Category Archives: CrossFit
On Tuesday, February 25th, two days before the 2014 CrossFit Games Open stars, I had a chance to sit down with up-and-coming CrossFit athlete Torey Throop. I’ve had the pleasure of training next to him for the last year. No one’s got more heart than this guy. Keep you eye on him in 2014. Here’s what I found:
SM: Who are you, where are you from, and where do you train?
TT: Torey Throop, from Alma, Michigan, Vestaburg originally, train at CrossFit Deviate.
SM: Where is CrossFit Deviate?
TT: Rochester, MI
SM: How long have you been CrossFitting?
TT: Uh…About 19 months?
SM: That’s pretty short?
TT: Just under two years, yep.
SM: Did you participate in any sports or weightlifting before CrossFit?
TT: Played College Basketball and Golf. Played football, baseball, and basketball in high school
SM: Does your snatch improve your golf swing?
TT: Shoulder mobility
TT: Definitely. And explosive hips!
SM: Makes sense. Any sponsors?
TT: Uh…Just my buddy Brad helping me out with some Fox gear, so that’s pretty rad. But I’m open to options at this point
SM: Why is Miranda Oldroyd so much buffer than you are?
TT: Because she’s been doing CrossFit longer…That’s why. She’s a beast
SM: She’s a stud.
SM: Favorite benchmark workout?
TT: Hmmm…I would have to say…(pondering)…UGH…
SM: So many to choose from.
TT: There is…Uh…Helen’s not bad.
TT: I like it. It’s a good CrossFit workout. It’s just classic CrossFit.
SM: What’s Helen again? That’s uh…Running, kettle bell swings, and pullups?
TT: Running, kettle bells and pullups, yep.
SM: What about for 2013…Any achievements, or particularly special PR’s?
TT: This last year?
TT: Um…pretty psyched to get my Fran time under 2:18. That was cool.
TT: Clean and Jerked 315, uh…Snatched 250…So mainly my strength numbers went way up. Squatted over 400, deadlift is getting close to 500.
SM: Those are all Big Boy numbers
TT: Trying to get up there. Chasing guys that are getting better, so it’s hard
SM: So it’s safe to say you’re pretty strong going into the 2014 season.
SM: Why is Rich Froning so tan?
TT: Man…they don’t get much snow in Tennessee
SM: He must have a tanning bed at Mayhem.
TT: He does. He cheats. He gets waxed too I think
SM: Who does your programming? Do you have a coach?
TT: UM…I started by myself in the garage. I’d always just do benchmark workouts like every day, and hero workouts. But now everything is more…not structured, but…I still make it up every day as I go. I gotta give a lot of credit for strength to Rehif and…You know…I wouldn’t be where I am without him. A lot of my knowledge comes from him.
SM: Who’s Rehif?
TT: Rehif Murray, one of the part owners of CrossFit Deviate. He does the programming for the gym. It’s good stuff.
SM: I can vouch for that.
TT: And uh…Galloway and Coach Mike (CrossFit Deviate Olympic Lifting Coaches). My oly was pitiful when I started CrossFit. I’d have to give them the credit for my Oly form.
SM: It helps to have good coaches.
TT: Oh yea…I mean…I can’t imagine seeing better coaches anywhere, but I know there are a lot of good ones out there.
SM: Hip Hop, or Rock/Punk in the gym?
TT: Rock/Punk definitely.
SM: Running or rowing?
TT: Yea…yup. They’re both bad. They both suck.
SM: Last, but not least…how many burpees did you get in 12.1?
TT: Dude…I don’t remember fully…I think it was 133. I never did the actual workout. I did it on my own. I did it last year before the open…a week before…I think I got 133.
SM: Where would that score have ranked?
TT: Uh…It was somewhere in the top 20 I think.
SM: Damn. That’s crazy. Well thanks buddy and good luck this year.
TT: It was a pleasure.
