CrossFit Approves us & Garage Gym gets renovated!

I don't even know where to start with this post. I have never felt so shell shocked in my life, but at the same time it is the best kind of numb feeling possible.
Last night I got a call from Lisbeth (you may have recently listened to her recent CrossFit Radio interview) who is considered the best to talk to if you are considering becoming a CrossFit Affiliate. Suffice to say I paced for at least an hour sapping her of any information I could think of to ask for, it was eye opening for sure. She told me that she thought our essay was great and that it was about time we got a CrossFit Gym here in NH. I am trying to keep this post short and sweet for now, I have to get back to the Garage Gym and finish up in there tonight, just so you have an idea of how much content I have to omit for now.
After my phone lesson in affiliation I went home and passed out, completely exhausted after a brutal paced day of training people and submitting our request to open things up as CrossFit NH. Waking up this morning was to an inbox full of positive responses about our efforts and an e-mail noting that we had BEEN APPROVED!!! Yup, less than 24 hours in a process that usually takes up to 2 weeks. I was floored but on the phone instantly.
One hour later Chris picks me up and we are in Home Depot grabbing the rest of the supplies needed for a permanent floor for the Garage that can handle Olympic Lifting needs. Thank god there are some other guys here kicking in the money that I definitely lack. From the checkout line to the Garage Gym we go, hauling ass with a borrowed pick-up truck (thanks "Jefe").
It is now 10:09... just barely over the 24 hour mark from affiliation application submission and not only have we been approved but finished the Garage Gym floor/platform. "Gollum" (Rugby friend and Lt. in the U.S. Army), Coach Sailor, John, Brady, and Kelly came by to help Chris and me with everything. The words Thank You don't do justice to the level of gratitude I feel for them. Things are overwhelming with how supportive everyone has been the reward is a true CrossFit NH facility we can all be proud to toil away in.

Gollum's Welcome to our Society (family by now) WOD
Warm-up: Practicing the 9 Fundamental Movements for about :30
WOD: 6:00 to complete max # of rounds possible of 5 push-ups x 5 medicine ball cleans (25lbs)
(Things were made more difficult with some 2x4's that we stacked up so he would be able to get extra depth on the push-ups and necessitate a greater explosion from depth with the cleans)
Score 11 Rounds +1 rep


"Hello Samy:

Thank you for applying to join the family of CrossFit Affiliates. This note is to let you know that we have received your application.

We will review your essay and respond to you with instructions on next steps. Due to the large volume of applications we receive this may take up to two weeks. We very much appreciate your patience and commitment to CrossFit.

Best Regards,
Lisa Lugo and Nancy Meenen
CrossFit Affiliate Directors"

There are personal portions of the essay that some guys might not want public, I will check with them first and then post at the very least the part I composed for you all to read.

Video link for how to perform the Crossfit WOD for today

*This post will change later in the day, I am putting it up early in order to get the assistance video out there to everyone that wants to do the Mainsite WOD. See below for details.

Crossfit Mainsite's Daily WOD for 12.29.2008
Shoulder press 1-1-1-1-1 reps
Push press 3-3-3-3-3 reps
Push Jerk 5-5-5-5-5 reps

This video is a bit long so you might want to skip through some parts of it, I just wanted to provide some a solid example of how to perform the Crossfit Daily WOD with emphasis on overall approach and execution. The WOD in the video is exactly the same one as today's, so if you have time watch the whole thing because it is loaded with little "fade-in text" treats for you. These text pieces provide a narrative of critical details which surround this type of workout and enhance it's stark contrast to what everyone is used to from Crossfit WOD's. Mine as well get used to not being able to guess what the Crossfit sideshow of workouts has in store next.


Celebrating the Holidays by Paying a Penance to the Gods of Strife

Let's start off with an image from Sunday's WOD that does a great job of showing how pain and effort affect facial muscles when developing
"Increased capacity across broad time and modal domains."
I hope everyone had a great holiday break and took the opportunity to get some rest and prepare yourself for whatever style of personal Armageddon your training will resemble once you kick things off again. Adhering to the general theme around here things haven't let up in the slightest (definitely a good thing), and we are getting ready to submit the application to Crossfit to become a true NH Crossfit affiliate, more on this later.

I want to welcome Eric who met the fight team on Saturday and contributed some very professional knowledge to the workout the guys did. He has quite a background in the conditioning sciences and is aggressively seeking the Crossfit level one Certification. I think it is awesome that such professional individuals are now actively seeking us out and come willing to impart expertise rendered through years of training experience (and in Eric's case through time spent as an intern at Cynergy Crossfit). I am looking forward to picking your brain so come out again soon.

Eric isn't the only new arrival to our little society and I am proud to note that Fitzy and Jenny both got to try on some Crossfit training as well. Good thing Ben is out there putting sacks on people's heads, tying them up, and dragging them in to workout with us. I like your style, Mr. Desfosses. On that note the results from the Crossfit Mainsite wod that the MMA team conducted are described below: (any additional details that you wish noted will be updated as soon as they are confirmed. The fastest method would be to post in comments or email me directly)

I. WOD for 12.27.2008
(based on the Crossfit Daily WOD for the same day)
Complete as many rounds in 20:00 of
5 x DB Thrusters
7 x Hang Clean
9 x Sumo-Dead lift High-Pull
(Using loads of 65-95lbs)

Ben 8 Rounds* (probably 9 but like we do with Tabata Scoring: Take the lowest number)
Fitzy 7 Rounds + 5 Thrusters and 7 Hang Cleans
Doug 4 Rounds
Jeremiah Completed 20:00 @ Max effort (he knows no other "gear", this guy works as hard as anyone I have ever seen train in Crossfit)
Jenny (Still Need Score)
Eric (guest instructor, Still Need Score)
Nuri (Your ass is grass, son)

Hmm, this seems like a good spot to throw in a picture of my Infamous Mom who also likes to come learn about and watch how we train. I think it is a hilarious photo of her looking scared to death of the beard...which is pretty much the only reason I am including it. Hey, it's my @%$! website so if I want to put up pictures of my mom and glamour shots of my beard (which I have been tediously cultivating for months now) then I reserve the right to do so. The rest of you Savages can focus on providing the critical feedback that drives the content I try and provide with the training, and on that note let's take a look at what some mad men did today in the Garage Facility.
The Garage Gym WOD
The following workout was performed today (12.28.2008) in place of the Crossfit mainsite wod because we don't have the hamglute set-up necessary to properly perform some of the workout's components. We are rapidly working on an ability to train every wod possible to RX'd standards so don't stress too much. The substituted wod still needs a good solid name to go by so anyone that tries and submits a score for it can also submit a suggestion for the an appropriate name.

"Crossfit or Die WOD #1" 12.28.2008
I. Skill Based Warm-Ups

-Muscle-Up Transitions and R.O.M. Practice
-Burgener Drills and Overhead Squats
(wooden dowels used to perform 3 sets of 3 reps for 6 tottal mvmts.)
-Easy run (also to show 200m run loop for safety purposes)
II. 3 Rounds for time of
5 x Ring Muscle-Ups

7 x Clean and Jerks (135lbs)
9 x Kettlebell Swings (1-pood)
Run 200m (Follow the link below for a map of our 200m Loop)
View Interactive Map on MapMyRun.com
Jefe 9:53
Cpt. Toomey *9:42
Chris edged out Jefe by just over :10 which shows just how critical a solid system of support and competition is to boosting training intensity.

