Forged From Rearden Metal, Pt. 3

James "OPT" Fitzgerald won the inaugural CrossFit Games in 2007. In 2008, he finished in 12th place. Last year, he finished in 16th. Needless to say, the guy knows what he's doing. To place in the top-20 three consecutive years in the CrossFit Games is no joke. Granted, it's only been around for three years, but nevertheless, OPT can perform for sure. Not only is he an excellent athlete, but he's also a brilliant trainer as well. In the below video, he discusses his gym's motto: "Get comfortable with uncomfortable." This may be of benefit to those of you competing this weekend...

Video courtesy of CrossFit.com

Good luck to everyone this weekend!


WOD - 02/26/10

Double-unders: 10 minutes

HSPU: 5-7 minutes

Clean & Jerk 10x1 - no more than 65% of best clean, focus on technique

Clean & Jerk - heavy single, then 4x1 @ 90%
Back Squat: heavy single, then 3x3 @ 88%

4 Rounds, rest as needed between each
Jog 1 lap
7 Push-ups
10 Squats

DB/KB Sidebends 4x15/side (heavy)

Long stretch / Foam Roll / Lacrosse Ball

Competitors: focus on technique for clean & jerks, big hip extension, pulling under the bar, elbows UP, solid drive on jerk, actively push under the bar, long/wide split for stability; Finisher for competitors should be done at a nice/relaxed pace


WOD - 02/25/10

Double-unders: 5-7 minutes
Pull-ups: 5 minutes - light i.e. DO NOT RIP YOUR HANDS

Double-unders: 8 minutes

Snatch Push Press 7x3 @ 85% (of snatch); rest 90 sec

2 Rounds:
Row 200m
5 Burpee Broad Jumps
10 Wall Balls

3 Rounds:
8 DB push press (30% BW each)
12 Pull-ups
16 KB swings (40% BW)

Long Stretch / Foam Roll

For those competing, approach the metcon with moderate intensity - don't dog it, but don't kill yourself doing it either; non-competitors are expected to perform at 100% intensity


WOD - 02/24/10

Snatch: heavy single, then 4x1 @ 85%
Front Squat: heavy single, then 4x3 @ 85%

3x15 GHD Sit-up / Back Extension (add weight as needed)

Again, heavy singles followed by percentages take time, as evidenced by Monday. Work up to heavy loads deliberately, making appropriate jumps.
**For Thursday and Friday, I will be posting two separate workouts for both competitors and non-competitors for DC's Most Primal on Sunday.**


WOD - 02/23/10

Double-unders: 5-7 minutes

Push Press: 6x2 @ 105% (of best shoulder press); rest 60 seconds

5 Rounds:
Run 1 lap
15 Double-unders
7 Pull-ups (chest-to-bar, if possible)

Stretch / Foam Roll / Lacrosse Ball

Weather should be fair - do not pace during laps!


WOD - 02/22/10

Pull-ups: 6-8 minutes
- Women work stringing multiple reps together
- Men work on chest-to-bar technique as well as multiple C2B reps

Snatch: 10x1 @ 70% (of Friday's HS); rest exactly 60 seconds
Power Clean: heavy single
Back Squat: heavy single, then 4x1 @ 95%

30 Burpees for time

Use the light load on snatches to focus on technique; work deliberately to your heavy singles on PC and BS, make appropriate jumps in weight by how you feel and what you've done before; burpees are fun


DC's Most Primal - Competition, Preparation & Gameday Nutrition

If you... A) Will be in town on Sunday, February 28th, B) Don't have any serious obligations to attend to, and 3) Still haven't signed up for DC's Most Primal, then you're a pussy. Yes, I'm a dick, but it needed to be said. Let's look at this for a second...


Think about what you're doing these days: You're following a completely different daily workout written by some asshole with a mohawk, some of you are shifting your diet, others have been convinced to compete in Oly meets in the near future, and you're all working hard as shit. Why? I doubt you're doing it for no reason. Odds are, most of you have a burning desire to compete. And if that's true, then participating in DC's Most Primal will only be to your benefit.

Justin Lascek, from 70's Big, has some great points on competition:
Part 1 and Part 2.


