Monday, September 29, 2014

A Call To Arms

Today I'm going to take a short break from my usual banter and write to you from the heart (of America, that is).  This post is specifically for the men of BARx who are not yet on a team for the upcoming Heart of America competition, but I encourage all others to continue reading as well.  I'm sure there will be something for everybody by the time this is all said and done.

You see, due to various position jockeyings, leavings, injurings, and other jackassery, I have ended up on a scaled team for the competition at the end of October.  Essentially I was the last resort in a long line of prospects that are too scared or otherwise motivated not to do it.  I'm pretty sure they even asked Tony's infant son Tate before me and he responded with "screw that, I'm a weightlifter."

Then he banged out some one-arm push ups.

Let me be perfectly clear here, before I begin giving you reasons why anybody else besides me should step up and do this.  I am actually quite excited about participating.  First of all, this is one of the best competitions in the Midwest Country World in terms of organization, programming, facilities, vendors, and equipment.  Jeremy and the crew at CrossFit Springfield put on an amazing show every year, and if I was forced to do willingly participating in one CrossFit competition for the rest of my life, this would be it.  Second of all (and probably more importantly) it will give me a chance to prove to all you naysayers that I am actually quite capable of getting my heart rate up from time to time.

Heart of America 2012.  I look calm on the outside, but trust me, there's a load in my pants.

So now here's my question: is there no one else?  No man out there between the ages of 8 and 80 willing and able to step up and take my spot in this competition?  Or is it simply that you are all too afraid?

FDR famously once said "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."  He later added "and 3RM Thrusters, you better fear that sh*t too."

Believe me, I'm not afraid.  And I will gladly step in and help this team to a glorious and memorable not-quite-last-place finish.  But you see, I had much bigger plans for that weekend.  Plans that included 4 cups of coffee and a nice breakfast in the morning, followed by a good hard lifting session in the new BARx Port-A-Gym (we're still working on the name).  That's right, it's a real thing, and you're going to miss out on it because you won't be there.


Then I was going to spend my afternoons cheering, jeering, cracking jokes, and scoping out what I'm sure will be hundreds thousands millions of women running around in booty shorts, all the while collecting empty 12 ounce aluminum cans at my feet.  But no.  Because of your unwillingness to commit and step ever-so-slightly out of your comfort zone, my weekend of decadence has been ruined and replaced with metcons and whey protein shakes.

I will leave you with one final plea, in the form of a once-in-a-lifetime photo, perhaps the greatest photo never taken, that I've been looking for a reason to post on this website for the last year.  Yes, before you start to speculate, I did edit it to keep things appropriate.

These are the types of great memories you'll be missing out on .... You know what, never mind, I don't want you to go anymore.  I got this.

09/30/2014 - WOD

A): Shoulder Press (10 Minute EMOM)
Every 2 minutes perform 5 strict presses, increasing the weight slightly each set.
B1): Overhead Static Hold (3 x 1 Minute Hold (accumulate))
95 lbs / 65 lbs
B2): Ring Rows (3 x 10)

Metcon (AMRAP - Reps)
4 Rounds For reps
1 minute push press (95/65)
1 minute front squat (95/65)

1 minute rest

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Rollin' In the T's ...

Typically I don't like to use these posts to brag on myself.  Okay, that's not true at all, but at the very least I usually try to be subtle about it.  But not today.  You see, as of this weekend all of the arduous work that I've been putting into theses posts day in and day out - thinking up clever one-liners, sniping hilarious pictures from the World Wide Web, and Googling words like "arduous" to make me sound smart - has finally paid off!  Not paid off in the sense that somebody is giving me actual money or sponsorships to do this.  No, it's paying off in an even better way ... with a free T-shirt:

Yes, the rest of the BARx training staff also received the goods as well.  Freeloaders riding in the coattails of my success, but whatever.

You may remember a while back I wrote a post lambasting the RxBar crew for changing their crackBar packaging (found here).  Somehow this post found its way to the highest level of RxBar Executive Management, at which point they called a board meeting and decided to take action and make some swift changes to their process * (you're welcome, everyone) and also send us some super sweet T-shirts as a thank you.  We all greatly appreciate the gesture ... I wore the shirt to Costco this afternoon and it was a huge hit.

* Important note:  they changed the packaging before I made that post so the truth is it had absolutely no effect whatsoever.  However, that's not how I'm going to remember it.

