H, and Chu, Donald A. Plyometric Training. In: Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning. R.W. Earle and T.R. Baechle, eds. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 427-470, 2000. 2. Radcliffe, James C, and Farentinos, Robert C. High Powered Plyometrics. Chanpaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 1999

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WOD Toys Launches New Line of Fitness Toys WOD Toys, LLC, a Seattle-based toy company launched a new line of toys on April 4th, 2012. The startup is focusing on fitness and family by giving kids a safe alternative to participate in their parents work outs. With child obesity on the rise it’s best to have them associate fitness with fun experiences early in life. As part of its effort to showcase quality toys for kids ages 3 and up, the design and management team strategically focused on one objective: to target the fast-growing CrossFit® community in order to harness family-oriented fitness programs.

WOD Talk Magazine Raises Over $36,000 Using Kickstarter Website to go Print It took only 30 days for WOD Talk Magazine to raise enough money to take their popular CrossFit® lifestyle magazine to print using the popular community funding website Kickstarter. Offering stickers, t-shirts and magazine subscriptions for the pledges it only took 426 backers to help them meet and exceed their goal of $30,000. WOD Talk Magazine will launch the print and digital magazine as a bi-monthly publication with plans to transition to monthly issue in 2013. The print magazine is being offered at a yearly rate of $35 and $10 for the digital version.

WOD Toys has created lightweight and small-scale versions of famous gym equipment normally used in CrossFit® training, like the Olympic weightlifting barbell, kettlebell, medicine ball and Plyo Box. “While these toys are not intended to be used as actual gym or fitness equipment, the concept behind the production is to have children use the toys for fun with the family, especially during parents’ exercise time where they can playfully participate,” said Ernest Haekel Ebio, CEO of WOD Toys, LLC.

Recovery Starts With “C” You’ve crushed your WOD. You’re flat on the floor in a puddle of sweat, ready to hurl. Your body feels like overcooked linguini. What’s the first thing you should think about? Vitamin C. No kidding. This essential micronutrient plays a huge role in helping your body recover from punishing workouts. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and immune booster. It also triggers the production of collagen that helps rebuild damaged tendons, ligaments and other connective tissues – the weakest links for many CrossFitters. Recovery starts with Vitamin C. Don’t take it for granted. Take it seriously. Right after every WOD. 14 | WODTALK.COM | May 2012

New Book “The Power of Community: CrossFit and the Force of Human Connection” Dr. Belger takes readers on a journey from her childhood in suburban New York as she follows her passion for fitness and sport, finding a new dimension in CrossFit, a functional fitness and conditioning program with an emphasis on camaraderie and community. She explains the transformative aspects of CrossFit’s physically and mentally demanding workouts as performed with others. Drawing on her psychology doctoral research, Belger describes the emotional and physical benefits of participation in an affinity group such as this. “Vulnerability is uncomfortable,” Belger says. “Taking risks is uncomfortable. Pushing our bodies to physical extremes and being emotionally engaged is sometimes uncomfortable. And yet, each experience allows us to discover something more about ourselves than we knew before. Each encounter encourages insight, growth and a greater appreciation for those who have helped us along the way. The more we connect with others and are open to others, the more likely we are to persevere and succeed.”

New CrossFit Locations Now Open There are new CrossFit locations opening around the world every month. Here are a few new locations that might be in your neighborhood. Cow Harbor CrossFit 8 Richter Ct. East Northport, NY 11731 (631) 486-0686

CrossFit-CWE 389 North Euclid St Louis, MO, 63108

Reebok CrossFit Liberty Village 37 Mowat Avenue Toronto, ON M6K 3E9 Phone: 647-343-7309

Lane 5 CrossFit 540 E 8th Ave Eugene, OR 97401 (541) 579-1248

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The Carbohydrate Loading Conundrum

Carbohydrate loading is a dietary means that has been used to improve performance in endurance athletes. The theory behind carbohydrate loading is to maximize the stored amount of carbohydrates in our body, as glycogen, to yield more energy. This is done in two steps. The first step is to adjust carbohydrate intake for a week to between 50-55% of total daily calories. Fat and protein are increased to make up for any differences in caloric intake. Training remains the same. This allows the athlete to dump the stored glycogen he or she already has and make room for the second step. The second step takes place about 3-4 days from the event. This

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step calls for increasing carbohydrate intake to about 70% of daily calories. Foods that contain higher amounts of fat are decreased and training is decreased as well (Mayo Clinic staff, 2011). Is this truly the safest and most effective way for endurance athletes to fuel their bodies leading up to a race? In a study done by Rauch in 1995, he tested the pre-exercise muscle glycogen content as well as performance in endurance trained cyclists after a three day carbohydrate loading protocol. The study concluded that the carbohydrate loading group increased pre-exercise muscle glycogen content as well as power output and total distance covered in one hour (Rauch, 1995). This study proves that carbohydrate loading has positive effects on performance. More importantly it shows that having maximized glycogen stores can increase performance.

In another study done by Lambert in 2001 they tested a high fat diet and a habitual diet before a carbohydrate loading protocol. This study showed that the high fat diet group increased performance greater than the group on the habitual diet before a carbohydrate loading phase. The study also concluded that the high fat group increased performance while having a higher reliance on fats as energy (Lambert, 2001). Any exercise lasting longer than 240 seconds requires glycogen as well as fatty acids for energy (NASM, 2010). These studies combined state that maximizing glycogen stores while increasing our reliance on fatty acids can increase overall performance in endurance athletes. Increasing carbohydrates in the diet can come with a lot of negative consequences as well. When endurance athletes add carbohydrates to their diets they typically will add grains in the form of breads and pastas. This can be hazardous to the health of the athlete for a number of reasons. Some grains such as; wheat, rye, and barley, (and usually oats due to cross contamination) contain a commonly problematic protein composite called gluten. Gluten is partially made up of storage proteins called prolamins. While some other grains technically don’t contain gluten, they have their own similar prolamins as well, which can be problematic for many people. Most prolamins are formed from repetitive amino acid sequences that contain high amounts of glutamine and proline. Examples of prolamins are gliadin found in wheat and avenin found in oats. Gluten and these prolamins can cross the intestinal barrier and also cause an inflammation response. The tests for gluten sensitivity actually look at antigliadin antibodies in the blood. The prolamins and gluten entering the blood stream can also lead to auto-

immune disease in susceptible people. The protein zonulin is in control of regulating our intestinal permeability. Eating foods high in prolamins and gluten will increase the amount of zonulin in our intestines. This creates extra spaces for undigested proteins to pass through. Our bodies will treat these undigested proteins as dangerous and launch an immune response. The antibodies that are created can then attack other systems in our bodies. This can lead to disease as well as inflammation in areas such as the athlete’s joints. Training for endurance sports already causes inflammation and the diet needs to counteract that. Another problem with eating grains is the increased amounts of phytic acid. Phytates are substances that bond to the metals; iron, zinc, calcium, and magnesium in our bodies. This does not allow for the minerals to be absorbed and used properly. One study conducted by Davidsson in 1994 showed that decreased amounts of phytic acid in baby formula increased the bioavailability of iron and zinc (Davidsson, 1994). Iron is especially important in endurance athletes because it supplies the protein hemoglobin in red blood cells which are responsible for carrying oxygen to the working tissues. According to the USDA, endurance

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:: The Carbohydrate Loading Conundrum ::

athletes are more prone to iron deficiency. Diet should not further that deficiency, but supply the body with correct nutrients to avoid a deficiency. Zinc is responsible for cellular respiration, DNA reproduction, maintaining cell membranes, and clearing out free radicals. Micheletti stated in the Sports Medicine Journal that increased amounts of carbohydrates as well as decreased amounts of fats and proteins lead to deficiencies in the mineral. The deficiencies in athletes can lead to decreased bodyweight, fatigue, and increase the risk of osteoporosis (Micheletti, 2001). Calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, and iron are also important in bone formation. Athletes are at an increased risk for stress fractures (Clarkson, 1995). This is especially true for endurance athletes that log a lot of miles per week in training. Maximizing absorption of all these minerals is important to keeping the athlete healthy. These are not the only issues associated with

