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Is HIIT safe and healthy for kids and teens?

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is effective for kids and teens

A study published in SpringerOpen and conducted by PubMed and SPORTDiscus looked at data from healthy kids and teens, ranging in age from five to 18. It found eleven studies with a total of 1095 subjects where the participants completed at least five days of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Over the range, the participants averaged an increase in neuromuscular and anaerobic performance, an increase in the number of push-ups they could complete, and a healthy decrease in their fasted glucose levels.

The takeaway

Not only is high-intensity interval training (HIIT) safe for kids and teens, it’s proven to be a very effective way for them to build strength, endurance, and fight the onset of hypoinsulinemia and type-2 diabetes.

Today: heart disease and dementia, smart homes and aging

Having two cardiometabolic diseases (like heart disease and diabetes) increases likelihood of dementia

A study published on the 16th of June by the Alzheimer’s Association has found having two or more cardiometabolic diseases (like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke) increases the likelihood of developing dementia. The study observed 2577 participants at or over the age of 60. Over a 12 year period, initially dementia-free participants were observed for cognitive decline. If a participant had two or more cardiometabolic diseases, it was found it accelerated the onset of dementia by approximately two years.

Smart homes can help transition from independence to assisted living

Forbes took a look at smart home technology and how it can help with in-home care and prolong independence before moving to an assisted living facility. Voice activated technologies, bluetooth tracking, and smart hubs can help you find missing devices, call for help, get reminders for things like medications, and protect yourself from intruders. Some companies are even wading into smart medication dispensers.

Ricky Garard – The return of CrossFit’s most notorious cheater

Who is Ricky Garard?

Ricky Garard, a 2017 CrossFit Games podium finisher and Australian rookie phenomenon in the sport, received sanctions after testing positive for banned substances. It was with this single failed test that Garard would mar the face of a largely clean sport for future generations.

Cheaters are inevitable, especially in sports with the level of physical and mental demand CrossFit asks for. Whether the unfortunate coincidence of stars aligning, or deserved targeted blame for the athlete bold enough to cheat all the way to a podium, only time will tell.

Ricky Garard’s legacy

The story of Ricky Garard and his 2017 positive test for Testolon and Endurobol seems to live on in infamy, aided by its public shaming on the Fittest on Earth: The Redeemed and the Dominant documentary (courtesy, in part, of the Buttery Bros).

Frankly, Garard’s boldness to take his cheating habits beyond CrossFit mediocrity and into a third-place finish laughs in the face of the organization, the athletes, and the fans. However, the final laugh doesn’t go to Ricky Garard – he missed the important detail that all podium athletes in CrossFit receive drug tests mere minutes after they stand on that podium.

Therein lies Garard’s mistake: the idea that his behavior was infallible and that he belonged in the midst of those who truly do the work, and have proven it time and time again through constant drug testing. Those athletes are, and stand among: Mat Fraser, Ben Smith, Rich Froning, Katrin Davidsdottir, and Tia-Clair Toomey.

He didn’t deserve the status. He doesn’t deserve the attention. He’ll never be worthy of the notoriety.

Garard stands below even hundreds of thousands of annual CrossFit Open participants who will never receive credit for their good, clean work. Yes, while ranked 96,215th in the world, I think of myself as more fit (at least emotionally) than Ricky Garard.

About Ricky Garard’s Drug Testing

The news broke via press release from CrossFit in October 2017. Ricky Garard, the 23-year-old rookie from Australia, forfeited his third-place title. The press release noted Garard would lose his $76,000 in prize money and received a four-year ban from the sport.

Why Ricky Garard Used

Ricky Garard tested positive for use of Testolon and Endurobol. These are a steroid and a hormonal growth factor. He had cheated his way to a first-place finish in the Madison Triplet and Cyclocross events. His standing as the third-fittest man on earth wasn’t real.

Ricky Garard’s Punishment

As the result, Canadian athlete Patrick Vellner would assume the third-place podium finish.

Garard’s girlfriend Melissa Bevacqua took to Twitter following the suspension. She publicly accepted blame. Her tweets stated she wasn’t reading labels on some of Ricky Garard’s supplements.

“…I blame myself for not doing more research into this (one) particular product we were convinced was okay.” -Melissa Bevacqua

Ricky Garard’s Response

Garard also took to Instagram with multiple messages disparaging the CrossFit organization:

“I have obviously taken the rules & boundaries to the very edge. I looked into, researched & was willing to dabble into ways that could improve my performance legally & within the rules, with no intention whatsoever to be a cheat…sorry to anyone I have affected personally & sorry to anyone that is sharing my pain. I trust that the people closest to me will understand, remain loyal, and be there to support me.” – Ricky Garard

Ricky Garard goes on to imply there are other athletes taking PEDs. He accused CrossFit of not pursuing those accusations. His language states CrossFit is not a legitimate, drug-free sport:

“I really hope the CrossFit Games continues to tighten up their testing procedures, enforcing the same level of strictness to all other competitors like they have to me & they continue to strive towards a legitimate drug free sport.” – Ricky Garard

Analyzing Garard’s Response to Getting Caught

And therein lies a number of problems. Garard first points out that he was willing to test boundaries and that he saw substances as a way to get a leg up on the competition. While supplements like proteins and BCAAs are widely used, Garard was on the hunt for something greater, some form of non-physical boost her could purchase.

Implying he hopes CrossFit continues to tighten up their testing policies also alludes to the fact that Garard wasn’t event well-versed in those policies. They’ve tested podium athletes at the Regional (now Sanctional) and Games level since the earliest days of the sport. CrossFit also randomly tests all athletes at the upper tier of the sport, requiring them to actively report their planned whereabouts on a quarterly basis to aid in the process. He’s not a special case, nor is he a martyr. He’s just the one with behavior dumb enough to tempt an oddly guaranteed fate.

