Friday, August 31, 2012

Drop In

"I'm tired of being left behind. So I'm just going to go do it."

This needs no commentary. Do what you love. Thanks to Aaron for sending it.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Video of “To Beast Or Not To Beast”

Video streaming by Ustream

Here’s the follow up to last week’s post about our Body Beast program. Denis and I go over the questions I received and answer even more. If you’re not sure what Beast is, whether it’s the right program for you, or how to work it into your existing training plan you’ll want to check it out. We had over 700 viewers and got to all of their questions so we’re betting there’s a good chance you’re covered.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Fall Is Coming

Days are getting shorter, leaves are starting to turn, temps are waning; all meaning good climbing conditions are on the where-the-hell-did-summer-go? horizon. As usual, I’ve been tooling around the high country on my bike and am weak as a kitten. With an ambitious birthday challenge on the docket, it’s time for a little training Psyche.

This video shows Canadian climbing Sean McColl doing a workout. It’s rad. I tried a version of this yesterday and could not finish the climbing portion. All subsequent exercises had to be abridged. For reference, I tried doing three 45-move problems that I’d climbed in a single session in the spring, in 4-12 move segments, and could not finish. Pathetic, sure, but basically something I deal with on a yearly basis as a seasonal multi-sport weekend warrior.

That this workout is too hard for me off-the-couch is not surprising. McColl is very strong. As I mimic it my routes will never be as hard as his. I will, however, be able to do most of the exercises and complete this training session by the time I’m ready for the challenge. I will train to do this differently, following an article I wrote that will come out in the Sept 1st issue of DPM. More on that later. For now, enjoy the vid.

A funny aside is that McColl’s session somehow caught the ire of some climbing “training experts” over at the Climbing Narc. If you’re into mental masturbation on training it’s probably worth a read as there are some quality perspectives presented. While the main point, that just because someone climbs hard does not mean they know how to train is valid, it’s also rendered ridiculous in that there is no quantitative data in this case to support the statement.

Sean is one of the world’s best on the competition circuit. What he’s doing here is similar to how all of this competitors train. Granted it’s only a workout-—making no mention of his systematic training plan. But it’s in line with every other elite competitor’s training if, perhaps, slightly more realistic for the average human. To dismiss it is akin to saying the Jamaicans know nothing about sprint training, Kenyans distance training, or Laird Hamilton on surf training. Without real world examples and data you simply cannot dismiss a training protocol that is working at the highest level.

Bradley Wiggins’ team now has a case to state Lance Armstrong wasn’t training efficiently because they have a quantitative improvement. But until your training philosophy can provide data for actual progression, you’re no more prescient than Jesus Quintana.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Is 30 Minutes of Exercise Better Than An Hour?

An article claiming less is more when it comes to weight loss and exercise hit the wires today. And while it’s decent if you read the entire thing it requires some explanation because the title is misleading. The details as to why are mainly left out, which come down to two physiological factors that I’ll go into today.

30 minutes exercise 'better than an hour of training' for weight loss

It’s important to first note that it’s not saying less exercise is better for weight loss for everyone. The title indicates this but the article shows it’s only better for the study’s demographic, which was both over weight and out of shape. So let’s look at why.

1. The first ten minutes of exercise is the key for most of us. This has been known for a long while but it’s been getting a ton of play lately. A recent study showed that 10 minutes of exercise can be better than an hour if it’s constructed correctly.

These 10 min studies highlight the importance of high intensity work and its effect on hormonal changes. While this study did not going into such depth, all exercise burns more calories in the first few minutes than when you settle in, no matter what you do. This means that you get the effect of high intensity training for a few minutes even when you aren’t exercising hard. This is because you burn muscle glycogen when you begin exercising until your body is warmed up. Once warm, your body starts to conserve; using fat stores for low intensity movements and saving glycogen for high intensity outputs.

