RIFLEDon’t Get Gun Shy

As CrossFitters we know what the pain cave feels likes. Sometimes for whatever reason we are scared to throw ourselves in there because it sucks and it’s hard to get out. This is why I don’t ever think high level pampered athletes will transition to this sport. They can’t handle the pain. But why are seasoned CrossFitters gun shy? Maybe mentally we want no part of it or physically we are burnt out or maybe we just cant get their because our nervous system is fried. The latter two are acceptable and need to be managed with recovery and bodywork, the first is fear based.

Today was a bit of 1 and 2 for me. I went off program and worked to a heavy single on Push Jerk yesterday. Kantola was getting after it. I felt goood and just kept adding weight and swapping sets with her. Not the smartest decision as overhead stability turned into the limiting factor today. BUT what happens in a multi day comp? We are beat up and have to get it done. Today I was relatively fresh and couldn’t dismantle a workout that is very much inside my wheelhouse. Why? Fear. WOD 4 of the Lottery effing sucked and smoked me out for legitimately 5 days. I didn’t want to go there again. I was gun shy as the clock ticked down from 10. The suck came and sincere thanks to JV, Winch, and the 6:30 crew for the push and the reminder to cowboy up and gut it out.

Tomorrow – we pull the trigger.

Trust your coaching and let loose.


Less Talk, More Do.


1130Team environments are incredible. In 11:30 today Randy missed a big lift in round 8 of the Snatch work and then all of sudden other athletes started missing. I can’t tell you how often this happens in class environments. Randy honed on this as he is a veteran and proceeded to destroy the next complex, others fed off this and started nailing down their weights. As an athlete you have to know this will happen, feel the tension and then turn the ship around – make the big lift. The power to persevere will help your squad as well as build your habit of being able to stand it up when it matters most. With that, here is a piece I wrote a while back for the Triune related to the subject. Big ups to all the athletes who put in the time to make their lifts look Purty. You have no idea the influence you have.

Our Movement Pattern are Contagious

This is an aspect of Olympic Lifting and training in general that I feel gets very overlooked. If you go to a CrossFit competition, it is very easy to tell who has put in the work and learned how to perform quality movements. CrossFit Central has built a reputation of producing athletes who perform very solid reps. A large portion of the credit goes to the coaching staff, as well as Carey Kepler and her ability to find and build great coaches and then hold them accountable. However, a lot of the credit also goes to the athletes in our programs. Human Beings invariably pick up habits from what goes on in our environment. We are animals, there is no denying that. In turn, some of us are more visual or tactile learners than others and then these environmental cues become even more important. Through the years, as I have coached I notice that some athletes have the ability to elevate the movement patterns of their peers, just by their presence on the rubber. On the flip side, a bad habit can quickly become endemic in an entire class if it is not addressed and alleviated quickly.

Therefore, as an athlete you have a responsibility to elevate and perfect your game. Not just for yourself or your coach, but for those around you, both new and veteran. Elevate what you do and how you do it and others will watch and follow. When you travel and visit other gyms be a beacon of awesome and wear your double Cā€™s. Continue to relentlessly build and expand our reputation for quality reps. Live the Code.

Which are the most common movement faults?

  • Droopy Bells
  • Stripper moves (hips move faster than the shoulders in the first pull) and an early 2nd pull in Olympic Lifting
  • Not reaching lock out in exercises like the push-up, pull-up, or air squat too name a few
  • Hyperextension of the spine when going overhead
  • And probably the most dangerous ā€“ losing lumbar extension in the Squat (this position resembles that of a dog defecating ā€“ not sexy)

These habits can be easy to develop and hard to break as most of us spend a great portion of the day sitting and as a population we are not very well versed in utilizing the power of our hips or our lats.

What can you do to get better?

  • Work with your coach on fixing any of the most common movement faults and scale when needed to perform the movement the right way to build the strength you need to succeed and grow as an athlete.
  • Watch some of the adept movers in your class, you should just know who they are.
  • Attend all free Saturday workshops
  • PT with a coach highly skilled in the area you want to improve a few times a month
  • Enroll in programs like TAG or Barbell Sport
  • Talk to Whitney Welsch or another mobility specialist about how you might be able to increase you mobility and stability to look sexier on the floor.
  • Lastly, watch YouTube videos **be careful there is a lot of garbage out there**


Less Talk, More Do.


115 GGRXYou love CrossFit. I Get It. So Do I.

Conventional CrossFit is supremely sagital plane dominant (except for the Double Banger in 2012). Sagital plane movements are up and down, or straight forward and straight back. Why? Because that is the plane that we can load the most efficiently and effectively. AKA Football players aren’t going to do Transverse plane lunges to a 1 rep max, but they should be doing movements that replicate what their position will encounter on the field and then they sure as hell better be doing some Heavy Hang Power Cleans. Their sport functions highly in all three planes, yet they primarily load the Sagital plane and then ideally run the daylights out of drills that replicate the triplane movement that looks and smells like Football.

The sagital plane dominance of CrossFit is not bad. It is what it is. None of us are going to inherently change the nature or our sport, yet we do need to think about the ramifications of only moving in one plane. The way Coach Estes, puts it is that we can function at a pretty high level for a relatively long amount of time while only utilizing straight Sagital plane motion, but eventually our Frontal and Tranverse plane motion will become so inhibited that we will see a reduction in performance or injury in the Sagital plane and that is when our body screams for help and we go see a Chiro or physician and ask ,”What the hell is wrong with me, everything was going so well.”

The best example from GGRX that I have is JoJo. He has been in CrossFit under a year, has a heavy background in skateboarding, and just moves incredibly well. But, this may not be the case forever, we have to give him the opportunity to keep that fluidity of movement and his ninja skillz. He can do this through continuing to practice freestyle motion like Carl Paoli, or we can train it on the rubber.

