WOD - 04/30/10

Mobility: DeFranco's Agile 8 & Shoulder Prep.

Weakness: 10 Minutes
Sarah: dips
Katie: dips
ODB: muscle-ups
Greg: muscle-ups from full lockout
Ryan: muscle-ups from full lockout
Nick: muscle-ups from full lockout

A. Power Snatch + OHS + Snatch Balance; heavy single in 10 minutes
B. Row - max calories in 1 minute; 4 sets; rest 60 sec
C. AMRAP in 3 Minutes: 3 C2B Pull-ups / 3 Burpees; rest 180 sec
D. DB External Rotation @ 4141; 3 sets; 10 reps; rest 90 sec

Ab Wheel Rollout Holds: 4 x 20/sec each


WOD - 04/29/10

**We will meet at Primal at 10:45AM Sunday morning to travel as a group to Balance for our team workout. That's 10:45AM, Sunday morning. Danielle and I are in the process of creating the workouts.**

Mobility: DeFranco's Agile 8 & Shoulder Prep.

Weakness: 5-7 Minutes

Run 1 short lap
50 Double Unders
25 DB Thrusters (35/20)
Run 1 long lap
30 Double Unders
15 DB Thrusters
Run 1 short lap
50 Double Unders
25 DB Thrusters

Compare to 05/13/09

Randi: 13:25 Rx'd
Greg: 17:09 Rx'd
Peter PC: 26:25 Rx'd
Nils: 21:39 (scaled)
ODB: 16:14 (scaled)

3x15 GHD Sit-ups / Back Extensions


WOD - 04/28/10


As some of you may have seen on CrossFit.com or Primal's website, Amanda Miller passed away last Friday at the tender age of 24. For those of you who don't remember, Amanda came to Primal a few times to train with Christy. She was strong, decked with tattoos, outspoken, and a fierce competitor. She served her country in the U.S. Navy and placed 55th overall in the CrossFit Games last year. Unfortunately, she lost a long, hard-fought battle with melanoma and is no longer with us.

Most times, especially here, I try not to get all sappy and emotional, but this obviously warrants it. As hard as we work day in and day out at the gym, constantly stretching out towards our goals, please never forget what's truly important in life. Be it your friends, your family, your spouse, your pets - cherish what's really valuable in your life. In the end, it won't matter how big your house is, how nice your car is, or how much money you make. It's the people in your life that matter. Never lose site of that.


WOD - 04/27/10

Mobility: DeFranco's Agile 8 & Shoulder Prep.

Weakness: 10-15 Minutes
Warm-up the movements or skills you'll be doing in your workout...

Weakness Workouts:
5 Rounds:
Farmer's Walk up & back (50lbs)
20 Double-unders


AMRAP Double-unders in 10 Minutes

Deadlifts (225lbs)

Deadlifts (225lbs)

3 Rounds:
Row 500m
3 Squat Clean & Jerk (155lbs)
5 Muscle-ups

1:30 Plank Holds - front/side/side


WOD - 04/26/10

Mobility: DeFranco's Agile 8 & Shoulder Prep.

Weakness: 15 Minutes
Sarah: grip / double-unders
Katie: mobility - hips and ankles
ODB: muscle-ups / double-unders
Greg: mobility / HSPU
Ryan: HSPU
Nick: snatch technique

A. Power Snatch + 2 OHS; work up to heavy double in 12 minutes
B. Ring Push-ups - max reps; 3 sets; rest 90 sec
C. Side-Lying External Rotation @ 4040; 3 sets; 8 reps; rest 90 sec
D. Row 500m for time

Stretch / Foam Roll / Lacrosse Ball


Recovery: Saturday Musings

In light of today's rest day, I thought I'd blather on about the importance of recovery. I've talked about it a lot and it's so damn important, I'm gonna keep on going. I'm sure most of you are currently sleeping off a hangover, frequenting a farmer's market, or asking Fanny to stop yelling at you. Either way, please find the time to read this post at some point during your weekend.

If I haven't mentioned the 23/1 Rule, now is the time. You're in the gym for at least one hour a day - getting strong, improving your mobility, and just plain busting your ass. After that, you have 23 hours to fuck it all up...

Why Haven't You Gone To Whitney Yet?

Look, I know you're not all millionaires rolling around in piles of money and driving Ferraris down the Autobahn on the weekends. But I do know that you all probably make more money than I do, but that didn't stop me from dropping money on a massage on Thursday night. I'm convinced Whitney's hands are magic.

