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  • Childhood Obesity

    By Marcus | In Nutrition | on August 20, 2014

    Today’s post is just a short PSA. I saw the video below and found it really hit a nerve, as childhood obesity is a growing problem in our country. If you’re a parent or soon to be one, think about both what kind of example you set for your little one as well as what habits are you instilling in them. Their impressionable minds are ever-recording and they will carry those habits into adulthood. Do you use food (especially junk food/candy) as a reward? Do you encourage them to be active and play sports? Do you keep them quiet with a smartphone, tablet or video game? Just to be clear, this isn’t about Paleo or Whole30 — it’s about overall health and wellness. Take a couple minutes and have a watch:

    WOD 08.20.14

    Deadlift 3-3-3

    5 Bear Reps (135/95)
    10 Unbroken T2B
    50 Double Unders
    *penalty for broken Bear reps or T2B’s will be 10 burpees on the spot*

    7 Bear Reps (95/65)
    10 T2B
    30 Double Unders
    *Penalty for broken Bear reps 5 burpees on the spot*

  • When we teach ring dips to someone who is new to them, we usually say 1 ring dip is like doing 3 standard dips. But it’s actually not nearly that simple. Just holding a ring support (as in the above pic) requires a good deal of midline stability, scapular strength, and shoulder stabilization. Once you’ve mastered a ring support, you still have to acquire stability in every part of that dip, from the top to the bottom and back up. The full ring dip also requires triceps strength.

    What we commonly see when athletes have poor scapular strength and stability is their shoulders rise up into their ears, the rings shake throughout the movement, or worse the rings move away from the body. If their triceps are weak, we end up seeing the body transfer the work to the upper back and bend at the hips, resulting in an exaggerated asian bow. Or sometimes we see the palms turn behind you in an attempt to recruit secondary muscles (or because of internal rotation restriction), which puts your shoulders at risk for injury.

    A few ways to counter all this is to properly progress your ring dips. Make sure the rings are shoulder width apart and the buckles are raised up away from the rings. I’ll start from the easiest and work my way up, while maintaining perfect midline, shoulder, and body positions:

    -Bench dips with vertical torso and proper shoulder position (back and down)
    -Parallette dips, then later with legs raised
    -Matador (standard dips)
    -Ring support
    -Jump to ring support with rings at shoulder height
    -Ring support with negative to a depth where you can maintain tension (goal is to get to full depth (shoulders below parallel)
    -Ring dip positives, starting at full depth and pressing up to support. Jump down and repeat.
    -Strict Ring dips

    Some cues to remember through your dip:
    1. Shoulders down, rings against your body, and palms facing your body at all times.
    2. Midline tight, hollow position throughout (so not ramrod straight)
    3. Head up, chest up.
    4. Lift your chest before pressing out from the bottom.
    5. Maintain tension through dip.
    6. Try to set the rings up shoulder height so you have to keep your body in hollow (vs bent knees).

    If you are using a band for your dips, you must use the red, purple, or yellow at most. Don’t rely on the bands to hold the rings close and don’t try to be a human slingshot and crash down in to the bottom in hopes of more momentum coming up. Be smart and stick to whichever band keeps your form intact. If you are doing all your sets unbroken on the band, go lighter.

    Check out Carl Paoli’s dip below for a great example of a fantastic dip. Note the global flexion (ie hollow body position), upright chest, and perfect body control:

    WOD 08.19.14

    Power Clean 3-3-3

    4 Rounds:
    10 Ring Dips
    240m Run

    **prefer unassisted negatives/positives to banded dips if possible**

  • All our classes are cancelled this Saturday, Aug 23rd due to our Weightlifting Competition.

    There are still 5 spots available in the Women’s session in this Saturday’s 2014 Summer Intrepid Invitational Weightlifting Competition.  Register using this link: https://intrepidathletics.frontdeskhq.com/events/221218. Our Men’s session is full and we’re looking forward to some great lifting from both sessions.