A strong hormonal response (triggered by glycogen-sucking anaerobic work) is what you want in order to make the quickest adaptations to your body. You always get one at the beginning of a workout but it's harder to induce them once you’re warm and moving easily. However, high-level athletic training reverses this so the most important period becomes the push you make towards the end of the workout when you are tired, which can create an even greater hormonal response provided that you are fit enough to handle the workload. So, while short exercise is better than longer exercise by some measurements, there are also times, especially in conditioned populations, where the end of longer exercise is what matters most.

2. Exercise is only as effective as your ability to recover from it. Hence the cliché that you only get stronger at rest. If you overtax your body more than you can recover from you get worse before you get better. This is more than anything else the key to this study. By choosing a deconditioned population they were ensuring success because over the course of the study those doing more exercise became overtrained and had to recover from that state before they probably saw a lot of weight loss.

What this study doesn’t tell us is that if you lengthened it, at some point, those doing the longer workouts would outpace those doing the shorter ones. The laws of progressive overload mean that continual stress must be placed on the body in order to keep fitness progression moving forward. This is why if you run 5 miles everyday it will have less an effect as you get fitter. 30 minutes isn’t better than 60 for everybody, but it certainly is better for some. But in fitness is a moving target. As you get more fit you require more stress in order to continue to get fitter. This is why P90X is harder and longer than Power 90.

any excuse to post the 'torture test' works for me.

I’ve written on this subject before from many angles, such as how to choose the right exercise program , but important to address it from many sides. We don’t all need to be able to do Insanity in order to look great and call ourselves fit. For some of us Hip Hop Abs would be the better choice. Less can indeed be more. The only constant is that the human body needs exercise to function properly and some is almost always better than none.

Special thanks to Denis over at the Fitness Nerd for inspiring this post.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Look Under P90X2’s Hood

Here’s a great article from P3 on their pre-draft camp that doubles as a deep dive into the science behind P90X2. As you probably know, Dr. Marcus Elliott is a major player in X2’s development. Today you get a look at the kind of analysis and logic we used to create the program in P3’s post:

P3 Pre-Draft: A Scientific Approach to Draft Prep and Career Development

As training becomes more scientific analysis and application become more important. A look back at this program’s history outlines the framework of X2’s development:

Power 90 – The goal to get people moving and eating better. This is the crux for most of us, changing our lifestyle.

P90X – Takes it a step further by applying athletic training principles and methods to create a solid base of fitness.

P90X2 – Uses the latest findings in applying exercise science to improve human movement patterns, which not only creates athletes but reduces injury potential and creates a body that will age slower and function at a high level.

Of course with X2 we can’t do individual analysis you see here. But we use this analysis to find commonalities across the broadest demographics in order to create specific workouts. This is where and how it begins, by looking at human potential with open eyes and using a broad scientific template to improve areas that were once thought impossible to fix. It’s fascinating to see this process unfold, from the technical aspects:

To help John get in better positions to create force and become a more efficient and elastic athlete, we prescribed exercise that improved hip mobility (loaded strength movements, aggressive soft tissue, daily stretching programs) and emphasized eccentric adaptation work (lengthening movements, movements that force relaxation prior to muscle contraction). We worked extensively on John’s stimulus response and nervous system to build quickness and agility.

To the more accessible factors:

The 6-foot-4 shooting guard and two-time SEC scoring champion is toting a chiseled 212 pounds and six-percent body fat – down from 10-percent body fat.

Those of you into techie details are going to dig this, but it’s also a reminder of why you should keep working on difficult balance movements or go 100% on your complexes in PAP. All in all, it should help you realize that when you do P90X2 you’re in the rare company of those who use their bodies to make a living. And since we at Beachbody feel that living means a lot more than making money, access to this information becomes invaluable.

Friday, August 17, 2012

7 Years Of Adventure

This week’s Psyche is a great story of a couple of friends and some of the adventures they’ve shared climbing around the world. I’ve been to most of the places in this video and, for the most part, all I’ve got recorded besides memories are some 35mm slides stored in a box somewhere. I have a lot of issues with viral media. In general, it seems like memory should suffice for things like nightly meal prep and kids doing homework. The flip side are offerings like this; vignettes of life that are actually meaningful, and entertaining for others. Have an adventurous weekend!

