Ben Smith, His Crew & Good Vibes

Watch This Vid With Ben Smith:

Yeah, this is old and from before the 2012 Games, but I have to say this is an awesome vid with Ben Smith. For a while, I’ve already known he was a pretty cool guy. Then when I came across this video a few days ago, damn…I got nothing but good vibes from watching it.

Ben Smith CrossFit Mario Kart

The kid’s really down-to-earth and seems really normal on the outside. When it comes to CrossFit though, he’s a beast. I remember watching his videos from the 2011 Opens. This one really stood out to me as it was a WOD I struggled with, getting only 9 reps LOL. I had to do squat clean and jerks for this and man did I suck at getting shit overhead at the time. It’d be interesting to see what I can do now.

This was Open Section WOD 3 in 2011:

5 minute AMRAP
165# squat clean thrusters (squat clean and jerks, as I did, were acceptable as well)

That music haha…reminds me of my box’s Pandora playlist at the time…

…because of these videos he made then, I always thought Ben just worked out by himself in his garage by that damn refrigerator. Then when I came across that 18 minute video mentioned at the top of this post, I was pretty stoked to see he had his own bro-tastic workout group.

Ben Smith Garage CrossFit Refrigerator

Seriously, nothing beats working out with a great group of people, especially those that both push you and carry on some good vibes.

Garage CrossFit Workout Group

When I saw the YouTube comment above, I thought, “Damn, I’m lucky.”

Okay, lots of people out there might prefer working out by themselves in a garage (I used to be like this). That’s cool. However, there are a bunch of people like that YouTube commenter who feel like something’s lacking when they’re just tackling WOD’s on their own.

If you happen to be in that kind of predicament, definitely do something about it. Alright, certain circumstances might prevent you from doing so, but if you have the opportunity to workout at a legit CrossFit box or partner up with another CrossFitter you know, do it.

As I said, I used to be one of those guys who preferred working out alone. In high school, I would hit up Planet Fitness, pizza and bagels galore, by myself. I wanted to go at my own time and do my own “programming” (I definitely have a Word doc with some of my routines on my old desktop…it was definitely shit and full of Nautilus nonsense). Then in college, I would go to the campus gym with roommates. Luckily, most of the guys I went with either gave up and started doing cardio only or they preferred doing their own shit which was rather inefficient (at least not as bad as my high school routines lol).

It was pretty much myself or some partner sessions with my friend who eventually became a CrossFit coach.

Not gonna lie.

Transitioning into the class setting was kinda weird for me at first. I just wanted to workout on my own, dammit! But it was just a better idea of signing up for a class – for logistics and monetary reasons. And you know what? I’m not sure if I could ever workout on my own again…unless I were to do some specialized programming down the road.

Aside from getting a glimpse of Ben Smith’s pre-real world day (didn’t he just open his own box recently?), this vid reminded me how important the class setting has been to my progress.

I’m sure the class dynamic has helped many of you out there as well.

So what do you all prefer? Hitting up a WOD alone? With a partner or two? Or a full-out class? Post in the comments below.

Kip it real, my friends.

1 CrossFit Mistake I Doubt Anyone’s Made…

It Happened On Saturday

…and shit, I have no clue how the fuck I pulled off such a thing. In my nearly 3 years of CrossFit, I’ve never seen something like this happen. Luckily, I was okay afterwards, but it didn’t help that our WOD that day was pretty terrible.

Here’s what we had:

For time:
100 back squats at 95/65 (did only 75#)
50 pull ups (subbed ring rows since a recent hand tear was still healing)
125 double unders
50 toes-to-bar (did abmat sit-ups)

I was wrecked from a solid week of WODs…and maybe that Thanksgiving feast finally caught up to me? Whatever it was, I just wasn’t feeling it that workout.

And it didn’t help that I pulled off the weirdest thing ever in my warm-up:

I Fell Out Of The GHD Machine…

Kipping It Real Facepalm Homer Simpson GHD Machine


Yeah…that really happened.

Since my grip was shot and couldn’t do TTB during the warm-ups, I hopped onto the GHD. Ever since I finally learned how to properly use my glutes to pop up into the sit-up, I’ve been all about explosive GHD’s. Unfortunately, I totally fucked things up.

