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ISSUE 10 kelly starrett MARCH / APRIL 2013

AND THE DAWN OF MOBILIZATION

Feature Stories

26 Lindsey Smith Keeping training in perspective and having a blast along the way By Lauryn Lax

32 Running Out of Gas ?

How to reach peak performance by working smarter, not harder By Tony Federico

36 Detroit Gets First Inner - City Box

CrossFit BMW made a risky move to the city that paid off for owner Jarrod Bell, CrossFit and the locals By Jennifer Baum

40 Kelly Starrett Kelly Starrett’s movement revolution takes shape in a new book By T.J. Murphy

Stories 12

One Size Doesn 't Always Fit All

Is your workout program tailored fit for you? By Larry Doane

14

Designing Effective Warm - Up and Cool- Down Routines

Warm-up and cool-down routines can afford the coach and athlete time to improve fitness By Aaron Davis

16

How to Buy a Barbell for CrossFit CrossFit places unique demands on barbells. Here’s how to buy a great barbell. By Peter Keller

Warm-ups 10 What' s Happening Around The CrossFit Community


ISSUE 10

M A RCH / A PRIL 2013

STORIES 18

Allergic Rhinitis When hay fever strikes and threatens your WOD, a variety of treatments can help By Rick Henriksen, MD, MPP

22

Defending Self- Defense

How CrossFit can prepare you to defend yourself in a personal attack By Skye Pratt Epperson

48

Finding Flexibility For some, attaining good flexibility has always been an elusive goal By Darin Deaton

52

Kenny Kane Front and center with CrossFit’s cut-up guy, motivator, and positive force By Jenna Johnson

56

Vegan and Paleo - ish

Although they appear to be polar opposites, the two eating styles are more similar than different By Ryan Andrews and Ed Bauer

SUCCESS STORIES 62

My CrossFit Revolution Strong is the new skinny By Cory Schifano

REVIEW 64

Book Review: Power Speed ENDURANCE A Skill-Based Approach to Endurance Training By Hamza Shaban

AFFILIATE FOCUS 66

Working Around Facebook Changes to Build Your Online Community Notice the button that says “Promote”? By Vin McCauley

Cover Photo Kelly Starrett by John Segesta, www.johnsegesta.com

WODTALK.COM

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March / April 2013


From the Editor

PUBLISHER

the season of mobility

Christina Elmore christinae@wodtalk.com CREATIVE DIRECTOR & EDITOR

Chris Elmore celmore@wodtalk.com SENIOR EDITOR

T.J. Murphy COPY EDITOR

Cathleen Yates Heather Villeneuve Geoffrey Smith

The season of the 2013 CrossFit Games

for self-improvement was the driving force

is upon us. It’s the time of year when I

behind featuring Kelley Starrett on the

frequent the Games web site several times

cover of this issue. Kelley has shed a new

a day to see how many people have regis-

light on mobility through his relentless

PHOTOGRAPHER

tered for the Open, who has the top score

efforts to help people resolve their pain,

Felix Cervantes

for this week’s workout, whether the dates

prevent injury, and optimize athletic

have been announced and when the tickets

performance. He has dedicated his career

go on sale.

to educating people through his web site, MobilityWOD.com, and his CrossFit

With almost 70,000 participants in last

Movement and Mobility trainer courses.

year’s Open, this year’s participation is

CONTRIBUTORS

Aaron Davis, Cory Schifano, Darin Deaton, Dr. Rick Henriksen, Ed Bauer, Hamza Shaban, Jennifer Baum, Jenna Johnson, Larry Doane, Lauryn Lax, Peter Keller, Ryan Andrews, Skye Pratt Epperson, Tony Federico, Vin McCauley

set to break six figures. What other sport-

It is so easy to rush through the day’s warm-

ing event has generated such community

up and blow off stretching and mobility

involvement? This is what makes our com-

work at the end of a workout because we

munity so special: That each of us can take

are rushing back to our busy lives. We will

part in the weekly WOD, compare ourselves

spend hours each week working to reach

to the rest of the world, and most impor-

a new level of fitness, yet we won’t take

tantly, learn from the experience. At the end

minutes per day to focus on dysfunctional

CONTRIBUTE

of the five-week Open, only the top 48 men

movement patterns and our restricted

and women and top 30 teams in each of the

mobility, which are most likely impeding

17 regions are invited to compete at Region-

our performance more than we imagine.

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

als. From there, only the top 3 winners in

ADVERTISING INQUIRES

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

the men’s, women’s and team divisions will

So I won’t bring home any medals from the

PUBLISHER

make it to the CrossFit Games.

Games this year, but that doesn’t mean I

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

can’t make headway with self-improvement. Knowing these facts and having a very real-

Whether it is mobility, mental toughness

istic view of my fitness, I know I will not make

or a new PR, make sure you are competing

it to the Games, let alone the Regionals. So

each day with a purpose.

instead of not competing, I will use this festival of fitness to focus on something I

AFFILIATION STATEMENT

What is your purpose this season?

can attain: personal improvement. This year, I have committed to focusing on my pre- and post-WOD maintenance. The older I get, the more respect I have for properly warming up, taking the time to

Chris Elmore

cool down, and maintaining an unwavering

Editor

focus on flexibility and mobility. This desire

WOD Talk

WODTALK.COM

8

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.

March / April 2013


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%


warm-ups > What’s Happening Around The CrossFit Community

New Fitness Podcast from WOD Talk Now you can hear CrossFit experts on podcast with the new fitness-focused Metcon Radio. Each weekly episode is co-hosted by WOD Talk Magazine editor-in-chief Chris Elmore, WOD Talk senior editor and author T.J. Murphy, and WODShop owner Jerry Lamigo, who interview experts in the fields of fitness, nutrition and sports psychology, as well as CrossFitters with motivational success stories. Recent guests include CrossFit Sanitas owner Eric Roza, sport psychologist Dawn Fletcher, CrossFit Games athlete Dan Bailey, and CrossFit defense instructor Tony Blauer. You can find all Metcon Radio podcasts and subscribe for free on Metcon.TV, iTunes and Stitcher.

Calendar Contest by SDC Nutrition

Moody’s Box

Are you a woman whose life has changed with CrossFit? Do you know any women who have impacted their community through CrossFit? SDC Nutrition is seeking inspirational women CrossFitters to be featured in a 2014 calendar. If you have a story to tell, SDC wants to hear it. Examples include

calendar, and one overall winner who also receives a workout with

“Success can be defined by the person who measures it, and measured by the person who defines it.”

Christy Phillips. All proceeds from the calendar will be donated to

— ryan moody —

helping others choose a healthy lifestyle, volunteering for beneficial causes that involve fitness, or personal life-changing stories. There will be 12 winners, with one featured each month in the

the charities of the 12 finalists’ individual choices. Entries will be accepted between January 7, 2013 and July 31, 2013. For more info, go to www.TryAboutTime.com.

We determine our success, no one else does. We also measure our success, no one else does. There is no standard definition for success, or what social or financial level you must reach to be considered successful. If that were the case, many of today’s successful people would not be deemed successful. Too often, we allow others to dictate whether we are successful or not. Realistically, we don’t need their approval. Do what makes you happy, be passionate about it, and most of all, be damn good at it! For more positive affirmations, follow Ryan on Twitter @TheBoxJumper.

WODTALK.COM

10

March / April 2013


warm-ups > What’s Happening Around The CrossFit Community

Shop for Paleo with Food RX App

notable tweets

Manage your food choices and workouts while on the go with the new Food RX app for iPhone. Developed by KJM Productions, Food RX is designed for CrossFitters and Paleo and Zone dieters.

Julie Foucher @Julie_Foucher

You can search 6,800 food listings, calculate the block amount of

Making a USMLE Step 1 study plan is like writing

foods for your needs, and create

CrossFit programming, but for your brain.

a shopping list. You can also track

#CrossFit @hyperfitusa

your daily food consumption.

Christy Phillips @ChristyPhill A workout database is included

Made it to the OC! Shuttle driver to @glkitt and I:

for traveling. Many WODs can be

“You look sporty, are you a soccer team?” Yup

completed in a small space such

#yougotit

as a hotel room. Updates are

Katie Hogan @KatieHogan777

added frequently.

I love walking into Dickeys BBQ and they say

Requirements:

“lemme guess, a pound of brisket?”

iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad

Jon Pera @jonpera

iOS 5.0 or later 11.4 MB

Seriously, if you always put limits on what you can

Pricing: $ 1.99

do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being.

Chemical Additive Removed from Gatorade

Marcus Hendren @MarcusHendren

PepsiCo, the makers of the sports drink Gatorade, is removing a

If you’re not sure about what to do on your day off,

controversial ingredient from its beverages. Brominated vegetable

thrusters and burpees will suffice.

oil, or B.V.O., is a flame retardant chemical mixed into some of

#crossfit

Gatorade’s citrus line of sports drinks to prevent the flavorings

Jason Khalipa @JasonKhalipa

from separating.

Just finished a 6am run in Kenya. Little kids

After a petition was filed on change.org last year by 15-year-old

can run faster than me with a water bucket

Sarah Kavanagh from Hattiesburg, Miss., it quickly received more

on their head. Haha.

than 200,000 signatures. That prompted PepsiCo to act and

Lucas Parker @ToqueLuc

announce they would no longer use B.V.O in their Gatorade drinks.

The human body is amazing, but sometimes

Studies of the chemical suggest B.V.O. may cause neurological

really frustrating. Like, a 3rd arm would be useful

disorders and alter thyroid hormones. It is banned in Japan and

in 99% of situations. Why no 3rd arm? WTF?

the European Union. Despite the removal of the ingredient from

Chris Spealler @CSpealler

Gatorade, PepsiCo will still use B.V.O. in Mountain Dew and Diet Mountain Dew, as the Food and Drug Administration

It’s amazing how the fear of failure paralyzes

(FDA) has not banned it from sale nor determined it safe for use.

people. Get rid of that and you’re already one step

Coca-Cola and the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group also use the

closer to your goals.

ingredient in some beverages.

Follow us on Twitter @WODTalk

Brominated vegetable oil will be replaced by sucrose acetate isobutyrate, an emulsifier that is “generally recognized as safe” as a food additive by the FDA.

WODTALK.COM

11

March / April 2013


One Size Doesn’t Always Fit All by larry doane

I hate one-size-fits-all hats. I

Have you found your

know, I know, the trucker hat was all the rage for a while, but I was lucky enough to dodge that bandwagon. I’m a fitted hat guy, myself. I like finding that one ball cap that fits my noggin just piece of plastic with some

throw everything out and start over again. In fact, I

tailored fit? Or did you just

suggest the opposite. Our

trade the one-size-fits-all

be u n ique a nd ne ver-

approach for another one?

right. Try as I might, a little

This isn’t to say we need to

tabs on it just doesn’t cut it.

f it ness jou r neys shou ld ending. Rather than simply following the herd like so many lemmings, the truly f it a mong us w i l l st r ive to cont i nua l ly eva luate, mo d i f y, a nd u lt i m at el y

I realize most things in my life are like my preference in hats.

improve our approach to fitness. This means being open to everything

One-size-fits-all in anything usually doesn’t cut it. It might feel OK

and making decisions guided by results and not dogma. There are

at first, and, with some effort, you might get it to work pretty well

many mentors out there and their guidance can be invaluable. Seek

for a while. But, at the end of the day, it doesn’t measure up to the

them out and see what lessons they have. Learning their guiding

custom-tailored version.

principles can be wonderfully illuminating.

Most of us have figured out that the globo gyms of the world, the

Wherever you get your programming, be it a white board, the main

ultimate one-size-fits-all approach to fitness, are pretty lousy. At best,

site, or your own homebrew, be merciless in your evaluation. Keep

the methods for achieving goals are inefficient. At worst, injuries

what works and cast away that which does not. And while I encourage

may occur with fly-by-night “trainers” running the herd through

you to listen to the wisdom around you, never confuse yourself with

the elliptical machines and leg press stations. Sure, some physical

who is ultimately responsible for the content of your work and the

activity is better than none, but I think we can all agree that the

fitness results you achieve. Bodies and goals may change, but one

average American’s approach to getting and staying fit leaves a lot of

thing remains eternal: No one can walk your path for you.

room for improvement. So, as you head to your box or garage, take some time to assess and Before we get too self-congratulatory on our own fitness evolutions,

apply yourself anew. Above all, take ownership of your workout and

perhaps a moment of self-examination is in order. Have you found

your fitness, and do not be afraid to blaze your own trail. Encourage

your tailored fit? Or did you just trade the one-size-fits-all approach

others around you to do the same. Ultimately, the great joy of getting

for another one? CrossFit, for all its merits, is not the end-all, be-all of

fit is not in mere appearances or even in personal performance. It’s

fitness programming. Such a stance might be downright heretical to

in achieving a goal purely through your own effort. It’s all up to you.

some, but before you break out the pitchforks and torches, hear me out.

So get out there and get some iron in your diet and keep walking

Each of us is a unique mix of genes, and we each have our own goals and

that path to greater fitness. Just do us all a favor, please, and leave

requirements. There’s just no way a single set of exercises or approach

the trucker hats behind.

to programming is going to be the right solution for everybody.

