Vegan French parents and their deceased child.

29 05 2013

Vegan French parents and their deceased child.

There has been a lot of discussion around the French parents whose child past away because of bronchitis recently. I was going to write my thoughts (based on what I know and have read). However, late Tuesday afternoon I came across this blog post, and I felt that the discussion was damn near perfect. Give it a read. 


The Journey

14 01 2013

I can’t run 3 miles.

I can’t do a pullup.

I can’t squat.

I can’t ride a bike.

I can’t find a job.

I can’t touch my toes.

I can’t laugh without wheezing.

I can’t wake up in the morning and not sneeze.

I can’t do an overhead squat.

I can’t do a squat snatch.

I can’t quit my job and do something I am passionate about.

I can’t move to the beach.

I can’t be an inspiration to others.

I can’t lose 20 lbs.

I can’t do 10 pushups.

I can’t hit that baseball.

I can’t pass this class.

I can’t be a coach.

I can’t write this paper.

I can’t forgive this person.

I can’t be the bigger person.

I can’t carry that.

I can’t tell my parents how I really feel.

I can’t stand up for myself.

Yeah, that is a hell of a lot of “Can’ts.” It is staggering to look at all of those and imagine at one time I said all of those things to myself. These are all thoughts that have run through my head throughout my life. Just the thought of saying those things to myself gives me the hibbi-gibbies. How do you stack up to all that negativity? How do you even match that, or come out on top when this is the voice in your own head?

I would imagine that a few of these may have common ground in your life. What are these can’ts in your life? Do you even notice that they are there? Chances are these “can’ts” are putting high fences around each waking moment. The control that this can have in your life is exhausting. It doesn’t leave much room for positivity. You just remain encased in this cave of pity. That is no way to go through life.

Barbell Club is a "thing."

Barbell Club is a “thing.”

I am not saying that these thoughts ever truly go away. I am not saying that I have this all figured out, either. These things still go through my mind. But, I can tell you that each time one of these thoughts even enters that space between your ears, it is a giant opportunity to make a tremendous ripple that may change the current in your life. Noticing these times is the first step. Once you notice these then all you have to do is take the wheel and make it into something of the past.

We all have tough days, and tough times in our lives. The best are only the best because some are truly the greatest of struggles. “We” in this Beautiful Monster of a Nation, are here to get each other through these times, and be an Unrelenting Positive Force for each other. I am sure I will have some rough times, I am sure each of you will have some (Can’t) days. Bring it here!! We will make quick work of all those, and we’ll all be better for it. We are all on the same Journey. Lets enjoy it!! Positive will alway win out over Negative!


Danny Lesslie


Monday’s Workout:

Complete the following for time:

3 rounds:
200m Run
6 Clapping Push Ups
12 Jumping Lunges

30 Clean & Jerks (135/95)

3 rounds:
200m Run
6 Clapping Push Ups
12 Jumping Lunges

Plain and Simple

11 01 2013

Yesterday’s blog discussed, in part, this notion that there aren’t any remarkable results to be gained from the peaks and valleys of motivation and stagnation. Training hard and then falling off doesn’t get you anywhere. The folks that commit to a lifestyle that will yield them results, however, will see those result. Those unwilling to commit to sustainable efforts like this will fail.. every…damn.. time.

At FFOTB, we’ve got great retention. Folks, come here and most of them stick around for a substantial amount of time. Now, we don’t have hundreds of new people a week coming to class to redeem their Groupon, but that’s for good reason. Even with our good retention, the number of folks that have successfully found a way to live this day in and day out is pretty small.

One to remember.

One to remember.

Just a handful of people in our program have joined this community and stuck with it in a sustainable manner, but that’s life. The odds are stacked against us on that one and though I’d like for more people to be indefinite students of our school, it’s just the way things are going to go. We’ll just chalk that up to human nature.

In my opinion, though, there is an important observation worth mentioning in this phenomenon regardless of how compliant you all are. The observation is this:

One hundred percent of the students that commit to some level of lasting training here change their lives. Let me say that again.. Every. Single. Time. A. Human. Being. Trains. Here. With. Commitment. They. Change. There. Lives. Completely.

