WOD – 9/17/11 – *Share the Pain Saturday

*Share the Pain is a chance for CFM members to bring a friend to try out CrossFit.  If you decide to bring a friend, please be sure to find a coach after you WOD, give us your feedback, and discuss setting up a one on one training session to further introduce them to our program!

- WOD - 


5 Person team WOD:

400m Indian Run w/Medicine Ball (together)

400 Thrusters

400m Indian Run w/Medicine Ball (together)

200 Pull-Ups

400m Indian Run w/ Medicine Ball (together)

*1 person works at a time during movements

Doing some shoulder mobility before class


Friends Don’t Let Friends Do Cardio!

Whenever I tell people to stop doing cardio I always seem to leave them baffled.  The concept of cardio for weight loss is so ingrained in the minds of most people in the Western world that it tends to go without saying that it must be done.  Sometimes people even leave it out when I ask them to tell me about their workout routine because they assume cardio is a given.  In truth, Sarah and I (and Robb WolfMark Sisson, and Chrissy Gower, to name a few more of MANY) prescribe no cardio to our clients at all.  Yes, that means Deb did absolutely no cardio to get her results.  I know it sounds crazy, but ask yourself why you believe cardio is beneficial as we take a look at the logic and science behind why it is not.  First the logic, then the science.

Just to be clear, we define cardio as sustained effort at intensities above walking and below sprinting.  Walking and sprinting = good.  Running marathons = bad.

The logic behind avoiding cardio taps into one of my pet peeves, so I’m sorry if I come off a little harsh.  We are so programmed by the “______ Diet”  mentality that it never crosses most people’s minds that the evolutionary perspective used in the paleo diet should be applied to all things that affect our health.  We choose to eat this way because we are pursuing natures intentions for human nutrition, only to strap on our Nikes and head out the door for a 5 mile run without ever considering whether or not this is something we should be doing.  The question becomes, where is the stimulus in nature to engage in this activity?  In other words, what would have caused us to run any more than a mile or two in nature often enough for natural selection to make us great at it and spare us from ill effects?  It wouldn’t take a tiger than long to catch the fastest of us.  It’s funny that in the minds of most Americans you aren’t truly fit until you have attained the useless ability to run 26.2 miles.  An incredible feat, but not one that will ever come in handy.

No doubt I am making a few people angry here, but endurance sports are sports, not methods of attaining better overall health and fitness.  If you enjoy running marathons, then who am I to tell you to quit?  Just understand that running marathons is not good for you.  Neither is playing at a competitive level in most other sports, but that isn’t why we play them.  We play sports because they are fun.  Oddly, the vast majority of runners are not competitive and run because they believe that what they are doing is beneficial to their health, and all other forms of cardio and cardio machines that I am aware of attempt to simulate the same internal processes that we get when we run.  The unfortunate thing is that they do simulate those internal processes.

Now for the basic science.  When it actually works, the “fat burning” effect that is the goal of the cardio-for-weight-loss advocate is mostly due to stress, and even then the results are sub-par compared to exercising in a manner that the human body understands.  When you head out for a run or jump on an elliptical machine for an hour, your body produces the same hormones that make humans great at sprinting.  Cortisol in particular is produced to get you some quick blood sugar for a fast escape or to catch some dinner.  But you never make that quick escape or catch that dinner, and you are never caught and eaten by something scary, you just keep running.  And your body just keeps producing cortisol.  Internally, this is just stress, but we call it exercise and do it 3 – 5 days per week, even though that last little bit of belly pudge won’t go away.  That little bit of pudge is so stubborn because your body is in a panic and it is trying to keep some energy stored close to your organs where it will need it most through this time of hardship.

For the actual studies and data, I can’t compete with Dr. Kurt Harris’ posts here andhere.  They are phenomenal and well worth reading in their entirety.  They also contain the hard science that, for me, completely negates any citation of persistence hunting tribes as reason why we are “born to run”.

If you are doing cardio on a regular basis, ask yourself why?  If you are an endurance athlete, then you have a valid reason.  Since most of us are trying to be lean and healthy, then don’t you owe it to yourself to try a more evolutionarily sound training protocol for a few months before you assume that you need cardio?  It’s hard to argue for the necessity of something you have never tried going without.  So what should you do?  Sprint like hell for short distances, walk as far as you want, lift heavy things in as many ways as possible, and mix it all up using high intensity intervals.  If you need further guidance, Sarah happens to have an excellent fitness section in her book.

WOD – 9/16/11 – Get Off Your Ass: It Could Save Your Life!


OHS w/PVC Pipe

3 sets of 10 to practice technique

- WOD -

400m Row

- then -

5 Rounds:

20 Pull-Ups

:30 L-Sit

20 Mountain Climbers

:30 L-Sit

- then -

400m Row


Max Distance Prowler Push in :30

Use 3x Body Weight – Should be difficult!

Separate Prowlers will be used by men and women

Kris Freeman


Get Off Your Ass: It Could Save Your Life!

By Steve from NerdFitness.com

I bet you’re sitting down while reading this.

Whether you’re at work at your desk, sitting in a coffee shop, lounging on your couch after a long day, or propped up in bed with your iPad, you’re probably seated firmly on your butt while reading Nerd Fitness…and I don’t blame you – sitting has become so ingrained in our culture that most of us (myself included) spend more time sitting in a chair every day than we do sleeping.

If this sounds like you, you are certainly not alone – after all, chairs are everywhere, from the seats in our car to the office chair to the restaurant booth where we eat.  Sitting seems like the most natural thing in the world, right?

However, what if sitting was actually worse for you than you realized?  What if sitting all day resulted in far more health issues than you could possibly imagine?  Hell, what if sitting was actually killing you?

Yeah, I know…that sentence sounds like ole Steve here has gone off the deep end.  Unfortunately, it’s more true than you realize, especially for people in our demographic.

Here’s why you need to get off your ass…and how it could save your life.

If you’ve been reading this site for a while, you know that I’m a big fan of the Paleo dietand paleo lifestyle.  After all, we existed as a species for hundreds of thousands of years by living a certain way (hunting, gathering, traveling barefoot)…and although technology and advances in science and medicine have certainly helped us live longer lives, quite a few modern “conveniences” have actually made things harder for us.

Sitting is one of those conveniences that can cause all sorts of damage to our body when done to excess – a.k.a. the typical sedentary American lifestyle.  I read a great article over on Mark’s Daily Apple that compared sitting to today’s modern shoes and sneakers.  Sure, your new Nikes might seem comfortable, but they actually weaken all of the muscles and joints in your feet and ankles by doing all of the stabilization work for you – your muscles grow weak, complacent, and bored because they have nothing to do.  This is a recipe for injury and disaster.

Your core/hips/groin/legs are no different when it comes to sitting!

When you sit down, your hip flexors (the muscles that work the movements between your pelvis and thigh bones – that crease between your thigh and groin) get tightened and shortened.  Meanwhile, your hamstrings and glutes (butt) get all stretched out.  Now obviously your muscles getting stretched and contracted  is a part of life – it’s these actions that allow us to do fantastic things like…move.  However, the problems arise when we keep these muscles in this non-standard state for hours upon hours at a time.

Think of your muscles as glorified rubber bands – they can stretch and contract as you pull them.  Now, take a rubber band and wrap it around a basketball, stretching it to its limit for a few weeks.  When you come back and take that rubber band off the ball, it will have almost no elasticity and won’t be able to return to its original shape.  Or, it’ll just snap.  Crapola.

