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Thursday, March 31, 2011

How do we get healthy?


So now that we've been designated as the unhealthiest county in Ohio. What can we do to get back on track? what do you need to do? Come to PSKC...pretty simple. You'll be instructed, coached, and motivated. We'll get you strong and make you capable, plain and simple. You'll lose fat and you will get strong.
Yes they are chicks and yes they are doing pullups..

But working out is only one part of the equation. To get truly healthy you've got to eat right..if you're serious about being disease free and feeling've got to have a sound nutrition plan. Stop inhaling grains and sugar....replace with sugar with fats....good fats.

By now, you know I recommend the primal/caveman/Paleo way of eating. It works...don't believe me. Try it out for yourself. Give yourself 30 days and stick to won't want to go back.

Below are two posts I copied from Josh Bunch of Practice Crossfit up in Troy, Ohio. The guy is a great coach, athlete, and knows his stuff when it comes to nutrition. You'd be good to read his website everyday as he far more smarter than I when it comes to explaining why you shouldn't crap...see for yourself and enjoy.

Pop quiz hot shot. Is it better to eat a 300 calorie meal, only to eat 300 calories worth of nuts and seeds two hours later because you weren't satisfied. Or, be it more glorious just to smash 600 calories at one sitting and eat at your next scheduled feeding?
You are correct you very argumentative creature in the back, and in my mind arguing with me as I write. Saying, "well that depends on what your goals are". Close the doors and turn off the text messages for thirty seconds and lets just assume we all have the same relative goal. Bad-Ass.
Bad-Ass= Lean. Not stupid lean, and a different lean for everybody, but void of that jiggly feeling, and with enough in the tank to still be fast. That kinda leanness where your family worries if you eat because you belly doesn't hand over your belt as theirs does. Muscular. Not cantaloupe biceps, or quads that only fit into cheerleader skirts or kilts...but damn cool functional muscles that draw attention and others wish they had....that's they say things like, "I just don't wanna be that big"....translation-"I don't want to work". And of course strong enough to lift a car off a pinned child, or fast enough to grab rex before he leaps in front of that car. All with the composure of a saint...until you need to bring out that inner demon you keep for those all to special occasions. You know, that kinda Bad-Ass.
Now that we have that out of the way, the right and simple path to Bad-Ass as far as snacking is concerned is don't. Even if its Paleo approved, and even if your under your normal caloric intake, grazing like a cow is worse than gorging like a lion.Think about it. Lions sprint, fight, and eat meat and fat, then sleep. They kinda mirror a CrossFitter. Quick all out short effort, then reward, then relax. Cows are vegetarians and graze all damn day. Lions gorge and are bad ass, cows asses are just bad.
Now if you are just famished beyond belief between meals I'm not saying the occasional snack will derail you plans. Nor am I saying avoid that 300 calories of nuts, until you almost gnaw your arm off until you order a pizza. I'm simply saying watch out for the offenders below, and ensure you employ tactics to ensure snacking becomes a distant happening, that has no relevance, as opposed to a daily offender giving you cow ass:
Four Snacking Killers
Right, like the millionth time we have went over this, but this is one of the main reasons why it would be better to eat fewer times in the day, and just bigger meal. Despite what the funny pages say. As you may know Insulin is simply a storage hormone. A variable cache of caloric energy shuttled to every hopefully healthy cell in the body. Spawned primarily from carbohydrate consumption.
But not entirely from carbohydrate consumption. Everything we eat potentially releases some insulin, and when we are in that fed state we fail to continue to burn fat. Eating until satisfaction, as opposed to stopping short, just to eat more soon after just means your bathed in the storage state more. And what do you wanna be better at..storing fat for hibernation, or burning fat for fuel?
Eating whenever you pass a bowl of anything demonstrates weakness and avoidance. Especially if it happens to be carbohydrate of sugar based. When this behavior is allowed to occur, your essentially putting up a wall to whatever is truly nagging that brain of yours, and your trying to silence it with dopamine released by the sugar...ahh addicts we are...its unavoidable. So pick another addiction.
Even the constant need to eat Paleo snack after snack is some form of crude self-therapy preventing us from dealing with a deeper issue, or stress. Hiding behind food, even Paleo food is a spiral that will end badly. Keep you hands off desk candy, brunch specials, and numerous Paleo picnics...carry a big jug of water, and every time you would snack...drink.
 Discovered in humans in 1994, and discussed via our blog heavily, Leptin is essential the master hormone of our entire existence. Produced oddly enough from our fat cells. And you thought fat was bad. Just as one can become resistant to insulin, one can be resistant to Leptin. And without going into a full on Leptin assault, the gist of it is, the fatter you are, the more resistant you are. The more resistant you are, the more hungry you feel because Leptin Satisfies hunger.
To ensure proper Leptin levels one must eat what this beautiful hormone comes from. Fat. Instead of 50% of your calories from protein, some from fat and some from carbs. Ensure that at least 60% of your total daily caloric intake comes from fat, followed by 30% protein or so, then the rest can be incidentally laced with trace carbs. Satisfy Leptin, end snacking.
WKO fed:
That little pre-workout "I'm a runner from the mid-ninety's and I need to carb load" bullshit meal your still pounding prior to a WOD is at the very least ensuring you wont be burring anything during that WOD except for those particular calories. If your already where you want to be, and performing well, go for it, but if not, working out fasted should be your path everyday. And fasted is at least five hours without food.
The best pre-workout meal today, was yesterdays post workout meal.
Yes Bad-Asses snack. But its hard to be as Bad-Ass as possible with handful of food every thirty minutes because you think your stomachs eating itself. Its mush easier to simply eat more at each feeding, and keep the in-between meals to an absolute emergency, as opposed to a habit. Not only will your family and friends back off you about your ravenous hunger, but you may become even more predatory like our Carnivorous CrossFit friend the lion, as opposed to our vegetarians scale tipping cow.

