Archive for April, 2011

B-Fogz Fitness Corner

Uncategorized | Posted by Brian PCF
Apr 29 2011

“Is This Chart Usable?”

Forget about the 10 Pillars of Strength.  Your boy Kid Foges has managed to break them down into 4 simple levels (reference chart below)…

So I am trying to get some stuff done today and I stumbled across this “Hierarchy of Strength” chart and I immediately thought of how perfect that this would be for my next “B-Fogz Fitness Corner” because just a few weeks ago, 2 unnamed members (ahem, B-Mitch and Scott M, cough, cough) said that I had an unfair advantage at a recent wod because I possessed both “Old Man” and “Retard” strength.  Now, when you couple that with “Drunk Strength”, one can see how I instantly become the dominant athlete in any post-wod happy hour.  It explains why the rest of you mere mortals cower and retreat to your humble abodes with lame excuses like, “I have to be at work in 3 hours” or “Your plans are definitely going to land us in jail” or “I want no part in riding a police horse around town yelling for a showdown” or whatever…  Now, the question here isn’t whether or not this chart is accurate.  I mean, it’s science: it’s a well constructed/ designed chart with an arrow and everything.  Most importantly, it makes me look borderline superhuman (damn you gravity!) so I have no argument to dispute it’s validity, but the question is am I d*ck for using this to make my point???

Author’s side note: During a recent conversation with another athlete who happens to be a special needs teacher, I was told that it’s socially unacceptable to use the word “retard” which is a tough break for the mentally challenged.  I mean, they have enough to worry about as it is without having to come up with another name.  That aside, I immediately agreed with her and inquired about the word “retahd” which is what I used in the first place.  I took the stunned look on her face as a “yes, you are cleared hot” to continue to use “retahd” and took no notice of her subsequent dismissal from my table…

I guess that the real point that I am trying to make here is that if you feel like you have plateaued, you need to do something about it.  I was once told that by a commanding officer that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.  I later learned that he ripped that off from someone else but at the time, I thought that he was wicked smart (or at least right up until he had us doing the same thing over and over but that’s another story for another blog)…  If you want to break out of your current zone, I strongly recommend approaching one or more of the coaches and talking to them about it.  I was reluctant to do so myself for a long time until I stepped back and forced myself to evaluate what I was doing from an outside perspective.  Since then, I’ve picked several of the coaches brains and received some advice/ guidance/ technical tips that have resulted in tangible success… or as some may call it, “drunk retahd” strength…  And don’t wait for them to ask or approach you.  They’re not mind readers and at the end of the day, it’s your body and you’re the captain of your own ship.

I am out for Easter as I am heading back to New England (aka God’s country) celebrating the resurrection of Jesus in the most traditional way that there is…  by hiding eggs, eating chocolate brought by a giant mythical bunny (makes total sense) and ham while watching the Sox, Bruins, and Celtics like every other good Catholic…

Got something or someone you want me to blog about?  Put it in the comments section and I won’t get around to it until you buy me a cocktail and remind me…

A Brief Explanation of the Strength Portion of our WODs and How To Warmup

Uncategorized | Posted by Brian PCF
Apr 17 2011

So you took a look at the WOD and said “What the hell does 2-2-2-2-2 (At 1RM Squat Clean Weight)” mean? What’s a Front Squat? What’s a Squat Clean? What’s a 1RM?”

First off, ask the coach! If you’re confused about anything, that’s what we’re here to do!

Second, if you don’t remember a movement and you want to know what it is before you come in, just Google it. I promise, it’s on there. Got to YouTube and just search “Front Squat”. Better yet, search “Crossfit Front Squat”.

Third, our nomenclature 2-2-2-2-2 means that you are to perform five “work sets” at as heavy a weight as you can. You can and should start lighter and go up. We score your lightest load on the whiteboard to encourage you to do as many reps at as heavy a weight as possible. Also, 1RM = One Rep Max, or the most you can lift for one rep.

Last, the warmup portion for this is to be done on your own. We do a guided warmup every day, but following that guided warmup and before these types of strength movements you should be doing a few sets of the movement at a lighter load to warmup.