If you’ve ever tried to do a heavy leg workout after a day filled with hours of sitting then you know what I’m talking about – you feel like an old man or woman with the flexibility of a steel girder.

And that’s just for our hips!

When you factor in slouched-over shoulders, a weakened lower back, a jacked up spine, and that hunchback look that we all adore (not), sitting in an office chair all day pretty much renders our body useless.


Now, on top of issues dealing with flexibility (which is so crucial to having proper form during your exercises), sitting on your butt can cause a litany of other health issues as well.  The most extreme case I’ve heard of recently involved a 20-year old kid who died after getting a blood clot during a marathon video game session – one of the saddest and most tragic stories I’ve ever come across.

Here are some other health issues associated with sitting, as explained in this Art of Manliness article:

A study found that men who sit for more than six hours of their leisure time each day had a 20% higher mortality rate than those who sat for three hours or less. The epidemiologist who conducted the study, Alpha Patel, concluded that excessive sitting literally shortens a person’s life by several years.

Another study showed that men who sat for 23 or more hours a week had a 64% greater chance of dying from heart disease than those who sat for 11 hours per week or less.

Even the New York Times has chimed in, explaining that extended bouts of sitting can huge pain in the butt (HEYOOO!) for your body.  You simply don’t expend much energy sitting down compared to standing up and/or moving around…sure it might be just a difference of a dozen calories here and there, but multiplied out over ten hours a day, 365 days a year, and ten+ years…that can equal quite a bit of weight gain.

If you’re looking for something even more extreme, though it’s clearly going for shock value, check out this infographic on “Sitting is Killing You.”  Now, as we all know, correlation does NOT prove causation, so you’d be rightly skeptical in some of the facts listed – for example, those who tend to probably spend all day sitting compared to those who are more active might have other health issues that can lead to an earlier death.

That being said, no matter which way you look at it…sitting all day is at best “not good for you” and at worst a serious health hazard. 

On top of all of the health reasons, there are productivity issues too – I find that sitting while working makes me lazy!  I don’t know about you, but when I’m seated a nice comfy chair, spending hours screwing around on the internet comes easy.  However, when standing up and working, I find it’s much easier to focus and actually get stuff done.

So, let’s do a quick recap.  Too much sitting can:

  • mess up your mobility and flexibility.
  • lead to weight gain.
  • weaken your muscles.
  • screw up your posture.
  • lead to a  tremendous amount of other health problems.
  • actually kill you.

Ruh roh, Shaggy. 

Let’s see if we can fix this problem:

The good ole standing desk!  If you work at home or in an office where standing is considered acceptable, this is probably your best option.  It promotes healthier behavior, better posture, increases circulation in your legs, will help improve your hip flexor mobility, and ingrain more of a “I’m ACTIVE” thought into your brain.  Trust me on that one.

So, what’s kind of desk should you be looking for, you ask?

  • If you have money to burn, check out GeekDesk.com- they have desks that are like robots, and can transform from a sitting desk to a standing desk at a moments notice.  Unfortunately, there’s nothing in the return/refund policy to protect you should your desk develop consciousness and attempt to take over the world with the Decepticons – you’ve been warned.
  • Check out this hacked desk from IkeaHackers - back when I had a home, I bought all my furniture at Ikea – easy to assemble, cheap, and you don’t feel bad when it breaks or you move cross country and have to ditch it.  A cheap desk + a few modifications = standing desk.
  • Play Tetris – if there’s no budget at your office for a new standing desk, why not modify your old desk?  Bring in some cinder blocks to prop up the bottom of your desk to a standing desk height?  Or, use some milk crates, boxes, stacks of hardcover books, orbuild a tiny desk (thanks to Mark for the link) to put up on top of your current desk to raise your computer to standing desk height?
  • Get REALLY creative – use an ironing board, a dresser, or bookshelf, start doing your work at your kitchen counter, or use a coffee shop’s tall bars on the walls – just aim for a surface height where your arms are at a natural position and you don’t need to hunch over your computer to use it.

Now, the transition to awesomeness won’t be seamless; in fact, things might feel a little funky or painful if you’re used to spending 8+ hours a day parked in your computer chair.

Here’s a report from one dude who switched to a standing desk, when asked if it hurt or bothered him:

Yes, very much. In fact, the first three days were brutal, so painful I doubted the whole endeavor. By mid-day 2, I had to sit down every hour or so. I was distracted and had a hard time focusing on anything but how much my feet hurt. At night I sat on the couch with my feet elevated. I collapsed into bed totally exhausted. I never appreciated sitting as much as I did the first three days.

Then, on the fourth day, it wasn’t so bad. On day 5, I got lost in work for 2 hours before I thought about the fact that I was on my feet once.  Now it’s my new normal.

  Here are a few other things you should keep in mind about making the switch:

  • Like the guy said above, it’s going to feel really weird for a while.  We are creatures of habit, and our bodies are a result of those habits – a big change like this is going to cause some resistance: your legs will get tired, your feet will hurt, you’ll find yourself constantly wanting to sit down, one leg will get tired and the other won’t, etc.  Try this: get yourself a tall stool to sit on when needed and set a clock/timer on your computer, aiming to stand for longer and longer periods each day.  For example – 30 minutes today, 35 minutes tomorrow, 40 minutes on Wednesday, and so on.  Baby steps people!
  • Pick one that is the right height – You don’t want to bend over at the waist or hunch over to have to use your computer.  Set it at a height when you can stand up straight and proud (and full of confidence!), with your shoulder blades pulled back, your arms at a natural height, and your gaze not too far down that it causes discomfort in your neck.  If you have an external monitor, I’d recommend setting it high (closer to eye level) so you can simply look straight ahead to see your computer screen rather than down at it.
  • Don’t just stand there – Don’t just stand in the same freaking spot for eight hours without moving; that’s almost as bad as sitting and not moving.  Shift your weight from one leg to the other, take constant walking breaks (at least every 30 minutes or so) to keep the blood flowing and your legs moving.  Personally I haven’t found this to be an issue, as I find myself constantly moving when standing anyways.

Okay, I hear you. 

Maybe you work in Cubicleland, and you at a standing desk would be incredibly awkward.  Maybe you don’t have the opportunity to take your laptop to the kitchen and use the counter there.  Maybe you’re a traveling salesman and six hours a day in the car isn’t unusual.  If you can’t convince the big boss that standing is a good idea (citing the reasons above), if the Man won’t let you build your own desk, or if your job dictates that you’re in the seated position all day, you’ll have to take a more active role in fixing yourself.

First and foremost, quit your job.

Hahaha, I’m just kidding.  

Start by fixing your posture in your chair – switch to a stool or a chair without a back support so you can work on your posture.  Sure, this won’t do much for your hip flexors, butt, and hamstrings getting stretched, but it will help strengthen your lower back and core.  “But Steve, this hurts my lower back! I NEED MOAR SUPPORT!!!1!!”  No, you need to strengthen your lower back and posterior chain, sucka!  It will take time and effort and might even be uncomfortable…but it will be worth the effort.

Get up every 30 minutes – without fail.  Set a time on your computer to force yourself to get up every 30 minutes and go for a walk – go  harass your coworkers (I hear they love that) or go chat up that  Funke around the water cooler.  Just get up and move!

Be more active – if you spend all day at your computer, try eating your lunch and dinner standing at the counter.  If you spend all day at the computer, try playing your Xbox 360 or PS3 standing up.  Yup, it’s weird.  Yeah, your legs will probably get tired.  Get over it! Be more active, even if it means making your nerdy activities a little more active than they need to be.  Don’t spend ten hours at your desk only to come home and spend five hours in front of your TV – you’re better than this.

