Archives for March 2008

“Why CrossFit?”, You Ask…

Chloe sent me this article today, saying it had touched her heart.  This article says it all.  It speaks for each and every one of us. It is the answer to any who would ask, "Why do you do CrossFit?".

Written by Lisbeth Darsh, CrossFit Watertown, CT

Thursday, 06 March 2008

CrossFit and the Warrior Within

Most of us are not Marines or Navy SEALs. We’re not cops or firefighters. Most of us don’t live heroic lives or even talk about bravery in any real context. We know little of real need, and less of sacrifice. Instead of facing danger daily, most of us face boredom daily; there is too much of everything in America. We have wants and large appetites. Discipline is relegated to putting half a teaspoon of sugar in our tea, or buying a smaller car to save on gas, or skipping dessert. Like it or not, this is modern-day America. We are not warriors. Yet, within our microcosm of daily abundance, we CrossFit. We willingly subject ourselves to a rigorous, demanding program that brings us to our knees. Why?

Why CrossFit? Why not just go to a globo-gym and use the cupholder on the elliptical and watch the mindless television on the treadmill and push ourselves only as hard as we feel like? Why not take the easy path? Why subject ourselves to an hour of agony each day, alone in our garages, or in a group at an affiliate, driven by some crazed trainer who asks questions like, “Doesn’t that suck?” And when we gasp, “Yes!” she laughs and hoots, “Faster!”  Why take the sweat-soaked, muscle-aching, tear-producing, hand-tremoring path of pain and perseverance that goes by the name CrossFit?
Because we must. Because CrossFit hurts. Because it makes us cry. Because it really sucks. Because it is the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do. Because it is the easiest thing we’ve ever had to do. Because we hate it. Because we love it. Because, ultimately, we want to know what courage really is. Because, in all of our time on this planet, we have never once put our lives on the line and learned what it really, really means to be afraid and step forward anyway. Because in the darkest depths of our workouts, in the minute of greatest pain, in that last ten Burpees of the Filthy Fifty, in the last Clean of “Linda”, in that airless, starry moment when we place one foot over the edge of the cliff and walk forward to see if the very clouds themselves will hold us up, in that moment – that moment alone — we are truly alive. Matraca Berg sang it best: “Leap. And a net will appear.” That net is us – the person we didn’t know we could be, the warrior within, the conqueror unleashed – that very part of us that forces perseverance, that demands discipline, no matter the consequences. CrossFit brings us to that place inside of ourselves.
In this plush, overfed part of the world that we live in, CrossFit strips us to the bone and lets us see the very marrow of our souls. And what lies there, inside of us, is not always pretty. Sometimes it is a bitter heart, or a quitter’s attitude, or a cheater’s nature.  It is raw and revealed and naked. But it is us. It is who we are, who we were, and, most importantly, who we will be if we do not work harder. In that realization of our own inadequacies, however, lies our very salvation. For, within the confines of the Workout of the Day, if we’re lucky, in that moment of dedication and drive, in that frenzy of encouragement, support, and love for our fellow CrossFitters, we also catch a glimpse of our very best selves – and, if we’re observant, we see it in others too. Through our CrossFitting efforts, we see who we could become, with a little more effort, a little more honesty, and a little more courage.  Just like a faster 5K time, that better self is within our grasp; if we try hard enough, if we do the work, if we believe. Try. Work. Believe.
This is the true challenge: to use CrossFit to become a better person, not just at CrossFit, but in life. Allow CrossFit to awaken that warrior within and then use this force to make a difference. How do we do this? By not settling for the easy option. By not using the phrase “good enough.” By learning to use — to live — words like “serve” and “sacrifice” and “community.” By doing the right thing. Always. Even when it hurts the most. Especially when it hurts the most. By living our lives so that thorough examination of our actions reveals only character, prudence, and honor. By living as a warrior should. Now, more than ever, in this overindulgent society of ours, we need warriors.  We cannot continue to expect our warrior class – our Marines, soldiers, sailors, airmen, cops, and firefighters – to bear the entire burden of protecting the very fabric of our society. We all, in small ways, must do what we can in our communities to uphold values like honesty and justice and responsibility. We must be warriors in our hearts, willing to fight for what is right, and to face the enemy, even when the enemy is us. When we CrossFit, maybe in some small way, we take that first step toward mentally joining the warrior class. And then, hopefully, we take another step. Hopefully, we inspire those around us to join us in what could be described as a crusade for a better society, a better nation, and a better world. The future really is in our hands. Leap. And the net will appear.

