Archive by Author

Book Review: Bigger Leaner Strong, by Michael Matthews

March 3, 2016 by , under Build Muscle, Get Strong, Nutrition.

book review of Bigger Leaner Stronger by author Michael MatthewsIn a world of far too much information, it’s easy to not just be overwhelmed but also dangerously misinformed.

Bigger Leaner Stronger, by Michael Matthews, boils it down to what works in terms of nutrition, workout theory and actual workouts. The volume of references is admirable and lends credence to his advice, which dispels such popular concepts as muscle confusion, avoiding carbs like the plague and doing tons of reps to get shredded.

Beyond all that, it’s easy to read and well written, something that can’t be said for many, many books on this topic. And, much to my delight, the repetition of ideas (generally used to reinforce a concept) is kept to a tolerable level.

So, what’s it really about? Read on for a quick recap and recommendation…

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Review: Reebok All Terrain Super 2.0 obstacle course racing shoes

February 17, 2016 by , under Gear, OCR / Mud Runs.

Reebok All Terrain Super 2 spartan obstacle course racing shoe review and actual weights

With the explosive growth of obstacle course racing, it’s a wonder there haven’t been more shoes made specifically for the events. The first (and, as of this post going live, only) shoe that is is the Reebok All Terrain Super, now in version 2.0 with a couple of special editions having been offered.

I’ve been training and racing in the All Terrain Super 2 for the past few months, wrapping up my 2015 season with the Spartan Beast Carolinas. Despite minimal padding and a narrow last, it’s comfortable enough for even the longest single-day events. And that’s coming from someone whose average running mileage is under six per week (cycling and weights fill the rest of my days). But, these are definitely a race day shoe that’s purpose built and delivers on its mission…

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Found: Morph’s full size collapsible foam roller for travel

February 13, 2016 by , under Gear.

Brazen Morph collapsible foam roller for travel

We missed their Kickstarter campaign, but the Morph folding, collapsible foam roller is worth a look. It was successfully funded and is available for pre-order, delivery expected in May 2016.

Developed by former pro football player Nate Lawrie (Bucs, Saints, Bengals) after becoming a fan of foam rollers to deal with abuse of the game, the Morph made it easier for him to travel with it. Sure, you can stuff clothes into some of the hollow ones, but for shorter trips where only a backpack or messenger bag is used, the Morph folds flat to fit.

Roll on down to check out the design and materials…

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Tough Mudder unveils 2016 obstacles

January 14, 2016 by , under OCR / Mud Runs.

Tough Mudder’s take on obstacle course racing is that the experience isn’t just about you, it’s the team. In that vein, their obstacles require assistance, whether that’s from your own friends or your fellow racers. For 2016, the Blockness Monster makes that all too clear, and it makes its way to every event on their tour. They say it was their most popular challenge at the Vegas event last year, where it was called “Roll the Dice”.

The video above gives a quick run down of the scene for 2016, and click here for a playlist of 0:16 vids on each individual obstacle. If that’s not inspiration enough, click through for their new commercial…

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Review: Surge – a water filled “log bar” slosh pipe with unstable dynamic resistance

November 3, 2015 by , under Be Awesome, Build Muscle.

The-Surge-water-filled-workout-tube-press

The Surge is a made-in-the-USA plastic “log bar” that you fill with varying amounts of water to change the weight and create dynamic resistance.

Its point is to offer a workout with a constantly changing center of mass, which throws your body into a reactive mode and forces it to continually adjust its balance while also moving the weight. The result is a workout with an added challenge, perfect for preparing the body for movement through the real world while carrying loads, running an obstacle course, or improving overall balance…

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Interview: Ninja Nate explains how to get on American Ninja Warrior

October 16, 2015 by , under Be Awesome, Ideas.

Ninja-Nate-Burkhalter-Thor-Fall

Scheduled to compete in Season 7 with his brother in Venice, two-time American Ninja Warrior competitor Nathan Burkhalter (aka #NinjaNate) shows there are no guarantees, even for past competitors, on the path to Mt. Midoriyama.

After Venice filled up, ANW’s producers moved his brother to the military competition near Los Angeles, CA, and put Nate on standby for Houston. When that booked full, he ended up in Orlando as a walk on for this year’s competition. And if you’ve seen the masses waiting for days or weeks in the walk-on lines, you know how crazy that appears.

Here’s his tips getting on the show, preparing for the obstacles, and becoming an American Ninja Warrior…

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Awesome Stuff: Free entry to all U.S. National Parks this Saturday, Sept. 26

September 24, 2015 by , under Be Awesome.

national-parks-day

Just one of the amazing views from up high in Denali National Park.

Of the 408 national parks in the United States, only 127 charge an entry fee. But on Saturday, September 26th, 2015, they’re all free to celebrate National Public Lands Day. It’s more than an opportunity to see your public lands at no charge, it’s also the largest national opportunity to volunteer alongside an estimated 175,000+ others to help maintain, repair and clean up a park near you. Sponsored sites are all over the U.S., and you can find one near you here. Bonus: all volunteers receive a free day pass to a national park to use in the future!