WODTALK.COM

13

March / April 2013


DESIGNING

Effective Warm-Up and Cool-Down Routines by aaron davis

W

hen developing

Warm-up

is feeling. This will give you

elite fitness, we

Includes activities to increase

insight on how reactive and

Movement Equals Cure

need to open

blood flow, respiratory rate,

mobile the athlete is on a

Proper mobility is key to

our scope to improve even the

and core temperature, and

given day. The key is making

health. It’s not only how we

small details. Warm-up and

prepare metabolic systems

sure each athlete has mastery

move that might cause mobil-

cool-down routines, though

and neural recruitment spe-

of the drills. Once they have

ity issues, but it is also the

sometimes overlooked, can

cific to the session’s emphasis.

show n

look

movements we are not doing.

afford the coach and athlete

competency,

for noticeable changes and

Below are list of movements

time to improve fitness out-

Cool-down

asymmetries. For example,

our athletes need to touch

side of WODs. Implementing

Includes activities that assist

take a carioca drill: Watch

on each day. I call them the

specific routines with the

in removing metabolic waste,

for fluidity of the hips. If the

“Seven Essential Movements”:

WOD emphasis in mind will

establish

neuromuscu la r

athlete lacks rotation and the

help facilitate workouts and

firing patterns, and help

WOD calls for heavy posterior

keep athletes healthy. To get

the process of recovery and

chain work, you might try to

started, let’s define our terms:

relaxation.

restore fluidity by using a different warm-up protocol. Lack

7

1. PUSH 2. PULL 3. SQUAT 4. HINGE 5. REACH 6. BRACE 7. ROTATE

With the basics established,

of rotation means the athlete

there are four reasons why

is restricted and unbalanced.

I use warm-ups and cool-

I have seen spinal injuries

downs: movement screen,

and lower back problems arise

movement

cure,

when athletes ignore the lack

As the old saying goes, “an

at h let icism,

of rotation and, throughout

apple a day keeps the doctor

increase stabilization

time, perform multiple dead-

away;” being proactive and

lift or Olympic weightlifting

touching on these motions

sessions. The goal is always

will help restore movement

to have athletes move with

and help chip away at some

Look at the warm-ups as a

fluidity, be athletic, and have

of the day-to-day mobility

barometer of how the athlete

movement dexterity.

issues.

to and

improve

equa ls

endurance.

Movement Screen

WODTALK.COM

14

March / April 2013


AIR DY N E The cool-down is an opportunity to work on building endurance in the muscles used for stabilization.

ROW

Improve Athleticism

Keep it simple, and over time

If we look at the core of Cross-

athletes will adapt and show

Fit, we see a lot of emphasis on

fluidity in each exercise.

work in the sagittal plane. For

Warm-up and Cool-down Blueprint WARM-UP • Mono-Structural Work Running, Airdyne, row • Dynamic and/or Static Flex Inch worm, spiderman crawls • Multi-Directional Exercises Shuffle, carioca, backward run • Movement Prep Specific to WOD Snatch / clean and jerk drills, kettle bell swings, KB goblet squat

COOL DOWN • Mono-Structural Work Running, Airdyne, row

box jump workout — not a lot

Increase Stabilization Endurance

of multi-directional movement

The cool-down is an oppor-

involved. Nothing is wrong

tunity to work on building

with that, as long as we can

endurance in the muscles

restore balance. Warm-ups

used for stabilization. You

and cool-downs give us the

can accomplish this by using

opportunity to improve athlet-

proprioception exercises in

icism by challenging athletes

the cool-down. One of my

with multi-directional move-

go-tos is a barefoot single-leg

ment and drills to improve

balance on a stable surface.

coordination. The end goal is

Focusing on the tripod posi-

knowing where the athlete’s

tion of the foot, have the

Use this blueprint as a guide to enhance your warm-up and

extremities are in space. I use a

athlete spell their name

cool-down routines. You will find that your athletes will improve

variety of multi-jump circuits

in capital letters with the

their athleticism and stay healthier in the long run.

to address this:

free leg. Another exercise

example, take the deadlift and

is a half-kneeling KB press

• Speed skaters • Jumping jacks forward and back • 180 jumps • Skips forward and back with a variety of arm swings

• Multi-Directional Exercises Speed skaters, shuffle, carioca, backward run • Proprioception Exercises Single leg, upside down KB press • Static Flexibility T-Spine, hamstring, quad, pec, lats

Aaron Davis is head coach of the

used to stress the shoulder

Sports Performance Program at CrossFit

muscles used for stabiliza-

Austin in Austin, TX. Davis has a bachelor’s

tion. Be creative and keep it

degree in health and human performance.

interesting; no single session

He is a CrossFit Level 1 Certified Trainer and

will make or break an athlete

a Level 2 USA Track and Field Coach.

but the sum of the work done www.trackingdavis.com

is what is important.  

WODTALK.COM

15

March / April 2013


article > How to Buy a Barbell for CrossFit This allows most men and

Knurl pattern and depth

women to comfortably grip

The knurl is the “cross-hatching”

the shaft in a hook

that provides the grip

grip for Oly lifting.

on a bar. Feel the

Try out a hook

knurl and make

grip. Can you

sure it is not

do it? Most

too aggressive

The shaft

powerlifting

or too light.

(what you are grabbing with

bars are thicker,

Also check

your hand when you lift),

at 32 mm in

for knurl in the

diameter, while most

C

rossFit places unique

demands on barbells.

falling off. Here’s how to

The collars

Olympic lifting bars are

(what you load plates onto).

28 mm in diameter.

most CrossFitters like a smooth center.

How to Buy

a Barbell

You may have heard of barbell collars

center of the bar —

for

avoid that and buy a great

20 kg (44 lb.) barbell for “Fran.”

Shafts

Your easiest option is to business. A top-tier CrossFit

Check the shaft of the bar for:

company will know the demands

Diameter

placed on a barbell and can help

Most CrossFit-specific

you find a great one.

bars are 28.5 mm

start with a CrossFit-focused

in diameter. If you can’t find a great CrossFit Steel

company to help you, look at

strength

the barbells in person. Whether

and “whip”

you shop with an expert or by yourself, you should

This is tough

focus on two

(or impossible) to see

key areas:

by

p

e et

r

ke

l

on a bar, but quality bars

r le

are made of at least 155k-psi tensile strength steel. Ask for the PSI on your bar. If the vendor can’t say, it is probably lower quality than that — stay away! Another way to

quality bars are made of at least

155k

PSI

tensile strength steel

gauge the strength of a bar is to ask about the weight rating. This is much less precise than the tensile strength but better

than nothing. Stay away from 20 kg (44 lb.) bars with weight ratings less than 700 lbs.

WODTALK.COM

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March / April 2013


article > How to Buy a Barbell for CrossFit

Guarantee and Manufacturing

There are a few other intangibles to check as well: Warranty or guarantee How long does the seller stand

Whether you shop with

behind this bar? What happens if the bar breaks, and what does the manufacturer consider a

an expert or by yourself, you

defect vs. abuse? What if you simply do not like the bar?

should focus on two key areas: The shaft and the collars.

Country of manufacture The Unites States still produces high-quality barbells at a competitive price. If buying

CrossfIT

US-made products is important to you, barbells are an excellent opportunity to do so.

Designed for CrossFit There are a lot of barbells available for powerlifting, general use, or Olympic lifting, but you’ll find a lot of options specifically designed for CrossFit. So, if you

Shaft Finish

not fit on cheap barbells because

Spin

Is this bar going to rust? Rust-

of sloppy collar widths.

Quality barbells will have

resistant finishes include bright

can buy a CrossFit-specific bar, this is the best option.

decent spin. To test this,

zinc, black zinc, and chrome.

How the collars

Finishes that will rust include

hold onto

black oxide, raw steel, or any

the shaft

with one hand

other oxide finishes. Note that if

If you look at

on the shaft and

you do a little maintenance on a

the end of a bar-

use your free

rust-susceptible finish, you can

bell and you see a

hand to give the

keep your bar rust-free.

large hex bolt, it’s

hold the unloaded barbell at an angle

better than not lifting.

The collar should

this is not a good barbell

Check the collars of the bar for:

note, even a poor quality bar is

collar a good spin.

a dead giveaway that

Collars

Happy hunting! And as a final

rotate at least two full

for CrossFit. Slightly better

revolutions around the shaft.

is a pin through the

Diameter

Collar Finish

end, but what you

Cheap bars may

really want to

You want a finish that will

have a wide vari-

see is a C-shaped

hold up to repeated loading

ability in collar

snap ring. Almost

and stripping of the barbell

diameter; quality

as good are two

without chipping. Zinc is

bars will have col-

other options:

lars that are 50 mm

excellent, as is high-quality

a cap pressed on

(about 2") in diameter. It’s

chrome. Other types of finish

the end of the bar or

important to have precise collars

a two-piece collar design

because good bumper plates may

(pioneered by York).

WODTALK.COM

are not as good.

17

Peter Keller is the founder of FringeSport (www.fringesport.com), which sells kettlebells, bumper plates, bars, and other CrossFit equipment online. He’s also the founder of OneFitWonder and Bomba Gear, which manufacture CrossFit gear. Twitter: @petekeller

March / April 2013


article > Allergic Rhinitis

All erg ic When hay fever strikes and threatens your WOD, a variety of treatments can help by rick henriksen, md, mpp

Allergies. Hay fever. Allergic rhinitis. By any name, the symptoms are not fun. This is the time of year when my clinic fills up with patients who have allergic reactions to the local pollen. And I feel their pain. My allergies flare up for about two to three weeks every year when the grass pollen count gets high.  While the allergic symptoms are not dangerous long-term, they can certainly hamper your training schedule and individual workouts. Congestion and itchy eyes can impact your ability to safely lift and compete. A clogged nasal passage will lead to more mouth breathing, which takes you out of your normal routine.  The more you are exposed to the allergen, the more severe your symptoms will be. In colder climates, CrossFit tends to be an inside sport, until spring when the doors fly open and we get outside. Unfortunately, this is when allergy season begins. There are many reports that eating a strict Paleo diet will help decrease or eliminate hay fever symptoms. This can be true for many people. I have experienced a mild decrease in my symptoms

Congestion and itchy eyes can impact your ability to safely lift and compete.

due to my improved diet. Simply search for “Paleo and hay fever” and you will see several links to anecdotal evidence. If you are still having issues, you could discuss the following with your physician. These educational tips are based on my experience rather than any in-depth studies.

WODTALK.COM

18

March / April 2013


article > Allergic Rhinitis

Rh in it is Tips Based on My Experience 1. Avoid the Allergen If you know what you are allergic to, then stay away if possible. Train inside more often during that time frame. I had a patient recently who worked in a grass seed factory and was allergic to grass. Obviously, this was not an ideal situation.

2. Remove the Allergen This is the most important thing we can do. Get the pollen out of your system and nasal passages. I think the best method is to irrigate your nasal passages with high-volume

I think the best method (to remove the allergen) is to irrigate your nasal passages with high-volume saline.

saline. Commercial products called neti pots can do this. You can make your own saline with the hundreds of online recipes. Make sure you are using a high-volume rinse; do not settle for a simple spray. You are trying to flush the allergen out. Also, clear the allergen off your face and body. Shower before sleep. Wash your face. I had my patient in the grass seed factory use a saline rinse after each shift. A good saline rinse will also clear the congestion for a few hours, so consider using a saline rinse 30 minutes before a competition.

3. Direct Nasal Steroid Use This is where I bring in western medicine. Several products available through a prescription deliver a small dose of steroid to the nasal passages. Brand names include Flonase and Nasonex. The medication is administered directly to the affected area. This keeps the

A clogged nasal passage will lead to more mouth breathing, which takes you out of your normal routine.

medication local more so than an oral medication. These medications work by decreasing the inflammatory response due to the allergen. I have had great personal success using the generic Flonase to control my own allergies. This medication is designed to be used daily for a few days before the maximum benefit is reached. If you know that you have a performance, think about starting this a few days before the performance. continued next page >

WODTALK.COM

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March / April 2013


article > Allergic Rhinitis

”Immunotherapy is a process in which the body is gradually desensitized to the specific allergic causes.“ 4. Herbal Nasal Sprays

7. Oral Decongestants 

Different herbal-based nasal sprays are available and contain

Sudafed is the first product that comes to mind in this category.

products such as garlic and horseradish. I am not too familiar with

Sudafed is a brand name for several products that globally

these, but some allergy sufferers consider them helpful.

constrict blood vessels. The major side effect in some people is an increased heart rate. Pseudoephedrine is the most powerful and

5. Oral Antihistamines 

does not require a prescription, but must be purchased through a

These products are great for symptoms but have some side

pharmacist. Phenylephrine is not as powerful, but is more widely

effects. The newer antihistamines, such as Zyrtec or Allegra,

available. Any product that has a big D next to its name has a

are designed to not cause drowsiness.

decongestant in it. For example, NyQuil D. 

