July 31, 2014

The OPT ladies enjoying “The Beach” last week in Carson

Off Season Training

With the Games now complete, we have had several inquiries and questions about how to begin your off season training…

Interesting enough I recently had a great conversation with one of our onsite athletes that made me ponder a bit about how specific to each individual the design must be. Some athletes’ training is best left unstructured – let the mind be free to enjoy. Others need direction right into specific progression. It is imperative that off-season training is always directed based upon how that individual feels (This is a big life coaching “aha” moment, because most athletes will not be honest and say the feel great, but everything comes full circle).

First and foremost, MOST do not take enough time off to recover. In a recent conversation with some of our Games athletes, there was indication that they would be ready get right back into the swing of things the following week (Standard fitness talk, ready to go a few days later). What the athletes did not comprehend is that it takes a substantial amount of time for the CNS to recover from such intense competition and the training leading up to the event. Racing back into training can lead to injury and a downward spiral of other issues.

Once the athlete is recovered, be sure to assess and test using data derived from the sport. This will permit one to identify the areas that need to be trained and focused on during the off-season training block. If you do not have data and know where you sit, then training becomes a guessing game.

Finally, put together the periodization schematic or “long term plan.” Map it out and work backwards from the ultimate goal. Identify areas of mid season peaks to lower the CNS demand and overall training volume. Mid season peaks can work very well as an avenue to implement litmus tests and reset the focus based on progression.

Remember, you as an individual have specific needs in fitness. Use the off-season to be precise and hammer your weaknesses with concentrated training.

Mike Lee
Coach, OPT


Function 7/31/14



Being 7/31/14



Will 7/31/14



She 7/31/14


July 30, 2014

I recently read this article and the key piece I took away from it was the fact that:

”Although most of the children had been referred to the obesity clinic by a primary care provider and had metabolic markers of obesity, 31.4 percent of parents perceived their child’s health as excellent or very good and 28 percent did not perceive their child’s weight as a health concern.”

This equates to over 59% of these parents thinking that obesity is not a health issue for their kids!

This is a major perceptual disconnect and a case where prescribing exercise alone is not the answer. Uh, Houston, we have a problem here.

In fact, I was in Houston in December for a course (incidentally on the mindset of health and disease) and I kept seeing these groups of massively obese people walking throughout the conference center. It was intriguing as they were obviously part of some collective and that 98 out of 100 were overweight to obese (I counted). Needless-to-say curiosity got the better of me and I followed them to their conference room to find out to what group they belonged.

Teachers. It was an elementary school teachers conference. The impact of that hit me so hard. This was the new normal.

The issue of obesity is one that goes beyond the body and the mind. A great coach is now tasked with considering the cultural and systems problems that contribute to ill-health in order to extract potential. Here we had a culture of obese teachers in which obesity was the norm rather than the exception. Then on the break there was a systems failure as they served soda and cookies for snacks. With this in mind, you can begin to see how the parents from the study would perceive their kids health as fine… they were just normal kids embedded in a familial culture of obesity.

My mind goes into a million directions when I watch the above commercial… Is it good? This may wake some people up! Is it bad? They are perpetuating the “run to be healthy” misnomer. Etc. But at the end of my flood of thoughts, I simply can’t believe this has become the norm to the degree that this commercial was even produced, and I applaud Nike for at least trying to shift the perception at a cultural level.

Sharon Prete
CCP Life Coaching Co-Conductor


Function 7/30/14

For time:
5k run

- go out conservative and finish fast!


