SHUT UP & SCRIBBLE | Training Partners… and more

JR Howell (00:00):

It never came through.

Taylor Self (00:01):

Wow. It said you read it, bro.

JR Howell (00:07):

I don’t have my red receipts on.

Taylor Self (00:09):

You’re a liar, bro. Look at that red.

JR Howell (00:13):

Dang. I need to turn that off.

Taylor Self (00:15):

Yeah, you nerd. You got red on there. I never keep mine on. I want ho knowing if I read that shit or not. All right, so today we’re going to talk about how me and Hailey have been training partners and how Jason and Mal are training partners and just kidding. That was for debate. That was for the click

JR Howell (00:37):

Haley Chevon’s wife,

Taylor Self (00:41):

The thumbnail person. Dude. Haley Adams. Anyways, so what was I going to say? We’re going to be talking about training partners. One question that someone actually sent to me, which I kind of wanted to cover, you’re kind doing this already. So you had that bench, that series of benchmark workouts come out that you’re testing. You tested a couple weeks ago or maybe a month or two ago, and you’re going to test ’em at another point in time. Do you have a filter on dude, some sort of beautification filter on why JR has a beautification filter on dude, because you look uncharacteristically beautiful today.

JR Howell (01:27):

Oh, thank you. I’m using my phone and not my laptop. Maybe that’s why.

Taylor Self (01:30):

Oh, a hundred percent. Dude, the iPhone puts an automatic beautification filter on your eyes. You have a beautification filter on not even fucking with you,

JR Howell (01:41):

So be it. Yeah, so we used to do a thing called the crazy eight at the old gym, and I think it was just a good way for people to, I don’t know, be a little bit more motivated with daily training because they knew that in six months we were going to retest those to see where we’re at. It’s just ones that I made up. I think I used DT in the original one, so the one that we just did, I did a double DT variation, but smaller chunks. Yeah, so I mean it’s just something that I came up with that I started again to keep people a little bit more engaged. So in six months they’ll redo the same test. I will train, I will not program towards those tests. That’s a big part of it because a lot of people are like, are you going to make sure that we do better on these? And I was like, what do you mean? Am I going to make sure that you better be you? Are you going to program DT style workouts every week? So said, no, absolutely not. You’re going to get better at them because you’re going to do CrossFit and that’s why you’re going to get better at them.

Taylor Self (02:43):

This fucking nerd right here, dude, I have a stroke. Bryson will be like, Hey, I got this workout. I’m going to do this workout tomorrow. And he’ll be like, I’ve done it three times before. I’ll be like, you’re not doing that fucking workout again. I have a stroke. I like repeats, but

JR Howell (03:02):

I’m not a test and retest guy. We do not do girl or otherwise type benchmark workouts a lot. We don’t do a lot of test and retest and that’s probably my fault because it’s really not core to the CrossFit methodology as far as repeatable goes. But every now and then in this case, something like what I did for the gym I think is okay to do. And there are people that are very adamant about testing every benchmark once or twice a year. You know what I mean? And that’s just not what I do.

Taylor Self (03:42):

I don’t like testing and retesting that frequently. I do do it, but not with the frequency that some programs do. So the reason I ask that one, I was curious about that because a guy sent me a message, he was like, Hey, I’ve been kicking around the idea. And by the way, if you’ve got a topic you want us to cover, send us a message. We’ll try to cover the topic. For example, this today, this is kind of off the cuff. We’re going to talk about some other shit after this, but I wanted to bring this up because it’s an interesting question.


Hey, I’ve been kicking around the idea for years of running an annual competition for my affiliate where the workouts are the same each year. So members can actually track progress year on year. We’d love to know your thoughts on if you’re to program a one or two day comp for RX athletes made from primarily benchmarks or known CrossFit staples, what would you program, et cetera, et cetera. I think long story short for me, I don’t like that because I think it would give people the incentive to train in a box. I know I’m going to test these five things. I’m going to hammer these five things that I improve in that. I think what you should be chasing in CrossFit is like you need to be chasing variants in the unknown unknowable, in my opinion. I like to train that way. The other day, me and Bryson did our class workout.