Drowsiness is still possible, though. As the name suggests, antihistamines

8. Allergy Immunotherapy

block the histamine receptors that

Immunotherapy is a process in which the body is

propagate the allergic reaction. Taking

gradually desensitized to the specific allergic causes.

an oral medication will obviously cause

Usually this process is done with sub-lingual tabs or skin

this same histamine blockade to occur

injections. This is an option for those

throughout your body. It would be a

who cannot get any relief from any of

good idea to see how you react to these

the above therapies. Immunotherapy

medications before competition.

may become more widespread in the next few years, but I would hold off if

After taking an antihistamine, some notice on days with

something else above works for you.

high pollen counts they are a little slowed or drowsier than normal. This could be a by-product of the allergic

Trying to work out with allergic

reaction and the medication together. The medication

symptoms is a real bother. Generally, it is

also tends to be more effective if used before you are exposed

not dangerous, but finding relief will be welcome during the training

to the allergen.

season. I hope some of the above information can help you meet your goals. This information is only for educational use. Please

6. Nasal Decongestants

follow at your own risk, and ask your licensed provider for help.

If the first steps are not effective, and you have an important Dr. Henriksen is a board-certified family physician practicing in Salt Lake City. With his medical degree, he also earned a master’s degree in public policy. He is on the faculty of the University of Utah School of Medicine. 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. His home gym is Ute CrossFit in Salt Lake City.

workout or performance scheduled, then turn to the decongestants. For short-term use, nasal decongestants such as Afrin work well to simply open up your nasal passages. Decongestants work by closing down your blood vessels in the tissues. The biggest concern in using these powerful medications is a condition called rhinitis medicimentosa. If you use these medications for longer than three to four days, you risk rebound congestion. One or two doses of these medications can really help

For more info, visit him at: www.rickhenriksen. com or www.twitter.com/rickhenmd.

you out of a bind, but using routinely is not ideal.

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March / April 2013


defending self-defense

You’re a CrossFitter. You’re fit. You have an excellent power clean.

But chances are, as solid as your Fran time may be, you have not trained your brain or your body to respond efficiently to a violent situation.

Tony Blauer and Jeremy Kinnick teaching a CrossFit Defense seminar at CrossFit Rubico Photograph by David “Chef” Wallach, CrossFit Rubicon

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March / April 2013


How CrossFit can prepare you to defend yourself in a personal attack by skye pratt epperson

H

ow many hundreds of power cleans did you do before everything came together? For months you felt like a braindamaged baby deer, lurching awkwardly through the steps,

chanting “scarecrow elbows,” ratcheting the bar from your knees, practicing full extension, laboring to understand the shrug, practicing patience off the floor, over and over again, until finally, one day, it all flowed together without a thought and you wondered, “Why was that ever so difficult?” Your body did what you intended because you trained it to maximize the efficiency of instinct. Everyday, CrossFit athletes (and humans in general) musclememorize functional movement, then trust their bodies and brains to collaborate and perform, in seconds, dynamic movements that would take minutes to explain. Now, as unpleasant as it might be, imagine being physically attacked by somebody. Are you prepared to defend yourself? You’ve seen Bruce Lee do it. All of Quentin Tarantino’s work is firmly lodged in your memory, and you got in a fight once in the third grade. You’re a CrossFitter. You’re fit. You have an excellent power clean. But chances are, as solid as your Fran time may be, you have not trained your brain or your body to respond efficiently to a violent situation.

Enter Tony Blauer, a self-defense guru who has practiced martial arts and studied human psychology for decades. Blauer is responsible for a slew of self-defense programs of which the backbone is SPEAR. This description is from his web site’s home page: “The S.P.E.A.R. SYSTEM (Spontaneous

Protection

Enabling Accelerated Response) is a scientifically researched and medically reviewed personal defense measure that exploits the body’s natural responses to violence and danger. This survival mechanism, dubbed Start le-Flinch Tony Blauer Photograph by Felix Cervantes

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23

has

been

Response,

scient if ica l ly

integrated into a series of

March / April 2013


article > Defending Self-Defense

Photograph by David “Chef” Wallach CrossFit Rubicon

neuro-muscular drills that teaches individuals how to convert

movement…CrossFit Defense is the study of human movement as

their instinctive reactions into protective and combative tactics”

it relates to violence, fear and aggression.” CrossFit Defense is built

(www.tonyblauer.com).

around the movements from typical CrossFit workouts that mimic self-defense movements. Attendees are also promised that the

Some of this should seem conceptually familiar to CrossFit athletes:

course will provide participants with the essential mindset, skills

“exploits the body’s natural response,” “neuro-muscular drills,”

and drills necessary to apply self-defense in real-life situations.

“convert… instinctive reactions.” Practicing functional movements to muscle-memorization is the CrossFit athlete’s bread and butter.

Of course, learning skills and drills is easy, but I wondered how a person could learn a new mindset. Blauer’s answer to this question

Since Blauer’s biggest

is simple: The skills

clientele is military and

and drills create the

law enforcement, he

mindset, and they are

heard about CrossFit

so intertwined that it

and Greg Glassman

happens unbeknownst

in 2005. At first, he

to the practitioner. He

thought CrossFit was

asserts that a person

just another in a series

who fears the unknown

of new circuit training

will naturally react

cash cows. Then, while

emotionally to that fear.

visiting Fort Bragg, he

The correlation between

saw a workout written

information and fear is

on a whiteboard: It was

profound, and the more

Cindy, and he says in

Tony Blauer demonstrates a sequence of defensive maneuvers using a medicine ball (in place of an attackers head)

information a person

fond retrospect that

that can be used in a close quarter altercation. Photograph by Felix Cervantes

has, the less fear will

he naively thought it

be experienced. More

looked easy. A month later, a buddy confessed he was using CrossFit to

awareness kills the emotional reaction to fear, and, according to

train his SWAT members, and it was kicking their asses and they were

Blauer, you don’t want to be reactive; you want to be responsive.

seeing profound results. Eventually, after speaking with Glassman over the phone and striking a quick connection, Glassman invited

In our conversation, Blauer mentioned Malcolm Gladwell, the author

Blauer to Santa Cruz to take a CrossFit seminar. In 2006, Blauer took

whose fascination with social psychology led to his adaptation of the

a Level 1 Certification course taught by Glassman and Burgener,

10,000-hour rule. According to the 10,000-hour rule, a person must

among others. He loved it. Then and there, Blauer knew they would

dedicate 10,000 hours of practice to a given skill before becoming an

work together one day.

expert. Blauer adjusts this to the 10,000-rep rule, saying, “Do 10,000 reps and you've begun to master something. People don’t connect

Fast forward to 2012, and the latest addition to Blauer’s self-defense

a movement until they do a drill.” If self-defense movements are

empire is born: CrossFit Defense, a one-day CrossFit seminar

practiced, drilled, ingrained in memory and instinct, it stands to

currently offered at gyms throughout the country. In the web site

reason that if and when those skills become necessary in the real

course description, Blauer writes, “If CrossFit is the study of human

world, the emotional, psychological, and physical toolbox will be open

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March / April 2013


article > Defending Self-Defense innate in us that makes us badass when we’re pissed off and backed into a corner. Having this ability to assert is only amplified when studied and practiced. The Cycle of Behavior connects motivation, expectation and visualization to assess fear instead of allowing fear to produce negative expectations. (Negative expectations might include allowing your brain to visualize all the ways that you might be pummeled by an intimidating looking individual.) Moving past assessment into planning gets you out of the Fear Loop. Suddenly, you don't see yourself being pummeled, but instead you visualize an escape plan, or do some

Coaches and athletes take part in various partner drills to practice defensive skills during

pummeling of your own. The practicality of this mindset, in all areas

a CrossFit Defense seminar. Photograph by David “Chef” Wallach, CrossFit Rubicon

of an athlete’s life, is clear. How often do you walk into your gym, and ready for use. Since the emotional, psychological and physical

see the WOD on the whiteboard, and begin imagining all the places

components of personal defense are conjoined, the ability to manage

where you might get thrashed? Before you begin your power clean,

fear – the mindset – is integral.

if you visualize yourself failing to reach full extension, you probably will. Blauer advocates developing a habit of quickly moving past this

You may find yourself thinking that’s all well and good for somebody

useless and unmotivating thought pattern and instead train the brain

who lives in a dangerous neighborhood, or is politically contentious, or

to assume the body is ready and able.

mouths off to brawny strangers in dark alleys, but how does this apply to the average peace-loving, middle-class, law-abiding CrossFitter? Blauer believes it applies intrinsically. He says, “The act of committing to CrossFit is a kind of self-defense. It defends you from being a lazy shit. It redefines your personality. It changes your confidence.” In other words, protecting one’s mental and physical health is an act of self-defense. According to this idea, self-defense is functional and fundamental and not neatly categorized. It’s not an isolation exercise. It’s a fully encompassing, dynamic, instinctive act. The pertinence of Blauer’s approach to self-defense to the average CrossFitter became clearer to me when studying Blauer’s Cycle of

Course participants learn to detect and avoid danger by improving

Behavior, an adaptation of the study of the Neural Circuitry of Fear,

awareness and make practical tactical choices regarding personal safety.

also known as the Fear Loop. This is where self-defense and CrossFit

Photograph by David “Chef” Wallach, CrossFit Rubicon

connect explicitly. In fact, this is where self-defense and being human connect. In the Cycle of Behavior presentation, Blauer breaks down

Blauer calls this Predator-Prey Reversal. Training the mind to move

the fear response in the belief that if something is named, it’s easier to

quickly into Predator-Prey reversal seems pretty handy to me, and is

confront. Or, if you know what you’re getting into, you’re more likely

a natural reaction that we all have in some contexts. Once the mind

to go into it with arms swinging. Blauer says, “There are more people

has enough exposure to a concept or problem, that problem becomes

every day who defend themselves through sheer will and indignation

familiar and ceases to be daunting. Being able to harness that instinct

than there ever will be trained fighters who get attacked and

and pull it out when it becomes useful or necessary would be a neat

successfully defend themselves.” In other words, there is something

trick. Everybody has seen or met the athlete who has mastered this. This is the athlete who assumes that Fran will be his or her bitch, instead of the other way around. Blauer posits that everybody has the potential to master this way of thinking, and that the Fran in the equation is interchangeable. Fran is just some thrusters and pull-ups, really, and perhaps the scary looking man threatening you is just a slow guy with a bum knee who relies on shocking people into submission, and isn’t banking on your failure to become shocked. With some practice – and not necessarily 10,000 hours of it – you will be more prepared to assess and act, and keep you and yours safe. Skye Pratt Epperson is a coach at CrossFit Forest in Lake Forest, CA.

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March / April 2013


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March / April 2013


Lindsey Smith photography by robin tillman - crossfit cedar park

Standing at 5'11", CrossFit competitor Lindsey Smith may be confused for a model, or at least a basketball player, when compared to fellow athletes with an average height of 5'5", but Smith has been holding her own for the past four years in the Games arena.

by lauryn lax

I will not let them define me.

Sm it h’s na me ha s become

Training is a priority this year,

synonymous with the Games,

but it is not my top priority. I

making an appearance ever y

am really trying to keep things

year since 2009. Her Games

in perspective and have a blast

timeline dates back to the days

along the way,” Smith says.

at the ranch in Aromas, CA, where she placed 5th her first

Smith was initially attracted to

year, and 12th (2010), 16th (2011)

the “blast” aspect of CrossFit

and 21st (2012) subsequently.

and that’s why she sticks with it. “Growing up, I was pretty

While Smith continues to be

much obsessed with sports,” the

strong as she approaches the

former DePaul University track,

2013 Open Season, donning

soccer, and basketball athlete

her signature headbands and

says. “I continue to compete due

Lululemon flow-Y sports bras in

to the fact that so many people

preparation, she says this year

believe in me and because of my

her perspective for training and

sheer love and passion for the

competing has shifted. “My goal

sport,” she adds.

today is simply to be better than I was yesterday,” Smith says. “I felt a lot of pressure in 2012 to claim that I wanted to be the best, that I wanted to win, those sorts of things. I have taken a bit of a step back, and while I still

“My goal today is simply to be better than I was yesterday,” Smith says. “I felt a lot of pressure in 2012 to claim that I wanted to be the best, that I wanted to win, those sorts of things. I have taken a bit of a step back.”

very much want those things,

Recounting her personal CrossFit story, Smith remembers, “My husband, Web, would occasionally talk me into working out with him after I had our daughter. At first, I was totally put off by the frequency of pull-ups and continued next page >

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March / April 2013


article > Lindsey Smith

the sheer volume of the workouts. I was also very picky what workouts I would do initially because he convinced me there was no scaled weight for women,” she laughs. “For the first six months, everything I did was as RX on mainsite. Web finally roped me in when he convinced me to compete at Regionals in 2009. However, before arriving to the competition, I had never swung a kettlebell, never used a Concept2, and never done a chestto-bar pull-up, all of which we were asked to do. By the grace of God, I qualified for the Games,” Smith says. And the rest is history.

“My biggest piece of advice to

Today, Smith can snatch 175 lbs., deadlift 345 lbs., clean 220 and

encourage new coaches is not to get

overhead squat 210 lbs., inspiring others to make big strides with

discouraged if their cues do not work

commitment and hard work.

or they are unable to see faults. We were all there once.”

About two years into training and competing, Smith joined the CrossFit Headquarters Level I Training staff to pay it forward to emerging CrossFitters, much like herself at one time. She loves connecting with the CrossFit community at large. “My schedule is kind of crazy, especially with traveling on the weekends, but the best part about the seminars is the conversation that happens between sessions, or at the end of the day. This is when you get to know people on a personal level,” Smith says. “My biggest piece of advice to encourage new coaches is not to get discouraged if their cues do not work or they are unable to see faults. We were all there once. It is a skill that is only polished through trial and error,” she adds. Aside from working with the headquarters staff, Smith’s day job description and responsibilities include: mother to Alexis (age 5), athletic director at Columbus Day School for Girls in Columbus, OH, and CrossFit trainee.

