Archive for July, 2010

Tell Your Kids It Is OK To Fight – by Jeff Martin

Uncategorized | Posted by Brian PCF
Jul 20 2010

Reprinted from Crossfit Kids:

We have been told for years that fighting is morally and ethically wrong. That it is never the answer. This belief has threatened our country’s security and now we see the effects it can have on our children. Fighting is not wrong in the cause of self defense. It is not wrong for our nation to proactively protect itself nor is it wrong on a personal level to respond with physical force when threatened.

When I was young and in school a little boy hit me in front of the teacher. He was reprimanded and sent to detention. On the way out of school he told me he was going to do it again the next day. When I told my parents about the incident, they told me if he tried to hit me again, I was to hit him. Actually, they said hit him hard enough that he will never want to hit you again. I did and he didn’t.

A couple of years ago my wife went to pick up one of our boys at preschool. She found him hiding under a desk. When she asked him why he was hiding he said he was hiding from one of the other boys who had choked him several times that day. When my wife approached the teacher she was told that the boy “was having trouble at home and just acting out.” While I sympathize with the child who was having trouble at home, this was somehow supposed to excuse him attacking my son. That night we taught our son a simple Krav Maga self defense technique. He in turn shared his new knowledge with his teacher. His teacher made it very clear to him that under no circumstances was he to defend himself. He was to get her attention instead ( with a child’s hands wrapped around his throat) and she would take care of the problem. We of course relieved him of that notion.

Think of the different lessons these two stories teach. In the first, my parents taught me not only that I had a right to defend myself but that the responsibility for my safety rested with me. In the second, the opposite lesson was taught. My son was told his safety was someone else’s responsibility and under no circumstances was he to defend himself. If you have been taught the first lesson, you react instantly to someone threatening your safety. If you have learned the second, you look for an authority figure to help you when threatened. If there is no authority figure to stop the attack you waste valuable time deciding what to do and how to react. We are complicit in the victimization of children by predators if we are teaching children to look for an elusive authority figure for help.

A few months ago, we watched in shock, the video of poor Carly Bruscha simply allowing someone she doesn’t know to walk up, grab her arm and pull her away. She looks confused and frightened on the video. It takes only an instant for her abductor to move her out of the cameras eye. What a different video we might be seeing if at the instant she was touched by the man she launched into him biting, kicking and using everything she had to keep him away from her. I heard a retired FBI agent say, that they knew of no case where a child who was fighting back was killed in the course of an abduction. The reverse is not true. If abducted the outcome is almost universally bad.

But to demand that children discard their moral right to protect themselves is a lesson that should not be taught in any school or in our society. Children need to know it is morally and ethically right to fight and defend themselves the instant they are physically threatened. On a news program this morning, they ended the story by saying there is
“evidence the little girl fought her attacker to the end.” The problem is she didn’t fight in the beginning.

Building good character goes hand in hand with a belief in the right to self defense. Your children must know when and where to apply the defensive skills you teach them. That responsibility falls squarely on your shoulders and on theirs. If you build good character, then self defense will be exactly that – defense. It will be a reaction to an act
of violation, and every child has the right to defend himself if violated. Our children need to be given permission to
fight. Yes, they ALSO need to be taught good judgment so they know when fighting might be wrong.

Training for the FBI PFT

Uncategorized | Posted by Brian PCF
Jul 19 2010

Training for the FBI PFT should be approached like any other sport specific training. We know:

  • Movements and reps required
  • Rest between events
  • Test time/date

On top of this, my approach is going to focus on the individual athletes strengths and weaknesses.

Jenna R. has been working with us for a while, she needs to take the PFT in late September early October. She’s done an inventory PFT and scored:

Situps: 42
300m Sprint: 60.6 seconds
Push-ups: 23
1.5 Mile Run: 14:27

So looking at the FBI PFT Standards, she’s real close on all this stuff. Paleo + Crossfit is going to take care of 99% of this, but to get some specific work done we’re going to have a two week rotation:

Week 1
4×20, 30 seconds rest
15-10-8-8-8, 30 seconds rest
6x100m Sprints, 1 minute rest

Week 2
Every 30 seconds for 4 minutes, perform 10 situps
Every 30 seconds for 4 minutes, perform 5 pushups
5x400m, rest the same amount of time you ran.