Now, that that's settled. Let's discuss preparation for next Sunday. If you're competing, it's obviously recommended that you take Saturday off. Friday should be relatively light i.e. don't go for a snatch PR or heavy single in your back squat. In fact, Friday might be best for some light rowing, foam rolling, and technique stuff - basically, to keep your motor patterns fresh and familiar. Thursday can be moderately intense if you so choose, but volume should be kept relatively low. Here's a suggested template:

Wednesday: Workout as written
Thursday: Lower volume / moderate-to-high intensity
Friday: Light work / technique / foam roll / lacrosse ball
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: Competition

This is a pretty basic suggestion and might not be ideal for everyone, as this stuff is very individualized. Regardless, this is the same format we used for Christy before last year's Qualifier and before the Games and it obviously worked pretty well (DISCLAIMER: Christy has the recovery capacity of Wolverine from the X-Men, but whatever). Tapering properly before competition is necessary to ensure you're not too tired, sore, or mentally fatigued to do your absolute best.

Gameday Nutrition:

The next aspect we must discuss is how to eat during a multi-event competition on a single day. As we all (should) know, how/what you eat fuels your performance. Again, like tapering, this is very individualized so it will differ from person to person. I've attached Sunday's tentative schedule below - it will be a full day with three very different events. I can't tell you exactly what to eat, but here are some basic - and sometimes obvious - guidelines...

1) Have a good, well-balanced breakfast with plenty of meat and monounsaturated fats (olive oil, avocado, almonds, etc).
2) Do not eat too close to an event. Crushing a Powerbar 5 minutes before you start time probably won't be ideal.
3) Do NOT introduce new foods into your diet on gameday.
4) Drink lots of fluids between events to stay hydrated.
5) Do not overeat between events. You will need to "refuel" between events, but this doesn't mean a 20oz Porterhouse and a baked potato. Between events, Christy usually ate a few slices of roast beef, some Gatorade/water, almonds, and a few recovery supplements. For some, this may be optimal, for others it may seems like too little, but keep in mind, on day one she had five events to do instead of three.
6) Electrolytes = Good. Gatorade helps, but again, don't funnel it.
7) Bring a cooler or bag of food to get you through the day.
8) Eat immediately after your event is finished to allow plenty of time for digestion before next event.
9) You might not be hungry, but getting in a little food, especially after a high intensity effort, will be to your benefit.
10) "Carbo loading" probably isn't in your best interest (fettucine alfredo, anyone?). Instead, use almonds or avocados - fat fuels performance more effectively.
11) This should go without saying, but getting absolutely shit-faced on Saturday night is a dumb idea. If I can go (almost) every weekend for two years without drinking, you can go one night. And I'm Irish.

DC's Most Primal - Tentative Schedule:

9:15AM - Registration
10:15AM - Events 1 and 2 unveiling/Heat Division
10:30AM - Event #1
11:45AM - Event #1 ends, scores tallied
12:00PM - Event #2 Demonstration
12:15PM - Event #2
1:00PM - Event #2 ends, scores tallied
1:30PM - Event #3 unveiling/heat division
2:15PM - Event #3
3:30PM - Event #3 ends, scores tallied
4:00PM - Medals and prizes

In Closing:

Obviously, I want you to all to take this seriously, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't have fun. This event promises to be a really good time, regardless of how anyone finishes or performs. Not only that, it's an excellent opportunity to test yourself and gauge how you should taper/eat when our team tryout comes around.

Blair Morrison is winning every CrossFit competition he can find in Europe. USA, baby!


WOD - 02/19/10

Snatch technique: 6-8 minutes

Snatch: heavy single
Front Squat: heavy single, then 4x2 @ 90% (of HS)

1:30 Plank hold
Rest 30 seconds
1:00 Superman hold
Rest 30 seconds
1:00 Plank hold
:45 Superman hold
Rest 30 seconds
:45 Plank hold
Rest 30 seconds
:30 Superman hold
(there was probably an easier way to write this)

Snatches should be to full squat depth - avoid power snatching and riding it down into an overhead squat, actively pull yourself under the bar!
Two weeks in...

If you've been coming in regularly and haven't taken one of these yet, you're either stupid or you're not working hard enough. I'm sorry I'm not sorry.


WOD - 02/18/10

Light HSPU work: 5 minutes
Double-unders: 5 minutes

Bulgarian Split Squat Jumps 5x4/leg; rest 60 seconds
Push Press 5x2 @ 80% (of best shoulder press); rest EXACTLY 90 seconds

500m Row
20 Unbroken Kettlebell Swings (53/44)
15 Unbroken Burpees
10 Unbroken DB Push Press (35% BW)

Long Stretch / Foam Roll / Lacrosse Ball

Focus on exploding through heels on BSSJ, utilizing hamstrings/glutes; reps on metcon must be UNBROKEN - this does not refer to putting the weights down, it means constant non-stop movement through your reps; finish with recovery work