This workout doesn't even look that bad on paper but it left everyone strewn across the pavement like bodies on a field of medieval slaughter. We might find it hard to read this wod and not think, "It's not so bad, maybe I should throw an extra round on there, or increase the run distance," but the little Pukie that is nestled inside all of our grey matter seems to recall we don't need to. I mention this as a reinforcement of some concepts I brought up in the last post and I want to continue this trend so we can all refresh our minds daily about why "smarter + harder combined equal demon fitness" development.

If you are attempting this wod then make sure you scale or change things according to your experience and skill level with Crossfit, YOU ARE BUILDING YOURSELF UP, NOT BREAKING YOURSELF DOWN.

I am proud to welcome Cpt. Chris Toomey officially into our little fold here, he is the missing link we have anxiously been awaiting to get some leave and come visit. Because of his presence and the preparation that the other guys involved have put in we are prepared to submit the application papers requesting permission to open a Crossfit Affiliate here in NH. I should hear nothing but the rustling of thousands of pointer and index fingers being crossed all over the state for as long as we have to wait for a positive reply from Crossfit HQ. Hopefully we are found worthy, but even if everything were to fall through this very second I still feel that we have come much farther that I could have possibly imagined in such a short time. This has been due to the dedication, enthusiasm, and support received on behalf of Crossfitters around the state and we are proud to have played whatever small role we could ... thank you.


Chronicles of the Crossfit Certification: Part II

I am speechless regarding the Crossfit Level 1 Certification down here in N.C.... Well...Definitely not speechless, more like amazed and in shock. To be completely honest I was so excited to attend that I really didn't know what to do with myself. I was a bit nervous at first and I spent a lot of time the previous week reading the rest of the Crossfit Journal Articles that I still needed to memorize, and going over the notes from previous certification attendees (posted on the Crossfit Mainsite for educational purposes under their FAQ section).

In the end I really didn't need to study as much as I did, or maybe not so hardcore...but I am glad I did because the entire course seemed to reinforce all the methods and concepts I have been trying to brainwash everyone with for the last few months. I don't want to get too far ahead because I took some notes in a "journal" format (including comments and thoughts) which I am going to put up here on the site. It is pretty much the order of events and experiences as I had them and I think we can all bring ourselves a little bit further ahead in our development as this "community" if I share as much as possible with you. My head is about to explode brains and Crossfit knowledge all over the walls so get out your catcher mitts.

Finding Crossfit Charlotte's Gym
Holy hell, I spent so much time walking around trying to find this place I wanted to axe kick an infant (not really...). The hotel I was booked in was the cheapest one that we could find within general walking distance of the Crossfit Affiliate that was hosting the event. This turned out to be not as much "walking distance" but more of a "heat-seeking missile" distance. Thank god years of training in being ridiculously stubborn had prepared me for this because I spent literally hours walking around the city of Matthews (where the hotel was) and actually ended up crossing the line into Charlotte. This is the last time I ever go somewhere based on the information that came out of a lobby worker from a hotel, especially regarding the apparently secret location of a grassroots, outside the box, elite athletic training facility. I saw Batman out wandering around looking for this Gym also, which eased my mind because apparently ninja like super heroes also get lost looking for a place to workout Crossfit Style. Oh, you didn't know Batman uses Crossfit? Yeah, well, he does.

By the way, this was Friday night after I finished typing the post and was thinking that it might be a good idea to go for a brisk walk to find out how long it was going to take to get to the Gym in the morning. Long story short I finally found the place and spent the next hour hugging the building before running x number of miles back to the hotel for rest and recovery. Why does this part of the trip matter? Because you should all understand that 1. I saw Batman and 2. There are strange Crossfit Gods that test your will before allowing you into the inner circle of the community, and sometimes they do this by throwing strange challenges out of that goddamn hopper. Good thing we have been working to develop our capacity across "broad time and modal domains."

The next day turned out to be completely opposite from the miserable time I had Friday night, and the first guys to greet me while walking up to Crossfit Charlotte were instructors from Crossfit HQ/Santa Cruz. One of them was actually the guy that ran the Level 2 cert in Boston (that I snaked my way into crucial learning experience) and it was kind of cool to already have someone there familiar with who I am. The building was awesome, and the location turned out to be a pretty cool place as well. One of the interesting things about different Affiliates out there are their unique atmospheres and styles. The gyms are physical manifestations of the visions that their owners had, and you can tell that these visions were not forged in a single day but evolved as the exploration of Crossfit progressed. I really think you need to go to one to experience it and really understand that here in NH we can forge a facility in whatever image we see fit. Exciting things to think about.

Day 1
The Certification kicked off around 9am with instructor introductions and an overview of the weekend, then immediately launched into the most basic of the 9 fundamental movements that Crossfit preaches (and that you have all been working so hard to develop in our training sessions). One of the reasons this experience was so awesome was because just about everything that we were instructed on was then practiced and evaluated with such precision and attention to detail that we couldn't help gaining skills and technique almost by the minute. The staff teaching the course was the same crew that I have been downloading videos of forever, and even though you might not know their names they are celebrities in the Crossfit world (and definitely to me).

It was only a short time before I felt right at home with all the people in the class and the instructors. My mind was hungry for each class and one of the best feelings was knowing that I could almost finish every sentence that was coming out of the instructors' mouths. I am far from knowing everything there is to know, I am just a child in this world of unique concepts which so often seem to fly in the face of the traditional/mainstream fitness industry.

Before I get off on a conceptual tangent I want to finish the outline of coursework that we experienced over the weekend. The point of this post is to show an outline and share my personal experience with the education I received while the actual meat of the information will appear over the next few weeks as it comes up in direct relation to our training. While I was enthralled the entire time I was down there I feel like some of you might not appreciate a 30 page breakdown of what I learned all at once. This is called a foundation for a reason and we want ours to be of the most solid and sturdy nature possible.

Back to the actual Lectures: We are introduced to the first three movements out of the 9 fundamentals. A good quote to recall would be,
"the magic is in the movements."
We would hear this phrase often over the course of the weekend and for good reason. All these types of exercise we were listening to had things in common and followed a certain system of "tenets" that gave reasons as to their efficacy in training. The most important to me were that all the movements could
"move large loads over long distances in relatively short periods of time."
This description of a movements ability was a critical point for me, and I could instantly see how these words fit into every single training session we have participated in. Another critical point to note would be how we are always using our core and then extremities in these functional moves. Why? Because that is how the human body was designed to operate. Throw out all the catch phrase bullshit that exists out there in the mainstream fitness industry that you have all been trying desperately to sift through. Functional movements are effective because they reinforce and prepare us for all the types of movement we will encounter in LIFE, not just sport. Everything we want to accomplish with physical ability is in tune with this definition of functional capacity, and to develop this we have only to look at the simplest and most efficient types of exercise that force the organism to work as a single unit.

A great quote from Coach Glassman that sums this all up,
"Training in a segmented fashion develops segmented capacity."
I might be butchering it a little but you get the idea, and it has become a powerful thought that is easily used to define and reason why we use the fundamental, functional movements that I have been showing you for the last few months. Enough said on that for now because this concept will reappear constantly over your self-education in the Crossfit ways.

We started with squatting, front squatting, and overhead squatting movements and learned a great deal about how to develop them properly with little more than the body and maybe a wooden dowel or PVC pipe as tools. Once the lecture was completed we all went outside and broke into groups to practice the movements, after which we were treated to a delicious session of Bottom-to-Bottom Tabata squats. You all know who Dr. Tabata is and what his training protocol represents (because it hurts and people remember painful experiences!), which means further explanation would be a moot point other than noting the :10 rest was in a static contraction at the bottom of the squat position.

