August 15, 2010

Sunday 100815

Rest Day


Enlarge image

Kyle Sikes, Orono, Maine.

"Strategy and the Games" with Tommy Hackenbruck, CrossFit Journal preview video [wmv] [mov]

Interview with Jeff Tucker at the 2010 CrossFit Games - video [wmv] [mov]

Leos Janacek, Sinfonietta, final movement.

Edna St. Vincent Millay - Lament

Watch "Computing A Theory of Everything" by Stephen Wolfram, TED Talks.

Post thoughts to comments.

Posted by lauren at August 15, 2010 5:00 PM

Love me some Jeff Tucker! It's hard to describe how hard the volunteers of all sorts worked in Carson, and what a great job Jeff Tucker and his crew did with an event which was often not set in stone until <60 min. prior to lift-off. Hats off to Jeff and his volunteer crew, the judges, Dave Castro and Tony Budding for a whale of a show.

Musings to come (written on Sunday Laura Rucker!)...

Comment #1 - Posted by: lil' bingo at August 14, 2010 5:13 PM

Nice thought, on Wolfram, but at some point everyone has to deal with Gödel. There are limits to what we can "know", but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try and find them.

Comment #2 - Posted by: rhowk M/41/6'2/220 at August 14, 2010 5:40 PM

What do you think about "tug-o-war" for crossfit?

Comment #3 - Posted by: Andy at August 14, 2010 5:51 PM

"Annie" Rx'ed
8:59 PR!

Weighted Pullups 1-1-1-1-1-1-1

92-97-103-105.5-108-110.5 PR-113PR

total=729 PR

Comment #4 - Posted by: quinn McCutchen M/40/146/5'10" at August 14, 2010 6:31 PM

Very cool ids and inspiring photo!

I agree with a lot of what tommy said, crossfit attracts a certain type pf person. But then also people change under crossfit. It's a great thing and I'm super proud to be a part of it.

Crossfit has not only made me stronger, but has made me a better professor and peson. Thanks!

Comment #5 - Posted by: Steven Platek at August 14, 2010 7:33 PM

Sikes you are a stud, keep training hard Bud

Comment #6 - Posted by: Lucas at August 14, 2010 8:10 PM

So, I thought Wolfram's talks was sort of unintelligible. So, I went to the Wolfram website. So, it was just kind of better (when I use "so" it is to indicate that what I'm saying is perceptive, important, useful, and soon to be self-evident to you; once I have told you about it, you will feel that you are on the cutting edge right along with me).

After a few searches on the Wolfram website I found myself asking: "So [pay attention here] what sources have been used to provide me with these 'factual' answers?". So, we have a problem, because if I want to verify the facts Wolfram has given me (assuming Wolfram will give me sources) I have to do the work myself. So, maybe I'll just do the work myself in the first place.

Comment #7 - Posted by: Prolix at August 14, 2010 8:33 PM

Love Jeff Tucker. Never met the man, but he seems like a riot. Not to mention his talent as a coach.

Comment #8 - Posted by: Donovan at August 14, 2010 8:52 PM

To be fair, the wolframalpha website does give sources. There's a button that shows which ones were used to provide the answer for the search.

I think Wolfram's idea is original and certainly possible. I also respect his courage to stand for such a different perspective. In a way, it can make a lot of sense. Nature is full of mathematical wonders, and so is physics.

Comment #9 - Posted by: Vince at August 14, 2010 9:21 PM

Jeff Tucker, great guy! Pleased to hear CFHQ is taking better care of the judges and volunteers! Something that was not happening in games past!

Comment #10 - Posted by: -=Gar=- at August 14, 2010 9:26 PM

I'm wondering what is up with that poem that was posted. Maybe I'm misreading it but it sounds like a person that have given up and that isn't a quality that many Crossfit peeps share. I'd vote for posting the poem Invictus next time: show me someone that's going to push through the pain and stand back up! Just my $.02.

Comment #11 - Posted by: Michael C. at August 15, 2010 4:21 AM

Entered "Crossfit" on Wolfram Alpha and came up with Winston Churchill's "The Crossing." Ha! Seriously though, an amazing tool for stats.

Comment #12 - Posted by: Christin at August 15, 2010 4:40 AM

Thanks for the link to Wolfram Alpha Coach/Lauren. I dig it.