Being 7/30/14

A1. DB rear foot elevated split squat @30X0; 8/leg; rest 90sec
A2. DB bent torso row @20X1; 6-8/arm; rest 90sec x 4
every 2min complete
8, 6, 4 90% effort
GHD situps
FW 20m 100/70#/hand
ring dip
x 4
5 rounds for time
Row 400m
20 plate over head walk lunges 45/25#

- start at zero complete 8, 6, 4 rest remainder of time start again at 2mins then 4mins then 6mins
- try to maintain the same pace on the rower each round for the best possible time


Will 7/30/14

Row 300m
1 TGU/arm
Run 100m
30 sec ring FLR
rest walk 1 min
x 10

A. Hang snatch – build to a heavy single
B. Emom 10 min – Hang snatch x 1 (85% of A)
C. Mid hang snatch high pull; 3,2,1,1; rest 2 min (3@85%, 2s@90%, 1s@95%)
for time:
50 double KB thruster (1.5pd/h)
- every break, 10 CTB chin ups unbroken


She 7/30/14

Coach’s Note: Anyone following the She blog should be implementing 10-15 minutes of scapular stability work in warm up. Powell raise, trap 3 raise, muscle snatch (light), DB prone row, DB external rotation, etc.

A. Hang clean – build to a heavy single
B. 8 sets – every 45 sec – Hang clean + FS x 2 (build from 75%)
C1. WCU @20X1; 2,2,2,1,1,1; rest 30 sec
C2. Clean high pull (from blcoks, bar just above knee); 2,2,2,2,2,2; rest 30 sec (build from 80% of clean RM)
C3. Death march x 30m; rest 2 min – (INCREASE load from previous week)
Row 200m
5 burpees over erg AFAP
rest walk 4:10
x 4

In case you missed it……

 OPT Presents: “Bridging the Gap – Implementing Individualized Program Design in a Group Setting”

Are you finding your clients aren’t getting the results they want in the group setting ? Or stalling out on their progress? It doesn’t have to be that way. In this FREE webinar, James discusses how to balance the efficacy of individual program design with the ease, social support and affordability of group class. Watch HERE.

July 29, 2014

Exclusive Coaching client Hank Carl with a 340# Split Jerk (10# PR)

Exclusive Coaching client Justin Tamane 260# snatch PR

Noteworthy - What Team OPT is reading, watching and doing this week.

Power output on cyclists on Tour (

Tim Ferris on the power of negative visualization (Listen Here)

CCP Level 2 coach Todd Nief talks CrossFit and Strength & Conditioning on (Download MP3)

CCP coaches Crowder and PK talk the business of CrossFit (

A good read on the benefits of long duration, low intensity cardio – known around here as Z1 (

Old people being awesome. (

Have something you think we shouldn’t miss or want to share with the community? Email us.


Function 7/29/14

A. DB rear foot elevated split squat @3010 8RM
B. Side bridge max hold each side
1 min AD for max cals
rest 3 min
1 min AD for max cals

- DB RFESS is with rear foot elevated about the height of your kneecap so that your lunging knee lightly touches the ground each rep
- rowing for cals is an acceptable sub for AD


Being 7/29/14

A. PS – build to a 5RM TnG in 12 min
B. HPC below knee cap – x 4; rest 2 min b/t sets, 10 sec b/t reps
5 sets:
10 bench press
Row 400 m @ 90%
rest 2:30

- no pause on floor for TnG 5RM PS
- pause 1 sec below knee, drop weight after each rep for the 10 sec cluster
- choose weight for unbroken sets but increasing per set and little more challenging per set for BP
- record row repeats – same across is goal


Will 7/29/14

Row 8k @ easy aerobic

A. Power clean – build to a heavy single
B. for time:
Power Clean
5-4-3-2-1 (80% of A)
rest 45 sec b/t each set
C. Clean pull (from blocks, bar just below knee); 2,2,2,2; rest 2 min (build from 95% of clean RM)
for time:
35 burpee MU


She 7/29/14

Coach’s Note: Anyone following the She blog should be implementing 10-15 minutes of scapular stability work in warm up. Powell raise, trap 3 raise, muscle snatch (light), DB prone row, DB external rotation, etc.

A. 8 sets – every 2 min – Jerk x 1 (85%)
B. Push press – build to a 2RM
C1. Axel bar pendlay row @21X1; 4-6 x 3; rest 30 sec
C2. Pendlay row; 2-3 x 3; rest 30 sec
C3. Ring row @1010; 6-8 x 3; rest 90 sec
10 min amrap:
5 ring dips
25m single arm FW (alt arms per round)
6 alt DB snatch (heavy)
25m barbell OH walk (heavy as possible for unbroken walk)

July 28, 2014

OPT and the Ability to Conquer an Ultra Marathon

Five years ago I was told that I would never be an athlete again due to injuries sustained during my military career. The grueling task of being a paratrooper had taken its toll on my knees and back, leaving me defined by society as 60% disabled. As a result, I began to approach all things from the perspective of a coach and not as an athlete, thinking those days were over.