    The lifters competing this Saturday more than likely beginner or intermediate weightlifters. It’s important to taper leading up to a competition to help lifters feel recovered physically and neurologically allowing them to be at their best on the platform. Since our meet is this coming Saturday, here’s what I’d recommend for the coming training week for beginners:

    • Monday – Work up to best single on snatch.  Work up to clean and jerk weight that you can lift without feeling like there’s a good chance you’ll fail.  Finally, work up to a heavy back squat set of 3 or 5 reps.  CrossFit intelligently preferably after the lifting workout but keep your intensity in check so as not to wreck your body or nervous system.
    • Tuesday – CrossFit and work assistance drills like snatch or clean pulls, jerk squats or drives, and snatch or jerk balances choosing two that address your weaker areas.  Consult a coach if unsure.
    • Wednesday – Work up to opening weight in the snatch and make three singles.  Work up to what is at least close to your opening weight in the clean and jerk for a single.  Option to front squat for two to three sets of two reps around your clean and jerk max.  I don’t recommend doing the CrossFit WOD this close to a meet, but perhaps work some short to moderate Airdyne or Running intervals instead.
    • Thursday – Light to moderate skillwork as needed in the same manner as I mentioned for Tuesday.  Emphasis on quality (position and speed) over quantity (weight on the bar and lots of reps).
    • Friday – Rest, light activity, and mobility and recovery work.
    • Saturday – Competition day!

    My recommendations above are geared towards beginning weightlifters who also CrossFit (most of the folks who’ll be competing this Saturday), but may not be the best way to taper for intermediate and more experienced weightlifters.  I used Coach Glenn Pendlay’s approach laid out in his post “Tapering for the Beginner” and overlaid what I felt has worked well for myself and others I coach in terms of CrossFitting prior to a weightlifting meet.  If it becomes an internal struggle about whether or not to do the CrossFit WOD, when in doubt, don’t workout.  Nothing is worse than frying yourself in the week leading up to a weightlifting competition only to feel like your legs just don’t have the strength or you’re just not firing on all cylinders as often is the perceived feeling when neurologically fatigued.  Coach Pendlay also posted on intermediate lifter tapering in his posted aptly named “Tapering for the Intermediate“.  In this post he discusses how he characterizes the differences between beginner and intermediate lifters and how the tapering process differs.  Read up on it when you have the chance!  Be sure to get your singlets ready, your USAW membership cards, register for the meet so we know you’re lifting (registration closes 2 days prior), and train intelligently this week.  We’re looking forward to another great Intrepid event this coming Saturday.  The Women begin lifting around 9am and the Men begin lifting around 12pm so come out and cheer everyone on. Kathy, Katie, and Coach Holley are lifting in the Women’s session and James, Mario, and Coach Jake are lifting in the Men’s.

    WOD 8.18.14

    Back Squat 4×3

    A: 4 Rounds of 1 Min Stations w/ 10 sec rest b/n each station:
    DB Snatches (70/45)
    Thrusters (95/65)
    Bar Muscle-ups
    Row (calories)

    B: 3 Rounds of 1 Min Stations w/ 10 sec rest b/n each station:
    DB Snatches (55/25)
    Thrusters (95/65)
    Bar Muscle-ups (sub pull-ups, any variation)
    Row (calories)

  • Intrepid In the Movies

    By Sean | In News, Practical Movement | on August 17, 2014

    A few months back I had the opportunity to sit on camera and share some insight about MovNat and how it relates to the movie Divergent, specifically the Dauntless faction.

    Divergent Head Shot

    For those of you who haven’t seen Divergent, Dauntless is in charge of the city’s security, protecting its inhabitants from threats within and without as the city’s peacekeepers. As part of the Divergent home entertainment release, my interview has been included on the Divergent iPad app (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/divergent/id666503295?mt=8) in the Dauntless section of “Our Divergent World”. Check out the “Fit” and “Train” segments to hear more about MovNat and about the similarity between MovNat and how Dauntless trains.

