Part II – Let’s talk about pain (and why it’s not gain)

You need pain.  Without pain, you will die.  There is a rare condition called Congenital Insensitivity to Pain and Anhydrosis (CIPA) where the afflicted do not feel pain.  They rarely live past 25.


Pain is a basic utility “hey, you up there in the cockpit!  You’re damaging the vessel!  Chill out!”


People with CIPA must inspect for cuts and bruises they cannot feel that can become life threatening.  They have characteristically chewed up and blunted fingers from constant interaction with the environment without care to their digits bashing into things.


Life without pain will be a short one.


But there is another condition far more common and definitely more insidious.  It is called


Cultural Encouragement to Ignore Pain for Gain (CEIPG for short)


Do you suffer from CEIPG?


Symptoms include:

  • Popping a ton of Advil
  • Icing after every workout
  • Wearing sloganed t-shirts that let everyone know how bad you hurt all the time
  • Having more knee braces than fingers
  • And, in severe cases, getting Christmas cards from multiple orthopedic surgeons each year


“So, what, you want me to sit on the couch and wither away!  I’d rather wear out than rust out!”


I am not suggesting you refrain from discomfort.  There is a ton of research that shows that discomfort is mandatory for a happy and healthy human being.

I am saying that if you don’t make the decision to do something about your pain, your pain will make the decision for you.  I have lost track of the number of people I have worked with over the years that were FORCED to take a seat due to a torn meniscus, crippling back pain, plantar fasciitis that feels like walking on glass or just straight up cartilage wear to the point of bone on bone.


David Goggins is a popular purveyor of this.  His message is convoluted at best.



“Persist and you can change yourself to what you want to be.”



“I will basically destroy my body to prove that to be the case”


Take David Goggins with a huge grain of salt.  His methods will lead you to the operating table.  It works for him because he makes a living being David Goggins.  That is the schtick and it is paying him quite well.  You are not David Goggins.  You are David from Quality Assurance or Denise from the Marketing Department.  How much time can you take off because you need a new surgery each year.


The irony, of course, is that whereas the “pursuit of pain” pays David Goggins millions a year in book deals and motivational talks, the rest of the population who is trying to follow in his footsteps are suffering needlessly. And, it isn’t doing what you thought it might to begin with, the abuse of ones body still leaves most people inflexible, still overweight, chronically tired and unsatisfied.  There is no payday waiting.  The reward is just more pain.


I want you to live pain free AND be the healthiest happiest person possible.


Is that too greedy?


I want you to have it all.

What if your workout wasn’t your workout?

You’ve had a long day.


You’ve been savoring the idea of hitting the pavement for a long run or a zoning out on the elliptical to wash it all away.


You’ve got your bag packed.  You’re going to sneak out a bit early to beat the gym rush.


You arrive and get a little jolt of adrenaline as you get to leave the day behind.  Maybe you’ll even do a little weight training!


The stars have aligned, it’s going to be a good day.


Then as you lace up your shoes and take those first warmup steps, a longtime acquaintance stops to say hi:


Knee Pain


“Maybe if I just push through, it’ll loosen up and I’ll be good.”


10 minutes in and you are noticeably limping.




That’s the 3rd run in a row where you had to stop because the pain kept mounting.  It didn’t subside.  It didn’t loosen up.  What’s worse?  Now your foot is starting to zing a little bit as well.


You feel defeated, pack up your things, throw your bag in the trunk with a little extra pissiness, slam your door for good measure and sit there for a second.


“How am I supposed to be healthy if I can’t even work out!?”


What if your workout was no longer your workout?


“THE WORKOUT” gets put on a pedestal.  Yes, I – a gym owner – am about to talk you out of more exercise.  I want you to reframe what health is.  Rethink how you can be healthy.


Because at this present moment, your knee (and now your foot) is NOT healthy.  It is screaming at you – literally and figuratively.


But what can you do?  “No pain, no gain…right?!”  That’s how you get better?  You have to suffer, right?  Pain is part of the process, right?


No, no, no and definitely no.


In the next several blog posts, I am going to teach you step by step how to run again.  I WANT you to be able to run.


