Like Bladium Alameda CrossFit on Facebook Try Us For Free

Bladium Crossfit

Bladium CrossFit is a fitness training program with workouts consisting of constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity.
Click Here for more info.

Check out our New Adult schedule Here or E-mail Alex at

Check out our New CrossFit Kids Schedule here! 

News & Announcements

Hey Bladium Denver CrossFit Family! 

The holidays are here, make sure to get in your last few workouts of the year!

Wednesday 12/24/14 (Christmas Eve) 
*8 am & 9 am ONLY 

Thursday 12/25/14 (Christmas)
* Bladium Closed

Friday 12/26/14 (Boxing Day)
*All Classes but 5am, 6am, and 5:30 endurance

Wednesday 12/31/14 (NYE)
*8:15. 9:15, Noon ONLY

Thursday 1/1/15 (New Years Day)
* 8:15, 9:15, Noon. All other classes cancelled.

* 12/24/14. 12/31/14. and 1/1/15 Bladium Sports and Fitness hours are 7am – 4pm

*Holiday Schedule




Holiday Schedule 2014

















Friday 12/19/14

12 Minute AMRAP
Up Ladder Of 3 (3,6,9…)
Ball Slams
Toes To Bar

M-Comp - Ball Slams 50/40, Muscle Ups
RX - Ball Slams 40/30, Toes 2 Bar
M1 -  Ball Slams 30/20, High Knee Raises

Accessory WORK
75 Banded Pull Aparts
*in a least sets as possible

Men: Red Band
Women: Orange Band

A New Kind of Resolution for 2015

Contributor – Strength Training, Strongman, and Olympic Weightlifting

I love the turn of the new year. For me, New Year’s Day beats Christmas hands down. I find the period of reflection and resolution useful, profound, and enjoyable.


However, during this time of excess, it’s easy to get carried away and set larger-than-life goals that fail (at best) or leave you burned out and injured a few months down the line (at worst).


strength education, chet morjaria, strength training, coaching, strongman


This article takes five typical strength training resolutions and explains why more is not always more. This year, it’s your mission to create resolutions that genuinely stick in the long term.


Typical: I’m going to enter loads of competitions.

I see this all the time. You need something to focus yourself. What better than a competition, right? The chance to test yourself, pit yourself against others, and showcase your strength. It makes a lot of sense. But just like anything, you can have too much of a good thing.



This Year: I’m going to focus on long-term athlete development.

The danger is that competitions take over and your training becomes recovery from one competition immediately followed by preparation for the next one. This is no way to become better at what you do on a long-term basis, and will have more of an effect on your body than you realize.


SICK OF GOAL SETTING? Screw Goals: It’s All About Your System


By all means compete, but allow yourself time in between to let your body recover and to hit a good period of training so you can make a marked improvement when it comes to testing time again. And please stop telling me it’s only six lifts, nine lifts, or a few minutes of work. The ups and downs of competition have a crazy effect on your nervous system. Be mindful of this.


Typical: I’m going to train loads more.

This comes in many shapes and forms, but generally includes a leap from once or twice a week, to four or five times a week. Or sometimes, from zero times a week to training every day.


strength education, chet morjaria, strength training, coaching, strongman


This Year: I’m going to train once more each week.

There were reasons you didn’t train all those times a week this year. So first, determine what those reasons were (and probably still are) and fix them. Otherwise the reasons will keep stopping you.


“Imagine if you went from training two times a week to three times a week. That’s a 50% increase. Would you take a 50% increase in wages?”

Then take a step forward, but not 27 steps forward. Commit to one extra training session per week. But really commit to it. Imagine if you went from training two times a week to three times a week. That’s a 50% increase. Would you take a 50% increase in wages? Pretty sure the thought of asking for 150% increase (two days a week to five days a week) wouldn’t even enter your head.


RELATED: 4 Keys for Making and Keeping Your New Year’s Resolution


Typical: I’m going to add loads of stuff into my training.

This is an understandable line of thought. And the vast expanse of information on the Internet doesn’t help (aside from this article, of course). Every day, you are bombarded with things you “should” be adding to your training. Sooner or later, you end up with an unmanageable training plan that either leaves you over-trained or missing sessions – or both.


This Year: I’m going to take loads of stuff out of my training.

Here’s a challenge for you: how much stuff can you take out of your training and still get all of the benefits? Think of the 80/20 principle. Which 20% of your training is giving you 80% of the benefits? Obviously this is not an exact science, but you get the idea.


PRACTICE 80/20 WITH FOOD: How to Create Nutritional Plans That Stick


Determine what your base movements are, what exercises keep you ticking over, and which parts of your training have a wide and deep impact on your strength. Keep this stuff in and cut the rest out.


“How much stuff can you take out of your training and still get all of the benefits? Think of the 80/20 principle. Which 20% of your training is giving you 80% of the benefits?”

Then build it up again slowly, adding or changing one thing at a time to see what makes a difference. This way you can build a modular program that is individual to you. This gives you a framework to add in anything new you want to try, and then continue to include it or dismiss it as appropriate. If something works for you, keep it in. If it doesn’t take it out.


strength education, chet morjaria, strength training, coaching, strongman


Typical: I’m going to do loads more of all the stuff I don’t like.

We all know the drill – you don’t do these particular movements because you’re rubbish at them, and you’re rubbish at them because you don’t like them. So, said movements don’t get practiced.


This Year: I’m going to pick one thing I’m bad at and get better.

Immersing yourself in your weaknesses may seem like a good idea, but diving into a pool of stuff you’re not good at without due thought and structure is a recipe for burnout. And quite possibly boredom, too. I’m a firm believer in enjoying what you do.


WHAT’S YOUR MOTIVATION? The Difference Between Fear and Love in Fitness


But it’s not just about picking one thing instead of picking lots of things. It’s about figuring out how important a weakness actually is, and improving on it in a progressive and structured manner. Because if it’s not important, why spend valuable time and energy on it? Just because you’re bad at it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to work on it.


Typical: I’m going to lift loads of weight.

Ah yes, lifting loads of weight. That’s what we all want to do, right? And surely the best way to go about lifting loads of weight is, well, lifting loads of weight, a lot? Sure, if you want to risk messing yourself up and prevent yourself from getting stronger in a sustainable and scalable manner.


strength education, chet morjaria, strength training, coaching, strongman


This Year: I’m going to get stronger.

Lifting heavier and getting stronger are not the same thing. Lifting heavier doesn’t necessarily make you stronger. But getting stronger will allow you to lift heavier. Which one do you want now? And you are already far stronger than you realize.


“[A]lmost all of the time, your heavy reps should leave something in the tank rather than pushing to your limit.”

The trick is getting your nervous system to allow you to push heavier and heavier weights. And that comes from learning how to use your body as a whole and convincing your brain what you are lifting is within your body’s capabilities. Which means that almost all of the time, your heavy reps should leave something in the tank rather than pushing to your limit.


MAKE BETTER RESOLUTIONS: Use Your Inner Coach to Set SMART Goals


What Resolution Are You Making?

This time of year is full of abundance and excess, so it’s no wonder these sentiments flow over into our New Year’s resolutions. But this year, think about creating focused, minimalist, measurable resolutions you won’t quit on. Remember – the best resolution is the one you can keep.

Thursday 12/18/14

8 rounds of tabata down and ups (hands on floor, kick feet back, kick feet up, and then jump, like a burpee without the pushup or clap
Rest 1 min

8 rounds of tabata push press
Rest 1 min

8 rounds of tabata slowest pushups ever ( do only one pushup, try and make it last the entire 20 sec)
Rest 1 min

8 rounds of tabata Back Extensions
Rest 1 min

8 rounds of tabata Bent Over Row
Rest 1 min

8 rounds of tabata squats
Rest 1 min

8 rounds of tabata sit up

500m Row & 400m Run
3 Rounds
10 Lunge and Twist
6 Toes 2 Rings
1 Agility Ladder
15 Behind the neck Strict Press
15 In Front of neck Strict Press


2 Squat Snatch

RX  & M1
2  Power Snatch

16 Min EMOM
Odd: 3 Front Squats 135/95
Even: :30 of Burpee Box Jumps, Max Rep

M1: 115/80
M2: 95/65

Core Challenge
150 Sit-ups for time

10 Killer Tips to Boost Your Squat


“To maximize the squat you need the mobility to reach proper position and the stability to control movement through the intended range of motion.”

Problem is, most lifters have the mobility of a cast-iron skillet and lack the ability to squat safely and effectively. To maximize the squat you need the mobility to reach proper position and the stability to control movement through the intended range of motion. 


It’s time to maximize your squat potential through improving technique, mobility, and execution. With these ten tips you’ll take your squat performance to new levels.


Squat, power, maximum strength, speed strength, explosive, pause reps, torque,


1. Train for Maximum Strength

Despite the fact you need to train heavy to build maximum strength, people often neglect heavy weights. Yes, training with submaximal loads will spare your joints and nervous system to a degree, but even to maximize submaximal training you need a base of absolute strength. Training at 60% 1RM for speed is much more effective when your 1RM is 1.5 to two-times your bodyweight.


Heavy lifting is generally defined as 85+% maximum effort for multiple sets of one to five reps. But it’s best to avoid missing lifts. Missing lifts consistently zaps your nervous system, engrains poor technique, and wrecks your confidence. Hit the reps you know you’ll make and save yourself for the occasional max-out attempts.


RELATED: The Art of Heavy Lifting Without Overtraining


2. Train Submaximal Reps for Power

Strength-speed and speed-strength are synonymous with power. They produce a sky-high power output compared with longer-duration, lower-velocity maximum strength exercises.


“Compare a tractor-trailer and a Ferrari. It’s great to have a ton of horsepower, but for high performance, it’s best to generate horsepower rapidly.”

For breaking lifting plateaus or achieving more weight-room transfer from athletes, power development is key. Compare a tractor-trailer and a Ferrari. It’s great to have a ton of horsepower, but for high performance, it’s best to generate horsepower rapidly.Remember: Power= Work/Time


Most research shows that maximum power is achieved through moving moderate loads at high velocity with loads of 40-60% of your 1RM. Depending on the athlete, there will be differences within this range and some experimentation will be needed to find what’s best.


For a big squat, speed squats are ideal for power development and technical practice.These can be used as long as a decent base of absolute strength is present and technique isn’t an issue.


RELATED: The Expression of Strength, Part 2 – Speed Strength


3. Train Speed and Speed-Strength

Speed-strength works the lower-load, higher-velocity component of the force velocity curve to train explosive power. Once again, the greater your base of absolute strength, the easier it will be to express explosive strength. For most lifters, keep the emphasis on explosive jumps that match the biomechanics of the squat closest, i.e. jump squats.



