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Newbie Corner

Reminders for Saturday:  Not only is the workout a Partner WOD, but its also Bring a Friend Day!  And @ 11:30 Beach WOD returns with Coach Lauren.  Meet at the Venice gym 10 minutes early to walk over to the beach.  Friends can come for FREE to BOTH of these events! 

Friday April 11, 2014


Band Posterior Chain Floss
Lat Activations
10 Leg Swings


5 Inchworms
10 Bar Goodmornings
10 Wide Mt. Climbers, Slow
10 Straight Legged Deadlift
10 Shoulder Bridges
10 Deadlifts


15 minutes to establish 3RM Deadlift

 Notes: These need not be touch and go.  Focus on a good set up maintaining proper back angle.  Elevate the bar off the ground if needed.


AMRAP/ 20:
Run 200 meters

7 Power cleans (135/95)
7 Chest to bar pull ups

 Notes: Scale to regular pull ups as needed.


Straddle or Pike Stretch, 1 min
Band Lat stretch, 20s each
German Hang, 30s
Foam Roll Hamstrings and Low Back
Child’s Pose, 1 min 

The original beach workout...remember Base Camp?

 The OG Base Campers

For those of you that may be new and learning about nutrition it can get a little confusing about what is the best time to use a protein supplement and how much.  Yesterday Matt wrote a great blog on this topic so be sure to read it.  It can also get confusing on what type of brand is best and the different kinds of protein.  I wanted to touch base on this and to break it down so you may choose what is best based on your needs.  From experience, its very easy to become lost at times when going to The Vitamin Shoppe and see 100 different kinds and brands.  Hopefully this will make your selection a lot easier.

When buying a protein, your intention is to buy truly just protein and not for a combination of carbs or fat PLUS protein. So when you are laying down your hard earned cash for a jug, skip the blends with high amounts of carbs and fat because chances are your diet can supplement the latter no problem. To be considered ‘great’, your protein product of choice must list ‘whey protein isolate’ or ‘hydrolyzed whey protein isolate’ as the very first ingredient in the list— this is the purest form of protein you can get. For you numbers people out there, simply determining the percentage of protein can say whether your product of choice is “top notch! ” Take the grams on protein per serving listed on the label and divide it by the serving size (in grams).To be considered a great whey protein powder, the percent protein per serving (or scoop) should be 80% or greater. 

Whey is not the only type of protein powder out there.  The other 2 types of protein powders besides whey are egg white, and casein.  Knowing the roles of each and when to use them in your day is key in how your muscle recovery/building process can yield the results that you are looking for as you see your goal in sight. Whey protein is a fast digestion protein, which means they can be easily digested, and they are loaded with Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) which help aid the recovery and rebuilding process. Ideally, you want to use a fast acting protein like Whey first thing in the morning, and 30 minutes before and after workouts. Aim for at least 20 grams which will provide you with long lasting energy and help prevent muscle breakdown. Pay attention to these time windows because this is when your muscle fibers can maintain a higher uptake of Amino Acids and maximize muscle growth. 

Casein is a very slow digesting protein, which means it provides you with a slow and steady stream amino acids.  Casein is great to use at bedtime, which will help stave off catabolism and will help any carbs not being stored as body fat.  Casein will help protect you from muscle breakdown. 

Egg protein falls somewhere between fast digesting whey and slow digesting casein, which can be great to use in between meals.  Protein between meals will help keep body fat and body weight in check.  They stimulate the release of gut hormones that trigger a feeling of fullness which will help you with your goal of weight control. 

While there are a lot of different brands, the one I have grown to love and that works best for me is Nutrition 100% Whey Protein.  I tend to like this product in the Vanilla and Cookies and Cream flavors because mixing these in water doesn’t have that all too familiar chalky taste that seem to suit most others I’ve tried.  This fact makes it easy to use on the go and also saves some calories by not having to use a milk type product.  We also sell SFH Recovery Protein at the gym.  Recovery is approximately 2/3 whey concentrate derived from a grass fed, free range cows, which are never treated with antibiotics or bovine growth hormones and approximately 1/3 essential amino acids for recovery.  This type is one of the cleanest forms of protein because it doesn’t have added artificial ingredients.  And the fact that it has 2-4 times more omega-3 fats than milk from grain fed animals makes it a great choice as well.