On the way down from my 3rd rep in the 2nd round of this warm-up, my feet lost that vertical positioning in the contraption, causing my feet to slip out and…yeah, I hit the floor. All I could do was laugh my ass off. Seriously…how the fuck does that happen? Who does that?

I was around a good number of people as well, and it didn’t embarrass me one bit. To tell you the truth, I actually found it rather amusing. What can you do in such a situation? Get beet red and act like it didn’t happen? Psh. I just decided to have fun with it and keep on rolling.

The next round for warm-ups, one guy joked:

“You need a spot?”


It’s a good thing I didn’t hurt my body. The only issue I felt was a slight pain in the ass, but I was good enough to get through this miserable WOD.

Oh man was it bad.

Grinding through those back squats was a feeling I didn’t want to experience again. My legs were just shot, so having to rest the bar on my back the whole time resulted in some lower back pain. I didn’t want to force things like an idiot, so I dropped the bar 4 times.

No big deal, right? Uh…

…every time I dropped the bar, I had to do a 45 second AirDyne sprint at 300 watts. Not fun.

Once I got through those squats, which normally are my thing, it was “smooth” sailing. Kinda. Sorta. Not really…but it was MUCH better than that back squat nightmare.

So Let Me Ask You This…

…have you ever messed up that bad in your CrossFit class? Who knows? Maybe I’m not the only one who felt out of a GHD…

Kip it real, my friends.

P.S. There are still a few hours left in Cyber Monday, so you can still catch that $5 Shipping for 5 Items deal at Rogue Fitness. And if you plan on doing any shopping on Amazon or Reebok for some CrossFit gear, there’s still a lot of good deals today and for the rest of the week.

You can also pick up some KippingItReal shirts and hoodies here:

P.P.S. Thanks for helping my Facebook Page get to 2000 Likes today!

Loads Of Food Consumed. Not A Single Pound Gained.

Fuck yeah.

It feels good man…either it’s a fluke or that stuff I was talking about in the last post was legit.

Neal Maddox CrossFit Doughnuts Donuts Ice Cream Carb Back-Loading Feels Good Man

I’ll admit that I didn’t follow the usual protocol on Thanksgiving day, as I previewed the mashed potatoes earlier in the day lol. So that killed my fat burning process earlier than usual. No worries. I just kept to the rest of the plan.

The Meal

Ohhhhh it was glorious. Aside from the usual Thanksgiving staples of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and whatnot, we also had some really out there dishes thanks to my Dad. Even though I said in my last post I didn’t feel a need to go crazy with my food intake, I did. Sorry I’m not sorry.

I don’t think I’ve had a food coma like that in such a long time. Towards the end of the night, my mind was getting all cloudy and I couldn’t even drink anymore beer. I was just too stuffed for that. And if I wanted to put anything else in my body, it was more dessert.

It was around 10ish when I was starting to black out. Honestly, I had no more reason to stay up, as our company left already, I was more than satisfied by the amount of food I consumed, and God didn’t want me to watch the rest of that trainwreck of a Jets game. Shit. WTF.

Due To The Severity Of My Food Coma…

…I was worried I wouldn’t be able to fulfill my promise to you guys of using that mondo Thanksgiving dinner as fuel for my noon WOD. So I just kept thinking to myself that “Yes, I’m going to workout” and “Yes, all the food I ate will help me tear shit up at the box the next day.”

Maybe you think that newage self-help stuff is a crockful of shit, but this positive thinking seemed to help.

I got up at a good time for my coffee and meditation sesh. Then I had coffee and BCAA’s before my WOD. I was wired as fuck, you guys. My mind was set on going to the gym and kicking ass, and even if I was actually bloated and feeling shitty from the night before, it just wasn’t registering in my head.

Warm-Ups Were Rough…

…only because I was still wrecked from the GHD’s in Wednesday’s workout. Other than that, I was feeling pretty solid.

Here’s what we had in store:

5 rounds for time:
250m row
10 deadlifts at 225/155

Since our class was pretty packed and there weren’t enough rowers, I opted for the 200m run instead of the row (why not work on my running, right?) and subbed down to a 185# deadlift. Despite Rx’ing the rest of the week’s WOD’s, gauging the weight to use for deadlifts is still a bit vague to me.

