Well the open season is upon us… and as most of you are pretty aware I, like many other enthusiasts, love to make crazy predictions that will most likely not come out of the hopper each week… I don’t think I’ve even come close, but it’s fun either way.

Update from selection… I am recovering well; my body took quite a beating. The hardest part is trying to focus on the end goal and not get caught up with the reality that I’ve lost some muscle mass, loss some strength, loss some speed but I had to make sacrifices and I don’t regret it at all!

What’s this mean for me? I’m going to just have fun with the open, and if I qualify good, if not, it was just another sacrifice I was willing to take.

The “why” on my prediction… Matt Fraser/Rich Froning… Castro wants to put on a good show, and that’s what we are going to get. HQ has done this time and time again and I’ve never been disappointed. So all the people saying “7min burpees again”, “7min burpee box jumps” etc… Wrong. That would be boring. It’s going to be hard, potentially heavy/taxing, and its promising to be a close call between Fraser and Froning. And now with a scaled open!? Castro can make it anything! We’re talking potential for a multiple “Amanda” wod with increasing weight of some sort (9-7-5 squat snatches and muscle ups)… A variant of Grace perhaps? (both awesome to watch Olympic lift)… A lifting ladder for the first time in Open history? Handstand pushups?? Who knows…

These would all be awesome and it’d be cool to see in the open, but I like to be a wild card. My prediction…


11 minute cap


Deadlifts 225

Burpee Muscle up


Deadlifts 275

Burpee Muscle up


Deadlifts 315

Burpee Muscle up

Course 49 Selection

Selection was no joke. Not only is it the longest selection the Canadian Forces has, but it’s in the worst climate. The goal of selection? To evaluate candidates on their ability to preform in “less then ideal” conditions under stress, load, cold, tired, messed up situations for extended periods of time… It was nuts!

It all began with an “easy” phase about 4 days long in Edmonton, Alberta. You show up with a ridiculous amount of kit and they issue you a bunch of other kit. The 1st PT test was a 1.5mile run (under 10 min), 31 consecutive push ups, 33 sit ups, 8 pull ups, and a shuttle run and 2 rope climbs. This is all for time and must be done as fast as possible, i swear Dave Castro helped program it! OH, i forgot to mention that after this you have to swim 675m for time. I came in 12 pounds heavy (expecting to loose a bunch of weight in the field) but ran my fastest 1.5mile at 8:39, i was pumped but looking back, had no idea how much work was up ahead. The 2nd PT test was the standard Beep Test, grip strength, max push ups (HA! good luck), max sit ups. Here you also got your last shower, they gave you a lengthy 10min to shower, change and get outside!

We left for Jarvis Lake Monday night at around 11pm. Started with 30 people but were down to 20. The bus ride was silent, instructors said nothing, we just sat there for 3 hours. Eventually the bus stopped, we put our rucks on and were told to follow this road that hasn’t been touched all winter (waist deep snow). After a couple hours of walking we get to the camp, quickly shown around and assigned cabins, we are to report at 0745. It was about 4am so i remember thinking “wicked, 2 hours of sleep”. I don’t even think I got both legs in the sleeping bag when all hell broke loose… This phase lasted all week. It was 12 hours of classes, then a bunch of projects in the afternoon, anywhere from 45min to 90min of sleep per night… carnage. Anytime you thought, “thank god we’re done, another day” you were wrong! There was always something else coming. By Friday afternoon we had been up since essentially Monday morning with constant activity, no walking ever always running, and you had to give 100% all the time if you want to not only pass but also get picked to be a SAR Tech.

Friday night we were told “no-duff, we won’t fuck with you tonight, get some god-dam sleep”. They weren’t lying, SAR Techs don’t lie. This sounds great, and trust me 9 hours of sleep felt amazing, but i knew that meant the next phase was going to be crazy. Saturday morning was the beginning of the appropriately titled “Trek Phase”. The thing with selection is they teach you EVERYTHING you need to know once. After being taught once you are expected to know it and can be evaluated at any time. Fail an evaluation = home time. Keep in mind that you were taught during “motivation” phase with no sleep lol.

Trek phase was pretty nuts… They issue even more kit so your pack is around 90 to 110 pounds, and the name of the game is straight-line navigation. It didn’t matter what obstacles were in front of you, you walk in a straight line. So basically Trek phase was 5 to 7 hours of bush bashing, up and down mountains, in knee deep snow with your pack in a team of 3 or 4. Once you got to your checkpoint you’d have to set up camp. You had to chop down trees, build shelter, acquire enough firewood for the night, took about 4-5 hours after your walk before you can eat dinner and pass out. In the morning, you tore down the camp and did it all again. I was getting solid rest during this part but the Trekking just got worse and worse, wearing you down quickly. This went on for i think 4 days… On the 5th day is your individual navigation evaluation, you have to navigate, break trail, count pacing, all by yourself (which sucks compared to splitting it up between 4 people), and since it ALWAYS pays to win, I took no breaks, I wanted to be first. When you get to your checkpoint you answer a couple questions and move on to the worse kit inspection ever! its -30 outside and you take a part every piece of kit, empty every pocket, and eat every micro-ounce of food you have left. I downed a hot chocolate package, just powder no water. After they ensure you have nothing, you pack up and it is “total isolation” phase (solo phase).