Train to improve the weak parts -  hip raisessquats where you drop below parallel, straight leg deadliftsregular deadlifts, and lots of hip mobility work will do you well to keep the lower part of your body healthy, flexible, and useful.

Above all else, I think the area where us desk jockeys lack the most strength and power is in our hips.  And if we’ve learned anything from Happy Gilmore, it’s all in the hips.

Weak hips, glutes, and hamstrings make it incredibly difficult to have perfect form when doing squats and deadlifts – you should be able to squat so that the tops of your thighs are below parallel (or even low enough so that your butt hits the back of your calves).  If you can’t squat low enough, I’d bet my life savings that you have weak hip flexors and poor mobility in your hips!

Here’s how to fix that:

Spend at least 5-8 minutes before doing any lower body work working on your mobility with a dynamic warm up – jumping jacks, body weight squats,  hip raises, leg swings, side leg swings, and fence stepovers (taught to me by Shawn over at TheFitnessBuster).  Following a routine like this will really activate your hips and allow you to power through your lower body exercises with great form.

Here’s a video if that helps explain it more:

Hip Mobility Warm Up Video

  • Do this mobility workout of the day, but don’t say I didn’t warn you (this one too will certainly help)…I’ve been sitting a LOT while traveling in Ireland (too much work and lots of time on buses), so doing this mobility workout was incredibly difficult and painful for me when I did it this morning.  Do the best you can – don’t hurt yourself, but WORK ON IT.
  • Try yoga – does your gym offer yoga classes? Not a bad way to improve your flexibility at all.  If your gym doesn’t offer classes, a simple search on youtube will result in approximately 4.3 bazillion yoga instructional videos.
  • Sit less – the less you sit, the less damage you’ll have to undo on your hip mobility.  Take frequent breaks at work – go do squats in the bathroom stall or lunges down your hallway – just be more active.

How Not to Suck at Running – NerdFitness.com

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that a huge majority of the running population kinda sucks at running.

When most people start running, they have zero training, zero strategy, have never put any thought into their technique or method, and just kind of “go for it.”  Now, although I’m a big of getting started (do something. do anything), I think it’s incredibly important to be smart about HOW you get started when it comes to running.  I’ve already provided a “beginner’s guide to running,” but I wanted to also hook you up with an interview I did with my buddy/running guru Jason Fitzgerald of StrengthRunning.com.

Jason and I share very similar views on training, performance, diet, and more, with just a different focus (mine on weight and strength training, his on running), so when I got a chance to meet up with him at a Nerd Fitness meetup in Washington, DC in July, I knew we needed to work together.

So, on September 26th, Jason and I will be releasing the Rebel Running Guide, an ebook designed to cover every freaking aspect of getting started with running that you’ll need – including videos of proper technique and form, tips for injury prevention, how to deal with injuries when they happen, workout and running plans to get you through your first 5k, and more.

Last week I sat down with Jason and picked his brain about running.  Okay we didn’t actually “sit down,” as he’s in D.C., and I’m currently in Barcelona; though I imagine both of us were sitting when we did the interview (or were we?).  Here’s how to not suck…or at least suck less :)

Steve: Alright man, every super hero has an origin story.  What’s yours? 

Jason: I started running cross country in the fall of my freshman year of high school. I actually went out for the team because I thought it was like Track and I could do the high jump. There’s clearly no high jump in cross country and at the time, I wasn’t really into running. But the guys on the team were fun so I stuck with it and ended up running cross, indoor and outdoor track in high school and college.

Running became a consistent part of my life and I’ve never voluntarily taken a significant amount of time off (except due to injury – but I haven’t been hurt in 2 1/2 years!). It’s been a little over 13 years of being a big running nerd! I wouldn’t trade it for anything and actually, it’s what has led to some of my best friendships and even meeting my wife.

Steve:  Yeah, congrats on the recent marriage!  You do realize that because of what you just said, you’re going to pull a hamstring running to catch a taxi or something, right?  As long as you’re aware.  Moving on, give us a quick run down (zing!) of your running philosophy.

Jason: The abridged version of my running philosophy:

  • Runners need to be good athletes, not just good runners. That means a lot of strength work, flexibility, and training variety.
  • If you want to run fast, you have to run a lot. You get good at what you practice often.
  • Barefoot running can help with a lot of things, but it shouldn’t be your primary focus if you want to be a better runner. Use it sparingly.
  • Run a lot of hills, but not a lot of track workouts.
  • Distance runners need to sprint!

I tell the runners that I coach that the magic happens when you pay attention to the “little things” – your warm-up, strength routines, and recovery. Those things dictate how well you’ll run in your workouts.

Steve: “Variety is the spice of life,” as they say.  I’m not quite sure who “they are” in this instance, just roll with it.  Interesting point about the barefoot running stuff – I think a huge issue with barefoot running is that people try to do too much too fast and end up hurting themselves.    Speaking of hurting oneself,  what’s a mistake that every beginning runner makes?

Jason: Not having a plan! Running doesn’t need to be very structured, but you should lay out why you’re running and what you want to accomplish. When you know those things, you can run much more effectively and be successful.

There are also a ton of little mistakes that new runners make, like stretching before they run, wearing huge bulky shoes and aggressively heel-striking, going crazy with carbs for short runs…. the list goes on. I want to scream at runners to read my blog, but instead I do interviews :)

Steve: Haha, I know the feeling.  I once considered making business cards that just said “psst, you’re doing it wrong – nerdfitness.com” and handing them out to people at the gym, but I figured that would get me punched in the face.  So there are quite a few beginner running programs out there, most famously the Couch to 5k program.  What are your thoughts on it?

Jason: There’s nothing inherently wrong with Couch to 5k, but it fails to include “the little things” I mentioned before that help runners get better and STAY HEALTHY. C25k also is just a running plan – 3 weekly workouts for 9 weeks. That’s it. So if you want the bare minimum (like Jennifer Anniston inOffice Space) it’s a very simplistic option for you.

My biggest criticism is that it really lacks variety. You either walk or run easy for 9 weeks – there’s no other types of workouts or different paces to keep things interesting. I would find it so boring. There’s also no strength workouts, flexibility exercises, core work, or any other “extras” that keep you healthy and injury free.

Steve: I can’t believe you just referenced Office Space, you win.  That is a great point about Couch to 5k though – I think its a great starting place as it’s incredibly easy to grasp and begin, but oversimplifies at the expense of building a solid foundation of win. 

Let’s move on to diet: what’s the best way to eat to become a better runner? Do you need mountains of spaghetti and carbs like I see every runner eating?

Jason: That’s one of the big mistakes that I see a lot of runners making – piling their plates high with bad carbohydrates every meal because they think that’s what runners do. If you’re running every day (or if you’re crazy and run twice a day) and training for a marathon then of course you’re going to need more carbs to fuel your workouts. But for most runners, amodest bump in carb intake is all you need.

Timing is really important in your carb intake if you still want to eat more paleo and start a 5k training program. You can still run a killer 5k with eating Paleo 80% of the time! Stick to lots of vegetables, fruit, good cuts of meat, and high-quality carbs like sweet potatoes, yams, quinoa, oatmeal, or Oreos and Twinkies (kidding!). If you’re doing a hard workout or a long run, you should eat some simple carbs right before, during the run itself if your stomach can handle it, and immediately after. Then go back to your usual Paleo diet for the rest of your daily meals.

