Wednesday, December 31, 2014


New Year's resolutions are the ultimate cliche. For some reason we all convince ourselves that the start of a new year will coincide with a new start for ourselves. While this is not entirely fool hearty, it is never too early or too late to make personal improvements. Obviously the most common of these resolutions is to start a new exercise routine or a new diet of sorts. It does not appear that CrossFitters necessarily subscribe to these conventional norms when it comes to exercise but many of us still look for helpful means to start a new diet or food plan. To that end there is a new Whole Life Challenge starting January 17th, 2015, there are numerous online challenges (Whole 30 or LiveStrong) and even friendly competitions to get the ball rolling. As for developing a plan and sticking with it here are a few helpful tips to get you on track and keep you there.

1.  Be Realistic
The surest way to fall short of your goal is to make your goal unattainable. For instance, resolving to NEVER eat your favorite food again is setting you up to fail. Instead, strive for a goal that is attainable, such as avoiding it more often than you do now.

2.  Plan Ahead
Don’t make your resolution on New Year’s Eve. If you wait until the last minute, it will be based on your mindset that particular day. Instead, it should be planned well before December 31 arrives.

3.  Outline Your Plan
Decide how you will deal with the temptation to skip that exercise class or have that piece of cake. This could include calling on a friend for help, practicing positive thinking and self-talk, or reminding yourself how your “bad” will affect your goal.

4.  Make a “Pros” and “Cons” List
It may help to see a list of items on paper to keep your motivation strong. Develop this list over time, and ask others to contribute to it. Keep your list with you and refer to it when you need help keeping your resolve.

5.  Talk About It
Don’t keep your resolution a secret. Tell friends and family members who will be there to support your resolve to change yourself for the better or improve your health. The best-case scenario is to find a buddy who shares your New Year’s resolution and motivate each other.

6.  Reward Yourself
This doesn’t mean that you can eat an entire box of chocolates if your resolution is to eat a better diet. Instead, celebrate your success by treating yourself to something you enjoy that doesn’t contradict your resolution. If you have been sticking to your promise to eat better, for example, reward yourself with new fitness clothing or by going to a movie with a friend.

7.  Track Your Progress
Keep track of each small success. Short-term goals are easier to keep, and each small accomplishment will help keep you motivated. Instead of focusing on losing 30 pounds, focus on losing the first five. Keep a food journal to help you stay on track, and reward yourself for each five pounds lost.

8.  Dont Beat Yourself Up
Obsessing over the occasional slip won’t help you achieve your goal. Do the best you can each day, and take one day at a time.

9.  Stick to It
Experts say it takes about 21 days for a new activity to become a habit and six months for it to become part of your personality. It won’t happen overnight, so be persistent and patient!

10. Keep Trying
If you have totally run out of steam when it comes to keeping your resolution by mid-February, don’t despair. Start over again! Recommit yourself for 24 hours. You can do anything for 24 hours. The 24-hour increments will soon build on each other and, before you know it, you will be back on track.

Thursday, December 25, 2014


Since this week's bro session is going to involve a lot of snatches let's review some tips to improve your execution of this highly technical exercise. 

  1. Make sure you focus on and emphasize the development of correct technique with the full snatch before utilizing this movement frequently during high rep workouts. 
  2. Consider using dumbbells and kettle bells for high rep snatch workouts while still developing your technical proficiency with a barbell.
  3. Keep in mind that the mechanics for the snatch will be different at high rep counts done for time. The farther away from your 1 RM the load is the more this variation is acceptable.
  4. Get comfortable being uncomfortable. Address your mobility needs regularly and vigorously. Tight joints -- especially the ankles, knees and hips -- will make your execution very difficult.
  5. Make sure you know what the correct setup looks and feels like and practice it regularly. If the setup is bad then your execution is guaranteed to be bad. Watch videos, study pictures, get regular coaching feedback and even get yourself videoed so you can see for yourself.
  6. Make the snatch a cornerstone of your training. Everyone, from the voice to advanced weightlifter, will need to revisit the basics from time to time.
Now that we've got that covered let's get down to the nitty gritty of this week's workout:

Part #1

  • Work Up to a heavy set of 7
    • Make small jumps and do 7 for every set

Shoulder Complex:
  • Work up to a heavy set of:
    • 3 Press
    • 5 Push Press

Part #2

Different Version of 13.1
  • 200 Double Unders
  • 30 Snatches 75#/45#
  • 150 Double Unders
  • 30 Snatch 95#/65#
  • 100 Double Unders
  • 30 Snatches 135#/85#
  • 50 Double Unders
  • 30 Snatches 165#/105#
  • 25 Double Unders
  • Max Reps Snatches 185#/135#

Part #3

2 Sets

Max Reps Push Ups


Tuesday, December 23, 2014


As many of you may already know December 23rd is the day we officially celebrate Festivus. So for all those that may be celebrating today here are a few helpful tips and pointers on how to make it a most enjoyable one.

Festivus Tip #1: Don't perform the Feats of Strength with Grandpa. His place smells like potatoes and so does he.
Kramer Technicolor Dreamcoat

Festivus Tip #2: Always dress appropriately for Festivus. A denim vest with snaps can been considered to be too casual. A nice puffy shirt is more formal but you can be sure that people will heckle you with "Avast ye matey"! - there's no comeback for that! Maybe a Technicolor Dreamcoat and a furry pimp hat would be the best way to go!

Festivus Tip #3: It's okay to cry before, during and after the Feats of Strength. Don't feel bad! A lot of people tend to cry when they see two out of shape grown-ups smash their bodies together.