There are tons of variations that address speed of movement, landing mechanics, and power without too much risk. Your best choices are broad jumps, vertical jumps, and box jumps to increase your rate of force development and explode through sticking points. Stick to single-response jumps and ensure sound landing mechanics before moving to multi-response jumps.


RELATED: How to Box Jump, Vertical Jump, and Broad Jump Correctly


4. Squat Twice Per Week

Multiple squatting sessions per week maximizes technical and neuromuscular efficiency through training at variable intensities. Squatting twice per week allows you to focus on one heavy and one speed session. Separate these sessions by 48-72 hours for full recovery.


“Targeting the squat pattern with multiple sessions per week while addressing the force-velocity spectrum leads to greater gains in power, strength, and explosiveness.”

I like to combine a speed-strength method before squatting, followed by maximum strength (85-95+%) on the first squat day. On the second day, I’ll emphasize a pure speed movement with a submaximal strength-speed squat (40-75%). Targeting the squat pattern with multiple sessions per week while addressing the force-velocity spectrum leads to greater gains in power, strength, and explosiveness.


RELATED: 6 Tips for Getting Stronger While Staying Free From Injury


5. Train Your Squat Depth

Yes, building a big squat is great and should improve multiple performance parameters.  But the key word is “should.” Too many coaches and athletes sell out for big totals in the “big three” and being hardcore with ass-to-grass (ATG) squats no matter what.


While ATG will earn you props on the interwebz, it doesn’t mean anything if you’re risking injury to the lumbar spine. If you squat to depth without a tuck – keep going. But if you can’t maintain position due to lack of core control or bony hip anatomy, don’t force a deep squat.


RELATED: 4 Reasons You’re Not Getting Deep Enough in Your Squats 


6. Cycle in Front Squats

Yes, back squats take the title as the King Builder, but front squats offer a plethora of benefits:


  • Increased core integrity, allowing greater depth without compromised spinal position and, thus, greater relative muscle activation at lighter weights compared to the back squat.
  • Similar muscle activation of the back squat without as much joint compression and shear stress due to using less weight.
  • Increased strength requirements of the thoracic extendors to hold position – a bonus for desk jockeys with kyphotic posture.


RELATED: Front Squat Versus Back Squat: Which One Is Best for You?


7. Spread the Floor

Allowing the knees to buckle in, known as valgus collapse, is a great way to reinforce poor mechanics and set you up for a knee injury. For most people, allowing the knees to buckle engrains dangerous technique, especially if it leads to uncontrolled valgus collapse during sport or recreation activities.


“Allowing the knees to buckle in, known as valgus collapse, is a great way to reinforce poor mechanics and set you up for a knee injury.”

Prevent valgus collapse by spreading the floor and pushing the knees out during the squat. This emphasizes hip and posterior chain development and will skyrocket your squat numbers.


RELATED: Moderating the Knees In Versus Knees Out Squat Debate


8. Train the Pause

If you’re squatting to depth, you need to be stable in the bottom position. Train the pause by using submaximal loads and squatting to maximum depth while maintaining trunk integrity (this means no butt-wink). Unless you’re training for a big total and need to hit certain depth, the risk versus reward probably isn’t worth a rock-bottom squat under load in the presence of butt-wink.


Squat, power, maximum strength, speed strength, explosive, pause reps, torque,


RELATED: Get Stronger and Stay Honest With Pause Reps 


9. Bend the Bar

Don’t be lazy with the bar. Get your Hulk on and try to bend it around your body. If you’re not actively applying force to the bar, the bar will act on you – jumping off or burying you in failure.


“If you’re not actively applying force to the bar, the bar will act on you.”

Drive your elbows down and back to engage the lats, provide a larger shelf for the barbell, and create additionally stability in the trunk. Solomonow, et al concluded that over 200 muscles are activated during squat performance. Use them all to maximize your squat performance.


Additionally, you’ll prevent the bar from jumping off your back during explosive squats, improving rep quality and decreasing injury risk. You don’t want to be that chump who loses a barbell behind your back during training anyway.

RELATED: Why Athletes Need to Understand the Concept of Torque


10. Rack at the Correct Height

We’ve all seen it: a rack set-up too high, a calf-raise walkout followed by the poor sap nearly cracking his skull when re-racking. Besides inappropriate barbell loading, improper rack set-up is the best way to get injured.


Set the rack up with the barbell set between nipple and shoulder height, low enough to allow you to squat to weight out and easily re-rack, as well.


RELATED: How to Squat More Without Getting Stronger



The squat is a technical movement and squatting appropriately for your body type and goals is imperative to long-term success.Optimize your technique first, and then start piling on plates.


Take these tips into consideration and you’ll be squatting big weights without pain for years to come.



1. Solomonow, M., et al. “The Synergistic Action of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament and Thigh Muscles in Maintaining Joint Stability.”Am J Sports Med. 1987 May-Jun;15(3):207-13. Accessed November 18, 2014.


Photo 1 courtesy of Strength Education.

Photos 2 & 3 courtesy of CrossFit Impulse.

Wednesday 12/17/14

2 Rounds
2 Burpees
3 Wall Walks
10 Air Squats

2 Rounds
10 Ground 2 OH w/Plate
10 Plate Squats

5 Minutes Double Under Practice  

Find a heavy 3 rep Good Morning

RX & M1
5×5 Good Morning (Find a heavy 5)

3 Rounds
1 Min Max Effort Deadlift @ 60% of 1RM
1 Min Max Effort Row (Full out Sprint for Calories)
*2 Min Rest
** Score is total deadlifts and Calories

What the CrossFit Games 2015 Changes Mean for You

CrossFit, Masters Athletes

Bubble athletes, say goodbye to your regionals dreams. There’s a new bubble, and it just moved 28 spots up the leaderboard.


In a continuing effort to find the “Fittest on Earth,” CrossFit has implemented some major changes in its CrossFit Games qualifying rounds, from the online Open through Regionals and onto the Games.We’ll break down the good, the bad, and the interesting here.


crossfit, crossfit games, teens, team, masters, scaled, regionals


The Open – Individuals and Teams

In 2013, the top 120 individual athletes (sixty male, sixty female) and thirty teams from the Open leaderboard were invited to regionals. If you were 58th on the leaderboard and all you wanted was to participate in Regionals, with no Games aspirations, your dreams came true that year. In 2014, the number of individual athletes was whittled down to 48.The bubble moved twelve spots up.


RELATED: The CrossFit Games Open: Let Go of the Leaderboard 


“[M]any athletes whose aspirations were just to go to Regionals have been effectively eviscerated.”

Now, the new Super Regions have resulted in a major shift in the periphery of qualifying athletes and teams, which means many athletes whose aspirations were just to go to Regionals have been effectively eviscerated.


The 2015 CrossFit Open, for the purposes of individual and teams, remains essentially the same. The existing regions will remain intact. Since I live in Ohio, I will be in the Central East region. My regional leaderboard will show as Central East, and I will rank myself against other Central East athletes.


RELATED: The CrossFit Games Open Is Broken


What This Means to You

Only the top twenty male athletes, top twenty female athletes, and top fifteen teams from the Central East will move on to Regionals.


This means if you’re perennially in the bottom half of your regional qualifying rounds, you’re not going to regionals this year. Think about it: In 2013, sixty men from the Central East went to Central East Regionals. In 2015, it will be twenty.


crossfit, crossfit games, teens, team, masters, scaled, regionals


The implications here are significant. First, many of those bubble athletes will abandon their individual aspirations and go team. Last year, once athletes “declared” as individual competitors, the team leaderboard shifted and some teams that had missed the cut-off ended up bumping into the top thirty. This year, there will be much less of that because many teams will retain their stronger, once-individual athletes. The ramification for the teams is that it will be much harder for any given team to move on.


“The team side of the Games has always been peppered with questionable practices, but this new setup will make it much worse.”

Moreover, with only fifteen spots available from each region for a team to move on, I believe we will see much more aggressive dream-teaming - that is, recruiting and assembling of teams in a given geographic area. This has always gone on, but now that the competition for those fifteen spots has become much more fierce, the stitching together of teams from highly stretched fabric will be significant.


RELATED: I Have a Dream (Team): When Winning Is All That Matters


The team side of the Games has always been peppered with questionable practices, but this new setup will make it much worse. As I have stated in the past, I have much respect for CrossFit boxes whose teams are grown organically from within – teams like Diablo CrossFit, SPC CrossFit, and CrossFit Katy. But for every Diablo, there is a box that has culled team members whose connection to the box is dubious. We will see that practice get much worse now.


Regionals – The Funnel Gets Smaller

Once the Open is over, twenty athletes and fifteen teams from each of the original regions will advance to an actual regional event, now colloquially called “Super Regionals.” For those who qualify in the Central East, you will move on to the new Central Regional, which includes the combined Central East and North Central regions. Rather than taking the top three from each region as in the past, each Super Region podium will reward five spots with a ticket to the CrossFit Games.


RELATED: 6 Athlete Perspectives on the CrossFit Games


Imagine then, what would have happened last year: Rich Froning, Scott Panchik, and Will Moorad from Central East would have battled it out for one of five spots against Kyle Kasperbauer, Jacob Hepner, and Alex Netty. Sorry Will, you’re not going to the Games.


crossfit, crossfit games, teens, team, masters, scaled, regionals


What This Means to You

In theory, you would think this means that now that the competition has gotten even tougher, that truly only the best will make it through the funnel. But this depends largely on a number of other variables, most notably, the tests themselves. Redistricting the Regionals actually means little for those whom will ultimately get to the Games. It would have been much more meaningful if still only three went from each region. As I stated, only the bubble crowd has been impacted here.


“Redistricting the Regionals actually means little for those whom will ultimately get to the Games.”

But again, tests, judging consistency, and scoring are still the key factors that determine whether the fittest make it out of Regionals and to the Games. But bottom line, 2015 spells the death knell of the recreational competitive CrossFitter and the arrival of the full-time professional CrossFit athlete. The line between sport and fitness program has become even more defined.


Scaled Division

You may not recall, but this is not the first time a scaled division has been implemented. In 2011 when the online Open first began, when you completed a workout, you had an option to check “RX” or “Scaled” as you entered your score.


The difference is that this year, there will be actual movement standards required in order to meet the official scaled version and to enter a score. And once you go scaled, you’re out of the running.


