The super secret method and how I lost 14% body fat in 8 weeks

A story is not a story at all with no back story. So lets get into the drama shall we? My Name is Tony, I own Paradigm Fitness and I was fat…. Likely if you’re reading this you probably already knew this, at least that I owned the gym. If you stumbled across this some other way, allow me to fill in the gaps some more. I weighed 214lbs and was 26% body fat, which for the record is almost 10% over the ideal male. As someone who helps navigate people toward their fitness goals, this has clear implications of error. So how did this come to be? On purpose mostly. Truth is this got way out of control, and honestly Im better for it. So while Im down 14%, I did so much harm this is gonna take a few more weeks to get to where I deserve to be.


“Approximately 2 years ago I was presented with a joking notion from a client that I should do that fit-fat-fit thing that was popular on tv. I scoffed at the notion. I for the record was once very large 240lbs in fact, and on my way to a host of health issues. This was before I found CrossFit..”

Approximately 2 years ago I was presented with a joking notion from a client that I should do that fit-fat-fit thing that was popular on tv. I scoffed at the notion. I for the record was once very large 240lbs in fact, and on my way to a host of health issues. This was before I found CrossFit, and the subsequent tools that would help me affect change on my life that I once thought was “genetic” or matter of fact. A state I was in no hurry to ever return too, I assure you.

6 months later, the once terrible idea seemed logical. Paradigm prides itself on our ability to meet our clients where they are, and travel with them to where they need to be. Meaning we identify with them, and guide them to their goals. This is where this bright idea started to make more sense. For a few reasons. The first of which is that it would help remind me of that helpless feeling at one time in my life, and as such make me more empathetic to current situations. Two; it would serve as a reminder to a growing number of my current clients who have adopted the “i can out-work my bad diet” lifestyle. Three; it would be a powerful display of potential for new clients, as well as old clients. Most never knew fat-Tony as he existed before Paradigm.

Paradigm in fact was built on Fat-Tony’s entire life experience, and the mission to alleviate as much confusion and mis-information as possible. That and I never had any before and after photos on the journey.


“If you’ve made it this far you’re likely just reading because you want to know how I did it, the secret that is. Well its simple really. I utilized a paleo-pescatarian model of nutrition, while implementing a state of ketosis during intermittent fasting, while adhering to macros. There ya have it!..”

If you’ve made it this far you’re likely just reading because you want to know how I did it, the secret that is. Well its simple really. I utilized a paleo-pescatarian model of nutrition, while implementing a state of ketosis during intermittent fasting, while adhering to macros. There ya have it! All there is to it, and all there is to the real problem out there. Nutrition isn’t hard, marketing, and gimmicks are hard, and we all by nature are suckers. Why? Human nature has us hyper critical of our own skin our own nakedness is taboo and uncomfortable. Someone peddling a quick solution regardless of the idea always seems like a saint or prophet.

However, there is of course a little bit more to how It happened than the catchy line I just told you, although it was all true. This story is more about the weight gain though than the weight loss. Theres always far more to the story of recovery than just a prescription. Losing weight, reclaiming health, and repairing your relationship with food is 100% recovery. In fact it mirrors in a lot of ways the path to recovery from substance abuse. I am not downplaying the severity of drug addiction in any way either. It is a problem and we need to address it. However so is obesity, and just the same as drugs aren’t always the issue, food isn’t either. Its the psychological mechanisms attached to the reward system of treat-foods and drugs we need to be talking about.

So more about me! The goal was simple, I would gain 15-20lbs over the course of 6 months, and lose it all in a month proving that weight loss is simple. “Just follow these steps..” What I wasn’t prepared for was my demons. See, as I mentioned above I was big once. A lot of which perpetuated by my Doctor who put me on a heart healthy diet of whole grains all damn day. The other reason was I grew up poor, yet wealthy. We didn’t have money, but we always had food, and we always had love. A lesson later in life I attribute more to wealth than the dollar. Anyway. Reward foods started early on for me. In fact I can actually remember bacon double cheeseburgers from the burger king next door to my mothers business being my reward for coming to work and behaving all day. This emotional attachment to food would play havoc on my whole life. Who woulda known? Had your mom gave you cocaine as a reward you’d have likely had some alarm bells, but food doesn’t come with that same warning label.

Now my intent here isn’t to degrade addiction to a little body fat, it is however to highlight the most often overlooked problem as it applies to health, and that is the behavior mechanisms associated. Which always have implications on what I consider the first most important variable in long term change; Belief. In order to achieve results we must first believe them capable, then we see the potential within, we take action, results ensue, the cycle repeats, as Tony Robbins professes. Belief however can go the other way just as easy, because belief is often tied to experience. Ye be those of little faith, because you have had little success, which is ironically attributed to your belief in yourself. Rest easy though, its not entirely your fault. In order to break this cycle of self limiting thought you must identify its roots, and see why we choose to act the way we do. This is where the addiction cycle haunts us most.

Somewhere in my return to fat hood, I believe around the 205 mark, I too lost faith. The man who is supposed to have the answers and guides so many somehow settled into the potential idea that I am old now, and perhaps this belly is my new shoes. Right, because old people get bellies, right? Wrong. I mean they do have them, so not entirely wrong, but they aren’t matter of fact as some would have you believe. In fact as long as you’re still alive you’re still human and that means you have a profound ability to affect change on any circumstance. Including your bodyweight. It is not your genetics, your not big-boned, fat runs in your family, the list goes on. You’re just pre-disposed to settling for the status quo is all. I settled too. In fact I lost hope in that Id ever be lean again. I actually slipped into depression. Fun fact, it wasn’t till my belly jiggled on a flight, that I was like oh hell no, this is over!

So it began, 10lbs over the intended goal, I would be lean again by my 38th birthday. The reason I tell you all this backstory is this story is mirrored in so many of you. The cast and characters change, but the narrative the same. We lose faith, lose belief, settle for good enough, and slowly but surely we slip further and further down. But hey, the food tastes good right? Sure, but death and medication does not.

To break the belief cycle I had to do something extreme, find a way to displace my lack of faith in myself, and place it in the hands of someone else. This was harder than you’d imagine as a gym owner, all my great coaches were not going to sign up to keep me accountable, and prohibit me from indulging. They would lose their heads! (Except Chris Ryan, he served as my rock in this) So I went to the smartest guy I know (literally, phd at 21 smart) Dr. Trevor Kashey (Click the link to learn more of the good DR.) and paid him a large amount of money to hold me accountable. I knew that his brain, andmy money were the only two things that would keep me on the straight and narrow. So together we started out with the combined goal of fix my shit. (perhaps pun intended) Trevor would help break my self limiting belief because I didn’t need to believe in myself anymore, I had to believe in him. This is the power of Paradigm for all of you. You can rest easy on the hundreds of success stories we have, all of which mirror you. This is why groups always exceed the individual going it alone. With Trevor in place, I began.

The first thing I knew needed to go was garbage. This meant any food that had any relatively well documented negative affects. This left me with no grains, dairy, or sugars. Being a glutton for punishment, I knew red meat was a staple for me, so I went extreme and settled on only fish for protein for 30 days. That meant no whey, eggs, chicken etc. To be fair I cant comment if this was favorable or not. The exclusion of all garbage usurps the value of only consuming fish. I can say once I reintroduced red meat there was no change to blood work, or body mass. So I just ate a lot of Nemo for 30 days perhaps.

This led me to realization number two as it applies to overlooked problems in recovery and transformations. Were looking for immediate gratification, for a long term problem. Everyone wants to try everything in their power to overlook the truth of caloric load, and circumnavigate it with a fad. [Read:Keto] Fads can have a favorable and quick impact on your transformation, they however do not set you up for success to unlearn 30+ years of eating like an asshole. Meaning: replacing one asshole behavior with another does not make you less an asshole. Perhaps even more an asshole. Now before anyone attacks me with their cousins case of how Keto saved their life. I am team Keto, I believe as fats and carbs go, fats are the lesser of two evils for the mass majority of us, and our activity levels. The ketogenic state is incredible, it is however more likely to see a a unicorn than it is to see these people in a state of ketosis. Sadly If I grab 10 people on Keto, 8 of them do not test. This is a problem in that it an infinitely fluctuating state and has to be accommodated. I digress. Keto, is fine, carbs are fine, maybe even dairy.

Problem three touches on both problem one and two. This is the reward state, immediate gratification, and the equation of struggle vs reward. Specifically the notion we can outwork a bad diet. What was cool or terrifying in my case was how “fit” I was able to stay while being “fat”. Meaning few of my benchmarks fell off, at least not far enough to cause concern. This is a truly remarkable capacity of the human body to adapt. The truth is Exercise is hard, CrossFit especially, and that is a quick cost benefit calculation away from a pizza afforded cheat meal. Assuredly a near death level of workout intensity awards you a donut? After all your favorite athlete you follow donuts and deadlifts, you did the same workout, you get the same food. Fun fact during my 8 weeks my Calories were an average of 1500 a day… WHAT?!?! Ya, because my daily expenditure: aka one hour of CrossFit class 5x a week doesn’t afford me more than that. Losing weight is really simple, consume less calories than you burn, you lose weight. I.e: a deficit. Eat more calories than you burn, surplus. Gain weight.. This becomes more fascinating when you look at a week. Eat well Monday thru thursday, half of friday, go to happy hour, then dinner, saturday is international cheat day right, Sunday football and wings. Congratulations you’re on a 60/40 split of being a responsible adult working toward a goal vsself destructing.

This honestly was my most metered change. I travel a lot. 30 weekends a year. All of which come with a vacation mindset of course because rewards and experiences duh. So each weekend Id eat what the city afforded me. Burgers, pizzas, deserts, the list goes on for whatever regional cuisine they were known for. I earned it! The workouts I did on monday and tuesday were super hard.. No, I didn’t earn it. So I cleaned up my weekends. Why? Because the pain of staying the same, outweighed the pain of change or sacrifice. This realization is where I think a lot of us run astray. One, were not in enough physical, mental or emotional pain with ourselves to delay gratification. The larger issue is we attribute way too much value for what little bit of strenuous activity we do. Your total daily expenditure, against your intake is a startling reality check. I often tell people there are only two people who cant lose weight or gain mass: liars, or people who are bad at math.

The last realization for me, or what we will call number four. Was a goal. This ties together one, two and three, and gives them gravitas. I gave up goals when I gave up competing, so it was no surprise I could fall from grace so hard. Setting a simple goal of lean by my 38th birthday, coupled with being held accountable, coupled with not being an asshole, and respecting caloric expenditure, lead me to success. However you cant just set number 4 and win. I needed to put 1-3 in place just as much as I needed number 4.

So I learned a lot, I was embarrassed and also victorious. I went into 38 in the best shape of my life with a renewed relationship with food. I reclaimed a powerful position in my ability to help others reach their goals by being reminded what it was like to be in their shoes. I also empathized with my current clients and respect how they have gone astray. Most importantly was reminded that as the leader it is my job to lead you all, and this whole exercise was an attempt to better lead from the front. All of the resources and lessons listed here are pillars of the Paradigm Nutrition model, and from working with super minds like Trevor Kashey. All things that are available to each of you in a capacity to simply do and not even have to think. I destroyed myself to relearn each of you, to relearn myself, to restore my faith and belief in not only myself but Paradigms ability to change how you view your health. Learn and laugh at my lesson, but please by all means be your own success story! The moral of the story is this; you’re an adult every decision you make is moving your toward or away from your goals. As that applies to nutrition that is simpler still in saying every calorie is potentially helping you or hurting you. Despite any fad you’re consumed with, they all are grounded in one truth, calories.

Start: 214# and 25.6% B.F . Result: 186# and 12% B.F

Start: 214# and 25.6% B.F . Result: 186# and 12% B.F


Tony Ronchi

Pain and Action

Its been 9 years. 9 years!! That Paradigm has been a "thing". I have to call it a thing, because I don't think calling it a business in all those 9 years would be telling the truth. In many ways its still growing into its pants, and Im ok with that. In this almost decade we've not only learned valuable business lessons (usually too late) we've also noticed some trends. More specifically patterns of human behavior. 

In most cases I think we as humans believe that positivity or optimism causes us to act, or take action. Like, I want to be in shape, or He's in shape so he likes to workout, or even "he has money, he doesn't know what its like to be me". Or multiple variations of similar dialogue. They all suggest one thing, and that is that we are driven by action, or success. Its just that I/we have started to notice something. Its pain that springs us into action. Specifically when the pain of the situation outweighs the ease of complacency we act. Its the action we take that changes wildly person to person, but act just the same. 

