Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween!!

Awesome job today with the WOD and the costumes - you guys rocked the box!!
Happy trick r' treating!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Friday is Costume Day!!!

OK, wear your costumes tomorrow - Mel, Reagan, Leslie, Erin, Valerie, Jenn and I will all have ours so come on in, put yours on and let's celebrate Halloween with a WOD!

4 Rounds for time of:

10 Deadlifts (m - 275# / w - 183#)
20 KB Swings (m - 1.5 pood / w - 1 pood)
30 K2E (knees to elbows)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Wednesday's WOD

3 Rounds for time of:

10 Pull-ups
20 KB swings (m - 1.5 pood / w - 1 pood)
30 Box jumps
40 Push press (m- 45# bar / w - 35#)

Friday we will have a Halloween WOD - WEAR YOUR COSTUMES!!! I will be there with my camera for some pics!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Monday's WOD

AMRAP in 20 minutes of:

10 Barbell Hang Cleans (m - 135# / w - 95#) you must catch the clean in the full squat
10 Ring Dips

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Friday's WOD

It's time for some more Friday fun!

"The Bear"

7 Sets of the Sequence:
Power Clean

Front Squat

Push Press

Back Squat

Push Press

5 Rounds - rest between rounds as needed, increase weight each round

The Rules:

  • you CANNOT set the bar on the ground at any point during your 7 set sequence - even to regrip it!

  • break up or combine the movements in any way so long as the following are met:

  • the clean starts at the ground and finishes standing at full hip extension

  • the squats must go below parallel and the presses finish locked out overhead

  • jerking is acceptable, as are squat cleans and deadlifting then hang cleaning

  • the squats and push presses can be distinct or combined into thrusters

  • you cannot receive the clean in a squat and go directly into a thruster, you must stand first

  • there is no time component, rest anywhere but on the ground

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

7 rounds for time of:

10 KB swings (m - 1.5 pood / w- 1 pood)
200 meter run

Monday, October 19, 2009

You Snooze, You Lose--Weight

I cannot emphasize how important enough sleep it; like nutrition, it can undo an otherwise good program. Not seeing the results you expect? Check your sleep amounts.

Those of you wanting more in depth info on what sleep and lack of it does to you read Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar and Survival. It's also on our recommended reading list on the left side of the page....

You Snooze, You Lose--Weight
Getting enough rest promotes weight loss
By Christina Frank

Lose weight while you sleep? It sounds too good to be true—but recent research indicates that there is a connection between how much you weigh and the amount of shut-eye you get per night.

Two hormones, ghrelin and leptin, help to control appetite. When you do not get enough rest, levels of ghrelin, which increases hunger, rise; levels of leptin, which promotes feelings of fullness, sink. A study in the May issue of Psychoneuroendocrinology found a significant disruption in nighttime ghrelin levels in chronic insomniacs. According to the study, this hormone imbalance leads insomniacs to experience an increase in appetite during the day, leading to weight gain over time.

In addition to creating an imbalance in ghrelin and leptin, sleep deprivation causes levels of the stress hormone cortisol to rise, which increases cravings for high-carb, high-calorie “comfort foods.” Furthermore, the brain secretes growth hormone during the deep-sleep phase, helping the body convert fat to fuel. Without enough deep sleep, fat accumulates.

Sleep expert Michael Breus, clinical director of the sleep division at Southwest Spine & Sports in Scottsdale, Ariz., says that there is no magic number of hours people should sleep but that the average adult needs about five 90-minute sleep cycles per night, so 7.5 hours seems optimal as a minimum.

But simply getting under the covers is probably not a sufficient strategy to achieve long-term weight loss, Breus says. “What these findings suggest is that there’s a new triad to achieving a healthy weight: diet, exercise and enough sleep.”

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Monday's WOD


Five rounds for time of:

7 Muscle-ups (substitute 3 pull-ups and 3 ring dips for each muscle ups, if you cannot perform them)

95 pound Sumo-deadlift high-pull, 21 reps

1LT Tyler E. Parten, 24, of Arkansas, died Sept. 10 in Konar province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit using rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire. He was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Friday Team-Up Fun!

