How Much and How Often YOU should Eat?

During your Fundamentals session, I’m sure your coaches have shown you the “Paleo (Upside Down) Pyramid” that shows how you should eat for health, physique and fitness performance. The largest part of the pyramid shows “Meat and Vegetables”. If you have been an athlete committed to losing weight, getting a six pack, looking good, being healthier and better performance, I am sure that your meals often look like this:

Eat Meat and Vegetables!

Eat Meat and Vegetables!

Well whether you have started your new eating lifestyle or not, I am sure you will start it as soon as you find out WHY you have your current eating habits.

I want to use this opportunity to help you get started with your transformation. Most of us eat and most probably like meats and/or vegetables, but most often than not, we are eating them separately, one more than the other or with other “stuff” that is making our love handles grow thicker. You know what they are =)

So let’s break it down …

According to Thrivestry, this is how much vegetables and meat we should eat. Focus should be on vegetables first, then meats, followed by healthy fats, some fruit and little starch.

The reason why Vegetables is on the largest part of the upside down pyramid is because vegetables are the easiest food for digestion and it grows from the earth. Possibly the most natural food product that you can eat.

Then the next food source will be meats because it is the greatest source of protein and protein is what we need for muscle recovery and growth. And muscles is what we need to function in our daily activity, moreover fitness performance. I would say that everything below the meat section would be used as a snack, to help supplement our hunger in between meals and help improve our muscle functions.

Things we should avoid are the ones that will negate the work that we do. Sugar, alcohol and grains are probably the most unnatural products that you should put in your body. Instead of me telling you how they are bad for you, I want you to compare putting in a natural food product like tomatoes that grows from a seed on the ground, to a hard shelled processed product like wheat grains to your body. Consider what it looks like and imagine how your body would react to it.

How Much Meat and Vegetables Should You Eat every day?

Meat: 20% of your meal
Vegetables: 60% of your meal
Fat / Fruits / Starch: 20% from snacks

How Often Should you Eat Meat and Vegetables Every Day?

Breakfast: Meat or eggs. Start your day with a good strong meal!
Lunch: Vegetables and Meat. Maintain your mid-day energy with a clean meal
Snack: Nuts or Fruits to eliminate your hunger. Eat meat here more muscle gain.
Dinner: Vegetables and Meat. If dinner is your meal after the workout, then eat more meat for muscle recovery. But you want to consider dinner as your meal to “close” the day. So eat to ramp down your day so you will have restful sleep.

Good luck and remember that when it comes to changing your eating lifestyle, it’s about finding good clean natural resources. It may be more expensive, a little hard to find, but your body will thank you.

Write here...

What is Performance and How It Can Prevent Injuries

Performance is your capacity and proficiency to carry out the results of your training

Just recently, one of my mentor shared a video about restoring hip extension for athletes post injury. He’s talking about the possibility of athletes to “forget” how to engage their glutes (a.k.a butt cheeks) post treatment of the ankles or the knees. If you want to geek out about hip extensions and how to improve them, you can watch the full video about it here (

The statement that really caught my attention on that video is this quote:

“What enhances performance, prevents injury”

Wow, what a statement. Depending on how you are raised, and the people that you surround yourself with, you may think that the best way to prevent injury is to perform good habits, such as warm up, stretching, mobility and movement awareness. But enhancing your performance? Bet that didn’t come up a lot.

But let’s think about this a little bit more. How do you define performance? In our classes, we have three scaling: Health, Athletic and Performance. Have you ever thought about how they are different? Well here they are:

  1. Health: This scaling is intended for people with health goals, meaning better cholesterol level, better weight management and overall health markers (blood pressure, etc)

  2. Athletic: Most CrossFitters actually fall on this scaling. The goal of this scaling is to achieve athleticism, which includes, speed, agility, accuracy, coordination and balance to increase their physical skills and capabilities in playing sports.

  3. Performance: This is where it gets interesting. Your coach will translate this as the scaling for those who have been training over a year or interested in competing. And this is correct because those with experience and ready to compete will need to perform better. But “performance” cannot be defined like health and athleticism.

Here’s what I think:

Performance is your capacity and proficiency to carry out the results of your training

Unlike health markers or the show of athleticism during a game, performance is how much and how well you can apply what you learned during training. It is the mastery of the movement, the application of intensity and the expression of power.

Performance is an act, but also an action of carrying a task or a mission.