RELATED: The Rx Factor: 3 Reasons Why You Must Scale Your WODs 


Master’s athletes, take note: If you want to have a shot at the top 200 Master’s Qualifier, you can’t do even just one scaled rep. A “1” on an RXd workout will be scored higher than all scaled workouts. If you want to move on, go RX.


What This Means to You

What this could mean is that with a scaled division the programmers will be free to put some of the more difficult movements at the beginning of a workout rather than the end. Things like muscle ups, bar muscle ups, and handstand pushups. I am not hopeful that this will happen, but I hope they surprise me, as I have been advocating for a “five muscle up buy-in” for every workout since 2012.


crossfit, crossfit games, teens, team, masters, scaled, regionals


Teen Division

A great step forward for teens who want to compete and see how they stack up against their peers. This is apparently for the Open only. Teens will not advance to anything past the Open. Nonetheless, it’s a great opportunity for some up-and-coming teen athletes (age fourteen to seventeen) to see where they stand.


RELATED: Our First Experience With the Teen Gauntlet CrossFit Competition


State and Country Champs

No one cares. No one is gunning for this. It’s like Miss Congeniality – a nice title and all, but that’s not why we compete. No one remembers the 1998 Irving G. Thalberg Memorial AwardIt’s a consolation prize, not a real Oscar.


Let the Games begin. (And the dream teaming.)


Photos 1 & 3 courtesy of Jorge Huerta Photography.

Photos 2 & 4 courtesy of CrossFit, Inc.


Tuesday 12/16/14

4 rounds for total reps:

-1 minute KB swings 53/35
-1 minute Push-ups
-1 minute Air Squats
-1 minute Ring Rows
-1 minute Burpees
-1 minute Rest

Coaches Choice

Find a 1RM power Clean


Power Cleans, 135/95
Push ups

*40 DU After each round

3 Thoughts from a New Coach

by astewart30 | December 14, 2014 11:00 pm

3 Thoughts from a New Coach[1]
I have been an avid member of the CrossFit community[2] for more than three years. Upon beginning this journey, I quickly became immersed in all things CrossFit. After two years, I obtained my Level 1 Certificate[3] and was ready to share my knowledge. I’m a teacher. I have been all my life. I was extrememly eager to translate my teaching to the subject of CrossFit. In the last few months I have been given this chance. I can describe this experience in two words (one compound word?): eye opening.

Being on the other side of the class has changed my perspective tremendously. I have always respected our trainers, and have always known they do the absolute best for each of the athletes in the gym, no matter their training ability. However, stepping in to the trainer role changed how I approach my own training and taught me just how much goes in to a typical class on a typical day. There are three things your coach[4] wants you to know. Because the Internet loves a good list, let me break it down for you.

1. Athletes: Worry About You

Athletes need to worry about their own depth, their own count, their own training… and let the coach take care of the entire class.

Previously, when I was participating in the classes as an athlete, I would look around the gym while resting (which was often) and observe. I would get frustrated at fellow athletes who just couldn’t seem to hit the bottom of a squat[5], or those who seemed to do fewer reps than the rest of us. I knew our coaches were working with them and speaking with them. I certainly didn’t think they were “getting away” with anything. I would just simply get frustrated that I seemed to be killing myself and others didn’t have that desire. What I have learned on the flip side of this is that there is a lot of private coaching that goes in to a class. Not everyone hears the suggestions or decisions made between a particular athlete and the coach. Sometimes you have an athlete who has very limited mobility in the hips, and the coach knows that, so she doesn’t stress (yet) over not hitting the bottom of a squat, but simply encourages the athlete to push a little deeper. Maybe the athlete who is “cutting reps” is new, and isn’t quite ready to tackle 50 kettlebell swings[6] in the middle of a long WOD. Basically, what I have learned is that good coaches know the limitations and abilities of each of their athletes, and it’s not up to the participants to worry about it. Athletes need to worry about their own depth, their own count, their own training… and let the coach take care of the entire class. 

2. You Are Not Always Going to Set a PR.

You Are Not Always Going to Set a PR.[7]
Before I was a trainer, one of my coaches said this to me. I was a little taken aback. What? Isn’t that the point? I come in here everyday hoping to be a little bit faster and a little bit stronger. I went home that night and really thought about what she meant. I understood it logically. I mean, you can’t always set a PR; there are certainly many factors involved. Maybe I was tired, sore, hungry. Maybe it’s a thousand degrees that day, or below zero and my cold hands couldn’t even wrap around the bar. There are definitely things that will get in the way of this. Nevertheless, I contemplated what she said and carried it with me. Now that I am a trainer, I get it. PRs are awesome. It’s proof that this crazy work we do day in and day out works. That we are not pushing ourselves for nothing. However, you are going to have days that you did the same amount of weight, with the same amount of reps, and you were slower. What you need to focus on is that maybe this time your form was perfect with each rep. Maybe this time you weren’t flying through the movements, but focusing on each aspect of the exercise and completing it with perfection. Your push-ups never got “snakey” and your power cleans[8] weren’t actually muscle cleans.

Your movements were flawless this time. THAT is a PR. That is what we should be happy about. So, yes, in CrossFit we chase the clock, but that is not our main concern. You can be faster without being better.

3. Safety Is Most Important

Safety Is Most Important[9]

We don’t change things up on you because we are trying to bother you, or mess you up, or slow you down. We are trying to keep every individual inside that gym safe.

Any coach who is worth their salt is first and foremost concerned with the safety of every single individual in their class. I have been a high school teacher for a very long time and was always worried about my students’ safety, but there is something really nerve wracking about standing in a class of athletes who are hanging from bar and throwing around weight, no matter how good they are or how long they have been doing it. When we come by and ask you to wrap your thumbs around the pull up bar, we are trying to keep you safe. I know it cuts down on your shoulder mobility a little bit, but it also helps keep you on the bar, rather than on the floor. If we ask you to move in the middle of your sit ups, it’s because there are weights dropping and it’s for your safety. If we take weight off your bar, even though you think you can push through it, it’s for your safety. We don’t change things up on you because we are trying to bother you, or mess you up, or slow you down. We are trying to keep every individual inside that gym safe. Just know we are trying to help. 

Being on the other side of the gym, standing in the coach’s shoes can be a bit intimidating, especially for a new coach like me. I have big shadows to stand in, but it’s important that each athlete knows that when you are surrounded by good coaches, you will become a better athlete.

Read more from Amanda Stewart[10] on her blog Inside the Average[11].

Tags: Contributor Network[12], Amanda Stewart,[13] Inside the Average[11], community[14], CF-L1[15], coach[4], squat[5], kettle bell swings[16], power cleans[8]

  1. [Image]:!i=2174918601&k=6n2pdz9
  2. CrossFit community:
  3. Level 1 Certificate:
  4. coach:
  5. squat:
  6. kettlebell swings:
  7. [Image]:!i=2345742244&k=dFFkHXs
  8. power cleans:
  9. [Image]:!i=2174907810&k=ptqvMR6
  10. Amanda Stewart:
  11. Inside the Average:
  12. Contributor Network:
  13. Amanda Stewart,:
  14. community:
  15. CF-L1:
  16. kettle bell swings:

Source URL:

Monday 12/15/14

200m Row x 4 (SPRINT!)
3 Rounds
10 Bentover Rows w/Empty Barbell
5 Inch Worms
5 Strict Pull-Ups
5 Kipping Pull-Ups
5 Strict Toes to Bar
5 Kipping Toes to Bar

Find a 3RM Back Squat 

“Fran vs. Fran”
In a team of 2
Thrusters 95/65
* Team members have to do a minimum of 5 reps of each movement per round.

M1: 75/55

Mental Strategies for Getting Results






Here’s what you need to know…
  • Think of your goal. Now, are you doing what you need to do to reach it, or just doing what you like to do?
  • Try the Delayed Gratification Method: Do the right thing, get a reward. Slack off in the gym or with your diet, no reward.
  • This isn’t about “good versus bad.” It’s about identifying behaviors that take you further away from your goals or displace more productive behaviors.

What You Want to Do vs. What You Need to Do

Ah, that eternal struggle: the battle between doing what you like to do, and doing what you need to do. We’ve all been there. In fact, most of us stay there throughout our lifting careers.

If you recognize this dilemma in yourself, take heart. At least you’re aware of your shortcomings and that’s half the battle. Some lifters never even get this far. They simply do whatever feels good or boosts the ego, and that’s as far as their personal development ever goes.

If you’d like to further your athletic evolution, however, answer this question:

What qualities, attributes, or behaviors should you be focusing on in your training?

A second question: Are these the behaviors that you truly prioritize in your training? Often, our default programming is to do what we like, rather than what we need.

“Fun” vs. Results

Now don’t get me wrong. Having fun is one of the most under-appreciated benefits of weight training. In fact, having fun is genuinely important to long-term training success.

The problem arises when having fun gets in the way of working hard on those things that advance you toward your most important goals. Here are a few hypothetical scenarios:

  • You spend most of your quality training time chasing new 1RM’s when you’ve got chronic orthopedic issues that threaten to sideline you in the very near future.
  • You have impressive “gym numbers” that you’ve never replicated in official competition.
  • Your body comp is abysmal and yet your diet is still a mess.
  • You have circus-level wobble-board skills but can’t do a single pull-up.
  • Your paused bench press is 90 pounds less than your “touch and go” bench.

If you recognize yourself in one of the above scenarios, my sole consolation for you is that it’s only human nature – we all tend to savor what we do best and avoid what we do worst.

Deliberate Practice

The opposite of this is what pop sociologist Malcolm Gladwell calls “deliberate practice.”

Gladwell’s research indicates that it takes 10,000 hours of this thankless toil to reach a high level of proficiency in your chosen craft. To put that in numbers you can more readily appreciate, if you train 4 times a week at 90 minutes per workout, you’d have to train for over 32 years in order to attain mastery. And that’s only if you’re employing deliberate practice, which you’re probably not.

Deliberate practice is characterized in three ways:

  1. Focusing on processes instead of outcomes.
  2. Setting specific goals.
  3. Obtaining immediate quality feedback and using it.

Enter The Delayed Gratification Method


Now even if you’ve been exposed to this information, it’s difficult to continuously perform deliberate practice, because by definition it requires attending to your weak points while putting your strengths on the back burner.

Admittedly, that isn’t all that much fun – until much later of course, when you start collecting your medals amidst hushed rumors of your supposed good genetics and steroid use.

There’s a strategy to get you to do the right things in training. It’s a way to make deliberate practice more palatable. I call it the Delayed Gratification Method (DGM).

