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Throw Away The Scale

CrossFit Ethos in Orange County CA recently shared a post by Beau R. relating an incident he and his wife had regarding her weight (Ed: now deleted).   She had been feeling fabulous about herself after CrossFitting for 8 months.  Then she casually tested a scale at the store and discovered she weighed much more than ever before.

Related: Everybody’s Getting on the Strength Train(ing)

We have been taught all our lives that how much we weigh determines everything.  For many of us, a five pound decrease and we’re elated, a five pound increase and we’re despondent.  For those, mostly men, trying to gain, the directions are reversed, but the emotions just as powerful.  The scale just tells you how much force gravity applies to you.  It doesn’t tell you anything about what that force is pulling – fat, muscle, bone, or brain.  Since it provides no useful information, it is useless and should be tossed out with the rest of the trash.

Muscle is denser than fat, so replacing a pound of fat with a pound of muscle will make a person smaller.  There will be a pound less of fat covering your muscle.  You will be more capable of performing tasks in the real world, raising your self confidence, even though the number on the scale hasn’t changed.  When Beau’s wife went by how she felt and how she looked, she was elated.  When she looked at the scale, all that social programming came rushing back.  So don’t look at the scale, go by how you feel.

–John Bryant

Founder & Head Trainer


Thoughts About “Training CrossFit vs. CrossFit as Sport”

If you’ve been CrossFitting or researching CrossFit, chances are very good that you’ve heard the name Chris Spealler.  He was there in the early days of CrossFit and has been an integral part of its explosive growth.  He was also one of the first elite CrossFitters, showing others what was possible through CrossFit.   His recent blog post, Training CrossFit vs. CrossFit as a Sport, (Ed: since deleted) addresses a topic that it is important for those curious about CrossFit – just what is CrossFit for?  While his points are very important, more can be said to illuminate the future of CrossFit and what it can be for you.

Spealler argues that there are three types of CrossFitters: those who do CrossFit to support other activities, including life (Type I), those who pursue CrossFit as a “recreational” sport (Type II), and the elite athletes who make CrossFit their full time job (Type III).  All three are ways that people can approach CrossFit, but they are not exclusive.

Related: 6 Tips for Maximum Fitness Result

The rise of CrossFit Endurance and other specialty courses, such as CrossFit Football, expressly acknowledge that the general physical preparedness (GPP), midline stabilization, strength, and other aspects of fitness CrossFit improves carry over directly into improved sports performance in other disciplines.  So Type I athletes may not be serious about CrossFit as a competitive sport, but may be extremely serious about another athletic endeavor, such as running, nordic skiing, football, or hockey.  Several CrossFit Endurance athletes recently broke 10 hours for the Ironman triathlon – that requires serious time, dedication, and sacrifice.  So a Type I CrossFitter may be a Type II or even III athlete in another discipline.

Related: Maximizing Your Results While Minimizing Your Time Commitment

So the question is less what type of CrossFitter are you, but rather what type of athlete are you?  Athlete of life is a perfectly valid answer, as Spealler says.  If that is your answer, CrossFit Slipstream is here for you. If you have a different answer, CrossFit Slipstream can help you apply CrossFit in the manner to best support that endeavor.

– John Bryant

Founder & Head Trainer


“On-Ramp” Accelerates You to CrossFit Speed

A few days ago, I posted about “why CrossFit”.  If you are interested in pursuing function instead of fads, the next step is to “on-ramp”.   What is “on-ramp” and why is it worth it?  “On-ramp” is our term for training those new to CrossFit the movements required to perform CrossFit workouts safely.  While these movements are functional and natural, many of us have lost the mobility or other attributes needed to do them naturally.  By going through on-ramp, you give yourself time to recover these movements, learn the key points to remember, and practice performing them safely.  We keep our on-ramp classes at eight (8) or fewer members, so your coach has the opportunity to observe you one-on-one and work with you to begin to identify and correct the things that most challenge you personally.

We also put you through workouts that improve your total physical conditioning and prepare you for full CrossFit WODs.  In the process you learn to scale movements, weights, and exercises so you can find the right combinations to challenge your personal abilities.