Your task or your mission as you wod is to perform functional movements. To say that enhancing your performance will prevent injury, simply means that the better you perform a movement, the least chance you will have for injury.

When you pick a scaling, whether it’s health, athletics or performance, you want to think about how proficient you are in performing the movements in the workout. If you feel it’s a 4 out of 10, then scale it down so you can feel an 8. If you don’t know what you should do, raise your hand and ask your coach.

Performance doesn’t mean complex movements, heavy weights and high reps. Performance is your capacity and mastery to perform complex movements in heavy weights for high reps. We can prevent so many injuries if we can understand the the difference and acknowledge our current progression.

Preventing injuries is in your hands. All the resources are available to you before you dive into a workout, all you have to do is decide.

Overhead Squat FIRST … then Squat Snatch!

We got some snatchin’ happenin’ in today’s menu. If you haven’t heard of the snatch, you will love’em when you get’em. If you are still working on the snatch, this will be your chance to master them.

How do you master the Squat Snatch?

Work on your overhead squats!

Seems counter productive? Not at all! The snatch is an olympic lifting movement where you bring a barbell from the ground to overhead in ONE quick movement. It is the fastest lift in weightlifting. Done right, it will improve not only your strength, but also your speed, agility, coordination, flexibility and balance. Done wrong, it will give you a shoulder pain that is a pain in the neck (figuratively and literally speaking =))

The quickest way to make sure you don’t hurt your shoulders doing the snatch is to make sure that your shoulder is ready for such speed and weight overhead. You ensure that with … the Overhead Squat.

So watch this video above, and ask your coach to show you in class as part of warm up (ask before class starts, not in the middle of the workout please), and if you are having some balance issues like Cassidy, check yourself into Overhead Squat Therapy … you will not regret it.

What kind of CrossFit Open Athlete are YOU?

A while back, my coach that recruited me to CrossFit posted on a Facebook post about the different type of CrossFit Open athletes. If I remembered correctly, these were the different types:

  1. The one that do it once and be happy with your score

  2. The ones that looked at every single tip, strategy video to find out how everyone did it and then do it in the last minute

  3. The one that waited until everyone submitted their score, and then do the workout to try to beat it

  4. The one that does it once, waits for everyone’s scores and then do it again if you got beaten

  5. The one that tried it Rx and Scaled and try to figure out which one they want to submit

Now if you don’t know what the CrossFit Open is all about, go here.

Do you see yourself in any of the categories above? Whether you are one of them, or you are a breed of your own, be sure you have FUN doing the workout.

If you ARE having fun doing the workout, consider this question:

Why are you doing the CrossFit Open?

If you are part of the Intramurals to support the box, then you are doing it for the community. Thank you for being part of the community and in supporting each other.

As we move forward as a community, it is important for each of us to have our own “driving force” to perform each workout. The driving force brings you to the end goal, the person you want to be, the health you want to be in, and the performance you want to output.

I am doing the CrossFit Open to be better than last year.

That is why I am doing the Open.

If you are new to CrossFit, and to the Equator School of Fitness, then perhaps this is your first year. As your first year, it should also be fresh in your memory, the goal setting session that you had with your coach. What was the reason behind your initial “First Day at the Equator” and the “Unstoppable” graduation workout that you did in order to progress to group classes.

The CrossFit Open is often exaggerated and blown up, especially in social media.

But in truth, the CrossFit Open is just 5 different workouts.

If you have been training consistently to qualify for Regionals (the next step after the CrossFit Open) then your goal is clear. But if you are not … I ask you to try to see it as it is.

The CrossFit Open is 5 different workouts published by the CrossFit Games officials as a Celebration to the Sport of Fitness and for the CrossFit Community.

It is a gift and a campaign from Dave Castro (the director of the CrossFit Games).

Unless if you are trying to be the top 48 of the Pacific Region, you have the option to do it. Or you can NOT do it. You can do it Rx, Scaled or in your own progression. You can video tape it, or you can do it in the dark. You can do it at the box, you can do it at a globo gym, or you can do it in your own garage. You can do it anyhow, anywhere with anyone you like.

Again, unless you are trying to get to Regionals … you don’t even need a judge.

What you need is ... your coach.