I’m not saying people that find a way to sustain their efforts here lose some weight or get stronger or learn to run better or feel better about themselves. I am saying there entire worldview is changed. It’s worth mentioning, too, that these aren’t the strongest-athletes-in-class types. It’s not even the unlimited-membership types either. The people that win in this program are the ones that just find a way to show up. There’s no extremes. No double days. No mind blowing efforts. They simply show up a couple times a week, every week.

And now, this  is just what they do. It’s not weird or consuming. It’s a lifestyle. And, their lives are forever changed. I’d like to remind you all that this is not bootcamp. This is not a combine. This is your life. If you can live inside habits of success, like this, you would be blown away at what you could accomplish.

Plain and simple.

Logan Gelbrich


Friday’s Workout:

Complete 10 rounds with a partner:
2 Power Cleans
8 Front Squats
200m Run

*Score is time and individual max load

Resolution Proof

10 01 2013

A friend of mine in the performance world made a great comment just before the New Year that struck me. The gym that he trains at in Austin, TX is notorious for mentally and physically crippling training sessions designed to build capacity for soldiers, including special forces operators and specialty law enforcement units.

What he said on New Year’s Eve was: “[I’m] 99.9 % certain our gym Atomic Athlete won’t be crowded tomorrow with trend seekers because our way is not the easy way.” And, it really struck me. His words were commentary on the phenomenon around the New Year where folks head out in droves with good intentions of exercising more for the year, but often have trouble sticking to it.

Pick up heavy things in 2013 - #FakeGym

Pick up heavy things in 2013 – #FakeGym

If you’ve been to class recently, you probably haven’t noticed dozens of new students chasing the New Year’s Resolution dream. And, though our program isn’t exactly like Atomic Athlete’s program, I do believe we share this new-year’s-resolution-resistant trait with them.

Real tangible lifestyle attributes like strength, endurance, quality body composition, and favorable blood work are the result of a sustained committed effort. Showing up each day to pursue these things is, by nature, beyond a flash in the pan effort. If you’re looking to make some changes in your life, you surely could begin at the start of the new year, but you’ve got to hang on after the honeymoon phase like everyone else to accomplish your goals.

Logan Gelbrich


Thursday’s Workout:

Complete the following for time:
100 Burpees

**Every minute on the minute perform 1 Clean and Jerk (155/105)

UPDATE: ‘The Nation’ Makes Goals Happen

9 01 2013

Early last month we kicked off a whole new revamped goal setting program with a first annual event called Make Sh*t Happen 2012. This new goal setting event was a hit, and the attendance proved that. What good is goal setting, however, if you don’t accomplish them?

Well, folks are already crushing some pretty remarkable goals..

Ross G reporting live from his 30 Day Goal: A Trip to Thailand!

Ross G reporting live from his 30 Day Goal: A Trip to Thailand!

Whether you are enrolled in this specific goal setting group or not, don’t be afraid to let some of this stuff rub off on you. There’s a group of your classmates that are kicking butt and taking names, and there’s plenty of room on this party train!

If you haven’t been to our Goal Setting Program’s page, you ought to check out what some of our students are up to. They are really putting themselves out there by sharing their life goals, so hold them to it. In addition to the 1 year, 5 year, and 10 year goals listed, all those enrolled in the program set 30, 60, and 90 day goals for the short-term.

  • 30 Day – End of January
  • 60 Day – End of February
  • 90 Day – End of March

As a matter of fact, this Sunday Dana will attempt to accomplish her 30 day goal which is to complete a half marathon in one hour and forty minutes or better. The event, the 13.1 Los Angeles, takes place Sunday morning and it would be awesome to have a group of ‘The Nation’ cheer Dana on to goal crushing victory! Here’s a link to the course map.

Logan Gelbrich


Wednesday’s Workout:

5 Deadlifts (275/185)
13 Push Ups
9 Max Distance Broad jumps

Is Sitting & Standing a Life or Death Task?