“400 for Fun”

400m med ball run (m- 20# / w - 14#)
20 pull-ups
20 box jumps
20 burpees
20 GHD sit-ups
20 good-mornings (m - 45# bar / w - 35# bar)
20 push press (m - 45# bar / w - 35# bar)
20 kettle-bell swings (m - 1.5 pood / w - 1 pood)
20 double unders (80 singles)
20 sdhp (m - 1.5 pood / w - 1 pood)
20 wallball (m - 20# / 14#)

run 200m forward
run 200m backward

20 pull-ups
20 box jumps
20 burpees
20 GHD sit-ups
20 good-mornings (m - 45# bar / w - 35# bar)
20 push press (m - 45# bar / w - 35# bar)
20 kettle-bell swings (m - 1.5 pood / w - 1 pood)
20 double unders (80 singles)
20 sdhp (m - 1.5 pood / w - 1 pood)
20 wallball (m - 20# / w - 14#)
400m med ball run (m - 20# / w - 14#)

This WOD will be run in teams of two. You will pair up, both members run the 400m with med balls (each must carry their own med ball) and then they hit the exercises. Each team member must complete 10 reps of each exercise before moving on to the next exercise. Time does not stop until both team members cross the finish line with their med balls.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Something to ponder

OK, read the below post from a former affiliate and then I posted the best response to it I found on the boards. While he makes some valid points, I disagree with his approach and generalizations. I will tell you Dave and I spend a lot of time discussing the quality of training we are providing. We have both learned a great deal in the time we have been operating the affiliate and we both continue to learn a lot (as do all of our trainers). We constantly strive to get better ourselves, improve out ability to teach and increase our knowledge so we can pass it on to you. Our only problem is there are not enough hours in the day between our real jobs and operating the affiliate to devote as much time as we would like to the affiliate.

Read and feel free to post comments....

Friday, October 2, 2009

Why I Resigned my Affiliation with CrossFit
John Sheaffer- Greyskull Barbell ClubRecently I’ve received a lot of emails asking me why I resigned my affiliation with CrossFit with plenty of paid time left in my agreement. I decided that to set the record straight and/or dispel some of the rumors, I would share some of my reasoning behind that decision.

First and foremost, my resignation was fueled by my observation of the precipitous decline in the quality of the average CrossFit affiliate. When I got involved in the organization, most affiliates were garage gyms, some were operating out of parks, or backyards like mine, and most were relatively legit. The people were those who abhorred what was the norm, the Bally’s, Gold’s, 24Hour Fitness crowd selling long term gym memberships to facilities staffed by individuals deemed incompetent to teach one about fitness and promoting near useless exercise regimens. Over the next few years I watched the CrossFit community in general become more and more like the very people and chains that they set out despising at the onset. Now, hundreds of people get certified every weekend in a course that lasts two days and has no testing or requirements to pass. This certification then entitles them the right to affiliate with CrossFit after paying a fee, and filling out the necessary paperwork (I know, I did it). So now we have a flood of these people taking out business loans, buying all sorts of rowers, kettlebells, cheap bars, bumper plates and the like, and opening up shop in a strip mall or warehouse space. There, they dish out a one size fits all exercise prescription for all who come through the door, and prescribe a starvation diet for them to subside on. They pack classes with 20 people and turn them loose, with some Will Smith pumping, to go to town on the twenty minute “met-con” “chipper” “WOD” nonsense that someone pulled out of their skinny, zone eating ass as a one size fits all prescription for all who enter that morning. The people love the community aspect, the camaraderie and the atmosphere. They bring more people in, charge them $150 a month, and build a nice little business. Their people make progress as any human will when taken out of their normal habitat for a while. The fat people lose a few pounds and inches, the weak males that can’t press 75lb become weak males that can’t press 100lb. The women lose their dreaded tits and asses that they all despise. They get “progress” out of these individuals on a short term basis not because of their phenomenal coaching prowess, but because a chimpanzee could elicit positive adaptation out of an untrained couch potato for a few weeks (and would undoubtedly be stronger). Meanwhile, down the street is a serious facility where serious training occurs, and where people pay good money for help and guidance towards reaching their personal fitness or athletic goals. This place addresses the needs of each individual client, the ones who need to lose fat are put on programs to help them lose fat, the small, weak males are put on programs to make them big, strong males, and everyone is put on a program to make them physically stronger in the absence of adequate strength before getting crazy complicated with anything else. Problem is that both facilities share “CrossFit” as a part of their business name, and as such become universally interchangeable to the layperson. This results in the business owner hearing things like “my cousin does CrossFit”, or “I did CrossFit for a while in _____ so I know what I’m doing”. Between this and things being said like “CrossFit makes girls into men and men into girls” it doesn’t take long for anyone with any integrity, or concern whatsoever for the legitimacy of their name being damaged to realize that they are not benefiting in any way by being associated with that organization.

