There is NOTHING in Reno that can come close to our program!

We build fitness machines out of ordinary people, and humble elite level athletes everyday. Professionals, civil servants, Division 1 athletes, soccer moms, and grandparents all DESERVE the most effective training available.


All levels welcome - come in and try a week free!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tuesday 29, July 2014

New Warm Up (still)


Push ups

1 rep max week

Back squats

Front squats
2x20 @50%


2x max plank hold



3 burpees
1 Push press 35/45kg

add 1 push press every minute until you can not complete the number of reps in that minute

Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday 28, July 2014

New 1 rep max week in the gym.

Be SURE TO BE HERE everyday this week! :-)

Your 1 rep max will be what you use to get stronger for the next 4 week cycle


     log your time on day 1, 10, 20, 30 this month

25 weighted OHS
25 weighted back extensions or supermans
25 twinkies (no there in no creamy white fluffy filling)


Push up strength cycle coming your way

3x10 - always working towards a strict or non modified push up
add 1 rep to each set every day of the week - ending with 3x14

You can work on any variation of push up as long as you can already do STRICT sets of 10


Strict press


Strict press
2x20 @ 50% of max


Max plank hold


20 Renegade rows 35/25lbs
30 Dumbbell lunges - 15 each leg
40 Double unders

Friday, July 25, 2014

31 Heroes Is Right Around The Corner - ARE YOU REGISTERED!!!!

This will be our 4th year hosting the 31 Heroes Workout - not a lot of gyms in the Reno, Sparks area, or even the state of Nevada can make that same claim.

Please register and show the fallen members of our military their sacrifices have not been forgotten!;postID=4909164784195911574


31Heroes – During the month of August 2014 at a Crossfit Affiliate Near You.
AMRAP 31 minutes (As Many Reps As Possible)
8 Thrusters (155/105#)
6 Rope Climbs (15 ft. ascent)
11 Box Jumps (30/24″)

This is a Partner WOD – Partner #1 will perform the work listed above. Partner #2 will run 400m with a sandbag (45/25). Once Partner #2 returns from the run, Partner #1 will grab the sandbag and begin their 400m, while Partner #2 continues work wherever #1 left off.
Score is your total # of reps

This WOD was created specifically to honor the 30 men and one dog that gave their lives for our country on August 6, 2011. It is 31 minutes long—one minute in remembrance of each hero. The rep scheme is 8-6-11—the date of their ultimate sacrifice. Finally, this is a partner WOD. The men who gave their lives were from multiple branches of our military, working together as a team.  In the workout you and your team member will constantly be taking the load from each other providing much needed support and relief. We realize that no physical sacrifice made during a workout can come close to the sacrifice our brave heroes made, but we consider this WOD a CrossFitters “moment of silence.” This is how we can honor those that gave all in the name of freedom.

31Heroes Project

Established to honor the 31 Americans killed in action in Afghanistan on August 6, 2011, The 31Heroes Project exists to support the families of all fallen military heroes.
The Beginning
The 31Heroes Project was conceived in response to the Extortion 17 helicopter crash in Afghanistan on August 6, 2011 killing 30 military service members, as well as one military working dog – Many of the fallen were Special Operators from the Navy SEAL community.
Men and women from all branches of our armed forces lay down their lives every day in defense of our freedom, sometimes with minimal recognition for their sacrifice or their family’s sacrifice. The events of August 6, 2011 drove us to recognize our responsibility, as Americans, to take care of the surviving families of this particular tragedy, but also to take action in support of all families of our fallen military heroes. And there The 31Heroes Project was born.
Our first event in 2011, was a Crossfit fundraiser workout held four weeks after the day of the crash. In that short time, over 430 gyms hosted an event, more than 10,000 peopleparticipated, and $300,000 was raised and given directly to the 30 families affected.
Through this event we quickly discovered that many of us in the CrossFit & athletic community have a strong desire to support families of the fallen.
If we could do this much together on such short notice, how much more were we capable of?
We are humbled and grateful for the sacrifice of these 31 and because of it, we are committed to showing each family that has sacrificed a loved one in service to our country that we support them and stand behind them. All funds raised will go to programs that support surviving & active duty military families.

Friday 25, July 2014


Last day of the week to work on your L sits



Banded good morning

30 sec v-up HOLD
30 sec hollow rock HOLD



Deadlifts 60/40kg
8 rounds or 4 minutes of
20 seconds of work
10 seconds of rest

Push press 60/40kg
8 rounds or 4 minutes of
20 seconds of work
10 seconds of rest

KICKER TODAY - your "rest" is not putting the bar down
If you do 10 burpees per downed bar

Thursday 24, July 2014

Last few days of skill work on the L holds, pull ups etc.

They will not actually be in the workout tomorrow though :-(


Bench press

Floor press
2x20 AHAP


3 min AMRAP
10 floor wipers - to each side
10 evil wheels


Tabata Something Else

Complete 32 intervals of 20 seconds of work followed by ten seconds of rest where the first 8 intervals are pull-ups, the second 8 are push-ups, the third 8 intervals are sit-ups, and finally, the last 8 intervals are squats. There is no rest between exercises.
Post total reps from all 32 intervals

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bartolli - Navy - Passion - Fitness

Article written on our very own Coach Nic

This article helps me remember why I do what I do and why I love what I do!

Thanks Nic - you are AMAZING!

Wednesday 23, July 2014


Still working on some L hold stuff


Delaod week

Back squats


Rack lunges
3x20 40/30kg


50 TRX Knee tucks



Kettlebell swings 32/24kg
Goblet squats 32/24kg


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Emotions of CrossFit

Everything else you think of when you think of CrossFit, shoes, wraps, shorts, all the bullshit aside, is not CrossFit - THIS IS WHAT CROSSFIT IS - this is why the coaches and athletes old and new started CrossFit, and continue to believe in it 110% - its not the sold out crowds, the money they win, the celebrity status, all that is just a passing whisper in the wind - the companionship, the suffering, the success, the tears, the forever friends, the sweat, the anguish, the accomplishment, the joy THAT IS WHAT CROSSFIT IS!!!

Tuesday 22, July 2014


L work


Delaod week

Strict press


Banded tricep pull downs


30 four count mountain climbers
30 four count flutter kicks
30 half sit ups
30 med ball v twist each side


For time:
95-lb. thrusters, 30 reps - 42.5/30kg
20 GHD sit-ups
400-meter run
115-lb. thrusters, 20 reps
30 GHD sit-ups
400-meter run
135-lb. thrusters, 10 reps
40 GHD sit-ups
400-meter run

Monday 21, July 2014

Well it is a rare occurance that I use a WOD from the main site, but I can tell you we have two in a row this week.