For the longest time, I’d always have lower back problems after a heavy back squat or a heavy/high rep deadlift sesh. It wasn’t until I started using a standing desk that I started progressing with my deads without the back issues.

Fortunately, for this workout, things were good despite having my hamstrings blasted to fuck. I could probably do 205# next time, so I’ll consider that for any similar workouts.

Once the clock started, my caffeine high and mashed-potato-fueled body went to work. The deads were smooth but not crazy fast, which was ideal for this WOD. My right hand was still healing from a pull up tear during the week, so it surprised me I managed to do all my deads unbroken.

If anything, the run held me back, but I was just going for that consistent pace. And you know what? It paid off.

Finished with 8:54. I’m pretty stoked with that time.

Now It’s Your Turn

Did any of you also workout the day after Thanksgiving? Post your comments below.

P.S. If any of you are doing any Cyber Monday shopping, it’d be awesome if you use the links below. With your help, I can put together an awesome forum for you guys.


Rogue Fitness (they have a SWEET “5 items ship for $5” promo until MONDAY)

Reebok CrossFit Gear

You can also pick up some KippingItReal shirts and hoodies here:

How I Plan To Slam A Shitload Of Food This Thanksgiving With Minimal Damage

First of all, yeah..once again quite a hiatus. Not for over a month like last time, but pretty bad. For that, I apologize.

I missed writing for you guys, so I felt like tonight would be a good time to get the ball rolling again. And I mean LEGIT – posts every day and constantly shooting the shit with you all over social media. I see bigger things in the future for this site (more on this later). You can also thank Brad for posting on my Facebook page. That was another kick in the ass to get me writing again.

So yes, it’s Thanksgiving tomorrow. One of my favorite holidays because there’s just something about that combination of turkey, gravy, and mashed potatoes. Thanks to having an awesome Dad as our cook, the food’s always good. Also, this seems to be the holiday that most of my friends from elementary/high school tend to be in the area, so that means fun times as well.

Carb Back-Loading Renegade Diet Thanksgiving CrossFit Dinner

Anyway…the food. Last Thanksgiving was ridiculous cause my cousins from Canada stayed for a few days, so that meant my Dad went all out on cooking every single day. And of course that meant I went all out on eating. The funny thing is, despite feeling bloated as fuck and a bit hungover, I still PR’d my power clean (was 225# at the time).

This year, I want to enjoy myself, yet at the same time, there’s really no reason to go YOLO on the food and eat until I get sick. Also, it’d be really lame to limit my eating, as it’s such an awesome holiday.

Maybe there’s some way I can enjoy the best of both worlds…

The past few weeks, I’ve been experimenting with some intermittent fasting techniques. Yeah, I’ve already been doing that for a while, but FUCK was my nutrition OFF and TERRIBLE for so long. I’ve been messing around with my own version of Carb-Backloading and the Renegade Diet, and what I’ve learned so far is I haven’t been taking in enough carbs for my energy.

Yeah, I could go full Paleo and rely upon healthy fats to fuel my workouts. That’s helped me in the past. However, when I messed around with this style of fasting and having high GI carbs at night, my workouts at noon the next day were ridiculous. I was Rx’ing WOD’s for the past two weeks. Generally, I’d take things easy with weights, going only a few pounds over the women Rx.

Similar to my friend who just couldn’t handle demanding WOD’s on strict Paleo, I got a better idea of what works for me.

It pretty much involves:

1) Coffee and a small protein shake upon waking up
2) Coffee and some BCAA’s 30 minutes or so before the noon workout
3) Post-workout protein shake 30 minutes after workout
4) Lunch around 30 minutes after…basically a Paleo-friendly meal of protein, veggies, and fat
5) A heavy dinner of protein, some veggies, and high GI carbs like sweet potatoes, white rice…shit even some people can take in crap like pizzas and white bread (the “carb back-load”)
6) A 14-16 hour fast

To sum the reasoning for this, the fast helps you burn fat while your cortisol levels are still high in the morning, then the carb back-load at night replenishes your body for your workout the next day. Once again, I’m not an expert…so I could be totally wrong with all this shit.

You can learn more at

I’m simply taking the information online and in their books and tweaking things to my own body. This stuff really isn’t for CrossFitters. It’s more for people who just doing heavy lifting routines. Not merely bi’s and tri’s, but lots of compound lifts. I’m just curious what I can do with the right tweaks.

