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3RM Thruster and 1-Mile Run Statistical Analysis

On July 13th and 16th we wrapped up our 6 week testing of 2 movements: The 3RM Thruster and the 1-Mile Run.

My congratulations to everyone that made the consistent effort to attend those classes and put out their best efforts. I thank you for your continued assiduous reporting of your results into Wodify. Because of that we can come up with some thorough statistical analysis to  determine if our programming is hitting the mark. You can also take the data below to see how your performance stacks up with the rest of the gym.

We’ve recently hired Jenika to be the Medical Office Assistant to Dr Shore. She’s also is well versed in statistics. She took your raw data from Wodify and compiled the following (Don’t worry. I had to look up “kurtosis” as well.)

3RM Thruster- We chose the Thruster to measure as it is a clear indicator of complete body strength, namely the core. The trunk generates the most power during this 10 second movement, but as the 3rd rep comes about, more reliance on the shoulders is necessary to follow through on the press out. There’s no where to coast on this one. An improvement on your thruster means you are on your way to improving every aspect of your strength inside and outside of the gym. Males saw an average improvement of 19.857 pounds, and women saw an average improvement of 10.5 pounds.

Weight Improvement – Female Weight Improvement – Male
Mean 10.5 Mean 19.857
Standard Error 1.810 Standard Error 2.115
Median 10 Median 20
Mode 10 Mode 20
Standard Deviation 8.095 Standard Deviation 12.514
Sample Variance 65.526 Sample Variance 156.597
Kurtosis 0.644 Kurtosis -0.756
Skewness 0.731 Skewness 0.190
Range 30 Range 40
Minimum 0 Minimum 0
Maximum 30 Maximum 40
Sum 210 Sum 695
Count 20 Count 35
Largest(1) 30 Largest(1) 40
Smallest(1) 0 Smallest(1) 0
Confidence Level(95%) 3.788 Confidence Level(95%) 4.299

Improvements for Females

Total 3RM Weights for Females

Improvements for Males

Total 3RM Weights for Males

1 – Mile Run – Nobody wants to run a mile as quickly as they can. Especially not 6 weeks in a row. Especially during 30+ degree weather in the wilting sun. But a lot of you did anyway! *High 5s* The mile run is a unique energy pathway to work on. The Glycolytic energy pathway is the dominate system being used to carry your bodyweight anywhere from 5 1/2 minutes to 10 minutes. After 6 minutes, the body has difficulty maintaining the above average pace and will shift into the Oxidative energy system. Improvements in your 1-mile run inevitably result in improved anaerobic and aerobic capacity. That ability to move quickly and for longer periods of time. Handy for sprinting to your gate after a delay in airport security, but also nice for when you go hiking with your non-CrossFit friends and you get to enjoy the view waiting for them to catch up.

I was curious to see if Time of Day had any bearing on how well the average mile run was completed. We simply don’t have enough conclusive, substantive evidence to back this up as people went to different classes, and some classes had some exceptional runners that skewed the data. Just for fun, here’s the average 1-mile broken down by class:

6AM – 7:56
9:30AM – 8:01
4:30PM – 7:44
5:30PM – 8:03
6:30PM – 7:33
7:30PM – 7:12
Once again, we saw fantastic improvements in everyone’s 1-mile run effort. The average improvement was 22 seconds. And hats off to Brian Tuccori who took nearly 2 minutes off his time (a person can make a sandwich and eat part of it in 2 minutes)!

Total Gym Progression
Mean 22.691
Standard Error 3.0312
Median 18
Mode 13
Standard Deviation 22.480
Sample Variance 505.366
Kurtosis 6.463
Skewness 2.265
Range 115
Minimum 1
Maximum 116
Sum 1248
Count 55
Largest(1) 116
Smallest(1) 1
Confidence Level(95%) 6.077
Average Time to do 1 Mile.. 7:55

We, the coaches, are real happy with the results. Our next 6 Week measurement is underway. The 5RM Overhead Squat and Pistols. The former is not necessarily going to be measured as our aim on this stretch is to enable as many in the gym to get their first alternating set of pistols.

Be Fit! love Life!