And now a post on why Americans are shoveling sugar into our mouths.....

As I Pull into a local Coffee shop drive through for a morning Injection Im welcomed yet again by a Barista saying, "good morning, what can I get for you"? Me="black coffee". Barista="would you like sugar and cream with that"?. Me="Like I said yesterday, black". Barista="Oh I forgot, nobody does that, Ok can I get you a fresh muffin with that"?
After that I burned the %#^$ing place down. Ok maybe not but, these conversations happen at this, and just about every coffee shop I frequent in our little hometown, and I don't particularly believe it is our little coffee bartenders fault either.
Of course they are instructed to offer such profitable items to the masses. Of course someone constantly getting the absolute bare minimum beverage a Coffee house can serve is a little boring and odd. Especially compared to Enorme triple espresso, skinny lady, soy infused heroin laced whipped top desert beverages, and cake on the side. Oh wait, if its the morning we call cake muffins then its ok.
Theses single serving "Add-ons" may not have added ever so greatly to our waistline,even though I'm sure they are a contributor. But apparently they seem to be taking more humanity out of the supposedly more human of us.
How They Get Kids:
We have becomes so clever at marketing, and up-selling we have trickled down to items like the below. Items that even I myself missed, but a friend made it painfully clear of a possible attempt to attract younger drinkers.
Several PCF folks have strolled in with a rather cleverly packaged new Pepsi item. An item that PCF sells in another form. "Gasp", yup its un-paleo as shit. Remember Paleo Poser, not Paleo Douch.
The offending agent doesn't necessarily stem from the fact that it has enough caffeine which is rather light for Rockstar. Its not that it has the fake B-vitamins that really don't do shit. Or even the the other ninety items on the ingredients list that don't pass a spell-check. Its the damn straw.
Some will argue the little straw pinkie up bullshit will sell well to the Sex and the City crowd who are just all to pretentious to place those pretty collagen filled lips over the ends of a lowly aluminum can...and this may very well be true. But the fact remains that it bears and odd resemblance to a juice-box of old. And juice boxes, or capri-sun esq designs find themselves all to frequent in the hands and lunch boxes of the young.
Personally I don't really find any form of canned bullshit to be ultimately healthy. In my very human hypocritical state I argue why having one a day or so most likely will do nothing negative to me. One justification leaves room for more. And even a little $%#^ still $%#$ed.
Weather or not a Rockstar a day is the gateway justification for an ice cream finisher is still un-proven. The jury remains out weather the Rockstar straw was intended as mentioned above, or just an oversight by hypnotized adults who should know better.
How They Get Us:
Our official hatred of change, rampant cynicism, and hypocrisy make adults a much easier marketing target than kids who smell those bad behaviors a mile away, and once they catch us, our kids follow. The reason is, adults are just big kids who have allowed this behavior to go on longer, and at some point we began to fold our moral code into the code of the land. Its not that they target kids...its that they weaken us, kids stronger than thou will eventually follows suit. Kids don't make kids fat, we make kids fat.
"Im in a hurry, and can't cook so I just leave pizza money for my kids most nights". "I have no time for breakfast, anyways my kids love cereal". This is what we heard.....this is what we do...this is how we die.
Sprinkle those en-grained hypocritical tactics with a side of the "I deserve" American attitude, add a pinch of "you can't tell me what to do" topped off with a whipped "but they have it, so should I". And you essentially have a marketing strategy that simultaneous makes all of us more dependent on stuff, not ourselves. 
Five year olds everywhere beware. Its not falling out of a tree, failing to look both ways when crossing the street, or talking to strangers. Its that ever so hypnotized hypocrite in front you infected by advertising, paralyzed by persuasion that actually believes a bowl of sugar in the morning is ok, because that's what the T.V. says, and that's what my Mom said. The loaded gun in the house may not be at the top of the closet, it may be in the pantry, and take longer to go off.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Scioto County: Unhealthiest County in Ohio

So not only do we have the distinguished title of being the meth/pain pill capital of Ohio, we now add the illustrious title of “unhealthiest county”. So essentially this article tells us that we are the fattest, smokingiest, dumbest, and poorest folks in the state. Well that’s just great.... for an outsider’s perspective it seems that the good and hardworking people in Southern Ohio are hard to find. But you can count on finding a shitbag/lazy/drug and/or food addict on every corner  . Is this really true? If so, what are you doing about it?

I was born and raised here..and I’m proud of that fact. For about 8 years I moved away for college and the military and I was fortunate enough to land a job to move back here. Portsmouth had its problems when I grew up here, but damn when I came back it seemed the entire region was going down to path of destruction that Charlie Sheen would envy, with pain pill addiction leading the charge.

Here is great article by the Cleveland Plain Dealer on Scioto County:

Here is my favorite piece;

"a handful of licensed doctors pump out prescriptions for an estimated 35 million pain pills a year to an ever-mushrooming population of pill-crazed patients who come from near and far just to cop.
Do the math, and it comes to roughly 460 pills for every man, woman and child in this county of 76,000 residents, according to 2008 state pharmacy board statistics.
Stories of crimes committed by addicts in this community awash in pain pills float like ghosts through the air: Thieves dug the wires from the pitching machines for the Little League out of the ground twice recently to sell for scrap. The gumball machine was broken into at the Portsmouth health department for $20 in change. The manhole covers have disappeared off city streets"

WTF? So why has a once proud community known for its hard working reputation received national attention for being a magnet of sick, fat, drug addicts? I’m sure there are several contributing factors that led to our current status (for real, we are worse than Pike County?! Damn..have you ever been to the Waverly Wal-Mart on the first of the month? It will make you appreciate the New Boston Wal-Mart with a quickness, and that’s a bold statement).