No food, no help, just your gear and knowledge. You’re expected to survive 4 days in Northern Alberta by yourself. Don’t get me wrong, your days are busy, it wasn’t boring, but it was very hard to stay motivated. Everything was tiring and difficult. You had to build your own snowshoes, a fishing net, etc. Eventually one morning you see some orange show up, the first people you’ve seen or talked to in 4 days… My own voice caught me off guard. They evaluate your camp and tell you to pack up, and start walking. This sucked. After no food, that 110 pound pack took forever to get on my back, and then i walked for ever. Each step was a chore, very disoriented, blurry eyes… I eventually got to an instructor who gave me directions down this path. I followed it forever, it was tough but as you came over the highway it was so beautiful to look at, the Rockies, man it was nice. I passed one instructor who calmly said “you’re heading to the finish line…” That felt fucking good.

I got to the edge of the lake where another instructor told me to put on my home-made snowshoes and walk across the lake. I was with 1 buddy but no one else in sight, we had a couple laughs trying to use these ridiculous snowshoes… At the finish line was a final exam on everything you learnt, it was hard to read or focus, but had to be done.

Left the exam, handed in all of my issued kit, scarfed down a ration pack and was led down to the basement. The instructor had a couple words… “there’s 2 ways to go into this next room… you quit or you finish selection…” He opened the door… a sink, a toilet, and a shower… I can’t describe that feeling, I was done. Turned my phone on and was blown away with the support I had received, thank you so much to everyone, it truly means the world to me.

Got the best shower I’ve ever had, changed into civilian clothes, had a nice dinner, and then the final interview. From what I understand, most selections don’t find out who’s chosen until months later, but ours was different. That night before you went to bed you were going to know whether you are becoming a SAR Tech or not… GULP!

I followed the 3 rules during the interview: #1 always look cool, #2 Don’t get lost, #3 If you get lost, look cool… At the end of the interview I was congratulated and told I would be in course 49 alongside some awesome course-mates, another huge step towards my goal.

Selection was an incredible, life-changing, and humbling experience. I learnt an incredible amount of information, as well as learnt some stuff about myself. There’s a lot of work ahead of me, and I have a lot of stuff to work on but I’m going to give it all I got.


“Nomination Jarvis Lake” read the subject line of an unopened email on my desktop Wednesday morning. Everything went silent to me as I read it a couple more times. Half of me was afraid to open the email, the other half was wondering why i was frozen and seemingly unable to move the mouse… After what seemed like forever, i double-clicked the email and read that I was picked to attend the Canadian Forces Search and Rescue selection.

Words can not describe what i felt… I can not describe how i felt. I held back the flood of emotion coursing through my body as I shuffled around to look for someone who would give a shit that I got picked… I had to call Becky, I had to call my mom.

Day in and day out, month after month i’ve talked about being a Sar Tech. Each person I talked to explaining how incredibly hard it is to be accepted, how unrealistic it is to apply. It’s the most sought after job in the military… Being constantly asked “why do you train so hard? what are you doing?” only for me to answer “I’m going Sar Tech,,,” Hundreds of applications, 28 people taken, 10 people will pass, I will be one of them.

My mom and Beck picked up the phone the same way, “hello? omg Dyl whats wrong”… but only one thing came to my head… “I did it, they fucking picked me…” it was an emotional moment i’ll never forget.

So whats this mean? where do I go from here? Jarvis Lake selection is a 2 week course designed to determine the suitability of a candidate for the 11month long Sar Tech course. The selection consists of carrying 100-250pounds of kit for miles and miles through snow in the middle of nowhere while completing several tests and evaluations. The course concludes with a 4 day individual phase where I will be expected to survive with no food and minimal equipment. I got this…

Although I’ve been training for years for this, i will be changing one thing in my plan over the next 8 weeks in preperation, more rucking, Selection is a lot of walking under load. So I’m going to move forward with how i’ve been training and I’m going to add a bunch of rucking with heavy loads. Did my first ruck today, 6km with 65pounds and learned that walking through snow sucks! The last thing i’m doing is using Luminosity to train my brain while I’m incredibly fatigued, answering simple math equations and mental dexterity drills while working out… I think this will be benefitical when i’ve been walking for days with no sleep and have to answer questions and do math.

I’ve made it this far and there’s no stopping. I will not quit, I will be a Sar Tech.


So How Bout Dem CrossFit Games!?

