January 4, 2006

Wednesday 060104

Rest Day


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Our work here is only three-fourths complete; after a yard sale, this place will be ?legit?.

West Marine is rigging climbing ropes of unsurpassed quality and unbeatable prices specially for CrossFitters. This is not a public offer but an act of corporate generosity to our community. Mark Chandler (Markch@westmarine.com) is the contact. If you elect to take advantage of this opportunity please express your appreciation.

The Talent Myth by Malcolm Gladwell

Discuss in comments.

Posted by lauren at January 4, 2006 7:14 PM

malcolm g is a stud. i recommend both "blink" and "the tipping point."

Comment #1 - Posted by: greg everett at January 3, 2006 7:22 PM

That gym looks sick! Where is it?

What is a good diamiter for a climbing rope?

*** Anyone unable to make it to the Oly-cert, please let me know. I will gladly take your spot off your hands.

Comment #2 - Posted by: DJ at January 3, 2006 7:23 PM

Really liked that article. Interesting stuff.

Comment #3 - Posted by: Matt G. at January 3, 2006 7:26 PM

Very interesting article. You can't learn everything about the world in school.

Comment #4 - Posted by: brendan melville at January 3, 2006 7:51 PM

I enjoyed the article. Especially after reading "The Winning Edge" two days ago. Can definitly see a pattern here. As I read it, I started wondering how many of us CFers are like the school kids in the article. Actually posting better then we really did? I'm sure w/the character of this community, the number is small if not 0. Right?

As some one who wants to someday get into coaching, I appreciate these articles. So much can be said for the make-up of a person and or a team. Not to mention how you go about reafirming them.

I just thank God that my employers don't look at spelling and punctuation as a make it or break it skill.

Comment #5 - Posted by: DJ at January 3, 2006 8:04 PM

How do we take advantage of the West Marine offer? What is the offer, anyway?

Comment #6 - Posted by: Tony Young at January 3, 2006 8:18 PM

I'm hoping the yard sale proceeds will go towards a killer pull-up bar! Nice work Doc Jones!

Comment #7 - Posted by: Krista J. at January 3, 2006 8:20 PM

good article, you need to have s.o.p.'s and people who can apply them

Comment #8 - Posted by: dan santini at January 3, 2006 8:21 PM

AAARRRRRRGH! (pirate style)

I did Linda today (I'm a day behind) and...

well, I should've lowered the deadlift weight a little and there certainly wasn't any "storming through" going on and I managed to piss one gym patron off, but he can suck it 'cause I waited 20 mins. for a bench to open up just like everybody else and he eventually got his turn and now my blisters are beautiful and after an hour in the jacuzzi my back finally allows me to walk around and perform light lifting functions without disagreement and thank God and Coach for rest days.

Will comment on article in a little while after I read it...

Comment #9 - Posted by: robp at January 3, 2006 8:22 PM


1. Through email
2. Money for rope

Hope that helps.

Comment #10 - Posted by: Coach at January 3, 2006 8:33 PM

Certified doesn't necessarily mean qualified!

Comment #11 - Posted by: Scott U. at January 3, 2006 8:37 PM

Awesome article.
"Why do they call it common sense when so few people have it?" Author unkown

Comment #12 - Posted by: Jim at January 3, 2006 8:42 PM

Where is that gym in the photo?

Comment #13 - Posted by: Scott U. at January 3, 2006 8:43 PM


I think the burpee is at least the threat to the lower back that the deadlift is. Give it some thought.

I also think I'm seeing some burpee/back issues in the group right now.

Anyone care for elaboration?

Comment #14 - Posted by: Coach at January 3, 2006 8:44 PM


You have something here with the burpee relating to back issues. I think it's easy to hurt the back during a burpee if you let your center fall toward the floor during the kickout: extend the legs, fail to maintain adequate tension through the center and the abdomen falls toward the floor with only mechanical structure to prevent one from folding "backward." It seems that this places high force on bone and connective tissue. Though "fun" burpees aren't for every day IMO and one cannot simply blaze through 100 of them with no regard for proper (in this case "healthy") form.

Mark T

Comment #15 - Posted by: Mark T at January 3, 2006 9:02 PM

Noticed the lower back issue with the burpees last night. I disagree with Mark T as to the cause. I believe, in my experience, it comes with the rounding of the back going into the squat position and coming out of it after the thrust. It could also have something to do with the fact that one comes out of the bottom of the squat on ones toes. At least I do.

In contrast, now that I pay attention to keeping my lumbar spine arched and strong in the deadlift, I have much better luck with avoiding lower back pain doing deadlifts. As a result, I was able to do excellent JBS situps this morning as part of my cfwu before Linda.

I'll read the article tomorrow and post my thoughts. Thought you'd all like to know. (kidding, c'mon. You knew that, right?)

Comment #16 - Posted by: Ron Nelson at January 3, 2006 9:21 PM


My analysis differs a tad:

The injury behind chronic low back pain, sciatica, lower extremity pain referral, possible disc injury/insult, etc, is a flexion wound not an extension wound.

I would expect the sagging to cause an injury to the facet joint and it generally refers locally and fairly superficially with point tenderness. The back is substantially more tolerant of hyperextension than hyperflexion.

The mechanics of the tweak are like so:

On returning from the push-up position to the squat position we throw the lower extremities towards the hands and drive a sudden and excessive degree of flexion in the lumbar spine.

I've watched burpees in slow-mo and they make me cringe. How many of us can put our hands flat on the ground and maintain nice deadlift posture? Damned few. Damned few.

The burpee has much of the charm and all of the physics of a rounded back high speed moderate load stiff legged deadlift with bar and no plates. Ouch.

I'm torn whether to ditch them or not - but they're such a favorite.

When you gonna' visit?

Comment #17 - Posted by: Coach at January 3, 2006 9:30 PM


We're on the same page.

Comment #18 - Posted by: Coach at January 3, 2006 9:31 PM

I'm still new to CF. Some of the abbreviations are still foreign. Does CFWU mean Cross Fit Warm Up? And if it does, where is this listed? If it doesn't, what does it mean?

Comment #19 - Posted by: Scott U. at January 3, 2006 9:57 PM

I liked the article, I really like the New Yorker, though seldom get to read it. Might have to read more Gladwell... Another interesting disccussion about talent is in Jim Collin's "Good to Great." Check out the book on Amazon or at http://www.jimcollins.com/lab/index.html.

Comment #20 - Posted by: saul jimenez at January 3, 2006 10:01 PM

hey, i've worked out at that gym! nice work doc jones, the place is looking good!

Comment #21 - Posted by: Megan S. at January 3, 2006 10:05 PM

Interesting article and recommend his book. Thanks for the great discussions.

Comment #22 - Posted by: Bill Y at January 3, 2006 10:12 PM

Scott U- Yes, and got to Lynne Pitts' Official CrossFit FAQ.(Located on lower right of home page. Good source for CF knowledge.)

Lynne- Got it right this time, but still owe those HSPU's.

Comment #23 - Posted by: DJ at January 3, 2006 10:13 PM

Thanks DJ

Comment #24 - Posted by: Scott U. at January 3, 2006 10:15 PM

Hmmm...that gym look familiar.

Comment #25 - Posted by: Lowell at January 3, 2006 10:42 PM

I had a premonition last night, that the words "FAQ" will appear under Navigation on the left hand section of the webpage and the words "Workout of the Day (WoD)" will appear in the centre of the page. Hehe, I reckon it will cut the number of comments in two.