For example, with CrossFit and my body, I know I can’t slam pizzas like some mofos out there. Not possible. Even though these guys say white Jasmine rice (which thankfully is a normal food staple for my family) is the purest of the “dirty carbs” they recommend for the back-load, I still need to watch my carb intake. The past few weeks, my carb levels have been too high. A little bit of a gut has been developing lol.

I just know with more experimenting, I’ll be able to dial in on carb intake that I can still eat white rice while staying lean AND having enough energy to crush a WOD.

Before on Paleo and Slow-Carb (Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour Body stuff), I would basically feel a hangover-like feeling after a WOD. Now, I’m still beat after a workout, but I’m not a total wreck. Feels good man.

So how am I gonna crush tomorrow?

Yep, gonna use Thanksgiving dinner to my advantage. I plan on working out on Friday at noon, as ridiculous as they may sound after eating lots of food the night before. With the past few week’s testing, I’ve been able to do well with WOD’s even with a HUGE dinner, so I know I this year’s Thanksgiving will be pretty glorious.

I’ll have something Paleo-like for lunch…then just eat however much my heart desires, although not to the point of sickness as last year haha.

Just wanted to update you guys on what I’ve been up to. Experimenting’s been fun and I understand I’ll make a bunch of mistakes along the way. What’s the worst that could happen? A few weeks of weight gain? That’s fine. I’ll make the necessary tweaks to reach my goal of dropping fat while still having the energy to CrossFit.

And one last thing…

…regarding my bigger vision for this site: forums. Yes, I’m going to start a forum here, cause it’ll be pretty sweet for you readers to just shoot the shit and enjoy the company of other people in our sport.

That means I have to buy some forum software.

I know a bunch of you are already doing some online shopping this week on Amazon and whatnot, so if you want to support the growth of Kipping It Real, I’d really appreciate it if you could use my affiliate links below.

How does it work?

1) Simply click one of the links below to the the stores you’ll shop at.
2) Make the purchases you already would’ve made without these links.
3) I make some commissions off your purchases, which’ll go towards the forum software and other costs for maintaining this site.


Rogue Fitness

Reebok CrossFit Gear

If you do use my links, I’ll really appreciate it. If not, shit…I’ll still keep writing for you all.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Stay safe and enjoy this time with your friends and family.

Kip it real, my friends.

Garage Games Part 2: Fran’s Still A Bitch

Yeah Yeah…

It’s been over 3 weeks since my Garage Games competition, but I still have to finish off these posts, right? Can’t just leave ya hangin.

Here’s Part 1 if you haven’t read it already.

Alright, so day 1 had me pooped out. However, it was also alumni weekend for my college, so I knew I had to make an appearance to say what up to a bunch of friends, many whom I haven’t seen in years. Yes, that means I had like 3 beers the night before the 2nd day…oh well. Like the rest of my team, we were just doing this event for fun.

WOD 2: Airdyne Madness

This is how the event worked. Each team has 16 minutes for max calories on the damn Airdyne. Either your pair of guys or pair of girls would start things off, alternating after how long you desire. Each pair has 8 minutes on this easy to underestimate machine. Some teams had their athletes alternate every 2 minutes, which is ridiculous. We took the advice of one of our box’s teams with the 30 second alternating strategy.

Yes, since this was a cardio-based workout, my performance wasn’t too hot, but I got through it, along with the rest of my team without stopping or slowing down. I’m tellin ya…it’s easy to think the Airdyne is a piece of cake. Yeah, you think these are weak, exercise machines grandma would use, but they’re far from the opposite.

Airdyne Garage Games CrossFit Milford

Post-Airdyne was ridiculous. It felt like my legs were stuck in the extended position, so I went outside to walk things out a bit. Before our team went back to the parking lot to chill before Team Fran, I went back inside to grab my backpack.


I nearly stumbled into the lobby doorway like a motherfuckin drunk. Walking across the street to the lot wasn’t fun either, until we finally got to chill and shoot the shit in the lot.

Not Gonna Lie

I actually really enjoyed chillin in the parking lot. Before signing up, I honestly didn’t know the rest of my team, so it was cool getting to know them while trying to figure out the best way to tackle upon each WOD. It almost felt like pre-gaming for a Dave Matthews concert, except without the drinking & people dancing on the ground.

