South Georgia Throwdown Day 1

Posted by on Oct 26, 2011 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

I’m just back and still trying to recover from a great weekend in Albany, Ga at the South Georgia Throwdown. This was my second time competing in Albany, and once again I not only had a lot of fun but the workouts were challenging and good tests of fitness. I really like doing unique events that are hard to re-create in a box, but I think some competitions take that too far and start to program closer to the novel than to test fitness.

Kris and his crew put on a great event. The judging was remarkably uniform and everything flowed smoothly. Everyone I talked to was very pleased with coming down for the event and I really didn’t hear anyone complain about anything in particular. That says a lot about the event in and of itself.

Crossfit Inception brought a pretty full crew: RX men included myself, Erich, Ben G, Ben B, Case, and Ned. Meg was our RX girl. We had an RX team “weiners and buns”. Hayden and Ben F did their first competitions scaled. We even had one of our Crossfit Kids, Cameron, in the kids event.

Everyone did really well. I don’t have the final breakdown on all of the places yet, but with a very tough crowd we had several personal records and several amazing finishes.

The first event for individuals was a beast.

5 rounds: 3 cleans at 205/135lbs, 7 burpee box jumps 24″, 10 GHD sit ups

I honestly didn’t think that I was going to finish in the time limit, but I did it in 7:49. Considering my 1 rep maximum power clean was 225lbs, I was sort of surprised with my result. As pleased as myself as I was with that, the true ballsy performance was Meg. Her 1 rep max was the same as what she was going to have to do fifteen times. And she did it. Both of us were the smallest RX competitors, and five out of the six events were pretty heavy.

Who needs that “move a large load long distance” stuff anyways.

This workout crushed me. I seriously felt like I had a concussion from the potent mixture of heavy cleans and GHD’s. Great workout though. If I hadn’t been going head to head with Justin Key, I certainly would have been minutes or days slower.

There was enough time between all of the events to allow for full recoveries which was a luxury not found in every competition.

The second event was “Mateo” which is named in honor of a child who suffers from Spinal Muscular Atrophy. This is sort of the signature WOD of World Camp Crossfit, so despite how painful it was it was good to try the house special.

The WOD was run 400m than 6 rounds:  3 clean and jerks 155/120lbs, 6 lateral burpees, 9 chest to bar pull ups than run 400m

I finished that one in a painful 14:31. I definitely had some baby deer legs on the second 400m. Erich crushed it. I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that he had the fastest time of the day. Meg had another photo finish. After that WOD I was pretty much cooked for the weekend.

WODs that hurt the way that the first two did show some really devilish programming and definitely tested everyone’s resolve.

The final WOD of the day was a 7 min amrap: 135lb front squat ladder, 25m prowler push with 90lbs of plates on it. Thank god we had a good support crew there to show us where and how to push. We don’t have a prowler at the box and John was a rock star coach that got the litter athletes through the event.

That night I felt like I had come down with some form of galloping bubonic plague. Without the power of steak and seven hours of sleep I probably would have perished.

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RX Jump Ropes

Posted by on Oct 25, 2011 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Customize Jump Rope

Before I begin this post, I want to reiterate that “Annie” is the only true test of fitness; and therefore I am the fittest person I know. All challengers are welcome, so long as the challenge involves nothing other than “Annie” and maybe being short for quality.

Joking aside, if you are serious about Crossfit either from a competitive standpoint or from just a being as fit as you can be and you are not in a serious monogamous relationship with a jump rope you are just lying to yourself.

Yes, the gym provides jump rope, but this isn’t like a certain bar or kettlebell. The length of a jump rope, the weight of the rope, and the type of handles are a very, very personal thing.

I have been using the same Rogue Jump Rope since Iraq and I love the thing to death. It has served me well and I never really thought of getting another one. However, I’ve had it for over two and a half years and part of the goody bag for Integrity’s Revenge was a coupon for RX Jump Ropes. So I bit.

This started with an error on my part, putting in a shipping address for a place I hadn’t lived in months for some stupid reason. Newman, the owner of RX jump ropes, was more than helpful in getting the rope to its proper owner. I even told him in our email correspondence that if the handles were made of barb wire, I’d still give them top marks for customer service.

There is one unique feature of the RX Ropes that I love: they are pre-cut to your exact height requirements. Most jump ropes you cut yourself, and it is a big gamble to take with something so personal. However, it makes the rotation of the rope so much easier when you do not have excess cut rope hanging outside of the handle.