Thanks, again, to UK Climbing. The most consistently excellent climbing info on the world wide web.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

To Beast Or Not To Beast

Body Beast, Beachbody’s new bodybuilding program, can be an effective part of a training program for people with many different goals. This is an excerpt from an article I’m working on for the Beachbody newsletter, which will cover all considerations for those who want to use Body Beast but don’t have an end goal of becoming a bodybuilder. Today’s post is to point out the major differences in Beast vs our other exercise programs so you’ll have a clearer idea of how to work it into your training. I'm posting this now to create some discussion about what you’d like to see covered in the larger article so it becomes go-to reference point for everything Beast.

Make Beast Its Own Training Block

The best way to use Beast is alone, as a phase targeting hypertrophy (muscle growth), in the scope of your larger program. You can also mix it in with workouts from other programs but this will end up diluting both Beast and the other program’s effectiveness. Here’s an explanation of why.

“Power and endurance. Ne’er the twain shall meet.” – Dr. Fred Hatfield, powerlifting champion and fitness trainer

What Dr. Hatfield is talking about is periodization. Physical components should be trained separately for best results when that is possible. There are many good reasons to combine them, mostly time efficiency, which is why almost every Beachbody program does it, but every time you mix a training style with another it detracts from the effect you could get by training one thing at a time. That compromise is acceptable for most of us, most of the time, but if gaining muscle is your priority you’ll be best served by utilizing the specificity Beast offers.

Beast is a mass program. By contrast P90X targets all areas of performance: anaerobic endurance, muscle cell motor unit recruitment, proprioceptive awareness, static strength, functional strength, stability, balance, aerobic efficiency, mobility as well as hypertrophy.

this is not insanity

While some of those other physiological components will likely improve during Beast as a by-product of daily exercise, it’s not the focus of the program. In P90X, as you know, you can gain muscle mass. But all that other training puts a limit on it. Beast’s more targeted schedule eliminates those “distractions” to hypertrophy, making it a better program for muscle building.

Therefore, when you want to gain some muscle size you’re best option is to do a phase or two of Beast by itself, targeting muscle growth, and then use your favorite program to bring the rest of your physiological parameters back up to speed...

Friday, August 10, 2012

Record On California’s 14ers

When I began the weekly Psyche posts I didn’t think it was sustainable. Prior to viral media there just wasn’t that much cool info to be scavenged in the news. Because of this I created a backlog of “fringe” posts that might only be entertaining to my friends. I’ve rarely gone there, however, because stuff like this keeps coming out of nowhere. And while I’ll be the first to admit that this challenge is a little fringe, once you get your head around what’s happening it’s got to be one of the most motivating Psyches of the year. Congratulations Sean O’Rourke, aka Dr. Dirtbag, for taking the Ca 14er record to the woodshed.

The Golden State’s 14er challenge is an odd one because one peak, Mt Shasta, is a long way away from the others creating a bit of a logistical nightmare. In fact it’s all broken up, meaning that how you strategize your support is vital and tricky. It’s been done without support, which is much different because you can’t sleep in a car as it’s moving from place to place. It’s been done with air support, which “kind of sandbags you,” according to Hans Florine, who did it,“because it’s hard to sleep while catching flights because you’re linking short shuttles.” It’s been done using all sorts of tricks like paragliders and bikes. And, I think, it’s been done with only human support—biking to Shasta et al—though I’m only sure it’s been planned this way. O’Rourke did it the most common way, having drivers drop him off and pick him up at various trailheads, and then driving him to Shasta.

Since this is the sort of thing I used to spend a lot of time doing it’s unsurprising that I have some history with it. An attempt has been in the back of my mind forever, at least since my friends Hans and Russ McBride set the record in the 90s by completing it in something like 9 days. It’s been whittled down constantly since, going back and forth between trail runners and climbers (who take shorter lines by climbing technical rock), before settling in at a little over 4 days (though Hans did 14 of 15 summits in 3 days 12 hours when Mt Williamson was closed to hiking). O’Rourke clocked it in 62 hours and 3 minutes, a time so fast it’s close to incomprehensible, certainly earning him that PhD in dirtbaginess.

