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New Feature Post: Behind the Champion with Mr. Augustine

Check out the epic interview here.

Entries in crossfit (18)

Teardrop Model for CrossFit

Last Wednesday's Quote of the Week was definitely taken out of context and was not a great introduction to Ben Bergeron. He definitely like the competition side of CrossFit - aka, the Sport of Fitness - but he is also a great coach both to his athletes and to business owners around the world.

He released a video yesterday of a small lecture he gave to his 8:30 am class at CrossFit New England that shared his views on what is actually happening in the CrossFit ecosystem at the moment. Check it out.

Quote of the Week vol. 211

"What. Why. What."

- Pat Barber

Pat Barber is one of the CrossFit OGs; he went from being a kid hanging around the original Santa Cruz gym, to the camera guy at all the Level-1 Seminars, to moving his wayup the ranks to the HQ staff and affiliate owner. Over the weekend he was part of this webinar I signed up for giving affiliate owners access to some great minds in the fitness business community. One of the main ideas Pat shared was his progressions for dealing with problems in the gym (movement or business related).

What. The first thing that needs to be diagnosed is simply, what the hell is actually going on? As simple as this sounds, this requires both honesty and knowledge. This "what" could be as simple as knees are caving in to complex as these two people are not getting along.

Why. The next thing to think about is, why is this happening? This requires some time to reflect, and that time might be 2 days, 2 minutes, or 2 seconds. Either way, this is an important step that cannot be jumped.

What. Finally we take action, but this action comes from us. The last step is, what am I going to do about it? Not what is that person going to do about it, or what is my boss going to do about it. Good things happen when we take ownership of every part we can control.

So this is a pretty cool checklist to go through in your head any time you see something that could be considered a problem. If this sounds familiar, check Observe. Understand. Judge.

CrossFit Cures Chronic Disease

"We sit collectively (CrossFit trainers) in unique possession of an elegant solution to the world's most vexing problem. And it may be so elegant that it's optimal" That is Coach Glassman's intro at a Level 1 seminar in California. What is this problem, you ask? That would be chronic disease.

CrossFit may turn out to give people a pass on cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer's, and just about every other chronic disease we know of.

This is a bold statement; I am proudly in the worship-Glassman group, and I was still skeptical when I first heard this somewhere around a year ago. But man, the stuff coming out is pretty convincing. Of course, I would expect the same knee-jerk reaction I had: there's no way that's a legit claim. And I'm not asking you to watch one video I post and be convinced.

But watch this video. [note, it's Coach Glassman. Course language, obviously]

"All of it is preventable. Much of it is reversable."

Sunday Reading: Cholesterol, Calorie, and Muscle Roles

This article was posted on the CrossFit main site on their rest day and has some interesting insight into the role of cholesterol and heart disease, as well as the ongoing debate about calories (which, to my understanding, is not really a debate any more).

Shifting the focus away from quantitative and toward qualitative food distinctions (i.e. that the diseases of metabolic syndrome are due to food-induced changes in physiology; for example, neurohormonal and mitochondrial metabolic pathways) is required to see chronic disease abatement. This cannot be accomplished through arithmetic caloric restriction (i.e. calorie counting). Calorie balance sheets — targeting ‘calories in’ and/or ‘calories out’ — reinforce the message of overeating and inactivity as the underlying causes, rather than the resultant effects, of this aberrant physiology

Instead, "insulin resistance" is stated to be the primary factor in many of the disease you are afraid to get - which is something the CrossFit community has been preaching for years. Pay attention to the quality of your food, and try to balance out the foods that cause your body to release insulin (carbohydrate) and those that don't (protein, fat).

Waffles: great for the Christmas Workout Spectacular, maybe not so great on a regular basis in terms of insulin resistance


Another good read this week came from the Pose Method site called Theory and Practice: Athlete's Muscles. I am learning that the role of muscles has long been misunderstood and over-emphasized by the athletic and physical therapy communities. Muscles play a supporting role in movement, and they can help prepare for a movement, but the emphasis should always be placed on the movement pattern, itself. Not the muscle groups being activated.

Dr. Romanov also brings up a very interesting point that I have been wondering about, myself, for some time now.

Within the context of athletics and training there are things we need and don’t need to know in a sense of practically useful information. It is human nature to want to know. However, just because we’re curious about various layers of muscles, it doesn’t mean we need to know, or that that type of knowing will be practically helpful for performing a specific task. As a matter of fact, certain types of information prevent people from seeing the big picture. It’s ok to amass information, but it is also important to not lose sight of the correct hierarchy of things.

I think the internet is a great thing, obviously because we get to share an unbelievable amount of information. And just about all of the good things I have taught came from the internet in one way or another. The fact that we can progress as quickly as we are is a testament to that.

As Dr. Romanov said, though, knowing is not understanding. There are few things more destructive than someone who thinks they are smart because they read an article or watched a video. Maybe I'm one of them?

Explanation of CrossFit Prices

It's weird how talking about money can be like walking on eggshells. My goal with the Champions Club has never been, and never will be about making money. Yet, I still have a tough time talking to people in here about their monthly payments, although I do think I've slowly gotten better at it over the years.

I suppose if you're a store clerk or a cashier at McDonald's it's easier because the prices are for products that are consistent across the country and the people paying are complete strangers - you'll probably never see them again. In the field I'm in (and you're all involved in), it is professional services that are up for sale, and those are always varied depending on the professional. Miguel Cabrera's services cost a little bit more than Victor Martinez, and those both cost a lot more than someone like James McCann. From a different perspective, an exclusive hour of my time would cost someone $60, where it would cost the same person around $200 if he/she wanted a one-on-one hour of Kelly Starrett's time.