Conditioning will be longer and or harder ;-)


L work
L-pull ups


Clean pulls


Power cleans



Can you believe I don't remember what we did yesterday??? (I can - shhhh)


Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:

 185-lb. hang power cleans, 3 reps - we used 70/50kg for weight
6 strict ring dips
9 box jumps, 30-inch
27 double-unders

Friday 18, July 2014

All I have to say is HOLY SHIT DON'T let Coach Derek program AGAIN!


Ring work


Back Squats


Pause squats
3 second hold in bottom 50%


100 half sit ups


17 min AMRAP

30 pull ups
30 KB swings 24/20kg

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Thursday 17, July 2014


could it be ring work - YES


Bench press
3-3-3 warm up
5-5-5-3-1+ 75/85/95%


3x12 hanging leg raise



2 mins
Hang cleans

1 min rest

Max weight 60/50kg
Recommended 50/40kg

Hang Clean For Total Body Power


Here's what you need to know...

•  The clean is the top dog in resistance programs for improving performance as it requires triple extension of the hips, knees, and ankles in a coordinated, explosive pattern – a movement that simulates the triple extension in both sprinting and jumping.
•  Hang cleans will get you absolutely jacked. They not only stimulate your forearms and traps, but nearly 200 muscles in the body so that you get a huge anabolic surge and training effect.
•  Intelligently planned cleans get you absolutely shredded. Cleans, especially when performed with a full front squat or low catch, are metabolically demanding. The explosive nature and muscle recruitment requirements will leave you absolutely floored when done with proper technique and short rest.
Without question, power cleans are a phenomenal tool in your pursuit of high performance strength and muscle. The problem is, they can be difficult to learn. Most cleans are downright atrocious. You see things like starfish legs, excessive knee valgus, and a gross lack of coordination, none of which have a place in the weight room. Hang cleans, however, are a great, doable, alternative. Here's what the most advanced version (with the added front squat) looks like:

Why the Hang Clean and Not the Power Clean?

Few lifts develop total body power and explosiveness like the hang clean. I prefer it to the power clean because of its quicker teaching time and the elimination of most mobility restrictions when pulling from the floor. Classic exercises like deadlifts are best for developing pure strength, but for explosiveness and gains in athletic performance, cleans bridge the gap between strength and speed better than any other weight room exercise.
The hang clean requires movement from the wrist, elbow, shoulder, ankle, knee, and hip joints, making it a total body exercise. This makes the clean a better bang for your buck deal than just about any other exercise. The corresponding muscles that cross each of those joints must work in cooperation to accelerate a heavy resistance, stabilize the spine, and explosively transfer power. No resistance exercise requires the biomechanical and coordinative demands of the clean. As a result, this unique exercise blends sudden strength, power, and coordination to build a high performance, show-and-go body.

For Building Athleticism

The clean requires triple extension of the hips, knees, and ankles in a coordinated, explosive pattern – a movement that simulates the triple extension in both sprinting and jumping. If you stumble on a sport that isn't improved through more powerful triple extension, coordination, and being able to absorb and transfer force, let me know. Until then, the Olympic lifts are a vital training tool for athletic performance.
When applied correctly with submaximal resistance (40-75% 1RM), hang cleans are a great tool for training speed-strength and strength-speed. Except for competitors in Olympic lifting and athletes being max tested in the clean, training with submaximal loads provides an awesome training stimulus without compromising technique. Unlike squats and deadlifts, cleans aren't an exercise you're able to "blast through" when fatigued because they have a high neurological demand. Freshness and optimal technique are imperative for maximal training effect, brute intensity, and strength.
Try this:
For maximum strength: 90-95% of 1RM for 2-3 sets x 1-2 reps and 2-5 minutes recovery.
For greater strength-speed: 70-85% of 1RM for 4-6 sets x 2-4 reps with 2-3 minutes recovery.
For greater speed-strength: 50-65% of 1RM 4-6 sets x 2-4 reps with 1-2 minutes recovery.

For Building Muscle

Hang cleans will get you absolutely jacked. They not only stimulate your forearms and traps, but nearly 200 muscles in the body so that you get a huge anabolic surge and training effect. Nearly every muscle fiber is engaged and firing to maximize explosiveness, stabilize the core for transfer of load, and to execute the clean correctly.
This ultra-efficient exercise ignites the central nervous system (CNS) to recruit more muscle fibers, challenge fast-twitch muscle fibers, and potentiate the nervous system to allow the use of greater training loads on subsequent exercises. Take a look at any experienced Olympic lifter and you find a jacked posterior chain with thick glutes, spinal erectors, yoked traps, and meat hooks for forearms. Whether you want yoked traps to fill out T-shirts or powerful hip extension for a faster pull and stronger lockout, hang cleans will develop a truly impressive physique.
Try this: 
4x6, 5x5, and 6x4 at 65-85% of 1RM with 1-2 minutes recovery are all awesome hypertrophy protocols.

For Getting Ripped

I'm not a fan of "cleaning" the snot out of people until projectile vomiting ensues and a highly technical exercise becomes a sloppy conditioning tool. There's an inverse relationship between lifting intensity (%1RM) and volume, and increasing both simultaneously is a recipe for injury and faulty movement patterns, not high performance. That said, intelligently planned cleans get you absolutely shredded. Cleans, especially when performed with a full front squat or low catch, are metabolically demanding. The explosive nature and muscle recruitment requirements will leave you absolutely floored when done with proper technique and short rest.
Try this: 
5x5 with 60% of 1RM with 60 seconds of rest or less.
5x5 cleans with 75% of 1RM with 90-120 seconds of rest.
Technique is still key, but don't be afraid to push the tempo. Cleans will leave the most seasoned lifters and athletes heaving, hawing, and pushing the red-line of metabolic demand.

To read the rest of the article and more...

Wednesday 16, July 2014


Ring work please and thank you


Back squats
3-3-3 warm up


Pause squats
3x10 at 50%
3 second hold


10 half sit ups
20 four count flutter kicks


After Monday and Tuesday short and sweet one today

3 rounds or 12 minutes

25 double unders - 75 singles
20 wall balls 20/16lbs
15 box jumps 24/20in
10 chin ups

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Hanging up His Shoes - Spealler


Do you enjoy a nice, fresh cup or two of organic coffee daily? If so, we have good news, as research clearly demonstrates the positive impact that coffee has.
Furthermore, the benefits don’t have to stop with a rich cup of organic coffee – you can actually take your morning cup a step beyond depending on what you put in it.
Here is a little of what we uncovered:
Coffee boosts metabolism

Caffeine has a stimulant effect on the central nervous system, which raises metabolism and increases the oxidation of fatty acids. It also mobilizes fatty acids from fat tissues and there is good evidence that it increases athletic performance.

