Massif Athlete Rich Nicholes & The World’s Toughest Mudder Experience Written by Rich Nicholes In the most basic of explanations, my race was epic!  I did not accomplish a single goal, but I left everything I had on the course.   I had everything dialed in on my pre-race prep.   I put on a good 7 – 10 lbs (I never did a pre-race weight) in carb loading.  I was hydrated so well, I was peeing every 20 minutes prior to the race.  I carried a water bottle with me constant for 2 days prior.  I was as well rested as one would expect, given the late start time and pre-race jitters.  I pre-soaked in a hot tub and took epson salt baths.  My mind was focused.   I checked in on the Friday prior to race day and got my bib, credentials, and pit time.  It took about an hour of waiting in line before I got my bib.  When they handed me […]

Getting The Most From Your Massif Program

  GETTING THE MOST FROM YOUR MASSIF PROGRAM Recently I decided to learn more about how we create the programs for our clients. In order to get up to speed, Nick and I set an appointment to sit down together and develop a week-one program for one of our brand-new clients. This seemed simple enough. But every few years I am wrong about something, and this time I was spectacularly wrong. HOW WE DESIGN CLIENT PROGRAMS As it turned out, our meeting lasted about two hours. Our discussion involved almost every imaginable detail regarding this client. We reviewed his history, lifestyle, and goals; his movement patterns, and his performances on the various fitness tests he had recently undergone.  We discussed his likely response to various exercises, the particular schemes of sets, repetitions, and balance of aerobic to anaerobic work, and when this should be scheduled and how it should progress over time. I left our meeting with a renewed appreciation for the expertise that goes into the creation […]

The Truth About Deadlifting

  The deadlift is one of the most misunderstood lifts.  You have a bunch of internet experts telling people that ‘they’re using their back’ when their position is fine, while others applaud ‘good form’ when their back angle is awful. To clear things up, I’m going to address the different misconceptions in the starting position of this lift. Misconception #1: Stay tall.  “The more upright you are, the better.” I’m not sure where this idea of staying upright and ‘keeping your chest up’ came from. In most cases, this causes more dysfunction than it fixes. That last sentence may have blown your mind. Many of you may be shaking your head. Let’s take a look. When people try to keep their chest up, they do a few things that hinder a healthy start position.  First, usually they bring their hips into more of a squat position, instead of pushing them back and engaging their hamstrings, which should be a primary focus of the lift. Consider the purpose of deadlifting versus the back squatting. In other words, what are we […]

Gluten-Free Turns Mainstream: Why It’s Popular and How It Affects Your Health

      Medical research, cultural patterns, and marketing influenced the rise in gluten avoidance. While there are legitimate, medical reasons why certain people need to avoid gluten, there are many questions about why the gluten-free diet increased dramatically in recent years. It’s important to understand what the facts are regarding gluten consumption in order to a potentially unnecessary fad. WHAT GLUTEN IS AND WHO CAN’T REALLY EAT IT  Gluten is a plant protein that occurs in wheat, barley, rye, and some oats. For some individuals, gluten-free isn’t a fad. It’s a necessity. For example, celiac disease damages the lining of the small intestine when a person eats gluten. It prevent the intestine from absorbing necessary nutrients. A Mayo Clinic gastroenterology team conducted a study about the condition and claimed that Celiac disease is four times more common now than it was 50 years ago. Some evidence suggests the increase in Celiac disease stems from people eating too much gluten. Other evidence points to significant changes in the biological make-up of new wheat. According to […]