Thursday, June 25, 2009

this is why I'm hot.

What a lot of snatching;
since monday, I have had 7 sessions on the bar in 4 days. Most of which included high hangs or snatches from the floor with 115lbs or more (1RM is 145, so that's at least 80%, typically for doubles/triples)

After an 11 set session this morning that culminated in a 265lbs snatch grip RDL, I actually came back tonight (after 3 hours of classes taught) and hit 140lbs from the floor, or 96%. I should have been exhausted. Well, I was. But the thing went up mostly b/c I jumped under it. It's reassuring.

High Frequency Snatch training from Full Circle on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Damn son!

A recent comment from Crandall:

""Jason, I think you got nine here, that is very good. Just keep your core tight and get your shoulders up in your ears and you will be able to get to 15 BW OHS. It took me over a year of training to get there, but now it is easy. I have faith in you!! Be SAFE and ROCK OUT!!!""

Crandall finds 15 reps in the Overhead Squat easy.

When Crandall posts a video of himself doing this, he will begin co-hosting this show with me; It'll be like a he-said/she-said thing. I can see it now:

Jason: "Now, about core training... I prefer heavy deadlifts, supplemented with the occasional V Up."
Crandall: "Crandall likes to ROCK it! with sit ups. You know that Crandall speaks the truth Jason, even if your russian ears are full of wax."

Fucking rich.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Another claim

I haven't been focusing on this as such, and hence why I forgot it, but I definitely am pretty passionate about completing 15 reps at or above bodyweight in the overhead squat.

how it started

recent goings on

see you soon Nicole!
(presuming that I could afford a return to a lvl 1, had time and could get into one before 2010)

OHS - Reps X BW from Full Circle on Vimeo.

Monday, June 22, 2009


That steak is mine.

Last night Stephanie and I made Ribeyes. Damn. I had been reading up on barbeque and there's frequent mention of brining to ensure moisture retention.
I don't know if it was the brine marinade, the fat content/marbling, the low-slow-mid rare temp or what, but holy shit! That was like meat-butter in my mouth.

Now, onto the real point. Inspired by some sort of Jon Gilson-Melissa/Dallas triangle, I decided to 'stake my claim' on the 603 website. So now it's on the line...

Here's what I said:

1000lb CFT (currently 809lbs)
3xBW DL (~2.6x)
250lbs C&J (195lbs)
185lbs+ Snatch (145lbs)
50 pull ups (30)
30 Muscle Ups for time sub 5 minutes (?)

The snatch and the HSPU totally captivate my imagination and attention right now, and have for quite a few weeks. Maybe months.

I propose the following WOD:

"Diane of the Beast"

Freestanding Parallette Handstand Push Up
for 12-9-6 reps for time

I say I will be able to do in under 10 minutes within a year. How's that for a claim?

Actually, I think that's some pretty bold shit. But you've seen me; I've been working like mad on the HSPU and the Snatch lately. I'd like to be good at Fran and crap like that too, but not as much as I want to be a circus freak. We'll see how that all goes.

I will leave you with one of my favourite scenes from the Simpsons (paraphrased due to memory):

Marge: "You know Homer, you don't have to run off and join the carnival simply because the opportunity presents itself."
Homer: "You know Marge, in a lot of ways you and I are two very different people..."

Saturday, June 20, 2009

My Religion

Gentle readers;
I am learning what it feels like to be stalked. So I receive an email from Crandall about twice a week, and a comment on every WOD and every post here.

Here's the latest e-mail:

Hello Jason, beautiful day? Crandall here. Very interesting article. I guess since you are Russian, you started fitness with Russian way of thinking? Whoah! it seems as if you have a religion here, the religion of Crossfit. Be VERY careful, religions can blind you to the truth. With religion often groupthink and bias sets in. Crandall knows this, especially since it has blinded you to the truth Crandall speaks. Oh, and I read that you think you are part of the "best"? That is super Jason, you are very confident. But remember, there is always more to learn and you can always get better. Ok Jason, super style, but remember, SAFETY first, then ROCK IT Jason!!!