This is where Fitness also becomes complicated, and the law of diminishing returns becomes perilous. Lets take a trip back in time to your day one, or for some of you thats like last week. Something drove you off the couch, through the door, and laid down your CC. You took a stand for yourself because the pain of something made you take a stand for yourself. In those days the PR's came rolling in. Pounds falling off, and new skills came aplenty. Fast forward a few years, and that Success train, hasn't stopped at your station in quite some time. Alas you keep showing up. Progress continues, just albeit slower. 

Fitness has now based on emotional triggers become a habit, and you are here to stay. This despite its promise isn't always a good thing, because fitness in itself suggests the absence of pain and the existence of health. Understand I don't simply mean physical pain because soreness is a bitch. I mean, when you look good, you feel good. This absence of pain is also perilous because this is when you slip. "Nailed it" "earned myself this cheat meal" two weeks later you're mouth breathing on your couch because you've been on a grub hub bender. Ive been there too man! Finally one day, if you're lucky you stand up, realize you cant see your baby maker again, and take a stand. Again. 

This cycle repeats itself, not because of intent. Its because we don't identify with pain, we identify with success. The problem with success is it suggests oblivion to pain. Like any addict trying to curb their demon, they most own the pain. We must too. We must know what causes us to act, to prevent us from slipping. 

Im not suggesting you do not worship your success. Absolutely you should. Hang that on the fridge next to your sons report card you big kid! What Im saying is never lose sight of the pain. It does not define you, it merely provoked you. However its existence in your story is powerful, and its omission is callous, careless, and a disservice to your story. 

The beauty of understanding pain as action, is that this is how you learn to have control over the chaos. Avoiding pain is futile, using its ubiquitous and ominous presence in the world around you to your advantage is the key to your long term success. Not just a repetitive short term goal, like 6 weeks. I assure you, you will relapse. Unless you own the pain that caused you to take that first step and never lose sight of it. 

The Curious Case of CrossFit

Lets start with a two part explanation or reasoning behind this post. What is the Definition of CrossFit, and a tale of Value to all of our new friends and a subtle reminder to the old. With the meteoric growth of Paradigm, its probably important to revisit some of the old mantras and manifestos of Paradigm and CrossFit. 

What is CrossFit? Succinctly put; constantly varied, functional movements performed at high intensity. Its that last part, high intensity that is bar none the most important variable in the pursuit of fitness, and why we have so much more success here, than the millions in Globo-Gyms checking their phones between sets in the expanse of mirrors as wide as the ocean. 

What is Intensity? Oooh this is a complex one; because what intensity isn't is just laying on the floor writhing in pain post workout. Although that is certainly one part of it, but not the most necessary all the time. Other times it can be just near maximal lifts, and only lifts. Other times it can be max effort sprints that blister your soul, or longer than life distances. Its basically anything that challenges your existence. That seemingly simple summation is ever complex in practice though. It appears despite its elegance and necessity, the human mind offers the most resistance to this notion. First and foremost we are efficiency systems, so energy preservation is part of our DNA, second were natural cynics. Something that likely kept us alive in the presence of things like sabertooth tigers and innocent looking fruits. 

Why are we talking about this? Simply put a reminder. We need to make sure we have the capacity to apply maximum intensity or potential to the task asked of us. In this instance we are talking about the workout of the day, or more complex the intended stimulus of the day. Were naturally inclined to assume that if a+b=c, the d+e+f surely means more. This is the curious case of CrossFit, and how less is in every aspect more. 

To dive a bit deeper the human body, or metabolic energy systems largely only have 3 phases directly responsible for genetic and athletic adaptation. ATP, Glycolitic, Oxidative or also called phosphagenic, anaerobic, and aerobic. Regardless the nomenclature they are better defined as Power, Speed, Duration. ATP will get you anything under :10 give or take, and is largely linked to heavy days and lifts. Anaerobic are those gnarly couplets, triplets, or sprints that are under 10:00 give or take and the misery systems assigned matter very little compared to the effort. The last is the grinders around 20:00+ long runs, long workouts, etc. The balance of these three is monumental in the development of fitness, and when targeting these in a day, this stimulus must be maintained. Or else you basically dilute the whole thing. For example 10x200m sprints is terrible, but seemingly quite basic. Perhaps you're inclined to think, "but bro, I need to lift its boat season". Thats not how any of this works. 

For you to achieve the adaptation to the sprints and the anaerobic suck fest that they are, max intensity must be applied. Meaning an expenditure pre intensity will limit that capacity. Like for example you chose to bench or lift. You would drain yourself of valuable gycolitic stores that would be called on to achieve the misery of 10x200m. So now you're thinking, cool. Gonna just hit the bench after the sprints? Nope. Because you probably guessed it. The sprints sapped your glycogen as well. Now you're on the bench working with 6th grade levels of potential. Not a good look. This is why there is a very delicate balance of all that we do here. From the workouts designed, to the class plans and warmups, and the skill work. Also the frequency in which you train (3on 1off) and how you eat (Meats, veg, nuts seed, some fruit, little starch, no sugar etc). That list goes on. The hard part here is the space between your ears, and your trust issues. 

This could or should go a bit further to explain that until you have maximized each of these independent energy systems, you cannot maximize one of them. Slightly confusing for sure. It really just means that every day, week, month and year we must maintain a balance of these three to truly maximize genetic potential. Its why people who only love to lift heavy never look lean, those who log marathon distances never look strong. The people who only do HIIT always look like a semi strong non lean confused human. Balance is key. Lift heavy, sprint, train gymnastics and do so in an ever changing arrangement of time, reps, and sets. You will live longer, guaranteed.

Now there is a case to account or allow for added work, like bench, squat, working your weakness, extra workouts blah blah. Maybe your goals are the games, or maybe you're confused how games athletes look like X, and how they do so much more than you think you do? The answer is they don't. Not in a single session at least. A games athlete is nothing more than a recovery athlete. Their ability to recover is what dictates their success. What takes you several days to recover from takes them hours, some times minutes. Defeating I know. How you're likely asking did they get there then, because it sure must mean doing more. Short answer they got their by prioritizing recovery, not volume. They put nutrition first, rest second, training third. Training for them is defined as intensity at all costs. 

Theoretical Hierarchy of Development

Theoretical Hierarchy of Development

You must address nutrition first. Once you have that dialed in (which we can help, we even color code it..) Then we can worry about Metcons aka busting your ass in the WOD. When you are good at that, address Gymnastics and I don't mean just muscle ups, Im talking improving human movement. After that learn to use that movement to apply force to an external object aka a barbell, or Ball. Then and only then apply this to the sport of your choice, perhaps even if this sport is going to be the sport of CrossFit. 

Many of you are on that path and thats awesome. So perhaps your goals are more, and thats cool too. Start with the workout of the day, whatever it is that day. The workout you don't want to do is the one you need to do most. Then recover! Want to lift or do more? Great go eat, rest and come back no earlier than 3-5hrs or you risk undoing the advantage of one or both training sessions. Once you get good at this, you can start decreasing that window of rest, or increasing the volume in the work window. However until you're RX'ing every workout, meaning the weights, the movement, and the intended time domain, anything else will limit your application of intensity. Once you're acing workouts, then we can discuss the professional training program, until then.... We got work to do, and its always going to be the workout you don't want to do. Own that first. 


To know what you don't know..

Change, a fickel beast.. No one likes you, everyone needs you, and somehow you always show up at what seems like the worst times. This week marks the fourth week of a specific change, and you likely already know this is going to be about the program. The program that if Im being direct, I have written for over 7 years directly now. Of those 7 years not only have you entrusted me with your progress, we have succeeded. We have hundreds of success stories, thousands of PR's, and an unaccountable amount of high-fives. Let me also be very honest, of all those 7 years I have been constantly learning, and if you were around from day 1, man did you take your lumps. To be clear, every single day of the last 7 years has led directly to the success and evolution that you guys experience today. I have been obsessed with constant improvement, not just of you, but of the program, the delivery, and the maintenance of. 

Ironically the best tool for administering these changes has been simply tricking you... Sorry? Not in like the dishonest variation though, more in the "give you what you need packaged in what you want" sort of trick. So here we are, and some of you have noticed the "lack of skill/strength" in the workout of the day. This has raised some eye brows, some emotions, and some disdain. Ironic in that I am responsible for your supposed value in such segment. In defense of its existence, I created the Skill/Strength segment to address individual weakness, and skill-sets that weren't always allowed for mid-workout. The main reason I wrote this segment though? So that the coaches knew what skill/strength segment to work on. It in essence was simply a lesson plan. This was also its biggest downfall. It required very little creativity, emotional interaction, or expression from your coaches, and in short made them basically robots. Thats never good, have you seen Terminator?? 

Then comes the part very few of you are going to want to admit, and what all of us need to understand. You're all sandbaggers... "Oh no he di-int" Chill.. Deep breaths! I don't mean it in a bad way. Its actually evolutionary, genetic, a survival mechanism. By giving you two seemingly difficult tasks, you will survive them both. Why is this bad? This means that now we do two things "ok" instead of one thing "great" or more-so we do each with 90% intensity, simply to conserve.

Except that wasn't really the request, or the intent. This meant a multitude of considerations for me as the programmer. The first of which was making sure that what was written, was written so to allow for you to allocate intensity where I needed you too. If you got that right all was well, except that was rarely happening. No matter how much I augmented or manipulated the program. We were focusing on the wrong things. Skill/Strength was never meant to be the program, the focus, or the intent of your days. It was meant to support and develop your ability to apply peak intensity to the WOD or Metcon. Except it wasn't happening. No surprise really, its easier to lift heavy, than to go hard. Adding two more pounds to a bar, feels better than the effort it takes to go :20 faster. Couple that with the whole constantly varied thing and having no comparative basis from workout to workout because they are so rarely repeated. You can see why you all loved skill/strength too much. I made you all addicts, but on like the wrong drug.. 

So here we are a month later of "Just WOD's" and while this month should have been a further exploration of human physiology, it has been a bigger exploration of human psychology or behavior. Fascinating really. You see, the skill/strength hasn't even left, its just not written. Meaning you cannot focus on it, or worse record it on the board. Its incredible how valuable that whiteboard is to your emotional, and physical development. We have still squatted, a lot in fact over 1200 reps in the last month alone. We have still developed Gymnastics, in fact we did Pull ups over 1030 reps actually. This doesn't even include the amount of auxiliary or accessory pulling. In comparison to October of last year we squatted approximately 1100 times, and Pulled 1050 reps average. Gasp... Can it be, he tracks these things? As best I can yes. There are a lot of factors of course amraps, load, distance moved etc that change the number a bit. However I know that in order to achieve mastery you guys need to load your hips through flexion and extension at least 10,000 times a year, this rings true for Pull ups as well. Therefore, I attempt to average you out to around 1000 reps of each a month. Squatting always over-achieving as theres just so many variations and you're just that much stronger. This accounts for warmups, skill/strength, and WOD's because Im going to tell you a secret. Your body only understands two things as it applies to adaptation (the thing you all want) stress, and time-under-tension.

"Damnit, that means warmups matter?" Uh-huh. It also means that everything you do goes into your "bank account". As in position matters, form matters, virtuosity matters. Scores come after that. This is the only problem with the whiteboard. Ego. If you know you're going to put your score up for the world to see, you're going to do whatever it takes. We have a greater fear of sporting failure than we do of death, we will die for points. This is awesome when eliciting intensity, not when it comes to improving skills, and movement patterns. This meant that the bulk of your skill/strength work was in a less than satisfactory-any-means-necessary fashion. Putting bad reps in the good rep account. I have an assumption of degradation that accounts for mid to late workout breakdown and fatigue, what I don't, and have never accounted for was pre-workout, or skill work positional breakdown. Aside from max effort days, I always assumed you were prioritizing position over repetition or volume. Except the numbers don't lie, you weren't.

