Archive for June, 2012


Group WOD!

It will be fun, don’t worry.

July’s Schedule is up. Please make note of the changes here July Schedule

4th of July we will have a group competition. Your coaches, Caleb Christine and Chantell will be captains and we will be having a competition. Come out and and work hard so that you can truly ENJOY your 4th of July guilt free.

Last big article of the week. Please read this. It answers a lot of questions about losing weight during exercise.

Training for Fat Loss
Written by Calvin Sun

I’ve spent the better part of a decade earning a living by training clients and working with athletes. In that time, the biggest misconceptions that I have seen over and over have been related to training for fat loss. I hate to generalize, but most women (and some men) believe that they should avoid all weight training and only perform “cardio” and abdominal exercises to get their ideal physique. I see this manifest in our group classes in the form of going through the motions during the strength portion and then only focusing on the conditioning portion of the workout – and often followed up by a few sets of sit-ups or something similar. My guess is that if you are guilty of this approach, you probably haven’t seen very good results with it. Maybe you lost a few pounds initially, but now you have plateaued and you may have even gained a pound or two. This faulty approach is perpetuated by novice trainers, workout routines published in “fitness” magazines, and a few common exercise myths. In previous blog posts, Mark and I have addressed both the myth of the fat-burning zone and the myth of spot reduction. Take a minute to go back and review them if you aren’t familiar.

The hour or so you spend in the gym accounts for a very small portion of your daily caloric expenditure. Unless you are a professional athlete that trains and practices for several hours each day, the large majority of your daily caloric expenditure comes from your Basal Metabolic Rate (or BMR), the calories burned to sustain your bodily functions on a daily basis. One of the most effective ways of increasing your BMR is through increasing the amount of lean muscle mass on your body. This is, of course, only achievable through weight training, preferably in the form of deadlifts, squats, presses, and other multi-joint, compound movements. You see, for every pound of lean muscle that you add, you will burn approximately 50 calories more per day. That might not sound like much but keep in mind if you swap out 5 pounds of fat for 5 pounds of muscle, you will burn close to 300 extra calories a day before you even hit the gym. Furthermore, intense weight training results in an afterburn effect where your metabolism is elevated for up to 38 hours after your training session. This is known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC, and you can read more about it in Mark’s post here. Doing cardio alone will only decrease your BMR as time goes on. This turns into an uphill battle as your BMR keeps dropping, you’ll need to increase the amount of cardio you do to create the same deficit. Without weight training, you’ll lose muscle which will actually account for some weight loss, and you might even lose a few pounds of fat if your diet is decent, but it’s unlikely you will achieve (or maintain) the level of fat loss you desire.

“Won’t weights make me bulky?”
Getting big and muscular is very hard to do. Just ask any average male. It takes years of hard work, the right training program, and a lot of food . . . it just doesn’t happen by accident. Weight training will add a few pounds of needed lean body mass which will in turn make you leaner and give you a better looking physique. Women simply don’t have the levels of testosterone needed to support the type of muscle growth you fear. Unless you are taking anabolic steroids, gaining too much muscle is probably the least of your worries. And if you are taking steroids, gaining muscle is still probably the least of your issues.

“Marathon runners are skinny, shouldn’t I run to become thinner?
That makes as much sense as playing basketball to get taller. This logical fallacy is commonplace in fitness as many people are quick to make hasty generalizations. In any sport, genetics certainly play an important role. The best runners are thin because skinny people make for better runners. Just as the best basketball players are tall, the best runners are thin. In fact, many people who take up running end up “skinny fat”, a physique denoted by a lack of lean muscle mass and often accompanied by a noticeable amount of fat or “doughy” appearance. These people are known to complain about being unable to lose the last the few pounds of fat around their midsection while sipping on a fruit smoothie or over a lunch of whole grain pasta.

So how do I go about increasing my lean body mass and improving my body composition?
Definitely focus on the strength component in our group workouts. If you want to get more experienced with lifting, consider signing up for the Performance Clinic. You’ll focus on the core lifts, increasing strength, lean body mass, and overall performance. Many of the clients in the Performance Clinic have leaned out while getting stronger at the same time. Also, look into signing up for a nutritional consult or even the upcoming nutrition clinics. You’ll get some useful instruction on how to dial in your nutrition so that you can improve your body composition and performance with a sustainable approach.

Take a look at your current approach to training and be honest about how well it has worked for you. If you are less than 100% satisfied with your results, I hope you’ll consider my recommendations. And as always, feel free to consult any of your coaches if you need further guidance.


