Monthly Archives: July 2012

You’ll Be Fine

You might have noticed that we have some classes that are more popular than others.  The Beginner classes have much higher attendance compared to the Intermediate classes.  And starting off here at CrossFit Merge, you should attend Beginner and All Levels classes because you’re going to make the most progress working out with people that are at your same level of experience and fitness.  

The Beginner classes focus on the 9 fundamental movements of CrossFit, basic gymnastics (pull-ups, push-ups, dips), the kettlebell swing, wall ball shot, thruster, as well as running, rowing, and jumping rope.  But you should also remember that the beginner phase of CrossFit is a temporary one that should only last about 2 to 4 months.  It may be longer, it may be shorter, but it shouldn’t be forever.  There are several members that are totally ready to step up their game and enter into some of our Intermediate classes.  

Will the Intermediate classes introduce you to new movements like the snatch?  Yes.  Will there be some new faces in the classes?  Yes, but that’s a good thing.  Will it be hard?  Duh, but it will also be doable.  Many CrossFit Mergers have gone before you and have successfully made the jump to Intermediate classes.  No one here has ever started off at the Intermediate level, they earned it, wanted to challenge themselves, and have consequently seen better results.  

Making the transition from the beginner level to the intermediate level can be a little intimidating.  But when you’re ready, you’re ready, and sometimes it’s our job as coaches to nudge in that direction and give you a little confidence so you can get the most out of our program.  We will never make anyone do something he/she doesn’t want to do, but we also want to see you reach your max potential.  So…think about the Intermediate classes, they’re a lot of fun and you can really test yourself.  Don’t worry, you’ll be fine.  

Cooper kept plugging away at his Beginner Level Test and graduated to the Intermediate level.  Atta boy!

Tuesday’s Skill:

Kipping toes to bar practice

3 rounds, each 1 minute long of:

Run 100 meters, max toes to bar or v-ups in the remaining minute

Rest 1 minute between rounds

Workout of the Day (WOD):

3 rounds of:

10 hang power snatches (75#/53# for women)

10 burpees

Then run 800 meters

Then 3 more rounds of:

10 hang power snatches

10 buprees

Beginners will substitute kettlebell swings for snatches.


Athlete Spotlight – Erik Fernandez

Let me introduce to you Erik Fernandez.  I could come up with a bunch of adjectives to describe Erik, but nothing wraps it up better than just plain awesome.  He works incredibly hard at making each WOD intense and efficient.  We see him come in week in and week out, often staying after class to ask questions and always finding a way to make the WOD challenging. In doing all these things, we have seen him improve very quickly.  It’s so inspiring to see athletes be so dedicated!  So without further ado, here’s Erik!

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

About 7 months, but the 1st 3 months I was hampered with sickness and injuries…Grrr

How did you hear about CrossFit Merge?

Last summer my wife’s cousin kept talking about Crossfit, like non-stop. To be honest I was annoyed by it because I really didn’t understand where he was coming from. So by December I decided to try it. I googled the closest one in Glendale and Merge was one of them.

What was your first CrossFit Merge WOD experience like?

I don’t remember much. All I know was I was gasping for air and thinking to myself “I’m going to die.” I guess my body was not accustomed to this kind of workout. I think I may have skipped a couple of classes after my first WOD (my body was begging me to stay home…hahaha).

What is something that not a lot of people know about you but you WISH more people COULD know?

I’m into martial arts and weaponry.  I hold a 3rd degree brown belt in Kenpo and I collect weapons, like swords, knives, bow/arrow, blow guns, just in case a zombie apocalypse would happen…you know…hahaha

What is your greatest CrossFit Merge accomplishment thus far?

Every time I get a “PR,” I consider that as accomplishment. But my “Greatest’” I think was being able to do the kipping pull ups with a bad shoulder. Although I still need to clean up my technique, just the thought of “I did it or I can do it” with my injury, makes it a little special.

What is your favorite WOD and why?

Anything with lifting and cardio. I really need to work on my upper body strength and lose excess fat.

Least favorite WOD and why?

AMRAP with Burpees and Box jumps. Enough said.

What advice would you give a new member?

