Wasting Time

Last week I had a few friends in town. They had come to the South to get away from the snow for a few days.
So we went to lunch. And towards the end of our conversation we got on the topic of “wasting time at work.”
Oh boy.
Everyone’s got a wasted time at work story. Most of us can relate. So it was a lively and spirited conversation.
“I get my work done in two hours. Then I have nothing to do the rest of the day!”
“I literally sit and hangout with my boss every afternoon. We do nothing but BS. It’s not like I’m skipping out on work. I’m with my boss. There’s just nothing to do.”
Honestly, if I had more to do during the day I’d be happier. But I don’t. And it’s super boring. So I scroll through Facebook or Google stuff.”
“I pretty much just shop all day at work.”
The biggest complaint, oddly enough, wasn’t the long hours at work. The long hours were okay. If there was something to do.
It was the days when there was nothing to do that seemed pointless. Why be at work if you don’t have anything to do? Why do we have to be there?
That was the frustrating part. Because it’s not the best use of your time. If there’s no work to do you could be out doing other things. Better things.
And if there was work to do you’d do it. But there’s not.
So you’re stuck. At work. With nothing to do. Scrolling through social media for the tenth time this morning.
Wasting time.
But here’s the thing.
You have to be at work. That’s just how it goes.
And you’ll probably end up wasting time there. But how many people are wasting the limited time they have outside of work?
You know, those hours when you’re not stuck inside an office, sitting around people you don’t really care about, doing things you don’t want to be doing.
How do people spend that time?
Are they setting personal goals and taking the steps necessary to achieve them? Are they exercising and eating healthy every day? Are they learning and growing your mind? Planning for the future? Spending their time around people you care about?
Are they actually making the best use of their time? Or are they wasting it?
Staring at a TV screen all night every night. Spending every weekend at the bar. Eating out at restaurants all week. Wasting even more time on Facebook.
Doing all of the things that will get them nowhere closer to their goals.
Unless you love your job, work will probably never be the best use of your time. Unfortunately, that’s life.
But if it’s not okay to waste your time at work, why is it okay to do it outside of work? During your free time.
And the short answer is, it’s not.
If you want real results, in anything, you better make sure that every use of your time is the best use of your time.
Otherwise there will always be something better you could be doing.
Just like work.

Build Strength With Barbell Complexes

So you want to get stronger huh?
You want to power clean 225. Squat 405. And rep out sets on the bench with your current one-rep max?
Fair enough. So how you gonna do it?
You could squat every day. You could bench twice a week until your chest pokes thru your shirt. Or you could add an hour of accessory work after every single workout.
That would definitely get you stronger.
How about an even better idea?
How about you save years of wear-and-tear on your body and turn to a more efficient method of building strength?
Barbell complexes.

What is a barbell complex?

A barbell complex is a strength circuit performed with a barbell. It’s a series of different barbell exercises without resting or setting the bar down.
These complexes can be created to accomplish any number of fitness goals. From increasing general cardio and muscular endurance to improving top end speed and power.
But the best use of a barbell complex is to build strength.
Olympic weightlifters have been using barbell complexes to build impressive strength for centuries. And they’re some of the strongest athletes on the planet.
(Check out this old-school video of an Olympic weightlifter using barbell complexes.)

How do barbell complexes build strength?

Barbell complexes are great at building strength for a number of reasons. But two stick out more than the rest.
Intensity and time under tension.


Start with a barbell movement like a back squat.
Find a barbell and add enough weight so that a set of 5 back squats is challenging.
Now, you’re going to perform 5 deadlifts. Bar starts on the ground. Pick the bar up until you’re standing and repeat 5 times. Then, without setting the bar down, bring the bar to your shoulders and perform 5 front squats.
And once you’re done with those pop the bar onto your back for a set of 5 back squats.
How did that feel? Tough right?
Those 5 back squats were much harder than normal. Why?
Because you used most of your energy on the deadlifts and front squats. Now those back squats feel like the toughest set of 5 you’ve ever done.
That’s intensity.
And that’s what builds strength.

Time under tension

Time under tension is the basic idea that the longer a muscle is under strain, the more damage it will incur.
And since muscle damage, and recovery, is what causes muscle size to increase, more time under tension leads to more muscle growth.
Take a look at the example above with the back squats.
Normally, a set of 5 back squats takes anywhere from 10-15 seconds to perform. Now, add in 5 deadlifts and 5 front squats and you’re looking at anywhere from 30-50 seconds.
That’s half a minute under tension.
That’s an increase of 3x the amount of time under tension in one set. Or the equivalent of 3 sets of back squats.
That’s a lot of muscle growth.