Coffee may reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes
Type ll diabetes is skyrocketing in America and now afflicts almost 1 in 8 people. Coffee appears to do a good job regulating blood sugar. Numerous studies demonstrate an association between coffee and a 23 percent to 67 percent lower risk of diabetes.
A review of 18 studies involving almost 460,000 participants found that each additional cup of coffee per day lowered the risk of diabetes by 7 percent. Interestingly enough, the more coffee that study participants drank the lower their risk. Researchers claim that people who drink several cups of coffee per day are less likely to develop diabetes.

Coffee improves mood and brain power
Everyone knows that if you want to stay awake you drink coffee, right? Well, we bet you did not know that drinking coffee can also boost your brain power and your mood. Caffeine blocks the effects that the neurotransmitter adenosine has on the brain.
By doing so, the caffeine increases brain activity and the release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine. Controlled trials have examined the effects that caffeine has on the brain and have found that it improves mood, reaction time, memory and overall cognitive function.

Coffee improves liver health
Optimal liver function is vital to health. The results of our modern life, such as a poor diet and excessive alcohol consumption, cause the liver to work at less than full speed. Numerous studies have indicated that coffee can lower the risk of cirrhosis by up to 80 percent in people who drink four or more cups of coffee per day. Coffee may also reduce the risk of liver cancer by 40 percent.

Coffee contains nutrients and antioxidants
Coffee beats fruits and vegetables as the best source of antioxidants in the American diet. Many people think that coffee is nothing but black water. Well, you can now tell them that they are wrong. One cup of coffee contains:
  • 6% RDA for vitamin B5
  • 11% RDA for vitamin B2
  • 2% RDA for B3 and B1
  • 3% RDA for potassium and manganese
Wait… there is more good news
You can reap the benefits of a great organic cup of Joe plus the added benefits of the following add-ins.

Coconut oil
Of course, those who have been using coconut oil for years never truly believed the lipid hypothesis that said saturated fat was bad for us. More and more evidence is being uncovered to say just the opposite.
Healthy saturated fat is not only good for us, but essential for numerous bodily functions. Coconut oil is described as one of the healthiest saturated fats on Earth.
Coconuts are revered all over the world for their amazing medical and nutritional properties. They have been used for ages by diverse cultures and races, all of whom respect the magnificent qualities of this tree-growing nut.
Although coconut oil is about 90 percent saturated fat, it is good for the body. It contains about 50 percent lauric acid, which helps to prevent high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. The short and medium-chain fatty acids help to regulate thyroid and enzyme function, and also help with weight reduction.
Coconut oil improves metabolism and takes stress off of the pancreas. This tropical wonder improves digestion and increases the absorption of vitamins, amino acids and minerals.
Replacing processed coffee creamers with organic coconut oil is a smart move. Although it may sound strange, the result is actually quite delicious and highly nutritious. The combination of caffeine and saturated fat gives the body a great and lasting energy boost.
The best way to prepare a tropical twisted coffee drink is to brew a high-quality organic cup of coffee and place it in a blender. Add in one tablespoon of organic coconut oil, blend and enjoy.
The resulting coffee drink is frothy and rich, with a wonderfully smooth taste that is very satisfying. If you like your coffee sweetened, add one teaspoon of organic coconut crystals.
Adding coconut oil to your coffee is a great way to supercharge and give your body a burst of energy to make it through the day. Not to mention all of the other amazing health benefits of coconut.
To learn more about how coconut oil can boost your health go here.

Ancient Egyptians valued the medicinal effects of this spice since 2000 BC. Used as a cure for everything from coughing to arthritis, cinnamon’s healing properties come from the essential oils found in the bark.
These oils are known to have both anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. Furthermore, cinnamon can help control blood sugar spikes. Research has shown that sprinkling a little cinnamon in your coffee can reduce its impact on raising blood glucose levels.
Research from Wheeling Jesuit University found that just smelling cinnamon can help to increase memory and mental alertness. In another study, it was found that cinnamon extracts can halt the aggregation of tau proteins, a condition that is common in people suffering with Alzheimer’s.
The essential oils in cinnamon allow it to be classified as an “anti-microbial” food. Research demonstrates that it can help stop the propagation of fungi and bacteria, including yeast Candida.
Add an organic cinnamon stick or a teaspoon of organic ground cinnamon to your ground coffee before brewing. This will make your coffee taste great, and your whole house will smell wonderful.

Pastured raw eggs
According to some things you may read, raw eggs are supposedly not good for you. However, if you get your eggs from healthy, free-range chickens they are actually very good for your health and loaded with antioxidants. Many people are deficient in healthy proteins and fats, and raw eggs can provide both.
Raw eggs contain niacin, biotin, choline, vitamins A, D and E, potassium, manganese, iron, iodine, copper, zinc and sulphur.
Pastured eggs are the best type to consume as they have extra choline, vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin K2, omega-3-fatty acids, vitamin D, and beta-carotene from the grass and bugs that free range chickens consume. All of these nutrients help support the brain, nerves, hormones and glands.
According to legend, Swedish egg coffee was a recipe that immigrants carried with them “on the boat” from Sweden to America in the late 1800s. This coffee drink is made by combining coffee grounds with a raw egg and then adding the mixture to boiling water and straining it. Because there is no filter used, the essential oils in the beans are still intact.

Here is another way you can enjoy all the benefits of pastured raw eggs:
Brew 35 grams of organic coffee beans in a French press. Separate the egg yolks from the whites of 3 pastured eggs and put the yolks in a blender along with your coffee and coconut oil combination. Blend on low for a few seconds. Add one teaspoon of coconut crystals and ¼ teaspoon sea salt, and blend for a few more seconds.

What about salmonella?
Salmonella poisoning from raw eggs has been grossly exaggerated. A 2002 study by the United States Department of Agriculture indicated that only 2.3 million of 69 billion eggs produced annually are actually contaminated with salmonella. This equates to 1 in every 30,0000 eggs. The majority of these come from chickens who are kept in unhealthy conditions – only sick chickens lay salmonella-contaminated eggs.
If you choose organic and free range, less than 1 in 30,000 may be contaminated. Salmonella is a very common micro-organism that is found almost everywhere – and is actually just as likely to proliferate on cooked food kept in the fridge.

What you don’t want to put in your coffee
Refined sugar of any type: Just a spoonful of sugar surely won’t hurt, right? Well, that is wrong. Food manufacturers don’t want us to know what really happens to our bodies when we consume sugar. Most of us associate sugar with energy – and rightly so – it provides an immediate source of energy. However, unless you are an elite athlete, which most of us are not, this can be a major problem.

Fake liquid coffee creamers: Non-dairy creamers may contain sodium caseinate, a chemically-altered and extruded form of casein, which in its final form is not even considered a dairy product by the FDA due to the sheer amount of chemicals used.

Fake powdered coffee creamers: Powdered non-dairy coffee creamers frequently contain hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, or, as they are more commonly known, trans fats. Some brands contain up to one gram per tablespoon. Hydrogenated oils are created by adding chemicals agents, sometimes metals such as platinum and nickel, to pressurized and already-processed oils to further alter their molecular structure. Instead of sugar, many non-dairy creamers contain corn syrup or corn syrup solids.

