Monday, December 30, 2013

Eat Clean and Your Body Will Thank You

I posted this article on eating clean here on my new website "Strength Runner:" Enjoy!

Eating clean is just as important if not more so than your daily workout and running routines. What is eating clean? It’s not eating fast food, pizza, wings, subs and sandwiches that you can buy quickly and eat at your desk or while driving. It’s not the processed foods that sit around in packages waiting to be peeled open and consumed right away.
Eating clean is eating varieties of fresh vegetables, fruits, lean meats, nuts and seeds. I know it’s hard to not eat lots of bread, fried potatoes, pastas and rice – Start slowly – if you normally eat a sub for lunch, make a wrap instead using a whole wheat tortilla. What I do and advise is to replace those unhealthy carbs with fresh veggies or complex carbohydrates. Instead of eating hashbrowns and buttered toast with your eggs, replace them with sliced cucumbers sprinkled with some sea salt and pepper. Use fresh tomatoes, carrot sticks or avocado. These complex carbs not only have the nutrients and vitamins that your body needs for running and working out, but they will fill you up and take the place of those fat inducing foods. Cook at home and stop going out to eat. Not only will you save money, but your meals will be healthier and you will know exactly what went into it. If you know you are going out to a restaurant, eat a large salad before you go – you’ll be less likely to gorge on unhealthy foods if you’ve already filled up somewhat with the good stuff!
Feeding your body the proper fuel to perform its best starts with 3 steps:
1.  Planning
2.  Preparation
3.  Implementation
Planning your meals for the day, the week, or the month is the first step and it starts in the grocery store. Stick to the produce aisle and the meat section and skip the cereals and snack aisles. Think about what you will be eating for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for the next 5-7 days and stock up on those things. Eggs, egg whites, lean beef, ground turkey, fish and chicken – all great protein to build muscles. Spinach, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, colored peppers, carrots, cucumbers, red cabbage, radishes, apples, oranges and bananas – all super foods and great fruits and veggies for snacks, salads and sides which will fuel your workouts. Raw almonds, cashews (in moderation) and sunflower seeds are perfect for small snacks in between meals.
Preparing is a time consuming task, but just as essential as buying all that food. Make sure you plan out your lunches and snacks if you work outside the home. If you are gone for 8-10 hours a day, you’ll need at least 2 snacks and 1 full meal. Prepare for the week ahead of time using sealable containers. Hard boil a dozen eggs so that you can bring 3 eggs to work to eat as a snack. Defrost that frozen chicken a day or two in advance so you can cook it for dinner when you get home.
Implementation is actually cooking and eating the things you’ve bought. I like to cook dinner with leftovers in mind. If I cook a whole chicken for dinner, that gives me at least 2 days of leftover chicken for lunches. Making large salads in advance takes some time, but then I have a fresh salad to eat every day. Just don’t add the tomatoes or cucumbers until just before you eat or the salad will get soggy.
This photo is an example of one day of the meals that I typically eat:
For breakfast I had an egg white omelet with spinach and crumbled bacon topped with some hot sauce.  Tomatoes, sliced peppers, guacamole and carrots on the side. For lunch, some seared tuna over red cabbage with edamame on the side – this can be cooked in advance. A giant salad for a late afternoon snack, and some lean beef, quinoa, sautéed broccoli and cinnamon apple sauce for dinner.
Is eating clean easy? No. If it was everyone would be doing it and our society would be a lot healthier. It’s the same with working out and running  - once develop good habits it becomes a lifestyle – and one your body will thank you for by looking and responding better!
-      Dan

Thursday, September 26, 2013


I've had a few of days to look back on one of the most difficult races I've completed to this day - the Reebok World Championship Spartan Beast - a 14+ mile 12,000'+ elevation obstacle race held at Killington Ski Resort in Vermont. This race tested me both mentally and physically - it was a painful, bloody, cold, and cramp filled torturous challenge - but all can think about is that I can't wait to do it again.
Photo Credit Spartan Race

It's really difficult for me to write a full review since running a 14 mile race like this tends to leave my brain slightly scrambled, but I'll do my best to piece it together. First - perfect weather for a race. Not too cold not too hot. Loved it. One of the best times of year to be in Killington and New England (although I do prefer snowboarding down the mountain to running up it).