5 Barbell Complexes for Your Next Gym Visit

Take the increased strength. Add in the never-ending variety that barbell complexes offer.
Factor in the relatively short time they take to complete in the gym. And the safety effects of using sub maximal weights to achieve near maximal gains, and you see why barbell complexes are a must-have for strength building.

The next time you’re in the gym give one of these barbell complexes a shot…

  • 5 sets of 5 deadlifts + 5 hang power cleans + 5 front squats; rest 3 min b/w sets
  • 10 sets of 1 strict press + 2 push press + 3 push jerk; rest 2 min b/w sets
  • 6 sets of 2 front squats + 2 back squats; rest 1 min b/w sets
  • 8 sets of squat clean + low hang squat clean + hang squat clean; rest 3 min b/w sets
  • 4 sets of 3 deadlifts + 3 hang cleans + 3 front squats + 3 push press + 6 overhead lunges; rest 3 min b/w sets

April Specialty Class: Olympic Weightlifting

General Description

Who: open to everyone; $115 stand-alone membership, $35 add-on to a CrossFit membership

What: 4-Week Olympic Weightlifting Specialty Class

Where: CrossFit 704

When: April 2nd – 30th; meets Mon & Wed 4:30 – 5:30pm

Why: to build overall strength through the Olympic lifts


In the CrossFit community, the months of February and March mark the beginning of CrossFit’s competitive season.

That means, for most of us, these months are our only chance to compete against other CrossFit athletes across the world.

In doing so, we learn a lot about our fitness. And maybe more importantly, we learn a lot about the holes in our fitness.

The period immediately following the CrossFit Open is the perfect time to begin to address those holes in our fitness that the Open pointed out.

And what’s the biggest hole in most people’s fitness?

General strength

Introducing a month-long specialty class dedicated to improving your overall strength. The 4-Week Olympic Weightlifting Specialty Class is perfect for anyone looking to supplement their training with strength work OR for anyone who wants to step back for a month and just focus on strength.

Either way, this class has something for everyone.

Click here to sign up.

The Tortoise and the Hare

“There once was a speedy hare who bragged about how fast he could run. Tired of hearing him boast, Slow and Steady, the tortoise, challenged him to a race. All the animals in the forest gathered to watch.”
If you’re like me you’ve heard this story a thousand times.
A rabbit and a turtle get together to race. (Apparently, the rabbit had been talking junk around the forest and the turtle got tired of hearing it.)
The rabbit, being much faster, arrogantly underestimates the turtle. Halfway through their race, and being so far ahead, the rabbit stops to take a nap.
All the while the tortoise just keeps moving forward.
By the time the rabbit wakes up it’s too late. The tortoise is too far ahead and the rabbit can’t catch up.
The cocky hare is humbled by his unassuming foe. The all-or-nothing rabbit underestimates the power of the slow moving, but consistent, turtle.
It’s a story as old as time because, well, it’s a story as old as time.
It happens all the time. Every day. All over the world.
The real-life version of this fable is as real as it gets.
Especially in the fitness world.
In the fitness world our version of the Tortoise and the Hare takes many forms.
It’s the guy who decides to start going to the gym 5 days per week. Only to burn out a few months in and quit altogether.
Or the girl who adds extra cardio into her routine to get ready for beach season. Only to stop once beach season actually arrives.
Or the hardcore dieter. Sprinting towards their six pack. Only to quit three weeks later because it’s too difficult.
Or the I-only-go-to-the-gym-in-January-for-my-New-Year’s-Resolution guy who shows up for two months then vanishes into thin air.
The fitness world is full of tortoises and hares.
Full of people who seem like they’re heading in the right direction. But really they’re only showing up half the time. Or stopping along the way.
The hares.
But also full of people who know the secret.
The tortoises. The people who get the actual results. The ones who know that long-term consistency trumps short-term intensity. In anything.
They’re the ones who know that showing up every day is truly half the battle. It’s not about having a super secret diet plan. It’s about eating right. Every. Single. Day.
The tortoises are the ones who know that you can’t exercise 4 days a week, binge drink on the weekends, and expect to see results. Sorry but it just doesn’t work that way.
They’re the ones who know that there is no such thing as beach season. That beach season is actually a year-round thing that takes year-round effort.
They’re the ones who know that eating healthy means breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Not prepping your lunch for the week and spending every night at a restaurant.
The tortoises know that slow and steady effort is really the only way to reach your goals.
And they’ve known that forever. Literally.
You want a six pack? You can have it.
You want to lose 20lbs? You can do that too.
Want to look better? Feel better? Move better? Live better? You can have all of that.
Be the tortoise. Not the hare.
Slow and steady every day.

30 Day Challenge Ideas

I’ve got a confession to make.

I love challenges.

The “Do This Every Day for 30 Days” type of challenges. I love ’em.

We use them at the gym. I use them in my own training. I challenge random people I meet out in public to them…

There’s just something so magical about them.