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carbohydrate loading. Every person is different. A common side effect for ingesting an increased amount of carbohydrates is gastrointestinal distress. This can severely hinder performance in athletes. According to the NIDDK the body does not breakdown some carbohydrates because of the lack of certain enzymes. As this undigested food passes through the intestines gasses such as hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane are produced. This can cause gas and bloating in the athlete, which also can affect performance (NIDDK, 2011). There is a better and healthier way to go about maximizing glycogen stores, increasing the body’s reliance on fat as energy, and increasing absorption of key minerals while also decreasing bouts of bloating, gas, and gastrointestinal discomfort. To maximize glycogen stores, glycemic loading is effective. Ingesting high glycemic carbohydrates 30 minutes post exercise can help the athlete replenish lost glycogen. Cordain recommends taking in .75g of carbohydrates per pound of bodyweight. Instead of consuming breads and pastas that are high in antinutrients

and undigestable proteins the athlete should consume high glycemic fruits or sweet potatoes. For endurance athletes that take part in more demanding exercise this should be repeated about 90 minutes to two hours following the workout due to the continued burning of muscle glycogen during recovery. The athlete also needs to rehydrate and consume protein in a 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio (Cordain, 2002).

workout and eating a diet that is rich in lean meats, fish, eggs, fruits, and vegetables.

To increase nutrient and mineral absorption the rest of the day the athlete should stick to lean meats, fish, eggs, fruits, and vegetables. Preferably the meats will be grass fed to contain higher amounts of omega 3 fatty acids. This coupled with eating wild caught seafood can increase the athlete’s amounts of ingested omega 3 fatty acids and help fight inflammation. Also, adding healthy fats to the diet can increase performance by increasing the body’s ability to rely on those fats for energy. Grassfed meats as well as wild caught fish are also great for this. To increase fats more in the diet olive oil can be used in salad dressings or sprinkled on vegetables. Foods can also be cooked in coconut oil to reap the health benefits of the medium chain fatty acids. Fruits and vegetables are second to no foods in vitamins and minerals and are also important to keeping the athlete healthy as well as aiding in recovery.

Originally published at

Endurance sports increase the amount of oxygen that is utilized by the body. This also increases the amount of free radicals in the system. These free radicals can cause harm to tissues and hamper cellular repair (Witt, 1992). This makes it even more important for the endurance athlete to be getting proper nutrition. High carbohydrate diets that lean on grains for calories can decrease the absorption of these important nutrients and lead to the athlete breaking down. In conclusion, an endurance athlete needs to be aware of the negative implications food choices can have on performance. A carbohydrate loading protocol that leans on grains for calories can hinder recovery and performance. Studies have shown that maximizing glycogen stores while increasing the body’s reliance on fat for energy can increase performance. This can be accomplished by eating high glycemic foods post

By Kevin Cann Kevin is owner of Genetic Potential Nutrition. He is a holistic nutritionist, wellness coach, and strength coach. He works with people fighting illness, to competitive athletes.

References 1. Witt, EH (1992). Exercise, oxidative damage and effects of antioxidant manipulation. Retrieved on January 14, 2012. 2. NIDDK (2011). Gas in the Digestive System. Retrieved on January 14, 2012. 3. Clarkson, Priscilla (1995). Exercise and mineral status of athletes. Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine. Retrieved on January 14, 2012. 4. Davidsson, L (1994). Iron bioavailability studied in infants: the influence of phytic acid and ascorbic acid in infant formulas based on soy isolate. Retrieved on January 14, 2012. 5. Lambert, EV (2001). High-fat diet versus habitual diet prior to carbohydrate loading: effects of exercise metabolism and cycling performance. Retrieved on January 14, 2012. 6. Mayo Clinic Staff (2011). Carbohydrate Loading Diet. Retrieved on January 14, 2012. 7. Rauch, LH (1995). The effects of carbohydrate loading on muscle glycogen content and cycling performance. Retrieved on January 14, 2012. 8. Micheletti, A (2001). Zinc status in athletes: relation to diet and exercise. Sports Medicine Journal. Volume 31 Number 8. Retrieved on January 14, 2012. 9. Cordain, Loren (2005). The Paleo Diet for Athletes. Rodale Publishing. Retrieved on January 14, 2012. 10. NASM (2010). NASM Essentials of Sports Performance Training. Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins. Baltimore, MD.

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What CrossFit Has Done For Me

My name is Jennifer Dadigan; I am thirty-four years old and have had two children, one fifteen and the other four and a half months. CrossFit has been a home away from home for my entire family. My fiancé is my coach and you will often see him walking around with our baby in a carrier as he puts me through work outs. My fifteen year old is a seasonal soccer player and is doing CrossFit with me, in order to get stronger and improve her endurance. This atmosphere is the first reason I have been able to get 24 | WODTALK.COM | May 2012

back to pre-pregnancy weight and strength in such a short amount of time. Doing CrossFit before, during, and after pregnancy has given me the body that has everyone wanting to know how I did it. During pregnancy, my coach had me doing the WOD’s and as soon as it was permissible, post-birth, I was back at it. I had difficulty with regressing my WOD’s because I am the type of person that if I can’t go hard, I’d rather go home. Though going home crossed my mind on several occasions, I stuck to it and am now able to RX select work outs and am improving every day. My coach has me doing Kelly Starretts mobility and recovery work, which aids to continuously push my bodies work capacity to its limits. A very vital element to being successful as a CrossFit athlete is checking your ego at the door. It is hard for

me to be critiqued, especially by my fiancé, but once I got out of my own way and started listening, I have progressed dramatically both mentally and physically. There is no excuse or reason to put off the journey toward a higher quality of life and an amazing body; CrossFit is for everyone, regardless of age, heredity, or fitness level. I truly believe any woman can achieve their goals with three basic steps; first with finding a quality CrossFit coach, second by cleaning up their nutrition, and all that’s left, as Fitness Lonnie would say, “three, two, one, let’s get it!” A huge thank you to CrossFit X Factor and my coaches, Dre Williams and Chris McDonald. By Jennifer Dadigan

CrossFit Pulse owner Bryan Shockley Photo 25 | WODTALK.COM by Jason Morrison | May 2012

times a day and eats only duck liver for dinner. And I also heard that (insert next bad ass here) rows a 10k every day and does 48 hour intermittent fasting….what do you think if I put those together? Do you think it will work?” My answer…”Hell NO!” Stop grasping at straws. Understand that if it is on the fringe then it probably only works for a select few and might not work for ANYONE. Stick to the basics. Eat well, sleep a lot, and train hard with good rest days mixed in. Sound complicated? Not really, but can be hard to stick to. Sticking to a solid plan for months on end can and is harder than jumping around to the next great gimmick or fad. Do you know why we grasp at straws? Fear. When I first entered into the pursuit of elite fitness, I defiantly grasped at straws. I would spend 3 or 4 weeks trying something out then move on to the next best thing. I wanted to be bigger, faster, stronger and have more endurance at the same time. What I found is that is not possible. Everything has a price and everything is a trade-off. I was in fear of loosing one to make the other better. So then I had to make a choice and make priorities. Choose to improve in an area, get better, and THEN you can move on to improving the other area. Don’t be afraid to loose 10 lbs off your deadlift if your goal is to run faster.