 For a bit of a change up, what can do besides mixing your protein with water?   Here are some creative ideas you can use:

  1. In your morning add it to your oatmeal to keep your blood sugar levels stable, and also fill you up until lunch. 
  2. Try baking with it to make healthy protein cookies or other baked healthy treats.  
  3. Make some delicious smoothies by being creative with your use of different fruit, nuts, and veggies.  You really can’t go wrong here. 

There are endless ideas and recipes.  Below is one of my favorites for a post-workout recovery drink.  Enjoy!

1 scoop Whey Protein (try Vanilla or Peanut Butter Flavor)

½ cup frozen Cherries

½ TBSP ground flaxseed

¼ ripe Avocado, sliced

½ cup water

Ice Cubes

**Place all ingredients in blender and mix.   

I Hear Protein is a Steroid

Swim Night!  Register HERE!

Thursday April 10, 2014


Wrist Mobilization
Theraband Routine
Ankle Mobilization


1 min jump rope practice
30s Hollow Hold
5 lat activations (wide)
5 lat activations (narrow)
10 scap pushups
30s Plank Hold

Gymnastics Strength:

15 minutes for quality:
2 Wall climb + 15 second Handstand hold
20 Hollow Rocks
10 Muscle up Ring Row

Notes:  Perform a wall climb and hold 15 seconds before lowering.  Focus on moving slowly through the ring row and catch the “transition”.  Maintain false grip and extend arms as your mobility will allow.  Advanced athletes may practice strict muscle ups.


50 Push Ups 
100 Double Unders 
40 Push Ups 
75 Double Unders 
30 Push Ups 
50 Double Unders 
20 Push Ups 
25 Jump Rope Double Unders 
10 Push Ups 
-20m Cap-

Notes: Focus on quality movement!  Set up an incline or use bands if needed to ensure good body position! Sub double under attempts or 3x Single Unders for Double Unders. 

Cool Down

Accumulate 1 minute side plank each side
German Hang 1 min
Foam Roll Calves

Protein intake: the 1g/lb myth. from Stinson Design
Protein…a very mysterious macronutrient that is supposed to be the holy grail of lean gains and weight loss, everyone should be guzzling a protini immediately post workout, but according to recent studies it will kill you. So what is one to believe? How much should you consume per day? Do you need a protein shake post-workout?

The above slideshare is a great reference that I highly suggest reading through, even if you “know” how much protein you should get in a day. Although the information is presented under the context of “how much protein do bodybuilders need?” the studies referenced are applicable to the type of training we do here at Paradiso CrossFit.

The “TL;DR” (too long, didn’t read) key takeaway from the slideshare is .82g/lb of bodyweight seems to be the upper limit at which protein intake benefits body composition in strength athletes. For a 150lb athlete this equates to 123g of protein- in practical terms this can be achieved by consuming just under 1lb of meat per day as part of a diet that includes protein from plant foods, no supplementation needed.

I have found that you only need to supplement protein if: 1)You have trouble eating enough protein from whole food sources in your regular diet 2)If you want to maximize recovery, but can’t stomach protein dense whole foods post WOD 3)If you are traveling and it is difficult to get enough protein without breaking the bank. I want to talk to point #2 though; carbohydrate is the real key to recovery. Studies have shown that carbohydrate + some protein post-workout is the most effective combination. For example, one study at the University of Texas found that athletes restored muscle glycogen 8x faster when given a carb + protein solution post-workout vs. protein alone.

Rather than stress about getting that protini in, make sure you are consuming enough carbohydrate ASAP post-workout. I personally consume a small (14g) amount of whey protein hydrolyslate in liquid form and eat sweet potato/rice about 15 minutes after I finish training.  

Warm Up with Derrick!

