Saturday, May 31, 2008

Steve Kalb's CrossFit Testimonial

My name is Steve Kalb, and I have been taking Cross Fitt training under Jeremy Barnett for about two months. I was introduced to Cross Fitt by my friend and co worker Matt Stachler. Matt and I are firefighters and he suggested this type of training to aid in my career health as a firefighter and also in my second advocation as a blacksmith.

I will not lie, the workouts are the toughest that I have ever experienced in my adult life, but the results I have gotten are just as incredible. Just turning 43, I have alot of "middle age aches". Little pains in the shoulder, elbow etc. I attributed this to just a fact of life. The first month I noticed the aches were lessening. By training properly, Jeremy helped me open up my range of motion (that I did not even know was terrible) and slowly the aches began to dissapear. My stamina improved and I began to lose weight.

This is wonderful but it gets better. Last night I was on the brush fire in Collier County. My assignment was to take a brush truck with another co worker and be part of a task force to aid the area. The truck is a modified military vehicle that actually served in the Korean conflict. We worked active fire from 5pm to 1am under some of the worse fire conditions I have seen in 5 years. Normally, the punishment from the truck and the event would put me down. Today I feel sore, but I do not have the pain I would have.

I wanted to share this with others, because I truly believe that this system can help others in their career and life in general. Thanks again to Jeremy for your training and Matt, Julie, Maegan, Joe and all the other CrossFitter's in your motivation and support.

I am truly blessed.
Steve Kalb one of a kind blacksmithing art.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Sat. 5-31-08 BOOT CAMP

Sat. 5-31-08 BOOT CAMP
Warm-Up: 15 min. Running Drills & Practice Technique for Boot Camp Exercises

W.O.D.: AMRAP in 40 min. (Partners Boot Camp)

Pair up with a partner. 1 person will complete the course while the other partner guides them through and counts reps. Then they switch and second person completes the Boot Camp course. Both partners must complete AMRAP in 40 min.(1 stop watch per team)
The team with the most rounds completed wins!

START: 40 yrd Dash. + 20 Push Ups on curb + + 10 MB Squat & Presses + 1 min. Bike Standing + 10 each arm- KB Bent Over Rows + 20 Overhead MB Slams + 20 yrd. Lateral Shuffle L&R + 60 Jump Ropes FINISH! Switch Partners

Hey Guys. Still Think CrossFit is just circuit training
and a program for girls??
Think Again!

Darian Barnett A.K.A. "Big D Powerlifting" Age 14
Deadlifting 375 lbs. X 3 reps x 2 sets
Darian's Competition 1 rep max is currently 425 lbs.

If CrossFit can do this for a 14 year old
imagine what it can do for you!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

5-30-08 W.O.D.

Fri. 5-30-08
Warm-Up: 60 sec./exercise 2 Rounds
MB Partner Chest Passes + MB Partner Trunk Rotations (60sec. each side) + Stationary Lunges (60sec./leg) + Practice Bar Upright Rows

W.O.D.: AMRAP in 30 min.
10-Deadlift High Pulls (Men 65-95, Women 35-65) +
Row 800m or Run 1-Lap + 10-Wall Ball Shots

Deadlift High Pull Technique

Rowing Technique

Wall Ball Shot Technique

Powerlifting Women are SEXY!!

May 28, 2008
Interview With Powerlifter Kerry Self of the Raw Dogs

Interviewed by Mike Westerdal of - October 2007

Critical Bench: Kerry, thanks for the interview opportunity. Start off by telling us a little bit about yourself.

I was born & raised in Pennsylvania. I moved to Leesburg, VA in 1989 and met my husband, John Self. We've been married for over 16 years and have 4 kids (Dogs, haha). Before powerlifting I had taken martial arts for years and competed in Tae Kwon Do tournaments. My first powerlifting competition was a USAPL meet in July of 2004. I own and manage a title company so between training and the business I stay pretty busy.

Critical Bench: You're part of the RAW Dogs powerlifting team, give us the scoop on that.
The Raw Dogs are a team of drug free powerflifters who compete raw. We are all very competitive so it is fun talking smack and pushing each other to go heavier or to get that one more rep. It is very important to surround yourself with others who have the same interest and dedication to the sport.

Critical Bench: Where do you currently train and with whom?

I am sponsored by Gold's Gym in Leesburg, VA. I train there four days a week normally. Our lifting crew consists of about 10-15 people and continues to grow.

Critical Bench: Cool, I grew up about 45-minutes from Leesburg. Your husband John is an accomplished lifter and founder of the RAW Dogs. Did you guys meet through powerlifting or is this just something you had in common?

No, actually John is my high school sweetheart and we've been married for over 16 years now. My husband has always lifted weights but we did not start powerlifting & competing until about 3 years ago.

Critical Bench: What federations do you compete in and why?

Currently the only federation I lift in is the 100% Raw Federation. I am only interested in lifting in drug free federations and only compete in the raw division. Since USAPL is now starting to keep raw records and raw lifting is getting more popular I am actually planning on doing a USAPL raw full power meet in December. I really don't see myself ever competing with a bench shirt or other assisted gear. One of the rewards of powerlifting is being able to hold my own if need be and not having to rely on putting a bench shirt to defend myself or use my power.
Critical Bench: Makes sense with our martial arts background. You're a world record holder in the 100% RAW fed. What are your best competition lifts, and gym lifts?

My best competition lifts to date are 180lb bench and a 275 lb deadlift. When I am at a meet my nerves sometimes tend to get the best of me. I just recently did Nationals and only ended up at 170lbs because I bombed my last lift due to being so nervous. I am not ashamed to admit this is definitely my biggest weakness that I am still trying to overcome.

Critical Bench: I was actually your side spotter. If it's any consolation I didn't notice any nerves. Those are some amazing numbers Kerry! What motivates you to be a world champion?

My husband! He is my biggest fan and supporter. We really enjoy training and competing together.

Also, another motivator for me is getting the word out to women and letting them know just because you are a powerlifter doesn't mean you are going to turn into a man! This is a big misconception among women. There are not enough women in the sport as it is. I am hoping by writing my monthly newsletter for VPX and competing this will help draw more women into the sport. I will be the first to admit I never thought in my life that I would ever be a powerlifter. My husband convinced me to do a meet a couple of years ago because one of his friends backed out at the last minute and ever since I've been hooked.

Another reason is the attention that comes with it. It's always nice getting in magazines, doing interviews, and being sponsored.

Critical Bench: How has Christ given you strength and touched your life?

I became a Christian while dating my husband back in 1989. God is first in our lives and our marriage. My faith is definitely my backbone and gives me strength to get me thru each day. I try to be a good witness to others in hopes of drawing them to Christ.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life

Philippians 4:13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength

Critical Bench: Amen. There are a lot of misconceptions about women and weights. You touched on this already but what would you tell a woman that doesn't want to lift weights out of fear of getting too big or masculine?

You can be feminine and be a powerlifter! Muscle tone is sexy and men love it. Believe me, you will not start looking like a man or taking on masculine features by just lifting weights. This only happens when women take steroids or other drugs. It is unfortunate that some have to resort to them. It really does affect the sport and scares women from hitting the weights at the gym. Find yourself a motivated training partner and go for it. Set goals and don't get stuck on the same routine and weights. Remember to change up your workouts and only do a weight that you can only get 4-6 reps. If you can do more, then it's time to go up in weight.

Critical Bench: Is there anyone in the sport that you admire or look up to?

