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  • Keeping active at Thanksgiving

    By Jon Alarcon | In Community, Health & Lifestyle | on November 23, 2014

    Oh boy, you knew they would be coming soon… the obligatory “Don’t eat too much at the holidays and overindulge because it will kill your training and reset all the gains and progress you have made on that 6-pack” post. This post is possibly a reminder to myself, as I am watching KC make stuffings for a dinner we are heading to later tonight. But the truth is that I shouldn’t be the one to say “don’t eat this” and “don’t eat that”. And I recognize how hard it is to eat clean during the holiday season, especially when most people you may be spending time with people, especially family, that don’t have the same active lifestyle and diet as you. So here are some habits that have helped navigate some of the holidays.

    • Build active traditions: Many families I know have some sort of annual tradition, such as the family football game. When I was younger we always had basketball games at grandma’s house. So if you don’t have such traditions, maybe it’s a good time to introduce them? One of the things I look forward to the most about Thanksgiving is going on a hike with my little brother and sister-in-law in the morning, which is not only great time spent with family, but also a great chance to get prepped for later.
    • Time activity intelligently: Let’s be honest, are you really going to make yourself do burpees or go for a run after pumpkin pie? I’m not…but I’ve lied to myself in the past thinking that I would. So budgeting time to do something active in the morning would be much smarter.
    • Make things harder for yourself: “Say whaaaa? Aren’t the holidays stressful enough as is? Why would I make them harder?” No, I don’t mean more stressful, I mean more difficult. Many times I find myself segregating workouts as only happening at the gym, or when I intentionally put on workout clothes. But even things like deciding to walk or biking to the store and carry the groceries home can have a big impact on our health. So try to identify things that you use in your life that make it easier, and see if you can not use them to help you become more active.

    So what are some of your favorite holiday traditions?

    Rest Day 11.23.14

  • Rules of Successful Exercise

    By Jake | In CrossFit | on November 22, 2014

    According to Mark’s Daily Apple, there are 10 Rules of Successful Exercise. While his list is purely based off of his own personal experiences, I can see the reasoning behind his selection of the 10 rules. You can check out his entire post by following the link above. If that doesn’t work just go to his site and find the post from November 5th of this month. I went ahead and selected some of his rules to discuss a little more in detail.

    Do the Thing You Love- This one is first on his list and I think it is the most important. Sometimes we do things just out of habit and go through the motions of what we are doing. I believe the ones who truly love their sport or exercise get the most out of it. When you love your sport or exercise you will subject yourself to all the good and bad feelings that come along with it. I love to run, but there were times during my training that the wear and tear would break me down and I would continue to push on through because that is what it would take to improve.

    Get a Workout Buddy (Or Buddies)- Our gym is evidence alone that our WODs are that much more fun and enjoyable when we are pushed by someone who is going through the same thing. I see this rule mostly in the team workouts we do. I see our athletes push themselves a little bit more just because they don’t want to let their teammate down.

    Find Flow- This is the exact same thing as being in the “Zone”. Have you ever played a game or went through a WOD where everything just went right for you? How much more enjoyable did it feel?

    Savor How Exercise Makes You Feel- When we hit a PR on a lift or string multiple reps together we get that “feel good” reaction. You feel very confident about yourself and on top of the world. Remember that feeling. Exercise is supposed to be enjoyable and it is great to savor the movement. The same can be said for the exact opposite. We all know that nasty burn we get from certain movements like wall balls. It may not be the most pleasant feeling, but it does remind us that we can push through the pain.

    Go ahead and click the link to see the rest of Mark’s Rules and post your thoughts to comments.

    WOD 11.22.2014

    A) 3 Rounds-

    • 10 Atlas Stone to Shoulder
    • 3 Rope Climbs


    3 Rounds-

    • 10 Strict HSPU
    • 50′ Yoke Carry (3x BW)

    B) 3 Rounds-

    • 50′ Farmers Carry
    • 10 Dips
    • 20 Double Unders


    4 Rounds-

    • 1 Rope Climb
    • 250m Row


  • Play

    By Al | In Community, Health & Lifestyle, Outdoor | on November 21, 2014

    Today we are bombarded with more sensory overload than probably any other generation that has come before us. Smartphones, email, Facebook, Twitter, text messages, video games, satellite TV with 1000′s of channels can provide endless opportunities to occupy our time. But is that really the best way that we should spend our free time? It may give us temporary entertainment but that fleeting pleasure doesn’t always lead to improving our quality of life.

