Author / John

It’s Thursday and PAHQ has been chugging away at putting up some fresh posts for Power Athlete Nation.  Denny and Luke talk about America, The 4th of July, light sabers, box squats, and how an athlete could scale back CFFB to continue strength gains with high volume “construction job.”  Strap your selves in Power Athlete Nation, this is Episode 17 of Power Athlete Radio!

Show Timeline

Show Notes

David Held asks:
I have been following the crossfit football site for about 5 months now and I am loving it. I have just recently moved to the collegiate training, I had a question for y’all about training and working a physically taxing job. I understand that there are probably numerous people following the site that are in the same situation as me and wanted to get your take on this. I thought that it might be a good topic for y’all to address on power athlete radio as well. Here’s my scenario. I am working at least 10 hour days 5-7 days a week as a construction worker. I recently have noticed that my energy levels have plummeted and was hoping for some suggestions. I am getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night, eating a shit load of good food and even taking naps here and there if I have time. It just seems like I do not have the energy to do anything but work train and sleep. What I was considering doing is skipping the Saturday workout depending on how I am feeling from the week, but was curious if that would effect my strength gains? Unfortunately it seems like what I am training for ( faster, stronger, bigger, just all and all more fit ) is just going out the window, recently I almost feel weaker and smaller. I could really use some suggestions. Thank you and look forward to your response.

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John Welbourn is CEO of Power Athlete and Fuse Move. He is also creator of the online training phenomena, Johnnie WOD. He is a 9 year veteran of the NFL. John was drafted with the 97th pick in 1999 NFL Draft and went on to be a starter for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999-2003, appearing in 3 NFC Championship games, and for starter for the Kansas City Chiefs from 2004-2007. In 2008, he played with the New England Patriots until an injury ended his season early with him retiring in 2009. Over the course of his career, John has started over 100 games and has 10 play-off appearances. He was a four year lettermen while playing football at the University of California at Berkeley. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in Rhetoric in 1998. John has worked with the MLB, NFL, NHL, Olympic athletes and Military. He travels the world lecturing on performance and nutrition for Power Athlete. You can catch up with John as his personal blog on training, food and life, Talk To Me Johnnie and at Power Athlete.


  1. Dave H on July 19, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    Luke and Denny,

    Want to start out by thanking both of you for taking the time to discuss my question on the radio…. I hope others that are in a similar situation as me can benefit from this discussion. To answer your questions, I am 26 living in Colorado and i am 6’2 about 205 right now. I work as a crew foreman doing golf course construction and maintenance, and I am a big advocate of leading by example, so most days I am doing a good deal of labor…. Shoveling, pulling hose, lifting 50+ lbs. etc…..

    Since I had sent the question in I have been cutting out the saturday dwod. It has been about 2 or 3 weeks now I believe, and I do have a bit more energy. I personally think that my main problem is diet but I wanted to get your feedback on what I am eating…..?

    Breakfast: 5:00a.m usually 4 whole eggs 2 whites a potatoe and a piece of fruit
    A.m snack: 8:00a.m tuna and rice or a protein shake with whole
    Lunch: steak potatoe and a veg.
    Afternoon snack: protein and rice or potatoe
    Post workout shake
    Dinner: usually around 6:30- proteins veg potatoe
    And I just started to drink casein or eat cottage cheese before bed.

    That is a pretty typical day. Prior to starting crossfit football I had just been doing your standard bullshit workout routine ( back and bicep, legs, shoulders…. etc.) and I was eating a lot more grains like oatmeal with breakfast, peanut butter sandwiches for snacks, pasta etc. I was a bit heavier but not as strong and explosive as I am now.

    In closing I guess I should leave you with my ultimate goal. I want to be big fast and powerful. I am not looking to get ripped up or for “vanity muscle” my ideal weight would prob. Be around 220 or so and still have the ability to run a low forty or have a good box jump. I realize that this shit doesn’t happen over night but I am just looking for suggestions to get me on the right track.

    Thanks again for all of your help. I look forward to your suggestions.

    • Luke on August 8, 2013 at 5:35 pm

      Dude thanks for the follow up, and sorry for the delay. I’m catching up on some old comments here. In terms of diet, you need more fat, and more food. Eat some coconut throughout the day and an avocado with dinner. Also either swig olive oil (yes drink it) or dress your food with it. That should get you where you want to be!

      That’s in addition to skipping the Saturday DWOD.

      Keep us posted!!

  2. Andy W on July 28, 2013 at 7:49 am

    Denny and luke and Dave H.
    Loved the question about training while working a physically taxing job and I loved the answer. I am a farmer in the northeast and right now it is a physically exhausting job 70 hours a week in all kinds of weather. One day its 85 degree with 90% humidity and the next day its 60 and raining. Either way I’m outside moving stuff. This is my first year trying to follow CFFB while farming. In years past during the farming season I’ve gone from weighing 165 at the start of the season to weighing 150 at the end. I felt like shit. This year, thanks to eating like a viking and raw milk, I’ve gained weight during the farming season. Last checked I am at 180 (I am 29 years old ) and have way more energy than in years past. Essentially I’ve dropped all the DWODS during the week and focused only on strength. In return I try to step up my intensity at work during certain jobs. For instance, I had to move 50 50# soil bags 20 yards. Normally I’d grab one at a time, but this year I grabbed two and moved fast. I count this as my DWOD, then I go home and eat and squat and go to bed. I know that from Nov – March I’ll be working 30 hours a week and will have more time to train albeit in the freezing cold which offers different challenges.
    I would say don’t get caught up in the peaks and valleys of training while working hard. Training is important but if it’s not paying the bills and supporting your family work takes precedence. Just remember to take care of yourself and be cool with taking extra days off.

  3. Mike on July 29, 2013 at 6:46 am

    Great show, I have a comment to make about the box squat to be for geared lifters. To give some credibility to what I’m saying, I am a competitive powerlifter, and a good friend of mine just finished an internship at Westside working under Louie. Louie Simmons also has athletes (non-powerlifters) that come through his gym box squat, and box squatting came from the original westside barbell, well before guys were wearing any sort of gear, and had great results from it, they were some of the strongest lifters in the 70s. Most athletes have relatively weak posterior chains, and focusing on box squats helps to correct that. Also, more importantly the focus on Westside training is doing the lifts that you are weak at, and if your a great box squat and a poor back squatted, then it would be more important for the athlete to be back squatting. I’m not trying to come off like I know it all, but just giving everyone something to think about.

    Also, Louie is planning on coming out with a new version of the the Westside book of methods.

    • Luke on August 8, 2013 at 5:27 pm

      Sorry for the delayed response, July was a busy month! Everything you say has merit. It’s just that we like the dynamic pulls (power clean and power snatch) and deadlifts to build posterior strength. If you see success with a box squat in helping develop the posterior chain, that’s great. Our contention is that a box squat just isn’t a suitable REPLACEMENT for a the Squat, deadlift, or dynamic pulls when training athletes. I’m not saying it “doesn’t work,” just that we haven’t found it optimal. Hope that helps.

  4. Anders Folkesson on September 11, 2013 at 1:40 am

    Great show again 🙂

    Is there a weblink for the “lights out” that is referenced in the show?

    Have a nice day!

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