    Join me in my Practical Movement Skills class to work on some the skills I discuss in my interview like jumping and landing, balancing, climbing, and more. Currently the Practical Movement Skills class meets on Thursdays at 6am and Saturdays at 10am. Register using this link: https://intrepidathletics.frontdeskhq.com/group_classes/28537


  • Overtraining Much?

    By Jake | In Workout of the Day | on August 16, 2014

    As a coach I can tell that all of our athletes train very hard. It is evident by the numbers on the board. We have folks that get stronger and faster every week. We also have some athletes that take advantage of our different classes. I not only see our members take part in crossfit classes, but I also see people do weightlifting, strongman, and speed/endurance. There are plenty of Intrepids that take part in multiple classes and sometimes do multiple workouts in one day. I see no problem with double days as long as it is done wisely. By wisely I mean making sure that one is properly fueled, gets enough rest/recovery/sleep, and spends time on mobility. Sometimes by doing multiple workouts and not being wise can lead to overtraining.

    There are plenty of signs of overtraining and if one is not careful it can lead to injury. Mark’s Daily Apple had an article from earlier this year on overtraining and more specifically 8 signs that your body may be doing too much. I’ll discuss a few signs and if anyone is interested click on the link to read the rest of the article.

    1)      You’re working out hard every single day- Obviously, this does not apply to the elite level athletes who eat, breathe, and sleep working out. For those of us who are a little more mortal will feel the fatigue after a couple of days of heavy lifts or high intensity WODs. Performance can eventually suffer and all the training that you do can be compromised. It is at this point where you need to re-evaluate your training schedule and be smarter about rest days.

    2)      Your joints, bones, or limbs hurt- Muscle soreness is normal. If we do a WOD with 25 push presses at a moderate weight or 80 lunges your shoulders and quads will definitely feel it the day after. If it goes deeper than that, such as aches and pain, and it occurs on a daily basis that is also a sign that you may be overtraining. I have been guilty of this. For a solid month I would work on handstand pushups, even after a WOD that was shoulder intensive, and now I have slight pain in my right shoulder when I attempt that movement. The last week or so I have been doing my best to work around it. Sometimes it can be just a little too much.

    3)      You feel like crap the hours and days after a big workout- Nine times out of ten after a lift or WOD I feel like a million bucks. I got that workout high going on, which is also known as endorphins that are coursing through my body. It is a great feeling and I bet everyone in our gym would agree. Every once and a great while that feeling NEVER comes. When that happens I feel like crap and I hurt all over. It is clearly a sign that I am doing too much and need to back off for a while.

    I think most of the gym is pretty smart about their training. If by chance that you experience a few of these signs then maybe it is time to take a step back and make sure you are taking care of yourself. Hope this post helps!

    WOD 08.16.2014
    Partner WOD
    15 Minutes to Determine Bench Press 3RM

    Immediately following:
    8 Rounds of Tabata Push Ups
    -alternating sets (ie each person does 4 sets)

    Immediately following:
    4 rounds each:
    10 Wall Ball Shots (20/14)
    15 Kettlebell Swings (70/53)
    (one person does WBs while partner does swings, then switch)

  • Stress Junkie?

    By avelyne | In Health & Lifestyle, Workout of the Day | on August 15, 2014

    A few days ago Whole 9 posted an article on their Facebook feed about Stress Addiction. It kind of hit home. Everything about the 2 part post, I could identify with.  I am definitely a procrastinator. I multi-task frequently and can be an inattentive listener if I’m trying to do too much at once. I am always rushing to places and in doing so have little to no patience with things/people that get in my way (yea, I’m one of those Tourette’s drivers). However, to me, that felt normal.  Then one day at work, my co-worker and I were discussing our pre-work routine and we were both in awe.  I was impressed with her daily routine of giving herself 2 hours before leaving for work.  Her first hour is spent just waking up, she makes herself some tea, and watches the news. After all that, she starts getting ready for work and gives herself plenty of time to get to the employee lot. I on the other hand, do none of that. I allot a half hour to getting ready and leave 30-45min prior to my report time.  My co-worker was floored by my reckless lifestyle. As you can imagine, her scenario is a bit more calm than mine. In my defense, that extra hour could be used for more important things, like sleep. But if I were to be completely honest, if I went to bed at a decent hour, I would be fully rested.

