YES.

a few people were asking more about the meaning behind the recent release of my YES shirts and hat collection and I just wanted to post this to give you a bit more info! Click the link below if you want to be a YES man. [also available in woman’s tank]

“YES” Mens T-Shirt


Day of Eating

Take a look into what a day of eating is like for me! My nutrition varies to accommodate my training but this is what a typical day will look like for me while I am training for the Crossfit Games. What does your daily intake look like?

Watch until the end for total macro count!

If you want to try out the carb product I use daily, you can find it here: https://goo.gl/4tidPC

Check in on my day-to-day activities on instagram: https://goo.gl/RgkbP7


My Nutritional Evolution

From chicken tenders to scallops and plain pasta with butter to spaghetti squash, over the years, my stomach has been on quite the journey. This is a small chronicle of how it's progressed up to this point in time. When I was a kid, I was a classic super picky eater. Not sure when or why it started, but I had pretty much three options every time we went out to dinner: a caesar salad, chicken tenders with fries or maybe a hot dog if I was feeling adventurous. Don't get me wrong, I grew up eating a nutritious home cooked meal at the dinner table every night we were home. I think Mom was able to get away with tricking me into a few more healthy things there, but I'd still resist where I could and skip out on things like tomato sauce. One thing that did manage to be a staple with every dinner was a tall cold glass of milk. Eventually, around the end of my high school years, I'd begun to take an interest in fitness. Nutrition innately plays a role in that and physique so I had to get wise, quick. I wasn't going to get "ripped" like I wanted to without some proper tips and tricks so I started to do a little "research." I quote that because reading Men's Health Magazine and Eat This, Not That, was the extent of my research then. Either way, I began to open up a bit more to the idea of vegetables, drinking green tea, and taking protein powder. It was mostly just all of the hacks that you could find in the mags and in books like Tim Ferris' 4 Hour Body. Things like drinking ice cold water right when you wake up, eating cinnamon to reduce blood glucose, and most outrageously, doing squats right before eating to spike your metabolism. There was a point were I was probably borderline obsessed and taking it too far, by doing the latter in the bathroom at restaurants after ordering. Luckily, around the same time, I'd started exercising more regularly and realized that I was doing enough throughout the day that I could relax and enjoy my meals.

Fast forward a couple years to when I found CrossFit. I was a sophomore in college at UM and would often eat at the dining hall and had kind of given up structuring my meals. For those that have taken their L1 cert, you know that they preach paleo and zone. Back in 2010 it seemed that was all the rage outside of the CrossFit circle as well. I decided to give it a whirl and dove all the way in. I learned how to weigh, measure, and track all of my food. Zone is based more on quantity than quality of food, but I tried to maintain the paleo principles as much as I could. With Zone, I used "blocks" of each of the macro nutrients: protein, carbs, and fat and tried to design meals with a 30-40-30 ratio of each, respectively. I went at it strong for about a year and at some point just kind of fell off all the tracking and planning. It's hard work. Not impossible, but takes a good amount of time and dedication.

About a year into doing CrossFit and starting to do so more competitively, I started feeling like I was a little under fueled. Paleo keeps you away from a lot of processed carbs and without breads and rices etc, I was having a hard time figuring out ways to get energy. I got lucky in that some healthy meal delivery services started popping up and they followed similar principles. Each meal seemed to come with a good portion of some type of meat for protein, a grain or starch for a carb and as many vegetables as the could fit in the rest of the container. Sold. I cycled through a few different plans over the years but that was a steady theme of what I was getting from each of the 3 meals a day. I'd add in a whey protein shake here and there and even a sprinkle of creatine at one point, when I realized that I wanted to get a little bigger and stronger for weightlifting. I'd be remiss if I didn't talk about the gallon of milk a day thing. I mentioned it once on social media a while back and I still get a ton of questions about it. When I started CrossFit I was 5'7" and weighed about 155lbs. I wasn't the strongest guy because I had very little exposure to true weightlifting. Guido Trinidad, who was my sensei at the time, suggested I drink a gallon of milk a day to try and bulk up a bit. I managed to do so for a couple weeks and then realized that was crazy. In fact, it was right around the time I was rushing my fraternity Beta Theta Pi. They were very understanding of my quest to make the Games then, so during the night of a "case race," rather than having to split a case of beers with my big, I had to finish a whole gallon of milk within a few hours. Needless to say, it didn't last at that volume, but was certainly a good addition to my diet to help me add a bit of good weight while lifting heavy.