Obviously, you have lack of employment opportunities and no local industry being top of the list. And we all know how this cycle plays out, if you’re unemployed you’re far more likely to get on drugs or welfare, most likely both…and being a drug addict ain’t so good for your health. So the two problems compliment one another quite well. These are the quick answers you’ll get from reading any political science/economy text book. But the real answer is the far majority of the people of Scioto County have become complacent and weak (and just because you have a good/staple job and aren’t snorting oxys up your nose doesn’t mean you’re not at fault either).

Scioto County is microcosm for a much bigger problem in America. We are a society of convenience and finger pointers, once strong we are turning weak.…looking for other people to blame for our problems. It’s mommy and daddy’s fault because they weren’t around enough, it’s our government’s fault, my boss doesn’t like me, insert whatever weak excuse you want. Zac Even Esh aptly names this the “pussification of America”. Go to this link and you’ll see first hand what I’m talking about. Lil Johnny did 60 pushups at school and now his mom wants to sue.

Could it be, just maybe.... it’s your fault? Maybe your kid’s teacher knows what he/she is doing and your kid needs his ass whooped, and while we’re at it..maybe little Johnny shouldn’t be glued to the XBOX, and his little ass should go play outside.

Maybe you’re overweight because you eat doughnuts and park your inactive self on the couch, and it’s probably not a “thyroid problem” either.

Maybe you didn’t get a raise, because you didn’t work harder than the next guy.

Maybe our town is the most drug infested, weakest, unhealthiest place in the state, because you didn’t do anything about it. You did nothing to stop it, you let it happen. Everybody always wants to bitch…but not that many people are willing to step up and do something about it.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" Edmund Burke

You can say “it’s not my problem”…but that’s too easy. You’re better than that. You do live here, this is your community. You can make a difference. Or you can sit back and let it go all to hell…pick a side, but saying it’s your problem is a cowardly thing to do.

What can you do? I don’t have the specific answer, that's for you to figure out…but I do know this… doing nothing is unacceptable. Start with being a strong example for friends/family/coworkers to follow, be a better parent, be a little league coach, go volunteer, donate time/money…get involved in your community. Everyone needs that person to help them in their time of that person.

There are those who “rage against the dying of the light”. Those who choose the hard road over the easy path…these people are the members of PSKC.

These people are more than just members of a gym....they are actively engaged in their communities, they are teachers, judges, correction officers, pee wee coaches, doctors, nurses… the body and mind are not separate entities. Strong bodies make strong minds. They use PSKC as the source of their strength to help their community.

For far too long, we’ve been devastated by the disease of weakness…now is the time for strength. Come get your body strong, which will make your mind strong…which will better equip you to make your community strong. You have a choice….pick a side, your community is in desperate need to good people, don't let evil triumph.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

When You Lose Count, the Answer Is Always One More..

The "Clean & Press Punisher" lived up to its name
Clean and Presses are the beeznees. Take a heavy object from the ground load it up to the chest level and hoist it overhead...rinse and repeat. Throw some pullups in there and you've got a effective method of getting strong and conditioned. So that's exactly what we the strength portion of the workout we broke into partners and did 4 sets of 5 clean/presses coupled with pullups. After the heavy lifting we went into the "Punisher":
50 Clean and Presses each arm, but every minute on the minute you had to do 3 burpees. This workout forced you to do 2 things:

1) Be good at technique
2) Be good at math under stress, because you did not want to lose count.

Tayler lost she just kept going...
And a special happy birthday to "Guns" Guilliams...this is her after her customary birthday burpees. A year ago she wouldn't have been able to complete the workout, let alone smile after burpees.

And finally we need to focus more on nutrition and eating clean. As a simple recommendation, the first step is to make better food quality choices...simplly eat all natural foods, nothing processed. Once you feel comfortable there the best route to go is eat like a caveman. Here is good quick article on the benefits of eating like a caveman:

This style of nutrition/lifestyle is a pretty simple commonsense approach based on these two quotes:

"If it doesn't swim, run, or fly, or isn't green and grow in the ground, don't eat it."

"If man made it; don't eat it" - Jack LaLanne

Pretty don't need to measure, you don't need to eat 6 meals a day. You eat foods that only a caveman would have ate...specficially meat, fish, fowl, eggs, vegetables, fruit, seeds, and nuts. If you're not eating these things, odds are you're engorged in the typical American diet based on staples of grain and processed foods. Which means you probably have hyperinsulism and your insides are super inflamed....all of which will lead to some nasty diseases in the not too distant future.

Which brings us to the next point....there's two mental connections you need to make that will help you eat better foods.

1) Think of food as your long term medicine/prescription plan. No bones about it, what you put in your mouth is going to have a direct affect on your health. Food is going to do one of two things; it's either going to make you healthier or it's possibly gonna make you sick and suspectible to disease. So it's best to be shoveling the good stuff in your mouth versus the processed poisonous chemicals, that the mega-food company giants want you to.

2) Performance...think of food as only a means to fuel for your body. Do you want rocket fuel or do you wanna piss in your gas tank? Speficially, ask yourself will what I'm about to eat help me become stronger, faster, quicker, etc...will it help kick my next workout's ass? Or will you be in the middle of a tough workout asking yourself.."why the hell did I eat like s#$t? I'm sucking big time, I'm an idiot" And trust me I've had that internal dialogue with myself several times...

So below are some key takeaways from the article to get you going down the right path...make the choice and stick to it, you will feel amazing...