It was with a 20 minute cap, I sent it to you. It was 50 barbell box, step up to a 20 inch box, 75 pound bar, hold it wherever you want, 50 strict press, 50 GHD 50, hang power snatch 50, double under two rounds, 20 minute cap. And I had to use suffer to finish in under the cap and it was a stimulus that was unique and that I had not felt in a long time. And I remember talking to Bryson and being like, Hey, we need to be chasing that unique stimulus that we don’t get very often because that’s where you’re going to get the most adaptation. You’re going to get the most adaptation from a stimulus that you’re not used to. And when you train yourself in a box, say, okay, you run this yearly comp and it’s always going to be Grace 30 muscle ups for time, the CrossFit total and a 5K run.


If you’re only training those things, sure you’re going to get super fit training with that breadth of fitness regardless, but you’re still putting yourself in a box and I don’t think you should be. So that’s why I don’t like that and that’s why I love the open and semifinals and the games and quarterfinals because to a degree it’s always different and they do a really good job of always putting something out that’s like, holy shit, that’s a stimulus I haven’t felt before. And that’s what you should be chasing in CrossFit, in my opinion, in your fitness. You should be chasing the untapped unique, never before felt stimulus, the stimuli.

JR Howell (06:36):

Yeah. It’s interesting when you first read it, the first thought that came to mind was that I really liked that for your members. I liked the idea of competing against other people, but you’re more so going to be drawn to compete against your previous time, which is also an interesting concept. So I would say that Jim, owner, if that’s what members seem to think would push them in their own training, do it. What I think would be really central as far as the reasoning behind it is, hey, we don’t have to go out and run a 5K once a month. We don’t have to do it once a week, but if I train you guys long, if I train you guys short, if I train you guys medium, if we run short, if we run long, if we run medium, if we do it with gymnastics, if we do it with weightlifting, if we do it on its own, if we do it with other machines, your 5K is going to continue to improve. And if it’s almost like a way to hold up the methodology, I think it would be a great idea. But I do understand what you’re saying as far as almost pigeonholing the training a little bit more.

Taylor Self (07:45):

I think if the affiliate owner runs the competition and they are also in charge of the programming throughout the year and they don’t inherently bias their programming for their gym towards that competition, I like it

JR Howell (07:58):

And I’ll be the first to admit, it’s kind hard not to do that, right? I love for crescendo to be something that the members look forward to doing, the competition we do in April, because for a lot of them, that’s the only time they compete throughout the year. A lot of ’em don’t sign up for the open. They don’t do competitions from the outside, but because they love to train and the gym’s going to be closed three days, they might as well sign up. So I find myself trying to help them prepare for it a little bit more than I probably should, and I’ll go to program something and be like, you can’t do that. It’s the same competition stimulus. So that’s the same combination that they’re using in that workout. So they like to be surprised too. So if we’re doing GDS with wall ball every single week, then they’re going to start nudging each other and being like, Hey, I bet there’s Agh HD wall ball workout for crescendo.

Taylor Self (08:47):

I do not like to program benchmarks often. So I think the key thing here, I definitely put benchmarks on Sentinel. We for sure do benchmarks at the gym at CrossFit Charlotte, but it’s not this, Hey, I do this all the time. Once a week we’re going to have a benchmark that you test. No, I’m thinking once every two months or once every month you have a benchmark where it’s like, Hey, the emphasis of this is measuring against your previous self. Maybe we repeat more frequently than that, but it’s not with the intent that, hey, the pressure’s on to beat yourself. I don’t need that pressure that frequently and sometimes it might not necessarily correlate. I might be having an off day, you know what I mean? So I think it’s a balance.

JR Howell (09:34):

Yeah. I know we need to get into training partners, but one last thought hearing you say that, let’s take your perennial semifinalists that you coach, will you have them revisit last year’s quarterfinal workouts so that you can see where they’re at or so that you can show them, Hey, this is a way to instill confidence. Look how much fitter you are at this movement, even if it’s a skill limiting thing, like the crossover signal under, let’s just say one of your athletes that’s really, really good, didn’t have that skill and kind of get caught with their pants down. Would you have them redo that workout just to show them, look, you’re ready, you’re going to do well this year?