As you may or may not know, I'm training for the Blue Ridge Open in May. It will be my first Olympic weightlifting meet ever and I'll probably finish last in my weight class. Regardless, I'm taking my training seriously and since I knew the DB Bear would throw a major fucking wrench in my training, I was proactive in my recovery. I immediately took an ice bath afterwards and I scheduled a massage with Whitney - and it was 90 minutes of awesome. You need to appreciate that proper recovery is just as important as all the work you do in the gym.

Also, although a massage session is usually expensive, Whitney's rates are actually very reasonable compared to other practices. And as I've said before, Whitney is very professional, very skilled, and really enjoys what she does. She also complimented the size of my lats. Foam rolling and lacrosse ball work is very effective, but sometimes you need to splurge and get the real thing. I guarantee you won't regret it.

Why Aren't You Taking Magnesium?

As far as minerals go, it's probably the most important one you're lacking. In an interview on Eric Cressey's website, Dr. Rick Cohen of Bioletics says the following:

"Magnesium is not only the single most important mineral in sports nutrition, but it is also one of the most critical elements in our body. About 350 enzymatic functions depend on magnesium, including ATP, the key factor that creates energy for every cell. Optimal magnesium levels enhance athletic endurance and strength by increasing metabolic efficiency. Magnesium promotes muscular contractility, decreases oxygen consumption, and improves cardiovascular efficiency.

Unfortunately, magnesium deficiency is very common. Inadequate dietary intake, sweat loss, physical and psychological stress and acidic beverages-such as energy drinks and sodas-cause the body to extract both magnesium and calcium from the bones and tissues in an effort to maintain proper blood pH. This combination of mineral loss and acidity in the body will decrease athletic performance and prolong recovery. It will also increase bone turnover and the resulting risk of stress fractures. This is exactly what we were seeing in younger female athletes with accelerated bone loss."

Why Are You Half-Assing Your Foam Roller Routine?

I'm kidding. For the most part, you guys have been very diligent with your pre-workout mobility stuff. I thank you for this and I hope it has made a difference in your day-to-day progress. Still, from time to time, I see some of you guys really flying through it. To get the most out of it, you really need to dedicate some time to each section you're working. This means going back and forth for many repetitions at a slow, controlled pace. Don't rush through the tight spots because they hurt; work on them until they feel better. This stuff works. Plain and simple. And the more you do it, the better you'll feel. Just doing it at the gym isn't always enough. You have to be proactive in your recovery.

Therefore, it would benefit some of you to buy your own foam rollers to have at home or in your office. I purchased mine from Power Systems.

Here is an article from Eric Cressey with some additional foam rolling exercises you should try. Below is a video of the routine he puts his athletes through before they begin every training session (obviously, the video demonstrates an abridged version).

"Everyone who foam rolls gets hooked on it, and everyone who doesn't thinks it's stupid. Do me a favor and spend seven dollars and buy a 12-inch foam roller. It'll change your whole life." -Mike Boyle

Don't fuck everything up in 23 hours.


Sunday Team Workout

This Sunday we will be having another team workout at 3PM. It will be open to all A-Team competitors. Just to be clear: we begin promptly at 3PM. Not 3:15PM or 3:02PM. ODB is out of town, so I reckon we'll get started right on time...

Push Yourself


WOD - 04/23/10

Mobility: DeFranco's Agile 8 & Shoulder Prep.

Weakness: 10 Minutes
Sarah: Double-unders
Katie: Hip Mobility
ODB: Muscle-ups
Greg: HSPU
Ryan: HSPU
Nick: Muscle-ups

A. Side-lying External Rotation @ 4141; 8 reps; 4 sets; rest 120 sec
B1. DB Reverse Lunges from deficit; 8 reps/leg; 3 sets; rest 60 sec
B2. GHD Sit-ups - 20 unbroken; 3 sets; rest 90 sec

Rest 3 Minutes, then:

Three Rounds:
Run 1 Long Lap @ 80%
Rest 3 Minutes

Goal is same time for each set of runs

Long Stretch / Foam Roll / Lacrosse Ball

Attack your weaknesses - you're only as good as your greatest deficiency...


WOD - 04/22/10

Mobility: DeFranco's Agile 8 & Shoulder Prep.

