Crossfit Terminology

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Crossfit Terminology

Before I start listing the different terms, and what they stand for I have to give a huge thanks to Cindy.  Cindy was the lady who in my last blog post stopped from leaving the “box.”  Her, and her husband Eric both workout at the box.  They’ve been there for almost 7 years, and love every minute of it.  She said that he’s always been in shape from running his Carpet Cleaning business. However, she gained a lot of weight after the second kid.  While Eric was out doing jobs she would be home doing secretarial duties from billing to keeping their website up to date. Clearly she was really out of shape, but Eric wouldn’t let her leave the box without giving it a shot.

She decided to return the favor, and step right in front of me as I bolted for the door.  Thank you Cindy for convincing me to stick with it.  I’ve already gained so much confidence.  I actually finished a workout for once!  My son Blake is hitting the box too.  We head to the box (thanks Dallas!) to workout about three times a week.  I’m so sore at the end of the workout that I won’t even look at a donut!

The Terms

  • AMRAP – As Many Reps As Possible.  Basically a fancy way of saying you’re going to suffer for the next 7-15 minutes!
  • For Time – This is a workout done as quickly as possible.  You record your time afterwards.  Much different than a AMRAP, because in a for time workout you can go all out.
  • DU – Double Unders!  This is where the jump rope passes underneath you twice before your feet hit the ground.  Is that a joke?
  • Steriods – These are what everyone thinks Crossfitters take, but in reality just eat real food.
  • Jerk – I still laugh when I hear this, but its just thrusting the weight over your head.
  • Clean – Bringing the weight from the ground to the shoulders, and then standing up.  Probably the coolest move in Crossfit!
  • Paleo – Paleo is a way of dieting that people use to get ripped up.  The side effect is that people accuse you of using steroids.
  • Chipper – This is the most brutal workout known to man.  You do 70 of something, 60 of the next exercise, 50 of this, 40 DUs (that I can’t do), 30 of some other stuff, 20 reps like your about to die, and finish with 10 ridiculously hard exercises.
  • Rhambo – Some crazy disease that you get when you workout too hard.  Odds of me contracting this… Slim to none!
  • Snatch – Not what you think.  Probably easier to get the real thing than the lift.  You literally take a wide grip on the bar, and with one motion get it over your head. (that sounded dirty!)
  • Death By Rower – Laying on the ground in a puddle of your own sweat for 10 minutes before you come back to reality after getting your shit tossed by a machine.
  • Unbroken – When you have 21 reps to do, and then you do the 21 without stopping.  A great synonym is Beastmode.
  • Globogym – This is where people go to do bicep curls in the squat rack for $30 a month.  This term is the most important, because its often the pun of many Crossfit jokes!
  • Tequila – The only alcohol that is “Paleo” and therefore readily consumed after workouts.

My Kind of People

swearingI’m loving Crossfit!  These guys are my kind of people!

You can swear up a storm at the box without getting looks; you’re actually more likely to get a high five for your vulgar language.  Normally I’d be yelling at Ken & Blake for dropping the F-Bomb, but not at Crossfit!  At the box swearing is the norm. My boys still think its hilarious when I yell out “Shit!” after doing a box jump.  Norcal Crossfit Rocks!


The End of Crossfit

The End of Crossfit

back injuryCrossfit was a great experience for myself, my family, and added some serious value to our lives.  We learned the terminology, the community and it was my 1st time in a gym for 20 years.  Everything good has to come to an end though.  I lost weight, but then my body hit the wall.  I got my second Crossfit Injury

This time it was my back.  

I got 2 ruptured discs in my back, and they said it was just a factor of my habits for the last 20 years.

I think they were right, but I wasn’t convinced that it wasn’t their fault.

Personal Training vs Crossfit

During my time at home with an ice pack across my back, and dark thoughts traveling through my head I decided to do some research.  Apparently, the NSCA which in a nutshell is the top organization for personal trainers is not a huge fan off Crossfit.

I decided to try and find a personal trainer, and talk with them about my back issue.  I talked to my buddy Dr. Tag from the TMJ Headache Treatment Center whom I talked about in my Health Issues & Crossfit post.  He directed to me to talk with Will, who owns Will Power Personal Training CT which is a Personal Training Facility located in Danbury CT.  They actually have several gym locations across Connecticut including in New Fairfield, Fairfield, and Newton.  Will specializes in back pain relief after being hurt in a Crossfit competition himself.

