Sunday, October 30, 2011

Swim WOD with Team

Workout of the Day

WOD 1 – in the morning…

Deadlift 5, 5, 5

10 minute AMRAP:

10 pullups

10 GHD situps

WOD 2 – in the afternoon…

In a team of 3 do the following for time:

3 x 100 yard swim relay

3 x 50 kb swing relay

3 x 40 abmat situp relay

3 x 30 burpee relay

3 x 100 yard swim relay

Got a good size group together this afternoon for an awesome team WOD at Lembi Aquatic Center. Swimming, kettlebells, abmats, and grass. Representatives from CF East Sac, CF West Sac, CF Davis, CF Adventure, CF Centurion, and CF Anywhere were all in attendance to take part. Thanks to everyone for making the trip and enjoying the weather. The video is below.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

2 squat clean every minute on the minute

Workout of the Day

WOD 1 – in the morning…

Press handstands with band assistance

WOD 2 – in the afternoon…

2 Squat Cleans every minute on the minute @ 85% 1RM until failure to complete

3 x 10 strict toes to bar

2 x 100 feet pulley hoist (85#)

WOD 3 – in the evening…

5 km row for time

Super productive day at the office. From a new gymnastics progression in the morning to an absolutely brutal 18:24 on the rower in the evening, today offered a little bit of everything a solid program should. I didn’t get outside at all, but after the constant met con madness in Barcelona some old fashioned gym time felt like the right call.

For the 85% squat cleans I used 245# and got through all 20 rounds. This protocol is proving VERY effective. My technique was actually improving as the sets wore on. I could feel the necessity for maximizing the third pull as I started to fatigue, and the constant repetitions gave me the opportunity to make the adjustment. Said it before and will say it again. High volume Olympic lifting with moderate to heavy load is the best way to improve technical proficiency. When you’re too tired to muscle the movement, your body has to be efficient or the weight’s not coming up.

As a short post script, I HATE 5 km rows. This fucking sucks. That’s all I have to say heading into a rest day.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Days 2 and 3 haven’t been as eventful as Day 1, unfortunately. We’ve been bogged down with shooting the scenes for the commercial (read: waiting around doing mostly nothing) for the better part of two days. In a stray bit of spare time a group of us managed to make it to the top of Montjuic, the mountain overlooking Barcelona. At the top there is an ancient fortress that used to protect the city, still intact and beautifully historic. From it’s top deck you can see out across the Mediterranean Ocean to the east and over the entire metropolis to the west. Seemed like a suitable place for a WOD, so we did 5 minutes AMRAP of 5 handstand pushups and 10 ledge jumps. I managed just short of 9 rounds and felt good.

This was quite the scene amongst the myriad tourists and patrons taking pictures, but as usual they were more curious than anything else. Although it was only a small slice of exploratory freedom, it was certainly memorable. This is a city I will absolutely return to with more time and less obligation.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Barcelona Day 1

Workout of the Day

WOD 1 – in the afternoon…

3 rounds for completion:

400 meter sand run 5 stone ground to overhead

Finish with stone carry for max distance

WOD 2 – in the evening…

With a partner:

100 meter wheelbarrow relay

4 rounds of

600 meter sand run & amrap net climbs (done simultaneously, then switch roles)

50 meter burpee broad jump

First day in Barcelona was a blast. In total there are 16 athletes here from Reebok doing a commercial and print ad shoot for the CrossFit brand. In addition to the pure coolness of being in Spain, this is a really fun chance to reunite with some of the people I competed with at the Games and meet some new faces in the process.

Today was more about staging than anything else, so there was a fair bit of free time to get some training in. I did the first WOD by myself using a stone pulled from the levee. The weight had to be close to 100# if not more, and it was tough to maneuver. I really liked the stone carry at the end actually. Because it’s so awkward and abrasive, carrying an object like that demands a lot more of your energy than you might think.

Later in the evening the lot of us went to a different beach and partnered up to run/climb/get sandy. Total blast. No watch, no clock, just pushing hard and shaking through the jet lag. Hope to get a video of this up soon to do it justice.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Rest Day... Heading to Barcelona!