Comment #26 - Posted by: Matt Townsend at January 3, 2006 10:59 PM

Regarding the Burpee and back pain:

I'm fairly certain that letting the arms fall to the sides, rather than throwing them overhead, will promote proper spinal-alignment during the jump. It makes for a marginally easier rep (one less muscle group to move) but that might be worth it for those finding Burpees too painful to do regularly.

I've had success with my crew this way. Letting the arms fall seems to make people equate the standing/jumping portion of the movement with an air-squat and pushes people back on their heels. I also see better hip extension.

Mr. Constructive strikes again.


Comment #27 - Posted by: Dan Silver at January 3, 2006 11:18 PM

I just want to say thanks to whoever hooked the gym up. It seems like we get more equipment everyother week. There's no reason to sub anything anymore.

Comment #28 - Posted by: dan van at January 3, 2006 11:29 PM

Matt: That's a good premonition. Well at least the first part.

Regarding the "Talent Myth": I think Enron's staffing strategy was a perversion of the "First Who, Then What" ethic detailed in Good To Great

Comment #29 - Posted by: Brian Mulvaney at January 3, 2006 11:36 PM

Man, I waited for this rest day.
However - I think it is very important to keep correct form and tension in whole body during burpees and in that case it's a keeper for those who already do not have backproblem.

I always jump to squat position onto fingertips - extra couple of inches to keep the back not so rounded.

Comment #30 - Posted by: Jorgen at January 4, 2006 12:15 AM

After reading some of Larry's comments in the Message Board about taking time off every 12 weeks ago or so, I reckon just after Linda, is as good as time as any to take it. Looking forward to your article in the CF journal about this Larry. :)

Comment #31 - Posted by: Matt Townsend at January 4, 2006 12:37 AM

did this tuesday...i was still in chitown but my friend had some 30# DBs:

10 HSC, 30# DBs
30# DB swing, 20 reps
30 pushups

time: 12:43...not bad. def need to clean up the ol' diet a bit. and its looking like a run and some reading for wed afternoon...i get so behind during these little vacations. good to be back.

Comment #32 - Posted by: ediddy at January 4, 2006 12:39 AM

Anyone interested in a group buy of ropes to Australia?

Comment #33 - Posted by: Matt Townsend at January 4, 2006 12:49 AM

Ring fly push ups 100
Pull ups 100
HSPU 100

done in rounds of 10
time 29:22

Comment #34 - Posted by: Tom O at January 4, 2006 2:57 AM

Got to agree with Coach on the burpee issue; it's definitely the (explosive) flexion that causes trouble, at least for me. It is the same mechanic that guarantees several days of suffering after box jumps, which are really just vertical burpees.

Comment #35 - Posted by: Lynne Pitts at January 4, 2006 4:04 AM

Got it. Thanks.

Comment #36 - Posted by: Tony Young at January 4, 2006 4:38 AM

Took a nap in the sunshine and rowed a gentle 3k.

Comment #37 - Posted by: AndrewB at January 4, 2006 4:39 AM

About the talent article. I have seen people hired because they went to a certain school or had some kind of qualification. But really, what it boils down to is that you either get things done or you don't --simple as that. The best degree from the best university won't get you anywhere unless you have the drive to make things happen. My philosphy is "Don't tell me where you went to school or what rank you held in the miltary or those other soft qualifications, but tell me what you have done or can do." I'm not saying that those types of soft qualifications don't matter, because sometimes they do, but really its, ultimately, what you can make happen. Nuff said.

Very very nice gym.

Comment #38 - Posted by: Jack Walcott at January 4, 2006 5:06 AM

To address your point Jack...I think the problem comes when those "signpost" items like degrees, ranks, etc. are themselves cheapened. If you, when hiring, depend on "a degree from X" or "attained the rank of Y"...you're putting your faith in the idea that those people/places the candidate has interacted with before have adequately prepared/tested he or she.

But if that candidate has done the bare minimum and just been rubber-stamped through the system, then those degrees/ranks mean nothing.

Comment #39 - Posted by: Matt G. at January 4, 2006 5:31 AM

From the article:

..."Students who hold a fixed view of their intelligence care so much about looking smart that they act dumb," Dweck writes, "for what could be dumber than giving up a chance to learn something that is essential for your own success?"...

This mindset is pervasive in business and, more on topic, in "fitness trainers."

The minute any of us decides we have fully developed intelligence and/or knowledge, we may as well die.

Comment #40 - Posted by: Rob deFreese at January 4, 2006 5:41 AM

Interesting article. I subcribe to the malleable intelligence theory myself. Hence CrossFit.

Did modified Cindy for 15 min:
5 incline rows (sub for pullups)
10 incline pushups
15 squats

Got about 10 or 15 rounds in, I think. Too sore to count straight.

Comment #41 - Posted by: tirzah at January 4, 2006 5:53 AM

Time to practice with my new baby, the 56lb KB i received for xmas :D
Greasing the groove with swings and front squats each time i walk by it. I also managed to clean the bugger on my first go, i can tell its gonna be a favourite of mine!
Rounding off the days work with some boat rocks, L-sit practice and some Frenchies to smoke me that little bit!

Comment #42 - Posted by: Orrin at January 4, 2006 5:59 AM

I see this crap every day. I work for a company where the CEO reads 2-3 management books a week. He is, in my considered opinion, a highly educated, intelligent idiot. What we get done, we get done in spite of our processes and "team concept", not because of it. If he left for six months, I have the feeling productivity would increase. If I were a rule follower, I would have been fired two years ago.

I distrust the notion of greatness. I don't believe in Great companies, I don't believe in Great Individuals. I believe in working every day to be a little bit better, and remembering that, at best, 90% of what you "know" is actually true. The second you think you're a star on the path to greatness, you can put a fork in it. Do your job to the best of your ability each day. Try to learn something. Keep your mouth shut and your eyes open.

Comment #43 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at January 4, 2006 6:01 AM

I claim no expert knowledge of business, but I draw a personal, though somewhat derivative, lesson from The Talent Myth one that in no small part guides CrossFit, Inc.

Founded in 1930, Enron began as a geologist led energy production and distribution company. By Enrons collapse in 2001 it had become an MBA led company whose chief business was special purpose entities (SPEs) designed to conceal bank and wire fraud, securities fraud, money laundering, conspiracy, and insider trading.

This is a classic tale of a company becoming rudderless, and eventually criminal, after abandoning the pursuit of product and service.

Im not quite suggesting the moral superiority of geologists over MBAs but rather the utter folly, recklessness, and ultimately, financial irresponsibility of running a business through the pursuit of money and not excellence.

I wouldnt take advice from Americas largest and most prestigious management-consulting firm were it offered for free.

From CFJ, Issue 41: http://www.crossfit.com/cf-journal/excellence.jpg

Comment #44 - Posted by: Coach at January 4, 2006 6:13 AM

Doc. J, I envy your gym. Great job. Tell Lee W. to quit standing around and get some, go again...

Comment #45 - Posted by: Steve HB at January 4, 2006 6:31 AM

First day of Crossfit. Coach Kelly. Crossfit SF.
Kicked my ass. I'm definitely coming back for more. Thanks.

Comment #46 - Posted by: Dusty at January 4, 2006 6:59 AM

I am just starting this program. I am in good shape, performed first three WODs ok. I am just looking to stay in above average shape, good cardio and strength nothing too fancy. My question, should the WOD be the only workout of the day or on the short days like Tuesday, should I add something myself? Thanks.

Comment #47 - Posted by: PML at January 4, 2006 7:03 AM

To this point I haven't noticed any trouble with burpees.

I see what Jorgen is saying about the fingertip burpees. If it is an issue maybe we should consider doing burpees with our hands on a platform to maintain posture.

