WOD 181115

Next week is Thanksgiving! First, where has this year gone? Second, we know that this time of year can be trickier than others to navigate from a nutritional perspective. Today, we’re going to discuss a few quick tricks that can help make the holidays a little easier on the waistline (and keep your performance in the gym rocking!).

The first lesson is this: You do you. No one likes to be the one turning down all the treats and second helpings at holiday meals, but damn, if you aren’t trying to do something for yourself. It’s amazing to me that people get shame for eating healthy or trying to watch the food that goes into their system. As people who are already (relatively) health conscious, own your stuff! You are not five years old, being required to clean your plate. Make the choices that you know will make you feel good!

This leads into the second lesson: don’t stress. So what if you have a piece of pie? So what if you get seconds on mashed potatoes? So what if you overeat Christmas cookies? You will not explode. You won’t suddenly gain ten pounds. You might not feel energetic and amazing afterwards - that’s sugar triggering your insulin response, in case you were wondering - but you’ll be okay. Eating a little “off-plan” for a day or two is not indicative of your bigger picture. Instead, try zooming out and looking at your eating habits over an entire week or entire month. The tried-and-true 80/20 rule is a pretty good one to follow here: if 80% of a week (5.5 days) you’re eating whole, natural foods including lots of veggies, lean meats, whole grains and healthy fats, the 1.5 days that you relax the rules a bit and have some egg nog and cookies or overdo it on tater tot hot dish isn’t going to do you in. Just have a plan to get back on track within the next few days.

Side Note: If you really look forward to something around the holidays, do not deprive yourself and when you do indulge, ENJOY IT! Do not feel guilty. The stress of guilt or shame around food is often times more detrimental than the food itself.

Third lesson: balance. There’s two ways of looking at this lesson. The first is on your plate, at each meal, day after day. If we can balance our macronutrient contributors (carbs, protein and fat) at each meal, we blunt the hormonal response to food. This means instead of the sharp spike of insulin we see after a carb-laden meal, protein and fat help temper that spike into a slow-rising peak. There are two major outcomes of this: 1) slower rise means we feel fuller longer because digestion takes longer; 2) lower overall peak means less energy swings (more stability). We also can work in indulgent food more easily by following a balanced approach. Let’s say you love pecan pie and your grandma makes the best. That pie is mostly carbs and fat. So, you make adjustments at dinner: solid portions of turkey and some kind of fresh veggies (preferably not sauced up in cream of mushroom soup - I see you, green bean casserole); you limit the mashed potatoes to a small scoopful (or pass on them all together because they’re not really your jam) and you pass on the candied yams. Along with the pie you plan to eat after dinner, you’ve now set yourself up for success in moderating the effects that pie might have on you hormonally if eaten alone. You also haven’t overdone it on the carbs. You’re going to feel a lot better afterwards, purely from a physiological perspective.

The other way balance factors in requires a look at how we might approach our training around the holidays. Generally, with family obligations, we find ourselves with less time to spend at the gym. No worries! If you can’t make it here, try to find other ways to be active: rake leaves, play some flag football or go snowshoeing. By adding in even moderate physical activity when you can around the holidays, you temper the effects that potential (and likely) over-indulgence would have on your body otherwise.

I hope that these help as we approach the holidays! If anything, try shifting your perspective and think of all the food you ate as fuel for your next workout :)


Thursday 181115

Strength - Front squat - 20 minutes to work on sets of 5 @ RPE 7

The focus of today is position under load. Athletes will work for 20 minutes building and completing 3 to 4 working sets of 5 at RPE 7. Athletes should focus on technique as we will be build over the next two months.

Metcon - 2 Rounds For Time:

200 ft. Shuttle sprint
24 Russian KB swings @ moderate **
9 Box jump overs @ moderate to high

7 minute cap

KB SWINGS: Athletes should choose a weight that will allow them to complete the total number of reps in 1 to 2 sets. Athletes are encourage to take a quick break if their grip begins to fail on the swing.

BOX JUMPS: Athletes should choose a height they are very confident in. If they want, they may go a little higher, but no missed reps!