•Take that grass-fed cow, cut its frickin' head off, and eat it – and don't feel bad about it either. That's what we're meant to do. Our mouths have incisors for an evolutionary reason, which is to tear flesh from the bone, not to separate the marshmallows from the cereal bits in Lucky Charms. Nature is savage – we're savage creatures. The further we move away from that, and eat fake factory foods to try to compensate, the sicker and fatter we become.

•Eliminate almost all processed foods. Most processed foods are just a random combination of the following six ingredients: (1) Sugar (and/or high fructose corn syrup), (2) Trans-fats/hydrogenated oil, (3) High omega-6 vegetable oils, (4) wheat or flour-based starch, (5) refined salt, (6) artificial ingredients/sweeteners. None of which are good for you.

•Make lean animal protein the foundation of your diet. A range for strength training athletes is 0.8g-2.0g/lb of lean body mass, depending on the composition of the rest of the diet.

•Eliminate concentrated sources of fructose from the diet. Ditch the high fructose corn syrup, any processed food with fructose as a sweetener, sugar (which is 1 molecule of fructose + 1 molecule of glucose), fruit juice/smoothies, and dried fruit. I'm personally not a huge fan of fruit, but 1-2 pieces of whole, unaltered fruit a day shouldn't be problematic. Just don't start inhaling bananas by the bushel. At that point, fructose adds up.

•Eliminate transfats/hydrogenated oils.

•Reduce omega-6 consumption by eliminating vegetable oils.

•Increase omega-3 consumption through wild fish, grass-fed and finishd beef, and FlameoutTM.

•Eliminate gluten-containing grains such as wheat, rye, and barley.

•While you're at it, eliminate most other cereal grains, including those damn, overrated whole grain products (breads and cereals).

•Eliminate dairy foods while cutting (milk, cream, cheese, yogurt). Isolated milk proteins are cool.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

This Week Intro Is Moved to Tuesday at 5pm...

Troy and Ashley battling it out..
This week was a great week of training. We got to get outside a little bit, work on the deadlift technique and did some strongman training. Speaking of which, Primetime deadlifted 205lbs for her first time ever lifting heavy, not to mention the fact she ran a half marathon a few weeks back...the definition of strong and capable. Also we started our 2 month train up for the events that will go down at the PSKC Gauntlet on May 21st. For more details check out...
Get the word out on's gonna be one helluva event. Don't forget you need to register no later than May 2nd. Also, just announced we are gonna have an awesome BBQ at Primetime's house afterwards. All you need to do is bring a side dish!

Sandbag up and overs..nothing more functional than lifting heavy s#$t off the ground..
The Lane of Pain (LOP) is officially opened for the season
Now onto this week's schedule. The kettlebell intro for this week has been moved from Wednesday to Tuesday at 5pm. Please let your friends know...and continue to get the word out. We will be changing the way we do intros in the near future, so this will be one of the last times this type of intro will be offered.

Mo and I beta-tested Monday's workout this afternoon and you guys will really dig it! See you tomorrow at the 6 or 7...

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Proud to Be from Portsmouth

They proved even back in the pre-season that "We Are One"

Back in October I had the privilege of hosting the Portsmouth High School Basketball team for a workout at PSKC. Yesterday they finished their season losing a tough game in the Final Four of the state tournament. Although they didn't win they brought together an entire town and community in the process. The arena was overwhelmed with Portsmouth supporters and chants of "We Are One".

Hold your heads high did a great job and gave a community something to be proud of....something this area disparately needs. Can't wait to see what you guys do next year!

Coach Rhea leading by example..what leadership is all about
For a great article on this season click below:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Changes to Membership Options

The last few nights at class I've been explaining the upcoming changes in membership dues. I'll give you the changes upfront and then explain why.

We are eliminating the 12 sessions option. Therefore, you have 2 options:
1) Pay each time you workout, cost = $5/workout
2) Pay for monthly unlimited classes, cost = $50/month (the original amount for 12 sessions)

So you will need to figure out which is more cost beneficial to you. If you're doing the minimum recommendation of 3 classes a week, then it's best for you to buy the monthly unlimited price. Breaks out to an average of $4.16/class. If you're coming 5 days a week, the average price drops all the way down to $2.50/class!

If you're only able to come to class 9-10 times a month then obviously it's best for you to pay each time you come. I don't want you paying for something you aren't using.

We will still have the couples discount ($90/month) and offer military/law enforcement/first responder discount ($45/month).

For the montly unlimited, everyone's month will expire the last day of the month. Therefore you will be up for renewal on the first day of the month. So for example if you want to buy a monthly membership on the 15th of the month fyou will pay a pro-rated amount for the remainder of that month plus the $50 for the next month. (Redneck math: 50/30 = $1.66/day, 15 X 1.67 = $25.05 + $50 = $75.05)...shew, glad that's over..I hate math. why the change? Originally I conceived the 12 session option in the beginning because I was unsure how many classes I would have to cancel due to work/life, etc. So I didn't just offer an unlimited rate because I was uncertain how many days I may have had to cancel, screwing you guys in the process. Well in the 7 months we've been open, we've never had to cancel a day of training because of the awesome coaching staff we have. And here soon, when Shep gets his Crossfit Level I certification we'll be able to add another coach to the staff! More coaches equals more training opportunites, equals never having to cancel a day of training.