Heading to Barcelona for a long weekend. If anybody out there reading is a Spanish local, drop me a line at and lets get together to train. Would love to link up with some friendly crossfitters while over there :-)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Squat Cleans E.M.O.T.M

Workout of the Day

WOD 1 – in the morning…

Muscle up to Ring HSPU practice

WOD 2 – in the afternoon…

3 squat cleans every minute on them minute @ 70% 1RM until failure to complete

Slosh pipe lateral tips 3 x 10

10 cargo net climbs

WOD 3 – in the evening…

4.5 mile trail run

Back in business after a great week of rest and feeling solid. Moving towards a more Olympic focus the next 3 weeks, looking to parlay the improvements in squatting strength and endurance into gains on my squat cleans. I did this workout at 205# and it honestly was a little too light. It felt nice to crush through it every set, but I think 215# was probably a more appropriate weight. These felt different than the every minute squats for a couple reasons. 1) You can’t waste a lot of time resetting between each lift-something that most of us tend to do to gain rest subconsciously. Because of this fact, your heart gets jacked quickly. 2) Muscle fatigue wasn’t a factor. In the squat protocol it’s mostly the burning and pumped out feeling in the legs that stops you. For the cleans it’s more the ability to keep resetting your focus and your deteriorating speed that becomes limiting. Very different but great all the same. I loved the way this made me feel.

I got back on the trail in the evening and could tell it’d been too long. I still managed a 31 minute time on a moderately difficult route, but it felt harder than it should’ve. Gotta do this more.

I’ve received a lot of interest from many of you out there regarding the Anywherefit 2012 trip to central Europe. Have no fear, I will write you all a response with instructions on how to proceed as soon as I have more concrete pricing details.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Anywherefit 2012 Announcement

In 2012 we will be running not one, but two Anywherefit adventures. The first will be a return to the land of fire and ice, following up this summer's incredible success with yet another epic adventure on one of the world's most beautiful natural landscapes. For those of you who missed it, this is your opportunity for redemption. The dates for this trip are not yet finalized, so stay tuned on that.
The highly anticipated second installment of this series will be taking place in Central Europe, but until now the details have been only vaguely alluded to. Without further ado, here it is... the official announcement for Anywherefit 2012: Munich-Vienna-Prague.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Slosh Pipe Returns!

Workout of the Day

WOD 1 – in the morning…

Press handstands, handstand holds, & handstand walks

WOD 2 – in the afternoon…

Clean Pulls 3, 3, 3, 3, 3

18 foot speed climbs (legless)

Slosh Pipe good mornings 10, 10

Slosh Pipe lateral tips 10, 10, 10

WOD 3 – in the evening…

100 burpees for time

Today was the final day of my current training cycle and my body felt great. Fully recovered from the heavy front squats finally and only feeling mild soreness from the weighted lunges in Wednesday’s WOD. Travis coached me up on some core stabilization techniques (mostly the order of operations in approaching the bar) that really helped me feel solid on the pulls. This could mean something for deadlifting and squatting as well so I’m looking forward to practicing it.

The bully of the day was definitely the slosh pipe. I’ve had ‘em chilling in the gym for awhile and keep neglecting to implement them in workouts. The lateral tips are LEGIT. The water sloshes all the way to the end touching the ground and forces you to overcome all that awkward weight in order to regain balance at the top. Expecting major stiffness through my obliques and erectors tomorrow.

When the evening rolled around, I wasn’t too excited about doing 100 burpees for time. It’d been about 2 years since the last time I attempted this back in Leiden) time was 4:48), and I really never enjoy burpees. But who does, right? I took the approach that this was not a WOD to be gamed: You can always do one more burpee so just keep doing them until you’re done. Wound up being an on the money plan because even though I was sucking hard I was able to keep moving at a fairly steady pace. My final time was 4:34.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Elevated Bear Crawling

Workout of the Day

WOD 1 – in the morning…

L sit holds from the ground – 5 max sets

WOD 2 – in the afternoon…

3 rounds for time:

35 yard elevated bear crawl

35 yard front rack walking lunge (2 pood)

30 rope slams (50 foot climbing rope)