WOD 181114

 Larking, giving the stamp of approval post-workout in 2016 (photo courtesy of Sean O’Brien)

Larking, giving the stamp of approval post-workout in 2016 (photo courtesy of Sean O’Brien)

Today, we have something very special for you guys to read. As you know, in December, we are hosting a competition and fundraiser for Jerks 4 Jewels, a non-profit that promotes and supports the awareness and treatment of testicular and prostate health issues (including cancer).

A little over a year ago, one of our own, Mike Larkin (most commonly referred to as “Larkin” or “Damnit Mike”) was diagnosed with testicular cancer. This was an understandably shocking and terrifying discovery, especially at the ripe old age of 33 at the time of diagnosis. It’s also a hard thing to share - a lot of emotions come with a cancer diagnosis of any kind, never mind that you’re now being told that something that dictates your basic biology, that helps create your identity, is part of the problem. It’s similar for women who are told they have breast, ovarian or cervical cancer.

We start by thanking Mike for being willing to share. Cancer sucks and talking about it somehow becomes an admission of something really really scary and difficult, which as Mike will say below, is okay. We doubly appreciate his urging not to be ashamed to talk about testicular health awareness. Jerks 4 Jewels would echo his sentiments that vigilance and awareness are the first line of defense. The moral of the story is this: make sure you're getting regular check-ups and that you do regular self-checks, guys and gals!

Meanwhile, enjoy this interview. Larkin has a special talent for making the awful a little more palatable through humor and sharp wit. Finally, if you enjoy this, click the link to his blog below where he shares his full story.


Let’s start off with you sharing a little bit about yourself. Name, age, what do you do for work and for fun?

Mike Larkin, 34 (the "sweet spot" of TC Demographics). I design software for a Healthcare company, for fun I like climbing, CF, board games, general degenerate behaviors.

How did you find CrossFit? How long have you been a part of Kingfield?

A friend of mine introduced me to Danny. Man, how long have I been a part of Kingfield? 3 or 4 years?

Diving into your story here, share with us when and how you found out that you had testicular cancer? How did you feel when you first found out?

Without trying to sound too vulgar (I cover this in my blog so whatever), my testicle hit my hand one morning in the shower like a lead weight which seemed, obviously, very odd. Now, granted, my nephew had "accidentally" punched me in that same testicle recently so I assumed it was that.

After I went into my doctor and they referred me to an ultrasound, it got a little more serious. Honestly? I was confused originally. It didn't make sense to me. I remember saying "How is this possible? I'm not 60 years old". As it turns out, 33 happens to be the median age of diagnosis.

I was sort of forced into coming to terms with it quickly though. Since it can be very aggressive, the process of going from diagnosis to surgery and then into treatment is very fast. I had about 48 - 72 hours from diagnosis to get everything figured out prior to surgery.

Even though I was diagnosed Stage III, my prognosis was very good. Telling my first few family members was rough, not ashamed to say I cried. It was most difficult because cancer is almost as scary and confusing to people that care about you as it is for you.

Q: Were there any signs or indicators prior to you learning you had cancer?

In retrospect and after learning more, there were. For some time (and I stopped coming to Kingfield for months) I was tired a lot, generally out of it. I chalked it up to something like depression at the time, but looking back, it was likely the cancer. One of the common threads seems to be general malaise and fatigue, sometimes weight loss. I was experiencing a lot of that but didn't connect any dots because why would you? Right up until the diagnosis, I don't think I was willing to believe it was cancer.

Q: What was treatment like? How long? What was required (recommended)?

Let me put this in CF terms: 3 x 3 Week Rounds of BEP for Time. BEP stands for Bleomycin, Etoposide and Cisplatin, it's a very common prescription. Each 3 round consisted of 5 days on week 1 sitting in a chair for 6 - 7 hours with a constant drip of chemo drugs, steroids or fluids.

The next two weeks was just a single treatment of about 2 hours once a week. After the first week, they give you a white cell booster to help with immunity. One great feature for that is that it makes your bone marrow swell, but since it has nowhere to go, your bones hurt. Bones hurting is super fun.

Luckily, you can head a lot of the side effects off with tylenol and allergy meds. Which always sounds funny to me because you'd think there would be more to it. Nope, just plenty of fluids, try to make sure you eat and pop a tylenol/benedryl for most symptom side effects.