A typical warmup template that we recommend for everyone is:

5xBarbell
5×40% 1RM
5×50% 1RM
3×60% 1RM
(Courtesy of Wendler 531)

This means you’ll be doing four warmup sets of whatever movement your doing (in the case above, Front Squat) before your work sets begin.

If your response to this is “I don’t know what my 1RM is!”, then have no fear, another way to describe this is:

5x Really Light Weight
5x Light Weight
5x Moderate to Light Weight
3x Moderate Weight

Armed with this and the certainty that if you ask a coach a question, they will give you an answer, you should have no problems doing the strength portion of our WODs.

MidAtlantic Crossfit Games Athlete Profile: Thomas Hooton

Uncategorized | Posted by Brian PCF
Apr 15 2011

Athlete: Thomas Hooton
Affiliate: Mountaineer Crossfit
Location: Morgantown, West Virginia

Thomas Hooton, Owner and Coach of Mountaineer Crossfit, Morgantown, West Virginia, is sitting comfortably at sixth place in the Region and had the highest score on WOD 11.1.

Thomas was a force in the MidAtlantic last year, placing 12th at his Sectional, and 7th in the Central East Regional, posting a monstrous 560 lbs 1RM Deadlift.

After he failed to qualify for the Crossfit Games Final last year, he built his training around his weaknesses and focused on a periodized Olympic weightlifting routine. But even with a 560 lbs deadlift, he continues to train that lift often.

“It’s my favorite lift” says Hooton. “There’s something about what Coach Glassman said about the guy who can deadlift 600 lbs and run a five minute mile that’s always stuck with me.”

“I’ve got the mile, now I just need to pull 600. I did 3×560 last week, so I’m hoping in the next few months to get 600 lbs.”

Even while training Olympic lifts and supplemental lifts three times per week, Hooton still found time for 6-8 METCONS per week.

“I was more focused on strength, but I still wanted that METCON endurance.”

Hooton’s morning would include a length lifting session, then evening he’d be right back at it with 10-15 minute METCONs.

“Sometimes I’d do two METCONs in the evening. Maybe a “Grace” or something heavy like that after a longer one.”

Hooton says he was still careful with his volume though. “I wouldn’t pick movements that were too close to what I had just done. I had come into last years Sectional overtrained. I had Plantar Fasciitis and a back injury that creeped into Regionals as well. “

Asked what it’s like to see his name on the leaderboard above Mikko Salo and Jason Khalipa, he says “These guys do it year after year, I still have to prove myself.”
_________________________________

Interested in writing a post for the Crossfit Games MidAtlantic Site? Email brian@potomaccrossfit.com.

Easy There

Uncategorized | Posted by Brian PCF
Apr 14 2011

Speaking to several clients lately, I’ve been trying to wrap my head around personality type, goal setting, and compliance.

Since our migration away from a Zone based diet about two years or ago to a Paleo approach, we would seemingly see a greater degree of happiness because of the wider variety of options. No need to drag a scale around or “calibrate your eyeball.” Just eat meat and veggies, seeds and nuts, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar/grain/dairy/legumes.

But it seems that some personality types psychologically need an extremely strict diet – even if it isn’t healthy for you (Vegan, Vegetarian, Grapefuit Diet, etc). So they have issues with Paleo because it allows so much. You’ve got a TON of options with Paleo, but some folks feel a need for an extremely ascetic ideal of diet (and they usually feel the same thing about exercise: Filthy Fifty every day!!!)

The big problem is that when you try the Paleo Diet and you train with Potomac Crossfit, you’re trying to change severely ingrained behaviors and habits. If you’re trying to do that by putting tremendous amounts of pressure on yourself when you mess up (and you will), or if you’re simply thinking about messing up, you’re going to make small issues into really big issues.

That’s part of the reason the Paleo Challenge is so effective. We remove a few things here:

  • Self-Comparison.  By competing with a large group, you just have to think you’re doing a little better than somebody else.  You’re not competing against an idealized version of yourself.
  • Skin in the Game.  This is a huge reason why people fail trying the Paleo Diet solo: There’s no consequences except that they are just living the life they led for the last 20-30-40 years.
  • Prizes.  Never underestimate a persons desire for a prize, no matter how small, big, likely, or unlikely it is: $10, $1,000,000, Arm Wrestling, or the Lottery.  People want to compete for a prize.