Clean & Jerk: optimal technique with solid transition and speed (I will explain/demo this)

Push-up Standards Review

1 Clean & jerk
1 Round of "Cindy"
2 Clean & jerk
1 Round of "Cindy"
3 Clean & jerk
1 Round of "Cindy"
...continue until...
10 Clean & jerk
1 Round of "Cindy"

"Speal vs. Khalipa"

Loading Parameters:
Sarah - 65
Katie - 70
Greg - 105
Ryan - 115
Nick - 135
ODB - 135

Ab Wheel Rollout holds: 4 x 15 sec/each

As you can tell, this workout is no joke (and likely a wet dream for Ryan), 55 clean & jerks and 10 rounds of "Cindy" ...with any luck, this should test you mentally as much as physically


WOD - 04/21/10


It seems to have been decided that Wednesday will be a rest day for everyone. I think this will be optimal. If you missed Monday or Tuesday, however, you're welcome to come in and make them up. If you feel like coming in for some light recovery work, mobility, stretching, that is fine as well.

So our current breakdown will look like this:

Monday: Workout
Tuesday: Workout
Wednesday: REST
Thursday: Workout
Friday: Workout
Saturday: REST
Sunday: Team Workout

If you feel like an additional rest day would be to your benefit, feel free to take it as needed. Please just let me know ahead of time, if possible.

Food For Thought:

John Frieh, one of Anna's ex-boyfriends, makes a good point. I've obviously expressed some personal issues with CrossFit, but one thing I cannot deny: it pushes you mentally.


WOD - 04/20/10

Mobility: DeFranco's Agile 8 & Shoulder Prep.

Weakness: 15 Minutes

A. 1 1/4 Squat @ 40% of 1RM back squat; 5 reps; 4 sets; rest 90 sec
B. Power Snatch, work up to heavy single in 15 minutes

30/30 DB Push Press

2 Rounds:
Max push presses in 30 seconds.
Rest 30 seconds.
Rest is in the overhead position.

Men use 20lbs dumbbells. Women use 10lbs dumbbells.

Stretch / Foam Roll / Lacrosse Ball / Mobility


WOD - 04/19/10

Mobility: DeFranco's Agile 8 & Shoulder Prep.

Weakness: 15 Minutes
Nick: rowing / wall balls
Greg: read this
Katie: mobility
Sarah: grip w/ Rolling Thunder
ODB: double-unders and being on time
Ryan: double-unders

A1. OHS @ 3021; 4-6 reps; 4 sets; rest 45 sec
A2. Pull-up @ 30X1; 6-8 reps; 4 sets; rest 120 sec
B1. Airdyne - Max Effort for 30 sec; 4 sets; rest 30 sec
B2. Ring Push-ups - max reps; 4 sets; rest 180 sec
C. DB External Rotation @ 3031; 3 sets; 10 reps; rest 90 sec

Tempo and reps should dictate weight for OHS; strict pull-ups with strict tempo; do not under-estimate the Airdyne... ask Nick about it

Why Do External Rotation Exercises?

You guys are always asking why I include external rotation exercises in your workouts. This is good for two reasons: 1) You're expressing genuine interest regarding the benefits of such exercises and 2) You're not blindly following me because I could just be full of shit. While there's nothing particularly sexy about external rotation exercises, they're woefully neglected in most fitness programs - CrossFit, especially.

For upper body movement primarily involving the shoulders, we essentially only move in two manners: Pushing & Pulling.

This is a pretty quick and dirty list as there are others involved as well. Nevertheless, the movements we typically perform - as far as the shoulders and upper body go - are generally in the form of a push or a pull. Rarely, if ever, does a workout involve any external rotation. This is fine at first, but it can lead to problems. Unfortunately, the term "structural balance" is lost on most CrossFit trainers, mainly because it doesn't involve the words intensity, elite, or WOD (in case you haven't heard, many people are using "wod" as a verb now). The problem is that with all of this constant high-rep, sometimes-heavy pushing and pulling, we run the risk of developing imbalances in the muscles of our rotator cuff. This can lead to a variety of issues - most notably, weakness in the shoulders, poor posture, and worst of all, increased risk of injury.

For a much more in-depth look at these muscles and why to train them, read Cressey's classic article, Cracking The Rotator Cuff Conundrum.

If you're too lazy to read the article, he basically states that rotator cuff training can help improve the following things:

1) Strength: We ALWAYS want this.
2) Safety: The only thing more important than strength.
3) Size: Not exactly the goal of everyone here, but a nice benefit regardless.
4) Posture: Belive it or not, sitting hunched at a desk all day is NOT improving your fitness.
5) Confidence: This is more mental than anything, but knowing that your shoulder stabilizers are strong and developed can mean a lot when going for a 1RM bench press, shoulder press, or clean & jerk.

Charles Poliquin, another world-renowned trainer, is a huge proponent of structural balance, especially in regards to the external rotators. In this article, he discusses several areas of imbalance that afflict most people. He also provides anecdotal evidence of how balancing out certain athletes' shoulders helped improve their strength.