I’m going to have Jenna to do this every Tuesday so we can make sure she gets in for Max Effort Days (M-W-T) at Potomac Crossfit.

Working Wounded – LeeAnn and Lisa

Uncategorized | Posted by Brian PCF
Jul 13 2010

Reference WODs 1-5.

General Guidance: If you want, you can cut the rest time between sets to get a small METCON dose.

A1. 4×3 Handstand Pushup Negatives @ 0050. Hands underneath the shoulders, roll out, walk back up. Let me know if you feel comfortable with kicking over to a Handstand and we’ll adjust these next time. Right now I don’t want you to kick up and mess up your foot.
A2. 4×10 Assisted Pistols (on rings)

4 Rounds for time:
Row 400m
15 Suitcase Deadlift, 70 lbs (kettlebell)

For Time:
Kettlebell Swing, 53 lbs

A1. 5×5 Ring Dip Negatives @ 0040
A2. 5×20 seconds Assisted Back Lever

B1. 4×5 Pullup Negatives, 5010. Meaning you are doing 5 sets, 3 reps, with a 5 second negative, 0 seconds at the bottom, 1 seconds coming back up (jump back up), and 0 seconds at the top.
B2. Single Leg Hip Bridge 4×5 (each leg)

C1. 4×10 V-Situps
C2. Back Ext 3×5.

A. “Death by Dumbbell Press” @ 30 lbs

B1. 5×5 Pistols. Set up three 45 lbs plates, try to sit down to those and come back up.
B2. 5x? Ring Dips. Do just below your max each set.

C1. 3x? Front Lever. Grap the pullup bar, bring your body up as high as you can. Minimum time is 5 seconds.
C2. 3×10 Glute Ham Raise

WOD 10
5 Rounds For Time:
10 High Bar Back Squat, 85 lbs
10 DB Push Press, 30 lbs

Know When To Say Wendler

Uncategorized | Posted by Brian PCF
Jul 12 2010

So you’ve been doing the basic barbell lifts for a while. You’ve been squatting, pressing, and deadlifting. Maybe you’ve cracked the PCF Programming Code and figure out we do a variation of this every Mon/Wed/Thu.

You’ve been training with us for a year or two, and you’re starting to see the same numbers every week on these lifts.

What’s that mean? It means you’ve tapped out your linear strength potential and that you need to periodize.

The simplest way to do this that fits right on top of our template is Wendler 531.

We’ve tested this out, and we’re consistently seeing great results. Athletes are blowing past their old PRs, seeing good strength increases across the board.

I was stalled on the Squat, Deadlift, and Press for THE LAST TWO YEARS. After 10 weeks of Wendler 531, I PR’d my Back Squat by 20 lbs and my Press by 7.5 lbs.

Several of the PCF Coaches are doing this same program, and are also seeing good results. I tested it out on Wendy W. from 0530 crew and she’s seeing good progress as well.

Here’s Wendy and I’s spreadsheets to give you an idea of how this is applied.

Brian PCF**
Wendy W.
**Note I was doing Power Cleans vice Deadlift, but changed the set/rep scheme after Week 12 as I didn’t see great improvement, which isn’t shocking as Wendler 531 isn’t designed for Oly Lifts.

So I’m ready to roll it out to my morning crew and daytime athletes. If you’d like to get started, post to comments, and let’s lay out a plan for you.

Athletes off the top of my head that would benefit greatly from this:

Christy H.
Patricia B.
Heather A. (if she ever gets back to the mornings 🙂
John F.

Athletes that are “maybes” in my mind (meaning I’d need to take a look at your PR sheets to see how your lifts are progressing) are:

Patricia C.

Diet needs to be strong with this. If you’re diet still needs cleaning up, then doing this isn’t going to help.

Update: Doug PCF just sent me his Wendler 531 Template, and I think it’s pretty great. Copy and paste it from here into your own spreadsheet and just enter your data in the yellow.

Update: Check out the New and Improved Wendler Spreadsheet with video.