But don’t kill yourself psychologically to get there. Maybe you missed a workout or had a Creme Brulee: Big Deal! Get over it. Don’t jump out the window, and don’t say to yourself, “I had some Creme Brulee! I’m a terrible person, but I promise that I’ll be super strict for the next 30 days/weeks/years!”

This diet and exercise routine should make you happier and make your life easier. If the angst your feeling for failing self-imposed goals is too much for you, GET NEW GOALS.

Master the Basics, Play to Your Strengths

Uncategorized | Posted by Brian PCF
Apr 07 2011

I grew up watching Cal Ripken play shortstop for the Orioles. While he was athletic, he wasn’t as athletic as an Ozzie Guillan or even Shawon Dunston. But he was an All-Star year after year.

I tried to emulate Cal as a baseball player. Partly because I was never the most athletic guy on the field, and I needed a way to hit, field, and throw as good or better than everybody else.

I practiced more than anybody I know. I remember taking grounders by throwing a ball off a wall for hours on end when I was in first grade. I would spend hours every summer summer hitting balls of a tee in my backyard. I didn’t have a net, so I would literally hit ten balls off a tee, then go get them and do it again.

Once I started playing high school, semi-pro, and college, I tried to remember every hitter and pitcher. I could tell you what pitch sequence a player had seen the last at bat or the last game. If he’d made contact, I could remember where he hit it. I remembered where and what I had seen from a pitcher my last one, two, or ten times at bat.

Because of my lack of athleticism, I had to be really good at the basics and I had to be one step ahead of the other guys on the field. It was hilarious talking to scouts and other players about “great” plays I had made at shortstop in the hole or up the middle. I’d make diving plays and throw the guy out at first, not because I had run 10 yards, dove and came up throwing, but because I cheated so far over on every play, prayed I guessed right, and would still have to dive to get a ball because I was so slow.

The advantage of sport over running a business or coaching is that you have clear and immediate results. The guy at first was out or he was safe. You got a hit or you got out.

There is temptation in running a business or coaching in following new trends or trying something different just because it’s different. Actualization is so much harder to measure you can delude yourself into thinking you’re doing good work when you’re not making any difference or making things worse.

As coaches and businessmen, we need to remember the basics:

  • Know your athletes.
  • Show your athlete measurable results.
  • Charge what your time is actually worth.

B-Fogz Fitness Corner

Uncategorized | Posted by Brian PCF
Apr 04 2011

Yet another wholly unedited guest post:

The masses have spoken (and by masses I mean like 4 or 5 people) have asked me when I am going to post another Fitness Corner blog so without further adu, Boomshakalaka!  Here you go:

-As usual I will be tacking a host of issues both in and outside of fitness because it’s my blog (and Brian lets me)…  And I will be sticking with the bullet format because years in the Marine Corps has left me unable to think or write in any other manner.  First off, I know that a lot of you (translation: the 8 of you that read this) have been wondering why I haven’t been putting up posts recently.  Theories ranged from me partying w Charlie Sheen like the section of F-18 Hornets that we are, powered by our shared tiger blood and Adonis DNA, just dropping truth bombs all over the place to the possibility that I am just lazy.  Rest assured, I took Dean Wormer’s words to heart when he told me, “Fat, drunk, and stupid are no ways to go through life son.”  As for my real whereabouts, well let’s just say that leading revolts in the Middle East is time consuming but alas, baseball season is back and so am I.  More on both later…

-The world has seen a lot of upheaval since I last posted…. and I am 98% convinced that all of the turmoil in the Middle East and N Africa can be traced back to 3 things:  (1) Tunisia went wild when it appeared as if Patriot CF would never open up  (2) Egypt was furious w Zuckerberger’s new privacy settings on Facebook and the possibilities that there would be a new .xxx domain specifically for porn and finally (3) confused by the new pricing/ contracts/ buy-ins, Muammar Gaddafi started laying rounds into his own people.

