under recovery

Dr. Doug McGuff looks at exercise stimulus from this perspective. ....With regard to the stimulus, the basic issues to be identified are the concentration of the drug and the dosage of the drug. Analogous issues in exercise would be the intensity of the exercise and amount of exercise performed per session. With regard to response, our researchers would wait to record the desired response and note at what point in time this response occurs. The amount of time it takes the response to occur is what dictates an optimum dosing schedule. The key when designing a therapeutic drug is to optimize the concentration so that minimum dosing is required to produce a maximum response. Likewise the key in exercise training should be to optimize intensity so that minimum exercise duration and frequency is required to produce a maximum growth response.

i love this when a scientist finally says something that makes sense but its funny that they never implement it seeing that most athletes are still overtraining all the time...UNDERSTAND his last statement - the least training possible to get the best results!

one of my mentors mentioned this to me years ago...and he stated "NEVER be afraid to over train athletes"...b/c if the nutrition/lifestyle/training stimulus is dialed in, the human body can adapt to unbelievable stressors...

what i now know is that emotions are the first sign that overtraining or under-recovery can occur...when you do not feel that you are ready to smash it, my suggestion is to still do it but understand that you can still focus on movements and not the clock...if you still over some time have low vigor, higher than normal AM heart rate (this is not overly valid for those who carb load but sometimes worthwhile), and do not feel like even training, listen to the body, take 5 days off (walk instead, breathe some more, nap, sleep well, eat well - i repeat; this IS NOT A TIME TO EAT LIKE SHIT!!!)...if after this time you come back and do not have it w.r.t. times/scores/weights but sense that you liked training again and "being there"...this is a good thing that NO science can assess

i frequently do saliva/urine/blood analysis for life long health as well as performance purposes and there is ALWAYS a correlation b/t the testing there and how i feel emotionally in connection to my training...listen to your body! (below is a printout from one of the many times i've been tested at http://www.rmalab.com/ )

Hormone Status Result Range Units Range Applied
Estradiol Within range 3.7 2.0 - 6.0 pg/ml Male estradiol endogenous
Testosterone Within range 76 43 - 135 pg/ml Endogenous testosterone male < 35 years old
DHEAS Within range 7.5 4.0 - 15 ng/ml
Cortisol AM Low end of range 2.8 2.0 - 11.0 ng/ml Sampled within 1 hour of waking
Cortisol Noon Within range 2.7 1.0 - 7.0 ng/ml Noon cortisol
Cortisol PM Low end of range 0.7 0.5 - 3.5 ng/ml Sampled prior to evening meal
Cortisol HS Within range 1.1 0.2 - 1.3 ng/ml Bedtime sample

the positive side here is that just like decreasing volume but keeping intensity high before competitions you will get an uptick interms of intensity when you return if you are not burnt too much, so will it happen after a return from a perfectly prescribed layoff (the only way to know is to try)...so in the end, don't be afraid to go to the dark side, you learn a HELL of a whole lot about your limits (i remember Gonzales saying in his book DEEP SURVIVAL - "to revere pain and fear, to embrace friction, are bedrock skills of survival")...its not fun over there but the other side sure is...


man...i look back at when we started this thing in my basement of my house years ago..how Leighanne and I had to basically scrounge to find money to fulfill my dream of coaching under my own rules in my own spot....12 months later and then OPT phase 2 here on Aspen Dr.
when i think about the mornings of gruelling workouts, the conversations that i have had at my desk, the ideas and emotions that have been shared within these walls makes me emotional.
i am SO fortunate to be surrounded by people who have enjoyed what i have built...to see others benefit from it is truly inspiring...
sometimes its hard to put into words how much this place and this haven i have built means to me...
those who are close know...we are currently at a crossroads at OPT...our design, make up, and you see above, our face may change, but the love we share for progression of fitness will not, we will continue to share that to the masses to teach what is right...
my favorite moment(s) at OPT:
the many, many, many 4 am workouts, just me and the iron, unforgettable teachings
share yours to comments of your best times/memories...