Ballz and Barz

WOD(s) -Double Whammy Today!
Workout "A", 6am and 9am:

"Ballz"-For Time
From Garage Door carry ball overhead to end of block
    Chuck it                                                               
Chuck it=
50 Overhead Squats with ball                                     Chest Pass 
    Chuck it                                                                  Overhead Throw
40 Slam Ball                                                                Backwards Throw
    Chuck it                                                                  Granny Throw
Carry ball overhead to garage door
30 Wall Ball

P3270023Carry ball overhead to end of block
    Chuck it
20 Full Squat Ball Cleans
    Chuck it
10 Pushups with both hands on ball
    Chuck it
Carry ball overhead to garage door and…

Up Chuck it!!

6am – Ryan – 21:25   20 lbs                        9am – Jason – 18:54   20 lbs
          Billy – 20:15   15 lbs                                   Phil – 21:37   20 lbs
                                                                         Adrian – 23:20   18 lbs
                                                                         Katie B. – 24:26   20 lbs
                                                                         Donna – 31:18   15 lbs

Workout "B"   5:30pm

7 rounds For Time:

  • 10 Sumo Deadlift Highpulls  -95 lb. M/65 lb. W
  • 10 Ring Dips

Adrian – 15:11  as Rx’d                                        Amy – 13:41   45lb, neg dips
Chloe – 15:17  neg dips                                       Phil – 13:51    as Rx’d
Ryder – 12:29, 11:50 w/ 2 pood                           Ethan – 17:03   as Rx’d

Run, Bike, Row…or Snorkel



  • Run, Bike, or Row

                5k  (5,000m, 3 miles)

Compare to February 2008.

Educational Videos:
Run Corrections, Running Technique, Rowing Technique, Rowing Basics

Snorkeling…..                 Lava Tubes….                  Sunning Sea Turtles….

Bashing and opening coconuts on the beach…caveman style.

Carbs Are Like an Ecstasy Laden, Drunken Binge at the Playboy Mansion

Robb Wolf, of CrossFit NorCal, in Chico, CA, is also one of the editors and contributors of The Performance Menu, a fitness and nutrition journal full of educational information and recipes for fuel, performance, and health.

Robb gave our nutrition lecture at the Rainier CrossFit cert last
weekend and hammered home some really excellent information and points
that I wanted to share. 


Posted on January 28, 2008

Sue left the following question which I think is important and offers some interesting insights:
Thanks for the great post. It made me think and stop acting
like such a victim because of my weight gain. What do you say to the
yo-yo dieters out there like me?


The dieting merry-go-round is an interesting thing. So much
information and good intention, so few favorable results. One result is
a sense of failure on the part of dieters that takes on the likeness of
a relationship gone bad. Promises are made, only to be broken and a
sense of betrayal ensues. Instead of the dynamic describing two lovers
this is the personal hell that many people face. Rosy picture isn’t it!

Part of what makes this situation so difficult is that people are
facing tough biological, social and psychological issues when
attempting to alter eating habits. All of these issues end up stuck
together and the glue, not surprisingly, is carbs. WHOA! you might be
saying…that’s a lot to lay on a piece of toast or a plate of
potatoes…but in my experience this is exactly the issue. Lets take
these apart one at a time:

Biological- When folks mention they are yo-yo dieting they are NOT
having a problem eating meat, veggies, nuts and olive oil to excess.
Whatever the clueless Mcdougalites may say, it’s not being ON the low
carb diet that’s a problem, it’s going off the rails and eating every
carbohydrate in site down to the bark on trees! Calorie restriction
doesn’t work and just feeds into neurosis. It sounds great and plays
into our puritanical leanings but it is a failed venture. I’m not sure
why but everyone from the government to doctors to theologians LOVE
this whole calorie restriction thing…”Eat less, be prudent..have more
water dense vegetables…drink a glass of water before a meal to blunt
hunger.” Bullshit. None of that crap works and it just leads people
down a path towards failure.

