Every Second Counts - Crossfit Movie Trailer

Obscene Strength

Health and Fitness Links Roundup - March 1, 2009

Science Daily: Research points to exercise being the most effective prevention of low-back problems. Strong and consistent evidence finds many popular prevention methods fail to be effective at preventing lower back problems, while exercise has been found to have a significant impact, both in terms of preventing symptoms and reducing back pain-related work loss.

The New York Times: What’s Eating Our Kids? Fears About ‘Bad’ Foods. While legions of parents are vigilant about their children’s consumption of sugar, processed foods and trans fats, many doctors, dietitians and eating disorder specialists worry that some parents are becoming overzealous, even obsessive, in efforts to engender good eating habits in children. With the best of intentions, these parents may be creating an unhealthy aura around food, causing anxiety for their children.

CNN Health: Does exercise help prediabetes or control blood sugar?

WebMD: Study Shows People Feel Exhausted More Quickly After a Taxing Mental Task. New study shows that people feel exhausted sooner during exercise if they have performed a mentally taxing task beforehand. While the mental fatigue doesn’t affect cardiovascular capacity, it has an impact on the exerciser’s perceived level of exhaustion.

Twittercize: a combo of micro-blogging (a.k.a. Twitter) and tiny, minute-long workouts.

The Road Forager: Robb Wolf putting healthy meals together while on the road.

A Philosophy of Strength and Health: What does it mean to have active shoulders?

T-Nation: Fats - the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. You know fats are good for you, but what does that really mean?

MSN: Caffeine may reduce skin cancer risk. A US study has found caffeine plays a protective role for damaged skin by boosting the body’s natural process called apoptosis, or synchronised cell suicide.

Do you have a great link to share? Post a comment with a link and we’ll feature it in our next links round-up!

Going Paleo - Almond and Flax Seed “Bread” (version 1.0)

I’ve been experimenting with making “acceptably Paleo” food.  Yesterday I made a batch of almond and flax seed “bread”.  The recipe needs some tweaking, but here’s the details:


  • 3/4 cups Ground Almond
  • 3/4 cups Ground Flax Seed
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tbsp natural honey
  • 4 oz unsweetened apple sauce
  1. Combine all ingredients into a bowl
  2. Mix “dough” well with hands
  3. Grease a shallow baking tray
  4. Spread out the “dough” no the baking tray.  I just used my hands, but you could probably use a rolling pin too.  I spread it out until it was about 1/4 to 1/2 an inch high.
  5. Place in oven on 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.
  6. Done.  Cut into sizes about 3 inches by 3 inches.

As I said, the recipe needs some tweaking.  Please let me know if you have any ideas!

40kg Pistols (One Legged Squats)

Just came across this video on YouTube of someone doing pistols with 40kg (88lbs) of extra weight! That’s some serious leg strength.

The Top 15 Online Fitness Resources

1. Crossfit.com

Crossfit popularity has exploded over the last year.  Dozens of affiliates seem to be opening on a monthly basis and the community is expanding faster than a sub 2 minute Fran.  But it’s no surprise - Crossfit runs under an “open source” mantra and provides a seriously massive wealth of information.  Every day, along with a new WOD (or workout of the day), some sort of video is also provided, usually detailing specifics of various movements or exercises.  Dig beyond the daily WODs and into the message boards and find more exercise and nutrition information directly from the community of trainers and subject matter experts.

Additionally, Crossfit offers a subscription based membership to access their archive of journals.  For a mere $25 yearly fee, you have access to all the back issues and all new articles and videos, in their entirety.  The information in the journals is extremely rich and often worthy of  scientific publication.

Even if you’re not interested in Crossfit or have issues with the program, the content of the Crossfit.com website is truly unmatched and is definitely a place to frequent on a regular basis.

2. Exrx.net

Forget what the target and synergist muscles are in a squat?  Need a target weight calculator or need to learn about fitness assessments?  What about a sample cycling mesocycle or information on glycogen?  Fortunately there exists a comprehensive exercise and nutrition website to help answer these questions - Exrx.net.  Exrx, of course, stands for “exercise prescription” and the site clearly is capable of offering one.

Exrx.net is absolutely packed with information about exercises, anatomy, nutrition, supplements, tools and calculators, and the list goes on and on… A most useful part of the website is the weight training section, which covers the anatomical and kinetic elements of practically every exercise out there and variations thereof.

While the site is maybe low on the glitz and glam side of things, it’s truly an indispensable resource, especially for trainers or other fitness professionals.

3. Bodybuilding.com

If one of your goals with regards to fitness is body composition changes, then bodybuilding.com may be an invaluable resource for you.  The site features loads of diet and muscle building information.  At first glance, it’s easy to pick off bodybuilding.com as a site for meatheads, but the underlying content in the “Super Site” area is incredibly comprehensive and full of great info.

Bodybuilding.com also offers a very popular social networking sub-site, called BodySpace.  With over 280,000 members (at the time of this writing), BodySpace dominates other sites that offer similar material and networking features.

4. NutritionData.com

For determining how many grams of protein and carbs are in a particular food item, or trying to analyze a recipe for the number of calories, there really isn’t a better (or easier) way than using NutritionData.com.

5. SparkPeople.com

Fitness really begins to meet social networking on SparkPeople.com.  Sure, there are other sites that offer similar features, but SparkPeople is 100% free and has a significantly larger membership than most of the others.

SparkPeople features nutrition, fitness and goal tracking abilities as well as a massive library of fitness and nutrition information.

6. TricksTutorials.com

I have yet to find another resource online that is as complete as TricksTutorials.com for flexibility training.  Launched by Jon Call in 2002, TricksTutorials was built to showcase and provide lessons for individuals interested in the art of “tricking” - a sport consisting primarily of acrobatics (think back tucks and spinning roundhouses).

A large portion of the site is devoted to Flexibility.  In this portion of the site, Jon lays out foundational information and training methods for increasing flexibility - an often overlooked part of a well rounded fitness program.  He includes information on both dynamic and static stretching for practically every muscle out there.  Definitely a great resource to bookmark.

7. RossTraining.com

Founded by Ross Enamait, RossTraining.com is dedicated to innovations in high performance conditioning and functional strength training.  The website contains loads of bodyweight movements and exercises, designed to help athletes or individuals in whatever they do.

Ross has collected numerous articles and video clips over the years and has made them available on his site.  He also regularly contributes to his blog, discussing various aspects of fitness and athletics.

8. Stumptuous.com

Machines should be used by beginners and Women should not lift weights - two huge myths that Mistress Krista beats to a pulp as she discusses how lifting weights are so extremely beneficial to all and should not be feared.

The blog posts on Stumptuous.com are top notch and filled with fantastic information.  Although the site is great for both sexes, many of the articles on Stumptuous.com are geared towards women and exercise.  From working out while pregnant to the “truth about breasts and exercise”, if you’re a woman and looking to lift some weight, Stumptuous.com is a great resource.

9. Straight to the Bar

Predominatly showcasing videos of huge lifts or crazy exercises and feats of strength, there is likely no other Fitness related blog on the interweb with more articles posted per day than on Straight to the Bar.  But among all the freakish strength, Straight to the Bar also features some great articles.

10. StrengthMill.com

Think “Fitness YouTube”.  StrengthMill.com provides a huge library of fitness related videos.  If you’re a personal trainer looking to mix things up for a client or you’re interested in finding a new exercise to try out to change things up for yourself, you’re likely to find something here.

12. Crossfit BrandX Forums

There’s a reason why Crossfit appears numerous times on this list. It’s efficient, it works, and so many people just can’t get enough of it. However, for every one person who works the WOD daily, there’s at least one more who would like to get into Crossfit, but is hesitant to jump right in full bore. Enter Crossfit Brand X.

Crossfit Brand X was a streetfighting school, turned krav maga school, turned Crossfit affiliate. Somehow, along the way, they also adopted a forum on their website where they religiously began posting scaled Crossfit workouts.

In the Crossfit WOD section of the forum, a member (usually Garddawd) posts several versions of the main Crossfit.com website workout, each with less weight, less distance and less required fitness. This is done to help introduce new Crossfitters to the game, or to simply allow a greater range of people to take part in the workout. This, of course, attracts a large group of people and as such, gives rise to loads of other posts asking questions or showcasing some new skills.

13. T-Nation.com

It’s hard to look past the giant muscle-heads and bikini clad fitness models on T-Nation (Testosterone Nation), but it has become a very popular bodybuilding website and deservedly so. While it’s hard to scroll down on any page on the site without seeing something PG and NSFW, the site does have its share of good tips and articles.

Important to note, many of the writers on T-Nation are particularly critical of some methods of training like Crossfit. However, one should make sure to get a balance of all sides of the fitness World and T-Nation manages to fit in well there.

Diet, supplements, strength training, body transformation - it’s all there… and then some.

14. DragonDoor.com

When first visiting DragonDoor.com, it’s obvious that they love the kettlebell. In fact, DragonDoor sponsors kettlebell certifications. But there’s no crime in that. Kettlebells have become super hot in the last year or so as they provide an endless amount of exercises and movements and have helped so many people acquire strength, rehabilitate injuries and lose weight.

Beyond the kettlebell action of DragonDoor.com, you’ll also find a large number of articles about body weight training, conditioning and martial arts.

15. ShapeFit.com

Last, but not least, is ShapeFit.com. I first came across ShapeFit.com several years ago. Since then, the site has accumulated a wealth of articles about all areas of health and fitness.

Of the more interesting and useful parts of the site are the forum and social networking area. Within these pages you can find virtually any fitness or exercise information you’re looking for.

Heavy Musings from Iron Maven

Came across this video by IronMaven, showing in incredible detail the motions of some Olympic lifting. The video includes some great editing with “ghosting” of successful lifting attempts and failures. Definitely worth a watch. Great work.

Bob Hoffman Old-School Body Building Book Archive

Bob Hoffman established the York Barbell company in 1932. With the weight lifting equipment and publications produced by his company, Hoffman had a profound influence on the fitness industry.

Although many of Hoffman’s publications have been out of print for some time, his books can be found on the site, “Eugen Sandow & The Golden Age of Iron Men” - a website primarily devoted to reproducing out of print collections of bodybuilding and weight lifting books circa “the strong man era”.

Although these books tend to be fiarly old, much of the material hasn’t changed much.  In fact, books like the “York Handbalancing Course” are still very informative.

See the Hoffman archive, here.

Letter on Corpulence - William Banting’s Low Carb Diet (Circa 1864)

Low-carb dieting is nothing new. In fact, what some may consider to be a “fad diet” goes back nearly 150 years!!

William Banting, a teacher who had problems fighting obesity is one of the first recorded testaments to a low carb diet. After numerous failed attempts to lose his stubborn fat, Banting took the suggestion from a doctor to try a certain diet. This certain diet, although not referred to as such, is for the most part a low-carb diet.

According to Banting himself, the new diet didn’t only solve his weight issue, it also cured him of some of his ailments. In his astonishment at what a change in diet could do for him, Banting felt it his duty to spread the word of the low-carb lifestyle.

In 1863, at his own cost, Banting printed and distributed a pamphlet called, “Letter on Corpulence, Addressed to the Public”. In this open letter, he describes his diet failures and how this miracle low-carb method worked so well for him and others whom he passed the idea on to.

As far as I can tell, given that the book was published well before 1900, it is in the public domain. I’ve transcribed it from a pdf version of the original that I found and have made it available for your own perusal below. The writing is a bit on the “old style” side, but I found it to be quite interesting and definitely recommend it to you, should you be interested at all in diet. It’s astonishing how little things have changed.

(Keep in mind that the word, “Corpulence”, is a middle English word for obesity)

Read more, click here…

Updated WOD Timer - Added Presets!

I managed to find a few minutes today to update the WOD Timer and add some presets. Now included are presets for some Crossfit WODs like Tabata, Tabata Something Else and Fight Gone Bad. Makes setting up the intervals a little easier.

Also made a dedicated page for the WOD Timer. Check out the new version here.

Hang Clean Lunge Combo

Tonight I did a quick workout consisting of 5 rounds of 10 hang clean lunge combos, 10 handstand push-ups and a muscle-up into 5 ring dips. I didn’t go all out on intensity and instead took it a little easier than usual. However, I thought that the hang clean to lunge combination was a great full body exercise. It really gets the quads and hamstrings. Tonight I went with only a 75lb bar, but it could easily be scaled up (or down) as necessary.

Check it out here:

Lunge tip: kiss the ground with the knee; keep weight nicely distributed over both front and back feet; initiate the push back up with the front heel.

30 Muscle-Ups for Time PR? Nope…

My last PR for the good ol’ 30 Muscle-ups for time was 10 minutes. Maybe just a hair longer actually, but still not half bad.  Now, there’s more strategy in the 30 muscle ups for time WOD than most others.  It turns out that trying to bust out 30 as fast as possible leads to failure much earlier than if you pace yourself.

To get to the 10 minute mark, I had to hit 1 muscleup every 20 seconds, which I more or less did.

Tonight I thought I’d try and break that PR.  My goal was to get 1 muscle-up every 15 seconds.  By doing so, I’d get down to 7 and a half minutes total - something to truely be proud about, I know…

So did I do it??  Nope…  Video evidence of my failure at around the 20 mark to follow…

The Fit Blog Spotlight: Sofia Boutella

Sofia Boutella - I can’t get enough of this girl’s moves. Sure, dancing can be learned, but there’s no doubt that Sofia has some seriously raw talent.

Sofia Boutella, half Armenian, half French, a life long dancer, landed a huge break in 2006, when she was picked up by choreographer, Jamie King, to represent femininity and Hip Hop for some Nike spots.  I’m not usually one for commercials, but Nike has put together some pretty nice arrangements in the past and the Sofia Boutella spots follow suite.

While dance generally categorizes under art, dance also epitomizes true athleticism.  Strength, coordination, flexibility, endurance - all key to the movements that can sometimes literally take our breath away.

Sofia Boutella - “can you honestly tell me, I’m not an athlete?”

The pic above can be grabbed from here.


Tonight I did a workout consisting of 5 rounds of 10 burpee-pullups and 5 135lb push jerks. Now, keep in mind that I’ve done workouts consisting of 150 pullups before. I’ve also done workouts consisting of 150 burpees before. But let me tell you that 10 burpee-pullups and I was surprisingly a little winded.
Burpee-pullups are what they sound like - a burpee, followed by a pullup.

If you’re not sure what a burpee is, here’s a good video, courtesy of crossfit: http://tr.im/dmlt.

So i searched online to find some more people doing burpee-pullups and came across this video. 100 burpee-pullups for time. Holy shit.

Good god… I have some work to do.