Taylor Self (10:12):

I let them tell me if they want to repeat. I do not like to dictate repeats with that kind of pressure because what if it goes wrong on a day and they didn’t ask for it, and I program it on a random day on a Wednesday and they’re fucking tired and beat up and they goes worse. Then their eyes get wide and they’re like, oh, we’re fucked. So I don’t like to force repeats in that regard, that specific or that recent from last year’s quarterfinals. I’ll program old open workouts for sure, but for an example, I had an athlete that asked for that wall facing handstand, pushup, quarterfinal workout to be repeated. So I was like, all right, word gave it to ’em, they fucking smashed it. And I think in that scenario it’s great because they want it. They’re fucking like, I want to retest this. I’m feeling it.

JR Howell (10:58):

Yeah, cool.

Taylor Self (11:00):

Yeah. All right. So what else? Oh, okay. This week training partners, next week we’re going to be reviewing open workouts from years past. Oh, Mason did it. I put the other week. You did this recently, didn’t you? 18 one or did you do intervals of it?

JR Howell (11:23):

Just intervals? Yeah,

Taylor Self (11:24):

I did a few weeks ago. Several weeks ago. So Sentinel compete. Got it. This past week, maybe 62, I can’t remember, but a few weeks ago I did 19.3, rest two minutes, and then 18.1, it was fucking so dumb. So I gave it to compete. That was just not a mandatory rest between, it was just two separate evolutions in that day, which I thought was complimentary because one is so muscular, fatigue, limiting, and the other is so just completely engine capacity based. So it’s two kind of,

JR Howell (11:58):

And I know you can just recall those, but a lot of people listening may not be able to, which are those two

Taylor Self (12:02):

Workouts? Okay, so 19 three, the muscular fatigue or muscle stamina limiting workout is the four time with the 10 minute cap, 200 foot single arm dumbbell overhead lunch, 50 box step-ups with that single dumbbell, 50 strict handstand pushups, 200 foot handstand walk. Then 18.1 is the 20 minute am wrap of eight toes to bar 10 single arm hand clean jerks, five each side. I did it alternating when I repeated it and I beat my old time by a bit.

JR Howell (12:37):

That’s interesting. It’s slower for sure to alternate, but back then it wasn’t mandated.

Taylor Self (12:42):

It was five and five, I’m pretty sure, maybe not. Some places it’s written five and five I’ve seen, I don’t know what was mandated if it was mandated, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t alternate back then.

JR Howell (12:58):

And then 14 and 12 Cal. Yeah,

Taylor Self (13:00):

14 calper guys, 12 for ladies.

JR Howell (13:04):

But what’s interesting about that workout is the one you were describing is it is a lot of shoulder tricep stamina and then grip stamina. So I mean, it’s cool that they’re not super redundant. They’re both very demanding muscularly, but different muscle groups, which is cool.

Taylor Self (13:25):

I finished that shit, bro. Fuck are you talking about? I didn’t in 2019. In 2019 I ate Dick. I’m pretty sure I gave myself a fucking hernia in my neck because I fucking kicked up for the first handstand walk and just fell. That was funny. Anyways, that was, we were talking about open workouts. So we’re going to be covering them basically saying, does it still hold up, does it not? We’re going to move pretty quick from 2011 to 2020, did I say? Or whatever. So we’re going to move quick and then if it does hold up, we’ll be like, Hey, this is why Sick workout.

JR Howell (14:00):

Yeah, my holdup basically we’re saying that, and some of them already have been repeated, but we’re just going to assume that they came up in 2024. We’ll just go through and say, Hey, does this workout still hold up with the community, with the elite level, all that? And if it holds up, we’ll kind of just put it to the side. We’ll say why. And then the following week we’ll start to review preview Taylor versus the world, and we’ll go through some of these workouts that we say for a lot of people, 16 2, 19 2 is going to hold up as a great workout regardless of if it’s 2016 or 2036. So we’ll go through and say, Hey Taylor, if you’re doing this workout and gets Colton, do you stand a chance? The answer would be no, not in that workout. Which

Taylor Self (14:43):


JR Howell (14:45):

Squat, clean toaster bar, double liner.

Taylor Self (14:47):

Oh, power clean though. I’m clapping those booty

JR Howell (14:52):

Cheeks, but it has to be squat clean in that

Taylor Self (14:53):

Workout. I’m just saying. Yes, that’s a great workout. It’s already been repeated twice though.