Finally, in response to Ricky’s hope that those closest to him will understand, it seems highly likely he’ll find compassion from his family. His brother, Ben Garard, has failed multiple drug tests, including one as recent as 2019.

CrossFit’s Response to Ricky Garard

Justin Bergh is the the General Manager of the CrossFit Games. In an interview appearance, Bergh discussed Ricky Garard’s accusations that CrossFit hasn’t done their diligence in making the sport fair:

“This is an opportunity for him as an athlete, if he has that information, he can share it with us, he can be a part of the solution…it’s not just ruining the leaderboard; it’s tarnishing the hard work, the talent, the dedication that your fellow competitors have…good clean athletes that are doing the right thing, it’s sullying their reputation and I don’t think it’s fair to them.” – Justin Bergh

Ricky Garard Today

For now, Garard doesn’t appear interested in fading into obscurity. He continues to receive sponsorship deals, join celebrity fitness trips, and participate in non-sanctioned events. All the while he sells his training program (for those who want to get fit quick?)

Yes. I refuse to link to it.

Garard still participates unofficially in the CrossFit Open and has even been bold enough to try to inspire teenagers to get involved with the sport. As of 2022, his ban has been lifted and he’s back to competing at the highest levels of the sport. Whether he has learned his lesson (to not get caught or to not use PEDs altogether) remains to be seen. No doubt, he’ll be tested heavily.

Conclusion

This wasn’t the first time CrossFit had caught athletes using performance enhancing drugs, and it definitely wouldn’t be the last. The difference is the boldness of the stupidity and the vastness of ignorance.

For more on steroids, performance enhancing drugs, and other banned substances in the sport of CrossFit, check out our CrossFit PED guide.

A History of the Reebok Nano™ CrossFit® Shoes

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In 2010, CrossFit and fitness retail giant Reebok announced a 10-year partnership in which Reebok would be the official provider of licensed CrossFit footwear and apparel through the year 2020. Reebok’s dove head-first into fitness as a sport, releasing a new shoe line, the CrossFit Nano, for participants focusing on this young sport.

Eight years later, this shoe line is the pillar of specialized footwear and has few competitors in the space. Stay tuned for future articles on the Nike Metcon and the works of NoBull Project.

Here’s a brief history of the Reebok CrossFit Nano shoe line, each version’s features, and what to expect in the future.

Reebok CrossFit Nano

Weight: 8.8oz

Reebok CrossFit Nano U Form

On the heels of announcing a partnership to become the official provider of licensed CrossFit footwear and apparel in 2011, Reebok released the Nano. This new shoe line was designed to support athletes through high-impact movements like weightlifting, gymnastics, and short-distance running. One of the primary qualities of the shoe was a spacious toe box and grips for the purpose of rope climb activities.

Where to Buy: No Longer Available. Check out the CrossFit Speed TR.

Reebok Nano 2.0 CrossFit Shoe

Weight: 8.8oz

Reebok Nano 2.0 CrossFit.jpg

The second edition of the Reebok Nano, the Reebok Nano 2.0 was released in 2012 with an even wider toe box than the first generation of the shoe. This was to allow the athlete’s foot to splay more naturally during wear and maximize the level of stability provided to the wearer. The 2.0 was included in Men’s Fitness magazine’s list of 15 New Products to Improve Your Daily Workout.

Where to Buy: Amazon

Reebok Nano 3.0 CrossFit Shoe

Weight: 9.6oz

Reebok Nano 3.0 CrossFit.jpg

The third Nano released in a three-year period, the Nano 3.0 was released in 2013 with some new innovations. A protective layer in the midsole prevented fraying caused by rope climbs, forefoot cushioning and heel stabilization were provided through a dual density platform, and the same great wide toe box and midsole were brought back for lift stability. This was the first CrossFit shoe with Reebok’s DuraCage construction, which added some extra protection and lightweight support.

Where to Buy: Amazon

Reebok Nano 4.0 CrossFit Shoe

Weight: 9.6oz

Reebok Nano 4.0 CrossFit.jpg

Released during the 2014 CrossFit Games, the Reebok Nano 4.0 bought back DuraCage protection layer and introduced an enhanced toe-wrap for durability. The more rigid sole provided more grip and stability than the previous Nano, Nano 2.0, and Nano 3.0 models.

Where to Buy: Amazon

Reebok Nano 5.0 CrossFit Shoe

Weight: 9.6oz

Reebok Nano 5.0 CrossFit.jpg

In a word: Kevlar. DuPont provided Kevlar to Reebok to infuse into the mesh upper of the shoe, increasing airflow and durability.

Where to Buy: Amazon

Reebok Nano 6.0 CrossFit Shoe

Weight: 9.7oz

Reebok Nano 6.0 CrossFit.jpg

Considered great multi-purpose shoe, the Reebok Nano 6.0 brought back a low-cut design for freedom of motion and quicker transitions, a lug pattern on the rubber outsole for traction, mid-foot teeth for better shoe grip during rope climbs, and has been brought back for special releases.

Where to Buy: Amazon

Reebok Nano 7.0 CrossFit Shoe

Weight: 10oz

Reebok Nano 7.0 CrossFit.jpg

Strength and rigidity was a focus of the Reebok Nano 7.0. Maintaining the NanoWeave technology for upper comfort and breathability, a 360-degree heel wrap was built to really feel like your foot was locked into your shoe and a 4mm heel-to-toe drop positioned the wearer for better running and weight-forward balance.