1 mile 65lb sandbag carry
We started a few minutes later than the normal 8am elite start time due to the NBC Television presence and some introductions of the incredible athletes from around the world. Then it was game time...Aroo! Aroo! Aroo! - and we were off. The first two miles were pretty much completely uphill - as expected and very difficult. There were the normal walls, over unders, etc. There was a tire drag on a chain then a pull - I live for the upper body portions of the race. Around mile 4 or 5 (it's honestly become a blur) we got to the dreaded sandbag carry. This was no ordinary 40lb sandbag carry up a hill and back down.
This was a WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BEAST sandbag carry and it lived up to it. The sandbag weighed 65lbs and the carry was up one of the steepest slopes Killington had to offer for A FULL MILE - 1/2 mile up and back down.

This was also the part of the race that my better half, Gretchen Krueger, caught up to me - I think (still blurry). We decided to stay together for the remainder of the race - also with my buddy Keith. During the next couple miles there was a spear throw (which I was thrilled to have NAILED - Gretchen made it too) and a few other obstacles including a pretty long barbed wire crawl.

Barbed wire scratches
At mile 7ish we got to the rope climb, inverted walls, another barbed wire section (one of 4 barbed wire crawls). I was wearing my Ultraspire Omega hydration vest and I did not want to shred it on barbed wire, so every time I went through a barbed wire patch I would take it off and roll with it. This is how I got scratched up pretty bad during the race. I was also starting to cramp up in my legs from the cold muddy water.

After the barbed wire we had to cross a pretty cool raised ladder to a cargo net then back down. We also met up with a good friend and great guy, Rob Butler - owner of Shale Hill Adventure Farm. Next was the real water portion of the race and the start of crazy cramps and hypothermia. A brief swim into the late September chilled waters of Killington's runoff led to the second rope climb of the race - the rope is attached to the bottom of a 20' high bridge. That was not too bad. Then we had to run around the lake to the traverse wall. Legs were very cold and slightly cramped but still did it no problem. THEN was the hard part - another swim to the bridge and another rope climb followed by a tarzan swing on very short ropes to a bell ring. Gretchen went first and I cheered her on. I really thought if anyone could make it, she would. She got to the second rope of the swing and fell.
Swim - rope climb - Tarzan swing (mile 7) - Photo Credit Spartan Race

This is also something on a normal day I feel I would be pretty good at - I did not make it either. When I swam across the lake to the other side to meet Gretchen, she was holding her hand and practically in tears. Uh oh...

Her pinky was purple and white and turned to the side. Four different people looked at it and said "yes, that looks broken." We thought it was broken. We were freezing. I felt sick that we would have to stop the race. I could not imagine how Gretchen would continue the race and all obstacles with her finger looking like that and I asked her repeatedly if she wanted to go to the medic. If she did, that was it - race over and she would be DQ'd. If she went to the medic I felt like there was no way I could continue racing while my hurt wife was in the medical tent. I'll be honest - I was so cold and miserable at that point I almost wanted her to say "ok, let's go to the medic." It would not have taken much to twist my arm to drop out at that point. But Gretchen is tougher than anyone I know and she said "no, let's keep going." I was amazed at her fortitude. I'm a baby - if my hand looked like hers I probably would have dropped out. Luckily it was just sprained and freezing cold because once we started moving for another mile or so we all warmed up and her hand was ok.

Photo Credit Spartan Race
After a 1/2 mile bucket carry up the mountain (5 gallon bucket filled with rocks) and some actual fun running (not climbing) for a few miles we were routed back to the water again around mile 9. This time for the tyrolean traverse - a 40-50 yard rope strung over the lake which you have to climb under or over to ring a bell. I went first this time and made it no problem. I go underneath and rest my calves crossed and pull using all upper body.