    This all opened my eyes to a different way of thinking.  Do I constantly sabotage myself to create added stress?  Yep! Why do I do this to myself when it doesn’t have to be this way?  Why do I always cut it down to the wire? Going back to the article Whole 9 wrote, it’s because I am a stress junkie.  I get a “fix” from the stress response. When I cut it close to my report time (my “deadline”), and actually end up making my deadline, it’s a rush of endorphins. Of course it’s a chemical response!

    Problems of being a stress junkie…

    Being constantly awash in stress hormones has some serious side effects, including (but not limited to) impaired memory, concentration, and work performance, speeding up the aging process and damaging memory cells in the brain, sexual dysfunction, infertility, hypertension, a weakened immune system and deposition of fat at the waist (a risk factor for heart disease and other illnesses). 

    So how do you make changes? Where do you start? Here are only a couple of strategies to direct you on your path if this post resonates with you.

    1. Identify your triggers, change your habits. Take time to figure out what precipitates stress in your life. (Ask family and friends to help you here, as you often aren’t a good judge of your own triggers.) If you know you jump into “stress mode” the second you turn on your computer or as soon as the kids get home from school, then change that routine. Take 30 minutes of quiet time to wake up and set the tone for the day before you power up. Create an after-school routine to help keep noise and chaos under control (or hire a babysitter for an hour a day to help you manage post-school homework and snacks).

    2. Control and predictability – create a routine. Procrastination, multi-tasking and chasing your own tail self-perpetuates the stress cycle. Creating (and sticking to) a routine can to add some predictability to your day, and remove some opportunity for unexpected stress. Creating a normal bedtime and wake time can be an especially helpful routine, as it also ensures you’re getting enough sleep each night.


    Procrastination is not the only way we create our own stress addiction. I mainly focused on procrastination since I can identify with it the most. To read more on the other ways stress junkies induce chaos in their lives, read on here.  For more strategies on kicking your stress addiction, read on here. You’ll have to test what works best for you but if you can identify with this post at all, you owe it to yourself to do something about it.


    WOD 08.15.2014

    A. 5 Rounds:

    • - 400m Run
    • - 10 Overhead squats (135/95)
    • - 3 Rope climbs


    B. 4 Rounds:

    • - 400m Run
    • - 10 Overhead Squats (95/65)
    • - 10 Toes-to-bar
  • With the ice bucket video challenge for ALS going around Facebook, awareness of neurological diseases has taken hold. Yesterday, Robb Wolf shared an article from the examiner.com about how Jack Osbourne uses the Paleo diet to manage his multiple sclerosis. Since MS is an inflammatory disease, he stays away from inflammatory foods like dairy and grains, and eats a low carb high fat diet. The idea to use diet to manage his MS came from Dr. Terry Wahls. She is the author of The Wahls Protocol: How I Beat Progressive MS Using Paleo Principles and Functional Medicine, where she used a ketogenic and paleo diet principles to manager her MS. Dr. Perlmutter, author of Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers, also echoed Dr. Wahls tips for managing neurological diseases.

    What these doctors are discovering is that “ketosis increases the nerve growth factors that are important to repairing damaged brain cells,” as Dr. Wahls explained to the author. This means there is evidence that ketogenic diets could help manage and potentially reverse seizures, Parkinson’s, ALS, MS, dimentia, depression, Alzheimers and even brain cancers. While these doctors are suggesting a low carb, high fat diet, they are specific about the fat and protein sources and encourage everyone to be selective (i.e. eat grass-fed beef vs grain-fed beef, etc.).