Comment #48 - Posted by: Chris J at January 4, 2006 7:13 AM

I've been shirking the burpees and L pullups workout, but finally dug down and got it done today. I found that bringing my knees up outside my elbows allowed my trunk to pivot up more freely. No issues noted during the workout. We'll see if I can get out of bed tomorrow. This is the most burpees I've done in one session to date.

Comment #49 - Posted by: RickB at January 4, 2006 7:24 AM

Coach et al,
I have been involved in sport/fitness my whole life, and I have never been exposed to the profundity of knowlege, generousity of spirit or sheer cameraderie that exists on this website and within this community.

I live in Tel Aviv, Israel, and I'm currently studying to receive certification as a Fitness Instructor.

As I learn more of "fitness" training in general, and become more aware of CrossFit and its benefits in particular, the absolute bias in the mainstream fitness industry towards segmented "isolate and alternate" training methodology and the worship of hypertrophia has never been more clear. Or at the same time, less relevant to real-life applications.

Israel is widely known for its precarious security situation; leading, sadly, to further renown for our armed forces, particularly the special forces community and its operators. 18 year-old recruits (draftees, actually) enter the army in specific months; prior to this, highly motivated 17 year-olds join classes that "prepare" them for the rigors of basic training and subsequent service. We see them often on the beaches of Tel Aviv, running in small groups. (Do the words Long Slow Distance mean anything to anyone here?)

I can't think of a better personal "mission" or use for the knowlege I glean here than to PROPERLY train these kids for what's ahead of them.

So thanks to all of you for everything you post. I promise to use it in the spirit in which it was intended, and in the same generous way I received it.
Payin' it forward...

Comment #50 - Posted by: IanTelAviv at January 4, 2006 7:35 AM

Hey CrossFit-ers,

Can we see a show of hands of who actually does the "Official Crossfit Warmup" before every workout? (It's in the FAQ).

I've been doing
1) Run or jump rope for 2-5 min
2) Official crossfit warm-up, minus any part that will be repeated in the main WOD
3) WOD
4) Jog or bike 10-15 min
5) Some stretching

The official crossfit "warmup", for those who don't know, includes 3 times through a stretch and some exercises, including 10-15 dips and 10-15 pull-ups, 10-15 sit-ups, 10-15 back extensions, 10-15 squats.

Are we all doing this 3 times before every workout? I want to do my best to avoid hurting myself.

Comment #51 - Posted by: MarcBoston at January 4, 2006 7:45 AM

I have a question about air squats and knee pain. My left knee cap (patella) feels like a nail is going through it AFTER I do Tabata squats or any high rep. squats activity.

Any ideas on what to do or what is the pathology? How to fix the problem?

PLEASE any insight is appreciated

Comment #52 - Posted by: sid at January 4, 2006 7:56 AM

That is an incredible facility. Top rate. Congrats on getting that stuff together.

Comment #53 - Posted by: Mike Joyce at January 4, 2006 8:11 AM


I couldn't agree more. Being in outside sales (here's a phone book, go sell something to somebody), I'm very sensitive to business issues. I walk through the doors of at least 5-10 businesses weekly.

The problem with American business, as I see it, is we as a culture demand cheap crap. We can't make cheap crap here any more, so we are in the process of building China into a global superpower.

Nobody wants to actually offer value any more: they just want to get rich. Put some POS (piece of. . .) company together, IPO, and cash out. If it tanks later, so what. In Texas, Florida, Iowa, and somewhere else, you cannot have your house taken from you in bankrupcy. Andrew Fastow has a MASSIVE house. House isn't the word. Estate.

The industries that are going like gangbusters are banks. Everybody wants everything, and they want it NOW. Instead of paying off your house, put a 2nd on it, and vacation in Tahiti.

What we are seeing, in my view, is the logical conclusion of a generation saturated with effective advertising, which, in all it's forms, sells the concept of MORE.

We don't care about value. We don't care about MAKING things, or making them well. Americans are very tactically shrewd, and we are very flexible as a nation. People move around, they work obscene hours that would make most European counties choke. These are assets. Debits are an absolute inability on the part of most companies to think in spans of over six months, and an obsession with quick wealth. As a whole, we are also very ignorant compared to most of the world, except at elite levels.

End rant for now. We are an adaptable nation, but I see a lot of things I don't like.

Comment #54 - Posted by: Barry cooper at January 4, 2006 8:30 AM

Your question is a good one for the message boards. Start there by doing a search. Chances are, someone has been through/experienced what you're are experiencing. Chances are though, since you are describing pain that comes on after the movement, your pain is related to structures tightening up at workout completion. Are you diligently stretching your quads/psoas/hips? Have you had this type of pain before? In the same knee? Are you warming up well? How are your mechanics on the left side? Do you pronate at the foot? Are you icing/taking ibuprophen after an episode? etc.

Start with the stretching. Really stretch.

Comment #55 - Posted by: Kelly Starrett at January 4, 2006 8:54 AM

marcboston I usually do the cfwu but my own variations of it. I only do it 2 times and thats about 20 minutes. I always add different things to it to get better at other exercises. Plus I look forward to the wu somedays. things that are in it 90%of the time are samson stretch, ohs, situps and back exts.Looks like you are doing to much. I would just get a sweat going.

Comment #56 - Posted by: dennyy at January 4, 2006 9:42 AM

Hi all,
Coach, regarding the burpee: perhaps a lower extemity return to squat position might place less flexion to the spine if the feet return to a poition wider than and slightly behind the hands.
Workout as follows
Walk 10 miles 2 and a half hours.
Basketball push-upx12 (feet elevated 8"), Bar row (suspended from webbingx8, and DB swing 30#er'sx10 for twelve sets.
Duration 20:00.

Comment #57 - Posted by: Jonathan Jensen at January 4, 2006 9:52 AM

The article: is there any surprise...
Until tomorrow...

Comment #58 - Posted by: Jonathan Jensen at January 4, 2006 9:54 AM

It seems to me that Gladwell's essay is not so much about talent per se, but rather about the misapplication of talent. Enron is an example of a group of smart, greedy, people reinforcing one another to take advantage of a business environment for their own gain. Eventually, having destroyed many others, they self-destructed. Reminds me of the "Radical Loser" article.

Comment #59 - Posted by: Patrick Kennedy at January 4, 2006 10:07 AM

I agree with Patrick Kennedy on the "misapplication of talent". While Enron employed numerous MBA grads and veteran executives, they read too lightly on McKinsey's reward/incentive concept and ended up gratuitously rewarding those that would eventually end up unemployed.

Seguing into related topics, how do people feel about companies heading towards a more "virtual" existence--that is, companies that don't have a majority of real assets that can be liquidated. While I find the idea very appealing in some respects, I feel that unless the company is very established, virtualization of the company is a bad idea. Thoughts?

Comment #60 - Posted by: Mike at January 4, 2006 10:19 AM

Article : good - I think I just found my new porno name: "Axel Rod"

I understand that rewarding individuals regardless of performance is a bad thing, but I worry that this article pushes standard rewards a little too much. Time incremented rewards is what drives the mediocrity of our government run offices and nothing kills productivity faster.

The mistake that McKinsey and Enron made about rewarding Talent is that 'Talent' is not decided solely by intellegence or status, but by results. Talented people deliver results. Results warrant rewards.

-Axel Rod

Comment #61 - Posted by: J Jones at January 4, 2006 10:19 AM

Oh yeah,

When I do burpees I try to explode my feet forward and land with my chest up, torso near vert. My hands are no longer touching the ground, and my feet slam pretty hard.

This is very hard to maintain in higher rep sets, so I usually break when I can't maintain this any longer (unless I am finishing the last set or something).

