Evan Solomon, host of CBC's "Sunday" had a piece - on yesterday...i actually watched with interest (nothing outside of Thomas Train and the Wiggles are getting me into TV lately)..
Dr. Servan-Shrieder has written a book on Anti Cancer about how food may play a part in decreasing cancers and chances of....he gives a personal insight into his brain tumour, the following changes he has made in his food to prevent it from reoccurring and how people can fend off this disease by eating well, exercising and not relying on drugs to save them...
Evan hosted Dr. Robert Buckman on the show after to "chat" about his book and Dr. Buckton...a resident oncologist and "specialist" in Toronto offered his views...mentioning that the doc who wrote the book has a "nice human story" but no research to back up his thoughts of how food or lifestyle can prevent cancer....
he went on to say that Doc Shrieder's comments on how sugar is the main cause of diseases including cancer if totally well as argued against his claims that exercise vs. drugs is almost as good in prevention of breast cancer re-occurence....and the main point of his argument was that Doc S did not tell us what kind of tumour he had in his head...WTF???
am i totally out to lunch here or are we still seriously arguing that food does not help prevent disease...i cannot type as fast as my brain is wanting to right now so bear with me....(doesn't anyone remember how they figured out scurvy - oranges and lemons - whoa!...what a novel idea!)
Dr. Buckton even had the audacity to mention that it is not sugar that causes issues but it was obesity (well how in the hell do people get fat?), he went on to exlain how glucose is needed for the brain and day to day functions (all along this i am thinking - this guy is in a university teaching our next "doctors to be" about how pepsis are fine along with cookies in getting carbs per day) he said exercise yes...but do not stop with Pepsis (i am serious as shit here)....i'll say it again, he said OBESITY causes these cancers, not sugar...seriously everyone...wake the @#$% up...if anyone believes that this is true I ask you to do this..
for the next 25 years, drink 2 pepsis per day, add 2 tsp of sugar to your coffee and tea 2 x per day, and ensure you have 2 cookies after each supper and lunch (just to ensure you get that glucose that the brain needs)....oh wait, i almost forgot, don't forget to exercise...after all, that is all that is needed to prevent cancer...sugar does not matter
i'll see you in 25

Project Salo update

an update:
shelagh ran her victoria marathon - she ran a 4:16, goal was 4:10...she was quite pleased with the race due to a bug she was fighting at race time...she mentioned afterwards "i could not believe how well i recovered the next day, must have been the squats" (before pic facing right, after pic facing left)
our goals were a 4:10 marathon, 2:10 500 m row, 30 sec static hang, squat to parallel, and 10 push ups...she did a 4:16 run, 2:12 500 m row, squat ALMOST to parallel, 23 sec static hang and 4 push ups (previously pic above not even close to parallel squat, 10 sec hang and 1 push up 2 months ago)...not bad...we'll keep updating, well done shelagh!
sidenote, this was also done running ONLY 2x/week (speed work on Thurs and pace runs on Sun) and conditioning/skillwork for 3 other days of the week...well rounded fitness DOES get you somewhere!
onward and upward!


so there are many people who question CrossFit and its meaning, purpose, safety, origin...yada yada seen in recent posts/forums (i.e. Mike Boyle and Gray Cook vs. CrossFit) and in the latest t-nation article question of strength October by Charles Poliquin....

those who know me and my background understand that a lot of Charles' concepts and training methodologies have helped me achieve a much braoder concept of performance...and the "little things" that go with that...i am forever grateful for his patience in allowing me to learn about his principles and training programs..

he recently had this to say about my sport;

Question to Charles: What do you think of that Crossfit stuff?
Answer: I have no clue what the hell that is. Is that one of those systems that's a mish-mash of everything?
Wait, I saw on article on that in Muscle & Fatness. Looked like a bunch of cachexic fitness-model wannabes searching for their souls in the weight room.
It reminds me of a Hungarian proverb: "If you only have one ass, you can't sit on two horses." If you try to do everything in your workout, you get nothing.
Another way to look at it is to think of Tim Ferris's example of wearing your underwear over your pants. It's different, and maybe even fun for some people, but it's not very effective.
No athlete has ever gotten good training like that.

funny for sure...Charles always had a way of invloving humour in place of this case, it hits home...

