Month: October 2016

Carbohydrate Selections: The Right Carb for the Right Job

Whole, unprocessed carbohydrate sources have significant health and performance benefits that might go unnoticed with macronutrient counting. For example, a doughnut and an orange can both provide the carbohydrate grams one needs, but other constituents should be considered. Even honey has more health value compared to table sugar due to the vitamins and minerals it contains.

This brief describes some of the factors to consider when selecting carbohydrates, including total carbohydrate grams. While the brief is not meant to be exhaustive, this information can help someone make more optimal choices based on needs and goals.

When selecting a carbohydrate, consider these components:

-Total carbohydrate (for body composition)
-Non-caloric constituents (for health)
-Fiber (for satiety)
-Glucose vs. fructose (for recovery)

Break Before You’re Broken

“But what if I can’t do it unbroken?”

From time to time, I hear this posed as a legitimate question from athletes as they read over a workout description. They look at the movements, the loading and the rep scheme. They assess their current capabilities. Quick math is done in their heads.

Their facial expressions change and the question shoots out of their mouths: “What if I can’t do this unbroken?”

My answer is always, “Well, then break it up.”

To read the entire article, click here.

Pro Fitness Strategies for Basketball – Your Ticket To The NBA

Brandon Guarneri from mensfitness.com says that these are the effective strategies pros use for better speed, shouting, and stamina for b-ball. If you’ve been working out real hard but nothing’s working out for you, these are the ways how to be a better player on the court.

We’ve got awesome suggestions from the pros that you can definitely use to enhance your game plan. If you want to increase your speed, stamina and mental abilities, we’ve got some rad recommendations for you.

How To Become A Better Basketball Player, According To Nba Legends

You’ve been working hard in the gym, hitting the weights to boost your fitness, but nothing seems to be working. The best way to sharpen your skills on the court? By picking up tips, tricks, and training suggestions from some of the best professionals in the sport. Read more…

Livestrong.com author Jeremy Hoefs explains that an individual is required to have abilities in terms of speed, strength and power to play basketball. If you think that you still need to improve in these areas, your opponent may have the advantage.

To make sure you’re ready to tackle a real challenge, exercises designed for this sport will be your greatest leverage. It’ll make you a faster and stronger player. It can definitely turn you into a worthy opponent.

The Best Exercises for Basketball Players

Basketball is a sport that requires a combination of speed, strength, power, stamina and agility. If you’re lacking in any of these areas, your opponent gains an edge on you. Read more…

The pros that you see on TV aren’t that different from normal people like us. They wait in bus stations and airports for their rides. They experience issues with their muscles, joints, and bones that might hinder them from training. They deal with pressure in all forms: the public, social media, and their performance.

These people are admirable. They can deliver a great performance even if they deal with these major concerns every day.

Mike Wines from muscleandstrength.com gives us tips how to maximize our skills just like these players. This workout covers the technical skills as well as the physical aspect of your training.

Basketball Performance Workout: Building A Better Baller

Train like a NBA pro with this baller workout that not only covers technical skills, but also helps to build solid muscle and increase strength! Read more…

This video from iBall Academy has a nice and easy approach. Take a peek!

 

If you’re having issues with how you grip the ball, and nothing seems to be working for you, try Liquid Grip. This enhances your grip when you hold the ball, and it doesn’t interfere with your performance. It even dries in seconds!

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Questions on Nutrition w/ Jason Phillips – Nuggets & Pearls


On this KILLER episode of Nuggets & Pearls, Jason Phillips (from Episode 232), answers some excellent nutrition questions we got from our YOU, the Shrugged Thugs (thanks everyone who sent them in!)

Jason gives his take on the “can you perform well/look good eating donuts” trend that’s been so prevalent in our community lately, goes in depth about how to adjust your nutrition to match your goals (performance, looks or a combo of both) and drops a ton of really solid nutrition knowledge bombs throughout the entire episode.

If you enjoyed Jason’s podcast, you will love this Nuggets & Pearls. So fit in some time and watch this!

Thanks again Jason for coming on the show and doing this Q&A. Be sure to check out Jason’s nutrition coaching and website and his company Mission 6 Nutrition and throw some support his way.

Alex

For more:

 

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Row Pro: Calories Vs. Meters

Jonathan Burns remembers the soul-sucking pain of a 2-kilo-meter ergometer test.
His best score in his rowing prime was 5:56—an all-out effort that left him in a physical shambles, he said.