Gretchen went next with the more conservative technique of staying on top of the rope. That way takes longer but uses less energy. She made it and so did our friends. The rest of the race was pretty straight forward with more running up hills, down hills, a few walls to scramble over and some other obstacles...More barbed wire...this time uphill.

After race pose with Beast & Trifecta medals
The last major obstacle was another sandbag carry for about 3/4 of a mile. The slope was much less steep and the sandbag was only 40lbs, so it seemed easy after what we had just been through. Last was the fire jump and gladiators - Gretchen and I held hands over the fire and rushed the gladiators together. It was a great feeling to get that medal with my wife. It's funny - I still don't really like to run, but I LOVE to finish a run or a race. This race was really satisfying to finish especially after the debacle from last year with the "lost tribe."

The other incredible highlight from the weekend was seeing my Spartan Family and VPX Team Xtreme family. I have made lifetime friendships with people from literally all over the world and it is such a great feeling to get together with friends who share the same passions.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Mud Guts and Glory

I received a message a few weeks ago from my friend Matt B. Davis of Obstacle Racing Media. He wanted to know if Gretchen and I would be interested in coming out to Ohio to check out a new race called Mud Guts & Glory. Unfortunately Gretchen was already going to the US Open in NY with our daughter Mya for the weekend, so after some creative maneuvering to find a dog sitter and my sister & brother-in-law stepping up to watch our son Michael, I was able to arrange the trip.

I arrived in the Cincinnati airport and quickly met up with Matt, Rob Butler of Shale Hill Adventure Farm, and Holly Joy Berkey (aka Muddy Mommy) and we were off in our rental car to Kings Domain.

It was a treat to get to the race venue the day before with time to spare - not a luxury I'm used to in most races. The staff and race directors were incredibly friendly and welcoming and put us up in some very nice air conditioned cabins. The Kings Domain property we later found out is used for retreats, conferences and more importantly to help inner city children and other families in need experience the great outdoors. One of the founders, Brad Cousino, a former NFL MVP and all around great guy, told us that after visiting a well known obstacle race he got the idea to have one at Kings Domain. He didn't want it to be just a set up and leave obstacle race, but a permanent venue that people could train and race at. He was definitely serious about making it a permanent venue - checking out some of the obstacles allowed us to see the quality and thought that went into the creation of this race. We met the race designers and heard some pretty interesting stories about clearing the trails and building the obstacles - they even brought in an arborist to make sure the natural trees and terrain were used properly in both the trails and the obstacles. The lower portion of the property featured a series of obstacles known as the gauntlet - we were immediately drawn to them. A giant set of monkey bars that started 25' off the ground and led down a 45 degree slope over a muddy moat with a short flat section and then an incredibly challenging 45 degree uphill section. It was like a playground for big kids like me! Then a series of over unders made of fresh cut trees followed by a muddy ending with a ridiculously tall tower climb that was still being painted the night before. It looked like a blast!


After being shown a very small portion of the course, we were thoroughly impressed with the terrain and the thought that went into the design of this race. We then met up with the other racers who were also invited - Elite's like Junyong Pak (Worlds Toughest Mudder), Amelia Boone (Female Worlds Toughest Mudder), Brad Kloha (Run to Remember), Jeff Cain (On My Way to Sparta), Heather Ganoe (Relentless Forward Commotion) and Kevin Jones of the Cornfed Spartans and Crazy Mudder Muckers.

The interesting thing about this race was that I really had no expectations. I was there to have a good time, and it exceeded anything I could have hoped for. To top it all off this was being filmed for a Spike TV show called Playbook 360 with Dhani Jones! As a die hard Philadelphia Eagles fan, I was very excited to meet Dhani.

Race day started off with an early wake up in the cabin - some fruit and protein shake. We then made our way to the cafeteria for a real breakfast. I typically don't eat a lot before a race, but when pancakes, bacon, and eggs are in front of me, its hard to say
no. I made my way to the registration area with the guys and we got our bibs on and waivers signed. We also met some really cool Cornfed Spartans.