Comment #13 - Posted by: JRC at August 15, 2010 5:07 AM

Keep it up Kyle! Cool to see some Mainers on the Main Page

Comment #14 - Posted by: Jack at August 15, 2010 6:36 AM

@Bob, I respectfully disagree. Like Bingo always says, CrossFit is a big tent and has room for all opinions. Prolix's rest day thoughts have been great reading for the past 6 months- if not more. If you disagree, it's cool, but do so respectfully, please. That's what rest day discussions are all about, my friend.

Additionally, what's wrong with Prolix's opinion that we should strive to find things out and do the work ourselves?


Comment #15 - Posted by: CFinBKK/35/M/70/173 at August 15, 2010 6:37 AM


Love the car pull, buddy. We need to get you down to Hybrid to push trucks and lift stones! Train hard...Rob O

Comment #16 - Posted by: rob orlando at August 15, 2010 6:47 AM

Maybe the talk made sense if u have internet access and screen resolution to see the various examples that seemed to be whirring away in the background. But just listening to what he was saying didn't do much for my comprehension.

Bob @3.21am, with a lot less respect than that accorded to u by CFinBKK above, that's one of the worst contributions to Rest Day I can ever remember. Bravo, "mate".

To the US forces giving much needed assistance in Pakistan, every good wish. You are doing great things and draw the admiration and respect of the world.

Comment #17 - Posted by: J1 at August 15, 2010 7:31 AM

I had a question about the level 1 test and the 5 unscored questions. I recently took the test and scored a 40and my question is does that meen i got ten wrong out of 50 or 5 wrong out of 45? Do they send you your results with the questions you got wrong so you know what you can betteyour self in? just wondering cause i flt pretty confident in most of the questions and I dont believe i got ten wrong.

Comment #18 - Posted by: barry at August 15, 2010 7:51 AM

35 yom 210 bwt

did a hybrid of nicole/lynne
AMRAP in 20 of:
run 400m
max pull-ups
max push-ups
(while wearing a 20lb vest)
5rds + 400m
pulls 15/12/13/11/11 = 62
pushs 23/17/17/13/14 = 84

Comment #19 - Posted by: brian t at August 15, 2010 9:56 AM

Sunday musings...

1) Praise. Be careful not to damn with faint praise, or praise with faint damns.

2) Locker room. I think this is a particularly male phenomenon, so I will apologize in advance if this is so, but I'll bull ahead anyway.

It seems to me that the last visit to the locker room at the end of a career is an under-appreciated life-altering event. Reading about Bernie Kosar at 46 reminded me of this. The locker room at the gym, any gym, isn't the same. It's the shared experience and the shared goal of the game ahead that sets the team locker room apart. Us against them, even if we don't really like all of us all that much. A sublimation of ego and paradoxically a magnification of the same both in play, both necessary for victory after the the competition for playing time is completed.

And then, one day, all of a sudden it's gone. Just like that...poof. Nothing like it ever again; nothing to replace that which made the locker room both sanctuary and crucible.

Now to be sure my view is certainly colored by my frame of reference, and some among you will disagree, especially if you are in the military. But that, too, is finite for most of you, for most of you will leave the service later in life still in some version of your prime. Kinda like the football player who makes it in the NFL--you still leave the locker room as a young person. (The only vocation I can think of where this is not true is Firefighters, FWIW).

I'm not sure I really have a conclusion, or a teachable moment even. Just a little lament, a wistful moment, thinking about other moments shared in communion with teammates in the locker room before or after the game, moments never replaced.

3) GPP/SPP. Cool discussion in a very unlikely place, at least for me, this morning. Mrs. Bingo rides horses, specifically dressage. She is trained by a near-Olympics caliber rider and trainer, and frankly she's getting pretty darned good. Her technique starts to fall apart as she tires (whose doesn't?), and this prompted a discussion with her trainer, Jeff, about cross-training for riding.

To be sure a part of the answer to his questions is pretty obvious, at least here chez Crossfit. The more fit you are, the greater your General Physical Preparedness, the more able you will be to perform your sport. Indeed, the greater your GPP the more able you are to PRACTICE for your sport, the longer you can engage in Sport Specific Preparedness. Pretty standard fare in a place where Coach has stated (and been proven correct) that you will be a better ski racer if you can do lots of pull-ups.

It's a bit of a tough sell, though, in a world where there is literally NO fitness training. No GPP whatsoever. Can you imagine? That would be like a tennis player who trains for tennis by only ever playing tennis, a basketball player who only plays basketball in order to prepare to play basketball. And yet that's exactly what is present throughout the equestrian world at all levels of riding. I don't think it would be all that difficult to sell Crossfit as the GPP program of choice if there was any understanding of the benefit of GPP, but these are folks who do...nothing.