Redbull 400 – Whistler


Veterans of the Tough Mudder will remember this view. #redbull400

“You have to be fit to be this stupid!”

I knew exactly what we were signing up for. Of all the challenges that I had set myself up for this summer, I knew this one was going to be one of the toughest. As we stood in line to register, the hill in front of us, I commented aloud “Aren’t we a bunch of idiots?” The people around me laughed. They thought I was joking.

It actually turned out to be a lot of fun. (Recall, you don’t need to have fun to have fun.) The sun rose from the northeast and cast it’s unrelenting heat down upon the hill, further drying the grass and soil we would be running up. For a few minutes cloud cover formed a reprieve from the heat, but it was as short-lived as the sprinters who went balls-out in the first 100m of the race.

This was Red Bull’s very first running of the Red Bull 400 in North America. In 2011 a bunch of weirdos in Austria thought it would be a good idea to race up the ski hill rather than glide down it. Red Bull thought so too and got the ball rolling. The field was divided into 9 heats of 40 people. The top 40 male times and the top 20 female times would qualify to race again in the afternoon to determine a winner. The winners would then travel to a secret location in Europe (all expenses paid by Red Bull) to compete against the winners from the 6 other locations in the world that this event is taking place in. Your author had no worries about running the course 2 times. Once would be enough!


Gorilla, Coach Tom, Dakota, DJ. Nothing better to do on a beauty Sunday morning. #redbull400

With me, from Rocky Point Fitness, were Dakota, DJ, Gorilla and Doc Herberts. For a bunch of smart guys, Gorilla and myself excluded, you’d think that we could have found a better use of our Sunday morning. But here we were. The staff running the show were great. Registration was painless and quick, the Red Bull Wings were handing out Red Bulls (I had 2 more today than I did in the last 2 years), a DJ was spinning music on a sound system that could be heard 2 valleys over, the caterer was getting my pulled-pork sandwich ready for lunch. We spent some time walking up and down the practice course coming up with strategies. We all agreed that sprinting the first 100m would be as bright as pressing a ham against a pissed-off pitbull. A 400m Run pace to the base of the slope, then put it in 4-wheel low and try to maintain the pace. Sure, sounds easy.

Doc and DJ were the first to go in Heat #5. The ‘time of the day’ had been set in Heat #2 by a fellow who charged up the hill in 4:07. Is that a good time you wonder? Yeah, like really good. The course is simple, the first 100m is flat. You immediately start to climb a 37 degree pitch on slippery dry grass. At the 300m mark you clamber onto the ramp and start making your way to the very top. There are 2″ slats crossing the board every 24″. If you lose your grip on these you’re really going to annoy the people behind you as you tumble ass-over-teakettle to some point where you can arrest yourself.


DJ looking for a contact lens. #redbull400

I had DJ pegged as the one to lead the Rocky Point pack up the hill since he’s repeatedly run 5:35 miles at the gym. Of course, the pitch on this hill would make a mile run seem like pure luxury. I was perched at the 200m mark and watched, with some dismay, DJ picking his way up the hill mid-pack. Damn, if DJ is looking this taxed halfway I’m going to feel like a bag re-warmed shit when I go.


Doc at the halfway point. #redbull400

Hats off to Doc Herberts who, when he started at Rocky Point Fitness, fed the rats in the parking lot with his first 400m ballrun. There he was grinding up the hill! By the time I started in the 8th heat, he had ventured back down the hill to find me in the start gate and provide tips on footing and confirm that it was actually going to suck pretty bad for me.


Dakota in tractor-mode at the halfway point. #redbull400

Dakota came up on Heat #6, also in the middle of the pack. Here’s a guy who, last year at this time, was a skinny kid who could barely get through 75 wallballs without wanting to call his Mom to pick him up. Today he’s pounding up the hill with the kind of determination reserved for men on a mission from God.

I had to start getting warmed up for my Heat, so all I got to see of Gorilla was his first 100m run. Gorilla did great for a man of his advanced years. haahaha. Love ya Gorilla.