Come to class and listen to your coaches’ advice and instructions. Oh yeah and Breathe.

Out of all the hours in the day (both sleeping and awake) how much time do you spend working out? Thinking about CrossFit? Dreaming it? Watching vids? etc.

I play basketball 3 times a week and the rest of week I do Crossfit (home or Merge).  I talk about it everyday and was told by my friends and co-workers to SHUT UP already. That’s how bad it got. Even my lovely wife got tired of me talking about it and I’m currently not “allowed” to talk about Crossfit during dinner time…hahahaha.

What is your favorite movie and why?

Blazing Saddles by Mel Brooks. It’s an old movie maybe mid-70s or 80s…super funny, a western spoof. The comedy was so different then from today’s comedy.  I think if the movie came out in this era, Mel Brooks would’ve been sued or banned.  If you guys haven’t seen it, check it out and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be and why?

-Japan. Why? Because Nihon wa subarashi kunidesu. (Japan is awesome)

What do you like to do for fun?

My wife and I love to go to the movies, try new cuisine and go on mini vacations. Also I love basketball, as I mentioned earlier, I play 3 times a week, yeah pretty boring.

If you could be any superhero who would you be? Why?

I would be Batman.  I would love to have his skills, brains and determination.  He doesn’t give up no matter what the odds are. Wouldn’t mind his money either.

Where do you see yourself in 1 year?

Home…taking care of my daughter.  Yes, I’m going to be a dad. Yippee!!

Congratulations on all your accomplishments, but most importantly, on becoming a soon-to-be-daddy!!!! We look forward to seeing you and your little one rock the CrossFit Merge world! 😀


Intermediate Skill

-Split Jerks 1-1-1-1-1-1-1

-3 max flex arm hangs

Workout of the Day (WOD):

12 min AMRAP

-6 dumbbell split jerks, alternate legs (50# for men/30# for women)
-8 pull-ups (chest to bar advanced)
-24 double-unders

Beginner/All Levels’ Skill

Press 2-2-2-2-2

Workout of the Day (WOD):

12 min AMRAP

-6 burpee box jumps (24” for men/20” for women)
-12 sit-ups
-24 double-unders

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How to Make Progress

This piece was written by Jon Gilson of Again Faster

Crossfit is extraordinary in its breadth. The physical tasks we undertake are remarkable for their constant variation and immutable intensity.

To the beginning Crossfitter, the sheer size of the curriculum can be daunting. You’ll learn Olympic lifts, gymnastics, sprinting, kettlebell swings, medicine ball work, basic nutrition, and a hundred other things. Crossfit has combined these modalities and a good dose of creativity to develop an inclusive model of fitness programming. 

In an effort to make Crossfit a little easier to deal with, here are the things you need to know to become an elite athlete. Everything else will come with time.

1.) Virtuosity: Do every rep correctly, every time. Virtuosity is the pursuit of perfection. Become a stickler for form, and you will reap the benefits of Crossfit extremely quickly.

2.) Consistency: Get out of bed. Go to the gym. Get in the habit of showing up.

3.) Intensity: Strive to minimize the amount of time you spend resting in the middle of each workout. The less you rest, the stronger you’ll become. Your workout times will plummet, and your health will skyrocket. Go hard!

4.) Nutrition: Eat enough calories to support vigorous exercise. Not eating is not a solution. Avoid alcohol, starch, and sugar like the plague. Eat lean meats, vegetables, low-GI fruits, and good fats. Fat is necessary for athletic performance–get it from almonds, avocados, olive oil, and fish oil. The best way to maintain a good diet? Clear all the crap out of your cupboards, and never ever buy it again.

5.) Sleep: Sleep is essential to your athletic development. When you sleep, you heal. Progress is a constant give and take between breaking down and building up–exercise breaks you down and sleep builds you up. Give your body the fuel it needs to heal–lean protein and fat immediately before bed will keep you in a good physiological state to burn fat and build muscle all night long. Sleep at least 8 hours every night. Make it a priority.

6.) Rest: Don’t exercise every day. You’ll burn out. Schedule rest days after every two or three days of heavy training. You can speed up healing with ice, compression, mobility work, and good supplementation.