After our playtime we continued the lectures with a definition of "What is Crossfit?" in order to help us explain to people how and why we train the way we do without scaring the ever living s*%! out of them with our overwhelming enthusiasm. We went in depth in exploring the concepts of "functional" movements, core to extremity training, elemental compound exercise principles, why movements are irreducible, what makes these things safer than the average peck deck fly machine, how and why things are constantly varied, and a host of other things that truly make Crossfit what it is. Almost all of this information is easily found in the links at the top of the page which come directly from Crossfit. Just in case you missed them, however, I will reintroduce these concepts and definitions over the next few weeks as a refresher so we are all on the same page.

In the end this lecture came out and explained how training with varied stimuli and the movements that Crossfit incorporates will develop a "general physical preparedness" which focuses on providing a capacity to excel in any situation that nature could throw at you. This is critical to understand because we are not specialists. We are learning to become experts in any number of training methods in order to provide us with the best overall capacity for survival. This paragraph reminds me of day number 1, when I was originally typing the first post for The Savage Society and trying to sum everything up to help everyone understand just what the hell I wanted to help bring to NH.

Next we covered "What is Fitness?", and I want to point everyone to the Crossfit Journal with those same words for it's title. That free pdf file should be downloaded and read in detail, you will expand your conceptual understanding of everything we do here 100 fold if you do so. Pay attention to the 10 general aspects of fitness, what the "Hopper" is and why it helps our understanding of survival fitness, and especially the 3 metabolic pathways. This is the science behind why we can train for marathons and ultra distance in less than six hours a week successfully. This is part of the reason Olympic lifting can make you bench more, why pull-ups add reps to your tabata squats, and it all reinforces how training the body as a unit and developing fitness to excel "over broad time and modal domains," pays dividends previously never dreamed of.

The following lectures included the next 3 fundamental movements: The Shoulder Press, Push-Press, and Push-Jerk. Again we went through the necessary set-up and teaching of these exercises, as well as how to recognize and work on correcting faults in them. I especially appreciated how the instructors not only broke down the movements and showed corrective measures for specific problems people have with them, but also reinforced the understanding of how this progresses into the "most efficient" way of moving these loads overhead. Everything we learned for movements was cross-sectioned with how it would be understood and applied in real life, or survival if you wished to connect the dots that far...and I did. After the lessons were over we went and spent considerable time learning the movements from scratch (I got to replace concepts from my initiation into power and Olympic lifting during high school with more effective concepts of efficient movement, like the words "dip and drive"). The quality of the practical application instruction was second to none and I feel I got the most mileage from these portions even though they involved physically demanding intervals. Fun as hell, to be honest.

Concluding our practical application of the overhead lifting series we moved onto the final three movements from the 9 fundamentals: Dead lift, Sumo-DL-High pulls, and Medicine ball Clean (eventually would become clean and jerk). This was the most informative series of movements that I listened to lectures on, and the insight gained from them will play a huge role from my very next session of training that I run. Understanding in common terms how to teach these movements and correct faults is something I can not wait to impart to the rest of you.

At the end of day 1 we celebrated by trying to destroy any squirmy little metabolic pathways we could get our knuckles on with a 70+ person Fran workout. You want to talk about motivation and energy? Holy hell it was insane in there, you can see nothing but smiles and sweat in our class picture which was taken a few minutes after this WOD's completion. I have never had so much fun! This experience is the sort that gets people so hooked on Crossfit they become known as cultists. What a great way to end an awesome day.

Day 2
Technique and Intensity
This is where Crossfit gets a ton of opposition from the rest of the fitness world, and usually from people who have not done any homework regarding what we do. I know for a fact that the MMA team, the soccer team, and even the Garage Gym crews have all made great strides in their understanding of technique, form, and proper body mechanics during the sessions they have had with me. This is not a pat on my back at all, it is a testament to a mental focus on the part of the athletes during training to acquire the skills necessary to safely and efficiently move loads over distance as fast as possible. People need to realize that form is second only to safety, and that the two are interwoven in what we teach. There would not be intensity if someone couldn't apply the fundamental technique to a movement, instead you would find only injury. "Grace" is a named Crossfit workout that challenges the athlete with performing 30 Clean and Jerks for time. If you go look at the videos of the fastest times for this you will see how critical form and technique are to completing the workout with a "good" time. Smooth is fast here, especially with beginners. Intensity is something we add in after we lay the foundations of bio-mechanic efficiency, and when fatigue due to intense exertion enters the equation we will always see a breakdown of form. There is a delicate middle ground we are looking for in order to hit a certain level of stimulus for the athlete, it lies between "perfect form" and "high intensity" without sacrificing "safety".

These topics were reinforced by a friendly workout that involved a maximum number of rounds in 12:00 of 7 medicine ball cleans (20lbs) and 7 push-ups. We did an extensive warm-up with the medicine ball clean and jerk and found that our abilities had progressed since sleeping the previous night (weird?) and learned that this was due to our brains connecting new "wires" based on Saturday's experiences and drills. The actual 7x7 for 12:00 wod was pretty fun, and even though I did it in boots and jeans (I had to check out of the hotel in the morning and planned on going straight from CF Charlotte to the airport so it sucked to be next to me on the plane). The general lesson learned here was that it required little weight or time to create an intense and brutal workout. This is a lesson everyone on the site should probably understand by now.

After spending a great deal of time on the intensity and technique lectures and practical application we moved into the nutrition class. I will address this in detail separately because the amount of information is huge. For now go Google "world class 100 word nutrition" and live by that, period. I don't care if you eat junk food, but eat the good stuff you need to recover FIRST. Right now my concern is more on how much everyone is learning, we can get as detailed with nutrition as we want down the road as long as you pay attention to your hydration and recovery for now. Do not take this lightly but there is only so much I can type up in a day! If anyone needs more specific information please make a note under comments and we can handle it from there. To be honest the definition you find from googling those words is what I try my best to live by and it has worked for me despite the crappy economy.

The second to last lecture was on the ham-glute machine and understanding the role of mid-line stabilization in training. This is how Crossfit describes your abdominal and lower back muscles. They are actually including a bit more, like your hip flexors, rectus femorus, and a number of other little fellers that play a huge role in moving you and stabilizing your center (core). There is enough information here to fill 100 posts, but some interesting notes to challenge you conceptually will appear in the next few posts. To start you should prepare to be amazed on the topic of sit-ups...I sure was.

The last lecture of the day was about programming, and there was an immediate increase in classroom excitement. This is where most trainers love to spend their time for education and in essence will make or break most of them when it comes to success. Yes, this is exciting and allows us to be creative, but it is easy to overdo it (especially with new trainees) and this can lead to injury or loathing for some. I love programming and have paid close attention to the rotational measures of various Crossfit affiliate sites and other programs of like-mindedness. I learned a massive amount of stuff over the weekend, and some of the topics covered in this lecture really helped fill in any gaps that I felt needed to be filled as far as programming and wod design went. At the end of this we came up with a class wod that I thought was pretty cool, I will bring it up as a surprise for everyone next week as an optional wod for a rest day. It was pretty brutal sounding.
Most important concept for me?
"Routine is the enemy."
This was not only the hardest concept to grasp from the first day I discovered these concepts back when I was 19 years old, but it has easily become the most rewarding in application. Everyday is a new exciting exploration of personal challenge, and while there are structures and foundations that remain the same I salivate for new benchmarks in my training.