One final tip – never make your coffee with tap water
According to the Environmental Working Group, water supplies in the United States are contaminated with over 140 chemicals which are not regulated by any safety standards.
When the EWG conducted their own test of water supplies serving 231 million people, they found more than 119 unregulated chemicals. This is not the whole story, either.
Image-1 (26)If you are on a public water line, it is likely that your household water supply is loaded with chlorine. Chlorination has been around for nearly 100 years. While chlorination eliminated waterborne diseases such as typhoid fever, hepatitis, dysentery and cholera, and is used now to keep bacteria at bay, mounting evidence strongly suggests that there is a downside to this heavily used substance.
In our bodies, chlorine breaks down and is not harmful. However, it is when chlorine reacts with organic materials that are already dissolved in the water, and creates toxic disinfection byproducts (DBPs).
The two main DBPs that form when chlorine reacts with organic materials are trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs). THMs are classified as Cancer Group B carcinogens, and research has shown them to cause cancer in some lab animals.
These byproducts are 100 times more toxic than chlorine and have been associated with heart, lung, kidney and central nervous system damage. There is also a growing concern that long term use of chlorinated water may cause some cancers.
So, go on and enjoy a delicious hot cup of organic Joe and supercharge it today!!
-The Alternative Daily

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tuesday 15, July 2014


Ring work


Strict press
3-3-3 warm up
5-5-5-3-1+ same % as yesterday


Strict press
2x20 @ 50%


25 banded crunches with 10 second HOLD



10 thrusters 42.5/30kg
10 ring push ups

Monday 14, July 2014


Ring work
Pull ups
false grip
muscle ups


Week 3 of the cycle

3-3-3 warm up
5-5-5-3-1+ (3x5 at 75%, 3 at 85%, 1+ at 95%)


Strict hanging leg raise


Same as Friday ( I know lazy right)


3 rounds for time of:
185-lb. deadlifts, 21 reps (85/65kg)
15 pull-ups
185-lb. front squats, 9 reps(85/65kg)
Post time to comments.
Air Force Senior Airman Bryan R. Bell, 23, of Erie, Pennsylvania, assigned to 2nd Civil Engineer Squadron at Barksdale Air Force Base, died January 5, 2012 at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan, of injuries suffered when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device. He is survived by his wife Alaina Bell; parents Richard Bell and Brenda Hart; sister SrA Candice Bell; stepfather David Aldrich; stepmother Kim Bell; stepsister Stephanie Battista; stepbrother Matthew Aldrich; maternal grandparents Ross and Gertrude Peters; paternal grandmother Carmen Bell; mother- and father-in-law Mike and Brenda Hart; sister- and brother-in-law Mariel and Patrick Wilcox; and several aunts, uncles and cousins.

Friday 12, July 2014


You will be using it today


Back squats
3-3-3 warm up


DB box step ups with a knee drive at top
2x20 AHAP


10 hanging leg raise
30 of each movement below
sit ups
side crunches right
side crunches left
atomic drops
reverse crunches


Back side of building
Down and back = the workout :-)

Wall walks - belly to the wall as close as possible on your hands fully extended and move to the side down and back
Each SECOND time you come off the wall - 10 Frog squat broad jumps

Told you get used to being upside down this week!

Friday, July 11, 2014

LSD vs HIIT - survey says BOTH!

BY SEAN HYSON Men's Fitness

In today’s gym, the wildly popular and hyperintense cardio workout has many faces: that guy sprinting full-tilt on the treadmill, the girl whipping ropes into the floor like a child throwing a tantrum. It also encompasses kettlebell swings, kickboxing classes, burpees—and basically anything else that involves short bursts of brutally intense exercise followed by periods of lighter activity or rest.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has been the leading movement in cardiovascular exercise for fat loss and conditioning for more than a decade—ranked No. 1, in fact, on the American College of Sports Medicine’s survey of fitness trends for 2014. Fueled by claims of faster fat loss, shorter workouts, and less monotony (along with exclamations such as “It kicked my ass” or “Made me puke”), HIIT has largely supplanted traditional aerobic training—of the just-go-out-and-jog variety—as the preferred conditioning method of gym-goers everywhere. But old fashioned roadwork, the kind that Muhammad Ali and dozens of other champion athletes utilized, isn’t obsolete. In fact, it may actually be the more important style of cardio exercise for anyone looking to be in better, more well-rounded shape.

“The biggest reason aerobic training has fallen out of favor in the fitness industry is the flashy headlines,” says Joel Jamieson, author of Ultimate MMA Conditioning (available at 8weeksout .com) and strength coach to MMA fighters, pro football players, and other athletes. “We like the idea of being able to lose weight in four minutes versus 40 minutes, but it’s not the right approach.” He points out that the research HIIT enthusiasts frequently cite for support is often very short-term and flawed.

In 1996, a study was published that has perhaps done more to buoy the current HIIT movement than any other. Japanese researchers, led by Izumi Tabata, published the now-famous Tabata study, which showed that well-trained young men improved anaerobic endurance more in six weeks with interval training than a control group did by performing aerobic exercise. The experimental group performed intervals for only four minutes at a blistering intensity—20 seconds on, 10 seconds off. Because of the remarkably short workout time, the study has been hailed as proof that HIIT is vastly more efficient than aerobic training. However, the findings have since been greatly exaggerated to suit the HIIT agenda, and experts argue that the study simply doesn’t apply to the regular gym-goer.

For one thing, results for the interval group began to level off after the third week. For another, the interval group performed some aerobic training (30 minutes’ worth) in addition to the intervals, so it wasn’t a pure test of HIIT. Furthermore, the “moderately trained” experimental group performed its intervals at a staggering 170% of VO2 max, the maximum amount of oxygen the body can use during exercise. Considering that 100% of VO2 max is enough to exhaust most people, you get a sense of just how fit these “moderate” subjects were.

Now consider a 2008 study from Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, in which eight obese men trained for four weeks at a moderate, constant pace (also known as “steady state”). Data were collected, and the men then performed another four weeks of intense interval training. On both programs, the subjects’ diets were set to avoid weight loss to allow for a pure test of the exercise protocols.

The workout length on both programs was the same, and so was the subjects’ average energy expenditure and body composition (remember, they never cut calories from the diet). Still, the men burned more fat on the steady-state protocol than with the intervals. In fact, the aerobic training yielded a jump of 44% in the amount of fat burned during exercise, while the intervals caused zero.

So what does all this science really mean? Well, two things. The main one is that cardio, whether steady state or intervals, doesn’t do much for fat loss. (Though the subjects burned more calories from fat during aerobic exercise, they didn’t lose weight overall.) And second, interval training isn’t necessarily any more effective than aerobic work, in any time frame. In fact, to truly maximize your performance and minimize fat, you need to be doing a combination of the two.