Your parents no doubt implemented this exact system at mealtime when you were a kid. If you ate your dinner, you got dessert. No dinner, no dessert. The gist of it is simple: if you do the right thing, you get a reward. If you slack off, no reward.

You’ll first need to determine two things:

  1. What’s “the right thing” for you to be doing right now?
  2. What’s an appropriate reward for your good behavior?

Here are a few applications of the DGM method that address common problems, just to spark your thinking on the subject:

Problem: You’re too skinny. And although you love to train, you just can’t seem to put on any weight. Sure, you have abs, but that’s like a fat chick with boobs – who cares?

Solution: Set an appropriate weight-gain goal (perhaps a pound a week) and get to eating like it’s your job. Each workout starts with a weigh-in. If your weight isn’t where it needs to be, you don’t train that day. If it is, you can enjoy your lifting session knowing that it’s taking you toward, rather than away from, your goals.

Related:  Eat Big and Gain Nothing But Muscle

Problem: You love to lift, but absolutely despise mobility work. For the first few years, everything was great, but lately you’re experiencing shoulder pain while benching and you’re having trouble squatting down to parallel.

Solution: Let’s assume here that you’re not even sure how to identify your biggest mobility hot spots. Don’t use that as an excuse. Why not simply pick a well-documented mobility circuit, such as Mike Boyle’s Essential Eight.These 8 drills only take 5-10 minutes, so resolve to do them before each and every workout and then you can knock yourself out with the weights completely guilt free.

Problem: You can bench more than you can squat, and yesterday you noticed that some douchetard stole a gym pic of you for a meme that says, “Friends don’t let friends skip leg day!”

Solution: For you, leg training needs to be analogous to “eating your vegetables,” while upper body lifting is more like having dessert.

Essentially, you’ll need a measurable way to define “what you need to do” as a way of creating permission for you to do what you want to do. One suggestion would be to keep track of your weekly lower body volume, and then restrict your upper body training to half of that number. You wanna do more upper body work? Then do more lower body work.

The applications of this system are virtually limitless. Additionally, the system is flexible enough to change as your needs change. The DGM method can be applied to diet as well. For example, if/when you reach a body composition milestone, you get a cheat meal.

Making DGM Work For You


Step #1: Make a list of your unproductive habits, behaviors, or tendencies.This isn’t about “good versus bad.” It’s just a matter of identifying behaviors that either take you further away from your goals or that tend to displace more productive behaviors.

Your list might include things like staying up too late the night before workouts, eating too many junk carbs, always focusing on maximum singles when your weakness is lack of hypertrophy, spending too much time on “fun” exercises that don’t take you closer to your goal, being too reliant on support gear, or neglecting a mobility issue.

Step #2: Determine the reward.

Again, I like the dessert analogy here. As long as you get your work accomplished, you get to have a little bit of fun. Really, it’s just a personification of the principle of delayed gratification.

Step #3: Develop quantifiable parameters.

If you do this, then you get to do that. Make sure you define these parameters carefully so there’s no wiggle room for cheating.

Finally, if you have a coach, training partner, or group that you train with, alert them to what you’re up to and ask them to help keep you honest. Social support often makes all the difference when you’re pursuing challenging goals.

Tip: If you decide to give the delayed gratification method a shot, then initially apply it toward only one behavior or habit that you’d like to modify for the better.

Now, where do you need to improve?

Sunday 12/14/14


10 Rounds

10 Burpees
15 Jumping alternating lunges
30 Double-unders
25 yard Shuttle sprint (5 x 5 yards)

Running Doesn’t Suck






Here’s what you need to know…

•  The anti-running movement has gone too far when it says that running is stupid or that it will eat up all of your muscle.

•  The weight-lifter-who-moves-like-garbage and bashes running is becoming a tiresome cliché.

•  Short distances like 10-40 meters, 40 to 100 meters, and 100 to 800 meters, in addition to hill sprints and shuttle runs, all have varying benefits ranging from increases in GH and Testosterone to increases in leg strength, coordination, and bone and soft tissue integrity.

•  If the endurance nutballs would start doing repeats of 400-800 meters at high effort, they might forget what a thruster is.


The fact that there’s been a revolt against “jogging” as a fitness modality is terrific and I’m happy we’re moving more towards the center. However, one thing that’s gone too far is this whole idea of how running is stupid, or will somehow eat up all of your muscle. I’ve even heard trainers tell people that running is the worst thing you can do to stay in shape.

Now I’m all for the execution of “jogging” in general, but to make a blanket statement that all running is worthless is extreme. Running sucks? Really? Seriously? Humans are literally built for running. As far as the hierarchy of things you need to do for survival, running is right smack dab at the top of the list, next to keeping your heart beating at all times. Frankly, the weight-lifter-who-moves-like-garbage and bashes running is becoming a tiresome cliché.

Running offers several benefits including, but not limited to:

• Increase in growth hormone and Testosterone production
• Increase in leg strength
• Increase in coordination
• Increase in bone and soft tissue integrity
• Prevention of injuries

Now when I advocate that you run, it’s not for 26 miles, but for varying distances up to 800 meters at a time. Here’s a short list of the different modalities I use and their benefits:

Super Short (10-40m)

This distance is used primarily for increases in leg strength and power and hormone production. Repeat up to 10 times with full recovery in-between, twice per week.

Medium (40-100m)

This distance is an extension of super short distance, which can be used for repeats (conditioning) or for building leg strength-endurance. Repeat up to 8 times with near full recovery.

Long (100-800m)

This distance is an anaerobic nightmare. It’ll challenge your mental toughness, your legs, and your guts to not spill out of you. If half of the endurance nutballs would start doing repeats of 400-800m at high effort, they might forget what a thruster is. It has similar benefits to the shorter distances listed above but it emphasizes conditioning and anaerobic endurance over power and strength. Repeating this distance 4 to 6 times is probably plenty for most of us.

Hill Sprints

Sprinting up a hill is one of the best, and most under-utilized training tactics around. You get all the excellent benefits of super-short distance running with the added benefit of more load and less stress on the deceleration phase (where most people pull muscles and get injured while running). I use hill sprints at least once a week in my training as a complement to my other lifting and sprinting.

Shuttle Runs

I believe one of the reasons we get so many knee and ankle injuries is that we don’t practice simple athletic movements in a controlled environment before going full-bore into an athletic competition. Simply learning to change direction with speed and power in training can save lots of people from experiencing these injuries. Here are a couple of shuttle run mainstays:

1. Lateral Shuttle 2-Step

Rapid back-and forth shuttles with one step in between direction changes. In other words, you go 2 steps to the right, then 2 to the left. This really focuses on lateral change of direction and is a great way to improve coordination and leg strength/power while building structural integrity in the lower body. If done for higher repetitions, it can also scorch your quads and your lungs.

2. Standard Forward/Backward Shuttle

Set up a few cones 5-10-15-20 yards apart. Run forward to the first cone and then run backwards to the start. Then forward to second cone, backwards to the start, etc.

The different types of sprints can be done on a rest day, before a workout (short distances only), or after a workout. There’s no reason for you not to include at least two days per week where you dedicate a small chunk of time to being a predator, as there are huge benefits to be gained from running that you’re leaving on the table if you go along with the “running sucks” crowd.

Running is part of what makes us functional human beings and keeps us youthful as we get on in years. The deterioration of gait is one of the primary factors that can predict how long you will live, so owning your ability to run/walk is imperative for a long, healthy, life. Is being that guy who “once squatted 600″ with a monolift worth being a barely functional human being that can’t sprint or move around like an athlete? Get after it on some hill sprints and multidirectional shuttles and reap the benefits of being a more complete athlete.

By the way, jogging sucks.

Saturday 12/13/14


15 Min AMRAP (Up Ladder of 3…)
3 Burpees
3 KettleBell Swings/Power Cleans
3 Air Squats/Goblet Squats

M-Comp: 3 Power Cleans 135/95 & Goblet Squats Red/Yellow
RX: 3 KettleBell Swings Red/Yellow, 3 Goblet Squats Red/Yellow
M1: 3 Russian KB Swings Red/Yellow, 3 Air Squats

‘Twas the Night Before CrossFit…

by Kristy Parrish | December 11, 2014 11:00 pm

'Twas the Night Before CrossFit...[1]
‘Twas the night before CrossFit and all thru the box
A few athletes were stirring, some in knee socks
They were stretching their hammies and taking good care
in hope that a “PR” soon would be there

The bars were nestled and snug in their racks
While the athletes got ready to squat [2]heavy or snatch[3]
Coach was in her Lulu as I stretched out my bod
We had just settled our brains for a long winter’s WOD

When out in the lot there arose such a clatter
I sprang off my foam roller to see what was the matter
I ran thru the box and flew like a flash
I moved faster than sit-ups giving butt rash[4]

The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow
gave the lustre of mid day to objects below
When what to my wondering eyes should appear
But fully loaded Rogue Sleds[5] pushed by ones we hold dear

With a really ripped driver, he pushed the sled without a hitch
I knew in an instant it must be St. Rich[6]
More rapid than eagles, his partners they came
as he whisked and shouted and called them by name

'Twas the Night Before CrossFit...[7]
Now Bailey[8], now Spealler[9], now Panchik[10] and Barto[11],
Go Julie[12] & Annies both Iceland[13] and Sakamoto[14]
To the top of the rings, watch the muscle ups flow
now dash away, dash away 3-2-1 GO!

And then in a twinkling I heard the clock ping
and bam! they were off, doing their thing
A few had stopped to get their hands chalked
but Rich was so fast the others seemed shocked

He was dressed all in Reebok[15], his money unspent
It seems nothing is on back order when you have an endorsement
his droll little mouth went upward real nice
his beard looked like something left over from Miami Vice

He spoke not a word but went straight to his work
knocking out burpees[16] and a few clean and jerks
His form was impressive, the WOD a nice match
and when it was over all I could say was “Nice Snatch!”

He sprang to his sled, to the team gave a nod
Right then I got busted as I stared at Annie’s bod
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight
“Happy CrossFit to all, and to all a good night!”

Originally posted to JFWodfather – A CrossFit Blog[17] on 17 December 2012. Follow him on Twitter at @JFWodfather[18].