Liquid Fuel

i won't jump all over it...i'll save it for another time
OK...here we go - chocolate milk as post workout fuel, even writing it gets my blood hot...
another example of a research study where the examination of 2 options allows chocolate milk to come out on top...therefore it allows EVERY frickin' health magazine to write about it and explain how it is the next best thing to patented amino acids and golden maltodextrin for post workout fuel...
as mentioned, i will not go too far into it as there really is not enough room on this blog for it...but think about this..let's say i told you that minor amounts of antibiotics and hormones which are KNOWN to be carried in milk and ARE in every bit of milk that you drink in small amounts...and let's say you have 3 gruelling workouts per week, for 52 weeks per year (156 chocolate milks)...would you then question based on how poor most humans excrete toxins from their body today that they MIGHT hold onto these deadly pieces and somehow it might have a playing role in later diseases and dysfunctions...just think about it...think hard...i'll let you come to the conclusion...
i'll touch on another topic within that...milk itself...another time 2 give you another reason why it is possibly next to licorice and safeway pepperoni meat THE WORST option out there for post workout fuel..

i can't just leave you there without a nice option for a smoothie...albeit NOT a post workout option but a concoction drawn up by our mad scientists Mike and Steve...i can't hold it from you any longer, but beware, it's like crack...well that is, if you've used crack you'll understand....well..it's REAL good!

3 cups ice and water total
3 cups frozen spinach and brocolli
3 scoops Muscle Milk chocolate
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp flax
4 tbsp nut butter

and i'm tellin' ya, after hearing the ingredients i was skeptical as well...post a comment after you have fallen in love...serving for one person only for as many servings as they want, as sharing it is not an option with this

never, never, never, never give up

there are times when it so easy to give in to it...the thought passes through your brain over and over..."pain is temporary"...the thought lingers....
there are SO many benefits to perseverance, courage and strength to do the things you do not think are possible, get deep into the storm, experience it, not give up on it and come out the other side...the results are not what matters, its the experience
we speak of this EXPERIENCE at OPT quite often...what we mean is intent, put forth an effort and you shall be rewarded...when those times arise where you are questioning why you should go on, why you should finish (whether it be a workout or life task), it's all the same - keep thinking to yourself - "never, never, never quit" say it over and over...it will linger



for time:

400m run/50 CTB pull ups/400m run/50 elevated push ups on push up handles/400m run/50 GHD Sit Ups/400 m run/50 squats - 15:30

little bug past few days, knew this would be off...killed me breathing wise, good challenge


8 rds for time:

1 Power Snatch/1 Snatch Balance/1 OHS/1 Hang Power Snatch/1 Hang Snatch with 95 lbs (bar cannot rest on ground in set) - 3:40


4 rounds for reps: 20 sec on/40 sec off (Row for cals/Push Jerk - 95 lbs/Abmat sit ups)

Row - 11/11/11/10

Push Jerk - 9/9/9/9

Sit Ups - 17/18/18/18


5 rounds:
5 chin ups + 30 lbs
12 push up burpees
no time, just a race b/t us 2
5 sets of 8 KB swings - 2pd
8 sets of 6 toes to bar

a pic of myself and one of the best; too bad he's here for only a few days...i'd sense a big change in my intensity with more of his presence...safe travels Dutch

"Fall into Fitness" OPT challenge

On Saturday, Sept 13th, OPT hosted it's 2nd Annual Fall Fitness Challenge. Congratulations to Kathleen Davis and Michael FitzGerald for their first placing! Thank-you to Lululemon and CF Construction for their 1st place prize donations of a full outfit from Lululemon and a Dynamax ball.
The events included:
morning event (WOD 1):
For time:
Row 500 m
30 SDLHP (men - 95 lbs, females - 65 lbs)
30 chin ups (females - jumping)

mid-day event (WOD 2):
For time:
100 squats
Run 400 m
30 Wall Balls (men - 20 lbs, females - 12 lbs)

late afternoon event (WOD 3):
For time:
50 deadlifts (men - 135 lbs, females - 95 lbs)
50 double unders
50 anchored sit up's

Female results: (in alphabetical order)