The Heart of the Mattter

To be clear: There are Two forms of cardiovascular exercise. Aerobic training includes longer activities such as jogging, swimming, and cycling, and occurs at relatively low intensities (60–70% of your maximum heart rate, or approximately 120–150 beats per minute). Anaerobic training, meanwhile, includes lifting weights, sprinting, martial-arts training, and any other exercise characterized by short intervals of hard work followed by light activity or complete rest. (Here, you’re raising your heart rate above 150 beats per minute and sometimes as high as 90% of your maximum heart rate.)

Aerobic workouts are fueled by oxygen, which provides energy for a steady rate of activity but no explosive power. Anaerobic training runs on phosphocreatine (hence the popularity of the supplement creatine for refueling it) and carbohydrate, which can supply quick energy for intense activity but peters out fast. Aerobic workouts tend to be long (up to an hour or more), while anaerobic sessions can last just a few minutes. Because most sports and exercise habits fall under the umbrella of anaerobic, many believe that anaerobic cardio workouts are all most people need to be in shape.

The truth, however, is more complicated. While the aerobic system is less active during exercise lasting less than 60 seconds, it never shuts off completely, and its involvement increases rapidly as the activity goes on. Even during highly intense work lasting a minute (such as punching a heavy bag), the aerobic system provides nearly 50% of the total energy. According to Jamieson, after about 90 seconds, the aerobic system provides the majority of energy—even if you’re still working intensely.

In other words, the fitter your aerobic system, the better your anaerobic performance will be. “Lower-intensity work develops the vascular system—the blood vessels and supply network that deliver oxygen to the working muscles,” says Jamieson. “It improves recovery and work capacity, and helps you oxidize more fat. We can do more work without overtraining when we develop the aerobic system.”

Want to know why you breathe hard after running down the block to catch a bus? That’s your body trying to replace oxygen to refuel the aerobic system—even though your bus sprint itself was technically an anaerobic burst.

The Best of Both Worlds 

This isn’t meant to be an indictment of interval training. As Jamieson points out, “It increases the endurance of the faster- twitch muscle fibers,” the big ones you use to lift heavy weights or run fast. Intervals can play a critical role in preparing you for any quick-burst sports you engage in. HIIT also burns calories and makes for fun workouts you can do when short on time. But because it’s so intense by nature, you have to use it sparingly. “With lower-intensity training,” says Jamieson, “we can do more work without being worried about what it might do to recovery. High-intensity training has to be managed properly because it’s very easy to overtrain.”

So, to maximize your cardiovascular fitness, he advises that you cap your HIIT sessions at 20–30 minutes, and spread them out—do intervals on Monday and Thursday, for example. Aerobic training, on the other hand, can be done virtually every day, although you need only three to four sessions of 20–30 minutes per week—building up to 90 minutes over time—to see results. (See “The Cardio 2.0 Program” at left for sample workouts.) The right balance of aerobic and anaerobic cardio conditions the body to perform any activity better—and does as much as cardio can to help you burn fat.

- See more at:

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Thursday 10, July 2014


Handstand skills - can you guess what is in tomorrows workout???  Oh, it will be a surprise because it isn't what you think! <3



Snatch balance


100 TRX double knee tucks


3 deadlifts
6 hang cleans
3 front squats
6 jerks

*increase weight each round
*rest as needed
*unbroken is better than to to to heavy

Wednesday 9, July 2014


Handstand work


Strict press
3-3-3 warm up
3-3-3+ 70/80/90%


KB over head tricep ext - arm locked out bicep as close to ear as possible, bend at elbow keeping KB close to skull and extend back


50 weighted supermans


20 min EMOM

Odd minutes = 1 round of Cindy
     Cindy = 5 pull ups
                   10 push ups
                   15 air squats

Even minutes
     50 double unders or 100 singles

Tuesday 8, July 2014


Hand stand skill work

*Push ups
*Free holds


Week 2 of our Cycle

3-3-3 - warm up
3-3-3+ 70/80/90% of your 90% of your 1 rep max

2x20 @60% of your 1 rep max


100 TRX mountain climbers

12 min AMRAP

5 wall balls 20/16lbs
10 KB swing
5 burpee inch worms
10 KB upper cuts
5 box jumps 30/24in
10 goblet squats
5 burpees

32/24KG on weights

Monday, July 7, 2014

Monday 7, July 2014


This week is Handstand work
Lots of options here -

Push ups - kipping/strict
Kick ups - away from wall


Bench press
3-3-3 @ 40/50/60% warm ups
3-3-3+ (note the plus people) 70/80/90%
of your 90% of your 1 rep max

DB floor press

100's this week
100 v-twists - weighted


5 rounds for time:
225-lb. front squats, 5 reps
15-foot rope climbs, 5 ascents
Run 400 meters with a 45-lb. plate

Army Pfc. Jacob H. "Wyk" Wykstra, 21, of Thornton, Colorado, assigned to 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, died May 28, 2014, in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained in an aircraft accident. He is survived by his wife, Katie Wykstra; mother, Heidi Katzenbach; father, Thomas Wykstra; brothers, Aiden and Connor Wykstra; sister, Hannah Donato; stepfather Ray Katzenbach; and stepmother, Joyce Wykstra.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Inner Demons - The voices telling you to Quit - Stop - Stay in bed - It's ok to eat that... DO NOT LISTEN

I've been up and at em' since just
after 5 AM this morning.

I love getting up early and
getting work done before
there is a sound in the house.

The mornings are my most productive times,
and countless successful people say the
same thing, "wake up early."

There is an inner voice in your head which
will tell you to sleep in, to do the work
later, to do it next time, etc.

Those inner demons are always trying to
hold you back.

You must fight back, and fight to never allow
those voices to beat you.

I teach this to the athletes I train as well.

When they get tired, I see some of them slow
down because they are listening to their
inner demons telling them to slow

The truth is that your slight bit of physical
and emotional discomfort will all be
over in a few short minutes, so rather
than cower to the inner demon, fight
back and punch it in the face.

I realized that yesterday, I didn't link you
directly to my latest blog.

You will find the power
behind this lesson, so
check it out on the blog
right here:

Saturday 5, July 2014

Partner WOD


1 mile

Items needed -
2 people
2 Heavy Kettlebells
1 medicine ball Heavy

Partner 1 - KB farmers carry
Partner 2 - OH medicine ball carry

Both partners will start together, the partner with the ball will go as fast as possible on the 400m course to pass and then catch up to the partner doing the farmer carry, and they will then switch positions, and continue this cycle until a mile or four 400m loops have been completed.

When the partner with the ball catches the farmer carry partner - they will perform 10 push ups, and 10 air squats.

If the partner with the medicine ball puts the ball down anytime during their 400m course - 10 burpee penalty right then.