It shows what’s possible when you spend most of your time running around in the mountains and have a lot motivation. I used to, and blogs like his make me miss those days but at least we can live them vicariously through the Internet while life’s diverting us from the dirtbag world.

Sorry for the long-winded backstory but, hopefully, it will set you up for a better read. Enjoy the spectacle, and keep in mind most (fit) people are lucky to do each of these summits in a long day!

I drove to South Lake, set my alarm for 2:40 AM, and (amazingly) managed to get to sleep around 9:00. I woke up before 2:00, too wired to get back to sleep, and used the extra prep time to eat my normal granola and coffee, pound a half-liter of beet juice, and brush my teeth in preparation for three days of sugary abuse...

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Do You Eat Like An Olympic Or Professional Athlete?

I had an interesting post in the works on the physiological differences between bodybuilder training (like Body Beast) and our other stuff (P90X et al) but don’t have time to do it justice so you’re getting a quick news hit instead. Newhope 360, a trade publication on natural products, presented this slide show on what Olympic athletes eat.

It’s mainly eye candy, as slide shows tend to be, but highlights a few trends that athletes seems to share with the rest of us. Kids tend to eat like crap—-Ryan Lochte lived on McDonald’s in Beijing—-and those who have long careers tend to clean up their act. And while not addressed in the slide show, professional athletes seem to follow similar patterns. "You be surprised how bad a lot of the guys we work with eat when they get here," said Dr. Marcus Elliott, owner of P3, an elite athlete training facility and head of Beachbody's scientific advisory board. "The ones who stick it out tend improve their diet a lot. We help but, really, the level of training we demand helps to dictate it too."

Beach volleyball’s Misty May-Treanor’s power food is Greek yogurt and honey, and pal Kerri Walsh Jennings describes her food philosophy as "the greener the better." The two won their third consecutive Olympic gold medal yesterday during their final match together.

Overall it’s probably not too shocking. Athletes, especially young ones, burn a ginormous number of calories (Michael Phelps’ 12,000 cal/days makes the list) and can pretty much eat all they want when their training volume is high. You can’t eat enough to replenish spending six hours above your anaerobic threshold no matter how old you are. But it is nice to see their human side. Even Phelps has had to cut back at the ripe old of age of 24 to “a three-egg omelet and three pieces of French toast and coffee this morning.” Aging is such a bitch.

Anyway, bottom line here is that the common theme sounds exactly like what we’ve been preaching forever. As ABC news reported, the now gold medal wearing Lochte has a new recipe for success.

“He stopped eating fast food, and adopted foods like lean protein, whole grains and healthy fats. A typical recovery meal includes grilled chicken, whole grain spaghetti and a green salad with lemon juice and olive oil,” a meal like very familiar to anyone who owns a Beachbody program. Congrats kids, you all eat like Olympians!

Tomorrow Newhope 360 is covering Olympian supplement regimens. This promises to be more revealing. I’ll report on it should that hold true.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Butte 100: The Eyeopener

I really wanted to quit the Butte 100. I wanted to quit a mile 10. I wanted to quit at mile 50. And I really wanted to quit at mile 80. I wanted to quit so bad I even tried to before I left home. But I didn’t. And I’m glad.

“Why are you so worried about this race?” asked Romney. “You never worry about this kind of stuff.”

I was worried because it was going to hurt. Bad. I wasn’t sure how bad it would be, exactly, because I’d never been to the area. But as they were throwing around tag lines like “hardest 100 mile race in the US” I figured it wasn’t going to be a cakewalk no matter how fit I was. But I wasn’t fit. Not for endurance racing at least, since I’d only had time to eek out a couple of long rides this year.

“Die or do something. You’re not dead yet, so you might as well do something.”