Ashling (7th) total time: 21:5.2 (6:53.1; 8:30.4; 6:21.7)
Jackie (2nd) total time: 14:25.1 (5:17.6; 5:20.7 3:46.8)
Kathleen (1st) total time: 14:05.3 (5:24.7; 5:10.3; 3:30.2)
Kim (4th) total time: 16:00.8 (5:22.8, 5:37.4, 5:00.6)
Laura (3rd) total time: 15:48.5 (4:44; 6:34; 4:30.5)
Linnette (5th) total time: 16:36.9 (5:37.4; 6:09.8, 4:49.7)
Whitney (8th) total time: 25:44.3 (6:49.9, 11:28.4, 7:26.1)
Yasmin (6th) total time: 20:31.9 (5:39.4, 7:31.3, 7:21.2)

Male results: (in alphabetical order)
Alvaro (15th) total time: 23:06.2 (8:18.7; 6:09.0; 8:37.6)
Chad (7th) total time: 13:05.5 (4:29.9; 4:56.7; 3:38.9)
Darren (4th) total time: 12:29.5 (5:26.5; 4:10.8; 2:52.1)
Don (5th) total time: 12:43.7 (4:43.8; 4:40.4; 3:19.5)
Geoff (2nd) total time: 11:23.9 (4:12.3;4:06.0; 3:05.6)
Giles (6th) total time: 13:02.1 (4:25.5; 4:52.0; 3:44.05
Gord (10th) total time: 15:07.6 (4:59.1; 5:09.7; 4:58.8)
Grant (11th) total time: 16:28.0 (5:48.3; 4:26.9; 6:12.8
Ian (12th) total time: 18:36.5 (6:14. 0; 5:57.8; 6:24. 7)
Mack (9th) total time: 13:21.4 (4:40.9; 4:55.5; 3:45.0)
Mike F. (1st) total time: 11:11.9 (4:30.7; 3:55.2; 2:45.9)
Mike S. (14th) total time: 20:57.7 (6:03.9; 5:33.9; 9:19.9)
Rob C. (3rd) total time: 12:01.2 (4:55.2; 4:03.1; 3:02.9)
Rob S (8th) total time: 13:10.6 (4:47.4; 5:18.9; 3:04.3)
Shane (13th) total time: 19:13.9 (7:56.3; 4:58.6; 6:19.1)


one of my favorite post workout meals..one i was able to share with one of my colleagues Dutch Lowy after our workout today...yams in apple sauce and Spolumbo's turkey cranberry sausages..
OPT WOD - "Rhiannon" - as many double unders in 10 min:
Dutch - 587
James - 531
600 is the goal...next time



5 rounds: 100 ft walking lunges/15 HSPU - time: 6:58

did this one when i started in 2005, took me 26:27...yikes


30 sets of 5 chest to bar pull ups, 20 sec rest b/t reps, none broken

post high octane workout fuel options:

choices depend on a number of factors

> body fat distribution (as where you store your fat determines how well you will use sugars; for example males below 10% use sugars way better than males over 10-12%, therefore the meals/fuels have to vary to that)

> how hard the workout was - there are many equations for this but if it smashes you, you need more than if it does not...bottom line, we have specific ones at OPT; but the quality and options are more impt first than the nutrient ratios

> food sensitivity - a high level method to determine how well you use foods (http://www.rmalab.com/index.php?id=18 ) works really well as you'll discover that sometimes foods you think you're using is slowing you down...

> pancreas age (human age) - that is age of the person determines it as well, younger humans we work with use sugars really well post exercise without too much of a sugar funk after the meal

> there's more - most times you want protein and carb only (most times, there are exceptions)...LOTS of research to show that certain prot/carb combos are best, i've seen otherwise...for example, research will say that liquid is better (i will argue against that as my results over time will change that)...and sometimes folks cannot handle the kinds of sugar imposed in liquids...some starter examples are apple sauce and whey protein, lean poultry and yams, lean protein and fruit, liquid meal combos like recoverite that we use here b/c of the higher glutamine base in it...yada, yada....play with it, it takes tinkering!


find your back squat 1RM, it's worth your time, the definition is hip crease BELOW bottom of knee cap when looking from side view
times that by 1.25 and that is what your 1Rm dead lift should be
times that by .85 and that is what your 1RM front squat should be
times that by .66 and that is what your 1RM power clean should be
times that by .51 and that is what your 1RM power snatch should be
where are your numbers?

