Which shoe is winning in the world of competitive exercising?

Ever since the Nike Metcon came out to rival the Reebok Nano there has become more and more of a me versus them feeling in some Instagram posts and other social media. When Nike parked their truck across the street from last year’s Reebok CrossFit Games, shots were fired.

nike-reebok-crossfit-games

For the last few years, since Reebok became the primary sponsor of the CrossFit Games, competing athletes cannot wear anything other than Reebok apparel, including shoes. Same thing is happening in the UFC now since Reebok became the primary sponsor for the UFC this past year.

This leaves athletes like Dan Bailey who train in Inov8 shoes year around to have to compete in Reebok shoes at the Games. And, more importantly, since money drives all, now that Nike has a shoe in the competitive exercising market they want the exposure of the CrossFit Games, too. Of course Reebok says “Hell to the no”.

Which shoe is better? Which shoe has the better athletes? Let’s see.

Podium finishers from the 2015 CrossFit Games:

Men: Ben Smith (Reebok), Mat Fraser (Nike), B.K. Guomondsson (Reebok)
Women: Katrin Davidsdottir (Reebok), Tia Toomey (Reebok), Sara Sigmundsdottir (Nike)
Teams: Not sure about all athletes, but Mayhem is Froning and Hobart who are Reebok and I think most of Ute is also Reebok.

Nike has continued to make a push for some of the best of the best in the competitive exercising world. Reebok had quite a head start, but Nike is catching up.

Here are some recent high profile events with a lot of big name CrossFit athletes in the field.

Granite Games
Men: Albert Dominc Larouche (Reebok), Alex Anderson (not sure if he is sponsored, but a lot of Nikes on Instagram), Garret Fisher (Reebok)
Women: Sara Sigmundsdottir (Nike), Sam Briggs (Reebok), Nicole Holocomb (Reebok)

Wodapalooza
Men: Noah Olsen (Nike), Garret Fisher (Reebok – not sure he is sponsored by Reebok, though), Wil Moorad (Reebok)
Women: Brooke Wells (I think No Bull is her sponsor for shoes, but she is wearing Reebok lifters in all of her Instagram posts for Olympic lifting), Emily Bridgers (Reebok), Kari Pearce (don’t believe she has a shoe sponsor, but looks like she wears Reeboks a lot)

EC Championships
Men: Mat Fraser (Nike), Noah Olsen (Nike), Garret Fisher (Reebok)
Women: Sara Sigmundsdottir (Nike), Maddy Myers (not sure she is sponsored, but she works out in Nikes), Tasia Percevecz (again, not sure she is sponsored, but she wears Reeboks)

I’m sure I missed quite a few competitions, but this is a pretty good list. And with these lists I count 15 athletes wearing Reeboks and 9 wearing Nikes. Pretty close gap since the Metcons are only a few years old and Reebok as been marketing to this genre of shoe buyers for quite a bit longer.

Unfortunately I don’t see Reebok giving up their sponsorship of the CrossFit Games anytime soon so we won’t be seeing Nikes at the Games, but it is getting interesting with how many upper echelon CrossFit athletes are wearing Nikes now.

Sunday Funday?

I have blogged about this a few times, but am rehashing because the CrossFit gym I go to is doing a “healthy eating challenge” (is there a gym that isn’t?). Instead of filling up Facebook I figured I could write more here, include some pictures and post the link.

Here is my story (I hear the old Law and Order voice in my head…).

I have tried it all. I started losing weight about four, maybe five years ago. I am guessing 4.5 years. Since fall 2011.I started losing weight so I could run with my son when he got older and started playing sports. Didn’t want to be that fat dad sitting on the sidelines. I started to lose weight by running and going to Weight Watchers (my highest KNOWN weight is about 280, but I am guessing, as you will see in a picture below, I weighed well over 300 pounds for a good chunk of my life). I lost about 50 pounds doing that and then I plateaued. That’s about when I found CrossFit in 2012 and in 2013 I started eating Paleo. The combination helped me drop another 30’ish pounds.

I have gained about 20 pounds since my lowest recorded weight (201 and now I weigh in close to 220). However, I think that is mostly muscle. When I started CrossFit my best deadlift was 185 and now it is 385. I couldn’t snatch a bar and now my all time best snatch is 190. When I started I couldn’t press more than 130 pounds or so, now I can strict press over 200. I have definitely gotten stronger. My metcon times have also dropped – a lot. When I started CrossFit I couldn’t do Fran in less than 10 minutes and that was scaled. Now my Fran time is under 4 minutes. I don’t run nearly as much, but I ran the Turkey Trot this past Thanksgiving in really cold and snowy weather in less time than I ran it about 3 years ago in much better weather.

I put in the work in the gym. Just look at my logs on this site and you will see I rarely miss a day. But I think the quickest way to lose weight and make a change in your appearance comes in the kitchen. Work your ass off all you want in the gym and if you go home to crap food and beer you won’t see much change, if any.