In other exciting news, we've decided to have a drawing and giveaway for the top performers in the nutrition challenge thus far.  Congratulations to the following people who will be entered in a drawing for some super-sweet goods early next week:

Minus Maggie, she won't be included in the drawing.  No worries about Steph because apparently she really fell off the wagon this week.

09/29/2014 - WOD

A): Back Squat (5 x 5)
** Try to increase the load each set
B): Pistols (10 Minutes of Skill work)

Metcon (Time)
For Time
40 slam balls (30/20)
30 situps
20 OH reverse lunges (with slamball 30/20)
30 situps
40 slamballs

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Meat Pie

Most of our new diets have us attempting to eat some exorbitant amount of protein each day, in many cases 1 gram per pound of bodyweight or something close to that.  Before I dive into my favorite ways to get “da beef” throughout the day, I’d like to touch on da science behind eating that much protein.  You see, 14 out of 27 scientists agree that the science behind eating so much protein is not so sciencey.  The idea that athletes need so much protein in their diets is what many people have started to refer to as “bro-science,” which I assume means that it was originally made up by a bro somewhere in a 24-hour fitness and then gained traction on the internet.

Did you really think this guy was hard at work trying to help you gain 3 pounds of muscle?  No he’s worrying about much more important things, like advances in pharmaceuticals and plastic surgery.

While the jury might be out, the fact of the matter as I see it is this:  lots of people who are stronger than me recommend a diet that’s pretty high in protein.  And I have a rule to always trust people that are stronger than me.

If you have a 6” vertical while holding upwards of 375 lbs in your hands, I have to assume your diet is made of mostly shards of glass and lion testicles.

So here are my favorite sources of protein:

Eggs and Egg Whites (Paleo = Yes)
Although it’s totes way more paleo to have your own backyard chickens churning these out for you (because they had chain-link fences and 4-story chicken coops back then), it’s still acceptable to purchase these from the store.  I've also recently started buying giant cartons of egg whites from Costco, which are great for helping reduce the fat in your diet but are bad for the remainder of the day as you waste time wondering what the hell they are doing with all those yolks.

Chicken Sausage (Paleo = Probably Not)
I don’t know what part of the chicken the sausage comes from (waaaaiiittt a minute ….) and I don’t care.  This stuff is awesome.  Great way to get an extra 20 grams into your morning.

Chicken, Turkey, Pork, and Lean Red Meat (Paleo = Yes)
I hope you know what all of these things are.  The key to life is making sure that when you cook, you cook enough for the next 5-6 days.  If you aren’t filling up the grill at least twice every time you fire it up, then you are wasting valuable time and energy.

A typical Sunday at my house.  This of course takes place after other typical Sunday activities, such as yelling at the neighbors bulldogs and using an old hockey stick to fight off the squirrels nesting in the patio.

Cheese (Paleo = No)
Yes, it’s a great source of protein.  Yes, it’s delicious.  Yes, you can melt some on your organic wheat free gluten free vegan nut bread and make a grilled cheese once in a while.

Protein Powder (Paleo = Probably Not)
Such a contentious topic.  I have it on good authority that Harlee knows quite a bit about anything and everything related to whey protein, so if you really want some information you might seek him out.  Otherwise you’ll have to settle for my opinion, which is that protein powder is just like every other packaged consumer food product on the market today:  it’s all the same sh!t in different packages.  Pick the cheapest one and go for it.

Here’s what I use, for the record.  No, the cows it came from were not organically grass-fed, nor did someone brush their hair and tuck them in every night before bed.  But it is free of all banned substances, which is perfect because I’d hate for THIS to be the reason I don’t make the US Olympic Team in 2016.

09/25/2014 - Thursday
A): Front Squat (3 x 3 at 70%)
B): Handstand Push Up Skill Work (Skill Work or 3 x Max Reps)

Metcon (AMRAP - Rounds and Reps)
4 min amrap
4 hang squat cleans 155/105
8 pushups

2 min rest

4 min amrap
KB clean and jerk 53/35

perform 1 on each arm then 2 each arm, adding 1 each round

09/26/2014 - Friday

A): Bench Press (3 x 3 at 70%)
B1): Seated Dumbbell Press (Dumbbells, 3x8)
B2): Ring Rows (3 x  Max Reps)

Metcon (AMRAP - Reps)
(from CFNE):
7 rounds x 2:00 minute with 1 minute rest between each round
200m run
7 Deadlifts 155/115
Double under with remaining time (score=du)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Getting Enough ...

