Monday, March 15, 2010

F**K CrossFit!

I know I know, this is going to offend a few of you faithfuls out there. Oh well!

Here is my 2 cents on this subject matter. Are you ready? Ok, here we go...

First off I had looked into opening my own box a few years ago, before it was so mainstream. But,because of the costs associated with being affiliated and obtaining a bunch of certs, I wanted to research it further. Of course some of the video footage is cool, but it's all over the place... By that I mean, doing a work-out repeatedly over time is going to cause a decrease in times. If you train at anything, you will learn how to adapt or improve in ways of accomplishing your goal. Does this mean you have become more fit? Not neccessarily, it can mean you have learned how to do things faster which does not mean better fitness...

So, after talking with owners of other gyms I decided to step back from being affiliated with any gym, and to just open my own! Does this mean my gym is better than all Crossfits or any other gym for that matter? No. I believe there is a place for all gyms. There is no such thing as one thing for everybody in the fitness industry. My clients are a select group of indidviduals that are looking to improve at athletics (for the most part). We cater to Athletes and we train our clients as Athletes. Is it right for everyone? It depends on the individual. All clients have goals or areas that they need to improve in, to become better. Just because you start your own gym, does not mean what you do is a sport. Crossfit is NOT a SPORT!

I'm sick and tired of Yuppies walking into my gym and asking me, "Is this like Crossfit?" F**k you, no it's not! What we do here is Specific to what the client wants and needs. There is no general WOD (work-out of the day) posted on the wall for every client to perform... How would that make sense? And there is no standardized weight for Males and Females to use. Now honestly, how in the f**k does that make any sense? We tailor our workouts to the individuals and their sport, and we strive to teach proper Technique at all times. There is no room for bad technique...NONE! If I have my youth athletes performing exercises incorrectly, I will be sitting in my gym by myself with no clients. But, this is acceptable in a C-fit box, aka Crossfit Slop.

Why in the world is Crossfit crossing over into sports, for example Crossfit Football. You know why, because there is money to be made, $$$ and lots of it! Let's just say Parents of a 13 year old football player are working out at a C-fit box, how would you get the whole family in the door to pay you more money? They already have C-fit Kids Cert.($), so they create a football Cert. ($) now the whole family can come in at once or thru out the day. Crossfit has so much f'n money now that they could care less if a box closes, because they make a ton on Certifications every weekend and turning out 40 new L1 certified people who dream of opening their own box. It is a money maker, and it started near the Silicon Valley where there was plenty of money to be had in the beginning. Now it is global, and is planting it's seeds into areas that need more specific training, rather than general work-outs...

Money is the name of the game, and it is a Huge Cash Cow! How can I compete with Crossfit Football...? Easy, I don't conform to changing what and how I do my training. Of course I am constantly learning and bringing new and creative ways to get my clients great results. But, I will not compromise my values and sell out to join or affiliate with the masses because it's "cool" or "new". My clients deserve better. I am totally pissed off that the target market of CrossfFit is everybody and anybody with a pulse. There are no boundaries, if you don't believe me check their site. There is a cert. for everything from Kettlebells to Gymnastics, Olympic Lifting to Nutrition, Running to Powerlifting! WTF!!!!! Many of these certs. have nothing to do with each other, and as they will soon find out that just because you are certified, does not mean you are capable of training the masses. It takes time in the trenches and trying different methods on yourself before one can truly teach anything. A weekend is good, but more is needed in the subject matter before one can truly understand.

Does Crossfit affect my business...? Barely, but I am all for competition, and I don't claim to be an expert at everything or just one thing. Like I said earlier, I am constantly learning. I have struggled and kept going without any affiliation to any name or HQ or title behind my name. For this is what I truly love doing. Training myself and others to become Bigger Faster and Stronger. That is my job and I love it! I'm not doing what I do for the money, I do it for the satisfaction of knowing I am doing it to help will be a by-product. I have no intention as of now to open another Strong 101. I just want to grow my business as large as I can for now and see where it takes me. Because of the service I provide I will not sacrifice my clients well being in order to make a quick buck. That is what I believe separates our gym from a Crossfit box. I don't care how many clients show up, as long as they are dedicated and want to be trained, I will train them. Quality over quantity suits me just fine.

