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May 17-19
Scottsdale, AZ

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OPT Big Dawg Blog 5 Week FREE Regional training guide is now available! 

Congrats to all those who qualifed for regionals. Blog followers can now download a 5 week FREE regional training program. Individuals should follow the blog until 5 weeks out from the competition date, then move to the template below.


aug 24, 2013




This is a clip of 25 coaches from the Athlete Development Series last weekend in Atlanta. At one time each designing their own AER piece and keeping it sustainable while mixed
Coaches are asked at lunch to design 2 x 6 min mixed AER pieces, rest 8 min then 1 hard effort of a mixed power piece
AM session:
- history of circuits
- science behind mixed modal work
- top power protocols for mixed work
- top protocols for aer mixed work
PM session:
- blogs and why they can work for some and not for others
- case studies
- Q and A
21,18,15,12,9,6,3 rep rounds for time:
KBS American
Sit Ups Anchored
Ring Rows
- use hips to move weight for swings
- AbMat preferred for low back for sit ups, shoulders to ground and reach far overhead at bottom; reach as far possible at top b/t legs
- full protraction and retraction of scapulae for rows; this is a muscle endurance piece, be patient
- record total time and fractions
A. HPS - 2,2,2,2; rest 2 min
rest 2 min
4 sets incremental per set:
PC TnG x 5
Row 200 m
rest walk 4 min actively
rest 5 min
Row 1 min @ 97-99%
rest walk 8 min x 4
- add weight per set for HPS - hang just below knee cap
- warm up TnG sets small prior, add weight per set and effort on row per set
- record times/set for PC + Row
- record distances for 1 min pieces - resist fatigue is goal for 1 min pieces
Row 500 m easy
Row 150 m @ 90% AER
Row 150 m @ 50% AER x 15 sets
Row 500 m easy
A. Hang Power Clean - build fast to a tough single
B. CGBP @ 30X1; 2-3 x 3; rest 3 min
5 sets - same pace per set - 80-90%:
Run 400 m
Row 400 m
21 KBS - 2pd
21 push press - 95#
rest walk 4 min b/t sets
- ensure AER work on AM piece, then high AER power on PM effort
- rest time only enough to change weights for HPC single
- building sets for CGBP
- record times for AER power mixed piece in PM
A. Clean Pulls - 3 x 3; rest 90 sec
B. HPC - build to a tough single in 8 min - NOT a 1RM
rest 3-5 min
for time:
prowler 100 m moderate
burpee broad jumps 100 m
100 m walking lunges
5 x 100 m shuttles
100 m walking lunges
burpee broad jumps 100 m
prowler 100 m moderate
- pulls to work on movement, NOT too much on load - clean weight - 105-110% clean weight proper
- use hips on HPC, perfect catch for feet!
- hi or low prowler fine, keep grinding it
A. Press - build to a tough single in 8 min
rest 2 min
B. AMRAP TGU - 1.5 pd - in 8 min - alt hands/rep
rest 2 min
C. Run 1 mile
- warm up shoulders well before hand, lengthen lats and anterior hips
- TGU should be in warm up also, make the reps perfect over speed, constant, save a little for the run
- work on getting legs going right for run then pacing it out for 3K speed over 400-1600 m
Check out our upcoming events to register for one of the 4 remaining Athlete Development Series: Mixed Modal Training in 2013