Steve: Makes sense to me: use the carbs to fuel your body before a workout, and then quickly help rebuild your body after a strenuous workout.  So, this is something we touched on early – injury.  It seems like every runner deals with injuries all of the time, some of which are far more intense than others.  What are your thoughts on running if you think you’re injured?

Jason: I consider “injury” as a spectrum. Most runners have some aches and pains – you can run through those if they’re just dull or achy. Just be smart and run slower and shorter. If the pain is sharp or intense, then don’t run at all. Instead, you should focus on recovery by doing some self-massage (like with a foam roller), icing the affected area frequently, and doing some type of other exercise that doesn’t hurt. I recommend cycling, pool running, or something else with no impact.

Remember, consistency is king, so you’d be better off missing a few days over a few weeks. Patience pays off.

Steve: On a similar topic, what about being sick?  Too worn down from work, push ourselves too hard, run too much, and get a cold or the flu – how to you get back on track when you’ve been sick and haven’t had time to put in the miles?

A good rule of thumb is that if your sickness is above the neck, like a headache or sinus infection, then you’re cleared to continue running. But if you have chest congestion or a fever, it’s best to wait a few days to resume running. It all depends on how you feel, but play it safe at first!

When you come back to training normally, you should skip your fast workouts and run easy for a few days. Your body is still recovering so don’t make it work extra hard.

Steve: How do you feel about traditional running shoes (with a thick padded heel) vs minimalist shoes like New Balance Minimus or Vibrams?

Jason: Like injuries, minimalism is a spectrum, too. I don’t think there’s a need to be on either end of the spectrum exclusively. In an ideal world, I think 95% of people should fall somewhere in the middle for most of their running. A small amount can be barefoot or in Vibrams (like 5-20 minutes a week, spread out over a few days). You get most of the benefits of barefoot and minimalist training with just few short workouts.

Take me for example – I run in 3 different types of shoes. Two of them are my trainers that I wear for 95% of my running. They’re neutral shoes that don’t have a medial post (a roll bar, or that piece of dark foam in the sole that’s supposed to control over-pronation) and they weigh in at about 9 ounces. Not too minimalist, but not very bulky either. My third pair are racing shoes and have a tiny heel and are super light. I only wear them about once a week, but they give me all the strength and efficiency benefits I’m looking for.

Steve: Again – variety.  What are your thoughts on interval training over the long slog marathon style training?

Jason: A lot of runners want to get fast so they get on the track and run intervals until they get hurt. The reality is that the majority of runners will get 90% of their speed through easy running because they lack the ability to HOLD a fast pace – not the ability to RUN a fast pace. Interval workouts are the icing on the cake.

Steve: Psssh, “icing on the cake?”  This is Nerd Fitness, you can do better.  The “bacon on top of the steak”?  Eh, we can work on it.  Here’s a question from a member of the NF rebellion.  After your first 5k, what are your thoughts on speed training (running a faster 5k time) vs. endurance training (10k/half marathon), and how do you mix the two?

Jason: If you’re trying to run a certain time, there should be a lot of variety in your training – from all out sprinting to half-marathon pace and easy jogging. Most runners should keep hard running to about 20% or less of their weekly running or else they could get hurt or just burn out (and burn out sucks – link). My favorite workouts combine different paces so you get exposure to endurance training and much faster paced running at the same time.

We’ve included plans for faster 5k’s in the Rebel Running Guide in case you want to stay at that distance and just run faster.  We’ve also created an advanced plan for those who want to move beyond a 5k and train for a 10k (for the deluxe version).

Steve: Okay enough running talk; let’s crank out a few nerdy questions:  What’s your favorite video game?

Jason: I’m going to name two: Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha and Resident Evil, both for Playstation. The Street Fighter game is the first one to have semi-3D graphics, so it’s awesome. If you have it, please invite me over and I’ll humiliate you handily.

Resident Evil needs no explanation – I started playing in 8th grade and it scared the hell out of me. The graphics were top notch, it was violent and gory, and I got to shoot huge guns – wins all around!

Steve: Star Wars or Lord of the Rings?

Jason: Star Wars all the way. While Lord of the Rings has its moments, it just can’t compare with Chewie, Darth Vader, and Han Solo kicking ass across the galaxy.

Steve: Words to live by?

Jason: There are two quotes that come to mind, both about hard work and consistency:

  • “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” – Robert Collier
  • “What am I on? I’m on my bike busting my ass for 6 hours a day! What are you on?” – Lance Armstrong

Steve: Thanks Jason!  Hope all is well in DC.

So there you have it!  Jason and I are adding in last minute content to the Rebel Running Guide which will be out on September 26th, barring any last-minute unexpected changes.  I gotta say, I absolutely love Jason’s writing style, and he’s done a freaking incredible job with his sections on this guide – I’m honored to have helped put it together with him.  My dear Rebel friend, know that you and your feet are in good hands (not literally) with this guy.

WOD – 9/15/11 – How to Jump the Shark with Fish oil and Moderation – Robb Wolf


Back Bridges

- WOD -

12 Min AMRAP:

4 One Legged Box Jumps (R)

8 Burpees

4 One Legged Box Jumps (L)

8 Burpees

*Hop down on two feet

**Scaleable – jump to smaller box, plate or one legged jump


Sled Drag – down and back x 3

*Concentrate on pulling weight while standing erect, and push through heels, try to not bend legs


Class #7/32

Skill of the Day (SOD):

Rowing Technique

Workout of the Day (WOD):

4 Rounds:

Row 200m 

10 Air Squats

10 Vertical Jumps

Reid Bowles


How to Jump the Shark with Fish oil and Moderation


Unless you have been under a rock for the past few years you have likely caught wind of this stuff called omega-3 fats (n-3) and are savvy as to their utility in reversing or preventing a metric-ton of health problems. For some folks this knowledge is literally, easy to swallow (take some fish oil, live better) for others I get a little push back (why do I have to take all these pills?). As many of you likely know n-3 fat’s have been largely displaced from our diets. Our ancestral foraging life-way provided approximately 1/1 to 1/2, n-3/n-6 fats, modern diets look more along the lines of 1/10 to 1/20 because our meat and dairy is grain and soy fed while traditional sources of fat have given way to high n-6 fat sources like corn, soy, sunflower and similar seed oils. This is “No Bueno” as the n-6 family of fats influence (generally) pro-inflammatory products from the prostaglandin, cytokine, leukotriene and other chemical messenger families. We usually throw these products in the broad category “eicasanoids” and some of the best, earliest information on eicasanoids came from Barry Sears/Zone scene before he Jumped the Shark and told us Molecularly Baked Bagels were the Beezz-Neez.

WELL! As with everything, the story get’s more complex and more interesting. A recent paper (a mouse model, but pretty interesting none the less) indicates that an entirely novel inflammatory pathway, unrelated to the eicasanoid family of chemical messengers, appears to be at ground zero in the story of inflammation and insulin resistance. N-3 fats, specifically EPA and DHA (sorry vegans, ALA does not count here!) appear to have a specific receptor in a variety of tissues, but important to this paper, adipose (fat) tissues. This receptor, GRP-120, lies at the heart of the insulin resistance that results from increasing levels of systemic inflammation. Here is a piece of the introduction from this paper:

“Chronic activation of inflammatory pathways plays an important role in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance and the macro- phage/adipocyte nexus provides a key mechanism underlying the common disease states of decreased insulin sensitivity (Schenk et al., 2008). This involves migration of monocytes/ macrophages to adipose tissue (including intramuscular fat depots) and liver with subsequent activation of macrophageproinflammatory pathways and cytokine secretion. Through paracrine effects, these events promote inflammation and decreased insulin sensitivity in nearby insulin target cells (Shoelson et al., 2007; Schenk et al., 2008).”