    Thanks to the popularity of the paleo diet, research like this is taking hold and changing the way we approach treatment of neurological diseases. Unfortunately, most of us probably know someone affected by a neurological disease, but the good news is, there is more and more information out there to help those people and it can be as simple as a diet change. If this is a subject that is of interest to you, seek out research on these topics by doctors like Dr. Wahls and Dr. Perlmutter. Also, to make our lives easier, people like Robb Wolf, Mark Scisson, Abel James and Dave Aspry make this research available to us through their blogs, webcasts and social media pages.

    If you’re not familiar with the ketogenic diet, check out this resource here for a fairly quick and not “overly sciency” explanation.


    WOD 08.14.14

    Skills day:

    Crossover Symmetry




  • Return of the Iceland Giants

    By Marcus | In Competition | on August 13, 2014

    This past weekend was the 2014 Europe’s Strongest Man contest held in Leeds, England. If you read my recent post titled Iceland, Nest of Giants, you will recognize two of the winners.

    Benni Magnusson beat his previous world record 460kg deadlift with a 461kg deadlift. Yes, at that level even a single kilogram is a significant achievement! If you’re curious why he has straps, those are allowed in strongman deadlift contests. His previous record of 460kg was at a powerlifting meet, without straps.

    Also of note is that Benni has a challenger on his tail named Eddie Hall. Just after Benni’s lift, Eddie was also able to pull 461kg but he dropped the weight from the top, resulting in a no rep. You can watch the video here and see Eddie’s reaction when he realizes what he did.

    This deadlift competition was a side stage to the main event to determine “Europe’s Strongest Man” for 2014. The winner was Thor Bjornsson aka The Mountain from Game of Thrones. Here’s a video of him winning the King of Stones event, which is one of his specialties. He was the only competitor to finish all 6 stones, with the last one weighing in at 200kg.

    Thor is determined to win the title of World’s Strongest Man for 2015. He came in 2nd this year after finishing in 3rd the two years prior and it appears there is no stopping him! Here’s video of the final event from this past weekend (and why Thor would be awesome for a moving day). The 2015 WSM is shaping up to be quite exciting!


    WOD 08.13.14

    Front Squat 3×3

    Every Minute, On the Minute

    Odd: Row 200m

    Even: 3 Burpees

    Burpees increase by 3 every round while row stays at 200.

    Workout ends when you can’t complete the row/burpees in the time allowed.

    **If you don’t complete the round of 18 burpees, then you have to cash out with 6 bear crawls (one way).**

  • Shoulder Impingement: Causes and Cures

    By Ruth | In Mobility, Posture, Recovery | on August 12, 2014

    You may have noticed some fancy looking bungee bands hanging from the racks this last month. These Crossover Symmetry bands can be the answer to decades of poor posture, muscle imbalances, and poorly healed injuries. The key is to do the exercise properly and regularly. This will prevent some common shoulder injuries we see when people begin doing functional movements with a less-than-functional body.

    One common shoulder injury we see in here is the shoulder impingement. If you ever feel a pinching in the front or back of your shoulder when you raise your arms overhead, hang from the bar, etc, you may have a shoulder impingement. According to the Crossover Symmetry site:

    Shoulder Impingement occurs when tendons and tissues become pinched in the narrow passage way between the acromion (roof of the joint) and the humeral head (the ball of the upper arm bone), called the subacromial space. Shoulder impingement often causes pain in the shoulder that can radiate down the arm, tightness in the back of the shoulder, a poping sensation, and/or weakness. The shoulder may still be able to perform athletically, however, with symptoms and not optimally. If the condition is not corrected, shoulder impingement can lead to chronic inflammation, fraying, and tearing of structures in the shoulder complex.

    The site lists 4 common causes of shoulder impingement. People can have one or all of these causes contributing towards impingement.

    1. Rotator Cuff Weakness or Fatigue

    Because the rotator cuff muscles work to keep the ball of the humerus in the socket of the shoulder, any weakness or fatigue from high repetition movements (think pull ups and toes to bar) will change the resting position of the humerus in the shoulder, thus causing the pinching feeling when you raise your arm up.

