Monday, August 30, 2010


I've been dealing with some pretty annoying hip pain for quit a while now, and I knew that several of the CrossFit Central coaches(Crystal Nelson, John Del Peral and Crystal McReynolds) had been seeing Sam Sneed, a certified Active Release Techniques(ART) practitioner, for some of the nagging issues that they had.  Each of them had all been very pleased with the diagnosis, information, and treatment of their aches and pains, so I thought that it would be worth a try.  I was blown away with the results of the very first treatment!!!

Sam was awesome about taking the time to ask and understand what it was that was bothering me, and then continued to visually dissect my movements to get a clear picture of what was the root of the problem.  This is what struck me as being completely different from all the other methods of "rehab" that I'd tried before - He was treating the root cause, not just the symptoms.  

The first session took about an hour, and by the end of it the pain in my hip had gone...I had an understanding of what was going on...I had several exercises and stretches to do on my own, and most importantly, we had developed a game plan to get back me to 100% again.  The whole experience was refreshing and gave me hope that I wouldn't have to deal with this issue for the rest of my life.

The thing is that you don't have to be in pain to benefit from Sam's amazing service.  I have already talked to many of my STRICTLY STRENGTH people about getting into see him simply because with more mobility comes more strength.  For example, if you are unable to get your arms back for a good low-bar back squat, or if you have a difficult time finding the proper position for an Overhead Squat, or if you have trouble getting to the true bottom of your squats - you are limiting your potential in that movement.  

A.R.T. is a hugely beneficial tool that you should all experience at least once, and after the first session, you will be motivated to step it up to the next level.  To get started:

Feel free to contact Sam at 281.772.8163 to schedule an appointment at SicFit Austin.


Be sure to let him know I sent you!!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Yesterday, I was uppin' my game and reading some of the blogs that I find to be awesome resources, when I ran across a great blog post made by my man - THE Underground Strength Coach, Zack Even-Esh.  In his blog, he goes into detail about his start as a "no-name", unorthodox strength coach that was underestimated from the go.  Now, Zach is one of the biggest names in the strength training game!  Needless to say, he's shut his critics right up.
I love reading his story because with the creation of the STRICTLY STRENGTH program, I have found that there are a lot of people out there that question what you're all about.  To those people, all I have to say is...
Watch me change the lives of others through the medium of STRENGTH!!!

 To all the members in my classes, and to those of you that are currently in STRICTLY STRENGTH, know and understand that everything I ask of you, I expect from myself, first! 
It is my duty to lead you all from the front.  

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Jeremy bustin' out a solid tempo DL
Diana lookin' strong from the GO!
The 15 individuals in the STRICTLY STRENGTH program have already made huge strides towards improved form and technique, understanding of why we do things a specific way, and more confidence under large loads...and it's only been 2 weeks!  It's been awesome watching people improve so quickly...and I am pumped to see the final results of the group!!!

This rapid progression is due to several important factors, but the #1 has to be the smaller group setting in which each person receives more attention while performing the movements.  In smaller groups the individuals are also able to see and hear what ques and pointers I give to the others in that group, which allows them to "take in" this info in yet another way.  It is powerful stuff when you combine a little more time, smaller numbers, and the details!!!
 Although the progress has already been substantial, it brings me to the point of this blog:
You have to apply the things you are taught, even when the coach is not watching!!!
This goes for everyone looking to improve in anything!!!
If you spend the time to learn a skill - CrossFit or otherwise - It is to your benefit that you take the new-found knowledge, and APPLY IT TO ALL APPLICABLE INSTANCES.

Mary drivin' the knees open for a great LB Squat!
I'm sure this is pretty straight-forward for y'all, but a simple example would be the back squat.  If I teach you all the fine details of a "perfect" back squat, as your coach, I want you to practice that skill every chance you get!  This will only accelerate your adoption of quality, efficient movement, and erase the faulted form you practiced prior to being enlightened.
Practice makes Perfect.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


This morning, The Wolfpack(CC guys crew) met at Barton Springs for a swim, swing, and run WOD.  I knew that the swim would be a challenge for me, but I did not expect it to break me down like it did!  Although humbling, it was awesome to hit a new and challenging WOD with the Wolfpack! 

For Time: 33.41(silly)
200m Swim
Hill Run Up
25 KB Swings
25 Goblet Squats
25 KB Snatch(L)
25 KB Snatch(R)
25 KB Pushups
Hill Run Down
200m Swim

Today, I am buying some goggles in preparation for a routine trip to Barton Springs each weekend to check one more item off of my "Suck List".

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


In CrossFit, we all know that there are an infinite number of movements, skills, and tasks that can pop-up in any combination...sometimes leaving us asking, "What shoes should I wear?". 
I have been CrossFitting long enough to have run into this problem several times, and now I feel like I've got enough experience under my belt to help others make that call when it's game time!

