I Can Be Better – Outlaw Training – Before and After

It’s been awhile since I’ve sat down and wrote a blog post about training—I’ve kept my head down.  I believe this past week has given me the opportunity to clearly see what is truly possible.  Let me set the stage.

I started CrossFit in late 2008 with little to no athletic abilities.  Bit off on the conditioning and hated the strength.  Randomly stumbled upon The Outlaw Way and attended their second free training camp in January 2012.  This was before the Outlaw thing got big.

My numbers back then looked like this: Clean & Jerk: 215#, Snatch: 145#, Deadlift: 405#, Backsquat: 265#, Bench: 225#, Press: 150#, Push Press: 165#, Fran: 5:00+, etc.

I was uneducated, weak, cardio addicted, and not really focused.  I wanted to be better.

For the remainder of 2012 I followed the programming.  I did, however, cherry pick the hell out of a majority of the workouts because I felt they were too much volume.  I did, however, never skip the weightlifting or the strength. If I skipped anything—it was the conditioning or the add ons at the end. I was strong, but not nearly as strong as I was about to be.  I was sitting around a 215# squat clean and a 170 Snatch, had a 385# low bar back squat and my lungs were good for most conditioning workouts.

As many of you know I’ve been forward deployed to Afghanistan since January 2013.  A few things have greatly contributed to where I am today.

Programming:   I could never, to any stretch of the imagination, come up with such genius, logical, everything is everything programming.   It has built, to no foreseeable end, a logical pathway to broaden, induce, and instigate increases in human adaptation in respect to fitness.  Let’s not joke around here though:  It’s free.  I like free.  It also works and points directly where I want to go.   Thanks Rudy Nielsen.

Training Partners:  I’ve always done Outlaw alone—which is an absolute mind fuck most of the time.  I’ve had three training partners that have not only held the standard, but shown me more about who I am and where I want to go in life than most anyone (besides my beautiful wife and daughter of course).   If I feel like shit—they feel like a million dollars, if I want to move heavy crap—they want to sleep, if I want to skip a portion—they insist that they will just do it without me then.  It’s a group cohesion that does not limit but pushes a limit.  Without any one of them shooting cues, screaming, and just being there I would not be nearly as far as I am today.  Thanks Monty, Worm, and Eric—AKA Boss.

Environment:  I’m in a place where all I do is EAT, SLEEP, SHIT, and FLY.  On average we fly about 105 hours per month.  The other portion of the time we’re busy making other people’s careers and fitness reports look better.  This environment has also allotted me the allowance to sleep 8-9 hours a night, dial in my nutrition, and drink a crap ton of water.  Those three things alone are foundational.  I also have a fairly complete CrossFit gym at my squadron spaces.  Those who came before me set it up and I am and will be forever grateful.

So where has this brought me?  What can such conditions produce?  This past week was a test week for a majority of the major lifts and surrounding CrossFit components.  Keep in mind that I’m 3200 feet above sea level and it’s, on average, at least 120-140 degrees in the gym.

Snatch: 195#, Clean: 265#, Clean and Jerk: 245#, Push Jerk: 255#, Push Press: 235#, Deadlift: 445#, High Bar Back Squat: 335#, Outlaw Snatch Efficiency Baseline:  Used 155#: 20 Reps and no misses,  500m Row: 1:30, Elizabeth (a couple weeks ago): 2:47, Isabel: 3:07.

The numbers speak for themselves.

I never thought I’d clean more than 225.  I never thought I’d row anything faster than 1:45.  I never thought Isabel was possible.


  • Having the programming is nothing if you do not do it.
  • Will power and logic are everything.   You have to want it.
  • Training partners are invaluable.

I have a new opinion:  I can be better.  It is possible.  I will be better.




10 thoughts on “I Can Be Better – Outlaw Training – Before and After

  1. Right on brother. I’m one of the two MSG’s at the detachment in Kabul that swear by Outlaw. Pretty cool to know there are other marines laying it on thick throughout this shit hole. Great article.

  2. Great piece. Our timing and numbers are very similar through this journey. The one thing I don’t have is training partners. I feel like this is the missing link in breaking down barriers. I train mostly alone in my garage with an occasional trip to the box an hour away. You’ve inspired me to make a commitment to that drive to the box more often. Thanks for taking the time to put your thoughts in writing. Keep up the work and stay safe.


    Brad Griest
    US Park Ranger

  3. Thanks a lot! I’ve always known that having a dedicated training partner is a lot better than not. I’ve just never been lucky enough to find one nearby. Good luck and keep pushing. I’m glad I’ve inspired someone.

  4. Thanks a lot. Keep your head down. I fly in and out of both major airfields up there on occasion. It’s a far cry from where I’m at down south. Thanks for the feedback.

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