7.) Instruction: Spend money on quality trainers, reading materials, seminars, and certifications. A few hundred bucks here and there will accelerate your gains much faster than advice from the counter guy at Gold’s. 

8.) Comfort: Stray from the known path. Approach new skills as an opportunity to learn, not an opportunity to fail. The best athletes in the world spend all day working on their weaknesses, not reinforcing their strengths.

9.) Goals: Write everything down. Set goals and work to meet them every day. Look back over your progress, and change what needs to be changed.

10.) Stress: Your body doesn’t distinguish between training stress and life stress. Minimize life stress to maximize your progress.

None of this is earth-shattering. Incorporate these tenets in your training, one by one. Follow them 90% of the time, and you’ll find yourself at the top of the scoreboard each and every week.

Sport or Exercise?

What is CrossFit at the competitive level?  The CrossFit Games are over, and with the Olympics here to provide some context and comparison, it begs the question of whether or not CrossFit is a sport, or is it just exercise?

Kenny’s got his opinion.

CrossFit’s popularity and recognition is growing by leaps and bounds, but could CrossFit ever make it into the Olympics?  Post your opinions in the comments.

Thursday’s Skill:

500 meter row for time

Rope climb practice

Workout of the Day (WOD):

20 minute team of 2 or 3 AMRAP of:

Row 250 meter

Run 200 meters

20 box jumps (24″ for men/20″ of women)

One person working at a movement at time.  Rotate once all members have completed their movement.

Post rounds to comments.

And here’s a little prep for tomorrow.  It’s a classic.

Caption contest for the below photo.

Rope Climbs

Get ready to climb the rope for tomorrow’s skill! Be sure to set out your rope climbing shoes (some will rip against the rope, so bring a sturdy pair).  Also, bring long socks to prevent rope burns 🙂  Here are some tips from Again Faster Equipment Mic’d Instructor for rope climbing:

Wednesday’s Intermediate and Beginner Skill:

Back squat 5 – 5 – 5 – 5 – 5 increasing the weight each set.

Workout of the Day (WOD):

3 rounds of:

15 power cleans (intermediate) or 15 SDHP for beginners (95# for men/63# for women)
15 burpees

Power hour

Back squat 5 – 5 – 5 – 5 – 5+ reps.  The final set should be as many reps as possible.  

Part 2:

2 minute AMRAP:

Power cleans (165# for men/113# for women)

Rest 1 minute

2 minute AMRAP:

Plyo push-ups – placing 1 hand on a 45# bumper plate

Count total cleans and push-ups as the score

the 53# kettlebell is no joke!

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Just a Friendly Reminder

I don’t want to be the bad guy here, but we’ve had several members recently place their memberships on hold, and I just want to clarify how one goes about doing so. Here is CrossFit Merge’s vacation hold policy:

You may put your membership on hold for periods of 1 week or longer – which must be done 7 days in advance via email of the hold date. Also, please include the start date and end date of when you’d like your membership to be on hold. Additionally, you must be physically out of town and unable to attend classes in order to place your membership on hold; you cannot put your membership on hold if you are busy with work and cannot make it in. Remember that your billing continues while you’re on hold – and the days of your hold will get added to the end of your membership.

I was in the Marines, and during that time I took a few hard blows to the head, so my memory ain’t as sharp as it used to be (don’t worry, I’m still safe to get behind the wheel of a car). Please help us out by emailing us your vacation hold dates; I can’t guarantee I’ll remember a conversation in the gym placing a membership on hold. Thanks for you help with this.

Tuesday’s Skill:

Double-under practice

Work on double-under mechanics, the Flight Simulator, and then a test of max unbroken double-unders in 1 minute

Workout of the Day (WOD):

5 rounds for time of:

Run 400 meters

30 air squats

15 kettlebell swings (53/35)

Post times to comments


Perhaps Chris is ready for a vacation after this WOD?