Where to Buy: Amazon

Reebok Nano 8.0 Flexweave™ CrossFit Shoe

Weight: 10oz

Reebok Nano 8.0 Flexweave CrossFit.jpg

Flexweave Technology replaced NanoWeave by using woven fibers in a figure-8 pattern to create a stronger, more flexible upper on the shoe. The Nano 8.0 used a new heel bootie build to provide better performance comfort. The focus of the shoe was much more on traction, mobility, flexibility, and lightness.

Where to Buy: Amazon

Reebok Nano 9.0 CrossFit Shoe

Follow our updates on the upcoming Reebok Nano 9.0 release here.

Weight: TBA

Reebok Nano 9.0 CrossFit

Reebok is on a cadence of releasing a new version of the Nano every year. Following this trend, we would normally expect the Reebok Nano 9.0 to be announced by the end of 2018. While we’re now into December and the Nano 9.0 hasn’t been announced, we’re still expecting something new and exciting from Reebok soon. In the meantime, check out the new Reebok Froning One (RF1)

Medical Racism: What Was the Tuskegee Experiment?

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With the rollout of the first COVID-19 vaccine in the US this week, media coverage has been incessant about distrust of our medical industry in the black community. I’ve noticed very few of them actually talk about why. Medical racism. Have you heard of it? It’s been around, it’s an ongoing problem, and it’s coming to light again with the treatment for COVID-19. Let’s talk about a horrific moment in American history, a 1932 experiment called the “Tuskegee Study of Syphilis in the Negro Male”. 

The best explanation of medical racism I’ve found is on the YWCA website. They write:

 “Medical racism is the systematic and wide-spread racism against people of color within the medical system. It includes both the racism in our society that makes Black people less healthy, the disparity in health coverage by race, and the biases held by healthcare workers against people of color in their care.”

A Black man covers his face with his hand and peeks out with one eye between his fingers. He's wearing a white shirt and has a prominent dark-metal wedding band.
The Tuskegee Experiment was a study done on Black men in the 1930s which had questionable ethics

The Tuskegee Experiment

So, in 1932, the Tuskegee experiment began with 600 Black men, 399 who tested positive for syphilis, and 201 who didn’t. It failed to tell those men they had syphilis, instead telling all 600 they were being treated for “bad blood”, which was a blanket term for a bunch of issues, like sickle cell anemia. The reality was, these men didn’t receive proper medical treatment of the disease researchers knew they had, and the six-month experiment ended up running for 40 years. It wasn’t until a story from the Associate Press in 1972 brought the study to light that a panel began to investigate. They found the men in the study had been misled and weren’t given enough information to give real informed consent for their treatment.

Here’s an example: penicillin, the antibiotic used to very easily treat syphilis, became widely used in 1947 and was never offered to the study’s test subjects.

That’s dark. It’s terrible. And it’s really just one story in a long list of behaviors in the United States which have fostered mistrust within the Black community. In 1966, Henry K. Beecher published a paper documenting 22 instances of unethical medical research in the New England Journal of Medicine, including Tuskegee.

The moral issues with Tuskegee

Blind studies, basically studies where the recipient of a treatment doesn’t know if they’re receiving the treatment or a placebo, are important to proving if a treatment is effective and safe. But we need to ask questions about whether they’re ethical in a situation where we’re testing on a specific race or ethnic background, if we’re testing on a group which has been abused in the past, and if that testing continues when a viable cure is found without adjusting the experiment to inform the doctors, researches, and study participants about what’s going on.

Sources

The CDC has a write up on the Tuskegee study and the work related to it on their website, so I’m putting a link to that in my show notes, which you can find in your podcasting app or on bengarves.com. 

The Tuskegee Timeline from CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/tuskegee/timeline.htm 

A History of the Nike Metcon™ Shoe for CrossFit®

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Earlier this week we wrote about the magical Reebok Nano CrossFit shoe and its history. Back with the second part of this four (or five) part series on CrossFit shoes, this time we’re exploring the history of the Nike Metcon.

Reebok’s first-to-market status (2011) and partnership with the CrossFit organization set Nike up as a dark horse in the race for dominance of the budding sport of fitness shoe market.

Not releasing their first official CrossFit-intended shoe until 2015, the Nike Metcon was named as an ode to the metabolic conditioning workouts brought to fame by the sport’s workouts of the day (WODs). Reebok and CrossFit quickly responded by banning the shoe or any non-Reebok gear from being word by athletes in the CrossFit Games.

This ignited the marketing genius of Nike, who released an Air Jordan 1-inspired red and black shoe with an ad campaign challenging Reebok and CrossFit: “Don’t ban our shoe. Beat our shoe.” This callback to the Air Jordan reflected on a time when the shoe was banned from the NBA but overcame the ban to eventually become a pre-eminent shoe for basketball.

Even with the ban from official CrossFit events, Nike has garnered quite the roster of sponsored athletes, including three-time champion Mat Fraser, and beloved athletes Sara Sigmundsdottir, Josh Bridges, Lauren Fisher, and Jacob Heppner.

Nike Metcon 1 CrossFit Shoe

Weight: 11.2oz

Nike Metcon 1 CrossFit Shoe@2x.jpg

Nike released their first Metcon to combat the growth of Reebok as the sole (pun intended) provider of footwear for CrossFit athletes and fans. Natural motion flex grooves added flexibility to the ride of the shoe, along with textured grooves in the center of the shoe for aid in rope climbing activities.

Where to Purchase: Amazon

Nike Metcon 2 CrossFit Shoe

Weight: 12.7oz

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Doubling down on making this a prime sport-specific shoe for CrossFit, Nike introduced a zero-friction heel. The lack of resistance when rubbed against surfaces made them much more functional to athletes completing handstand push ups. The textured drop-in midsole for rope climbs returned, and a thinner, more solid heel was added for focus on olympic lifting.