This outline is nothing more than...well...an outline. I can not begin to fully describe my appreciation for the education and coaching I received down in NC. I learned tons, and it is all coming at the Savage Society as fast as I can spit it out. Thank you to the Instructors and the other attendees for being so supportive and open as a community, it was everything and more that I had dreamed it would be. Goodluck in Australia, Ohio, and language school to just name a few of the endeavors the attendees were tackling. I hope everyone the best and if you are reading this and feel I could ever help your efforts out there please email me and let me know. I wish there was more I could do for the community because it has been so good to us in the short time we have been around. Train hard and I hope to see everyone very soon.


Chronicles of the Crossfit Cert. Trip: Part I

I am sitting here in North Carolina waiting anxiously for the certification to start tomorrow morning. I am not going to dive into the details of the trip and everything that has happened so far because there are some more important details that everyone should be foaming at the mouth for...mmmm delicious scores and training results. I am going to give a recap of the training and wod highlights that occurred on Wednesday and Thursday with a few of our Savage training crews.

It can't be said enough how humbled I end up feeling after watching the effort that everyone has been putting into training. You should know by your scores and new ability to finish wod's that your progress has continued to follow a nice steep curve. Now that everyone has the basic concepts down and is into the full swing of laying their foundation for physical ability, we can now start to really turn some things up. There is a TON of stuff that is coming down at you guys, but bear with me because I want to be able to run everything through the filter of insight I am trying to forge down here at the Level 1 Cert.
The sequence of instruction is something that I am very curious learn about because it as been laid out according to a specific curriculum of functional movement development. All the in depth study we will receive on the 9 fundamental Crossfit exercises will give me the directly to an increase in performance levels during training. I remember trying to learn all these things through Internet video downloads and printing out slides while comparing media and images I snapped of myself during workouts. That method worked in the end for me, but now that I am getting first hand instruction and experience (plus what I learned as a volunteer at the level 2 cert) we can really start making strides and learn some great new movements.

This brings me to another point I wanted to make, and it has to do with something that most of you probably don't think I even grasp the concept of: enjoyment. I was thinking to myself about the various new exercises and movements that I encounter daily through training the way that we do. Just with the rings alone I have expanded the variety and intensity of my training greatly (thank you Coach David), so one could only imagine the breadth of new concepts and ideas that are confronting the rest of you. This is far from a bad thing. Over the last few months I have really felt a passion emerge for teaching myself new skill sets. Actually, I take that back... just trying to learn the new concepts or abilities has become a blast. I had a great time the other day trying to figure out muscle-ups with the regular Garage Gym Crew. Handstands, Handstand Push-ups, L-sit movements, Holds and Inversions, there is just so much exciting material to try out.

This is one my favorite aspects of Crossfit, and I can't imagine going back to training the way we all used to, without any definitive goal or method other than what made us sweat. I want you all to think about this and instead of downloading our skills/hierarchy sheet and becoming discouraged by the sheer quantity of stuff you can't do, let's get jacked-up and enjoy the hell out of the process involved in learning. It is a rare privilege to walk away day after day with abilities that were previously unknown to you. Also in the quest to develop new skills you will see athleticism and fitness levels increase dramatically, you are no longer restricting the variety of training you apply to yourself while your options for future challenges continue to expand.

MMA Fighters Rip Apart a 30:00 Pain-Circus
This crew has been diligently working through wod after demanding wod in their continued exploration of the Crossfit paradigm of fitness. Thursday night was particularly brutal for them and took about a half hour for most of them to complete (if you train with Crossfit you would know how long that session is in comparison to most). Outside of their overall fitness advances there has also been marked improvement in the various skills that have been frequenting their warm-ups. Tonight we spent a little more time working on the Snatch Balance drills in our quest to gain proficiency in the Olympic Lifts. These explosive movements are perfect for fighters (and excellent for anyone in general) because they involve the entire body in a way that requires explosive force generation. As usual they also included Burgener Drills which complement basically everything you can do with your body in training to advance your fitness, all of this being quite enough to "warm them up" before they got hammered with the below workout.

MMA Team Training
Warm-ups/Skill work
800m easy run
2 rounds of Burgener Drills (3 for each of 6 movements)
800m easy run
2 rounds of Snatch Balance Drills with dowels
2:00 recovery and water break

12.18.2008 WOD
4 rounds for time of
Run 1.0/.75/.50/.25mi
(next 4 movements went 15/12/9/6)
Burpees with 10'' Box Jump
Thrusters (with choice of 65/75/95lb load)
Sumo-DL High-Pulls (with choice of 65/75/95lb load)

(as Rx'd)
Ben 31:52 *
Sam 33:58
John R. 33:50
John W. 33:15

(wod altered in some way)
Doug 34:40
Jeremiah 39:17
Nuri 30:44

After everything was wrapped up as far as the pain-circus we all gathered around the rowing machines for a basics class on how to use them. I love the C2 Rowers and they have been both instrumental in my overall athletic development as well as critically supplemental to the advancement of other specific exercises. We have two old model B rowers with PM1's on them and they basically feel like a Model D with the damper setting somehow axe kicked to a level 17 or something ridiculous. They work great now that we replaced the batteries (just start rowing to turn them on and adjust the display for calories, distance and time, or wattage calculations) so I wanted to give a basic introduction chat and demonstration. It only took a few minutes to show them the fundamentals of proper mechanics in using them, but I didn't have anyone actually try it because they were all pretty smoked after the wod. Just planting some seeds that will blossom into vomiting MMA fighters by next week I'm sure.

I thought I should include the photo that caught Nuri cheating on the workout by turning off Doug's treadmill. Not only is that a mean and dirty trick to pull, but the worst part is that he wasn't sprinting hard enough...you can tell by the picture that he was sandbagging because he could still laugh at Doug. Bastard.

On a different note I want to briefly bring up an important safety chat I had to have with the team. If you are training with us or using any of the workouts that are linked through this site then it is mandatory that you read the safety articles above (reading them all would benefit you more), you need to understand some critical things about Rhabdo and related safety/training intensity concepts. I say it constantly but maybe not clearly enough: This is not about pride, this is about developing yourselves on multiple levels. These training techniques we are using are some of the hardest and most intense in the world, they are designed for those looking for an elite level of overall fitness. Listen to your body and be smart with how hard you push yourself and what you think you should push yourself through. I am constantly watching for those warning signs of injury but my eyes can't watch everything at once, looking out for yourselves and the rest of the team is something I shouldn't have to tell you, especially this far into our training.

No one was hurt or anything but there was a situation where someone told me about pain in the lower back and this can be an acute symptom of some serious dehydration related issues involved in the intensity levels we use in our workouts. The pain wasn't the problem, the issue I had was with the desire to finish the workout no matter what. I explained why stopping was necessary and that was that, I just wanted to note things here so everyone can learn from this experience.

Garage Gym Crew Goes Stealth, Infiltrates YMCA
By the time 4:30 rolled around there was frozen slush and snow all over the place, mostly untouched by the plows in our neighborhood as well. The Crossfit wod that was posted that day required some running and I really didn't think it was a good idea to use our 200m loop (normally a perfect distance to finish wods as rx'd with a few laps and it doesn't make you cross any streets either) because shovelling up brains from a hit and run while one of our guys was sprinting on ice didn't really fit into my schedule for the night. I had to be down in Nashua for the soccer team at 7:00 and brains are hard to get out. The three amigos didn't mind the alternative at all.

We roll up to the YMCA, park illegally in a parking garage (shhh don't be tattling on us) and went inside to see if we can mooch some free passes for those that live a life of service to the wonderful state of NH. No dice, $10.00 a head which is three bucks more than I actually pay for membership, but these guys are so dedicated they forked out the cash and followed me down the rabbit hole of physical conditioning.