Again, there's nothing really glamorous about doing external rotation work - let's face it, it's an isolation movement done with extremely light weights - but for the benefit of your shoulders and your overall performance, they are certainly in your best interest.


The Dumbbell Bear

Just a quick heads up for you sadistic jerk-offs: I will be doing the DB Bear next Tuesday, April 20th, at 6:00PM. I know most of you just want to see me suffer as I so callously watched all of you suffer on that fateful day. And just to get my excuses out of the way ahead of time...

1) I haven't done a metcon since October.

2) This will likely follow a lifting session that I plan on doing earlier in the day.

3) Don't expect to be impressed.

4) This is going to suck so bad I've already scheduled a massage with Whitney and I'm planning on taking an ice bath immediately following this misery.

Despite my bitching, for all the work you guys have put in, I suppose 20 minutes of pain is the least I can do... buncha dicks.

Is it weird that I'm watching this video to get pumped up?


WOD - 04/16/10

Mobility: DeFranco's Agile 8 & Shoulder Prep.

Weakness: 15 Minutes
Nick/Greg: Jerk technique
Katie: Mobility work
Sarah/ODB/Ryan: Double-unders

A. Side-lying External Rotation @ 4140; 8 reps; 3 sets; rest 120 sec
B1. DB Bench Press (45/25): amrap (-1); 4 sets; rest 45 sec
B2. Knees To Elbows - 10 unbroken; 4 sets; rest 120 sec
C. Long Lap x 2; rest as needed between efforts

Stretch / Foam Roll / Ice Bath / Larosse Ball / Massage

For side-lying External Rotation:
1) Stretch lats and pecs during 120 sec rest period
2) Start with your WEAKER arm
3) Stay strict with the tempo
4) No more than a 5lbs dumbbell

Riding With Courage

For those that remember, Josh Courage came in 2nd Place overall at DC's Most Primal. He wore god-awful ugly Vibram Five-Fingers, but absolutely crushed the third workout of running, double-unders, and burpees. Josh also competed in the same Sectionals that Nick did last month. Josh finished in 10th place and earned an individual spot to compete at Regionals. He's a stellar athlete, a really nice dude, and has an undeniably marketable last name.

What people don't know is that the following Monday after Sectionals, Josh got on a flight to San Francisco. After spending a few days there, he began a cross-country bike trip to raise money for Children's Miracle Network. Naturally, he's calling this endeavor Riding With Courage.

I've been casually following his progress and he's been doing well - roughly 1200 miles into the trip so far. On Tuesday, however, he had an unfortunate incident. He hit some rocks, lost control of his bike, flipped, crashed, fucked himself up, and broke his thumb.

Regardless of this little setback, Josh is getting back on his bike tomorrow, determined to continue on. I'm not sure how his injuries (especially the thumb) will affect his ability to compete in Regionals, but I am sure that he doesn't care. He's far more committed to this bike ride, as he's been planning it for some time - and it's for a much better reason. So if you have the time, head on over the his blog and wish him well. And if you have the means, please donate to his cause. It won't pay for new tires on his bike or better footwear; all proceeds go to the Children's Miracle Network. Sure, you've already filed your taxes, but this will be deductible for next year... or something... fuck if I know how taxes work...


WOD - 04/15/10

Mobility: DeFranco's Agile 8 & Shoulder Prep.

Pistols: 10 x 2/leg
Training The Pistol w/ Boz: Part 1, Part 2, & Part 3.

A1. HSPU - Men: 5 / Women: 3 negatives; 4 sets; rest 30 sec
A2. Kipping Pull-ups: amrap (-1); 4 sets; rest 90 sec
B1. Bodyweight Deadlift - 10 unbroken reps; 3 sets; rest 60 sec
B2. Max Effort Row for 1 minute; 3 sets; rest 180 sec

Stretch / Foam Roll / Lacrosse Ball

Single leg work is important - I will demonstrate variations and scaling; lot of pulling today...


WOD - 04/14/10

**Intensity will gradually ramp up in the coming days. For now, you should all still be recovering from Sunday.**

Mobility: DeFranco's Agile 8 & Shoulder Prep.

Double-unders: 10 Minutes

Men: Ring Dips: 5x3, working up to heavy 3
Women: Bar Dips: 5x3, negatives if necessary

AMRAP in 8 Minutes:
15 Double-unders
15 Push-ups

Ab Wheel Rollout Holds: 4 x 15 seconds each

Lot of pushing today, be sure to appropriately warm up your shoulders and chest. Stretch after the workout - YOGA WITH ALY @ 8PM (there ya go, Jess)

Official Standings & Team Roster

Bill, HMS, and Nick were all given the opportunity to try out today. Unfortunately, Bill could not make due to his work obligations to this stupid Nuclear Security Summit and HMS expressed that he will be too busy with work (and his badass band) to fully commit to training and Regionals. Nick, however, was eager and willing.