OPT WOD - inspired by http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9Gzz7y19As&feature=related:

split jerk - 5 sets to a 1RM - 215,220,225,230,235 - new rack position makes BIG difference, thanks to coach Everett for that one, taught me last year, i finally got it (www.performancemenu.com)


clean and jerk - build to 1RM - 195,205,215,220,225,230(f),230(f) - CNS pretty much done by 225, will get 245 with new rack position, excited...


so excited that i got ahead of myself and forgot that i had lifted about 3500 lbs in 90 minutes and tried some tempo 800's at 90%...well that turned into 3 x 800 m POSE method at 80% speed but 95% effort (2:42/2:48/2:50), 3 min b/t sets....felt nice to get in the sun after anyhow....


today's wod:
5 rounds for time:
30 double unders
30 wall balls - 20# to 10ft
3 rope ascents - 13'

..and that's about as much as i can type right now


had a good conversation with one of the soldiers today regarding handling behavioral traits for peers/friends/employees who are characteristically "kaibosing" themselves when it comes time to "take it to the next level"and how to help those...that is, we all know someone who has consistently at many points/times in their life got to a point of somewhat success with something, and then they throw in the towel completely (this can be done by finding a way to get injured, taking on too much, reating more work than is needed, procrastinating on purpose...it has many sides to it)...and then ironically move on to some other venture and do the same thing...just in another suit (that is, with fitness, work, relationships...) i see it sometimes with traits in folks who experience this in trying to achieve the path to higher levels of fitness

what i have found that has worked with folks is to first bring them back to discussing the "emotions" they are feeling around the time they decide they need to "throw it in"...and really work together on discussing these times and what they are feeling, this allows a "noticing and awareness" of what is going on at the time...sometimes it allows the person to then DETACH themselves from the moment completely, giving it a new owner so to speak...and secondly, then go away for a while and think about why these feelings are really coming up, what has brought them on...i usually get reports back of some really powerful indications of fears of failure and success and what usually accompanies this (most times from some things that have shaped them from a young age)...sometimes people are just not ready for it...as in life, it becomes a learning

but if you have to hold people accountable for their actions that are close to you and are experiencing these happenings, listen and listen some more, ask questions about how they are feeling at these times, and help them understand what's going on...when they become aware, it'll help everyone

OPT WOD today:
3 sets for times, 3 min rest b/t sets:

10 row cals, 20 chest to bar pull ups, 30 push ups
15 sets of 10 GHD Sit Ups
15 sets of 10 Double Unders, 5 breaths b/t sets



back squat - 5 sets of 3 (265, 287, 309, 319, 329)

felt good, first back squat since May, felt nice, o-lift work has kept hips strong


video wod with Rob and "fun Bobby"

5 rounds: 10 thrusters - 30#/h, 20 KB swings - 20kg x 5

Bobby - 5:30, James - 5:55, Rob - 6:30 ish...good times

my top 3 snack choices for this time of year; make them at night for next day, cut all in half and have at mid am and mid afternoon (basically leftover protein from supper, a seasonal fresh fruit and raw nuts, i'm hungry...)

1. free range organic leftover chicken, a fresh BC organic peach, raw organic macadamia nuts

2. local organic ostrich jerky, fresh BC organic apple, raw organic walnuts

3. free range organic turkey, Eden dried cranberries, raw organic almonds

got some other options?


my friend C2
how many times can you average under 1:40/500m on 3 min rest
goal - 5
scores - 1:39.4/1:39/1:39.5/1:39.4/1:39.7/1:39.8 - 6 repeats
fell on floor after 6th, guess that was a sign it was over...b/c when i got up there was only 20 sec left on split of 3 min....tough metabolic WOD...good mental tests there, know what pain i need to endure now for a 6:40 2K
10 sets of 5 hanging knees to elbows, no kip


Murray, another OPT soldier...

before - 53 years old, an OK golfer, biker, hockey player, softball player, 18.5% BF, OK fitness

2 years later - great golfer, hiker, hockey player, softball player, 13.5% BF, 4 lbs lean mass higher, 55 years of age

just another example if the right attitude is mixed with balance!