    2. Forward Shoulder Posture

    Your parents constant nagging to not slouch is really for your own good. If you spent decades slouching through adolescence only to park your behind in front of a computer at work and resume slouching, your humerus probably moved a little out of optimum position. Unfortunately, to lift gargantuan weights overhead, you need to fix your posture, and ultimately, your humeral head position to do this. If you’re slouching while reading this, kindly stand up and do 10 burpees.

    3. Deltoid vs Rotator Cuff:

    While the deltoids work to raise the arm up, the rotator cuffs work to balance the movement by pulling downward on the joint. If your deltoids are dominant, it will raise the head of the humerus out of position as well.

    4. Scapular Muscle Imbalance:

    Your upper trapezius (traps), lower traps, and serratus anterior are supposed to work in conjunction with each other, each pulling in different directions. Most people come in with dominant upper traps (if you’ve been in my class during ring row’s, you may have heard me stress pushing your shoulders towards your heels) which then pull the shoulder blades (scapulae) out of position.

    So, what do you do with all this information? Since one or more of these issues apply to 99% of the gym, my suggestion is to watch some of the videos on Crossover Symmetry’s Youtube channel, starting with this one.  Then come in to class this Thursday’s skills class, where we’ll be going over proper Crossover Symmetry technique and protocol.  In a nutshell, everyone should be warming up with the “Activation” exercises and anyone with shoulder issues should do the “Recovery” exercises post WOD as well.

    **Please don’t park on the white concrete today as this will be used for the Rowing Club**

    WOD 08.12.14

    Deadlift 1×5

    4 Rounds
    40 Double Unders
    15 Chest to Bar Pull Ups

    Rest 4 Minutes

    Run 800m

    4 Rounds:
    30 Double Unders
    10 Pull Ups

    Rest 4 Minutes

    Run 800m

  • Photo courtesy of BillieJenn Photography “Marina Del Rey Rowing”

    It’s Here!

    I am very excited to announce the first class of the Los Angeles Indoor Rowing Club at Intrepid Athletics!

    As CrossFit athletes, we are always looking to perfect our form in every movement and on every piece of equipment. To be top tier, perform better, work at a high capacity and be efficient! The popularity of indoor rowing has grown, in part, due to CrossFit.

    Those interested should:
    -Be interested in increasing their aerobic capacity and fitness.
    -Look to improve their performance in CrossFit WODs that include rowing (Read: “Jackie” or CF Games 2014 “Triple 3”).
    -Want to increase core stability and connection of power through your body.
    -Desire being in a team driven environment in which to better yourself and others through a supportive atmosphere and encouragement.

    In class you can expect to learn proper care of yourself and erg. Be put through drills, sprint work, distance pieces and team workouts. Only rowing and mobility relating to rowing will be executed. Rowing and indoor rowing is unique sport in that it is a full body exercise, engaging 85% of our muscles and takes most of the body through a full range of motion. It is anaerobic, aerobic and great for strength conditioning. It is time efficient, low impact and great for athletes of any age.

    In a few months, athletes who regularly attend classes and have the desire will be granted the opportunity to row on water! Most classes will be taught outside under the great California sun; that is, unless it is too intense in which case shade will be provided or there is inclement weather. Please be prepared for this by adding sunblock or a hat to your gym bags and maybe getting a bigger bottle for water. Being outside will acclimate athletes to exercising outdoors, on water rowing is obviously not an indoor sport. I’m very excited to bring my passion to you and hope that you can come by for a class. Enrollment has already begun. Current class times are Tuesday at 5 & 6pm, Thursday at 8am, 5pm & 6pm and Saturdays at 11am. For those who prefer not to workout for an hour outside, Thursday classes will be indoors. Current Intrepid Athletes will receive two complimentary classes. Sign up today and get your row on! If you would like any other information regarding the class email me at alia@intrepidathletcs.net

    WOD 08.11.2014
    Push Press 3×3

    3 Rounds for time:
    5 Power Cleans (225/145)
    15 Handstand Push Up
    20 Pistols

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