Festivus Tip #4: When preparing a well-balanced Festivus feast, keep in mind that Jujyfruits is not really fruit and Marble Rye should not actually be served on a fishing pole.

Festivus Tip #5: When you go to fetch your Festivus pole from the crawlspace, make sure you don't get distracted by other items that you may have in storage, such as a used Waterpik, the set from the Merv Griffin show or even a large carton of tinsel.

Scary ClownFestivus Tip #6: When Festivus is near, always be on the lookout for Festivus miracles. Did a parking spot open up right in front of you? Did the candy machine drop two Twix bars when you only paid for one? Did your fear of clowns give you an excuse for skipping a trip to the circus with the kids? These all count.

Festivus Tip #7: Any good Festivus party must be rife with Seinfeldisms. For example, any guest's conversation should always be quickly directed to a Seinfeld reference: 
CartwrightGuest: They opened a new Chinese Restaurant in my neighborhood
Host: Do they make you wait forever, then call out Cartwright when they wanted you?
Guest:(Strange look)

Guest:: I brought my car into the shop
Host: Did the mechanic kidnap it and then drive it to Michigan?
Guest:(Strange look)

Guest: I have a new mailman
Host: Is he addicted to Chunky Bars and Kenny Rogers chicken?
Guest: (Strange look)
Festivus Tip #8: Airing your Grievances can be cleansing for your soul, but think about holding back on certain complaints, such as Grandma's clicking dentures that sound like "La Cucaracha", Uncle Jim's National Guard war stories or Cousin Tim's amazing unibrow.

Festivus Tip #9: If you are serving paella at your Festivus gathering, make sure you don't make too much. You don't want too much! Then you'll be wondering "What am I supposed to do with all this Paella?" Also, make sure you serve some cake after the meal. Who doesn't serve cake after a meal? What kind of people? Would it kill you to put out a pound cake? Something! You don't want to have people sitting there like idiots drinking coffee without a piece of cake!

Festivus Tip #10: When looking for old crap to regift at Festivus don't overlook some of the obvious: The Waterpik you won in a computer sales contest, all that extra Chinese gum you accidentally bought, a Cigar Store Indian you once thought was "kitschy" or even a leg lamp collection that is even too "fragile" to be put on display.

Festivus Tip #11: When the Airing of Grievances occurs someone may throw a real doozy at you. Whatever it is, you may wish to avoid the subject all together. Try to throw them off by telling them that you have a gum guy. Tell them that you have a friend in the gum business and if you make one phone call boxes of gum will be delivered right to their door. If that doesn't work, try doing some Jose Jimenez impressions... or promise to get them an autograph of Keith Hernandez.

Festivus Tip #12: Festivus is not over until the head of the household is pinned. In wrestling they have a referee, so it might be a good idea to appoint someone as a referee at your Festivus gathering. But don't use Granny, she really enjoys it when there is a good tussle. She'll probably never declare the match ended.

Festivus Tip #13: When preparing to air your grievances, you might be wise to make notecards. What's more embarrassing, losing your train of thought or standing in front of everybody reading from notecards? On second thought, cancel the notecard idea!

Festivus Tip #14: Your Festivus pole shouldn't cost very much and should never require maintenance. However there are a few pointers that should be followed when using a Festivus Pole:
    1. Don't let any of the guests climb the Festivus Pole.
    2. A Festivus pole is not a "Dancing" pole.
    3. During the Feats of Strength, don't let anyone joust with the Festivus Pole. If they want to joust, send them to Medievel Times.
    4. If the pole is outdoors in below zero temperatures, don't let anyone lick the pole. It's tempting, but don't let them do it!

Festivus Tip #15: It is customary for some people to record the Festivus proceedings on tape. However many people are such that they will not talk if they know that a tape recorder is running. So, secretly place the tape recorder in a locked briefcase. Keep in mind you can also keep crackers in the briefcase, in case you need a quick snack.

Festivus Tip #16: If you are shy, anonymously write your grievances on a sticky note and post the note to the Festivus Pole. You don't have to put your name but you can always put the phone number of the off-track betting place or the local bagel shop just to throw people off.

Festivus Tip #17: December 23rd may be the official day for celebrating Festivus, but you can celebrate Festivus any time you like. After all, Festivus is all about convenience. For example, if the kids are begging to go to the water park, or if your in-laws want you to come over for visit, tell them they can't because it's Festivus. Similarly, if your significant other tells you that they’re not in the mood, tell them that it's a special occasion... FESTIVUS!

Festivus Tip #18: Make sure your Festivus pole is plain and unadorned. If it is too glitzy looking it may attract strippers! 

Festivus Tip #19: Buying gifts for Festivus is frowned upon. But re-gifting old crap is always allowed. Anybody want a Label Baby Jr.?

Festivus Tip #20: Prior to performing the Feats of Strength be sure to sufficiently warm up and stretch your muscles. This is an important step. You don't want to pull anything! Of course, the warm up period could last all night, or at least until your opponent loses interest.

Thursday, December 18, 2014


It is time to get into another partner for the seventh bro session. This time around we are going with another grueling Hero WOD. In fact, this particular Hero WOD has been affectionately ranked as one of the top six most brutal CrossFit workouts of all time. So what better way to do it then to share the misery with a buddy. For those of us that have had the pleasure of doing "The Seven" we know how taxing the combination of 7 Handstand Push-ups, 7 Thrusters, 7 Knees-To-Elbows, 7 Deadlifts, 7 Burpees, & Kettle Bell Swings and 7 Pull-ups, all done for 7 rounds can be. The best times we have seen at CFTR range in the 30-45 minute range with many going beyond the 60 minute mark. Top CrossFitters have been know to put up times in the 20 minute range which certainly seems ludicrous to mere mortals.