Tags: Contributor Network[19], JFWodfather[20], squat[21], snatch[3], butt rash[4], Rogue Sleds[5], Rich Froning[22], Dan Bailey[23], Chris Spealler[24], Scott Panchik[25], Aja Barto[26], Julie Foucher[27], Annie Thorisdottir[28], Annie Sakamoto[29], Reebok[15], burpees[16]

  1. [Image]:!i=2237299146&k=2LnVjQh
  2. squat :
  3. snatch:
  4. butt rash:
  5. Rogue Sleds:
  6. St. Rich:
  7. [Image]:!i=2231813302&k=69ZjnL9
  8. Bailey:
  9. Spealler:
  10. Panchik:
  11. Barto:
  12. Julie:
  13. Iceland:
  14. Sakamoto:
  15. Reebok:
  16. burpees:
  17. JFWodfather – A CrossFit Blog:
  18. @JFWodfather:
  19. Contributor Network:
  20. JFWodfather:
  21. squat:
  22. Rich Froning:
  23. Dan Bailey:
  24. Chris Spealler:
  25. Scott Panchik:
  26. Aja Barto:
  27. Julie Foucher:
  28. Annie Thorisdottir:
  29. Annie Sakamoto:

Source URL:

Friday 12/12/14

Hey Bladium Denver CrossFit Family!

Coach Meghan Valentine will be lifting at the USAW 2014 American Open this weekend. She competed last year and has returned to take a podium spot.

You can watch her lift at 1:30 PM MST, Friday (12/12/14) at the link below.

Make sure to check her out and cheer her on!


5 Rounds

800m run,
30  KB swings 53/35,
30 Pull ups



2 Min row
Coaches Choice

10 Min EMOM

Hang Snatch + OH Squat

M-Comp – Hang Power + Hand Squat Snatch
RX – Hang Power + OH Squat
M1 - 2 Hang Power

6 Rounds

3 Front Squats
30 Lateral Ball Hops w/Wall Ball

M-Comp – 185/125
RX- 135/95
M1- 95/65s
Accessory Work
5 Min EMOM
Max Set Double Unders
* Only One Set, Once you mess up you’re finished.

Stillness Is the Enemy!

by Kristy Parrish | December 9, 2014 11:00 pm

Stillness Is the Enemy!

Active Recovery Is the Answer (ARITA)

Gary Reinl, author of ICED! The Illusionary Treatment Option[1], wrote and researched the following article in response to a previously published article on Tabata Times, “De-Iced: The End of the Cold War.”[2]

The Research in Support of Active Recovery

The Research in Support of Active Recovery[3]

“Although initially thought to improve an individual’s ability to heal, mechanical unloading [stillness] promoted by extended periods of bed rest has emerged as a contributing factor to delayed or aberrant tissue repair.”

“One of the most important concepts in orthopedics in this century is the understanding that loading [active recovery] accelerates healing of bone, fibrous tissue, and skeletal muscle. Basic scientific and clinical investigations have shown that these tissues respond to certain patterns of loading by increasing matrix synthesis and in many instances by changing the composition, organization, and mechanical properties of their matrices. 

Although new approaches to facilitate bone and fibrous tissue healing have shown promise (e.g., the use of cytokines, cell transplants, and gene therapy), none has been proved to offer beneficial effects comparable to those produced by loading of healing tissues.

For these reasons, patients with musculoskeletal injuries and those who have recently undergone surgery are now being treated with controlled physical activity that loads their healing tissues. Evaluation of new approaches to the promotion of healing of bone, fibrous tissue, and muscle should include consideration of the effects of loading on tissue repair and remodeling.”

“Loading of Healing Bone, Fibrous Tissue, and Muscle: Implications for Orthopaedic Practice,” Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, September/October 1999

“Although initially thought to improve an individual’s ability to heal, mechanical unloading [stillness] promoted by extended periods of bed rest has emerged as a contributing factor to delayed or aberrant tissue repair.”

“Mechanical Unloading Impairs Keratinocyte Migration and Angiogenesis During Cutaneous Wound Healing”
Journal of Applied Physiology, May 2008

“The lymphatic system is a ‘scavenger’ system that removes excess fluid, protein molecules, debris, and other matter from the tissue spaces. When fluid enters the terminal lymphatic capillaries, any motion in the tissues that intermittently compresses the lymphatic capillaries [active recovery] propels the lymph forward through the lymphatic system, eventually emptying the lymph back into the circulation.”

Textbook of Medical Physiology, 10th Edition, Guyton and Hall, 2000

Textbook of Medical Physiology, 10th Edition, Guyton and Hall, 2000[4]
“Muscular atrophy regularly occurs as a consequence of immobilization or disuse [stillness] after sports injuries. Several experimental models deal with muscle atrophy and are suitable for investigations of the underlying mechanisms of muscle atrophy. Strength loss is the most evident response to atrophy. Muscle strength decreases most dramatically during the first week of immobilization; little further weakening occurs later on.”

“Muscular atrophy following immobilisation. A review”
Sports Medicine, July 1990

[A]ctive recovery stimulates the removal of congestion from the damaged site which promotes and enables movement…

“Astronauts on a mission to Mars could lose nearly half their muscle strength during the long trip, giving them the physiques of senior citizens by the time they arrived [stillness], according to a new study. 

Prolonged exposure to weightlessness could cause astronauts to lose more than 40 percent of their muscle strength even with regular exercise, researchers said. On a long voyage, a healthy 30- to 50-year-old astronaut could end up with the strength of an 80-year-old.

The research is detailed in the Aug. 17 edition of the Journal of Physiology.”

“Trip to Mars Would Turn Astronauts Into Weaklings”, August 2010

“Skeletal muscle also undergoes continuous repair as a result of contractile activity [active recovery] that involves participation of myokines and anti-inflammatory input.”

“Cross-talk between skeletal muscle and immune cells: muscle-derived mediators and metabolic implications”
American Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology and Metabolism, March 2013

Stillness begets congestion which promotes stillness which, when combined with congestion, leads to various forms of secondary cellular death (disuse atrophy and general tissue suffocation). It does nothing to facilitate the healing process (e.g. the movement of nourishment, stem cells and other essential elements/supplies to the damaged site; the movement of waste and other transient material [deoxygenated blood, lymph fluid, etc.] away from the damaged site; and the production and distribution of the myokines that mediate various aspects of the tissue regeneration process and the remodeling of the repaired tissue).

Conversely, active recovery stimulates the removal of congestion from the damaged site, which promotes and enables movement; this prevents or retards related secondary cellular death and is the catalyst for all aspects of the healing process noted above.

“‘RICE’ Is Not the Preferred Treatment”

“‘RICE’ Is Not the Preferred Treatment”[5]
Even though this debate (stillness vs. action) was settled long ago for some, many others, until very recently, routinely recommended the granddaddy of all stillness protocols: cryotherapy (ice). And again, until very recently, most people followed that advice without question.

The corner was finally turned when the world-renowned, Harvard-trained physician who popularized the practice of icing damaged tissue publicly and unequivocally recanted his recommendation in three separate publications:

“‘There really wasn’t too much science and no one understood very much [about icing],’ Mirkin said of his days as a student at Harvard University in the 1950s. ‘Since then, I’ve noticed that several studies have come out that showed the ‘R’ and the ‘I’ are just incorrect’” -Gabe Mirkin, MD (the godfather of the ice age).

“De-Iced: The End of the Cold War[6]”
Tabata Times, November 2014

“Almost 40 years ago, I coined the term RICE (Rest. Ice. Compression and Elevation) as the treatment for acute sports injuries (The Sportsmedicine Book[7]. 1978. P94). Subsequent research show that Rest and Ice can actually delay recovery. Mild movement helps tissue to heal faster, and the application of cold suppresses the immune responses that start and hasten recovery. Icing does help suppress pain, but athletes are usually far more interested in returning as quickly as possible to the playing field. So today RICE is not the preferred treatment for an acute athletic injury” -Gabe Mirkin, MD (the godfather of the ice age)

“ICED! The Illusionary Treatment Option, Second Edition[8]”
August 2014

“When I wrote my best-selling Sportsmedicine Book in 1978, I coined the term RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) for the treatment of athletic injuries (Little Brown and Co., page 94). Ice has been a standard treatment for injuries and sore muscles because it helps to relieve pain caused by injured tissue. Coaches have used my “RICE” guideline for decades, but now it appears that both Ice and complete Rest may delay healing, instead of helping” -Gabe Mirkin, MD (the godfather of the ice age)

“Why Ice Delays Recovery[9]”, March 2014

The great thaw actually began back in 1986 when researchers published the following information in the Journal Sports Medicine entitled “The use of Cryotherapy in Sports Injuries:”

“When ice is applied to a body part for a prolonged period, nearby lymphatic vessels begin to dramatically increase their permeability (lymphatic vessels are ‘dead-end’ tubes which ordinarily help carry excess tissue fluids back into the cardiovascular system). As lymphatic permeability is enhanced, large amounts of fluid begin to pour from the lymphatics ‘in the wrong direction’ (into the injured area), increasing the amount of local swelling and pressure and potentially contributing to greater pain.”

In other words, icing damaged tissue can easily increase both swelling and pain. Drip by drip the ice continued to melt and by 2014 the negative evidence was overwhelming. Leading the way are four comprehensive review articles that all came to a common conclusion: although icing damaged tissue is popular, there are no clinical studies of its effectiveness (British Journal of Sports Medicine (2012); Journal of Emergency Medicine (2008); American Journal of Sports Medicine (2004); and Journal of Athletic Training (2004).

Think about that. After almost forty years of widespread use, there is no conclusive evidence that it helps. In fact the opposite is true, as there is irrefutable proof that icing damaged tissue delays healing; increases swelling; causes additional damage; shuts off the signals that alert you to harmful movement; and lastly (sadly), provides false hope to those who think that they are doing something good when, in fact, they are doing the opposite.

“I’m Melting…”

"I'm Melting..."[10]

After almost forty years of widespread use, there is no conclusive evidence that [icing] helps. In fact the opposite is true…

I am not sure which article or related detail pushed Dr. Mirkin over the once-frozen edge, but research published in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal[11] (2011) that reports that muscle inflammation – which is delayed by the application of ice – is essential for repair is cited by Dr. Mirkin on his website. 

Here’s what the Cleveland Clinic newsletter said about that research in an article that they titled: “Hold the Ice?”

“Researchers headed by Lan Zhou, MD, PhD, Neuroinflammation Research Center, Depart. of Neurosciences at the Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues, found that in response to acute muscle injury, inflammatory cells (called macrophages) within the damaged muscle itself were found to produce a protein called IGF-1, which is required for muscle regeneration.”