WOD - 02/17/10

Clean & Jerk technique: 8-10 minutes

Clean & Jerk: heavy single, then 4x1 @ 85% (of HS)
Back Squat: heavy single, then 3x2 @ 90% (of HS)

DB/KB Sidebend 3x20/side (heavy)

Full squat clean and then split jerk; work up to heavy singles quickly and deliberately but also resting according - I loathe the cliche, but listen to your body


WOD - 02/16/10

Rowing technique: 6-8 minutes

Muscle Snatch: work up to medium-heavy weight
Romanian Deadlift: 4x8 @ 85% (of best clean)

5 Rounds:
200m Row sprint
100m light paddle

Mandatory 10 Minute Stretch

Technique is more important than weight for muscle snatches; 4 sets of 8 for RDL (Jess) - hook grip must be used; post-workout stretch is REQUIRED for everyone

I couldn't resist. Sixteen seconds in is pure gold. If I ever grab the handle while you are rowing, please stab me in the throat.

DC's Most Primal

You'll notice that I've added a list of important dates to the sidebar, including the Team Primal Tryout as well as the Regional competition. I've also added Primal's Fitness competition, "DC's Most Primal". I encourage everyone to sign up for this event. Why?

1) It will give you a feel for actual competition.

2) It will be fun.

3) I won't reveal anything, but the events will be varied, challenging, and cool as shit.

4) Not only will you be going up against some solid athletes from the area, but you get to go up against one another in a friendly little test of fitness.

Lastly, this isn't about winning. If you win, hell yes. If you come in dead last, oh well. It's more about the experience - competing, meeting people, gaming your performance, and testing yourself.

So sign up. Right. Fucking. Now.


WOD - 02/15/10

Double-unders: 8 minutes

Power Snatch: heavy single, then 4x1 @ 85%
Power Clean + 2 Front Squat: 6 sets, working up medium heavy weight

3x15 GHD Sit-up / Back Extension (add weight if necessary)

Weight for GHD work must be held BEHIND head.


WOD - 02/12/10

Power Clean: work up to heavy single, then 4x2 @ 85% (of HS)

Power Snatch: 4x2 @ 75% (of Wednesday's HS)
Back Squat: 4x1 @ 92% (of Monday's HS)

Stretch / Foam Roll / Lacrosse Ball

"The body becomes its function." -Bulgarian weightlifting pricinple


WOD - 02/11/10

Kipping Pull-ups: 5 minutes

Snatch Balance 7x2 @ 72% (of best snatch); rest 150 seconds

4 Rounds:
Farmer's Walk up & Back (65% BW)
9 Push-ups
6 Pull-ups

3x10 Toes To Bar

Depending on skill level, work varying degress of your pull-up i.e. stringing together more, keeping rhythm, going chest-to-bar, etc; focus on speed during snatch balance - shoot hips down to floor, press body under bar, stay tight in the middle

Nutrition, Pt. 1

At the moment, I'm not going to go crazy into detail on all of this. It's early and I can't get my thoughts in order, not until this coffee settles in at least.

Let me just start off with something simple: You cannot out train a bad diet. Let me say that again, in bold for emphasis...

You cannot out train a bad diet.

It's as simple as that. You can bust your ass in the gym everyday, but if you go home and mainline Root Beer, funnel Skittles, and inhale crap from This Is Why You're Fat, then your training will suffer and progress will be slow at best. Conversely, even if you think you eat pretty healthy, you could be wrong. You might not be eating enough, lack substantial protein intake, or drink way too much beer (I know, it's hard to believe "too much" is even possible).

Again, I'm not going to dive into too much detail at the moment, but here's a quick list of things to think about:

1) Fat doesn't make you fat, insulin does
2) Breads, grains, sugars, and processed foods cause a significant insulin spike
3) Coffee is awesome - in moderation
4) Meat is your best friend - chicken is fine, but red meat works better
5) Soda = Evil.
6) How you eat should depend on the goals of your training. Some of us want to trim down, others need to bulk up (Greg and HMS, especially - that's right, you two have been called out). Still, you will need to eat
7) Monounsaturated fats are best i.e. olive oil, avocados, macadamia nuts, almonds, and so on. Saturated fats are not as bad as people want you to believe. What does this mean? Bacon and coconut milk are AWESOME.
8) Protein and caffeine help release dopamine, the chemical responsible for feelings of "love, passion, sentimentality"... basically, coffee and bacon is like being in love.
9) If you need to gain weight/strength, you need to eat accordingly. If you weigh 160 and need to weigh 185, you need to eat like a 185lbs person. One way would be to eat 185 grams of protein per day. Easiest formula to pack on the pounds? Everyday eat 2g of protein per every pound of bodyweight. I dare you not to grow.
10) Avoid sugar as much as possible. This includes soda, artificial sweeteners, and a bunch of other crap.