No penalty for putting the KB down during the farmer carry

Friday, July 4, 2014

muscle up 2reps

Katie Hogan - Muscle Up technique

In many ways the ring muscle up has become the Holy Grail of CrossFit. New athletes in the gym might even see it as something mythical that only the best of the best could ever accomplish.
While it may come easily for some, for many athletes it takes weeks, months, sometimes even years to complete their first successful muscle up. When I see athletes struggle with this movement (and when I find myself struggling), it is never for lack of effort! With a movement like the ring muscle up, I often need to help my athletes work smarter, not harder.
Here are some tips for perfecting the ring muscle up.  I will be focusing on the kipping muscle up since this is most common and useful in workouts; however, one should also work on developing the strength and body control for a strict muscle so that they don’t jump onto the high rings unprepared.

Body position
The swing is designed to create momentum and ultimately conserve the energy of the arms so that there is less pulling necessary to reach the height of the rings.
Unfortunately, the kip swing is where many athletes set themselves up for failure.  In order to generate enough power to translate into upward momentum the athlete needs a tight body position to create a strong swing.
To work on this swing, grab onto the rings and with legs together, toes pointed, butt squeezed initiate the swing from the shoulders. Using your lats, push down on the rings in the front and the back of the swing. Keep the tightest body position possible and do not allow for any breaks in the leg, hip or trunk. Any break is a loss of power and will cause more work down the line.
 Hips to Rings
Knowing that we need to go from below the rings to up above them, our arms want to help to do their part. What often happens is that, much like with Olympic lifting, athletes begin to pull with their arms prematurely and end up killing the momentum that they were just creating. After you’ve developed a strong kip swing the way to lift yourself higher is with your lats pushing down on the rings, not your arms pulling your body up.
One drill of pulling your hips to the rings is a way of building off of the kip swing but without trying to turnover on top of the rings yet. Let the momentum of the swing carry you up as high as possible and in the brief moment of weightlessness at the top of the swing, you must continue pressing down with your lats and only then allow your arms to pull you a bit higher until your are able to reach your hips to the rings.
Your body position should still be strong with no breaks and you should be oriented as such that your head is above the height of the rings and you are able to look down at your toes just below the horizon. If when practicing this you feel your arms having to pull a great deal then you must either wait longer before beginning to pull or you need to work on creating a stronger swing.
You can also work on this drill with a spotter helping you maintain a solid position.  Have a friend stand on a box to the side of the rings and as you swing behind the rings they can place a hand under your hamstring and your back and give a slight lift to help you reach your hips to the rings.
How to Muscle-Up
If you can consistently pull your hips to the rings with little effort than you are high enough to transition over the top of the rings. What I see happen to many athletes who are still learning is rather than ending on top of the rings they end up just squeaking through at the same height as the ring.
This is less than ideal because at best you catch in the bottom of a very low dip, which is both an added strain on your shoulders and a lot of added work to try to press yourself out to finish. More likely, you won’t be able to complete the transition and you will fall through the rings.
Building off of the kip swing and the lats pulling the hips up high, a fast transition involves keeping the rings close to the body, driving the elbows back quickly, and doing a fast sit-up with the torso. When the tight body position breaks to do the sit-up, you must then drop the legs down as a counter balance that sends the rest of the body up.
Muscle-Up Progression
Completing the muscle up means finishing with a lock out at the top of the dip.  While it often feels like the toughest part of the muscle up is making it through the transition and getting on top of the rings, don’t stop yourself there.  I see a lot of athletes freeze in the bottom of the dip, regroup and then kip and press out of the dip.
Don’t kill your momentum by stopping!  You just generated all of this power sending you up above the rings, keep going up all the way to the top of the dip. This may take some practice but start teaching yourself to continue the movement all the way to the end rather than adding a roadblock and forcing yourself to reinitiate at the bottom of the dip.
As with anything we do, once we get 1 we want 100. Stringing muscle ups together involves not just stamina but also coordination.  A lot of it is about timing it correctly and finding your rhythm.
You must push away from above the rings (whether at the top or bottom of the dip is up to the individual) and immediately regain a tight body position and find the same kip swing from the initial muscle up. A great drill to practice this is do 1 muscle up and push away into 3 tight body ring swings.

Good luck in your muscle up quest! While it can be one of the more challenging moves to master in CrossFit it can also be one of the most fun to perfect. When you’re frustrated or tired, go back to the basics of a tight body position (you can even practice on the floor in hollow/arch holds).
Don’t start pulling harder with your arms, start swinging stronger with your whole body. It may take time, but your hard work will pay off and you’ll be seeing things from a much higher vantage point from on top of the rings.

Muscle Up - high transition

Happy 4th of July!!!

Set your bar high.
But not too high.

Set it just high enough that you can almost feel it within your grasp, so that you can see it.
Set your bar high so that you can grow, so that you can add an extra 5 pounds on the bar to bridge the gap between scaled and Rx'd.

Set your bar so that you can see your future self; a stronger, faster, healthier you.

Set your bar so that you can get one step closer to your ultimate goal, be it Firebreather, Games competitor, Masters athlete or anything in between.

But set it just that one step away.

It is easy to want to just set your bar at the top, at the pedestal of where you want to be, at your ultimate goal.

But setting your bar at the top, at amazing? It makes it pretty damn hard to start the journey. It makes it easy to settle for where you are, it makes it easy to utter the words "I could never".

It makes every day seem like a failure, like a defeat.

But yet every path to Firebreather, Olympian, Games athlete, every single one of those paths - they begin with a single step.

They begin with a single smaller goal. To get a MU, to qualify for nationals, to make it to Regionals.

They begin with not-so-exciting moments.

To get out of bed, to get to the gym, to eat right, to sleep right, to show up day after day - the amazing always
starts in the unglamourous, as a diamond in the rough.

Amazing starts where you are at today.

It starts with a single step towards the door. It starts with a single fractional on the barbell. It starts with a single ring row.

Amazing is a journey, not a destination.

Start your journey and THEN get to your destination.

Friday 4, July 2014

Open gym

6-10 (doors close and lock at 11)

Come in and do whatever or let me make you a "magical" workout!

Thursday 3, July 2014

Rope climbs


Bench press
Find your 1 rep max


100 mountain climbers


20 push ups
10 G2OH 60/40kg
20 GHD sit ups

Wednesday 2, July 2014


Rope climbs


5-5-5 @ 45/55/60% warm up
5-5-5+ @65/75/855%
of your 90% of your 1 rep max

Straight leg deadlift - SLDL
2x20 speed and power

3 min AMRAP
10 barbell push ups
10 mountain climbers
10 evil wheels


7 min AMRAP
21 double uners
7 SDHP 42.5/30kg
14 box jumps

Rest 2 mins

5 min AMRAP
10 pull ups
10 hang cleans 42.5/30kg

Thursday, July 3, 2014

How Cardio Kills - Wait for it - READ it all

Wait, Alena didn't you just post an article about "cardio" resistance sprints etc...  Why are you running a HIIT class - I am confused - KEEP READING!

by Mike Sheridan T-Nation

Here's what you need to know...