This campy line, uttered by Dr. Conrad of the Jackie Robinson Sports Institute in the film American Flyers, became my mantra for the day. Each time I wanted to quit I’d do a body assessment. I wasn’t injured. The stuff that hurt was all GOOD pain. And as long as that was the case I would have no choice. I wasn’t dead, yet, so I’d might as well do something.

life at the jackie robinson sports institute

My friend Mike says he likes to start his seasons with “an eye opener. Something so ridiculously hard that you know you’re going to suffer like mad that will set the tone for anything else you do.” Butte was my eye opener. I had to get through it to transform into the proper mindset for Nepal. Here’s a little recap.

Blast It!!!

It began the night before at a suspiciously bad Mexican restaurant. Montana is, as Josh says, “not exactly known for its Mexican food” and this experience would echo that in spades. Josh sent a pic to the gang that came back with replies like “Blast It!!!”, a line from a friend’s surf film.

mining the waves for stoke

This was prophetic enough as I spent a good deal of the race alone in the forest. Curious aside, we saw Tinker Juarez (probably the most decorated distance mtn biker in history) at the restaurant and wondered if he chose it on purpose to make him uncomfortable so he’d go faster. Could be, since he obliterated his own course record.

Part I – A sadistic sightseeing tour of Montana

As it wasn’t a race for me I began comfortably in the back of the pack, only going fast enough so that I was in last so there would be people behind me in case I got lost. This turned out not to be a problem as the course was very well marked. Josh said the first section—a series of steep sandy fire roads to spread the field—was awful and, well, I guess it was. But it sure was pretty.

I’m very geographically oriented, especially when I’m outside, and almost always know where I am. In this race I hadn’t a clue and was enjoying the weird sensation of having never been in the area or even looked at a map. Since I wasn’t really racing, the experience was like a sadistic sightseeing tour of Montana.

I rode a lot with Josh, who was having a worse day than me. Not sure if it was the Blast It! effect or something else but he wasn’t regulating very well as the temps got high, which had me a worried about him when I rode away on the final long climb of the first 50.

Part II – No threat to the growler.

I got the halfway point at 5:30. I’d heard the second half had “more single track” and was slower and harder but this seemed way ahead of my planned survival pace. I considered re-stocking at my van but didn’t because I was worried that the lure of beer and a bed might be too much. I also heard the Tinker was already hours ahead and rolled through this point without stopping, asking only for a banana, which seemed so crazily IN-sane and had to see the entire course. So I headed onto the second half chatting with a guy about how slow we could ride and still make the cutoff times.

tinker after losing his first butt 100. he has lowered his time nearly 3 hours in two years since. wild.

The next few aid stations went great. I didn’t even want to quit. I was tired but the only thing that really hurt was my butt, not surprising given I’d already eclipsed my longest ride of the year. As I was chilling in the shade at talking about cutoff times a guy told me I was in 55th, elaborating on that as “no threat to the growler.” Apparently a growler of beer was awarded to the last place finisher of the race, which sounded so good I started to ride even slower.

Part III - Sandbagged!

Anything advertising itself as “the toughest…” has to include something understated that is truly hard. In the Butte 100 it’s the section between check points 7 and 8 (or was it 8 and 9?) Anyway, it looks the same as any other section in the race bible. In reality it’s really friggin’ hard.

The bible warns you of the 4-mile (sometimes un-rideable—though we think Tinker rode it) climb but the rest of the section looks pretty benign, so I did a double take when the course official at the top of the climb told me “two more major climbs” before the aid station.” I was not alone. I ran out of water at least an hour before I got there. It was grim but I was passing people looking a lot worse than me. I think it was the longest 10 miles of my life.

The Highlands aid station resembled a triage unit. Riders were strewn about, all complaining about the same thing as me, some dropping out. Here, I did want to quit—especially when a squall rolled through transforming my state from overheated and dehydrated to hypothermic in an instant. Thankfully I was far enough ahead of the cutoff time I was able to spend about an hour drinking and warming up.