Tags: Ads

aug 23, 2013




Ayo Anise OPTathlon 3.0 standing triple jump 
OPTathlon 3.0 Female 1st place winner is coming back this year to compete, read more Ayo Anise and her OPTathlon experience!
What is your background in sports and fitness?
My background in sports in fitness: I was a collegiate sprinter competing mainly in the 200m dash, 400m dash, 4x400m relay and occasionally the 4x100m relay.  I continued lifting and running off and on recreationally after college and then found crossfit in 2008.  I joined a box in 2009 and crossfit has been my sport since.
Currently what are you doing to train for the upcoming event?
Currently I'm focusing on skill work - my Oly lifts and gymnastics specifically. I'm also spending more time running and rowing as both are relaxing.  I have always loved running and have done it less and less since I started Crossfit so this season I'm looking forward to spending time doing more of what I love.
What are you most looking forward to about the OPTathlon?
What I'm most looking forward to about the OPTathlon is the community. Its an amazing group of people and being surrounded but good athletes and awesome energy is always fun!
Do you plan on beating your score from last year, if so in what event do you think you have improved the most?
Do I plan on beating my score? I hope so! Last year I went into the competition to just challenge myself, enjoy those around me, and put my best foot forward.  I hope to do the same this October. Honestly Chelsea coached me through some of the movements like the shot toss and the standing triple.  It was fun to work out with her and the other athletes. Overall I'm just excited to compete but if I HAD to pick one event, I would say I'm looking forward to the unknown event.  I hope to improve in event 4! :) Of course that's a bit tongue in cheek since I don't know what it is. 
21,18,15,12,9,6,3 rep rounds for time:
Wall Balls - 20/14# to 10ft
GHD Back Extensions
Push Ups - HR
- full depth on wall ball, 10 ft or it does NOT count
- use glutes on ext's, not low back, change hands to increase/decrease effort
- chest to deck on push ups, tummy tight, NO SAG
- record total time and fractions
A. Snatch Balance - build to a tough double in 12 min
B. OHS @ 2020; 10,10,10; rest 2 min
rest 3 min
5,4,3,2,1 for time:
Rope Climb - 15'
Wall Walk
rest 5 min
DB SuitCase Carry - 25 m R
DB SuitCase Carry - 25 m L
rest walk 1 min x 4
- reach good depth over load for Sn Bal
- add weight per set for OHS - warm it up well before hand - FULL DEPTH!
- body remains neutral for entire climb, minimal hip bending!
- try to add weight per set for carry, error on being heavier than lighter
Run 30 min easy out of bed fasted - easy pace
mobility AFTER for 30 min
A. Snatch off high blocks - build to a max
B. FS @ 30X1; 75% of Mondays toughest single - 6 sets of 3; rest as needed
C1. WCU @ 21X0; 2-3 x 3; rest 10 sec
C2. CTB chin ups amrap (-2) x 3; rest 4 min
- light on feet for AM run, change speed to reflect good form
- mig to high thigh blocks for Snatch
- record RPE for 75% squat work
- same load per set will apply for C1 piece in PM
A1. Wtd Chin Ups - 1 tough rep; rest 20 sec
A2. Towel Chin Ups - amrap (-1); rest 20 sec
A3. DB push press @ 1011; 10-15 x 3; rest 3 min
B. DB Russian Step up @ 1110; 12-15/leg x 3; rest 45 sec b/t legs
C. FLR on rings - accumulate 6 min
- any grip you wish for chin up, try to add weight per set
- chin above grip on towel chin ups, drape towel over chin up bar, full ext at bottom!
- push press - lower load, good form, try to add per set
- DBRSU - kick opposite knee high at top, one leg only per set, stick to tempo, bench at knee cap height
- rings 2" above ground for FLR
A. FS @ 30X1; build to a tough double
rest 3 min
Bear Complex - 135#
Bar MU's
rest 10 min
50 burpee jumping chin ups for time
- full depth on squat, higher effort, stick to tempo
- 1 bear complex = PC, FS, PP, BS, PP, bar to ground - unbroken not necessary
- BJCU - bar at 8ft, chest to deck, keep midline tight
Have you registered for the OPT BASH & OPTathlon?

Tags: Opt Bash

aug 22, 2013




Kyle and I finally met this weekend at the ADS MMT in CrossFit North Atlanta. It has been a long time coming.


We now have a bond in the No Excuses CrossFit facility program design (with Coach Ben Davis) as well an upgraded understanding of mixed modal work and how it relates to absolute strength, relative strength and maximal strength.


To listen to Kyle's story is one thing, to see the man in action is truly an inspiration.


My girls wanted me to get a photo with Kyle as they were curious or course as little people are. As Leighanne and I explained Kyle's purpose, you could see their minds turning on how things get done when you see challenges, NOT obstacles.


Life changing stuff.


Thanks to everyone who participated there at the ADS MMT, look forward to seeing folks in Carolina this week!


Tags: Kyle Maynard, Ads

aug 21, 2013



OPT CCP coach John McEvoy
The Mental Side of Stress, Part 1
Mike did a great job of summarizing the physiology of stress yesterday, and that is no easy task because it’s a vast topic.  On that note, I am going to layer on some of the mental components that play a role.  This is in no way meant to cover all angles, rather it will give you a few pieces of the puzzle to add to your awareness.
Like Mike said: “our body does not differentiate between mental or physical stress—stress is stress”.  Given this fact, I want to dig a little deeper on the mental side by adding that our bodies also do not differentiate between actual stress or perceived stress.  Huh?  What is perceived stress?  When I’m teaching my clients about the mind-body connection as it relates to perceived stress I give them this analogy:
Imagine you are hiking in the woods and just as the path turns a corner you come across a grizzly bear about 40 feet in front of you.  How do you think your body would react?  I ask them to give me a list of physiological symptoms that would inevitably occur.  The classic symptoms from the client perspective based on worry of being attacked are: tightness in belly, shallow breathing, pounding heart, sense of fear, rigid muscles, etc.  Then I ask them to imagine that they took two more steps forward, and after they cleared the trees they could see that the bear was actually in a cage and posed no danger.  Now what would your body do?  The answers: relax, take a deep breath in, heart would stop racing, etc.
I use this analogy because it shows them that when they thought there was something to worry about their body would facilitate a stress response, and when they perceived there was nothing to worry about their body would relax.  The operative concept here is that they “thought there was something to worry about”.  These days people have the “worry switch” turned on day in and day out.  I have a ton of examples of clients who are walking around playing  “stress tapes” in their head and have no idea why or where it comes from—I’ll be sharing many of those at the Big Dawg Bash along with the tools on how to create change.
So how do we help people switch from perceived worry to a balanced state that creates homeostasis in the body?  I’m going to save most of this for next week after Mike shares why all stress is not bad, but I’ll leave you with this.  The work of Byron Katie is a good introductory tool to use with yourself and clients because it involves four simple questions that can often unravel a ball of perceived stress rather quickly.
The 4 Questions:
Is it true? (yes or no)
Can you absolutely know that it’s true? (yes or no)
How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
Who would you be without the thought?
These four questions effectively create the conditions to reflect on the perceived stress, address the reaction and get you to contemplate how your life would change without that perception.
3 sets:
10 KBS Russian
90 sec AD @ 90% effort
rest walk 2 min
3 sets:
10 push press
90 sec Row @ 90% effort
rest walk 2 min
FLR on floor - accumulate 5 min
- try to add weight per set for swings
- keep AD and Row intervals same pace per modality per set for AER consistency
- add small weight per set for push press - technique over load for these
- record watts for AD and distance for row as metrics
for time:
15 rope ascent - 15'
20 wall walks
rest 5 min
for times:
Row 250 m @ 97% effort
rest walk 4 min b/t sets x 5
rest 5 min
Row 2K with incremental 100's
- warm up ROM well for gymnastics grinder piece, keep breathing!
- record times for row sprints
- incremental 100's = faster pace every 100 for 20 reps - can you do it?
AD 2 min @ Z1
AD 40 sec @ 90% AER
walk rest 20 sec x 30
AD 2 min @ Z1
10 min grinder pace:
FW heavy DB's 25 m
10 wall walks
10 pistols
rest 5 min MAX
10 min grinder pace:
sled fwd drag tough 25 m
tire flip x 3 heavy
1 rope ascent leg less - 15'
- prefer AM fasted out of bed
- try to keep same RPM for AD sets in AM as you have done for 30 sec repeats
- get off for 2-3min every 5 or 6 sets
- perform some lifting before hand for PM session to get CNS revved up
3 sets:
AMRAP Ring Rows @ 1111
rest 20 sec
AMRAP Push Ups @ 1111
rest 2 min 
5 sets @ 80-90%:
25 m crawl
25 DU's
25 m FW - 2pd/h
Run 400 m
rest walk 2 min b/t sets
- perfect tempo for rows and push ups
- hips low on crawl, breathe on DU's, shoulders down and back, remain tall for FW
Row 30 sec @ 97%
rest walk 4 min x 3
rest 5 min
Row 500 m @ 95%
rest 90 sec in rower
Row 500 m @ 97%
rest 10-15 min
for time @ 100%:
15 PC - 115#
10 burpees
12 PC - 115#
10 burpees
9 PC - 115#
10 burpees
Join us for the OPT CCP Life Coach Module is Sept 28 - 29 in Scottsdale, AZ. 


aug 20, 2013




The Physiology of Stress, Part 1
Stress: Any factor that disrupts homeostasis; this can a known external stressor like life/environmental factors such as work-relation issues, nerve compression, pollution, or physical training.  It can also be a hidden internal factor which could be pathological or inflammatory in nature, like parasites, intake of inflammatory foods, or use of antibiotics.  The body responds via the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems.
Modern day stressors can be broken into two categories: External and Internal.  Common examples of each include:
External, or "Known": Anxiety, musculoskeletal injury, and chronic pain
Internal, or "Hidden": Bacterial infection, alcohol or toxin intake, and inflammatory food items like glutenin/gliadin
The physiological response to stress, be it real or perceived, is by activating the sympathetic nervous system (SNS).  The adrenal medulla responds to the SNS (via nerve transmission) by increasing epinephrine and norepinephrine.  Epi and norepi trigger the HPA (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal) axis to release specific hormones.  This cascade involves corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) to be secreted from the hypothalamus; this in turn causes the pituitary gland to release adrenocorticotropin-releasing hormone (ACTH) into the bloodstream, which acts directly on the adrenal cortex to release cortisol.  Cortisol's primary function in the stress response is to mobilize glucose via gluconeogenesis, suppress immune response, and aids in fat, protein, and carbohydrate metabolism.  Once activated, this "fight or flight response" results in physiological changes such as elevated heart rate, pupil dilation, bronchodilation, peripheral vasoconstriction, and GI peristalsis inhibition.   Essentially, this is a normal physiological response, and the first stage of the general adaptation principle.  Issues arise in modern society when this stress response is chronic in nature. 
The human body strives for homeostasis at all times; chronic stress continually taxes our system, forcing the body to try and compensate/adapt.  We only have so much capacity to handle stress from a physiological point of view; as an example, the adrenal glands, which produce cortisol in response to stress, have a finite capacity.  Our body will do everything to support the adrenal system under load, including making accessory pathways, to support the cortisol demand.  If we think about athletes and performance, this is easy to understand the concept of over-reaching and eventually overtraining.  A key concept is that our body does not differentiate between mental or physical stress---stress is stress, and has the same effects in the end.  The brain body connection is inseparable.
Stress reduction for clients involves identification; this is often the hardest concept, especially with internal stressors, or realization of non-physical external stressors.  The next step would be developing, and implementing, strategies to remedy the stress.  I'm going to let Sharon run with that concept as that is her forte.
I want to leave you with the question:  "Is all stress bad?"  The answer is a resounding "No!", but the "why" will have to wait till Part II.
Mike Kesthely
A. Back Squat @ 2020; 10-12 x 2; rest 2 min
B. Back Squat @ 2020; 5-7 x 2; rest 2 min
C. DB Walking Lunges @ 2010; 16 steps; rest 90 sec x 3
D. Powell Raises @ 3010; 10-12/arm x 2; rest 1 min b/t arms
- keep constant tension on BS, no pausing on sets 
- knee kisses ground for lunges, remain tall, use glutes and front leg heel!
- raise bench a little for powell raises, video is flat, and arm straight!
A. Thruster EMOM - build to a solid 3 - start light
3 sets:
10 thruster
NPUBBJ - 20" x 10
AD 15 sec @ 95%
(rest walk 4 min b/t sets)
3 sets:
Reverse Sled Drag 
aggressive and higher turnover toe to heel pace - 30 sec
walk rest 3:30 
- take as many minutes to get to the thruster triple
- go unbroken and add weight per set for thruster
- NPUBBJ = no push up burpee box jump
- drag weight should be significant and tough(er)
Row 8K @ 1:55-2:05/500 m pace
A. PC x 3 TnG - 55% 1RM - emom - 15 min
B. HPS x 5 TnG - 55% 1RM - emom - 12 min
C. KBS heavy American x 8 - emom - 9 min
D. CTB chin ups x 10 - emom - 6 min
- row and get in the zone, pace and breathe
- record avg time for row
- work on concentric action only for emom work, focus is there
- rest EXACTLY 2 min b/t sets for emom work
A1. RDL @ 2011; 3-4 x 4; rest 20 sec
A2. Russian KBS x 15 moderate; rest 20 sec
A3. GHD back extensions @ 1010; rest 3 min x 4
B. DH2I - 3 emom for 8 min
rest 3-5 min
Row 45 sec @ 95% effort
rest walk 3:15 x 5
- use ass and hips for post chain work, focus
- change hand position for ext's to increase/decrease effort
- use scapulae for DH2I, no kip allowed
- record distances per set, same distance required per set for row sprints
A. PS - build to a 3RM TnG in 12 min
B. KBS - 21 x 3 tough; rest 1 min
C. 2 x DB OH walking lunge - 20 steps; rest 90 sec x 3
D. AMRAP DU's in 3 min
- work on keeping feet still as well as ext/flex of hips
- 2nd and 3rd set for swings SHOULD be tough
- keep DB's parallel if you can to one another, remain tall, knee kisses ground
- rest MAX 2-3 min b/t letters

Tags: Nutrition, Stress, Ccp

aug 19, 2013




Mike McGoldrick's new training tools for his home gym
A. Close Grip Bench Press - find your 1RM - 16"
(DU's - unbroken sets for time: 5-10-15-20-25-30-35-40-45-50-45-40-35-30-25-20-15-10-5)
- ensure you have a spot for CGBP - where is this score in relation to your Power Clean?
- if your amrap DU's are not in reach for FS workout, perform AMRAP DU's in 10 min and record
A. HBBS @ 40X1; 6,4,2,6; rest 4 min
B. EMOM - 10 min
PP x 1/PJ x 2 - odd
10 COVP chin ups - even
10 min @ 80%:
20 unbroken DU's
5 KBS russian
10 push ups HR
- ensure 2nd six in A is higher in load
- choose weight in EMOM for OH work appropriately
- OH work and inefficient - lower %, solid tech, OH work and efficient - higher % and work based
- record rds and time/rds for AER piece
4 sets @ 90% AER:
25 DU's
10 burpees
Row 250 m 
rest walk 90 sec
4 sets @ 90% AER:
20 DU's
8 burpees
Row 200 m
rest walk 60 sec
A. In 12 min work to a 3RM TnG Squat Snatch
B. FS @ 30X1; 5,3,1,1,1; rest 3 min
C. EMOM - 12 min
PP - 70% 1RM x 3 odd
10 T2B - even
- AM session AER in nature so pace it that way, high effort BUT sustainable!
- record times for AM sessions
- try to remain "calm" but powerful for TnG Snatch - no major movement
- "cook the veggies" for the FS if feelin it
- breath out on catch for PP reps, and breath throughout
A1. BS @ 40X1; 4-5 x 4; rest 30 sec
A2. PP TnG x 10-15 x 4; rest 30 sec
A3. AMRAP Parallel Grip Strict Chin Ups in 60 sec; rest 3 min x 4
rest 3-5 min
for times:
Row 1K
(rest 3 min)
30 wall balls - 14# - 9ft
25 T2B
20 wall balls - 14# - 9ft
25 T2B
10 wall balls - 14# - 9ft
(rest 3 min)
Row 1K
- palms face one another for A3 parallel grip (semi supinated)
- add weight per set for A1/A2; record reps for A3
- 2 x 1K rows should be the same time, dampen pace as needed for pre/post row
- full depth on WB's, go for longer sets than normal
A. BS @ 30X1; build to a tough double in 12 min
B. CJ - build to a tough-ish single in 10 min - squat clean
C. EMOM - 10 BJ's - 24/20" AFAP - 6 min
D. EMOM - 10 COVP chin ups - 6 min
- full depth on squat, squat on clean, work on loading for CJ in time frame
- rebound BJ's if you wish
- keep breathing and moving b/t sets for chin ups


aug 18, 2013





Many of us watch Regionals and the Games and ask ourselves: what is it going to take to get me there? Am I doing all I can to ensure I'm performing at my potential? It is clear Froning and Khalipa are different athletes, but how to quantify their differences? What type of athlete are you? Join us at the next Athlete Camp at in Columbia, SC Aug 24 - 25, to assess yourself in the areas of training, nutrition and lifestyle, and help you create a game plan for the 2014 season.

Tags: Athlete Camp

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