Archive for February, 2014

The IFX: Week 6

Posted: February 28, 2014 in Experiment, Original, Uncategorized


Ok, so between work and coaching I haven’t been able to update this as much as I wanted to.  Good news is I have some interesting updates to share.

Weight:  180.6 .  Down another 1.5 lbs.  This morning’s 180.6 reading is again the lowest I have been so far. The weight is still coming off and I have even added in another meal to my rest days.

Body Fat: 15.5% (2 weeks ago).  Assuming Jamie’s reading from the end of Week 1 was accurate, This would bring me down about 2% from my starting point.  Not bad but I was hoping for more.  I have added some metabolic conditioning work in the my training now to see if that has any effect.  I do feel like I look leaner than that when I look in the mirror but the numbers don’t lie.

Training:  The PRs keep coming.  In the last week I have set all-time PRs in 3 exercises.  It is very hard to complain about that.  One of the new elements I have added is creatine.  I have had great success with creatine in the past and decided to take it because no matter what I am eating or not eating, my goal is to get stronger.  Creatine makes you stronger.  So I take it.

I have been doing a new style of training for me where I don’t stick to any specific programming but simply a rough template and train what I feel needs work.  Depending on how I feel, I will choose the exercises for that day.  For example, I will do power snatches from the blocks as the main exercise.  After that, I will do accessory work like snatch deadlifts, snatch deadlifts with a pause, and behind the neck snatch grip push presses.  These are all snatch related and help to build pure strength in the weak points.  I will only do one of the lifts (or their variations) per training session and no longer snatch and clean and jerk on the same day.  I feel this has greatly improved my overall strength and technique because I can focus on just that lift.  I plan on taking a deload week every 6-8 weeks depending on feel.

I have also added in metabolic conditioning to the week.  These go back and forth between Tabata intervals on the assault bike and 50 burpees for time.  For most of you this is a breeze but for an out of shape son of a bitch like me, it stings and stings badly.  The idea is to provide another stimulus for fat oxidation without dropping calories.

Diet: Nothing to report here as diet has continued to be consistent with previous entries.  I am still eating 4 times per day no matter if I train or not.

The cheat meals have all been at Red Robin.  I order the Royal Red Robin (burger with bacon and fried egg) with 2 patties and side of sweet potato fries.  After that, I go to Sweet Frog and load up a nice bowl of frozen yogurt with a ton of toppings.  I cant even imagine the calorie count for those two meals.

How I Feel:  Feeling better than ever.  Excessive hunger is a rarity now that my body has adjusted.  I continue to drink coffee in the mornings which helps a lot.  I haven’t had a single day where my training has been compromised due to energy levels which has shocked me to be honest.  Most workouts are an hour long but some go into the 2 hour mark.

I have decided that I am going to keep doing this until it starts to negatively effect my gains.  When that will happen is anyone’s guess.  Goal now is to keep cutting body fat, mainly because Deanne told me I look fat in my tights.

Until next week…

I will admit, I haven’t formally met Jon yet but I see him all the time in the morning classes kicking butt. Read Jon’s interview and witness his amazing transformation through his photos.  Great job Jon and keep getting better each day!

jon 4

1. Where did you grow up?

I was born at Fort Lewis Washington. After moving around a good bit my family settled in Harrisburg and have been here ever since.

2. What is your athletic background?

Does competitive duff sitting count? On a serious note thou, I played little league football, gave power lifting a shot, went to a couple of wrestling camps sponsored by the local high school.

3. How did you get started with CrossFit?

I had set a goal for myself that I wanted to do a 100 mile charity bike ride, and was struggling to get past a certain point. I had read some stuff about crossfit and figured I would give it a shot. Then later that day my wife and I were heading some where and we drove past the front of the building and saw the sign. Yep, a sign, that weekend I was in the Saturday Sweatshop class.

4. How long have you been at CrossFit 717?

I started June of 2013.

5. What are your favorite exercises/WODs?

I LOVE deadlifts! Looking back I would have to say Fight Gone Bad. It was the first benchmark WOD that I had done.

jon 1

6. What exercises/WODs do you dislike?

I have not found anything that I do not like Just things I am not proficient at. /cough split jerks /cough

7. What are you goals with regards to CrossFit?

I have a bunch of benchmarks I want to accomplish but it all gets wrapped up under the idea of being “be better than yesterday”.