Ahhhhh, finally here. Although i’d much rather be writing this blog in a hotel room in California while I’m rolling out on a foam roller prepping for a “Muscle Up Biathlon” and OVH Squat. And even more wishing that this post was about me and my fellow competitors at the CrossFit Games… It’s not… Maybe next year… For now this will be all about my favorites at the Games and who’s going to win…



OMG Norcal Crossfit is one hell of a team! Take a bunch of athletes we’ve all loved from day one, who are all beasts, but maybe have just not had the stars line up these last couple years… Toss em into a team and you have Norcal CrossFit minus Mikko :'(, except he’s from half way around the world… ANYWAYS. This team is solid, there are teams with stronger numbers and absolute strength, but the skill level and capacity of Norcal Crossfit trumps the “strength” teams. They want it, and i think they will have the Cup next Sunday. Boom Shaka Laka



Sooooooo hard to choose. In most cases the female side of CrossFit supersedes the male side in terms of competitiveness and how close the point spread will be. It’s a shame Sam Briggs is out, however there are so many strong and amazing female athletes that I don’t think her absence will leave a hole at all!

I have to pick my favorite Annie Thorisdottir! My god is she cool! I believe The CrossFit Games this year is will be far more “CrossFit” then we are accustomed to see at the Games. Castro will be going back to basics; couplets/triplets/skill/lift. Annie got a lot of harsh from the open but you have to realize that Annie trains for Regionals/Games not the Open. She wants her title back, and I think she has it… Except. I can’t leave out Julie Foucher, she is Back! Both these athletes are incredible and will stand out among the rest, 1st and 2nd will come down to these two and a small point spread. PUMPED!



Josh Bridges. That is all.

But seriously, everyone is saying “oh he’s too small, he’ll never take it”. Bullshit! This guy is the best CrossFitter in the world (yes some of the heavy shit can affect him), but he will take several 1st places and I really think he will stand among the top! Of course im not leaving out Rich, Jason, Ben, or Hobbart, I just really really really really like Bridges, he’s the man!



It will be a crazy CrossFit Games! EVERYONE who qualified for the Games is amazing, but it takes something indescribable to win… Few have it… Only one will show it this week.

The Truth about Isagenix

They come in shakes, meal replacements, bars, chocolates, soups, and teas to name a few. There’s also lines of vitamins, skin care and beauty care products – too numerous to mention. The people who talk about it claim it changed there lives, but then again, they’re making money off it…

Before I start please keep in mind that I have EVERYONE’s best interest in mind, I’m not trying to bash or be hurtful. To avoid argument, I will only use facts instead of my usual opinion.

I’ve been training at a high level for the last 3 years so naturally I’m a sceptic of anything like this. I eat real food, you know bacon and eggs, simple stuff but I train my ass off. If this stuff is so good why the hell have I never even considered buying into this? The answer is easy; I’ve done my research… I took some boxes and empty canisters out of the garbage and read everything I could on there website/brochures. Here is what I found 🙂

What is it/Quick Facts?
• The weight loss and “cleanse” programs retail for anywhere from $150-$700 just to get you started.
• Some shakes sell for $54 for 14 packets.
• The IsaLean Shakes (meal replacement) products are all natural, full of herbs, vegetable powders and root extracts to name a few. You’ll find everything from broccoli, sprouts, cabbage, pumpkin, seeds, quinoa, and millet in the shakes.
• The IsaLean Soups (squash) for instance has so many ingredients, my eyes went out of focus just trying to read them, but at least they are “natural”. In comparison, my squash soup recipe has 4-5 ingredients: squash, chicken or vegetable stock, salt, pepper and maybe some red pepper or other spice. My soup is all natural, just a little easier on my body.

• The “Cleanse” product and “Fat Burning System” claims to help moderate calorie control on Shake Days. (Oh yeah – you’ll also abstain from food on Cleanse Days YIKES!)
• Cleanse products support the body’s natural ability to “remove toxins” (whatever that means) and impurities.
• The Cleanse product contains a powerful natural laxative in aloe vera leaf gel.

The Conclusion

The Pros
• It’s natural.
• It may jump start a weight loss program.
• It may cleanse your colon.
• It may give you more energy.
The Cons
• It’s a “diet” with supplements.
• Supplements include cleanse, shakes, bars, soups, snacks – that you pay a lot for.
• A diet is calorie restrictive – and anyone can lose weight on a calorie restrictive diet if they follow the plan. The problem occurs when you get off the plan and start eating “normal” then you’re screwed because you haven’t learnt how to EAT properly
• Isagenix keeps you in their program, by convincing you that you need their shakes (at least once a day) as a meal replacement for maintaining your weight and energy. This makes it just like Slimfast or Shakeology or other “one a day shake” plans. No different with the exception of being way more expensive!

My research?