Thank god that I talked to Dr. Tag about getting a personal trainer.  I would have never found will if I just searched for a Personal Trainer Near Me!  Will said that yes, it is a factor of the horrible habits, sedentary lifestyle, and the fact that you went right into a power based exercise curriculum like Crossfit that is responsible for your back injury.  Essentially, he agreed with the Crossfit staff that it was my fault, but he said he would have done things differently.

“When I have a new client and they are sedentary I always assume they have a few herniated discs.  Most people do…  The cornerstone of my program is rebuild the core from the foundation starting with the transverse abdominus, lumbar multifidus and internal obliques.  We do reverse hyper extensions, called dragon kicks to add personality to restructure the vertebrae.  Crossfit doesn’t do that…  Personal Trainers do that.  If you want to compete in athletic events go to Crossfit, but if you want to create a foundation for proper movement than go to a personal trainer.

Sure enough, that was the end of Crossfit, but the beginning of real fitness with Will.

Health Issues & Crossfit

Health Issues & Crossfit

tmj-specialist-danbury-ctCrossfit is known for their brutal workouts, and better known for their high injury rate.  Although I wouldn’t say their injury rate is any higher than your average sport like Basketball or Football.  There are definitely some injuries in Crossfit.  I experienced some shoulder pain, and my boys both got some shin splints from all the box jumps.  One injury that stuck out among the rest was when Ken got TMJ.  Turns out Ken was grinding his teeth a lot during the workouts, and ended up doing it at night too.  I don’t want to attribute his constant jaw pain, clicking in the mouth, and headaches to Crossfit, but I think that might be the case.

Regardless, we had to go to specialist after specialist to get this figured out.  It turns out that TMJ is a degenerative disease that only gets worse with time.  We couldn’t find one decent specialist, until we found the TMJ Headache Treatment Center which was across the country in Connecticut.  After losing my wife, there is nothing that stands between my boys and their health.  We flew out to Connecticut to meet with Dr. Tagliarini to find out what he could do.  Fast forward 6 months, and he’s pain free.  It was a absolute miracle.

We’re so happy that we found Dr. Tagliarini.  He’s got a interesting story, because originally he was a cosmetic dentist.  After seeing how many people would come in to get their teeth fixed, and then come back a couple years later only to have it done again he decided to see what he could do about that.  After spending 2 years away from his family at a residency in Texas he has a permanent solution to TMJ.



Crossfit Injuries

Ken, Blake and I learned a valuable lesson after dealing with the injuries we suffered in Crossfit.  The fact of the matter is that you’re going to get injured no matter what you do.  Things happen, complications happen, and you need to do what you love.  We love Crossfit, and will continue to love Crossfit for a very long time.  I know that Ken’s TMJ isn’t coming back thanks to Dr. Tagliarini, but I also know my wife isn’t coming back.  Making smart decisions about our health even if we get injured is much better than making bad decisions just to suffer the consequences.

Crossfit Norcal Community


The Norcal Crossfit Community

My family has suffered a lot of as I’ve mentioned in my previous posts.  The Crossfit Community has been there for me through the passing of my wife, and the troubles I’ve had with my children.  We view this “gym” as so much more than a gym.  The “box” as Dallas calls it isn’t just 4 walls and a bunch of weights, but rather its a community.  We go crazy over grabbing the latest Crossfit gear, and love every bit of it.

Showing off your Crossfit “swag” as Blake calls it, is the best part of Crossfit.  He’s got Norcal sweatshirts, t-shirts, hoodies, sweat bands, and more.  I’m surprised he isn’t begging me to get a tattoo yet.  I might have to remove that sentence so he doesn’t get any ideas.

Norcal Nights Out

One fun thing that we like to do is have Crossfit Nights Out.  The “Norcal Night Out” happens once a month, and alternates with the women, men, and even the kids.  It’s amazing that our kids are able to connect with other kids who think eating right, lifting weights and being fit is cool.  The women nights are usually spent at someone’s house sipping margarita’s, and talking about what kind of tampons they all prefer to use, according to Ken.  The men’s nights out are much more fun.