Always for the best and sincerely,

Crandall, CPT, AFPA
Picture preview

"Remember, Crandall is here to HELP you, not HURT you. Now, let's ROCK!!!"

I figure since my e-mail is available online and this guy has abused that, I thought I'd make his e-mail address available so that ANYONE that had ANY questions about fitness could hit him up too.

of course, that e-mail address is totally not creepy right?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Physical Culture

What does that mean?

I get this question quite a lot. I guess my lifting started in earnest with Pavel's Power to the People to which I still refer people when they ask about basic strength training or more specifically about relative strength.
I bring this up because Pavel and several russian influenced authors have frequently made reference to a publishing house and magazine that I have in fact never seen:

"Fizkultura i Sport"

You don't have to be a linguist to guess what that means in Russian. I would compare these guys to Human Kinetics here in the states, the only difference being that they seem to have covered a wider range of sports in more depth and had more of an eye towards science a long time ago. I guess when I say 'science' I mean that other authors cite the publisher as having published literature on periodization, power and olympic lifting specifically decades ago (50's, 60's etc).

Whatever the specifics of this publishing firm may have been, this idea of 'Physical Culture' really captured my attention. But I have to admit, not unlike answering 'What is Crossfit' I do sometimes stumble to explain 'What is Physical Culture?'.
I would like others to understand the appeal to me, so I will do my best to explain. I'd like to start with the culture part.
I hit Wikipedia first. I got a lot of information about English Romanticism. WTF. Anyways, I had always learned culture (history, language, psychology or anthopolgy classes) as the following concept:

Language, food and custom. A commonly shared set of practices, beliefs or ways of doing something.

With this understanding I always felt that culture was something shared. Hence, one could not so much 'gain culture' or possess it. One could only hope to understand it better. I liked this idea A LOT as well.

In martial arts (and other more 'mystical' physical disciplines like Yoga etc) it is often made very clear that there are practitioners who have come before you. Call them coach, Sifu, Guru or Sensei there is always someone that has already traveled the path you intend to set upon. As such, there is a guide and even the best are reminded that we are standing on somone else's shoulders. With the admission that the human body hasn't changed much over the course of our recorded history the best martial arts (and by extension physical disciplines of any kind) admit that there's really nothing new under the sun.

There isn't. It has ALL been done before. To hope to invent something new in the strictest sense is to delude yourself and to dilute our shared pool. Everytime I see an infomercial for some piece of exercise equipment I think about this. What was once comical ( youtube ) has actually of late made me angrier and angrier. Well... not that video, as that is pretty funny. But seriously. If you are a serious trainee or even coach, how many times has a less discerning but earnest fitness enthusiast asked you a sincere question about some total piece of crap toy or some ridiculous exercise that is obviously a total waste of time?

Think about it; in this sense our shared way of doing things has been so polluted that we spend more time refuting false claims, answering ridiculous questions and convincing others that we are in fact not crazy that we lose significant swathes of training time that could have been devoted to (get this) training. As unscrupulous schiester look for a quick buck, the rest of us scramble behind them frantically trying to REDUCE the complexity of this field.

I must admit that in this way, I feel like someone protecting a 'dying culture'. One that in some way or another has found itself made less competitive by the vagueries of history. I think of the steady erosion of specific cultures throughout the world (the Maori or the American Indian or what have you) and I feel the same sense of loss and anger. The funny thing is that these cultures are neither obsolete nor inferior. They were well adapted to their environment until an external force changed that environment more rapidly than the culture could adapt. And it remains to be seen whether or not the culture that in essence replaced it (if you are reading this... 'your's') is in fact truly 'better' in any way.

To clarify; Is Gold's gym truly better suited to it's environment? I argue yes. Does that make it a better species? Darwin wouldn't use words like that, nor would Jared Diamond. Is the environment changing? I would also argue yes.

Are we the dinosaur or the mammal? Am I mixing too many metaphors?

I would argue that Crossfit is more like so much algae. Simple. Efficient. Adaptable. PROVEN. Prettier plants have come and gone. But algae has found a way to make what it needs out of what is available. And to not only survive, but thrive. For milennia.