I’d like to add that my comments regarding the programming, if you would like to call it that, that these shit affiliates dish out are based on the idea that these individuals know next to nothing about programming for conditioning, let alone strength training, and that it is their erroneous application of misinterpreted ideas that causes this problem. While I don’t whole-heartedly agree with everything that Greg Glassman teaches in terms of exercise prescription and design, I do respect the man. He has always been nice to me, and he is very knowledgeable and well meaning in his own right. I like many others was impressed with the performance of some of his Santa Cruz athletes in the early videos that I watched years ago. That served as the major catalyst for my involvement with the organization. Interestingly enough, I’ve scolded many an affiliate that I have met who proudly spoke about showing prospective clients those videos to entice them to join, and yet would not have the faintest idea as to how one would train an individual to get to the level of the athletes featured in the video. This crap that we see today was not supposed to be the norm; it wasn’t supposed to turn out this way. “CrossFit” and “HorseShit” were not supposed to become synonymous at any point. If a person meets ten people from France in their lifetime, and eight of them smell like shit, then one can make a generalization about people from France, and they aren’t an asshole for doing so. Likewise, if people are bombarded by shit smelling CrossFit, then what are they to do but make a generalization about that name? It is unfortunate because there are many in the community that are good people doing good things. (a decent litmus would be if you are offended by this, you probably suck, and if you are nodding your head and/or laughing then you probably don’t. That or you’re delusional and think you don’t suck when you really do in which case weigh yourself for step two. If you weigh 160 and you aren’t 5’2” and your name isn’t Dutch Lowy, go eat and then come to terms with the fact that you suck). Ok so a bit of humor there, but there really are good people out there in this thing, and I really do feel bad for them.

I am not sure of the current count on worldwide affiliates, nor do I care. Over a year ago I spoke with a very well respected member of the CrossFit community who is near and dear to the HQ staff (no it’s not Rip I’m referring to in this one) he told me at that point that he estimated that one in thirty affiliates was actually decent, and wasn’t actively damaging the reputations of everyone who shared the common name but was doing good things with their little piece of the world. That was over a year ago. The count on affiliates at that time hadn’t broken 1000 yet. I spoke with him again a few months later and he said that it was probably one in fifty at that point. Wow, I wonder what his figures would be today. Now, of course that is a representation of one man’s opinion, but given the person’s status in that community, I think that it speaks volumes.

So what then to the person who says that some people just want to go and work out and meet people and have fun, or it’s better than them going to Bally’s or being fat. First of all, no, it’s not necessarily better than going to Bally’s by default. There are many, many strong, capable athletes training in chain, commercial gyms, and many people have transformed their bodies and lives in such establishments, some while even under the tutelage of a not yet so qualified “pin setter” who would grow to be a good coach. Second, I don’t have a problem with those people who want to go have fun and don’t care about actually progressing or being serious about their time and monetary investments. Those types get fired by me as clients quickly and I therefore don’t have to worry about dealing with them. I say let them have their fun. What I have a problem with is their use of the term “elite” fitness in all of their advertising and promotional materials. If you want to go to a fitness themed nightclub during the day to model your expensive yoga wear, do it, but for the love of God don’t pretend or claim to be elite. This goes for the guys as well. The emaciated, pussified, faux hawked nerds who I see at my platform while working certs with Rip who can’t press 105lb for a set of five (true story here, I have had the biggest guys in the group at three consecutive Barbell certs, and not one of them could press 125 for 5. You better believe though that they critiqued Andy Bolton’s bodyweight and appearance, and Vasily Alexiev’s press technique during the video portion of the seminar, and of course they were all wearing cool affiliate shirts with cute tough guy catch phrases like “CrossFit_______ : I’ll fuck your mother” or I’ll beat you to death like I caught you fucking my mother”, elite athletes can talk that talk you know.) Bottom line, I don’t mind that those people exist per se; they just shouldn’t be lumped into the same category as those who aren’t like them. Hence since that type is now the majority, the real people become the minority by default and need to exit promptly.

