Interview with Tom Davin, CEO of 5.11 Tactical

tom_headshotOn a recent business trip to Orlando, Tom Davin stopped by CrossFit Firebase for a mid-afternoon WOD. I was fortunate enough to be able to conduct a quick interview. This is the first time I’ve met Tom and I was thoroughly impressed with how down-to-Earth and how willing he was to share his time…not to mention he hammered through a tough chipper WOD in 90-degree Florida heat. Tom is the CEO of a 5.11 Tactical, a company that landed on the Inc 500 in 2007–Inc magazine’s annual list of the fastest growing, privately-held, U.S.-based companies by revenue growth. 5.11 specializes in tactical clothing and gear for law enforcement, firefighting, and military professionals.

A good friend of mine works for 5.11 and I’ve watched them grow from a relatively small company with just enough products to feature on a tri-fold brochure to a national brand with an impressive catalog. They recently released their Recon line of fitness gear, which includes WOD shorts and WOD shoes that are gaining traction in the CrossFit market.

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How Lance Armstrong Affected My Life and the Heroes You Should Be Rooting For

When I lived in Austin in the summer of 2000 I remember watching Lance Armstrong win the Tour de France, his second of seven, against Jan Ullrich. The entire city was rabid about the Tour and about Lance, because he was their favorite son. The rivalry against Ullrich was a great rivalry and would last for another six years, with a hiccup in 2002 when the big German was suspended for taking a banned substance. During that time, the US Postal team was an icon of teamwork, speed, and power. Images of the blue juggernaut were ubiquitous in homes and offices.

I have been a fan of a smattering of baseball players, the occasional basketball player, and a few elite rowers. If there was any larger than life sports figure I was an uber-fan of, it was Lance Armstrong. I admired his approach and I liked that he was a brash, domineering Texas a-hole in competition. At his height, he was a killer on the bike and he made his rivals look like bad.

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Chris Spealler – My First Foray Into Storify

It’s been well over a month since I last blogged and this pisses me off. Admittedly, I haven’t had the inclination to write because I recently changed jobs and the new joint has been siphoning away my creative juices.

To get back into it, I decided to try my hand at a sweet social media platform I discovered today, Storify. The brainchild of Pete Cashmore, Storify easily allows you to put together a “story” built from various social media channels and links to sites of your choice. It’s surprisingly addictive. Here’s my ode to Chris Spealler, who did nothing to dispel my man-crush over the weekend at Southwest Regionals.

See the embedded Storify story after the jump…

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Totally Epic Interview with Rudy Nielsen

Check out my totally epic interview with Rudy Nielsen, owner of Outlaw CrossFit. Rudy coaches tons of athletes through his site, The Outlaw Way, which is one of the hottest CrossFit training sites on the internetz right now. I tried a handful of the WODs myself and they’re badass.

Rudy is a great interview and he’s not shy about diving deep into training philosophy and his thoughts on CrossFit in general. Run time is 30:48.

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7 CrossFit Blogs You Should Be Reading

Here are blogs in the CrossFit niche I recommend. These have some combination of good readability, high value content, solid writing style, and a distinct voice, all things I look for in a good blog. Some of these crossover into other subjects, such as Olympic lifting, nutrition, and training in general.

This is by no means a comprehensive list and these are in no particular order. If there’s a site you think is awesome, recommend it in my comments section. I’d love to discover other bloggers.

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Interview with Jason McCarthy, Founder of GoRuck

I’m totally pumped about this interview…some solid material here. Jason McCarthy is the founder of the GoRuck gear company and the GoRuck Challenge, something I’ve blogged about here and here. I’m a big fan of GRC for many reasons, not the least of which is that it changed my perspective on training and being a mentally strong athlete. See my full GoRuck page for an index of posts.

In this interview, Jason talked about the origins of GoRuck and why he does what what he does. He also reveals a few products they have in the pipeline for 2012.

What I like is how passionate Jason is about the team concept and what the GoRuck experience is all about. You can tell, clearly, that GoRuck is not just about profitability or selling bags, but rather about delivering a mindblowing experience and a great product first and foremost. Check it out.

Total time: 31: 46.

Video after the jump.

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Cool Tech Stuff for Training

2010 was a fantastic year for me training and fitness-wise, especially in the second half of the year when I really started to embrace how nutrition plays a dominant role in increasing performance. At age 35, I’m the fittest and strongest I’ve ever been, at least a full level fitter than when I was a collegiate rower. I spent a fair amount of time training at a Crossfit gym in Orlando, and also working with a personal trainer 2-3 days per week to increase my strength. From hanging around with the athletes at these two facilities, I picked up a lot of knowledge about gear, nutrition, supplements, and other cool technology related to training. In fact, I consider everything on the list below to be “high tech” options for increasing performance.

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Sickest Workout Ever

Try this pukeworthy workout at your own risk. Takes one full hour. Top 3 toughest workouts I’ve ever done at Signature Fitness.

3 Rounds of

100 wall ball shots, 18# – 20# for men

run 400M

then do 1 round of

walking lunges + push press with wall ball, 50m out and back

then do 4 rounds of

sprint 50m with wall ball, drop it on the ground, sprint back to starting line, sprint back and pick it up, sprint back to starting line. 10″ breaks in between sets

then do 4 x 6 reps leg curls, heavy weight

then do 50 reps leg extension starting with heavy weight, drop sets right before burnout.