With that change in belief as a springboard, I wanted to become the best coach possible, and that meant attending OPT’s onsite CCP module. I was so deeply inspired from that experience that I decided, resolutely, to attempt one more feat as an athlete. Possessing a strictly power-lifting background, I looked to the opposite end of the athletic spectrum; the result of my search saw me signing up for an ultra marathon trail run.

Trusting in only the best to handle my programming, I turned to OPT’s Michael Bann. He understood the difficulty of the task I wished to accomplish, and presented me a realistic perspective on what I could potentially achieve. I was asking him to transform a disabled power-lifter into an ultra endurance runner. Not just that, but I was asking him to complete the task within a mere three-month time frame.

Michael’s talent allows him to work with all walks of life; yet when working with an injured athlete such as myself, he truly excels. Through an appropriate assessment, we attacked my weaknesses, improving my posture and stability. He then optimized my conditioning, preparing me to endure the conditions of such an extreme endurance event at an elevation of nearly 5,400 feet.

Without a doubt, I firmly believe Michael’s training was the only reason I was able to complete 63 miles in 19 hours. More importantly, he helped reignite my warrior spirit, providing me the opportunity to experience a sense of ultimate empowerment, possibly only through his superb coaching and mentorship. I cannot thank Michael and OPT enough for providing me with the tools necessary and the skills needed to give it my all in what will undoubtedly prove to be a defining moment in my life. And who knows, maybe it wasn’t the last time after all.

Adam Poltrock
OPT Exclusive Coaching Client


Function 7/28/14

A1. Wtd dip – build to a max
A2. Wtd chin up – build to a max
B. Sorensen max hold
For time:
kb swings 1.5pd/1pd

- wtd dip – deep below parallel
- chin up is strict, no swinging from bottom, no hip kip near the top, throat to bar
- record the scores from this week in anticipation of retests later
- Sorensen hold is the position on the GHD machine, prone, parallel with ground, chin tucked, hands to temples


Being 7/28/14

A. back squat build to a max
B1. double KB front rack squat @43X1; 5-8; rest 30sec
B2. wtd back ext @2022; 6-8; rest 30sec
B3. FLR on rings 1min; rest 2mins x 5
AD 30sec 90% aero
easy spin 30sec x 12

- take your time and go for absolute max on bs
- focus on the tempo for the front rack kb squats you pick weight build per set if you can
- 2 sec hold at the top for weighted back ext
- keep the ad work all at the same pace


Will 7/28/14

AD 2 min @90%
AD slow spin 2 min
x 8

A. BS@20X1; 1,1,1,1; rest 2-3 min (only last single tough)
B1. DB paused chest press @12X1; 3-5 x 5; rest 30 sec
B2. Seated sled drag x 30m; rest 2 min (As heavy as possible)
5 sets – constant variance, all sets different order:
[400m row, 10 HSPU (-6”), 8 PS (155#), 200m run, 8 axel bar front rack step up (135#)]
rest 5 min b/t sets


She 7/28/14

Coach’s Note: Anyone following the She blog should be implementing 10-15 minutes of scapular stability work in warm up. Powell raise, trap 3 raise, muscle snatch (light), DB prone row, DB external rotation, etc.

A. Front squat @20X1; 2,2,1,1; rest 2-3 min (2s@87%, 1s@90%+)
B. Snatch DL + Snatch pull (from 2″ riser); 2.1 x 5; rest 2 min (heavy sets)
C. Emom 8 min – Double KB reverse lunge x 8 (AHAP for consistent completed reps)
3 sets for time @85%:
3 RC (15′)
8 HPC (75%)
10 strict chin ups
12 ring push ups
rest walk 3 min

July 27, 2014

Bumped into this guy. He’s here coaching and observing like the athlete he is, always thinking about training – my kind of guy.
We spoke a bit, we’re gonna get together and do some things in Europe and AZ, good stuff.

