Monthly Archives

May 2015

Prep Work

May 29, 2015
Arcimboldovertemnus-705x866

Rudolf II of Habsburg as Vertumnus. Giuseppe Arcimboldo, 1590.



I love food. When I look at my fridge, I want to see pleasure, not obligation. Not antithetically, training also demands that I eat thoughtfully. I need to eat not only for taste, but for performance.

I follow a plan that ensures that I have energy when I need it, in balanced proportion (more or less 40% carb-30% protein-30% fat) without the sluggishness that follows a heavy meal (I eat about 1800 calories per day). But I’m often traveling between gyms during the day, which means I don’t have time to

God is in the Detail*

May 26, 2015
Dennis.  Robert Mapplethorpe, 1978.

Dennis. Robert Mapplethorpe, 1978.

During the last few weeks, Jessica and I have spent about half of our daily training time focused on strengthening the little muscles that often get missed or “worked around” during the faster pace of a timed workout.

At least three days a week for the last month, we have started our day with a shoulder warm-up routine, called Crossover Symmetry. Several of the specialized coaches we consult suggested the routine as a way to improve shoulder mobility and stability. It takes five minutes to perform eight easy movements. Among other things, it addresses the

Going Strong

May 22, 2015
Photographer Herb Ritts.

Photographer Herb Ritts.

This week, Jessica and I started training in the sport of strongman. Despite the name, it is not just for men, nor is it only for strong people. Strongmen events focus on the functional side of fitness, testing the techniques of moving around difficult objects like kegs, yokes, sleds, atlas stones, and chains. Jess and I are both naturally good at it and enthused about adding it to the weekly training schedule.

As good luck would have it, there is a strongman coach here in Venice Beach. Logan Gelbrich is a former pro baseball player and his

Time Again

May 17, 2015
The Alarm Clock.  Fernand Leger, 1918.

The Alarm Clock. Fernand Leger, 1918.

Time is on my mind. Measuring my performance by reps per minute, pacing my lifts so they start slow and finish fast, all in a matter of two elapsed seconds, noting the skills that need to be mastered before competition—is there enough time for me to master this? Time expands—when I’m working at my best, the ten seconds from setup to lockout in the deadlift feel like an hour—and contracts. Only three months until the Games.

In the gym, I’m constantly surrounded by time. The analogue clock on the wall, the countdown timer, my

Game On

May 7, 2015
Fire in the Belly.  Andrew Brischler, 2013

Fire in the Belly. Andrew Brischler, 2013

It’s official: I received my invitation today to spend three days in July at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, competing in the CrossFit Games. I’ve worked incredibly hard to get to this place, but what I feel most is the honor and privilege to be in the company of the many amazing athletes heading to the same place.

After all, this is an event created to test fitness in a way that no other athletic event has ever done. With an emphasis on functional movements, athletes come to the field with no