Newman was recently on Crossfit Radio talking about his company and the jump rope seminars that he does. One of the things he talked about was the weight of the rope and how many people go too light. I did this inadvertently. It actually worked out for the best because now I have two different weight jump ropes to practice with.

The rope is really of the highest quality, but since it is lighter than what I am used to, its sort of like comparing green and red apples.

The only real test I’ve given them is 150 double unders for time.

I did it in 1:22 with my Rogue rope and had one break at 132

I did it in 1:24 with my RX rope and had two breaks. One at 23 and the other at 144.

I don’t know if it was fatigue or that I’m still getting used to such a light rope. Either way, the rope is of the highest quality.

For the handles, they certainly are not barb wire. They are very ergonomically designed and much different feel from the standard ones that I’m used to. I think these will be easier to hold onto with sweaty hands and shoulder fatiguing workouts, but more experimentation is required.

I am definitely taking the advice he offered on Crossfit Radio and doing a WOD using multiple ropes just to throw in another stimulus.

I would highly recommend this brand and their products to anyone.


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Gymnastics WOD

Posted by on Oct 24, 2011 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

I really don’t know that much about gymnastics. I guess that’s relative to my knowledge of other aspects of Crossfit. This is kind of strange considering I lived with a Division 1 gymnast for four years and had it as a mandatory class at West Point.

I did pretty well at all the basic stuff we learned there and due to my size and background found all of the gymnastics movements in Crossfit pretty easy to learn.

The major caveat to that is the high skill stuff. It took me months and a lot of practice to get a muscle up, but once I figured out how to do them I was stringing them together.

The same is true for pistols. I followed Pavel’s greasing the groove technique and within a month I went from not being able to squat down more than an inch to shooting the duck like a disco superstar.

My problem is that I have really no idea how to progress body weight movements. Weightlifting is much easier, use lighter weights, percentages of maximums, and partial movements to teach technique and build strength.

I guess its pretty similar for gymnastics, but I wouldn’t pretend to know how to get people a muscle up. I can show them the progressions I used and others. I can give advice on places where the movement stalls, but like with olympic lifting I have a pretty pedestrian knowledge of the topic.

That is why I gymnastics WOD.

Carl Paoli is not only the gymnastics coach of the fittest women on the planet, he also has a website that provides a free WOD and movement explanation to help build both physical and mental capacity.

Jeff Tucker, the Crossfit SME on gymnastics, does the same at

Both are phenomenal, but I chose gymnastics WOD because its generally less volume so as not to interfere with my normal training. That could be wrong, but that’s how I flipped the coin between two excellent options.

Here’s a video of me doing a recent ring progression.


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The Everyday Paleo Podcast

Posted by on Oct 23, 2011 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

This is honestly not the least manly thing in my iPod, but I still don’t think that I’m really in the target audience  for this podcast. However, due to the fact that the people with families are the majority of the gym’s population, it is an important one to listen to.

I learn a lot from this podcast, even when its not necessarily something I want to listen to and learn about. The funny things is that whenever that happens someone will almost instantly ask me a question about that uncomfortablizing (*note: I know that’s not a real word, but it should be) topic I actually have an answer.

The other thing is that the co-hosts of the podcast both have great blogs and even a book filled with recipes. Being the Paleo guy for the gym used to result in a lot of questions about recipes, turning Columbus on to has literally saved me hours of giving cooking advice and hours of trying to figure out recipes.


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Crossfit Radio Podcast

Posted by on Oct 22, 2011 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

This was the first podcast that I started listening to. I actually started listening to these while I was still in Iraq. Never during anything important, but I would use them as a good source of background chatter when doing some work.

The podcast started kind of humbly, but since about this time last year each guest and interview has been with someone who is a box-hold name. While most people may not recognize a lot of the guests if you watched the games you’ll recognize pretty much everyone.

The topics vary from the Games, to programming, to working with special populations, events and fundraisers, and even running the business of a box.

I wouldn’t lie, not all interviews are the most enthralling thing that I’ve ever listened to, but as far as being NPR for Crossfit the podcast couldn’t be any better.

The fact is that Justin Judkins is pretty much the voice of Crossfit. You’ll hear him announcing and commenting everywhere. He’s always energetic and enthusiastic and has a great pulse on the community.

The show wouldn’t make your Fran time any faster, but if you coach you will become a better coach for listening to it. The primary of the show is, in all honesty, for box owners but don’t let that scare you away. Anyone who Crossfits and drives a car will be both entertained and educated by listening to it while you drive to work.

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