Friday, January 30, 2009

What is REAL Physical Readiness?

Ken and Dar working on their physical readiness.

The Navy's "Physical Readiness Test" (aka PRT) is max push-ups and "sit-ups" in two minutes each, followed by a 1.5 mile run. However, when one looks at the physical demands that will be placed on a Sailor when the feces hits the oscillator, they are hard pressed to find the corelation between the test and real life. With the Navy heading full steam ahead and putting boots on ground in combat zones through the Individual Augmentee (IA) and Global War on Terrorism Support Assignment (GSA) programs, maintaining a high level of fitness (physical readiness) deserves a much more attention. The following is an excerpt from an article written by a member of Naval Special Warfare on how CrossFit can help prepare an individual for combat.

"The first rule of war is if you want to win, you have to kill as many of the enemy as possible. Period. The more physical assets you have to do that in any environment, under any conditions, the better. CrossFit's unique combination of Olympic lifting, basic gymnastics, and functional movements performed at high intensity with constant variation will greatly enhance a soldiers ability to do that."
Whenever someone who has been there, done that (BTDT) starts talking about preparing for the unknown and the unknownable, I tend to open up my ears and my mind. CrossFit provides us with the tools to be ready for anything that life, mission, or game might throw our way. To take this one step further, what about the challenges that we face on a daily basis in our everyday lives? What about a worst case scenario? I personally would rather fill up my toolbox with all "ammunition" I could, then worry about how my "gunz" and "chesticles" look. To each their own I guess...

Read the rest of A Soldier's Perspective on Functional Fitness HERE!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

UG! Me Tarzan, you....Big Mac?!

OK, so you've heard about this "Paleo Diet" thing...but it merely conjures up an image of you dressed like Fred Flinstone, chasing your dog down the street with a club. Well, let me be the first to tell you that that isn't entirely accurate. At least let's hope not...unless you're into that kinda thing...who am I to judge? Ok, sorry...moving on.

This video is part 1 of 7 of a presentation by Dr. Loren Cordain on the topic of the Paleo diet and Multiple Scelerosis. It is a great introduction to the Paleo diet and the downfalls of the modern day Western Diet.

Part 2 and the rest of the presentation can be found HERE!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"The Healthlift"

To continue with my "core strength" theme, I thought it would be appropriate to post a link to a great article written by CrossFit's founder, Greg Glassman, on the deadlift.

"To the detriment of millions, the deadlift is infrequently used and seldom seen either by most of the exercising public and/or, believe it or not, by athletes.

It might be that the deadlift's name has scared away the masses; its older name, "the healthlift," was a better choice for this perfect movement."

The rest of the article is available as a FREE download in the CrossFit Journal.

Monday, January 26, 2009

"Core" Training

OK, so what the hell is up with this phenomenon of "functional" or "core" training using some stupid Bosu or swiss ball?! Tony Blauer talked about this a bit on Episode 24 of CrossFit Radio. To paraphrase, "You'll never be in a death match while balancing on a swiss ball." Although he is talking about his area of expertise, fighting, I think that it is a valid point for every athlete...well, until they finally give in to the masses and have some Uber-Swiss Ball Championship on ESPN 8 - The Ocho.

In the picture above, judging by his build, I'm going to assume that he is some form of endurance athlete. Can someone please tell me how this exercise helps said athlete do ANYTHING better...other than lifting pink dumbells (yes, I realize that they aren't pink, but they might as well be) while standing on a Bosu ball? Why not have him deadlift or squat? Whenever someone asks me if I think they should do ______ exercise on a swiss ball for "core strength," I immediately ask them how much they deadlift. After they're finished stammering some weak sauce excuse about a bad back, I inform them that they should do Bosu training ONLY after pulling 400 lbs off the ground.

If your back is weak and core strength is a problem area for you, then there is no need for some new fangled exercise that you read in this month's Shape magazine. Instead, find something heavy, and LIFT IT!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

"Train the Body the Mind Will Follow"

In keeping with yesterday's theme of slogging away on the treadmill, here is an excerpt from a great article by Ross Enamait:

"If you train the body, the mind will follow. By pushing yourself in the gym, your mind is forced to come along for the ride. If your mind is weak, you will quit as soon as fatigue mounts. Fighters are trained to work through fatigue. The ability to display skill in a fatigued state is a unique skill in itself. Such abilities are developed through intense physical training. If you want a strong, confident mind, you must develop this mindset in the gym."