Where to Purchase: Amazon

Nike Metcon 3 CrossFit Shoe

Weight: 10.3oz

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This was the first shoe to introduce a new texture for the arch inset rope climbing grip. Nike added a new abrasion-resistant film to the mid-foot of the shoe to add to durability and make sure it could handle any test these multi-faceted athletes could throw at it.

Where to Purchase: Amazon

Nike Metcon 4 CrossFit Shoe

Weight: 10.6oz

Nike Metcon 4 CrossFit Shoe@2x.jpg

The Metcon 4 was Nike’s effort to re-write the book on how durable a fitness shoe could be. The updated the reinforced textured print from heel to toe of the shoe, improved eyelet position and number for better lacing and fit, and added a new Flywire technology to really snug up on a foot. In celebration of Mat Fraser’s third CrossFit Games win, they also partnered for a special shoe release with a golden and black design.

Where to Purchase: Amazon

Nike Metcon 5 CrossFit Shoe

See our guide to the Nike Metcon 5 release date and details here.

Weight: TBD

Nike Metcon 5 CrossFit Shoe@2x.jpg

While Nike hasn’t released any details yet, we do know an estimated timeline. Nike released the Metcon 2 and 3 in January of 2016 and 2017, with the Metcon 4 being released in late December of 2017. This gives us an assumed release of date late December of 2018 or early January of 2019. We’re excited to see what they come up with!

Where to Purchase: Not Yet Available

CrossFit® Buttery Bros: CrossFit’s documentarians and their films

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Who are these mysterious Buttery Bros of CrossFit, and where did they come from? We’re here to answer those questions.

The Buttery Bros Story

Heber Cannon and Marston Sawyers are the Buttery Bros. Image courtesy of Marston's Instagram.
Heber Cannon and Marston Sawyers are the Buttery Bros. Image courtesy of Marston’s Instagram.

A mysterious YouTube channel popped up in January of 2019. The name? Buttery Bros. The content? Buttery.

Founded by documentarians Heber Cannon and Marston Sawyers, the channel has two goals. First, Heber and Marston are working on a documentary series to fill the void created by the end of CrossFit’s Fittest on Earth trilogy.

Yes. If you hadn’t heard, there will be no Fittest on Earth 2019 release. Hello? You must’ve been hibernating. CrossFit laid off their media staff last year.

Second, their vlog documents the behind-the-scenes happenings while they tour the world to create their documentary.

“While we are in production on that series, this vlog will fill in the gap and tell a behind the scenes story as it is happening through the season from our perspective. Follow the journey.”

From the description of the Bro’s first video, ACID BATH in Mat Fraser’s Garage.

“But wait,” you ask. “What do the Buttery Bros know about CrossFit documentaries?”

Well, a lot more than you do.

Heber Cannon

First of all, follow Heber on Instagram (@hebercannon) – you won’t regret it. As long as you enjoy being entertained.

Heber started CrossFit by exchanging monthly video production with his local affiliate for a membership. Photo courtesy of Reebok.
Heber started CrossFit by exchanging monthly video production with his local affiliate for a membership. Photo courtesy of Reebok.

This filmmaker’s first major directorial effort was on CrossFit’s 2015 Froning movie. His love for CrossFit started much earlier, in 2009. Cannon’s first CrossFit gym membership was paid for by producing monthly videos for his local affiliate. Eventually sending those videos to CrossFit, Heber transitioned to working for the company’s headquarters full time.

The success of the Froning documentary led to the creation of annual films showing the best stories of the CrossFit Games. Heber grew his directorial resume to include:

Cannon’s work extended to three years of creation on the recurring Road to the Games web series. The show followed CrossFit athletes as they prepared for the Games from 2016 to 2018.

Marston Sawyers

Marston Sawyers joined the Froning documentary doing camera and electrical work. He moved on to direct three more films with CrossFit. Photo courtesy of Sawyer's Instagram.
Marston Sawyers joined the Froning documentary doing camera and electrical work. He moved on to direct three more films with CrossFit. Photo courtesy of Sawyer’s Instagram.

Find Marston on Instagram as @marzmedia. He’ll entertain you. We stand by it. We guarantee it.

Rounding out this buttery twosome is director Marston Sawyers. He’s better known for his epic works as Director with Heber Cannon on the Fittest on Earth movies.

And his jokes. Dude’s got hijinks.

Sawyers’ first CrossFit movie credit was for running camera and electrical for the Froning: The Fittest Man in History documentary. He quickly followed by joining Heber with directorial credit on the Fittest on Earth trilogy:

Marston also did masterful work on the Road to the Games series with CrossFit from 2016 to 2018.

Best Buttery Bros Moments

Without further ado, let’s talk about the giant list of epic moments the Buttery Bros have already accumulated. It was hard to narrow this down. Super hard.

Bethany Shadburne and Jason Khalipa in Austin, TX

Head-to-head on 19.2 with Rory McKernan

Buttery Bros: FITTEST – The Teaser Trailer

7 Must-Read CrossFit Books for Fans and Athletes

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CrossFit books are out there, but many fans don’t know where to start. We’ve compiled this list of seven must-read CrossFit books which are incredible reads, whether you’re a fan of the sport, an ambitious amateur, or an elite competitor. Yes, this includes casual gym-goers.

The sport of CrossFit has grown beyond elite competition to a fitness lifestyle for those looking to kick butt late into life. These CrossFit books are a great inspiration for everyone.