We made our way to the starting line and met up with Dhani and the rest of the crew. Where we took some pre-race photos. There was a bit of social media hype leading up to this race - I really just wanted to beat Dhani and Matt B. Davis.

Before we knew it we heard the countdown "Mud! Guts! Glory!" and we were off.
The race started in some pretty thick mud and went immediately up a steep hill. From there it's kind of a hilly blur until we hit the gauntlet about 1 mile in. I asked the volunteer if anyone had made it on the monkey bars yet since they were slippery and covered in mud and he told me that two people had (I assumed Pak & Rob Butler). That motivated me to make sure I did it as well. I used up a lot of energy on that obstacle, but I made it using only my arms. If you fail on an obstacle it was determined that there would be a time penalty added to your finish time.
The course was divided into 5 one mile sections where you could essentially opt out after each section. The obstacles and terrain got more and more difficult the further you went. The terrain itself really made this a fun race - the hills were steep and long enough to be challenging, but not so long that you were ready to tear your hair out. The trails were technical but fun. The steeps were steep! There were log carries, sandbag carries, a light tractor style pull and rope climbs. One of the really cool obstacles that no training could prepare you for was the "David & Goliath." You were given 3 paint balls and a wrist rocket sling shot where you had to hit Goliath in the head. I was pleased to hit him directly in the face on my second try - maybe my Hebrew heritage :) ? Towards the end of the race there was a crazy steep hill called "The Pinnacle." It was practically a cliff face with hanging ropes to get to the top.
Then a similar hill going down with ropes on the other side. Throughout some of the forest areas I got chased by a few giant horseflies that seems to really like the taste of me - all part of the fun! The end of the course was a huge water slide dug into the side of a hill with a 100 yard sprint to the finish. I ended up with no penalties and finished 8th directly behind Jeff Cain in 7th. I had a great time. I highly recommend this race to anyone that can make the drive. Matt B. Davis rolled in about 12 minutes after I did, and Dhani came in about 25 minutes later. I was happy with my finish!

After a few interviews with the Spike TV crew and the race camera folks, we met with the race directors. They were anxious to get our opinions as "seasoned obstacle racers" on how they could improve the course moving forward. They took all of our constructive feedback and are looking to incorporate it into future races. The icing on the cake after this race was that we got to hang out with Dhani that evening in downtown Cincinnati - he was incredibly generous and we had a blast!

I hope to be able to compete in the next Mud Guts and Glory race on November 2nd. This time I want Gretchen to be there!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

My first 50k

I did it. I ran more than twice the furthest distance I had ever run before in my life and 5 miles further than a full marathon. Having never run a "real" 1/2 marathon (I have done Spartan Races that are 13+ miles) or full marathon, I ran and completed a 50 Kilometer race - The Dahlgren Heritage Rail Trail 50k in Virginia. A 31+ mile trail race along a retired railroad track through the lush forests of King George County. Up until two weeks ago I had no intention of even running this race, but when my friend and fellow VPX Team Xtreme teammate, David "Buddy" Homa (DBH) described the race to me, I got the itch. He said we wouldn't focus on time like we do with obstacle racing, but just on finishing. With a hesitant "ok" from Gretchen, I quickly paid the registration and signed up. My previous training runs were anywhere from 5 to 12 miles in length. This race was going to add some incredibly tough miles to that distance. With all of my CrossFitting, running, strength training, and obstacle race schedule, I thought this would be something that I could work in and complete. Would it be difficult? Yes.

I began researching and reading anything I could find online about ultra running and talking to my network of friends who had done these types of races in the past. Most of the advice focused on starting and keeping a very slow to moderate pace and making sure that nutrition and hydration were addressed throughout the entire race. I ordered a new pair of shoes because my minimalist Inov8 Bare Grip 200's that I use for Obstacle Races were not going to be any use for a distance like this, and my Mizuno Wave Rider 15's have over 500 miles of road miles on them. I decided on the Salomon Speedcross 3's. They are a very light and versatile shoe made for trail running at any distance. The day after I got them and less than two weeks from the race, I went on a 14 mile run and got a nasty blister on the inside of my right foot...ugh. Over the next week I did another few runs with them at various lengths - 10 mile and 7 miles and the shoes broke in and improved. I also ordered an Ultraspire race vest since my Geigerrig hydration pack has zero room for anything other than liquid. I wanted something light and something that could carry food and water. The vest is fantastic.