FWIW, I also don't squat all the way down to touch my hands to the deck. I usually end up shooting my legs out and catching myself in the push up position so there is no rounding of my back their either.

-A. Rod

Comment #62 - Posted by: J Jones at January 4, 2006 10:26 AM

Great article on performance. It rings home because I'm a recently minted MBA and in the field of investment management.

I think it is fairly obvious that performance is the sum of a combination of traits including: intelligence, charisma, experience, perseverance, and so on. No single component alone is indicative of future performance. Past performance, on the other hand, does provide a much higher correlation with future performance than does any single indicator.

Degrees from top schools are meaningless, I graduated with plenty of lazy and stupid people. There were many of the high performance kind but in no way is the degree indicative of superior performance.

The most important question I ask during an interview is "What was the most difficult thing you have ever done?". The answer does not have to be about work, especially for younger folks. My early career had me filing, taking minutes and replacing toner cartridges; not very difficult. A recent graduate that responds by saying that she was not a musician growing up, but taught herself how to play guitar at the age of 21 impresses me.

In my eyes the highest performers are people who seek out challenges simply because they are difficult. Everything else can be taught.

Why do we Crossfit?

Because it's hard!

Comment #63 - Posted by: James W. at January 4, 2006 11:04 AM


If you get a chance contact Ido Portal in Haifa (tantrum@bezeqint.net).

He is an excellent strength coach and a good friend of CrossFit.

Comment #64 - Posted by: Robb Wolf at January 4, 2006 11:08 AM

"marcboston I usually do the cfwu but my own variations of it. " - dennyy

I too do the cfwu but tweak it to include skills I want to work on. I have been working handstand holds to hopefully get to HSPU. I also just started L-sit holds (after a wod that included L pullups). I was putting in more range of motions stuff in but just recently pulled that out and now precede the CFWU with Sun salutes.

My current WU is
Sun Salutes
CFWU - Samson streatch, broomstick O/H squats, situp (roman chair if one handy), Supermans, pushups, pullups, Handstand holds, L-sit holds.

Comment #65 - Posted by: Jeff_Roddy at January 4, 2006 11:16 AM

I do the Official Warmup but only two rounds; will increase to three later...and I stretch after the WOD.

Comment #66 - Posted by: MLM at January 4, 2006 11:16 AM

Thanks Kelly

I do know that my left leg is about .5 in shorter than my right.

I am icing and ibuing etc.

I have noticed that my patella is tracking lateraly(outside) more than my right. That is consistent with short leg discrepency.

I just would ike to have some insight from someone who has also been through this.

Thanks again for your response

Comment #67 - Posted by: sid at January 4, 2006 11:18 AM

Thanks Kelly

I do know that my left leg is about .5 in shorter than my right.

I am icing and ibuing etc.

I have noticed that my patella is tracking lateraly(outside) more than my right. That is consistent with short leg discrepency.

I just would ike to have some insight from someone who has also been through this.

Thanks again for your response

Comment #68 - Posted by: sid at January 4, 2006 11:25 AM

Wow...that's a coherent post. Glad to see that in between delivering pizzas, PSU grads have time to surf the 'Net.

Comment #69 - Posted by: Matt G. at January 4, 2006 11:35 AM

Fracured DIANE:
5 rounds of
9 reps 225# deadlift
9 reps HSPU
TOTAL TIME=15:16 (2:07/3:10/3:31/3:15/3:12)

Previous Diane was 11/28/05 17:56 with the last 6 HSPU being supported. For today, none supported although I know I didn't go full depth on them all...

Comment #70 - Posted by: jdg at January 4, 2006 12:05 PM

Robb Wolf-
Thanks for the info; I will definitely do so.
CrossFit Israel - hoo yah!!

Comment #71 - Posted by: IanTelAviv at January 4, 2006 12:21 PM

This leads to the definition of what actually is talent?

Academic pursuit is typically considered the milestone for achievement. My perspective is somewhat different than most and pertains to the business of training. I will relate a personal experience:

I worked Bally Total Wasted of Time for two years. One of their most talented trainers who has a degree in Kinesiology from U of M would do his bodybuilding workout, go the bathroom and inject himself insulin to stabilize his blood sugar levels to enhance recovery. (So he said) He also takes/took a milieu of steroids and also sold them on the side to finance his personal use. All occurred this under the supervision of a Personal Training director who turned a blind eye because the talented brought in a lot of revenue. The trainer is also NSCA CSCS. So is that talent?

Here is the definition of talent and what I am looking for in a trainer/coach to work for CF Ann Arbor:

1. Has a total commitment to the well being of the clients.
2. One who does not take the quick and easy path (They are neither)
3. Passionate about what they do

Someone who is committed to excellence! Not just someone who can bring in revenue.

Comment #72 - Posted by: Doug at January 4, 2006 12:42 PM

Great discussion on the burpees. My $.02 FWIW:

I haven't had any lower back issues that I can directly attribute to the burpees, but every time I move from the push-up to the squat position to begin the jump I think about what a terrible squat position I'm in; my weight is on my toes, my knees are way forward, my back is rounded, and there's nothing I can really do about it.

The JJones (a.k.a. A-Rod) super-explosive burpee may be an option for the future, but I can't realistically see myself making an already difficult and explosive movement even MORE explosive and completing the rx'd number of reps in anything like a decent time. Also, there would seem to be some issues with wrists and elbows experiencing rapid loading with quite a lot of weight if "shooting (one's) legs out and catching (oneself) in the push up position so there is no rounding of (one's) back their (sic)either." It sounds like that would be trading knee/back injuries for elbow/shoulder injuries.

Comment #73 - Posted by: Eric2 at January 4, 2006 12:47 PM

I'll say it again; Barry Cooper freakin' rocks.

In regards to his last post, I offer the following observation of life in Anaheim, CA:
Several people drive around in Escaldes with 24" rims, DVD players in the dash and all headrests, $1000+ sound system, wearing pro basketball jerseys and hats. They go home to a 2 bedroom apartment shared with extended family.
Consumerism? Maybe.

Regarding the article: I worked for a bank in the 80's. OK, it was a savings and loan. They made a practice of hiring only people with degrees as "Customer Service Reps," not "tellers." They tended to hire younger, good looking people who seemed "fast tracked" to success. How I got hired remains a mystery.
The final step in the hiring process was an interview with the vice president of the company. He was only about 4 years older than me, but had his MBA and could charm the knickers off a nun. He himmed and hawed about hiring me, finally asking me if I really wanted the position. Having been unemployed for about 2 months, I said, "Yes!"

So, I worked and worked and went through good and bad times. I went through the management training process, and finally, after almost 4 years of being passed over for management positions by lesser qualified, but better looking, individuals; I quit. I was not part of the the plan, I guess. My last assistant manager I worked with was the last straw as far as my dignity was concerned. She was a person I could not respect either personally or intellectually. She was vapid, shallow, and clueless. So, I walked.

Shortly thereafter, the vice president who begrudgingly hired me, the president of the bank, and the CEO of the parent company were all indicted for bank fraud. So goes the story of Lincoln Savings and its owner/CEO Charles Keating.

Oh, the vp I spoke of rolled over on Keating like a little b*&ch. Nice one, Ray.

Sorry for the tremendous waste of bandwidth. Just thought it was relevent.

Blind squirrel found an acorn.

Comment #74 - Posted by: Ron Nelson at January 4, 2006 12:56 PM

Another good "Article of the Day" from Coach and Lauren.