Chasing Excellence is a CrossFit book by CrossFit Games coach Ben Bergeron
Chasing Excellence is a CrossFit book by CrossFit Games coach Ben Bergeron

Chasing Excellence

Author: Ben Bergeron

Summary: Whether you’re a fan, an athlete, looking for excellence as a leader, business owner, or in your family life, there is something in Chasing Excellence for everyone. Ben Bergeron is a former CrossFit Games team athlete, multiple-gym owner (CrossFit New England, CrossFit Tilt), and part-owner of more than five other businesses. He still manages to co-host the Chasing Excellence Podcast and coach elite athletes like Cole SagerAmanda Barnhart, and Katrin Davidsdottir.

In his first foray into authorship, Bergeon nailed it. The book delves into what it takes to successfully manage time, prioritize what’s important, and stay healthy while you do it. As far as CrossFit books go, this is the place to start.

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Dottir is a book about the CrossFit career of two-time CrossFit Games champion and Icelandic athlete Katrin Davidsdottir
Dottir is a book about the CrossFit career of two-time CrossFit Games champion and Icelandic athlete Katrin Davidsdottir

Dottir: My Journey to Becoming a Two-Time CrossFit Games Champion

AuthorKatrin Davidsdottir and Rory McKernan

Summary: Katrin Davidsdottir was the second woman in history to win two consecutive “Fittest Woman on Earth” titles, in 2015 and 2016. Along with Annie Thorisdottir and Sara Sigmundsdottir, Katrin is a part of an Icelandic wave in the sport, which has placed an athlete from the small nation on the CrossFit Games podium every year for a decade. 

In this book, co-written by former CrossFit Games media host Rory McKernan, Davidsdottir discusses her childhood, how she found and fell in love with the sport, and why this book is just a step in her long journey.

There’s much to be learned from Katrin, from her mindset to her resiliency in a sport that is constantly evolving.

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First is a CrossFit book by four-time individual and four-time team CrossFit Games champion Rich Froning.
First is a CrossFit book by four-time individual and four-time team CrossFit Games champion Rich Froning.

First: What It Takes to Win

AuthorRich Froning and David Thomas

Summary: Rich Froning was the first ever CrossFit athlete to win four-consecutive Fittest on Earth titles, a feat which was documented by the CrossFit-helmed Froning documentary. This book takes a look at his childhood, how he found the sport, and how he stays so dominant.

Even after retiring from individual competition, Froning has remained dominant in the sport, helming his CrossFit Mayhem Freedom team to the podium five more times. This means the last decade of the sport has had Froning on a podium every year, and never lower than 2nd place.

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As Many Reps as Possible is a book by 2008 CrossFit Games champion and long-time competitor Jason Khalipa.
As Many Reps as Possible is a book by 2008 CrossFit Games champion and long-time competitor Jason Khalipa.

As Many Reps as Possible

Author: Jason Khalipa

Summary: Jason Khalipa has spoken of the AMRAP Mentality for years as a gym owner and businessman. The idea is simple: task yourself to a focused period of time to get as much high-quality work done as possible. Remove the distractions and focus on the task at hand. It’s this approach that has benefited the 2008 CrossFit Games champion, both on and off the field: where he’s now the owner of the NC Fit Collective, one of the largest collections of CrossFit affiliate gyms on the planet.

While Jason’s work to help gym owners with best practices has been the focus of his recent efforts, the AMRAP Mentality can be scaled to fit any business model and even implemented in your personal life.

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How I Became the Fittest on Earth is a book by three-time consecutive CrossFit Games champion Tia-Clair Toomey.
How I Became the Fittest on Earth is a book by three-time consecutive CrossFit Games champion Tia-Clair Toomey.

How I Became the Fittest Woman on Earth

AuthorTia-Clair Toomey

Summary: Following Annie Thorisdottir and Katrin Davidsdottir, Tia-Clair Toomey became the third woman in the history of CrossFit to win two “Fittest on Earth” titles. She then returned in 2019 to pave the way as the first woman to ever win three. Much like Katrin Davidsdottir, Toomey is still a young competitor with many years ahead of her in the sport. How I Became the Fittest Woman on Earth is very much a tale of her life to date, and has great guidance for younger athletes looking to grow competitively and as good human beings.

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Constructing the CrossFit Games is a book by long-time CrossFit Games Director Dave Castro.
Constructing the CrossFit Games is a book by long-time CrossFit Games Director Dave Castro.

Constructing The CrossFit Games

Author: Dave Castro

Summary: Dave Castro has been a permanent fixture as the Director of the CrossFit Games since their first event more than a decade ago. Castro gets a bad rap for the punishing test of fitness he plans, but this former Navy SEAL is a deeply analytical and generous leader. Learn about the countless hours and brainpower that goes into building the momentous annual events that are the CrossFit Games.

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Oliver Norris wrote a book analyzing the CrossFit Open.
Oliver Norris wrote a book analyzing the CrossFit Open.

Cracking the CrossFit Open: How to Outperform Your Peers in Every Workout

Author: Oliver Norris

Summary: The CrossFit Open is an annual event which stack-ranks hundreds of thousands of thousands of CrossFit athletes who perform the same workouts, which are released each week.

Until 2017, there was very little out there as to resources for understanding and training for the annual CrossFit Open event. Oliver Norris did the work of breaking the event down from an analytical perspective to build a cunning guide to help you understand the design and purpose of the Open’s 5-week test of fitness.

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CrossFit Steroids: Which athletes were busted and which PEDs did they use?

This guide is designed to help you understand which performance enhancing drugs, like steroids and other banned substances, CrossFit athletes have tested positive for over the history of the sport. This is divided into four primary sections:

One of the most commonly-tainted supplements with PEDs and steroids in CrossFit have been protein powders and shakes

A Look Back at CrossFit Steroids

There is no single definitive (published) list on CrossFit athletes who have tested positive. In that void, we’ve done our best to compile one for you.