You can follow Torey Throop here:
So the CrossFit “Season” is upon us. And just like tens of thousands of other CrossFitters, I signed up for the CrossFit Games Open last week. For the non-CrossFitter, the Open is a worldwide CrossFit Games qualifier held over five weeks. CrossFit HQ releases one qualifying workout a week, where the participants have five days to complete the workout and submit their score. The top 48 men and women, and top 30 teams in each region move on to Regionals (semi-finals). From there, the top three men, women, and teams in each region move on to the Games. If you’re active in the fitness world and don’t know what the CrossFit Games is, you’ve definitely have been living under a rock (hopefully one you’ve been lifting)
CrossFit has done something special with the Open – They have created a worldwide playing field in which to test your fitness. You can see how you stack up against Rich Froning, Samantha Briggs, your rival CrossFit partner, or anyone who’s part of the open for that matter. They have created an event that will push most people to a physical and mental place they have never been…probably five different times over the five week event. They have given CrossFitters a medium in which to workout on the same playing field as their heroes. And they have given the entire CrossFit world a continued motivation and a goal to shoot for every year. It really is pretty amazing.
If your gym (box) is like mine, everyone’s palms are already sweating in anticipation. For the competitors, this is what many of us have worked towards all year. For the other 90% of the gym, this is something they can get excited about and have fun participating in. It really brings the entire gym together. It also opens the eyes of new CrossFitters to the sport of “CrossFit”.
I’m particularly excited for my gym, CrossFit Deviate. Last year we were only about six months old and placed 34th in the Open, four places out of a free ticket to Regionals. Heartbroken, but not discouraged, I watched every athlete pour their blood, sweat, tears, and dedication into their training all year, and I am 100% confident we will be one of 30 teams at the Central East Regionals later this year. In addition to the team, we have a handful of individual competitors that will more than likely qualify as an individual (this is elite shit we are talking about here), including our coach, and my friend, Torey Throop, who will give the top ten in the Central East a run for their money. It’s going to be an exciting season for our little world of fitness in Rochester, MI.
Our team will consist of six individuals, three men, and three women. More than likely the team will be chosen based on each individual’s performance in the Open. As for me…I would do anything to be a part of the team. I live and breath the sport of CrossFit, as well as my gym, my second family and home, CrossFit Deviate. I have a good shot, but as hard as I train, my day job makes being the best CrossFitter I can be somewhat difficult. Months of traveling only hinder my progress, and it just so happens that I’m traveling the entire five weeks of the Open this year. Great. As long as I have this job (which I love, by the way), maintaining the high level of skill, strength, and conditioning needed to be a regional team contender is going to take a truck-load of discipline, focus, and motivation. Is it doable? Yes. Would it be much easier if I didn’t travel? Of course. It’s hard not to make excuses.
Which brings me to the point of this post – Life. 99% of us have lives that need our attention. Kids, family, jobs, health…you name it. Anything can set us back or cause us to lose focus. The great news is, it’s OK. Life gets in the way sometimes. Don’t get frustrated if you miss a day, week, pound, lift…We all have bad days. More often than not, we can learn a lot from that bad day! Just keep your eye on the ball, keep moving forward, don’t make excuses, be grateful you’re able to workout, and you will no doubt achieve whatever goal you have set for yourself.
Feel free to share them below!
PS: Write your goals down and look at them everyday! SERIOUSLY!
OGAR Strong FB Page:
Kevin Ogar Fundraising Website:
If you are a CrossFit fan then you will know that the OC Throwdown took place a few weekends ago. Unfortunately, on the final day of competition Kevin Ogar was involved in a “Freak Accident” during a 3RM touch and go snatch event. This has left Kevin with a very serious T11/T12 injury that has caused damage to his spinal cord, leaving him with no voluntary movement below his waist. The CrossFit community has an amazing support structure within its athletes and affiliates so expect quite a bit of response to this tragic event. There is currently one fundraising page dedicated to Kevin with more on the horizon, specifically from Barbells For Boobs. Donate if you can and what you can to Kevin as he is uninsured and this will be a very expensive recovery. We will continue to update this page with any new “official” news we get regarding Kevin’s condition.
Strength Militia Staff
Below you will find some information regarding the event and how Kevin is doing so far. Updates are listed newest to oldest as you scroll.
“I know I have practically been on radio silence since my accident, and there are a few reasons:
UPDATE Posted 1/19/14 by OGAR STRONG: If you’re interested in hosting an event to benefit Kevin Ogar we’ve published some guidelines and best practices to get the most out of your efforts. Front Range CrossFit assembled their community today and helped take the fundraising effort past the $250,000 mark.