-In our own microcosm (not sure if I used that big word correctly but moving along…), Patriot Crossfit has successfully opened up to rave reviews.  Personally, I haven’t been over there yet because I am not a sellout but that’s another blog.  Apparently, this has satisfied just about everyone including the 0530 crew.  I didn’t even know that there was a 5:30 in the morning but apparently, there is…  However, I for one am not happy with the new opening and here are a few reasons why.  With the overcrowding issue alleviated, this has fostered a whole new set of problems for this kid.  First off, with increased coach-to-student ratios, it is much more arduous (what’s up SAT prep word) to screw around during warm-ups.  Also, the freeing up of equipment has left me fewer excuses to not do RX.  I loved when the WOD called for 55lb RX and I could grab a set of 30s while walking out and talking about myself being a team player…

-Hey Patriot CF patrons: you can enjoy your abundant equipment, thin pull up bars, and amenities like showers and bathrooms…  The hard core PCF warriors know that real men stake out the 4 good pull-up bars like vultures, hold their bladder until they can get next door to the bar, and drink in our funked up pt gear…

-For those of you who are still unsure about the new pricing and are thinking about going in a different direction with your pt regimen, your boy has got you covered…  I recently stumbled across this workout and it’s changed the way that I look at not only exercising, but everything in life that I hold dear.  It has functional movements, elements of self-defense, and a heavy emphasis on cardio.  Perhaps most importantly, some of the moves such as “the sun” can double as sick dance moves once you master them.  I’m thinking about dropping crossfit and doing this twice a day as prescribed…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLfuRcuZkn8&feature=related

And yes Penguin, I have already found and ordered his “Stud Muffin” t-shirt.  You can get the tighty whiteys…  And can someone involved in the production of this workout video please put away the neatly stacked towels that are on the couch???  This kid is working his ass off and the rest of you are amateur hour…

-I recently sent around an email where I found Andre’s long lost twin.  Last night, I had the opportunity to train with Jon PCF and found myself wondering where a guy who looks like he does, gets all of his confidence from.  I assumed that it was probably from his mother’s meatballs or something.  Anyways, I went home and applied my internet sleuth skills and discovered that he has always had that bravado or swagger.  In fact, here’s his middle school pic:

kid wearing t-shirt that says I fuck on the first date

-I will say that I was impressed with Jon PCF’s squat snatch.  More specifically, how “fast he was underneath the bar.”  I hear those words a lot and think that I am following that advice but sometimes it helps to watch someone properly execute it.  I haven’t seen someone move that fast under a bar since I was in the 6th grade and thought that chicks would be all over the limbo champ (an 11 year old Foges learned 2 things that day: they don’t and the back is not designed to bend 90 degrees the opposite way).   I am really looking forward to doing some wods that are more in line with the exercise tenants that were drilled into my head: drive through your toes, keep your legs locked, lift with your back, and use herky-jerky motions to get the weight up.  When that day comes, leader board here I come…

-I don’t post on the PCF comments but I do read through them because I am an internet predator and that’s part of my routine…  Some have asked me why and I never really have a good answer why.  However today, I noticed that an unnamed member (who I love to pieces) inquired about a discrepancy between the 400m courses at Patriot and PCF.  He/ she noticed this in part because he/ she saw a discernable difference in people’s times on the wods.  I’d also like to note that said individual is an accountant… in the height of tax season!!!  My point here is that I am an overweight, average height (for a pygmy) guy who’s aging in dog years and has a less-than-average IQ.  I don’t need anymore scrutiny in my life…  I simply want to look good naked or at least good enough to take my shirt off to pt with the other carnivores…

-Dealing with injuries:  I recommend car bombs.  I did several in the span of 30 minutes last Saturday and didn’t feel a whole hell of a lot after that.  Paul B and B-Mitch were also on the leader board.

-Speaking of the comment section, a Red Sox Nation turns it’s eye towards you Boston Mike and Jay M.  The Sox just started their World Series run and that means I have to cut this blog off now.  I had intentions of going into the Japan crisis, financial market, and NOVA open (all related) but I’ll save that for another day…  Can you believe that this guy is not only an “elite athlete” (read freak left arm) but also holds the Pennant hopes for the Yankees????   I heard that he “slimmed down to 290 lbs (seriously)…  Yeah, I don’t see him having any health issues…  Bwaaahahahahahaa!!!  Cue the duck boats, I see another championship parade in Boston this October!!!