•  There are benefits to regular exercise, but as far as heart health and longevity go, marathoners may be no better off than the guy on the couch.

•  Research has suggested that free radical damage from long and frequent cardio workouts is especially detrimental to cardiac and skeletal muscle.

•  The long-term effects of chronically elevated cortisol such as you see in endurance athletes have nearly as detrimental an effect as oxidative stress with respect to disease, showing associations with metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease, depression, and in fact all causes of mortality.

•  Many mistakenly blame food for putting our bodies into an acidic state, yet conveniently forget that their 2-hour run that same morning results in an acidic environment with a higher likelihood of causing damage.

•  If you love running or endurance training, you might want to find a new hobby.

Getting at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise daily continues to be the standard recommendation for improving overall health and longevity. This is why it's common for most to select running, cycling, swimming, or any other form of endurance training as their predominant form of exercise. It also appears to be standard practice to set a goal of completing a marathon or triathlon in order to stay motivated. If some cardiovascular exercise is good, then more must be better, right?

Wrong. Exercise becomes damaging when it's excessive. Unfortunately, when your method for getting fit is moderate-intensity cardiovascular training or steady-state endurance exercise, that excessive line is crossed more frequently than not. Don't get me wrong, there are benefits to regular exercise and daily movement, but as far as heart health goes, marathoners may be no better than the guy on the couch, and as far as longevity goes, they may be worse off.

Gunked Up Arteries
The human body is extremely adaptable, which means diminishing returns in progress are inevitable unless a unique or more challenging stimulus is repeatedly introduced. Those selecting running, cycling, or swimming as their method for "getting fit" must continuously go farther or train harder or more frequently in order to experience any benefit from exercise. Five miles last week becomes 8 miles this week, and quickly reaches 30-40miles/week for those with aspirations of completing a marathon or triathlon. As the endurance athlete seeks more miles and higher speeds they put additional stress on their body, which results in excessive free radical production, cortisol secretion, lactate accumulation, and inflammation.

Nearly every type of workout – aerobic or anaerobic, high-intensity or low-intensity, isometric or isokinetic – produces free radicals (or reactive oxygen species), although the amount generated, and whether there's corresponding oxidative damage, depends on the workout design and delivery (mode, intensity, duration). A model developed in 1992 by M.B. Reid suggests that free radicals are generated faster during strenuous exercise than any buffering agent can handle. Above the optimal threshold, antioxidants are outnumbered and harmful oxidative stress prevails. This leads to muscle dysfunction and muscle loss, along with damage to proteins, lipids, and even DNA.

Some argue that higher levels of reactive oxygen species (free radicals) from exercise are beneficial because they increase the body's internal production of antioxidants. However, science has demonstrated that there's a breakeven point where the accumulation of free radicals overburdens any antioxidant defense. Sadly, most that choose cardio as their method for staying healthy or getting fit consistently surpass this point.

The oxygen requirement during exercise is a determining factor in the number of free radicals generated. Consistent movement for greater than 45-60 seconds is predominantly aerobic, meaning oxygen is required to produce energy (ATP). Conversely, short and intermittent (or anaerobic) exercise does not use oxygen to produce energy. Not only does this suggest higher free radical production during aerobic training, but unlike the anaerobic energy system, the oxidative stress (or cell damage) takes place inside the mitochondria. Since mitochondria are the dominant producers of free radicals, skeletal muscle has one of the highest concentrations of mitochondria, and muscle represents the largest organ in the human body, this is a BIG problem.

The oxygen demands during aerobic exercise produce considerable damage within muscle cells that leads to eventual cell death. Essentially, the muscle cells are "oxidized," and once destroyed they unfortunately can't be replaced. Research from as early as 1987 has suggested that free radical damage from long and frequent cardio workouts is especially detrimental to cardiac and skeletal muscle. As Dr. James O'Keefe discusses, endurance training causes "structural cardiovascular changes" and "elevations of cardiac biomarkers" that appear to return to normal in the short term, but when taken on as a regular activity results in "patchy myocardial fibrosis... an increased susceptibility to atrial and ventricular arrhythmias, coronary artery calcification, diastolic dysfunction, and large-artery wall stiffening."

Dr. O'Keefe and other researchers have suggested that it's common to see extreme variations (5-fold) in atrial fibrillation when elite level endurance athletes are compared to non-runners, and other studies have found troubling medical anomalies such as:

• Impaired Cardiac Contractile Function
• Decline in Peak Systolic Tissue Velocity
• Cardio Myocyte Damage
• Myocardial Fibrosis
• Cardiac Arrhythmias
• Poor Left Ventricle Function

In April of 2014, The Journal of the Missouri State Medical Association published research showing that "long-term male marathon runners may have

paradoxically increased coronary artery plaque volume." And in another study, the researchers compared a group of sedentary men to men that competed in at least one marathon annually for 25 years. Compared to the inactive group, the runners had nearly double the total plaque and calcified plaque volumes, and almost 1.5 times the non-calcified plaque volume.

Not surprisingly, the marathoners in the study from Missouri State had lower resting heart rates, BMI (Body Mass Index), and triglyceride levels than the sedentary group. The fact that "all looks good on the outside," is potentially the most frightening thing. This can be seen in the cardiovascular health of ultra-endurance athletes and cardio kings and queens who continuously put their bodies through a pounding. These guys and girls aren't just running farther than everyone else, they're running more consistently and faster.

The Cardio Dead Pool
Generally, many (including me) have idolized these individuals as we couldn't envision ourselves doing one marathon, let alone two in a row on a Saturday afternoon. However, as the evidence suggests, duration and intensity have a profound effect on free radical accumulation. Despite the natural increase in antioxidant production, the adjustment is short-lived and serious damage ensues over time. This resulting heart damage may have played a part in the early (or near) death of several famous ultra-endurance and marathon runners:

Micah True (Caballo Blanco) One of the ultra runners featured in the popular book, Born to Run, died in 2012 at 58 years old of Phidippides cardiomyopathy – an enlarged heart from chronic excessive endurance exercise.

Alberto Salazer Won three New York City Marathons and one Boston Marathon between 1980 and 1982 but had a near fatal heart attack at 49 years of age.

Jim Fixx The man credited for popularizing jogging and author of the best-selling book, The Complete Book of Running, died of a heart attack at 52.

