Cardio Triple Threat

So happy to have added the rower to my garage gym. I’m really enjoying 30-40 minute cardio sessions in the cold garage. Didn’t have the heat on long and I ended up ditching my hoodie, but it’s nice to warm things up a bit to get started.

CrossFit Workout Ideas

I enjoy creating workouts, or what we call metcons, short for metabolic conditioning, in CrossFit. I’ve been programming our Sunday workouts for several years and I’d estimate over 75% of the metcons we do are original creations pulled from my list of ideas.

Here are some of the workouts I haven’t used yet. If you try any of them, let me know how they go.

7:00 AMRAP

  • 10 Chest to Bar Pull-ups
  • 5 Hang Squat Cleans (115/80#)
  • 5 Push Jerks (115/80#)


  • Thrusters (115/80#)
  • Bar Muscle-ups


  • Dumbbell Power Snatches (50/35#)
  • Toe to Bars
  • Pistol Squats

3 Rounds

  • 7 Squat Cleans (185/125#)
  • 14 Bar-facing Burpees

15:00 AMRAP

  • 30 Box Jumps (24/20″)
  • 20 Pull-ups
  • 10 Clean & Jerks (155/105#)


  • Wall Balls (20/10#, 10/9′)
  • Double Unders
  • Sit-ups


  • Bar Muscle-ups
  • Squat Snatch (95/65#)

10:00 AMRAP

  • EMOM – 25 DU
  • Burpee Box Jumps (24/20″)

Running Upgrade

Grabbed this treadmill for my garage gym, because I love running so much (haha). It’ll be a nice option in the winter, even for active recovery walking, which I miss out on when it’s not golf season.

It doesn’t fold up, but I couldn’t pass on the price (free) and having a truck means I can grab stuff like this now. Just need a Concept 2 rower to complete the cardio quartet since I have an Airdyne and Ski Erg.


CrossFit Programing: Are We Doing Too Much?

Following up on my post about Online CrossFit Programming, I wanted to write some thoughts about how affiliates program classes for the general population, like you or I.

CrossFit is meant to be a conditioning-biased exercise program. Look to this pyramind illustrating a theoretical hierarchy for the development of an athlete. It comes from Greg Glassman’s “What is Fitness”, which was published 15 years ago in the CrossFit Journal.


Nutrition is the most important and then it’s conditioning. Somewhere about 5 years ago CrossFit affiliates started to shift the importance and focus of their programming to be strength-biased. This probably had something to do with the rise in popularity of the CrossFit Games; people wanted to train like the elite Games athletes.

Since day 1 and still today, the WOD posted on is only one workout. They don’t suggest performing a strength piece, a skill piece, and a conditioning piece every day like you see in almost every CrossFit affiliate around the world. If you attend a Level 1 seminar, during the programming lecture they don’t teach you how to jam pack an hour with as much exercising as you can. Sure some of the Main Site WODs are strength focused, as they should be, but the majority of days the workout is a conditioning based one. Are we causing ourselves to get injured more and limiting our potential as human beings by doing too much?

Here’s a great podcast episode with Ben Bergeron, who is one of the top coaches in the sport. He explains a lot on the topic and makes a lot of great points for conditioning-biased programming.

What do you think?

Once I finish up this Push Only program I’m following (about 4 more weeks), I might experiment with some conditioning-biased programming like CrossFit teaches us.


Just after Christmas, I saw a 30% off deal on the FitnessGenes DNA Analysis kit. I’d been curious about trying out something like 23andMe, so when I saw this DNA test focused on fitness I was excited and ordered a kit for the special $139 price.

The test kit came in a small box, with clear instructions.

The hardest part was figuring out how to complete the customs forms when I dropped it off at the Post Office. I shipped it back to the company on the evening of January 10th and it was delivered to their office in the United Kingdom on the 17th. They sent me a confirmation email.

I am pleased to confirm that your DNA sample has been safely received back at our labs and the scientific process of extracting and decoding your DNA can now begin.

At current order levels, we estimate you should receive your gene results and personalised recommendations by Friday 10 February.

Thank you for your order and I hope you are looking forward to discovering more about your fitness DNA!

Only took until February 1st, when I received the next email…

We’ve completed our analysis of your DNA, and you can now view your results online.

We have personalised sections that give you specific recommendations based on your gene results. Each recommendation cuts through the complexity of fitness genetics and gives you focussed advice on one aspect of exercise, diet or supplementation.