I've had several conversations this past week with many different people about getting enough ... something (protein, carbs, total calories, etc).  I am blown away by this.  Now as my standard disclaimer goes, I'm no nutrition expert.  However, if there's one thing I am pretty damn good at, it's eating enough food.

As evidenced by the Jack in the Box taco binge of '05.  Just kidding, that wasn't me.  But I did watch the whole thing unfold and it was epic.

So to help you along your food journey, I've decided to list out some of my favorite ways to make my macronutrient goals for the day.  Some are old stand-bys, some are new, and some are revived from the dead, but they all work.  We'll start with ...


Bananas (Paleo = Yes)
Quick, easy, and there isn't a human being on Earth that doesn't like the taste.  For that matter, there isn't a monkey on Earth that doesn't like the taste.  And monkeys are WAY stronger than you.  I used to shy away from these because they are so sugary, but I also used to spend 15 minutes every morning spiking my hair straight up in the air.  You live and you learn.

Oatmeal (Paleo = No)
Remember oatmeal?? Yeah you do.  Again, very easy to make and 1 serving is anywhere from 30-40 grams of carbs.  Mix some strawberries and blueberries in there to make it even better and more carbilicious (seriously Google, that's not a word?).

Quaker is fine, but if you really want to get after it then I'd recommend the Steel Cut variety.  Why?  Because when things are cut with steel they are healthier, and you sound like more of a badass telling people about your breakfast.

Rice (Paleo = No)
Noticing a theme here?  Quick, easy, and a ton of carbs in one spot.  You can always mix in extra fats, sauces, and meat to have a complete meal in one place.  They even make some frozen versions with the veggies already mixed in, and since they're not Paleo you don't have to worry about using the microwave to cook them.

Sweet Potatoes (Paleo = Yes)
Hell yes.  Steam up a bunch of these on Sunday, or throw them in the oven.  Not necessarily easy to make but totally worth the pain.  Great for any snack or meal, and you can actually rub one on your chest to help alleviate cold symptoms during the harsh winter.

Greek Yogurt (Paleo = No)
I finally hopped on the bandwagon.  FYI, Bud Light Platinum was the number 2 selling new food product of 2012.  Number 1 ..... Chobani Greek Yogurt.  I know, I know, when everybody does something it's not cool anymore.  But everybody's doing CrossFit now and it's still cool.  Sorta.  Just give it a shot.  Easy carbs and a ton of protein to go with it.  Great after workouts.

This guy is Greek.  Greek Yogurt is Greek.  What more information do you need??

Apples (Paleo = Yes)
"An apple a day keeps the doctor away."  Well, two apples a day and you can walk in and overhead squat that little pill-prescribing SOB.  If you're having trouble getting enough fat, slap some almond butter (paleo) or peanut butter (actually worth eating) on top and you're welcome for the most delicious snack of all time.

Tomorrow we''ll hit on some favorite protein sources ... spoiler alert, this post will involve breasts.

Big ones.

09/24/2014 - WOD

A): Deadlift (3 x 3 at 70%)
A2): Bent Over Row (3 x 8 Heavy Dumbbells)

Metcon (Time)
Partner 1 Mile sled pull, for time (155/110)
Metcon (AMRAP - Reps)
4 rounds for each movement
Russian twist with dumbbell
Get up sit up with dumbbell
Side plank with arm thread with dumbbell, right side
Side plank with arm thread with dumbbell, left side

Sunday, September 21, 2014


Finally, somebody does some work around BARx.  The wall ball corner has never looked better ... big thanks to Loren for the job well done.

It's not nearly as flashy, but he also smoothed out the bumps in the floor over by the platforms.  I'm not sure why they keep coming back, either our floor space is slowly shrinking over time or the rubber flooring is actually regenerating itself every time the weather shifts.

Also now that diet challenge is in full swing and week 1 is nearly complete, I'd like to congratulate the below people on being above 90% diet adherence so far.  Obviously we won't be able to announce a winner until the end when we add in body comp improvement and benchmark testing, but I plan to post up the diet leaders each week, mostly because it will give me something to do.

Either we have a lot of people who are very dedicated to this challenge, or a gym full of lying cheating bastards.  Either way, consider me proud.  And no, we won't allow Maggie or Steph to win.

The next list of people are those who have neglected to so much as log one hour's worth of diet, and therefore I can only assume haven't even looked at my super-sweet spreadsheet and don't care about being a part of the awesome scoring system I've slaved so hard to put together.  No that's a joke, truthfully it wasn't that hard ... the most difficult part was spelling Larisa's last name.