Fear, Grasping at Straws and Introspection Fear. Fear comes in many forms and can have many definitions for many people. In this context, fear is something that you put upon your self. It may drive you, or it may hold you back. In the world of performance, fitness and athletics we have a fear of failure, of getting beat by the guy next to us, of letting our teammates down. We have a fear of pain, of temptation, of slipping and not meeting our goals. All of these fears can be good and bad. They can motivate us or break our spirits. They can drive us to our greatest heights or our lowest lows. To be successful you must meet that fear head on, see it, smell it, feel it, and then deal with it. Learning to deal with it comes from the experiences that we have during our training and throughout our lives. Often this fear will lead to grasping at straws. You know, “Hey I just read that (insert bad ass here) works out fifty 26 | WODTALK.COM | May 2012

So that all leads back to introspection. Know what your limitations are (mental, physical, emotional, time etc). You must know where you stand before you can move forward. You must know what kind of fear drives you. Then you give that fear a healthy dose of respect, set it aside, and make a commitment. Commit to the plan. Then do the plan. Commit to not letting the fear run your life and your training, but always being aware that the fear is there. Commit to not fooling your self into believing you are better than you are. Just believe that you are and then work TOWARDS being better. Throw the gimmicks in the trash. If it’s easy, it doesn’t work. If it’s complicated, it won’t work for long. If it fits into the context of your life, challenges your fears, works towards your goals, and is sustainable for YEARS not weeks then you are on your way. By Ben Abruzzo Ben Abruzzo is a coach and coowner of CrossFit Albuquerque, in Albuquerque, NM. Ben has spent most of his life in the mountains of New Mexico running, skiing and climbing. His focus and passion is the development of sport-specific performance. For more information about CrossFit Albuquerque’s fitness, performance and nutrition offerings, go to

CrossFit Pulse trainer Kamie Patterson Photo 27 | WODTALK.COM by Jason|Morrison May 2012

The Ladies RX

Living Our Own Versions of ‘As Prescribed’ The Effects of Function Over Form on CrossFit Women

Two-time CrossFit Games competitor Gretchen Kittelberger was a gymnast before she was a CrossFitter. In the sport of gymnastics, “aesthetics and thinner bodies” are desired because they show “a prettier line for the judges to look at,” she explains. Kittelberger started doing CrossFit to maintain the “look” of a gymnast. “I eventually realized that CrossFit wasn’t about how you looked and was more about what your body can do.” From Form to Function Kittelberger is not alone. Many of us walked through the doors of our first CrossFit Gym with the primary goal of changing or maintaining how we look. Through CrossFit, our focus shifts from what our body looks like to what it can do. With the change from form to function comes a change in how we see our body. Kittleberger started paying attention to the numbers of her max lifts and benchmark WODS instead of the numbers on her scale. “I’m much more comfortable in my own skin and less obsessed with my weight,” says Kittleberger about the effects of that shift. Reebok-sponsored athlete Kate Rawlings also found that CrossFit personally changed her relationship with her body. “I no longer look at the number on the

Melissa Gonzalez from CrossFit Whittier Photo by Michael 30 | WODTALK.COM | MaySifter 2012

[clothing] label but the time on the clock.” Why does paying attention to function instead of form make such an impact? Perhaps it is because growing up female there seems to be a primary focus on how we look, rather than how smart or strong or creative we are. If we don’t “look good,” we often feel lacking. Happily, CrossFit is a place where the primary focus isn’t looks but physical ability, and unlike in the realm of aesthetics, perfection is not the expectation. Celebrating, Confidence, Community & Change CrossFit’s aim is to make us wellrounded athletes; in the process, we uncover our weaknesses. Accepting those weaknesses and then working to our highest potential is the cultural norm in our gyms. Getting better at something is intensely rewarding and builds a kind of confidence in the body that is unparalleled. These accomplishments, no matter how small in comparison to others, are celebrated by the community, which through its mores and norms reinforces the idea that our fitness is so much more important than our looks. CrossFit HQ staffer Lisbeth Darsh always valued her body’s health and strength more than its appearance, and in CrossFit she found a community of people who reinforced that. “Before CrossFit, what I felt

always seemed at odds with what society seemed to tell me I should feel. Then along came CrossFit and suddenly there were other people speaking my language in so many ways: physically and emotionally,” she says. According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, body image is a subjective picture of one’s own physical appearance, established both by self-observation and by noting the reactions of others. It is immensely powerful to be part of a community that reacts differently to our bodies than the larger society does. By focusing on function rather than form, miracles can happen. We begin to see our physical bodies change without having to focus on changing them. CrossFitter Pamela Baran says, “Ironically, shifting my focus to my athletic performance has gifted me with the body I now cherish and respect.” With the paradigm shift from valuing function more than form we are happier, more confident, and look and feel better. Yet this is often just the first step toward full realization in our happiness and satisfaction with our physical bodies. Trading One Ideal for Another As CrossFit women we find that although we are stronger, fitter and look better than ever before, sometimes we can still be bothered by our weight or how we look. The ideas shaped in our life pre-CrossFit have a powerful hold, and these old beliefs don’t magically disappear. We need to be careful that we don’t make a switch from one unrealistic ideal to another. Only 5% of American females actually look like the waif-thin models in magazines, according to This percentage is probably similar to the number of CrossFit women who naturally obtain rippling sixpack abs. Replacing the old ideal that we need to look thin with a new idea that we need to look strong is

more of the same. Ideals of perfection are dangerous and so is placing our worth on a number. Another Set of Numbers Recalling her early days at CrossFit, Shanna Tokarsky, now a coach at The CrossFit Box in Strongsville, Ohio, says, “For the first time in my adult life I was proud of my body. My hands were torn, my legs were bruised, and I was so proud of what my body could accomplish. In an instant my idea of body image changed.” Then Tokarsky got pregnant. “Four months after having my baby, I thought I was going to be back putting up top times in the gym,” she says. When she couldn’t, she found herself going back to “old ways of negative body image and crazy thinking.” Starting CrossFit can be like starting a diet. In the beginning there is a lot of positive feedback. When numbers go up in the gym or down on the scale, it’s exhilarating. However, at some point there is a plateau or stop in progress altogether. In the gym it comes with time or injury or, as in Tokarsky’s case, pregnancy. Tokarsky noticed that focusing on the numbers defeated her before she even started her workout. She realized if she were ever to achieve her full possibilities in the gym, she needed to accept where she was. Welcome Dissonance Many of us experience a dissonance between our old ways of thinking about our body and the new ways introduced to us by our experiences in CrossFit. Here is the good news: We needed to be introduced to the 31 | WODTALK.COM | May 2012

Snatch the first time in order to realize we weren’t good at it and to then decide that we wanted to learn it. We needed to experience a dissonance between where we were and where we wanted to be in order to improve. It’s much the same with our body image and CrossFit. Once we know we can’t un-know: We know that it’s not our dress size or our weight that is most important. We know that experiencing our body fully as we max a lift or push the limits of intensity is 10 times more rewarding than fitting in size 4 jeans. We know that what we want most is a body that can work and play hard now and as we get older. Aligning ourself completely with that knowing is a process. After CrossFit sets the wheels in motion, our commitment to living our own version of “as prescribed” will keep us on track. By Stephanie Vincent Stephanie Vincent is a CrossFit Trainer, Freelance Writer and Life Coach. She works with women who want to experience transformations in their relationships with their bodies, many of whom are CrossFitters. Find more information about Stephanie at

Lauren Lopez from CrossFit Whittier Photo by Michael 32 | WODTALK.COM | MaySifter 2012

CrossFit carries a long list of verbs, adjectives, and nouns that mean so much to so many different people. CrossFit, if allowed, offers a very special opportunity for anyone to try what they may classify as uncommon.