In fact, running is the #1 activity that leads someone to see me to begin with.  They love running.  But it’s killing them slowly and so they hang it up and find something else.  Often by way of a recommendation from our Chiro (shoutout to Precision Sports Medicine) they end up at our gym.  Usually they talk to me about how much they love running but how it was ruining their knees (and low back and feet).  From there, I get a chance to have a heart to heart about how they have been treating their body and open their eyes about how they can run again…IF they rethink how they approach their workout.


Stay tuned!

Why is our nutrition coaching so effective?

Process, systems and frameworks.  It’s really that simple.


Look I’ll be honest, nutrition is tough.  It’s not much fun, it takes effort day after day and it’s easy to get burnt out.  It’s no wonder why most people that take on nutrition don’t succeed.


Remember when your sister “tried keto” and that guy next to your cube “did a juice cleanse”?  Sure, there may have been some immediate jumps of the needle – but let’s be honest, did they make an appreciable change that lasted with them long term?


The data is not promising.  MAYBE your sister happened to, but by and large people are not succeeding with nutrition.  Which is why, surprise, the collective health of Americans continues to dip year after year despite an ever increasing amount of spending on the fitness industry and its subsidiaries.


Not to discourage you, it is 100% a valid, worthwhile and wonderful journey to undertake – when you succeed.  Not only will you get the weight loss and some energy back, but you will realize things about sleep, habits, exercise, energy, your hormones and a host of other things that you didn’t realize was tied to your nutritional strategy.


But that’s why so many people succeed with our coaching when they struggle on their own.  We are an ally with tools and we frame the conversation as far more than just “lose weight.”  In fact, if that is your primary reference point for nutrition to start with – you are missing a ton of good stuff!  Things that can change your life for the better in ways you wouldn’t believe.


So what are those resources?  Well first, check out this diagram.


This is our process on paper.  We went to great lengths to think of every detail and flesh out a complete end-to-end framework that anyone can understand.


What is the use of this?  Why does it matter?  Don’t I just need to “find the diet that works for me” and run with it?


Sure, that might work, but hear me out:


Why do you want to lose 10 pounds anyway?

What is your primary obstacle?

Does your spouse support your decisions?

What about your mother in law? (yea, that can be a very pernicious force…)

Do you have access to good information?

Or, is your information from an issue of Cosmopolitan from 1997?


“I’ll try Keto” just doesn’t even scratch the surface as to WHY you might be in a place where you want to “lose weight” to begin with.


Now I get it.  This level of dialogue might turn you off.  Maybe you are looking for the pill.  Maybe you are thinking there is a better way.  Best of luck in your quest!


But I have been in this field for more than a decade.  I know what’s out there.  I know what works.  Moreover, I have had a “laboratory” full of people for that decade that have verified these methods and provided certainty that our process is one that you can bank on.


Read that again


A nutrition strategy you can bank on


Wouldn’t that be something?


In a nutshell it is about identifying where you are at, what is the most important thing to be done and creating a roadmap to get there step by step.  It IS simple.  But it’s also very nuanced.


It’s tempting when someone says “hey, just try keto!” or “just eat less!”  but there is a problem – These aren’t nutrition strategies, they are just throw away assertions!  That’s like your financial advisor saying “try the stock market” or “just spend less” as your retirement strategy.  Run the other way!


Nowhere is this framework is the word juice cleanse or Keto or even the word diet!


That’s because those things aren’t part of an effective strategy.  They are just tools (mostly not very good ones) in a wide array of methods to address nutrition.


So you gotta ask, do you want a coach to guide you through a proven framework that has worked for countless others?  Or, do you want to continue the hunt for the silver bullet?


When you are done hunting for the magic secret and ready to settle down with an ordinary, boring, plain but incredibly effective strategy, schedule a time to talk to us about how we can help you get exactly what you are looking for.

What are you training your body to do?

For many – it is to sit.


We sit to eat breakfast.  Get in the car, sit while we drive.  Arrive at work to sit some more.  Then head home, sitting once again, to sit down and eat dinner and sit to watch some television before bed.  Rince and repeat.  We sit a lot!


I am sitting to write this right now.  It’s unavoidable.


Are a few gym sessions a week enough to counter act it?  It is certainly better than nothing!


But if you sit or lie down for 23 and then workout for 1 – your body is still thinking “alright, putting in the work for that sitting competition coming up!  I have been putting in some good training!”


“You are what you eat!!”….right?


