Tuesday 141202

Happy Birthday Bay!


10-32k-KB Swings
20-65 lbs Over-head Squat (OHS)
30-65 lbs Power Snatch

1000m Row

30-65 lbs Power Snatch
20-65 lbs OHS
10-32k KB swings

Scale the workout. If this is your first attempt at high rep Olympic lifting, use an un-loaded barbell or a 15 lbs training barbell. For the Swings use a KB or DB that takes some effort to complete all 10.

Compare to: TITANFIT: Monday 090608

Tomorrow, Wednesday we start our Double Under fun!

Thoughts?  From Philly.com.  Thanks KTF for the link.

5 moves you should avoid at the gym

Is weightlifting essential to your workout? (istockphoto.com)
Is weightlifting essential to your workout? (istockphoto.com)

Why do I say that? Here are just a few of the injuries we’ve seen in the office from doing the wrong things in the gym: a middle aged women who tore her ACL doing jumping jacks onto a plyometric box, a 60 year old who tore his meniscus when he was forced into deep knee flexion during yoga, and a broken tibia from the bar hitting her leg during Olympic lifting. It’s not that some people can’t do these things; it’s just that most of us shouldn’t be doing them.

Here are my top 5 things you should avoid at the gym.

1. Deep squats

I always have this debate with strength and conditioning coaches. Why do they have their athletes squat past 90 with resistance?  It’s not functional except for maybe wrestlers and football lineman, and even with them, is it worth the risk of injury? For the rest of us who are just trying to stay in shape it is a recipe for knee pain and meniscus tears. Deep squats put significant strain on the knee ligaments, significant pressure on your patellofemoral joint (knee cap), and it puts your meniscus at significant risk for tearing.

Let’s talk about the meniscus tear more specifically. As we squat down, the knee not only flexes but the femur glides posteriorly on the tibia. From about 90 degrees and beyond, we are putting almost all of the pressure on the posterior horn of the meniscus. Now just add a little rotation and pop, there goes your meniscus. And we know that our menisci start to degenerate over time (starting at about 35-40) placing us at even greater risk for a meniscus tear. Do the theoretical benefits of deep squatting out weigh the risks, absolutely not!  So let’s please stop at 90 degrees.

2. Dead lifts

This is another exercise where I also debate people on the risk/benefit of the exercise. Yes, it’s a great exercise to strengthen your hip extensors (glutes and hamstrings) but it’s an even better way to injure your back. Repetitive flexion activities have been shown to be a significant factor in back injuries, specifically bulging and herniated disks. Even if you perform the exercise with perfect mechanics, which none of us do all the time, you’re still setting yourself up for a problem. Just like the meniscus in the knee, the discs in the spine start to degenerate with age. Combine this with an exercise that puts significant strain on the posterior annulus of the disc and you’re in for a lifetime of intermittent back pain. Instead of dead lifts, let’s focus on exercises that will still strengthen your hip extensors with less risk of injury. Lunges, step ups, bridging, and squats above 90 can all accomplish this while limiting the risk of low back injury.

3. Overhead presses

Overhead military press, dumbbell shoulder press, etc., all put your rotator cuff at risk for injury. Every time we lift our arms over head we have the potential for some impingement of our rotator cuff under our acromion. Now add weight and we’re just tempting fate. There is also a common theme with all these problematic exercises I’m writing about: our tissue starts to wear down and degenerate with age.

This is once again true for the rotator cuff. So why do an exercise to strengthen our shoulders that puts our rotator cuff at significant risk for injury? If you want to strengthen your deltoid you just need to do some pushing and pulling exercises. Overhead exercises aren’t functional and the risk of injury just isn’t worth it. Don’t try to “isolate” your shoulders and instead strengthen them functionally with pushing and pulling exercises such as push-ups and incline pull-ups on the smith press or TRX.

4. Bench press to your chest

I don’t like the bench press because it’s not a functional exercise, but that’s another discussion. The risk with bench press is that when your elbows break the plane of your chest, you’re putting significant strain on the stabilizing structures of the shoulder, specifically the labrum and capsule. Now add heavy weight and it’s a labral tear waiting to happen. And like everything else, the labrum degenerates over time. Clicking in your shoulder? It’s probably a labral tear. If you have to bench, keep the weight reasonable and don’t let your elbows break the plane of your chest. Better yet, do a standing cable column press as it is a much more functional position; just don’t go too deep and your shoulders will thank you.

5. Anything with heavy weights

I’ll be the first to admit that I loved lifting heavy weights when I wrestled in college. It was always a competition of who could bench and squat more.  Looking back, bench pressing did nothing for me as a wrestler as I should have been doing more pulling exercises. After two shoulder surgeries, a hip labral tear which has likely progressed to arthritis (no MRI as I don’t want to know), focal arthritis in my knee as well numerous other chronic injuries, my joints wish I had focused on functional training and not weight lifting.