Prior to CrossFit I was a conventional gym goer, chest and tri’s on Monday,

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back and bi’s, and the dreaded leg day that seemed to find its way into the program (not that there is anything wrong with this method; stay with me now), but the lifts were always the same. They became less challenging and I became less engaged. Both fall on me though. I allowed myself to become content in the weight room after college and didn’t challenge myself. Sure the crazy expensive magazines had a

Photo by Kx of Ben Foster


few new lifts every other month or so, but that didn’t cut it. Mundane Monday’s were the typical chest and tri day which can be tiresome if everyone in the gym that day is doing the same lift. “Hey, can I jump on that bench when you’re done?” With CrossFit, “jumping on that bench” literally means that they need to jump on that bench. Intensity is implemented into every workout. A new sense of competition is ignited.

If your workout isn't challenging you, then it isn't changing you

Jessica Andrason - Crossfit Iron City Photo 35 | WODTALK.COM by Metcon| Photos May 2012

:: THE UNCOMMON :: Those typical and predictable days at the gym have made way for CrossFit and the unpredictability of each WOD. Try to tell me that you implemented Ring Dips into your conventional workout before CrossFit or that pistols were a mainstay in your “leg day”. Chances are, if you’re anything like me or the millions of other back and bi people, you never thought of those as workouts, period. Rings are used by gymnasts, and what the hell are pistols? How about this one, Sumo-High Pull Deadlift? These lifts may be nonexistent from most conventional workouts that you used to do, and that’s part of what makes CrossFit so damn interesting. Personally, I never would have thought I would buy rings before I started CrossFit. Even after I started I was still a little skeptical of trying them out. The fear of failing, the excitement of something new, they collide sometimes in the world of CrossFit. Fear of failing must be seen as an opportunity to succeed and try something new like handstand pushups. Making an ass out of yourself when you’re practicing your handstands is all part of the game. It’s humbling to kick ass at your workout while trying to do handstands and muscle ups. The predictability of each workout is forever unpredictable and uncommon. CrossFit helps develop the piece that seems to get tucked away behind the routine and forgotten. Each WOD taps into that sometimes buried part in all/some/few (your pick) of us that can’t be tamed hitting a new PR or cranking out your first handstand pushup. There’s something about the first glance of the unusual workouts of CrossFit that are intriguing and all together nerve racking. I don’t know who said it, but it’s all over various CrossFit websites, “Become comfortable with the uncomfortable”. That speaks volumes to every workout and every day. Allow yourself to feel comfortable doing uncomfortable movements and lifts which will in turn breed confidence. Then comfort zones as you know them will be welcoming to new ideas and the uncommon. Through all those rare movements and fast paced WOD’s they all come back to helping you be successful every day. CrossFit, in a way, helps you celebrate life and gives you a reason to consistently test the unknown and become uncommon.

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By Shawn Manning Shawn Manning just became a new dad to a future Crossfitter, a go-getter with his awesome wife, baseball guru, Crossfit nut, and author of the blog Hammer Mill Workouts. Rise -N- Grind!



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Athlete of the Month Name: Shanna Tokarsky Age: 28 Occupation: AdvoCare Advisor, CrossFit Coach, Digital Marketing Lead Shanna has gone from a “chubby” kid who felt undeserving of love, to dietobsessed teen, to personal trainer, to first-time mom. Throughout her many body transformations, Shanna has struggled with self-acceptance. Like all of our Fashletes, her story is relatable and inspiring. Shanna also outlines how you can write your own Self-Acceptance Principles.

Accepting Ourselves and Wanting More By Shanna Tokarsky I was part of an amazing call recently...sorry men this one was all for the ladies! This was one of the calls in The Ladies RX discussion series put on by Stephanie Vincent at Radical Hateloss.

This topic is very near and dear to my heart.

Here’s a quick overview:

Growing up as a chubby kid I never felt like I was skinny enough to be loved. I have struggled with body image since I can remember. Even when I lost 30lbs in High School, I still felt like the chubby girl. In middle school, high school and the early part of college I experimented with bulimia, anorexia and a lot of unhealthy extreme diets and diet pills. I was obsessed with getting skinny. During my sophomore year in college, when I had gained back my 30lbs I decided to change. I started researching how to become a personal trainer so that I could learn the healthy way to “stay thin” I became AFFA certified and landed my first personal training job. In

“Recently women from all over the country gathered to talk about an important topic that impacts women who CrossFit but also women in general- Accepting Ourselves & Wanting More with Special Guest Sarah Wilson of Fashletics.” We talked about the difference between acceptance and resignation, the struggle to accept and about how acceptance helps us reach our goals, possibilities, and brings the experience of joy and ease. It was a rich conversation that could have gone on way longer than the hour of the call! 38 | WODTALK.COM | May 2012

As women we have a lot of pressure to conform to what society declares as beauty.

As women we have a lot of pressure to conform to what society declares as beauty. comes a new obsession: cardio and counting calories. I replaced my extreme unhealthy ways with extreme healthy...after all I was a personal trainer now...I needed to “look” the part. As a personal trainer, I struggled with body image even more than I did before. I was lost. I wanted so bad to have the six-pack abs that I saw in the magazines. I felt like a scam, there I was coaching others on how to live happy and healthy and I was dying inside.

Writing Your Own SelfAcceptance Principles “Think about what you want to accept—about your body, about your fitness, about yourself in general and then write a principle for each. For each aspect you will accept ask yourself, Flash-forward a few years...I hear about CrossFit. What is this? For the first time in my adult life I was proud of my body. My hands were torn, my legs were bruised and I was so proud of what my body could accomplish. In an instant my idea of body image changed. I no longer saw my body for what it physically looked like, I saw it for the first time as an amazing machine that could accomplish great things. I was happy. I accepted my body, my fitness and myself completely and I was proud of where I was and excited about where I was going... Then I got pregnant. Even through my entire pregnancy I felt great about what my body was accomplishing. I mean really I was growing a human and I was still CrossFitting! Flash forward to a month after I gave birth to my first son. I struggle with being at the bottom of our CrossFit gym in terms of athletic abilities since I have been back postpregnancy. In my head I was going to be back putting up the top times in the gym by now...almost 4 months later. I still have baby weight to lose…my jeans don’t fit and I cried during a WOD last week because I felt so bad about my times. I was back to my old ways of negative body image and crazy thinking. When the CrossFit Open started, I knew I was going to compete...but I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle the competition. During that WOD that I cried through...I had a major breakthrough. Well, my husband

helped me have a breakthrough, he was there to witness the hot mess that I was that day... later that night he said something that changed me. He said “ you have to stop defeating yourself every time you walk into that gym.” He was right, in my head I was already beating myself up before I even started. I was not accepting myself at all. Now it would be a lie if I said that those thoughts don’t come back into my head, I’m still working on it. When I saw this call I was excited to share and listen. I’m so glad that I did! At the end of the call they challenged us to write “selfacceptance principles”

What are your accepting? What will acceptance allow you to focus on? What will acceptance bring? Each principle can go something like this... I accept _____________, which allows me to __________ so that I ___________. Here are mine: Body: I accept my left over baby fat, which allows me to spend every ounce of mental energy on being present to my son and husband so that I can truly experience life as a new mother. Fitness: I accept my level of athletic ability post-postpartum, which allows me to focus on every WOD, every rep, every breath so that I can truly give it my very best in that moment. Business Success: I accept where I am financially, which allows me to be fully available to help and coach others so that I can be a very successful and inspiring CrossFit coach and AdvoCare Advisor. That is powerful! Ladies, I can’t tell you how awesome it feels to accept yourself. You just need to try this.