Track Night at 6pm and Yoga at 8pm – Sign up HERE!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Theraband Routine
Keg Drill

Warm Up

2 Rounds:
10 Push Ups
5 Pause Back Squats
5 Pause Front Squats
5 Pause Overhead Squats
20 Mountain Climbers


A) 5×3 Tempo Front Squat- rest 90s
B) 5×3 weighted ring dips + ME kipping dips- rest 90s

Notes: Quick descent, pause 5 seconds @ bottom of squat, bounce up explosively!  For dips, put a dumbbell between crossed legs. Drop dumbbell and do a max effort kipping dip. Sub dips on boxes, unweighted if necessary.


5 rounds of:
6 Power Snatches (135/95)
12 Box Jump overs (24/20)
-12 minute cap

Cool Down

Calf Stretch, 1 min each
10 Jefferson Curls
20 Straddle Sit Ups

This Sunday, the VBC session with Coach Derrick will be a little different. Rather than an open gym format and general coaching, Derrick will be giving a seminar style breakdown of how to properly warm up and tackle the technical work necessary for a successful and healthy training session. Those of you that have seen Derrick or his athletes warm up will know that this is an intensive and thorough process. Our competition team has borrowed from these warm ups and along with Steve’s PreHab work, our advanced athletes are feeling better than ever. Derrick will go through how to properly activate the glutes, lats, and thoracic area before working core and shoulder stability. From there, lightweight technical work is used to dial in positions and further open up joints and range of motion. Extra attentions is payed to areas of inflammation or tightness before the lifting session begins. 

We urge anyone that can make it to attend this class. A proper warm up goes a long way to staying healthy and continuing to make daily gains in strength and fitness. We all have imbalances and doing the right kind of warm up can limit the affect of those imbalances have on the rest of your movement and stave off possible injury. Derrick has been doing this a long time and has worked with the highest level physical therapists and coaches to hone his warm up and programming to exactly what works and can tailor exercises to correct individual needs. 

Mathcon Manifesto

Track Night at 7pm at SamoHiSign up HERE!

Reminder to get your meat orders in by Friday!  Click HERE for how this works!


Keg Drill
PVC Dislocates

Monster Walks

Warm Up:

Row 500
10 Good Mornings

10 Back Squats
10 BTN Snatch Grip Push Press
10 OHS


15 minutes to establish a heavy 3 position Snatch
-Rest then perform:

EMOM 5 minutes:
3 Hang snatch (above the knee) at 80% from above

Notes: Ideally this is a full squat snatch.  Newer athletes should work high to low (High-Hang, Just Above Knee, floor). Advanced athletes can perform low to high. Athletes who have trouble at 2above knee or are new to class can sub a 2-pos snatch (high-hang, hang only) Prioritize good receiving position overhead. May perform power snatches if needed.


AMRAP 5 minutes:
5 Toes to bar
10 Push Press (95/65)
15 Squats

Rest 5 minutes

AMRAP 5 minutes:
5 Toes to bar
10 Push press
15 Squats

Notes:  Scale weight as needed to keep continual movement.  Sub tuck ups or knee ups as needed.

Cool Down:

Theraband Routine
Cobra Stretch 1 min
Foam roll quads




What is Mathcon?

Mathcon was born out of the desire to stop bombing WODs but has grown into something even  more defined. Mathcon is a calculated approach to Metcon workouts that minimizes the accumulated rest time. It is intended to score close to your max abilities during benchmark WODs such as Open WODs, Fran, Karen, Murph etc or during multi-wod competitions. It often comes down to being brave enough to take frequent rests to avoid redlining, while being strong enough to commit to short rests. Mathcon artists plot a path towards a desired score plus one or two fallback plans. During the WOD they focus on executing the plan. After the WOD they evaluate the plan and improve it for a next time. Mathcon planning is not unlike how snowboarders plan a half-pipe comp. They plan a run that suit there abilities. Often their first run is conservative, so that they can go all out during the second run. In addition to direct Mathcon approaches, Mathcon also provides a path towards improvement. It starts with shortening your rests, once you have to rests down to 3 seconds it’s time to work on lengthening your sets.

Hmmm that sounds plausible but do you have an example?