Fittest CrossFit Women

CrossFit women are strong, confident, and sexy.  I love the fact that we can be proud of what we do, how heavy we lift, how quickly and efficiently we move.  I must admit that CrossFit has changed my entire view on women and athleticism.  In fact, my favorite quote from this article comes from Jenny LeBaw’s unique idea of improvement:  “Some people measure their success by PR’s on lifts, others by smashing their times on workouts… what about increased quad size? Team Clydesdale!” Yay for strong women who are proud of being awesome CrossFitters!

Amanda Welliver

Amanda Welliver is teaching her daughter from an early age the beauty of strong women!“Just when my CrossFit feet were wet (six months into it), I found out I was pregnant. After months of patiently training during pregnancy, I was eager to recover and compete without thinking about my heart rate the entire time. No excuses now!”Photo courtesy of CrossFit, Inc
Annie Thorisdottir

Annie Thoristtidor is currently ranked number one on the women’s leaderboard, but this 22-year-old from Iceland does have one Achilles’ heel—while she grew up doing gymnastics, dancing, and pole vaulting, she did “no ball sports, unfortunately!” Thankfully a woman who can back squat 253 pounds probably doesn’t need to worry much about her free throws!  Photo courtesy of CrossFit, Inc
Camille LeBlanc-Bazinet

Canadian Camille LeBlanc-Bazinet, 23, has made CrossFit a family affair. “[I] started with my twin and then got all my family involved and now we are all addicts!”Maybe all that support is what helped her rock out 80 pull-ups?Photo courtesy of CrossFit, Inc
Jenny LeBaw

Jenny LeBaw, 30, is a California girl with a unique perspective on how to measure progress. “Some people measure their success by PR’s on lifts, others by smashing their times on workouts… what about increased quad size? Team Clydesdale!”What’s her secret for making the top 20? “Recording workouts is key… do it!”Photo courtesy of CrossFit, Inc
Cheryl Brost

41-year-old Oregonian Cheryl Brost proves that age really is just a number, as she routinely competes against—and beats—women half her age. Brost came in seventh in the 2011 Reebok CrossFit Games and is aiming to better her position this year.Her best tip? Watch your nutrition. “I don’t weigh and measure my food for every meal, but I do measure on a regular basis so I know exactly what 2 cups of veggies or 4oz of protein looks like.”Photo courtesy of CrossFit, Inc
Jackie Perez

Californian and Team WOD Gear athlete, Jackie Perez, 28, says CrossFit gave her enviable abs by curing her of a binge eatingproblem. “I [used to do] the typical workout, one hour of cardio and one hour of weights consistently, but I never really got the results I wanted because I had a bit of a problem with food. Okay, I was addicted to anything salty and processed!”That all changed when she was recruited to be a CrossFit trainer and starting eating Paleo. “Food started to be looked at as fuel, and I began to eat better because my performance showed for it, not what I looked like.”Photo courtesy of CrossFit, Inc
Angie Pye

Once a registered nurse and now a CrossFit trainer, Angie Pye says that CrossFit was “life changing.” Even though the 36-year-old Canadian can run 5K in 22 minutes, it doesn’t all come easy for her.“[I’m] baby stepping my way to better eating all the time, but [I] battle some serious cravings!”Another reason we love this fit chick? Her awesome sense of humor: “I love to “Tae Bo” people randomly. Not sure why, but it just feels right so I go with it.” Photo courtesy of CrossFit, Inc
Lindsey Valenzuela

Lindsey Valenzuela says the trick to being a CrossFit athlete is a positive attitude. The 25-year-old Californian says she lives by the word “believe.” “Because anything is possible as long as you believe you can and will accomplish your dreams!”And we believe in anyone who can deadlift 365 pounds, nearly two and a half times her body weight!Photo courtesy of CrossFit, Inc
Denae Brown

Australian Denae Brown, 32, says everyone at the Games has a CrossFit story, and hers has a happy ending. In 2011 she was working a steel salesperson but made a snap decision at a regional CrossFit competition that office life wasn’t for her. “So thanks to CrossFit, I’m no longer stuck between four walls in an office selling steel… I’m now out there lifting it!”Photo courtesy of CrossFit, Inc
Heather Welsh

Heather Welsh, a 30-year-old mother of two, has learned to take a sensible approach to training, even when amping up her workouts to prepare for the Games.“I always listen to my body. If I need a rest day, I will try to have an “active rest” day. When in a strength cycle, I need more days of rest. Yoga, I have found is the best thing I can do for a quick rehab.”Photo courtesy of CrossFit, Inc
Intermediate Skill:Squat snatch

2 – 2 – 2 – 2 – 2  – 2

Handstands/Handstand Push-ups

Workout of the Day (WOD):

10 minute AMRAP of

-7 hand release push-ups
-5 squat snatches (115# for men/75# for women) or use about 70% of skill weight.

