Ask Me Anything – September 2021 Edition

In “Ask Me Anything – September 2021 Edition,” Coach Erik answers questions posed to him through email, FB message, and in our gym’s private FB group. Enjoy!

Ask Me Anything - September 2021

I can row/bike all day, but running kills me. Why?

While rowing and biking, the machine supports your weight. Running is different from all the machines, because YOU are bearing your weight. Generally speaking, this is why heavier athletes have an advantage during a row/bike, but have a harder time running.

Why don’t you like the keto diet?

I’m not a fan of exclusionary diets. The keto diet cuts carbs, and has been shown to be effective for weight loss SHORT TERM. I prefer sustainable eating habits. Additionally, in order to truly adhere to the keto diet, you need to measure blood ketones, by finger prick or by urine test. Many who are doing the “keto” diet, really aren’t – they’re just limited carbs. Finally, the type of exercise we perform here at Viking Athletics tends to favor carbohydrates as a fuel source. Following a keto diet while performing this kind of exercise is like putting a lawn mower engine in a Corvette. You can get it to run, but it won’t run well.

Favorite sock height for CrossFit? No show, ankle, micro crew, crew, trouser/over the calf, knee, etc.?

I don’t know the difference between micro crew and crew. I tend to favor ankle socks. I don’t like constrictive material around my ankles. That’s probably why I don’t like joggers either (that and they don’t fit my quads/glutes).

What were the highlights of your aerobic capacity cert and is there anything you are inspired to implement?

One highlight was meeting Annie Sakamoto, one of the original CrossFitters. Originally, she was personally trained by Greg Glassman in the original CrossFit gym, in Santa Cruz. The benchmark WOD “Annie” is named after her, and she’s featured in the “Nasty Girls” video.

Ask Me Anything - September 2021

Additionally, Chris Hinshaw doesn’t just lecture – he mostly tells stories to illustrate his points. Most are hilarious. Jason Khalipa had ZERO idea how to train endurance back in 2012, and his initial meeting with Chris was hysterical.

From a programming standpoint, the cert reinforced a lot of what we already do. Having been a coach for over a decade, and specializing in programming for about that long, I’m at the point now where I look for 1 nugget of information that I didn’t know, or didn’t consider. If I get that AND it’s actionable, the cert was worth it. This cert had a couple – it connected the dots between muscle fiber type and aerobic work/conditioning. Previously, I really only considered fiber type when programming lifts. Certain muscle groups are predominately one fiber type or another, and that has practical implications in sets/reps for exercises to train those groups. Bringing it back to a conditioning setting was very useful.

Additionally, we already program interval workouts and manipulate the rest periods to change the intent. Chris presented some new strategies for recovery during those rest periods that can help improve muscular stamina more quickly than just adding more volume. You’ll definitely see this applied to our programming in the future.

Why are we still bothering with masks?

Because it’s a local mandate, and everyone’s personal feelings on the subject are irrelevant. It’s my job to keep the business open, and that means following local mandates and not incurring fines. If you have a problem with the mandate, go take it up with local and state representatives; I have no power over it.

You have an almost infinite supply of potatoes. How do you take over the world?

  1. I distill vodka from the potatoes and inject it into local water supplies, turning the world into a bunch of functioning alcoholics. I also take over the vodka market and establish a monopoly there.
  1. There are TONS of potato food products – tater tots, baked potatoes, french fry variations, etc. With infinite potatoes, I also flood these markets and take them over.
  1. Using the proceeds from these markets, I invest in potato electricity. While a raw potato produces 0.5 volts, a boiled potato produces 5. It would take 258 potatoes to power the average home for 1 hour. We now have a green energy source, and the waste can be distilled or eaten, or used as ammunition in 
  1. Potato cannons! Bullets and ammunition can run out; my ammo is infinite. Potato cannons can pack a mean punch, and given that any opposition will be drunk and likely out of shape due to consuming my infinite fried potato products, they won’t pose a challenge. 

There you have it, world dominance.

Why don’t we do many lateral movements in CF?

Good question. If we look at the disciplines that CrossFit takes from – running, rowing, weightlifting, powerlifting, KB work, gymnastics, etc. – the vast majority of them involve moving forward and back, and starting and ending with the body standing tall. Why does CrossFit pick from these disciplines? Because they all involve moving large loads over distance quickly – meaning they generate a lot of power (this is the literal physics definition of power). For the most part, moving laterally generates significantly less power.

Now, that is a SERIOUS oversight in a balanced training program. So, we do add in some lateral work and rotational work in our programming. In fact, we could probably stand to do more of it, and I encourage everyone to do so.

(I’m paraphrasing ShelbySpeak and turning it into English) When I turned 56 last year, I noticed a SIGNIFICANT drop off in my stamina during “chipper” WODs, or the short “burners.” My lifts are still going up, but my stamina is dropping. What can I do to improve my engine?

  1. Make sure you’re properly fueled. High intensity workouts require adequate carbohydrates.
  2. Make sure you’re properly hydrated – drink a minimum of ½ your bodyweight in ounces. If you weight 200 lbs, drink a minimum of 100 ounces of water daily.
  3. If strength is going up, make sure the weights you use in metcons go up accordingly. If you can deadlift 400 lbs, swinging a 55lb KB should be doable without being super explosive. Similarly, if you can push press 200 lbs overhead, managing 95 lbs in a workout should get to a point where it’s easy to manage. Yes, moving super hard and super fast will always tax you. But, if you can move heavier weights quickly and intensely, you can move lighter weights slowly as a recovery tool mid-WOD to manage fatigue.
  4. Check out this article for more information.

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