Few gyms coach as much as we do yet we weren't getting much further with virtuosity. This is where the "tricks" come in. You have all squatted heavy, cleaned, and snatched heavy, and done heavy squatting workouts still, despite its absence from the board. What you likely haven't noticed as much as the missing section, is the increase in quality, and decrease in ego as it pertains to skill/strength work. Lets take last week for example where we had OHS, and Double unders in the Workout. You all had a heavy double leading up to that workout. Except a lot of you did something different. You shut it down when you started moving poorly, so you could save yourself for the scoreboard later. Had I asked you to record that, you all woulda went full mashed-potatoes in pursuit of that score. This means a couple things. First above all else, skill is the new priority as it was always meant to be, and were putting good reps in the bank. Second, you gotta be a bit more honest with yourself, intrinsic perhaps, because now the heavy lifts "don't matter" on the board so the only reason you're doing them is for you and your goals. As it should have been all along. Now you're more likely to shut it down when it feels off than to run head first into a wall. Perhaps more likely to listen to your coach.. 

Ahh Coaching, the forgotten art. As a coach theres pretty much only one place to deliver an effective change on you as an athlete, and thats in the warmup. Why is that? Theres no ego in the warmup is why, you're likely unaware its even happening because its "just a warmup" but it is. This also means that by removing the segment from the board, this leaves a lot more room for instruction, drilling, and progressions we never had before. If it was written on the board, I couldn't get two sentences out before half of you already had your squat rack set up looking at me like "ya-ya we know can we get this over with so I can rest before the WOD". Now you're stuck listening to your coaches because you don't know whats coming next. Maybe this is the part you all hate most. Listening to your coaches isn't fun, we point out what you do wrong. We know. We understand, but trust me, we want you to be better. Leaving you in your den of inequity to squat alone isn't helping anyone. Not even your coaches, who rely on your coaching opportunities to also improve.

In the past I could have "Coached" and entire class with a handful of words, more akin to a zombie than a passionate coach. Today, now your coaches all rotate writing your lesson plans. They get to express themselves as a coach, discover weakness's in their knowledge, invest themselves more in your pursuit, and learn from each other. You might think this is no big deal, but this is a massive step forward for you guys. If nothing else your coaches have a lot of knowledge they haven't ever been able to share, only my knowledge. (which they still share relax) This also means a lot more variety. Like variance, as in Constantly varied functional movement performed at high intensity. Which is the literal definition of CrossFit. 

Intensity is and will always be the most valuable aspect in the development of adaptation. Its avoidance or acquiescence is a direct limitation to your pursuit of health and wellness. Whether you choose to admit it or not, you've all gone harder the last 4 weeks, and you've likely felt the soreness to suggest it. Leaving yourself primed for the Metcon as was always the intention for the last 7 years, all while still getting the same skill/strength work youve always appreciated. For 7 years you have all trusted me with your physical development, a responsibility I have never taken lightly. Nor one I ever will. I have never stopped trying to advance you, myself, us, paradigm. This is still just as true today. If I can say one thing, just trust me, you're going to appreciate the result. I will always do whats best for you, even if that means dealing with some push back, confusion, even frustration. You trust me for a reason, and I hope thats because you know Ill always keep it real with you. I also guarantee your squat is still going to go up, guarantee it. 


Put Your Song on Repeat

As I type this I'm actually blown away that it has been 7 years. 7 years since Paradigm was founded, and 7 years since we have hit the ground running. Not literally guys, so you can relax.

Paradigm was founded on a belief, perhaps more so a notion, that we could make believers out of you. Yes we do fitness, yes we teach nutrition, yes we do several activity related things, but at the core of all that we do, what we are trying to do is make you believers. However we are not trying to make you believe in our model, as much as we are trying to make you believe in yourself. 

At the core of all action, there is one thing that creates action more than anything else. It's not skill, it's not knowledge, it is belief. Belief you can, belief you won't die, belief you won't look stupid etc. The problem with stumbling upon this reality, is the struggle that has been Paradigm for 7 years. This is a topic of much fascination for us. With knowledge and skill, those are neurological, or they-can be affected through practice and proficiency. I can teach you, I can show you, I can explain, but at the end of it all, I can't make you believe. Belief is more organic, it takes exposure, conditioning, development, conscious and unconscious thought, and confidence, but it also changes you. In essence, why the healthy get healthier, and the sick get sicker. Belief creates action, but belief requires action. 

While listening to a podcast this was eloquently summed up as the set-point theory. Meaning we all have set points. Much like your home's thermostat achieves homeostasis based on your set point. We too have set points. In the summer we turn down from 68, winter up. However 68 always stays the set point, dictating what we consider a cool or a warm home. This 68 number varies widely from home to home. Much the same as our other set points. We have fat-set-points, finance-set-points, relationship-set-points, and we base our capability, and potential for success on those set points. "What we think we deserve." This is largely why we think earning an extra 100 dollars is amazing, when to some, anything less than 100k doesn't move their needle. These set-points are built from belief. A belief based on conditioning, experience and exposure, but very much so also based on narrow field of view. 

What you believe you will achieve! Show of hands, who hates that stupid affirmation? Seriously, if I have to read it one more time from someone who truly doesn't understand it, I may scream too. However, it is true. I'm not saying you're going to believe yourself into winning the lottery, but we can start small for the sake of progress and argument. You can absolutely believe yourself into the body, and health you've always wanted. The career, finance, income as well. You can also build incredible relationships or tear them apart from within, simply by acting on what you feel you deserve. 

In simplicity, this would mean that positive affirmations are all that is necessary to achieve your wildest dreams. Easy enough right? Oh belief, you fickle, negative thing. Now we arrive at the hard part. Defense. We didn't make it thousands of years, evolving from prairie roaming, mastodon punching wild men without some deep seeded self preservation mechanisms. One of those, in all of its complexities, is the cognitive defense mechanism. We have several, and they also vary from person to person. Without getting into the DSM, we will look at reaction though.

The first line of defense for anyone as soon as they leave their comfort zone is negative self talk. Commonly referred to as pessimism, doubt, apathy, fear etc. It is nothing more than defense. If we didn't have this, we'd likely have chased food straight off cliffs. Genetically speaking however, this wasn't exactly meant to keep us from believing in our capability. We have unfortunately swapped survival considerations for social, and now we're all screwed up. Genetically speaking we aren't wired to earn money, acquire meaningless assets, or have big houses. We're wired to survive and pro-create. That used to mean the alpha got the ladies, and made the babies. Now, the way we define that alpha is a whole cavalcade of human psychological flaws, like money, and possessions. Can't fix that, but we can fix your belief in what you want.

There is hope! Much the same as fitness simply requires constant action, so does belief. This is where meditation becomes so important. Now if you think meditation is burning incense and humming deeply in your patchouli soaked zen-cave, well you're wrong. Meditation is a focused series of moments in an attempt to remove the mind of clutter and distraction and center around whats important. As you get better, the important part changes wildly, and it truly is quite incredible. The human mind and conscious are so unexplored still. So for today, we're talking about finding a way to play your favorite song over and over so that you don't need to think about the words anymore. They become subconscious till you are always three notes ahead in the melody, and ironically no longer even need to truly hear the song. This is what meditation does.

This is where you need to make a determination. What do you want? Not what you believe you deserve, or what you're capable of. What is it that you truly want? (No-not the lottery ticket either.) This is what you meditate on. This the song you put on repeat, till you believe, till you don't need to hear the words to feel the song. In many ways, this is what we've been doing to you all along at Paradigm. Playing the song on repeat till you stop thinking about exercise, and start believing in fitness, in yourself. By removing the think part of training that most encounter when they walk in the gym, your song is already playing. Unfortunately we only have this opportunity with your physical adaptation. It's going to be up to you to believe you are capable of the rest. 

Find your why, and you'll find your hows, and it will define your whats. Find your quiet time each day to quiet the noise and turn up your song. Surround yourself with people who are vibrating, or singing the same song as you. Then, do it everyday. There is incredible power in belief, unfortunately there is even more negative self talk. Quiet the defense, and you will contently surprise yourself with what you are capable of. 

We have always believed in you. That doesn't do anything to make you believe in yourself. Belief takes action, to create action. Put the song on repeat. 


Put down the forks and knives, and take a look inside..

Cant we all just get along? No I'm not talking about radical protest groups. Im actually talking religious zealots. Never in decade or so Ive been doing this have I ever seen so many people willfully expressing interest in Nutrition, and subsequently Ive also never (at least that I remember) seen such polarization and tension. 

Im gonna blow your mind, you ready? Theres more than one way to pursue nutrition and be healthy! What?? Yeah, and you want to know what the underlying truth is? As long as you don't eat like an asshole you'll be doing pretty well. There, I fixed your nutrition, move along... 

Although its that simple, its not likely that easy though. Nutrition is seeded deeply in psychology and subsequently its resolution requires lots of layer peeling. Assuming we can get to the root of the problem, we still have to address the other elephant, which is expectation vs reality. Nutrition is simple, people are not. 

You could choose paleo, keto, vegan, macros, or the combination of all, and achieve relatively solid results. Except you know what they all take? Adherence, and to some degree faith. The real problem with nutrition is its a long con, nothing is apparent over night, and often the things with the quick results have long term failures, and vice versa. However despite all that, if you were capable of just making a decision for yourself, and not accepting the noise and feedback of the world, your results would likely impress you. The human body is incredibly efficient, and adaptive. 

This is one of the main reasons the Paradigm nutrition model offers, and affords so much variability, because frankly it can. You can still be a human and eat well, you can still be social, have friends, go out, and even enjoy yourself and still eat well. You will just need to be honest with yourself, your goals, and your approach. Nutrition has never, nor will ever require religious adherence, but that doesn't mean its a free-for-all. 

Ultimately everything we put in our body is doing one of two things. Making us better, or making us worse. I would also wager that you as adults are largely conscious of whats good and whats bad too. Its basic accounting, you put in more bad than good, and your screwed! Where it gets a little more frustrating is that everything bad is worth more like 5 points to everything goods 1.. What a terrible world we live in! 

Its not all your fault, don't worry. Get lost in wegmans for more than 10 mins and you'll likely sneak something into your own cart as if you're actually fooling yourself. Todays food, isn't really food, its an engineering project. Literally designed to be hyper palatable, and subsequently crave able. Like a drug more than we admit. 

You have likely noticed by now I haven't told you yet what to eat. Disclaimer: Im not going to. Because If were going to make progress in the nutrition world, you're going to need to do it yourself. Step 1 is really as simple as self control. Long before we talk macros, paleo, vegan, or zone we need to discuss your why. Regardless of what fancy trend you're looking for, we need to free you first. Unfortunately Ive seen very little success with protocols, because they're not very self-fulfilling. Meaning the protocol always gets the credit not you. I lost x because of x, how about we start this out by saying I changed my life because I wanted to, that led me to x. 

Restoring a healthy relationship with food requires us to dig in, into those dark layers of self-responsibility, accountability, and accept that we are the reason we are this way. Then like anything we need to decide for ourselves we want to make a change. This leaves the door wide open to a plethora of options, but none of these options mean anything till your why exceeds your how. 

Im sick of giving nutrition advice as a band-aid to self loathing, doubt, and insecurity. The complexity in which nutrition is fed to us doesn't make it any easier either. I want to let you know, that health isn't at the end of food scale, death doesn't come from one donut, failure from a piece of meat. All nutrition protocols are built on fear based psychology, slip and die. This is basically a recipe to ensure that even if you find success with a protocol, you're likely just developing an even unhealthier relationship with food. No one likes a zealot either. I want you to enjoy good food, not eat it because you have to. I want you indulge when you want, but accept the reality you made a poor choice. I assume in your adult years you know that a glass of wine, beer, or bourbon is a poor choice, own it, move on be better tomorrow. 

If you're interested in Paradigms Nutrition model we would love to help, just know we want to see personal growth more than we want to see physiological changes. We want to teach you why, not just show you. Without education, you will never be able to replicate or reproduce this in life, and thats not going to help anyone! 


Silence the Noise.

Let me preface this by saying this blog is going to be a little self serving. Yep, gonna talk about me. Now keep reading or run for the hills its your call... 

What a time to be alive! No, that was not sarcasm. Stop and just think for a second. Look around your office, room, car, or wherever you are reading this and take a second to appreciate the no-less-than 5 things at any given moment we take for granted that technology has afforded us. I hate it. Im an evolutionist, not a zealot of sorts but I believe in tracing everything back to necessity. Everything that surrounds us anymore is simply just noise. Now, don't get me wrong, I indulge, I don't live in the woods like some caveman (yet). I appreciate the fact Im sitting in a coffee shop in boulder, staring at the mountains, Im about to drive to, to take digital photographs,  and writing out my thoughts, to broadcast instantly to all of your receiving devices. Thats cool shit! 