Absolutely kick ass WOD this afternoon in what turned out to be a pretty torrential downpour for some of us. It was one of those workouts that turned out to be much harder than anticipated. The bear crawls were more technical than anything else because of the slot roofing we were crawling across. Dirt, moss, and rain make such a surface rather slippery to climb atop. Also, trying to catch your breath while bent over is never easy. Doing the lunges in a front rack was a subtle stroke of genius. Pre-fatigued shoulders, mandatory core engagement, and difficulty balancing are some of the advantages to doing them this way. Definitely a bigger challenge than I’m used to on this exercise. And of course, finishing with the mother of all heart rate jackers was just brutal. I hate rope slams in the middle of a workout. They suck the life and guts out of me every time. There’s just not many things this effective, and I think my rope has been through just about every type of weather and terrain because of that. Check out the video below.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

315 lb front squat singles

Workout of the Day

WOD 1 – in the morning…

Parallette HSPU w/ kip for technique

WOD 2 – in the afternoon…

1 Front Squat every minute on the minute @ 90% 1RM until failure to complete

Reverse Hyper 15, 15, 15

WOD 3 – in the evening…

5 minute time cap:

500 meter row

AMRAP muscle ups

Note: Row and muscle ups are treated as individual WODs

Big bounce back day for squats. Just like with the back squats last cycle, I came into the singles having been demoralized by the triples and needing a strong showing. Having based my percentages off of a projected 350# 1RM, the WOD called for 315# front squats today. I was far from convinced this was going to happen, but sure enough it did. All 20 rounds. They weren’t easy—in fact there were a few that could’ve gone either way—but I got em all up. Gotta say that doing sets this way really ramps you up psychologically. Maximum concentration, maximum focus, and maximum effort every rep. Great practice for anyone who needs preparation for competition in a non-competitive environment.

The evening conditioning WOD was short and sharp. I went 90% + on the row and scored a 1:32, leaving just over 3:15 by the time I reached the rings to get the muscle ups done. In that time I was able to finish 18 reps.

I already took an Epsom salt bath tonight, looking forward to an icy dip in the river tomorrow.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Fitness Is...


Be content with reality.

Running like Usain Bolt or swimming like Michael Phelps are talents that few will ever possess. It doesn’t stop us from running or swimming, but for the most part we understand that performing like an Olympian isn’t realistic. When it comes to beauty and fitness, however, even the most reasonable, rational, and grounded individuals lose their minds. SPOILER ALERT: You are not going to look like Brad Pitt or Jessica Alba. Your body will never again be the 20 year old version of itself. I don’t care how hard you work or how long you try, it ain’t gonna happen. Why people continually rake themselves over the coals in pursuit of an air brushed fantasy is beyond me. But they do it, day after day.

Now, the realization that few of us will ever look like a fitness model shouldn’t be a discouraging truth. Chasing an ultimate pipe dream isn’t a good way to stay motivated, and it certainly isn’t the best way to foster success. The fact of the matter is that the daily grind of small accomplishments is far more satisfying and fruitful. They are attainable, tangible, and immediate goals that don’t leave you groping for your self esteem. Still, for some reason we’re programmed to look beyond such baby steps and focus our efforts on some monolithic, ego-robbing unicorn instead. Why? Where does this compulsion for over-expectation come from?

First, our egos are innately competitive. Call it capitalism, call it human nature, but from our sports to our politics we love a knock down, drag out, mano y mano battle. We love determining winners and losers. This is a good and healthy thing, in my opinion. The problem is that when you couple it with vanity, “winning” takes on an obsessive and toxic quality. We look across the office or the parking lot and wonder, “why not me?” Why is she wearing that designer dress and I’m not? How come he’s got a BMW and I’m stuck driving this beater? Your internal monologue might not be so blunt, but whether it’s fine clothing, the newest iphone, or a luxury car, we covet that which we do not have. We measure our status and success against the competition and see how we stack up.