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Reebok gets tougher in the mud with new, Kevlar-enhanced All Terrain Extreme OCR shoe

September 22, 2015 by , under Gear, OCR / Mud Runs.

Reebok All Terrain Extreme Kevlar enhanced obstacle course racing shoe for Spartan Tough Mudder and more

So far, I haven’t found anything that rivals the Reebok All Terrain Super’s ability to drain water and remain lightweight through the constant mud baths obstacle course racing subjects them to, all while maintaining reasonably good grip in the slop. The knock against them we’ve heard (our own pair is still in long term testing) is durability, so the new Kevlar enhanced All Terrain Extreme edition should make heavy users happy.

Featuring a similar look, the same grippy tread pattern with toe spikes and rope grabbing instep, the Extreme model adds more than just Kevlar reinforcements. There’s also a whittled down lacing eyelet section and external heel cup band. The Kevlar is positioned solidly around the toes, then mottled across the rest of the upper in varying densities. That pattern allows the material to continue to breathe well and drain water, but likely hold up to additional scuffs and scrapes. Step through for more images and details…

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Review: Fuel for Fire Fruit+Protein recovery puree

August 2, 2015 by , under Nutrition.

Fuel for Fire fruit and protein puree recovery food review

A good, healthy recovery drink, gel or food product is hard to find. There are plenty of tasty items, but most are filled with chemicals, preservatives and other things not generally found in my kitchen. It’s the tradeoff for convenience. So when I found Fuel for Fire’s Fruit+Protein packs, it was like the clouds parted and a choir sang around the mini fridge.

What makes them special is the ultra clean ingredients list: Puréed fruit, water, whey protein isolate, natural flavors and ascorbic acid (vitamin C). The biggest ommission isn’t just that there’s a lack of preservatives, but a lack of phosphoric acid in particular. Phosphoric acid is what’s found in most colas to give them that refreshing “bite”, but it’s also found in many ready-to-drink (RTD) protein drinks as a preservative. Unfortunately, its consumption is also linked to lower bone density, and in most protein drinks and gels using it that I’ve tried, it tends to leave a bit of a harsh flavor finish.

Even without it, the vitamin C likely helps keep it fresh, and the product has a 12-month shelf life without refrigeration. With a street price between $3 and $4, they’re inline with most grab ‘n’ go recovery products. Check out the label and other flavors below…

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Think Jerky contemplates free range, grass fed gourmet beef, turkey jerkey

July 24, 2015 by , under Nutrition.

Think Jerky gourmet chef inspired free range and grassfed all natural beef jerky and turkey jerky

Jerky is one of the easiest (and tastiest) protein snacks around, but the options are generally rife with nitrates, nitrites, sodium and other chemicals. That, plus questionable meat sources, mean a seemingly healthy snack could simply be a delivery vehicle for potentially unhealthy additives.

Fortunately, there are all-natural options free of questionable preservatives. The latest is Think Jerky, a startup focused on using only real food ingredients blended with herbs and spices to flavor family-farmed grass fed beef and free range turkey. And those blends are developed by reknowned chefs Laurent Gras (Food & Wine best new chef), Matt Troost (Baconfest champion), and Gale Gand (2x James Beard Award winner).

Chomp down for video and ingredients lists…

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Spartan Race resurrects the ancient Agoge with 24, 48 and 60 hour challenges

July 18, 2015 by , under OCR / Mud Runs.

spartan-race-agoge-trifecta-logo-pic

Photo: Spartan Race Facebook page

Obstacle course racing is a fine challenge, but for the advanced athlete it’s more of a physical confirmation that their self-imposed and often self-created training plans worked. Or didn’t. But it’s often not the complete intellectual, emotional and mental challenge that we’re hoping for. And sometimes longing for in this day and age.

Enter the new Spartan Race Agoge, which picks up where their Death Race left off and in many ways improves upon it.

In ancient Greece, the Agoge was a requirement of being a male citizen of Sparta. It was a long process of training in fighting, military arts, physical toughness and intellectual prowess, all in order to create a strong, loyal army to protect Sparta. It became so prestigious that families from neighboring areas would send their sons to participate, too.

Rather than throwing participants into an uncertain path with no instruction, as the Death Race (and even the current Spartan and other OCR events do), the Agoge is structured as more of an intense, all-encompassing training course…

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Tough Mudder ups the ante with bigger, badder obstacles in 2015

May 21, 2015 by , under OCR / Mud Runs.

I’ve done Spartan and Warrior Dash Races, but the latest promo video from Tough Mudder has a few of us looking in their direction. Enjoy, then get ready as we ramp things back up here at Crashfit to help you get in shape for your first (or fiftieth) obstacle course race or mud run. Stay tuned…

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