tues, jan 18, 2011

οικογένειά μου
Greek translation - "My Family":
a great night with great people - i am continually impressed by those who surround me and how fortunate i am to have those in my presence - i am truly blessed.

In Season:
In hopes of trying to answer some questions; I'll do my best at preparing everyone who is interested in the March online sectionals as best I can.

For those who are not interested in competing I will provide an OPT competition style workout - 1 per Saturday once the sectionals begin and ending once they end. A balanced assessment of our philosophy of fitness.

The training throughout this time for everyone will be Tues-Thurs training, Saturday testing and Sunday recovery and training to make it feel like an in season for those participating in the sectionals and those who want to participate in our in season as well.

Let the fun begin!

Shout out:
- Shane Savard - scoring guy
- Trevor Salmon - behind the scenes bald guy who does everything for me and more
- Steve Saville - cheered on Michael on Sunday and put away his weights
- Geoff Aucoin - for being funny and giving him his 5 minutes he's been missing
- Brittany Wickham - for being the only person cheering DJ on during Sunday's workouts - and for some sweet pics upcoming
- CJ Martin - awesome programming - 12 minutes would actually have been better for me in the last one; trust that initial gut instinct!


NW said...

you are the man! I've only been following and posting go a few months now but everything you've given myself (an everyone here) is more than I could've asked for. An inspiration to us all. Thanks for everythin you do!

Nik Werre

Adam Rogers said...


As always, thanks for all that you do. The time and effort that you and your team put into this blog, let alone everything else you guys have going on, is beyond all expectation. I'm continually grateful to have stumbled across this group, and known to gush about the programming to anyone who will listen. I think we're well on the way to a sizable Big Dawg contingent at this year's games, excited to see the possibilities.

Onward and upward.

Geoff Aucoin said...

A fun night had by all, thanks James and Leighanne!

How did DeeJay not fit into the picture? Physically that just seems impossible.

Justin VanBeek said...

Curious what your ideas are for sectionals this year since its now multiple wods spread out over 6 weeks instead of 3 wods spread over two days.. Obviously weekends would be for qualifying but are you going to take the types of qualifying wods done already to determine the programming for the next week? I was lucky enough to finish in second in the Midwest sectionals last season and top 20 in the region but am still formulating my "plan of attack".. Haha.. Was thinking Sunday off obviously with a hard two on and one off cycle earlier in the week then a moderately paced wod along with some force production work on Thursday then Friday off then competition Saturday.. Making better progress than last year on my higher rep lifts across the board but still struggle with hspu push up and ring dip endurance.. Anyway just curious about your thoughts.. Thanks!

Jeff @CF Redline said...

Thank you James, Trevor and CJ for all the hard work you all put in to making this competition happen...I can speak for everyone at CF Redline when I say we had a great time with the challenging events and appreciate everything you guys did.

Also, thank you James for the year round phenomenal training...I am able to do things I thought were unreachable just one year ago. I have found nothing that compares to your programming and I know that you are always looking for the best ways to train your followers all over the world.

Good luck to everyone as we prepare for the crossfit games, as well...based on the numbers many of you post on a daily basis, you are well on your way to qualifying.

Colin Jenkins said...

Trevor looks like a bad-ass in that pic!

Anthony said...

James, Leighanne and OPT crew, thank you for your year in year out dedication to all of us. All of us at Redline are greatful for your leadership and inspiration. You have helped us change the culture of our facility to a higher order and brought us all closer as friend.

Thank you personally James for guidance, small lessons and your valuable insight. And for the grouper dinner!

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say thanks to OPT and the community for making me better and pushing me harder. It is a real pleasure to be a part of this group.

Jeff @CF Redline said...