I took the time, as you should too, to read the “shake day guidelines”. Read the fourth bullet: “Engage in an exercise program with both aerobic and resistance training” Well no SHIT! Exercise by itself, without any additional supplements will help facilitate weight loss, optimize health, feel younger, and have more energy. What the fuck are the shakes for?

Anyways, read the fifth bullet: “Drink plenty of water” OMG, water is a natural diuretic and will help you loose weight, feel less bloated, and will help remove toxins naturally from your body, without the use of supplemental products. Open your eyes people, I’ll tell you this information for free instead of paying roughly 400$/month.

Next I read the “Path to Success” note: Bullet point #3: they give you a tape measure to measure results. Remember, if you’re drinking a lot of water (natural and FREE detox/cleanser) and you’re exercising, you’ll see results without supplemental products. Bullet point #4: Buy healthy foods and remove unhealthy foods and snacks (including sodas and foods with artificial sweeteners and other junk foods) from your home. If you do this alone, you’ll see results, without supplemental products. What are you paying for people, come on 😦

So, what’s the conclusion? You don’t need this product. NO ONE NEEDS this product to lose weight, have more energy, be healthier, and/or feel younger. Save your money, please god save your money. You simply need to stick to a plan that includes the following natural and free things:

1. Eat healthy foods.
2. Avoid unhealthy foods.
3. Drink plenty of water.
4. Exercise regularly.

THAT is the secret pill, simply those 4 things, this is NOT an opinion, it is FACT.

My Thoughts on the Handstand Pushup

I was having a conversation the other day (although it was not the first time I’ve had this conversation) about doing one’s first Handstand Push up… I know of an article that talks about very similar things, but since I can’t find it I figured I would just write one myself… Here it goes…

So I have to first talk about something “CrossFitters” are absolutely terrible at… PATIENCE! MY GOD HAVE SOME PATIENCE. I am about to give you the magic pill, the be all and end all, the “do THIS and you WILL be able to handstand push up” if you REALLY want to do this, you just have to be patient… I am going to give you progressions “A” “B” “C” “D” “E” “F” “G” “H” “I” “J” “K” “L”… If you look at these and think “well I can do a,c,f and g” so I will do those… NO! You MUST master every progression in chronological order… And not just “Oh I did step A once, good to go lets see step B… Be confident that you can do each progression very consistently FIRST, then move on… PLEASE! You might spend a month learning “B” or a couple days to master “F”, WHO CARES! YOU WANT A HANDSTAND PUSHUP DON’T YOU??? So please just trust me… do this program WITHOUT TRYING A HANDSTAND PUSHUP FOR ANY REASON UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE! You won’t do a HSPU until step “H”… MASTER A through G first before even thinking of thinking about trying to HSPU… Ok enough ranting… Here we go…

PS: if it helps, come show me each progression as you master it and ill “sign off” on it and let you move on, and I will be there for your first HSPU!!! I love that Sshit!

A: 20 Strict Push Ups. This means “hollow body” top position all the way down to chest
and thighs resting on the ground, and back up. ANY break in form (struggling with a hyper-extended back ect) is a zero. To master this of course doing push ups is key but also adding some Bench-press into your training program will benefit you greatly!

B: 60second Handstand hold While Breathing. If you have trouble getting into the
handstand position or you feel you lack shoulder endurance, it’s ok, that’s why we are here, handstand walk-ups (not to be confused with wall-walks) are a great progression to build that shoulder strength. Start in standing pike position. Walk hands one hand length at a time with straight arms until your body is extended with hands forward of your head. Repeat the process in reverse until back in the pike starting position. 10 walk-ups is a good starting point. Remember that the progression to master before moving is 60second hold, not 10 walk-ups.

C: 15 reps x 3sets Knees on a Box: using a box or chair you can create the right angle of
the HSPU, you will want your hands to be a bit wider than where you would do your regular handstand. The closer your hands are to the box the more upright your torso will be and the closer this will feel to an actual handstand push up. It is important to note that this is not an elevated push up; the aim is to have your torso as vertical as possible while performing the modified handstand push up.

D: 15 reps x 3 sets of Pike Pushups: with straight legs bend at the waist and set up the
arms as step “C”. Do a pushup until your head touches the ground. The same goes for this progression as in step “C”; this is not an elevated pushup.

E: 15 reps of Partial Range HSPU: get into the handstand position and practice
lowering until just before you lose control or feel like you’re about to fall then and press out of that…

F: 10 reps x 3 sets of 4second HSPU Controlled Decent: Get into the handstand
position against a wall and, with a partner, lower yourself down to the bottom and have you partner pull you by the thigh/knee up as you press it out. The goal is to build up to 10 reps of 4 second descents x 3 sets. This progression will take a little while. I do NOT suggest trying to hit 3 sets of 10 on the first try at this progression, build it up. Maybe do 5resps with 2 second decents then 3seconds etc. Respect the decent, have your partner hold you accountable for 4seconds down.