I had done this wod earlier in the day to give it a dry run (this is usual so I can plan for it's administration and the contingencies that might be necessary) so I knew how tough it was going to be. It has been days and my abs and back are still awesomely sore, and I knew this would be the first time that L-sit Pull-ups were part of a workout for the crew. Ratcheting up the difficulty some more was the fact that Hore-hay had yet to experience a Crossfit session that involved sprint runs, he must have been salivating with excitement.
Like usual everyone tore this wod apart and really scored very well. The max number of rounds scored according to logitall.com was 6, and this is a compilation of scores from all over the world. The wod and it's scores are below.

12.17.2008 WOD
(warm-up was done with some light rowing on the C2 and an easy jog, I didn't want to get kicked out for teaching 3 guys Olympic Lifting Drills before we finished our workout)
Complete as many rounds as possible in 20:00 of
400m run
L-sit Pull-ups x 15
Hip Extensions x 15

Jefe* 5 rounds
Enrique 4 rounds +400m
Hore-Hay 4 rounds +400m

This was the last time I got to train everyone because Thursday was a "rest day" and I flew out pretty early Friday (just missing the storm). This was a great way to get motivated for the certification and I know there was a good deal of pride in the scores attained. I think the crew has been training together at the Garage Gym for about two weeks and they are already performing better by the session and have acquired quite a few new skills, these sessions are what I look forward to when I get up in the morning.
I don't have the scores for them but while I am away I know that the "Filthy-50" and a 4 round 800m repeater workout were viciously assaulted. This coming week will bring some exciting concepts and new training wods to the table, can't wait to find out what's next for them.

Girls Soccer Team Training
I don't want to elaborate too much on the training the girls soccer team accomplished on Wednesday because several ego's might walk away from the screen bloodied and bruised. Just kidding, I am going to rub it right in everyone's wound like really grainy salt...no wait, salt mixed with acid. And venom.
In all seriousness these young ladies are little whirlwinds of ability. They just got back from a tournament they attended over the weekend and from what I hear they did pretty well. Despite the ridiculous weather these soccer ninjas managed to congregate down at the gym we use for training the MMA Fight team in Nashua, where Coach David and I were plotting their metabolic demise.
That night would bring a new challenge to the table for them and they were more than ready for it (they had previously done variations of "Angie" and "Cindy" wods). Before they would get to the actual wod for the night they spent some time warming up with some team drills and then got a foundation lesson on the deadlift and sumo-deadlift high-pull The primary workout is described below, and I challenge anyone to try and crush the scores they put up. Honestly, these girls would not stop holding angry little soccer fingers on the treadmill's "speed increase" button, they were so furious with the competitiveness. Oh, and they could still talk and socialize all while watching t.v. at the same time.

Soccer Team Training 12.17.2008
3 Rounds for time of
400m Run
21 x Burpees with a 10'' Box jump
21 x Sumo-Deadlift High-Pulls (8lb dowels)

Most of the times were around 10-12:00 so let's see if anyone thinks they can smoke the Girls Soccer Team... so small, yet so savage. They don't really know about our website but I want to share all the training each group is doing so that we encourage competition and learning (seeing how different crews are experiencing the rotation in training and increasing overall performance). These kids really gut it out 100% and I am constantly fighting them to drink water, slow down, and even breathe! I hope they are all having a great holiday break, I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how they attack the next challenge.

End Notes
That will be about it for tonight, I am going to get to bed now because there is another intense day of instruction planned for tomorrow. I have been snapping pictures as often as possible and taking meticulous notes from the classes to add to this little chronicle, so far my experience has been top notch. I know it probably seems strange to take this weekend so seriously to some of you, but this was something I never thought I would be able to actually attend (at least not this soon). I have put so much effort into educating and practicing things on myself that it is a great pleasure to receive the reinforcement this course offers me. I am very excited to come home bearing a credential such as this, and even more so to apply the things learned here to your training in an effort to enhance the progress you are already making in huge strides. Train hard, rest easy on your days off up there, and I will post part II tomorrow.

Thanks, Ashley for being our Offical Team Photographer. You have nasty skills with the camera as well as an uncanny ability to harvest freckles.

John will finally be home on Tuesday... good luck on your long ass drive.


Your "Survival Cheat Sheet"

Before I recap today, here is a reference chart for highlights on how to survive in the Savage Society.
Today there were two strangers that emerged from the shadows, each confronting a training group with a new concept. The first visitor we had was straight off the pages of the Performance Menu article called "The Max Effort Black Box". The WOD that was listed today on the Crossfit Mainsite was 1-1-1-1-1-1-1 max effort reps for Push-Jerk. Modifying this a little bit to make sure that we have a solid foundation in the movement department and max load records we used the Overhead Press instead (not neccessarily an easier movement, but one that has a stricter definition of form in order to elicit measurements of raw strength as opposed to the explosive and dynamic nature of the "Jerk" class exercises).

This workout is something new to a lot of you, and should be approached with as much trepidation as the rest of the WOD's. Max Effort means exactly that, you aren't trying for the best lift each time over and over for 7 scores, once you start your single rep sets you have 7 attempts and that is all. If its a failure then note the weight attempted and mark it as an F. This type of workout was designed as part of a program that incorporated Crossfit Daily WOD's. The training sessions that it involved used set and rep schemes that were based upon percentages of max rep records in a variety of compound/functional movements. The success of is well documented in a series of articles from the publication listed above, and was so beneficial in developing athletes that the Crossfit Mainsite began adding these days in their rotation.

I will explain in greater detail further on, but lets not ignore our other newcomer...

Dr. Tabata. This name belongs to a man who is renowned for the results of a study that involved a comparison between two training styles. This has been extremely well documented and a good Google search will bring up endless amounts of information regarding this famous training protocol. I just want to give a brief synopsis to those that have never heard of this man or his study before because knowing the "why" behind the suffering and pain is sometimes a nice little topic to think about instead of what your vomit might look like.

Using exercise cycling machines that had breaking mechanisms to control resistance, Dr. Tabata and his colleagues had two groups of people perform two completely different workouts for a 6 week study. The experiment measured the anaerobic capacity of the athletes as well as their VO2max (an aerobic measurement which is indicative of your ability to fuel performance in the oxidative range of metabolism). One group performed a moderate intensity cycling workout (around 70% of vo2max) for a single long period of training, while the other group performed interval training with 7 to 8 sets of :20 (150% vo2max) followed by :10 of rest.

The results were startling and turned conventional training wisdom on it's head. The interval group saw a significant increase in both areas being measured while the first group only saw a moderate increase in their aerobic capacity. This was the beginning of something new and exciting, and it is what the MMA Fight Team experienced tonight for the first time. I encourage everyone to go pick around the internet on this topic, you will be confronted with some interesting new concepts involving training and metabolism that you have never seen before.

How did everyone like out new freinds that came stalking up out of the shadows? Who cares, today's participants learned some new things about themselves and about training that they can now use to accelerate their athletic development. The training conducted and scores for everyone are listed below.

The Garage Gym and it's Three Amigo's
WOD 12.16.2008
Complete 7 rounds of 1 rep @ Max Effort for Overhead Press
Record load lifted for score
"Enrique" 135/155/155/155/155/155/155*
"Hore-Hay" 135/155/155/155/155/155/155*

These are all personal records for these guys, and the 155lbs will be the number from which percentages for similar lifts on days like this in the future are drawn.

The challenge here isn't just the actual rep, but learning a different concept for the WOD's... Everyone is used to just tearing through the workouts as fast as possible but today involved as much rest between sets as you want. This is a great way to show you how Crossfit is something that is always exciting and new as it constantly shifts its form before your eyes.