The following description and basis for "The Seven" first appeared on on May 30, 2010:
"A suicide bomber killed seven CIA officers and one Jordanian officer at a remote base in southeastern Afghanistan on December 30, 2009 after posing as a potential informant reporting on Al Qaeda. Seven new stars will be etched onto the memorial wall at the CIA where every star represents grieving friends, family and colleagues dedicated to fight against the enemy, forever in their name.

Killed in the attack were CIA officers Jennifer Lynne Matthews, 45; Scott Michael Roberson, 39; Harold E. Brown Jr., 37; Darren LaBonte, 35; Elizabeth Hanson, 30; and security contractors Jeremy Jason Wise, 35, and Dane Clark Paresi, 46. "

Sharing "The Seven" with a friend will make it somewhat more tolerable but no less fun. So here are the details for Bro Session #7:

Part #1

  • Muscle Snatch 5 x 3
  • Power Snatch 5 x 3

Part #2

  • 7 HSPU
  • 7 Thrusters (135#/95#)
  • 7 K2E
  • 7 Deadlifts (245#/165#)
  • 7 Burpees 
  • 7 KBS (32kg/24kg)
  • 7 Pull-ups

Some comments on the details of this workout:
  1. The snatch work will be done between 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm so that we can start "The Seven" as close to 1:30 pm as possible.
  2. The snatch component is technique based and loads should be adjusted accordingly. The Muscle Snatch will work and help develop the turn over portion of the movement emphasizing the lockout overhead. The Power Snatch will work on the catch phase of the lift and typically emphasizes getting under the bar comfortably while receiving the weight overhead. Do not get crazy with the weights and emphasize good mechanics that are consistent across all the reps.
  3. "The Seven" will not be capped at 7 rounds per se but will be as many rounds as possible within the 60 minute window. You and your partner will alternate movements as you go so each time you start a new round you and your partner will be responsible for different exercises. This means if the first round you did HSPU, K2E, Burpees and Pull-ups then the second round you will do Thrusters, Deadlifts and KBS. The opposite will of course be true for your partner.
  4. Pick weights that both partners can reasonably handle.
  5. Use the rest time between movements to recover so that you can crush the next movement when it is your turn again.
  6. Have fun and remember that we are not only working out but we are also commemorating the sacrifice others have made to protect our freedoms and way of life.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Snatches and Cupcakes

Having been recently informed that this blog has become Beardcentric and Bro-biased it seemed only appropriate, if not necessary, to get in touch with our collective feminine side. Hence I have gathered what appears to be a full, perhaps comprehensive, list of reasons why it is a clear cut advantage to be a woman. This is obviously meant in good fun and is purely for entertainment purposes. 

That being said, "The views and opinions expressed in this post are summarized from multiple outlets and do not necessarily reflect official policy or position of the Beards, Bulking, Bros, Bras and Boarding Governing Body. Assumptions made within this post are not reflective of any specific Broskis."

Hopefully you will enjoy a few laughs while you read! 

Advantages of Being A Woman

  1. You can cry without pretending there's something in your contact.
  2. You actually get extra points for sitting on your butt, watching sports.
  3. If you're a lousy athlete, you don't have to question your worth as a human being.
  4. A new lipstick gives you a whole new lease on life.
  5. In high school, you never had to walk down the hall with your binder strategically positioned.
  6. If you use self-tanner, it doesn't necessarily mean you're a big loser.
  7. Brad Pitt!
  8. You'll never have to decide where to hide your nose-hair clippers.
  9. When you take off your shoes, nobody passes out.
  10. If the person you're dating is much better at something than you are, you don't have to break up with him.
  11. If you think the person your dating really likes you, you don't have to break up with him.
  12. You can dress yourself.
  13. Your hair is yours to keep.
  14. You don't have to pretend to like cigars.
  15. If you marry someone 20 years younger, you know you look like an idiot.
  16. You're rarely compelled to scream at the TV.
  17. You and your friends don't have to get totally wasted in order to share your feelings.
  18. Your friend won't think you're weird when you ask if there's spinach in your teeth.
  19. When you get a million catalogues in the mail, it's a good thing.
  20. Sometimes, chocolate truly can solve all your problems.
  21. If you're under 6', you don't have to lie about it.
  22. You'll never discover you've been fooled by a Wonderbra.
  23. You don't have hair on your back.
  24. If anything on your body isn't as big as it should be, you can get implants.
  25. You can tell which glass was yours by the lipstick mark. 
  26. If you have big ears, no one has to know.
  27. You can be attracted to someone just because they're really funny. 
  28. You can borrow your spouse's clothes and it doesn't mean you belong on Jerry Springer.
  29. Women keep three different shampoos and two different conditioners in the shower. After a woman showers, the bathroom will smell like a tropical rain forest.
  30. Women have better restrooms. They get the nice chairs and red carpet. Men just get a large bowl to share.
  31. The average number of items in a typical woman's bathroom is 437. A man would not be able to identify most of these items.
  32. You can scare male bosses with mysterious gynecological disorder excuses.
  33. You never ejaculate prematurely.
  34. When you buy a vibrator it is glamorous. When men buy a blow up doll it's pathetic.
  35. Your boyfriend's clothes make us look elfin and gorgeous - guys look like complete idiots in yours.
  36. You can be groupies. Male groupies are stalkers.
  37. You've never lusted after a cartoon character or the central figure in a computer game.
  38. Taxis stop for you.
  39. You don't look like a frog in a blender when dancing.
  40. You know The Truth about whether size matters.
  41. Condoms make no significant difference in your enjoyment of sex.
  42. Nothing crucial can be cut off with one clean sweep.
  43. It's possible to live your whole life without ever taking a group shower.
  44. No fashion faux pas you make could rival The Speedo.
  45. You don't have to fart to amuse yourself.
  46. You never have to wonder if his orgasm was real.
  47. If you forget to shave, no one has to know.
  48. You can congratulate our teammate without ever touching her ass.
  49. If you have a zit, you know how to conceal it.
  50. You never have to reach down every so often to make sure your privates are still there.
  51. You don't have to memorize Caddyshack or Fletch to fit in.
  52. You can talk to people of the opposite sex without having to picture them naked.
  53. Gay waiters don't make you uncomfortable.
  54. You'll never regret piercing our ears.
  55. You can fully assess a person just by looking at their shoes.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