Guidelines for fundraising can be found on Kevin’s website towards the bottom of the page: http://kevinogar.com/
UPDATE Posted 1/17/14 by OGAR STRONG: Five days in and Kevin is making progress. He hit his PT full steam this morning and moved into a new room, but still having trouble sitting up. He is getting closer to moving home to Craig hospital in Denver. Thanks all for the love and support. Keep those fundraising efforts up, Kevin needs all the support he can get!
UPDATE Posted 1/16/14 by OGAR STRONG: Another good day for Kevin: brushed his own teeth and beard and even slept for 5 hours! Kevin will spend a few more days in Orange County before being transported back to Denver for a stay at the world-class Craig Hospital. #ogarstrong
UPDATE Posted 1/15/14 (Late) by OGAR STRONG: Kevin has been approved for Medicaid and transportation home has been secured!
UPDATE Posted 1/14/14 (Late) by OGAR STRONG: We thought it would be a good idea to make the first post some good news! First, we’re happy to announce that Fundly has agreed to reduce their percentage of the fundraising from 8% to 3.9%, this means that right now over $5000 has been returned to Kevin’s recovery, this is amazing news. Second, Kevin’s second surgery is complete, it took longer than anticipated but he is now in recovery and may be able to sit up tomorrow! Please do everything you can to spread the word on these two fronts (repost this update!). Thank you for your continued support, more info to come tomorrow! #ogarstrong
UPDATE Posted 1/14/14 by BFB: We will have the website up at 2pm sharp today! We’ve got a shirt and all of the up to date information about Kevin’s situation. In an effort to build a long term foundation for him we ask that anyone currently designing a shirt or planning an event please hold off until you get all of the information from the website this afternoon. More info to come.
UPDATE Posted 1/13/14 (later) by BFB: Kevin’s first surgery is in the books and though it is a step in the right direction he’s got a very long road ahead of him. More surgeries, years of rehabilitation and a life drastically different than the one he knew is in store for this young soul. We’re doing everything in our power to get the right fundraising platform set up for him so that we can get him focused solely on rehabilitation. We’re launching a website at 2pm (PST) tomorrow that should shed a ton of light on how the fundraising process will work from that point on. Thank you for your patience, ensuring that a platform will benefit someone for a lifetime takes a lot of work and we want to get this thing right, so rally your troops and hold the line until we sound the horn. Big things to come. It’s time to get #ogarstrong.
OC Throwdown Update Posted 1/13/14: …As many already know, one of our competitors and friend, Kevin Ogar, suffered a spinal cord injury while attempting an Olympic Lift. This horrific accident has left us devastated for Kevin, his family, friends, loved ones and his gym community. The 2014 OCT’s full focus is on Kevin’s recovery process and how we can help. Unfortunately, Kevin is uninsured and will require significant funds for his medical journey.
We have received word that a fundraising effort is already underway, in which 100% of the donations will go directly to Kevin. This is expected to be available to the public by this evening. As soon as we have the link we will post it here so that anyone who wishes, may donate.
Rally with us around Kevin, as a community, to show him love, unrelenting support and uplift him as much as we can. Kevin, may your faith keep you strong, may our love fill you up and may the hands of medicine serve you well.
With Much Respect, The 2014 OCT
UPDATE Posted 1/13/14 by BFB: We’ve heard from so many people across our amazing community in regards to Kevin Ogar and can’t thank you enough for all of the prayers and offerings of support. The need is tremendous and our team is working diligently to build a platform that will provide long term support for Kevin and his medical needs. We expect this site to be launched by this evening, in the meantime, the Fundly link is legitimate and will contribute directly to Kevin. Stay tuned for more and prepare your village to rally in support of this brave young man.
Posted 1/12/14 by BFB: Kevin Ogar has suffered a separated T11/12 and has severed his spinal cord. At this time he has no voluntary movement below his waist. We will have a fundraising page up by end of day tomorrow to help offset his medical bills. Kevin is uninsured and needs our help, friends. Stay tuned and will will provide a link to our fundraising page tomorrow.