I can go on and on about what I don't like about Crossfit, but I will leave you with this article from an ex-affiliate. Greyskull Elite Strength and Conditioning.

P.S. please pass this on or comment at the very least, and leave me your opinion on the subject matter. Thank You!


Coaching = Teaching

I was talking with a parent of one of my youth athletes, and our discussion about Coach(es) reminded me of an article that Big Joe Hashey put out about a year ago...
For me Coaching High School and Middle School kids is an HONOR, and something I Love doing. It's really not work to me, because the reward of seeing these young men and women change their physiques is beyond explanation. Along with the physical change comes an even bigger Mental change in confidence and maturity.

I believe being a Coach is much like a Teacher in a class room, except I utilize weights and odd objects to shape minds and bodies. Meerly watching a teenager that has never been in a weight room, and showing them how to adapt to their own bodyweight strength and then adding weight to the process is amazing! I can honestly say this is what I was destined to do...but along with this job comes much responsibility. Parents trust in me their childs development and their future success.

Coaches must make right decisions on how to train, communicate and teach these young people. We must be the EXAMPLE, in all areas as well. The athletes are watching us at all times, so we must show them how to Be, Do and Have success inside and outside our training facilities. "To Whom much is Given, much is Expected."

Big Joe has some great points in his article, but what tied it all together is the video attached to his topic. You see, Physical contact between adults and kids is a very touchy subject, and it is not a flexible issue for me! If a Coach is disrespected or frustrated to a point that he / she cannot communicate effectively with an Athlete, then the relationship must be severed. There can be no growth, if there is no longer any trust between both parties. In this video, I believe the boundary is crossed, stepped on and simply ignored!

Please read Joe's article and WATCH THE VIDEO!!!!! and then post your comments, either on my blog or Joe's.

Are You Building Up or Breaking Down...


Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I was reading an interesting article today about Commitment.
What made me read it was the title, "Why I Don't Want to Clean 315". I love the Clean and the Clean & Press, so I immediately began to read it. Because I hadn't stretched my thinking to 315 lbs yet, I was very interested to see why this trainer was making such a bold statement. For me, I set my goal of 275 lbs before the end of this year...check out my list for 2010.

Here are my goals in the weight room: Squat 405 lbs x 3, Bench 335 lbs x 3, Clean 275 lbs easily, Clean & Press 245 lbs. Now when I accomplish all this in 2010, I will have made tremendous gains in every area of Strength. Now isn't that the whole purpose of working out? To make gains and always keep pushing forward. For me to achieve all these numbers, I have to make great strides in 2 other areas besides strength, my diet and sleep.

You see, no one grows in the weight room... I will repeat that, NO ONE GROWS in the WEIGHT ROOM! Building muscle is a constant tearing down process. You go to the gym, work-out and tear down the old muscle in order to help build new muscle. But, and here is the big AH HA moment, you grow when you replenish the body with FOOD (nutrients) and by SLEEPING (allow the body to rest and recover).

So as much as I want to make my numbers go up, I must rest and replenish my body so that I may continue to grow. I believe this is the hardest thing to teach new and existing clients. Until they stop seeing gains being made, they continue to fall back into their old habits of not taking care of the Rest and Recovery issues.

I ask you this, what will it take for you to get the most out of your work-out?
If you know the answer(s), what are you willing to do to make it happen?

Thanks to Elliott Hulse for posting up this great article, by Charles Staley...I am posting the entire article below.


Why I Don't Want To
Clean 315 Pounds

Tough Love From Coach Staley

Do you think that motivation is a fundamental issue when it comes to successful exercise or athletic training programs?

I don’t. In fact, I KNOW it isn’t!

How can I say this? Easily, often, without hesitation, and with supreme confidence.

Look: You are exactly where you want to be right now. You’ve already taken the steps necessary to achieve your station in life, and not one bit more. And you’re completely satisfied with that station in life. Even if you know you could be much leaner, stronger, faster (or whatever trait or quality that applies most to you) than you are.

Now you might say "Well, that’s not true - I know someone who is 100 pounds overweight and he’s miserable!"