Sorry for the long post but I wanted to answer the questions from this past Saturday:
1.I don't believe the current Crossfit competitions most of us participate in provide the proper tests to find the fittest person. For example, take 2 fit athletes (same sex)-one at 185#BWT and one at 135#BWT- and have them do the 205# Power Clean/Ring HSPU WOD from last year's Crossfit national games, and say the 185# athlete finishes in 8:00 and the 135# athlete finishes in 8:10...the 185# athlete compiles more points (and a higher score). My argument is that the 135# athlete moved a much higher load (BWT:Load ratio) in only :10 sec more time and that is much more impressive to me than the 185# athlete moving the same load :10 sec faster. The ring HSPU aren't any harder for a fit 185# athlete than the 135# athlete...I would argue that the heavy PC would actually make the Ring HSPU tougher for the lighter athlete in relation. The 185# athlete's shoulders are bigger and can handle the HSPU just as well.
To find the fittest person, there must be a comp based on Bodyweight:Load ratios, along with a metcon component that everyone must complete regardless of BWT. To be fit, one must be proficient and successful at the metcons ("cardio") regardless of BWT, so there’s no argument that a lighter athlete should be able to make up points here. If you can lift 500# but can run 400 yards are you “fit?” Ex: If an athlete weighs 225# and completes a 1RM C&J @300# (300#/225# BWT=1.33%), then immediately after that 1RM C&J completes a metcon WOD in 6:30; is that as impressive as an athlete that weighs 145# and C&J 235#(235/145# BWT=1.62%), then immediately completes the same metcon WOD in 6:15? In my opinion the lighter athlete is more "fit," but the 65# difference in the C&J would likely give the heavier athlete a better score in our current system. (The lighter athlete moved a larger load in relation to his BWT and the metcon was faster by 15 seconds). To rectify this, take a percentage approach to weights used in a WOD. Ex: 5 Rds for time of 10 DL and 50 Double Unders. The weight for the DL would be 2x the athlete’s bodyweight so it would be different for each athlete. I believe this type of WOD would tell a clearer picture of being fit.
2.In my opinion, the definition of the fittest athlete is someone such as Chris Spealler. He may never win the competition as it is currently comprised, but his strength:weight ratio combined with his metabolic conditioning is second to none...there may be someone better but we haven't heard from them yet, regardless of who actually wins the games.
3.My biases come from my personal experience and from watching the crossfit games search for the "fittest person on earth"...I am just 146# BWT (with lots of clothes on haha) and because of that I have found the current system to be unfair in my opinion. I am in no way a world class athlete but my personal experience has helped shape my opinion nonetheless. To become the fittest, one must have the highest strength ratio and perform the best scores on metcon events…I believe optimizing individual nutrition (this will be different for every athlete depending on body type and digestive system) and the willingness to train harder but smarter than everyone else (again somewhat personalized based on a ideal template such as the OPT Blog we all love) can lead one to become the fittest. One must be willing to keep an open mind and change with the ever-evolving research in the fitness field if a “better” way is established through clinical research and empirical testing.
4. I am absolutely open to different definitions...the above answers are just my opinion and I could change that opinion with a valid argument against anything I have said. The world of fitness is ever-evolving and the definition of fitness will surely continue to evolve as we test and research all the different pathways.

über Bania said...

BD CHallenge #3 from Sunday:

As Rx'd.
4min: 4rnds + 4 DL = 36pts
6min: 2rnds + 1 Cln = 37pts
8min: 2rnds + 200 m = 52pts


Anonymous said...

@ Jeff

Paragraph from "Essentials of Strength Training and
Conditioning" -NSCA

"It has long been observed that, all else being equal, smaller athletes are stronger 'pound for pound' than larger athletes. The reason for this is a muscle's maximal contractile force is fairly proportional to its cross-sectional area, which is related to the square of linear body dimensions, whereas a muscle's mass is proportional to its volume, which is related to the cube of liner body dimensions. Therefore, body size increases more rapidly than does muscle strength. Given constant body proportions, the smaller athlete has a higher strength-to-mass ratio than does the larger athlete."