In the last guy’s night out we went over to do some Go Cart Racing.  I let everyone know that the first person I see if going right into the wall.  That is exactly what I did!  I put this guy Joe right into the wall, and everyone was laughing so hard you could hear them above the sound of the cars racing around the track.  After having some fun I found myself much slower than everyone else.  I literally waited until some unlucky guy caught up to me so I could give them hell while they tried to pass me.

My New Friends

These guys at the gym are literally some of my favorite people to hang out with.  They not only keep me in check when it comes to eating, but we shoot the shit before and after class.  I’m able to network too as far as business goes.  I’ve grown closer to many people, and it’s been a great community to be part of.

Losing Weight and Gaining Confidence

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Crossfit Norcal

Losing Weight and Gaining Confidence

Everything that anyone ever said about Crossfit is probably true!

  • Yes, its hard…
  • Yes people get injured…
  • Yes, it is a cult!
  • Yes, it changes lives – it did mine.

I can honestly say that Crossfit changed my life.  When my sons & I came into the box we were somebody; we’re part of a family.  My new family really kicks ass too.  I may not be the most ripped person there, but I belong with Norcal Crossfit.  Crossfit Games champions were born there.  Now I’m not planning to be the next Crossfit Games athlete!  Instead I’m planning to keep losing those LBS and feel better about myself.

Blake has already felt a huge confidence boost.  He’s more vocal at the box, and has been hanging out with friends much more often.  He’s going to these heavy metal Korn concerts with his friends, but that’s a hell of a lot better than hanging out in his room cutting up his wrists listening to the same shit.

Athletic Confidence is Transferable

You heard that right.  I should have known this a long time ago.  Ever notice that the biggest jocks in grade school were always the most popular?  Think about it for a moment.  That correlation isn’t just a correlation but instead it’s a causation.  Athletic confidence is completely transferable to real world confidence.  I’m not saying when you get your first pull up you can immediately launch into a CEO position of a multi-million dollar company.  That would be great though – wouldn’t it!

The point that I’m trying to make is that Crossfit does more than just make you lose weight.  Crossfit changes your outlook completely.  Putting 200 pounds over my head was huge.  I came out of that box like it was the first time I got laid.  That little smirk was wide across my face, and my sons patting me on the back.  For the first time in a long time they looked up to me.

That $340 each month was well worth what I got in return that day.  Blake was happy, Ken was thrilled, and I was a real dad again.


My 1st Step into a Gym is 20 years

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Crossfit GymFirst Step into a Gym

I’m lucky it wasn’t my last from one look at this place.  The gym was literally just a garage filled with weights.  Didn’t look much like a gym from the outside at all, but once I got in it was much different.  All 375 pounds of me almost left right on the spot.  In front of me with their hand out, looking for a shake was a clear steroid abusing meathead.  This guy had to be 6″ 3′ and at least 275 pounds of solid muscle.  It was like the guy who played terminator was looking me right in the eyes.

As I turned around and walked out the door this lovely lady came up to me.  She was overweight too, and she told me that this place changed her life.  She said that she used to be 50 pounds heavier.  That put right at ease.  Sure enough I felt like I almost died that workout.  The workout itself had its whole own lingo.  This wasn’t personal training, this was insane.

Everyone except for me had their shirt off by the end of the workout.  I was sweating everywhere, and loving it.  I felt like I was really working.  I’ve seen workout videos before, and tried to follow along.  Those workout videos never did anything for me.  Nothing was more motivating than having 20+ people in a room all doing the same workout.  The music was blasting, and this was my very first Crossfit workout.  Needless to say by the name of this blog that I signed up that day for a month to month membership at Crossfit.

The Day After

I felt like I got hit by a truck.  Actually, I felt like I got hit by a zone truck, and then Arnold came up to slap the shit out of me.  I couldn’t move the next day.  Ken knew that this was going to happen so he was standing by with a hot bath ready for me.  My other son Blake came into the room.  I didn’t even know he was home.  He said…

Dad – I’m proud of You

That’s all I needed for my Crossfit life to begin.  I told Blake that he should come with us next time.  Next time as in about a week because by that time I might be able to move. Blake agreed, and a week later we all went to what is known as the box together.  I kept calling it a gym until this giant dude named Dallas with a beard like Zues whispered into my ear “this is called the box.”  I knew that if I was going to keep up with the workouts at the box that I needed to find out the terminology.  I mean what the hell is a AMRAP, or a jerk, or a clean…  I had a LOT of work to do!