G: 5 reps of Self Spotted HSPU: Start in a headstand and have the top of your legs bent
backwards resting on a box. Use your legs to help assist the HSPU. The lower the box the harder this will be. Use your hamstrings to pull yourself up. This movement feels a lot like a glute ham calf raise if heavy assistance from the legs is required.

H: 1 Handstand Push Up: If you are one of 1% of people and made it this far
WITHOUT trying even one HSPU, you are probably ready to do one. Come find me and do 1 Strict HSPU.

I: Controlled decents with extra range of motion: Add a 4″ lift under your hands, with
weight plates that will allow your head to pass through. Repeat the progressions under step 6 (10 reps of 4 seconds descents x 3 sets)
J: 5 Handstand pushups: you should be well on the way to doing reps by now and once
you can obtain 5 reps we can do repeated efforts of that and your controlled descents to build to doing 10 strict HSPU’s.

K: Kipping HSPU: It is very important to note this is the ABSOLUTE last step. Kipping
HSPU will not get you to strict HSPU but strict will get you to high numbers of kipping HSPU very quickly. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE learn the strict versions of gymnastics movements before the “CrossFit” versions

GORUCK Selection AAR – By Stony Smith

GORUCK Selection 014 Dec 26th 2013, Candidate #10 -AAR of a VW, for what it’s worth…


For about a year I’d thought about doing Selection one day.  When I first watched 000 go down I only had one challenge under my belt; #191 Toronto, and it trashed me.  I realized after that experience I had really trained for the wrong type of event, but it sure showed me my weaknesses. That realization really made me plan my training for Selection much more carefully.  Being from Canada, I’m a bit removed from the Goruck scene stateside.   Most of my friends up here think I’m whack so I ended up becoming a bit of a recluse while training for Selection. I actually think this worked in my favor mentally.  My training plan started  by reading all the AAR’s I could find, watching as much ‘Surviving the Cut’ as possible, asking questions to fill in the gaps, and observing all of the Selection classes as they went down.  Pictures are worth a thousand words.

I had been doing Crossfit for about 2 years so I figured I have the intensity required. I don’t heal as fast I used to so I needed to plan out a longer steady training plan.  Prior to Crossfit I had done loads of running but I was a bit sketchy with long distances and I only really carried weight during my Goruck challenges. My plan was to put on some size for muscular endurance, run more, ruck more and get my push-up/ sit-up count up.  I started executing my training plan about 4 months out; meaning I clicked the button to confirm my entrance to Selection and actually committed myself –fear is my motivator. I wanted to increase my muscular endurance by increasing my size so I added the Wendler 531 program to my mornings. About this time I also convinced the wife to let me move my squat rack into the living room.  Coincidently this is also about when I sustained my first injury…  too hard too fast and not enough recovery time, I managed to dislocate my back.  Three weeks to feel comfortable squatting again, but I started light and worked through it.  The weather was holding up so I was able to get some good runs and rucks in – shorter during the week and gradually longer duration on the weekends.  Trying to find the time for long rucks was becoming a problem as the days grew shorter so I had to change up my approach.  I increased my ruck weight slowly to give my back a chance to heal and adjust to the load.  The only time I could find during the week was my morning 2km dog walks, so I made them count by carrying 100lbs+. Events like the Runfor1Mil (thanks Mark Webb) also helped my training as it gave me an excuse to try out my body and kit to see how they would perform then train what hurt the most. On weekends I could find the time, so before breakfast I’d do a full PT test and see how my weekly training was paying off. About six weeks out a friend and I decided to do a 12hr ruck.  For me this would be a full dress rehearsal.  It turned out the weight combined with an insole without much arch support led to my second injury and what my chiropractor informed me was “Morton’s Neuroma” – a pinched nerve in my foot.  The treatment you ask?  No more rucking or running until Selection -now only five weeks away.  This is when the paranoia really set in!  I was really concerned that this lack of long distance training would negatively affect me at Selection.  The forced ‘rest’ did give me a chance to increase my push up and sit up counts.  Sit-ups came up fast from a rough 50 to a manageable 75 in 2 minutes, but I could not seem to break through the 65 count for push ups in 2 minutes.   I was pleased with my progress but still not entirely sure I would pass the PT test because of my foot and the hype about proper technique.  Nutrition was something I had no idea about.  I looked everywhere for info and I only confused myself more.  I talked to a couple of nutritionists about what the event was and what it entailed.  They couldn’t plan for a lack of food so I was forced to look elsewhere.  I had heard of Ketosis and how my body could run off of fat stores.  OK sounds good I’ll go with that, I still had no idea what I was doing…  In hindsight, training for Selection and cutting foods to deal with deprivation at the same time was dumb.  I probably missed loads of gains by not feeding my body when it needed it; although this approach did allow me to work out how to get over hunger pains.  During Selection I was really whacked from lack of food although I do like that stage of delirious funniness though. Training for a lack of food and not letting my body eat itself is my plan for October 2014. 