So we're almost to present day and the last "fad" that I've tried is the whole macros thing. It's similar to Zone, in that it focuses on the proportion of macronutrients. I never worked with a nutritionist, but messed with the numbers for a bit and decided I'd probably perform well with a balance of roughly 200g protein, 300-400g carbs and 100g of fat, per day. The meal service I use, Perfect Fuel, designs their meals using macros and the "Gainz" portion has each meal at about 50g protein, 75g carb and 25g fat. So three meals would bring me to 150g protein, 225g carbs and 75g fat. I'd fill the gaps with carb shakes, which were new to me a year ago, but I've since helped Xwerks develop my go to one, and protein shakes, with a little dessert or snack here and there when I felt like it. I tracked those very closely over the past year and reported the numbers to my coach, Max El Hag. He was the one that encouraged me to start refueling between sessions with extra carbs, based off of research he'd read and how he knows our bodies operate for the demands of our sport. We decided that I should gain a little bit of weight to get more durable for the barbell and go from about 185 to somewhere in the 190s. I had an incredibly easy time doing so. That could probably go into an entirely separate post for "hard gainers" looking to put on good weight, but I'll keep it simple for now. I basically added an extra 75g carb and 25g protein shake after each session, so that was an easy extra 150g/50g of those. After that and my full meals, if I was still under my macros I'd have something like a peanut butter and banana sandwich or a bowl of cereal to get up or above my numbers for the day. Doing so, I got up to 200lbs at one point! Which is super hefty for me, but I was a solid block of muscle and people were commenting quite often on my girth. After the Games, we assessed that it was a bit too heavy for me and didn't help with weightlifting as much as we'd hoped and actually could've been a detriment on some running workouts. Almost too easily, I just cut out those extra shakes and snacks and slimmed right to just above 180lbs in a matter of a few weeks. I'm currently back up around 185-190lbs, which I think is the right weight for me. When I'm not tracking macros strictly, I have a good sense of what a well balanced day of meals looks like for me. Speaking of which, I get asked a lot, so here's what a typical day of non macro'd eating looks like:

                              

Breakfast is 3 eggs with 2 pieces of toast or oats with some fruit and a black coffee. First workout session concludes with a 50-75g Motion carb shake. I'll workout again and do another shake with some protein added to it. Shortly after, I'll just get in a full meal, which would be something like a hefty portion of rice and ground beef with some veggies or a sandwich, consisting of similar things. Dinner will also be similar, with a meat, a big portion of grain or starch and a salad or some veggies. A couple night a week, especially if it's on a high volume workout day, I'll have some ice cream or something sweet. On the weekends, Joann and I like to go out and get dinner somewhere semi fancy. Same rules apply there, just a little more loosely.

Now that the CrossFit season has begun, I'm back to tracking macros. My goal for each day right now is to eat 420g of carbs, 180g of protein and 100g of fat. It's never EXACTLY that but I've learned how to get it pretty close almost every day. The first few days of tracking your macros can be frustrating, annoying, and time consuming but once you get the hang of it and know roughly how many of each macro are in certain meals, it makes it much easier to plan your day. I've got to say, it feels good knowing I have my numbers dialed in and have a little more in control of one factor of my performance.

I may not have my nutrition down to an exact science, but that I have a very good grip on a well balanced and healthy diet that keeps me fueled but still allows me to live stress free in that department. That's what's working for me right now! Everyone is different and every body type, set of current goals, and circumstances are going to cause some deviation from that. That's okay. Do what works for you and don't be lazy if this is an important factor in helping you reach your goals. Dial it in and eventually it'll become a routine that ebbs, flows, and changes with you over time.


Training Think Tank Open Camp Vlog

Like and subscribe to my youtube if you’re feeling the vibe!

Training Think Tank hosted a 2018 Open camp for their athletes and opened it to the public. About 100 people came out for a weekend of fitness and knowledge.

This vlog is the camp from my perspective. Funny moments, educational talks, and workout highlights. If you’ve signed up for this years Open, check it out! Learn from the coaches, try some of the workouts as last minute testers to see where you stack up, and get fired up by a montage of Open advice from almost everyone at the camp!

Workout details on youtube description!

Full TTT talks can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ik5jz…

Looking for a program to follow through the Open? Look no further: https://www.noahohlsen.com/join

Check out more of my day to day: https://www.instagram.com/nohlsen


Vlog #3 - Cali + HQ Visit

Took a cross country trek to Santa Cruz for a visit to CrossFit HQ. Got to explore Northern California a bit with Joann and had a blast with the cast of characters that were at HQ! Enjoy the journey with us, like, subscribe, share and comment thoughts and feedback below!