“I would be lying there recovering for two days after a 2-kilometer test,” said the former college and national-team rower and current owner of CrossFit Coeur D’Alene in Idaho.

“We would taper before them, and then you couldn’t do anything after. We’d be shot. Maybe we’d go for a light paddle the next morning, but that was it.”

All high-level rowers can relate to Burns’ experience. It’s incredibly difficult to recover from a 100 percent rowing effort, Burns explained, which is why most training days are spent working at intensity levels below an athlete’s capacity.

Burns remembers doing a common workout in training: three 2-kilometer pieces on the ergometer with approximately five minutes of rest between each. Burns said he would usually hold somewhere between 6:03 and 6:10 on the pieces. While the workout is challenging, it wasn’t that difficult to recover, he said. Often, it was even followed by a second row later in the day, he added.

Think about that: A 2-kilometer row in 5:56 left Burns a physical mess for two days, yet he could maintain a pace seven to 14 seconds slower for three consecutive pieces. And he could recover to train a second time that day.

If about 10 seconds is the difference between life and the edge of death on the rower, what does that mean for CrossFit workouts? Consider Jackie: a 1-kilometer row followed by 50 thrusters and 30 pull-ups. Do you hit the row hard and risk imploding to be first on the barbell? Or do you sandbag the row and come off fresh knowing you can make up time on the thrusters and pull-ups?

And does the strategy change if the workout requires calories rather than meters?

Sex Drive, Adrenal Fatigue & Under Eating w/ Jason Phillips – Episode 232


What’s up Shrug Nation! I took a small hiatus the last 2 weeks and spent some time down in New Zealand jumping off cliffs and playing in Hobbit Holes. It was an amazing trip, but I’m super glad to be back as I am really excited to release this week’s episode to you!

This week we interview Jason Phillips with Mission 6 Nutrition and we talk nutrition coaching, metabolic & nervous system adaptation, adrenal fatigue, and…edibles.

I have worked with Jason in the past (he helped me this summer in my weightlifting journey – Episode 224) and he has been cool enough to help educate and share some of his nutritional knowledge with our own BBS coaches. So we thought it was due time to put him on the mic to share his knowledge with all of you!

Straight up, Jason coaches a LOT of clients in their nutrition. Athletes like Sara Sigmundsdottir, Travis Mayer, Brent Fikowski, & WWE Superstar Becky Lynch.

Still think you can keep cutting calories and expect the best of both worlds?

Give this episode a listen and learn why your performance in the gym (and bedroom) is suffering because you’re not eating enough food.

Enjoy!

McG

For more:

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3 Things I Do to Make Counting Macros and Sticking to a Nutrition Plan Way Easier


If something is too damn complicated, good freaking luck following it consistently.

This ESPECIALLY rings true for nutrition.  

For any nutrition plan to work, you HAVE to be consistent. That means doing the things you’re supposed to do MOST of the time, like 80-90%. But if something is way too complicated either because the plan OR methods are or YOU’RE actually the one overthinking it and making it too complicated, you’re going to have real trouble actually making the plan and nutrition become part of your lifestyle and actually work for you. 

A big thing many people struggle with and make entirely too complicated is counting macros and measuring/weighing their food. So they don’t quantify their food at all and this hurts because it’s ESSENTIAL that you eat consistent amounts of food if you want to eat for strength and performance and not support unwanted levels of body fat.  

You should not be playing freaking food Tetris every damn day because you have 13g of fat, 2g carbs and 10g of protein to play with at the end of the day and you should not be spending 30 minutes of your day trying to calculate and log all the macros in that breakfast casserole you just enjoyed. 

You should however make a daily plan of your meals ahead of time and you should keep your meals and counting the macros for those meals as simple as possible. 

People don’t want to count macros because they believe it’s cumbersome or tedious. So make it easy! Right now I’m going to show you how. 

1. Plan your macros ahead of time, rather than tracking as you go.

The first thing I suggest is to make a daily meal plan. Seriously DO NOT try to just “wing it” by eating casually throughout the day and tracking your macros as you go along. More than likely, you will be left at the end of the day with some crazy macro combination and next thing you know, you’re eating plain egg whites or taking swigs of olive oil to make up for the difference.t’s not fun and good luck keeping up with that for more than a day or two.  It gets old, I promise.