Before I knew it the Big Day had arrived.   All my training had come down to this.  Everyone had their own approach, their kit, their history.  You would think this would have been a good time for me to sit with my own thoughts and mentally prepare for what was to come.  But my brain had other plans.  It decided to compare myself to all the other candidates that showed up.  There was no way I was on par with these guys; these guys looked like animals –super fit.  Once we formed up there was to be no talking from then on and shit got serious.  First would be the kit check and then right into the PT Test.  I didn’t fly all the way here just to fail a PT Test.  I had forgotten to account for adrenalin and I ended up feeling really good during the PT test – and even managed to PR the run and the ruck.  At the start of the ruck march people started running; immediate thought was ‘Crap, do they know something I don’t?’  I knew the pace I needed to keep to arrive on time but I tossed it out the window.  I ran 100 paces, walked 100 paces the whole way.  I found out later on I had completed it in 2:59min, Woot! In a headwind, on sand.  I think I would have been fine if I had stuck to my routine from training but it was very easy to get caught up in what other people were doing and I’m way too competitive.  After the ruck the people who did not pass the sit-up or push-up part of the test were allowed to try it again.  
A lot of what came next was hard and fast.  At least the pictures prove I was there, because I barely remember it!  I do remember thinking this is a welcome party that just keeps going and going…and going. I quickly realised being last was bad, real bad.  Being a winner is obvious but at what point does being a winner outweigh the effort when it leads to failing the next round?  Trying to win suicide races over and over again was really taxing my body, so I tried to stay middle of the pack. Eventually we all ended up in the surf doing PT.  The Cadre were on us checking eyes and numbness and to be sure we didn’t get too cold they kept us moving with lots of PT.  Eventually morning came and the Sand Babies came out to play.  Strangely enough, we had to earn the right to carry our Babies; proper name, fill quantity, correctly tying –any deviation meant start again.  The Sand Babies weighed about 60lbs I would guess.  In hindsight I should have made sure to use dry sand… With Sand Babies loaded, we started another long walk up the beach. My ruck weighed 50lbs plus Baby.  At this point I felt good.  I passed #1 on the beach and had #8 in my sights.  I was nearing the finish point but #8 just kept going.  I headed towards the finish point and confirmed with Cadre that I was in fact in the right place then pointed to #8 up the beach. People just seemed to disappear, 14 People had started but only 3 remained now, I think we lost 5 or 6 just on this ruck.  


We took care of our feet and then it was time for another PT test. This test was different; dead hang pull ups and crunches. After the PT test we topped up our water and we were off for a Fartlek style ruck run/march towards the intercostal waterway for some “snorkeling”.  By this time I was absolutely starving.  #8 was killing it, #1 and I had to stop to strip gear off which meant we were way behind.

  By this time I was going through another level of deliriousness and was looking everywhere for food; leaves, old cat food tins –anything.  Then #1 shows up with a cookie. WTF!  Turns out he found a McDonald’s bag on the road and found unopened cookies inside.   Yeah I’ll eat it.  Once we arrived at the waterway we knew things were going to get sketchy.  Fortunately Cadre were there to chase off any gators and to keep watch for snakes and other things that could kill us.  The water was cold but nice and helped with sore muscles.  The mud was deep, you had to paw your way though it grabbing clusters of clams to propel yourself forward.  When Cadre caught you it was snorkel time.


After the water we had another Cadre change and then we rucked up for a hike back to the beach.  I remember we helped push a car along the way. I don’t recall what else we did but I’m sure it involved PT till nap time.  Other than being dark I had no idea what time it was but I can tell you I was so happy for food!  There were three spots beside the fire and some gloriously tasty MREs, a foot inspection, a brief review of our progress and then the big sleep… around 30min.  We were gently roused from our slumber by the siren on the bullhorn. Time for another PT test.  I was sucking by this time, less than half my original counts.  Then on to the beach for a long heavy ruck march, this time with a couple of 80lb sand bags and a slosh tube full of sand which we rotated.  It was dark, no idea what time it was.  When we got back fresh Cadre showed up and now it was getting serious.  The PT dials were up to 11:  Log PT, 1 mile suicides, Log PT in the surf and more Log PT.  When we failed to perform it was back to the surf with snorkels and a log.  #1 was getting PT’d pretty hard at this point, Cadre were working their mind games to get into his head.  We were doing inch worm pushups when I heard #1 VW –crap, he was tough as nails. It just kept coming; log PT, ruck PT.  I was having problems keeping my ruck overhead and the threat of the surf was looming.  I had noticed recently that when I was getting into the surf my arm pits and back would seem to catch on fire, sort of like grinding salt into open wounds…  This was when I had to do my gut re-check.  Time slowed down and I went into deep thought (in between log presses).  This was the time that I had thought about every time I was training, how will my time present itself and how would I know.  For me it turned out to be when the pain outweighed the want. The Cadre will ask you at any sign of weakness if you want to quit, most of the time I just blocked it out… not this time –at 32hrs, I VW’d.   