4/28 I didn’t get the score from many of you from the test today. Please bring them in

1/2 Collin

3 rounds for time:
carry bumper plate around building 25/15
12 push press 95/65
12 Box jumps
12 Sumo deadlift high-pull, 95/65

Then 20 pull ups to finish

M1: 85/55


M3:45/25 15/10(bumper)

Check out the new and upgraded Bladium Crossfit Box.  

Chiang Mai, Thailand

More Bang for your Buck
Written by Mark Riebel

In yesterday’s post, I explained that the notion of the fat-burning zone is a misunderstood concept, and that a higher intensity of exercise yields more results than a low-intensity session (when we look at it from the caloric expenditure standpoint). If fat loss is one of your goals, caloric intake and expenditure is something you should be mindful of, and burning more calories during exercise will help to increase that expenditure and subsequent weight loss. But since the majority of our workouts fall under 20 minutes, many may think that doing longer steady-state cardio work might be the best way to really accelerate their fat loss. It is true that an hour on the treadmill may indeed burn more calories than some heavy lifting followed by “Helen,” but you will reach that conclusion only if you look at a very small piece of the whole picture.

To understand this, we need to address the concept of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC. Oxygen consumption serves as an approximation of your metabolic rate, and therefore how many calories you are burning in a given period of time. EPOC, then, is the effect seen following exercise in which the body is burning more oxygen (and more calories) for a period of time anywhere from a few minutes to more than a day. This results in an elevated metabolism and creates what Alwyn Cosgrove calls an ‘afterburn.’ A study performed in 2002 at Ohio University found that following heavy resistance training circuits, EPOC was significantly elevated over baseline for 38 hours.

Using this data, let’s go back to that treadmill example. Suppose the machine tells you that you burned 300 calories in your hour spent on the treadmill. EPOC occurs as a result of aerobic training as well, but the magnitude and duration of the increase is less than that seen with resistance or interval training. Now let’s say that at the same time you were on the hamster wheel, your friend did the aforementioned heavy lifting followed by Helen. It’s likely that he didn’t burn as many calories as you in his exercise session, but let’s now look at the whole picture, i.e. all of the time following the workout. If your friend worked hard enough to bump his EPOC up to where he’s burning a paltry eight additional calories per hour, 38 hours later when his oxygen consumption returns to normal, he’s burned more calories than you, and he accomplished it in a much shorter workout. And then think of how it would affect him if he went and worked out the next day too! Would EPOC go even higher? It is not certain whether EPOC is cumulative, but even without an additive affect, the benefits are easy to see. Would you rather be burning more calories in the 23 hours a day you’re not at the gym, or just burning the same old amount as usual in the 23 hours you’re not at a traditional gym (not to mention that you’d only be running and not developing your strength, flexibility, accuracy, etc.)?

If you have a weight loss goal, don’t resist your strength work. Stick to the program and talk to your coaches about making minor modifications to your fitness and nutrition programs to help you achieve your results most efficiently.

6/28 Bring your journal

“Fit Test”

1 min max burpee

I min max pull up

400 m Run

1 min max thrusters 45/35

Max Clean and Jerk

Max vertical jump

1 min max double unders

1 min Push ups (hand release)

500 meter row

Photo Gallery Of the Fit Test 5:30am…..GREAT JOB!

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Vic crushing those push ups!

Below is a crucial article relating to why we do what we do in CrossFit

Myth Fat Burn Zone


5 min AMRAP

Max rep-Wall ball 20/14
*Every time you break a set, perform (6) burpees before beginning another set.



parallette climbs

Russian twist 20/14



M2: Plate climb 14/10

M3:Plate climb 12/8

Article from Practice Crossfit

I do diets. I have for going on twelve years now. Call it a profession, a hobby, a desire, a passion. I hate food and the hold it has, but I love energy and it’s effects on us. I love the body and what we can do with it when we make food nothing more than energy. That’s why, I do diets.

I have accumulated quite the following of haters and followers. The way that I prescribe is not “my way”, it is not the “only” way, it is “one” way.

The recommendations I prescribe are born out of trial and error. Humbly, I hope to always learn from others, to always teach, and always remind the the fallen that there may be another way.

When we relinquish all past beliefs, when we try something new with no pre-conceived notions, good things happen. There is no emotion in eating, if there is, if your defensive, if your attached, if your stubborn, your addicted, and the first step to relief is ownership.

That being said, I still receive numerous emails saying the same thing. “I eat really clean, and workout a million times a week, but I still feel like something is missing. Can you help”? Most of the time the answer is, “yes”, followed quickly by a request. “Show me what clean is.” Most of the time, the “clean” is my dirty.