That's a good starting point. I'll elaborate more on all of this soon. If you have any questions, please ask away. And a quick warning, Katie is going on a strict 30 Day Paleo Challenge. Kudos to her and try not to piss her off...


WOD - 02/10/10

Weakness: 5-7 minutes

Power Snatch: work up to heavy single
Front Squat: work up to heavy single, then 4x3 @ 78% (of HS)

Foam Roll / Stretch / Lacrosse Ball

Pick legitimate weakness and focus on it for 5-7 minutes, ACTUALLY focus on it - don't simply screw around for a specific amount of time, commit to improvement; heavy power snatch, heavy front squat; finish with recovery work


Me No Likey High Reps

I just got an email from our beloved, creepy-grinned Ryan Hackett asking, in the spirit of our Olympic lifting phase, can we do "Grace" for tomorrow's metcon? "Grace" is 30 clean & jerks for time. Here is a video of her. (Sidenote: This video was filmed at the original CrossFit Santa Cruz and Spencer was actually there for his Level 1 Certification. You may be able to see him somewhere in the video.)

Anyways, when Ryan asked if we could do "Grace," here was my response:

Absolutely not. My reasoning...

1) Olympic lifts are fun

2) Olympic lifts are highly technical - the most technical movements in CrossFit

3) To properly develop and culture technique in these lifts, especially in Bulgarian-style programming, we stick to low rep schemes (typically 3 or less)

4) "Heavy"** high rep O-lifts, while crazy anaerobic/aerobic, typically lead to form breakdown, mechanical errors, and bad habits

5) I'm not saying "Grace" is a bad workout. It's short/heavy/intense which I prefer for metcons, but if you watch videos of people doing it, it usually looks pretty goddamn ugly by rep 30 - sometimes by rep 3

6) It will benefit you (and everyone else) more to build proficiency in the lifts before tackling something like "Grace"

Long story short: you're better off getting strong/efficient with improved technique before high rep Olympic lifts cause you to develop bad, hard-to-break habits, ya dig?


**I put "heavy" in quotation marks because 135lbs really isn't heavy.

WOD - 02/09/10

Light HSPU work: 5 minutes
Split Jerk technique: 5-7 minutes

Rack Jerks 5x2 @ no more than 85% effort

Row 500m
25 Burpees

Hamstring Assessment / PNF Stretching

Rack jerks should be relatively light to improve technique; notice Aimee's speed getting under the bar as well as depth/length of her stance; quick/rough metcon; finish with some PNF pain


WOD - 02/08/10

Double-unders: 5 minutes

Power Clean: work up to heavy single
Back Squat: work up to heavy single, then 4x2 @ 80% (of heavy single)

3x10 GHD Sit-ups (weighted/heavy)

Ramp-up appropriately with good technique on PC; then quickly find a heavy single for BS, followed by 4 sets of 2 at 80% of that heavy single; lift with someone similar in strength/skill - share barbells, weights, and racks to keep things moving


Olympic Lifting Phase

Regarding our Olympic lifting phase, there are some key things I want to address. As per usual, I'll go into list form...

1) The Olympic lifts, while fast/explosive/awesome, are highly technical and will wreak havoc on your muscles and joints if you do not make optimal recovery a priority. This includes getting more sleep, eating better food (more leafy greens, less breads and grains, LOTS of protein - preferably from something that had a face and soul), as well as keeping stress low. At times, you may need to take an ice bath. Yes, these are miserable and obscenity-inducing, but you will feel amazing afterwards.

2) Ease into it. This cycle will have a lot of volume so don't go full bore on the first day. We'll have a solid month of this stuff, so there's plenty of time to improve and get strong.

3) Before lifting, make mobility drills, foam rolling, and lacrosse ball work a top priority. These things prime the joints and muscles for movement, improve range-of-motion, and most importantly, help prevent injury. Refer back to the videos I posted here for additional mobility drills you're probably not doing.

4) Constantly throughout this cycle, you will be asked to "work up to a heavy single." This does not mean a 1-rep max attempt. A heavy single is simply the heaviest weight you feel you can manage with good form on that particular day. Some days, a successful heavy single will result in a PR; other days you may fall 20# short of your PR. That's fine, you can't set a PR everyday. Regardless, do not get frustrated and do what you can. Again, WITH GOOD FORM.

5) Warming up to heavy singles, Part 2. To get your max single on a given day, it's paramount to ramp up safely and efficiently. Below, I've outlined a quick way to ramp-up that I use when Olympic lifting...