MMA Fight Team (Nashua Facility)
Tonight was short and sweet for these guys. Today they added three new movements into the repertoire of drills to perform with the Burgener Warm-ups which moved them a few steps forward in laying the foundations for Olympic Lifting. They then proceeded to slaughter themselves by using the Tabata protocol for 4 simple body weight movements.

3 Rounds of
400m Run(6mph or less with incline @ 1%)
3 reps each of
"Burgener Drill" mvmts
Overhead Squats
Pressing Snatch Balance
Heaving Snatch Balance
Snatch Balance

*2:00 for water and recovery

Tabata Drills
4 rounds of (:20 max reps x :10 rest) for each exercise listed below, no rest between rounds
The order was adjusted so everyone could workout at the same time, pull-up space is valuable real-estate right now. After the Tabata Drills everyone cooled down by walking on the treadmills and then went through the stretches together for flexibility training.

Scores (lowest rep) for Pull-ups/Push-ups/Sit-ups/Squats
Sam 8/26*/20/20
Tyler 4/16/12/9
Nuri 5/3/10/15
Jeremiah 13*/-/11/12
John P. 3/15/17/16
John R. 3/11/17/25

I have to say that I couldn't help but laugh at one point in the Fighter session. I was running the clock and calling out the work/rest intervals for everyone because we were all spread out in the gym. After calling for the rest period I would quickly ask each athlete for their score, one reply was nothing more than the sound of lunch or dinner being emptied into a trashcan. It's...It's like music almost... Excellent work to everyone today, the effort put into this training is phenomenal to behold and I am really looking forward to the next WOD.


"Garage Gym" or Epic Battleground?

Yesterday was great, and I really can't explain it any better than that. I'm sure I sound like a broken record right now because I keep kissing every one's a$$ with how nice and supportive they've been but that isn't what I am talking about here.
Last night's training in the garage gym was great because it was hard. It was dirty, humid, gritty, and represented the kind of effort that deserves to be talked about. What we are trying to do here is bring people to an elite level, to reshape and replace almost every concept of conditioning, training, and fitness that they grew up with. The ability to excel in all of this is ruled by such a simple philosophy that it seems strange when people don't see it right in front of their faces: Hard Work.
There was nothing more than a ton of hard work and effort going into the challenges put in front of the guys last night. The Workout of the Day (wod) that had been calling them out since 12:01a.m. on Monday morning was this
Complete 5 Rounds of
Deadlift (275lbs) x 5 reps
Burpees x 10 reps
Jefe 7:17 (Got his first Muscle Up Tonight)
Horehay* 6:42 (First WOD Completed as Rx'd)
M211 6:42
It sure looks simple, doesn't it? Well, truth be told the "secrets" that we are using here to train ourselves and each other aren't the actual workouts. There is nothing magical about a deadlift or a burpee other than maybe the fact that people don't afford these exercises the credit they deserve for being 1. difficult and 2. a blessing to athletic development. The numbers don't really matter that much either (sometimes we switch them all around anyway). So what is it about this training? It's hard.
I play as much of a tiny role in all of this as the numbers, and I don't drag anyone in here and scream in their face "Full Metal Jacket" style until they find the motivation to rip through the wod with blistering times. All I do is help provide knowledge to those that want it about what is going on behind the scenes during all this strife and metabolic turmoil. I also make sure that training is conducted safely, and that each athlete or warrior here is always taking steps forward and never back because of inattention to technical proficiency. When you are all going as hard as you can and the world starts spinning, you probably aren't thinking about maintaining the slight curve of your lumbar spine, or driving with your heels. These things happen on their own through repetition and practice, I am here to help take away those mental roadblocks of worry that tend to hijack the epic efforts you are capable of. The other "magical" half of how we succeed in training to world class levels of performance in a facility that dwells in a garage? The effort put forth by those who come here.

The results from last night were nothing short of amazing, check out the scores compared to Logsitall.com which ranks athletes from across the globe. The times and the pictures say it all. Hard work and the effort of those that train here are what pay out such huge dividends. I consider it a privilege to be present for such a physical onslaught.

I'll see this crew tonight to do it all over again around 4:30 tonight. I hope the MMA Team is ready as well, and I will see them around 7:30 in Nashua.
Other Notes:
The next few days will be very busy (which is always good) so some of the posts might not have as much conceptual information as usual... Don't worry, it's because I am studying and preparing for the Level 1 Crossfit Certification coming up this weekend. I am flying down to NC this Friday to attend, I can't explain in words how excited I am.
There are some construction details also going on with the garage gym and turning the place into a presentable facility is top of the list right now. Next week should be even more exciting than this one.
Everyone should be aware that John is finally coming home next Tuesday.
I am proud to say that things really aren't just me around here anymore and that being surrounded by a host of other professionals is a comforting feeling compared to the free fall that was starting the site and business two months ago. Keep training hard and look for the results from those that step in the Arena today, it should be Epic... even for "HoreHay"...


The Savage Society: Eating Souls Since 2008

Topic for you to think about:
I just finished reading several articles on a topic I am really getting pretty deep into. I want to just make a brief comment about it here because you might be able to make a connection to it with your training. I am always hesitant to post things like this because I need to clarify that the source is reputable and has been applied to humans, but there is a growing interest and reader base here that might be able to use some of these concepts to better themselves, which is what I love to see.
I have previously posted some information on the different types of metabolism that living organisms can use to produce energy (words like ATP, Glucose, and Anaerobic should sound familiar, if not please look through my archives). One of the objectives we strive for here is to become better at producing energy (think efficiency) and utilizing it every way possible. There are many among you that have professional demands which easily go hand in hand with this, but up until this point we haven't explored any of the details behind these relationships.
Experiences involving stress cause a myriad of metabolic and neuroendocrine responses to occur inside you. What does this mean in the simplest terms? Fight or flight. I am reading on how epinephrine and some of the other chemicals involved in the sympathetic nervous system effect metabolism, but specifically glycogen breakdown. So far everything I have seen says a high level of glucose breakdown will occur (regardless of muscle contraction activity), in effect your car is running at 10000 rpm's but only moving 5 mph. What I am really looking for is some solid science on training and its ability to improve how we adjust metabolically to survival situations. There are a lot of you out that might be able to benefit from this sort of information by putting emphasis in certain areas of training, and it will at least reinforce your understanding that this training is not only hard and beneficial but it can be necessary in the gravest sense of the word. More to come down the road.

The Garage Gym Evolves
Yesterday we didn't have power for a little bit and I was angry that I couldn't work on the website, naturally I went down and continued construction on the garage gym. After I spent some time hooking up the Sirius Satellite radio to my old computer speakers (the hell with music in my apartment, only the garage gym matters) I shovelled most of the broken rocks and dirt into military sea bags for discreet removal. I shuffled the set-up around in there quite a bit after making some mental notes when there were four people training at the same time. I started by taking down my crappy pull-up bar/handles and putting up a much better set-up. It might not look very pretty but it more than does the job for pull-ups, and will cover us until we get a longer professional set-up in there (hey, I still haven't spent a single penny on the place so ha).We have a space heater in there that I borrowed until I can find a more powerful one. It doesn't make it feel like Florida for sure, but it helps a lot when you get chilly in the time you aren't moving. For the actual workouts the place seems like a sauna to be honest, but for that matter when was the last time you had a conscious thought other then, "Why!?" during a WOD?