Sure, let’s take Murph. Many intermediate athletes have a 40-50 minute Murph time (without weight vest) using common recommended approach “Cindy style”: 20 rounds of 5 pull ups, 10 pushups, 15 squats.  We know that this causes people to take rests during pushups and ultimately during the pullups as well.  We (the mathcon folk) have cut that time by 5 to 10 minutes by breaking up the pushups into two sets with some squats in between so we only rest during transitions.

20 x 5 Pullups + 5 Pushups + 8 squats + 5 pushups + 7 squats results in the same number of total reps per round as Cindy Style. Each rest is planned and limited to 5 seconds. This adds up to a Murph time of 33 minutes. 15 minutes of running + 10 minutes of movements + 8 minutes of transitions and rest. Shorten rests to 3 or 4 seconds to improve time. Can’t sustain 20 sets of 5 pullups? Drop to 4 pullups a set for 25 sets instead and adjust rep scheme accordingly (see suggestion in the table above).

You said it started from the desire not to “bomb a WOD”,  what happened?

2012 was my first open, things went ok till I crashed during 12.4 and barely made it through the 150 Wallballs in 12 minutes. A year later (13.3), and not much wiser, I made it through the 150 Wall balls with just under 2 minutes to spare but I knew I bombed again. A few weeks later the whitebaord read something like “everyone has a plan till they get punched in the face”.  I realized I never even had much of a plan and I strongly felt that  that statement was no excuse to not make a plan. Just make a better plan next time, was my thought.  Shortly thereafter,  I started to “secretly” plan WODs and started to gather numbers on movement times and rest times. The 100s WODs during 2013 regionals confirmed I wasn’t completely nuts. Khalipa, Ryan Fisher and many other aces broke up the 100s in sets of 5s and 3s.  (yes 3s!) with super short breaks between sets.

Somewhere after the regionals we had a partner WOD that started off with 60 WallBalls each. I told Ryan I’d take us 3 minutes each if we we’d do sets of 5 WBs in 10 seconds with 5 second rest between sets plus we’d be fresh for the remainder of the WOD.  We executed sets and breaks to the second and did great on the WOD. At this point I was convinced  that could be the method to avoid failure i.e. bombing big time.

The out of the closet moment came when Hynes served us the 150 burpee WOD and I called my time and rep scheme on FB. I was able to stick to the plan to the second till 100 burpees (which was 7 minutes.  Just over a year earlier, 100 burpees during 12.1 was borderline elite). I ended up 60 seconds or so behind the plan but still ended with one of the best times of the day. And still minutes behind Tibor, of course.

Do you now Mathcon every WOD?

No Matchcon rep schemes don’t make you stronger or improve your conditioning which are still my training objectives.  With most Mathcon schemes you’re working out at moderately intense levels  (think 5K hard rate) of the metcon and only push it to 100% the last minute.  Additionally some WODs such as Grace or Isab el aren’t well suited for Mathcon because they are all explosive movements. You don’t want to clean at moderate intensity. I reserve Mathcon for benchmark WODs (Most Girls & Heroes) or multi-WOD events (i.e competitions). However, during regular WODs, I’m always taking inventory of rep frequencies  such as how many box jumps/wall balls/burpees in a minute  etc. . In that sense most training days are mathcon data gathering days.

Why do you say it’s mainly for intermediate Athletes?

Well one of the reason me and some friends kept not doing so well as we felt we could have during certain WODs was that we followed advice aimed at elite athletes. The curse of the internet, you could say.   Sadly that advice did not work well. For most of us  It’s great to try and go unbroken as long as you can during Fran but unless you’re Josh Kovach or beyond, you’ll pass out during the round of 15 or are forced to take long breaks. That’s how you end up with a 9:59 minute Fran time,  where shorter sets and short breaks can comfortably get you to a sub 5 minute score.

Mathcon rep schemes are  not super useful for beginners either.   In the beginning you’re better off figuring out training to recovery ratios and understanding cause and effect on your progress as you vary training and recovery days than concerning yourself with rep schemes. Once you’ve worked up to being comfortable training 4 to 5 times a week and can perform standard WODs RX or close to it, Mathcon rep schemes can help you.

