Legal! Pagano is legit. C2 Bikes! My Beef with Mat. The Week Ahead 3.15.21

“Cure for an obsession: get another one.”  Mason Cooley

RED ZONE  On Sunday, Contra Costa County moved into the Governor’s “Red Tier” – which allows gyms to open indoors at 10% occupancy capacity. Given our square footage, we can run classes and open gym at our current occupancy numbers. Needless to say, it is a huge relief to operate without fear of visits from the County or City enforcement officers. I am hopeful we are past mandated shutdowns.

Class & Open Gym Protocol Updates:  Covid-19 is still with us, so let’s continue to be sensible about our interactions with each other at the gym. Here are our latest protocols:

  • Maintain safe-distance indoors. If you’re gathering to talk, head outside.
  • No more spraying. Please use wipes for: bars, handles, clips & seats.
  • No more temp checks. If you have any signs of illness, stay home.
  • As soon as class, private, or open gym session is over, head outside.
  • Masks when you arrive and in the lobby. Masks off ok when in your spot.

MEET DIABLO TEAM MEMBER, CHRIS PAGANO  Diablo Team Member, Chris Pagano, suffers from Glucose Transporter Type 1 Deficiency Syndrome, an exceptionally rare genetic disorder that impairs brain metabolism. Only 500 cases have been reported worldwide since the disorder was discovered in 1990. His friend, and Diablo Media Director, Stephen Stover, put together this amazing short biopic on Chris to share his story with the world. CrossFit quickly re-shared it with the world. Chris is extremely passionate about CrossFit, and Diablo, and is participating legitimately as an adaptive athlete in the 2021 CrossFit Games Open! Please, take a moment to watch – it’s incredibly inspiring.

OPEN UPDATE: Despite a year of chaos, 128 Diablo members so far have registered to do the CrossFit Games Open! Thank you. For week 1 we scheduled the workout as a class for Saturday & Sunday. Weeks 2 & 3 may be different.

  • 21.1:  Log Your Score On The CFG Website ASAP. The deadline is Monday at 5PM PT.
  • 21.2:  Workout Announcement on Thursday, March 18th at 5PM. Workout days: Friday & Saturday
  • 21.3:  Workout Announcement on Thursday, March 25th.

INTRODUCING THE BIKE ERG  Our friends at Concept2 reached out to us two weeks ago with an offer we couldn’t refuse: a great deal on a bulk order of C2 Bike Ergs that were returned due to shipping errors. So, Diablo now has 15 C2 Bikes to add to class programming! These ultra-smooth machines feature the C2 Fan & Ergometer which can track meters, calories or watts. They’re not nearly as taxing as the assault bike and make for a great aerobic training tool without the impact of running. Look for them in class on Monday.

WORKOUTS THIS WEEK (check Sugarwod Track “Workout Of The Day”)  Check out the videos on Sugarwod or on YouTube (PRsAllDay)

The week ahead:

  1. Mon: 1600m C2 Bike, then 3rns – 5MUs & 15 WBs, then 1600m C2 Bike
  2. Tue: Burpees & Snatch. Metcon: Amrap 8m – 12 DB Snatch, 12 Burpee BJOver, 24 Abmat Situps
  3. Wed: Amcap (cals) 12m – Airbike. Buy in: 4 Squat Cleans (#145/205) & E2MOM.
  4. Thu: 5rft – 250/300m Row, 60s Chinese Plank, 250/300m Row, 60s Rest
  5. Fri: 21.2 or, Metcon: 3rft – 12 OHS  #65/95, 12 T2B, 12 Burpees, 400m Med Ball Run
  6. Sat: 21.2
  7. Sun: Turkish Getups. Metcon: 3rft – 12 DB Thrusters #35/50, 200m Run

CRAIG’S LIST (Stuff I’m Reading, Listening To or Watching)

Joe Rogan with Mat Fraser – Mat is an incredible athlete and his CFG performances were clearly impressive. But, I was sorely disappointed by this podcast. As an affiliate owner, I was hopeful for more support for CrossFit, the community and affiliates, especially since he is the first and only CrossFit representative to be on Joe’s show – arguably the largest podcast audience in the world.