Here's a quick clip of tonight's training. Counting me behind the camera we had 3 coaches on the floor, correcting form and providing that extra you see below:

Although we have an amazing cadre of coaches, we all have "day jobs" too, which means we have just enough time to dedicate to coaching and working out and not enough time to dedicate to the "fun" side of business like paperwork, membership tracking, dues collecting, etc. It gets to be a pain in the ass to track all the different sessions each day and collect dues, etc. The monthly dues will allow the coaching staff to do what they do

By having more coaches, one day we want to be able to provide more classes and possibly even a Friday option. If the demand is there, my ultimate goal would be to have 2 training sessions a day, 6 days a week. Therefore making it more convenient for you guys to train. We're not there yet..but hopefully we will be soon.

Finally on our one year anniversary August, 28th 2011. We will be raising the membership dues for new members. The price will go up to $7/workout or $70/month. However, ALL MEMBERS DURING THE FIRST YEAR WILL FOREVER BE LOCKED INTO THE $5/WORKOUT AND $50/MONTH PRICING.  You guys are the founding members and are the reason the gym is successful, I will forever be indebted to you all and this is my way of saying thanks. Also, now is the time to come to PSKC in order to forever receive these extremely low prices.

For those of you who still have sessions remaining of course we will honor those until they are all used up. But  once they expire we will ask you either purchase the monthly unlimited option or just pay as you go. The choice is up to. So we will begin to phase out the 12 session effective this week. Our goal is to have all those who want the $50 monthly unlimited option on board by May 1st.

I hope you guys understand as it really is the best thing to do for the club. If you guys have questions hit me up on facebook or shoot me an email at:

Don't forget about the referral program! Bring your friends in tomorrow at 5pm for the intro! See you then..

Monday, March 21, 2011

PSKC Gauntlet

The gauntlet was an ancient form of physical punishment dating back thousands of years ago, wherein a person was forced to run between two rows (a gauntlet) of soldiers who struck him with various objects as he/she passed through. The Shawnee Indians forced their prisoners to run the gauntlet as a test of courage and tenacity. If the prisoner survived, they were welcomed as a warrior into the tribe.
Now, PSKC brings you the Gauntlet Challenge! The PSKC Gauntlet is a fitness challenge comprised of 5 events designed to test your strength and conditioning unlike any other fitness competition. 5K races only test your endurance; conversely powerlifting meets only test your maximal strength. The PSKC Gauntlet bridges the gap between those two worlds through a series of events that test both mental and physical fitness. Not to mention an awesome time with awesome people!

Competitors will be tested in the following events:

1. Max number of strict pullups for males; flexed arm hang for time (chin above bar) for females

2. 2 Minute Goblet Squat Test. Scoring is determined by weight used (more points for heavier weight).

3. 5 Minute Kettlebell Snatch Test; maximum number of reps without setting the bell down. Scoring is determined by weight used (more points for heavier weight).

4. 1/2 Mile Carry & Run (1/4 Mile Kettlebell Carry followed by 1/4 Mile Run)

5. Surprise Finisher Event

*Prizes will be awarded to the top overall male and female competitors. Additionally prizes will be awarded to the top 40+ age division of male and female competitors. Prizes are brought to you by our amazing sponsors, Donna Wolery - Farmers Insurance and Kelly Chabot of the Relaxation Station!

WHEN: Saturday May 21st 9:00am-Until Completed (estimating 3 hours plus pizza and beer afterwards)

WHERE: Portsmouth Spartan Kettlebell Club (PSKC), 618 11th St, Portsmouth, OH

COST: $30, includes an awesome t-shirt with pizza and beer (21 and over) afterwards

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: You must register and pay no later than Monday May 2nd. Late registrations will be accepted however you will not receive a t-shirt. To register, simply stop by the gym during class hours and provide the following:

T-Shirt Size

For those who don’t live in the Portsmouth area, contact Dale via email at: to register.

VOLUNTEERS: Can’t compete? We’d love to have you as volunteers. We will need volunteers to judge, keep score (you know Dale can’t do math), and handle registration.


Dale King
Owner, Portsmouth Spartan Kettlebell Club

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Being Capable...

Playing with the new Yokes

This Pain Clinic witnessed the introduction of the new Yokes...another awesome tool to the collection. In addition to being able to use them to push/pull/carry. They also make for excellent squat and press stands.

In addition to the yoke, today we threw in rope climbs, ring dip holds, sprinting, deadlifting, and some gymnastic movements, a huge mix of several movements. So why so much variety sometimes? The cheap answer is "you'll never get bored". Which in today's ADD society, is a valid response. But there's a much more important answer....the goal of PSKC is to make you CAPABLE.

So let's explore that more in depth. Here are my favorite definitions for the word:

  1. Having the ability, fitness, or quality necessary to do or achieve a specified thing.
  2. Able to achieve efficiently whatever one has to do; competent
So to me, in Southern Ohio terminology...being capable means being able to handle whatever the hell life throws at you. And you just never know what the hell life is going to throw at you sometimes. I'm reminded of the cliche saying; "it's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters"

At PSKC we throw at a lot at you. It's very easy to want to do the things you like or are good at. Runners like to run, lifters like to lift. But what happens when life demands that you have to do the thing you don't like to do? I want you to be able to run and lift and a bunch of other stuff. The goal of the workouts is produce a strong and capable person. Not only physically...but more importantly..mentally as well. 

 When you first started PSKC how many of you would have thought it was possible to carry a 175lb Yoke? Now some of you guys were chomping at the bit to get on the damn thing! 

I'm reminded of a conversation Shep and I were having the other day. He was telling me, that after not running any sort of long distance for a long time, he thought he would try to run from his house (north end of Portsmouth) down to Pop's house (down by the stadium). And that was just the winter time, all Shep was doing was hitting up PSKC 4-5/week...20-25 minutes later he was there and it was really no big deal. Now he has the absolute confidence he can do decent at any 5K. That's a great real world example of being capable. And Shep's just like me, he's likes to lift the heavy stuff....running ain't our definition of "fun", but it's something we can do...being capable. 