The people who have success with this stuff find a level of carb
intake that “works”. This level is different from person to person but
it mirrors what people like the Dr.’s Eades and others have said for

Social- have you ever noticed that no one says a word to the folks
who eat a bag of chips and a coke for lunch but if you have a piece of
grilled meat, a bag of nuts and a salad you can sell tickets to your
lunch hour as a circus side show? It’s an interesting but well
documented fact that people do not like seeing others change or make
progress. Come from a poor or dysfunctional family? Did you work to get
healthy and perhaps wealthy? Are your family members excited about your
success or least bit resentful? We see this almost daily…one spouse
starts training and eating differently…they start making progress and
change and the significant-other freaks out. It either undermines the
efforts of our client or the couple tends to split. No shit here
folks…heavy stuff but we have seen this pattern play out dozens of
times the past 5 years. So part of yo-yo dieting is that people
undermine our progress. It kinda sucks to catch flack for trying to
affect positive change and sometimes it’s just enough to slide one back
to junk-food (that’s TOO MANY CARBS if you missed the section above).
Where does personal accountability come into this? Glad you asked…

Psychological- for some damn reason people have some kind of self
sabotage thing they get going. For some it relates to diet, for others
it’s betting on football and buying shit they do not need. Whatever the
issue is the individual knows better, sets their will for change…then
fails, feels like crap and the cycle continues. Some people do manage
to affect change…but no one knows what the hell it is they are doing
differently so it’s really tough to replicate. A growing number of
psychiatrists think that drugs, talk therapy and chakra balancing are
not very effective at helping people change. What is effective? Sleep,
omega-3 fatty acids, and a tightly controlled insulin level. I know
this is dragging things back to the biological but most of the yo-yo
dieting, bad relationships gambling…it’s all neuro-chemistry and you
either take steps to remedy the situation…or you don’t. If you are not
sleeping well (and enough), taking your fish oil and keeping your
insulin levels under control NOTHING YOU DO WILL WORK.

I’m sorry if this is a bit of a downer but some things just can not
be snuck-up on. Some things require a fundamental shift in how you are
doing things…if you want to kill the yo-yo dieting (and most behaviors
that are troubling) you need to do some combo of the following:

1-Best defense: Don’t be there. What his means is do not have crap
in the house. NONE. We do not have self control, we are not wired for
it. This is that deal where folks have 8lbs of beef cooked in the
refrigerator and they quip “I’m hungry…I’m bored with this…” You’re not
bored, you are addicted to crack and you need to decide how you are
going to handle the situation. If you absolutely MUST have some, go out
and eat it. Make it high quality and do not bring ANY home. No
Gad-damned Ezekial bread that can be gnoshed down at 2am as a peanut
butter and jelly sandwich. Meat & veggies, nuts & seeds…that’s
what you have on hand at home. If you are not convinced, let me use
this analogy:

Most people feel like they can pull off a committed, monogamous
relationship.They can avoid a bit of temptation, and do just fine.
Cool. What if you are drunk and you just took a whopping dose of
Ecstasy…and 10 of the hottest members of whatever sex you are into walk
into the room with you and insist on having their way with you. Refined
carbs are analogous to an alcohol soaked Ecstasy binge at the PlayBoy
Mansion. If you are OK with the consequences of that fact, fine but if
you are looking to affect change you need to know that will power will
fail you EVERY TIME. You need to plan and you need to keep your home
free of crack.

2-Rally the troops or go it alone. Tell the people near you, be it
family or friends what you are up to and that you need their help. If
they rally to your aid, great, it will really help things. If they
begin undermining you as I mentioned above you need to distance
yourself and minimize their influence. Obviously this can suck if it’s
your best friend, spouse or boss but things are tough enough. If you
let the people around you undermine your activities…bad on you. Your
eyes are open and you know better.

3- Give yourself a break. This may seem at odds with the
ass-whooping I’ve unleashed but you are only one meal away from perfect
compliance. Obviously this can not stretch into an infinity of
non-compliance (unless you are my parents!) but you need to take it
easy on your bad-self. You CAN do this but you actually have to DO it.

We see three basic behavious in our clients with regards to food.
Some folks “get it”. They generally eat what they should, when they
should. They feel good and they make great progress at more or less a
constant rate. Some of our other clients are still stuck on the crack
and generally eat too much of the wrong stuff. They feel like shit
during workouts and make some progress, albeit slow. The final group
does not eat enough. Progress is stalled and in many cases retrograde.
This last group is actually a flavor of yo-yo dieting and it is hard as
hell to reach these folks.