My beef with Mat’s commentary is related to the perceptions he created about the brand, the affiliates, and the community that created, funded, promoted and supported the CrossFit Games – where he achieved his success. I’m blown away that he didn’t say more to support the brand, community and fellow athletes that essentially are his raison d’etre. Some of my takeaways include:

  • Embarrassed to tell his Olympic lifting friends that he was competing in CrossFit. Some didn’t know until they saw him on ESPN. This “embarrassment” stems from his 9+ yrs of competitive Oly lifting. Many Oly purists have a disdain for CrossFit because of high repetition Oly lifts in CF metcons. This is a sad and juvenile attitude that Mat still has today. The irony is that the popularity of CrossFit completely revitalized the sport of weightlifting in the US. To add to the irony: Mat earned $0 as a competitive Olympic lifter.
  • Visit to a small affiliate with “broken plates” and a Coach that was no more than a “cheerleader”. As a competitive Olympic weightlifter, Mat was privileged to spend many years in well-funded facilities that provided high quality equipment for his training. Most CrossFit affiliates get started any way they can. They scrape together equipment from family, friends and Craigslist. They begin with a passion to help others through the awesome methodology of CrossFit. Diablo began in a 700sf mechanics shed with used & refurbished home gym equipment. Yet, we still transformed lives. And, as we grew we learned and got better.
  • Dave Castro Bias? Dave is the Director of the CrossFit Games. He has no allegiance to any athlete – they all know this. His job is to run and promote the Games. Mat absolutely dominated the Games 4 years in a row before Dave made his comment, which I believed was an attempt to create more interest in the Games, ie., could Mat possibly be unseated? A complete domination of the CFG is not as fun to watch as is a battle to the end. And, regarding the lack of an invitation to the “Invitational” in 2014, Dave Castro overlooked multiple “eligible” athletes – especially those who were playing in the Grid League. It was frustrating, but understandable. Alessandra Pichelli of Diablo was also overlooked.
  • Snubbed by Greg Glassman, CEO & Founder. Joe Rogan was dismayed by Mat’s description of his two low-key encounters with Greg Glassman. Greg shook his hand and said hello, but offered no accolades. Joe couldn’t believe the treatment of a guy who “made him millions.” Unfortunately, Mat (and Joe) didn’’t realize that the CFG have not been profitable. They are still growing and gaining an audience and credibility despite myriad organizational changes over the last 3 years. Former management also limited revenue growth opportunities in an effort to maintain balance with CrossFit’s primary health & fitness initiatives. Frankly, Mat should have taken the opportunity to thank Greg Glassman (and Dave) for bankrolling the CFG and it’s incredibly generous prize pool.
  • CrossFit Injuries Paid For A Doctor’s Yacht While Mat tried to downplay this remark, just saying these words were harmful to the brand and affiliates. And, it’s a gross exaggeration of a consequence of the explosive growth of CrossFit. It has been shown time and time again that CrossFit is one of the least injurious sports and pales in comparison to football, basketball, soccer, mma, bicycle riding and running. Physical exercise will yield some injuries. Unfortunately, Mat chose to highlight CrossFit injuries with a whimsical remark from a callous physician.
  • All you need is a weekend certification to open an affiliate. In most states, anyone can open a fitness facility with NO certifications. CrossFit requires a CrossFit Level 1 course – an excellent functional movement instruction certification. And almost all affiliate owners have multiple certifications, CrossFit and others. Yet, Mat’s statement cut into the credibility of all affiliates.
  • What Mat Didn’t Say.  I was surprised by Mat’s decision to not mention names. He didn’t name Rich Froning, nor any of his coaches, ie., endurance coach Chris Hinshaw. He also didn’t talk at all about his training time with Tia-Claire Toomey and the coaching & programming he received from Tia’s husband and coach Shane Orr. 

The bottom line is that Mat is a professional athlete. He is not a CrossFitter. He successfully hacked the training process for the Games and made great personal sacrifices to achieve the results he needed to win. But, his training took place outside of the community that makes CrossFit so amazing. He is not one of us. Mat is in a world of his own.

Make it an awesome week!