Jumping back to 2010, a notable name stands out – Ben Bergeron. Ben is the owner of CrossFit New England and the CompTrain fitness program.

He is now the coach of fan favorites Katrin Davidsdottir and Brooke Wells. Bergeron tested positive for methylhexanamine, a stimulant, in 2010.

He stands as an example that even great people make mistakes. Athletes can overcome those mistakes and make a positive impact on the community.

CrossFit steroids and PEDs can come in many forms, whether injected or ingested in pill form, powders, creams, and tainted meat and dairy products

CrossFit Steroids: Looking Forward

For the three fittest men and women on earth, nobody tested positive in 2018 and 2019. CrossFit continued testing all Regional and Games athletes. Those tests caught more users than in previous years. They resulted in two masters athletes losing their podium finishes.

To maintain full transparency, CrossFit published a list of 2018 sanctioned athletes. You can read it here. The list includes Emily Abbott, a perennial crowd favorite.

CrossFit Steroids – Athlete Responses

While the vast majority of athletes are continuously tested for steroids and performance enhancing drugs, very few have tested positive for banned substances. Those who have worked so hard and done the work to become great the natural way have many choice words for those who take shortcuts:

Patrick Vellner on Ricky Garard

“Those precious moments at the Crossfit Games are ones that I work so hard all year for, and they are moments that I can never get back. I lost an event win, I lost the experience of having back to back podiums, and worst of all, I lost the chance to stand on that podium with a fellow Canadian…When someone cheats, they aren’t simply cheating the sport, they are cheating the other athletes who have sacrificed a lot to get where they are.” – Patrick Vellner

CBD and hemp products can also be tainted with performance enhancing drugs because of shared production lines and equipment

Noah Ohlsen on CrossFit Steroids

“As if we didn’t already get enough of the 💉 emojis and ‘no way these dudes are natural,’ comments. Now, I’d imagine that within our community and beyond it’ll be even harder for people to believe that we train and compete with all natural integrity.” – Noah Ohlsen

Thuri Helgadottir

“I am disappointed in Garards actions, but happy that the CrossFit Games are coming down hard on these issues. In response to Garard I would like to say: Don’t try to justify your actions by dragging us all down with you. If you know of people cheating, name some names, contact HQ with your info and do your part in upholding the integrity of the sport. Don’t make us all look questionable in order to make yourself look better!” – Thuri Helgadottir

The List – Athletes Reported for PED Use

At the time of writing, 43 athletes have tested positive for PEDs. This is since the 2010 CrossFit Games season.

It’s important to note the average suspension has grown from none in 2010 to an average of 3.8 years in 2018. CrossFit is getting tougher on cheaters.

2010 PED Sanctions in CrossFit

Athlete Substance(s) Years Suspended
Ben Bergeron Methylhexanamine 0
Derek Mohammad Methylhexanamine 0

2014 PED Sanctions in CrossFit

Athlete Substance(s) YearSuspended
Taylar Stallings B-methylphenethylamine 1
Abigail Guerrero Methandienone (Dianabol) 2

2015 PED Sanctions in CrossFit

Athlete Substance(s) Years Suspended
Steve Pinkerton Anastrozole, Letrozole, 19-norandrosterone 2
Elia Navarro Garcia Oxandrolone 2
Richard Bohlken Ostarine 1
Riyan Fischer Compliance failure 1

2016 PED Sanctions in CrossFit

Athlete Substance(s) Years Suspended
Charis Chan Trenbolone 4
Natalie Newhart Oxandrolone 2
Scott Jones Anastrozole 2
Penny Kemp Clomiphene 1
Steve Marino Unspecified AAS 2

2017 PED Sanctions in CrossFit

Athlete Substance(s) Years Suspended
Ryan Elrod Clomiphene 2
Nick Thomas Ostarine 2
OJ Washington Methylhexanamine 2
Andrea Barbotti Clomiphene 4
Stella Christoforou Clenbuterol 4
L’duvit Czokoly Clomiphene 4
Pawel Lesnikowski Clenbuterol, Modafinil, elevated testosterone levels 4
Gianluca Occino Tamoxifen 4
Ricky Garard Testolone, Endurobol 4
Tony Turski Anastrozole Not disclosed
Josee Sarda Ostarine, Testolone Not disclosed

2018 PED Sanctions in CrossFit

Athlete Substance(s) Years Suspended
Kelli Holm Endurobol 2
Shawn Ramirez Endurobol, Ostarine 4
Emily AbbottIbutamoren 4
Dean Shaw Clomiphene 4
Lauren Shawver Ostarine 4
Laura Hosier Higenamine 4
Maria Ceballos Stanozolol 4
Andre Ganin Elevated testostrerone 4
Nuha Almarri Endurobol, Turinabol 4
Stephanie Araujo Stanozolol 4
Joel Munro Endurobol 4
Rachel Campbell Oxandrolone 4
Kara Paslay Methylhexanamine 2
Megan Benzik Methandienone, Oxandrolone, Methanol, Letrozole, Amphetamine 4
Carlos Castillo LGD-4033 4
Gena Malkovskiy Clomiphene, Meldonium, Drostanolone 4
Fabio Botteghi Endurobol 4
Vivian Bomfim Stanozolol 4
Andre Sanches Epimentendiol, Methandienon, Ostarine, LGD-4033 4

2019 PED Sanctions in CrossFit

AthleteSubstance(s)Years Suspended
Anna FragkouTurinabol4
Katie TrombettaGW1516, Ostarine4
Franky WoodTamoxifen, Chorionic Gonadotropin4
Achilleas PantazisGW15162
Hylie ThompsonGW15164
Mauro AcevedoEndurobol4
Juan SforziniStanozolol4
Ben GarardEndurobol4
Elly KabboordClenbuterol4
Hinrik Ingi ÓskarssonOstarine, RAD-1404

2020 PED Sanctions in CrossFit

AthleteSubstance(s)Years Suspended
Lefteris TheofanidisTBATBA
Some positive steroid and PED tests have been tracked back to meat and dairy products high in the substances

The List – PEDs and CrossFit Steroids

This list only extends to the substances found in CrossFit athletes. It does not include the full list of banned substances from WADA.

