Unnecessary Censorship

The title of this post has nothing to do with Jimmy Kimmel's unnecessary censorship. I wish it did, actually. But alas, we're swimming in a sea of stupid bullshit and I had to bring something to light.

Back in late January, I was filmed alongside Christy Phillips and Danielle Dionne in a video for the 2012 CrossFit Games...

Let me first say that I was very grateful that Christy and Danielle allowed me to be part of this experience. They let me design the entire workout, take them through each portion, and be a part of the final product. The three of us go way back to the 2009 CrossFit Games, so it was fun to do it again. I also appreciate the media guy (sorry, can't remember his name) from CrossFit HQ filming me and, more importantly, keeping me in the video. It would have been easy to say, "Ya know what, let's just blur out that bearded weirdo."

Now, let's get down to what irks me. I designed the workout with some quick skill testing and then a short metcon. It went like this:

1) Max Broad Jump - 3 attempts
2) Fastest across Strength Grid - 2 attempts
3) Max Calories on Airdyne in 30 seconds - 1 attempt
4) Six minute metcon

The above video included everything overlaid with voiceovers from Christy and Danielle about their preparation for this Games' season. All in all, it was a great workout and a cool video. There was one glaring omission, though, that both surprised and angered me. This was their six minute metcon:

amrap in 6 minutes:
3 hang clean, 135lbs
7 kettlebell swing, 70lbs
25 unbroken double-unders

Upon watching the above video, do you notice what's missing? That's right, not a single repetition of their kettlebell swings. For a while now I've been trying to understand why and the reason is almost too ridiculous to fathom. It's not because their swings were performed poorly or in a dangerous fashion. It's not because their kettlebells were made by Nike or anything. No, it's because their swings were to chest/eye level and not completely overhead.

"WTF?" indeed, funny monkey-face.

Going overhead has been called the "American" swing and swinging to chest level is often referred to as the "Russian" swing. Generally speaking, swinging a kettlebell to chest level is normal; swinging a kettlebell overhead is the CrossFit standard. Just ask AJ Moore. But this really confuses the trifling fuck out of me. I mean, the video even included footage of them carrying kettlebells over to the main gym for the metcon. And yet, they're essentially censored.

Isn't CrossFit all about variance and trying new/different/innovative shit? Hell, the Russian swing isn't even innovative since it was around BEFORE people started swinging shit overhead. Movement standards with CrossFit workouts change on a daily basis, so why is it so unthinkable to do kettlebell swings to chest/eye level? The Games don't always use chest-to-bar pull-ups. In 2009, kipping wasn't allowed during handstand push-ups; in 2011, kipping was encouraged.

Now, I'm not sure if this was HQ's doing or the camera guy, but the whole thing is stupid (and therefore, probably HQ's decision). I shouldn't even be worked up over it because in the end, it's just exercise anyways. But that's exactly it. It's just exercise. So why is the height of a kettlebell swing so offensive to these prissy, uptight douche-canoes?

The point is... there's more than one way to do something. If you don't have a climbing rope at your gym, then you can do towel pull-ups. It's not a perfect substitute, but it provides a similar stimulus. If you don't want your clients doing overhead "American" kettlebell swings because you believe the heavier weight causes a potential danger, then you can have them do Russian swings to chest/eye level. It's not a ridiculous notion. Meanwhile, CrossFit is fine with this...

But this is just unacceptable...

Well... I guess I understand Tex being unacceptable.


Paleo Challenge 2012: Day 10

Alright, I suppose I should offer some stats here. First off, a big thanks to my good friend Kari of Nutrition Figures for taking my body measurements. It's no easy task, to be sure. It took us roughly 15 minutes to awake her after she fainted from seeing me shirtless. A common side-effect of my physique. A gift and a curse, I'm afraid.

Bodyweight: 170.5lbs
Bodyfat: 11.9%
Lean mass: 150.1lbs
Fat mass: 20.4lbs

So I'm already beginning this challenge relatively lean. Personally, I think 12% is pretty good considering that I generally eat at Bobby's Burger 3-4 times per week. Not to mention, my training has be derailed to shit as of late. Kari projects I could drop down to possibly 6% on strict Paleo. I still can't decide if this is a good thing.

I had my blood taken over a month ago and I'm still awaiting the results. They won't be very reliable, though, because I wasn't fasted. Medical degree or not, some doctors are fucking morons. Regardless, I'll post those when they come in -- if they come in at all.

And finally, the moment you've all been salivating for...

I'll give you a moment to let your collective boners subside.

All good? Okay, on with it then. These pictures were taken on Day 8 of this challenge. I assure you, not much difference since Day 1, so the discrepancy shouldn't matter. Two things come to mind looking at these pictures: 1) My posture is fucking terrible and 2) My hair is fucking amazing. In any event, I'm interested to see any significant body composition changes.

We're 10 days in right now and everything is going smoothly. I'm cooking a lot. It's annoying, but I just pretend I'm a contestant on Chopped and it gets easier.