Jeff asked me if I could think of "riding-specific" exercises that would make his trainees better riders. Hmmm...that's kinda like asking for gym exercises that are just like surfing, exercises that would in and of themselves make you a better surfer. It's seems rather obvious but it's helpful to remind ourselves every now and again that we must play and practice our sports in order to get better at those sports.

What if there was such a thing as a "bridge", though, a program that bridged the obvious (here) benefit of general strength and met-con fitness, and that of practicing the unique movements of your sport? Might there be a way to apply some of the principles of Crossfit (CVFMP@HI) to movements that share some of the characteristics of movements particular to a given sport, especially if you can break down those movements to multi-joint, functional movement parts?

For example, a dressage rider is constantly asked to perform disparate movements separated vertically, with asymmetric application of force applied laterally. Left more than right, push below while pulling above, etc. What's to keep you from designing a program with constantly varied functional movements that involve horizontally asymmetric loads, and performing them at high intensity? An Overhead Squat with more weight on one side of the bar than the other, for example, coupled with L-Pull-ups with only one leg out, 21-15-9. Box Jumps while holding a 20#DB in one hand, 10 in the other, with a 500M Row and one-arm KB snatch, 3RFT. A bridge between GPP and SPP created by breaking down the movements in the sport to their most basic elements, and then choosing functional movements that incorporate those same elements.

I've been at this Crossfit thing for almost 5 years now, and what keeps me here (in addition to the Crossfit community) is the constant intellectual engagement I find. The never-ending process, the bottomless well of possibilities that Crossfit offers up all going back to the brilliance of "What is Fitness", Coach's opus. Yes, I could certainly just come here 3 on/1 off and do whatever is posted, but there's much more meat on this Crossfit bone there for the taking if you are the least bit "hungry". There's absolutely no excuse to be bored either physically or mentally if you do Crossfit.

Even without a single Rest Day discussion Crossfit is the most intellectually challenging fitness program yet developed. Just ask Mrs. Bingo and her horse!

I'll see you next week...

Comment #20 - Posted by: bingo at August 15, 2010 10:27 AM

Bob, My comment was whiney, and you are right my head is up my arse, but that's been clear for a long time. Instead of stating the obvious, why don't you spend 10 minutes on the Wolfram Alpha (WA) site and tell us WA's virtues?

I have no doubt the WA is brilliant and will be very useful to many. But it makes me think of the Chinese proverb:

"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he will eat for a lifetime."

Admittedly, it may make sense in many cases to give a woman a fish rather than have her learn to fish on her own - who is going to take the time to learn how to weave lace or build violins when s/he is busy building bridges or teaching the snatch. It makes sense to have someone else do these things for you.

So (ouch!) WA can provide is with calculations (fish) that we don't know how to catch, and this could be of great service to us. But, WA's ambition is much bigger than this - have a look at the site, the stated "goal" is astonishing. It goes beyond providing us with fish, bridges and violins, it is, in part:

"to make all systematic knowledge immediately computable and accessible to everyone. We aim to collect and curate all objective data; implement every known model, method, and algorithm; and make it possible to compute whatever can be computed about anything. Our goal is to build on the achievements of science and other systematizations of knowledge to provide a single source that can be relied on by everyone for definitive answers to factual queries."

It addresses something more fundamental to human survival (and more important in the present epoch) - human freedom.

It makes me think of the Eldorado proverb :

""Give a man an answer and he will answer your question. Teach her how to think and she will discover what it means to be free."

Anyway, I think the goal has problems, what is "systematic knowledge"? what is the criteria WA will use to distinguish between objective and unobjective data, what is a "factual query"? Give it a few years and some honest repackaging and I'm sure it be very useful. It's project is dripping with epistemological presuppositions - and we all know how epistemology is the handmaiden of moral/political philosophy (or do we? should we?).

What do you think Bob?

Comment #21 - Posted by: Prolix at August 15, 2010 10:27 AM

Annie from Friday
m 30 174 5'10.5
as rx'ed
5:46 PR
CrossFit New Orleans

Comment #22 - Posted by: Brandon Ecker at August 15, 2010 10:49 AM

Bingo, I think that your locker room analogy fits in very well with a military career. After 28 years, mine will be coming to a close within four months; my name will be removed from the locker room, but I'll be in the historical team roster. That's one of the nuances of military service that differs from civilian careers: The moment you step on the playing field, your maximum time allowed in the league has been determined (called "high year of tenure"). Not only that, with very few exceptions, the league insists that we change teams every three to five years, even fewer years for officers. I mean, the HMFIC of my branch has the helm of a company with a work force of a half-million people, and he gets replaced, at a maximum, every four years. In comparison, the first page in the annual reports of the companies I invest in have been signed by the same person for a decade or more.