Since I brought it up, and since they don’t like me by now anyway, I’d like to add that the HQ staff’s reluctance to effectively give a shit about the information brought to the community by their SME (subject matter expert) crew is another reason for my departure. I have listened to numerous lectures on nutrition given by the level one and two staff that tout the Zone as the end all and be all of nutrition. Meanwhile, their resident nutrition guru whom they entrust to teach the Nutrition Certification, Robb Wolf (a great guy, and good friend) has always taught quality first, and focuses on improving the quality of the food people are eating before concerning them with zone blocks or other variables, an approach that myself and others have had tremendous success implementing on clients (unlike the jackasses that tell a recovering anorexic to weigh and measure her food, or tell a binge eater who subsides on french fries to eat 8 “blocks” of foods that Michael Jackson would think were weird, I know a bit insensitive to the now deceased MJ, but hey, he was a homosexual pedophile people). Likewise, and even more apparent to me, working for both the level one staff at one point, and my good friend and mentor Mark Rippetoe currently, is the lack of concern for the fact that you can’t effectively teach the barbell lifts with a piece of pvc pipe. There are significant differences between the way that the CF staff and the way that Rip (their former expert) teaches the lifts which he and others attempted to rectify numerous times in the level one and two curriculum but were met with the old “this is the way we’ve done it” routine. On the subject of Rip for those that are curious as to why he left, the reasons are many, but not unlike mine. Additionally, in his case, was the horrendously shitty communication, or lack thereof at the HQ level which had gotten so bad as to become personally offensive to him.

So now I’ve ranted, made some new friends, pissed some more people off, and filled in the reader on my observations for whatever they are worth. I again would like to say that there are many good people still involved in CrossFit, and that there are probably even some that suck currently that will develop into people that don’t suck. For many (Like several in my immediate geographical area, including one in particular that just keeps ra-ra cheerleading their way into a bigger and bigger business) I don’t see that ever happening, they will go on to suck forever. I would also like to add that I don’t claim to be the smartest, nor the best at what I do. I don’t have all of the answers, and I am a perpetual student of my discipline. I have contradicted things that I have said before, and I am sure that I will years from now as well. What I do have is passion, and integrity, and a commitment and desire to deliver to the best of my ability a valuable service to those who employ me. My door is always open to anyone seeking to discuss these matters or any others.

Alec's excellent response - he pretty much sums up my thoughts on it

An Open Letter Regarding CrossFit

I don’t normally respond to various letters, articles, blogs, posts, comments, etc… regarding CrossFit as a national movement simply because I am too busy growing my humble CrossFit gym and thriving. But today is different for me for some reason and I feel compelled.

My partner and I have always wondered about the future of the CrossFit movement. As we find ourselves as a movement progressing forward from days of underground garage gyms to warehouse “boxes” and eventually moving into massive fitness facilities in the 10s of thousands of square feet. This is the future of CrossFit as I see it.

We have pondered the topic of hundreds of new “certified” trainers being pumped out every weekend and watched in curiosity as subsequent affiliates began popping up all over the nation. We had the same questions about the ability of these “certified” trainers and new affiliates, at times thinking the same thing a lot of people think. Things like:
1) These people are diluting the brand.
2) They are causing destruction to what CrossFit really is.
3) They are injuring people.
4) They don’t know what they are doing.
5) They don’t know how to program, they are bad trainers, they SUCK…
6) Etc…

The list goes on and on. I have watched affiliates try to harm other affiliates, steal clients and trainers, and rip other CrossFit marketing out of the ground or off walls and buildings. I have watched verbal sparing on forums and blogs as people try to show how such and such is superior or inferior, etc…All in an effort to cover their own insecurity.

It all leads me back to the same consistent foundation CrossFit was built on that has been a major building block to the explosive growth. Excellence. People train with trainers who provide excellence. When the first WOD was posted on and the request was made to “post time to comments” the world of fitness was changed; our old fitness ideas where challenged, old mind frames refuted and all with the underlying foundation that we will back it up. And CrossFitter’s have been backing it up for years now. If a “new” trainer affiliates after getting certified and starts and gym and grows it through passion and enthusiasm to hundreds of clients and those clients are gaining strength, improving their gym times, dropping fat and lifting heavier every quarter, guess what? That is a good trainer. Now are they are good as you are? Do they know more about exercise physiology than you do? Are they creating superior athletes like you are? Maybe not. If they are unsafe or not knowledgeable their clients will all eventually leave them and find you. If they are creating massive success for their clients and breaking new PR’s all the time and they still keep growing and expanding and loving their success, then guess what? They are GREAT trainers. Those that complain that these people don’t know enough, are not good trainers, etc…are whiny whiny victims and need to shut up or go away.

Don’t you get it? A great trainer is someone who inspires those they train. They create new opportunities for their members; they push them and encourage them, and are invested in their lives and their success. If they are bad trainers their clients will either get hurt, hit plateaus, realize they don’t really know anything and they will leave. What are afraid of?