my stats pre CrossFit on Charles philosophies (i'll just use a few to give you an idea) - bwt avg - 180#, 5K Run - 21:25, DL - 451, Bench - 245, 1RM chin up - 80lbs attached, BF% - 8% average...that was working on an arms, legs, off, torso, off split as well as energy system training on odd pm's ( i ran a 11.58 100 m in this phase)...and if you think it was a mish mash, you're wrong - those who know me know i'm a soldier, when i'm on a program, i'm on a program, no miss wishy washy was tight...for years (within this time i alternated b/t Staley, Westside, and Chek the saying goes, keep what works, throw away what does not, i obviously stuck with Chuck)

my stats with Crossfit as my template - bwt avg - 163#, 5K - 18:15, DL - 459, Bench - 246, 1RM chin up - 110 lbs attached, BF% - 6% avg...and as you know, i have been at that religiously for 4 years on a 3 on, 1 off schedule with constantly varied sessions...and as mentioned, keep what works, throw away what does not...

the intention of the post is not to critique Charles' comments but to give folks an idea that you CAN have fun, be a good athlete, and go AGAINST the comments of "if you try to do everything, you get nothing"....if i was in Charles' position and if the question was asked to me, my answer would have been "i'm not aware of it and what they do, so i cannot comment"...easy as that

but this just fuels the with time comes will still take some time but we at OPT are making people more fit than ANY other exercise program can WITH CrossFit methodology...BUT, and here is the big clients who are joes and janes are becoming more fit than my athletes...(and not just judging by Crossfit's definition of fitness, we're talking science - anaerobic threshold tests, lactate testing, urine/saliva testing...) and this is while on CrossFit, not another program i can see why people hold on to previous beliefs about periodization and strength training and performance if that is all they knew....i have always been open minded and know what really works for most and what does not...and this skill of having CF as a tool combined with a science background and great coaching will be a lethal combination that all athletes as well as normal rec lifters will be climbing over each other to get at soon..its happening...but it takes time and patience, numbers....Greg has done this on .com for years, we're develping it as well at Crossfit Calgary and OPT...

soon we'l have athletes on the podium and in magazines and on the sides of buses wearing CrossFit gear...then they'll ask that question again in t-nation...and EVERYONE will know the answer....EVERYONE!

soy what?

Which Soy Foods DO Have Health Benefits?

The few types of soy that ARE healthy are all fermented varieties. After a long fermentation process, the phytic acid and antinutrient levels of the soybeans are reduced, and their beneficial properties -- such as the creation of natural probiotics -- become available to your digestive system. The fermentation process also greatly reduces the levels of dangerous isoflavones, which are similar to estrogen in their chemical structure, and can interfere with the action of your own estrogen production. So if you want to eat soy that is actually good for you, following are all healthy options:

Natto, fermented soybeans with a sticky texture and strong, cheese-like flavor. It's loaded with nattokinase, a very powerful blood thinner. Natto is the highest source of vitamin K2 on the planet and has a very powerful beneficial bacteria, bacillus subtilis. It can usually be found in any Asian grocery store.

Tempeh, a fermented soybean cake with a firm texture and nutty, mushroom-like flavor.

Miso, a fermented soybean paste with a salty, buttery texture (commonly used in miso soup).

Soy sauce: traditionally, soy sauce is made by fermenting soybeans, salt and enzymes, however be wary because many varieties on the market are made artificially using a chemical process.

top of the world

what's the real reason behind your conditioning program? ask yourself this over and over, even out loud to see the real meaning behind the efforts given forth...
asking the question may reveal some answers you might not be prepared for or it might enlighten you to maintain motivation behind what you are it to act as a role model for your kids (if it is, is it healthy chatter about exercise or obsession about scores) it to maintain fitness forever (or are there underlying thoughts about bodyweight) it to create self awareness (or is it to enhance self esteem)....asking the question is even in fitness we can get caught up in "automatic mind" and forget about the process, the journey, the true meaning
sure there are medals to be won, trophies to be given out...but in the end...YOU have to be at peace about the process....the struggle to survive, to maintain good health, to persevere...
this is where Nancy Stals and Wayne Clark, 2 OPT soldiers (Nancy in Peru in above photo) discovered why they do what they do...they set out a goal of climbing this thing, and put forth an effort worth writing a meaning behind their exercise that i really like when people answer that question of why they do it - "because i want to be able to do whatever i want to do whenever" - awesome answer!

onward and upward

congrats to Chad Brandt, one of our affiliate friends out of Crossfit Lethbridge ( for his PR here on Fran....Chad's intensity was superior, form on some thrusters can be improved but intensity was there

on that topic, we usually allow little room on form when the athlete has form dialed in and can coach these movements well....Chad will improve more on slightly missing a few lockouts on thrusters here than lowering the intensity and trying harder to lockout, lowering intensity in this workout and not benefitting from "knowing" and "experiencing" the have to get there to better it!