There is starting to be a paradigm shift in the strength and conditioning world. People are turning away from weight lifting and focusing on functional training and injury prevention. Stanford University’s director of football sports performance Shannon Turley is on the forefront of this movement. Instead of having freshman players hit the weight room when they get to school, they focus on regaining flexibility, improving core stability, and relearning correct movement patterns. He has had to write letters to NFL scouts about his program and why his players don’t have a record setting combine bench press but excel on the field and are injury free.

EXOS, formerly Athlete’s Performance, is the provider for strength and conditioning for the Men’s U.S. National Soccer team. Their approach to sports performance is to fix an athlete’s problems/weaknesses.  There is little return in trying to improve quad strength in soccer players who already have super strong quads. Instead, you’ll see more gains by focusing on correcting their weaknesses such as limited hip mobility and glute med weakness. Even though we’re not professional athletes, let’s take a page out of their training programs and try to fix our deficits such as flexibility, core strength, and movement patterns and leave the heavy weights on the rack.

As I’m writing this, I’m envisioning the comments that I’ll be getting. But as I always tell my patients, “Is it better to look good or to feel good?” Let’s move away from working out the way we always have and start thinking about our long term health, as many of the exercises we do are counterproductive to our overall goal of living a healthy, happy, and pain free life.

Wednesday 140319

The wind did not corporate.  Quarter Pounder has been postponed.


Power Snatch + 2 OHS.  Get a heavy single

7-Wall Ball Shots

I am not a fan of “March Madness”  nor do I think the playoff system is a good idea for college football.  Who cares if 2 teams claim the national championship, or the wrong team was voted the best?   Remember what my dad said?  No one seeks advice…

From The Atlantic

The Real Matchup in March Madness: Fandom vs. Big Data

When athletic achievements are translated into statistics, can they be translated back to human triumphs again?
AP / Danny Moloshok

The person who wins your office March Madness pool may not be able to tell Kansas star Joel Embiid of Kansas from Arizona star Nick Johnson by looking at them—but he or she might know each player’s effective field-goal percentage.

In fact, the casual fan is as likely to be familiar with data about an NCAA men’s basketball team’s offensive efficiency as to know its team colors or whether it plays zone or man-to-man.

Basketball fandom has been transformed in recent years by the combination of the bracket and the profusion of statistics about teams. For many fans, “filling out a bracket” has practically replaced the act of watching games. The abstraction of the teams into data that’s pushed through the logic of the “pool” is what the tournament is now, just as much as players’ bodies moving through space in the effort to throw a ball through a hoop.

March Madness: America’s most popular exercise in statistical reasoning!

Take the Huffington Post’s remarkable achievement: The Predict-o-Tron. Users set a series of parameters like a school’s graduate Read more Wednesday 140319

Friday 140228

If you are close…finish Burpeeuary!

Workout 14.1

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 10 minutes of:
15-75-lb. power snatches

Post rounds and reps completed to comments and/or register and submit your results as part of the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games Open.

Compare to 110316.

From Mark’s Daily Apple

The Best Exercise There Is, Hands Down


Throw reality out the window for a second and entertain a hypothetical. Imagine you can only do one exercise for the rest of your life. If you had to choose a single exercise to do for the rest of your life, right here today, what would it be? It’s a popular question with a divergent set of answers depending on who’s being asked, and for the most part I see where everyone’s coming from.

If you ask the AARP, it’s the plank, which is easy on the joints, involves every body part, strengthens the core which can help prevent falls, is very safe for seniors (the intended audience of AARP), and you can do them anywhere without equipment. I have no fault with the plank.

If you ask the NY Times to ask various experts, it’s the squat, or maybe the burpee, or maybe sprinting uphill. These are all exercises that stress the entire body, that can be performed with high intensity to elicit the highest possible training effect in the least amount of time. You could do a lot worse than squatting, doing burpees, or sprinting.

If you were to ask Mark Rippetoe, I’d imagine you’d hear “the low-bar back squat” because it supposedly elicits the greatest hormonal response, builds oft-neglected posterior chain strength, makes your entire body stronger, and simply “makes a man outta ya.”

If you ask Rich Froning (top CrossFit athlete), it’s the barbell thruster, a fairly simple to learn “two in one” exercise combining a squat with an overhead press.

If you ask Charles Poliquin, it’s the snatch grip deadlift done on a platform, which increases the range of motion over the regular deadlift and builds overall strength and size better than any other exercise he’s seen.

Those are good candidates. A person could get and stay very strong, fit, fast, and healthy doing any one of those exercises for perpetuity, even to the exclusion of all others. But a thruster isn’t the best exercise there is, hands down. Nor are squats (of any kind), deadlifts (of any kind), or planks. Sprints are cool, but they aren’t the best.

The single best exercise there is, hands down, is the one you’ll do.