Olympic Weightlifting has only changed so much since the 60's. Before barbells there were weights of all kinds: Stones, scales or other people, the challenge to pick something up off the ground and put it over head has been with us since we started recording stories. Gymnastics has changed only so much for the last few hundred years. Yoga like disciplines the same. Martial arts disciplines the same. The list could go on.

This is Physical Culture. This is what we should be sharing, enjoying and protecting. Becuase it's at the heart and soul of how we enjoy inhabiting our bodies. Think if someone came along and just wiped out the collective knowledge of cooking, and all that remained was simply nutritious, flavourless paste. How many of us would kill ourselves? You can't avoid the eating issue. And you'll not likely soon escape your body. It's your's and your gonna have to deal with it.

The point is this; there are plenty of things that people have enjoyed and in fact devoted their lives to for generations. And as the world 'gets smaller' we get to share them all. Hence my adoration of the Olympics, which does encapsulate one of the loftiest ambitions of international diplomacy. So why look for something new? Why not look around, and take notice of so much of what has been there all along?

I will leave you with the motto of Fizkultura i Sport, care of Wikipedia:

"Когда серебряные трубы возвещают победу, они зовут на пьедестал не только победителя, они славят СПОРТ: разум и силу, мужество и волю, верность, отвагу и честь; они славят ЛЮДЕЙ, отдавших сердца спорту, зовущих своими делами, своим примером на жизненный подвиг!"[1]

A rough translation into English would be:
"When silver trumpets announce the victory, they invite on the pedestal not just a winner, they sing the praises of SPORTS: of mind and of strength,
of courage and of will, of faithfulness, of bravery and of honour;
they sing the praises of PEOPLE, who gave up their hearts to sports,
who call upon the life exploit by their example!"

May we continue to be so lucky. That our culture should be enriched by people, efforts and share experiences such as these!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Crandall; Only trying to help

A recent e-mail I received:


Hello, I hope you are having beautiful day! Crandall here. I wanted to let you know I understand why you are trying to make Crandall go away. I am not orthodox, I am cutting edge. I do not fit into the typical fitness mindset. Everything new and different is scary at first. Crandall knows this. So your natural reaction is to panic and flee and try to make Crandall disappear. I understand. Other people have their ways of doing things, but Crandall gets RESULTS!

I read on your site about the Crossfit, and how people make fun of it and criticize it. Realize, that is like YOU criticizing ME for not fitting within your mainstream.

So, it would appear that the real 800 pound Gorilla in the room is Crandall.

I am thinking about opening up a new fitness site online called "crandallsfitnessemporium" and I will let you know when it is up.

Remember, Jason, things are not bad just because they are "new" or "different". Trying to run from Crandall and the truth I speak only makes you look scared to your clients and the people reading your blog. If you truly believe what you are saying, you would be able to stand having me around. But I threaten you, and threaten the fitness orthodoxy. I know that now.

Always for the best and sincerely,

Crandall, CPT, AFPA
Picture preview

"Remember, Crandall is here to HELP you, not HURT you. Now, let's ROCK!!!"

Friday, June 12, 2009

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Greg Glassman on Kipping Pull Ups

Coach Greg Glassman, founder of Crossfit talks about why the kipping pull up

If you already get this, you should check out our new T shirts

Monday, June 8, 2009

Hand Stand Push Up

Beast Skills

great tutorial


notice the angle and depth of both, as well as the extension of the hip in the Parallette version. You pretty much have to be straight, can't go arched.

Thanks for visiting

Now shut the hell up.

Anyone who reads my posts regularly, I encourage you to mock any retarded comments (including my own) that you see on any of these posts.

I need your help in re-establishing my faith in the internet. So, this goes out to all you Nphocus, Matt, Gant, Melissas and others that know what's what and have a great sense of humor to tell these idiots to shut the fuck up.

Because I am over them. And almost over the internet.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009



thanks to Crossfit Swift for bringing this to my attention via Facebook!

Thank you to NPR for introducing me to Elwood, America's second ugliest dog.