This morning, Nick finished the first workout in 6:41, finishing just 13 seconds ahead of Ryan for 2nd Place in Event 1. This afternoon, at a bodyweight of 154lbs, Nick clean & jerked 175lbs - once again, good enough for 2nd Place. Roughly 40 minutes later, Nick tackled the chipper. The little fucker finished in 12:30, over four minutes faster than Nate. After recalculating the final scores, Nick finished in 1st place overall.

Official Roster:


Congratulations to you all. An email with additional information will be sent to you shortly.

Everyone else, please know that you are all welcome and encouraged to continue following the A-Team workouts. Be warned, however, that I will be individualizing some of the programming to the above-mentioned people. Nevertheless, the workouts will still be available. Similarly, I encourage all of you to attend any announced Sunday team workouts - obviously, the more numbers, the better. Also, please keep in mind that in case one of the six individuals above is unable to attend Regionals, you are all potential alternates. If this happens, you may be notified last minute, which sucks, but it's another chance to compete.

Once again, thanks to all of you for everything. And congratulations to Primal's Official A-Team members!

Sunday = Whoa

What a crazy-ass day. I don't know how else to begin this really. It's obvious to see I'm at a loss for words when you look at the title of this post. Sunday was awesome (aside from a few things) so I'll do my best to recap. Bear in mind, as some people still need to try out today, none of the standings are final at the moment. Final standings and official team roster will be posted tonight.

The Good:

First off, everyone kicked serious ass on Sunday. The effort put out by everyone through all three events was epic. Nevertheless, there was one competitor who surprised everyone. We all knew he was a good athlete and worked hard, but his performance on Sunday was quite awesome. Ryan Hackett finished 2nd on Event 1, 3rd and Event 2, and 4th on Event 3. In the end, he finished in 2nd Place overall. Ryan demonstrated excellent ability in a variety of exercises and moved incredibly efficiently through all three workouts. All that with a hilarious voice.

One the female side, all the ladies did amazingly well. For starters, Jess dragged her ass out of bed, despite a stress fracture in her foot and a rough cold/flu coming on, and did the first two workouts.

Even though frustrated and struggling with the overhead squats in the final workout, Whitney Maymon gutted it out and finished it, capping off a solid all-around day. Not bad considering we haven't seen her in a little while.

Rocket Sarah got a 1st place finish in the clean & jerk and kicked major ass in the chipper to round out the day. Her second clean of 110lbs, however, definitely belongs in the "Ugly" category (check Facebook), but we still adore her.

Katie Schmidt aka SchmidtStrong absolutely destroyed the final event, with a time of 18:45 - almost a full four minutes faster than the next closest lady. She also failed her first clean & jerk because of... well, anatomy is a funny thing.

Greg put together a solid day to finish in 4th place - I don't think anyone was more surprised than him, actually. Even though he finished 7th in Event 2 with 145lbs clean & jerk, he finished 3rd both metcon events.

The only time I'll ever say Greg looks like a badass

Amazingly, Nils, Peter PC, and ODB finished the day in a three-way tie for 5th place. The tie was broken by the amount of higher place finishes a competitor finishes with. For instance, if Peter finished in 2nd in one event and ODB and Nil's highest finish was 3rd, Peter would take 5th place. After sitting down with Bin for about 15 minutes (I needed his brain since I had been awake for about 20 hours at that point), ODB finished in 5th, Peter in 6th, and Nils in 7th. The proximity between these three really shows how well balanced you guys were on Sunday. Peter just needs to work on the rings (and his elbow issues), Nils needs to work on his double-unders a bit more, and ODB needs to warm-up for his damn clean & jerks!

The Bad:

"Nasty" Nate Nash won on Sunday due to a very well balanced effort throughout the day - 4th place finish on Event 1, 2nd on Event 2, and 1st on the chipper were enough to catapult him into 1st Place overall. Unfortunately, despite his great work, he was recently informed that he will have to go to Afghanistan for work-related matters, so he will be unable to make the trip to Ohio. Regardless, he performed exceptionally well. Deloitte = Bad.

The first workout started Simon off to a rough start. For his size, chest-to-bar pull-ups and ring dips are no joke. This was exacerbated by missing his two clean & jerk attempts. Regardless, he put together a marvelous run in the final chipper, finishing 2nd in that event.