I emphasized some of the middle material talking about the migration of monocytes and macrophages (immune cells) to adipose tissue because I want you to contemplate this picture:

We have a huge assortment of immune cells hanging around our bodies and they are all pretty handy for “staying alive” type stuff. These immune cells are our vigilant defenders, cruising the town, keeping an eye on things. They are not generally bullies, but if they get a little agitated they can start picking a fight with things they should not. If our immune system gets really agitated it can pick a fight with everything and in the process do exactly the opposite of what it is charged to do: keep us alive. What is important to note from the piece above is that immune cells INFILTRATE adipose tissue (think breaching a door and storming a building) and they set up shop in places they do not really belong. All because of excessive inflammation. Inflammatory signals sent by the adipocytes (fat cells) act like blowing a police whistle, and the immune defenders come a  running. The only problem is they do not really have anything to fight…but they are agitated and release chemical messengers that make the inflammation worse.

Via some slick molecular biology and collaborative tests, the authors of the aforementioned paper show that n-3’s are critical in their interaction with GRP-120 not only for decreased inflammatory effects, but also for insulin sensitivity. It would appear that inadequate n-3’–> decreased GRP-120 expression–>increased inflammation+decreased insulin sensitivity. Net result? A ton of mierda.

Here is another interesting snippet from that paper:

“A separate group of WT mice were treated with the insulin sensitizing thiazolidinedione Rosiglitazone, and the effects of u-3 FAs were equal to or greater (HGP suppression) than the effects of this clinically used insulin sensitizing drug.”

In the above WT refers to “wild type” which was one of the genetic controls in this study and HGP refers to “hepatic glucose production”. What it means is n-3 are as good or better than pharmaceuticals at reversing two of the main features of Type 2 diabetes: insulin resistance and abnormal hepatic (liver) glucose production. The liver does this because it thinks we are starving…this is one of the ironic elements of the progression of insulin resistance and a topic I explored at nauseating length in the Paleo Solution. The irony cannot be thicker here in that we have a host of pharmaceuticals being used to treat insulin resistance while inexpensive fish oil will address these problems better and with far fewer side effects. So, this is some pretty interesting stuff as it explains another mechanistic piece of n-3’s powerful anti-inflammatory effects but it does not address the “how much fish oil should I take?” question. To properly address this let’s consider how much n-3/n-6’s folks are running around with.

How much fat ya got?

This next paper is kinda cool in that it is virtually identical to the work I did previously: analyzing the fatty acid fractions in red blood cells (RBC’s). Folks let me tell you, extracting, esterifying and analyzing RBC membrane fats is a PARTY! What we see from this work is a significant skewing of n-6 relative to n-3 in the development of insulin resistant diabetics. We also see a “paradoxical” finding that dairy derived short chain saturated fats are protective against insulin resistance. SHOCKING! If you think about it, these folks have literally POUNDS (kilos?) of pro-inflammatory signal coming from those n-6 fats.

If we want to turn the Titanic away from the iceberg, we need to work fast. Reduce insulin secretion, reverse liver pathology (from excessive carbs, n-6, and grain based lectins) and restore tissue insulin sensitivity (get some exercise, go to bed and sleep). High dose fish oil can literally be a lifesaver in this situation and from a purely mechanistic level considering the actions of GRP-120, we can understand why. The relative lack of n-3 fats in our modern diet allows for a feed-forward progression of inflammation and insulin resistance. Folks who are sick (insulin resistant, inflamed, suffering autoimmunity) seem to benefit greatly from n-3 intake in the 1.0g((EPA+DHA)/10lbs bodyweight/day. For a 200lb person that may mean as much as 20g of EPA/DHA per day, EGADS! For some people this may represent a huge whack of fish oil, but the n-3’s reverse inflammation and the associated insulin resistance. Folks look, feel and perform better. Biomarkers of health improve. Eventually folks can titrate down to ~.25g of n-3/10lbs BW which is really no big deal.

Let’s take a look at a section from a recent paper by Prof. Cordain and crew:

We found (range of medians in en%) intakes of moderate-to-high protein (25 – 29), moderate-to-high fat (30 – 39) and moderate carbohydrates (39 – 40). The fatty acid composition was SFA (11·4 – 12·0), MUFA (5·6 – 18·5) and PUFA (8·6 – 15·2). The latter was high in a-linolenic acid (ALA) (3·7 – 4·7 en%), low in LA (2·3 – 3·6 en%), and high in long-chain PUFA (LCP; 4·75 – 25·8 g/d), LCP n-3 (2·26 – 17·0 g/d), LCP n-6 (2·54 – 8·84 g/d), ALA/LA ratio(1·12 – 1·64 g/g) and LCP n-3/LCP n-6 ratio (0·84 – 1·92 g/g). Consistent with the wide range of employed variables, nutrient intakes showed wide ranges. We conclude that compared with Western diets, Paleolithic diets contained consistently higher protein and LCP, and lower LA.”

This is a largely theoretical paper attempting to reconstruct the ancestral diet of Eastern Africa but some interesting tidbits emerge: EPA/DHA intake was likely in the range of 3-17g/day, n-3/n-6 ratios were approximately 1-2. Holy cats! That’s what we see as being healthful today!

Cant We just be Moderate?

An interesting effect of the book’s success has been placing the notion of Evolutionary Biology squarely in front of everyone from body-builders to 21 year old world saving Vegans to militant registered dieticians. Now, simply asking these folks to read the literature (topic of an upcoming post) seems to largely fail, but the contents of this post points in a direction all biomedical research needs to go IMO:

1-Let’s look to our evolutionary past for a theoretical framework from which to ask questions.

2-Let’s consider available epidemiology (STARTING with hunter gatherer populations!) for some corroroborative information that helps us formulate proposed mechanisms of action based on our evolutionary observations.

3-Animal models studying the proposed mechanisms.

4-Human trials studying the proposed mechanisms. Where appropriate let’s just skip #3 as animal metabolism is (drum-roll) different than human and thus only suggestive, not definitive.

5-Start looking for genome wide variations people are different…these findings may apply differently to different populations depending upon how conserved the particular metabolic engines we are looking at.

Michael Pollan has made the point that a reductionist approach to nutrition leads to “nutritionism” and a loss of “holistic” eating. I’ll buy that but a lack of reductionism would also not uncover things like lectin intolerance and the discovery of the GRP-120 protein. We need an evolutionary framework from which to ask questions, we need reductionist biomedical research to ferret out the details. Well, if we really want to understand what is going on. If that is not on your agenda just adopt a stance of “moderation”, that always works!

Fish Oil FAQ


WOD – 9/14/11 – “Raging Bull”


Skin the Cat x 5

(Advanced do back levers on rings)

- WOD -

“Raging Bull”

3 Rounds:

400m Run

50 DU (4:1 scale for SU)

25 Push-Ups

25 Sit-ups


Pose run 400m


Class #6/32

Skill of the Day (SOD):


Workout of the Day (WOD):


Medball Twists


Jumping Jacks

Lisa Hill

WOD – 9/13/11 – Let’s Discuss Your Sugar & Wheat Addiction… It’s Slowly Killing You – Primaltoad.com


Snatch Balance with PVC

- WOD -

5 Rounds:

6 Weighted Dips

12 KBS

12 T2B


Max Butterfly situp in 1:00


Class #5/32

Skill of the Day (SOD):



16 – 12 – 8:



Ryan Large


Article from Primaltoad.com

Let’s Discuss Your Sugar & Wheat Addiction… It’s Slowly Killing You

You may not want to admit it but if you do not eat a Paleo Diet or what I like to refer to as aPrimal Eating Plan, then you are more than likely addicted to sugar and wheat.

