Archive for September, 2011

Color me jealous of this mobility...

With CrossFit, squats are a regular part of our training.  Whether it be thrusters, power snatches or burpees, squats all come into play.  Unfortunately, great squat mobility doesn’t come easy for a lot of us, myself included.  But that doesn’t mean that we are all stuck with having poor form and depth.  With a little bit of consistent mobility work, we can all move closer to that perfect squat form.

Here is a comprehensive article by Tony Gentilcore that contains specific drills that athletes can do to work on hip, ankle and knee flexibility.  Tony is co-owner of Cressey Performance where his main focus is training athletes for all levels of competition, from high school all the way up to the big leagues.  Some of their athletes include Jake Sprague (member of the USA Rugby team) and 3x Wold Series Champion Curt Schilling of the Boston Red Sox. I’ll warn you, this is longer article but if you make it to the end you will have a much better understanding of how to fix your squat.

Squat Like You Mean It: Tips for a Deeper Squat

by Tony Gentilcore, CSCS – 1/19/2011

Bench Press

Ask anyone who knows me well enough what some of my biggest pet peeves are, and you’ll undoubtedly hear things like:

  • People who talk or text during a movie.
  • People who honk their horn within 1/16th of a second of the traffic light turning green.
  • People who knowingly go through the express line at the grocery store even though they clearly have more than seven items in the their cart.
  • Keanu Reeves.

Throw me into a commercial gym setting, however, and you’re bound to see that list grow exponentially. Admittedly, I live in a strength and conditioning bubble where I and the rest of the Cressey Performance staff are able to control everything that’s either pressed, thrown, hoisted, or lifted under our watch.  (more…)

The last 2 WODs required skills that all of us could use practice on.  For Tuesday’s WOD, Coach Dan had us practicing butterfly pull ups.  If you watch any of the CrossFit games, 95% of the competitors do their pull ups butterfly style and for good reason.  When done properly, butterfly pull ups are quicker and more efficient than regular kipping pull ups.  The movement doesn’t look to complicated but you have to have the perfect timing in order to string them together.

To help, I think there is no better person than CrossFit Games veteran and all around bad-ass, Chris Spealler.  Chris makes body weight exercises look effortless and has strung 96 butterfly pull ups together.  Here he is explaining the butterfly pull up:

Today’s WOD focused on the most deceptive skill: the double under.  As many of us saw today, consistency with double unders can either make or break your WOD time.  Plow through them and you are on your way to a great time.  Getting 3 at a clip?  Well, you are on your way to a world of frustration.  So, lets learn how to perfect this skill.

In this video, Chris talks about the technical aspects of doing double unders.  Things like hand position, rhythm and rope length all play a vital role in performing consistent revolutions:

150 healthiest foods

I have heard some good feedback and it seems everyone likes posts about nutrition so every Tuesday I am going to post something nutrition related.  The next several will revolve around a series of interviews the boys over at T-Nation have done with Jonny Bowden.  Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS., is a board-certified nutrition specialist and a nationally known expert on weight loss and nutrition. He has a master’s degree in psychology and counseling and a PhD in nutrition, and has earned six national certifications in personal training and exercise. His books include: The 150 Healthiest Foods on EarthThe Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth, and The Healthiest Meals on Earth.

The nice thing about Jonny is that he is not Paleo, Zone, Atkins, etc.  He just gives you an educated, honest opinion on how he feels about nutrition whether it be grains or glycemic index.  I know I have said it before, but this is another chance to learn from one of the foremost experts FOR FREE so take advantage:

The Truth About Nutrition
An Interview with Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S.
by Chris Shugart

I don’t know if nutrition is 50 percent of the game, 70 percent, or 99.9 percent. All I know is that ignoring it is the worst mistake you can make. You won’t look like you want to look or feel like you want to feel. Chances are, if you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see, it’s your diet that’s to blame.

One of the best books I’ve ever read on food and nutrition is called The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, by Jonny Bowden, Ph.D.

Jonny Bowden

Bowden is not only a renowned expert on weight loss and nutrition, he’s also the go-to-guy for other diet experts. His books have been recommended by everyone from Barry Sears of Zone Diet fame to Charles Poliquin of gigantic biceps fame. (Bowden wrote the nutrition portion of Poliquin’s certification course.)

I recently met up with Bowden and hit him with a few questions that have been on my mind since I started reading his work.


Saturday’s WOD

Posted: September 25, 2011 in Uncategorized, WODs
Tags: ,

Lets be honest, Saturday’s WOD was brutal:

4 Rounds For Time:

  • 20 Squat Snatches (95/65)
  • 20 Pull-ups
  • 20 Burpees

I did a scaled down version of the WOD at 9AM and knew what pain was to come when the 10AM class heard the countdown timer.  Sweat was pouring and lungs were burning.  That being said, everyone pushed themselves hard and got in an excellent workout.  Some pictures:

More photos on the “WOD Shots” link above

Paleo Pancakes

Posted: September 23, 2011 in Nutrition, Uncategorized
Tags: ,

Blueberry Paleo Pancakes

Everybody loves pancakes.  But I hear a good recipe for pancakes that adheres to the Paleo Diet is very hard to come by. After trying several different recipes, I found this combination to be the best:


  • 1 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup almond or coconut milk
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 5 eggs


Blend all the ingredients together.  Set your cast iron pan or griddle on medium heat and melt some butter or use some oil.  Ladle the batter into whatever size you’d like–coin, silver dollar, big ol’ fatties.  Once tiny, little bubbles form around the edges of the pancake, it’s ready to flip.


Use more/less milk to get desired consistency.  Also, you can play around with how much cinnamon you use to make the pancakes more or less sweet.  Add blueberries to crank up the flavor and antioxidants.  Top with whatever floats your boat.  Honey, sugar-free syrup and fresh fruit are all good choices.