Tuesday, June 21, 2011


As many of you know, this past weekend was the South Central Regional Qualifier for the 2011 Crossfit Games in Carson CA. You all may also know that my sister Carey Kepler and sister-in-law Lisa Thiel finished first and third respectively. And not to be left out, their training partner and good friend Lindsey Smith, who finished second just ahead of Lisa. I have the privilege to be in the gym and to train around and with the three of these girls on a regular basis. They are competitive with each other but also have great respect and help coach and cheer each other on when they are prepping for competition.

I wanted to give them a shout out, and can't wait to go to Cali for the 2011 Crossfit Games. I also wanted to give big props to Ingrid Kantola who is going to be in the Games for sure next year. You talk about Lion Heart!

I wanted to give a big applause to my brother Jeremy Thiel for a tenth place finish and getting the ball rolling for the 2012 Games. He is an assassin and will be on it for next year. Much love for my brother from another mother, Lance Cantu, who finished in eight place. The man is a beast and has heart of a champion. Look for him to make moves.
And last but not least to Crossfit Central's team who battled hard and just came up a little short finishing in fourth place and Team Red Black who finished in twelfth place. Next year can't come soon enough!

And now for your viewing pleasure I have a new video of yours truly doing what I love to do. I must say watching myself train is sometimes hard to do. I must get quicker under the bar with both the clean and the snatch. The practice goes on.

I just wanted to add that I lost a friend this past Sunday. He was a father and husband and had a wonderful family and wife. I grew up playing little league baseball, youth football, junior high and high school football with him. Over the years we had lost touch with each other but occasionally bumped into each other in Lubbock when I would head back into town. (Lubbock is a small place) He was always friendly and back in the day always had my back. I just wanted to say that life is short and you never know. Live it with no regrets and you don't have to take crap from anyone. Talk to your family and friends, and I mean talk to them. Not just through Facbook and texting.
You and your family are in my thoughts Carlton.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Power and Speed

As the sport of CrossFit has grown so have many other not as well known sports. With CrossFit, Olympic lifting and gymnastics have become more mainstream, at least with the CrossFit community. But, those of you who have never played organized sports or it's been a few years since that time may not realize that Olympic lifting has been a mainstay in many of your high school and college weight rooms. There are varying opinions on whether or not Olympic style lifting is as affective as say, power lifting or strongman training for your competitive athlete. I personally think there is room for both, but to build power and speed there is nothing better than the Olympic style lifts.

Artie Dreschler says, "The mere practice of the Olympic lifts teaches an athlete how to apply large amounts of force. Part of the extraordinary abilities of an Olympic lifter arises out of his having learned how to effectively activate more of his muscle fibers more rapidly than others who aren’t trained to do so. This becomes extremely important for athletes who need to remain at lower body weights for athletic purposes but need to learn how to apply greater force. Olympic lifts will help build force development without producing unnecessary hypertrophy, which could even tighten the athlete up and make him or her slower."

You can directly apply this understanding to train football players, wrestlers, baseball players, and even basketball players. Oh, and CrossFitters as well. These lifts can also be applied to your younger athlete to help develop body control and explosive power.

Matt Delany of www.EliteFTS.com says, "However, with younger athletes, there’s a lot you can do to progress them to have bulletproof shoulders with Olympic lifting movements. At this young age, there are many structural and postural changes that can be made quickly as long as you make smart progressions. A very intelligent physical therapist, John Pallof, has actually found a place for cleans in his program for pitchers because he believes the lifts have some unique qualities in force absorption for the shoulder.

Not only will Olympic lifting help with all the stated points above but will help with strength gains. Over the past three months I have dedicated myself nearly to Olympic lifting only with one to two CrossFit workouts a week and have managed to take 80% (#360) of my back squat max and do 6x6 with out any real spotting. Managing to make this jump in such a short period of time is quit an accomplishment for someone who didn't back squat on a regular basis. I have also managed to keep myself in fairly descent metcon shape.

I think Olympic lifting can and should be a valuable part of your training package. You should have a knowledgeable coach to help with form and to guide you with your progressions. The lifts are fun and will help you have the strength gains you want and help develop either the athletes you train or yourself.

Source: Defending Olympic Lifting Movements for Athletes, Strongmen, and Powerlifters.

Update on Fuel 21!
So this is day three of Fuel 21 and so far so good. Sticking to the list and eating when hungry. My body comp was about what I thought it would be with 15% body fat and weighing in at190lbs. My goal is for below 10% body fat and weighing in at below 180lbs. It's gonna happen!
Look for more to come!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Fuel 21 and Me

So here in the next few days I will embark on a new eating adventure. I have committed to doing Crystal Nelson's Fuel 21 for the next three weeks starting this coming Sunday. I received the allowed to eat food list this past weekend and didn't see any beer on it. I say this because during the 21 days I will be going to my home town of Lubbock for a wedding. When in Lubbock I drink a lot with my buddies who are still there and I will be challenged to say the least. Not to mention, my parents own a Mexican food restaurant which is another frequently visited place while in my hometown. And, did I mention I'm going to a wedding??
This should be fun!

I would say darn near everything on the list of acceptable foods I already eat. The biggest difference will be when I eat it and in what combination I eat it. Not to mention I won't be using any supplements other than fish oil and supper foods which I already use. As much as I enjoy post workout shakes, protein shakes along with some other supplements I am looking forward to going the 21 days without them. I am also thankful that everything that is growing in my garden is on the list of foods I can devour. I'm going to state right here right now that I am shooting for a loss of 5% body fat and drop below 180lbs. I weight 188lbs right now as I type this and know for a fact I will get to my stated goal. If I drop 5% body fat that should put me around 10% body fat which would be GREAT! Get stronger and lighter? I can only imagine what my lifts and conditioning will be like!

To say the least, I am excited to get this started and look forward to the challenge of travelling and sticking to the list. I'll keep everyone posted on my progress and might even post some before and after pics. After seeing what Fuel 21 did for coach Chris Hartwell I know I will get the same results.