OPT WOD today;

AMRAP BodyWeight Overhead Squat - 170 lbs - reps: 14,12,11 (oh so close to 15 again, did 15 months ago at 165 lbs, will do it soon, love the OHS, such a core exercise!...a true one!)


for time;

50 back ext's/20 GHD sit ups/40 back ext's/20 GHD sit ups/30 back ext's/20 GHD sit ups/20 back ext's/20 GHD sit ups/10 back ext's/20 GHD sit ups - time - 7:14

(hips were smashed after that; all i'll be able to do is stand upright tomorrow)

want a real core workout, there it is...



how many times can you put 135 lbs locked out overhead from the ground in 10 minutes;

score-55 reps


10 sets of 10 CTB chin ups and 10 double unders alternating

CNS was done after 135 lb power cleans and push jerks...the fatigue in my legs brought back ugly pain feelings from the games...nightmarish.....uugghhh, tried to keep form tight, Grace practice i guess..although when you know its for 10 minutes it's a grinder, not a race....did chin ups on new bar after, felt nice and tight (the new bar that is)

so there's an uproar happening in my hometown of Wabush/Lab City, NL (http://www.theaurora.ca/) read about health care system, lack of doctors, basically they cannot keep doctors, there are more people needing doctors, there needs to be a new hospital..

let's just say, besides being hung out to be burned at the cross at one of the local churches, that i came home and stated this to the people looking to hire more doctors; i.e. looking for a solution...let's just say that they find a doctor for 6 months only, pay him/her $100,000 to take care of the back log and allow the fine docs i remember there (Dr Tom, we still love you) to have a break every now and then...and they pay a personal trainer $250,000 per year to work his or his ass off in training/educating/creating progress through mass classes like Crossfit, creating policy on by laws of poor food choices and selling of processed foods (why 250K?...well they deserve it for what it does to the system, it creates a LONG TERM strainless position for those in charge of finding moneys for the current DEFAULT plan, they would have classes, set up 3-4 CF facilities which house thousand per place, hold everyone acountable for attendance)....imagine the load it would take off the docs for visits based on lacking blood sugar control (seen as depression in most cases, hint, it's the cookies at 2 pm, not your life), flus and colds (strength training creates less sick days, emperical and researched data shows that), ...and let them take care of the EMERGENCY situations outside of the trainers control...craziness you say...well if you do..you're just as blind as those looking to add to the DEFAULT system...more doctors and nurses WILL NOT help the problem....making people to pay taxes (higher taxes) for NOT taking care of themselves (smokers, those who drink, those who do not ATTEND CF classes and sessions) will...as well as paying trainers (and i mean real trainers, not babysitters)/innovators what they are worth....interestingly enough, you know one question that is NEVER asked of a client when i meet with them over and over (and i see thousands per year) that is part of our system..."who is your family doctor"...interesting that it is NEVER mentioned

i hear a lot of talk about what there is NOT there, and not about what they COULD have....they have power in an unbelievable community, with an atmosphere that would welcome a new perspective...all it takes is belief that preventative means is the way to go, and the only way to uphold a growing society


2012 olympian swim hopeful Curtis Lutsch began his off season journey last week at OPT...his dedication and willingness to learn about "cross-training" and what it means to his sport will be a major player in his progress...we will keep updating his progress throughout the year...i'll throw some stats your way when i dig them up about his times in the H20...
Curtis' WOD today:
power clean - 7 sets of 3
amrap BFK chin ups x 3 sets
(speed, power, co-ordination, accuracy, agility...all mixed into one)
hang power snatch from knee cap - 95,115,120,125,130,133,138,138 x 3
(last 2 sets of 138 were not the best, 133 was smooth and easy)
3,4,5,4,3,4,5,4,3 reps, 15 breaths b/t reps - 95# hang power snatch - met con style
2 x 400m on OPT track @ 95% (doorstep take off) - 1:13, 2 min rest, 1:13
4 sets of 30 sec on/30 sec off high knee rope jump


last wod in BC:
burpees on the minute - chest to deck, jump and clap overhead
17 min
5 sets of 10 Janda sit ups
15 sets of 20 sec on 10 sec off - try to complete 12 jump squats per 20 sec