I have a deep respect for all drug free powerlifters. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of how much dedication you must have to lift and compete on a regular basis in the sport.
I've met a lot of good people over the years. One person in particular that I do admire and would like to give credit to is John Shiflett. His meets are always very relaxed and a lot of fun at his gym in Stanardsville, VA. He has proven you can have fun in the sport and keep it clean at the same time so people can bring their families to watch and support them. John is very compassionate about the sport and it doesn't matter if you are a child, man or woman he treats all the same. In saying that, it is no surprise that he draws such an amazing group of lifters at his meets.

Critical Bench: What challenges have you faced in your bench pressing journey?

Well, most recently I pulled my back out doing deadlifts. When the doc told me I couldn't lift for at least a week or two and even then we would have to play it by ear I was upset because I only have a few weeks until worlds to train. The injury is still there but is slowly getting better. I just hope it heals in time for the upcoming meets.

Critical Bench: So do we Kerry. Tell us about your training regiment. What days do you train what body parts? Reps, sets, special exercises?

I normally train 4 days a week. My workouts normally consist of 3 sets of a weight that I can only do for 4-6 reps. My workouts usually take between 1-2 hours because of the length of the breaks I take in between sets and because we have such a large group we tend to talk a little more in between sets.

Monday is strictly chest. I do flat bench along with 2 or 3 other chest exercises switching up periodically

Tuesday is back & biceps

Thursdays are close in bench, triceps and shoulders

Saturdays I normally rotate deadlifts or squats and also do several other leg exercises
Critical Bench: We know you're drug free, but do you take any supplements? Which ones?
Yes, but no where near as much as I should. My husband fusses at me on a regular basis for not taking my supplements or drinking enough protein. I take fish oils, a good multivitamin, VPX Nitronx & Zerocarb Protein, VPX CEX creatine, and drink VPX No Shotgun before my workouts.
Critical Bench: Sounds like you have your supplements figured out. Looking back on your powerlifting journey thus far what is your all-time favorite moment?

The first time I ever put up 180 lbs bench at one of John Shiflett's meets in Stanardsville, VA. I train consistently and very hard so when I better my personal best that makes all the pain worth it!

Critical Bench: Outside of powerlifting what do you enjoy doing in your spare time? I saw something on your myspace page about herping. For those that don't know, what's herping?

Too funny! I always tease my husband and his friend Dean about being professional herpetologists. When we have some free time we like to go to different parks and go "herping". My husband is really into frogs, salamanders, snakes, etc. I am good with everything except for the snakes. He put a pond in our backyard this summer and instead of frogs or fish it's turned into a snake hotel. I've been dying to get out there to do some landscaping but refuse in fear of running into a snake.

I really do not have a whole lot of free time but when I do I enjoy spending time with my husband, eating out, shopping, working outside in my yard, and spending time with the dogs.
Critical Bench: Interesting..haha. Do you have any sponsors at the moment?
Yes I do and I would like to take the time to thank them;

Critical Bench: Kerry, what are your future goals both personally and as a lifter that you'd like to accomplish in the next 5-years?

To become stronger of course and up my records :o) My goal is to continue building strength without going up in weight class. I hope to reach a 200 lb bench sometime in the future. Also, I am looking forward to doing more full power meets in 08'.

For 2007 I am currently ranked in the 100% Raw Federation as follows:

1st place with Gina Benton in the 123lb class with a 175lb bench press;
1st place in the 132 lb class with a 180lb bench press; and
1st place in the 132 lb class with a 275 deadlift

Critical Bench: Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. Any parting words or anyone you'd like to thank?

I would like to thank you Mike, and Critical Bench for the opportunity of doing this interview.
Also, thanks to: VPX for all their awesome supplements; Paul Bossi and the 100% Raw Federation.

Of course I have to say thanks to the team and everyone who trains with us at Gold's: My husband, Jonathan, Flip, Jason, Fireman, Misha, Dean, Steve, Jessie, Branch, Ryan, Tower, James, and all the girls who recently started lifting, Tracey, Naomi, Jess, Jennifer, and Melinda.


Taken from He is a strength & conditioning coach, formerly a research biochemist, living in Chico, CA

Posted on January 28, 2008
Filed Under Uncategorized 47 Comments

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Perhaps a line from Star Wars in closing:
“Do or do not, there is no try”. Yoda

Evolutionary Fitness & CrossFit

This is taken from . He was the Nutritional speaker at my CrossFit Level 1 Certification. Robb is a strength & conditioning coach, formerly a research biochemist, living in Chico, CA. He is an incredible Coach and Nutritionist.

Evolutionary Fitness & CrossFit

Posted on March 11, 2008Filed Under
CrossFit 34 Comments
Here is a great question on the compatibility of EF and CF:


Hi Robb,
Sorry, I couldn’t find a better place to post these questions. There a bit deep so I’m just hoping for any golden nuggets of wisdom.

Are Devany’s Evolutionary Fitness and Glassman’s CrossFit programming mutually exclusive because of the power law variation? People seem to be having great success doing both EF and CF (I’m a CrossFitter).

Also, do you ever incorporate EF principles into you or your client’s training?
Thanks in advance!

- Mikey
Here are a few interesting similarities between CF and EF:

1-A strong interest in economics and free markets.
4-Functionality (with a few caveats)

Now the question is do I think EF and CF are mutually exclusive? No, not at all. I think they are derivatives of a base theme or perhaps a better way to describe it would be fractal: self similarity at all scales. I like thinking about training and lifestyle in terms of how much emphasis we place on Performance, Health and Longevity. I think CrossFit is focused more on performance but I’m still unclear if that is at the expense of health & longevity as compared to a more Evolutionary Fitness-esque approach. I think dropping into periods of ketosis either with or without some fasting is of benefit to health for reasons ranging from cancer prevention to decreasing the rate of cellular senescence. ketosis however will absolutely crush one’s crossfit performance…so perhaps there is a place for some periodization with more of a strength emphasis at some points of the year and more metabolic conditioning at others. I’ve written about this in the Performance Menu quite a bit and some folks like Scotty Hagnass have tinkered with it to good result so there might be something to it. It’s all pretty speculative but interesting none the less.

Coach Glassman has developed an interesting definition of fitness. At one time this involved looking at three models:

1-The 10 physical adaptations to exercise.

Cardiorespiratory endurance

2-A statistical approach to modality competency in which one throws a potentially infinite number of activities into a hopper and draws them out. He or she who does best at this stuff is on average the “fittest”.

3-Another model is the notion that to be fit one should have a good balance in the development of all the engines that drive human activity: the ATP/CP pathway, glycolytic, and aerobic paths. We tend to focus on the use of anaerobic training to develop the aerobic pathway so we do not destroy our power production too much.

What this boils down to is competency or aptitude in various modalities, physical adaptations and metabolic engines. It’s a slick way of looking at things and it mirrors what folks like Devany and Cordain have written with regards to the generalist nature of our hunter gatherer ancestors. Recently however coach Glassman has put forward a more quantifiable method for both assessing and defining fitness. In this scenario Fitness IS work capacity across broad time and modal domains. What the hell does that mean? If we graph the power output we can generate on a huge variety of tasks we will see a power law distribution of our efforts. High power activities like the clean & jerk on the left, relatively lower power activities like 5K runs on the right and a everything under the sun mixed between.