What you need for the CrossFit Open is ... a 1-1 session with your coach to discuss how you will perform the 5 workouts

Rather than scrambling around to get a judge and a tripod to videotape yourself, I would suggest that you schedule a 1-1 session with your coach to discuss HOW you are going to attack the Open workout based on your current performance and progression. This way you will achieve the correct training stimulus (energy level), move properly, have the right weight / progression, finish injury free and have MORE FUN.

The CrossFit Games Open’s goals may be to find the Fittest Man and Woman on Earth, but it doesn’t have to be YOUR GOAL.

My goal is to be the best version of myself. What’s yours?

Leave a comment below and let us know what is your goal in joining the CrossFit Open.

This is an Unstoppable blog post by Brian Pandji. Brian is the Founder of CrossFit Equator and Godfather of CrossFit in Indonesia. As a CrossFitter, his fitness goal for 2017 is to complete 300 workouts by the end of the year by eliminating excuses and mastering the fundamentals of functional movements. Follow his journey @train300days on Instagram. As a husband and a father of 1, he thrives to embrace the balancing act between work, relationships and self mastery. Please direct any comments or questions you may have to

Tuesday Tips: The Squat Clean

Today we will be finding our new Squat Clean "1 Rep Max". This means the heaviest Squat Clean you can perform with correct form that meets standard of movement.

Correct form is what you see and hear in the video. Following the pointers mentioned will help you perform the movement easier and safer.

Standard of movement for the Squat Clean are:

  • Starting the barbell from the ground
  • Catching the bar on the front rack (front shoulders)
  • Squatting below parallel (hip crease below the knee)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Do I have to go heavy? If you have never done a Squat Clean, then you need to focus on form and technique. Your coach will work with you to provide you with the proper starting weight or progressions

If you have done a Squat Clean before, then it is up to you how heavy you are going to go, BUT keep in mind that a percentage of the final weight found today will be the weight you will work on for the next 6-8 weeks. Meaning, if you go light, the strength program for the next 6-8 weeks may not be effective.

Do I have to squat all the way down? Unless you have mobility issue (cannot squat below parallel because hips are tight) or an injury (because your knee or your back hurts), then YES.

Do I need to use the barbell? In this case, YES. You can choose as light as barbell 35# or 45#, but you need to try to work on this technique using a barbell. There will be other opportunities for you to work on cleaning a medball, kettlebell or dumbbell.

Any other questions? Please feel free to ask your coaches in class. They will be more than happy to assist you.

Enjoy and Have FUN!



The 3 Mindset You Need To Train

In CrossFit Equator programming, we start every workout with the concept of a "Mindset". The Mindset  we would like our athletes to experience during a Group class session is any of the following:

  • Practice
  • Competition
  • Mental Toughness

The idea of having this mindset before we start any workout activity is to get you to learn from a workout. With this concept, you may experience one workout in three different ways. And it's all just a matter of how you look at it.  

For example: 

  • During a "Practice" mindset workout, you will choose lighter weights and focus on your technique. You may be stopped by your coach to look at a better position before starting your next rep
  • During a "Competition" mindset workout, you are challenged to perform good movements under pressure. Meaning, the programmed workout will create a rep scheme and a time domain that will push you to work faster under heavier load or a more technical movement. Your job is to continue to focus on technique.  
  • During a "Mental Toughness" mindset workout, the idea is for you to hit the wall and push it beyond what you think you can do. Within safe boundaries of course. The programmed workout will utilize movements that requires grit, such as strict pull ups, or burpees which are tough and may not "feel good", but will very much build the resiliency in your character

Every Sunday, we will post an article or a video here to help you understand more about these different mindset / contexts. And your job is to apply it the next time you are in class.  

Here's a practice mindset that I like to watch and share with people because it teaches us the importance of "Practice" when mastering the Fundamentals. Have a beautiful Sunday! 

Embrace your Midline

Welcome back to the CrossFit Equator Blog! Yes we have been vacuum for a few months (or years!), we are sorry, but we are also happy to be back and to have you reading back again here. I will continue to write for this blog with the hope to educate and inspire you to live a sustainable healthy and fit lifestyle. 

Today we are talking about the Midline, or the "core" or the "abs" which are the more popular terms.

According to Kelly Starrett on an original CrossFit Journal article:

 "The midline is the entire spine, and its stability is dependent not just on the core, but also on all the prime movers of the body, including the hip, glutes, and hamstrings. Excessive tightness in any of the prime movers will affect the core muscles, often resulting in low back pain." Dec 26, 2008

If you have done CrossFit before or some sort of functional exercise, I am sure you have heard your coach say this: 

"Stomach tight", or "Lock your core" or "Hold your breath under your belly

Yes? If you have heard your coach say something like this in the middle of a functional movement, then one thumbs up to your coach and one thumbs up to you for choosing the right coach. 

These "verbal cues" that was shouted to you in the middle of a movement was to have you stabilize and brace your midline for these purposes: 

  • Safety - Protect your lower back (lumbar curve) 
  •  Technique - Stable midline allows you to lift more weights safely
  • Balance - Stable and tight midline balances the load between both left and right side of your muscles

One of the hardest thing about midline stabilization is ... you don't know if you're doing it right!  

Even if you are doing the movement with mirrors all around you, it is very difficult to see whether you are engaging your midline properly. It requires a coach with experience in providing verbal or tactile cues for you to realize what it feels like to engage your midline. But there are exercises that can help you feel it. Here's a few:

  • Good mornings
  • Deadlift
  • Squats (along with its variations, Back Squats, Front Squats, Overhead Squats) 
  • Hollow Hold / Hollow Rock

Tomorrow, we are going to work on your midline stabilization through the "Deadlift".  

The Deadlift is a weightlifting exercise where you lift an object (ball, barbell, kettlebell or dumbbell) from the ground to your waist. Many use it to engage and strengthen the posterior chain (hamstrings and gluteus) but in truth, the movement cannot be done properly without proper engagement of the midline. 

Let me say this ... It is unsafe and ineffective to perform a deadlift (heavy or not) if you are not engaging your midline. 

And here's another thing ... a rounded back (or a semi-flat back) is NOT an acceptable way to perform and learn the deadlift.  

An engaged midline is where your bring your stomach muscles (or core or abs) into the back muscles. Literally it is a sensation where you lock your back to your front in the mid-section. Sticking your butt back and bringing your chest up to prevent a rounded back, is a hyper-extension of your back, and is an improper way to perform the deadlift.

Watch this video below and ask your coaches tomorrow to help you engage your midline

When you try this tomorrow, you will realize that it is not easy. And some of you may realize that you have been doing it wrong. But guess what? You are lucky to find out now, not later when you have back problems. You can still fix it! So let's focus on it. 

Remember that Mastery requires time that involves consistent practice in the fundamentals. Do not get distracted with lifting heavy or skipping your progression to movements you are not ready for. Be patient, take your time and enjoy the process of learning. 

Yours Truly, 

Brian Pandji

Positive Self-Talk

In CrossFit WODs, because of its intensity, we are often put into a series of movements, in high/low reps with or without weight but definitely under a lot of pressure, mostly under the pressure of time or max reps. 

A lot of things may happen in the middle of this intense workout. Usually these are the common things:

  • you sweat profusely
  • your heart is pumping out of your chest
  • you are losing your breath
  • your muscles (one or all) are fatigued
  • you want to quit ...

Look through that list again and point out the one that is created by your mind ... the last one! You guessed it right ... the last one ... I want to quit!! 

Now what if I told you that NONE of the things listed above is REAL. The only thing that is real is what is in your mind. Your mind does not like to be under stress, so it tells you that you are in pain and you have to quit. And then it starts giving you mighty excuses like, "Why are you doing this to yourself?", or "When is this going to end?" and "Maybe I should just quit right now..."

I'm sure you have heard this in your head before.

Now what if I told you that you can change your mind. Or your mindset. And by changing your mindset, you will NOT feel the pain and suffering on your body. 

That must be amazing. 

How do do you do it? Positive self-talk.


At CrossFit Equator, we have a "Mindset" or a "Context" attached to every single workout. The context are "Practice", "Competition" and "Mental Toughness". Today we are working on your "Competition" mindset.

Which means, you gotta push and you gotta work on your positive self-talk so you can push harder, move faster, rest less and progress. Don't be afraid, but be courageous. Be Brave. Be Unstoppable. When you are doing those snatches, or the rows/runs, tell yourself, "I Got This!" and "I Can Do this!" and remind yourself that anything is possible.

See you in class!

How "Power Cleans" Can Help Your Everyday Activity

The Power Clean. According to Mark Rippetoe, the father of Weightlifting and Powerlifting programs, The Power Clean is one of the most important Olympic Lift that can improve power and speed (for athletes of any sports). Of course, at CrossFit, we do a little more than Power Cleans, but this statement is probably the truest for the rest of us who goes to school, works at an office, runs a business or homemaker. 