The rings Coach David gave us are unbelievably fun. I have been playing with them since Wednesday (as you can see in the picture here). I figured out tons different movements and holds thanks to the information provided by the Crossfit Journal. I will be working non-stop to master enough skills with these awesome tools to help everyone work with them.You can't really see them but I made a padded crate for checking depth on any movement someone feels they need work on. We will not be using it like Crossfit uses the dynamax balls, everyone needs to learn to decelerate on the reversal of movements. That is our standard here.
I also had some creative inspiration and decided we needed a crazy looking sign. I don't know where the idea for the "Eating Souls" slogan came from but earlier in the evening I realized I was...well, eating souls.

The Law Enforcement/Military crew will be coming in today sporadically, they all just got to sleep about right now, actually. After I get to spend some quality time with them I will be heading down to Nashua at 2pm to train with Ben and Nuri, and also work on learning some new things in the "fight specific" category.

The Crossfit/CFE 10km Run
Crossfit's WOD today was a 10km run for time (aka time trial). I ran it this morning and even though it was 22 degrees when I stepped off I really had an enjoyable time. I used a run course that I really like with a bit of a change so it starts and ends right here at the Garage Gym. Anyone is welcome to come start here and rip it up, I will more than happily run the clock for you and even drive laps to make sure you are safe and have water the whole time if you want. Ok, fine...I have to siphon gas to drive places so I'll just run the f*%@$! thing again with you.

Below is a little button that will take you to the MapMyRun.com website with the route all mapped out.
View Interactive Map on MapMyRun.com
I will do my best to provide routes for all the different WOD's that come up so everyone can go for score on the same level playing field if they want. Please pay attention to the elevation gain, you can access this with a tool available at the bottom of the map screen. I try my best to use routes that are not as steep up or down, but this is Manchester so be careful and realize your times may be altered. On the flip side I think you should embrace the natural deviation of terrain because no one is chasing you down on a really long treadmill trying to cut your face open. If there is anyone that does actually want some serious hills (or you want to do one of the hill repeat workouts from Crossfit Endurance) then I have a bunch of options for you as well as the elevation gain and how this corresponds to the treadmill % incline setting.


Thursday's "Slaughterfest" Results

Slaughterfest Part I: The Garage Gym Crew
There is nothing like making a group of cops come out in an ice storm to your unheated, broken floor garage (because you are installing a platform) and watch them thrash the ever living shit out of each other while somehow still managing to laugh while gulping in air. I still think Mike is nuts for counting out loud and on his fingers the "five breaths that his is allowed" before he can continue if he gasses out during a rep or set. One thing is certain, it definitely works for him, and he can keep giving those breaths the special attention they need to make him feel better because his time showed he had some hardcore mental discipline.
I had a strange sense of "thank god I am here right now" after Jefe met me outside my apartment. It was already cold as hell and raining, and people must have been wondering why we were unpacking huge bags of camo-netting and barbells from his truck. Jefe and I turn to find out that the other two guys meeting us somehow didn't see the spectacle we were putting on and were buzzing random people in the building trying to find me.
After we collected the rest of our little "fire team" we started heading out to the garage, which seemed a bit epic to me. It is rare that I find myself feeling so comfortable around people I have just met, but it was clear that these were guys just like me. I mean hell, they were about to get started on "Nasty Girls" in the freezing rain, at a dungeon garage that some guy they just met has slowly been building. Makes you think about how crazy the Crossfit Community is. Don't forget that we wouldn't have been able to do this wod except David came through for the Society and let us have some rings out of his personal stash of self-administered torture devices. The rings are FUN AS HELL.
Like I mentioned above, Jefe brought over his barbell to ass to our arsenal here which will be a great asset due to the face that now we can load up two separate Olympic barbells (letting guys do the wods head to head for time instead of starting on different movements). Once we got things all set up and threw on some tunes I introduced the "Burgener Warm-up" and the Overhead Squat to everyone. I think that such simple seeming little things like that have been able to make a world of difference for me in my ability to rip out Olympic lifts with good technical form, and they will make or break someone trying to learn how to do this stuff from scratch.
After we warmed up a bit with the Drills and OH Squats we got ready to send people through the wod.

Garage Gym Crew's WOD: "Scaled Nasty Girls"
Complete 3 Rounds for time of
50 Bodyweight squats
7 Muscle-Ups (Assisted if needed)
10 Power Hang Cleans (95lbs)

Jefe 12:52 The muscle-ups frustrated everyone, but Jefe is as VERY close to being able to get them.
Mike* 11:49 Top spot for today's wod and a new personal record, he was possessed tonight and it was bad ass to behold.
Jake 8:39 (2 rounds) Jake has never done Crossfit before but he is very familiar with it, and was really moving fast... we were impressed with his ability to execute the cleans, he had pretty immaculate form. After the workout he told us about how he developed his skills through training for sports, which will pay off huge for him in our training.

Slaughterfest Part II: MMA Team
My fun for the day wasn't going to end here in the garage gym either, even though the satisfaction and enjoyment of being able to participate with a "firebreathing" crew like the guys above would have been enough. After everyone picked their sweating corpse like bodies off the floor and we nailed down a time for tomorrow's WOD, they all took off into the freezing rain. I locked up our new home and headed inside to grab my whiteboard and gear for the MMA Team which by now should have been on their way to the gym in Nashua.

Driving down there was a little retarded with the roads all frozen, but I could care less because I knew it would be a great time. The fighters were going to look at the whiteboard with the wods on it and think to themselves,
"Eh, that doesn't look that bad."
Much like many experienced Crossfitters learned NOT to do on their first day of training. This was a bit of my plan because sometimes the best workouts of your life that you always remember turn out to be the hardest and most underestimated.

Tonight there were about 10 Fighters there training with the Team and "rolling" on the mats, but when I sounded the conditioning bell there were only six stalwart figures that came forward. Everything is continuing to get better by the session, and a large part of it comes through exposure and experience. This is not only true of the Fighters, but for me as well. I try very hard to make sure that all the training sessions adhere to strict structural guidelines, two important reasons for this are 1.This will always allow for planning training in a fashion that covers not only the hard work part of things but adds in a great amount of detail and attention into skill work and learning, and 2. The Team can come to count on and expect certain "laws" and they won't have to spend their whole technique and fighting drill time with Nuri over concerned about any mayhem coming at them. Every night we will start with a blend of skill work and warm-ups designed to teach at the same time that the heart rate is getting ramped up. After this they get a quick break and while they drink water I will review form/technique with them one on one, as well as answer questions. Next is the primary part of the conditioning, and this is the magic hat part of the deal for them. The end involves a stretching and detail work 10 minute segment and that is all she wrote.

The more training I run for any of the groups or teams, the better I get and the more I can refine how the class moves. Right now things are pretty smooth, and the only thing I could really hope for is more gear, equipment, and space... but who wouldn't want that?

MMA Training Details:
Warm-ups and Skill work
-Run .50mi
-Burgener Style Drills (1 rnd of 5 Reps per mvnt)
-Run .50mi
(The Burgener Drills that we have been using are looking much better and the fighters are really starting to understand the principals of Olympic Lifting. Tonight they had the option of trying the drills with a 45lb barbell instead of the dowels and we only did a single set of 5 reps per movement, but I also got to get a little more hands on and watch how they did while "under load", even though it is still considered a light weight.)