8. In your perfect world, what would you be doing in 10 years?

To be done with college, get a better job. Hopefully that will allow me the time to travel.

9. Where did you go to high school/college?

High school I went to Dauphin County Technical High School. For college I am a current student at HACC with plans to transfer to a 4 year school.

10. What is your current occupation

I currently work in network security for a broadband providers Abuse Desk.

jon white shirt

11. If you could eat dinner with 3 people past or present, who would you choose?  Furthermore, what would you order for dinner? 

There are so many different people that I would love to pick their brain about things. I would have dinner with would be Themistocles. He is credited with being the savior of Athens. He was instrumental in the building of the navy that defeated the Persians. He then gets exiled from the city. The second would be J. R. R. Tolkien. The third was fairly tough one to pick. I would have to go with Leonardo da Vinci. I would order Blackened Catfish.
12. Who is your celebrity crush?

Christina Hendricks

13.  What is your favorite movie?

There are a number of movies that I love to watch. Top spot on my list is shared between Army of Darkness and Aliens (the second movie in the series). They are both great movies filled with one liners.


Beyond the Athlete: Kevin Catlin

Posted: February 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

Kevin goruck

1. Where did you grow up?

Etters, Pa.

2. What is your athletic background?

Usual kids sports, but ran pretty well in high school.

3. How did you get started with CrossFit?

I signed up for a GORUCK event and figured the best way to get ‘comfortable’ with getting my ass kicked, was to get my ass kicked. It was really more about getting myself out of my comfort zone and learning new things to keep me motivated.

4. How long have you been at CrossFit 717?

This March (2014) will be one year.

5. What are your favorite exercises/WODs?

Low weight/high rep endurance style with small ‘groups’ of repeating exercises; Helen, Fight gone bad, the Murph. Basically I am pretty weak with a decent motor. So really those are more in my comfort zone.

6. What exercises/WODs do you dislike?

Thrusters and wall balls, I feel like I will never be proficient and always feel smoked after only a few reps. The only WOD that I dread is the F word, I dare speak her name, but you know who I am talking about.

7. What are you goals with regards to CrossFit?

To be comfortable with heavier weights in WODs. I think I hold back for the fear of getting hurt. I had about two weeks off this fall and I almost went bat shit crazy.

kevin surf

8. In your perfect world, what would you be doing in 10 years?

The same as now. I am a pretty happy/content guy.

9. Where did you go to high school/college?

Went to Red land High school and dabbled at HACC. Most times spent smoking cigarettes and eating pizza in the student center. I am a shit student.

10. What is your current occupation?

I am a project manager for Heim electric. I am full time at the Hershey med center, managing their ever going construction projects. IT NEVER STOPS!

11. If you could eat dinner with 3 people past or present, who would you choose? Furthermore, what would you order for dinner? 

Jesus Christ, Hunter S. Thompson, and my Dad. I myself am not religious, but come on the dude inspired millions to do a whole bunch of things and continues to 2000 years later, that is some serious pull. Hunter S. Thompson because he is psycho badass who always shot from the hip and wasn’t scared of anything. My dad is pretty rad and would totally get a kick out of the experience.

Tacos and beers.

12. Who is your celebrity crush?

That’s tough…I really don’t know a girl that I have a crush on, maybe Olivia Wilde? She is pretty damn cute, yeah we will go with her.

13.  What is your favorite movie?

Shawshank Redemption. It’s got it all, love, loss, friendship, hardship, redemption, freedom. Plus it has old man Brooks in it, gets me every time.

14.  What is your favorite thing about CrossFit 717?

Smiling faces.

kevin ruck

15.  If you could have any car, what would you choose?

1970’s Toyota Landcruiser. However a friend of mine borrowed a 2013 Ferrari 458 Modena and asked if I would like to go for a ride. I wasn’t too into it and I am not a car guy, after 2 minutes in that thing I think I was converted. He called it the ‘smile machine’ and he was right, you can’t help it. It must be a mixture of adrenaline and terror, but you CANT stop smiling, so maybe a fast sports car.