A book that covers very similar topics to this article and the "Winning Edge" article posted on Monday, is entitled "Your Own Worst Enemy." The author is Kenneth Christian. In spite of some digressions in a couple of the chapters, the book succinctly describes the problem of underperformance of activity, and over reliance on title, being known as "intelligent" or "talented," and lack of ability to simply "do."

Much of the book's Master Skills (e.g. order, planning, persistence, ability to tolerate frustration, etc.) apply to all areas of life, particularly the WODs.

Thanks for the intellectual as well as physical workouts Coach and Lauren!


Comment #75 - Posted by: John Murphy at January 4, 2006 12:59 PM

Great article! I teach high school mathematics, and I constantly preach that effort counts for more than talent in all aspects of life. As a rule, the students who do the best in my classes are the workers, not necessarily the gifted. This is true not only in academic pursuits, but in business, marriage, parenting, exercise, you name it. Coach, it is an awesome pleasure to be part of the Crossfit community! Thank you for what you are doing!

Comment #76 - Posted by: lee cole at January 4, 2006 1:09 PM

Two comments:

Inclusion of intellectually thought provoking essays as a added component of the evolutionary paradigm of this community is a brilliant advancement.

In other words: thinking good; more please.

Second, underutilized talent or unrecognized genius is so prevalent it is a cliche. Perseverance drives long term success in all but the luckiest of cases.

And that kind of perseverance is what we are hardwiring into our brains when we complete seemingly impossible workouts via CrossFit.

Get some. Go again. That's where you will succeed.

Comment #77 - Posted by: gbass at January 4, 2006 1:24 PM

Hey Jonsey,
"My adult movie name would be Buck Naked."

Comment #78 - Posted by: Ron Nelson at January 4, 2006 1:24 PM

Thanks, Ron!!!

One of the comments made me think of Calvin Coolidge , who was my sort of conservative:

Education will not (take the place of persistance); the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

That last line is often omitted.

Comment #79 - Posted by: barry cooper at January 4, 2006 1:31 PM

I pressed on down the page of quotes I found, and found this, too: Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.

Maybe they are often conflated. The version I always see is a combination of the two.

Comment #80 - Posted by: barry cooper at January 4, 2006 1:33 PM


Comment #81 - Posted by: Chris J at January 4, 2006 1:40 PM

I'm away from a rower and have been subbing burpees for erg'ing. I'm about week or so behind on the WOD, and as I was moving through my third round of Burpees, noticed a twinge in my lower back. A bit of testing (very scientific "Does it hurt when I do it this way?" no. "How about... ouch..." yeh.) The twinge tended to happen during the tucking-in phase. Surprise, surprise, keeping my head up and shoulders back prevented rounding in the lower back and removed the pain. Sliding my toes a little instead of trying to hop them completely foward helps too.
It's been a few years, but I remember hearing that some similar exercises (8 count body builders and mountain climbers) were now verbotten at boot camp. The reason? Lower back strain.



PS I've got my Ops Chief doing the WOD with me now... he says he hates me, but he keeps coming back.

Comment #82 - Posted by: Derek Lane at January 4, 2006 1:43 PM

I read your comments reagrding the trouble with burpees. Have spent the day getting up from my desk and trying different ways to fix the problem you describe. The good news I think I'm on to a fix. The bad news. Some of the security staff has gathered around my door. They are holding zip ties and stun guns.
I'm going to try and ignore them.

Comment #83 - Posted by: Jeff at January 4, 2006 1:44 PM

Re: the article. Very interesting. I think i'm in the middle on this one. I believe talent is enviable and desirable, but hard work (the "grit" of the other day's article) is soooo much more important. A nice combo of the two (with a healthy dollop of ethics) is the recipe for truly great things. The problem is not lauding talent, it's the blind worship of talent above all other things (like personal responsibility) and moral relativism in pursuit of the almighty $$. When I was at BU, the school of management had the initials SMG - aka Sex, Money, and Greed. (Conversely, the College of Liberal Arts was also the College of Lost Ambitions, where many former engineering majors who wanted a social life went).

Did Linda as I missed it the other day. Should have gone lighter on DL's.
BWT = 182
Did 275 DL for one set of 10 and then dropped down to 225 for the rest (1.25 x BW).
Used 185 for bench (1.0) and 125 for cleans (.71 of BWT). Did not "storm through" anything, but was exhausted and lightheaded the entire time, lurching like a drunk from the DL to the bench and back to the clean. 46:00 even. Ouch.

One final .02 - As someone noted above, I think we'll eliminate the "stupid questions" by a factor of 10 if Lynne's link moves from "Friends of CF" to somewhere up to the left, near the exercises link.

Comment #84 - Posted by: Dale Saran at January 4, 2006 1:52 PM

DROM + 30 treadmill walk warmup

6 Rounds of:
10 Thrusters w/bar
10 Situps
10 Back Ext.

3 Rounds of:
10 OHS w/bar
10 HSPU feet assisted


Comment #85 - Posted by: Rob M. at January 4, 2006 2:05 PM

Reading that article reminded me of all the bullshit powerpoint presentation I have sat through in my life. If you see a consultant with a power point presentation run as fast as you can. I think that companies would be more efficient if they would limit the number of ppt presentations that they allow in a month. The best powerpoint presentation I have read is by Dan John on the proper way to squat.

This also reminds me that when you meet someone with alot of initials after their name you should be very afraid.

That is why I like crossfit, no initials.

Burpees make my back sore when I overextend my midsection during the kickout. I have solved this by keeping my core tight.

Comment #86 - Posted by: Albert Clayton at January 4, 2006 2:07 PM

Today i just did alot of skipping, stationary biking and a 10 mins of jogging, easy thanks to crossfit!

Comment #87 - Posted by: Franz at January 4, 2006 2:07 PM

100 burpees for time


Comment #88 - Posted by: DavidE at January 4, 2006 2:13 PM

ME full body
135x3, 165x3, 185x3, 215x1, 225x1, 235x1

row 1000m, 3:24
10x10 KTE's (60 sec rest in between sets)

Comment #89 - Posted by: Mulcahy at January 4, 2006 2:21 PM

The military, police and fire fighter folk among us will find "Blink" particularly fascinating. Gladwell has an extrondinary grasp of how the human mind "thin slices" datasets to make complex decisions in a split second. Such capacity is refined in those whose daily job relies on such ability.

If you have any intesrest in how the human mind works in high-stress, zero time situations, you must read this book.

Applicable to sales and marketing folks as much as military, police and fire.

Comment #90 - Posted by: Rob F at January 4, 2006 2:31 PM

Ron, - can't place it.

But my old name used to be "Jack Hammer"


I haven't had any wrist, shoulder, or elbow problems, but I am sure it is because of gradual practice. With training I would expect that landing in this way is no more likely to injure your arms as landing off a 24" box is going to injure your legs.

Mr. Rod

Comment #91 - Posted by: J Jones at January 4, 2006 2:37 PM

I think individually, I can handle burpees and deadlifts. Together, they destroy me. I know that is a sign that I am weak in that area and probably could use some coaching on my form. I comfort myself in the belief that I have short arms and I have to use more back to do deadlifts. I have been out of running for a few days now thanks to the combo of burpees and deadlifts.

Comment #92 - Posted by: Ed at January 4, 2006 3:15 PM

eh... on the article. ok. As a UCLA professional grad school graduate, one thing is sure, some of the most ass-backward people in the world teach in academia, but on the other hand, there are ass-backward people everywhere.

Comment #93 - Posted by: zag at January 4, 2006 3:25 PM

Tabata Intensity/Rythm-10 Rounds of:
30-Squats= TTL 300
5-Pull-ups=TTL 50
10-Dips= TTL 100

Comment #94 - Posted by: Matt Durham-IAFF at January 4, 2006 3:31 PM

Ian Tel Aviv

Good post. Israel and PM Sharon are in our thoughts and prayers at this time. Keep up the good work.