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March / April 2013


article > Lindsey Smith

A typical glance at her day planner includes:

Smit h

6:30 a.m.

and more confident herself. This

has

a lso

had

t he

opportunity to become stronger

Wake up and get Alexis and

past year, she worked with coach

herself ready for the day

Eva Claire Synkowski, a fellow

8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

colleague on the Level 1 Training

Work at the school

team, for her own training.

3:45 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. Coach high-school girls’ basketball practice

“She does all of my programming and coaches me on my movement,

6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

especially as it relates to the Olympic lifts. Right now, I am typically

Training time

training in one block of time in the evening on my own, but I love

8:30 p.m.

when I can talk someone, anyone really, into joining me,” Smith says.

Cook dinner, do laundry, bathe and read to Alexis before putting her to bed

As for the common question most top CrossFit Games’ competitors

11 p.m.

eat, Smith says, “Sorry to disappoint, but I don't have any secrets

Bed time

here. I eat clean most of the time and try to avoid high-carb processed

6:30 a.m.

foods, but for the most part I just eat what I want, which can include

Do it all over again the next day

anything. I make an effort to eat protein at every meal, and I cook at least four nights a week,” Smith says.

“I don’t know how I juggle it all, but I do know that I have to do a priority check every couple of weeks,” Smith says. I try to have Alexis

Her go-to nosh? “Bacon, and I also love peanut butter. And for an

with me when I am training as much as possible due to the fact

easy dinner: Taco salad. I cook up some grass-fed beef, throw in some

that I lose time with her when

taco seasoning and salsa, cut up

I am on the road, and she also

a variety of veggies, throw it on

comes to my competitions. On

some lettuce, add half an avocado,

occasion, I will have to ditch

and call it a meal,” she says.

training for the night to make sure Web and I are getting

Smith also admits to having a

some quality time together. It’s

sweet tooth. “I eat candy nearly

a constant balancing act. There

every day of my life and ice

is no magic formula.”

cream is my favorite cheat at least once per week,” she laughs.

Both for her daughter, and in her role as the athletic director

As for other favorites, Smith says

at an all-girls school, Smith

Home Alone is the best movie,

says, “I take great pride in the

and she loves Mumford and Sons

opportunity to be a positive role

and ‘90s hip hop/rap music. Her

model in their lives, and above

wardrobe consists of “everything

all, I just want to help create

from the tall section” at J.Crew. If

stronger, more confident and

she is reading, it is probably her

capable young women.”

Bible, as her faith is an integral

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March / April 2013


article > Lindsey Smith

part of who she is, and she

No matter what Smith is into at

dreams of doing sports ministry

the moment, whether she’s in

overseas one day. A perfect day

the band, on the field, driving

in Smith’s life of Smith would in-

carpool, encouraging young

clude the ocean and mountains,

athletes, coaching Level I semi-

adventure, excitement, and most

nars or training herself, there is one motto that keeps her

importantly, her family. And tops

going: “Commit your ways to the Lord, and your plans will succeed,

on her bucket list: “Go to Europe with Web and Alexis,” she says.

Proverbs 16:3,” she says. Little known facts about this stand-out athlete include her inner band geek playing trumpet in middle school, closely trumped by

Lauryn Lax lives in Miami, FL where she works for

her position on her high-school football team as the kicker. “I have

Peak 360 CrossFit as a public relations associate and a

broken numerous bones throughout the years,” Smith says on her

sports reporter for CrossFit Headquarters. You can follow

history with sports.

her daily blog at livingfortoday365.blogspot.com.

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March / April 2013


article > Running Out of Gas

Running Out of Gas? by

y ton

co eri fed

How to reach peak performance by working smarter, not harder

I’m a pretty strong guy and my background

is powerlifting, so when I first started training in CrossFit, I’d hear that ‘3, 2, 1’ countdown and go out like a rocket. I’d be done with the first round before anyone else, then they’d pass me up as I sat there huffing and puffing. It’s almost like the tortoise beats the hare. You want to keep the intensity up but you have to use control. Keep breathing, stay steady, and think about lasting through the whole workout instead of sprinting right out the gates. — Jason Blandford —

CrossFit Level 1 Coach and owner of Steel Mill CrossFit in Jacksonville, FL.

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March / April 2013


article > Running Out of Gas

If you’re a veteran CrossFitter, running out of gas on a regular basis

is going to be

frustrating for

different reasons. We’ve all been there. Muscles burning. Your chest feeling like it’s going to cave in. Gulping air like a

If you’re a veteran

dying fish. Whether it’s the fourth round

CrossFitter, running

of Fight Gone Bad or that second set of 15

out of gas on a regular basis

reps during Fran (or Diane or Elizabeth),

is going to be frustrating for different

the bottom line is you’ve run out of gas.

reasons. For one, you won’t see your

As you lie on your back making sweat

benchmark workout times improve

angels, you might wonder how you

much if you’re spending half the

ended up in such a sorry state.

WOD laid out in the “universal recovery

Energy Production 101

position.” Additionally, you might start

To avoid running out of “gas,”

If you’re new to CrossFit, and perhaps

resenting the fire breathers in your

you need to know what gas is. For all

intense exercise in general, the

class who make it look easy.

living things, the gas that powers cellular activity is adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

experience of gassing out can be discouraging or even frightening as you

The good news is that gassing out doesn’t

Although ATP can be generated in many

may, quite literally, feel like you’re dying.

mean there is something wrong with you

different ways,

Thinking that every workout is going

or you don’t have what it takes to succeed.

this molecule

to be a near-death experience, you may

With a basic understanding of science

is ultimately

throw in the towel and go back to

behind energy production and how that

what provides

more comfortable, albeit less effective,

energy is managed, you’ll find that peak

the energy to

means of exercise. (I’m looking at you,

performance can be achieved by working

create muscular

elliptical machine.)

out smarter rather than harder.

contractions.

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March / April 2013

Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) molecule.


article > Running Out of Gas

Only a small amount of ATP is stored

While we often look at proper form as a

directly in the muscles, and during intense

safeguard against injury, “good form” is

activity this supply is depleted in about

really a synonym for “efficient movement.”

one to four seconds. Obviously, no one is

Whether it is the “broad time and modal

gassing four seconds into a workout, and

domains” of CrossFit or any other sport,

this is because of intermediate compounds

it is this efficiency, honed during many

that generate additional ATP after the

thousands of hours of practice, that

initial supply is used up. You can imagine

separates elite athletes from novices. This

these intermediate compounds as a series of

efficiency is derived from a combination

waves. As one wave breaks, another crests,

of factors, including the development of

with each successive wave having a smaller

ideal coordination and muscle recruitment

peak and a longer wavelength, reflecting

as well as structural changes that occur

how each subsequent wave produces ATP

within the muscle tissue itself.

at a lower rate, but at a rate sustainable for a greater amount of time.

In a study of elite boxers they generated more

If you are training at sufficient intensity and eating right, another way to avoid gassing out is to focus on relaxing during your workouts.

force

lower

body

musculature, and lower ranked boxers

atine (PCr). The breakdown of PCr supplies

generated more force from the trunk and

a large amount of ATP and can fuel near

arms. A study of individuals who showed

maximal exertion for an additional four to 10

mastery of the shot put revealed a similar

seconds. As PCr is depleted, a second wave of

shift toward greater lower body recruitment

glycogen rises to meet the demand for ATP.

as skill level increased. These findings are

Glycogen cannot deliver the same amount

relevant to CrossFit, because these sports

of ATP as PCr, so at this point, the work

both require powerful “triple extension”

capacity diminishes. This moderate level of

(extension at the ankle, knee, and hip joint)

exertion fueled primarily by glycogen lasts

that is integral to many movements

for 10 to 15 minutes.

found in CrossFit such as the clean, snatch, burpee, and box jump.

These first two waves of PCr and glycogen make up anaerobic metabolism, as they do

On a structural level, muscle

not require the presence of oxygen. The third

stiffness (the ability to store and

wave, that of fatty acid metabolism, is when

release energy like an elastic

we generate energy aerobically, since oxygen

band) is a factor that contrib-

is required at this stage. This wave builds

utes greatly to efficiency.

very gradually and has a much lower peak

In practical terms, this

than the previous two, but it can be sustained

would be like trying

for days and even weeks, depending on how

to jump rope by

[ ] Good Form, Efficiency, and Energy Management

WODTALK.COM

t he

The first wave is made up of phosphocre-

much body fat one possesses.

Luke Kane discussing Chad Mackay’s 2012 Australia/New Zealand CrossFit Games Regionals performance in his article “Movement Quality” WOD Talk Issue 06, pg. 55

from

“While other athletes rushed through their movements, Chad maintained a steady pace, moving with the least amount of wasted energy. This composure and method meant Chad never had to take extended rest periods, avoided failed repetitions, and went almost the whole weekend without a ‘no rep’ call.”

34

March / April 2013


article > Running Out of Gas

extending your ankles as forcefully as you

only 15 minutes of high-intensity work

can, rotating the rope, pausing when you hit

showed greater improvements in cardio-

the ground, and then repeating. After only

vascular function (along with a nine-fold

a small number of repetitions, muscular

decrease in body fat as measured by skin

fatigue would set in (due to the processes

fold thickness) when compared to subjects

described in the above section on energy

who performed traditional high-volume/

production) and you would have to stop

moderate-intensity training.

to recover. As it is, you likely jump rope by relying on the ability of your foot, Achilles

On the anaerobic front, regular high-

tendon, and lower leg musculature to store

intensity training stimulates improvement

and release energy quickly and efficiently.

in these pathways as well, but you can also

This “recovery” of energy spares your

hedge your bets by taking a few dietary

muscle cells from having to produce all of

measures. Carbohydrate and fat-only

the force required for the movement and

meals are ineffective in replenishing

contributes greatly to nearly all athletic en-

glycogen stores, so make sure to include

deavors. (The lone exception being perhaps

plenty of carbohydrate-rich foods in your

a bodybuilding competition.)

post-workout meal. Ideally, this would be

Putting It All Together

in the form of “safe starch” such as white rice, sweet potato, taro, plantain, or yucca.

In the simplest terms, gassing out is the

Dietary creatine, which fuels the PCr

result of an energetic “demand” that

system, can be found in red meat or taken

has exceeded the available “supply.” To

as a supplement.

avoid this, you can focus on producing more energy, better managing the energy

If you are training at sufficient intensity and

you already have, or working on some

eating right, another way to avoid gassing

combination of the two.

out is to focus on relaxing during your workouts. It might seem contradictory, but

On the energy production side, high

studies show that elite sprinters show an

intensity interval training (HIIT),

increased ability to not only contract their

which CrossFit is notorious for, is

muscle but relax them as well. Breathing

an effective means of improving

deeply and eliminating unnecessar y

aerobic metabolism (the third

movements can help in this regard, as will

wave of energy production).

maintaining good functional mobility in

In as little as two weeks (at

joints such as the shoulders and hips.

three sessions per week), subjects who

Above all, work at a pace that allows you

performed

to maintain good form from start to finish.

While we often look at proper form as a safeguard against injury, “good form” is really a synonym for “efficient movement.”

Tony Federico earned his bachelor’s degree in applied physiology and kinesiology. He blogs at: FitnessInAnEvolutionaryDirection.com.

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March / April 2013


Detroit Gets First Inner- City Box

F

or a city held back by

Bell said he decided to make the move because he understood how

reputations of crime and educational

badly it was needed. Most of the local residents do not have easy

shortcomings — some deserved and

access to a gym. Aside from a YMCA downtown and a handful of other

some undeserved — and a dwindling

small gyms scattered throughout the city, Detroiters lack options for

population during the past several

working out close to home, especially for advanced training.

decades, Detroit and its residents desperately need a brighter future.

Along Detroit’s Cass Corridor, a formerly desolate neighborhood is turning around. Just up the road is a dog daycare facility. With Wayne State University a few minutes by car to the north and downtown Detroit and its central business district to the south, the location provides a promising opportunity for growth. That’s what Jarrod Bell, owner

CrossFit BMW sits on Detroit’s historic Cass Corridor, which includes landmarks such as the Detroit Masonic Temple, Cass Technical High School, and the Metropolitan Center for High Technology.

of CrossFit BMW, recognized a few years ago. CrossFit BMW had served suburban Detroit

“My goal is to provide a place where young athletes can grow and

since 2007, and several other

transfer the skills they learn to the real world,” Bell said. “I’d also

boxes exist throughout the

like to start an Olympic lifting team in the city. Many people don’t

metro area. However, when

realize there were Olympic lifting competitions in Detroit in the

Bell moved his box to the

‘60s and ‘70s. It would be great to see them return.”

city in December of last year, Bell outside his new facility before moving in with the famous Masonic Temple of Detroit in the background.

he created a milestone for

Within a few weeks of opening, Bell’s fundamentals classes were

himself, the city and CrossFit.

booked with a wide variety of new members: everyone from federal agents to police officers, students and more.