Beginner Skill:

Deadlift 5-5-5-5-5
Then 2 max set of supine ring rows

Workout of the Day (WOD):

10 min AMRAP of:

7 hand release push-ups
5 deadlifts at ~60 of skill weigh

Kevin snatching during the WOD!

Kendra and Sinead do the WOD

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Top 10 Lessons

This great post comes courtesy of CrossFit Invictus.  Read, heed, and then come train.

1. It’s okay to fail. Two years ago, in my very first group class, Michele taught me how to bail out of a back squat, and then made me lift heavy enough to have to practice it. Knowing I could fail safely (and with full support from the people around me) made it possible for me to take calculated risks instead of staying in my comfort zone, and to learn from my mistakes instead of fearing them. (As a lifelong perfectionist, this new truce with failing has also usefully carried over to my endeavors outside the gym.)

2. Chest up to recover. I think every coach on staff has sternly told me this at least once over the past two years, but it was CJ who really broke it down for me: When I bend over to catch my breath, I’m making it harder to expand my lungs, I’m letting my body and my focus collapse, and I’m unable to see my gym-mates doing awesome work and/or cheering me on. Chest up + head up = better breathing + better attitude = winning.

3. Breathe and let go. In one of Heidi’s Sunday yoga classes, I was struck by how different the gym felt: no lights or music, no frantic sprinting, no weights crashing. Just breathing and letting go. But then I thought, really, every workout comes down to those two things. The weight on the bar is what it is; all I can control is what I do in relation to it. I can either panic and fight against the workout (and the difficult yoga pose), or I can breathe, focus, and embrace the process.

4. Project confidence. Every workout felt intimidating in my first few months, and I used to let myself get away with a forced smile and a nervous “This is gonna crush me!” Now I know that half the battle is banishing that nagging voice of self-doubt. Aside from fantastic coaching, I’m convinced that nothing has improved my max effort lifts more than my new practice of projecting full confidence as I begin. If I approach my front squat with anxiety, already preparing to fail it, it feels a billion times heavier than if I unrack that bar with some serious fierceness and self-confidence. This too has awesomely improved my life outside of the gym. (Check this great blog post from Kelly Starrett for more on positive self-talk. I reread this every month or so, seriously.)

5. Do your own workout. As one of the tinier Invicti, it’s still pretty rare that I’m able to do the workouts with the men’s prescribed weights, and I used to feel frustrated about that. Then when I did a cycle of performance clinic with Calvin, we talked about calculating lifts in relation to your bodyweight. This totally transformed my perception of my own progress: I stopped comparing my numbers to everyone else’s, stopped feeling like I had to prove something, and learned to set goals for my own body with its own particular strengths and limitations.

6. Don’t clean up until everyone’s finished. Nothing is worse than when you (and by you I mean me) are finishing your last round of pull-ups in grueling sets of singles while half the class is packing up to go home. And nothing’s better than times like the day that most of our 7am class, having already finished the workout, joined the final runner in solidarity for his last lap. I’d never been so proud to be part of Invictus.

7. Treat the workout like a mirror. As much as I look forward to my workout, there are 23 other hours in my day that make it possible. I’m learning to see the workout not as an isolated event that begins and ends at the gym door, but as a reflection of all other parts of my life, including nutrition, sleep, mobility, and stress levels. My work in the gym has become a pretty reliable indicator for whether everything else is running properly.