So it's Wednesday and you all know what that means. It is time to announce this week's bro session. This one was originally designed to include burpees but we have had our fair share of those recently so it seemed appropriate that we switch gears a little bit. Two questions had been asked earlier in the week, the first was how sadistic we all wanted the WOD to be. Alas no one answered that one. The second question was what if any movements people wanted to see included, to that I got one answer...double unders. So double unders will now replace burpees for the purposes of this WOD. Obviously by now you have probably figured that thrusters are somehow in the workout as well, and you are correct. However, that is not all. This one is a doozy for sure.

100 Squat Clean Thrusters (135#/95#)
15 Double Unders at the top of each minute
*the workout starts with 15 Double Unders

A few points about this week's WOD:

  • The weight on the squat clean thruster is on the heavier side so make sure to warm-up and assess how you feel before choosing a weight. Better to have quality movement especially over this sort of volume.

  • Consider building your bar so that you can make needed adjustments if/when needed.

  • If you do not have double unders you can count attempts or do single unders for 45 reps.

  • This will be about pacing over anything else, do not burn out early and limp to the finish.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014


Perhaps the most famous bearded man on earth is the one and only Chuck Norris. By now we have certainly all heard of Chuck Norris right? Well if you have not then you need to educate yourself ASAP as he is one of the world's most renowned super heroes (insert sarcasm here). In the meantime, if you know the man the myth the legend himself then you should appreciate these jokes that follow.

1) When Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone he had 3 missed calls from Chuck Norris.

2) Fear of spiders is called arachnophobia, fear of tight spaces is called claustrophobia, fear of Chuck Norris is called Logic.

3) There used to be a street named after Chuck Norris, but it was changed because nobody crosses Chuck Norris and lives.

4) Chuck Norris died 20 years ago, Death just hasn't built up the courage to tell him yet.

5) If you rate Chuck Norris's roundhouse kicks as a 5 out 5, then he will roundhouse Justin Bieber's ass.

6) Chuck Norris has already been to Mars, that's why there are no signs of life.

7) Chuck Norris and Superman once fought each other on a bet. The loser had to wear his underwear on the outside of his pants.

8) Some magicians can walk on water, Chuck Norris can swim through land.

9) Chuck Norris doesn't call the wrong number. You answer the wrong phone.

10) Chuck Norris has a Grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn't dead, it is just afraid to move.

11) Chuck Norris once urinated in a semi truck's gas tank as a joke...that truck is now known as Optimus Prime.

12) Chuck Norris doesn't flush the toilet, he scares the sh*t out of it.

13) Chuck Norris counted to infinity...twice.

14) Chuck Norris can cut through a hot knife with butter.

15) Chuck Norris is the reason why Waldo is hiding.

16) Chuck Norris can slam a revolving door.

17) Death once had a near-Chuck Norris experience.

18) When the Boogie Man goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.

19) Chuck Norris once kicked a horse in the chin. Its descendants are known today as giraffes.

20) Chuck Norris will never have a heart attack. His heart isn't nearly foolish enough to attack him.

21) Chuck Norris once got bitten by a rattle snake...After three days of pain and agony...the rattle snake died.

22) Chuck Norris can win a game of Connect Four in only three moves.

23) Chuck Norris can start a fire by rubbing two ice cubes together.

24) When Chuck Norris does a push-up, he isn't lifting himself up, he's pushing the earth down.

25) There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of animals Chuck Norris allows to live.

26) Chuck Norris doesn't wear a watch. HE decides what time it is.

27) The original title for Alien vs. Predator was Alien and Predator vs Chuck Norris. The film was cancelled shortly after going into pre-production. No one would pay nine dollars to see a movie that was fourteen seconds long.

28) Chuck Norris doesn't read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants.

29) Outer space exists because it's afraid to be on the same planet as Chuck Norris.

30) If you spell Chuck Norris in Scrabble, you win. Forever.

31) Chuck Norris made a Happy Meal cry.

32) Chuck Norris's hand is the only hand that can beat a Royal Flush.

33) Chuck Norris destroyed the periodic table, because Chuck Norris only recognizes the element of surprise.

34) Some people wear Superman pajamas. Superman wears Chuck Norris pajamas.

35) Chuck Norris doesn't lie, he makes up truths.

36) Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits.

37) They once made a Chuck Norris toilet paper, but there was a problem: It wouldn't take shit from anybody.

38) Chuck Norris calls push-ups "earth downs".