Posted 1/12/14 by @jessicamarie979: My heart is breaking for Kevin Ogar who was seriously injured during a snatch today at the oc throwdown. He hurt his back and couldn’t feel the lower half of his body. The room quieted and when paramedics took him away the roar of the crowd was the loudest it had been all weekend. The next group of athletes took a knee in silence for him before their heat. I’ve never seen such grace an support from a community. Kevin is a Crossfit coach at Crossfit unbroken in Denver. He is a very sweet, very caring positive and fun person. Please join me in praying for a miracle. #oct #crossfit #barbellsforboobs #unbroken #faith #wod
ABC News Post: 1/16/14 – More Speculation
CBS Denver News Article: 1/14/14
OGAR Strong FB Page:
Kevin Ogar Fundraising Website:
Barbells For Boob FB Page: There will be continued updates on Kevin as well as an official fundraising page (BFB will not take a % from donations)
Fundraising Website for Kevin: (note, Fundly takes 8% from the total donations)
CrossFit Message Board Thread:
A video from friend Tom Ashby:
Update 1/22/14: Some more recent dribble regarding Planet Fitness
Back to the Planet Fitness article. The premise began with what author Lou Schuler described as “a Category 2 s—storm” on Reddit, when a poster complained that a squat rack was taken away from his Planet Fitness club. The rant from the disgruntled member made its way to several Facebook pages.
Schuler reached out to Planet Fitness Director of Public Relations McCall Gosselin, as did I, inquiring about the squat rack issue. Without knowing all the details of the Planet Fitness in question, Gosselin couldn’t comment directly on the Reddit poster’s problem. She did, however, tell me that Planet Fitness clubs do not have heavy free weights (more than 80 pounds) or machines such as squat racks and Olympic benches because “we focus on general fitness, and our members are typically first-time or occasional gym users. This is certainly not a new concept.”
Nor should it be. Planet Fitness is now well-established in the industry, particularly for its $10-a-month memberships, “lunkhead” alarms and “Judgement Free Zone” (which is misspelled). Heck, even the CEO, Chris Rondeau, recently called Planet Fitness the “Southwest Airlines of the gym business.”
Read the rest below:
We almost never do two posts in one day on Strength Militia but we had to jump on this new news viraling around the internet. Apparently Planet Fitness (pauses for laughter) has started taking out squat racks from their gyms because they are TOO INTIMIDATING to their elite of clientele. Between the lunk alarm, pizza parties, bagel days, no deadlifting, and now no squat racks, I am not sure how a place like this gets taken seriously in the fitness community…oh wait, they don’t. I can only hope that a gym like this will eventually crash and burn…but not with fat, lazy America supporting their membership base.
Pizza Day at Planet Fitness!!
BTW: NO DEADLIFTING EITHER!!
Full Article Below:
Training and coaching by definition are fairly similar. But, when applied to teaching goal orientated fitness modalities these two become very different animals. Vern Gambetta had a blog post years ago that I really enjoyed reading so I wanted to revisit and share with you all. Vern did a quick breakdown of “Training” vs. “Coaching”, defining what it means to do one versus the other. If you have ever worked in the fitness industry you will completely understand the angle from which this was written. It really defines the difference between a good/not so good trainer and a great trainer. The good trainers can get the results for their clients, but it is the mode in which they do it that separates them from the great trainers. Does the trainer accept bad form, or do they work with the client till it is 100% correct. It is not just the end result, rather, it is also the means by which you get the people there. Enjoy.
1) Training – Focused on the result. Just get it done.
Coaching – Focused on the process, how it is done, making sure it is repeatable.
2) Training – Self centered, all about the trainer, the athlete can’t do it without the trainer.
Coaching – All about empowering and teaching the athlete. Creating self-sufficiency rather than dependence.
3) Training – Has all the answers.
Coaching – Always gathering data from the training, fine-tuning and learning.
4) Training – Lots of screaming and yelling, ”motivating.”
Coaching – Purposeful, meaningful feedback and cue’s, communicating and teaching.
5) Training – Focused on equipment, needs machines and apparatus to train.
Coaching- Focused on the athlete and the sport they are preparing for and coach accordingly. Use what is needed and necessary, not bells and whistles.
6) Training – Scattered, all over the place.
Coaching – Focused on the task at hand. No cell phone!