He made me think of a lot of things.

In this sport, as time passes I wonder if we will recognize former champs like Mikko.
I mean I know how special it would be for me to stand next to these giant champions like Mikko, Graham, Jason and Rich and hand the trophy over to the new champ.
How hard is that to do? Like the green jacket.
How cool would that be for young males and females to talk about their dreams of walking down this line-up on the tennis court after it is all over on Sunday night; where former male and female champions are there to honour their accomplishments. For THEM, not us.
It would be special for everyone then, it creates continunity then for people like Mikko and myself; we are grateful, then its over…u get passed over, I understand it, I do.
But what only those who have won know (and its similar to those who have fought in the battlefield in war will tell you), its pretty damn hard to recover after that high, VERY hard.

What other changes are required to add authenticity and legitimacy for the “fittest”?
All politics and sponsorships aside, why not just make it “FITNESS”, the medium that attracts us all, not the money, not the 15 minutes of fame.

Do you remember how hard Michael Jordan hugged that trophy. I can still remember watching that, i still get goosebumps. When you do it for the right reason, it means something.
How about the meaning was turned around?
From money and fame and “likes”; to honour, respect and integrity – which comes about when people simply “let go”.

What does the future bring?

1. A coaches conference where all coaches who coach top level CF athletes get together without an agenda, but to share – and you can come from any gym, with any name on your shirt (I would think that a lot of coaches including me would love to have Jami, CJ, Ben, Rudy, Leydon, Dusty etc.. discuss things – WITHOUT agendas, the medium being fitness evolution)
the medium – FITNESS

2. A scientific athletes training conference – where all of these coaches and aspiring athletes get together to share various ideas on training – so athletes can grow and develop and determine their own path (who would NOT want to have top level CF athletes perform some REAL physiological fitness testing – to determine where they sit in relation to most? – [if you think this is already done outside of OPT, its not]. I know I would love to share some of my ideas on what we see happening within the sport from the science end – that helps the athletes develop and train appropriately)
the medium – FITNESS

3. An agreement that NPGL and CF are different. Its pretty simple. CF tests for the fittest, has affiliates and educates them. NPGL is co-ed racing, two teams against one another. Look closely – real close – the athletes are different. It might be hard to see it now, wait 2 years, it will be clear, then there will be a choice, which is great. Why doesn’t anyone see this from the athletes perspective like I do? And not the sponsorship or money perspective? You can do one OR the other, not both, and that is ok. No one loses, its 2 different groups to choose athletes from, same audience.
the medium – FITNESS

4. A third party group organized by those who currently train and test for fitness – which says which competitions ARE or ARE NOT worth shit. This will change the game. The athletes out there are smart consumers. They want to train and compete, simple (train more, but compete yes:) a group that wishes to have a “fitness” test for a weekend can get a LOT of people interested in it if they hand in what they wish to test to a group of 20 people from around the world on this board, which gives the green or red light, then stamps it with a seal of approval if its a “good test”. I mean why not?… I know I am sick of reviewing those decisions with my clients, only to see them show up to a brutally organized, under-enthuisatic group with poor tests that were a “surprise”! Yes, everyone sits on this board, EVERYONE! – we can argue about it fine, but at least there is discussion.
the medium – FITNESS

Everyone seems to complain about shit, including me, but no one is doing a damn thing to change it, and if it’s met with a wall, they falter….then complain more…
Well, the wall can be jumped over or you can go around it – it’s a challenge, NOT an obstacle, all it takes is some thought…
think about it.

James FitzGerald
Director, OPT 


Function 7/27/14



Being 7/27/14



Will 7/27/14



She 7/27/14


July 26, 2014

marcus sled push
Exclusive Coaching client and Phoenix Rise athlete Marcus Filly competing in the Sled Push 2 at the 2014 CrossFit games.


Function 7/26/14

5 rounds for time:
25 cal AD
15 burpees

- aerobic test


Being 7/26/14

A. Snatch build to a tough single
B. close grip bench press build to a tough single

rest as needed

Row 500m 90% aero
Rest 2mins x 8 all rows must be same pace
Goal is best possible time

- snatch take your time build in several reps
- close grip bench press take your time build in several reps


Will 7/26/14

1 min AD
1 min row
1 min jog
1 min bike
1 min crawl
1 min jump rope
x 7

A. BS @20X1; 2,2,2,1,1,1; rest 3 min (2s@85-90%, 1s@90-95%)
B. 10 sets – every 2 min – Clean and Jerk x 1
C. for time: 75 HSPU
for time:
Run 800m
10 Med ball 2 shoulder (150#)
20 burpee (18″ target)
40 wall ball (unbroken, 30#)


She 7/26/14

Coach’s Note: Anyone following the She blog should be implementing 10-15 minutes of scapular stability work in warm up. Powell raise, trap 3 raise, muscle snatch (light), DB prone row, DB external rotation, etc.

Run 400m @high effort
rest walk 3 min
x 4

rest 8 min

Row 500m @high effort
rest walk 3 min
x 4

- Keep pace high, consistent times on both run and row


July 25, 2014

dyall games
CCP Coach Karl Dyall and his coach, CCP Coach and owner of CrossFit Uppsala Martin Altemark, celebrating after his third place finish in the masters 45-49 division. We are super proud of and inspired by all of the masters athletes who competed over the last three days!


Function 7/25/14

A1. Seated good morning @3111; 3-5×4; rest 90 sec
A2. db 1-arm push press @30X1; 3-5×4; rest 90 sec btw arms; rest 2 min
B1. db decline bench press @30X1; 3-5×4; rest 90 sec
B2. pendlay row @21X0; 3-4×4; rest 90 sec
C. single arm FW 50-60m tough L/R; 4 sets each; rest as needed
D1. bent hollow body rock; 24 reps; 3 sets; rest 10 sec
D2. table stretch; 30 sec; 3 sets; rest 15 sec

- decline bench press is 15-30 degrees downwards
- fine to momentarily put down FW implement to switch direction, kb is better than a barbell generally, but FW handles best to use
- bent hollow body rock is like a hollow rock but with hands by hips and knees bent
- table stretch is supine onto hands and feet with hips thrust into the air, hold the top position


Being 7/25/14

A. back squat @20X1 + chains or bands 50-60% of 1rm; 2-3×10; rest 45sec
B. rear foot elevated split squat @30X0; 10-12/leg; rest 90sec btw legs x 3
5 sets 85% effort
20 walk lunges
15 box jump sd 24/20″
10 FS 65% of 1rm @20X1
60 DU
rest 2mins

- speed focus on back squat bar is 50-60% of 1rm then add chains or bands
- grinder pace on the last workout 80-90%


Will 7/25/14

AD 60 min @Z1
- every 5 min get off and complete 3 hip extension, 35 sec ring FLR

A. SJ; 3,2,1,1; rest 3 min
B. Build to a heavy complex – Push press + Push jerk x 2
B. For time:
100m FW (100#/h)
15 wall walks
100m FW (100#/h)

rest as needed

for time:
Row 1k @90%
rest 2 min
150 DU
50 TTB
150 DU
50 ring dip
rest 2 min
Row 1k @90%


She 7/25/14

Coach’s Note: Anyone following the She blog should be implementing 10-15 minutes of scapular stability work in warm up. Powell raise, trap 3 raise, muscle snatch (light), DB prone row, DB external rotation, etc.

A. BS @21X1; 2,2,2,2; rest 2-3 min (80-85%)
B1. Ring rows @1010; 8-10 x 3; rest 30 sec
B2. DB bent over fly; 8-10 x 3; rest 2 min
C. Emom 12 min -
min 1 – Strict HSPU amrap in 45 sec
min 2 – Strict chin up x 4-6
min 3 – Tng Clean x 3 (build from 70% of Clean RM)
for time:
15 S2OH (80% of jerk RM, from floor)