Dr. Mirkin also references an article in the journal Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy[12] (February 2014) entitled, “Cold-Induced Vasoconstriction May Persist Long After Cooling Ends: An Evaluation of Multiple Cryotherapy Units,” [13]which concluded: “The depressed blood flow may dispose tissue to nonfreezing cold injury (NFCI).”

In lay terms, this means that otherwise perfectly healthy tissue can suffocate and die as a result of icing.

Although not referenced by Dr. Mirkin, the following four articles published during the past two years have certainly contributed to the widespread meltdown.

First, an October 2013 article in the European Journal of Applied Physiology entitled, “Effect of Cryotherapy on Muscle Recovery and Inflammation Following a Bout of Damaging Exercise”[14] concluded: “These results do not support the use of cryotherapy during recovery.”

Essentially, this means that icing damaged tissue is, at best, a waste of time.

In sum, icing damaged tissue (stillness) is generally a bad idea, and active recovery is the answer (ARITA).

Second, a piece in the journal Haemophilia (2013) entitled, “An ‘Ice Age’ Concept? The Use of Ice in the Treatment of Acute Haemarthrosis in Haemophilia,”[15] concluded: “According to the available body of evidence, the bottom line remains: cooling interferes with coagulation and haemostasis, and the application of ice in the general population shows little or no benefit to overall outcome.” 

In lay terms, the means that icing damaged tissue causes leaky clots and has little-to-no upside.

Third, a 2013 article in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research/National Strength and Conditioning Association [16]entitled “Topical Cooling (Icing) Delays Recovery From Eccentric Exercise–Induced Muscle Damage”[17] concluded: “These data suggest that topical cooling, a commonly used clinical intervention, seems to not improve but rather delay recovery from eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage.”

This basically means that icing damaged tissue is actually worse than merely wasting your time.

Finally, a 2012 article in the Journal of Haemophilia entitled, “The Effect of Cooling on Coagulation and Haemostasis: Should “Ice” be Part of Treatment of Acute Haemarthrosis in Haemophilia?”[18] concluded: “Published, general literature studies have also consistently demonstrated that experimental cooling of blood and/or tissue, both in vitro and in vivo in humans and in animal models, can significantly impair coagulation and prolong bleeding.”

In sum, icing damaged tissue (stillness) is generally a bad idea, and active recovery is the answer (ARITA).

Follow Gary Reinl on Twitter at @TheAntiIceMan[19].



  1. ICED! The Illusionary Treatment Option:
  2. “De-Iced: The End of the Cold War.”:
  3. [Image]:
  4. [Image]:
  5. [Image]:!i=2334806657&k=XnczHQs
  6. De-Iced: The End of the Cold War:
  7. The Sportsmedicine Book:
  8. ICED! The Illusionary Treatment Option, Second Edition:
  9. Why Ice Delays Recovery:
  10. [Image]:!i=2105505564&k=mNx4hgp
  11. Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal:
  12. Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy:
  13. “Cold-Induced Vasoconstriction May Persist Long After Cooling Ends: An Evaluation of Multiple Cryotherapy Units,” :
  14. “Effect of Cryotherapy on Muscle Recovery and Inflammation Following a Bout of Damaging Exercise”:
  15. “An ‘Ice Age’ Concept? The Use of Ice in the Treatment of Acute Haemarthrosis in Haemophilia,”:
  16. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research/National Strength and Conditioning Association :
  17. “Topical Cooling (Icing) Delays Recovery From Eccentric Exercise–Induced Muscle Damage”:
  18. “The Effect of Cooling on Coagulation and Haemostasis: Should “Ice” be Part of Treatment of Acute Haemarthrosis in Haemophilia?”:
  19. @TheAntiIceMan:

Source URL:

Thursday 12/11/14

Warm up / Grinder
100′ Bear crawl,
100′ Standing broad jump w/ 3 burpees every 5 jumps -

5 Rounds
21 Cleans
21 Ab Mat Sit-Ups



2 Min row
2 Rounds
10 Ring Rows
10 Plate Pistols
5 Ring Dips

Teams of 2 (1 athlete works at a time)

3 rounds:

50 Wall Balls (20/14)
50 Sumo Deadlift High Pull (75/55)
50 Box Jumps Overs (24/20)
50 Burpees
50 Calorie Row

Rest 1:00 Between Rounds

Accessory Work
3x max set of strict pullups

The 10 Dumbest Diet Myths






Here’s what you need to know…
  • Soy protein is practically useless in stimulating muscle protein synthesis.
  • Dextoxifying your liver or “cleansing” your colon with coffee enemas is beyond stupid.
  • Stop worrying about the growth hormone in milk.
  • You can’t starve cancer by eliminating sugar from your diet.
  • You don’t have to get all your micronutrients in one day. Instead, you can look at your nutrition in blocks of two or three days, or even a week.
  • The “hormone free” label on chicken is unnecessary and misleading.
  • People who drink skim milk put on more fat than those who drink whole milk.
  • Stop being neurotic about fructose.
  • Eating turkey doesn’t make you sleepy.

1. Hey, Soy May Shrink My Balls, But At Least It’s Good Protein!

Soy Protein

About 15 years ago, I broke the news to the physique world that a few studies had shown that soy results in testicle shrinkage and lowered testosterone levels. Still, some people steadfastly clung to the notion that soy protein is at least a good muscle builder.

They had somewhat of a leg to stand on, albeit a short stubby one that was covered with scabs. Their reasoning was that soy protein was different from soy in that the isoflavones implicated in lowering testosterone and the shrinking of testicles were removed in processing and none of them were present in the protein itself.

That may or may not be true, as some reports indicate that the isoflavones are indeed present in some brands of soy protein. Regardless of which position you support, recent research gives us an altogether different reason to avoid soy.

A study at McMaster University found that when it comes to muscle protein synthesis (MPS), soy is no better than water. The researchers gave 30 men 0 grams of protein, 20 grams of soy, or 40 grams of soy at rest and after resistance exercise. They then compared the results to a group of men who had used 20 or 40 grams of whey protein instead.

While 40 grams of soy increased MPS modestly, 20 grams of soy worked as well as 0 grams of soy. Both 20 and 40 grams of whey, however, increased MPS significantly. The researchers theorized that whey worked well (and soy didn’t) because whey has a much higher percentage of leucine, the “master amino” acid for muscle building, than soy.

Related:  Leucine Structured Peptides

Likewise, a higher percentage of the amino acids in soy, including leucine, are diverted towards oxidation, which makes them unavailable for protein synthesis.

Clearly, if you want to grow muscle, it’s best to avoid soy protein until the unlikely event that some miracle study convinces us that all soy’s problems have been remedied.

2. Your Liver is a Waste Dump! Detoxify It!

Liver Cleanse

Somewhere along the line, some wild wag of a well-meaning naturopath, herbalist, or anal fetishist got the idea that our bodies needed periodic cleanings.

They reasoned that the air, water, and food we breathed or ingested was rife with toxic chemicals. The naturopath and the herbalist recommended we occasionally refrain from eating solid foods and instead quaff unappetizing blends of kale, celery, and turnip to purge ourselves of these toxins.

The anal fetishist reasoned that we should instead come in the back way and hose our colons with water, coffee, or cat litter (bentonite) to flush out the toxins.

Well, they were all half right.

The air, water, and food we breathe or ingest is indeed filled with toxic chemicals, but the body has a pretty efficient detoxifying system set in place in the liver, kidney, and spleen. What’s more, there is no widely accepted evidence that juice helps them do their job more efficiently.

These systems do, however, need nutritional support. Paradoxically, fasting deprives the liver of amino acids (cysteine, glutamine, glycine) that are important to this natural detox process. Likewise, amino acids make toxins more water soluble, which allows them to be eliminated through bile.

And the colon cleanse? That’s too silly to even begin to address.

3. The Growth Hormone in Milk Caused Junior to Grow Two Heads!


Stop with the GH phobia, already. Yes, some segments of the dairy industry use growth hormone to increase milk production and yes, some of it seems to get into the milk that we ingest. Big deal. Bring it on.

GH is a big honkin’ protein molecule and, once ingested, it gets broken down into its constituent amino acids, pretty much like any other protein that slides down our wild ride of a digestive system.

Besides, it’s bovine GH and unless one of your parents was an ungulate with four stomachs that wore a bell around his or her neck, it wouldn’t have any effect on you, anyhow.

4. Cancer Feeds on Gummy Bears!


Back in 2007, some bastard launched an Internet hoax titled “Cancer Update from John Hopkins.” Among other things, it explained that “cancer feeds on certain foods like sugar.”

It scared the bejesus out of cancer patients everywhere, causing many of them to eschew sugar. Things got worse in 2012 when the venerable 60 Minutes program aired a segment on a doctor who pretty much made the same assertion.

Anxiety-ridden cancer patients began to purge their cupboards of anything that might have sugar in it. The trouble is, lots of things have sugar in it, and if you know anything about cancer patients, you know that one of the main problems they face is getting enough calories and nutrition, mainly because they often lose their appetite from chemotherapy.

There are obvious problems associated with not eating, but one of them is particularly dire. Studies of malnutrition in AIDS patients from the 80′s tells us that once your body weight drops to about 66% of ideal (or cells drop to about 54% of normal), you die, regardless of anything else that’s going on with your body. As such, cancer patients need to eat anything just to keep their calories up.

Besides, cancer doesn’t feed on sugar, per se. Oh, it’ll surely utilize sugar, but ever since Adolf Krebs, who discovered the eponymous Krebs Cycle, began mincing pigeon breasts in his laboratory, we’ve known that the common metabolic intermediator of all energy demands is 6-carbon sugars, which includes all carbohydrates, not just sugar.

Can you starve cancer cells by dumping all carbohydrates? Maybe, but everything else suffers before the cancer is starved, so this cancer/sugar myth is one that needs to be quickly squelched.

Oh yeah, people should probably remember that simply appearing on television doesn’t convey true expert status to anyone. Producers book people based on controversy and pizzazz, consequences be damned.

5. Oh No! Giant Chickens With Gyno Are Coming to Get Us!


I suppose it’s commendable that well-meaning mommas rummage around the frozen food sections of grocery stores looking for chicken labeled “hormone free” or “natural,” but it’s a waste of momma love.

The “hormone free” label is unnecessary and manipulative since the use of hormones in poultry is illegal. As far as “natural,” it means that there aren’t any artificial ingredients or preservatives in the chicken, but that’s true of almost any bird in any grocery store.

And as long as we’re on the subject of labels, “free range” suggests that the chickens lead idyllic lives ranging the prairies for grasshoppers and the meaning of life.