After the warm-ups are completed and the Team re-hydrates the Fighters get to pick their doom: Scaled Helen or Scaled Nasty Girls

Scaled Helen: 3 rounds for time of
400m Run (incline @ 1.0)
Swings (20-35lbs) x 21 reps
Pull-ups x 12 reps
Nuri 14:53
Wrestler John* 9:02
Tyler 13:52
John 16:22

Scaled Nasty Girls: 3 rounds for time of
Bodyweight Squats x 50 reps
Pull-ups x 7
Dips x 7
Hang Clean Front Squats (95lbs) x 10
Ben* 4:56
Sam 5:39

The training tonight was some of the best these guys did, and everyone seemed to be in a great mood at the end. They torched themselves in classic Crossfit fashion, and the more people that I can help do this the better I feel. I have a bunch of other pictures and videos from the night (my sister has been helping record things) but mostly it was so the Fighters can compare how they are doing and look at their technique more than for posting up here. I will get some more glory shots up here once my sister send them to me because I did notice quite a bit of pride on everyone's faces.

All around great day for me, I remember thinking many hours earlier at 5am that I hoped I could live up to everyone's standards here and these thoughts taunted me through my own training. I think every trainer needs to constantly be measuring themselves against the hardest standard they can find and fortunately for me all I have to do is think about my experience at Crossfit Boston. Thanks everyone for working your asses off. It was great motivation for me to have before I threw on the flak and gas mask and got to work while Ben and my sister taunted me. Training with the mask is an excellent way to ramp things up for me, and the only reason I let those two snots bother me the whole time is so they could grab a few pictures for us to try and WIN THAT GODDAMN MODEL D ROWER. I had to suck up my embarrassment and let other people see me look so strange training, but the hell with it if we get a tool like that in our belt, right?

Thanks Ashley for helping the Team tonight, and again for helping me.

See you in 13 Days John


The "McFlurry" WOD & Other News

It seems strange to see something so good come out of something so terrible. This picture is of Miguel "McFlurry" Flores, a legendary Crossfitter that could attain scores the rest of us didn't even think were humanly possible yet. This link will take you right to the Crossfit Main page where McFlurry's image is up in celebration of his life

"Go see how the community is honoring another of its fallen"
I have rarely been as overwhelmed as I was experiencing the quality of character that the Crossfit community has among its members. I am proud to see people around the world honoring someone in a most unique way...through a huge amount of personal suffering. Crossfit has definitely made its mark in how we remember our people, and I am proud to be able to participate in whatever small way I can.

I have been thinking about bringing Miguel here for you all to see, and after talking to David Sailor and listening to how Crossfitters really see the Hero workouts and what these sessions of pure suck-fest mean to them, I realized I should have only gone forward with it sooner. From now on I will bring anything like this from inside the community to our site immediately. I apologize to "McFlurry" for the delay, but I will make it up...probably by puking during the workout. The workout dedicated to Miguel is described below and it looks like a pretty serious challenge, anyone that wants to participate let me know as soon as possible. We can do this here in the garage-"cave" gym, or somewhere else if there is a better option offered. I will let everyone know what kind of response we get asap, but in the meantime check out what this dude was capable of by following that link and reading what people had to say. Amazing.

Complete the following for time or at your own pace
-400m Run
-21 Power Cleans (185 lbs or 135lbs)
-21 Dumbbell Thrusters (50 lbs or 35 lbs)
-21 Pull-ups
-400m Run
-15 Power Cleans
-15 Dumbbell Thrusters
-15 Pull-ups
-400m Run
-9 Power Cleans
-9 Dumbbell Thrusters
-9 Pull-ups
-400m Run

Soccer Team Training:
Last night was my first time working with the girls soccer team, and it was a blast. I was nervous as hell to be honest heading in there but after I realized they weren't going to kill me I felt a lot better and got right down to helping teach. That was probably one of the first times I have ever been in a real coaching position and it was a pretty good feeling. I guess you could compare it to training people because in the end the reward always seems to be the student overcoming, adapting, or acquiring some new skill.
Coach Sailor used a format for training a lot like the one I am most comfortable using with the fight team, obviously scaled for a much different purpose. It entailed a dynamic warm-up game with a medicine ball to get things moving, and then moved through however many portions of different training he had planned. To be honest, a lot of those girls could have smoke checked most of the dudes that have been training around here, and if you did some homework on the Crossfit main site you would realize this always tends to be the norm. Kids are basically fearless little ninja slayers (way more deadly than just plain ninjas), and the soccer team was no exception last night as they ripped their way through the Crossfit workout named "Annie", and then continued laughing or complaining their way through a push-up test (one girl made the cut to the level 2 standard of fitness ability by the way).
They definitely reminded me of my little sister a bit because I spent awhile talking to feet instead of faces as the team attempted to learn handstand walking.

By the way, our garage gym now has an official set of rings for training...oh yes...they are that bad ass. I was in there forever last night flirting with frostbite trying to figure out how to do the front and back levers, inverted hangs, dips, pull-ups, and anything else that made me look like I was having a mid-air seizure. David was responsible for this amazing gift (I think gift but you can all go ahead and start bitching about how sore you are if you want, I won't heed any of it anyway). We are very lucky to have people like him around who go so far out of their way to make sure we can keep moving this thing forward. I will try to always have them with me so anyone that wants to formally challenge a spot on the skill board feel free. The girls soccer team is flying out for a tournament this weekend so even though they aren't reading this I still hope they wreck everyone in their way.
Good luck, ladies.

I wanted to briefly update everyone on some of the changes that will be occurring soon. There are a few other blogs I have been creating that all start with TheSavageSociety but will be dedicated only a single purpose. One is The Savage Society Library where I will post all the resources we have available and who to contact for each item. Another page is nothing but 100% leader boards. I wanted to make all of this stuff look cool so I have been playing around with backgrounds and stuff so that the leader boards will look like every one's name has been chiselled in stone.

By now everyone should be familiar with the layout on the right hand side bar. I tried to organize the links a bit for ease of reference and I also changed the way the links are connected to their sources. They should load much faster now and pop up in PDF format for you to download if you so desire. This is especially true for the Crossfit Journal Articles and you can definitely count on me putting up every single free one they have available as we go. The Crossfit Journal has been amazing at opening doors to whole new realms of learning for me and I can only hope someone else is able to experience the same thing.

The other journal I subscribe to online is called The Performance Menu published by Catalyst Athletics, which is also linked on the right hand column in the affiliates section. The programs that those guys follow (and the core of training going on over at the Burgener site) puts great emphasis on the Olympic style lifts. These are not the only things they do, and most of the time any type of workout structured around a single discipline like that has been designed to work synergistically with the main Crossfit page. They plan to bombard your body and mind from a completely different, or sometimes parallel way when compared to the main site.

Expect to hear a lot more about these people because explosive movements that tax the body as much as the Olympic lifts (especially in Catalyst Athletics' Max Effort Black Box program) will develop an overwhelming capability for fitness in you, specifically an overwhelming ability to produce so much blinding force so fast, and hopefully for so long that no one will be able to confront you and survive. The same type of detail and idea governs what Crossfit Endurance does for those types of physical abilities. I keep finding more and more affiliates that have taken the original Crossfit paradigm and mutated it, and now
instead of accepting Crossfit as a method of gaining general fitness and ability, it has become a way for professionals to become Experts in all realms of physical and mental preparedness. We still don't give a shit about the "specialist" either, he can rot in his single repetition life... but I think we are far from accepting mediocrity and average levels of proficiency in what we do.
There will be more to come on this topic soon, I am still doing a lot of reading and searching to find the right sources for you. I am going to get this post out now, time for some training around here.

In a few hours I will post up the fight training for tonight and some basic information about metabolic pathways (something that has been requested a few times already, and I want to provide the clarification desire). Hope you are all training hard and reaping the benefits.

(Note: I would have no problem posting all kinds of WOD's each day for different people to try, I just need to know who is using them and I will expect to see the scores so I can at least make sure there is some form of understanding and safety involved. Post in the comments, its the best way to make us grow.)

John is home in 14 days... good number for him