Part IV – Finally, a good excuse to quit

The rigors behind us forced some comradeship for those who ventured into the next section of the course, ominously dubbed “8 miles of Hell”. I was the last to leave of my group and, by now, the cutoff time was looming. When in less than a mile in I was forced off of my bike to walk almost an entire climb I started doing math calculating my chances. At this time another American Flyers line came into my head. I’d better pump.

more fun from american flyers. “better pump.”

This kicked in some adrenaline, as there was absolutely no way I was going to do all of this riding and not be allowed to finish. I picked up my pace and passed our entire group. Then, as I was about to crest to final climb “of Hell” I ran into a situation.

A woman in the 50-mile race had stopped sweating, for some time, and then become hypothermic when the storm hit. Someone had stopped to help but they didn’t have a phone. I did, but calls for a rescue weren’t answered. So I called Josh, now hoping he’d dropped out. He had, answered, and we got things in motion. Unfortunately, most of the course does not have cell reception and it was hard to organize so we had to come up with a plan.

Obviously I didn’t care about finishing any longer. However, the best tactic was for me to ride for help and the shortest place that might be was ahead on the course. Sarah, another rider from our group, had also arrived on the scene to help so I left them with my phone and took off, riding harder and much faster than I had all day. I soon found a course official but he had no service, so I filled him in and rode on. Josh had set things up and there were paramedics at the aid station and we strategized about what to do. Soon Sarah arrived with a report and, eventually, a plan was hatched that didn’t include us, meaning we had nothing left to do but finish the race. We hung out for a while, then “cruised” (relative at this point) that last 9 miles to the finish together. The end of an epic day and a perfect eye opener for what lies ahead.

Notes on the Butte 100: Tinker raves about this race on his blog, not just as a race but as a challenge for any recreational rider to finish. I have to agree. While the course isn’t as pure as the 99.9% single track of the Park City Point 2 Point, the fire roads are always engaging, technical, and stunningly-beautiful and there is plenty of excellent single track. I told a few course officials that it would be an amazing 100-mile ultra run course and think the combo would kick the crap out of Leadville, at least from an aesthetic and difficulty perspective. The Butte scene itself is positive and very supportive, which seems to be spearheaded by the Leipheimers, all of whom gregariously introduced themselves and shared about anything I felt like listening to. The event feels like a family affair (I didn't ask but race director Gina Evans is probably a Leipheimer somehow), which is getting more rare these days, so get after it before it turns into Leadville!

Friday, August 03, 2012

Olympic Psyche

So far I’ve watched less of this Olympics than ever before but with most of my favorite events coming up that is likely to change. I love the Olympics and pretty much everything that goes along with them. So for today’s Psyche, let’s look a little forwards and backwards.

I blogged on Bradley Wiggins and his revolutionary training schedule at the start of the Tour de France. Now that he’s got an Olympic Gold Medal as well as a yellow jersey we can definitively say that he’s established a new training template for the sport of cycling. The three links here are all articles about his training. It give you some idea of what he did but we’re going to have to wait for the nitty gritty to come out. I’m sure they’ll keep that close to the chest for as long as possible.

Wiggins's training program began on 1 November but he did not merely begin riding his bike and bring in intensity later: he rode at intensities he would normally have hit in the racing season, which is anathema to most cyclists, who have always built up in a more measured way. "Tim took the swimming approach where they train the top end constantly throughout the year. He has totally revolutionized the way we train."

I fully realize that reading about a training template isn’t exactly Friday Psyche material, unless you’re me, so on another note; athletics (or Track & Field if you’re American) begins today, which is always my favorite part of the Games. Obviously how you prepare for those races is important, too, as shown with great flair by Aussie hurdler Michelle Jenneke

Thursday, August 02, 2012

The Problem(s) With CrossFit

“The Problem With...” has been used as a title three times this month. It wasn’t meant to be a theme but I’ve been tossed too many softballs lately not to swing away. The latest, sent by Tony Horton, would be virtual grand slam without any other commentary. But since y’all look to me for a critical eye I’ll add a little play by play to Hamilton Nolan’s inspired rant.