Bell’s in on the early stage of the upswing; he noted his gym was the first storefront to open there in years. His box was also the first to

Regina Sharma is a young professional who recently tried CrossFit for

open within the city of Detroit. In fact, Detroit was the last major

the first time at the new location. As a longtime resident of Detroit, she

city in the United States without a CrossFit box.

understands the positive impact the gym will have on her community.

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March / April 2013


article > Detroit Gets First Inner-City Box

by jennifer baum

CrossFit BMW made a risky move to the city that paid off for owner Jarrod Bell, CrossFit and the locals.

“As population density increases in many neighborhoods in Detroit,

“The first time I did a snatch was in elementary school,” Bell said.

the demand for quality products and services also increases,”

“It was without any formal coaching. Some friends from the 4H

Sharma said. “CrossFit BMW is a great addition to our community

club and I were looking at the guys doing it in the Olympics.”

for both existing fitness junkies and individuals looking to begin a new fitness regime.”

Bell said he was lucky to attend junior and senior

In the short term, Bell’s goal is to provide a facility that can

high

accommodate 20-25 athletes per class, at about three classes a day,

serious about sports. He

schools

t hat

were

and grow from there. Outside, Bell has access to an additional 3,000

played baseball and football.

square feet of space that he hopes to use as a jungle gym or obstacle

Coaches and players noticed

course. Bell is also formalizing plans to provide athletic training to

his athletic talents, and before

underserved youth at his facility by way of a new 501(c)3 organization.

long, Bell was coaching, too. While still in high school, Bell had an opportunity to train with a coach for professional football players. The work led to the chance to play for the Buffalo Bills, but before he could, a head injury cut the dream short. Bell recovered, but a football career was out of the question. Instead, he got into kickboxing and mixed martial arts, first as a fighter, then as a coach and personal trainer.

“My goal is to provide a place where young athletes can grow and transfer the skills they learn to the real world.”

The building before Bell moved in. In the past, a casino warehoused its goods here, and before that, the building served as a food co-op.

Superhero Inspiration His interest in fitness began at a young age, and one of his earliest role models was Jack LaLanne, sometimes known as the first

— CrossFit BMW owner Jarrod Bell

fitness superhero.

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article > Detroit Gets First Inner-City Box

Bell liked the idea of starting

“I found out about CrossFit in 2004 and started investigating

small in a garage gym,

it. Greg Glassman was doing

so much so that he

the same kind of training I was interested in, and I

quit his insurance

realized there was no need to reinvent the wheel,” he said.

job and drove to California,

visiting every box

possible along the way.

Bell liked the idea of starting Bell surveys his new location before the move. The 5,000-square-foot facility sat empty for three years.

small in a garage gym, so much so that he quit his insurance job and drove to

California, visiting every box possible along the way. Upon his return to Michigan, Bell stopped at a box in Ann Arbor run by Doug Chapman. “Doug was just as friendly and open and inviting as every other CrossFit affiliate I had met. From there, I went home and was doing CrossFit like everyone else, at globo gyms, at the park, garage, or wherever I could.” Soon after, Bell earned his CrossFit Level 1 certification in 2007. Throughout the years, CrossFit BMW

One of the first improvements Bell made to the building was to install windows. Through this window, you can see Detroit’s historic Masonic Temple.

has grown into larger locations throughout suburban Detroit to accommodate its members.


Big R isk but G reater R eward

The location of the new box is somewhat serendipitous, as it’s close to Detroit’s former Chinatown neighborhood, where Bell took White

As for the move to Detroit, the risk was great. He left an existing

Crane Kung Fu lessons as a child. “I’m from these streets; I went to

membership base, many of whom transferred to other nearby boxes

school here and was raised here. I started my athletic career as a child

(the new box in Detroit is approximately 15 miles away from his

in Detroit, and now I hope to be a role model and create a platform

previous location). But the opportunity for payoff, in membership

for other people to do something in Detroit,” he said.

growth and emotional reward, is immense.

About C rossFit BMW

As one of the first CrossFit affiliates in Michigan, Bell witnessed the

Website: www.crossfitbmw.com

invigorating, community-building effects the fitness brand has had

Address: 3124 Cass Ave., Detroit, MI 48201

on the region, and he looks forward to seeing the same results in the

Contact: (313) 576-7701, info@crossfitbmw.com

city. Bell said the response from local people has been very good so far.

Opened: December 2012 Square Feet: 5,000

“W hat we brought to the community was something new, to have that connection with the people you train and work out with,” Bell said. “That was something Greg Glassman said he never expected — it just organically came with it. Lots of ex-athletes say they miss that community and team environment and atmosphere, and the fact that CrossFit replicates those was something that struck me.” What might this mean for Detroit? Bell noted the city needs new businesses as well as health and wellness opportunities. Locals can now access quality coaching and personal training, as well as a place to interact with like-minded CrossFitters, set goals and achieve them.

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March / April 2013


Photos by John Segesta/johnsegesta.com

attack of the

supple leopard Kelly Starrett’s movement revolution takes shape in a new book by t.j. murphy

L

ast year, a yoga teacher

bloke walk ‘late’ into her yoga

was preparing to teach a

class,” writes Starrett in his new

morning class in a resort

book, Becoming a Supple Leopard:

on the Gold Coast of western

The Ultimate Guide to Resolving

Australia, a spa walking distance

Pain, Preventing Injury, and

from golden sand beaches and

Optimizing Athletic Performance

ink-blue sea water.

(Victory Belt Publishing; $59.95). It’s a monstrous work that articu-

It was 7:50 in the morning, and

lates Starrett’s vision of a “unified

the class was nearly full with

field theory” of the underlying

15 women. But the dynamics

movement and mobility principles

changed when the 235-pound

that relate to maximum athletic

barrel-chested Kelly Starrett

performance. Within the context

walked in. “The instructor’s eyes

of self-reliance and considering a

and face literally sighed in resig-

CrossFit gym as a “lab,” coaches

nation when she saw the 102 kg

and athletes can uncover prob-

kelly WODTALK.COM

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March / April 2013


lems that might lead to injury while capitalizing on every bit of power,

hadn’t done yoga in more than a decade, the disbelieving teacher

speed and stamina that might otherwise get “left on the table.”

asked, “What do you do?”

Of course, the yoga instructor did not have a clue about any of this,

A Box Without Walls

as Starrett — who earned the nickname The Cape Buffalo when he ran the Quad Dipsea ultramarathon several years ago — found his spot on the mat. “In a fake pleasant voice, she asked me if I’d ever done yoga before,” Starrett writes. He replied yes, although the full truth was that he hadn’t practiced in years. As the class began and it became rapidly apparent that this was

It was eight years ago when Starrett first stumbled

When Starrett said he hadn’t done yoga in more than a decade, the disbelieving teacher asked, “What do you do?”

no ordinary Cape Buffalo, he elicited responses

on a web site that showed a few self-defense maneuvers. Starrett’s first CrossFit.com WOD of sorts was practicing knife moves in front of a computer. Exploration of Greg Glassman’s philosophy triggered connections between the branches of Starrett’s life: an elite career as a whitewater kayaker, studies at physical therapy school, and an exceptional affinity and obsession with see-

like “Wow!” and “Great job back there!” from the newly won-over

ing and understanding human movement. Married to Juliet Starrett,

instructor. She was now wondering how many years of intense yoga

a lawyer who also had an elite kayaking background, the couple had

training the American must have logged. When Starrett said he

an infant daughter and lived in an apartment in the inner Richmond continued next page >

starrett WODTALK.COM

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March / April 2013


article > Attack of the Supple Leopard

neighborhood of San Francisco. To help buffer the cost of school,

always showed up,” Starrett says. “We never cancelled a workout due

Starrett worked jobs at The Sports Basement, a sporting goods store in

to weather.”

the Presidio, and also tended bar. CrossFit fascinated him so much that he and Juliet — despite their vast juggling act of working and raising a

Eventually, a canopy was built over part of the gym. Sometimes,

baby — started the 29th affiliate of CrossFit in the parking lot behind The Sports Basement. “These days, people open new affiliates with an expectation that they’ll be making good money doing it,” Starrett says. “When Juliet and I started San Francisco CrossFit, we didn’t have any thoughts like that.

when Starrett or his first additional coach, Adrian

“When Juliet and I started San Francisco CrossFit, we didn’t have any thoughts like that. We didn’t know what it would or wouldn’t become.”

Bozeman, arrived, they retrieved the canopy after night winds had blown it out to Crissy Field. But that wasn’t so bad, says Bozeman, who now works for CrossFit HQ. “I remember the rain on the days when we didn’t have a canopy at all.”

The Last Ice-Cold Pull-Up

We didn’t know what it would or wouldn’t become.”

In March 2012, I moved to San Francisco and went What it would not become was a gym for those wanting to be pam-

to my first workout as a member of San Francisco CrossFit (SFCF), at-

pered. The cold, wet air coming off the San Francisco Bay provided a

tending a 7 a.m. class taught by Starrett. The temperature was in the

sting to the outdoor workouts that started at 6 a.m. “At least one person

30s and the moisture in the air made it feel colder.

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March / April 2013


article > Attack of the Supple Leopard

Circled around Starrett, he prepared us for the upcoming met-con. With

Perhaps one of the most toughening elements of “The Parking Lot of

characteristic enthusiasm, Starrett said, “Nothing says good morning

Dreams” was a truck sump-pumping the Port-a-Potty. If you happened

like putting your bare hands on an ice-cold pull-up bar!”

to attend the same class that coincided with sump pumping, and the wind was drifting in from the bay, an additional level of focus on the

Except for the addition of a tent, SFCF retained

workout was required to ignore the pungent smells

much of the humble beginnings during the last eight

that punished the athletes.

years. Equipment was stored in large metal storage containers. A row of dumpsters created one of the borders of the gym. During workouts, semi-trailer trucks would force athletes to scatter as they docked

“Do you have showers?” “Showers?” replied Starrett. “We don’t even have walls.”

And yet, the Parking Lot of Dreams had its incentives. When the sky was blue and the sun warm, athletes would routinely pause to take in

into the Sports Basement to make deliveries. The

the awe-inspiring proximity of Alcatraz Island

equipment rusted and suffered in the saltwater air.

and the Golden Gate Bridge. SFCF also developed

Push-ups and burpees were performed on asphalt

an ensemble of some of the greatest coaches in

and sometimes in puddles. When those interested in joining the gym

the CrossFit world that became known for implementing Starrett’s

called to get more information, the question was often asked, “Do you

growing knowledge and stature as a doctor of physical therapy,

have showers?” “Showers?” replied Starrett. “We don’t even have walls.”

teacher of the CrossFit mobility seminar and unlikely cult-figure. continued next page >

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March / April 2013


article > Attack of the Supple Leopard

In his video blog Mobility Wod, Starrett began by turning his iPhone

“Functioning well is never a force production or work output

around on himself so he could spill all of the light bulbs in his head

compromise. We don’t have to make the binary choice between

piled up from years of coaching.

safety and a world record, sacrificing one for the other. If we chase performance first, we get injury prevention in the bargain. If we obsess

Mobility is explored in its entirety in The Supple Leopard. Starrett distills the principles from his hundreds of video lectures into a system that empowers coaches and athletes with a revitalized view of the importance of motor patterns, mobility and habits, and how they feed into a healthy athlete capable of developing his or her genetic potential. One of

over the reasons behind poor positioning, we get

One of the major points Starrett works hard to make is that the moment an athlete sacrifices movement quality to beat a PR is the moment the athlete goes backward.

the major points Starrett works hard to make is

better mechanical advantage, improved leverage, and more efficient force production. For example, improved hip mechanics may mean a change in an athlete’s total hip range of motion, but when it translates into a world record squat, it actually means a little more to the athlete. When we are able to improve a rowing athlete’s thoracic extension, sure she sits taller on the seat and

that the moment an athlete sacrifices movement quality to beat a

has better shoulder control. But when she notices improved wattage

PR is the moment the athlete goes backward. In the introduction,

output and decreased times, she is a believer and will reproduce the

Starrett writes:

phenomenon herself.”

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March / April 2013


article > Attack of the Supple Leopard

On January 11 this year, the final workout in the Parking Lot of

After the WOD, gear was put away, and at 7 p.m., the athletes

Dreams was held on a Friday night. Seven stations were created in a

and coaches caravanned through Presidio to one of the historic

free-for-all WOD that let athletes do whatever they wanted. Sangria

Utilitarian warehouses on Gorgas Avenue, originally a wood-

was on hand for those who finished early or needed a break.

framed U.S. Army building that is now the new home of San Francisco CrossFit. Surprise guests included

Starrett led the warm-up with his two daughters, Georgia and Caroline, dangling off him. A wad of plastic wrap tumbled across the lot. Starrett’s words and phrases during the warm-up were a compilation of classics:

Greg Glassman, the founder of CrossFit, and

“Do you have showers?” “Showers?” replied Starrett. “We don’t even have walls.”

“End ranges…translate forward. Mid-range

Nicole Carroll and Dave Castro, co-directors of training for CrossFit HQ. Adrian Bozeman was there, as were members who attended the gym in the pre-canopy days. With his voice teetering, an emotional

torsion…Tension hunting…Don’t make that

Kelly Starrett paid homage to Glassman and

face…Missing internal rotation…Squeeze your butt…

to the affiliate’s membership. He played a slide show of photos

Shoulder smash…Make a better decision…

taken throughout the eight-year history of the gym. It was just

Don’t make a pain face…Discipline…Punishment.”

the beginning.

