Holiday Gift Guide

It’s that time of year again. Time to find that perfect gifts for family and friends or perhaps suggest something for yourself. Here are a few items that I’m quite fond of:

Diane Sanfilippo of Balanced Bites has put out a great book that is half science and half cookbook. This book is filled with pictures, diagrams and methods to fine tune your nutrition. I had the opportunity to meet Diane when I was in Houston and let me tell you that she knows her stuff. Grab one for your friends and family but make sure to get a copy for yourself too!


GORUCK Bags are second to none. They come in several sizes and are built to withstand the harshest of treatment. GORUCK products are made by hand in Bozeman, Montana. They make organizing a snap. I carry a GR2 and use it for my luggage, gym bag as well as my bug out bag. Get them at

The GORUCK Challenge Official Video from GORUCK Challenge on Vimeo.

If you’ve got a mud run fanatic, crossfitter or adventurer on your list give them the gift of a GORUCK Challenge. I’m proud to be part of the GORUCK family , something you can only obtain by finishing a challenge. This is a gift that they will thank you for every day!

BadAssChickLove – Featuring Jessica Camacho

BadAssChickLove began as a weekly recognition on twitter of the women out there who do some amazing things in the world of functional fitness and nutrition. While it will continue on Twitter, each month I will feature someone worthy of BadAssChickLove on the blog.

For the very first feature I bring you Jessica Camacho. Jessica is both the brains and braun behind the popular blog Girl Walks Into A Bar(bell). She embodies what it is to be functionally fit, working out and using that fitness to make the world her playground.

Tell us about your workouts for a typical week.

I structure my workouts according to the season. Sort of. In summer, I mountain bike and (try to) climb. In winter, I snowboard… provided I’m not nursing a sprained ankle from back tuck practice on a trampoline, like I’m currently doing right now! Despite the season, one thing is consistent: I powerlift on the regular. I like the structure of a dedicated strength program so I squat, bench, deadlift, and press once a week in that order. Wendler’s 5/3/1 works well for me, mentally, so I gravitate towards his programming. My accessory strength exercises vary according to the sport I’m playing that season. For example, during climbing months, I’ll “accessorize” with pullups or grip exercises. During riding months, my accessory work is legtastic with barbell good mornings and lunges. After strength, I’ll do a CrossFit type of metabolic conditioning but I’ll usually cap it at 10-15 minutes. That being said, I like my workouts to relate to my sports so if a movement doesn’t correlate to anything I’d use in the outdoors I tend to sub it out… like kipping pullups. 🙂 I sub those out for strict pullups.

 What motivates you to work out?

I just FEEL GOOD after a heavy lifting session! Everything from the way I sit, to the way I carry groceries up a set of stairs just feels better when I work out. I also have a lengthy family history of diabetes and heart disease so living a healthy lifestyle is one way I’ve tried to inspire my family while metaphorically flipping amputations and cataracts the bird, if you know what I mean.

 Have you always been athletic?

Uhh… NO.  I could never clear the high jump or serve the volleyball over the net. And this one time, in 6th grade, I tried to catch a softball but it ended up hitting me in the face and breaking my glasses. My parents were like, “Give it here! We’ll just solder it fixed.” So, no. I was a total nerd growing up. But I was able to skip college-level math classes because of it so things even out, I guess!

 Tell us about your nutrition.

I would say 90% Paleo. I mean, we cook and eat Paleo, drink our coffee black, make my own shampoo, and one day I’ll have backyard chickens. But, I do save room for Mom’s homemade cultural foods or some aged cheese sprinkled on my stuffed 3-egg omelet every once in a while.

 What athletic activities do you participate in other than a typical work out?

Mountain biking, trail running, sometimes climbing, snow shoeing, snowboarding, hiking, and my husband and I just got a whole split board setup so I guess I’ll be trying to pick that up this season, too!

 Do you have any specific goals set for yourself ?

I love setting goals! I want to learn Orienteering and do an Adventure Race in 2013, snowboard Silverton with my husband by 2014-2015, and learn to surf in Costa Rica!

 What’s one thing that everyone should know about you?

I work hard and I play nice.

Coming Next Week…..

1.Holiday Gift Guide

2.Being Safe This Holiday Season – A Guide to Self Defense and Avoidance.

Black Friday Math

Some simple math for you black Friday shoppers –

40 inch TV – Regular price = $299. On Sale = $198. Savings= $101.
If you go and camp out 12 hours before you save $8.41/hour (just above min wage). If you camp out 24 hours before you save $4.20/hour. If you are one of those that will go out on Monday you’ll save $1.40 for each hour spent sitting in a parking lot in the cold. If you are already out there it’s $1.05/hour.

Ask yourself – What is your time worth? I’m willing to bet that your child, husband or wife would much rather have that time spent with them than have that new TV set. Anyway, food for thought.

A Taste Of My Combatives World…


I recently completed the GORUCK SCAVENGER in Austin, TX. Scavenger pits teams of GRT (GORUCK TOUGH. You must finish a GORUCK Challenge to be eligible to participate) against each other in a hunt to locate places, items and complete tasks. You’ll log many miles, get the chance to use your head and have a great time seeing the city that you are in. You’ll leave the event having done some stupid GRT tricks and with new friends. As always, teamwork is key and it pays to be a winner!

If you have completed a GORUCK Challenge, I highly recommend getting together with some like minded people, have some fun, some A.C.R.T., and go check out a city that’s new to you. I’ll certainly be getting together with some fellow GRT’s in the near future to explore more cities. Haven’t done a GORUCK Challenge yet? It’s the toughest thing you’ll ever love. Go see what you’re made of!


Every now and then, my wife craves bread. A sandwich made with local farm eggs, bacon, tomato, bib lettuce and her homemade grain free bread with sweet potato chips.


Paleo Granola with coconut shavings, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds and dates.

Keeping A Training Log

Keeping a training log is an important part of making improvements and reaching your goals. Many of you already do this. Some of you are saying ” I don’t want to add paperwork to my workout. I do this for enjoyment!” Point noted. I would prefer not to mix work with pleasure but let’s face it, we already do that. Our pleasure is very hard work and think of this as preferential to adding 20 burpees to the end of your WOD. Comparably, writing it down is a lot less work.

Here is why you need to keep a log:

1. Tracking heavy lifts not only helps you to progress but also gives you a range to know where you are so that you are not attempting jumps that may injure you. We are doing this to improve our health not harm it.

2. Trends. Take a look at what you are getting better at and what areas might be slipping so that you can address any movements that need attention in your training.

3. Historical Value. We must learn from our history or we are doomed to repeat our mistakes. Learn what is working and what is not. It’s also nice to be able to look back on all of the hard work that you’ve done.

4. If you monitor all of your training you are less likely to over train.