(S1) Anabolic Androgenic Steroids in CrossFit

Clenbuterol

Intended for chronic breathing disorders like asthma. Used by the boxer Canelo Alvarez (WBA, WBC). CrossFit athletes Stella Christoforou and Pawel Lesnikowski have tested positive.

Also known as Dilaterol, Spiropent, Ventipulmin.

Drostanolone

Intended for use in treatment of breast cancer. Gena Malkovskiy tested positive for this substance 2018. Also known as dromostanolone, Drolban, Masteril, and Masteron.

Enobosarm

This drug was in testing for treatment of muscle wasting and osteoporosis. It did not pass drug trials and is currently a black market drug.

Seven CrossFit athletes have tested positive for Enobosarm, like Shawn Ramirez:

  • Lauren Shawver
  • Andre Sanches
  • Richard Bohlken
  • Nick Thomas
  • Josee Sarda
  • Tony Turski.

The most common name for this PED is Ostarine.

LGD-4033

Much like Enobasarm, LGD-4033’s intended use is for muscle wasting and osteoporosis. Withdrawn from the use, it is only available on the black market.

Also known under the name of VK5211 and Ligandrol. CrossFitters Carlos Castillo and Andre Sanches have tested positive for this. Will Grier (Florida Gators football) and Joakim Noah (NBA) have tested positive for this.

Metandienone

Used for the treatment of hypogonadism. This drug is no longer available. It’s considered a black market substance.

Bodybuilders often use metandienone. For example, Arnold Schwarzenegger was a vocal user. Common names include methandienone, methandrostenolone, epimentendiol, and Dianabol.

In CrossFit, Abigail Guerrero, Megan Benzik, and Andre Sanches have tested positive.

Nandrolone

Also known as 19-Norandrosterone. This drug’s used to treat a varying array of disorders. They include anemias, cachexia, osteoporosis, and breast cancer.

Steve Pinkerton is the lone CrossFit athlete to test positive for Nadroline, to date.

Oxandrolone

Oxandrolone is common AAS in professional sports. Associated users include baseball players Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.

In CrossFit, four athletes have tested positive. They include Elia Navarro Garcia, Natalie Newhart, Rachel Campbell, and Megan Benzik.

Stanozolol

Also known as Androstanazol, Menabol, Stanazol, Stromba, Tevabolin, Winstrol, etc.

Stanozolol found use in treatment for lipodermatosclerosis. Formal use of the drug discontinued in favor of other treatments.

To date, it is still used in cases of horse doping. Stanozolol-affiliated accusations exist against Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. CrossFit athletes Maria Ceballos, Stephanie Araujo, and Vivian Bomfim have tested positive.

Testosterone

Known as “exogenous testosterone”, this is the case of elevated testosterone levels. Those levels are not created by the body. Exogenousrone is used to treat hypogonadism, breast cancer. Additionally, it’s used in sexual transitions.

CrossFit athletes Pawel Lesnikowski and Andrey Ganin have tested positive. Included as a user is US Olympic sprinter Justin Gatlin.

Testosterone in drugs like Andriol, Androderm, AndroGel, Testim, TestoGel, Sustanon, and Omnadren.

Testolone

Also known as RAD140, Ricky Garard tested positive for Testolone in 2017. It is still under development and in trials. RAD140’s use targets muscle wasting and includes the treatment of breast cancer.

Trenbolone

Finaplix, Parabolan, and Hexabolan. Charis Chan tested positive for this in 2016.

To this day it is only used in livestock to promote growth of muscle and increased appetite.

Turinabol

Has no non-performance medical use. Used by CrossFit athlete Nuha Almarri. Also known as CDMT and Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone

(S2) Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances, and Mimetics

Endurobol

Known by athletes as GW501516 (or GW1516). Endurobol’s intended use is to treat metabolic and cardiovascular disease. The medical industry abandoned the drug for causing rapid cancer development in mice.

Six CrossFit athletes have tested positive, including Ricky Garard. The others are: Fabio Botteghi, Joel Munro, Nuha Almarri, Shawn Ramirez, and Kelli Holm.

Ibutamoren

Designed for treatment of hormone deficiency. Ibutamoren approved by the FDA. Other names are MK-677 and L-163,191.

CrossFit placed sanctions on Emily Abbott after testing positive for this in 2018.

Meldonium

Also referred to as Mildronate. Meldonium tennis star Maria Sharapova tested positive for this. It resulted in sanctions from the WTA.

The drug fights restricted blood flow disorders, such as ischemia. CrossFitter Gena Malkovskiy tested positive for this in 2018.

One of the most common reasons CrossFit athletes say they’ve taken steroids and PEDs is to help recover from an injury

(S3) Beta-2 Agonist

Higenamine

This substance is in various over-the-counter supplements and has unverified weight loss properties. Known as norcoclaurine and demethylcoclaurine, Laura Hosier tested positive in 2018.

(S4) Hormone and Metabolic Modulators

Anastrozole

Known under the brand name of Arimidex. Anastrozole treats breast cancer. Steve Pinkerton, Scott Jones, and Tony Turski have tested positive for this substance.