Chad is one of OPT's online clients....we have been doing this program for a few years now without others knowing about it so here is the chance to give someone you know some benefits of OPT while not being here...we usually set up an initial phone consult, then some homework for you to do, then we coach you per day, week or month on daily wod's and progression...and then if the chance arrives like it did for Chad, we meet and train and discuss the future...Chad's goals - CrossFit games 2009...this workout was day 1...onward and upward!

contact Leighanne at for more info

girls don't sweat

Ali here is an example of females we are breeding here at OPT; strong, confident, powerful...we are creating an atmosphere of intensity where gender is not considered in what we do and how hard we do it...the mixing of males and females in exercise within the Crossfit paradigm has certainly lifted our training to another level...where once it was not well accepted (only ellipticals, small dogs, low fat diets and HR zones were) it is ON here and now!

how fast can you lift 95 lbs overhead 30 times? - Ali - 5:58

breaking it down

our first sweat angel on the new floor, thanks to Ryan G...

question from a friend:

friend: You got anything to say about this? I'm sure much of it is vegan scare-tactics but I'd like your 2 cents if you have the time.

OPT: sure i have something to say about this..this paragraph in particular - And meat in any form is not good for humans. We do not have a digestive system designed to assimilate protein from flesh: We do not have the teeth of a carnivore nor the saliva. Our alkaline saliva is designed to digest complex carbohydrates from plant food, whereas saliva of a carnivore is so acidic that it can actually dissolve bones. The digestive tracts of carnivores are short, about three times the length of their torso, allowing quick elimination of decomposing and putrefying flesh. All herbivores have long intestines, 8 to 12 times the length of their torso, to provide a long transit time to digest and extract the nutrients from plant foods.

when it comes down to recommendations and the constant question of what is good?, what is bad?, which is best? always comes back to "every person is different and needs to be treated that way to ensure proper LIFELONG development and performance"...the last word being the most depends on what you want to do...

bottom line is this, stress (physical and emotional stress causes breakdown through oxidation and tearing, think about this, is stress less today?) - protein helps in this noticed when beginners to working out experience more of a need for protein as well as what they give high trauma patients - glutamine - amino acids...its if the stressors are low...i.e. walking, easy hiking, steady state exercise, toe touches...sure the protein requirement and stress relieving is less required...but when you want to run a mile under 5 min and dead lift 400 lbs...i question and see under all my evidence how one is to survive long term under theses stressors without a full array of amino acids and VARIOUS proteins...i mean all humans we have evolved (and that humans cannot digest meat is a statement made by someone who does not understand physiology and digestion) and can break down MANY things and use them for fuel...we have teeth for both purposes of tearing and grinding...etc...

hemp is a good protein, so is meat protein, so is egg protein, so is milk protein..yada, yada....the question you have to ask yourself when someone trys to connect dots b/t meat usage and cancer rates is WHERE the meat came from....if someone can produce a long term study - 20 years of organic free range meat usage and higher incidences of cancer...then we'll chat, until then, if you want to perform at elite levels of performance - eat your protein - ALL KINDS, as you know just with exercise, you leave anything out or too much of one thing over another, and you'll get left behind...i have results to show this

if you want to live long and prosper with performance being scored a 5th or 6th in terms of importance...then control your blood sugar and you got it in the bag...(side note; i do not know many people that get involved with exercise that over time are not excited about improving the amount of chin ups or push ups they can do...)

there are ways to fine tune of course in examining a little closer how well you do break down and digest cerain foods/protein to know which is best - see my doc - Jeoff Drobot (403-270-WELL) first to know which is best....then fine tune it based on:

1. how you feel - number one indicator of performance - energy, vitality, clear head in respect to food choices...and you have to test it to find out, take some time to tweak the food and take notice of these things (#1 and #2)...what a lot of people still do not do well...track scoring and progress and how they are feeling..."awareness is lost"

2. NUMBERS/scores - are you increasing performance? - do your benchmarks under times of change and see how you perform...and if you're not getting better, evaluate food and lifestyle 1st, NOT the timer, the space b/t ex's, the shitty chin up get my drift

some good reading so you can form your own opinions:

Metabolic Diet - DePasquale

The China Study - Campbell and Campbell

Healing with Whole Foods - Pickford

the Scwarzbein principle - Schwarzbein

there's more......