39) Chuck Norris can literally kill time.

40) Chuck Norris drew a triangle with four sides.

41) Chuck Norris can speak Chinese.

42) Chuck Norris can strangle you with a cordless telephone.

43) Chuck Norris is so persuasive that he convinced a mirror he wasn't there.

44) Chuck Norris can speak braille.

45) Chuck Norris does not need Twitter...he is already following you.

46) What was going through the minds of all of Chuck Norris's victims before they died? His shoe.

47) Chuck Norris made his own sign language using kicks and punches, so when he is beating you to a bloody pulp, he might just be saying he likes your hat.

48) We live in an expanding universe. All of it is trying to get away from Chuck Norris.

Monday, December 8, 2014


Most men grow beards because they like the look or it makes them feel more masculine, but actually growing a beard can benefit your health too. Here are some of the reasons why growing a beard is good for your health, so stop shaving and start growing!
  1. Prevents skin cancer: The sun has ultraviolet (UV) rays that harm your skin and cause you to develop skin cancer. While most of your body is shielded by your clothes, your face is always exposed, unless you wear a cap every time you go out in the sun. A beard is perfect because it covers the lower half of your face, thereby reducing the risk of skin cancer significantly.

  2. Reduces allergies: Just like the tiny hairs in your nose that prevent dust and pollen from entering your system, your beard also works as a filter that helps to keep these same allergens out of your nose and mouth.

  3. Keeps your skin smooth: People who shave get a lot of blemishes, in-growths and cuts on their faces that ultimately mar the smoothness of their skin. When you stop shaving and grow a beard, you automatically get less blemishes and much smoother skin.

  4. Retains natural moisture: When you shave, your skin is exposed to the sun in summer and cold air in winter. These elements dry out your skin, but if you have a beard to protect you then your skin can retain its moisture. Your skin also has sebaceous glands that keep it moisturized. When you shave, this moisture gets eroded, but when you have a beard it remains intact.

  5. Keeps you young: This is an ironic health benefit, since having a beard tends to make you look much older. But actually, by protecting your face from sun damage and blemishes, your beard keeps your skin much younger.

  6. Prevents infections: People who shave regularly are prone to a lot of skin problems like rashes and infections. By giving up shaving, you don’t have to worry about rashes, bacterial infections or folliculitis, which in an infection of the hair follicles.

  7. Prevents illnesses: Having a beard can help you stave off wintertime illnesses like a cold or cough, because it keeps your face and neck warm. Your beard serves as insulation against the cold, trapping your body heat from escaping and protecting you from the cold.

  8. It's always fashionable: Whether it's playoff season or beach season, the beard is the ultimate year round accessory.

Remember to keep it clean. While having a beard has several health benefits, they only apply if you remember to keep your beard clean. Make sure you wash it every day like you wash your hair, so that it stays healthy and hygienic.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Thus far we have had bro sessions that were a hybrid of strength, gymnastics and cardio. We have had bro sessions that were partner based. We have done a hero WOD multiple times over. We have even celebrated a holiday together. So what have we not done yet? Think benchmark WOD, yes a lady's name. Think purely gymnastics, yes that means pull-ups, push-ups and air squats. Now think about how you could put these together in a mentally and physically challenging way. Have an idea yet? Read on and see how close your thought was to the eventual reality. 


Bench Press

1 Max Set 225#/155#

Rest 2 Min

1 Max Set 185#/135#

Rest 2 Min

1 Max Set 155#/105#

Rest 2 Min

1 Max Set 135#/95#

10 Min EMOM

3 Power Cleans…Heavy


Cindy XXX

Complete as much as possible in 45 minutes of:
10 Pull-ups
20 Push-ups
30 Squats

15 Pull-ups
30 Push-ups
45 Squats

20 Pull-ups
40 Push-ups
60 Squats

25 Pull-ups
50 Push-ups
75 Squats

30 Pull-ups
60 Push-ups
90 Squats

35 Pull-ups
70 Push-ups
105 Squats

40 Pull-ups
80 Push-ups
120 Squats

45 Pull-ups
90 Push-ups
135 Squats

50 Pull-ups
100 Push-ups
150 Squats

So let's break this workout down shall we:
  1. The bench press is meant to be a moderate to slightly heavy load, at least for the first set. However, it is a max rep set so you want the weight to afford you a decent number of reps. I would recommend a load that you feel comfortable doing at least 5 reps with. From there I would scale accordingly. Set 2 I would shoot for 10 reps ballpark, set 3 shoot for 15 or so and the final set should be something you would normally be comfortable doing at least 20 reps with. That being said you will already be tired so do not be disappointed if you do not get a 20 rep set on your last effort.
  2. The 3 rep heavy clean EMOM is just that, a heavy 3 rep effort. However, make sure you think you will be able to keep that weight for all 30 reps. You do not want to waste time changing weights if you do not have to, although you are always allowed to if needed.
  3. Cindy XXX is a bitch, no pun intended. This is a classic benchmark with a gnarly twist. First the volume per set is much higher than usual. Then each time you successfully complete a given work load you get rewarded by having to do more work in your next set. For those familiar with this sort of pattern you know it gets mentally very challenging at times to get rewarded with a sort of punishment. The good news it will only last 45 minutes, so there is always an end point.
  4. If you should get through all of the rounds of Cindy XXX inside the 45 minutes you will have done 270 pull-ups, 540 push-ups and 810 squats. That being said you have several options here. Scaling movements is appropriate, scaling the volume per round is an option, and pacing yourself is always a good idea. 
  5. Alas, seek refuge in the notion that we will all be there along side you to commiserate!