JR Howell (14:57):

But that’s an example. That’s an example. Yeah. Likewise, if we said 12 four or 13 three, which is the 1 50, 90 double under 30 muscle up came up, I would say, Hey, Taylor’s got an advantage against pretty much everybody in that workout because it ends with a set of 33 Muscle Ops. So that’s kind of a preview of what we’re looking at for the next couple of weeks. So it should be fun.

Taylor Self (15:20):

And then this was the other thing in 2019, that workout, that hand stamp was trick hand. The 50 strict, I believe it was like a 36 by 40 inch box, super easy standard. I did it to you holding

JR Howell (15:31):

Your whole hand at the inside,

Taylor Self (15:33):

Right? I did it this time. I did it to the 10 by 30 inch and still destroyed my 2019 score. So I was pretty happy with that. If it was that box, I think that’s way easier than the 10 by 30 inch. You just put yourself at an angle and fucking bang it out. Okay, cool. Training partners at some point over the next few days, Jason? Oh, Jason Hopper is about to drop his next YouTube video. We might be making another one this weekend, and if we do, we’ll drop this most recent one from this weekend if we make it, and then he will drop the next one. If not, he’s going to drop this next one. And you guys are going to have a perfect example of why training partners can not be so great for each other. Sometimes I’m going to start with the bad and then let’s say we’ll cover the good. I’ll start with the bad from personal experience. Bad. Maybe bad is not the right word. We’ll start with why. Detrimental, damaging, detrimental. Detrimental.

JR Howell (16:33):

Yeah, whatever.

Taylor Self (16:34):

It’s maybe just in small doses. It’s like a fucking hit of meth. Nah, not that. Just kidding. It’s quite different. Last weekend I was a crash for the 65 Roses cystic fibrosis fundraiser workout teams of three. And I was on a team with Bryson and one of my other athletes and Jason was on a team with Lindsay Lane and Reagan Hook, and they finished one of these parts of the workouts before our team and we had 15 bur box jump overs last. And I was left and I was doing the last 15 sprinting my heart out, and Jason is standing over top of me laughing like, you suck bro. We’re already done. And meanwhile, I’m in the middle of the last 15 bur box jump overs dying, and in my mind I’m like, you motherfucker, if you don’t shut the fuck up. And then we do another workout and I beat him or he’s beating me and then I pass him in the workout and I jog past it, but I go see ya. And then should we just continue to talk

JR Howell (17:32):

Shit and pile? And then you asked me after, did you go over the line?

Taylor Self (17:36):

Did I go over the line? No, I didn’t just stop there

JR Howell (17:39):

Was I too mean is what you said was I too mean.

Taylor Self (17:41):

I didn’t stop there. I was like, see ya. And I passed him in the workout and then I finished and then I start putting my stuff away and I mocked him and I was like, let’s go Jason. And I did that and I was like, oh, did I go too far? Probably me and Jason are unique in the sense that both of us are so aggressive and so forward and direct that we know that we can only take each other in the minimum effective dose, so to speak, once a week would be great because that kind of,

JR Howell (18:13):

That’s where the conversation probably needs to start. What do we mean by a training partner? Do we mean a daily day in day out training partner or do we need someone who, hey, they’re my training partner when I’m trying to get ready for something or when I feel like, hey, I’m not getting the push that I need with the people I train with every day because even if they scale loads or they scale reps to try to get the desired stimulus to push me, I don’t see them as an equal. I don’t see them as a direct competitor. And every now and then I just need to race and I need to practice the skill of competing against someone who’s as good or better than I’m

Taylor Self (18:51):

Right. I think in this scenario, me versus Jason, me saying we are equals would be a stretch. He’s made the games three times, I haven’t, but there are a lot of things I could beat him on. And inversely, there are a shit ton of things that he can beat me on. So it’s like any given workout, we are battling it out and we both like to hurt a lot, so that’s another plus. And we are both insanely competitive. So it’s like if I get beat by him, my feelings are getting hurt a little bit and vice versa, if I beat him, he’s going to be pissed about it. And if that’s our training environment every day, it’s not going to be sustainable. There’s going to be an eruption, we’re going to get fucking heated at each other, we’re going to blow up at each other, which has happened in the past.