Myself, I was just on travel at Albuquerque and I was working out a local Crossfit Affliate that was at around 6200ft elevation. It just so happened that one of the workouts called for: 10 X 100m sprints with 90 seconds of rest in between. Sprinting at any elevation is taxing...but it sucks big time when you're at over a mile high up. But because I had a solid level of fitness (i.e. a solid level of being capable), I was able to recover within time and stay within a second or two of each 100m sprint...being capable. 

I'm also reminded of examples of some of the runners. Dianne cut 10 minutes off of her half marathon time last fall. She's a big time runner and had taken some time off from running miles since her last half marathon, she was rocking workouts at PSKC and "for fun" kicked the Huntington 1/2 marathon in the ass....being capable. 

2 members of the wolfpack (Diesel and Worm) were supposed to "just" run a 1/2 marathon. Well, due to their supreme navigational skill, they went the wrong route and at mile 13 (when they were supposed to be done) they realized they had to run back or otherwise they would be stranded. So, a half marathon went to a full marathon...and they performed just fine....being capable. 

There are several more examples just like's a very easy formula (easy formula, hard to carry out).

A variety of different physical challenges + hard work and determination + consistency = successful completion of task. The successful completion leads to growing self confidence in the wide variety of newfound capabilities. A side physiological effect is the changes our bodies makes (less fat, more muscle) to accommodate these new capabilities. And the cycle continues and is never ending...there is also more to do and more skills to master...

And you know what the great thing is? We're not even a year into it! Look back at the accomplishments you've made in the last couple of months. Now, just imagine all the capabilities you're going to have in the next's a beautiful thought. Just keep coming in and eating right..and there is absolutely nothing you won't be able to do...the world is yours for the taking. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Yoke is Coming to PSKC!
What the hell is a Yoke? I believe it's Swahili for awesome, but you'll have to check wikipedia. Basically, imagine if you could take the butcher sled and load it up o your shoulders and walk with it, or push it, or pull it, or use it as a squat/press rack...that's just one of the many things you can do..

The Yoke is a tool that has been involved in Strongman competitions, now we're getting our hands on them!

One strong mofo doing a yoke walk
And the best part? It's all made in America buy my boys at Rogue Fitness..damn straight. Rumor has it, we might get to play with them this Saturday!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Human Movement Has No Age Restriction...

Looks like somebody hit their first goal...her husband must be super cool
Sorry for the limited posts this week, been a little busy. Anyways, Beer and burpees rocked on Saturday. Not only was the workout killer, but it was just cool to tailgate outside the gym and hang out with everyone. As it gets warmer you can count on some PSKC socials..

Last Wednesday some more folks came to PSKC and got their first taste of kettlebell training, one of those being my godson, lil Akia. His father recognized the importance of getting young kids involved in an active "physical culture" from an early age. As lil Akia enters into junior high football next year, he will have an excellent base of strength and conditioning and in the years to come he's only gonna get scarier.

Kids are no different than adults when it comes to working out...they want something fun, challenging, and's really that simple. Can you imagine telling a young teenager to go do a couple sets and reps on the exercise machines then finish it up with 20 minutes on the treadmill/elipitical? That would last for about 2 days before the kid starts getting bored and fed up. So why are we suprised when we as adults do the same thing?

But what if you told the kid you want him to climb ropes and monkey bars, jump up on boxes, sprint, lift heavy things, slam medicine balls, learn to how to make your body push, pull, and you've got the kid hooked.

That's why at PSKC you can have young teenagers training alongside 40 year old adults. Yes, the weights need to be lighter and/or different exercises may need to be subb'd out, and it may take more time to teach a young person the right technique for movements....but there is no age restriction on fun and challenging. Just imagine if you had this kind of training when you were growing up. Imagine how strong, fast, agile, and coordinated you can if you had trained this way the majority of your life.Big thanks to Carrie for helping lil man through the workout...that's what being a family is all about.

Kid or adult, who doesn't have fun when it comes to slamball?

So, don't forget about the referral program and get the message. PSKC has changed so many lives for the better..people are doing things they never thought possible and because of that they are gaining a newfound self-confidence that is carrying over to all aspects of their lives. Also, setting an amazing example for people around's a quick story from Lara aka Lil Sis...

"So I'm swinging my kettlebell, doing a PSKC workout at home, and my Olivia says, " wow mom, your arms are getting big like daddy's!"Hahahaha- okay So, my 6 yr old has a BIG imagination..... But I'm hanging onto the compliment!!"

Here's some of my favorite action shots of Lil Sis with her "big arms"

Great right? So get out there and keep spreading the positive message. Get them to the intro on Wednesday at 5pm and help them become a stronger, healthier, and more capable person.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Walking and Carrying..

Rack walks, Buddy carries, and wheel barrows

 Tonight we focused on a basic but critical skill. Carrying and walking with a heavy load. In the beginning we partnered up and did rack walks, overhead walks, wheelbarrows, and the all important buddy carry. Why the fireman/buddy carry? Right now, if you had to are you absolutely confident you could carry a adult sized person out of a burning people, car, accident, etc? Do you even know how?

That's my 200+plus ass on Ashley...being functionally strong
So we did a quick primer on the proper way to carry a human (aka the fireman's carry) and then we practiced this critical skill.

hopefully you'll never have to carry your friend to safety, but at least they know how to..
Then we also did some kettlebell rack and overhead below:

And finally since we have to cancel Saturday's Pain Clinic in exchange for the awesome St. Paddy's Parade Beer and Burpees event, we ended in a nice lil mini-Pain Clinic Workout.