We do this through triplane movement. Hold the eff on – what in the God’s name are these planes you keep speaking of!!! Sagital Plane – everything you do on the rubber – Squats, Lunges, PullUps, Running, Etc. Frontal Plane – a lateral lunge or side bend. Tranverse Plane – a quarterback taking a drop step. BUT better yet think about little kids playing or a Kung-Fu movie. Those cats are all over the place swinging, yelling, punching, kicking, and having a blastyblast. This is kind of what I do on my “Off” days but in a more controlled adult manner, I train the living bejesus out of the Frontal and Transverse planes, while mingling in some positional Oly work and having a hell of a lot of fun. No clocks. Just movement till I feel great and it is time to go inside for dinner.

Training and Coaching are all about tools. We get these through our time in the gym, experiences at certifications or seminars, reading, and tinkering. Understanding and training TriPlane motion is another tool made popular and taught by Gary Gray. for us it is a tool to keep you squatting heavy and functioning at an extremely high level. Take it, use it, understand it, if it feels right, keep it, if it doesn’t throw it away and go do some curls and cruise around on Lake Austin. I believe in it because it has worked for me and I feel indescribably better when I stay after this part of my game.

The lunge matrix was introduced first because it is the starting point and a great one at that. But it is just the beginning.

What does my ideal Active Recovery or Sagital Plane Rehab Day look like? I come up with something different nearly everytime but here is an example what we did this week.

Circuit 1:

Buttom Up Pause Progression Snatch

Lunge Matrix with T-Spine Drivers

DB Loaded Lunge Matrix

Circuit 2: Triple Up Weak Side

DB Snatch (6:2)

Transverse and Frontal Plane Sandbell Slams

BB Turkish Get Ups (3:1)

Other Items I Tend to Throw in the Mix (what you add will dependent on your weaknesses or what you feel like doing): Single Leg Balance, Single Leg Jump Matrix, Ankle Matrix, Drop Step Rows, MedBall Work, PushUp Matrix, Press Matrix, and the Squat Matrix.

All this may seem complicated at first but once you know the basics you can play around fairly easily and get in a good sweat while recouping your body’s natural ability to move.


Less Talk, More Do.


lu-xiaojun-2009-11-24-7-43-33“In combat, as in life, when we start thinking too much, we are dead”

– Michael Bookbinder

Lately, I have found athletes trying to work on technical issues at heavy ass weights…PR weights. Ladies and gentlemen this is not the time. Here is a link to a previous post on the two outlooks on making technical changes to one’s lifts. Go Light or Stay Heavy. We train in the Stay Heavy camp and the majority of us should be, BUT this means we also need to be able to put all that technique work and mental chatter on the back burner when we hit the latter sets of complexes and 1 rep max situations. Get Stupid. Be Present. Get Hungry. Be Aggressive. Trust your training and just LIFT.


Less Talk, More Do


1130 GraceThe Wall

In CrossFit training we find, push, and destroy our “wall”. By the wall, I am referring to the point where shit hits the fan, reps are no longer easy, you are thinking about dropping. Stopping. In Helen last week, the wall came for me on the third set of Kettlebell swings, the only thing in my head was stay tight and hang onto the bell. I was able to hold my pace and finish without a marked decline in technique. Our walls will depend on a lot of things the workout’s movement/s, loading, and time domain, and our strength, strength endurance, aerobic capacity, technique, breathing, training environment, and general level of fatigue (AKA is it the third workout of a two day comp or the first workout after a rest day)

The goal of our training is to relentlessly move that wall farther and farther out and then know what to do when we hit it. For example, in Grace today it seemed as though Vanlandingham hit his a wall around the 20 rep mark. He showed very little emotion on his face until this point, his breathing was regular and deliberate. The wall hit, the look changed, he knew it was Friday, he knew he had to push. But, the great thing was he was able to string TnG reps together and hit rep 30 without a marked decline in technique even though there was an evident struggle. The same thing happened for me at rep 18, and I was unable to put more than 2 TnG reps together, Vanlandingham and many others handled the suck better than I and won (BTW Mayernik is 5 seconds away from Fro Fro #justsayin). Yet, no matter what time, I saw this again and again throughout the day. Athletes finding the wall and then adjusting individually to pushing through.

The pushing through is the aspect one can not teach, it’s the 4th quarter, it’s your 4th quarter, when the internal monolog starts, all your default movement patterns come to light, and only you can decide what you’re willing to do to yell time.

I will end with this, Outlaw has coined the saying Everything is Everything.

Everything we do on the rubber moves our walls out in different aspects than we might think, so take nothing lightly.

Thank you for letting me be a part of today.


Less Talk, More Do.



Been on cloud 9 all day. We break ground tomorrow on the Garage Gym/Aerial Arts Studio. Six months we have been getting permits and jumping through hoops. Big Things. It is going to be a pretty nice view.


Strength and Power:

Snatch 1×2 70%. 1×2 75%, 2×1 80%, 1×1 75%. 1×1 80%

Clean and Jerk (loading same as above)

RDL 5×8 65% of Clean 1RM

Close Grip Bench 5×5 Heavy



5 Rounds

3 90-95% Max Height Box Jump

5 Pushups to Box

2 min rest


4 rounds

10 Sandbell Slams (50/30)

10 Sandbell Power Cleans (50/30)

10 Sandbell Thrusters (50/30)

for time


Cool Down/Mobility:

2-3 min each side soft LAX ball to traps and neck

2-3 min each side LAX ball to 1 Rib and scapula