We call it “on-ramp” because it accelerates your skills and fitness to a level that allows you to join CrossFit classes safely, just like merging your car into interstate traffic.  And just like getting your driver’s license doesn’t make you Danica Patrick, graduating on-ramp won’t make you champion of the CrossFit Games.  But you will have the knowledge, lingo, and skill you need to be confident you are ready.

-John Bryant

Founder & Head Trainer


CrossFit & Endurance Sports

You may have heard of the “principle of specificity,” which posits that you must practice your particular activity in order to reach maximum potential in that activity.  By contrast, CrossFit aims to “increase work capacity across broad time and modal domains,” which is a fancy way to say it improves “general physical preparedness” or “GPP,” instead of sport-specific preparedness.

Cyclocross Green acres


Cyclocross at Green Acres, Lake Elmo, MN. Power is required for explosive starts, and to climb steep hills with loose surfaces.

CrossFit doesn’t have any argument with the principle of specificity.  If you want to squat 900 pounds, you shouldn’t run very much, and if you want to run a marathon as fast as you possibly can, you don’t want any extra mass to carry.  Where CrossFit does have an argument is when the principle of specificity is practiced as a principle of exclusivity.  The wanna-be 900# squatter fails to work on other aspects of fitness, and loses progress towards his goal because he’s so stiff he can’t access all the muscle mass he has.  The marathoner runs so much she watches the race on TV because her knee gave out and she never made it to the starting line.

Related: Maximizing Results While Minimizing Your Time Commitment – Endurance Sports Edition

GPP provides a broad fitness base across all ten aspects of fitness so that you can maximize your potential.  For endurance sports, this means using CrossFit to establish a well-rounded physical potential, correct imbalances, and improve posture, strength, flexibility, and coordination.  With these enhancements, your endurance training can now focus on the high-quality technique and interval work where real endurance sport progress occurs.  Gone are the “junk” miles that take hours and hours of your time and bring you closer to retirement than to your goal, as you reinforce imbalances and increase wear and tear on your joints through the repetitive motions common to endurance sports.

In-season, use Olympic lifting to challenge eight of the ten aspects of fitness maintains your GPP without leaving you drained or sore, so you can do the high-quality sports-specific training that will get you to your goal.

-John Bryant

Founder & Head Trainer



“Plyometrics” describes a wide variety of explosive jumping exercises. In CrossFit, these most commonly take the form of large numbers of repetitions at medium heights.  Our plyo boxes offer multiple heights to facilitate different uses to meet our goal of constant variety and to help meet your individual needs.  Plus, they’re cool.

Plyo box

-John Bryant

Founder & Head Trainer


Why CrossFit?

Our About page describes CrossFit as broad fitness developed by a constantly varied selection of functional movements performed at high intensity.  But why should you make it your physical fitness regime?

The obvious answer is because it works.  But what does “works” mean in the physical fitness context?  There must be a goal or measurable outcome before you can say your efforts have “worked” or not.  CrossFit defines the goal as “increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains.”

Funny enough, even though that fits on a t-shirt, it’s not what anyone wrote down as a New Year’s Resolution.  Those tend to be qualitative and abstract, like “get in shape”, or quantitative, like “lose five pounds” or “go to the gym three times a week”.  CrossFit’s goal is quantitative, but notice that it is a practical one – it is about being able to do things (perform work).  And not just one thing, but one thing or many things in combination, at any time, and for any duration.

Where are you going with all that fitness?

CrossFit works because it focuses on the ability to do, not on other metrics, like weight, clothing size, or “beach body”.  When you start working to improve the functional ability of your body through CrossFit, funny things start to happen – you start actually wanting to eat better, instead of just knowing you should, you discover movements you didn’t know you could do, you start bending in ways you couldn’t just yesterday (safely!) and that “beach body” starts poking through on its own.

While this is happening, you start living a fuller, more complete life, because now you can.  You can take on that challenge, you can climb that hill for a view, you can walk all day through a tourist town and still dance the night away, you can get the groceries in the house in one trip.  You gain the confidence to take on new challenges, because you’ve faced so many challenges in the Box.  So kayaking, backpacking, an obstacle course race, or anything else that would have given you pause before is now an exciting possibility.

-John Bryant

Founder & Head Trainer


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