That’s why I don’t care if 100 new CrossFit gyms open up blocks apart from me. I spend every day improving ability to train people, deepening my knowledge in all areas around fitness and nutrition, learning and adapting to become better each day. If I lose a client to another gym because that gym does a better job training them or inspiring them, I don’t cry about how unfair life is, I learn and I get better. I’m more interested in helping those new gyms grow effectively, train better, and have massive success like I have.

“But Alec, the brand is being diluted; people are thinking they are getting trained at “CrossFit” when they are not.” I don’t give a ****. Why would I? People have been getting trained by “personal trainers” who know nothing about fitness for years and years now. Talk about a diluted brand image. The title of “Personal Trainers” means just about as much to me as Life Coach. I don’t know what the hell you do!

So, my open letter to the CrossFit community can be simplified into several succinct points as follows.

Get over yourself. Focus on becoming excellent in what you do and help those around you become excellent as well. Drop your insecurity and inferiority complex and get some confidence in your product and what you do. Focus on the foundational truths our community is built on. Love the fact that we are open source and affiliated versus carbon-copy franchises. Stop complaining about how unfair life is and own up to the reality you have created in your life. Your ego is not that special.

Oh, and one more thing. Show some damn respect and appreciation to CrossFit HQ for fighting through the BS it took to bring this revolution to the world and for helping fill your damn gym with clients simply through their “brand” and placing your link on their website.

Alec Hanson
OwnerCrossFit Costa Mesa

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Congrats Ben and Lyndi!

Some good friends of ours got Level 1 certified last weekend - congrats! Ben, why do you look mad???

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Read this article damnit!

Thanks Joel for sending me this article!

The Vanishing Youth Nutrient
By Susan Allport, Prevention

When Lisa Kepp (her name has been changed to protect privacy) was 2 years old, she was diagnosed with a neurological condition. She had not said a word in her short life—and it wasn't for want of trying. Lisa was so frustrated at not being able to form the words she clearly wanted to say that she flew into temper tantrums four or five times a day. The family was on pins and needles waiting for the next time the little girl would explode.

A pediatric neurologist diagnosed verbal apraxia, a speech disorder, and recommended that she receive intensive speech therapy. He suggested no other treatment. Lisa's mother had heard, though, about studies linking omega-3 fatty acids to intelligence and healthy brains, and she thought she'd give them a try. She purchased a bottle of Nordic Naturals' Children's DHA in liquid form and began putting half a teaspoon in her daughter's orange juice every morning. Within a week, the young girl was babbling and her tantrums stopped. Amazed, her mother spoke to the doctors, but none of them would engage her, as she puts it, in a conversation about omega-3s. So Lisa continued speech therapy—and her omega-3s—for a year and will be starting preschool this fall with her peers.

A happy anecdote, to be sure. Ask any scientist, though, and he will admit that without testing, we can't be certain that omega-3s fueled Lisa's recovery. But he can point to a growing body of scientific literature that touts the benefits of omega-3 supplementation. Studies show that these special fatty acids accumulate in the brain and can aid children with learning disabilities, reduce violence in prison populations, and even improve everyday mood.

We can only obtain these fats through our diet. They are essential to the development of healthy brains and other metabolically active tissues. Indeed, research from the world's top universities shows that these fats do much more than regulate our brains: They can also lower risk of heart disease, arthritis, and cancer. They even help fight wrinkles and may block fat-cell formation.

How could omega-3s possibly be this powerful? Scientists believe it's because Americans are suffering from a widespread deficiency. A recent study conducted by Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., of the Harvard School of Public Health, found that the absence of these fatty acids in our diet is responsible annually for up to 96,000 premature deaths in this country. Scientists, however, are learning that fixing this nutritional deficiency is a bit more complicated than simply telling people to eat more fish.

Our collective omega-3 deficiency ...

Every once in a while, a discovery comes along that changes everything about the way we see the world. In the early 16th century, Nicolaus Copernicus had such a moment when he discovered that Earth was not the center of the universe. Our new understanding of essential fats is that kind of discovery, and I was lucky enough, as a science writer, to make a small-yet-key contribution. While researching a book on omega-3s, I realized that the essential fats—the omega-3s and their close cousins, the omega-6s—change with the seasons. It might sound like a small idea, but it may soon fundamentally change the way you think about food.