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Explaining to my kids that their mother had died of a totally preventable circumstance was hard, really hard.  They too were overweight, and destined to have the same fate if they didn’t do something about it soon.  The kids whom were 23 and 25 we’re very upset.  Very upset is a huge understatement.  Ken my oldest didn’t go back to work for a week.  Blake my younger son was put into a deep spiral of depression.  I was just praying that he wasn’t upstairs listening to Korn, and slicing up his wrists.  I didn’t know what to do.

I wanted to help them ease the pain of losing their mom, but the only way I knew how was to make food.  I made desserts for them, and brought home cookies & ice-cream.  Meanwhile, I would tell them that the doctor didn’t know what he was talking about.  I’d mention regularly that mom had some heart problems in her side of the family.  I found myself regularly convincing myself and the kids that bad eating habits with a lack of exercise wasn’t the cause of my wife’s death.  I found myself buying into that way of thinking.  It was the past of least resistance… I guess.

College Drop Out

My son Blake dropped out of college about a month after she died.  He was found with his death metal music blasting in his dorm room with his wrists slit open.  Blake barely escaped death that afternoon.  I tried to blame that heavy metal junk band Korn that he would always listen to.  I mean just look at this video:

If that doesn’t suggest suicide than I don’t know what does.  I thought immediately that this music should be banned across the nation.  It is freaking disgusting how that person is mutilating themselves.  Let me remind you that this is a very popular song with over 15 million views on YouTube.

I’m going to cut myself and watch the blood hit the ground

The above quote is from approximately 1:18 through the song.  Just disgusting what kind of crap is all over the internet.  I was convinced that it was that hateful, suggestive, and violent music that drove my son to try to kill himself.

Fat Forever

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I was fat, overweight, obese, pre-diabetic, lazy, and many more bad qualities.Fat  I realized that I will be fat forever.  I noticed those youtube videos with uplifting messages about loving your body was all the self-love I needed.  That and a half gallon of Ben & Jerry’s every night.  I was used to it, and knew in the bottom of my heart that I was always going to be like this.

People would make fun of me, and I’d lash out at them.  I’d overhear the teenagers in the restaurant make fat jokes so I’d get even.  I would talk to their parents in a pathetic attempt to get them in trouble.  My preferred method became “accidentally” tripping to spill my drink on one of the teens.  After that I would attempt to awkwardly dry him off with my used napkin.  It was funny for my wife & I to get a laugh once in a while.

My lifestyle was all about being fat and overweight.  My wife would surprise me with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s for dessert a couple nights a week.  I’d make sure to order a few extra 2 liter bottles of Sprite with every pizza.  We became food experts with our constant updates on Yelp, Instagram and Google.

I accepted the fact that I was always going to be overweight

My Wife & Her Weight

My wife was just as large as me, and we just the lifestyle we had.  All our friends were overweight as well.  We over to different restaurants weekly to eat out.  Life was good!  The keyword “was” good.  My suffered a stroke one evening while we were out with friends.  I had no idea what to do, but for call 911.  By the time they got there, she was already dead.  She died at 48 years of age.

Watching my wife die the hardest things I’ve ever have to do.  Feeling hopeless for her, and being able to do nothing.  The doctor said it was a combination of being severely overweight, and her heart not being able to work hard enough to support her 352 pound body on a 5″ 4′ frame.  The doctor might as well slapped me across the face, because he literally looked me dead in the eyes to say “this could have easily been prevented with diet & exercise.”  I threw the doctor against the wall while he yelled furiously at me.  Security basically needed to pry my hands off of him.  Long story short is that he didn’t press charges.

The second hardest thing was having to tell my kids that she died, and that it was completely preventable.  My kids being overweight themselves had always struggled with their confidence in school.  They were always made fun of by their classmates, but they learned to deal with it.  Dealing with being called fat, stupid and lazy in & out of every day gets annoying.  It’s just a cycle, but a cycle that needed to stop.

  1. Eat Poorly
  2. Get made fun of for eating poorly
  3. Lose confidence & reduce exercise
  4. Get made fun of for not being good at sports
  5. Eat more to make yourself feel better



Welcome to my New Blog!

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Welcome to my new blogging website called Norcal-LS1 which stands for North Cali Loving Sports.  The number one sport is of course…  CrossFIT! I’ll be talking about how Crossfit changed my life throughout this blog.  Love it & Live it baby!