On the final workout, ODB decided to smack himself in the head with the barbell. He recovered and finished the workout under the time limit, but he scared the shit out of a lot of us. Nevertheless, despite being unhappy with his overall performance, he managed to finish in 5th place overall. Solid.

The Ugly:

As expected, Eric's multiple outfits were simply top-notch. Few work as hard on their workout wardrobe as EGP and he always pulls it off. He's also quite a badass athlete, winning the first workout with a blistering time of 6:14. He followed that by winning the second workout with a 245lbs clean & jerk - at a bodyweight of 195. Scary strong. The ugly? Well, while absolutely crushing the final workout, Eric ruptured his Achilles tendon in a freak box jump accident. It was truly fucked up. Despite a DNF on the final workout, Eric still managed to finish in 3rd place overall. Not too shabby. FYI: He'll be going into surgery on Friday for his foot, so friend him on Facebook and wish him well. FYI2: Eric spends more time on Facebook than any human being on the planet.

Note: I didn't put Nate/ODB/Simon in "Bad" and Eric in "Ugly" because they suck, I did it so I could use all three adjectives from the Clint Eastwood movie title. I'm trying to be clever here, damn it.


Interestingly enough, the most special moment came long after the events ended. With a small group eating wings and drinking beers at Duffy's, Liam and Sarah announced that they'll be getting married next weekend - Congratulations, you two!

Be Cuter


The success and awesomeness of Sunday would not have been possible without the help of our volunteer judges. Strict but fair, they took time out of their schedules to help make everything run as smoothly as it did. So I would like to take this moment to personally thank Jesse, Liam, Randi, Joe, Todd, Mac, and Bin. Without your collective efforts, I (we) would've been shit out of luck. Thanks, guys.

Best group photo I could find and I like it


Whether or you not you "qualified" you all certainly demonstrated some serious goddamn quality. For the past three months you have all worked exceedingly hard to improve and it really showed on Sunday. It's remarkable watching people do things that only three months ago they constantly struggled with. Hell, I remember when Sarah's max overhead press was 65lbs... yesterday she threw that weight around with ease in a bunch of different movements. I don't even remember how many of you couldn't do double-unders (I know it was a lot), but Katie did 40 in a row to start off the chipper. As a frame of reference, I've never done 40 in a row. And yes, I'm slightly embarrassed by this.

And to top off all of the dedication you guys have displayed these past few months, you all decided to be even more awesome and buy me a whole shitload of amazing meat - you know I'm a sucker for animal parts! And as much shit as I give each and every one of you, please know that I really do appreciate how hard you've all worked since we began this endeavor. Basically, without getting too sentimental because I hate Ryan Gosling, I just wanted to say that I am proud of each and every one of you. Thank you so much for your efforts, your camaraderie, your commitment, your willingness to trust me, and pretty much everything. You guys are the salt of the Earth...



To light the collective fire under your asses...

Day 1 Highlights from the San Diego - Arizona Sectionals - [wmv] [mov]

Check out 3:00 into the video... now you have no excuses for double-unders on Sunday. Sleep well.



I need to address some things and I think it would be better to do it before Sunday's tryout. I don't want this to mind-fuck any of you, so don't fret over it, but the sooner you all know, the better.

1) Regional Information. I recently received an email regarding Regionals in Ohio. The email included basic information like timing, logistics, and potential hotel accomodations. The main issue is when the Affiliate competition takes place: Friday & Sunday – May 7 & May 9 – Start Time 9AM Friday. I just wanted to let everyone know this basic information ahead of time, especially for everyone who makes the team. Obviously, the sooner you all know, the easier making accomodations with travel and work will be.

2) Payment. Anyone who makes the team and can commit to traveling to Ohio for Regionals needs to give me a check or cash for $50. Each team is required to deposit a $300 entry fee, which I have already paid, so whoever makes the team will have to pay their share. People who make the team will then be provided with a link to register their personal information online in the CrossFit Regionals system.

3) Nicholas Hurndon, Father of Magnus. As most of you know, Nick recently competed in the DC/WV/VA Sectionals, placing 58th overall. Not bad for an old man, but unfortunately, he didn't make the cut to qualify for Regionals. He has expressed an interest in trying out for the A-Team and most of you seem more than fine with this. The current issue is this: Nick's mother will be visiting this weekend (he only sees her maybe twice a year) and he will be unable to attend the tryout on Sunday. He said he is willing to do the workouts whenever and I've offered to let him try on Tuesday. I will do my absolute best to mimic the event as close to Sunday as possible, ensuring he gets the same amount of rest, judging standards, and ridicule I give everyone else. Before committing to this enterprise, however, I want to be sure this is okay with all of you. Feel free to post your thoughts on this matter in the comments or email me privately.

