Collected Blurbs, 11/14-11/21

Posted by Brian PCF
Nov 22 2011

111114 (with some interesting discussion in the comments section)

I enjoyed the discussion by Dr. John Berardi on the Crossfit Journal the other week. I don’t agree with his “calories in/calories out” model of nutrition, nor do I buy the original theory of somatypes that he uses as his model to explain diet and training, but I thought in a broad-brush stroke he explained carb/fat intake and body type pretty well.

It certainly gave me a better prospective on looking at athletes who lean towards endurance or weightlifting more predominantly and how his model would, in a very linear way, describe the same kind of trends we see with athletes at PCF.

Everyone wants to be “good” at something. So it’s pretty natural for a relatively skinny person to want to run and a relative (ahem) “unskinny” person to want to weightlift. Now Crossfit came along and everyone could (more or less) be “good” at it because nobody else was doing it. Crossfit was a great way to short circuit the predominant model of either being able to run for a really long time or (look like you could) lift heavy weights.

But unfortunately for me, really good athletes are joining Crossfit faster and faster. So while I will still lord my 36th place finish in the 2009 Crossfit Regionals over Chris Karas (39th at the 2010 Regionals), I still want to be “good” at something, which is why I tend to mainly lift weights and 2-3x/week do some running or METCONs.

But I still do Crossfit, as I truly believe that a therapeutic dose of high-intensity functional movement makes you a better athlete no matter what your specialty.

What do you think? Should we play to our strengths, our weaknesses or just do straight up Crossfit? -Brian PCF


Things to worry about after you have a 1000 pound Crossfit Total, a Sub 3:00 minute Fran, and a sub 35:00 min Murph:

  • Should I wear Skins?
  • Should I take the Progenex Whey Protein or L-Glutamine?
  • Should I visualize my WODs before I do them?
  • Should I limit my exposure to potentially estrogenizing plastics?

Things to worry about before then:

  • Did I eat Paleo today?
  • Did I sleep 8+ hours?
  • Did I work hard without being stupid at the WOD today?
  • Did I try to eliminate the things in my life that cause me stress?

What did I miss? -Brian PCF

There was some good discussion about this in the comments section as well, and had one question from an athlete about his attitude being the thing that holds him back the most. My response is from a blog draft that I’ve had sitting around for a while and not sure what direction to go with it:

@Lou – this is probably the hardest question to answer as a coach, bar none. I tried to discuss it on my “Life Coach or Just a Coach” post here:

I think this varies a ton between each athlete. I feel like there are two spectrums here, on one end you have the “Power of Positive Thinking” people:

Greg Amundson – “Your thoughts will become your words. Your words will become your actions. Your actions will become your habits. Your habits will become your character. Your character will define your destiny.”

Eckhart Tolle – “The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.”

Tony Robbins – “Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy. Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that disempowers them or one that can literally save their lives.”

On the other end you have (and I don’t know how to classify these in one group, but they share characteristics):

David Chang, Owner, Momofuku Restaurant – “I run off hate and anger, it’s fueled me for the longest fucking time.”

Captain Kirk – “I want my pain, I need my pain.”

Achilles – “Sing, O Muse, of the Rage of Achilles.”

So like I said, I think it’s going to vary a lot with athletes.

Anybody want to chime in on what keeps them moving forward?

I think there’s a ton to unwrap here. I’m certainly not a “power of positive thinking” type of person, but I don’t think I’m totally self-destructive either. It appears to me that a lot of folks can be “good” at what they do (sport, business, military success, etc.) by very linear thinking, setting and achieving goals, etc.

The most successful folks that I’ve met are nothing like that. They are almost all tragically flawed (literally “hamartia” in greek, used to describe Achilles throughout the Iliad).

And without fail while I was in the Marine Corps I found the Frederick the Great adage of four types of officers to be true again and again:

There are only four kinds of officers:

(1) The clever and energetic who make admirable staff officers.

(2) The clever and lazy who make magnificent generals.

(3) The stupid and lazy who can be used to grand effect by staff officers and generals.

I’d love to dig in to this some more, especially with respect to art imitating life: Holmes and Cocaine, Maturin and everything, Thompson and everything.


I was talking to one of the top male athletes at PCF last week about how to move from consistently top five to consistently number one on the leaderboard.

This athlete is doing all the right things, but has only been training for about two years.

I told him that at the high ends of performance, it’s not necessarily two-a-days or scaling up, it’s certainly not supplementation or Skins. It’s simply doing the little things better than your competition. Whether it’s sports or combat or CrossFit, if you are paying attention and executing the fundamentals consistently better than your opponent, you will win more games/battles/WODs than you lose. -Brian PCF


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