8. Push at the edges. After a childhood full of being picked last for team sports, I spent my entire first year at Invictus refusing to attend Saturday workouts, because they’re usually team-based. I still struggle with the fear of being left standing alone, and with the fear of letting my partner(s) down, but when I stopped avoiding Saturdays I found that working on a team could actually boost my confidence and help me heal my lingering middle school trauma. Gently but consistently pushing my limits at the gym hasn’t just made me stronger physically, it’s also given me the courage and opportunity to address mental and emotional roadblocks.

9. Have great expectations. A few months ago, as I was gritting through my last round of handstand push-ups, Nuno suggested I start kipping them.
Me: I can’t do the kip.
Nuno: *long, meaningful stare*
Me: Um…I mean…I’m still learning it.
The rephrasing from “can’t” is significant, and not just because it pacified Nuno. It’s the difference between shutting down the very possibility and acknowledging that it’s a work in progress. Maybe I’ll be “still learning” the muscle-up another two years from now, but I’ll never think it’s flat-out impossible. I’ve surprised myself again and again by accomplishing things that I once thought were well out of my reach. There’s something magical about opening yourself up to possibilities, however distant they may seem.

10. Work from a place of high-fives. A while back someone told me their coach approaches workouts from a place of rage. I thought for a minute about a typical workout with Nichole and replied, “My coach approaches things from a place of high-fives.” Different things work for different people (so rage on if you need to), but the high-five has become my tangible reminder to maintain a good attitude, connect with the people around me, and openly celebrate our efforts. The high-five is like kryptonite to frustration and workout anxiety. The high-five is about having fun, reaching goals, and coming back tomorrow. In sum, the high-five is where it’s at. (And on very special occasions, I might even pair that high-five with a high-kick.)

Time For Some History

The Olympics are coming up, and one of the sports I’m looking forward to is weightlifting, the snatch and clean and jerk.  You know these movements well, they are an integral part of our CrossFit training. Here’s a little history about the origin of the weightlifting.

Now, let’s watch some awesome lifting.

Thursday’s Skill:

1 Press + 3 Push Presses

5 sets, increasing the weight each set

Push Jerk (intermediate)


Workout of the Day (WOD):

15 minute AMRAP of:

Run 100 meters

10 burpee pull-ups

Post rounds to comments

That’s a good looking 235# PR clean and jerk from Fred.


Rules to Lift Heavier!

We have some pretty darn strong guys and gals in the CrossFit world.  I often wonder what is it that makes them so strong.  In this article by The Strength Shop I found some really good “rules” to lift like a man (or Lindsey Valenzuela – for that matter!).  Maybe following some of these might also help you lift heavier!

1. Pick up heavy things
* heavy loading ensures you are using major muscles in the legs and back with compound movements like deadlifts and squats which increases testosterone, builds muscle, and gets you jacked

2. Start squatting heavy
* increase your hip mobility for better range of motion and super speed, with tree trunk thighs

3. Stop worrying about your “6 pack”
* when you focus on quality nutrition and superior performance, your 6 pack will take care of itself

4. Stop making excuses
* everyday millions of people have it worse off than you, you live like a rock star compared to the world’s majority and you don’t even realize it, stop feeling sorry for yourself and start getting stuff done. If you got out of bed today, then there is no reason you can’t go be awesome

5.Carry heavy loads
* loaded conditioning is one of the best ways to pack on real muscle and build stamina that resembles a human Clydesdale

6. Press heavyweight
* pressing heavy things over your head is one of the best things you can do, bench pressing, dips and push-up variations are the foundations to building boulder shoulders and a chest and gut carved from granite

7. Crank pull-ups everyday like its your job
* it is your job, get to work, few things compare to the functionality or create a stronger and healthier torso than pull ups, any and all variations

9. Don’t do curls in the power rack. Leave the rack for the big boys
* do your curls at home when no one else is watching, squat in the rack

10. Stop eating like a little girl
* every girl I ever dated ate goo, don’t eat goo, eat meat and vegetables, do it like a man

11.  Eat powerful foods
* the most powerful foods are quality sources of protein, antioxidant rich berries, nutritionally dense vegetables and high quality fats like nuts, seeds and avocados, learn more about it..