Paleo Challenge 2012: Introduction

I've done it this time. As some of you have probably heard from either me or Danielle, I will be committing to Paleo for 30 days. Thirty stupid days. In case you didn't know, the last time I tried the Paleo Challenge I lasted about 8 hours. It was a miserable 8 hours, too. Most people were amazed I lasted that long.

Truth be told, I've avoided Paleo mostly because I've been blessed with the genetics and metabolism to maintain decent body composition and strength without giving a fuck about what I eat. Perfect examples of my nonchalant eating habits can be seen here and below:

Unfortunately, as I approach age 28 (kill me now) I feel those days of shoving all manner of food into my face are eventually coming to an end. And from the perspective of a coach/trainer, it wouldn't hurt to actually practice what I preach as far as nutrition goes. Nevertheless, there are other factors at play here...

1) Health. My father has high cholesterol and he takes statins for it, which I don't agree with for many reasons. I had my cholesterol checked roughly four years ago and my results came back high -- roughly 216. I saw a nutritionist, altered my diet a bit (whole grain bread - hooray!), went back, exact same result. For the past month I've been trying to get blood work done on a variety of biomarkers of health (HDL, LDL, TAG, LDL particle size, c-reactive protein, glucose, etc), but for some reason the entire universe is conspiring to prevent that from happening. Doctors are dickheads and labs are useless. If I have insurance that will pay for the process, why can't I get blood work done whenever the fuck I want? Why does a doctor need to recommend it? Fuck a doctor. Suck my white ass, American medicine. Anwyays, this was part of the reason it's taken so long to start this stupid challenge.

2) Injury/Inflammation. As some of you may already know, I've been dealing with a knee injury for the past six months. Official diagnosis: an ossicle (bone fragment) from Osgood Schlatter's disease causing patellar tendonitis at the tibial tuberosity. Basically, there's a tiny bone embedded in my patellar tendon causing pain/discomfort during deep squatting and lunging. I've been working around it as best I can. I've seen three physical therapists, two orthopedic surgeons, and one chiropractor. I've been icing, heating, stretching, and strengthening. Not much has improved. Surgery may still be on the table, but I'd prefer to avoid it. Since tendonitis is an inflammatory response to injury, why not try an anti-inflammatory diet like Paleo? Booyah.

There's that little fucker.

3) Discipline. Lasting only 8 hours on your most recent attempt at Paleo is pretty goddamn pathetic. I consider this an exercise in self-control. I fucking love food, especially every kind that is bad for you. I'm well aware of the effectiveness of Paleo, but I've never fully committed to it. No time like the present.

So here we are. On the cusp of something annoying. No more bread, grains, shitty sugars, or dairy (except for grass-fed butter, which I'll discuss later). In the next installment, I will post some onset information i.e. body fat percentage, before pictures, and possibly cholesterol (if I ever hear from any of these ass-wipe doctors). Over the next month, I will be talking about meal plans, sleep/stress/cortisol control, energy levels, training on Paleo while injured, and so on. Stay tuned.

NOTE: I actually began one week ago, but it took me this long to write this goddamn blog post.


Announcement: Olympic Lifting Class

This should be a very quick post regarding my Saturday Olympic lifting class. I say should be because I have a tendency to ramble on far longer than necessary. Much like politicians, talk show hosts, and you telling me how "super wasted" you got over the weekend. Don't care.

Here's the deal: the 2012 Capital City Open is fast approaching. It will be a one-day event held on Saturday, April 21st at Balance Gym Kalorama. So far, I've convinced, persuaded, and downright coerced close to a dozen people to compete in it. Why? Because I think they have the potential to be good lifters and I think they'll have fun.

Now, with that in mind, many of these people are still relatively new to Olympic weightlifting and will likely need all the instruction they can get. So I have decided to reserve my Saturday time specifically for these individuals to prepare them for the meet. I do apologize to everyone else who simply wants to refine and improve their technique, but I have a handful of people who are committed to competing and I owe it to them to ensure that they're aptly prepared. I hope you understand.

For those competing in the Capital City Open, here are some important details:

1) This opportunity will only be available for three consecutive Saturdays i.e. 3/24/2012; 3/31/2012; 4/7/2012.

2) You must be a Balance Gym member and obviously someone I know. No stranger danger.

3) You must be registered for the Capital City Open in order to participate. No empty promises. Demonstrate commitment and you'll be rewarded.

4) Each Saturday will be considered an open session from 4:15PM until 6:15PM. What this means is that you can show up whenever during this time frame to work on your lifts. Obviously, the entire two-hour period is recommended.

5) You can work on the snatch, clean & jerk, or both. I will not be helping with kipping pull-ups, muscle-ups, high rep box jumps, or anything else that has absolutely nothing to do with an Olympic weightlifting competition.

6) It will be free of cost. I only ask that you take advantage of it, especially if this is your first meet. The only thing more important than lifting well and having fun is not embarrassing me. That's simply unacceptable.

As far as meet preparation goes, below is the best I can do for credentials...