Unfortunately, it only means they have access to the outside, but that could mean there’s a hole in the wall they could theoretically squeeze through, or maybe have access to a small fenced-in area of concrete that’s adjacent to Interstate 5.

“Farm raised” is probably the silliest of all, since few chickens are raised on golf courses, sorority houses, or in the back offices of Charles Schwab.

6. Oh No! I Didn’t Get My Daily Allotment of Riboflavin!


I’ve written about how people who ate only nutrient-dense food could theoretically eat as much as they want and not gain weight. The “trick,” of course, is that nutrient-dense foods are usually calorically sparse, and if you fill yourself on low-calorie foods, you’ll quash your appetite and you won’t gain weight.

Related:  The Eat as Much As You Want Diet

However, I’ve discovered a sub-sect of people who, despite eating “healthy,” are still managing to fatten themselves up. They’ve apparently found a loophole in my argument and they’re exploiting it mightily.

Here’s what’s happening: They’ll have breakfast. They’ll order eggs and whole grain toast with organic butter. And some yogurt. And Granola. Oh yeah, some orange juice and a bowl of fruit. And bacon. Almost forgot the bacon.

They’ve embraced the idea of complete nutrition and nutrient-dense foods, but they’ve taken it to an absurd extreme by trying to get all their nutrients inevery meal. As a result, their calorie-intake is off the charts. Despite their sound nutritional choices, they get fatter and fatter.

What they’ve neglected is that you don’t have to get all your nutrition in every meal. It’s like the old beans and rice thing practiced by vegetarians. Rice is lacking in the amino acids lysine and threonine, so you had to eat beans with it to make a complete protein because beans had the lysine and threonine that rice lacked.

Well, it’s true, but you don’t have to have them in the same meal. You can eat your rice and have some lysine-containing food later on in the day.

You don’t necessarily even have to get all your micronutrients in one day. Instead, you can look at your nutrition in blocks of two or three days, or even a week. While there are daily requirements for many vitamins, many others are stored for later use.

As an extreme example, the daily requirement for Vitamin B12 is about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. However, the body recycles some of the Vitamin B12 and stores can last between 5 months and 30 years before any kind of deficiency would become apparent.

Eat your nutrient-dense foods, but there’s no need to get every macronutrient, vitamin, mineral, phytochemical, or antioxidant in every meal, you fat bastard in the making.

7. Whole Milk is What They Used to Kill Rasputin!


For years, America has treated whole milk as if it were a liquid medium used to transport Ebola virus. People thought it made you fat, raised your cholesterol, and hardened up your arteries, so they chose skim milk or even non-fat milk, which is sort of the Coors beer of milk, i.e., colored water.

Surprisingly, though, a lot of evidence has surfaced that shows that those who drank whole milk (and ate high-fat dairy in general) were less likely to get fat than those who ingested lower-fat versions.

The studies seemed legit and significant, too – no three-person pool of test subjects conducted by some business with skin in the game. One tracked men who ate high-fat dairy over a 12-year period and the other was a meta analysis of 16 studies. Both showed that a high-fat diet was associated with a lower risk of obesity.

The yet-to-be validated thinking is that high-fat milk contains some bioactive substance that may alter the metabolism in a way that helps use fat and burn it for energy. Of course, this “bioactive substance” may merely be conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fatty acid that’s long been known to be a fat burner.

As far as the heart-health concerns, few people realize that in addition to containing saturated fatty acids – whose role in heart disease is now thought to be minimal to non-existent – whole milk contains oleic acid, which is the heart-healthy fatty acid that makes olive oil so highly prized by nutritionists.

Of additional concern is the vitamin paradox presented by skim or non-fat milk. Milk contains fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K. However, when you eliminate the fat from a milk product, you also end up taking out most of the fat-soluble vitamins, which then have to be added back in.

However, unless you’re ingesting some fat with your milk, have recently ingested some fat, or plan on soon ingesting some after you finish your glass, much of the vitamins in it flounder around your intestines, waiting in vain to be picked up and distributed to the body as opposed to suffering the ignominy of being excreted into the toilet bowl.

If you’re a calorie counter, you may want to continue with skim or non-fat milk. Others might want to give whole milk another chance.

8. Of Course You’re Fat and Have B.O. and Acne! You Ate Some Fructose!


The human body prefers glucose as its energy source. However, it quite readily accepts fructose, too.

When ingested, the fructose is shuttled to the liver (unless you’re really energy depleted) and then diverted to liver mitochondria, which either package the fructose as glycogen for short-term use or store it as fat.

While this process is reversible, it’s not a good thing for liver health or function if it continues for any length of time. Some scientists have even gone so far as to call fructose “alcohol without the buzz.”

Unfortunately, the fact that fructose can be stored as fat and that it’s potentially damaging to the liver have caused a disproportionate fear of fructose, a condition I call “fructose derangement syndrome.”

The research just doesn’t support the fears. John Sievenpiper, a nutritionist at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Canada, looked at 41 studies using humans and noted that when people ate the same amount of calories, whether it was from fructose or some other carb source, they gained the same amount of weight.

Related:  More on the bad rap against fructose

And, you can easily make an empirical observation and see that despite the mass avoidance of all things fructose, national obesity claims have continued to rise.

But let’s apply some logic to the situation. The most “potent” fructose blend – the much-dreaded high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) – has a fructose content of about 55%, while the remaining 45% is glucose. Compare that to sucrose, or table sugar, which is a blend of 50% glucose and 50% fructose.

That means that if you were to eat 100 grams of HFCS a day, which is a little over the amount you’d ingest in three cans of Coke, you’d be getting 5 moregrams of fructose than if you ingested an equal amount of sucrose.

That’s small potatoes, which, coincidentally, contain a relatively high amount of fructose, at least in comparison to most other vegetables.

9. Don’t Eat Turkey and Drive!

Turkey Dinner

The way most people talk, you’d think the holiday turkey was made of dark meat, light meat, and Ambien. Others, supposedly more knowledgeable, believe turkey makes you sleepy because it contains the amino acidtryptophan, which is a precursor to the relaxation, feel-good hormone, serotonin.

Yes, turkey contains tryptophan, but so do all complete protein sources. Besides, tryptophan is a large, clumsy amino acid that has a hard time squeezing its molecular frame through the doggie-doors of the blood brain barrier.

When tryptophan is ingested as part of a complete protein, some of the other smaller, more nimble amino acids get to the blood brain barrier first and block tryptophan’s clumsy attempts to get through.

Now, if you were to ingest tryptophan on its own, it’d be a different story. With no competition, it might manage to squeeze through the barrier in large numbers and do its serotonin thing. But the notion that turkey makes you sleepy is horseshit, or rather turkey shit.

What’s likely making you pass out into the leftover puddle of gravy on your plate is the enormous, fat and carb-laden, 3,000 calorie meal you just ate as an homage to gluttony, not to mention grandpa’s special holiday drink, which is just shots of Wild Turkey whiskey.

10. Regular Salt Will Make Your Head Explode!


I’m not going to talk about how the link between sodium intake and hypertension is tenuous at best. Instead, I’m going to discuss something far more insidious and it has to do with what the “salt is bad” myth has done to most of us nutritionally.

You’re aware that the body needs iodine, right? The body uses it to synthesize the thyroid hormones T3 and T4. If there’s not enough iodine in the diet, you might develop thyroid nodules or even a monstrous, freak-show goiter on your neck.

However, a milder deficiency might make it hard for you to stay lean, or saddle you with mysterious fatigue, depression, some unexplained autoimmune disease(s), a psychiatric disorder, fibrocystic breast disease, or even cancer. Other less serious problems might include dry skin or constipation.

If you live by an ocean, you probably get plenty of iodine (provided you eat locally grown foods). However, the farther away from the ocean you live, the harder it is to obtain enough iodine.

Luckily, in 1924, the smart people at the Morton Salt Company started adding iodine to their salt. That pretty much took care of all iodine deficiency in the U.S. as people in Kansas got as much iodine in their diet as people in Massachusetts.

But then came the doctors. They started telling people to restrict their salt intake, lest they develop high blood pressure and invite heart failure. People listened. As a result, they started to develop iodine deficiencies.

But there are other factors, too, that make it statistically probable that you have an iodine deficiency. For one, chemicals in drinking water like chlorine and fluoride compete with iodine for the same receptors in the body. Then there are the people who exercise a lot, as they excrete a lot of precious iodine through their sweat.

What you’re left with is a society where, by some estimates, up to 74% of its adults are deficient in iodine.

What many of you need to do is to start using iodized salt again. Don’t think that you’re off the hook because you get plenty of salt when you eat out or you eat lots of canned food or Doritos. Restaurants or processed-food manufacturers don’t use iodized salt.

Likewise, the sea salt and pink gourmet salt from the Gobi Desert that your cosmetic and deodorant-avoiding naturalist girlfriend use contain only meager amounts of iodine.

Get thee some old fashioned Morton’s Iodized salt and keep a shaker on the table and use it liberally (provided you don’t have sodium-related hypertension, of course).


Wednesday 12/10/14


2 Min row
3 Rounds (All Done with Light KB)
10 KB One Arm KB Thrusters (5 each arm)
10 KB Swings
5 Push Ups

Test 1 RM Back Squat

2 Rounds
:40 Max Rep Pull-Ups
:20 Rest
:40 Air Squats
:20 Rest
:40 Weight KB Step Ups 53/35
:20 Rest
:40 Double Unders
:20 Rest

M-Comp – Max Muscle Ups, Pistols, KB Step ups 1)70/1)53
RX & M1- As Written

* Score is Total Reps

Accessory Work

30 Handstand Push Ups for Time

A Complete Primer on the Benefits of BCAAs

Contributor – Biology, Gymnastics, CrossFit

When I first began to explore supplementation, someone told me I needed to take branched-chain amino acids. I remember thinking, “What the hell are branched-chain amino acids good for?”


My initial concern was ingesting something I didn’t need, followed quickly by wasting money on it. Clearly, extra research was needed on my part. And come to find out, branched-chained amino acids (BCAAs) are pretty important!


RELATED: BCAAs: What They Are and Why to Take Them


So, in order to help you out and pass along what I’ve learned, this article will cover what exactly BCAAs are and why you should consider supplementing with them.


bcaas, amino acids, Supplementation, strength, performance


The Science of Amino Acids

We will start at the beginning with the amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. They get their name because they are organic acids that contain an amine group, written chemically as –NH2. Each amino acid contains a carboxyl group, a hydrogen atom, and a side chain designated by the symbol R attached to the same carbon atom. There are twenty different types of amino acids.