CrossFit’s contention is the smart use of mixed modal strength & conditioning will increase ones capacity across all these domains and modalities. There are obviously limitations to this and we see a point of diminishing returns on the strength side of things. Once we get past a 6XBW on the crossfit total the ability to express high work output on things like 5K runs drops off pretty severely. Interestingly however we are seeing some top end endurance athletes get a fairly impressive strength base and this is increasing their long efforts…it will be interesting to see where that experiment finishes.

So this concept of increasing work capacity across broad time in modal domains offers a quantifiable way of measuring fitness. Perform more work in less time and you are more fit! Another model that can be helpful is the sickness-wellness-fitness continuum. In this model we can order any marker of health we like, blood pressure, bone density, mental state…we can stratify this from sick to well to fit and we can use this as a guide for assessing our efforts. If we want to add 50kg to our OL total but the gallon of ice cream we eat each night drives our triglycerides through the roof this decision is most assuredly counter to fitness and I’d wager health and longevity. Keep in mind this is not a value judgement, if you want to add that 50kg go for it, just know there may be a price to be paid for your efforts.

From both the Evolutionary Fitness and CrossFit perspective we are wired to have a fitness the is “Broad, general and inclusive”. With this in mind we can use the model of increasing work capacity across broad time and modal domains coupled with the sickness-wellness-fitness continuum to quantify fitness and balance our efforts.

This is a loooong winded way of saying I think CF and EF are quite compatible ideologies and really just show a difference in focus.

Mike also asked if I use EF technologies in my training and I definitely do. The Hierarchical sets are very time efficient and a nice way to introduce some intensity without too much volume. On the CF side of training I end to stick with couplets and triplets with an emphasis on shorter efforts. Most of our folks are lacking in strength and this is a great way to focus on fundamentals and help people get stronger. Many of the newer affiliates get enamored with chippers and hour long WOD’s…they are really missing the point of CF and blunting the potential adaptations.

Thanks for the question Mike!

5-28-08 W.O.D.

Wed. 5-28-08
Warm-Up: Review Tabata Exercises

W.O.D.: Tabata Fun
B.W. Squats + Push Ups + KTE or Leg Raises + Rope Climb +
GHD Hypers or on floor + KB Overhead Carry up/down stairs

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

5-27-08 W.O.D.

Tues. 5-27-08
Warm-Up: 1-Lap Around Bldg. + KB Farmers Carry up/down stairs + 20 Band Rows + 20 Band Chest Presses + 20 Overhead MB Slams

Newbies—Practice (Cleans, Power Cleans & Catch Position)
Advanced—Power Cleans 5, 5, 3, 3, 2, 2, 1, 1 (2 min. Rest Between Sets)

CrossFit Boot Camp 5-24-08

Tasha--Flipping the 200lb. Tire CF Coach Jeremy Barnett Demo

Amy & Craig-- Overhead Plate Carries--Run Faster...

John getting the Duck Walk Down Group Push Ups--Warm ups are FUN!

Robb--KB Swings (Use those HIPS!!) You can always use more Push Ups!

Rich getting his Duck Walk On! CF Coach Jeremy Demo Tire Flips

Lynn--200lb. Tire Flips You got it!

CrossFit girls got some POWER!!

CrossFit Coach Jeremy explaining the rules of Saturday's Boot Camp. No CHEATING!!

Keep that weight up TED! Melisa--KB Swings...It's all in HIPS!

Boot Camp Warm Up-- High Knee Drills and of course More Push Ups

Monday, May 26, 2008

Definitions of Crossfit

Dear CrossFitters,

Here are a few definitions of CrossFit. Some of these may sound very familiar. HaHaHa!


Word: Accountability Pronunciation: a kaun-ta-bi-le-teFunction: nounMerriam-Webster Definition: a: the quality or state of being accountableb: an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions CrossFit Definition: a: showing up to every coaching session on time and ready to give 110% or your coach will hunt you down by phone, text message, or in person to ensure that your arms & legs are still attached to your body so you can join your group with exercise…b: if you do not show up you will be chastised by doing double of each exercise and will LOVE to do so with a smile on your face!

WORD OF THE DAY Word: Procrastinate Pronunciation: pro•cras•ti•nate Function: verbMerriam-Webster Definition: a: (transitive verb) to put off intentionally and habituallyb:(intransitive verb) to put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done CrossFit Definition: a: to put off your workout until you've finished every last bite of your turtle fudge, chocolate brownie ice cream. After all you burn so many calories with “Really Hard Exercise”….b: to find any little menial chore or task to do hoping it will take so long that you won't feel bad putting off your workout for another day – NOT!

WORD OF THE DAY Word: Cardiovascular Pronunciation: car•dio•vas•cu•lar Function: adjective Merriam-Webster Definition: a: of, relating to, or involving the heart and blood vesselsb: used, designed, or performed to cause a temporary increase in heart rate. CrossFit Definition: a: getting your heart rate to the pinnacle of exercise excellence right before you double over and hurl.b: during a CrossFit workout, commonly confused with La Maz breathing. Clients can be found breathing in rapid succession in a futile attempt to catch their breath. Fortunately we have not had a client give birth.

WORD OF THE DAY Word: Insanity Pronunciation: in•san•nityFunction: noun Merriam-Webster Definition: a: a deranged state of the mind usually occurring as a specific disorder b: such unsoundness of mind or lack of understanding as prevents one from having any mental capacityCrossFit Definition: a: participating in every ridiculous idea your exercise coach comes up with because they insist, “don’t worry, you’ll like it,” and “you’ll live, it’ll be good for you.” b: When your voice of reason is screaming at you, “be afraid, be very afraid” and you ignore all sensibilities and cave into CrossFit's demands.

WORD OF THE DAY Word: Intense Pronunciation: in•tenseFunction: adjective
Merriam-Webster Definition: a: existing in an extreme degree b: marked by or expressive of great zeal, energy, determination, or concentrationCrossFit Definition: a: the amount of physical pain and mental strain involved in the workout due to lean, mean, extreme exercise!!!b: completing the WOD perfectly with everything you have - dying at the end with your team mates…way to go!

WORD OF THE DAY Word: Projectile Vomiting Pronunciation: - pruh-jek-tahyl vä-me-tingFunction: noun Merriam-Webster Definition: a: vomiting that is sudden and so sufficiently vigorous that the vomitus is forcefully projected to a distance b: The act or an instance of ejecting matter from the stomach through the mouth CrossFit Definition: a: when the workout is so intense and you can no longer compete with the person next to you and you know that the only thing you can beat him/her in now is how far you can vomit!!b: when your first two weeks of coaching sessions turns you white as a ghost and your eyes start to fade away…..all the while your coach is encouraging you eat animal crackers with peanut butter and all you want to do is hug the porcelain throne.

WOD Word: Cancel Pronunciation: can-cel Function: verb Merriam-Webster Definition: a: to destroy the force, effectiveness, or validity of b: to bring to nothingnessCrossfit Definition: a: To call the wonderful people working at CrossFit to tell them that you cannot make it in today because you have to wash your dog and blow it dry for 2-3 hours.OR You are too lazy to get off the couch for an hour to come and play on the CrossFit Playground!! b: To let the cardio equipment look really pretty all clean and tidy while you make a mess with a bag of potato chips!!

CrossFit Thoroughbreds "Xtreme Fitness For Xtreme People"

Jeremy Barnett, ISSA-CFT, Co-Founder

New recipes to try

Hey CrossFitters,

No more excusses about not knowing what to eat anymore.
Here's a ton of great recipes to try.