One study, from the European Heart Journal, looked at marathon runners, triathletes, alpine cyclists, and ultra triathletes who competed in races lasting 3, 5, 8, and 11 hours respectively. Dysfunction in the right ventricle after the race was least in the marathon runners (3 hours) and highest in the ultra triathletes (11 hours). Although it's been suggested that sudden death during marathon training only occurs in 1 in 100,000 people, the majority of those fatalities are from a cardiovascular event. As Dr. O'Keefe writes:

"If we went out for a run right now and you ran hard... by 60 minutes something starts happening... the free radicals blossom, and it starts burning the heart. It starts searing and inflaming the insides of your coronary arteries."

If that weren't bad enough, excessive free radical accumulation and resulting oxidative damage increases your risk of degenerative disease and accelerates aging. Anyone with a goal of living a long and disease-free life should avoid instances that promote excess free radical production, as the damage that ensues is at the root of many chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and many more.

Telomeres Shorter Than Tom Cruise
Although the free radical theory of aging is still considered a hypothesis, it's been proven that DNA damage to mitochondria increases our disease risk. Telomeres are found at the ends of chromosomes that protect DNA and the length of these tiny caps can determine our rate of aging. One analysis of skeletal muscle from a 90-year-old man revealed that only 5% of his mitochondrial DNA was full length, while that of a 5-year-old boy was almost completely intact. Our telomeres shorten during normal cell division, but if they get too short, chromosomes get damaged, cells stop dividing, and our ability to repair tissue is inhibited.

Numerous studies have found that short telomeres are associated with older cells and an increased risk of mortality and disease, and longer telomeres are associated with younger cells and a higher resistance to disease. The exact cause of telomere shortening is still up for debate, but the leading hypothesis points to chronic stress. The researchers believe that excess exposure to stress overwhelms anti-oxidant protection, resulting in cell damage – specifically to DNA and the telomeric region. Not only does oxidative stress cause DNA damage, but it appears to disrupt the enzyme responsible for telomere elongation (telomerase), meaning any chance of future repair and growth is inhibited.

Enough Cortisol to Kill a Moose
Another harmful byproduct generated during aerobic exercise is cortisol. Similar to free radical accumulation, its concentration is determined by intensity and duration. When our bodies are under stress, cortisol helps to increase the concentration of glucose in our blood so there's readily-available energy for our muscles to utilize. Cortisol secretion is a natural response to stress and it's a good thing when released infrequently and for short periods as it helps the body deal with the threat to homeostasis. However, when we're exposed to chronic and consistently elevated cortisol for extended periods of time, we experience long-term consequences.

Unfortunately, prolonged endurance training causes the body to release an abundant amount of cortisol. Research from 1976 in The Journal of Applied Physiology showed no increase in cortisol secretion after 10 minutes (at 75% intensity), but cortisol doubled after 30 minutes. Another study, this one from 2011, analyzed the cortisol levels in 304 amateur endurance athletes and the average additional secretion above the control (in white in the graph below), was 42%!

Athletes who ran more kilometers per week, trained for more hours, or took part in more competitions over the year exhibited higher hair cortisol levels.

Intensity seems to play just as important a role, as 80% exercise intensity for 1 hour produces high cortisol levels while exercise at 40% intensity for 1 hour actually lowers it. With an activity like walking, cortisol is removed faster than it can be secreted, yet, as individuals looking to get fit, we're consistently told to train harder, run farther, and burn more calories.

Likewise, when cortisol is elevated, Testosterone is inhibited, meaning that consistently elevated cortisol lowers Testosterone. Cortisol increases steadily throughout a workout, while Testosterone levels peak at 20-30 minutes. That means the longer the exercise bout, the more unfavorable the Testosterone-to-Cortisol ratio (T:C). A better T:C ratio promotes muscle growth and tissue repair, while a higher proportion of cortisol leads to muscle and tissue loss.

In a nutshell, cortisol burns muscle (catabolic) and Testosterone builds muscle (anabolic), and unfortunately the increases in cortisol from endurance training leads to the former. Other than muscle loss, chronically elevated cortisol leads to injuries, sickness, and inflammation in the brain, reproductive system, intestinal tract, and heart. The elevated inflammatory markers experienced after aerobic training are much higher than those tested after alternative forms of exercise. The long-term effects of chronically elevated cortisol have nearly as detrimental an effect as oxidative stress with respect to disease, showing associations with the metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease, depression, and in fact all causes of mortality.

Blood so Acidic it Can Clean Grease Off an Engine Block
Lactic acid is another problem associated with endurance training. Large amounts of it are produced during exercise that's beyond a certain intensity or duration, which increases oxygen and acidity (lowers pH) inside and outside muscle cells. This accumulation of lactate depends on a balance between production by the working muscles and removal by the liver and other tissues. If exercise is continuous, lactate production persists while removal declines.

Lactic acid is of relevance to health and longevity because it lowers pH. The act of simply running for a few minutes drops our normal pH of 7.4 to 7.0. Continuing or repeating the same activity can lower it to 6.8, which is considered the lowest tolerable, survival pH. Many mistakenly blame food for putting our bodies into an acidic state, yet conveniently forget that their 2-hour run that same morning results in an acidic environment with a higher likelihood of causing damage.

To handle an acidic meal, the kidneys regulate pH by excreting more or less bicarbonate. This buffering system (to bring pH up) is hampered during exercise as it can take several hours to initiate. Unlike acidic food, which only affects the pH in urine, exercise lowers pH in extracellular fluid and blood. This lactate build-up not only adds to the stress put on our cells, but arterial pH disturbance alone has been associated with life-threatening rhythmic disturbances of the heart. As written in 2002 in The Journal of Internal Medicine:

"Although acids and bases are present in foods, the major threat to bodily fluid pH is acids formed in the metabolic processes."

Alternative Choices?
If you're looking to reduce your risk of Alzheimer's and dementia, heart disease, and diabetes, daily low-intensity movement will cut your risk in half without increasing stress (walking, in fact, reduces stress) or promoting oxidation. Just 30 minutes of walking 5 times per week has been shown to reduce death risk by 50%!

If performance is your goal, you're better off doing High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Short sprint intervals produced equal aerobic improvements (VO2 max, lactate threshold, aerobic power) and better fat loss when compared to moderate intensity jogging, and that was with 1/18th the time commitment!

If you're in search of a six-pack, your time is better spent lifting weights and eating right. When you work out to build muscle (not burn calories), you burn more energy throughout the day. Any new muscle needs energy just to exist, which means an increase in the number of calories burned, even while sedentary. Unlike resistance exercise, aerobic training does not produce significant positive changes in muscle size or strength, only producing favorable increases in endurance capacity. A strong, muscular physique is not only more aesthetically pleasing, but research suggests that strength and muscle mass are the two most important biomarkers for health and longevity.

And lastly, if you love running... I suggest finding a new hobby. I love eating chocolate and drinking wine, but that doesn't mean I'm consuming them 5 times a week for 3 hours at a time. In all seriousness, anything you love about running (endorphins, alone time, camaraderie, competition) can be experienced elsewhere, while potentially increasing your lifespan instead of knowingly shortening it.