Here’s what you do instead:

Each day you should have a plan of how much you’re going to eat, what you’re going to eat and when you’re going to eat your meals. Write it out so that when you’re preparing your food for the week or even getting ready to make just a one-off meal, you can eat according to the plan. And lastly, make it simple and just have it apply to every day for the week. You’re just trying to build consistency. Don’t worry about nutrient timing, eating less on rest days, fasting or whatever until you can get into the habit of following a basic daily plan. Those things are low on the totem pole of importance. 

Here’s how 150g protein, 180g carbs, 88g fat  would broken down to 5 meals:

Meal 1 7am – 30g protein, 1 cup veggies, 22g fat, 30g carbs

Meal 2 11am – 30g protein, 1 cup veggies, 22g fat, 30g carbs

Meal 3 2pm – 30g protein, 1/2 cup veggies, 22g fat, 30g carbs

Meal 4 5pm – Training Shake 30g protein, 30g carbs

Meal 5 7pm – 30g protein , 1/2 cup veggies 22g fat, 30g carbs

The macros are split evenly throughout the day with the exception of the training shake which doesn’t have fat. 

Now all you would have to do is plug in whatever foods you want to eat that meet the plan and if you can follow your plan every day for at least 2 weeks, then I’d say you’ve earned the right to add some complexity. 

2.Prepare simple meals

For beginners I suggest to make your meals and foods as simple as possible rather than making complicated dishes (Please re-read that, if you want results let’s keep things simple at first). It will help make the food on your plate really easy to weigh and measure. Use the list of example foods I gave in the Eating for Strength video and e-book to craft your pates.

Watch Eating for Strength | Barbell Shrugged

Learn how to structure your nutrition for strength and performance without supporting bodyfat at eatingforstrength.com

Here are some examples of my meals:

Simple Meals | Barbell Shrugged

What do you notice? The food and meals are so simple, I could literally take each food off the plate, put it back on the scale and easily weigh and measure it. Making your meals simple like this at first will help with weighing and measuring, be easier to prepare which SAVES YOU TIME and definitely helps with making the macros fit your plan better. 

3. Only count the majority macro in foods.

Foods are not perfect. They contain more than one type of macro. Meat usually contains fat. Starchy carbs usually contain protein and sometimes fat. Fats can contain carbs and protein. 

Trying to account for all that and make it all fit together with your meal plan like a puzzle can be a HUGE pain in the ass. Food Tetris. 

Instead of accounting for the minor macros in foods, I would suggest only counting the majority macro in the food for your meal planning purposes. Think of it as the 80/20 rule for accounting for macros. 

Example: if 1 serving (56 uncooked grams) of whole wheat pasta contains 1.5g of fat, 39g carbs, and 7g of protein, I’m just going to count the 39 grams of carbs and forget the other macros. 

Vegetables? Ha! I don’t even count them brah (especially if they are green and leafy). They contain so little calories and carbs (mostly in the form of fiber), it’s just not even worth it. As long as you aren’t eating ridiculously large amounts of veggies, 1/2 cup to 1 cup per meal is fine, or cooking them in huge amounts of butter or oil, don’t even worry about counting them (count the oil or butter though). 

But Alex, won’t that be wrong or off? Yes, but it doesn’t matter as long as you do this consistently. Remember no nutrition plan is “right”. You’ve GOT to stop worrying about being right and accurate and focus more about being consistent and precise

The food scale and counting macros are tools and methods to help keep you eating consistent amounts so that when it’s time to make changes and adjustments (which eventually will happen), you can look back at the food intake and make a change. 

So stop worrying about trying to make that 0.5 gram of fat in your 99% ground turkey “fit”. 

And even if you do eat some foods with a high amounts of different macros in it like a chili or casserole (see point 2 why I don’t recommend that for beginners), just always eat a consistent amount of that chili or casserole and you’ll know what you can tweak if you need to adjust something. 

Now we’ve covered all my suggestions and steps, here’s that meal plan revisited filled-in with simple as f*ck foods and their quantities :

Meal 1 7am – Egg whites (276g unprepared) cooked with a cup of sautéed spinach, 40g almond butter, 28g dry oats (about 1/2 cup prepared), 80g blueberries

Meal 2 11am – 5 oz grilled salmon, 1 cup of roasted broccoli, 145g avocado slices, 100g cantaloupe, 100g cooked brown rice

Meal 3 2pm – 5 oz grilled steak, 1/2 cup sautéed bell peppers and onions, 130g cooked brown rice, 145g avocado

Meal 4 5pm – Training Shake: 40g whey protein powder, 30g dextrose

Meal 5 7pm – 5 oz grilled chicken, 1/2 cup kale with 16g vinaigrette, 90g cooked whole wheat penne pasta, 20g walnuts

Now that’s simple AND planned!