Lastly, there was a lot of activity on the mathcon Facebook group during the open, how did that start?

The FB group started 10 months ago and it used  to be a small crew of less than 20 people posting a few things a month about ideas for WOD strategies .  When 14.1 was  announced, we shared our ideas as before. Right after 14.1 the group started to grow rapidly, many more became very curious about the “secret sauce”.  Throughout this open season it grew to 125+ people, including many non-PCFers.   The secret sauce is merely to find a way to keep breathing  but it can be formulated in many ways. The objective of the FB group is still to discuss WOD and Competition strategies for the masses.  I hope that throughout this summer people will keep posting about local comps and approaches to benchmark WODs so that it keeps being useful beyond the Open season .



PCFers in Action

Weekly Programming Links:  Group ClassVenice Barbell ClubTrack Night

Monday, April, 2014


Monster Walk
Banded Hip Extension
Keg Drill
Overhead Band Distraction


2x rounds through, :60 each movement:
Light KB Swings
Pike Situps
Walking Lunges

Classic Strength

A) 3×20 Front rack Walking Lunges- Rest 90 seconds
B) 3x ME Handstand hold- Rest 90 seconds

Notes: Alternate A and B sets.  For busier classes, KB’s or Dumbbells may be used.  Prioritize keeping tight midline during the lunges while working to continuously move through each step (no pausing to gather feet).  For Handstand hold, try “nose and toes” against the wall or freestanding.

Advanced Strength

1) Back Squat – 1 attempt to establish a 20RM – rest 1:00
2) Front Squat – Max reps @ 100% of #1 (after 1:00 rest)

Notes: Add 5-10# from last week, but not heavy enough to fail.


3 rounds for time:
Run 400 meters
21 Kettlebell Swings (53/35)
12 Pull ups
-15 minute cap

Notes: This classic benchmark is a great test for where you are in your fitness.  Push the run and go for unbroken if possible.

Cool Down

Couch Stretch, 1 min each
Lat Stretch, 30 sec each
Pike Stretch, 1 min

Charlie Mason

The weather was great this past weekend and it reminded me what an amazing place LA is.  There are so many different activities within your reach, sometimes its hard to choose what to do!  Crossfit is great because it prepares you physically and mentally to learn new skills or try new activities.  At the very core, I believe Crossfit teaches people how to move functionally and naturally.   The increased range of motion and body awareness is what will keep your mind and body sane well into old age.  I believe that movement equates to life, and moving your body in nature is the expression of that life.  Here are examples of PCFers expressing themselves this past weekend:

McCoy, Suver, and Causey at the NPFL

Tara, Sandra, Tanner, Philip, Osbaldo, Zeb, Ana, Tressa, Rya, Alina representing at Ragnar SoCal!  (not pictured Charlie and Dave Peet)

Diso and Joel climbing in the Santa Monica mountains.

PCF Venice crew (Matt, Troy, Monica, Seth, Judson, Indu, Trey, Ryan) with some beach volleyball

Sandy, Martina, and Lauren at the gun range.

Arya, Sal, Buckner, Emily, Gloria, Kao, and Dustin at a different range.

I love CicLAvia.

Nick and Yaebin at their Frio Frito pop up shop.

Brussels Sprouts and Strawberries

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Yoga at 8pm at Venice  – Sign up HERE!


20 Snow Angels
Lat Activations
Posterior Chain Floss


10 Jumping Jacks
10 Jumping Squats
10 Sit up to Pike
10 Burpees
10 Jumping Jacks


4 Rounds, alternating between movements:
6 rounds for fastest time of:
3-Cone Drill


AMRAP 40 minutes:
200 meter run
50 Flutter kicks
40 Grasshoppers
30 Wall balls
20 Burpees
10 Wall climbs

 Notes:  Goal is continual movement!  For flutter kicks and grasshoppers, 1 side is 1 rep. 