Generally speaking, I got off light on the side effect front. I've heard some horror stories but other than my bones screaming for 48 hours or so, I was just generally very tired. So very, very tired.

Q: What’s your current prognosis?

I'm currently in remission and onto my six month follow up path. This is expected to continue.

Q: How did CrossFit play a role, if at all, in this entire narrative?

The community was super supportive and it was nice to be able to drop by and talk about what was going on and recovery. I tried to come back (maybe a little early) after treatment and got knocked on my ass. It can be difficult to come to terms with building yourself back up. I'm looking forward to getting back into the routine and Kingfield has always, always been a great cheerleader.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add as it pertains to your story? Any advice?

I blogged about a lot of it (www.platinumaddiction.com) so there's probably more there in terms of advice. I would summarize advice into a couple items, other than the last item, I think a lot of this can be generalized to any cancer or many health conditions:

1) Check yourself. I likely could have caught this earlier had I known the demographics for diagnosis (Dead Pool has a good primer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsdD1MJXOpk);

2) Don't hide from it, don't be embarrassed by it, run straight at it and own it. There's no time to pussyfoot around, a mantra I used throughout the whole process was "There is a process for this, they've seen this before. If something changes, there is a new process, they've seen this before";

3) Let the village help you, don't be ashamed or bashful about telling people or asking for help. There is tons and tons of data on the power of social support when it comes to health outcomes;

4) Over-communicate with your care providers, they've become exceptionally good at treatment in this area and especially when it comes to mitigating side effects;

5) Make ball jokes. No one can tell you not to make ball jokes now.

Wednesday 181114

Strength - Bench Press - 15 minutes to work on sets of 10 at RPE 5

The focus of today is tempo and position. Athletes will work for 15 minutes building and completing 3 sets of 10 at RPE 5. Athletes should follow the RPE guidelines, as the tempo will illicit the pump everyone is chasing :)

Metcon - 3 Rounds For Effort:

10 Bar over burpees
4 Sandbag to shoulder @ moderate **
0:60 second Max Calories **

- Rest 2 to 3 minutes between rounds -

15 minute time cap!!

**SANDBAG TO SHOULDER: Athletes should choose a weight that will allow them to maintain technique and form. They should pause for 1 full second with the bag on their shoulder.

WOD 181113

Increased work capacity over broad time and modal domains.

Remember that last Tuesday, we kicked things off by defining and discussing “work capacity.” We now understand that our aim with CrossFit as our training vehicle is to increase this work capacity, both for specific skills but also for a breadth of skills (read here). Ideally, we’re switching up our focus for mastery regularly to continue to push out the walls of our ability bubble. Everything you can do lies within the edges of your bubble - they’re your wheelhouse movements, loads, distances, etc. It’s what you’ve developed so far. It’s at the edges of your bubble that you expand your capacity.

But why do we want to expand our capacity? This brings us to our next focus in the leading phrase above: broad time.

Broad Time

“It’s all downhill from here.” How many 30 year olds have you heard say that? I know I’ve heard a fair few. And quite honestly, from a physiological standpoint, they’re not entirely wrong (sorry!). It is true that our physiology does start to decline after a certain time in our lives (the specific time frame of this is still debatable).

Our goal is to stave off these declines as long as possible by staying healthy. So let’s define health. In order to do this, we’ll go back to our definition of work capacity and fitness. Work capacity is our ability to produce work (force x distance) / time (this is average power). Fitness is our ability to do this work in many different areas - moving ourselves, moving external objects, moving quickly, moving heavy, moving fast, etc.

We can display your work capacity on a graph, where the y-axis is work (average power) done over time on the x-axis (Figure 1). At any particular time in your life (in the figure, age 20), you can see a downward sloping exponential curve, with our power output being higher for shorter duration efforts and decreasing as the time for the task increases. The area under this curve is your work capacity for various tasks, which we know to be fitness.

 Figure 1. (from The CrossFit Training Guide)

Figure 1. (from The CrossFit Training Guide)

To determine health, we take the graph from above, taken for a single age, and graph it for the same tasks at multiple ages. We create a three-dimensional graph, a solid, which gives us a picture representing health (Figure 2). Health then is simply fitness over time. Understand that this is one way of defining fitness (work capacity over time) and health (fitness over time). There are obviously other factors that contribute to health and fitness but those are for a future discussion.