Hope you enjoy,

A collection of recipes to try A-B:

A collection of recipes to try C-F:

A collection of recipes to try G-M:

A collection of recipes to try N-R:

Healthy Recipes for Weight Loss:

CrossFit Thoroughbreds "Xtreme Fitness For Xtreme People"

Jeremy Barnett, CFT

The Importance of Variety

Hey CrossFitters,

This is a great article on the importance of incorporating variety into your training. Always avoid being narrow minded and believing that there is only one way to train. Remember "Routine is the Enemy of Progress". Mix it up and succeed.

Click here to read:

Jeremy Barnett
CrossFit Thoroughbreds "Xtreme Fitness For Xtreme People"

Jeremy Barnett, ISSA-CFT, Co-Founder

Goal setting fosters continuous improvement.

Hey CrossFitters,

This is a great article on the sad mental and physical shape our society is in today.
Learn what you can do to change this.

Click here to read:

Jeremy Barnett
CrossFit Thoroughbreds
"Xtreme Fitness For Xtreme People"

Jeremy Barnett, ISSA-CFT, Co-Founder

"Older" folks considering Crossfit...

Hey CrossFitters,

Pass this on to anyone that thinks their too old to exercise or it's only for the young. CrossFit is for everyone.

Jeremy Barnett

"Older" folks considering Crossfit...
For any of us "older" folk who have looked at the CrossFit site and thought," I can't do that, this program is for the 20 to 30 year old athlete", let me be the first to tell you that this is the best exercise program I have ever encountered. I'm 49 years old and have been doing Crossfit (scaled) for about two months. I can only speak from personal experience but this is what Crossfit has done for me:Went from 201 lbs to 180 ( dropped down two pant sizes)Gave me a BP of 95/70 and a resting heart rate of 56 bpm at my last govt.physicalWent from struggling to do 4 strict pullups to pulling 10.Enabled me to deadlift more than my own bodyweightTook me from being totally gassed at three sets of Cindy to completing 10 sets before Pukie came into the room.This program gives you exactly what the Coach says it will. FUNCTIONAL FITNESS. The ability to not only carry your own groceries to the car but also put a roof on the barn, carry an injured person on a stretcher for long distances, and run up five flights of stairs without needing supplemental oxygen at the end. As Mr. Rippletoe stated in a previous article from the CF Journal, I don't make strength gains as quickly as I did in my 20's, but I still make them. I sleep better, eat better, and just generally walk around feeling better everyday on the CF program. I try to tell the younger guys I work with that running 3 miles every other day and staying with the same weight training routines will get them the same thing it did me. Marginal or no results. You want to get in the best shape of your life, whether 25 years old or a "geezer" like me, do CrossFit.Lastly, I'd like to personally thank the Coach and all the staff at Crossfit for putting this program out there. I know it has made my life better and I know it can do the same for anyone, no matter how old you are.

Irvine McDougal

Irvin,I totally agree,Croosfit will help all ages.I've been at it for 2 years and I'm 51. This is by far the best training out there. The strength isn't as good as I would like ,but I'm working on that.As far as Miss 'Cindy' the last go around for me was 20 rounds.PR is 22.3 months ago I got my wife into CF,shes 49. She has been making great progress .She just needs to get out of the 'comfort zone'.Steve Lobotsky

Amen, brothers and sisters.At 52, I'm in the best shape of my life, and it's a gas being able to plan a cross-country cycling trip and cross-state hiking trip and know I have the stamina and strength to do these fun things. At first, Crossfit scared me, but it's fun trying to meet the challenges of these workouts. I'm getting stronger faster, and my conditioning is through the roof.Since the lifts---along with pull-ups---are the most challenging things for me to do, I really appreciated watching Jimmy's birthday video today. Sally's no slouch, either...Susie Rosenburg

I'm going to be 50 in June....Let the young ones have their fun. I'm younger than most of them. Since I revamped my fitness and diet regime I've lost 60 pounds; and now since I started CF I am getting ready to lose 25 more.At times I train with my 20 something clients. Some can't keep up; others who do are shocked. When I was doing submission grappling my opponents thought "hey the old guy should be easy". ----Bring on AARP!

Mark Cotton

This is good to hear and look forward to in 20 years.I can remember at one seminar watching a 65yo man outdoing optional teenage female gymnasts at a seminar in pullup and front lever progressions. Immediately I thought, I want to be that strong when I'm his age.

Blair Robert Lowe

It's never too late to start. Check us out at

CrossFit Thoroughbreds "Xtreme Fitness For Xtreme People"

Jeremy Barnett, ISSA-CFT, Co-Founder

What is CrossFit FITNESS?

Hey CrossFitters,

For many of us today our idea of "FITNESS" is what we see in the mirror or what the media tells us it is (physical appearance).

True fitness is more than aesthetics. It's a measurable increase in one's health, wellbeing and overall daily physical abilities and performance. Don't get caught up in the media and societies hype of physical appearance being the only mark of true fitness. Read on and learn what true "FITNESS" really is and how CrossFit can help you attain it.

Your body will only respond to an unaccustomed stressor; routine is the enemy of progress and broad adaptation. Don't subscribe to high reps, low reps, long rests, or short rests, but strive for variation. It is highly desirable to regularly experiment with interval patterns of varying combinations of rest, work, and repetitions.

Strive to blur the distinction between "cardio" and strength training. Nature has no regard for this distiction or any other, including or 10 physical adaptations. Use weights and plyometric training to elicit a metabolic response and sprinting to improve strength.

Scalability and Applicability:

The needs of an Olympic athlete and our grandparents differ by degree not kind. One is looking for functional dominance and the other for functional competence. Competence and dominance manifest through identical physiological mechanisms. Load and intensity will vary but the program will remain the same for each.

CrossFit Physical Skills List:

If your goal is optimum physical competence then all the general physical skills below must be considered. CrossFit training takes each of these 10 skills into account when prescribing the Workout of the Day (W.O.D). Train each of these 10 skills as often as possible to become proficiant at each skill. Remember; "Practice Makes Perfect".

1. Cardiovascular/respiratory endurance - The ability of body systems to gather, process, and deliver oxygen.

2. Stamina - The ability of body systems process, deliver, store and utilize energy.

3. Strength - The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply force.

4. Flexibilty - The ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint.

5. Power - The ability of a muscular unit or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time.

6. Speed - The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.

7. Coordination - The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a single distinct movement.

8. Agility - The ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another.

9. Balance - The ability to control the placement of the bodies center of gravity in relation to its support base.

10. Accuracy - The ability control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity.
(Jim Crawley and Bruce Evans at Dynamax, )

To learn more about how CrossFit can help you please visit or call Jeremy Barnett at 239 851-3940.

CrossFit Thoroughbreds "Xtreme Fitness For Xtreme People"

Jeremy Barnett, ISSA-CFT, Co-Founder

Strong Man Training

Sample Strongman Workout
Day 1
Deadlift from ground: 3 sets of 5 reps.

Deadlift partials (bar set 18” from ground): 2 sets of 5 reps, 2 sets of 2 reps
Stiff legged deadlifts: 3 set of 10 reps.

Leg Curls: 3 sets of 10 reps Bent over rows: 3 sets of 10 reps. (straight bar for 2 hand) (kettlebells or dumbells for 1 handed)

Shoulder Shrugs: 3 set of 10 reps, 2 sets of 5 reps.