8 01 2013

I was talking to a friend the other day and he was telling me about an interesting study he came across. The  study is based on a test called “Teste de Sentar e Levantar,” or The Sit and Stand Test, and the European Society of Cardiology released the studies findings just this past month.

“The test was a simple assessment of the subjects’ ability to sit and then rise unaided from the floor. The assessment was performed in 2002 adults of both sexes and with ages ranging from 51 to 80 years. The subjects were followed-up from the date of the baseline test until the date of death or 31 October 2011, a median follow-up of 6.3 years.”


This information  definitely suggests an interesting correlation. It is not a saying that without a doubt if you need assistance, that you will be gone within 6+ years. But ,it definitely does bring to light the strong correlation between musculoskeletal strength and flexibility in survival. Some people say that your ability to squat is your insurance in staying out of the nursing home. I believe that this study is along the same lines. Clearly, those that were de-conditioned in this study seemed to be destined for the same fate.

We may (or may not) be a cult.

We may (or may not) be a cult.

We do a lot of squatting at the FakeGym. This study is pretty solid evidence of why one ought to do few more squats and deadlifts. Our bodies are designed to perform regardless of the scale of this performance, whether it is of Olympic caliber, or of beer league softball caliber. Our bodies are tremendous machines that repair through movement. Furthermore, they degrade with lack of movement.

I encourage you all to take this test. Make note of your physical capabilities. I truly believe that we can always improve. If you don’t pass, let’s make sure you pass next time you take it. Training is for life and whatever you do outside of class. It will be made easier by the sweat equity you get while you are here. Cheers to long and happy lives.


Danny Lesslie


Tuesday’s Workout:


1 Snatch Pull

2 Power Snatch

1 Snatch Balance


Then 4 rounds:

400m Run

(1:1 Work to Rest)


The Observer vs. the Active Participant

7 01 2013

Just yesterday I was reminded of how easily we become observers in our own lives. “Oh, would you look at that? I got the flu…” We watch things happen to us and we react to them. Now, I don’t want you to expect me to explain to you how to live free of the flu in this blog, but I do have a point here.

I see so many people experiencing life like they are watching it on a big screen with a bowl of popcorn in their lap. Great things happen, misery strikes, and the rest of it lies some where in the middle. The most critical element of this type of thinking has nothing to do with the details, however, and it has everything to do with the mindset surrounding it.

Treating your life as if you are an observer completely misses the boat when it comes to personal responsibility. The opposite worldview that takes the role of active participant represents everything the observer doesn’t. This idea that the flu, for example, simply comes and goes breeds a notion that you’re powerless in this life. Furthermore, being middle class, because that’s obviously who you are infers much of the same. Maybe not all, but part of having the flu and part of being middle class is a situation we’ve chosen with thoughts and actions. I’m probably statistically not yet reached the heights of middle class yet, and I’ve had the flu and I’ll have it again but my mind set couldn’t be further from that of the observer.

Barbell Club was quite the party this past Saturday!

Barbell Club was quite the party this past Saturday!

The observer takes the victim role, for better or worse. He/she is susceptible to good movies and bad movies, just like he/she is susceptible to happiness and sadness, but Lord knows he/she won’t have anything to do with those outcomes. My problem with this prime-time-television, Johnny Every-Other-American, simpleton attitude is that it’s a cop out. The moment your life is understood as what happens to you is the same moment you give up all personal responsibility.

I choose to be an active participant because I want to be responsible for all the wealth, influence, and happiness in my life. And to be honest, I want to be just as responsible for the failures and days of pay check to pay check living, too. Sure, I get the flu. But, the active participant gets the flu and knows why. He/she agrees that they got the flu and earned it with his/her recent lack of sleep, faulty nutrition, and/or bad luck. The same active participant understands exactly why they earned “partner” in his/her law firm, too. They understand that the promotion simply didn’t happen to them, they created it.

So, who are you? Are you the observer or active participant in your life?


Logan Gelbrich


Monday’s Workout:

Complete 10 rounds:
Max Rep Strict Press (65/45)
Sprint 100 yards