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“Hey Doc? What is your max dead lift?” 315 pounds--not a ton, but at least I understand and can answer the question! This physician screening question was given to me by Kelly Starrett. I agree with him that this simple question is a fantastic way to find out if a provider is right for you. If your physician cannot answer this question, then they might not be the best fit for you. During my family physician training, I had some sessions on nutrition, exercise, and joint pain, but it has not been until the last few years that I have supplemented that training with a deeper understanding of proper body mechanics, movement, and nutrition. Let’s face it. CrossFit is great, but any intense activity will produce overuse and acute injuries. We all have imperfections in how we move. We do not always hold great form, but even when we do there is a chance of missing that box jump and slamming your shins. Finding a physician that understands the basic principles and movements of CrossFit would be ideal. The reality now that finding such a provider is difficult at best. Luckily there are more and more medical providers who understand and appreciate squatting, box jumping, and Anthony Santa-Iglesia Photo by Michael 40 | WODTALK.COM | MaySifter 2012


Here are 10 ways that you can have the best experience with a provider with limited CrossFit or Paleo experience: 1. Shop Around Find someone with whom you are comfortable. Your relationship with your provider is key. Even if the provider does not CrossFit, they can still listen and try to understand your needs. If you are not happy with your provider then seek elsewhere. Look for providers who themselves participate in active sports. 2. Come Prepared When you are seeing the provider for the first time bring all of your information. Bring a chart or handout (see next page) with not only your medical information, but also your fitness goals and current training plan. Without preparation you might leave the office without getting the information that you really desired. 3. Be Patient Understand that it may take time for the provider to hop on board with you squatting your body weight. The provider might have many patients over the

years with bad knees caused by improper technique. Remember also that it likely took you years to develop the issue causing your current problem. Do not expect an immediate fix. 4. Be Specific Many patients come to me with issues that they have not clearly defined. Keep track with a daily journal about how your symptoms are related to sleep, recovery, nutrition, and your training plan. Bring in pictures or videos of the specific activity that is causing the problem. 5. Have a Goal And do not be afraid to share your goals up front. Think about the outcome you are seeking. 6. Do not Rush Take a few deep breaths before jumping into all of your history. Give the provider time to think about what you are saying. 7. Wear Shorts One of my biggest complaints is trying to examine someone’s knee when they are wearing jeans. We usually have our patients change into disposable shorts or a gown, but it would be much easier if the patient just came dressed in more appropriate clothing for the issue.

Photo of Mike Cahill by Michael Sifter

rope climbs. Until such providers are located in all of our communities there is a high likelihood that you will have to see a provider who is not as familiar with CrossFit.

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The Clinic Visit Form Name DOB

Allergies Height



% Body Fat







How long?

How long?

How long?

What have you tried?

What have you tried?

What have you tried?

How much is this affecting my life? 1-10

How much is this affecting my life? 1-10

How much is this affecting my life? 1-10

LIFESTYLE Tell me what your diet is like?

How many times a week are you working out? Types of Exercise:


Hours per week?

Street Drugs?

How much alcohol do you drink?

Current Stress Level?

Average time asleep:

What are you training for?




Why taking?










:: HEY DOC? WHAT IS YOUR MAX DEAD LIFT :: 8. Tell the Truth If your provider prescribes something that you know you will just not do, then tell them. Do not be ashamed or try to hide what you will do. Similarly, at your follow up appointment speak honestly about how closely you followed the treatment plan. This will greatly enhance the provider’s ability to make a new treatment decision. 9. Do not Expect an Injection Many people want to jump right into a steroid injection, because they heard from their friend that it totally took away the pain. There should be a few steps in the treatment options first before considering a steroid injection. 10. Health Stars with the Basics You may be looking for some type of amazing technology to cure your ailment. Usually good old fashioned rest, sleep, stretching and good nutrition will help out more than anything! When you find a great provider in your local community, do not keep them a secret! Try to create a nice relationship between that person and the local CrossFit

community. This will obviously lead to improved care for all. At the end of the day you must take control of your health and treatment. Work with someone you trust to give you valid advice, and then YOU must stick with the treatment plan. By Dr. Rick Henriksen Dr. Henriksen is a board-certified family physician practicing in Salt Lake City. With his MD, he also has earned a Master of Public Policy. He is on faculty at the University of Utah School of Medicine. His home gym is Ute CrossFit, which is owned by Tommy Hackenbruck. He is a founding member of Physicians and Ancestral Health, a physician society dedicated to furthering nutrition and fitness as the foundation for both health promotion and disease prevention.

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The Missing Tool In Your Box

The open has come to a close, time to stop clicking refresh, losing sleep, and dreaming about barbells. Start preparing for being under the lights at the Home Depot center hitting that snatch PR in front of 10,000 screaming fans. While you start to wake up from your fantasy I want to improve your game as a small gym owner. When it comes to growing and expanding your business CrossFit owners have it made. Pay a nominal fee for the year and watch the brand of CrossFit grow like wild fire. People walk into your box because their dad is now in better shape then they are, their ex has a six-pack, and they see commercials with Ocho Cinco on ESPN. Just wait, it will be making headlines on Sports Center in no time! The problem that may start to occur is how do you compete with the other gyms and CrossFit boxes that are opening only a few miles away? You could flood the neighborhood with ads and pay for radio and T.V. spots, but that sounds about as bad as double Fran. There is

an easier and more cost effective way to attract new clients and communicate with your current members. It is the power of e-mail. I hate to generalize, but people in the garage gym world tend to overlook how powerful e-mail can be for business, community and sales. Social media is the cool thing to master, e-mail is what brings home the bacon. We all want more bacon. I know social media is fun, you probably have Facebook open in a tab right now. I mean who does not like posting pictures of Paleo meals and videos of athletes floating up to the top of the rings for their first muscle up while letting a barbaric scream. That is all very important, and building a community through social media has its place, but one thing that everyone checks everyday is e-mail. Some people, believe it or not, do not have a Facebook account or know what a Twitter handle is. I bet they check their e-mail every morning though. E-mail is not going anywhere so why not use it to build your business.

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:: THE MISSING TOOL IN YOUR BOX :: Everyone between the ages of 15 and 80 check their e-mail daily.

Copyblogger media says “E-mail is more powerful than ever thanks to social media. Why? Because it moves the conversation about your business or information product to a more personal environment — the in-box.” Before you jump up to row a 2,000 M sprint, I am not talking about opening your Gmail and sending a thank you. There are tools and systems that can create a robust selling machine that will help grow your business. According to Direct Marketing Association “E-mail is bringing in $40.56 for every dollar spent on it this year”, that is not a bad return on investment. How does all this work? Well, let’s say a guy named Graham hears about CrossFit from his friend Becca who just landed a Reebok sponsorship, squats more then him and is telling everyone that grains are the devil. When Graham Google’s CrossFit and comes to your website what does he see? Maybe something like- WOD- 10 T2B, 20 C&J, 30 double unders 5 Rounds. By the way, that should not be on your home page or blog. It is a foreign language for the non CrossFitter. You know the non CrossFitter right? The very important person on your website that is interested in joining your gym. Along with your blog there is information about getting started, a phone number and address. But Graham would have to call or come in and he is feeling intimidated. Well, what if there was a little box that said “How to Pick a CrossFit Gym. Enter E-mail below.”

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Graham wants to know this right? An e-mail is not a huge thing to give away and he does not even need to put down his Slurpee. An e-mail auto responder is the powerful tool I am talking about. This will give you the opportunity to create a system that works while you sleep. You enter a sequence of e-mails that are delivered daily, weekly or anywhere in-between. E-mails are sent automatically and each person will go through the system that you personally set up and want people to receive. Two I highly recommend are Mail Chimp and Aweber. I use Aweber, if you want to see it in action hop over to and sign up. Now Graham will receive a series of e-mail that will educate him on the importance of CrossFit, the excellent features of your CrossFit box, and events that are happening at your gym. Now which gym do you think Graham will feel more likely to come in and join? It is not easy to excite high intensity functional movement lovers about the amazing qualities of e-mail, but above was my best attempt. I hope

you realize the power of this communication tool and the effect it can have on your business. You can instantly, alert current members about a sale, new product launch or promote a new class. You can compile surveys and collect feedback on trainers, your community and programming. Most importantly you can constantly educate and provide your current and future clients with valuable information on everything from Olympic lifting to rope climbing techniques. It can and will increase your bottom line. If you have any questions about how to start implementing these systems in your business e-mail me

By Geo Rockwell Geo Rockwell, founder of, home of the fitness entrepreneur. He has his CrossFit level one certification, CrossFit Endurance Certification, ACE Certification, and a Bachelors in Physical Education.