    In Mark Sisson’s The Primal Blueprint, play is one of the 10 Primal Blueprint Laws that the author believes will lead us down a path to improved health. Play simply refers to activities that are preferably physical in nature but most of all fun! Unplugging from daily life and getting outdoors and enjoying the pleasant weather that we are fortunate to have this deep into fall. Taking a hike along some of the local trails. Getting together with some friends and tossing around the football. Taking the kids to the park or a local pier to enjoy an afternoon of fishing. Get together with friends and start a book club, take up painting, join a bowling or softball league.

    The possibilities are endless. Leisure time that challenges the mind and/or body has been shown to improve immune function, reduce stress and enhance the enjoyment of life. The main thing is to get outside, leave the digital distractions behind and reinforce social bonds with our family and friends through good old fashioned fun just like we used to back in the day before the street lights came on!

    Monday – Wednesday Regular Schedule
    Thanksgiving CLOSED
    Friday 9am and 10am CrossFit classes
    Saturday Regular Schedule

    WOD 11.21.2014
    A. Close-Grip Bench Press 3X5 3010

    Team WOD (teams of 3-4 with 2:00 staggered starts)
    40 Wallballs
    30 Ball Slams
    20 Man Makers
    10 Muscle Ups (can sub bar muscle ups)

    B. Bench Press 3X5 3010

    Team WOD (teams of 3-4 with 2:00 staggered starts)
    20 Wallballs
    20 Ball Slams
    20 Burpees
    20 Box Jumps
    20 Dumbbell Push Press
    20 Knees to Elbow

  • Two Tools -> Perfectly Cooked Steak

    By Holley | In Recipes | on November 20, 2014

    If you are looking for a foolproof way to cook your steaks exactly to your liking, every single time, there are just two items that you need, a cast iron pan and a digital thermometer that goes in the oven. We have this Polder digital thermometer and it works great. Not only does this method allow you to cook your steaks evenly and consistently, but they will be extremely juicy and retain their moisture. The steps are pretty simple, here goes:

    1. Take the steaks out of the fridge, pat them dry and let them get as close to room temperature as possible. The closer to room temp they are when you cook them, the more evenly they’ll cook.

    2. In the meantime, pre-heat the oven to 400F with the cast iron pan in the oven.

    3. Season the steak with salt and pepper, maybe some garlic powder too. Season it on both sides.

    4. Once the oven and the pan reach 400F, carefully take the pan out of the oven and put it on a stove top on high. Place the steak in the pan, apply some pressure and allow it to cook for 30-45 seconds. Then flip the steak over and repeat.

    5. Once the steak has seared for 30-45 seconds per side, insert the oven thermometer in the thickest section of the steak and set it to your desired temperature. We like medium rare (see pic), so we set it to 128F (good temp reference here). Then place the pan with the steak back in the oven and wait for it to reach temp. The great thing about the thermometer is that it has an alarm on it, so you don’t have to wait around and watch it, it’ll beep at you once it reaches temp.

    6. THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT STEP. Once the steak reaches temp, pull it out of the oven and put in on a plate and let it rest for 10 minutes. Do not pass GO, do not collect $200, do not cut into the steak…just let it rest for 10 agonizing minutes. Once the 10 minutes has passed, serve and enjoy. I wouldn’t wait much longer than that though, it’ll start to get cold. There is science behind the resting for 10 minutes, this is what allows the steak to be extra juicy and hold it’s moisture. You can read about that science here, if you don’t feel like reading, the pictures tell the story (juices and flavors in your meat, not on your plate).

    Yup, as simple as that! Perfect steaks every time and you don’t even have to walk out to your grill.


    WOD 11.19.2014

    Back squat 5×2 at 2210 tempo (reference this post on tempo)

    Weighted pull up 1-1-1 at 3010 tempo

    * must be able to do at least 3 unassisted strict pull ups

    Back Squat 3×5 3010
    Bent over Row 3×6-8 1015

    Bent over Row:
    1. 1 second pull to chest
    2. 5 second hold at chest
    3. 1 second down
    4. No rest between reps