I marched up and down the practice hill a couple of times. My Achilles tendon feels like it’s going to burn through my sock when I extend it for long uphill jaunts. And I was just getting over a pulled hamstring from sprint practice earlier in the week. These were the excuses I was providing myself if I was just about to go off the rails. We loaded into the starting gate. My brain registered the situation before us and sent an order to the adrenal gland to dump everything it had into the bloodstream. I closed my eyes and took several deep breaths to get my heart rate down to that of a resting hummingbird. Ready…Set….kablam.

I loped out, stretching out my heron-like legs the way I like to for a 400m run. Immediately my injured hamstring registered mild-to-serious pain. Lucky for me the hamstrings aren’t a major factor  in climbing hills that require you to crawl at times.


Just past the halfway point. Slippery grass and 37 degree slopes. #redbull400

Using the Doc’s advice I sought the footholds scraped into the dirt by the 7 heats before me. It was going well. I hit the 200m mark much sooner than expected. So far I could do nothing but look at the ground as I climbed, I paused for a moment, stood up and noted I was mid-pack. Alright. At the 300m mark the ground levels very briefly before getting onto the ski-jump proper. Any options for running this section were not available. I ambled up the ramp and began to crawl in earnest. I discovered a pace and technique that resembled mountain climbers (ahha! Now i know why they are called that!) and labored up the ramp. About 20M from the finish Gorilla, Dakota and DJ sat comfortably sipping water and eating bananas. Between bites they informed me I was almost there and to quit feeling sorry for myself.

Red Bull 400. The finish line.

Looking back the way we came. Ski Jumpers are cray cray! #redbull400

Then it was over. I peered back the way I came and realized the only person crazier than I was to climb it, would be the person that strapped skiis to their feet and went down it. After a brief pause I found limited use of my legs and puttered up a small flight of steps to a room home to water, power bars, oranges and bananas. Gorilla joined me and loudly discovered a pile of barf on the floor. There was more than one.

This race was no joke. I was drawn to it because of it’s uniqueness. One of the mandates of our training is to get out there and try new sports. Challenge what we have learned and gained in the gym and apply it scenarios outside the gym. How would we fare with our regular Group Class training? Pretty good it turns out. DJ and I finished with times of 6:45 and 6:56 respectively. This put us in the top half of the field. Gorilla, Dakota and Doc were not far behind. I think that our training did what it was supposed to, provide a solid core of skills. With a little “specialist training”, such as hitting Dawes Hill 3 times a week in the month leading up to the event, we would have done very well. I’m pretty certain there will be a “next year”.


The Origin of Kettlebells

Disclaimer: The following is purely for fun fun and has no facts behind it whatsoever. The Coach who wrote the article enjoys telling this story as convincingly as possible to new members getting their hands on a kettlebell for the first time. He’s often believed.


The kettlebell is a simple device, yet a very effective one when employed correctly.  Just about everything we can do with a barbell, we can duplicate with one or two kettlebells.

We can:

  • Deadlift them
  • Clean them
  • Snatch them
  • Squat with them
  • Pick them up and go for a walk (Farmer’s Carry)

But 9 times out of ten we swing them.

They look just like a cannonball with a handle on them, and that is exactly how the kettlebell got its start.   We go back to the Napoleonic Wars.  Napoleon had set his eyes on Russia, and marched towards the Great Bear.

Rather than wait for Napoleon, the Russians marched to meet him in the field. Of course the field was hundreds of CannonballKBkilometers away from the armory and the munitions bases, and rail logistics were not in place yet.  But the Russians had plenty of infantry.  So how do you move thousands of cannonballs hundreds of kilometers? Get each man to carry one.

As you can imagine, carrying a cannonball as it is would be as awkward as moving a couch up a flight of stairs that turns 90 degrees.  It stands to reason that the Russian Infantry quickly devised makeshift handles to carry their cannonballs. Intuition spreads quickly when discomfort is involved so it wasn’t long before the westward Russian march resembled a massive Farmer’s Carry exercise.

They say that war is 99% boredom and 1% terror.  In the downtime, the Infantry experimented with their kettlebells and discovered they were a splendid way to perform feats of strength and keep up their fitness.
The history books tell us that Napoleon was defeated not so much by the Russians but by the Russian winter.  This isn’t true.  Napoleon was defeated by superior Russian fitness.

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