*I apologize to anyone I errantly told we would be doing this on Sunday 12/7. However I promise next weekend will be on Sunday.

**As always feel free to make this WOD up during Open Gym on Sunday or throughout the course of the week if you cannot make it on Saturday.

The Benefits of a Higher Fat and Organic Diet

If you have been doing CrossFit for more than 5 minutes you have more than likely heard about the Paleo and Zone diets. Some of you here at CFTR have even participated in the last 5 or 6 Whole Life Challenge Lifestyle Challenges. Too often people are looking for a quick fix to their dietary goals. This often times leads to jumping from one solution to another without giving any one intervention enough time to create sustainable changes. Currently there are over 200 registered diets with the American Dietetic Association and that leaves far too many choices for the average person to pick from. In turn what ever pops up on the internet becomes the diet du jour. After all, if it was on the internet it must be both factual and accurate right? The media outlets available today all have their own respective bias in what and how they report such information. Some of this bias is institutional while some of it is the subjectiveness inherent in deciding which information should or should not be included in a given write up or story. On top of that, editors often look to make things sound "sexier" than they really are because they need to attract eyeballs in an effort to somehow make money. The reality is it is all much simpler than meets the eye.

The diet that I am recommending for our collective mission here with the 5Bs, as well as anyone else interested in improving their overall well being, usually freaks people out initially. At the end of the day it is rooted in sound science and facts, and not influenced by flawed studies funded by companies with ulterior motives. Many people have heard and believe in the “Lipid Hypothesis.” This is the outdated theory that saturated fat and cholesterol intake increases cholesterol levels in the blood, which increase your chance of heart disease. This theory is simply not true, as long as the saturates are of a certain type, and the cholesterol is not oxidized. Your acceptance of that caveat is essential if you are going to fully embrace what some have called the Mountain Dog Diet. While the emphasis of this post is on the benefits of a higher fat and organic style diet subsequent posts will cover the other macro nutrients, hydration, nutrient timing and related topics.

What’s so different about a high fat and organic diet compared to standard diets in general? 
1) A higher fat and organic diet will improve your health. You may find that your cholesterol levels improve, your joints feel better, your skin looks better, and you do not feel the typical lethargy associated with traditional calorie restrictive diets. 

2) The increased focus on fat soluble vitamins will help with gains through better endocrine function. Remember, the theme here is health, and making better choices regardless of whether you are trying to gain muscle or lose fat.

3) The primary focus of this diet is a nutrient driven approach.

4) This diet focuses on Micronutrition NOT Macronutrition.

This diet emphasizes the following key concepts:
  • The best food comes from animals that have been fed their natural diet.
  • Correct ratio of fats with a special emphasis on saturated fats.
  • Fat soluble vitamins and their role in endocrine function.
  • Keeping your liver healthy.

There are actually MANY other key concepts that tie into this discussion typically such as carb intake/sources and rotations, veggie and fruit consumption, what spices and condiments can do for your metabolism, etc. but for the sake of this conversation we will limit it to these four.

For the purposes of this discussion, I’m going to give you more of a view from 30, 000 feet. Approaching these topics from a higher level will hopefully introduce you to all the concepts, rather than only focusing on a few of them.

Concept #1: The best food comes from animals that have been fed their natural diet.

Remember the old saying you are what you eat? It’s NOT true! You are what your food has eaten. Here’s a sample of a few of the mainstays in this diet and a little about why.

Grass Fed Beef – This type of beef is from cows that have been fed their normal diet consisting of grass. The only exception would be in winter where hay, root vegetables and silage are ok. Cows are termed ruminant animals, and have a really cool chamber in their stomach called a Rumen. Think of it as a big fermentation vat. This chamber is one of four chambers in the stomach that turns grass into high quality protein, and ensures a great Omega 3 to 6 ratio. This is all dependent on the PH of the rumen.

I cannot recommend “normal” store bought grain fed beef as these cows have been fed grain, and grain feeding depletes all of the things in the fat that make it healthy and magical – namely a perfect balance of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fats, and CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid). The unhealthy Omega 3 to 6 ratio that is heavily skewed toward Omega 6 is very inflammatory to your body, and is thought to increase chances of heart disease and overall bodily inflammation. The PH of the rumen is heavily affected by grain, greatly increasing acidity, thus completely throwing off Omega 3, CLA, and other levels.

In case you are wondering what exactly happens to the cow fed their unnatural diet, states “when fed an unnatural diet of grain, acidosis can result and lead to a condition called “rumenitis,” which is an inflammation of the wall of the rumen. Rumenitis then leads to liver abscesses as the rumen wall becomes ulcerated, bacteria are able to pass through the walls and enter the bloodstream. Ultimately, the bacteria are transported to the liver where they cause abscesses. From 15 to 30 percent of feedlot cattle have liver abscesses, hence the need for antibiotics and such.” Not pretty.

Going back to Omega-3s, they are most abundant in seafood, but they are also found in large quantities in animals that are pasture raised. There can be anywhere from two to six times more Omega 3’s in grass-fed meats. The reason is simple, Omega-3s are formed in the chloroplasts of green leaves and algae. Roughly sixty percent of the fatty acids in grass are actually omega-3s.

What about cows that have been “finished” on grain? When cattle are taken off omega-3 rich grass and shipped to a feedlot to be fattened on omega-3 poor grain, they begin losing their store of this beneficial fat as one would suspect. Each day that an animal spends in the feedlot, its supply of omega-3 is diminished. There are some great graphical representations and more detailed info on this process on the very informative afore mentioned website

Grass fed beef is the number one component of the diet. This should represent a large source of your protein intake at all times.