Dave picked me up on Friday afternoon and it took us about 6 hours to get down to meet up with our other fellow VPX teammates and fellow racers - John Sales, Brandon Seale, Dave Gluhareff and Fuego Y Agua Survival Run champion Johnson Cruz. We went out for a pre-race meal at Carraba's - John's girlfriend Kristin was our friendly waitress and the carbs were flowing with hot bread and whole wheat pasta.

After dinner we headed back to John's gym to crash on some air mattresses. Anyone knows that it's pretty difficult to get a great night sleep the night before a race, but after the long drive and carb filled dinner I slept fairly well.

The morning of the of the race came quickly and I fueled up with a blended power shake of a banana, 40g of VPX vanilla protein, blueberries, strawberries, chia seeds, hemp hearts, ice and coconut water. It was a perfect pre-race meal.

I did the quick "before" photo just prior to 6:30am and we were off! We all started together, but as in any race, after the first 1/2 mile the field began to spread out. Most of the crew took off pretty quickly, but Brandon and I stayed together. He was having some trouble with his GPS watch, but mine was working fine. My goal was to pace slowly around 10 minutes per mile and just take the miles as the come. The temperature was perfect at around 69 degrees with slightly overcast skies. Even with those cooler August temps, I sweat and run hot. After 2 miles I took my first "s-cap." I was told by various distance runners that S-caps can be a life saver on long endurance races as they are capsules filled with sodium and potassium which give your body the electrolytes needed to hydrate and prevent cramps. I felt great. A nice slow run through a lush forest. It was awesome. I filled my hydration vest with fresh water at every stop, and before I knew it I was at the turn around point 15.6 miles into the race.

Brandon's mom was waiting for him at the half way point and he wanted to keep running right away. I was a bit stiff and just wanted to stretch and eat for a few minutes before the return trip began, so this was where we split up. The rest of the race would be solo for me.

I won't lie - the next 15 miles sucked. Even though the trail was relatively flat, there were big stones on every step and brush to the middle of my calves. My headphones were still working and I had an endless playlist going which definitely helped to pass the time mentally.

It got pretty bad from mile 19-28 from what I can tell of my GPS splits. My left knee was hurting pretty badly, so my right leg was overcompensating and my right calf would start to cramp. I pushed through the pain by running for a few minutes then speed walking for a 10-20 count. It wasn't easy, but after I passed the 26.2 "marathon" mark it felt like the home stretch. Some miles seemed to fly by and others seemed to take forever. My iPhone died at mile 27, so then it just became the sounds of my feet running, heavy breathing and nature. During the last 2 miles I really started to pick up my pace because I saw I could make the time in under 6 hours if I moved fast enough. I passed about 5 or 6 people on the last mile and ran as fast as I could.

I could see the finish line and some of my friends there waiting for me and it made me push harder. I finished in 6 hours and 1 minute. I was pleased with my time, but definitely think I could do better.

I was hoping for some sort of cool "50k" medal, so I was a bit surprised when the girl at the end asked me if I'd like a pint glass, a tumbler, or a hat. I told her I'd like a medal and everyone laughed. I opted for the pint glass. I immediately took off my shoes and socks, got out of my sweaty vest and shirt and ate 2 burgers from the after race BBQ. We took some photos of our team together - showing the muscles of course - and joked that this was probably the only ultra race where you'll see guys like us flexing.

All in all, this race was an incredible experience that I will absolutely do again. Maybe not this particular venue, but this was the beginning for me of ultra running...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

PA Spartan Race - 2013

Three years ago this past weekend, Gretchen and I ran our very first Spartan Race here at Blue Mountain. This is the race that was our gateway drug into the world of OCR - and it's been all downhill from there...That 2011 race here was when Gretchen took 1st place and came home with the coveted spartan sword (which I've used for my Spartan Halloween costume for the past couple of years - and of course in the Bad Boys of OCR 2012 Calendar). Last year's 2012 race here was hyped as the Elite women's showdown with Spartan Race bringing in heavy hitters from all over the country.