In my opinion, every CrossFitter should have 3 different types of shoes that cover all the bases.  The first of which, is the least expensive(about $40), but yet, probably the most used...the Converse All-Star or Chuck Taylor.  These shoes provide a flat, solid sole that is essential for control, balance, and proprioception(sense of knowing where your body is in space).  Personally, I use my Chucks for most every WOD I hit, but especially if it involves any combination of heavy lifting and running, box jumps, or any task that requires you to be light on your feet.  The downfalls of the Chucks are that they tend to be a little heavier that most of today's "Cross-Trainers", but on the flip-side, you most definitely DO NOT want to be lifting heavy loads in Nike Shox or other "High-Tech" shoes.  Honestly, in regards to a "do-all" shoe, simplicity is the key.

The second shoe every CrossFitter should have is a good pair of Olympic Lifting shoes.  This may seem overkill for some of you...and it probably is, but when you experience the difference of back squatting, snatching, cleaning, overhead squatting, etc. in Oly. shoes rather than your running shoes(water-beds), you will find the purchase to be a great investment!  Oly. shoes provide the firmest and most stable lifting environment.  The sole of the shoe is usually made of a wood, plastic, or a dense rubber material that forms a lifted heel.  This heel allows the lifter to increase the range of motion in the ankle and knee without sacrificing lumbar tightness, which is usually the first thing to go when in a deep squat.  In addition, the sole of the the Oly. shoe is often times wider that a traditional shoe, which allows for a solid lifting foundation that does not compress when under load - allowing the energy you're exerting during a lift to be fully translated into a quality lift!

The last shoe that I recommend everyone has is a light-weight, thin and firm-soled running shoe.  This can be a tricky item to find due to the fact that most every running shoe has at least 3 inches of foam or hi-tech shock...thingys forming the sole that compress like a sponge with every step.  It is very important that these shoes fit comfortably, as it is likely that you'll be doing most of your longer running WODs in them, as well as some of the WODs that could be done in the Chucks(above).  I have recently found a great shoe made by Inov-8 that encompasses all things CrossFit, although I found them to be a little unstable for heavy squatting.  Another great option are Five Fingers.  I know y'all have seen them - the crazy sock-shoes that have individual slots for your toes.  These are an amazing all-around shoe, but require a lot of getting used to.  I will caution you to NOT go out for a 10k the first day you have these!!!  It takes time to adjust and adapt to these shoes, but when you're ready, they will cover all aspects of CrossFit.

In short, buy shoes that are comfortable, stable, and provide a firm sole.  If you can see compression in the sole when walking, they are too soft!  
A soft sole = lost energy = failed lifts and slower times!!!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

STRICTLY STRENGTH - session 1 Sold Out and Underway

STRICTLY STRENGTH is SOLD OUT and Day 1 is in the was AWESOME!  
We performed the CrossFit Total, which we will be using as a baseline strength test that we'll retest in about 2 months.  I gotta say, I think this group has tons of potential to get freakin' strong!  
I'm looking forward to getting the other two groups rockin' and rollin' this week!

6am Crew

7am Crew

8am Crew

Monday, August 9, 2010


Coach Mark Rippetoe, author of Starting Strength and numerous other strength training related books and articles,  explains this in his article in the March 2006 CrossFit Journal, titled, The Slow Lifts.

"So, you ask, why do we squat, press, deadlift? Because these lifts work all the muscles and joints in the body, they simulate normal human movement patterns, and they produce strength appropriate to all uses of the muscles and joints. They can be trained fast or slow, done with a minimum of equipment, and form important components of the quick (i.e., Olympic) lifts. They affect the body in a systemic way, producing sufficient stress that a hormonal response is produced to facilitate recovery and adaptation. They are very hard. They produce psychological toughness when trained correctly. And absolutely no one has ever gotten brutally, ungodly strong without doing them. What about the bench press? The bench press is inferior to the (overhead) press as an overall exercise, but it does allow for the development of greater upper-body strength than the press since the position on the bench is supported. The fact that bigger weights are done on the bench is good for upper body strength, but bad in that the limiting factor is the ability of the trunk to support the weight while it is lifted, and that doesn’t get trained on the bench. So, it’s a trade-off. All standard commercial gyms have several benches, so it’s easy enough to do them, but be sure to use the press for at least half of your upper-body work."

"The squat, press, deadlift, and bench press have been used for decades by the strongest athletes on the planet. There is good reason for that. Any program that doesn’t use them is inferior to one that does, and any athlete who neglects them is doing less than what is possible in his performance, and less than what is absolutely necessary to maximize his strength."
Pretty solid reasons, right?