Free Range Eggs – Chickens that have been free to roam around, and feast on their natural diet of bugs, insects, and grass lay the highest quality eggs. Natural sources of fat soluble vitamins are by far the best and you will get four to six times more Vitamin D from a free range egg. You also get three times more Vitamin E. In addition, free range eggs give you twice the Omega 3’s and seven times more beta carotene. As with the grass fed beef, whole free range eggs should almost never come out of your diet.

Wild Caught Salmon – Perhaps no food is better at supplying healthy Omega 3s than wild caught salmon. These salmon have been fed their natural diet of tiny shrimp-like creatures called Krill. This diet of Krill not only gives salmon their lovely reddish orange color, it also gives them the big dose of Omega 3's. Be careful when you’re shopping not to pick up “Farm-Raised” Salmon. These Salmon have been enclosed in pens and fed a very unnatural diet of corn meal, soy and even chicken feces pellets.

There are several different types of wild caught Alaskan salmon for you to choose from. Sockeye Salmon and Chinook/King Salmon to name a few. You can also get the Sockeye or Pink Salmon canned. These are all good, as long as they are wild-caught. You will get around 2.5 – 3 grams of Omega 3 per every 7 ounces.

Raw Grass Fed Dairy – The same things that applied to grass fed beef, applies to grass fed dairy. You get more CLA, and Omega 3s. The Journal of Dairy Science did a study in 1999 on CLA in grass fed dairy, and found that it contains 500 percent more CLA than cows fed grain.
Notice the inclusion of RAW in addition to grass-fed. The nutritional value of milk plummets due to pasteurization, the vitamin A is completely destroyed and the proteins become more difficult to digest often creating strong immune system responses and allergies. The Weston A. Price Foundation has a sister website called that is excellent in explaining the benefits of raw milk.

I do want to point out that there is little scientific support for the consumption of pasteurized dairy that you find in most stores. Dairy is not a necessity, nor is it required for this diet. You will get plenty of Omega 3’s from your Salmon, Vitamin D from your eggs and certain fish, Vitamin A from Beef – liver especially, and calcium and minerals from green leafy veggies. However, one can look at raw milk as a very good supplement!

Concept #2: Correct balance of fats with a special emphasis on Saturated Fats

Most diets, even those that are termed “high-fat,” do not advise the use of saturated fats outside of what normally can be found in peanut butter, nuts, avocados, etc. This is clearly a major mistake. Saturated fats play an enormous role our in our health and well being. Here are just a few of many reasons to NOT avoid saturated fat:

  1. Saturated fats make up 50 percent of our cell membranes! They give cells the correct amount of rigidity to allow “messages” in and out.
  2. Saturates allow the body to use and retain Omega 3’s better!
  3. They make our immune systems better (see butter and coconut oil!)
  4. A few specific types of saturates are the best food for the heart. The fat around the heart is highly saturated.

So what are the best sources for saturated fats in the Mountain Dog Diet?

1) Animal fats – Grass fed ground beef contains not only the correct ration of Omega 3 to Omega 6 (1 to 1 or close to it), and CLA, it also has the saturated fat you need. Grass fed beef tends to have about half the saturated fat that grain-fed beef has. Leaner cuts like sirloin are ok, but remember, the magic is in the fat. That doesn’t mean you should eat all Ribeyes, just not to fear the fat, and there will be less of it in grass fed variety. Animal fats will help with fat soluble vitamin uptake which is essential to our overall health.

2) Virgin Coconut Oil – Coconut oil does a number of very good things for people. Most – 95 percent – of the fat in coconut oil is saturated, and about half is Lauric Acid. The fat is a special type of fat, medium chain triglyceride, that is easily converted into energy by your liver. If this energy cannot be used at the time of consumption it will pass through your body without being retained as or converted into body fat. For this very reason 3FU3L uses coconut oil in their protein supplement, it aides in satiety without the negative consequences of increased subcutaneous body fat. There is another side of coconut oil too that shouldn’t be forgotten and it relates to general health. It’s loaded (more than any other food source) with Lauric acid. This is a fat that is extremely anti-viral and antimicrobial. Lauric acid converts to its active form Monolaurin, which has been given to HIV patients and is showing much promise. You can see some of the research at It’s also found heavily in breast milk, which is a reason why babies who are breast feed seem to have stronger immune systems.

3) Grass Fed Butter – The reality is that butter IS HEART HEALTHY! It contains a perfect ratio of Omega 3 to 6. The saturated fats are generally short and medium chain for quick and easy digestion and for protection against infection. Lecithin is also a natural component of butter that assists in the proper assimilation and metabolization of cholesterol and other fats. Butter also has this thing called “Wulzen Factor” in it. Researcher Rosalind Wulzen discovered that this substance protects humans and animals from calcification of the joints-degenerative arthritis. If nothing else put some in your morning coffee and Bullet Proof your coffee as well as your health!

What about polyunsaturated fats (Omega 3, 6, Alpha Linolenic Acid)? These too are essential, and you have to get them from your diet. The amount needed though often gets distorted. You’ll get plenty from your diet in the form of Salmon, and also some extra in your beef and dairy due to those sources being grass fed.