You can read the rest of this article (and many other golden nuggets) at

Friday, January 23, 2009

Gym of the Living Dead

Here is an excerpt from a great post on the CrossFit Hampton Roads blog. Does this sound familiar to anyone...?

"Let me lay the stage for you. The 5am crowd at Globo gym was moderate in density, but void of any life; it was a gym full of zombies. The fluorescent gym lights flickered like a scene from an eerie subway station. With glazed and hollow eyes, the patrons went from station to station..."

Read the rest of the post HERE

Sometimes I think the best thing we can do to "introduce" others to CrossFit is to head into the base gym and do the WODs in our CF t-shirts. While 99% are looking at us like we've lost our minds, 1% is thinking, "Whoa, that's what I need to be doing!" Wearing the shirt eliminates the need for the shy or embarrassed to approach us and gives them the means to do a bit of research on their own.

With that said...remember, when you're wearing your CF shirt in the gym, you are an ambassador to "the cause" (sorry for the cult reference...LOL). Acting out or not doing the movements/WODs properly does nothing but give the naysayers more ammunition.

Post thoughts to comments.

Monday, January 19, 2009

2009 CrossFit Games

The Regional Qualifiers for our region (Asia) will be held at CrossFit Asia in Okinawa on May 9-10, 2009. I'm eagerly awaiting more it comes up, I'll be sure to post it here. Do you have what it takes?!

Friday, January 2, 2009

NAS Oceana Bans CrossFit?!

This picture was taken at the gym on Naval Air Station Oceana. This sign represents everything that we military CrossFitters have come to fear ever since the BS Makimba Mimms lawsuit. Yes, safe training is critical! But if the Powers-That-Be would go to the Branch Medical Clinic on base and ask for the mishap reports, they would see that the greatest number of injuries - by far - come from football and soccer. What's next? A sign on the football field that says, "This installation is not a sports complex, therefore any unsafe (as defined by whom, I'm not sure) sports, such as football or soccer, are not to be played. If you have any questions, try to find someone to complain to, but our minds are made up, so don't really bother wasting your time."

CrossFit is our sport. When properly implemented, it is far safer than many other activities that the military routinely has it's members do. We can go one step further and use the age old Operational Risk Management (ORM) - in other words, is the juice worth the squeeze? In this case, it most certainly is! The level of physical readiness that one gains from a properly implemented CrossFit program is unparalleled by any other option currently available to the military. But don't take my word for it. How about the word of Ensign Andy Stumpf (who used to be SO1 Stumpf)? He is a former Phase 2 BUD/S instructor and now a member of Team 3. ENS Stumpf has done EXTENSIVE research since CrossFit was unofficially implemented and has shown not only a significant decrease in Medical drops, but also a significant increase in performance during events such as the Obstacle Course. Contacting him for the data is easy, if anyone would like any assistance, I would be happy to provide his email address via other channels. There are many other examples of CrossFit use within Military and Law Enforcement units which prove, without a shadow of doubt, its superiority to other methods: Marine Sniper School is another program that immediately comes to mind.

The moral of the story is that Navy officials shouldn't fear CrossFit, but instead consider embracing it. They should contact people like Colonel Dan Wilson - a former Batallion Commander onboard Camp Pendleton(<---Link!). They should ask him what CrossFit did - and continues to do - for the Marines that have bought into the program with their blood, sweat, and tears. Instead of banning it from the base gym - the only viable option for many of the Sailors stationed at NAS Oceana - why not consider sending some of their "highly trained" Towel Folders, or even *GASP* some of the military members currently regularly doing CrossFit to a Level 1 certification? Because of the cost? How much did their brand new cable-crossover machine cost? What about the idiot's squat rack (aka the Smith Machine)? It's time for Navy officials to do their OWN research for a change. There are so many avenues for information regarding CrossFit: from people that do it daily and have previously done it, that it's silly for them to count on the opinion of "experts" that have never even visited the CrossFit website or contacted the founder, Greg Glassman. Would you ask a physicist who has never driven a car if driving is safe? Seems silly to me...

I would like to close with a favorite quote of mine that I feel is at the heart of this issue:

"The more a man bleeds in training, the less he will bleed in battle."
- Anonymous