Thomas Huber: a ground fall, Latok I and the gratitude for being alive

German alpinist Thomas Huber recounts the last three months that, in his words, ‘have left a profound mark on my life.’ Starting with a 16m ground fall, followed by the dream of climbing Latok I in the Karakorum and the nightmare rescue operation for American mountaineers Scott Adamson and Kyle Dempster on nearby Ogre II.

Bench Press Myths: Debunked Beliefs By Pros

A lot of men trust that making your flat back against the bench is the best position when executing bench presses. This is not true though. You don’t have to feel bad about this. Most were taught that a flat back is the right position to avoid injuries. Sorry to say but this isn’t the case.

Men’s Health Fitness Director BJ Gaddour, C.S.C.S. explains that there is a big difference between hyperextending your back and forming a natural arc. Creating an arc helps you wrap your shoulders around the bench. Doing so enhances your stability and lets your muscles stretch.

The Bench Press Myth Most Men Believe That Could Get You Hurt

On the other hand, lying flat rounds your shoulders – increasing your risk for shoulder injury and puts you in a less-than-ideal position to engage your chest muscles, he says. Watch the video to see the difference. Read more…

Check out these amazing tips from T-Nation. There are things that you need to know about this exercise. Did you know that your big triceps won’t be able to help you out if you can’t break through the sticking point off the chest? You’ve got to stop the board and floor press and start working on the incline and overhead press.

For a solid bench press foundation and stable bar path, you’ll need to develop your traps and scapular retractors. Pay more attention to these two rather than your lats.

Another thing: the bench press can be considered as a great exercise for your shoulders only when performed using a nice technique and along with common sense.

4 Bench Press Lies

The misinterpreted words of multi-ply powerlifters has trickled down to the masses. And now, raw (no bench shirt) lifters are experiencing undue suffering and frustration as a side effect. Read more…

Some people believe that this exercise is a mass or shaping exercise. Well, there is no such thing according to Gaining Weight. This myth was derived from the amount of weight that an individual could lift in a given exercise.

Let’s take this one as an example. If you place eight reps on a press then eight reps on a cable fly, the pec itself was subjected to the same load. The actual pounds used were different for each exercise. This means you shouldn’t confuse the weight you see with the force that is placed on the muscle.

Some Facts and Myths about the Bench Press

Often many people fail to consider the fact that various exercises create different mechanical leverage systems that make it hard to see just how much force is truly placed on a muscle group. A relatively lightweight placed far from the joint may create as much force as a heavier weight located closer to the joint. Read more…

Check out this video from ATHLEAN-X about “The Flat Bench INCLINE PRESS.”


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When To Retest Benchmarks or WODs


Benchmark workouts are a staple in CrossFit training and in most other strength and conditioning programs. If you’re taking your workouts seriously, it’s best that keep your scores, times and lifts in a journal or an online tracking system. One of the best ways to stay motivated is to continue to feel and see progress. The main way you’ll know if you’re progressing is by actually improving your score, time, lifts, amount to which you scale a movement, etc. It’s helpful to actually SEE your performance gains.

So, a question I’m frequently asked is, “how often should I retest benchmarks?”

First of all, you know how I feel about the word “should.” Clarify what you mean, read this post.

Here are some guidelines

1. Which ones to retest? Retest the ones that are related to what you’re currently focused on. For example, if your focus is doing your best in The Open, then retest workouts that have burpees, toes to bars, chest to bars, rowing, thrusters, wall balls, barbell cycling, muscle ups – you get the point. If you’re focused on building strength right now, throw in some tests like “Linda”, CrossFit Total, The Other Total, King Kong, etc. If you’re focused on your engine, test your mile run or 5k row each month. Your gymnastics? Throw in Nate or Nasty Girls. You get the point.

2. How often to retest? Retest a WOD or Benchmark about 1-2x a week. Again, this varies depending on how often you train, what your goals are, and what you’re focusing on. But, if you train pretty seriously for at least an hour a day, 5x a week then it would be helpful to throw in a benchmark or retest a WOD you’ve done in the past about once a week. This will help you gauge your fitness as well as help keep things fun. You want to continue to work on combinations that are specifically designed to help you improve your weaknesses, as well as individualized drills, skill and core work and strength. You don’t want to get in the habit of just doing whatever benchmark you see because you like it, it looks fun, or because others are doing it… because then you’re not going to be hitting the stuff that would be most helpful for you to do.


3. How long between retesting? It depends. But, as a general guideline 3-6 months is likely appropriate. There are times where you may want to retest something each week for a period of time, but not likely a Benchmark, Hero WOD, Open WOD, Max Lift, Regionals WOD or something that requires greater intensity. You may want to retest a WOD that you’ve done very recently so that you can see how a different strategy plays out (like during The Open). Or you may retest a certain skill or work capacity piece more often (like 50 calorie row for time, 3 min max burpees for time, or 30 muscle ups for time) that you’re working hard on improving. But, for the major benchmarks, you’ll likely want to have at least 3-6 months of consistent, focused training before retesting them again. And, you’ll always want to make sure that you have a clear purpose behind why you want to do it, which brings me to my last point

4. Why retest? Have a clear purpose for doing it before you do it. You may want to retest some WOD because it’s a really fun one, and you’ve been training seriously for a while and it’s time to do something you enjoy. You may want to retest because you’ve been working on your barbell cycling each week since last Open and you’re ready to see if it’s paid off in a WOD like 16.3. You  may want to try Cindy again because you did it when you just started CrossFit over a couple of years ago, and now you want to try it with RX pullups instead of with a band. You may want to do Diane because last time you did it you did too many HSPU unbroken and had to wait a long ass time between your reps in the last 2 rounds. Have a clear WHY before you jump into a WOD, talk it out with your coaches or training partners and make sure it fits well with your current training program. Then, rock that shit out.

Programming is PART of what I do to help athletes perform their best. There are a lot of great programs out there, but you gotta understand that you’ll only get the best results if your mind is working for you. If you’re putting in a lot of hours in the box each week, but still wanting to perform better on a more consistent basis…then you gotta develop a more powerful mental game.

Get Started On A Program or eBook

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Products To Help You Reach CrossFit Goals:

  • The Mental Edge Program – The most comprehensive program I offer. This is an exclusive online training, that goes through EXACTLY what you need to know to perform your best in daily WODs and competitions. Once purchasing, you’ll get a username and password and have access to all of the information for 6 months. *Includes a free copy of “Build Mental Strength” eBook.  $37


  • The “Build Mental Strength” eBook – This is a 70+ page PDF that explains exactly how you can build your mental toughness so that you can reach your CrossFit goals. It includes the “1 Month Strong Mind Challenge” as well as 20 WODs to help you build mental strength. $17  


  •  The “100+ Journal Prompts” Instant Download – This PDF is a collection of 100+ questions to help you become the best athlete possible. You can think through your answers or journal your responses to become more aware, confident and focused. $11

Interested in one-on-one coaching or programming? Email me, and I’ll give you the details *limited spots avail each month*

Janja Garnbret and Domen Škofič win Lead World Cup 2016 in Kranj

The last stage of the Climbing Lead World Cup 2016, held on 26 and 27 November at Kranj in Slovenia, was won by Anak Verhoeven and Sebastian Halenke. Akiyo Noguchi and Domen Skofic placed second, ahead of Janja Garnbret and Jacob Schubert. Slovenians Janja Garnbret and Domen Škofič secured the overall World Cup 2016 title.