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We built these fields. We defined the borders—drew lines in the sand. We agreed on the rules and prepared the best we could. 

It is all story, all make believe—arbitrary. 

It is fake, and yet, it is transformative. 

We could talk about the specifics of exercise, or the tenets of competition, but doing so misses an important feature.

It is the shedding of skin and the realization of impermanence. It is to know what you are and who you are in a sea of those who don’t and can’t. 

Training

Warm: it’s already too fucking hot

Work to heavy power clean

NFT

5x ring muscle ups

5x cleans @ 135

5x ring MU

5x cleans @ 155

5x ring MU

5x cleans @ 175

5x ring MU

5x cleans @ 195

5x ring MU

5x cleans @ 220

5x ring MU

5x cleans @ 245

50x Dips

50x GHD sit ups

50x barbell curls

Later

Warm:

3rounds NFT

10x shoulder dislocates

10x OHS

200m run

Work up to heavy power snatch triple

For Time

15x snatches @ 115lbs

5 rounds of:

200m run

20x sit ups

20x air squats

Cash out: 15x snatches @115lbs

Then

EMOM till failure 

8x cal ski erg

1x snatch starting at 185lbs (add ten pounds each round)




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Sink

“Falling into it” seems like the best way to describe it. I saw it quite a few times this weekend watching competitors resist, fight themselves, and then—if they were lucky—ascend and be free of the burden and idea that they had created for themselves; like they were able to match the pulse and tempo of necessity, and give great effort towards a vision instead of against it. 

To perform in front of crowd is to attract the egotist in all of us. Some can attest to it being a trap because annihilating yourself is the removal of insecurity, the unmasking of delusion; the public disembowelment of hubris. They say it take guts, they just forget to mention that it takes the removal of them. 

We can all envision the glory but only a few are able to realize the experience for what it is, a transcendence of sorts, an ability to be above yourself, a spiritual coup d'état. You need risk, and a deep belief in your own ability. You need others to bear witness and hold you accountable. You need ego... so that you may remove it, bit by bit for all to see. You need need, because want can’t fill the hole that drives you. 

You can go an entire lifetime without knowing what this rhythm feels like, but once you know you will always be searching, driven by an unknown beat, an experience that can only come from being lost in the moment. Only now matters, only here exists. 

Training

50cal assault runner

100-80-60-40-20 double unders

in between 10x devil press @2x35lb DB

50cal assault runner

then

”Cindy” +

3-6-9-12-15-18-21-24-27-30 cal assault runner

in between each set do one round of Cindy (5x pull ups, 10x push ups, 15x air squats)


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Safe?

No one really ever is, but that won’t stop us from wanting to be. An accumulation of experience allows one to relax. This is good. This is efficient, until it’s not, until it becomes complacency. This is bad. 

I used to play games with weights, coming up with unsuspecting patterns, stacking the plates in unrecognizable ways so that I could trick myself and others by not being able to identify the weight or more importantly myself with the weight; it worked, until it didn’t. I would always quickly write configurations out to training, starting the session before the dry erase marker’s ink would have a chance to dry, I needed to move before I could figure out a way to be efficient - strategy in order to move less. I have to trick myself, in order to help myself. I find loop holes easily, ways to hide in the hard work that no one looking on could see. But I know, and I know it leads to nowhere.

The days that I can’t deceive myself I know I’m doing little in the way of making progress, I’m simply holding on. So I give up control, I allow someone else to choose for me, even if its a bad choice, hell, especially if it’s a bad choice. Giving up control so I can try and control giving up, I guess you could say.


It’s either trick or truth, and when it’s trick you might just find the truth.


Training

Warm:

10m of each with 10m side shuttle after each:

-Bear crawl

-Bear crawl backwards

-Bear crawl with kick out

-Top heavy bear crawls

-dynamic lunge

2x10 shoulder dislocates

2x10 band pull parts

2x10 air squat

3x10 scap pull

3x10 hollow swing

3x10 scap push

Then

Max unbroken pull up (if you can do more than 30 do chest to bar, less than 15, do ring rows)

Rest 2 min

Max unbroken Handstand push up (less than 10 do push ups)

Rest 2 min

Max unbroken wall ball 20/14

Rest 2min

Minus total reps from 500

If you got 100 total reps you will then do:

400 cals for time (choose machine or machines of choice)

After everyone had completed their sets and added up their score I revealed the 3rd part of training:

Immediately following the calories for time go back through how many reps of each movement that you got. Example: pull ups: 35, HSPU:30 Wall balls: 35, so after 390 cals I finished: pull ups: 35, HSPU:30 Wall balls: 35


Destroyer

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I watched a “fitness” competition this weekend. I sat in the sand and lounged along the beach of an overcast, Californian Summer day, snapping pictures and thinking thoughts. I had some “chemical assistance” and musical stylings that probably influenced what I witnessed, but what I saw was what I wished I saw more often; honest effort.