Comment #95 - Posted by: doug at January 4, 2006 3:37 PM


5 rounds for time:
Clean 135#, 5 reps
HSPU, 10 reps

t = 18:56. Pitiful...

Comment #96 - Posted by: Alex McClung at January 4, 2006 3:41 PM

Interesting article. I think this "Talent Myth" is very evident...you only have to look at professional sports for a good example. One school of thought is to draft the best player, or try and sign the most talented player(s). I don't know if this is true, but it seems like that plan usually backfires (usually because the rest of the team/management/coaches, aka "the box" fails to correctly manage/lets a dominant player down). See the careers of Duncan and Garnett. Both wildly talented players supported by wildly disparate "boxes" (sorry any t-wolves fans out there).

Sidenote: Recently, I saw a special on U.S. prisons on MSNBC. All I have to say is, do prisoners have access to crossfit WODS in prison? I saw workouts that would make the CF community proud. Go Crossfit Pelican Bay!

Rowing 5k tonight. Holiday layoff is kicking me in the ass.

Comment #97 - Posted by: eray at January 4, 2006 3:45 PM


I haven't had any problems with the burpees, but will from now on pay close attention to my posture when exploding out of the squat. In the "front lean and rest" for the pushup, I haven't had a problem with keeping my core tight and my back straight.

Simply, I should've just lowered the weight. But since I got up to 305 the other day in that series of DLs and it felt good (no soreness in lower back and felt good pull in hammies), I thought I'd be alright at 225 - I should've listened to my body more and my pride less.

Comment #98 - Posted by: robp at January 4, 2006 3:53 PM


An article on one-arm snatching by Troy Anderson. A nice mention of Coach Burgener and a one-armed variation of the Burgerner warm-up.

Comment #99 - Posted by: SD Mike at January 4, 2006 3:58 PM

I've seen you spar, I pity the security guards.

Comment #100 - Posted by: Doug R. at January 4, 2006 4:20 PM

holy sweetness, that gym is a beauty!!

--zach :)

Comment #101 - Posted by: Zach at January 4, 2006 4:21 PM

Rowed 2K 7:22.4 a PR for me
then "Isabel" 30x95# (full squat snatch) a pitiful 7:40 must have been tired

Comment #102 - Posted by: Jim Howe at January 4, 2006 4:23 PM

George Costanza, "Seinfeld"

Goes on to tell his mother, "I've been making adult movies and my name is Buck Naked!"

I like Jack Hammer better than Axel Rod.

Comment #103 - Posted by: Ron Nelson at January 4, 2006 4:32 PM

My take on the burbee issue is that the exercise has the potential to cause low back soreness or pain due to the reasons coach outlined above. I do not believe the exercise is any more dangerous than many of the other exercises we often perform. The critical issue is that you use good form (what I mean by this is productive form that isn't going to cause an injury or other negative changes). In order to do a burbee correctly I think you need a reasonable amount of posterior kinetic chain (hamstrings, glutes, low back) flexibility. There are also ways to modify the exercise to suit each person; e.g., the observation Dan S. made above. I personally find I can keep better back position if I jump my feet to the outside of my hands (often called a thrust frog instead of a regular thrust), keep my feet flat, hips low, and minimize back rounding. In the burbee video on the main page Annie seems to have very efficient and safe technique for her. She is keeping her feet flat (or nearly flat as far as I can tell from the video angle), back fairly flat, and keeps a blistering pace. I vote for not ditching the exercise, but learning how to do it properly or modifying the exercise to come up with a proper individual variation. The same would be true of an exercise like an OHS. In my opinion, this is a critical reason to have a knowledable coach lead a Crossfit workout; i.e., to provide constant feedback to keep exercises at an appropriate level with sound technique. Anyway, enough rambling...

Comment #104 - Posted by: Gabe Rinaldi at January 4, 2006 4:37 PM

Well, Ron, at last the secret of your role in the S&L crisis is revealed! I see an "Office Space" scenario in my mind: disgruntled, homely employee takes his revenge. Hopefully the statute of limitations has run out...

Comment #105 - Posted by: RickB at January 4, 2006 4:39 PM


The problem is not coming up on the squat but moving from push-up to squat. The damage is done before the hands leave the ground.

Comment #106 - Posted by: Coach at January 4, 2006 4:40 PM

"Well, I wouldn't say I've been 'missing' work at all."

Comment #107 - Posted by: Ron Nelson at January 4, 2006 5:00 PM


BURPEES- A sadistic, exercise performed in order to introduce athletes to "pukie the clown", Put athletes in the wheezing prone rest-with one knee bent position for up to 45 mins after, Oh yes on male athletes it also is the best method to "Make the turtle crawl back in its shell"!

Comment #108 - Posted by: Joey Mc at January 4, 2006 5:13 PM


FWIW, I do the CFWU three times, everytime. But also like you I will omit any exact exercise that will be done in that particular WOD. I also add either 2 or 3 complex lifting exercises, or else I'll do the Burgener warm up three times.

The only times that I skip the CFWU is if I have rolled for an hour or so immediately before I do the WOD.

Great town Boston, it's just too bad you don't have another canuck like Orr to turn those Bruins around for you.

Comment #109 - Posted by: paul woodruff at January 4, 2006 5:39 PM

I'm coming to the burpee queston late, but I'm kind of leaning toward Mark T's answer. I find I get tweaked more on extension than on flexion - jacknives hurt because it's hard to maintain that straight back, but I don't have any problem with explosive flexion, like when doing something like knees to elbows. Obviously those are not perfectly analogous exercises, but they seem relevant as examples of extension and flexion with the shoulder girdle engaged. Beats me. Interesting question.

Comment #110 - Posted by: mark r at January 4, 2006 5:41 PM

In response to Sid:

"I do know that my left leg is about .5 in shorter than my right.


I have noticed that my patella is tracking lateraly(outside) more than my right. That is consistent with short leg discrepency."

The folks at Egoscue would disagree with your assessment that one leg is shorter than the other.
Try this: lie on your back with your legs as close to a wall as you can. Your legs should be up in the air, with your butt wedged in between the wall and floor. But don't let your butt lift off the ground. If it does, back away from the wall a bit. Make sure there is equal weight on both sides of your butt. Now tighten your thighs as much as you can, as hard as you can, and pull your toes back hard. Relax your stomach! Hold for six minutes. At the end, have somebody come look at your legs, near the feet. Stay in that position, though, thighs tight! Are your legs really different lengths? If I were a betting man, I'd bet you $100 your legs are exactly the same length. The person checking you out will be able to verify this fact.

So where does the discrepancy between leg lengths come from? I don't doubt that you can feel a difference between L and R legs. And I can tell you right now that difference has nothing to do with the actual length of the legs, AND...

...it has everything to do with causing your knee pain. Your knee pain is your body's way of telling you there's something going on, and the fact that you feel a L/R discrepancy in leg function points to the hips.

You have a muscular imbalance somewhere in your hips, and has finally worked its way down to the knee. Your case is a perfect example of the principle that the site of the pain is not the source of the pain.

Please try that exercise, and let me know if it does anything for you.

Comment #111 - Posted by: andrew greenberg at January 4, 2006 6:29 PM

Tuesday's WOD:

Wow, I got smoked by just about everyone.