First, let's start with omega-3s, what I'll call the spring fats. These are likely the most abundant fats in the world, but they don't originate in fish, as many believe. Rather, they are found in the green leaves of plants. Fish are full of omega-3s because they eat phytoplankton (the microscopic green plants of the ocean) and seaweed. In plants, these special fatty acids help turn sunlight into sugars, the basis of life on Earth. The spring fats speed up metabolism. They are fats that animals (humans included) use to get ready for times of activity, like the mating season. They're found in the highest concentrations in all the most active tissues: brains, eyes, hearts, the tails of sperm, the flight muscles of hummingbirds. Because fish have so many of these fats in their diets, they can be active in cold, dark waters. These fats protect our brains from neurological disorders and enable our hearts to beat billions of times without incident. But they are vanishing from our diet, and you'll soon understand why.

... And our omega-6 surplus

Next up are the omega-6s, what I'll call the fall fats. They originate in plants as well, but in the seeds of plants rather than the leaves. The fall fats are simply storage fats for plants. Animals require both—omega-3s and omega-6s—in their diets and their tissues. But omega-6s are slower and stiffer than omega-3s. Plus, they promote blood clotting and inflammation, the underlying causes of many diseases, including heart disease and arthritis. Omega-3s, on the other hand, promote blood flow and very little inflammation, which may prevent things like heart disease. The proper mix of these two fats helps create tissue with the right amount of blood flow and inflammation. But because they're in constant competition to enter our cells, if your diet consists of too many omega-6s, your body will be deficient in omega-3s. And that is what's been happening to us as we've been eating more and more seed fats in the form of soybean, corn and other vegetable oils.

Since 1909, according to the USDA, Americans have more than doubled their daily intake of omega-6s—from about 7 grams to around 18. One hundred years ago, heart disease was much less common in this country. Over the past century, though, heart disease has risen in tandem with our increasing intake of these seed fats, or omega-6s, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). So have neurological disorders like Lisa's, as well as depression, arthritis, obesity, insulin resistance and many cancers. While other dietary factors such as increased consumption of calories, trans fats and sugar undoubtedly contributed, our essential fatty acid imbalance is a key player in most of these illnesses.

Over the same time period, omega-3s began disappearing from our food supply. Cows used to be raised on grass and other greens, producing meat, milk and cheese with much higher concentrations of omega-3s. These were the animal products that our grandparents and great-grandparents grew up on, before industrial feedlots replaced family farms. Now these livestock are fed corn and soy, and their tissues are swamped with omega-6s. Chickens, too, used to eat grass and grass-eating bugs. Those chickens produced eggs and meat that were high in omega-3s, but now they're full of omega-6-rich fall fats.

We are now eating a diet that is supposed to fatten us up for winter, when weather is harsh and calories are scarce. But today food is never scarce for the average American. The base of our food supply has shifted from leaves to seeds, and this simple change means our bodies are storing more fat, leading to obesity and all its associated diseases.

How we got here

This is all too simple to be true, you might say. But arriving at this understanding was anything but simple. In the 1930s, the first family of essential fats was discovered and mapped by George and Mildred Burr at the University of Minnesota. These were the omega-6s. It was another 40 years before omega-3s were also found to be essential, by a researcher at Hormel named Ralph Holman. A great deal happened to our food supply in those decades. Due to farm subsidies, the acres of soybeans, for example, grown in the United States exploded from about 4 million to 70 million. Oil processors like Archer Daniels Midland mastered the process of extracting oil from these and other seeds, and vegetable seed oils—thought to be healthy—began to dominate our food supply as they were added to the foods that make up the center aisles of the grocery store.

At the same time, food chemists discovered that rancidity in packaged foods was caused by the oxidation of some minor but pesky fats: omega-3s. Scientists extended the shelf life of processed foods such as cookies, chips, cakes, breads and spreads by removing omega-3s—a nutrient that no one thought mattered. Health agencies, like the AHA, and the U.S. government also promoted omega-6s, because seed oils are low in saturated fat and free of cholesterol. So omega-6 oils, such as corn and soybean, they thought, were good for the heart.

Scientists have known since the early 1970s, however, that omega-6s also promote blood clotting and inflammation, two immediate and direct causes of heart disease. But because omega-6s were essential, doctors thought you had to take the good with the bad. By the time they learned that omega-3s protect our hearts and fight inflammation, omega-6s were already the foundation of our modern food supply.