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Who is the beginner sandbag workout for? This workout is targeted at people new to sandbag training or with novice level fitness skills. It is useful for those who want to: • Learn the fundamentals of sandbag training • Enhance their weight training by introducing sandbag movements • Build strength and muscular definition • Develop lean muscle mass • Burn fat / lose weight • Develop sports specific strength and conditioning Advised prerequisites • Professional sandbag instruction • Entry level fitness skills _________________________________________________________

Beginner bodyweight workout instructions Workout notes: 1. Warm-up thoroughly before starting with some light cardiovascular activity such as jogging or skipping. 2. Use a sandbag weight that you can handle comfortably with good form.


The sandbag is an often overlooked tool that can be used for developing a high level of strength and conditioning. The cumbersome nature of the sandbag and the fact that the load is constantly shifting makes it difficult to master but the results are worth the effort. It is a particularly effective training tool for martial artists, rugby players and anyone involved in contact sports as it builds strength, power and speed skills. This beginner sandbag workout is designed to introduce you to training with sandbags and allow you to develop techniques before progressing onto a heavier bag and more advanced exercises. As a general rule, you will probably find that you will not be able to lift as much weight in a sandbag as you can with other traditional free weights.

Workout difficulty


Workout category

Sandbag Workouts

Equipment required


Physical Skills

Strength, Power, Speed


20-30 minutes

# of exercise

5 sandbag exercise

The exercises The exercises in this workout have been selected to help develop overall strength and conditioning using compound movements. These compound movements utilise multiple joints and muscles and will build functional strength perfect for everyday life, sports and avoiding injury. • Sandbag clean • Sandbag overhead press • Sandbag back squat • Sandbag lunge • Sandbag high pull Perform the exercises in sequence, completing 5 repetitions of each. Repeat for a total of 3 sets. Rest: 30 - 45 seconds between sets. Sandbag Clean

Start with the sandbag on the ground. Take a firm grip and lift the sandbag up towards chest

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height. This should be achieved through a powerful extension through the hip. Catch, the sandbag, return to the start position and repeat.

Sandbag Lunge

Sandbag Overhead Press

Start with the sandbag across your shoulders or (for added challenge) held overhead in straight arms.

Start with the sandbag across your shoulders. Sit back into the squat, keeping your chest high. Weight should stay predominantly in the heels and the feet should remain flat. Return to the starting position by pushing back upward with your hips.

Take a big step forwards and drop your body downwards by bending both knees. Your torso should remain upright throughout the movement. Step backwards and come to a fully standing position before repeating on the opposite leg. Sandbag High Pull

Sandbag Back Squat

Start with the sandbag on the ground. Take a firm grip and then lift the sandbag powerfully upwards to chest height. The elbows should be high throughout this movement, with most of the power coming from the hips. Start with the sandbag across your shoulders. Sit back into the squat, keeping your chest high. Weight should stay predominantly in the heels and the feet should remain flat. Return to the starting position by pushing back upward with your hips.

Return the bag to the ground and repeat. _________________________________________________________ Progressing from the beginner sandbag workout As you become competent with the basic sandbag movements you can look to integrate them into an overall training regime, perhaps by effectively combining sandbag exercises with barbell or bodyweight exercises. | 49 | WODTALK.COM | May 2012

FOREVER CHANGED I was introduced to the concept of CrossFit in September 2010 by a friend, but didn’t try it until February 2011 when I came into some money from a wellness challenge I won at work. It seems like it all happened so fast after that. One minute I had the money, the next minute a friend had posted on Facebook about a local CrossFit box she goes to (CrossFit 310), and then suddenly I’m doing box jumps for the first time ever in a class full of people I don’t know, with a coach I had just met ten minutes prior. That was the day I knew my year, and more importantly my life, was going to change for the best. And it has. I’ve become not only physically stronger, but mentally and emotionally stronger. I’ve become a problem-solver, a strategic planner, and somewhat fearless in areas of my life that at one time were crippling for me. I’ve gained confidence, motivation and an overall purpose and direction in my life. Where I once saw lack, I now see opportunity and chance. I’ve also inherited a second (more 50 | WODTALK.COM | May 2012

functional) family in which I value, respect and care for in a way I didn’t know was possible. If someone asked me what’s influenced me the most to be the person I am today, I would say CrossFit without hesitation. By Rebecca Dreiling Rebecca (The Red) is an up-and-coming blogger and self-proclaimed Pinterest addict. She works out at CrossFit 310 in Redondo Beach, CA. In addition to writing about her love of CrossFit (and anything related), you can often find her at SoCal competitions capturing the essence of our community with her photography.

Matthew E. Becker - Crossfit Confluence Photo 51 | WODTALK.COM by Metcon| Photos May 2012

Afghanistan-deployed Marines qualify for CrossFit regionals

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CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan Six Marines qualified for the Asia regional finals of the CrossFit World Open after completing the trials between missions, throughout the course of five weeks, from Feb. 22 to March 21. The six athletes were chosen out of more than 40,000 athletes registered for the open. “I didn’t originally plan on doing the open because I wasn’t going to be back in California,” said Cpl. Aaron T. Gardner, an ordnance technician with Marine Air Logistics Squadron 16, 3rd Marine Air Wing (Forward). “After the first week, I saw where we would be in the standings. I figured we were really good and it was time to turn it up and go after it.” The Marines who qualified schedule their workouts together almost every day, only missing training when they are on a mission. “I think it’s a pretty big privilege for us to be able to do it,” said Cpl. Tom DeBaker, a team leader with 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division (Forward). We got lucky with the time between missions that we had. We’ve been able to get into the competition without running into any deadlines.” When they are on Camp Leatherneck, the regional qualifiers train with each other so they can push each other to the next level. “It’s an individual effort in itself,” said Cpl. Adam T. Denton, an assistant radio tech operator with 1st Recon bn. “But, pushing through it is definitely a team effort. You get

to a point where you are so past your comfort level that you need support to push to the next limit.” The Marines work out regularly for their jobs, because they want to be in peak physical condition during their deployment. “We’re not doing this for titles or accolades,” said Denton, 25, from Seal Beach, Calif. “We’re doing this for our jobs. When worst comes to worst and you need to move your buddy or you need to get out of danger.” Besides being better prepared for combat, the extra physical training helps build a bond between the Marines as they push each other to be stronger. “I like the camaraderie of it,” said Cpl. Greg A. Harris, an assistant team leader with 1st Recon Bn. “You get to that point you need to push through, and people cheering you on really help you out.” The Marines come from different corners of the Marine Corps, but they have built a strong bond after performing well with each other in the CrossFit World Open. “Our jobs are so different but this stuff brings us all pretty close”, said Gardner, 24, from San Diego. “I’ve only known these guys for a few weeks, but we are all in it together. Hopefully we’ll be able to make it to South Korea, and the world better watch out.” Story by Cpl. Kenneth Jasik Regional Command Southwest 53 | WODTALK.COM | May 2012


Thomas P. DeBaker Rank/Rate: Sgt/ E5 MOS: 0321-Reconnaissance Man Age:25 Unit: 1st Reconnaissance Bn Current location: Helmand Province, Afghanistan Home station: Camp Margarita, Camp Pendelton Deployed: November 2011 Deployed to this area: 2 times

Aaron T. Gardner Rank/Rate: Corporal/E-4 MOS: Ordnance Tech Age: 24 Unit: MALS 16 FWD/ MALS 39 Current location: Camp Bastion, Afghanistan Home station: Camp Pendleton, CA Deployed: November 2011 Deployed to this area: 1st time How did you get involved with CrossFit?: Back in 2010 I was fighting amateur MMA and I was having a problem getting down 54 | WODTALK.COM | May 2012

How did you get involved with CrossFit?: I got involved in functional fitness when I first checked into 1st Recon Battalion in June of 2009. It seemed more transferable to our line of work and what we needed to do for our job. As opposed to the typical body building and what not. I just recently started pulling WOD’s off of the main site about 8-9 months ago. A lot of our workouts are created by us and written down into our notebooks if they are thought to be good enough and worth our time.