Ive lost myself! Yep, back to me. The chaos and noise of the modern world, call it greed, envy, #vision, #grind, whatever self serving garbage you want to call it, mutes me. Enables me, lets me forget my purpose. That purpose is and has always been to be of service, to help. Nothing brings me greater joy, comfort, and yes success, than when I help others. I make no assertions that everyone has this same purpose, we all have a unique one and I encourage your path to finding yours. I can tell you that when it happens, it occurs, or you accept it, the noise stops. 

So I sit here in boulder, lost. (Not literally, thanks GPS) I sit here on the tail end of several months astray, wandering, most importantly having ignored my purpose. How do I know I've caved to the chaos? The words I write didn't just flow anymore, my skin didn't tingle, my heart wasn't full. I was full of only one thing, desire. A belief or emotion, I thought [convinced myself of] was the next step. I did x, lets go after y. I chased Y till it lead me to the middle of nowhere. Yes this is all metaphor, but its honesty. In this moment of vulnerability, I slowly find my way back. I came to boulder and added a few days on to my trip, simply to get outside, be quiet. I know Im peculiar, a heretic of sort. I am an introvert who performs in an extroverts world, a sagitarian who creates certainty, a meta-cognitive with ADD. I make nothing easy on myself, except distraction. 

So by this point you likely must be wondering why I am telling you this? You're not my therapist. It all goes back to the beginning, I was able to find myself, through all of you. The first time I made difference in the life of a child, something started to make sense, the moment I gave back a middle aged adult their life, it clicked. Never has anything in my life made as much sense as the moments of service. I am engaging in this exercise in vulnerability, not only for myself but to help. Everything that is Paradigm is built on my experiences, my failures, and my lessons. My ability to help all of you comes not from education, but from errors. My misspent youth, my errors of nutrition, my confusion of fitness, my failures. Paradigm to most of you is this large footprint of magnificence (uhh, I hope) however it is nothing more than a collection of all my life mistakes, but also their lessons. 

I hope that in expressing my vulnerability, and pain in these moments, that I can somehow ignite you to understand the perils of noise. Were all spoon-fed someone else's lives moment after moment anymore. Its no wonder we've all become zombies in the most incredible time to be alive. The modern world is one giant dangling carrot, just out of reach. However its not outside of you, your clarity comes from within. Your ability to find your purpose, heed it, and cater to it. You've got to quiet the noise, find comfort in your path, your pursuit, your victories and failures. The world will always remind you of your shortcomings, being mindful will remind you of your successes. At the end of every day, the only thing you can truly own is your health, and your happiness, the rest is just a borrowed distraction. 

I hope you're all a little better today, than yesterday,


Why you need a "Weight Belt" and why you shouldn't wear it!

Nothing says Im about to go hard in the paint, like ratcheting down the "Ol-Belt"! Am I right?? Its downright sanctimonious. It says, "Im here to party, but I also like to be responsible". It also wears like a badge of honor "Hell yeah I lift heavy shit, hold my beer". Its also freaking useless! Don't get me wrong, Im not asking you to be reckless. Quite the opposite really. What Im saying is the belt is a bandaid, on a giant gaping wound. The belt is lazy mans path to ego. Its a lot like racing tires on a prius. Certainly they will give you more grip, but you're never gonna get them up to temp, and honestly ever truly need them. 

Honest admission; this is little to do with just a belt, and more to do with all gear. 100% they have a purpose, and they were designed for just that. In fact they can be quite advantageous in the right circumstance. That circumstance is not training. Let me be direct, If you need a belt, wraps, shoes, gloves, sleeves, diapers, or duct tape to get through a workout, you have perhaps overlooked the glaring principle of functional fitness, and perhaps skewed the view to high intensity a bit too much. This is where it gets tricky. Over and over again you've heard me preach that Intensity is the most variable in athletic adaptation. It is. How you get to this intensity is not race tires on a prius. How you get to this intensity is by building the race car. Meticulously engineering its geometry, power, weight, distribution etc, so that on race day, tires matter! This is the case of gear. It will help you win, if you've built the car. You need to understand why you need your belt, to understand why you don't need it in training, but also how it will help you on race day. 

Lets start with how a belt works. In summation it works via compression. Cinching down your midline, giving you the ability to brace into it, and essentially trussing the bridge of the midline. Awesome! Except that A) theres no weight belts in the wild B) thats not exactly how your midline works C) If you need gear to complete it, is it really your record? All philosophy aside, lets discuss b. Your midline is a complex series of musculature. Midline stability is your ability to wed hip to trunk in one neutral and stable lever. It also goes much further into the concept that your entire midline (Spine, hip, abdomen, etc) is one large isometric group. Its development is dependent upon development of tension, not exactly flexion. Read: Hollow hold vs Sit ups. Therefore to get stronger, and even more defined abs (bonus) we must learn to brace and hold. In fact this theorem plays out across the gambit of common CrossFit movements; clean, front squat, snatch, ohs, deadlift, back squat, hollow, pressing, Etc.. See, in CrossFit, we don't really do abs, we do Midline stability, except you, you do fashion..

I respect that right now you're liking saying that this all makes sense, but you need the belt to lift heavy, and to do it safely. This is probably true, and if Im being honest, its going to get more dependent. Its a symbiotic-parasitic relationship. Your reliance on any gear, is a weakness in your physical preparation. To address this, you're likely going to need to table the ego, and get back to the basics. Assuming of course you want to do this for a long time, and you are actually doing this for functionality. Ive been teaching this for quite a few years now, and I see the natural evolution to the belt. Injury, poor-recovery, whatever the fault may be, the belt becomes the common sense solution. Except that in not one case Im aware of has the belt fixed the problem, more commonly I see it actually lead to weaker anatomy and stronger exogenous dependence.

"In my day" in CrossFit any gear was laughable. God forbid you got out gloves, or a belt, you'd be likely laughed right out of the gym. Then we pushed human performance to its limits, let more kids in the pool, and this combination lead to this misunderstanding. Gear is for competitive advantage, it is not for training advantage. Sure practice with it all so that you're comfortable, but reliance is not practice. I want to see you all better, not traveling with a blankey. This requires you to develop you, your anatomy, your physiology, your weakness, your end ranges, your capacity. Continue to work around them, and assuredly you will be back at the basics, whether its sooner or later! This isn't to embarrass any of you who love your belt, some of them are real pretty! This is just to help you understand what is actually going on, that you're likely not paying attention to. This is also not my first rant on the subject, and it likely won't be my last, but until you understand that what you involve in your athletic development will at some point have to be uninvolved to progress. We will continue to have this conversation. 


10 Ways to save your summer!

The increase of the thermometer may bring the increased awareness that you haven't likely had a great off season. Your midline has hibernated, and it is showing no interest in coming out for Spring. For the last two months you swore to yourself that you would start your workout regimen, and like the masses you're scrambling at the reality that boat season is coming. Now you're thinking about all the potential Instagram tags and those bathing suits you hid because you didn't need that kind of negativity in your life. Well it's here now, well almost. 

I'm not saying you gotta be a slave to the life. I get it. The winter comes so you throw on a few extra layers, and it's dark outside so even when you really hate yourself, you can still hide in the darkness. Depression leads to more binging, and the cycle repeats, so the waist line increases. Fear not, you're not the only one. Take a drive down Park Ave at any given day and someone is #grindin. Trudging uncomfortably block after block swearing to run off all the poor decisions, step by painful step.

[rant]Why people choose to do this on Park Ave is beyond me. For one, there's more stops, streets,  and cars than anywhere else. If you want to get in shape, take your pain face to a more private, less obstructed street. [/end rant]

You guys all like lists, so lets start with the 5 things you're likely doing, and are doing wrong. Unfortunately you've probably been completely uninformed. So I'll follow this up with 10 things you can do right now to save your summer! 


  1. Cutting Calories. This is likely more so whatever diet you came across, and perhaps unknowingly calorie restrictive. Or largely just uninformed and misanthropic. However if calories are bad, you just gotta eat less of them right? So Salads it is! NO, just no. Food and the right food, quantity and maybe even timing is what stands between you and mirror solace. 
  2. Forrest Gump. If running is hard, running must be good. I sweat, I breathe hard, it hurts, I shall do more, I shall succeed. Wrong again. Unless you're trying to render yourself soft and doughy, steady state cardio (read long runs to nowhere) are an excessive way to achieve your end game. "Look better naked" Running is a lot of stress, and as you get better you double your durations which doubles your stress. This increases your stress response mainly, and for the record, that response will do everything you seek not to do. Like gain weight, lose muscle, and decrease coordination. So stop.
  3. Double time! This is a lot like 2. You've wasted your time the last few months, so if you just double your time now it will pay off. Were hardwired as humans to equivocate struggle with success, and while this is not categorically untrue, its not as clear an algorithm. More work out is not better. 
  4. Be like Mike! Here is a hard one. You see someone, they look good, they look like you want to look, you should do what they do. Like spark notes for your abs. Except here's the trick, fitness and health is not so simply one size fits all. What works for mutant x may not work at all for you. In fact, you have no idea what works for you. Except that one time you didn't eat all summer and weighed the least you ever have. You were just unsure at all about your body fat percentage, and getting out of bed was as close to fitness as you could achieve then. You have to know yourself, your metabolism, your energy systems, your goals, and your paths. Or you'll spend the summer lost, and the next 10 until you find yourself. 
  5. You're doing it alone. Maybe you tagged a buddy in to do steps 1-4 with you, and that would actually be better than doing it alone. At least you have some accountability. What you need is a team. Sounds excessive, but ill get to that now. 

Show of hands, how many of those were you? 1,3, all five? We're a peculiar race. We scramble and procrastinate, and most of all we love to over complicate things. So I'll list 10 concise things that will save your sanity, and maybe even your sex life. 

  1. Hire a coach! Not a trainer, not a personal trainer, or even a Groupon. Hire this person. That means interview them, project your needs and goals on them and measure their responses. A coach is someone who will see you through it all, not just your hour. They will set you up for success far outside of a few grueling workouts. Coaches always have a great referral camp. See if they fit a few criteria like: 
    1. Understand individuality, or do they push their dogma on you.
    2. Understand movement, I respect you may not yet, but give them an ailment and see if they can help. Or just divert. 
    3. Do they care about your goals, or just their fees.
    4. What do people say about them
    5. This list can go on, but you get the point. 
  2. Consult a dietician, or nutritionist. There is more armchair experts than ever before. However to truly understand yourself, you're going to need someone who specializes in this. They can help with allergies you may be unaware of, macro nutrient prescriptions for health, and most importantly educate you. Find someone who has proven success, and not someone who's just got someone ready for the stage, because I can assure you, that you're not about that life, and that is not life at all. What you need is to understand, not just a blind prescription. 
  3. Harder, not longer. You don't need more work, you need to simply work harder. Like less than an hour believe it or not, and in that hour, you need to find the darkness! Silly as it may seem, intensity is the most important variable in physical adaptation. That thing youre trying to do. The hours post workout will burn an excess amount of calories in recovery. Without going into a bunch of sciency jargon, this is what you need. 
  4. Lift heavy, and lift often. Girls I know you think if you touch a barbell you're going to get bulky. You're just simply not. Not to mention this is the one thing you need to get all they instagram followers you want. Muscle is the key to burning all those calories you want to burn, and the way to do so by doing nothing. Thats right, do more work, so you have to do less work. Not only that but muscle looks good, bone, not so much. 
  5. Learn to move. As in the complete way your body was designed to. Gymnastics, and not in the upside down sort of way. Compound, and functional. Stop isolating on machines and start using your body. Identify your lack of range of motion and improve that. I repeat get off the machines!!! They were designed more to babysit you than to help you. 
  6. Sprint! STOP RUNNING. Well aimlessly anyway. Drop the duration, increase the intensity. Intervals are key, keep the distances short enough to elicit 110% intensity, rest and repeat up to ten rounds. 
  7. Variation is the spice of life. (this does not apply to advice for your love life) Routine is the enemy, consistency is not. Don't confuse the two. Most make this mistake and consider doing the same things over and over is consistency. Thats not. Consistency just means the frequency and regularity of which you train. Which for the record should be 3-5x a week, with enough intensity to elicit a recovery response, and enough recovery to elicit peak intensity. 3 days on 1 off will always be our default prescription. 
  8. Address your lifestyle. You cannot make a change when everything around you is set up for your old life. If you want to move forward, you have to address the other 22-23hrs outside of training. Sure working out is key, but its a fraction of a fraction of your day, be conscious every hour of the day. Cut unhealthy relationships, avoid unhealthy social settings, Just take an honest look at your life and ask is this going to help me with my goal. The gym will take the rest. 
  9. Change your life. This seems a lot like number 8. However this is the personal stuff. This is working on you, not the world around you. Seek a setting that will educate you not just train you. The more you know, the better and easier your life will be to move the needle forward. Read, learn, listen, and even meditate. 
  10. Join Paradigm. 1-9 are all the staples of what makes Paradigm paradigm. We're a community designed to move everyone forward together, utilizing fitness as the medium. Fitness is defined as constantly varied high intensity functional movement. We lift weights in enough volume to support muscle growth, practice and develop gymnastics enough to redistribute strength across all range of motion, and we keep duration short to elicit intensity and recovery. Honestly if you do one thing, do 10. It will change your life. 