When I go to prepare my meals and foods, it’s so simple and I’ve got my plan with what kinds of foods and how much I need to eat committed to heart so I don’t even have to think about it. It’s just automatic at this point. Even if I eat out at a restaurant, I’ve got my plan and I know what fits in that so making choices is way easier. 

That’s where I want YOU to get to. And keeping this as simple as possible is going to help you get there so much faster.  Are there any strategies you’ve developed to keep things simple and stay on track?  I’d love to hear them, leave a comment below.

And to learn more about how to eat for strength and performance without supporting high levels of body fat, go watch my free video at eatingforstrength.com.

Cheers

Alex

For more:

 

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An Open Letter to the “Met-Heads”

Are you addicted to met-cons to the detriment of overall fitness?

Yes, we know you feel like you didn’t accomplish anything on deadlift day.

It’s very clear you’re unhappy that you are not out of breath and dripping with sweat.

We’re just going to lie here on the rubber with shaking legs while you head over to the corner to bang out 100 burpees for time.

We’ll even start the clock if you feel the need to hit a quick Fran.

But we’re wrecked from heavy day, so please don’t ask us to join you.

Here’s why: You’re part of a CrossFit program.

Conditioning is a big part of CrossFit. Many workouts done in CrossFit gyms and programmed on CrossFit.com cause you to sweat heavily, breathe hard and collapse on the floor at the end. These workouts range from relatively short tests such as Fran to longer challenges such as Cindy, and many Hero workouts take athletes into time domains past 20 minutes.

Among the benchmark workouts, you’ll find a CrossFit Total containing pure strength work in the form of three max lifts, but CrossFit’s most well-known benchmarks tend to be tests of conditioning more often than tests of absolute strength. Perhaps that causes many people to define CrossFit with the likes of Helen, Karen and Annie and actually apply the term “CrossFit workout” to any challenge that makes the lungs burn.

While it’s true that Fran is one of CrossFit’s signature workouts and great test of certain aspects of fitness, it’s but one part of a program that emphasizes constant variation and competency in 10 areas of fitness.

From CrossFit’s “Level 2 Training Guide and Workbook”: “While people sometimes characterize CrossFit by the mixed-modal workouts for time (‘met-cons’), this is a limited view. Days devoted to strength training are an essential variant of CrossFit and are also ‘CrossFit’ workouts.”

In fact, the “Level 2 Training Guide and Workbook” presents an analysis of a month of CrossFit.com programming from December 2015. Of the 23 workouts, six were heavy days—about 25 percent.

CFJ_MetHead_Warkentin-2.jpg “You can’t make me lift heavy. I’ll only do sets of 30 or more.“

These workouts might appear to be strength work only, but that sentiment ignores the words of CrossFit Founder and CEO Greg Glassman, who outlined the big picture with respect to weightlifting in “What Is Fitness?”: “The benefits of weightlifting do not end with strength, speed, power, and flexibility. The clean and jerk and the snatch both develop coordination, agility, accuracy, and balance and to no small degree.”

That bit of wisdom is also part of the “Level 1 Training Guide.” All this means little to those drunk on met-cons—the “met-heads.”

You’re a member of this gym subgroup if you dislike, avoid or simply see no point in strength work, to include heavy, low-rep powerlifting and weightlifting movements.

If you are a met-head, you generally hate the following:

• Any lifting workout involving singles, triples, fives or eights.
• Any workout that involves rest between heavy efforts.
• Any load above about 95/65 lb.
• Any heavy variation of a Girl workout.
• The phosphagen system.
• Efforts lasting less than two minutes.
• CrossFit Journal articles by Bill Starr.
• Powerlifting and powerlifters.
• Weightlifting and weightlifters.

If you’re a met-head, you’re likely offended already, but read on before missing the point and dumping an under-developed opinion on Facebook.

No one is saying conditioning workouts are bad. They are very valuable in developing fitness.

What I’m saying is that if you are part of a CrossFit program but avoid lifting workouts, you are missing out on a significant portion of the program and will not get as fit as you could have had you but grabbed a heavy barbell once in a while.

CFJ_MetHead_Warkentin-3.jpg “Do you think we did enough Frans today?”