If you are taking flax, chia, or other grain type forms of Alpha Linolenic Acid – remember this, your body can only convert a very small amount of it to its usable form in the body of DHA. As a result  these grain type Polyunsaturated fats are not recommended. You are better off getting it naturally in the foods described above. Under no circumstance would it be recommended that you consume polyunsaturated fats high in Omega 6’s such as corn oil, cottonseed oil, regular safflower oil, etc. These have potentially deleterious effects due to their inflammatory affect within your body.

Most diets in the bodybuilding world, even those that are termed “high-fat,” don’t advise the use of saturated fats outside of what normally occurs in the peanutbutter, nuts, avocadoes, etc. that are typically recommended. I think this is a mistake. Saturated fats play an enormous role our in our health and well being. Here are just a few of many reasons to NOT avoid saturated fat:
Saturated fats make up 50 percent of our cell membranes! They give cells the correct amount of rigidity to allow “messages” in and out.
Saturates allow the body to use and retain Omega 3’s better!
They make our immune systems better (see butter and coconut oil!)
A few specific types of saturates are the best food for the heart. The fat around the heart is highly saturated.

Concept #3: Fat soluble vitamins and their role in endocrine function

One of the biggest problems with low fat diets is the fact that they do not take into account the need to properly assimilate fat soluble vitamins. If you do not think this is important, you are wrong! Fat soluble vitamins include A, D, E and K. The issue here is long-term health as these vitamins are so important to your endocrine systems. In addition, there are many studies that show low fat and low cholesterol diets long term create more depression.

Here are some of the things that these vitamins do:

Vitamin A

This vitamin is extremely important, so much that your liver can store it for a fairly long time. It helps with protein and mineral metabolism. It helps to ensure proper thyroid function, and it helps in the production of sex hormones. Those things are all critically important (or should be) to athletes.

Also it gets depleted from strenuous exercise which a few of us engage in. Grass-fed butter and egg yolks are excellent day to day sources. Do not fall for the vegetarian belief that you can get plenty of Vitamin A in carrots and other veggies. The Vitamin A in those foods are really not Vitamin A, it is a carotene, often referred to as Provitamin A. True vitamin A, or retinol, is found in foods like cod liver oil, butterfat from cows grazing on pasture, liver and fish – especially shellfish. Your body has to convert the carotenes to retinol, and it only does that well in the presence of fat. Fat stimulates bile salts, which help with this conversion. So you better add some butter to your veggies if you even want a prayer of getting enough Vitamin A on a vegan diet. Actually, grass fed butter is the most easily absorbed food source for Vitamin A.

Vitamin D

Although the benefits of this were covered in a previous post, Vitamin D is worthy of some additional insights. This vitamin (actually it is more of a Pro-hormone) cannot be stored in our livers for very long. We need a more continual supply of it. A very compelling reason for an athlete to ensure a good intake of Vitamin D is the fact that it greatly affects healthy insulin function. It also helps maintain a healthy nervous system, which is extremely important if you train hard. Good food sources include whole eggs, sardines, mackerel, herring, shrimp, butter and oysters. An excellent source of vitamin D is Fermented Cod Liver Oil. It is a good idea to get your Vitamin D levels tested. There are many autoimmune disorders thought to be caused by low Vitamin D levels. If you should request the test, the test you want to request is known as a 25 (OH) D test.

Vitamin E

This vitamin is a very strong antioxidant and good for maintaining cardiovascular health. Good food sources include red palm oil, green leafy veggies, liver, egg yolks, and wheat germ. Wheat germ can be sprinkled into shakes, on yogurts and in oatmeal. Grass fed beef is also a great source for this vitamin. If you remember from the supplement post, Vitamin E is also recommended to be taken with your fish oil supplement to combat potential oxidation.

Vitamin K

This vitamin is important for blood clotting, and is also very important in maintaining proper bone density. Good food sources include leafy green veggies, liver and cabbage type veggies. Spinach is excellent for this. 

Concept #4: Keeping your liver healthy

Liver function is very important in terms of general health but also in terms of fat burning. Your liver is a very key organ that takes a beating cleansing our systems of toxins, metabolizing proteins and so on. If it’s stressed out, you can’t burn fat as efficiently. It can also get to the point rather easily, where it can’t break down aldosterone, which leads to excess water retention. Every single day your liver actually produces a quart of bile that emulsifies and absorbs fats. Your gall bladder (providing you still have one), then stores this until it is needed. Your liver does many other important things as well such as converting glucose, fructose and galactose into glycogen, which it stores. If you are partaking in a lower carb type of diet your liver will convert the stored glycogen into glucose and then release it into your bloodstream. Once glycogen is fully depleted, it will convert fat and protein for energy. I don’t like it when someone is converting their protein into glycogen.

Your liver is pretty resilient, and can even do some regeneration of damaged cells. Despite this, it can be a good idea to use a few supplements to help your liver out (Liv 52, Alpha Lipoic Acid, and Milk Thistle -- some of which can be found in Kill Cliff). There also food sources that can be incorporated into diets to help the liver and gall bladder, such as real lemon juice (not from concentrate – helps with bile formation) real cranberry juice (not from concentrate – helps dilute and expel waste), and Apple Cider Vinegar.

Of course the saturated fats recommended above also help. Saturates protect the liver from toxins!

Some of you may be reading this and still have a negative reaction to the notion of a higher fat diet, I assure you you are not alone in this perspective. However, you must also be willing to make changes to your status quo if you want to see potential progress. Perhaps this type of diet does not work for you in the end, but you cannot in good conscience dismiss it out of hand without at least trying it. Give it four months before you render a verdict. Allow time for your body to adjust and adapt before you switch to something else. In the end you will be glad you did!