Then, in the 1980s, epidemiological studies published in prestigious journals like the New England Journal of Medicine showed that fish-eating populations in Greenland and Japan are much less prone to heart disease. Omega-3s became associated with fish (rather than with green leaves), and that became the method recommended by such organizations as the AHA for us to obtain our omega-3s. The only problem is that eating more fish isn't a sustainable solution, as many of the world's fisheries are at the brink of collapse, according to a major study recently published in Science. Literally, there aren't enough fish in the world's oceans.

Obesity's real cause?

It wasn't until Australian researchers showed a clear difference between membranes full of omega-3 fats and ones full of omega-6 fats—a clear metabolic difference—that I explored the seasonal aspects of these two fats. When Tony Hulbert, Ph.D., at Australia's University of Wollongong, determined that the metabolism of a species—every species on the planet—is a function of the amount of omega-3s in its tissues, I began to connect the dots.

It is probably no coincidence, I realized, as I researched my book The Queen of Fats, that leaves are the most metabolically active tissues in plants, and brains and eyes are the most metabolically active tissues in animals: They are both full of omega-3 fats. Omega-3s speed up the activity of cells.

It is no coincidence, I realized, that omega-6s are simply a storage fat for plants. Both omega-6s and omega-3s play many vital, essential roles in animals, as I cannot emphasize enough. But in plants, the only role of omega-6s is to serve as a storage fat. Omega-6s are also the main polyunsaturated fat in the storage fat of animals: white adipose tissue—the belly fat of every overweight American.

It is no coincidence that hibernating animals such as the yellow-bellied marmot of Colorado do not go into hibernation when their diet is full of omega-3s, as it is in the spring and summer. Their diet must change to one rich in omega-6 seeds before these animals will slow down for the winter.

It is no coincidence that animals that migrate long distances—like the semipalmated sandpiper, which flies from Nova Scotia to South America—fill up on omega-3s for their long journey. These birds know what human athletes are just starting to learn: High omega-3 concentrations in muscle membranes lead to improved performance.

So it is no coincidence that as America shifted its diet—from one based on green leaves to one based on seeds—we became fatter and fatter and sicker and sicker. Our hibernation diet is exposing us to epidemics of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and brain disorders. Even infants, according to the Child and Family Research Institute of the University of British Columbia, are getting fatter—long before they could ever be accused of overeating—when they are fed formulas high in omega-6s. Sure, America's seed-based foods are remarkably cheap, but we spend the lowest percentage of our income on food and more on health care than any other country in the world.

Since publishing The Queen of Fats, I've continued to comb the literature for studies that shed light on the role that the essential fats play in nature. I came across one not too long ago in the journal Lipids about the African kudu and impala, showing that these animals also experience a shift in the amounts of omega-3s and omega-6s in their diets over the course of the rainy and dry seasons—rather than our seasons based on day length. It made me realize that these shifts are universal signals, experienced and interpreted by animals all over the planet—at least until we humans came along and devised a way of eating a diet rich in seed fats all year long.

There's a solution to our imbalance, but change is difficult, and we must first accept that polyunsaturates—omega-3s and omega-6s—are not one big happy family; rather, they are two competing families—spring fats and fall fats—with very different effects on cells and health. Once we've accepted that, making the necessary dietary improvements is relatively easy.

3 easy ways to increase omega-3s

The competition of omega-3s and omega-6s is happening all the time, not just when we take our fish oil capsules. The best way to ensure you have a healthy balance of essential fats is to have a source of omega-3s—and not too many omega-6s—at every meal.

Eat More Greens: Leafy greens, legumes and potatoes have a better balance of omega-3s to omega-6s than most seeds and grains. Omega-3s live in leaves as the omega-3 ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). Animals (like us) convert ALA into even more dynamic omega-3s: EPA and DHA. This conversion is somewhat inefficient, however, and that's why the next steps are so important.

Eat Healthier Meats: Cows raised on grass produce meat, milk and cheese with many more omega-3s than their corn- and soy-fed counterparts. Chickens fed a diet rich in flax and greens produce eggs that are as high in EPA and DHA as many species of fish. Some would argue that grass-fed meats are more expensive than grain-fed, but the former come without the very steep medical price tag of a diet high in omega-6s.

Eat Fish: Fish can also be a sustainable part of our new diet, as moderate fish consumption will be more effective when our diet has fewer omega-6s. Try to eat at least two meals of fish per week. Fish oil supplements can also help, as toddler Lisa's mother found, though they're not a long-term solution to this widespread nutritional deficiency.