  • Veggie 101: Endive, Holiday Edition

    By Alia | In CrossFit | on November 19, 2014

          Endive (ˈen-ˌdīv, ˌän-ˈdēv) pronounced ‘on-deeve’ is a leafy plant closely related to daisies. It is can be served raw or cooked. Mild and pleasantly bitter, endive is actually a secondary leafy growth from the chicory root. Some chicory root is used in coffee as an additive. Many varieties exist and the common endive seen in most supermarkets is the California red and white. Endive may be beyond the recreational gardeners grasp when it comes to growing. There is a two-step process before it is ready to be harvested. The first growth involves 150 days in the field, where the chicory grows from seed into a leafy green plant with a deep tap root. Come harvest time the tops of the leafy chicory plant are cut off, the roots dug up, and then placed in cold storage where they enter a dormancy period. Required roots for consumption are removed from cold storage for their second growth, which takes 28 days in dark, cool, humid rooms. At which time the familiar tight bundles of leaves have matured. I’d like to make a side note that I just went ahead and renamed this plant “enDIVA” because it is so high maintenance. It is high in beta carotene and potassium. It has been thought to aid in lowering cholesterol and slow food metabolism.
          The holiday season of crackers and cheese boards or chip and dip fare is upon us. The wheat in the crackers can have an adverse affect on the body as we all know and it’s easy to get carried away, especially with a good dip. A great alternative to using crackers as a mode of food transportation are separated leaves of the endive. It’s also a very green (pun intended) way to serve individual appetizers as an alternative to multiple small plates or fancy serving spoons. While most will encounter this plant in it’s raw form it can also be grilled as a side or baked into savory breads and biscuits; there’s always my favorite, slicing them in half, wrapping in bacon and baking. Endive is available all year round and can be found at many farmers markets. Next time you have a gathering or want a healthier alternative to chips or just need variety in your salad grab an endive.

          Special birthday shout out to Tom D. I recently learned that Tom is a country music fan because he somehow convinced Coach Al and the 4pm class to workout to country. I give him a hard time about that now but Tom, you are an inspiring person to be around and it’s always a joy! If you see him this week wish him a great birthday.

    WOD 08.19.2014
    Row 2K
    Rest 4 minutes, then:
    A “Big Grace”
    30 Clean and Jerks with Atlas Stone, Axle bar or Keg
    B . For time:
    25 Kettlebell clean and jerks (per hand)
    Rest 4 minutes, then:
    Run 1 mile

  • Tempo Lifts: What and Why?

    By Ruth | In Lifting | on November 18, 2014

    All of you know we value the importance of strength training here at Intrepid. Most days, you’ll see a prescribed lift followed by a rep scheme. Today I want to talk about the importance of tempo and its application during lifts. We posted about this years ago, but never truly implemented it in our CrossFit classes. However, those of you who have done any pause squats (insert groan) in our Weightlifting and Powerlifting classes have been exposed to a tempo lift. You also realize fast how hard it is to count correctly while under load.

    Tempo is prescribed with 4 numbers and follow the lift and rep scheme: Back Squat 3×5 3010. Most of you are used to a one second up, one second down rep in most lifts, which would look like “1010.” One second down, no hold at bottom, one second up, no rest at top before next rep. Keep in mind the lifts that apply to tempo are the slower lifts (back/front squat, press/bench, deadlift, pull up, etc) and not the dynamic Olympic lifts like the clean & jerk and snatch.

    So let’s back up a bit. Every lift has 4 phases. Take a back squat:
    1. Eccentric (or negative/lowering): Squat down
    2. Pause: Bottom of squat
    3. Concentric (or positive): Stand up
    3. Pause: Before next rep

    Or a Deadlift:
    1. Concentric: Picking up the bar
    2. Pause: At the top
    3. Eccentric: Lowering the bar
    4. Pause: Bar on floor

    Notice how the squat starts with the eccentric/negative phase while the deadlift starts with the concentric/positive. It’s important to note this because tempo is always written with the ECCENTRIC portion of the lift first, regardless of when it occurs in the order of the movement. Applying this to the squat, a “3010” squat would be:
    1. Three seconds down (3)
    2. No pause at bottom (0)
    3. Stand up (1)
    4. No pause at top (0)

    Compared to today’s 2210 deadlift:
    1. Deadlift to the top (1)
    2. No pause at top (0)
    3. 2 seconds on way down (2)
    4. 2 seconds pause bottom before starting next rep (2)

    Yes this may sound confusing at first but the coaches will help you through this and it will feel like second nature in no time.