Well, if so, then you are what you move as well.


And collectively we are great sitters.


How do we overcome this?  How do we send a different message?  Shaking up the routine and giving some other signals besides sitting?


Stand.  Now, it’s not a pancea and there are downsides to standing too much.  BUT, at least it is a different signal.


Walk.  Take a meeting walking.  Walk at lunch.  Walk the dog.  Walk before work.  Walk after work.  Walking is the greatest secret the fitness industry will never tell you about.  It simply too damn free to market to you.


Sit on the floor.  Sitting, but different!  Cross-legged.  Open-legged.  Pigeon pose.  You know you can just as readily watch your favorite show like this?  Take a call? Heck, even eat your lunch.


Sneaky Stretching.  Waiting in line?  Fold over.  Waiting for that meeting to wrap so you can use the conference room?  Stretch your calf against the wall.  Stuck in traffic? Do pelvic tilts.


Ok, maybe the last one is a little advanced and/or weird for most people to take on, but the point is this: you are currently training your body for the All Time World Sitting Championship.  Let’s introduce some new training.  Let’s entertain the idea that there is time, there are ways that we can improve these things.


What could you do in your day to reverse the impacts of sitting?

The Confidence : Competence : Participation Loop

Can it all start with one pushup?

One email?

One healthy meal switch?

I’d venture to say yes.  Because if not there…then where?  I don’t recommend waiting for “a sign” or your roommate dragging you to the gym or your loved one sitting the family down for a “health intervention.”  It is very unlikely to take that shape.

Without boring you with the gritty details of the phenomenon, it is pretty simple:

More confidence breeds more competence

More competence breeds more confidence

More competence and confidence increases your likelihood of participation.

But the trick, naturally, is where to begin?


I would say with participation.


Think of it like this:

You cannot conjure confidence in a topic with which you have no competence

You cannot conjure competence before you begin the activity

But you CAN do ONE pushup.  Right now.  You can do a single pushup and then let it sit there.  Check the box.  Get it done.

Tomorrow, you do two.  The next day three, and so on.
At the end of a year? Well, that is 365 pushups in a day.  That is actually quite the herculean feat.  But more importantly you would be building your confidence/competence/participation loop daily with small doses.  Technically you could be more competent than MOST if you simply started today and didn’t stop.  There we go!  I just solved your fitness!


But seriously though, this is what I hear too often:

  • I need to get in shape before I start….going to the gym! (????…kind of a weird one, but it’s real)
  • I don’t have time
  • I will start when things settle down
  • I can’t afford fitness


Which of these excuses prevents you from doing a pushup right this moment?  Seriously?  You don’t have (at most ) 10 seconds?


So I’ve gone on and on about pushups, but what about “fitness and health and weight loss and so on.”


Turns out they are all the same.  Every single one.

Today you go for a 15 minute walk

Today you DON’T consume that [particularly processed guilty pleasure]

Today you call up a friend and invite them to the gym/park/trail for a workout

Today you call up a local gym and schedule an intro session

Today you do a pushup

Today you drink more water

Today you track your calories


And of starting from square 1, your competence immediately increases by 10,000%.  Embrace your victory.  Tomorrow, do it again.  Level up.  The next day, again.  Level up.  365 days later, let me know how it turns out.  It is inconceivable that if you simply started tracking your calories today (and nothing else) you would fail to make progress.  The simple act of monitoring your intake has incredibly powerful compound impacts – if you let it compound.


Did you drop the ball at day 289?  Never fear, you can pick it back up again.  It is totally ok to fall back a couple steps, dust yourself off and continue on your loop.  If you do, you will succeed.  If you don’t, you may end up back at square one.  But even then, all is not lost.  Most people hope to live long and healthy lives – so is investing a year to gain 10 good ones a worthwhile task?  You could fail 10 times in 10 years and still, in your 11th year, get the equation right and find health and fitness for life.


If you hit 365 days you may find that you are a different person on the other end.  You perceive your circumstances differently.  You look in the mirror differently.  You evaluate something that used to be impossible as very possible.  I’ve seen the transformation happen hundreds of times.  It could happen for you as well.

And it could all start by doing ONE pushup right now.


Coach Eric

All the gym’s activities in one handy link

How does Edge4Life work?

This might be your 1st introduction to us, or maybe your 100th.