7) Training – Follows the latest fads, listens to gurus.
Coaching – Knows best practice and follows it. Stands on the shoulders of giants. Has a mentor.
CrossFit North County Marathon Rowing Competition
CrossFit, most of you in the fitness industry have probably heard of it by now and if you haven’t you are probably living under a rock. CrossFit gets mixed reviews by professionals as well as fitness enthusiasts; either they love it or hate it, with very little grey area. Now, some of you may be thinking, but you don’t really do CrossFit anymore?!? This is true, now, but when I caught the fever back in 2006 it was a whole different story.
Before I found CrossFit I was dabbling in quite a few different types of strength/hypertrophy building exercise routines. In the early 2000’s I was all hypertrophy; meaning I would do one or two body parts a day and exercise for way over an hour. During my later college years I was introduced to a strength and conditioning class, this is where I picked up the deadlift, squat, and clean and jerk exercises to add to that already boring and lengthy workout. I very much hated legs and honestly, rarely did squats or deadlifts. I was big, I was strong, but my strength was not distributed equally and I was very much a top-heavy lifter.
In 2006 I graduated from school and returned home and rejoined the gym I had been a member of before I left for school, the one where all my bodybuilding went down. By this time the gym had started renting out space in one of the racquet ball courts to a business called CrossFit Encinitas. Being the inquisitive person I am I checked out their gym, equipment, took a business card and reached out to the owner of the gym. He told me the cost of the gym membership and I was unable to afford so I took it upon myself to find the source of this “CrossFit” exercise routine. I went online and searched CrossFit in my Yahoo search engine (yes I used to use Yahoo for searching) and found the CrossFit main page. I checked out the workouts and like most other people, was floored by what they were asking of me to do in one single workout…for time. It actually took me about six months to start working out with workouts from the CrossFit mainpage, I was mostly scared and had no idea what to expect from such intense workouts. In mid-2007 I did my first CrossFit workout, Barbara, loved it and was hooked.
By 2008 I was well into my love for CrossFit and really started to preach the gospel to people I met. I finally had a program that MADE me do legs and did all the programming for me so I no longer had to roam around the gym aimless looking for other exercises to waste time on. By late 2008, early 2009 I met up with a man who would later become my business partner with our affiliate CrossFit North County. I met Marc while he was rowing at the local YMCA gym I was working at. I started chatting with him about how awesome the rower was and how I used it a lot in CrossFit. He of course wanted to know what CrossFit was so I told him, a few months later he joined a local affiliate, started paleo, and lost close to 50lbs.
By late 2009 Marc was deep into the CrossFit mayhem and ended up going to a local certification and got the CrossFit level 1 cert. Once he got this cert we started talking about how cool it would be to start our own affiliate, but we were both working so much, had no equipment, so on and so forth. Well, Marc started purchasing equipment slowly but surely and by early 2010 we had just enough to start our own gym. I found a space, we affiliated and set up shop in a local sports performance facility. All was good, the gym started to grow however I had started to lose my passion for CrossFit. Not sure how and why it came about but for whatever reason I was no longer doing WOD’s and started moving my training to primarily doing powerlifting type exercises. From there I ended up taking a job up north in Los Angeles and had to abandon my business all together which at this point, I was fine with.
I moved away to Los Angeles and started to train in a very powerbuilding training method. I also found a training partner, Paleo Devan, who had similar goals as me with regards to strength and size gains. Devan inspired me to be passionate with my training and programming and we both really benefitted from this training awakening. So, here I am today, strong, happy with my program, gaining size, and when I look back I really have CrossFit to thank.
So how did CrossFit actually change my life?
- CrossFit inspired me to be passionate about training myself again.
- CrossFit made me do legs, which is why I am actually proportionate now.
- CrossFit made me push my body to a level I had never worked at before.
- CrossFit taught me how to program workouts to be more efficient.
- CrossFit introduced me to powerlifting, which is a major part of my routine now.
- Preaching CrossFit to others helped me to help others with their health.
- CrossFit made me enjoy fitness again, plain and simple.
- CrossFit inspires a passion for fitness like nothing else I have ever seen.