Roberta's was no picnic either.

Please know that if you're on the above list, you've hurt my feelings greatly, and I leave you with a picture of what I look like on the inside right now to hopefully motivate you to log in next week.

09/22/2014 - WOD

A): Back Squat (3 x 3 at 70%)
B1): Weighted Step-ups (3 x 20 Alternating)
** Hold a pair of dumbbells at your side
B2): Power Clean (Warm Up to WOD weight (135/95))

Metcon (AMRAP - Rounds and Reps)
Death by PowerCleans 135/95
with a 15 minute running clock perform 1 power clean on the first minute, 2 on the second minute etc. increasing by 1 each minute.  When you fail to complete a round switch to 10 burpees every minute for remaining time.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


And we’re back from Colorado.  Somehow the planes managed to take off and land safely, which never ceases to blow my mind.  At one point we even flew through some clouds … I didn't know planes could do that.  We did get to visit CrossFit Sanitas in Boulder and they receive the nod of approval from me, mainly due to their huge facility and the fact that they had no issue with me lifting in the corner by myself.

Also the view was okay, but I much prefer the scenic overlook of my south county patio complete with the neighbors dirty, rusted, and collapsed above-ground pool.

Now that I’m home, rest assured that I am diligently working on your spreadsheet requests and will process them in the order they were received.  I would however like to state that if your name wasn't on the original list from the gym board and you haven’t contacted me, then I literally have no possible way of knowing what you want.  And if you have some sort of telepathic E.T.-like power and you've been communicating with me that way, I’m not getting the message.

And even if I was, I make it a point not to listen to the voices in my head.

09/18/2014 - WOD

A): Overhead Squat (Find 3RM For Today)
B1): barbell rollouts (3 x 10)
B2): Pull-ups (3 x Max Reps)

Baseline (Time)
500 m row
40 air squats
30 sit ups
20 push ups
10 pull ups
** Testing is part of the 8 Week Nutrition Challenge **

Friday, September 12, 2014


All of the nutrition challenge participants should have received an email sometime today with a link to their challenge spreadsheet.  On the very small chance that I made some sort of error, perhaps forgot to send you a link, or sent you someone else's link, or just sent you a hilarious kitten picture, please let me know and I'll make sure to right the situation.

This is exactly how you need to be over the next 8 weeks:  freakin' dialed in.

I'm pretty confident that I didn't make any major mistakes during my early morning email session, which was fueled by a gallon of black coffee and a banana.  However, the afternoon email session (and this blog post) were fueled by beverages that have a slightly more dulling effect on the senses ...

Oh, and Nutter Butters.  Also fueled by Nutter Butters.

I've already received several questions about "what diet should I be following?"  I feel like I made it abundantly clear that we don't care.  Follow whatever your heart desires.  Google it up, or better yet scroll back through the last two weeks of me ranting about all kinds of diet BS to see what your choices are (yes you have to dig deep, but underneath all of the sarcasm and stupid animal pics there is some occasional useful information).

Personally I've decided to go with the Flexible Dieting approach, which is all the rage on the Googles right now.

Actual chart from that shows how much Flexible Dieting has been Googled recently.  Go ahead and add one more to that for me Googling to find the chart ... although I spelled dieting "dieteing."  Does that count?

For those of you who don't want to check the site, let me give you a run-down of what flexible dieting looks like.  This is how it's shaken out for me today:

Breakfast:  3 Eggs, chicken sausage, a Banana, the aforementioned 8 cups of black coffee, spinach, potatoes, and a little coconut oil.

Lunch:  Rice and bean bowl, with extra chicken and sliced peppers

Snack:  4 Nutter Butters and 8 oz of Jim Beam

Dinner:  I don't know, probably some salmon, carrots, and a smoothie.

Did you catch the flexible part?  Good.  I don't know who invented this, but I do know that I didn't have to give them any money for it (although I gladly would) and that it's definitely the best invention since sliced bread ... which by the way, I can totally eat if I want.

And I do want.  I really do.  (Photo credit:

09/13/2014 - WOD

A): Back Squat (5 x 5 at 70-75%)
Metcon (Time)

Partner WOD for Time

400m overhead carry (20/14)
100 TTB
200m overhead carry
100 box jumps (24/20)
200m overhead carry
100 db walking lunges (35/25)
400m overhead carry
*One partner works at a time
*Overhead carry done together, one partner holds ball overhead.  Every time partners switch the pair does 3 burpees together when they return to gym before going on to next movement