Paleo Challenge Info

Uncategorized | Posted by Brian PCF
Jul 10 2010

Thanks for coming in today guys, me and Alison had a great time!

Wanted to post some more info (which will also be posted at the Summer Paleo Challenge Comments Section) and resend the email that went out last night as we had several folks sign-up last minute.

Paleo Shopping Guide
Paleo Cooking Guide

You can also look at past Paleo Challenge Question and Answers at the PCF Paleo Challenge page within the comments.

Good luck to everybody.  Make sure to take your Before Pictures (see below) and use the Summer Paleo Challenge Comments Section to ask questions.  I’ll see you guys Tuesday at 7:15pm at Moby Dicks if I don’t see you at the box.

Last Night’s Email:

Congrats to all of you for taking the plunge!


All you ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO DO tomorrow is take THREE pictures:


Here’s an idea of what we’re looking for.

Gals where swimsuits or sports bra and shorts.  Guys where shorts.

Get a buddy to do it or do it yourself (buddy is better).

On August 7th, you’re going to do that again: Take Front, Side, and Back photos.

On August 7th, we’ll get together and vote on a winner.

Working Out

It is certainly in your best interest to be working out hard during this period.  Heavy days are going to be the key for you to make significant progress.  These are the days that will cause your body to adapt THE MOST.


For questions now and during the Paleo Challenge – use the Summer Paleo Challenge Blog Comments.

Missing Saturday?

If you are missing Saturday, still take your pictures.  Light up the Summer Paleo Challenge Blog Comments with your questions.  We’ll be having our first “Check Up/Recap” meeting on Tuesday, 13 July, at 7:15pm at Moby Dicks.  So whether you missed the Kick-Off Meeting or if you just want to come in and ask some questions, we’ll be there to answer them and offer support.

The Big Picture

I’ll be going over a lot of this stuff tomorrow, but a couple of things to keep in mind:

1) The Main Thing Is To Keep The Main Thing The Main Thing.

Don’t get wrapped around the axle on “Is Agave Paleo?” or “Is Coffee Paleo?”.  Eat Meat and Veggies.

2) The Thing That Will Help You The Most Is The Thing You Least Want To Give Up.

If you are looking at this and go “Well this doesn’t seem tough, except for Wine/Dairy/Beer/Etc” then whatever came out of your mouth as your Etc is the Number One thing that you need to get rid of for this challenge.

3) Remember the BIG PICTURE!


These are the biggest factors in your health and in your Paleo Transformation.  If you manage these well, you will do well.  If you don’t, you won’t.

Resources and Tools

Here’s some places to go to dig into this Paleo thing a little more:

Basic Paleo
Mark’s Daily Apple
Robb Wolf Podcast

That’s it.  See you tomorrow and GOOD LUCK!

Them’s With The Best Lifestyle Wins

Uncategorized | Posted by Brian PCF
Jul 02 2010

I’ve coached a lot of folks through Paleo Challenges. I’ve had 3.6% report no change in weight out of 167 Athletes. Those are good odds.

Paleo Challenges only last 4-5 weeks though. What about the long term plan?

What I see most often is those that get fixated on what they “can’t eat” are the ones that have the most trouble.

Those that look at what they can eat and try to make the most of it are the ones that find long term success.

Take a look at PCF Coaches Ryan and Liz. They are Paleo Masters. They do a couple things to make sure it’s easy to stay Paleo:

  • Stock your fridge/freezer with Paleo Friendly Foods
  • Keep trying new recipes constantly.  Try for at least once per week.
  • Make your Paleo meals social, have some friends over
  • When you “cheat”, cheat Paleo

The last point is very important.  You’re going to be much better off having some corn chips, salsa, Paleo Margarita’s, and ice cream than you are having bread and beer.

If you’re going to go off the wagon, do it smartly.  Keep your diet interesting by constantly trying new things.  Some great places to find Paleo Ideas are:

Everyday Paleo
My Paleo Kitchen

[Liz Squatting 195 lbs – once you can beat that you can argue with me about diet]


Uncategorized | Posted by Brian PCF
Jul 02 2010

“It was at Oxford that Hitchens became a master of sprezzatura, the art of getting a lot done while appearing to be idling.”