Perhaps a line from Star Wars in closing:

“Do or do not, there is no try”. Yoda

Link to this article for further comments and other nutrition information.

Pick Your Flavor-Mary or Cindy

CrossFit Benchmark WOD’s

Max Rounds in 20 minutes of your choice of either:

"Mary"                        or                           "Cindy"
Handstand Pushups                                  5 Pullups
10 Single-leg Squats
(vid 2)                          10 Pushups
15 Pullups                                                   15 Squats

Compare to February 2008.


And now for a little nutrition lecture…

Robb Wolf, of CrossFit NorCal, in Chico, CA, is also one of the editors of The Performance Menu, a fitness and nutrition journal full of educational information and recipes for fuel, performance, and health.

Robb gave our nutrition lecture at the Rainier CrossFit cert last weekend and hammered home some really excellent information and points that I wanted to share with all of you.  I will post the full article in our Nutrition blog, but wanted to draw attention to it here.

"Carbs Are Like an Ecstasy Laden, Drunken Binge at the Playboy Mansion."
If you are OK with the consequences of that fact, fine but if you are
looking to affect change you need to know that will power will fail you
EVERY TIME. You need to plan and you need to keep your home free of
crack (carbs). 

Click here for the rest of the article about the biological, social, and psychological breakdown of the merry-go-round of dieting and what to really do about it if you want change in your health and performance.

Filthy Fifty! -and Stones

WOD on Tuesday
Chipper For Time:
50 Box Jumps,
24" box
50 Jumping Pullups
50 Kettlebell swings,
1 pood/35lb.

Walking Lunges
, 50 steps
50 Knees to Elbows
50 Push Press,
45 lbs.
50 Back Extensions
50 Wall Ball shots,
20 lb. ball
50 Burpees
50 Double Unders                        
-all exercises are links to demo videos

Compare to November 2007.

Mike and I just finished teaching at a CrossFit certification seminar at Rainier CrossFit in Puyallup, WA.  Loved their wall ball targets… we’re only concerned that our clients might hit one of them too hard and too frequently for comfort….

Many CrossFit affiliates have a bit of a specialty they focus on.  Rainier CrossFit’s specialty is the Strongman Competitions and we got a taste of moving Stones and Kegs!  Super fun and empowering to move weight like that!
We slam rubber balls into concrete…Kurtis
has a slightly different version of slamming concrete balls into rubber mats.  All 60 and 100 lbs. of them…

Mike gave the Stones a whirl!  Talk about an awkward and heavy 175 lb. deadlift!

“Linda” on Monday

CrossFit Benchmark WOD -Linda
aka – 3 Bars of Death

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 rep rounds of the triplet:

Deadlift: 1 1/2x body weight
Bench Press
: body weight

: 3/4 body weight

Set up three bars and storm through for time.

Nicole demos "Linda".

Educational videos:  Deadlift Intro, Deadlift Arm Position,
Spotting the Bench Press, Bench Press Levers, Annie Cleans Heavy


Easter Hike Up the Mt. Elden Stairmaster

"Cullen, Katie Brown and her husband, Jamie, Sara Selman, Connie and I enjoyed
a wonderful hike to the top of Mt. Elden today. The weather was perfect
and some more snow had melted away but there was still a fair amount of
snow towards the top. This time we chose to leave the "tools" behind,
Katie B. and Cullen did wear weight vests but the rest of us decided to
leave the extra weight behind as well. I have attached some pictures
from the hike. Connie and Sara turned around just a little bit before
we got to the top so we did not get a group picture with them in it."  -Katie Lowe


More photos in the Mt. Elden Hike photo album.

Team Saturday!

Teams of 2 Complete:

  • 20 Slam Ball
  • 20 Wall Ball
  • 20 (each) Partner Med Ball Situps
  • 20 Pushups
  • 20 Back Extensions

1 minute rest between rounds.
Both team members work at a station at the same time.  Rotate only when both team members are finished at respective station.


CrossFit Benchmark WOD -"Angie"
Complete For Time:

  • 100 Pullups
  • 100 Pushups
  • 100 Situps
  • 100 Squats

Complete each exercise before moving to the next.                            Cullen 19:40

Welcome to CrossFit, Alanna!  You are going to kick some BUTT around here!