The 2013 race was just as hard as I expected it to be, but the course was a bit shorter. Last year the course was longer than the previous year, and I expected Spartan Race to either keep it the same or make it longer. It was surprising and actually a bit refreshing to run a Spartan Sprint that was under 4 miles in length. Gretchen and I ran on Saturday in the Elite category - The 3.4 mile course was incredibly challenging for the first 2 miles. The course pretty much went straight up the 1500' mountain - throwing in a 40lb sandbag carry at the absolute steepest portion. The obstacles were as expected but I was bummed to miss the spear throw at the top of the mountain and forced to do 30 burpees. This seems to be a theme with me - I was neck and neck with my VPX teammate, Jason Henline - I missed it and he made it - he beat me by a few minutes. The most difficult obstacle in my opinion was the mountain itself - slippery and muddy from downpours the day before and steep as ever. It's a lot more fun to snowboard down than to run up, but it's a lot more satisfying to cross that finish line.
I was pleased with my finish time of just over 1 hour - Gretchen finished in 4th place missing 3rd by just 1 second but finishing 1st for her age. I am extremely proud of her but she was very disappointed since she made a wrong turn after the swimming portion which cost her a couple of minutes. We had fun hanging with our Spartan family and VPX Team Xtreme teammates in the festival area and got some great photos:
I even tried the pull up competition getting 30 strict pull ups in 1 minute - my fellow VPX teammate and Mud & Adventure founder, Paul Buijs, did 39 or 40 right behind me - although there is a bit of controversy as kipping is not allowed. His judge, Kevin LaPlatley aka - The MudMan let the kipping slide :)

I came back on Sunday to give the race another try and finished 1 minute faster than I did on Saturday giving me a 28th place finish and 2nd for age - not too bad! The mountain felt a lot harder going up on day 2, but knowing the course gave me an advantage as I knew what to expect and when to turn the dial up. I missed the spear throw both days - ugh. I'm gonna have to keep practicing. We had a great weekend overall and I'm looking forward to the rest of racing season!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

VPX Team Xtreme Spartan Race Giveaway

Gretchen and I were recently sponsored by a very cool company - VPX Sports. We are now sponsored athletes in the "VPX Team Xtreme Obstacle Racers" division. This means we'll be getting to try all of the supplements and products that VPX Sports makes and we'll be representing VPX at all of our races. 

I was able to set up a giveaway on the Team Xtreme Facebook page for a free Spartan Race. If you saw my recent post about Spartan Race, you know that we are huge supporters of Spartan Race and I was lucky enough to be able to get a free race code to use for this giveaway.

There are some incredible races coming up over including the "Ballpark Sprints:

SPECIAL OFFER -- race in all of the ballpark Sprints this year and get a free season pass for 2014!

Enter the free Spartan Race giveaway here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Piano Playing Kiddos

I guess musical abilities skip a generation, because neither Gretchen or I can play an instrument. My dad is an excellent guitar player, so maybe that's where it came from? We inherited a piano last summer when my grandmother moved out of her home and the kids have been taking a 1/2 hour lesson a week at a local piano teacher's house. We were invited to watch Mya and Michael play on a grand piano to show what they've learned. They typically fight over the piano at our house to practice or just play around, so this was a nice treat.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Free Spartan Race Anyone?

UPDATE: Congrats to Lisa Ward for winning the FREE Spartan Race!

Of course you know I'm a supporter of all things Spartan Race. There are amazing races coming - Utah June 29th - A BEAST. Pennsylvania July 13th & 14th -A SPRINT, Miller Park, Wisconsin Sept 7th - A Stadium Series Sprint, and of course in my hometown of Philadelphia at Citizens Bank Park on Sept. 28th - another Stadium Series Sprint.