 

“SAM DANCER ON THIS EPISODE” All workouts in the video listed on youtube channel!


Vlog #2: Sick - Train or Nah?

The age old question: how many days after being sick should you get back to working out? Took me a few!

***Pardon the video and sound quality at times, we’re new to this and still learning!

*** Please like, subscribe to my youtube channel and comment if this vlog thing is heading in the right direction!

Appreciate y’all!


First Vlog

WZA recap with a behind the scenes look from Joann's/my perspective!

Please subscribe to the channel on YouTube if you enjoyed it.

We may be taking on this whole vlogging endeavor as well!

 

 

 

 


WZA 2018 - Why We Lost

One rep.

Four points. The same number of points that kept me off the podium at the Games, kept us off the top of the Wodapalooza podium. I'd almost rather lose by a wider margin, because it can be consuming to look back all of the little moments where we could've made up the difference.

Although it was a frustrating way to end the weekend, it was undoubtedly one of the more fun, laid back, and interactive competition weekends I've had. We built a stronger camaraderie between myself, Will, Travis, Max and the rest of the TTT crew. I was able to spend a lot more time hanging with fans and sponsors.

While we may not have won, we did have some pretty kick ass performances. Here's my recap of the weekend, event by event.

Workout 1 & 2 - 1 mile wreck bag run, sandwiched between a 7k. I thought we'd do relatively well here but I had no idea that we'd win both of these events. Our plan was to stay together on the first half of the run, then break off and go every man for themselves from the sandbag on. It worked. Only Jordan Troyan (& Dani Sidell on a women's team) was able to pass us and we finished all within about 20 seconds of one another, Travis, myself, then Will. I was pretty happy with this because I've been working on my running a good deal.

Workout 3 - burpee box jumps overs, toe to bar, and wall ball. I thought we'd be able to do very well here but somehow it ended up being our worst finish. I think we just didn't have a  perfect game plan and didn't realize how much the grip fatigue was going to affect our hanging while someone worked on the wall balls. Had we maybe been able to hang on just a little longer and allowed Travis to finish, rather than me having to switch for the last 10 reps, that could've made all the difference. We were outsprinted by a hair to the finish line and that would've been 4 points.

Workout 4 - synchro snatches, muscle ups, and assault bike. Another one I thought we should've crushed. And we did, but a 3rd place finish vs the 1st we could've had would have been a 12 point difference and locked in the win. We all had a little slip up on this one. I think our strategy was sound, there were a couple execution errors. I could've had a hero moment if I'd been able to hit my final muscle up, which would've been my 22nd of the set, but I missed it and that cost us a good 15-20 seconds trying to wrangle the rings. Overall, not bad. We ended day 1 in 2nd place and had a good feeling about day 2.

 

Workout 5 - swim, sandbag. Just before we took the floor for this event, I said to Travis and Will, "Have you guys ever had a workout that you absolutely crushed, where you finish so far ahead of everyone else, that the announcers only talk about who's going to take 2nd?" They both said yes. "I think this is going to be one of those workouts for us." Sure enough, we were the only team to finish under the time cap and it made for probably one of the most exciting events of the weekend for us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Workout 6 - Triple couplets. We got to choose which two athletes were going to take on each of three different couplets. Ring dips & tandem deadlifts, DB squat snatch & dubs, and a trueform sprint & buddy carry lunges. I thought it made sense to have Will and I take on the first part because we're the only two that are about the same height, but he was worried about his back tightening up so Travis and I partnered up for that one.

I was actually pretty nervous about the ring dips because I don't think I'd done them at workout speed since regionals, just after my pec injury. Thank goodness, I made it through those unscathed, but then the wheels started to fall off on the deadlifts. Our judge hit us with almost a dozen no reps and I think the height difference on the bar was causing Travis to have to extend at a weird angle and made them more difficult. Once those finished, we were a little behind but Will came out and smashed a bunch of the snatches and caught us back up. In probably one of the most frustrating moments in a competition ever, once they finished their dubs, I got on the trueform and started running. Rather than counting, our judge yelled that Will had to run back and get his jump rope and once he'd done that, he made him then go back and move our dumbbell. Something we weren't briefed on and that not all teams has to do. We lost 1st on that workout by about two lunges, which could have easily been made up multiple times throughout the workout. Never the less, we ended day 2 in 1st place by a small margin.