Don't despair, no work is bad work. If you're reading this, your life is not over. The summer isn't even here yet. You have some time. Its just crunch time. No pun intended.. You need to spend the right time, doing the right things is all. So find a community that will support you, develop you, and grow with you. Even if its not Paradigm, community changes everything. Seek this first! 


P.S. If you want to keep in touch with what we're doing, follow our Facebook page, and if you want to check out a class at CrossFit Paradigm Performance, visit to take a look at our class schedule!

10 tips for 10 rounds that stand between you and done.

The final countdow.... err up? This is it! This marks the end of the beloved 2017 Open. Taking with it your bumps, bruises, and broken egos. Well, after this weekend anyway... One more workout, or more specifically 10 more rounds. Im going to go on record and say that this isn't the worst possible ending to the Open. Dave could have made it worse, like blood letting with a dull knife? It's a bit of a cruel joke to keep us all locked here in a workout forever. Couldn't he have at least let the clock save us in an AMRAP? Guess not. So I assume if you're reading this, you want some advice. You should have been practicing your Double Unders. Goodnight! JK

This workout has a multitude of considerations, and I will admit I don't think its really that bad. Is it going to suck? Yes. Is it going to ask you to step into the dark place? Yes. Is it still CrossFit? Absolutely, and you know how this feels. We have coupled these two movements together in endless arrays, and in some circumstance with even more volume than this and you survived. Now that the pressure is on, your brain is going to make it so much harder on you. So that's step one. Tell yourself a different story. This is only bad if you think it's bad. Treat this more like a 5k and you'll be much better off. Steady and consistent effort.

This plays a little differently depending on your aptitude with Double unders. How you attack them is going to be important. Unlike the other workouts you can't just will your way through this. With the exception of the Snatches and Bar muscle ups, you've been able to just close your eyes and dig. The Double unders are going to require you to focus. Unlike the BMU, and Snatches which were placed strategically to allow for a score, and most importantly for the clock to run out, these double unders require you to finish them. All 350. This will take focus and confidence. As before I will refrain from pacing strategy, and provide simply a few actionable tips that will hopefully make this a lot less than 40 mins. 

  1. Be Diligent, not frantic. The first few rounds shouldn't be to awful for an average level CrossFitter. However, because the work isn't exactly heavy or hard its really easy to get away from yourself. Jacking up your heart rate, missing reps, moving around wildly, and not methodically. You need to move smooth, not fast. Don't waste effort, and don't lose focus. A good recommendation is breaking the DU's from the first round even if you're great at them, just to keep you in cadence. 
  2. Relax! Here are some tips for double unders. I respect that you're excited. I am too! But keep your shoulders soft, your wrists quick. Keep your midline engaged, but no dolphins! Be long in the Double unders. Keep your body tall and engaged. This will also let you do that crazy thing called breathing. 
  3. Get wide. Take a wide yet strong grip position on the Barbell. Spacing your hands out will keep your chest un-impinged and make it much easier to breathe. Just be mindful to not be so wide you cannot press. 
  4. Its all in the hips. Settle down Shakira.. I mean thrusters. You need to use the legs. Don't get caught using the arms early on, this will haunt you. Set your heels, torso up, quick from the bottom, only chasing the bar with your hands. Try not pressing as much as possible. 
  5. Run your race. You know how the last round of fran feels? Prepare for that for several rounds. This means break early. If you have never gone ub on the 9's of Fran lets just agree you're going to go 5-4 from the beginning. For the Dubs, 20-15 would be my recommendation. The only deviation person to person is the amount of breath you take in the breaks.
  6. If you have a +25 min 5k you're not likely Prefontaine (read:aerobic). Take this opportunity to EMOM it, or actually every :90 Second aim for a round. This will keep you anaerobic a bit longer and allow for a solid work:rest ratio. The slower you are at DU, longer the rounds. The key here is resting when you need to, but not because you have to because you're blown up and down to singles and doubles. If you're sub 25 though, aim to take slightly longer yet metered transitions. The aim here to be consistently working at a dedicated pace. No work:rest. Your coaches should help you with this. 
  7. Build your fort! Its up to you whether girls are allowed. But keep your equipment close, and tidy. This means setting your rope down each round. Not releasing it like the steer roping world finals. (Is that a thing?) This also means setting your bar down, ghost rider. 
  8. Neutral wrist. Try to avoid the ever present flexed wrist thruster concoction. The more neutral and stable the wrist the faster they will stay in DU. 
  9. Heels. The most basic of cue, but if you let that bar pull you forward, you tax your quads substantially. If you would like to jump efficiently, let's not let that happen. 
  10. Have fun. Seriously. This has been a long 5 weeks. On you and everyone. Competition gets the best of us, we let ourselves get down. Disappointed, frustrated, even burnt out. That's not the point of all this. It's semi natural sure. However use this for what it is. A chance to workout with 300k people! To see how far you've come. To remember you are doing something that so many could only dream of. You're alive, you're healthy and your f***ing fit! Don't forget where you came from, even if you're not where you want to be yet. You're doing this thing, and at the end of this, you get to say you did it! 

Admittedly theres not a lot ground breaking in those ten steps to greatness. I know. Why? Because this is basic CrossFit. A couplet to remind you how elegant, and simple fitness can be and still break you down. This is nothing you haven't practiced over and over. Im sure some of you are stressing over not having your Dubs down yet. Relax, the world isn't going to come off its axis. The more calm you stay, the better the chance of success I can promise you that. 

Lets all agree to give this workout everything we have left, but also to not take ourselves to serious. Have fun with it, black out, do it again if you have to. Jk, don't do that. 350 Double under are going to leave a healthy mark on that CNS. Repeats will be feeble. Lets get it right the first time and put this thing out of its misery. 

Happy close of the open everyone, its been fun. 


I am: Tenacious!

A funny thing when taking a chance becomes a chance. This is the experience not only of Millie, but of us with her. Every member here has a unique story and existence to us. In some ways a little bit of each of their process has become us, developed us, and taught us. This our process, the process of our people. The evolution of Paradigm is analog with the development of each person who walks through this door. Cliche as it may seem, its written into our Core focus, its our DNA. 

When Millie walked in (timidly I might add) she brought a unique sense of humor. However you could hear the defeat and doubt in her punchlines. Often making herself seem like the butt of the joke, at least defensively. This does not make her unique at all. In fact, this is pretty much the exact same reaction as most people who start CrossFit. What makes her different was what she picked up on right away. From day one, Millie was inherently attracted to the ideology. The concept that progress doesn't need to be monumental to count, that one degree better each day moves the needle. This made her the Coach's dream. Not her capacity, her talent, her athleticism. What made her captivating was her willingness to improve and her respect of the process. 

My experience at Paradigm and my path to a better Millie.
From the time I learned about CrossFit’s existence through the Crossfit Games on TV, I was intimidated by it. Those girls look so muscular and strong; I wish I could be like that. Being one who loves challenges, this one became a burning desire through the months ahead that I started searching for a box to see if I could actually handle such workouts. My search brought me to Paradigm because of its unique hours, the only one in my area with midday hours. So August 2016, I stepped into the box and one of the memories I have of that day is how welcoming everyone was. Even thou I was thinking to myself “I can’t do this, this is too tough, everyone looked so fitted,” I was ready to find out.
My experience at Paradigm has been great. This is the first time in my life that I have stuck to a workout regimen and still to this day is excited to go 4-5 times a week. I am addicted! I can actually understand now what people always say, which I thought it was not true, on how your body can do more than what you think. My most amazing moment thus far, was when I did 1 real push up. One of the many things I love about Paradigm is when other crossfiters, that have been there longer, give me positive criticism. Not having correct form can lead to injuries, and I appreciate so much that others care enough to help you succeed. Coaches keep you motivated by sending you cheerful emails, encouraging words when they see you, and always making sure you are making progress. After 7 months of crossfit, people are noticing my body taking a stronger shape, and I can only thank Paradigm for the new Me ☺
Another thing I love is the “What are your Goals” wall… Writing your goals on that wall keeps you grounded and accountable. I am not intimidated anymore; I’m am hungry to learn/lift/endure more and reach new levels because I have experienced the rewards of hard and consistent work. I know I can get stronger even if it takes me months or years; this is my own race, each person/body is different. The coaches make it fun, even the warm ups which are as tough as the WODs. No one makes me feel inferior because I am not as strong as they are, in the contrary, they keep me motivated. The family-like atmosphere of this place is incredible; it keeps me wanting to come back.

She represents the masses, and ambassador for hope and progress. So many are rattled at the notion of intensity, and doubt, that they never walk in the door. Millie's experience is the fiber of our existence. The step up to the challenge, the staring down fear, the constant personal assessment and accountability. No one here moves the needle quickly. Its relative to each single person. As humans we judge by only what we see, and were so likely to forget our path. Millie exemplifies her respect for her path and self development. She literally glows in each class. She brings up the energy 5 fold, and that's a lot to do as a regular at the 10am... 

Millie has not only improved herself, she's made us all better. Especially her coaches. Being intimately involved in her process makes it so apparent and reminds us daily of our own path. She's a constant reminder to slow down and respect the path. To take it all in, and to just love the process. Most importantly she reminds us to to do it with a smile, because you will never not see her smiling! 

Congrats Millie, you're incredible, and we're lucky to have you here! 

How to fill out white shorts... Or just 5 tips for 17.4!

YOU'RE ALMOST DONE!! Although you're probably going to hear that at least 30x by some disingenuous bystander who's simply shouting while they scroll their phone, you, my friend, are actually almost done. 1 more week to go after this. Unfortunately we gotta get through this chipper. It's ok, we're in this together, and I'm gonna try to help. If nothing else, I'll keep you from screen-shotting Brooke all night. 

First noteworthy point is that if you've been here a while, and you've done this before. If you've been here at Paradigm you've done it 3x to be exact. So, nothing should be a huge surprise here. This will perhaps be a refresher for you, maybe an aha moment or two. The rest of you, this might be your first rodeo. No worries, we got you! 

13 minutes... Here we go again playing on that anaerobic switch. Depending on who, and "how" you are will depend on whether you go glycolytic or oxidative. But given the opposition, yet similarity of patterns, you can pull this off to your advantage. Like every other week, I'll let you stick to your trends when learning your paces from the masses. I will remain clear in that this is still just CrossFit, and while there's considerations for skill, the pace is, as always as fast as f***ing possible. You're a CrossFitter, you are ready for this. Just be intelligent and don't blow up, making mashed potatoes in the first 55 reps... 