I've been working on a blogger outreach program to help generate some buzz and interest in Spartan Races and the upcoming season. I now have the opportunity to provide someone with a free race in any open US heat. Just click the widget below for a chance to win. You can also get 15% off of registration for any Spartan Race here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Spartan Sprint

Spartan Sprint obstacle racingSpartan Sprint - 3+ MILES / 15+ OBSTACLES. The challenging sprint obstacle trail races are a great way to get off your couch and start living. From beginner trail racers and mud run participants to hardcore warriors, tough guys and marathon runners, they all come out to test themselves on the insane obstacle races! 99.9% of all people who try this event will finish, and 100% will have their thirst for mud & trail racing fully satisfied! Top 3 Males and top 3 Females at each Spartan Sprint qualify for a free entry into a Super Spartan of their choice.

Super Spartan

Super Spartan obstacle courseSuper Spartan - 8+ MILES / 20+ OBSTACLES. The Super Spartan obstacle course race provides an 8+ mile battlefield of insane mud running with 20+ obstacles to test your physical strength and mental resolve. This mud run of an endurance race will have many trials to push you to your full potential! The good news is that after you complete your painful journey, there will be live music and a catered meal to soothe your aching joints. Top 3 Male and Female finishers at each Super Spartan race qualify for free entry into the death race.

Spartan Beast

Spartan Beast obstacle courseSpartan Beast - 12+ MILES / 25+ OBSTACLES. An obstacle course race from hell. If you have done any race anywhere in the world: whether a mud run, fun run, olympic run, bike race, death march or any kind of event claiming to be the "toughest race on the planet" you will be happy to know that this is where it ends..THIS IS THE SPARTAN BEAST...Step up and get out of your comfort zone on our +16k beast of an obstacle course race; many will arrive, but few will leave!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Fuego Y Agua - Survival Run

This is a teaser/promo video of the Fuego Y Agua "Survival Run" we shot on the island of Ometepe this past February. The video was edited by our crew from Nicaragua. You'll see that the local beer, Tonya, is prominently featured throughout the 3 minute teaser as they were a big sponsor of the race. The video really does not do justice to the amazing terrain and event, but it'll give a little taste of what it was like.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


reposted from


Nothing to explain here.  Just read the list and pick tips that resonate with you. Then implement the idea(s) and get better at CrossFit (and life).  That’s it!