If I were giving a talk, this is where I’d pause until Read more Friday 140228

Wednesday 140205


15 minutes of:

First 5:00 – 5-95 lbs Power Snatch
Middle 5:00 – 5-95 lbs Power Clean and Jerk
Last 5:00 – 5-95 lbs Thrusters

Get some Burpees…Rut and Grant already have 300+

TitanFit Trainers WOD…Dustin’s choice

250m row
10-GI Janes

From CrossFit


“If you’re too concerned with being successful, and you never test yourself, you’ll never get better.”

Photos courtesy of Ken Snow.

While watching Rich Froning’s symmetry, Dan Bailey’s muscularity and Scott Panchik’s definition at the 2013 Central East Regional, it hit him.

“The best bodybuilders in the world aren’t bodybuilding anymore,” professional bodybuilder Rich Lauro realized. “They’re (doing CrossFit.)”

Lauro dabbled in CrossFit before attending the Regional as a spectator, but after Read more Wednesday 140205

Wednesday 131113

As today’s workout has 1000m of rowing, cool down with 800m after the workout or 800m as part of your warm up.  Make sure your shoulders are good and ready today.  This workout will make them burn!


For time:
10-32k-KB Swings
20-65 lbs Over-head Squat (OHS)
30-65 lbs Power Snatch

1000M row

30-65 lbs Power Snatch
20-65 lbs OHS
10-32k KB swings

Scale the workout. If this is your first attempt at high rep Olympic lifting, use an un-loaded barbell or a 15 lbs training barbell. For the Swings use a KB or DB that takes some effort to complete all 10.

Compare to: Monday 090608

Love this idea!

By MICHELLE CASTILLO / CBS NEWS/ November 8, 2013, 4:37 PM

Price of riding the Moscow subway? 30 squats

A man squats in front of a vending machine that sells the subway tickets for squats instead of money during the machine's presentation at the Vystavochaya metro station in western Moscow, on Nov. 8, 2013.

A man squats in front of a vending machine that sells the subway tickets for squats instead of money during the machine’s presentation at the Vystavochaya metro station in western Moscow, on Nov. 8, 2013. / YURI KADOBNOV/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Get ready to drop down and give 30 squats if you want to ride the Moscow metro.

In an effort to promote both the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Sochi and physical fitness, Moscow city officials and the Russian Olympic Committee are allowing subway riders to pay 30 squats instead of 30 rubles (about 92 cents) for a trip on thetrain.

Riders perform the squats in front of a special machine which can tell if the person is in the correct position. The machine is located right next to the electronic vending machines at Vystavochnaya station in western Moscow.

“We wanted to show that the Olympic Games is not just an international competition that people watch on TV, but that it is also about getting everyone involved in a sporting lifestyle,” Alexander Zhukov, president of the Russian Olympic Committee, said to Russian state news wire RIA-Novosti, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Olympic champion gymnasts Yelena Zamolodchikova squats in front of a vending machine that sells the subway tickets for squats instead of money during the machine’s presentation at the Vystavochaya metro station in western Moscow, on Nov. 8, 2013.  / YURI KADOBNOV/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

The task isn’t so simple, according to some people who dared to try it out.

“It was hard at first but I managed it,” Lyudmila, a young woman who tried out the machine, told AFP. “Two minutes is enough time.”

The Russian Olympic Committee has been offering several physical challenges to the public in order to promote a healthier lifestyle, AFP reported. Other events have included turning handles hanging on buses into exercise bands and providing bikes that can create electricity to charge cell phones. The goal is to “add elements of sport into daily life.”

The option for squat payment will be available throughout the month of November.

Wednesday 130828


Power Snatch – start at 65 lbs and add 15 lbs until 3rd set and 10 lbs thereafter.  Rest as needed between sets.


Power Cleans – start at 95 lbs and add 20 lbs until 3rd set and 10 lbs thereafter.  Rest as needed between sets.


Run: 400
10 – Burpees
10 – 45 lbs Thruster

Sandbag Runs Tomorrow!

How interval training benefits women: new study

BOWLING GREEN, O. — Interval training is a well-known way to get the maximum benefits of exercise in the shortest amount of time. New research shows that when it comes to running, women may get more out of high intensity interval training (HIIT) than their male counterparts.

“Sex-specific Responses to Interval Training” was conducted by Drs. Matt Laurent and Matt Kutz, Human Movement, Sport and Leisure Studies at Bowling Green State University; Lauren Vervaecke, Division of Applied Physiology, University of South Carolina; and Dr. Matt Green, Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation at the University of North Alabama. The study will be published in an upcoming Journal of Strength and Conditioning.

Earlier interval training studies primarily focused on highly trained males, but researchers say that overlooks the variety of other populations that routinely use interval training.

Researchers put eight men and eight women between the ages of 19 and 30 through self-paced, high intensity interval training using different recovery periods. All of them reported at least a moderate fitness level and participation in at least one session of interval training a week.

Participants Read more Wednesday 130828