15 minutes of various ab crunches


Day 2
Bench Press: 5 sets of 5 reps

Triceps extension: 5 sets of 10 reps (kettlebells can be used for seated of lying extensions)

Biceps curl (straight bar) 4 sets of 10 reps

Dips (weighted if you can) 6 sets of 10 reps

Power Cardio: Suggestions –farmer’s walk with dumbbells, Carry 100lb plates, carry and load sand bags Stretch

Day 3 Off

Day 4
Squat or Leg Sled: 3 set of 10 reps, 4 sets of 5 reps

Leg Curl: 4 sets of 10 reps

Calf Raises: 5 sets of 20 reps

Power Cardio: Suggestions -carry and load sand bags, push or pull vehicles, stadium stairs carrying weight


Day 5
Military Press: 3 set of 10 reps, 2 sets of 5 reps

Kettlebell Isometric Shoulder Exercises: front raise and hold, side raise and hold. These are great for training for the Crucifix Hold in Strongman

Power Cleans: 3 set of 10 reps, 2 sets of 5 reps

Full Pull with Kettlebell or One Armed Snatch with Dumbell: 3 sets of 10

15 minutes of ab work with a medicine ball


Day 6
Build Endurance! Big Power Cardio Day Work with Strongman Implements you have or just find some heavy items and lay out a carrying medley

Wind Sprints at 80 percent effort 5 – 100 yards

5 – 50 yards (then add as you need)
This is great for building endurance and wind!


Day 7 Off Suggestion: Get a massage on this day

CrossFit Thoroughbreds

Jeremy Barnett-CFT
ISSA, IFPA, USAC, NATABOC, ACE, DSF: Certified Fitness Trainer, USA Cycling Coach, Specialist in Performance Nutrition, Post Injury Fitness and Rehabilitation Specialist, Functional Intergrated Training Specialist, Power Training Specialist, Core Strength Development Specialist, Program Design Specialist
Optimal Muscle Training Specialist
Sports Strength and Conditioning Specialist
Clinical kinesio Taping

Learning the Turkish Get Up

Hey CrossFitters,

The past couple of days we've been learning the Turkish Get Up with Kettlebells. We understand it will take everyone some time to learn these movements and master the technique. To help everyone we have several videos below for you to watch demonstrating proper form and technique for this exercise. Take your time to study the videos, take notes if necessary, and practice, practice, practice.

Get-up Sit-up, Jeff Martone

Turkish Get-up Part 2, Jeff Martone

Turkish Get-up Part 3, Jeff Martone

Turkish Get-up Part 4, Variations, Jeff Martone

CrossFit Thoroughbreds "Xtreme Fitness For Xtreme People"

Jeremy Barnett, ISSA-CFT, Co-Founder

Training For Real Life "Functional Fitness

The physical benefits of functional training are many
By Stephen A. Black, M.Ed., P.T., A.T.C./L., N.S.C.A.-C.P.T.

Fitness center members are looking for functional programming and equipment. They now realize that form follows function. What good is having "cut" biceps if you can't lift a toddler without wrenching your back? That's the premise behind the evolving concept of functional fitness -- an approach that can transform the fitness industry toward lifestyle enhancements and increased profitability.

Training for real life
What Pilates, yoga and functional training do is train for life. They prepare the body so it can perform daily activities -- walking, bending, lifting, climbing stairs -- without pain, injury or discomfort. Functional training inclusive of balance, posture and coordination is critical for many older adults.

To receive the "real life" benefits of resistance training, exercisers should use multiple muscle groups in an integrated fashion. This runs counter to the idea behind machine-based weight training, which was developed to allow bodybuilders to isolate single muscle groups. The muscles get stronger using machines and free weights, which is an essential component of any fitness program, but the all-important synergy of the body will not be accomplished. By contrast, functional training, such as SAQ (speed, agility and quickness), Pilates and yoga,challenges the body to work as a whole, firing up the muscles in a sequential pattern.

Considerations for program development
In putting together each workout, trainers can choose from thousands of exercises, including more than 25 ways to perform a simple forward lunge. Mixing it up helps mitigate boredom and the exercise dropout factor that so often follows. It may be more difficult to choreograph and perform, but it will be more fun and beneficial to the member.

Because of the integration of more muscles into the workout, functional fitness can also be an effective alternative to traditional training for those trying to lose weight. A good example is training on a stability ball. Every time the ball moves, the participant has to activate muscles deep in the pelvis, back, abdominals and hips. Because of the increased muscle activity, more calories are used, and more muscle is potentially built.

To maximize human performance, trainers must have a good understanding of what affects performance. The factors that play the greatest role in performance are power (strength and speed), agility (flexibility, mobility, stability), cardiovascular and respiratory conditioning, sports skills (neuromuscular coordination and efficiency) and genetic potential.

Physiological benefits
Metabolism. A major fraction of total daily energy demand arises from resting metabolism, and it is, thus, important to document the resting metabolism of clients. Metabolism decreases by about 10 percent per decade after the third decade of life. One reason is the loss of metabolically active muscle mass, and a parallel increase in metabolically inert fat deposits.
The denser the muscle tissue, the more calories used, even at a complete stand-still. Those with dense muscles use more calories by just engaging in their regular daily activities. In fact, research shows that for each pound of muscle earned, a person will expend 35 to 50 more calories per day. So, by gaining 3 pounds of muscle, a person will use 40 more calories per pound, which equates to 120 additional calories per day, which translates into 3,600 additional calories per month and ultimately results in a weight loss of 10 to 12 pounds in a single year.
As age increases, there may also be some overall reduction in cellular metabolism. Food intake must be correspondingly adjusted if body fat is not to increase further.

Muscular-skeletal function. Muscle strength peaks at around 25 years of age, plateaus through 35 or 40, and then shows an accelerating decline, with a 25 percent loss of peak strength by age 65. Muscle mass decreases, apparently with a selective loss in the cross-section, if not the number of, type II fibers. Other possible causes of functional loss include a deterioration of fiber recruitment, prolonged relaxation time and decreased velocity. Changes are greater in the legs with aging.

Loss of strength progressively impedes everyday living. Muscle strength can be greatly improved by as little as eight weeks of resistance/functional training. Stronger muscles further enhance function by stabilizing joints, reducing the risks of falls, and improving balance and coordination.

There is a progressive decrease in the calcium content and a deterioration of bone with aging. Changes are more marked in women than in men, due, in part, to hormonal changes and a lower intake of calcium and protein. Regular load-bearing exercise can halt and sometimes even reverse bone mineral loss through the eighth decade of life. Functional exercises reproduce appropriate bone stress associated with activities of daily living.
Exercise training cannot restore tissue that has already been destroyed, but it can protect exercisers against a number of chronic diseases. More importantly, it maximizes residual function. In some instances, biological age is reduced by as much as 20 years. Life expectancy is increased, partial and total disability is delayed, and there are major gains in quality-adjusted life expectancy. Exercise is, thus, an important component of healthy living.

Functional equipment
The recommended equipment for functional training will vary from that used in traditional strength training. Recent findings in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning show that machine-based strength training has limited carryover in helping perform activities of daily living. There are many better equipment options for functional strength training that minimize equipment needs. These include the following:

Dumbbells. Begin with 3- to 4-pound weights, and progress to 8 to10.

Body weight. Combined with jump ropes or exercise balls, body weight is often challenging on its own, especially during lunges and push-ups.

Resistance bands and loops.Replicate activities of daily living with resistance bands.

Exercise balls. Exercise balls offer a fun way to combine balance work with other exercises.

Medicine balls. Medicine balls are great for combo moves involving the shoulders.