Rd 1: 20 Squats, 30 Pullups/Dips = 6 MU
Score = 120

Rest 2 minutes

Rd 2: 17 Squats, 30 Pullups/Dips w/12# X-Vest = 6 MU
Score = 102
Total = 222

Comment #112 - Posted by: J. Holmes at January 4, 2006 6:53 PM

Just did the burpee WOD as a make up. I used the ends of some hex DB's as little 6" platforms for my hands. No more discomfort or tightness than when done with hands on the deck and I got good push up depth too. I was able to keep a relatively straight back throughout.

At increased speeds or reps it seems like there is as much spinal ROM with this as you'll see in most other exercises. Still, as a body weight exercise it doesn't seem too problematic if done with proper direction.

I did 800 of 'em on one occasion (with all due props to the "Recon New Year 1000 Eight Counts"...) and still didn't have much more than knee pain the following day.

Comment #113 - Posted by: Steve HB at January 4, 2006 6:54 PM

Great article from Gladwell Lauren!

Comment #114 - Posted by: Tim J. at January 4, 2006 7:10 PM

I like burpees.

Great to read all the excellent posts.
Also a high school teacher, I always love to pass on the more or less sadomaso glee of intense effort. Time is of essence. Unfortunately, as eloquent posters have said, MORE is often the illusory ersatz. As in, all around me, micro-managing education and everyminute of the day for growing/groaning boys and girls.
Coach's story of Enron makes me want to quote Rabelais - Science sans conscience n'est que ruine de l'me - Science without wisdom is just ruin of the soul. I really appreciate all the vivid takes on workplace insanity - why, why must it be?? -
I considered myself really lucky to have found three items, in my Christmas shopping, made in USA. Nothing against China, but how much talent is being respected, in our children, inundated with the cheap, ugly toys of today?
Thanks for the great excellence/money graph, Coach, I intend to make use of it with your permission!

Comment #115 - Posted by: davidstryker at January 4, 2006 7:43 PM

Gladwell is one of my favorite writers. While Blink is great, I especially recommend the Tipping Point. I think he is brilliant.

Comment #116 - Posted by: Mike at January 4, 2006 8:08 PM

Very good article! Thanks.

As a coach in a team sport I have seen the value of putting talented athletes in over their head and letting them learn by playing. Don't tell Pete Carroll that talent doesn't matter. It does. And when you identify it you promote it and nurture it.

The problem Gladwell describes is not merely that Enron sought to reward "talent," it was their perverse definition of "talent," and that, I think, relates to how they define success.

As Coach points out, Enron was a fine company until they got taken over by the MBAs. That is exactly how the Big Three automakers almost crashed and burned against Japanese competition in the 70s. All of that is wonderfully detailed in "The Reckoning" by David Halberstam, one of the best writers ever. The Japanese auto companies were run by engineers. They defined success as making the best car possible. Detroit automakers of that era were run by MBAs such as Robert McNamara, and their definition of success was $$$. This culture led to a Ford Motor Co. MBA making a decision not to relocate the Pinto fire hazard gas tank, at a cost of $2.00 per car, because, for several million cars, the MBA figured it would be cheaper to pay the liability claims. And it was, until a jury found out about this cold blooded greedy decision and hit them with a huge punitive verdict.

I have worked for a large insurance company and dealing with the bureaucracy, timidity, backstabbing, and all the corporate ladder climbing bullshit often made me think that the corporate form IS the problem. The people who work in corporations are nice people, but the nature of most corporations is factory work, even for MBAs. It can be and often is soul destroying. As Robt Burns said after visiting his 1st factory,
"I came not here to see your works, in hopes to be made more wise, but only lest I go to hell, it may be no surprise."

Gerry Spence thinks that all corporations are inherently evil. He may be right.

Comment #117 - Posted by: Dan MacD at January 4, 2006 8:09 PM

Group Moffett completed

4 rounds for time of:

400 meter run
20 pushups
Walking Lunges 10 meters down and 10 meters back

Total time of 18:45:08

Comment #118 - Posted by: Adrian D at January 4, 2006 10:10 PM

Fran (mod 70lb barbell)


Comment #119 - Posted by: Josh Hillis at January 5, 2006 12:08 AM

Josh Hillis!

It's been called to my attention, sadly, that you:

a. Posted on Dragon Door that I say stupid things on the Internet all the time: here's your chance to give concrete examples or apologize for your trying to find friends and fit in at Dragon Door by saying stupid things on the Internet. In that I never post away from CF, it must be something I said here.

b. Found great humor in my limp: on this item I can only offer that had anyone but yours truly been the butt of that you would be banned from CrossFit for life and your certifications would be revoked. I don't find making fun of disability funny and those who do so repugnant. You are the first CF trainer to embarrass CrossFit.

For the record, your total inability to control even simple movements was of such concern at both CF seminars that my staff didn't want you cert'd. I intervened and asked Lani and others to give extra time to you before each day to work on the fundamentals so that you might find success rather than defeat with simple skills. How did you manage to leave that out when the subject of CrossFit and our relative emphasis on technique and form came up vis--vis the NYT slam?

Finally, it's been two weeks since the NYT piece and I'm no longer overweight (though I still limp), but I'm betting that Mark is still afraid to come around, Jack is still morbidly obese, Stephen still has a 30 minute Fran, you're still uncoordinated, and Pavel still losing his best (Jeff Martone just this weekend) talent to a program of higher standards, greater efficacy, and integrity.

Comment #120 - Posted by: Coach at January 5, 2006 3:18 AM

Something weird is happening. Yesterday I read a post by Coach in these comments about how Enron started out as a good company that went sour when the MBAs took over management. Now I can't find it. Also, several posts here make reference to Coach's discussion of proper burpee form, and I can't find that either.

Were the posts removed? Is it because I use a Mac? Am I losing what's left of my mind?

Comment #121 - Posted by: Dan MacD at January 5, 2006 4:18 AM

Brian Mulvaney thought the colossal waste of money, represented in the fourth panel, looked like the work of HR Giger http://www.hrgiger.com/

Comment #122 - Posted by: Coach at January 5, 2006 5:24 AM

Giger's illustrations really freak me out for some reason. I believe he did some work the movie Alien (or Aliens).

Comment #123 - Posted by: Matt G. at January 5, 2006 5:28 AM

Dan MacD:

The Enron & burpee discussion posts are still there. It's happens fairly often that people will get out of date pages served up to them by their browser cache or by network caches used by their Internet service providers to reduce cost and increase performance. If you can read this post and still don't see the posts in question, then drop me a line.

Off topic posts, offensive material and questions satisfied by the FAQ and other resources can and do get deleted.

Comment #124 - Posted by: Brian Mulvaney at January 5, 2006 8:20 AM

did a killer leg workout last night.

Comment #125 - Posted by: ws at January 5, 2006 8:21 AM

Being a "3-months shy of 50" newbie, I've decided to get personally trained on the overhead oly lifts before doing any within a given WOD. I just don't trust myself to "just go thru the motions". As such, today I did 2 10 min rounds of 30sec/30sec ergometer intervals.

Comment #126 - Posted by: Mark B at January 5, 2006 3:42 PM

just checked the site after a couple of weeks vacation...hope I'm not too late to post for this talent article. i'm a gladwell fan, but didn't think much of the logic of this article.

rewards should follow results, not some self-serving definition of "talent" nor simple seniority (ie having breathed longer in a job than somebody else).

what i don't like about this gladwell piece is that it seems to try to be to be an overarching indictment of talent-based rewards, but it's foundation is a very limited data set (mostly Enron, with some anecdotes from SWA & the Navy). Enron sucks, no doubt about it. One POSSIBLE explanation for their level of suck is that it had an A,B,C ranking system and that all A,B,C ranking systems are a guaranteed way of losing your moral compass and going bankrupt.

that is a plausible possibility if your analysis stops there. More likely, however, is that they started with no moral compass, and, given that problem, could have chosen ANY HR policy and they would have f&^%ed it up and gone bankrupt and generally sucked.