When I tell people how I eat and they think about the fact that they would have to give up bread and pasta they go crazy. Seriously. They will say something like, “I can’t ever give up bread!”

Why not? Because they are addicted. Addicted to wheat and sugar. They go hand in hand. If you eat food that comes from a box and think you can’t stop then you are an addict.

And it’s possibly a worst addiction then heroin. Say what?! I’m going to quote a passage fromThe Paleo Solution, one of the books on my must read primal/paleo book list.

Even though the vegetarians decry meat as a health scourge, no one, I mean no one, lies in bed at night thinking about the pork loin in the refrigerator. They do think about the ice cream, cake, or cookies. My friend, Kelly Starrett, has a saying: “Best self-defense: Don’t be there.” This is particularly true when we are talking about food.

You see, you haven’t no self-control when it comes to food. Some may do better than others, but the reality is our ancestors never faced the types of foods we pack into our pantries. The sugar, the refined carbs. They are completely new and they are addictive. We worked with a woman who was, no joke, addicted to crack at one time. She overcame that addiction only to succumb to a massive sugar addiction. She started working on her food, and in her own words, she found kicking sugar and refined grains to be much harder than quitting crack.

This may sound preposterous, but the same receptor sites in our brains that respond to heroine and opium (the opiate receptors) are triggered by wheat. This combo is made more powerful when there is sugar present. Junk food is really addictive. You need to plan if you want to succeed.

Many of you will start on this path, but you will leave some junk in the pantry because “the kids will have a fit without it” or your spouse will similarly “lose it.” Guess what? They do not need to either, and if you leave it in the house, it will suck you in and you will not make the progress you otherwise could.

Remember, I’m recommending that you give this a full try for thirty days. If vibrate health and a lean strong body are not what you want, you can always go back to what you were doing, but what I’m trying to do is ensure that you succeed. You do not get to blame your failure on your family.

Well said by Robb Wolf. Thirty days. Do you think you can handle that? I am engaging in a 30 day challenge myself right now. Once in a while I feel like being super strict. Why don’t you join me?

You are more than welcome to contact me and ask me any question you wish. I will do my absolute best to help you out.

I am not writing this post or offering this help for me. I am doing it for YOU. To possibly save YOUR life. Wheat and sugar is slowly killing you. It is taking away quality years from your life. I plan on living beyond 100 and I plan on actually being alive at that age. Do you want to join me? The choice is yours.

Give up wheat and sugar today. There is no tomorrow. There is NOW.

Are you primal or paleo but still have trouble avoiding sugar and wheat more often then you want? Let me know in the comment section and offer some encouragement for newbies. Thanks for reading!

WOD – 9/12/11


Kipping/Butterfly Pull-ups

- WOD -

800m Run

- then -

Hang Power Snatch for time:

Beginners – 50 Reps

Intermediate – 75 Reps

Advanced – 75 Reps of Squat Snatch


Tabata Mountain Climbers


Skill of the Day:


Workout of the Day:

Vertical Push

Horizontal Push

Vertical Pull

Forward Drag

Thanks to everyone who showed up to the 9/11 Throw Down yesterday!


CrossFit Maximus thanks all those who showed up to the 9/11 Throw Down WOD yesterday!  With about 50 showing up yesterday, and around 70 showing up last weekend for the 31 Heroes WOD, it is safe to say that we have a great membership full of dedicated and determined athletes that support CrossFit Maximus, and each other.  Everyone did a great job!


9/11/11 – 10 Years after the WTC Attacks – Never Forget – 2:00pm

Today marks the first day at CrossFit Maximus that Sunday is not a rest day.

10 Years ago today, The Unites States fell victim to the worst terrorist attack in the history of our country. Some would call it an act of war. For this post I was going to write a detailed recounting of the day, include a timeline with pictures, footage, and fact about the events of this tragic day in our history. But why? We all know what happened, and how horrible it made us feel. I bet there isn’t a person that comes to this WOD that doesn’t remember exactly where they were, and what they were doing that day when the planes hit the World Trade Center towers, when flight 77 hit the Pentagon, and when flight 93 crashed down in Pennsylvania after the passengers stormed the cockpit to take the plane down before it reached it speculated target of the White House or the Capital building. I sure remember. For me, it still feels like yesterday whenever I see a documentary that recounts the day of, and the days after 9/11.

Hero WODs are such an important part of the CrossFit community. They remind us the sacrifice that so many make for their country, their community, and their fellow man. Let’s do this WOD and remember all those who perished in the attacks, and those sacrificed their lives trying to get people to safety.


A One Round 9 Movement 11 Rep. Chipper

2001m Row

- then -

11 Reps of each of the following:

36/24in box jump

125/85 thruster (deaths @ pentagon)

burpee chest to bar pull ups

175/120 power clean (AA FLight #175 (south tower))

hand stand push ups

2 pood/1.5 pood swings

toes to bar

170/120 lb DL (Flight 77 and flight 93)

110/75 push jerk (number of floors in each tower)

- then -

2001m Row

Boxes participating:

Arrow CrossFit
CrossFit Middle Tennesse
CrossFit Coweta
CrossFit Innovate
BeachFit CrossFit
CrossFit Greer
CrossFit The Royal Guards, Danish Army
CrossFit Steele Creek/Elevate Selection
CrossFit Myrtle Beach
Fort Wayne Police and Fire Dept. Barbell Club
CrossFit Cherry Point/ Marine Corps Air Station
CrossFit Unrivaled
CrossFit Rampage
CrossFit Stony Brook
CrossFit Grit
North Haven Crossfit
CrossFit Suffolk
CrossFit Max Kane
CrossFit Hard Knox
CrossFit Beyond Limits
CrossFit Groton
Derby City CrossFit & DarkSide Strength & Conditioning
CrossFit Echelon
SkyLine Crossfit
CrossFit Fort Pierce
CrossFit Purgatory
Maverick CrossFit
CrossFit EOS
CrossFit Spartanburg
Crossfit Dahlonega
CrossFit NorthWest Tuscon
CrossFit 254
CrossFit LaGrange
CrossFit 610
CrossFit Inspire
BullDog CrossFit
CrossFit of the Ozarks
CrossFit BNI
Portsmouth Spartan KettleBell Club
CrossFit King of Prussia
Fit Club/ Crossfit 614
CrossFit Shoals
Brute Fitness
CrossFit Del Norte
Collar City Crossfit
CrossFit Maximus
CrossFit 609
Empire State CrossFit
CrossFit Davidson
The Rat Cellar
The North Side Fitness Center
Phalanx CrossFit
PUMP CrossFit & Performance
Carolina CrossFit
Crossfit Wando
CrossFit 1525
CrossFit Adventure
Crossfit Al Asad
BTB Crossfit

WOD – 9/10/11 – Share the Pain Saturday – *Bring a Friend

*Share the Pain is a chance for CFM members to bring a friend to try out CrossFit.  If you decide to bring a friend, please be sure to find a coach after you WOD, give us your feedback, and discuss setting up a one on one training session to further introduce them to our program!