Lifestyle and lifetime changes.
All the workouts in the world won't mean anything if you don't change the way you move on a daily basis. While it is important to strengthen the core, you also need to sit, stand and get out of bed in ways that don't strain the body. In other words, try combining functional training with changes in the way you function through your daily activities. The results could be with you for a lifetime. FM

Stephen A. Black, M.Ed., P.T., A.T.C./L., C.P.T., CEO of RockyMountain Human Performance Center Inc., Boulder, Colo., provides individualized programs for athletes, weekend warriors and post-rehab clients. Black has 20-plus years' experience in the health and wellness industry, and has worked with professional teams, including the NFL, NHL, NBA, WNBA and ABL/NBL affiliates. He is also a presenter for the health and wellness industry. For more information, visit

CrossFit Thoroughbreds "Xtreme Fitness 4 Xtreme People"

Jeremy Barnett, ISSA-CFT, Founder



The work required to move a bike down the road is measured in watts. To define it very simply, Watts = Force x Cadence, or how hard you press on the pedals multiplied by the number of times per minute you apply this force. Two cyclists, Bob and Bill, weigh the same, have identical bikes, identical aerodynamics and are riding next to each other at the same speed on a flat road. Because they are riding the same speed and we?ve controlled all the other variables, they are performing the same work, ie, riding at the same watts. However, Bob is mashing at 70rpm while Bill spins at 110 rpms. Bob?s pedaling style dictates that he press hard on the pedals with each stroke. But he does so less frequently than Bill, who is pushing lightly on the pedals but much more frequently.

Low cadence cycling requires us to push harder on the pedals, but what does this mean at the level of our leg muscles? To generate that higher force contraction, your leg muscles must recruit more fast-twitch muscle fibers vs slow-twitch fibers.

Slow-twitch fibers:
Primarily burn fat for fuel, an almost limitless supply of fuel for even the leanest athlete.
Are very resistant to fatigue: they are built to go and go, all day.
Recover quickly when allowed to rest.

Fast-twitch fibers:
Burn glycogen for fuel. This glycogen is stored within the muscles and is in relative short supply, about 2000 calories for a well-trained, well-fueled athlete.
Fatigue quickly, are NOT built to go all day.
Take a long time to recover before they can be used again.

Matches developed this analogy. I think it?s a good one, but I like to elaborate a bit. Imagine your legs are a book of slow and fast burning matches. The purpose of training is to increase the size, number and flavor (ratio of slow and fast) of your matches, depending on the demands of the race. Sports requiring short bursts of speed favor athletes with lots of fast matches. Endurance events favor slow matches. You can use either match to do the work of racing but the total number of matches in the book is finite. And once you burn a match, it?s gone - you can?t get it back.

Now, back to our discussion of cadence. You are riding on a flat road, approaching a hill that will take you about a minute to climb. You will likely do one of four things:

Shift to a gear that feels comfortable and/or powerful for you. You feel good when you climb at 60-70rpm so you do that, shifting to the middle of the cassette.
Climb at 60rpm since you showed up to the ride with a 21-11 rear cassette.
Say ?The hill will only take me a minute to climb. I don?t want to lose any speed so I?ll hop out of the saddle, stand up and hammer up the hill. I?ll recover on the decent.?
Shift into your 25 cog and spin up the hill at 85-90rpm.

Option #1: Low cadence = high force = high fast twitch recruitment = burning matches that you may need towards the end of the run. Forget ?feels? powerful. Power is watts to the wheel, period. If you can climb a hill at the same speed (equal watts) at 60rpm or 90rpm, choose 90rpm. Conserve your fast twitch fibers so you can recruit them later in the run.

Option #2: See Option #1 and always bring enough gears to the race. In my experience, the only people who attach sexual competency issues to the gearing on their bike are folks who don?t climb. I have (no lie) six cassettes hanging in my garage that I swap on and off my bikes according to the terrain of the ride. I have everything from a 27-12 to a 19-11. You can flatten any hill if you have enough gears on your bike J.

Option #3: Standing = power spike = high fast twitch recruitment = you know the drill. From riding with a powermeter for many years I can tell you that if you don?t have a meter it is VERY difficult to stand in the saddle and not toss out huge watts for a brief amount of time. It might ?feel? ok, but chances are very high that you just burned a few matches with your little burst.

Option #4: Bingo! Spin up the hill, burn slow, not fast matches so you can use those matches on the run, burning the last one as you cross the finish line.

What is the optimal cadence?
Ok, so I?ve sold you on the value of high cadence vs low cadence. But what is the optimal cadence? In my experience, most athletes should ride at a cadence of 88-95+ rpm.

A few notes here:
Notice that this cadence is right in line with an optimal running cadence. I believe it is hard to run off the bike at 90+ rpm if you?ve been cycling for hours at 80rpm. You?re asking your legs to make a huge adjustment, in addition to the difficulty of transitioning from cycling to running.
More experienced and stronger cyclists will be comfortable within a wide range of cadences. When I began cycling, anything under 88rpm felt like mashing, while 95+ felt too fast. I was always searching for that right gear. Now, after many, many miles, I can ride equally comfortably at 78-82 or 100-105. My tool kit is much larger (see below).
Cadence and Training

Some coaches prescribe low cadence intervals as a method to train your body to push harder on the pedals. However, consider the importance of specificity: if you want to run longer, run longer; if you want to swim faster, swim faster; if you want to ride the bike farther, ride the bike farther. If you want to ride the bike faster at 92rpm, then ride the bike fast (high watts, ie greater work output) at 92rpm.

Having said that, both low and high cadence work are useful for increasing your ?cadence comfort,? or your comfort within a wide range of cadences. By this I mean you have strong, resilient, well-adapted legs that can handle a broad range of cadences, including that high force/high wattage contraction that may happen if you run out gears, decide to climb out of the saddle, etc. You have a large tool kit to handle a broad range of conditions.

The most common tool is a period of low cadence intervals fitted into the early season. My guidance:

Beginner: useful tool early season for developing sport-specific strength and ?cadence comfort? quickly in their cycling careers.

Intermediate: useful early season, see above. However, after 4-6 weeks of low cadence intervals, transition to lactate threshold intervals at normal, time trial cadence. Reserve low cadence for fartlek-style training - grind up a hill at random to build or retain this cadence comfort.

Advanced: high watts at race specific cadence is more useful. These athletes have already developed cadence comfort and a period of low cadence intervals is, I believe, often an unnecessary step. I reserve low cadence work for:
Fartlek, see above.

The last hour of long rides, to force recruitment of fast twitch fibers when they are already on the edge.

Athletes training with power: the ability to measure watts while cycling at very low cadences creates possible exceptions to this guidance. The power-training athlete can truly turn his bike into a piece of gym equipment and is, I believe, more justified in adding low cadence intervals to his training routine.

In summary:
Focus your training to develop speed (wattage) at your race-specific cadence - the cadence you plan to race at. My suggestion is 88-92+ rpm, with weaker, less experienced cyclists targeting the high end of this range.

Supplement this race-specific training with informal low cadence/out of the saddle work to build this resiliency above and expand your range of comfortable cadences. See my guidance above for how to build low cadence intervals into your particular training season.
Bring the proper gearing to the race! And when in doubt, bring more gears! I think a compact crank is an excellent tool for all cyclists to consider.

Bring these fast, strong, resilient legs to the race. Put them on a bike with the proper gearing. Exercise smart, disciplined pacing and climbing skills to limit the number of matches you burn on the bike course, burning that last match at the finish line!