So, I will see you guys this Saturday at 2pm for the first annual BEER AND BURPEES! Invite your friends, the workout will be pretty basic so if they haven't taken the intro class they can still come down and get the workout in. Remember to bring whatever you wanna drink after the workout.

I will be providing a "treasure chest" of Miller Lite. It will be first come, first served. Meaning...the faster you complete the workout, the more free beer you get until it's gone! After everyone is done with the workout, we'll hang out for a little bit at the gym, then start walking down Chillicothe Street to catch the parade. The end destination will be Port City for an awesome post parade party. Bring your "A" game baby and your camera....a great time will be had! SEE YOU SATURDAY AT 2PM!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


The cup will overflow on Saturday

Want to participate in pure awesomeness? Every now and then the stars align just perfect and certain events come together, specifically I'm referring to the St. Paddy's Day Parade in Portsmouth, and a workout at PSKC. Add Port City Pub to the mix and boom you've got the first annual BEER AND BURPEES this Saturday at 2pm at the gym!

We will start the workout at 2pm, as people are finishing the workout they'll grab some beers and cheer the rest of the people on until we'll all complete. We will hang out for a bit until all the BYOB is gone, then immediately head down Chillicothe St to Port City Pub to watch the parade and check out the official post parade after party. Port City is an awesome time during the parade..

Make sure you rock your PSKC t-shirt. We still have a couple left if you need to get yours.

Warning, if you've never drank beer with members of the West Side best bring your "A" game. To quote Charlie Sheen, "your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body."

And onto the recap of tonight...

at the end of 15 minutes..
Tonight we spent a lot of time of teaching....specifically how to kip and all the progressions to be able to perform a handstand pushup. Gotta give it up to gymnasts..those are some strong bastards. After the gymnastic work we went right into a 15 minute AMRAP...see below:
Shep...down to about 200..all the way from 225ish. Amazing what eating right and PSKC will do..

With all this awesomeness going on at PSKC, how do you not want your friends to be apart of it? Remember for every person you that you refer to an intro class you get a free workout! No time like the present, we will be having our weekly intro class tomorrow at 5pm! See you then...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Tiger Blood & Crack..

The beloved KB Crawl..

Tonight we started out with everyone's favorite; the KB Crawl, a tremendous core exercise. 
Jennifer "let" Troy win in the end..
Then after working on the crawl we launched into a monster of a Monday workout via the Training Room. 
I originally named it "Tiger Blood" in honor the MaSheen...but changed it during the 7 class after Renee told me this was the worst one yet. Plus we all will be channeling our inner Charlie Sheen this weekend as PSKC brings you the first annual "BURPEES AND BEER" this Saturday, March 12th at 2pm. Details can be found here:

6 rounds of 30 seconds each exercise
kettlebell swings
Kettlebell snatch
Mountain climbers
Kettlebell high pulls
Kettlebell thrusters

Here's a quick glimpse into Tiger Blood aka "Wallace"

Question? Is sugar harder to kick than crack?
Living in Southern Ohio, we are all too familiar with drug addiction. As a matter of fact, supposedly the folks from the TV show Intervention are filming several areas of Scioto County as we speak. But as much as I have disdain for the meth/oxy/crack head and the people that feed their addiction...I, myself an addict that struggles everyday to be "sober". My drug of choice you ask? "Winning"...just kidding had to throw a Charlie Sheen reference in there....what my brain is addicted to is SUGAR and refined processed junk...

Please take the time to read this fantastic article comparing crack to refined carbohydrates:

Below are some important take aways:
"Forty years into the low-fat, high-carbohydrate way of eating—we can thank it for "diabesity," shorthand for the societal prevalence of type II diabetes paired with obesity—it seems clearer than ever that our problem lies not simply in carbohydrates, but in their fundamental addictiveness. They sidestep our defenses against overeating, activate brain pathways for pleasure, and make us simultaneously fat and malnourished. They keep us coming back for more, even as they induce physical decline and social rejection. They achieve this more effectively than the controlled substances that can get a guy thrown into jail. Maybe the question isn't whether carbohydrates are addictive, but whether they are the most addictive substance of all."

"But a carbohydrate addiction is potentially more destructive than an 8-ball-a-day habit, because it hijacks your metabolism. If you eat a low-carb diet, you are able to remain satiated between meals, because the body will burn its fat stores. But eating carbs, especially refined varieties like sugar or flour, sweetened drinks, or starches, causes the body to release the hormone insulin. The body secretes insulin as a response to high blood sugar—a serious, even potentially lethal health risk over time. The hormone directs cells to extract sugar from the blood and store it as fat, and what's worse, in order to get sugar out of the blood as efficiently as possible, insulin makes it extremely difficult for the body to burn its fat stores. Over time, the presence of insulin in our carb-heavy diet causes diminishing returns. As our cells become resistant to the effects of insulin, our bodies frequently release even more of it to compensate. The result is a blood-sugar vacuum: The body craves more of what the hormone feeds on and triggers our hunger mechanism, which works subconsciously, to direct us toward the nutrient causing all the problems in the first place—carbohydrates. You get fatter and your body craves even more carbs in order to maintain your increasing weight. Drug cartels can only dream of a narcotic with an addiction cycle this powerful."

So what can we do to kick the "junk"? Primarily, as with everything in's all mental. You must first break the mental connection...think of food as only a source of fuel for your body, that's it, nothing more. It's not a reward/emotional system, that you think you need. What you choose to put in your mouth should only be made based on the fact that it will make you perform better as a human. Food is fuel to make you perform better and/or recovery faster...that's it. You want to be stronger, run further/faster, jump higher, lose's all in what you choose to eat. No one is forcing to make each individual choice of what you eat or don't eat throughout the day.