Describe a typical day of training: Wake up at 5:30 am, go to the gym at 6am, eat some breakfast afterwards. Take care of the days work in the morning and afternoon, whether it be mission planning or some other training. Then hopefully make it back to the gym in the early afternoon if time allows for it.

to 170lbs and staying strong. I saw a Gunny of mine (1stSgt Bull, Christian) doing some crazy workouts and he looked WORN OUT which naturally intrigued me. So I asked him If he could condition me. My first CrossFit workout was Fight Gone Bad. HAHA talk about smoked, I’d never felt so thrashed and I love it. Then I transitioned from the boring Globo-Gym style workouts to CrossFit.

I have programmed for the night I will either do a Light MetCon or Heavy LOAD during the middle of the day along with some type of monostructural cardio (running, rowing, double unders). Loads will consist of anything from chest press to front squats and everything in between.

Describe a typical day of training: So out here in Afghanistan a normal day of training consists of 2 to 3 workouts depending on the nature of the workouts. Depending on what

Favorite workout: I don’t have any favorites, most of them are equally miserable.

Favorite workout? WOW. Tough question HAHA. I would say pretty much any couplet with the rep scheme of 21-15-9 such as “Diane” or “Fran”.

Adam T. Denton Rank: Cpl/E-4 MOS: Amphibious Reconnaissance Man Age: 25 Unit: 1st Reconnaissance Bn. Current location: Helmand Province, Afghanistan Home Station: Camp Pendleton, CA Deployed: November, 2011 Deployed to this area: 2 times How did I get involved in CrossFit?: The idea of a high intensity, physically demanding program is what sparked my interest, but I did mostly my own workouts based on ideas from different plans. I didn’t get into CrossFit specifically until

Gregory John Harris Rank/Rate: Cpl/ E4 MOS: (0321), Recon Marine Age:22 Unit: 1st Recon Current location: Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan Home station: Camp Pendleton, CA Deployed: November 2011 Deployed to this area: 2 times

Talon W. Smith Rank/Rate: HM3/E-4 MOS: Fleet Marine Force Hospital Corpsman Age: 24 Unit: 1st Reconnaissance Bn Current location: Camp Pendleton,CA Home station: Camp Pendleton,CA Deployed: Nov 2011 - Apr 2012 Deployed to Afghanistan: 1 time How did you get involved with CrossFit?: I was originally

about a year ago after watching The Games. It looked like the dynamic had changed, and stronger more fit men and women had stepped CrossFit up to a new level of respect and difficulty that I wanted to be part of. Describe a typical day of training: My friend Tom and I like to train early, so we try to get to the gym by 6am. Depending on the day we will usually begin with a warm up, consisting of Barbell complexes and Kettlebell complexes mixed with some double unders. From then we will move to a heavy strength lift, such as front squats, back squats, bench press, ...etc. or a heavy power lift such as snatches, power cleans, clean and jerks...etc.

How did you get involved with CrossFit?: I have always been doing my own functional fitness work and got into CrossFit through a friend that was here with me on this deployment. He just kind of threw out the idea of competing in the CrossFit Games Open to us, so we accepted.

After a few rounds of that, we move on to some sort of metcon that sometimes consists of CrossFit workouts like Fran, Grace, or Elizabeth, or our own mixture of dynamic lifts and core strengthening power endurance workouts. We even like to combine them if we are feeling up to the challenge. We then stretch, and move on with our day until the evening when we go back and do some sort of cardio like jump ropes, sand bag sprints, or rowing. Like I said, it all depends on the day. Favorite workout: It would have to be “the seven” 7 rounds of 7 different exercises, 7 reps a piece. It hurts like hell, but for some reason I enjoy it.

the CrossFit WOD here at CrossFit Leatherneck in the evening. I typically do that for 3 days on and 1 day of rest, which is normally a light 3-5 mile run. Favorite workout: Oh man, Id have to say the CrossFit Games Open WOD 12.2. It was just a perfect showcase for full body muscular endurance.

Describe a typical day of training: Normally I do an hour or 2 of strength or muscular endurance training in the morning and then I do

introduced to CrossFit type training at the Basic Reconnaissance Course. They used CrossFit workouts and varied programming for various PT evolutions throughout the day to condition us for the course. I did not really enjoy it at the time and just stuck to running and very little weight training. I did not see any progress in it. After my deployment on the MEU I really started to take interest in it around August 2010 and made it my primary training program. I did main page workouts on both the HQ site and endurance site to the best of my ability and scaled it as I thought appropriate.

Describe a typical day of training: A typical training day for me is usually a WOD in the morning with Cardio and focused skills weightlifting session at night. That is when I have free time. If not it’s usually just a quick WOD with a small weight training skill session afterwards. Favorite workout: My favorite workout probably is my rest day.

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mental 10 performance tips for crossfitters Sport Psychology for Elite Fitness 1. Figure out what exactly motivates you & embrace the hell out of it. Write it down and share it with others. Constantly remind yourself what motivates you. 2. Have some goals, mostly short-term; performance oriented ones that can be measured. “I want to finish Annie in under 7 minutes by May” 3. Smile and laugh, more often. This isn’t war; it is simply playing with odd objects with your friends. Enjoy it. 4. Implement deep, diaphragmatic breaths throughout your training. When everyone else is struggling to recover…you will be controlling your flow of oxygen. 5. Have an optimistic mindset. Really, what benefit is it to be negative? Or to speak negatively to yourself? “I have prepared myself and I am going to crush this Deadlift” 6. Focus on the movement/skill at hand. In that moment pick a cue word, reducing the complexity. “UP” “SHRUG” “HIPS” “POP” 7. Keep notes in your journal about how you felt that day. Areas to improve on and strengths from that WOD. 8. After a max effort, your form is a little ugly (or really ugly). When you’re done…strip the weight (most of it or all of it) and knock out 3 perfect, clean reps. Then go high-five someone. 9. Spend some time prepping your mind before or during warm-up. Set your intentions. “Why am I here? What do I want to accomplish today?” 10. Seek coaching. Ask questions and grab some individual sessions; be open to tips and advice Dawn Fletcher, MA, CSCS owns where she helps individuals reach their fitness and performance goals. She specializes in Mental Performance Coaching and helps CrossFitters develop the mindset necessary to perform their best. Photo by BOXROX 56 | WODTALK.COM | May 2012