So to recap, here is what Edge4ife is all about, straight from the source.

We are an all-in, comprehensive transformation machine.  What does that mean?

First, we get right to the source of it – what do you want?  Everyone’s goals are a little different.  How can we get you there?

Next, we have a path to make that happen.  Weight loss?  We got you.  Strength gains?  We got you.  General health and wellness? We got you.

How can we do that?  Well, our framework is incredibly effective.  Our coaches care deeply.  Our gym at large is full of motivated, awesome people.  We’ve been kicking ass for nearly a decade.

Is this place for you?  Maybe – we certainly don’t believe that our gym can help EVERY SINGLE person, but we do our best!  The easiest way to find out is to set up a No Sweat Intro.  We’ll dissect what you need, where you are at and if our infrastructure is right for you.  Here’s a bit of a cheat sheet:

What we value and emphasize

– Understanding what you do and where you are at with fitness

– Long term, sustainable goals

– Focus on mechanics rather than big weights.  Focus on understanding rather than rushing.  Focus on getting it right!  The weights come in time

– Leveraging fitness to live our best lives

– Establishing relationships with each of our members so we can foster all of the above

What we don’t do

– Pack our gym elbow-to-elbow with deals, discounts, bargains, promos

– Race to weight loss goals

– Put people on crash diets and endless, frenetic burnout workouts

This is the place people arrive at and then stay for life, and achieve incredible fitness in the process!


Does Keto work?

Keto works.  But asking if Keto works is like asking if a hammer works.  Hammers work.  But do you have a nail you need to hit?

Everything works.  That is, because everything is a tool or a resource.  Some resources and tools are better than others.  Some only have one function.  Some are cheap and less effective.  Some are built to last.  Some are incredibly expensive and do one incredibly important, difficult function.  But they all work – that’s not the issue.

Question is, what task/problem/goal is in front of you?  If you have the right tools, you can solve any problem.

Most people in the fitness industry “sell hammers” so, as you might expect, they want to convince you that every problem you have is a nail.  If you buy a hammer and try to cut a board, you might come to the conclusion that hammers are a scam and ineffective.

Maybe the better question is – will Keto work for you? Honestly?  Probably not.  Now please first consider my previous point – it could in fact work for you.  But will the method be a good fit for your goals?  The data indicates that this is not likely.  Why might be this be?

To understand what Keto is, you have to take a moment to consider what a “diet” intends to do.  It intends to manipulate your energy intake.  Every diet does it.  Whole30 manipulates your energy intake by not allowing refined foods.  Thus, you have to eliminate calorically dense, nutritionally impoverished foods.  Paleo does essentially the same thing.  What does Keto do?  It manipulates your energy intake by changing the primary energy source of your body.  Instead of Glucose, your body will source ketones.  Where do you get ketones?  basically from eating a lot of fat and protein and exceedingly low amounts of carbohydrates.  How low?  To be in full-on-ketosis, you ought to be eating less than 50g of carbs per day.  That is a HUGE task for most people.  Thus, for most people it is simply too tall of an order to be an effective strategy.  Or, it does work but then runs its course and the end user finds it unsustainable.

So how to we present nutrition?  As a strategy.  There is literally a hierarchy of decisions to make to find out where you should start.  Hint: you should NOT START WITH KETO.  Start with something simple – cut your soda intake down and eat more veggies.  If you already drink no soda and like your veggies, then we move on to the next step.  in that way, we create a pathway to success brick by brick, step by step.  This is the method by which people succeed with nutrition – not by jumping head first into a difficult diet scheme.

Want to find out more about nutrition?  We are here to help!

Schedule a No Sweat Intro (what is that?) and we can talk about exactly where you are at and where you need to go.  No special extreme diets need to be discussed!

Have you had your “I haven’t felt this good in years!” moment?


If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you haven’t.

There comes a time in everyone’s life where all of a sudden…

– The energy starts to slip

– The back/knee/hip/neck starts to hurt for no reason

– Things that used to be easy are now strenuous

– Some random stupid thing (like picking up a bag of dog food) throws out your back

– You feel like you haven’t slept in ages

– Coffee/energy drinks become mandatory for a functioning day

– And you can’t recall a specific event that led you down this road

And if you think

“Well, jeez, it’s not THAT bad”

We don’t mean to spout doom and gloom, but it certainly doesn’t get any better tomorrow. We haven’t met a single person who has said, “most of my 30s I started to feel like you mentioned above. Then, I turned 40, and it all magically got better!”