1. Gear up.  Get oly shoes, some inov-8s or nano’s, a speed rope, some wrist wraps, and some good workout clothes
2. Lift heavy weights regularly.  Don’t just stay in comfortable 70% zones.  Push your limit…which leads perfectly to 3…
3. Use a spotter and FAIL.  If you aren’t missing reps you aren’t training hard enough. Period.
use a spotter 50 Ways To Get Better At CrossFit 4. Work mobility ALOT.  Before, After, During
5. Take your training seriously.  Always strive to become better.
6. Don’t take your training too seriously.  Give yourself a break.
7. Train with others.  It’s just better.
8. Show up no matter what. If you aren’t in the mood here’s what you do: 1. walk to your car and drive to the Box. 2. Figure the rest out later.
9. Try to fast before you train.  ‘Needing’ to eat before, during, or after training is bulshit hype pushed on us from the bodybuilding/supplement industry. When you switch your metabolism over to training without food you will PR more often and feel awesome in general.  You’ll want to send me a thank you card…you’re welcome.
10. Don’t throw your barbell or any other equipment.  It’s just douchey.
11. Warm-up ALOT.  Make sure you focus your warm-ups and always practice proper dynamic warm-ups before you train. This will improve your results and prevent injury.
12. Motivate other athletes.  To receive you must give.
13.  Practice handstands often.  You have to get upside down if you ever want to improve them.
14. For the ladies: have someone spot your ankles as you perform strict pull-ups (push off the spotters hands to assist reps and go for failure).  This is the best way to develop the dead hang pull-up that I have found.
get better at crossfit ladies 50 Ways To Get Better At CrossFit
15. Don’t cherry pick your WOD’s or days.  Show up those days that make you want to hide.  That is a mega sign you should be coming those days (weaknesses HeLLo).
16. Train your weaknesses.  Really try to destroy them..this is the only real way to become a better athlete in my professional opinion.
17. Utilize your coach’s before and after class.  They love to talk training, food, and lifestyle so ask them questions and then shut up and listen.  You will learn a LOT.
18. Ask other CrossFitter’s for tips and tricks. We are all on different paths in this journey and have learned different things along the way. You never know who you can learn from.
19. Buy a jump rope and size it to you. Then never leave it at the gym.
20. Practice double-unders every day
21. Do a few strict pull-ups every day
22. Do a few one-arm push-ups every day
23. Meditate 5 minutes every day.  This can improve your entire life (and CrossFit)
24. Practice your Olympic weightlifting every day with a dowel and empty barbell.  The gains you will make doing this are insane.
25. If there is an exercise you are not good at do the following: perform 3 sets of 10 as part of your warm-up every day.
26. Work on heavy, light, and moderate weighted squats every week.  Doing lots of reps will produce big gains for male and females.  Squats are king.
27.  Practice jumping in all modalities.  Over, under, on top of, sideways, backwards, long, short, high.
28. Make sure you have a very good rack position.  The barbell should be completely supported by your shoulders and not your hands.
29. Train planks often.  And I really mean train them.  The results from these come 30 seconds after your arms start shaking.  You need some mental toughness for these.
30. Learn to bounce out of the bottom of a squat.  For those that have tight hips this can be difficult and that is why you should practice often with a dowel and barbell.
31. Do pistols at least once a week (more the better).
32. Make sure to hit all the major lifts at least once a week. Squat, Deadlift, Press, Bench, Snatch, Clean, Jerk
33. Have a recovery plan: hot/cold water, massage, foam rolling, nutrition, ice, Epsom salt
34. Get your family involved.  Who cares if you come off annoying at first.  They are your family and you don’t want to bury them do you?  If you really love your family you should give a shit if they are killing themselves with shitty food and bad lifestyle habits.  Start working on them NOW.
35. Do shoulder dislocates with a dowel every workout.  Don’t force them. Move smoothly.
36. Turn the wrists out at the bottom of the muscle-up.  This will ensure you reach full extension of the elbows, lats, and shoulders.
become a better crossfitter 50 Ways To Get Better At CrossFit
37. Do lots of strict dips and negative holds on the rings.
38. Incorporate strongman work into your program.  Sled work and the prowler can do amazing things.  Walk with a sled attached to the hips as recommended by Louie Simmons
39. Practice heavy farmer carries.
40. Throw things.  We’ve been throwing spears and javelins for thousands of years.
41. Wake up to 20 push-ups every morning.
42. Do 30 air squats and 20 push-ups after every meal.  No really..this is a awesome recommendation from Tim Ferris in the The 4-Hour Body and I use it all the time.  It’s even better after big meals.
43. Walk after every meal.  This improves digestion, prevents fat gain, and makes you feel less bloated and lethargic.
44. Do travel or home WOD’s if you can’t make it to the gym. This helps and a travel WOD card.
45. Practice L-sits often.  Same with frog stands.  These basic gymnastic skills are easy and low-stress movements that can help you become fitter.
46. Listen to your coaches!  They see what you don’t see and they know CrossFit.
listen to your crossfit coach 50 Ways To Get Better At CrossFit
47. Work on your lifestyle and nutrition.  Here are some resources: Cooking GuideThe Paleo Diet, MarksDailyApple
48. Take REST days. I know it’s an insane concept but you CAN’T train every day.  CrossFit is very demanding and if you want to live a long life you better realize that your body needs a balance.
49.  Take a REST week every couple months.  This has done wonders for a lot of my athelte’s.
50.  The best thing you can do when training CrossFit is LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.  Learn when you can push past your red-line and when you need to back off. Learn when you need to rest and when you can still train. Learn what your body responds to and what it doesn’t.  Then you can develop a plan that works for you.  Everyone is different and has different capacities, never forget this.