As a met-head, you have a faint but still-present connection to the long-slow-distance mentality that says longer and more are better and you aren’t training unless you’re breathing hard.

Long workouts are absolutely part of CrossFit, and you most definitely need to do longer aerobic efforts such as a 10-km run from time to time. “More” is also required at times—such as when you tackle a challenging Hero workout and test your endurance and stamina with a large amount of reps.

Some athletes who are lacking in endurance—count me in this crowd—would do very well to spend some extra time running, rowing or swimming. That’s called “targeting a weakness,” and if it’s done properly, it will result in greater overall fitness.

But, in general, longer and more are not “better” in the CrossFit world; they are only part of the constantly varied CrossFit world.

CrossFit’s Third Fitness Standard (also outlined in “What Is Fitness?”) states that total fitness demands training in each of three metabolic pathways: phosphagen, glycolytic and oxidative. The first, the phosphagen system, is trained predominately with efforts of about 30 seconds or less—think sprints, weightlifting, powerlifting and short maximal efforts. Ignore this metabolic pathway at peril to your overall fitness.

CFJ_MetHead--Warkentin-4.jpg “Why won’t he deadlift with me?”

A common complaint from a met-head after a 3-rep-max deadlift: “I don’t feel like I got a good workout.”

Compare that to the athlete who’s quivering on the floor after grinding her way through 3 very heavy reps that took a piece of her soul.

Here’s some perspective: Many lifters get the “Fran feeling” in their stomachs before a PR attempt because they know the effort is going to take everything they have. Others look at a racked barbell that’s bending under the weight of an upcoming squat attempt and get the exact same butterflies you get before a run at a 5-km PR.

After a maximum effort on the barbell, many lifters are utterly taxed—physically, emotionally and spiritually. They’re completely done and badly in need of some couch and Netflix while the body and mind recover. That single deadlift was so challenging and stressful that they need no other fitness training for the day. Believe it.

As a met-head, you likely won’t experience that because you don’t put in maximal effort on strength days. The same way a lifter might merely try to survive a long run by putting in the work but not pushing very hard, you seek to survive strength work by avoiding safe but heavy loads that would truly challenge your strength.

By short-circuiting strength work—or by avoiding it altogether—you receive few or none of its benefits and consequently see no value in it. And so you avoid it. It’s a vicious circle.

The solution is simple: Lift something heavy once in a while as part of well-programmed CrossFit training. You don’t even have to do it very often—maybe about once a week or so. Doing so will not affect your conditioning, and you certainly don’t have to enjoy it as much as you enjoy the crunch of leaves underfoot during a 5-km trail run in autumn. You just have to do it with the knowledge that you’ll be fitter for it.

In fact, we’ll join you on that trail run if you come by the gym and work up to a heavy deadlift triple first. We’ll chalk up, rattle a few plates as a group and then cheer you on as we try to keep up with you.

And we’ll all get fitter together.

Love to lift but hate conditioning? Read “An Open Letter to the ‘Big Dogs.’”

About the Author: Mike Warkentin is the managing editor of the CrossFit Journal and the founder of CrossFit 204.

Photos: Mike Warkentin/CrossFit Journal

CrossFit Lifeguards: The Browns

Their goals were simple.

“Show up,” Marlo Brown wrote in silver-colored marker on the “goals” blackboard at Cloud 9 CrossFit in New Jersey.

Her husband, Phil: “Wear my shirt.”

When the couple first walked into the affiliate three years ago, Marlo weighed 430 lb. Phil weighed 502 lb. When Phil sat on one of the rowers, the machine bowed under his weight. Once they joined, Marlo was thinking she would try her damnedest to be there three times a week, and owner Chuck Makatura gave Phil an XL T-shirt—the largest he had. Phil wore a 5XL at the time.

Today, 49-year-old Marlo has the highest attendance of anyone at Cloud 9 CrossFit—including Makatura. And on June 2, 42-year-old Phil drew a line through “Wear my shirt” on the blackboard to the applause and high-fives of the rest of that evening’s 6:15 class.

At her heaviest, Marlo was 530 lb. at 5 foot 9; Phil was 570 at 6 feet tall. Now Marlo weighs 234 and Phil weighs 297.

Before starting CrossFit, Marlo had lost roughly 100 lb. through diet, but a three-night stay in a hospital scared her enough to want more drastic changes.

“I got an infection,” she explained.