So here's what we got: 

  1. Don't be a hero, run your own race. I said it above. Be intelligent. This means knowing yourself, and as such your capacity. No one should be going for UB on the DL, or 2 sets, or even 3 really. If you're going for UB you're either beyond help, or way to damn fit to be reading this ramble. The goal should be 10's or less. 225 is heavy, like real heavy, and 55 reps is 12,000 lbs of work. Go 5's and rest less. More importantly, rest strategically, and not because you left your spine in turn 3 on rep 27. It should go without saying the point of 5's is to keep your position intact. Bigger sets, bigger deviation. If 225 is less that 50% and your motor is 100% go bigger, but don't blame me when the pain train steals your p-chain. 
  2. Your heels! Use them. In everything. Down in the DL, Down in the WB, Down in the row, Dow... err uhh flexed in the HSPU. This is a more common problem than you likely think. The more you sit and drive in your heels, the more the larger motors will work. Glutes and hams baby, Brooke didn't buy that on eBay. As the bar strays out in front because you didn't listen to #1, you will drive your toes, and blow out your quads and QL (low back). Heading over to your happy dance feet thing you do in wall balls all up on your toes as the ball pulls you forward.. Then you'll get on the erg and lift your heels on each stroke as you reach for the gate, assuring your quads are gone. Its okay, because you don't need them for HSPU. Till you get upside down and realize you have no drive in your kip.... Or you could just set your heels and focus on them from the beginning and crush this thing. 
  3. Wall-balls.. you're screwed.. Just kidding, its 55, get through them. This is not a deal breaker. If you're not gifted at the misery ball, stay in small sets with small rest, just do not get caught staring at the ball! Girls you're going to be in smaller sets, its ok, the field is even really. The key here is to not blow up. So if 55 is a death defying number for you, male or female, take your max UB set, and go with sets 20-30%. Don't worry, 10's are safe. If you love Karen, go bigger.  It's really that easy. 
  4. The row. You're not going to win here, don't try. The one who wins comes off this machine steady, and able. Blow it out to catch up or chase the clock and you're gonna struggle. Keep your stroke rate low. 23-26 depending on your height. Keep your watts high. That means more force per stroke, less strokes. Remember your pulling cals. This means the machine is calculating force on the flywheel. Letting the Wheel slow more between strokes, means you can apply more force on it. The exact opposite of rowing for distance. This will also allow you a solid 1:1 work/rest. 
  5. Do not be Brooke! As much as we can all appreciate her wardrobe. Her efficacy upside down was a lot less to be desired. This is not a testament to her strength. It is a by-product of a failed focus on the integrity of the midline in HSPU training. She was broken at the hip, sitting her butt on the wall. Not only did this cost her the body length needed for a rep. It also requires a lot more kip to overcome a relaxed position. Stay strong, stay long. Focus on glute and ab tension through the kip. This will require less drive, and assure easier standards. 

Outside of that, remember to practice, set your workspace effectively, address your mobility, and conserve your posterior chain. Especially if you're going to have another crack at this on Monday. This chipper is a blast, and I can't wait to watch you all work through this. Lets start closing this thing out!! 


10 tips for 17.3 - If you read this, the bar will be lighter...

Just kiddinnnnng... Look, I really can't help you there. At least not in a few quick thoughts that for the record comes from a brain dump within minutes of the conclusion of the announcement. 17.3 is a lot of things, and honestly, whether it's heavy or not is more dependent on you than what's written.  

There's a couple of checkpoints in this workout. Most people call them time caps, but let's stay positive, and think pole position, not final destination. (If you got that reference you're old like me) The first big consideration of this workout is the algorithm you will need to decipher, and remember. I think the hardest part will be remembering the reps, sets, and various time caps. So please study. No, like really study. It will be imperative to your success to not only pace yourself, but know where you're at in space, and this will require you to be very aware of the various rounds. 

The next big "elephant in the room" is the time domain here. It’s the long-con. If you don't know what a long-con is, it is a long-term patient investment with a distant payout. This example is just a tad more legal. What this means is A) if you’re good, you gotta go the distance, and not trip up in the early stages B) you need to know your limitations. Some of you the early bars are maximal, this plays into strategy. For some the later bars are maximal, and this plays as well. For others, it’s about the pull ups, and this also plays. You gotta know where your current limitations are because that will decide your pace. C) Set yourself up for success early.

Let’s freely assume were all making it out of the first rounds. If you're not, you're probably not reading this for tips on how to get to Regionals. The issue at hand here is 107,000+ people watch the "boys" go at it live, and they my friends are what we call “curve breakers!” Chase their pace, and you're going to need a friend to resuscitate you. Unless you're capable, then you, like the rookies need no advice either. This is for the rest of us. The ones who are good enough to be a danger to ourselves. Yeah you. So now that we've defined our audience....

You've got 8 minutes to get through the first rounds. These rounds are vital, and deceptive. There is a lot of work, but also a lot of time. The general notion will likely get it over with, to get a head start. This will handicap you. I will suggest even going 3's in the first round. Take the time now. There’s little value that carrying a 180bpm heart rate into the second round just to have a few extra minutes. In fact, there’s a lot of considerations. So, like each other week, here’s our tips of the week: 

  1. Break early, work late. We’re not going to catch Fraser, and honestly that would hurt to try, so let’s agree to pace this together. Friends? In all honesty trust me, it will pay off. 
  2. Fast athletes who lack raw strength, you're going to want to utilize your stretch reflex. While I’ll recommend singles from the beginning for strong and aerobic, the faster and less strong, take bigger sets in the snatch. Others take singles. Simply because you strong guys will get to the heavier bar if you can keep your motor running. For you fast guys, getting to those later bars isn't going to go well anyway, but overcoming the static bar for every rep is going to burn you out more than doubles and triples at the lighter bars. 
  3. Use your thumbs, you have them for a reason. Save your hands, keep your grip, and be safe. Did you count the number of reps it is in this workout yet???
  4. DON'T MISS A REP! Duh, right? Well if I don't at least remind you, you're likely going to get excited and blow at least one rep. Focus, and then focus longer. Don't rush a rep. Both the snatch and Pull up aren't savable reps. Which means a lot of work, and time to make them up.
  5. Set your bars up early. Or grab some friends if you don't have multiples. Don't get into this workout and realize that changing your own plates sucks. No really, don't do it. 
  6. Practice! Feel the rounds and how the combo feels. Get a concept for how fast you can do round 1 and the round with your heaviest bar. Depending on what that is for you, will dictate your pace through each round. Do not get capped, because you forgot the workout either. 
  7. Work like Sager, not like Fraser! Ok ok, Fraser won. I’m talking about work commute, set your workspace up close and clean. 
  8. Chest to bar considerations.
    1. Focus on Contact on the way down, not up! 
    2. Keep your hands on top of the bar, not hanging below. This will let your wrist be the primary joint, not your over extended sternum. 
    3. Eyes neutral, this keeps the spine in alignment and keeps you from convulsing at the bar. 
    4. Longer levers work more efficiently. Focus on length of the body, not trying to kick yourself in the back of the head. 
    5. Last draw big circles, not straight lines. Get behind the bar, come down at it. 
  9. Snatch Considerations:
    1. Too late. I’m just kidding. But let’s be honest you all snatch all the time, you know where your number is. 
    2. Keep the bar close. Both in the rep, but also between reps. Don't walk away. 
    3. You must squat snatch, you cannot power snatch and then overhead squat. So, you better get some practice in if this is you, and you've been blanking every time your coach has tried helping you. 
    4. Hook Grip. I’m sad I even had to say that. Just do it please, or I heard god kills a kitten. 
  10. Run your own race. There will be so many disparities from person to person. Pullups, snatches, engines, etc. Stay focused only on you. 

There is so much to such a seemingly simple couplet. The good news is, it’s just CrossFit. Yeah, it’s heavy, yeah, your chest must contact the pull up bar, yeah, and yeah, it’s long. These are all awesome things. This a chance to prove yourself better. To defy your own odds, and to PR. Step up. I love this time of year. The energy is palpable. So, lace up kids, it’s time for you to hit a new PR and most importantly do it in front of the crowd or friends in your gym!! 

Go be great! 


17.2 ... "OMG! I don't have a Bar MU... #help" 7 tips just for you!

So, Dumbbells huh? See ya later. Castro has let it be known that we will be bound to these creations of mass destruction, at least for the next 12 minutes. At this rate, perhaps we'll be bound to them for the next 3 workouts as well. So, on a 12 minute clock I'm going to give you 7 quick tips that will, if understood, make your 12 minutes a little less frustrating. 

Unlike last week, skill will pay the bill. Last week, you needed to just hold on, and the leaderboard showed just how many had this unlikely ability. It was only logical, and fitting, that this workout have a "separator", and as always it's Gymnastics. Gymnastics is, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future, the final frontier of Competitive CrossFit. The bar will always be the bar, your proficiency in Gymnastics will be your key determinant. (Shameless plug: Take our upcoming CrossFit Gymnastics Seminar and be better prepared for the future {Click}). So if you're looking for advice, I've got some below, but the best advice I can give you is that you should have taken our workshops, seminars, or gymnastics class. But have no fear, there is some luck to be had!

The workout is going to be determined by your ability to not only do a bar muscle up, but quite a few of them. As volume goes, they are a bit less demanding than ring muscle ups, so at least we have that silver lining. However, as technique goes, they are a bit more advanced. Catch 22 I suppose. For this reason, I will allocate the bulk of my advice on the skill you guys care about. The bar muscle up. (Pro-Tip: CFGymnastics on IG just reposted all of our tips)

12:00 mins of work. Two similar, but different, workouts. Multiple rounds of each. Like last week, I'll let the other countless strategy videos dictate your pacing. I will tell you that 12:00 is a long time if you're good, and a long time if you're not. If Bar MU's are in your wheelhouse, you will earn a lot more work. If they are not, you will earn a lot of frustration. In both instances, the strategy from energy will be to stay clear and collected. There's no purpose in blowing out the first two rounds to get to bar mu's gassed. If you have them, you will need your energy. If you don't, you will need your energy. Get comfortable in 1 and 2, grind 3 and 4. As for detailed recommendations lets try this: 

  1. General: Prep your body and prep your mind. First and foremost, proactively address your hands. A rip here will not afford a successful do-over. Open your lats, seratus, psoas/hip, hamstrings, and chest. More as needed. You need to be clear in this workout, not blacked out like last week, so visualize. See every round and rep before you attempt. Know your capacity. Rest when you're supposed to, not when you need to. 
  2. Get comfortable with your DB. Sure, it's basically a bicep curl for the cleans, but there is some technique to consider. Stay in your heels, use your hamstrings, and don't fold in half like Kari. She can, but you can't. The most important DB advice will come in the lunge. Open up your rack and mobilize etc. Most importantly, leave yourself room. By that, I mean keep the elbows up and out, and don't close in your chest. You need to be able to breath, so don't handicap yourself. Also, remember to keep the chest up in lunges. Any degree your chest drops, the work gets way harder! 
  3. Break the TTB. I get it, you're Gumby, or maybe it's your time to shine in this workout. Don't. Take them in 2 or even 3 sets. There isn't a lot, and while that might seem like a good idea to blow them out, it isn't. There is just enough to make sure the rest of this workout is terrible if you do. That seemingly simple movement has reciprocity in every other movement in this workout. Move well, not fast. 
  4. It's not a pull up!!! The #1 error we see in Bar Muscle up, is trying to convert a pull up into support. It's just not the same. Granted if your pull up is correct, which 97% of the time they aren't, then it would be a similar movement just larger. However let's just be honest with each other. Stay long, as long as you can, let your swing bring you up behind the bar. Do not pull yourself at it. This will eliminate the chicken wing. Use your swing and focus on force down on the bar, not doing a pull up. Keep arms straight as long as you can. Believe it or not they are attached to your body and will actually arrive at your hips without bending them...
  5. Backswing. Both the TTB and the BMU are absolutely and solely driven by the backswing. However most of us like to do the work in the front swing. Tighten your backswing and maintain it throughout the workout. This means body long, feet together, high tension. Do not try to break tension in the back only to have to do work in the front. Your front swing should float from the effort exerted in the back swing. That being said, Arch-kick-hollow should be the bulk of your focus in the Bar MU. 
  6. Patience! Its so important Ill drill it again. Do not rush to the bar. Arch-kick-hollow, create an arcing grace behind the bar, not a death spiral at it! This movement is elegant, not aggressive. 
  7. Keep the sets small. Unless of course you have 20 or so unbroken Bar Muscle ups, I will assert that small sets with little rest will conserve your grip, skin, and energy more than blowing out large sets. I would suggest singles if 3-5 are your max sets.
  8. Notable mention: Set your grip atop the bar for more force and focus down on the bar! 

These are tips, and not drills to get your first rep. As coaches, we can help with that, or you can follow us on CFGymnastics or P2Gymnastics on Instagram for more demos and progressions. You've got four days, don't beat yourself up. It can be done!! 

For those of you with the skill this is a fun workout. A relatively new arrangement, and an especially new Open workout. This will be good for those of you looking to separate yourselves on the leaderboard, and fun for the rest of us to see who has the skills to pay the bills. 

I'm super excited for this workout, but maybe I'm just biased. Just throwing it out there, you're all welcome here! 



Why fitness is stupid.