Okay, not really.

But I do think they’re effective. And they’re overlooked by most people.

The gym challenge board

Thirty day challenges are practically fool-proof in their simplicity. As it turns out, more complex things are easier to avoid. Why do you think quitting cable TV is so difficult? Because they know you’d rather just pay the money each month than go through the complex process of quitting.

So, the basic idea of “do this one thing every day” makes the overall task of a thirty day challenge much less intimidating.

Thirty day challenges play on your own psychology. ASK me to go paleo for thirty days and you might get a weird look. Say what now? But CHALLENGE me to go paleo. And it’s game on.

Because most of us won’t really challenge ourselves on our own. That’s why sports and competitions bring out the best performances. We have a way of keeping score.

Thirty day challenges only last thirty days. It’s easy to go full speed ahead on things and burn out too quickly. It happens all the time. In all areas of life. The great part about a thirty day challenge is that it only lasts thirty days.

You can survive for thirty days.

I spent 13 weeks in Marine Corps boot camp. Navy SEAL’s basic training lasts 24 weeks.

You can eat broccoli for 30 days. Trust me.

The best part is, these challenges don’t have to be life-altering changes. You don’t need to rewrite your entire story in thirty days. You just need to challenge yourself to push a little harder. To reach a little further for your goals.

The trick is to pick something small and specific. It needs to be something you can do every day. Whether you’re at home, in the gym, on vacation, or celebrating a holiday. (Don’t let Grandma’s 90th birthday extravaganza throw you off your game.)

And it needs to be specific. Drink less beer – is not the same as – no alcohol for one month.

Here are 30 challenge ideas to help get you started. Just pick one. Stick to it for a month and see how you feel. If you felt like you made progress pick a new one and start again.

  1. Stretch for 10 minutes
  2. No soda (Yes, including diet soda.)
  3. Run for 15 minutes
  4. Take a 30 second cold shower every morning
  5. Perform 10 strict pullups
  6. No sugar
  7. Go paleo
  8. Cook every meal. E-V-E-R-Y meal
  9. Perform 30 situps
  10. Spend 30 minutes with no technology
  11. Squat 3 times per week
  12. Drink 64oz of wate
  13. Read for 30 minutes
  14. Limit social media to 10 minutes
  15. Sprint twice per week
  16. No alcohol
  17. Track your phone app usage
  18. Perform 50 pushups
  19. Run 2 miles
  20. No fast food
  21. Bike 5 miles
  22. Exercise 3 times per week
  23. Sleep 8 hours
  24. Perform extra ab work 4 days per week
  25. Weigh and measure your food
  26. Track your calories
  27. Row 1000m
  28. Practice a handstand
  29. Rehab your shoulders
  30. Try something new

At the end of the day, none of these challenges are going to change your life. Thirty days of stretching will not turn you into a gymnast. But it will get you closer than you are today.

So start small.

If you’re not exercising yet then start by exercising once a week. Then twice a week. Keep progressing as you feel comfortable. It doesn’t matter where you start. It only matter that you’re making progress.

And if you’ve been training for awhile then pick something you don’t want to do. Anyone can work on their strengths every day. What’s a weakness that needs improving? Start there.

Just. Do. Something.

Find a way to move closer towards your goals every single day.


One of the most common requests I get from people during our free intros is, “I want a six-pack.”

“Awesome! I’d be glad to help. This is how you do it.”


The initial excitement and intrigue wears off once they realize they actually already know the answer. It’s just not that fun.

You can definitely get a six-pack. But there is no magic bullet.

A six-pack requires two things. Low body fat percentage. And, to a much lesser degree, abdominal strength.

That’s it. Nail those two things and you’ll have a six-pack.

And that’s what I tell them.

But that’s the hard part. Wanting a six-pack and getting a six-pack are two different things.

It starts with decreasing body fat.

Everyone wants less body fat. So much so that the thought of it keeps millions of people up at night.

But how do you actually get less body fat?

How do you go from wanting a six-pack to getting one?

You do what most people are unwilling to do.

You fix your nutrition.

You get rid of processed foods. Cut out all sugar. Eat more vegetables. And make sure you’re getting enough protein.

You cook all of your meals. Take in zero calories from beverages. And limit your alcohol intake.

And you do that every day. Soon your body fat percentage will go down.

And that’s 80% of the work.

Because once you decrease your body fat enough you reach the magic number.

And that magic number is where all six-packs live.

For guys that number is 15. And for girls it’s 20.

At 15 percent body fat (20 percent for girls), guys can expect to see ab definition.

Fifteen percent. One. Five.

That’s low.

And no amount of crunches, sauna visits, or half-marathons will get you there. Nor will any cleanse, diet pill, or thirty day crash diet.

What will get you there?

More veggies.

More veggies and less junk.