T.J. Murphy is author of “Inside the Box: How CrossFit Shredded the Rules, Stripped Down the Gym and Rebuilt My Broken Down Body.” Follow T.J. at insidetheboxbook.com and on Twitter at burning_runner.

WODTALK.COM

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March / April 2013


by darin deaton

Have you noticed that as we age we lose

and strength or stability. The traditional

perform a 330-lbs. back squat. My shoulder,

f lexibility? So, why does it disappear,

method of improving human movement

thoracic and hip flexibility was not ad-

where does it go and how can we find it

is to perform stretches that relate to the

equate to get the load positioned in correct

again? For some, attaining good flexibility

particular motion. Unfortunately, unless

alignment. Through the recommendation

has always been an elusive goal. There are

the right type of stretching is employed,

of my coach, Dutch Lowy, I focused on

body types and genetic pre-dispositions

this can lead to frustration and lack of

mobility. I read several books and re-

to limited flexibility, which then yields

results. Human nature is then to focus on

searched scholarly articles on the subject.

limited mobility. To better understand

other modes of training.

By employing the methods I learned, my

flexibility, we have to define what flexibility is versus mobility.

overhead squat went from 95 lbs. to 225 lbs. I have been just as guilty as the next

in three months. I did add some strength

person to focus on metabolic conditioning,

training in those 90 days, but I attribute

Flexibility is the absolute range of motion

strength training or skill work before I do

the expedient gain in capacity to increased

of any human joint or joints and the soft

flexibility. I have learned after years of

flexibility/mobility. The movement became

tissues that influence the joint movement.

training that this philosophy and practice

easier, more efficient and natural. I like

Mobility, in contrast, is the ability of

leads to prolonged frustration and limited

to call it the “sweet spot.” When the load

the human body to use its endogenous

returns. Human movement is predicated by

is properly positioned over the center of

f lexibility and stability to create range

flexibility, mobility or lack thereof. I have

mass and in perfect balance, the movement

of motion at a joint or series of joints for

even told clients that instead of focusing

literally becomes easier. I also noticed less

simple or compound movement. The use of

on strength training, the majority of their

counterproductive strain, loading and pain

various human joints depends on several

time should be invested on f lexibility.

in joints that were previously biomechani-

factors, not just flexibility.

Unfortunately, it’s not very glamorous. Who

cally compromised.

comes to the box and wants to be known as Think of it this way: Flexibility is how far

the most flexible guy?

something will stretch, whereas mobility is

So now that we have defined flexibility and mobility and the potential value

how much of that flexibility is functionally

Here’s an example: When I first started

of increasing these physical skills, why

available. Mobility can be affected by

CrossFit training, I could barely rep out

do we lose them as we age? There are

neural movement patterns, f lexibility

95 lbs. in an overhead squat, but I could

environmental and physiological factors

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March / April 2013


“I have even told clients that instead of focusing on strength training, the majority of their time should be invested on flexibility. Unfortunately, it’s not very glamorous. Who comes to the box to be known as the most flexible guy?” continued next page >

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March / April 2013


article > Finding Flexibility that influence loss of human movement.

compartments and tissues together. Within

Tissue fibers become less elastic and

The environmental factors may include a

these tissues, cells consist of fibroblast

more plastic. The practical example

sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, poor lifestyle

and the fibers elastin and collagen. The

might be expressed by contrasting the

habits, and a general lack of appreciation

ground substance is comprised primarily

difference between a rubber band and

for movements outside normal human

of glycosaminoglycans, GAGs (linked to

nylon cord. They both can hold a load

locomotion. I have patients who frequently

proteins=proteoglycans) and associated

and handle the transfer of forces, but

identify walking their dog or going up

proteins fibronectin and laminin.

the rubber band will deform as required

the stairs at work as exercise. It is only

over a longer excursion and with superior

exercise if it disrupts homeostasis and

Age changes within connective tissue cells

elasticity and return to its original shape

has a training effect. Physiological factors

have proven to be few. On the contrary,

and length more likely than the nylon

may include disease, previous injury,

the aging changes within fibers are many.

cord. The nylon cord may stretch, but

genetic predisposition to lack of flexibility,

With collagen fibers, we see decreased

when it reaches its limit of strain fatigue,

painful joints, lack of strength, and most

solubility, stabilized reducible cross

it is more likely to be damaged or break.

importantly, aging connective tissue.

linkages, and increased rigidity. Elastin

It also requires more force to deform it.

That’s right, aging tissue. Connective

fibers experience decreased production,

This simply means that the older athlete,

tissue is any human tissue that holds

increased fragmentation, rupture and loss

if not physically active, will naturally

together or attaches bones, muscle to

of rebound. These morphological changes

have less joint, tendon and ligament

bone, muscle compartments and joints.

in fiber produce less tissue f lexibility,

movement capacity – like the nylon cord.

There are four tissues that concern us:

contracture and a loss in elastic capacity.

These tissues are also at greater risk when

Ligaments,

bone-to-bone;

So, for the older athlete, this means a loss

performing jerking or ballistic movements

tendons, attaching muscle to bone; and

in tissue excursion and functional range

such as CrossFit exercises. The common

the muscle and fascia holding muscle

of motion.

complaint of older athletes after a CrossFit

attaching

“I have patients who frequently identify walking their dog or going up the stairs at work, exercise. It is only exercise if it disrupts homeostasis and has a training effect.”

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March / April 2013


article > Finding Flexibility WOD might be muscle soreness and pain

quality is due to stability or mobility. Just

Darin Deaton PT,

from the connective tissue attachments

because an athlete cannot achieve certain

DPT, OCS received

and joints. The continuous micro-trauma

positions or key postural alignment does

his doctorate

to the connective tissue and scarring that

not mean the cause is lack of flexibility.

degree in physical

occurs after training can tighten the fibril

It may be due to lack of strength, neural

therapy from

links and naturally decrease the length

movement planning, or inert stability of a

Boston University.

and pliability of the tissue.

joint or joints. It is the coach’s obligation

He is a CrossFit

to assess and then communicate with the

Level 1 Trainer

In my opinion, any athlete who is

athlete the reason for lack of movement

and certified as

serious about their training should

quality. This program should be as

a USAW Sports

have a f lexibility/mobility program

integral to your training as nutrition,

Performance

aimed at reaching specific goals. This is

recovery, strength training, and metabolic

Coach. Additional certifications include

especially true for the aging athlete. The

conditioning. It’s not glamorous, but

CrossFit Endurance, Olympic Lifting,

program should be built on an analysis

worth the investment.

Exercise Science, Football, Kids, and

of your f lexibility/mobility through

Starting Strength Coach. Darin is the founder and owner of CrossFit Fort Worth

several movements: air squat, front

So start training and stop working out.

squat, overhead squat, long sitting reach,

Training is goal-oriented and purposeful.

and ZOIFIT, and founding senior partner of

standing lumbar flexion/extension, and

Working out is what people do without

Riata Therapy Specialists. He focuses on

overhead shoulder reach. A coach with a

regard to a specific predictable outcome.

providing an evidence-based and balanced

trained eye can observe these movements

perspective to fitness, community and

and any deficiencies. A coach can also

lifestyle management.

assess whether the lack of movement

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March / April 2013


Kane has been center stage much of his life as an athlete and entertainer, but coaching others is, according to him, infinitely more rewarding.

Kenny Kane Front and center with CrossFit’s cut-up guy, motivator, and positive force by jenna johnson

M

eet Kenny Kane: CrossFit coach at CrossFit Los Angeles (CFLA), Wodcast Podcast host and driving force behind the new Positivity Project. He’s also a devoted father, comedian, motivational speaker and longtime fitness guru. Above all these traits, he is inspirational. His motto: Be in the moment, express your talent and leave a positive mark on the world.

WODTALK.COM

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March / April 2013


article > Kenny Kane Kane grew up in a swim and tennis club with exposure to world-

One helicopter pilot in particular thanked him for helping the crew to

class athletes, including more than a few Olympians. His mother and

relax, thereby improving their ability to safely get the Special Forces

grandfather were excellent role models, instilling the value of focus

team in the right place.

and the importance of putting everything you have into whatever you do. Between his mother and grandfather (both swimming hall

Kane found that comedians, while bringing laugher and joy to their

of fame inductees), he was taught that sport can teach us the most

audiences, oftentimes struggle to find happiness themselves. Kane

important lessons in life: dedication, loyalty, risk-taking, acceptance

looked back and thought of his athletic upbringing for guidance.

of failure, hard work, team work, breath control, emotional control,

Sport, movement and athletics were part of the essence of the Kane

humility, and confidence, to name a few. Kane says that sport also

family. By the time he was 15, he had earned his black belt and

teaches you to be “in the moment,” a lesson that has stuck with Kane

became an all-state soccer player. Adding to the mix, he competed in

through his competition, coaching, and entertainment career.

triathlons for fun and started teaching hip-hop. He attended

He likes to

UC Davis to play soccer, then he

quote Anais

w a l ke d-on to

Nin: “In the

the track team

moment, we

and continued

are timeless.”

running

A not her big

for three years

post-

collegiate events part of Kane’s

until he tore his

persona

pla nta r fascia.

is

hu mor. Just

The injury ended

after college,

his

his longtime

Trial aspirations.

best

Simultaneously,

f r iend convinced him to give

Oly mpic

What do you want to do? The answer: “Teach, perform and know that the work I do makes a difference in the world.”

stand-up comedy a try. Having no

he suffered significant personal

idea where to start, Kane hired a

setbacks, including working at a job

coach to learn the basic structure of stand-

he hated and losing his girlfriend.

up. He learned the rules and basic structure and put his five minutes

In a dark place, Kane reached out to a friend for help, who posed a

up at open mics and bombed with regularity. Over time, he learned

simple but profound question: What do you want to do? The answer:

that he had to break those very rules and structures to be funny, and

“Teach, perform and know that the work I do makes a difference in

more importantly, be authentic. Athletic tenacity and a willingness

the world.”

to take the emotional punishment of failure paid off, as he locked in to the fact that his energy is what separates him from others – and

This inspired Kane to mix his comedic skill with coaching. As it

soon he was booked all over the country. Legendary booker Budd

turned out, coaching CrossFit became a magic cure-all for Kane.

Friedman took notice, calling Kane “a combination of Steve Martin

As a coach, he balances being a teacher, comedian, entertainer and

and Jim Carrey.” Throughout the years, Kane has performed in Vegas

motivator. His priority is getting an athlete “into the moment.” He

regularly and for U.S. military troops in 11 countries.

believes that athletes’ experiences are richer, bolder, and simply continued next page >

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March / April 2013


Kenny article > Kenny Kane

better when they are more present. Kane has been center stage

As a coach and advisor, Kane has been working with Andy Petranek

much of his life as an athlete and entertainer, but coaching others

and folks at CFLA for several years, developing the training programs

is, according to him, infinitely more rewarding.

and working with athletes to push the borders of fitness.

In early 2012, Kane teamed up with Eddie Iff and Arman Hammer

CFLA was among the first dozen boxes opened globally and has

to create the Wodcast Podcast. The three quickly became a hit:

served as a model for many CrossFit gyms since. Kane first arrived

Kane acting as the team “dad,” Eddie as the anecdotal goof ball and

at CFLA as a student in the beginning of 2009, three years into

Armen on the quips and quick-takes. The show is

his CrossFit career.

to CrossFit what the Daily Show or Colbert Report

In 2010/2011, Kane

is to politics. The intent is legitimate content and

led an initiative to

guests with honest and sincere humor and insight.

coach CrossFit like a

Guests on the show have included K-Starr, Mark

sport — with seasons,

Divine, Corey Reed, Lindsey Venezuela,

somet h i ng

now

generally understood but unique just two years ago. Under his leader sh ip, CFL A at hletes

focused

l i ke a la s er on a

In short, his system prioritizes the mental aspect of training: There are days you train, days you compete, and days you work mental toughness.

Katie Hogan, a UFC fighter, NFL athlete, and an ESPN host. (The Wodcast Podcast is available on iTunes, Libsyn, or kennykane.com.)

team-first approach, something unique at gyms in general, especially with individual

As if there isn’t enough on his plate, Kane is also a motivational

competitive egos. The team was ranked 29th

speaker. Blending comedy and real life experience, he talks about

in the region and was referred to as “The

“dream chasing” — taking risks to do the things you love. Realizing

Bad News Bears of CrossFit.” However, with

that so many people don’t investigate their passions, he saw an

Kane’s help, the team placed third in the Southern

opportunity to help others reach their dreams. Kane summed it up

California region and danced their way to the Games. Kane taught

nicely: “Go for it. If you win, you win! If you lose, you lose, but you

the gym and the group that this individual sport can be much more

always progress.”

rewarding when you give your all for the benefit of your team.