Ok, lets clarify; "Why the Fitness industry is stupid". At the core of the whole debate, or notion. Fitness is so simple. It requires some consistency, consciousness, and intent. Theres really little else. Except, everywhere you look theres misinformation. However the intent to confuse, or mislead isn't there for everyone, so I won't call them all criminal.  Just suspect.. The industry, is an industry, and like all industry, it needs to make money. Lots of it. At a quick goog, the global health club and fitness industry is approximately 80 BILLION dollars. Thats a lot of money, and all of that is prefaced on "information" and "guidance". See the industry needs you to get fat, and then confuse you from success, so that you stay in the whirlpool longer.

[Enter the CrossFit era] 

Along came a micro-gym.. Want to know how CrossFit truly changed the world? It capitalized, promoted, and idolized the Micro-gym. An existence that has been around as long as the Industry has existed. It however sat in the shadows of the Globo-gym. With their shake bars, tanning beds, towel service, and various other amenities to attract your dollar, and nothing to do with real success, but they sure were comfy. Suddenly these small warehouse gyms did something unique. They banded everyone together, (thanks Greg Glassman) and along came staggering success, and most importantly a place to belong, not just be a member of. Success as a commodity? Who would have thought?... Im not saying that people didn't succeed in the conventional setting, and there wasn't some thought leaders in those facilities. It just is not the norm, and as gym owner I can tell you that the business model for a conventional gym is not built upon success. Its built on pay now, never come back. Most gyms exist on an acronym called a "PIF" it stands for paid in full. The golds, la's, planets, worlds, etc all prey on the paid in full contract, and a sincere hope you never return. Because you are just wear and tear on the equipment, toilet paper, water, and customer service they won't need to handle if you just never walk back in and sign your contract like a good boy or girl. 

Factor this concept with the notion of 80-bn dollars and you can see why no one wants you to know what you're doing. Follow that money, and even more alarmingly will you see where it flows. Into lobbies that are the complete antithesis of health. Things like lobbying to license trainers, big sugar, big agri, etc. Why? Because the industry needs you fat and lost, and if you're fat, you're a great consumer. Luckily you have us. Our core focus from day one has always been "to educate you to not need us, but to provide so that you want us" This is completely backwards from the industry, and why were a threat. We intend to teach you how to change your life, not just change it, we intend to educate you on movement, not just stick you on a machine, we intend to improve your quality of life by teaching you clarity, not obfuscating it. We are open source, and that terrifies the industry. 

This would be frustrating if it were the only problem. It however is not, and it may not even be the biggest problem. What is the biggest issue facing the Fitness industry today? Cognitive bias. If you're unfamiliar. This is the systemic deviation from "norm" based on self constructed social realities. Not unlike your FB timeline that feeds you only what your political agenda would like. When your healthy, you receive more healthy feedback. This isn't bad, except over time, you forget what its like to be lost. For all of you, this is awesome, and frankly one of the reasons Paradigm is so successful. In your pursuit, we surround you with hundreds of like minded people, that slowly begin to cater your feedback loop positively. Where this goes bad is from the information side, aka, my side. 

As a trainer it is so incredibly easy to become detached from the reality of your clients. Yes you hear the same stories, and struggles over and over. However you could not be any further from sympathizing with them. Most trainers have absolutely no idea what its like to struggle with food, addiction, metabolic derangement, lack of enthusiasm or drive, goal setting etc, etc. In fact 90% of the trainers I know, arrive in this industry because they've "always worked out" or because they look good and someone thinks thats surely the reason to hire a trainer... Im not saying that trainers aren't just. They are all well meaning, and intentioned for the most part. They however are completely detached. 

Im 100% speaking from experience. I as some of you may know, did not come from a health background. Fitness wasn't fun or easy for me, or something I really ever did. I didn't eat "well". I ate for fun. I wasn't a textbook athlete, I struggled to make school teams. I never looked great naked, and I, as much as any of you was incredibly insecure. Yet despite all of this, this still isn't what lead me to fitness. I much like most, wrote "fit" off as unrealistic, or simply not in my genes. I did however arrive here on accident, by caring. I accidentally and enthusiastically got into coaching gymnastics. This taught me what it was like to be of service to a human. This naturally evolved into developing their strength and health, which also meant I had to get myself under control. Except I used myself as a walking experiment. With little hope of success I was the perfect opportunity to try things on. If it worked awesome, if not, who cares, I had nothing to lose. I tried everything. Vegan, vegetarian, high carb, low carb, paleo, bodybuilding, running, even p90x. I needed data! I also found CrossFit, thats when it all clicked. That was 11 years ago. 

This isn't about my journey though. This is about what Ive forgot along the way, and how I risked losing the thing that made me so valuable in this industry. My struggle. As I got healthier and fitter, faster, stronger, leaner. Everything started getting easier. If I need to lean out, I just tweak this real quick, 3 weeks later boom. I need to increase my squat, tweak this and boom. Lungs lacking, tweak, click boom. This is slightly sensational, but not that far from reality. It is however miles from where I began. When weight wouldn't come off, getting stronger seemed like death was easier, eating healthy was like a religion. All things that you all still struggle with. 

This is where the industry suffers. The best coaches, naturally lose touch with reality. That reality, as sad as it is, is the norm. Our world is far less healthy than it is healthy, and there is very little in place to change that from industries perspective. The foods were pushed, the lifestyles, the information etc. Its all unnavigable. Intentionally. Don't despair! Theres hope. I have navigated these waters, and this process is what sets my soul on fire. This is what Paradigm is built upon. We understand the every day struggle, we weren't just born this way. We developed it just like you, in the exact same ways we teach to you. We believe in what we do, because it is what changed our lives too. 

Don't worry, Paradigm will always have your back. 


5 Tips for 17.1!!

[EDIT] Retesting because the first round didn't go well, isn't the same as practice. I respect that much of your psyche isn't prepared to understand how you didn't beat Froning. I regret to inform you that unless you had a catastrophic mishap in round one, the metabolic demands of this workout, aren't going to likely do you any favors on round two. However if you're not going to listen, here are the tips and edited tips for 17.1:

Here it is. We're officially in the 2017 CrossFit games season. Castro just dropped his bomb from Paris, and sent the world fittingly into a Dumbbell snatching frenzy! I'll do my best to hastily get you some quick tips and insight from a post workout consideration. The first thing worth mentioning is that all of this could very well change by Monday. So rather than give you all piece by piece strategy and theory, I'll simply give you quick Coaching tips that will, if implemented in your workout, save you from some suffering. The first piece of advice is to find yourself a Delorean, get it up to 88mph. Go back, start this year over, and do what you know you should have done from the beginning. However, I just sold my flux-capacitor on eBay, so we're all in this together. 

As always, a multitude of factors will play into your success, and or failure, inside this workout. The first thing worth focusing on is that the first open workout is "unusually" for time. This does offer you the solace of knowing you only need to get out the other side alive, and not the groundhog misery of an AMRAP. Even better is that the Clock can save you. 20 minutes to finish the work is a lot of time. It is also a beacon that serves as a life raft to reassure you that you won't die out here. However, it is greater than 10 minutes, so conversation will be the key focus of tonight's tips. 

  1. Practice! I said it in the last blog, but if you do not practice these movements, standards, and transitions, you will lose seconds per rep. After 200+ reps, you get the picture. Each artist has their own style, and while I'm going to give some recommendations, time out a few rounds in different variations to see what works for you. To be more clear, attempt to turn on the box, try staying lower, try switching hands on the way down. There are a lot of tricks in this workout. The constant will be your heart rate. 
  2. Be consistent. You're going to be working for 10-20 mins regardless. This means you need to set yourself up for success from the first rep. That means be the tortoise and not the hare. This means think 5k, not intervals. Pick a pace, albeit perhaps slower than you think at first, and stick with it. This means a lot slower than most of you realize in the beginning. Set a breathing cadence, especially in the burpees, and stick to it no matter how painful! Do not hold your breath for the DB snatches. Try to stay as connected as possible but also as elastic. Exhale at the top and bottom of each rep. 
  3. Hook Grip. Defy your need for creature comforts early on, and be grateful your forearms hold out the entire workout. I would assume this is common sense but the number of people who traditional grip a dumbbell out of habit is immense. We're not doing curls or presses. You will be ripping this from the floor repeatedly. Secure your grip! This is only advisable to those of you not switching on the way down. For the record; changing hands on the way down is our default recommendation.
  4. Play your cards close, and your fitness. The closer you stay to each apparatus, the more time you will save naturally, but you will also significantly decrease the work. Things like placing the DB in line with your heels each time will help you set your back easier, and also keep the DB path tighter to the body. Do not let it get out front. Stay low on the box. How low is dependent on your mobility, and also your tempo. Resting and extending atop the box is not something I would recommend. 
  5. Set your back, and stretch your Hamstrings each rep. This may seem like it slows you down in your frantic early paces. However, I can assure you that you will not get out of this workout unscathed if you go full Mortis the Tortoise from rep one. Set your back, square your shoulders, drive through your heels, extend the hips, and finish over your center mass. Then do it again.  This went so wrong over and over again, and I suspect most of your weekend went to shit because of it. If you're retesting and want to workout at all this week, please get this right. In fact if you attempt to do better, the tighter you stay in the back the better your score. Even though it feels like you're moving slower. 

There will be countless people who will come out with pacing, theory, etc. Feel free to indulge. I will likely throw an edit or two in here for your consideration after my athletes have thrown themselves into the gauntlet and we have some more data. These 5 points of focus will assure you success, but strategy is a whole other consideration at this point. The bottom line is this is CrossFit. You've done it. You know how it feels, and you're going to be fine! Move well, and finish fast. Move too fast though, and you risk a finish at all. Be diligent, be confident, be virtuous. 


5 things to help your Open performance

The time is upon us, and if you're reading this you threw your hat into the ring, or maybe just thinking about it. For 98% of us the open is just for "fun". But lets be honest with each other the main motivator here is; Scoreboard. Its ok, its intrinsic. We really can't help ourselves. Our need for quantification for anything is pretty much irresistible. Even if we don't intend to share the results with the world, and plan to hide among the masses registered. If this is you, or even if youre one of the 2% every bit of help counts. This is 5 weeks of testing and it has its caveats. 

The subtle truth, or unfortunate reality is that at this point much of the physical work really needs to be done. Meaning, you should have spent your offseason preparing for the unknown and rigourous demands of this challenge. The good news is, that if you followed the program here, you're in pretty good hands. If not, and you still followed a good CrossFit program, you're still doing fine as well. There are still a few things that you can do to help, and Im going to list them here: 

  1. Clean up your Diet, but don't Diet! "huh?" We all know that we could eat a little better, a little more often. Whole foods are absolutely vital to performance, and while this could be an entire blog itself, I am going to paraphrase for the sake of "lists". Meats, Vegetables, nuts and seeds, keep intake to levels that will support intensity, and not body fat. So strip the processed foods, but lets not strip the calories. Now isn't the time to "lean out" although being lighter seems logical in these workouts, The caloric deficit will come with energy deficiencies even if small. So lets remove the garbage and replace with more micronutrients like leafy greens. Lets clean up the Protein sources to quality Organic cuts. Lastly satiate yourself. Its important to fuel, not to starve. 5 weeks is a long time. 
  2. Take care of yourself. Obviously this is a life note, however over the course of the next few weeks, and increased focus in stretching, mobility, activation, and therapy will go a long way. This perhaps would have been best implemented a few months ago, but all of these have relatively immediate rewards so its not entirely too late. So how? ROMWOD every day, Cool down for at least 40% of the time the workout took you (bike, row, walk), tighten up your mobility routine pre-workout to improve movement quality (grab your coach and ask).  Buckle up! 
  3. Recover! This may sound a little like #2 to you, but its more. #2 is a mindful approach to time spent in the gym. #3 is a mindful approach to moments spent outside the gym. You spend 1hour in the gym a day, unless youre Rob.. What you do the other 23 far outweighs your time in our doors. The first of which is sleep!! I get it, life is hard, kids, work, netflix, internets whatever is making it "impossible" for you. Stop, you're an adult. Fix your schedule, its your health were talking about, You can binge your shows  on the weekend. Remain consistently active. This means stay moving through your day. If your job has you desk bound, every hour take a small walk through the office or more. I don't mean exercise more either, in fact, in closing, do that less. More intensity in each workout for the next 5 weeks, and less overall volume. 
  4. Practice. This is kind of a no-brainer, but after 6 years of watching this unfold it usually goes like this. "wow this is going to be hard, 3-2-1 go!, I suck, lets do it again, lets do it one more, I think I can shave some time here, lets do it again" While retests are a whole different barrel of monkeys, practice is simpler. This means taking the movements pulled from the chipper and drilling them. Break them down, drill them some more, then couple them with the others till your comfortable with the combination. This is simple, yet rarely done. Theres an immense value in the mental preparation of this. Knowing how youre supposed to feel in the middle will be wildly comforting, as opposed to the "what the hell Im dying out here" moment. Lastly retests. No-one is ever happy with their score. No-one! We always can look back and see where we can pick up time etc. But, lets be direct, theres a reason you didn't do it then, you're not going to add the 100 reps you think. Will you pick up a few? Yes, likely. However if this few isn't going to jump you up the leaderboard, and may only move you a few spots if any. Its important to factor the investment, vs the return. Prepare, and give more to your first attempt, this feels way better than 3 retests. 
  5. Play with your friends! If were being honest, the open is a brutal self reflecting time of the year. All those sundays on the boat drinking till sunset, the cheat meals, the vacations, and really all the things you feel guilty about, they all will haunt you not so subtly. Its ok, you're human, were trying to improve your life, not make you a robot. Those things didn't exactly help you but they didn't hurt that much. (assuming they were occasional...) If you did those things, you must have friends, if you're lucky they are CrossFitters too, get together for the workouts. Like our Friday night lights! You see, community and environment often outweigh the most advanced and strict program and implementation. Plain and simple, men will die for points! In the presence of our peers, were way more likely to leave it all out there, than we are just worrying about the clock and scoreboard by ourselves. The next 5 weeks are long, buckle down, and enlist the help of your community to drive you forward. I can promise, this # will pay larger dividends than most of the other 4.