- WOD -

“Team Jackie”

Teams of 3 all working at same time:

3 Rounds for time:

1000m Row

45 Thrusters

30 Pull-ups

Trammates do different movement each round

Run 400m together after each round

Regionals 2010 Throwback

CrossFit Maximus Introduces Dr. Tim Rogers, BS, DC, CFT & “ChiroFit”

Dr. Tim Rogers

Many of you may have noticed a new face around CrossFit Maximus.  About two weeks ago, Dr. Tim Rogers joined Crossfit Maximus following a long career in athletic training, rehab and injury prevention. A chiropractor, kinesiologist, chiropractic neurologist and nutritionist, Dr. Tim has been board certified in 5 states and nationally recognized as a speaker for the profession providing continuing education to chiropractors nationwide. Topics he has authored and spoken on include “The Chiropractic Treatment and Management of Headaches”, “Chiropractic Rehabilitation”, The Dynamic Analysis and Treatment of Movement Related Dysfunction” and “Neural Disregulation” which borrow from a lifetime of personal experience and study.

Dr. Tim began a career in chiropractic following successful elite level athletic pursuits in swimming and lacrosse. Having suffered debilitating injuries on the lacrosse field, he found chiropractic as a “last resort” when other methods of treatment failed. A long road of recovery spurred the idea that the best way to avoid injury is to train in a way to arm yourself against it. Following 14 years of studying and working in the profession, (me)² and F.L.E.X. were created. Both acronyms stand for systems of analysis and treatment for dysfunction that resorts in pain. “A body properly functioning is one without pain and vice versa”, says Dr. Tim. “Techniques that chase pain are outdated and limited and eventually predispose a patient to more injury.”

In addition to chiropractic, he has owned his own successful personal training studio, catering to athletes of every level. “It was the perfect respite from practice to learn a different language…in the end it was this experience that brought me to merging the training and chiropractic experiences,” says Rogers. “I had the privilege of working with several professional athletes who taught me the nuances of attaining peak performance: its one thing to be an athlete, another entirely different thing to train and preserve the interest of one especially with millions of dollars on the line.”

Upon a chance meeting, Matt Sharp and Dr. Tim knew that there was an instant connection.  “The answer for treating injury is preventing injury by creating a deep sense of strength and stability”, Dr. Tim says, “CrossFit training is ideal for living a life without worry of injuring yourself while living your life the way you want.” Matt Sharp admitted that a chiropractor who embraced intense training was a rare find and “one who used intense training for preventing injury is even more rare…we feel that Dr. Tim is a perfect fit with CrossFit.”

Dr. Tim Rogers is available for consultation via appointment: Contact Crossfit Maximus or stop in the new office for your (me)² evaluation…you won’t believe what you see…or feel!  Email Dr. Tim directly to set up an evaluation at DrTim@crossfitmaximus.com

ChiroFit List of Services:

  • Functional Chiropractic care
  • (me)² – Maximus Efficiency/Minimal Effort – Finding your power leaks through dynamic analysis of movement related dysfunction.
  • “Prehab”/Rehab Services
  • Adhesion Reduction
  • Run Training
  • Nutritional Evaluation/Detoxification

WOD – 9/9/11 – What About Vegetarians? – Robb Wolf


KB Snatch

- WOD -

AMRAP in 15 min:

400m Run

10 Power Cleans


Hold Handstand for max time, can use wall


What About Vegetarians?

Posted by  on Feb 24, 2009

Why is it that most Crossfit sites don’t think eating a Zone diet that is vegetarian is effective? Yet Dr. Sears says that incorporating more soy protein into your diet as part of a Zone diet can actually be more effective than meat sources of protein?

Good question, here’s the deal:

1-Failure to thrive. I have seen 2 crossfitting vegans who were able to pull it off and have what I’d consider top-tier performance. Most do not. This based on nearly 9 years of coaching people and working with what amounts to thousands of people now. So, can it be done, yes. Is it easy OR better than a mixed diet? Absolutely not.

2-Lack of variety. Christy, if you had not noticed, we talk a bunch about topics extending well beyond performance. There are people who happen onto this information who are VERY sick and who benefit immensely from the change to a paleo/zone diet. You will also notice that it is the EXCLUSION of things like soy that facilitate this shift. The two example I cited above, of the “successful” vegan crossfitters, they had “no” variety in their diets. This leads to food intollerances especially when the food is some kind of concentrated legume food like tofu.

3-Barry Sears is right on with some stuff, completely wrong with other stuff. He completely ignores post work out nutrition, fasting and host of other topics because it does not jibe with his over-arching scheme. He wrote the Soy Zone, sang the song of soy…then dropped it when issues like thyroid disregulation began come to light.

My take on this is try everything. CrossFit for a month and do it vegan. Do it for a month and do it paleo. Do it for a montha and follow the high carb, low fat ADA plan. See how you do.

What I’m putting forward may seem like dogma to some, and I guess perhaps it is, but it is dogma won from experience and experimentation. I’ve done vegan, i’ve done high carb-low fat….I DO paleo. What have YOU done?


WOD – 9/8/11




- WOD -



3 – 3 – 3 – 3 – 3

- then -

3 Rounds:

10 – 1 Arm KB Press

20 Walking Lunges w/ KB

30 Double Unders



Battle Ropes – :30


Class #3/32


WOD – 9/7/11



Squat Clinic

- WOD -


7 Rounds for time:

7 Push-ups

7 Squats

7 Toes to bar

- then -

800m run

Adv. to strict pull-ups



Max Pistols in 1 minute



Class #2/32

Skill of the Day (SOD):

Pose Running Technique

Workout of the Day (WOD):

4 x 200m runs using pose technique

- rest 2 minutes -

1 x 400m run using pose technique

Coach Kelli and

CFM Athletes of the Month Jeromie and April Russell

Writing this as a couple seems too difficult, so I (Jeromie) will write on behalf of my better half. Being chosen as “Athlete(s) of the Month” is a tremendous honor. Crossfit Maximus is an integral, meaningful, wonderful part of our lives. If I were a WWE Wrestler, I might have a slogan of “Crossfitter for life” or something equally as inspiring.

I got started 11/7/2008 at the suggestion of current CFM-er Andy Callahan, who had spent a month or so trying to convince me I would like it. I argued that it was too prone to injury, I was going to lose weight, lose muscle, it was too expensive, blah blah. My first WOD was 5 rounds – 500m Row, 10 75# SDHP, 10 75# Push Presses. It took me 45 minutes, I only did 4 rounds, and I almost died. I had been lifting weights for 15 years prior to that first WOD, so I thought I would be somewhat prepared. I knew I had some severe cardio deficiencies, but didn’t know I was really a pre-beginner in fitness. I was completely hooked.

Fast forward almost exactly 1 year, and April decided that if I was going to talk about Crossfit 99% of the time my mouth was open, that she should get involved. April was worried that olympic lifts and powerlifts sounded dangerous and un-interesting, but once she decided to try it, she had the attitude of if something was written on the board, she was going to do it. One of her first WODs had double-unders, which she had never attempted. The WOD started and I see her doing them one at a time. I had planned on substituting singles, as many of us do, but was inspired by her attitude about it, so I did doubles as well (and haven’t done a single in a WOD since.) From deadlifts to partner carries, I’ve loved watching April attack everything in her path, which can be amusing from a 5 foot, sweet elf like April. It has been incredible experiencing Crossfit as a couple. It is the main activity that we share together and it has been very fun and rewarding, and it’s cool knowing that we have a lifetime of Crossfitting together ahead of us.