So, that is my story and why I think I can help anyone who would like help. I have lost 80+ pounds and kept it off. If I catch myself just right after a workout, in the right light, with a unicorn behind me, I can see a six pack. After 30 years of being over weight and 18 or so of those being flat out obese, I still have some work to do and that is where my experimenting with diets has come into play.

Picture evidence. Continue reading

2 “CrossFit” Jargon Pet Peeves

Some pet peeves of mine that I see when reading CrossFit workouts from gyms. I was just reading a bunch of the “12 Days of Christmas” WODs posted to the CrossFit Facebook page and saw one comment that wasn’t even in a 12 Days of Christmas format (it was just a long grueling workout) and another post who asked “if other gyms make you go back and do each day over like the song”? If you are doing a “12 Days of Christmas” workout you better have something like 1 wall walk, 2 burpees, 3 handstand push ups, etc, etc and the pattern should be 1 wall walk followed by 2 burpees and 1 wall walk, followed by 3 HSPU, 2 burpees and 1 wall walk, etc. If it varies from that in anyway, it’s not a 12 Days of Christmas workout.  (Not saying you have to use those movements for those days, those are just examples of movements one might select.)

So, in reading some comments here are some things I saw:

Referring to the “Bear Complex” and meaning power clean + front squat + push press + back squat + behind the neck push press – without putting the bar down. This is not a Bear complex, this is ONE SEVENTH of a Bear complex. I suppose this is nitpicking, but it drives me crazy when people think the Bear complex is just one time through those movements. It is supposed to be those movements SEVEN times WITHOUT PUTTING THE BAR DOWN. If you go through that complex one time, it’s just a complex. Educate yourself:

Nice jean shorts, bro. Love the old videos before every CrossFit video you watch is covered in Reebok and Rogue logos. Just regular people doing CrossFit in regular clothes. Ya, I still wear basketball shorts to the gym. Sue me.

Next up…

Seeing the words “squat” and “snatch” used together or “squat” and “clean”. Look, there is a snatch and a clean and jerk. There are variations of those movements in whether or not you break parallel in the catch of either. There are variations in where the bar starts, but there is no such thing as a squat snatch or a squat clean. That’s like saying a dunk in basketball is a jump shot dunk. Of course you have to jump to dunk the ball. Of course you have to squat to perform a snatch or a clean. The only people that want to know if a clean is a “squat clean” are those not mobile enough or capable of performing a clean. Watch any national weightlifting event and no one will utter the words squat snatch. It doesn’t exist.  I often feel that I failed as a coach when someone in my class asks what the difference is between a snatch and a power snatch. A little piece of me dies inside. Then someone takes the hot poker and twists it into my heart when someone else speaks up and says that a power snatch starts at your knees and a snatch starts from the ground. Lord help me!!

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Do you have anything that is either routinely misinterpreted or or redundant (think “Sport SUV”…what? That vehicle is a Sport Sport Utility Vehicle?!).

“Super teams” for the CrossFit Games and Lindy Barber

Let me start by saying this – I like Lindy Barber. I think she is an amazing story, appears to be super nice based on Instagram (and who can’t believe everything they see on Instagram?!) and she is pretty darn cute. This is not an attack on her, although some might read it that way. This is more about the building of “super teams” for the CrossFit Games.

As recently as a few years ago I used to like the team portion of the CrossFit Games almost more than the individual. I liked seeing gyms I have been to, worked out at or were from Denver locally compete. They were full of athletes that were most likely everyday people – meaning they worked out once, maybe twice a day -maybe, and had a full time job outside of CrossFit. It was representative of how “fit” the gym was or how good their athletes were. I liked watching CrossFit Kilo because I have worked out there and they are from my hometown – Waterloo, Iowa (OK…Cedar Falls…same thing). The first Games I watched in 2012 also had Front Range CrossFit competing and at the time that was THE BOX, in my newbie opinion, in the Denver area. Largely because they were competing at the CrossFit Games. At that time I was pretty new to the sport and it amazed me that a gym I new and had been too for competitions and almost joined made it that far.

That is all gone.

Last year we had NorCal CrossFit which seemingly had a team that would compete together for several years. On that team was Jason Khalipa, the guy who, like, finished in the top five of every CrossFit Games, ever…or something. (Now it is interesting because all that love that team showed for each other appears to have passed. Miranda Oldroyd and Molly Volmer are going individual, or so I have read. I have not heard about Khalipa and what his plans are.)

There are plenty of articles around the internet talking about other super teams, like this one talking about Conjugate CrossFit and their building of a super team a few years ago. And this article also takes me to my topic: CrossFit Mayhem Freedom.