There you have it. 5 quick actionable things that I guarantee will improve your performance. Next year we can take what we learned from this years performance. For now, its management. The open is incredibly fun, and even more valuable. Its a great way to see where you're at outside of the gym, a bigger leaderboard. Often more telling, than the one or two names you know you chase every day. Fitness is relative, and that relativity is bound solely to the community you conduct this pursuit in. For these next 5 weeks we have the opportunity to workout in the biggest gym ever created. Yourself stacked against thousand, hundreds of thousands actually. While this many seem daunting, its an incredible opportunity I hope you all take advantage of. You will absolutely be better because of it! 

An unofficial #6 honorable mention, subscribe. Because each week we will bring you 5 tips to help with each workout.

Happy Open season!


The sum of all parts.

Assuming somehow I still have your interest after all this time, I must be touching on something of interest to you. I hope... The purpose of these blogs and words is to create thought, to spark an actionable introspection or curiosity. Do I expect you take all of these words seriously? No. Do I think they're of value? Yes. I struggle a bit with the lack of content I put forth in terms of exercise and science, and I promise we will get there. Its just that what can be gleaned from between your ears, far exceeds the capability of a barbell. To be honest we can address, cover, and develop all of the science, programming, theory, and fitness in our hour together each day. The mindset, and paradigm shift is much harder, and it takes constant focus. At the end of it all, all I really hope to do is help create opportunities for all of you. That is my purpose. 

Im not sure exactly how many words Ive written on mindset. Imploring you to just get moving. Start, appreciate the process. Constant action, always forward. You must simply just chase the things that excite you, and ignore the things that simply just require your time. You will not ever get it back. 

Assuming you've started to embrace these mantras. You're starting to see the value in simplicity, in stoicism, and in process over goals. Theres one unfortunate truth we can not circumnavigate. You're the sum of those you surround yourself with. Frankly there is no bigger deference to forward momentum than the company you keep. There is no easier call to limiting beliefs than the presence of your peers. Unfortunately we cannot pick our family, our bosses, our co-workers. You can however define your 5. Its long been believed, even studied, that the 5 people you spend the bulk of your time with will either empower, or limit you. Hopefully greatness exists in those we cannot choose, but lets just assume it doesn't. Im not saying get a divorce, quit your job, leave your family. Lets be realistic, and even slightly responsible.. 

You do have a choice where you express yourself, where you spend your time. Even if its only marginal at first. The first key here is simply defining, or maybe redefining your top 5. Identify your goals and values, your core focus and then, align yourself. This process may of course take a while, but even just the addition of one positive influence in your circle can make an incredible difference. This usually leads organically to number 2, 3, and 4. The operative part here though is you need to define yourself first. Your values, and your focus. Until you have that, you will not cover much ground. Likely just trying to align yourself with "successful" people. Heres a secret, not everyone who is "successful" is worth a second of your time. Not even because they are poor examples, but perhaps because your values and focus does not align. Honestly, you will see what I mean as soon as you find a #1. 

The beauty of this is that you already have chosen to change your circle when you Chose Paradigm. Inside here the circle is much bigger than 5, but the focus is all the same. Improvement of health, happiness, and humanity. Truth be told much of what happens here isn't because of science or the program.. Most of it is what happens between your ears, because of your peers. This is how we have staked our place in changing the world, and leaving it better than we found it. Maybe, (likely) key members of your 5 are in here too. If you want my advice, Id look here first. We didn't all end up here on accident with the copious amount of other gyms in the city. Were likely all here because our values and focus align. 

Find your 5, change your 5, shuffle your 5. Just prioritize your time, and your passion. To do so you're gonna need some key people to lean on. When you take action here, you will, I guarantee see immediate benefits. 

Constant action, Always forward, Despite fear. 


The price of the pursuit, and gift of humanity. Happy Holidays!

The greatest things in life can not be purchased.  A thought provoking opening statement right? I know you all, and you're all trying to populate a list or narrative that proves it wrong. Except you really can't. Naturally you can purchase some things that will help, or provide a priceless experience. However anything you can purchase only has the value upon which you place it. That most often is quite superficial, and borderline pretentious. Its not your fault, look at the consumer world we live in. Were basically told each day how worthless our life is, until we can afford something thats actually worthless. Interesting paradox we've got ourselves into. Pursue what cannot be purchased. Health, happiness, and humanity. 

There is something intrinsically fascinating about physical training, CrossFit, fitness. It simply can only be earned, achieved, pursued. It cannot be purchased, gifted, transferred or faked. Your pursuit is quite gilded. Sure you pay a gym membership, coaches, you could even pay for drugs to help you I guess. Except, you still gotta do the work. Theres no way around it. The pursuit of fitness to me used to just be an analog to performance and capacity. After a decade with it, and hundreds of success stories, fitness to me is now about the complete evolution of the human. 

Incredible things happen within these walls, most of which are predicated on performance based efforts and success's. Its the lesser known, or seen growth that is more incredible. In your pursuit of physical goals, you acquire and amass notable experiences that apply to much more than just how fast your time was. The tedious, integral, and unavoidable reality of self in these physical efforts leads to equal efforts outside the gym eventually. I have watched you guys lose countless pounds, but also go on to crush life outside the gym too. This is what I live for. I hope to leave this world better than I found it, I hope to leave each of you better than I found you as well. If even just a little bit. This, also cannot be purchased, I must earn it. 

Life is incredible, and its all about where you look to see that. You can absolutely look to the pretentious and populate your list of possessions and material distractions. Or you can slow down and realize each breath is a gift, every sunrise and sunset, each laugh among family members. You're all a gift. I write this ironically as Im about to head to the mall on Christmas eve, and face the hordes who like myself will be purchasing a material object to convey my gratitude for someones place in my life. This is the Christmas we've created, how much you spend and are able to spend demonstrates your love? If you're able to gift, gift, if your able to love, love, if you can laugh, laugh. Just be sure to find the moments that cannot be purchased. I wish you all a Merry Christmas, abundant laughter, communion, and gratitude. 

We can all be a little bit better humans each day, and no amount of money will afford you this capability. This is within each of you, a simple decision to do the things no one will likely ever notice or thank you for, in an effort to make the world a little bit better. The holidays are a tremendous opportunity for us all to slow down and reflect on these moments. Embrace your success and journey. No matter how much money you have, you can always afford to care, love, and help. A unique human purpose is simply to be of service, to help, and to interact. This is what makes the Holidays so special, because if even for a day it slows us down to let us appreciate each other, hopefully more than ourselves. 

Enjoy your families, friends, and memories! Ill see you in the gym. 



I have had a terrible week. Yes, it happens, even to me. The author of all these motivating, mindset, ever forward blogs. Set backs happen, and sometimes they're huge. To be honest Its been one rolling thunderstorm since I returned home from vacation. Perhaps this is the norm? Im not sure, and honestly all of me wants to see the lesson here as no more vacations. I just refuse to correspond the magnificence of Hawaii with any negativity. More so I consider it fair game for the opportunity for having been able to view paradise. 

Waking up each morning with the weight of uncertainty and stress on my chest, the dreary winter, and the ever quickly approaching holiday makes it really hard to find the outlook I preach. Stress, and problems have a funny way of fixating you on the past and future. How'd I get here, what am I going to do? The thing is, like anything, its only moments. There are no problems larger than your mortality and you face that every day. This too, shall pass. Bad days happen, mistakes happen, regrets, failures, stress it all happens. To even the best of them. Its the moments that bring the sunshine. During moments of stress and chaos, the only reprieve is the moments. The only clarity comes in the simplicity and elegance of a single breath. Much the same as you will take another breath, you will if you choose, begin to better this situation. In each moment, or even millisecond it can all be distilled down to one singular concept. Happiness, or Sadness. In that question, who would ever choose sadness? Focus on the distance though and the horizon is dismal. Sadness all of a sudden seems a certainty. Focus on the past, and you surely will be saddened by the events that brought you here. Focus on this second, not forward not back, and you will always choose happiness. No one truly wants to be sad. This takes a lot of work though, its a skill, a talent to be honed and a mantra to me uttered every day. Being able to black out the past and future, to "ignore the reality" and simply make a frivolous decision to just smile is hard. In fact, its unlike what the vast majority of everyone around you does, and will tell you to do. 

Ive been asked a lot what I think my one experience, talent, lesson, etc that has lead to my success of mindset is? The "one thing", if I had one. Ironically this took me years to accept, but the one gift I was given was to be broke, poor, financially depleted. Theres a clarity that comes along with this opportunity of poverty, a sort of survival based mechanism, an any means necessary approach to everything. Simply because it all was any-means-necessary. This gift, for years haunted me as a secret. A blemish, a period of regret and embarrassment. I thought it defined me, and in a negative way. Suggesting any future success was fraud because I once got it all wrong.. Its not till I started to understand this idea of momentous living that I truly understood the lessons of poverty. I am in no way recommending poverty either.. Its awful. Terrible. Taking back spare change to find gas and food, returning pop cans, eating canned potatoes for several days on end. I know what its like to be hungry, scared, uncertain, and depressed. I have been to the bottom, and it made me who I am. I didn't realize it then, but I made choices. Every single day, to just enjoy my life. That meant at the time to live in the moment, because forward and backward were simply terrifying. Honestly it was probably Hera and Hades who got me through it most. My dogs taught me unconditional happiness in the most dire of times. I wasn't poor because of some extenuating circumstance, I arrived there by focusing on the future and losing who I was. I arrived there slowly, little by little, ironically chasing money, and ignoring passion and purpose. Being poor in many ways taught me how to find value in the things that were free. 

A lot of success stories have come from people of low means. I am in no way a success story though. I am just a person who has lived his life. Explored the nooks, crannies, corners, and drained the batteries. Ive lived highs, and lived lows. Zigged when I should have zagged. Knocked down when I thought I was getting up. Every terrible situation offers you a chance to be better. No situation ever defines you, they create you, temper you, and mold you. The strength of that mold and the character that comes out lies in the secret of one decision. Happy or Sad. Cliche as you want it to be, its true. In this life you own nothing except your health and your happiness. The rest is just borrowed time, a lie, or a distraction. 

So Ive had a bad week, it cost me thousands, it hurt, it angered me, and it distracted me. It also made me better. I made some corrections, righted the ships at sea, reviewed some process's and ultimately have come out a little smarter, and more motivated. I just needed the moments, constant action. Everything you're going through does not define you, it does not limit you, except for the attention and energy you give to it. Theres always a chance to smile, a chance to take even a half step, a chance to begin to improve. Im with you in each of those steps. Trying to be better each day, I wear your same badges and scars. Embrace your community, tighten your circle, pick up a good book. Just smile. 

And yes, these blogs are as much for me as they are for you. 

Constant Action, Always forward, Despite Fear