Do Hard Sh*t. %Matter. Turkey Ruck. AI. Folate. Slient Walking. Covenant. The Week Ahead 11.13.23

Almost 100 members completed “Chad” on Saturday to honor our Veterans and to help support the prevention of Veteran suicides

“Do not discourage yourself with what you haven’t done, encourage yourself with what you will do.” Neale Donald Walsch

DO HARD SH*T   On Saturday, a large number of Diablo members came together to do the CrossFit Hero workout, “Chad”, to commemorate Veterans Day and to help bring awareness to the crisis of Veteran suicide. “Chad” is an incredibly difficult workout, 1000 Step Ups to a 20″ box with a #35/45 backpack. In fact, it’s not a great workout – as Jamie Lee will tell us – rather, it’s a very good test. In other words, he wouldn’t program “Chad” as a typical class workout because of the physical difficulty, primarily the concentrated & repetitive volume which leads to residual soreness for multiple days.

So why program “Chad” on Veterans Day or, “Murph” on Memorial Day or any other CrossFit Hero benchmark workout?  For a few reasons: 

  • “Hero” workouts are unique to CrossFit and an honorable way to physically pay tribute to those men & women who died while serving our Country and our communities. 
  • “Hero” workouts are universal benchmark tests of the CrossFit methodology which is utilized by many men & women serving in the military, law enforcement and first responder care services to prepare them for their jobs.
  • “Hero” workouts are exceptionally difficult to complete, and often test the mind as much as the body. 

The last bullet point above is the most significant for our Diablo community: “exceptionally difficult to complete.” I am a strong believer that doing hard things improves the quality of our lives. It is in our DNA. For 99% of human existence on Earth, we faced extraordinary physical challenges throughout our lives, just to survive. Thus, it is an easy assumption to make that our bodies & minds are designed to experience hard physical challenges and thus, benefit from them. There is a lot of data to support this concept, and several good books, including “Comfort Crisis” by Michael Easter.

My proof of concept (that we need hard things) is best exemplified by yesterday’s Chad workout. Every single person I spoke to after completing the workout was exhausted, but euphoric. A couple of members were in tears after completing the workout – relating stories of their family members serving in the Military or, simply emotionally overcome with the joy of finishing something so incredibly difficult. 

As for me, I did it Rx with 45lbs – a last minute decision – and it took me an hour and 47 minutes. I was delirious after the first 400 step ups and had to repeatedly remind myself of WHY I was doing the workout in order to not quit the workout. Afterward, and the next day (today) I’m still “high” from the satisfaction of completing “Chad” – and especially, for not giving into my self-talk to quit. I am better for it.

Do hard things. 

% MATTER!  Coach Jamie Lee programs our strength cycles to build slowly over two months, culminating in a max or near-max effort at the end. He has more than 15 years of programming experience and a significant amount of education to support his programming. As you’ve likely noticed each week of our strength programming requires less repetitions at higher percentages. The % progressions are very intentional for maximum strength gains over 2 months. 

Decreasing rep progressions are NOT intended to be “a max effort at the indicated reps.” In fact, trying to max out with mutltiple reps is very likely detrimental to the overall intention. For example: 5×3 at 75%-80% means, slowly build up to 75% of your previous 1 rep max, then begin your 5 sets of 3 reps, but do NOT exceed 80% of your 1RM for any of your sets. Focus on technique. If you don’t know your previous 1RM, talk to your class coach who can help you approximate to set your % progressions.

For maximum gains, trust the programming and your coach! 


  • Thursday, Nov 23: Turkey Ruck – Thanksgiving. Join us with your family & friends for our Annual “Turkey Ruck” at Hidden Lakes Park in Martinez at 8:30AM. We’ll have a 2-3mile challenging Ruck/Challenge Course set up with a “Stroller Friendly” course as well. 
  • Dec 16: Diablo’s Annual Holiday Bash:  at Back Forty BBQ in Pleasant Hill.


TWEET OF THE WEEK:  “Develop the capacity of a novice 800 meter track athlete, gymnast, and weightlifter and you’ll be fitter than any world class runner, gymnast, or weightlifter.” Coach Glassman

Nov Focus: Front Squat & Deadlift. Skill: Endurance Conditioning
Nov: Calendar & Newsletter.   


Scary AI Video: Google Soccer Robots – How AI Learns On Its OwnThis is a remarkable demonstration of how AI works, especially with robots. “The robots were not programmed to play soccer…”  But they did. Crazy!

Fascinating Podcast: Rogan with Gary Breka – Human Biologist.  LOVED this one. Gary is a preventative medicine and wellness expert and is obsessed with the pursuit of longevity leveraging knowledge from genetic bio-markers. He recently helped UFC CEO Dana White recover from years of severe hypertension  I’m over halfway through this episode and it is outstanding. Gary’s discussion methylation and folic acid, for example is enlightening and encouraging – especially when it comes to our kids. 

Article: 2 Mental Health Benefits of Silent Walking: Psychology Today. Go for a walk & leave your phone behind. 

Movie (Prime): The Covenant – This is a Guy Ritchie movie staring Jake Gyllenhaal. It is the story of an Afghan interpreter left behind in after the war, and a US Army Sergeant’s effort to return him to the US. The movie is heart wrenching action packed, anxiety inducing entertainment. Loved it.

Make it an awesome week!