We had our fold-up chairs, some Paleo meals and snacks, and an unusual sunny fall day waiting for us after every WOD.

And Why I Still Think Fran’s A Bitch

Okay, first of all, my Fran time isn’t that great, but I love how I’ve progressed from a 25 minute, scaled Fran back in college (65# thrusters and really light Gravitron-assisted pull ups) to 5:15 Rx’d back in March I believe.

That was my goal. To beat my last PR with a sub-5 minute time.

Easier said than done, especially after a weekend’s worth of workouts. Thrusters really aren’t my thing, so even after an hour and a half break following the Airdyne event, my legs were still shot to shit. They were Jello.

It didn’t help that our heat kept getting pushed back. From heat 5, we ended up in heat 7. Team Fran allowed for only 1 barbell/1 person to go at a time with a 21 minute cap. Since I was one of the few to have done Fran before, I said I’d go first so there would be enough time for the rest of the team to get in as many reps as possible.

As I said…21 minute cap…so basically close to an hour passed after our expected heat time. I was getting nervous as fuck, doing all sorts of random fidgeting and mannerisms…yet exaggerated. Think Nomar Garciaparra’s at-bat routine on roids.

Then finally, our team was up. Just a few minutes beforehand, I actually wasn’t sure if I’d do this Rx’d, as it might cost our team a lot of time having to switch weights again on the barbell as our other guy following me was going to do it scaled. This would be his first Fran…and man what a way to start this love/hate relationship.

When I found out our teammates are allowed to swap weights while a teammate is doing pull ups, I knew I had to do this Rx’d. I wanted to PR. Bad.

But I was still nervous as fuck. It was so bad that when we were setting things up, I put on WAY TOO MUCH chalk on my hands. I didn’t want to think about it at the time, but in the back of my mind, I knew I was going to tear my hands. Oh well…#yolo

Before I knew it…BOOM. Shit began.

I got through my 21 thrusters and pull ups rather quickly and unbroken. If I remember correctly, I was at around 1:15 after the 21 pull ups. Unfortunately, like last time, my brain and body crapped out around 7 reps through 15 thruster. Shit.

It really was just a grind from then on. My body was wrecked. All I wanted to do was crash and rest. But you’re in that competition environment even if you’re just doing this for fun. The shouting from your friends in the crowd. The Skrillex in the background. The hint of crimson on your shorts.

Wait…I was bleeding? Haha no…it wasn’t that time of the month for me 😛 As I was on my last set of pull ups, just trying to get my last few reps through, I knew I tore up a bit.

“3 more!” said our judge.

Fuck it. I banged out the last 3 with some regular, non-butterfly kips. And I was done. 5:23…no PR.

All I had to do now was cheer on my team.

Oh man…I felt insanely out of it at this point. Then I looked down at my hands as I was battling through my temporary “Fran lung” breathing. Yep. And my hands tore up a lot more than I thought they did. It was easily the worst I’ve seen them from pull ups. The blood was gushing a bit. It was a beautiful sight.

For serious though. I couldn’t stand, think, or talk. For the first 2 minutes after my Fran, I had to lay out on the floor for a bit. Still…I was cheering on my teammate as much as I could. Bless one of the people from my box who grabbed some paper towel for my hands. After some clean up, I just covered my hands with the power towel, got up, and kept cheering on my team the best I could.

It truly was an electrifying moment.

We All Surprised Ourselves

No, we didn’t get to finish, but that wasn’t the point. I’m so proud of my team and what we accomplished that weekend. Going into this competition, we all had some mental limits on our CrossFit and general athletic abilities, yet in the end, we all finished with something that surprised us.

For example, my teammate Bob who went after me in Fran actually Rx’d! I had no idea since I was in the middle of my pull ups when he decided not to switch up his weights. Huge props to him. None of us were able to remember when he started and finished since we were all caught up in the moment, but from what I (barely) remember, it was something in the 7-8 minute range. Really solid for a first Fran.

CrossFit Fran Is Still A Bitch

So Garage Games Next Year?

Possibly…and possibly Rx’d…unless I’m in San Francisco by then 🙂