- CrossFit introduced me to Paleo. The paleo diet has been a life changing “diet” for me and many others I have helped along the way and I 100% owe CrossFit and Robb Wolf for introducing me to this way of eating.
Thank you all so much for reading through this really long and drawn out blog post. I had not written much about my background with CrossFit, or fitness in general so it was nice to get that off my chest. Do I agree with everything CrossFit does, no. But I do think CrossFit has one of the best platforms for people looking to learn and adapt new training and nutritional philosophies into their own way of exercising and living. I have seen plenty of people start CrossFit and then segue into olympic weightlifitng, powerlifitng, rowing, running, or just add these elements into their old way of working out (like me). CrossFit’s ability to do just that is why I really do think it changed my life for the better as well as the others who I have helped over the years, so thank you CrossFit.
“First rule of Fit-Club, Return all weights to racks after use“
I really don’t expect much out of people nowadays, as sad as that sounds. We all seem to be so consumed with our own lives that we forget that we live on a planet with 7 billion other people. Selfishness is running ramped and selflessness is becoming hard to find. One small, very minor example of this is gym etiquette, primarily cleaning up after yourself. At this point we all know that signs posted basically mean nothing to most people as most people do not read them. I have worked in enough gyms to know that either they don’t read them, or they read them and don’t care to follow what they say; either way, gym etiquette has reached an all time low. No one seems to want to put away their own weights, they see other people leave crap out and copy their same behavior (stupid is as stupid does). Many don’t wipe down their equipment after use and leave their sweat and greasy head sweat all over the benches. The gym I currently go to is a 24 hour fitness, which does have signs posted, which over 50% of the people completely ignore. Tonight I watched one kid go from bench press, to chest press on the hammer strength, to the leg press; he loaded up each machine with weight, did his exercises and then moved on without cleaning up after himself. He is not an anomaly, he is part of a majority. I however am not part of the majority, I clean up, because I have worked in countless gyms cleaning up after others and I know how bad it sucks. Even when I was younger I still cleaned up after myself, because that is what is expected of us, what seems right, what we should all do to show respect to the others around us who should not have to clean up a mess we leave behind. To all those who continue to not clean up after yourselves at the gym, would you please stop being assholes and show some respect to gym staff as well as other gym goers…thanks.
P.S: This is Ridiculous
And this is funny:
It was my birthday, the pic was kind of a joke.
Lets face it, not everyone can be genetically gifted in the arm department. I have been fortunate in that my arms tend to grow bigger, and at a faster rate than all of my other larger muscles; I truly have to thank my grandpa from my mom’s side for my bigger arms, he was a beast. However, I was a skinny punk at a point in my life and my size gains came from hard work, eating a lot, and a sprinkle of some good genetics. When I first started working out I focused a lot of energy on isolation exercises, with training that was very similar to most bodybuilding routines. It wasnt till about 2006 that I started training with mostly compound exercises with very little, if any, isolation exercises. I continue to train in a very similar manner, focusing very little attention on isolation of muscles. I wanted to list some of the best compound exercises that help to grow your arms bigger, and stronger without the time needed to do isolation.
These are listed in no particular order:
1) Dips/Weighted Dips (5-20 reps)
2) Pull Ups/Chins – Weighted Pull Ups/Weight Chins (1-20 reps)
3) Deadlifts – Great for forearm building (1-5 reps)
4) Push Ups/Weighted Push Ups (8-50 reps)
5) Bench Press/Narrow Bench Press (1-30 reps)
6) Standing Military Press/Handstand Push Ups (1-20 reps)
7) Seated Row/Bent Over Row/Inverted Rows/T-Bar Rows (8-12 reps)
8) Muscle Ups/Weighted Muscle Ups (5-10 reps)
9) Cleans/Clean and Jerks (1-3 reps)
10) Snatches/Hang Snatch (1-3 reps)
As you can tell the rep schemes on these exercises can differ greatly. It really depends on where my cycle is at if I am going to go high rep, vs. low rep. I work in all spectrum’s of the rep matrix for most lifts, with the exception of cleans, snatches, and deads. I will periodically do burn outs with bench press, typically no higher than a 30 rep set. Your body needs different stimulation’s, and I feel these exercises and rep schemes are what will do it. Enjoy.
My Humble Beginnings: Gangsta!