When you consider that many great companies, like GE for example, enjoy great long-term success and pay a lot of attention to "talent" (including an A, B, and C ranking & rewards system) it seems highly improbable that the fundamental problem with Enron was that they talked about talent.

Just because an Enron can screw up a "talent" based rewards system doesn't mean those systems are intrinsically horrible. If you define talent correctly (ie delivers results) it seems to me that you could get a great HR system going. Of course you won't get jack if you have no moral compass, which was Enron's single biggest problem.

Comment #127 - Posted by: John Dowd at January 5, 2006 6:49 PM

Did a killer leg workout program tonight: lunges, squats, calf raises, hamstring curls, gluts, hip flexor and hip abductor exercises. It is getting easier! I can definitely feel it and see it!

Comment #128 - Posted by: Dmh6482 at January 6, 2006 8:10 AM


I think your analysis is spot on and that Gladwell missed the operative mechanism for Enron's demise while also highlighting some critical factors, e.g., too many MBA's.

I would just ad that debasing a business from the pursuit of excellence to the pursuit of money creates the perfect environment from which a company or individual(s) might lose their moral compass. I would in fact expect any company fixed on revenue over product/service to quickly become corrupt and then broke, i.e., bankrupt in every sense.

Good hearing from you. Come to the Cruz!

Comment #129 - Posted by: Coach at January 6, 2006 12:43 PM

Dear Coach Glassman,

I think we just had a big misunderstaning. First, to remove those sentences from the context that they were in changes the meaning completely. And of course over the internet, tone is never clear.

On the Dragon Door Forum, CrossFit was being slammed because you are known for attacking people personally when they disagree with you. I said “Greg says stupid shit all the time, and that doesn’t mean that CrossFit doesn’t work”, what I meant was that just because you attack people’s character, it bears no reflection on the CrossFit Program you have so brilliantly developed.

Then the other post was totally lighthearted, and if it offended you that was not my intention. If I made you feel bad about your injury, I totally apologize. It was not my intention at all to take a shot at your injury, and this truly is the problem of written word versus conversing in person. If you knew me, if we could talk, there would be no question that I’m not the kind of person who would ever do that. I didn’t think that saying you “had a gangsta limp” was at anyone’s expense. If I had a knee injury, I’d call it my gangsta limp. Nothing in that post was mean spirited or meant to hurt you. The whole post was a joke. No part of it was meant to have any mean spirit to it at all, and I'm guessing that the reason it occured as mean was because you still had a bad taste in their mouth from the NYT article or what all the other DDers were saying.

The Dragon Door crew was hammering that you weren’t a good Coach because you don’t work out. I lightheartedly said that “It’s not an injury, it’s a gangsta limp.” I never thought that you would take that badly at all. Truly, I thought if you read it you would have the opposite reaction. Like: "Hell with the NYT and the DD crew, it's gangsta limp." If I had thought for a second that you would take that in any way but fun, I would not have said it. I never thought it could be construed as mean spirited. And that it clearly landed poorly with you, I am truly, truly sorry. Really, it was totally my bad and I am sorry. I do not find great humor in your limp, and I never meant for it to appear that way, I am truly sorry.

I think this is totally a misunderstanding, and I totally get how you would be pissed off about it, and I take total responsibility for the fact that it didn't land right. I totally get where all of your points are coming from. I'm truly sorry that it made you feel that way. I just really want you to know that it was not my intention.

These were both in the midst of half a dozen posts I made defending CrossFit. Some of the posts I was totally serious. Other posts I was poking fun at how ridiculous the discussion had gotten. The whole time I was defending CrossFit. You mention that I might have been “trying desperately to make friends at Dragon Door”, trust me, there is nothing less popular a person could do than defend CrossFit at Dragon Door.

My apologies. I feel that the spirit of what I said came across way too harshly, and with your injury, completely the opposite of my intention. I never meant for this to occur as mean or spiteful, and I totally apologize.

Josh Hillis

Comment #130 - Posted by: Josh Hillis at January 8, 2006 1:45 AM

Josh Hillis,

You are making everything worse. Much worse.

“CrossFit was being slammed because you are known for attacking people personally when they disagree with you”

This is pure bull-shit. I attack the character of people for being unethical shitbags. It’s now your turn. I attacked one of your KB friends/elites for his racist comments and abuse of a young Pararescue trainee all for being black and wearing a CrossFit T-shirt at Pararescue jump-school where he is the bus driver. I attacked another guy’s character for taking a thread on CrossFit private sending G-Mac an email claiming to have secret knowledge of a gaggle of CrossFit-injured NSW personnel. G-Mac and the Doc’s at NSW know it’s a lie. The guy didn’t know of our work or contacts at NSW. He was suggesting, hell stating, that the NSW personnel considering CrossFit ought to come train with him and stay away from dangerous CrossFit. If ANYONE knows of an entire group hurt CrossFitting and can only talk about it privately they are being unethical. We all have an obligation to share first with the purveyor and then with the public any injuries endemic to any regimen. I couldn’t share all the details because G-Mac asked me not to let the dude know that he’d sent me the email. Shortly thereafter G-Mac released me from my promise. I challenged the guy to publicly deny my accusations of his unethical behavior. He never did.

You can't come up with an example of me attacking someones character for disagreeing with me. I can’t even imagine doing that. Most people disagree with me on most things and I don’t spend very much time attacking anyone. You are an asshole for saying so. Let’s be perfectly clear – I AM ATTACKING YOUR CHARACTER.

“The Dragon Door crew was hammering that you weren’t a good Coach because you don’t work out.”

Where did my not working out come from? It came from the NYT. Cooperman asked if I did the WOD every day. I said, “no, I’m usually experimenting on myself and others with protocols that will quickly be abandoned and it would be unethical to spread them to the community at large adding that most of what we monkey with will never make it to wider audience.” I also let her know that locally we only rarely do the WOD because I have better options, trainers, and equipment than does the cyber community of CrossFit. I also told her I had a penchant for bicycles that kept me from being as fit as I might. I was the original CrossFitter and I can, at 49, still outperform more CrossFitters than not.

And now I’m attacking your character for repeating the absurd charge. Note: not for you disagreeing with me but for your total lack of character in repeating that baseless NYT nonsense at DD and here. That it is coming from such incredibly weak performers as Jack (super-obese), you (9:40 70 lb, Fran), Stephen (26 minute Fran), and the rest of the best of the DD crew who perform at less than half the output of CrossFit women while also claiming CrossFit to be of limited efficacy (Here you’re innocent) makes me nauseous. Nearly all of the DD elite have either come to CrossFit and folded (very publicly collapsed and given up, come in last of 60+, been crushed by our women, rhabdoed) or hide behind nonsenical theoretical objections (e.g., adaptations are cyclic, not linear, therefor CF sucks, I'd like to see these CFers in 50 years, etc) and I have protected the reputations of all those who folded by never mentioning their limited fitness.

Poke fun of my limp as a friend – we’re cool. I’ve thicker skin than you’ll ever be able to understand. But when it comes from someone who falsely accuses me of routine character assassinations and stupidity, and sees fit to repeat NYT charges as fact, it becomes making fun of disability.

We have a therapy for injuries here at CrossFit called STFU. It’s your turn to take some. One more peep from you, Josh, and I'm going to ask and then follow Lynne Pitts recommendation on dealing with you. I'd take the STFU.

Comment #131 - Posted by: Coach at January 8, 2006 6:24 AM
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