    Why is prescribing tempo important?  Having to control the lift through all aspects of the movement will expose any weaknesses during your lift. It also creates a constant from week to week and a more accurate measure of improvement.   Also, knowing how slowly you should squat/press/pull your weight will dictate how much time is spent under tension and correspond to how much time you should rest between sets. For now, rest as needed, but in a week or two, we’ll be prescribing rest time between sets.

    WOD 11.18.14

    A Deadlift 1×5 @2210

    3 Rounds:
    20 Weighted Lunges (33% Bodyweight in each hand)
    400m Run
    Max Kipping Pull Ups

    *Must be able to do a minimum of 15 kipping pull ups unbroken when fresh to qualify for A
    *Post total time and pull ups
    *Lunges are in place and not walking. Use DB or KB if possible.

    B. Deadlift 3×5 @2210

    3 Rounds:
    20 Weighted Reverse Lunges or Step Ups
    400m Run
    10 Kipping Pull Ups

  • For regular followers of our Intrepid Blog, this topic may sound familiar as Coach Alia has posted on using a car buffer to help with mobility and recovery in her post, “Buff, Buff, and Away“. In that post she gave us general tips on how to use the buffer and why the buffer’s vibration is beneficial to breaking up fascial adhesions, stimulating blood flow, and helping drain waste that has accumulated in muscle tissue. If that wasn’t enough, using the buffer takes far less effort than most sessions on a foam roller or lacrosse ball, and even seems to help increase the tissue temperature of the area being buffed further aiding in the warm-up process which is nice in colder weather like it’s been in Portland.  Although this might sound repetitive, using the buffer is still a new concept so for your reference, here’s the video Alia included in her post:

    I’ve found Brett’s rules work well: Stay off bone (doesn’t feel great but also doesn’t provide any benefit), Start with the flat surface of the buffer on the muscles (even if you feel like you need more pressure, the goal here is to help relax and loosen the tissue for deeper, more intense pressure), and finally if you want more direct pressure go to the edge of the buffer (make sure you’re not tensing up the muscle, but staying as relaxed as possible). Although I wouldn’t completely get rid of any foam roller and lacrosse balls, the buffer is about the same price or cheaper than most foam rollers and I would prioritize the buffer over roller when putting together your home or office mobility kits. Just make sure to get a random orbit buffer.

    In my opinion, the most under utilized mobility tool is another person, a partner, or mobility “Super-Friend” as K-Star and Coach Alia like to call it. Brett does a great job demonstrating how someone can help use the buffer on someone else in hard to reach or hard to get good leverage places on the upper body and backside of the body. Sure you can get creative by propping the buffer up on things but nothing’s going to beat the helping hand of someone else. Just remember to keep one another informed on the amount of pressure, areas to focus on more, and when to move on to somewhere else. Then return the favor and swap. Another area I recommend working with the help of a partner are the lats. Just lay on your side like Brett shows when buffing the IT band, but instead of working the side of the legs move the buffer up to large muscle on the side of the torso (the ones that get sore after pull-ups). This can also be done standing but I find that side-lying is best.

    Here’s another video from the knowledgeable folks at Darkside Strength/Derby City CrossFit that we saw on the Juggernaut Strength site endorsing the use of a buffer for pre-workout prep:

    WOD 11.17.14

    Press 5×3

    A) Tabata Elizabeth – 8 Total Rounds of 20s Work/10s Rest, Alternate movements each set (4 Rounds of each movement)

    • Squat Cleans (135/95)
    • Ring Dips

    **Must be able to do >18 Air Squats in 20 seconds to perform WOD A, and if using a band pick one that allows 10 unbroken dips when fresh

    B) Tabata Push-Ups/Squats – 8 Total Rounds of 20s Work/10s Rest, Alternate movements each set (4 Rounds of each movement)

    • Air Squats
    • Push-ups

    Rest 2 minutes after performing A or B

    Tabata Row for calories – 8 Total Rounds of 20s Work/10s Rest

  • Should I workout when I’m sick?

    By Jon Alarcon | In Health & Lifestyle, Recovery | on November 16, 2014

    It’s that time of year again…Flu season!! Oh, you thought I meant the holidays? Well, I suppose that too. But with changes in weather, colder temperatures, extra holiday stress, etc, our immune systems are working in overdrive to help keep us healthy. The last couple of years I have worked out hard throughout the year, only to see some of that progress halt a little by getting sick at the end of the year. When we’re feeling run down, most of us have a tendency to not want to do much of anything, and conventional wisdom says if you’re not feeling good, just rest. However, this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case!