10 easy ways to reduce omega-6s
Very simply, we must decrease our consumption of omega-6 oils. Snacking on seeds, edamame, and whole foods is still healthy. But cut back on processed foods, which are high in omega-6-laden seed oils. At home, cook with oils and fats with a healthy balance of omega-6s to omega-3s. A few oil seeds—canola and flax, for instance—have a very favorable ratio of the two families of essential fats, and they can be used by themselves (canola) or in combination with other oils (flax) to change the balance of omega-3s to omega-6s. Mix flax and canola with any of the other seed oils (corn, safflower, etc.) to produce a healthy blend. If you're curious about olive oil, it's still fine to use, as it's not high in omega-3 or omega-6s; it's fairly neutral. Other steps:

1. Replace processed cereal with cereal or oatmeal that contains flaxseed.
2. Make your own salad dressing with a mix of canola and olive oil.
3. Eat less fast food because it's all very high in omega-6 seed oils.
4. Look for potato chips that are fried in canola oil rather than cottonseed, soy, safflower, or sunflower oil.
5. Substitute walnuts for other nuts when you can because they're a seed that's high in omega-3s.
6. Make your own baked goods, replacing half the butter with canola oil.
7. Check food labels to avoid hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils.
8. Avoid omega supplements that contain both omega-3s and omega-6s. You'll see these labeled with terms like "Complete Omega."
9. Choose grass-fed pork, chicken, beef or bison whenever you can.
10. Avoid farmed fish because they are often fed corn and soy.

Provided by Prevention


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fittest Games 2009

Fittest Games 2009

Join us on Saturday, November 7th for San Anotio's 1st Annual Fittest Games Challenge.

Runners, cyclists, weightlifters and CrossFitter's unite for a one day test of who we are and what we do. All exercises will be demonstrated and we will have scaled categories so that everyoen CAN compete.

The event this year will consist of a Team Challenge (1 event), and an Individual Challenge (2 events in one day).

The Team Challenge requires teams of 4 (2 men and 2 women) to participate in the event. The event will be announced a few days prior to the Challenge. This event will be open to everyone regardless of ability and all are welcome to participate!

The Individual Challenge will consist of pre-selected exercises, weights, and rep schemes chosen at random by “hopper” at the event. This category will have Rx'd and a Scaled rankings.

Registration is limited to 20 teams of 4, and 30 Individuals.

Registration Cost is $25 per person before Oct 31st, 2009 and $35 per person after Oct 31st, 2009.

Register as a team competitor, individual competitor or both today! Your registration fee will cover you for both the team and the individual competition should you choose to compete in both (you don’t need to pay twice in other words).

On site registration will start at 9:00 am but teams should plan for a great event followed by a social gathering for food and refreshing beverages.

The Team Challenge Workout will be posted on Monday, November 2nd, 2009 at 10am.

Hurry cause this will fill fast!

*Exercises will be demonstrated, reviewed and discussed with competitors before each workout*

Prizes will be awarded to top 3 Teams as well as top three individual male and females

And last note...proceeds will be donated to support The Wounded Warrior Project.

Thank you!

Email us here: for more info or sign up below.

Crazy Ap!

OK all you iPhone junkies - here is an ap for guys tracking your food...

FoodScanner Demo from Andy Smith on Vimeo.


Monday was a quick one so tomorrow we have a AMRAP in 20 min

10 Burpee Box Jumps
20 Sit Ups

*There will be no class over the 4 day weekend, The gym will be open for training holiday hours on Friday and Monday, but the trainers need a couple days off, Sorry*

Monday, October 5, 2009


150 Wallball shots for time
Men 20 lbs 10ft tgt
Women 14 lbs 8ft tgt

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Congrats Michael

Due to FGB 4 and my MRX, this post is a little late but everyone congratulate Michael on getting his Level 1 cert - now, see if you can find him!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Hoodies are coming!

OK, pick your color, get with a trainer and let them know the size and color, slap $30 in their hands and do it all before 15 Oct - 3, 2, 1, GO!

On 15 October, I am dropping the order. We won't be ordering any extra to sell - this is a pre-pay deal so get on board and get your info and money in before you're left out in the 70 degree Texas winter freezing to death!

Sorry for the Late Post

Todays WOD

3 rounds for time of:

400 meter run

30 sit-ups

15 dead lifts (men: 250# / women: 175#)

We have Hoodies we are going to sell, they will be in gray and green, the cost is 30 dollars cash up front, The design will be the same as our traditional shirt.

Keep an eye on the website for the weekend becuase I will be posting the top two shirt designs for you to vote on