CrossFit Thoroughbreds "Xtreme Fitness 4 Xtreme People"

Jeremy Barnett, ISSA-CFT, Founder

Jimmy & Sally do CrossFit for 60th Birthday

Hey CrossFitters,

For those of you who think CrossFit is just for the young bucks and physically fit think again. Jimmy and his wife Sally are both 60 years old and doing CrossFit. They have been training with CrossFit for 10 years now performing 2 days/week of olympic style lifting and incorporating other forms of CrossFit training throughout the week.

10 years ago Jimmy couldn't do one body weight squat and now he can do a 135lb. Clean-n-Jerk and an 85lb. snatch. His wife Sally can Clean-n-Jerk 82lbs. and Snatch 42lbs. Pretty impressive stuff.

Here's a video link of Jimmy and Sally doing these lifts on his 60th Birthday.

Can't use age as an excuse anymore,
CrossFit Thoroughbreds "Xtreme Fitness 4 Xtreme People"

Jeremy Barnett, ISSA-CFT, Founder

Andy Bolton Training

Andy Bolton Training
The Road to the Thousand Pound Barrier

Those of you who know your Greek mythology may remember the story of Atlas, God of lifting and all other heavy burdens, who was sentenced by Zeus to bear the weight of the heavens on his shoulders for all eternity. This legend has become the universal symbolization of strength and is depicted in various images throughout the world, including the official logo of the Worlds Strongest Man Contest. However, what many of you may not know about is the follow up stunt that Atlas tried to pull on Hercules by tricking him into "temporarily" taking over while he popped off to acquire the Golden Apples from the Hespiredes for him, -thereby fulfilling one of Hercules 12 labors. Without a history lesson, let's just say things didn't go quite to plan for poor (dumb) Atlas; upon his return, using the old "itchy back trick", Hercules soon had him holding the baby again. Unfortunately for Atlas, it would be at least another 3000 years before help was at hand, or November 4th 2006 AB (After Bolton) to be exact, -the date that Andy Bolton would deadlift over 1000lbs and transcend mere mortality to join the Gods! For sure, after the most gargantuan demonstration of back strength in history, Andy could tackle the favor with the same degree of difficulty one would experience holding a friend's beer while he visits the restroom.
Before I launch into the how and the why, I believe it's imperative to take on board the significance and magnitude of this historic feat. Since the late great Dan Wohleber became the first man to pull 900 in 1982 (it actually weighed out at 904lbs), there has seldom been more than one man on the planet capable of matching that weight in any one year. Some years would produce a real dealifting drought, with no chance of any such ponderous weight to be seen anywhere on the horizon. In fact, nearly four years would pass before Doyle Kenady would match this awesome number. Then, five years later, Ed Coan would be beamed to us from another planet and pull 902 at 220lbs bodyweight, -the first sign that we were not alone! A few other Super heavies notched up the numbers here and there, some under questionable circumstances, others through legitimate strength. When Andy Bolton first showed up on the international scene, his rawness would often leave him having to deadlift tactically in order to chase gold. But right from the get go, it was glaringly obvious that this guy had almost incalculable back strength. When the creases were ironed out, the records just kept falling; he would pull over 900lbs an astonishing fifteen times before he historically crashed that 1000lb barrier, -a line that most experts in the field predicted would not even be approached let alone crossed! But these "prophets of power" should not be mocked, like me, they've also been fortunate enough to know, work with and meet some of the strongest men that have ever lived. We all realize that the significance of this huge milestone is actually even harder to swallow when we review the list of awesome athletes that didn't quite reach (officially) the magic 900lbs. Consider Bill Kazmaier, O.D. Wilson or Gerritt Badenhorst, three incredibly powerful athletes that came within a whisker of the 900 mark. All three were accomplished winners and world record holders in powerlifting and international strongman competition (Kaz is a three-time winner of WSM). They were balanced all-rounders with no weak lifts or gimmicks, whatever they accomplished, they did so for one reason only; they were incredibly strong. I knew these guys well, witnessing many of their feats of strength, I can tell you that their overall strength was far more impressive than most members of "The 900lb club". But to think that some day a guy would come along and out lift them by over 100lbs in this the purest of lifts is almost inconceivable.

This view is shared by many of Andy's peers and strength statisticians the world over. Legendary strength coach Louie Simmons was on hand at the meet where history was made, on completion of the lift, he turned to me and said "I was there when Don Cundy pulled the first 800 deadlift. I was there when Danny Wohleber pulled the first official 900. He (Andy) just broke the 1000lb barrier and it's been an honor to be here to witness it". The great Eddy Coan, an icon who has become a good friend to Andy, phoned him the night before the meet to wish him all the best and foretell the obvious. His words always carry a lot of weight with Andy. On hearing the result, Eddy dropped me an e-mail which said the following. "I have seen Andy Bolton lift on a number of occasions. When Andy says," Load the weight on the bar", he will do it. The 1,003lb deadlift was a done deal before he even walked onto the platform. The man knows what he can do. He does not make promises he cannot keep. The moment he started the lift, you just knew he would get that lift. I have never seen an explosion of power off the floor like this Great Lifter exhibited that day." Awesome words from The Don.

Bolton; the Man
Originally hailing from Dewsbury, England, Andy (36) now lives and trains out of Leeds, -a few miles down the road, but still within the county of Yorkshire. This northern county is famous for producing great powerlifters and strength athletes, including former Worlds Strongest Man Jamie Reeves, a former training partner from whom Andy learned a great deal in the early days. With a successful background as a junior sprinter, but a predisposition to rapid growth, he became an ideal candidate for the bone-crunching sport of rugby league, which he went on to play at quite a high level. The required strength training would result in Andy being firmly bitten by the iron bug, a familiar story. In 1991, at age 21, he made the switch to powerlifting, pulling 330kg (727.5lbs) in his first meet. In 1992, he would give the ultimate demonstration that, when all else is even (diet, training, etc), great athletes are born and not made, when he pulled a staggering gym lift of 904lbs! Unfortunately, even with age on his side, employing traditional strength training methodology would often result in his best lifts being left in the gym. However, by the end of 1992, while still a junior, he would still pull an official 858lbs for a 275lb class senior World Record! In 1993, after only two years of competitive lifting, he won the WPC World Powerlifting Championships, in France. At this point, Andy hung up his belt and turned to strongman competition, lured by the greater exposure and financial promise of a game that was on the rise. Traditionally, great powerlifters had always done well in this game, Kaz, Jon Pall Sigmarsson and Magnus Ver Magnusson had won 11 WSM titles between them, -all three were world-class powerlifters. But the goal posts were moving, true strength athletes could no longer compete on an even playing field, a great traditional event was being replaced by entertainment. Like everything in entertainment, the face had to fit, favored athletes would be given inside information about the events and have access to the actual props to train on. Meanwhile, true strength athletes would be corralled into qualifying rounds which included a lot of cardiovascular events or that focused on the particular weakness of any athlete that had fallen out of favor. The format became so silly, it bordered on ludicrous, with many athletes being retired by dangerous events that included loading barrels out of water and tossing a car with no safety measures to stop the athlete being crushed if he slipped. Needless to say, Andy soon became disillusioned by the whole fiasco, after snapping a bicep tendon in a show in 1999 (the last of several injuries), he turned his back on strongman for good. Fortunately for me, I was at this show, I was in the process of scouting for our national powerlifting team and Andy, whose phenomenal record preceded him, was right at the top of my hot list. It didn't take much encouragement and in early 2000, he returned to his first love, -powerlifting competition. With his bicep tear rehabilitated and his reverse grip switched, he entered the WPC Worlds in Vegas in the (308lb) class, where pulled 407.5kg (898lbs) to take the great Gerritt Badenhorst's long-standing record. Andy has flatteringly gone on record to say that since he started working with me during his comeback, his lifting has gone from strength to strength. While I have worked with him extensively on various factors (diet, training, etc), I will still stand by my earlier statement that great athletes are born and not made.