RELATED: 10 MORE Things I Know About Protein That You Don’t


Bonding is important to amino acids as the side chain can consist of various chemical structures, and the differences in those side chains make each amino acid unique. There are four types of bonds:


  1. Peptide bond - a covalent bond (sharing of electron pairs by atoms) that binds two amino acids together.
  2. Dipeptide bond - the prefix “di” means two, so this indicates two amino acids bound together by a peptide bond.
  3. Tripeptide bond - since “tri” means three, this is three amino acids bound together by a peptide bond.
  4. Polypeptide bond - the prefix “poly” means many, so this is many amino acids bound together by peptide bonds.


Branched-Chain Amino Acids

BCAAs are classified separately from other amino acids. The three amino acids in this category are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They are the major amino acids that are oxidized or broken down in skeletal tissue during ATP production.


“BCAA levels can increase the availability of carbohydrates and help protect the muscles from exercise-induced protein breakdown.”

These amino acids can then be converted into glucose (gluconeogenesis), pyruvate, or even various intermediates to produce more ATP. Even though the output of ATP is not high in regard to energy production in the muscles (3-18%), it is another avenue for energy production that can be capitalized on.


BCAAs are unique partially because of their composition, but also because these amino acids are highly prominent in muscle tissue, and can account for around fourteen to eighteen percent of its amino acid make-up. For this reason, BCAAs are important for muscle protein synthesis.


RELATED: The Effect of BCAAs on Exercise Induced Muscle Soreness


BCAAs are metabolized differently than other amino acids, and can be oxidized in the muscles during exercise for energy. BCAA levels can increase the availability of carbohydrates and help protect the muscles from exercise-induced protein breakdown.Having BCAAs in your diet may help support optimal muscle size, strength, and performance.


bcaas, amino acids, Supplementation, strength, performance


BCAAs and Sustained Performance

The European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology studied the effects of BCAAs on marathon runnersA mixture of three BCAAs was given to subjects during a marathon and the effects on mental and physical performances were measured.


RELATED: BCAAs May Not Augment Athletic Performance 


Mental performance was measured by the Stroop Color and Word Test (CWT). This type of testing is used to examine the impact of interferences on reading ability. The Stroop contains three parts:


  1. Word page - name of colors printed in black ink
  2. Color page - rows of Xs printed in color ink
  3. Word-color page - words from the first page printed in the colors of the second page, but the word meanings and ink colors are mismatched


The subject is asked to look at each sheet and move down the columns, reading the words or naming the ink colors as fast as possible within a given time limit.


“The results showed that both mental and physical performance were improved by an intake of BCAAs during the event.”

The results of this study showed that mental performance was improved after the marathon as compared to before the race when a BCAA supplement was consumed during the race. In the placebo group, the CWT scores were similar before and after.


The running performance in the marathon was improved for the slower runners when BCAAs were taken during the race, but there was no significant effect on the performance of the faster runners (this may have to do with adaptation). The results showed that both mental and physical performance were improved by an intake of BCAAs during the event.


BCAAs and Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage Reduction

The Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition aimed to examine the effects of BCAA supplementation on markers of muscle damage elicited via a sport-specific bout of damaging exercise in trained volunteers.

“It seems likely that BCAAs improve protein synthesis, and thereby improve the extent of secondary muscle damage associated with strenuous resistance exercise.”

Twelve males (mean age 23 ± two years) were randomly assigned to a supplement or placebo. The damaging exercise consisted of 100 consecutive drop-jumps. Creatine kinase (CK), maximal voluntary contraction (MVC), muscle soreness (DOMS), vertical jump (VJ), thigh circumference (TC), and calf circumference (CC) were measured as markers of muscle damage. All variables were measured immediately before the damaging exercise and at 24, 48, 72, and 96 hours post exercise. The results showed:


  • There were significant group effects showing a reduction in creatine kinase flowing out of the muscles. Elevated CK levels are a sign of inflammation and skeletal muscle breakdown.
  • There was also a reduction in muscle soreness in the BCAA group compared to the placebo group.
  • The recovery of maximal voluntary contraction (the greatest amount of tension a muscle can generate and hold in muscle testing) was greater in the BCAA group.
  • The vertical jump, thigh circumference, and calf circumference were not different between the two groups.


RELATED: BCAAs and Taurine Reduce DOMS 


It can be inferred from the study that BCAAs administered before and after damaging resistance exercise reduce indicators of muscle damage and accelerate recovery in resistance-trained males. It seems likely that BCAAs improve protein synthesis, and thereby improve the extent of secondary muscle damage associated with strenuous resistance exercise. BCAAs decreased reductions in muscle function, reduced soreness, and decreased the plasma levels of intramuscular enzymes, such as creatine kinase.


bcaas, amino acids, Supplementation, strength, performance


Conclusion on BCAAs

BCAAs are important to muscle function in more ways than one. Most people ingest BCAAs as recovery aid, but taking them before you exercise can slow down the rate at which your muscles fatigue. They can also help prevent muscle damage as well as muscle soreness. All those are plenty enough reasons to ingest BCAAs for me.


In the wide world of supplementation, I believe that BCAAs are a smart buy, either by themselves or incorporated into a broader supplement. Plain, unflavored BCAAs usually have a nasty taste to them, so I recommend purchasing a flavored version that appeals to you.



1. Blomstrand, P. “Administration of Branched-Chain Amino Acids During Sustained Exercise – Effects on Performance and On Plasma Concentration of Some Amino Acids.” European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology (1991), 83-88, Accessed November 20, 2014, doi: 10.1007/BF00235174

2. Howastone, Glyn. “Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage is Reduced in Resistance-Trained Males by Branched-Chain Amino Acids: A Randomized, Double Blind, Placebo Controlled Study.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (2012), eCollection, accessed November 20, 2014, doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-9-20

3. Llewellyn, W., Sport Supplement Reference Guide. (Florida: Molecular Nutrition, 2009), kindle edition

4. Baechle, Thomas R., Earle, Roger W. (2008). Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning. Nebraska. Human Kinetics. 31

5. Tate, P. Seeley’s Principles of Anatomy and Physiology. (New York: McGraw Hill Companies, 2012), 37


Photos courtesy of Shutterstock.

Tuesday 12/9/14


Coaches Surprise!


2 Min row
5 Min AMRAP (This is a warm up, not a TRUE AMRAP)
10 Light Wall Balls
5 Sit-Ups
2 HSPU or Wall Walks

10 Minutes to find a heavy Hang Clean and Jerk single

7 Min AMRAP (Up ladder of 3…)
Clean and Jerk
Toes 2 Bar

M-Comp – 135/95
Rx – 115/80
M1 – 95/65

Accessory Work

30 Evil Wheel Roll Outs for time

Don’t Let the Whiteboard Define You

by markalewine | December 8, 2014 12:12 am

Don't Let the Whiteboard Define You[1]The whiteboard[2] is such an obnoxious thing we do in CrossFit, right? This little tap on your shoulder telling you to go harder so you can beat Janet’s Fran time or Tom ’s front squat[3]. It’s annoying, isn’t it? This daily reminder of what you could’ve done because, odds are, you’re like the rest of the world and don’t red line every single workout. It’s like your nagging mom or disappointed dad assessing your WOD.

This is the self talk[4] so many of us have in the gym. It’s constant. It raises so many feelings of inadequacy, like our workouts pale in comparison to anyone else’s and we’re somehow failures.

Stop and think about that for a second. We feel like failures because of the results of a WOD. Instead of leaving our box feeling empowered, we feel defeated because our best didn’t measure up to someone else’s best.

Competition vs. Comparison

Competition vs. Comparison[5]
When I was training for a half marathon a couple of years ago, my friend, a seasoned marathon pro, told me, “There will always be someone faster, and there will always be someone slower. Just run your race.” This is the reality of the whiteboard and the important distinction between competition and comparison.
The pursuit of beating everyone in your box is a battle without end. Because as soon as you’re at the top, there will be another box… then another… then another. You might as well be on a hamster wheel.

The whiteboard is a tool. It cannot tell you anything about your life other than the basic numbers of a WOD.

Let me give you an image of what the end game of this relentless pursuit looks like down the road. Wright Thompson[6] of ESPN wrote a haunting description of Michael Jordan’s life after basketball. He seems so miserable, unable to test his now faded abilities against the best. Watching his aura of invincibility fade, he’s not aging gracefully. He’s raging against the fact that he’s aging at all, losing the competitive ability that made him the greatest of all time.

It’s an odd thing we do to ourselves, taking this one aspect of our God-given lives to use as a litmus test for measuring what kind of people we are. Just getting to the gym might have been an overwhelming battle for you the day you posted your worst Fran time. Your child vomited in the car. You had a fight with your spouse. Your boss said you had to work over the weekend. All these things can affect our performance, but we get hung up on our place on the whiteboard because that’s what everyone else will see. This is is how I will be assessed as a person.

How silly is this?

Maintaining a Positive Perspective

Maintaining a Positive Perspective[7]
Part of what has made CrossFit so special to me is the lesson that I’m capable of more than I would’ve ever imagined. That I can be a strong, powerful man who can accomplish something hard. That I can accept a challenge and succeed. This means more to me than anytime I’ve “won the whiteboard.”

So how can we choose a better way? How can the whiteboard become a tool for you as an athlete to challenge your limits and not a roadblock in your personal growth?

Simple: You must tell yourself you don’t need it.

This isn’t an easy thing to do, considering it’ll probably tap into a whole lot of other issues you may have swirling around inside you, but it’s not complicated. The whiteboard is a tool. It cannot tell you anything about your life other than the basic numbers of a WOD. That’s it. It can be a fun way to compete with your fellow athletes, or it can take over and sabotage your experience with CrossFit. It’s ultimately up to you.

Allow the lessons you have learned from challenging yourself through CrossFit to translate into this part of your life. This is the Murph of growing as a person. You have to choose to change the dialog in your head, even when it’s hard.

Mark Alewine originally published “Don’t Let the Whiteboard Define You[8]” to his blog[9] on 20 November 2014. Follow him on Twitter at @MR_Alewine[10].

Tags: Contributor Network[11], Mark Alewine[12], whiteboard[2], front squat[3], self talk[4], Wright Thompson[6]

  1. [Image]:
  2. whiteboard:
  3. front squat:
  4. self talk:
  5. [Image]:
  6. Wright Thompson:,d.aWw
  7. [Image]:
  8. Don’t Let the Whiteboard Define You:
  9. blog:
  10. @MR_Alewine:
  11. Contributor Network:
  12. Mark Alewine:

Source URL: