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Archive for August, 2012

Origins of Parkour III: The Lemurs

Friday, August 31st, 2012


Today Amanda, Roger and myself were talking about the new name designations for the various kids programs.  Gymnastics had just snatched up the cats and the monkeys for the various different kid levels.  I told Amanda that Parkour should have cats or monkeys, since they are the animals that move beautifully and, well, basically do parkour.  Amanda threw her head back and laughed. ” Andres”, she replied, “you’re a little late to this conversations.  We’ve already got the cats and the monkeys!”  ”But how about the lemurs?” added Roger, attempting to save the day.  ”You guys can be the lemurs!”  Amanda also added “There are still plenty of cats available.”  Well, let’s take a look at those lemurs to see what they look like in our Episode 3 video of “Origins of Parkour”:

And in case you missed the blog from a few months ago, here are the cats:

And going a little farther back still, we’ll round it out with the monkeys:

Don’t hesitate to come to PK class (especially now that they’ll be included with your unlimited Cave membership) and learn to move like one of these magnificently cool animals!

I’m Taking the Plunge–Going Paleo!

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

For those of you who follow the blog, you know that I have been making many efforts to test my diet.  I’ve cut things out, added things in…all to see what is actually making me feel good, and what makes me feel like crap.

After Spencer’s HUGE success I wrote about last week, and he is still dropping–5 more ponds–I started thinking, why not just go for it?  I’ve never gone fully paleo for more then 2 weeks, and its time.  September is my month of dedication.

My reasons?  I am feeling more and more bloated after the slightest bit of cheese, I am gagging after drinking my coffee with cream (which makes me want to cry), and I generally notice the different instantly when I eat any wheat products.  It’s a sad  truth, but my body just doesn’t like this stuff anymore.  The less I eat (when I cheat) the more I notice.

The thing is, as much as it sucks thinking about what I can’t have, I truly like eating paleo anyway.  Meat, veges, fruit, nuts, are all delicious.  And, I feel great when I eat them.

The challenges?  I am back in school, working two jobs, volunteering, running programs, while also trying to train and have a life–its safe to say I eat out of grocery stores.  I will try to prepare more from home, but this will not always be easy.

My plan:

Journal every day what goes in my mouth–whether it be food or drink.  Jot notes about how I feel (bloated, tired, hungry, low energy, high energy, etc).  Take weekly pictures and measurements.

Allow 2 cheats each week (I am saying this now just in case–meals not days).

Use the rest of my blog posts for the month to update you all of my progress.

It’s pretty simple I think, though I may be calling on you all for help.  Eat right and record it.  September here I come!  Care to join me? 

Programming for August 27 - September 2

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Monday Aug 27

Skill work:

KB Cleans/Snatches

Workout Jackie #284

Complete for time:

Row (Concept 2) 1000m

50 Thruster, barbell 45/30lb (20/15kg)

30 Pull up

M: Martin H. 7:06 F: Eileen M. 10:14

Tuesday Aug 28

Skill work:

Levers - front and back

Workout Dianne (#152)


Deadlift 225/155lbs (102/70kg)

Handstand push up

M: Branko G. 3:12 (Wall HSPU) MT: Roger H. 5:48 (free HSPU) F: Jill S. 3:30 (Wall HSPU)

Wednesday Aug 29

Skill Work:

Drop cleans.


30 Squat jumps

30 Pull ups


30 Candlestick rocks


30 Arch rocks


30s L-sit

300’ Broad jumps

M: Nick B. 9:10 F: Leanne B. 8:20

Thursday Aug 30

Skill work:

Push press


2X 2K Row

Single 2K Row times:

M: Tomio M. 7:17 F: Louise S. 8:56

Friday Aug 31

Skill work:

LL and K2E.


5X3 Pull up

5X3 Ring Dip

Friday Aug 31

Skill work:

LL and K2E.


5X3 Pull up

5X3 Ring Dip

Friday Aug 31

Skill work:

LL and K2E.


5X3 Pull up

5X3 Ring Dip

Saturday Sept 1 - Programming and Price Changes Go Into Effect

Self Defense Seminar - 1:00PM - 5:00PM



Sunday Sept 2 - Barbell Club Starts - 2:30PM


Level 1

Establish 1RM Front Squat

Establish 1RM Overhead Squat

Level 2

Establish 1RM Snatch

Establish 1RM Clean

Olypmics Limiting The Best?

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

Tough Thing To Take

Tough Thing To Take

So I’ve had a lot of people ask me about the rule that only allows 2 gymnasts from any one country make the all around finals. This year this rule was prominent to US viewers because we had 3 very strong all around gymnasts. Gabby Douglas, Jordyn Wieber and Aly Raisman all had valid shots at an Olympic all around medal. Going into floor the three were separated by just over a point. Gabby had a significant lead, but had a major fault on the floor. Even with the fault Jordyn ended just behind Gabby and it was up to Aly to decide if the second spot was going to be her or Jordyn. After a fantastic performance Aly bumped Jordyn from the all around finals.

24 gymnasts are taken to the all around finals. Jordyn’s all around score would have placed her solidly in this field. In fact, her score was fourth in the entire field. That’s right, the fourth ranked gymnast in the preliminaries was not allowed to complete in the all around finals due to the country limit rule. This tells us two things. First is that the US had an incredibly strong team this year with 3 of the top four gymnasts in the competition. Second, that the Olympics often has rules that go beyond simple numerical scoring to decide the competition.

The original intent of the Olympics is as a time for countries to come together and compete in good natured sport to improve international relations. I believe that it has functioned well in this capacity. It has been used as a political tool (boycotted Olympics, target for terrorist attacks, etc), but all in all has been a phenomenal way to bring the world together. In the past there were rules about limiting competitors to non-professionals and other ways to keep the competition as fair as possible.

I can see both sides of the limit to all around competitors per country. It was more of an issue when teams were larger, allowing six competitors per event so gymnastics squads were significantly larger. This could limit the top 24 to just a few countries. The other side to look at is if these athletes are the best, then they should be allowed to compete. I’m split on it. I do believe the best should compete, but we also want to ensure that countries without the resources to train athletes to the same level are at least allowed to represent. What are your thoughts?

Charles Moreland Parkour Training

Friday, August 24th, 2012

This parkour video is a jewl.  It helps you look through the skewed prisms that people view parkour through and gives you a more precise and pure perspective.  Check this out.  I think every Caver that is interested in movement and fitness should watch this!

One of the reason I gravitate towards parkour so much as a training protocol is because I love learning stuff.  I honestly believe that since what humans are good at and designed for is learning, “fitness” has to be directly tied in to learning.  For this reason I think that only promoting “work capacity” in basic movements that have already been acquired is not enough to fullfill our potential for “fitness” and that’s why I promote activities such as parkour, gymnastics, martial arts, climbing, swimming as well as other sports and not just CrossFit. CrossFit should complement and enhance our lives and other activities and not be the only focus of our fitness.  There is no doubt that CrossFit is valuable, it just shouldn’t stand alone.


Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

You know what I hate…?  I hate it when you are trying to lose that last five pounds, or you’re busting your butt to squeeze into your hot pants and you just cant seem to do it.  You suffer, you try, to have food guilt.  And sometimes it feels like you gain weight.  But when Spencer changes his diet for one week, yeah that’s right, one week, he loses 10 pounds.  10 pounds!  That doesn’t include the 2.5 inches that disappeared from his waist.  Seriously!?!

Now despite my jealously, I am so proud of my brother Spencer.  Many of you know him.  He comes in and out of the gym.  Never super consistent.  The guy is a natural ox.  He is so strong, and really quite fast.  I’d be scared to see him consistent.  He’d be a beast.

That’s the thing about Spencer, though–when he is consistent with working out, sure it helps with weight loss, but its not what makes the pounds shed.  It’s all about diet.  Diet for him is so important.  It’s number one.  Exercise just puts the batteries in the energizer bunny to keep the pounds shedding.

I think a lot of us overlook nutrition.  I personally am really making a lot of changes (not just week by week).  It’s a lifestyle change.  Since our February Nutrition Challenge, I have stayed away from wheat and gluten.  I cheat every once in a while, but I pay for it.  It’s clear to me that my body doesn’t like wheat.  I bloat.  A lot!   You’ve heard about it.

So Spencer sees huge success in his new diet.  He has been working very closely with my dear friend, Anne Peguero (formally known as Anne Leone–who used to train with us).  Spencer is eating six meals a day.  Not paleo, but clean.   He is supposed to do two workouts a day (5 days of the week), one being 30 minutes of moderate cardio, and the other being a strength set (this week he has just done the cardio).  And at this point, since we now know that this plan works for him, he is to choose one day a week for his cheat (inmen-weight-losswhich Spencer is allowed 45 minutes to cheat–in replacement of meals 4 and 5 of the day).

Now of course there is something to be said for the first week of a diet.  Generally, one sees a large amount of water weight lost.  Did I mention he is drinking a gallon of water a day?

So the wheels are spinning in my brain.  I am thinking of doing something drastic.  I’ve cut out the wheat.  I only consume dairy when it goes in my coffee, or some cheese every once in a while.  I am considering more…stay tuned for next week.

Keep up the good work Spencer!

Programming for August 20 - 26, 2012

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Monday Aug 20

Skill Work:

Pick a skill

Workout #328

Complete for time:

Run 200m

20 Wall ball 20/14lb

15 Dips

Run 400m

20 Wall ball 20/14lb

15 Dips

Run 200m

Tuesday Aug 21

Skill work:

Handstand practice


5X3 Back Squat (#245)

5X3 Shoulder press (#251)

Wednesday Aug 22

Skill work:

Ring support inversions

Workout #1082

Complete as many rounds in 00:15:00 as you can of:

15 Clean, power 50/35kg

5 Thruster, barbell 50/35kg

30 Hollow Rocks

Thursday Aug 23

Skill work:

Precision jumps


5-5-3-3-1-1-1 Clean and Jerk (#919)

Friday Aug 24

Skill work:

Squat therapy

Workout #721

Complete for time:

Lunge Walk 100ft

21-18-15-12-9-6 Pull up

21-18-15-12-9-6 Situp

Saturday Aug 25

Level 1:

7X2 Pause Front Squats (3 seconds at bottom) – heaviest possible (moderate load for newbies), rest 60 sec.