When it comes to CrossFit, the prices have been widely debated for as long as I can remember. Some of it justified, and some of it just stems from not comparing apples to apples. I came across this video on YouTube recently and figured it would be an interesting thing to share. It's from the owner of CrossFit SOAR in New Jersey, and he gives a pretty good perspective to view the price tags you see at a CrossFit gym.

Workout Notes from a CrossFit OG

Nearly every Sunday for as far back as I can remember, a man who posts under the name "bingo" would comment under whatever the workout was and give his thoughts - usually geared towards newbies. In the small, close-knit world of CrossFit, he's earned himself legendary status for sure with his light personality and gifted writing style. At least, I thought it used to be every Sunday night, but now it seems he's been gracing us with his musings for every workout post.

This Monday's workout was one of "those workouts" that you guys might see and assume I'll skip over.

In this case, you are right. We will most likely be skipping over this workout and finding some ways to add the movements into either warmups or improvised workouts (expect a max reps pull-ups test coming soon). The reason I am doing it is because of the scattered crowd we've developed this winter; if the atendance was a little more consistent I'd probably throw this in. When we move to the 3-on-1-off schedule either later this winter or in the spring, we'll probably follow along, but until then we pick and choose - a topic for another day.

However, reading over the comments, bingo's post really stood out to me. I liked his insight on these types of workouts, chalk usage, and how to make something out of a workout you don't like at first glance.


Ha! Literally spit out my drink when I saw this. Here I am, nearly 12 years of this stuff under my belt, talking to a bunch of wet behind the ears rookies, and we get served up Gymnastica. No, no, no, it’s Gymnasticapalooza! Four separate exercises that pretty much not a single member of my target audience can do. Sweet. 


First the straight skinny, and then we’ll talk turkey. Four exercises with 3 attempts to get a sorta kinda max of some kind in each. L-PU (reps), Handstand Walk (millimeters), PU (reps), and Handstand Hold (nanoseconds). Do a set. Get a max. Rest as much as you think you need. Do it again. Then again. The way I read it you do each of them one at a time. In other words, before you do your first 3 or 4 millimeters walking on your hands you do all three of your attempts on L-PU. 

An L-PU is impossible to kip. Trust me. Get on the bar. Doesn’t matter how you grip it, even a little bit. While hanging bring your legs up so that they are pointing straight out (style points for pointed toes) and do as many PU as you can. Record your reps.

Very little to explain about the next exercise. Kick up into a handstand and then walk on your hands as far as you can. Really. 

Max PU means grab the bar any way you’d like and then do as many PU as you can before you just can’t do another one. Once again, unless noted otherwise, the default PU here in CF is the kipping PU. Gymnastic, Frog Kick, or Butterfly, it’s your call as usual. Mind your hands, now. If you (like a certain eye surgeon with a silly nickname) work with your hands it’s perfectly OK to tape them, wear gloves, or some kind of covering. Remember, chalk is meant to improve your grip. That means your hands, and the skin on your hands, will stick to the bar. Tearing the skin on your hands is a bummer. Hurts like heck. Makes it hard to do the next WOD.

A max Handstand Hold is a free-standing handstand. No wall. No support. You just hang out upside down as long as you can. Newbies should use a clock that measures to the hundredth of a second. 

How should mortals approach Gymnasticapalooza? If you don’t have a PU yet it makes precisely ZERO sense to try to get some sort of max on a scaled version IMO. If you can’t do a regular PU, it makes precisely ZERO sense to be doing L-PU. Did you go to college on a gymnastics scholarship? Maybe spend a few years hanging out with Cirque de Soleil? No? Hell, me either. When’s the last time you were upside down on purpose? 

I think today is a skills day for many, many people here on Certainly for Newbles. If you don’t yet have a real PU spend 15:00 working on your PU progressions. Use a slightly less helpful scale and make yourself work harder to get over the bar. Set up a yoga mat near the wall, place a couple of Abmats a few inches away from the wall, and practice kicking up into a handstand with your butt facing the wall. Hold your position as long as you can. Feel pretty good there? Pick up one hand at a time and tap your shoulder. Spend a solid 15:00 here, too. 

Rather than look at this WOD, throw up your hands and say WTF and go do pec flys and curls in the squat rack, be adventurous and have some fun with some unfamiliar movements and new skills. Don’t forget, the founder of CrossFit is a gymnast, and gymnastic movements are fundamental to being a CrossFitter. 

Gymnasticapalooza in 3-2-1…GO. 



Pat Sherwood on his 10-Year CrossFit Anniversary

I have no idea how this one slipped through my attention, but I have been posting quite a bit of Pat Sherwood stuff on here recently and this one is from August 2015. His 10-year anniversary of his first CrossFit workout came up and he decided to write a short blog post with ten points he picked up along the way. Check it out:

Pat Sherwood: A Reflection on 10 Years of CrossFit

"7. The first time someone told me about CrossFit, I thought it sounded ridiculous. This was due to my ignorance of what CrossFit’s methodologies truly were. I was closed minded and thought I knew everything. If you encounter people like that (like I was), be patient. CrossFit is fun and effective; there is no denying that. Most of us thick-headed know-it-all types will eventually come around if you give us enough time and some sound information. (See No. 9.)"