 Figure 2. (from The CrossFit Training Guide)

Figure 2. (from The CrossFit Training Guide)

Our aim is to maintain fitness in whatever measures we choose - 800m run time, 100m dash, vertical jump, deadlift, snatch, max pull-ups, etc. - for as long as possible. The idea is longevity. It’s having the ability to live independently until you die. Not only that, but to enjoy life and all it has to offer - travel, kids, grandkids, activities, etc. - for as long as possible. By focusing our efforts on our fitness (and nutrition), we actually minimize our chances of dying. The majority of what kills us these days - chronic diseases, cancers, etc. - are mitigated by dedicating time and energy to exercise and eating well.

If we frame our outlook on fitness and health in this way, we start to understand that health is a marathon, not a sprint. Doing all the things at once in an effort to become “fit” fast is not the recipe for success. While some skills do inherently benefit the development of other skills, it is only by directed focus on a given skill that we can truly improve. Trying to become the best 800m runner you can while simultaneously trying to increase your deadlift 1RM is not an approach I’d recommend. At best, you stagnate in both; at worst, you end up injured because you are trying to push in opposing disciplines.

Instead, we can understand that by setting aside specific seasons for maintaining or building specific skills, we increase our work capacity and extend it’s life over broad time. This particular concept in this series will help as we move forward to determine what your training year might look like and how the new offerings we are bringing to Kingfield can help.

Next week, we will wrap it all up by discussing “modal domains.” While we’ve glossed over this concept in both this post and the first in this series, we’ll dive deep into why it might benefit us to expand the breadth of our capacity and how that translates into increased fitness and health for a long time to come.


Tuesday 181113

Metcon - AMRAP 13 minutes:

Build to a 3RM snatch **

** Athletes will follow 1 of 3 options listed below for today’s AMRAP. They should consult their coach is they need advice choosing the best path.


Use the 13 minutes to work on form and technique, focus on sound movement quality and complete multiple rounds at the same weight.
Buy-in prior to each 3RM snatch attempt is 12 wallballs.


Men will start at 55# and the women at 35#. They will build in only 10# increments for the entire AMRAP.
Buy-in prior to each 3RM snatch attempt is 15 wall balls.


Men will start at 115# and women at 85#. They may choose their own path after that round however they should aim to focus on successful reps. Athletes who choose this route should be approaching ~85% in the later minutes of the AMRAP.
Buy-in prior to each 3RM snatch attempt is 18 wall balls.

WOD 181112

We’re about one month out from our first annual Kingfield Holiday Partner Competition and Fundraiser!

We’ve got some awesome workouts cooked up for you and plan to start releasing the details as we get closer to the comp. You can expect video releases with descriptions of the workouts on Wednesday’s, starting on November 28th.

For now, what we’ll tell you is this:

  1. There will be three total events

  2. One event will be a max lifting event (with weighted multipliers to account for male pairs v. female pairs v. mixed pairs)

  3. One event will have two scores, as partners split reps however they like.

  4. One event will be fast and furious, harkening to the 2017 CrossFit Open.

We will have three division options for the competition: scaled, intermediate and Rx’d. The recommendations for your abilities for each are the following:

Rx’d - working weights for barbell (95/65), DB (50/35),
C2B pull-ups, double unders

Intermediate - working weights for barbell (95/65), DB (50/35),
chin over bar pull-ups, double unders

Scaled - working weights for barbell (75/55), DB (35/20),
banded pull-ups or ring rows, single unders

If you’re unsure which division to choose, feel free to ask a coach. Our goal was to make the divisions as approachable as possible.

Make sure you click the banner at the top of our home page to register! Registration will be open until Monday, Dec. 10th, but in order to get your J4J t-shirt and water bottle on time, they’ve requested registration prior to Dec. 1st. You must register both on the Wodify Arena site (linked in the banner) AND on the J4J website, to pay for your registration.

We are also taking volunteers for judging on the day. Preferably, our judges will not also be participating, so if you want to be a part of the fun without the pressure of competition, sign up to judge! There will be a judges briefing meeting the week before the competition to go over standards and make adjustments as needed. See the sign-up sheet in the gym if you’re interested!