Last year Rich Froning went team and recruited his workout buddies and James Hobart who I could have sworn lived in the Northeast. Of course, this wouldn’t have been the first time a Games level athlete relocated to Tennessee just to workout with Rich. But, lately, I have seen lot of Instagram posts from Hobart back in the Northeast. As we all know Mayhem won the Affiliate Cup. Blah, blah, blah, we all know Rich wins everything in CrossFit. If it wasn’t for the notorious rope climb incident in 2010 he would have almost literally won EVERY CrossFit competition he has entered – including Regionals and Opens. (Save for the Open last year and the CrossFit Invitational a few years ago.)

This year it appears he recruited Lindy Barber. I can only assume it is to replace the lady on their team last year that was definitely a weakness. Of course, let me be clear, being a “weakness” on Rich Froning’s team is being super elite in pretty much any walk of life….and I think she is over 40!

Here is Lindy’s first Instagram about joining Mayhem:

According to her profile on the Games website her home box is Four Barrel CrossFit. That is located in Indiana and approximately (according to Google maps) 190 miles and a 3.5 hour drive from CrossFit Mayhem Freedom in Cookeville, TN. I think Barber is married, but who knows, I thought maybe it wouldn’t be out of the question for her to pickup and move to train with her new team. Since then I have only seen one post of her training with (or at) Mayhem.

That is versus four posts since then, none of which were at Mayhem (Mayhem has a pretty distinct look about it and these don’t appear to be from there).

Will she eventually move there and workout there full time? Will she only be there a few days a week? What exactly does she need to do to qualify to be apart of their team?

All I do know is this makes it nearly impossible for a team like CrossFit Kilo or Front Range CrossFit to win a CrossFit Games Affiliate Cup anymore. Which is a shame. Dave Castro might as well just do a “pro” and “amateur” division for the Affiliate Cup and let all the superstars of CrossFit form teams and compete. Who cares if they actually workout together?

To abort or continue? More diet talk.

It has been about two weeks since I started eating 3,400 calories a day, regardless of activity level.

It sure feels a lot longer than two weeks, but two weeks ago I wrote this blog post about eating more and changing my carb/fat/pro intake levels.

This morning I weighed myself and I weigh just over 219 pounds. That scares me. That is four pounds more than I weighed when I had my body fat tested about two and a half weeks ago and about 13 pounds more than I weighed when I did the Pound for Pound competition in early October.

I have always said that I don’t want to wake up one morning and weigh 220 or 230 pounds again. Before I started tampering with my nutrition I weighed in under 210 pounds everyday. Sometimes around 205 or less.

I need to write to give myself some perspective and put my thoughts on paper.

  • It’s only 15 pounds, at most, since I started eating more and that date spans back to early August. So I have gained about 12-15 pounds in four months. Is that too much? I know from a recent test that about four pounds of that weight gain is lean mass.
  • I just went on a vacation and we just passed Thanksgiving weekend – I could easily drop a few pounds by just returning to eating normal.
  • I feel pretty good at the gym.
  • Some of my clothes have felt a little bit tighter.
  • I don’t think I see a change in how I look in the mirror. If anything, I actually felt like I looked leaner this morning BEFORE I stepped on the scale.
  • I feel better – healthier. I don’t have as many little nagging injuries. Tomorrow I will attempt 15.3 again for the first time since I did it last March in Arizona and hurt my shoulder – an injury that seemingly has only gotten better once I started eating more – and eating more carbs. Prior to August my shoulder was still bad, add in more calories and carbs and it has gotten better.

I am really, REALLY tempted to bump my calories per day down from 3,400 to 3,200…but it’s only been two weeks.

I have noticed at night I sometimes feel like I need to eat something just to eat – not because I am hungry – to get to my caloric and macro goals. If I dropped a few hundred calories per day I feel that wouldn’t happen as often.

I did some calculations based on the information provided on prepareandexecute.com and if I am a “1 times a day metcon” guy and want to weigh 190 pounds I should be eating about 3,050 calories a day. If I assume the same level of activity but want to weigh 200 pounds then it jumps up to just over 3,400 calories per day.

If I assume “competitor level” of activity (not Games level, but between metcon guy and Games level guy) and want to weigh 190 I should eat 3,200 calories per day and if I want to weigh 200 pounds then it jumps way up to 3,600 calories per day.

So I think either 3,200 or 3,400 is right. After two weeks and Thanksgiving and a vacation do I change or do I stick with it for another month?

I think I am going to drop. With the caveat that if I am really hungry at night I will eat a few hundred extra calories. I think most days 3,200 calories will be plenty.

I am scared of the scale, what can I say? I know I am not supposed to look, but I also know that I should weigh closer to 200 pounds than 220 for my height. If I was six foot tall or taller I would be OK with 220 pounds, but at about five-nine I think it is too much.

Change in diet documented. Again. More to come, I’m sure.