5 rounds for total working time: (#1495)

100m Shuttle Run (10m sections)

15 HR Pushups

10 DB Thrusters @ #80/65#

Level 2:

7X2 Pause Front Squats (3 seconds at bottom) – heaviest possible, rest 60 sec.


5 rounds for total working time: (#1496)

100m Shuttle Run (10m sections)

15 HR Pushups

10 Hang Squat Clean to Thrusters @ 95/65#

Sunday Aug 26

Skill work:

Rapid cycle overhead squats

Workout #907

Complete as many rounds in 00:10:00 as you can of:

Burpee Broad Jump 80ft

10 Straight body lift

10 Dips

10 Pull up

Master Your Brain… Infographic

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

Sorry about the slowness that results after loading this. Some decent information here. Their scale on IQ is a bit misleading in that it equates IQ with level of education, which is specifically what IQ is supposed to be about. It is supposed to be a rating of intelligence not education. In theory there could be a person out there with a 175+ IQ that has no formal education whatsoever. Now, the trouble with this is that test taking (including IQ tests) is a practicable skill, so someone with no formal education would not do well on an IQ test because they would be cumbersome working their way through it, regardless of their base intelligence. It is true that those in higher education tend to have higher IQs because this is a selective process. Those that do well in school with less effort will tend to continue further.

Much of the information below concurs with the Brain Development Principles series a while back. 12 posts on brain development.

Created by Online Masters Degree

The Most Important Factor In Your Training Is You

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

This video was recently sent to me. It is pretty simple, doesn’t show us anything we don’t see on a regular basis if we watch sports at all, but as a whole and considering the title can be viewed as profound. The title is “Everything You Need is Already Inside”. Yep, that’s right. You are already fully equipped to train to your full capacity.

I am truly privileged that I get to watch people achieving goals every day. I have seen countless people meet long standing goals. And many achieve well beyond what they thought was possible. We at The Cave provide a facility well suited to train, a focus for a community to gather around and inspire each other and a staff that dedicates all of their time to learn how to optimize training. Even with all of that, all you really need is you. You just need to make a decision.

Are you going to decide to get in and train more days than not. Are you going to choose to eat foods that help you, and avoid foods that hinder you. Are you going to make good choices about your schedule and sleep that will keep you progressing physically, cognitively and professionally. We make thousands of little choices every day. Each one takes us in a direction. Where are you headed?

You have what it takes to make astounding progress. You can new learn new skills daily. You can move better. You can be stronger. You can be faster. You can adjust your habits for the better. None of this stuff is easy. Making these things happen almost always involves a lifestyle change. It takes doing things counter to the culture around you. It takes ignoring the marketing hype telling you that you can “eat what you want, workout 30 minutes/month and achieve the perfect body”. Make the hard decisions. Take the next step. Everything You Need is Already Inside.

The Sticking Point

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

Typically when athletes pick up a new activity or start practicing a new skill, there is a period of time when the improvement and breakthroughs come often and without all that much effort, reltatively speaking.  This applies to different activities such as gymnastics, parkour, CrossFit, martial arts, or team sports.  You can learn new moves, gain strength and see vast improvements and PR’s for months if not years.  Later, though, there ususally are more “sticking points”.  These are the periods when it doesn’t seem like you’re improving at all.  You may be trying to bust your ass just as hard or even harder than ever before, but you may not see any improvements and you start wondering if you’ve peaked and whether you’re ever going to get better.  These are the periods that really test an athlete’s determination, passion, and their commitment to their sport.  When we first start something there are so many “psychological rewards” when we acquire new skills, see quantum leaps in our lifts or break personal records that we can’t wait to go back to practice.  That’s the easy part.  What differenciates the “good” from the “extraordinary” is dedication, commitment and ability to keep improving.  That’s when the difference is in the details.  We need to put in the “extra credit”, push through the dreary days and add the extra intensity, study master athletes and refine our own techniques and movements with theirs, dial in our nutrition and be protective of our rest times.  It also helps to put ourselves in new competitive situations where we can force ourselves to perform at a higher level than we would otherwise.  These are some of the things that can help you break through the “sticking points” where you might have stopped seeing improvements and may even start wondering if you have the fire and motivation to keep going or ability to improve.  Of course, the most important thing is to never give up if you love what you do.  If you don’t, then go find something that you do love and that you can be passionate about and don’t waste your time.  Post to comments if you’ve ever had to deal with a “sticking point” and how you handled it.