    Obviously if we are contagious, or think we have a chance of being contagious, we should stay home and not share with others. That conventional wisdom holds true. But even from home, getting out from under the covers and getting a little sweat going can be helpful, as some online sources like WebMD indicate. So there is some truth to “sweating it out”!

    To summarize the article, if you have a fever, or lung issues leading to shortness of breath, don’t workout. But the following minor symptoms don’t necessarily have to stop us from a jog around the block or other forms of exercise:

    • Runny nose
    • Nasal congestion
    • Sneezing
    • Headache

    I’ve found that mixing in a short jog (like about 1-2 miles) on the back side of being sick helps me kick it 1-2 days earlier than if I had just stayed indoors. Hopefully everyone is able to stay healthy this year!

    Rest Day 11.16.14

  • Master’s Showdown

    By Jake | In Competition, CrossFit | on November 15, 2014

    In about 2 hours, our very own Mike C. will be participating in the Master’s Showdown hosted by Legendary Competitor. This event will be held at Crossfit 714 located in the city of Orange. Legendary Competitor’s website shows that there are 12 heats in today’s event. Mike will be in Heat 11 with Event #1 taking place at 11:30am and Event #2 at 3:30pm. Just like every Crossfit competition out there, there will also be a third WOD known as a Floater. The good thing about the Floater is that takes place throughout most of the day giving the athlete a chance to sign up for it. Ideally athletes want to complete the Floater with enough time to recover for their other events. Below are some details about the WODs that Mike will be doing.

    Event #1- Time Cap 12 Minutes

    3 Rounds for time:

    12 CTB/Pullups

    Run 200m

    9 Weighted Step Ups w/ plate

    Run 200m

    6 Overhead Squats

    *Mike will be required to use a 45lb plate for the step ups to a 24” box and 95lbs for the OH squats.

    Event#2- Time Cap 12 Minutes

    10 Ground to Overhead

    20 Burpees Facing Bar (step out ok)

    30 Kb Swings

    20 Burpees Facing Bar

    10 Ground to Overhead

    *Mike will be using 135lbs for his ground to overhead and will swing 53lbs for his kettle bell.

    There are no details about the Floater. All the athletes know is that rowing will be involved. My best guess is that it will be a distance of 500 to 1000 meters for time.

    Over the last 5 weeks I have seen Mike putting in the time to get ready for this event. We wish Mike the best of luck today! If anyone is free go ahead and make some time to stop by and cheer on Mike. I know a couple of us will make our way out to 714.

    Fun Fact: In his first Crossfit competition ever his hard work landed him a spot on the podium (1st place to be exact).

    WOD 11.15.2014

    AMRAP 20 Minutes

    • 5 Burpees
    • 1 Rope Climb
    • 30 Double Unders
  • Deep Practice

    By Al | In Lifting, Philosophy | on November 14, 2014

    In the book, The Talent Code, author Daniel Coyle argues that talent is grown, not born. Of the 3 main methods towards talent acquisition, the first – Deep Practice – goes well with what a good strength program stresses.

    Technique first, consistency second, and then intensity.

    Many may be familiar with Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers, that reintroduced many to the 10,000 hour / 10-year path towards skill mastery. Much like Gladwell’s book, The Talent Code, stresses that mastery stemming from Deep Practice can be achieved by a few methods:

    Chunk it Down — Break down the components of the skills into as many parts as you can and practice them slowly. A lift like the snatch can be improved by working positions especially from the hang position. Breaking the lift into separate components can result in a better understanding of the steps to completing a properly executed rep.

    Repetition – Repeat the broken-down components. Once the broken-down components are better understood, a full lift can be attempted at a low weight to allow room for technical development. As time passes, loads can be increased slowly as long as technical proficiency is still present.

    Feel— You should feel in tune with what you’re practicing, especially to identify the mistakes you make (so as to immediately work on correcting them). After repetitions are repeated over an extended period of time, the lift becomes more familiar and mistakes can be identified and corrected much quicker.

    We all know what happens if attention is not given to the foundation of a structure. It crumbles under load.

    With the more technical movements, taking special care to execute a lift correctly will lead to better movement pattern development.

    WOD 11.14.2014

    Power Snatch 3X3

    4 Rounds, Not For Time:
    10 Ball Ups
    7-10 Ring Dips
    15 yard Stone Shoulder lunges (or sub carry)

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