My friend Phil (in vid doing a one-finger one arm pull-up) re-posted this with the comment “I know that someone created CrossFit as a joke to anger me. Take the time to watch the video of the idiot doing 100 ‘pullups,’” which sums of the feeling of many of my friends, that the entire format is a bastardization of the principles of training we’ve been studying all our lives (not that Hitler is a friend but he sums up what most of us are thinking when he says, “What happened to the days when people actually wanted to be strong? When exercise was a science and not just trying to make people puke.”)

But I’m not as bothered as der Fuhrer. I see an upside. In fact I like doing CrossFit workouts. Sure, the WOD of often inane, based more on whims than physical assessment (what possible physical benefits could come from a max deadlift, sprinting around the block and then racing to 50 snatches anyway)? But who am I, once engaging in a race to 10,000 pull-ups, push-ups and Ab Rollers, to critique stupid physical acts? So when I’m not systematically targeting my training I’ll join in for shits and giggles. I’ve got a fast Fran time, even without kipping. Woo-hoo.

Look, I’m all for pushing your limits until you puke. I do it all the time. It’s when these perpetrators start taking themselves seriously, yammering on about “forging elite fitness” when what they’re actually doing is more like a child making up a game to keep busy, that it’s time lay down that law, which is precisely why Nolan’s piece is so entertaining.

“As far as workout fads go, Crossfit is absolutely outstanding,” he begins, weighing both sides objectively. “Because it features actual hard workouts with real exercises that will in fact get you in great shape, as opposed to, you know, fake kickboxing moves, or a glorified dance party, or an expensive contraption that does poorly what could be achieved better and cheaper elsewhere, or something that requires you to look at John Basedow's face for an extended period of time.”

Compare that to the more scientific example provided by Scott Abel, author of Metabolic Enhancement Training,

“As the name implies Crossfit wants to blend various training modalities to produce an effective workout. Certainly nothing wrong with that, as a general idea. However, Crossfit wants to use various training methods without obeying any of the principles behind these methods.”

Yeah, yeah yeah. Any egghead can make fun of group exercise. Its Nolan’s rapier-sharp wit turns the game into a blood bath. Like Hitler, he goes down the list of why CrossFit will likely be nothing but another exercise fad: group exercise, lack of specificity, too expensive, the whole cult thing, and, of course, the above-mentioned pull-ups...

One of Crossfit's trademark workouts is "Fran," which involves doing sets of 21, 15, and 9 pullups. Now: a very, very small percentage of the population is able to do a single set of 21 proper pullups, without stopping. I guarantee you that the majority of NFL football players cannot do this. But since it's so god damn important to make the numbers in the workout, Crossfit people do 21 kipping pullups instead, and then they're all, "Yeah, I just did 21 pullups right there." Yeah, and I can dunk a basketball as long as I'm jumping off a trampoline. Those are not pullups…(they are) like some undulating fish flopping from an iron bar.

But the big problem to me, as he deftly points out, is that you are going to get injured. Not if. When. A physical therapist asked me a few years back, “What the hell is CrossFit? I’ve been flooded with people every since a place opened down the street?” In the name of competition CrossFit promotes probably the three most dangerous things you can do during your training: one-rep max lifts, competition, and compromising form in the name of speed, again captured beautifully by Nolan.

All these timed workouts and competitive spirit and shit where they write your scores on a board and there is constant peer pressure to push yourself harder? You will get injured. You won't get an Olympic medal or a Super Bowl trophy for this. Just an injury. Enjoy that.

He finished by taking a shot at their elitism, again something that raises the ire of my friends. We’ve been circuit training for decades and if any of us ever uttered the word elite we’d be heaped with endless shame.

Doing burpees or overhead squats or 400 meter runs followed by handstand pushups does not mean you're "doing Crossfit." You're just working out. You don't own that shit. You bastards.