So in small doses once a week or once every two weeks, it’s great. I love it. I think that me being beaten by him, it’s like nothing better for me. It helps me a ton. And also when he gets on me and starts shit talking when he’s beating me, maybe for some people that would be detrimental, but for me it makes me so angry and I just want to go harder. Or when he talks shit, sometimes we’ll talk shit before workouts and it goes both ways. Sometimes I’ll just say too much and it’ll piss him off and it’ll clap the fuck out of me or it’ll be vice versa. He’ll say too much and it doesn’t matter what the workout is, it could be his wheelhouse and I’ll destroy him because he fucking turned me on or whatever. And in that regard, it’s super positive, but in the sense we would be at each other’s throats all the time, not sustainable.


What I think would be sustainable is say you are at a particular level, oh, let’s put, let’s say Jason and I dunno, he doesn’t have any other male athletes that train with him a lot there. I would think if you’re same sex and you’re kind of in the same field of competing against one another, but one of you is really fucking good and the other is just not there yet. I think that can also be a super powerful dynamic. You have somebody who can mentor someone who can learn a lot, and as long as that person is hungry to chase, it doesn’t matter if they modify from time to time, it can be a pretty sustainable training relationship where you’re trying to help that person get better and you’re not really threatened by them. They’re trying to chase you and trying to push you that can be sustainable. And of course I think male female is sustainable, but I don’t think if it’s like me versus Jason every day, nah, I’m good.

JR Howell (21:30):

Yeah. So I think the question you have to ask yourself, if you’re someone that trains alone historical, let’s just take someone at the highest level, someone like Pat, he trains alone every day. Every once in a while maybe he trains with somebody, but Dane and day out trains alone, he knows that works for him. Brent’s another one. They know that works for them. They can still get the maximum output, they can still reach their maximum potential, all that stuff. It’s great. There are some people that just don’t like that daily grind of being in the gym all alone. They want to be around people. They want to be able to cut up a little bit. They want to keep the mood light. They don’t want to take it too seriously. So what do you want out of a training partner? Do you just want a warm body in the gym? If that’s the case, you can grab anybody, just someone that will do a workout with you because it helps you to suffer and grind, looking over and seeing someone else suffer. That’s great. There are types of training partners though. You could just say pluses, minuses, and equals, right? So a minus is someone that you were describing earlier. They will not beat you. It may be one out of a hundred workouts that’s like the most wheelhouse thing that they could program for them. That’s your biggest weakness you’re going to lose to them. That’s a true

Taylor Self (22:40):

And beat me in a workout Monday and I still have rhabdo from it.

JR Howell (22:45):

I was going to say, so there are those training partners that they’re just minuses. They’re not on your level, but like you’re saying, you can coach them a little bit. You can help them out. They’ll give you that gratification of watching someone else kind of progress along with you. And it’s almost like a payback type thing, right? Hey, I appreciate you training with me every day and burying yourself and getting buried by me. So because of that I’m going to help you out and I’m going to teach you how to clean up your muscle up or your handstand pushups or whatever. So a plus would be the opposite scenario. You’re the person getting buried every day and you’re wanting to get so good that you want to train with someone who’s just going to drill you. Taylor Wade was that for me since I started doing CrossFit, I cannot tell you how much better I got just because I was so angry of how bad I used to get beat by him every single day.


And then you have an equal, and what think is an equal is not that it’s 50 50, it’s just that like, Hey, they’re really, really fit. I’m really, really fit. I would look at someone who, Jason has a relationship like a Dowling. If they train together at Crash or they train together in Jacksonville, whatever, it’s probably going to be close to a 50 50 split. It might be 55, 45, it might be one of them wins five in a row and then the other one loses eight in a row or whatever. But in general, it’s going to be a wash. They can push each other when they lose. They’re not going to lose by a large margin, all that kind of stuff. And I think an equal is what you don’t want to train with

Taylor Self (24:23):

A lot, right? You

JR Howell (24:23):

Don’t usually an equal is someone you have to beat when it really matters,

Taylor Self (24:28):

Someone you have to beat when it really matters. And it’s just you. It doesn’t matter if I’m at a semifinal or in your fucking gym against Jason, I want to win just as badly. It’s not about me going to go and compete. It’s not about like, Ooh, this is a stretch. It’s honestly less about making the games and more about, I don’t want to fucking lose to anyone in anything ever. And I know people that are like that and going against them in things every day is exhausting. Do you think there’s a point that you reach as an athlete, like say for Jason, are there people that he could train with that is enough of a plus that it would be good for him? Or is he past that point in his career?