Photo 57 | WODTALK.COM by Metcon| Photos May 2012

RUNNING SNOB I used to be a running snob. It’s true. I have run since I was nine years old all the way through a Division 1 college to the challenge of a 50-mile road race. There was no way anyone could convince me that there was another workout that could rival the endorphin-producing, heart pounding, accomplishment-giving, king-of-the-world transformation that is produced when I raise my arms and cross the finish line at a marathon. Many have tried to convince me that their latest workout craze was as good or better than my tried and true fix of running. However, I would just

acknowledge their opinion and then spin around in my favorite running shoes and laugh to myself at this preposterous idea as I hit the road for my 10-miler. Then, something happened. I got injured and my relied upon best friend was no longer there. I felt lost without my little buddies, the endorphins. So, with a lot more time on my hands, I finally tried out a sport my friend in Colorado had been trying to get me into for over a year: CrossFit. I hit up the nearest Box and found CrossFit NYC. Four months into this new workout, I can honestly say that CrossFit has revolutionized my life. First of all, it absolutely gave me a workout fix! My first workout had me sweating more than a 10 miler on a summer day, completely flushed in the face, breathless, and catatonic. It was most definitely a surreal, out of body experience. This was not the pain of marathons or ultra training. That kind of pain is a dull, steady state of uncomfortableness that runners love to hate. This was a new kind of pain. It made me

58 | WODTALK.COM | May 2012

think of what pain must feel like when someone is trying to survive. I know that sounds morbid; however, it was actually really comforting. Comforting because this pain was the kind of pain one can only tap into when they are truly asking greatness from themselves. Needless to say, I was and am hooked. I am now living out the dream that I never knew I had until now. That dream is merging my

new love of CrossFit with my BFF, running. The owners of the Box in NYC asked me if I would help construct a CrossFit Endurance program. They didn’t need to ask twice. After box jumping my way through only four months of CrossFit, I am now certified in CrossFit Endurance and am super stoked about my two loves (running and CrossFit) merging into one. I feel like the luckiest girl in NYC. Check that! I feel like the luckiest girl in the world because what was once thought of as sudden death to me--not running--has instead been one of the best blessings in my life. The smartest thing I did was ‘try’ out CrossFit and I owe it all to the persistence of my friend, Lisa, in Colorado. It has shattered my all too sheltered view of being fit, made me an incredibly stronger runner, and I haven’t even talked yet about the amazing community of CrossFit that has me smiling ear to ear in every WOD. So, thank you Lisa! I am so proud to say that I am no longer a running snob. The question is, am I becoming a CrossFit snob?

By Heidi Jones 59 | WODTALK.COM | May 2012


Patriot Games Saturday, May 19, 2012 One day team event challenge with teams consisting of 2 males and 2 females. The events will be a series of physical tests plus a final event. Location: R.A.W. Training Facility, Gibsonia, PA 15044 When: Saturday, May 19th, 2012 at 8:00am Cost: $140/team

Legendary Competitor Endurance 5K Saturday, May 19, 2012 This is a 4.98 mi Run in Whiting Ranch that has a total ascent of 741.47 ft and has a maximum elevation of 1,548.56 ft. Location: Whiting Ranch in Lake Forest, CA Competition Type: Trail run 4.98mi Participation Cost: $25, within 14 days: $30, day of: $35

CrossFit for HOPE Saturday, June 9, 2012 CrossFit is teaming up with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to combat child cancer. Contributions can be performance-based pledges or donations for participants and affiliates. Location: See participating location

NLI Series - Iron Will III Saturday, June 23, 2012 The NLI Series is a fitness competition crafted for athletes of all walks of life and should be used as a testing ground and stepping stone. It is designed to be a test of one’s physical ability over a series of 3-single day events spanning 6 months. Location: Laguna Hills, CA 92653

Bring Bowe Home WOD Saturday, June 30, 2012 The Bring Bowe Home WOD exists to spread awareness for Sergeant Bowe Robert Bergdahl, United States Army (dob 28 March 1986) of Hailey, Idaho. Sergeant Bergdahl was captured in Afghanistan on 30 June 2009 by a Taliban allied Afghan insurgent group called the Haqqani Network. Three years later, Sergeant Bergdahl remains a 60 | WODTALK.COM | May 2012

prisoner of war in Afghanistan while the Taliban attempts to barter with America for his life in an effort to further its militant agenda. Location: See participating location

Legendary Competitor Endurance 5K Saturday, May 19, 2012 5k with 3 stations of CrossFit movements - Station 1- 15 Burpees/ Station 2- 30 pvc ohs/ Station 3- 60 double unders (must bring your rope). Individual and 5 person team category (reps will be done as a team) Location: Ladera Ranch, CA Participation Cost: $30 individual / $150 per team

Legendary Competitor Olympic Weightlifting Saturday, June 2, 2012 Our meets are designed to be a gateway into the sport of Olympic Weightlifting. We host unsanctioned meets which means you do not have to be registered with USAW to compete. Competitors are judged against other lifters of the same gender, weight class. Location: Orange County, CA Participation Cost: $40, if payed on day of event: $45

Summer Throwdown Saturday, June 2, 2012 CrossFit Triton will be hosting their first annual Summer Throwdown with all proceeds from the event to benefit the Special Olympics of Connecticut. Location: CrossFit Triton, Wallingford, CT 06492 Cost: $60

Masters Throwdown June 9, 2012 Ocean State CrossFit will be hosting it’s 1st Annual Masters Throwdown at their box. Location: Ocean State CrossFit, Cranston, RI 02920 Cost: $65

The Legends Competition June 15-16, 2012 Alpine CrossFit and Simply Pure Nutrients are proud to present a 2-day event which will test constantly varied,

Cesar Madrigal from CrossFit Brea Photo by Michael Sifter

functional movement executed at high intensity across broad time, modalities, and age domains. Where: Alpine CrossFit in Wheat Ridge, CO 80033 Cost: $55/first 25 registrants; $60/next 25 registrants; $65/final 25 registrants

Oregon Crossfit Summer Games August 25-26, 2012 Location: Bend, OR

NLI Series - Warrior Soul II

June 16, 2012 CrossFit Militia is proud to announce the second annual Beast Mode Battle. X Training Equipment will be this year’s headline sponsor, and provider of all equipment, for Beast Mode Battle 2012. Location: Burgeron Rodeo Grounds in Davie, FL Cost: $55 (goes up after 02/29/12)

Saturday, October 13, 2012 The NLI Series is a fitness competition crafted for athletes of all walks of life and should be used as a testing ground and stepping stone. It is designed to be a test of one’s physical ability over a series of 3-single day events spanning 6 months. We categorize our athletes into Division I, II, and III. Division I is the most advanced, while Division II and III are less advanced. Location: Orange County, CA

NLI Series - Warrior Soul I

Legendary Competitor Olympic Weightlifting

Beast Mode Battle

Saturday, August 11, 2012 The NLI Series is a fitness competition crafted for athletes of all walks of life and should be used as a testing ground and stepping stone. It is designed to be a test of one’s physical ability over a series of 3-single day events spanning 6 months. Where: Orange County, CA

Saturday, November 17, 2012 Our meets are designed to be a gateway into the sport of Olympic Weightlifting. We host unsanctioned meets which means you do not have to be registered with USAW to compete. Competitors are judged against other lifters of the same gender, weight class. Location: Orange County, CA Participation Cost: $40, if payed on day of event: $45

a lot of companies talk but when it comes to performance, rocktape is there for you, day in, day out, on your knee, quad, lat or shoulder. rocktape is the developer of fascial movement taping which sounds like a mouthful but makes a big difference in keeping you fit and healthy. ask your doc or affiliate how rocktape can increase your performance and keep you healthy

available at your affiliate, Again Faster or miss the WOD Talk giveaway? no worries, drop us an email to with your name, address and email and we’ll send you a free sample. limited to quantities on hand.

62 | WODTALK.COM | May 2012

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WOD Talk Magazine - May/June - Issue 5  

WOD Talk Magazine is a CrossFit lifestyle focused digital publication that provides educational and inspirational information from experts i...

WOD Talk Magazine - May/June - Issue 5  

WOD Talk Magazine is a CrossFit lifestyle focused digital publication that provides educational and inspirational information from experts i...