So what do you eat and/or not eat...if you're addicted to the junk. The first step is just simply to make better food quality choices and eliminating processed foods. So this means essentially not eating anything from the drive through, frozen dinners, or anything out of a box. And you really know what you should and shouldn't eat. I believe Jack LaLanne said it best, "if man made it, don't eat it", so if you can't kill it or pick it don't eat it.

A common misconception is restrict/limit calories. You need to eat to just need to eat the right the nutrient dense calories. Starving yourself does you no good, remember you need to eat to perform...running on fumes won't help lift the heavier weight or run a faster time.

However, I'm a firm believer in the cheat day. But you must have eaten clean for 6 days before having that day, otherwise you're defeating the purpose. The trick is it's just needs to be 1 day, don't let it turn into the entire weekend. So Sunday through Friday eat all natural meat, veggies, fruits, and seeds then let her rip on Saturday. Then start the cycle back on Sunday, trust me odds are you will feel bloated and sick and ready to get back on the good nutritional stuff.

Then once you're decided to eat clean (i.e. non processed foods) and want to take it a step further, I prefer the caveman/primal approach ...a great intro can be found here at:

But here's the nuts and bolts of food choices
The essentials of the Paleolithic Diet are:
Eat none of the following:
· Grains- including bread, pasta, noodles
· Beans- including string beans, kidney beans, lentils, peanuts, snow-peas and peas
· Potatoes
· Dairy products
· Sugar
· Salt

Eat the following:

· Meat, chicken and fish

· Eggs

· Fruit

· Vegetables (especially root vegetables, but definitely not including potatoes or sweet potatoes)

· Nuts, eg. walnuts, brazil nuts, macadamia, almond. Do not eat peanuts (a bean) or cashews (a family of their own)

· Berries- strawberries, blueberries, raspberries etc.

Try to increase your intake of:

· Root vegetables- carrots, turnips, parsnips, rutabagas, Swedes

· Organ meats- liver and kidneys (I accept that many people find these unpalatable and won’t eat them)

Expect some minor tuning problems- don’t worry, you can deal with them:

· It will take some time for your body to adjust to the changes after all these years. There is a huge surge in your vitamin intake. There is a huge decrease in your toxin intake.

· Start with breakfast for few days, as this is the easiest place to start as most people eat it at home, and it tends to be the least Paleolithic meal of the standard 3. For weight loss you will eventually need to reduce your carbohydrate intake, but ignore this initially as most people have high carb intakes and this can continue for the first few days that you are on this diet. If you reduce too quickly then you may fell unwell. Then move on to lunch or dinner for a few days and then to all 3 meals. If you work, you will often find it easier to take your lunch to work.

· Keep reading more about the diet- and read it again. Remember, there are many dietary myths that will need to be unlearned. Particularly, please read the section on fats several times. Knowledge on fats has exploded over the last decade and there is a realization in mainstream nutrition that omega 3 fats are critical to good health. It is very important to ensure that you have an adequate intake of these. The low fat diet craze of the 90’s was well intentioned but many people "threw out the baby with the bath-water"- most people reduced omega 3 fat intake as well as other fats, and sometimes even increased omega 6 fats. There is now a realization that the low fat diet theory of the 90’s doesn’t often work (it has about a 6% success rate like most other diets) and that the vast majority of the Western population need to increase their omega 3 intake and decrease their omega 6 intake. Even if you don’t end up on a Paleolithic Diet, you will benefit from a better appreciation of fats.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

PSKC at the Arnold

It was an amazing weekend at the Arnold. 4 of the crew from PSKC (Garett, Mo, Shep, and myself) went up to get some great workouts in amongst amazing athletes. The caliber of competitors there was unreal. The top 50% of male competitors finished the first workout "Fran" 21-15-9 of Thrusters (95/65 and pullups) in under 4 minutes.

Below are shots of the Fran "after":

After the Fran workout you're placed on a team to compete in different workouts. I got slotted in the 30 toes to bar and 21 clean and jerk workout. Mo got placed on the 5 burpee to wall jump and 3 rope climb workout.

Then after the 2nd event, the last workout of day 1 (we couldn't stay for day 2) was a team event where a 3 person team had 2 barbells loaded at 135 lbs for men 95 for women. The workout was get to 90 reps of clean and jerks as fast as possible between the 3 teammates.

In addition to being able to workout/compete in such an awesome environment, it was really cool to being able watch first hand some of Crossfit's top athletes workout. Here is a small clip that I captured from my phone of the beginning of the King Kong workout which is jump over the wall, 1 deadlift at 455, 2 muscle ups, 3 squat cleans at 250, 4 handstand pushups, then scale up the wall and repeat for 3 times. The video only shows the first few exercises, you enough to show these guys are unreal. 

Here are some shots that Garett took...

All in all it was a great time and awesome environment. Everyone was kind, friendly, and supportive. Also, it made us all realize there's so much room for improvement and a lot of areas to be trained. One of the things I took away was the importance of nutrition. All throughout the day I saw time and time again the top athletes all had their meals in containers munching on meat, almond butter, fruit, etc in between events. They truly practice what they preach....lesson learned. 

Next year, it's my goal to get more of the PSKC family out there to experience it firsthand. On May 21st, we'll have our little version of a challenge with the PSKC Gauntlet at the gym. More details to follow, but you guys will love it!

In closing here's a clip of the top Crossfit athletes killing the clean and jerk workout. But they were only permitted to have 2 people on a team and had to complete all 90 reps! The top team finished in the same amount of time that it took my 3 person team...unreal. See you guys on Monday at the 6 or 7 class!

Practice Crossfit recaps the weekend here: