170918"3 Key Reasons why your Heart is a Special Muscle"

I can’t help but trip out on the Beating of my Heart. Like all Scientists I like to hypothesize, test, and qualify my findings. With my heart, there are all kinds of stimulations I produce which allow me to dive in on the quality of my beats, quantity of the beats and so many questions about how and why my heart is the way it is. This incredible muscle is sometimes underreported on in Sport because we focus often times on skeletal muscle and its value to producing work for our achievement. Your HEART Muscle is different and really special. What are its needs? How can I boost its performance? Lets take a look under the hood and check out some reasons why???

  1. Your Heart has its own circulatory system.
    The Heart Muscle is truly a hard working group of striated fibers that literally get no breaks. Beginning in utero and lasting to many times over 100 years, the heart just keeps on rolling and providing us oxygenated blood to that work can be performed. Because your heart never rests it has to have a fresh supply of oxygenated blood ALL THE TIME. So evolution has helped develop its own circulatory system . The coronary arteries and veins start as a branch from the aorta, the main artery leaving the left side of the heart.
    Keeping those arteries and veins free of plaques and build ups is essential for optimal function. As I will get into in just a bit, a lot has to do with nutrition but nothing beats a healthy lifestyle where exercise is a priority. Exercise not only creates hypertrophy on heart muscle but it also helps build the muscle up around the arteries and veins which allow the pumping to occur.

  2. Your Heart Muscle Has more mitochondria than other cells.
    Are you ready for a little History?
    Millions of years ago there were only bacteria. The bacteria of ancient times produced chemical reactions that created heat and energy (as they do today in millions of forms) . That bacteria diversified and morphed with the changing organisms on this planet. Eventually the cells of all these organisms decided that some of these bacteria were pretty cool and let them live inside the cell in the form of power plants and we call Mitochondria. If the cell is a Dodge Truck, then the Mitochondria is the 5.7 Hemi engine inside of it. Our Heart Cells produce an insane amount of work and so evolution jumped on it immediately. Unlike Skeletal Muscles, Heart Cells have any more Power Producing Mitcohondria which allow for more ATP (energy) to be produced and keep the muscle firing.
    Since the Heart is a oxygen rich environment, the increased amount of mitochondria in the cells allows for aerobic respiration as opposed to anaerobic respiration . This is an important piece to the BEATING puzzle because with aerobic respiration there is much less chance of producing LACTIC ACID. Lactic Acid is something we know well as CrossFit Athletes. The extent of our muscle function is directly related to our ability to process lactic acid, known as the Lactic Acid Threshold. Your heart does not like Lactic Acid Build Up. In Fact, excessive amounts result in Cardiac Arrest and a host of other long term ailments, so keep the system firing and respect the Heart Muscle.

  3. Your Heart Needs Lots of Good Fats to produce ATP.

    Food is Fuel Right? If you have been reading my Blogs for any length of time you should know this simple truth by now. Irregardless of the type of muscle or organ you are trying to keep healthy, optimal Nutrition through Whole Foods is the ONLY way to go.
    The Heart Likes GOOD FATS. Because the Oxygen Rich Environment of the Heart is aided by the heaps of Mitochondria which produce energy there needs to be a fuel source that works well with the given system. Fat is a wonderful fuel source.
    Without going into the KREBS CYCLE to deeply, there is a process by which FAT is synthesized and turned into fuel for the cells. In a resting or Fasted state, Fat makes up 70% of the Fuel for heart Muscle Cells.
    The best type of Fat for the Heart is the UNSATURATED Fats like Coconut Oil and Avocado . These veggie, Nut, Seed and Fish Fats have a chemical bond that is easily utilized by the systems of the heart. Conversely, limiting the Amount of SATURATED fats in Meats and Processed Foods will help keep from building plaques in the circulatory system and ‘gunning’ up the pipes!

Heart muscle is a hybrid muscle that has characteristics of the muscle found in the digestive system and that found in your biceps but it functions completely separate from anything else. Respecting your heart as an athlete is vital if you are wanting to reach your goals. Understanding that oxygen and good nutrition is essential is the way. So Get outside, breathe deeply and exercise. Your heart will beat with happiness because you are living your best life!!


Programming Notes 9/17-9/21 **This is week 4 of the Unilateral Exposure cycle. I am front loading the week with a couple unique exercises like the Overhead Kneeling Step Up! There is a good mix of conditioning work as well, challenging all the metabolic pathways to get you super fit and Shreddy. OF Course we will finish the week with HERO WOD, “LUCE” so train smart so you can train hard.


Roll Out Upper Back and Lats for 5 mins Before session>

300m Row
10 Burpee Pull Ups
10 Side Lunges
10 Banded Press And Rip

Shoulder Primer:
W/ Light Dumbbells 5-15#
20 Reverse Flys
20 Bent Scare Crows
20 See-Saw Press
20 Front Raises
20 Lateral Raises

Skill Work:
Even- Single Kettlebell Overhead Hold + Kneeling Step Up X 10 (5 each arm)
Odd- 2 Push Jerks / 1 Split Jerk (moderate Load)
*Overhead hold is self explanatory, the kneeling position begins on the ground, kettlebell overhead . Alternate Step Up and Step Down, Switching Arms at 5 reps.

For Time,
400m Run
30 Cal Row
20 Pull Ups
10 Clean and Jerks 225/135

Cool Down:
Lat Band Mobility
Bully Stretch
Scapula Distraction

Kettle Bell Warm up:

W/ Light KB
12@ Each
Head Circles 'L' 
Head Circles 'R'
Up right Rows
Press 'L'
Romanian Deadlift
Squat Up and overs (outside right foot, up and over to outside left foot)
Single Leg Deadlift
Goblet Squat
Lateral Lunges
Windmill 'L'
Sit Ups
Snatch 'L'
Snatch 'R'
Squat Jumps

Adductor Strength Work :
Sumo Deadlift
Heavier than 9/7

5 Rounds For Time,
5-4-3-2-1 Rope Climb
50 Double Unders
10 Deadlift 275/185

400m Run

10 Hip Swivel Kicks
10 Fire Hydrants
10 Contralateral Deadbug
10 Elbow TO Instep Lunges

400m Run

Unilateral Work:
Tempo Box Pistol Squats
3X5 (Each Leg)
*Begin on a 24/20” Box, descend under control (+:02) , then powerfully stand back to the top.
*If you are feeling confident , hold a Dumbbell in the Front Rack Position.

10 Min AMRAP
50’ Overhead Dumbbell Lunge
12 Alternating Dumbbell Snatch 50/35
*EMOM 3 Burpees

Cool Down:

25 Hip Extension
15 Strict Toes To bar
Banded Lateral Hip Distraction

4X :30 @ Each
-Inchworm Push Ups
-Iron Cross
-Mountain Climbers
-Side Plank

Spend 5 Minutes Building to A Hang Power Clean Weight

3 PART… Conditioning:
20 Cal Bike
15 GHD Sit Up
(goal is consistent RPM’s Not Intervals stick with a pace you can hold for 3 Rounds)


Hang POWER Clean 155/115
2X Wall Ball Shots (24-18-12)
*Max Intensity


25 Man Makers For Time
*1 Rep= Burpee, 2X Renegade Row, Squat Clean Thruster

Agility Warm Up @ 10m Each
High Knee Pull 
Quad Pull 
Squat 180 **stepping the leg high over hip, swing opposite leg to 180, squat
High Knees
Butt kickers
Marching High Kicks
Straight leg shuffles
Fig 4 Drill
Lateral Shuffle 
Lateral Bounding
Sprint W/ Change of Direction

Muscle UP Prep:
10 Kip Swings on Rings
8 Hips To Rings Pull Ups
6 Low Ring Transitions + Press out
4 Ring Dip

1K Run
10 Muscle Ups
100 Squats
*All done with a 20# Vest