PVC Warm-up: focusing on hip extension and turnover
Hang Power Snatch 5x3 @ 45#; rest 30 seconds between sets
Hang Power Snatch + 2 OHS 4x1 @ 45#; rest 30 seconds
Power Snatch + 2 Snatch Balance 3x1 @ 45#; rest 45 seconds
Snatch 3x3 @ 45#; rest 1 minute
Snatch 3x2 @ 65#; rest 1 minute
Snatch 3x2 @ 85#; rest 90 seconds
Snatch ?X1 working up to heavy singles with at least 2 minutes rest between each

As you can see, this ends up being a LOT of lightweight reps, which is good. It warms-up the movement, allows me to work out any kinks or flaws in technique, gets the blood flowing, and does it all rather quickly. You don't have to warm-up exactly like this by any means, but if I see you put 95# on the barbell before you even attempt one rep with just the bar, I seriously might ask you to leave the gym. Or make you run long laps for the whole class. Not ramping up intelligently, especially for the Olympic lifts, is unacceptable.

Alright... get excited.


WOD - 02/05/10

Thrusters: 10 Minutes

Ring Dips 4x3, no weight

Thrusters (95/65)


Work on rack position, hip drive, and staying on heels for thrusters; use available time to get mentally prepared; yes, we're doing Fran; stretch thoroughly afterwards
**We begin our Olympic programming next week. Rest up and take an ice bath, if possible. Get a massage. Eat well. Our Oly work will be taxing on the joints and muscles and you will feel significantly worn down. This is where we get stronger.**


WOD - 02/04/10

Double-unders: 10 minutes

Bulgarian Split Squat Jumps 6x3 (each leg); no weight; rest 120 sec between sets

2 Rounds:
7 Slapping/Clapping Push-ups
5 Box Jumps (hip height)

Rest ~2 minutes

2 Rounds:
Row 100m
7 DB Push Press (45/30)

Rest ~2 minutes

Max Double-unders in 90 seconds

Lacrosse Ball Soft Tissue Work

Do not speed through BSSJ, focus on form and execution; metcon is light and power-biased, go full force, embrace rest, continue; finish with lacrosse ball work on shoulders, legs, and back - you will need it for Friday...

Two New Resources

Some of you may notice that I added two new links to the right side of the page...

The first is 30 Days at a Time, a blog owned and operated by our own David Croushore aka Swimmer Dave. In it, Dave maps out strategy's for goal setting, mental outlook, and a host of other crap. He didn't ask me to put the link up; I'm putting it because he has some good info on there. Unfortunately, he decide to post the lamest picture of himself he could find.

The second is Whitney Maymon Massage. Whitney is one of Primal's many great athletes (she's punchcarding right now) and an awesome massage therapist. I have personally been worked on by Whitney and she is legit. I got a quick 40 minute massage before work one day. Afterwards, I didn't even mind coming into work because I was so refreshed and relaxed. And that's pretty legit because I hate my fucking job. Yes, massage sessions are a little expensive, but definitely worth it. They are excellent in aiding recovery, which will be very important during our Olympic lifting phase. Whitney also left some discount coupons at Primal. So if you're considering a massage, hit her up. Whitney is skilled, professional, and has a boyfriend who isn't me (typical).

In lieu of this post, be sure to make use of the other websites provided as well, especially Robb Wolf's site - an amazing resource for nutrition information.


WOD - 02/03/10

Agility Ladder Drills

Hang Squat Snatch 6x2 @ 65%
Snatch Deadlift 5x3 @ 115% (of snatch)

5 x 50m Row Sprints; rest 60 seconds

Glute-Ham Rebounds 4x3

Incorporate agility ladder work into warm-up, think fast/accurate feet; depending on conditions, we may adjust sprints - if not, do sprint, then rest inside to stay warm; have a partner assist you with GHR - these are not fun, focus on firing hamstrings and glutes so your calves don't cramp up


WOD - 02/02/10

HSPU: 10 minutes

8x3 HSPU; rest 60 seconds (scale: HSPU negatives)

5 Rounds:
7 DB Front Squat
DB Lunge up & back
10 Box Jumps (mid-thigh)

Planks 1:30 Front/Side/Side; rest 45 seconds between each

Play around with handstands and HSPU for about 10 minutes, warming up shoulders; then perform 8 sets of 3 HSPU with 1 minute of rest between sets - form must be strict, head touches floor, full lockout at extension - scale if necessary; for lunges in metcon, DB's will be held at side; DO NOT hold onto DB's for box jumps; finish with planks