It started as an allergic reaction to shampoo. But Marlo scratched her ankle so badly she broke her skin. Her poor circulation wouldn’t let the wound heal.

CFJ_CFSML_Cecil-2.jpg At his heaviest, Phil Brown weighed 570 lb.

When she was discharged, she left with six prescriptions. She also found out she was diabetic.

Marlo’s health markers—including blood pressure and cholesterol—were “through the roof.” At the time, she worked in the billing department of the same hospital, so she knew what they meant.

“If I saw those numbers on anyone else, I would have said, ‘They’re dead.’ And they were mine.”

At the time, Marlo couldn’t walk the entirety of a city block without stopping at least three times to catch her breath. A simple trip from the couch to the bathroom elicited pain.

Phil, meanwhile, had been on bipolar medication since he was 18 and blood-pressure medication since he was 25. He had an awful snore and was an undiagnosed narcoleptic. He frequently fell asleep while driving.

“I almost ran headlong into a pickup truck,” he said.

So when Marlo got her six prescriptions, she was resolute.

“I said, ‘I am not taking any of these.’”

She met with her family doctor, who told her she had to take the diabetes medication, and if she wanted to get off it—and avoid the other five medications—she knew what she needed to do.

A year earlier, Marlo had watched her 68-year-old father die of his 10th and final stroke. He suffered from high blood sugar, as well as high blood pressure.

CFJ_CFSML_Cecil-4.jpg After a hospital stay for an infection, Marlo Brown decided to make a change.

All You Have to Do Is Start

It was a slow go when the couple first started CrossFit, Makatura remembered.

“I was kind of overwhelmed,” he said. “I didn’t know where to start.”

Phil and Marlo could not get down onto the floor, much less get up from it. Running, squatting to full depth, jumping rope were all out of the question.

So the Cloud 9 coaches did what every other coach at every other affiliate around the globe does: They scaled for their athletes’ physical and psychological tolerances.

Phil and Marlo ran in place instead of running outside, they squatted to a high plyo box instead of getting their hip creases below their knees, they hopped in place instead of jumping rope. For wall-ball shots, they squatted to a box, threw the medicine ball into the air and caught it before squatting again.

“Our goal was to get them to do their best,” Makatura said, “and still maximize intensity through scaling.”

CFJ_CFSML_Cecil-3.jpg Phil Brown is now down almost 300 lb. and working on improving his squat.

Today, Marlo is running and doing ring rows, and Phil recently got his first double-under after making his first box jump at 10 inches.

“I told them, ‘Listen, just focus on that two seconds or that 5 lb. Give me those small PRs because you guys are in this for the long run,’” Makatura said he told them.

For the Browns, CrossFit has given them back their lives.

No longer must they avoid the booth at the restaurant or shop at specialty clothing stores.

“These little things make our day,” Marlo said happily.

Phil, previously resigned to an existence of poor health, had once thought, “This is the life we’ve chosen. … It’s gonna get worse.”

Marlo added: “We were sitting in our living room waiting for death. I don’t know that we’d be alive.”

CFJ_CFSML_Cecil-5.jpg Marlo Brown has a goal of trading ring rows for pull-ups one day.

They could have ended up in an electric scooter with atrophied muscles—like so many of Phil’s relatives—or suffered a long, miserable death at the hands of one chronic disease or another, they said.

“Either we would have died from a heart attack or I would have killed us from falling asleep (while driving),” Phil said.

“Now he’s wide awake all the time,” Marlo noted cheerfully.

And their CrossFit experience has evolved: It’s now more than just a way to shed pounds.

“I have goals for myself when it comes to working out instead of just losing weight,” Marlo said. “Seeing what I do here, I want to do better at these things.”

She wants a rope climb and a pull-up instead of those pesky ring rows. Phil is working to improve his squat and recently tried paddle boarding for the first time.

“They’re the epitome of what CrossFit really is,” Makatura said.

While CrossFit Games athletes are admirable for their athletic feats, Phil and Marlo have embodied the definition of fitness, he noted.

“Increasing work capacity—that’s what they’ve done,” Makatura continued. “I’d rather have 100 Phil and Marlos than 100 Rich Fronings. Even though Rich Froning’s a sexy stud, their ability to overcome adversity is second to none.”

About the Author: Andréa Maria Cecil is assistant man- aging editor and head writer of the CrossFit Journal.

Photo credits (in order): Courtesy of Phil and Marlo Brown, Danielle Astrab (all others)