4) Myself & Regionals. At this point, I don't want to say anything too finite, but there is a possibility that I will not be able to attend Regionals. Due to some issues with my job and shift partner, there is a slight chance that I will be required to work that weekend. Nothing is set in stone at this point and I will do what I can to derail this horseshit, but we shall see. Again, I just wanted to give everyone a heads up as you all have a right to know.

That is all for now. Please provide any and all feedback you can regarding all of these matters. And once again, good luck to all of you on Sunday...

WOD - 04/09/10

Mobility: DeFranco's Agile 8.

Weakness: as much time as you like

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

Finisher 2:
Long stretch / Foam Roll / Lacrosse Ball

No time to get strong before Sunday - just work on technique and skills that need to be developed; feel free to adjust Finisher 1 as you please i.e. if you feel like throwing some light snatches into it or box jumps or any movement you want to practice, that's fine; stay loose on Saturday, get plenty of sleep, see you all Sunday morning...


WOD - 04/08/10

Mobility: DeFranco's Agile 8.

Weakness: 30 Minutes

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

Stretch / Foam Roll / Lacrosse Ball

Tapering officially begins; spend a solid half hour working on movements you need to improve on for Sunday; approach the metcon with moderate intensity, like ODB said earlier tonight, "You got nothing to prove tonight - Sunday is what matters now..."


WOD - 04/07/10

Mobility: DeFranco's Agile 8.

Weakness: 15 minutes

From the San Diego/Arizona Sectional:
3 Rounds for time of (25 min cap):
15 Deadlifts (225/155lbs)
21 Kettlebell Swings (32/24kg)
Run 1 lap

Stretch / Foam Roll / Lacrosse Ball

This will be our last difficult workout before tapering for Sunday. Scale deadlifts if necessary. You will likely be pretty sore from this one if you approach it stupidly...

Tryout Workouts Announced!!!

To the right you will see a link elaborating on Sunday's tryout. The events, heats, standards, and rules are all revealed. It promises to be a very fun and exciting event. Get pumped.


WOD - 04/06/10

Mobility: DeFranco's Agile 8.

Ring work: 10-15 minutes
Men: Muscle-ups
Women: Ring Dips

A1. Front Squat @ 50X1; 8-10 reps; 3 sets; rest 30 sec
A2. Ring Push-ups - amrap(-1); 3 sets; rest 180 sec
B1. Row - max effort for 30 seconds; 4 sets; rest 15 sec
B2. Kettlebell Swings - 20 unbroken; 4 sets; rest 120 sec
C. Toes-To-Bar - 12 reps; 3 sets; rest 90 sec

Mandatory Stretch!

We will begin tapering this week in preparation for Sunday's tryout - Wednesday will be our last rough/hard workout; someone make sure ODB gets a muscle-up today; any guesses on which movements will be involved on Sunday???


WOD - 04/05/10

Mobility: DeFranco's Agile 8.

Agility Ladder, 3 passes each style
>>>Gradually increase speed with each pass

A1. Bulgarian Split Squat Jumps; 5 x 4/leg; rest 60 sec
A2. Pull-up - 10 chest-to-bar unbroken; 5 sets; rest 120 sec
B. Snatch Balance - work up to heavy/fast single in 12 minutes; rest 240 sec
C. Run 1 mile for time

Stretch / Foam Roll / Lacrosse Ball

For pull-ups, women must do 5 unbroken (not chest-to-bar); Haven't run this distance in a while - respect how shitty it is...


The Call Out: No More Skinny Jeans!

This initially began as an email to Boomer, but it came to my realization that it would be better suited for a broader audience. Truthfully, what I'm about to say here isn't much different than what you'll fine on 70's Big day to day, but I wanted to personally write something to a select few of you.

The main people I'm targeting with this composition are Boomer, Greg, HMS, Jess, maybe Ryan and Peter PC, and hell, even 150lb Nick. I'm not picking on all of you, just throwing some names out there. Wait, no, I lied. I'm definitely picking on the first four names mentioned. And I'm always picking on Nick. And I enjoy making fun of Ryan's voice.

Who remembers the ten components of fitness? They are...

1. Cardiovascular / respiratory endurance - The ability of body systems to gather, process, and deliver oxygen.
2. Stamina - The ability of body systems to process, deliver, store, and utilize energy.
3. Strength - The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply force.
4. Flexibility - The ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint.
5. Power - The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time.
6. Speed - The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.
7. Coordination - The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement.
8. Agility - The ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another.
9. Balance - The ability to control the placement of the body's center of gravity in relation to its support base.
10. Accuracy - The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity.