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March / April 2013


article > Kenny Kane Shortly after the Games, the business side of CFLA was reviewed. As

you train, days you compete, and days you work mental toughness.

with any business, the focus has to be on the masses — the people

He divides the training, competitive, and mental days into a three-

who pay to keep the box afloat. So Kane and Andy had a tough

month cycle, filling in the adaptive and scalable progressions using

decision to make: Do you focus on the firebreathers, the Games

the best available scientific design. The permutations of this grid

competitors, the professional

are, at first glance, wickedly complicated. In fact, Kane

athletes or the gym’s overall

often finds himself with multiple white boards filled

community? For the business

with illegible writing and notes scribbled on dozens of pieces of paper. Onlookers and friends shake their heads. But so far, all the athletes on his beta system have experienced 100 percent success in every re-test. Kane’s skills in coaching, motivating, inspiring, and entertaining are essential to his newest endeavor, the Kenny Kane Positivity Project. Through the project, Kane hopes to counteract our natural hu ma n

tendenc y

to gravitate toward the bad things in life – pain, anguish, trouble, etc. Kane has

developed

a

framework of thinking he described as, “Are your actions contributing to the joy (awesomeness) of the world, or are your actions contributing to the misery (dookiness) of the world?” His goal is to develop 10,000 items (articles, short videos, podcasts, etc.) chronicling people doing extraordinary things to add to the joy of the world. Initially, he will interview inspirational athletes such as Corey sake, the answer had to be

Reed, then expand it to Kane’s cohorts

the overall community.

in the entertainment industry.

It really is a vicious cycle.

For coaching, positive thinking,

Without firebreathers, the

humor and inspiration, we should all

available energy and push

be watching Kenny Kane, center stage.

are minimized, especially for the CrossFitters without

Jenna Johnson is the founder of

Games aspirations. Without

Primal Fitness Performance and an

the CrossFitters, the box cannot

active CrossFitter since March 2011.

survive, so the firebreathers

She is actively involved in the CrossFit and

have no gym available. So, how does a box serve its

Paleo communities and committed to changing lives, one day at

base clients without alienating the firebreathers?

a time, by educating, motivating and inspiring others to live a healthy, active lifestyle.

Kane developed a coaching template that works for both. In short, his system prioritizes the mental aspect of training: There are days

WODTALK.COM

www.facebook.com/Primal.Fitness.Performance

55

March / April 2013


by ryan andrews and ed bauer

Vegan and Paleo-ish Although they appear to be polar opposites, the two eating styles are more similar than different Vegan diets and Paleo diets are completely

As we are both on the frontlines of nutrition

Paleo vs. Vegan

opposite and can not be combined. Right?

and exercise coaching, we deal with diet

There’s nothing like a debate about the

Maybe.

questions each day. The two most popular

nutritional pros and cons of Paleo versus

diets we see right now? Vegan and Paleo.

vegan diets. This always makes for a good

When you think about it, vegans eat fruits,

time. Here’s a quick summary:

vegetables, nuts, seeds, and beans (beans

For the sake of this article, vegan will refer

are rich in plant protein). These are real

to plant-based whole foods. French fries,

Vegans eat beans. Beans contain lectins.

foods that the human body has a long-

beer, and chic-o-sticks are vegan, but that’s

As a plant grows, lectins act as a defense

standing relationship with.

not what we’re talking about.

mechanism against microorganisms and

Paleos eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds,

We used to think vegan and Paleo eating

lectins, the lectins resist human diges-

and meats/eggs (meats/eggs are rich in

were at opposite ends of the eating

tion, can irritate the gut wall, hinder the

animal protein). These are also real foods

continuum. But after more thought,

absorption of beneficial nutrients, and

that the human body has a long-standing

observation and experience, we're not

often elicit an immune response. Soak-

relationship with.

so sure. Now, we think vegan and Paleo

ing, cooking, fermenting, and sprouting

eaters are similar.

decrease lectins and free up healthful

pests. When we consume a plant with

Ed and I are both familiar with vegan

nutrients in legumes. Since lectins are

diets, because that’s how we eat. We both

Paleo eating has some solid ideas. We

so widely distributed in food items com-

incorporate CrossFit workouts, coach

get frustrated when we see a vegan eater

monly consumed by humans, and have

others on nutrition and exercise, and our

who wants to adopt Paleo strategies

been for many centuries, many nutrition

vegan diets have Paleo-ish tendencies

and feel they can’t because of the meat

experts assume they don’t pose a signifi-

(e.g., we focus on plenty of protein, whole

component. Wise Paleo eaters know this

cant risk to human health.

foods, not avoiding fat, etc).

to be incorrect.

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March / April 2013


article > Vegan and Paleo-ish

“If someone swaps out meat and starts eating beans instead, do you think they will become obese and die of heart disease? We don’t. And vice versa.” Paleos eat meats and eggs. Meats and eggs

America just picked up taquitos and red

or problematic compounds. If a modern

contain cholesterol and saturated fat. Diets

vines for lunch at the corner store. So let’s

Paleo diet is followed with an emphasis

rich in these components have been linked

not split too many hairs.

on meat, it’s impossible not to ingest

to chronic disease. In developed countries,

substantial amounts of contaminants.

210 mg/dl is the average cholesterol level,

If someone swaps out meat and starts

a level that predicts a 50 percent chance

eating beans instead, do you think they

Even though our ancestors didn’t eat beans,

of premature death due to atherosclerosis.

will become obese and die of heart disease?

we know they ate plenty of plants. Some an-

But total cholesterol levels are only a small

We don’t. And vice versa. We can find

thropologists say 60-85 percent of the diet

part of the story. Consider the Greek island

legitimate studies to support our positions

was plants (see resource list at the end of

of Crete: Not a single heart attack was

(and the organization funding the research

this article). Even Loren Cordain, nutrition

registered among a half million people

may have something to do with the results).

researcher, author of “The Paleo Diet” and

during a 10-year study period, and the

godfather of Paleo eating, recommends 85

average citizen of Crete has a cholesterol

How Paleo and Vegan are Different

level above 200. This might be due to the

A vegan eater interested in Paleo eating

protective effect of a Mediterranean diet. In

just eats a Paleo diet without animal foods,

excess and out of balance with unsaturated

right? Ummm, no, that won’t really work.

Remember, no matter someone’s style of

fats, saturated fats and dietary cholesterol

They’d have a hard time getting enough

eating, perfection is not necessary to see

can raise unhealthy blood cholesterol levels

protein. Beans = meat for vegan eaters.

health and body composition benefits. Just

and cause health problems. Still, in the

Beans are a critical source of vitamins,

as Paleo eaters build in 15 percent wiggle

context of an overall healthful diet pattern

minerals, and protein. So when someone

room with non-Paleo foods, if a vegan

(and not consuming more food than our

doesn’t eat meats/eggs, they should eat

or Paleo eater decides to have a bowl of

body needs), cholesterol and saturated fat

legumes/beans instead.

oatmeal or rice, and eschew processed

don't seem to be problematic.

percent Paleo to 15 percent non-Paleo. Don’t grains contribute to excess body fat?

grains and added sugars, their health Naysayers will argue that beans have

and body composition are unlikely to

Just remember, while wise Paleo and vegan

lectins and other anti-nutrients, but these

suffer (unless they have a true allergy or

eaters (note: wise Paleo and vegan eaters

can be reduced drastically by soaking and

intolerance to grains). Plus, vegans aren’t

are lean, muscular, and healthy) debate

cooking. Remember, no food is perfect. All

required to eat grains. They can get those

grass-fed beef versus lentils, the rest of

whole foods (including meat) contain toxins

nutrients elsewhere. continued next page >

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March / April 2013


article > Vegan and Paleo-ish

“Just remember, while wise Paleo and vegan eaters…debate grass-fed beef versus lentils, the rest of America just picked up taquitos and red vines for lunch at the corner store. So let's not split too many hairs. ” How Paleo and Vegan are the Same

The difference is only in swapping the

cream, crackers, donuts, candy, processed

When vegan eaters and Paleo eaters sit down

protein section of the plate; 75 percent is

foods, cheese, deli turkey, fast food chicken

to a meal, their plates will be about 75 percent

the same.

sandwiches, etc. If someone is overeating, it’s probably something processed.

the same (see plate illustrations below).

Supplementation You see, vegans eat plenty of protein, mainly

We’ve gone back and forth on supplemen-

No matter vegan or Paleo, if the goal is to

in the form of beans, nuts, seeds, and

tation throughout the years. At this point,

lose body fat, first check in with overall

protein powders. They emphasize veggies

we’d recommend a vitamin D, B12 and

food intake and hunger/fullness cues. If

and fruits, include sweet potatoes and non-

omega-3 supplement to all eaters.

the goal is to gain muscle, eat more food.

Vitamin D can be synthesized in the body

Integration

when we have access to the sun. Still, it can

There you have it. Paleo eaters often eat a

Here is how a vegan eater might build their plate.

be tough to get enough. Blood tests with your

highly vegan diet. Vegan eaters often eat

doctor will reveal if you need a supplement.

a highly Paleo diet. If a vegan eater wants

Vegan Plate

Vitamin B12 is a product of bacterial

that 75 percent of the plate is Paleo food:

fermentation. It is found in meats. It might

vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and non-

be found in some plant foods, but there

grain starches. Then simply include plant

aren’t any reliable sources. As we age, our

proteins (beans, peas, protein powders)

ability to absorb B12 in the gut diminishes.

instead of animal proteins (meats, eggs).

grain starches, and avoid processed foods, sweeteners and dairy.

to eat more Paleo-ish, they should ensure

Fats Nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut, olives

Starches/Fruit Sweet potatoes, plantains, fruits

Proteins Beans, legumes, protein powder

Vegetables Variety of non-starchy veggies

A sublingual supplement is in order for all. If a Paleo eater wants to eat more veganOmega-3 supplements aren’t mandatory,

ish, they should ensure 75 percent of the

especially if you include omega-3 rich

plate is vegan food: vegetables, fruits, nuts,

foods like chia, flax, hemp and walnuts.

seeds, and non-grain starches. Then simply

The tough part? Finding the omega-3 to

include animal proteins (meats, eggs,

omega-6 ratio sweet spot. We recommend

protein powders) instead of plant proteins

omega-3 algae oil supplements to everyone

(beans, peas).

(algae is the source for fish). Both styles of eating are about 75 percent

And here is how a Paleo eater might build their plate.

Paleo Plate Fats Nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut, olives

Starches/Fruit Sweet potatoes, plantains, fruits

Proteins Meat, fish, eggs, protein powder

Vegetables Variety of non-starchy veggies

Newbie Mistakes

similar.

Newbie Paleo eaters make mistakes, and so do newbie vegan eaters. Some of these

Oh, and you know what else most Paleo and

mistakes overlap. Both sets often don't eat

vegan eaters have in common? Both have

enough vegetables, fruits, whole food fats

awareness about animal welfare, where

(avocado, coconut, olives, nuts, seeds) or

food comes from, and don’t want the planet

protein (consistently at each meal).

to burn up before 2020.

And we can’t forget simple over- or under-

Most everyone would likely benefit from

eating. A lot of people carry extra body fat

what Paleo and vegan eaters know about

because they eat too much food. And you

food, performance, and the future of eat-

know what foods people are not overeating

ing. Let’s go spread the word.

(usually)? Grass-fed steak and lentils – the unprocessed, protein rich foods.

For more about authors Ryan Andrews and Ed Bauer,

WODTALK.COM

You know what foods people are overeating

check out www.precisionnutrition.com

(usually)? Chips, cookies, muffins, ice

and www.edbauerfit.com

58

March / April 2013


article > My CrossFit Revolution

by cory schifano

Strong is the new skinny

MY CROSSFIT A

s I repeat my internal “getting fierce” explicative, I forget the voice that asks why I want to lift this much weight. I’ve heard this voice most of my life, at least since I started ballet at age 7.

It says, “You’re only pretty when you are thin, you’re too muscular already, your legs aren’t lean and feminine, your tummy sticks out.”

The attacks on my physique can snowball into feelings of unworthiness and a reason not to reach for new heights. Most of us have these inner critics that try to protect us from getting hurt by keeping us small. But when I’m training, not only does the voice quiet, I get high. We all do. Fellow CrossFitters, lying on their faces, panting, look to one another and feel a certain…well, love. A fellow CrossFitter I didn’t know, pumped full of endorphins, told me he was going to return the pants he bought yesterday. “Why?” I asked. “After this, they’re not going to fit my thighs!” he said. We laughed. As I hit my third PR today, I turned to see what my neighbor was lifting. Wow. A 250-pound deadlift and she wasn’t done! Smoked my 170 pounds but I was still proud. (By the way, I’ve never felt more proud in my life and I use to think pride meant arrogance.) I couldn’t help but cheer her on. She put on two more five-pounders and was done, but the look on her face was so satisfying, I wanted to hug her. I felt like a teenager about to have a massive pillow fight with her best friends, but I contained myself, knowing full well I was in an altered state. Other women shared knowing glances with me. They were feeling it too.

“Most of us have these inner critics that try to protect us from getting hurt by

I know I’m not alone. I didn’t think I was the CrossFit type. It took my husband 6

keeping us small. But when I’m training,

months of continually asking me to try it before I stepped in the

not only does the voice quiet, I get high.”

door of the Great Barrington Box in Massachusetts, and I was


article > My CrossFit Revolution still reluctant. My idea of endurance sports, heavy

Someone in class called CrossFit a cult, then another

lifting and competition in general had been mostly

said it’s got so many members, it qualifies as a

negative. In yoga, when I found myself looking at

religion. For me, CrossFit is a revolution. As I struggle

what others could do, I tried to come back to my

through another burpee next to a 75-year-old woman

own body and stop comparing. Triathletes? Those

and a 300-pound man, I tell those negative inner

guys must have some sort of demons they’re trying

voices they can kiss my butt. If these people can do

to run away from.

this, then so can I.