Pay attention to the video shown below by Julie Foucher, an Elite CrossFit Games athlete, CrossFit Seminar Staff member, who is also a medical student. 

She is demonstrating the Power Clean using a barbell. A weightlifting equipment that CrossFitters are all used to, but can sometimes be considered as "scary" or "manly" and even "dangerous" for mis-informed people. But pay attention to the movement itself and ignore the barbell. The movement is actually something that we do a lot which is ... lifting an object from the ground to the shoulder. That is really all that you are doing with the Power Clean.

Technically, you are doing a Power Clean when you are:

  • putting your backpack on your shoulder
  • picking up your child 
  • putting your luggage in your trunk 
  • picking up a box 
  • and so on ... (you get my point =))

The movement starts with the object on the ground, you picking it up like a deadlift, engaging your legs (instead of your back), "jerking" it up with your hips (not your arms) and then standing up with the object on your shoulders.

By doing the Power Clean, you can pick objects up safely and easily while at the same time working on getting stronger, better looking legs and arms. Not a bad deal.

In today's class, you will be working on your Power Clean. And we will use various pieces of equipments (dumbbell, kettlebell or medicine ball) if you are unfamiliar with the barbell.

When performing the movement, your focus will be:

  1. Starting position - setup with your arms straight, hips back, chest up
  2. Use your hips - jump up and then use your arms. Do not pull with your arms
  3. Catch on the shoulder - as the weight moves up because of your explosive jump, catch it on your shoulders. I say "on the shoulder" because one of the common mistakes is catching it on your top chest / right below clavicle. This happens a lot because some are afraid of the bar. Don't be afraid, pick it up, jerk it off your hips and then catch it on your shoulders.
  4. Keep your chest up! Just like any CrossFit movement, chest up is always the best position. As you bring the weight up, lead with your chest, not with your butt.

Last but not least ... Listen to your coach's cues, move well, be safe and be brave. 

See you in class!

This week is going to be AMAZING!

Why? Because we have completed the CrossFit Games Open and it is now time to get back to our weekly training. And .... every week is AMAZING! 

If you have been following our athletes or athletes throughout the world #InTheOpen, you have seen a lot of accomplishments. Congratulations to everyone! I hope you have proven to yourself that you can do more than you think! If you did not get a chance to participate, not to worry, there is always next year. 

In the next week, there are a few things to watch for, here's just a few:

  • We have a new Strength Focus: Front Box Squats. If you have been with us for a while, you probably know that we have done this movement before. And it is very effective in improving your Front Squats. The cycle remains to be 6-8 weeks to ensure movement retention and a slow steady progress for everyone at the box. If you are an experienced member, and are looking to improve your skills/lifts in a faster pace, please reach out to any of our coaches to enroll to the Personalized Training and Nutrition program.
  • It's Benchmark Week! Yes, Helen on Saturday was not enough. In the following weeks, there are about 3 workouts that we have done in the past. Which means .... If you are new and are doing these workouts for the first time, then it is your chance to create your own benchmark. If you have done the workout before, then it is  your time to PR! 
  • The Redline Challenge is coming up! Our 5th Year Anniversary competition, the Equator Redline Challenge is coming up in the next two weeks. Registration actually will be closing tomorrow! So if you haven't registered yet, today and tomorrow is your last day. Commit by clicking that Register button, but most importantly participate in this event because it is a celebration of the CrossFit Indonesia community. 
  • Who doesn't like FREE stuff? We are running an Instagram Giveaway until the end of next week with Reebok Indonesia. All you have to do is take a picture in front of the CrossFit Equator x Reebok CrossFit logo, post it on your instagram page (tag 2 friends) and your submission to the giveaway is complete! We will review for the best photo next week and the 1st place will get Reebok CrossFit Nano 5.0, 2nd place will get Reebok CrossFit Tshirt and shorts + water bottle and 3rd place will get a Backpack + water bottle. 

So much stuff, so much events, so little time!! 

We will be posting daily information about the workout along with tips on movements, on this blog every day. The idea is so that you may come in to the box equipped with the right mindset, knowledge and information. 

So be sure to check often and drop us a comment. 

Thanks and have a good Sunday!