If you want to excel at CrossFit, all are pretty much essential in one form or another. But to quote Dave Tate, a legendary powerlifter and coach, "The only aspect of conditioning that really will never have a negative effect on any others is maximal strength development. Maximal strength development will have a positive effect on almost every component of fitness, except maybe flexibility." In other words, of all ten above-mentioned components, strength is the most transferable to the other nine. It's that simple. Let's take Jesse as an example...

Right now, Jesse weighs around 215lbs. Hefty, sure, but strong. At the moment, Jesse squats around 377, presses 185, deadlifts 475, snatches 225, and clean & jerks 288. Now, say he devoted 4-6 weeks to conditioning (and maybe losing a bit of weight), how do you think he'd do with workouts like "Fran" or "Diane"? You really think he'd have any trouble with 95lbs thrusters? It's likely that after his 4-6 week conditioning period, he'd lose some of his maximal strength, but he would be destroying metcons pretty handily. The point is this: conditioning comes quick, strength takes time. It takes a lot of work and time to build strength, whereas getting faster at burpees or pull-ups only takes a little while.

So what does this have to do with all of you? You're weak. I'm sorry I'm not sorry. But damn it, I feel it's my responsibility to make you stronger. Look, I'm not trying to get you all to quit CrossFit and start doing powerlifting meets (unless you want to), but CrossFit is a lot easier if you're stronger. And while EVERYONE needs to be stronger, some of you definitely need to be bigger...

Here is AC from 70's Big in 2005:

Here is AC now, just five years later, deadlifting 562lbs:

Granted, he was just a teenager five years ago, but the transformation is quite obvious and awesome. Now, when socialism brings the world to its knees and the undead start feasting on the living, which AC would you rather be zombie-slaying with, the monkey or the gorilla?

So, to get right to my point, Boomer, Greg, HMS, and Jess are monkeys. Sorry, you've been called out. Which is why you four (and any others interested) will begin Starting Strength once the Affiliate Team adventure is finished. Note: Boomer has already started, thank God. Again, I can't force you to do it, but I think it will certainly be to your benefit. HMS, I don't want it to impede on your rockstar persona, but a little muscular bodyweight will give the groupie whores something to grab onto. And Greg, we all know you run like a gazelle, but I reckon it's time we make you a fucking rhino. Yes, this will require you guys to eat more, sleep more, and lift a lot, but all three of those things are totally awesome. And Boomer, if you really try doing CrossFit Endurance workouts while lifting heavy three times a week, I literally might kill you.

Again, this applies to everyone who wants/needs to be bigger and stronger. Don't worry too much about this now, but it's something to think about. Below are some excellent resources to broaden your collective horizons. I recommend starting from the beginning on 70's Big and working your way to the present. It's good stuff.

70's Big

The Novice Effect by Mark Rippetoe

The Hardgainer Attitude Adjustment by Charles Poliquin

The Starting Strength Wiki

And a quick question for people who prefer marathons over sprints...


WOD - 04/02/10

Mobility: DeFranco's Agile 8.

Rings: 10-15 Minutes
Men: Muscle-ups
Women: Ring Dips

20-rep squats @ 65-70% OF 1RM

1) Warm up to 65-70% of your last 1RM back squat
2) Once the bar is removed from the rack, it cannot be returned until all 20 reps are completed
3) You make take as much time between reps as you like
4) Be sure to have a spotter for safety (and probably to help you keep count)

Row 1000m @ 75% effort

Get serious on the rings - some of you need to hit a muscle-up already damn it; 20-rep squats are as much a mental task as a physical one - focus and get them all done; the row is simply to help your legs recover - it's not a workout; take an ice bath or you may be in more pain than you'd like...
"The seventeenth rep is done under conditions of accumulating lactic acid, the inability to satisfy an increasingly severe oxygen debt, blurred vision, aching feet, and a sensation that must be vaguely akin to drowning. And then you have to decide whether to do the eighteenth, which isn’t going to feel any better. The nineteenth and twentieth are going to be worse, and most people who have not experienced this before will quit. The ones who don’t will learn something about their own limits, and about the temporary nature of such adversity. Amazingly enough, the weight is not that heavy—the first rep and the last rep are both “light” compared to the way a heavy single feels—and the challenge is not really the generation of enough force to get back up out of the bottom. The challenge is doing it when you feel like you are about to die, when things other than making the bar go up would logically seem more important. If you have never done a set of twenty with a weight that you previously thought was a 10-rep max, you should try it sometime." -Mark Rippetoe on 20-rep squats