When it comes to beauty, fitness is fast becoming the standard unit of measure. Once upon a time the women gracing magazine covers were stick thin and all cheekbones. Now they’re hard bodies with curves. Gym memberships have become as regular as car payments, diet plans as common as IRAs. The premium for looking and living strong has never been higher and people everywhere are sizing themselves up. Take a look at what’s available for perusal at the checkout counter and you’ll see what I mean: 5 dedicated to celebrity gossip (usually about someone who has lost or gained weight), 4 to health/fitness/beauty directly, and 3 to the alien abductions of celebrities that were once fit and/or beautiful. There’s no Economist or Wall Street Journal. No classified ads. It’s kind of a joke, but one that is indicative of how important fitness has become in measuring our self worth.

This brings me to a second important point: expectations are sold. Between commercial concerns in cosmetics, fashion, entertainment, and fitness, society at large is hell bent on convincing us that world-class beauty is for everyone. Everywhere you turn there are age-defying skin creams, foolproof diet plans, and anti-gravity jeans. Monthly issues of health/fitness magazines consistently roll out new exercise ideas guaranteed to sculpt your chest and abs to match the fitness model demonstrating on the page. These are not advertisements concerned with real change. They are concerned only with the desire for change. Do you wish your stomach looked like this? Do you wish your wrinkles were gone? The answers are simple and easy. YES. Who wouldn’t? But wanting change and actually changing are two very different things.

So you go into a gym to act on your desires, and you’re introduced to a member of the globo gym membership team. This is a cast of numbers driven charlatans who gladly shepherd you towards the you you’ll never be. “Yes Mrs. Jones, you too can have the body you always wished you had. JLo’s ass, Jillian’s arms, and Jennifer’s legs. Just sign here.” Nevermind that Mrs. Jones has a knee replacement and a 60-hour a week job. Nevermind that she hasn’t been self-motivated since middle school. This is a marketing plan presented as an exercise plan; and it’s getting swallowed by a million trusting guppies every day.

It isn’t until months later that we realize how unrealistic our expectations were. We’ve been in the gym 3-4 times per week for an hour a day and have been diligently ignoring facts like age, health history, time management, and camera angles. After six months we check the mirror and—total shocker—our arms and abs look nothing like the cover of p90x like we’d hoped. Reality settles in and guess what? We’re not winning.

You might think that at this point, the average client would see through the advertising campaigns and the membership sales routine. You might even think they’d be offended at being so blatantly misled. But no. A rash of excuses rise up to explain the failure (insert dog ate my homework story here) and the fantasy is thus preserved. Better to believe that it was a mean series of coincidences that conspired to prevent success than own up to the fact that you bit off more than you could chew.

This is an inadvertent defense mechanism that protects us from reality. As a society, we don’t have the courage to accept inequality so we’ve programmed ourselves to believe that anything is possible. This is blatantly false. We are not created equal. We are not standing on a level playing field. There are advantages and disadvantages everywhere in life that contribute to a decidedly unequal distribution of talent and potential. This is reality. What’s more, this is okay! The idea that everyone can achieve their dream body is a Disney-fied load of crap meant to keep you paying your membership. Save your breath and your bleeding heart if you think it’s unfair. “Unfair” won’t help you deal with the fact that your body doesn’t look like a fitness model even though you “put your mind to it.” What will, is an honest moment of self-reflection and re-direction away from the standard methods of comparison.

Let us suppose for a minute that we re-imagined fitness as a subjective state of being and not an objective measurement. That the idea of being fit, or of being beautiful, wasn’t determined by comparison to others, but by comparison to self. For example: “I can do more work now than I once could, therefore I am fit.” Or, “I can wear these clothes better than I once could, therefore I am beautiful.” It doesn't matter how many pullups he can do, only how many I can do. It doesn't matter how good her legs look, only how good mine look. This type of outlook rewards modest and attainable expectations. Every day is a victory because every day is an improvement. It no longer is “I want to look like them,” it is, “I want to look like me, but better.” The latter is a realistic goal for everyone. The former will never be.

Accepting the truth of our limitations is actually liberating because it frees us from the burden of expecting that which we know to be impossible. Deep down, Mrs. Jones knows she can’t look like J-Lo, Jillian, and Jennifer. She’s fighting against time, injuries, and DNA to try and convince herself that she can, but she knows she can’t. Better to embrace this knowledge and focus on something attainable. Better to give herself something realistic to shoot for. The accumulation of small successes will leave her happier, more motivated, and far fitter than the obsession with a single monumental goal ever will.