Workout 7 - Pulling and pushing. Prior to taking the floor, we'd heard that almost everyone was taking off their shoes for the sled push because the stage was slick. We decided to keep ours on. We started out strong with the synchro pull-ups, finishing right around everyone else, but had a tough time getting the sled going and Will decided to try taking off his shoes. By the time we got to the final gymnastics movement, the bar muscle ups, we were behind. Will and I jumped up and I said, "all the way." I had no idea if we'd be able to pull off 20 unbroken synchro bar muscle ups but we needed a hail mary. We did it, barely. As great as that was, it still wasn't enough. Although we took 2nd, the team we needed to beat was the only team that beat us. We'd be going into the final event with only a 2 point lead.

Workout 8 - the barbell complex. We nailed this. As exciting as the swim was, I think this was the workout I was the most proud of, from an execution standpoint. We did EXACTLY what we'd planned and took 2nd on that. At that point, I thought it was a wrap. It looked liked we'd beat the team right behind us by a lot and I thought we'd widened our lead.

Workout 9 - 70 thrusters for time. Each of us could chip away at the 155# thrusters, after we'd completed a buy in of 3 rope climbs and 9 bar facing burpees. Every set I look back on, I think we could've each done the one extra rep we needed to win. There was a rule that if the momentum of the barbell stops at any time, the set is over. This obviously isn't a typical rule and I hate to admit that I forgot it. After about a dozen reps, I paused at my shoulders for a second and was called to stop, even though I still had a handful of reps left in me. I still couldn't tell who was in the lead and by the time I made it to my second set I wasn't going to make the same mistake. We had 20 reps left to finish the whole workout but I reached true failure after rep 63 and had to run and tag Will in with just over a minute left. He sprinted through the rope climbs and burpees and was so exhausted by the time he picked up the bar, he was able to squeeze out one rep, got no repped on his second, and the bar slipped off his shoulders and ended his set on his third rep. At that point there were only 10 seconds left and there was no way Travis would've made it back to the bar, so that was it. 64 reps for us and 66 reps for the team right on our tails. We thought for the first 30 minutes after the event that we'd pulled it off, but it was too close to call. When they finally updated the standings, we'd bumped down to 2nd.

Only one team had finished between us and the winning team on the barbell complex and three teams had tied for 5th, with just one more rep than us, on thrusters. If we'd also gotten the one more rep and tied for 5th on that one, that would've been a 12 point difference and we would've won by 8 points. Had that no rep not been called, had the bar not slipped out of Will's hands, had I not paused at my shoulders.

Unfortunately for me, thats the story of the weekend. The small moments where we could have and should have capitalized to pull off the W. Again, I did have a great time off the competition floor and I'm glad that I got the opportunity to compete with two of my good buddies, representing TTT and our coach. I have yet to decide whether next year would be better suited for redemption on team or back to individual.

What do you think? Comment below!


Happy, but Hungry

Happy, but Hungry.

It’s a lifestyle.

To me it means to love what you’re doing, but never be fully satisfied.

When I was brainstorming a phrase to put on my 2017 Games shirts, “Happy, but Hungry” struck me and I really liked the way it represented who I am as a person and a competitor. I try to, more often than not, have a smile on my face. I am a happy dude and I do really love where my life and career have taken me thus far. That’s not to say that if my competitive window closed tomorrow, I’d look back on it and be completely content. I would have never reached my ultimate goal of winning the CrossFit Games and being crowned the “fittest on earth.” I once read from my pal, Tait Fletcher, “Satisfaction is the death of desire. Are you satisfied? No, I am never satisfied. I am always craving.” So, while I do feel incredibly fortunate that I’m able to wake up every morning  and head to the gym as my “office” and workout as my “job,” I still have work to do.

The fact that you are healthy enough to get up and get into a gym at any time and enjoy improving your fitness, should make you happy. I hope for you that the hungry part of the equation is in there somewhere too. I bet it is. If you want to be able to lift a little more weight or string together a couple more toe to bar or qualify for a certain competition, you’re hungry. You have the desire to do more. You’re happy with where you are, but will be even happier when you get where you’re going. That’s something that you and I have in common. We’re happy, but hungry. Living a lifestyle in which we appreciate each day but still try to make the most of it.

So, back to where I began. I was happy to be heading out to Madison to compete at my 4th CrossFit Games, but I was hungry to improve upon last years 15th place finish. That hunger was fed, but it was just a snack. I still have a burning desire to get up onto the top of the podium and I don’t think my belly will feel full until I do. Cheers fam, let’s eat!

 

Ps. it’s extra special to me that my girlfriend Joann designed and drew the “Happy, but Hungry” text herself!