Now I’m the one singing praises with a goofy grin,

Turns out even professional female bodybuilders have

excited to try something I’ve never done. Years ago, I

trouble putting on more than 5 pounds of muscle in

was a personal trainer and taught classes, but I got bored. I never

a year. So quiet down, inner critics. Pretty soon, I might even start

get bored at CrossFit. Class is different every day and there are so

competing! And guess what? I’m not hearing those voices as often

REVOLUTION many successes to celebrate: mine, hers, his, ours. Sometimes, I

anymore. I’m too busy committing and feeling satisfied. I don’t

enjoy someone else’s success more than my own, such as when my

have a lot of time for self-doubt. Like Tony Horton says, “Do your

partner didn’t think she had any more left in her and then busted

best and forget the rest!”

out four more with my encouragement. With so much support, we all win. I understand why people feel this is a family.

Amen to that.

Sometimes, I enjoy someone else’s success more than my own, such as when my partner didn’t think she had any more left in her and then busted out four more with my encouragement.

WODTALK.COM

63

March / April 2013


Book Review > The Strength to Endure

review by hamza shaban

the strength T

he force guru Mark Rippetoe once wrote that sports

intensity rather than unrelenting volume, and to place the learning of

medicine is really just the treatment of running induced

immaculate technique at the forefront of race training.

injuries. This straight-faced jest from the self-taught Texan captures his enduring critique of accepted gym wisdom. Where doctors and

While MacKenzie spends the majority of his time with the second

trainers extoll the benefits of long runs over piano-heavy presses,

goal (which is novel but uncontroversial), his first objective requires

Rippetoe sees a culture of frail saplings, strength and power drained

rhetorical heavy lifting.

by unceasing miles. The prevailing paradigm in endurance training focuses on distance For endurance athletes deep in the trail, a strength-based program

covered. Flowing from the teachings of Arthur Lydiard, the winning

might seem irrational. With legs exhausted from what feels like mud

program advocates a high-volume base, coupled with periodization,

churning, and an increasingly seditious psyche eroding the will

successive phases of specified training, leading an athlete to peak

to race, what use is a deadlift? In his new book, Brian MacKenzie

just as the big race approaches.

aims to show us. The Lydiard method, summaPower Speed Endurance A

Sk ill-Based

rized by Mackenzie, features to

a base phase with no less than

Endurance Training (Victory Belt

Approach

100 miles per week. Once this

Publishing) is a comprehensive

tremendous tank is built, the

guide to CrossFit Endurance (CFE).

athlete implements strength

Founded by MacKenzie and refined

and speed phases – sprints, hills

by his clients, CFE harnesses the

and races – stacking strength

hulking intensity of CrossFit,

and power onto an impressive

complemented

endurance capacity.

by

prolonged

lung-building stamina. “Just as CrossFit seeks to find a balance

After acknowledging the domi-

among metabolic conditioning,

nant success of this method,

g ymnastics, and weightlifting,

Mackenzie argues that the

CFE is a delicate dance between

endurance world downplays the

CrossFit and running, cycling and

importance of Lydiard’s intense,

swimming…” MacKenzie writes.

anaerobic work. The writer believes runners and cyclists have

In the 400-page primer, which has the

placed too much attention on

heft and neat, illustrated arrangement

long, slow distance (LSD), with

of a science textbook, the author

furious strength and efficient

has two main goals: to promote an

technique only an afterthought.

endurance program based on refined

He characterizes the endurance

The force guru Mark Rippetoe once wrote that sports medicine is really just the treatment of running induced injuries.

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March / April 2013


Book Review > The Strength to Endure

to endure attitude: “So the general M.O. of LSD training is to log as many miles

track. Lifting heavy things offers the body something that no

a possible, throw in a sprint interval and a strength-and-conditioning

whirling pedal can. (Mackenzie is quick to note that nothing can

or ‘core’ session every so often (or in phases), and acquire skill

replace road work, but the point that he pleads over and over again

through ad nauseam repetition.”

to the reader is this: After a certain number of miles, you are better off squatting big than getting in 30 more laps.)

In addition to divorcing Lydiard’s coaching from how LSD is practiced, Mackenzie also reflects on the

The skill sections of this book – running, biking,

crippling time commitments and invitation-to-injury

swimming, lifting and mobility – are a bright nexus

of months paved by miles. “…My goal was to find a

of instruction. With illustrated drills, common faults

system that worked with the realities of life; that could

and suggested programming, it is a broad and reliable

be accomplished without compromising a marriage or

reference guide. Kelly Starrett’s chapter on body

time spent with family; something that wouldn’t leave

mechanics and maintenance is essential reading.

you broken and fatigued to the point of depression; a

And for those curious about heel versus forefoot

training method that allowed for the continual growth

striking and the recent craze of minimalist footwear,

as opposed to gradual decline.”

Mackenzie expertly introduces the Pose Method of running.

Combining CrossFit with speedy time trials, sustained tempo runs

With CFE’s philosophy now memorialized, a fair question to ask in

and sprint intervals, Mackenzie offers an alternative to what he sees

the years ahead is: How many of MacKenzie’s disciples will take an

as mind-numbing, joint-crushing volume.

Ironman? How many CFE practitioners will capture an Ultra? In important and obvious ways, the only exercise program that matters

But since affairs with “Fran,” “Grace” and “Diane” are

is the one that wins.

often shorter than mere minutes, how can CFE prepare an athlete for the mental insurrection and thumping

For all the inflammatory talk online between CFE and

pain hours into a race? Against criticism that CFE lacks

LSD, to which the book’s foreword alludes, Mackenzie’s

sufficient mileage, Mackenzie counters, “I’m not saying

project is measured, self-ref lective and most

that there’s no place for long, slow distance training…

importantly, open to the scrutiny of competition. The

In fact it’s something that’s built into the CFE program.”

staying power of CFE will not be tested in MacKenzie’s

Continuing his defense of swift and severe WODing,

tired, heavy feet.

pages but in thrashing water, bruising ascents, and on the author explains that while slow, aerobic exercise can’t improve one’s ability to sprint, hurling weight and dashing down the field improves both anaerobic and aerobic capacity. “Stamina replaces long, slow distance,” he declares. Hamza Shaban is a freelance writer in Washington, DC. For MacKenzie, daunting barbells provide not only tolerance for ever-

Shaban keeps a CrossFit journal at OurJudgmentDay.com.

more daunting barbells but for winding bike paths and perpetual

Twitter: @PlanetHozz

WODTALK.COM

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March / April 2013


article > Working Around Facebook

Working Around Facebook Changes to Build Your Online Community

By Vin McCauley If you own or manage a CrossFit affiliate, chances are you connect to the membership base via Facebook. And, chances are, when you’re posting an announcement, you’ve noticed the button that says, “Promote.”

If you own or manage a CrossFit affiliate, chances are you connect to the membership base via Facebook. And, chances

“Promote.” That little button represents some big changes.

are, when you’re posting an announcement, you’ve noticed the button that says, “Promote.” That little button represents some big changes recently instituted by Facebook that may affect how you build your box’s community online.

“With nearly 600 million daily active users, Facebook provides you, the consumer, with a social platform in which you have the ability to control what information you want to share…”

With nearly 600 million daily active users, Facebook provides you, the consumer, with a social platform in which you have the ability to control what information you want to share with your connections (i.e. family, friends, co-workers, fans, etc.) or with the public. The Facebook NewsFeed, which is a list of stories from people and pages that you follow and is constantly updated, also largely controls how you interact with your connections. The NewsFeed is not a randomized selection of stories, which one would suspect, but rather a meticulously derived algorithm that determines top stories based on who posted the story, what type of post it is, and the number of comments, likes, and shares it has.

For the CrossFit affiliate industry, local boxes rely on the posts you and your friends like, share or are tagged in…

For the CrossFit affiliate industry, local boxes rely on the posts you and your friends like, share or are tagged in that can either promote or elevate their presence online. This has helped catalyze CrossFit affiliate growth. Therefore, changes to the way Facebook operates can have a profound effect on the growth and marketing of local affiliates, since the majority of growth experienced by CrossFit affiliates worldwide are either through word of mouth or digital connection.

WODTALK.COM

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March / April 2013


article > Working Around Facebook

From a business perspective, CrossFit has a concrete understanding of how social media (Facebook, Google+,

In the spring of 2012, the algorithm that Facebook uses to determine what appears on peoples’ NewsFeed was systematically altered.

Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, etc.) and blogs can help grow their subculture. In some ways, CrossFit understands this much deeper than many Fortune 500 companies. In the spring of 2012, the algorithm that Facebook uses to determine what appears on peoples’ NewsFeed was systematically altered. The EdgeRank algorithm, as it is called, limits the reach of posts from businesses on Facebook to their fans. These changes were aggressively instituted last September. Succinctly, this

How it was: If a CrossFit affiliate posted an item on their Fan Page, that post would show up on all their fans’ NewsFeeds.

is the best way to describe the change:

How it was If a CrossFit affiliate posted an item on their Fan Page, that post would show up on all their fans’ NewsFeeds. This provided an excellent communication portal and marketing

How it is now: Only 15 percent of your fans will see your post, unless you want to pay to “promote” the post. For a CrossFit affiliate with about 800 fans, which posts two to three times per day, this equates to about $20 per post.

opportunity for well-run boxes that exploited this technology.

How it is now Only 15 percent of your fans will see your post, unless you want to pay to “promote” the post. For a CrossFit affiliate with about 800 fans, which posts two to three times per day, this equates to about $20 per post. To get the same impact from Facebook as they were getting for free, they

To get the same impact from Facebook as they were getting for free, they would have to spend $1,500-$1,800 a month to receive the same communication and marketing benefits.

would have to spend $1,500-$1,800 a month to receive the same communication and marketing benefits. Why did Facebook make this change? Well, for the money. The company’s stock took a nosedive, they are wrestling with the mobile sector as a majority of users solely visit Facebook on their phones or tablets, and finally, to pay for lawsuits and account to shareholders. Fears that Facebook would no longer be free once the company went public are slowly materializing. Unfortunately, under the new algorithm, the only way businesses can ensure maximum reach and engagement to fans and friends of fans is via promoted posts, but to dodge

CrossFit affiliates should post photos, questions, and highly valuable content, post between five and 10 times per week, and finally, understand the best (and worst) times of day to share content.

the “pay-to-play” environment, there are some strategies that may help. CrossFit affiliates should post photos, questions, and highly valuable content, post between five and 10 times

continued next page > WODTALK.COM

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March / April 2013


article > Working Around Facebook

per week, and finally, understand the best (and worst) times of day to share content. Alternatively if your gym members, the fans, would like to make sure that updates, photos, videos, etc. from their favorite box appear in their NewsFeed, they’ll have to add your box name to their interest list. The process is exact and studies show it’s rarely done by the fans of the page, even when coached to do so.

When is it worthwhile to promote your post on Facebook?

When is it worthwhile to promote your post on Facebook? The benefit to paying for the post is you can expose a larger audience to your gym. If you have a particularly viral post, or if you are marketing a new program, it may be beneficial to pay to promote these. For gyms seeking growth on a small budget, pick and choose which posts you want to share. Recently, one of my clients started a ladies night class, and within days, the class filled up and the gym gained nine new permanent members. Many affiliates do an excellent job of creating a community

The strategies explored today speak of extending that community beyond your brick and mortar location…

atmosphere at the physical location. The strategies explored today speak of extending that community beyond your brick and mortar location into your members’ living rooms and work space. Community starts at the gym and any strategy beyond that must compliment the efforts that build up your brand at your box.

Integrated Social Networks Companies like Level One Sites, Yammer and Ning provide integrated social networks within the gym’s own web site.

Companies like Level One Sites, Yammer and Ning provide integrated social networks within the gym’s own web site. The benefit to building your own community on your own web site is you are in control. By investing in your own network, you will build your community beyond the walls of your box. You will also provide an excellent reason to keep current members fully engaged and coming back to your site for news, updates and connecting with other members. Regardless of changes in social media marketing and the internet, one constant is that CrossFit affiliates’ success is contingent on many factors, one of them being how well you build a community while building your brand. Vin McCauley is President of Level One Sites and an expert in social media marketing and entrepreneurship. For more information, you can reach him at vin.mccauley@yahoo.com

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THE MARKE T PL ACE

Functional Fitness Podcast with Chris Elmore & TJ Murphy Welcome to the brand new podcast hosted by WOD Talk Magazine editor-in-chief Chris Elmore and Inside the Box author TJ Murphy Check it out at:

www.metcon.tv

THE MARKE T PL ACE Promote your product and advertise in WOD Talk Magazine! With a variety of ad sizes available, we have a spot that fits you and your budget. ADVERTISING INQUIRIES If you are interested in advertising you can contact us at:

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DEAD PAGE DO NOT USE AT ALL DURING IMPOSITION


Kelly Starrett And The Dawn Of Mobilization

MARCH / APRIL 2013

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ISSUE 10


WOD Tal Magazine - March/April 2013 - Issue 10