April and Jeromie

Every coach has played a major part in our lives. I have to keep this too short to call out all of the important experiences I’ve shared w/ each coach, but the coaches should all know that our lives are completely different because of them. Freeman and KFC have spent years working on my flexibility and core strength, so to them and all coaches, I say a wholehearted thank you. I had experienced 24/7/365 back pain for around 10 years prior to Crossfit. It was the kind of pain that would keep me in bed for hours, because I couldn’t make myself get up. It kept me from doing simple things like picking up my kids or changing a diaper. OK, so maybe there was an upside to the pain. Within 6 months, the constant pain was gone. Almost 3 years later, it is like a distant memory. It’s hard to describe in words what it means to go from constant pain to no pain, and to know exactly why. For that reason alone, I owe CFM, the coaches, and Crossfit a debt I can really never repay.

One goal April really had, and this came with much urging from me, was to control the weight loss she had experienced over the 4-5 years prior to joining CFM. She has been able to add strength and muscle and get her weight up to a healthy level. I was also worried about weight loss for myself, but I’ve been able to maintain a very healthy weight and it is a much better composition than pre-Crossfit. Eating Paleo has really helped me there.

The relationships we’ve built at CFM are rich and rewarding; it is definitely our extended family. It’s something we look forward to every day, from the fun of competing, the thrill of setting PRs, but honestly much of it is seeing our friends throughout the week. I love being at the soccer field and having someone ask me what Crossfit is. I love hearing my kids ask how my WOD was and watch them follow that up with some strict burpees. I love being so exhausted that I have to go lay down behind a car in the parking lot to recover. We are so thankful for all of the ways that the Crossfit community enhances our lives, and knowing that every day we are better than we were yesterday.

Jeromie and April

The Russell Family

WOD – 9/6/11 – The Bridge to Better Fitness



Rope Climbs

- WOD -

AMRAP in 12:

2 Heavy Deadlifts

8 Burpees over bar

200m Medball Run

*Take about 5 min to build a starting weight.  

*Goal is to add weight to every round, so prepare accordingly by having additional weight ready.


Class #1/32

Skill of the Day (SOD)

Air Squat

Workout of the Day (WOD)

2 – 3 minutes:

Slow Bottom to Bottom Air Squats

Elite: Finish all 8 rounds


Over the last several months you may have noticed that we have been incorporating additional gymnastics-based movements into our programming.  Frog stands, handstands, hollow rocks and hip overs are just the tip of the gymnastics iceberg!

Gymnastics movements offer you the unique opportunity to challenge your body in a way that varies from our typical multi-joint, often near max effort lifts that we practice during our strength circuits.   They require an amazing combination of strength, body awareness, and flexibility.

Gymnastics movements also provide the opportunity for you to move your body through ranges that you don’t often use in our daily lives.  For example: Bridging, which not only builds strength, but requires you to fully opens your hips, extends your thoracic spine and flexes and strengthens you wrists.   Consider this the complete counter-movement to sitting at your desk and typing all day!

Interested in incorporating more gymnastics into your life?  Check out GymnasticsWod.com, and get going on your bridge!

WOD – 9/3/11 – 31 Heroes WOD – Cookout to Follow at CFM

- WOD -


One Class Today @ 11:00

Please show up on time!


AMRAP 31 Min:

8 Thrusters (155/105)

6 Rope Climbs (15 ft. ascent)

11 Box Jumps (30/24)

This is a Partner WOD – Partner #1 will perform the work listed above. Partner #2 will run 400m with a sandbag (45/25). Once Partner #2 returns from the run, Partner #1 will grab the sandbag and begin their 400m, while Partner #2 continues work wherever #1 left off.

Score – Total # of reps

The 30 that died together, August 6, 2011

According to reports, this is Bart, a Navy SEALS dog killed when a helicopter was shot down.

The Heroes: 



On August 6th, 2011, 31 of America’s bravest warriors gave their lives in defense of our freedom. While we’d like to leave the responsibility of announcing their names to their families & the DoD, for now we will honor them by mentioning their roles in our military.  They were 17 Navy SEALs, two Navy EOD Technicians, three Naval Special Warfare Combat Support Sailors, two Army Aviators, three Army Aircrewmen, three Air Force Special Tactics Operators, and one Military Working Dog.

These men were sons, brothers, husbands, fathers, and friends. Not only do we thank them for their service and sacrifice, but we thank those that love them for the sacrifice they have made as well.

The 31 Americans were not the only ones that died as heroes that day. While the funds raised through the 31Heroes event will benefit the families of the men listed above, we cannot forget the sacrifice of our Afghan comrades. Seven Afghan commandos and one Afghan interpreter were also killed in action and we cannot look past their sacrifice. They too are heroes and we thank them and honor them and their families.


For an interactive look at those who died in the crash, follow this link.

The soldiers killed were:

–Sgt. Alexander J. Bennett, 24, of Tacoma, Wash; assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kan.
–Chief Warrant Officer David R. Carter, 47, of Centennial, Colo; assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), Aurora, Colo.
–Chief Warrant Officer Bryan J. Nichols, 31, of Hays, Kan.; assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kan.
–Sgt. Patrick D. Hamburger, 30, of Lincoln, Neb.; assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), Grand Island, Neb.
–Spc. Spencer C. Duncan, 21, of Olathe, Kan.; assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kan.

The following were assigned to an East Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit:

–Lt. Cmdr. (SEAL) Jonas B. Kelsall, 32, of Shreveport, La.
–Master Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Louis J. Langlais, 44, of Santa Barbara, Calif.
–Senior Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Thomas A. Ratzlaff, 34, of Green Forest, Ark.
–Senior Chief Petty Officer (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist) Kraig M. Vickers, 36, of Kokomo, Hawaii
–Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Brian R. Bill, 31, of Stamford, Conn.
–Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) John W. Faas, 31, of Minneapolis, Minn.
–Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Kevin A. Houston, 35, of West Hyannisport, Mass.
–Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Matthew D. Mason, 37, of Kansas City, Mo.
–Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Stephen M. Mills, 35, of Fort Worth, Texas
–Chief Petty Officer (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist/Diver) Nicholas H. Null, 30, of Washington, W.Va.
–Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Robert J. Reeves, 32, of Shreveport, La.
–Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Heath M. Robinson, 34, of Detroit, Mich.
–Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Darrik C. Benson, 28, of Angwin, Calif.
–Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL/Parachutist) Christopher G. Campbell, 36, of Jacksonville, N.C.
–Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist) Jared W. Day, 28, of Taylorsville, Utah
–Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) John Douangdara, 26, of South Sioux City, Neb.
–Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) Michael J. Strange, 25, of Philadelphia, Pa.
–Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL/Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist) Jon T. Tumilson, 35, of Rockford, Iowa
–Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Aaron C. Vaughn, 30, of Stuart, Fla.
–Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Jason R. Workman, 32, of Blanding, Utah.

Sailors were assigned to a West Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit:

–Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Jesse D. Pittman, 27, of Ukiah, Calif.
–Petty Officer 2nd Class (SEAL) Nicholas P. Spehar, 24, of Saint Paul, Minn.

The airmen, all assigned to the 24th Special Tactics Squadron, Pope Field, N.C., were:

–Tech. Sgt. John W. Brown, 33, of Tallahassee, Fla.
–Staff Sgt. Andrew W. Harvell, 26, of Long Beach, Calif.
–Tech. Sgt. Daniel L. Zerbe, 28, of York Pa.