Clomifene

Also spelled “clomiphene”. Hundreds of prescription names includen the substance. Examples include Belcom, Biogen, Bleifen, Climene, Fertilphen, etc.

This drug treats infertility.

Five athletes have tested positive for Clomifene. They are Dean Shaw, Penny Kemp, Ryan Elrod, Andrea Barbotti, and L’duvit Czokoly.

Letrozole

The drug Femara is the product name of Letrozole. It’s used to treat breast cancer. Samples from Megan Benzik and Steve Pinkerton tested positive for the substance.

Tamoxifen

Intended as a breast cancer prevention method. Tamoxifen is also a treatment for infertility. It’s sold under the names Nolvadex, Genox, and Tamifen. Gianluca Occino tested positive for Tamoxifen in 2017.

(S6) Stimulant

Amphetamine

Amphetamine drugs treat ADHD, narcolepsy, and obesity. Adderall, Dyanavel, Benzedrene, Evekeo, etc. use the substance.

CrossFit athletes Megan Benzik and Taylar Stallings have tested positive. Other users include Olympic sprinters Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay.

Methylhexanamine

Designed in 1944 as a nasal decongestant, use of Methylhexanamine stopped in 1983. Creators withdrew it from the market.

Methylhexanamine has been in the news recently. The FDA issued a warning to 14 companies for unlabeled use of the substance in their supplements. The chemical has unverified weight loss properties.

Kara Paslay, Ben Bergeron, and Derek Mohammad have tested positive for this. Other names include dimethylbutylamine, methylhexamine, 1,3-dimethylamylamine, and 1,3-amphetamine.

Modafinil

Sold under the names Provigil, Alertec, and Modavigil. Baseball player Barry Bonds stands accused of using Modafinil. Additionally, CrossFit announced Pawel Lesnikowski tested positive by 2017. This drug treats sleepiness due to narcolepsy.

CrossFit as a sport and organization has made it clear they won’t tolerate performance enhancing substances in their athletes and encourage athletes to seek certified supplements

Who invented walking? The answer may surprise you

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Who invented walking? Learn when walking was invented, who the first humans to walk upright were, and how it’s the easiest cardio exercise.

Jump to: Why do humans walk | Who invented walking | When was walking invented | The first humans to walk upright | Sources

Why do humans walk?

Our ancestors had to develop the bones and muscles to crawl and stand before walking could be invented.

Most of us consider the ability to walk upright as the a key separator between ourselves and our ape-like ancestors. “Bipedalism” is the term used to describe what we colloquially refer to as “walking”. It’s something we take for granted and it’s so easy, a baby can nearly do it.

Speaking of babies, they’re a great example of how scientists think humans grew into the innovative, cutting-edge technology of ‘walking’. As babies develop, they start by learning to hold their heads up, begin to crawl on all fours (quadrupedal), work up to standing, then eventually take their first steps upright as bipeds.

Who invented walking?

While it’s easy to sit around in 2022 and picture a genius early human having a wave of inspiration and just deciding to take their first steps, it couldn’t have been an overnight development. When you look at how human skeletons are built, there were some very important items which had to evolve over time. The list is a hefty one, including things like a foot and ankle shaped in a way which could support our body weight, the leg and torso muscles and bones needed to hold ourselves upright and allow us to stabilize, and the right inner ear conditions to allow us to balance as we stood and took those steps.

A woman with black shorts and a backpack hikes on a rock face overlooking a waterfall and dark, deep pool of water.
The ability for humans to walk wasn’t invented overnight – it took many millennia to evolve into modern day humans with the ability to walk.

When was walking invented

As you can tell by reading this article so far, it’s not so easy to pin down exactly when walking was discovered. In 2000, scientists in Kenya found bones of a humanoid species they call Orrorin tugenensis, which had thigh bones in a shape which implied it walked upright, which makes the best guess that early forms of walking could have been around six million years ago.

A brown plastic neanderthal toy is staged walking in a green forest on a brown trail of crumbling leaves.
Walking was likely invented by ancestors of humans many millions of years ago, ancestors which would look very different from humans today.

That’s where we split this into another question: what do you consider to be a human? If you wanted to go the sciency route, Orrorin tugenensis is considered a biped but not a hominid.

Oh, right. So, hominid is a term zoologists use to describe humans and our fossilized ancestors. Orrorin has the nickname of “Millennium Man” and likely looked much closer to a chimpanzee than what we’d consider to be a hominid.

If you wanted to get a little closer to when humans discovered walking, it may be as simple as saying that, by the time humans had evolved, walking was already inherent in the human toolset. But if you wanted a specific year walking was invented? The earliest hominid with significant evidence indicating they may have been bipedal was Ardipithecus ramidus, which has been dated back 4.4-million years.

The first humans to walk upright

A scientists with dark skin and a beard inspects remains of a bone fragment with a number of other bone fragments littering a table in front of him.
Ardi is widely considered the be the earliest fully-erect ancestor of humans to walk. It’s estimated the first walkers who eventually evolved into humans roamed the earth 4.4 million years ago.

After 15 years of research and analysis of 125 different fossilized bone fragments, scientists announced Ardipithecus ramidus (or “Ardi”) in 2009. It’s the most complete specimen of an early hominid researches have been able to put together and replaced the specimen known as “Lucy” and reinforces the idea that the first human-like species to walk upright did so about four and a half million years ago.

On the scale of hominid history, the earliest stone tools appear to be from about a million years later, with homo habilis growing beyond Africa two and a half million years ago, homo erectus beginning to use fire two million years ago, neanderthals becoming prevalent 750,000 years ago, and homo sapiens (I like to call them “us”) coming into the picture just in the last 500,000 years. All traceable back to a distant, less-related ancestor over six million years ago.

Sources