Please take your time to read through your recommendations, and remember that you have full ongoing email support from us for all fitness, nutrition, genetic and supplement related questions via

You have been Genetically Upgraded by FitnessGenes!

When you log into your account to see the results, a little intro says…

At present we use 41 different genetic variations in our data modelling. Some of these genes impact on your training blueprint, some impact on your nutrition blueprint, and some impact on both. You will find further information on a number of these genes listed in Your Genetic Results. As our research advances, you will receive updates on new gene releases and can read more about what each individual gene contributes to your profile.

Reading about all of the individual genes is a little overwhelming to be honest. I picked out a few highlights to share.


You have two copies of the ‘endurance’ I allele.

Most studies suggest that the I allele is associated with better endurance performance in response to aerobic training. It appears to be linked to more slow-twitch muscle fibres and improved muscular efficiency. The I allele is found more in elite endurance athletes than power/strength athletes. This could be the optimal genotype for elite long-distance runners and swimmers, rowers, and cyclists.


You have two copies of the ‘sprinter’ R allele.

Carriers of the R allele produce plenty of alpha-actinin-3, a protein which is associated with a ‘boost’ in muscle strength and performance. This boost is possibly due to an increase in the overall size and number of fast-twitch muscle fibres. As a result, RR is a genotype commonly found in elite speed/power athletes.

Seems like this combination of ACE and ACTN3 should be decent for CrossFit.


You have two copies of the ‘higher fat breakdown’ allele.

Your genotype is associated with losing fat more easily.


You have one copy of the C allele and one copy of the T allele and there is an increased likelihood you are a night owl.

Based on your genetic result, there is a moderate likelihood that you have or will develop a disturbed circadian rhythm. Therefore, there is an intermediate chance – compared to those with other genotypes – that your sleep pattern interferes with muscle recovery or weight loss goals.

I have had troubles sleeping at times in my life, even going so far as doing an overnight sleep test and taking medication. Most of that went away when I left my job at Saginaw Valley State University though, so it seemed most of my issue was stress related and not enjoying my work.


You have two copies of the ‘typical obesity risk’ T allele.

Those with two copies of the T allele weigh about 3kg (6.6 lb) less, on average, than those who carry two copies of the ‘increased-obesity-risk’ A allele! Research has shown that those with the TT allele.


You have two copies of the ‘lactose tolerant’ T allele, and are likely genetically lactose tolerant.

You carry two copies of the genetic variation associated with the ability to digest lactose into adulthood and your genetic lactase switch is most likely set to “on”. This means that you should be able to digest milk and other dairy products with ease unlike those who are lactose intolerant.

Not a big surprise. I drank a lot of milk growing up and still love a tall glass with home meals.


You have one copy of the ‘fast metabolism’ A allele and one copy of the ‘slow metabolism’ V allele.

The V allele is linked to a more efficient metabolism and is found at higher frequencies in elite endurance athletes, while the A allele is linked to a faster metabolism and a lower risk of weight gain, particularly if combined with exercise. As you carry a copy of each, you are likely to have a metabolic rate intermediate between AA and VV genotypes.

There is so much info provided, but those are just 7 of the 41 results. I don’t know that I’ve gained any knowledge that’ll change my life, but it’s still cool to have and be able to reference. Based on your gene results, they also give you a general workout volume recommendation. Mine said…

Your gene variants indicate that, to build strength and increase lean muscle mass, you should respond well to a high-volume form of resistance/strength training.

The recommendations they give are kind of interesting to think about and maybe experiment with at some point:

  • Sets: 16-32 per workout
  • Reps: 12-15 per set
  • Tempo: 2020 – 4020 per rep
  • Rest: 45-60 seconds between sets

Another big part of their service is getting you to sign up for training based off of your results. I had no intentions of doing that.

Rep Max Calculator

I use estimated rep and weight calculations multiple times a week in the gym and when planning out my training for the week. Some of the calculators out there are better than others. I’ve been using the one from All Things Gym for about a year, but I knew I could improve it. Since the author released all of the code on CodePen, I did just that.

I’ve improved the code to create my version of a rep max calculator and bought an obvious domain name – Most of the time when I need an estimate I’m on my phone, so it was important for this to have a good mobile experience, which I think I’ve accomplished. If you’re using an iPhone, save it to your home screen so it launches just like an app, not in another Safari tab.


Try it out and let me know what you think. I’ve love to hear suggestions on ways it could be better.