JR Howell (25:19):

No, no. I think, I think what Jason does and where he’s gotten a lot more intelligent from a training aspect is he will use the people at his disposal. And I don’t mean that in a bad way, it’s a

Taylor Self (25:32):

Fluff. I know what you mean.

JR Howell (25:35):

He will grab someone that’s a random gym goer that’s just the fastest handstand walker that he’s ever seen in a workout that’s predicated on how fast you can do the handstand walk. And he’ll try to get them to do the workout or he’ll grab the best puller in the gym, or he’ll get the person who’s the best on the machines. Or he’ll grab someone who’s anthropo metrically going to be able to beat him on burpees or handstand pushups like a Zach Rill. He’ll get Zach and be like, do this strict handstand pushup workout with me, knowing he probably can’t beat him, but that is going to maximize his time on that workout. So I think that’s really, really important. But knowing Jason, all the guys he follows on Instagram, who are his direct competitors, he mutes because he doesn’t want to see what they’re doing. He doesn’t want that kind of stuff to get in his head. I think the answer to your question is no. I don’t think at this point, if anyone said, Hey, you want to start training together every day, I don’t think it would be positive for him. I would think over time it would just start to get in his head.

Taylor Self (26:41):

Right. So what you’re saying is there’s probably no one in the world that’s good enough to be enough of a plus for him where it’s healthy.

JR Howell (26:49):

Yeah, because at that point I think those people that he may view in his mind as pluses, that would just give him more doubt that he can’t beat them if he was losing to them more than once or twice a year at a semifinal. Exactly.

Taylor Self (27:03):

So example, when I first started to tried to be competitive, I trained with Nathan Bramblett who was a 2015 games athlete at CrossFit Reston, and he was such a plus. And I remember this lesson that I learned on a power clean ring dip workout. It was a variation of Elizabeth, and from the start it was like power cleans, front squats, ring dips. Don’t remember the workout specifically, but I was like, all right, I’m about to pace this a little bit. 3, 2, 1, go. And he fucking floored it. And I had just never seen someone attack a workout from the start like that, but I learned a lot training with him and it made me so much better so fast because I learned what it meant to try to beat someone in a workout rather than just get a good workout.


And that plus relationship is massive. I do think you reach a point as a high level competitor where the plus is, it’s still not, like we just said in Jason’s case, there is not someone in the world who is so good that it would be beneficial for him to train with them a hundred percent of the time. To answer this question, I want to answer it first and then I want to see if you think my self-assessment is accurate. I think that I am very balanced, meaning I have really great training days, and then I also have really bad training days, which I think most people have. I have hard days I think in competition shown that I know I’m going to do well. If I can do well in an event, I can maximize that. But I also have instances where I’ve shown that I can make mistakes.


For example, granite Games, I had a big mistake on the first workout. I blew my load as a rookie athlete learning how to fucking run my own race rather than being a retard. And then I had events the rest of the weekend where I was top five, which I could have done better, but I just was kind of walking through top fives and then you go to Guap Palooza and I win an event, take a second an event. I know that I can do well on those. I would just say I’m pretty, I don’t know. I mean, what do you think? I would say I’m just pretty balanced. I wouldn’t say I’m either a training day or a competition day athlete. I,

JR Howell (29:19):

Yeah, I would say that you’re generally as good at both. And what I mean by that is I think it really stems from this, do you like to train? You love to train, you love to bury yourself, you love to hurt. Usually people either are like that and they’re not as great on game day or when it really matters is when they go to that gear that they really can’t get themselves to do in training because it’s just training, it’s just practice. They want to feel the adrenaline of the race. They want to feel the adrenaline of the crowd. There are performers and then there are people that.

The above transcript is generated using AI technology and therefore may contain errors.

Check out our other posts.