 Cool down:

10 Wall extensions
Couch stretch
Straddle stetch



2 lb. brussels sprouts
2 Tbsp. olive oil
¼ tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
? tsp. garlic powder

For strawberries:
1½ – 2 c. fresh strawberries
1½ Tbsp. olive oil
1½ Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
¼ tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. black pepper


  1. Wash strawberries, remove stems, and slice into quarters.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix berries and corresponding ingredients together and set aside.
  3. Chop the stalks off of the brussels sprouts and remove outer leaves.
  4. Chop sprouts in half lengthwise.
  5. Heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a cast iron skillet on medium-high heat.
  6. Place sprouts cut-side down. Sear for 6-8 minutes.
  7. While searing, sprinkle with garlic powder, sea salt, and pepper. Add lemon juice.
  8. After 6-8 minutes have passed, stir and continue to sauté for another 8-10 minutes.
  9. Add strawberries and sauté for 5-7 more minutes, being careful not to overcook the berries. Taste test one of the sprouts to make sure that they are tender.
  10. Enjoy!

National Pro Fitness league

Saturday April 5, 2014


Bar assisted squats x10
Fire Hydrants x15
Side Planks x45″

Warm up:

Junk yard dog
Walk with single KB overhead 
-50′ forward/backward/lateral
10 KB snatches (10R/L)
10 Goblet squats


 15 minutes to establish a 1 RM Turkish Get up

 Notes:  Review the sequence HERE!

Partner Conditioning:

Teams of 2, one working at a time:

“Double Grindy”

3 rounds of:
20 Clean and Jerks (135/95)
10 Rounds of “Cindy” (5 Pull ups, 10 Push ups, 15 Squats)

-30 minute cap

Notes:  Try and partner up with someone of similar ability.  Partition reps anyway between partners.

Cool down: 

Posterior Chain flossing x60″
Couch Stretch x60″
Foam roll ITB/quads 1-2 min

Yeah Suver!

For those of you who haven’t heard about it, there is a pro fitness league being developed athletes in the sport of fitness. From the NPFL website:

The World’s First Professional Spectator Sport with Team Human Performance Racing

The National Pro Fitness League was created for the fans. Two-hour matches that take place in a basketball arena. They’ll be easy to follow and understand, yet filled with strategy and teamwork. Matches will be televised on a national sports network, and our website will have fresh daily content all year round. Follow your favorite athletes and teams, and geek out on standings, scores, and stats.

Strategy and Execution

Two teams of four men and four women will compete head-to-head in eleven races requiring tremendous capacity and efficient execution. Strategy will be critically important as teams select race participants, make on-the-fly substitutions, and distribute the workload.  Teams with superior execution strategies could potentially defeat teams with superior work capacity.

Live Large

Attending the live matches will be a blast. With many of the world’s fittest athletes competing in front of you in fast-paced, easy-to-follow events, you will surely be entertained. The matches will take place in basketball arenas, which means you have the opportunity for court-side seating. You will feel like you’re part of the action. Most teams will stick around after the match to answer questions, sign autographs, or snap a quick pic.

Network Coverage

The League’s regular season matches and playoffs will be shown live on the web and on a national sports network. Full broadcast-quality productions with live scoring and graphics, athlete profiles and event descriptions, plus full, in-your-face coverage of the events.

The Website

The NPFL website will be your home base for competition standing and statistics, athlete and team stories, and more. Fresh year-round video content will include athlete training sessions and interviews, team workouts, coaches’ tips and commentary, and of course, match replays and highlights.

This weekend, LA will be hosting a combine where athletes get to showcase their skills in hopes of getting drafted by a team, landing a salaried contract, and essentially becoming a paid professional athlete. Our very own Alex Causey, Jessica Suver and James McCoy will be trying out. So if you see them, wish them the best of luck, and if you have the time, go cheer them on at: 

Fairplex/LA County Fairgrounds

Exhibit Hall 4
1101 West McKinley Avenue, Pomona, CA 91768

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World-Class Fitness in 100 Words:

  • Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.
  • Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch.
  • Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds.
  • Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast.
  • Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense.
  • Regularly learn and play new sports.

- CrossFit founder, Greg Glassman