Just something to think about... People as they get larger are scientifically proven to lose strength relative to their bodyweight. Elite level lifters in all power sports display the highest strength to bodyweight ratios in the lightest weight classes, but weakest absolute strength. Crossfit HQ keeps talking about the "science" behind their protocols, but I have yet to see or hear any verified science by headquarters. I've heard the argument for Spealler being the fittest many times, and honestly, he is a machine. However, he is doing significantly less work on gymnastic/cardio efforts than are some of the bigger guys on the competitive level. I understand your skewed perspective, but you can get stronger without getting bigger, which would make your hand stand push ups easier. Big guys are relatively weaker and heavier, so they are actually doing a lot more work on the rhspu's in your example. So less metabolic effort on the cleans and more on the rhspu's. Probably comes out to be a wash depending on the strengths/weaknesses of the athlete and their energy systems. So I do agree with you that the games and head quarters are not finding the fittest man on the planet, but for a very different reason than you are. My advise would be to keep hitting it hard, get strong, and embrace your size as a strength in this sport!

Marie Rochat said...

This was the first Big Dawg challenge I have had the chance to do this year, and it was a blast. I am excited for the next one to come around. Thank you so much to OPT and co, all the athletes that participated, and CF Portland for hosting!

Jeff @CF Redline said...


Thanks for the input....my views are based on what I've seen and experienced and I see your point. My example of the PC/ring hspu wod was based on an athlete @185# getting a better score than a 135# athlete by completing the wod 10 sec faster. My belief is that the lighter athlete was more impressive but scored lower based on the current scoring system used and that's not accurate in my opinion. I understand the difference between using a 185# athlete in the example as opposed to a 275# athlete...it was a good illustrative example of my thought process.

Maybe another alternative would be to separate into weight classes or use a lower percentage for the heavier athletes in a bodyweight:load type competition...just something else to consider in the quest for the fittest.

Ray said...

I'm in...

Garage Crossfitter said...

here we go!!

Patrick "Phatty" Vuong said...

@ Jeff
"The 185# athlete's shoulders are bigger and can handle the HSPU just as well."

I don't agree with the above statement. I argue that relatively smaller guys have the advantage in bodyweight movements ie. pull ups, push ups, hspu, air squats, running, box jumps, etc. The bigger guy has bigger shoulders but is also lifting more weight cause he weighs heavier than the smaller guy.

The quest to find the fittest man will have to come down to the fairest programming and that is hard to do.

I like your idea of percentage based weights (ie. 1.5x or 2x bodyweight deadlift), I think it's better than a fixed weight for external weight movements. Just as bodyweight movements are relative to one's strength/bw ratio, percentage based external weights also make the movements relative to strength/bw.

I don't think Crossfit should ever be divided into weight classes as that defeats its purpose which is to find out who is the fittest irregardless and unbiased towards any energy system/general, physical skill. I think the goal is to program events/tests so that neither the "bigger" nor "smaller" guy has the advantage. That means an even mixture of bodyweight and external weight movements. Again, that may be easy for me to say but is really hard to do and how do you even measure what's fair or not?

And if you want to talk about it even further about it, I argue that whoever has the shortest limbs have an advantage as most crossfit movements favor those with short limbs from a biomechanics perspective. But I digress...

Lisa M said...

I am sad that I missed the comp this weekend and the opportunity to hang at the big dawg mansion. I was busy learning some amazing nutrition info so it was worth it. Plus having seen the wods I would have been out anyways as pullups are not in my immediate future :( saw my physio today and he thinks my humerus is partially subluxed anteriorly. He tried to put it back but no go. Will keep trying plus some homework and hopefully by the beginning of sectional "season" I will be good to go. In some ways it has been good because I have had to do only strict pullups so hopefully it will make me stronger in th end. Great work this past weekend eveyone. And Michelle S if you are reading this PLEASE email me!!