I found myself sitting around the fire getting warm, eating some food, trying to figure out what had just happened.  My tongue started to swell up to the point where I was barely intelligible (still don’t know what that was all about).  Once we made it back to the hotel I realised the extent of my chafing, underarms, wherever the ruck touched my back, my nipples were ground off (they don’t grow back all the way).  I don’t normally have a problem with chafing but the sand really helped it along. That was when I also confirmed that I was passing dark blood in my urine (signs of Rhabdomyolysis).  I didn’t have the cognitive ability to do anything about it so I downed some water and passed out.  Upon weighing myself in the morning I had lost 10lbs during the 32hrs.  When I got home I tried for max effort push ups and sit ups and found out I was not as strong as I was 10 days ago.  My body had lost some size and muscle, my nutrition sucked ass.Reflections… Keep the sand out, use diaper rash cream etc –TBD.  Get my nutrition right. No matter how strong you are the Cadre will have more PT than you have muscles.   Your brain is your space –don’t let the Cadre in. And never before have the words “it pays to be a winner”’ meant so much to me.  It’s one thing to hear it; it’s another to live it.
Yeah, I still want it and I’m going back with a notebook full of things to take care of before next year –Woot! 

Paleo = ?¿?¿?

For me this is going to be difficult to explain without upsetting too many people. Please hear me out and feel free to discuss.

I want to talk today about “Paleo” foods. Paleo is a nutrition guideline that basically has the followers eat only food that would have been available in Paleolithic time. This means meats, veggies, fruit, some nuts (not peanuts), no legumes and a few more restrictions. There’s hundreds of references online, check it out.

Is Paleo healthy? Absolutely! You are eating only foods that are completely natural and the human body was originally intended to digest. There are a couple difficulties associated to this style of eating (getting enough carbohydrates) but that’s for a later discussion. The discussion today is the relationship between “Paleo” and “Healthy”.

Just because the word “Paleo” is tacked on to the end of a word, doesn’t make it necessarily healthy. Just as someone who watches UFC and wears a Tapout shirt isn’t necessarily a good fighter.

The intention of eating Paleo should be; being healthier and achieving goals etc. That means, alog with eating “Paleo”, portion control and proper food choices are still incredibly important. Paleo cupcakes, even though they’re called paleo, are not healthy. Yes, the ingredients alone are better then there alternative but put together in such dense amounts is counter-productive. Read that again… Yes, the ingredients of your cupcake are good, but how much? Usually a LOT! Don’t get me wrong, having a treat now and then is not a bad thing at all and I agree if cavemen had cupcakes theyd eat it too… but a cupcake is a cupcake… Don’t believe me? Check this:

1 Paleo cupcake: Carbohydrates=14g, Protien=3g, Fat=26g

Average cupcake: Carbohydrates=28g, Protein=2g, Fat=1.6g

So yes, the carbohydrates of the Paleo cupcake is half the average cupcake. The fat however is, wait for it, 16.3 times higher!!!! Fat is a good thing im not arguing that (small but proper amounts of fat are imperative to healthy eating), but fat slows everything down and are risky at high amounts. Also carbohydrates are way easier to burn off!… Therefore if we look at an estimated “proper” meal for the average person (27g carbs, 21g protein,  4.5g fat) you are better off eating 3 normal cupcakes then 1 Paleo cupcake. Let’s say you eat 3… you could have eaten 9 regular cupcakes… and let’s be honest, no one eats only one.

The point im trying to make is a cupcake is a cupcake, brownies are brownies and just because something says Paleo, doesn’t make it incredibly healthy. Let’s stick to “paleoizing” (making beloved healthy food paleo by means of exchanging ingredients) actual healthy food like “zucchini lasagna” or “spegatti squash and meatballs” and understand that although it says “Paleo” you still have to be aware of portions and especially amount of fat and lack of carbohydrates!

A Question Everyone Should Answer

What have I done differently this past year to improve as an athlete? (look at all factors; mental, physical, nutrition, training, recovery, rest, etc)

I just finished doing some mobility and looking over today’s workout when I received a text from my training partner. Although we always text, this one was different… The text read “Homework, do it.” And it had a linked URL… After reading the article I understood what he was getting at. Let me explain…

We (being athletes, competitors, workers etc…) spend a load of time working at getting physically better. Putting hours after hours into the gym for another PR or mastering a new skill etc. What we sometimes lack is the reflection of what we’re doing, and more importantly why we are doing it…The answer to the question is different for everyone… my answer?
-I spent a considerable amount of time focusing on my WODs rather then just doing them. I made sure I understood the purpose of each WOD rather then doing it for the sake of doing it.     