You can click on the picture above, expand it by clicking in the upper right hand corner, and then see for yourselves, and then you can compare your daily food intake with it and see if your version of clean isn’t holding up all that hard work your doing everyday at your gym. Remember, nutrition is at the foundation of the pyramid that we as CrossFitters must support. If your excusing your way out of nutrition, your manipulating your training before it begins, your failing before you begin.

Here is what reading between the lines says every time I open a diet that says much more than what is on the page. And I won’t go into all the ins and outs, getting all geeky, just the highlights so beware, stuff will be left out.


Rice and Qunioa, oats and several other grain-like items are touted as gluten free alternatives. However, if it looks like a grain, walks like a grain, and talks like a grain….you get the picture.

This is another reach we make too excuse a behavior addiction. We want, therefore we justify. Anything that needs a justification is more than likely deal breaker, and all of the items listed above contain more than enough substance to break any diet contract.

Lectins are glyco-proteins that punch holes in our gut lining making us open to autoimmune disorders-check. Phytates are antinutrients that make us deficient-check. High carbohydrates are not essential and thereby impinge the system in too many ways to describe here. It may sound cliche, or less than sexy, but there is little substitute for meat, nuts, seeds, vegetables, little starch, no sugar.

Above is a photo of a pretty typical meal for a  guy who is about 220lbs and considerably active. Here are some critiques we asked him to do for his diet.

Calories. I would says this is definitely on the low side. With a simple rearrangement of Macro-nutrients I could afford our athlete at the very least 1000 more Calories a day. He would lean out. He would perform better. And that energy level he thinks is just “his age”, would go away. Basically, he would feel like a new man, regardless if he even thinks he feels bad now or not.

Fat. This is his energy source, and he needs more of it. Experimentation is necessary, doubling this amount is just fine.

Carbohydrates. An unnecessary nutrient is generally the source of all unnecessary disorders no matter how severe or mild. I would bring this down to below 100g while increasing his fat dramatically. Our athletes fog would be lifted, and progress would be unstoppable.

Protein. More than likely I would pull this down to 175g or so. If the athlete kept all their current muscle, or added more, it would mean that they were getting more than enough protein, and all excess protein is stored as fat, not converted to “extra” muscle. In the case of protein, just enough is far better than overdoing it.

After these changes were recommended via strict guidelines our athlete began his transformation journey. Two days later, an email asking for a change came my way. After reading the email that I have read a million times before, here is what I said;

You sound like your in withdrawal. Stay locked in rehab, and get better, look for the exit, and remain addicted. It’s your choice.

So, hows your diet stack up?


SQT” doubled

6 rounds:
10 Ground to overhead 95/65
200 yard shuttle sprint














New recipe of the week! check it out Here

The Spot Reduction Myth
Written by Calvin Sun

I was recently asked by a new client if I could recommend any good ab exercises to help flatten her stomach. This is an unfortunate misunderstanding of human physiology perpetuated by late-night exercise equipment infomercials.

Exercising a muscle or a group of muscles more, for example the abdominal wall, does nothing to help reduce the amount of fat that just happens to be stored around it. Performing hundreds of sit-ups will do nothing to make your stomach any flatter. The truth is that you cannot spot reduce body fat, unless of course you pay a surgeon to perform some rather invasive procedures.

Numerous studies have been conducted over the years to disprove this myth. One study postulated that elite tennis players should have significantly less fat in their dominant arm versus their non-dominant arm. Researchers found that the dominant arm of the tennis players had significantly more girth due to exercise-induced hypertrophy yet the amount of subcutaneous fat on both arms was identical. Another study utilized a “27-day intense sit-up training program.” Researchers measured fat cell diameter at the abdominal, subscapular, and gluteal region. They found that there was no difference in the rate of change amongst the three sites, indicating there was a lack of specific adaptation to the abdominal region.

This is not to say exercises that work the “core” are useless. Core work should be done with the focus on increasing midline stabilization, not obtaining a 6-pack. If fat loss is your goal, focus on your nutrition instead of new sit-up variations. Try cutting out refined carbohydrates like bread, pasta, cereal, rice, grains, and sugar in favor of fresh fruits and vegetables. For further reading, pick-up a copy of “The Paleo Diet for Athletes”



Skill: Max hold on pull up bar. 3 attempts (any grip works. Try not use bands) immediately following their drop off. They do as many dead lifts with 135/95 in 30 seconds. Keep good back.


1000 Meter Row

50 Thrusters 45/35

30 Pullups



M2: 25/15

This week we are going to start talking more about nutrition. Each day I am going to post a topic. Next month we are going to start a nutrition challenge and I would like you guys to start getting an idea of things to be conscious of when…well eating food. Come in with questions for your coaches like: what food to eat, when to eat them, how much, what should I avoid, what food do I think I should avoid but maybe I don’t actually have to avoid them, etc…







 What in the world should I eat before a workout?