12. Train at least 3 days a week
* you can’t expect too much change with a sporadic effort, try to get some sort of training in every day that you brush your teeth, obviously the intensity will vary

13. Add more weight to the bar
* progressive overload is the best way to make positive changes

14. “Get comfortable being uncomfortable”
* life ain’t all sunshine and rainbows, kid, if all you ever do is what comes easy to you, nothing will ever be worth talking about and no one will want to hear your story or care about your legacy, being uncomfortable forces adaptation to new stresses, that’s what counts15. Train your back like a beast
* your back is what keeps you healthy and powerful, not to mention those muscles are larger than the muscles in your front, so if you are looking to get jacked and athletic, train your back hard

16. Stop looking in the mirror
* vanity gets to all of us, but stop pretending you’re checking form, and focus on what counts, intensity


17. Don’t worry about “beach season”
* man-season never ends, if you only want to look good for 3 months while you’re playing cornhole on the beach with a Bud Light in your hand, thats cool, but this Man Shit ain’t for you, son

18. Don’t be afraid to train alone
* the majority of my training is done alone because I don’t have the time or energy to hold everybody else’s hand or wait for pathetic training partners making excuses. If you have a solid and reliable crew, thats an awesome thing that will ensure major positive changes, but reliable people just aren’t as common as we would like them to be, rely only on yourself to make real change

19. If you’re injured get help
* failing to ask for advice when you need it is like begging for further injuries, don’t be too big to ask for necessary help from qualified people

20. Find a way to train around injuries. No excuses
* unless you’re in a full body cast laid up in bed, there is something you can do, whether it be static holds, grip work, rehab, eyelid extensions, etc, get it done

21. Hire someone to do your programming
* the best athletes in the world all have coaches forcing them to do the things they need to do to get better, don’t be above outside programming and coaching, I do it, so should you. Like they say, ““A man who tries to be his own coach has a fool for a athlete.”

23. Stop bragging about how strong you think you are
* seriously, no one cares about your numbers, and besides, there is always someone stronger than you to knock you off your pedestal. Be humble and work hard

24. Learn from others who are stronger than you
* never be the big fish in a small pond, while it will fuel your ego temporarily, it’s a surefire way guarantee mediocrity. Surround yourself with people who are more successful than you and stronger than you

25. Lift with others who are stronger than you

26. Admit you do not know everything
* there is no need to try something new everyday, but after a few months of hard work it is time to change things up, take the time and invest in continuing education and set yourself up for success for years to come

27. Do not skip workouts
* everything is contagious, from smiles to yawns. If you’re happy and you smile at someone, they will likely smile back at you regardless of how they feel. Momentum is contagious as well, its hard to stop a boulder that is in motion. But if you stop it, it’s hard to get that sucker going. When you skip workouts you find it more and more acceptable to do so, and that’s not good. You need consistency to be the man you want to be. As Dan John says, “If it’s important, do it everyday.”

28. Have a gut check workout every now and then
* not every workout should be a PR day, nor should you be lying on the ground in piss, sweat and vomiting agony. But occasionally you need to see what you’re made of. Are you built like a bridge or soft as a wet noodle?

29. Sprint and jump often
* nothing will generate more power and peak muscle contractions like jumping and sprinting. And they are simple enough that anyone who is not a rank novice can do fairly safely and get great results.

30. When in doubt, don’t be a p***y
* at any given moment in time, right now for example, pretend there was a camera on you and the entire world is watching. You are the halftime show for the Super Bowl. You are gonna carry the torch out to open the Olympic Games. Everyone you have ever known and loved is watching you. Who are you going to be? Are you going to be someone that inspires and motivates? Or are you going to be the guy that causes everyone to change the channel? Don’t be a let down. Be inspiring and take charge right now. There is no tomorrow. Start right now and get moving, even if it isn’t the perfect direction, it is easier to turn than it is to get up and take your first step.  Trust me, once you’re moving you’ll be glad you started, and you’ll be the inspiration to make change in all the people around you, including yourself.

Intermediate Skill:

Clean and Jerk


Workout of the Day (WOD):


30 clean and jerks (135 # for men/95# for women) for time

Sled Relay Race

Beginner and All Levels Power Hour

Front squat 5×5 same weight

6 x 40 yard sprints – record the fastest and slowest times

Sled Pull

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