Tribal Clash is a sort of mix between OCR, Strongman, and CrossFit, taking the best of both worlds and blending them in a way they will—most likely—present in a few years time through a Venn diagram for a TED talk. People will wonder why they are so successful, noting the amount of spin offs from CF that simply fall into an oblivion. They will try to pinpoint the exact cause for success through the lens of commerce while reducing it down to bulletin points that everyone will nod along to—but they will miss it, because human nature is chaotic and chaos doesn’t fit into a power point.

The skill level for competing in these events is fairly low, but the effort required is enormous; the qualifier is not an online, arbitrary measurement through exercise but simply a “sign your name and 5 other’s on the dotted line kind of deal” (that’s if you can, most events as of writing this are sold out). If you are afraid of the water, don’t sign up. If you fear getting hurt, you won’t be able to ever risk comfort for success. If you can’t think of five other people you would suffer for, then this sport is not for you.

Any and all weak links are seen by spectators through the thousand yard stare of a player being unable, while the rest of the team looks on in agony. I saw that look a hundred times—PANIC—created by the inexplicable cry of a body that is unwilling to obey commands, and the soul-crushing desire to not fail those that are counting on you. It might not have been the original design by which the creators of this event, Andrew and Heidi first started it, but you can distinctly see what they are trying to weave now in each and every event, including a grueling, “no apologies”, 6 on 6 tug-a-war that have lasted upwards of twelve minutes. It is one part human suffering and physical labor, balanced against the foundation and absolute need for human coordination and communication. I’ve always had a sort of disdain for the promotion of events and the commerce of effort, but seeing up-close the faces and hesitant steps of competitors after 9+ events I can actually say they have hit on something special, not new but something old, something very human. Everyone is beat and bruised, no one is able to escape effort, you get what you come for.

I watched in amusement and, at times, in panic of my own when I watched Erin get pulled under by less than capable swimmers—revealing her own shortcomings in open water and crashing waves. Effort is a truth serum, but so is sand, splinters, and sun. We need hardship, we crave it. We need shared experiences because we need honesty, and truth rarely come from within. To get to the mushy center of our own honest effort we must destroy everything that stops that realization, we must sign on the dotted line, put our best foot forward, and above all, try not to let others down.

Erin’s team led the weekend in first place, but after a resetting of points and a brutal final, they ended up one step off the podium. It goes to show, chaos rules, the universe owes you nothing… even if you give everything.


For a detailed look at the weekend Click here


Training

Warm:

For time: 5 rounds

40cal Assault Bike

400m run

2-4-6-8-10 Bar muscle up (must be unbroken)

MB: 25:01

20min Alt. EMOM

-2x Hang Power Snatch work to max

-50x Double Under

MB: 200lbs

then

For Time

21-15-9

OHS @ 95lbs

box jump @ 24”

toes to bar

MB: 6:22


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When you know. 

Certainty breeds a smile that you can’t fake. Knowing the outcome of an effort is like being on the inside of a joke, just waiting for the punchline so that you can take your rightful place within the laughter.

But knowing isn’t always funny, nor does it always make me smile. I knew 100m from the finish of event one, in a team competition last weekend that not only would we not win but there was little chance that we would make the final.

It’s a strange sensation to realize the outcome of a situation and play your part in it like fate isn’t actual. But it is necessary. 

Seeing things through to the end is the practice of being. You don’t have to be satisfied, but you do need to finish—smiling is optional.


65 Roses Team Comp


Event 1a

10min to Combined totals of a max 1 guy/1 girl must do each

 Snatch + hang snatch + OHS

Or

Clean + front squat + jerk


Event 1b

For Time 

5km row

5km ski

20min time cap


Event 2

65x toes to bar

65x chest to bar

65x HSPU

65x wall ball

Teams not working must hold railroad tie overhead


Event 3

Synchro pairs

33x deadlift @ 2x72/53 KB

27x thrusters @ 2x50/35 DB

21x burpee box jump over 24/20