Monday 181112

Strength - Back squat - 20 minutes to work on sets of 5 @ RPE 7

The focus of today is position under load. Athletes will work for 20 minutes building and completing 3 to 4 working sets of 5 at RPE 7. Athletes should focus on technique as we will be build over the next two months.

Metcon - Every minute on the minute for 12 minutes, alternate between:

MINUTE 1 - 0:30 seconds Max thrusters @ 95/65# **
MINUTE 2 - 0:30 seconds Max strict pull ups **

**Athletes should prioritize technique and movement each round. The goal should be to work at a high intensity and towards a manageable rep count each round.

WOD 181111

Sunday 181111

Strength - Deadlift - 20 minutes to work on sets of 8 @ RPE 6

The focus of today is position and tempo. Athletes will work for 20 minutes building + completing multiple sets of 8 at RPE 6. Athletes should aim to complete 3 to 4 working sets.

METCON - AMRAP 2 minutes* x 5 rounds:

11 Pause HR Push ups
7 Burpee box jump @ 24/20”
Max double unders in remaining time

- Rest 1 minute between rounds -

14 minute cap

*Athletes will work for 2 minutes and rest for 1 minute for 5 rounds. Athletes will always start each AMRAP with pause HR push ups.

WOD 181110

Saturday 181110

Strength - Bench Press - 15 minutes to work on sets of 8 at RPE 6

The focus of today is tempo. Athletes will work for 15 minutes building + completing multiple sets of 8 at RPE 6. Athletes should aim to complete 3 to 4 working sets.


Athletes will work in a you go, I go fashion. While partner 1 completes their first time trial, partner 2 will rest. They will alternate and partner 1 will rest while partner 2 completes their time trial. Athletes will use this same format for the second time trial.

“Rowing Time Trials”

For Time:

1000 meter time trial @ max effort

- Rest while partner rows 1000 meters -

500 meter time trial @ max effort

18 minute cap

WOD 181109

Changes at Kingfield: The Move

A few weeks ago, we informed you of a variety of changes that will be happening in the coming months at Kingfield. We’ve already welcomed athletes who previously trained in the CF Endurance classes in the turf room! Merging the groups and becoming the singular, inclusive community that we have always claimed to be seemed like a logical change. The other logical change that we will be undergoing at the end of the month is transitioning the weightlifting platforms into the turf room. In the course of this blog post, it is my goal to clarify not only the purpose of this move but also how CrossFit and Barbell Club differ.

Let’s start there. Housed under the same roof we have CrossFit Kingfield and Kingfield Barbell. These are two separate entities, however, they contribute to a single bottom line: Barbell athletes are members of Kingfield. However, instead of CrossFit as their chosen fitness approach, they choose to compete in the sport of weightlifting. Many would say that their weightlifting journey was born out of CrossFit, that they simply shifted their focus to weightlifting and stayed there after being introduced to the sport through CrossFit. Should any CrossFit member desire to transition into Barbell, it would be under the understanding that the goal is to compete at some point or another in a weightlifting meet. These athletes receive programming geared towards improving the snatch and clean and jerk from Chris and/or Anthony and structure their training year around these competitions. Their membership, the same as any CrossFit athletes, gets them this templated programming, space to train and coaching when available.

To be clear, the Barbell Club differs from our weightlifting class offered to our CrossFit athletes. The goal of that class is to use drills similar to those practice by Barbell Club members to enhance your ability to perform the Olympic style lifts in your regular CrossFit class.

Come December 1st, the weightlifting platforms will be relocated to the turf room. The rig in the turf room will come off the wall and five weightlifting platforms will be built along the wall separating Compu-trainer from the turf room. This move serves a multitude of purposes. The main and most noticeable one will be the freedom for both CrossFit classes and weightlifters to go about their training without interference from the other. It is a win-win situation, as coaches’ talking points will no longer be punctuated by clanging barbells and weightlifting athletes will no longer have to defer to the coach and athletes of the CF class. It also gains CF and weightlifting more space.

Another, less obvious benefit hinges on the restructuring on the turf room. By moving the platforms and rearranging the room, we now can get rid of “cardio corner,” as I like to call it, and have a more orderly set-up for the rowers, bikes and ski ergs. Less rower tetris, trying to get those machines from turf room to CF room. Strength, weightlifting and teens classes now have the benefit of platform lifting (when possible).

There are still a few variables to be played with in that space but for now you can be certain that we will be moving the platforms into the turf room. We still ask that weightlifters enter into the main gym space, eventually sign into “class” and remain a part of the community. But we are hopeful that this change will ease the strain on everyone so we can all continue to pursue our aligned goals of fitness and movement for a long time to come.

If you are interested in helping with the move on Saturday, Dec. 1st, after 1pm, please email me at caitlin@crossfitkingfield.com.


Friday 181109

Metcon - 2 Rounds For Time:

21 Front squats @ moderate*
11 Toes to bar
7 Power cleans @ moderate to heavy**

- Rest 0:90 seconds between rounds -

*FRONT SQUATS: Athletes do not have to complete all the FS in 21 unbroken reps. They should choose a weight that they can maintain form AND complete big sets.

**POWER CLEANS: Athletes should choose a weight that is heavier than their front squat weight IF THEY ARE CONFIDENT IN THEIR TECHNIQUE. The goal is 7 moderate to heavy single reps with perfect technique!

WOD 181108

Let’s look at today’s metcon. What stands out?

Likely it’s the HSPU, as the volume today is pretty high. We’ve got 40 reps people! As the notes below say, we should be choosing variations that are challenging for us. For some, that means adding a deficit or performing them without a kip (strict). For others, that may mean removing an ab mat pad or piking on the box on your feet instead of your knees. For others still, it might mean reducing the volume or focusing on a solid HS hold on the wall, maintaining a strong position while upside down.

Let’s take a peak behind the curtain at the though process that may happen here during the conversation had between you and your coach about these handstand push-ups. First, we’ll ask yea or nay? Can we do them or not? If it’s a definitive yes or no, we have direction for our conversation without too many more questions.

From here, if it’s a yes, we’re now talking difficulty level: how do you usually do them? How do you feel about the number 8? Are you more proficient at kipping or strict? Are you feeling like tackling a weakness today or do you just need to move? All of these factors play a role in guiding our recommendation for you. Usually do kipping with a deficit? Go strict today - two sets of 4 reps is just fine for today. Usually go strict? Add a challenging deficit. See what your control can be to the floor for multiple reps and then expand your understanding of just how explosive that hip opening needs to be to get the momentum you need to complete the rep. Do you usually use two abmat pads? You want to move to one but you’re worried about 8 reps for 5 rounds - we may do a declining rep scheme by starting with 8, 7, 6, 5, 4. Or maybe we shoot for a range or plan to break up the sets from the beginning - 3.3.2 is a great approach to sets of 8.

If we don’t have HSPUs yet, we’ll ask what are you comfortable with. Is it HS holds? Do you struggle with the descent? Do you feel you lack the strength required? There are scaling options for all of these: We’ll hold a HS for 20 seconds each round, focusing on solid position and just getting comfortable being upside down in a workout; or we can do negatives, where all we do is practice lowering our head to the pad (or pads) under control; or we pike on a box and figure out the proper positioning for the press while not having to support our entire body weight.

Believe it or not, these are all of the things that your coaches’ minds are cycling through as they help you find the right variation for you. If you see something here that sounds appealing that you haven’t tried yet, ask your coach tomorrow about it and if they think it’s a good option for you.

Finally, understand that with skills like this there are components that make them possible: strength, coordination, mobility. Your coach may recommend a variation that best addresses your limitation OR they might give you a variation that plays to your strengths. That choice depends on what you want from the workout. Remember that skills must be practiced and practice cannot occur under conditions of intensity. Metcons in class inherently bring intensity. It is possible to limit or refocus the intensity but it’s hard to do. If you want to focus on HSPUs as a skill, it requires time working on a various components without a clock on.


Thursday 181108

Metcon - Every 4 minutes for 20 minutes (5 total rounds):

8 HSPU @ RPE 8**
4 Sandbag cleans @ moderate
100 ft. Sandbag carry @ moderate

**HSPU should be challenging for athletes, however they should be completed in NO MORE THAN 3 SETS. Athletes should chat with their coach if they need help determining the best possible set up for their skill level.