Wouldn’t that be something.

Close your eyes and consider what it might be like when you have your own “IHFTGIY” moment.

– Routine tasks are just that…routine and easy.

– Back pain, gone.

– Knee pain, gone.

– Full of energy, sleep through the night

– Enjoy the activities you used to love

– Have enough energy for your family, job, friends and maybe…just maybe…a little left for YOU too.

Many people think this isn’t possible, but all the others have found their way to a fitness program that resonates with them to seize their moment.  Isn’t it about time you found it for yourself?

Schedule a No Sweat Intro to have a conversation about how you can find your moment.

Sunday 12/15/19

CrossFit Walnut Creek – Concord – CrossFit

View Public Whiteboard


Clean and jerk prep


Clean and jerk or makeup strength-

UNI, Sumo, Thruster, Snatch, UNi, FS, BS


4 x 4 x 65%

Split Jerk

Split Jerk behind neck + split jerk- 2 x 1 x 65%, 2 x 1 x 70%

Clean Deadlift

Rachet clean deadlift (1″, below knee, hang, finish)- 3 x 3 x 85%

*go back down to setup after you hit each position


A or B (Choose 1)

Metcon (Time)


2 rds:

200m row

8 squat clean (155/110)

2 rds:

40 DU

6 squat clean

2 rds:

20 Split Squat jump (10ea)

4 squat clean

* 14min cap

Metcon (Time)


4 rds:

8 burpee box jump

26 jumping pull-ups

:35 tuck hold on box

*14min cap

Cash out

Optional- Midline, pull, push, pump sesh, airdyne, grip, MOB, Skill


Ab wheel- 2 x 18

Renegade row- 2 x 10ea

Loaded plank- 1 x 2min

Accessory strength (4)-

Single arm cable curls- 2 x 10ea

Wide grip cable row- 2 x 14

SL wall sit- 2 x :30 ea

straight arm cable pull downs- 2 x 16

Airdyne fun-

6min easy


Pinch blocks- 1 x 1min, 1 x :30, 1 x :10


lizard and pigeon on box- 1 x 1minea


8min row with SR focus (18,20,22,24,26,28,30, 30+)


Cadence breathing- 30 breaths

*inhale nose, exhale mouth

Saturday 12/14/19

CrossFit Walnut Creek – Concord – CrossFit

View Public Whiteboard


reactive lunge

SL wall sit


Unilateral lower body

Tempo Bulgarian squat (5-3-1-1)- 4 x 6e

*3 in the hole is with knee 1″ off ground

* 2DB farmers

Vertical push

A or B (choose 1)


Partner Free standing HS hold- practice and prep for HS walk

HS walk attempts- 2-4 attempts


1/2 kneel single arm landmine strict press- 2 x 12ea, 2 x 8ea


A or B (choose 1)

Metcon (Time)



100 1Kb snatch (24/16kg)

100 front squat (115/80)

*Scale load accordingly to finish

*Break up reps however you want

*Stay even on KB snatch reps

*15min cap

Metcon (Time)


10 rds:

10 ring row

10 ring push up

20 air squat

*15min cap

Cash out

Optional- Midline, pull, push, pump sesh, airdyne, grip, MOB, Skill


Cable crunch- 2 x 30

GHD hollow hold- 2 x :30

Low L-sit on stall bars- 2 x :20

Accessory strength (4)-

Single arm machine elbow ext.- 2 x 20ea

Cable low to high chops- 2 x 10ea

Prone single leg machine leg curls- 2 x 14ea

Tempo SL knee ext (CIEI) (1551)- 2 x 10ea

Airdyne fun-

10 rds:

10 cal sprint

:30 rest


Grandfather clock dead hang- 1 x max time


LAX upper traps with OH reach- 1 x 1min ea


2min of breathing, 6 count inhale (nose), 8 count exhale


Post workout recovery breathing- 1 x 3min

Supine with lower leg on box (90 in knee, 90 in hip)

Cover eyes (or close them)

All breathing through nose

Belly breathes

Tempo 1:2 (4 inhale: 8 exhale)