In the book "The Caine Mutiny," one of the young officers remarks (truthfully, IMHO) that "the military is a system designed by geniuses to be run by idiots." The military institution depends on attrition for stability and evolution, as odd as that may sound. There are plenty of jerseys to go around, but go around they do, and the league is better off for it.

Comment #23 - Posted by: J.T. at August 15, 2010 11:14 AM

Atta' boy Kyle. Keep training hard.

Comment #24 - Posted by: Mike Molloy at August 15, 2010 12:14 PM

did the nyc spartan race today and i must say crossfit helped so much with all the cool obsticles. if anyone gets a chance they should def. do it.

Comment #25 - Posted by: rich at August 15, 2010 12:17 PM

The main site? I guess at least for today we can call it the Maine site! Kyle Sikes (a.k.a. Sike Out) representing. That shot gets a four-clam rating in my book. Wait, that might be a Robert McCloskey book.

If it's too hot where you are, feel free to come up and train with us in Maine. We have nice beaches, gorgeous foliage, deep snow, and solid conditions year-round at CF Casco Bay in Portland, CF 321 in Brunswick, and CF Central Maine in Oakland. Better yet, move up here and make our active community that much more badass.

Comment #26 - Posted by: Tyson Weems at August 15, 2010 1:16 PM

"Annie" and then weighted PU, details both places.

Comment #27 - Posted by: bingo at August 15, 2010 2:18 PM


For time;
Move garage and the last boxes then return trailer.
Time: app 10 hrs.

Comment #28 - Posted by: Johan S at August 15, 2010 2:27 PM

How much longer until the Operation Phoenix website is fixed? Let's get on that so we can support our troops!

Comment #29 - Posted by: Patrick at August 15, 2010 3:42 PM

Wolfram: This is huge. We live in interesting times. But... I recall the Zen masters reply to a question about enlightenment. "Before Enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. After Enlightenment: chop wood, carry water."

Comment #30 - Posted by: MikeE m/62/68"/162# at August 15, 2010 4:01 PM

awesome to get the "Maine" page. congrats kyle

Comment #31 - Posted by: Matt at August 15, 2010 5:24 PM

Prolix - you had the same exact first thought that I did - an epistemological one - how do we "know" what is objective data and subjective data? More specifically, how are we to know that any given calculation is "rock solid" if we're just told that WA is relying upon "experts" who have "vetted" the data - and the underlying math. It's not as if every answer (or question) has a perfect equation for it - the simplest queries have confounded math for years. What is the square root of -1?

Add in sufficient complexity and how am I to understand/know or believe with any sense of confidence that WA is giving me the "correct" calculation?

Some of these questions were asked in the comments below the piece on the TED site. Those are worth reading, IMO.

I respect what he's trying to do, but in many ways I think he's just wildly wrong in his assumptions. And his lecture was about as clear as mud, to me. I don't know - I'll do some more research and maybe see if I can make some sense out of it.

Comment #32 - Posted by: Dale_Saran at August 15, 2010 11:07 PM

Bingo- love your thoughts on the relationships b/w GPP & SPP. Also, i agree with the relationship between CF and intellectual-ity. It's got me thinking since day one and i haven't stopped since. My newest challenge as a trainer hs come in thie form not of SPP, but of engaging athletes in understanding the import of warming up. So I've been forced to "get creative and fun" with making warmups that serve the purposes ot he WOD.

Great post

Comment #33 - Posted by: Steven Platek at August 16, 2010 4:27 AM

23 / M / 5'9" / 137lbs

I couldn't get to the gym on Sunday, so I doubled up today.

50-40-30-20-10 rep rounds of


I lost count and may have done 60 sit-ups in round one. Ah well. On 100519 I did Annie scaled to 35-25-20-15-10 reps rounds in 10:17. This time, the extra 90 (possibly 100) reps took less than a minute longer. Nice.

Weighted pull-ups 1-1-1-1-1-1-1


Comment #34 - Posted by: BC at August 16, 2010 2:41 PM

Oh yeah-- My sit-ups were anchored for Annie.

Comment #35 - Posted by: BC at August 16, 2010 2:55 PM

Thanks for the comments everyone!!

Comment #36 - Posted by: Kyle Sikes at August 18, 2010 7:36 PM


Comment #37 - Posted by: Repto M/40/5'11''/225 at August 19, 2010 11:27 AM
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