* A huge thing for me this year was actually paying attention to “rest days”. It took a lot of effort to realize rest is sometimes more important then work. In previous years I worked out all the time because I thought “hey the more the better”, but that’s not always the case.     

* I actually paid attention to past mistakes. I finally turned the ego off and said to myself “hey! Shut up! That mistake was yours not anyone else’s” Failure is an opportunity to grow and I took every ounce of those opportunities.     
* I started paying attention to consistency rather then always trying to hit big numbers. The realization came that hitting a 300pound clean every time with out a doubt is better then hitting 335 once but only on a good day.     

* I recorded EVERYTHING… This was huge for me, I can’t memorize a lot of lifts etc. but I can’t memorize times for sprints, or consistency of wod times. This year I wrote it all down from beginning to end to REALLY see how I am doing     

* Nutrition has always been pretty good for me but this year I focused on portion control (zone) and none of these “well I worked out so I can eat this 1000calorie big Mac”     

* Lastly I video recorded some wods. Big thing here is reflecting on my performance that day and seeing how I could improve. Seeing if I’m resting too much or not enough. And accuracy of reps completed…

The first stage of finding the fittest man, woman, and team on earth is coming up. To some this means nothing… To Cross fitters, this is our time! But EVRYONE, before starting the open, needs to reflect on the work that went into getting here. Take the opportunity to look back at the last year or 2 or 3, or maybe even the last couple months (if you just started). Look at the changes you’ve made in your life, the lessons you’ve learnt sacrifices you’ve made… When you figure all that out, smile… Look up… Pat yourself on the back, for being such a badass, and go give everything you’ve got on February 27th… Make all the work worth it, leave not a single rep behind, dust off the chalk and repeat!

What is THAT!?


First time I met the Air Dyne was at the Reebok Crossfit GamesRegionals in 2012. They had this funny looking bike in the corner of the warm-up area. One guy would always be on it, pedalling away at a relaxed, slow pace. I remember thinking to myself “ha! What’s that guy doing? He looks like an old man on that antique bike” I later found out that the old-looking bike was called an Air Dyne…

2 Years later I found myself in the basement of someone’s house negotiating the price for this harmless looking Air Dyne. See, what I didn’t know back in 2012 is how insanely useful this piece of machine happens to be…The Air Dyne is a dual-action bike. Incredibly simple, incredibly easy to use, incredibly painful… You pedal with your feet and use your arms to help you pedal faster… There is no resistance setting, just a fan.The harder you pedal, the more resistance, the harder it is to pedal, the more painful it is!

I have talked to a lot of very solid athletes’, and to the coaches of some very successful athletes (be it Crossfit or other sports). My main question was “why are these guys/girls winning? What are they doing different?”…. The answer? Interval training on the Air Dyne… let me re-phrase; A LOT of interval training on the Air dyne.

As Crossfitters we do a lot of anaerobic exercises, which is wicked and it works… The thing we lack in is aerobic training. Not because it’s boring or difficult or hard to arrange, its because it takes a lot of time and is usually very taxing on our bodies. We are already doing a LOT of work by even doing a couple Crossfit workouts a week. How are we expected to recover and also throw in some aerobic on top of it? Many injuries occur from over training and miles over miles of running can really effect the knees…       

(Side note, I’m strictly focusing on Crossfit as a training modal… Ofcourse other training pathways have there benefits and place, this isjust for the Crossfitter in all of us)

So how can we all get better at Crossfit? Lower our WOD scores? Move faster?… It basically boils down to the fact that we need an aerobic alternative to run/swim/biking 100’s of miles, on top of the already taxing Crossfit WOD’s, and the Airdyne is perfect for just that!

Its non-impact and it works your whole body – arms, core, legs, heart and panting muscles. Non-impact! Meaning, although while you’re on the AirDyne it feels like you’re being kicked in the nuts while someone uses a vaccuum to suck the air out of your lungs, you recover fast and will NOT feel it the next day…

Workouts can get done FAST, and offers a very high output of power (not diving into the physics of it)… Force x Distance / Time… Less time, more force and distance equals higher power! And the workouts will train your mind to shut up and move past the suck factor… It is an all around “Love to Hate it” Monster producing Machine!

Get to a Gym…. AND USE THE AIR DYNE!!!

Sample WOD’s (from “easiest” to “hardest”):
-1 minute for calories
-Reverse tabata: 8 rounds of – 10 seconds on 20 seconds off.
-Tabata airdyne: 8 rounds of 20 seconds on 10 seconds off.
-Morning wake up: dyne for 20 minutes increasing calories every minute for 20minutes
-5 minute time trial for calories
-2 miles in less than 5 minutes
-300 FY workout: The goal is to air dyne 300 calories in 10 minutes. If you don’t get 300cal, you haven’t completed the 300 FY. Keeptrying!