Training philosophy

Andy's training schedule has him training just three days a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This pretty much flies in the face of much of the conventional strength training protocols we are increasingly seeing being adapted from Eastern European methodology. This is not to say that science plays no part in Andy's training schedule, on the contrary, his periodized training is very much science-based. However, it's our general belief that much of the extremely high volume, multiple session programs that we hear being used by Eastern European athletes are adaptations from remnant Olympic lifting theory. This adaptation is a lot more complex than it seems, powerlifting involves a whole lot of muscle isolation, no matter how much pure power work may be involved (plyometrics, isokinetics, etc), this issue cannot be escaped.

In weightlifting, you are striving for the extreme opposite, trying to get the body to work as a total unit. Ok, so why do we see so much phenomenal lifting coming from athletes that are apparently benching 2-3 times a week? The answer can be found in three things; their average age, the pre-existing training history even at that age and an overwhelming genetic pool of athletes which are easy to locate in a group of countries with such an extensive history of successful weightlifting. For example, the IPF Russian Nationals are known to take around a week to complete, giving you some idea of numbers involved and depth of quality. Much like Louie Simmons famous conjugate training, you will find much usable Olympic theory involved in Andy's approach. For most of the year, his training is comprised of a series of 6 week mesocycles, each focusing on ironing out technical errors and peaking in a variation of one or more lifts or assistance exercises, e.g. a deadlift or bench from a particular height block. Employing the supercompensation principle, they follow a pattern of four weeks heavy, one week light, with a new maximum being established in the sixth week. The exception here will be the last pre-competition mesocycle going into a meet, which will be an 8 week program. Eight weeks may not sound long, but the preceding shorter mesocycles are all structured with specific goals to form part of a much bigger macrocycle of about 6 months. Thus, there is no off-season and there is no period where he is more than 6-8 weeks from competition form.

The structure of Andy's training week is as follows:
Monday: Bench press and relevant assistance work (board presses, etc). Shoulder work, which will include some pressing up to around 8 weeks out, then heavy front and side raises. Assorted triceps work, with pressdowns forming the base.

Wednesday: Squat and deadlift, with both lifts being trained within the set percentage parameters required by each particular mesocycle. After deadlifts, very heavy leg presses and leg curls are performed for 6 sets of 8-10 reps. Heavy abdominal work concludes the workout.

Friday: This is reserved for upper back assistance work and will involve two forms of rowing, followed by one form of pulldowns. Heavy shrugs will be performed for six sets and some biceps work will wrap up the session.

I will cover Andy's precise training routines for his other lifts in a future issue, but for the time being, the question is where did that deadlift come from?

The phase that launched a thousand pounds!

The exact 8 week pre-competition mesocycle employed by Andy for the 1003lb pull is as follows. All deadlifts are pulled extremely explosively, this is the total focus of the movement.
Week 1. 70 x 5, 100 x 5, 140 x 5, 180 x 5, 200 x 5, 220 x 5, 180x3x3. No suit.
Week 2. 70 x 5, 120 x 5, 160 x 5, 200 x 5, 240 x 5, 190 x 3 x3. No suit.
Week 3. 70 x 5, 100,x 5, 140 x 5, 180 x 5, 220 x 5, 260 x 5, 200 x 3 x3. No suit.
Week 4. 70 x 5, 120 x 5, 160 x 5, 200 x 5, 240 x 3, 280 x 3, 210 x 3 x3. No suit.
Week 5. 70 x 5, 100 x 5, 140 x 5, 180 x 5, 220 x 5, 260 x 3, 300 x 3, 220 x 3 x 3. No suit.
Week 6. 70 x 5, 100 x 5, 140 x 5, 180 x 5, 220 x 3, 260 x 3, 290 x 3, 320 x 3. Suit down.
Week 7. 70 x 3, 120 x 3, 160 x 3, 200 x 3, 240 x 3, 270 x 3, 300 x 3, 340 x 3. Suit on, straps up.
Week 8. Competition.

Bear in mind, Andy pulls on a Wednesday, but usually competes on a Saturday or Sunday. Thus, this equates to 10-11 days rest.
In his build up to this meet, he would follow up his squat/deadlift training with heavy leg presses (600kg x 10's) and leg curls.

His Friday upper back workout this time round comprised of the following:
Hammer Strength single arm rows, 5 sets, working up to 200kg each arm x 10. Low cable rows, 4-5 sets, 300lb x 10. Pulldowns, 4-5 sets of 10, 140kg (weight stack). Shrugs, 5-6 sets of 10, done very strict up to 380kg. Finally, ab work, including very heavy side bends, crunches and leg raises would be done.

In his preceding mesocycle, Andy worked up to 410kg x 3 and 362.5 x 8 in the partial deadlift (off a 4 inch block) with no straps.

Many will be surprised at the low percentages Andy actually works with in the deadlift, but he feels that this is central to his success. With optimum genetics for the lift, squatting over 900lbs in the same workout and working on explosiveness have kept him relatively injury free and still allowed room for progressive improvement. Talking about injuries, Andy suffered an IT band problem in this build up and had to hold right back on his squatting. He was understandably cautious here, he'd previously torn the quad during his strongman days. He feels that the lift would have been easier had this not been the case, the fact that he pulled 972 after a 1124lb squat at the Arnold indicates he was probably correct.

Andy is extremely conscientious about his diet, in much the same way as a competitive bodybuilder. He will consume around 2.5g/kg of protein, which for him equates to 400 grams per day, 50% of this coming from supplements (ProPeptide). A similar figure is reached in carbs, primarily low-glycemic. Around 20% of his calorific intake comes from fats, he consumes a high amount of omega 3's. For the last few months, he has been using 4.5-6g/day of beta-alanine (ProteinSLAM!, CNP Professional), scientifically proven to redress systemic acidosis, this product dramatically reduced muscle soreness and improved his recovery.
The future; where will the madness end?

Perhaps the most exciting thing about Andy is that he still appears to be on an upward curve. He is extremely "coachable" and always positive, performing at his best under pressure. He is that rare mix of genetic freakiness and limitless enthusiasm. However, breaking the 1000lb barrier really did take its toll on his mind and body for the first time. Never had he trained so obsessively for a lift, he was concerned by the fact that he had temporarily lost sight of everything else in his life, including his wife, Stacy, and beautiful baby daughter, Madison, - the most important people in his life. He will stop when his body tells him it's had enough. But for the mean time, his very realistic goals are winning the Arnold, squatting over 1200lbs, pulling even heavier and owning the total record by pushing it past the 3000lb mark!

Andy would like to thank the following people for their help and support in helping him achieve this momentous feat. Stacy and Madison, his friend and training partner, Dave "Bulldog" Beattie, John Inzer, Kerry Kayes, Phil Connolly and James Ernster (CNP Professional Ltd), Bill Crawford, Louie Simmons, Ed Coan and Jeff Everson.