16. Tell us something interesting about yourself that we would be surprised to know.

I love rock climbing, but am terrified of heights. Every foot higher is a conscious battle.

17. What kind of shampoo do you use?

I think its Nexus. Because my hair would be dirty.

18. Have you ever been out of the country? If so, where and what was your favorite place?

Yeah, islands in the Caribbean, Jamaica, Dominican and our beloved neighbors to the north. I know it’s not out of the country, but Key West feels pretty removed and is an awesome place. I highly recommend it.

19. What were your best and worst subjects in school?


20. What would you say is your worst personality trait?

Anxiety with certain situations. I can start to stress about dumb shit.

21. When/if you go out, where is your favorite place to go?

Tres Hermanos in the burg, great authentic Mexican food (not the El Marachi type) and its BYOB.

kevin jump

22. You are banished to a deserted island for a month and can only bring one person (fictional or real) and one album with you.  Who do you bring and what album do you choose (keep in mind I said album, not song)?

I guess since Lori would have to stay with the kids, I would have to say my buddy Rocky, he rolls with the punches and is always smiling and saying funny stuff.

Paul Simon, Graceland it’s the total package.

23. Who do you consider your role model or inspiration?

I don’t think I have one. There are so many people that perform so many amazing things that to name one is pretty difficult. The types of people that inspire me are people with conviction. “Dishrags” turn me off. If you’re going to do something, do your best, and people will respect that.

24. What do you feel is the most important invention in the past 100 years?

Internet. The amount of information sharing we perform on a daily basis is unbelievable. This is good and bad, but 30 years ago if you wanted to see a donkey show you had to travel to Tijuana, now it’s from the comfort of you desk.

25. What are your favorite sports teams (you can list all teams for all sports you are a fan of)?

I am by default a Steelers guy, but by no means die hard.

26. What are your hobbies and interests outside of the box?

Really like rock climbing, surfing, and Goruck events. If I had to drop all other activities in my life except one, I would stick with surfing. To me it is the greatest. All those corny surf dudes didn’t necessarily start out that way, but spending a lot of time in the ocean (especially early mornings or moon lit nights) will change you. If you haven’t tried, do it, once you really catch your first wave, you will be hooked!

Beyond the Athlete: Eugene Combs

Posted: February 10, 2014 in Uncategorized


1. Where did you grow up?

I am a military brat, born in Berlin, middle school in California and high school in Mississippi.  I was never anywhere for longer then 3-4 years

2. What is your athletic background?

I played football and soccer in high school, still play rec soccer from time to time

3. How did you get started with CrossFit?

Talking to multiple people who were currently active in CrossFit, I wanted a challenge.  Post military life led to laziness and I needed a change.

4. How long have you been at CrossFit 717?

I started late May/early June of 2013

5. What are your favorite exercises/WODs?

I enjoy doing tire flips and the filthy fifty.  Two things I’ve heard multiple people groan over but I enjoy the challenge.

6. What exercises/WODs do you dislike?

Definitely death by burpees.  Anything more than 5 burpees in a wod is too many for me.

7. What are you goals with regards to CrossFit?

I want to know how far I can push myself.  Also to not feel ashamed when I walk around with my shirt off, beer gut and love handles were a pain in the ass to get rid of.

8. In your perfect world, what would you be doing in 10 years?

I’d like to be an IAM or a senior IT exec.  Hopefully settled down with a family as well.

9. Where did you go to high school/college?

I went to high school in Petal, MS.  I am currently enrolled in Penn State Harrisburg shooting for my bachelors degree in Info Systems.

10. If you could eat dinner with 3 people past or present, who would you choose? Furthermore, what would you order for dinner? 

Grandfather, Arnold and probably General Mattis.  No idea why, just think the conversations would be hilarious.  I’d probably order steak, shrimp and rice.  I could totally live on that every day and never get tired of it.

11. Who is your celebrity crush?

Definitely have to go with Gemma Arterton.

12. What is your favorite movie?

Probably Step Brothers, one movie that no matter how many times I watch it, I laugh harder each time.

Eugene Row

13.  What is your favorite thing about CrossFit 717?

Community aspect, it was honestly the one thing I was worried about going in.  I’d have to say I’m a huge introvert and wasn’t sure how I’d handle the group workouts.