To which I say, no, he’s satisfied. Clearly, the benefit he’s deriving from his behaviors still outweighs the drawbacks, or else he’d change those behaviors!

OK, let’s use me as an example. I’m reasonably lean and my goals revolve around physical capacity - strength, speed, and so on. And I’ve got a particular affection for the power clean - probably because I’m fairly good at it relative to other lifts. Anyway, I sometimes catch myself telling someone that I’d love to be able to power clean 315 pounds (my current best is 275 pounds).

But whenever I say that, I’m lying. Why? Because, quite simply, if I REALLY wanted a 315 power clean, I would have already taken the steps necessary to accomplish that particular feat!

Now, if I wanted to find excuses for my inability to clean 315, I could probably find them. I’m 44 years old. I’ve had several very serious knee surgeries. I’m ectomorphic. I don’t use performance-enhancing drugs. I got picked on a lot when I was in elementary school. Come to think of it, this could end up being a pretty big list!

I’m not really interested in excuses though. The fact is, I’m healthy, knowledgeable, athletic, my profession provides me with ample time and energy to train, I know lots of great Olympic weightlifters and coaches, I have a great gym right in my home….OK, this can potentially be a bigger list than the excuses list!

Which leads me to the following conclusion:

I don’t really want to have a 315 power clean.
Man, that really hurt. But you know what? It’s absolutely true. I simply cannot escape the plain fact that I have not done what it takes to achieve a 315 clean. Perhaps, someday I will, but for now, it’s obvious to me that the enjoyment I get from not having to train in a way that would permit me to clean 315 outweighs the enjoyment from being able to actually do a 315 clean.

And that’s OK! And there’s a great lesson here: maybe some of your goals aren’t appropriate for you, because they don’t really mean enough for you to take action.

Question: What’s your #1 goal? Right now. Do you have one? Statistically, you probably don’t. But if you do, here’s what I’d like to have you consider: how important is that goal to you? Have you arranged your entire life in a way that supports your accomplishment of that goal?

I certainly haven’t (in the case of the 315 pound power clean).

This article is primarily meant to inspire some self-analysis - not to provide hard and fast answers. However, if you’d like some avenues to pursue some serious reflection, here are a few:

1. Develop self-reliant behavior - create the mindset that all of your limitations are self-imposed (because they almost certainly are)

2. Get out of your comfort zone, and find a way to enjoy it. When your stomach is growling because you’re hungry, think "Perfect! This is what I need to experience if I’m going to drop that extra body fat!"

3. Find out what works, and then do more of it. Find out what’s derailing your efforts, and do less of that.

4. Cultivate dissatisfaction. After all, that’s why you’re where you are now - you’re satisfied with it

5. Seek out and cultivate empowering personal relationships. The people you spend the most time with have a profound effect on your life. Make sure it’s a profoundly POSITIVE effect.

I hope this article has been instructive for you.

Perhaps you’re thinking that the psychology of motivation is a lot more involved than the way I’ve presented it here. Of course, people who are excuse-makers always think that way. As long as you’ve got enough reasons why you can’t succeed, you never will.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Combine Testing.?!

Today marked the end of the NFL Combine Testing...
For those of you unfamiliar with this process, let me fill you in on what a few selected individuals endure over this weekend.

There are a handful of events that a Player will go thru to help determine their value to a prospecting NFL Team. They start out by being measured and weighed... Then they move onto a series of interviews of different teams in need of their services or teams that are seriously interested in drafting each young man.

After all this is said and done, they are put thru a series of physical ability tests, labeled "The Combine".

These tests are: a 40 yard dash, a Vertical Jump, Standing Long Jump, 225 lb. Bench Press for Max Reps, 20yd & 60yd Shuttle and 3 Cone Drill.

If that isn't enough, they also go head to head in skill tests, related to their position.

Now what do these tests really prove to these NFL owners, coaches and scouts???

I'm not quite sure, because nobody bench presses 225 lbs. on the field or during halftime or on the bench...and on field speed is much much different than running a straight ahead 40 yd dash with no pads and no one trying to tackle or block you.

Check out this great article from Steve Morris of

He put out a very controversial article today about the NFL Combine...
Till next time, Get STRONG!!!