Written by Calvin Sun

I am often asked if it is alright to train on an empty stomach. I think this is a common issue for anyone who needs to get to the gym early in the morning. Eating a breakfast of solid foods such as eggs, veggies, and maybe some fruit before a 6am workout can be difficult, if not impossible, for many people. You’ll have to be up early to prepare breakfast, eat, allow adequate time for digestion and get to the gym for your training session. Even if you prepare food ahead of time, many people don’t have much of an appetite upon waking. Of course, this doesn’t just apply to people who train early in the morning. If you are coming to one of the evening workout sessions, it’s likely the last meal you had was lunch. 4 to 6 hours without food is enough to leave you in a partially fasted state which can negatively impact your ability to perform your best in the gym. Nonetheless, skipping meals isn’t a good idea and today I’ll discuss a few reasons why you should reconsider training on an empty tank.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that individuals who skipped breakfast had diminished insulin sensitivity as well as increased LDL cholesterol [1]. Insulin sensitivity is important for proper nutrient uptake and long-term health as severely impaired insulin sensitivity can result in insulin resistance which is a risk factor for cornary artery disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. High LDL cholesterol, or “bad” cholesterol, is a risk factor for arteriosclerosis, hypertension, stroke, as well as other cardiovascular health issues.

In addition to improving your long-term health, your athletic performance and body composition can be greatly improved with proper pre- and post-workout nutrition. In a study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, researchers found that subjects who consumed a protein shake before and after resistance exercise experienced greater gains in lean body mass and increased 1RM strength over those who did not [2]. Another recently published study found that consumption of whey protein before heavy resistance training actually resulted in an increase in resting energy expenditure the day after training [3]. One group consumed protein only before their training sessions and the other group consumed an equivalent amount of only carbohydrates, the protein only group had significantly higher resting energy expenditures 24 hours after their training session. Furthermore, the American College of Sports Medicine has presented research that suggests pre-workout protein intake can be even more effective for recovery than a post-workout protein shake alone. In other words, consuming a proper pre-workout meal can help increase your strength, improve recovery, as well as boost the amount of calories you burn at rest for up to a day after training which can help facilitate reduced body fat and improved body composition.

Another study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that a placebo group had significantly higher levels of cortisol, myoglobin, and creatine phosphokinase (CPK) after exercise compared to those who consumed a protein and carbohydrate mixture [4]. High blood levels of myoglobin and CPK are most commonly indicative of muscle damage. Once myoglobin is in the bloodstream, it needs to be filtered by the kidneys. In severe cases, this can result in a condition known as rhabdomyolysis which can lead to acute kidney failure. This suggests that consuming some protein and carbohydrate prior to your training session can reduce the amount of muscle damage caused by intense exercise. As a result, this will allow for more intense training sessions and less recovery time needed between training days.

If you find yourself heading to training sessions on an empty stomach, I recommend consuming either a solid pre-workout meal of protein and carbohydrates 30 to 60 minutes prior to your workout or a protein shake 15 to 30 minutes prior. If you prefer training in a fasted state, I still recommend consuming some quality protein as soon as possible after your workout in order to improve recovery. An easy way to get pre- and post-workout meals is to simply drink half a protein shake before you train and the remainder immediately after. Keep in mind, pre-workout supplementation can be highly variable between people so I recommend experimenting to see what works best for you. Combined with a good nutritional plan, you’ll recover faster, get stronger, and be leaner. If you aren’t sure on how to implement this approach into your current training, feel free to talk to one of your coaches.


Group WOD

Just you

Seems like everyone is so busy these days. I know our family can barely remember which direction we’re supposed to drive in moment by moment. But we’re not pretending we’re the only ones. And, um, neither should you. We have athletes that work shift work, athletes with a lot of kids, athletes with businesses to run, athletes involved in other “extracurricular” activities outside of work and home, and athletes that travel a lot. You know what? They still get here. Admit it: you’re not the only one with a full plate. A mix of planning, goals, and priorities are what help these athletes get their workouts in. They know that if they don’t make it happen, it won’t. They know that when they are healthier, they are happier, and their families also benefit. They know that “wearing out” is better than “rusting out”. They know that they second law of thermodynamics as it applies to their bodies means that our bodies will drift towards “disorder” unless they nudge it in the right direction. Besides, when you get in here, it’s your time. Anything else going on in life can be put on hold. Even though there is an awesome, supportive community here, once the clock starts, it’s just you, in your own world, pushing your body, to reach your personal goals. All you’re paying attention to is your heartbeat, your breathing, your technique, your muscle fatigue, and, well your coach. Come be selfish, for just about an hour or so.