The IFX: Week 3

Posted: February 7, 2014 in Uncategorized


Sorry no update last week, I was in NYC for business and had no time to write.  The pitfalls of a full-time job…

Weight:  182.0.  Down 5.7 lbs.  This morning’s 182.0 reading is the lowest I have been so far.  Interestingly, on Tuesday I weighed in at 184.2, Wednesday 183.2 and today 182.0.  It is almost like in the last 2 days my body made a leap after holding at the 184-185 range for a week.

Let me emphasize something.  This weight loss has been done on just mild weightlifting training.  No CrossFit training and the most cardio I have done is 2 minutes on the Assault Bike.  I was worried about not doing any metabolic conditioning but so far it hasn’t hurt me.

Body Fat: ?.  Why is there a “?” here?  Because I am an idiot and took a prescription cough suppressant last night and slept through my alarm.  I didn’t get a chance to get my body fat taken and missed my assistant coaching session.  I am stupid and I am sorry.  I hope to get this tested on Friday days to see where I stand but I definitely look leaner in the mirror and my clothes are fitting more comfortably again.

Training:  The last 2 weeks have been very good for me in terms of training.  2 Saturdays ago, I made an all-time PR clean by 2 kilos.  I also completed the Smolov Jr. squat program where I was able to jump 10 pounds each cycle which means my last cycle was 20 pounds heavier than the first.  After I completed it, I then needed to find a new 5 RM for a new squat cycle I am starting which was perfect because it would give me some numbers to compare.  Here are the stats:

Pre Smolov Jr: 270 x 3

Post Smolov Jr: 275 x 5

The squat weights obviously aren’t remotely impressive in terms of actual numbers but I am very happy that I was able to significantly improve my squat strength while fasting.  To me, setting a new clean PR and getting stronger overall while simultaneously losing weight is awesome.  It tells me the majority of the weight I am losing is fat because my strength has not suffered.

Next up for my training is another squat cycle called the Texas Method which is used by the Muscle Driver weightlifting team.  It is a 3 day per week squat program that historically produces good results so we shall see.  This will be the main focus with some secondary goals I will detail next week.

Diet: Diet has been a little scattered due to being out of town for work.  Fortunately, I was able to plan ahead and bring a good amount of snacks with me to keep my eating as close as I could to normal.  Lunch did end up at Chipotle one day but in my defense, I trained that morning in the hotel gym.

I have been sticking to my plan of eating four meals during days I train but have upped my meals on rest days from  three to four because I felt I wasn’t getting enough protein.  I like to get about 180-200g of protein per day and will play with the other macros as needed.  Three meals made it hard to get to that number so I added in snacks like 1.5 scoops of protein with walnuts or hardboiled eggs.  One of my new go-to carbs is a small sweet potato that I cut up into fries, cover in olive oil and cinnamon, and bake for 30 minutes.  Not as crispy as actually frying them but still damn good.

I know people can and will debate the “1g of protein per pound of bodyweight” rule but I don’t care.  It has always worked well for me and my results are exactly what I want so why change it.

The one cheat meal this week was a trip to Chili’s on Saturday where I had a 10 oz. sirloin (with butter), cilantro rice and sweet potato fries.  To wash it all down I definitely had a hot brownie with ice cream on top.

How I Feel:  Like last week, the hunger still hasn’t really been an issue.  I am really convinced the BCAAs are they key to not completely crashing after early morning fasted training sessions.  On mornings I drink them, I feel great and experience no ill-effects.

The eating window gets more enjoyable by the week.  I love the fact that I get to fit my calories in a 8 hour window.  It is like a daily reward for waiting until noon.  I am never hungry past this point and find it easier to plan my meals.

So far, I have been achieving all of my goals which definitely makes me feel good.  Let me reiterate, I have been losing weight and getting stronger at the same time.  For someone who has been training as long as I have, this type of thing is pretty rare.  Especially given the fact that I do no cardio training and get to the gym about 3-4 times per week for an hour at a time.  I cant imagine the results if I was able to train as much and as long as I would like but those of you with kids know how that goes.

I still haven’t decided if my results are from the energy balance the diet creates or something else and hope to give my opinion on this in the wrap up I will eventually do.